Stitchy McYarnpants

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

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Post Du Jour

Looky! It’s practically a sweater! A Scoop du Jour, to be exact. Once it’s dry, I need to add the button bands and a neck band. I’m really looking forward to picking out buttons. It’s a fun, simple knit and if I like it as much as I think I will I’m going too make one in black. The color in this picture isn’t very accurate. It’s a much lighter, prettier green. Now that I look at it, this Khaki-ish color isn’t bad. Maybe I need another one. After the black one.

See that empty tomato pin cushion? That little guy was fully studded when I started. Word to the wise, get more that 100 pins. I thought I was overdoing it with the 100-pack, but I ran out after the second sleeve. More. Pins.

I also finally got around to felting my purple bag and flower. Here’s a look into the briny deep of the Maytag Ocean. It looks like ethereal sea creatures playing in the Great Agitator Reef, doesn’t it?

They didn’t felt as much as I had hoped, but I still really like them. The rose wasn’t made for the bag, but I think it’s kind of cute on there. I was planning on making a whole bunch of flowers and now that I see it felted, I have a few ideas about what to do with them.

We at Chez Stitchy are also in the midst of a full-blown electrical drama. Those of you who own an old house can commiserate with me on this one. Crumbly is a word that should be used to describe the topping on a coffee cake or ancient ruins in Greece. It should not be an appropriate descriptor of electrical wiring. And yet, at our house, it is a sad and scary fact that our “vintage” knob and tube wiring is crumbling quicker that me at a good sale on mohair. No good can come of it.

On Friday, our house decided that it didn’t want to have electricity in the front rooms any more. It mumbled something about air conditioners, then just gave up on Thomas Edison’s wacky idea. Luckily, we have an electrician named Carlos that we love. He works with my brother, who is a carpenter, on a lot of different projects. Carlos is very reasonably priced. The reason is that when he's working on your house, you are automatically deputized as his assistant. If he needs something, you get it. Whether it’s from the kitchen, the basement, or Home Depot, you’re getting it. He was installing a new circuit breaker panel thingy (I’ve learned a lot of technical terms since Saturday) and needed something to hold some wires up so they wouldn’t fall back into the wall. “Do you have any string or anything?” he asked. Jon paused thoughtfully, trying to think of something string-like in our house. He was stumped. Dude, string is what we have the MOST of! I immediately ran and fetched the Red Heart. Jon doubted that it would be what he needed, but he underestimated the power of acrylic. It was just what the electrician ordered.

Here is a close-up of the Red Heart hard at work. I hope my yarn doesn’t try to unionize, I can’t afford healthcare for alpaca.

At one point, Carlos got into the crawlspace between our ceiling and the roof. It was a million degrees and I can’t believe he got in. I also can’t believe he got out. Watching him extricate himself backwards and searching with his feet for the rickety wooden ladder was too much to bear. It was like our ceiling was having a breech birth. Luckily, we moved on to Plan B right away.

Here’s a peek at the space. You can see the old knob and tube wiring in the back. Not a whole lot of room. I couldn’t stop imagining Carlos passing out from the heat and us trying to drag him out.

I’m glad we switched to Plan B because it went pretty well. It involved snaking a line through the ceiling from the front of the house to the back – about 50 feet, I think. Here’s Jon pulling the line back with the electrical wire attached. It was quite a feat. He was making all kinds of “working hard” faces, but kept turning away when I tried to take a picture.

Here are Jon’s thoughts about the day of hard work done in a meduim of plaster and laminate tabletop.

At the end of the day, the yarn’s work was done.

But our was not. Not nearly. We are nowhere near even remotely finished. We're basically rewiring the entire apartment (10 rooms if you include the porch, which I totally forgot to include yesterday). This is a huge effort. A major home renovation that we embarked on with a day’s notice and not much of a choice. It’s either this or no power in half the house and a blazing fire in the other from all the extension cords. It would be overwhelming if I would allow myself to fathom it, but so far, I just look at it as a little quality time with Carlos. But really, it entails about 8 holes in the walls and ceiling of each room (sometimes more if the snake can’t get through). I refuse to multiply the number of rooms by the average number of holes. I’m just not doing it. Carlos is coming back on Monday, Jon will be at work, so we can’t tag-team our assistant responsibilities. It’s all me. And I know it won’t be done on Monday. What have we gotten ourselves into? But I guess that’s the life you choose when you own an old home full of charm and original detail, like disintegrating cloth-covered wires. (I like to pretend that we own the house, even though I know it’s the other way around.)

Here is a sample of our new holes. Pretty, huh? Now image a house made mostly of these things. And the plaster pouring out of each one.

Oh my freakin’ head.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

It's me again.

Wow. Thanks you all so much for the kind (and often hilarious) comments in response to my last posting. I knew it would strike a cord and I knew lots of women have had similar experiences and I had a feeling I’d get reports on the personal preferences of your own fibroids. But still, I’m amazed and touched. It took me a few days to decide whether to post about the miscarriage and the twittering fibroids, but after seeking counsel with Melanie, I went for it. I’m glad I did. I’ve experienced something that is so common, yet rarely discussed and even if we react differently, there’s a measure of understanding that is very comforting. It’s almost unspoken. Beneath the warm wishes and commiseration, there’s a small sigh that carries with it a lot of different emotions. It’s hard to describe, but I’ve never felt more like a woman. I usually think of myself as a “gal” or a “chick”, but a miscarriage is purely a woman’s issue. And dealing with fibroids and fertility has forced me to confront the essence of my womanhood. I know that sounds really Lifetime Networky (quick, someone call Meredith Baxter Birney – stat!), but reproduction is a big, fat deal. Whether you choose to have kids or not, whether you are able to have them or not, it’s all part of the whole feminine mystique, isn’t it? Fan-friggin-tastic. Bring it on!

And just a quick update, I had the D&C almost two weeks ago and everything went very smoothly. It was quick and painless, and the drugs were top quality. I felt so refreshed when I woke up, then they covered me with heated blankets and brought me buttered cinnamon raisin toast. It was the closest I’ve even been to being at a spa. The only thing they could have done to improve conditions would have been to offer me a pedicure and some lipo while I was under. I will now be free of sharp, pokey things until August. And then, no more Bagel Bites for YOU, fibies!

I’ve gotten waaaay out of the habit of blogging and I need to get myself back in. I keep thinking of things to write about and I have a backlog of things that need to be photographed, but I’ve lost those little holes I used to carve out in my day for blogging. I’ll get the chisel.

On the kitting front, I’m working steadily on Scoop du Jour by Bonne Marie Burns. Speaking of whom, it has come to my attention that I’ve been adding an “i” to her name to make her a “Bonnie Marie”. But her name is pronounced “bon”, like “Jon” but with a “B”. I could swear that I’ve seen the “i” in her name. Naturally, I assumed she was gaslighting me and changed her first name everywhere on her website. You know, just to mess with me. She swears this is not the case. THEN, I find out that ChicKnits is pronounced “sheek knits”, all frenchy-like. I’ve been calling it “Chick Knits”. What, I ask you, the hell? Why am I not able to comprehend the language over at Bonne’s place? (Do you know how hard it was to leave that “i” out? Do you?)

But anyway, I’m loving the sweater so far. I’ve got the back and left front piece finished. I’m using TLC Cotton Plus in Kiwi green. The pattern calls for Cotton Ease, but since it’s discontinued, I didn’t think I’d be able to get any. Since then, I got enough Cotton Ease for two more sweaters. Oops. :) They’re definitely different yarns. The Cotton Plus has more sheen, but it’s very soft, I also had to go up one needle size to get gague. I’ll be photographing it soon to show it off.

I have to say that the Scoop du Jour is just what I needed on my needles. I’ve been stuck on the idea of doing something lacey, but I just haven’t been able to concentrate and have become really frustrated. I’ve got three failed lacey things put aside for when my brain is in better working condition. But now the fog has lifted, my obsession has been rekindled and I’m cranking away! I have also come to terms with the fact that I just don’t like wearing wool. Wool blends are ok, but mostly, I wear cotton and cotton blends. This has come as a huge relief because cotton is a lot cheaper and now I’m really excited about making things I will actually wear for not that much money. Yay, me! Don’t get me wrong, I still love me some alpaca and wool, but I like them more for hats and scarves and shawls. I wear a shawl at work all the time, and I like that I can toss it on and off with ease. I was working on the Flower Basket shawl in Koigu, but got all messed up with the chart. Hopefully, after some success with a couple of sweaters, I’ll have my bearings back and will finish that up in the fall.

Finally, here is something I think you will like.


- Have swallowed your coffee/soda/tea
- Have recently evacuated your bladder
- Don’t care if the guy in the next cube hears you snort with laughter
- Have a score to settle with your cat

You have been warned.

Wesley Buckaroo