Saturday, April 28, 2007


Feeling better now

Love that Collective Soul song.

I walked for over an hour on Thursday, and this afternoon I hiked for close to an hour along the Springwater Corridor Trail. Lucky for me that we've had beautiful, warm spring weather over the past few days. Unfortunately, that's supposed to end Monday, but I'm taking full advantage while I can. And to use the cliche, I really do feel like a new woman, so much more in control. Flutter and Kiki, I love you guys to pieces and don't know what I would do if you weren't there. Seriously!

Here are the hats I promised to show you last time. Another modeling gig for Edith.

Washed, blocked and just waiting for me to add the pom-pom, here is a basic stripey wool hat in guy colors. I made it for our ops manager, Dan, who bicycles frequently. I used some stash yarn--Patons Classic Wool in gray and Galway in navy.

Here's the other one:

This is one wacky roll-brim. It's mostly Manos, but I snuck in a little baby alpaca (the wide, off-white stripe) and a few yards of a wool-acrylic blend. Not sure who's going to end up with this one--it's too small for me, besides, I have my Koigu watch cap that I made back in January when I thought I was going to have chemo. (That dang breast infection is rearing its ugly head again! I'm postponing calling the doc about it, because it will surely mean another course of antibiotics--ew--and I cancelled my MD appointment because the walking is helping more than medication. This concludes today's Chickenlips health update.) anyway, back to this ass-clown hat. I may end up sending it on to Afghans for Afghans.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I made lace

Yup, I actually managed to finish a lace project, albeit a tiny one. This is a baby cap with a garter lace edging, one of a trio of "Snuggly Baby Hats" from an old issue of Interweave Knits, and it took less than a ball of Baby Cashmerino. Just needs some light blocking and it will be good to go. I thought it'd make a decent baby gift presented with the red-violet kimono. I don't know about you, but after making this on size 2 dpn's, I'm ready for a big-needle project!

I picked up more tulips from VanderZanden Farms. These are probably the last of the season, as we're having near-torrential rain (on the weekend, natch) and at Easter the nice folks predicted only a couple more weeks for tulips. I enjoyed 'em while they lasted.

I found myself in Borders this afternoon, and while leafing through the current Vogue Knitting mag, I saw two things I don't believe I've ever seen in VK since I've been a serious knitter: baby garments, and plus size patterns. And they're making me want to knit them! A few years ago, I let my VK subscription lapse, because aside from a few interesting shawls, there was nothing I could knit for myself because I'm a big gal and trying to size up a pattern means I have to use numbers, and numbers make my head hurt. So I'm pleased to see this new feature in the magazine, and there is a baby jacket with a Peter Pan collar that I can't wait to cast on for. It's a Debbie Bliss pattern, so of course it uses Baby Cashmerino in pastel, but the deal maker for me is the collar edging in dark chocolate brown! (I know, I had you at "dark chocolate".) It gave me instant cute fits. So I see a trip to the LYS in my very near future.

Being happy rules.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


There is no gravity

...the earth sucks. Huh, huh, huh. Thank you, Beavis and Butt-head, for doing the intro to this post.

Seriously, the more shocking and/or upsetting the news, the more tightly I tend to clutch my little knitting projects and natter on about such mundane subjects as my favorite yarns. Knitting is my source of comfort and peace in this dangerous and brutish world, and for me, shopping for yarn is like, I dunno, happy hour maybe. Except that I can do it anywhere, and anytime if I shop online, and never have to worry about getting a DUI. For every incidence of someone being hurt with words, actions or bullets, and the news of that incidence reaching my ears, there is probably an incidence of a person being treated kindly, helped out, or built up in some way. However, in our fucked-up, media-dominated culture, positive actions don't make "good copy" so we never hear about them.

I appreciated the point Flutter made on her blog about the Imus racial slur, and how the target of that slur can and should use it to her own empowerment instead of letting it damage her irreparably. The only thing positive to come out of that situation is that a racist, sexist shithead got his worthless cracker ass canned. Now he can hook up with that psychopath I love to hate, O.J. Simpson, and they can co-author a book: "If I Called A Vibrant, African-American Female Athlete a Nappy-Headed Ho."

Sometimes Smart People Sound Really Stupid

My office mate, a savvy young woman who is acting supervisor for our small department while the boss is on maternity leave, and also oversees the production of an alternative monthly newspaper, said something which left me doing a slow burn. Aghast at the news of the Virginia Tech mass murder, all I could do was sit horrified in front of the TV and stitch. The last time there was a "heightened security" situation at my daughter's school, it was because of a threat scrawled on a bathroom wall and the personnel they brought in only hassled my daughter because she doesn't look or act like everyone else, so I kept Michelle home today rather than risk the same situation. When I shared with my co-worker what I had done and why, she quipped, "I don't know why everyone thinks this is such a big deal. It happens all over the world every day. Look at Iraq."

I might have murmured something vague about yesterday's shooter not wearing a uniform and not using a weapon that was issued by the U.S. government, but the truth is, I have a kid in school. There isn't a parent of a school-age kid, or a kid in college, alive who isn't terrified for their own at the news of a school shooting. Now I know that my co-worker didn't mean to be callous, and I also know she doesn't read my blog, but she did piss me off, so I'll say here what I would have liked to say to her, which is Honey, you don't know shit.

Still More Knitted Baby Stuff

Little green cotton hat made from stash, at the request of one of our project managers; a tiny Koigu watch cap, and the last of my MDK baby kimonos for a while--made of, you guessed it, Rowan Calmer. My frenetic knitting for infants is beginning to wind down, but what can I say, it's been a good run.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


The desert island question

OK, let's pretend you're stranded (hee), but you happen to have with you an unlimited quantity of one kind of yarn. What kind would that be? I'll go first: Rowan Calmer. It is just the softest, squooshiest yarn I've ever used. There are some great colors, and color names, in the line--such as "Lucky", a lilac-y shade, "Tinkerbell", which is an almost periwinkl-y blue, and "Sour"--the palest pale green. So, soft, yummy colors, and the deal clincher for me is that your garment will still look and feel great no matter how many times it's worn and washed. Must be the 25% microfiber in it. I've made myself quite a few shells, camis and tanks out of mercerized cotton, which tends to feel stiff and a bit rough with repeated washings, and also sags. But not Calmer, it bounces and behaves (remember that TV commercial--I think it was Breck shampoo!? Old-timer here!) With Gawd as mah witness, I'll never knit with 100% cotton again!

My dining room table looks like a Santa's workshop of UFO's. The body of the ChicKami is slooooowly progressing. I spent a good portion of yesterday going from one LYS to the next in search of enough Louisa Harding Fauve ribbon to complete the project, but to no avail. I ended up ordering it online, along with a couple hanks of Bliss Pure Silk--which, strangely enough, is also hard to come by here in the City of Roses and Yarn Shops! I've also got another baby kimono about 2/3 done, a couple of wee caps knit from stash, and I'm attempting a fancy-shmancy baby hat in garter lace. Sorry gang, no photos, but there will be next post.

Yarn trollop that I am, ("yarn ho" or "yarn slut" are not refined enough to describe me,) I look forward to your comments about what kind of yarn you can't live without.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I listened to my muse

...and got bad advice.

The Fauve ribbon is indeed gorgeous, and this is the first time I've test-driven any of Louisa Harding's lovely yarns--but it is an absolute bee-yotch to work with. Slippery, slick nylon, and the least bit of rough skin on your fingers will result in snags and pulls. Bleh. And knots! Friends, even though it was a sale purchase, this should "knot" happen, pardon the atrocious pun. Because the yarn is so temperamental, I wanted a project with the least amount of fuss, so I'm doing a plain stockinette-in-the round camisole from ChicKnits. It's the same tried and true pattern which resulted in a nice, soft cami in a lilac shade of Rowan Calmer last summer. Muse, what did I do to deserve such a bum steer? You know I'm easily distracted by shiny objects, so maybe this is your way of telling me to stop the impulse yarn buys.

I have dubbed this WIP my "waiting room project" because it was done almost in its entirety in various health professionals' waiting rooms: my daughter's therapist, my therapist, (actually the same waiting room,) and last night we were at the hospital emergency room from 7 pm to midnight. We thought the kid was having an appendicitis attack, but it turned out to be an intestinal virus, the name of which I can't even begin to relate here but is in fact fairly common and mimics the symptoms of appendicitis. Following the ER doctor's instructions, I fed the child jello (bleh) to keep her on clear liquids, and Vicodin for her pain--which are both now coming up as I write this. (sorry, I probably should have put a little disclaimer, "warning, do not read if you are eating because I'm going to talk about throw-up," or something like that.) Poor kid. I'm also getting some indirect flak from my employer, because we're swamped and shorthanded, but the bottom line since October 20, 1990, the day I gave birth to a baby girl, is that if I am forced to choose between a job and a family member who needs me...duh, do I even have to finish this sentence?!

So, to those who know who they are--here's my eloquent message o'the day: Stick it!

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Wishing you simple joys at Easter

My holiday table setting, as close to perfect as it gets around here. We had to have our Easter dinner last night, as J. is leaving in a couple of hours to catch a flight to (wait for it) Boise. Because holidays are a big deal to me, I tried not to be crestfallen when I learned that my husband wouldn't be home on Easter, but when I found out where he was going, it was kinda like...payback, ya know?

anyway, our girl is now too grown-up to search the house for chocolate foil eggs, and also Jimmy the dachshund will find a way to get the ones I could swear were out of his reach! So, for the first time, no Easter egg hunt, but that's ok. It's been a peaceful home the past couple of days, which is a blessing.

More wee knitted items

Another kimono. I'm working on a Koigu hat, but it's coming out looking rather preemie-sized. No worries, I've got more Koigu, some 2-ply natural shade alpaca, and some Baby Cashmerino, for almost an entire baby hat wardrobe.

A parting shot of a Daisy cardigan and hat for a baby boy. The co-worker I gave it to, who will in turn give it to the little boy's parents as a baby gift, was delighted with it. And I am rather pleased.

Not much else is going on--a quiet, mellow Easter Sunday is about all I'm after today. Yesterday held some moments of soul nourishment, some for which I wish I'd brought my camera. The most notable was shopping for the tulips that graced our Easter table. Just a few miles from here is a farm which is onwed by a Dutch family. They grow beautiful tulips and sell 10-stem bunches for just $4. I drove out there, and not only were they doing a brisk trade, but the tulip fields are gorgeous. Spectacular seen from the air, I imagine.

Joyous Ostara. Blessed be!

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Website ideas

The last thing I am is a graphic designer, but I have been thinking for quite a while about starting a new blog, which would be an actual website, y'know, with my own domain name and everything. A couple of ideas have been percolating and finally bubbled up to the surface last night. Now as I said, no designer am I, however I spent some time downloading free fonts, googling pics, and trying to mortice it all together in a coherent way without having to spend money on the likes of Photoshop or Publisher (which I have neither the time nor patience to figure out).

This first notion was born of a character played by the then-adorable Mario Van Peebles as he appeared in the 1985 Clint Eastwood film, "Heartbreak Ridge." He played a wanna-be rock star in the Marines, and the character's name, Stitch Jones, is so rich with meaning if you're a compulsive knitter.

Another idea I have been tinkering with is the idea of knitting as comfort. Now when I want to retreat into that perfectly secure, insular childhood world where I don't have to deal with a recalcitrant teen and being slammed with too much work and mandatory 4:00 PM meetings at the office, I close my eyes and see the 1960's kitchens of my little-girl-hood. The coffee bubbles in the electric percolator and fills my nostrils with a tantalizing aroma, although the pleasure of drinking the rich dark liquid with lots of sugar is restricted only to rare visits to my grandmother's. Traditional breakfast dishes abound: scrambled eggs, French toast, and waffles. With plenty of butter and Log Cabin syrup, of course.

Among the threads of these musings, there is knitting. I haven't yet photographed my latest FO, which is another MDK baby kimono made of Bliss cotton cashmere in red-violet. What newborn girl (or boy for that matter) wouldn't look yummy in that? I just need to add the ribbon trim, then I will photograph and post it. My plain-vanilla lace shawl in Rowan Tapestry, which is actually wool and soyfiber, is coming together more beautifully than I imagined.

If you are so moved, your comments are warmly welcomed about my fledgling web designs! (or about anything else for that matter!)

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