We're not here for a long time; we're here for a good time.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Take Back the Knit

Two quick comments (oh please) on why knitters are the grooviest. First, because they bring you random gifts such as these:

Knitty Yoda brought these to Knit Night for me as she knows two of The Hubba's favorite food items are fried okra and fried green tomatoes (to eat with fried chicken, can you tell the boy is Southern?). She got these vegetables from... wait for it... her garden. I'm not kidding folks, she must be stopped before she takes over the world. Or maybe not. Maybe we should let her at it. We'd all wear fine handmade garments and eat fresh organic foods. Yoda for President perhaps? Hmm...

Secondly, never realized the fierceness of knitters. I thought my Tae Kwan Do classmates were intimidating, but they look like the Care Bears compared to these girls. Knitty Yoda and Sharon (brought in by Mrs. Knotty, score one for her- who by the way- where were you tonight Miiizz Knotty? Mm-hm, you were Eggspected and sorely Mizzed) insisted on staying with me at the store while I closed up tonight. As I showed them out, they lectured me on Most Sensitive Body Parts to Attack, Pointiest Keys to Use and special guest stars on "The Facts of Life" (to bore said attacker to death, I guess). Mind you, the shop is in a very nice part of sleepy downtown right across from the police station. It did not matter. They would have followed me to my car had I not locked them out. Had a sudden image of some poor assailant trying to steal my knitting bag, five-months-preggers Knitty Yoda hanging off his back, choking him with her circular needles while Sharon jabbed him in the eyes ("a key body point") with her crochet hook. Don't think they wouldn't have.

As I left the parking lot, I saw a car come in and thought, "huh, what nutter is"- until I saw Knitty Yoda's bright red head and white face staring out of the window wearing a "bring it on" expression. She saw my car, gave me a cool nod and headed home to her husband and three-year-old boy. We're a scary bunch. And yet I'm oddly proud of my knittin' girls.

Yarn Power, ya'll.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Sock Me, Baby!

I've joined a secret swap group and today's post is dedicated to that. Bad news for those you of who (i.e. all except the swap partner who has to read this) don't care about my favorite color or my *thing* for hot tea. Good news, I get to write on one of my favorite subjects. Lalala. Lists of things I like/want are my specialty. You should have seen my Christmas and birthday gift lists when I was young. I like to think they were small works of art.
Sockret Pal Swap Questionnaire.
The basics:
How long have you been knitting? Er, about five minutes? Give or take? I took a beginner's knitting class at the end of April '06 and luuuurved it. Been doing it every day, all the time, whenever possible, ever since.

Do you consider yourself a beginning sock knitter, an intermediate, or have you been doing this so long you could probably knit a pair in your sleep? Sad to say (I think I might be the first person on the Sockret Pal Swap to say this, which just shows I'm clearly in over my head) beginner. I'm about to finish my first nice pair of socks and I've loved doing it. But, yeah, beginner is all I can claim.

The measurements:
While your pal may ask for some additional info to ensure a great fit, please provide your shoe size, or any other fitting related info you think is pertinent. I'm a size 7 foot and it's a pretty normal shape, not too wide or too thin.

(fiber related) Favorites:
What colors do you love? All kinds for socks. Truly. Pink, red, orange, blue, green- pastel or vibrant or earth tones, love them all. For the non-foot bits of me, I'm a bit more standard, and wear lots of khaki and striped shirts and polos and tee shirts. Its not so much I don't wear color, as I wear very basic style garments. Not a lot of wraps or fringe or sparkle or anything too dramatic.

Do you prefer solids or variegated? Variegated! For socks, for dishcloths (do thousands of these), for scarves, for hats. Also love stripes for socks and scarves, such as my Harry Potter scarf (we'll get to that a little further down).

What fibers do you most love to knit with? Alpaca thus far. Also enjoy wool and the superwash merino in which I've done my socks.

Who do you consider your favorite yarn vendors? Cherry Tree Hill, Brown Sheep, and Noro, particularly their wool/silk blend (not actually knit with this one, but I have dreamed of it).

What projects (other than socks, of course*S*) do you most enjoy knitting? Hats, and headgear in general (did the kerchief thing from the Sticth n' Bitch book- simple, but used alpaca- Love It.) and am expecting socks to shoot up the list.

(fiber related) Dislikes:
What fibers can you not stand to knit with? To wear? Don't care too much for 100% acrylic. I don't mind fifty-fifty, sixty-forty blends, but 100% is a bit much for me. Also, I'd probably never wear fun fur, or eyelash yarn or anything with sparkles. You know, the dramatic stuff.

What colors would you never wear? Hmm. Don't wear brown or taupe too often (khaki isn't really taupe is it? No, or then they'd call it taupe, I guess) and not too much gray.

The Tools:
Plastic or Metal? Bamboo or wood? Bamboo. I've pretty much stuck to the Clovers, nothing too exciting, and for circs I bought the Denise Interchangeable needles as a beginner. Figure, the way other knitters drool over Addi's, I'll be investing in some in the not too distant future.

Circs or Straights? Both, equally.

DPNs or Magic Loop? Have done a little Magic Loop and loved it. Taking a class on Magic Loop Socks later in October. But DPNs are fine too, and they look neat when surrounded by non-knitters.

Are there any knitting accessories you don't have in your collection but would like? A clicky row-counter. I have a turn row counter that I love (where you turn the number each time you finish a row- was that obvious?) that one of my favorite knitting friends gave me, but I think I'm ready for the kind where you push a button and change the number. Stitch markers are always great, and one of those tape measures in a dispenser where you push a button and it sucks the tape back up. Out of curiosity, is it very obvious I don't have a clue?

The Extras:
Do you have a wish list? If so, please share the link! Er, no. Is this what all the cool knitters are doing these days? I could do one, if need be.

Do you like sweet, sour or salty? (or all of the above? *S*) AHAHAHA. (as I rub my hands together and pop my knuckles) I love sweet, chocolate is my favorite, with nuts is a huge plus and I love coconut and mint, but I don't care for fruit-flavored chocolate at all. I like fruity candy pretty well. Salty and sour are fine, but sweet is where It Is At.

Do you have any allergies your pal should know about? (Certain foods, smoke, pet hair, etc) Nope.

Favorite scents? Scents you can't stand? I love crisp smells and my current perfume is DKNY Be Delicious, with a bottle shaped like an apple. I'm not much into flowers, but I love fresh smells, like eucalyptus, linen, cotton, lavender (for sleep stuff especially) and I love mint smells, like rosemary mint or peppermint. Don't care for patchouli or mulberry at all and I'm not a fan of vanilla or anything too sugary sweet (which I realize is kind of weird after the dissertation on chocolate a few lines back).

Do you collect anything (other than yarn and knitting toys of course)? I don't mean to collect things, but I do seem to have a lot of teapots and a gajillion books and I don't plan to give either away. I also love anything by Mary Engelbreigt.

When is your birthday? (month and day is fine!) 08/24

Do you spin? Dye your own yarn? Nope, but I did assist in a yarn dying once.

Your favorite author/band/vacation spot, anything you think will help your pal know you better...
Pal, Buckle Up.
Favorite Author: Edith Wharton (have every book she's ever written I think and a few written about her), Marian Keyes, Agatha Christie, Fannie Flagg, J.K. Rowling, Jane Austen, E.M. Forrester, Sophie Kinsella
Favorite Band: Dave Matthews Band (before, now, and forever), Tori Amos, Lyle Lovett, Barenaked Ladies
Vacation Spot: Anything with sand, prefer North Carolina and South Carolina beaches within the States, outside of the States... don't really know. Big city would be Chicago- great to visit, not my favorite place to live. And The Hubba and I hope to go out of the country next year, probably Italy, as a "Five Year Anniversary/ Honeymoon We Never Had" trip.

Anything to help know me better? I'm 26, married, we have four dogs (all mixed breeds, all rescue), I write fiction privately hope to one day do it professionally, I read all the time (have just discovered audiobooks while knitting, it's like my own private version of heaven), I work part time at my LYS and lurv it, we've no children yet (see: four dogs), and we live in a regular two-story house with a huge fenced backyard (big bonus, see: four dogs). I'm from Tennessee and lived there for 24 years straight then The Hubba and I moved to the Southside of Chicago for his job and when the opportunity came up transferred to North Carolina where we plan to stay, but it's too late: I now have the reputation as Girl on the Move. Also, I love hot tea. Really love hot tea. I love hot tea in a way that were it an alcoholic beverage or something to put up my nose would get me sent straight to a six-week private clinic, popular with types like Kate Moss and Robin Williams. My current choice is Barry's Tea, which is Irish, at my grocery store, and delicious. I don't care for fruity/flavored/health teas, just the good old teeth-staining black stuff. I grew up in Vol Country, TN, and went to the University of Tennessee, so it's in my blood to love the UT Volunteers and from that I've developed a deep and passionate relationship with the Indianapolis Colts, where the greatest UT quarterback ever now plays. And I love Harry Potter. Love the books, love the films, love it all. Love it to the point of knitting the most pointless scarf ever and having real fits when said scarf becomes troublesome.

That's about it. Hope my poor pal isn't now lying on the floor, twitching and muttering, "It's too much, she's too much, too much..." In case it's not clear, I'm Really Excited about the Swap!

Monday, September 25, 2006

And the Rain, Rain, Rain Came Down, Down, Down

"No matter how rich you become, how famous or powerful, when you die the size of your funeral will still pretty much depend on the weather." Michael Pritchard

I'm back! Great trip home that lasted a day longer than expected due to rain. I won't bore you with weather descriptions (I really exhausted my ark metaphors this weekend) except to say the weather lady used words like "severe" and "drenching" to describe it. And yes, a wedding was my reason to be in town. An outside wedding.

Which actually came off nicely (in doors) and, via tents, still managed to incorporate the outdoors. Everyone looked beautiful and, as all shoes were equally muddy by the end of the evening, no one seemed to mind the miserable climate. Mum Knitter accompanied me, as The Hubba had to work Saturday morning. She and I might have been extras from "The Golden Girls" (far, far younger and much cuter of course but with that same biting wit), me commenting on the chickens, while Mum held the steering wheel in a death-grip (probably to keep from belting me) as we navigated tiny, winding country backroads, in the dark, at about fourteen miles an hour, rain smacking the windshield and probably a right turn signal flashing. I won't recount the "Trying to Change from Fancy Wedding Dress to Movie-Appropriate Clothing" that took place at a Buddy's Bar-B-Q, but it was good times, folks, good times.

Approximately zero knitting got done, except that I did, I think, bring another one to the fold by teaching Mum K. the rudiments of knitting. She claimed "I want to knit scarves" and I said "Of course, scarves, no problem," and rubbed my hands together and cackled. It's a bit like being a crack-dealer, I think, being a knitter who teaches someone else the trade. You hook them in with "just a nice scarf" and pretty soon they're combing the city, wild eyed, hair sticking up in points and horns, resembling Sigourney Weaver as The Gatekeeper, all the while trying to play it cool, but fingers twitching, as they mutter at innocent shopkeepers, "Who do you know with a ball of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, Dye Lot 1707? That's all I need, just the one ball, and then I'm done. Really. That's all I need. Just one."

Sunday morning and late Sunday evening we worked with a pair of Clover Bamboo size 7 needles and some Rainbow Brite colored cotton yarn to create a swatch. Except for the bind-off, which she found troublesome (I recommended she just leave her knitting needle in and start a whole new trend) Mum K. did great and was making respectable knit stitches in no time. I think I now get marks for my second convert (Alyssa from the Hilton Head extravagazna being my very first sell). I left Mum K. with the yarn and the needles and assurances she could give them back anytime. Ya'll, I'm nothing if not a thoughtful dealer.

I think only a few more trips and I'll have Suz Knitter (Second Mom in Command) itching for a bit of cotton and bamboo. To all the Knitter Queenpins out there, a question: If I bring in Pops Knitter and The Hubba does that mean I have my own Family, so to speak? And if so, do they have to call me the Yarnmother?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Drive In, Drive Out

"Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training." Anna Freud

Just a quick post to say I am (oh I'm cringing just telling you) on the road again. A friend in Tennessee is getting married tomorrow and so comes a whirlwind trip to be at the yarn store, get outta town, to a wedding and back in town in time for next week. I must say after all this travel I have paired my packing down tremendously from this:

to only two bags. If you're curious my knitting bag is always one of them.

I do have to be at the yarn store and I am so short of time that even typing the words to say it takes far too long. So instead pictures of flowers received from The Hubba last night. No particular reason, just because.

Isn't he lovely?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em

"I base my fashion taste on what doesn't itch." Gilda Radner

One done and only a few tears nearly shed or curse words used. This sock has gone well. Did have a brief moment of frustration this afternoon when I went to finish the toe with the recommended Kitchner stitch (named after a former British Prime Minister do we think? One with, perhaps, a secret, but undeniable desire to knit?). Here I discovered the only part of my brain that might be described as meticulous involves the reading of instructions. I take it seriously.

Without all the detail let's say there were two knitting needles and one blunt needle involved and every time I was told to do something with "a needle" I considered hunting down the pattern writer and assaulting her with any/all needles in my possession. Barring that, I had thrust all knitting back into my bag, intending to drag it to Knit Night tomorrow and beg/badger/plead until Mrs. Knotty talked me through the toe.

Luckily, Knitty Yoda happened to call at that exact moment (on an entirely different matter; I honestly thought she was intuiting my problem in Yoda-fashion and instead of "hello" would start the conversation with "When it says 'take the needle' that means use your top knitting needle and...") and talked me through the issue. In the end, I had a sock, and not just any sock, but a sock with a finished toe. I realize the body looks a little out of a proportion. It's chicken-and-egg, is-the-cuff-too-small-or-the-body-too-big and I've decided after a lot of thought and consideration... TO LIVE WITH IT. Sorry to shout.

Also, (and this is a shout-out to my sock-knittin' homies, or at least the nice womens' blogs I read who knit socks) I must say it IS really hard to take a picture of your own foot. Really. It involves yoga moves, hanging head upside down, and frankly there's just nothing dignified about it. And just so you know everything is as per usual here, I had the sock on for nearly a full minute and it's already furry.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I Wanna Sock- SOCK!

"It's easy to get the feeling that you know the language just because when you order a beer they don't bring you oysters." Paul Child

Patience is my virtue. My patience is limitless. I'm practically Buddhist I am so filled with patience.
And all because of my sock. Remember the sock? Well, not only did I frog the whole thing, I decided, in a stoic fit, to knit it entirely continental style. I've knit one thing in the round using my left hand and this, I decided, would be my second. It would be faster, it would be good practice, it would try the patience of Gandhi. And thus have I done. And thus it has done.
But behold!

A sock! Made up entirely of a knit 2-purl 2 cuff and a stockinette stitch. No twisted stitches here (note: when Knitty Yoda and Mrs. Knotty and myself form our punk rock band that will be our name: Twisted Stitches).

Mind you the body of the sock looks a little big. I tried it on and it seemed to fit well. Apparently my foot is made in the same mold as Gonzo's nose. Muppets? Anyone? Anyone? Hmm...

I modeled the sock last night and had The Hubba take pictures, but his artistic tendencies escape him when photographing knitwear. There were several frightening shots of what appeared to be a severed leg wearing something akin to a legwarmer. The other pics all involved my face. So he could take pictures of my foot. I don't get the geography on this one, but I thanked him nicely then deleted all these shots.

So that's knittin' news around here. While I realize it is already Tuesday, I'd like to give two weekend shout-outs, both to Mrs. Knotty. First for her kind words regarding the frogging sock and second for her Tigers for their thrilling victory over LSU last weekend.

I wish I might add my Volunteers to this group. Ya'll it was heartbreaking. It was a good thing I wasn't knitting during the game; I'm certain several DPNs would have been broken to bits.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A Day at the Pond

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why
Wonder, I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful
And I think it's what I want to be. Kermit the Frog, "It's Not Easy Being Green."

Any knitters reading this page right now are cringing, I bet. They know where all this amphibious talk will lead. Believe me, I tried not to do it. I tried, in fact, to totally ignore my error. My tiny, barely noticeable error. Only through the assistance of an instructor at the shop yesterday ("oo, pretty yarn... oh- what happened to the foot?") did I realize the huge, glaring mistake I made for the majority of the foot: twisted stitches leading to a purled effect, the exact opposite of the knit look I was going for. Ya'll, this was no Harry Potter scarf.

I tried to only rip it partially, to save the tricky heel turn or the simple, but time-consuming knit 2, purl 2 cuff. No going, people. Dropped stitches, twisted stitches, DPNs sticking out every which way- it looked like my pathetic attempt to administer acupuncture. Come to think of it, acupuncture might have been more useful.

Yesterday afternoon, as the gloom finally cleared and the sun came out, I frogged the entire sock. Everything but the slipknot.
So what did look like this:

Now looks like this:

(Blurry due to tears)

Upside: By the time I've finished this sock, I will be an expert at this "Super Easy Sock" pattern. A #$%&*!@ expert.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

It's Winds-day

"What I like doing best is me going to visit you and you saying 'Pooh, how about a smack-a-rel of honey.'" Winnie the Pooh to Christopher Robin, from the film "The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" (The books are still packed away, hoping, one day, for shelves they might call home.)

It's a rainy, drizzly kind of day here in NC. A soft rain, a nice, not-frightening-dogs kind of rain, and we even have the kitchen window open (where Barkley and I are right now) to let in a cool breeze.

What I love about the yarn-store: I forgot what it's like to spend hours away from home a few times a week so when you return, home seems like a highly coveted place to be. The experience is groovy (more later) and the days there are well spent, but hearing the alarm go off this morning and knowing I didn't need to start sprinting around the house, releasing dogs from bedrooms, crates, and other forms of confinement to let them out into the backyard then hustling them back into the house because it was raining and no one cares for Eau de Damp Mutt- well, staying right where I was, it was lovely. I hadn't realized this really, until now. What's that old pick-up line... "I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you walk away." That about sums it up, but in a non-pervy way.

The store is lovely. Highly political though. Highly. You snicker, but, Oh BOY, (as my dear friend Nolan would say), it is a landmine in there. I've realized I need to get my steely game-face on- UT v. Florida kind of game face. Ha! Can't imagine I'll ever be able to see those baby-blanket-crocheting women as the Patriots to my Patron Saints of the AFC. Oh BOY.

In the past I've decided I'm not cut out for retail. Two stints (each lasting upwards of one to two weeks) at The Gap and Pier 1 Imports proved this to me. I decided, while still in school, there were two types, the restaurant type and the retail type. I fell, with a thud, into the first. Hustle, bustle, constant change, a fifty-percent discount on food, and a gambler's highs and lows regarding money all suited me fine. At Pier 1, after my bazillionith time, in the same day, of moving candles I realized I couldn't cut it. I was Sisyphus, only my punishment involved eucalyptus scented bags of potpourri.

This is so much better. As its not a chain store, there's lots that can be done and improved without appealing to the Holy Trinity for bath salt-moving approval, the people who come in are chatty and friendly and don't send you off with "I'm JUST looking" in the same tone they might use if you tried to sell their children crack, and when the yarn gets changed around its fun to move and coordinate with different parts of the store. And, as its not exactly a happening place all the time, it helps I enjoy the company of me, myself, and I as much as I enjoy that of others. Maybe more. Hmm...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

You Know You're in Trouble When...

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Confucius

1. You follow The Hubba's insane suggestion to spend a weekend with people you've never met and you have a brilliant time. The visit to Charleston went great. There was an initial fifteen minutes, on both sides, of thinking "what in the $%!* have we done?" that fell away, I think, after they settled their son in with the baby-sitter, we climbed into their car, and Dave, the husband said, "Want to listen to some Dave?" and Renee, the wife asked, "Who's ready for a drink?"

2. Their adorable two-year-old son picks you out as Non-Parentals, who are total saps for people under three feet tall that say things like "Oh BOY!" and "OK, sure," in a cute, gooey kid voice. We were doing his bidding and dancing to his every whim within minutes of arrival.

3. The final decision to buy a new handbag is made when your NON-knitter friend says "It would be the perfect length for a pair of knitting needles!"

4. When you feel The Crazies coming on, after a perfectly great day that didn't happen to include knitting, you ward them off by breathing deeply, sitting still, and intoning, over and over to yourself, "I can knit tomorrow. I can knit tomorrow. I can knit tomorrow."

5. You realize you will never get a "Welcome Home!" from any person as good as you get from these guys:

I have the scratches to prove it.

Knitting Notes

"...And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


There is knitting going on here.

See? Knitting. Mind you, these socks haven't exactly been the easy, free-flowing experience I expected from the pattern's title "Super Easy Sock." I was lured in by the single page of directions. One page! Ha! I can do THAT. Not until I came to the bottom of the page and had only half a sock to show for it did I realize I needed to remove the pattern from its plastic protector and turn it over, only to discover- another full page of direction! In a less generous moment, I was tempted to call the pattern writer "Super Stupid."

The cuff went great, perfectly, and so I was awash with SGS (Smug Girl Syndrome). If all a sock required was a cuff, I'd be a sock expert. Leg warmers are my beat. I'd have been a big hit in the eighties. Unfortunately the foot and toe of the sock came into play somewhere around the "turning the page over" portion of the program. To skip this aspect of said sock, I felt, might have been noticeable.

I thought I was doing well. Mrs. Knotty, a Sock Guru, started me on the heel and that went along just fine for nearly five minutes. Then confusion set in and I turned to Knitty Yoda who had just joined the group. At that exact same moment in time, something went awry in the Manners portion of my brain. I blame the fiddly DPN's.

Knitty Yoda went through careful, clear instructions with me, took the sock from my hands and demonstrated what to do, returned it, and watched as I picked up stitches and tried to work around. She was the picture of patience and encouragement.

Knitty Yoda (encouraging): That's it! You're doing great.
Me (shoulders slowly coming down from around my ears): Whoo-hoo! This is smooth sailing now.
Knitty Yoda (reasonably): Well, until you get to the toe.
Me: Shut up.
Me: Did I just tell you to shut up?
Me: Did I just tell a pregnant woman to shut up?
Me: WHAT is happening to me?

So socks, thus far, are not my best feature. I have foolishly joined a Sockret Pal, which includes a secret pal swap of goodies for the next few months and, as the Big Finish, an exchange of knitted socks. Perhaps not the best decision I've made lately, considering I'm yet to complete a pair of socks. I read the words "This will be a bi-monthly swap - meaning you will send out (and receive!) a package once every 2 months" and got all giddy with the idea of presents- for me!- in the mail! Before you could say "Stick me in the eye with a double pointed needle!" I had sent in a request to join and had been accepted. So I WILL, I MUST finish.

I expect sending a pair of Hanes would go down poorly.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I Don't Know How It's Possible...

"Eighty percent of success is showing up." Woody Allen
Ya'll we're traveling. Again. I don't know what the #&^% is going on. The previous two years I whined occasionally (re: all the time, any time someone would listen) about how The Hubba and I never traveled. Now we seem to be gone so often I'm thinking about taking a sofa cushion with me, just to remember what it feels like. The dogs are at the the kennel (AGAIN I'm sure they'd say) and we're to the point where I call and say "It's Neighbor Knitter and we have"- and the kennel-owner says "Oh! Those four! Super!" and adds another wing to the summer home she started building when we moved to the area.
Still, only two more weekends of travel (am I actually pleased about that?) before we're home for the month of Oct. So there will be more posts next week about something pertaining to knitting (really want to talk about the yarn store, just don't have time to devote to it now). I'd just like to mention we're going to stay with friends in Charleston and I've put together a little "thanks for having us package!" with banana bread, bottle of Mumm's Champagne ("You could get a whole bunch of Mumms; Meet the Parents anyone?), two dishcloths (To Be Completed in the Car) and The Best Part (the reason to have small children if only for the books): Hippos Go Berserk for their little boy. Probably the best book title ever. If you do nothing else today click on the link and check it out Amazon; it will make you laugh.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

"When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes." Desiderius Erasmus

What does a knitter do when she isn't knitting, working in a yarn store, or writing about knitting? Well, she might bake banana bread from a delicious recipe posted on My Little Mochi's adorable blog. While she does, she might think about her birthday resolution (because she just doesn't DO New Year's Resolutions) to stop baking the same thing and start branching out.

She might read. She might wish she had the desire to read grander books, "War and Peace" say, but she is not so foolish as to check these books out of the library.

What does a Barkley do when he is not running in the yard? He stares out the window and thinks about running.

A Barkley, it appears, is far more one-track than a knitter.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing

"Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves." Dorothy Parker

I've been reluctant to post on this subject, from fear I might jinx it and fear it might actually happen. However, I've got pretty clear instructions for tomorrow morning so the thing seems to be going through and an announcement can be made. Folks, I have, without reason, good judgment, or sense offered to "help out" at my Local Yarn Store.

Not Work, mind you. I don't care for Work and I've made a real effort in the last few years not to do any. My writing isn't Work, it's writing. Cooking, tidying the house, taking care of the dogs and The Hubba, dog rescue, blogging- these are all things I enjoy. Sometimes my enjoyment is more subdued than others (so subdued occasionally I have to drag it up off the floor and gently but firmly remind it, this is, in fact, by choice), but on the whole, these are all things I want to do. I've done the other sort and managed to work myself through most of high school and all of college and I'm And Done. It doesn't suit me; I reach a whole new level of unpleasant (re: nasty). Work and I do better to nod coolly at one another as we pass. I've nothing against pay for doing a thing, it's one of my preferred methods of exchange, but I put my foot down over self-induced misery. As Anna Quindlen writes, "In my religion, martyrs die."

So this isn't Work. Yes, there will be an exchange of money for services (though it may be slight, it is much appreciated) and there will be- knitters, crocheters, breathe deeply- a discount. A pretty sizeable discount. And the experience of working in a yarn shop should, for further writing, both blog and non-blog related, prove immeasurably helpful and be a great improvement over my regular method of "eh, that sounds about right" research.

I realize it's risky. I don't think letting a healthy cheetah out in a room full of gazelles could be any more dangerous. It's not a question of what he'll eat, just how long it will take him to do the job properly.

Some get this. Knitty Yoda and Mrs. Knotty have both responded in a "Lucky!/Better you than me" fashion.

Some don't. The Hubba, poor man, was very pleased about it and even said "You can use what you make on more yarn!" I didn't have the heart to explain I would use it and a good chunk of what he makes too. At some point I expect he and I will have to prioritize our bills, starting with the house payment. I'm betting as long as Time Warner Cable ranks first or second on the list, he'll be fine with my yarn expenditure.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Wish that I was on Ole' Rocky Top...

"I don't really care if my glass if half-full or half-empty- I'm just happy to have a glass." Joe Farrell

Time: Saturday morning
Weather: Perfect
Sock Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill, 100% superwash merino, color Indian Summer, gorgeous

Big Game: University of Tennessee V. California
Barkley: Running
Mood: Hopeful

A time of great joy and, I hope, knitting opportunity has come to our household. Football season has begun. My darling spouse, Formerly known as Hubba-Hubster, formerly known as Hubelicious, formerly known as Hubster now to be called The Hubba, is out of his mind with happiness. Or he will be as soon as he wakes up. Today marks our first UT football game (college of both The Hubba and myself) of the season. As this isn't a sports website, I won't dwell on that. I will however point out a few benefits to me:

I can knit during it.

That's it. That's the benefit.

I will, I imagine, lay down my needles when UT plays, but The Hubba has a whole a slew of teams he watches (thanks to the Time-Warner Cable College Game Plan Package ordered two days ago) which I don't care about, but which he prefers I "watch" with him. Last year "watching" involved him shouting "Did you see that?!" me setting my book down in my lap, trying to keep my place, sighing loudly and watching said football play, saying "Wow, that was something," before returning to my book, marked by another sigh, and trying to find my place again. Repeat this scene a few dozen hundred times a Saturday.

But not this year baby.

This year it's knitting all the way. Hold my needles still for two seconds to say "Wow, that was something" before click-clack we're right back to knit 1, purl 1. Mind you, I'll do my least challenging projects here, but with all the simple Christmas knitting I have before me, I'm sure I'll find a way to keep myself occupied.

And I can always buy more yarn.


I said: It's Great! To Be! A TENNESSEE VOL! I said: It's Great! To Be! A TENNESSEE VOL!!
(Repeat this chorus a few dozen hundred times at the close of a victorious UT ballgame. FYI: It helps if you're drinking.)