PlazaJen: The Blog

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Category: knitting (page 1 of 5)

For the Love of a Bestie

It’s never been a big secret, my dislike of musicals. It’s not that I hate ALL of them, certainly – in fact, it surprises even me, the number I’ve seen and enjoyed. Chicago, Sweeney Todd, The Producers (the original), Rocky Horror Picture Show, Rent…. I’m sure there a couple more in there, but as you can also see from that list, I’m not into classic musicals and apparently, if it’s not got twisted humor, then there should be death.  OK. So, my BFF, Beth, has teased me forever about musicals, because she loveloveloveLOVES them, and Moulin Rouge is her favorite. She even told me the other night at knit night that she now had it on Blu-Ray so the original DVD could be mine for a low low price.  It’s always been a funny piece of our friendship.  So much so, that on October 22, 2010, she sent me an email with this text:

I’ll quite pestering you about watching musicals if you make me these.
Not an easy bargain for either, but you might win in the end.

(Pattern linked to designer’s blog so all can access. Ravelry pattern link here.)

Yes, Moulin Rouge MITTENS.

Now, what made this even funnier is that I have never been much for colorwork, the technique required to create these things. In fact, I think I’ve even been heard to proclaim how much I hate it. But a seed was planted. A challenging seed. And as I continued to knit on my holiday presents, my brain thought and buzzed and finally concluded I could knit these things. Not to end the banter, never, but because it would be a fantastic present.  A present knit with adoration and humor, and hopefully, not too garbled and jacked up, since my skill set in the technique category was low.

I won’t lie and say it was easy. Especially at first. I started out using Knit Picks Palette, as three of the ten photo-containing projects on Ravelry had been knit with it, and I was ordering some other yarn for holiday knitting. Egads. First of all, it’s splitty as hell. Second of all, even on a Size 0 (that’s tiny, for the non-knitters who have read this far), they were coming out grotesquely huge. I made a mistake in the chart, and decided to start over. (This was giving me some practice on my stranding!) Second attempt? Still came out huge. I couldn’t believe it. So I turned to the trusty folks at the Loopy Ewe, and ordered yarn from their new solid series of “house yarn”. Barn Red and Sand. And oh what a difference yarn twist can make. I’ll confess, there are a couple rounds here and there that are a smidge tighter than they ought to be. But in the end, they made a certain birthday bestie very happy, and I’m damned proud of the knitting accomplishment – because in the process, I came to enjoy knitting colorwork, and even have plans for some other projects now.  What’s especially funny to me is that I watched a TON of MI:5, the British spy drama, while knitting on those, and it often feels like the things we watch are knit up into the stitches, as we look at something we’ve made and recall what we were doing while they were created – so they truly capture both of our passions.  May she wear them for years to come!

Moulin Rouge Mittens

And it’d be even funnier on a t-shirt….

A few weeks ago, the Wo and I did a little BBQ judging. Up until this point, we’ve only ever judged the weekend at the American Royal. Which is the mac-daddy of them all, granted, but we thought it would be fun to get out and try a smaller venue.

We got there early, and as is customary for me, I had my knitting with me. I found a seat, and focused on knitting away the couple of hours before the actual judging was going to begin. At one point, I got up and walked around, and a woman came up to me, telling me she was also a knitter, and to come look at her project. Sure! She was working on some Patons wool slippers, and had her little project booklet and yarn all in a nice container (important when you’re going to have BBQ flying about!) I note to myself that she’s probably buying her supplies at a big box retailer, and give her mental kudos for picking out wool.

Then, she leans in a little closer, and says, “Now. If you ever go on the internet.”

I inhale. And put on my poker face. Because that statement alone, to me, is hilarious. Oh? the internet? Yes, I’ve heard something about that. Hear-tell you can get all sorts of things there, including husbands. I simply nod.

She slows down a bit, and continues:”You need to go to this website.” Big pause.  “Knit. Picks.” She pauses between the words for emphasis. Now I can’t completely contain my face or self, and I release a chuckle, and say, “Ooooh yes, yes, I’m familiar with them…..” and she continues in a rush to tell me about all their yarns and the big sale they’re having right now. I just smile.

When I was relating this story to Carmen, who had both eyebrows raised at this point, she gestured in a hurry-up manner and said, “Didja tell her? Didja tell her, ‘Uh, I’m kind of a big deal…’? Didja?”

No, of course I didn’t. I’m not a big deal in the knitting world, or the internet world, really, I’m just … a big gal, but the notion of saying something like that cracked me up, that somehow I’d even try to pull a fame-hollywood card at a BBQ competition. And then, imagining it on a t-shirt cracked me up even more, because of the double entendre. Mostly the whole situation was hilarious because a well-intentioned lady wanted to enlighten me to the world of Knit Picks and buying yarn on the internet. If there was a degree to be had in online shopping – yarn or otherwise – I would qualify as a tenured post-doctorate professor who doesn’t even have to teach at this point. Bless her heart for trying, though.

In re-telling the story at knit night, it managed to get Bidenized into “a big fucking deal” and I picked THE most inopportune moment to ask everyone WHY did they have to bring fucking into it, and of course it happened to be right when the entire restaurant hit a lull in the chaotic noise of chatter and dishes clinking. Excellent. Big fucking deal, indeed.

Weekend Roundup

So far so good on the Diet Coke withdrawal. I had one zinging craving last week, and I told myself I was just thirsty. It seemed to work (consuming some water) and my caffeine dependency seems to be maintained by a couple cups of coffee/day.  I haven’t noticed any miraculous changes, sadly, and the sale ads for it still catch my eye – but like I said, so far so good!

We saw Alice in Wonderland yesterday – I loved it. I guess there have been a number of reviews that ding it for this or for that, but whatever. I literally adored the two books as a kid, and thought Tim Burton’s movie was a great tribute to the imagination those works inspired. The room where Alice finds the door key, the “Drink Me” bottle and “Eat Me” cake? was such a match for what I imagined as a child, it took my breath away. There was one dorky bit – a dance – that I thought was totally disjointed, but such a tiny fragment of the overall movie. And let me just say that those CineSuites are the BOMB. It was our second time going to them, and they really are a treat. We don’t go out a whole lot (frugality!) and we’ve contained our movie-viewing to our Netflix + Roku, and premium cable channels, but the suites are enjoyable. The service has been top-notch, we both feel like we’re getting a good value and the food is good. Plus free refills on popcorn and drinks! (And I went with iced tea…)

James has been a gardening and working machine this weekend – he’s planted the lettuce and spinach seedlings in the garden, plus some French Breakfast radishes and snow peas. And? He’s putting in a small deck at the foot of the small deck on the back of the house. I took a two-hour nap yesterday and he had torn out the mint bed, the straggly rose bush and had the deck half done!  Me, I’ve been knitting. 🙂

Speaking of knitting – I finished my first Wollmeise project as part of the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling KAL on Ravelry. I made WendyKnits’ Talisman shawl, out of a skein of Indisch Rot, and loved it. The pattern, the yarn – and I love blocking lace.

Talisman Shawl
Close up of the pattern:
Talisman Shawl

Because I finished the shawl before the end of the month, I knocked out the rest of my Drifted Pearls scarf (pictures to come). It’s very soft and cozy! Now I’m working on Hemlock Ring Blanket, published by Brooklyn Tweed, as part of the March KAL. Because I have several other things I need to knit (sample cables for the Knitting in the Heartland cable class, for one!) I am churning through this – on the fifth ball of yarn out of ten.

Today is for muddling in the kitchen, running some errands, and trying to finish some laundry. This week is going to be pretty busy, between work projects and life projects, and something tells me things are only going to get curiouser and curiouser…. as she smiles like the Cheshire cat…..

Random Orts!

It’s been a while. Yup. That whole ‘life’ thing gets in the way of blogging sometimes. Here’s the latest!

1. I spent a good chunk of my day on Friday in doctor’s offices. Basically the annual tune-up. Everything went well, all’s good – last month I felt a small lump/bump something-or-other and knew I had to get my appointment made for the now-annual mammo. Turns out, it doesn’t even register on a sonogram, so it’s just something to be mindful of and not worry about. Oddly enough, I spend so much of my energy worrying about crazy things, this incident didn’t worry me at all, up until the x-ray tech was on the phone to my doctor getting orders for additional tests. However, I was impressed with their efficiency and springing into action; in retrospect, wouldn’t want it any other way.

2. We are going on VACATION. Remember last year? We bought a $100 pool and had ourselves a staycation. Now everywhere you turn, you see something about staying home and building your own vacation. Whatev! Staycations are so last year. 😉  Don’t get me wrong – blender drinks in the pool was lovely. And we’ll do it again this year. But some of those pool drinks are going to be consumed in CANCUN. We’ve also booked two fishing trips while we’re down there – one’s at night! The resort we’re staying at looks lovely, and I’d been saving my airline miles for…wow, 12 years. So those helped a bunch. Now to count the days until we go. Oh, and the best part of this is that my doctor had asked if I’d taken a vacation or had plans to – I told her we really hadn’t gone anywhere since we got married, and that I was wanting to go to Mexico (not afraid of H1N1), and she adamantly ordered me to GO on vacation, go to Cabo, or Cancun, just stay away from Mexico City and enjoy myself.  So, Doctor’s Orders!

3. Work continues to be busy. We’ve had a few days of relative calm, but mostly it’s just all-out flying through the day. Home is busy, too – James has really put a ton of effort and time into the garden, and it looks awesome. He’s got 55 tomato plants a-growin’, so we shall not want for ‘maters later on! And peppers and eggplant and okra and beans and snap peas, plus we have lettuce and radishes and green onions and spinach right now. He’s definitely taken the garden to the next level this year!

4. So if you’re a knitter, or crocheter, or spinner, then you most likely know about Ravelry. I’d say that most places that have large gatherings of fiber-holics end up with most people referring to their “Rav Name” or even adding it to their nametag. Not a crazy thing or out of the ordinary. But there are some people who’ve been banned or kicked off the site, and let me tell you, there’s always one with an axe to grind! At the Fling, one lady went OFF on another knitter who’d just put her Ravname on her name tag. “This isn’t a Ravelry-sponsored event. What are you trying to be, exclusive?” (It went on for several awkward minutes.)  She was such a pill, and so mean about it, that those of us around her thought she was joking at first. After all, it’s not like Ravelry is some sort of niche offshoot group, in fact, it’s been a uniting force.  This lady ended up driving a couple friends of mine into a small ante-room to escape her, she was so angry and rude. I think that’s the kicker with any sort of group – even political – how you can be united in one direction or passion, and then you turn around and there’s somebody wearing a plushie suit with a confederate flag on the back, ready to pray for your sins and damn you for eating red meat. Or, just someone who loves a lotta fun fur.

5. Speaking of knitting, I’m flying along on a baby gift – the Moderene Baby Blanket (RavLink – yep, that’s me being exclusive!), which I’m making out of  Dark Horse from the Studio – it’s so soft, and not acrylic-y at all. I love the color ranges, too. Oh yeah, pictures. At some point. 🙂 BUT! I do have a picture of a stealth project a whole bunch of Spring Flingers worked on – I’ll explain more, but we had nearly 50 knitters contribute tiny knitted hearts to someone who needed some extra love. Pretty cool, and a great reminder that even though there may be bad apples here and there, the majority of folks are really good people.

Hearts Project

OK, it’s been a lazy Holiday Monday! Hope everyone had good weekends, spent at least some time this weekend remembering why it’s a holiday, and goes back to work refreshed & rejuvenated. That’s my goal, anyway. Oh, and yeah, check yer boobies. It’s important!

Miniature Bottle Collectors, Prostitots, and Knitters.

It’s interesting to stay in a large hotel that caters to groups. Long, long ago, when I first started in advertising, I became aware of a whole universe of magazines that cater to what we call “vertical niche markets”. No, not those markets. Magazines like, “Spudman”, or “The Gobbler” – designed to communicate pertinent information to someone growing potatoes, or raising turkeys. There is absolutely something for everyone, and the internet only proves that more and more.

Hobbies have their own idiosyncracies. For instance, the very same weekend 100 devoted knitters descended on St. Charles, so did a group of international miniature bottle collectors.  And kiddie pageant-goers.  Now, I was intrigued by the little bottles – at first confusing the gathering with an opportunity to buy wee bottles of alcohol, but all their little rows of colored bottles, with unique stoppers and corks – it was a whole subculture devoted to their hobby. The other one? Dubbed “the prostitots” by those who had been there last year, I have to admit, it was disconcerting and a bit sickening, seeing the made-up face and hair of a 20-year-old woman wobbling above the body of a 7-year-old. I just don’t get it. Fortunately, most of those families were in the other hotel, so the cross-pollination was limited. Oh, and there was also a marching band there, and a few wedding/bachelor/bachelorette parties.  One of my weekend highlights came on the last day in the hotel, as I urged my fellow knitters to look to my left, so they could see the five-foot-tall inflatable penis passing through the lobby. (Next favorite highlight? My roommate Pat chirping, “I rode down the elevator with it! I’ve never seen one with a smiley face before!”)

I had a fantastic time. I took two sock-design classes, one with Cookie A. and the other with Wendy, of WendyKnits. I made new friends, connected the dots between Plurk and Ravelry friends to their real-live faces and voices, and got to shop at The Loopy Ewe. I drank margaritas made with Herradura, and snagged some Ted Drewes from the snack station. (They really spoiled us with the snacks. Ooof.) And then I returned to reality, and the re-entry into the atmosphere was tough. I’ve been slammed at work (thus no blog) and some of my mojo is missing. It’s like I’ve got a knitting-weekend hangover. A YarnOver, as it were. I’ve still got to organize and put descriptions on my photos, but I’ll give you the few I’ve done thus far….

Me with Wendy. She is a blast, and it was great to meet after all that Plurking:

Me with Wendy!

My roomie Pat. She rocks. She also now goes by Ricia. Ricia rocks, too.

Spring Fling Roomies!

Karen (I love this picture because not only do I adore Karen, it’s like she’s posing for this very beatific book cover, and I’m crowding in, ruining the shot. True to form, of course.)

Spring Fling

Kym (her husband joined us for dinners, and I adore him, too. They need to come visit us because JWo and Chuck would hit it off like nobody’s business.)

Spring Fling

Lori – I so wish I’d known her when I lived in St. Louis. Like-minded and boy howdy, could the two of us cook up some trouble together.
Spring Fling

Helena – what a fascinating life she’s had. After traveling the world with the Foreign Services department, she just wants to retire and settle down in Wisconsin. I also was witness to her first-ever shot of tequila (Patron, of course! Would I steer a gal wrong?)

Spring Fling

And then there was a little bit of Loopy Ewe shopping….

Spring Fling Purchases!

Duet sock yarn in Pickled Peck, YoYo CashSport in Hulk Smash, Scarlet Fleece in Poodle Skirt, and the miniature sock blocker peacock. WITH the gifted bag from Keri, 3AM Enchantments!

Keri is such a sweetheart, a couple months ago she emailed me about finding some skull beads. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a good online digging detective project (zombies!), and she was so happy with the results, she made me a project bag! Knitters are the awesomest. And I finally met Ms. YoYo (Alyson) and her hubby Travis. Stupidly, we didn’t take a picture together, but I have this one of her hanging out with Cookie:

Spring Fling

…and then we were spoiled with some Spring Fling swag….

Spring Fling Loot

Namaste Knitube bag, Loopy Ewe mug, Schaeffer Nichole yarn, WendyKnits pattern, Laura Nelkin pattern, temporary tattoos & Loopy Ewe pin.

That’s all I can muster for one post – of course, there are more stories (Trader Joe’s shopping!) (one cah-razay lady who had the hugest chip on her shoulder about Ravelry!) but that’s gonna have to wait! Howdy to all my new pals, and I really understand why you start waiting for next year the day you leave.

Knit, Knit, Knit….

I finished the Studio Sock Club socks a while, back – Sivia Harding’s “Journey” socks, out of Claudia Handpaints Sportweight in Woodland – these are so warm and cozy, I just love ’em, and the cables are snazzy to boot!

Journey Socks - Claudia Handpaint (sport)

journeycloseup

I also am participating in The Loopy Ewe’s Spring Fling monthly KAL’s – which have been great motivators to finish things, but this month I’m a bit panicked. I finished last month’s project just under the wire, and without fringing or blocking. I made the Crest of the Wave scarf, and then added the Fringe from Hell. It’s gorgeous, but it kills me. KILLS! So much braiding. And then beading. But I love it! This was knit out of Numma Numma Toasty, Black Cherry Jam.

Crest of the Wave Scarf - Numma Numma sock yarn

LOOKIT THIS FRINGE. Now look away, before you feel compelled to do it yourself.

Fringe. Fabulous, yet a PITA.

Now I’m working on the Boing! scarf pattern by Anne Hanson (sorry, I’m uber-lazy, it’s Friday, I haven’t linked a single thing today). This is knit with Tofutsies, and even on 1’s, it’s still rather open. I’m such a loose knitter.

Boing! Lace Scarf - Tofutsies sock yarn

Now, since our KAL ends next Saturday, and I have a lot of work stuff going on (and travel – which is usually a plus for knitting, but still), I realized I’m probably not going to complete this in time, so I’ve pulled out some Aran Rustic Wool, and started whipping out a very pretty Poinsettia neckwarmer, since I still need to make a gift for a friend, and I’ve already done the first set of neck repeats in one evening. That’ll get done, and hopefully, Boing will be right behind it!

In other randomness, and utterly unrelated, we have continued to have our homeless man problem at the office (staying overnight in the stairwell), and yesterday morning’s stench was almost enough to topple a Marine. I mentioned it to our office manager, who in turn, called the building manager. I noticed when I left that liberal amounts of pine-sol had been used. (which actually didn’t change the situation !) And when I say liberal, I mean, perhaps-an-entire-bottle. So then I wondered, would that actually entice said homeless to sleep there? Would it be like snoozing in a Carolina pine forest? There’s your ponder for the weekend.

No Patience For The Stupid. Or Zombies.

Actually, I have yet to see a horror movie where zombies really exhibit a whole lot of intelligence. I believe it’s inherent in the name …. a reanimated dead body, according to Merriam-Webster. And that says NOTHING about brains. For the most part, I think zombies just amble around in stiff, uncomfortable way, much like all of us over the age of 35 do in the morning. Just maybe not with arms outstretched, looking to kill you. Because that also seems to be their thing, to kill you.

Well, I lost a good chunk of time this week to the zombie, mostly because I got really really mad, and I posted on Ravelry under the title “SHE’S  NOT DEAD”. (that post is below). I ranted, like I did here earlier in the week, about this zombie faker and because most things in Lazy Stupid & Godless fly by at an alarmingly rapid rate, I thought it would be a nice cleansing post, I’d get about 8 replies, and we’d continue on with our lives. Yeah. I can be dense sometimes. I now know how the idiot out in California feels when she thinks it’s not too windy to make a little fire to cook some wienies, and suddenly half the state is on fire.I felt a little nauseous, because blowback is often what happens to people who do such stuff.

Whups?

Anyway, more proof is being gathered (though as someone observed, it’s very hard to prove a negative) – but if you can convict someone of murder without a body, I’m thinking we can find a preponderance of evidence that would eliminate any doubts people may still have. It will live on a website and will be fabulous!

What set me over the edge was that my friend told me that a knit-along was being formed in her memory for next month. And that meant… more people would buy her patterns that were still up for sale under the premise donations were being made to charity. The one I saw said it was going to the American Cancer Society, and friends, when you lose the one person in your life who’s always been there, taught you at least half of what you know and was the only source of unconditional love for 30 years – when you lose someone like that to cancer, and someone else uses cancer to make a buck? PlazaJen get real mad and blow up like Hulk.  And all the world fell away around me and I couldn’t see straight & my hair on the back of my neck went up and I think the air might have crackled a bit. So I pounded out a non-naming bitch slap, and discovered a whoooole lotta people who were hot on the trail & dug up more evidence and started tracking her on Ravelry, much the way the weatherman here tracks Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Change your name? Beep beep beep beep, seconds later it is announced to everyone and the private messaging exploded. Really, I was impressed at the sleuthiness of my fellow LSG’ers, because they were ON IT like beagles after a fox.  All of this will go to the joint effort that’s being amassed, for the evidence website.

The crazy part is, she’s still on the site. Why, is beyond me. Talk about a pariah. To paraphrase the old saying, “Bitch – you’ll never knit in this town again.” RIP Momma Monkey, Confined2Me, Miss Cissy, GinaBlaq, Ginablackq, whatever you want to call yourself today, tomorrow, next week. Those eyes I saw peering out of my computer monitor have to look at themselves in the mirror, and I know. I KNOW. No matter how hard you try and mind fuck yourself, you will know, in the smallest. darkest, dustiest room tucked deep in your soul, that what you did was wrong. Might I suggest something for your next tattoo?

“I repent”

Backwards. On your forehead.

~~~~~ for the non-Ravelers, this was my post~~~~~~~~

K.
If you knew there was a pile of proof, pointing to the fact that someone who was a popular indie knitter/designer/purveyor of goods had FAKED THEIR DEATH, and you could hardly talk about it with anyone, because nobody knows what to do with this proof, or really, even, how to present it to the greater community? What would one do?
(Besides self-combust, of course.)

No, I am not referencing Teh Crazy that is MCY. This preceded MCY, but it parallels quite astonishingly. I did not uncover the proof, but I trust the person who did, who has, in turn, had numerous pieces confirmed by others close to the person.

My problem, as a member of this fabulous community, is that designs are probably still being purchased, because said moneys are now going to “charity”. People cried real tears over the individual’s death! This as nuclear as a FatBoy over Nagasaki, and yet, I can barely keep my ire in check, knowing that this individual is walking around – blogging and tweeting about what pants to wear – while the community at large has been duped – once again.

Therefore, I would at least like to petition the general knitting community that, from this point forward, some sort of newspaper death notice, or coroner’s report, or police blotter item be required before tributes, fundraisers, knit-a-longs or other fantastic acts of kindness are performed. I do not want to become a hard-hearted bitch, anymore than I already am, and I think this is the only way we can keep these horrid people from yanking the rug out from under us. Are we in agreement?

To quote my friend Willy, “Truth will out.”

Snake Oil and Cybercide

There’s been at least one incident in the knitting community of a yarn purveyor faking an illness, then death, in order to get out of her obligations and as a way of dealing with the complaints about the product quality. Ravelry folks know this is under the “Mystical Creations, Yo” group, and what a kerfuffle it was/is. Apparently this woman is perfectly fine, reportedly driving a new car, and was initially spotted at a Wal-Mart (isn’t everyone’s undoing going to be at a Wal-Mart?).  The announcement of her fraud caused an uproar, and mind you, we knitters have resources. It cracks me up to think just how mobilized we really could be, if someone would just stop distracting us with yarn sales – we truly could take over the world, what with all the various professions out there. Including lawyers, who know how to search legal databases and what charges should be filed in the case of fraud!  I stopped following the thread because, well, I have to work, and the conversation itself was rather life-consuming. But for an onlooker, what a rubbernecking train wreck, indeed.

Turns out, this is not the only death-faker in the yarn community! Another one has done this – did it before MCY, in fact, and was discovered through, of all things, a social networking tool. See, even if you successfully fake your own death online, and shut down your blog, your Etsy shop, all that stuff, if you DON’T CHANGE YOUR EMAIL ADDY, someone will eventually click that button on their Facebook/Twitter/Plurk screen that says, “Check to see if my contacts are on here!” And boy, will that person be shocked to see you alive & well, tweeting and blogging away.  With your same first name, and uh, pictures of your TATTOOS. Really? Have you not even heard of CSI? Or go to the post office and see the descriptions of the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted? Tattoos fall under “Scars and Marks”.   (Point of clarification: This discovery did not happen to me. Again, I’m just rubbernecking. But I got the account of this firsthand from a former defender & champion of the Undead Knitter, and she is rightfully fit-to-be-tied by this twist of events.)  Now Undead has slammed the privacy doors shut on those portals, because she realized she’d been found, but here’s what you didn’t think about, sweetie: we all have an IP address. And the fact that you opened up a second dummy account on Ravelry, three months before your  untimely “demise”, right about the time things started piling up? Oh yean,  and you posted from both accounts? Means the source of those account postings can be checked. And they will be checked.

And all those people who paid for things they didn’t get are going to be pissed. All the people who wrote heartfelt condolences will feel their hearts harden, just a little bit.  Which really sucks. Knitters are typically pretty generous, and unused to being scammed by con artists. They would have been upset, but far more forgiving of a straightforward atonement for your predicament, whatever it was that drove you to hoodwink so many.  Your karmic acts will need to triple, for the rest of your life, to atone for this.

There’s a sucker born every minute, as the saying goes. But it’s best to remember that sometimes the suckers carry really pointy objects, and have resources to even the playing field.  Stay tuned, for this essplosion has only just begun to erupt….

My, What A Fetching Chapeau….

Yes. There has been knitting. I haven’t done much in the way of blogging it, partly because I haven’t done as much blogging in general, but whatevs. You forgive. We move on.

Here we have Hat #1, the lovely Koolhaas, by Jared Flood (Ravelry Link, FYI). This hat rekindled my love of twisted stitches, reminding me just how much I adore them. In fact, they sorta make me shriek with joy. Apparently I was so swept up in my twisted stitches, I opted not to follow the pattern accurately, and so I stunted the first few rows by not knitting them in pattern, and continuing to make the stitches travel. If you do not knit, never mind. I made the hat too short. That’s why you see my buddy Amy modeling it, because it went into her birthday stash.

Amy's Koolhaas

According to her mom, it was THE hat in the house, eschewing all others, for a while there. Flattery, Miss Amy, it will get you everywhere, and quite possibly into my stash! I’m going to teach her how to knit over the holiday break, and I’m looking forward to it.

Fresh on the heels of no-hat-for-old-Jen, I knit another Koolhaas, this time for James. He wears it well.

Big grins

Now, I am going to make myself a Koolhaas, and I cast on for one this weekend, in a beautiful merlot-cranberry merino. But I also needed a hat, and fast. Enter the Chunky Cabled Tam, from the latest issue of Knit 1. (Rav Link)  It’s a fast knit – two strands of Manos, doubled, and it sorta killed my hands. But I was determined, and it was whipped out over the weekend. Part way through, I tried it on and got an interesting reaction from my husband. Part amazement, part shock and maybe a sprinkle of horror. “Is that for you?” he enquired…. uh, yeah! “Wow!” I think we agreed it takes balls to wear it, and balls, well, not so much an issue for me. Chutzpah. I haz it.

Cabled Beret

Yes I Can Wear This Hat

Dramarama

Someone at work pointed out it has the potential to resemble uh, Blueberry Muffin, from Strawberry Shortcake, circa 1980.  I’ll grant them that there’s a resemblance, with the caveat it does only when worn IMPROPERLY.  That’s if you put the hat straight up on your head, and anyone who’s ever worn a beret or tam can tell you, nobody makes that look work well. So piss off, Strawberry Shortcake. I’m wearing the hat and everyone else can go suck it.

And, apparently, this is my general approach to the holidays. I’ve not even looked for cards or wrapping materials, and I remain unfazed. The more I participate in the crazy, the crazier it makes me, so I’m resisting. I can smell the panic around the corner, though.

Splitting Your Fingerprint

You really don’t hear a lot of crazy news stories about knitting drama, or casualties. When I first moved to Kansas City, I was fascinated by a warring pair of ladies who own competing horse-drawn carriage businesses here on the Plaza (one put a hit out on the other!!!), but you really don’t read much about drive-bys because a certain knitter scooped up a bunch of Wollmeise, or that someone’s being held for ransom and the payment is in rare colorways from the Regia Color Nation series. (Seriously, though, my moral turpitude could be swayed if someone had Regia Canadian Color in the Alberta colorway. Everyone has their price.)

But there are knitting-related injuries.  I was hell-bent on finishing James’ Koolhaas hat, and using rather sharp, small needles. Going quickly, along with twisted stitches, I found myself really jabbing my right index finger with the pointy needle, but didn’t think much of it. Until I realized that in two different places, I had essentially split the skin between the raised ridge areas on the surface of my finger! And while it’s a very small opening on my skin, it burns and registers every single thing that comes in contact with it that isn’t to its liking. So I did what any knitter might do, and just kept knitting. I did put liquid bandage on it, which burned for a good 60 seconds, but then at least provided a decent barrier that stayed on for most of the day. (Note to all who are intrigued by liquid bandage: this product works amazingly well. Fantastically, in fact. However, if I were 8 years old, and someone was putting this on my skinned knee? I would invoke a string of curse words that would make a grown sailor wince. It burns like an unholy spirit escaping the flames of hell. But!! Then it’s over, and it takes numerous hand washings to even affect it. So. Ye were warned, and the payoff is worth it.) (Another note on liquid bandage: the ad says it’s used by “bowlers, golfers, tennis players, fisherman, musicians, runners, hikers, and dancers” and I would like to officially suggest they include “Crafters” to their cross-section of users.)

There are even sharper needles out there (Stilleto points from Signature, if only 1’s came in circulars!), and I’d love to try them but I fear I’d have bloody knitting to show for it.   However, there would be an upside to that – I would be able to destroy my fingerprints & get my hands on that Alberta yarn no matter what it took to get it…heh ….just kidding.

Sorta.

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