Stitchy McYarnpants

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

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Scoop on the Scoop.

I totally cheated. I did. I’m a hack knitter, but I’m cool with that. I prefer think of myself as a MacGyver knitter, actually. I use the tools and methods that suit me best. While I haven’t had to resort to gum or paper clips, I did wantonly misuse a woven seam stitch. It was all Melanie’s idea!

See, I was adding the button and neck bands to my little lovely. (my little color-changing lovely, if these pictures are to be believed. It's amazing the difference a flash makes. I think the close-ups below are a more accurate representation, but I'm not even sure because the color is so different between my home PC and my work laptop. Hell, maybe the sweater is actually a deep shade of aubergine.)

I had to pick up stitches to add them. No problem, I can do that. I even had the great and powerful Disembodied Voice of Knitting to guide me. Kids’ stuff, cakewalk, pish tosh, easy peasy. T’weren’t nuthin’.

Uuuuhhhh . . . until I got to the decreased section of the neck. I just kind of kept on doing what I was doing and ended up with some holes. Well, let’s call it additional texture. Or maybe unintentional lacework. Or cotton/acrylic heartache. Whichever you please.

So I showed it to Jon and he was just plum out of ideas on how to fix it. I may as well have asked the hamster, I think I would have gotten the same hollow stare in response. I gave him a treat and looked for help from a more interested party. The coffee table had nothing for me either.

So I took it with me to Melanie’s on Friday night. I figured she’d have some practical advice considering she actually assembles her sweaters when she’s done knitting them. And of course, she did. She suggested I cover the unsightly holes using the woven seam stitch that I was using to sew the sweater together. Brilliant! So I did the weaving thing. It’s similar to the Mattress stitch, but it ends up imitating a row of stitches. You weave the needle under the "V"s of each stitch, alternating from one piece to the other for each stitch. It looks a lot like this. I couldn't find the exact method online, it changes depending on whether you're seaming row-to-row or stitch-to-stitch or stitch-to-row. I got it from Nancie Wiseman’s Finishing Techniques . This is the second sweater I’ve seamed using this book and it’s not too bad. The seams are a little thick inside the sweater, but I don’t think it’ll bee too lumpy. I need way more practice.

So whaddaya think? I’m pretty happy with it. I’m not a perfectionist, so I don’t mind a little wonk in my handmade stuff.

Melanie also hooked me up to her spinning wheel under the careful watch of her husband. (He told me when I needed to move the yarn down the spool. He’s adorable AND helpful!) I spun up some truly craptacular yarn. It was lumpy and fuzzy in some places and microscopically thin in others. But I can see how, once you get your groove on, spinning can be addictive. I just don't think I'm ready for one yet. I can't stop imagining a cat’s arm getting snapped off in the whirling wheel. I guess they’d learn after losing a couple, right?

And speaking of dismembered animals, we had a BBQ yesterday! Mmmmmmm . . . dismembered animalssss . . .

We fried a 16lb turkey in less than an hour! It was crispy, moist and de-freaking-licious. If you’re a vegetarian, look away. If not, feast your eyes on this tasty bastard. It looks burnt, but that's just the savory, crunchy shell. Like a big meat M&M.

And here are Dot and Mike enjoying their share of the catch. For some reason, Chi-Chi and Chloe didn’t want any. Perhaps they were waiting for the leftover steak. Well, they’d have to fight Charlene’s stack of cats for that. Good luck to ‘em.

And speaking of Chi-Chi.

Lately he’s been making tons of noise in the middle of the night. You know that incessant meowing that gets louder and more frenzied as it goes? meow. Meow. Meow. MEOW! MEOWMEOWMEOW!!! It sounds like he’s stuck in a closet or fighting ninjas or something. So the other night, Jon got up to see if everything was ok. He found Chi-Chi sitting there, staring at this.

The Sparkle Ball. It's his favorite toy, and yet it makes him scream. Since then, we’ve both seen him yowling with the ball actually in his mouth. Ummmm. What the hell? Does he like it? Hate it? Does it scare him? Please him to no end? Does it tickle? Does he think it’s a creature? Is it covered in LSD? What?!

Oh! By the way, thanks for all the commiserating on what is now dubbed "The Plaster Disaster". Carlos and I slaved for 4 days and we finished . . . wait for it . . . 4 rooms! Gah. Only 8 rooms to go. We'll probably get back to it later this week. I am happy to report that the Red Heart was used in a number of ways. We attached metal fittings to it to add weight and used it as a plumb line to go straight into the wall. This helped to get from one hole to another a few times. I also used it to tie the cats into the living room so they'd be out of the way. The door doesn't shut properly, so the yarn was their captor. (Don't worry, they had all the air conditioning while we lowly humans sweated buckets.) In the end, I'll be delighted we rewired, but I'm still allowed to grouse about it while the house is in dusty pieces.


Anonymous Jenn said...

Mine do that too - and only when holding their favorite mouse effigy in their mouths. Until I pay attention, that is. Then they drop it. I've been trying to get them to bring me the "mouse" for years, but they just don't get it, walnut-sized brains and all.

8/01/2005 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Jean said...

My friend's cat used to do something similar. She had this yeti stuffed "animal" that she used to drag around the house, yowling the whole time. Of course, it was more of a muffled "MMMPH!", but you get the picture.

8/01/2005 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger M said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/01/2005 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger M said...

Hello, yes, brain malfunction.

I suspect it's covered in LSD. Also, "big meat M&M" is the funniest thing I have read all day.

8/01/2005 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Micky said...

Yes that bird looks yummy. We had deep fried turkey one year. I love the crispy outside almost as much as the white meat inside. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
It's just a cat being a cat.

8/01/2005 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Kellee said...

Mmmmmmmmm......fried Turkey. Oh sure, fry a turkey when I'm safely out of town and can't come and, er, "share" it. Love.Love.Love.Fried.Turkey. Come to my house and do one? I have air conditioning.....

Oh yeah...knitting....that sweater is darned cute, and y'all are damned clever to have figured out that whole mattress-stitching-thingie.

And stop rolling your cat's toy in the Fancy Feast dry food...I know how you are.

8/01/2005 04:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is some carcass. And I think the neckline looks tons better - I too allow for a certain amount of wonkiness in my handknit goods.

My cat also yowls while carrying around her favorite toy - a wadded up ball of tin foil.

I think it is a mothering instinct or something. So I call her tinfoil ball her Space Kitten.


8/01/2005 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Christie said...

Fried turkey is the BEST!!! Although Ma Superstarra smoked a turkey and I must say it was pretty damn good too.

8/01/2005 11:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Vanessa said...

My cats have the same glitter ball (except yellow). They are completely obsessed with it. Must be the ball!

8/02/2005 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous melanie said...

All these cat and turkey comments and only one on my fabulous idea? Where is the blogger love? Maybe they don't think it looks good. I, for one, think it looks pretty damn good for a fudge. Yay!

8/02/2005 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Stitchy McYarnpants said...

mmmmmmm . . . . fuuuuuudge!

8/02/2005 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous CatBookMom said...

Our little Shadow sings, too, while carrying around her beloved, threadbare mousie. She takes care to do this in the hallway to get the best echoes, and preferably in the wee hours of the night. I call it her Kitty Arias, since she includes all sorts of warbles, gurgles, sustained high notes, and reprises. If we could only understand Cat, I'm sure she's telling us all the details of how she's once again slain the Elusive Mouse.

The 'fix' is definitely in; it's a wonderful design element for the terrific sweater. And the turkey looks fabulous; I'm drooling. Can I come help with the leftovers?

8/02/2005 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Marlena said...

Oh lord, does that turkey make me hungry. Mental note: must get hands on turkey fryer... or convince guys at work to use new fryer to make a very special lunch....

Nice fix for your sweater! I'll have to remember that. I always have such a hard time picking up stitches smoothly.

8/02/2005 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

My cat Sophie freaks me out at night because she likes to sit in the corner, stare up at nothing and meow as if her life depends on my coming to watch her meow up at nothing. It scares the hell out of me. Everytime she does it, I just pray that the ghost is nice.

8/04/2005 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger natasha said...

i can one up you, you know the foam cat toy balls that look like golf balls, all diffreent colors? one of my kitties manages to stuff 3 in her mouth and make a muffled cry whilst walking all around the house with them in her mouth,...sounds like" hulllllllloooooooo? huulllllllloooooo?"we have had petsetters get really really scared.

8/04/2005 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

My sister had us over for a turkey fry about a year ago. Her cat, Wiley, was oh-so-slowly-and-invisibly trying to get from the window ledge to the plate of turkey on the table. I saw her acrobatics, and watched her achieving the impossible dream. I figured, if she was going through all that, she deserved some turkey, by gosh! But, alas, my sister spotted the cat, and yelled "WILEYYYYYY!", and in a flash, Wiley was gone.
Oh yeah, love the knittin'!
Your site's fantastic!

8/05/2005 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

I've never fried a turkey despite decades in the South, but my son has and says it's great. Maybe this year I'll make him be chef. Naah, he'll want me to cook and make all the same comfort foods he's had since he was 2. His Thanksgiving is totally traditional, he only fries turkey for OTHER people. Oh, wait, I could get him to do it for Christmas, we have never had a fixed menu for Christmas. There ya go!

8/06/2005 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I had the same problem with the bands on my Scoop du Jour. I didn't weave because I was using Noro Silk Garden, and the fuzziness has pretty much taken care of hiding the holes. I went back over it to reinforce, though.

8/07/2005 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous DeanB said...

We once had a plaster disaster -- pieces of ceiling falling. Then we thought of what it would be if it had fallen on some of those violet flowers like small daisies -- an aster plaster disaster. But what if the first time the ceiling fell on our asters over the course of a day, and the second time it only took five minutes? A faster aster plaster disaster, of course.

8/10/2005 05:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Grace said...

My cat Fang (well, when he was a kitten, he bit me... what can I say?) was an absolutely gorgeous tall, elegant, regal black cat with the most gorgeous gold eyes.

He had the original silent meow: the little pink mouth opened, and you could see that whole big body strain to produce a sound, and ... well, maybe there was a tiny little squeak.

But with his favourite toy, which was an old, OLD (many many years old - I knit all my socks now!) pair of commercial knee-high socks tied into a ball... well, in the right frame of mind, he would carry it around in his mouth and produce the most amazing (sock-muffled) mmmMREEOOOOWooooOOoOoWWWooooeoooOW noises.

In the middle of the night.

I miss him. He died just a month and a half ago. Yes, I buried him with his toy. Sigh.

8/13/2005 10:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't laughed this hard in YEARS. Was it the deep fried M&M or the Sparkle Yarn feline encounter? Who knows...but I'm still afraid to hit the Disembodied Voice of Knitting link...because I thought it spoke only to me.

8/16/2005 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I had a similar problem with the neckline shaping on a sweater I am working on. Thank you for ideas on fixing it. I will have to see if I can do what you did. Check it out on my blog to see if that is a similar problem. (only if you have the time.)

8/19/2005 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger LotusGarden said...

Your cat is calling kittens. It's what cats do in the wild. Kittens hide while mom goes out to bag big game. Mom arrives home and (quietly) calls kittens out of hiding to eat. Same behaviour, wrong cats. Cats bred in captivity, male cats, kitten-free cats, all say, much too loudly,
"I have slain the sparkly green ball for you, kittens of my mind, now come and feast" My cats do it all the time.

8/24/2005 06:09:00 AM  
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