Thursday, December 27, 2007

Over here

Yes, I fell off the blogging wagon again. Didn't mean to, but Santypants got a wee bit behind in the shopping department, and although the kids did not implode when they saw their unwrapped gifts, there was a sense of disappointment. Next year I will have gift bags sewn up, and all the shopping will be done by Thanksgiving. No exceptions. I don't have access to the kind of drugs "last minute holiday shopping" requires, and even if I did, who'd drive me home from the mall? Planning ahead for next year, Clementine be damned.

I got a package from our west-coast stuntstitcher. She is hopefully feeling better. The box of goodies got here Christmas eve. Tiny, perfect skirts, a too-cute bag made in the "Chocolate Lollipops" fabrics, and needle rolls. And the best snowman I've seen in ages. He looks like he's built of a stack of marshmallows, but not like those s'mores snowmen... this guy is elegant. He's also currently hanging from the chandelier over my dining table, so perhaps he's also a bit of a tippler... Many thanks to the fabulous Miss G for her supreme stitching antics. (And all while recovering from surgery. She rocks.)

There is a blogger coming here for the new year. Acutually, there are two headed my way. This is what kind of crazy knitting and knitters can do. Hopefully, they will both have a fine time here in Indiana, and there will be pictures to follow. If you are in the area, Sunday is when we'll be having our "big blog meet" at the shop, so if you'd like to come say hi, or see if Melly and Redrhonda are real girls, or meet the knitter I accosted in a Milwaukee-area bookstore, then come on in, for pete's sake. We'd love to see you. Of course, the addy is 66 S. Water St., in Franklin, Indiana. I will be spending the next two days making sure nothing too scary or stinky resides in my upstairs bathroom, as I don't get to entertain houseguests often, and it gets to be sloppy/messy/gross in the upper regions of our abode. Rubber gloves will be called into service. I'm excited to see Miss V again, and meet her son and sister. Okay, I've got to dash outta here. Type at y'all latah, darlin's. C

Friday, December 21, 2007

Redrhonda gave me cashmere...

and I don't have to just stare at it in balled form... she knitted me the leaves scarf from a previous year's Interweave "holiday knits" edition. I have coveted this scarf for so long, and when her 'Clapotis' had to die a froggy death, it was my secret desire to have a beautiful leaf scarf of my very own, and she knit it for me. Melly got one, too. I haven't even taken mine off yet, and technically I got it yesterday (just noticed it's 1:23 a.m.) Will post more later today if I get the chance. I may be too busy burying my face in my deliciously soft leaves scarf. That redrhonda has mad skilz... I'm so very glad she used them for me! She hasn't put the photo of the two happy recipients up on her ravelry page yet, or I'd link it here... that will have to wait till I've had some sleep.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Yeah, what she said

I suppose you all know by now that I take a fair amount of medication. You also know that I am not the most geeky of persons, and that I consume fair-sized blocks of other people's Melly's time asking them Melly to fix computer problems. This being said, it should come as no surprise that I did not know the photos I blog from flickr are available for all the world to see... that I could have told you to click the pretty picture and then you would've seen at least the five or so photos I'd uploaded to the flickr page. Well, duh, already. And yeah, I tried to get a good shot of Eli looking amazed at the tiny food in the miniature rooms exhibit, but it was dimly lit, and calm, and quite possibly the most restful corner of the museum, with the exception of the Anne Frank exhibit, but, quite honestly, there wasn't much room to sit down in there.

So, on tomorrow's agenda we are having a bit of holiday sugar fun at the shop, and I'm casting on a sock... the second sock of the LotusYarn, which I meant to do at knit night, but someone brought in a whole pond's worth of frogging, and so ripping commenced. I think she's all sorted out now, but will have to move onto smaller projects (are you paying attention, TC?) so our little knitting surgeries don't have to involve ten or more inches of searing painful ripping retrospectives. And I told you I was going to beat this little strike-out horse to death, (the divine miss M taught me another new trick) and I love it, but my medicine has kicked in now and I'm dizzy and sleepy and my hands smell really good and I want the "ticky-tacky boxes" song on my phone, because a yarn shop owner whose phone plays Weezer's "Undone" is just showing her friggen' age. My twentieth class reunion is coming up this next summer and I look like... not myself at eighteen, that's fo sho. Gotta address those little probs. Really just gotta get some sleep. That meeting today went for two hours, and I had to send the coffeehouse owner, the adorable Sus (with an oooh, as opposed to an aaah) to retrieve muh knittas and keep them warm in her shop while I hot-footed it back to Franklin. There is much to discuss, Grasshoppers, but tomorrow, when Melly will also be showing this ol' dog again how to use the laptop's photo card reader. Yeah, I used to be blonde, and some habits are just too hard to kick. Have a night,y'all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

a view from below

Originally uploaded by clementinesdrygoods

... from the spinning, round sofa-thing, beneath 18,000 pounds of glass. Chihuly glass. There are more photos, but as I can only post one at a time through Melly's ingenious work-around, this is all I can show you for now. Tomorrow is another day, with no OPC (other people's children) in it. Have a great evening, and you can catch what my other half thought of his grand day out over on his blog. And for the record, I think that schoolteacher had decided to let the hideous brat stay "lost" until it was time to get back on the bus to go home. And it really was a banana sticker on that chick's forehead. I bet all the people who work at the Children's Museum are stoners or drunks... probably both. Poor creatures.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Not Exactly As Planned

Well, actually that would be the understatement of my week. Just moments after hitting the publish button, and calling That Crocker Woman to check her plans for the day, number one daughter came out of the shower with a hideous rash all over her neck and shoulders. Then, just as I'm debating whether we should dash off to the dermatologists' office or go play at the museum, I think to check if our doc is in... not till tomorrow. Groovy baby. We're headed to town... just as soon as I print off the directions. Then I think to click the 'hours' button, and whadaya know? They are closed Mondays from September through February. How bloody convenient for them. So tomorrow will be jam-packed: doctor visit, museum, knit night. Today was just a weird stay-in-pajamas day. I mean, I did shower, but climbed right back into my still-warm jammies, went back to my glider rocker and heating pad, and resumed the first "Thousand Hours" sock. It did some wild, tiger stripey, swirly stuff, but I love that about hand painted yarn. That serendipity is the whole point of knitting it, for me anyway. Oh, and the colors. Lotusknitter's colors are divine. I'll show you the socks when I have a pair. Starting second sock tomorrow. Not trying to be a tease, but the camera battery wants charging, it's pitch dark in here aside from the monitor light, and my medicine kicked in a few minutes ago, just in case you were wondering how Clementine got let loose. Her grammer isn't better than mine, she just seems sexier because she's slurring. Have a good night, all you festive crafty peeps out there. Kisses, sweeties... and save me a bite of the door! C

p.s. Blogger is still shutting me out of comments, Melissa, so I think you'd better just get busy and show me the sweater. All that flogging and public humiliation you put this old bag through, I think I deserve to see some knitting, dammit. I have my own blasted ice to look at. p.p.s. The cat is still smacking her head against the window at the Titmice. (Titmouses?) Anyway, she's in for a rough day tomorrow, when they bring all their feathered buddies to the feeder. I feel like I should put a helmet on her.

Good morning, Jolly Roger

Originally uploaded by clementinesdrygoods

This is the "down side" of homeschooling our children. They get creative little urges and sneak down in the night and leave magneted 'messages' for the 'rents (that'd be "Boris" and moi). Don't get me wrong... I love that my kids think of this stuff all on their own. It's just a bit too startling at four in the morning, when I'm up making the man his morning joe. That isn't usual behavior for me, btw. Normally I'm smart and prep the coffee maker for it's duties before bed, except now we're trying a new tactic for coping with my seasonal depression/anxiety. It's called getting more sleep, and evidently it works, because I slept from 9 p to nearly 3 a, and by 3:30 was out of bed, cleaning up the kitchen, and settling in with my knitting. I expect to finish the LotusYarn sock today, unless those devil-spawn children of mine talk pretty at me and I take them into Indy to the Children's Museum. My parental units came through with a year's pass as a Christmas gift, and as Bill/Boris hates going there, it's all on me. I know I drive till I see a dinosaur crashing out of a building, but as for parking, etc., I still have some research to do. The Chihuly blown glass installment is something I've been dying to see. Yes. Glass. In the Children's Museum. I wouldn't consider it a swell plan, either, but hey, we have a season pass. Let's give ol' Lucifer, oops, I meant Eli a chance. Worst case scenario is I have to pull out my Jackie O shades and pretend he's the neighbor's kid when the news trucks pull up outside the doors.

I have a great many plans sketched out for the shop, post-holiday. A series of patchworking workshops ala 'Material Obsession' (those Aussie chicks are amazing and, oooh, I just want to squeeze them and love them, and pet them...oh,um, sorry. My inner-Elmira got a little excited just now.) and a new Camp Wannamaikasaukee using sport weight yarn (Gems, of course) and a seamless sweater class, along with a lightweight summer wrap kal. Now I just need my geeking genius, Melly, to produce a reproducible master copy to be distributed around the hamlet of Franklin. Also required is that web site. I'm making up a series of boards for how I want the pages to look, but the getting there from here is what's causing my brain to freeze up. Ack! Deep, even breaths... and a few more... okay. Better. Now, I'm off to wake all the monsters, scrub them clean and put them into dryer-warmed clothes. Have a pleasant day, all you crafty mamas (and daddy-Os, just in case any of my readers are testicle-laden.) Latah, knittas

Friday, December 14, 2007

It wasn't a bum day...

Originally uploaded by clementinesdrygoods

Today was a nice day, a calm day, a day that began with half a xanax and then Robin brought me flowers (or rather, they will be when the bulb sprouts... purple hyacinth. Pretty.) LeAnn also came by to make sure I was fine and dandy, then my banker, her auntie, and her momma all came around. Banker Woman (not her official designator, but she's entitled to her super-hero secret identity) is as frustrated as I am about the funding situation, and dropped by on her day off (told you she was super) and had some ideas for how to get a business plan put together... you know... that thing I'd hoped to avoid? Yeah, I guess that lil' plan backfired.

The photo above is an old-ish one I took for Thimbleanna, because she'd captured Eli's propensity for sleeping in weird places so well when she came to visit the shop. This is a sound-asleep little man, resting precariously atop a glider ottoman. Odd, and a wee bit sad, but I'd been at the computer all evening and the ottoman was as close as he could get without being in my lap. Yes, I have a shelf all dusted and set to display my latest mother-of-the-year award (or MOTY, as we past winners call it). His toes on his right foot are scrunched up, but all five are really there.

This blogging through flickr is weird, and I had hoped to remember the camera to get snaps of the newest fabrics to hit Clementine's Dry Goods. I'm sticking it in the bag for tomorrow, and if we don't get six inches of snow, I'll be in the shop to have another go at it. Two quilts are in the works, as are several socks (the LotusYarn is swirling beautifully... you must see later... once I finish.) Prepare to drool. Latah, knittas. Cami

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Clementine's big gripe

Aha! There you are. It has taken quite a little while to get back here to the computer to post. I'm finding myself overwhelmed with the minutia of daily existence these past few days. Wednesday saw me flooded with bolts of fabric... okay, only about 70 bolts, but unexpected, as I had not given the company the go ahead to ship it to me. Today, while waiting to hear from the fabric company about the shipment, I find out that the whole paperwork dance we did last month so I could get a wee, teensy loan was for naught. Do you want to know why ? This is really funny, so hold onto your seat... the credit cards we paid off (store debt incurred buying stuff to sell) now leave me with (wait for it...) too much credit and I'm apparently a huge credit risk, paying off my bills with a second mortgage. If it weren't so f*cking ridiculous I'd be in tears, but I had a shitty childhood, and it takes waaay more to bend me. I don't know how to make the bank stand up and take notice, and don't think I didn't already think of getting a penis, but Emma says I'd have to go to Thailand, and airfare is just too pricey. And yes, I know if I was running a bait and tackle shop, or a lawn mowing service, or just wanted a loan for a big honking television, I'd have the money already. Yep, I just need a penis in one hand to get the loan in the other. SBA loan? Who needs it? Me and my ulcer are just fine the way we are, penisless and trapped in a broke woman's body.

For all those in favor of the boob hats, the basic pattern is cast on 88 sts loosely (I use a Brittany size 9.5 needle. Don't tell me they don't exist... I have a set of 5 dpns... I don't hallucinate in quintuples). Then I switch to size 7 dpns and knit around until the hat fits comfortably down over my ears, or a bit longer for a person with a big head. Begin decreases (knit 6, k2tog) all the way 'round, then do a plain round, then dec rnd again (k5, k2tog), plain rnd again, repeating these two rounds (and you know the next dec rnd is k4, k2tog, blah, blah, blah... just always do one less, if you're a newbie) and at 44 sts I switch yarn, continuing the decreases. Work till you have just five or so sts, work 2 or 3 rnds of i-cord, and you're done. Boob hat complete. Takes less than a day, if you pay attention there at the end for the decreasing.

I'll try to be less grumpy tomorrow. That Crocker Woman threatened to put a highly unflattering photo of yours truly on her blog. I'm much cuter in person, with my rockin' new hair cut. Today was just a day and tomorrow I get to try again. Take care, y'all. C

Monday, December 10, 2007

The boob hats

Originally uploaded by clementinesdrygoods

Not hats for boobs, but boob hats, as per my Crazy Aunt in Alabama's instructions. She's currently up in Iowa, taking care of my fruit-loopy Grandma, and was in need of some hilarity with her warm head covering. The other one is for Cousin Rachael. They like to wear them to the grocery store, where they both spend long moments looking at things on high shelves, whilst standing side-by-side. The plan they've concocted is to be "shocked and appalled" should anyone point out they have tits on their heads. This sick sense of humor is family wide, and will only get worse the closer my aunt comes to me, geographically speaking.

In other news, I dropped off my dead Viking today at the Sewing Center. Hopefully he'll make a full and speedy recovery, but I have two quilt tops to piece, both pineapple quilts, and as I'm sure Jaye would agree, you just don't swap machines mid-pineapple. Arrgh. If I'd planned to purchase a new machine, I'd be all 'researched up' and ready to make a commitment, but there is so much technology out there ... I feel rather like a dinosaur already. All I need is my 1/4 inch piecing foot, a short, straight stitch, and an uninterrupted hour or two and it'd be done. I've been having nightmares where Amy Butler comes into the shop and lazy me doesn't have any quilts made up in her fabrics. Perfect time for a two year old's natural destructive abilities to kick in.

Happier news: I made buttered rum mix. And Steph, I can't tell you what bitters are, but they smell delicious. Kind of like bay leaves, and spices, and citrus oils. Very pungent, and very concentrated. I think a moderate drinker could go a year or so on one tiny bottle of bitters, but it's the sort of thing you start dripping into everything once you've got them... like an exotic extract. I'm thinking of using them instead of vanilla in the next batch of molasses cookies...mmmm.

Well, off to have a rummy tummy-warmer. hope everyone is happy and well. I hear Eli is now awake and grouchy, but I'm pretty sure I won't care after a mug of buttery-rum goodness. Take care, y'all. Cami

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A Shocking Photo

Originally uploaded by clementinesdrygoods

Thanks to WonderMelly, here is an actual photo, of actual socks, on actual feet... Lilly's, to be exact. They have been adored and worn, hard, for days. I finished them at knitting on Tuesday night. RedRhonda witnessed the finale, all but the grafting of the toe, which I was able to finish later in the evening (okay, possibly it was after midnight) and that makes this, by my count, the fifth day in a row that they've been on her pigs. I will be stripping them off for a scrub this evening. So, pick yourself up off the floor, and thank That Crocker Woman that, finally, we are photoless no more. Wa-hoo.

That Crocker Woman

I think I have the most brilliant friends ever and not just because they like me. See what the rockin' cool betty, Melly Gail put over there, in my sidebar? Go on, just slide your eyeballs over to the right... isn't she something, That Crocker Woman? The bitchy girl image is something 'Boris' swiped from somewhere, and it's been languishing in a flickr-file. As it sums me up so perfectly, I just had to have it, but if it's some one's call sign, leave me a comment and I'll have Marvelous Melly the wonder-geek take it down. She changed my mail and everything yesterday, and knows all the deep secrets to pirate my blog. She also found a photo card reader-ma-jiggie built right into my laptop (I, of course, had NO idea it was there) and so, if I blog from the shop, should be able to put photos back into my posts. Yay, Melly.

I started another pair of socks last night, and have finally come to the realization that I'm going to have to finish some short-row heels to recoup all of my 40" addi needles for two-at-a-time, toe-ups. I'm stuck having to magic loop one sock at a time, which, let's face it, does NOT have the same Olympic knitting appeal as finishing a pair all at once. This is my punishment, though, for not actually finishing all the pairs I have going on all my long needles. The yarn is Opal, it stripes solid red and cream/black fair isle, and the novelty of the striping pattern wore off after about two inches. Today I'm getting back to the gorgeous LotusYarn "a Thousand Hours", with it's swirls of blueberry, plum, caramel, and cream. I'm readjusting the stitch count, because the yarn is cushy and accommodating. I may only need 68 sts around the foot, and I might try a shaped instep this time. I just need to get them done. Shop sample *cough* , you know.

Well, someone in this house has pooped his pants, so I'm going to midget-toss him into the shower and get everyone else to dress and put away their laundry. It's Sunday. I like to start the week off with empty laundry baskets. Keeps the mice from building nests in their clothes. When we get into town, I'm going to try and post a pic of the striped socks I made Lilly, which she has worn every day since I finished them. Tonight I'll probably have to sneak them off her feet to give 'em a sink-bath. Ha. Your brain read stink-bath, too, didn't it? Hope everyone (two legs, or four) is doing well. Behave yourselves out there today. Latah, muh knittas.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Of asshats and little men

In this case, he's one and the same. The torturous two-year-old on a mission form his master, Legion, to destroy my sanity, one paltry braincell at a time. The only thing I want do do now is sit on the sofa, eat cheese curls and male Hershey's bars, and fondle yarn, and I think maybe I overdid the dose of my medication. However, little dude-person was hollering and screeching for a "ba" (we ran out of formula powder and thought we'd have a go at weaning him off the sauce) and it was nearing the breaking point for me. 'Boris' is off at work still, so he missed a lot of "quality time" with his spawn today. Lucky for me I keep Mommy's little helper handy, and while I can't feed it to him, I can eat all I want of them and then just giggle at his meltdown, from a fuzzy, happy corner of my brain. He, too, is now content with cheese curls, so I'll bid you adieu. I have to stagger over to the living room now. This heavily medicated post about nothing in particular was brought to you by the letter M, because Melly thinks I've been a lazy blogger. Perhaps she'll find a way for me to post from the shop tomorrow. I'm bringing the camera, Miss M... you just bring that big brain of yours, k? smooches to y'all. I can't feel my front teeth...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Awww, you guys Rock!

Thank you for the kind words. Those, coupled with my daily meds, will continue to keep me calm and centered for at least the rest of the day. Admittedly, I was fairly miffed about the whole thing, but my darling 'Boris' put it all into the perspective that was seconded by y'all. The real shame of it is you know the people creating the bags and needles over in Vietnam aren't making fistfuls of dollars for their efforts. Hell, there's probably a street market where the 'seconds' are sold to tourists for pennies on the dollar. And the price for a pair of 10" ebony needles is more on the current wholesale list than I paid retail for a pair in another shop two years ago. Curious, no? This really boils down to local shops being piss-headed, and that's fine for them. But if I've tied my own cash up in stock for the shop, and been helped out by fellow knitters to meet what turns out to be an artificially inflated initial order (sales reps are notorious for that), what business is it of anyone else's? Lantern Moon makes the same amount no matter what I sell their wares for. Isn't that the bottom line that should matter to them? Oh well.

As you pointed out, their stuff 'ain't all that and a bag a chips' (a goofism from one of my half sisters. It applies here). And I do have the Harmony needles in sizes 2 thru 2.27 mm. I marked them up $1.50 from Knitpicks price, and the company knows I'm selling them like that. I have the 32" circs, too, so sock knitters can loop their hearts out. I'm told that Knitpicks' own Kelly has begun trying two at a time, so can a Knitpicks 40" be far behind? Oooh, I hope so, though I do love my addis. They are just a little kinder to my fingers when I'm stress-knitting (oh, so tightly). Speaking of socks, today I'm starting a pair in Lotus Yarn "a thousand hours". Four skeins arrived on Tuesday and I. Love. Her. Yarn. The pair I'm making is a shop sample (yeah, for about a day) and I can't wait to get started. I've finished two pairs up this past week, all because I couldn't wait to get my fingers into Lotusknitter's yarn. I feel honored to have her yarn in the shop. Well, gotta get ready for "work" (that is never going to get old... yarn and fabric being called work... tee-hee). Latah, knittas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Price-fixing, anti-capitalism, and Lantern Moon

Well, it was a disappointing phone call, as I tried to get things all arranged. Sadly, a sneaky bastard (yes, I realize companies google themselves. Now.) got involved and now my 'opening order' will never, ever be happening. Yes, gentle reader, I have been blackballed from purchasing lovely Lantern Moon products for the shop. As a teeny, tiny business, in an eensy-weensy space, in the little hamlet of Franklin, Indiana, this is probably not a crushing blow. Nor am I surprised. Some of you (from as far away as Australia!) say you don't understand how needlework shops have such a hard time getting in basic supplies, and this is why. In this case, I'm guessing it was a combination of factors, because I know the operators of Lantern Moon do not read this blog, but instead had a little tattle-tale drag them to it, and my offering up products at wholesale to get the opening order out of the way evidently harshed their mellow. You know the movie "Office Space"? It was like I was stuck on the phone with Lundberg... 'Ummm, yeah (pause) we aren't going to sell to you because (pause) it isn't fair to other retailers (pause) ,hmmmm, for you to offer cheaper prices than they do.'

This of course opens the door on price-fixing, which cannot be defended. If I choose to sell something at less of a mark-up, because a company inflates their prices and has an elitist attitude, should that company be supported by the knitting community at large? I'd love to have the products in store, but the truth is most people won't plunk down full price for "beautiful and handcrafted products" (their words) and how better to support "socially and globally conscious living" (again, their words) than by PUTTING MORE PRODUCT OUT THERE? I guess the starving women in Vietnam don't need to make more things to sell in Indiana, because I wasn't willing to rape you all on price. Apparently Lantern Moon is, though, so you shouldn't be distraught. My apologies to all those who were so willing to help a struggling shop-owner out.

On a happier note, the happy chaos quilt class keeps growing. I can not wait to see the pretties that come out of our workshop. I'm shooting for a January 5th/6th and 19th/20th set of classes, and the modern quilt wrap kal in the kidsilk crack will hopefully follow soon. I'm offering alternate colorways, because the light blue is light blah to moi, so a deeper blue and the blackberry color will be available for substitution. I think the 'jelly' color is mandatory, though. We could all use a bit more chartreuse in our lives. Au revoir, mes tricoteurs.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

For Her Royal Pinkness

This recipe whomps 'arse', and is just the thing to have laying about in the fridge until a wet, cold, inhumane day calls for a bit of, well, blurring. For Steph, who may or may not be able to knit after a few of these, here is a recipe for Hot Buttered Rum:

For the mix:
1 stick real butter, NOT margarine
1 pound (seriously) light brown sugar
1 tsp. Saigon cinnamon, or 1 and 1/2 tsps. regular ground cinn.
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. angostura bitters
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground allspice (or a pinch of cloves)

Mix all dry ingredients with sugar, then melt butter and sugar mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Keep stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.
For the drink, combine 1 heaping tsp. mix, 2 ounces dark rum, and about 4 oz boiling water, stirring to mix well. Dark rum is key. If you are daring, may I suggest "Tattoo", the spiced rum from 'Captain Morgan'? Enjoy!

p.s. It isn't nearly as cold as it looks outside, which leads me to think I'll be driving home on ice when all this wet muck chills out tonight. arrgh. Cami

Indiana never disappoints

It's near freezing outside, though with some drizzly rain this morning. Much better than yesterday's sleet, which made the "Christmas Lights Parade" in the hamlet of Franklin ever so much fun. I heard the marching band, the kids and I dashed outside the shop's doors, and all we caught were some horse's asses. Morgans, I think. Then I realized I had ice in my hair and that was the end of our parade fun. Obviously there are Mensa members in charge of Franklin's festival planning, as the previous evening we had a luminary walk around town from 6-9 pm. A perfect time to snap on those holiday lights, don't you think? Today promises to be cold and dreary. I'll be getting those Lantern Moons orders organized and sitting with a pile of yarn swatches in my lap. I have another pair of socks nearly finished, and the monkeys are done, washed and drying on the AGA as I type this. I do have to get all the kids ready for 'work' so I'll type at y'all later. Stay warm. Cami

Friday, November 30, 2007


That's what I brought to work this morning, except I guess it's actually marketed as a 'wonderbar'. It's a snazzy little crowbar and wow, did it ever make 'rearranging furniture' easy. There are major changes happening at Clementine's Dry Goods, mostly because yesterday was a slow day. That is all I need to cause myself big headaches... a quiet hour and I can plan big messes. Here's where I'd show you the photo of the shop, all ransacked and chaotic, except we all know how that struggle with Blogger will end. Quite frankly, it's a bit early in the day for me to be popping Xanax. Geesh. Can you imagine how discombobulated I'd have this place if I went at it medicated? Okay, LeAnn's here... gotta get moving... stuff to displace... latah, knittas.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I am Threatening Daily

My account with Knitting Daily isn't allowing me the unfettered access to that damn 'modern quilt wrap' pattern Redrhonda is so hot for, so I'm still in the process of resubmitting my info, since having them remail my password to me isn't going well... yahoomail is down at this precise moment, and I'm finding myself stuck. I'd just extended the Lantern Moon "get it hot and at wholesale prices" offer to our lil' yahoo group, too... that's about when yahoo died on me.

I've heard from my favorite "southern melle", who apparently has taken up aerial acrobatics coupled with gravity experimentation, much to her backside's dismay. She will survive her antics and tells me that more yummy yarny goodness is wending it's way to my shop. Yay. About the yarn, not her brush with death. That part sucks. Be well, dear Lotus. She's also got another enticing contest over on her blog... I keep meaning to enter, but I'm such a vicious yarn hog. Just looking out for your best interests, muh knittas.

That Crocker Woman and her superspouse were here at Clementine's last Sunday, delivering and painting the new fabric cupboards. All. four. Of. Them. Cupboards, not Crockers... there are just two crafty Crockers involved in the creation of the3 (whoo, where'd that come from?) world's best little yarn and fabric emporium. The Crocker offspring are too busy being 1.) an adorable of-age delinquent, and 2.) a mysterious, angst-filled film maker-type teenager. How the elder Crockers ever find time for my alter-ego amazes me. I love that very tall knitta and her well-muscled hunkahunkaburnin' woodworker.

I was going to attempt to publish through flikr, to see if I could get up some photos to y'all, but that involves steps which I have to be talked through. Repeatedly. Slowly. So, for now, you just get ramblings. Pictureless rants, which I'd threatened to cease with the previous posting. I am nothing if not reckless and hot-headed. Midwest Masters is coming up. I actually went and bought a 2008 calendar so I can plan my spring. There are only five days between that event and Maryland Sheep and Wool... but Lucy Neatby is at the Masters weekend... oh, the torment, the indecision, the angst (hey, that's twice in one post... is there a prize for that?) Well, I have to go be a shop-keeper now. Y'all keep your sticks in the yarn/hands on the quilting till I get back.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

This was supposed to be the final post, but...

I have nowhere to go, the Xanax finally kicked in, and the two hours I spent getting my Typepad account going was a waste of an afternoon. I was able to get photos to post on Typepad, but couldn't get the posts to show. They just slipped into some cyber-spastic blackhole, and no matter what I did, there was no proof I'd written a post, let alone tried to post it. The titty hats looked exceptional in their photo-op, though, and I'm quite pleased with the rhubarb custard pie I baked today... while medicated, even. Tee-hee. Just having a quiet evening now... the decaf is ready, and it's nearly time to put the kids to bed.

For Miss Anna... I do not have a single doughnut fabric in the shop, but, if you give me a head's up for your next visit, I'll try to have some real ones available. I make fantastic spudnuts, if I may say so. To anyone else out there in the near vicinity, there is a bounty on this blog... make pictures go and you can name your price (provided it's fabric or yarn, or anything in the shop). I have only Wordpress to try next, and am too overwhelmed with other stuff to bother with the sorting out of technical crap. Come to think of it, I'm not in good shape to do much of anything on a computer... I just want the buttons that always worked before to work again. It doesn't seem to be working out that way.

Please excuse me. My oldest daughter is being an idiot, the two-year-old is nearing meltdown, and the middle three children are auditioning for "Lord of the Flies, Becher Haus style", so off I must go to police the inmates. Happy digesting to all of you out there. Cami

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Signs of Life

The shop was a riot yesterday. Miss Barb brought in an early Christmas present. Seems 'Victoria's Secret' sent out some gift cards for special, holiday edition panties. She went in to redeem her gift card and lo, it was a whore-pantie. Of extraordinarily tiny proportions. She gifted it to Clementine, who, although a figment of my imagination, has exactly as much control over her weight as she does her mouth. (I think it's the liquor, but she claims it's the dreary English countryside forcing her to ingest large quantities of sugar to keep from throwing herself off a bridge.) Suffice it to say, on her next trip to Hong Kong, her SARS mask requirement will be met in holiday style. Thanks, Barb.

Addi Turbo needles have been ordered. I'm not sure how it all got taken care of, but I didn't fall for the "you really need to buy the starter pack" line, and, in just ordering the important sizes and some of the new lace knitting circulars, managed to keep the order below anxiety-attack levels. Also, just for my blog readers, I'm pre-selling 'Lantern Moon' at deep discount prices, to get the initial order out of the way... if it's Lantern Moon and you want it... silk bags, totes, needles, the new 'gelato' silk ribbon yarn... you just e-mail me and we'll get you hooked up. This is wholesale plus a wee bit of postage, kids. You know you wanna. And Gaylen, there is a replacement guarantee on your sockstix. Just contact a local shop that carries them for help getting a new needle.

Now, I'm off to work, after I throw an ice-cream sammie at the two-year-old, who apparently woke up just now with a sore throat. I knew it was coming, as he slept forever yesterday. Latah, knittas. Cami

p.s. This is my second-to-last post on old Blogger... stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Missing Post

No, you're not crazy. There was indeed another post put up on Sunday, but I caught myself being ranty and preachy, and decided, eventually, that I wasn't in a mood for "engaging the enemy" and you already know about my little anger-management problem (which is strangely only a problem for the people I'm aggravated with) and so much of what people think they know about our military history and our government is so skewed... well, I realized I couldn't do the topic justice, and it overwhelmed me. Then I got caught "censoring myself", as Melly put it. In a way I'm very flattered. I didn't think anyone was paying attention. Bloggyland is a very odd place, and I don't know if I'll ever get used to the whole thing, but I read your blogs, and usually I'm too tired to type much of a comment, but I smile, nod, and occasionally nearly pee myself. I love that y'all stop by from time to time.

Once this week settles down (craziness of SBA loan still 'out there', we're re-financing the second mortgage to help with Clementine's bills, and I'm still trying to put together the "happy chaos" quilt class...) and hooking begins Saturday... the wonderfully talented and fast Nancy Brown is teaching a beginning hooking class. Yay! A real class at the shop, and I don't have to teach it. I can't tell you how much fun I'm going to have standing by, being not responsible for all the teaching/talking/eyes on everyone. Just puttering around the shop, soaking in all the non-accountability of having students in the shop. Being the one and only has been a real eye-opener, and I've learned a lot about myself in the past three months. I am stubborn (duh), opinionated (again, duh), and I stink at book keeping. Let me just say how stunned I truly was about that last tidbit. I keep my personal stash of sock yarns sorted by brand and the giant picnic basket full of 1930's repro fabrics are arranged in graduated colors (like a little vintage rainbow). The fact that I cannot seem to keep like paperwork with like astounds me. I have precious few weeks to get it all sorted out before tax time, and the book keeper lady God sent me is having a goiter surgery (stop that snorting, I am NOT making this up) and is going to need to recover for several weeks, so she won't be able to drive on account of not being able to turn her head. That means I have to get serious about learning my Quickbooks crap and no more "whiney-baby-poopy-pants". Again, Melly. Then there's the whole 'switching over the blog' thing and every once in a while I try to post a photo on Blogger, but the same 'error on page' crap happens and then there's Ravelry, on which I'm 'Camillaknits' (oh, genius that I am, keeping it all the same) but don't go look, because I haven't loaded any of my photos, or my favs, or a damn picture of myself, or my queue, or what friggen' needles in which sizes I own... * pause for dramatic sob* ... and we're back... it's a huge black hole on the internets, and I'm afraid to be sucked in.

Egads, it's after one in the morning here, and the Skacel rep comes to the shop in the morning. Ha! I'm one step ahead of you. My jeans are in the dryer, and 'muh whorepanties' are clean. I threw that in for muh knittas, Harriet and Robin and Barb. I'll be seeing them later today. When are y'alls coming by for a visit? Gotta go peel my contacts off my eyeballs. Ugh. Cami

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Q & A session

First, to Stephanie (stuck out in the wilds of the left coast), Xanax is my "drug of choice". I'm a bit of a crank, and the Xanax is a ginormous chill-pill, so I don't have to throw myself off the roof or slam anyone else's head in a car door. I have 'anger management issues', but aside from hating everybody, I'm really pretty nice, and, I think that's all that matters here. It probably all stems from a crappy childhood, but five bouts of post-partum depression left a nice big dent in my coping skills. Xanax is "cope" in a bottle. Yes, that's how quippy I always am... aren't you glad to be off somewhere away from me, happily knitting a second sock in one form or another? p.s. did you know Malabrigo comes in over 150 different colors? I so nearly pee'd my pants... and rep-dude left me the swatchbooks. I'm so 'whelmed. We could grope them together if you didn't live so far from here.*pout*

Now to cheap needles. I'm not knocking Knitpicks needles, because I have dear friends who use them, quite successfully, I should add. It's just a frustration, as I'm now a shop owner, to be in a position where I either have to funnel business to a mill-end retailer or try and 'stick it' to my customers, which I won't do, even for those gorgeous 'darn pretty' needles. I have a sock student who will have to knit magic loop, as her advancing illness will make knitting on double point needles too much of a hassle. In an ideal world, I would have just walked over to my needle display and grabbed the 32" 2mm needles she required, and we'd have been done with it... I may have even gotten her to cast on today. The hassle with Skacel has been ridiculous. I've been open for nearly three months now, and just yesterday got a message from their "rep". I have no idea when they'll be able to get addi Turbos into my shop, but I needed circulars TODAY, and had not one to offer. I'm putting an order in to Knitpicks, and we shall have our pointy, flexy, inexpensive needles. I might even order some of those fancy wooden ones what are backordered till doomsday. I can wait as long as it takes. You with me, Claire?

Gaylen, I feel your hair-pain. What it took for me was to walk into a salon I had no business in and tell the cutie-girl with the scissors to do whatever it took. And I also dyed my hair dark brown... quite a big change for me, but forcing my gray hair 'blonde' was costing me 235 bucks every three weeks... and it only looked really good for four days, and after eleven I was cringing. Now I dye my roots myself, though Erin still gets to chop on my hair. Add tons of texture on top, coupled with Aveda volumizing tonic (and an arm-numbing blow-drying session every morning) and I'm good with the new look. I have way less hair than I did a year ago, so I'm hoping to fix that, but, like I said last night... wigs could be kinda fun. I'm getting used to the idea.

I plan on trying to get into my mailbox next... I thought I spied a reply from Thimbleanna in there earlier. This day was so nutty in the shop, and 'Boris' was stuck home waiting on our new bed to be delivered, I just can't seem to make any progress with my jumping over to Typepad. I may have to devote tomorrow to that job, as I have LOTS to show and tell, and I think I can get Melly to do all the techie-stuff for me. She hates to see me pout, and she's become something of a useful gadget that I'd rather not do without... do you HEAR me, Melly Crocker? Gotta go; there is a rat movie awaiting my knitterly attentions. It's a ruse to sit very near my 'usband and sniff his aftershave and pinch his bum when he gets up for drinkies mid-movie. *tee-hee* Have a great night, muh knittas. Cami

Just a Quickie...

and then I have to get back to 'real life'... the one where I attempt to get into bed the same day I get out of it, except that window has closed already, as it's after midnight here. I've been perusing some a y'alls blogs. Bloggers rock my little world, y'know?

Today was haircut/eyebrow wax/nail fill/meet herbalist day, and while I was out (alone... daddy-o and the chirruns were off to the library,etc.) thirty-six bolts of "Full Moon Forest" fabric was delivered onto my porch. Then Miss Lotus e-mails to tell me YARN is on the way. I'm overwhelmed, and excited, and I have rockin' sexy hair... well, the ones still on my head are, anyhow. I'm hoping the nutritional advice will help, but if I do go all baldy from weird thyroid stuff and vitamin deficiency, I will have the best collection of wigs since the first season of 'Alias'. I might even go buy one just for grins. Platinum blonde? Red? Pink? Perhaps wigs look best when they are blatantly obvious, not like when you see an older girl decked out in her 'going shopping' finery, but her hair is on crooked. I never know where to look when I see that, and it makes me a little panic-y inside. Nope. If I go wiggy, I'm gluing that sucker on with eyelash glue. Unless there's special tape... or sticky dots... love those.

Now, even Bill/Boris has gone to bed, and I'm just waiting for the Xanax to take effect. Droopy does happen. Eventually. I taught a bit of knitting tonight, and that is always exciting, as there are two new sock knitters about to turn their first heels. Yay. (inside, I'm doing cartwheels and backflips). Blogger has decided it hates me and my stupid *&%3ing blog, so, yet again I cannot show you pretty pictures of strange and wonderful things, but I can tell you that I'll be switching to the kind that must be paid for, in an effort to keep everyone's attention. Did I say this would be a quickie-post? Ooops, my pants are burning. Hope y'all have a great night, er, morning. The Malabrigo rep comes tomorrow, so if you are Melly, please bring me chocolate, because when all the yummy samples leave, I will be sad. Decaf might be required, too. Just in case I have separation anxiety from all that beautiful Merino. My lip quivers already...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

coming up for air

This week has been a blur. I suppose our inability to handle 'houseguests' on short notice combined with the change in Bill's work schedule, and the complete removal of a wall in the shop have left me feeling a bit whip-lashed, if that's even a word. Also, the whore-y nails are getting in my way and I won't have a chance to rid myself of their excess length till Tuesday. Oh, and I finally waded through the sea of paperwork from a certain distributor, and I've decided to bail on my purchase of "darn pretty" needles from Grafton Fiber Studio. It would seem that, in Vermont dollars, the needles are supposed to be a bargain. Thirty dollars retail, people. For tiny little 2mm sock needles. Thirty bucks. And, until the copyright deal is settled, you can buy a similar looking set of sock needles for six bucks at Knitpicks. Now, I'm all for artisan quality tools, but come on... Seems like a wee bit of a discrepancy, don'tcha think? I'll sit back and wait till the lawsuit levels things out, seeing as there are toes being stepped on, stylistically speaking, and then, perhaps, if the fates allow, Clementine's will have a few to offer as wares in the shop. I will most likely have to buy a set of each (el cheapos vs. the Graftons) just to try them out for myself. But now it is time to go, as it's 5:31 in the p.m., and the natives are restless.. and hungry. p.s. business loan in the works... cross your crossables, k? Thanks!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Still waiting for photo-ops

There is something to be said for houseguests who spend three days cleaning your house. If I'd been at home when the in-laws were leaving, I may have clung to my mother-in-laws' leg and begged her to stay forever. Except that would drive her into an early grave. The floors look really great, though, and the kids' rooms are sooo nice. I'd show y'all photos, but blogger still isn't co-operating. I am distressed.

There is a new patchworking class in the works, to take the place of the apron-along that has now finished. Everybody's aprons were fantastic, and I was surprised at how quickly everyone got 'the hang' of sewing again. Like riding a bike, except funner. So, now I'm plotting a "happy chaos" block class, and it's going to be a riot, with a grab-bag for broadening each patcher's fabric options. But now i have to go be a shop-keeper... type at y'all crafty chicas later. Cami

Friday, October 26, 2007

Don't tell me I have to put it all up here...

Whew. That was a close one. I thought I would have to type my whole post in the title bar, and due to the character constraints, it was going to be a tough little exercise. Also,I would like to point out, for those of you who are new, or who've forgotten about the whore-y nails, how good I've gotten at working around them. Eve4n that doesn't happen hardly at all anymore, though I'd like to think it's just my amazing, mad 'skilz' at the keyboard, rather than the fact that the man at the nail salon does a better job giving me what I ask for than the owner does. Oh, okay, I know exactly who said that... you just get your mind out of the gutter and back onto your knitting right now, young lady. Sassy pants. Dirty bird. Fingernails. He gives me shorter, fake, whore-y nails. Dirty-minded hooligans, all of you.

"Project Big Hole" (really? again with the dirty mind?) apparently did not go off without a hitch tonight, and has, according to Melly, been postponed until tomorrow evening. Do not think for one minute I took this at face value, because it would not be below Miss Melly to play a debauched kind of practical joke on me. Not that she's mean... she's the furthest thing from it. But that tall gal do like her some silly, and me coming in to the shop tomorrow morning to find havoc and destruction after it had been put off by a day... well, I 'm just saying, I won't need to double up on the Xanax. In case the wall has already been torn asunder, I'm ready. Not that I could show you a photo or anything, seeing as how Blogger has made up it's little, circuit-y head not to allow photo-posting anymore at Becher Haus. I'm putting a flickr-thing together, perhaps tomorrow evening, you know, after "Project Big Hole" really has happened. All to show you destruction, some socks, and 'sleeping Eli', or his bum, rather. There are probably several other items of note in the camera. Seems Bill/Boris isn't able to show his evil minions photos, either. God only knows what he's got stashed in that camera.

Well, the dicatates of this sinus/allergy/snot-misery say I'm off to bed. If you are the stuntstitcher, e-mail me your digits, so's I can call you about the stunt-skirts. Also, remind me that we are three hours apart, so I do not call you at six a.m. Not that I'd mean to, but it's been one of those kind of weeks. If you are anyone else, please go get some sleep... I'm exhausted.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Feedburners, and other screw-ups

I've decided to play the "blame-game" about this whole photo-uploading fiasco, and it all stems from trying to get my blog an RSS feed on my Ravelry page. Arrgh. (Can you feel my frustration?) The kids are feeding themselves dinner, and I'm just checking in so you know I'm not dead on the floor or anything... I totally could be, but so far we're all managing to hang in over here. I did make a monumental mess of the shop during some yarn rearranging, but it worked out nicely... here's where I'd show you that in photos, if blogger didn't suck farts so damn bad. That being said, I'm off to find warmer wool socks, throw the chirruns' in their beds, and hunker down in front of some mindless telly with my sip (sock-in-progress). Latah, knittas.

p.s. yes, Ann, will try to get swatches of 'shot cottons' when next I see 'Mr. Westminster', my rep, Kurt.

p.p.s. Melly... how DARE you be gone when I'm ill... shirking slave labor again, are you? Can't wait for the big hole, though... TOMORROW's the big day. I miss you terribly. Have fun in sucky Toledo. I'm gonna start buying you gas cards to come to the shop, now. Hrrumph.

Perchance to publish pics...

...or not. Blogger still refusing my attempts at sharing Eli's sleeping bottom with the world. To top off my day, it would appear I've gotten some sort of 'bug' or virus, or general malaise. I'd hoped it was just allergies... really bad, hugely 'gone awry' allergies, but the fever, body aches, and continuous stream of snot may be indicating otherwise. I've taken an enourmous dose of pain meds and the magic and wonder that is Xanax and am still waiting to be passed out, limp and resting peacefully among the sheets and goosedown comforter on the bed. I had a decent day today in the shop and met a cool new customer who bought lots of nice Amy Butler fabric and patterns. I love how people keep finding the place and that look that passes over their face as they get to view AB's fabrics in person, as opposed to 'internet shopping'. It was fun helping her and I look forward to seeing some of her finished projects.

Tomorrow is "pick some damn solids, already" day. Not a big budget item, really, but I think Clementine can only afford to add them in groups of ten or twelve. So, we start with the basics, like black, cantaloupe, robin's egg, chocolate, cherry red, apple green, white, old gold, and a few blues/plums/pinks. Tougher than it sounds, and I hate having to 'narrow down' my choices, but if I don't do it, Clemmie will get her mitts on the Visa and then we are well and truly SOL. Gin and shopping don't mix, but she is fast and stealthy, and I have to keep hiding the business checkbook as it is. One whiff of the Visa and she'd be on a spending spree the likes of which have not been seen since Paris Hilton got outta the slammer, and I'd be enroute to 'debtor's prison'. Can you imagine if they still had those? Would any of us be free to roam the malls?

Well, my snotty nose says it's time for bed. I hope you all have a good evening. I'm hoping to stay passed out till at least six a.m... if I don't drown first. Cami

Monday, October 22, 2007

It has rained all day...

... and still Blogger resists my pleas to upload photos. Just as well, I suppose, since the Monkey socks are a MIL gift, and she/they are coming here next weekend. No need to spoil the "surprise", though she is an occasional blog-reader, and therefore may already suspect her 'recipient' status. Her blog visits are my only excuse for not using Norma's special swearword(see her blog, Sept.7,07) a LOT these past two months. Instead, both blood-pressure and Xanax consumption have escalated. Also up are the number of meals acquired through the truck window, the amount to sugar it takes to get me through the day, and the number of hours I spend laying awake planning my escape. Or how to convince Bill I really do want a Viking warrior's funeral. Alas, land -bound as we are, it seems unlikely I'll get the big, flaming send-off I so desire. There are probably EPA regulations against it as well. I'm pretty sure the government doesn't care if you're dead... polluting waterways is still a crime. (Pouting... really wanted to burn on a rickety, fuel-soaked barge.)

See the turn a dreary, rain-soaked day gives me? I did get "Monkey, part deux" cast on and am making a wee bit of progress. I also pawed through my stash and found a pair of tiny pillowcases that, as soon as I overcome my fear of chopping up vintage textiles, may become a stunning knitting bag. With a cute apple green lining. And a zipper, because if I've overcome my fear of desecrating textiles, I've probably gotten over the whole zipper installation thing, too. That's me. The dreamer.

Well, tonight is "Chuck/Heroes" night; the one and only night we gather together, my spouse and I, to watch the telly. I have to go railroad the kids into baths/jammies/bed and get the rest of the noisy chores done so all will be peaceful for this evening's viewing. Currently, not even the spell-check function is working on Blogger (for me), so I'm outta here. By the by, if you should see an odd looking green can of Pringle's in the grocery aisle, labeled 'spicy guacamole'... BUY IT. Do not look directly at said snack item, or even think about how gross and slimy actual guacamole is. Just eat one. We have a can for tonight's viewing pleasure. Have a great night, y'all. Cami

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I am so old enough

Evidently I'm doing a hell of a dye job on muh hairs, 'cuz I am too old enough to remember party line phones. I'm thirty-seven, and it was a very remote corner of Iowa. Change happens slowly in Iowa. Hell, I remember switchboards, too. My mom took me to work and I was facinated by all those plugs. Each one went somewhere different, all these little hoses full of wires. Of course, I got dragged along to a lot of her jobs. I even got to push an old man down the hall of a nursing home... in his chair. I thought wheelchairs were the coolest, but after that little trip (probably in kindergarten or early first grade), I came to realize that when you get the cool wheelie-chair, you're probably also gonna have to sit in your own poop for awhile. And you'll only get two mini-Reece's cups with your dinner. And dinner comes 'pre-chewed'. Gah.
It wasn't all bad, lest I seem to have painted a bleak picture of my childhood. I also got to hang out in bars and eat all the beernuts, porkrinds, and Luden's cough drops I wanted.

Spouse is stalking my blog before it's even written, and he has to be up four hours before the crack of dawn tomorrow. I hate trying to type while he peers over my shoulder. Makes me want to type embarrassing things about him. See, he's gone now.

I have some cute "sleeping Eli" pics for Thimbleanna, and another finished object... a Monkey sock to show off to you, but blogger is glugging along and won't load my photos. Someday I'll learn to post before nine p.m. It's now after 11 and I still can't catch a break. Also, dog is flipping out about the farmer plowing across the road. Anyone want a perfectly good chocolate dog? She is four and a half, likes to catch squirrels and cats, and is a whiz-bang mole digger-upper. Seriously, if you know of a quiet old farm with a front porch what wants holdin' down, Jemimabrowndog is your girl. I think we're gone too much now. Too bad, because her puppy years were hellish work... all three of 'em.

The apron-along went not smoothly, but we made progress. Easy to see who the over-achievers are *coughannchough* in a group of mixed-skill stitchers. See, I'd use the word 'sewers', but it comes out looking all poopy, and that we are not, my reader. Nothing but clean yardage was used. Melly was a fabulous cheerleader, photographer, and teacher. My ADD had kicked in fully by the time everybody got there... I was most concerned with matching up threads, then Marie the Ripper scared me and that made everyone else giggle (I take loads of Xanax for a reason, people) and I think for a "first episode" it went okay. Lots to fix before next Sunday's stitching session. There are some exotic specimens to show off. I love 'alonging'. Must do more. Now must go to bed. Husband is again up to his evil physical stalking, and the ice in his glass of tea is making me sooo thirsty. G'nite, muh knittas... and stitchers. If I'm not back in two days, send a search party (emphasis on party). I miss ranting daily. Tomorrow: Monkey sock - part deux.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Previously unpublished blog entry

As I sat and typed this evening's post, somebody wanted to get right up onto momma. I pulled out the glider ottoman as a sort of compromise while I typed. Yet again I assert my claim to the "Mother of the Year" title...

This is an old post, one I'd started to show how my narcoleptic toddler likes to mix it up, as far as sleeping arrangements are concerned. This old blog entry is also when blogger stopped publishing photos from my home computer, so I'd given up on this entry. I'm just putting it in now because it seemed time to clean up the postings list and I was shocked to see this draft had a photo attatched.
How cute is he?
How lazy am I?
Don't answer that.

Inner circles

There's a lot to be said for the Internet community. I think back to my earliest childhood, in a remote corner of Iowa, and the way my mom would have to holler into the phone to request her 'turn' to use the party line. I think there were four households on one line. You never knew which of the neighbors might be eavesdropping. Primitive, I know, but perhaps not so far from today's phenomenon of blogs, forums, and groups. Words make their way around, and idle gossip becomes damaging as it gains an audience, never mind it's lack of verification.

Opening a yarn and fabric shop has been one of the most exhilarating things I've ever attempted. It has put an incredible strain on my husband and children, taxed our finances beyond what is even conceivable to most people, and has daily sent me into panic fits that have (just once) landed me in the emergency room. On the flip side, though, are the new people I've met, the new friends I've made, and the incredible privilege I have to help people live beautifully through their desire to create. I get to teach people to knit. That is such a wonderful gift to be able to bestow upon others, and in turn to learn from them how to better communicate, to be patient, to be kind. Hard lessons for anyone to absorb, made more difficult by the stress of paying off ten grand of wholesale fabric in sixty days, or the astronomical amounts poured into making the shop a pleasant place to hang out and knit. I'm not bitching, and I'm not bitter... I poured all that out to Melly and Lotusknitter... (sorry about the e-mail rant, Mel...)

If this all seems disjointed and confusing, it is purely a reflection of the turmoil I'm trying to cope with. I want the chance to earn my customer base. To provide quilters and knitters with the best possible materials in a warm and friendly atmosphere, to offer rare and wonderful handpainted yarns and fabrics in happy colors so that others may create useful, beautiful things... these are my goals. There is no fee to plant yourself in a comfortable chair, there is even an RO system installed so your tea/coffee won't have the weird 'tap water' taste, and a good many of the yarns are under ten bucks, and buy two, get one free as well. Come in and see if you don't like it here... I think you just might.

I wanted to tell anyone in the vicinity of the shop that there is now an enormous pile (440 balls worth) of Berroco yarn at 'Clementine's dry goods'. When I say pile, I mean that, quite literally it is in a pile in the middle of the floor. It would seem I've got no room. The only way to fix this is to have a sale, so grab your plastic and get thee to the dry goods, quick! Some of the rockin' fab new Opal 'Zirkus' sock yarns arrived today as well. Sorry about the commercial plug. I am a desperate knittah. At least until further notice.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sisyphean laundry pile and an FO

Because I was getting to cocky with this 'organizing the household' thing, and because I have a clotheshorse eight-year-old who has to be completely out of her seventeen pair of underpants before she considers bringing down her dirty clothes...

Never mind that I've had everyone dressing out of their own laundry baskets for the past three weeks (organizing seven humans takes time), or that I spend about two hours daily dealing with other people's dirty duds. THIS is not something you dump on the laundry room floor when Mommy has just found it. Gah. This was taken at 11:30 last night. The pile is somewhat smaller now, though I am considerably grouchier than I was at, say, 11:15 last night, when I had the laundry licked.

Now we'll journey to my happy place, the place where things that I do stay done... come with me to the land (not often visited by moi) of Finished Objects. I have something to show you. The 'Darla Dimple' socks are done. Finito. Completely knit to fit real feet. Joseph's, in this case. See?

When I thought they'd never get finished, I promised him a new pair of Crocs to wear his new socks in... so, tomorrow we'll be headed into town. I have about four other pair of socks to get finished up, and there are even more feet to knit for. Mitch's huge honking paws, for instance. He's usually too busy with his Legos to care about things like socks, but there is a rivalry now when the boys get something... I liked it better when they were too young to notice or care. This is the sort of thing that happens when dude is on his game:

It's a crazy conglomeration of pirate ship and vehicle transport. What I think really happens is he tries to use every piece of plastic in the Lego bin. Amazingly, this one doesn't have Bionicle entrails dangling off at every opportunity. 'Cuz, you know, ten year olds are waaay into the drama of alien guts.

Well, I'm off to have my decaf and shuffle the laundry piles again, and today I have two new knitting students coming into the shop for their first lesson. Type at y'all knittas latah. Cami

Saturday, October 13, 2007

photographic proof

This photo goes out to muh knitta, who is patiently awaiting her haircut, due to happen in five short days. I waited all summer, enduring dust, paint, long days, 'ladder cramp', and the trauma of getting the store open, only to find I didn't have any time left to devote to proper hair maintenance. Well, luck was with me a few weeks ago. I stopped into the salon to buy conditioner and my girl, Erin, was 'free'... her two o'clock had cancelled and she had time to trim up ends, texturize what was left, and give me the much-needed boost I was so wretchedly overdue for. Once again, I possess "wash and wear hair"... and I took a snap of it just for y'all to see...

Okay, so you'll have to 'imagine' that I push the ends out of my face, but it's as close to 'going commando' that hair can be... unless you consider doing what Bill/Boris did, and shave the lot off completely. And yes, those are naked women flushing toilets with their toes on the wall. I am a mysterious knitta.

It's a "go"

The museum knitting plan has been given a nod, though I still have to catch the curator to make the 'real plans'. No problem. Although finding a spare five minutes for a phone conversation these days is rare. I might have to haul my fat ass over there in person and discuss it. I'm hoping there are archived patterns we can play with as well. (No, not to grope, just to ogle.)

Life here at the shop has been a good bit like "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride". Several 'zero' days and a few others in that 'under ten bucks' range conspired to turn me into a melancholic, depressed, and annoyed little shop keeper. Then I remembered (cue head slap) that I'd just started putting out fliers (thank you, Melly!) and that it takes a good bit of time to get the word out. The past two days have been more positive, both in attitude and cash flow, though I did strong-arm Crystal into an unplanned Malabrigo purchase today. (Sorry, but I am an extraordinary enabler... looking for an excuse? Come see me.)

Now, I should get back to my knitty/patchworky existence and do something useful. Ha. What I'm really going to do is wait till daddy picks up his spawn and carts them off to a.) the grocery store, and b.) home. While he's off wrangling the midgets, I'll be sitting here, knitting away on the bag. The ginormous bag to be fulled and possibly auctioned off at the museum knitting event. I hope to have lots of good knits to throw at the public-at-large. Gotta go, customers need me...tee-hee.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Knat at the Museum'

Making full use of Rabbitch's new verb, this intrepid shop owner is endeavoring to create the most impressive display of knitting force ever seen in the tri-county area. Okay, perhaps that's stretching it a bit far, but there seem to be few ways to reach new 'knittas' and, en route to the shop this morning (I'd stopped for some of those fresh-baked cookies at McD's...) I passed the museum. Hmmm. Cool place to have a knitting event. Hmmm. I have some yarn what needs used up. Hmmm. Could donate the yarn for a charity knitting event. At the museum. Like the movie, only, you know, better, 'cuz there's yarn involved.

As it happens, the spouse of one of the Wednesday knit-chicks is on the board, and they have a meeting in two weeks. I'm going to go full tilt on the promo for this event once I've gotten approval. The resultant knitted squares/rectangles will be finished into a throw (or two, or three), and would be raffled off for charity, having been 'knat at the museum'. Oh, that clever Clementine. Now to pick a charity. Perhaps a local food pantry, or the fire department. Or perhaps the throws could go directly to a nursing home, hospital, or with the firemen, to be used to wrap a scared, bewildered child. It's open for discussion, but keep your calendar open, as one night soon your presence will be requested, and you can say you've 'knat' at the museum.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Octopus attacks knitter...

Well, more of a "stresses of the day" attack. When the meds failed to work in a timely fashion, this is what I got... a total of fifteen sticky-pads (a three-lead and the twelve-leads for the ekg) and a whomping pink wrap after the i.v. came out. Yet again, the SVT eluded the doctors, but a clever nurse gave me the name of the cardiologist they all like. His name was oddly familiar sounding... Dr. Paul SomethingIndian. That's the one you mentioned, right, Harriet?
Today will be calmer, and the receipt printer works again, and the kids will be picked up in an hour (it's now 12:59 p.m. on Sunday, and daddy gets them at 2:00...woo-hoo) and I'm just going to sort out all my paperwork and chill. Maybe knit a little. Type at you knittas latah. Cami

Friday, October 5, 2007

Melly is an actionfigure

I don't have photographic evidence to prove her super-powers, but she single-handedly fixed the flier snafu (well, her mister had a good deal to do with that as well), and she came and spent the day with me. She even endured having to fussy-fold piles of fat-quarters. And tying them with grosgrain. Neatly. At one point she had all the kids on the floor teaching them to shoot craps or something... I'm pretty sure back-alley pseudo-gambling games are in Joe and Eli's future. At any rate, the day passed and everyone lived, and I have Miss Melly to thank for it.

I came home to Madeleine baking a lemon/poppy seed bundt cake. You know those take forever to bake, right? I noticed something a little 'odd' about the cake, once it was turned out onto a plate...

Do you see any poppy seeds? Oh, they're in there, but she sprinkled them onto the batter after it went into the pan, and just gave 'em a little swish with a knife to distribute them. At least it's edible, unlike the failed cake/physics experiment of the early summer (which I evidently forgot to blog about) in which a mostly-baked chocolate cake took a dive out of the oven because Maddie had it a bit over-leveraged. There was a moment of silence and a collective 'awww', and she tried again, successfully, the next day. I think, however, that there may still be bits of cake batter in the cracks of the floor... that stuff is like cement.

I'm off to rock little dude to sleep. No idea what I'll put into the dvd player, but today was long, and xanax was required mid-day, which always makes me a little sleepier than usual. All the children are still alive, though, so all's well. Didn't even have to dip into the gin. (Clementine felt there should be an in-store stash for when she's having one of her 'spells'... and she found out Melly is a g&t gal... this can only get out of hand...)

Later, knittas. Tomorrow is another day. I'm sensing fried sweet potatoes in my near future. And more chocolate croissants... those are rising as I type, to be baked in the morning. Fresh and yummy. Will you be by for a bite? Cami

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

and then what happened?

And when Cami finally gets everyone quieted down (scrubbed, showered, diapered, chased with a toothbrush...) and into their own little beds, and she gets her decaf brewed and settles in for a wee bit o' the blog-surfing, what to her wondering eyes should appear? Thimbleanna's blog, and a rockin' sweet review from the gal with the best pair of 'jugs' I've ever seen on a blog... go read. I'll wait.

What's that under your towel?

Hmmmm? Oh, this ol' thing? Nothing but a little bit of buttery goodness...

Here's another pre-baked shot of the 'petit pain au chocolate'. They're not as glossy as they should have been, but they'd only had one coat of egg wash so far.
It's been a year since I've made the chocolate croissants, and so I decided to throw myself completely over the butter-bridge and make caramel-pecan stickies as well. Sorry for the photo of messed up pastries. We started snarfing before I remembered to take a picture.
Then I remembered this is a knitting blog, so I had SIP (sock-in-progress) pose whilst sniffing the delectable chocolate-filled pastry. Here he is looking forlorn, as he's just realized he has no lips or teeth with which to bite the delicate yummy in front of him. Oh, the longing, the wistful yearning... just one bite...
And, as we approach the end of today's post, you know you're a foodie/blogger who's gone too far when you whip up a blueberry trifle and the first thing the kids ask is if you need to photograph it first before they can dig in. Poor babies. Smart, though. Hungry and smart.
Here you can see the tiny "mascots" the kids made today. Hand stitched and full of personality, these little things kept the kids occupied for most of the day. That's right. Less than a dollars worth of craft supplies and there were four minds busy all afternoon. Everyone but Eli. He was busy flirting with the chicks in the shop. Dude likes the ladies.

Just as an aside, has anyone else fallen tragically, deeply, hell-fire at your heels in lust with these socks? I almost pee'd myself. Yeah, go look... they are that good. I'm Not Kidding. Now I'm just trying to narrow down which sock yarn to use. Over forty possible choices. This could take awhile. You go knit. I'll type at you later. (Little dude is awake and grouchy, thus adding to the confusion at Becher Haus. Important Sock Decisions will be postponed for a few hours.) And, yes, I am pouting. Cami

Monday, October 1, 2007

Cute happens

(down here... this one's for Melly... look, dude brought his own matches!)

Found these in a local bookstore today. There was no question as to whether or not they'd have to come home with us. I think the kids have big plans for stitching little creatures come Wednesday.

Off to rent a steam cleaner...

Oh, glorious day. It is overcast, drizzly, and has just the right amount of 'pall' about it to signify that something awful will have to happen today... I will be forced to scrub those dirty carpets in the back rooms of the shop. Of course, I'm also making petit pain au chocolat and, later, just prior to my collapse, I will have brioche dough resting comfortably in the fridge for Wednesday's knit group. Caramel-pecan sticky buns is what I'll be feeding them. If you're out and about, stop in for some.

But back to today. Carpet cleaning is something I've never done before, as we have always had wood floors, except when we were renters, and those carpets weren't our problem. How bad can I screw this up? I've been cautioned about using too much soap, but seriously, the kids' feet turn black in those back rooms where we didn't replace the carpet. That whole 'running out of money' thing rears it's ugly head... again. Tried to hire out the job, and the company wanted five hundred bucks. Ouch! That's about eight bolts of fabric... or a whole lot of yarn. Or a couple of wooden displays for the 'wares' at Clementine's. Hrummph. I've never thought of myself as the DIY type, but I'd guess I'd better start.

Spent a quiet morning blog-surfing. Time for my decaf breakfast blend now (can't really call it coffee if it's decaf, right?) and to try to pry the old man out of the new bed. A king-sized bed and I still only get about a 28" swath to teeter on in the night... it's because little dude still thinks he can bunk with the 'rents. Eli's kind of an octopus when he's zonked, and I spend the night trying not to catch a hand-flop to my eyes, and 'Boris' has to fret about a heel to the groin. Not the most pleasant way to regain consciousness.

Everyone try and have fun today. It's Margarita Monday (tacos at Margarita Grill, but you interpret it however you need to) and I need to get moving... my steam cleaner awaits me. Cami

Sunday, September 30, 2007

What day is it?

The very last day of September. September? I can't believe how fast this year is speeding by. Just three months left, and, according to my self-imposed "Christmas shopping must be done before Thanksgiving" rule, I have only 53 days left to get the gifts bought. Fifty three days. I'm not sure I can do this, though just perusing Gaylen's list of 'to-do' lists made me anxious and a little nauseous. I took a xanax. (I was secretly pleased to see the stunt-stitching so high up on the lists, though!)

Now we all have to pile into the suburban for our daily jaunt into town for the express purpose of availing moi to the fabric and fiber enthusiasts in the area. Friday was great fun, as there was a surprise visit from Thimbleanna. I guess I still think I'm just typing at myself, so when other real bloggers show up at the door... let's just say I'm awfully excited to have met her (and her very entertaining man) and I didn't pee my pants... but I may have talked non-stop. So thrilling to have bloggers seek out the shop. She got a good shot of Eli, who had passed out right in front of the doors. As we have a firm 'never wake a sleeping baby' rule, we left him there. I hope she'll post it over on her blog... it was a perfect example of my superb mothering skills. ('mad skilz', as Melly would say.) Gotta get moving... latah, knittas. Cami

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Paint the Town

Yep. That's what they call it. "Paint the Town" is a new occurrence in the hamlet of Franklin, in which children of all ages and sizes are given paint and brushes and instructed to paint happy fall vignettes on shop windows all over 'historic downtown Franklin'. I, being the press-hungry whore that I am, did sign up to have Clementine's windows decorated. By a nine year old. What's the worst that can happen? Stay tuned... I'm headed into work soon, camera at the ready.

And here they are, the freshly painted windows. The hooligan, I mean artist, was a delightful SIX-year-old, resplendent in her pig-tails and glitter sunglasses. The upper photo is the season's bounty (I think that's a zucchini in the right lower corner) with a scarecrow... but this lower photo depicts a tree (with spooky hole), a rabbit, and, (and I'm not kidding; I got this info straight from the artist's own mother) a squirrel. Yep. Probably related to that fleece-thieving Canadian hoodlum the Harlot keeps having run-ins with. The squirrel is the creature on the left, the 'bunny' is next to the jack-o'lantern. Shutting up now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


It seems time passes me by glacier-sized chunks. I finally went hunting to see where my 'Dream in Color' order had got to, only to be told the e-mail never even went through. Orders are re-submitted, the pattern pdfs will be in the in-box in the morning, and more yarn will be here... eventually.

Okay, that brief paragraph was typed two days ago. Today we have the patts, I am kitting up "Freshcut' and "Lotus" quilts, and the books have arrived. 'Anarchy for Knitters'? I've got it, as well as Anna Zilboorg's 'Socks for Sandals and Clogs'... mind bending, that one. Only three titles were back ordered, and I'm satisfied with the service of 'distributor who shall remain nameless'. Fabrics were mailed out this week, which has been harrowing, and filled with surprises, mostly good, and I hope the shortness I detect in some of my bloggy-buds is only humorous derision and not 'real' frustration with me. I don't know what I was thinking, opening a shop with five kids in tow, no family to 'help-out', and no budget to hire in much needed assistance. God bless Melly, who is single-handedly keeping me (somewhat) on task and working up fliers and yarn cards. Whew. She makes me tired just thinking about her.

No camera with me today. One of the tricky things about getting all of us ready in the morning is I forget a lot of stuff. Lots of hand to forehead moments. Luckily I don't bruise easily. Gotta get back to work now, since fabric doesn't cut itself, no matter how threatening I am at it. Later, chicas. Cami

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wait a minute...

This is a super-special version of the 'apron-along' apron because it's mine, all mine... and because Melly sewed it right here, in the shop, so I know, firsthand and personal, that she possesses 'mad skilz' on the sewing machine. Can you see how great the pocket placement is? No? Look closer. See. A perfectly positioned patch pocket. Adorable. And polka-dotted on top, to boot. Here's a close-up view of some of the fabrics Gaylen may end up sewing samples from. This is some of 'Freshcut' by Heather Bailey.
And more Heather Bailey, in coral-pinks, cream, and gold...

and down here we have AnaMaria Horner's "Chocolate Lollipop" collection... well, some of it. I have the entire range, they've just decided not to co-operate, leaving me to decide who made it into the photo-op. Pink and brown win every time...

and here is a 'future skirt' that I hope will win the stunt-stitcher's heart. The fabric in the middle is a peony print, ivory and a cinnamon-brown on a pale pink background. Of course, I love the entire Amy Butler lines, so the other two are in the running as samples, as well.

Down here are some other Amy Butler fabrics in pinks, orange, and 'duck egg'. Fabrics 1,2,3,and 5 from the left just arrived a week ago, which made fabric 4 make a lot more sense.

This color range is gorgeous. I think I'm going to kit up (yes, you heard me... I like my crow roasted, please) these fabrics into a "brick path" quilt, along with some of the greens. Going into autumn and winter as we are, I think a bright, sunny garden quilt may save one's sanity from the 'seasonal affective disorder' which so many people suffer from in the dreary months. Okay, I could be the only nut-job with such an affliction, but humor me anyway... the quilt kits will be available very soon... like tomorrow, perhaps. If you need one, just e-mail me and your fabric desires will be met.

Here we come to one of my new customers. Her name is Deb, and she is an over-achiever in the sample-block Olympics. This is a quilt she made (not from Clementine's fabrics, as we only just met) and brought in to show me. She machine stipple quilted it herself, and I love the pink/chocolate scheme... it reminds me of those yummy 'Roman nougats' in the chocolate box. I was thrilled she stopped by, and she's well on her way to being a regular here, as she left with a wee bit of stash-enhancement. That's all I'm sayin'...

I'd like to thank everyone for their comments regarding Missy. She was the oddest little thing we'd ever met, more like a tiny little dog than a cat, and Bill took a shine to her immediately. He wrote a bit about her over on his blog. I didn't realize at the time how I was traumatizing him by having him load her into her pet taxi, but he thanked me for being the one to stay with her till she was over. The vet's office sent a condolence card, which arrived yesterday. I'll keep it around for awhile, at least till I stop thinking I see her waiting for me on the steps. I appreciate seeing lurkers come out of the woodwork over a furry, heart-stealing creature. If you are so inclined, take a bag of dry food to your local shelter. We were 'adopted' by Missy, but other animals are behind bars and can't get out to find new families of their own.
I hope everyone has a fun and productive day. My thoughts are taken up with playing 'catch up' and trying to keep Eli alive today. Already he has dumped toilet bowl cleaner all over the bathroom floor, and somehow gotten down a iron and had it plugged in behind a chair in the 'knit pit'... little dude's tring to kill me, I tell you... so, till later, keep your sticks in the yarn, and your needles in the yardage. Cami

Friday, September 21, 2007

goodbye, Missy

I felt like an idiot, turning on the porch light to check and see if she was ready to come back inside last night. I had taken her into the vet yesterday morning before work, and was given the horrible news. She was tiny, and weak, and it seemed to happen so 'all-of-a-sudden', and the vet had an awful look on his face when he came back with her test results. All I could do was cradle her and pet her and thank her for coming to stay with us for a few years, and the drugs went into her and just as quickly, she was gone. Missy Hazel, we never knew where you came from, or how you found us, but you were a good little cat. I miss you already. Goodbye.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Jumbled Photo-Essay

A squinty alpaca, and a pygmy goat, who tried to eat my camera...

The bridge... the verrry long bridge that takes you back to where they sell apples. Walking it is obligatory if you've packed five children along for the day. The creaking planks are a free little 'extra' the orchard throws in. Yes, I got nauseous, but did make it across without having to crawl on hands and knees, thank you...
Here are two shots of the Olympic Cutting Table, or 'Olympia', as I like to call her. Have you ever seen such amazing legs on what would typically be a pedestrian piece of furniture? These are paneled in layers... with capped feet and joinery that would make Norm Abrams ashamed of himself. This, dear reader, is a cutting table as 'art'...

and here is a close up of the leg panel, and of Melly's ink. That's a butterfly on her foot, and she's busy cutting out the pink dot/teacup apron for the apron-along. While I sat on the floor I snapped another, parting pic to close this blog entry... the minuscule yarn wall, or a goodly portion of it. There may have been some careful editing, as I was trying to keep the corner of the patchwork throw in the photo. (it's done in 'Freshcut' from Heather Bailey... coral pinks and yellows... super cute!)
And now I have to throw poopy-pants boy in the shower and start my day. Lots to get done, and my Rowan rep comes to the shop at the end of October. I think we have to knock out another wall... Latah, knittas. Cami

p.s. I should have mentioned the secret snap of redrhonda in the first 'Olympia' table shot. She is laughing at some craziness, or perhaps she is plotting to steal your wool... be afraid... very afraid.