Stitchy McYarnpants

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Attention all Boston-area-ish knitters!

As you all know, The Yarn Harlot has issued a challenge. Not only is she challenging our knitting bravado, she is asking us to put our collective sanity on the line for her amusement (sure, she’ll say it’s so we can feel some sense of accomplishment, but really, she wants to see us squirm). And against every instinct I possess, I have decided to take up this challenge. But I can’t do it alone. Bookish Wendy, Obsession Kellee, and I have decided to co-sponsor Team Boston in the first Knitting Olympics.

If you’re interested, head over to the Team Boston blog to learn how you can participate! Click the bra and let your Olympic odyssey begin!

Just an update to tell you that the buttons have arrived! They're great! Mr. Bookish made them for us and they're fresh out of the oven. Get 'em while they're hot! And don't forget, if you don't want to join the Olympics, but still want to take part in the fun, you can join Team Boston's Cheerleading Squad. You know you want to.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


cough . . . splutter . . . pblblblblllttttt

Phew! I’m just slipping my head out of my work-induced cocoon for a moment to let you all know that I haven’t pupated or anything yet. I’m still here! But before long, I’ll be emerging as a beautiful butterfly. It’s what makes this seclusion worth it. These long hours slaving away in the software mines is going to pay off big when I’ve sprouted wings and can fly away from the shackles of the computer. Why else would I be working so hard for this client who doesn’t seem to appreciate all of my and my co-workers excruciatingly endless hours of dedication to their satisfaction? Surely my cramped and hunched body will be left slumped over the laptop when I burst free with my exciting new look! Right?


I’m not going to pupate? Well, then why did I think I was?

Oh! It’s because I’ve been working too much and have started to hallucinate from staring at the computer screen for 16 hours a day! Right! That would explain the tremors and overall oogyness and feelings of agoraphobia setting in. I’ve become a work hermit! My skin has become pale and thin. My eyes have adapted to the glow of the computer screen and my pupils have taken on a rather interesting swirling effect. My fingers are permanently bent for optimal mouse manipulation. My mind is a finely honed instrument, trained to think of nothing but work. Suddenly half a bag of Doritos is a sensible lunch. My cats have been lost under indistinguishable piles of both clean and dirty laundry, their muffled cries going unheeded. My husband has been assimilated by some sort of creature born of the stack of dirty dishes and he now insists on being referred to as MoldySinkCrud453. The dust bunnies have started growling for attention and my eyelids just fell off. Things at Chez Stitchy are dire.

But I did make a mitten! Lookee! I used Rowan’s Cashsoft Aran and I am smitten with this here mitten. It’s my first, so I’m inordinately pleased with it.

It’s so soft and rich-feeling, a bona-fide tactile delight. The other one is not far behind, these babies go quick. I’m using a 2-needle pattern from the 70’s and I really like it. There's a seam along the side, but you can't really feel it. Well, you can, but you can damn well ignore it, thankyouverymuch. I’m still eyeing the dpns with a little suspicion. I went to Patternworks over the weekend with my mom and mother-in-law (my dad waited very patiently in the car), and along with the Cashsoft, I picked up the instructional booklet about the Magic Loop method of sock-making. I got a set of size 7 Addi turbos to start with. They were out of 40” cables, so I got the 32”. I think they’ll work just fine.

I also started making Samus using the K1C2 Creme Brulee I got a Webs a while back. I wanted to do something a little more challenging, but not outrageous. I’ve been working so much lately that I haven’t been able to focus on anything really detailed. I thought this was a good start.

I’ve messed around a bit with cables, but this is the first real piece I’ll be putting them on, so I’m taking it easy. Slow and steady wins the race and all of that. So far, I’m loving it. I’m not good enough to do cables completely without the cable needle yet, but I’m also not knitting off it either. I’m sort of doing a hybrid of taking the stitches off the left needle with the cable needle and replacing them after I’ve grabbed the other stitches off the right needle, then knitting everything off the left needle. I find myself fumbling around a lot less. Eventually, I'll lose the cable needle all together and just go balls to the wall without it. Wooo! I live on the edge, babies.

The Clapotis is finished and it seems to have sprouted some sort of tenticular (that’s with an ‘n’, cheeky monkeys) appendage on the corner. I haven’t blocked it yet, so I’m still debating on whether to keep the ancillary arm and chalk it up to evolution or rip out the corner and even it out as best I can. What say you? Cosmetic surgery for the Clap or should I let its freak flag fly?

So, is anyone else sorely tempted to join The Yarn Harlot’s Knitting Olympics? I know Kellee is joining (she didn’t have to actually tell me, I just knew). I’m tempted, but I just don’t know if I can do that to my husband. He’s such a nice man, I would hate to put him through that.

Thanks to everyone for their kind words and well wishes on my last post. (for a real "awwww" moment, look at one of the last comments on that post. It's from my dad. awwwwwww) I really look forward to seeing what 2006 will bring. It’s like that game show “Let’s Make a Deal”. I hope everyone picks the right door. But even if you don’t, who couldn’t use a new pet donkey? (do you think people actually got to keep their gag gifts. I mean, some people might really want a donkey.)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Happy Belated New Year!

I haven’t felt particularly inclined to do an end-of-the-year post, but then, I suddenly was. A little late, but if you know one thing about me, it’s that I work on my own timetable. It’s irritating to everyone else who doesn’t live my own personal time zone, which is everyone. Love me, love my screwed-up internal clock.

This year has been a really weird one. Lots of good stuff, plenty of bad stuff, even more boring stuff. Today was my due date from the pregnancy I lost in June. I haven’t really been dwelling on it, but I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t been on my mind lately. You can’t help but look back at the past year and try to encapsulate it. It’s what starting a new year is all about. Try as I might, I can’t even imagine having a kid today. Literally today. Our house isn’t even fit for a baby to visit, never mind live in! I know we would have gotten everything pulled together and we’d be as ready as we’d ever be, but it still blows my mind to think of how amazingly different our lives would be right now, at this very moment. It’s like trying to envision a parallel universe. It’s a not-so-subtle reminder that life is a series of events very loosely strung together. Something happens, you react, something else happens, you do your best to deal with it, something else happens, you say “What?!?” and so on and so on and so on. And all the while, the world keeps spinning, life moves on, and the only thing you can do is roll with it until . . . well, until you don’t have to any more. There were endless possibilities for what “January-8th-me” would have been up to, who I would be, where my energies would be focused. Two of them are enough for me to try to work out, but every day, every hour, every minute, something can happen to change your direction entirely. Weird.

I used to scare myself silly when I was little thinking about this sort of thing. I would imagine what would have happened if my parents hadn’t met when they did, if at all. What if I had been “made” on a different day? Would I still be me? Would I be at all? Who would I be, if not me? Maybe I actually was the result of someone being conceived on a different day. Maybe I was actually someone else entirely, and yet still me and I would never know it! Who was I? Who did the other kids in the playground see when they saw me? Did they even see me? And then I would repeat this over and over until I was completely freaked out. “I am me. I am me. I am me.” and from there, it became “I am. I am. I am . . . “ I felt very small.

And other times, I would say the word “turtle” over and over again until I no longer had any idea what the word meant. It would seem that I’ve spent a fair amount of time messing with my own head.

Anyway, as much as I didn’t want to, my mind has labeled 2005 as the year I had three miscarriages. I can’t help it, I’m a labeler. 1994 was the year Kurt Cobain died. 2000 was the year I turned 31 (I had been calculating since childhood!). 2003 was the year I got married. Heh, 1992 is simply labeled “grunge” and I have no real idea what happened that year. But I feel like I can leave 2005 behind me and move on knowing that I did my best with the challenges that I was faced with and enjoyed the good stuff as much as I could. I leave it with a strange mixture of melancholy, relief, sentimentality, satisfaction, and a healthy pinch a drama-queendom. As ever, there is always room for improvement. Who knows what 2006 will be – could be anything. Isn’t that wild? ANYTHING. And that goes for all of you. Any-freaking-thing. Put that on your needles and knit it!

Here’s to a new year full of endless possibilities! May 2006 just be cool and not get all up in your grill.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

You Think I'm Lazy! You Really Think I'm Lazy!! Thank you!

Well, I’ve done it again! For the second year in a row, I’ve won a coveted spot in the Second Annual JenLa Best of Awards! The ceremony was very touching, especially their warm and sincere invitation to kiss their collective asses if the winners wanted a “twee little button” to display on our blogs. But I didn’t cry. There was something in my eye, it was a cat hair or something. I won for the same thing last year and I’m deeply touched. I must say, it looks like I may win the category every year. Maybe they’ll rename it the Stitchy Award in honor of yours truly. And what honor did the dishy divas of da blogs bestow upon me?

Blog We’d Most Like to Pressure to Post More

That’s right people, I’ve managed to disappoint Jen and La for the second year in a row with my half-assery. Last year, I shared the honor with Skittermagoo and this year, it seems that The Scottish Lamb has been slacking off. Nice work, Scottie. ;) Last year, I was in a three-way tie for “Blog We Most Wish Had a Button”. Well, wouldn’t you know that I am truly motivated by a public shaming, so I immediately created a whole array of dazzling buttons. I think I also promised to blog more. Heh, one out of two ain’t bad, right?

So this year, having only won a single category, I am more able to focus my attention on my duties. I hereby promise that I will renew my commitment to blogging. I will restake my claim on the internets. I will take my rightful place as the bestest, most prolific and interesting blogger that has ever existed. Next stop – World Domination!! At the very least, I swear that I will try to try to post more. And considering that the awards ceremony was almost a week ago and I’m only getting around to blogging about it now, I’m off to a mighty fine start.

Honestly, I really am flattered that they like me enough to want to read more. Thank you so much, gals! I will do my best to impress. Maybe I’ll start swearing so I can usurp Rabbitch next year!

Moving along, I’d like to thank everyone for all their helpful comments about dpns. I love that I got a nice mixture of detailed hints and eh – don’t worry about it’s. You guys are awesome. I printed them all out and put them in my knitting bag in case I ever feel compelled to have another go. I think maybe I should try the two circs with Addis or Denise needles, I think I was using your basic Boye aluminums and they have a big, fat lump between the cable and the needle. I haven’t given up, but I’m not beating myself up about it, either.

And someone asked how I was able to see the Google keywords that people used to find my site. I use StatCounter to track my traffic. It’s free and Blogger mentioned it in their help section about tracking software. I like it, it’s pretty basic and was easy to set up. Sometimes you get a really creepy keyword search and you can’t help but try to figure out why your blog showed up in that search.

I just listened to the Courtship of Eddie’s Father song while looking at Owen and Mzee again, and as it turns out, the closer I get to my period, the closer I get to crying. Damn, but those little dudes are cute. Here are some more pictures.

And while I was searching for pictures, I discovered an entire website about Owen and Mzee. You can read all about their friendship from the beginning. The blog begins on the fifth day that they had Owen.

I don’t know why, but these two have just captured my heart. That’s such a dopey sentence to type out, but there’s something about these two guys. Not classically cute, one is a baby, the other is over 100-years-old, one is a mammal, the other a reptile. They have nothing in common besides enjoying a dip in the lake now and then, but they’re buddies, dammit. Oh man, there’s another cat hair in my eye.