Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bitty Returns!

Yeah...I'm home.
Yay!! Yayyyy!!!!!!!

She's doing really well, she's happy but kind of subdued (for her). She has a new bed, a new blankie, a new toy (with a little microwaveable insert so it's a nice little warm something for her to snuggle with) and some vet-approved treats.

Princess Di eyes
"Pleeeeease, can I have cookies?"

Sorry to say, he said Greenies were okay, but he didn't really sanction cookies. So I bought her some Greenies and her treat of choice, frozen green beans. I got the really good ones, too. :-)

The stitches
Here's one of Frankenbitty's three stitched-up areas. I'm not going to make you look at close-up photos of her behind - as much support as you've offered, you don't really want that, do you? But this is her back, where the doctor removed a cyst. We opted to have it biopsied, and it's a good thing, since it turned out to be cancerous. FEAR NOT!! It's not the horrible metastasizing cancer - it's just a remove-it-and-probably-won't-come-back non-invasive cancer. So we just have to keep an eye on her and watch for any lumps or bumps, but she should be totally fine.

Sweet baby
I explained to her how many cookies the knitters sent her, and she was FLOORED. She had no idea people loved her so much - and really, truly, from the very way total bottoms of our hearts, thank you all SO MUCH. Your charity, the kind words and thoughts and prayers - not to mention your help with the stash sale! - have been tremendously uplifting. I really don't know how I can begin to thank you all for who you are and what you've done. I love being a part of this - knitting is so much more than turning string into sweaters. I can't even describe what knitting is to someone who doesn't know. It's so deep - the people don't just make things with their hands, they make things with their hearts. Thank you for making Bitty whole with your hearts. We love you all deeply.

The Itty-Bitty-Booty Stash Sale - ROUND 2/3!!!

Everything is spoken for, for now! Thank you so much for making this a success! I may stash-dive this weekend and see what else I come up with...thanks!!'s me again. I just can't tell you what your warm words mean to us. I'm really appreciative of everyone's wonderful thoughts and well-wishes - Bitty loves you all!

So I'm going to sell some sock and fiber stash to help fund a bit of the Bitty-Booty surgery. If you need some stash enhancing, or if you know someone who does, please let me know. I may add more - I'm only going off of my Flickr stash sets, so when I get home and look things over, I may come up with more....and I don't know if I'll go to one of the destash sites; I may just keep it here, if it goes well enough. (RSS feed people: I'm sorry if you see this post over and over because of the updates. Bloglines is kind of annoying that way...)

I'd love it if you could kind of, um, pimp this stash sale, you know, if you blog, if you're willing. I hate to ask anyone for anything ever, but you know, Bitty's gonna need a LOT of cookies. :-)

Fine print stuff: all yarns in new condition with labels, stored in a smoke free home with pets (obviously), first class shipping included in all prices. Email me to buy stuff.

(All fiber in four ounce bundles unless otherwise noted)

(Pending) Pigeonroof Studios Superwash Merino:

Superwash Merino
100% superwash merino in "Hothouse" colourway. A dream to spin.
Price: $12

(Pending) Spunky Eclectic Wool:
Spunky Eclectic
100% South African Fine in "Lollipop" colourway.
Price: $11

Again, email me if there's something(s) you're interested in. Thanks!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Round 2 In Full Swing

I wrangled up another batch of sock yarns for the destash sale, including a coveted Sunshine Yarns self-striping Harry Potter/Hogwarts house colourway (sigh). Wanna give them a good home?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bitty Update

I got to visit her and she looks great! Bright-eyed (it's probably that she's stoned out of her gourd) and wiggly as always. I swear, that girl has one energy level - full blast! She was hopping around on her back legs trying to jump into my arms, and the poor vet tech was doing her best to keep her still so there wouldn't be any popped stitches or bleeding. She's all stitched up and looks like Frankenbitty - besides the two gland removals, the doctor also removed a cyst from her back and stitched that up too. That's probably nothing - it started as a minor sweat gland inflammation that we just would have to keep an eye on, and it came back periodically and recently developed a small cyst, so he said since he'd have her knocked out anyway, he'd just remove the cyst/gland surgically to alleviate the problem. (Buy two gland removals, get one free...?) We are ponying up to send it off to have it biopsied anyway - just to be safe, and besides once you hit a certain point with the vet bill, what's a little biopsy? The tech showed me the cyst (I love the gross stuff) and uh...yeah, if someone removed that from under my skin, I'd want to have it tested.

I really wanted to whip out the camera and get pictures of her, but I was concerned that would maybe look a little too unusual to them, so I let it slide. It just felt so good to have her put her paws up on my shoulders and try to hop into my arms. They had to bathe her thoroughly prior to surgery (not 'cuz she was filthy, just to ... I don't know, standard operating procedure...) She was so soft and sweet-smelling, and she was grinning ear-to-ear and it made my heart leap just to see her. She can come home on Thursday. Longest three days ever....

And then when I got home, Brodie got to enjoy her scent and know that she was okay, wherever she was. He 'bout licked my hand clean off. It's still tough for him, though - as soon as I got home and let him out of his crate, he ran into hers to look for her, and then when he went outside to potty, he ran straight to the car and ran around it several times, I guess to see if I'd brought her home and forgotten to bring her inside.

Now, if I may indulge:


Man, I can't believe Bitty used to be bigger than Brodie. It's been almost two years since we brought our guy home to Bitty - I can't wait to bring her home to him. Only a few more days!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Damn You, November!!

I am SO OVER NOVEMBERS, dude. Why does such sucky stuff happen in November?? I mean, there's good stuff - I certainly can't say there's not good stuff. Thanksgiving is nice, and my best friend's brother just got engaged, which is very's just that November is not gaining the greatest of reputations in my small circle. Last year's November was basically, well, catastrophically awful, and now just as we squeak to the end of the month, largely unscathed....

Oh hi

This was only a few days ago. Sometimes I hate that my littlest one is so tough. She's tiny (and getting tinier, as we found out tonight - she's lost several ounces since last year) but so fierce and strong. She never makes a peep when she's in pain, so a lot of stuff tends to slip by unnoticed longer than it should. Tonight when I got home, both dogs bolted out of the crate for the back door, went out, did their business, came back in - all normal. I put their food out and while Brodie went snout-first into it as always, Little Bit blew right by it and plopped down on her bed to groom. She's a bit OCD about tidiness, so the grooming itself wasn't unusual....but licking in favour of food? No way. So I decided to examine the area she was grooming - which, without being too specific, is an area I don't frequently find myself examining too closely.

Not good.

See, as we later found out from the vet, the sort of medical problem she was experiencing usually comes with many warning signs, but because Bitty's not much of a complainer, she never exhibited a single one of those until the excessive grooming, which is easy to miss due to the aforementioned compulsion. So if we'd seen some earlier sign, we might have avoided a lot of pain (on her part) and financial ruin (on ours, which is obviously secondary to her pain but an unpleasant side effect nonetheless.) She had an infection, which turned into a bigger infection, which turned into a rupture. She has to have two glands surgically removed, and she's going to be away from home for three days. I hate that she was so quiet about it, and that I don't regularly pick her up and scour her with a magnifying glass. She gets tons of attention, so it's odd that we would have overlooked something fairly major (particularly given the pretty minimal amount of doggie acreage she takes up). I can tell you, the poor thing will be scrutinized all the rest of her days - I hate being away from my girl, and I know she hates being away from us, so she can now look forward to years of fine-toothed-combing to ensure her health and well-being.


"Okay, just gimme more cute sweaters! And a cookie!"

And Brodie? Brodie is NOT doing well with this. He keeps curling up in the travel crate we took her to the vet in, like if he lies there long enough, she'll magically reappear inside with him. He's so fragile, and so we're being very positive with him and reassuring him and using our happy voices all the time (which is tough) because we want him to know she's coming back. (His whole world revolves around food and pestering Bitty. He's pretty unhappy at the moment.)

Sleepytime on Telework day

"Whatcha worried about, friend?? I'll be home in a couple of days! ...psst, love you."

And while it was easy to diagnose (hallelujah, no waiting hours/days/weeks for tests and biopsies and treatments,) it is expensive to treat, because there's surgery involved. I'm not crazy about the whole surgery thing, but our doctor is outstanding and I'm sure it will go smoothly. Paying for it, on the other hand....I'd sell off some stash, but I don't really have enough to make much of a dent. (NaWePoNoMo month meets a bitter end.) I had to stifle a small choking cough sound when he gave us the estimate. And joked about putting up a "Save Bitty's Butt" Paypal button on the blog. Heh. Instead I plunked down the plastic, initialed the "do anything and everything you have to do regardless of cost" box, and hugged her goodbye for the night. That was by far the hardest part.

I'm glad she's so tough, 'cuz I'm really kind of a mess.


"Jeez, Mom. Suck it up, wouldja? I'm gonna be FINE. But you better stock up on my favourite cookies!"

Handspun Monday

My GOD could I be any more dull lately? I mean, I haven't served up a damn thing worth bragging about lately. Well, not anything I can really show off anyway...we're back to the secret knitting again. I wish I was working on Juno a bit more, or even thinking about spinning some of the stuff I need to be spinning, but I'm really just whipping through secret knitting and being a bum.

I do at least have a couple of skeins to share:

Sage handspun

This is a kid mohair skein, spun from first-clip locks I purchased at SAFF. I love this skein, and put hours of hand picking, hand teasing, and hand spinning into it to create a perfect, silky, delicious which I am, it turns out, undeniably allergic. So rather than sniffling and itching and eye-watering my way through a knitted item, I put the skein up for sale in the shop. (It hurts. It really hurts. I love this skein.)

Pops handspun

Gift spinning - this is for a hat for my dad. He wanted a good, rustic, warm hat to wear to his 1800s reenactment outdoorsy thingies he does, so I spun up this wonderful wool/llama blend that I got as a gift from a highly skilled gift-giving friend at work. (She finds the greatest stuff.) There's still a bit of straw, hay, VM in this, but I think that makes it absolutely perfect for the project I have in mind.

I've discovered a stupid-friendly video game. I've not touched the XBox 360 I bought for Travis last year - which I guess is good, since that makes it a pretty selfless gift. But we rented The Simpsons Game last week, and I'm so hooked on it. Finally, a game that doesn't involve so much strategy and dexterity! I can't handle the hardcore-ness of the 360 - all the games for it seem to be for real live gamer people, and that's so not me. I just want to jump and punch. When video games navigated beyond Nintendo 64 and Super Mario, they lost me. But Gummi Homer and Bartman? That I can handle.

Finally, I have to strongly recommend seeing Enchanted. We went this weekend, and it was just the most wonderful movie - it could have been really stupid, given the premise, but it was remarkably well done, and Amy Adams and James Marsden are just pure bliss to watch. Travis even enjoyed it too, and I think he went into it braced and fully prepared to think it was the stupidest thing he'd ever seen. (And I defy you to not sing the damned songs from this movie incessantly after seeing it.)

And with that - happy knitting!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I'm Thankful For My Corneas.

Last night I was driving home behind this guy.

Excuse me, I think you may have a visibility problem guess is this guy got rear-ended once and said, "Never again!!!" Any flat surface that wasn't covered with a brake light was highly polished chrome. So those two searing lights you see, those are actually mine.

And then he actually hit the brakes. (Yeah. Yeah, that one up there? That was just him driving brake-free.) So he hit the brakes...

He stopped, and my retinas exploded.

...and my EYEBALLS FELL OUT. As bad as this looks, trust me, it was ten times this in person. I actually screamed in pain. I felt like Kramer when the Kenny Rogers Roaster's moved in downstairs. (Probably the greatest Seinfeld of all time. When Jerry takes over Kramer's apartment? Oh, how I laughed...)

So tomorrow is Thanksgiving, or as more commonly known for my international friends, Thursday. Yes, Thursday, that day when we give's....almost Friday! Yes! So on this Thursday Eve (also commonly referred to as "Wednesday"), I'd like to just take a moment for that cheesiest of Thursgiving blog traditions - expressing gratitude to you for reading this thing. It's hard to do without being cloying or ridiculous...but I really am glad for each and every one of you who reads this, even if you click over here by mistake and say, "This blog sucks, dude, how'd I get here? I was just looking for a more creative way of doing Around the World with my Duncan." (Lot of people stumble here looking for yoyo stuff. Understandable.)

So I thank you, because even though everyone starts a blog mainly for their own purpose of recording life/craft/whatever events, it's also not lost on me that if no one read this, I'd just be doing a technologically advanced variation on my lifelong habit of muttering to myself. You reading this - well, it makes me feel just a little less crazy. Thanks. I hope to someday meet each and every one of you so I can hug you and say thanks. And I will. If it takes me the rest of my life, I will find you. And I will charge into your house like I own the place, help myself to a cookie (you do have cookies, right?), roll around in your stash, and give you a hug. Unless you're not into hugs. Some people don't like hugs. So I'll just take the cookie, shake your hand, ask if it's okay if I take this skein of Opal because it's just the colourway I was looking for, and walk right back out before you really figure out what's going on.

(Hey, I said your readership just makes me feel a LITTLE less crazy.)

Happy Thursgiving!!!

PS: Just kidding! Ha!! You thought I was really going nuts there, didn't you?? Nooo, come on! I wouldn't take the Opal - y'all know I like handpaints. :-D

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oh. Well, Hello!

A week?! A whole week??! I don't think I've ever gone that long without a post.

I've not had much drive to entertain, talk, write, move, work, or do much of anything...I was sick part of last week, for one thing, and the main problem was that I was dizzy, which means I was capable of doing precisely NOTHING. No driving, no lying down (oh, that was the worst thing to do), no TV, no knitting. Well, I did put in the first season of Arrested Development, but I mostly just sat there and listened to it, so that I wouldn't have to watch multiple Jason Batemans wiggle back and forth on the screen. (There are worse things to watch wiggle, but I digress.) Oddly enough, spinning DID make me feel better. Maybe because the dizziness was lateral and the spinning was longitudinal, it all balanced out?

I've also been holed up, trying to figure out what goes on in the People offices during Sexiest Man season. I mean, Matty Damon seems like a super-nice guy. And he's cute enough...but, I mean....really? Has anyone SEEN the men in Hollywood? There's no shortage of the sexy. How about, I don't know, Bruce Willis? He's back on top, and he's ridiculously sexy. Or Will Smith? He's never been it, has he? And he fits the nice/funny/cool/hot bill better than most, I think.

In a related story, Travis has decided he wants to be an actor and move to L.A. (I'm supporting this, although I'm prepared for him to change his mind soon, based on the fact that then yesterday he declared, while watching Kansas City S.W.A.T on TV, that he wants to be a SWAT officer.) But in all fairness, being that acting seems to be 90% about looks and charm, I think Travis could fare well. However, being that celebrity and marriage to celebrity seems to be about 90% about tolerance and patience and the ability to be hassled 24/7 and not lose your shit, I think Travis would fare rather poorly, and God knows his wife would just be run out of town on a rail. Then there's the whole odds-of-making-it thing...but hey, what the hell. I did write our wedding vows, and I'm the one who put in that bit about us supporting each other in our goals. That was mostly supposed to be for me, though, since I'm the one with all the crazy bizarre dreams and random fly-by-night aspirations. (Wool for a living? Come on.)

(PS: Being as Travis has never been to L.A. but I'm pretty sure he would hate it and I have been to L.A. and am DAMN SURE I hate it, I don't see this being something that really will happen. One never knows, though. I just offer support and encouragement in my capacity as wife.)

So! Knitting! There are a great many things I'm falling behind on...but I've been plugging away at the blanket:

Hemlock Ring Progress 11/18

I'm up to 400-stitch rounds, so one lace section is over 2,000 stitches now. So it begins. That's why I'm figuring that this is probably only 50% done. But I think it will be lovely, if not a bit flawed and increasingly difficult to photograph. Oh, and what you see here is only a smidge over one skein of the Brooks Farm Solana yarn. (Hurray for yardage!)

I started something new:

Painted Skeins silver/silk/merino

At the other end of that trail of yarn is a project. And that's all you're getting, I will speak no more of it. I will, however, talk about the yarn. This is Painted Skeins new superwash merino/silk/nylon/REAL SILVER yarn base, and I love it. My mother-in-law pointed out last night too that silver has excellent healing properties - which it does! Anyone who's ever had a very serious skin injury/problem such as burn or graft may recall a healing cream prescribed to them that was actually a percentage of silver. After a very bad accident, I had substantial road rash, and I recall lying there covered in silver goo. It felt kind of chic, actually. So this stuff is probably great for the feet and legs. Scout is talking about dyeing this yarn base too, but I'm very happy with the Painted Skeins colourways (and, um, price.) And Ms. Painted Skeins, Helen, is awesome. (See all the fun stuff I got with the yarn??) I love this shop. (Not paid to say that. Just would definitely buy more of her yarn.)

I cut my finger open last night on a can of organic tomatoes. Organic: No Longer Completely Harmless. It's my left pointer too - so it's my pokin' finger. That 2.25 mm DPN is KILLING me. Typing is not so fun either.

Oh, and hell has frozen over:

Duets Sock Yarn

I always balked at buying Duets yarn. Not that the yarn isn't worth it, at 150g and fun colourways, but I just didn't see any good reason to spend that much on one pair of merino socks when I have, oh, maybe 100 skeins of sock yarn waiting for me to suddenly knit at the speed of sound. But then I saw this colourway - red/brown/pink is my absolute most favourite colour combination, and I almost never see it. I couldn't bear to resist. Now I'm seeing what all the fuss is about - this is a great base yarn! I picked up the Middi weight, and I got it from The Loopy Ewe.

In News To Me News: I'm allergic to mohair. Who knew?! I bought some wonderful delicious soft silky yummy kid mohair curls at SAFF (from a first clip, so they're the BEST) and after hand picking and hand teasing and spinning them (not all at once, but over the course of a few weeks) I've determined that the fact that my eyes went itchy and my nose went runny can't be chalked up to five separate's the mohair. But the yarn I made is so yummy! I had planned to keep it, but it may be that knitting with pure mohair won't be for me...I've knit with mohair blends, but never 100% mohair, I don't think. I bet it doesn't go much better than the spinning. I may have to sell the yarn. Wah.

So. Anybody ever wonder why, even though I spend a tremendous amount of time on my lazy rear, I never seem to have much knitting done? Well, partially because a majority of my work lately has been on the hush-hush end. But this definitely doesn't help:

A Day In The Life

They simply do not care that I have stuff to do. They do not care that after subtracting the 7.4 square feet my prone figure takes up, there are still 2,192.6 square feet of the house left, over all of which they can - and frequently do - exercise complete control. All they care about is making sure I stay RIGHT. HERE.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Handspun Monday

Sort of....I'm pre-posting tonight's shop update here for your enjoyment. It's been an embarrasingly long time since I updated my shop, so I had a very busy weekend.

Ribbit handspun

"Ribbit" handspun superwash merino, 2-ply. 145 yards in 4.3 ounces, bulky weight. The roving is a Sereknity Boutique fiber, always a favourite.

Autumn Harvest handspun

"Autumn Road Trip" handspun merino, 2-ply. 220 yards in 4 ounces, worsted weight, roving handpainted by Yarn Wench.

Fairie Royal handspun

"Fairie Royal" handspun BFL/mohair blend with just a touch of sparkle. A two-ply light fingering / heavy lace weight yarn, 255 yards in 2.2 ounces. Fiber from SAFF; yarn named for the shopping buddy who was kind enough to front me for the fiber because I didn't have cash or checks. (Duh.)

And know I love the fun stuff:

Fever handspun

"Fever" handspun artsy yarn, an 82 yard spun single, 3 ounce skein. This is spun from a Funky Carolina merino/firestar/angelina handcarded batt. (I was drawn to the bright colours and the huge amount of sparklies.) I spun in some "honeymoon silk" (purchased at the Victoria Fiber-In we visited on our honeymoon) and some dyed cotswold locks from Yarn Wench.

So, can you guess how much cleaning of the house I got done this weekend? :-D

Saturday, November 10, 2007

And We're Baaack!!

Finally got the Internet back up, with almost zero help from the cable company, despite sending two technicians out, the most recent of whom declared, in the four seconds His Royal Doucheness blessed us with his foul presence, that our $200 router was bad. Fortunately Travis had the good sense to plug it in and try it again before we rolled out to Best Buy to pick up a new one...yeah, it's fine. And we called the cable company to complain about Mr. I-Smell-Like-I-Have-That-Not-So-Fresh-Feeling and his attempt to blow a bunch of our money by LYING TO US.

But I have internets now. And I is happy. Let me celebrate with random photos:

Hemlock Ring blanket

Hemlock Ring blanket, as seen on the bus. Have I mentioned the yarn yet? It's Brooks Farm Solana (which they're not selling on their website yet, but hopefully will be soon - though I'll say if you wanted a comparison, think Lorna's Laces worsted superwash.) This was taken while I was in the process of knitting the blanket back onto a 5mm needle. I had to use a 4mm to pick up a round to rip back to. Again. I hate this thing. But I think - THINK - I have it sorted out now. There may be a mistake in it, but I'm not going to worry too much about it.

Friday night, the smoke detector went off when I was cooking something in the oven. The smoke detector almost always goes off when we use the oven - it's very sensitive. But it wouldn't stop. So Travis took it down until the oven was off.

Uh, Houston??

This was a VERY stressful time for Rooster. Turns out he's borderline-OCD when it comes to fire safety.

Okay, I'll be your smoke detector

He laid right there in the corner and waited for the smoke detector to come back. I like to think if he had detected smoke, he would have emitted a very loud high-pitched wail.

I found out how much fits in my Piddleloop bag:

What fits in your Piddleloop bag?

(I didn't tell Travis why...just made him do it. That's why he looks all nervous - he was thinking I might have finally lost my damned mind.)

So, by way of getting us out of the house and distracted from the lack of Internet, what did I do? I kicked into high gear as the GREATEST WIFE EVER.

See me roll on ... my Segway


We so have to buy one of these. (Is it sad that I figured out that if I sold about half the stash, we'd almost be there?)

Look at the fun! Look at it!

We love these things!!

My helmet had orange flames. Of COURSE. (I requested that one specifically.)

I caught one!

We got tangled up in fishing line on the pier. That was fun. Fortunately for the group, there was a knitter in their midst - I knew there was a reason I carried little crafty tool kits with me everywhere. A few snips, and we were off again!

They're wonderfully easy to ride, especially once you let things happen naturally and stop trying to control the thing to death. It's actually very intuitive. But as with all sports activities that require a kinetic device of some sort (rollerblading, skateboarding, dirtbiking), I had some degree of difficulty with regards to coming to a stop.


Okay, that might have been a staged dramatization. I did not have quite as much trouble with staying still as that muscle-y jacked-up guy you see behind me in the photo. Those two were on our tour also (it was only the four of us) and they were so nice, but the guy kind of proved that physical stature and prowess aren't necessarily indicators of immediate Segway success. I was behind him in the queue, and we came to a stop and he stayed still for a moment, and then just started drifting backward...and backward...and *CRASH*! It was more funny than disastrous, but he seemed very surprised about it all and seemed to have not noticed that he was rolling backward.

(Hint: if stuff in front of you suddenly starts getting smaller, you're probably moving away from it. Try to stop.) He got more comfortable, though, and by the end of it we were all experts.

Then there's Travis. Who ran the thing off the trail and into a bush and had to dive off of it, almost breaking a leg in the process. There's no way of knowing what he was doing back there. As you speed up, the pitch goes higher, and I was right in front of him and heard the pitch go up, then a few choice swear words and the rustling of shrubbery. He swears that a wheel spun out in the sugar sand, but he was at the back and no one saw what happened, so I have to go by what I heard and lay odds on his daredevil nature and tendency to do what those in the scientific community would call "jackassing around".

We had such fun, though. I'd buy one, but I'm waiting for them to come out with a Jetsons expansion pack. (Seriously, it'd be that much more fun to ride if it made the noise that the cars in The Jetsons make. Right??) If you can find a way to get yourself onto one of these things, I highly, highly recommend it. (If you're looking for a place to start, try here.)

Friday, November 09, 2007

My Life Is Devoid Of Meaning

First of all, thank you so much for your compliments on the Reims stocking! I'm excited to see it going into queues and getting cast on. (Thank you Ravelry, thank you! I love that I don't have to Google anymore!)

So. I do not have Internet at home. I feel small and lost. Help me, Al Gore! (By the way, did anyone see him on 30 Rock last night?? That was HILARIOUS.)

We had the tech guy come out last night and after leaving the faint waft of beer all over our house (then again, who am I to judge - I had a Pumpkinhead Ale in my hand the whole time), he determined that we needed a PC guy to come out. So that will be Saturday. Which means no photos until at least Saturday night, as I have no way to upload them. Fortunately I can still get online at work, and access email and bloglines from my phone, but there's no way to upload/download things. (At work that's kind of a honking no-no.)

Not that I have much progress to show on the damned stupid Hemlock Ring blanket. I got to round 66, then to 73, then back to 66, then to 76, then back to 72....well, I'll be back to 72 at lunch. I keep coming up two freakin' stitches short on my pattern rounds. I knew this project was going too smoothly. And of course it's once I get to the cakewalk charted part that I start effing it up all over the place. Makes sense.

No pictures. So let's just end it, shall we? Oh! Don't forget to check out the surprises on Knitty. I think I love the Veronik pattern.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

WIP and News!

Several people commented on Travis' likelihood of injuring me when he discovered the photo of him snuggling with Brodie on my blog and Flickr. I figured I'd ask him (two days later) if it was okay if I posted that photo...he shrugged and said, "A man and his dog is a beautiful thing. Besides, every time you take a picture I figure it's going up on the blog. If I ever object, I'll let you know." (Re: the first sentence: awwwww! Travis is Brodie's best friend in the whole world - it really IS a beautiful thing.) But yeah, thinking back on how many objections I've received to photos (zero) and how many pictures I've taken that I wouldn't consider blog-appropriate (ew, no, get your mind out of the gutter) - well, clearly I've married a very tolerant man.

Hey, wanna see my new children?

Wollmeise collection

Kathleen brought these babies back from Germany with her - we placed an order while she was over there, and they came home with me last night. Aren't they glorious? Mmmm....someday I should actually KNIT with the Wollmeise, since I now have a bona fide collection of the stuff.

In WIP News:

The Hemlock Ring is up to Round 66 - I've been on Jared's chart for about 20 rounds now, and I just hit the point where I have 280 stitches per round. And the going gets slower.

Hemlock progress

Dale-Harriet, my new adoptive aunt :-), asked for pictures of a finished Hemlock Ring - if I had to direct you one place, it would be to the source! Check out Jared's Hemlock Ring post. There are quite a few of these finished babies floating around on the Internets, although oddly enough I've not seen one knit in a yarn that's quite as variegated as what I'm using. I hope I end up liking this in the end. More importantly, I hope Mom does. Mom is big on bold colours, jewel tones and the like, but she also loves fall and the crispness in the North Carolina air and the changing leaves on their property - so I selected this colourway more for symbolic reasons.

Okay, so are you ready for the big news? This is pretty exciting (and also quite possibly not as groundbreaking as I'd hoped since the ONE TIME Bloglines immediately picked up my feed was the one time I was drafting and really didn't mean to hit publish, so you might have glimpsed this one already...)

I have a new fancy sock pattern for sale out there in the world! Thanks to Aija (you rule!), Roxanne of Zen Yarn Garden contacted me about designing a pattern for her sock clubs. It's been sent out to her club participants, and now it's available to the public in her Etsy store and her shop! Yay!! She's selling the pattern on its own, as well as a kit that includes a semi-solid yarn for the sock. (And seriously, not because I worked with her but because her yarn is for-real amazing, you should totally go for the kit. One of my most favourite yarns I've ever worked with, ever!)

So you can buy the pattern alone, or this kit (which is the colourway I used), or this kit (which is a colourway I covet now).

(You can buy the pattern and kits through her non-Etsy shop, too...I have faith that you're smart enough to find them, so I won't continue to link you to death.)

And so here's the Reims Stocking in all its glory!

Reims left

Reims up-shot

Reims back

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Enableage, Some Cute Pictures, And I'm Still Trying To Get A Decent Shot Of That Hemlock Ring...

Okay, so:

Sunshine Yarns has done an update today, and there are a lot of wonderfully luscious colourways. I'm just saying.

The Raven series is up at Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I didn't order any (I know!!) but I may eventually. I have a hard time narrowing down which one(s) intrigue(s) me the most.

Woolgirl is having a November Sale! Details on what's on sale here. And for my friends up north, The Sweet Sheep is having a sale! Well, I guess not just for the up-northers. US peeps, send Michelle all your worthless American money! (It's so embarrassing - I heard on NPR last night that Giselle Bundchen has altered her supermodel contracts to request that she be paid in Euros rather than American dollars. I know, it's a strange way to measure the value of our currency, but I really do think it says something ominous...)

So, sales, updates, yummy's a good month to be a knitter. :-) (But then, when is it not good to be a knitter??)

Want to see what soulmates look like?

Peas in a pod

I know, I'm kind of big on the pet photo ops lately. What's with that? But this was just so cute - who could resist?

The Hemlock Ring Blanket? Yeah, I'm still knitting it. It goes along pretty quickly, actually, but man are there going to be some loooong repeats by the time I get to the end!

Hemlock Ring Blanket

At least it's getting big enough now that I can kinda sorta get a picture of it. And my progress ain't half bad, considering I cast on Sunday afternoon!

Okay, that's all I have. Here's what I have to look forward to tonight after dinner with Kathleen (yay!) and the stitch-n-bitch (yay!):

My blankie


Monday, November 05, 2007

Weekend in Pictures

There was a LOT going on this weekend, man. Well, until Sunday, which was spent mostly being productive. (I call it productive, Travis calls it sitting on my lazy ass on the couch and knitting. Seriously, how is that not productive?!)

Friday was our five-month wedding anniversary. (I'm aware that the prefix anni- would indicate that these should be celebrated annually. We decided to celebrate on the second of each month. See, that way we can eat a little of our cake topper 12 times rather than saving it for a year. Heh. I'm clever in finding ways to eat cake.)

Travis gave me five enormous balloons:

Five months

Sweet, except I'm kind of, um, afraid of big balloons. Way too likely to pop and blow my brain out of my head.


Heh. No, I'm happy, really. ;-)

My best friend Jessi and her fiance Jimmy came up Friday night so we could hit up EPCOT's Food & Wine Festival on Saturday. I've been dying to go to this thing for years. Turns out they don't have much to offer in the way of free booze and food, but lower-priced samplings are plentiful. And everyone needs an excuse to gather with their best friends and start drinking at 10 in the morning.

Let's go find some beer.

Here we are toward the end of the evening, looking tired and a bit buzzed. We had trouble giving up the evening, though, so we went in search of pizza and more beer.

Different location, same theme!

More beer samplings! Woot!

While at EPCOT, we'd had just enough to drink to think it would be really funny to buy Little Bit a tiny Mexican flag blanket and sombrero. 'Cuz, you know, she could look like a burro.

Oh God.  Somebody call the ASPCA

However, I left it up to Travis. (She's not a chihuahua, before anyone says anything. I am She is very sensitive about that.)

Mom, are you kidding me?

If dogs were capable of calling the SPCA....

Of course, Brodie falls just on the other side of terribly bright, so he thought this all looked like a lot of fun, and he REALLY wanted in on the sombrero action.

Brodie wanted to play

And Rooster took the opportunity to seize the dog bed.

What?  We have a dog bed?

What dog bed? This ain't no dog bed. Now go away.

Since I've showed the other three, I'll also share a rare public viewing opportunity:

Rare sighting

I told you we have another cat. No one ever believes me. Indiana's terribly sweet but also shy-bordering-on-imaginary; however, she's been more willing to be seen and photographed lately.

So that's what Travis accomplished on Sunday. Dressing the dogs up like donkeys. Yeah, and I'M the bum.

I at least did this:

Cormo/angora handspun

Okay, I didn't spin it Sunday. I just photographed it. Hey, it's something!! (It's an 80/20 cormo and angora blend roving purchased from SAFF. Not going up in the shop - mine, all mine! I love you, cormo! Call me!!)

I started this, too:

Hemlock Ring blanket

It's the Hemlock Ring Blanket. (Hey, guess what? There is NO GOOD WAY to photograph this thing in progress.) I'm knitting it for my mom for her birthday or Christmas (going to depend on when it's finished.) I'm using Brooks Farm Solana worsted weight superwash wool that I bought at Rhinebeck - lovely fall leaf-changing colours, yum - and size 8 (5mm) needles instead of the recommended size 10 (5.50mm) because the larger ones were really not working well with the yarn. Also - get this - I'm knitting it CONTINENTAL. Yes, that's right - I'm learning a new trick. So far, so good. We'll see if I stick to it or revert to my old ways....

Why a blanket for Mom? Well, I was planning on knitting it anyway, but then on our trip to North Carolina, she gave us this:

My Wedding Blankie

I know, right??!! This is INCREDIBLE. More incredible when you consider that the last thing I saw her knit was a garter stitch scarf. Yay, Mom! I love this thing with all my soul - each pattern she selected has special significance to us and the wedding, and it's this wonderful wool she got from a local.

My Wedding Blankie

It's heavy and warm and I pretty much drag it all over the house with me. I sleep with it at night, I snuggle under it in front of the TV, and I can't wait to pile up under it with our kids. My mom is amazing, and I'm incredibly lucky to have been so blessed. (I love my mommy!) You'll probably see this blanket lots in future posts - I'm usually not very far away from it when I'm home!

Go, knit and be merry!