Ask Poops, Please

Putting my two cents in.

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Location: Belmont, New Hampshire, United States

Born and bred in a small New England town, I am convinced that I know something about everything, and that my opinion matters. If only to me. Well, you'll see what I mean. And I love to knit, so you'll see what kind of things I'm doing when I should be vacuuming the living room.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Get in the Car, Muthah, We're Goin' to the Fayah.

This is my booth at the Canterbury Fair. The weather yesterday? 92 degrees and humid. Still, I did sell some knit things, a couple of wall hangings, and a whole bunch of handmade cards. It was a good haul.

Sister is manning the booth, trying to stay cool.

These are the Fuggles Hats on display. I sold three of them. They were quite popular. Had it been a mite cooler, I probably could have unloaded more of them.

Two rows of Sudz Soakers and a loaf pan full of Coffee Cozees. I sold two Soakerz and one Cozee. Go figure. I thought they'd be a hit. I also sold two pair of mittens and three baby hats. If I had made more toddler sizes I'd have sold at least three more. Good to know.

Vegan Market Bags. I thought these would sell in a crunchy granola town like Canterbury, but no takers. I wanted to put on the tag "Vegan Market Bags, 100% Canadian cotton. No Canadians were harmed in the making of these bags." But I find some (not all) vegans lack a sense of humor, and I didn't wish to offend. Well, I didn't wish to hurt sales.

My quilted hangings. They are primitives with sayings on them. I sold two of them yesterday, so not too bad. They're not big movers. Oh, and I did sell a pillowcase with a crocheted edging. And they got a lot of notice yesterday too, which was promising.

I'd do this fair again. There's money to be made in Canterbury, only the heat was working against everyone, I think. We had the coolest spot in the place, and we were right beside the chicken barbeque and the frappe stand.

I have another fair in September and the church fair in November and that should just about do it, unless something else promising comes up in the meantime.

At the end of the day I walked away with enough cash in my pocket to keep me in yarn for a few more months.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Almost Cut My Hair

I have that song running through my head, though it's not completely accurate.
This is what I looked like before I popped into Hair Excitement on Tuesday afternoon. (Please note that this is as good as it got with plenty of product and time to style.)
This is what I looked like yesterday at the beach, one day into my new haircut! It's so much cooler now! And yes, I forgot to put on sunscreen. So you see, I didn't almost cut my hair. I actually did cut my hair.
We spent Wednesday at York Beach. You remember York Beach. My sister and her husband have a place for the week at Long Sands. This is the view from their balcony. Hello, Atlantic ocean! They went to the ocean for the week as a birthday giftie to Sister.
I took a picture of her with her gift from us, the One Skein book that she was admiring, but I hit a backspace button in error and now Blogger will not let me upload it again. Have I mentioned that I think I hate Blogger just for reasons like this? So, sorry Sister that your pic didn't make the blog. The link was the best I could do. Effing Blogger. Oh, and we also gave her a pin with a sheep on it made in the Ukranian art of pysanky, which I have done on eggs but would never have thought of making said eggs into pins. I had to get it.
We got to the beach in the morning and headed right out to York's Wild Kingdom, a combination zoo and amusment park aimed at the under 12 set. The kids had a great time. Turns out Emma loves rides...she's a Danger Mouse just like her sister! The faster and higher the better! She rode the merry go round and kept yelling "faster! faster!"
After the park and a quick bite of pizza for lunch, we went back to the hotel to swim in Tanta's pool. Now, we could spit on the ocean it's so close, why not go swim in the ocean? Have you ever tried to swim in Maine? The water is so cold it feels like knives stabbing at you. The pool was lovely and we cooled off in no time. Emma also likes the water, go figure.
After a dip and putting on dry clothes, it was time to head back home. We stopped at The Goldenrod for some candy before heading out. Here are Larry T. and the girls in front of the taffy pulling machine. The peanut butter kisses are to die for and we brought a box home for Grandpa Ernee cause they're his favorite.
We had a very fun day at the beach. Even if we never exactly went to the beach itself. No matter.
In other local news, the heat wave has finally broken! For four or five days, ending on Wednesday, it was HOT and HUMID here. The kind of weather where you just have to sit and not move lest you break out in a full-body sweat. The kind of weather where you eat out...a lot. The kind of weather where you just want to kill yourself.
But it finally broke. Today we are enjoying some lovely Canadian air, and it is currently 9 in the morning, 65 degrees and not a lick of humidity or a cloud in the sky. Just perfect. As soon as the dew burns off, we're going to play outside.
I have to go figure out a project to make! I haven't made anything except for a tiny gift bag to wrap sister's pin in since Monday! I'm on my second knit-free day. And I've got the DT's.
I made a cotton hat over the weekend. It's cute. I put it in FO's, so go click over there if you like.
I also washed and blocked all my Sudz Soakerz and Coffee Cozees for the Canterbury fair. I meant to take a pic of them out there in the sun, but I'll be sure to document them all set up in my booth that day. I just hope the fairgoers are feeling like big spenders!
Now I have to go pick a new project. I might make some more slippers. Four pair down, eleven to go.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

So hot, they're cool!

I call these...Coffee Cozees! I got the idea from MagKnits "Java a GoGo" by Mariko Fujinaka. Only Mariko used fingering weight yarn for hers and well, I don't knit much with fingering weight yarn. Worsted, on the other hand, I have in spades. What to do, what to do? Make my own, of course!

So, I looked at a paper coffee cup and did a bit of math and knit up a prototype. And I got a slightly v-shaped tube that surrounds the scalding hot surface of a cup, protecting those sensitive fingertips from burns.

I did not add any handles or fingerloops to the Cozee, owing to the fact that if this is my first cup of coffee in the morning, I will be unable to negotiate the loops and will likely cause a third-degree crotch burn in the process of trying to pick up or put down the cup. No, a sheath works just fine for me. If you want to add loops, see the aforementioned link.

And before anyone asks...

Coffee Cozees
Protecting your precious knitting fingers from lava java!

Fits a 16 oz. (medium) coffee cup, but I suspect would fit on a small or a large fairly well too.

Odds and ends of worsted weight yarn and US size 5 dpns.
Gauge: 5 sts to the inch or so. Ish. Or there abouts.

CO 44 sts. Divide onto 3 needles and join in a round.

Knit 1 inch in pattern.

First decrease: (K9, k2tog) around. 40 sts.

Knit another inch in pattern.

Second decrease: (K8, k2tog) around. 36 sts.

Knit another inch in pattern.

Bind off and weave in ends.

*That makes a basic stockinette stitch sheath. It can be done with colorwork or patterns, just be sure to pick ones that make it easy to allow for the decreases. If you would like a shorter or longer Cozee, just add more rows between the decrease rows. These come out to about three inches high, but if you have big hands you may want a wider one. As long as the decreases are more or less evenly spaced it should still fit your cup of choice.


Monday, July 10, 2006

The Knittyheads Have Spoken

And they want a pattern! So here it is! Feel free to make these babies to your hearts content.

As a note to my previous post, I am pleased to report that the test drive of my first Suds Soakerz went off without a hitch. The Soakerz was only a bit damp at the end, but my end table was dry, and my hands didn't get wet every time I picked up the sweaty can. I expect it will dry quickly as well.

Sudz Soakerz
Keepin’ your cans dry…in style!

Fits most 12 oz. beverage cans.

Bits and pieces and odds and ends of worsted weight wool.

US size 5 dpns.

Gauge: 5 sts to the inch. Or so. Ish. Whatever, they’re stretchy.

To begin, CO 40 sts and divide between three dpns.

Knit in desired pattern for 4.5 inches. If you must err, err on the short side so you have "lip clearance" on the edge of the can.

*I have done a 2 x 2 rib in alternating stripes and one in plain stockinette with a colorwork band at the top. Colorwork is great for this project as the stranded yarn gives the Soakerz extra stability. Just pick a pattern you like that repeats over 40 stitches.

When you’ve knit your 4.5 inches, make your last row a purled row. Or two. Both are nice and give a defined edge along the bottom.

Now shape the bottom. Now, I said! ( it whenever you like. I'm flexible.)

Knit one row, then:
Row 1: K2, k2tog around
Row 2: Knit
Row 3: K1, k2 tog around
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: K2tog around
Row 6: Knit

Break yarn and thread through loops, pulling tight. Weave in ends to finish.

That's it. Pretty easy, really. And fast.


So Cool, They're Hot

I think I'll call 'em...Sudz Soakerz!

I figured if wool soakers can keep the wet contents of a baby's diaper contained, imagine what it would do for a sweaty soda can!

I'm giving the sweaty Diet Coke can currently ensconced in the pink and brown Soakerz a "dry" run even as we speak.

So far, so good.

My Favorite Street in the World

My entry in monkee's blogaversary contest:

From her blog, Fruitcake Knits...

(A) Take a picture of your favourite road, highway, sidewalk, little path where the rabbits run, or anything you like that could vaguely fall into this category. Even a hallway. Whatever. Tell me some little factoid about it that might explain why you like it.

Hands down, my favorite street has to be High Street.

My family has lived on High Street since the end of WWII. It is a dead end street with only 10 houses on it. We are a two-minute walk from the center of town, just off the Main Street; close enough to be very convenient yet far enough away to not hear the traffic.

The other night I was sitting on my front lawn knitting, waiting for the charcoal to be ready, and watching the girls play outside. Mary was riding her bike. Emma was playing on her slide. The neighbor kids were having skateboard contests and bike races alternately. My husband was mowing my sister's lawn. Alan was finishing his new deck. Tracey stopped over with a couple of necklaces for the girls that her own daughter had grown out of and thought my kids might like. Jack was washing his truck.

I thought about how we did the same things growing up--bike races, playing matchbox cars with the neighbor kids, and cooking on the grill while Dad cut the grass for his mother. And while I love my memories of growing up, and I cherish the ones we're making every day, I get the warmest feeling thinking of sometime in the distant future where my son-in-law is cutting the grass for me while my grandkids practice riding their two-wheelers in the street.

My roots are here, and it's where I'm happiest.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Clairmont Family Reunion

The Clairmont Family, circa 1939
top row: Aunt Irene, Aunt Pudgie (Eva),Uncle Joe, Uncle George, Aunt Pauline, Uncle Skip (Romeo)
bottom row: Grammy (Regina), Uncle Shimmy (Wilfred), Memere (Celina), Pepere (Levi), Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Bill (Lawrence)
Meet the Clairmonts, the ten children of of my great-granparents. Memere and Pepere immigrated to NH from Trois Rivieres, Quebec. They owned a farm on Windmill Hill in Belmont for many years.
My grandmother is the lovely lady in the front row, all the way to the far left. (Your far left, her right.) This was taken in 1939, so she would have been 29 years old. She and my grandfather, Ernest, had been married for 6 years, and my Aunt Elaine would have been three. My dad, also Ernest, wouldn't be born for another 2 years yet. At this time my grandparents were living in Dover, since my grandfather worked for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard where he built submarines for the Allies. They moved back to Belmont after the war, and settled on High Street.
Today, my sister and her husband live downstairs in that house, and my dad and his girlfriend live upstairs. We live in the house next door that my parents bought when they got married.
Memere and Pepere died quite a long time ago, so long in fact that I only have the vaguest memories of Memere from when I was little and she lived with Aunt Pudgie.
As for the brothers and sisters, three are still alive today. Aunt Irene is the oldest surviving sister, and I don't know her date of birth right off hand, but if I had to guess I'd say she's well into her 80's, if not in her 90's. Sadly, she's been in the nursing home with Alzheimer's for many, many years. Nearly half of them had Alzheimer's when they died. Aunt Pauline is still alive and kicking, and she organized the even. She is the youngest of the sisters. She's married to a lovely man named Ken, and calls herself "Polly" these days, though why she does that I have no idea. I call her Aunt Pauline because you can't teach an old niece new tricks.
Uncle Skip is still with us too, and still a ladies' man after all these years. He used to live in the house next door when my Aunt Elaine was alive, but the stairs got to be too much for his knees, so he moved in with his girlfriend, Ellie.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Aunt Katherine (Uncle Joe's widow) and Aunt Elsie (Uncle George's widow) are both still with us and as feisty as ever.
I got to see cousins I hadn't seen in awhile, and remark over how big all our collective kids are getting. It seems like just yesterday (yeah, I know everyone says that, but it really does seem like that) that we were the kids at the reunion, running races for prizes and swimming in Uncle Bill's pond. Today our kids were playing tag and hide and seek in the church hall, while we parents looked on and the "old folks" sat around and caught up.
Even though such things are inevitable, it still seems somewhat foreign to me that my dad's generation are all grandparents, and some are great-grandparents even.
Time flies when you're having fun, I guess.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Random Bits of Effluvia

Effluvia No. 1: Emma and the Daylilies.

Included because she's so stinking cute, and my daylilies look so purty all in full bloom. Pretty big, aren't they? Emma is blowing on them with a maximum of spit. I told her to smell the flowers, and that's what I got.

Effluvia No. 2: Tsunami!

So this one time Friend Bob (you remember Friend Bob) and I were at the beach. We went to school in Newport, Rhode Island at Salve Regina University. Only it was a college then. It didn't go "university" until after we graduated. But I digress.

We were at the beach, enjoying the last days of summer. We headed back to school in early September, but the weather is usually nice enough in Newport to hit the beach well into October. Which we did. And it explains our grade point averages. I mean, who can study with this right outside the windows?

Now, the beach is bordered by a sea wall, which most of the time was there for show. The sand above the high-tide line was dry as a bone and had been for quite some time. No water had touched that sand, I swear to you. So we lay down our towels and stuff, did some swimming, then flopped down to catch some rays. (Back when I thought there was such a thing as a Healthy Tan.) We're laying there on our bellies, minding our own business, when out of nowhere...


This rogue wave comes out of NOWHERE and completely submerges us. Completely. As in all the way. As in the wave that should have stopped at least 30 yards away--at high tide no less, which it wasn't--completely defied the laws of nature and running over everything in its path proceeded past the high-tide mark, past the unwary sunbathers, and up and over the sea wall.


After we realized we hadn't actually drowned, we jumped up coughing and spitting sand and sea water, chased our cold drinks and a soggy script or two before they wound up as hostages to the ocean, and proceeded to collapse on our sodden towels laughing so hard we thought we'd pass out. One of us made the casual comment, "That wasn't a wave, it was a soooo NAM eee," which struck us both as hysterical.

Of course it's less funny now after the real tsunami that wiped out half of southeast Asia. Nah, it's still funny to me.

We were "soooo NAM eeeeed."

Effluvia No. 3: York Beach, Maine.

What reminded me of the sooooo NAM eeeeee of all those years ago was spending Monday at York Beach. Lovely place, but shitty parking. I'm just saying.

I neglected to bring the camera, so I have no pictures to share of our own day in the sand, but we did get there right as the tide decided to come in, and we found ourselves constantly moving back and back and back before we got wet. Only I was watching the kids and not the water and it did creep up and get Larry's t-shirt and towel soaked.

His stuff got soooo NAM eeeeed.

Effluvia No. 4: Blogger Sucks.

I'm trying to post pictures of FO's and Blogger won't let me upload any pictures. And it's pissing me off in a royal way. I'd prefer you to be able to see the photos I took without having to link to them.

Sons of bitches.

Effluvia No. 5: More Fuggles!

They've taken on a life of their own.

Here's the toddler family of Fuggles. Three in a one to two year sized and three in a two and up size. One of them fits my 6 year old. Weird, since the stitch count and pattern are the same. Not sure why it came out so much bigger. And don't lecture me about gauge. I won't have it!

So I've made some cute tags for them, but I'm giving my hands a break from the acrylic. It has no give! I'm on to another pair of slippers. In wool. *sigh*

Effluvia No. 6: A Few More FO's.

Finally, a pair of red had lady slippers, and two hats. Not too exciting. Sorry you had to WASTE ALL THAT TIME LINKING TO IT.

Frickin' Blogger bastards.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Meet the Fuggles!

What do you do when you're a fiber snob and you are generously gifted with a bag full of leftover odds and ends of eyelash yarn, fun fur and Lion Brand Homespun?

Well, LB Homespun makes great afghans, throws, and shawls. I know this. But there's not enough in there to make anything that size without piecing, and who wants to do that? Not me, I'm an in-the-round kind of knitter. The fewer seams, the better.

I suppose I could make some "throw-away" sweaters for the kids--the kind you don't mind if they eat spaghetti in. But I just can't bring myself to dress the kids in squeaky acrylic, having been subjected to "afghan yarn" clothing for years by my well-meaning and creative albeit frugal Grammy. Besides, if I'm going to take that kind of time to make a sweater, I'm going to make it out of something nice (and by nice I mean not acrylic) that can be handed down to my grandchildren someday.

And novelty yarn! What do you do with literally a few yards here and there of fun fur and eyelash? Besides throw it out with a shudder?

You make Fuggles!

Meet the Fuggle Family of Hats. These are the baby-sized ones. These took a few hours apiece to make, owing largely to the fact that it's bulky yarn and there are only 40 stitches around to knit! In stockinette, no less!

So these are the three prototypes in the smallest size. I think I'll make them up to todder sized, since anyone older than that would look fairly stupid in them, I'm thinking. But the homespun is nice and soft--if squeaky to work with--and the froo-froo-y-ness of the eyelash can be pulled off by those enormous heads on their ridiculously small bodies.

And I have a pantload of Homespun, so here's hoping that man-made yarn flies off the table at the Canterbury fair.

*fingers crossed*

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