Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Holy Buckets Part Two!

My new computer is now on speaking terms with my camera, so I can write an entry that does sufficient justice to Cara's marvelous final Better Pal gift.

First, there is a box of her art cards. Folks, if you need cards, get them from Cara. They are breathtaking.

Then there are the sheep. A mama sheep and a baby sheep. I have managed to retain ownership of the mama sheep. She sat on the back of my chair while I finished the Class Sweater and is now on top of my computer while I finish my pattern. A knitting mascot!

A sparkly purse (Bean refused to let me take it out of her grasp for photographing) and lollipops. Cara has been so wonderful about including my daughter in all of this. Bean is just thrilled with all of the fun, princessy treasures Cara has sent her.

Socks That Rock! A skein of the medium weight in Ruby Slippers which is a variety of gorgeous reds. I think I'm going to use the Diamond Fantasy Shawl/Scarf pattern. A skein of the light weight in Hot Flash - fabulous pinks ranging from a magenta to fushcia to a softer pink. And a skein of Rolling Stone - chartruese, purple, maroon, red, and a mallard/teal green.

Thank you so much, Cara!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Breaking News!

At New York's Kennedy airport today, an individual later discovered to be
a public school teacher was arrested trying to board a flight while in
possession of a ruler, a protractor, a setsquare,
a slide rule, and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez said he
believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. The FBI
is charging him with carrying weapons of math instruction.

"Al-gebra is a fearsome cult," Gonzalez said. "They desire average
solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a
search for absolute value. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y'
and refer to themselves as 'unknowns,' but we have determined they belong
to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every
country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'there are 3 sides
to every triangle.'"

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If God had
wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, he would have
given us more fingers and toes."

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Where's my fork?

I didn't notice the pattern the pooling made until I took the picture.

This time yesterday, I still had the back and most of one sleeve to go. Sure, this is a child's sweater, but the difficulty factor is multiplied by my having to write down the pattern as I go so I can give it out in the Sweater 101 class I start teaching on Friday.

The sweater is now seamed, ends woven in, and I'm getting ready to sit down and pick up the stitches for the ribbed v-neck.


For a while last week, I thought I might be in danger of pulling a Bode Miller and not even trying. Now, with the end in firm sight, let's hope I don't pull a Jacobellis in the final meters.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Holy Buckets!

My Better Pal is Cara!

And wow. WOW! WOWEE!

She's sent me two fabulous gifts, but this third one knocked my socks off. Pun intended.

Dude, you rock.

We don't have the camera hooked back up yet after Printer Wars '06, but that is now top priority. I'm going to wait to describe the glory of this package until I can post pictures because I don't think I can do it justice with words! Let's just say that STR is only the start.

Now, here's where it gets very interesting. My BP giftee is Carole.

Carole has her Masters in Library Science (MLS). I think Cara has her MLS. But, what I've never posted about here (that I can recall), is that I have an MLS!

Very cool coincidence.

(My degree is really a Masters in Library and Information Science - MLIS - but that's just a fancy way of saying I liked the computer part of Library Science better than the cataloging part ;>)

Friday, February 24, 2006

This pisses me off more than I can say. I am so mad I'm incandescent. If the Supreme Court backs South Dakota up on banning abortion, well, Bush Junior will completely cement his tenure as Most Incompetent President Ever.

A couple of days ago, I received a phone call from a group trying to "clean up childrens' television". I told them "Censorship is evil." The guy told me they weren't for censorship (huh?) but for labelling, etc. Then he launched into a speech about the leniency of today's standards and that they wanted more choice for children. I told him to do what I do and buy Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and Gene Kelly movies for your child. I also I told him that I grew up listening to the Rolling Stones on the radio and they used to not censor "She makes a dead man come" in Satisfaction so what the hell was he talking about.

He hung up on me.

I find it interesting that, among my friends, alot of them have gotten more conservative as they have gotten older. I've not only gotten more liberal, I've gotten alot more vocal about it. And I was fairly liberal to begin with.

I can tell you how I'm going to vote this fall

And I got my wish; it's raining. We need it.

I had a blog post all ready and then I proofread it and realized that it was largely incoherent. I think I'll take a pass and just go get my glasses adjusted.

And, dammit, if it's going to be all overcast then I wish it WOULD GO AHEAD AND RAIN ALREADY!

MMM, a bit tetchy this morning, aren't I?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

We still don't have the camera software loaded, so no pictures. I did start the second Burnt Peeps Jaywalker (goal: complete by Easter!). At leats I now have my bookmarks back!

And, of course, Jaywalkers bring to mind Cara, which brings to mind Socks that Rock.

There is now a Socks That Rock club!

It's all Cara's fault! And we love her for it!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Not quite back to normal.

But I'm working on it. I completed the back and one sleeve of the Class Sweater and have started the other sleeve. I'm saving the front for last, since that will require me to actually think about my knitting and how to explain it to others.

This project has been a real learning experience for me. I'm such an intuitive knitter, and now I have to figure out how to explain this to a class that has never knit a sweater before. I think I've come up with some really good tips and tricks, but it all boils down to fit and finish. You have to understand your measurements, what you already have in your closet that you love and how that fits, and gauge. And you have to be able to do a good job of seaming. The most gorgeous knitting in the world can be ruined by bad seaming. Likewise, an OK job of knitting can be elevated by a good finishing job. I'm really trying to understand myself and how I knit. What should I pass on to the class? What are my bad habits?

The new computer is great, but it's very time-consuming to get everything back on. Thank goodness I hadn't started the taxes yet!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


I have a new computer. I haven't been knitting at all. I'm still in recovery mode from last week.

I have much fun and hilarity to report.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Posting form afar

OK, I'm really posting from the kitchen, but my computer is still blammo. Kaput. This is an ex-computer. It has ceased to be. (Monty Python's Best starts Wednesday here!)

If you commented last week and I have not sent you a reply, know that I appreciate your comments and will get back to you as soon as I can.

I am hoping to be back up and limping tomorrow and really up and running by Tuesday. My husband is reformatting the hard drive, etc. At least I hadn't started the damn taxes yet!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

We interrupt your normally scheduled service...

...to tell you that my computer ate itself.

Thursday, I was in the middle of of printing the seating arrangements for the big charity fundraiser scheduled for tonight. I'm doing the seating arrangements for 400 people.

My printer ran out of paper and it got mad and ate my ethernet card.

I'm not kidding.

I haven't had internet access since Thursday and have been frantically pounding out seating on my husband's laptop from work and over the phone.

I have very little voice left and it's supposed to sleet tonight.

Keep a prayer in that it doesn't sleet, because last year we raised around $60K and much of that comes from the silent and live auctions which requires people to attend. For those of you in the frozen north, let me point out that we get sleet and ice, it's much different driving conditions that snow. And we know better to go out when the ground is iced over. It's 28F and the ground is wet. The only thing saving our bacon right now is the fact that it was 80F on Thursday and 50F yesterday. The ground is too warm for anything to accumulate unless it really comes down.

I thought I was exaggerating when I said I wouldn't have time to cast on until the 19th. Turns out I was right.

Beer and Special K - Breakfast of Stressed-Out Champions

What knitting?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Re: the Stashalong, the El Coyote Ranch was purchased last Friday and the Atacama, another skein of El Coyote, and three skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (not shown because it's blue) were purchased on Monday. So, yes, I'm out of the Stashalong. Which is fine with me. I especially wanted the Texas yarn and the Silky Wool (because it matched the dyelot of some Silky Wool already stashed - now I have enough for a sweater). Then, since I'd already blown it, it seemed silly not to get the Atacama I wanted - especially since it was on sale.

Thanks for all the lovely comments. Life is a bit hectic around here because I'm doing the seating arrangements for a big charity fundraiser this Saturday. So, I may be a bit scarce for the rest of the week. One of my husband's clients is taking us to a big wine dinner tomorrow night, so stay tuned on Friday for a recap of the fabulousness.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Man Down! Man Down!

C is for Collection

My collection of pink yarn. With a bit of white for contrast.

C is also for Crash.

So much for the Stashalong.

I had a tragic Socks That Rock accident.
(Pop Rocks, Rock Star, Hard Rock, Xmas Rock, Prove It All Night and Petroglyphs)

That led to a horrific trip and fall involving
some gorgeous El Coyote Ranch handspun fingering weight at the Shabby Sheep (all pink and red yarns 20% off for Valentine's Day!) . When I got home and recovered my wits, I discovered that I had also inadvertantly bought a sweater's worth of Atacama Alpaca.


I stuck some Addi Turbos in the freezer and am using them as a cold compress.

Monday, February 13, 2006


It gets the Jumping Seal of Approval!

I laughed myself silly over the following (particularly #6):

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Liz!

  1. The average human spends about 30 days during their life in Liz!
  2. It's bad luck to put Liz on a bed.
  3. During the reign of Peter the Great, any Russian nobleman who chose to wear Liz had to pay a special Liz tax!
  4. Liz is the only bird that can swim but not fly.
  5. 99 percent of the pumpkins sold in the US end up as Liz!
  6. Contrary to popular belief, Liz is not successful at sobering up a drunk person, and in many cases she may actually increase the adverse effects of alcohol.
  7. The pharoahs of ancient Egypt wore garments made with thin threads of beaten Liz!
  8. Liz can squeeze her entire body through a hole the size of her beak!
  9. The canonical hours of the Christian church are matins, lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, Liz and compline.
  10. If you put a drop of liquor on Liz, she will go mad and sting herself to death!
I am interested in - do tell me about

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bean was insisting that we had sour cream in the fridge. Now, we don't, she's never eaten it, and I've probably bought it about twice since she was born; so that in and of itself is beyond strange.

I finally get tired of showing her that, no, there is no sour cream. I tell her, "Look, there is no sour cream. I did all the grocery shopping this week and I would know!"

Her response?

"Well, I would yes."


Friday, February 10, 2006

People, start your engines

Over here at Chez Casa Liz*, we are knitting other things than Olympic things.

There is this pile o' sweater which, at Bean's insistence, must be seamed and collared and eleventy million ends woven in so she can wear it to a birthday party tomorrow.

And then there is this:

Knitting for work.

Say that phrase out loud, people. Savor it. Realize that I just said KNITTING FOR WORK. I am knitting a project that will result in my earning funds to undertake more projects. Woohoo!

Plus, I love the color! Mmmmm!

*Yes, I am aware that Chez Casa Liz means House House Liz. It was named Chez Casa [lastname} when we moved in and ever it shall be.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Over the past three weeks, I have been teaching knitting classes at an LYS. I'm teaching what I would refer to as "advanced beginner" classes. You need to know how to cast on and off, knit, and purl. The first class was making the Gardening Mittens from the Louisa Harding Accessories book. It's a great intro to sweaters. You have to master ribbing, seaming, knitting part of the mitten and then putting on a holder to proceed to another part of the work, and you have to learn to pick up stitches.

My class asked me to teach a sweater class and the owner of the LYS asked me to design the pattern. We're thinking classes would start March 3. So, I have to design and knit a sample ASAP, so people will be encouraged to sign up for the class.

Just to add a bit of excitement to the mix, I am on the board of a local charity. Our major fundraiser is on February 18th. Last year, over the first three weeks of Feb. , I worked about 60 hours on the fundraiser. That comes out of knitting time.

So, do I pick a project for the Knitting Olympics that is a true challenge regardless of time available, knowing I'll probably be busted for KUI* and thrown off the team? Or, do I decide, given my constraints, to opt for the downhill and not participate in the Super G and Slalom as well?

It's all downhill, baby.

I'm knitting the Cotton Candy Sweater from Rowan Babies for Bean. It's not a total copout. I'm knitting the largest size! And it's stripes! And it's Rowan and you know I'll have to write half the pattern myself! And it's in Rowan Denim so the pattern is written 10% bigger to account for shrinkage when you wash it! (Heh, shrinkage.)

OK, it probably is a copout, but there is still a pretty good chance I won't finish in time. I may get to knit a bit on it the first week, but I won't really get anything started until the 19th. More likely the 20th because I'm planning on having a hangover on the 19th since the fundraiser has an open bar!

*Knitting Under the Influence

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Hmmmmmmmm, drinking alot makes my tinnitis go nuts. I feel like I'm at a bad concert right now.

Yes, it is only 7.15 here.

I had a long day.

Time for Burnt Peeps.



by Grumperina

Cherry Tree Hill Supersock

Old Rose Colorway


(While my skin is pasty white, it is not yellow. Those are bruises in various stages of healing on my shins. I have a three-year-old, a dog who likes to trip me, and I'm a klutz.)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Seaming with Blossom

Thank to everyone for all the nice comments about Pipkin!

Several of you asked about seaming. In my opinion, Blossom is totally unsuited for seaming. Between the little "blobbies", the loosely spun nature of the yarn, and the two plies that separate at every chance they get, I think trying to seam with Blossom would tax even the most expert knitter and turn a relatively easy seaming job into a total nightmare.

I had a skein of Silk Garden laying around that had reasonably close colors, so I used that. I found the Silk Garden a bit fragile for seaming, but it was certainly easier than the Blossom.

I've been wearing this sweater almost non-stop since I finished it. I will definitely knit another sweater in Blossom at some point because the yarn produces a fabric that is soooo comfortable to wear. Next time, I'll probably use Cascade 220 or a similar yarn for seaming.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Pip, Pip, Hooray!


Naturally Noro


color 6

9 skeins

I changed the garter stitch hem from 5 1/2 inches to 10 rows. I also added 8 rows of garter stitch to the hem of the sleeves instead of just starting right off in reverse stockinette.

This is a lightweight sweater. Warm, but comfortable for our climate.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Dreaded Lurgy

Bean ended up feeling pretty punk for most of yesterday and took an unheard of 5 hour nap. When she woke up, her fever had broken (resulting in wet sheets but I'll take it). She's been eating a bit today and seems pretty cheerful. I decided to give my regrets for the birthday party tomorrow, though. She's still got a pretty good cough (coffles as she puts it), and the party is at one of those places that are filled with bounce houses. Somehow, an hour of vigorous exercise seems like an invitation to a relapse.

The bad side is that I may be getting it. I was hot and cold all night long. I don't know if it was just lovely old hot flashes, or the evil stench of impending doom. Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Poetry Call

I think the silent poetry reading is a wonderful idea.

I adore TS Eliot. Especially The Love Song Of Alfred J Prufrock.

When I was in college, rap was still very, very old school and the Beastie Boys were a little known NYC band (this was about the time that they sang the rap song about Carvel Ice Cream). I was in a band (horrible but fun) and we did a rap version of Love Song. It was pretty funny at the time.

One of my favorite stanzas:

For I have known them all already, known them all
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And another:

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.


Thanks for all your good wishes for Bean. They must have helped, because she woke up hungry and with a lower fever. She didn't eat much, but she ate more than she has for about the last three days total. Thank goodness, because after three days of high fever I was beginning to get worried and going a bit stir crazy as well.

Log Cabin Socks from Handknit Holidays
Rowan Cork in Delight (Orange)

This is a fun pattern to knit.

I have a bad feeling that, somewhere on the leg, I lost track of the chart and will have to rip. I can't see the error, but I'm going to knit the second sock and compare and then finish the first sock.

Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Old Rose

Just completed the gusset on the second sock. I have an extremely high arch, so I decrease every row on the gusset and decrease an extra stitch.

Burnt Peeps Jaywalkers in Koigu (the colorway looks like Easter Peeps that have been in a fire)

Completed the leg on the first sock!

Oh, and Hasselhoff! This video is hysterical. Yes, I know, it's Hasselhoff and it's awful, but just wait 'til the end of the video when he's snowboarding with a fish in his mouth.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Yarned socks

Pronounced "yarn - ed" - two syllables.

Bean wants in on the sock action. She loves the Broadbean socks I knit for her (I used the Broadripple sock for my starting point), but those are getting a bit short. So, she's asked for some more "yarned socks".

She's still pretty sick, so you won't hear from me until Friday. Keep your fingers crossed that she can attend school then.

The second Old Rose Jaywalker is at the heel. Hopefully, I'll finish that one this week.

I also cast on for the Log Cabin socks from Handknit Holidays. I've finished the gusset of the first sock, but I think I'll wait to knit any more on it until I get the Old Rose Jaywalkers completed and also finish at least one of the Burnt Peeps jays.