Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hee hee hee!

I got this "Questions I wish they would ask on those ubiquitous ‘Get to Know Your Friends’ email surveys" from Kristin at this blog. I thought I'd play along.

1. What time is it in Guam now? (best estimate)

Thursday 9AM

2. Do you like baloney?

Yes. I like BOLOGNA

3. Favorite shade of green:


4. Fake name that you use when drunk strangers are trying to get to know
you at a diner at 3 in the morning:


5. Fake name of your imaginary significant other that you use to deter
drunk strangers who are trying to get to know you at a diner at 3 in the morning:

Joe - so unoriginal it has to be true!

6. We've all seen those ridiculous "tour riders" on If you were a rock star what would your ego-driven demands be?

I'd have a masseuse and a reflexologist available at all times. Dirty Martinis with EXTRA JUMBO olives and lots of 'em are the preferred drink, Margaritas and Sangria are the only other two beverages to be served. George Clooney will serve drinks and nachos with lots of cheese, chili, sourcream and guacamole in his boxer briefs.

7. Who do you think has the most meaningless life?

Paris Hilton

8. You're holding up a convenience store. Somebody tripped the silent alarm.You have three minutes before the cops come. What do you take? Explain.

I take a header onto the floor, having tripped over my feet in my rush to get the hell outta there. I knock head on the counter on the way down and wake up in jail. My mug shots have a guard's hands on either side of my head, holding it up. See - no life of crime for me.

9. Most puzzling thing you've ever seen at a bar...

A bouncer making out with a woman who was just thrown out of the bar. He was leaning out the door so they could swap spit while she was outside.

10. Space aliens?


11. What color does "puce" most resemble?

Spoiled split pea soup

12. Funniest thing anyone said to you at the end of a date:

I'm just starting to be social and out there and this was really fun and I'd love to do it again.

13. Theeeeeee most embarrassing MP3 on your computer/iPod:

Donovan's Greatest Hits

14. Song that makes you an emotional basket-case every, single time to hear it so much so that you actually avoid listening to it:

Thank You by Dido

15. Ever been to the opera?

No. I bet it's a blast

16. Dentist chair. Do you keep your eyes opened or closed?

Closed. Please don't let me see that metal thing coming at me.

17. Ever eat paste as a kid?

No. ICK!

18. Ever try one of your dog's treats just for the heck of it?

On a dare. I suppose that explains a lot.

19. Which one of the Brady Bunch kids do you most identify with?


20. In your opinion what has been the most romantic love song written in the last 10 years?

Brick House... (HAHAHAHAHAHA!

21. Be honest. Do you sometimes want to punch Eva Longoria...

Yeah - really really hard. Then pull her hair.

22. Wait, I wasn't you sometimes want to punch Eva Longoria in the face?

I thought that went without saying.

23. What piece of American culture do you absolutely loathe and when you express it, people think you're a Communist?

Maybe not culture but - Bruce Springsteen. Hate him. It's doubly bad since I'm a native Jersey Girl.

24. So what do you hate about Christmas?

Planning parties for work and then not being invited.

25. Do you sometimes believe that you are in The Matrix?


26. Really?

My life would be a LOT better if it were all made up.

27. Did you ever wish you were an astronaut?


28. What time is it in Guam now?

Thursday 8:37 PM

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Amazing Lace progress report

As you can tell from my limerik, the fish is belly up. I did intend to cast on and start over, but I got some very bad news and I had to take action.

A woman I used to work with is terminally ill. She more than likely won't live another year. The thing that has spurred me into action is that she has no close family. She is divorced, but still has a great relationship with her ex-husband and he is taking care of her.

I believe that all things happen for a reason. I was never meant to knit the Fish Shawl. At least not at this time. I went through my stash thinking about this woman. I pulled out some Lambs Pride (Tiger Lilies is the color and it is beautiful) and will be making her some Fuzzy Feet.

As I stash dove and thought of this woman and what she'd be going through, I suddenly thought I should knit her a prayer shawl. The pattern for Cozy jumped to mind. I've wanted to knit that shawl for a long time and here was the perfect opportunity. But what yarn should I use?

I have some lovely alpaca; some beautiful Lorna's Laces Shepherds Worsted; some Andean Silk from Knit Picks which is a lovely shade of purple. But something wasn't right about any of these choices. I know that wool will travel well from her home to hospital to hospice and keep her warm when she needs it. But what I was worried about was, what if it got really dirty? Wool wasn't a very practical idea then. I could see her ex-husband throwing it in the washer and having it come out all felted and ruined.

I went to the box of petro-yarn I've had for years and there it was. Exactly what I wanted to use. Washable, soft and would see her through. Caron Simply Soft. The color is Antique Rose, which is so un-like me to have. I don't remember buying it. It's a sweet color; one that won't show too much dirt if it happens to miss a wash day, and will keep her warm and know she is thought of and prayed for.

Here is the beginning of the new teammate. I'm very happy with my progress so far, which isn't even two whole pattern repeats. But I think it will be lovely and I know she'll appreciate it.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Amazing Lace Challenge 3

Your challenge: One poem, written by, for, or about your lace teammate

The sob story of Chris and the Fish Shawl - in limerick

There once was a design from Nantucket
Who sat in a bag shaped like a bucket
No knitting was done
The fish was having no fun
So he jumped and was flushed down the toliet

There once was a yarn from Vancover
Who had one to many meetings with the Hoover
"If I get sucked into that vac
because of that crazy old hack
my days as a potential shawl are over"

There once was a girl from New Jersey
Who's self confidence was shaken and woozy
Misreading her pattern
caused her deep concern
So she frogged it and started Cozy

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Recently I picked up a copy of Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman. She is considered an icon in the knitting community. The book gives a no nonsense approach to knitting that anyone can follow. If you can cast on and off and make a knit stitch you can make a sweater.

There are two things I learned from this book. One was a cast off method so that you don't get that ugly loop at the end of the cast off row. The other was that EZ hated purling. She hated purling so much that she would knit in the round to avoid having to purl unless absolutely necessary.

The book I carry around for when I have a few minutes to read here and there is Knit Lit Too. Yesterday I got to a story where the author described the definitions of "K", "P", "YO", "SSK" and back to "K". The gist of the purl definition was that the purl stitch was nothing more than a backwards knit. The author's opinion was that purls are sloppy and leave an unattractive bump. However, the purl stitch is a necessary evil if you want to end up with stockinette or ribbing.
I was reading somewhere on the internet (maybe it was in the Knitty Coffeeshop) that someone was teaching new knitters how to knit in the round, and therefore only have to learn knit stitches. There was some debate on this topic.

Why is the purl stitch is getting such a bad rap? I love purling. I can purl much faster than I can knit. As a matter of fact it was because I could purl so fast that I altered the way I knit. I used to be a "thrower" when I knit, but naturally picked the yarn when I purled which was why I purled so fast.

As I knit more and more I wondered how I could hold the yarn so that I could knit as fast as I could purl. I worked out a system of holding the yarm between my left index and pointer fingers, held the needle with my thumb, ring finger and pinky and practiced. Now I knit as fast as I purl.

I love purling (it bears repeating). I can still purl a little faster than I knit. I think that if I didn't switch my hand movements every now and then (from knit to purl and back again) I'd have carpel tunnel or some kind of repetative stress injury. I have to limit my circular knitting to one or two days a week. My hands and shoulders hurt when I devote too much time to nothing but the knit stitch.

As I've been knitting I've been wondering, what if you only know how to knit and you are stuck with straight needles and all you can do is garter stitch? What about those "unattractive" bumps then? How do those new knitters who were taught in the round know how to make ribbing?

I see purling as the yang to knitting's yin. Two halves of a whole. You can't have one without the other. If it weren't for purling I wouldn't be the knitter I am today.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

About the 2006 Book Drive

I'm throwing this back up to the top of the page because it's such cool way to help.

Also - Here is an interview with Pamela Ribon about the book drive, in case you're interested.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Meeting men when you're my age

It's not an easy thing. I've done the on-line dating thing on and off for the past 5 years. I met a guy that I dated for almost a year on one of those sites. After that I had a few dates here and there. I never met the match of my dreams on any of the sites that have "personalized personality matching".

The thing that's the hardest for me is that I don't look anything like my photos. I mean - I look like my photos, but I don't look really good in my photos. Then there is my age. I'll be 45 in a few months, but I don't think or act like a 45 year old woman. I get all the old geezers answering my ads (55-65 year old men). I refuse to lie on my ad and say I'm younger than I am to meet someone who is more like I am.

I also refuse to say my body type is anything but what I am. I do not have a "few extra pounds", I have a lot of extra pounds. So I think maybe the combination of being honest in my profile and not finding what I want in any of the guy's profiles has soured my attitude about on-line dating.

This is a long preamble to what happened to me on Saturday. I was grateful that the water meter dude was done by 1PM. I headed out the door so I could get some necessary items (hair dye and a new flapper thingy for my leaky toilet) and some unnecessary things like like Peaches & Cream yarn, two t-shirts and maple syrup. There is only one place you can get all that - Wal-mart. I know there is a big anti Wal-Mart movement, but one stop shopping was what I needed right then.

I load up on yarn, pick up the toilet flapper thingy and head to the hair dye section. There is a little old lady staring intently at my brand of dye, so I look at the hair clips and bands and brushes that are on the opposite side till she is done and moves on, which she eventually did. I moved in and picked up my color. Before I could turn around, she is next to me. "Can you help me find Light Ash Blonde?"

I point it out on the shelf for her and she said thank you and then she launches into a long and rambling conversation some of the highlights of which are:

She fell when she was trying to put a blanket back on the bed to cover her boyfriend and cracked open her head. This was complete with a show-&-tell of the cut on the back of her head and a query on whether or not she should wait till it healed to dye her hair.

She informs me that she is 76 and her boyfriend is 81. She will put up with him, even tho he can be mean when his blood sugar drops from the diabetes, because he is handy around the house.

She runs her hands over the very flat front of her shirt and says "I didn't even put my breasts on today."

She lost a daughter to cancer.

I am very pretty and she can't believe I am single.

She has a neighbor who is a great guy in his 40's and I'd be perfect for him (how she knew this I don't know because I hadn't said more than 3 sentences).

She is going to throw a singles party and she wants me to come to meet her neighbor.

She owns two units in her condo development and rents one out.

Her boyfriend almost killed her when they went to Colorado and he drove off the highway into a ditch.

Believe me - there is more but these are the highlights.

Her parting wisdom is... Men only love you when they are horny. Ok maybe not her parting wisdom because she went on about cheating boyfriends she has had.

I think I spent about 45 minutes with her. Standing in the aisle listening to her go on and on and on. I figured the only way to conclude the conversation was to give her my business card and tell her I had to go fix the toliet which was partially disassembled on my bathroom floor.

So, I have a little old lady who lives 3 towns over working on getting me a man. Heh, heh! I hope she remembers to put her breasts on for the party.

Fish floating upside down in the fish bowl

An Amazing Lace Update:

I finally decided to pull out my poor neglected Fish Tail Shawl and I discovered something horrible... The fish - dead in the water. I was so heartbroken. Here I was ready to finally give the fish some much needed and over due attention. {sniff, sniff, tear}

What happened? Here are the sordid details: I picked up my purple needles and started in on the pattern that I had copied in big bold handwriting (for my 40+ eyes to see easily) and kept ending up with two extra stitches after I finished the first repeat. What the HECK? So I read the pattern (the one I wrote) and counted stitches and I had ten on the needle but only accounted for 8 on the written pattern. Well - DAMN. The pattern in the book must be wrong. It has to be a repeat of 8 stitches not ten as it said in the book. So I pull everything off the needles and rip...

Then and only then do I think to check the book. ARRRRRGGGGGGG!!! I left out a "m1, k2tog" which would account for the 2 stitches.

Some times I am to clever for my own good.

I'll be casting on AGAIN tonight.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Good deed for the day


I donated books to the Gulfport Library. Read the story here. They make it VERY easy to donate books. The libraries have wish lists on Amazon and all you have to do is click on the button and pay for the books and they are automatically shipped to the library. Easy.

Thank you Pamela Ribon for having a book drive every year and thanks for making it VERY easy to participate this year.

What are you doing still reading this? Go! Donate books to libraries!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Let down lead to retail therapy

I'm so disappointed. I was planning on Knitting In Public tomorrow for International Knit In Public Day. There are no set activities in my area, but I thought it might be fun to go to Houlihans for lunch, sit in the bar, order a salad and knit while people watching.

I had my day planned (mani and pedi and then lunch/KIPing) until I had to make an appointment to have my water meter upgraded. Don't you know, the only day they can come is on Saturday and someone must be available from 8-5. I'm really not happy about this at all. 8-5! Now - when was the last time you had someone come out to your house and they didn't give you a smaller window than that??? I've had the gas company come in to repair my heat a few months ago and they gave me a 3 hour window. The cable company can give you a three to four hour window, but not the water company.

Besides, I live in a condo. All our meters are OUTSIDE. I don't think he'll have to come in the house, but what if he does need to turn the water off or something? I'm just so mad that I'm teathered to my house ALL DAY. Not to mention it's supposed to be a BEAUTIFUL weekend. At least it's looking like Sunday will be the better of the two days. But I really wanted to Knit in Public with my fellow knitters.

So to ease my suffering I ordered two bags from Bungalow 360. Since the french market bag was such a flop (pun intended) and my plans for Knitting in Public got ruined I thought a little retail therapy was in order. I don't remember who I linked to this site from (maybe one of the M-DKAL ladies), but I wanted all their bags. I ordered a large tote and they had a smaller version of it on sale for $20. Well - who can pass that up? Not to mention that I got a shipping confirmation in like 20 minutes. So I should haave a bag delivered in a couple of days. I will post pictures of them when they arrive.

P.S. Hello to my friends from across the country and the Netherlands. I hope I don't bore you too much with all this talk of knitting.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I should have known

The yarn was horrible to work with. So rough and coarse. Yeah sure - the label said "aran" but it was much thinner than I thought it should be.

It will plump up and bloom when it gets in the wash machine to be felted. Felting solves many problems. Or as we said in my Entralac class - it will all come right in the felting.

Well it didn't. It's very floppy. Won't stand up even a little bit.

There may be a way to fix this bad boy. I have some cotton batting and some fabric somewhere I'm sure I can use as a lining to cover the batting. Maybe that will give it some body so it won't be so floppy. Or I can make another one out of worsted weight yarn.

I re-started Bombshell after a gauge problem. The first time out I got gauge and was 1/2 way through the first 21 repeats of part one of the pattern when I checked gauge. I was way off. The sweater would have been huge. So I went back to what I had suspected in the beginning (that I'd need to use a US 9) and started stitching. The gauge is right on this time, thank GOD!

The only thing I don't like about the Bamboo yarn is that it's really splitty. I don't know if they're all that way, but I've had to slow down a lot so my stitches will be even. That doesn't take into account the strands that just pop up on their own out of the plys. I don't know what to do about them, so I just knit on through and will work it to the back of the sweater at some point.

I worked on a bunch of mitered squares and the sweater this weekend... What was that? You want to know about my project for The Amazing Lace? I've been neglecting my team mate. Poor little fish. Only has 5 garter stitch rows to show. When there is something more substantial to show - I'll post a photo.