Thursday, June 28, 2007


Remember the bag I was working on for a couple of weeks? I was so proud of having only used $2 of yarn to make it. I love thrift stores. Well, I finished it. It still was not exactly pretty, but it was destined to mainly be a project bag so I got over it. I had knit a test swatch when I began, to make sure everything would felt together, so I was confident in this, my first project including felting. I was so excited to plop it in the washer and a few hours later, have a new bag.

I threw it inside an old pillowcase and into the washing machine it went. My favorite old blue jeans and my fancy new bag. After the washer stopped, I went to retrieve it.


This is what has become of the pillowcase. I knew its contents had met a horrible fate.

And here is the bag. Poor girl. She probably never knew what hit her.

For a $2 bag, it will still be functional. She needs to have a few more wash cycles before she is fully fulled. But I don't think she gets to leave the house. She definitely is going to live out her days hung on the back of the office door. Poor thing.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Here is my test swatch for the Mystery Stole, knit with US5 needles. I'm happy with it. I'm so anxious to start. I cannot wait for Friday. I need to get the house extra clean before then, because I'll spend too many hours knitting, lol.

Hier ist mein Test swatch für die Mystery Stole 3, stricken mit den 3,75 Millimeter Rundstricknadeln. Ich bin begierig nach den Stolen anzufangen.

Wenn meine Deutsche unrichtig ist, sagen Sie mir bitte. Ich mag lernen.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hallo, meine deutschen Freunde

Es gibt viele deutsche Strickerinnen in der MS3 Gruppe. Im Anschluß an ihre Leitung werde ich versuchen, irgendetwas über den "knitalong" auf Deutsch ebenso anzuschlagen. Mein Deutsch ist nicht besonders gut. Es ist eine lange Zeit seit Universitätsklassen gewesen.

Ich muß zugeben, dass ich einen Internetübersetzer für diesen Posten verwendete.Blushing 5

Friday, June 22, 2007

Post title TBA

I have begun the swatch for the Mystery Shawl 3 knitalong. I'm ridiculously excited about ti all. I have yet to complete a large lace project, and I feel like the 'game' of this one will carry me through to the end. I really want a fancy knitted shawl to show off to every one. I can imagine the conversation...
Impressed Person: Wow, what a gorgeous wrap!
Me: Yeah, I knitted it.
IP: By hand?!?
Me: Yep. With yarn, a pair of sticks and some perseverance**
IP: Wow! You are so talented! I wish I could be as fabulous as you!

But enough about my crazy inner dialogue, back to the yarn and sticks. I'm using Knitpicks Bare merino laceweight. I wound the first hank yesterday. I was a little scared of winding 880 yards of lace yarn by hand, without the aid of a swift or ballwinder. As far as I could tell from things I had read on the internet, it is impossible to wind that much yarn by hand. Time and time again I had read that a swift is a must for any yarn winding, and a ballwinder is a must for laceweight. To those people, I say pbbbtttptptp.

I've come to realize that I'm a Luddite. (Not about my computer, mind you. They can pry my keyboard from my cold dead hands.) But about fiber arts? I eschew the technology. And I'm a miser. So I do things the old fashioned way most of the time. There's just no fun for me if I don't do it the hard way.

Again, I digress. My coffee is getting cold and I need to eat breakfast. Back to the specifics: I used the back of my office chair in lieu of a swift, A 3/4" cylindrical wooden block from my kids' toy drawer in lieu of a nostepinne, and wound the giant ball while watching Barbie Fairytopia: the Magic of the Rainbow with my girl. Totally do-able. I'll probably invest in a swift someday, and the wooden block didn't feel great in my hand. Those beautiful hand-turned nostepinnes (also spelled nøstepinde or nystepinne) are calling my name. The plastic ball winders just lack flair.

** Sorry for completely ignoring the pattern designer in this imaginary conversation that will never happen. I promise that will I give proper credit in any and all actual convos.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What a failure.

I attempted to donate blood this afternoon. I'm not new to blood donation, I've given well over a gallon at this point. And this drive is held at a very good place to donate. It is in the main club room of a retirement home, and they have sandwiches, and drink choices, and cookies. Lots of them. MUCH better than the paltry generic snack selection and stale coffee at the Red Cross Headquarters. It's truly a class act there.

But today didn't go so well. First, the phlebotomist (blood taker) remarks about how hard it will be to get my vein. Not what a gal wants to hear. She does all the prerequisite steps, the vein marking, double checking that I am still who I was thirty seconds ago, double-swabbing with iodine-laden q-tips, etc. The she opens up the needle and pokes clean through to my elbow. Sorry, I exaggerated. But she did have troubles getting the blood flow to start. So she called a guy over. I remember this guy from before. He had no troubles last time he worked on my arm. But today, he wiggled and prodded without success.

This time, though, no such luck. So they called over the team leader. Her magic worked. Things started to go as planned. I was happy. In case you are wondering, having three people fiddling with a needle in your arm-- not terribly fun. But much less painful than the "Cavitron" the dental hygienist attacked me with last week. With things moving along normally now, I went back to reading my book. A few minutes later, the other team leader approached, thinking things had stalled. He was right. He fixed it (without pain, BTW). I was considering kissing him.

But, alas, it was all for naught. Because of the trauma to the vein, it clotted up prematurely, and they were only able to get 3/4 of a pint. Which means that no sick and or bleeding person will get the benefit of my travails. Instead, it will potentially be given to a company for testing of new blood equipment. I guess it's better than being incinerated.

But my arm hurts. It isn't bruised, though. And it took a lot of time away from my real priority for the evening: winding my new yarn for the Mystery Stole 3 knitalong. I really really want to start the swatch.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Aw look, it's her very first meme

My friend Jo over at Lifewithheathens tagged me with this meme. I've never been tagged before. I know these things are rather lame, but it's still nice to be included. Problem is, I'm not sure I can come up with all the random facts that this one requires. I'll try though.

The rules to play: Players start with 8 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

1. I usually hate my hair cut. It seems like no matter what I do, I'm bored with it. My hairdresser (and the one before her) is not to blame-- this is all me. Typically I end up cutting and cutting until I have severely short hair. I'm trying to change that.

2. I'm cheap. But then, anyone who knows me already knows that. I'm hoping that this will translate into me being a financially comfortable senior citizen, but I'll probably still be too miserly to enjoy any wealth that I accumulate.

3. I (and my family) go to church, but I usually disagree with most of what they say. I'm not a very convinced Christian.

4. I prefer plain yogurt with a little honey to the flavored stuff. It's just too darned sweet.

5. I've been knitting a year, and have conquered a bunch of different techniques, but have only finished a handful of projects. Contrary to my expectations, I have become a "process knitter". I really thought I wanted to knit for the sake of producing things. Turns out, I just like the challenge.

6. Also regarding knitting, I shop for yarn a lot. But I don't buy much. See random fact #2 above.

7. I like living in a small town. My 19-year-old self would not believe this about me.

8. This has been really very hard for me. I'm not convinced that I'm very interesting. I'm funny in person, though. Too bad I don't have more IRL friends to entertain.

Whew! That part is over. Now to tag some folks. Unfortunately, most of the people I'd consider have done this very one in the very recent past.

Jennifer seems to be meme free thus far. And I owe it to her, because she and her talk about her love of running even had me running for fun in my dream last night. And that is just. not. acceptable.

Also, Ms. Becky gets tagged, because her blog needs some attention.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I'm still here.

Still knitting, too. Not sure why I haven't posted lately. I'm working on the Luna Moth Shawl from (I really love free patterns-- who doesn't?)in a vintage fingering weight wool. The color is called "geranium red" but it looks more like dark pink. I like the pink in theory and it is fun to knit with, but I am not sure that my ruddy complexion could handle it. I might end up frogging it and re-knitting the pattern in a more neutral yarn. I hate to waste several hours of work, but then again, I'd hate to knit the whole thing up and then never wear it, either.

Meanwhile, I have signed up to start the Mystery Stole 3 over at Pink Lemon Twist. I bought the pattern for Leda's Dream Stole (Mystery Stole 1) a while back, and swatched for it, but the yarn I used, while beautiful, was too fine. I could use it double-stranded, but then I don't have enough. I'll knit it someday. But for now, I have my hands full. The Mystery Knitalong officially starts the 29th of June. My yarn should be arriving any day now. I wonder if the mailman knows I'm stalking him.

I won't get any knitting in today, I fear. My two-year-old guy has learned how to open every child-proof drawer and cabinet in the house. I need to find new hiding places for the sharpies and scissors and gum. It's going to be a massive undertaking, I fear. I know some of you will be clucking your tongues at this, knowing that I should just teach him to keep his little hands off my stuff. In theory, that would work. It worked for my daughter. I know how the books tell you how to do this parenting thing.

My son has not read those books.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Sacred and the Profane

Yeah, that's an overstatement, but I've got two pictures to post today, and one is very pretty. The other-- no so much. I'll start with the good one.

This spring, I bought a bunch of bare root plants. I'm actually up to about 50% "promising" with them. I bought 4 astilbe crowns, and planted them this spring, before a nasty nasty cold snap that killed off their new little shoots. Now 3 of the four have finally re-sprouted, although yesterday I saw that one has gone missing. I don't know whether to blame kids or rabbits. I also bought a raspberry bush, which certainly seems to be as dead as a doornail.

I also bought a bare root rose. At out last house, there were three beautiful rose bushes there when we moved in (two dark red and one yellow). Two of the three bushes survived throughout the 7 years we lived there, we lost the yellow one a year after we moved in. I tried planting a few more, but tragedy usually befell them. Once, My toddler daughter fell right onto one, breaking it off at the graft.

But I got courageous this spring and bought one at Menards, a yellow Grandiflora named 'Gold Medal'. I figured it was worth a try here at the new home. I stuck it in the ground (also before that cold snap) and it actually took off! And now I have a single bloom on it. I'm so excited to have a new rose actually living to this point. I have taken way too many pictures of it, as there's a chance that I'll kill it before next spring.

Now to the considerably less pretty. I decided to use up all the wool that I've bought at my local thrift store this year, in a bag to be felted. I'm using a free pattern called the Felted "No Rules" Bag: I love anything without rules. So far, my total yarn cost is $2.05, but the trade off is that there is no pretty in this bag at all. It started out looking like a Green Bay Packers theme, but I did get that under control. No offense to the boys at Lambeau Field, but I'd rather not scream "Packers Fan" at the farmers' market all summer. I suppose if I had spent a wee trifle more time planning it out, it wouldn't be so ugly, but that's all water under the bridge now. I figure it will be a conversation piece. Maybe I'll give it a name like "Ode to Frugality" or "The Go to Hell Bag", so it seems like it was all on purpose. I firmly believe that in this life, you can get away with nearly anything, so long as you act like you know what you are doing.