Friday, September 29, 2006

Poor Mojo.

I did work some on the sock pattern. Basically my habit is to work the first sock as a prototype and make some pretty broad notes on how I did what I did. (Occasionally the notes are photographs. One just saved my life. More later.) When I knit the second sock, I use the overview notes and hammer out the details. Lots of sticky notes and sketches are involved. Today I turned heel #2, picked up gussets and started the decreases.

I couldn't remember how many stitches go in the runway - the plain knitting down the bottom middle of the sock. But thankfully I had a picture! And though I put four in this second sock, I can see from the picture there are only three. I had just started my decrease rows, so I can tink this back with very little trouble.

Once again I seem to have knitting ADD. The flower basket shawl is on hold for a bit for some weird reason. I can't figure it out - I love knitting it. The Selbu mitten? I feel I've worked out all I wanted to work on making this first half of the mitt, but as usual it's a first try that doesn't make the grade. I have an unsightly ridge on each side of the mitten where I carried one yarn too tightly and made a ridge, and there is that yarn dominance issue to deal with. So it's time to unravel it, put the yarn back in the bag for the Log Cabin Thing, and go find some worsted that I really like to knit it for real. (That was a test knit, in case I didn't mention it.) I really love stranded knitting and plan to do more of it in the future. I'm thinking tan and chocolate brown Paton's for the next pair.

I started knitting a square for Grandmother Purl and ran out of yarn AN INCH from the end (a vertical inch of knitting, as in, my square was 7" long and needs to be 8). I decided to go tomorrow for some Patons Canadiana (evidently on a Patons kick) or maybe some Decor and start that again. I have a stitch pattern, and now I can play with color.

Also, I want desperately to make a throw pillow for my bed. (These things never go well, I don't know why I keep trying.) I want to use seed stitch on one side and a checkered stitch pattern on the other (I forget the name). I figured out my yarn allotment, but two times when I've gone to buy the yarn they didn't have what I wanted. Someday this week I will go stick my nose in some Cascade 220 and see if the smell still makes my ears ring (weird, I know, I think I am allergic to the oil in the yarn or something). If it does, I'll pick something else. I'm thinking Rowan Cashsoft DK. Or Debbie Bliss Non-Cashmer-ino Aran. In chocolate brown. Because I love Knitting Cat-Hair Magnets. And all y'all cat owners out there can testify with me - the one thing I do not want them to pay attention to will invariably become the one thing my cats rub their bums all over and then they'll lay on top of it and drool. Because cats have an inherent voodoo sense of what you consider most dear and will wreck it at any cost. They do this patiently, waiting for you to relax so they can strike. Amen?

(I really want to tell a story about a certain friend finding a pair of her unmentionables in the cat box one time, but I wasn't sure I could.)

So today I am full of ideas, but my Knitting Mojo seems to be sleeping. There is a lot of talk in the knitting world lately about where The Mojo is or isn't. Mine is prompting me to start lots of stuff I'm not really interested in knitting. (I swear that 90% of my problem with socks is that I have lost my small blue barrel row counter. I had two, for making socks side-by-side. I lost one, and I think it is under the couch at the Public Library in some small town in Tennessee or Kentucky I have since forgotten, but it has bothered me ever since. And no matter what yarn shop I go to, they never have them. I found a very poor substitute at JoAnn, but the love isn't there. So I think my Mojo is stuck under a couch in a Public Library somewhere in Tennessee or Kentucky. Poor Mojo.)

An Oldie But a Goodie: The Whistles Go Whoo-Whooo!

Nice people

I like nice people. Remember my Billy Bag? Remember how I wrote to the company about how the stitching was wearing out and the leather handle chipped and there was a hole? After a lot of Fashion Week stuff they had to deal with, the company got back to me - they are going to replace my bag! It may be the same bag, or it may be a different one (hopefully still brown and kinda big). They have an end-of-season sale during London's Fashion Weekend, and it will be coming from there.

Y'all know how excited I get about handbags...I am SERIOUSLY excited about this. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

MySpace is eating my brain

Y'all, MySpace is eating my brain. It hurts. See, I started out not being very interested in it at all, then I started finding a whole bunch of old friends there, and now I am like a m3th junki3 drooling on the telephone receiver to my dealer. Tonight I was going to watch last night's Runway, but noooo. MySpace ate my brain.

Did y'all watch Earl tonight? Did you see the part where Catalina said she was being a butt bag? As in, A Bag of Butts? Now that is why I pay $50 a month for cable TV! Quality programming!

Also, I watched the LOST recap from last night (thank you, Mr DVR) and it is driving me crazy who the announcer was. Who was it? I can't find it anywhere online. Do y'all know?

I wound up some wool and I'm starting ANOTHER project because, why not? What is one more impossible thing to finish when you have thirty-eight going? There is no end in sight to my startitis.

Apparently I'm addicted to EVERYTHING. Will I ever write the sock pattern? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Why yes, those ARE Christmas lights!

I'm posting this photo which is part of a meme that Crazy Aunt Purl is doing - she wants to see where we all knit.

So this is where I knit. If you want to know what everything is, go to Flickr, there are notes! Just click the photo below.
Knitting Spot

Here's Fee camping under the table:
Fee's under the table

And here's Grady, and I swear to you he Actually Is Turning Brown:
Grady is turning colors

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I found the ruler and the nail file!

Using an ancient Ninja technique called "Move Stuff When You're Vacuuming," I found the lucite ruler camped behind my copper yarn tub. It was completely embarrassed about the rumor I started that it was shacking up with the nail file.

The nail file was (obviously) sitting quietly in a bag that also contained a swatch I was working on and abandoned weeks ago.

No little lucite nail-files running around, sadly.

As usual, I'm running late! Check out Julia's big Whiskey purchase! (Sorry, Julia, I just wanted to post that! Whiskey is yarn, y'all, and I thought it sounded funny.)

Monday, September 25, 2006

That settles it

Ok, I'll write up the pattern! I'll put it in a basic sock pattern with the toe I used but also include the basic theory for how to do the shaping in any sock, and I'll include instructions for how to swap in a toe of your own. (Note: This sock pattern is NOT in Knitting Vintage Socks. Inspiration comes from Grumperina, Meg Swanson, and Nancy Bush, however.)

(You know it's been another rough day when you find yourself standing in front of the fridge with the peanut butter jar wishing you could take it with you on a walk.)

(For the Selbu mitts I am using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Fern and Chocolate. So far I have used about half a ball of each.)

I did have fun for most of the day, however - I was working on a color palette. While some of it is a pain - whittling the 108 original colors down to 60 or so - other parts of it are fun, like making up names for the new colors. First I surf around to find inspiration from fashion and other websites. Then I get out the old Pantone book and start trying to find similar color mixes. Then comes the fun part! Naming! Today's names: Sprig, Dune Grass, Baby Bird, Shrimp, Paprika, Chocolate Cherry, Lake Water, Peacock, Old Rose, and a few others. Some are named in honor of yarn colors!

I love my job, but I think it would be a super extra fun job to name lipstick or paint colors. What do YOU think a fun job would be? Make it engaging and challenging! Leave a comment!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

All right y'all

Here's my prototype. Do you like it?

I know the toe isn't exactly parallel to the arch shaping, but I like it anyway. It's the Pointed Toe from Knitting Vintage Socks, and I like it because it's a long toe with nice detailing and a snug fit. I think it was a good choice - of all the socks I've knitted, this one is the most comfortable one. I think, however, that I have a fit problem on my particular foot, where the last shaping decrease stretches a little. It doesn't bother me, but if you make these you may want to adjust.

So, does anyone want the pattern? It is a really complicated pattern to't lie. :) Though I like the toe, I can see how it might does look weird. In person, it looks kind of on-purpose and by-accident at the same time. So if I write the pattern, the toe is going to be up to y'all to decide on yourself. In fact, I might just tell you how I did the shaping and let you put it into your own sock. Not sure yet!

Side view




Saturday, September 23, 2006


I love Veggie Tales. (Apologies to all y'all out there in the world who think a singing cucumber and a moody tomato are the devil, but I like them.) I have spent many an afternoon in front of the TV with my nephew watching various and sundry Veggie Tales tapes, and one of my favorite Silly Songs is The Song of the Cebu. (A Cebu is kind of like a cow.) So, the song is about a boy and his three Cebus - a sick Cebu, a sad Cebu, and a mute Cebu. And also a hippo. And the boy and his three cebu are riding in a canoe, and headed straight for the hippo, who doesn't see them, and all sorts of hilarity ensues.

So for reasons I can only explain as "stuck in random-land," I am unable to call these Selbu mittens anything but Cebu (which is pronounced say-boo! just so you know). The Selbu is the star of Norway. These mittens are the most recent in a long line of them knitted by my grandmother and mother. And now me! Doing a terrible job of Carrying On Tradition! (I'll get better.)

Cebu! I had some trouble on the palm before I remember Nona's idea of yarn dominance and switched the green to my left hand (you can see on the palm side where I did that). But otherwise, these have been a super fun, super fast knit. They are a little tight for me, but I hold out hope that steam-blocking this afternoon will help a little. Or I'll give them away. I could make 84,000 pairs of these things.

Front Selbu

Palm Selbu


Keep the crazy going

Angela had this post about soap, and I was going to do an entire post about shower gel and Freeze and how I want to try Sonic Death Monkey just because of the name and Jack Black but then, too much explanation for 2am and I'm not up for discussing showers with only three hours' sleep. I'm wide awake and watching this pretty yellow-and-red swath of thunderstorm destruction pass over to the north of Nash Vegas on the weather map and have no ability at the moment to make anything even remotely funny right now. (Who knows WHAT Google searches would find me, posting about showering anyway.)

I started something Very Fun tonight - pictures tomorrow in daylight. I had a very good time knitting and watching Men In Trees. (The show. Not that I know any actual men in actual trees.)

I guess I should try to sleep. I'm just not into it right now. Possibly this has something to do with falling asleep in front of a Dog Whisperer marathon on NGEO, and dreaming that people were designing sweaters for dogs who were standing upright, who I initially interpreted as "people without arms." Don't ask! I said it was crazy! (They were just down by their sides in a weirdly non-shouldered pose.) The fact that this model had fur the exact color and consistency of a fawn-colored French Bulldog should have tipped me off. (In my defense, the dog was Really Tall.) I woke up scared and Hi! there was Cesar. Talking about calm submission. Of course I felt better!

Wooly worm pirate
with fantastic wool sock yarn
sadly has no feet

(There are Rules. Y'all, I did the best I could. And it's late!)

Friday, September 22, 2006

All about Fee - and me!

She is a Maine Coon, with brown-patched-tabby markings. She does all the funny Maine Coon stuff like playing in the toilet and washing the windows and sitting on her hind legs like a gopher. She's five years old and 12.5 pounds - very small for a Maine Coon but she was a rescue kitty I got at 7 months of age. Maine Coons aren't real warm friendly cats - they prefer to sit near you rather than on you - but I love her completely and she's a sweet little kitty. Thank you for the lovely compliments!

I bought Grady a new crate since he hates the molded plastic ones. I got one of the canvas-and-screen models available at PetSmart (though I found this one at Publix) and I'm trying to train him to sit in it. Which right now consists of using the clicker and telling him to go in his crate.

Fee gets her crate next week. She needs a smaller one because she's a smaller kitty. I am leaving them out all the time with a blanket in them so they will not run scared when the crates come out. They HATE the old ones. And honestly, we had to take the top off the plastic one and lower Grady in the last time he went to the vet. This one has a zipper for that in the top, if they won't use the door.

Um, so, don't know where I was going with this. I am tired. I've had a rough day I wasn't expecting. Probably PMS. Can I just say that there are zero styles out there that fit me as far as tops go? And low-low rise pants? Hello, ugly!

I bought a cashmere-silk-nylon-wool blend cardigan at Banana Republic last night, and a pair of Boyfriend jeans at the GAP. Boring, but they fit well and they aren't this kind of ugly crazy trendiness going on now. Puff sleeves? Too junior high for me. Jersey fabric? Unflattering on practically everyone. Wrap v-neck tops? Make my shoulders look exponentially bigger. Just ugly.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I admit it, I have startitis. I don't know why; it may have something to do with being bored with The Sock, but I think it also has to do with the fact that everything I was making - the socks, the cabled footie, and the FBS - is red. The same shade of bricky goodness. And while I love red, that is even too much for me.

So the other night I bought some lovely Misti Alpaca DK (also alpaca and silk, because I am obsessed with silk lately - the socks are merino/silk, the shawl is alpaca/silk) to do some stranded knitting. I bought green and orange, though, two colors I thought might work but once I got home - nope. I combined the orange with some chocolate brown fingering weight I have laying around - doubled - and started making We Call Them Pirates.

You know, the free hat pattern from Hello Yarn? I can't imagine myself ever wearing it but it might be fun to make.

So I spent two - TWO - hours stuck in the hellish landscape that is Provisional Cast-on, and finally got all my 128 stitches loaded on the needles. No animals were harmed during the cast-on process but I think it's possible that I may have leaked a few brain cells that I actually needed. Finally it made sense and I got through it. Had a bad moment when I thought the knitting might be twisted, but turns out it wasn't. Knit, purl, knit, knit, pick up color 2...

whoops, I left out a WHOLE LINE of the chart already. No worries, I'll make it work. Well, this one I won't leave out...knit, knit...OH HEY, look at that, I knitted HALF the stitches with row 4 and the other half with row 5!

You know. I don't need to draw you a picture, right? It's what happens when we attention-deficit knitters tackle something new. (Don't worry, it's funny to me too.) I think I have the attention span of a small puppy, and there was the idea that since all my row counters are being used I could muddle through without one, and then I never actually PUT that stitch marker at the beginning of the round because Hi! Tails! but apparently that didn't help either.

So it looks like there is Another Frogging in my future. Which is the problem with starting a bunch of things - eventually decisions have to be made or the thing ripped out. I do like the hat, but I'm thinking of using the charts at HY to make my own pattern without the skulls.

So there are certain things that I do in my knitting that keep me on track - stitch markers between pattern repeats, using a row counter, using a ruler to mark the row of the chart I'm on, etc. I've seen nifty tricks far and wide...but I never remember them. What are your tricks? Please leave a comment and share! I'll compile them.

(That reminds me, I am missing my lovely Threaded Bliss lucite ruler and a nail file. I have a feeling they ran off together and are living in sin in one of my handbags, or possibly under the couch.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Grady is just weird:

Fee is sleepy:
Fee is sleepy

I am running late. As usual! But my SP7 identity is finally out in the open! Go check out Shannon's blog. I'm her pal! And I was terrified every minute I'd give myself away on this blog, because she's a reader! Woo! Adrenaline! (Just kidding.)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Riveted with boredom

First, the good news - my thyroid test was normal. Hallelujah.

Next. I spent a fair amount of time Sunday night working on the pattern for the arch-shaped socks. So y'all remember the original pattern was in Vogue Knitting, Fall 2006 and I was dying to knit it. But the corrections page at the VK website says REPLACE ENTIRE PATTERN.

So I went over there to read those instructions, because basically what I wanted to do is make my own sock and incorporate the arch shaping from Meg's pattern. But then the corrected pattern instructions turned out to be wrong, so I worked out my own. Remember all that? Gnittink? Yeah. The principle is that fabric knitted on the bias doesn't stretch as much, so at a certain point on the sock you make it lean, and it curves all around the sock to meet on top of the foot. In order to do this, the curves have to move apart every row. The VK pattern Does Not Do This. (I know. I knitted it several times.) And I want to write it out, because I essentially came up with it myself and used it in my basic sock pattern.

So then my task was not only to figure it out but figure out how to tell y'all how to do what I am doing in case you want to knit socks like this too. Which is mostly just telling y'all the basic math for gettin' er done. Which I stink at. It is unbelievably complicated to explain line-by-line, but I think if I can just explain the principle, it will be easier for everyone. But that involves those crazy Norwegian principles of knitting.

And now that I have this pattern pretty much nailed, that is, it seems to be working and I've solved the little quirks I've found, except for one, I'm kinda bored. And I did not want to work on the FBS last night.

So yesterday afternoon, being lazy and not wanting to drive down to the yarn shop that is open late and knowing the close-by one was closed, I went to JoAnn. And do y'all know that Lion has this cashmere-blend yarn? It appears fairly similar in content to Cashmerino - cashmere, nylon (instead of microfiber) and merino, but only 84 yards. Feels pretty good. Five colors. A 100-yard skein of DB Cashmerino Aran will cost you about $7.50 at the yarn store.

Do y'all know what you'll pay at JoAnn for LION brand? $8.99. That's it, friends! Nine dollars for a "discount" brand, when the "luxury" brand costs $7.50! With better color selection and yardage!

Their Lion Wool - similar to Patons Classic Wool or even Galway - $6.99 for 158 yards. Unlike the Patons, which is $5.99 for 223 yards. (I am not doing the math for you.)

I've harped on this before - do not think y'all are getting a bargain by going to the craft stores. (Even Knit Picks isn't really a bargain - how many local yarn shops have a $40 minimum or they charge you shipping? Hi! You can drive there!)

I didn't buy any yarn last night. I went home and dug through the stash and found a ball of bricky coloured worsted-weight single ply kettle-dyed stuff Nona sent me from her stash-busting contest and started making my knockoff version of the cabled footies from One Skein. This yarn is very much like Malabrigo or Manos, but has much more variation in the spin - either very thick or very thin. Loves cables. Beautiful. Dreamy. New and interesting yarn coming off the ball with every row. It feels handspun, just the perfect thing for my chunky around-the-house footies.

And not available at any craft store.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Knit for Grandmother Purl!

Ok, everyone! Y'all know Laurie, aka Crazy Aunt Purl, right? And you know how her Gran has been ill and is in a nursing home and stuff?

Well, we can do something about it! To make her comfortable, that is - Knit a Square for Grandmother Purl! The squares will be made into a blanket for her. The blog with instructions is here and has everything you need to know. It's just an 8" square! Please join up!

I'll be using up the rest of my DB Cashmerino Aran from the Fetching gloves I made. Now if I can find a stitch pattern!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Very sad

I am very saddened to announce that I have lost my pattern for Clapotis, and while I can print out another (that's true) I will not have all my notes, including a sketchy idea of what pattern repeat I was on, plus several badly written pointers from Kirsten and the word CRAP in pencil in the margin.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Ok y'all

I just signed up for Socktoberfest.

Y'all should too! I mean it. Sign UP WITH ME!

I went to the State Fair tonight and saw Sheila's prize-winning knitting! Go Sheila! Also I saw/smelled sheep. Saw the prize-winning fleece, displayed unceremoniously in a trash bag. Saw some adorable goats. Tons o' bunnies, roosters and other interesting birds. My favorite was the Bantam rooster. He was cool. But my second favorites were these critters - Polish Roosters - because they were the most beautiful iridescent colors and have that funny mop on top of their heads. Also roosters have scary feet. Because y'all, those spurs. They are frightening.

I think I want to knit the Log Cabin socks from Handknit Holidays for my Socktoberfest. Arch shaping socks are proceeding nicely, but as soon as I feel like I "did it" I want to move on to something new. I'm terrible that way!

Much better!

More gnittink.

Thanks to the person who left the comment yesterday about the gauge looking too loose. I frogged and reknit, and though I only finished the first chart, I like this MUCH better.

It's knit on 5s.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Back from the doctor!

We talked about stress, about thyroid, about my asthma and the stupid acid reflux setting it off. She did order the thyroid test, but she said it's more likely that I just don't have enough vitamin E in my body. Not quite a deficiency, just low enough levels to be a bother and cause the fingernail and hair problems. I guess an outright deficiency is a dangerous, genetic thing and extremely rare, but low levels cause a form of anemia.

So I bought some vitamin e tonight, but am waiting for the thyroid test results.


Here are two pictures of the arch shaping on my latest sock. The yarn is Gloss from The Store That Shall Not Be Named - I got it in a swap. It's a merino silk blend that is heavenly. Heavenly! And $8 for enough to make a big pair of socks!(They do have good yarn.)
Side View

Rear view

(Yes, I am wearing That Shirt. Y'all will pry it out of my cold, dead hands someday.)

I knit and tinked this arch shaping so many times! How is this for crazy - even the corrected pattern in VK is wrong! I had to knit 12 rows of it to confirm my suspicions, though. The shaping they use doesn't allow for the bias fabric to continue to get wider as you knit the sock. After I straightened that out I decided to make the runway in the middle wider (this was after another 12 rounds of Sock). It was only one stitch in the directions - I made it three. Then I had quite a few debacles...I picked my stitches back up wrong, so my decreases were off, etc. Probably took two hours of tinking to fix.

All in all it was productive because I worked out the pattern (which I will be publishing, because I essentially came up with this myself), and because of Project Runway.

Laura's dress was perfect! Her description - Josephine Baker flirty 20s something - was so dead on for that dress. I think it's only the second or third thing I've seen on the show this season that I really liked (Michael's first win, Jeffrey's "couture" among the others). This time I thought Jeffrey's dress was completely crap. Michael's was pretty but too dated-looking, and the rest was boring or badly made.

And y'all, LUKAS!!!! MY BOY! Man that guy is cool. Those white aviator sunglasses made me feel faint! Seriously. I don't think of him as "I'd like to date him" cute, more like "look at that cool guy" cute.

They were never going to pick a girl. That says something about the band, not about her. Guys like that in big rock bands for years see women as toys. (I don't like that.) Notice how they complimented her (you're beautiful, you know I love you) versus the guys. They saw a difference, huh?

Which I hate, but is probably the best thing...for Dilana.

Here is the promised picture of the Flower Basket Shawl. I still think it looks a bit like a hairball, and definitely a bit chewed a little left of lower center.
Flower Basket Shawl

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I know.

But so shiny! And so red! Can I resist its allure? A friend just bought one in a british tan color and it's amazing. You'd never guess vinyl.

Yes, I need help! But this is cheap! And tasty!


Y'all, I'm not usually a fan of graphic novels or comics. But this concise, even-handed and well-produced adaptation of the events that unfolded on 9/11 is not to be missed. It's actually an adaptation of the 9/11 Commission's report. It probably gets political, but I don't think so. If it does, please forgive me.

It takes a long time to read, and I'm not all the way through it yet, but it is definitely worth your time.

Click here


I love this pattern and am going to knit several. Because I hate those disposable Swiffer cloths too!

(Props to Betty for the link! Check out the whole mag!)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Oh my GOSH

I am thinking of completely abandoning my Flower Basket Shawl to knit this. Because I can have that Wrap Style book by tonight and frog the FBS in no-time flat (am only on the third repeat of the lower basket chart)...I promise to post a picture of why. The basic reason is that I am not loving the little Flower Baskets set apart with yarnovers...this shawl has a similar feel but accomplishes it differently.

What do y'all think? Please comment!

More craziness

"Dr Blank's office."

"Hi, I'd like to make an appointment. Because my hairdresser said my hair is changing and falling out and I should get my thyroid tested."

"Ok, your name -?"

"How often do y'all hear that? Am I crazy?"

"No, if she noticed then you need to come in. We hear that all the time. How is Friday afternoon?"

"You hear that all the time? Really?"

"How do you spell your last name?"


"Ok, it's a simple test and if you have low thyroid function you take a pill and it gets back in whack very quickly. You'll start feeling better right away."

"Um, ok, thanks. I'll be there."

Could be stress, could be hormones, but hair loss is not a side effect of the hormones or any other medicine I take. We'll see, anyway. Instead of "the fun never stops" I am temporarily changing my motto to "the crazy never stops."

Just weird.


Yesterday my hairstylist was putting my color on and commented on a new, very thin patch of hair I have on the left side of my head. She said it was very unusual. (Not bald, not scalp showing, just a lot thinner than the rest of my head.) She commented when she washed my hair that an awful lot seemed to come out in the wash. Later when my hair was dry she said the whole texture of my hair has changed since my last visit 10 weeks ago. She told me to get my thyroid checked.

Is that weird? Low thyroid runs in my family, so I might as well. It just seems odd coming from my hairdresser. It would explain some other things, but nothing I've felt was worthy of going to the doctor, like peeling fingernails. I'm skeptical but we'll see.

In other news, I used her Chi flatiron and man, what a difference. I'm ordering one of those babies asap - probably October after the Great Car Fiasco of 2006. I woke up this morning and did not need to straighten my hair. That alone is worth the price!

So today I'm calling my doc, huh.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Three Little Monkeys

Ok, the time has come for A Story, in which you find out what a funny little kid I was. I never got to go to Disneyland as a kid, but once my aunt Carol brought me back a t-shirt and some Mickey Mouse ears. Y'all. I wore that t-shirt to tatters, and often was seen riding my Big Wheel around the neighborhood in my black plastic Mouseketeer ears (Y'all know the ones - remember that creepy black fabric that made up the hat itself? I still get nightmares).

So anyway. When I was little I went by Jenny, my middle name was Lynn and my best friend was Jennifer Jo, so we were Jenny Lynn and Jennifer Jo. I had crazy Napoleon Dynamite hair and a ratty Mickey Mouse t-shirt and she had smooth blond hair like my plastic Barbie and a ratty pink nightgown. (I called it a nightground.) We were four. We used to get into all manner of mischief, like Staying Up Past Midnight To Watch Planet Of The Apes! Also Eating Doritos! Also Jumping! On The Bed! Our moms were friends - they would stay in the living room talking and we could do whatever we wanted. The possibilities were endless.

So Jennifer Jo had this bed. It was metal with all kinds of scrolly things in the headboard and the metal scrollies were about an eighth of an inch thick. It was painted white, and there was a center silver medallion shaped like a flower that held them all together. The bed was angled into a corner of her bedroom and the bedspread was pink, because y'all, it was the 70s, and pink was for princesses. And that bed was mighty good for jumping.


And wouldn't you know it, I fell. Pristine, perfect, tiny Jennifer Jo did not fall. But me, I went Napoleon-hair-over-Mickey-Mouse onto the headboard and smashed my lip into the scrolly things. Fortunately or unfortunately, our Moms were Nurses. (Which meant no fooling them on days I wanted to stay home from school. You could only stay home if you had a Fever.) Once our Moms determined I wasn't going to die and got me some ice, they cleaned up the bedspread and we got a talking to and I forgot all about it.

Until I was seven and my front tooth started coming in crooked. Mom took me to the dentist, who always breathed loudly through his nose and smelled too clean for any human, and who scared me to death because he was always giving me flouride in those vile little tooth trays and I swallowed it and barfed all over his office. Going to the dentist was very traumatic for me, and I remember him leaaaaning in to tell me and smelling all soapy they were going to CUT MY MOUTH OPEN and take out the little flap of skin (frenulum) that held my lip to my gum. I was petrified, but after a little gas and a lot of Novocaine it turned out to be one of my better dental visits, and no puking! I had three stitches and a reminder from my Aunt Ester to push on the crooked tooth so it would remember to grow straight (it did). I don't know whatever happened to the bedspread or Jennifer Jo. And if I don't remember to hold my lip down my smile is gummy. Occasionally I have dreams where my front teeth fall out (in one I replaced them with Lee Press-On Nails.)

Now I have a 13-month old niecie who is just learning to stand properly and is very wobbly. She likes to lean on the dog a lot, and the other day she was leaning on him and he walked away, and she fell like a ragdoll and hit her head smack on her daddy's computer chair and y'all. Busted her frenulum just like her auntie. The doctor doesn't think it will be any trouble. But I hope her hair grows in big and curly and I'm going to get her a Mickey Mouse t-shirt.

Because, DORITOS. And Planet of the Apes! Charlton HESTON!!!

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Saturday, September 09, 2006


Let me tell you, I lurrrrve my Secret Pal 7. I got a nifty package from her the other day, and I've got to tell you about it.

First was a really funny, really terrific handmade card featuring Mean Girl. I was really happy to see her starring in the card! Next, a San Diego baseball hat. This will come in handy tomorrow, because I'm going to the Titans/Jets game. If the crowd doesn't kill me for wearing a non-Titans hat. Next, a bottle of Sage oil which smells amazing. So amazing that when I was at Yankee Candle Co today I bought myself a sage/citrus tart warmer for my car.

And the best for last - a sweater stone. I've heard of these but never seen them. I've been crazy busy all week but finally today had a chance to try it out. So I picked the pilly-est thing in my apartment, a Scottish throw blanket given to me years ago by GB. I love the blanket but it was looking seriously ratty. Unfortunately the pilling didn't show up so well before on camera, but here is an after picture, post lintectomy:

And below is a photo of Grady sitting with all the lint pillys I got from the blanket. What do you think, should I send it to one of my spinny friends to spin up for me? Looks like yark, huh? And he looks guilty. It's bigger than a handful, if you can believe it. Of lint.
That is not what you think it is.

The downside is that I have ten thousand little wooly things clogging my breathing tubes. But the blanket looks great!

I am sad to say I am frogging my Schaefer Anne sock. It just isn't in the cards for this sock to happen at this time. My gauge is too loose for the yarn and I don't particularly want to drop to size 0s. I am loving the idea of this arch shaping though, so I think I am going to find a nice Nancy Bush pattern and add it in and start over. Sniff. I think that if it wasn't a $26 skein of sock yarn I'd have frogged a long time ago. Like three weeks ago. Chalk that up to a bad decision to continue when I wasn't feeling the love. I have barely been able to bring myself to work on them (here's your sign).

This is the Log Cabin Thing I've been working on again. Too many mistakes, will probably eventually make it a cat bed and felt it. But I love the colors.
Log Cabin Thing

Friday, September 08, 2006


I took three sets of photos tonight. One was a FO from me - a rose-colored hat in Blue Sky Cotton. Didn't realize I had chocolate on my mouth from eating a Skinny Cow bar before taking the picture, it didn't show up in the screen when I was proofing. I tried to retouch but no luck, and can't reshoot tonight because now it's dark.

Another was Grady, who looked mad as heck at me (and after our trip to the emergency pet hospital last week, he probably IS mad at me, sorry, no explanations, they will make you run screaming from the room. Suffice it to say he had something extremely painful done. Cats scream like little kids when they hurt. I heard it all through the door and it still haunts me.) Also it was out of focus.

So, two photos were a wash. This one turned out. Fee is really and truly copper colored. She is a brown patched tabby Maine Coon. Brown patched tabby markings have a copper or red base with black markings and black feet. Her only "flaw" is that one of her paws isn't quite all black. (She has a few pink toes, to my endless delight.) You can see the paw that isn't all black in this photo.

Copper kitty

My head feels better.

Head's better

Though I did leave work early. I'm going to break out my collection of Wool of the Andes and my Jess Hutch book and make a toy. Maybe a rabbit.


I'm really sick with a migraine today. It started last night and was enough to make it hard to walk from the couch to the patio to let Fee inside. I took some medicine and went to sleep, woke up fine but then it came back on the drive to work. So I am really feeling icky today.

I'm sitting here listening (quietly) to the Gnarls Barkley album...I love their cover of the Femmes tune "Gone Daddy Gone." It's really good.

It makes me crazy... :o)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


All right, so we've established how little it takes to make me laugh. (Honestly, sometimes it takes even less.) I took a break from Flower Basket Shawl knitting to try and figure out what exactly I'm supposed to be doing next. I've finished the first repeat of the lower basket chart and finally figured out that I'm knitting from the neck down. But I don't know what to do about the repeats yet, so before I start round 2 of that chart, I'll post some pictures.

So, let me introduce you to the prettiness of northern Michigan. If a road trip to this area of the country is ever in the cards for you, by all means stop at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It's absolutely stunning - huge, 400+ foot dunes, sparkling water, breathtaking views. But don't take my word for it - I have pictures! Lots of pictures.

These are pictures of the big dune, at the very end of a scenic drive where you go up and up and think that surely this whole sand dune think must be a clever joke. Here is the top:
Dune climb down to the water

Two views from the side, showing people climbing back up:
Dune climb from the side

Another view of the dune climb

A view of Glen Lake, an inland lake that is in the park. When I was little we used to swim in Glen Lake all the time - it was warm and shallow and you could wade halfway out into the lake before it went over your knees. Nobody swims in it much now:
Glen Lake

Here's me at the top (no, we didn't climb down):
Me at the dunes

Here's a flower I liked, but nearly stepped into a large amount of poison ivy to photograph (thanks for stopping me, Dad!):
Pretty flowers

Here's a view from my hometown of Manistee, from the south pier looking inland on Sunday morning. This part of the pier leads to the break, which leads to shore.
South Pier at Manistee

Two happy ducks:

A trip with Nephew to Ludington State Park later gave us this opportunity to cheese up the camera:
Nephew mugs for camera

(That's my brother with him, his daddy.)

We saw a little turtle at the dam:
Mr Turtle

And I came back home and knitted. That's the start of the FBS in red, my Schaeffer Anne sock, and two skeins of Gloss sent to me in a lovely Knittyboard swap.
Knitting stuff


The guy who googled "Napoleon Dynamite Phone Cord Sale" wrote me a note to say he was just looking for a really long phone cord and didn't mean anything weird.

I would like everyone to know I wasn't making fun of HIM for LOOKING, I was laughing that Google pulled up MY BLOG for "Napoleon Dynamite Phone Cord Sale". Because it's a weird hodgepodge of all kinds of words from my posts.

Now, y'all, road trips are great fun for me because I scope out those dog or hair salons. Remember? Groomingdales? Hair Affair? I like nothing more.

Two from this trip: On I-65 N somewhere in Indiana we saw a fireworks place called "Boom City: Home of the Big One." Can you imagine being the person who has to answer the phone every day? "Thank you for calling Boom City, home of the big one, can I help you?" (Say that aloud without laughing.)

The other one was a cigarette place on I-69 near Angola, IN (we took a different way home) called The Butt Hut. I kid you not. The Butt Hut.

The next 50 miles were taken up with writing jokes: "She loved him until she found out he was going down to The Butt Hut after work. Then she left." The other part that was funny was that it was down the street from a restaurant called Gay's. Which wasn't a gay bar, but does make for funny directions: "To get to Gay's, go down Taylor Street and turn right at the Butt Hut."

(Apologies to anyone drinking a beverage during that last post. Please do not cuss me while you are wiping off your computer keyboard.)

Y'all. I am not right. I'm gonna go work on my crazy...I'll post pictures later tonight.

Monday, September 04, 2006

I'm back

With a lovely skein of Alpaca With A Twist Fino in a wonderful wine color. If all goes well I'll be casting on for the Flower Basket Shawl tomorrow. We'll see if we can't get a nice birthday present for my stepmum done by December 25.

Trip was great but long and exhausting. Pictures later.