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