Thursday, June 30, 2005

Orange Whip?

I just dyed my hair orange.

Usually, I use the Deeply Brown Feria every few months or so (OK, more like when I remember and then get around to it) to cover the gray. It's a reasonable approximation of my own dark brown hair and it's not all red like most brown hair dyes. But I thought I'd try something new. I thought that Deeply Bronze Brown would be like the picture on the box - Deeply Brown but a bit more golden. Maybe a bit more flirty summery fun.

I wasn't expecting brown with an ORANGE GLOW.

Damn you, Feria.

Thank God I have some basic ash brown emergency backup Preference in my medicine cabinet*, because I'm leaving for Iowa this damn morning and I'm not going with orange hair. My hair will be fried, but that's what they make conditioner for, right?

Take note: when Feria says bronze, they mean copper pot.

*Yes, I have emergency backup hair color on hand. It could be worse. When I was pregnant, my husband woke up to me sleepwalking and going on and on about how we'd forgotten to take the emergency backup dog out of the closet to feed it on schedule. I was under the delusion that we had two dogs and kept one in the linen closet. Every two days, we'd switch them. Those hormones are fun things, boy howdy!

Edited to add: Oh, to hell with it. Dr. Pig (aka my husband, but that's a story for another time) says it's not that bad. Granted, he's red-green colorblind, but I'm having faith. Plus, his cousin owns a hair salon (written up in several fashion mags for their excellent color work) so I might just get Cousin to fix it. Cousin went into hair to "meet chicks." He's an interesting guy. God only knows what I'd end up with but I'll bet it would be fabulous.

Gone Daddy Gone

Name the band.

We are getting ready to make our annual 4th of July pilgrimage to Iowa. My husband hails from Iowa. We are driving. I am somewhat less than excited about making said drive with a three-year-old.

My current projects had quite the dust-up over who gets to go on the trip. The winners:


The Artyarns silk is striping. Now that I'm out of the lace repeats, the stripes are fairly narrow so I'm letting the yarn do what it wants. I'll figure out how to keep an approximation of the same striping when I divide for the top.

I can finish this one on said trip.

Fiery Bolero
Soul-crushingly boring. Perfect for knitting while driving through the wasteland that is Missouri between Joplin and Kansas City. Seriously, there ain't nothin' between Joplin and Kansas City unless you feel like a side trip.

I finished the Flower Basket Shawl. 4 rows to go and I had to buy an extra skein of yarn. Grr. But it's pretty and will look great after a good blocking. I'm usually pretty lax about blocking my sweaters. I take out all my blocking aggression on lace projects.

I might have bought something

Alot of something. Something being 1440 yds. of Cherry Tree Hill Oceania in the Fall Foliage colorway (the toop pic is more accurate). The yarn is a wonderfully springy boucle with just a touch of shiny in it. Already on it's way to becoming The Neverending Shawl (their name). Or, rather, a smaller version of said shawl. Their version uses the whole 1440 yds and measures 73 inches from this way to that way and 52 inches from here to there. I'm only 61 inches tall. I think it might be just a tad long on me.

The two cakes stacked on each other are connected. I wound the first smaller cake of yarn and then thought about it and got a bit irked that even though it's one skein of yarn, I was still going to have ends to weave in because no one has a ball winder that big. So, I wound a big fat cake from about half of the remaining yarn and then found the other end and wound from that direction. The downside is that this is not a portable project. But hey, only two ends to weave in!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Fresh hell update

Yes, it's Dorothy Parker. Said in response to the doorbell ringing.

Bean's toe is fine - I have to soak it a few times a day. OK, the ped actually said,, "Just take her swimming or something." I almost asked if I could come over and use his pool...

He has no clue what the head rash/bald thing is and said to use dandruff shampoo for a couple of weeks to see if it gets better that way. The treatment for ringworm on your scalp involves an ungodly two months of oral antibiotics and he's not convinced that's what is wrong. So, dandruff shampoo and, if it doesn't improve, a visit to a pediatric dermatologist. She's already got the pediatric opthalmologist so why not, hey.

And it's 96 in the shade.

On the bright side, I'm almost finished reknitting the sleeves for Ines. Seaming is going to be a bitch but it will be fun. Like a puzzle.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

What fresh hell is this?

Bonus points if you can tell me who said that and why!

I know I've been whining alot lately what with the wreck and the water heater and all the other crap that has rained down upon us lately. But I'm beginning to wonder about the sheer amount of small things that can go wrong. I'll be spending tomorrow at the pediatrician's. Bean has an ingrown toenail. Then, she starts scratching her head and I take a look and there is a bald spot with a rash. Lovely. How we missed that to the point where she now has a quarter-sized bald spot I'll never know. I brush that child's hair several times a day. It's probably ringworm caught from school. At least it doesn't look anything like lice. Plus, she was sick with a cold this weekend and my husband now has said cold.

This is getting ridiculous. Are we wearing big signs on our backs that says CURSED or something?

Please, God, whatever I did I'm sorry. Really. No, REALLY. We do heartily bewail our manifold sins and wickedness.

Now, can I have a nice week?

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Let the sun shine!

Soleil is certainly brightening my day! I cast on last night, totally screwed up the join, knit a few rows and ripped. Redid it today and I'm up to Row 6 on the first lace chart repeat. It's going to be interesting to see what the Artyarns Regal Silk* (color 127) does in this pattern. Right now, it's pooling, but in a very nice way. I'll put up a picture when I have a bit more knit. Right now, it's a thin line that would photograph like hell.

The front of Cookie is also underway. It looks like the back...

* When I bought the yarn in February, it was called Royal Silk. On the Artyarns web site, it's now "regal" silk.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Is is Friday yet?

Damn, I'm tired. And I just spent a truly ungodly amount of money on a new water heater and a few other plumbing issues. The good news, I realized that the water heater was on it's last legs before it actually failed.

Hubster had to be at work at 6am today. Because he is a lovely, considerate man, he slept in the guest room and laid all of his stuff out so he wouldn't wake me up at 4:45am. Because he is has a PhD, he forgot half his stuff necessitating several trips into the bedroom anyway. So, I've been up since 5am. I was looking forward to a nice nap this afternoon and had Bean talked into a nap as well when a good friend of mine had something rather traumatic come up and needed to come over. They stayed all afternoon and I cooked dinner for everyone. It was fun and she has certainly been there for me when I needed it, but I am beat like a rug. It's going to be an early night for Liz. This has not been a week conducive to knitting.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Dogs for sale

Yesterday morning, Bean and I were going to SuperTarget (Motto: It's Shopping Crack!). I open the garage door and up trot two Australian Shepherds. My husband and I corner them, put our dog in the house and the loose dogs in our yard and call the owners. Guy comes and gets the dogs. Bean and I go back out to go to the store and here comes the older dog again, all ready to move in. We finally got her settled back at her house and went to the store.

Yesterday afternoon, Molly, our dog, starts going ape in the living room. I walk out and see a yard full of beagles. With no humans in sight. OK, it was only two beagles but if you've ever been around beagles you know that two pretty much equates a yard full. We corner these dogs and I get two leashes. We call the owners who don't answer. One beagle has an address tag a few houses down so I take the beagles down there. I ran into my neighbor's friend who owns one of the dogs. Guy was very grateful but I think he thought I was a teenager or something because he offered me a dollar for my trouble.

Husband decides that Father's Day must be Leave Your Gate Open Day in another country.

Yesterday evening, Molly goes ape again and I jokingly comment that it must be another dog. Jokes on me because it was another dog. From across the street.

You'd have to be Wes Anderson to get away with making a movie of this shit.

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Clap On

Clap Off

Hideous pun I know, but I couldn't resist. The fabric the Artyarns Silk was producing was not sturdy enough to show off the dropped stitches. I could have gone down to a 5US, but there was something about it that just was not working. I find it interesting that Artyarns recommends a 7US needle for this yarn. I can't see it. I think it will work divinely for Soleil (which is knit with US5). I realize that I am not discussing gauge at all here and that gauge is more important than needle size. But I usually knit fairly true to gauge on a yarn so it's really odd for me to have to go down two needle sizes to get a fabric I like.

A cap sleeve top for Bean. Knit out of some Pingouin Corrida something (3 or 5 I can't remember) that has been marinating in my stash for a long time. Long enough for Pingouin to go out of business!

The back of the Cookie Sweater. Also for Bean. Knit in Cotton Ease. I knit the largest size which is supposedly a 3-4 year. This sweater is 32 inches around. That's one big 3-year-old. I added 6 rows to the stockinette section to balance the width out. This will be rather large on my daughter this fall, but I hate to put in all this effort for something she can only wear for one season. And she's growing like a weed. She's gone from a size 7 shoe to a size 8 in three months.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Panic button

Go read this. Warning, put beverages down before reading.

Dude, typing whilst under the influence of sake is really freaking hard. I spent the better part of this afternoon having the worst panic attack I've had in quite some time. Sake is a good cure. I may regret it tomorrow, but I'm in a really good mood right now!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I think I'm going to rip Clapotis and use the Artyarns Silk to make Soleil instead. I'm not feeling the love on the clap this time and I hate to waste yarn. Much less really lux yarn. The ripping will probably occur tomorrow but I'm betting it's going to be a while before I start again.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

It's my party!

Although I have no inclination to cry. It's my birthday today! I was greeted with my recalcitrant child telling me that she didn't want me to come get her but rather Hubster. She made up for it by later singing a very nice rendition of Happy Birthday to me.

I promised knitting pics yesterday and didn't quite get to them. Here they are:

A sock for the Bean. I'm calling it the BroadBean sock. It's an adaptation of the Broadripple sock I modified it to work with sportweight yarn and to fit a toddler and also so that the pattern on the top of the foot rather than all the way around. I find that patterns on my soles bug me. I thought Bean and I could put some puffy fabric paint on the soles and she could wear these as "slipper socks" this winter.

The Flower Basket Shawl for my mother. I finished the sixth repeat. One more repeat to go and then the edging!

The Artyarns Silk Clapotis has been pulled out of the "later" basket. I'm still not sure I like this yarn as Clapotis, but I can't think of anything else to do with this yarn and I am definitely enjoying knitting with it. I wanted to come up with a lace pattern. I couldn't really find anything I thought would work and the colorway needs a pattern that shows off the variegation.

Pieces of the felted bag from the kit Maureen made up for me during SP4. I haven't knitted with Lamb's Pride before. Very enjoyable. I'm having fun deciding on a color pattern.

I'm also to the heel on the Beige Dad Socks for my Father. And seaming Ines, although it will be too hot to wear her until this fall.

So far, it's a very nice day.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

There is knitting going on. A sock has been completed. A heel has been turned (on a different pair of socks, natch). The Flower Basket Shawl has been allowed back in competition and it's sixth repeat has been completed. Much other knitting as well.

Pictures will have to wait until tomorrow because Birthday Week is commencing with dinner out with a few of the girls tonight. In my neighborhood playgroup, four of us have birthdays in the next 10 days! We're going out for Thai food. Nevermind that I went to a party last night where Thai food was served.

I think maybe sushi tomorrow.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


There are a few other dwarves around here along with some of the Duffs as well.

The Biddy Who Hit Me (you can substitute another word of one syllable for Biddy if you so desire) has cooked up a story that we were both changing lanes at the same time. While this is patently untrue, there are no witnesses and no physical evidence on either car to prove either story. Ergo, her insurance is going to give me zip to get my car fixed. This means I either have to cover the costs myself or go through my insurance. I have a $500 deductible and the major damage to the car is a bent rim ($129 to repair) and a dent in the door that might cost around $500 to fix. Yes, there are scratches down the side of the car, but I can fix that myself. There are scratches all over the damn car, so I could care less as long as they won't rust.

What irks me is that TBWHM is being such a jerk about the whole thing. She was easily in her seventies and looked at me (dressed in workout clothes) like I was some irresponsible teenager. She decided it had to be my fault. Lady, I'm going to be 41 on Tuesday. You never expressed the least bit of concern about my health or the health of my child. You can tell me all you want about how you were going to your church group, but it's words not deeds, honey and your actions show that you haven't the slightest clue about what it means to be a good person. Here's hoping you come back as a cockroach. I've got Raid.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The second half of our trip. We travelled back roads so one of us always had to navigate so there was very little knitting time.

Friday night we stayed in a caboose! There was a picnic table and a nice gas grill outside. Not that we cooked. We drove into Marble Falls and had a noteworthy meal at Cafe 909. You do not expect a restaurant of this caliber in such a small town. I had sweetbreads to start and had to restrain myself from licking the plate.

The view out the front door of the caboose.

The interior looking back from the front door. In the very back is a queen bed. To my immediate right are two tiny bunks and to my left is a small loveseat. There was a tiny kitchenette where the wood paneling ends, the world's smallest bathroom is behind the paneling, and, opposite the kitchenette, you could climb up into the cupola into two tiny benches.

Saturday we drove to Fredericksburg when we went to the Fredericksburg Herb Farm where I bought "Sniffle Relief" shower gel, lotion, and a candle. This stuff honestly works!

My indulgent husband also let me stop in at Stonehill Spinnery.

Two skeins of mohair from El Coyote Ranch. Yes, I know, I hate mohair. It makes me itch. It makes me sneeze. But this is not a really hairy mohair and it is a sublime color with a sublime sheen. I had to have it. And it's from a small Texas producer which makes it even more fun.

Also, a huge skein of handpainted Woolpak 8-ply. Not sure what I'll do with this. Stonehill doubles Woolpak as their main felting yarn. I think the variegation would really be pretty in a bag.

And, I succumbed. I bought an Ashford drop spindle and a bag of roving. I also learned why they call it a drop spindle at which point Hubster and I decided that we needed to carry out further experimentation at home on the carpet rather than on the restored floors of a 1901 Victorian hotel.

Then we went to Becker and Fall Creek wineries. Fall Creek makes excellent wine and the best mustard I've ever had. Becker makes award-winning wines that are beginning to get national notice.

The Becker Winery

A small house on the property.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


The woman who ran into me has decided that I was changing lanes at the same time she was, which is why we collided. This is patently untrue, but no one was kind enough to take time out their busy day to stop and be a witness, so it's her word against mine. Which means I'm screwed. I'm trying not to be bitter but with only moderate success. I almost always stop to give the people in an accident my name and number. It's irksome when karma refuses to return the favor. I guess I could track down the number of the bus next to me, but I'm not sure that would help.

The good thing is that, although the estimate was $2000 worth of damage to my car, most of it was minor scratches, so there is just one big dent and a bent rim that I would have to fix. If worse comes to worse, I'm going to get an estimate on those two things and see what it would cost for me to get them fixed myself rather than going through my insurance. I really don't want my rates to go up because of a bunch of scratches on my car. I can live with scratches. The car is five years old and already has a ton of scratches.

I alternate between wanting to cry about the whole thing and then realizing that it's just a damn car. I'm fine and, even more importantly, my daughter is fine. I'm blessed by that. Oh, to hell with it, I hope the old bat is affflicted with incurable and highly embarrasing personal itching.

Now, if only I had a few minutes to sit down and KNIT. Hubster doesn't get home until late and Bean goes to bed in half an hour. After she goes to sleep, I'm going to pour a glass of wine and get out a sock.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Thursday morning, Hubster and I left town for a three-day weekend without the Bean. It was wonderful. This is the first time I have ever spent a night away from her and I hate to say it, but I didn't really miss her. We had some much-needed time to ourselves. It was lovely and quiet and wonderful.


Austin. We splurged and stayed at the Four Seasons which is luxurious to say the least. L'Occitane toiletries in the bath. I covet the bathroom. I didn't take a picture but we're talking marble countertops, lovely bath that was big enough for me to lay down in, down comforters which required us to turn the AC down to an obscene level. Even the bar snacks were plush - wasabi peanuts, candied pecans, and three kinds of olives presented on little trays on your table. And they don't anything so crass as to deliver your morning paper by leaving it by the door.

They hang this on your door.

Here is a view of the sunset from the hotel's dock on the lake. You can see all the people lined up to see the bats. Yes, bats. The Congress Street Bridge in Austin is home to a huge colony of Mexican Freetail bats and every night people line up at sunset for a view of 1.5 million of bats taking off for their nightly feed. It's amazing.

Fiber fun in Austin was found at the lovely Hill Country Weavers.

The turquoise yarn is a skein of Lamb's Pride Burlyspun. The color is much more intense in person. I fell in love with the color. And two skeins of the elusive Koigu!

We went on a tour of the Capitol as well. I've been through this building a number of times but it never fails to be interesting to me.

The dome. If you stand in the exact center of the star in the floor underneath the dome, you can hear an echo of your own voice if you are talking normally. But you have to be exactly in the center or you can't hear it. Very cool.

The details in the building are amazing.

The hinges at the capital building in Austin.

More fiber frolic and a stay in a caboose tomorrow!

Monday, June 06, 2005

I'll take a bed frame and a hard drive, please. From lovely Kingsland, Texas. A town of not much although they have 4 computer repair shops within a few miles of each other off the highway.

The trip was lovely and there was some fibery goodness. I'm preparing a trip report. I plan on turning this into a few days worth of blog fodder because all I have around here to report on is teaching art at Vacation Bible School and the damn accident.

In accident news, Team 12 of State Farm Insurance is a huge collection of drooling morons. Every person I speak with tells me a different story. They have yet to do anything about my claim because "they have not yet established liability." Evidently, State Farm holds the same views about physics as the woman who ran into me. How there can be a question of liability when we were parallel to each other (seriously, there is damage along the whole side of my car) is beyond me. State Farm is also insistent about sending out an estimator to my house, but they can't tell me when that might be. They won't let me take the car in myself to an estimator. It's very odd.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

There I was, driving along in the middle lane when, suddenly, a woman to the left of me proved several laws of physics involving the existence of two objects of the same physical mass occupying the same space. She claimed the the last time she had seen me was when I had been behind the bus. I hadn't been behind the bus since before the light. You remember, lady, that light THAT WE ALL FREAKING STOPPED AT.

I'm fine, Bean is fine, the car will be fine after a stay at the spa and the repair of the front quarter-panel, the driver's door, the rear-view mirror and a new rim.

It doesn't look that bad in the picture and, really, it's not that bad. But it's an awful lot of minor damage to an awful lot of my poor car!

The biggest pain about the whole thing is that this is the car Hubster and I were going to take on our little jaunt tomorrow. Good thing we have two more cars. (Yes, we have three cars. For two people of driving age. One is Hubster's Corvette. It doesn't really count as a car. It's more of a girlfriend.)