Stitchy McYarnpants

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

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Maryse Wuz Here

Many people leave their mark when they've been somewhere. It preserves their place in history so that all who follow will know that they've been preceded by greatness.

Zorro leaves a swooshing "Z"

Gangstas leave behind intricate spraypainted tags

Maryse? She leaves sweaters on the soap.



It takes a lot to make me smile in the morning. Heck, it takes a lot for me to not wipe out entire countries in the morning. But this does the trick. Thank you, Maryse! And with summer just around the corner, the soap dispenser has been working out for bathing suit season. . . . hint, hint . . .

Last week, we headed off to Iowa for Jon's grandmother's 95th birthday and I am happy to report that I've discovered the secret to a long and happy life. Here she is demonstrating. I can't tell you how pleased I am that the secret hinges on two of my favorite things!



Sleeping and knitting (well, she crochets, but in essence, it's the same. Yes, it is. Pointy sticks, buckets of yarn, lots and lots of scarves. They have all the same symptoms.)

Actually, Edith is incredibly active, I just don't happen to have any action shots at the moment. When we arrived, she was just getting dropped off by the shuttle bus from grocery shopping. She does water aerobics a few times a week, makes hats and blankets for preemies at the local hospital, and is involved if a few church groups. She really is a powerhouse. She prefers the Word Jumble over Soduku, thank you very much, and has recently discovered a fondness for Vanilla soy milk. I don't think I could keep up with her, frankly. Now I know where my husband gets his fidgetiness from. She doesn't like to sit still, she's always buzzing around the house doing this and that, here and there. You go on with your bad self, Edie!

I got about 3/4 of the way finished with her scarf while we were there and I'm almost ready to mail it to her. I decided to do a thinner version of the Clapotis. She said the colors were perfect and this picture actually captures them pretty faithfully.



I'm really happy with it. The yarn, seen here, is Berger du Nord "Charmant". I've never heard of it before, but I'd definitley use it again. What the photo doesn't capture is the texture. It looks really shiny because it's 50% silk. But the other 50% is wool, and since it isn't plied, it has that gorgeous texture that's not rough, but lucious. And I just adore the way the bars of the dropped stitches look with this yarn. It's very rich and I can't help but stop after every pattern repeat to pet it for a little while before continuing. Good stuff, that Charmant. I got it at Neccesities for Needlework in Westborough. A few people asked about it, it's at 86 E Main St. They don't appear to have a website and I don't know Westborough all that well, but I do know it's near a CVS and a really annoying intersection. It's definitly worth a visit if you're in the area.

Monday, March 27, 2006

A now a message from Mama Melanie

Spring has sprung and so has Melanie! The babies have arrived and everyone is healthy and well. Melanie and Dean are in the most amazing state of blissed out exhaustion I've ever seen. She asked me to let everyone know that she's lost complete track of blogland, not only because she's now at the beck and call of two squirming, cooing little balls of cuteness, but her computer has gone and contracted it's own version of the bird flu. She sends her heartfelt thanks for all the good wishes and feels badly that she hasn't been able to get to her email or blog to thank people herself. But she did send a little visual message to let you know just how pumped she is about motherhood:



She's my new blog hero for allowing me to post this. Of course, she's ridiculously sleep deprived and probably isn't in any state to make such decisions. I took the liberty of touching up the more provocative bits in the photo. (Jon said the flower itself looks like a breast, so it didn't really help, and possibly made things worse. I like that it looks like she's wearing a big yarn flower pastie, so there.)

The pump she has is a modern wonder. It has a clear casing so you can see the mechanism working. I've never seen one in action and I just have to say, I'm impressed. Not so much with the pumping machine, but with the Melanie machine. Milk really does shoot out of there! Crazy, man.

And here is a fantastic family portrait taken at one of their many dinnertimes. I love this photo. Dean is holding Scarlett and Melanie is holding Blu. (See Scarlett's tiny little hat? Kellee made it in the car on the way over. She made one for Blu while we were there. It's fun to knit for itty bitty people!)



Scarlett is a little smaller than her brother, but they both pack a mighty diaper! All in all, I'd say that mom and dad are handling their new "Family-of-Four" status really well. Smiles far outweighed the tired sighs. I just couldn't stop looking at the babies, then looking at Melanie and trying to figure out just how they fit in there. They're not any bigger than they were a few days earlier, so there was some major baby origami happening. There's no way we're getting them back in there.

I predict that we're all going to be fighting over who gets to push the carriages at Rhinebeck this year . . . ME FIRST!!!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Auntie Meme

While I’m not much of a memer, I do love JenLa’s new Auntie Meme meme, so here goes:


1. A blog which you think people have not discovered.

Curlie Girl! She’s a knitter, a teddy bear maker, and is married to the world’s greatest needle-felter. How much better does it get? Head over and give Reba dog a scritch on the head!

2. A blog whose author lives close to you physically. Just get as close as you can, it’s all relative.

I can get to Obsession Du Jour/Kellee in 15 minutes. I should do that more often.

3. An unusual or weird animal picture.

Well, it’s not “weird” or “unusual” in the traditional sense, but Marnie Talks/Marnie is the proud owner of my cat’s canine doppelganger. Panda and Dot would be best friends if they met, I just know it!

4. An entry that made you laugh and got you strange looks from family or co-workers.

Monster Crochet's new scarf is so far up my alley, I think I'm legally engaged to it in some states!!

5. An idea you wish you’d thought of.

I want Rabbitch's blog name! Who knows, maybe I’ll just take it! Rabbitchy McYarnpants. Hmmm, I like it!

6. Something you’d like to knit.

Grumperina’s Odessa. It’s on the list and I’m looking forward to playing with the beads. And dumping them all over my living room. And trying to get them out of the cats’ mouths. And eventually excavating the glittering jewels left for me in the litter box.

7. A picture of something you consider beautiful.

Melly-belly! I’m so glad that Melanoma Uberalis/Melanie posted pictures of her ever expanding (well, not any more – yay!) belly. Wow, that was so cool to watch! (Make sure you click each word in that last sentence, or at least the first and last ones)

8. A blog whose author you’d like to one day meet in person.

I just love me some Panopticon/Franklin. I admit it, I’m smitten.

9. A blog of someone you have already met in person.

I am so delighted to have met Etherknitter/Laurie. She really is the best. I don’t think she realizes how much I look forward to the times I do see her, as rare as those times are. She always makes me smile. That’s how I know her husband is going to be just fine during his recovery from his skiing accident. He’s in good hands.

*One of the rules is that you have to use the blog name to where you're linking, hence the blog name/human name in many items.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Science Sweaters for Everyone!

I was digging through a pile of mail on my kitchen table the other day and found this postcard!



I don’t remember seeing it, so Jon must have taken the mail in at some point and failed to mention the postcard with the cute sheep and the giant yarn sale. I assumed it was from Webs or one of the million other places that taunts me with their delicious wool. Intrigued, I took a closer look.

Uuummmmm . . . wha . . .? What is this contraption all about? What is going on here? Some new way of spinning or dying or some other fiber-related activity that I haven’t spent any money on yet?



Oh! I see! It’s a whole new use that I never thought of! If I had a nickel for everyone who ever asked me, “Stitchy, I really need to separate the leukocytes from the peripheral blood, and the T-cells from the B-cells! But how? Isn’t there something that granulocytes and B-cells will stick to that the T-cells won’t? It’s just so maddening!”

Well, rest assured, my little bio-knitters, I’ve finally got a solution for you. Nylon wool! At $180 for 50g, it’s a little pricey, but won’t you feel better knowing that your new scarf has the ability to distinguish that peripheral blood from all the rest?



And as Charlene (who works in a lab) points out on this card she left in my mailbox, you could make a smashing sweater - a Science Sweater - with it! Thanks for the tip, Chuckles. See if you can genetically engineer some of those nylon sheep in miniature so they can live in our back yard.

And in more mundane, less bloody knitting news, progress on Jon’s new Manly sweater is excruciatingly slow. I had to rip almost an entire sleeve because I misread the directions and wonked it up something awful. I just started the second sleeve and was hoping to have it done for the weekend, but I just don’t think it’s going to happen.



We’re heading to Iowa for his grandmother’s 95th birthday on Friday (yes, this grandmother) and I’m whipping up a little something for her. I don’t think it’ll be finished for her actual party, but it could be finished before we leave a couple of days later. We shall see. A gift on the needles is still a gift, I always say. No photos of that yet since I’m not even sure exactly what I’m going to make yet, but it will be made of some pretty 50% wool and 50% silk that I picked up today at Necessities For Needlework in Westborough. It’s a great store and the owner is so friendly and helpful. It took me less than 5 minutes to find exactly what I wanted, I just asked for some silk/wool and she put the exact right yarn and colorway directly into my hand. It was actually such a welcome little break in my day. Usually I eat lunch at my desk and never leave the building during work, but I’m going to have to start making more trips out. I felt so . . . human . . . getting out into the sun (yes, March dangled some sun in front of me. I may be falling for it again) and discussing shawls with another customer who was in the shop. It was downright pleasant!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Love Marches On

It’s that time of year again. March. It was gorgeous outside on Friday, wasn’t it? Stop nodding! It wasn’t! It was just a trick, an illusion, a fetid carrot dangling on a twisted stick. You’ll see, we’ll be up to our noses in snow before you know it.

So what does one do during the month they like least? Get hitched! That’s right, battle the blahs and give yourself a good reason to escape from March once in a while. Last Wednesday, Jon and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. I intended to post on Wednesday, but I ended up working late all week. I decided that since I’m always doing everything else late, why should a celebration of our love be any different?

Last year I posted a bunch of our wedding photos. This year, I figured I’d take a look at the post-marital festivities. No, not those. The other ones. Since we pretty much had a do-it-yourself wedding, we had a lot of preparation and cleaning up to do. I had a lot of help and couldn’t have done it without everyone who gave us a hand. But still, by the end of the day, we were exhausted. Turns out, committing to an eternity together really takes a lot out of you.

Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the whole day. They make me smile because I just remember what a great day we’d had and how tired we were, and how excited we were to go on our honeymoon cruise the next day. It was such a good tired. They also make me happy because they’re so silly.

A few people came back to the house so we could hang out, chat, and open our gifts. We were getting really punchy.

Observe:


Clearly, Jon loves this radio. I do, too. We use it almost every day. I loved it when I opened it, so I’m not sure what the face is all about. Oh yeah, I was reeeeally tired.

It’s all class with us. This is actually the picture that I put in the little silver frame on the cover of our photo album.


And here we are on our honeymoon, hanging out with the luxurious cruise ship casino décor.




And lastly, here is one of my favorite portraits of us. So warm and sunny, little minnows swimming below . . . ~sigh~ It’s what March should be.


Happy Anniversary, Jon! I love you, baby!!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A Call for Peace!


Ladies and gentlemen, I come to you with a vision for our future. A vision of peace and brotherhood at circuses, children’s parties, and rodeos the world over. Clown on clown violence has reached alarming proportions and must end now. I implore you, lay down your cream pies, drain your squirting lapel flowers, and empty your buckets of water or confetti or whatever it is in there. Raising a giant foam rubber mallet in anger is not the answer. And please, try to keep your size 42 feet where the sun does shine. Brothers and sisters in clowndom, extend a buzzer-free hand of friendship to one other and remember, there’s room in the car for everyone. Now go and seek out your enemies so that you may make up, even if it is with a novelty-sized powder puff. Can I get an A ~honk honk~ men!!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Yo.

Did you ever mean to get in touch with someone and put it off for a day or two? And then, suddenly a week goes by and you forgot what you were going to tell them when you were going to contact them the week before, so you hold off until you can remember? And then all of a sudden it’s like two weeks and now, there are quite a few things to update them on so that you need to carve out some time to think about it all, but because you’re really busy, you never get a chance to carve? And then, holy moley, it’s three weeks or something and now you have too much to write about, but can’t remember half of it and then, because you’ve put it off for so long that you feel like it had better be good when you do finally get in touch, but you can’t think of anything good, so you keep putting it off?

No? Oh.

Well, I’ve decided to just bullet list a few items because the more I try to be cohesive, the more days go by. Even my dad mentioned that I haven’t blogged since the 10th. And when your dad starts noticing that your knitting blog isn’t getting updated, well, action must be taken.

- I am not a Gold Medal winner in the Knitting Olympics. I got the back and front of Jon’s sweater done and am working on the sleeves now. Why do sleeves take so much longer than the rest of the sweater? Is there some kind of screwy quantum mechanics at work with sleeves?

- Thanks to Stephanie for challenging us in the first place. If nothing else, she gave us a chance to have some really good get-togethers. And big ups to Kellee and Wendy for co-conspiring with me on Team Boston! I’m delighted that so many people joined up. I didn’t think my Bloglines list could get much bigger, but I was wrong. It was a pleasure meeting everyone that I did!

- Cara threw a great Closing Ceremonies party on Sunday! I got there a bit late because I was visiting with Ms. Melanie, who is looking wonderful. I missed a bunch of people who left before I got there, but it was a fun time. I am making plans now to gain squatters rights in her in-laws house. If I just move in, what can they do, right? This house was a dream for any old-home lover. The flocked wallpaper, the knick-knacks, vintage dishes in the cabinets that have been there since they were new, the UNPAINTED WOODWORK everywhere . . . everything about this house was amazing.

- Today is the first day of March. Some people are happy to be finished with February. Me, I hate March. At least you know where you stand with February. Sure, March brings us that much closer to Spring and gives us a reason to drink green beer. But it cruelly exploits the fact that our toes are freezing. We’ll grasp at any glimmer of springtime and March even tosses us an occasional nice-ish day. And then you start thinking “Wow, March really is a mighty fine month.” It tricks you and sucks you in with a vague feeling of warmth. And then what happens every year? Yep. At least one huge snowstorm and some of the coldest weather of the year. I used to get fooled every year, but no more! I’m on to you, March. I got my eye on you.

- Welp, they aren’t Owen and Mzee, but more animals are jumping on the bandwagon. You go, animals! (FYI - the second link is a video)

- Eeerrmmmmm . . . . that is all. For now. Normal blogging will resume tomorrow and everything will be fine.


And for your viewing pleasure, I’m going to leave you with a lovely installation that our own resident artist, Chloe, created just for you. She calles it “Feline Angst”. This piece utilizes an intriguing mandibular process applied to half a roll of toilet paper. Because she’s a purist, she prefers the simple texture of ScottTissue rather than the ostentatious fluff of Charmin. She finds a single-ply roll has better shredability and a nicer mouth feel. She also works in notebook, magazine, past-due bill notice, and important documentation. To our delight, she is teaching her craft to Mike. The kid has a future in cardboard box work.