Wednesday, April 30, 2008


In the words of the immortal Hans Solo*, "I feel terrible." I can't decide if I have a cold or a sudden onset of allergies. I'm not really congested, but my coughing is definately caused by a persistent post-nasal drip. So far all my secretions are clear, so it's not an infection. Just a ginormous pain. I had to leave a meeting today because I was coughing so much. Still working like a dog (but did I tell you, the owner of the company came in and saw me slaving away on Sunday?) Sleeping is problematic, as soon as I lay down, I start coughing and choking, but if I prop myself up it hurts my back. I HATE BEING SICK!! Gosh, I hope I feel better by Saturday.

Celtic Queen, you are absolutely correct! That is the Trekking you got me, prominently displayed because I found it in the attic stash when I was up there looking for my Color in Spinning book and decided to use it for my next pair of travelling socks. (Rainbow Noro, then rainbow Trekking. Everyone on the shuttle will think all I ever knit is rainbow socks!) And, you do get what's left. I had to have the brakes fixed on the Wooly Express (aka my minivan) in preparation for Maryland this weekend. When we picked it up, Dave reminded me to drive carefully "just in case."
"If I have a catastrophic brake failure," I said, "make sure the lawsuit covers the boys' college expenses, and give all my yarn stash to CQ."
"Don't worry," he said. "I definately won't be hoarding any yarn." (Hmmmph, see if he gets another sweater!) Then he asked "What about Heather?" (See, Heather, Dave's got your back!)
"CQ will share it with her," I said. Jeesh, was he expecting me to spout off my whole last will and testament? I trust CQ (but you'd better stay on her good side, Heather, just in case.)

*When I typed this out it suddenly struck me "Hans Solo" "Single Hand" as in single handedly saves the day. Duh. Am I the last Star Wars fan in America to make that connection? Ah well, I can't be brilliant all the time, it comes and goes...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Gauntlet is Thrown

Did you hear it? Back a couple of days ago? Celtic Queen threw down the challenge that I couldn't spin/knit up all my stash in my lifetime. I think I can. I usually don't like to post pictures of my environs, but just so you can see what we're dealing with here, this is one of my smaller stash repositories. (The smallest is in the attic and is really just a clothes basket Dave filled with the overflow from this repository and carted to the attic). This one is what I keep on hand in the bedroom. Most of this is recent purchases. Both the containers are stuffed. There are I think six more containers in the basement and eight more out in the garage. I think I'm going to have to get seriously to work on proving her wrong. Just after I get back from Maryland. (That usually makes most of a container itself every year.)

In our regular State of the Knitter update, my back is much better, I was able to go a whole week without having to take any pain medication. I am however, suffering from a horrible chest cold, as are both the sons, but neither as bad as me. I think I was also maybe a little bit delirious the other day too because I was looking at the light fixture in my bedroom and decided it looked like a mean face. I remember thinking it, and I was so struck by it that I took this picture of it to share on the blog. But for the life of me, I don't see it now.

What do you think? Can you see the mean face? Maybe I'll make this my new avatar on Ravelry.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Remember when you were a kid and the days were longer? When you had time to walk places? Spend an afternoon laying on your bed reading a good book? Stay up late to watch television after everyone else was asleep? What happened? How did the days get to be so short? An afternoon used to be plenty of time to read a book, play a game of basketball or four square, maybe walk to the store for some candy and still be home for dinner. And then there'd be time for a game of sardines before going to bed. Remember when an hour was a long time? A week was forever. I want those long days back! Seems like I exhale twice and the day is gone now. Anyways, just something I thought of on drive home today (after working another 12+ hours.) They don't pay me enough.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hello Goodbye

I've been incredibly busy at work. The long and the short of it is that the project I told my boss I would need at least two weeks to set up and 2 weeks to test was handed to me late Monday with a deadline of next Monday. Of course, when we had our original conversation over a month ago I was assured by her that No, I was not going to get this project... So I worked twelve and a half hours yesterday and 14 hours today. And it looks like it's going to be 12 to 14 hour days through next Wednesday, at least. [sigh] So when I went out to move my car (we have free parking, but it's off-site and the lot closes at 7:00, but I can put my car in the on-site lot after 5:00) and grab some dinner a block down the road I ducked into Natural Stitches for a bit of a breather.
Still feeling self-indulgent, I bought myself some superwash roving to make some socks. I probably shouldn't have, because I'll be going to Maryland next week, but I needed a little pick-me-up. Which got me to thinking, exactly how long would it take me to spin/knit up all my stash....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mod Pods

Friday night I purchased Knitting Nature by Nora Gaughan. I'd been looking at it for awhile, and trying to decide if I wanted it or not. Friday I was feeling a little self-indulgent, so I got it. I love it! I got as far as the first chapter (hexagons) and I had to start knitting. I admit to having a certain fascination with hexagons for quite some time.
Here's my first attempt, knitting from the center out. I ripped this out and decided that maybe the designer knew what she was talking about (you think?) when she knit hers (the Snapping Turtle Skirt) from the outside in. Furthermore, it was a cinch to pick up and knit the next hexagon from the cast-on edge.
So I gathered up some old acrylic from the stash to experiment. I call them Mod Pods. Totally addictive. These will probably be a baby blanket done in 6 x 6 Pods. But, imagine these done with lots of oddballs of sock yarn (looking at you, Heather.) I'm thinking Grandma's Flower Garden here. How cool would that be? And a great stash buster, too. I'll keep you updated with progress.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Card Me

Last week was Heather's birthday, so we had a little party for her at Knitting Knite. (You know me, any excuse to eat baked goods!) So off I went to the store in search of a birthday card....
First up, Pirates! Ok, but not really Heather's style. (But you know, Johnny Depp is nice to look at.) Still, not quite what I was going for.
Next, a round up of cowboys. I definately had to consider these for awhile. But, after some serious observation I decided they weren't quite right, either.
So I moved on to... A birthday Pickle? This really appealed to my quirky sense of humor, but Heather is a bit more mainstream than me. (And it just seemed a little too weird coming right on the heels of the cowboys.)
What else can we find here? How about a princess? Definate possibilities. Heather's a princess, and there are some sparkles on the card... Heather really likes sparkles! But the inscription was just a little too juvenile. So what did I finally settle on?
It's sparkly, and it said some of the nice things I think about Heather. And I got some flower cookies and "Happy Birthday" candles too! Heather brought cupcakes, as well. So there was much celebration and we did feast on the yummy baked goods. Isn't that how everyone's birthday should be?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Icy Moonlight

It's completed! I said as I was knitting this that it could be the most beautiful thing I've ever knitted. The picture in no way does it justice. (And it's freaking hard to take a picture of yourself in the mirror!) It's so sparkly in real life! Knit with Kid Silk Night in Moonlight with Swaroski crystals (also Moonlight). Mmmmm. Just in time for the warm weather. Not sure if it suits me or not. I think I'm going to see if they want to use it as a shop model at Bloomin Yarns over the summer.

And I Need to Knit got her Absolutely Fabulous afghan kit she won here! Yay! The yarn looks yummy, I can't wait to see it in progress. She picked the "Knitted Scallops" version, which is I think the one I would pick.

In your State of the Knitter update I have to say that I'm feeling much better! My good days are getting better and my bad days are not so bad. Work is still a challenge, and the guys are still...guys. What can I say? Oh, and Dave didn't make it to the Post Office last night. This is the first time he's missed, but I'm still mad. I told him I was going to do the taxes next year. (He worked late so as to avoid me today.) Next up -- Lawn Wars!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I think you're right with your first guess, Heather! Celtic Queen didn't quite get it, I explained it to her via email today. Although to be fair to the parties involved here I think it may just have been brought to their attention that they were vulnerable. Not that I have any kind of vested interest in this one way or another. I'm not suprised that IK as a business is acting like a business. I've managed to get one way or another just about all the patterns I wanted from both IK and MagKnits, and those that I missed, well, I'm ok with it. I was not happy, I told the party involved I wasn't, and that's that. What gets me is that no one (and there are over 500 posts to the thread) has put the things I mentioned together. I was wondering if it was just me.

As to why I'm not participating in forums anymore, it's because it's the same old same old, and I had enough of that in the old Knitlist and r.c.t.y. days. (Interesting aside -- Did you know I wrote the original (maybe only) FAQ for r.c.t.y?) Also, I felt that the news groups (particularly r.c.t.n.) were ruined when designers started showing up because then everyone started getting all fangirly over them and you couldn't express any kind of criticism about a design without starting Flame War 2000. I'm seeing some of that in the Ravelry forums, along with threats to "pull the plug" if we don't all get along. I don't care for flame wars, but I don't think anyone benefits from having all criticism squashed in a forum, and there's only so much reading of "You're so wonderful, it's so great that you're part of this forum, we'll do/say anything you want, just don't leave!" that I really care to read. Bleah.

Anyways, I've finished my first Noro Sock(again!) It fits like a glove. (Fits like a glove, Hee! I'm easily amused.) I'll cast on the second tomorrow. I also finished my Moonlight Ice cowl, but I'm waiting on blocking for good pics. And I'm up after 11 PM because Dave is still doing our taxes. He cut it pretty close this year, he had to enlist me to help and he's still just going to squeak by at midnight.

Monday, April 14, 2008


There's a big bruhaha going on in the Ravelry forum now about Interweave's decision to pull many of their free patterns from the web. I happened to get in early on in the fray and posted several times. But as things played out, it seemed that everything may not have been as it seemed at first. (Isn't life always that way?) For various reasons, I've decided to lay off the forum posting for awhile (and just stick to my FO stalking, which I find extremely enjoyable. Different things, and all that.) I really don't have the energy to argue with twenty-seven thousand people who haven't read the entire 40+ post long thread, so I'm going to post it here. And tell me, can you read between the lines here? Or is it just me? Ok, here we go:
1) IK pulls down free patterns from their site sometime Friday
2) IK's rep on Ravelry confirms the patterns were pulled (less than an hour later) and says that it was because IK re-negotiated contracts with designers.
3) Lots of negative feedback from Ravellers
4) Designer states that IKs first digital rights contract was unfair but second much better. Goes on to say that the original contract gave IK the right to put up a pattern online in perpetuity without getting any consent from the designer.
5) More complaining
6) Designer posts that in pattern publishing the publication rights return to the designer (depending on contract) in 6 months to 2 years.
7) More complaining
8) IK rep posts again and says that under the "new contract" with designers that certain patterns had to be removed from the site by a certain date.
9) IK rep posts again and says they could not make any exceptions, nor could they give warning that the patterns were going because of "legal/contractual issues". Goes on to say that she brought up the issue of notifying the knitting community that the patterns were going and was told she could not because of "legal/contractual issues."
10) IK rep posts again and reiterates that the "new contract" replaces any older contract because of "contractual/legal issues" and that the old contracts were not written with the internet in mind.
11) IK rep posts again and says there was a "very short period of time" between drafting contracts and having to implement them.
12) IK rep posts and says she can't give all the answers and that "Possibly, I have already said too much."
13) Links to a designer's blog where she details the IK contracts. Highlights are: the ORIGINAL (old old?) contract did not give IK rights to distribute patterns on the web.This changed a few years ago (dated by referenced design to post-2004). IK was soliciting designers to sign a new contract (the "old contract" referred to above) giving them (IK) digital rights to distribute previously published patterns with no further compensation to the designer. This was in late Dec. of 2007. Understandably, not many designers signed on. In late January of 2008 IK was still at it, trying to get the designer to accept the agreement for her design to be in the e-book "Best Of" collection as voted by KD readers. Terms were still the same. Late Feb. the new contract comes out that is way more fair, giving designers choices and better compensation, etc. etc.
14) People begin listing patterns that were taken down from the KD site and some of them were originally published by IK in 2000 and 2001.

HMMM. Lets look at all the pieces and mix them up a bit, shall we? What, what could have made IK change the terms of their contract so drastically between Jan. 20 and Feb 20? Sure there was a sort of grass roots organization of designers asking for more rights, and there was that contest going on, but...Look at numbers 6,9,8,10,11,13, and 14 in that order. Does anyone else see what I see? Or is it just me?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Real Love

See the couple in this picture? (Sorry about the blurriness, I was far away.) I don't know who they are, or even anything about them, but I've been seeing them for I guess about two years now when I pick up prescriptions for my dad. The woman has leg braces and crutches, and she's struggling along on the sidewalk of the shopping plaza, walking up and down. Over and over. I've seen them every evening I've been there, so I assume they must go every night and spend a fair amount of time at it. The man walks with her, slightly behind, and gives her a little support every now and then (you can see his hand on her back here.) I saw them today and it struck me that this, this is real love. It makes me wonder if my guys would be as patient with me? (Some days I think they can't wait to just kick me to the curb.) Would I? How about you? Count your blessings!

I have my first daffodil bloom! My daffodil has a nice baker's dozen of blooms this year. This is the first, it looks like there will be a few more open by tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Since I haven't posted an update pic lately, here's where I am with my Noro sock. I'm hoving in on the toe, slowly but surely. I get about 5 or 6 rounds a day while riding the shuttle to and from work, and the occasional needle when I'm waiting for a script to finish running at work. Still really liking the yarn and the socks. I've come to the conclusion that I really prefer knitting these plain vanilla socks. I should start a group "Plain Sock Knitters". Otherwise, I'm still obsessed with the Ravelry. I've spotted Heather and DarkaKnits in the Faves, so I've managed to convince myself I'm on the fringe of popularity. I think that different people find different things from this site. Currently I'm like the Fairy Godmother of the Favorites. For the past several days I've been clicking through all the FOs and when I see something I like, if it's not already a favorite, I'll favorite it. I'm endlessly intrigued as to why one version of a pattern gets 27 favorites, and another only 1. There's some great knitting/crocheting out there, and no one's looking at it! And, I've found some great patterns this way! But the flip side of that coin is, Geez, everybody's making the same things! The Koolhaus Hat, the Hemlock Blanket, Fetching; you know the drill. Makes me want to knit just my own designs. And, of course, plain vanilla socks. Oh, and by a freak coincidence, my sister is in Charlotte tonight where Yarn Harlot is. But she wouldn't go and get me a book signed.

Monday, April 07, 2008

My Hair Hurts

A couple of things to share. My cubemate found out Friday she is having a boy. So that's a blessing, I can make a nominal hand knit (I'm thinking a hat) and I'm done. Of course I'm going to go for the screaming-est multicolor I can find! Another friend I work with (we went to school together and worked together at my last job, too) is going to be a dad also, so I have another venue where my knits will be more appreciated.
Saturday was Bloomin Yarns birthday party. So I went. I got there late because I had to work - it was a carry-over from Friday night, when I was late to knitting, too. Friday did not go well for me (and, not my fault!) at one point I looked at my co-worker who was trying to help me out and said "I'm in so much pain I think my hair hurts." She just looked at me like "You're so wierd." Anyways, I was telling CQ this on Friday and we were talking about yarn (btw, her Adult Tulip! Yummy! You have to come to our Knitting group and see it in person, pictures just don't do it justice (and she doesn't update her blog enough anyways. But go look now, she's making fun of me!))
ANYWAYS, and I was debating buying more yarn and she said, "You should get something nice! You deserve it, you hair hurts!" So I did. Carol Martin of Farmhouse Yarns was there and of course there was a ton of her yarns. So I started rummaging around in the bins, pulling out skeins and keeping in mind what DPUTiger had said about the differences in skeins even within the same colorway. I wanted a sweater's worth of yarn, not just a single skein project. So this is my solution, and I'm thinking stripes, starting with the dark green (Balsam Fir) and moving up to the green/burgundy (Autumn) then to green/burgundy/gold (Indian Corn) and ending in the green/gold/cream (Harvest).
That's my tentative sequence, I'll make final decisions when I'm getting ready to start knitting at which time I'll untwist and lay out the full skeins and get a good read on total colors and values. I've queued up the "Hurry Up Last Minute Sweater" by EZ for these. (The yarn is Andy's Merino II.) I heard later that Carol Martin was very excited about my idea and was going to try pull some more groupings like this together. Yay me! Even if it's me who says it, I really do think this is a good way to get a sweater's worth of yarn when you're buying multi-color individually dyed skeins (and easier on the wallet, you don't necessarily have to get them all at once!) I also like the dark to light thing (it's flattering).
And speaking of my hair, I came to the sudden realization this weekend that my hair is now grey. No longer greying, but grey. [sigh]

Thursday, April 03, 2008

What's a Knitter to Do?

I'm thinking about baby knits. My cubemate at work is expecting. (She should find out tomorrow if it's a boy or a girl.) I would like to make something for her, BUT (you knew there'd be a "but", right?) here's the thing. I gifted her with a multi-directional scarf knit in yarn I got especially to match her coat for Christmas (she even noticed and mentioned when I gave it to her "Oh, this is the same color as my coat!") and she never wore it. Never. As in not at all, even though she wore another scarf (from Gap) almost every day. So, not a big appreciator of the handknits. I'm thinking, though, that she's kind of expecting (dreading?) that I'll knit something for the baby. And truth be told, I kinda want to knit something for the baby. But I don't really want to invest alot of time or money on something that won't really be appreciated. And it's got to be machine washable. I have some yarn in the stash that would do, foremost among them Cotton Tots, Cotton Ease, Moda Dea Sassy Stripes, and Jamie. But what to make? As much as I would like to make Hemlock Ring or something else vintage, realistically, it would be a waste of my time here. I'm currently leaning towards a 5HBS in the Cotton Tots (what I have most of in the stash) in either a pink multi and white with a bonnet (girl) or a blue multi and white hooded (for a boy). But then I think this might be the perfect opportunity to design a baby something. I have enough cotton/hemp yarn in natural to make a blanket, but I don't think I really want to make that kind of effort here. Ah, it's a losing battle here. I'm thinking whatever I make won't be used. Maybe I should just stick to a couple pairs of booties and call it a day. One of my knitting friends needs to have a baby!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Killing Time

Well, I've been killing time hanging out over at Ravelry checking out all the New FOs. (That's how I spotted Heather's Cobblestone. I was just clicking along and said "Hey, I know that guy.") Wonder how long I can keep it up? Oh, and I'm LaurieG63 on Ravelry. And Lisabee wins for being the first Raveler I know to have a favorite pop up when I look at the "Random Selection of Faves". It's kinda cool seeing what everyone's making. But I have to tell you, this is seriously cutting into my video watching schedule. I've got seasons of Quantum Leap, The West Wing, Star Trek: Deep Space 9, and Stargate Atlantis in a holding pattern here. Not to mention that Steven sent me off to WKRP in Cincinnati! (Older Son and I watched the Turkey episode yesterday. "Oh, the humanity!") Original Battlestar Galactica! Outer Limits! Way to much video viewing. So needless to say, I haven't been knitting much. Still knitting my Noro socks. Yesterday I did a little ripping and adjusting on my Icy Moonlight cowl. I should be done -- I took things a little too far (can't tell you how many times that has happened to me!) so I have to rip back a bit more and then do the finishing rows on either end.