Archive for September, 2004

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 3 COMMENTS

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It seems that Dot didn’t appreciate the whole “knitmare” thing and has decided to tell her own side of the story. Since I didn’t want this blog to become overrun with the ramblings of a fiber-eating maniac, I have helped her create her very own blog called Fiber Fancy . It’s a place where pets of all kinds can share their stories and handiwork without feeling the disapproving glare of humans.

If your pets would like to contribute, send an email with whatever they’d like to post along with a picture of themselves and/or their work. Kitty p*rn will NOT be accepted. Dot’s email address is FiberFancy at Yahoo dot com.

Cats today. They’re spoiled rotten.

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Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 10 COMMENTS

Woo-hoo! What a weekend! I started shaping for the arms on the Manly sweater. It’s coming along really well. I made the Hub try it on once I took it off the circulars and put it on two different sections. It fits really well and already looks swell on him, even if it is a Cirque de Soleil-esqu torso tube kind of a thing that shows his nipples off. Sorry ladies, those pictures are for my eyes only. ;)

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I also got myself a little something at Elann. In my defense, it was cheap, fuzzy and has over 229 yds per skein, so there was really nothing I could do. I’m not made of stone, after all. I think these colors go really well together and I’m thinking of a stripey hooded sweater. I have a great old 60′s pattern book full of mohair patterns, and there’s one in there I might do. When I find the pattern and am sure this is the right guage, I’ll post it. This might even be enough for two sweaters! (the example that Elann is using only uses 4 skeins and I have 12!)

Geisha

BUT

The best part of the weekend was when we spent the day going to yard sales with my parents. It’s one of those family activities that we always enjoy together. My dad loves trying to strike bargains with people and my mom always gets annoyed with him when he offers someone way less, I mean waaayyyy less than they’re asking for something (although I’ve seen her talk someone down on a 50 cent item). Someone had a DVD player for $40 and he actually said to the lady “I don’t really need a DVD player, but I’ll give you 10 bucks.” as if he were doing her a favor. She thanked him but said she’d hold on to it for a while. At the end of our yard saling, he wanted to drive by their house to see if the player was still there. He was going to give her another chance to sell it to him because by then she’d just want to be rid of it and would be begging for his ten-spot. So we drove by and they were still there, but mostly packed up. I piped up that the DVD player was still there (of course it wasn’t, but that’s just how I am). My mom was yelling at my dad that he had better not get out of that damned car. We didn’t stop, but my husband (who is really getting the hang of being part of my family) pipes up with “Well, by the looks on their faces, I’d say they’re about 10 dollars short.” My dad loves it when he helps tease my mother.

So I got some good stuff. I got a cool set of 1950′s dishes with service for 12 for $5. It was all wrapped up in plastic zippered bags made for dishes and they were in perfect condition. They’re still in the car, but I’ll append this post when I get them inside.

We also hit a sale that was a group of people selling stuff to benefit a local organzation of some sort. These are the best because it’s not their stuff, so they have no sentimental attachement to it and just want to move it out. At first there wasn’t really anything good. Then I went to the indoor portion of the sale and found this:

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Pretty intriguing, eh? Wonder what they are?

Well hey, they’re Esther Martin’s Workbasket magazines from 1961-1975!! Wow! Esther sure LOVED this little magazine, she subscribed for 14 years!

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And who wouldn’t, it’s got knitting, crochet and sewing patterns, embroidery transfers, gardening tips, recipes, and all sorts of ads for sensible shoes, dentures, and real live pet monkeys.

What?

Yes, there are. Look. (click the picture so you can read it)

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So all of these magazines were $5! I carried the box around and came across another box of even more interest. Here is a sampling of the wonders within (again, click for a better view):

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25 cents each!!!! I’m going to type that again because it makes me giggle like a schoolgirl. 25 cents each!!!! I got 20 magazines and pattern books from the 50′s and 60′s. At 25 cent each (!!!!), that’s another $5. So I was getting all this goodness for $10. Too cool. Then I went to pay. Imagine my surprise when the nice lady told me everything was . . .

wait for it . . .

HALF PRICE!!!!!

WOOOOOOOOOOO

What a great weekend!

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Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 17 COMMENTS

Lurking in the shadows is a menace that knows no bounds. Its destructive capabilities are both mystifying and horrific. Equipped with eyes that observe the night when you are most vulnerable, razor sharp teeth in relentless pursuit of another victim, and a dark mind bent on mutilation, there is no reasoning with this beast. Take precautions. Stand steadfast in its wake. Prepare for ruination. Nothing you do will stop it or make its grisly vocation any less devastating. What is this ghastly creature called?

Dot

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You heard me. Dot. That adorable white cat from such posts as “Book Binge” and “Long-ass Post” is also a destructive, fiber-eating monster! She has yet to get her choppers on any of my knitting, but it is a constant and debilitating fear.

Here is some of her handiwork. She has redesigned the hood on my favorite hoodie, widened the top band one of my favorite socks, and after careful consideration, decided that my shoes looked better without the little loopy thing on the back.

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This morning, the Hub modeled his restructured bathrobe for us.

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This is her finest work to date. See Santa? Isn’t he cute? One year we put him out for Christmas. He really cheered the place up, until . . . (click photo to see the gory aftermath)

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Please note Santa’s rather conspicuous lack of arms. Do you know where those arms are? Over the past year or so, bit by bit, I’ve been scooping them out of the litter box. That’s right, they were EATEN! If I had a decent camera I could show you that Santa also lacks ears. If you look closely, you can see that the very edge of his hat and coat are also meticulously nibbled.

I’ve talked to the vet and done extensive research online to learn more about this fiber habit. Turns out it’s common in Siamese cats and it’s referred to as “wool sucking” or “wool chewing”. It appears the intent is not to destroy anything but rather to ease some compulsive need to suck. Yeah, she sucks, alright. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to curb it. You can try to reprimand them when you catch them doing it, but we rarely see her in action. One site reported that it could be treated by removing the molars! But pretty much everything I’ve read starts off with ridiculous ideas about putting hot sauce on stuff to deter it (yes, I would love to cover everything in my house in Tobasco!) and ends the article by saying that meds are probably the best way to deal with it. So basicaly, our dear Dot has a touch of the OCD. It worries me that she’s ingesting material, but as long as she’s getting rid of it, the vet says she should be ok. What really worries me is that one day she’ll get into my or knitting bag or stash bin and have herself a buffet! I just picture her wearing a lobster bib and winding yarn around a fork like spaghetti.

In the end, we just try to keep stuff off the floor (it’s not easy for either of us, my husband and I are not exactly neat freaks). I think my mother actually likes that the cat has this behvior because it gives her the chance to say “Well, if you picked up after yourselves . . .” and trails off with a smug look that only a mother can pull off.

In knitting news, the Manly sweater is coming along smashingly! Another inch or so and I can start doing the shaping for the arms! In the photo, it looks like I’ve added a spiffy pocket, but that’s the swatch I did. I wanted to show how different it looks from the WIP. For some reason, I’m amazed at what a little washing and blocking can do.

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Since I’ve been working mainly on the sweater, the poor neglected Hallowig has been pushed to the bottom of the knitting bag. I’ll have it done soon, I promise!

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Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 6 COMMENTS

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I’ve been very bad. I’ve been trying to curb the yarn-buying for a bit so I can use up what I have. Unfortunately, to keep my mind off yarn, I’ve bought a number of knitting-related books in the last week. Of course, 3 are pattern books, so that will require me to but more yarn.

I’m stuck in a knitting spiral!

I got Rowan #s 28 and 29 from eBay (those haven’t arrived yet), Confessions of a Knitting Heretic (spiral bound edition) and Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Book 2 (a real bargain at 10 bucks!) Hello Klaralund, my pretty.

Still chugging away on the Hallowig and Manly sweater, but haven’t gotten any done in the past few days. Between work and social obligations, I haven’t gotten my knit on. Tonight is the night, oh yes. Tonight.

And just so you know, things like this are why I love working from home!

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awwwwwwwwwwww . . . .

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Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 75 COMMENTS

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So I’ve been toying with adding a monthly feature to this little blog o’ mine. I love the idea of having a fun blog project due every month. I also hate the idea of having a fun blog project due every month. You can see my dilemma.

This feature would be a way to share another of my obsessions with people that I think would enjoy it. See, I have an unnatural need to buy every vintage ladies magazine I can find. I have piles of magazines from the 20′s to the 70′s (and don’t think I haven’t been eyeing the 80′s ones lately). They cover subjects like homemaking, interior design, crafts, embroidery, crochet, and yes – knitting. I’ve also got lots of old pattern leaflets of all kinds. I went through a brief pot-holder phase which culminated in my going cold turkey from eBay for almost 6 months.

Occasionally, when I’m supposed to be doing something for the good of the household, I just sit in the corner of a room pouring over the images and articles which range from beautiful to hilarious to mind-boggling. Instead of actually baking a cake, I page through a 1952 Ladies Home Journal and just imagine baking one then twirling around with it in the kitchen while wearing a fluffy 50′s dress. And pumps. You know how it is. Humor me, just nod politely.

Having just scored another great mag stash, I am inspired to share. And this new batch is a doozy. Mostly McCalls Needlework and Crafts from early 70′s, AND some terrific booklets from the Creative American Craft Series. No cake-twirling here, nosiree! Nothing cakey OR twirly about the 70′s, you’ll see.

So without further ado, I present my new and tentative feature: The Museum of Kitschy Stitches

For this first edition, we will be heading into the East Wing which houses the Seemed-Like-a-Good-Idea-at-the-Time Gallery.

This is Evelyn Richardson of Long Beach, CA. She is this week’s Guest Artist. “Hi Evelyn!”

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According to the fine folks at the Creative American Craft Series, Evelyn’s enthusiasm for crocheted hats and purses led her to a unique brand of hand-crafting. That’s the understatement of the decade. Ladies and gentlement, I give you . . . Aluminun Can Apparel. All together now – “Thank you, Evelyn!”

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And just how did she come to realize that cans were to become the medium through which her muse would speak? “Evelyn discovered that aluminum cans offered her a greater variety of color and design and were always available from her son and his friends who collected them on weekend trips.”

So her beer-soaked son, who I can only assume lived in the basement, led her to it. It’s starting to make sense now. And how does a woman living in denial of her boy’s rampant alcoholism manifest her concern? Why, with a lovely Coors Ensemble, of course.

Says here that it’s “nice enough for an evening out but still casual enough for that weekend get away!!” Probably no one at the opera will notice the sound of crunching metal as you fidget in your seat.

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I wonder what’s worse. Having a six-pack of freezing cold aluminum cans on your head . . .

or piping hot ones?

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And finally, what would humiliating clothing be without involving Dad and golf? I know mine would beg for another fish-shaped tie if he saw me coming at him with an empty can of beer sewn into a spunky visor or a kicky hat.

‚ I swear to you that the caption near the photo says “every man should have his own hat which tells everyone that he drinks”. My guess is that if he’s willing to wear it, everyone already knows.

Stay tuned for next time when we will learn that it is in fact possible to make skin-tight hot pants out of crocheted granny squares.

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