Two More Surprises

'Tis the year, I guess. Here are number 2 and 3 (of at least 6) I will be making within the next year alone. Sorry, number 1 went away in June before I could photograph it.

The pink/purple one is for the new little baby girl of a former co-worker (and it has the most adorable ladybug buttons which my old camera just wouldn't photograph properly):

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Suprise Jacket. Available in a couple of her books (The Opinionated Knitter and Knitting Workshop that I know of, or available directly from Schoolhouse Press)
Yarn: Random balls of Filatura di Crosa 501 from the stash (sorry, no labels)
Needles: Susanne Ebony 36" circular 4.00mm (#6)
Mods: None, I love this pattern just the way it is

The second is for the new little baby boy of a current co-worker. It has adorable teddy bear with a baby bottle buttons (same problem photographing them):

Pattern/Needles/Mods: Same as above
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK 2 balls color 02 and 1 ball Filatura di Crosa 501 in a burgundy (see note above about random balls in the stash)

This one was specifically done in the school colors of the parents' alma mater. I didn't plan the stripe pattern to look like a smoking jacket, though I fear smoking or letter jacket is probably the look you're mostly likely to get when striping a dark color on a light background this way.

I have a couple of months now before I have to start on the next round of baby sweaters. Those, too, will probably be knit from random balls of stash yarn. I actually have a special section of the stash reserved for random balls of DK and light worsted washable wools for just such a purpose.

I'm a Lady (at least someone thinks so)

You Are 100% Lady

No doubt about it, you are a lady with impeccable etiquette

You know how to put others at ease, even if their manners aren't the greatest.

Christmas Present #1 - check!

Okay, it's a small thing, but sometimes you need little victories. And it is a Christmas gift ready for the giving.

Pattern: One skein toddler socks free with purchase from Plymouth
Yarn: Plymouth Yarns Jelli Beenz #217
Needles: US5 Bamboo (probably Crystal Palace)

Now, to get to work on the penguin sweater to go with.

Doesn't Everyone Freeze Their Yarn?

So, after "purchasing" for my favorite price (FREE) a green and brass baker's rack for the workroom (You gotta love small town D*U*M*Ps and their swap sheds -- the perfect bentwood rocker in my workshop was $5.00 in our previous town.) I set about reorganizing some yarn, and what should escape one of the tubs of wool but a moth. Ugh!

So, in a week, when we have the Sunday School over here for the annual picnic, and it gets hot and someone goes into the chest freezer anyone who knows us knows is where they will find the popsicles, they might get a bit of a surprise. Doesn't everyone keep their yarn in the freezer. I know at least one knitter who does. Alas, I do not believe that the damage is all that serious since this yarn was all stored in the same place in our old house and the same tub since being packed to move here, and not long before we moved I knit a felted stuffed hedgehog (yes, one of those) for my niece from some of that yarn and encountered no problems.

Of course, the rest of the workroom had to be sprayed down once again with lavender spray, so it's a little smelly in here. Good thing I like the smell of lavender.

So does Mr. K. And speaking of the beast, this is what happened when I tried to take a picture of the ribbing on my niece's penguin sweater:

All yarn and yarn accessories belong to the K-man. There are no exceptions, even for my dear (and irreplaceable) Brittany walnuts (yes, I realized I messed up the ribbing and will have to frog -- oh bother!):

Oh, well. We love him, and at least he isn't out on the streets doing 'nip and chasing the lady cats.

Rachel and Tibor are FAMOUS!

Okay, so they're as famous as an appearance on a PBS Kids show (Fetch! to be exact) can make one. Probably not as famous as they are in the ballroom dancing community.

But it was still really cool to see them and the studio on TV. Of course, it made us realize how much we miss the studio, the dancers, and so many parts of our life in metro Boston.

Reason #4722 Why the Religious Right Has It All Wrong

<rare rant mode on>

So, scientists at Merck have come up with a safe, effective vaccine against HPV (human papilloma virus) -- the (sometimes) sexually-transmissible virus which causes a majority of cervical cancer cases in this country. Good thing, no? Think of the lives which could be saved, the suffering which could be alleviated.

Enter the Family Research Council (FRC -- not that I want you to go to their website, but better the enemy you know, right?) which in a stunning display of ideology trumping reason, intelligence, sanity and even compassion has fought vigorously against the vaccine's approval by the FDA.

Why, you (my sane, rational, compassionate, and above all intelligent readers) might ask, would anyone calling themselves Christian wage such a battle against something so positive? Let's get it from the horse's mouth:
"Our concern has been that this vaccine not be presented as a shot that makes it safer to have sex," said Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council.
It appears that FRC and other "Christians" are concerned that teenagers, free of the fear that sex could lead to cancer, will start having sex. A similar argument, it turns out, to the one they used against approval of Plan B for over-the-counter sale.

Now, I don't know about the teens in your life, but the teens in my life aren't really all that concerned about cancer -- it's certainly not a motivating factor keeping them from having sex, and I'm betting they don't even know that most cervical cancer is caused by a sexually-transmitted virus. Can you say fear-mongering?

<rant mode off>

<begin saner mode>

Okay, so after some meetings with folks from Merck, they have given up their fight against approval of the vaccine, though they are still 100% committed to fighting the vaccination of teenagers and children.

Small steps; infinitesimally small, baby steps.


I'm going to be published! Just got the word that Storey accepted a little pouch bag I designed for a one skein patterns book they're publishing this fall. AND I retain all rights to the pattern itself! The whole thing came about because we realized we didn't have a sample swatch for Katia Jamaica in the store, and since the skeins are so large someone suggested a simple little pouch bag. So, here it is.

Aside from being a cute little summer carry bag, it would also make a great small project bag (if you chose to line it with fabric).

Pattern: My own
Yarn: Katia Jamaica #4010 (100% Cotton, 100grams, 219 yards), one skein

Finished Measurements
Bottom diameter – 6.5”
Height from purl row to cast off edge – 7.5”

One ball Katia Jamaica #4010 (100% Cotton, 100grams, 219 yards)
8” or longer size 6 double point needles (or size required to get gauge)
12-18” circular in same size (optional)
crochet hook size F

Gauge – over circular spiral stitch 28 sts=4”

K2tog=knit 2 together
KFB=knit into the front and back of the stitch
YO=yarn over

Circular Spiral Stitch
Every round – *K2, YO, K2, K2tog*, repeat between *

Over 3 double point needles, cast on tightly 6 stitches, place marker, join

Round 1 *KFB*, repeat between * (12 stitches)
Round 2 *K1, KFB*, repeat between * (18 stitches)
Round 3 *K2, KFB*, repeat between * (24 stitches)
Round 4 *K3, KFB*, repeat between * (30 stitches)
Round 5 *K4, KFB*, repeat between * (36 stitches)
Round 6 *K5, KFB*, repeat between * (42 stitches)
Round 7 *K6, KFB*, repeat between * (48 stitches)
continue in this manner, adding one knit stitch between increases each round until
Round 20 *K19, KFB*, repeat between * (126 stitches on needles)
Next round: knit
Next round: purl

Begin Circular Spiral Stitch – work for 6.5” from Purl row

Next round: knit
Next round: *K2, YO, K1*, repeat between *
Knit next 4 round
Bind off loosely

Crochet 2 20-28” chains (depending on desired length of drawstrings), and thread drawstrings through YO holes in row above spiral, tie on opposite sides.

Line with fabric if desired.


Well, Mother's Day weekend is over. All permanent residents of our home are utterly exhausted. Though it's nice finally to be able to host the parental units in our own house, it is very tiring to have that many people in the house for any length of time.

Our sweet little boy spent the weekend keeping track of six adults, and it like to have killed him. He crashed when they left, though just like a child who doesn't want to miss anything, he tried to keep an eye on us, but they just wouldn't stay open.

Sometime around 7-ish our buddy MS (that would be the man who forgot to move us until it was almost too late) showed up -- big black truck pulls into the driveway and honks. Out tumble MS, his two sons, his dog, and his mother. "I just wanted to show my mom your house -- especially the attic." Poor Mom, who has never met us, was a little embarrassed -- alas, it's MS and we're used to this behavior. I love this man. He's raising his two sons alone after his wife left, and he's doing a bang-up job. They're smart, well-adjusted, honestly good kids who work just as hard as their dad (how many 16-year-old boys can you say that about?).

We missed early-to-bed, and we've made the wimpy decision that there's no going to the gym in the morning.

And we don't get a weekend next weekend, either.

And, I also realize I haven't yet waxed poetic about the attic -- perhaps tomorrow.

Some People!

Disgusting (not gross, just disgusting human behavior) thing I saw today:

There is some kind of metal working shop that shares our
road/alley/parking lot area, and they have a huge construction
dumpster. Last night as I was leaving work (at 4:30pm, so it was still
very much daylight outside) I saw two trucks pull up and a man get out
of one and throw an old lawn mower into the dumpster. Argh!

In a positive(?) development, tonight we learned that our little man,
Mr. K, is capable of defending himself, his home, and his family from
intruder kitties. Our two little ones were on the screen porch, and
the neighbor cat (who had previously hissed and growled at both of
ours) was outside looking in. We heard a commotion and turned around
in time to see Mr. K -- tail fluffed to three times normal size, hair
standing up all along his backbone -- trying to get at NC through the
screen. He actually hissed and growled himself. We'd never heard it.
Our mild-mannered linebacker kitty standing up for himself. It was a
proud moment. Of course, little man spent the next hour running from
window to window -- tail a-flickin' -- watching NC make his way around
the yard.

Warning: Knitting Content

The Lorna's Laces socks are done. I have to say the yarn was very easy to work with and quite soft both in the working and in the wearing. I am, however, not thrilled with the way the color works out. These socks were knit with the color "Rainbow" and while the yarn certainly looks like a rainbow, the finished project is nothing like (save a small portion at the turn of the heel which is entirely an accident). The colors didn't pool for the most part, though I did notice a strange doppler-like effect on both the leg and foot.

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, color "Rainbow"
Pattern: Basic top-down sock, 72 stitches, 3x3 rib, slip-stitch heel
Gauge: 9 stitches/inch on a US1

A Day of Adrenaline

Got up and forwent(?) the gym this morning to help with the last minute packing, then headed off to work for a couple of hours before THE MEETING.

Before I could get to the meeting, however, all heck broke loose back at the homestead. (This would be the all-packed-in-boxes-and-we're-ready-to-get-the-*bleep*-out-of-there homestead.) M called me at 9:15 to inform me that the mover (who was supposed to show at 8:30) wasn't there yet. I figured he was getting a truck or rounding up his troops and told her not to worry, but to call him.

10:00, no mover; 10:15, no mover; 10:30, I have to get my behind out of the office for the meeting. On the way up the highway cell phone rings -- still no mover, but a good luck wish.

Make it to the meeting with mere milliseconds to spare; apologize to the editor, explaining that our mover is MIA. He shared an amusing-in-retrospect story about their last move home to New England from Texas, and I relaxed -- somehow everything will be okay.

After the meeting (and the Wonderlic -- more below), I called home to find that our dear, dear MS had, indeed, forgotten us. He was having a nervous breakdown and on his way to the house with some hired day help (all of his men were on the job he forgot us for) and his trailer to get us moved.

And move us he did. Less than 5 hours after they showed at the old house, they were pulling out of the driveway at the new one. Record time, I say. And nothing was broken, no woodwork or floors in either house gouged, and everyone in a fairly good mood.

Cats, not so. They didn't like one bit being dumped at a stranger's house, and our poor little Mr. K hid under the bathtub when we went to pick them up. When we got them to the (very disarrayed) house, Lady B was a little disgruntled but soon realized that this was all her stuff. She marked a few things and spent the rest of the night wandering about making a mental map of the place. Mr. K was less accepting. Poor little traumatized thing: he hid, wanted nothing to do with any of it, discovered a quiet bedroom upstairs and has pretty much stayed there since.

Yeah, the Wonderlic. Not so bad, really. Most people don't finish, and neither did I (got through 48, though). Pretty confident that I at least did well enough that I

Breathe Deep(ly)

And tell us, how did you spend your Easter? At the new soon-to-be parsonage, we spent the day tearing down curtains and letting the sun (and fresh air) shine in!

Between sunrise service and 10am, we began the process of un-sealing our new rental property which we discovered had been hermetically sealed for a very long time. In fact, when we opened (after much effort) the front door, we found insulation wrapped in newspaper from October 24, 1997! We also discovered that at some point the front step had heaved so that the storm door scraped badly when opening. Guess everyone will be a backdoor guest.

Since our "landlady" had discovered the secret hiding place for the window and door screens, we got to work taking out the storms (yes, these are those old "afterthought" storm/screen frames which require the removal of storms to put the screens in) and putting in screens. Someone (late husband, most likely) had kindly numbered all the storms and screens, making matching up much easier.

I swear, when we finally got about 1/3 of the screens in and opened the windows wide to the fresh air, I could hear the house breathing deeply. I certainly was. Fresh air, even cold, Easter-morning fresh air, is such a relief after closed-up-and-recycled-for-nearly-a-decade air.

The curtains were a project and a half. Each window had (at least) two drapes and a half-curtain (oh, every window also has a roller shade). When we finally got them all down -- not a quick or easy task considering the sheer number of curtains, the multiple rods per window, and the height of the windows -- they made a pile about 3-1/2 feet deep across the laundry room. I kid you not.

We would have gone home and packed after all of that, but ... the packing is DONE! Okay, there are still those few things we need tonight and tomorrow morning, but that's it. We are so ready to move -- no, I take that back -- we are so ready to be in the new house.

Did do some research on the Wonderlic Personnel Test. It doesn't look all that scary -- just some basic SAT-type questions: a bit of logic, and bit of simple algebra, some reading comprehension. Nothing I can't handle. Actually looking forward to it (I'm one of those sickos whose only real nightmare about the GRE involved sitting still for an entire morning).