Archive for October, 2005

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 39 COMMENTS

‚ 

‚ 

‚ 

OK. First of all, it’s October 29th. The autumn air should be crisp and clear. I should be hearing the shoosh of leaves beneath my feet as I walk. Kids should be getting ready to go trick or treating and comlaining that they have to wear a light jacket to protect them from the chilly fall weather.

And yet, when I look out my window, I am confronted with this.

‚ 

Uuuummmm, I re-check the calendar, wondering if I’ve missed my vacation in November altogether and gone right to Christmas.

Nope. Still October 29th. Huh. Mother Nature sure has a bug up her ass this year, eh? Pull it out, old lady! Pull. It. Out. Boy, oh boy, I sure can’t wait for the hailstorm of ants she’s been working on. I heard she was thinking about a Fun Fur tornado, too. She loves the novelty yarns.

Second, I have been thoroughly and completely busted by Julie in the comments. I purposely didn’t mention it in the previous post. I was repeating the knitters’ mantra “No one else will notice, no one else will notice, no one else will notice it . . . .” But I was wrong. The afforepictured basketweave scarf (yep, it is to be a scarf) has a bit of wonk in the lower left corner. I have decided to pretend that it’s my “signature” and that I did it with all of my faculties engaged. Otherwise, it would drive me crazy and I would have to put it right into the garbage disposal. Of course, we don’t have a garbage disposal, so I’d have to go to the hardware store, buy one, and install it just to get the dark thought of that lower left corner out of my head. So, in order to save me the trouble, it’s my knitting signature and that’s that. Don’t make me send the Feline Home Protection Brigade ofter you. They’ll curl up right on you and you’ll be pinned for hours.

Lastly, since I’m leaving for a two-week vacation on a redeye flight next Friday, I thought it was time to ask my fellow bloggers if they’ve been to London and what have they seen. Charlene and I are going to be spending a week in Andalucia, Spain, but it’s with a tour, so we’ll be pretty well taken care of there. After Spain, we’ll be in London for 5 days looking for some fun stuff to do. We’ll be there from the 13th through the 17th and we already have plans Monday night. We have 4th row seats to see Ewan McGregor in Guys and Dolls. Woo-hoo!

So if you have any tips (yes, I’ve been warned about the pick-pocketers, especially in Spain), know of any good shows or concerts going on, need to tell us what to avoid because it sucks, know where all the cheap Rowan yarn is, or have any particular destination in or around London that we should visit, now is the time to cough it up.

We have already decided to go to the V & A. They’re having a Diane Arbus show and I loves me some Diane Arbus! So, what else should we do?

‚ 

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 19 COMMENTS

Team Stitchy!!!

And the crowd goes wild! Stitchy was a long shot this year, with many convinced she’d be outwitted by the twitchy little rodent. It’s long been known that her biggest weakness is a furry critter of any kind, and if the first two rounds of the Squirreled Series were any indication of things to come, Stitchy was going to get owned. But in a stunning upset Tuesday night, it was the squirrel’s weakness that was his eventual undoing. As rumors of the squirrel’s taste for peanut butter surfaced, Team Stitchy hatched a cunning plan to exploit this vulnerability. The trap was smeared, sunflower seeds were embedded, and although he had denied his addiction vehemently, the interloper was unable to resist the rich, creamy goodness.

Unfortunately, there is no photographic documentation of the victory as Team Stitchy was actually in the car on the way home from work when the game was won. Team Brother was, however, on the scene and provided a play-by-play recounting of the events. It is reported that the squirrel was on the small side and looked rather scruffy. It is surmised that said scruffiness occurred during the critter’s stay in the basement as he looked fluffy and clean when he leapt out of the ceiling just days ago. Early reports also indicate that the squirrel departed with a belly full of peanut butter and seeds as the food tray was completely clear of residue. Team Stitchy finds the idea of the little squirrel licking up all the peanut butter to be adorable. All parties involved felt badly that it was such a rainy, windy night, but upon his release into the yard, the squirrel headed straight up a nearby tree. No doubt he has already drawn up a crude map and is devising a new plan with a growing squirrel army. Chances are good that he is actually, at this moment, wearing an army General’s hat and has taken to using a riding crop for gesticualating powerfully in front of his troops. Luckily, the homestead is reinforced with ten housecats just looking for something to chase.

Here is one team of four cats warming the bench, just waiting for their chance to join the game. Bring it on, twitchy.

‚ 

*ok, I’ll admit it, they don’t look like the livliest or killiest bunch. But these babies can go from napping to deadly in seconds. Seriously. You just try and stop them. Sure, it would be better if the squirrel were to position itself directly below one of their paws, but no need. ~ahem~ They’ll wake up. Aaaaany minute. Mark my words. You can groom something to death, right? Because once they start that . . . hoo boy, ain’t no stopping them. *cough* Y’know, or they may just want to toy with the squirrel for a while. Bat it around, cuddle with it, make it feel comfortable. Then BAM! More . . . cuddling.

Anyhoo.

Here is some knitting. It’s a basketweave pattern from Viv Foster’s Knitting Handbook. Nothin’ heavy, just a simple knit/purl thing. But I’m really enjoying watching it come together. For all its simplicity, it looks pretty detailed.

‚ 

And the back is even cooler! I love when my knitting treats me to little surprises once in a while.
‚ 

‚ 

‚ 

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 11 COMMENTS

Squirrel – 2
Stitchy – 0

I have now resorted to the big guns. Big peanut butter guns. Big peanut butter guns encrusted with sunflower seeds.

Your move, varmint.

(I fear this may reach Caddyshack proportions before it’s all over. I’m looking forward to sculpting the plastic explosives.)

‚ 

‚ 

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 25 COMMENTS

‚ 

‚ 

‚ 

I love that I have to convince people of that. Yes, she who shares the contents of everything from her uterus to her cats’ litter box with everyone on the internets, is shy. I was once referred to in high school as “That girl who never says anything.” I live in mortal fear of speaking in front of large groups of people. It’s all a sham, people. Stitchy is really a hermit. Luckily, I am a yarn-seeking hermit, so I can actually be drawn out of my shell at times. And it is a lot easier when confronted with a gaggle of giggling knitters.

So Laurie is right. I was rather restrained in my stash enhancement last weekend. I did a pretty good job of sticking to my budget. But I also forgot to include some stuff. Whoopsie. It’s because it was all put away. Out of sight, out of mind you know how it is. I got a bunch of stuff for needle felting. I got a cool tool that holds six needles at once, five blobs of pretty roving to make an assortment of cuties, and some foam felting boards to keep you from stabbing your legs from FeltCrafts. They were extremely helpful, the woman at the booth actually ran to her car to get some extra needles for me. I shall be patronizing them again. I also got a bag of more felting fluff from Misty Mountain Farms. There are even bits of curly wool in there that should be really interesting to work with.

I don’t have pictures of all that stuff, but I do have a finished object! I made a little Rhinebeck mascot. Of course, right before I finished, I saw that Juno has already found one (see the last photo of the demon sheep of Rhinebeck). Drat! Oh well, I pressed on and came up with this little dude.

Please meet Spendy, the Spokessheep of Rhinebeck.

‚ 

Spendy says “Baaaaaaaaa more stuff!” He has bendable arms and legs (well, technically, they’re all legs) so he can help point out all the things you need.

You can also see that he’s been hanging out at the fried dough cart for a little too long. Just look at that belly! Our little Spendy does not make good choices when it comes to fair fare. He should have just had that salad. Oh well. “Fraaaaaa more dough!”
‚ 

And in the comments, Kristy asked about the recipe for the felted bear I made a while ago. I got the instructions and kit from Living Felt. It’s such a gratifying use of fiber, I can’t recommend trying it enough. Now that I think of it, I actually bought the kit from Marr Haven. Both places have lots of cool felting stuff, so check ¢â‚¬Ëœem both out!

And in other news, I have embarked upon the classic battle between woman and beast. No, not Jon. Not the cats. A squirrel. In our basement. When first discovered, he was napping in a box of leftover decorations from my wedding. He came flying out when Charlene walked by and startled him. My brother, unaware of Charlene’s encounter, thought someone had left one of their cats down there because garbage cans were knocked over, bottles from on top of the fridge were smashed on the floor, and there were little footprints all over the toilet seat where someone had perched to get a drink. I believe there were also some little footprints on his laundry that was hanging down there. Later, I was putting away a rake after some long avoided yard work and heard the skittering of tiny paws in the ceiling. So I tapped here and there until I startled him and he came flying out of a hole and ran to the other side of the basement along the pipes. Apparently, this squirrel is wound real tight. He needs to chill. If he would just come out and sit on my shoulder, he would get so many treats and smooches, his head would spin*. But he wants to do this the hard way.

Honestly, I was just worried that he was hungry. But it turns out he also found the birdseed we had down there. So I got a Have-a-Heart trap. It’s all steel and noisy and clanky, so from the squirrel’s standpoint, this is actually a Have-a-Heartattack trap. Jon and I set it up, we even included some treats that we’d just gotten for our own under-documented hamster, Wuzzy. We’ve been checking the trap regularly since yesterday. I moved it closer to his water supply today, though I refuse to admit it was just for his convenience. I checked it a short while ago and it looks like he had himself a lovely snack. But he didn’t hang around for the actual trapping or anything. He did, however, leave a bunch of empty seed shells for me to clean up.

Squirrel 1
Stitchy – 0

*Don’t worry, I don’t plan on kissing the squirrel when I catch him. He’s going right outside.

‚ 

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 24 COMMENTS

‚ 

‚ 

‚ 

OK, first off, I just have to say that I had a blast last night! I love impromptu fun and when you get a bunch of knit-bloggers together, you are guaranteed a good time. Which perhaps makes it not so impromptu. Implied impromptu fun, maybe? Anyway, we rocked the house at Willow Books in Acton. So much so that I think we made them really nervous. I was lucky enough to get a seat right up front because I was alone and there were some single spots available. While sitting there waiting for the reading to start, the bookstore owner was talking to one of his employees about the number of people that were in attendance. Apparently he hadn’t expected such a huge turnout and was more than a little gobsmacked. He reminded me of every uptight shopkeeper in every Three Stooges episode. And the woman he was speaking with said “Never underestimate women and what they’ll do!” My head did a quick series of 360 degree spins and came to rest pointing in their direction. My eyes narrowed and turned a strange luminescent green and sparked with small licks of flame. And from a place deep in my belly emanated a low, menacing growl. “Knitters.” I said. “Never underestimate Knitters.” They backed away, stuttering and sputtering and falling over piles of useless, non-knitting-related books.

Ok, that only happened in my head.

Anyhoo, the reading was fantastic and the stories were great. A group of us lingered afterwards and ended up going out for a drink at a nearby restaurant. They seemed as perplexed as the shopkeeper. Must be something in the water. Or a lack of wool in their diets. Something. It’s as though they all possessed knitting needles, but kept them firmly lodged up their posteriors for safe-keeping. In attendance at the after party were CarolesKnitting Carole, BookishGirl Wendy, ObsessionDuJour Kellee, SandysKnitting Sandy, EtherKnitter Laurie, Knitigator Kathy, Stoneview Julie, WoolyBuns Chris, Woolyheaded Ruth (I wish Chris and Ruth were a couple so each could introduce the other as their better half) , MedStudentWhoKnits Kristen, Yarn Harlot Stephanie and a few ladies who’s names I have woefully forgotten. I believe two were Linga Roghaar and Molly Wolf, the creators of the KnitLit books. And there was someone wearing the most fantastic pair of blue socks with purple cables. I failed to introduce myself properly and didn’t get her name. She is now and forever will be in my mind “the woman with those fantastic socks.” And also, there was Non-Blogging Sharon who NEEDS to get a blog. What a great lady! Hop to it, Lady Jane. Now the pressure is on her to either make us happy by joining our fold or disappointing us by not sharing stories of knitting and bees and baby cows in the living room.

So now that I’ve recapped Rhinebeck Redux, let me get to other one. The one with acres of fiber.

Well, I’ll echo what everyone else has been saying. It. Was. Wicked. Fun. Cara’s Blogger Meetup was a thing of beauty. I wish I weren’t so lousy with names because I met loads of great people. I do know that my Bloglines list has gotten quite a bit longer since that fateful day, and it was already honking huge. There were so many people that I started feeling a little overwhelmed. I’m actually a really shy person. I was always the kid hiding her face, sitting alone on the corner, and never saying a word in class. One day I just decided to pretend not to be shy and it usually works pretty well. But man, there were just so many people. I fear if my mother had been there, I may have been clinging to her leg for security. But I think I managed not to say anything stupid, and I did manage to remember most of the people I met, if not by their real names, then by their blog names. I was shocked that so many people knew who I was, even though I didn’t know who they were. There are a lot more knit bloggers than I ever imagined! YAY! So, to everyone I met, it was my extreme pleasure. To everyone I saw who I had already known, it was great to see you. To those I haven’t met yet, look behind you! Boo! Just kidding. Or am I?

OK, on to the fair. Well, how about I just show you what I bought? I’m actually in a bit of a rush and Kellee has taken responsibility for documenting our drive, which required a hand-written map from a guy in a wine store. You see, we were headed to my darling cousin’s house in New Paltz on Friday night to spend the evening. They live past a bridge. The bridge was apparently ok, but the road past it was now a good old fashioned swimming hole. Kellee’s rocket car cannot, apparently, defy gravity. Some rocket car. pffft. So a nice man drew up a map. Kellee has it posted at her place. He went so far as to draw little lines around the streetlights to give the appearance of radiant light. He also made cute sound effects as he drew the blinking light. He got us to Elaine’s without a hitch. We should send that guy a thank you card. I think the store name is on the back of the map. Hang on to that thing, Kellee!

OK, so I didn’t go too nuts because I had already spent a bunch of my money at Webs, but here goes, in order of purchase, even.

Maple Creek Merino/Silk, colorway Crocus. I’m a sucker for green and purple. I can’t help myself. This is ridiculously soft and for all you yarn sniffers out there it smells really good, too. Not too detergenty, just . . . nice. It does a nostril good. This will become some sort of shawly/scarfy thing. Maybe a Clapotis? It might be too fine. I’ll have to do some research. Mike offered to provide a nice, fluffy background for the photo. Any spinners want to take a try at him?

‚ 

‚ 

~sigh~ Here is some Jamie Harmon wool/angora. It’s a 50/50 split and is just gorgeous. I only got one skein for myself and am making a skinny little scarf to wear in the office. I want it near my neck and facial region at all times. It’s soooo soft. I was knitting it at the book reading last night and one of the authors said he kept looking at it while he was reading because he wanted to see what color would come out next. It is a much fondled yarn, deservedly so. I also got a skein in beige/reds/blues/greens for my sister-in-law. I was going to get that one for myself because I wanted to get away from the purple and green thing, but I just couldn’t. Love the purple and green.

‚ 

Here is a little salt pot from Bell Pottery, who had a booth in the 2-story barn, I think. My cousin in New Paltz has a lot of their pieces, She even has a whole shower tiled with this pattern. It slowly works from day to night as it moves across the shower. Amazing. (Someday, these will‚ be in my bathroom or kitchen. Oh yes. They will be mine.)

‚ 

‚ 

Here is some Potpourri Yarn for my mom. It’s fiber content is “A Little Bit of Everything”. This is a lousy picture, but it’s a very delicate rose and yellow. I hope she likes it. It’ll make a pretty scarf.

‚ 

Wow, that’s it from the festival, I think. But we did stop at the Morehouse Merino store on the way home and I had to get something for the babies. I got this little sheepskin for the kitties to sleep on (and fight over, I’m sure). Here are Dot and Chi-Chi examining it. Look at how her paws sink right in. Plush, baby!
‚ 

‚ 

And here is Dot digging in. I’m curious so see if she sucks on it or not. It still smells sheepy, but in a nice, clean way. And there’s still lanolin in there. Maybe this will curb her need for fiber . . . Time will tell.

‚ 

‚