Stitchy McYarnpants

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Weather Woes

Well, there’s not much more to say about the mess Katrina has made than has already been said. Good vibes, best wishes, warm thoughts, all of that goes out to everyone suffering. But the best thing you can send is money. Because there are no resources to store or distribute donations of food, clothing, or even lovingly knitted blankets, people are urged to send moulah. Cold hard cash. Greenbacks. It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.

Let’s show them the money, people!

And if you're so inclined, help some furry critters out, too.

Pretend you’re going to make a gorgeous, luxurious blanket, hat, or scarf to comfort someone who has been affected. Now, save yourself a bunch of time and just send the money you would have spent on the yarn. Then throw in a little more for a pair of matching slippers.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Museum of Kitschy Stitches, Vol. VII - Living in the Eighties

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Friday, August 26, 2005

A recent recording from 911 dispatch . . .

Hello, Police?

Yes, I’d like to report an assault.

Yes, that’s right. On my senses! We aren't even safe in our own Inboxes anymore!! Send the fashion squad immediately. Bring a tranquilizer gun and some matches!

Don't forget the unicorns this time!

Looks like Melanie’s list of things to knit (and buy and feed and fawn over) is going to take on a decidedly Noah’s Ark-ish tone in the coming months. Two of everything.

Congratulations, pumpkin!!!

Now I’m off to hoard clearance-priced Cotton Ease so I can get in on this action . . .

Two of these, coming right up!



Don't worry Melanie, I'm just kidding. I would never do that to you. :)

Monday, August 22, 2005

. . .and now, a special message from Stitchy



I just thought you should know.

And as we begin our long, potentially annoying week, let’s all take a moment to thank our lucky stars that our choice is no longer limited to “mammoth-sized” or the sleek new “is that a pony in your pants or are you having your period?". Observe how neatly they fold up. It's almost as easy as folding a phone book! Sisters, I think we can all agree that those dark times were MaxiBad.



Now let's all put on some white pants and go horseback riding. Whaddaya say? Who's with me?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Houston, We Have a Sweater

Ze Scoop, she is done! Hazah! Please ignore the fat-headed picture. It was the best of the lot and we were out of paper bags.



A few facts about our little Scoopie:

She was lovingly handcrafted from 6 skeins of TLC Cotton Plus in Kiwi. The pattern was written for Cotton Ease and the gauge in Cotton Plus was off a little, so I went up a needle size. Her bust size is 40” (ooh la la) and her measurements are just as the pattern says they should be. She likes puppies and long walks in the rain, mainly because she’s machine washable. Scoopie is currently not attached because she has no buttons, but hopefully that will change soon, if the right buttons come along. She’s looking for a little glamour, some sizzle to brighten up her days and nights.

Here’s another, more jarring look at da Scoop. I forgot to put it away after I measured it and it was instantly descended upon. No worries, I rescued it before Dot got her choppers on it. But check out that biscuit action shot!


Last Saturday, I attended a fantastic yarn dyeing party hosted by the delightful Julia at Moth Heaven (trust me, it is a name well deserved. Her stash room is the stuff that moth folklore is made of.). After initial alarm at hearing that I was going to Julia’s to dye and thinking he’d have to take care of the cats on his own from now on, Jon asked if we were going to buy anything. I tried to explain that just because we were going out on a yarn-related adventure, it didn’t mean that we were going to be making any purchases. Knitters can actually have an afternoon where they don’t buy anything at all. And then Kellee ended buying a drum carder from another knitter (I can’t remember who), so I stand corrected. I guess we can’t have those kinds of days.

Also, I got a special treat from Teresa at Knitting the Blues (who was wearing the tank top that I have so admired.) She was trying to de-stash and I got this pretty cotton chenille in “Stone”. I’m not sure what I’m going to make, but it’s going to be soft and it’s going to be pretty, dammit! Thank you, Teresa!! It was great to meet you and help myself to your yarn. Here is Chloe, modeling the yarn. She’s a nice shade of Ginger Sand. It goes well with Stone, doesn’t it?


And here is the yarn I dyed. It was kindly donated to me by Kellee because I just couldn’t get it together enough to get my own. Its KnitPicks previously undyed sock yarn. Hmmm, there’s a theme here of people handing things over to me. I like it. Knitters are wonderful, as it turns out. And for that, I’m very thankful.


The top one is hopefully going to stripe in purple and green with little pink dots here and there. Hopefully. Maybe. Who knows. The other one is sort of randomly splotched with color.



You can see that one side of the skein is entirely different that the other when you peek inside. This could prove to be totally heinous, but again, we’ll see. I am officially motivated to make some socks now. Does anyone have a favorite, easy pattern for sock virgins? * filthy innuendos deleted *

And to continue in the I’m-too-lazy-to-do-it-myself, I got a new winter coat yesterday! Charlene went shopping and couldn’t decide between two coats, so she bought both and just figured I’d want whichever one she decided against. She was absotootely correct! Its wool, has big buttons, and is very smarly tailored. It’s an actual flattering, girly coat. A far cry from my usual shapeless lump of a winter coat. I tried to get a picture, but black wool is kind of hard to capture. Just trust me on this one.

Plus . . . .

It’s a J-Lo. Because, you know, I’m still Stitchy from the block. You have to love a line of fashion clothing that has a category called “Dresses & Jumpsuits”. I can only imagine how I would look in a JLo jumpsuit. The mind reels. Then wretches. Then throws up a little.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Got pants?

OK, which one of you found my blog using the keywords "women taking off pants"? C'mon, fess up. Don't be such a bum. I won't get my panties in a bunch, I swear.


No one?


Party pooper.

(Any and all puns about buns welcome at this point. Go ahead, make my day.)

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.