Thursday, December 25, 2008

Best wishes

Merry Christmas! or whichever winter solstice holiday you celebrate. Warm regards from the buckle of the Bible Belt, Nashville Tennessee. We're all still in housecoats & slippers here, playing with the gifts we've given each other. No Monet print calendar for me this year; for 2009 I'll be looking at the World Champion (in my mind, at least!) STEELERS! And I got a very nice Steelers logo jacket, too! And absolutely nothing having to do with yarn. Kinda surprising, since the past occasions when yarny goodies were presented were really super. I got gifted with a cute teapot, sugar & creamer set; unfortunately the giver didn't open the box in the store & the sugar bowl's borked. So that part of it will have to go back to the store for a replacement. And I bought myself another cute teapot. I collect 'em. I also like tea, so sometimes I actually use them. I've been meaning to make a few tea cozies; there are some cute patterns out there.

Well, this was supposed to get some pics & go up before Christmas, but I got busy & the blog fell by the wayside. So! Happy New Year!! Part of the busy-ness I was going through had to do with Plaidman's health: He started having severe pain in his back, and with his history of kidney stones it wasn't too hard to figure what might be happening. Of course, he suffers for two weeks before he decides he's gotta get some medical attention....and pisses & moans the whole damn time. After visits to no less than 4 different medical facilities, his diagnosis is back strain -- he pulled a muscle. I'm about to pull my hair out, over his $*&%^#( pulled muscle. Of course, I carried knitting to every facility, 'coz I'm still working on DiscoDame's lovely alpaca scarf. The plan is to have it for her by 12th Night, and it's 33" long now, and I may be able to get the other 27" from the 2nd skein! Which would leave me two skeins for another (MINE!) use. Yahoo!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Weird vibes

I want everyone, not just the handful of folks reading this, but the entire world to read the Yarn Harlot's "Fallen..." blog entry. Make sure you all visit the bathroom first, though; I won't bear responsibility for any accidents. I laughed like, 4 times while I read it, then laughed again while the DiscoDame read it, and again while Plaidman read it. It's so funny because it just sounds like something the Plaidman & I would get ourselves into, and I know I'd laugh the whole time.

I wish I could stay awake & alert longer during the week; I actually made notes on Monday about things I wanted to mention here. Of course, it's now Friday evening, and I have no idea where my notes are...But I do recall that The Shoe Thrower was gonna be a feature. I kinda cracked up when one newscaster mentioned that "in that region" throwing shoes at someone was an expression of contempt. YA THINK!?!?!? Hey, newsnerd, I suspect it means the same thing pretty much wherever it occurs. And WTF was the Secret Service doing, that this guy was actually able to pitch the second shoe at our President? Uh, fellas, he was throwing stuff at the Chief Exec! What if there had been something other than stankfoot inside either of those shoes? (Be afraid, be very afraid: President Cheney!!!!) What you want to bet those agents are working in the "company" carwash now.

In my last post, I mentioned the possibility that I'd spend more time crocheting. Well, I found the cutest free patterns on Annie's Attic (they have a new one daily!), for tiny crocheted stockings. They're ornament-sized, and just adorable. I wonder how quickly they work up? I'd still like to give handmade gifts to my co-workers, even if the gifts are just tiny things. Ornaments would be cute. I've also thought about making some of the Minutia sweater ornaments from the Berroco website. Oh, and I finished my reg & green slippers! and they are long enough, and come up high enough on my ankles, that I skipped the crochet mesh & I-cord lacing around the ankle. I've been wearing them all week. I should be wearing them now. I'm still working on DiscoDame's scarf (the hat's done), but I've finished the Wool-Ease hat for Plaidman, and started another in a different color. So, what have you been up to?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Now with 15% more crafty-ness!

I have forgotten to mention the finished crochet project! All 5 new, super-size granny square stockings were delivered to Donna K, and I collected $30/each! I have pics in the camera, but haven't loaded them into the 'puter yet. Unfortunately, the pics were taken in the late evening, indoors--so they're pretty crappy. Justice is not done to the fabulousness of my granny square stockings. But Ms. Donna was pleased, and I had some fun making them. In fact, I had so much fun that it reminded me of why I like crochet, and I may wind up doing more of that in the future.

The Plaidmobile should (cross fingers, knock on wood!) be ready for pick up this afternoon, if the shop wasn't just blowing smoke up the Plaidman's arse. We took the rental car back last Monday (that wound up costing us as much as our deductible on the car insurance), and have gone an entire week with just one car. So no Sit'N Stitch this week, and very few extracurricular activities at all. And this is truly the BEST TIME OF YEAR to have massive added expenses... I was soooo happy to get paid for the crochet stockings, I told Donna that now I could go grocery shopping--I wasn't kidding! But I think she thought I was, or hoped I was.

I still haven't gotten the Wool Ease Thick N Quick I need for the Plaidman's hat; if I can get DiscoDame up & moving I'll head over to the Hobby Lobby. Yes, I know Angel Hair Yarns is going out of business & has a huge sale, but I don't think they carry Wool Ease. Speaking of the DD, she's been commenting on my blog--as if we don't speak regularly or something! I wouldn't mind seeing some other comments too--I have been making a point of commenting on some of the other blogs I read, so maybe someone will return the favor. But lordy, I only have time for surfing the innerwebs on the weekends! Somebody needs to bring high-speed access to Joelton, TN! Actually, I haven't checked for hi-speed in a while, so maybe someone did? Hope springs eternal.....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Need that fine adjustment tool....

For some unknown (to me, anyway) reason, all the stuff in my sidebar got moved to the bottom of the page. This happened a while back, and I've had my tech support (DiscoDame)looking into getting the sidebar back to the side. I've had to offer her actual money (!!!) for this assistance, and have no earthly idea when she'll either fix it or give up. Stay tuned for developments...

In the knitting news, I've started yet another pair of the funky slippers. These are in Christmas red & green, 1 strand each, worsted wt acrylic. I'm knitting both at the same time on sz 9 14" plastic needles. I've modified the sides by adding two stitches each side, so they'll rise higher on my ankle--yes, they're mine! The last pair I made were supposed to be mine, but are too short & I don't want to futz with taking them apart. I intend to knit the newest pair to 8" from cast on before I start the toe decreases, and by working both at the same time I hope to eliminate the unequal lengths I've been getting on all the previous pairs. AND there's more Christmas knitting: The Dame needs a "real" nice hat & scarf, so I'm making a set for her in brushed alpaca--YUM! What lovely stuff it is! Absolutely feather light, but oh so warm. I sure hope she takes good care of it. The Plaidman needs a seriously warm hat too. We found an appropriate pattern, but I'll need some Wool Ease -- yarn shopping!! Yippee!

I have about given up on the idea of handknits for all in my dept. at work -- that's 18 people, folks! And I'm just one knitter, running out of time. So what to do with the few pieces I've finished? I'm real tempted to store them for next year, & just say I got an early start. Why not? Because it feels like cheating, I guess. I think I can get over it, though.

The Pupster called Thanksgiving day, & I have not yet responded. I'm a baaaad daughter, I know. But geez, if you could hear the message he left--he sounded half stoned. He was visiting some friends, and I guess they got him hammered. Sure hope they let him stay the night! I should call.

Friday, November 14, 2008

More fun than.....

My fingers are gonna fall off! I have been working on the Big Crochet Project, and it's just wearing me out. Current status: all squares made, & an extra round of half-double crochet worked on each (of 50!)square to bring them up to the same size as the model. Eight sides stitched up, 5 squares each. Six & a half sides have edging applied. So what's left to do? Stitch together the last two sides, and finish edging on 3.5, THEN WORK IN ENDS, then crochet the sides together to get 5 stockings, and make a topping for each. Whew! I have been seriously busy with this project, but did take the time to head downtown for the Veterans' Day Parade, with DiscoDame along for the ride. She was in charge of the camera, check it out:
And this one (we knew these guys were approaching...):

Lots of vehicles with lights & sirens, some marching bands (White's Creek was the sharpest group--GO COBRAS!!). It was fun, and patriotic. We stood on the sidewalk in front of the First Baptist Church, and the daycare was turned out to watch the parade--what cuties! We thought it might be best not to take their pictures, but enjoyed their reactions to all the fun.
Speaking of fun, guess what the Plaidman did on Wednesday? He hit a deer! He & DiscoDame were coming home from the library, it's already pitch dark, and a &*#^&$ buck jumps out of the ditch right in front of the Neon. Fortunately, neither of them are hurt; but the buck's hind legs are both broken. Poor thing tried to get up, tried to drag itself the rest of the way across the street. The lady in the car behind the Neon pulled over, got out & tried to guide the beastie back to the ditch. Some folks living near came out, then went back home & got a firearm to finish off the buck---and took it home for supper! I'm glad it didn't go to waste, but I kinda wish I knew how to butcher a deer. Anyway, we're down to one car and playing phone tag with the insurance estimator. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Has it been that long?

Good grief. Over a month since I posted! Time flies, etc. I really haven't been doing much, just some gift knitting. I did get out to a fiber festival over in Murfreesboro, last weekend. Had rather a telling moment there, standing in a booth & talking with a spinner there, I mentioned that I don't spin "yet". The idea of spinning yarn has been fermenting in the old brain-pan for a while. But wherever would I store roving? a spinning wheel? a drum carder? I can't even find enough storage space for the yarn I have now. So, with that thought, I went & bought some more yarn: laceweight Merino, in a yummy teal. What a surprise.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Birthday Swag

I've been meaning to get on here & talk about all the lovely goodies that my family gave me for my birthday: The Plaidman took DiscoDame & me out to the Longhorn for Flo's filets --Yum! And we were both pretty good girls, not so much goofing around at the table as we usually do (we always say that we need adult supervision when we go out). And I got four magazines, 3 specifically knitting & 1 about felt (do I sense a hint here?), and the Best Gift was a small metal & nylon swift. I have already wound up about 1800 yards from 4 hanks; what a nice presie! I should get a picture. Not just useful; I think it adds something to my appreciation of my stash to be able to wind up the yarns easily. Plus it's fun! In the same gift bag were two 40" fixed circulars, for my Magic Loop fun, in sock sizes & by Addi! One's nickel & the other's bamboo or birch, I've already forgotten--BTW, I stopped by Bliss Yarns one evening during my vacation week, and Emily helped me figure out why I was getting an extra stitch on the Magic Loop. She had some advice about learning the Left Hand Way ("Continental" knitting) as well, something about keeping to very simple stitching during the learning process--but of course, I started with ribbing (K4p4; I'm not a masochist!) so I could learn the purl stitch too. AND I went back to Debbie Stoller before I started trying to change hands! I just love her, & always credit her with teaching me to knit. Hey, I should probably add that to my blog header: "Taught by Debbie Stoller, thru Stitch
N Bitch"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

An FO (sort of)

I finished the Knit Picks Moc Croc sock I had ripped & reknit! And it fits, too! Only one to go...well, if I want a pair of 'em. Did that Friday morning, and took some pics of the finished sock!

And I couldn't be happier about it. Never mind that it looks lonely, it's mate is already underway. I've also started another pair of the funky slippers, in shades of burgundy, orange & light yellow acrylic yarns from the oldest parts of my stash. I didn't even list this stuff on Ravelry, since I don't usually think of using it anymore, but it's the bees knees for the slippers I'm making. These things are just terrific stash-busters, and so giftable too. I wore mine up in the office the other day, 'coz my "new" cubby hole is in a sometimes chilly spot. Also 'coz the wedge heels I had worn were too tall to let me use the footrest under the keyboard tray. The slippers were nice & toasty.

I suppose I should get some pictures of slippers up here too:


Those purpled ones are now the property of the DiscoDame. I need to make some up for the Plaidman; I'm not even going to try to make them plaid!

Speaking of the stash, I got kinda wild & crazy over at DBNY, to the tune of $114.00 worth of yarn. That's 3 full bags of the angora wool blend, and some nice wool-mohair-silk blend laceweight. I am nuts. But then DD walked in with the mail, including a card from my Dad -- with a check for $100.00 inside! Thanks, Pup! Saved from the guilt, by a birthday gift that couldn't have come at a better time! But I am still nuts. Sugar, the old man's only been back to work two weeks, and one of the VPs doesn't like him (? how could anyone dislike the most easy-going but hard-working dude in the world? what's wrong with this guy?), and bills did get put on a back burner for a while....but I gotta get my yarn. Actually, I think I might need a life.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's Friday if I say so..

And that's the way I roll. I work 4 10-hour days, and Thursdays are my Fridays. Or at least, that's how it's supposed to work, when we don't have a holiday during the week or the end-of-month rush under way...seems like I wind up working about one Friday in three! But not this week, baby! I left work and started on my vacation week, perfectly timed to coincide with my birthday mid-week. However, I am planning on going in to the office on Wednesday, as there are two teleconference seminars being offered that day, and again on Friday but just for another 1-hour teleconference seminar. I wish I had the noive to show up in my PJs!

With the Plaidman back on the job, I'm feeling less stressed. And with most of week off work, I guess I'll destress to the point of becoming limpid. And I'll be knitting! and crocheting! and maybe cooking several meals & freezing them for those days when I'm just too frazzled to cook. I have been knitting, working on some more of the fun-ky slippers. I took a finished pair into the office today, for when it gets chilly. The plan (and you know I loves me a plan) is to finish the Charming mitts, knit another 6-8 pairs of slippers, finish 5 XMas stockings, make 6-9 berets, finish the muff for Miss Reese, figure out what to make for the other Butler kids, and make something for M & her baby boy. Damn. It's a good thing I've already scheduled another week off, or I might just have to run away & join a circus.

The DiscoDame got another "talkin to" about her showers--Plaidman expressed it succintly: if she showers for 45 minutes @ 8 gallons/minute, she'll fill the septic tank and can expect backflow. Eew! I hope she takes it to heart; she's killing us with what it costs to bathe! Currently, she's in hiatus between quarters at school, and we'll get to spend the week together. Five whole days of just the two of us, with no other adult supervision--I should maybe get some Xanax for the cats? And hey, what about those cats? Wanna see some pictures? Sure you do! That's our baby boy, TomTom, at the top of this post. Someone caught him napping. Now for Miss Hinky-Boo:
She's purty, ain't she? and has to be told so about 400 times a day, I swear. But that's fine, 'coz she's a sweetie too. These two pictures are so not like them! He's usually pretty busy; she usually looks like a dead cat laying on the floor! In fact, in most of her pictures she looks like roadkill.

Friday, September 12, 2008

How to put this...?

YIPPEEE!!! The Plaidman's been called back to work!! Break out the Champale, folks; this news calls for a celebration. That's after the prayers of thanksgiving, of course. So the boss called Plaidman on Tuesday, to ask if he'd be available to work starting Thursday (the start of their workweek--I know, it's odd), then called back a few hours later to say they could really use him on Wednesday. So, his first paycheck will be for one 10-hour day. Just in time to help pay for gas for the chariots; the local BP has regular up to $3.99 US now. I did make a fuel stop early today, & paid $3.59 at Kroger. DiscoDame had her last Friday class of the quarter, and we met up at the WalMart afterwards. We ate lunch at the Subway in the store, I pushed her into a "near" spit-take & almost got sprayed with chip crumbs--we need adult supervision. I hadn't gotten a cart, because I didn't really mean to get anything but one skein of Red Heart yarn. She's got her backpack fulla books, her purse, and a lunch bag (so why did she need to eat at Subway?), & I found my yarn. Then the store waylaid me: I found the thin plastic placemats I wanted (to be cut up into sock blockers!), and then the shoe department ganged up on us, and we came home with two pairs of red patent shoes (look! twins!), 3 placemats, and the skein of yarn. I have a serious love-hate relationship with Wally World. On the way home we spotted a BIG YARD SALE sign, and wound on over to it in the hope that there might be some crafty goodies to be had. Alas, no yarn or other crafty stuff, but they had some new & nearly new dresses in my size. I spent $15 for 3 dresses, which all need to be hemmed but are otherwise just dandy. DiscoDame spent $3, for a long khaki twill skirt, a vest & about four tops, and a nifty tote bag. Now I feel like I should empty some stuff out of my closet. DD says she's already got a sack full that needs to go to Goodwill; I'd like to get up another sack full.

OK, I said I bought some Red Heart, and yes it's a Super Saver. It's the bright white, needed for my Christmas stockings. The progress on the stockings: I now have 50 granny squares about 4.5" on a side, in various combination of red-green-white rounds. That's enough squares for 5 of my big stockings. The next step is to stitch 10 groups of 5 squares together in socky shapes, half with the toe to the right & half with a left toe. I just have to make myself do this, and it ain't happening today. In other craft news, I went to the Sit 'N Stitch last night. I hadn't planned on going, but after work I got to talking with a coworker, and in the midst of our conversation I found myself wringing my hands repeatedly. That sign means I NEED TO KNIT! So I rushed on over to Bliss Yarns, and borrowed a set of needles & some unidentified bulky yarn, and started knitting Aunt Maggie's slippers. It was a good night to be there, as we had a demonstration of the use of a portable Ashford loom, by a really wild & crazy kinda gal--she talked about gamers & DragonCon & other stuff that meant jack to me, but the loom was fascinating. I can so totally see me weaving on a loom; I'd have to research Celtic patterns & figure out what plaid to make for my Plaidman. But if I were to take up another yarny craft right now, I think it would be spinning. One of these days I'll make one of those CD spindles I've seen on the innernets, score me some fiber, & give it a whirl. Stop laughing, I mean it! Anyway, while I'm there anyway, I have a peek at the sale yarns. One of the other knitters (newbie--first time using dpns) came over to the sale section with me, and I pretty much talked her into buying some Karabella laceweight mohair. Sigh. I wanted it, but I have entirely too much mohair on hand as it is; besides, I wanted the Berroco sox yarn, so I got two balls of that and the Magic Loop booklet. So I've totally blown the yarn diet. Oh well. I will master the Magic Loop, and start turning out socks, by golly!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

2 much fun

Oh, Ravelry! You're such a hoot! Look what I found:
Your fairy is called Gossamer Moonshimmer
She is the moon goddess's messenger.
She lives in spiderwebbed wonderlands and insect grottos.
She is only seen when the first flowers begin to blossom.
She wears tiny black spiders on her dresses. She has beautiful blue butterfly wings.">
Earlier I found my Pirate Name, which is Captain Anne Bonney. It's from's "What's My Pirate Name?". Dumb bunny, I didn't post the result here. Anyway, there really was a pirate by the name of Ann Bonny; you could google her. The Plaidman's pirate name is Mad Harry Flint, and the DiscoDame's is Red Bess Bonney -- which so suits, 'coz she's my red-haired daughter. That's her on the right in the header. So after getting my Fairy Name, of course we had to have 'em for the whole tribe. Here's The Plaidman's:
Your fairy is called Buttercup Elfshimmer
She is a cheerful sprite.
She lives in clover fields where fairy rings grow.
She is only seen when the first flowers begin to blossom.
She wears bright clover green. She has delicate green wings like a cicada.">
And that's probably enough of that silliness.
Okay, for a laugh, go over to 144 Inches of I-cord & get the Hurricane Party Bingo. When my sibs & I were little bitty kids growing up in western Pennsylvania, my Mom used to open up the front door (locking the screen door! She was a pretty sharp cookie.) and set up our little chairs in front of it during thunderstorms. We loved the light shows! Then we moved to Indiana, where you know you'd better start digging when the sky turned that terrifying purple-green color. Mom was scared of storms there. Now Dad's in San Antonio--hey, Pup, ya still worried about the drought? Didn't think so! Fortunately, Little Sister & her brood are further inland. And Little Brother's in Oklahoma, so I'm not too worried about Gustav or Hannah clobbering him. We finally got some rain--about three days of it, thank you very much! I have been driving the Plaidmobile for two weeks, as Purl (aka the Malibu) had a bad connection in the taillight on one side, and somebody who's home all day every day couldn't be bothered to get it fixed until I finally told him he'd have to, 'coz his car's tires are too worn for driving in the rain! It was scaring the beejezus out of me, driving in the rain! in Nashville (home to all those folks who found their licenses in Cracker-Jack boxes...)! Now Purl needs another bath before I drive her to the office, I will try to get that done this long weekend. If I can rig a tarp to give her some shade, I'll even reapply the wax.

Uh-oh, I've been knitting again! Mom used to knit up these really simple, funky slippers for us kids, and I found a pattern that looks an awful like what she'd knit. So I'm working up a pair, out of stashed acrylic yarn, very bright colors. They are every bit as simple & funky as I remember them. And I thought, "Gee, the powers in the office are shifting our dept. back to a colder area, just when it's about to get colder for a while---these silly slippers would make nice pressies for all for the holidays." I know for fact none of my co-workers are reading this, so they'll be pleasantly surprised. Did I mention how warm these goofy things are? I do want to dress them up just a little, by making a crocheted edge around the ankle & running an I-cord thru the loops (make 'em fit a bit better!). You know I can't just make the pattern, come on now!

Well, I either need to get back to Ravelry, or go knit something...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

3 days...

That's how long it's been since I've been on Ravelry. I think I need a fix. I have actually been knitting: I finished another washcloth in the Plymouth Jeannie, and started a muff for a coworker's little girly-girl. The muff pattern is quite easy, although I had to make a substitution in the yarn. The pattern calls for super bulky weight "furry" yarn, of which I had very little. I have combined two strands of a light worsted boucle & eyelash yarn with one strand of sport weight smooth yarn in a complimentary color. The cuffs were to be in a lighter (bulky) weight, so I took the boucle down to one strand & kept the sport weight. I felt it needed something extra, so I'm adding a pocket on the inside of the muff--the little lady can keep a few small objects or photos in there. I don't think she's quite old enough to need a wallet, as she's just started kndergarten. The pocket consists of a strip of stockinette with two purl turning rows and seed stitch ends. I will fold it at the purl rows, so the ends overlap, and stitch the closed side to the inside of the muff. The overlapping ends should hold the contents inside. The pocket is stitched (tightly!) in the sport weight yarn on US sz 6's, while the muff was done on US sz 11's. Once I get the pocket sewn in place, I'll seam the thing, turn it inside out, & work in the ends. I'm planning on giving it to her or her Mom for Christmas, so no real rush.
I've also done some crocheting, still laboring on the FIVE big granny square stockings for another coworker's grandkids. She's keen on having them look kinda hokey & "homemade", so the simpler the better. I usually get a bit creative in the process of putting the squares together and finishing the top. Last year I put a button near the top, and made a button hole in the hanging loop (made rather long too!) which she liked 'coz she could hang the filled stockings on the kiddies' bedposts.
I have been hinting about a certain knitter with a September birthday (ME!ME!), who might like to have a swift & a ball winder. I've thought about it, and decided that if I can have only one it's got to be the swift. I can wind a pretty mean center-pull ball by hand, but haven't yet found a good place to hang a skein for winding. In a very small house with two cats, there may not be a good place to put a skein for winding. I have one chair that will do in a pinch, but the bending & stretching gets old real quick.
We did not go to the movies this weekend, but lately we've seen the Batman movie, and WALL-E (too cute!), as well as Hellboy: The Golden Army. Nifty effects, some wild Del Torre weirdness, kinda sappy story. Speaking of Del Torre, he's acknowleged in a book the Plaidman & I just got done reading, Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire. What a ride! The end left me nearly breathless, it's a shock for sure. It's a collaboration between Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden, neither of which I've heard of before.
What else has been going on? Well, I saw my doctor last week for a problem, which turned out to be something she wasn't set up to handle, so she referred me to a dermatologist. This dermatologist was supposed to call me to get an appointment set up, but never did. Then, the first doctor's staff left me a voicemail telling me when the appointment was scheduled. Excuse me, I don't have input as to the date & time? Both of which were inconvenient; I called the derm dr's office to reset the date so I could see her on a Friday (my day off from work), but she only sees her "cosmetic" ("Botox") patients on Fridays, and wouldn't see me but M-Th, so I cancelled the appointment. Probably dumb, as it usually takes forever to see a derm dr in this town. Anyway, I start calling around, and find one who'll see me on a Friday in October, to which I agreed. Then, this past Friday, I go see my regular dr again, for fasting bloodwork that was missed in my physical, and have to explain to her that I'm not real happy with being told when I will see another dr, and that I have taken the liberty (with my body, how dare I?) of making an appointment with a physician other than the one she wanted me to see. Well, I hope I survive till the middle of October, I tell you what!
Still haven't had my evaluation from my supervisor. The Plaidman is still unemployed. The DiscoDame still hasn't tried to get work. And I think I twisted my ankle on the way to the grocery store today. Boohoo. What else? I got my driver's license renewed, complete with truly awful picture--I think the photo tech's trained to capture our worst facial feature, which in my case is the HUGE double chin. I look like I have a goiter.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Mishmash of Milestones

Some milestones I've encountered lately, leading with the Big One:

1. I went to my oncologist for the last time in July; he says I've "graduated from the program" and am now an Official Cancer Survivor. I took his picture! 'Cause I'm not gonna see him again! Can't say I'm sad -- but what do I do now? I've been reading Crazy Aunt Purl, and feel like I need to stop thinking of myself as a cancer survivor, and get a post-cancer life!

2. This afternoon we (meaning I) decided that the sticky tree sap & it's assorted buggy diners had to come off the cars, so we washed both of them for the first time ever. Well, actually, we had put the Neon thru an automated touchless wash, but all that did was make the stuff stickier--it did not actually wash anything off the car. What a nasty mess! We had to get the squeegee from the gas station & clear the windows. So today we practiced,"Wax on, wax off".

3. I completed my 18th employee self-evaluation and turned it in. I swear, I'm going to start saving these things, & just update 'em each year. Personally, I think after 18 years at the same employer I should be exempt from this silliness. I'm running out of ways to toot my own horn.

3a. I am having entirely too much fun on Ravelry. OK, that's not actually a milestone, but I had to mention it. Last weekend, I got on Ravelry about 9 p.m. Saturday, and didn't get off until almost 2 a.m. Nothing could tear me away. The stupid part: I really want to spend more weekend time knitting, but it's hard to knit & scroll at the same time. The Forum Funnies are just deadly sometimes; I loved the thread about the tire-eating goat. Made me want to go out & get some goats, just so I could have funny stories to tell about them.

4. I just found out that my favorite LYS, where I first started branching out into nicer yarns & where I found a friend in the owner, who later sold the store to another very nice lady, is going to change the name of the store. Somehow, the name change seems like a break in the last link to the former owner. It's another one of those events, where the world moves on whether or not we want it to do so. I will still frequent the store; I have other friends there and it's so very close to the office. *Le sigh* I suppose I'll get over it, the next time they have a good sale.

5. A few months back, we found out that one of our old time buddies had moved back into the area (well, not Nash-Vegas, but Hopkinsville). We went to visit a couple of times. He'd remarried, and the gal he was married to also had a cancer history. A few weeks ago she passed away. We did go to the funeral, and I think we should head up there again soon to check on our pal. It's not like he's clear up in New York.

Does anyone else (over the age of 35) still get a bit jittery at milestones? Does it matter whether they're "good" ones or "bad" ones? Dare I hope you still do?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Long time no see you

Lawks, Gertie, it's been forever since I posted. The first of the Moc Croc socks lacks about 1" of foot, and the toe, of being done. I laid it aside to work on baby booties (don't worry, it's not the Dame's). I made two to the same pattern, and of course they're different sizes. But the third one matches the first one, now they just need the tiny buttons & some ends secured--guess I'll mail them soon.
Somebody will be surprised. Or I could just call on her at the hospital. Anyway, it's nice to be closing in on actually finising anything. The hours during the week are not conducive to writing; I'm usually pretty tired by the time I get back to base. I've been looking at dish & washcloth patterns, thinking some small yarny things could be worked up now for Christmas. Maybe make string bags for all our shoppers, a couple of berets (with scarves?), anything fairly simple & quite small that could be finished in couple of evenings. That's the plan, anyway.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Picture day

So, I took a slew of photos of yarn, & a few of FO's & WIP's. Then I figured out that they needed to be in Flickr before they could be on Ravelry; now my stash & WIP pages have been updated with some of the pics. Anyway, one of the items I found while stash-diving was a sock! I'd forgotten all about it, and shoved it into one of the nice clear boxes my sweetie gave me for the stash. It's crocheted, and apparently I had some problems (!!!) with the pattern, because it's big enough for the DiscoDame to wear on her head. She has claimed it, and calls it the Elephant Seal Hat, and I sure hope I can get the pic on here:

Chez Divine has hit the road lately: we went to the opening of the new planetarium at the Adventure Science Center last weekend, which was really wonderful. We probably spent too much $, but hey, it was educational. And Friday we went back to Science Center, to sit on their lawn & watch the fireworks over downtown. The Dame & I sat working on needlework before the show. And last night we went to see Wall-E -- my, it's just too cute. I was wondering about Wall-E's "pet" cockroach, but it was a very Disney cockroach.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Frontiers

Our resident techno geek, the DiscoDame, managed to get a picture of herself inserted into an earlier post (4/25/08). Too cool, and now I know it will work. I have so got to take some shots of the shawl & the restarted sock. If it's nice out later, I'll take the WIPs outside for picture time.

Picture! from 6/26 photo session, showing my lovely WIP, the Moc Croc sock(s). Yarn is Regia Design Line, by Kaffe Fassett.

Today (6/25)I rewound the frogged & washed yarn from the first sock effort, knit some more on the sock, and started crocheting some granny squares for stockings. These stockings are about three feet long, super for loads of small goodies from a doting grandma--like the lady who's asked me to make them. I'm using stashed acrylic, of which I have a ton & a half, with maybe half a ton of it being red, green & white worsted. I've done several other projects for this same gal, including repairing an "antique" crocheted baby blankie that had mouse damage. But the dadblamed granny squares are addictive! Last year, I made tiny granny square sachets: Using sport or fingering weight yarns, make grannies of about 3 (sport wt) or 4 (fingering) rounds. Take a dryer softener sheet, used or not, and wrap up a small amount of polyfil. Lay this on your granny square, and fold the corners in towards the middle. Stitch the corners and edges together; if you leave a really long end in a corner, you can make a crochet chain, fold it over & stitch it to the corner --now the sachet can be used in the closet or drawer. I bought some essential oils, and have used a hat pin dipped in the oil & inserted through spaces in the crochet to apply the scent to the dryer sheet/polyfil. I would advise against applying oils directly to the crocheted acrylic, as acrylic stains badly. Anyway, I gave several of these away last year, and made a bunch more in spring (or baby) colors. These are super for using up small amounts of yarn.

While on vacation (-at-home), I wanted to wind up some skeins of lace weight wonderfulness. I figured I've got two roomies, that's two sets of arms for living swifts. The roomies aren't exactly thrilled, but I had a thought: If they're really unhappy with being swifts, maybe they'll get me a real one? Only time will tell....

It only took about 2 very long hours to hand-wind one of the Cherry Tree Hill Orenburg Lace skeins (Cherry Blossom colorway), with DiscoDame playing "swift". I got some more pics, see my lovely WIP feather & fan shawl, in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport colorway Baltic Sea:

Monday, June 23, 2008

MocCroc redux

Well, it's good news-bad news: I finished the first MocCroc sock! but it's too small!! I have already frogged it, washed the yarn to get the kinks out, & hung it to dry. Meanwhile, I restarted with the last of that skein, with more stitches cast on. We are nothing if not persistent. (Nod if you recognize that. Like I'll know...) If my resident techie ever figures out how I can put pics on here, I'll have to take pics of my renewed progress. (DiscoDame, paging DiscoDame!)
I'm on vacation again, and got to spend some "quality" time with my Darling Daughter (aka DiscoDame). She had a final exam this morning, & I had an errand to run, so I carried her to the bus stop & proceeded on my way. Got back to Chez Cracker Box & worked on the sock. DD called much later to let me know she was heading for our rendezvous point. I'd made a grocery list, so the plan was to meet up & go Krogering. We made a fuel stop first (golden arches), then strolled down towards the crosswalk--only we had to make another stop. There's a really fun little shop there, full of knick-knacks & wild looking jewelry, and tons of other fun stuff. We musta killed an hour there, continuing our usual pattern of cracking each other up about every 5 minutes. So, following her 11 a.m. call, we made it home from Kroger about 4 p.m. Oh, and I remembered to stop at the library: I had an item on hold, that was now available.
I'll miss George Carlin. His questioning of our use of language, his sharpness about it...and so damned funny! The first time I heard the Stuff routine I about choked. And I still remember the Hippy Dippy Weatherman. Well, tonite's forecast is damned dark without his light. God rest you, George.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A nice day

I went to the WWKIP event in Centennial Park today. The weather is always a concern, but for an extended stay outdoors I thought the clouds were great! I just don't care for cooking in the sun.

After I'd visited & knit with some lovely ladies, I got to cruise through the American Artisan craft fair. I loves me a craft fair! I made a purchase, some lampwork glass bead earrings. The Plaidman ran into an old friend, and brought him by the canopy where the knitters were parked. Lordy, how Time has beaten us down. Ol' Roger the Dodger looked a bit rough, but seemed to be getting around alright on his electric scooter. It's something to see: a mid-50s long-haired hippie on a scooter. Just let that visual sink, I did not take his picture! I did take some of the knitters, and I will have to go by Angel Hair Yarns sometime to share the pics, since I can't figure out how to get pics into this blog! I worked on the (in-)famous Moc Croc sock -- yes, there's still only the one. But I'm getting very close to the toe! The next pair will be done two at once, on a pair of circs or a magic loop.
The Plaidman is still not working. The DiscoDame is still in school, but will have a week off that will coincide with my vacation week, which means we'll all be rattling around Chez Divine making each other nuts. I guess I'll be glad to go back to work. Or just anywhere else, for that matter. If you were on a really tight budget, and had 10 days off in a row, where would you go? Would you set up a tent in the backyard, & camp out? I will be reading Ms. Cheap's column for ideas, but feel free to chime in if you've got any.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

It's my party.

The heat has made me feel lazy all day. I've been sitting in front of the window, got the ceiling fans turned up, windows wide open all 'round, reading. Can't even work up enough starch to pick up some knitting, which is a shame 'coz I've been wanting to make something(s) for a friend & her new baby boy. He has the tiniest itsy little feets, just crying out for some hand-knit booties! And I'd like to give her a shawl, something she can wear or wrap about Baby when she carries him to church. For some reason, folks around here seem to wrap church-going babies in shawls. I guess the shawls are prettier than "regular" baby blankies? Part of the "dress for church" thing, wrapping some lacy froth around the babe. It'll have to be something that can be knit fairly quickly; I need to check my collected patterns for something more or less lacy without being slower than Christmas. I am not a speedy knitter. Usually, I don't mind taking forever to see a product; I think I'm a bit of a process knitter. But when it's for a baby, it needs to get finished before it gets outgrown. I have a ton of "baby" yarns, all acrylic unfortunately, but pretty. Too pretty for a boy? Well, I won't use acrylic for the booties, just the shawl. And that will make room in the storage bin for some of ny newer purchases. A very little room, unless I make a huge shawl. OK, what's simple & lacy? Feather & fan I can do almost in my sleep, but it's not particularly fast. And I'd like something a bit more open looking. So, what will I be working on on 6/14/08?
In the Into Each Life A Little Rain category of news, there will be no trip to Texas in our foreseeable future. I had no sooner booked & paid for airline tickets, then the Plaidman brings home the proverbial pink slip. I will be working all the OT I can tolerate for the next unspecifed length of time. This will undoubtedly leave me cranky all week, and I'm so glad I'm not one of the people I live with. On the plus side, when my vacation week rolls around, I know I'll have plenty of time for knitting. Or crocheting, or pretty much whatever else amuses me. I figure I'm being paid to have a good time, and by the goddess, I'll have it! And there's the little matter of being THE breadwinner of the household. I have a tee shirt that sums it up: You can agree with me, or you can be WRONG.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Progress--two steps up, one back

I have an avatar on Ravelry now. Finally figured it out; my resident web-designer & techie helped a little. I've also added a pic in my complete profile. The profile pic, the Ravelry avatar, and the pic behind the blog header are all from the same trip to Chicago. Now if I can just figure out what the problem is with putting pics in posts....
WWKIP is just around the corner! June 14 is the date. I'm going to break with my "tradition" and pass on Watertown this year, in favor of staying a little closer to home. But as there's an artisan festival in Centennial Park on the same day, I figure I can kill two birds. I'm still working on the first Moc Croc sock, but I think I can finish it before then. I'd like to working on the second sock by then. I have been considering frogging the feather & fan shawl back -- waaaay back -- to even out the break between one skein & another. It wasn't super noticeable with the first 3 skeins, only the 4th; but it's really awful. I thought I'd frog back half way through the 3rd skein (!!!!) and start alternating sets of rows between the 3rd & 4th skeins. I can't express how thrilled I am with this prospect, it ranks right up there with a root canal for sheer thrills. Every time I've had to rip part of this shawl, it winds up spending months in the frog pond. I. WANT. TO. WEAR. MY. SHAWL. I need to get a grip & just do it. Deep breaths, people.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


It just took me twenty minutes to sign in on my blog. The 'puter gnomes hate me. But hey, I had a terrific Mother's Day! The Plaidman gave me the Boye (I love their points!) circular needlemaster, with sizes 3-15 & three cables. DiscoDame remembered me admiring a pack of sock needles, and got that plus a knitting magazine (did you know you can list your mags on Ravelry? That'll be a chore! I may only have two or three dozen...), and a big sticker about Moms. Also, we went out & ate steak! And chocolate, mustn't forget the choco on Mom's Day. I spoke with Betty on the phone, then handed it to the Plaidman. They were still jawing while we put in our drink orders.
Tomorrow, the DiscoDame turns 25! A whole quarter century ago her "Dameness" came into the world. What a long strange trip it's been.... and that's just my view; she seems to think she'll always be under 30.
I haven't heard anything from my Dad about visiting again. I guess I should write to him & let him know we're staying closer to home for the vacay. It was awfully nice of him to offer his digs, but we just can't go the airfare. The Plaidman's employer has cut operations back to 4 days a week; this is actually quite common for this business--they always seem to have at least one slack time every year. I just hope their salesforce gets it together & gets 'em some work. Thank goodness my employer's not cutting back. In fact, if the mayor & police dept. here get their way, we may have more work coming in. The mayor wants to give the police their own DNA lab; one of our doctors already heads the medical examiner's office & for sure a DNA lab would be in his purview.
Well, since we're celebrating tomorrow, we have to get all our chores done today, and that's the end of this story.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A big kiss for Betty

Tomorrow's Mother's Day in the US of A. All of us have or have had Moms; none of us would be here otherwise. Let's all give a kind thought to our Moms, and if yours is still in this world, why not give her a call & some love. I will be calling my "other" Mom, my dear mother-in-law Betty. To know her is to love her: she makes my 98 lb daughter look huge, but she's got the heart of a tiger! She got elected to head her nieghborhood association multiple times; I think they were too scared not to! But she's always made me feel like family, right from the first time my sweetheart (aka Plaidman) carried me home to meet his Mom. If I were her to tell her that, she'd give me a sharp look, but she knows it's true. I'm very glad I have her still. She's part of the reason I've worked up my nerve to knit socks: she's been diabetic since her 3rd (of 7!) pregnancy, and still ticks on like the proverbial Timex. I want to make some socks for her, and for my sister-in-law (also diabetic). I think Knitty has an article about the best material for diabetic socks. Anyway, since my own Mom passed on, I find myself calling Betty "Mom" a lot more. I just don't want to be a motherless child.
My Dad invited me, Plaidman, & the DiscoDame to come stay at his house for a week. I'm not sure we're gonna go--the airfare will be about $1000, and Plaidman's employer is a little shaky lately so we might want to tighten the belt a bit. I guess I won't be ordering yarn online for a while. That's ok, I have plenty of yarn, the library's got all kinds of pattern books, and if I get tired of the selection of yarn & books, there's always the kntting blogs online for entertainment.
Go call your Mom!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Love a plan?

I'm not so great without plans, myself. The ideas are around; it's the details that elude. I'll be brief: I want to write more about my visit with the folks in Texas, but I'm about to leave for bit. Got a photo or too, if I can figure out how to get'em to behave. Here's *my* DD modeling the hat for Niece #1:

Well, I have no idea whether that worked or not. (It didn't--gotta get my tech consultant over here). 6/25/08 Techie postscript: gotcha picha, lady. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I flew into Austin on Friday 4/18, meeting Dad at the airport, then on to my sister's house outside Austin. Siesta is part of the afternoon routine there, so Dad laid down for a nap, and I went up to my oldest niece's room to try it myself. But I work all day, and found I just couldn't sleep during daylight. I never did acquire the nap habit. I met the weekday nanny, a very nice lady, and watched my nieces romp on a trampoline out back. Memaw came over; she's fun. After the siesta, Sis came home from her shop, and her Mr. was able to get away from his desk, and we all piled into the large vehicle. That's Sis, her spouse, Pup (aka Dear Dad), me, and the two little nieces. We went out on a mission: acquire dinner & terrorize some waitstaffers. I got an absolutely sweet pic of the girls together, it's my desktop now. This was almost all we did all weekend, with varying members of the troupe stepping in or out. We hit the IHOP with Memaw but without the older niece. I made some progress on the socks, no pics while in TX nor since. I guess it would be nice to see some knitting on a knitting blog.... when I figure out how to make it work.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I'm back home again, after a much too short visit with my sister & her family, & Dear Old Dad aka "Pup". We ate out a lot, and probably got banned from 3 different restaurants in the Austin area. We are nothing if not loud. Today was a killer; my three-year-old niece finally decided it's ok for her to talk to me. On the day I had to leave...after being in the same house with her since Friday. And since she's only three, and our method of storing long term memory alters around 4, she won't remember me next year. Le sigh. But the older niece did remember me, and was just tickled to get to see "Auntie Ann" again. She had a sleepover scheduled for Saturday, and went out the door wearing a sweater I crocheted for her a couple of years ago (it still fits!), the brand new felted hat I carried down to her, and carrying a teddy bear I made when she was about 3. Girl knows how to warm a knitter's heart, all right: just wear or carry all the handknits or crocheted items that she can! Well, I'm beat. I still have one more day of vacation, so I'll try to get back to this tomorrow.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'll fly away

I still haven't packed, and now the DH says we're gonna have to be out the door by 5:15 a.m. if he's dropping me at the airport before going to work. I figure I've got 3 hours to pack before dropping into bed at 8 p.m. Pardon me while I scream. %#(&%%$! Whew, that's done. I did the grocery shopping; I don't want the poor dears to starve while I'm out. I spent about 3 hours on Ravelry this morning, got so involved I forgot my coffee. I've checked, the TSA says I can carry my knitting on board, which is good. Looks like my airport time will be about 3 hours, without a computer. I may not be able to post while I'm on the road, so if you're looking for me just be patient -- this is going to be a long weekend. Well, time to pack.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The day the earth stood still

I don't know about you, but I'm marking the calendar: the first post to my blog, Tres Divine, in the same week that I started knitting (human-size) socks & saw the Yarn Harlot at Borders, and got my invitation to Ravelry. The planets aligned, folks. And better still: I'm on vacation! You have my permission to goof off, unless you are in my family. (Sorry, roomies.) Tomorrow I pack, then head 'way south, for a visit with family. This is a bit in the order of a command performance, Dad having provided a round trip ticket and reminded me that I have a niece I've never seen. Months ago, I knit & felted some hats for my nieces, and now I'll get to see them receive their hats. I've also got some crocheted Christmas stockings for the folks, some tiny crocheted teddy bears, and other fiber goodies. Maybe I can teach a niece to knit...I should probably pack with that in mind.