Stitchy McYarnpants

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

Friday, January 28, 2005

So I was cleaning the litter box this morning . . .

You gotta love a post that starts with those words, don’t you?

But first, let me get the knitting stuff our of the way. Here is a new picture of the Tropical Shawl, all blocked. I don’t know if it looks much different than the previous pictures of it, but it had definitely changed. It’s less sproingy, flatter, more mature. I gave it to Charlene to send off to Florida today. I’ll miss it. I may have to make one for myself. Lord knows I’ve got the goods.

And here is the back of the Stitch n’ Bitch hoodie I started. I have revised my position about the size. Elisa’s comment yesterday not only made me laugh, it made me pause for thought. I knew she was right and I’d end up hating my new ginormous sweater. I was all set to rip it, then I paused for thought again (wow, twice in one day – I need to give the ol' bean a rest) and held it up to an old favorite sweater that I’ve worn so much that it is no longer really wearable (it’s amazing what too much deodorant does to acrylic – it’s gone all funky). Turns out the hoodie is just about the same size, so it’s full steam ahead! I’m using Classic Elite 03 Tweed. The amazing thing is, I’m actually using it for its intended purpose. I actually had this sweater in mind when I bought it. Go me!

Caryn’s comment also got me where it counts. It appears that January is slipping by and the great halls of the Museum are eerily quiet. Rest assured that I’m working on it and I may get it in under the wire. If not, extra treats in February!

Ooh, speaking of extra treats, my company moved and I got an office of my very own! While shopping for refurbished office furniture, I spyed with my little eye this amazing chair. The place we went to had a few pieces of antique office furniture, so this must have been part of someone’s posh lobby at one point. I knew I had to have it. It’s the most comfortable chair in the world and all who touch it with their buttocks fall instantly under its spell. And my mohair shawl looks great on it, doncha think? Audrey Hepburn suits it perfectly. Spongebob is just there to gay the place up a little.

My office is now the hip place to be and everyone wants to lay their cheeks in my chair. Check out the claw feet! They look more like talons, actually.

On the home front, this is pretty much how dinner looks at Chez McYarnpants. Classy, eh? The vultures don’t even wait for the corpse to die. Jon always gets very smug when this happens because they don’t really bother him too much. I know it’s my own fault, but I try to live a life of giving. I have a need to share, I can’t help it. Who knew a few morsels now and again would hurt anyone? I fear that if I die alone in that apartment, only my glasses would remain.

And with that, I will tell you what I found during my archeological dig this morning. Lots of poop and pee. That’s pretty much it. But, and I feel I can share this with you because we’ve grown close over these past few months, I did find something unnerving among the usual artifacts. I’m not going to post it right here. You’ll have to click on Dot to see what she left me. It’s for your own good, trust me. You just never know when your boss will pop around the corner and ask what you’re looking at. This way, you don’t have to say “Stitchy McYarnpants’ cat’s crap”. Not yet, anyway. Also, this is a decision you need to make for yourself. Do you really and truly want to see my cat’s crap? Really?

As you can see, there are distinct stitches visible in the poo. There is some kind of knitted fabric in there. Now, this is not all that surprising given Dot’s peculiar nature, but the unnerving part is that I have no idea what this is a piece of. I can only think of one thing I’ve made with red yarn and it was given to someone as a gift. Jon and I don’t really wear red, and the one red sweater I do have is in a drawer. I can’t think of a single thing in my house that is knitted and red. So either there is some mysterious, forgotten thing in my house that now has a giant hole in it, or Dot has her own stash of yarn and can knit in stockinette with her ass.


Hey, don’t blame me if you can finish your lunch, you’re the one who clicked the picture.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Note to self:

Do not start making a sweater when you’re feeling bloated.

I’m about 6 inches into the hoodie from the first Stitch 'n Bitch and I made it in size large. Now I think it’s going to be too large, especially in the boobal region. It's looking like a pretty large large, but I really don’t want to rip it all out. I know I should just suck it up and start over, but geez, it’s such a pain. I have decided that I have two choices.

1. Finish it as is, then throw it in the dryer to magically give it the perfect fit.

2. Eat more.

I think either of these will work nicely.

I’m glad my little bear got such a good reaction. I was hoping to sicken you all with his cuteness and it looks like it worked. I highly recommend making one, it’s fun, easy, and really makes people gag when you’re done!

I blocked the lace shawl yesterday and I continue to be amazed at the difference it makes. The lace opened right up, it’s less springy, and actually feels lighter. (maybe I can persuade my handsome model to help me out with some pictures - from the back! Woo!) I used the Euclan no rinse wool wash I got at Patternworks last week and I'm hooked. No rinsing? Sign me up! I have also become a spin cycle groupie. I soaked the shawl and Jon’s sweater in a plastic bin for 15 minutes and then threw them into the washing machine dripping wet, with nary a squeeze from my delicate hands. After five minutes of centrifuging, they were practically dry and yet not twisted, mangled, or mutilated! Zowie! The shawl was dry by that night, and the sweater was dry by the next day. Freakin’-A, man, the spin cycle.

If you're feeling a little randy and are looking for some good fiber porn, head over to Hello Yarn. The entire page is dripping with all manner of delight. No matter what your pleasure - plied, unspun, died, or in the buff, you'll be glad you peeked. And you can buy her wares so you can touch it, too. Sometimes yarn is just as good (maybe better) off the needles as it is on.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

So, it snowed.

And snowed. And snowed some more. I don’t have any pictures because I’m in sweats and don’t feel like putting shoes on. So there. What I can tell you is that the 2-foot-tall stone wall across the street is no longer visible. This was a good one. I just can’t believe that local TV stations are so happy to forgo all other programming to have people yap on about the fact that it’s snowy here in New England. From what they were saying over and over, Plymouth got hit really hard. I hope Melanie and her mister are ok and have a full supply of hot cocoa! Cuddle up and keep warm, kids!

So, last Sunday was my mom’s birthday and I took her to Patternworks to pick out some fancy shmancy stuff to get her stash going. She just started knitting again, so she’s stashless at the moment. That won’t last for long, not if I have anything to say about it. It turns out that my parents live just a half an hour away from Patternworks. This is dangerous news. They may see an increase in visits from now on. Jon, my dad, and my brother were also with us. Like at Christmas, my dad drove and we kids were in the back. The men did quite well in the store. Jon didn’t try to run away (he was securely fasted to the door with some lovely Rowan Plaid), my sister-in-law is a new knitter so my bro got her some stuff, and my dad thought it was pretty interesting and even picked out some Plymouth Encore for an impending scarf.

And then he said it. I was innocently looking at some Debbie Bliss something-or-other and my dad was purchasing his yarn at the front counter. Then, I kid you not, the following words came out of his mouth: “Do you have any kind of senior citizen discount?” ok, that’s not so bad, the guy has been waiting his whole life to be old enough for an occasional 10% discount. But then he laughed and said “Well, I guess pretty much everyone who knits is a senior citizen, huh?”


I immediately asked if he had just said what I thought he said and whether he was trying to get us kicked out. The friendly women at the front counter laughed good-naturedly, for which I was grateful. Sheesh. I mean, is Justine Bateman a senior citizen? Huh? Is Russell Crowe* popping Geritol by the handful?? Pffft.

But we did get some great stuff. My mom got some gorgeous bulky chenille in garnet (it’s dark red/pink/purple), a couple of skeins of Odyssey yarn in Sherbert with some fuzzy pink Berocco yarn to go with it, a fuzzy sheep tape measure, and some assorted notions (I love the notions!). I got some on-sale Koigu in deep reds, Eucalan wool wash, and Knitters Little Helper hand balm. I cannot express strongly enough how much you need this hand balm. Jennie introduced me to it, and it’s amazing. It smells good, it feels good. It. Is. Good.

Also, as promised, here is a picture of the finished shawl. It’s hard to photograph an entire shawl, so I did what I could. Note the local news is on in the background with the spiffy "BLIZZARD" graphic at the bottom.

And here are some pictures of my new snowy day project. It’s an as-of-yet unnamed needle felted bear. Cute, huh? I'm think he looks like a Bailey, but I'm not sure.

I got the kit from Marr Haven Wool Farm I really wanted the white one, but they were out of stock and won’t have more for another month. I think the tan one turned out pretty well, considering it’s my first try. This little bear has enough of my DNA in it to clone me some day. Those felting needles are sharp! I’m definitely going to make more of these. It took 4 or 5 hours from start to finish and I really liked the instant gratification after spending so much time on that lace shawl.

I decided to try making one after seeing the work done by Norm over at Kim’s blog. She makes amazing bears as well, but those are way too ambitious for me. I’m not a very good seamstress, but poking things with sharp objects is my kind of fun! Give it a try!

*yes, I know he doesn’t really knit, and I also know that Justine Bateman’s knitted underwear is a little impractical.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Well hello there. Nice to see you again.

Hi. Remember me? I occasionally write things here. Yeah, yeah, I’ve been busy. But I’m here now and that’s what matters, right?

So how have you been?

Me? Oh, how sweet of you to ask. I’m good. Work has been really busy, you know how it is. I saw my darling Ms. Melanie on Saturday. As her blog would lead you to believe, I was 2 hours late because I was on a leisurely drive. My detour was more of a hellish descent into a dark spiral of frustration and shame. Anyone in Massachusetts can attest to the mystical properties of Interstates 93 and 95. Like the cables of a mighty Rogue, they intertwine playfully. They also can go North or South with nary a concern for the seaman’s compass. I was listening to Air America, simmering about the state of our great nation, and I missed magic portal where 93 continues being 93. I was immediately but imperceptibly transported to 95. I could regale you with the wonders which befell me, the sights I saw (sometimes more than once), the gigantic circles in which I drove for two hours trying to get my journey back on track. But I won’t. Just know that I teetered on that line between laughing and crying hysterically for the second hour.

I finally got to the coffee shop and was delighted to see that Melanie was still there. I figured she would have left by then, although I did call the coffee shop and had the guy at the counter tell her I’d be late. So very late. I did miss seeing Bendetta (who is an amazing knitter with a brand new bouncing baby blog – check her out!), she had to leave before I got there. I also missed seeing Elisa, Wendy, and Jennie, but only because they couldn’t make it at all. Melanie and I had a lovely time, we eventually went back to her place where we watched Garden State, which I wholly recommend.

In project news, my Tropical Shawl is finally done and I’m really happy with it! I just need to block it and I can send it to my friend’s mom in Florida. Pictures are forthcoming. I showed it to her when we visited in November and she thought it would be perfect for cool nights on the yearly cruise she and her husband take. I love the simple feather-and-fan pattern. It’s so simple, but it looks complicated and delicate.

I also got my yarn from Danette Taylor and it’s just as beautiful as I had hoped. The alpaca is thinner than the laceweight I used for the shawl. When I met Bookish Wendy a few weeks ago, she declared that I needed some chunky yarn to combat the laceweight. I know she’s right, but I must say that I’m rather fond of teeny, thin, lacey yarn. Unfortunately, it takes forever to knit up and I don’t have as much time to knit as I would like. I think I’ll go for something a little thicker for the next project. I could use a little instant gratification. In fact, I am. I started a scarf using the loopy mohair. You really have to pay attention, otherwise you end up knitting the loops instead of the stitches.

In the comments a post or two ago, Mayflwr asked what I was going to do with all that Geisha yarn I bought a while ago. She has some, too, and doesn’t have anything in mind for it. Well, me either, sister. I was originally going to use it with a vintage mohair sweater pattern, but the colors are a little too soft for a sweater I’d actually wear. The light blue and lilac look great together, though, so I may make a couple of long stripey, lacey scarves as mid-winter gifts. The yarn takes lace patterns really well, but it sucks to rip out because the fuzz gets all knotted up. I ended up tossing a lump of it away when I was wresting with the Ostrich Plume shawl (which I vow to do. At an undetermined point in the future.) I need to take a good, hard look at my stash and start putting patterns to all this yarn. I have a bunch, and yet I don’t have anything specific in mind for most of it. It reminds me of being a kid on summer vacation. You’re dying of boredom even though you’re surrounded with fun things to do. Then you end up doing the same old stuff every day. I need to gather it all up and take a retreat in the woods with it. I need to Be the Yarn.

On a side note, is anyone watching Trading Spouses? I occasionally catch it, and for some reason, it strikes a nerve in me. It’s like Good vs. Evil. Typically, the Evil is represented by the neat-freak and all the light shines on the lady who doesn’t always necessarily clean the bathroom all the time. Or ever. This is the show for me. It makes me feel like one of the good guys. Tonight's is especially good. One woman's house is a total wreck and her daughter has a fake eye which she needs very little prompting to take out for the amusement of others. The other mom is a compulsive neat freak who vacuums her house a few times a day and feels that hugging people crosses a boundary that she's not comfortable crossing. Guess who I love best?

Monday, January 10, 2005

My Husband is a Bona Fide Hottie!

I knew it all along, but now it’s been confirmed! Look what just come in over the newswire!

“The Man-Along has come to an end and judgment was finally passed this weekend. Knit-o-Rama’s Master of Ceremonies, Drew, announced two winners in this contest devoted to knitted menswear. The entries included a dazzling array of gorgeous sweaters and handsome men, each one worthy of a prize. Decisions did not come easy, but eventually, they were made.

The first prize, awarded for Best Overall Sweater, went to April, a descendant of the late, great Elvis Presley. Her design was based on a sweater actually worn by the King himself. “ThankYuhVeryMuch”, April replied, as she accepted her award. “That’s alright, Mama”, quipped Drew. The audience pleaded for the Elvis jokes to cease before they got out of hand. Stitchy McYarnpants, a fellow contestant and self-professed Elvis fan, quietly slipped out of her blue suede shoes and later admitted she had planned on wearing a sequined jumpsuit, but was glad she didn’t. McYarnpants had no prior knowledge of the winner’s famous relation and planned on wearing the sequin-encrusted one-piece ‘just because’. April was duly rewarded with a copy of the book Men in Knits, #10 ebony needles and silk needle bag both from Lantern Moon. We look forward to April’s future endeavors in sweater-making.

Blog-watchers were on the edge of their seats as the second award was presented. The much coveted “Hottest Model” prize had been used for months to woo some contestants’ models into performing all manner of tasks. It is reported that the phrase “Most hot sweater models enjoy modeling other stuff. Now put on this Tropical Shawl.” was actually used in at least one instance. Until the announcement was made, it was anyone’s game. After much deliberation, the contest organizer relented and declared Jon McYarnpants the winner, officially recognizing him as “Hott”. According to Drew, his decision was influenced by his boyfriend Dan’s insistence that he would buy Jon a drink if he saw him in a bar. Sources close to us have confirmed that Jon would indeed accept the proposed drink and would most likely chat Dan up for the entire evening. Upon hearing of his victory, Mr. McYarnpants turned several shades of red and proclaimed “Wow. And they didn’t even see my butt!” Ms. McYarnpants added “He really does have a nice butt!” Jon has been very generously awarded with a manly gift certificate to Home Depot. His wife is trying to decide which of the contest entries she will attempt next for her Hot Husband.”

Besides his fantastic butt, here are some other reasons that I think Jon is Hot:

1. He has great eyes that go between green and blue, depending on what he’s wearing.

2. He has perfect eyebrows. I pay money to have hot wax dripped on my face, then ripped off to have eyebrows like he does.

3. He makes me laugh.

4. He’s a very talented artist. He draws and sculpts exceptionally well.

5. He knows a little something about seemingly everything. He’s my Go To guy for questions about outer space, ancient history, theology, current events, and generally knows how things work. Sometimes he even draws diagrams to help me understand certain mechanical workings.

6. He is not the least bit interested in sports.

7. He had a very religious upbringing and although he has no particular interest in practicing religion, he has a good working knowledge of the bible. If someone uses their supposed Christianity as a weapon, he can recall passages, psalms and Biblical events to prove them wrong.

8. He kisses me hello and goodbye every day.

9. If they are nearby, he also kisses the cats hello and goodbye. He also came up with the habit of leaving one cat in charge when we leave together. He announces who it is just before we close the door.

10. During this past holiday season, he wore the Manly sweater I made him every time we went someplace that he wanted to look “nice”. He proudly told people that I made it for him.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Button, button . . . who's got the button?

Now that yet another year has been heaped upon us, I suppose I should resolve to do something, right? And since I’m in Blogland, one would imagine it should be something blog-related. I guess I could post more, and I really should make some buttons for this blog. But who would even notice if I did this stuff?

Apparently those knotty gals at JenLa would. Imagine that. Jen and La put together a Best of ’04 list and I’m amazed to be mentioned in two categories. They are “Blog We’d Like to Pressure for More Posting” and “Blog We’d Most Like to Get a Button”. So it seems that I may not be one of the “Best” of ’04, but perhaps the “Laziest”. Ok, ok, I can take a hint. Luckily, I was able to fulfill at least one of their wishes, and I didn’t even have to get off my lazy ass to do it! So there! I will make with the monkey-dancing for their amusement when I'm good an ready. And when I get a proper fez.

Here are some goofy buttons I made to use to link to my site. I’m assuming everyone knows the drill, but I’ll say it anyway. If you want to use one (thank you in advance), please, please, PLEASE save it to your own computer and upload it from there rather than hotlinking to it directly from here. (do the old Right Click, Save Picture As thing).

Man, I am totally susceptible to peer pressure. It’s amazing I haven’t joined a gang by now. Wait, are we knitters considered a gang?

(Please let me know if these are ok or if they’re too big or anything. I really didn’t know what I was doing when making them and for all I know they’re too wide to fit into a sidebar.)