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.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Very "Churchy" Weekend

So this has been a truly church-filled weekend.

Friday night we had a concert at our church, something that doesn't happen all that often. We were lucky enough to have Lori True and Paul Tate come and sing for us. Or with us, I should say. The printed program had music in it and we sang along on all but maybe three pieces. It was prayerful and uplifting and I really enjoyed it. Plus Paul and Lori are so nice and personable that it was just great to have them with us.

Saturday morning Lori and Paul held a music clinic for cantors which was amazing. We were joined by quite a few cantors from area churches and she had each one get up and sing a psalm and then worked with him/her on her presentation, singing skills, just everything. Lori has an awesome way of watching a singer and being able to put her finger on what is wrong, be it breath support, phrasing, being too powerful or too timid, not opening vowels enough, whatever. And you might not even be able to figure out what is off until she changes it and you go "AHA!" I wish I had had the huevos to get up and let her critique me, but I just didn't feel ready. And I learned so much just watching everyone else.

Which is a good thing, because I cantored for the first time at the 4:3o mass. I was kibbying a bit because I was kind of thrown into the deep end of the pool, but I swam. God help me, I swam.

I sang in tandem with Lise, who has been a cantor for a million years, and I knew she wouldn't let me drown. So she started the program, announced the entrance song and all that. But we did the responsorial psalm together, singing together on the response and I did verse 1 and 3 and she did 2 and 4. My voice was shaky and I know I wasn't pitch perfect, but it wasn't hideous either, and I have to say I was kind of glad when it was behind me.

Then Lise introduced the preparation of gifts song and we all sang and she did all the mass parts like the Gospel acclamation and the Mystery of faith and the Holy holy holy. But I did the lead on Lamb of God while Lise sang the descant and that sounded really good. I was so pleased with that little bit. And emboldened by my success, I introduced the communion song and the closing song and sang them from the "cantor's spot". Jeanne, our choir director, was pleased and Lise said I did great and not to change a thing, which made me happy all over.

I just wish I didn't get so shaky, especially my voice. It's like I can't trust it completely. Lise told me she never got rid of the shakes completely, but that they do get to the point where you can mostly ignore them.

And it looks like I'll be singing more 8:00 masses than anything since it's a hard mass to fill and the usual cantor hasn't been well lately. It works in my favor since it's mostly older folks that early and it's not as heavily populated as the 10:30.

And now I'm still going to my usual 10:30 mass tomorrow because Friend Bob's (you remember Friend Bob...) parents are in town and they're coming to mass with us and then out to lunch. I still have to bring Bug to church, especially since it's her first Religious Education class tomorrow. I'm so excited for her!

So it has been a weekend of prayer and song and I have to say I've enjoyed myself.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Guest Star #1: Stuff on my Cat
This is Lilith. She is modeling my new scarf of 100% handspun angora. It is a soft fawn color, and I used bits of color in a single crotchet around the edge. It is worked up in a lace pattern called "dainty chevrons", because I am nothing if not dainty, and Lilith liked the bunny smell of it. But she wasn't crazy about the flash. Or the fact that the angora obscured her own luscious fur of which she is extremely proud, and with good reason. She consented to one picture, but a whole photo shoot was out of the question. Currently, she is having some krinkies and a sip of water from craft services. Then I believe she's going to call her agent.
Guest Star #2: the midnight farm

A lovely fellow Knittyhead made up a dishcloth from my pattern and kindly submitted her pics for my dishcloth "gallery". In case you missed it, here is the pattern, worked in variegated pinks and reds by the midnight farm, and here is another Knittyhead submission, this one from dear Yarner.
Now, if I get this post to post (cross your fingers!), I'll update you on the porch progress later.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Very Special Things

These are some cute felted boxes that I whipped up this week. And when I say "whipped up", I mean it! These are a very fast knit and in my not-so-humble opinion make great gifts. As a matter of fact, I made one for Sister and she's taken it to work already. Of course I made it to match her living room, but it would look nice in her office too.
Now, the pattern is called "Very Special Things" by Wendy Wonnacott (the beloved Zib of the Knittyboard) and is available at The Garter Belt.
The largest box is made from Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in avocado and red. The middle box is WOTA in evergreen and I think some leftover Brown Sheep Nature Spun in snow. The third box is Reynolds Light Lopi in Berry Heather and the end of a small skein of handspun I picked up at the NH Sheep and Wool Festival.
I did a couple of things different from the original pattern, but then what else is new? For starters, I reinforced my boxes not with cardboard but with plastic canvas. I cut the pieces to fit and sewed them into shape with yarn, and then I tacked the box itself to the canvas for added stability before lining it. And I did a fitted lining which requires some seaming, as opposed to the folded corner method that Zib uses. And I tacked the corners of the lining into the corners of the box so that the lining wouldn't shift around. All the linings I chose are 100% cotton.
I love these!
In Other News:
The Bug lost her second tooth! Actually second and third because the two were fused together with only one root between them. She currently has two teeth already coming in behind them, and in a very crooked way. It will take a bit of math to figure out how many pair of mittens I'll have to sell to pay for braces.
I got the yard and porch all cleaned up and the garbage men are taking my junk away in giant loads every week. The shed is looking good, the woodshed is almost there too. And I priced porch railings over the weekend, which unless my math is way off should come in less than 200 bucks. So good news there!
Choir practice started up a couple of weeks ago and Jeanne said I can start cantoring anytime I want. Whenever there's a week that rolls around with music I feel comfortable with I just let the cantor on duty know that I'm joining her (or him) and I'll sing with them that week. Then I'll be put on to cantor solo starting with the Advent schedule. I haven't picked a week yet, though. Don't rush me.
The weeks are getting busier and busier or at least it seems. I'll have to start thinking about Christmas shopping soon.
*poops faints*

Monday, September 18, 2006


So, the Pope got the Muslims all riled up because he said, in a nutshell, that Islam was by and large thought of at one time as a violent religion because Muhammed said to bring faith with a sword, or something to that effect.

Then the Muslims burn five churches in the Middle East. And they weren't even Catholic churches.

On Sunday, the Pope apologizes, says "I'm sorry if I offended anyone. I didn't mean to."

Today, this little gem:

"The Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of Sunni Arab extremist groups that includes al-Qaida in Iraq issued a statement on a Web forum vowing to continue its holy war against the West. The authenticity of the statement could not be independently verified.
The group said Muslims would be victorious and addressed the pope as "the worshipper of the cross" saying "you and the West are doomed as you can see from the defeat in Iraq,
Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere. ... We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (killed by) the sword."

So the Pope has to apologize for being--what? Right? He says he's sorry, and they say, not good enough. We want MORE of an apology.

How about right after you apologize for 9/11.

Gentle farmers, my ass.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Knitbob Yarnypants

Meet Knitbob Yarnypants. Buggy saw the Coffee Cozees I made for Sister and myself to take to the craft fair last weekend and requested a cozee for her juice box.

My eyes snapped open at 5:30 that morning and by 6 I was charting out two designs. Spongebob's square shape naturally let itself to the project, and while it's not my best work, I think it's kind of fun.

Bug will love it.

Notice Anything Different?

Like maybe, one less tooth? Yes, the Bug lost her first tooth yesterday! The Tooth Fairy, in a protest against the rising exchange rate for teeth has decided on a policy of gift-giving instead of cash, if the recipient is amenable. Buggy was amenable, and got a white bag with a white feather hair clip attached, and inside was a new toothbrush that blinks for one minute to time your brushing, a new tube of her own grown-up minty toothpaste, three tubes of sparkly lip gloss, and a bag of minty flossers. As the Bug said, "She must really want me to keep taking good care of my teeth."
Indeed she does, Miss Bug.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Yard Work, Days One and Two

Day One.

Dad came down and together we built my new front steps. Notice they are in front of the front door, where front steps ought to be. Years ago, when Ma and Dad renovated the kitchen, they moved the front door. It used to be where that V-shaped tool hanging on the wall is. But the steps are concrete reinforced by big rocks. So the steps didn't move with the door. No big deal.

Well, the steps started to crumble and now we need new ones. So we built wooden ones. They have 2 inch treads and should last a lifetime or so. We're also replacing the porch boards when the steps are done.

As you can see in the second photo, they are very sturdy. We put bricks under the bottom step to prevent sinking.

I've had to dig up my irises, and they are waiting for a transplant as soon as the old steps are gone. We're going to replace the lattice and trim on the front too, of course. Then the floorboards will go down. Dad decided on 6 and 8 inch boards alternating. I think I'm going to keep the stair treads and the porch either natural wood or stain them grey, I haven't decided yet. The rest of the house is white with white trim so not much help there. I'm going to paint the facings on the stairs and the railings...oh, I forgot to say that we're going to put railings on the stairs and between the porch posts. Those'll be white too.


Day Two.

Dad came down with the heavy equipment. A splitting maul. You can see it in the third photo sitting on the crumbling porch. We basically banged and hammered and smacked away at the step until the concrete crumbled and we were able bit by bit to take out the rocks that reinforce it. If I had to guess, I'd say the maul weighs about twenty pounds or so. Could be more even. Dad could take a few mighty swings at it at a time and did most of the damage, and I could take even fewer. Besides, my arm was still stiff from driving 4 inch nails into the stair treads.

We did all the damage we could do on the top step and the plan is for him to come down today and take care of step number two. Why one of us didn't lose a toe--or an eye--is beyond me. Safety goggles? We don't need no stinking safety goggles. Oh, and did I mention that I worked in my Ugg slippers yesterday? I have my shoes on today. Now that I have clean socks.

So basically, I'm praying for rain. Get with me on this and start doing a rain dance that the skies open up before eleven or so. Because I really want a day off from the working and all. Please!

*Emma, by the way, loves her new steps and did not have to be bribed with a cookie to pose for a picture with our work in progress.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

And Today's Guest Star is.....

Who, when I complained of being a complete bonehead for not taking a picture of my ribbon dishcloths before selling them, offered to knit one up and submit a pic. (You can find the pattern here, if you'd like some for yourself.) By way of a disclaimer she adds that it's not blocked or anything and it's not the best work she can do, but we're not going to complain, are we? Because this lady is known for going out of her way to do nice things for folks, and we Knittyheads love her for that!Thank you, ma'am for whipping this up so that I don't have to break out the dishcloth cotton one. more. time.
Thanks too to "Andy in ND" who pointed out a bit of errata in line 38 of the aforementioned pattern. It has been corrected, and if you already printed the pattern, print a new one so that it comes out right. Okay? Good.
I've said it before and I'll say it again...Knittyheads Rock!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Awareness Ribbon Dishcloth

Here's my pattern for a dishcloth with an awareness ribbon pattern in the center. I would post a picture but a.) I don't have one; and b.) Blogger is being a bitch about letting me upload photos. I can't tell you how close I am to finding another blog host.

So here's the pattern, and when I make another one of these cloths I'll put a pic up. Or at least I'll try to. You may have to settle for a link. I'm just saying.

Awareness Ribbon Dishcloth

Sugar ‘n Cream Cotton in the appropriate color and size 7 needles.

Cast on 36 sts.

Row 1 – 5: Knit
Row 6: K3, p3, k6, p12, k6, p3, k3
Row 7 and all odd rows: Knit
Row 8: K3, p4, k6, p10 k6, p4, k3
Row 10: K3, p5, k5, p10, k5, p5, k3
Row 12: K3, p6, k4, p10, k4, p6, k3
Row 14: K3, p7, k4, p8, k4, p7, k3
Row 16: K3, p8, k4, p6, k4, p8, k3
Row 18: K3, p9, k4, p4, k4, p9, k3
Row 20: k3, p10, k4, p2, k4, p10, k3
Row 22: K3, p12, k6, p12, k3
Row 24: Repeat Row 22
Row 26: K3, p10, k4, p2, k4, p10, k3
Row 28: K3, p8, k5, p4, k5, p8, k3
Row 30: Repeat Row 28
Row 32: Repeat Row 28
Row 34: Repeat Row 28
Row 36: K3, p9, k12, p9, k3
Row 38: K3, p10, k10, p10, k3
Row 40: K3, p12, k6, p12, k3
Row 41 – 45: Knit

Bind off

This is correct to my knowledge. I did total up the stitch counts on the rows, so I hope there's no typo's.

WAIT! There is a correction on row 38 brought to my attention by a Knittyhead! It is correct now! (I forgot the second p10...oops!)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Too Dumb to be Allowed to Live

No, I'm not talking about you. I meant me. This time.

I designed a dishcloth (I know, woohoo, how tricky), but after looking all over for a dishcloth with an awareness ribbon on it and not being happy about how it came out, I made up my own, and it was awesome! I made up two of them for a craft fair I did over the weekend, and seeing as it was a breast cancer fundraiser craft fair, sold them right out. But I didn't take a picture of them. *frowns* How dumb was that? So I was all psyched up to give y'all a free pattern, but I have no pic of the FO. Now I have to make another one. But I don't feel like it right now. So you'll have to wait. Sorry, my bad.

But this is a nice pic of the booth as set up for the Betty J. Borry Breast Cancer Retreats craft fair in lovely Stratham NH, as is this one. And here is sister utilizing her custom Coffee Cozee I made the night before to keep our beverages comfortable.

I made some money, but not as much I think as I would had the show been advertised in some way. I have one left on November 11, and that's it for the year. Which is good, since I'm sick to death of making baby hats and dishcloths.

I also attended a friend's baby shower on Sunday and the gift of the bonnet and sweater set was well-received. So much so in fact that it was the only gift that was ooohed and aaaahed over and I got requests for my phone number to make some more.

I don't know though. I feel kind of like knitting some stuff that will actually stay in the house. I started a pair of mittens for Bobo out of the leftover Swish from the sweater. And I ordered some yarn from to make a poncho for The Bug. She has forgotten about the multicolored monstrosity she wanted originally, so the less said the better, mmmmkay?

And finally, today is the fifth anniversary of 9/11. I find myself sadder today than I was when it originally happened. I suppose because back then it was so shocking, so awesome--just so absolutely unbelievable that I didn't have time to cry. Five years later I've found my tears and have cried on and off all morning for those who died that day, and those who have died in its aftermath.

We said it five years ago, and it bears repeating. "We Remember."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Keeping Track

I don't keep track of what I knit, or how many hours a day I spend knitting, or doing anything else for that matter. But I've been accused of being "fast" and I tend to suspect that I'm not fast so much as I spend too much time doing it.

So to that end I'm going to start keeping track of my hours.

Today I didn't track my hours since I just decided to do such a thing, but I did finish a baby hat I started yesterday and two pair of small thumbless baby mitts. And I made a cotton dishcloth in a King Charles Brocade pattern. And I started another dishcloth.

I would guess that I spent--and this is just a rough estimate--a total of 5 hours knitting today. I woke up at 7, so I've been up 15 hours so far. I'd call that a part-time job. But then I have a craft fair on Saturday and I'm building the inventory.

So is half a hat, two pair of tiny mitts and a dishcloth a lot for five hours work? I don't know...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Saque-ville Sweater and the Woes It Inflicted

So, I loved this sweater set. Thought the pattern ("Saque-ville by Monkeyknits) was adorable. Have a friend that got herself pregnant in a most convenient manner, baby due during sweater weather. And as the coup de grace, Knitpicks ushered in the autumn season with a new washable wool! Yay! Wool! That you can machine wash and dry! And in cute colors!

So I order it up, put a rush on the delivery, and squee with delight when it arrives. Started knitting right away, and after one mis-start, knitted along blissfully.

I loved the yarn. It was soft and sproingy, nice to touch. The pattern knitted up quickly and in a few days I was seaming and putting on pom pons.

For ha ha's, I knitted up a swatch and tossed it in the washer with a load of laundry to see what would happen. It came out just a hair smaller, but not enough to be significant. And it fuzzed a bit, but again, not very much. The ends that were not woven in caught the brunt of it. And I figured that since I did wash it in a normal cycle and dryed it on hot, that washing it in the gentle cycle in a pillowcase and drying it on the low/delicate cycle and pulling it out before it was bone dry and blocking it would be A-OK.

I was wrong.

It came out of the washer just fine. I tossed it in the dryer and put it on low, and checked it a couple of times, and it looked good. I don't know at what point things turned, but the third time I took it out, it was still wet and guessed it....FUZZY.

Bottom line: it looked worn. Like something I picked up second hand. Decidedly not something I made just for the new baby.

My advice to those lining up for Swish Superwash: machine wash it in a pillowcase on gentle if you like, but unless you want a fuzzy, used-looking sweater that's a bit smaller, then lay it flat to dry.

In the end I did steam block it and played with it quite a bit so that it doesn't look awful. My friend won't notice, and I'm sure even a knitter would be hard-pressed to figure out what I don't like about it. But I know. And that bugs me.

What bugs me more is that Blogger won't even let me post pictures of the damned thing. So if you click here for the hat and here for the sweater, you can get a looksee.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Effing Blogger.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I May Have Wet 'Em

Yes, I saw Kathy Griffin live on Friday night! She was HILARIOUS. Just like her filmed stand-up specials, but she makes the audience feel like the show was personal and just for us. I took some pictures, if only to give you an idea of how far away we were from the stage. For some reason, Aunt Bunny felt the need to be the first one out the door, which we practically were, and the farthest away from the stage possible. Which we absolutely were. In the top pic, she is the small pinkish/purple dot in the middle of all the blackness. There is NO ONE behind me. Just the doors.

In the second picture, you can see it's a person. I'll have to ask that you trust me that it's her.

Anyway, the pics are dark and blurry, but they're her.

She played the Hampton Ballroom in Hampton Beach. Have any of you ever been there? Hampton Beach is a giant shithole. Seriously. D-List indeed. Kathy must have thought she'd been demoted to the H-List or so. I sure did. If there has ever been more white trash in one place at one time outside of a NASCAR event, I have yet to see it. Though I will say that the beach itself is quite nice, it's the other side of the street where the shops and arcades and tourist crapola reside that makes the whole place so craptastic.

Rumor has it that it's lined up for a townwide renewal project of some sort. An upgrade if you will.

Luckily, the show was so good it made up for the seedy surroundings.

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