Thursday, September 29, 2005

Oh Say Can You Spin . . . Uh . . .

Ok, ok, keep an open mind when you see my poor little spindle. I mean, really, what can you expect on a first attempt -- I mean, truly, who has an orgasm the first time she has sex? Let's look at the positive of this, well, frankly, really ugly, lumpy skein -a. there's a twist to it, b. I got it on the spindle. And, that's all you can really say about first time sex - there's a twist, and it goes in. At least, with this, there was no pain. And, like sex - it's only going to get better. So, with that in mind, here it is:

Yeah, well . . . I'm having problems, as you can see. First of all, I didn't prepare the fibers - so it didn't really draft, it was kind of stuck. Also, I'm having trouble getting the spindle to spin, consistently. A nice woman at Rosie's showed me how to spin during knitting circle, and I definitely was having an easier time with her fiber, which was nice and silky and seemed to flow like cream into a twist, and with her stopping my spindle before it started to spin backwards. I really think I could get it on a wheel - because all of my issues seem to stem from the darn penis, oops, I mean spindle, but I don't think I'm quite ready for that kind of investment.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


To Be Or Not To Be - That's Not Quite the Question

Aside from some lighting issues, Chaucer's was a pretty decent place to knit, although I think I was the only one who actually knit. Anita cast on and knit a row. Judy pulled her sock out of the bag, and put it on the table. I'm not sure if Debbie even brought any knitting with her, and Patty . . . Patty Patty Patty - Patty bought novelty yarn at Stitches, and a mesh sweater pattern. She was working on her sleeve, which even though it was a bell sleeve, it was starting to resemble a big bullhorn as opposed to a bell. I checked her gauge. Patty, you have to rip, you're three stitches over. Eh, I don't care if I'm a few stitches off. I tried to explain to her that in the pattern that she was doing, a few stitches translated to a few inches. She stared at me - nuh uh. Uh Huh - I tried to illustrate the difference: She still did not believe me. I can't rip, she declared, I'll just keep going. But, Patty, you're a chihuahua, you're making a sweater that will fit a mastiff. She shrugged. And, you're going to run out of yarn. A shrug again - I just can't rip.

To rip or not to rip? In this case, it was a no brainer -- to continue knitting would be the equivalent of continuing to bake a cake after you discover that you forgot to add the baking powder. No, she said, I will not rip. Some decisions in life are really hard, I recognize that - we all go down that long dark road sometimes - keep that one night stand around for a year instead of the next morning, stay in a lousy job, etc. In my line of work, I'm well aware of what the picture looks like when the evidence is overwhelming - sometimes you just have to cut your losses and plead guilty. You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away, know when to run. EVERYBODY NOW! You never count you're money, while yer sittin' at the table, ther'll be time enough for coutin' when the dealin's done. Ahem, er, well, here, we're not talking about that kind of decision (but, say, if we were talking about ripping out a 3/4's completed Birch, I might be more sympathetic) - it's only five inches. Nope, she said, I can't do it.

Are you getting a better picture of what happened at the Webs booth when our two worlds collided?

On a more positive note, the garter snake grower has finally finally learned to purl. I put her in a corner by herself last week, and would not let her move until she had mastered purling. So, while still working in acrylic, she was producing a nice rib, and she expressed interest into moving beyond scarves. I handed her a vogue knitting magazine, and told her to look for a pattern that said Very Very Easy Vogue. Paging through, she examined a pattern, and said, oh, I can't do this - I don't know that stitch. What is it? I asked. The pattern says "garter," she said. Patience, patience, I reminded myself - and in a very monotone, measured voice, I said, "You've knit approximately 3 miles in garter stich this summer." Oh . . .

It's going to one long winter.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Come Sit and Knit at Chaucers

Just a reminder -- Knit Night has moved down the block from the pool, to Chaucer's. Bring your delightful company and your project! 20th and Lombard Streets. All are welcome!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Stitch Out!

Ok, I'm now well rested, and ready to revisit Stitches. Yesterday, when we got back, it was just impossible - and, all I wanted to do was play with my new yarn!

So, Christina, Allison, Robin and I met at a Dunkin Donuts, because all trips originating in Philadelphia should start at a Dunkin Donuts as there is always one centrally located, and if you need directions, there's generally a cop loading up on the Boston Cremes. The morning was spent carefully planning my wardrobe. Now, I am of the school that when you fly, you should always DRESS, because that's the only way you may luck out, and get bumped up to first class. I feel the same way about going to a knitting expo - if you wear a beautifully knit garment, the vendors will treat you differently. So, I chose my Rosie's Razor Shell Capelet in Noro Kureyon: Perfect! And we were off!

On Friday night, I did what every single girl in the city does, I reread all of my knitting magazines, and made a game plan for my fall/winter knitting. Not only did I lay out my Stitches roadmap, but I found a few patterns to rescue the Silk Garden(see - I've Been Hubbled!) and still produce a suit (a post for later in the week). During this approval process of the proposed patterns, Allison posed a question - "when you sit for a long time in a knit skirt, do you get butt cup?" Butt cup? Apparently, there is a phenomena that when you sit too long in a knit skirt, the skirt kind of molds to your butt, and when you get up, there's still a cup where your butt was (I guess, in my case, it would be more like a soup bowl than a cup). I've never experienced this - has anyone else? Has anyone else suffered from butt cup besides Allison? I feel like I should be fully informed before I go ahead with a project that has already burned me so badly once.

Talk of butts lead Robin to recount Nip and Tuck for us -- about a woman so large that her butt adhered to her living room couch. Rather than vomit, I chose to take out my knitting - oops - I forgot to attach another ball of yarn to my shrug project! So, there would be no knitting for me on the Trek to NJ! Allison, on the other hand was prepared:
So, to the beat of Christina's brilliantly programmed Ipod, her devil may care style of driving, and a thorough review of the new fall t.v. season, we arrived in A.C. in record time, and knitters, we were ready to shop! We got our tickets, filled out our doorprize card, and noticed the warning sign - no pictures! digital cameras will be confiscated! Now, after losing one camera earlier in the summer, and the cellphones, etc. I became a nervous nelly. Not Christina though! Visit her blog to see the highs and lows of Stitches. A tie tack camera, not her! She boldly went where no other knitter went - she daringly pulled out that big ol' camera, and shot away.

Almost immediately, in the 800's, we met up with Beverly and her mother. Beverly- here you go, you girl, are a BLOG STAR!!!!
Do I look distracted? If I don't, even though I was, it was because I was focused, I knew where I was going, I was on a mission. There was no question where I was dropping my first wad of cash - Skaska Designs - these Russians know lace. And, for $40.00, I picked up this 1200 yard hank of %50 merino, %50 silk handpainted yarn -. As soon as I had it in my hot little hands, I felt like Winthrop in the Music Man when he gets his new trumpet -- I almost started stuttering - isn't in the mosth beautiful, the mosth shiniest, the mosth sthupendouth thing you ever did sthe!!!! When I visited the Rosie's Booth, Grace squealed with delight. And, hopefully, this delovely skein will turn into this mind blowing entrelac shawl This will not be the first time I try to tackle this Entrelac Lace Shawl from Interweave - that disaster is for another post. The pattern actually calls for over 2000 yds., but I had a confab with the owner of Skaska, Galina, and she said, in heavy Russian accent "Pattern - my student." She pointed to herself. "Too big." She stretched her arms out. "You make shorter, yes." One skein? Yes, one skein good. Chaching! 1st purchase completed!

I found my friends, package in hand, and they couldn't believe that within 10 minutes, I had already made the first purchase. Everything else would be icing on the cake for me. We strolled down the 700's, and Robin found what would be her vote for the You Knit What???? Award. Unfortunately, while she was pointing to it, the owner of the booth thought that her smiles were one of "I want to buy this," not, as we knew "Can you believe this piece of crap." A pink dress, knit in some kind of acrylic rope, with some kind of novely yarn woven in - I can't go on - the horror!!! Christina, I believe managed to get a shot of this travesty of knitting.

Onward - we got lost in the maze of Webs - and two worlds collided - the Rosie's Girls met the Poolside Knitters! The mystery of the poodle scarf was no more . . . and I'll say no more . . . It was at Webs that I ducked my Poolsiders - pointing them to the sale Alchemy, and ducking around the corner, I picked up my second project for the fall season - with the support of Robin, and her calculator - we came up with a $51.00 total for five balls of black, four balls of ivory, and for balls of charcoal chunky %100 wool from Valley Farms. Love that 25% discount - sold!!!

Carrying it around in my Rosie's sack nearly broke my back, but it was worth it! The three quarter sleeves, the whole sophisticated look - so Audrey Hepburn! By the way, I accept that I will never look like Audrey, will never be Audrey. Please please please, someone tell Jennifer Love Hewitt that she must also come to the same, inescapable conclusion:
You can do whatever you want - keep that tired hair, pile it on your head - go ahead! You can wear the millionth incarnation of the little black dress - YOU ARE NOT AUDREY! You are not channeling our Roman Holiday Princess, our Sabrina Faire, and you must get over it!!!! Cut your hair, buy new shoes, and for G-d's sake, spend that money of yours and buy yourself a new damn dress. Ok, glad to have that out of my system!

We broke for lunch halfway through, and stood in the mile long line for cardboard pizza. This, my friends, was not boardwalk pizza. I'm a Philly girl, but I'm just over the bridge from Jersey, and there are things, indeed, that I appreciate about our cheesy neighbors. One is boardwalk pizza - especially at 2:00 a.m. Not the case at Stitches, but, eh, we weren't there to eat, we were there to shop! We took a tally -- I had spent $91.00 at the halfway mark. Christina, having purchased beautiful jewelry, stamp pads, and skeins of a beautiful colorway of Silk Garden was somewhere around $100.00. Allison, Robin - nothing! Our careful shoppers. But, I saw that gleam in Allison's eye - she had something in mind, she was just biding her time. I expected big things from her, and I wasn't disappointed.

After lunch, we hit some more biggies - Mannings, the Yarn Barn of Kansas, and of course, Rosie's. At Rosie's, Robin took the plunge -- she replaced all of the Koigu she had on hold at the store (enough for a Rambling Rows baby blanket - 10 skeins maybe?) with a whole new color scheme a la Grace! Amazing Grace! Like a machine, she kept whipping up color schemes - skeins you would never think to put together -- that brain o' hers. It definitely processes color differently than the rest of us. Anyway, during Koigu fest, I purchased something for my Secret Pal (sh!), and snuck off to the Fiber booth.

Yes, yes - I am going to try to spin, AGAIN! I know, I know, I failed miserably the first time - but I will persevere - although, later that evening, watching another Kevin Costner STINKER (question - your husband disappears for one day, following no marital problems, and leaves you, still sexy after all the years, Joan Allen, and your four more beautiful than a hank of Koigu daughters, you immediately jump to the conclusion that he's run off with his Swedish secretary just because she returned to Sweden three days before? I won't reveal the end of the movie, but there was a more logical explanation) - it was kind of ugly. Ah, practice!

And, so, I completed my purchases for the day -- I did have a moment at Great Adirondack though, where complete insanity nearly took hold. I was gripped, riveted, demonically possessed by this 325 yd. merino hank called Texas Big, so beautiful - blues, golds, tans, the colors of dusk - be still my heart. Robin called on the cell- where are you? Help! I need an intervention! She came quickly. Talk me out of this, I said. I held up 2 hanks. I can't, she said, they're two beautiful. They're $40 each. PUT THEM DOWN RIGHT NOW!!!! I put them down, thank you Robin.

And, what were our other friend's up to, hmmm?
I knew Allison had a gleam in her eye - cashmere, my friends. And, a little yak on the side

And, of course, Lorna's Laces for Chris - socks for grandma - can't forget grandma!

And, buying cashmere is the functional equivalent of the fat lady singing, and we were done. We regrouped in the lobby, over big pretzels and a somewhat not so clean table, and here it is, the MOTHERLOAD!!!
Aren't you exhausted but pleased just looking at it - somewhere between $700-$1000 worth of yarn? We drove back to Philly, feeling as satiated as if we had just had a meal at Striped Bass. Did I cover everything - I'm sure that Christina will have more to say - I'm anxiously awaiting her post.

And the most offensive thing we saw - while Robin still thought it was the pink dress, the rest of us unanimously declared Jelly Yarn to be the most hideous, the worst idea, the bottom bottom bottom of the barrel of the novelty yarn craze: Yahaira of Knit Fix has fittingly dubbed it Kryptonite. Please do not even try to disagree with us on this one. There is no argument.

The trip ended with a rousing chorus of Spandau Ballet, again courtesy of the fabu Ipod. Alrighty! Enough blogging -- it's time for Cold Case and Desparate Housewives!!!!! Oh, and I think I should be knitting, too.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


ETA: 11:00 a.m.! Full report tonight!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I am a Screen Goddess

"I don't want to be worshipped, I want to loved!"

I am:

Katharine Hepburn
You scored 21% grit, 33% wit, 38% flair, and 23% class!

You are the fabulously quirky and independent woman of character. You go your own way, follow your own drummer, take your own lead. You stand head and shoulders next to your partner, but you are perfectly willing and able to stand alone. Others might be more classically beautiful or conventionally woman-like, but you possess a more fundamental common sense and off-kilter charm, making interesting men fall at your feet. You can pick them up or leave them there as you see fit. You share the screen with the likes of Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant, thinking men who like strong women.

The Classic Dames Test written by gidgetgoes on Ok Cupid

Back in Business!

So, I gave Dad his birthday present:


Clearly bigger than a breadbox, and not shaped like the new Barbra Streisand CD (I'll save that for Hanukkah!). He opened the bag, and . . . one sock? Well, Dad, socks weren't created in a day, I'll have the second sock by Rosh Hashana. Ok, he said, and he tucked the sock back in the bag. I took the bag back. His face fell. I shrugged - it's just business - you want them to be the same size don't you?

But, then I found out that this was his second present that was kind of snatched back. My brother bought him some kind of new fangled remote for the t.v. that you talk to, and the channel changes. Great, the perfect gift for a 72 year old man - an excuse to talk to himself and not look foolish. Anyway, the remote didn't work, and it had to go back - another gift deferred.

My brother and I can't be blamed, though. What do you get for a 72 year old man? I'm 36. So, let's suppose that mom started buying him presents in my name when I was, say, 5. That's 2 gifts a year, for 31 years - that's 62 presents. And my brother, 34 years old, 2 gifts a year for 29 years, that's 58 presents - 120 presents. And my mom - 40 years with my dad - and that's 3 presents a year because of anniversaries - that's 120 presents right there -- for a grand total of 240 presents. For the love of God, what is left! What doesn't he have! So, he can just sit tight for those one of a kind socks.

And, here are the special socks:

And a closeup:

Ok, enough about the sock, right? What about the bris?

Everyone will be happy to know that all went well (at least it seemed to - when do you really know? - I mean many years have to pass before he'll actually try out the full capacity of the machinery). Baby Jake hardly even made a peep. Well, you would never know over the wails coming out of my 2 1/2 yr. old niece's mouth - she may as well have been screaming - LOOK AT ME DAMMIT! So, after the snippage, I took my niece to the basement, and missed my brother's speech. Eh, I've heard my brother speechify before - I think maybe he needs that special remote for the t.v. Missed the speech, but did not miss the cake. Hey, I know what's really important!

So, in the basement are of course, a million toys, but the "toy" of choice right now is her Thomas the Train set. Ok, I didn't get the Teletubbies, Mr. Noodle, or the Noo Noo, - the Teletubbies all seemed to be smoking weed to me. Ooo look, the sky is blue! And look, the grass is green! Giggle giggle - please, there's some doobie going around there. But I really don't get the train thing. Trains with creepy faces with strange names that all hook together and don't really do anything? This is the recovery car: And, this is Diesel: Hmmm . . . You can't play dressup with them - they're trains! You can't play school and give them homework, you can't play house - mommy train, daddy train and baby train? What can you play - train wreck? This doesn't seem like a great idea to me. What every happened to Weebles?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I Protest (Again!)

There are well over 2 dozen dead poodle scarves walking around out there! The madness must stop!! At Poolside Knitters on Monday, the poodle slayer was knitting another one - in PUKE GREEN! She was still knitting, and hadn't yet begun to fray the yarn (apparently, you knit the length of the hank, bind off the middle four stitches, and rip out the length of the scarf on either side of the bound off stitches), and someone asked her what it was going to look like - I piped up - a poodle? This was met with a frosty stare. "I've made well over 2 dozen of them, they're great gifts." Here is the great gift (pic from Goddess Yarns website):
Truly, the picture does not do it justice. The yarn is nubby, so it really really does have the texture of a poodle. I'm sure when wet, it smells like a poodle as well. And this THIS is the description on the Goddess Yarn website "Simple to knit with just the right touch to dress up for evening or add a touch of class to your favorite jeans." A touch of class? Maybe a touch of potential fleas.

Anyway, Monday was the last night for Poolside Knitters at the actual pool. We are moving our location to Chaucers, 20th and Lombard, from 6-8 on Monday nights. All are welcome - please, please, please come save me! Of course, if whoever you are shows up, then I will have to explain to the other Poolside knitters who you are, will have to confess my blog, and then face the wrath if they choose to read it. I kind of feel like Harriet the Spy, whose notebook is about to be discovered. But, in the end, it all worked out for Harriet though, and the dead dog scarf maker is retiring to Florida for the winter anyway - where they have a real need for scarves?

On my own knitting front, (now that I'm done bitching about what other people are knitting - if I would just mind my own business I'd be a much nicer person), I knit up one sock for my dad from the new Rowan Classic Winter:
in the new Rowan soft tweed:

While not quite "Dryer Lint" as christened by Beverly, I just don't like it. I know many people do, it's soft, yadda yadda, but I just don't like the way it looks. I've been told over and over it looks fine, it looks like tweed, I think it looks like it has dandruff (although I can't show you a picture because . . . new computer arrives tomorrow, so I can stop complaining about that as well!), and the sock didn't look like something I wanted to give as a present to my daddy. So, I began a new sock, this time in VIP, 80% wool, 20% cashmere, on 4's - from the new Sarah Dallas book, Knitting:
No, silly, I'm not doing them for my daddy in pink. The main color is blue, and the cuff/heel/toe are red. It was quite a race -- I started, oh, Thursday? maybe, and on Sunday, a day I had blocked out for Eagles and knitting - I lost my cable needle. In a panic - I was rescued! Thank you cable needle man! That would have been a whole night of t.v. wasted, and the Emmy's were on too (see Christina's blog for a round-up of Emmy, cough, "fashion"). So, I have one sock done, and his b-day was yesterday. No matter, the bris is tonight, and he will be presented with one fine sock, along with his newly circumsized grandson. Ouch!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Bang on My Drum All Day

My five seconds of fame for the day -- the Inky and the Daily News. Dad can put another page in the old scrapbook - scrap being the operative word.

Protesting used to be such an easy business. March down the street, sing Koombaya. I was a marcher. In fact, here I was, my first year out of college, 1992, at the March for Women's Lives in Washington, D.C. (OH MY GOD I GRADUATED COLLEGE HOW MANY YEARS AGO???)

(Now of course this lovely picture of me and my big hair behind the Capitol is in glorious technicolor, but I STILL DO NOT HAVE MY NEW COMPUTER, and I had to scan it on my work xerox machine, and sorry for the big gap of space at the bottom - no editing program on the work computer!). None of us got arrested, and we all went to a nice cocktail party in the evening sponsored by NOW.

And these particular protestors, the BIO protestors -- I don't get them because they're opposed to wearing any animal fiber product, even if the poor little sheep is just dying to be shorn. I love going to the hairdresser, and I believe that a matted, uncomfortable sheep does as well. And frankly, I don't see how synthetic fabrics are any more animal friendly, since there had to have been some kind of animal testing there in the making. But, trust me, we don't want to see any of these particular protestors naked, so at least they cling to their acrylic. Luckily, it's not part of my job description to understand my clients - and, if these guys took up knitting, they'd probably have a whole new take on the wool thing.

Friday, September 16, 2005


So Robin - you missed Knitting Circle Wednesday - you missed
the cake, and,
the ice cream and the streamers.
We had our party hats on, and our noisemakers
all ready for when you walked through the door.
This is the last time we throw you a surprise party!

While we cried in our cupcakes that Robin blew off her birthday party, we did admire Rosie's store sample of Rowan 38's Abigail Scarf:

We all ooo'ed and ah'd, because it's actually much lovelier in person (which, I find is a rare thing) than it is in the magazine. And, while the picture is deceptively simple, you can see when you actually hold the real scarf in your hands why the pattern is actually pretty complex. So, the discussions began about how a. to dumb it down, and b. make it cheaper. Well, we could substitute x yarn, hmm . . . we could cut the width in half. . . and then Jim sensibly said, "But then you wouldn't have the thing that you fell in love with."

Isn't that our problem so often? Boyfriends, houses, cars - we fall in love with one thing, then, we want to cut, paste and sew them into something else. But, the one thing that is always a guarantee - something you never want to change, something you want to stay the same forever - a baby:

Yes, my future nephew is now my actual nephew Jacob -- all 6 lbs, 6 oz's of him. It's a good thing I finished the baby sweater (which you can see here (no, my new computer is not yet ready, still no digital camera!!!!) since he was five days early.

And, of course, our little man will always be the perfect size, the perfect weight, and hopefully, made of the perfect material. And, by the way Robin, if you're still feeling guilty, you really only missed a box of Entenmann's:

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Thanks Secret Pal Gal!

My awesome new Secret Pal Gal sent me a funny funny tee hee Hallmark Card. Both my officemate and I clapped with glee when I opened it up.

Thanks again - it was a real perk me up when I got back from court - yippie skip!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

You are Cashmere.
You are Cashmere.
You are sophisticated and luxe. You can often be
found in high-end boutiques and hobnobbing with
the upper crust. You are one of the beautiful
people and you don't let anyone forget it!

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hmmmm . . . I don't know about this one - I don't know how sophisticated and luxe I was last night while I chowed down on wings, hot sauce dripping down my chin, and crying in my beer when Donovan threw that backward dumbass("funny lookin'" according to John Madden)"pass" to? Good question. I don't think he knew the answer to that one all night. I think I'm more depressed today than the day after the Super Bowl - is this what the season is going to look like?????

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Big V

I have so many lovely things to show you -- the baby sweater is done, dad's socks are 48 cm.'s underway, my Rowan 38 shrug is shrugging along - but you can't see them. Why? you ask, as you tilt your head and wonder if I've again lost my digital camera. No, no silly. I may have given away a lot of stuff this summer (the digital camera I lost before I left for Switzerland, the cellphone that was "borrowed" in Switzerland, the cellphone that fell down the toilet), but no, this time we have Trouble, with a capital T that rhymes with V that stands for VIRUS. Within five seconds, my hard drive was corrupted - the first big step on the road to the depths of degreda- medicinal wine from a teaspoon? then beer from a bottle? No, not having updated spyware. And the next thing you know, masteria! Friends, the idle brain is the devil's playground - how could I be so stupid to let my harddrive go condomless? And we're talking terrible trouble - pornography, gambling, cigarettes on my harddrive - not just tryin' out Bevo, tryin' out Cubebs, tryin' out tailor-mades like cigarette fiends and braggin' all about how they're gonna cover up a tell-tale breath with Sen-Sen - on no! It's terrible Trouble, right here in Knitcity. I have icons on my harddrive that read "Blow Job," "Group Sex" "Gambling Hall," "Cheap Cigarettes." Libertine men and scarlet women and ragtime. Shameless music that'll grab your son, your daughter into the arms of a jungle animal instinct-massteria!

I am on the road to reformation - I should be up and running at home around Thursday thanks to the guys at Rescuecom, who saved my documents/pics/music from my harddrive and are building me a new computer. And, no pick a little, talk a little, cheap cheap cheap - it will be fully protected with the latest spyware/virus protection.

So there will be no poolhall in KnitCity - by Thursday, a cleaned up, uncluttered, virus free hardrive - no Bevos, Cubebs, or Sen-Sen - but, well, maybe just a little bit of degredation . . .

Friday, September 09, 2005

Charity Begins Where????

Helmetliner for Sale!

So, I join this very friendly KAL - everyone is all happy and feel goody - charity is for everybody, right?

So, it turns out that there was already another Yahoo group that started several months earlier, doing exactly the same thing. Is there room in the world for two groups knitting helmetliners? Apparently not. Infiltration, innuendo, recriminations - ah, the ugly sordid world of charity knitting!

Anyway, my KAL took itself out of the ring, and now, I don't want to have any part of the other group - what the heck am I supposed to do with this ugly ass helmetliner!!!!!

Anyone know anyone who rides a motorcycle?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

6 Centimeters

6 cm's. The difference between a hood and a collar. 2 1/2 inches. The difference between a boy and a man - or a man and a MAN. Knowing in my heart that size shouldn't matter, and that, like the less endowed man, I should compensate - I decided to make up that difference with hard work, effort - a different color, Intarsia. Stripes! So, I bought a ball of white Cashsoft, and planned on making a blue and white striped hoody. I ripped back, whistling, thinking that I was going that extra mile, how pleased I would be with the sweet striped hood. And,in my hooded fantasy, I ripped back too far, I started ripping into the front of the cardigan! It all began to unravel! I forgot that the hoody was picked up with yarn that had been left attached to the right front panel, not with a new ball. Argh! I was no longer feeling good, my concentration blown, my happiness level shriveled - we all know shrinkage - and it was considerably more than 2 inches. And then I thought about all of those average men who don't compensate - selfish yes, but they do ok, and most of them don't even know that they're average. I thought about all of those ends that would have to be woven in, how the hood is really just for show, how a collar is much more masculine than a hoody, more sophisticated, a collar says class, and I felt better about the collar - I may be lazy, but unlike the man who doesn't compensate, at least I spent the time to rationalize it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

It's Cold in Those Darn Hills

Helmetliners in Iraq? Isn't it really hot there? Apparently, this is what inquiring minds (along with the poolside knitters, who aren't really inquiring, but just nosy, who walked by me several times this weekend and went heh?) want to know. So, this is from the Helmetliners website:

"We currently have more than 200,000 troops in overseas theaters where they are subjected to sub-zero windchills during the winter. Please help us have a warm helmetliner for each one of these troops before next winter. While this is a formidable goal, if everyone knows about the need, we can meet it. People are glad to help our troops if they know what they can do."

So, I guess the answer is, if it's cold in Iraq, that's where they'll go, and if it isn't, we have soldiers stationed all over the world - Germany, Serbia, everywhere --and it's still a nice thing to do whether the soldier is in an active combat zone, or serving our country in another port of the world.

And, the correct spelling of Bimigi is "Bemidji." I would recommend it for any project that calls for an enormous amount of yarn -- it's pretty inexpensive, and the yardage is great. While it's not the softest wool on the planet, its warm warm warm, and while I did have a moth problem, I think that's more a function of my 100+ yr. old house, than the yarn itself. See, it's yummy yarn, too.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


O.K., O.K., I can't watch one more Katrina onslaught. My Jewish guilt has kicked in in full force! I gave, I added a Red Cross button to my blog, what more???

Yes, sitting through all of the footage of the Katrina carnage was reminiscent of watching Schindler's List -- not that I'm making a Holocaust comparison. My point is, that after sitting through that endless movie of one horrific image after another, many people left the theater with an eased conscience, thinking that they had actually done something proactive -- that seeing a movie somehow counted as activism. So, while I watched all of the Katrina images, and I handed over my VISA to UJC for relief aid, I still hadn't felt like I had done anything more than handing over the cost of the ticket.

So, heightened sense of social responsibility in hand, I surfed around the web, and stumbled on a completely different way to give to a completely different cause -- the Helmetliner project. And it came to me that, one human being trying to do one small thing to make another human being who happens to be living under extraordinary conditions a little bit more comfortable seemed like the right thing to do, whether it be in Louisiana, Mississippi, or overseas.

So, here is my first completed helmetliner -- which, while on needles, looked much like a sock monkey:

And the yarn? Before my blogging days, I bought a boxful of Bimiji (sp?) to make the Green Mountain Spinnery Cabled Creation in the Best of Vogue that came out a couple of years ago. I finished the back, exhausted, and put it away for awhile. When I took it out - moths!!! Holes! Eggs! Uch! I was strong, brave, no tears. The whole thing went in the garbage. I had stored the rest of the yarn in a safe place, and thought about starting the project again. I didn't have the heart. So, I'm glad that the leftovers of that disaster are going to a good cause. I think I have enough yarn for about five hats.

Knitting the thing was kind of a fun - and it is a THING. Nothing pretty about it. I've never knit anything so ugly, but functional. Anyway, you cast on on 6's, and knit the ribbed neck. Then, you leave half the neck on the 6's, and start knitting the cap on 8's, in the round. When the cap part is completed, you pick up the ribbed band around the face, and finish it off.

But, don't think in my moment of selfless knitting, I forgot about my future nephew:

We have the beginnings of a hood - and, unless I can find another ball of Zara, that may be all that we ever have. Yes, sigh, I ran out of yarn at 13 cm (about 10 more cm's above what's in the picture), when I need 19 cm. So, instead of a hoodie, this may end up a cardigan with a lovely seed stitch collar! Baby Blue Zara anyone?

Friday, September 02, 2005


So, I was at the pool, a bar night, by the way, not a knitting night, and one of the poolside knitters approached me, and said, you have to see what I made - I knew you'd be interested!!! We walked over to her lounge chair, she pulled out her plastic baggie, and out came - ah! - I recoiled - a scalped poodle. Black curls cascading around her fingers, down her arm. Isn't it great!!!! She held the shorn standard poodle under my nose, smiling, way too close to my face. Hmmm, yes! it's . . . great? great! What was I supposed to say in the face of her dead pet? Interesting yarn? Yes, she smiled as she waved the scarf around - I've made it for gifts -- she recounted at least 5 people who this Christmas will be the lucky recipients of dead dog scarves.

Speechless. Everyone, please, go home and hug your puppy tonight!