Saturday, May 31, 2008

Icky Arachnid

Put your hand out and look at your palm. About four inches across? So was this:

As for blog fodder, again I find myself fodderless. Oh, yeah, sure. There are things I could tell you, but then I'd have to fake my own death and move to a small island. I know. Torture, right? I'm about to order some way darling patterns for the store, in hopes that all the stitchers in the hamlet of 'Frankonia' will begin sewing for their darling offspring and the town will be awash in beautifully clad tots. Or at least it'll make noisy, snot-nosed chirruns more tolerable. Mine are practicing for the obnoxious Olympics today... I think Joe is quickly taking the lead, but he's six, so he's kind of a natural.

Clapotis and I need to have a sit down discussion about how slowly the yarn seems to be getting used, with no apparent effect on the finished size of the piece. I voiced my concerns to the knitting last night and was told I am an impatient b*tch, with no respect for properly executed stitches. Clapotis also pointed out the nearness of the end of ball #2, and implied that my desire to knit all five balls of Malabrigo into the wrap was a grotesque folly, bordering on madness. I calmly and rationally informed Clapotis that I have thumbs and access to both matches and gasoline. The conversation ended quickly. More knitting will happen this evening, as a "Dead Like Me" disc came from netflix.

I just remembered... it's also chocolate cone day...yay! Latah, knittas. C
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Friday, May 30, 2008

Recycling photos

I was all ready to show you a gross spider shot I got the other day, but it's late, an anxiety attack prompted 2.5 mg of mommy's little helper to be consumed, my fingers aren't even connected to my brain, and I'm just hoping spell check can understand most of this garble. Gross spider is still in the camera, so instead, I thought you might like to look at yarn. Here are 'Courtly' and
'Valentine' from the bewitching, wildly talented ladies who are Yarn Love. You totally want to pinch these skeins, don't you?

Down here, you'll see the 'butter peeps' and 'flamingo pie' colorways in 'Classy' Dream in Color. I wish the lead time wasn't so long and I'm going to need more yarn, as now that there is a new sample hanging in the shop. (courtesy of RedRhonda...check her out on Ravelry... you can see the sweater there, too) I'm going to need More Yarn. Pretty though, huh? And, it smells great.

This photo down here pretty much sums up out entire Easter vay-cay for me. This is youngest child and middle child, patiently waiting to just get the hell outta Town and on the road home. The velvet sofa was in the dining room at the 'Cat and Fiddle' b&b in Iowa. They sat on it irreverently. Can't you see it recovered in a fun Anna Maria Horner print? I may have to start haunting antique shops and auctions for just such a monstrosity to redress in fun fabrics. But I'm not letting the booger-rats goob it up for me. Oh, and since I didn't have blog fodder, here's another trivial and embarrassing factoid about moi. I got glasses in elementary school, back when drop-frames were still in style. They were 'Battlestar Galactica' frames, and the eye doc called me "moon faced". It's the reason I have such a hard time wearing specs in public... that stupid "moon faced" comment keeps coming back to get me, and I don't even know why it bothers me so much. I don't even know what he meant. I was maybe nine years old. Drop frames. More proof my mom just wasn't paying attention. Who lets a kid pick out drop frames? Ick.

Gotta go. The big storm is finally here. Nitey-night. C
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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Buying under the influence

This has to be short... the Clapotis is proving to be a demanding mistress. Here is a photo of the latest additions to Clementine's sale fabric rack. Obviously, certain medications should be avoided when terms like "half off" and "last chance" are being bandied about... the three in the foreground are Tina Givens flamengos. Yes, I did think three whole bolts would be a useful quantity. The dogs from Heather Ross (background) are super-cute, and soft, with none of that 'wet dog' odor.

Some Jennifer Paganelli. I have this print in the black and white, but am slowly adding the colors. One can't have too many wall papery looking fabrics, and these are the best I've seen. They only lack 'flocking'... and a bit of paste, perhaps.

And this first hit my radar because of Miss G. The sample handbag she made opened a can o' worms, and now I can stop apologizing for not having it actually on the shelf. It is really quite a coral pink/red in person. Pretty, fun, and here.

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Is my face red?

Yesterday just sort of zipped right by. Okay, it was more of a crawl, with a lot of blue yarn and sitting around at home, after a day spent flopping about the shop, cutting fat quarters and watching Rob fold them as fast as she could (and she is a speedy little whizbang, that one). It would seem, gentle reader, that blog ennui has struck again... except this time I have hatched a plot to evade it's gloom. I'm going to share dumb trivia about myself until self can't take it anymore, and decides to take better photos, or create better stuff, so we have some freaking bloggability over here.

Stupid factoids of the past 36 hours: I fell out of bed on my head. Only three five people know why, and only I know it was because of the xanax that I didn't break something. Like my neck... it's a far bit to drop, what with the new mattress and bed and all.

Herr Becher did the shopping today and bought me Cetaphil face wash. I missed it so much. I never knew how comforting a smell could be, but rubbing that on my face tonight was so great, I re-washed twice more, just drinking in the smell of it. I do have to say that soft water brings out it's finer aspects. Go get you some. I don't know if they all smell the same; mine's for normal (ha!) to oily skin. Simple pleasures and all that rot. He also bought 'Basis' soap, which weirded me out a little. My mom only bought that if she was on one of her "health binges", like the time she tried to put brewer's yeast in everything, or when she declared cocoa powder of the devil off limits and sent me to school with carob cupcakes. I was practically chalked to death right there in the schoolroom, on my own freekin' birthday. Looks like chocolate, tastes like dirt.

Speaking of, a little shout out to Clay, mommy's favorite, on his thirty first birthday. It was technically three days ago, but I am a slacker, and he probably got a real bakery cake, and not stinking, cheater carob-frosted cupcakes. As little brothers go, he's alright. He stays out of my room and doesn't call asking for money.

I've given up on trying to go barefoot in my own home. Apparently every time Iwipe up a mess on the kitchen floor, three new spots are conceived. Our floors are reclaimed tobacco barn wood and, as such, almost impervious to "looking dirty", but when I realized I kept sticking to the floor in front of the sink I finally bent down to look. Jam, or possibly gum? Just caked enough to require a razor blade to scrape it up. How many people have to clean the kitchen floors with a blade? It's probably the one really useful thing I learned from our terrific housekeeper, gone though she is these long almost seven years (living in Florida, I'm certain she isn't suffering). Well, for being a knitting/sewing/eating blog (oh, yeah, you knew about that, right?) this past day was just blurry... it's that falling on my head thing again. Heh, heh.

There should be a picture post later today, as some of muh knittas are coming in to the shop for Thursday S&B, with a whole lotta giggle*snort thrown in for good measure. Things are still coming together for the fiber festival June 6th and 7th. I am scared out of my gourd, but deep breaths and medication will get this girl over the worst of her anxiety. Oh, hey, it's nearly two a.m. now... I'll type at you later! C

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I despise numbers. It doesn't help that I seem to stink at them, or that I flunked out of Algebra five times (but passed geometry... go fig), or that knitting, my sport of choice, involves math all the time... I'm just not a by-the-numbers kind of girl. Which is why Herr Becher is sitting on the other side of the room, shuffling papers and trying to unmuddle the business checking. I hope there's at least rent money for the shop (oh, please, please), and that nothing huge is due. Oops. I just remembered the bill, for the dotty fabric... excuse me. I have to go slam my head in a door.

I am having big fun that is funny, but I don't think the man is, so I'm going to go now. Also, though I didn't mention it in the post with no words, those mini blocks are to frame the big black and white (so trendy) log cabin quilt Deb is making. I just didn't want you to think I was getting to sew. That would be crazy talk. I'm knitting a clapotis. In a week. (That's the goal, anyhow.) It's in Malabrigo, and every time I pick it up my hands turn 'Smurf blue' and it itches a little... the dye run-off, not the yarn. But that's a post for another day. Good night, knittas.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

taking a break

So, this staying home on Sundays thing... doesn't totally suck, unless you consider the hacking cough, the arguing children, and that Herr Becher made dinner. He didn't have to (and we're all hoping he doesn't try it again), but chicken-fried anything when you're unwell is *gack*, and, quite possibly, chicken-fried minute steaks could be the worst. During dinner the littlest Becher threw a temper fit... and promptly fell asleep. The kids had played out in the tall grass all day, so I guess he was exhausted from trying to keep up.

I was informed I "rattled" all night, so my goal this evening is to let the boss man sleep. This may mean I have to camp in the living room, knitting dishrags with little hemp leaves on them to entertain myself (or a bat... I printed him out, too), but there's always popping in a flick and eating sugar 'till I can feel my hair growing at three in the morning. Tomorrow is an impromptu "knitting day" at the shop. Monday, eleven to ?, show up if you want, well-behaved children and pets welcome. I had an unsuccessful start to my 'Clapotis' (in Mediterranean blue Malabrigo), so Rhonda is going to sort me out on the 'pfb' thing. This will, I hope, put an end to the accidental yarn over that keeps happening. Being a visual learner stinks. Having Red as a knitty-pal doesn't. Tomorrow will be 'blog-free' for me (yes, I'm really shutting up for a day!). Have a restful Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

the lost day

All day I thought it was Sunday. No foot traffic, save for the fish-fry attendees, and even they were sparse in number... typical Sunday stuff. All day I had just the one thought in my mind- that after performing my laundry jockey duties, I would be free to flop on the bed/sofa/floor and die a slow and agonizing death from the whatever it was we were exposed to at the library on Monday. Oh sure, it did cross my mind I should take Herr Becher and Eli in to the doc's office, but, true to form, the illness hits peak performance over a weekend/holiday. Just peachy.

So, where does this leave me? Saturday has been a lost day, stolen by inactivity and boredom... and a hella-wracking cough. I did get a good many fat quarters cut, folded, and tied for the festival, and had the sudden realization that I'll be hitting up That Crocker Woman for some of her fancy graphics fixins' for the sock kits. The ones still awaiting a finished proto-type. I brought my work home from the office, like all good 'business owners' are supposed to, so tomorrow, in between fits of bronchial spasms, perhaps I'll get the sock done. Tomorrow is also my first Sunday being 'closed'... I don't know if I'll really be able to stay away, but the total waste of gas to go in and listen to the crickets chirping does make a strong argument.

By the time many of you read this it will indeed be Sunday, or possibly Tuesday, if you live chained to a desk. No offence least you get a paycheck, eh? Going to take the tiniest Becher off to bed. One handed typing makes him exhausted.
p.s. picasa ate my last photo download, or is perhaps just disinclined to let me at them, so teensy log-cabin blocks will have to wait a bit. Seems like there's something else in the camera bursting to get out... well, I'll just have to be surprised like the rest of y'all. latah... C

Friday, May 23, 2008

Bad Dream

You know when you have those weird, panic dreams, and try as you might, you just can not make yourself 1.) not naked in science class, 2.) not standing, at the podium, giving a speech...naked, 3.) not trapped in your car, on the railroad tracks, unable to release the seatbelt? Well, here's another one I get to add to my list. 4.) Standing in a yarn/fabric shop, and I can not shut up. (Surprise. Yawn.) But today's diarrhea of the mouth was way worse. Even as I stood there, chatting, slightly dizzy (okay, drunk as a Juarez whore) from the Xanax and Target-dryl, I could hear the little voice in my head saying "okay, zip it. Now's a great time for a moment of silence. Shhhush, already. Are you f*cking kidding me with the lip? Oh, you. are. killing. me."

All Phyl did was bring her youngest boy in with her as she picked up the scarf I nearly completed (the obvious flaw in my gauge and me breaking the yarn repeatedly didn't exactly speed things up), and I turned into some freaky speech-monkey. It wouldn't stop. Another customer said I was like a talk-radio show, and she found it very entertaining. To say I had slightly slurred speech would be an understatement. Why, oh, why isn't someone nearby with a camcorder when these things happen? Or, better plan, a tranquilizer gun? Or a tazer. Not a one of muh knittas was there to get my back... well Su was passed out on the sofa in the knit pit, because she had to keep the coffeehouse open tonight (the festival, and ensuing concert, etc...); that sort of rendered her powerless to stop my insanity.

There is more to be said here, but not here. Thimbleanna may get to see a live, repeat performance of this spectacle, when next she returns to Clementine's. Does anyone know, do I need a liqueur license to keep 'medicinal elixirs' for the next traumatic outburst in the shop? I am a danger to myself and others. Seriously. Looking into the jaw-wiring thing tomorrow. But for now, more fake Benedryl for the hives in my throat (totally from the stinking, mouldering library exhibit). At least I'm headed to bed before midnight. I need a fifteen-hundred dollar day tomorrow to make things 'okay', so call me if you need anything. I may have to sell a kidney to pay the rent, but the first year is the worst, right? This is jabber-jaws, signing off.

yeah, about that strawberry festival...

Robin made me do it. Peer pressure. It was a present. I was just holding it for someone else. Yeah, it was pretty tasty. I may have eaten it too fast. But then Deb showed up with her momma and

this. It's a present (not mine), and it's way more amazing up close, in person. She even made tiny, itsy-bitsy log cabin blocks for the boarder. Unbelieveable. I'd show you, but it will wait for tomorrow, because there's something even tastier...

Noemi (No-Amy) and Kim swung by for a sock lesson and look what they brought me...(actually, Kim just has to pay attention so when Noemi's had a bit much to sip, and gets turned around, she calls Kim for knitting help. If I told you Kim doesn't even knit socks, you'd really know how special she is!) I have to go home now to the sick Boris and away from the fishy-fry smells of today. Latah, knittas.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

State of the Yard Address

I left via the west driveway this morning, and happened to glance in the side mirror. It stopped me dead in the Jeep's tracks. That waving grass in the forefront? Over two feet tall. The teensy white rectangle in the garage? A Suburban. On the left of this photo, you'll notice an old, louvered door standing against a tree, with what appears to be a ramp leading up to it... that's the tree fort, which is a safe three foot drop to the ground. The upside to all this grass is the yard doesn't appear to want for shrubbery this year. When we mow it (as in years past), it always seemed sort of bald. Now I keep looking for Mary and Laura to come scampering in from the mailbox.

This pic is very blurry, as I was trying not to wake Sir Slumber, but it's the latest addition to a growing collection of "where's Eli sleeping now?" photos that practically take themselves. He really seems rather comfortable here, though I spoiled it trying to get a 'not blurry' shot by falling over and muttering curses under my breath. Serves me right, as it's now 9:40 p.m., and guess who is quite refreshed from his nap? It's actually no bother, as I'm up finishing a knitting project. It's for a friend who is leaving on a trip, running out of time to knit, and apparently has knuckles of steel. I used to think I was a tight knitter. Her scarf on size 10 and a halfs? I'm knitting with a size seven to match her gauge. This probably explains why even size zero (2mm, I'm down with the metrics) needles feel ginormous to me now. Anyway, I need to start more laundry, since today I was forced to wear "the shirt of last resort", which was both humbling and comical. If I had any ego, it would have been crushed before I left the house this morning. Which leaves me with nothing else to wear... so, until tomorrow, try and stay outta trouble, huh?

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blogging the hard way

Tonight is movie night at Becher Haus, which is why the kids are playing upstairs with all the Legos (apparently it's "build Rome in a day" day), and I have been sitting in front of this computer, catching up on my blog reading, trying to condense the day into a few bon mots, while catching up the laundry, because the one t.v. we own is tied up with 'Boris' and "Walk Hard".

In an ideal world, my husband would be satisfied with romantic comedies, shoot-'em-up thrillers, and anything with the name 'Bourne' in the title. He'd happily relinquish his proprietary grip on the netflix account (thanks again to Megan who gifted the man with his first taste of movies by mail), and sit contentedly next to me while we laughed along with the latest 'dark' comedy to come off Showtime and onto DVD. (I loved "Dexter" and the pilot for "Dead Like Me" did not suck, either.)

But, things being what they are, and Herr being who he is, with his ghastly taste in movies, we are all exiled from the living room. Not that it matters, because he has the sound cranked up to it's upper limits, and the truly heinous soundtrack is infiltrating every cranny of the house. I haven't seen any of the actual footage, but that hasn't stopped me from cringing... I'm actually embarrassed. And...and, I totally did not lose my monkey when he talked his seventy-something, uber-Catholic dad into watching "Talladega Nights". This is soooo much worse. I meant to blog about fabric today... the Westminster rep dropped in and I got to see the new Heather Bailey fabrics (ordered them) and the newest Amy Butler fabric (ordered it) line, "Daisy Chain", which was just a line of scrap booking papers, and I may have gotten kind of pissy and had a mini-rant at the monitor about that, and said not-nice things about people who play with paper getting all the really good patterns, but I'd planned on recanting everything...

but for the awful noise coming from the other room. My concentration is shot, and there he sits, all smug and full of himself. This should be a torture-tactic at Club GIT MO. It could be very effective. I'm ready to confess to anything to make the bad noise stop. So, maybe tomorrow we talk about fabrics. For tonight, I need to go wash my ears out with soap. And try and wrestle the remote out of the over-grown delinquent's hands. See you tomorrow? If I haven't snapped and beaten Herr Becher with a lamp, that is. C

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A day of firsts

Noemi's (No-amy's) first turned heel (on Panda Cotton, for her momma)... the next pair is already lurking, in it's pupa-stage, under the counter. She's snarfed the last two balls of Panda Wool in "violets". Then it's on to the kidsilk crack wrap for her.

Mandi's first attempt at plying her spun yarn. She used a drop spindle for the entire process. The woman knows no bounds for the amount of punishment she's willing to heap upon herself. But this is headed home to have a hot bath to set it's twist, then it gets to become something...

First Love. More Yarn Love has arrived. I am beside myself at how gorgeous the colorways are. The yarns shown here are "Courtly" on the left and "Valentine" on the right. *swoon*
I don't know how much faster I can get myself to knit, so I must go home now and get started on some new, fabulous socks. Call me here if you need some. But hurry. This stuff is crack... for your feet. Latah, knittas.
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Oops, I did it again

Sorry for the Brittany intro. I just realized it's one in the morning, and until my meds make me sleepy enough to have a lay down, I'm trapped here, playing at thinking. Yesterday got away from me. I got engrossed in a book, after having an asthma attack due to a worm-farm display at the library. Makes perfect sense, right? Someone made a kid-sized, walk-through tunnel of "good dirt", full of gross things under black lights, with diagrams about what worms need to eat and how fast they can turn it into poop, blah, blah, blah, and the other side was the "bad dirt", containing only grass and stones. Because having 'grass' and stoners would be detrimental to the chirruns. Better to throw some moldy burlap and formaldehyde-soaked wood into a confined, airless government building so children and their parents (one of whom at this point is sucking the end of the rescue inhaler and just wants to go home, for f*cksakes, and would you hurry up and choose your books already, we've been at this for forty minutes) can come down with scratchy throats, headaches, and, as the final kick in the head, hives. I stupidly touched the burlap curtain on the good dirt. Hey, they had a black light in there. I was a smallish child in the 70's... black lights are like crack to me. Point me to the velvet Elvis and I'm happy. The toy eyeball in the "good dirt" area was a bit disconcerting, but helpful, I suppose. All those publicly educated children will at least know how many worms it takes to eat and poop a dead body... and they say education is dead. *snort*
Later today this resumes being a knitting/complaining about knitting/sewing/eating blog. Do come back. I'll try to be sober. 'Nite, knittas and crafty ho's everywhere.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

All Better

The trauma of the previous day has been sorted out, and all will be fine. (Breathe in pink, breathe out blue...)

Tomorrow is run around day, which is going to be more fun than usual, with getting to mail stuff to a foreign country. And having errands in two completely different directions will be super-fun. Know what else is super-fun? Susan bringing me a 22oz mimosa. At work. (And food, and fruit, and cake.) It was a baby-shower "leftover". This has been a baby week. On Friday I got to hold little G, Marie's sweet new baby girl. She was quiet the whole time I held her. Funny how it's more fun to sway and pat babies that aren't your own (ie: thems that do not interfere with your sleep cycles), and how you just automatically don't really want to hand them back, because they are so busy being good babies, but then it's feeding time and, hey, not your problem anymore. You are free to move about the cabin and resume your knitting.

Today's baby was a little bit different. The whole reason for the boozy shower? Little Dude arrived in April, so his Momma wasn't pregnant for the shower. I got to hold him. Precious, tiny, and perfect. He wasn't quite 4 lbs at birth, and he's still in the 4 lb category, but he sucks, swallows, and breathes on his own... and he did from the very beginning. I was told he wasn't even formally admitted to the NICU. Little Dude is made of tough stuff, for a guy whose feet are smaller than my thumb...way smaller. His "due date" is at the end of this month. I wonder if he's got special plans... perhaps an all-night booby-bender. If you've nursed a baby, you know all about those groovy growth spurts, that signal the 'stay latched on for twenty hours' kind of nipple horror. Oy, vey.

Now, since my 22 ozs of mimosa have kicked in fully, I'm off to knit a sock. Or just pass out from the emotional rollercoaster ride. I'm exhausted... perhaps some 'Gilmore Girls' to take the edge off...

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Things are conspiring to make Clementine a terribly unhappy woman, so the blog will remain quiet for a bit, while yarny-headaches get sorted out. Several things need to happen to keep me out of an insane asylum, not the least of which is that MATH become a topic people begin to take very seriously. And that is all for today, luvvies. *mwah* C

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lookie here!

Guess what? Finally, something new in the yarnage to show you. Behold, the first box of Yarn Love has arrived. I ordered several weights and fiber blends, just to get a feel for it. I really love the merino/bamboo/silk "Elizabeth Bennet" yarn. I'm fondling the "Mr. Wonderful" colorway, even as I type this. (He's the blue/green/yellow, top row, center. Don'tcha wanna pinch him?)

(and do click for bigger, but try not to drool into your keyboard, k?)

Here's an up-close shot of "Bayfield Apple", in the 'Juliet' yarn. It's a sturdy 75%wool, 25%nylon blend, in a gorgeous four ounce hank (a full 112 g, if you're interested.) I have Koigu-syndrome, now... I have to weigh everything.

And, finally, some new Panda Wool and Panda Cotton arrived today. On the left are 'circus' and 'basil curry' in the wool, and 'dotty circus', 'chocolate almonds', and 'pinto pony' in the cotton, on the right. More needles from Crystal Palace arrived with these little babies, so I don't have to feel panicked about running out of size zeros anymore. Whew. I was supposed to show you a dress today, but the YARN came and now I have to take the monsters home. Latah, knittas. C

eta: for Lauren in the comments from many days ago... email the shop (clementinesdrygoodsATembarqmailD0Tc0m) and I'll get you your very own -free- copy of the pattern. I have no way to track you down, thanks to blogger, so you'll have to do the "contacting". Okay, then. Bye, everybody.Posted by Picasa

Rainy Yesterday

I know, here I am, ready for bed on two mg of Xanax, and attempting to compose a post. At this point my typing could not be more wretched, and I could not pass a sobriety test... not even sure I can feel my nose, let alone touch it from arms outstretched. Anyway, on the way home earlier (now, actually yesterday...the getting to bed before midnight is a big problem), I decided some scary yard pics were in order. To put things into perspective, the scrubby grass up near the house is nearly two feet tall. It completely obliterates the brickwork foundation 'Boris' was so insistent on. Only Jemima, our chocolate English lab, has a trot packed down where she circles the house hunting moles, field mice, and the occasional squirrel.

This is a portion of the front four acres. I took just the tire swing, since the tree fort still looks like the Clampitt family's abode before Jed took aim at that jack rabbit and come up a bubbling crude... oil, that is. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I should not blog while waiting on the meds to kick in...oops. I think it's too late.

Tonight I redid the short-row sock heel. Cosmicpluto rocks the tutorial, but can someone enlighten me as to why the double wrap is of utmost importance? 'Cuz it was pretty much just torture, and the only room in the whole friggen' house with adequate lighting was the bathroom. So there I stood, bum on the sink, knitting away furiously to get the double wraps picked up 'invisibly', and it stinks. The heel, not the bathroom. The photo is kinder to my work. It looks like total crap from where I sit. Anyway, I feel quite relaxed and loopy, so hopefully this will be a night of brain-rest. Too much exciting stuff happening in my gray matter... will share some later today... after sleep happens. *smooches, poodles* Cami
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Thursday, May 15, 2008

another jane moment

Yeah, they sure are some stubby toes, but today began with a pedicure (are you local? Victoria's in Franklin is where you want to be. 317 346-nail. Call Vickie and tell her she's famous.) The polka-dots are what happens when you give a starving, high-on-lacquer-fumes nail tech free range over your toes. But I like it, and now you can see I'm not kidding when I say I have wide feet. I really should be a better swimmer with flappers like these. There is no excuse for my lack of forward propulsion.

Shannon, goddess of all that is girlie, has made two more dresses, but I'm lacking for blog fodder (well, stuff I can actually publish publicly), so you don't get to see the hodge-podge dress until tomorrow. This is done in some Kaffe fabric, (that I actually covet for myself for a morning robe) but how cute as a little size six girlie dress. Also, she lined it in white satin, so it makes a super-cool, swishy noise. I know... I want one, too
Lastly, for today, in the category of "most creative use of sale fabrics", a customer brought in this finished jacket. Seems it's sewn to a sweatshirt, and she made it for a grand daughter in Cali. I just don't have words. There's a bag to match... reversible, even.

I thought I'd have more new things to show you today, but all the package dudes have driven past the shop with nary a glance in my general direction. So, without further ado, I bid you adieu.

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Dear Koigu

Once upon a time a new knitter stumbled upon the most lavishly filled yarn shop in all of the Milwaukee area. This was an exciting discovery for the knitter, for it was the first time she beheld your yarn. One touch and she knew she must have it. It mattered not that there was only one skein of the beautiful handpainted yarn. That she possess it and stash it was the only thing on her mind. It would be knit into many things, first a baby hat, then a small sleeve, just to see what it 'looked like'. Then, in the span of a few short moments, the knitted thing was frogged, and the tiny skein of perfectly painted yarn rewound and safely stored in a glass jar.

Here we are today, dear Koigu. I have plenty of matching skeins stored away, and there are even a few items that stayed knitted out of that first perfect skein, with it's plum and gold, mossy green and rosy mauve, auburn and deep sea blue, all tossed with the deepest chocolate brown. But the base yarn is so skinny now, and the stated yardage a joke. For grins, I've run at least eight skeins through the yarn meter, and you know what? That whole +- 176 yds thing? Not so. I have yet to get more than 146 out of one of your cheater skeins. Those eight hanks of yarn I measured? I'm short (by my calculations) 240 yds... *ahem* two HUNDRED and forty YARDS of yarn. That's just the eight hanks I balled up and measured through a yarn meter. So I weighed them. The whole 50 grams thing? Again, (surprise!) not so. Forty three came up a lot, as did forty four, and once, oh my, the ball weighed in at nearly 46 grams. It kept flashing back to forty-five, so I'll call it 45.5g. Fair enough?

I just checked the label on the newest addition to the Koigu stash, and it's label simply states 50 g/ 175 yds. I realize that I'm just an American idiot, but doesn't the lack of the +- kind of mean you're obligated to be HONEST??? Get your damned thumb off the scale, because at fourteen bucks a skein, you're starting to piss me off. Once upon a time you had my heart, but you aren't the only yarn in the shop. You won't get my yarn dollars anymore. I'm just one knitter in a sea of millions, but that's it. We're through. Cheater, cheater, sock yarn stealer.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Recently Edited(formerly 'big mistake')

I usually write my blog post before I read other blogs; this gives me a mental boost, in that I'm not influenced by what other people have blogged about. It's very freeing. Today, however, began with blog reading, and a sad tale (with a charming twist, though) from the blogosphere. Now I just want a hot shower, my baby-ish SIP, and some down time with the man and a movie. Tonight's fare is 'Death at a Funeral'. Who doesn't love netflix? And white cheddar 'Cheetos'?

Pictures tomorrow, because Ann (aka the woman who runs for fun) has introduced a new type of catnip to me, in the form of Selvedge magazine. I think it might be of the devil... and I like it a LOT. The saving thought of my day is that tomorrow is full of all the potential I didn't get used today. And after perusing that fantabulous magazine, I'm realizing I'm gonna need a whole load of tomorrows.

p.s. I have begun re-building my link list. Some of you have very different names than your 'actual title'. Believe me, once I have nick-names for the rest of you, things will really look confusing over in the sidebar. Y'all are good with that, right? Great.
p.p.s. a note to Miss V. Yes, I did, in fact, find a way to sum you up over there, in the sidebar. You have (in my head, at least) been set to music. Sadly, the tune happens to be an M.C. Hammer classic, but with your wool allergy "can't touch sheep" seemed pretty damn funny at 11:41 p.m., Eastern time. If it makes you feel better, I can put Tif in as 'Typhoid Traveler'. Just say the word.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Okay, first things first: I got the Amy Butler "Midwest Modern" quilt kits built today, tied up in double-faced satin and everything. Smashing colors. Gorgeous prints. They are few in number, but available right now. Call/e-mail me if you can't live another moment without some of this happiness in your life.

Now to the mailing list drawings. Three winners, who will be contacted by e-mail, but also outed right here. Up for grabs are this eye-candy book, and...

this yummy yarn, which I've now already wound into a yarn cake. It's a quarter mohair, but I'm told it's a super-sturdy sock yarn. Lessons are included if you're local, and coordinated enough to walk and breathe at the same time. There is another sock yarn to choose from, but it's not in the photo-op...
If you are a stitcher, you have the option of choosing two and a half yards of fabric, and if you can't decide, I will make you a bundle based on your color or designer preferences. So, Harriet, SuzyQ, and mom (who should've been excluded, but she sent me a BUNCH of crafty names) lemme know, k? This is me, leaving the building. Ciao, C
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Monday, May 12, 2008

Nothing doing

The drawing is, again, postponed due to illness. *sigh*
Today it is the e-mail that has proved faulty. It appears Yahoo! has decided I don't really need to get into my account and pull up all the names I have stored. I can tell you this, though. The drawings will be held at knit-night tomorrow, and I will have photos posted of the prizes. Then you need only e-mail or comment later in the evening what you want to nab. I have duplicates of all prizes, so no one needs to feel they need to be out for blood.
The man, Herr Becher, is feeling the intestinal angst now, but the kids and I seem to be on the mend. Good thing, that, because I really need to have another arse-kicking, busy week. Just staying out of debtor's prison, you know. The fiber festival (June 6th and 7th, Johnson Co. fairgrounds) is another factor that must be dealt with. The finishing touches need to be put on loads of stuff, so Melly, be ready to work some of your geek-magic on labels and the like. I must go now. I apologize for the delay.

a post-script... I've been feeling the allergy-hell for weeks now, but late this afternoon was especially bad. I asked the man to check the furnace filter, which he grudgingly did. (I am nothing if not a nag.) It was BLACK. It made black, ashy mud when he washed it in the shower (we have the filter you have to bathe) and it was just so... ick. I have a feeling we're all going to start to feel a whole lot better now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A dozen days

Today was supposed to be the drawing for the goodies that Clementine is giving out in the mailing list contest. Due to an excess of bile, the drawing will be postponed until tomorrow, and the winners will be notified by e-mail. Of course, there will also be some fanfare here on the blog, just in case the winner is also a reader.

Earlier, while pinned under a sweaty toddler, I cast on a new pair of socks, as a prelude to the 'real' socks I intend to knit next. (See how baby socks don't even qualify as a real project? I'm all hardcore now. Fer realz.) What this itty-bitty pair will tell me is a.) the proper needle size and gauge and b.) how the yarn will wear. If it's too delicate, no way am I suffering through an adult pair. I've started the wee sock on 2mm (size zero) needles, but may have to break out the triple goose eggs, which are only a fraction smaller, but other than lace pins, I don't know what to do. Ahh, such is the plight of the tight knitter... one has to go to extremes to satisfy the craving for more stitches per inch. Which isn't to say that I didn't enjoy the ease and speed of getting a pair of socks knit in less than two weeks. It was zippy-quick knitting, even given the three days I didn't even touch them, so the wrists could rest. Twelve days to knitted bliss. My kind of twelve step program.
I have another SIP* to complete a pair, and another two-at-a-time set awaiting heels. D-Fly has a list of tutorials on her blog, and there's a great one on short-row heels. Are you paying attention, my little lawn critic? (I'd like to add here that we have over two hundred hickory/assorted trees in the front yard alone, and being 220 feet off the road gives us the slightest bit of leeway in not "keeping up appearances". If my neighbors want to get shitty over the tall grass, I can counter with asking them to remove the purple schoolbus from their sideyard.)

Kind of feeling puny myself now, so at 9:22 p.m., I think I'll take some Pepto and call it a night. Come back tomorrow. You never know what might be plastered up here.
* until it sticks, SIP= sock-in-progress. Start using it as much as humanly possible. So I don't sound like a total nutkin.

Mother's Day, 2008

Even though my eldest son tried to rain on my knitting parade last night by barfing all over the downstairs (read my) bathroom, and trashing the cutesy rag-rug I had in front of the toilet, I still managed to finish these... the 'Jitterbug' socks are done, and on my feet. Smashing with Mary-Jane's. More smashing because (and this is important) I get to keep them.

Since I had to unload the entire contents of the camera into Picasa, here is a photo of the banana cream pie Melly made me (eat it all up, 'cuz it was so awesome). Oops. Did I just type that out loud? The next one is planned, for a certain blogger who prefers anonymity, but will get her pie (and choc. croissants) if she will just let me know when she's headed down this way. You know who you are, crafty-momma.

And here is a yard shot, taken by 'Boris' on May 7th. Everything has gotten bigger with the rains we've been getting, and usually the front screen door isn't standing wide open, but you get the gist. Now, I'm taking my sicky chirruns back home, and casting on some new socks. You go have a marvy, relaxing day, with no barf in it. C

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

mixed bag

I have deleted and re-written this post a ridiculous number of times. Since there is no way to make it cohesive, I'm going to make a list, and work through all the weird, scatterbrained bits and sort it out.

On the drive home I passed a duck hen fretting and pacing around the body of her dead mate. He had just been hit by a car. I wonder how long will she pace, calling to him to get up, for pity's sake, they need to get back to their nest. Is there a new guy out there for her? Will she be fine alone?

As I arrived home, and pulled into the drive, I realized that the grass is really out of control. Need a 'fer instance'? I could not find the dog. A ninety pound chocolate lab was swallowed by the tall grass in my front yard. I did not think this possible, but when I told That Crocker Woman about the interesting things sprouting in my yard, she said "you mean the grass has gone to seed?" Yep. I guess that's what you call it. Ann wants photos. As soon as the camera resurfaces, I will take some, because there just aren't words to describe how wild it is out here.

Saturdays are for ice-cream. 'Boris' picks up the kids and I have the last hour of the day to putz around in the shop; usually I just spend it picking up, or knitting, or trying to wrangle paper work into a manageable pile so that I don't forget to pay a bill or something. Now that the weather is nicer, it seems Herr Becher's Jeep has a new trick, and that is to drive me over to the nearest soft-serve chocolate cone. My car possesses no such skill, so I've been taking advantage, (Today's cone was dedicated to Gaylen, who eats green veg and walks. Pure torture.)

I was going to re-style my sidebar here on the blog, and you've prolly noticed some linky-dinks are missing. Yep. Poor old blogger would not let me add a new page element, but do not fear. A renewed link list is being thought of, and will get posted from the shop, where the confines of an air-card do not hinder my blogability.

This morning, I began to consider what was contributing to the bulk of my sales (the old yarn or fabric question... it's the eternal puzzle for me), as a way, I suppose, of getting myself to think how best to move forward with the store. It was on my mind the whole drive into town, pondering if one half of the shop was holding back the other. On any day of the week, almost since the store opened, if you asked me what sells, I'd have had to say fabric. It's the steady seller. I asked the Big Man Upstairs to give me a sign, just a nudge... the merest suggestion that I should let the yarn fall away or keep at it. It took an hour and fifty six minutes to get a response... $767.47 in sales. By the end of the day, Clementine had hit nearly a grand, with only five yards of fabric sold. How's that for a quick answer? I feel like I haven't even gotten started yet, as I look around the store, eyeing up shelf space, yarn confinement, lighting, revamping the knit-pit. But it's nice to know that all my needs are being met, even when I have my doubts. It's still an amazing ride, and we're just getting going. I know, right?

That's all. I have a sock to go knit a toe onto. Have a FAB Mother's Day, whether your babies be two-legged, or four. *smooches* C

Friday, May 9, 2008

I should've stayed in bed

This blog began as a personal thing, and even though I'm a big, grown-up shop owner now, it's still pretty much full of personal things. I share my day, with whomever wants to read about it. There are so many stories I have yet to tell, and a few that won't ever see the light of day (unless we're both drunk), but this day was a day rife with frustration. In it, I may have spewed not-so-nice words at a person who insisted on reading while driving, all the while weaving across both lanes like a drunkard after closing time, and to the wee VW bug in front of "left-of-center" dude... I just have to ask... do you even know where the accelerator is? Hmmm? It's the pedal on the right. Next time we meet, I may just nose you into the ditch. Trust me, you'll be safe there, until your mother ship comes to collect you.

To add to my gripe (oh, yes, there is more), the pattern download I was attempting to make a copy of this morning had mysteriously gone missing from the Amy Butler website, replaced with Amy's apology (to an insecure pattern designer of dubious talent), for the pattern from Westminster bearing too many similarities to the quilt pattern marketed on this other person's own website. A quilt bearing similarities to another quilt? I might faint. And yes, I'm staking my claim on squares, people. If this certain someone thinks she owns isosceles triangles and parallelograms, by God, I want to claim squares. Let's just see how far anyone will get, making a quilt, without my permission to use squares. Just ugh. Freaking ugh. And AB had to take the Westminster pattern down (temporarily), and my Xanax hadn't kicked in yet... No throats were ripped out during this 'fit of pique' of mine, but there's always tomorrow...
A quick phone call later, and all was well with the world, at least as far as pattern downloads go. I have readied kits for the "Midwest Modern" fabrics, and they are gorgeous. Clean, playful Japanese motifs, and clear, fresh colorways. It's grand, and not at all too challenging for a novice stitcher.

On the home front, Herr Becher's "going green" plan for the yard is working out just swell. We have a yard to rival any hay field, and will surely become a haven for wood ticks, spiders, those weird green and blue salamanders (or are they just green and blue when they're on my house?) and toads. Hopefully, something that likes to eat bugs will decide Serengeti grass is just the thing it wants to hang out in, and, with a bit of luck, whatever 'it' is won't be big enough to eat the children.
I've just been told some lucious hand painted yarn is winging it's way to the shop. Stay tuned. Rabid rant over. For now.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I like pie

After a night of barfing boy (the Eli), and 3 a.m. (and 4:20 a.m., and 5-ish a.m.) laundry chores, and too much xanax (two mg. in three hours is probably overkill if you need to be 'sober' enough to operate the washer at three a.m.), I made it to the shop. For my valiant efforts, I was rewarded with a visit from Melly, who did indeed bring me fried rice and banana cream pie. Rob popped in after her massage, and Mandi (get a blog, geez, girl!) and we ate good stuff. I had nearly half a pie left, so I brought it home. Sharing the day's bounty with the spouse and you know what? He wouldn't eat it... he claims not to like bananas. Well, I had a fork in my hand so fast I scared the silverware in the drawer, and I ate. it. all. Yum. As I told Miss Melly, I can make a rhubarb custard pie so good you'll swear you saw Jesus, but I'm pretty sure she'd wipe the floor with my ass in a "banana-cream-bake-off". It was that good. Oh yes, it was.

The sequel-sock continues on, after having to rip back the heel turn (I blame the lack of sleep) and re-do. I left my "notes" on this sock scrawled on an L.L.Bean coupon, so as soon as my ten-bucks-off shows up, I'll be able to get everything straightened out. If I would just stick to the 'formula', these problems wouldn't exist. Like I care, though, seeing as how I'm stuffed to the gills with pie. Some "quality time" with the likes of 'Boris' is in order... once I've made a reconnaissance trip around the house to check for dirty, icky things. I'm choosing to ignore the flopped out Siamese on the dining table. It has become her 'salon de bain', and she's way too into grooming her toes. I almost can't watch. More drivvel to follow... and don't forget, we're just three days away from the Mother's Day drawings. Are you entered?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Of Tyrants and Socks

These are "old photos", because I got too caught up in today to take "new photos". This is from a week ago, when I came home and asked "where's Madeleine?" and got the reply "stuck under Eli". It seems the only thing that would make him whole was to incapacitate his eldest sister in front of (as you can see by the t-shirt) "Cars", aka (to him) "the best movie. Ever." So, I was just showing you what sort of nonsense goes on when my back is turned and the tiny tyrant is allowed to run roughshod over his siblings.

Down here is the pic of the sequel-sock the day after I finished the first one. It's a lousy photo, in equally bad light, but I just measured the cuff and I have about five inches now. That puts me surprisingly close to the end of the 1x1 ribbing... heh, heh. I predict another finished sock by Saturday. A pair in twelve days. This sends a tingle down my spine, because I have the next pair already in mind. The yarn is sitting here next to me, in fact. It's more of my 'souvenir' yarn from the Easter trip... I have been biding my time with it, fondling and caressing it, cooing to it, letting it look out the windows at the blue birds readying their house. Now, I think we are ready to begin, just as soon as the 'jitterbugs' come off needles.

Okay, Melly has just called to inform me that she'll be plying me with nummies tomorrow... fried rice and a banana cream pie. Oh, my.
Later, muh knittas.
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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Knit Night, done right

It was another 'run-around' day (making the gas last): haircut, find summer clothes for the kids, wander, alone, through a bookstore, make the bank deposit. Then I came home and mixed up chocolate chip cookie dough (a double batch), and baked a couple dozen for knit night. Which was flippin' amazing. I had some really great customers come in, and now there are only half a dozen wrap kits left (if you need me to mail you and you one, call me. Miss V has my digits, or call here.) I'll probably make up more kits, since the thing is so amazing.

Noemi ("no-amy") came in with her first sock and it is good. She's working the 'Panda Cotton' like she owns it. Which, technically she does, as she's bought it, but still. The intimidation of a first sock has fallen away, and she gasped when I let her try on the 'Jitterbug' sock... I'm pretty sure store-bought socks are a thing of her past. Score one more for the good guys. World domination is just around the corner... I can smell it. Or that might be cookie dough. More fresh-baked goodness tomorrow. Perhaps there will even be photos; second sock is comong along at a nice clip, though the past two days were mostly spent reading instead of knitting. Just trying to stave off a knitting-related injury, because I flatly refuse to cr*ch*t. Tomorrow will be here soon, and I have a sleepy boy to rock... type at y'all latah. C

Monday, May 5, 2008


Okay, it's a bit blurry (at least on my monitor), but here is the first of my "Harlot-stalking" stockings. Sock, the sequel, is on needles, the kids are playing outside on this beautiful day, and as it's 'Mandi-Monday', I do not have to even consider leaving my house. I did get out of my jammies, though. After eleven. Seemed like the humane thing to do for Herr Becher, since he's been home with the offspring all week, busy being Mr. Mom. I can at least attempt to participate in 'family life' today. There will be knitting in my hands most of the time, I am not driving anywhere, and there exists the possibility that my bottom will root itself to the loveseat in front of a movie.

Yep, pretty big plans for a "day off", wouldn't you say? I have been getting wrangled out of bed every morning at the crack of dawn by a perky toddler, who hands me my glasses and queries "okay, mom, you need to make coffee now?", to which I reply "sleeping would be better". But he's off and running and there isn't anyone else up to keep him out of the matches and sharp knives. Now, if I could just train him to brew the coffee...
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Sunday, May 4, 2008

do it again

The first "Jitterbug" sock is finished, as of last night. I did run out of yarn and had to finish the toe in brown "Koigu", but it toe-tally worked out, and the second sock is on needles and has about two and 1/2 inches of ribbing to show for my efforts. I split the skein as evenly as my gram scale would allow, but I have no idea if I started with the slightly smaller ball or not. (The scale does not live at my house, which is why I'm so in the dark about the whole afffair.) The dark brown "Koigu" doesn't detract from the other yarn, so I'm not too heart-broken about it. I am a bit peeved that it seems sock skeins keep getting smaller... what 's a girl with fat hooves to do? There is probably no way a woman with a foot larger than eight, or nine (if her foot is slim) could get a decent pair out of a single skein. But then again, I knit tight, and generally use more stitches per round. The 1x1 ribbing may have sucked up more yardage, as well, but damn, it sure is pretty. I'll post the "knitting content" pic tomorrow. I want to go read your blogs and pass out in a chemically-induced stupor.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

when knitting hurts

I decided I'd try getting to town a bit early this morning. I said goodbye to the spouse and the monsters, packed up the knitting bag(s) and trotted out to the Jeep. ("Big Grrrl" has to stay home with daddy 'cuz she has all the kiddie car seats installed in her.) It's a bit of a maneuver to get in, what with all the stuff I haul with me on a routine basis. The swollen eye (a hive on my eyelid, actually... big fun today) necessitated glasses, which I promptly knocked off my own face pulling my big knitting bag over me and the steering wheel. I had a flashback to fourth-grade dodge ball, when I'd just gotten my specs and took a ball to the face. Very similar kind of pain.
The next trial was getting the vacuum cleaner into the shop. After accepting there was no easy way to haul everything in at once, I tore myself away from my giant decaf (quit sneering, it's for health reasons) and toted the vac into the store. I'm not even going to attempt counting the bruises. And I broke my cutie new key chain Mandi bought me trying to unlock the door... totally fixable, but ugh. Just ugh. So, all this was necessary so I could sit and do this:

a bit of knitting on the Jitterbug socks. They are a seriously good time. I hope to finish the gusset decreases today and the rest of the foot by Tuesday night's knit-night... so I can get sock: the second, cast on.
And down here is the second little girl (well, size 10) dress in the "Freshcut" fabrics. This is a great, easy project (at least Shannon says so) and it turned out playful and pretty. Everything you want in a dress, right?

For those of you asking about the "It's okay, I'm with the sock" tees, I'm looking for a screen printer to do sturdier versions. The transfers don't seem like they'll hold up. Stay tuned for more info. Me and my swollen eyelid are going to go collapse in a chair and knit on the sock. Later. C
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