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, June 30, 2007

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Yeah, it is. It's 73, breezy, and sunny. Not a cloud in the sky.

I have been at the computer doing class reunion stuff all day. I'm a sick woman.

Well, not all day. Come see what I made!
First, here's some yarn on the bobbin. A bit of roving from AKknitter becoming singles.

Last night, I plied all the singles. I wrapped them neatly into perfect little skeins. I wanted to keep them like this forever. Aren't they pretty all tucked up like that? There's about 4 oz. per skein, 102 yds on one and 106 yds on the other. Looks like a heavy worsted, maybe.

But this morning, I untied them carefully. They were quite well-balanced even before the twist was set. And feerst, a dip in some cherry KoolAid.

And then some time on the line in the sun and the wind.

I'm so happy! I made yarn!


Thursday, June 28, 2007

I'm Back, Baby!

I have returned from lovely Newport RI!

Would that the weather had been better. Hot, hazy and humid doesn't make for great sightseeing.

We left yesterday a bit before 9 a.m. and after fortifying ourselves with Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee, we headed south, arriving in Newport at around noonish with two stops for stretching and peeing. Not necessarily in that order. Our first order of business was lunch.

We headed down to First Beach and ate at Flo's Clam shack. I had clam cakes and they were yummy. Those seem to be a Rhode Island thing because you can't order them up here anywhere.

After lunch we hit the pool at the hotel. That was really nice. It turns out that Bobo is a regular tadpole and is fearless in the water. I suppose I should teach her to swim.

For supper we dined at The Brick Alley Pub. It was my favorite restaurant in college and it's my favorite today. No trip to Newport is complete without it. Here's a shot of the girls in the actual brick alley for which the restaurant is named.

After dinner we headed down to Breton Point National Park. It's a lovely grassy spot right on the ocean. The girls and I looked for seashells and seaglass and brought some home to remember the trip. It was very breezy right by the water and as you can see, the girls needed their sweatshirts. Personally, it was the first time in two days my clothes weren't stuck to me with sweat, and I would have stayed there all night.

This morning, after warm hotel baths and what could be considered more of an adequate night's sleep than a good night's sleep, we collected our stuff and met up with Tanta and Baboo for breakfast at IHOP.

I make better pancakes than IHOP. I'll go head to head with them any day. My 'cakes rock.

Anyway, after breakfast we tried to do some shopping down at the wharfs, but it was just so humid!

It's always a zoo in Newport in the summer, but it was moreso because the Tall Ships are in town! We got to go on one and check it out.Here are Tanta and Baboo with their girls by the Spirit of Massachusetts tall ship.

We also got to see the President's helicopter fly over. He's giving the commencement address at the Naval War College today, and every time a helicopter would go over Baboo would say it was the President. But one time there were two smaller grey helicopters followed by one big one with United States of America on the tail. That'd be the one with W in it. We waved, but we don't know if he saw us. I like to think he did.

After they drove the ship for a bit, we stopped at the store, grabbed some juice for the ride, and went back out to the Point. Again, seashells and rocks were collected, but we didn't have long to visit, because we had to head home. Which we did.

We left Newport at 12:30 and got home at 3:30. Bobo does NOT like tunnels. We discovered that in Boston.

It is still hazy, hot and humid here, with the promise of some thunderstorms and cooler air later. I hope it hits soon. I have to go to a cookout in half and hour and my clothes are completely stuck to me again. There's no cooling onshore breeze here, that's for sure.

We noticed that there is a TON of real estate for sale right now, especially on Bellevue Ave. I would move to Newport in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Poops Gets a Pool

Okay, a wading pool. But it's deep enough to soak my fat on a hot day, and it's certainly adequate for the chilluns.

Bobo spends much time pouring water from one plastic cup to the next.

Bug convinces herself that she's swimming by walking on her hands along the bottom and kicking her feet.

Tomorrow we shant be around since we are leaving bright and early for Newport RI! Baboo has some sort of advanced FBI/Supercop training down there, and Sister is going down to spend the rest of the week with him. The girls and I will ride down with her, stay the night, then come back tomorrow sometime with Sister's car.

In other summer news, I've been making ice cream. And I'm goooood at it, baby! My first flavor (two batches so far) has been Chocolate Heath Bar. Mmm mmm good.

I have to say that with the recent humidity and heat I haven't felt much like knitting or spinning. I've made a handful of small felted bowls to sell and I'm almost done another baby sweater. I hope to have two to donate by the weekend.

I've also been short on time as far as blogging and posting comments to others' blogs since I've been busy working on reunion stuff. Which is coming along great, and if we get 8 more people to come we'll have half the class.

That's about it. Oh, and I've got yet another package of roving coming from Sheep Shed Studios. Three orders in a month. Oof.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Homespun Hero

Just a quickie to show you the hat I whipped up out of my KoolAid homespun! Emma quite enjoys it! So much so that she's hard pressed to take it off even to go to bed. Hence the whole nightgown/winter hat ensemble she's working in the pictures.

As for working with this yarn...let's just say it was more fun to spin and dye than it was to knit. I had to use size 13 needles to work with it, that's how chunky it came out. I got 2 sts to the inch with it. And you wouldn't believe how heavy it is! It weighs a ton. And I'm guessing it'll be warm.

I did a second hat but I keep looking at it and wondering if it wouldn't make a better felted bowl. I'll keep looking and thinking about that one.

I did a bunch more spinning too, but I didn't photograph it because they're the same three bobbins as my last post, only fuller. I actually have two bobbinfuls of the brown and I may try plying them soon.

But right now I don't feel like spinning or knitting.

Wow, that's a first.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I Spin, Therefore, I Am

Therefore, I am a little sore. I'm getting the whole "making yarn" part of spinning down, but I've got to work on my body mechanics. I tend to forget to sit up straight, and I don't pay attention to how my leg is positioned so my knee gets really sore after awhile.

Anyway, yesterday I finished the collars on two of the sweaters I showed you yesterday. Now it is quite literally a matter of making sleeves.

And I plyed the KoolAid yarn! Here it is in all its stripey glory. I did the red and yellow first. It's the most wormy and overspun of the lot. The the red ran out so I attached the blue. Much better there. Then when the yellow ran out I went to orange, so there's some orange and blue that turns into orange and purple. Finally the orange ran out and I added pink and at the very end of the pink and purple there's some solid 2 ply pink, easily the best yarn of the lot. It's all what I'm guessing would be chunky weight yarn. I bet I get no more than 3 sts to the inch on any size needle. I think it would be really cute in alternating stripes of color in hats.

Finally, some more spinning WIP's. The right bobbin holds the brown yarn that looked so much like hair in the roving state. It's coming out with twists of varying shades of brown from a creamy tan to coffee with a shot of milk in it. The middle bobbin is from undyed roving from AKKnitter to practice on. It's hard to spin evenly, but the thick and thin bits will give it character. I'm thinking quite seriously of making something felted from it, and I'm also considering dying it in some way. Not sure yet, but rest assured I'll keep you posted when I do.

Finally, that bobbin on the end is some black roving that Sheep Shed Studios threw in for free with the browns I ordered. Last time you remember they included a small bag of saffron yellow superwash. Which, by the way was absolutely lovely to spin and has a nice sheen to it when finished. I'm seriously considering making that my next roving purchase.

What I can say about these three bobbins is that I have really, really improved in my ability to keep the thickness of the yarn even and also with spinning it thinner. I don't mind working with chunky yarn once in awhile, but human sized yarn is nice too.

Now, if I could just figure out a comfortable posture, I'd be golden!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Photo Evidence of My Yarny Escapades

For you doubters out there who refuse to believe that I'm actually doing anything all day long, well, I got out the camera and finally took some pictures! Mind you, it's cloudy today and they're all going to be dark, but you'll have to learn to live with it.

Today's non-knitting battle involves a toddler in a dress who has taken off her diaper twice now. She is banished from the furniture and must sit on the floor like a dog. I only wish it was acceptable to rub her nose in her "accidents".

Bah. Aaaaanyway, the first item on the list is a baby sweater I started yesterday. It is made from Bernat Softee Baby, one strand of pink and one of blue held together. The pattern (shown) is Knitting Pure and Simple "Baby Tunic". This is a charity knit project.

Second up is a discloth and a baby bib, both from Sugar and Cream cotton. I must be getting the hang of working with cotton because it no longer makes my hands ache. I have hope for it as a fiber yet. I don't know about these two. I think the bibs will be for charity and the dishcloth will be for sale. I dunno yet.

Third we have the beginnings of a lace scarf. This may or may not be continued, and I'll tell you why. Those are size one needles. That is one repeat of the pattern. I might not live to see it finished. The yarn is called "Zephyr" I think, and I got it at the NHS&W last summer. I'm just getting around to using it. If it continues that I'm not feeling the laceweight love, I may frog and destash the stuff in favor of something I'll actually knit.

My fourth project on the needles is a baby cardigan from more of that Bernat Softee baby, this time one strand and all in pink. The top is stockinette and it changes to seed stitch at the bottom. There are three buttonholes at the top so it will have a "swing" coat kind of effect. I've just started the sleeves, as you can see.

I plan to make a hat to go with it, provided I don't run out of yarn. And provided I ever finish the sleeves.

Speaking of sleeves, I'm just about done with the collar of the Guideposts sweater, and that leaves...the sleeves. Are you sensing a pattern here yet? Like I hate knitting sleeves? I don't know why. I love mittens. And what is a sleeve but a long mitten with no thumb?

I also got the drive band for my wheel in the mail yesterday and this morning I plyed all the Kool Aid yarn I had dyed last week. It's cool looking--or should I say "kool"--but it's very bulky. I'm thinking kids hats with very big needles.

I have pictures of them drying, but I'll save those for tomorrow. I also spun up a bunch of roving I ordered from Sheep Shed Studios. It's a freebie bag of black they added to my order of browns. I am really pleased with how well I did. I will have better pics tomorrow for sure.

Tonight is my class reunion meeting and I'll let you know how that goes too. See how much you have to look forward to?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

When Last We Left Our Intrepid Heroine

She was looking forward to summer vacation. Well, it's here! I don't have to go to the bus stop today! Raise the roof, y'all! I should point out that we have been up for less than an hour and I've already received my share of foot stomping, arm folding, and storming off. How long until Labor Day?

I finished the teacher gifts and gave them before realizing that I didn't photograph the cotton soap sachets. No worries. They're just little lace bags. No big whoop.

And I finished all the socks for the lady at church on Saturday and they were washed and blocked and went to mass with me on Sunday morning. And no, I've got no finished picture of those all done either. Have I become the worst kind of picture-taking slacker? I think it's possible.

I've been knitting. Like I said, I finished those socks. And I started on the sleeves of a pink baby sweater that will be for charity. And just for fun I knit a bib and a washcloth yesterday while sitting outside, carefully out of reach of the sun.

And can I just say how jazzed I am about my etsy sales lately? Yesterday I sold all of my little felted bowls. I had a lady from France inquire about shipping. I sold a wall hanging and a pair of mittens a few days ago. It's encouraging! Especially since I only have two craft fairs booked this summer. I'm really hoping this picks up the slack. It sure seems like I've been going to the post office an awful lot lately. It's a good thing.

I've also been working on stuff for the class reunion. I mentioned how excited I am for it, but I've also got stuff to do to help make it AWESOME. The committee brought me as a sort of creative guru. How'd they know?

I should clarify the word "committee" too, while I'm at it. It's such a highfalutin' word for what we do. Doesn't "reunion committee" bring to mind a picture of the peppiest, school spirit-infused gal who never quite left HS behind entirely running rough-shod over whatever dorks she could round up to command? Yeah, me too. But that's not us.

The committee is run this and every year by the President and Vice-President of our class. They were great class leaders then, and they are now. Mr. Prez. lives up the street from me, and his brother used to be married to my aunt. His niece and nephew are my first cousins. So suffice it to say that I've literally known him since birth. And the VP is the guy I've had a crush on since I was five. I'm not kidding either. I loved him then, and I love him now. *sigh* And how sweet is it that his son and the Bug are in the same grade? They'll most likely graduate together as well.

New to the committee this year is our friend Mark, another guy I've known since I was five. I never had a crush on him, though. He's been a great addition to the group because he's really good with calling people, sending emails, keeping databases and stuff like that. We'll call him the business manager of the committee. New too is Lisa, another person I've known since first grade. I almost forgot John. He was really nerdy in HS and is still very quiet, but it turns out he has a very dry sense of humor. I wish I'd known that twenty years ago. So far there's just one Canterbury kid on the committee, Polly.

I should clarify there too. Our school is a district made up of the towns of Belmont and Canterbury. The kids go to separate elementary schools through fourth grade and then they combine in fifth at the middle school. When we were in school, it happened in seventh, but whatever. And I can say that at least when we were there, there was no difference between the two. There might have been some sticking together when the Canterbury kids first came to Belmont, but I swear that by the time we graduated no one paid a bit of attention to it. It was a well-integrated district. (I think things have changed somewhat. Lots more money moving into Canterbury these days as compared to the rise in blue-collar families in Belmont which is making for some blending issues. I think. I hope I'm wrong. It'd be a shame.)

Anyway, Polly and I came to the party late because we're both busy on Mondays and that's when the committee has been meeting. And John too. We're supposed to be the creative ones. I've been busy writing a questionnaire to send out, and coming up with fun things to do. I think we're going to give awards, and I've got some funny ones, I think. And I've been scanning old pics into the computer to make a powerpoint presentation/slide show kind of thing. I've sent out emails for people to send me some old pics. No luck yet.

So this computer is fairly new. I didn't hook the old scanner to it when we got it because for some reason I couldn't figure out where to plug it in. Apparently that giant parallel port was under some sort of cloaking shield at the time. I needn't have bothered, since the drivers for my particular scanner aren't compatable with Windows XP.

I find this out after hooking the scanner up and trying to download a driver. No go.

So I go up to Bug's room and lug down the old, slow computer to the kitchen table. I can't find a grounded power cord so I have to shut down this computer and take one from the speakers. And the power cord to the cpu has gone missing as well, so I have to take one from this computer as well.

The good news is that the scanner works, and I was able to scan in gobs of pictures. The bad news is that I had to save them to floppy disks. There's no CD writer on that computer.

And there's no floppy disk reader on this one.

So I gave the disks to my sister who took them to work to transfer them from floppy to CD so that I can put them in this computer, use my photoshop magic on them, and then take them up to her house to put them together with powerpoint.

What could be simpler?

So, that's what's kept me busy. Now I have some shipping stuff to take care of, and then I should pay some attention to my kids.

It's summer vacation. Whee.

Friday, June 15, 2007

It's Almost Over

School, that is. Bug has a half-day on Monday and that's it for the summer. AND she lost her upper front tooth last night! Why do they always fall out when it's too late for the tooth fairy to go to the store and pick up a gift? You have to swear to never tell her this, but I had a gift card in my wallet leftover from Emma's birthday that still has a bit of a balance on it. I gave her that and told her that the tooth fairy gave her a gift card from Walmart to put with her birthday gift cards that are going towards the purchase of her new bike. So it doesn't matter if THAT particular card actually has $3 left on it since we all know that I'm the tooth fairy and that money's coming out of my wallet in the end anyway.

No one needs to be any the wiser now, do they?

I finished up the two gifts for the special ed aides that help out in Bug's class. I made them cotton sachets and I'll pick up a couple bars of pretty soap to put in them and she can give them on Monday. She'll write them nice thank you notes this weekend. I think we'll give Kathy the bus driver a pair of fingerless mittens. She's awfully nice.

I'm still working on the socks but I didn't get much done yesterday. I tore apart my house looking for pictures!

My 20 year class reunion is this summer. I was invited to the committee meeting on Wednesday so that I could help with the creative aspect of the planning. The nuts and bolts and business end are all taken care of. I'm in charge of fun things to do at the reunion dinner/dance itself. So far, so good.

Let me tell you about my class.

I graduated with the best class EVER. In the history of classes. They told me that I probably would lose touch with my friends from HS and my college friends would be the friends I'd have my whole life. Well, they were wrong. With the exception of Bob--you remember Friend Bob?--(Hey, Boob! I miss you!) my closest friends are from my hometown.

Perhaps that's because I still live in my hometown, and many of us never went too far. Our kids go to the same school we went to. For that matter, Bug is the fourth generation of my family to attend that school. It's a good school. I'm lucky, and I know it.

But my class. Some less generous educators who shall remain nameless (for now) have classified us as "under-achievers". We would like to add, "...and proud of it!" to that less-than-flattering title. I'll grant you, we had and still have some slackers in the class. But I prefer to think of the bulk of my class as persons with very simple needs and wants in life.

Thirty-three percent of our class went on to college. I would be surprised if half of us that went ever actually finished. It's not that we're lazy. We just knew that going to college just as education for education's sake was going to cost a lot of money. Most of my classmates went out and entered right into the work force and worked their way up in the world. Today a lot of my friends are where they are because learned what they needed to know on the job and not in four more years in a classroom. I kind of wish I'd taken that route too. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Technical Theater. That and $2.50 will buy me an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts.

So despite being inaccurately labeled as "slackers," we were the class that could get things done. If it was important enough to us. We couldn't hold a successful fundraiser to save our lives. The class trip just wasn't that important. We could have pitched tents in someone's field, lit a bonfire, tapped a keg and had a great time. It was about being together, not the destination.

Every year the senior class would have the Senior Parade. Kids with cars (which was most of us) would decorate them and we'd drive around the block, past the high school and the cheers of the underclassmen. Our class ramped it up with several smoke shows in the parking lot. You ever see a smoke show? You pour bleach under the tires while the driver guns the engine and spins the tires. Smoke and squealing tires! It's awesome! And apparently, illegal.

Anyway, four classmates each got $40 tickets that day from the local police for "misuse of power" violations. We passed the hat and had raised the $160 bucks to pay them by lunchtime. If we were going to cheer on the violator, we were sure as hell going to bail him out. Friends stick together.

We were the class that did things just for the fun of it. One day, one of the guys passed the word through the class that the next day was going to be the First Annual Louie Louie Day and we were to come to school in our best beach attire. We met up in the hallway before school and when the first bell rang, at least half the class followed him with the boom box blasting Louie Louie as we sang and danced up and down the halls, passed classrooms and the main office. It was a bit subversive, but harmless, and it made everyone smile.

The time we built a giant snow penis didn't go over as well.

Every year we had a Winter Carnival, and one of the events was the snow sculpture contest. Each class got a pile of snow and had a week to make it into a sculpture. Well, we had an artist in the class that could envision and draw just about anything, and another kid that was able to take any idea you could think of and figure out how to make it work. They were an unbeatable combination to have on your side for a snow sculpture contest.

We adopted Mickey Mouse as our mascot and I know we won for our gigantic sculptures of Mickey riding the Space Shuttle, and another year for King Mickey sitting on a huge throne. We also had a couple of classmates with Indian pumps that would add dye to water and spray the whole thing so that it would be in color and then ice over so that it wouldn't melt as quickly.

One day, either deep into the night or frightfully early in the morning, some members of my class snuck up to school and built a giant snow penis on the front lawn of the school. It apparently went unnoticed by the staff and faculty (or they thought it was great and didn't say anything) until mid-morning, when the principal went out with a broom and proceeded to knock it down.

I don't know what was funnier: seeing a giant snow penis on the front lawn of the school, or watching the principal do battle with it armed with only a straw broom.

I don't believe they ever caught the culprits. But I have a pretty good idea of who was behind it. And I'm not tellin'.

We were accused of not being joiners. That is, the clubs at school were not heavily populated with members of my class. We didn't run the student council. But it's not that we weren't interested. Most of us had jobs. It's hard to play soccer or compete in mathalons if you've got a work schedule as well.

And one thing we lacked was clicques. There were groups of friends that hung around together, but the boundaries weren't hard and fast, and they weren't drawn along stereotypical lines. We never had kids that were just jocks or just brains or whatever. Maybe it's because it's a small school, but we were all a couple of things anyway. So it didn't matter if you played volleyball and were on the honor society, we might see you at the party in the sandpit with a beer in your hand that weekend anyway with a handful of the partyers. One of whom was the class president and was in no clubs because he had a job after school. Anyone in the class could and would sit down with anyone else in the class and have lunch or a chat or get help with the homework because that's the kind of class we had.

One teacher summed us up the best, and it's something we've never forgotten. She told us one day that while we didn't have the grades that the other classes did, and we didn't have record-breaking athletic stars, we had something that was better, though harder to measure. We had personality. We were a fun class who knew who we were and we were damn sure not going to try to live up to someone else's standards.

I think it summed us up in a nutshell.

Today, twenty years after graduating, I can sit down with my classmates and laugh and have a couple of beers and it's like the last 20 years never happened. We're older, grayer, balder, and fatter, but we still make each other laugh.

It's why my class reunion is going to ROCK and why I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Are Things Looking Up Today?


Dad went to the bank and I'm not going to be homeless. Even if he croaked today, he has enough stashed away between savings accounts, CD's, retirement money, and life insurance to cover the mortgage note entirely. The mortgage is a debt of his that Sister and I would inherit upon his death, and I'd only be homeless if we couldn't pay it. I told Sister that if we couldn't pay it that I'd just move in with her, and she assured me that if push came to shove she'd find the money to help out. I thought that might motivate her.

Of course, I have life insurance on Mr. Poops that would cover the note and then some. So he better watch his step.

Kidding. I'm kidding. Mostly.

I've forgiven. We've moved on. I've chalked his comments up to sheer stupidity and let it go. What else can I do? I can't be mad forever, and I do have to live with this man the rest of my life. At any rate, stupid or not, I doubt he'll make that same mis-step again with me.

He knows I wield pointy sticks.

Alas, my wheel is still kaput. I tried melting and re-attaching the drive band to no avail. It connects, but once I get the wheel spinning, it snaps at the join. I tried making a ghetto band, but I can't find anything that doesn't slip once the bobbin is engaged. As long as I'm not actually feeding fiber into it, the ghetto bands work great. I need something with greater friction. I suppose that's why the band is rubber in the first place. At any rate, I ordered a new one and it will be here in a week. I figure it's God's way of telling me to step away from the wheel and concentrate on knitting those socks for the lady at church.

Of course he could have slowed the mail down and not had my brown fiber from the Sheep Shed Studios arrive in such a timely fashion. It's a medium brown color with cream shot through it. (Doesn't it look like hair? It'd make a pretty wig.) My last skein of the white came out very even and much thinner, and I'm thinking if I can manage to achieve similar results with the brown that I'll have enough yarn in the end do actually make something substantial. And I'll tell you something else: if I can achieve those results with the brown, I'm going to give the merino that I got at the NHSWF a go on the wheel. I was going to spindle it, but now I don't know. Time will tell.

But for now I'm making socks. I've made them all from the Ella Rae wool I got on sale at WEBS. I made one (not pictured) that I'm not sure if I'm going to make for the customer or not. It's kind of big. I might keep that pair for myself, and I've given thought to felting them down just a bit and see what it looks like. I figure if they come out too small that one of my kids will wear them. Bug loves felted socks. Bug loves everything I make and is still pestering me over when I'm going to make her Monica sweater. Soon, Bug, soon.

So the first pair is a dark green with lemon-lime green stripes. And the second pair, so far, is heathered gold and burgundy. The pair you don't see is navy with avocado accents on the cuff, toe, and heel. It's a color combination I enjoy and it's part of the reason I'm considering keeping them for myself. Or perhaps making myself a pair with those colors. But that would mean making more socks, and I'm just not a sock knitter. Not my favorite project.

I also need to design a sundress for Bug as well. I have some cotton/linen blend in a variegated pink that would make a sweet sundress, only I hate all the patterns out there. So I've sketched one out and I'm going to see what I can do. I'll measure her completely tonight and do some math. I would like to make it with thin straps, an eyelet (or other lace) top, high waist, and knee-length skirt with a bit of a flared hem and maybe a lacy bit down there too. Mostly solid so I don't have to line the skirt. I don't mind lining the bodice if need be.

Ah, so much to think about!

Tonight I am going to a meeting of my class reunion committee. Twenty years. Oh. My. God. Has it really been that long? Yep, it has. I'm looking forward to it. I had a great class and I loved high school. Of course the dinner dance is going to cost us 100 bucks to attend, which is considerably more than I like to spend for a night out. The food better be good, that's all I'm saying.

What sucks is that we belong to a "club" at church called the 300 club. Well, it doesn't suck that we belong to the club. I phrased that badly. See, we pay 80 dollars a year per person, and the money goes toward the mission of the church. But in return for our money, we're entered in a monthly raffle. I won a hundred dollars in December! And in August they have a dinner for everyone in the club. It's fun, and it's lobster and steak, so what's not to like? And there's the year end raffle for the really BIG prizes. Here comes the sucky part: naturally, the dinner is scheduled for the same night as the reunion.

And of course technically we've already paid 160 dollars to go to that particular dinner.

I hope I do well at the Canterbury Fair this year. I'm going to need the money to pay for all my socializing!

As a final note, I noticed that every time I get the camera out, Bobo is right there ready to get her picture taken. Today she says to me "Take a picture of my butt."

I hope when she's Playmate of the Year she'll still go to mass on Sunday.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Oy vey.

So yesterday I was all jazzed about my adventures in KoolAid dyeing, and so gratified to see a rainbow of color hanging on the line to dry.

Then, the drive band on my wheel snapped. Right at the join. I tried melting it to connect it and it didn't work. I'm trying a new technique this morning in the melting department. We shall see if it holds. So far, so good, but I've been having shit luck lately.

So my wheel is down. I did order a new drive band, just in case I can't fix this one.

Then my husband says probably the dumbest thing he's ever said to me. Nothing I care to repeat--here, or anywhere else for that matter. Suffice it to say it was stupid, thoughtless, offensive and my feelings were hurt. I told him as much and he proceeded to get mad at me for being mad at him. He finally apologized and I assured him that I would forgive him, but I was still mad at that moment and wished to be left the hell alone.

This morning, Bobo decides to get up an hour early. And is consequently fussy and tired and probably will be all day.

And as the icing on the cake this morning, my dad tells me that if he dies tomorrow, I'll probably lose the house. See, my dad pays the mortgage on the house. He took out a second mortgage to put my sister and I through college. He assumed that when he dies, because he left this house to me in the will, that I'd just assume the rest of the payments. He assumed wrong. Turns out that if it's not in the contract that I would assume payments upon his death that the bank gets the house and I'm out.

So he's got to go to the bank and see if he can get the terms of the contract changed to include my assuming the payments if and when he dies. And since I have lousy credit due to a bankruptcy, this may or may not happen. So dad is talking about cashing in all he has to pay off the note on the house. Which is all the money he has saved and invested and is planning to live off of for the rest of his life.

He's stressing because he is a worrier about money. I'm stressing because his stress isn't good for his heart. Add to that the fact that if he stresses himself into a fatal heart attack, I'll be homeless.

Talk about a vicious cycle.

I need to keep the faith that all will be well and work out as it is supposed to. And to stop worrying, because worrying never made anything better.

So I'll end with a rainbow. After the rain, is the sun.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A Tale of Birthing and Dying

Or dyeing, as the case may be. And such is the case after all.

I have many a tale to tell today. It was an eventful and productive weekend her at Chateau Poops.

Saturday was Bug's seventh birthday. Seven years old--can you even believe it? I can't. Seems like it was just yesterday...

*cue flashback music*

But wait! Before I wax nostalgic about the birthing of the Bug, I am going to start with the craft part of our portion. So that way if you've come here to read about my adventures in spinning and KoolAid dyeing, you can finish up the first part and skip the second if you like. If you've come here wondering about Bug's party and my memories of her entrance onto the planet, you can just scroll down to part the second. And if you are up for a bit of both, you're in for quite a treat.

Part the First: Hey, KoolAid!

I bought a bunch o' roving--a pound to be exact--from Sheep Shed Studios. It was white, or nearly so. I spun it up and got better and better as the bobbins filled. My singles aren't perfect. Very thick and thin in spots, some overspun, some underspun: your basic beginner singles. But I planned to dye and ply these babies! The first picture is two hanks of singles with their packages of KoolAid. They're kind of a greyish-white all spun up.

The first skein went into cherry, and the second into lemonade. It took two packages of lemonade to get even a pale yellow. I would have liked a brighter color, but that's all the lemonade I had, and there you go.

The third skein went into a package of orange while the fourth went into berry blue for a while.

Here they are chillin' in the pot on the stove. I plan to ply these colors together here and there and make them into baby stuff. Partly because the colors are so perfect for babies, and partly because I don't think I'm going to have the yardage to pull of much of anything larger.

See this skein here? The bright saffron yellow one? When I ordered my white roving from SSS, they sent as a freebie a small bag of superwash wool roving as bonus. This was lovely stuff. Easy as pie to spin and has a nice sheen to it, like silk almost. I spun the singles and I have to admit that I'm really happy with how they came out. This is my first attempt at plying, and yes, that skein is damn near perfectly balanced. Though after a bit of a bath I can see that the beginning part of the skein was a bit under plyed, so I'm going to wind it and run it through the wheel a bit just to tighten it up a bit. But I love it. It's bouncy and so very soft. I have almost 50 yards of it, and I'm taking submissions on what it should become. I'm so proud!

As we speak, there' s another pound of roving on it's way, this time in shades of brown. I am definitely encouraged by my progress with this! I'll keep you updated as they turn into actual things.

Speaking of making progress...

My Baby Girl is Seven.

(If you've come for the craft part, it's over. Go then. You've stayed your hour.)

We had a big birthday party for Bug on Saturday. The weather cooperated. Kind of. It was cloudy and overcast but it didn't so much as sprinkle on us, thank Ra for that. However, the day before was sunny and bright. The day after, sunny and bright. Today, sunny and bright. WTF? I got the one cloudy day of the week? Unfair, I tell you! But it could have rained buckets and didn't and I am immensely grateful for that.

Baboo got bug a magician to perform at her party! Yeah, everyone should have a Baboo.

Mr. Phil did a bunch of magic tricks and made us laugh, and all the kids (and some of the grownups) a balloon animal to take home. Guess what I got? A sheep. How'd you guess?

Here's Bug helping out with the amazing rope trick. Mr. Phil makes the whole show about the birthday kid, which is really nice, but he also has other kids from the audience come up and assist too, and they really loved that.

Sister made the Best. Cake. Ever. I don't even know what it was, and I'm not one to pick a favorite when it comes to dessert, but this is hands down the best cake I've ever had. My wedding cake is now in second place. And that was a kickass cake, my friends.

And Sunday, we went to another birthday party. Here's Bobo at that party having a cold drink with her Papa after bouncing and bouncing in the Bouncy Castle they rented. Here's the funny thing: we talked about getting one, but they cost a couple hundred bucks to rent. So we didn't. And Baboo sprung for the magician so we figured that would be good enough. Which it was. But the thing the kids liked the most was the two jumpropes that Bug tied to a shrub at the corner of Tanta's house. There's a hill there, and they use the ropes like climbing tackle (is that the right word?), or to swing from side to side on. They played on those for hours. And they cost all of a buck. Money well spent.

So Bug was born on June 9, 2000. She was due on June 10. A couple of weeks before I was due, the doc did an ultrasound and determined that she was in the neighborhood of 8 pounds, give or take a pound. He was leery of letting me go past my due date for a couple of reasons. First, because I'm a big girl and big girls make big babies. And we don't want to have too big a baby the first time out. He's opposed to Caesareans because as he described it, he doesn't like to sew.

And the second reason for going on or before my date is because of Bike Week. It starts the weekend before Father's Day and ends the following weekend. Our normally placid and tranquil area is overrun by motorcycles. You've heard of Sturgis? Of Daytona Bike Week? Laconia Bike week completes the trifecta. They have races at NHIS, hill climbs at Gunstock ski area, and the rest of the week they park at Weirs Beach and do whatever it is bikers do. It sucks teabags.

Long story short, he said that if labor hasn't started by June 8th, which was a Thursday night, that I should come up to the hospital and he'd induce. Which is what we did.

He prepped me the night before. I got the stuff that softens the cervix (OW!) and my IV (OW! again) and settled down for a sleepless night. Who can sleep in the hospital? Really.

I was up bright and early the next morning, Friday. They hooked up the Pitocin and released the hounds. I sat and rocked and chatted with anyone who would listen while the contractions got stronger. They kept coming in and upping the drip. By noontime I was uncomfortable. By one I was REALLY uncomfortable. I had told the nurse I didn't want an epidural (I was such a dumbass) and she asked if I wanted some Nubain. It's supposed to take the edge off.

I think she shot it into the mattress, 'cause it did nada for the pain. It did make me feel incredibly drunk, and in my drunken stupor I screeched out the four most important words you will need to survive childbirth: I want my epidural.

And I got it. And I promptly fell asleep. Seriously, they had to wake me up to push. I remember saying "Five more minutes" as they were propping me up in the stirrups.

I am a good pusher. I should probably have more because people, I'm good at the pushing. It's like taking a giant, hard crap. Well, having been completely bound up for the previous nine months, this pushing was nothing new to me. I started pushing at quarter to five and she slithered into the world at two minutes to five.

She was 8 pounds on the nose. I remember at one point in the pushing he told me to take a break and that he heart rate was dipping with the pushes, so he was going to get her out quickly with the forceps on the next push. He got the salad tongs out and when her head came out he told me to stop and he slipped the cord off her neck. Larry counted and said it was wrapped around her neck four times. No worries, she's right as the mail.

I had an episiotomy that took 45 minutes to stitch, I swear, but I also swear to you that I never felt a stitch. Not the entire time it healed. I tore a bit with Bobo and had five small stitches, and I felt every single one of them for the entire time I healed.

Dr. T. might not like to sew, but he's good at it.

And now, she's seven. Doesn't seem possible, really.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I'm PennyKarma!

You Are An ENFP
The Inspirer
You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.You are also unconventional, irreverent, and unimpressed by authority and rules.Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!
In love, you are quite the charmer. And you are definitely willing to risk your heart.You often don't follow through with your flirting or professed feelings. And you do break a lot of hearts.
At work, you are driven but not a workaholic. You just always seem to enjoy what you do.You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.
How you see yourself: compassionate, unselfish, and understanding
When other people don't get you, they see you as: gushy, emotional, and unfocused

Holy crap! I got the same results as my beloved PennyKarma! Twins separated at birth!

I suspected as much.

It seems pretty accurate to me. Except I wouldn't say I love being around people. I like people, just in small doses. I like being alone more. Quite a bit more, in fact.

Whatjoo get?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Have Time for a Quickie?

Bug could not be more pleased with her new pied-sous. She loves them so much.

I took the basic moccasin pattern from the Vogue On The Go Baby Knits 2 (I think). They're pictured on the cover. But they only go up to a 1 year size. So I just looked at how they made theirs, made a small pair for practice, and figured it out from there.

I traced her foot so that I'd have a template for the sole. I knit the sole in garter stitch holding two strands of worsted together. I just increased when the foot got wider and decreased when it narrowed. Then I held two strands of pink together and picked up stitches around the edge of the sole. Knit a few rows, work some short rows at the heel to make it higher than the instep, then bind the lot off. Then the top part is just a few stitches picked up at the toe, increased and knit flat, then stitched into place.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

And yesterday afternoon I got a phone call from a lady from church. She apparently was the recipient of a pair of the Red Hat Lady socks I made for another church-lady friend last year. Remember that? I spent the better part of the year making 15 pair of red and purple slippers? Well, this lady got a pair of them, and called because her 13 year old grandson has claimed them for his own. She's not upset about losing her wool socks to her grandson, but she is disturbed that he loves them so much that he wears them all the time. So she commissioned three pair of slipper socks for him to have. I guess so he can rotate them from time to time.

I've decided I don't really like knitting socks all that much. And I can't find my pattern, so I'm just working from memory here.

But the spinning is coming along smashingly! Yesterday morning it started kind of rough. I wound up with a big piece of barf before getting the hang of it, but I got the hang pretty quickly this time. And I wound almost a whole bobbinful before I called it quits. And I felt like I could have kept going.

But the funny part is later that afternoon, I slid over to it and joined some yarn on to finish up the bobbin! I got it really quickly that time and my singles are getting more even.

But wait! There's more! Larry took the girls grocery shopping still later in the afternoon and I got the wheel out one more time. And I WENT TO TOWN, BABY! I spun a full bobbin and it's the best yet! Today, it seems less like a chore and more like something I'm looking forward to doing.

My knee still hurts though, for awhile after I get done spinning. I have to get up and walk it off when I finish. But I will say that my knee hurts when I drive for a long time too, so it could have something to do with the motion and less about my position. I'll keep trying different things and see what works.

So that's all for today, I guess. I've got a lot to do today. Bug's birthday is tomorrow and we're having a grand extravaganza of a party. Did I mention the magician that's coming? Nuff said. I've got potato salad and coleslaw to make. I've got to drop Larry off at work today for his company picnic. (Mandatory, but he gets paid for it.) I should probably pick her up a couple of gifts. Because a party just isn't enough.

And I have to practice my spinning and make some socks.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Feelin' Pretty Accomplished, Really

After I posted yesterday, I dragged the wheel over and girded my loins for another session of spinning. I was not looking forward to it. It was a chore, like practicing my chords on the piano or starting a load of laundry. And I have to say, it didn't start out so great. I got mad quick.

But I kept going, and before too long, I found my rhythm. Both hands were working together, and the wheel was going around in the right direction. What I managed to produce is thick and thin, but not dreadfully so, and it's wormy in some spots and barely spun in others, but it's not cat barf, and at this point it's what's important to me. I'm feeling somewhat encouraged today. And the yarn is a nice white color so I can give dying a go when it's done. I have visions of Kool-Aid dying the singles all different colors and then plying them so that I get neat, twisted colors. How cool would they be for kids hats and mittens? Very, I'm thinking.

So I did my bit on the wheel, and then when I was done for the morning, I got out the Chinese-inspired baby sweater to give it a quick steam block before seaming. I got it all put together and yesterday afternoon I put the neckband and ties on it.

I love it. I think it's the cutest thing ever. I'd put this on a kid whether he or she was Chinese or not. This is a shot of it drying. Step one takes place on the towel. It sits on a towel until the towel is thoroughly damp, then I transfer it to the drying racks. Which sat on the table all last night, but have moved out to the porch where it is dry and breezy.

I wish I could describe more accurately how proud I am of this little sweater. It was listed as an advance pattern, and it truly was. Only I don't think of myself as an advanced knitter. I haven't even been knitting for two years yet! This involved doing stranded colorwork flat (hard, and tedious), working a lattice pattern while shaping (hard), and setting in sleeves (not terribly hard, but tricky when you're used to knitting patterns in the round.) I almost changed this pattern too, because you know I can't leave well enough alone. I was going to make a basic top down raglan pullover instead. I was going to work the fretted band pattern at the collar and cuffs, do the lattice on the top part and then do the colorwork in the round at the bottom along with the picot edge. It would have been easier and faster. But I loved the wrap-style sweater, and I'm glad I challenged myself with the harder pattern.

But after all the thought and work involved in the sweater and the spinning, I cleansed my palate and started a pair of slippers for Bug. Just like Bobo's but in dark red and pink. I finished the first one and wrote out the pattern so that I can copy it today. (Good thinking, huh?) Bug loved it and wore the one slipper around all morning. I'll do the second one today so that she can model them for you before the weekend.

Bobo stil hates hers and refuses to wear them. "NO. I don't wanna wear my slippers! I wanna wear my SHOES!" She's a joy.

That's all the news that's fit to print today.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Spinning is Hard

With a wheel, that is.

I don't know why I thought spinning with a wheel would be easier than with a drop spindle. The spindle was hard to use at first, but I feel like after a few sessions with it I showed some improvement.

I played with that frickin' wheel yesterday for half an hour and I was so mad and frustrated that I wanted to cry. I think I might have on the inside a little bit. I don't usually get so mad when I'm learning a new craft. I usually want to practice and practice and practice until I get it right. Trust me, if I could rechannel my crafting OCD into sports, I'd be a champion. I'd have gold medals. I'd be Tigertigertiger Woods y'all. I'd be Mark Spitz. I'd be Dale Fuckin' Earnhardt.

Why does spinning have me by the balls? Why am I not feeling the love? I was so sure I'd be good at it, too.

I'm going to try again this morning, and every morning until I'm out of roving. If, by the time I've worked through all this fiber I still have nothing resembling yarn, the wheel is going back. Or I'll sign up for a class and learn hands on from an instructor. Who can pet me and give me pointers. After all, I had to take a class to learn to knit. I'm not self-taught there. (Again with the OCD. Are you seeing a pattern? Pack it in? Heck no! Find a better coach!)

So I packed it in with the wheel yesterday and soothed my soul with my knitting. I showed you those cute turquoise baby slippers I made, remember? Buggy wants some. Well, Buggy wasn't home so I made some for Bobo. I used two strands of worsted held together on size 8 needles and they knit up pretty quick. I used navy blue and a washed denim blue for these. Don't look too closely, but they're not the same. I couldn't remember what I did when I got to the second one so I had to count rows as best I could and just sort of winged it from there. Today I did promise a pair for Bug. I'm going to use dark red for the sole and pink for the uppers. And perhaps I'll jot down some numbers as I go along so that they match when I'm done.

Other than that, I didn't accomplish a whole lot. I was sulking about my spinning attempts. Truly.

I didn't have to cook supper, which was a plus. It was casserole night last night, and Ma made macaroni and cheese and as an added bonus, she bought KFC extra crispy chicken to have with it! Oh, it was so good. Finger lickin' in fact. The girls got to have a bath at Grammie's which for some reason is better than Christmas to them. I mean, they usually love to take a bath anyway, but it's just so much better at Gram's. It did get the chicken and Oreo crumbs off them. (Grammie's house rocks!)

Today it seems that Tropical Depression Barry has moved along and we woke up this morning to 50 degrees, breezy and sunny. It figures. I've spent the past two days trying to get wool mittens to dry in my damp, dark kitchen. They finally dry, I get them packaged up, and what happens? We get sun and wind. They'd dry in ten minutes today.

I had every intention of sending them out yesterday afternoon. I should have jumped up the second L. came in, bagged them, and run them up to the PO. But I wanted them to have every last second I could get to make sure they were good and dry. So at 4:30, knowing full well that the PO closes at 5, I stacked them neatly, put them in ziplock bags, and turned the computer on to retrieve the address. I had shut it off because of passing thunderstorms.

I'm not saying I've got something wrong with this thing, but it took a full half hour for the computer to come to live enough so that I could get into my yahoo mail without freezing everytime I touched the mouse.
Suffice it to say that I missed the post office by two minutes. Two. Not five. Two. Summanabatch.

I blame my problems on TrendMicros virus scan program. I installed it when I bought the computer and it worked great for a year. Then I renewed and downloaded the updated version and the computer has sucked ever since. I've been putting up with this for 9 months now. And with God as my witness, as soon as it expires, I'm wiping my system clean of it and getting a different virus scan program altogether. Not because of the errors, though. I understand that sometimes software has bugs and stuff that need to get worked out. I can deal with that. I'm switching because their customer service was horrible. I can't even count how many phone calls I've made to Bangalore, only to have them start at the beginning and tell me to try stuff I've already done. I've sent countless emails, all to no avail. They've stopped responding to my written communication altogther.

So, TrendMicros, I wash my hands of you. You had your shot and you blew it.

And another thing: I no longer worship at the altar of Bill Gates. I swear to all things holy that my next computer will be a Mac, so help me God.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Mmmm, Fiber!

So, I got a new spinning wheel. I got out my roving. I spun a pile of cat barf. Remember that? Remember how I lamented at how much learning to spin was going to cost me?

I lamented about it to the Knittyheads over in the spinning forum. And one kind knitter/spinner, AKknitter, offered me some roving she had hanging around. It had been planned for a project that didn't come to fruition, and she asked if I'd like to have it for practice wool, with all the appropriate caveats that it wasn't great stuff, might only be good for felting, etc. Here's what came in the mail. Three freezer bags stuffed with natural roving. I gave it a quick grope, and you know what? I think it's softer than the colored roving that I lamented losing to the learning curve in the first place! I'm going to dive into it very shortly.

That same day, I asked for low-cost sources for roving and was pointed in the direction of the Sheep Shed Studio. (Say that five times fast!) They sell the mill end pieces from the Brown Sheep company. Not expensive--only 7.50 per pound for it, and it's by far the softest roving I've had yet. Well, except for my merino and merino blends that are waiting in the stash for me to get better at this.

So now I have a big old pile of fiber waiting to become...something! I'm hoping for some yarnier results this time out.

I'm making great progress with my knitting for the year. I finished all the mittens yesterday and today Ra has decided to smile on us so I took their drying racks outside to the porch where the sun can hit them and get that last bit of dampness out of them. Pray that the sun stays out for a bit, will you? I'd like to mail them this afternoon.

I've also finished a couple of teacher gifts. Bug has a regular classroom teacher and a regular aide. Mrs. Smith is getting the blue felted bag, and her aide, Mrs. Tuthill is getting the yellow one. Bug asked them for their favorite colors and that's what they said, so that's what they're getting. There are also two special ed aides that work in the classroom with specific students, so technically they're not really Bug's teachers. But she assures me that they do help out all the kids with whatever they need as well, so I want to give them something too, something a bit smaller, perhaps. I'm thinking of maybe a couple of those felted bowls I made. I could put something in them. I don't know what. Or maybe I could whip out a couple of washcloths. I don't know. I have a couple of weeks to decide yet. Plenty of time.

And yesterday I didn't feel like blocking the Chinese sweater to prepare it for seaming, but the book was sitting on the end table mocking me, so I made a pair of the baby moccasins on the cover. They took me all of a half an hour to whip out. Naturally, Bug wants a pair, as her slippers are getting too small for her. These only go to a 12 month size, but now that I know how they're made I can probably do some math (gack!) and figure out how to make a Bug-sized pair.

After I spin for a bit.

Last night I went to Jeanne's to play cards and stayed out entirely too late indeed. Tonight is casserole night at Ma's.

My Auntie Charlotte, who is really my cousin--my Dad's first cousin--came by to invite me to join her at Overeaters Anonymous. I know I have to do something. I've thought of OA before, since we've had a chapter at church for quite awhile now. But it was never the right time. Maybe now it is? I don't know. I'll have to think about it for a couple of days. You know that old saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear?" Perhaps the Teacher is here.

I don't know.

First, I spin.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Mitten Madness

Here are the 12 single mittens I made for a custom etsy order. I have hopes that this experience with custom orders won't be like the last one. I still can't even bring myself to relist the things that got returned last time.

The pictures are dark because Tropical Depression Barry (or whatever he's calling himself these days) is having his wet way with us. It's gloomy in my house even with all the lights on, and I do hope these dry in a timely fashion.

Because this is a knitter-friendly post, I've included specs about the mittens. Non-knitters will be bored. I promise. Heck, some knitters may nod right off as it is.

Light blue Ella Rae. Seed stitch cuff with 2 x 2 rib and textured block design on the back. Embroidered with bits of blue and white yarn.

Orange and white dreamsicle swirled mitten. Orange Merino Style and white Nature's Pride in stranded colorwork, 2x2 rib.

Blue variegated wool from Simple stockinette stitch with 2x2 rib cuff.

Purple Merino Style, 1 x 1 rib turned cuff, body is two repeats of double eyelet rib lace pattern.

Yellow and black checks. Short seed sts cuff, stranded colorwork, Merino Style yellow and Ella Rae black.

Green Knitpicks Swish in stockinette stitch with a 1x1 turned cuff. Crocheted purple flower from WOTA.

Red WOTA with pink Ella Rae valleys between garter stitch ribs and rows. Four bobbles in each row. 2 x 2 ribbed cuff.

Vintage pink and green wool from elizabeth. Seed stitched turned cuff with green flying swallows in stranded colorwork.

Kelly green Lamb's Pride. 1 x 1 rib cuff with little butterfly textured pattern stitch.

Three unknown wools in teal, magenta, and yellow. I suspect they may be Nature's Pride, but can't be sure. Bit of stranded colorwork, mostly big stripes, 1 x 1 cuff.

Slip stitched mitten with 2 x 2 rib. Base color is Nature's Pride natural with bits of Lamb's Pride in a rose color, Merino Style in green and yellow, and a teal color that I think was WOTA.

Dr. Seuss mitten. Four row stripes, 1 x 1 cuff in Ella Rae lemon-lime color and Nature's Pride in bougainvilla pink.

Why 12 single mittens? It's for a library art installation. This is going to be part of a measuring wall for kids. They can stand up next to the stacked mittens and see how many mittens tall they are. They've promised to send pics of the finished installation.

I'm an artist! I work in mittens.

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