••• Sunday, March 28, 2004

Weekend Shorts
I had not much no computer access this weekend, so am trying to eke a small post from a short minute, before heading to bed.

I spent a few hours last night trying to break an inch of pattern on the second sleeve for the Must Have. Evidently I took the celebration of Barffok to nearly spiritual levels. I knit and unknit the same two rows, over and over, with no two mistakes being alike.

Hours of knitting with nothing to show. Like knitting into the wind.

I now realize I should've established the pattern before starting on the vanilla rum and The Sopranos DVD (last episodes of season one). I'm kind of ashamed to say it, but up until last weekend, I was an SV (Sopranos Virgin). I'm kind of glad I held out though. My husband and I are having a blast.

It was a brilliant day today. I took a walk and had The Cakers out for some romping. It's now 11 p.m. and I can still smell the sun on my skin. Some people told me that I can't smell leftover sunshine. But I know better.

Say Goodnight Gracie...
On my way home from work Friday, I drove past a medical building I had never noticed before. It was called The Vein Clinic.

I thought "Why bother?"

Goodnight, Gracie

••• Thursday, March 25, 2004

Back to our Regularly Scheduled Barffok
Last weekend's roadtrip to the Cinderballa allowed me to get a leg up on a Must Have sleeve. Since then, I've knit, frogged and reknit the same several inches on the same sleeve.

This shot was taken late afternoon yesterday.

After a hard knight's knit, that sleeve is now 16 inches long. Unfortunately, that sleeve also has a peculiar, undefinable disturbance in its most recently cut diamond. Because I won't be able to see this anomaly while wearing it, I hearby proclaim: The Sleeve Will Remain Peculiar.

Yeah, I'm what you might call knit trash. I don't fix errors I can't see and I keep a spare Denise set in my bra with my mad money.

Honestly? I'm sick to death of the Must Have and definitely ready to cotton up to something with a little more Spring in its gauge.

This week I'm finding myself Down with OPP (other People's Projects). I've fallen refreshingly in love with Mariko's Peppermint cardigan, monkey arms and all. I've also developed a crush of sorts on Knitsmith Alison's spring fling tank top. I'm not sure I can wear that style though, at least not without ace wrappage on the boobage. Amy's hoodie is a cutie too. In a light pink cotton blend, perhaps?

Man! I gotta stop this.
I'm getting my knittin' kneurons all up in a twirl.
I'm thinking that can't be all good for a girl.

••• Monday, March 22, 2004

No knitting content today. Just dishy musings
Love Under a Hale-Bopp Sky (or Getting Some Birthday Tail)
Seven years ago today, Comet Hale-Bopp made its closest approach to Earth.

And seven years ago today, I went to a stranger's birthday party, alone, on a whim.

First of all, I'm not much of a "social crowd" person. In fact, I typically avoid/dread parties or other social gatherings, even when I know and love the people in attendance. But there I was, voluntarily attending a party where I knew only two people, a lesbian couple I'll call Tee & Dee. Tee worked the snack bar at the health club and was my "barkeep confidante." It was Tee who had passed me an invitation to the bash, then made me promise to attend.

Tee and Dee were best friends with the guest of honor, a handsome, strapping guy, with a really nice butt. I had seen him around the health club and consistently sized him up as Trouble. Fine-ass Trouble, but Trouble. I once witnessed him squealing his 1993 Cobra Mustang out of the club parking lot. Oh, grow up, I remember thinking.

Okay, back to the story. Also, at this time, I had a boyfriend. A sweet, steady, reliable boyfriend, 13 years my senior. Okay, maybe he was a tad boring. Okay, maybe he was a lot boring. But he was sweet and steady and reliable and....out of town for the weekend.

While I was pretty wild in high school and college, seven years ago today I considered myself unremarkably staid. I was a few years out of my MSW program and enjoying a new profession. I worked out, ate healthy and drank pink wine from a box, weekends only.

I don't know if it was the safety of anonymity or the Tequila Shooters or the Hot Damn! slammin', or comet kismet, but 7 years ago today, under the Hale-Bopp Trail, this unremarkably staid, middle-aged social working woman had a highly remarkable evening.

Fast Forward Seven Years to the Moment:
I have 35 pounds of precocious Trouble sleeping upstairs, a sweet and steady and reliable middle-aged man in my living room, and in my garage, a 1993 Cobra Mustang.

Happy Birthday, Honey.
I love you.
Zoom. Zoom.

Oh yeah, in appreciation of your giving me the best Trouble I've ever had, this Hella Bopp's for you:

It's a comet's tale,
Of trajected fate.
And tequila shots,
At Heaven's Gate.

With a fine-assed boy
In a badass car,
Her leashed reserve,
Unleashed too far.

While Counting Crows
Called out the dawn,
Fallen soldiers
Graced the lawn.

Where dark of heart
Did once prevail,
Floats the golden shim
From a Comet's Tale.

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••• Sunday, March 21, 2004

Sundi Sundries
I'm just going open my brain and type today, so bear with me. Or not.

Cinderballa Falls Down the Ballroom Staircase
But damn, if she didn't look good all the way down.

Yeah, we lost. But we lost to the number 2 rated team in the state. Unfortunately, we missed something like 23 of 36 freethrows, and lost by 20 after keeping up pretty well the first 3 quarters.

I can't help but believe that the collective impact of the misses at the line became a psychological albatross. (I guess they free-threw it away?). Regardless of the final outcome, they finished the season on an incredible high and definitely the object of prep sportspeak everywhere.

Whined Up
My husband has a huge project deadline Monday morning. He was on track until the automotive giant he is sub-sub-contracting for decided to make a last minute change in design function, without forgiving the deadline. In other words, they expected him to pull the new product out of his butt (wrapped in protective cellophane, of course), and hand it over with both an apology and signed affidavit verifying that he washed his hands.

For those unaware, the automotive industry as a service contractee can be a demanding, unforgiving, capricious, esteem-sucking beast.

Okay, back to the whine. So he can be handy for impromptu parenting ops, husband is working at home, at my computer seat. At this writing, I'm squinting into my son's 9-inch square monitor, bursting eye vessels on the made-for-aspirin-label-fine-print font. Between the .0075 font, my son's twisted mouse/keyboard/monitor/chair configuration and kittens growing in beverage containers, I can only sit here for about 3 minutes at a time without losing my mind and/or taking a valium.

That my son can actually sit (or maybe he kneels?) in this position for hours on end, simultaneously interacting with a minimum of 16 friends via IM, (typing "two finger" no less) has me realizing a newfound respect for his emotional and physical aptitude. Now, two questions: 1) Are these skills marketable? 2) How can I usurp these strengths for the greater good of our household?

Gifts from the Blogiverse
I received the cutest little present in the mail from non other than our world traveling Greta. It's a cute tiny terry pig finger puppet! I'd post a picture, but my son's computer doesn't contain my photo management software.

The present is very cute and very Greta and I'm so very Gretaful!

Oxymoron Warning:
Barney Fife gone cagey?

I finished the right side of the Must Have and immediately prepared to start on a sleeve by fetching my size 6 needles tips for my Denise interchangeable system. But I could only find one size 6. It was in my knitting bag with one size 7.

First I thought "what's a size 7 doing in my bag when it should be on the end of the cable.... " which rapidly morphed into second thought: "Shit."

Although very afraid, I had to look. Shore 'nuff, there it was, a size 6 Denise, attached to the end of the cable, right where a size 7 should've been, for the past 20 inches of the garment piece. Yes, I'd been knitting the right front of the Must Have using size 6 and 7 needles.

It must've happened at the last frog pond. After a froggin', I usually use a smaller size needle to pick up the live stitches. I guess I switched to smaller and forgot to switch back. Usually I go down two sizes, mostly to prevent such a thing from happening, in that the smaller the needle, the easier it is to catch the error.

While I can't notice a difference in the fabric, I'm having a hard time believing I'm going to get away with this Barney boner.

Barney...you..you...you little Barffoker*, you.

*Barffok=Barney Fife Factor of Knitting. A Barffok is a really stupid knitting mistake that only the really stupid could commit. Unable to leave a stupid deed well enough alone, those who are truly commited to the art of stupidity, go on to share their stupid-infused knitting travels with the world, on a blog.

••• Thursday, March 18, 2004

It's the Cinderballa Story...
Last night my son's varsity basketball team beat the undefeated, state-ranked league champions in the Regional Semi-finals. It was a close game all second half and neck on neck the last 4 minutes. A goal at the buzzer secured the win.

I think I lost about 3 pounds of fret. Through the ever changing lead, I kept thinking "It's just like a Rocky Movie...but I wonder which one?!?"

The next game is Saturday and our new opponents were predicted to snack on the team we beat last night. But we're unconcerned, because we beat the team to beat....all game long.

The game was an hour's drive north and I didn't get home until 10. Cam and I rehashed until 11 and I was still giggin' on adrenaline at 1am. Needless to say I'm happily worn and weary and completely without a clever thought.

I hope to resume regular programming after the weekend.
And I doubly hope that when I publish this, my sidebar won't be a cascade of calamity.

••• Sunday, March 14, 2004

Must Have Been Doing Something Right (and left...)
I've made some notable gains on the front of my Must Have. It's amazing how fast a piece will grow without undue influence from the Barney Fife Factor of Knitting (aka Barffok aka terminal knittin' goofiness).

Double In Denimity
In Friday's comments, Maggi directed me to Elann for a Rowan Denim Substitute. Even though they were fresh out of skeins in blue (is that a Dylan tune?), this song had a happy ending. They also offer this stuff by the cone, and they still had it in my color choice (mid blue).

The cone provides more than what I need for this sweater so I'll have enough left over for a little somethin' for The Cakers. All for less than half of what I'd pay for the real thing.

Yarn on the Half Shell
Here's a shot of the Rowan Glace in Oyster.

I had imagined this color would be more in line with a Bisque, but I still like it. Since I already shucked my oyster pun in Fridays comments, per a challenge from Amy, I am officially clammed up on the topic. For the record, I've been wordplaying since about age 8, a la maiden utterance "Snow White and the Seven Drifts."

My son's basketball team took Districts yesterday. Yeah!

I've made some changes in my sidebar and added links I've had buried in my "favorites" file for a long time. During this process, I seriously messed up a font tag, with frighteningly bold (and large) consequences. It took me about an hour to fix, although I'm still not sure what I did wrong.

When I started this blog, I had no knowledge of html (still don't know much) and taught myself the basics through a book. I'm very good at recognizing and duplicating patterns, which has gotten me through the temple of the template so far. Unfortunately, this means that when I inadvertently delete something with the power to mess up everything thereafter, I will likely have no idea what went wrong. But the Blog gods seem to be a font of fortune today.

Author's Note: I still have some knitting blogs to add, but my heartstopping error took up too much time and energy. Whenever I open that blog template, I feel like I'm performing brain surgery. After a "near tragedy", I'm somehow kind of wary of opening her up again.

Author's Note 2: Looks like the Barney Fife Factor is in effect for blog maintenance today. My side bar is still not right and I can't seem to find the fix. Please note that this look was not my intent.

••• Friday, March 12, 2004

Okay, I Lied.
I said there would be few to no new posts this week and here I am again. But today's is quick-n-dirty, with actual knitting content (yeah, way).

Spring is in the Air Windchill
It's mid-March and we're currently experiencing single digit windchill temps. So what's a girl to do with her freeze-dried spring fancies? Maybe turn up the heat with a little of this.

If it gets too hot, this cool lacey breeze might be just the ticket.

Both of those patterns are from A Treasury of Rowan Knits. This book is my new true love and the lacey number (called "Peaches") is definitely on my spring/summer knitinerary.

In fact, I already have in my possession the Rowan Glace (in Oyster, even, same color as pictured) for the Peaches, courtesy of a recent Ebay coupe. I'll have a shot of the oyster (yum) later this weekend when I regain custody of my home computer.

This number from the Spring Knitters is Rowan my boat as well. I'll probably redub it "Anchors, Away" on account of my plans to skip the anchor pattern on the sleeves (it's too dark to see in picture). Neither can you see in this picture the cool length of cable ribbing, which is this pattern's twist de resistance for me.

I'm currently in search of the best deal on Rowan Denim for this pattern. It appears that the local yarn shops are selling it at about a buck a skein higher than the internet shops. I haven't decided on a color yet. I'm lost somewhere between Memphis and Tennessee. Maybe that would be Graceland? Hey, I just play'em as I see 'em.

And somehow I'm likin' this Phurry Phantasy for my Spring Phancy Collection as well.

••• Wednesday, March 10, 2004

She's Cute, She's Smart....

...But just a little short on personality.

••• Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Changing of the Guards
There won't be much in the way of new posts around here this week. Mostly because of basketball districts but also because my husband will be working evenings, on my computer.

I think the basketball coach is eyeing my boy for a leadership role next year. Cam's been playing nearly every game, sometimes as early as first quarter. Weird to think that next year at this time I'll be watching the end of my boy's basketball career.

Happy Birthday to You (cha cha cha!!

Sweet Amy's looking as good as Natalie Would....(and forever young at 39-Something).

Word Out
Wandering HillBilly, Buddy Don is putting together a Hillbilly Dickshunairy. Wander over "thar" and take a gander.

In keeping with this theme, here's a couple of new wordy favorites of mine:
-Word Spy
-Australian Slang Dictionary

Tales From the Boudoir
This morning I was dressing for work and complained to my husband (still in bed) that I've lost the matches to three pairs of brand new socks in two weeks' time. He mumbles "Maybe you need to get some of those mitten clips so you can clip them to the cuff of your pants." I know, it took a minute for it to catch up to me too. But by the time I walked out the front door, I was in full giggle.*

*Explanation: So I'm thinking I'm that the socks are lost in the laundry and my husband's suggestion implies I'm losing them right off of my feet throughout the course of a day. Okay, so it's a bit obscure...and a perfect example, mayhaps, of why we don't have many friends.

••• Sunday, March 07, 2004

Haz-Met...Take me Away
Ever so often, I have to spend an afternoon with some people I don't particularly like. While I always dread these gatherings, once I'm there, it never seems as bad as I anticipated. Sometimes I actually enjoy myself. It's after the meeting, however, when I am overcome with symptoms of toxic exposure. Like exposure to a slow toxic leak, the hours of sarcastic innuendo, orchestrated dialogue and hateful gossip cloaked in innocent inquiry, takes its toll. It happens every time. And it happened again,Friday. By the time I arrived home, I was in serious need of a Haz-Met Moment.

So, without benefit of a sound hosing from men in spacesuits, what does one do to shake the afterstench of such a flatulent flocking?

You Dance, Baybee.

And then you Dance Some More. ::I was dancing too, only stopped to photo::

And then you go to the yarn shop.

And then you flit and flutter with some of God's greatest creations.

And in the whee-whee hours of a Sunday morning, you might be unable to stifle a snort out loud at something you would otherwise consider abhorrent.

Marcy's Note: I changed pictures to links because they were soooo huge and shrinking compromised asthetic integrity.

••• Friday, March 05, 2004

As the Kitty Litter Flies...
...and it's a good thing I'm using multi-cat clumping variety.

I've frogged the front piece of the Must've Cardie three times now. Last night's hippity hop was by far the most traumatic. As in four inches.

Evidently my confidence in having mastered the pattern blinded me from the reality that I hadn't mastered the pattern. The first full diamond was not wide enough, by about three stitches. I didn't catch it until I was halfway through the second diamond and noticed it seemed narrow.

I know exactly how it happened, too. I had done a quick pattern reference on what I thought was the last row of the pattern and forgot the instructions continued on the next page.

I have this thing about not resuming the knit immediately after taking a particularly bad hop. I wouldn't call it a superstition, it's more like the yarn and I both need some time to get over the assault. Time to heal.
Come this evening, however, I will barely think of those lost stitches. I will not consider what might have been. I'll knit like it never happened.

Sticky Dreams...
Two nights in a row, I dream of a mysterious anteater. Anyone else?

••• Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Can Ya Dig It?
I'm busy as a cat burying a turd.

In the world of special education, spring is the craziest time of year. From here until June, it will be like last minute Christmas preparation, every day. There are lists and invitations and special requests. There are expectations to exceed and hopes to dash. And finally, there's the responsibility of making sure every guest leaves their respective party with at least a little something.

Come June 4, the flurry is over and there's nothing left but the mess.

Back to the Knitting Front
I'm about half done with one half of a Must Have front. I've been spending considerable time looking for ideas for my next project. I'm kind of eyeing the ribbed pullover from the Purl Stitch. I'd like a cotton blend with some kind of variegation. DK or sport weight. Any ideas?

Okay, here's the last quiz from my "Emergency Blog Filler" stash. I don't recall where I found this link, but I think it was via Alison the Brainy Lady

I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised at the results. But yeah, I can be dark and edgy. And gawd, how I love the smell of Bag Balm in the morning.

Truthfully, I was worried I'd end up along the lines of this . Poor sot, that Mr. Chicken. Although I seem to recall that he had quite an organ....

••• Monday, March 01, 2004

White Rabbit!

It was March 1, 1979. Corinne, one of my dearest college friends (or friend, ever) called me on the phone from her dorm room across the hall, yelled "White Rabbit!" and hung up. I remember it was March 1, because it wasn't April. I know that sounds weird, but that's just the way it was with Corinne. When we were together, weirdness made perfect sense.

Corinne and I hophazardly carried on the White Rabbit tradition through college and even a few years after. While we didn't get to it every month, for a few years running we never missed a March 1. One of us always remembered, for some reason.

Corinne ranks high on my list of all time favorite people and from time to time I feel very sad that we lost one another along the way (Our sweet Rachael makes me think of her, for some reason). You know how it goes. You let someone slip away just a little, believing you'll Always be able to reel 'em back, at will. But before you know, Always turns to Never and Foof she was gone.

I always wondered where Corinne got this White Rabbit thing. After she disappeared (or did I?), I never heard of it again. A quick "White Rabbit Day" google lead me to this site of Irish Customs. And here you can read about the rules.

And Corinne Beirne, wherever you are....I hereby White Rabbit your ass, with Love and Affection (this time with a little dedication).

*Disclaimer: The author of this blog bears no responsibility for the Jefferson Airplane song that may be hopping through your head for the rest of the day. Or the Joan Armatrading number, for that matter.

Designing Women
I'm sure you've all heard by now, that Magknits has arrived.

I'm not surprised to learn Gwyn's been putting out some fine booty. Alison's design is down right socculent and Mariko, well, she's just too hot to handle. Honestly, I was practically giddy with pride, seeing friends and neighbors amongst the designers. I know, I'm a goof.

I can hardly wait for the next edition. As the Cakers says "Again, Momma! Again!"