Sunday, August 31, 2008

Technical Difficulties

Not really, but if I plastered up a title like "Slagging off due to Holiday" or "Lazy Blogger can't be Bothered", wouldn't it seem rude?

The past week was as rough as the week before, but with some heartaches thrown in for good measure. I'm not at liberty to 'discuss' other people's problems, but some good thoughts for one of our knittahs and her man would be greatly appreciated. Worrying over Things I Cannot Fix gets me into big trouble, though I'd shoulder a huge burden to make sure that illness would not prevail over them... if only that were enough to make it all go away.

I spent all weekend sitting and knitting, brooding over what to write about. Topics don't come easily anymore. Oh sure, there's the kids pitching together to make banana bread Sunday evening, the upcoming baby shower gift I need to create (snappy-like), and the almost-there pair of striped socks LeAnn glommed onto months ago, which are now into second-sock gusset decreases (!). None of it seems important when someone you love is facing such emotional trauma. But, no use borrowing trouble from tomorrow... it'll get here soon enough. (Aren't I just a little ray of sunshine?)

One of the weeks' highlights was a phone call from PA. Apparently I have the last complete collection of Anna Maria Horner's "Chocolate Lollipop" fabric. It plastered a goofy smile on my face for two days... about the length of time it took for my lower back to recover from the two hours cutting and folding fat quarters. Oh, and to Miss G... oops. I forgot to take a picture of the plastic pink humiliation, but my neighbor called Sunday morning to exclaim how cute it was. For the rest of you, all you need to know is it involved pink, petro-chemical eyelash yarn, karma, and my apparent guilt over having hair. However, I was rewarded with twenty bucks worth of free pizza and pepperoni bread sticks for my children's dinner that night, so no complaints here. (It's been a weird ride this week, fer sure.)
Off to my medicine bottles I go. Have a restful Labor Day. I'll catch up with you later. C

Friday, August 29, 2008

Hanging over my head

These blocks are months old. I've run out of excuses to explain why they are just sitting in a pile in the bedroom closet. With things so quiet, I guess I should haul them in with me to the shop and get a bit of assembly done. Perhaps that will have the same effect as having a pizza delivered... once it shows up, so do scads of customers. I think I'd like that... can't hurt to give it a go.
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Goings on

The yarn has arrived! A selection of 'Taos' yarn has made it's way to Clementine's, and from this we will be knitting the uber-cute and super easy diagonal sweater. It was pretty tough to choose a colorway to knit the sample sweater from, because I love them all...

But, at the end of the day, I'm not the one wearing it, and this yarn looked smashing with the lime green flower buttons. I have to say, as a knitter (not as a shop owner), that I'm extremely disappointed with the Knit Picks cables. *sigh* You get what you pay for. They have been in use less than a day, so abuse isn't an issue. Now I have to go digging for the spare. (And I was curious as to why they send them in pairs?)

Lastly for today, a photo that will likely get me beheaded. How much fun can you have with a "Tide to Go" stick? It depends what bra Miss Susan wore to work. She came over with her SIP (sock-in-progress) for a lil' visit after a morning of baking/cooking in her cafe. The taco meat (her taco salads rock, btw) had spattered her all over, but she looked even worse when I got ahold of her.

She struck the pose as she fled back to her store... things apparently run smoother when the boss is in. Besides her visit, the Aqua Systems man coming to change the RO filters, and Kim and her first sock, this place has been crickets today. I'd better get ready to close up. You go be crafty. C
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Y'all are crazy

There is no way I'm giving up chocolate croissants... that's what those 'flex points' are for, right? The last two times I've made them, I cut over half the butter from the recipe. The "Baking with Julia" cookbook calls for four and a half sticks; I used only two. Not one person familiar with my pastries noticed the difference.
I haven't gnawed off an arm yet, and strawberries are my new bff, especially mixed with a banana and a 6oz. low carb/low fat yogurt. I forgot to take my knitting to the WW meeting last night (if that tells you how freaked out I was), and with today being haircut/bum around town alone day, I haven't gotten anywhere on the after-thought heel socks. Tonight we watch disc 2 of "Eureka", season two. I have two points left and a pile of fat-free Pringle's. Knitting will happen while my bum is fused to the sofa.

Herr Becher is taking the journey with me. I was pleased with this until I did a little math and discovered he'll be done losing weight as I approach my "ten-percent" goal. He took Jemima out for a drag this evening... she'd forgotten she doesn't like walkies. I made sure she got ice cubes in her water dish when they got back.
It sounds like math is almost over with at Becher Haus. The children are making themselves bacon and french toast. Smells wretched. *snark* Like I said, I've got knitting, "Eureka", and Pringle's. Type at you here tomorrow... if I haven't chewed my fingers off.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Beyond words

I guess that about sums up my day.
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

What's that sound?

Whomp. Whump. Whap.

Oh, hello, dollies. I didn't see you there. What's that noise, you ask? *thump* Oh, it's just this silly head of mine. You see, I had to wait around all day for a bit of quiet time *thwhack* to compose my newsletter. It seems I'm quite the little *bam* procrastinator, and September is right around the corner *smack* and with a business still so new and fragile, it has been suggested *bonk* that the online sensation of an e-newsletter would excite Clementine's patrons to no bad end.
I sat and typed and *whomp* composed my little heart out and sent it off for a critique *plonk* and now all that I can do for the rest of the *whap* night is sit here and pound my head *thud* into my desk.

What really needs doing is the obvious re-write of the text. In my defense, I am wrung out and punch-drunk *thwack*, and I think all I really need is a lie-down. Tomorrow I can agonize over photos and grammatical errors. *whump* Yes, that will be lovely. I'm going to ask Miss Melly to take some pretty close-ups of the whiz-bangs and gew-gaws to use with the text of the newsletter *whap*, but could somebody please remind me why I chose this particular path to insanity?

Frau Becher's Day Off

Several days ago I mentioned how things were falling by the wayside. In my stupor of "overwhelmedness", chores both big and small were going undone. Sure, everyone has clean underpants, but have you seen the roots of my hair? I declare today Personal Maintenance Day, beginning with these damnable grey hairs. Other selections from A Life Unlived will include writing (in a coherent voice) the official Clementine's newsletter blurbage, with selected photos to add to the basic template, committing to calendar the class schedule for the shop, with both patchworking and knitting selections for beginner and intermediate students, and getting the fabric order shored up and e-mailed to Westminster before my head implodes from the pressure of it all.
Once finished with those piddling tasks, I will proceed to the kitchen at Becher Haus, where I will dust all the cobwebs from the ceiling and scrub the maple syrup off the floor. Once I've cured the floor of it's sticky-bits (note that at no time did I say I was mopping the whole thing), I will doubtless have to rummage through the cupboards for the monthly "pitch & toss" of cereal and pop-tart boxes that are taking up real estate and posing as actual foodstuffs. By the time I get this far into 'cleaning' and 're-organizing', I will probably require a nap. After my freshly dyed hair hits the pillow a fight will break out between the factions of the upstairs inhabitants, and my high blood-pressure and I will scrap the nap for an adrenaline-infused hollering match with the seven and nine year olds. I know (and have no delusions about) my children.
The soundtrack in the background for this Very Productive Day will be the sounds of Wilhelm and Dietrich (the surly Germans in the laundry room) working their magic on the mountains of dirty duds this family generates.
Geesh, I'm exhausted just typing it all in. Time to get a little sleep before the madness begins. I think I'll give myself ten minute 'knitting breaks' in between paragraphs/lists/chores to break up the day and make it feel more like a day off, rather than a day stuck in high gear.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

All the cool kids...

are at Stitches this weekend. I only bemoan this because I'm trying to order painted rovings for spinning and anyone with stuff to sell is busy playing in Chicago. Hrumph. Of course, if I were at Stitches right now, I'd be gloating, and who could tolerate that?

Things are deadly dull in the burg of Franklin today. I noticed more condemned notices have been nailed to door jams of the houses on the south side of town. The bridge over the canal on S. Main still hasn't been repaired, but volunteers have the baseball diamond at the park cleaned up pretty well. All the smashed fencing (cars, trucks, and rescue equipment flowing into it at high speeds will tear stuff up good) has been rolled up and waits the haul-away men. Workmen all over town are busy rebuilding the bits and pieces of life that can be salvaged. I guess that's a positive sign, so I'm going to go grab a sock and see if anyone comes in to rebuild their stash. You go have a fun Saturday. I'll still be here, pouting about Stitches... *snark*

Friday, August 22, 2008


Here's the promised photo of the latest additions... until yesterday there were darling little bees, too, but they ran away with a crafty man. Don't panic, Robin, I AM ordering more. A whole tube this time, so you can start breathing again, k?

These were purchased with the new 'group sweater' in mind. Hopefully the yarn will show up soon, because those enameled squares want to live on my sweater (only three buttons per sweater are required), though I may be knitting mine for one of the girls' Christmas gifts. They don't read the blog, so this will remain a deep, dark secret to them.

Now I have to finish writing up the newsletter, which probably means I'll have to turn down the music so I can think. Boring. I am getting so old.
Latah, crafty chicas. C
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Big Gaps

Time passes whether you use it or not, and I feel like there's been an awful lot of not around here lately. Business at the shop has slowed to a trickle, but the 'down time' hasn't been put to good use. Socks languish at the bottom of the knitting bag, quilts lay about in their pupa stage, and I can't seem to wrap my brain around getting more fabric ordered for the store. (Is this what burning out feels like?)

Today a Very Swell Man came to fix some problems I was having with the store's point-of-sale program. He put back things that had gone awry in the past week, and I don't feel like crawling out of my skin anymore. (Thank you, Kevin... you saved the world from a whole lot of "Ugly Cami".)

Also in today's news, I narrowly avoided being hit by a car. As much as I complain about Herr Becher's Jeep, it totally snatched me from the jaws of death this morning. I always thought the "electronic stability control" was a boatload of crap, but I was able to swerve out of harm's way at nearly 50 mph... I sailed right through a situation that would've caused any normal SUV to flip onto it's side. Of course the ass who pulled out in front of me (s/he was making a left turn onto the main road) never even slowed down. I'm not sure they even looked. Cat-like reflexes. You'll find my picture there in the dictionary.
Now I'm off to salvage what I can of my evening with a cranky toddler and the rest of the Becher posse. Perhaps some knitting can happen, too. For tomorrow: photos of the really gorgeous buttons that arrived the other day. Latah, knittas. C

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rockin' Rhonda

RedRhonda bought Clementine a birthday present... and it's pink. Just look at this bit o' cuteness. I had to bring it home for a photo-op, as I'd left the camera home for knit-night tonight.

Melly brought in a tarty lemon cake, which made me giggle because her "tartness tolerance" is, shall we say, not high. I loved it, and ate two pieces, whilst listening to both Red's and Melly's iPods... 'cuz you know I don't have the techno-gadgetry down. I'm being allowed to 'borrow' Herr Bechers nano tomorrow, and will have to hope he takes pity on me and picks one up while he's out and about. I will be at the shop, playing with my Clementine's new toy. Thanks Red. You think of everything!

p.s. I was going to show you the lemon cake too, to avoid any sort of rivalry among factions of Clem's posse, but it appears to have been eaten. I'm pretty sure there's a Herr behind this... he does have a thing for lemon curd. Now what am I going to have with my coffee later?
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Monday, August 18, 2008

About those stripes

As D-fly pointed out, I usually am all about the "work striped yarns from both ends of the ball" method of making fraternal socks. I just thought that, this time, with the toes beginning in exactly the same spot, I'd be able to carry it off. As the socks progress, however, the new colors are appearing anywhere from six to eighteen stitches "off" from each other, with no discernible change in gauge, though they are gradually increasing my tension. Oldest son has already claimed them, because he doesn't mind the bright colors and didn't think they were at all "girly".

Tomorrow is knit-night, and in the morning a group of spinners have "booked the shop" for a looky-see. I'm looking forward to meeting them all. Possibly I will have to join them, because, since the ill-fated Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival, I've had a bit of the spinning bug to try and keep at bay... and it isn't working. Monday Mandi spun up the Merino/Tencel I bought at the festival, and it is gorgeous. Not quite sure what to knit it into, but having the ball laying about the shop to fondle just makes the attraction worse.

Today was such a busy one, but the highlight had to be getting three hundred bucks back from Sears, as they've currently got all the laundry machines on sale. Save those receipts, people. They do come in handy sometimes.
Now I have to go write out checks for all the bills that want paying... then I'll probably need another nap. Hoping to see some of you tomorrow night... I hear there's going to be cake. C

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Decades Later...

Ahhh, the first pair of Mockery Socks are finished. Such a marvelous pattern, and as always, I am awed and inspired by how Knitting Brains work. The second sock seemed to take forever, but there was that bit of 'Clap' knitting in between and alongside this pair of wonderfully wrought (I Am So Modest) socks. They had a bath in Soak last night, and spent the evening hanging out on the bar of the AGA to dry. No sock blockers at Becher Haus; we do things the hard way. I hope the recipient loves wearing them as much as I did making them.
What's that peeking out from the top of the knitting bag, you ask? Well, allow me to show you...

After finishing the Mockery, part deux, I wasn't ready to call it a night. Herr Becher was already asleep, because he's got early 'gigs' on Sundays and Mondays, and because he's planning on being exhausted today on account of turning 40, and forty-year-olds need their rest. Eli was still up, hanging out with the mama, so we sat and watched an episode of "The Royal". I'd gotten a couple of sets of the Harmony wood fixed circs, in 2 and 2.25mm, to try out, and with the test yarn for the after-thought heel socks (I'm committing to a transcribed pattern for Gaylen), I cast on the toes. Love the colors, hate the uneven striping, and I. Was. Exact. in my casting on, but it's yarn from KnitPicks (horrors) and though the dye lots are identical, the color runs are not. ('Felici' yarn in "Coney Island", if you should care to likewise torment yourself.)

The needles are not for the faint of heart, nor the highly tense knitter. The 2.25mm size has adequate points on the tips, but the 2mm needles I'm using here are blunted (totally flat, actually) on the ends. I can only hope it's a manufacturing mistake, but it made knitting through the back of my yarn over increases an absolute bear. It's going better now that I'm on the 'straight away' portion of the sock, but I'll likely have to move back to my beloved addi lace needles before attempting the heel. These needles are for 'loosey-goosey' knitters only. Pure, unadulterated torture. Pretty, though.

I suppose I should go get Herr Becher's birthday brownies baked. Out of a box... something about peanut butter cups in the mix... Duncan Hines, I think. (Yes, I know, but he likes the box mixes... brings back his childhood or something.) Latah, chicas. C
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Friday, August 15, 2008

One Year Ago

I was hyperventilating, worried that I'd made the biggest financial mistake ever. I'd stopped sleeping and smiling, and lived in fear that I was throwing a party and no one would show. One year ago today I opened the doors to Clementine's Dry Goods and waited.

It's been the coolest year of my life. Yeah, money is still a worry, but word about the shop is spreading. The greatest people have come into my life to help me when I've needed it the most, from dyeing yarn, to website creation, to therapy and creative/technical assistance. I've met great crafty women from near-ish and afar, too many to even link here. There is the Wednesday knitting posse, who have acted as emotional crutches too many times to mention. Thanks for the strong back, Rob. Possibly I am a bigger pain in the ass than I realize, but that's what you have the good drugs for.

This was shaping up to be an anti-climactic week, after Mandi's crazy-good Monday, but, sure enough, I'd asked her to stop by and sprinkle some of her pixie-dust and she did. She's the reason I'm still sane. Friends who pull out all the stops and hold things together when life gets too busy to breathe are how we're still making it. Today got so busy I didn't even have time to dwell on "the birthday". Good thing LeAnn called to check on the old girl. (And no, Clem hadn't been drinking... yet.)

I just heard something wet hit the kitchen floor, and it may have been peas, liberated from their can. More disasters start that way, but it's "fend for yourself night" here at Becher Haus, so I bid you adieu until tomorrow. C

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Miss Vickie's and other supernatural phenomena

Yesterday was one of those whirlwind days that left me gasping for breath and wondering where all my time went. It began with needing to be in town two hours earlier than usual, for a meeting with a yarn rep. Several swigs of decaf later, both Rob and Mandi showed up, presumably to keep me from over-dosing on yarn, but mostly to fondle and grope for themselves all the pretty wares the yarn-pusher was displaying. Once the damages were totaled, Monday Mandi had to go to her real job, and I dragged Robin off to the salon with me.

Victoria's salon is the kind of place you hope to find just once in your life. It's welcoming and clean, everybody speaks English, though sometimes I suspect they slur a bit towards the end of the day, and everyone in there, from Vickie and the Others Who Prettify You, to the clientele, are uproariously funny. It's a "Steel Magnolias" kind of place, where you can be yourself, where laughter and tears are equally welcome depending on the need, and leopard print toenails are the Rx for just about anything ailing you. There's wine in chilling in the fridge, Chinese take-out across the parking lot, and, on this day, someone's thong panties on the middle of the floor. Yep. Just popped outta nowhere, whilst towels were being shuttled about. Lavender in color, smallish in size, and appearing so suddenly that we all just sat there slack-jawed. Then the hooting and giggling began. Everyone was checked for pantylines, and then the speculation started, but no reasonable explanation was reached. It's being blamed on a much older 'former tenant', because he likes to play pranks on the ladies, and really, what are "resident ghosts" for but to entertain and delight us, as well as provide alibis when needed?

Nails were groomed and polished, the day went on. Surprise visits from both Melly and Phyl rounded out the day, and then The Cake and I went home. Today was nothing fun to report, except that you should probably know that I went ahead and ordered perfectly gorgeous, handmade in Vermont(100% lead-free), pewter buttons for the Taos sweater class/knit-along. They are on their way, and all will be revealed to you, gentle reader, in good time.
Now I have to go stare at the kitchen for a bit, perhaps with a mug of decaf in hand. You go be crafty, then come back here tomorrow. *smooches*, pooches. C

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sugar, sugar

After a day at the shop, I grabbed the cake from Emma's Bakery and set the compass home to this birthday girl. Her lovely summer cold has left her with a chapped upper lip (which I didn't notice until just now, loading the photos into Picasa), but that didn't stop her from eating enough cake to choke a horse. Melissa at the bakery added amaretto to the frosting... it was a spectacularly good cake, for a spectacular nine year old.
Here is a photo of what goes on when I'm actually home. I'd like to be kind and say it's because I'm the only one who has read the manuals, but I suspect it's sheer laziness on everyone else's part. The younger boys love seeing the wash get slopped about... it's rather like a modern-day version of beating our clothes on rocks down by the river.

It's nice being forced into the modern age. No emotional trauma whatsoever. (Oops. I just had a sarcasm.) My old machines were like an 'Amish' version of appliances, now I have the "Jetson's" version, but without a super-cool robot maid to swoop all the laundry into neat little piles. Yeah, I'm working on it.

Today's post was supposed to be about the mystery thong that appeared on the floor of 'Victoria's' salon this morning (I know!), but after eating a bunch of frosting, composing that entirely too bizarre event into words will have to wait for tomorrow's post. You will not believe your eyes. I'll be back here once the sugar wears off. Latah, knittas. C
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The day off that wasn't

Because I am a masochist, and delusional, and completely out of my freaking tree, we spent the day running around with all five children. After math lessons this morning, and a quick lunch which was interrupted by the power going out... again... we hauled ourselves into town for stops at the bank, Target, the book store, a car dealership, Toys R Hell, a big-box fabric store (I had a 40% off coupon... who doesn't love those?), and finally, dinner at Willie's restaurant (Texas Roadhouse... best steaks ever), where my youngest son had to do a full-frontal freak-out about the spicy 'cactus blossom' dip we told him he would not like...
After he was hauled to the men's room to have his mouth washed out, we had a slightly more peaceful "birthday dinner" out for both Lilly and "Boris". Yep. Middle child officially turns nine tomorrow. Twenty-seven hours of labor. Four bouts of "transition" prior to the 'official' one, where she finally deigned to come out already. This child who never cried, never threw up, never kept us up all night, never fussed, ate all her veggies, smiled non-stop for the first three years of her life, has now become a first rate 'artiste'... dramatic, with a terrifically morbid sense of humor, a quick wit, both sharp and dry, and the flaming pen-sword of a future graphic story- teller. I can't believe she has spent nine years with us already, but the time passes, she grows, and I know that her experience as "middle child, Becher Haus" are shaping her into exactly the sort of person she needs to be.
Tomorrow that little person gets to eat her weight in cake. I'm sure there will be a storyboard about it afterward. C

Monday, August 11, 2008

Out with the old...

and in with the new. I had no idea how horribly ugly the old washer and dryer were until these bright and shiney new Germans came to live in the laundry room. You'll have to pardon the bad photo. Them were a bit miffed about having to bunk with the cat's "glitter box". The 'first cycles' are running now, then I have to remember to wipe the inside of the dryer out before it gets actual clothing put into it. Protective coating on the stainless, or some such thing.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have about seventeen loads of laundry to catch up on. I. Am. Serious. And all my bras are missing, which wasn't the least bit embarrassing with two delivery dudes here this morning. Oh, now something's beeping incessantly. I fear my technophobia is about to get the better of me.
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lookie what I found

One of the biggest drawbacks to an extensive stash is the need for concealment. Often this can be done simply by labeling sixty gallon Rubbermaid tubs "sweaters", or "blankets", or best yet,"seasonal clothing". Those are all sure fire ways to keep prying eyes out of the nether-regions of your emergency stockpile. They make the most compulsive among our kind look almost sane and rational to the casual observer. The problem arises when you know something is missing, though you can't remember exactly when you last saw it. Exhibit A: The very first pineapple block I ever made. A thing of beauty. Sheer perfection, and not paper-pieced, but done the 'old-fashioned' way... cut strips stitched carefully, with a whole lot of ironing-and spray starch- thrown in. I found eleven more blocks almost as 'done' as this one. I had totally forgotten it's very existance.

Still, it wasn't what I was actually looking for. What seems to be missing is the rest of the jelly roll I purchased two years ago to make Lillian a quilt. I'm just sure there were supposed to be thirty-five or forty strips, yet I can put my hands on only twenty-nine. I sat this morning and cut the ones I did find and, with careful use of the scrappy strip-ends to make three "hodge-podge" blocks, I think a quilt can be had for what's here...

Then, because I believe that daily humiliation is good for my soul, I'm throwing up a shot of the "Cami's had a stroke" quilt-blocks-in-progress. Yes, it's blurry. I was trying to avoid looking directly at it and, possibly, I may have been cringing whilst pressing the shutter. At any rate, the holiday quilt insists on infringing on my patchworking minutes, so I've decided to just get it over with, so I can move on to finishing quilts for the chirruns.

What do you want to bet those missing fabric strips turn up the minute I get Lilly's quilt top pieced?
Today is "Second Sunday", the one Sunday a month that I will haul my fat little self into town for shop hours. Noon to five, EST. Feel a need to stash? Want a custom quilt kit or yardage? (AB "Lotus" and Heather Bailey's "Freshcut" are today's special buys.) Need to stock up on Rowan or Nashua yarn? You have my digits in the clicky-link up there in the right hand corner. Call me, if only to make sure I didn't pass out from boredom. (Franklin on a Sunday is a hypnotic force to be reckoned with, believe me.) Latah, my crafty vixens. C
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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Just crap...move along. Nothing to read here.

My blogging time last night was interrupted by the seven year old getting a rather dramatic nosebleed from his "summer cold". After the blood bath, his throat was sore, so I dosed him up the best way I could. Honey laced with a little whiskey and he was off to a very comfortable slumber. I, on the other hand, was left to clean up my previously white bathroom, then I was simply too brain fried to think, or type.

Yesterday business at the shop was steady, with spurts of craziness thrown in. If Monday Mandi hadn't shown up, I'd have dropped from sheer exhaustion... again. It seems that Thursday night around eleven I crawled up onto the bed...I remember thinking I'd just rest a minute, then I'd go talk to 'Boris', who had just arrived home from work. The next thing I know, it's a quarter to four in the morning, my feet are numb from hanging over the end of the bed, and I'm still wearing my contacts. I had to get up and "get ready for bed" at four in the morning. That wasn't the least bit weird. I compensated by adding some medication so I could get back to snoozeville, and got a bit grouchy at the man for not at least removing my shoes. He says he feared waking me, especially since I was out of my mind at the time I passed out. He claims I mumbled something like "I'm sick of reading blogs" as I shut down the computer, minutes before zonking out. As if. Sick of reading blogs? Never. Sick of blogs that are updated once a month. Yeah, those might be sad.

Okay, it's the big go-kart race in Franklin today. This won't hurt my business at all, right? 'Cuz racing fans and the moms of racing fans are such big stitchers/knitters. Well, it's how I'd get through the day, but not everyone can be me. I'm just hoping they don't have every street leading to the shop closed, or we're going to have a very lean week (Saturday is at least a third of the weekly sales), and there's two yarn reps coming Wednesday. Ugh. Just ugh. Latah, crafty mamas.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Phyl's 'wubbie'

Melly got a snap of Phyllis draped in her new 'Clap' on Wednesday. Dummie me forgot to pack the camera, and I can't manage to e-mail photos to myself. Thankfully I don't have to survive in the wild without the Fabulous Crocker Woman.
So, here they are, Phyl and her 'wubbie', looking casual and a bit blurry (hey, I'm not the one who decided phones should also be cameras and computers). It washed up beautifully with no need of blocking. I just spun it out in the washer after it's "sink bath" and hung it over the rail on the AGA.

So, the two of them went to the farmer's market right after this shot was taken. I'm pretty sure it hasn't been too far from her since, and I'm looking forward to hearing about the many travels of the wubbie. I almost have her socks done, too. (Yep, she's scoring the Mocks, too.) I heart the Phyllis. Wear it out, pretty lady.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It doesn't get any better

One-handed blogging tonight, with a toddler on my lap. Eli and Joe are sick, Herr Becher is in bed, exhausted from another day of bleeding money, and no laundry is being done. It seems that although my man can trick the washer into running with a wire-splicer and a clothes-pin, the gas dryer is another matter entirely. Sears is bringing out a spanking new Bosch set on Thursday. Hopefully we won't have suffocated under the mountains of clothes and towels by then. How convenient it didn't happen until after I switched Eli back into cloth diapers. Perfect timing doesn't come any better.

I noticed Miss Melly put up a shop button for me. The first time I clicked on it, it took me to 'ask dot com' and the "sponsored links" were a listing of gay porn sites. I'd say she planned it that way, but she's waaay too tired to be that devious, and I get dumped over to that 'ask' page a lot lately. Guess I should run the virus software and spy sweeper, huh?

Gotta get my puny Eli into his bed before he falls face-first onto the keyboard. Have a wonderful night, all y'all knittas.

p.s. I think I did bust my little pig toe this evening, getting back into Bigrrrl after the 'Big Appliance Purchase of 2008'. It has turned a weird shade of blurple, and has developed it's own throbbing heartbeat. Standing and walking are a real treat, but then again, what are opiates for, if not this? I hope I can count this as my "three"... the flat tire, the dryer, and the toe. Please let that be all.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Sorry about my absence yesterday. It seemed this:

insisted on becoming this (and yes, it's a king-size bed):

Now I have finished knitting five balls of worsted weight Malabrigo (color "azul profundo") into an enormous wrap and I'm already panicking about what to knit next. Well, of course there's always the socks, but after lugging the Clap around for weeks and weeks...and weeks, I'm just a bit lonely for it's handy bits of easy knitting. A new project will be thought of soon, for there is a glut of yarn to use up. I have some 'vintage' Philosopher's Wool I've been considering for a blanket... D-fly has caught the Mason-Dixon bug. I might have to join her.
The rest of today will be spent waiting around for the new tires to be put on, then there's the whole "gotta feed the kids dinner" thing, and after that I'm hoping to finish the second Mockery sock, but as I'm only at the heel flap (beginning, not end), it's probably too ambitious to think I'll be done tonight... good thing I gave myself until Wednesday. The Clap should be done ('Soaked', blocked, and dried) by then too... I"ll try to get a snap of Phyl wrapped up tight in it. Latah, knittas. C
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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Good-bye, lover

Okay, my diversionary tactics for dealing with the never-ending Clap (it could be finished this week, if the stash would just. shut. up.) are over. I love this colorway, I love the texture of the knitted-up piece. I don't love the curling edges, which I was trying to avoid, and kept telling myself I could "block it out" later. Huh-uh. But, before this little bit of knitting goes for a dip in the frog pond, I thought you'd like to see it.

Below is the 'rear view'. I was fascinated by the 'spines' and how well the slipped-stitches worked to disguise the typical ugliness of back-and-forth knitted edges. Now that I have an accurate gauge swatch, I might re-knit this yarn in a simple basket-weave (and did you know I've proclaimed this National Hyphen Day?) pattern and have a non-curling scarf to wear this winter. Say good-bye to the 'Torrid Affair' scarf...

Yesterday morning found the Jeep with a totally flat right rear tire, so I took Bigrrrl into work whilst Herr Becher sweated himself into another shower after putting on the (full-size, praise those Jeep engineers!) spare. He's not sure he got the lug nuts tightened enough, but the kids and I made it home okay yesterday. Today will be another day of driving slow, and Monday four new tires will be put on. Eight-hundred and seventy bucks. Ugh. That could have bought quite a nice chunk of yarn, or fabric, or a spanking new spinning wheel... oh, wait. I guess it's buying four 'spinning wheels'. *snark*
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Friday, August 1, 2008


The knitting content around here has been more than a bit low, but work continues on both the Clap-wrap and the Mockery socks. I'm trying to be faithful to these two projects, but as I sit here typing, the gift yarn from Miss Rob has been throwing itself at me. For the first few weeks it was content to be coy, letting a tendril of it's painted beauty fall helplessly off the ball. Then it began to roll into the keyboard at opportune moments. Finally, tonight, it threw itself into my lap. I pushed it away, telling it we'd play later, that the Clap is on it's last ball, and the heel flap has arrived on the second Mockery. I tried to look away as it's colors began to swirl around. It was making me dizzy, forcing me to reach out to steady myself, and when I did, there it was, caught fast in my grip. The next thing I knew we were rummaging through the needles for a size 11, and then we sat and swatched.

The Sheep Shop yarn, though pushy and obstinate, is a joy to knit with. After playing around with the stitches, a pattern was decided upon. It is knitting up into the simplest of scarves, a break from both the weight of the Clap, and the eye-strain of night knitting sock yarn. Here then is the basic recipe for some quick and dirty yarn play... you know you want to. Grab thee up some chubby needles and cast on!

"Torrid Affair" scarf:
Cast on 23 sts.
On wrong side (first row), Slip first stitch purl-wise, P next st, *K1, P5* across to last three sts, K1, P2
Row 2: slip first stitch purl-wise, K1, *P1, K5* across to last three sts, P1, K2. (See, you're just knitting your knits, and purling your purls... don't you feel better already?)

Keep these two rows up until you take the edge off, run out of yarn, or suddenly find yourself with a very fine scarf in your lap. You won't be disappointed, I promise.