Ask Poops, Please

Putting my two cents in.

My Photo
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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Noro Bag est Finis!

TA-DA! One fully lined, fully functional purse, and this one's all MINE!


Here's a shot with my hand so you can get an idea of the scale. Not as roomy as my other striped bag due to the structured sides (no stretch), but more dressy and tailored. Better for more dressy occasions. Like going to WallyWorld, which is where we just got back from. Yes, I dress for the WalMart. Kidding. I was just giving it a trial run, and I must say that it performed admirably. A closer shot of the top view. The colors are truest in this picture.
An even closer shot of the stitches. I didn't felt the crap out of it like I usually do. The Noro Kureyon that I used (thank you, Secret Pal Mandy!) didn't felt as much as the Knitpicks WOTA that I used for the bottom and the bobble brim. So it's fuzzy, but not solid felt. There's still some nice stitch definition to be seen.
The handles are bamboo with brass from Joanns, and the lining is a green linen blend of some sort. I was looking for sturdy-ish and green and failed to take note of what it actually was. But it was in the linen blend suitings, so there you go.
And that's it! My kicky new bag! Yay for me!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Weekend Wrap-up in a Nutshell

First off, I've got no pictures. I left the house Saturday morning at 6 and realized I'd forgotten my camera. Sister took some snaps with her camera phone but hasn't sent them to me yet.

Pictures of what? Oh, booth at the Canterbury fair!

Friday was a bustle of activity. I keep my finished knits in a big green plastic tote right here beside the computer. Down there, by my right foot. As I finish something, I photograph it, list it on etsy, and into the bin it goes. Well, Friday I had to go through that bin and tag everything and price it. I spent the morning sorting, steaming, making and applying tags, and repacking my inventory. And then I had to pack the car later that day.

I lied. I just took a couple. These are some of the tags I make. They're care tags that I print on the computer, then I hand stamp and color the front. The back has the price and my shop info. You can see them bigger if you click on them.

And humid! Mother of pearl, it was muggy! I had sweat in places I didn't know I had glands.

Got up at quarter after five on Saturday and Sister and I headed for Canterbury. We were set up in plenty of time and I did REALLY well. Made lots of beer money! It did rain on us, though. I'm thinking of calling my craft business "The Leaky Tent" because that's what we were under during the deluge. It's actually pretty watertight, only you know how tents tend to develop pockets that collect water? Well, those pockets leaked. So we had to move everything in to a tight cluster toward the center of the tent.

Then the rain passed, and the sun came out and it got really muggy and hot again just in time to pack up.

I have never sweat so much in my life as I did on Saturday. I treated the family to Pizza Hut for supper and was almost too tired to chew. I went to bed at 9, I was that tired.

Sunday was muggy again. I cantored at 8, and in my opinion, mass could have gone on for hours. The A/C was on and it was downright chilly in there. It was awesome. I took Sister to lunch to thank her for being my wingman at the fair all day, and we spent the afternoon shopping. Not my favorite pasttime unless yarn is involved (and it wasn't), but it's always good to spend the day with Sister. And she did spend the day under a humid, leaky tent with me, so it's all a wash in the end.

Also on Friday I got the call to cantor my first funeral. I was in the queue for the one on Saturday, but I had the fair. So I got back in line for the next one, which is tomorrow. I rehearsed last night with Lillian the organist, and it is going to be great. Musically speaking. Funerals are seldom "great" as a rule. Though if anyone does a great funeral, it's Father Albert. The man is a liturgical genius. He does it right. Almost over the top, but not quite. He knows how to ride the line between "Oh, this is just so lovely" and "Okay, that was too much." The man can work a room, and even though it is a religious service, he knows that production values matter greatly when it comes to getting and keeping the congregation involved and interested.

This mass-going experience is new for me, and I know I'm spoiled by it. I spent a lot of years bored in church because the priest did nothing to make it beautiful. Oh, and it can be beautiful, I see that so clearly now.

I grew up in the 7o's where you had the choice between a wheezing organ or a guitar folk mass. Equally heinous.

We have a full choir with a good organ and talented organist. We have a talented music director who keeps up to date with the newest and best the liturgical composers have to offer, and she also plays the piano and guitar, and occasionally the recorder to accompany the organ music. Even as we speak, she's at a musical conference this week.

Father understands that the mass is an offering to God, and rushing through it and mumbling are just not done. He takes his time. Every gesture is done deliberately and with purpose. He wears an ear-mounted mic, so there's no rustling from his vestments. He knows how and when to turn it on and off surreptitiously so we don't have to listen to him blow his nose, clear his throat, or chew the host.

He's also a master homilist. He tells a story to start each sermon. He doesn't use notes. He comes right up front, away from the ambo and talks to us. And he's interesting. He's not "preachy". There's no fire and brimstone, just a lesson. And like a good teacher, he tells us the story to get our attention, then he embroiders the theme and makes it relevant in our lives. He's really, really good. Mr. Poops once remarked that he's the first and only priest that doesn't put him to sleep week after week. High praise, indeed.

And he's so High Church he's practically Anglican. He uses incense whenever and wherever it's called for. It looks like a speakeasy in the church during Easter. He speaks numerous languages and has been known to do parts of the mass in one of them. During one baptism, he did part of the mass in Polish because the godparents came over from Poland just for the ceremony. When he sent one of the Leroux girls off to Haiti for a mission trip, he blessed her in French at the end of the service. He learned the Our Father in Norwegian for Erly's funeral, and she wasn't Catholic.

We get young people involved from an early age. Usually you can't swing a dead cat without hitting an altar server. Our youth now goes on to teach religious ed themselves, they are cantors and lectors and eucharistic ministers.

Baptisms are not hurried affairs in the back of the church after mass. The family brings the baby to the front not once but twice during mass, and at the font (right up there in the front) the children of the parish gather around the welcome the newest member. Alleluias are sung and bells peal.

Weddings are also community affairs and the couple will often invite the parish community to their nuptial mass to see them married. Anniversaries are marked, and couples renew their vows before the congregation all the time.

Funerals are beautifully done, and rather than a time of deep mourning and sadness, the mass is a celebration of life, both the one we were given on earth, and the eternal one we are seeking. Father reminds us over and over of the Easter promise, and while we are sad to say goodbye, you can't help but feel hopeful that death is not the end, but only the beginning.

So really, I'm lucky. I wish everyone who hates their church--or hates The Church in general--could come and spend a Sunday with us. Seeing a mass done really well, being part of an active faith community, and having as a guide a priest who really gets what Jesus was all about and lives his life in those footsteps has really changed the way I think about religion.

And I didn't even mention the coffee and donuts we have after mass.

But I digress. I didn't mean to go off on that tangent, but there you go. I'm on a caffeine high. Bear with me.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. I rehearsed with Lillian last night. Did I mention I'll be singing the Ave Maria? I panicked a bit when I saw it on the list. I mean, I feel confident with belting out On Eagles Wings or I Am the Bread of Life...but Ave Maria? Only Singers need attempt that piece. That's Singers with a capital S. I was none too sure that I could do it, being merely a singer with a lowercase s.

But know what?


That's MY song, baby, yeah. Maybe it's because I've always thought it a particularly lovely bit of music to begin with. Perhaps it's because I've always felt that the Blessed Mother was my personal protector in lieu of having a particular patron saint. Maybe it's because I wear that prayer around my wrist everyday etched in silver. Or maybe I've just underestimated my singing abilities all along.

So at first I was nervous about screwing it up and kind of wishing they'd picked something else. But for the first time, I'm not at all nervous, and rather looking forward to getting to sing it again.

And on that note, (music humor...heh heh heh) I have to go. I need to arrange my book for tomorrow, I have to work on class reunion stuff this morning, and then the house needs some serious cleaning.

My work is never done.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The High Street Underground Uranium Mine

So many questions! I realize that I'm bad about responding to previous comments, so I'll try to remedy that today.

But first, my SP Mandy sent me this lovely Noro Kureyon that I'm making into a bag for myself. I only wish my craptastic camera did the colors justice. It is overwhelmingly green, all different shades, with bits of peach and gold and some magenta and purples in there...just too pretty to describe. It's not done, so you only get a peekaloo until then. It still needs a lining.So, in the comments of previous posts, it's been queried as to how I get my spinning so thin, having come a long way from cat barf to be sure! The answer...I don't know. I'm sure it's a complete fluke. I should not be able to do this. And yet, I am. I think it's just this roving. It's a delight to work with, that's all I can say. I've never spun anything so easy to handle before. I am completely smitten. I am in deep smit. And thank you for your lovely complements!

As for the change purses, Jess wants to know if they'll be in my etsy shop. Well, maybe. I haven't listed anything new because I have two craft fairs coming up in the next three weeks. When they're all over, I'll list any unsold inventory then. I didn't see any point in paying the listing fees and then have unlist the item a week later if it sold. So, check back after August 11. I'll know better then what's going online. Bear in mind, yarn ho that I am, that if you see something here that catches your fancy, drop me a line. Make an offer. I'm easy. Unless it's earmarked as a gift, it's probably up for grabs. I knit as a compulsion. I sell the stuff for beer money. It's all good.

Dances in Garden had some good ideas for making the teapot cozy in the round, but alas, it won't work with this style. This has two openings, one for the handle and one for the spout. So in reality, you'd have to knit the sides separately and then join the bottom later, unless you did a couple of rounds, then divided and did the two sides. That would eliminate the need to seam at the very bottom, but then we're only talking about a few stitches.

I suppose I could steek the openings. If I knew how. It's my next great adventure in knitting.

And finally, thank you so much for your good thoughts and your sympathies as far as Fucking Cancer goes.

It is my least favorite disease. Not that I have a favorite or anything.

As far as I know, High Street was not built over a uranium mine or anything. We're on town water and get regular water quality reports, and all is well there. Before my house was built, I think this whole area was just farmland. And last I checked, cow poop doesn't cause cancer.

I have always found it curious that two residents that lived here for many years died of pancreatic cancer. And the dog. (But they're only guessing that it was pancreatic cancer. I didn't ask for a doggie autopsy or anything). However, the rest of the the street has been quite healthy. Well, except for a couple of bad gall bladders, a few knee replacements, some wonky blood sugar, one case of heart disease, and a few kidney stones. And Erly did die of cancer far too young, but hers started as breast cancer, though it went into remission and then came back absolutely everywhere. It was the brain cancer that done her in at the end. (Hers is the wheel on which I am learning to spin, God rest her sweet soul.) So perhaps it's mere coincidence. My mother's friend who died last week had never stepped foot here to my knowledge.

I have read that pancreatic cancer is common in diabetics, and my aunt was a diabetic. And she drank Tab by the gallon. All that saccharin might have done it too, who knows? And I also read that they think that heavy drinking can lead to pancreatitis, which can lead to cancer. The other two did like their beer, so that could have opened that door. But then again, it could just be random. Which is one of the things I hate about cancer. Among other things.

I hate cancer because it's indiscriminatory. It doesn't care if you are a baby or elderly. It doesn't care if you jog three miles a day and eat vegetarian. It doesn't want to be cured, is resistant to treatment, and can go away and come back at will. It doesn't want to show up on screenings, and laughs at the very idea of innoculations. It is cruel. It makes you sick and then the treatments make you sicker, which it considers a very funny joke indeed. And it can come for any of us, despite our diligence, our fundraising walks, our cute colored ribbons, and our fervent prayers.

And it is terrifying. It's name alone is enough to make your blood run cold, especially if you're hearing it in your doctor's office.

Cancer's death toll outstrips the worst despots in history by far. Nothing invented by man, no torture ever dreamed up in the darkest recesses of the diseased mind have ever been able to top what cancer can do.

I hate cancer, and yet I know it's here to stay. And if not, something else equally horrible will take it's place. Why? Because none of us will live forever. We are human, and frail, and temporary. Our lives can be blinked out in an instant because that is the very nature of being human.

I think cancer is here as a teacher. In its merciless way, it teaches us about the frailty of our existence. It guides some of us to a place of faith to where we acknowledge that our will doesn't amount to a hill of beans in this world. It teaches us on a very basic level that every life matters, and if we can do something--anything--to relieve another's suffering, that we should do it. Because we have been given each other to lean on, and knowing that together we can fight, we can win some victories, and we can be lights for each other when it is darkest.

Sometimes it takes the absolute worst to enable us to be our absolute best, you know?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I Told You I'd Be Back!

And I brought more pictures! I told you I would!
First up, the Strawberry Tea Cosy from Magknits. Cute, fast. I think this one is destined for my tea-drinking SP, but I'm not sure.
Yes, I can forsee a line of themed cozies in my future. I like that the handle and spout are left open. I'm not enamored of a cozy that you have to remove to pour your tea. But it means that most of it is worked flat to above the handle, then in the round until the end, with a wee bit o' seaming at the very bottom. And you know how I feel about working flat and then seaming. Gack.
Second up is a pair of small felted bags. Each one is about 4.5 inches square.

They're meant to be worn over the shoulder and hang at the waist. I might re-twist the cord on the navy and green one. I did get a superior result with the wheel on the purple and brown one.

I knit up the skein of Noro into a bag yesterday and it is super cute! I'm going to line it and stiffen the sides to make a more structured bag, and probably put store-bought handles on it in the end. I've decided to hold off showing that one until it's done. Only because it's going to be way cute, just you wait and see.

The rest of my life is all about the reunion. I'm having a blast getting together with my friends. We're going to have to find excuses to get together after this is all over.

Today I'm posting early because I'm off to a funeral. One of my mother's friends passed away last week from pancreatic cancer. Not including the dog, this brings the death tally of my personal friends and family from pancreatic cancer to three. Patty was only 55 and she fought it with all she had.

To that end, I think I will make a donation to the Lustgarden Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer research this year instead of my usual donation to the Breast Cancer folks. The boobies get all kinds of attention. The pancreas...not so much, and it's by far a WAY deadlier cancer. It's one of those cancers that by the time you feel ill and they tell you it's cancer, it's pretty much too late to do anything for you. And no one's wearing pretty ribbons or knitting fancy socks or making fuzzy scarves to support it. Could be it's why it kills so many people. The pancreas just doesn't have the oomph of the boobies.

Or the cervix. Do follow the sidebar link to Bezzie's KAYE doings on her blog. Her mission to get us out there and having our pap smears may have saved her own mother's life. Perhaps I'll have a Save the Pancreas Awareness Campaign. (Though with a nickname like "poops", perhaps colo-rectal cancer should be my cause. Brown ribbons for everyone! Seriously...they get brown ribbons. How fucked up is that? Bad enough you have pooper cancer, but you get a brown ribbon to advertise it? It's just wrong. Bladder cancer is yellow. But at least you can say you're supporting the troops...)


There, I've said it.

I'm going to spin awhile before we have to go to the church. Nothing like creating to take the sting out of death.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I Have Been Remiss in my Posting Duties

It's true. I'm sorry. I've been busy. Reeeeeeally busy, I swear.

So, in no particular order, here's what I've been up to.

1. Taking up the most time of late is my class reunion. I'm making Powerpoint presentation/slideshow/multimedia extravaganza for it, and it's taking up all my computer time these days, not to mention four separate computers to pull it together.

I'm also making up some "interactive decorations" as well. I'm going to put display boards around the hall with things like trivia games, matching games, and nonsense like that.

And finally, I'm collecting questionnaires from my classmates about what's been going on in the last 20 years and I'm reformatting them with my printshop program to make a yearbook of sorts of the event.

Oh, and I'm making the award certificates for the evening as well. It's a lot of work. And I spend all morning, every morning, working on the stuff.

2. I have a two craft fairs sandwiching my reunion. My first is this coming Saturday, so my afternoon time, when I'm done on the computer, is taken with knitting, washing, blocking, finishing, and tagging. Occasionally, I spin a bit. But my ankle still hurts and common sense tells me not to do it. But still, I persist. Only I take more frequent and longer breaks, and I put myself on a spinning time limit.

3. Okay, it's really those two things. But summer is the peak social season and it seems like every weekend and several weeknights are filled with places that one or more of us needs to be. So far there have been three birthday parties, a baby shower, four class meetings and one field trip to the function hall to check things out and shore up the details. Not to mention random cookouts, day trips, and other assorted meetings and the like. I really should make it a point to blog something everyday so that I don't get so behind on things that I can't remember what I've done and therefore have no details for you. It sucks, I know.

4. And Harry Potter came out Saturday. His timing couldn't have been worse. Mr. Poops went to Concord at midnight to pick up my reserved copy. I started reading it before breakfast. I read for an hour before taking a break for brekkies and to go up and see Sister who has been in Phoenix for a week. And dad. He's been making me mitten trees for my craft fair displays. I can't wait to show them off--they're awesome! I promise lots of fair pictures this year!

Anyway, after visiting for a bit, I went back to the house. I read, had lunch, and read straight through the afternoon until I finished the book a bit after 6. I was not disappointed. I was quite satisfied with how things worked out for the most part. Only one part bothered me a bit, but all in all, a good and satisfying read. And now I can get back to work without distractions.

5. How about some pictures? Eye candy for you! First up: yarn porn!

This is what my lovely secret pal Mandy sent me in my first package! A skein of Noro Kureyon with the prettiest colors I've yet seen in a skein of Noro. It's got a taupy-tan color with berry pink, bright pink, lime green to sage green and some gold and yellow, and my description's not doing it justice, but when it's knitted up you'll see how purty it is. And there's a Lantern Moon sheep tape measure. The tape comes out of his butt! And a package of size 5 dpns by Crystal Palace, my absolute favorite bamboo needles. I use size fives all the time...they're my Mitten Needles of choice and needless to say, they go astray from time to time. I'm enjoying my new set immensely! And she also sent two drawing pads and some colored pencils for the girls which they are also enjoying quite a lot, which is why they didn't even stick around long enough for the picture.

Some new spin! This is merino from It's really easy to spin--look how skinny I made it! It's a first for me to get yarn this fine. The pencil is there for reference. I'm insanely proud of this! Takes forever to fill a bobbin though.

This one is a bit harder to spin evenly for me, but I like it. It's superwash something or other in Lagoon Blue, which is a lovely bright turquoise. It's smooth and very slippery to work with, but I've got it pretty thin here and the sheen on it is just amazing--silklike, in fact.

I am inordinately proud of these little bags. Sorry the picture is so fuzzy. They're meant to be change purses. I started with the striped teal one on the upper right. Here's what happened: I bought my SP a kit for a wee felted change purse. I took a peek at the directions and immediately thought to myself, "Well, that's the hard way to do that!" (Honestly, they want you to knit the front and back separately, seam the bottom and sides, and then pick up stitches for the top flap? Why would you do that? I knit it in the round from the bottom which was later seamed, and ended with the flap. I think I could make it completely seamless if I started with the flap and did a three needle bind-off at the bottom.)

But I digress. I liked my version so much better that I started playing with the stitch counts and this is what happened. The first one, the teal one, is rectangular. And I felt that their flap was a tad short and the top didn't pull in enough to be covered by the aforementioned inferior flap. So with the coral one, purse number two at the upper left of the photo, I knit it longer so that it would be squarer. And the flap is longer and the top pulls in a bit so that the opening is covered completely by the flap. This one just seemed to lend itself to a long cord so that it could be worn over the shoulder, so I gave it one. I've made two more with this same pattern and I really like it quite a lot.

Which brings me to the three bottom purses. I started to toy with making the bottom of the purse angle in a bit. I did that, knit it straight up to the top and brought the top in a bit like I did on the coral bag, then knit the flap. Well, when I felted it, it was round! And red! Like an apple! So I felted a leaf, and put a wee brown stem loop for carrying, and the button that holds it shut is a ladybug! Love it! And the final one there in the middle is the basic round purse shape but with a felted pink flower with a felted leaf and the middle of the flower is a buttonhole. I consider myself very clever for making these.

Finally for today, just a couple more pair of mittens. The lighting is insufficient in here at the moment. The pair on the right are the ones that were on the needles a few posts back. Well, they're done. And the pair on left is brown with a colorwork band just above the thumbs in a purple that's the color of black raspberry ice cream with some heathered tan as well.

Tomorrow: the strawberry tea cozy and two mini bags. Maybe more. You'll have to wait and see!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dude, It's Like Christmas in July

First of all, the humidity of the past few days is GONE and it's about 70 degrees tops with nary a cloud in sight and nice, solid breeze. As they say at McDonald's...I'm lovin' it!

I just washed up four pair of mittens (two regular and two of the fingerless variety) and they're on their way to the porch to dry. Sweet! And the other reason it's like Christmas in July is because I sold three pair of mittens today! In July! To Louisiana! What are the odds?

Of course it depletes my supply for my upcoming craft shows, and my dad is hard at work building me some mitten trees this week. I guess I better get crackin' and make some more mittens to hang on the trees. Or Ern's going to be super-pissed.

First up, fingerless mittens with a horseshoe lace pattern in Plymouth Suri Alpaca. Ridiculously soft with an amazing drape.
Fingerless mittens with double moss diamond rib patterning in Ella Rae wool.My fuschia pink Peace Fleece mittens.Plain mittens from Cascade Pastaza. Also crazy soft with a nice drape. Three felted bowls, a bit bigger than the ones in my shop. Gotta make more little ones, too.I've been working hard on getting my Multimedia Extravaganza ready to go for our reunion, which is the first weekend of August so time is getting short there too. Sister taught me use Powerpoint last night and I'm totally hooked! I'm a bit of a Printshop whore as it is. I seriously love doing work with layout and design and the like. Combine that with my stamping/scrapbooking background and it all really makes sense when you think about it. I should probably pursue a career in that area once the kids are in school. And if I could figure out a job where I could just make Powerpoint presentations for a living, I'd be a happy camper indeed.

Sister is leaving tomorrow for a week and Mr. Poops and I are housesitting while he's gone. I should have ample time in the evenings to sit at her computer and with luck it'll be done by the time she's home.

And yet I still have mittens to knit. And some bags. I think felted bags will go really well in Canterbury.

So much to do, so little time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What's a Post Without Pictures?

Notice anything different about the Bug? She FINALLY lost that second front tooth! Now she can wish us "merry christhmath"! It's been literally hanging by a thread for a week now. She's like me with teeth. I hated pulling them myself. They would hang forever until they literally dropped out of the socket onto my tongue. I still find it ooky and don't like to watch her wiggling the loose ones.

She is currently wondering how on earth she is going to manage corn on the cob this summer.

Not to be outdone in the whole "having her picture taken" thing, Bobo has muscled in. Earl Hickey strikes again. She's a cheeseball and I love her.

Last night was of course casserole night at my mother's house. We had American chop suey. (Elbow macaroni with ground beef, onions, green peppers and stewed tomatoes, for the uninitiated. That's the way we eat it. There are as many recipes as stars in the sky, I'm sure, but that's the way we've always done it in my family.)

My mom dug out her pictures and I took the ones from my high school days for our Class Reunion Multimedia Extravaganza. Most of what she had (besides being pics of just me, and I have plenty of those) were pics of me and my boyfriend that I had all through HS. We started dating at the beginning of tenth grade and didn't break up until the summer after we graduated. Truth be told, I have plenty of those pictures too. Maybe I'll share some of those later on this week. Oh, the stories I could tell! And I'm going to, at the reunion.

Speaking of pictures....

Oh my GOD! Is that actual knitting? Why yes, I believe it is! That's a felted bowl from my own hand-dyed handspun. It's like rope. I felted it two days ago and it's still damp. But then I left it out on the porch last night and the dew hit it, and hit it hard. It's very moist here. I'll let it sit another day before washing it again. It's supposed to be dryer tomorrow and Friday after whatever front it is that's coming moves on through.
Here's what I'm working on today. I suppose the presence of the dpn's was a dead giveaway that it's In Progress. I think these will be whole mittens instead of mitts. I have plenty of this gold yarn. (Messie might recognize it!)
I also have three more felted bowls, two pair of mittens and two pair of fingerless mittens to show you, but I think I'll make you wait until tomorrow. Otherwise there'll be no pics for tomorrow and that would be bad.

Wanna see what I'm making next? It's a strawberry tea cosy from Magknits. I ordered some WOTA for it yesterday and we shall see. I've never attempted a tea cosy before. Or is it cozy? Or does it depend where you live? Sort of like how some English-speakers put a U in words where others leave it out. I dunno. Is cozy a feeling and cosy a something? And will it really keep my teapot warm and good to the last drop?

Show of hands: how many of you are thinking that I'm going to make the strawberry one, decide that I would write the pattern differently (read: better) and design my own line of fantastic tea clothing?

You may be right. I may be crazy.

You know the rest.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I Wish I Had Pictures

But alas, I've yet to photograph any of my recent FO's. See, I photograph as I wash and list them, and I'm not quite there yet. It's been rainy and humid here for a few days, but the sun's coming out today and bringing a heat wave with it, so I'll get my stuff washed and photographed by the end of the week.

I'm still sidelined from spinning by my ankle. My wise and all-knowing Knittys Who Spin suggested that perhaps it was tendonitis. Not a repetitive motion disorder like carpal tunnel, but a repetitive stress injury instead. So I popped over to WebMD to see if perhaps this could be the case and if you can trust an online medical database, I have all the classic signs and symptoms.

The good news is that with plenty of rest, elevation, and anti-inflammatories, it's feeling much better. Stairs are painful still, and while pointing and flexing no longer cause me great pain, moving my foot from side to side isn't pleasant. So I've got some healing to do yet. And an amassing stash of fiber screaming to be spun up.

The good news is that it's made me focus on my knitting more. I've got all kinds of stuff already done and ready to be warshed, and many plans for stuff to come. I've got my mojo back, baby, yeah! I just balled up some of my handspun. You may recall that I love it so much in skein form that I've hesitated to actually make anything with it. Well, the baby skein of the brown homespun is going on the needles very shortly. Homespun mittens! Yay!

Today, the wise Bezzie extolled the virtues of TLC Cotton Plus yarn on her blog. I was intrigued. I still am. So I ordered some in Kiwi from I'll try a baby sweater and see if I concur. Heck, I might even knit a Tomato for myself. But I'm not joining Ravelry, even if Bezz caves. Because I just don't have time for that nonsense. I don't have time for this nonsense.

And I don't remember if I mentioned that I signed up for the Secret Pal 9 round or not. I think I did. Well, if I didn't mention it, I did. Of course I can't tell you who my SP is because she might read my blog (though I don't think so) and see what she's getting and also spoil the "secret" part of Secret Pal and there goes the whole idea. But she's got some nice things coming her way for sure! Right now they're still coming my way from all over the place. As soon as they are assembled, off goes Box the First, or the July Box as I've come to think of it.

And if you're a regular reader, you may have seen the comments from the last post where my own Spoiler has my July Box ready to mail. I'm getting goodies! Whee! You KNOW I'll be blogging the contents like a madwoman!

Now, I have to go take out the trash. My life is so exciting I can hardly stand it.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Poops on Tour

Where to See Poops This Summer
(If You Find Yourself in the Area)
August 11, 2007--St. Joseph's Church Craft Fair @ Belmont Old Home Day
I added that bit because I'm pretending I'm a knitter of Some Stature and thought it would be funny to post my tour dates. Come see me in person, fondle my handknits...I'll even sign something for you, boobies a specialty.

In knitting news, The Mitten Queen reigns supreme. Koo koo ka choo.

Clockwise from upper left:
Yellow Encore chunky with cable accent.
Green 1974 Arnold Palmer green with garter zig zags.
Avocado green Ella Rae with mock crock pattern.
Turquoise blue Encore chunky with seed stitch panel.
Bougainvilla pink Nature's Spun worsted with travelling vine pattern.
Harvest gold Ella Rae with loop stitch accent.
Navy blue Ella Rae with double moss diamond rib panel.
And finally, in the center, fuschia Peace Fleece with stacked triangles accent.

They're out drying fully on the porch and I should be able to mail them on Monday. And right as the order for these came in, I was just starting some more mittens for the aforementioned craft fairs that are coming up in the next few weeks, so it's back to that knitting (and fun stuff for me and maybe some charity knitting too) now.

On the homefront, Bug had a sleepover on Thursday night which proved to be fortuitous. At three in the morning, after going to bed too late to begin with and then getting up with Bobo because she was sweaty and couldn't sleep, Mr. Poops woke me with much groaning and swearing. He said it felt like someone was stabbing him in the gut and it hurt to stand up. So off to the ER we went, sweaty toddler in tow.

Long story short: kidney stone. His second one thus far. Morphine was administered, pain was eased, CT scan showed a small stone that was almost to the bladder, and we were discharged and home at 6. Bobo decided she was UP, and that meant so was I, since the morphine knocked DH on his ass and he slept all day.

She went down for a nap at one and slept until 5. I didn't get my nap because as soon as I lay Bobo down, Bug got home from her sleepover.

And then last night we got together with some classmates at my friend Polly's house. It was a lot of fun. There were eight of us with spouses. It was a good time. We didn't get home until quarter to 11.

Needless to say, Mama's tired this morning... but my ankle is feeling better. And I'm itching to spin!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Mittens in Arizona?

Hmmm, I thought I 'splained that.

See, there's this company based in Arizona that does interactive art installations in libraries. They are called Burgeon Group and if you follow the link you can see all kinds of the things that they do. My mittens are going to be part of a measuring wall, where kids can measure themselves using all sorts of everyday objects. Including mittens.

Anyway, I originally knit them 12 different kid-sized, kid-colored mittens and they were a hit. Apparently they needed more, so she asked if I could do 8 more for them in a quick hurry. (She said I could name my price, but I charged her the same per mitten as the first 12 because I feel it would be bad karma to overcharge her just because she's in a hurry. It's no skin off my nose. I can knit a mitten lickety-split and I enjoy it.)

What a good gig for the Mitten Queen! And there's no SMS (Second Mitten Syndrome). For non-knitters, that's a version of the dreaded SSS, or Second Sock Syndrome, where you make one sock but can't seem to make yourself start (or finish) the second one. I don't make many socks, but I get it with mittens from time to time.

And she's promised me pictures of the finished installation so that I can brag that I'm an artist! I work in mittens the way some artists work in oils.

Anyway, I'm more than halfway done with the second order, so I'll make the July 18th deadline with no problem. And speaking of karma, you know as soon as I told her I'd make the mittens for the same price as the last batch, I sold a cotton sweater and a bowl from my etsy shop. I swear to you it's all connected in some big cosmic motherboard.

So that's what I'm working on in the knitting world.

Yesterday was, of course, the Glorious Fourth. We did next to nothing all day long and at night went to Baboo's sister's house for fireworks. Her neighborhood has a small private beach and her block organization put on a small display there, and then we went back up to the house and sat on her huge porch to watch the big display at Opechee Park, just across the lake from her house. The kids stayed up too late, but they let me sleep until 8:45 today, so I'm not complaining.

Can I complain about my ankle again, though? It still hurts, and I would say it hurts more today than it has for the past few days. Seems like every day it hurts a little more. It hurts to point my toe. It hurts a lot to flex my foot back toward my leg. And walking on uneven ground like the lawn is very painful. I've never heard of an injury of any sort that didn't start to feel better a couple of days after the initial injury. Especially when there was no trauma in the first place, just a buttload of spinning.

I figure that unless it turns colors or gets so that I can't walk on it, I'll give it the weekend of rest and Advil before calling the doctor. Mostly because he'll look at it, tell me to take Advil and stay off it. Which I could have figured out on my own, thanks.

I wonder what this will do to my new career as a spinster? *chokes back sob*

I suppose I could knit something with the yarn I made. Hey, that's a thought!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Last Yarn-making for Awhile

So, whenever I order from Sheep Shed Studios, along with the pound of fiber I order, they throw in a small bag of something extra. The first time I got some saffron-colored superwash roving. With the brown roving I got a bag of pure black and with the latest lagoon blue superwash I got some pretty red roving. I think it's superwash too.

Anyway, I did up these little bundles. The red is overspun but I did pretty good with the black. There's about 106 yds of the red and 70-something of the black. (I forget.)
They're drying on the porch and I think I'm going to knit them together into herringbone stranded fingerless mittens. That'll be cute, no?

But first, I have another special mitten order to fill. Eight different mittens to be received in AZ by 7/18. Wish me luck!

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Well-Turned Ankle

My well-turned ankles are not a matched set today. Today, my right ankle is sore. It was yesterday, too. Know why? 'Cause I spent hours and hours turning sheep hair into yarn.

I overdid it. I'm pretty sure it's a repetitive motion injury. It was totally worth it, though. Remember this big bag of roving from the Sheep Shed Studios? It's Brown Sheep Mill Ends in the "browns" family. Well, I got it all spun up and plyed. I didn't do the whole pound all at once! I did about half of it previously, and just returned my attention to it this weekend.

First, this is a blurry shot of it single-spun. I'm still working with the macros function on my old camera. It's yet another learning curve.

This is the same yarn plyed. He's my first from this batch of roving, and I call him "Overspun". You can see I'm getting a handle on the macros now.
This is his sister. Her name is "Underspun". She was spun second and I was trying to compensate for overspinning her big brother. I haven't quite figured out how to tell if I'm over- or under-spinning while it's happening.
This is them with the baby. She's "Wouldn't Fit on the Bobbin." Underspun as well. She looks like her big sister. Sorry it's so dark. This is with the flash and with my kitchen light turned up all the way on a sunny morning. That's how dark my kitchen is. It's like a black hole.
Here they are just hanging out after a bath. You can see Overspun on the left and Underspun on the right.
The closeup shots give you a better idea of the color of the yarn. Sort of a medium brown that has bits of white and black if you look really closely.

All told I have about 350 yards of the stuff and not a clue what it wants to be. It will whisper to me in time, I'm sure.

In other news, I have laryngitis. It's better today, but I still sound kind of rough. I was supposed to cantor on Sunday and I couldn't do it. I sounded like Peter Brady in that episode where his voice is changing. Just like that, as a matter of fact.

And it's cold here! It's 54 degrees on my porch and breezy. Not a cloud in the sky. If the weather was like this all year round I swear I'd move here.

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