Friday, May 28, 2004

Happy Fried Egg!
Whew! Thought Friday would never get here. I'm just finishing up a brutal publishing month at work. Twice a year we have a strange convergence where ALL our magazine titles are published at once -- monthlies, bi-monthlies, and quarterlies. Plus the Art Dept. is creating all the support materials for our Live Events team; they're getting ready to hit the road on their summer conference tour. I've been busier than a one-armed paper hanger, lemme tell you. And don't even reprimand me about making fun of handicapped people -- I had not one, but TWO, one-armed great grandfathers. They toured in the One-Armed Man Musical Band back in the Depression. Absolutely true story. The movie Big Fish coulda been about some of my fantastic forebears.

Knit Progress, or Lack Thereof
Knitting has come to a complete standstill here at Chez Yarnover. The Running Thang has taken up nearly every evening to some degree. My legs and derriere hurt quite nicely, but I'm persevering. Anyway, here's a shot of the oh-so-close-to-being-finished Neckdown Summer Cardi:

What's left to finish this little beauty? Two more rows of stockinette and 6 rows of K2P2 ribbing to finish up the right sleeve. Six rows of K2P2 for the neckband, and the 2 front bands. Then the Great Button Search begins. I'm glad I started this project so early due to the unanticipated time bog that's occurred over the last 3 weeks. I should have it done for Mom's July 5th BDay, barring any unforeseen catastrophes (duck and cover!).

Need Your Suggestions, Peeps
A coworker gifted me with a goodly quantity of lovely Paternayan 100% wool crewel yarn. Lots of colors, lovely yarn. See?

The only problem? The ends are all CUT!

Each strand is a little over 36" in length. I have no idea what to do with this yarn. Embroider a black wool penny rug? Striped wool hats or scarves? Does this yarn work well for socks? All suggestions gratefully entertained.

Happy Fried Egg, everyone. And a Happy Memorial Day to all armed forces personnel. Your sacrifice allows me to blather on the way I do. It does not go unappreciated. Blessings and good things to all of you.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Yeah, Baby!
You gotta watch out for us strong, silent types. Still waters run deep, and all that. Link via Teresa.

Take the quiz: "Which American City Are You?"

Las Vegas
You Shine bright and partake in all the vices. You'd rather burn out then fade away.

Play 'em as they lay. Happy Wednesday, everyone.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Pass It On Down
Hi, all. Still haven't loaded new batteries into the digital camera to take pictures of Neckdown Summer Cardi, so instead here's a scan of a picture my mom took of me and my niece.

It was taken during my vacation in Portland in April. My 6yo niece Olivia is watching intently as I load up "Spoolie," the spool knitter (Olivia named him). She's just gotten out of her bath, so she has her jammies on and her beautiful long hair is pinned up. Notice the skein of pink acrylic tucked strategically beneath my left boob (I'm so efficient). I have my ultra-serious Teacher Face on. Olivia's finger dexterity isn't quite there to handle Spoolie, so Mom and I tucked him away until my visit later this summer. I made about 2 yards of pink I-cord, and sewed it into a flat cinnamon bun shape, for a dolly rug. Olivia loved it. Her role was to give Spoolie a gentle tug every 5th row or so. She was really into it, and kept asking, "Is it time for a gentle tug, yet?" What a sweetie! I look forward to our future knitting sessions.

Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte
I caved. I ordered yarn to make Charlotte's Web. I wanted to order my Koigu yarn from ThreadBear, but they sold out of the colorway I most wanted (Wild Berry) on the day it was posted on Rob's blog! Plus, ThreadBear had KPPPM at a better price. Next time for sure I'll order from the boys. I've heard nothing but good things about them, and that shop of theirs is to die for, judging from the pictures on Rob's blog! Lucky, lucky knitters that live near that shop :-)

So I cobbled together my own Wild Berry Koigu mix:

Now if I can only find my copy of the pattern ... it was exiled to the garage after the Great RockStar House Flood of 2003, and has yet to be located ...

Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, May 21, 2004

Persona Non Blogga
I guess I just can't Handle My Scandal these days (Hee hee -- love that saying. Saw it on Fergie's t-shirt in a Black-Eyed Peas video, and heard Warrick say it to Brass in a recent episode of CSI). I had nifty pictures of Neckdown Summer Cardi and a big 'ol bag of Paterneyon wool crewel yarn (free from a coworker) all ready to go, and poof! the batteries die on my camera. No batteries = no pictures until the next Costco run (this weekend). Add in a cuh-razy work schedule and trying to get the running thang going in the p.m., and you get one frazzled Amy. Oh, well. I'll try to do better next week.

Have a mahvelous weekend, peeps!

Monday, May 17, 2004

Slow As Molasses, But Twice As Sweet
That's Neckdown Summer Cardi. I got about 2" done on the left sleeve. Thank goodness this is a short-sleeve cardi, or it'd never be finished in time for my Mom's birthday in July.

Inching Along!

Latest Celebrity Headscratcher
OK, so Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband had their first baby. What's with the name? C'mon, naming a kid Apple? Alright, I suppose some people will think it's cute, but geez! Apple?

My grandmother worked for The Oregonian, the daily newspaper in Oregon, for over 30 years. She worked in the Classified department, taking in classified ads for many different categories. Over the years, she and her coworkers kept a running list of the weird/strange names they encountered. Her personal favorite was a regular ad buyer named (I kid you not) General Pancake. He had three kids named (again, I kid you not) Jemima, Buttermilk, and Buckwheat. She also got a kick out of the two ladies named Rose Bush and Pearl Button. Then there was an ad screwup that ran like so: "For Sale: Piano by a lady with carved legs."

Well we're movin on up,
To the east side.
To a deluxe blog in the sky.
Movin on up,
To the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie.
Theme from The Jeffersons, slightly changed :-)

Bron has a new blog address! The new Blogger wasn't giving her the love she needed, so she washed that blog right out of her hair, pulled up stakes, and moved to Typepad. Blogger won't even let her in to post a redirect to her new address, so grab it from here and update your links.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, May 14, 2004

Knitting time is pretty thin on the ground these days. I've joined DH's triathlon training group, but only for running. Although I half expect a road bike and Speedo swimsuit to be under the Christmas tree this year (ay-yi-yi!). Even though this running stuff's going to be a good thing for the booty, it's cutting into my already limited knitting time. Sigh. Anyway, I got the body of Neckdown Summer Cardi cast off, and started the left sleeve:

And some more love came in the mail from Elann the other day:

Yummy, fuzzy Plymouth Outback Mohair. Three skeins of the Bayou shade (greens and blues), and 5 skeins of Lavender Sunset (purples and pinks). I'm going to use the Bayou to make the Simply Stunning Lace Shawl from St. Seraphina Knits (pattern available from Elann, too).

My Life as a Part-Time Hooker Continues
Wanna see something pretty? Link via Loqueen's March 24th entry (specifically, a comment from this commenter. Yes, of course I purchased the pattern. My mama didn't raise no fool. I let no good crochet pattern go unhooked.

All Reasonable Requests Honored, or, You Want Me to Do What?
I stop nearly every morning at the little convenience store associated with my local gas station. I buy a 20oz. Diet Pepsi (sorry folks, I'm not a Coffee Achiever). I have a nodding acquaintance with all the morning shift clerks. We usually grunt amiably at each other, it being early and all. The other morning, I indulged in a Cadbury Caramel Egg. They were in a "Reduced Price" basket on the counter. Chocolate on sale? You don't have to twist my arm.

The clerk was an older woman I don't often see. She was doing the Time Warp Again with her hair -- grey barrel curls teased within an inch of their lives, hair reaching straight up to Jesus in a sculpted beehive. Very Marge Simpson-esque. But she's a nice lady, and I don't judge. So I plunk my DP and egg on the counter, and she scans them. But like the dog that don't hunt, the egg don't scan. AquaNet Lady asks, "Can you get another one of these without wrinkles (in the wrapper)?" I'm a bit non-plussed. Anyone who's bought a Cadbury egg knows that they wrapped in foil and maybe, just maybe, the barcode might be a bit, well, wrinkled? But I'm half-asleep, and comply dumbly. I grab another egg and hand it to her. No scanee. And another. Same story. And a fourth egg. Success! I believe that lady would have had me grab every egg in that basket, and if we couldn't find a scannable egg, she would have made me leave without my chocolate. It was a narrow escape.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Monday, May 10, 2004

A New Day, A New Blogger
Imagine my surprise when I opened Blogger and saw their new Dashboard layout. Lots of new blog templates to choose from, too. Hmm, might have to spend a few minutes checking them out. But not now! Knitting always remains our No. 1 Priority here at Amy Knits, so let's get to the fiber, shall we?

Only 1 bind-off row remains between me and finishing the body of Neckdown Summer Cardi:

Finish me! Finish me!

And a little bit 'o fiber fun came via mail from wonderful Elann:

Six skeins of Schachenmayr Princess to make the top on the right. I keep thinking my summer yarn needs are filled, then Elann posts another yummy summer selection. Drat them.

A Blast From the Past
Funny how encountering a piece of your past can immediately transport you back to the exact time and place you first encountered it. The year: 1977. Location: High school library. Time of Day: a hot September afternoon, soon after the school year started. I'm sitting at a long table in the library, studying Biology. Adjacent to my table are the "cool people" of my class: Chip D., handsome blonde star quarterback; Chuck M., another football jock; Angie D., pretty brunette cheerleader; and Mardic E., our own high school version of Greta Garbo. Tall, blonde, and mysterious, Mardic always fascinated me. She seldom said a word, but would instead gaze at you with beautiful, almond-shaped brown eyes. Boys were reduced to slobbering heaps on the floor; girls were envious and/or admiring of her eternal cool. Mardic's unusual name was a contraction of her mother and father's names (her mother, Margaret, and her father, Richard, nicknamed Dick). It goes without saying that an exotic-looking girl would have an exotic and unusual name. Mardic swanned about the school hardly saying a word, trailing admirers in her wake. Her father had some sort of executive job in the plastics industry ("The wave of the future, Benjamin!"). Occasionally, he would bring home little trinkets for Mardic and her sister Joann. One of these trinkets was an assortment of cool Lucite rings in various colors. The one she was wearing on that hot September afternoon was clear Lucite with colored stripes. I never saw them in any stores in our rural town in 1977, and always admired them. Imagine my surprise when they started showing up in stores last year -- exact replicas of the Lucite beauties that Mardic used to wear. And last Friday, Not Martha had a link to The Carrot Box, who features a large selection of these rings.

My nostalgia over these rings was tempered by memories of getting to know Mardic during my senior year of high school. For the girl I thought eternally mysterious and oh-so-cool actually turned out to be dumber than a post. Her mysterious silence was merely the countenance of a girl who had no opinions of her own, and nothing to say. I suspect she was smart enough to know that staying silent was the best tactic, so as not to blow her cover. It was a Wizard of Oz-ish situation; behind this beautiful fa├žade was an empty shell. Mardic was my first real-life example of learning not to judge a book by its cover.

Happy Monday, everyone.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Journeyman Effort
I'm no speed demon with my knittin'. I'm happy to log in a few rows a day, snatched here 'n there, that eventually add up to a sweater. So it goes with Neckdown Summer Cardi. I'm about halfway down the body, plugging away:

But I occasionally break out and do something silly and fun! Like this sweet little crocheted motif for a cardigan:

My Mother Was a Childhood Hellion
I love going home for visits. I especially love one-on-one time with my mother. She has that incredible Irish gift for storytelling. It's been passed on to my brother. Ask him about it, but only if you have a spare 6 hours or so.

Each visit nets me another tale or two about the shenanigans my mother got herself into on a regular basis. Make no mistake, my mother has a lust for life that continues unabated to this day. Her adventures as a child were the talk of the neighborhood. She was afraid of nothing. She asked for (and got!) a holster and six-shooter cap gun for Easter when she was 7 or 8 years old. She climbed trees, played with the boys, and cadged cookies from houses in both her and her grandmother's neighborhoods. If she hadn't suffered polio in her early teens and sustained permanent disabilities, I've often thought she'd have given Martha Stewart a run for her money. But I digress.

Mom has a number of stories about her best friend Jeanette and their tag-along friend Joyce, whose dad was allegedly the West Coast Mafia connection for Portland. He was the guy who "got things done" in the neighborhood.

This visit, Mom told me a story about Jeanette's mother, who for many years sewed the habits for the nuns of the local parish, Our Lady of Sorrows (shut up with the Catholic jokes, OK? I know it's a funny name for a church). Jeanette's mom sewed the habits worn by nuns at all stages of their service to the church: postulate, novice, and nun. At any given time, their basement was filled with yards of black wool gabardine in various stages of completion. At the time of this story, all the habits for the upcoming graduating class of novices were completed and hanging in a pristine row in the basement.

My mother got the wild idea that she, Jeanette and Joyce should dress up in the finished habits and parade up and down the main drag in the neighborhood. So Mom and Jeanette donned the unsullied and dignified habits, ran up to the main street that ran through the neighborhood, and proceeded to mug for the passing cars. Mom even flashed a little leg at passing motorists. Joyce didn't participate; she was scared of her own shadow. But she liked tagging along while my mother raised hell.

You'd think they would've stopped there. Oh, no. Not my mom, not by a longshot. They went over to the priory, adjacent to the school. The priory was the residence of the nun's order that taught at Our Lady of Sorrows. Mom marched right up onto the porch and rang the doorbell. Who should answer the door but one of the sternest nuns at Our Lady of Sorrows, the majestic Sister Emerita.

Sr. Emerita took one look at my mother in her stolen habit, leaned her head out the door, glanced left, then right, leveled a penetrating gaze at my mother, and asked, "Is anyone else with you?" Mom's answer tumbled out breathlessly, "Jeanette-and-Joyce-but-Joyce-didn't-have-anything-to-do-with-it!" "Come in here right now," said Sr. Emerita. Mom was then on the receiving end of a long and stern lecture from Sr. Emerita. Obviously, she survived the flaming verbal assault from Sr., since I'm here to tell you about it.

Mom said her biggest regret about the prank was that Jeanette's mother never quite trusted her after that.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Made a few more inches of progress on Neckdown Summer Cardi; pictures on Friday.

Postal Precociousness!
Looky what I got in the mail! Yummy Schachenmayr Diva ribbon yarn in #32 Burgundy, from YarnXpress, and Mission Falls 1824 Cotton in I401 Chicory, from Ram Wools, to make the Side-to-Side Ribbon Pullover and the cardigan from the Ballet Twin-Set, both featured in the Spring 04 issue of Interweave Knits:

Bet You Didn't Know This
RockStar recently informed me that the Alpaca is the Official Animal Mascot of the Heavy Metal music genre. "No animal is as metal as an alpaca," he states emphatically (whatever that means). So I've promised to make him an alpaca sweater if he goes to college (we're currently in the midst of intense family discussions about this). There is a condition attached to this sweater: there will be no "appropriation" of said sweater by future girlfriends. "That won't happen," he says. "Oh, yes it will," I reply, "If the girl has an ounce of taste, she'll try to sweet-talk you and say, 'Oh, honey, it's so cold tonight, can I borrow that nice, warm sweater your stepmom made you, to wear home?" (batting eyelashes furiously) Poof! There goes the $200 (minimum!) alpaca sweater.

Gotta run -- busy day ahead! Happy Wednesday, everyone.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Made some nice progress on Neckdown Summer Cardi this weekend:

I offloaded the sleeve stitches onto holders and knit the first round of just the body stitches while watching The Sopranos last night. At this rate, I might have this cardi ready for Mother's Day instead of Mom's BDay in July, but that might be wishful thinking. Think I'll stick to my original plan of ordering "Mona Lisa Smile" on DVD, instead.

I really like Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. It has just enough wool (20% merino) to give the yarn a tiny bit of springiness. And it doesn't have that dusty, dry cotton feel that drives me up the wall (a major plus in my book).

RockStar's Sunday Concert
... was a smashing success. He was so funny; after the concert, DH and I asked him how it felt to perform live. His answer: "It was awesome! When can I do it again?" Oh dear. We've created a monster :-) He was a bit nervous before the concert, but wasn't one bit nervous while performing, which I find incredible in a 15yo teenager. DH and I are very proud of him. It's moments like yesterday that make up for all the cr*p that's occurred previously. He performed two rather avant garde pieces, one of his own composition. We weren't allowed to take pictures while the students were performing, at the teacher's request, but I got a quick shot of RockStar warming up prior to the concert:

Happy Monday, everyone.