Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city. --George Burns

Well, it's not large--there are, at last count, 25 of us, which includes two wives and one husband who married in. The Meyers, the Robertses. the Petersons, the Roths. And the two Carsten girls, Eleanor and Nancy, from whence all of this goodness emanated.

It's been seven years since all of us were in one place at one time. But this weekend, the sibs and I took Mammy up to Connecticut to see her sister, my wonderful Aunt Nan, and we got to see two of the cousins, Carole and Mark.

Carole definitely displayed the fine family trait of snarkiness with some choice comments. If she knit, she could do me one better in knitsnark. I gave her the URL for the blog. Now, if she reads it, she'll find out just how snotty her cuz is.

Here are the ladies and the bro, on a lovely May Saturday in Connecticut.

From left: Ma, Rich, Karen, Nan, and Carole

Sherman's March
I've never bothered to do toe-up socks. Why? Because I have my Formula 1 sock pattern that fits nicely and that I have memorized. But having finished one pair on Sunday, I decided to muck around with a toe-up to see what all the fuss is about.

First, there was the Sock Wizard-generated pattern. The short-rowing in the Sock Wizard is wrapped, so I decided to give that a shot with some of Carol's wonderful merino sock yarn, Rainbow Bright, which I bought a few weeks ago.

Well, the wrapped short-rowing sucked, big time. Hated how it looked. And it was a royal pain in the ass, besides, picking up those damned wraps. You can't really tell from the picture but trust me, it sucked.

Then, I remembered reading last week about the Sherman technique on Mel's blog. So I ripped out this toe, read the excellent tutorial Mel has done on the Sherman shortrowing, and reworked the toe. This is unwrapped shortrowing, with compensation for the wraps by making one and then decreasing it with the prior stitch or, as Mary Sherman Lycan, the originator, calls them, "encroachments." Just read Mel's tutorial and you'll get it immediately.

Much better. Whether this will fit better than my stock cuff-down sock with common heel and wedge toe remains to be seen. I don't like the look of it as much but then, fit and function count heavily. You need to try it all. I really need to pull out Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks Warm Feet and revisit it.

Open Mike Tuesday
In an e-mail, Carol brought to the Wolvies' attention an ad in this Sunday's New York Times that evidently shows a woman of babyboomer age knitting. She had heard at MD S&W that knitters were fomenting a protest. So the topic this week is:

Do you give a rat's ass as to how knitters are portrayed in the media? Or do you have your posters ready for the protest march?

Go for it, babies. More cowbell.

Woolee Winder Banshee
I had thought at first it was simply a noisy bobbin. Not. While spinning Carol's alpaca, the Matchless started to make gawd-awful clacking noises. OK, out comes the oil. No good. New drive band. No good. Tighten all the screws. No good. Then off comes the winder and on goes the original flyer. That worked.

I've not had this problem with the winder on the Joy but I'll be taking apart the Matchless Woolee Winder at some point to see if I can find wherein the problem lies. It took me a while to get used to using the old flyer but I'm back on track.

Birthday Presents
Now, Barb insists this was not a birthday present; however, it did arrive during the Mar Birthday Festival Week. A thoughtful gift from a good friend, much appreciated. Barb's company, Wild Geese Fibres, has much worth buying. My fingers are itching to work with this alpaca/silk laceweight.

And then, there was my sister's birthday present, which she claims isn't my "real" present. Huh.

Yes, Wallace & Gromit lovers, it is Shaun posing as a hot-water bottle cover. Which delightful article Karen found at a garage sale. The seller said that it was bought at Bootts. No doubt. You'd never find anything like this in the States. I haven't decided whether or not that is in our favor as Americans.

However, there is a certain charm to it. You have to search, but it's there.

Some Enchanted Evening
I'm so disappointed that I didn't receive an invite to the white tie extravaganza at the House o' Shrub. It's highly likely that I was excluded from the guest list because my hat collection does not meet HRM's standards.

It would be a treat to see Shrub give her a shoulder massage. Or perhaps say, "Hey, Queenie, how y'all doin'?" Unfortunately, behavior like that is not rare for the Fucktard-in-Chief, and it's continuously unhandy.

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