Archive for October, 2004

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 10 COMMENTS



Yay, the plans came together and we’re off to Rhinebeck this weekend! AND my darling Hub will be accompanying me! How’s that for an enabling husband? He keeps giving me all these reasons to adore him further.* We’ll be staying with my super cool cousin and her husband (who is also super cool) at their house in New Paltz, which is maybe 30-45 minutes away. We’re going to hang out on Saturday and head to the fair on Sunday, so please save some yarn for me, people! By then the llamas ought to be good and annoyed, so that should be fun.

I was hoping to have Manly done for Rhinebeck so my fella could look all spiffy and hand-crafted, but it ain’t hap’nin. It’s getting there, though. I’m on the second sleeve, then the collar, then I have to figure out how to put it together.

Thanks so much for all the great feedback on the MOKS. It’s nice to know that people enjoy reading it as much as I do putting it together. I hope I’m getting across my love for these patterns. As much as I tease them, I really and truly do think they’re aces. You don’t necessarily have to like something in order to love it, and so it goes with MOKS. I kid because I love, that’s just how we are in my family (you should hear the trash-talking when we play cards). I’ve actually been tempted to make those shorts because they’re just so crazy. Did I just ruin the whole thing by saying that? I hope not.

This was another windfall week for the shop-a-holic. Michaels Craft store sent out some generous flyers last week that contained a 50% and 40% off coupon for one item each. I also snagged my neighbor’s copy because she had already tossed it into the recycle bin, so we had 4 coupons! I dragged the Hub to the craft store (which he actually enjoys) and made him buy The Big Book of Knitting by Katharine Buss (which he didn’t enjoy) with one of the 50% coupons and I got a Boye Needlemaster circular set with the other one. I already have Denise circs, but I figured it couldn’t hurt and at a $35 savings, I simply couldn’t resist. I took one of the 40% coupons today and got The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie Wiseman. I’ve got one left, but there really isn’t anything else I need at Michaels. I want a blocking board that sweaters will fit on, but they don’t seem to have them. Anyone have any suggestions about what I should get?

*Earlier this week, he brought home a little Beatrix Potter book called The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit because it reminded him of our Fierce Bad Kitten, Mike. Let’s hear it for the boy “Awwwwwww.” It’s actually pretty hilarious and if you will allow me, I would love to share it with you.

This is Mike.


This is the Fierce Bad Rabbit.


Notice the similarities, especially in the crazy eyes just looking for something to knock over?

Here is the Bad Rabbit knocking over the Nice Rabbit because he wants the carrot. This is a very common occurrence in our house (though rarely with carrots) and the other cats all agree that they are the Nice Rabbit in this tiresome scenario.


Then something very jarring happens. You turn the page in the cute funny book for children and are faced with this.


Wow. Beatrix is done screwing around. All bets are off and that little bastard just may get what’s coming to him. Mike’s furry jaw drops while the other cats cheer. But it’s a kids’ book and the man with the gun would never actually shoot at . . .


As it turns out, the Bad Rabbit only gets his tail and whiskers blown off. Luckily, Beatrix spared us the spray of blood shooting from the rabbit’s behind, but you know that’s what the original looked like. I like to think that it made her laugh maniacally, then she calmly put it away and moved on.



Posted by admin 29 COMMENTS

Welcome to the new edition of the MOKS (I just noticed today what the acronym spells out. Works for me!) Today’s feature brings us to the “You Knit for Your Mama with Those Needles?” exhibit about the seamier side of knitting and crochet. There was a time, long ago, when women flaunted their sexuality with hand-crafted fashion. Clothing was revealing, love was all around, and baby – it was free! Luckily, society has moved past that, but here’s a look back at a decade where flesh and acrylic yarn played dangerously together. (as always, you can click on the pictures for a larger image)

Get cozy and enjoy! Here’s an erotic pillow for your comfort.

“Color is only one of the vital notes of excitement in these lively fashions!” boasts McCall’s Needleworks and Crafts’ 1972 winner of the Master of the Obvious award. They call them “mini shorts”, I call them “underwear” – tomato/tomahtah, really. Whatever you want to call them, these hot little numbers demand to be made from that camel hair yarn you’ve been wondering what to do with. They’ve already got the toes, you may as well toss the rest of the camel in there.

Tired of all that pesky undressing when you want to go streaking? Well, strip no more! Now you can be naked all day AND wear shoes to match with this fabulous Peek-a-Boob pant suit – now with 25% more nudity! You’ll be the envy of all the girls on the corner.

If only there were a way to capture the comfort and ease of the exam room. Imagine relaxing poolside and being able to just scootch down a bit in style. Well, stop dreaming, sister, because with the GYN Jumper, every day can be like your last pap smear!

Well, wait a minute. This lovely sweater is the height of modesty. Long sleeves, high neckline – nothing revealing about this. Why this demure young lady could be the head of the PTA.

Oh my! I guess I didn’t realize that PTA stood for Pants Tossed Aside. I defy anyone to maintain eye contact with this woman for more than 4 seconds. Go ahead. Try it. You can’t! And she knows it.

Ever wish you could have a wedgie consisting of an entire skein of your favorite yarn? Were you disappointed with the all-over body rash you didn’t get on your last bike ride? Do you want to learn how to felt wool with sweat while wearing it? Step right up, Lady Jane, have I got a project for you – straight from the pages of Seventeen’s Spring/Summer 1973 issue of Make it! Now, maybe I’m a naive child of the 80’s who believed what they said about the green M&Ms, but does ordering a bunch of teenage girls in the 70’s to “Make it!” seem like a bad idea? Yeah, I thought so.

uuuuh . . . and if your “thing” happens to be diapers – all the better! At least they’re offering a guarantee they can stand behind. Good lord, there aren’t enough crocheted unhappy faced pillows in the world to express my feelings for the Patron Saint of Perverse Yarn Fetish. (I can’t wait to get my first site hit from someone Googling “Yarn Fetish”.)

And that wraps it up for today’s adventure in knitting for gals looser than a new knitter’s stitches. Whatever became of these women of easy virtue and cheap fiber? Did they overcome their wanton ways or succumb to the acrylic heartache for which they were bound? I can tell you in two simple words.

Yarn sores. Don’t let it happen to you.

Thank you all for coming, watch your step on the way out and we’ll see you next time! Buh-bye.

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 7 COMMENTS

Elisa’s wish is my command. Here is the Inca Wool I got from the Webs garage sale. It was really hard to get the color of the orange right in the picture. It’s a nice spicy pumpkin color. Apparently its elusive beauty cannot be captured by new fangled technology and must be experienced in person. Those wacky Incans.

I went digging through my stash to find something comparably soft. Like a chimpanzee, I rubbed the yarn on my lips and cheeks to get a good feel for it.

After much deliberation and a handful of ants from a stick, I have decided it’s about on par with Cascade Quatro (same stuff as 220, I think). Maybe a teeny bit less soft, but still very wearable.

Here is a brief look at a few of the treasures in my stash. The melon-colored stuff is the Quatro, a very fun and fruity combination of colors.

The little ball in the front with the lumpy bits is Austerman Samoa Color and it’s as soft as kitten fur. Pretty neat as far as novelty yarn goes. I got it on sale at The Knitting Room in Arlington and couldn’t bear to keep in inside the bag on the drive home.

The multicolored ball next to it is cashmere from Dannette Taylor’s eBay store. There’s only a little, so I don’t know what to do with it. It was part of a set of all kinds of yarns, she has some really neat combos.

There’s some Plymouth Outback Mohair in Mulberry Sky that I love. I made a couple of shawls with it (one for me, one for my mom) and it’s great stuff. Warm and fluffy, comes in pretty colorways, and Elann often has it for cheeeeep! They don’t have any right now, but when they do, don’t think – just buy!

The green stuff in the back is kettle dyed merino wool from Serendipity’s eBay store. I used their yarn to make my Sophia also. They have an amzing array of colors and the prices are very reasonable. Check them out if you’re still allowing yourself to use eBay.

Hmmmm, what else. Oh, only the most beautiful yarn in the world. Yep, that’s right. It’s undyed alpaca from A Touch of Twist in Schenectady, NY. I got it at a knitting convention in NH. The yarn is brown and gray alpaca twisted together and the color name is “Stormy Skies”. This is just about the softest, most luscious yarn I’ve ever felt and I love the idea that there are some llamas walking around wearing their fur in exactly this color. If I remember correctly, it was $20 for 600 yds (could have been more, but not much). Unfortunately, they don’t have a website, but I think you can order from them over the phone. I feel weird about posting their phone number for some reason, but a quick Google search on their name will reveal it quickly.

I worked from home again yesterday and this is what it looked like for most of the day (this is Chi Chi).

On the knitting front, I’m working on the sleeves of the Manly sweater. It’s slow going because I’ve been really busy with work and social stuff. I planned on spending all day today knitting in peace, but instead I have to work. Bleh. At this pace it’ll never get done. I just need a couple of solid days worth of knitting time and I think I’ll get it done. I’m going to tackle the Ostrich Plume shawl from Wool and Fiber Originals next.

It has charts and stuff. Should be interesting . . .

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 8 COMMENTS

I was wondering why turning on the heat seemed like giving up. Yarn Harlot seems to know the answer – it’s my Canadian heritage shivering, I mean, shining through. We live on the third floor of a beautiful old 3-family house that has not a stitch of insulation. Nope, naked as a jaybird our home is. Figures we has to find the only triple-decker nudist on the block. All four of our cats have been huddling on our bed at night for warmth. One of them dragged a metal barrel up and started making a fire, but I put a stop to it when I smelled the catnip burning. This morning, my husband (who is referred to as “hot water bottle” or “bag of warm blood” during the winter months) and I slept in for half an hour because it was too cold to get out of the cat-encrusted bed.

I think it’s time to take the air conditioners out and close the storm windows.

I always drag my heels in doing this because I never want to admit that Old Man Winter is coming back to try and kill us again. The only ray of sunshine in all of this is that soon it will be time to put the insulating plastic in the windows. Once it’s up, we sit back and watch the cats bounce off it when they try to jump onto the windowsills. Amazingly, this never gets old. The 100th time I see it is as delightful as my very first. Sometimes life tosses you a bone.

In other news, I discovered that Webs has a “garage sale” section on their site. When I heard this, I knew it was going to be a problem. Luckily, there isn’t a huge selection and I got away with spending $20 plus shipping on two sweaters worth of wool. Pretty fan-freaking-tastic, if you ask me. I just got the yarn today and it’s really quite nice. I got the Inca Wool in Yellow Green and Dull Orange. Whoever thought of these names hates yarn and wants to spread all kinds of nasty rumors about it. Looking at it on my desk, I see Olive Oil and Pumpkin. Doesn’t that sound much nicer (and more delicious)? It’s softer than I thought it would be and the two colors go kind of funkily together. As usual, I don’t have a specific pattern in mind, so I’m imagining how they’d look striped together in a scarf set or a blanket. Or perhaps I’ll just get two single-colored sweaters out of it. That’s the joy of impulsive stash yarn. It has so much potential. Why, this yarn could be president one day! (seriously, I really think this yarn has a shot considering the competition)

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 5 COMMENTS

Here’s something you don’t get to say every day: I love melanoma!

But you’d say it too if you met her. Last night I had the pleasure of meeting Melanie and some other really swell gals at the Knitmiths meeting in Brookline.

Here’s something weird. One of the blogs I’ve really enjoyed since I started reading blogs is Alison’s Blue Blog. I knew she belonged to a group called the Knitsmiths, I’ve occasionally read the blog for the group, and I’ve thought it looked like a fun bunch. When Melanie invited me to join her at Sunday’s Knitsmiths meeting, I thought “Hey, Knitsmiths. Just like on the Blue Blog. Funny that they have the same name.” I sat there for the entire night never once realizing that these were one in the same. I only figured it out today. I should not be allowed to operate heavy machinery.

Anyhoo, I’m so glad I went! When is the last time you met someone for the first time and they said “Oh! I have a present for you.”? I’m delighted to report that my answer is “Yesterday!” Melanie and I met through the comments sections of our blogs and have emailed each other a number of times over the last month or so, but I hadn’t met her until last night. When I got there, we chit-chatted for a bit and she made her declaration, leaned over to reach into her bag and came out with these:

I mean, come on. How sweet is that? It seems her mother-in-law has a bunch of vintage patterns and she brought me some. I was just so touched, you have no idea. And I’ll have you know that her mother-in-law has fantastic taste because there isn’t a beer can hat in the bunch! Every pattern is a classic and there’s not one you could really poke fun at. Amazing! So no poking, but I will, however, share some of my favorites.

This saucy redhead may have given me a new idea for mt Geisha.

Or maybe this little number would do.

Check out this cool split cable! I don’t think I’ve seen one like this and I love it.

Va Va Voom

Here’s a truly handsome sweater. Very Dad-worthy. And even the horse is wearing a pretty scarf.

And last but not least, some purty ponchos. I’m still not convinced to make one, but these could be good shawls . . .

I also have to send a big shout-out to Johanna, who helped demystify the cast-on for the Hallowig. I got stuck at the bangs and thought I’d just end up settling for a Ben Franklin type of thing instead. Big relief. She showed me two types – the backwards loop cast-on that the pattern recommends and the cable cast-on, which she thought would look better. Thank you so much, Johanna! I’ll definitely be getting back to Brookline for more meetings. It was just so nice to hang out with a bunch of people with the same preoccupation. And there was such a great mix of people. Along with Melanie and Johanna, I chatted with two other gals whose names I totally forgot, one was a college freshman and the other was a lawyer. I love that people from different walks can come together like that, needles in hand. I’m also going to do my darndest to get to Melanie’s group in Kingston. She came a long way to hang with us in Brookline! Presents AND a long drive. See, I bet you’re taking quite a liking to melanoma now too, aren’t you?