Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
I drink to make other people interesting.--George Jean Nathan

And it works, on occasion...

I Hereby Resolve...
Never to make New Year's resolutions. Never have, never will. What a moronic waste of time.

Do I plan? Of course.

Do I set my mind to accomplish as much as I can? Definitely.

Do I need a specific date upon which to start anything? Hardly.

And I also do not remember what and how much I complete, knitwise, in any given year. I don't keep lists of FOs, UFOs, CEOs, whatever. I'm lucky I remember where I parked my car at work.

What I Do on New Year's Eve
This year, I'm staying at home, knitting and listening to music. And rather than make up useless lists, I think about the good things that have happened this year. And it will be a REAL challenge for 2002. This has been a horrific year for me personally. However. On the plus side, I now have Achim to love, I feel like my creative juices are back in action, there's lots of interesting things ahead for me in 2003, and I'm still not feeling particularly old.

So life is good. I hope that all of you have an excellent New Year's Eve and a fine 2003. And thanks for reading my scribblings. I know you're out there.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Really, all you need to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands, and slightly below-average intelligence. Of course, superior intelligence, such as yours and mine, is an advantage.--Elizabeth Zimmermann

Well...I dunno, EZ. "Slightly below-average intelligence" hasn't helped some "knitters" much.

Knit It and FCEK Reviews
Gave them a down 'n' dirty review on the No Affiliation page.

Sweaters From Camp and Ruminations About Fair Isle
So one of my best Christmas presents came from DM Elly, who gave me the aforementioned book. Thanks, Ma! (There's nothing better than having a mother who is your knitting partner-in-crime and general enabler.) I'd been wanting this since Stitches East but Elly decided it would solve her what-to-give-Marilyn problem.

I've got all the major Fair Isle books--Starmore's, Feitelson's, MacGregor's--and a few other, lesser-known books on the subject. Sweaters From Camp has the best technical section on Fair Isle that I have ever read, bar none. There's info here that you'll find nowhere else. So for my money, that's worth the price ($39 or so) alone. I was somewhat less enchanted by the designs...not that in 38 patterns you're not going to find some uglers. And really, most of the designs are nice enough and some are spectacular. The Shirt-tail Tunic by Feitelson, Autumn Color Fair Isle cardigan by Betts Lampers, and the Fair Isle Pullover with Vertical Stripes by Jane Hill are three that I thought were totally splendiferous.

But there are a fair number of designs that use the most garish of colors...and historically, if you look at the famous painting of Edward VII wearing his Fair Isle vest, it would seem that would have been the case. Certainly, it's a matter of taste. But shades of aqua and then a firehouse red border? Nah. Didn't do it for me. In fact, there were two other garments where bright aqua plays a leading part. But that's a small quibble and I won't be making those sweaters anyhoo. And I figure, if there are at least five that I do want to make--and there are--then the book is welcome on my shelf.

I think that what really makes a Fair Isle sweater appealing and challenging to knit is the subtlety and the amount of shading used in progression through the motifs. Starmore understands this concept fully, as does Ann Feitelson and Ron Schweitzer, one of my favorite newer Fair Isle designers. It's a rare talent, putting together color artfully, that few designers possess. I can only wish that I had it.

Gettin' Knitty-ish
I'm really pleased! Amy has accepted a sock design AND an article from me for the next issue. The socks are done, the article is written, and no, I'm not giving anything away except to say that the socks are done in Koigu. Only Loopy has seen them at this point. Everyone else waits until March publication. This is one magazine that I happily support and have from the beginning. Would that the others learn by example...but they probably won't.

Achim's Socks Redux
I really am tired of making socks at this point, though. I've made 4 pairs of Achim's Socks now, plus the design for Knitty, and I think it's back to sweaters for me. In the meanwhile, Achim's in Brisbane, it's 110 degrees there and I betcha he ain't wearing the socks! Heh! Beach weather! I should have knit him one of those sexy bikinis European guys wear...but that's way too HYUK-ish and Chin-ese for me.

Although...here's another thing. I had given some thought as to doing directions for some of the Staples' ad knitrocities, just for a yuck, particularly the hat, which I loved. My friend Pat thinks I would be better served by knitting the mousepad, but that's referred to in the ad as macramed. If I can get a good look at the hat, I can do the directions. Don't egg me on...not that I need egging.

Do you think people were screaming bloody murder about the ad because THEIR knitting looks like that? Some kind of transcendental recognizance or some such shit? Methinks the knitters protesteth too much.

A green knitted octopus.

How handy! And not as rare in knitting as we might think, I think....

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Friday, December 20, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.

Is this the KnitDweeb motto?

Note To Self
If I see "dyeing" spelled "dying" one more fucking time on any list, I'm posting...and it won't be pretty.

Weeding Out the Stash
If you were born before 1960, you might get the pun there.

Ack. I think I have about 900 skeins of sock yarn. Lately, I've been shifting the stash around subconsciously and modifying its lebensraum so that I now have apparently subdivided and relocated it into two main spaces:
Fabu Crap
Not-so-Fabu Crap
I've noticed that there is a pile of shitola that lives in my walk-in bedroom closet in Rubbermaid containers --old Lopi given to me by DM Elly that I've used for some felting experiments; all yarn ever purchased at a Smiley's sale; odd-ball skeins because I cannot throw any yarn away, ever; a lot of Encore, also bought on sale for the grandkidlets; Sam the Ram kit (Loopy's fault that I bought that, no matter what she may tell you); other crap that I will not admit to owning, let alone buying and is at least 15 years old.

Against one bedroom wall are three large bookcases, filled with knitting/fiber/spinning books and magazines. The result of 30+ years of serious knitting. One bookcase seems to be attracting the fabu stuff, like the suri alpaca I bought at Stitches East, all my sock yarn, Koigu, a basket full of funky novelty yarns that will end up in something as accents, a pile of Noro stuff, more laceweight merino than I'll ever knit, including two nifty Margaret Stove handpainted skeins bought at P'works. Oh, and more fiber than I will ever spin.

No Red Heart in the closet...but perhaps a skein of WoolEase. And a ball of Kitchen Cotton that I got from someone gratis.

I don't knit scarves...and I never do warshcloths. So perhaps the Merryheart Nursing Home in Roxbury will be getting gifted soon.

Why I Loathe Picture Knitting
And I must make the distinction between picture knitting and intarsia. Intarsia is the technique but I classify it in my mind as more artsy, less Mary Maxim. (I never was hot for Kaffe, even though I enjoyed his designs for the most part. But never tempted.) As I remarked to Loopy today, the result of picture knitting is a garment that looks somewhat akin to a finished Venus Paint-by-Numbers piece. I have no burning desire to knit an Alpine scene into one of my sweaters nor am I enamored of the cutesy Christmas intarsia sweaters that all the women at work seem to fancy. Knitting Rudolph's nose is not my idea of fun or artistic gratification.

Not that I wouldn't do intarsia IF the mood struck me...but that's unlikely.

Land of Oz Boy
Achim is sort of stranded in Oz (notice how I slyly snuck in a link to his pic), not able to do his work because the equipment needs a part that no one has...his computer security key didn't work, so they sent him another one and now THAT doesn't seem to work either.

I was hoping they'd send him home for Christmas, but that doesn't seem likely at this point. It looks like the middle of January still stands as the homecoming. So in the meanwhile, I guess I could think about knitting him something else--but what? I could do a cashmere sweater but that would be way past my meager means at this point. And I think that the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, even the DK weight that I used for his socks, is too heavy. Anyone got a good resource for a cash blend that's fingering weight?

I've got to stay handy...and rare. Heh.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"Ah... I see the fuck-up fairy has visited us again!"
From "50 Things You Wish You Could Say at Work"

Hmmm...but I do say that at work, frequently...

The Scottish Play
At the risk of being sued by some seemingly egocentric Scots, I dare say that the well-known knitting designer, She Whose Name May Not Be Writ Large (AKA AS), is making her wee self a wee bit unpopular these days in these here States. Inquiring minds on the KList want to know the true story behind the huge eBay flap, wherein the aforementioned She has had eBay pull those auctions that feature her kits, yarn and any ephemera with HER NAME on it AND also threatened LYSOs with lawsuits for advertising the dregs of her yarn that they are trying to unload. The logic: The name is copyrighted (and that includes AS, which I always thought was a preposition and hence owned by no man or woman).

Sooo...check out Knitting Beyond the Hebrides for an interesting story about the major flap. Given that she took her knitting toys home in a snit several years ago, this may or may not shed some light on that curious event. I have my own opinions on this one...but you read and make up your own minds.

Scots wha hae where Wallace bled...something's cookin' in the kitchen and it ain't haggis.

All the knitting news that fits, we print, kids. With apologies to Mad Magazine...

My Random Thoughts About Knitting
1) Stuff you knit wears out eventually--so you knit more.

2) If it doesn't fit the recipient, it will fit someone--but you fucked up, didn't you? Figure out why.

3) Knitters should worry less about professions, Staples, handedness, and Knitting Sightings in Movies and TV and worry more about making a gauge swatch and learning how to knit well.

4) If you passed 3rd grade arithmetic, you can design your own.

5) If you failed 12th grade chemistry, you can dye it yourself.

6) Don't ask until you've Googled. Or figure it out. Then if all fails, ask.

7) Taking knitting classes is no guarantee of knitting mastery.

8) Read every pattern three times--once for general overview, again for detailed overview, and finally for comprehension. Then swatch.
Then read the pattern again. And again.

9) Most everyone will admit to using Red Heart at one time or another.

10) Not everyone loves knitting or receiving knitted gifts. This is a truism that must be swallowed whole.

And not everyone is handy...or rare.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
There are only two sentences you need to remember to survive in life:

~I have no recollection of the events in question.
~The cat did it.

Milo, j'accuse! Dumb shit cat...eats yarn, plays with my Christmas lights, weighs 28 lbs., is my best friend at 3 a.m.


Sprucing Up The Blog For Christmas
I was going to turn it all red and green but when I did the prototype, it was so friggin' ugly I settled for the cutesy animated .gif and the Bach.

I like Bach. If you don't, you know what you can do, right? Yep. Bitez-moi.

I'll change the music to suit my whim because it's my blog. Heh.

Some Fetid Observations to Pressing KnitList Questions
1. There is no right or wrong way to knit. As Descartes said..."I knit, therefore I is." This whole argument about whether or not southpaws should learn to knit with a mirror or what's the right/wrong way is total garbage. When WILL they talk about knitting?

2. Stop with the professions. No one cares. None of it has anything to do with knitting.

3. Now the thread is Compliments I Have Received From People Who Haven't the Vaguest Idea of What it is I Make.
I suppose Happy Dances are no longer enough...

Taking Finishing Into My Own Hands
So the Oceania cardi isn't quite done but I have already decided that I will NOT do garter stitch buttonbands and collar. I saw my mother's finished effort (you know Elly always makes what I do--it's inevitable) and it was meager, at best. Plus the pick-up seemed to me to be too much. I've decided to add a crocheted picot edging and make one large Sculpey button, rather than to mess with sagging buttonbands. The yarn is delicate enough so that a crocheted edging would be appropriate.

Not that I'm a huge proponent of crocheted finishing. How some ever. On cottons and certain lightweight wools, it works well.

Let the punishment fit the crime. That's the byword of successful finishing, IMO.

Of course, it's a given that you know what the hell you're doing. And so many don't.

Rare? But of course!

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining.--Jeff Raskin

If I told you I had to switch to Mozilla because Microsoft IE refuses to load ONLY the Blogger editor, you'd believe me...wouldn't you?

Professions of Knitters
So far, according to what I've read on the KnitList, it would seem that there are a lot of RNs (touchy-feely people) and chemists/engineers (touchy-feely people who stroke test tubes and duct tape). And a shitload of lawyers. Loopy's take on all this? (I do give credit where credit is due, especially when I couldn't have put it better myself.)

I'm a hooker. I knit my very own fishnet stockings. Right now I'm working
on a thong, but Lily keeps trying to steal the pattern for some HYUK thing
(I think it's a lung ailment). Next will be a matching peek-a-boo bra, if I
don't get beat up by my pimp too badly for wasting all my time knitting!
Gotta keep filling the coffers, ya know!

Now you know why Loop is an honorary KC...

I Spit in Your General Direction
So WTF is the latest fixation with the use of bodily fluids to splice yarn? And why are we concerned with the word "spit"? Personally, I prefer to use a #1 dp to dig out ear wax, roll it flat, and conjoin the two yarn ends that way...

To spew a little more--in reality, I never splice, not even on lace. More trouble than it's worth. I simply tie a half-hitch (get out your Girl Scout/Boy Scout manual and read the fucking directions because I'm not going to tell you how to make it), and continue knitting. When the mood strikes me or when I have knitted an inch or twa, I undo said half-hitch and weave ends into the backs of the stitches. And yes, this does work on lace if you know what you're doing. Flinging a lunger onto my yarn is not what any diety intended me to do.

There's nothing worse than spit-drenched fiber...unless my cat Milo has licked it, in which case, cat spit is definitely slimier than human spit.

Am I Knitting or What?
Well, I'm fiddling around with yet another sock design for "varugated" yarn--this time, it's a woven stitch. Yeah, yeah, I'll put the pattern up on the Freebies page but I swear to God, this is the absolute last free pattern I give you guys. I mean it! I really must get back to the Oceania and the Pickpocket and the Grand Avenue vest at some point. But socks give me such instant gratification. And I haven't done a thing about my Rock n Roll Sock Collection since my ulnar nerve went bad this summer.

So the winter will be filled with lots of knitting, if work doesn't get in the way...or a swell shopping trip. For all of you who responded to my poll request, I will absolutely let you know if you're right. In four weeks or so...

How infinitely rare! And indubitably handy (although not always)...

Sunday, December 08, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
New York... when civilization falls apart, remember, we were way ahead of you.--David Letterman

Chicago was great...I could live there...or Philadelphia.

Warning: Snotty Knitting Shop In Chi
So while Achim was working the Philips Med Systems area at the Radiological Society of N. America show, I went traipsing all over Chicago. What fun! And one night, when we were walking over to an Irish pub we really liked, I spotted...Tender Buttons! Yes, a branch of the famous Tender Buttons in NYC. Of course, I was there the next day. Lovely shop and superlative vintage buttons...and a very nice woman who pointed me towards a yarn shop around the corner on Oak St.

Now, I'm not one of your knitters who MUST go yarn shopping when I am out of town. Frankly, I have better things to do. And it's been my experience that it's unlikely that I will find anything I haven't already seen. Better bets are farmers' markets for handspun stuff. But what the hell, I went over to this shop, We Keep You In Stitches.

Not much to laugh about there. It's a 4th floor atelier and I guess I didn't make much of an impression on the two aging babes who were minding the till. Because I stood there for 5 minutes looking at last summer's issue of Rebecca and gazing at the woeful selection of Anny Blatt yarn without either of them even flapping their eyelids at me. So fuck it, I said to myself and opened the door to leave. "Can we help you?" one of the gargoyles asked.

"Too late," said I and down the stairs I went. If you're in Chicago, don't bother with this place.

Non-knit Poll
(Loopy is sick of this, I'm sure, but I have to ask absolutely everyone, so bear with this story and then give me your dollah-three-eighty.)

Over some Guinness Wednesday night, Achim held my hand and said, "When I come back from Australia in 5 weeks, you will put on a nice dress and I will put on my suit, and we will go shopping."

"Why the dress? Why the suit?" I didn't have a clue as to what he was talking about.
"Because that is the custom in Germany," he says with a shit-eating grin on his face.
"What are we going to buy?" I couldn't even imagine, especially with yours truly in a dress and Mr. Jeans Guy in a suit.
"Can you keep a secret?"
"Sure." Now I was really curious.
"Good. So can I. So shut up and don't ask me because it's a surprise and I'm not telling you."

And he won't. Despite my pestering him. What do you all think we're going shopping for? I have my thoughts but I'd love to hear yours.

Could it be handy? How rare!

Monday, December 02, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid."-- George Bernard Shaw

And I know ever so many sincerely stupid people...

Greetings from Chicago
God, it's cold here...and nasty...and snowy. But having a great time, this is a terrific city. AND there is a Tender Buttons 3 blocks from my hotel. How handy!

And Can You Get Cashmere to Knit With?
Achim asked me that the other day. This was after he was gifted with the socks. Heh. I think perhaps he needs a virtual trip to Patternworks' web site to see exactly how much a sweater hand knitted in cashmere costs. Am I thinking about doing this? Yep. OK, I'm a sucker for him, I admit it. But the opportunity to design and knit a cashmere sweater is very appealing.

Will the finished sweater go on the Freebies page? Will I ever start charging for my patterns?

Film at 11. And yes, I'd better start charging. I need the money. Period.

Knitting on Planes
You can. I did. Are we finished with this now? I hope so.

Staples Commercial
Who gives a rat's ass? Honest to God. Sincerely stupid idiots who worry about commercials, that's who. I know what my "image" as a knitter is. Bite me.

And as the snow comes down, I can only say to you all...

How rare!

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
The secret of eternal youth is arrested development.--Alice Roosevelt Longworth

The original curmudgeonette...

Achim's Socks
Here's the photo...

The pattern is on my Freebies page. Help yourselves. The photo is actually a scan of a pair that I'm making for my Sissyboo Karen for Christmas. Achim's actual pair was knit in dark navy.

The True, Ghastly Story About Being an Editor
My last blog entry about the devastation of Knitter's magazine garnered a lot of comments. And I realized that many knitters really don't know what happens when a knitting editor plans an issue and gets the sweaters you see into print. This is how it happens, pretty much.

1) Editor works out editorial calendar (what each magazine will contain vis a vis garments and articles, themes if any, etc.). Because magazines must be planned so far in advance, due to the time it takes to produce each issue, the editorial calendar is usually at least 6-8 months ahead of the actual time it is sent to designers.

2) Designers submit their swatches and sketches to the editor (generally, they do not submit finished garments but may submit small projects that are complete). Editor invariably changes at the very least the color of the design, the yarn used (particularly if he or she is under pressure from the advertising department to feature a particular company because the company just contracted for a big ad), and often will even change the shape of the design, i.e. "I don't want bell sleeves, make them 3/4 sleeves." "Take the collar off and replace it with I-cord." "Remove the ribbing from the cuffs." And so on. Designer does what she/he is told, if they want to be paid.

3) Designer knits the garment according to the editor's specifications, most likely grumbling. But it's a job and you don't piss off the boss by telling him you think his ideas suck. So you do what you're told and you get to keep your job and get paid. Designer writes up directions, does charts if needed. Editor sends directions to pattern writer (or will rewrite her/himself) for sizing and formatting according to the magazine's style.

4) Garment that bears little resemblance to the designer's original concept is what you see in the magazine, 9 times out of 10.

And this is exactly why I no longer want to be an editor and why I prefer to write and self-publish my designs. I hate sucking up to anyone, especially advertisers. And I'll be damned if some editor with no taste fucks with my stuff.

A real bedtime story for the uninitiated...

And now, I must go make an apple pie (Try pie, try!). Happy Thanksgiving to all. I leave for Chicago on Friday afternoon to be with my guy. If I can, I will post something from Chi. If not, see you all when I get back on December 5th.

How rare! But make sure your turkey's cooked...

Friday, November 22, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
If you can't annoy somebody, there is little point in writing. --Kingsley Amis

The Rise and Big Fat Fall of Knitter's
Well, you knew that I'd open my mouth on the Winter 2003 issue sooner or later. But so many people have been trashing this issue, on the KnitList, in private e-mails to me, that there's not much that I can add, except my dollah-three-eighty.

The issue is past bad. It is the worst melange of mediocrity and silliness that I have ever seen, in any magazine.

WTF is XRX, specifically Rick Mondragon, thinking? Very honestly, when Nancy Thomas left the magazine and Rick was named editor, I had some trepidations about him. I don't know the guy; however, Nancy Thomas produced arguably some of the best issues ever. As editor of VK, she had a proven track record. Rick had no editorial experience. And it showed immediately in the first issue. You'd think he would have learned something since then but the content has gotten worse and worse, culminating with this horrorshow. Editing is not an easy job--I know, I did it for 18 years, starting at McCall's Needlework & Crafts in 1983 as assistant knit/crochet editor and ending as a financial editor at S&P in 2000. But someone needs to tell the editor he's missing the mark, big time.

It's also curious that Alexis has not recently written any of his long, overblown, rambling discourses on the "Knitting Universe." Is he distancing himself from Knitter's? Does anyone remember how fast he pulled the rug out from under Weaver's? Is history repeating itself? I doubt it, although I could see them dumping the magazine, which probably barely breaks even, in favor of increasing the number of Stitches across the country (those probably do make money for them) and knitting camps and continuing their book publishing.

It's unfortunate that KnitU is so tightly censored. Of course, Knitter's owns the list and can manipulate it to their own benefit. That's their right. But it's also curious that there have not been the usual sycophantic, slobbery, ass-kissing posts praising this issue. The list has been pretty silent. However, the KnitList has not. People are fed up and are not resubscribing. Is XRX is so engrossed in its own self-aggrandizement that it is incapable of judging the readership's interests? It would seem so--the magazine is catering to some bizarre market segment these days. Haven't we had enough of garter stitch yet?

Therefore, I suggest that all of us who are disgusted with Knitter's write to Alexis Xenakis or Rick Mondragon and tell them why.

Do your part--send an e-mail to Alexis Xenakis or Rick Mondragon. If you have a knitblog and agree with me, put their e-mail addresses on your blog so that your readers can write to them too.

I mourn the death of Knitter's. It was once the best. It's now the worst. And no hope of resurrection.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
You'll shoot your eye out!--Jean Shepherd's A Christmas Story

A mother's mantra...and I remember my Daisy Air Rifle. No dollies for me.

I know, it's a little early for Christmas. So bite me.

My Pre-Christmas Knitting Poetry Extravaganza

I do so love Eartha Kitt, truly one of the great chanteuses, in my opinion. And Santa Baby is absolutely one of my favorite Christmas songs. (If you don't know it, click on the link--you need RealPlayer to hear the clip.)

So here's my version of Santa Baby...for knitters.

Santa baby, slip a cable needle under the tree, for me
I've been an awful good girl
Santa baby, and give me some alpaca tonight

Santa baby, some variegated silk too, light blue
I'll knit it up for you dear
Santa baby, and give me some alpaca tonight

Santa honey, I wanna Schacht and really that's
Not a lot
I haven’t bought much all year
Santa baby, and give me some alpaca tonight

Santa cutie, there's one thing I really do need, the deed
To a Local Yarn Shop
Santa cutie, and give me some alpaca tonight

Santa baby, please fill my stocking with hanks, and thanks!
Just add some skeins to the stash,
Santa baby, and give me some alpaca tonight

Come and trim my Christmas tree
With some sterling silver circs bought at Tiffany's
I really do believe in you
Let's see if you come through for me

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little clue, Koigu
I don't mean goldfish
Santa baby, and give me some alpaca tonight

Give me some alpaca tonight
Give me some alpaca tonight

(No, second thought, give me a blank check and we’ll call it even)

Even the Curmudge has Christmas spirit..
Deck the Halls with mistlepie...how rare!

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better."-- A. J. Liebling (1904-1963)

Indeed. This week at work looks like I will need to write faster and better. Ten manuals, no waiting. And no knitting, methinks.

My Favorite Knitting Malapropisms
Well, maybe "Misspellings" is more appropriate. That's right, kids. You can't make this shit up. Loopy and I have been reading the knitting lists for years and we're constantly amazed at the stunning ignorance and sloppiness of some knitters when they write about knitting. To whit:

:: Fair Aisle
:: Varugated
:: Guage
:: Dying

I'm sure more will come to me but these are our favorites. If you've got some of your own, feel free to add a comment.

Thus Sprach Loop:
"Attention shoppers: Hand knit sweaters...aisle 1!
Spelling lessons...Isle of Fair!"

And Let's Not Forget...
The one question I read on the Knit List several years ago that left me speechless--

:: How do you make a slip knot?

Some people really should just take up hang-gliding or marathon napping...anything other than sticks 'n' strings.

I'm thinking that my new motto should be: Instructare utque offendare

How excruciatingly rare...albeit ever so handy!

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans are suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you." --Rita Mae Brown

It's not me, it's not Mary, it's not AnnMarie...so it must be Loopy.

Five Socks a'Gusseting, Four Addi Turbos...
Here's why I never make people knitted Christmas gifts. Because I will never finish anything in time for Christmas and it's bad enough trying to get everything else done without the added pressure of making crap that no one wants and that I don't want to make.

I will gift special people when the whim strikes me. I gave a friend of mine a beautiful royal blue mohair tam for he 50th birthday. I'm making Ma a pair of socks on the QT because she refuses to make socks (her last attempt in 1955 was a pair of Argyles for my father--that done did her in). I'm making Achim his socks. None of these people were promised anything. It's always a surprise.

And none of these gifts are for Christmas. They're just because I only knit for the people I love. When I want.

And I don't bake, either. I let my kids do that.

I tell the kids, "When come back, bring pie." They get it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?--Unknown

From 7:15 this morning until I finally walked out the door at 4:40 p.m., I dealt with stupidity on its highest, most sublime level...

Which Is Why...
I shut my office door for 20 minutes at noon and worked on Achim's socks. I think I'll put the pattern up on the Freebies page when I'm done, plus a picture. These are so smooth to work, the cashmerino is positively orgasmic to have in my hand, and I'm rounding the heel and gusseting my way down Sock #1.

Tempest In a Tosspot
The latest mini-thread on KnitU (and soon to spread to the other lists--I've already seen it on Fairisleknitting) is the supposed conjecture, purportedly made by Lucy Neatby in a Stitches East class, that it matters in which hand you hold the contrast yarn when knitting Fair Isle, that the "upper" strand must be the contrast color.

After reading this post (written by someone with whom I have had some brief correspondence and who is clearly living in the State of Confusion about all things knitting), I think she probably totally misunderstood what Neatby was trying to demonstrate in this Stitches class. Loop and I agree--the only thing that matters is consistency. Just don't switch hands. Keep your background color in one hand always, the contrast in the other always.

I love a non-issue started by a Knitdweeb, who then, after totally confusing all the beginning Fair Isle knitters on the list, posts again and says, "Oh, gee, sorry, I was confused."

I might say I live for this shit but that would be a bloody lie.

And the segue to this is...

Knitting Non-Problems I Don't Have
Here's a list of these problems I have not encountered:

:: Contrast stitches disappearing in my Fair Isle work
:: Ladders in the knitting at the junctures of my double-pointed needles
:: Holes at the sock gusset junctions
:: Garter stitch garments that grow like Topsy (a little of g-stitch being just enough, IMO)

I grant you, these are real problems for some people...but it's only because they don't know the solutions yet. And there are solutions for every knitting non-issue.

The real knitting issue(s)? Tell me. I'd love to hear your opinions. Or bite me. Whatever. It's my belief that people cannot follow directions because they do not read them for comprehension first. Knitting or otherwise. That's my favorite issue lately.

You can be handy too. And most rare!

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
I have the heart of a child - I keep it in a jar --Stephen King

My Sunday equation:
Ian + Elisabeth = my grandchildren who live with me * (slamming doors + tattling + pestering)

Knitting in the Movies, on TV, KIP, etc.
Who gives a rat's ass?

I mean, really.

Why do the KnitDweebs think this is of any interest? Why do they send meaningless posts to the lists about this? The latest "sighting" seems to be in The Santa Clause II.

This is, of course, strictly a rhetorical question, as are all my musings about KnitDweebs. I don't pretend to understand any of their idiocy.

Achim's Socks
So while my favorite German is off doing business in, where else, Germany, I have decided to design and knit him a pair of socks to take with me as a surprise when I stay with him in Chicago after Thanksgiving.

Now, he's already told me that he doesn't wear sweaters. So imagine my surprise the other weekend when I discover that what was at first glance a dark blue T-shirt under his shirt-shirt was in actuality a fine-knit cashmere pullover. Aha.

Well, I can't afford to make him one of those. However, I do have some KYI Cash Mereno (same as Debby Bliss's Baby CashMerino) in dark blue, enough to make a pair of socks that he'll like. It's a little heavier than what I usually work in--I'd say it's probably a DK--so I'm knitting it at 6 spi on #2s. This renders a nicely firm fabric but doesn't ruin the hand at all. Two baby cables run along the side of the instep from cuff to toe. I'm liking this sock a lot. It's simple to do but appropriate for a guy.

And Achim, if by any chance you finally got your DSL problems resolved and you're reading this: Ich werde Dich diese Socken für einen großen Kuß und eine Schokolade tauschen. Und vielleicht mehr als Schokolade.

Wie selten! Und wie handlich! (Yep, that means what you think it does)

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Democracy encourages the majority to decide things about which the majority is ignorant of.

If Dubya were a knitter, I'd have to lump him in with the KnitDweebs...

And Here's Another One...
Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence. --Manly's Maxim

And after wrestling for the better part of 2 days trying to get SQL data to rock steady in an Excel file...I know this saying to be true. God knows it's true of knitting, innit?

Vague Winter 2003
Feh. Double feh. I am no longer wasting money on magazines. I was so underwhelmed by this issue that I am just going to stick to my J&S book, my Starmore-ever-in-the-making, and my own designs. The cover was nice, though...liked the hat--hated the sweaters, by and large. I guess they're fine for the HYUKs that the magazines seem to cater to these days.

And I am a funky traditionalist, I do believe.

I love funk...but it has to be done right and with a soupcon of whimsy. Or a large tureen.

November's Bizarro Link of the Month
Do check it out...it's what I like to call The Toboggan of Death Game. Lots of fun, well-done Flash entertainment. See if you can get the toboggan team through the Ring of Fire without crisping them all...and enjoy Gunter Schnell, one of the commentators.

Knitting? Nah...
I'm still plodding away on the Oceania cardi. The byproduct of my surgery seems to be shooting pains into my little finger and wrist when least expected, so I haven't been doing much knitting or much writing, other than work writing. The good news is, I'm getting feeling back into my hand, so clearly the surgery was successful. But the recovery will be longer than I thought, evidently.

But I slog onward, eyeballing Koigu and lace-weight Cherry Tree Hill suri alpaca on my shelf...and perhaps, a pair of Baby Cashmerino socks in blue for someone if he's good.

How utterly, utterly rare...and more handy by the day.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Ich bin eine St. Pauli Girl...taken at work today at our costume contest, where I was beat out of 3rd place by a baby in a skunk costume.

Not much time to knit or write this week. Back to work from medical leave and the shittycrap, as our Polish network engineer Krys likes to say, is still around on my desk. Hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday...and I'll be writing more on Sunday.

Ah me...how rare!

Friday, October 25, 2002

And a Happy 33rd Birthday to dear daughter Jennifer Lynne!

1. What is your favorite scary movie?
Curse of the Demon, without a doubt. The Haunting runs a close second.

2. What is your favorite Halloween treat?
Cider, preferably spiced and somewhat alcoholic.

3. Do you dress up for Halloween? If so, describe your best Halloween costume.
No, but every year I swear I will. Maybe I will this year, just because I love costumes.

4. Do you enjoy going to haunted houses or other spooky events?
Only if I'm with kids under 12. Otherwise, I'd druther stay at home and drink cider.

5. Will you dress up for Halloween this year?
If I have the time, I'd like to dress up as Janet from Rocky Horror...in white bra and panties. BWAHAHAHA. Who will play Brad?

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Best Quote I've Heard All Day
I remember reading that scientists once believed the universe was made of hydrogen, because it was the most plentiful ingredient found. If that theory holds any truth, then I believe it to be made of stupidity.--Frank Zappa

Don't go where the huskies go...

Belated KnitGnus
:: Liz Maryland Hiraldo is up for a Bloggy for her super blog, House Arrest aka Crafty Bitch. Go vote.

:: Red Lipstick's 2002 Hat Contest. Funky but chic. Web site created by the inimitable Liz. Lots o' funkadelic fun, kids.

Rhetorical But Necessary Knitting Musings
I have never knit the same sweater twice, except for the Wonderful Wallaby for les kids, which was a bore and a PITA but beloved by fambly members.

I despise intarsia.

I definitely want to enter RedLipstick's hat contest next year.

Enough of this drivel. Basta. Time to get back to the Oceania cardi. And I think I will put off knitting the WW because I simply can't bring myself to knit one. Gack. But everyone's suggestions were great. Thanks! I think I'll tell him to put a sock on it...

As Weebl sez, "Damn you, Wee Bull. You win this time."

I say, when come back, bring pie.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Best Quote I've Heard All Day
Stupidity's cause hasn't been advanced much by its many martyrs

Ignorance is truly a cardinal sin...

New Book Review
Okay, okay. So I'm a little behind my times. I plead surgery. But I have reviewed The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook finally, on the No Affiliation Knitting Reviews page. I'm getting a round tuit. So bite me.

On Willy Warmers and Some Pertinent Questions
O! The shame of it all...yes, I plan on making one, so that the motorcyclist in my life will not be cold riding hither and yon to and from work in the early fall mornings. It was his request, and I cannot deny him anything (except, perhaps, a warshcloth).

The design of said warmer is simple...but my questions are ever practical. For example, how long to make it? IF one would knit it to the, um, length that one often encounters it, the finished object would be perchance too long and not fit. So I have to presume that the wearing of said object will happen A) when I am not there and B) when it is fucking cold. Therefore, I would think that making the warmer about half-sized would be apropos.

The second question would be: How should the warmer be affixed to the beloved organ? Drawstring? Elastic in a casing? Gravity? Inquiring minds would love to know. The elastic seems to me to be an extreme choice, and might totally cut off the circulation. To hope that the warmer stays on of its own accord is not reasonable. My option would be a drawstring. Anyone?

The third question: What fiber to use? I was thinking alpaca, which is soft and warm, but it would mean hand-washing it. I don't want to use wool--even merino would be too scratchy AND it's not machine-washable. Forget cotton and silk. So maybe he'll have to hand wash it but he's not lazy so perhaps I'll go with the alpaca.

I'd say, "How handy" but maybe not here, not now.

How rare...and he'd better not ask for warshcloths.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Best Quote I've Heard All Day
I'm not a complete idiot - several parts are missing.

This quote is dedicated to a very special person...you know who you are :-)

So Don't be an Idiot!
I must remind myself not to call people idiots...unless they deserve it.

However, I will always admit when I'm incorrect...read the Comments from Thursday's entry regarding Vivian Hoxbro and my sincere mea culpa to Katherine for pointing out that Hoxbro never claimed to have invented the Domino Knitting technique. Just read what I wrote, I'm too tired to rewrite it. LOL! Insert foot in mouth...

Why Stockinette is Boring
Egad. Why did I start this Oceania cardi? Yeah. I know. Because my arm was f-ed up. Now it's better, much. Now I'm totally bored with being a little knitting machine. No challenge. No nothing. Just knit one row, purl one row, ad nauseam. I've got almost 14" done on the back and just about ready to decrease for the armholes. The charm of the Oceania's variegation has been revealed and no longer holds me sway.

And I'm snoring. I may have to drop a stitch, just to make this interesting. But I will soldier on, my motto being "Never have Unfinished Objects lying about."

And probably another week to go before I can go back to work.

Headline in the news: "Knitter Found Bored to Death in Armchair,
Coroner Blames Stockinette Stitch as Culprit."

Film at 11. How rare!

Friday, October 18, 2002

1. How many TVs do you have in your home?

2. On average, how much TV do you watch in a week?
Maybe 4 hours a week, tops.

3. Do you feel that television is bad for young children?
I think it depends upon how much TV little kids watch and what they watch. I personally find Barney offensive but I love the TeleTubbies. TV is used as a babysitter, IMO.

4. What TV shows do you absolutely HAVE to watch, and if you miss them, you're heartbroken?
None. I keep finding more and more shows that I HAVE to miss.

5. If you had the power to create your own television network, what would your line-up look like?
A news show where the newscaster gave you the news without editorializing, and then anything that was on the History Channel, Discovery Channel, etc. And my network would only be on 2 hours a day.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Best Quote I've Heard All Day
My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right. -- Ashleigh Brilliant


Stitches East 2003--Yom Kippur
Well, as Lola commented below, XRX apparently realized just how many people (and the XRX bankroll) would be affected by the Yom Kippur problem next year, so they will make adjustments to the Market schedule. Switching to AC as the venue put them in the position of having to take what weekend was available, so they took the Yom Kippur weekend. I'm figuring that I will take DM Elly for the weekend and we'll do Cape May when we aren't shopping or walking on the beach or whatever.

I don't do classes. Can't sit still for that long and frankly, I'm not interested in learning 350 new ways to cast on or how to use up my stash. The only people whose classes I would sit in on would be Lucy Neatby (if she taught) and possibly Sally Melville. The rest you can have.

Domino Knitting, My Ass
And this Domino Knitting woman, Vivian Haxbro or whatever her name is? It irritates the piss out of me that she claims to have invented this technique. Bullshit. I have a treasured copy of "Number Knitting" by Virginia Woods Bellamy, published in 1952, in which she lays out completely her technique of modular garter stitch knitting (she even patented it). This book is harder than hen's teeth to find on the used-book circuit. And the designs in it are charmingly outdated and simplistic. I'll have to scan in one of them for fun to show you.

One-Armed Fiberista
They'll have to amputate before I stop knitting. Got 50 rows done on the Oceania cardi already. With the orthopedist's OK, of course. (Well, I did immediately try to knit after surgery but once I went to Stitches and came back with the loot, there was no turning back.) So I'm happy. And actually, I was incorrect about the Oceania--it's not a true boucle, insofar as it's not looped. It's really a wavy yarn with a little mylar-ish glitz running through it. Nice to knit though. And the variegation is quite subtle so as not to make those hideous blotchies. This is a very, very plain vanilla cardi, for obvious reasons, but I'm thinking that it will need very fabulous buttons--glass buttons.

How one-handy!

Monday, October 14, 2002

Best Quote I've Heard All Day
"If everything is under control, you are going too slow." - Mario Andretti

Gentlemen, start your engines...

Stitches East 2002
Shop til ya drop. So dear daughter Corinne drove me and Elly to Valley Forge and in 2 hours, I bought some laceweight suri alpaca from Cherry Tree Hill, some of their Oceania, which is a nifty boucle in red/pink/orange, sort of sunset colors. Sock yarn up the wazoo, including more Koigu, Socka, Jawoll Cotton (this could be interesting). Another yarn bracelet. Another set of #0 dps. The Twisted Sisters book (which I will review anon), and a subscription to INKnitters that included the 6 back issues.

Not bad for a one-armed girlie, eh?

It only takes one hand to grab skein, and one hand to grab wallet.

Stitches East 2003
XRX seems to have faux-pas'd it again. Next year's SE will be held on Yom Kippur. And evidently, according to a post on KnitU, they don't particularly care, either, since they gave the poster the mondo brush-off when asked about it.

I posted to KnitU asking them to verify this and to reconsider the date, if it is indeed true. I have no doubt that it is--somehow, you just know that they aren't into thinking ahead about something that might affect many of the attendees, instructors AND vendors.

At this point, other than shopping at the Market once a year, I've totally given up on Knitter's as a bad deal all around. I'm putting my money on INKnitting for technical articles (will review in a few days when arm feels a little better) and Knitty for fun and a fresh new viewpoint. These two publications give me hope.

Saturday, October 12, 2002

OK...I'm back, typing with one hand,barely. Thanks to all for their best wishes--I'm knitting a little, but mostly zoned out. Will be at Stitches tomorrow for sure. Surgery was apparently successful but how would I know with this m-f casing on my arm?

How terribly unhandy!

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Best Quote I've Heard All Day
One of the major functions of skin is to keep people who look at you from throwing up. -- Actual exam answer

I may use this one tomorrow right before Dr. Rubman does his slice 'n' dice on my ulnar nerve...

Hasta La Vista, Babies
So tomorrow at 11:45 a.m. EDT, the aforementioned Dr. Marc Rubman, sports orthopedist extraordinaire (I hope), will do an ulnar nerve transposition on my left arm. And thereafter, arm will be bandaged, splinted and sling-ed. How rare. How unhandy.

This may be my last entry for a while, although I do hope that I will manage a word or two with my right hand. However, I will be taking some interesting drugs methinks. As Loopy says, "mean AND stoned." LOL!!!

Ever since my husband Jimmy died last January, I have not wanted to deal with hospitals, doctors, or any health-related anything. And yet, here I am. So life goes on and I do what I have to do.

This has been the worst year of my life, honestly. But there have been some bright spots nonetheless, as there always are...
My good and dear friends--Mary, AnnMarie, Mark, Loopy, Gail, Dotti, Susan, Bob, Willy, Warren, Johnny B, the whole TCI gang and the Ops Team especially
My family--Elly, Sissyboo Schwester Karen, Bruder Rich, the Sisty Uglers Jenn and Corinne, Lizzybug, Ian
This blog, which lets me write out my daffiness and lets me be me
Achim, whom I miss right now
My knitting and designing
My writing
My job

Gotta count your blessings, you know? Can't always be cynical and abrasive...

End of KC Being Sentimental and Sloppy

Meeting Annie
But I did have a great time this afternoon after work at Barnes & Noble, meeting Annie Modesitt, whose knitblog Modeknit Musings I always read. It's good to meet local knitters, especially ones who get you and vicey-versy. And Annie swore to me that she wouldn't tell a soul that I'm actually a nice person.

Don't believe it.

See you all at the Stitches East Market on Sunday! I will be there, by God. Look for the left arm in sling.

Monday, October 07, 2002

Best Quote I've Heard All Day
OK, so what's the speed of dark?

It's all about how fast...or is it?

Getting Up to Speed, Diva-Style
The self-proclaimed Knitting Diva is at it again. (Stop me, kids, I'm on a roll!) Hoping to make The Guinness Book of World Records with her lightning-fast crochet. Dethroned the poor Brit who held the record yesterday at the NYC Knit-In.

What wid dis?

This is something to be proud of?

It seems to me that that one is proud of being the winner of a marathon, a driver of the fastest Formula 1 car, a Top Gun who goes Mach 5...pushing the envelope of human endurance, now that's an accomplishment.

Crocheting faster than anyone? Not.

However, the Book is filled with stupid "fastest feats," to wit:
:: The fastest yodel was 22 tones (15 falsetto) in one second on February 9, 1992, by Thomas Scholl of Munich, Germany.

::Dean Gould, of Felixstowe, Suffolk, England, picked 50 shells (with a straight pin) in 1 minute, 22.34 seconds at Great Eastern \Square, Felixstowe.

::Dustin Phillips of Topeka, Los Angeles, California, USA drank 91% of a 400-g (14-oz) bottle of tomato ketchup through a 0.6-cm (0.25-in) straw in a world record time of 33 seconds on September 23, 1999.

I would say that fastest crocheter kinda ranks with these guys. But then it's all about the PR and the ego, right? Not about doing anything of lasting value, like writing a useful knitting book either? No, not that either.

How rare! And how incredibly stultifying.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

word Smartie!

How Are You Smart?

This is good Saturday-screwing-around-the-web-fun...try it. And methinks mine came out about right. Thanks to Rebecca, a new knitblogger, for this link.
Best Quote I Heard All Day
Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.

And my clock is ticking...5 days til surgery.

Sock Hop
I'm crunching away, trying to get at least one redesigned Leaves of Grass sock finished and photographed for the Freebie page before my arm gets splinted. I find most greens, with the exception of emerald green, depressing shades to work with, and this green that I'm using is no exception.

But given my mood the past few days, almost anything bums me out. What fresh hell is this? I ask myself repeatedly.

However, the pattern for the L of G is one that looks like overlapping leaves...a very easy 8-round repeat but with some interestingly executed mirrored decreases and strategically placed yo's that keeps me intrigued. And it wouldn't have looked very leafy if I'd done it in cerise. Let the punishment fit the crime. But I really do dislike this shade of green...

Stitches East
I think the only reason I am forcing my child to drive me to Valley Forge next Sunday, a scant 3 days after surgery, is that I need a bunch of stuff and I don't want to mail order it and pay shipping. My shopping list? Another yarn bracelet, some sock yarn for Achim because I want to make him some blue socks with "red dots" as a surprise, more O-ring markers, extra sets of #0 and #1 bamboo dps because you can never have too many sets, and perhaps some more Koigu. And whatever else knocks my handknitted socks off.

I think I may take a trip to the LYS today and order the Jamieson yarn for the Sandness Fair Isle pullover. I'm ever optimistic that I will be knitting up a storm sooner than I think.

KnitBlog Bopping
I was reading Annie Modesitt's blog, Modeknit Musings, last night, in an effort to play catch-up with everyone's scribblings, and thoroughly enjoyed her Life with Martha comments. As I had always suspected, The Girl From N.U.T.L.E.Y. is a stone bitch. How rare! May Martha grow large and blubbery on the fine starch-laden cuisine of the NY Upstate Women's Correctional Facility.

Then I moved on to my friend Jen Tocker of Yarnaholic Confessions fame. I think Jen hit the nail on the head with her observations of the knitting magazines and their underwhelming effort to attract "The New Knitter." How The New Knitter will improve their skills through these magazines and get past "New" is beyond me. As I commented on Jen's blog, if I had not had access to Mon Tricot when I was 22 and through that magazine, realized that there was more to knitting than stockinette, I would have never been challenged to increase my skills. And being the Teutonic Twit that I am, I always try to learn everything and be the best at whatever I do.

I fear that the knit mags are incubating a whole new breed of KnitDweebs, knitting pod people who emerge from their cocoons that hang above the yarn section in every Michael's across the land and who will descend upon the knitting multi-verse like flies on shit. Egad.

How handy! How obtuse! And yes...how rare!

Friday, October 04, 2002

And what a rainy, crummy day it is too...but I get to leave work at noon for my pre-op tests. So that's a good thing.

1. What size shoe do you wear?
Oh, I have dem big foots. Size 10.

2. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I have no idea--20, maybe?

3. What type of shoe do you prefer (boots, sneakers, pumps, etc.)?
I love boots and heels...my preference depends upon what I'm wearing. If I'm at work, I like heels. If I'm hanging out, boots or Birks. I do wear sneakers (am wearing my old beat-up Nikes as I type this) and I have a new pair of NB cross-trainers for my work-outs but they're not my favorite footwear.

4. Describe your favorite pair of shoes. Why are they your favorite?
I guess my favorite pair are my lace-up boots because they look good with either jeans or a funky skirt. But I'm really liking the new pair of 3" heeled boot-shoes that I just bought.

5. What's the most you've spent on one pair of shoes?
Probably $125. But that was years ago. Now I haunt PayLess and Marty's. But I will only buy the real Birkenstocks, not the knock-offs. So I'm due for a new pair shortly and that'll be about $95.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Sure, God created man before woman...
but then you always make a rough draft before The Final Masterpiece.

As we all know too well...don't we?

Martha Incartha-rated
If any of you were on the KnitList in 1997, when it was on the U of MN server (O, those were the days!), you may remember that I did a series of posts razzing Martha Stewart and proclaiming myself the Anti-Martha. Of course, there were the Martha devotees that sent me incredibly ill-written incendiary e-mails, which I ignored. But by and large, Martha was (and continues to be) an irritant in many serious craftspeople's collective eyes.

If I had a staff as large as she does, I too could perhaps have my own multi-billion-dollar empire. After all, when Martha wants to knit, she sends for Melanie Falick, places all the Stewartian nephews and nieces at her feet, and lets Melanie do the talking and knitting.

Remember that segment? Like Martha knits. Sure she does.

I admit to watching her sporadically. I adore watching people on TV tell me that I can whip up a bouillabaise for company and serve it my Limoges tureen.

And in my dreams...and perhaps t'will soon become reality...I see Martha up before the judge, who metes out the appropriate punishment for Martha's, um, slightly Byzantine stock selling antics. I see Martha settling into her suite at the NY Upstate Correctional Center for Women, straightening out the pale yellow-green gingham sheets on her bunk, while Yolanda above her reads Biker Babes magazine. I see Martha getting time off for good behavior because she's taught all the homegirls how to make simple but elegant chamberpots for their "rooms" by decoupaging milk cartons with left-over candy wrappers.

Martha will have a tough time setting 1500 places without fine Sheffield knives...but I'm sure that she'll be able to get enough tie-dyed napkins cranked out in time for Christmas 2015.

I can't wait.

How rare!

Monday, September 30, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of.

For the physicist in all of us...

And How Was Your Weekend, Marilyn?
The song that my friends were singing today. Just fabulous. And to quote the person with whom I shared it: "Just two words. Shut. Up."

Didn't The Crystals sing "He's So Fine"?

Enough said.

Overheard in the Coffee Room at The Chubb Institute at 3 p.m.
Warren, my Apps developer and adopted son
John, Apps Project Leader and well-known IT curmudgeon
Me, drinking my 12th cup of Columbian Supremo

The Joke:
Warren: Hey Mar, know what I did this weekend?
Me (totally unaware of set-up): God, who knows? Drank a quart of vodka? What?
Warren: I cleaned out my closet.
Me: Big fucking deal. And?
John (sotto voce): God knows what he found.
Warren: I found moth balls. Know what moth balls smell like?
Me: Of course, idiot.
Warren: How'd you get their tiny legs apart?

Well, I thought it was funny, after I cleaned up the ensuing coffee spew that took the fast track from my mouth.

You Know He Gets You If:
You're sitting on his couch knitting a sock and he's reading the manual to his new Yamaha bike and he looks up at you and says, "Shut up. I'm counting."

Knitty Up and Running
Read it. Knit it. Support Amy. Because I said so. And because it has a "Take no prisoners" attitude. And because Knitter's stinks.

Hand Jive
In short, surgery for ulnar neuropathy on October 10. Left arm totally immobilized in some sort of Spanish Inquisition splint for 2 weeks. No knitting, no driving, no working, no computing. Then 2 more weeks of recouping by wearing splint MOST of the time.

I will embroider if I can attach hoop to splint in some way. This is an engineering project of the highest order.

How rare! And how left handy!

I am so pissed. But the choices are nil and none.


Friday Five! And boy, it's been a long, long week.

1. What are your favorite ways to relax and unwind?
Knitting and listening to music and taking a bath in my whirlpool tub with scented candles lit and my Discman plugged into my head.

2. What do you do the moment you get home from work/school/errands?
Take my shoes off...and sometimes my bra.

3. What are your favorite aromatherapeutic smells?

Rose, gardenia, lavender

4. Do you feel more relaxed with a group of friends or hanging out by yourself?
Definitely with a group of friends! That's why I love to go to work, even though we bust our asses. But I enjoy being with my friends any time.

5. What is something that you feel is relaxing but most people don't?
Playing with my pet tiger .

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the
bodies of those I had to kill because they pissed me off.

My new credo for work...

Ah, corporate America!

OK, now I must stand up and fight for my position as possibly the crankiest knitter on the internet. In Sunday's Comments, Joan remarked that "You're getting altogether too pleasant and friendly. When I come to your page I want to see a little sarcasm, disdain, yes, curmudgeonliness. What's going on?
In love?"

Yes. BUT. I haven't lost my edge, despite what Joan may think. In fact, Achim doesn't like idiots either. And he deals with them all the time. So we make a perfect couple, OK? So bite me.

That make you happy? Good. So shut up.

A Typical Self-Serving Post from a Self-Proclaimed Knitting Diva on a Self-Indulgent Magazine's Mail List
Yoo Hoo Knitterati Glitterati!! It's moi!
Just rushing into my knit atelier to write you all after horrific hours creating fabulous knitted and crocheted samples for many famous 7th Avenue designers! Let me just drop a few names so that you are incredibly impressed with my cachet!! One of the designers I have honored with my unbelievable talents and whose designs you will see shortly on the K-Mart runways everywhere is the fabulous Kathy Lee Gifford, that doyenne of bon marche couture! If you see that little shortie housecoat with the matching metallic oversized panties, you'll know who crocheted it! Big is beautiful! (I, of course, wear a size 2 but I feel SUCH simpatico for our larger sisters!)

To answer BigTittyKnitty's question on altering the fanciful but functional hemp pasties with the 12-inch long hospital bandage tassels from my latest book, "Sox in the City and Other Tales," I can only tell you to MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE the circumference of that aureole!!! I can't stress that enough!!!!!! If you have more than a 6-inch circumference, I STRONGLY suggest that you add at least 300 more stitches in order to alter the pattern! And BE SURE to increase evenly!! Wish I had more time or interest to tell you how to do that, but I must RUN, RUN, RUN!!!!

I have Rosie O'Donnell coming any minute to talk about her new line of crocheted sweatpants. I KNOW she'll love the sample I knitted using a combination of duct tape and copper wire. What a hoot! And it will be just FABULOSO!!!

LCNY (I borrowed that from my dear, dear friend Donna Karan. Think she'll mind?)

Monday, September 23, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action." --Johann von Goethe

How rare! And how true!

And I continue my fight for truth, justice and against the American way of not paying attention to anything half the time.

Wakey, Wakey
And so I dozed off for an hour and a half waiting for Achim to call me back. And so he did. And now I am wide awake. Blogward! (With no apologies whatsoever to Meg S.)

Alice Starmore Redux
For lo unto 2 years, this Grand Avenue vest has been festering in my tapestry knitting bag (not to be confused with the 823 other knitting bags that I own). It's about 32 rounds short of body completion. And then, of course, there is the year's worth of finishing ahead of me. Gack. But having almost completed a pair of socks and having done nothing much bigger since my left hand became 40% numb, I decided to get moving and finish the damned thing. And of course, having a circular needle row counter reminded me I was on Row 7 of the chart...except I have no idea where I am vis a vis the neck decreases.


Now I'll have to figure THAT out.

Knitting Engineering
It occurred to me at some point tonight, I don't know when, that I am terribly attracted to engineer-types. My late husband Jimmy was a fine mechanical engineer and all-around superlative logical thinker. My current interest is also an engineer. I've worked with tons of engineers during my stint as a technical writer and befriended most of them, male and female.

As a child, I was considered very creative by my family because I wrote poetry and short stories from the age of 8. But once I found knitting, I realized that it was the very symmetry, the logic, and the geometry of knitting (plus crafting something from nothing) that appealed to my right brain (or is it the left? I forget which is creative, which is logical).

There's nothing more exciting to me than working out design concepts, working out the pitfalls ahead of time, developing the directions and then writing the whole mess out. And then executing my design plan. I've learned a lot about processes and procedures from doing this. It's why I write P&P for a living and it's a direct result of my years doing directions of all sorts, from technical manuals for solenoid valves for the Navy to knitting directions to ISO stuff.

I'd druther be a knitting design engineer than almost anything.

Who says technical can't be creative? I don't believe the two are mutually exclusive at all.

And marrying texture, color, and fiber with the logic of knitting is my idea of contentment and soothes my left brain-right brain.

How handy!

Saturday, September 21, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Artificial Intelligence usually beats real stupidity.

Robodopes and KnitDweebs unite!

Latest Pet Peeves Courtesy of KnitDweebs
Why oh why cannot knitters spell the word "gauge" correctly? If I see "guage" one more time, I swear I'm going to have the offender's tiny little brain with some fava beans and a fine Chianti.

And what wid this latest thread on KnitU vis a vis corrugated ribbing that curls? Steam it, morons! It's not like regular ribbing. It doesn't pull in. It CAN be steamed. Or as Loopy suggests, "a cable cast-on with a row of knit is FAR easier than figuring out Meg's
German-Twisted-Up-Your-Ass-And-Around-Your Kneecaps cast on--which may or may not stop curling!"

Too true. And so friggin' rare!

Leaves of Grass socks
Anyone remember these lace socks that I designed for the 1997 KnitList Christmas Gifts? Well, I'm redoing them in a different yarn, since the original is discontinued and the pattern will be available on the Freebie page anon...or when I get one knitted.

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Lately, I seem to have stopped doing the knitting/TV watching combo altogether and now knit listening to either the stereo or the CD player. Here's what I've been knitting to lately:

The Rising, Springsteen--One of the best he's done in a long time. Although "Jersey Girl" is still one of my favorite songs, I must admit that "Lonesome Days" immediately became one song that will remain in my heart. "It's alright, it's alright, it's alright, yeah!" Comforting, that.

La Traviata--Nothing like a dying prostitute and solid Puccini.

Die Zauberflote--Because it's arguably the best opera Mozart wrote. And it's German, nicht war? Danke. Und bite me for being a Teuton.

Road Tested, Bonnie Raitt--I have listened to this CD at least a thousand times and never get tired of it. Ever.

Stevie Ray Vaughn Live at Carnegie Hall--The late SRV was the best Texas has ever offered. And with Double Trouble, he cooks live.

And then there's all the '60s and '70s stuff that I love, plus Talking Heads, Blues Traveller, Dave Matthews Band, Queen, Aerosmith now and then, The Who, now and then, Little Feat, and a plethora of other music.

But I always wanted to ask Keith Richards WTF he was saying at any given time...

How rare indeed!

How unintelligible!

Friday, September 20, 2002

This week's questions are so perfect! That's because I have a fine romance developing with Achim, the German engineer. I know, you all are tired of hearing about my Date-zillas. But this one's the real thing. Anyway, here goes this Friday's bunch...I need to reset the blog clock, cause it's almost 12:40 a.m., not 11:40. That's Friday in my book. Damn you Wee Bull, you win again! (see Weebl n Bob if you don't get that.)

1. Would you say that you're good at keeping in touch with people?
Yes, my friends are so important to me. I "talk" to Loopy almost every day via e-mail, even though I live in NJ and she lives in the Midwest. and we've been friends for how long, Loop? Since 1997, I think. Lately I've been writing and really talking live to Achim every day, because he travels a lot for work and is in Edmonton right now. I talk to my dear friend, Gail, about once a week. And to Bob (lo, Bob! He reads my blog but won't put a comment in. Chicken shit.) and Willy and Dotti and a bunch of other people that I don't see regularly but talk to/e-mail.

2. Which communication method do you usually prefer/use: e-mail, telephone, snail mail, blog comments, or meeting in person? Why?
I always prefer up close and personal. But that's not always possible, especially with my friends who live or work out of state. I'm better live, I think, and so are they. But e-mail is a close second.

3. Do you have an instant messenger program? How many? Why/why not? How often do you use it?
I have AIM, my screen name is Fiberista (if anyone wants to chat, I usually have it on in the evening when I'm working on the blog). I chat with my sister often, even though she is only 20 minutes away--saves a phone call. And I was chatting with Achim last weekend for 3 hours!!! New AIM record. I have it on every day, use it frequently.

4. Do most of your close friends live nearby or far away?
Most of them are in the NY-NJ-PA area, with the exception of Loopy and Dotti.

5. Are you an "out of sight, out of mind" person, or do you believe that "distance makes the heart grow fonder"?
Distance definitely makes the heart grow fonder!! And I never forget people, no matter near or far.

Hot Damn, The Week's Almost Over!
So I almost wrecked my car yesterday--my fault, pulled out of my parking slot at work and hit some guy. God knows where my head was at, I never saw him til the big crunchola. No serious damage to people or cars. But it took the Parsippany cops an hour to get there, so what did I do? Right. I sat in the car and knit.

This has been another busy week, with things piling up at work like flies on shit. But I've managed to keep knitting at lunch. Maybe more time to do the blog this weekend. Get hair cut on Sat. a.m., go see Mama on Sunday. Oh and go to the spine specialist tomorrow. Maybe he can do something about this herniated disk, finally. I hear traction works well. And I'm still knitting, even though my pinkie and ring finger are still numb.

How handy!

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

Bill Gates is living testimony to that...

Speaking of Research
Do visit my friend Jennifer Tocker's blog, Yarnaholic Confessions, and read Jen's concerns about the article on copyright in the latest issue of Cast On versus her Copyright FAQ. If you have this issue, compare it to Jen's FAQ. While I'm not sure that this qualifies as a case of out-and-out plagiarism, the article clearly lifted a hefty amount of material and formatting from the FAQ. A bit ironic, given the topic.

Having been an editor and a writer still, I find this situation quite dismaying. Any writer worth a damn knows that one source does not research make. I hope Helene Rush, the editor of Cast On, thinks twice about buying another article from this author. I know that I wouldn't. And I sure as shit would tell the author why.

Cast On has a lot of potential under Helene's editorship. Until recently, many knitters, I among them, felt that the magazine was one of the worst knitting mags around. I'd hate to see its credibility take another nose-dive.

Oh Behave, Baby!
OK, I need a divertisement, knitting-wise. Work is a mere interlude between those moments of knitting that I manage to steal. Would that I had a life! But I'm thinking that as long as I can manage only small needles, I should restart the Pacific Northwest shawl.

Now call me a dim bulb, but when I first started this last year, I decided to do it in black laceweight mohair. Dumb, dumber, dumbest. Never mind that black is the chosen non-color of the terminally hip...and never mind that I wear a lot of black because it's always appropriate whatever the social engagement. Never mind that my eyesight is so lousy, I can't remember when I didn't wear glasses. Never mind that I'm a Taurus...although what that has to do with the price of shit in Shanghai, I don't know.

Suffice it to say that black was a mistake...and led to many onerous, lacy, yarn-overed problems. Shagadelic.

But I do have some lovely cranberry laceweight merino.

If I have some peace and quiet around here, like maybe Saturday, this could be the next angst-project. I do love a good complex lace project to cleanse the knitting palate.

So it is written, so it shall be done. Maybe.

Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles
Time to get my German up and running. I have 3 knitting books in German, the Uberlieferte Strickmuster aus dem steirischen Ennstal series that I bought at Stitches a million years ago. These three books are a compendia of traditional Bavarian/Austrian type traveling stitch patterns and are nicely, though unconventionally, charted out. (According to Richard Rutt, Aran knitting evolved from these traveling stitch patterns--if you don't have his book, he managed to debunk the Aran legend. This is a book well worth reading, although I believe it is now out of print.) I may want to do a traditional short jacket one of these days.

And there's always the cute German engineer, too. Ich bin ein gutes Deutsches madchen! Ja!

How handy!

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
God is dead. --Nietzsche
Nietzsche is dead. --God

For the intellectuals among us...anyone?

New Stuff on da Blog
A scan of one of the Traveling Wilburys socks that I am working in Regia Stretch Color is up on the Freebies page. Note that the 2/2 ribbing really pulls in. It's why I like this design. I also adjusted the Acrobat .pdf files so that you may now save the file as well as print it out.

The Splendiferous Snotrag is done--and here it is.

Here's how to make it. Not that you'd want to make it...but God only knows who reads this shit. One strand of pink eyelash and one strand of purple all-purpose worsted together, cast on 24 sts, work 4 rows garter st, then continuing with the first and last 4 sts in garter, work in st st, placing cheesy yarn-overs wherever. When long enough...or you're sick of looking at it, work final 3 rows in garter, bind off in garter. Then felt it, if you wish. Give as present to the office bitch.

Yeah. I know. It's a swatch. But you could blow your nose into it...that's about what it's worth. So bite me.

Koigu THIS!
So. OK. I have these 2 skeins of Koigu earmarked for either a pair of Fiesta Feet or Liz Clouthier's Sideways Socks. And with the 2nd Wilbury sock cuff finished and ready for the heel, of course I have a wandering eye. Only the fact that I have to drag out my ballwinder and put the Koigu on my swift stops me from starting another pair of socks.

And I should be working on my own designs, no?

I am feeling distinctly lazy this morning. It may be a good day to do some spinning. Or finish my laundry. Or both.

Well, isn't that what YOU think when you see this acronym?

I always have.

How Handy! How Rare!
Not counting needles, counters, markers, and other instruments of mass destruction, my very favorite knitting tool/gadget/thingie of late has to be my yarn bracelet.

No, I most emphatically do not walk and knit at the same time. No more than I eat and knit, knit while having sex, knit during business meetings, etc. I know where to draw the line.

However, I do like to keep the skein of yarn at hand rather than feeding my knitting from a bag. I find that the yarn bracelet handles a ball of sock yarn just fine and I wish they made the shank longer so it could accommodate larger skeins. Of course, it would be useless if doing color work, unless you had two, one on each wrist.

What's your favorite gadget and why?

Tell me. And make sure it has some use, OK? I don't care about stupid teddy bear point protectors or designer needles. Those are SO stupid, I can't figure out why people waste their money on them. Unless, of course, they are KnitDweebs who whip out their wallets at the mere mention of knitting.

Put a picture of a skein of yarn on a plastic garbage bag, charge $45.99 and call it a designer knitting bag and they'll buy it. They'll buy two.

Spare me.

Saturday, September 14, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
The truth does not set you free, it just makes everyone irritable.

That's true...

Long, Long, Long Week
Boy, I haven't had one minute to write this week, let alone knit. Work keeps getting in the way. Heh. Well, they DO give me money on a bi-monthly basis, so I suppose I should help them out. But here I am, bloodied but unbowed.

Adventures In Fiberland
And like Alice, I keep saying, "Curiouser and curiouser."

But I refuse to learn to tat. Anything else is fair game.

So far, I can knit, spin, sew, embroider, quilt...and am a poor needlepointer because my stitches look like shit. Weaving doesn't interest me at this point in my needling career.

Still trudging along on the second Wilbury sock. The hand situation is really becoming a hardship. Thank God I'm seeing the spine guy on Thursday because I can barely use my left hand now. So to remedy my inability to either hit the "A" key accurately when typing or to hold more than a #1 needle, I decided to go down to our local stitching emporium to gather up materials for a fairly complicated counted-cross stitch sample. Embroidery needle is manipulated by right hand and I have to have something challenging to do.

No, this ain't no stinkin' Michaels 14-count Aida project, either.

And of course, the woman in the shop (not the owner, I found out) is a novice knitter. So we spent a fine hour talking knitting and embroidery--very satisfying. I solved her problems, she solved mine. And I discovered that embroiderers also have stashes. Although what kind of stash one could have, given that thread is comparatively cheap, I dunno. Thousands of skeins of DMC floss?

I'm still dying to get the yarn for the Fair Isle sweater I love from the Jamieson book, the Sandness. Waiting for Stitches so I can look at the colors in person. Hopefully, after perhaps some traction for my neck, I will be able to knit a little better.

Date-zilla--Never Again!
After repeating the tale of Date-zilla to my friend Gail (who didn't think it was SO bad--what does she know?), I've decided that if they don't work, I am not going to be so polite. It's going to be, "Sorry but no chemistry." Already done that once since Date-zilla. Felt kinda bad but I would have felt worse if I had let the situation progress to a date.

I've actually talked to a guy online who may have potential. He's German, my age, has a motorcycle, same interests as I have (sans knitting) and is seriously attractive. Works as an engineer for Philips. My boss Mark maintains that I need to hook up with a guy who's technical or it's no good. I'm a technical kind of woman, myself.

I think he's right.

Film at 11...this guy Hans-Joachim (Achim for short) may fly. I'd enjoy teaching him idiomatic English...heh heh.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

Quotes Taking Sunday Off
But if you want a good laugh, click here for The Dialectizer. Enter any URL and it will change the page's language into Redneck, Cockney, Pig Latin, The Swedish Chef...even Elmer Fudd.

I did this page in Jive. And peed in my pants. How handy!

Sundy, Sundy
One Wilbury sock done in Regia Stretch Color but I'm too lazy to scan it and put it up. Bite me.

Went to Walmart's. Saw many gap-toothed double-wide denizens. Bought new ironing board to replace the heirloom that Ma gave me 30 years ago (it's been in the family since I was 7, which makes it, um, 45 years old).

Went home and cast on for Sock #2.

Gack. This is no life for a happenin' girl. Too rare. zzzzzzzzzzzz More tomorrow when I leave my comatose state and see the white light.

Saturday, September 07, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?·

And the real Ken commited suicide. Little wonder...

Shit to Knit
I promised to let you know the winner. It would seem to be Sirdar as a brand and Snowflake as a specific yarn. I've never worked with either...and have no burning desire to anyways.

Years ago, I knit sweaters for a designer in NYC, who in turn sold them to Henri Bendel. It was truly an awful experience. The sweaters were made of a Berrocco boucle whose name escapes me now, as does the designer's. She lived on East 76th St. right off 5th Ave. The designer insisted that the garment be knit on 3s, despite the fact that the yarn demanded--nay, begged for--at least 7s. The resulting fabric was like unto Brillo, truly. And the finished sweaters commanded a nice $300 a pop.

I got a dollar-three-eighty for my armbreaking efforts. Poverty reared its ugly head...and two little girls needed extra stuff. What can I say?

The Never-ending Dating Saga of the Merry Widder
I hope this amuses you as much as it amuses me. Last Wedesday I get a phone message from my old boss telling me that a bunch of former employees were getting together at a local dive on Thursday and would I be coming? Now, my ex-boss is a wonderful guy--I adored working for him and we have kept in touch since I left the company 3 years ago. In a sidebar, my late husband and I both worked for him doing documentation, so XBoss knew Jim as well. We'd often see XBoss at these impromptu former employee gatherings. But I had not seen XBoss since Jim's memorial service the beginning of February...and he hadn't seen me almost 70 pounds lighter and a blonde, to boot.

So I go...and wouldn't you know it? XBoss (who I always secretly thought was tres hot) bought me wine and Jagermeister shots, talked to me almost exclusively for 4 hours...and asked me to go to a local jazz club next Thursday. Damn. I'm in NYC on business all that day and evening. But we're going to have lunch and he's happy to give me a raincheck on the jazz. After Date-zilla, I was going to swear off men for a while. But XBoss and I have always been tight...and hmmm...this could be something.

Will I?

Should I?

Hell, yes! Finally, a guy I can relate to...and relate with.

How rare! And in my own backyard, too.

Friday, September 06, 2002

Short week...but thank God etc.

1. What is your biggest pet peeve? Why?
I can't deal with indecision, either in myself or in others. I guess it's because I'm an action kinda woman. See it, analyze it, get it done.

2. What irritating habits do you have?
Well, none of us have any irritating habits, do we? LOL! That said, I tend to interrupt people and I'm sure that's irritating. But I think I do that because my mind is always 40 miles ahead of the conversation.

3. Have you tried to change the irritating habits or just let them be?
Oh sure. I spend every single business meeting I go to (and God knows, that's enough) making sure I keep my mouth shut until the other person has finished. I'm not sure that I do this so much with my friends and my family...but then, I don't have to think when I'm with them.

4. What grosses you out more than anything else? Why?
Steven Segal movies. Because the noted thespian shouldn't be allowed into a movie theater, let alone on the screen. But actually, I think it's guys spitting. I saw one guy on I80 the other day spray a lunger out his window going 70 mph.

5. What one thing can you never see yourself doing that other people do?
Scratching my ass in public? I don't know. Picking my teeth with a pocketknife? Doesn't it seem that it's men who do these things?

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Make it idiot-proof and someone will make a better idiot.

If you work in IT, you know this to be so...today's quote is dedicated to my favorite Applications guys at work, Warren and Johnny B.

KC on TV
That's right...my 15 minutes are finally here. Cablevision is interviewing me and another Chubb Institute employee tomorrow about the Unity Quilt project that we helped to run in cooperation with the Morris County, NJ, Arts Council. The two quilts are made of squares decorated by our employees and their children to remember and reflect on the events of 9/11, and will be given to victims' families. For those of you who have Cablevision in the NY-NJ metro area, I understand that this is to be broadcast on September 12.

All curmudgeonliness aside, I can't remember being involved in any project that meant as much to me as this one did.

Splendiferous Snotrag and Other Stupid Knitting Tricks
I've been threatening to do my ingeniously conceived answer to the warshcloth knitting phenomenon since I started this blog and now it is about to become reality...with an extra ball of Fur Luxe made by our Italian pals at Baruffa. I'm thinking, cheesy holes in furry, lurexy yarn does it for me. Everyone will be just whipping this baby out of their purses to wipe their schnozzes in style. Pattern to come...dare to be bold.

I do so love Stupid Knitting Tricks (sorry, Dave, but you ain't got nothing on these). My favorite of late has been to extricate myself from my idiotic mistakes made on some double moss caused by my interminable lack of focus on what I am doing. ADD? No, just a case of what my mother always accused me of being...careless. So I carefully unpicked half a row of knitted-when-they-should-have-been-purled sts and vicey versy...16 total...reworking them as I unpicked. Now, you ask yourself, why didn't she just rip out the stitches and then rework them in one swell foop? Because A) it was 11:30 p.m. and I love to torture myself or B) I enjoy doing knitting acrobatics for the sheer delight of it? I don't know. I'm still wondering why I did this. Anyone got some good Stupid Knitting Tricks to share? I can't promise you a Big Ass ham...or a refreshing beverage...or even a sycophantic Paul Schafer for a good trick.

No Runs, One Error...
There's a school of thought that says, "Handmade items were meant to have mistakes...it gives them their charm." Bullshit.

There's nothing charming about mistakes in knitting, especially when they appear on the cover of the latest Vogue Knitting. There is a major omission in the directions of a design element that is clearly seen in the cover sweater. First person who finds it, wins. Not as glaring as the incorrectly crossed cable of the other grossly screwed-up cover sweater--was that last year? But a good one nonetheless. This is better than looking for 10 frigging little cartoon-y dragons.

As my friend Pat always says, "If you want it in the worst way, that's generally how you'll get it."

How rare! A maxim for our times.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Never miss a good chance to shut up.

Hmmmm...get me to a nunnery? Nah...they don't invite guys, either.

Ubermeister Stricknung or Das Needleneiblungleid
My knitting life is taking on all the sturm und drang of an endless Wagner opus. I can't seem to deal with anything past this Regia Stretch sock lately. I must be losing it. I have 1,085 potential projects in mind but all I can manage is a pair of socks. Sheesh. And the Grand Ave. vest is 32 rounds short of being "finished"...well, with a Starmore, finishing the main body is actually just the beginning. There's finishing AND there's finishing. Then there's the Pickpocket Tunic from last year's Jamieson's book. I guess just having two major knitting works-in-progress is not bad, considering I've heard of people having 40 or more. But there's more...

There is the 2-year spinning odyssey...3 pounds of merino/silk/angora, 2 bobbins spun. Feh. I love to spin but just don't seem to get to it enough.

I wish I could find the charm in knitting with bulky/super bulky stuff. Maybe then I'd actually accumulate a vast pile of fat sweaters that made me look like Ms. Michelin.

And why am I suddenly looking at 32-count cross-stitch charts for samplers that I've had in my collection for years? Is it something to do with the Grand Opening special at the new Michael's? 6 skeins of DMC floss for a buck? And my quilting project...templates made, fabric washed, that's it.

I feel an attack of startitis coming on. Someone stop me. Please. Before I needlework myself into oblivion.

Get back, Jojo. Get back to where you once belonged. Or some such shit.

Sunday, September 01, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes."

Shatner naked. What an unbearable concept...

Isn't amazing how the word FREE attracts? Now you can print out my Traveling Wilburys sock pattern, along with other junk I may throw onto this page. Use at your own risk. I don't want any whiny e-mails.

Saturday, August 31, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

And the gene pool on I80 today needed a poolboy...with an Uzi.

All Good Codeheads Close the Tag
I had nothing better to do today at the lake than fiddle around with a little prototype Knitbloggers sock...not warm enough to go swimming, just enough sun to maintain tan.

Btw, the <> design in the sock is an html tag. If you do any web design/dev, that means something. If you don't, don't ask. It's a whole 'nother language...not unlike ssk and k2tog.

Oh yeah, I did a review of the new Jamieson book today too.

So I went out to dinner the other night with some friends who dragged along the "Available Man" for me. Why do they feel like they need to do this?...oh boy, was this guy a Primo Bore-o-rama...and clearly was trying to, um, make it with me. Number One, he had pig eyes. I kept thinking of Green Acres every time I looked at him...what was the pig's name? (oh right, Arnold.) Two, he kept telling me how beautiful I am (talk about laying it on with a trowel), how beautiful my eyes are, tried to hold my hand across the table (I moved it at the speed of light), told me about his mail folding equipment he has at home (!???), and never let me get more than a word or two in between his monologue on how he saved some woman at work's kid from a life of prostitution and drugs by sending her to a Costa Rican halfway house run by Mormons...and how he did the K of C newsletter for free (explains the mail folding equipment).

I'm not making this up!!! You can't make this shit up! And here's the kicker...he told me he was looking for a woman who would greet him with dinner on the candle-lit table and classical music playing in the background. So I said, "Well, I guess my Led Zep albums wouldn't cut it, eh?"

Never stopped him...tried to put his arm around me as we were all leaving the restaurant. Talk about the New Jersey Two-Step! Man, I moved it.

Thank God he doesn't have my phone number. If any "friend" gives it to him, they are dead meat. He is living proof that all the AV nerds you avoided in high school are alive...and are single. Little wonder.

Regia Stretch Color
This stuff is great. I posted same on the Socknitters list today...one of my rare cameos on any list. But I've been much impressed by the sproinginess of this yarn. Making a pair of Traveling Wilbury socks with it. I'm going to put that up as a freebie pattern on the blog...but not tonight. It's getting increasingly more difficult to type...and knit, I hate to say. So with that, it's back to e-mail and maybe some minor knitting before Saturday Night Live.

How rare! Frozen fingers...is it a prerequisite that one must wait 3 weeks to see a specialist? Gack.