Monday, August 28, 2006

She ain't kinky...she's a knitter

Having thoroughly exhausted myself of Complete Blog Suckitude, I bring you:


(aka Shawl for Grandma)


(I know, I'm reaching here)

...and P&RN.

(Clockwise from top left: Classic Elite BamBoo, Classic Elite Fame, and Mission Falls 1824 Cotton)

This is a close-up of the Fame. Insert standard Color Quality/Yarn Not Being Done Justice verbage here.

I'm not displaying the gifty-type yarns, and a complete Flash Your Stash will have to wait too. As for the shawl, Grandma is not wired and I had to prove that I actually do knit, you know, on occasion.

As so adorably posted by Amy, Little Miss Sunshine was quite fun. I got little knitting done, but if that's the mark of a great movie, it qualifies. But I think the post-film laughing session was the best part. I'm trying to decide if suckitude is canceled out merely by posting photos. I believe the answer is "only if the *photos* don't suck"...which means I've really not remedied anything. But I think it will do for now.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

We have a winner!

So it's been a hellacious couple of weeks at work, meaning I have been in neither shape nor mood to take time to post thoughtfully. The hellaciousness is going to continue - and, in fact, ramp up - through the end of October, so fair warning: if I sound a bit cranky for the next six weeks or so, you'll know why.

On the other hand - there's been a lot of books and yarn and knitting lately, so I think it balances out. I'm reading some fiction, but mostly I can't stop looking at the Mason-Dixon Knitting book...really beautiful, really funny, really inspiring. I tried to start a Warshcloth and was going gangbusters for a bit - then I put it down for too long and, I kid you not, lost my place. I'll be trying again soon, because CUTE!

In the meantime, I've been working on a belated birthday gift for my step-grandma. She's not the least bit online, so I can tell you: it's a triangle shawl in Homespun. Yes, I know my continued affinity for certain craft-store yarns may vex some of you...but I will never give up my Homespun! This is a loose, open triangle shawl in Tudor - one of many cases in which the yarn really does all the work: a cream base with rich, muted blue, green, pink, and purple. Alas, I am again too lazy to shoot photos now; I'll post one when it's finished, for sure.

I'm not impressing myself tonight, and I forgive you if you're ready to head over and read any of the Harlot's posts, like, ever. It's so like me to save the interesting part for last.

Which is: Amy and Mo picked me up Saturday morning for a trek out to Yarntopia! I was quite jazzed. It's a lovely store with lovely owners and an impressive, if not massive, stock of Really Great Yarn. We were there for quite some time - mostly because I'm ridiculously indecisive, even though they were having a sale on everything my allergic self can use - i.e., if any part of it was once animal hair/fur, it *wasn't* on sale.

On my fourth circuit around the shelves, hemming and hawing about whether to pick up more, I got this:

Amy: "Your husband spends money on video games and comic books."

Mo: "You're making gifts from some of that? Just think of it as money you'd be spending on shopping anyway."

Hard to argue with beautiful knitter logic like that. So in the end...after checking out not once, but twice (because we sat there for too long and I just couldn't resist), I ended up with:

- 8 balls of Mission Falls 1824 Cotton in burgundy, muted teal and cream, destined to become a chevron stripe blanket, recipient as yet unknown
- 4 balls of GGH Scarlett, gift planned for a (possible) reader
- 5 hanks of Berroco Touche, ditto
- 2 hanks of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk in cream, probably to be small gifts for non-readers
- 5 balls (4 Pink Print ombre, one Melon [hot pink] solid) Classic Elite BamBoo for an edged scarf, purpose undetermined (since I don't wear them)
- 5 hanks Classic Elite Fame in Dried Lavender, oh my God it's gorgeous, for a shawl for yours truly

Mo and Amy had to repeat their anti-guilt comments no fewer than four times before we left the store. But you know...I got it all home and took it out and put it into my yarn closet (no, seriously)...and I just...don't feel so bad about it anymore.

(Confidential to Amy: Damn your enabling ways!)

This also caused me to evaluate my entire stash when I got home - an exercise about which, again, I am too weary to write tonight. Though I will confess that "Homespun" does appear on the list far too many times. On the other hand: LOG CABINS.

Finally, to the title. Yarntopia's sale was due to celebration of the first anniversary of...signing their lease? getting the loan? to start up, and two door prizes were also on offer. One had Fuzzy Yarn I Could Not Have Used, with a tote signed by Nicky Epstein, who I Have Not Read. The other - for submitting an idea for a holiday gift/class - was a pattern for One Skein Wonder, two balls of Nashua Cilantro, and a Della Q tote.

Apparently, my phone rang at 4:13 yesterday, or perhaps it did that thing it often does where it goes straight to voice mail for no apparent reason. In any case, the message - which I did not pick up until 11:15 am today - was from Cheryl at Yarntopia. Telling me that I'd won the holiday idea door prize!

Much squeeing ensued. Especially when I figured out that a) Nashua Cilantro is a cotton/synthetic blend, and b) OH MY GOD a Della Q bag! (As to One Skein Wonder, it probably wouldn't fit around my neck, much less my if anyone wants it, we can work out a deal. :) )

Not sure that it matters - I don't know if it was a random drawing or if they picked for the idea - but mine was "spiral sachet/drawstring bag." I was just thinking that some deceptively intricate-looking spiral pattern would make fantastic little presents, either sewn together or run 'round the edge with a ribbon. We'll see how it goes.

So ends this further exercise in Really Bad Blogging. I'm not really looking forward to work this week, but that's what evenings and weekends - not to mention knitting podcasts - are for.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Bad blogger! BAD!

Five dozen billion little things taken care of today, and I actually *forgot* that one of them was supposed to be "finish the Harlot post." I shall not let this deteriorate into Bad Blogging Habits! So instead, I present you with what news I can.

This was, first and foremost, an All-Hubby, All The Time weekend, and a very nice (albeit ugly hot) one to boot. Saturday lunch, we took what was - surprisingly - our first trip to Kahn's. Proprietor Michael Kahn is the son of Houston legend Alfred Kahn...owner of Alfred's Deli, a source of numerous childhood memories, most of them trips with my grandmother that ended with Alfred himself handing me Brown-Eyed Susan cookies over the bakery counter.

The pictures are a walk down memory lane - and one of Michael and Alfred together in the mid-80s brought tears to my eyes. I teared up again when I bit into the hot pastrami I'd ordered - just like the old days, it was unbelievably tasty, and TechieBK was overjoyed with the monster Reuben, declaring it the best he'd ever had in Houston. We grinned our way through a Coke float for dessert. And all the while, I kept thinking of my grandmother, imagining her nodding and smiling at us from a quiet corner. Maybe she was.

Don't know if I've ever mentioned how sentimental I am.

In a neat small-world twist, several months ago I discovered that my friend Gretchen from Michael's daughter and Alfred's granddaughter. That brought tears to my eyes too. Gretchen's family seems really close-knit and awesome, and I think that makes all the memories even sweeter.

Oh, all right, already, I'll talk about some knitting. I decided to pick up some Paton's Grace for lace practice. It's working FAR better than the handpainted rayon I tried on Thursday, miles better than Sugar 'n' Cream (and the crowd yelled: DUH). Grace is a nice sport/DK mercerized cotton; very smooth and seems as though it will have a nice drape. Mine is a gorgeous muted periwinkle shade.

I am apparently too tired to take a decent picture, but I assure you that my swatch - incomplete though it may be - is coming along rather nicely, with only a few false starts. I've spent enough time with it that I haven't once had to frog back more than two rows, nor felt the need to start over. Can I get a what-what? :) (For those curious, it's the lace pattern from the Kimono Shawl in Folk Shawls.) I bought enough of the Grace for a small shawl, which I will probably make myself finish before touching the Debbie Bliss Pure Silk I bought at HCW while Under The Influence.

The rest of the Hubby Weekend included Thai food, a visit to PetSmart, several loads of laundry, Wing Stop wings, a Lewis Black DVD, Cheesecake Factory, and a watching of The Dead Zone. I remain in denial that I must go to work in the morning.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Should anyone else be wondering...

Pattern for the Texas dishcloth:

Knitting Knonsense Texas Cloth

with mad props to Rhonda for the 50 state patterns. For details on the tweak I'm making to mine, e-mail me at:

plumtexan at earthlink dot net

(Thanks for asking about this, was a good reminder!)

Sorry for the delay on the detailed account. I've been terribly work-busy for the last two days, and just couldn't skip Stitch 'n' Bitch tonight!

I'm glad I didn't. We picked up another couple of cool new-to-us knitters, and there was much ogling (of patterns!) and fondling (of yarn, people. Jeez.), as lots of folk are rocking a new batch of projects.

Me? I struggled through half a repeat of a lace pattern swatch. Most of the struggle was that this was my first time to do true Continental. My normal style is Combined, and while I worked out the correct way to alter the decreases, none of the lace I tried before looked quite right. More importantly, it didn't feel right in my hands as I knit it.

Anyway, the Continental is slightly slow-going for now. I know I'll get it working faster - it's just the in-between that's driving me crazy! But: Must. Do. Lace.

Helloooo to all the new readers who saw me on the Harlot's blog! I'm so jazzed and it's a lot of fun to hear from all of you. I'll be checking y'all out too. first "y'all" on the blog! Now that's sentimental.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Holy crap I'm on the Harlot's blog!!!

(Red shirt. Texas dishcloth.)


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Well...maybe just a teaser first.

Harlot and hops

The coolest knitting writer in the world, accompanied by a complement of Houston-microbrewed beer. What could be better?

(If you look closely, not only will you see a knitted dishcloth - more on that later - and two large bottles of Shiner'll notice that another Houstonian thought ahead and brought Stephanie a bottle of Saint Arnold's Lawnmower. The six-pack she's holding is SA Texas Wheat, donated by yours truly.)

Laundry calls. A play-by-play will appear sometime tomorrow!