Stitchy McYarnpants

Confessions of a husband-neglecting, cat-shooing, yarn-hoarding knitaholic. But in a good way.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Dot speaks out

It seems that Dot didn't appreciate the whole "knitmare" thing and has decided to tell her own side of the story. Since I didn't want this blog to become overrun with the ramblings of a fiber-eating maniac, I have helped her create her very own blog called Fiber Fancy . It's a place where pets of all kinds can share their stories and handiwork without feeling the disapproving glare of humans.

If your pets would like to contribute, send an email with whatever they'd like to post along with a picture of themselves and/or their work. Kitty porn will NOT be accepted. Dot's email address is FiberFancy at Yahoo dot com.

Cats today. They're spoiled rotten.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Feel my glee.

Woo-hoo! What a weekend! I started shaping for the arms on the Manly sweater. It's coming along really well. I made the Hub try it on once I took it off the circulars and put it on two different sections. It fits really well and already looks swell on him, even if it is a Cirque de Soleil-esqu torso tube kind of a thing that shows his nipples off. Sorry ladies, those pictures are for my eyes only. ;)

I also got myself a little something at Elann. In my defense, it was cheap, fuzzy and has over 229 yds per skein, so there was really nothing I could do. I'm not made of stone, after all. I think these colors go really well together and I'm thinking of a stripey hooded sweater. I have a great old 60's pattern book full of mohair patterns, and there's one in there I might do. When I find the pattern and am sure this is the right guage, I'll post it. This might even be enough for two sweaters! (the example that Elann is using only uses 4 skeins and I have 12!)



The best part of the weekend was when we spent the day going to yard sales with my parents. It's one of those family activities that we always enjoy together. My dad loves trying to strike bargains with people and my mom always gets annoyed with him when he offers someone way less, I mean waaayyyy less than they're asking for something (although I've seen her talk someone down on a 50 cent item). Someone had a DVD player for $40 and he actually said to the lady "I don't really need a DVD player, but I'll give you 10 bucks." as if he were doing her a favor. She thanked him but said she'd hold on to it for a while. At the end of our yard saling, he wanted to drive by their house to see if the player was still there. He was going to give her another chance to sell it to him because by then she'd just want to be rid of it and would be begging for his ten-spot. So we drove by and they were still there, but mostly packed up. I piped up that the DVD player was still there (of course it wasn't, but that's just how I am). My mom was yelling at my dad that he had better not get out of that damned car. We didn't stop, but my husband (who is really getting the hang of being part of my family) pipes up with "Well, by the looks on their faces, I'd say they're about 10 dollars short." My dad loves it when he helps tease my mother.

So I got some good stuff. I got a cool set of 1950's dishes with service for 12 for $5. It was all wrapped up in plastic zippered bags made for dishes and they were in perfect condition. They're still in the car, but I'll append this post when I get them inside.

We also hit a sale that was a group of people selling stuff to benefit a local organzation of some sort. These are the best because it's not their stuff, so they have no sentimental attachement to it and just want to move it out. At first there wasn't really anything good. Then I went to the indoor portion of the sale and found this:

Pretty intriguing, eh? Wonder what they are?

Well hey, they're Esther Martin's Workbasket magazines from 1961-1975!! Wow! Esther sure LOVED this little magazine, she subscribed for 14 years!


And who wouldn't, it's got knitting, crochet and sewing patterns, embroidery transfers, gardening tips, recipes, and all sorts of ads for sensible shoes, dentures, and real live pet monkeys.


Yes, there are. Look. (click the picture so you can read it)

So all of these magazines were $5! I carried the box around and came across another box of even more interest. Here is a sampling of the wonders within (again, click for a better view):

25 cents each!!!! I'm going to type that again because it makes me giggle like a schoolgirl. 25 cents each!!!! I got 20 magazines and pattern books from the 50's and 60's. At 25 cent each (!!!!), that's another $5. So I was getting all this goodness for $10. Too cool. Then I went to pay. Imagine my surprise when the nice lady told me everything was . . .

wait for it . . .



What a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Your Worst Knitmare

Lurking in the shadows is a menace that knows no bounds. Its destructive capabilities are both mystifying and horrific. Equipped with eyes that observe the night when you are most vulnerable, razor sharp teeth in relentless pursuit of another victim, and a dark mind bent on mutilation, there is no reasoning with this beast. Take precautions. Stand steadfast in its wake. Prepare for ruination. Nothing you do will stop it or make its grisly vocation any less devastating. What is this ghastly creature called?


You heard me. Dot. That adorable white cat from such posts as "Book Binge" and "Long-ass Post" is also a destructive, fiber-eating monster! She has yet to get her choppers on any of my knitting, but it is a constant and debilitating fear.

Here is some of her handiwork. She has redesigned the hood on my favorite hoodie, widened the top band one of my favorite socks, and after careful consideration, decided that my shoes looked better without the little loopy thing on the back.

This morning, the Hub modeled his restructured bathrobe for us.

This is her finest work to date. See Santa? Isn't he cute? One year we put him out for Christmas. He really cheered the place up, until . . . (click photo to see the gory aftermath)

Please note Santa's rather conspicuous lack of arms. Do you know where those arms are? Over the past year or so, bit by bit, I've been scooping them out of the litter box. That's right, they were EATEN! If I had a decent camera I could show you that Santa also lacks ears. If you look closely, you can see that the very edge of his hat and coat are also meticulously nibbled.

I've talked to the vet and done extensive research online to learn more about this fiber habit. Turns out it's common in Siamese cats and it's referred to as "wool sucking" or "wool chewing". It appears the intent is not to destroy anything but rather to ease some compulsive need to suck. Yeah, she sucks, alright. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do to curb it. You can try to reprimand them when you catch them doing it, but we rarely see her in action. One site reported that it could be treated by removing the molars! But pretty much everything I've read starts off with ridiculous ideas about putting hot sauce on stuff to deter it (yes, I would love to cover everything in my house in Tobasco!) and ends the article by saying that meds are probably the best way to deal with it. So basicaly, our dear Dot has a touch of the OCD. It worries me that she's ingesting material, but as long as she's getting rid of it, the vet says she should be ok. What really worries me is that one day she'll get into my or knitting bag or stash bin and have herself a buffet! I just picture her wearing a lobster bib and winding yarn around a fork like spaghetti.

In the end, we just try to keep stuff off the floor (it's not easy for either of us, my husband and I are not exactly neat freaks). I think my mother actually likes that the cat has this behvior because it gives her the chance to say "Well, if you picked up after yourselves . . ." and trails off with a smug look that only a mother can pull off.

In knitting news, the Manly sweater is coming along smashingly! Another inch or so and I can start doing the shaping for the arms! In the photo, it looks like I've added a spiffy pocket, but that's the swatch I did. I wanted to show how different it looks from the WIP. For some reason, I'm amazed at what a little washing and blocking can do.

Since I've been working mainly on the sweater, the poor neglected Hallowig has been pushed to the bottom of the knitting bag. I'll have it done soon, I promise!

Friday, September 17, 2004

Book Binge

I've been very bad. I've been trying to curb the yarn-buying for a bit so I can use up what I have. Unfortunately, to keep my mind off yarn, I've bought a number of knitting-related books in the last week. Of course, 3 are pattern books, so that will require me to but more yarn.

I'm stuck in a knitting spiral!

I got Rowan #s 28 and 29 from eBay (those haven't arrived yet), Confessions of a Knitting Heretic (spiral bound edition) and Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Book 2 (a real bargain at 10 bucks!) Hello Klaralund, my pretty.

Still chugging away on the Hallowig and Manly sweater, but haven't gotten any done in the past few days. Between work and social obligations, I haven't gotten my knit on. Tonight is the night, oh yes. Tonight.

And just so you know, things like this are why I love working from home!

awwwwwwwwwwww . . . .

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

New Feature!

This feature has moved! Click here to find it's new home.

Sunday, September 12, 2004


Since the new Knitty came out when I was at work on Friday, all I could do was fantasize about cracking into my old stash of acrylic yarn from the days of mile-long crocheted afghans. Unable to contain my glee, I showed the photo to a Russian woman in my office, hoping she too would find it to be a hoot. But it seems hootiness of the Hallowig may not transcend cultural barriers, because she appeared to think it was a hat. Sensing my delight with this pattern, she enthusiastically agreed that this was a wonderful thing and it would really keep my neck AND forehead warm. She also suggested that I make a matching scarf. All the while she was nodding happily. This woman wears Prada glasses and has the most amazing shoe collection I've ever seen. She obviously thinks I am insane and have the most horrendous taste in the universe. She will probably ask my boss if she can change her cubicle to the other side of the office for fear that I may consider knitting her something, you know, as a cube-neighborly gesture.

Unfettered by this unfortunate exchange, I brought the printed pattern home and showed it to my knit-weary hub. And a strange thing happened. He loved it. And he asked me to make him a black one. Whaaa . . . ok! He wants it for a potential Halloween costume, but I secretly think he wants to use it to taunt my brother. They're both, hmmm . . . how shall I put this . . . evolving beyond the need for mammalian cranial coverage. Becoming folically liberated. They're losing a touch of hair. And they make good-natured ribs back and forth. Hey, I don't care if he wants to use it to join the circus, I just want to make a freakin' Hallowig! So I started one this weekend.

I had to put his Manly Sweater on hold for a bit.

Does it strike anyone else as odd that I'm putting a Manly sweater on hold so I can make him a wig? That's why I love him so.

My sister-in-law also wants a black Hallowig and I'm going to make a yellow one for my cousin. She'll really get a kick out of it. It pleases me to no end that I live among people who share my appreciation for the stranger things in life.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Dear sweet Klaralund

Like a siren from the sea
Klaralund is calling me

Damn is that ever a pretty sweater! I wasn’t too crazy about it when I just saw the pattern from the book, but now that Alison (of the Blue Blog Alisons) has finished hers, I do believe I need a Klaralund in my life. I love the shape, the back, the texture, the colors, the name. Just loverly. I’d like to wait until more people in the Klaralund-Along finish theirs so I can see how it will look on someone shaped more like me, but I fear my will is not strong enough and I shall buckle under the pressure of Noro Silk Garden. Those scrumptious colorways are beckoning to me. Make them stop! Why won’t someone just make them stop?!?

And when the tiny voices of colorways are not creating a constant buzz in my head, the surprisingly husky voice of Hallowig is. Now, what we have here is something that is so kooky, so bizarre, so completely unhelpful in my day-to-day existence that I simply MUST have it. Its very unnecessariness has made it absolutely necessary. Imagine that! There are a couple of fantastic things in the brand-spankin’ new Knitty that I’d like to make. Blaze is something I think I’d like to work up to. I haven’t figured out the cable thing yet, but it’s on the list. (now where did I put that list . . .)

Frida from the new MagKnits is also quite fetching, but as much as I want to make every poncho I see, I must choose only one. I may succumb to the evil mind-bending powers of the Very Harlot Poncho, as many of our sisters in knitting have. But I don’t even know if I’d ever wear it. I use a backpack instead of a purse, so I think wearing it over a poncho would be a little awkward, and I just can’t wear it underneath. With all my little physical imperfections, I simply cannot toss a hunch on the pile.

I got my 100% One Hump Camel (hee hee) in the mail yesterday. It’s so light and airy - it almost feels like cotton candy. It was all I could do not to lick it to see if it would melt. Ok, I licked it a little. It didn’t melt, but I was spitting camel fibers for a while after that. Don’t tell anyone.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Well, I have joined my first "-Along" and I'm very excited! It's Knit-o-Rama's Man-Along! My entry is the Manly Sweater from Stitch n' Bitch.

I'm making it with an 80% Merino Wool/20% Cashmere blend in a tweedy Olive. No stripe, please.

The Man-Along is also a contest. There will be a prize for the best-looking sweater AND the best-looking sweater wearer. Oh the primping we will do! I'm going to make hubby look like he's just spent a week in the bathroom with Kyan! (mmmmm . . . Kyyyaaaan)

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I finally got my act together and put up my gallery! It's not exactly finished, I'd like to fix it up a little, make it look nicer, maybe put it on a separate page so I can describe the project and the yarn used. But at least it's something.

There were also some pictures that I simply had to add, even though they aren't knitting/crochet-related. I like the idea of having a "Random Stuff" wing in my gallery. They're pictures of my goofy earrings that I made in high school during the height of Howard Jones' reign. I also put a picture of one of the embroidery pieces I made when I was a little kid. The ones I mentioned hanging in an earlier post appear to be missing. Strange. I'm sure hubby has put them somewhere nice and safe. I'll check under the litter box later.

And here is a picture of our kitten, Mike, enjoying a tongue bath with Sophie.

I also wanted to show off my super-cool knitting needle roll that I ordered from Amy when I first started knitting. She happened to have the exact pattern I wanted all set to go. It's Perky Pink Poodles! I love this thing, and since a large score on eBay, it's crammed full! (please ignore the gobs a felt-like cat hair on the chair)

Work on the Manyly sweater continues, but whenever I try to knit fast, I miss a purl and have to rip back. Bah! I want to finish my sweater NOW!

Friday, September 03, 2004

Would you like that scarf with one hump or two?

This is my favorite thing today! Check out the fiber content on this yarn!

I got 2 Latte and 2 Almond - how could I resist?

(9/6/04 - damn, I jut noticed that they must be out of stock so the link doesn't work right. It was linking to baby camel yarn. The fiber content said "100% One Hump Camel".)

Thursday, September 02, 2004

So I have this project that’s all set to go.

It’s a gorgeous Ostrich Plume Triangle Shawl from Wool and Fiber Originals. Got the pattern, got the yarn, got the needles, even got pretty little beaded stitch markers. So why haven’t I started? Because I’m afraid of the chart. Isn’t that goofy? I’ve used charts in filet crochet tons of times, but this one is a little more complicated. I usually like to zone out when I knit, but I’m really going to have to pay attention to this one.

Also, the yarn is weirding me out a little. It’s Le Fibre Nobili Tajmahal (from Elann), 70% Superfine Merino/ 22% Silk/ 8% Cashmere. It’s super soft and I love touching it, but for some reason it smells a little – I don’t know – yucky. Maybe it’s the dye or something, but it’s rather unpleasant. I need to air it out, but my little darlings know their lot in life. They realize that cats are meant to play with yarn and that’s all there is too it. They’ve seen all those images in ads and cartoons of kitties rolling around dutifully with balls of yarn, it’s how society has raised them. I BLAME THE MEDIA! Luckily they’re indoor cats, otherwise they’d constantly be dangling from trees repeating “Hang in there, baby” over and over again. So I must contain the stinky yarn until knit-time. It’ll air out then.

I will start this project. I will. Meanwhile, I’ve gotten distracted by the Manly Sweater from Stitch and Bitch. I will be forgoing the stripe, however. And it will be made from this amazing yarn I got for a song at the Webs summer sale. I got the olive and the dark brown. This will be a Manly Olive Sweater. When it comes off the cone, the yarn doesn’t feel all that great, but I swatched and washed it, and it came out really soft. Good stuff, that.