a knitter navigates through life

Sunday, September 30, 2007

And now for something . . . well, almost exactly the same

Hi, ho, your friendly neighborhood crazy person who is making a blanket. Blankets are large. Larger than you think they are. Large enough to, maybe, make you crazy with boredom and the sameness of it all. Behold, square #25.

After I finished this square and cast on for the next one, I had a small tantrum about how bored I was with these stupid squares and will it never end and the sock yarn in the stash is calling me, why will this blanket never end . . . you get the idea. And then I knit a few rounds on the new square and squealed, "Oooo! Pretty!" Thank God I'm easily entertained.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I may be taking this knitting thing a little too far . . .

A few incidents in the last two days have made me begin to realize that I am teetering on the precipice of what the Yarn Harlot calls "knitting so much that it is a personality trait". Yesterday, on my way out to go to the mall, I ran back to the house for my knitting bag, even though my rational mind could not come up with any reason why I would possibly have time to knit. So my irrational mind took over, spinning disaster scenarios of horrible traffic (for a ten-minute trip), natural disasters, or a hostage situation. I mean, what if I was taken hostage? I'd be the only cowering victim with something to take my mind off my impending doom, right?
Then this morning, a coworker was relating a story in which she was describing me to a friend. Her description went, "Long hair, skinny, knits a lot . . . " You know the knitting is getting extreme when someone is describing you to a complete stranger, and the first thing she says after the physical description isn't something like "really sweet" or "funny" or "talks all the time" or "obsessive-compulsive", but "knits a lot".
So basically, if you want to find me in a crowd, look for the skinny long-haired girl who's knitting. That'll be me.

Squares #24, 23, and 22

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

gifts from the goddess

And by goddess, I mean, of course, Kerry: knitter, spinner, dyer and gardener extraordinaire, Skanky Ho, all around awesome gal, and one of my favorite people. Even more so because she has gifted me so generously with some of her nummy handspun yarn to play with. I get such a smug sense of satisfaction from that. I have entered the rarefied and hallowed halls of those known as Test Knitters. Ha, ha! I get to play with yarn that you don't!
Ahem. Sorry. Lost control of myself for a minute there. On to the yarn!

Isn't it beautiful?
First we have some gorgeous single-ply handspun in golds and purples.

I love the fall colors. The possible destiny of this yarn? The Hexagon Bag by Norah Gaughan from the fall issue of knit simple.

Number 2: the softest, squooshiest superwash merino dyed with easter egg dyes. It is the most cheerful blues and pinks and lavenders and the softest lime.

Possible destiny? Bedsocks (fingers crossed that there will be enough.) Or, possibly, I will carry it around with me forever as my security yarn, to hug when I feel sad or people are being mean to me. Hey, there's nothing wrong with having security yarn.

Number 3: the most beautiful subtle yarn I think I have ever seen, and certainly the best-smelling yarn of all time. I cannot stop snorting this yarn. Ok, well, no I haven't really tried to stop, because I don't want to. (Raise your hand if you also obsessively smell yarn. Please enable my hard-won feeling of normality.) It is hand-dyed, handspun blue-face Leicester, and I love it totally.

At first glance, it looks grey and brown, but when you look closer, these fantastic subtle reds and blues and purples appear. I'm hoping to make it into a vest, a la Knitting on Impulse.

And there you have the tale of my generous bounty from Kerry's wheel, first delivered to me in a darkened parking lot (which felt so furtive and illicit) and now reigning in a place of honor in a glass mixing bowl on my dresser. I hope the Best Roommate Ever doesn't want to bake anytime soon.

Not only is she the Best Roommate Ever, she's also a freakin' genius

The Best Roommate Ever and I have phone service solely for the internet. (It is a tiny bit cheaper than Comcast and yes, we've looked into getting just internet without phone but there are reasons why it's a pain in the butt. So thank you for your helpful suggestions, but let's get on with the story.) Anyway, we have a phone, but having cell phones, the only calls we get on the home phone are telemarketers. This is a huge annoyance, as you might imagine.
Related story: I had a friend in college who would always answer the phone with some weird made-up business, like, "Joe's House of Pies!" One time I was expecting a call from a boy and she answered, "Alabama Wholesale Furnishings!" and he hung up and wouldn't call back. This was actually a great weed-out technique, as he turned out to be a loser. But anyway.
I was relating this friend's technique to BRE, just idly telling a story, and she apparently took it to heart. She's become a full-fledged competitor in the game of Fun With Telemarketers. Her favorite so far? "Roberto's House of Wine! We offer a wide selection of fine Spanish wines for a variety of tastes and price points!" Her complaint? "They hung up before I could tell them the specials!"
I love this girl.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fun with Craft Fairs, Part 1

The long-awaited tale of "hey, where did my money go?"

My first craft fair in this little spree was in Grant Park. A friend of mine makes this fabulous soap (go check it out. Buy her soap!) and she was going to be selling it there. It was August in Georgia which means it was hotter than the SURFACE OF THE SUN, so being the nice person I am, I went to take her some popsicles. I didn't want to spend any money, so I tried to go in and not make any eye contact with cool crafty items. (I'm a sucker for anything handmade by some poor person just trying to make some money by doing something they love. It's so easy to justify, like with Lantern Moon. Oooo! I'm helping a Vietnamese woman send her child to school. I need this!) So I walk through the craft fair lugging my huge bag of popsicles and ice, searching the booths for my friend while simultaneiously trying to avoid seeing cute things that needed to come home with me. As you might imagine, this did not work very well. "Not looking, not looking, where is she, not looking, oh, that's cute, NOT LOOKING . . . " I found her, delivered the popsicles (she was profoundly grateful. I think she may have offered me her first-born.), and fled the premises, quickly, before the cute crafts could tempt me any further. Some sneaky items that had managed to catch my eye lingered in my brain, tormenting me, until . . .

The Next Day, when I decided to go back and buy those things I couldn't stop thinking about. (Shut up. I'm weak.) As I crossed the parking lot under a beautiful sunny sky, large fat drops of rain started falling. By the time I had actually entered the fair, the rain was pelting down, soaking everything. People were running to their cars and rushing to secure their booths. I figured, hey, I'm not sweet enough to melt, and now I've got the whole place to myself. So my little drowned-rat self wandered around the whole craft fair, and came away with two fun prizes.

1) A lovely handmade bag (big enough for lugging my knitting supplies. You know, I never used to carry a purse, and then cargo pants went out of style, so I carried small purses. I hated large bags. Until I started knitting. Now I never carry my little bags anymore because they can't hold my knitting.) Check out the girl who makes them here.

2) An amazingly cool spiderweb sculpture thingie. Check this guy out. I love this for so many reasons. 1) It's cool. 2) All the beads and stuff strung on the wire are pretty. I love sparkly things. 3) The little spider in the corner is neat. Probably not something that would ever happen in the natural world, but in sculpture, it's neat. 4) The big spider has the accurate number of little bead eyes. I'm a nature dork. I like things like that. 5) This will be perfect to put on my wall after I take all those squares down. I'm gonna need something. It's going to look naked up there.

Stay tuned for the next installment, which takes place at the Yellow Daisy Festival, one of the largest craft fairs in the country. (Is that foreboding music I hear?)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The end.

Well, she's blogged about it. It really is well and truly, completely over. I need another nap.

Friday, September 21, 2007

somebody stop me

Hi, my name is Kim, and I have a Noro problem. Let me explain. I was at the Yarn Harlot event (hey, is anybody else still event-hungover? I am still dragging. Wow.) and I noticed (from across the freakin' theater (ok, granted, an empty theater, but still)), this felted bag that a woman had left to save her seat. It was knit of mitered squares in all different colors of Noro Kureyon, and it was so beautiful it took my breath away. (In retrospect, I probably should have gotten her name.) I was absolutely enchanted. I needed one. But . . . maybe not a bag. I mean, a bag is such a little space to play with the magical colors of Kureyon. I'd need something larger. Maybe like a blanket? Oooo, yeah, that'd be perfect! A beautiful Kureyon blanket! Oh, wait. I'm already doing a Kureyon blanket. Right. And then, of course, I decided to search for a mitered square Kureyon blanket on Ravelry (yeah, cuz THAT'S going to convince me I don't need to knit one.) And I found this. Brilliant. Great job, Kim. It is so heart-achingly beautiful that I'm really not sure what's keeping me from casting this on right this second. Is there some sort of 12-step program I can do? Anybody? I have no control over my Kureyon consumption and it's ruining my life.

The Kureyon taunts me with its pretty pretty colors.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Yarn Harlot!

So much f-ing fun! (Sorry, Mom, but it was.) I'd been threatening to help out ever since I first had an inkling the YarnHarlot might possibly be coming to Knitch, so as soon as I arrived (at 3; the event started at 7), Kim snapped me up, gave me a Staff shirt, and put me to work. Which was good. Harness my hyperactive, sometimes-a-little-scary energy for the power of good, instead of the power of annoying people. Also, Staff shirt? So very thrilled. I love it. Watch out, people; I'm Staff here! That shirt may be my favorite part of the event. So Kim put me on the book table, which was a little good and a little bad. I've read all of the YarnHarlot books and I love love LOVE them, so I was able to intelligently and enthusiastically discuss and recommend them. The bad part came when people would ask which one was the best, and I would say, "You need all three. No, really. You need all three. Don't let the shirt fool you. I'm not getting paid to say this. I just love the books SO MUCH. All three." Yeah, I don't think I actually convinced anyone to get all three books, but people actually waited until they'd backed away around a corner to run screaming from the Crazy Book Girl, which was nice of them.
The event itself was awesome (so many knitters!), and so fantastically run (great job, Kim!). There was a tiny little snafu with the vice squad showing up, but I think that only added to the event's legendary status. The YarnHarlot herself was fantastic. I wish I could remember more of what she said. Let me tell you, on paper she's funny, but in person, she's HILARIOUS. She has the awesome comic timing and feel for when to pause and draw it out, and then say something really fast . . . well, you just have to hear it.
Afterwards, we all got our books signed and limped home, exhausted. Some of my poor fellow volunteer ho's were pretty droopy. You could really tell who has to deal with the public in the course of their jobs. Those who don't were incredibly tuckered out and usually pretty pissed-off at the general rudeness of people. Me myself, I've worked in a petting zoo. I have seen human evil, and it is not pretty. I'm used to it. The Knitch girls (actual staff, not just faux-staff like me) were spectacular. They were so nice all day and just kept on going, even though most of them had been there for at least 12 hours. Bravo, gals.
Here is the part where I would show you pictures. However. Ahem. I brought my camera. I charged my camera batteries. I brought spare batteries. And then I put the whole thing in my bag, practically sitting on my dang feet, for crying out loud, and completely forgot to take one damn picture the entire time. Sigh. Bad blogger, no cookie. Here's some cat pictures.

They're so precious when they're unconscious.
Tonight, back to Knitch for knit night and heavy drinking. Well, not me. I'm Kim's designated knitter, so she can do some extra drinking. She's earned it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Yarnharlotyarnharlotyarnharlot? Yarnharlotyarnharlotyarnharlot . Yarnharlot!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

do not trust them; they are not your friends

OK, well, maybe they are your friends. They are often some of the nicest, most helpful people you will meet. But you cannot trust them. They will try to lull you into complacency, their helpfulness a guise to make you let your guard down. That's when they strike, with their battle cry of, "Here, feel this. It's new."
I am speaking, of course, about the evil that is yarn store employees. Yarn stores know you. They have your number. You are weak and easily swayed in the presence of yarn. They know this. And yet, there are those rare moments when one tries to hang on to resolve (and the ability to pay the rent), and control one's yarn spending. Yarn stores hate this. That is why they have their secret weapon, the yarn store employees. They select these operatives for their helpfulness, knowledge, and sweetness of disposition. Often these people will try to befriend you and gain your trust, sometimes over a period of years, in order to further their evil plans: to make you spend way more money on yarn than is reasonable for the health of your marriage and your ability to eat food and sleep indoors.
I myself have had two recent near-attacks by yarn store employees from which I barely escaped. In the first, I entered my favorite yarn store, Knitch, only to discover, to my dismay, that the evil yarn store employees had arranged ALL of their sock yarn in attractive, enticing displays around the entrance. As soon as I opened the door, I became dizzy with sock yarn fumes. I regained control, reminding myself of the buttload of sock yarn I have at home, waiting to be knit up, and approached the yarn store employee, an astonishingly sweet and lovely woman with one of the most intelligent and adorable daughters I think I have ever met, and berated her for laying a sock yarn trap for me. She showed no remorse, and in fact responded with, "Oh, we just got a shipment of something new in. Come and see!" She lured me behind the counter and revealed a large box full of sock yarn, and when I showed weakness by exclaiming at the pretty colors, snatched up a ball and pressed it into my hands, saying, "Feel how soft it is!" Recognizing the battle cry of the yarn store employee, I dropped the yarn and backed away quickly, out of range of the sock yarn fumes. When I scolded her for her evil ways, she only laughed and used a pair of knitting needles to give herself devil horns.
In the second such episode, which occurred at my second favorite yarn store, Needlenook, I had barely entered the building when one of the yarn store employees, knowing my weakness for sock yarn, called to me that they had new sock yarn and it was so beautiful and I should go look. I barely fled with my fiscal solvency intact.
This is a warning to knitters everywhere: do not be fooled. Yarn store employees are not your friends. They are trying to weaken your resolve and drain your wallet. Beware!

A small sample of the beautiful, beautiful yarn that came home with me
through the evil workings of the Yarn Store Employee

Monday, September 17, 2007

the truth about cats and dogs

I was thinking the other day (it hurt, but I persevered), and I thought of a good analogy for my current no-interest-in-dating situation. I don't want a boyfriend for pretty much the exact same reasons that I don't want a dog. I love dogs. Dogs are great. I'd like to have a dog again someday. But right now, I don't have the time or the space in my life for one. My situation just isn't compatible with having a dog. I like being free to come and go when I choose without having to worry about someone else's schedule, to be able to wander around a craft fair after work or hang out with knitters all night without having to rush home to take care of the dog. I like not having to feed and groom and clean up after a dog, to not have to worry about paying for vet visits or what to do if I have to go out of town. I get the whole bed to sprawl on at night, and I'm on no one's schedule but my own. (And work's. They seem to like it when I show up when they want me to.)
Cats are more like female friends. They give you love and affection, but for the most part, they take care of themselves. They're clean and tidy and if you have to neglect them for a few days, their world doesn't fall apart. Also, if you have to leave them alone, they don't trash the place. Dogs will not only poop on the floor; they will track it all over the house. I'm sure anyone who's left their guy home alone for a week can see the comparison.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

cute kitties!

check it out

For those of you who have never seen Knitting on Impulse's blog, go now. I'll wait.

No, really, go now.

Seriously. I'll still be here.

See? Isn't that stunningly gorgeous? I love, love, LOVE what she does with yarn and dyeing. Also, check out her Patterns In Nature series. Pretty freakin' amazing, huh? She is the one responsible for inspiring me to do Fair Isle. Oh, I knew I'd get around to it eventually, but with those patterns, I feel I MUST KNIT every single one.

In other news, square #23 is finished.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

oh thank god

Finally, that blessed time in Georgia has arrived. That time of year when the summer heat wave finally breaks and life is once again worth living. Oh, it's still hot, but it's not "oh my god I think I'm going to vomit" hot. The Best Roommate Ever and I are celebrating by keeping the windows open, which of course thrills the kitten beasts to no end. All I have to say is: Hallelujah.
And on that note, I'm off to the Red Cross, to let the nice people stick needles in my arm and drain my blood. Find your nearest donor center.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the WHAT knitter's circle?

It's been an embarrassingly long time since I've posted, so I've got a lot to catch up on. First, we had the weekly meeting of the Skanky Ho Knitter's Circle at Indie Coffee and Books in downtown
Decatur. (The SHKC was formerly known as the Monday Night Gypsy Knitters, and still is when we're talking to our mothers. The name came about when one of our members (actually not me) accidentally sent a reply to the entire group when she meant to reply to only one person, and called that person a skanky ho (all in good fun.). We've all had a problem with that lately (sending replies to the entire group, not with calling people skanky hos), but for some reason it really took off, and soon people were signing emails "Skanky Ho #3", and making references that one would generally not expect to find in a knitting circle email list. My coworkers do not believe me when I tell them about my knitting friends.) (Yes, I love me some parentheses. Why do you ask?)
Anywho, a good time was had by all. I got some good knitting progress made and got to hang with some of the coolest chicks I know.
Next up: fun with craft fairs! (subtitled: where did all my money go?)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Did a test run of the Lizard Ridge afghan today. I took down all my squares from the wall and laid them on the bed to see how much they actually covered.

Looking good so far. Now the question becomes: will I be happy with this? Or will my crazy perfectionist nature drive me to add MORE squares? Of course, there will be a border that I'll have to put on. Hmmm. Opinions, anyone?

bad blogger; no cookie

The total lack of posting lately has been brought to you by Ravelry. It's so maddeningly addictive. Plus, it makes it much more convenient for me to blog-stalk people like Yarn Harlot and Evil Science Chick (whom I actually met once, but was in Massive PMS Bitch mode and did not realize until later). Speaking of which: 14 days until Yarn Harlot at Knitch!!!! So far the excitement has not caused loss of bladder control, but I'm not making any promises. In lieu of actual content: souvenir yarn from the recent trip to St. Louis!

Sock yarn of course. I was complaining to my knitting friends one time, "Why didn't you tell me how addictive sock knitting is?" And they replied, "We DID. Over and over and OVER. You just didn't believe us." Oh. Right.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

ain't it purty?

Knitters know one of the best things about vacations is lots of uninterrupted knitting time. Behold, square #22!

Twenty-two down, eight to go.


I have returned from my Labor Day weekend family reunion crazy fun time. I love my family. And my little furry babies missed me. How can I tell? Well, Alex left a present for me to find: a big barfed-up wad of hair on the carpet right by the front door. What a sweet boy. And Jaymie came into my room last night as I was ALMOST asleep begging for ear rubbings. And if I stopped (because I was FALLING ASLEEP), he would rub his head on my face and purr. He has needs.