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September 2004
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November 2004


I’m havin’ a birthday next week and, to celebrate, I’m havin’ a contest. I made it up. It’s one part matching game, two parts guessing game. I came across a list of songs that were popular the year I graduated from high school and it made me hum and giggle, so maybe it’ll make you smile – particularly if you’re of a “certain age.” I am loathe to admit that these songs are mostly played on “oldies” stations these days. So, there’s a bit of a hint for ya.

Part I
Here’s a list of 20 songs (they’re numbered) and the corresponding list of performing artists (they’re lettered) – giggle and hum and match them up. I don’t care how you do it.

1. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
2. All By Myself
3. You Sexy Thing
4. Love Hurts
5. Play That Funky Music
6. You Should Be Dancing
7. If You Leave Me Now
8. Lowdown
9. Show Me The Way
10. Shop Around
11. Squeeze Box
12. Baby I Love Your Way
13. The Boys Are Back In Town
14. Still The One
15. She’s Gone
16. Rhiannon
17. Evil Woman
18. Fooled Around and Fell In Love
19. Love To Love You Baby
20. Golden Years

A. Nazareth
B. Donna Summer
C. Elton John
D. Fleetwood Mac
E. Captain & Tenille
F. Elvin Bishop
G. Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)
H. Hall & Oates
I. Peter Frampton
J. David Bowie
K. Wild Cherry
L. The Bee Gees
M. Hot Chocolate
N. Peter Frampton
O. Orleans
P. Chicago
Q. Boz Scaggs
R. The Who
S. Eric Carmen
T. Thin Lizzy

Send me an email (vknitorious at yahoo dot com) or leave a comment with the number/letter answers. Here, I’ll even give you one: 16D. I mixed these all up with the help of a random number generator. I hope that’s not too much work.

Part II
Based on said list of songs/artists, what year did I graduate from high school?

Part III
Based on said list of songs/artists and the year I graduated, how old am I gonna be?

The deadline for entry is Friday, November 5th. The grand prize winner will match all songs/artists correctly, along with the year I graduated from high school, and how old I’ll be on November 6th. In the event of a tie, I’ll use the random number thing again. You’re wondering about the prize, I suppose. In the spirit of things, it’ll be a surprise… I don’t know what I’m getting for my birthday, now, do I?


WelcomeLivingroomWelcome to my nightmare. Just kidding. Ali's party was a blast. By popular demand, some pictures of my tricked-out-for-Halloween house -- Ali and her friends did all the decorating. Some of these pics look dark now, but seemed okay last night (click for big). I suppose I could have moved the stepladder, and that's Maddy sprawled on the couch. She was the model for the dead-body-on-the-wall-under-blacklight display, also. We had crappy spider web stuff this year, but the ton of junk food served as good distraction from sub-par decorations!

Ali as Raggedy Ann (as in "Ken as Legolas") welcomed Mr. Rogers (wow, can he play the piano!), several pirates of both genders, a surgeon, a lion, a few French maids, the grim reaper, four transvestites and a female pimp, a Roman statesman (I guess) complete with laurel wreath and red hi-tops, Jesus, Super Mario, I Dream of Jeannie, and "the lead singer of Dire Straits in the 'Money For Nothing' video." There were many more. Oh yeah, like the guy who had a "Hello, My Name Is..." sticker on his shirt. That was his costume. I love it!

Lr2BodyWe even had a thunderstorm! I don't even know how many kids there were -- our living area is pretty big, though, and kids ducked into the kitchen now and then to get some air. They said that it was stifling. I believed them. I even propped the back door open with a shoe for a while, and kids were constantly going in and out the front door.

I presided from the kitchen table, knitting a dozen rows on St. Brigid will serving as chief chaperone (my deputy went to bed early). I did have to make a 9:00 run for more soda-pop -- man, it was one-lane traffic on our street! Interestingly, it was boys who noticed and/or asked about my knitting. One of them asked what I was "sewing," but points for him because he actually pulled up a chair to chat for a bit. I think another was hinting that, if I didn't have anything better to do, he'd like a Manchester-something-soccer-or-other scarf. When another asked what I was making and I told him it was a sweater, he commented that he thought it would be a warm one. Yup.

BookcaseI wonder how the princess costume sewing-not-knitting is progressing at the Yarn Harlot's. If you're looking for some great no-sew costume ideas, go read those comments. Among my favorites were the rain cloud, gum stuck on a shoe, and the Q-tip. Oh, and the highway was pretty good, too. Yesterday afternoon, it came to me -- an inside out thrummed hat paired with inside out thrummed socks would be perfect for a knitterly Halloween Q-tip costume!

I've never gone all-out for Halloween and always sucked, even when I was a kid, at figuring out what I wanted to be each year. "Hobo" was my stand-by -- some big clothes of Dad's, charcoal on my face, a hat, bandana on a stick if I could find one -- five minutes and I was ready.

Ai_1I made costumes once. Um, make that costume; I never got Ali's sewn up. They were both going to be Raggedy Ann. Katie was in preschool and, if I may say so myself, she was adorable. Ali was kind of a fussbudget and I doubt she would have worn the costume, anyway, and it's often so damn cold here at Halloween that it doesn't matter what you wear, it's covered by a coat! I think we drew whiskers on her chubby little cheeks and she was a kitty. This year, Ali is finally Raggedy Ann (costume from Goodwill).

I do appreciate good costumes, though, and am always amazed every year by "who" shows up at my door -- I anxiously await one family, in particular. A family with five kids who live 'round the corner. Mom and Dad are really, really smart, and so are the kids -- and clever, too. One year, the little boy was an astronaut. As I was doling out the goodies, he turned his back on me because attached to his back were empty Pringles canisters bundled together to look like an air-pack, but really they were the most ingenious candy-collecting method I've ever seen. While other kids struggled with bags and buckets cutting into their hands as the loot accumulated, he strolled down the street, hands free, carrying it all on his back!

Feeling a bit shorted by my admiration of her brother's clever costume, one of his sisters asked if I didn't wonder who she was?

"Well, Meredith, who are you?"

"I'm Queen Nefertiti," she said sweetly!

Ya coulda blown me over with a feather. I swear to God, the kid was no older than 7. How many 7-year-olds know who Queen Nefertiti even is, much less think to dress up as her for Halloween? I was so... gobsmacked*, that I can't even remember what the other three were wearing!

*I spent lots of time with the Oxford on a job once.

Candy Corn

CandycornDelphiniumI don't know the official name of this twining vine, but it's easy to see why the common name is Candy Corn, isn't it? It's fitting that there are still a few flowers blooming right now. I can't believe what else is blooming -- delphinium!

BlueangelI will have to spend some time doing a final garden clean-up this weekend. This is what my huge, Blue Angel hosta leaves look like now -- most of the hostas are this color. I love those big yellow leaves with their traces of green. There are still asters to cut back, too, but I've actually kept up pretty well, so it won't be an all-day job. I snipped these (my only) hydrangeas yesterday after taking this photo, so that's another already checked off the list.Hydrangea

Color_swatchI was displaced last night while Ali decorated the living room for her annual Halloween party. Tonight. Gawd, why do I allow this? Anyway, I grabbed the not-green Maggi's DK Tweed for The Boogie's "Lady" cable & lace hat pattern (the hat formerly known as Laura). Do you think this is green? I'm somewhat appeased by the lack of a name for this color; it is known as "01." Yeah, if I were in a color rut, it would be green. There's the green vest I knit last year, the green Cromarty, green Galway hat, green thrummed mitts, wrist-warmers from the mitt left-overs, more green for an undetermined project, there will be left-overs from Cromarty... There are other colors in the stash (lots of gold -- that would be the runner-up in this exercise -- some blue, brown, red), but green's definitely got my number.

Catalog season

The Holiday mail-order catalogs are arriving in my mailbox already. Hearthsong was among yesterday's deliveries. If you have kids to buy gifts for, this is a great catalog. I have ordered things (not nearly as many as I'd have liked) over the years and have been very pleased with them all! Among the favorites were the Treasure Chest Kit, Real Gloves, and Junior Tool Kit and Leather Tool Belt. The tool belt was a bit large for Mdd at the time, but nothing that a big safety pin couldn't fix for a year or two! (Can you tell that we're into carpentry around here?) And who wouldn't love a catalog that offers Learn to Knit Kits? I love it that it's offered in two versions: acrylic or WOOL!

The other catalog in my mailbox yesterday was Barbie Collector. What can I say... Ken as Legolas!

I attended Parents' Night at the UW campus that Ai wants to attend next year. We'll be going together for a tour of the campus a week from Friday. It's one of 13 two-year campuses in the state and a great place to start -- she can live at home, save lots of money, get most of her required credits taken care of and get a start on-track for her major (while figuring out what that major might be), then transfer to a four-year campus.

There was a teensy bit of time for knitting last night and I polished off St. Brigid's third repeat! DH had an opportunity to admire it the other night when, half-way through a row, I held it up to see how it would "fit." I love it! I'm pretty sure that I'm going to do all 8 repeats; still leaning toward no fringe, but we'll see. I will have plenty of yarn, whatever I decide. I started the body with a new ball and joined the second last night, at about 2-1/2 repeats, so I figure just over three for each body piece. The sleeves each took far less than one. The sum comes to 8+. I ordered 12 hanks of the Cascade 220, so I have plenty of cushion! I've also determined that my average (so far) is one repeat every two days. It's going so much quicker than I thought it would; a lot faster than poor, neglected Cromarty. It has to be the difference in yarn. I don't really think I'm knitting any faster.

Nathania Apple, you RAOK'd my socks off! I'm not even a member of the RAOK ring, so her lovely gift from Adagio Teas is truly random! Thank you!

It was fun to hear about knitting tool organization/disorganization yesterday. Pouches seem to be the favored item for implements -- some have one-kit-for-all, as I do, and some put together a tool kit for each WIP, and some are just happy to find what they're looking for! Thanks for sharing, everyone.

Tools of the trade

Tools_1The shutterbug in me wasn’t happy with pictures of only St. Brigid and my new mitten book the other night, so I snapped a pic of my “toolbox.”

This is the larger of three or four Tupperware containers that I’ve picked up at rummage sales over the years. It’s about 6”x9”x1” with a snug lid. It normally resides on the table next to “my chair,” but it’s very portable and fits nicely in almost any take-along knitting bag.

I’ve used the smaller of these containers for cross-stitch supplies – floss, scissors and needlecase don’t take up a lot of room – but they’re a bit too small for knitting stuff.

My knitting toolbox contains various sizes of stitch holders, cable needles, and crochet hooks, some seldom-used point protectors, three or four different types of stitch markers, a flexible tape measure, a small wooden ruler, a metal needle sizer/gauge ruler (the only metric measuring implement – gotta fix that), highlighters, sticky notes, two pairs of scissors – there’s an old stork pair that’s purely for decorative purposes, as it doesn’t cut worth a damn - and my clicky row-counter.

These are the essentials. There are other tools and gadgets in various drawers, baskets and bags (the storage arrangement for tool is similar to that for stash!), but these are the things I like to have handy at all times to get the job done or get me out of a fix.

I’m curious about your “essential” tools for both at-home and on-the-go knitting, and how you keep them. Please share.

Monday, Monday...

...can't trust that day. It was an okay weekend and it should be an okay day, but I feel off. The sun came out and it's warming up, so perhaps that's a sign that things will improve.

MittenbookIt was raining on Saturday, so the farmer's market was kind of a bust -- there was only a small fraction of the usual vendors. This Saturday will be the last farmer's market of the season, so I hope it's a nice day. We did come upon half-price day at a nearby book sale, though, and I scored "Knit Mittens!" for $2; I also found a pattern booklet from 1965 for knitted shells (and two skirts) for 10 cents, and a couple of other books that I snagged with gift-giving in mind. They included notice of an upcoming book sale in February, and we've already marked our calendars -- we love book sales!
There was some knitting. Despite my lingering Cromarty envy and the fabulous wooliness received from SP2 late last week and the occasional distraction of contemplating Christmas knitting, I kept plugging away at St. Brigid. When I pick it up tonight, I'll start the third repeat. It seems to be going quickly.

I made Knitche's Chili All Day recipe again (scroll to October 13) on Saturday afternoon and took it to Mom's yesterday for our post-game dinner (it was a happy one, since the Packers won yesterday, and the Badgers remain undefeated after their win on Saturday). Thanks again, Abbey; I can't recommend that recipe enough. I let the chili simmer for a good long time on Saturday, plus the flavors blended some overnight, and it was just delicious! Ai even had some, and that's something -- she's my "Mikey"!

Oh, pal o' mine

Sp2aSp2bLook what was awaiting me at home last night! I've been thinking of my Secret Pal quite often lately, as I've been wearing the Shapely Shawlette that I made from her gift of "AlCaMi" alpaca a lot! Let's take a peek, shall we?
Meet "Jumpshot," a Beanie Baby giraffe. It is very evident, from the gifts I have received, that my SP2 has read my blog and really took some care in choosing things, and that means so much. Jumpshot is really a cutie -- and the kids thought so, too!

Sp2dAlso in the package were two bookmarks -- these are so cool. They are folded, magnetized cards that are "clipped" right onto the page and, of course, they both feature giraffes -- the real deal that you see pictured (I've already affectionately dubbed it "Giraffe Butts") and the other is a photo of a very fun, elaborately painted carousel giraffe (the needles are resting upon that one in the photo below).

Sp2e_1Sp2fAnd a pair of very pretty knitting needles! I've never had such a fancy set, so that's a real treat. Last, but not least, something with which to employ the needles! Yowza, look at that stuff!! Handspun Kettle Dyed Bulky Wool from It is red, red, red -- the color is called "Torero" or "Great Red." And it smells so good! Now, what to make? There are four skeins, making a total of about 550 yards of wooliness. All kinds of projects are dancing through my head, and then there's this...

It just so happens that earlier in the day I was browsing at Elann. I was tickled absolutely pink on Tuesday night when I overheard Aison on the phone, asking her big sister to bring "that sweater that Mom knit for you" when she comes home next weekend. Okay, I was GLOWING! I had to leave the room because I couldn't contain myself! My heart was was ready to burst right out of my chest, full of pride and love for kids and sweaters and knitting and wool! The sweater is in my completed photo album -- a shawl-collared, kangaroo-pocketed, cabley thing from last winter's Vogue Knitting. I knit it in Rowan Polar, the color is a beautiful, brownish-maroon called (and I love this name) Dark Truffle. There were some big errors/omissions in the pattern (corrections have since been posted to VK's errata page), but I knit and ripped and knit some more and figured it out as I went along, using the picture as my guide. It was a great learning experience and, best of all, I really enjoyed knitting that sweater -- it's knit with big yarn on big needles and it flew! Kt has hinted that she'd like another someday, in gold. But Ai... Ai wants her to bring it home!! Maybe Ai would like one of her own!

So I asked her. She said, sweetly, "You'd knit that for me??" Then I showed her the yarn I found at Elann and asked which color she liked. She likes London Cobblestone (it's GREEN), but Golden Tan is nice, too. I'm going to order some ASAP. The free pattern featured with that yarn caught my eye, as well. I had even sent a link to myself yesterday so I could print the pattern in color at home. And that pattern was one of the things that immediately came to mind when I saw the SP2 Great Red wool. I wonder if I could make that work (the gauge is a little different)? I wonder if I'd ever get lost in the crowd wearing a red cape?

Thank you SP2, you're the best!

P.S. (Added a little bit later.) I was so excited that I forgot to a) thank you ALL for your great comments about the St. Brigid sleeves yesterday, and b) mention that I got a start on the back of St. Brigid (10 rows!) last night!

Three sleeves!

Two_sleevesGoldSt. Brigid sleeves are finito! I had intended to cast on both the body of St. Brigid and the second sleeve of Cromarty last night, but I was pooped and didn't do either. Instead, I put the St. Brigid sleeves on display so I could admire them. Don't they look nice? The photo on the left shows the cables nicely, while the one on the right is more true to color.

I might have had more energy if I hadn't been distracted by The Boogie Knits Hat Trifecta. I'm beginning to feel the pressure of Christmas, but I'm casting on in a fog almost as bad as what I had to drive through on the way to work this morning. I love "Linda," with her cables and lace, but there are at least a half-dozen potential recipients. I really need to make my list so I have some direction. That didn't deter me from casting on, though, and neither did the lack of US8 circs -- I used DPNs, instead, but screwed up and ended up ripping it all anyway.

I stopped by my most local LYS on something of a whim yesterday while running errands. I was after something for the above-mentioned hat(s). Besides, after viewing a sampling of baskets (some of those people need hampers, dontcha think?) of Rhinebeck goodies over the past few days, I just needed some fiber lovin' of my own. Lo and behold, there were six huge boxes of just-delivered goodness from Cascade right inside the front door; shelves were cleared and ready to receive the new arrivals. I had myself a sweet little peek inside the two boxes on top that were open, but decided to leave it at that -- an hors d'oeuvres to whet my appetite -- and I'll return later to savor it all (and get those size 8 circs). Meanwhile, I was very good and got out of there with only two skeins of yarn. I was complimented on the sweater I was wearing (one I knit at least a year ago, but have never photographed) and asked if I'd be interested in knitting shop samples. Hell yeah.

There are 10 days left to submit your recipes to My Favorite Things for the Knit Bloggers' cookbook. What are you waiting for?

And this has just been bugging me. With Kt away at college, there are four full-time occupants in our home. Why, oh, why, are there 9 toothbrushes in the downstairs bathroom and 4 upstairs? Who is using all these toothbrushes?

There was singing!

DH and I went to a concert last night. It was the inaugural Choral Music Festival, featuring various choirs from high schools in our area. Aison is in our high school concert choir and was a participant! One of the two guest conductors spent time over the past few days working with the choirs at their schools. Five schools participated, and all the choirs joined for the finale -- "Gloria" and "America the Beautiful." Wow. The talent is amazing.

I've always enjoyed hearing kids sing -- any kids, but especially my own -- from preschool to high school. I still swoon when I recall the solo by one of Ai's classmates in second grade -- a little boy who sang so sweetly, it brought tears to my eyes. I love watching them, too; it's fun to pick out the kids that are in their element -- you can tell by their expression and movement that there's nothing else in the world they'd rather be doing.

Due to some sort of rotation in our school district, my kids didn't always perform in holiday concerts and it's been a big disappointment. I'm joking (somewhat) when I say that I send my kids to school so I can hear them in the Christmas concert! We really do have a fabulous music program, though, and I know it's not just local pride that has, at times, brought down the house during performances.

So all this musical news is in place of knitting news, as I was pretty much otherwise occupied last night. I was able to squeeze out a few rows on St. Brigid's sleeve between dinner and departure last night. Three or four is better than zip!

Cromarty envy

Oh boy, if you haven't been to Rachael's yet to see her just-finished Cromarty, go NOW! What a cutie-patootie -- Rachael and the sweater. I can't believe she knit that baby on size 1 needles -- the color is gorgeous. Kudos kiddo.

Makes me itch. I'm within a dozen rows of finishing the main part of the last St. Brigid sleeve (the saddles will be on hold 'til at least one body piece is finished), and then I think I'll cast on the last Cromarty sleeve and get that baby DONE. After that, there will only be one more Cromarty body piece and the neckbands left to knit!

The Holiday Vogue Knitting was in the mailbox yesterday. I didn't have time to do more than glance at it, but did notice quite a few cables -- one was a big-ass cable on a coat -- some metallic stuff and ponchos and felted pieces. My first-glance reaction to most of that was ho-hum.

Great weekend

My sister and I moved nearly every piece of furniture in her cabin to a new location over the weekend. It's really a cute place -- with the living area on one level and then a couple of steps up to the kitchen area. There is no indoor plumbing, but there is a little clawfoot tub and it all just involves a fair amount of hauling and heating water. Water conservation is second-nature.

We hung about 15 pictures -- she has some really great old prints. I screwed in a dozen cup hooks, plus a few other hooks, to hang some of her collection of Jadeite. We relocated the medicine cabinet, a shelf, and hung up her pot rack and other various hooks and pegs. It's really cozy and welcoming. My sis has a great old stained glass window that was up in the open rafters -- we moved it so that the light from the skylight shines through and shows off all the colors.

On Saturday, we made Knitche's Chili All Day and, oh my goodness, is that ever good!!! It was a cold, blustery day and chili with cornbread was the perfect meal while we listened to the undefeated Wisconsin Badgers beat Purdue in a fabulous football game.

On Sunday, we ate chili again while we watched the Green Bay Packers defeat the Detroit Lions -- we needed that win after four dismal and disheartening losses.

And we both did a little knitting. St. Brigid was a very good traveler, but she really didn't come out of the bag except for show and tell. Instead, I used some of the leftover Galway from the thrummed mitts to make a wrist warmer. I might have enough yarn to make a pair of mini gauntlets (gauntlettes) and they might be preferred by the intended wearer -- I need to schedule a consultation. My sister pulled out some Rowan Chunky Chenille from her stash and started a much-needed and very practical scarf. Our temps in Wisconsin will warm up a bit mid-week, but it's pretty much a downhill slide from here on out.

I took a look at her stash of knitting books (didn't even bother with the magazines -- will leave those for another time) and borrowed a few. She has done some amazing work over the years -- did anyone else ever knit that great autumn sweater from VK in 1993 -- blue wool with same cables was the background for lots of chenille leaves in fall colors. It's just fabulous!

I saw some sheep on Saturday and had a good thought about all the weekend festival goersin NY -- I'm off to check out the news about sheep, fiber, and the debut of certain new sweaters!

Road trip

MddMdd2Modeling my first-ever pair of mittens -- and thrummed ones, no less -- is the mysterious Mdd. This particular pair will be under the Christmas tree with Ai's name on them, but Mdd has requested her own pair, and I'm sure that Kate would appreciate some, too. This pair was made with Plymouth Galway yarn, using Yarn Harlot's extremely entertaining directions (scroll down for Thrum-along Day One). Those are some pretty fat thrums, huh? For the next pair, at least, I'll be trying the two-needle pattern that Norma used. I might have enough Corriedale for another pair, but will definitely need more if I'm to make two.

St. Brigid came out of the knitting bag for a while last night! She's all packed up for a weekend road trip to southern Wisconsin. My sister, formerly of Kansas, has moved back into the cabin she lived in nine years ago and wants me to help her "decorate." She wants it to look and feel different in some way. This will be a bit of a challenge, since it's a small, one-room cabin and the options for furniture arrangement are somewhat limited. It's nice and cozy, but rustic -- wood heat and no indoor plumbing. The chamber pot is my friend.

Home stretch

There were nine in attendance at book club last night. We went to a fairly new restaurant, kind of a satellite operation of a popular, well-established, local Italian restaurant, so the menu was pretty much the same, as was the quantity of food delivered (lots!)... finally delivered! Wow, the "mother operation" is a very efficient, well-oiled machine, and this new place must serve as the training ground. We had a very new waitress, who was real sweet and very interested in the book club and the importance of making time for girlfriends, but she was a greenhorn and she wasn't getting any assistance.

To be honest, the two books discussed at last night's meeting were ho-hum; I'm much more interested in those chosen for next time, even though I've already read them both. The first is my recommendation, Population: 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, a memoir by Wisconsin author Michael Perry. This is the first book I've actually read before recommending; I usually like to choose a book that I think would be good and discover it along with everyone else. The other book chosen this time is Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett. I'm looking forward to a refresher of both before the next meeting, and will catch up on some other reading in the next few weeks.

I missed the first 20 minutes of the debate, but watched the rest as I started the thumb of the second thrummed mitten. I picked up more than I needed, did a k2togtbl a few times, and I'm not having such a hole problem with this one. I think the first pair will be completed tonight! Woohoo.

Oh yeah, I stayed focused and got pretty well caught up yesterday! Another Woohoo.

Work, work, work

Morehats_1Knitting news follows.

It's my day off today. It only means that I trade one type of work for another and, at best, I'll only make a dent in all that needs to be done. Once in a while a girl's got to have some fun, too, so sometimes I just say, "Screw it."

Not today. I'm trying to catch up with all that needs to be done since we lost our computer a few weeks ago. Normally, I'm quite excited about getting a new computer and, while I am happy, I'm also still very sad over the probable loss of all those pictures and I also have a lot of work to catch up on. It had been a while since I backed up stuff like Quicken and Family Tree Maker. Luckily, I haven't really done anything with the family tree in a while, so my most recent backup is probably missing little, if anything.

Quicken is another story. I hadn't backed up since May. Fortunately, I was able to download transactions back to June 1 from our credit union. It didn't have the names of who the checks were written to, but the amounts were there. I only had to backtrack a few weeks to fill in the missing info. Then I went back and entered the paychecks the way they should be entered and filled in all the missing names and categories (as much as I felt like). I got it all balanced and up-to-date.

DH's business stuff is another matter. I've never been able to log in to his bank, so I'm re-entering everything since mid-May. I'm up to August and I decided it was time to take a break. I had to wait for the camera batteries to recharge this morning, anyway.

I knit these hats over the weekend with the two additional hanks of Classic Elite Waterspun Weekend that I bought recently from the LYS sale bin. I love this color; it's called Chamois (and not quite as gold as it looks in that pic). I used pattern #14 from the Holiday 2004 issue of Family Circle Easy Knitting and they were quick knits. The grrs love these hats and the color looks great with Kate & Al's red hair and with Mdd's blonde locks. Aison has requested the "Diamonds and Purls" hat from the same issue, and would like them to match her thrummed mitts. I'll likely have to get some more Galway for that, though I haven't checked gauge or anything to see if it would even work.

I thrummed last night and would surely be close to finishing it tonight if I didn't have book club. We'll see.


KlaundryWhile the two younger were partaking in Homecoming activities over the weekend, Kt had a whirlwind, 24-hour trip home, sandwiched between working at her school job, to work at her job here and do some laundry. Here she is, while I watch her folding said laundry -- a really wonderful thing, that, watching laundry be folded. The drudgery is on reprieve as of tomorrow, as she hops a train and heads to Boston for a week. What a lucky, lucky girl! She'll be visiting a high school friend who is going to college there. Wish I could stow away.

I knitted the second thrummed mitt while watching the Packers lose to the Titans on MNF last night. I usually watch 'til the bitter end, even when the Packers are losing, but when our opponent rang their point total up to 48, I turned it off. It was almost the bitter end, anyway, there being less than 4 minutes (or 96 hours) remaining. The good news is that the second mitt is knitting up faster, I'm handling the thrums a lot better, and I'm about half-way!

Wow! The list of recipes and contributors is growing! Check it out at My Favorite Things and submit yours -- don't be left out of this fun project!

Is it a bird, is it a plane?

Rest in peace, Superman.

Duster2DusterWhat you see pictured on the left reminds me of what you see on the right and, seems to me, could easily be used (and work quite nicely) for the same purpose as the product in the green box. I thought of this the very first time I turned the thrummed mitten inside out. Maybe with the mitt knit in cotton rather than wool... Swiffer_mittsresized200Is it just me? Is it the guilt over my dusty, dusty home that makes me think of such things?

1stmittAlas, I’ve finished the first mitt and, as such (my first ever mitten), it's pretty good. I’m not happy with holes on either side of the thumb; perhaps I didn’t pick up the stitches correctly, or should have picked up more. Hole1There’s one on each side, with the worst one pictured. I’m just going to “fix it.” Ai loves them! Oops, I mean it. She loves it. I started the second one on Saturday night and will commence with the second thrum row tonight. It will soon be them.

Homecoming04AiIt was a busy weekend. Homecoming festivities and all (ack, we lost the game, 33-0). At 3:00 on Saturday afternoon, Ai decided that she DID want to go to the dance – it's her senior year, last chance, etc. – and informed me that she needed a dress. Being the glutton for punishment that I am, we went shopping. We passed a large area of sale dresses as we walked through the third store; Ai stuck her nose I the air and proclaimed with disdain that they were “old lady dresses.” While she tried on a few things that she found in the more acceptable junior department, I went to take a look at the old lady stuff. I brought her quite a few dresses and, I admit, there were some that made her look quite matronly, but the dress you see her wearing is an “old lady dress.” It’s gorgeous and, I can’t help it, I think she is too! We were home shortly after 6:00 and the dance started at 8:00. It can be done, but I don't want to do it often!

Check out My Favorite Things. She posted a recipe on Friday and then a lightbulb went on. She’s collecting favorite recipes and knitting tips from bloggers and is planning to assemble all into a printed cookbook for contributors as a big RAOK. Sounds like fun to me, and I’ve already made my contribution.

Who are these people?

You rule. in 15 years, you won't be as known as you
are now, but most of the people that will know
you then will like you (or else I'll beat them
with a stick). You're nice to listen to.

What band from the 80s are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Who the hell are The Pixies? Help me out here... Thanks to Ann for the link -- and I'd like to point out that, like Ann, I didn't recognize my results, either (but I did recognize hers -- go figure!).

Knitorious - Open in St. Louis!

SeatingareaIf this doesn't look inviting, I don't know what is... Knitorious is set to open in St. Louis, MO, today! Sandy has been so busy, our communication has been a bit sparse of late, and I'm sure that she'll continue to be busy for quite some time! If you live in St. Louis, stop in and say Hello; the shop is located at 6136 Southwest Ave.; hours are 11-6, Tues.-Fri.; 10-5, Sat.; 12-5, Sun.; closed Mon.

Knitorious is the place for knitting and stitching in St. Louis. Besides knitting and crocheting supplies, the shop will also carry cross stitch supplies. But it's the yarn we're most interested in right now, isn't it? Sandy carries Debbie Bliss, Noro, Katia, Sirdar, Gedifra, Queensland Collection, Regia, Laines du Nord, and Schachenmayr, and also offers books, hardware, various kits, and classes. The website is still under construction (argh, only so many hours in a day), but eventually it'll all be there. Dang, I wish I didn't live so far away; it'll be mail order all the way for me! I do hope to visit someday soon. Good Luck, Sandy!!

Shapely4Thrums2I added the Shapely Shawlette and pertinent details to the Recently Completed photo album, but here's another view; these are my first self-taken, in-the-bathroom-mirror shots. I need to find/make a nice pin. I love this shawl!

I've been working on the thrummed mitten the last few nights, also. I finished off the mitt part last night and started the thumb -- next round, thumb thrums. There were issues last night and I had to frog a few rows for the first time (stupid thrums) -- I need to work on my wrapping technique. I had my hand inside as I picked up the stitches for the thumb and man, it was warm!!

This weekend: Kt will be home (a quickie visit), and I'll go to the farmer's market on Saturday (only a few more weeks of that), and it's Homecoming. There have been events all week, including the "burning of the letter" last night -- do any other schools still do that? I can look down on the parade from the end of my street tonight, and listen to the game from the back porch -- I can see it, too, if I get out the binoculars. Happy weekend to all!

It fits!

Sky_10504I enjoyed all the sky pictures yesterday, so thought I'd add mine to the mix. I took this when I got home from work last night, looking south from the back porch. It's actually a side porch. When we came to look at the house when it was for sale, it was a HUGE, enclosed, L-shaped porch that ran about 1/3 the length of the side of the house and across the entire back. It was a fabulous porch with huge windows and there was even an old cupboard that I'm sure was originally in the house (and is once again). It was also stuffed full of stuff! And, we live in Wisconsin for cripes sakes; that porch was too cold in the winter and too damn hot in the summer (even with the windows open) to be used for anything but... storing stuff. I don't need any encouragement in that area!

We eventually put on a small addition to the back and made a real room, and opened up the side porch. We had scrounged four old porch pillars from a house that was being torn down and I used a heat gun and scraper to strip them to bare wood (about a dozen coats of paint) before repainting -- I had pretty good pecs that summer! We re-used some of the big windows in the Garden Room.

Shapely2Shapely1May I present Her Shapeliness! I knitted the last couple of rows while dinner was cooking and thought, Yeah, I'll bind off after we eat and I'll be thrumming by 8. Stupid shawl. It is worked using a Twice-Worked Bind Off Technique in purl -- I enjoyed doing it and I like the finished edge. This next part is where "reading the pattern through" comes in to play again (see Saturday's post entitled "Yes"). The directions say to "check to see that the tension is not too tight or too loose." Yeah. I knew it needed some stretch and that I definitely wanted to bind off a bit on the loose side. Having knit the shawl with a 9US needle, I thought a 10-1/2 might do the trick. I had a very vague idea of what was required, but, having never knit this before, I couldn't really tell 'til I had bound off an entire side. It was WAY too tight. I had a much better idea of how much it needed to stretch, though, and I moved up to a 13 needle; I bound off a few inches and it still wasn't loose enough. I ended up using a 15! Oh, but isn't it lovely? Love, love, love.

As evidenced by the board, I considered blocking the shawl last night. It was getting on towards midnight by then and I don't have a clue as to where my T-pins are and it felt so good on my shoulders that I folded up the board and decided to wait 'til today. The "stupid shawl" phase is nothing but a memory; I can laugh about it now. Love.

I just have to say thanks, again, to my SP2 for that wonderful, yummy alpaca. I know that you didn't expect this yarn would be used so soon and, to be honest, neither did I! When I first saw the Shapely Shawlette sample at the LYS a few weeks ago, though, I knew its fate. Then, when I actually had the thing on my shoulders at the shop last week, well, there you go... I'll have good thoughts and wishes for you, SP2, every time I wear it. Thank you.

And guess what? It's supposed to be in the 70s today -- not exactly thrummin' weather!

Short and Sweet

Ack. No pictures. All of my knitting time this weekend was spent on the Shapely Shawlette. I don't know if I'll be able to finish tonight, but it'll be close. I've never worked much with variegated yarn, so I'm really enjoying these beautiful colors as they flow through my hand and am very happy with the color distribution. And it's so soft and smells so good -- I just have to bury my nose in it now and then.

When the shawl is finished, it's back to thrumming. We turned the furnace on over the weekend and brought all the plants inside! There's a frost advisory for tonight and I think DH said he heard a low of 20. Brrrrr.

Kt was home for the weekend, mostly to work at Arby's (she also brought laundry). She'll be home overnight next Friday, also, for more of the same -- it's homecoming for several area high schools (including ours, so Ai will be busy, too) and they could really use her because so many kids asked off. She'll be taking the Amtrak to Boston the following weekend to visit a friend who's going to school there, so some change in her pocket is most welcome.

Mdd and her best friend had a sleepover at my mom's on Saturday night. She treats 'em like royalty and everyone needs a little pampering now and then!


The answer to yesterday's question is: Yes, it is supposed to have all those loopy things.

Even if the pattern doesn't come right out and say it, we all know that we're supposed to 'take the time to check the gauge' and 'read the pattern through' before we dive in with yarn and needles. Well, the gauge on my Shapely Shawlette doesn't really concern me much -- it might be bit larger or smaller, but it'll fit -- and I did 'skim the pattern through' before beginning.

I retyped the pattern when I got home from work last night -- I wanted it all on one page with just the basics and my own shorthand notes (I can never remember when to lift from front to back or back to front for a "make 1"). It was then that I read/typed about blocking the shawl and how the YOs at the beginning of each row would then tighten up and make a nice, neat edge.

Rip. I started over yet again. I knit exclusively on the shawl last night and have nearly used up the first hank of that yummy alpaca. It is looking fabulous! I'm imagining it -- even feeling it -- on my shoulders all the while that I'm knitting and I can't wait to finish.


ThrumsHere's my first thrummed mitten to the thumb. I'm lovin' it! For the most part, the thrums are looking good; there are a few that will need some "adjustment." Aison loves them (green is her color) and has already requested that they be hers. Kt has already asked if she can borrow St. Brigid, and there aren't even two sleeves yet. Interest in the knitting has been high lately!

Sshawl1After reaching the thumb last night, my thrumming tank ran dry. I had to do something else, but St. Brigid wasn't right and the second sleeve for Cromarty hasn't yet been cast on and the Flower Basket Shawl didn't cut it, either, nor did any of my countless other WIPs. Maybe you know what I did next, since I had the new Shapely Shawlette pattern and the SP2 AlCaMi alpaca... I'm not crazy about that YO at the beginning of the row -- is it supposed to be all loopy and loose? I don't remember that from the shop sample. What is shown is actually a little variation in the placement of the YO, and I'm still not sure; I will likely frog it and try yet another. This is gorgeous yarn, though, and I love the colors.

Have a great weekend everyone.