Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oddments of the day

Shirt the front, of the stunt-shirts of the previous evening. Pinky here is being sent to a certain someone who likes to hunt vermin in her shortie bathrobe... my kinda gal.

This is the 'waiting sock' that you may have seen on Melly's blog, from our evening spent Harlot-stalking. (I saw the group shot of groupies and am utterly appalled at how weird my hair looks in photographs. The hairdresser will be raked over the coals about this.) Anyhow, the yarn is from the Easter trip/stash acquisition; Colinette "Jitterbug". I'm loving the swirling effect on this sock, and the 1x1 ribbing isn't hardly painful at all... in fact, I'm taking it all the way to the ankle. Yeah, baby. It's that good.
Here is shirt, the back, with the day's haul... a Koigu for Eli-socks, some Trekking, some ShiBui, and the weirdest, most perfect sock yarn colorway I may ever see in my lifetime: Filatura di Crosa's "Maxime print". The orange and pinks are clear and the deeper hints of rose and fushia add tons of visual interest. They will make a stunning pair of socks for Lillian.

The day has been fairly quiet, though a few fabric junkies have been in to keep me from falling into a coma. Now I need to finish my homework, because, although Ann is smallish, I do not want to antagonize her. If she wants meta-tags, by golly, she's gonna get 'em.
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Stealing Melly's post

You want to know what went on, I want to go to sleep. I've already missed Tuesday by almost an hour, but that industrious Melly can tell you what went on... I'll update the sock photo later today. I love muh knittas. And that Harlot... well, that woman is just gifted. Nine kinds of crazy fun, all rolled into a teensy package. Type at you later. C

Monday, April 28, 2008

Look, Melly!

For when we really run away...

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Did you know they're poison?

The new and improved "green" light bulbs? Chock-full of mercury, each with enough heavy metals to poison over 600 gallons of ground water. If you break one in your home, you're supposed to cut out the carpet in that area and take it, and the broken bulb, to a recycling facility that handles hazardous materials. Drop a bulb, poison your children. And they cost more, don't work any better for folks in the country (where power surges routinely explode our lights), and don't for one minute think everyone will be properly disposing of these light bulbs. I have neighbors all around me who burn their paper trash and bury the rest. Do you really want to save the planet? Charge real world prices for power, no subsidies. Build more nuclear power plants. If the poison in the light bulbs doesn't bother you, a nuclear power plant should pose no threat. Technology has made nuclear power cleaner and safer than ever before, though it could be that, as a nation, our populace is too stupid to man the plants, government schools being what they are.
This, I hope, concludes my ranty-ness, at least for today. With the closing of our hamlet's tea-room, things in Franklin have been off-kilter all week, leaving me with entirely too much time to compose arguments in my head. If you're never coming back here, that's too bad, because there's going to be some fantastic dress photos, yarn p0rn, and goodies too numerous to mention. Also, the conclusion of the "send me three" e-mail addy contest will be on Mother's Day, so get your entries in. (Harriet has some very good odds. Surprisingly not many entries from the fabric camp.) And just so you don't think I'm all squishy-softness, here's a toss-in that's sure to start a rumble...
I don't like soy-based yarns. But corn is excellent. Type at y'all soon. C

Adding to yesterday's list

Bathroom tile grout. This exists only to make me look like a lazy hausfrau. I'm keeping an eye peeled for a good tile man. Things have to change, or we'll need haz-mat suits to take a shower. Bleach only goes so far, and beats the crap out of the septic tank. (No pun intended.)

Kenmore appliances. We bought the cheapest super-capacity washer/dryer combo on the sales floor at Sears, with an eye to upgrading the laundry in a few to five years. The washer is a disaster, but will it die? Absolutely not. I've done everything but run a load of bricks and rocks through it, and it still chugs on, happily, nearly eight years from date o' purchase.

Artificial nails. And the "soaking off" process. I took mine off last night. An hour of my pitiful life, sucked away in a cloud of acetone. Today I can type faster (fewer of the4se to correct), but they look sad and ugly, not to mention sort of anemic and diseased. Grrr.

So, it's off to town for us, the gang of six, to have the Harlot-stalking t-shirts made. Melly designed the graphics, and they are super-cute. I hope everybody who's going tomorrow likes them. Or at least refrains from gitching and bipeing too hard. RedRhonda is a little peeved about my insistance she wear one. This interferes with her big 'sweater wearing plans'... but she's made beautiful cardigans, so I fail to see the problem. Latah, knittas.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

In under the wire

A certain somebody was supposed to stunt-blog for me, but I'm guessing her partying ass needed a nap when she got home from tearing up Toledo. Long drive and all.
I have absolutely nothing to blog about today. I've been sorta, maybe, a wee bit cranky as of late, and have spent the better part of today mentally composing a list of things making me crabby right now. I know, it seems very negative, and I'm sure I'll be judged harshly for it later, but here are just a few. Feel free to complain bitterly in the 'comments' section.

1.) Bicycles and their riders. Especially the ones who don't feel compelled to obey traffic signs, just because they are out on a country road. Hey, dumbass dork in the lycra; a four-way stop is still a stop. If I blew it off the way you did yesterday, you'd be dead. Problem solved.

2.) People who claim to be "open-minded". Let's just put that to rest right now. Possibly, if you are a liberal, you are decidedly not open to hearing any topics of discussion I might be interested in debating with you. You want to call me horrible names, shout 'bumper-stickers' at me, and lump me in with the spineless ass-weasels that pass for "Republicans". Thanks for your "open mind". So sorry your brain fell out. (This is not directed at my darling lib friends, who keep me around as an affirmation that their theories are correct... more just a general observance, as we approach another electoral season.)

3.) Cheap people. Thread costs money. Good thread costs even more money. Don't come into a shop for a spool of thread and wait until it's rung up to throw a tirade about a five-dollar spool of Gutterman. The gas you'd burn to drive up to Greenwood to purchase the same spool of thread at JoAnn's would cost you at least three bucks, and guess what? The same size spool of thread is almost a dollar MORE there. I just checked. Enjoy picking the cheap, frayed thread out of those lace curtains you were trying to hem.

4.) Rock ballads. Despise the rock ballad. Ever since Kiss did "Beth", every band with a bass and a double-kick drum has felt the need to do the love song... sadly, with the aging GenXers approaching their fourth decade, some of this music is having a revival on the sad radio stations at the far end of the dial (remember radios before the 'seek' button?) and without the i-pod in the car, I always feel compelled to surf the stations. This has lead to some punishing listening, and because my teen years were spent dolled up in Commander Salamander, listening to U2's "Boy" album... I don't recognize the scary rock ballad until it's too late. I'm drawn in, waiting for the big noise to start... and it doesn't. The only exception I can make is for Aerosmith. I mean, really, can Mr. Tyler ever be awful?

Okay, hyper-opinionated rant is over. Hope I didn't step on any toes. I even left out the part where the hoopla over going "green" makes the rebel in me want to throw Kleenexes out the car window like I did when I was three (ask my mom how much she liked getting pulled over for that) or insist that the bagger at the grocery put in only one item per bag... hell, it's practically how they do it anyway, which is why, when I shop, I take my reuseable ones. Ha. Thought you had me all in the box? I also give to charity, posses an actual heart (as opposed to the standard-issue stone given to us in the GOP), and do not routinely eat puppies for breakfast. Hopefully, tomorrow my meds will have kicked in. If they don't, I'm going for broke with the "all knitters do not like soy yarn" rant. But here's to better living through chemistry. I do hope you'll come back... the world would be dullish and stupid if we all had to be the very same... like China, only with better clothes.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Checking in

A sock-progress update: the short-row heel is waiting for me. The striping effect is taking the edge off the color pooling, but that is what handpaint yarn is all about... I'm just excited that the first sock is about half done. It's a sample, so I don't have to get all weird about it, but then again, that's sort of what I'm about.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Freaky Friday

I have bitten off more than I can chew, but as I can't show you the crazy until next Wednesday, you'll just have to take my word: I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good. I can also assure you that if this works out, I'm going to patent my own brand of loopy, with all bragging rights reserved.

Once again, I'm overwhelmed by all the paperworky-bits of shop-life, and need to get things ready to close up here and head home. Dinner will be passed through the window of the Suburban, probably Taco Bell (yay, bacon-club chalupas!), and I need some down-with-my-knitting time once we get home. The kids all have spring-fever, and the noise is best released out of doors. I'm only allowed just so much xanax per day. I can't get used to Madeleine having no hair (it was a severe haircut...very 'edgy' and mod) because it makes her 1.) look like her eyes are the size of saucers, and b.) way boy-ish from the back. There's also the spiky, bed-head angle she's exploiting. Thankfully, Lillian didn't ask for more than a trim of bangs/ends, and the boys' got their regulation "high and tights" for tick season. I'll be back here tomorrow, probably with a tale of horror about trying to design a shirt-logo with computer-transfer paper. This cannot end well... but then again, that's what the meds are for. Latah, knittas. C

Thursday, April 24, 2008

fabric, flowers, and a naked dummy

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a wee-hours post

It's a few minutes past one a.m., and I've just gotten the sticky buns ready to raise in the fridge overnight (it's all the eggs in the dough... don't want to be a Salmonella Susie) and I realize the reason for my angst... I can't find the last book of checks for the business account, and there is stuff what needs paying, and the nagging terror I feel at Not Getting It Done is making me flip out a little. So, today, after I snag a few hours drugged-up "down time", I'm re-taking that paperwork mountain. Gotta go sleep. Yesterday was brutal. Today will be better. I know because it will have freshly baked sticky buns in it, and the kids love those... it's like a bribe... that they keep falling for.

p.s. for my fav Thimbleanna: you do the work of the devil, alerting all to quilty-contests, and what have you. I didn't think for a minute to be considered for a list of your favs... I read your blog and link list and you do get around, but I'm tickled that you wrote me in... kinda like getting a special seal of approval, even though I'm a newbie at this whole, weird alternate universe I keep finding myself in. Thanks for thinking of me, and for the nice comment. It'll keep me off the ledge for a while. *grin* C

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Scheduled Outage

I'm having a terrible week. It's been 'crickets' at the shop, the children are all ill-behaved and surly with each other, and the well has been making unsettling 'spitting' noises when the laundry is started, or the bidet turned on. Not all the time. Just often enough for me to be in perpetual freak-out mode. We got a bid on running water to our house from the corner. It was over ten grand in "eight years ago" dollars, not including actually running it the additional 220 feet to our house. A dry well or a broken well pump would not be the icing on the cake of my week. It's probably that darn earthquake's fault. *grumble, grumble*

Okay, venom released, and after my Xanax kicks in I'll be a much happier Stepford Wife. The Kaffe/Lakehouse quilt didn't have any progress made on it today, but I think I just decided to frame each four patch with a larger Kaffe polka-dot print. It's turquoise with orange-sherbet spots, and as all of the prints have smatterings of the same deep aqua shade, I think it'll be just the thing to set it all aglow. I just finished reading "Quilts in the Sun", and am antsy to do a simple framed block quilt.

An amazing costumer/seamstress came into the shop today and had corset samples with her. One of them was made out of this Amy Butler fabric and it was amazing. She's making a dress for the shop from a circa 1952 Vogue pattern out of this Jennifer Paganelli black-on-white print. I could get all sappy about how blessed I am to have such creative, wonderful people coming in to help make Clementine's a place to hang out, dream up, and have fun, but then I recall LeAnn eating the last cupcake, so there's that trouble, too. Only she did have the decency to eat it in the only proper way... first you pinch the lower half off, then upend it over the frosting. Et voila! A frosting sammie. Absolutely delicious. But she left a huge bowl of fresh strawberries for us, so, okay, I won't hold a grudge. Gotta go now. That whole "house isn't going to clean itself " thing is rearing it's ugly head. What kind of Stepford Wife would I be if I let the house go? (Ha, Ha... a happy one, to be sure!)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Again, with more feeling

Okay, the sample took Rhonda (who you will recall is a wife, mother, and full-time air-traffic controller) two weeks to knit, though I suspect it wasn't exclusive, as she's already started something else (a mysterious secret, can't be revealed here), and I should mention for the benefit of clarity, that the "fern" green is the substituted yarn in the kits... you just put the "jelly" (the chartreuse green) where the pattern calls for gold, and the "fern" where the "jelly" would go. In this instance, the stuntknitter wanted to swap out another color ("meadow", which is really a pale silvery-green) with a periwinkle color, which insists on showing up in all the photographs as a white/oyster/gray. It isn't, but I think all the other colors look just about dead on. And the cutting table is 72" long, and there is 6-8" hanging over the ends. It could probably be blocked out wider (it's about 16" here), and this is all with the split-out balls of kidsilk. If you look closely at the right, lower photo edge, you can see a bit of the bag of left-over yarn bits, so no shortages were had and it is so fabulous. I have kits ready to mail, tied up in tissue and ribbon. You know how to reach me if you can't live without one.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Once upon a time...

A girl called a boy about a room to let, in a large brownstone flat, in a neighborhood near the University. The boy and the girl met, and married, and his job carried them far away from the city they loved, and the places that were familiar and cosy. Then, as time went by, babies began to happen, and continued to happen, until the boy decided to build a farmhouse in the country where his babies could play in the fresh air, and dig dirt, and chase the brown dog. More babies came, and the farmhouse did not seem so roomy anymore, but there was still plenty of roaming about in the outdoors to do, and the brown dog did not try to knock over the babies anymore, and the boy built a tree-fort for the babies, and they played happily in the fresh air every decent afternoon. The end.

Until I got home yesterday and saw the children had dragged every bit of garage-rubbish (you know, the stuff that doesn't fit into the bin, so you store it, waiting for the one day you will break down and order a dumpster, because you really thought the builders of your house meant it when they said they'd haul away all the construction debris) out to the tree-fort, and suddenly the theme song from "Sanford &Son" is playing in your head and it won't stop, and there is a freaking louvered door and a dirty, plastic lawn chair on the platform, and bicycles strewn everywhere, and sidewalk chalk 'art' covers the drive. And you sit in the car, pondering how it all happened, and how you're going to get a louvered door into the trash bin. The end.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hey, Harriet

Above is the test-sock I've started with the aqua Louet 'Gems' and LotusYarns 'Candy Floss'. Specs for this recipe: Judy Becker's magic cast-on 12 sts (front & back), inc. to 56 total. Stripes change every two rounds. Just showing you that, on occasion, I do still knit.

And I know ('cuz Rob told me) that it's not really until tomorrow, but I wanted to be the first to wish Harriet a happy and healthy 39th birthday. I just had a little trouble fitting such a big birthday wish into a single photo. Caramel-pecan stickies for you on Wednesday, Miss H!

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Miss G's handiwork

On Monday, a wonderful package arrived,and I've been a horrid slug about getting the purses their fifteen minutes of fame. Without further ado,and my apologies to Miss G, who is busy traveling about the country right now, anyhow... here are two interpretations of Amy Butler's "Swing" bag.
And here are their 'insides'. Both are fully reversible. Several people have fondled them, and the egos of both bags are horribly inflated. The one done in the Tina Givens "Zazu" fabric (second photo and lower left) even has fuzzy baby-cord handles... I might have to tote it about, just to test it. The coral-pinkyness of it is darling. And it's a perfect knitting bag. Not that that ever gets to happen... resolving to do more. Okay, I have to go. Hot date with the Mister and "Lost" tonight... and, he's making me potatoes and ham, with cheese sauce all over it. And chocolate pudding. Total comfort food. Mmmmm.
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Friday, April 18, 2008

Wouldn't it be swell

The man, Herr Becher, has a few days off in early May. I'd hoped to go to MS&W, but the Easter trip was not kind to our bank account, and it looks a bit bleak for this year. I'd rather spend money on yarn/fabric/my new website (Yay, Ann!) anyhow. So, a little plan has been percolating in my brain. I realize this is last minute. I haven't even had time to discuss it, frau to herr, with the spouse. But a crafty retreat at a local hotel or b&b would be loverly. It's just a matter of logistics. Of finding sitters (baby/house/cat/dog). Of paying off a place to house fistfuls of crazed crafty mavens for a day or two. Thanks to Melly, I have the menu in mind, and the smidge of a plan that it would be a 'primitive quilting' bee. With the evenings free for movies and knitting. Plenty of time to learn one if all you 'speak' is the other. There's a b&b in Franklin, and another out on Hurricane Road. It's just brewing, you know...

the missing photos

This is really how it happens. The toddler staggers out from his slumber and mumbles for a cuppa decaf. Note the bed-head, the scrumbly t-shirt, and the half-full mug of joe. He really gets into his 'morning routine'. (I'd have taken pictures of The Others, but they are in various stages of growing up and are far more snarly in the a.m.)

Please do not click for bigger, because the top of the AGA gets washed exactly once a year, when we shut it down for it's annual service. It's a deliciously warm place to park in the morning... obviously he's a properly trained hedonist.

And here we are, at the wee bit of food porn, freshly baked this morning. If you didn't make it to the shop, I am so sorry. They were suprememely buttery and perfectly flakey, and the chocolate... Melly would just like for me to let you know "these are sinful, Cami"... and now I have to get back to work. Go be crafty. I'll see you back here later. C

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Testing, one, two... is this thing on?

I'm abbreviating this, but those who pay attention will understand me when I type "O, FFS,N". This will probably not be the last post to be eaten by blogger, but the fact that I can't get blogger and Picasa to "make nice" has me a bit peeved. Okay, more than a little. I'll fix the photo jinx tomorrow. Off to cough myself into an aneurysm, while the man gets caught up on his "Lost". (I've spared him the two hours he'd have doubtless regretted wasting on 'Sweeny Todd'. I will endure a lot for HBC, Alan Rickman, and Johnny Depp, but apparently even I have my limits. Those two hours are gone forever, and no amount of goth-chic smudges around my eyes will hide my dismay.)
A not-so-small aside to my day. A website has been launched, and (aside for some fleshing-out and swapping out of pics and popping in blurbs to be finished over the weekend), it is real.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Meet the newbies

Here are a few of the verrry, verrry pretty handpainted yarns I got Monday from LotusYarns. They were attemping to sit quietly for their photo-op, but the 'Candy Floss' was being a grouch about being on the bottom of the doggie-pile, and the blue/green 'Beautiful Day' was tormenting 'Shakespeare's Sister', pulling at her strands and only 'Rumplestiltskin' was really cooperative, but leaned a bit heavily on everyone else. I managed to get just the one, half-way decent picture before the keening and wailing began and everyone had to be pulled apart. There are fabulous sock kits coming, muh knittahs. Yarny little "socktails", just begging to be knit into stripey, fun socks.

A few new fabric items came today. In my medicated stupor I didn't even realize the UPS man had been here. I just came back from the bathroom to find Robin trying to chew her way into a box with a bladeless box cutter. After I was done snorting, I fished out the one that works and she and Harriet 'disemboxed' the goodies. Here's some of the 54" fabric, in a heavier, 'home-dec' weight that will also make fabulous bags, table-cloths, even (dare I say it?) wearables. I mean, who doesn't want a bathrobe with cupcakes all over it?

New sock yarn from Opal, in their new cotton blend. This is not the same old cotton blend of yore. This is actually soft. Silky, even. 38% superwash wool, 32% polymide, and 30% cotton. The color combinations are fabulous, and half of the collection is "manly", but on the color chart you can see the color progressions. There is fantastic knitting to be had here, folks. I've already glommed onto a ball, the stuff in the upper right corner. Photo quality is lousy, but it's a cantaloupe orange, lime green, pale robin's egg blue, and a caramel and buff 'fair isle' blippity bit. They will go great with my aqua Crocs. Oh yes they will.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Random mutterings

Okay, this "cold thing" is whomping my "arse", and after five days of 'rescue inhalers' and anti-biotics, and num-yummy codeine cough syrup and the 3/5ths of a lung that I've gakked up... shouldn't I be better by now? I even took a nap today, because the grocery trip (which 'Boris' executed with surgical precision) wiped me out. Two hours of my life lost to sheer, unadulterated exhaustion. Now the wee one (aka, Dude with the swishy handbag) is falling apart, Herr Becher is looking a little peaked (you have to say it like my gran... peek-ed), and there is an abundance of all that is snotty in this house. Good thing I have Clementine's to escape to. Two of the 'Modern Quilt Wrap' kits left to their new homes tonight... yay. The boxes I ordered to package them in haven't arrived, so I might have to swing past a bakery tomorrow for some pie boxes.

Now to Notes I Must Remember:
Lotus- I finally got the yarn on Monday. Yes, you did see it in yesterday's photos, and it is quite fetching. I've already started making up the sock kits. 'Candy Floss' is being paired with the Gems 'Aqua' , and I must say, they are darling together. I'm leaving about 155 grams in a cake with your brand on it, but there's two sock-kits worth of yarny-goodness left over. It's perfect. And I lost all my "Shakespeare's Sister" when my truck was stolen (circa 1994)... I cracked up over the fact that you have a colorway for that!
Gaylen- The Man in Brown came and the bags were quickly twirled about the shop. I'm not even sure where they finally landed, though one is perched in the window. Must take photos tomorrow of all the crafty goings on that have been happening. They are beautifully done, and now I Want More. So, in the next week or so, you'll be getting a package containing a pattern and fabric to make two Amy Butler bags (one for you, and one for Clementine), though with all your traveling, etc., I expect you to get rested and covered in hound dog hair first.
Ann- I need to talk at you, because yahoo mail won't let me reply via e-mail. Call me at the shop when you get a minute. I think the pages you sent over are pretty awesome. I got so excited a coughing fit ensued, and I nearly pee'd my pants... that's a mighty fine website you've made for Clementine!

If I'm not dead by Thursday, there'll be petit pain au chocolat at the shop. Come sit and knit if you find yourself in Franklin, Indiana. I'll be the one knitting the striped socks, with chocolate smudges around my mouth, and a lapful of crumbs. I gotta go "med up" now. Then drag myself, my sleepy grouch of a toddler, and the freshly balded 'Boris' to bed. Tax day= shaved head. I'm just thankful the cat didn't die... he'd look like hell with his eyebrows shaved off as well. Latah, knittas. C

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mommas, don't let yer babies...

My almost three-year-old has taken to carrying a shoulder bag. Not the hip, newsboy style messenger bag, or a tough and rowdy saddle bag, but an all out Chanel knock-off... chain strap, red faux leather, with "leopard skin" accents. In it he has stowed a pink lemonade Bonnie Bell lip gloss, a pacifier, and a few carefully wadded up bits of paper, which he insists are money. Oh, and the keys. A wad of old keys he cobbed on to while we were 'touring' the relatives back in March. They add both weight and a nice jingle to his swishy purse. I fear he intends to wear it out of the house, and I'm dreading the inevitable meltdown that will ensue when we cannot make a hasty exit (restaurant, grocery, or other) because "we can't find Eli's purse, mom!"

Eddie Izzard has nothing on my toddler, who has already, oh, so carefully, given himself a bright red manicure. It took place whilst 'Boris' was on child survival-duty. When I came home and asked why the baby's hands were all red, dearest husband claimed he had no clue how the boy even reached the nailpolish. It took five days to find the bottle... Eli had hidden it in a bulk pack of toilet paper in the bathroom cupboard. Only one roll of toilet paper was sacrificed, along with my favorite Orly "Rock On Red" toenail lacquer. Summer won't be quite the same without it, but more to the point, I have to find an acceptable substitute for young Master Eli's bag habit, because as accepting as I may be of all my childrens' quirks, ideas, and experiments,that bag is soooo fifteen years ago.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Loose ends

The kidsilk crack haze kits are officially going to be available Tuesday evening, and I have just one thing to say about them. I saw a photo of Red's sample last night, which she'd insisted 'Boris' snap a camera-pic of. It is beauty itself, but more importantly (and this is not a small thing), my husband was impressed at the etheral quality it posseses. From a distance the knitted fabric appears rather substantial, but as you approach it (I'm told) you realize you're looking straight through it. Colored cobwebs hanging heavy with dew drops would have nothing on this wrap. And it really doesn't look as harsh as the photo on the Knitting Daily site. The colors there are off, but I can tell you that the Rowan colorists are, on the whole, pure genius, and there isn't a bad color in the bunch. Also, as anyone who haunts the Rowan website knows, there is no gold, so a color substitution has been made. We went with a fern green for the sample, as it is one of RedRhonda's "colors", and as she's chief stunt knitter on this project, I catered.

Today in the shop was a big challenge... my mettle was tested repeatedly, as the boys kept trying to do each other in. At one point, Eli got scalded with a mug of tea. A cold compress took care of the "ouchie" factor, but the grousing went on all day. I couldn't take "mommy's little helper" because I have to drive myself home. Herr Becher has already retreived his offspring, so all is calm here now. He's getting ill, btw. Maker's Mark helps with his sore throat, but I forsee more trips to the doc's office. Yay. And perhaps by the start of summer we'll have broken the cycle of infection. I'm headed home to bleach the towels and doorknobs now, so y'all just have a safe, restful, and enjoyable evening. I think I'm up to t.v. for the first time in a few days, so I'll have to pack a SIP (sock-in-progress) to haul home. Latah, knittas. C

Friday, April 11, 2008

Drunk on Color (and cough syrup)

Remember my sewing extravaganza of Tuesday evening? Here are the piles of patchwork blocks, waiting for a sober moment to sew them together. The colors all play beautifully; the Kaffe Fassett prints just seem to sing with the pixie-cute 'Lakehouse' polka dots.

Here is the latest fabric to be delivered to Clementine's. It's called "Net of Jewels", though the camera doesn't quite capture the alluring part of it, that the warp and weft threads are different colors. It's a lot like the "shot cottons" done by Kaffe, but with more body, so you can actually use them with quilting cottons and not have to fret over the varying weights of fabric.

And, finally, behold the wonder that is kidsilk crack haze. In the ongoing effort to get the kits done, I've made myself a little winding station up in the front of the shop. Progress is being made, and I can start shipping these little babies out by Tuesday. I hear the sample wrap is gorgeous... like the gossamer wings of angels. You so must have one.

Posted by PicasaThank you to all who sent well wishes for me. I'm not at death's door, but the coughing was getting to be excruciating. I spent yesterday doped up, and am looking forward to another evening of good, wholesome cough-syrupy fun, but I'll be back here again tomorrow. Have a wonderful night, everyone. C
a wee post-script, for Conni: the kits are for the "Modern Quilt Wrap", currently being stunt-knit by RedRhonda. You have to have one, oh yes you do. And the fiber festival that we'll be at is the one at Johnson Co. fairgrounds, on the first weekend of June. Hope everybody will come out to mock our Clementine, sitting in a 4-H barn!


It hit me like a tidal wave. First, the fatigue on Tuesday. No biggie. I stay up way too late, so it was easy to ignore. Then the cough began on Wednesday morning. By that evening I was miserable, and had a night of coughing so hard I'd nearly pee myself. Every breath of air in seemed to set off another spasm of coughs, with the added bonus of swollen glands, so swallowing was a bit of a chore,as well. I awoke with no voice. Me. The jabberbox. No talkies. I got to the doctor's office,(praise be to Mandi, for opening and keeping the shop open yesterday!) and left with an inhaler and four other perscriptions. I finally got home around two-ish, and loaded up on the meds and the super-duper cough syrup, and apart from waking twice to re-medicate, slept over seventeen hours straight through. Wow. I still feel like I've cracked every rib in my body, and the cough shows no signs of abating, but I think I can make it through the day anyway. I have lots of "sit down" jobs to do at the shop (like getting the rest of the kidsilk haze split out) so hopefully I won't have to over-exert. I'll try and get some photos posted later today, when I get into town. C

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

lost in "Lost"

We interrupt this blog to bring you... nothing. The blogger was last seen in front of her television, having apparently been cryogenically frozen in a seated, semi-conscious state. Progress on the quilt has halted. Socks are not being knit. Sources close to the blogger say that she's due to finish the first season soon, and will be back here tomorrow with some exciting photos, and a progress report on the next borg project, the "modern quilt wrap". Blogger Melly was heard to have been mightily impressed by the 'stunt sample', being knitted by RedRhonda. Things are moving and changing, people. Updates will be provided. Please resume your regular activities. Thank you. The Mgmt.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Not knit night

I should have been prepared for the effect all of our sweet weather would have on knit night. Actually, I was. I'd already begun this sample quilt on Sunday. There were more strips to stitch together, and after a bit of slicing and dicing, I had a few four-patch blocks to show for my solitary efforts. I'm getting back to it now. Another hour of sewing and it'll be time to pack it in.

Six episodes into season one of "Lost"... I'm not feeling the love yet, but the Korean guy is hot, so I'm guessing he'll die soon. I'll be knocking back a few more episodes tonight, in case 'total immersion' is what it takes to make a fan out of me. (Otherwise, Melly and redRhonda are going to disown me.) Later, crafty mommas. C
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Monday, April 7, 2008

Not another deleted post

I think only Melly saw what I threw up here earlier. She'd already critiqued it, when I had to call and get her superior movie-trivia brain to remember the movie "The Heavenly Kid" (and all she had to go on was a snippet of plot... she rocks!).

I had a wonderful day spent with her out here, in the woods of BFE, at the doll house. She cleaned the crap craft room and folded about a cubic ton of laundry (which the kids have actually put away) and cooked me spinach-artichoke dip... it was a fine day. She's still ragging at me to go watch "Lost". I've never seen a single episode, and redRhonda's boxed sets of DVDs are waiting for me to get "caught up". This is the shenanigans they put me up to. Because of those two, corrupted women, I've been exposed to both "Weeds" and "Dexter" and that, my friends, is how I've become such a late-night owl. I'm an addict now. Maybe "Lost" will suck duck farts (heh, heh) and I won't have lost sleep over trying to cram three seasons of t.v. programming into a span of a week or two. Soooo... gotta go get started on that. Just finished a tiny, Eli-sized warshrag. (I knit it while Boris posted... dude needs to type faster.)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

It's in the way that you use it...

I need to knit this right now. I haven't been on the knitty site for months. It was kind of weird when I realized that. It had been one of my regular "stops" when putzing around, and as a Very Bad Raveler, I liked the ease of not having to look at every. damn. thing. that every knitter on the planet was knitting... just a few handfuls of patterns, mostly useless to a fat girl such as myself, but I could float through the archived patterns for hours.

Until I saw "Cleaves". I have loads of yarn. I have arms that are roughly the size of everybody else's arms. It's kismet. I kinda-sorta-maybe a little twisted my ankle today at the shop. Leg moved, shoe (yes, the very same style/color that Gaylen just bought) didn't. I really noticed it once the Vicodan I'd taken for my back wore off. Arnica was applied to the swollen bits and I took more meds, which had the advantage of easing me through the spouse's movie selection for this evening. As it turned out ,"The Lives of Others" wasn't bad at all. Neither of us are fluent in German, so we had to read the movie. Not a good "knit flick" though, for the obvious reason.)

Now I'm off to make a copy of the pattern, and debate over exactly which color to use. How some people's brains work is fascinating. A sweater that isn't. It's a perfect excuse to stay off my hooves for a day. I may be changed forever. C

"the list"

Just a verbose note, as I've received a disturbing e-mail from my Mother, in her staccato style of think-typing (I know she's too big to be a gerbil, but I get the feeling there's one in her head somewhere. And to think I've always blamed the other half of my DNA for my lack of focus.) My mom has a secret cache of people; an odd, strange assortment of folks who do, or have done, some pretty wild/amazing/bizzare things from time to time. They run the gamut from... well, let's just say, they are a colorful bunch. And she's put them into the que for "the list".

This brings me to the clarification about "the list". The List is private. You will not be sold to Other Lists, because the list will belong solely to Cementine's Dry Goods. The List's only purpose is to alert you, the crafty maven/ho/addict to sales, limited-run kits, end-of-bolt/bag sales, etc. There will be e-newsletters sent out, with absolutely no harm coming to any of you. Don't want to see it? Click. It disappears just like that. It's just that in buying the service, which is basically access to templates and the like, it makes sense to actually have a collection of people to whom I can send the newsletter to. The List is for my eyes only, and perhaps Ann's as well, as she's the webmistress. She's still basking in her bathing suit success, so I don't think she's a threat to you or your friendlies e-mail addys, either. Are we good, now? Great. Moving on...

I spent yesterday cutting fabric for the fiber-festival bundles and grew quite the nasty lower backache as a result. It's time to go back to scary neck-cracker guy and have another go. The thought makes me want to cry, but this bad back stuff has been brewing ever since the Road Trip from Hades. I know I'll feel better after the adjustment, but I'm still miserable about it. (I'll call him tomorrow.) It's the last day of my "work week" and I have Plans for Monday, and then Tuesday is knit-night... lather, rinse, repeat.
Type at y'all latah. C

Saturday, April 5, 2008

before it's all gone...

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Banana Bread at midnight

Alright. Cookies turned into banana bread when I got into the kitchen and took stock of what I had to work with. I'm just posting this because it's late, and it's entirely probable that I won't remember what I did with the bread batter. It smells like it's going to be fab.

Chocolate banana bread, version... seven? Eight?

5 bananas of varying sizes and degrees of leprosy, mashed into goo (perhaps 2 or so cups worth of mushed-up monkey bait)
1 generous cup of white sugar. Superfine (caster sugar) is my stand-by type
2 eggs
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temp, or give it a little radiation-burn in the micro
scant 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean powder
2 tsps. chocolate extract
generous pour Kahlua (actually, you get the generous pour... the batter gets a Tbsp.)
1 and 1/2 tsp lemon juice, plus milk to equal 1/2 cup (best to start this process before you smash the bananas... it needs to 'work' a bit)
Blend very well.

In another piece of crockery, sift together:
2 and 1/2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda, rounded up a bit
1/2 tsp baking powder (for historical purposes only. I suspect it does nothing to alter the bread's chemistry in this application.)
whatever is left in the tin of Scharffen Berger cocoa powder (unsweetened, naturally)... I suspect it was in the neighborhood of 1/4 to 1/3 cup. Enough to impart a bit of color, and the perfume.

Fold the dry into the wet, adding a touch more flour if required. Batter will be fairly moist. I added an extra 1/3 cup of flour, probably owing to the added liquor (in the batter, not in me).
From this recipe I got 12 muffins and 1 loaf of bread. I usually do it this way because
1.) muffins bake way faster, and
2.) big loaves of bread are too easy to overbake.

Cool 10 to 15 minutes in pan (for the muffins) and tip out... if you remembered to 'Pam' the super-duty, aluminum Martha Stewart muffin tin you bought at K-Mart four years ago (and were shockingly amazed at how beautifully it works, because you detest those damnable paper wrapper thingies) the muffins just zip right out. Really. It's the best Martha product ever. Ev. Er. Period.

The baking info: floor of the AGA's baking oven, which is similar to a 325-350 range, only without the annoying temp fluctuations a regular oven has. If I had to pick, go with the 350 degrees of heat, for about 20-25 minutes on the muffins, an hour-ish for the loaf (start checking at 45 mins., but it'll take way longer if you actually pay it attention... almost like the laws of physics stop applying.)

It's now nearly 1:30 a.m. (I began this quite awhile ago... the loaf of bread is still baking, though) and I'm pooped. Type at you later. C

Friday, April 4, 2008

Falling over

I apparently don't know my limits, and the webs is too slow to get pics up here from the house. I keep getting the "error on page", but this is giving me the chance to compile my e-mail list. Thanks for all the addys... keep 'em coming!

Today was a banner sales day in the shop, and I'm more than a little wiped out, but the laundry is going, I'm headed to the kitchen to brew some decaf and sort paper work (gag) and plot out the course for the next two days. This is shaping up to be my biggest week so far, and with two days to go, I'm trying to conserve my energy. There's a new blade in the rotary cutter, all the winter yarns are deeply discounted, and LeAnn helped me move the auxillary table out of the knit pit. There is a gang of knittas coming in tomorrow, and the pit needs some re-arranging to make it comfy-cozy. I should probably also vacuum. And find the coffee table. And dig any errant needles/toys/snack foods out of the cr*ch*t sofa. But tonight, I'm baking them cookies.
I heart knitting groups that want to hang out at Clementine's. I'll be busy up front, cutting fabric for all those bundles (the prizes and the ones for the fiber festival), so I won't get "sucked in" and not get any real work done (like what usually happens on Wednsedays). Wish me luck. If you need anything, call me at the shop (phone # is in the link). I will get pics posted before I leave the store tomorrow. Today was just nuts. C
p.s. Rob, Mandi, et al... call and check in on me a few times tomorrow, k? Just in case I've had to xanax and am still wielding a rotary cutter. Sometimes I even scare myself, but I'd like to keep all my fingers.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lazy Girl Blogger awards prizes

The contest idea has been brewing for some time now. As most of you know (or could imagine), I am possibly the most time-crunched woman on the planet. Oh, yes, there was that woman in Iowa who had that huge litter (7? 8?) of children, but heck, her whole town showed up to feed babies and do diaper-duty. I still have a new business to nurture, while keeping the spouse and five chirruns in clean underwear. So, to solve my "dilemma", I'm tossing it out to the crafty vixens who read this blog. Clementine needs a mailing list. I have to pay a service, but last time I checked, I have, oh, mebbe sixty e-mail addys. I need people on my e-mail list, you need to win cool stuff... here's the wacky plan:

Send me (clementinesdrygoods at yahoo dot com) three valid e-mails, of people you know who wouldn't get pissed about a fabric/yarn shop sending them sales/event info. I will put your name in the pink hat (yep, the one with the big, velvet peonies on it) and for every set of three you e-mail to me, plonk, in goes your name. Send me three more. Plonk. In you go again. More = better. It doesn't matter if the person isn't local. That's the glorious thing about the interwebs. The UPS man goes everywhere.

I suppose you are curious about what's (possibly) in it for you? This is the great part. I'm making fabric packs up for the fiber festival in June, so one of the prizes is a gob of pretty fabrics from the new Midwest Modern collection (or your choice of black/white/brights or warm Kaffe prints) totalling three yards. Another prize is handpainted sock yarn, should one of the winners be a knitter. Another prize is a book. Actually there are several craft-related books I intend on awarding. I'm not even sure when I'll quit. The local toy shop has an e-mail list of thousands. It makes my few dozen look pretty paltry. Beef it up for me, good women, and you shall be rewarded.

My apologies for not showing you the fabric bundles (they aren't made yet), the handpainted yarnlove (supposed to arrive soon), or the books (Amy Butler's coffee-table drool book, an Anna Zilbourg sock book, and a patchworking book are all up for grabs), but I'll get some photos up tomorrow for you. Need I mention extra points for passing the word out? Just leave me a comment telling me how many times you name-dropped, and plonk, there goes your name in again.

Please no gigging me for my laziness. I know it, you know it... hell, I think it's just been made very public, by moi. This really is the best way, and you guys rock for helping a knitta out. Prize pics tomorrow! C
p.s. if yahoo sends you a message about e-mailing me at embarqmail, ignore it. I'm still available at the addy I gave you (and it's the one I use at home)

Flirty Skirty Apron

I've been told, by the delightful blogger who crafted this bit of hooliganism, that I'm required to model the Flirty Skirty apron. I'd look way cuter if I wasn't trying to talk a child through snapping a photo while my beloved camera dangles perilously by her wrist...gah. The apron is so much nicer than I'd imagined (well, what do you think when someone says the words "bright orange jumbo rick-rack"? I thought so.) and I'm tickled that Gaylen decided I was worth 'torturing' with some rick-racky cuteness. I still have it on, and am planning on wearing it all day. I have the pattern in stock, so Miss G just upped my shop samples, too. I love it, and it fits great even with my obvious lack of a waist.

Today some more fabrics arrived. (Gasp!) These here are frosted dots from Lakehouse Dry Goods (no relation to Clementine's... but I'm glad somebody else in the universe gets the whole 'dry goods' thing) and there's actually two sizes of teensy dots. The claret-red, the darker orange, and the deep violet (which I managed to not even get in the photo) are micro-dots. Just little bits of pearlescent happiness on gorgeous colored fabric.

Down here is the wonderous thing Phyl brought in Tuesday night. I'm both enchanted and terrified of this machine. I'm going to take serger lessons, and am in the process of tracking down a qualified instructor. Just to avoid losing a finger or something. Best to consult a specialist in these matters. This is my new love, and although I know nothing about garment construction at this very moment, I have a feeling my lover will change that oh, so quickly. Have a great rest of the afternoon. The contest announcement will happen this evening... are you curious yet? Latah, chicas. C

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I'm onto you

Now that I know who the photo-whores among y'all are, and that I can garner comments without actually typing a single word, I'm wondering what to show you next. Yesterday some lovely fabrics arrived, and I'm labeling the previous post's pics so the curious among you will know "who" to ask for when you decide you can't spend another moment without the whatever it was that set you to drooling. I've already fondled all the new Kaffe. The scarlet "Stencil" fabric is my personal fav. There is a lot more on it's way... the storage troubles are starting to rear up again. I fear I may have to fall on bended knees and beg Melly's man for more cupboards... yeah. He's soooo over woodworking for Clementine. I think we're looking at the old, college board and cinder block "bookcase" until I figure out how to use a few power tools.

Later today I'll be posting another photo. I have taken a lover, and I want y'all to meet. Oh, and there's going to be a contest. Yarn, fabric, and names are involved. I'll see you back here this afternoon. Latah, crafty mommas. C

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

new pretties

Here's some text, to tell you what wonders you're beholding. Above, a selection of Kaffe Fassett fabrics intended to raise your pulse and get you a little drunk on color...

And down here we have some Martha Negley cupcake fabric. This stuff is rare and delightful, and about as harmless as a baked confection can be. Makes you want buttercream icing, dunnit?

These are the sample p.j. pants that the lovely Miss Ashley sewed for the class she's teaching at the shop. They are a.) adorable, 2.) simple to sew, and lastly.) they are just the thing you want to put on your bum when your day has whacked you into submission and you want only to pop a chick-flick in and eat soft, sugary food till you pass out. (Note the draw-string for multi-size ease of wearing... fat pants... skinny pants... and back.)

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