••• Friday, July 28, 2006

N is for Neighborhood 

When I was a little girl, like five or so, my family rented a cottage on a lake. I don't remember much of this experience, but I do remember a couple of things.

First of all, I was very disappointed when I learned that the cottage was not ours but we were merely borrowing it from some people we didn't know.

Because the cottage owners left their clothes in the closets and drawers, I was sure they didn't know we were there and every night while in bed, I waited for them to come busting into the room and send our busted, squatin' and now shamed asses, out into the night.

The other thing I remember about this cottage is that it wasn't directly on the lake, but you had to walk a half block down a road, which was also the boat launch. This area off the boat launch was public domain, and therefore our swimming area. Because I was only four or five years old, I didn't quite grasp the boatlaunch concept and my simple little city-girl brain determined that because the road lead directly into the lake, we were in mortal danger of being struck by cars, while swimming. We were, like, swimming in traffic.

The following summer, we took up camping for our family vacation. From the time I was six until 11 (the summer before my father died,1969) we camped the same two weeks (about the first two weeks in July) at the same campsite every year. Actually, I have lots of things to say about the camping, but not today. I'm just kind of organizing my thoughts here.

After my father died, we didn't do summer vacations. We did,however, rely on the kindness of family and friends who took pity on the widow and half-orphaned city kids for the occasional weekend invitation to a cottage.

Fast forward to just a couple of years ago, when my husband's parents sold off a huge, undeveloped chunk of lake land which had been handed down from a grand parent. With these proceeds, they bought a cottage on a beautiful lake in Northern Michigan.

For those of you with any experience with cottage life, you know that there are varying degrees of neighborhoodiness on a lake. Some properties are, by design, linked only to the main road, and isolated from their neighbors. These usually are the bigger, fancier homes of the wealthy.

Then there are cottage neighborhoods like ours. Ordinarily homey, and rich in history and heritage. In our cottagehood, we're the new kids on the block. The neighbors on one side of us have been here for 40 years, while on the other side, a mere 20. One home down from them lives a woman who is probably in her 80's and as a child, spent her summers on this lake, at her family cottage.

While people have been sweet and gracious and more than welcoming, we're going to be outsiders for a very long time. These people just know each other. Very well.

All these families include now grown children who spent summer after summer up here, baking and swimming and skiing together, in the annual three-month blocks of time.

Coming on to the scene so late in life, I can only imagine what it was like to grow up in such a magical place, establishing life long relationships with people from all over the country.

When I walk around here in the evenings, I can easily imagine a screened porch of slightly (or more) drunken adults, playing poker or bridge. I hear kids kicking the can or capturing the flag. Teens whispering behind the shed, sharing a smoke, Schnaaps and another trip around second base.

For whatever reason, most of the properties on this lake were originally owned and developed by people from Ohio, although some came from as far as Texas. Every summer.

At the end of the summer, I imagine the kids said good-bye until next year, and promised to write. I imagine some of these childhood friendships remain today.

The kids grew into young adults and eventually had kids of their own. These are the kids with whom my little girl has already started her summers of history.

That's her running off the deck in hot but breezy pursuit.

And playing in the water.

Yikes. This post has way more words than I planned on writing. And boring to boot. And I'm supposed to be packing to go north as we type. So, I'll just shut up now.

The 4th of July is huge up here. Quaint, sweet and dorky. And loud.

Here's the view from the nearest "corner."

Further down the road live some locals. This scene is on my nightly walk trail. This picture was taken last New Years Day. The holiday stuff in the windows is up all year. Pumpkins and Santas living in peace.

Next door to them is this place. Again, this was taken on New Years. Blogger has decided I've uploaded enough pictures today, but this home also has a year round holiday display of Rudolph the reindeer, flanked by gargoyles.

And for those of you currently sweltering in 90 plus degreedoms, this picture was taken last February, on one of the warmer days of the weekend, at a whopping 5 below. Not counting windchill.

I really should get packing.

They say it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

For the record, this post is going pretty much commando in regards to editing. Unless a naked picture of great aunt Bea somehow pops up. And if that happens, Blogger will really have some 'splaining to do...

Labels: ,

••• Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Knitting on the Half-Shell 

Okay, it's more like 3/4 shell.

As you can see, I'm just a shoulder and a shape from yet another finished garment.

I know. I'm scared too.

And yes Stephanie, I think I was thinking of the Yipes Stripes Beechnut gum.

The Family Poop
I've not yet recovered from the weekend with the family. It was a glorious time, but I'm still kind of worn from the prep, the hostessing, the flush frets and the packing up the post party pooh and dragging it home. ::Not that pooh, although the "tank-full" alarm did go off Saturday night. Nobody died.::

More scoop on the weekend poop in a later post. Maybe.

Could You Put a Sock in it?
So. Last evening at dinner, my husband, The Cakers and I were sitting and eating. Well, two of us were eating. One of us was talking and talking and talking, while creating yet another dinner routine. ::Truthfully, there is nothing routine about this childthing of mine.::

This new routine involves dishing rice from the serving bowl on to to her plate, then transferring the just dished rice from the plate into a bowl that her mother had just fetched upon harsh demand.

The transference of the rice could not take place, however, without the getting up from the table to go to the kitchen to dig through the silverware drawer to search for the perfect rice transferring spoon, which is not at all the same as the perfect rice serving spoon or the perfect rice eating spoon.

My husband and I have long given up on the expectation of any semblance of dinnertime decorum. These days we mostly just keep our eyes downcast; a strategy that has significantly reduced the incidence of dinnertime conflict absurdities.


We were finally all three of us, sitting and eating. Eyes dog down. After about 30 blessed seconds of normal, The Cakers announces "I think I'm going to take off my bra."

With her parents staring in shocked silence, she pulls off her t-shirt to reveal that indeed, she is wearing a bra. A nice one too. Wacoal. 34-D.

One strap drops. Then the other.

And before you can Cross Your Heart and hope to die in the event of any similar events taking place any time in any or all of our respective futures, she spins the clasp to the front, unlatches and whips it off.

"That's better," she says, as she resumes her attack on the rice bowl, using the perfect rice eating spoon. Topless.

My husband then looks at me all accusing and shit, like WTF goes on here all day? And I shrug and make my face all I got the boobs so this is all my fault? Shut-up.

Trying my best to not think about the reality of my four-year old daughter walking her world all day* wearing my precious, premium bra under her soccer camp t-shirt, I say real calm, "You can't sit at the dinner table naked."

To which she quickly replied, in her snootiest I'm-four-years-old-and-just-took-off-a-$60-bra-at-the-dinner-table-and-that's-it-right-there-hanging-on-the-back-of-my-chair voice, "I'm not naked. I'm half naked."

After another non-verbal exchange of fear and amazement, but mostly fear, my husband and I returned to the safety of dog down eyes, and finished our dinner in silence. Meanwhile, the merely half-naked Cakers cleaned her plate and asked to be excused.

After she's gone, my husband says "I hope the kindergarten teacher is getting lots of rest over the summer..."

...Or she'll be doing lots of drinking over the next, I think to myself.

And Lawd, how I know that summertime feeling.

*In her mother's bra, she played at a neighbor's house for two hours, after which we went to the grocery store for some major shopping.
My husband said 'show me your boobs' and I had to pull up my skirt... so it was time to get them done!-Dolly Parton

Labels: ,

••• Friday, July 21, 2006

Humble Pie 

Thanks for the sweet comments on my Manpie post. Truthfully, I was/am kind of taken aback by the impact, seeing as how the piece was pretty much the result of taking my brain for a ride on the porcelain bus.

A special thanks to Debra for submitting the post to Blogher's Sex and Relationships page.

Speaking of Blogher this knit blogger wants to know your thoughts on knit blogging, to bring to a real time blog-world-meets-people-world discussion.

And speaking of some more Blogher, it was there I found links to some cool, new (to me) blogs, such as This and That. What is it about those California bloggers?

Anyway, reading these new blogs has provided me both inspiration and validation for my new found (or maybe re-found) Blowing-Brain- Chunks approach to blog posting. Of course, I would never compare my chunks to theirs. Clearly, their skills in both aim and arrangement are keenly developed.

Anyway, with the new visitors and a tiny moment in the spotlight, I am suddenly feeling, as The Cakers says when the focus of unexpected attention, shy.

Cakers a la Mode
Speaking of pie and chunks of love and stuff, here's The Cakers modeling The Crumpets.

She loves this piece so much that she asked me to make her another one, only longer. For a dress. Damn if that didn't warm the cockles of my heart.

My cockles got so warm, that the still fresh and painful memories of knitting inches and inches of 360 stitches, around and around and around, slowly melted away. They were soon replaced by a waking nightmare of 47,000 additional inches in length, of 360 stitches, around and around and around...and I just said no.

Sure she's cute and shit, but the girl needs a serious grip.

What the Shell?
I'm just a few inches shy of a completed backside on the Ribby Shell. The color pools remind me of some candy from back in the day. Even though I can't recall the candy, this vaguest of recollection is making my teeth hurt.

We're back north for the weekend and tomorrow my (almost) entire family is coming up for a gigantic picnic and sleepover. I was hoping, at this point in the post, to offer some humorous, snarky prognostications on the weekend outcome, but I suddenly find myself overcome with fear.

Of flushing.
17 people flushing.
All day.
All night.
And all day again.
Into three tiny, delicate tubes of poo.
It's simple.
We're all gonna die.

I'll P.U. on the other side.

Labels: , ,

••• Wednesday, July 19, 2006

M is for Manpie 

M is for Mate. Mmmm. Mine.

You Had Me at Left Branch Bundle Block
A couple of years ago I wrote a birthday tribute to my husband and a comet called Halle-Bopp.

The story in question had a happy ending, obviously. But it almost didn't.

See, I had some unfinished business in another relationship with a sweet guy who I had been planning to break up with for a couple months. Then he lost his job so I thought I'd wait. My future husband (we'll call him E) was still on what I considered a most long-ass rebound from his most recent break-up and was quite happy in his current relationship position being raised by a flock of lesbians. Seriously.

So, after our initial, ummm, birthday meeting, Yeah, that's it, birthday meeting, Mr. E. called me a couple times and we chatted at the health club. He didn't ask me out or anything and clearly our relationship status was less than casual, which suited me fine.

That's until he showed up at my doorstep at 2:00 a.m. one evening, with a bottle of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay in one hand and Turning Leaf in the other, with the slurpy explanation that he knew I liked the wine with the leaves on the label, but he couldn't remember which one. ::Ain't he the cutest?::

That same night/morning, while we sat on my couch, I looked at this man and said "I think I could fall for you." To which he too quickly replied, "No. I'm trouble." And I said "But I can see your shiny heart." ::I have the shiny heart vision, because I really could see it.::

And that's when he told me the story about his heart. He already told me that he had been born with a heart defect and had open-heart surgery at age four and had been a subject in a study on congenital heart defects and pediatric surgery through the University of Michigan.

Obviously, I had seen the huge scar that ran from his chest to the top of his tummy, and the little scars on the sides of his abdomen where they had inserted tubes into his tender, four-year old flesh. These scars sprouted tiny tufts of hair, like tiny shrubs. But that's all I knew.

What I didn't know was the Left Branch Bundle Block part of his heart. We all have bundles in our heart. It's an electrical thing. I knew about the electrical thing, but I didn't know the bundled part.

And somehow, despite the ordinary reality of everyday heart bundles, hearing this hulking, sweet, more than slightly drunken man use bundle and heart in the same sentence was a death sentence for all my casual intentions.

That's exactly the point I decided I had to have this one. And his huge, shiny, bundled heart. Tiny shrubs and all.

That's exactly the point E decided he wasn't ready for any of this relationship crap. So he bundled his fine-assed self into his '93 Cobra Mustang and zoomed away.

Days passed and no call. I went to the club every day, at the same time I used to see him there. But no. No bundled heart.

Then I called him, but he didn't answer. I left messages on his machine, but he didn't return my calls.

One time his roommate answered and I heard a voice in the background whisper "I'm not here." And then I heard the roommate say, "He's not here." And then I felt like someone had punched me square in my heart bundles. And I couldn't breathe very well. And I felt so ashamed. And embarrassed. And alone.

That's when I took that scrap of paper with his phone number, and ripped it into tiny pieces, and threw it in the trash. ::I had memorized my last phone number in 1990. The brain can only hold so many phone numbers, I theorized.::

Weeks passed. I would see him at the club on a rare occasion, and we'd just give each other a nod. But he didn't call. And I couldn't call him.

Every once in awhile I'd talk to one of his best friends Tee, who worked the snack bar at the club. This was also the woman who had orchestrated our getting together in the first place. But I didn't ask her about him. This was partly to spare her an awkward position, but mostly because I couldn't bear to hear from a reliable source, that I should peddle my heart bundles elsewhere.

Tee soon left her job at the club, to work at a car dealership. And I just went on with my life. More weeks passed before I saw him at the club again. He nodded per usual, but he looked at me in a different way. Kind of sad. Lingering. I nodded back and went about my business. But that look bugged me. Later, I had the strong need to talk to him. To explain something. I didn't know what, exactly, I wanted to explain. But I didn't see him again.

One day, while driving past Tee's new place of employment, I stopped to see her. I told her that I needed a number.

I needed to call him.
To tell him that I threw his number away.
And would not be calling him.
But just to be fair, I thought I should explain.
And move on.
To forget.
About him.
And his bundled heart.
And tiny tufts.
And fine ass.
And bottles of wine.
And leafy labels.
And how my face hurt from smiling whenever he was around.
And how I just wanted to get it all behind me.
After I explained.
That I threw his number away.
And it's only fair.
To tell him why.
And that it's over.

And Tee said okay.

So I called him. And I actually said to him, "I'm just calling to tell you that I threw your phone number away and it's over."

And he laughed. And then he asked me if I wanted to come over. And I said okay. And I brought him a plate of black bean enchiladas. And we watched a movie, while we shared some enchiladas, and some wine and some bundled heart.

The next week we had our first official date.
And then he met my boy, who showed him some yoyo tricks.
And then we got engaged.
And then, on his way to work in the morning sometimes, he would stop at my house and come to my bedroom window and tell me he loved me, and ask me to marry him some more and then he'd go to work.
And then I'd fall back to sleep.
And then I'd wake up with a sore face. From smiling in my pillow.
And then we got married and bundled our hearts forever.
And then I offered my last good egg and we made ourselves a bundle of something the world has never known.

I am not a religious person. But I believe in a Higher Power. A Source. A Power not to be ignored. A Power that chose my eyes to really see this man as he was created. A joy. A light. A bundle.

Author's Note: I have been working on this post for days. It was really hard because it was so personal. And there was so much I wanted to say, but much of that was not for human consumption. So I wrote and wrote. Deleted and deleted and wrote some more. Last night I thought I had it done, but held off on posting it until morning.

Today I woke up with the intention of cleaning up and publishing. Instead, I deleted the entire thing and started rambling from scratch. From a whole new angle. It's this ramble that you're reading today. Pretty much unedited except for a few glaring issues. ::bloggers eating my words today.:: I got to get on with my life.

Labels: , ,

••• Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hot Dippity Dog 

On this day, it appears that Bloggerwad has bestowed upon me, full photo upload capabilities. Hot Dammity Do.

And, because here at the lake it's about 94,000 degrees in the shade, and across said lake is blowing a not so gentle breeze that feels not unlike a blow dryer set on Crispy Do, I'm running with the hot photo op.

Dippity Do

Cakers got a haircut. I had no idea that cutting off a few dozen snake heads could make such a difference.

Dippity Ski
A bonafide ski dude lives a couple cottages down from ours. Ski dude is in his fifties, very dude and quite the legend in these parts. I'm not sure if the legend status has to do with his skiing skills or that he's in his fifties and still lives with his parents.

Most important to me is that he spends his days making pretty water for da pipples.

Dippity Kids
Friday night there was a group of kids playing on this huge bouncy thing at sunset. I thought they cut a sparkling silhouette.

Dippity Dawg

It's not all fun and games up here. We take our water safety very serious. As you can see, Cakers and Cheddar understand the importance of always swimming with a buddy.

Monday, we'll return to our irregular programming.

::Remember to click a pic to make it big.

Labels: ,

••• Friday, July 14, 2006

Who Are You and What Have You Done With 'Ol Whatcha Macaller? 

Eff-O Eff-O!
You're blinking twice, I know.
This knitting slacker
Is off her cracker.
Eff-O, Eff-O.

There she be. My little Crumpets.
Pattern: Ummm, Crumpets. Again.

Yarn: Lion Brand Microspun, in umm, Rasberryish Pink? ::I don't know real color name, sorry.::

Additional Comments: Well written pattern. No complaints. If any of you are thinking of making this for a little girl, make it when she's a little girl. The round and round and round on 360 stitches for size 6 kinda almost killed me. I made it shorter, for a frocky top.

Yarn is nice and silky but splits like James Brown on Oleo.
I really hoped to get a picture of the top on The Cakers, but after asking her to try it on twice to check the size, then to identify proper shoulder strap placements, she was about having none of it.

It didn't help that when I measured for straps, I freaked her out by placing a straight pin in the bodice, without warning her. She was sure I was going to poke her ::I didn't.:: and would not let me place the second pin.

I could appreciate her feelings and even fought the impulse to say: Well, when I was a little girl, your grandma sewed all my clothes and she always left in a pin somewhere in every garment. When I wore every garment for the first time, I would get a poke. I never knew when or where the poke would take place, but when it did, I would think that my mom didn't like me so much.

I decided to save that one for therapy. Besides, I could just hear some fandangled version coming out of the mouths of babes at our next Thanksgiving Dinner.

I'm thinking the top will be cute over a white t-shirt and cropped pants, for kindergarten in the fall. ::Gasp.::

Meanwhile, back at the Casting-On Couch...
...Our cast-on strumpet is giving it up yet again. ::Hey! We were heading to the cottage. I needed some easy lovin'for the road.::

This time it's Chicknits Ribby Shell.

The yarn is called Sunsette by Plymouth. I was going to link to the yarn at the Plymouth site, but I'm on dial up and have PMS and the extravagant loading time was giving me too much time to think about hurting myself or others. The yarn is acrylic and nylon and nice and soft as only an unnatural fiber can be.

And Norma, I'm thinking we cast-on about the same time for this one, and a little Idahoan Birdie tells me she has plans and yarn for the same pattern. Talk about your Synchro-Knittsity! We're on a KAL and didn't even know it. Wanna race? Oops! Sorry, that's the Whoremone typing. Competitive, cagey bitch, that one. I'll still race ya, but in all fairness, I'm a few more inches along than in the picture.

So there we go. Another one down. I guess my lame little motivation posters held some EFfin' O Mojo after all. So there, ye of little comments. Oops. Whoremone again. Such a b.

Actually, I'm thinking that finishing projects is my new procrastination tool for avoiding the ABC-a-long. People are getting ready to go P, while I'm stuck at the L for Lake. Poor me.

::Imagine beautiful lake picture here.::

WTF? Is there a posted schedule somewhere, outlining the days Blogger actually allows picture uploads? Is it an odd/even thing, or just fucking odd?

Did I mention the PMS?

Oops, gotta run. Someone's screaming, and it's not me. Not good. No one screams on my tirade.

But for you loyal ABC Alongers, the Big M is coming. Promise.

Labels: ,

••• Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Finishing School 

Looking through my bag of unfinished shit, I recently decided enough is enough. Being a finishing school dropout is not how I envisioned myself as a knitter, at this phase in my life. Not only has dropping out been bad for my self-esteem, the piles of tangled wads lying around the house are stressing me out and messing up the scenery.

So, I made the decision to go back to finishing school. Making the decision was easy. Motivation was the pisser. So when I saw the Motivation Poster template at Flagrant Disregard, I thought it would be be the perfect incentive tool to not only get me started on finishing school, but hopefully keep me there as well.

So here it is, the Finishing Line-up of Motivation, in order of their anticipated appearance:

An Exception to the Rule

I really like you, peaches.
Gotta shake you free.

Remember Peaches? Unfortunately, the fruits of this labor, I will not savor.

I've always loved this sweater. I think I would love it more if there was a brain cell's chance in a Bush's cranium that I would ever fit into it. Because, as is often the case with school girls, I'm still growing. You know. Up there.

I also found a hideous mistake that would require frogging almost half of one front piece. For the record, I was 1.5 sleeves from being done with the knitting portion.

So, start to finish I go.
I'll keep you postered.

••• Monday, July 10, 2006

Summer of My Knit Content. Still. 

Gable, Gable,
Sweet Enable,
Another project
Off the table.

And now, I present to you, za pipples of za blogs, who come for za knit and mehbee za peek to booby. Okay. Never za booby. Can't hurt to peek, zo. No? Just sayin'.

But we do got za knit. For za pipples.

Pattern: Green Gable, from Zephyr Style

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-ease,in, uh, Blue.

Size: Mostly Medium, with some Large around the Boobease.

Modifications:I went with the medium directions but added more stitches for bust and then some extra decreases. Fit is great, but I think I could've tapered in a couple more rows after boobs.
Dork Alert: I was sooo excited about posting this today, I couldn't sleep last night.

I was also going to discuss, today, my plans to clean out the unfinished business in my bag of burden. Since this post is about celebration, I'll just save the whining for another day. ::Okay, maybe I'm just a teensy bit not exactly ready to face the baggage, but I'm working on it.::

In the meantime, here's 9 out of about 100 katillion reasons I will not be America's Next Top Model:

::No zat not za booby, down dare.::

Have a Monday.

P.S. Pictures can be clicked for closer view. But you prolly already knew that.

P.P.S. The picture mosiac is courtesy of Flagrant Disregard. Go Check out his Flickr Toy array.

Labels: ,

••• Friday, July 07, 2006

Lake Effect 

We’re back from vacation, with nothing to show for it but a pile or two of laundry, a tired, mopey dog, and a really pissed off cat. And some really happy memories.

And pictures.

Caution: Watch for falling reader interest levels over the next 4 miles of post.

Our lake is not a very busy one. Which is good. Many lakes in Michigan are so mobbed on weekends, that there are actually county sheriff traffic cops posted in the waters. And cases of Water Rage. ::Road Rage, with Wettitude.::

The Friday before the 4th, about 8:00 p.m., the boat traffic on our lake picked up considerably. Evidently, after a long drive from the city, folks were wanting to get on the water and kick it up a bit.

There was one boat that was in constant motion, from 8:00 until sunset, pulling kids on either a tube or skis back and forth in front of our cottage. The kids in the boat and those being pulled squealed and shrieked, non-stop.

For some reason, that an adult was so focused on making happiness for a boatload of children who just an hour earlier were cramped in a car/van/trunk with a farting/complaining/carsick uncle/grandpa/dog, asking/wondering/lamenting "Are we there yet?", caught my fancy.

Here's a shot of this very boat, pulling a wee wittle skier, in the sparkle of a glorious sunset.

One of the highlights of the vacation was the presence of my college boy, who gave us three full days of his undivided attention. Well, when he wasn't sleeping or playing video games, that is.

Seriously, my boy has grown into such a young man over this past year. What I'm really lovin' is that he genuinely seems to enjoy just hanging out with us. This is one of about a dozen shots I took of Brother and The Cakers having a talk on the dock. Can't you just taste the Little Sister drama? They were out there for about 15 minutes, and neither one could remember a thing they talked about.

Ummhmm. And so it begins. The Sibship Coalition

With the in-laws in the house, my husband and I were able to steal away for a romantic date night, in nearby Frankfort. After a lovely dinner of shitake-dusted sea scallops, floating in a sea of mango chutney butter, deep fried green beans in a sweet chili sauce and vanilla creme brulee cheesecake ::The brulee part is on the bottom of the cheesecake. To. Die. For. Rise. From. Dead. Die. Again.::, we took a stroll on the pier.

Here's a sailboat sparkling on the Lake Michigan horizon.

Some child-like silhouettes jumping off the pier. ::The waters were calm, but it still made me nervous.::

And yours truly, Gapped to the max (Oops. I cropped the very Gappy shorts. Sorry.) looking to pick up some handsome sailor action on the pier. Note the dollar store sunglasses. Tray Cheek. No? ::You may recall, I had to kick some Back-of-the-Dollar-Store-Ass for these. Never underestimate the ass-kick-ability of the City Slicker. And yes, we are really called that in small-town-Northern-Michigan.::

I was going to show a picture of the sailor I snagged but Bloggerwad is being, well, a wad and I'm too lazy to upload to my photo service. Plus, I'm pretty sure no one has stuck with this boringass post to this point anyway. But hell if I ain't having some fun.

But not near as much fun as this Wet Pile of Love.

Hopefully, my next post will contain evidence of an actual finished garment, to make a total of three for the year. Gasp.

::No. Don't even look over there. At the sidebar. I mean it. Stop. Don't make me get all Dollar-Store on your ass... ::


••• Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Summer of My Knit Content 

Vacation is going pretty well. Until yesterday, the weather has been a bit on the cool and windy side. Over the past two summers we’ve noticed that our little piece of heaven seems to have its very own weather system, and is therefore impervious to the local, professional forecasts. This means that the several storm systems that swept through the region the past several days have missed us entirely.

Before leaving for vacation, I made a last minute decision to start a new knit project. That’s right, I started a new project without having finished my last three one.

Anyhoo, a couple of weeks ago my knittention was captured by JStrizzy’s rendition of the Green Gable. Not only is it a cute pattern, I was pretty sure I could make gauge with something I already had in my possession (Cotton Ease).

On the ride to the cottage I got about an inch of the lace bodice completed before I realized that something was hinky. After we arrived, I got on-line to research any problems with the pattern (cuz of course, it ain't me, babe.) with my first stop being the Green Gable Knit-a-Long. It was there that I learned I was supposed to cast-on the in the backward loop method. The WTF of it is, this particular missive is nowhere to be found in the pattern instructions. It merely says "cast on".

Next, I hop over to the designer’s website, to find a Designer Q&A page, where I read that ALL Zephyr patterns use the backward loop cast-on. Swell. Good to know. Possibly a mere mention of this in the actual text of the pattern that I purchased independent of any effin' FAQ page, may have been a help. Not to be a total B, but is so wrong of me to assume that when I buy a pattern, all the necessary information will be included in the package, without my needing to reference a “How to Use our Patterns” disclaimer page?

Through my research I also found out that the first row, which is purled, is the wrong side of the garment. Unless otherwise indicated, I typically assume that the first row on any pattern is the right side. This was another piece of vital information I had to glean from the universe.

So I frogged and backward looped anew. After the secret codes and unwritten rules of the pattern had been revealed,I decided this a really fun knit. I’m even thinking about knitting another one.

One of the best features of the pattern is that it's knit in the round, top down, and per the author: "Requires little to no seaming."

Although I might opine that no garment actually requires seaming. One always has the option of just tossing the finished pieces in a bag, and dragging them along on a family vacation.

Seriously. That bag is stuffed with my unfinished business. I don't know why I dragged it along on vacation, but I suspect it was some form of self-imposed pennance for casting on yet another project, with no regard for the stuff I already have going. I guess that's why they call it baggage.

Gypsy Cakers Lee
Here in Cottage World, we have our own troupe of sunset entertainers who perform on private beaches for handouts.

This little nugget provided a breath stopping acrobatic number for a mere juicebox and two underdogs on the neighbor's swingset.

Note the poise...


...And a plop.

Three juiceboxes and 17 underdogs later, we couldn't get her to leave. So we kept her.

Gawd, I love this country.

P.S. Happy Birthday, U.S.A. You sick little pup.

Labels: , ,