Friday, December 28, 2007

Mm Noro

The beautiful mystery of Noro color. . .this time on a tea pot cozy.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Happy

I trust you all had a spectacular holiday!

We just had the last of our family escape our premises so it's just us and the kids again. Tra la la.

I didn't actually FINISH knitting for Xmas so much as made plans TO KNIT for next year. This way I was able to let folks pick their yarn (STR) and pattern (socks or glittens) which I ultimately thought was a better idea. It was. I would NEVER have chosen the sock yarn colors that were selected--not that they were bad (far from) but I'm a lousy judge of color. So this was much MUCH better.

Now we're just spending the holiday weeks with our kids in tow. We have exactly zero plans, except that I'd like nothing more than to knit for the next two weeks.

Yeah, right...

The weaving is paused right now while we have a bunny in the house (I gave it my weaving's got feelings and the loom mostly doesn't). The knitting is on a new Cat Bordhi kick, so I'm finishing the second pair of baby booties. I think I can say without fear of being contradicted that she's a genius. I wish I had half the creativity that woman has. Woof!

Craftlit continues and I'm planning a few interviews for the rest of Frankenstein. So exciting!

But now, I'm going to go back and work more on that New Year's letter (might become the Valentines Day letter at this rate...) and see if I can sneak some knitting in...


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sock Darning, 102a

NOTICE: Desperately seeking Bouton D'Or Flash in a vaguely gold colorway--I think the color number is 075 but I'm not sure (I'm looking at the ball band, but who knows...)
Contact me at MamaOKNits [at] gmail [dot] com if you are a goddess who is in possession of such stuff...

I'm a fanatic for sock darning now that I've been knitting the darn things.Here's my step by step for you, so you can join me in my new nuttiness. Understand though, that this isn't probably the most detailed tutorial. I do expect that you have a basic idea of what you're about to undertake, but I also figured you'd not be knitting socks if you didn't:
First, create a vertical scaffold for your darning. It'll help keep you in line and give you some useful strings to hang on when you need them.
(yeah, it's blurry, but it's close-in and you can see the white vertical stripes)
In fact, the more regular you can be about the placement of said scaffolds the happier you'll be.
 If you can put them on the insides or outsides of stitches all the way across, so that you KNOW what your threads are doing, you'll be in good shape. If you have no idea what I'm talking
 about, don't worry. It won't kill you (and you may figure it out by the end).
Start a few rows below where you need to be. You're going to either create stit
ches in that void using the thread guides, or you're going to pull stitches down from the top and darn them together with stitches at the bottom of your hole...or a little of both. Which is what I did.

So here you can see a couple of rows completed in duplicate stitch. If you've never done this before check out this tutorial (and this video...scroll down to "joining a new color yarn"... oh, and this tutorial too...). It's MUCH easier than you think, though I found working on the purl side even easier when I first started. But this is pretty easy too.
See where the needle comes in and out? That's actually connecting the top loops of the stitches on either side of that needle. Like linking elbows in a long chain. That's it. That's the whole secret of knitting right there.
This is the next pic in line. Notice in the pic above this, the yarn tail is coming down from the top? Now it's coming up from the bottom. 
And the top is where it'll end up at the end of this stitch. You'll also see (even through the haze of the flash) that there's VERY LITTLE that I'm able to grab onto with the needle. In fact, most of what I'm stitching through is ground-down fluff from the original sock yarn.

C'est la guerre.

Regardless, this is where those little white threads come in handy. I can hook those as well as whatever fluff I can manage. From this point on, I'll be using those guide threads until I can get close enough to the top row of the hole to start snagging those loops...until's a high wire act.
And in this pic you can see just how far I've had to reach UP to get at anything...even a tiny little snag that I know would pull out with a gentle tug. That's fine though, because I'm going to continue my rows above that, so I'll be "linking arms" with those stitches. I just can't pull it hard NOW.

And that's pretty much it. Go AT LEAST two rows past where your hole was...

And now, I'm off to darn another!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Re-Warping chenille




Gosh Darn Life!

Once again, life swipes at us...holidays, holiday gift making, kids, illnesses, work, (not necessarily in that order). You know the drill.

But here's something nice. In the middle of all the chaos, a weaving/spinning/knitting friend of mine who is a RNP, has begun to work for a company called "Take Care" which runs store front clinics inside Walgreens stores here in Tucson. Spectacular. Cheap, attentive, gentle medical care. Nothing urgent (like broken bones) but things annoying and impossible to get emergency visits croup.

Thing 2 needed to be checked today since he got sent home from school with a (ridiculously) minimal fever. He's fine--I'm getting something nasty though--and he'll be even better after a nap, but it was so nice to have access to this easy (and did I say cheap?) health care option.

A good thing in this sickly season.

Tra la la

Off to to come...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Our son. . .

The two-stripe yellow belt

Monday, December 03, 2007

It progresses...

Back and . . .

And front...and no, my dressform has no legs. Poor thing...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Love Ben Stein (better late than never...)

SEE THE NOTE BELOW FIRST--thank you Emano!!!:

I don't know that I agree with everything Mister Stein has to say, but I have to say it's refreshing honesty to hear this at all.

I still think religion belongs at home rather than at school, but it's nuts to actively deny the Judeo roots of our legal system--though school is not the place for prayer (unless it's private and before an exam) home is. Synagogue is. Church is.

Seriously, who wants a teacher leading prayers. Honestly! Like when did I get a Divinity degree???

At the same time, the atheists I know are the most ethical folks I know as--for them--there are no easy answers. They have to actually think about right-and-wrong rather than just have a spoon-fed, knee-jerk response (which may be wrong...witness the Teddy Bear). And while I'm totally on-board with the Nick and Jessica thing, I'm a little unnerved by the "they asked for it" overtones on the good folks who died or who's children committed suicide...

Regardless. It's interesting to read, no?

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS

Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And
it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those
beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel
threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are:
Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say 'Merry Christmas' to
me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in
a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all
brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't
bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key
intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a cradle
there, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred
yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew and I don't think
Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think
people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed
around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that
America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the
Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: Where did the idea come from
that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to
worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm
getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering
where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this
is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not
funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

[See below. This part did NOT come from Ben Stein...I wondered...]          Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane
Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?'
(regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and
insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by
this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get
out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of
our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly
backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His
protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings,
etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was
murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer
in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not
read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou
shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when
they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped
and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed
suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And
we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why
they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to
kill strangers, their classmates and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.
I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why
the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the
newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you
can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but
when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think
twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene
articles pass freely through cyberspace but public discussion of God
is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many
on your address list because you're not sure what they believe or
what they will think of you for sending it. Funny how we can be more
worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought
process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world
is in.

My Best Regards. Honestly and respectfully,
Ben Stein

THANK YOU EMANO! Here's the REAL original:

Intro from Scopes:
Stein, a lawyer by training, has also served as a speechwriter for President Richard M. Nixon, has to date authored sixteen books (both novels and non-fiction efforts), and continues to write editorials and columns for a number of prominent publications. He is perhaps best known to the world at large, however, for his in-front-of-the-camera work as the dreadfully dull economics teacher in the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off (and his similar role as the monotonic science teacher Mr. Cantwell on the TV series The Wonder Years) and as the keenly competitive host of the Comedy Central game show Win Ben Stein's Money.

Mr. Stein currently offers occasional commentaries for the CBS Sunday Morning news program, and the item quoted above is based on one such commentary, entitled "Confessions for the Holidays" and delivered by Mr. Stein on that program on 18 December 2005, one week before Christmas. However, the version widely circulated via e-mail includes some transcription errors and modifications that were not part of the piece as originally aired. Here is the full version as broadcast, taken from a CBS News transcript of the program:
CHARLES OSGOOD, host: We all have our own thoughts about the holidays. Here's Ben Stein with his.

BEN STEIN: Here at this happy time of year, a few confessions from my beating heart. I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are.

(Footage of People magazine; Us magazine)

STEIN: I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I'm buying my dog biscuits. I still don't know. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores who they are. They don't know who Nick and Jessica are, either. Who are they? Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they've broken up? Why are they so darned important?

(Footage of People magazine)


don't know who Lindsay Lohan is either, and I don't care at all about Tom Cruise's baby.

(Vintage footage of congressional hearing)

STEIN: Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I'm a subversive? Maybe. But I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are. Is this what it means to be no longer young? Hm, not so bad.

Next confession: I am a Jew and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish, and it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautifully lit-up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees.

(Footage of Christmas trees)

STEIN: I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are — Christmas trees. It doesn't bother me a bit when people say 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they're slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. I shows that we're all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year.

It doesn't bother me one bit that there's a manger scene on display at a key intersection at my beach house in Malibu.

(Footage of manger scene; menorah)

STEIN: If people want a creche, fine. The menorah a few hundred yards away is fine, too. I do not like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat. Or maybe I can put it another way. Where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and aren't allowed to worship God as we understand him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we used to know went to.

Monday, November 26, 2007

SPS (I suck!)

I've been remiss. But then, I've been sick.
Of course, I now have a new haircut to show off today.
This is me trying to finish a 50,000 word book in four more days.
Yeah, I know.
Me too.

This is a lighter pic of me in the office (see, TWO this Sunday!).

And here's a question for all of your knitty types:
those little sweater they work? My Rogue Hoodie is getting all pilled along the cuffs and inside of the sleeves. Stone or little rotary reverse-fan looking-thing?
Your call. It's all a mystery to me.

And what have I been wearing today? My Harry Potter Sock Swap Socks (THANK YOU CASSANDRA GRUBBLY-PLANK!) and my Rogue Hoodie.


It's 49° out there right now, at 10pm!


Sunday, November 25, 2007

NaNoWriMo Fun!

Everyone needs a merit badge.

Near as I can tell, these are the above, in order left to right top row:
  • Procrastination
  • Rally Day
  • Word-Count Padding,
  • Victory
  • Random Ending
in order left to right bottom row:
  • Caffeine Abuse
  • the Eureka Moment (when the puzzle piece fits)
  • NaNo Socializing
  • Secret Noveling
  • Creative Nonfiction
On some level I think I'll get all but I'm starting to get a complex after the horrible experience in the Knitting Olympics. I gotta stop joining these things...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Harry Potter bounty from my pal!

Friday, November 23, 2007

I'm SO Warped!

Warping for presents!

I have the BEST friends in the world! Two friends from the local Handweavers and Spinners guild (TH&SG) had a warping board they could live without. Me? I'd gotten to the point where using part of the great room and the dining room table with a Ginger Ale 2-litre bottle on it (to make my cross) was getting both OLD and dangerous with two small boys who like to crash into things.
This has saved Christmas.
Too late for Hanukkah.

But it's great. You see two colors of chenille warped up here to make SOMEthing for SOMEone who occasionally reads my blog. It's a short warp b/c it's a kit. Had I my druthers I'd have warped all 14 feet of this lovely lady.

More on this later.

Monday, November 19, 2007

My office. . .

For Monday and Tuesday, anyway. . .

Saturday, November 17, 2007

On the road again. . .

Thing One rides (and rides)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

O, That's ALL?

You Are 72% A Child of the 80s

Not only did you experience the 80s... you are practically an expert.
You should be totally stoked!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

One reason i'm glad i'm not an undergrad

Says "so dirty you'll beg for a shower." ad by axe. more to come on this. . .

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The End Is Near

I find myself still unable to speak clearly for any length of time, so getting the podcast out has been impossible. I think I might start doing it in stages, a few minutes here and there just to get the first chapters out to everyone. I feel horrible. I'd so wanted to start Frankenstein for Halloween.

Ah well...the best laid plans, blah blah blah.

And, of course, I'm not the only sick one.
Andrew leaves and Thing 2 gets Croup. I've never met Croup before. It's horrifying. The poor little guy couldn't breathe in OR out. His cute little voice had been replaced by hideous, raspy, seal-boy, barking and wheezing--not a high pitched wheeze, either, but this low, growling, rolling, aching snarl

I hope I never hear this again.

I tried to get an inhaler in his mouth--HA! He was awake and crying but not really awake enough to reason with (who am I kidding? He's we ever are able to reason with him). I pulled down one of the humidifiers--which was strangely missing it's water-container cap. Okay, so that's trash--not fun to discover at 12:30am. Humidifier #2 comes down and it's good to go...but there are no available plugs. Unplug the air purifier and...find yourself unable to get the humidifier plug into that socket.

One whole I Love Lucy sketch later, and the humidifier is in. Thing 2 has already collapsed backwards in bed, sound asleep and breathing pretty well.

I go back to bed and fall into it. I'm still having trouble myself, so I take a hit off of my (brand new) inhaler and pass out. I come-to about 15 minutes later, coughing myself awake. I pop a Halls (mmmmmmmmmm mentholyptus!) into my mouth, take a swig of water, and curl up again.

I know, I know, sleeping with a cough drop in your mouth--especially when sleeping alone--isn't such a great idea. So sue me. It works.

Thing 2 and I repeat our comedy act three times during the night. Finally at 5am, I ask him if he wants to get into bed with me. Yes he does, so we stumble back to my room, which is (mercifully) dark as a tomb, and I arrange the pillows around him for maximum safety. He snuggles in and I ask if he wants to hold my hand. No. He grabs his hand away from me and is fniffy in ways that only a three year old can be--followed almost immediately by this little arm snaking through the covers to find and clamp onto my hand as he falls, immediately, into an occasionally fitful sleep.


I just stay there, listening to make sure he's breathing.

The next day, yesterday, after nearly four hours at Urgent Care (our pediatrician sucks) they give him a liquid steroid.

And last night?

The boy slept.

But none of that has anything to do with the title of the blog post.

In the middle of all of this, I've been working on socks for the Second Hogwarts Sock Swap. Luckily, both my pal and I have had a hard time finishing--I'm doing the Railroad (I think) pattern for gentlemen's socks from Nancy Bush--lovely pattern, easy to memorize repeat, freakin' tiny gauge. They're taking me forever.

But will be lovely when they're done.

I have about another two inches before I can start decreasing for toes.

The end is near.

Next? I weave.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Closing in on it. . .

The Mythic Giant Squid!
Working on top of head with fins*

*got a reprieve from my sister--I don't have to finish until next year's Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Batting for The Other Team

I know this won't look obviously suspect to most of you, but the yarn is quite definitely off to the right side.

Now under normal circumstances, I knit Continental (picking the yarn off of my left hand) but this project--my sister's squid hat--is a pain in the wrist and I'm finding myself employing as many different knitting techniques as I can possibly remember. Overhand, throwing, knitting name it. I'm doing it.

It's called desperation.

Monday, October 22, 2007

New Blog on the block

Our buddy Peter Sagal who you may know from NPR's "Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me!" just started his blog/website.

He and his wife Beth (the fabulous) were neighbors of ours in Brooklyn and I count the day they told us they were moving to Chicago as both one of the sadder days of my life as well as the first step towards leaving Brooklyn ourselves. I mean, really...why stay?

Bookmark 'im. He's funny. And if you stop by, tell him I sent you. Otherwise he'll wonder where all these knitters came from!

Fantastic short-row heel tutorial

as promised: a short-row heel tutorial at cosmicpluto knits!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

SOAR 2007 � Heritage Gathering

SOAR 2007 � Heritage Gathering
WHOO HOOO! I made it onto Joan's blog!
This is the shop run by the fabulous Joan who taught me how to spin warp yarn that didn't feel like wire (as well as how to fix a broken warp thread--easy as pie when you know how).

Halloween Costume Cry for Help!

Hey, have any of you made this Squid Hat (pdf pattern here). I cannot for the life of me figure out what she meant with the eye instructions--specifically row 18 and on. Is it a turn-ridge (a purl on the knit side row) that she's talking about? She's not answering email and I'm trying (pathetically) to finish this for my sister. I had to stop working on it for months b/c it ws killing my wrists, but now I'm changing my knitting style (Continental to British to Victorian) and I'm making due.

I'm also pondering the best way to make Thing 1 (my 7yo) a Headless Horseman costume.

It's always something, no?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Crochet Compulsive: 8 veeeeeery random things

Crochet Compulsive: 8 veeeeeery random things
I have been tagged...I'll return to ante up when I'm done with my eleventh anniversary.

Okay. Back I am.

Here's the deal: Once tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you. Then post the rules before your list, and list 8 random things about yourself. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to 8 other people, visit their sites, and leave a comment letting them know they’ve been tagged.

1) I stepped into a bad bout of Bronchitis (or just a nasty chest cold) yesterday and cannot for the life of me remember how to make a mustard plaster...which was a remedy used on me as a child. And worked. Random Fact: If I get a cold, it goes straight to my chest.

2) Crochet Compulsive had a bootlegger grandfather? I have a crazy Frontier Abortionist/Snake oil salesman in my genes...he had three wives, two of which died under "mysterious circumstances" and the third is only known in the family annals as "Mary the Cherokee"

3) My husband remembers seeing me a few weeks before I remember meeting him. However, when we did finally meet we sat at LuValle Commons at UCLA talking until we suddenly realized the sun went down. I was smitten (smited? smote?) and that, as they say, was that...

4) I have lived in at least two haunted houses (apartments) and wonder about a third.

5) My best friend is an empath. Seriously. She'll call and say, "DUDE! TAKE SOME ASPIRIN OR SOMETHING! YOU'RE KILLING ME!" and I'll have been toughing out a particularly bad day of knee pain...or something like that.

6) I have always been sad that no one let me go to my Great Grandfather's funeral. Yeah, I was only five, but I really loved him and completely understood that he was gone...but I didn't get to say goodbye.

7) I'm scary good at reading Tarot.

8) The first time in my life that I can remember experiencing anything like homesickness was this last move from Croton-on-Hudson, NY to Tucson AZ. For me, usually, every minute is a new minute and I don't generally spend time looking back. But this one took the wind out of me.

Okay, eight bloggers to link to...this is, Sydney's too busy so maybe Juno, and Jen, Abby and The Professor, Spinner Erin and Spider Knit, and my local bud, Kate.

Vampire Cupcakes | Baking Bites

Vampire Cupcakes | Baking Bites

Refashionista!: How to Tweak a Tee

Refashionista!: How to Tweak a Tee
MAN I wish there was more time in the day! For this too!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Abby's Blog

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee wasn't the only rock star at SOAR. Abby Franquemont was a scholarship recipient this year and is, as I understand it, fiber royalty (Daughter of Ed and Christine Franquemont).

Happily, I made it into one of her pictures (scroll down). Between her blog and Stephanie's and the podcast (oh! And Knitter's Review!) you'll get a pretty clear picture of what SOAR is like...and why we're so tired when we get home!

I also found the origin of Stephanie's T-shirt but not yet where you can get one. And, now. I'm off to get a (an?) "Haute men of CraftLit T-Shirt!"

Monday, October 15, 2007

Skinky Returns!


Thing One and Skinky

See this post and this one for the significance of these pics.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

SPS--podcasting my way home from SOAR

Yeah, they thought I was a freak.
Yeah, so what.

Did THEY get to hang out with the coolest, smartest people for a whole week?
I think not.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sharon Costello

Felted black capped chickadee

Friday, October 12, 2007

Margaret Stove's lace class

Lace weight two-ply

Katherine alexander is my hero!


Why I love my boys--all of them

Yes, DH is a great writer, but this would bring tears to your eyes even if it read like a VCR manual.


Fractal spinning--Merino Silk blend

Due to my rushed packing, I completely forgot to pack a ball-winder or Nøstepinne, so...the skein is in my box being shipped back to me. After it returns to my waiting hands I'll swatch it and upload it for all to see.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Workshop work

Hand spun hand woven bag- first of my weaving I've ever CUT!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Down Side of SOAR

It's not what you're thinking.

I'm having a wonderful time. I've met the nicest (and most interesting) people, who I'm only rarely able to get on the microphone (folks are SHY!). I'm learning a ton from Joan--about both spinning and weaving...and how to turn a military career into a fiber shop.


No, the downside is October. Last year we missed Halloween at home, which stunk, but the Grandparents were there (all of them) so really, the kids didn't suffer with me gone (would they have anyway? They love their Daddy!).

No, the problem is that in October I have my husband's birthday and our anniversary (11 years of marriage this year, 12 of living together and 19 of me being in love with him--but who's counting?).
So, this year, Andrew gets a phone call. And that sucks. I don't like it at all. But there isn't much I can do about it this year. I can make it up to him on our anniversary...I hope...

So here it is, your birthday clipart:
And, hey? If you get a chance, can you swing by and leave a happy birthday comment to him?

I was able to corral my Dad, Stepmom, Mom, and Sister into surprising Andrew for his birthday. He had NO idea. We had Thing 1 and the babysitter in on it. He sounded SO happy when I phoned the restaurant. At least it was something.

Sunday, October 07, 2007





SOAR: On the Upswing

First, before I get all snipey, as always, the people from Interweave and the Spinners themselves, are spectacular people I've been able to spend a van ride and a breakfast with Jan and Meg from the UK (Basingstoke--home of the Magic Roundabout) and they once again confirmed my love of all fiber folk. We're just great.

Okay, enough of the happy happy.

We got here after a VERY HOT AND HUMID VAN RIDE--for which I wasn't prepared. It's suddenly 85 degrees here--it was 70-75 on the Google Weather up until the morning I packed. Did I have the computer on while packing?
No I did not.
Am I woefully under prepared?
O yes
And no umbrella.
Will it rain?
O yes
Was that on the radar?
O no.

So, fine. I'm at a resort, right? It's not like I'm going to be OUTside! I'm going to be INSIDE at the conference meetings.

Um...except for the whole, "oh, um...yeah...we're remodeling, so we had to move rooms around."

My room was not only craptastic, but it was hell-and-gone from the main building (steep hill down to the room or up to the conference). Now, in all honestly, I can use/don't mind the walk, but rain + spinning wheel isn't good.
There is a way, though, I'm sure.
There have to be shuttles and such things.

Well...there sort of are...sort of...

Okay, fine. So the room is decorated in Victoria Club, (Riverside, CA) circa 1979.
It smells musty and vaguely unused. least I'm not sneezing.
There's a little that's good right?...and would be great if I had a way to get some groceries...
But...okay...I'm surviving.

There is no hairdryer--I know this doesn't sound catastrophic, but I don't have comb-and-go hair any more. So...drowned rat is my new morning look, followed by the you-did-a- lousy-job-ironing-your-flatass-hair lack-of-body look.

But why should I care? My husband is in AZ. He wouldn't care anyway.
That's how wonderful he is!


The Internet is down!

The Only Thing I Asked About When Making a Reservation...
The Only Thing I Wrote About Just To Make Sure and Confirm...

"Does the room have an internet hookup?"

I don't even care if it's wireless. I'm prepared. I just need access.

O there was a signal. But it was a faux signal. One that you couldn't actually USE, you could just SEE Tantalus, I spent HOW much time last night trying to get it to work???

All reminiscent of Thing One and me in Denver...

So this morning I go to the desk to ask about a hairdryer and the internet and was told that (a) housekeeping could get me "a hairdryer...maybe....we'll see...", and (b) "yeah, um...the internet's been down in that building for
weeks...we keep calling..."

Long story short... My room was in a condo. The condo association is responsible for the wireless. 'Nuff Said.

So I beg. I plead. I smile nicely and remind her that it's the ONLY thing I requested.

"We'll see what we can do. You
can bring your laptop up here, we have desks back there..."

Didn't I see a business center on the map?

"It's closed for the renovation..."


The "desks" were dinner tables.

In the space next to the indoor pool...that much humidity and me? And my laptop?

I head to breakfast with no faith, but a "what the heck can I do about it" regard to the day.

I get back to my room (after a very nice meal with Jan and Meg) and start working...then the phone rings. It is, in fact, Jessica at the front desk telling me they have a "studio" I can have in the big house.

I assume this means I'm moving to a closet. I don't care. I'm ecstatic! Uncontainable enthusiasm returns! I will have a connection to the world and work! I'll be able to put the podcast up! I am fully realized again.

The van comes to get me (15 minutes late, but who's counting) and I get my new (working) key, open the door and here's what I see--in order:

1) A really bitchen Murphy Bed
2) OMG there's a whole kitchenette here!!!!
3) OMG there's a fireplace here!!!!!
4) OMG


I don't deserve this.

But, in my defense, I didn't yell or scream. I was very nice. I just asked to have internet--like they promised me when I booked my stay.

The only thing wrong now is that have a WHIRLPOOL TUB AND ANDREW'S NOT HERE!

There is a cruel irony there.

And now, it's time to get lunch, then back to work...

*Spin-Off Autumn Retreat

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Trey Ellis: Michael Medved Makes Me Sad - Politics on The Huffington Post

Trey Ellis: Michael Medved Makes Me Sad - Politics on The Huffington Post.
Me too.
This guy is good!

SOARing Soon

After a REALLY nice date night with the husband, I head off to a week of Spinning, Knitting, and Kibbitzing.

I'm looking forward to this.

I'm also recalling that last year, while it was a a nice change, it was exhausting! Like handcrafting a good way. I'm wondering if—now that I know what I'm getting into—it'll be different, or if I'll still be wiped out on the plane back.

I'm armed with my plane knitting, my work, my iPod (Cast-on's and Wait! Wait!'s that I've saved up), two great books (Jasper Fforde's last Jack Sprat and Calamity Physics)...I think, if I can successfully pack for weather twenty degrees below what I'm in here...I'll be fine.

Shockingly hard to imagine life in the 80 degree range right now.
Tra la la,
Off to the Airport!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Oh My Goodness, Yes.

Reader Request

So, I got an email froma friend of Craftlit. I didn't want to post this on the Show Notes yet, but thought I should get the word out here a.s.a.p.

If you have a second, please do this for my buddy.
Many thanks:

I'm in a competition you may have already heard about. I wrote a book, a romance, full of yarn and alpacas and sheep and hot knitter-on-shepherd action (no, really). I entered it in's First Romance Competition. I posted the first chapter, and it garnered enough votes to move on to the second round (in the top 25 of more than 300), so I'm thrilled to say that I'm a finalist, with people now voting on the second chapter. It's kind of an American Idol type of thing, if you can imagine, and this second round is still vote-driven, and the the most important thing to know is that if I end up in the top three, with the most votes, I move on to the last round where THE WHOLE NOVEL IS READ BY SIMON & SCHUSTER and their favorite is published. Oh, my god. I would like that. I would love that.

So I need your vote. I *really* need your vote. I'm in fourth place right now, and the three people ahead of me have LOTS of friends, but so do I! And my friends are prettier and smarter and nicer, too. Look at you!

Here's what you do: Read chapter one, but don't vote on it. That one is nice and content and voted on as it is. Please ignore the typos. They hurt my soul, but they're there.

Then read chapter two and please DO vote. If you like the chapter at all, please give it a 10, as they only count 10s (they throw out all votes of 1-9). The chapters with the most 10-votes win.

Even though I know you want to, don't vote more than once, since they're watching for IP fraud. And you DO have to register with their site in order to vote, but they won't spam you, and they don't share or sell email addresses. They will send you a daily email which you can easily opt out of.

Here you go:

Don't vote on chapter one:
DO VOTE on chapter two:

All my thanks. Really, ALL my thanks. It means so much. Whoo-hooo!

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Because my friend Rick says I'm not smiling in any pics and my DH gets worried when I look unhappy here (regardless of how I look in person).
I think this makes me look like I just had oral surgery on my right side, but there it is...

Saturday, September 29, 2007


I've had trouble watching the glee with which the media has gone after Larry Craig. I cannot imagine a life more difficult than one where I (a) felt I couldn't be myself and (b) where I hated what I knew I was in my heart of hearts.

I don't like hypocrisy. I particularly don't like the zeal with which Senator Craig has gone after others who--like him--have had to make difficult choices about how to live with who they really are. And I sincerely wish the world would move past caring about any of this.

In the mean time--I think Scott Simon (par normal) does a lovely job summing it all up.

NPR : Reflections on the Sen. Larry Craig Case

Friday, September 28, 2007

Brenda's Buttons

I'm not the only, nor am I the first, but I still feel compelled to post the buttons I've earned from Camp Cast-on.
So here.
I've been an asshole about my knitting.
I've tried to impress others with my mathematical skills (in knitting).

I've nearly killed muggles by talking about knitting.

I podcast about knitting (and other stuff) at Craftlit.

If at all possible, I drink while knitting.

MacGyver Level I--paper clips, binder clips, hair doodie bobbers as stitch markers.

MacGyver Level II--use of bamboo skewers and pencils as needles.

I am, in fact, working on a book RIGHT NOW
(or, actually, I'm avoiding working on it by blogging on this page).