Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Barely Breathing

Just stopping in to let y'all know I'm still alive. Wretched sinus problems and Melly's croup conspired to leave me completely wiped out... so much so that very little progress has been made on the experimental 'Strong heel' socks. This is what I get for listening to That Gaylen. There was a five chapter agreement made if I could knit a pair up (it's a 'Twilight' thing, you wouldn't understand...), but the case of icks I have has made my hands feel like lead. Here's the progress thus far. That Gaylen knows how to throw down a knitting challenge. Be warned. She is ruthless and will taunt you with Screech even though you are clearly thousands of miles away...
I'm not a fan. Personally, I love heel flaps. They look snappy, they offer a break from the 'round and 'round bits of sockitecture, and they signal the approach of halfway done. This version of a sock (and I use the term loosely) just made me dizzy. And bored. But I will see this through, though I'm not sure who to inflict the finished product on.

Anne-Marie brought me more bags today. Redrhonda left with the cupcake bag so fast I didn't have time to snag a photo, so here are the remains. Two in Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Springy, colorful, and perfectly lovely.

And here be the crack bunnehs. I heart the cracked-out bunnehs. Yes, you have to say it that way now. It's obligatory. They get kinda pissy and will maul your knitting if you try to enunciate clearly. As chemically altered rabbits go, they're a good buncha bunnehs, though, so this bag might just get to be mine. Of course, as the day looms ever closer for A-M's daughter's move to Switzerland, we're doing our part at Clementine's to keep her busy and out of trouble... she left with fabric to make another handful of bags. Stay tuned.

New yarn has arrived. Always on the lookout for pretty bits of string, there is now a giant mess of yarn that needs re-organizing. Once it get it all gussied up I'll take a 'group photo' for the masses to see what's new. This is 'Handpaint Originals' from Brown Sheep. Not a new yarn, but a very recent addition to our string stable. I was thinking of another wrap when I ordered it, especially the colorway on the right. Pale, cloudy, beachy colors...
another 'Clapotis', perhaps?
See, I told you I was sick!
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Urchins revisited

Angie tagged me with one of those photo-meme thingies. Normally I'm not one for joining in the memes, but curiosity got the better of me and I had to go look. I've cheated a little, in that the fifth photo in the fifth folder was of a blurry Siamese cat, thoroughly up to no good, so I took a bit of license and swatted the scroll-bar, roulette-style, and took the fifth photo from where it landed. Still pretty far into the archives, this was from late April, 2007.

The spring rains had turned the drive into an unutterable mess, and, naturally, the children of Becher Haus decided it was high time to risk tetnus, diphtheria, and hook worm to have a go at being mud monsters. It actually got much worse than this, once they had their dad drive over the mud, rock, and wattle village they'd constructed... the garden hose was employed and they had to strip in the entryway before hitting the showers. It's amazing how much they've all changed in the past twenty-two months. Joey even has front teeth now! My thanks to Angie for making me take the time to go snoop in the 'cold storage' of the photo files.
Now, to do my bit of tagging: I know some of you take amazing pictures, so I'm going to tag Melly (even though she did this very recently), Gaylen, Tif (please, no scary desert creatures!), Steph (once you're recovered from Madrona, doll- no pressure!), and Ann. I'd also really love to tag Anna, but she's really not into the memes... still, her photos are drool-worthy, even when they aren't food related!
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a post-script: the bags from the previous post are six to seven inches in diameter at the coiled base, and about thirteen (or so) inches tall.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bagging it

Anne Marie showed up with the first two 'clothesline bags' today. Handy for any portable knitting project, these stand-alone bags are so unbelievably charming I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they both sold the very day they arrived. This one went home with Miss Rob. It's done in Kaffe Fassett's 'paperweight' fabric.

Lori scored this one, in Amy Butler's 'french wallpaper' fabric. I was so enamored with these two that Anne Marie left with fabrics and thread to concoct four more. She works fast, so if you need one of these lovelies, just phone the shop and we'll hook you up. There's even a 'crack bunnies' bag in the works. Good, useful, and just plain fun. I can't wait to load up a sock project in my very own.

A slice of life at Becher Haus, captured and immortalized here on the blog. Young master Eli has finally discovered 'Lego' magazine, and has taken to turning our bed into his personal reading room. He dragged his pillow to our bed and converted it into his office, where he read until he passed out. Such a wee bit of cuteness, and my thanks to Melly for texting me at just the right moment. I'd had the camera poised, trying hard to avoid getting yet another photo of him squinting his eyes shut, when the chiming of my phone went off in my pocket. Presto. Perfect picture. Finally.

Tonight Herr Becher and I went to view a house for sale in the hamlet of Franklin. Perfect for a biggish family, even better for housing Clementine's. Not sure how things will play out, as we would have to sell the Knuckerhole (that's code for the current Becher Haus) quickly. So, if you know anyone with need of ten heavily wooded acres and an AGA, do send them my way. It'll work out if it's meant to, and I surely do hope we get to be 'townies' again. Type at you later. C
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Unmedicated Stupor

Yes, it's the wee hours of the morning and you have this man to thank for the unfortunate timing of this bit of posting. See, he just finished creating his post. While the world turned and he clacked away, I had been in the bed, reading and growing ever sleepier... until I evidently passed out, still clothed, book at my side.

Normally I don't crawl into bed without dosing up with the Xanax, so even if I dream, it's nothing I have to ponder upon waking. The problem apparently was that I'd had him bring me another cup of coffee (yes, I do still consider decaf coffee), and he set my shivering self up with the smooshy pillows and the heating pad. Bingo. Magic combination. Coupled with the hours he'd spent composing his rant against adult diapers and the Walmart clientele, my fragile brain never stood a chance. Care to know what woke me up? I'm gonna tell you anyway...

In the stupid dream, I was trying to sneak a frozen pizza (Monday was WW day. I held firm in my resolve not to lose an ounce this week.) in a ridiculous wood-fired wall oven. Behind me I suddenly am blasted with the sound of gun shots going off in the house. I start down the hall in the unfamiliar dream-house only to find two sheepish-looking men at the end of said hall, and the smell of fresh gunpowder. Turning, I can see gouges in the wall and, hearing police sirens getting closer to the house (on a corner lot in an urban neighborhood), I stalk angrily past the destruction to greet my 'visitors'. Once the cops are out of their cars, they ask me what's all the fuss about and I can only point to the huge holes in the side of my house and explain about the two dumb sportsmen who wanted to shoot skeet, but didn't want to break the law about "no discharging a firearm within city-limits". Because, somehow, being inside the house wasn't supposed to count...

One of the policemen picks up a casing from the ground. It's huge, and I realize that one of my houseguests is using a high-powered rifle instead. With a flip of his hand, the cop sends the empty casing back towards my house, where it shatters the entire glass door that leads to the side yard. Cursing and stomping back to the house (because, apparently, I get to ignore dream-cops), I resume some sort of kitchen duty that involves bread dough and not enough pans to put it in, and there's an annoying young woman following me around, determined to fill me in on her tragic love life. Finally, my husband steps into the kitchen to ask about me how many boxes of donut braids (I dunno what those are; just go with it) I want to take the kids. I'm puzzled by this, because there aren't any children around. Ugh. Time to wake up from this bizzare place...

See why I prefer the medicated stupor? And all this whilst unaware of Herr Becher's rant against growing older. But that old fart in the gov'ment car yesterday? He might have been one of the shooters. Now I'm wide awake at nearly one a.m. and blathering on. Time to hit the Xanax.
Also, for Anna and anyone else interested in the custom colors for the shop, I was told orders were 6-8 weeks out at Lorna's Laces. I ordered near the end of January, so it could be another month before I have those lovelies in my/your hands. Soon, though. I'm still knitting on the 'Smooches, Pooches' sample.

Muh culuhs ahh blush and bashful...sorry, didn't know a movie quote had to come popping out because I was thinking pink. G'night, y'all. C

Saturday, February 14, 2009

All Sugared Up

Well, it's the close of another day here at Becher Haus. I surprised the chirruns with huge honkin' bags of candy for breakfast, then was reminded about how that's really not the best plan when young master Eli lost his cool about an hour after dinner. The blood-sugar collapse was too much for him... it was almost too much for everyone else. A hot shower and some fresh jammies and his world seems right. I'm a little worried about tomorrow morning, though. They might be expecting chocolate bars for breakfast. Maybe I'll take them out for 'Cracker Barrel' instead. The day before 'fat church'. (I'll just have water, please.)

Miss G booby-trapped me. In today's mail, there was a box full of wonders. More sugar for the wee ones, some fun gew-gaws, some outrageous sock yarn with a 'heart' theme for which she will be punished, and finally, the super cute Amy Butler 'Sun and Surf' halter top which my far northwestern cyber-pal made for me to use as a shop sample. Yes, that is code for "it'll hang in the shop until I need to wear it", but only my accountant knows for sure. We don't speak of these things. Anyway, in my eager rush to see the super-cute top, I may have flung it out of the box, where it proceeded to ejaculate heart confetti (you so did not see that word coming, did you?!) all over the dining room table. And chairs. And rug. I think I have one in my bra, too.

Are you happy now, Gaylen?

She is sooo lucky they stopped making pink plastic flamingos. 'Cuz if I lived closer, and if I had about a hundred of those things, they'd be all in her yard. And her bra.

Strong heeled sock to commence in the a.m. Keep reading, chica. Game is still on.

Friday, February 13, 2009


The 'Twilight' stole has died... again. If I told you how many times I've started this thing, I'd have to throw myself under a train in embarrassment.
Nine times. There. I said it. The pattern is labeled 'intermediate beginner'. I am so ashamed. I may have to take a few steps back before I re-attempt this. It's sad how little attention span I do have. Appalling. Really.

Here is the incomplete assortment of the 'beach glass' colors for the 'Modern Quilt Wrap'. Cocoa brown is missing. I took maybe five photos the other day, in preparation to show you the beautimous yarns all playing nicely together, and not once did it dawn on me that someone was missing. Gah. Drunk on stupid over here. Another round for me and my alter-ego, please, bar-keep.

Miss Jaime was a busy knitter. Started Sunday afternoon in the shop, this long wooly sock is knit in sportweight Louet 'Gems', with crack added in top, heels, and toes. She's got a fair bit of it's mate growing from her needles, as well. Yes, we are preaching the gospel of the Kidsilk Haze. Amen.

Gaylen is working her way through 'Twilight' (the book, not the devil-incarnate stole), and this post means she gets to read some more... yay! Have a wonderful evening. I'll be back with more fibery goodness later. The trains aren't running real regular anyway. C
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Little gobs of happy

The latest arrivals of Kidsilk Haze. The fluffy bits of bright colors make me giggle every time I walk past them. This could become problematic. I'm working on ditching the snorting half of the giggle-snort. It disturbs the older patrons.
This means, naturally, that kits are once again available for the 'Modern Quilt Wrap'. You have only to call the shop and one will be in your hot little hands asap. The beach-glass colorway is extraordinary. I'm rethinking my trip knitting. Or possibly just knitting away wildly with it and letting whatever happens happen. It's Kidsilk Haze. It's not like it could ever turn out ugly.
Here's the remaining colors of the Mini Mochi. I told you it was fabulous. I'm just puzzling over which colorway wants to be the official 'shop sample'. You know, the socks that will fit me
Is that so wrong?
p.s. Gaylen, you can move beyond the preface now. *snark*
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009


This post has to be brief, because the winds are picking up and the lights keep dimming in the haus. I was going to show you some of the new yarns that arrived yesterday, but Miss Rob already made off with the entire bag of one of the colors in the Mini Mochi from Crystal Palace. That is beautiful stuff. Sample socks will be a pleasure to knit. Must. Start. Soon.

Monday was a running day. The three boys needed haircuts to keep from looking urchun-ish, and my goal for the day was to be properly fitted for a new bra. I don't need to go into the gory details, but any tale that ends with me storming out of the Von Maur, even as Herr Becher is offering to buy me something fabulous from the perfume counter, isn't easily re-told. Sadly, I'm still sagging, wearing the same old 'Euphoria' scent, and strangely still pissed off at the supposed "professional undergarment fitters" that the department store purports to have on staff. I'm not even sure I can make myself go back, as I'd barely made it past the handbags and out the door before the tears stinging my eyes and closing my throat began to escape. That's something I'm going to have to conquer. The 'crying when I'm angry' thing is too crippling. Even Xanax couldn't help. By the time we got to the phone store I was pulled together (seeing a Volvo S60 in the Kinko's parking lot may have cheered me more than is really healthy, but it was silver. snark), except Helium Chipmunk was working, and I wheeled around so fast I nearly gave myself whiplash. Got out in time not to require peeling her face off, and the very next day the Mister took me to a very different Verizon location to get the spanking new phone. If you're local to Greenwood, be advised the 31 south location near Whiteland is far superior to the 135 shop. Unless you're already heavily medicated. Mine hadn't kicked in yet.

I did say I'd be brief. Well, the power seems to be holding for now, and the point to this photoless post is really just to get Gaylen to read the 'Twilight' books. Negotiations were reached at a chapter per post. I've been wearing her down, sending picture texts of The Edward, begging in my whining-type. I'm glad she finally caved. My next move was to begin texting prime snippets of story, 160 characters at a time. Yeah, it was going to get ugly. Uglier than my shrinking boobs in their ill-fitting bra.

Photos of yarn tomorrow, poppets. And maybe a socks-in-progress update. Perhaps I should put them all together for one big scary group photo. That will prolly require 'Helium Chippy' amounts of Xanax. We'll see... C

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A little bit of happy for Gaylen

Some days at Clementine's are better than others. Saturday afternoon my monkey about fell out of it's tree when this fabulous coat (attached to it's charming seamstress)came strolling in. Polka-dots!

There I stood, mouth gaping, when she mentioned finding a matching satin lining. I'm not adept at garment construction. I only know it's often hazardous to the sewist-psyche. But what I knew, at that moment, was that if I didn't get a photo or two, Gaylen would kick my butt. Or refuse to believe me about the fabulous, Boden-esque coat that won the Indiana State Fair... yeah, it's a blue ribbon winner.

A little satin lining for your Sunday, Miss G. *Mwah*

Above and below. Those damn cracked-out bunnies. Stoner fawns. Tweaker bugs and birds. Yeah, the birds do look like robots. Then you get to the 'shrooms and the leaning trees and the totally 70's strawberries that keep giving me flashbacks to third grade. I feel like I should be wearing gauchos and smearing on lip gloss from a tin (the ones with the slidey lid... remember?) Okay, gotta run. The week was long, but second Sunday has netted us three new sock knitters. World domination can't be far away. C
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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tastes Like Chicken

Whoops. So much for trying to come up for air once in a while. Tuesday was spent in my pajamas, resting and reading and watching out the window at the incredible flock of birds we've suddenly amassed in this bitter cold. Our one Pileated woodpecker even came to the feeder, though he about knocked it down with his voracious appetite. The little birds were quite pleased to find him to be such a slob...

They totally cashed in, not only on the crumbs he knocked off the suet feeder, but I used the hungry, waiting audience to get rid of all the stray boxes of cereal and stale crackers. A few good whomps and smears with the rolling pin and the birds had enough for an all-day buffet. Meanwhile, Tuesday evening...

Herr Becher made dinner. I applaud the effort, but I think everyone at Becher Haus will agree that whole wheat pasta sucks, no matter how dolled up it is. The chunks of roasted chicken were good. The sauce he invented to dress the hearty pasta was delicious. But, at the end of the day, even the World's Ugliest Sweater could not be impressed.

I am so unimpressed with the World's Ugliest Sweater that I'm considering frogging the whole thing and foisting it off onto Goodwill. The problem will be that I've already got four of the six balls of 'Poems' spit-spliced together (it was a bit goat-y), so there's no way it's coming apart in one piece, or even four easy pieces. Breakage will have to occur. I have about five more hours of knitting progress than this photo would have you believe... I'm almost to the sleeves. Gah. And I've already bought two more balls of another yarn (Rowan 'Cocoon') to try and finish this mess. It'll be nowhere near enough. Perhaps a fulled wool bag is looming on the horizon.
I had Big Plans for this project. In typical fashion, it was designing itself on needles, and the kiwi green 'Cocoon' was going to be knit into lovely, chunky cables down the front edges, with leaf-shaped tabs to pull through the cable twists to close the cardigan. Simple, flared sleeves were to end with smaller versions of the cables from wrist to elbow, with a band of the same tiny leaves circling the wrist. I may just have to go stuff it in a bag until I can face the demon calmly and rationally. About which time hell will be done freezing over. *smacks head on desk soundly* C
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Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Yesterday seemed like as good a day as any to finally surrender to the whatever it was that was plaguing me. After a restless night, I dragged myself to Melly's house for a play date that I'd very much been looking forward to. That said, let me point out what a lazy arse I am.
Melly had to drive me to the yarn store there in Zionsville, where she allowed the salesclerk to talk her out of a 'Clapotis' worth of Malabriggo yarn (WTF?), I found some yarn to add to the World's Ugliest Sweater that I've started (in an effort to use up the stash; I'd never embark on a mission like this willingly), and, upon finishing our yarn run, when asked what I wanted to eat, I could only answer "bacon". Much to my delight, Melly returned me to her house and proceeded to make me the world's biggest and best bacon sandwich on wholegrain bread. I crashed on her sofa in front of the flat screen under two blankets and a dog. Too tired to even make my hands work right to knit, I gave up and settled in for an afternoon of being coddled.
Getting home was a nightmare, as I got myself into the thick of rush hour traffic. My eyes wanted to stay shut with every blink. Once I got home, I could only drag myself to the bed. Fifteen hours (and a lot of Tums) later, here I am. There was a hot shower in there somewhere, and fresh jammies, but I don't remember it. I just know that shutting it down has never felt so good, even with the nausea and back pain. Not sure how long this 'feeling better' is going to last... that bed is looking pretty good, and my hands and arms are starting to get heavy again. Just wanted to let you know I am, at present, still alive. Hoping to get a photo-post in soon. The Ugly Sweater will not be denied.