••• Thursday, July 31, 2003

Bits n Pieces 

It's a deal done. A done deal. Saturday morning there will be a New Kia on the Block. It's a fun little zippy thang that will afford me safe passage through the worst that Mother Michigan can offer.

I'm excited but I also fret over new purchases such as this. I'm a worrier, with associated issues related to entitlement and feeling worthy of good things. I'll get over it real quick, with a full appreciation of my bountiful blessings, whether it's a worshipful husband, adorably challenging off-spring or having the resources to purchase a safe, shiny new car or a hunky hank named Perry Winkle.

Squarely Forgotten
I've neglected to honor a work in progress. It's a garter square afghan, inspired by Melanie Falick's (et.al.) Knitting for Baby (I know, how thick is the creative cretin who needs "inspiration" to create an afghan out of garter stitch squares?). My husband is very excited about this project and anxious for it to be completed. To break up the monotony of garter stitch from here to seaming infinity I made a deal to knit a square every time I finish a project. By finish, I mean steamed, seamed and ready to wear. I have 8 squares done, with 23 to go. I'm kind of cheating the system because I currently have three garments waiting to be "finished." I really need to get to those because I've run out of stitch holders.

The yarn for afghan is Encore. The above mentioned Periwinkle is Pure New Zealand Wool, from a company called "Wool Pak." And a recent purchase from a new yarn shop in town. Grand Rapids (in consideration of it's size) is sorely lacking in quality yarn stores. There are two nice ones in the SW suburbs, approximately 14 and 20 miles from me (I live in GR metropolitan area).

The new yarn shop is also in the suburbs, but closer to me than the others. The ambiance is a bit hoi polloi for my tastes, but they carry a selection of quality yarn (Rowan, Jaeger, Classic Elite, etc.). In the fall they're getting in Lana Grossa, evidently not currently offered retail in U.S.

Like many yarn shops, this place holds a monthly sit-n-knit in the evening. Unlike many yarn shops, to attend one of these functions, one must make a reservation and fork over $25.00 for a meal. I'm pretty good at multi-tasking, but I'm pretty sure I can't eat and knit at the same time. I'm also pretty sure I don't want to attend a knit gathering with people who would pay $25.00 to knit while eating Chicken Mandarin salad and Killer brownies.

Maybe I'm cynical, overly suspicious or flat out paranoid, but I can't help but wonder if this is a scheme to keep out the fiber RiffRaff.

Sample RiffRaff:: The middle aged woman with too much bling-bling in her hair, who pulls up in a Korean import suv, with dealer plates and price sticker stuck to and completely covering passenger window.

Sample of Potential RiffRaff Scenario: Said woman tries engaging clerks in intelligent textile conversation, unaware of the chocolate Slim-fast mustache crowning her upper lip. Clerks quickly shuffle woman to separate room where low-rent yarns are sold in bulk. Only other woman in room is wearing a hair net, a pink and green checked culotte skirt, knee hi nylons and Keds sneakers with no shoe strings. Culotted woman wonders aloud if they carry no dye lot bulk acrylic. Mama Bling starts to cry. She wants her Subaru.

I'm thinking of joining the Knitting Kitty Ring. I do have a cat, although I rarely speak of her. She's a private kind of feline, but has agreed to put herself in the limelight from time to time for momma's sake. Her name is Bella, but I call her Bella Boosky, or Boosky. I don't know why. Names and sounds seem to freehandedly arrange themselves in my brain without prompt or solicitation from brain's user.

One of the standards for Knitting Kitty Ring membership is some blog coverage of kitty kinds of things. So, for a Knitting Kitty warmup, here's something cute for you Kosmopolitan Kitten Kanoodlers: Lilly. I purchased a couple of these cards when I was on vacation in Leelenau
County. My favorite shows Lilly sitting on top of Art's Tavern in Glen Arbor, but for some reason that one isn't offered in the boxed sets from Leelenau.

Final thoughts for the day: Will Perry Winkle? I think Natalie Would.

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••• Wednesday, July 30, 2003

The Grand Imposition 

I hate buying a car.

I hate the talking, explaining, listening and more explaining ('cause the guy wasn't listening first time) involved in the apparently necessary interactions with sales guys. And I hate the thinking about it.

Here's how I like to buy a car:
1) I see a car that I like.
2) I take it for a test- drive.
3) If I love it I buy it.
4) If I don't love it, I look further.

The process has never done me wrong. Shopping around after finding true love makes no sense to me.

Yesterday, my husband and I had a plan for me to test-drive a vehicle I'd been admiring from afar. The plan was solid, as far as I was concerned. It contained all the elements for a good plan as follows: Marcia's in control. Marcia's making all the decisions. Marcia's still in control.

Don't get me wrong. I'm no control freak. I have no interest in controlling or mastering the lives, decisions or choices of anyone but myself. I'm actually more of an "anti-control freak" in that if someone imposes on my freedom to control my decisions and choices, I freak.

Anyway, the plan included taking the baby along and husband would watch her while I took my chosen vehicle for a spin. It was solid plan, made the night before.

At 8am, my husband announces that there's a change in the plan. Prior to executing the agreed upon plan, we will drive across town to a different car dealership (and where he has a friend who is saleswoman) and test drive a car that I had no interest in driving or purchasing. After that, husband has to call on a die shop where he is doing some contract work. But it will only take a minute (yeah, right. When it comes to idle chatter, a shop of tool-n-die-makers have it all over a nest of magpies). Then we'll drive 25 minutes back to our end of town and follow our original plan. I knew this new spin on the plan would take up to 2 hours to execute and with a toddler in tow, there's no way we would get to or through "my plan" without someone getting hurt.

My response to this new agenda item was colorful, not pleasant and included monkeys flying out of dark, stanky places. Needless to say, we were quickly back to the original plan.

Then my mom calls to invite herself over for a visit. At first annoying, I realized that this imposition might work to my advantage, as she can watch the baby while we go to the car dealership.

We get to the car dealership and go through the imposition of the requisite sales exchange. This exchange was particularly painful because we were assigned "low-salesguy-on-salesguy-totem-pole." I know this because he was not tan, had no sales achievement awards on his desk and on his bulletin board were no "Thank You for Selling me the Car and Making Such a Difference in My Life" note cards from satisfied customers. He also struggled to remember his "lines." He was watched closely by the tan guy sitting at the desk with lots of phallic-shaped awards and thank you notes galore. We finally put the interview out of our misery by cutting him off and asking, again, for a test-drive.

The drive went well. I was in love.

We get home and find out that, my younger sister had called to borrow my car. It was an emergency. Lucky for my sister, my mom answered the phone and had a viable vehicle available. It shouldn't be too long, my mom said, she just had two quick appointments.

Sometimes the imposition gods have other ideas.

I won't bore with unnecessary family-of-origin details but I will say that any time my sister gets a foothold on your life, it's very hard to wriggle free. Long story short, my mom ended up stuck at my house for approximately 5 hours. Sensitive to what appeared to be an imposition on my daily routine, she told me to just go about my business like I normally would.

Then she decided to clean my house. This isn't as wonderful as it sounds, believe me. Where's the mop? Where's the vacuum? What should I do with....what about...? While appreciative of her intentions, I was not able to complete a thought, let alone get about my normal routine.

I finally carved out some time and space for a pilates work out. Mom watched and chatted with me through the entire workout and I ended up working the same leg twice, and the other not at all.

Finally she was gone. And my husband gets a phone call. He hangs up and tells me that his car sales friend has arranged for us to get a brand new car on loan for a two day test drive. He has to leave right now to fetch it. I remind him that I was already in love. He says it won't hurt to test drive another one, it will be as easy as walking to the driveway to do it. And of course, the final decision will be mine.

He also reminds me his folks are coming over at 6:00 so his dad can help him move some furniture. This means I need to get dinner on by 5:15, prior to which need a quick trip to the store. Husband promises he won't be long, but he is. When I finally get dinner on, it's 5:50 and in-laws are pulling in. They stand around and watch us eat, although dad eventually caves and sits down to join us.

By 8:00 our home office furniture is completely dismantled and being moved to my husbands office. At 8:30 in-laws are gone and By 9:00 baby's in bed and I've taken my test drive to the party store for some sorely needed rum and coke.

And finally it's my time. Blogging Time. Email time. And no more impositions. Vanilla rum has smoothed out some edges. I'm a new person, as I walk into the office expecting to hear the assuring hum of the computer and see the inviting glow of the monitor.

But's it's quiet and dark. There's no desk. The keyboard has been beheaded. Large computer parts separated from smaller ones. All on the floor. I yell. My tired husband offers to get the replacement table set up asap. But I'm not that wicked or selfish. Although I did consider the offer.

This final imposition allowed me time to finish the back of the Berroco turtle, and I started the front. However, at this point I was knitting under the influence (KUIL), so soon will be ripping out a couple of rows of wobbly wibbing.

About the visiting vehicle, I like it okay, but it's not love. It's a safer model (has a truck frame), however, and out the door will be much cheaper than the love object, due to 0% financing. And, as my husband pointed out (with an evil grin), after two days of driving it, I'm likely to get attached. My DNA will be all over the place.

Nothing like the imposition of one's own pecularities.


••• Saturday, July 26, 2003

Yipes Stripes! 

I'm kicking some Berrocan Bootay on this turtleneck sweater (Berroco Uxbridge Tweed) . Yes, the piece is lying upon another sweater. No, I didn't knit that sweater. Yes, my photo studio is primitive.

Here's a better closeup of the color pattern.

It's strange how colors look different knit up together than they do side by side as skeins. When this yarn was delivered, I was kind of disappointed in the colors together (skeined) and my husband didn't like them at all (the sweater is for his mom). But I'm really loving the look now, and kind of wishing I could keep the sweater for myself.

Another Product Review
I purchased some skin cream that after 4 weeks is supposed to reduce the appearance of cellulite by 60%. Wowee.

I, of course, thought they were pulling my dimpled thigh with this promise, but I've used the cream for a week now, and I think they are on to something. Seriously.

And I also think I've figured out how it works. Remember as a kid...or immature adult..putting a layer of Elmer's glue all over your hand, then letting it dry? Remember how smooth it was and transparent? Well, that's what this lotion is about, only not as sticky or stiff. My theory is that the cream, when used consistently and over time, creates a synthetic sausage casing around your leg, essentially smoothing out the appearance of unsightly cellulite.

If not for the parsley thong, I'd hardly recognize myself.

It's a miracle.

Post edited 7/26/03, 7:15


••• Thursday, July 24, 2003

My husband gave me some startling news yesterday. On some level I knew it was coming, but also held to the smallest hope that there would be a happier ending. But it is not to be. The hour of truth is upon me.

The lease on my car has expired and it has to go.

So what. It's just a hunk of metal (are cars still made of metal?). But it's my hunk of metal and I can't explain how or why, but I get attached to my cars.

Several years ago, I fell into the "lease trap." I was newly divorced, had just bought my own home, started a new job 15 miles away and my car was getting old. At this same time, my sister and her four small children had moved in with me and my young son. She was in the process of rebuilding a broken life, had recently rejoined the work force and had no car.

I needed a new car, she needed my old car (I'm no saint, the car borrowing was getting old). So I sold my car to her on time, which meant I had no cash for a down payment on a new one. The lease mongers, however, were offering 0% down. And that's how it started.

To me, a car is a personal thing. It contains bits and pieces of my life. It's my singing studio. My think tank. My decompensation zone. It also contains a plethora of personal DNA (I watch a lot of Law & Order). Under my carseat are petrified french fries, ink pens, nicorette gum containers, crumpled "Hello My Name is" tags, and maybe a few secrets. There's still ice cream on the radio console from the time I thought I could safely drive a five-speed while eating an ice cream cone (all was fine until I had to make an emergency shift to third gear). And I've been trusting my butt daily to that driver's seat for three years.

I don't give my butt daily to just anyone. It's personal. Intimate.

I'm in a better financial place today than I was when I hopped on the bloodsucking lease carousel. My husband promises that my next car will be purchased. It will be mine until I say it ain't.

Tonight I took my baby out for a final spin. I opened the windows and sunroof. I cranked the Cranberries, in tribute to Subarus present and past. Here and gone.

In preparation for the ::gasp:: severance, we had the cracked windshield fixed today. The windshield-fixer-man came right to the house... a-ringin' the doorbell. I answered the door, gave him the keys and couldn't help from wondering why he didn't exactly ever look at me.

I made a joke about the mess in the car, but he didn't laugh and didn't look, still. 30 minutes later, he came to the door for a signature, handed me the keys and left. Not long after, I went into the bathroom. I saw my reflection in the mirror. It went something like this.

Please note that I don't typically carry a camera around with me. Just moments before this cosmetic "awakening" I was trying to catch my baby girl doing something adorable, so the digital was handy. I took the shot myself. Not bad, eh? While initally mortified at my reflection, I couldn't help but smile to think of the story this guy will be telling at tonight's dinner table.

Okay Pig, Let's get to some Knitting
Understandably, I've been on an emotional brink all day. What better comfort is there than clicking through the miraculous world of internet yarn shopping? I've been eyeing this Mission Falls Carnaby Turtle for a time. Unless it's travelling at a turtle's pace, it should be knocking at the door within the 7-10 days.

I'm feeling better already.


••• Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Vintage Pattern Gets Old 

I've completed 5 inches on the back piece of the Vintage Knits cardigan pattern. I'm quite frustrated because it's coming out way too big. And it's absolutely not my fault.

It's a pattern production error. An error that should be on a list with a nasty name. Errata. The list of errors.

I'm knitting the sweater in a size large, which according to the book, should end up 38 inches around, for a 36-inch bustable woman. The back piece (in stalled progress) is coming out to almost 21 inches wide. For the back, the pattern calls for 103 stitches, at a 5 stitch/inch gauge. This amounts to a 41 inch around garment, not the 38 inches indicated in the book.

And my gauge is perfect. I've checked it 718 times.

I posted this problem on the Yahoo Knitlist and received about a dozen emails telling me that for a 38 inch bust (not the case) 41 inches is good and proper sizing for bust ease...or...Boobease, if you will.

I certainly appreciate the reaching out. The kindness.

But I feel like I'm in a dream and on trial. Instead of being in a courtroom, I'm defending myself from behind a soundproof window. I'm trying to explain to a judge and jury that it's a misunderstanding, that there's been a terrible mistake. They can't hear me, but they're all nodding and smiling real pretty. And I'm wearing a pink sweater, with the greatest of ease.

I know it seems like I'm overfocusing on this (or dwelling as my husband and son call it. Mom, you're dwelling).

I just want someone, anyone, to tell me that they understand. Tell me that four inches is clearly too much boobease. That they believe I never claimed to have a 38- inch bust. Tell me that it's my sweater and I can rip if I want to.

Someone tell me that it's not my fault.

Switch-Swatching Gears
For Christmas I'm making my mother-in-law Vermont from Berocco's Lifestyle pamphlet. The yarn is Berocco's Uxbridge Tweed in Marionberry, Denim Tweed and Indigo Tweed. Instead of the block color pattern, I'm thinking of doing this three color stripe:

I swatched this up this morning, to keep my mind off the the pink puddle of despair that is on my dining room table. My camera/lighting/online photo service doesn't do the colors justice. The yarn making up the wider bands (on each end) is much more purply than the picture shows.

Cross Crafting
My sister makes and sells jewelry. She sells only to support an obvious bead- buying addiction. In the summer she holds Bead-a-thons once a week. This is an all day Open House, where customers design and create their own pieces, with guidance from the artist in residence.

It's very fun, although overwhelming for first timers. Last week I attended and made these earrings:

The pink ones were to go with the pink vintage cardigan ::stifling a sob::. I think the blue earrings are quite Judy Jetson-esque and the beads even rotate with body movement.

A Plug Against Outlet Protectors
My husband made an interesting observation yesterday. He thinks that outlet-protectors actually give babies the idea that one can and should stick things into electrical outletsMy daughter enjoys removing and replacing the plastic protectors. Yesterday she removed one and tried replacing it with the tail of a small plastic cat.

For those of you interested in following up on or checking out the "Chroni Culls," they are up and running again at "Girl From Auntie's" place. I don't know if her website is in full swing yet, though.


••• Sunday, July 20, 2003

A Pain in the Button 

More Tales from Bloggergarten
Keeping in line with the quest to continually improve my fledgling Blogging skills, yesterday I practiced stealing blog buttons. After loading up about 3 or 4 in not so quick order (I've birthed babies quicker) I came upon a disconcerting message at Wendy's Knits requesting that button stealers follow proper "netiquette" and host buttons from their own server.


My stomach rose to my throat as I realized that I'd been frolicking through the Knitblogger Button Garden with a teacup on my nose . Bad form along the lines of tooters in church and walking through Nordstrom's with the back of one's skirt tucked in one's pantyhose.

Because the last thing I want is to be the cover story of the next edition of Knational KnitBlogger's Enquirer ("Newbie Pariahs: Where do They Come from and How do we Send Them Back? or "Can you believe that Button Pig has been Hogging our Bandwidth?") I began the process of returning the ill-gotten button booty. I hope to eventually resteal using the presumably prescribed methodology.

Please note: I'm not done redoing. So before any y'all get your mouse cord in a curl, I'm working on it!

A Sunday Morning Testimonial
A few weeks ago, on a Sunday morning, I caught an infomercial for Winsor Pilates. Aside from Daisy Fuentes being unable to convince me that she was ever out of shape, the testimonials were believable.

I don't have (or make) much time for exercise these days. I used to take the girl out in the jogger, but now she's having none of it. I even tried showing her who's boss by strapping her in, hoping she would come to remember happier strolling times. Nothing doing. She immediately unstrapped herself, leaned over the front wheel and put her fingers in the spinning spokes. I guess I showed her.

Back to the story...I ordered the tapes, and have worked out to the basic 20 minute tape 5 times this week. I've lost three pounds already, without dieting. My husband has already noticed a change in my appearance. He started the program yesterday.

On the sidebar I've added some links to a picture a piece of my pets (see Furry Bits) and I've just noticed that my Sidebar suffers from shrinking font syndrome. I have no idea....


••• Friday, July 18, 2003

Reading the Labels 

Queer Joe's and The Knitting Curmudgeon are high on my list of daily blog reads. Both bloggers appear to be knitters of high caliber, with seemingly uncompromising (and admirable) standards for the art. One also gets the impression that neither of them suffers any fool, gladly or otherwise.

Now that I've greased up my nose a bit, there's this thing that's been bugging me for weeks: What's a KnitDweeb?

In lieu of asking either of these individuals directly for a definition of KnitDweeb (I was afraid, okay? Afraid that asking meant automatic, KnitDweeb categorical inclusion), I googled.

Here's the Curmudgeon's definition of KnitDweeb per her July 30, 2002 blog entry: "They are the dimbulbs (or f**kwits, if you will, to use an earthier expression) that own every knitting book published, buy every stupid knitting tschatske, spend thousands every year on cheap yarn and needles...and never master much of anything except garter stitch. And are forever populating the lists asking questions whose answers can be found in the list FAQ or at the back of any knitting magazine."

Whew. Nothing in the definition about a KnitDweeb not knowing their true identity.

In a socially balanced, knitworthy society, I think there should be more than two social categories ( 1. KnitDweeb 2. KnitEveryoneElse). In case this labeling concept is ever expanded, I'm proposing a couple of ideas for possible categories:
KnitJocks:Knitters who knit and walk at the same time. On purpose.
KnitStoner: Recognized mostly for the quality and quanity of his/her "stash." Lots of imported stuff.

I don't think there is a need for a KnitPrep definition. I'm pretty sure they're, like, closet knitters, totally.

While doing my research (as any ethical bloggist should) I came upon a particularly hilarious archived post at the Knitting Curmudgeon (see March 15, The New HariKari). I was laughing so loud, the dog came barkning to my rescue.

Knitting in the Pink (as any good piggy ought)
I finished the first half of the front of the cardie from Vintage Knits (Sarah Dallas). The pictures aren't great, but my batteries died and I couldn't redo in daylight.

I altered the pattern a bit. Instead of adding pockets, I broke up the ridge pattern with a small chunk of stockinette, the middle of which will go a button. For the purpose of illustration, I probably should've used a sample button of a different color.

I'm making some tentative plans for knitting Christmas gifts. I found a free pattern for this cool, tres MTV RealWorld Paris type hat called The London Beanie at Knit Happens.

I asked my almost 17 year old son if he'd be interested in said gear. He crinkled his nose. I pointed out that sometimes it's good to have a hat, in Michigan, in the winter. He said he has a hat. I cajoled some more (I usually know better) and he finally said "Mom, I would not wear that hat."

I'm typically thick skinned when it comes to adolescent fickle. But in this case, I was truly perplexed.

You see, my son is a sagger. He sags at school, home and even on the basketball court. At his games last season, I could hardly pay attention because I was constantly worried that his pants were going to fall down.

Whenever he made a shot, I would stand and cheer. These weren't, however, cheers of pride. They were selfish cheers. Cheers of relief. Cheers of gratefulness. Gratefulness that his pants didn't fall down in this moment of glory, with all eyes upon him.

Back to the hat. It's very difficult for me to accept and respect a fashion critique from someone whose pants are falling down. Word Out.

Cute baby story: My 21-month old daughter is currently enamoured with two small stuffed animals. A monkey and a cow. Tonight she put the cow on the monkey's head and said "hat." "Cow hat."

I've pretty much covered two days worth of posts here, so I likely won't be around for a couple of days.

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••• Thursday, July 17, 2003

The Yarn Thickens 

A couple of nights ago while catching up on favorite blog/journal reads, I revisited Girl From Auntie. While I had previously seen the links to Auntie's ##### Chronicles (for the purposes of personal safety, within this post, I'll refer to them as "the Culls"). I had not really been interested in checking them out until Auntie drew attention to them in a recent journal post (I'm sorry I can't link you to the Culls or the journal post because Auntie's place is currently not available, which is weirdness, if you know the story).

For those who don't know, Auntie's "Culls" reveal a colorful saga involving a color full deziner who shares moniker with a housekeeper on a tv show that aired in the early 70's, which was a story about a lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls.

I was up reading the Culls until 2am, when I should have been doing something else.... like sleeping (okay, I admit that some of that time was devoted to playing Aunties matching games ::link not available:: at which I kicked some bootay). When I finally completed the last available edition of the Culls, I was hungry for more.

I was so hungry for more that in the morning I was hoping to find that the next (and final I believe) edition had been miraculously posted during my 5 hour slumber. Of course this was a ridiculous fantasy.

Tangential Thought Alert My psycho/social history is rich with fantastical musings. As a child I was convinced that my real mother was Glenda, the Good Witch of the North. Some mornings, upon waking, I would convince myself that my real mommy had finally shown up to claim me, and was waiting down stairs to float me away in a Wood-veneer Bubble Station Wagon, loaded up with all things Barbie (I only had Midge and Francine, Barbie's flatter chested cousin).

Back to the story. I'm new to the knitting information superhighway so recognize that many of you may already know this story and perhaps have been keeping up with Auntie's updates. For those of you who haven't read the Culls, I highly recommend. It's fascinating stuff, of the 00 double pointed variety. And Auntie makes the reading easy. For the record, I had meant to post about this yesterday, before I found out that her site went MIA.

*I'm not using complete titles so that my cute but porky flanks won't be readily googled by "someone" (or his/her minions) and subsequently become the catch of the day at the local Bob Evans. Again, you'd need to know the story to know that my anxiety has legitimate basis.

Dang, this intrigue is draining. I apologize for any confusion here, in the event you don't know what the hoohah I'm talking about and/or haven't been able to successfully link to the articles.

Some Knitting
Here's a shot of the Encore chunky variegated I purchased on vacation. It's very, very soft. The yarn lady said it was new. At this point my plans are to make my nieces (and maybe some sisters) wrist warmers for Christmas. I may add some eyelash to it, for adolescent appeal. I now have to find a wrist warmer pattern calling for chunky yarn.

I bought a couple extra skeins of the Encore for a sweater for my baby girl. At this time, however, I have too many compulsory projects on the table. With each project generating at least 100 obsessional thoughts a day, I can't plan projects too far ahead at this point without getting dizzy. I don't look down.

At this time I really, really need to attend to some hygiene needs and prepare to get out for my once a week interface with real people.

I'll check Auntie's place later to get the rest of the links...I hope. If I mysteriously disappear, someone please feed the pig. She likes Smart Start breakfast Cereal and Slim-Fast Ice cream bars.


••• Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Thank You Tracy aka SweaterGirl 

A very special Thank You! to the unassuming superheroine Tracy at SweaterGirl for creating a Piggy's very own graphic logo/button! "Here she comes...to save the day!" Oops, I guess that's the Mighty Mouse theme.

Later on I hope to figure out how to give Tracy permanent credit closer to the round snouted critter. My nickel supporting this afternoon's freetime has about run out. I also plan on posting other updates.

••• Monday, July 14, 2003

Cyber Souvenirs 

Yesterday I spent most of my allotted computer time figuring out how to steal and successfully display the Knitbloggers button. Remember, I know about nothing of this stuff so I am feeling very proud of this accomplishment. I figured it out by examining the code innards of buttons that are already on my blog and replicated the html pattern.

My next goal is to design my own button, but I fear that goal is in line behind getting the pig to fly.

Vacation was good, but weather was disappointing the last two days. Rainy and cold. Without a 21 month old crying at the window wanting to go to "watah, outside!" (she learned that if she just wailed "watah" she'd get a sippy cup full) the rainy days would have allowed for wonderful knitting and knapping opportunities. I actually appreciate a rainy day at the end of vacation week, because there is no pressure to seize glorious vacation moments.

Cottage(decor was vintage 1969, Brady Bunch Golds, Greens and Orange) on Glen Lake, in Glen Arbor, Michigan.

Sunset on Glen Lake

Lake Michigan and view of South Manitou Island (one of the baby bears that didn't make it to shore, per legend):

Knitting Stuff
I finished the body work on the Textured top. This was a very quick knit on size 10's and fairly mindless pattern. There's no ribbing or finishing, although I may attempt to crochet around neck and armholes for a more finished look. I haven't tried crochet yet (when I learned to knit, there was not much crossover of these arts) but I figure if I can do a button, I can figure this out.

The second sample is the front of a cardigan jacket from Vintage Knits (Sarah Dallas). This pattern has breast pockets, which I'm forgoing. I don't need anymore padding in that direction. I considered doing a "faux" pocket effect but when I asked the clerk at the yarn store for advice on the feasibility she looked at the pattern photo and expressed concern that four pockets would be too many and asked where I would put the two extra. I decided that was a sign from the textile goddesses to skip the pockets.

I was able to venture into Glen Arbor to take advantage of it's renowned artsy fartsiness. There's a fabulous jewelry store there called Becky Thatcher Designs. Most of the stuff on her website is of the high end ilk. I purchased some "low end" earrings. On the left is freshwater pearls with aventurine. On the right are what I'd call an opal veneer.

I bought a bit o' yarn as well. I hope to post future project plans later this week.

It was good to be on vacation, but it's always good to be home.

::Editing Note: I took non-knit-related pictures off page and linked instead, too slow. I learn as I go::


••• Sunday, July 13, 2003

Post Vacation Nothings 

I'm back from vacation. But I'm not ready to talk about it.

I will say that I have bugbites hither and beyond yon and my living room looks like the Riders of the Vacation Apocalypse took on the Fisher-Price Little People. I actually appreciate this current mess because it covers the pumpkin-pie-orange puke stains (upchucked
Kit-n-kaboodle, my guess) the cat left for us to find upon return. I think she was so pissed about being stuck in the house, she meowed herself to a puking frenzy.

So you won't leave here without just a little somethin', here's a little ditty I once made up while trying to forget a heartache:

I flick and I flick
But you just won't go.
Your love is like a booger
On the finger of my soul.

••• Friday, July 04, 2003

Outta Heeyah 

Pig Needing a Vacation

Pig Going on Vacation

She'll be back on July 12.

P.S. She has wings but that pig won't fly.

••• Thursday, July 03, 2003

Chewin' Through the Links 

Sometimes my brain gets to chewing on something and won't stop until either the flavor goes stale, a bigger and better bite comes along or someone whups me upside the head. This cognitive feature has its ups and downs. The ups include that it makes me a good problem solver (although sometimes a tired one, if the juiciest chewing is at 2am). The most significant down is that I usually can't control what's currently on the chew carousel (sp?) regardless of how banal.

My latest chew has been about linking my blog to my impending vacation. Please don't get me wrong. I am under no delusion that any of you have been checking here three times an hour to see if I'd added any links. Nor do I presume that you will want to click if given the option. This isn't about you..it's about me. Me helping my brain to put its gum on the bedpost over night.

As a new blogger, I enjoy checking out the various sites and sizing up individual styles. I've heard that a well-linked blog indicates that it's creator likely (or linkly) knows something of what he/she writes. If I can't be that blogger, then, dangit, I'm gonna look the part.

So, here it be. On July 5, me and mine are going on vacation. We're renting a cottage on Glen Lake (Technically, it's a photo of Little Glen Lake. A smaller and distinct lake "linked" to Glen Lake by a narrow channel aka The Narrows). Glen Lake is in Glen Arbor, Michigan. Glen Arbor is in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

There is a wonderful little yarn shop in Glen Arbor. It's called The Yarn Shop. It's a very cozy place, always with at least a couple of women sitting, knitting and jawing. I only get up there about once a year, but one of the owners, Mary, always remembers me by face.

Okay, I'm feeling pretty linked out now, but I made a commitment and I'm sticking to it.

I haven't worked yet on my daughter's sweater. I've given myself permission not to finish it before we leave. But I will. It's in my blood. My mom was always finishing someone's dress in the car, on the way to the Sunday School Christmas Pageant. It's what we do.

My knitting plans over vacation: A sleeveless T for a friend for an August birthday. The yarn is Reynolds Cabana, purple. The pattern is an Elann freebie FromTahki-Stacy Charles called Textured Sleeveless Top.

I don't think I'll be working on the lacey tunic because there will be too many people around (teenaged son bringing a friend) and other relatives are coming to visit. I'll probably work on a garter square here and there. And, of course, there's always a textile treasure to be found at The Yarn Shop. All right, I'm getting freaky now.

I'm pretty sure I won't be posting until after I return from vacation on July 12, hopefully with great photos of my Tankini lines.

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••• Wednesday, July 02, 2003

No Time  

Yesterday I whined to my husband "I really need to do some blocking." He thought I said "blogging" and replied "You've spent enough time blogging, you need to get back to knitting!" Ouch. Ouchie! He's right, and I know it. I should be knitting right now.

We're leaving on vacation this Saturday, heading to beautiful Glen Arbor, Michigan, in the Sleeping Bear National Park. I am short on time at this moment, but will try later to link to something Sleeping Bearish, but also worth your click and side trip. Most of the sites I visited today, when I should have been knitting, were mostly advertisement.

Okay, back to vacation, although I really should be knitting. For the past month, I have planned on having my daughter's pouch pocket pullover, blocked, sewn and ready to be packed. But it's none of the above. Not nearly.

Today I pulled out the pieces to ready them for blocking and found a noticeable booboo that needs to be repaired. So instead of resting up from a sound steaming, the sweater was unceremoniously frogged (some spitting was involved here) and is currently stuffed back into the knitting bag. I should be knitting right now.

Yesterday the Man in Brown delivered my new bathing suit for vacation.
It's a Tankini.

I think it means "small tank." A bathing suit actually billed as a "small tank" would be hard to sell. Says the saleslady: Ma'am, to cover those trouble spots, you're going to need a small tank. So they made up this word, Tankini. The teeny "ini" makes it sound cute, stylish....acceptable.

A tank is large and lumbering. A Tankini is modest and drapey.
A tank has a turret. I have two. Mine evidently require special containment that can only be found in the reinforced cloakage of a Tankini.

I hope it snows. Glen Arbor is beautiful when it snows.