Friday, October 30, 2009


best birthday gift ever!

The wonderful Rachel made me KISS stitch markers for my birthday! I love 'em. Tonight I'll put on some classic Kiss, crank "Detroit Rock City" and knit on my sweater in progress. I'll swap out those boring plastic ring markers for these. "Increase one when you get to Rock & Roll Over..."

NOW who would dare to say that knitting is dull?! If my smacking them upside the head didn't educate them in a hurry, that is.

Wednesday night is macaroni and cheese night

Do families have a set dish for a particular night of the week anymore? In our house, Wednesday seems to be the craziest weeknight. I have my knit night, Mr. Stitchjones has either an early evening meeting or band practice--so we need something good that goes on the table quickly. Here is the Chickenlips version of Mac & Cheese. It's perhaps the one remaining way I stay true to my Italian roots.


1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled, cut in half lengthwise
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
Pinch of dried basil and oregano

2 cups uncooked rotini pasta

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (aged)

In a deep saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic cloves. Swirl pan so that the garlic browns gently and evenly, do not allow garlic to become dark. With slotted spoon, remove garlic cloves from pan and discard. Add tomatoes, wine, sugar, salt, pepper and herbs. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced and thickened. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add to large bowl. Pour half the sauce over pasta; reserve remaining sauce for another use. Toss gently to mix. Add cheese and toss until cheese melts and is mixed through with pasta and sauce.

Enjoy! (3 to 4 main dish servings)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


too old to rock & roll, too young to die.

I got so many birthday wishes from my buddies on Facebook! (it was yesterday and no, I ain't telling my age; it's finally higher than my bust size though.) Thank you, buddies! I had a wonderful birthday. Really! Remember the amazing daughter I blogged about last week? She baked me a chocolate cake. No boobs this time, it's in a regular cake pan. Delish. I also got boxes full of new bloomers and brassieres! You're not allowed to see them, but they are lovely. I'm betting nobody is much interested in granny panties anyway; if so, I hear there are websites for that.

Michelle also got me Season 1 of Metalocalypse on DVD. There are a few Adult Swim cartoons I really like, and this is one of them. The show was originally intended to poke fun at metal bands; however, it took off and is hugely successful. It's kind of like if Spinal Tap was a death metal band. There's even an animated concert of the band "Dethklok" (umlaut over the o) that is touring the US. We watched most of the DVD yesterday and I knit socks. It doesn't get much better than that.

Dyeing is coming along; today I finished work on two orders. One of them is for one of our many fabulous LYS and the other is going to a new online customer, The Local Needle. I'm very excited to add The Local Needle to my retailer list! This lovely shop offers a large selection of sock and laceweight yarns. I recently got in 40 skeins of base yarn for Dyepot Worsted, and in the next week or so the first batches will be ready. I'll have some new colors for fall.

Because I don't like to write pictureless blog posts, here is an exclusive colorway available only at StitchCraft in Vancouver, Washington.

Oh, and one more thing: Dude! If you haven't looked at the Stitchjones website in a while, check it out! Rachel (aka trtlgrl) has resurrected my site and it now looks state of the art!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009



Someday I'll be able to make scanned photos look good...but until that day, these will have to do.
Nineteen years ago today, you were this impossibly tiny creature. You now stand 5" taller than me, and I have to reach up to hug you! The other day, your dad and I were finally able to hand you the keys to your own car, which will take you to college and wherever you want to go, as you are now drawing your own road map. You have grown into a beautiful young woman, and I am so proud of you.
Happy birthday, Michelle.
All my love, Mom

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Say Yeah!

Now I don't have to kvetch anymore about Wally Mart being so dang far away, because my friends trtlgrl and pnwbookgirl (aka Rachel and Tami) went on a fiber road trip this week and hooked me up with the new KISS album! Oh but it is smokin hot. Well worth the wait. Thank you so much, ladies. Stitchjones was tooling around in her badass Kia Rondo all day, visiting customers in Vancouver and NoPo and rocking out the whole time.


Someday I shall have a new hat

...but today is not the day.

I do love this hat design, even if the top decreases are wonky. It's from a Leisure Arts booklet called "Cabled Accessories". I used up another ball of my mega-stash of Galway wool, and followed the pattern directions for the adult size...on US 4 dpns. Hmm. It's a very warm hat, to be sure, but if I were to make it again on size 6 needles, I'd probably have a hat that fits me. I just need to find someone with a head that my Le Suck beret and this hat will fit, and it would help if that person also needs some hats.

1,2,3,4/Hey, look me over/Tell me do u like what u see?

Did you just flash back to '84? OMG, weren't our clothes dumb? Seriously, I have been hearing "Baby I'm A Star" from Purple Rain in my head all day. That is, when I wasn't listening to KISS. The reason is because today I was invited to hold a dyeing workshop for a knitting guild, make a personal appearance (and do consignment sales) at a yarn shop and also teach a beginning sock class there this winter featuring my Dyepot Worsted yarn. I can't divulge any more info right now, however as things become more concrete I'll be Facebooking about it like mad crazy. It made me feel important, valued, recognized, appreciated...aw hell, like a star! Who knows, if this keeps up, maybe someone will ask me to sign her spinning wheel. Then I'll know I've made it. (wink)

In the meantime, there will be lots and lots of this.

Eh...I've had worse!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009



Awright, so I suck at taking photos. But I can hold my own in a knitting group!

Just surfacing to show you Loppem. It now has buttons--2 toggle buttons from Jo-Ann's that are antique-y looking. I love wearing it, however I'm shy about modeling for photos.

The yarn is Nashua Creative Focus Superwash; (213 yards per ball/5 balls). Addi Natura needles size US 7. I hadn't worked with the yarn before, but I love it--it's soft, nice drape, blocks beautifully.

Mods: good grief, 9" from cast on edge to underarm?! No freaking way. I made the body length to underarm about 18". I spaced the body decreases 3" apart instead of 1.5", and it works quite well--nice, body-skimming fit.

The yoke decrease instructions in the pattern are incorrect; that caused a minor problem but not too bad, the sweater isn't lopsided or anything. Also, the sleeve bands are supposed to be picked up around a reverse stockinette ridge. After trying it and having it come out weird, I said screw it--I didn't think double rev. stockinette rolls would look good on my bingo wings anyway! Wearing it, the sleeves just look like a cap sleeve with a single rev. stockinette roll. I can live with that. And I do love the elongated cable panels on the fronts. Garment construction is bottom up, one piece, completely seamless--my kind of sweater!

Of course, finishing a major garment means I get to start something new. I have Cascade 220 Heather percolating in the stash, and of course I bought another bagful today to make this--but I dug out last winter's purchase of the Cascade and want to make this in the worst way. It's probably all wrong for my body type, but I have to at least try it before throwing in the towel and making another Bombshell. Hey, when you're fluffy, ya gotta go with what works!

Off to start another ill-advised project now...

Sunday, October 11, 2009


knittin' on a prayer

I never thought I'd say this, but apologies to Bon Jovi for that blog post title!

Yesterday my prayer shawl group reconvened after summer hiatus. We meet the first Saturday of every month (Oct.-June) at the local Unitarian Universalist church; I am one of the co-founders of the group. We started with two to three regulars; by yesterday's count there were nine knitters in attendance. Since our inception in 2006, we have given 42 shawls! Most of them are made of machine washable acrylic; I prefer to knit with wools. Some church shawl knitting groups restrict materials to Lion Homespun only. As a co-founder, I was the one to say that if our group did that, it would limit creativity because of my interest in natural fibers. I'm glad that was OK with the other members, because we have since attracted more wool aficionados. We have cards that we attach to finished shawls that have a Buddhist meditation on one side, and information on the other that includes care instructions.

After our meeting I was totally inspired to begin a new shawl, since the last one I made was back in April. I dug through my stash and found odd balls that make a nice autumn palette when put together, so I cast on for a Simple Yet Effective shawl last night.

I also have socks in progress for Mr. Stitchjones. He likes solid colors, so this is another plain vanilla seed rib sock, in Cascade Heritage sock yarn. My first time working with this yarn; I rather like it.

Here's a random photo; it's not mine, but I meant to mention it during my vacation recap blog post. On the way home we drove through Aberdeen, Wash., which is the home town of the late Kurt Cobain. This is what you see when driving into Aberdeen.

(Chick is optional, I would imagine.)

Sonic Boom

Nobody who follows my blog cares about this, but KISS just released merchandise their fans have been awaiting for 20 years...a new album! And I haven't heard it yet. Why? Because you can get it only at Wal-Mart. There are 3 Wally Marts around, but each of them is a minimum of 30 miles away, and I haven't had opportunity to make the trek yet. I will in the next week or two, though.

As if that weren't enough to get excited about, we have a brand new yarn shop in Portland, and another one in Beaverton opening in the next few weeks! We PDX stick wielders are the luckiest, most spoiled bee-yotches in the U.S. of A, I must say.

Coming up: Loppem is done! It is now being pampered silly in a washer full of lukewarm water and Soak. I am now off to run errands and such; will be back in a few days with pictures.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


sometimes once is not enough

I promised you non-vacation pics. Before it completely slips my mind, which now that I'm over 50 has a really nifty Teflon (R) coating, here they are.

The NSFW (Not Safe For Work) cake that our precious daughter baked and decorated all by herself, for her dad's 50th birthday. Yes, we're a weird family, why do you ask?

What the hell, it was worth the expression on his face when she presented it to him...

Autumnal Pursuits

Not trivial at all! Even though I've speeded up production to keep up with yarn orders and maintain an inventory, I've been severely bitten by the fall knitting bug. I started a February Lady sweater in yarn I just love, however I need 5 more skeins and they're on special order. To keep the mojo going, I started this from the Berroco Norah Gaughan book using this yarn. I'm just about halfway done. Really cranking on it, because fall is here, it's getting chilly, and I don't want to break down and buy myself a sweater! I guess that's motivation enough to finish something.

I also finished one of two hats I've been working on.

This is Le Slouch (I call my version "Le Suck") from Knit and Tonic. I absolutely love the yarn--Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed. I'll probably give this one away though; it's not a bad pattern but even if I could pull off the beret look, it's way too small. I only usually wear a hat when I'm at the beach; the wind is always cold no matter what time of year it is, and it bothers my ears.

Guess I'll be back when the cardi is finished! Enjoy the first weekend of October. That's right, I said "October", where did 2009 go, anyway?!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]