Friday, February 29, 2008

Thimbleanna's right...

I can't choose between the fabric and yarn. I love them both. Strangely, today, when I decided to just keep an eye on which was getting more interest, sales of each category were roughly the same. This almost never happens. Usually it's a knitta-day, or a fabriholic day, but the two types of customers almost never tag-team each other as closely as today. Sure, there are those rare and precious gems who do both incarnations of fiber-whore equally well... they just don't all come in on the same day. As I was putting the universe to the test, the results were an unequivocal "duh" and Clementine will soldier on, catering to both halves of the fiber-art community at large. A new store slogan even materialized today... "Clementine's dry goods... it's where your stash lives." Or, for the google-earth geeks... "66 S. Water St., in historic downtown Franklin, Indiana... your stash's address". There were other slogans running amok in my brain as well, but as I'd been forced to starve for this morning's bloodwork, the apraxia was evident, given that a lot of the ideas involved 1.) chocolate, 2.) naked, and 3.) alone with the stash. None of it apropos for a 'family blog'. Luckily, Robin came in with the best fried rice ever, and saved me from having to chew my own arm off.

I'm off now to finally finish the scarf. Tomorrow you can see it here, after I've had a chance to photograph it in natural light. It has grown to an amazing length. It is just so fun I'm having a hard time stopping the magical short-rows. I just attached the fifth ball of yarn. I'm halfway through the last triangle before the "end triangle", the one with the fun double decreases. Man, do I love knitting.

I finally remembered to haul the sewing machine home. I would really like to get that quilt top done, especially now, with all the cutesy new fabrics arriving any time. I do love the patchworking, too. Now I have to go be a mom to that booger-eyed boy, who needs a lap and some BBC to chill him out to sleep. Then I can watch "Dexter", which the rockin' Melly loaned me. I do like some dark comedy now and again.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

fun at Clementine's

This is Eli, number five child. Obviously the brains in the family. He is all about making the funny happen, and it was a joy to have him hanging around the shop today, making booger-eyes at Melly. She snapped and posted this photo for y'all, just so you could enjoy some booger-eyes, too.
Much yarn has been delivered to Clementine's. Makes me suppose I'm going to have to decide on whether I should stay diversified, or drop either the fabric or the yarn. Horrors. But, seriously, kids, the girl is runnin' out of room. You cannot imagine the mess I will find myself in when all the handpainted yarn begins to arrive. I may have to actually implement my fallback plan, of buying empty paint cans and screwing them to the walls. And I don't mean just a few. (And if you think for even a moment you may need some nice, spring-time yarns, call me. I'll pay your shipping, and the gauge wizard will be mightily pleased.)Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Odd bits, here and there

Busy, busy, busy. Not much to be done for pricing the newest yarn arrivals, as the invoice never comes with the yarn. Must maintain the air of secrecy about the string. Even as muh knittas are clamoring to haul some home. Still unsure where the last two colors of kidsilk are for the modern quilt wrap kits (gawd, this is eternally frustrating), and I seem to be swimming in scads and oodles of cashsoft dk... perhaps I was mebbe unconscious when the order was placed. Oh, well. There are worse things to be drowning in. I feel a sale coming on...

I haven't gotten a decent photo yet of scarf, but (barring any hooliganism on Melly's part tomorrow) I think I may finish it within the next 24 hours. Wa-hoo. Then I have to begin the 'pinto pony' socks.

Plans to sneak up on the yarn shop in my sister-in-law's neighborhood have gone awry. Seems her in-laws planned an Easter visit to the midwest and, as keepers of the Grandson, they are obligated to drive from St. Paul, MN, to northern Indiana for the family gathering. We'll never be closer than eight hours from each other, thus totally and friggen' completely ruining my chance to meet my not-so-new-anymore nephew. And I was gonna knit longies for the little dude. Tougher now, because I won't get to gauge his diaper-butt for myself. She lives right around the corner from Borealis. I am so completely pouting it's pathetic... and I'm sad. I had fat baby ankles and new sock yarns on the brain. Ugh.

Man says the movie is all set, so me and scarf are going to have "t.v. time", which spouse considers "quality time", which is really "knitting time"... and everyone is happy. And the devil-spawn are off to bed. Have a g'night, y'all. (And if you're you, how're things going? Did you see your haircut in the new Rowan mag??? You wear it better, btw.)

p.s. If anyone ever asks you to watch a movie titled "I am Reed Fish", drop them where they stand. I mean it. Take your whole fist and just wham them in the throat, knee them in the groin, and deliver a crushing stomp to their instep, while simultaneously shifting your entire weight forcefully into their solar plexus, being sure to lead with your elbow. I cannot stress this enough. If they should put up a fuss (as in"it got good reviews" or "I hear the soundtrack is excellent"), grab matches and the nearest flammable fluid and put them out of their damnable misery. I mean it. If it weren't for my knitting, Boris would already be dead.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Today's color: "Mademoiselle"

I find myself with some time to kill. Yes, I suppose I could be folding another load of laundry, watching the middle three children do their math lessons at snail-speed, or mixing up a batch of cookie dough, for tomorrow's "cookie day" at the shop. I thought I'd do that when I got home from knit night, since appparently my offspring have discovered "sneating" (sneak-eating) all the chocolate chips from the baking cupboard, and I'll have to stop and buy more tonight. All I have left are two bars of bittersweet Ghirardelli that I use in my chocolate croissants. I've flipped out enough about finding that stash used up, usually in the midst of trying to fill the dough. Rolling out the patiently crafted dough is not the time to discover that the maddening hoardes have eaten a key ingredient...

I suppose I shall go knit on multi-directional scarf now. My nails look fabulous. I stepped out on the ledge and tried a bottle of 'Essie' nail polish. I've had it in the stash for at least two years, and have never been able to apply it to myself properly. On these fake nails, however, it totally rocks. 'Mademoiselle" is an ultra pale, sheer pink. I am cute today... yay, me. Tonight being knit night is perfect timing, as I find the self-striping yarn has run itself out... again. Beginning ball four tonight. I started another scarf with some sock yarn. It'll probably get frogged, but it's a nice diversion. I'll get some photos of it before it croaks. (See, cute nails make funnies.) Gotta go look busy; the spouse is looking at me like I should be doing something. Type at y'all knittas latah. C

Monday, February 25, 2008

Look what Ann's been up to!

Go here and see for yourself. Then go here and tell her she rocks. This is just the place holder. She's building us a 'fer realz' site... and I'm changing the e-mail stuff. Except that yahoo at it's worst is better than embarqmail at it's finest. Gah. Helpful hints are welcomed. I know y'all like gmail. Perhaps that's where darlin' Clementine will find herself. But back to Ann... yay, Ann!

Really good junk

Originally uploaded by clementinesdrygoods

A customer came in with this beauty on Sunday. She'd found it in an antique shop in Franklin, Tennessee. It seems fitting that she'd come to purchase backing fabric in Franklin, Indiana. It's a wonderful old thing, made with shirting fabrics, some ticking stripes, some feedsacks, and quite a lot of 1890's through 1920's dress prints. It was fascinating to pour over. The embroidery was done with a heavy thread, almost like candlewicking. It gives the blocks some sturdiness that belies it's age. They are also foundation pieced onto floursack-type material. What a fantastic find for it's new owner... I may just have to go "junking" today...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Spellcheck eats entire post... again

That's the headline for today's entry, and a delightful one it was, too. First, I regaled you with the details of a rather outstanding coffee cake I baked this evening. Then I told you about curling up on the loveseat with the scarf, now into it's third ball of yarn... I feel certain about the fourth ball being required. Possibly a fifth. Lastly, I wrote of how I'd successfully evaded the laundry room. My attentions will be directed there tomorrow, but as it's a "day off", if the children are lacking clean underpants, oh, well...

Tomorrow is Mandi Monday. In keeping with the spirit of infusing Clementine with all she needs to stay afloat until she gets her sea legs (and you know how she drinks... seems like she could handle the staggering along, don't you think?), Miss Mandi has graciously offered to practice cutting fabric in the shop. Should anyone happen by, she can greet them and hopefully not bleed out on the yardage. Which reminds me, I need to get some fresh rotary blades. I'm giving up on the Fiskars entirely. I think the blades are being manufactured out of soda cans in Viet Nam. The Olfa blades are remarkably better. Mandi is probably safer with a sharper blade. It gives me an excuse to go to Big Box Sewing Store for a snoop around. Last time I was in there (acorn buttons... still cute) I was shocked at how pricey the yardage was, for such rough and poorly printed cottons.

Today I had a visit in the shop that filled me with hope and glee. Yes, that's the word. Glee. Another huge fan of the Westminster fabric lines came in for the first time. I'm happy to report her eyes grew three sizes, trying to take in all the Amy Butler fabrics. It made me thrilled once more to be doing this, even as I battle to pay bills and get stock in... neverminding the customers who keep coming in to grope, but never buy. A bit of creative merchandising should remedy that (thank you, Mr. Brian). Now I'm off to put the smallest Who in Whoville to bed. C

Saturday, February 23, 2008

All in a day's knitting

Originally uploaded by clementinesdrygoods

See all the super-fun, multi-directional scarves being knat in Harriet's scarf class? Okay, now imagine the middle one having to be completely frogged, which was a super-not-fun pain in the tushie, due to all the flippin' ssk decreases. But "Wooly Stripes" by Nashua is easy to knit, entertaining, and the color progressions within the skein are art itself. Too bad I take such lousy photos. The pale beach glass blue and celery green are lost on the middle scarf. Oh, not to worry. I put it all back, but added ten more stitches to the first triangle. Making a macho, manly scarf for my great-uncle. It's going to require an extra ball of yarn. The coolest thing is, of course, you can spit-splice anywhere you want, just in case the colors aren't moving along quite the way you'd hoped they would.
Now I really should be off to bed. I took my meds quite a while ago, and my spelling is atrocious (this is taking forever), but I should leave a note or three for anyone who might chance to be reading this.
1.) The fat pencils arrived today, and I'm bringing them with me to the shop, in case any of y'all what ordered them want to come pick them up. Or just get them Wednesday. I'll leave them there.
2.) The DVDs are stowed in my knitting trolley (well, I can't hardly call it a bag anymore, can I?), so if you're "oot and aboot" tomorrow, come get 'em. That way you'll have them all weekend.
3.) I very much require super-salty caramel corn, but as it is a.) not yet my birthday and b.) expensive and time consuming to come to the nether-regions that are Franklin, I realize my folly in craving caramelly corn. *sniff* *sigh* *sob*
Okay, I have to go to bed now... there seems to be two (or possibly five) keyboards in front of me... latah, gatahs. C

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's always something

I've finally regained control of the computer, only to have youngest son wake from his "early evening nap", cranky and disoriented and hungry. The problem is leaving the shop at 5:30 pm, with the ride home lasting about twenty minutes... well, you can see how it sets us up for disaster almost daily. He'll be fine once he's out of his coat. Trust me. The two hours of relative peace were worth it.

Some fabric will be on it's way to Clementine's soon. I had to have a near mental collapse, but I really don't care for Moda fabric much anyway, so the fact that they totally shafted me on my January order doesn't cause me too much pain. I faxed in an order to Westminster today, which I'd planned on doing anyway, but kept having anxiety attacks when it came to committing to AB's "Nigella" home dec weight fabric. No swatches, no way to lay them out and compare colors. Well, today I took a deep breath and ordered the ones I got good "gut vibes" from... basically the ones I won't mind having to eat the cost on if I can't sell them. I got a few other things, too, but was stunned to find out the new Anna Maria stuff is all home dec weight. As is the new Joel Dewberry (pure talent, that man is). So, I'm curious. Is this where we're all going, in the textile world? Are modern quilters so jaded they have no use for regular (and fabulous) quality cotton?
Okay, so I have to go now, as the youngest Becher is making a horrid racket about getting fed, and the man just got home and is disinclined to assist until he takes off his coat. Type at y'all latah, knittas.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

surrogate blogger

This blog post is brought to you by the amazing melly.

Cami asked me to take and post a picture of the finished rocketry baby sweater she knat. She's busy swearing working.

Snow is falling outside Clementine's and it's keeping the knitters/crocheters/quilters away, but not me. I drive for miles to keep from scrubbing toilets. Clementine's beats the tidy bowl man any day.

She'll be back soon faithful readers, never fear. In the mean time, pop over and say hello to me.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Waiting Wednesday

Waiting for yarn (Berroco, ordered a month ago) to show up. Waiting for the UPS man to bring the rest of the Rowan order. Waiting to get a word in, for the music to play, for the clock to strike five.

It was an unusual day at the shop because Herr Becher had to work. Adding five kids to my Wednesday made time stand still, though I seemingly could get nothing done. Harriet sewed the tiny acorn buttons onto the sweater, which you'll see here tomorrow. Melly and redRhonda are coming to the shop, so I'm putting Miss M on the job of making pictures go. I know it's simple, and even a moron could do it, but without my ADD meds (that tricky ticker can't take speed anymore) I am a useless husk of a human.

There seem to be lots of loose ends to tie up, with all the missing stock, and the need to re-order basic necessities. I am already out of the smaller, bent-tip Chibi needles. The freight costs on fabric are going through the roof and I'm afraid I've made a horrible miscalculation, but the only way through this would seem to be the "go big or go home" method. No, I am not ordering zippers and elastic (yet), but if anyone has any helpful advice on generating good business vibes, I'm listening. Today I decided to host a knitting 'event' for Franklin's B-movie festival. A little "naughty knitting" would spice the place up. Really I'm just looking for an excuse to knit thigh-high fishnet stockings.

Enough crying and gnashing of teeth. I'm looking forward to my visitors tomorrow, and showing off the finally finished baby sweater (kits available if you call the shop), and now I'm being kicked off the computer by a twelve-year-old. Back latah. C

Added later:
In view of my earlier pouty, whine-festival, I feel I should mention that in no way do I regret the adventure I'm on. I'm married to the coolest crab-ass that ever walked the planet, I have beautiful (or at least 'interesting' looking) children who are also smart, sassy, and creative, and I'm spoiled in every possible good way (though Melly will object to that). If I had to sit in a corner, watching the years march past me, I'd have to throw myself off a bridge on principle alone. It's a high, scary branch I'm on right now, but the view is spectacular. Please remind me to look out from it more often. xxooxx Cami

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Medicated Clementine spouts off

I'm totally cheating... it's two minutes before midnight and if I don't get this post ready... well, it may never get done. Okay, my fingers aren't working out so good, and it's already tomorrow. Heh. Now it's a "fer realz" post. Today is manicure/grocery/return crummy sweater day, and also Crank's only day off this week. Yes, people. Because the guv'ment thinks working their air traffic controllers to death is the best use of available resourses. But don't you worry. They aren't even allowed to blink too much, and safety is never compromised. The fact that they never get to rest their noggins after a hectic session and that they are working without a contract(allowing management to mess with 'em "free-for-all" style) so being on position for way longer than studies prove is safe is no cause for alarm. And his extra grouching? He's going into an early grave for his job... it'll all be over soon. Just turn your head and cough.

I found the perfect pig today. Not many of you know this about me, but in my pre-harlot-awareness days, I had a nickname. A perfect little nickname for my perfect little obsession with string. I was a yarn hog. Imagine my chagrin when I made the horrifying discovery that a Canadienne was trying to unseat me. Bloody clever strumpet. She's cute, though, and being from so far north, in the land of cold and drunken people, I forgave the intrusion of her "wool pig". I even got used to five people telling me I resembled the crazed knitter in her books. Bosh. I have way bigger feet (and thus a higher stitch count) than her. I've seen her in person, and could squash her like a bug... a cute, curly-haired mite of a knitter, though she could probably kick my "arse" in a lace knitting competition. Wool pig, indeed. This little piggy is taking back her title. Know why? 'Cuz I mortgaged my haus for yarn, or the love thereof. No book deal, no fancy-schmancy trips to chat about sheep and their finer attributes, no hoardes of screaming fans to throw praise, adulation, or big white panties at me. I'm in debt up to my perfectly waxed (later today) eyebrows, and I'm deciding, right here and now, to make as many new knitters as I possibly can. This piggy is getting ready to fly, y'all. That is how this whole thing began, after all. Better button up those britches and hang on to your hats, my pretties. If we have our way about things, this is going to be a busy year.

I'm off to bed now, since it's "I Love You Tuesday" and I haven't yet decided if the rest of Becher Haus (mostly meaning the Crank) is coming out with me, or if it's a two-car, tag team event. No matter. The day will fly by too quickly, the kids will never miss me, and knit night will be snowed over. Moving it to "odd Tuesdays" has been a huge success. We've had ice storms, high winds and sheeting rain, and for tomorrow, the promise of snow. I'm bringing meat and cheese, Emma's bringing chips and dip. We'll be fine as long as the water lines don't freeze. See you there, dollies. C

Monday, February 18, 2008

Catching up

Just got off the phone with my aunt. Seems she's had an epiphany of sorts, in dealing with her mother and Alzheimer's. Several months ago I'd had a fit of temper (the ego-maniac that I am) and made the comment "how dare she forget her first grandchild... how dare she forget me." I was more than a little upset that Grandma had forgotten to "pretend to remember". That had been our pattern over the last five years. I'd call, she'd blink in and out of lucidity, and for one or two brief moments during the call I'd really have my Grandma back, then she'd get quiet and I knew I'd become a stranger again. Politely, I'd promise to call again soon, hang up the phone and sob over the loss of a woman I'd dearly loved.

My aunt has packed up her life to go and care for her mother. This wasn't an easy task, as she's also been caring for my cousin the past fifteen years. Once a strong, self-reliant young man, his life was shattered when the driver of the car he was riding in ran a red light. Ryan's brain stem was damaged, his body broken beyond repair. Sent home to die, he's managed to hang on all these years, simply because he knows his death would send his mom over the edge. He never was one to cause a fuss. Now he's been packed up and moved eight states away to watch the spectacle of our nutty Grandma making his mom crazy.

Aunt Callie has caught up. She had to call and tell me she'd had a moment where she finally understood my anger. It seems Grandma can remember bad things that happen to her, but cannot remember having her daughters... she claims to have no children, in fact. It was when she stated that Ryan wasn't related to her that my aunt snapped. It was always "Cami and Ryan" this and that. It hurts to be forgotten, hurts that she commits the smallest slights (Gr. Uncle Gene bringing Valentine's chocolates to everyone at the house made Grandma mad. She wanted them all for herself.) to memory, but didn't fight to keep a thread of memory for her children, or her grandchildren. As the oldest grandkid, I felt the loss deeper. Ryan has short-term memory loss, so he can tune all this out. Lucky.

I am up for "Most Callous Grandchild" in the family awards ceremony, because I've now successfully detatched from the situation. I can't feel anything but a morbid curiousity about how our visit in March will be received, and having stated it's all over but the funeral, am now chief arse in the family. But they've all thought it, too. And it's beginning to wear on everyone. Grandma's vacant eyes, the sitting and tapping, and the auditory hallucinations and subsequent tantrums are all wearing Aunt Callie to a raveling end. Prayers are much appreciated, mostly for a bar to open up across the street, or a psychiatrist to fall madly in love with my auntie... she needs someone with a prescription pad!

This wasn't at all what I thought I'd be posting about today. The 'Rocketry' sweater is done and blocked and awaiting buttons, the nice lady from Caldrea called me back with a solution to my laundry soap problem, and "the world's most boring self-striping sock" is coming to a close. Tomorrow is knit-night, I'm having an early menopause, the "baby" is off bottles now for good (since Groundhog's day, actually) and I'm still considering going to the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival for the first weekend in May. I guess there's more to discuss later, huh? C

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Back to the grind

Well, here we are at Sunday. Deja vu, all over again. Sorry. I was just forced to view "Fight Club" for the first time the other night. Some junk may have stuck.
Yesterday's post should have been prefaced with "this is the arse who insisted on driving as though his precious truck was made of glass", or " this man uses BOTH sides of the road", or even " this hayseed-doofus can't find the accelerator" (psst... it's the pedal on the right). Or maybe, if you can't meet the speed limit, stay your sorry, slow rear home. Some of us have places we need to be in a timely fashion. Lord love a duck, it was worse than getting stuck behind Drunk Neighbor (though you're much safer behind Drunk Neighbor than ahead of him). Anyhow, if I hadn't been driving my husband's leased vehicle, I'd have let ol' farmboy run me off the road as I tried to pass him. Taking a photo sure hurried his butt up, though. He did at least 60 mph the rest of the way into town. Problem solved.

I got all twenty blocks started yesterday, and at least five of them are done completely. That leaves me just fifteen to go. I'm hoping to start getting them pressed and assembled today. Lacking a proper flannel 'audition wall', I'm going to lay them out in quadrants on the floor and re-arrange until it suits the quilt. I'm using "Chocolate Lollipops" from Anna Maria Horner. It's a bright, pop-art sort of quilt, and I probably could've gotten away with only making twelve blocks, but this way everyone who comes in can get a better visual of how fun, wild fabrics play together. I'm sending it out for quilting. I want it done in this lifetime, after all.

Now I have poo-pants to change on the littlest Becher, a tween-ager to roust out of her bed, and I want to be out of the house in an hour, to take everyone out to breakfast before the shop opens. You go be crafty. I'll type at y'all latah. C

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fill in the blanks below...

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Stupid Saturday

The above void was a photo of a truck I got stuck behind this morning enroute to the shop. Notice the verrry wideset mirrors. The dumbest thing about the whole setup is the driver of this particularly ugly pickup truck was so obtuse he never even checked his mirrors. So, really, what is the point of having them? Ahhh, yes, I'd forgotten about the "penis angle". So dude is compensating for something. Do you suppose he's ever asked his buddies "do these mirrors make my tackle look small?" or taken the time to notice his truck has giant, stupid-ass "steer-ears" from the backside. Gah. Farmboys and their *%^# toys.

This was supposed to be a photo of the new spring colors of Panda Cotton. The nearest one (from memory, as Blogger and Picasa appearantly aren't speaking right now) is 'pinto pony', and I love it so much I'm ordering a whole bag of it. It's that cute. The upper left one is 'dotty circus' and I think that one is pretty darn cute, too. I just got the sample pack of the new colors, figuring I could reorder the totally fabulous ones. I have yet to actually knit a sock from it myself, so me and 'pinto pony' have some hanging out to do. My mom wants a pair, and there's all that travel knitting I'll be doing... kinda leaves me excuse-less.

Yesterday I got our rooms booked for the trip. We're staying here, because the b&bs in Wisconsin pretty much are just for lovers, not families with gaggles of children. In Iowa, we'll be here; we absorb all available space they have, but I was on the phone with Mr. Cat&Fiddle and he's a riot. We're going to get along fantastically. He's even laying in a supply of gin, white soda, and limes for Herr Becher. I think I'll have my photo taken on the terribly Victorian red velvet loveseat. How odd is that for furnishings? I know. I *lurve* it. And the violins hanging from the wall? (Behind the stairs. Sweet.)

Day two of zero store activity, so I'm going to use this time to get the "turning twenty" quilt going. Or something. No kids today... it's practically like a day off! Stay warm and crafty. C
(ignore the sacastic italics if my pics should happen to appear from Picasa later. If Melly was here I'm sure she could've gotten it going.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Missed it by a mile

Last night was overwhelming. Seems the "housekeeping staff "at Becher Haus have gone on strike and I'm bewildered by the volume of extra work required to keep the house livable. When I finally sat down, it was with knitting, waiting for the man to get home, and by the time I remembered I still needed to post, it was already Friday. I'm getting about five hours of actual sleep a night, business is not booming this week, and I'm in full-on flip out mode. Kind of queasy all the time, too. I have more paper-worky stuff to do, so I won't have to go to prison for not paying my sales tax, so if tomorrow goes as planned (meaning I don't get submarined) you'll be hearing from me. I hope y'all are well. Latah, knittas. C

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Goings on

Above is the spotty, dotty quilt block made by Deb. The block was planned with a solid black background. I'm glad she upped the ante and added the polka-dot fabric (Blank Quilting's "Chelsea" collection). It's just fun waiting to happen.

Down here we have Darla and her "happy chaos" quilt, going for a stroll through the sewing machine. It's her first quilt ever. She only got to choose two of the eight fabrics, and I had some odd bits everyone had the chance to add in...

Pretty vibrant, huh? The other stitchers haven't finished yet. Stay tuned for more update photos.

This brings us to Deb's enormous car cozy pup tent afghan for her brother. It seems she'd made him one when he graduated, and now he has smallish children, one of whom decided to "trim" off a string hanging from daddy's knitted afghan. This new and improved model has about twenty four... or was it twenty six?... balls of yarn (held double) and will be six feet long when complete. She's almost there... Massive wall o' knitting goodness right here.

Now I have to get along home. I'm told there are Netflix movies and something like dinner awaiting me. Type at y'all latah. C p.s. go see those fantastic card kits That Crocker Woman put together for the old folks home. I'm impressed with that tall girl. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Post 199

The socks are done. I finished the toe decreases at 2:37 a.m. and decided to hold off on the grafting until I'd had a bit of sleep. I sat in a terribly comfy styling chair after Erin finished my cut and carefully (and perfectly) Kitchnered the toes closed. After the ends were all darned in, the socks danced over to her. Turns out, purple is her favorite color. She'd seen the first sock and fell in love. Can you imagine the karmic reprecussions if I'd stood in the way of that love? Plus, she has made noises about bringing her pal, Liz, to knit, and possibly learning herself. And that's the way we do it. Luring people to the dark side, one sock at a time. Heh, heh.

Hair is cute. Mani and pedi are very pink and very fresh for Valentine's Day. I allowed myself the privilage of donning flip-flops in an ice storm, just for the sake of cuteness. I even put on matching lipstick when it appeared the roads mightn't be too safe for the homeward journey. Just so the EMTs first on the scene could appreciate my cuteness, in the event they had to make a morgue-call to come get me. But, I got home safely, and even (because of wearing my flip-flops home) had a Dansko clog available to pound open the mailbox from it's 1/4" ice-prison to retrieve the mail. Which brings me to the Boden USA catalog and these shoes with this dress, both in red. I've decided to buy myself something pretty every ten pounds lost, and eventually (perhaps with the aid of lycra/spandex) I'll be dressed to thrill myself. Boden rocks... they have super-fab kids clothes and man-wear, too. *Love* them. Gotta go now... my knitting needles are restless. Latah. C

eta: My darling has pointed out that this technically only counts as post number 189 (because he's a math brain, and kind of a pain that way), due to deleted materials, false starts, "blogger-swallows", etc. Still, when I sign in, the blog told me it was post 199. My title stands.

Monday, February 11, 2008


The kids hogged the computer today, as I was planted on the sofa knitting on the forever sock. Happily, I have only twelve rounds before I can begin the toe decreases. Sadly, my fingers are raw and I'm supposed to soak off my nails tomorrow for a new set. The socks need to be done before I leave the house in the morning. Did I mention that they are seventy-two stitches around? On 2mm needles? Or that chocolate was severely low until the man got home with provisions, around 2-ish? Not much good knitting to be had when the chocolates aren't handy. Ahh, well, I have to get back to the knitting black hole, which, strangely, seems to be at an ending... very soon, anyhow. Flesh still holding out on the left index finger, though my leather thimble is nowhere to be found. Cramp subsiding in the left hand, as well. Knitter's charley horse? It must have a proper name. Type at y'all later. C

Sunday, February 10, 2008


The comings and goings of this life are usually silent and unremarkable. It struck me today how strange my life would seem if it were captioned, or if I were required to explain myself. Why is it that I have to re-check light switches and the coffeepot before I can leave my home or the shop, that I always fumble in the console for the sunglasses I know with all certainty the two-year-old snapped apart ages ago, and why can't I remember driving home most days? (I'm chalking that one up to low blood sugar.)

I spent the better part of the day thinking over how different my life is from what I'd planned it to be. All the stuff I thought was important seems silly, now that I have five smallish humans to grow and teach. Control is something you think you have until the scales fall from your eyes and you realize that all you're managing is a peaceful interlude between disasters. Some are small and you regain your composure quickly, others are scary and horrible and sometimes your disasters aren't really bad things at all, but you don't recognize the good bits for awhile. Subtitles would help then. I could spend less time cringing over things. War, elections, money, friends, my children's future spouses. I think sometime today I decided it'll all be okay. I have my family, my friends, my yarn. And my blog.

Because of this blog, I've become accquainted with all manner and sorts of people. We are all so very different, and yet it's the small similarities that bind us together. We are all seekers. We seek help knitting socks, or a fabulous waffle recipe, or just how, exactly, do we turn three paper sacks full of t-shirts into a rag rug without wanting to gouge out our own eyes? We have different opinions, different incomes, different dye-jobs, but we all want to be happy. I've never fit into a box, never had an easy explaination for my self or my behaviors. One of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me was " gee, I'd never have pegged you for the home-birth type". It matters little at the end of the day what our labels describe, what our subtitles would've been. We are crafty people and we love that about each other.

Now, that being said, I have some addendums to post:
Miss G, the color is Orly "who's who pink"... wear it well. It's gorgeous on!
Steph, I got your e-mail and we have much to discuss. I'm writing you snail mail again, 'cuz then you have to trudge out to the mailbox to get it. Like exercise, only better, because the letter is like a prize!
SouthernMel, your new haircut is freaking amazing and if I were a hundred pounds thinner I'd copycat you in a heartbeat. It really sets off your jawline and makes your eyes look huge. You are beautiful... you'll be the prettiest woman at the orgy!
Melly and Red... I miss you, I miss you, I miss you. Rhonda, are you better yet? I hope to see you soon.
D-fly: I can't wait to go yarnin' with you in March. Can we work a Kopp's burger and chocolate frozen custard in there, too?
Type at y'all knittas latah. I have socks to finish... still. (Send in the stunt knitters. I have no idea how I'll finish by Tuesday morning.)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Lookie what the cat dragged in

Miss Melly, is that a bit of tan you're sporting? Why, yes, thanks for noticing. Then she spent three hours knitting a button band on Ash's sweater... and then this happened:
There was a silent string of expletives, but if I try to type them in a little "talk bubble", they don't all fit, and this is a 'family blog', blah, blah, blah... my girl was nearly in angry tears, and pretty much fricked the frack out, but then I gave her the patented "you get to knit the yarn twice (or in this case eight nevermind how many times) for the same money" speach. I think she looks better here, don't you? (She put her finger away for this pose.)
Ann had come eariler in the morning with a fab bag and posed nicely with it. She's even playing around with drafting her own patterns now; can a line launch be far behind? She's also the brains behind the website for Clementine's. I love computer-brainy people. I especially love it when they also happen to be crafty mommas.
This was yesterday's news. Today was a decent day, sales-wise, but I also started re-arranging bolts. Yeah. I got pretty tired of it, after moving just two collections. Tomorrow is another day. I'll show you a 'happy chaos' quilt in tomorrow's post. Now I'm headed home. The man is making his ab fab burgers, and I need to get cracking on a sock. Type at y'all latah. C
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Friday, February 8, 2008

It's finally happened... my first meme

I got tagged by Stephanie the other day, and I've been pondering what to tell. Seven things isn't much of a list (I am Me, after all), and I want to be entertaining, but I don't want to shock my MIL to death. Nor do I want to bore you to tears. Here are the rules, and if you don't get a comment in your box (Melly) it's because blogger doesn't put a "publish" button at the bottom of your comment box.

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

First factiod: I was homeless for a time as a 12 year old. Prior to living in a tent in the wilds of Wisconsin, I got to live without running water or electricity for four months, as my parent's grip on our "farm" was being loosened by the bank. The Carter adminstration played havoc with lots of farmers' lives and by the early 80's my parents were pretty much bankrupted. For this reason alone, I. Do. Not. Camp. Ever.

Tidbit number two: Spiders and bugs make me want to vomit, but I'm not afraid of snakes. I also love bats, and get a thrill watching them come out on summer evenings to eat their weight in bugs. I saw a South American fruit bat at the zoo twenty years ago and still I pine for one. He was that cute.

Third: To get through really bad days, I plot revenge. I'm ashamed to say, it puts a spring in my step. I hardly ever have days that bad, though, so fear not.

Fun fact the fourth: I never opened a textbook in high school. Not even once. I was shocked to find the bullsh*t rule held fast, when I began college in 300-level English, and got a B in a socialology course based on my final exam. I'd attended one lecture. The whole semester. I often wonder what I could've done if I'd ever learned to study.

Fifth fact: I have five children, but I'm not a "baby" person. Yes, some people have interesting babies, some people have clever babies, but they are all Other People's Children, and so will grow up to be a child I'll want to muzzle, or spank, or yell at, but I cannot, because they are not mine. My own children know this about me, and have a healthy respect for my fragile temper. They also know not to get between me and the Xanax bottle.

Number six: I detest, loathe, and despise the color purple. That being said, I do really like Tanzanite, and "periwinkle" doesn't completely suck when I see it in fabric or yarn. And Stephanie's violet hair is super-fun. And Lucy Neatby has pink and purple hair on her DVDs... so maybe I don't totally hate purple. Disregard number six.

Fun fact the last: I'm a decent knitter, and a far-above-average patchworker, but my truest passion in life would be baking. I only bake for people I adore, and my petit pain au chocolat are a sure sign of affection, should I ever make them for you. The caramel-pecan sticky buns ain't fer sneezin' at, neither. Sadly, with everyone being on diets, and all healthy (even 'Boris' has given up sweeties), my mad skilz as a pastry chef are wasting away. Happily, though, my 12 year old is taking up the baking torch, and the rest of the kids will probably follow.

There you have it. The candid, creepy, bitchy Camilla you all knew was lurking around. And fun fact five doesn't apply to my pals. It's more about when you're out at the museum, or shopping, or you've finally broken the pig to take your five kids to a movie and you encounter one of those children, and it's all you can do not to cry out "My God, why were your parents allowed to breed?" as you fall to your knees, clutching your ears as the shrieks pierce your brain, and you think about the 86.00 you just spent so you could listen to some else's kids holler at the top of their freaking lungs in a dark, crowded theater. That's who I meant. The babies who become those kids.
Tomorrow there will be pictures of Melly, prior to and after her traumatic button-band episode. I must go now and put my own spawn to bed. I'm tagging That Crocker Woman, my stuntstitcher, the dynamic duo of D-fly and her sis, the owner of Cadence, the grand piano, (Geez, Stephanie, this is hard... what if I get beat up???) the wedding dieter who's no bigger than a minute, the painter of gorgeous yarn, Lotus, and as a bonus, my favorite man, Herr Becher. I'm sure there will be a fair amount of eye-rolling when he notices he's been tagged. Do it if you wanna... my apologies if you're not in the mood for meme-ing. Type at y'all knittas latah. Cami

Thursday, February 7, 2008

'Nuff said

Above photo: Nashua worsted and "Wooly Stripe", arm in arm above a basket of crack Rowan kidsilk haze. Below: "Rock Candy" fabric from Blank Quilting, in an odd assortment of colors. (Proof that a shop cannot rely on one person's opinion.)
Here we have two of the newest additions to the "Panda Wool" family; 'red cinnamon' and 'violets'. Super soft. You'd never guess it was made in part from wood pulp. Ditto the "Maizy"... yarn from corn. I'm not even going to mention the chitin yarns...

Here is the mess my knitting bag burped out at me last night (l to r): Koigu - color number lost forever, but it's citrus-y, LotusYarn "a thousand hours", which is how long it's taking me to finish the second sock (I'm in a knitting black hole. Send Help.), and an old Opal, in a red (not pink), black, and white, "boring as snot" stripe... it may never have a mate. Or I may have to resort to drunken knitting to make it the least bit engaging.

Black and white fabrics, from Moda (I know, but it was a request, for a customer). Sigh. I'm making a string quilt from these, with turkey red and the red 'rock candy' fabrics. Looks mighty fantastic on paper. Will try to get more done, now that camera is back and Melly has talked me through the process of making it spit photos out on command. Latah, knittas... C

Edited to add:
My apologies to the fabulous Thimbleanna, both for the nasty knot she'll have on her noggin as a result of actual photos being posted, but also for my comment about the black and whites. I have nothing against b/w, except it has become a "thing", one of the many wagons which patchworkers are piling on to. Now that you mention it, I guess that's how the trends roll, so a hundred (or more) years from now, textile experts won't have difficulties dating the quilts. So, nevermind my snarkiness about b/w fabrics... I'm on the wagon, too. Wait 'till you see the result. (but hand dyeing them sounds fabulicious, too)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I'm bringin' camera back

The past two days have been hectic and over-filled with "have-tos" and "must-dos" and I brought a sackful of knitting home because the good camera is back, and I want to spend tomorrow showing y'all what's new/odd/different in the shop. The man says it works just fine, and I didn't get charged for the repair, though if you factor in the cheapie camera and sd card, I'm out 130.oo. We never did get that crappy little Polaroid working, but the Vista interferes mightily with installing apparatus (why isn't it apparati?). Anyhow, there are bits and bobs you'll want to see... I will show. Be here tomorrow, around one, EST.

There is nothing blog-worthy to note. We did not drown in last night's storms, though new-knitter Mandi (like a Barbie doll, but funner)was just as freaked out as I was. I got home by following telephone poles, at about 15 mph, through sheeting rain and the fog you could chew. Several times I felt the pull of the water rushing across the roads, one field's soil dumping into another along the way. It almost took the fun out of knit night, but we had such a fun group, it wasn't spoiled by the creepy drive home. I could do with a little less excitement next time, though. I'd better be off of here now, as the wind is picking up and we're forecasted to have snow... and it was almost in the sixties the past two days. Flu weather. Don't touch your face in public, keep the Lysol wipes handy, and take your Zinc. And come back for a photo-shoot, live from Clementine's... tomorrow. Perhaps that vacation-taking strumpet will be back as well. We shall see. C

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Knit night adventure

Lovely evening, harrowing drive home. gotta go. big storm making another pass. chat you up tomorrow. mwah.xxooxx C

Monday, February 4, 2008

Day of discovery, sort of

This morning presented itself heavy with thick fog, and no sunshine came to chase it away. The visibility was so bad in some areas you couldn't even see the stoplights hanging over the intersections from a mere three carlengths away. Did I have the good sense to stay home? Of course not. The beauty of the day was in most everyone else staying home.

It was with relative ease that I trundled the kids off to town, making quick work of the bank deposit, feeding them "car food" at Chick-fil-a, and getting everyone's hair trimmed up at the barbershop. The real fun was in the trip to Hobby Lobby. Does everyone else already know about this place? Have I just been blind to it's delights all these years? Boy, howdy, did I ever have a blast in there today. I bought a piece of wood, and brushes and paints and wooden baubles to make Clementine's an "open/not open" sign (because "closed" is so negative-sounding), bags of miniture clothespins (that really work!) to display swatches on a mini-clothesline, and a tricycle made of wire, with super-handy baskets to display yarn in. The kids had to look at all the rubber stamps, stickers, art supplies... some of those whiz-bangs fell into the shopping cart as well. I probably can't afford to go often, but I'll definately keep it on my list. I'm trying to figure out how many other things in the shop could require cutesy-fartsy painted signs, replete with curled wire and glass bead hangers. So, you'll excuse me... I have my art to get back to. Type at y'all latah. C

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Don't wanna, can't make me

At least that's what I think he said. The varied rantings of a nearly 32 month old human. I have better luck understanding the Vietnamese girl who does my nails. At least she doesn't appear to be vomiting venom at me. The problem stems from trying to keep young eyes from being aimed at spouse's questionable movie picks (not those kind of flicks) that he garners from Netflix. Sometimes they are entertaining, but usually they are just to be "got through" and I really don't mind; I have my knitting. It's the embarrassing, bordering on soft-porn crap that causes the flailing and wailing from the peanut gallery. I ask Herr Becher to stop the show when Eli toddles in and the Mr. gets shitty with me, because I am obviously morphing into an intolerable prude who doesn't want her two-year-old to see animated weiner-dogs packing fudge with other smallish fur-bearing creatures. Keep in mind, this is the same man who thought it would be jolly fun to watch "Talladega Nights" with his terrifically Catholic, seventy-something father... yup. (And we're in the deep end of the gene pool.) Tonight's viewing pleasure was entitled "The Ten". It has a boatload of would-be and has-been stars in it, there is sex with Jesus, prison sex, murder, death by radiation, sex with a puppet... the movie consists of ten "featurettes", each taking a stab at one of the ten commandments, so there's something for everyone. I need to go wash, or pray, or put the Netflix returns closer to the door. I have control of the telly now, since the movie buff has to be up at four A for work. There's a second sock in Koigu wool (for the pain in my husband's ass) on needles now, and a second "LotusYarn" sock nearing completion. Enjoy your evening... I'm going to try and catch "House". C

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Mr. Saturday Night (asleep in my lap)

Once again, the blog-collective finds me typing single-handedly. Stopping the I have a lapful of toddler, freshly washed, powdered, and sleepy-eyed (sorry, I'm apparently not available in dehyphenated today). Got a surprise phonecall before Melissa and her man boarded their flight to Flaaa-ahda, you know, so I could have a painful reminder that I'm not in southern climes. Then, I got a call when they had picked up their rental car, to let me know they'd seen an alligator crossing the road (cue the wildlife in three, two...), so, while I may not have the scent of sunscreen on my self, I got to share Melly's big safari adventure. Hopefully they won't run over a loggerhead turtle while they're there, or have a giant bird fly into the car as they drive through the "Ding" Darling wildlife preserve. (That's a Becher Haus adventure story for another day... once the statue of limitations has run it's course.)
Later, I got another surprise call, this time from out Washington-way (oh, those pesky hyphens). Miss G rang me up to tell me she'd happily paid ten bucks a yard for Westminster fabric. It seems the contrasts between left coast crafters and the miserly midwestern homemakers know no bounds. Still, every day someone comes into the shop and stands transfixed in front of a fabric collection, running their fingers over the edges of the bolts, telling me they're so thrilled I've gone and brought "east coast fabrics" to Indiana. I almost don't have the heart to tell them that Amy Butler's studio is just hours away, in Ohio, or that Kaffe is really an American ex-pat. London was just more to his liking.
Today was a really great day, excepting the cocoa a certain six-year-old spilled under the cutting table, the strange, erratic behaviors of "bottle-less Eli, day two", and that one of my very best customers had to have her dear dog put down. Tomorrow there is some hullabaloo about some stupid football game. (Like I care. Peyton Manning is a choke artist, and the Pack was robbed. I hope somebody breaks Brady's elbow. Not that I care.) I'll be at Clementine's, trying to get the "turning twenty" quilt top assembled, referree-ing (I looked it up... that hyphen stays) the chiurruns 'till their daddy comes and rescues me picks them up. If you're 'oot and aboot', stop in for spiked cocoa or coffee, and don't forget your knitting. Latah, knittas. C

p.s. I just popped over to Harlot's blog. Seems it's silent poetry reading day again, and it's custom-fitted for that filthy, vacationing strumpet. Go read. I know. "Old Joe" is amazing.

Friday, February 1, 2008

just opened her throat and swallowed a goat...

I've spent the day splitting out balls of kidsilk crack haze and most assuredly will not require a fibrous dinner. In fact, I may need hairball medicine. The silk and kid mohair are both delectably soft, but as I'm standing directly over the ball winder, I'm catching more than just "yarn fumes". Rest assured, the kits will be free of excess loose hair, and the re-winding is fluffing out the silky strands ever so nicely. Now we're just waiting on the other five colors to ship from Westminster. *sigh*
Still working on the camera junk an' stuff. Got a memory card, which I thought would solve the problems. This woman, who was out shopping for her little Florida get-away, told me what I needed to know, and I set about taking pictures. On the second photo, I got a weird beep, on the third photo I was informed the camera required new batteries. Strange how uncooperative this horrid little pink camera is being. So I went and dug around in the computer for a bit...
Here's that photo of LeAnn and her pre-fulled wool hat. It turned out darling, and yes, LeAnn's hands are always blurry like that. When they aren't 'talking' they are knitting. Both versions are entertaining, but the knitting hands get more done.

She has also caught the sock bug, but is still at the frustrated, "rip it out and stomp it to death" phase (ie: approching the heel). Next will come the "crying and vengeful" attempts at setting it on fire, where, to her dismay, she will discover wool's self-extinguishing properties. After that will come the calm acceptance that she has to become one with the sheepy little ball of string, and, bleary-eyed and staggering, she will collapse into a chair in the shop, where she will conquer the sock in a battle of wills. This is how obsessed sock knitters are made. It's why sock yarn doesn't count as stash... it's the "spoils of war". Put that in your stash and smoke it. Latah, knittas. C

p.s. Miss G, the almighty pink-ness left last night; you should have it Saturday. You ready?