Saturday, June 30, 2007

What a difference a day - or a pizza- makes...

I took the crew into town, as there was yet another delivery from Big Box Hardware Store to wait on, and I was determined to get the darn adhesive from the law office's logo OFF my windows. I went in armed with Goo-Gone and one of my favorite things in the whole world (I am not kidding): a Mr. Clean 'magic eraser'. Ninety minutes of grueling, orange-scented upper body calisthenics later, the glass was spotless, Destructo-Kenny had shown up, and I had rivers of sweat running down places it just shouldn't have been. Tired and hungry, we went to have pizza and pepperoni breadsticks... while Kenny did this:

Pretty amazing, huh? Wait'll you see it tomorrow. As I was leaving he told me he'd start getting some of the beadboard up. I can't even imagine how glorious that will look, when the ceiling is atmosphere blue (hey, you do what Alexandra Stoddard says!) and the beadboard is a clean, beachy white. Still, there is much to do, grasshoppers, and not too much time left in which to do it. I'm going to have to open the store with minimal stock, which is okay... what I've ordered is beautiful. Just to make sure I don't lose anyone, I'm putting this hypnotic glazed tile on the counter by the register:
All you'll remember is that you want to come back... come baaaack... oh, and I still need to find carpet. Cheap, I-can-afford-to-rip-it-out-every-year-to-make-it-pretty-again carpet. I'd love to have bleached wood floors in there, or a pretty tile, but the insurance guy says otherwise. "Slip and fall" artists being what they are, we're sticking to the commercial carpet, at least until I can afford to turn the shop into a private club... you know you wanted it that way, just 'fess up.
This last photo is not for the squemish, but if you can take it, click on the image and look at the bottom of the egg sack. Yep. That is a perfectly formed spider, about the size of a grain of sand. He just liberated himself from the 'crib and is enjoying the afternoon air. I've named them all 'Icky', 'cuz they're awfully hard to tell apart. Hope everyone has a wonderful evening. Tomorrow I'm stripping wall paper border, so there may be no post... unless I have to do a LOT of grousing (edited for Annalea;) in my head and have to commit it to a post to make it 'go away'. My Spidey-senses tell me there's fresh coffee in the kitchen... Cami

Friday, June 29, 2007

Tag, I'm "IT"

Carrie tagged me (trust me, I nearly fell over... I figure no one's paying any attention to me... I'm tickled!) with a meme to go into Wikipedia and find things that happened on your birthday. You're supposed to list three events, two births,and one holiday, then tag five bloggy-pals. Here goes for the grand day of March 10th:

3 events: 241 BC- First Punic War: Battle of the Ageates Islands - The Romans sink the Carthaginian fleet; end of First Punic War
1848 - The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is ratified by the United States Senate, ending the Mexican-American War
1982 - Syzygy: all 9 planets align on the same side of the sun.
additional tidbit: 1977 - Rings of Uranus: Astronomers discover rings around uranus... guess a bath is in order, huh?

2 births: 1845- Alexander III of Russia (d.1894)
1940- Chuck Norris, American actor and martial artist (that's really how they phrased it)

1 Holiday: Tibetan Uprising Day

So I'm going to tag Dragonfly, Marie, Lotusknitter, Annalea, and Melly, but, as I was told also, "only if you want to", okay? Latah, knittahs.

p.s. links not working for D-fly and Annalea. My apologies. Will try to fix later. you remember how I stink at geeking, don't you? Apparently that extends to spelling urls properly, too. *pout*

Thursday, June 28, 2007

"The one you feed"

I got this in an e-mail from my mom today, and I thought I'd share it with everyone. It pretty much sums up my personal philosophy on life, and should allay any fears anyone has about consorting with me, lest you think my rabid conservatism is catching. It all comes down to how we live, the choices we make, and the decision to be responsible for ourselves. You can't be of any use to others if you don't make yourself useful first. Conservatism 101. Lecture over. Boy, is my hippie mom going to be pi**ed I used this as a teaching tool.

Below you will see the rotted wall from yesterday's pictureless post. All of that was removed with 'hands only' and smelled even better today when I stopped in to snag the picture. Gross, grotty, and definitely NOT acceptable for Clementine. I have decided to give my alter-ego an exciting alter-life, so right now, whilst I'm slaving away with shop business, up to my eyebrows in plaster dust and rotten wallpaper, she is out road-rallying across England with Rod Stewart. Bah. I asked her why not ride with Sting in this 'all-celeb' rally... she said he drives like a p*ssy, and she wanted to win, dammit, and why was I being so picky, blah,blah,blah...

In other news, for those of us who have to stick around and work, guess who showed up two days IN A ROW? Yup. The FedEx truck had more goodies. This time it was a whole lotta 'Soak' woolwash. I sure do like blue and green together... brown is good, too, though.

The children (some but not all shown here) spent a sultry (did you just flash back to "Throw Momma From the Train"...I did) afternoon cutting tamarack vines and making ropes and crowns. They also did a twisty barber pole swag around the porch columns. Very snappy.

Even Joe wanted to be a elf prince. Stranger still, he shut up long enough for me to photograph him without his lips being blurry. Gee, who's he sound like to you? (I refuse to recognize any votes from the SSK... you guys provoke me into talking so much!)

This dude here just wants the camera, though I thought it looked cute, hands outstretched, like he wanted picked up. I'm off now to wash the dirty children (especially this one, who smells a bit like barnyard... and we don't keep animals...hmmm. Curious.) I hope everyone reading this had a fun and productive day, or at least a day that was survivable. If you are far away, my thoughts are with you, as the days in Australia are waxing again. Soak up the light when you can. Eat dark chocolate. Know that I'm laughing with you when successful things happen... like clean underpants when the laundry has gotten away again. Blessings to all my crafty pals... Cami

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Disheveled...the unraveling of Camilla

This was a busy day. Five and a half hours sleep, up at the crack, and (cue coffee...) I'm out the door by 9-ish to meet Destructo-Kenny at the shop for final decisions about trim, how far up the bead board would go (8 ft.,btw), and where he was building the point-of-sale. "General contractor" items discussed, we then went to address an electrical "issue" which he felt would require someone with more finesse (which I took to mean "someone who can handle getting the hell zapped out of themselves").

While in that third room back, we talked about possibly only bringing the wood four foot up the walls. As he tried to convince me it'd look just fine, I was running my hand over the wall paper border (ugly, btw) and snagged a corner to peel away. Lord love a duck, wouldn't you know the wall was rotted. The only thing holding it up was the damn wall paper... and perhaps the paint. I called the 'landlady' and her husband came downstairs immediately and began searching for a cause to the now-obvious, er, problem. The problem called "Cami has put her hand through a moldy, rotting mess of wallboard, and , lookie, the brick back here ain't doin' so hot, neither". THAT problem.

Well, there was a lot more we needed to accomplish, and with all the chaos I'd just caused, you know, uncovering a major "structural defect" and all , off we trot to the big box construction store. I'm still borrowing Lurker Christie's spouse at this point. Ha! You did not know that? Yes. I frequently borrow Other People's Husbands to do my bidding (and I am not a bit ashamed... it's all in the interest of keeping Bill/'Boris' alive). Dashing through the store, a little short on time, over to trim we go, spending lots of dimes. Okay. Enough. I apologize for that little outburst, but stay with me... the ride gets cooler at the end.

So, list of crap, er, 'construction materials' to have delivered... check. Release friend's husband back into the wild... check. Go home to find the love of my life done homeschooling four of five kids and sit down to his cooking (pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, and Greek-style green beans)... check. Whoa. Back up...did you see that? *omg*theupsmanhasbeentomyhouse*AND he brought fabric. Eleven boxes full. All stacked semi-neatly in the entryway. It was better than Christmas... it was Amy Butler and Heather Bailey. I shut up for over a minute... okay, I stopped running my lips for a GOOD thirty five seconds. When the Fed-Ex truck pulled up later this afternoon I nearly passed out from the shock of it all. The Louet order came in, or at least 40 of the 46 colors I ordered.

It was a strange, complicated, mess of a day, but it got better. Now I'm gonna rock this sweet-smelling toddler to sleep and work on the kal. I named it 'Vapes', short for Vapor, short for "invisibility shawl". Pretty much out of sheer laziness. I'm out, muh knittas... let's do it again tomorrow. (except the gross wall thing... no more, please.) C-Knitty

Monday, June 25, 2007

A view of Naomi's floor... photos for Jaye

I stopped by Naomi's house today and just happened to have the digi-cam with me, so I took some shots of previous baby blankets I've made for the littlest peeps in her house. The Kaffe "sludge paperweight" pineapple quilt was of her choosing (I have a problem with purple, but it totally worked in this instance), but the quilt I'd done for her previous child(see above... a goofy,stripy, checked quilt) was just about the most fun I've ever had piecing a top. It would've been a bear to build a full size quilt this way, but I can do anything for 48" (and I don't mean that in any sort of dirty way).
So, thank you to Naomi for letting me have the 'photo-op' at her house today, and for watching out for the five small Bechers while I shopped for yarn (just me and my man!) and for coming to knit-night with me, since I'm still new and my 'sponsor' could not come. But Rhonda got to eat cake where she was, and we got free yummies from the 'eatery' where we convene... it was a fairly successful day. I'm all sugared up and feeling too bouncy to be sitting here. Come back tomorrow, I'm sure I'll have something else to show you then! Cami

Saturday, June 23, 2007

66 S. Water St.

Tonight's post is more 'photo-essay' than an actual posting, but I wanted to show you what is happening at 66 S. Water St., the future home of 'Clementine's Dry Goods'. Yesterday the phone guy came and put in this... our future 'ether-net' (can somebody please tell me what that is... do I really need it?) which lives here, in a closet in a back room.
Here we have some construction debris, created just today, by Kenny. Kenny is a very neat and tidy demo-guy... see how the doors are stacked, the trim stood up neatly against the back wall, and the shards of wall board wait patiently for their final ride to the dumpster.

I told you he was tidy. These wall studs are about to be removed, as is the portion of wall to the right. And notice how neatly he wound up all the cords and things on his tools. Kenny is neat as a pin, which serves him well in his real job as an ATC (like Bill, Kenny sits in a big dark room and keeps airplanes from smacking into each other once they leave the airports.) All day. Every day. So, tearing stuff (that is so not the word I was going to use, but sometimes my mother-in-law reads this blog) up is cathartic. He's also a whiz at rebuilding stuff, so I think Clementine is pretty happy he agreed to help us out. He feels about construction the way we feel about knitting.

That's it for today. I did attempt the cast on... again... for the knit-along... please join us if you haven't already done so. I am going to require dark chocolate, Starbucks decaf breakfast blend, a refill on the Xanax, and at least thirty minutes daily to get this shawl-hooligan done in time for the book 7 launch. I definitely want to wear it to the bookstore; what'd be really cool is seeing other 'invisibilities' there, too. I meet the nicest people in bookstores... and bookfairs.
p.s. don't forget that TOMORROW is the day for the yarn draw... three winners... will your name be pulled from the hat? Stay tuned!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Completely unrelated to knitting

See this little dude? He's trying to kill me. Oh, sure, he's pictured here at his grandpa & grandma's house looking all cute. Do not be deceived. This day has been hell, sheer, unadulterated, sulphur stink and singed hair HELL, and this little devil was just part of the battle. You see, we had to go into town and wait on the phone/DSL installer to show up, just part of trying to get Clementine's open for business before the cash bleeds dry. I talked to all the kids, told them what was expected, and, confident in my parenting skills, away we went.

The installer took a bit longer than estimated to show up, but the demo-guy had stopped by to get a materials list together for the 'reconstruction', so there was plenty to keep me busy, what with telling him what walls to bust out and all. After lunch (we're still waiting for our 9-11am phone dude to show) it just became unbearable to be this little man's mom... though not as unbearable as being this guy's mom:

I realize that a few of you will have seen this photo if you've popped over to Bill's blog, (in which he rails and rants about the kids ceaselessly)but to take another picture of him I'd have to look at him, and quite frankly the xanax hasn't kicked in fully yet, so no can do. He shoved and was rude to a dear friend of mine, (Bette, if you're reading this, I am so sorry for his behavior)was louder and more obnoxious than I have ever dreamed he could be, and just generally made me feel like a disaster of a mother. The normal things I do to correct and discipline just don't seem to get through to this guy, and I'm pretty burnt out on boys right now. I'm putting the kids to bed in less than two hours, then I'm casting on my 'Invisibility Shawl' for the KAL Lotusknitter and I are trying to bring forth into existence. Comment or e-mail us if you want to play along... the more the merrier, and book 7 is just a month away! Prayers for my sanity are welcomed and appreciated. BTW, I got an e-mail response from Annalea, whom we haven't heard in the comments for a few weeks. She is alive, but dealing with something, so good, knitterly thoughts go out to her. I love all you knitters; thanks for sticking out my rant. Better now, I think, though that could just be the xanax talking! Later, knitty-gators. Cami

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Meet the 'Titanic' Sweater

What you see pictured above (and below) is my first attempt at knitting a sweater in pieces. The pattern was simple enough, and I got a great deal on the two skeins of handpainted 'Fingerlakes' wool. I'd even purchased a ball-winder and swift, so readying the skeins was no problem. What I hadn't counted on was the uneven coloring of hand dyed yarn (yes, I know how dumb that sounds now.) Something else I was unprepared for was my firstborn's appetite for movies. Movies with lots of sappy violin music. Movies that ended badly.

She was just a wee little thing when the movie "Titanic" first came out. My crazy aunt in Alabama sent the child her own copy. I refused to watch it, though I sat in the living room with her. I edited out the 'steamy sex scene'. I stupidly looked up in time to see a frozen mother still clutching her dead baby. Twice. Yes, gentle reader, my firstborn daughter's appetite for cinema can and has brought both of her parents to their knees. Six hours of my life, sucked away, and all I have left to show for it is this:

A sweater that has, so far, been worn by four of my five children. A sweater that taught me how to cope with painted yarns. A sweater that waves a big "hello" to a nice knitter down in Georgia, who is hosting a nice yarn contest for some of her gorgeous handpainted yarn. I'm terribly partial to "Wish You Were Here", but they are all lovely... she has an Etsy shop, and there's a link to her right over there on the right... go click on Lotusknitter's blog and have a peek. Be sure to say "hey" and leave her a little comment... bloggers love that, you know. Makes us feel less crazy about typing to ourselves. Happy snooping! Cami

p.s. If this should publish with the weird, bold, underlined paragraph in the middle bit, I apologize. I tried to make it leave, but it just stuck out it's tongue and winked. Devilish blog.

Miscellany Tuesday...

Here's the dumb thing I 'did' at the pool party today. I was so concerned that the kids get covered in 55 spf, waterproof sunscreen that I totally forgot to spray my pasty self. I tried, and failed, a dozen times to get a proper pic, one that would truly show you how spraypainted I look. It's so crawly and nasty, all I can say is praise Jesus I still had some percocets left, 'cuz honey, I'm gonna be on 'em tonight. Otherwise, there is no way I could lay in the bed. I don't care what the thread count is; all sheets are sandpaper on a sunburn.

My bathroom buddy post from a few days ago left me totally paranoid after reading Harlot's post today. I read through 366 comments (it took me an hour, 'cuz I saw some familiar names, and popped over to say hi) and all the while the comment about "deadly dull" animal postings was running through my skull. You all got that, as I'm owned by two cats, I was being facetious, right? So, to let you know that I don't hate animals on blogs, I decided to intro you to Hazel II, or Missy Hazel, as I like to call her. We have no idea where she came from; she showed up here over two years ago and in November of 2005, she moved in. We had her spayed, but she retains her claws, as she's the indoor/outdoor type of gal. NOT a tame lion, she can climb 20-30 feet up a hickory tree in about three seconds. She has excellent "house manners" if you get my meaning, and she is the second tortie cat we've had share our space. This version, Hazel 2.0, likes kids, tolerates being picked up, and brings me presents of, well, smaller mammals. Much smaller.

So, although I did knit awhile today, I have no knitting to show off. Voodoo monkey has been kidnapped by Fancy Lucy, but upon his return I have a redesigned quilt to assemble. I had an idea (in the shower, where all my fuzzy-headed thinking occurs) this morning to start a sock club, with colorways to honor all the funky, creative, and supportive knitters I continue to meet and gain inspiration from. It's just in the brewing stage, but two years ago when I got pissed about not being able to get 'Kaffe Fassett' fabric locally, look what happened: I'm opening a fabric/yarn shop. Renovations to start very soon... Melly, I think you are an angel, or a crazy person, possibly both, and I love that about you... you are one of the best "best bitches" around. Rhonda, without you I'd still be sitting home knitting alone and feeling like there wasn't a soul in the world who 'got me'. You even buy me delicious yarns to fondle (and I will knit them... soon) So, for all the knitterly fabulousness that is out there in the world, can anyone tell me what the heck happened in Cali? And who the vicious blogger is? I may want to check this out for myself... wow. It's 1 am... time to sleep, as the meds are taking effect nicely. More tomorrow. Cami

Monday, June 18, 2007

There aren't words...

This little bit of heaven in a great big box arrived today, just as we were leaving to go sign the store lease. Two expensive and thrilling things in one day. I have lost my words. You have to know that the yarns pictured above look far more luminous in person, er, skein. (note to self: yarn is not people) I have absolutely no idea if anyone else will love "Dream in Color" yarns like I do, but if this whole 'being a shopkeeper' thing bellyflops, just look at the gorgeous stash I've added.
I have two jingle-y keys to the shop now, and am taking suggestions about such things as seating, lighting and sound system, and exactly what bevs should be in the fridge, aside from Rhonda's Pepsi stash. I'm off now to make a boatload of pasta salad and homemade mac&cheese for a pool bash tomorrow. Knit on, knitters. Cami

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Here's something you don't see everyday...

... unless you, too, confounded your plumber by insisting on extra "waterworks" in the bathroom. When I say that I never get a moment alone, I truly mean it, and today decided to show you all what happens at Becher Haus the moment my bum touches the seat...

A largish cat, of the Siamese persuasion, (obtained free at a local grocery store, no less) throws herself at the door hard enough to jump the latch free from it's moorings. Once inside the bathroom, she races and leaps (nearly toppling herself face-first into my lap) onto the bidet, then implores me, as loudly as ever a Siamese could, to puhleeese turn on the tap. That done, she will then continue to slurp out of the 'spigot' for as long as I will let the water run, and she pays no mind if I'm naughty to her and turn the water up to soak her.

Normally I would not bother to show you this, as knitting/crafty blogs are deadly dull when they become all about the pe(s)ts that run the show, but I'm putting these pics up for my mom and aunt today, as proof that the time-honored tradition of composing yourself, alone, in the bathroom does not apply in this household...

There you have it; one slightly fuzzy, wet-chinned, and out-of-focus tyrant. Isn't she fabulous?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I'm having a "Darla Dimple" day

Above you will notice a sock, in Opal 'Hundertwasser' wool-cotton blend, part of my haul when we went to Milwaukee last month. I started it for one of the kids, 68 sts, 2mm needles, just yesterday, and I feel like I'm making pretty fair progress. I was using the wee Brittany needles, though they do threaten to break often enough (I know I'm a tight knitter), so I was just hanging loose with them, keeping it easy-peasey. (cue phone ringing) To make this shorter, I'll just play you the highlights from MY end of the call:
"Oh, hi Rhonda", "Did you take the yarn into the house or load it straight into the car?", "Wool of the Andes for a what-bag?" "But I'm your squatty sidekick!"
I was instantly reminded of a cartoon character in the movie "CatsDon't Dance", which had just recently been watched here at Becher Haus... the tiny cherub of a child star, freakishly attached to her 'public persona' even though she's pure evil. I instantly fired off an e-mail to those pattern writers at Knitting Daily, to inform them that they may have tried to win my pal over with their fancy little handbag pattern, oh yes, they may even lure her down the road to more fulled wool lovelies, but, and I can't stress this enough, I'm still cuter. Hence the move to metal dpns, which I can't even explain owning, but they sure are handy when you're in the throes of a teeth-clenching, eye-twitching, needle-snapping, 'Darla Dimple' day.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I can drog when I'm blunk...

... or something to that effect. At any rate, it's been a full mg. of Xanax kind of day. It's pretty rare that I even take the stuff during daylight hours, but with dissecting the 'legalese' of the lease in the lawyer's office today, I realized how perfectly ignorant I am. However, my fingers seem to be off doing their own thing, so typing this is painfully wrought with mistakes. Am I justified in being offended that my own counsel felt it necessary to point out I have to sell 128 skeins of Louet Gems (or the monetary equivalent) just to pay rent, not to mention my taxes, insurance, etc.? All the while "working for free", which is essentially what self-employed is, I'm quickly coming to find out. He did MATH at me... then stared at me across the desk, like I would giggle and say "boo, had ya going there, huh, Dave?" He did NOT charge me for the twice-over he gave the contract, but I making him some socks, so the universal karmic laws apply, we hope, and then he will 'get it' about knitting.

I leave you today with a pic that I took of Eli, the just-turned-two resident monster. I meant to do a big "Yay, Mommy survived another year" post on his birthday, but life is just too nutty to gloat over that right now. Madeleine's 'Gryffindor bookmark' has been in use since it came off needles... I may have to sneak up on it to show it to you... like an 'action shot', but more "Wild Kingdom" than ESPN. What would the knitting equvalent of ESPN be like? Some hushed announcer stating "now here's the money shot; look at the precision of those double decreases as she comes off that thumb gusset... boy you just don't see that kind of skill in the minor leagues"... or some such prattle. I'd watch, but just, you know, for the 'crashes', like in Nascar... there could be drinking games for every time a stitch is dropped, or the knitter cusses at her/his fair isle repeat. Extra shots if there was a failed color change. The middle three children actually got excited when I told them I was knitting them socks for their birthdays. Quick, somebody get me a smelling salts. I realize I'm raising some oddballs, but for now they are cute enough... like this one, who has to ring the doorbell before he'll step foot in the house.

The above photo is a typical "Lord of the Flies" play session at Becher haus. They actually fling bowls of mud puddle water at each other and think it's great fun. This is also why I drown in laundry. So, I'm off to do some knitting of socks for a person who does not get knitting... good thing I'm heavily medicated, or this would seem like a monumental waste of time. Muggles... bah. Knit on, Knitters. Cami

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

For Kathy, since I knew she was coming...

Hey, Kathy, lookie here... thanks for stopping by. These were taken at the Racine zoo, right after the big "Lorna's Laces" adventure... dig into the older posts if you're new here and say hi while you're at it... later, knitters. Cami

Monday, June 11, 2007

Two things...

One: I got the storefront I wanted in Franklin. I am jumping out of my skin (on the inside) and will probably explode from giddiness by day's end.

Two: The "what's wrong with this picture?"(see yesterday's post) contest is going to run through the 24th of this month, and you can guess as much or as often as you'd like. There will be a choice of prizes ( meaning colors), and there may even be multiple drawings. I'm feeling very drunk on happiness right now, so let's just say there will be THREE winners... do I even have that many readers? We shall see... Cami

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My world is shrinking

Something that continues to amaze and surprise me at every turn is just how alike we all are. I used to think I was terribly clever in my knitting and quilting, but just two days ago I discovered a woman in England who is every bit the coloraholic I am... right down to the pink and orange combo which, truth be told, I was pretty sure I owned. Today, it was the discovery of an Australian woman who makes the same type of odd-ball toys that my mom sewed up for us years ago... and she's authoring the patterns, or some such thing, though in our house they were known as 'wall-bears', no matter what type of creature it appeared to be.

My world has gotten very small since delving in on-line. I love the sense of community amongst knitters and crafty-chicks everywhere. There is always something new to see on a blog, some exciting new development out in the big, wide world to inspire us and drive us to do more, create more, be more. I have been leaving comments left and right, because I want bloggers to know I'm here, that I notice and appreciate the peek into your creative process. Getting to see your passions reflected in another knitters (or quilters) eyes, what they have wrought with their own hands, is such an amazing gift.

Tonight I discovered another knitter's passion for all things English. She sounds way too cool to ever stop by here, but I'd taken a photo yesterday, with the idea of a contest in mind at the time, and I've decided to post it tonight, just for Norma. The contest, in which wool will be won, is for you to comment or e-mail me with the answer to "what's wrong with this picture?" and the correct responses will be gathered and a drawing will be held for some sock yarn (wool... sorry, Dragonfly). Please don't notice the drying pile of muffin tins/baking sheets there on the left side:

And there you have it. I used to think I was unique, a rebel, a wunderkind of craftiness. I used to feel all alone out in the big, wide world, so sure that no one had the same need to create that I had. I just hadn't looked in the right places. Good night, blog readers and writers everywhere. You rock my ever-shrinking world. Camilla

that voodoo that you do so well...

Dude has no clue what he's in for...

Shhhh...I have hatched a plan...

Okay, I don't know what time this bloggy-blog will say I posted this, but it's 12:34 am... we're in the wee hours of the night here, and as I was tidying up, it hit me. The *perfect* plan for dealing with the recalcitrant sock monkey quilt. Ready?

A voodoo sock monkey. It's the perfect plan. For every set of blocks I stitch together, and they are small and numerous, I stick a pin in voodoo-monkey. The more I stitch, the more 'destructive' I get to be. It wasn't always like this, and I really do like to sew patchwork, but I always needed the big bribe to finish... because I always give the quilt away. I have no incentive to finish it... it isn't mine. Before, well, before I nearly *died* (I just thought I was going to) I used to buy a pack of 'Nat Shermans' natural mint cigarettes, and parse them out as I made progress. Alas and alack, I cannot do that at all now. So, my inner rebel has sought balance, and we thinks it's the voodoo-monkey. So, now where so I find a sock monkey?... right. Cracker Barrel. They have everything, with biscuits and gravy on the side.

See you later today. Voodoo-monkey will be here, too... Cami

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Monkeys, and other socks

Not a lot going on at the Becher haus today, what with taking our newest two-year-old-in- residence 'birthday shopping'. That is a new invention at our house, due to mom being burnt out on wrapping gifties for the kiddies, only to be met with a soft "gee, mom, thank you... I really like the, um... color." This way we all get the thrill of the hunt, which I'm sure you can appreciate is the only reason to step foot out of the house for shopping. Eli, to his credit, knew exactly what he wanted. A Dyson vacuum cleaner. As I was the designated driver, and as such, unmedicated and completely sober, I did not fall for his tactics, though he was very sweet and supremely cute as he clawed and pawed the air in the vacuum aisle of Target. We made it out unharmed, and he has a very spiff Dirt Devil cordless handvac for his effort.

The photo above is just tiny bits of sock monkey quilt that I am assembling for a certain new nephew. He had the audacity to show up nearly two weeks early, and as such, this old auntie has fallen behind schedule. I am getting caught up, since I've begun listing the chores to be done, and rewarding myself with 'crafty time' between completing tasks. Why, just this morning I got to work on these, the 'Carolyn socks', after wiping up the kitchen and washing the baby, er, two-year-old, in the sink. You will note the mug of half-caff in the background... it keeps the headaches away, without increasing the heart rate too much. Anyhow, I do have one piece of kinda cool news to report... today I got 'Crystal Palace', so the shop will have the good dpns for those knitters who persist in top-down sock construction. Ach. It seems so old fashioned not to do it this way:

So, knit on if you're knitting. I'll be here tomorrow, where I will show you a pic of the 'Gryffindor' bookmark Maddie just made from "Charmed Knits" aka the Harry Potter knitting book. She did not too shabby, if I say so myself... stay tuned, fiber enthusiasts. Cami

Friday, June 8, 2007

It's not about the knitting

Or, rather, it's not all knitting, all the time. Those of you who know me understand that I have a great many textile passions, not the least of which is patch working. I have a thing about quilts, their tops, in particular, that goes far beyond 'bizarre obsession'. I have enough fabric stashed away in this house to drown every bed in quilts and still have enough left over to cover the parking lot of Costco. And I'm not a bit sorry for it, either.

I started getting shipments of the new summer fabric yesterday, the "Chocolate Lollipops" from Freespirit. It's trickling in a bit at a time, as it's printed, and I'm overwhelmed at how completely adorable it is. Making quilt kits up in that is going to be so much fun. I was told today... by my mother... that, because I don't HAVE to work, I should not be doing this, the opening of a yarn and fabric/quilt shop. Apparently, I'm putting too much stress and strain on my family. Apparently I'm not supposed to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Apparently I'm too retarded to have anything worthwhile to offer my little corner of the world. And I don't really give a crap. Everyone can think I'm nuttier than squirrel turds, but this is my sanity I'm trying to save. I'm not a bit sorry for that, either.

So, I've spent an enjoyable evening going through the online catalogs for the fall fabric collections and having a blast comparing the different offerings. I'm actually able to 'see' the quilts in the fabric, the way I want to present the fabric to my buying public. Often it isn't anything like the samples shown, which leads me to think I just might have to write a patchworking book in the future, 'cuz, you know, I'm just soooo needing another project. For now, however, I have to start making sample blocks and small projects for display... which probably means I should also finish my nemesis, the sock monkey quilt. I can't show you a photo yet, as it hasn't been delivered to the intended recipient, but there WILL be photos, ugly, graphic photos, of what evil monkeys do in darkened sewing rooms, when no one is looking. Stupid monkeys.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

If you want to destroy my sweater...

(This is why you shouldn't go off your meds if you have OCD.) I barely escaped unscathed, and I've developed a pain behind my right eye. My fingers hurt from breaking and re-tying all those yarn ends. This was almost completed... I'd committed to buttons, forty dollars worth of buttons, for the front. It only needed sleeves... two stupid sleeves.
On the other hand, I hate seaming up, I despise button bands, and button holes, and I always thought this mixed up yarn would be cuter as a big, boxy raglan on my lil' fat self. Of course, it'll have to rest awhile in it's bag in the closet... wouldn't do to rush the poor thing. You just get on with your knitting, I'll catch up with you tomorrow... Cami, the froggin' queen

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I can't look...

Okay, so the titanium dental implant-y thing... not so bad. They gave me nice percocets and I've barely had any discomfort. The bouquet of flowers was a nice touch, too. I do really think that if more dentistry were done in this fashion, weenies like me would have waaay more 'stuff' done.

So, that leaves me... feeling so darn good that I talked the old husband into taking his old wifey out yarn shopping, which I think you'll agree is just exactly the right sort of thing to do if you're strung up a bit on Xanax and morphine. Yup. Just the ticket. Right here is where I'd show you all the loot, the two 33 gallon bags of loot, that filled the back of the Suburban. That is, if I could get it all into one place for a photo-op. There were such deals to be had... oh, my...

I'd show you more, but sometimes my in-laws look at this blog, and I don't want them thinking I'm super nutty or something. Besides, if you factor in how many people I actually knit for, and that I'm not the only knitter in this house anymore, AND that I have a sock-camp to prep for, and that I'm opening a yarn shop, and therefore need to knit samples, etc.... well, then this isn't really all that much yarn. What you may not notice is all the lovely 'Mission Falls' superwash I got. Fifty skeins. And I forgot to get the eight skeins of 'Manos' into the shot. Six in a sunflower yellow, a pale pink, and a deep rose. They are hanging on the door behind me. Best you not look. I am a yarn hog, that's all there is to it.

Well, it's time for this gal to have her meds. I'm coming off a yarn high and may have to go nuzzle someskein fuzzy. Other yarns should start arriving soon for the shop, and I need to have a go at finding more 'fixtures' for this place. Once I sober up. It wouldn't do to head out furniture shopping on this stuff... I might buy a boat or something. Knit on, knitters. Cami

Monday, June 4, 2007

Gratuitous Harlot photos

(this is technically tomorrow's post, which I guess it is because I just looked at the time and it's half past midnight...and I'm still full from dinner at redrhonda's house...mmm.)

So, I've had these photos glopping up my files for over a month now, and it's high time to show 'em a good time. Above you will notice the lovely Harlot, sitting and knitting on the Big Pink Thing, in rose quartz STR. She's a super fast knitter, which is a bit creepy, and more than a little demoralizing, especially when she's also doing this:

Yes, that's right, kiddoes. Knitting and giving a humorous speech at the same time, all the while Traveling Sock kept growing right on the needles... not even looking down. I'm ashamed to say I look at my knitting constantly because I'm in the 10 to 11 stitches per inch phase of my knitting journey. On those addi turbos, one blink and it's sock surgery time. Speaking of, I'd better get myself off to bed, seeing as how it's already 'tomorrow'. Ugh. So, are there any betting pools on when Ill get my knitting back into my hands? I'm shooting for Wednesday, but not on any of the socks... I think I'd like to make the snowman hat from the "Itty Bitty Hats' book... it cracks me up every time I look at it. That carrot nose. But, if I prove to be too loopy on the meds, a nice, simple Koigu 'umbilical' hat will do nicely. So, knit on if you're knitting, and have a great morning. Cami

Sunday, June 3, 2007


Here in knitty-ville, I sometimes get a little wrapped up in my somewhat obsessive knitting habit, to the extent that some words lose their regular meaning. Say "yo" and I do not think you are acknowledging me; I think you are talking yourself through a lace pattern. "Tink" used to be Disney's Tinkerbell... that's how Peter Pan adresses her. I hear it (and this happens every time the kids watch said movie) and think, "ugh, poor knitter. At least you're not having to..." Yup. You know what word is next, don't you?

This little tree froggy guy was on our window a few nights ago, having gotten through the giant tear at the bottom of the screen where 'tortie-from-hell' Missy (refer back to my Mother's Day post for details) has been letting herself out of the house when no one pays attention to her. Bill says to me "hey, look at the frog" and... nothing. For a few seconds my mind is reeling. I frantically look down at the knitting in my hands. No glaringly obvious mistakes there. I look up. Perhaps he was commenting on another project. My chest constricts because I remember that all the projects in this room are currently on 2mm needles... size 0... an absolute picnic to frog. Then I look at him, and he's not looking at knitting, but instead pointing at the window. A real frog.

I knew, after the adrenaline rush wore off, that I'd want to write about the wee frog prince, so we coaxed him into a jar for photo-op time. He wasn't a huge fan of flash photography, but we waited till he could see again and re-released him out into the wild. He was a terribly cute fellow (or gal... I don't know how to check) and Eli really enjoyed meeting a tree frog. The last time we had one on the window was the night Eli was born. It was a much smaller frog then, two years ago. Same one, maybe?

I have a real project to frog. It's so big and so involved I want to cry just thinking about it. It has to be done, though Naomi (formerly 'Imoan', but she's giving up her secret identity) has tried to talk me out of it. There will be graphic photos of the ripping process. That way it can be used for educational purposes. You know, in case I have to throw out two hundred bucks worth of sweater. (And that was half off, kids.) I'd like to re-knit it as a big, raglan pullover, using my standard EPS 'in the round' construction. Oh, my, but won't we have a time... Keep knitting until next you hear from me. I may, in a drug-induced stupor, invite a knitty-pal to post, or coerce Bill into blogging for me. Stay tuned and thank you for all the well wishes. I love my peeps. Cami

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The 'Carolyn' socks

A very good and dear friend of my mother-in-law passed away on May 28th. She'd battled cancer for six years; that is a long time to fight anything, let alone a disease that is deadly stealthy and debilitating. Carolyn was the most serene person I'd ever met. She was just so at peace with herself and the world around her. She was a foster mother to thirty five children, and permanently adopted the ones she could. I could say nothing to comfort my mother-in-law over the loss of her friend, but I'm a knitter, so what you see above is my outpouring of prayer... the sock knitter's version of a 'prayer shawl'. The yarn is significant only in that it was a birthday gift from a dear friend of mine and Carolyn and I shared a birthday, so it is tied to her birth day as well. The socks look simple; they are in fact a very straightforward, mindless knitting pattern, necessary to their purpose. For in these socks I am putting my hopes and prayers, for every family ravaged by illness, torn and broken by diseases they cannot hope to combat. My prayers for strength, and fortitude, for courage, and for peace. Hope goes into these socks, as well. Hope for a new treatment, a new insight about the illness, a miracle. If that hope should fail, there exists in these socks the prayer for the family to find happiness in the memory of the loved one who lost the fight... that joy will return and the memories will bring comfort and smiles, and laughter, when once there were only tears and sorrow. Mr. Cieczka, my family and I are so sorry for the loss of Carolyn. She will not be forgotten, and I have the (nearly finished) birthday socks to prove it. Camilla