Coffee and Knitting

Just a few words before my sister shows up. We go to our weekly The Bead Ladies coffee day today. Chaachi and I knit. Joan does too. Sally knits or beads and the rest of them mostly bead.

I finished a cute, skinny scarf the other day and liked it so much that and went out and bought the same yarn in a different color. Now I am thinking it would be pretty cool to have it done up in every color they have. The yarn is Patons Mosiac. It is 66% Ack-rylic – 34% Nylon. Very soft and kind of fun too!

No pics of said scarf yet, perhaps tomorrow. The one I finished is blue (florentine) and the one I am working on is bottle green.

I cast on 9 stitches and am doing a combo of garter stitch broken up by dropped stitch. One skein makes a very long scarf. I think it was only $6.99 for the skein.

The yarn to finish my Claptois Dos showed up. So I am back to knitting that today and will restart on the Highland Triangle Shawl once my brain comes back. It has been very hot here and I don’t tolerate heat well.

Enough for now. If you are interested in things cosmic and wordy, be sure to check out my husband’s new blog. He is a sweetie.


I Love Mail

I love getting mail. Even junk mail (not email junk mail though, I am not that crazy). I have been loving mail since forever. Especially when I have been away from home. My two summers in Oregon, my first year of college when I was in Georgia.

Even now that I am pretty settled here in Minnesota that love the mail thing has persisted.

I go to the mailbox multiple times to check – especially since my mail carrier seems to always arrive late in the day, but I never know.

Yesterday I was so excited that I got a package. I figured it was from my SecretPal5. It was a book from – a knitting book too, but no note. I looked at the receipt thinking there would be a comment area, and that is when I noticed the bill-to address. Turns out the gift was from my sweet sister, Chaachi.

Here she was trying to secret pal me on her own, but blew it. Wasn’t that cool of her? When I called her she said, "which book?" Okay, so do you mean you ordered 2 or more? Yep – 2 . Even more cool. The other one showed up today. Here is what she sent to me:

50 Unique Projects and Ideas Past Lives, Future Lives Revealed

Today was a great mail day too. I got a pile of pattern books that I had bought on Ebay. For some reason I was only remembering one, and here was a package of 15! One in particular I was thinking of sending to my SecretPal5 person. But there are several that would do — just hope I don’t want them myself so much that I can’t bear to gift them away.

And, last but not least, a package from my Secret Pal5 person:

secret pal 2005

So nicely wrapped in gift paper with a very faint Kanji motif in gold. Cool! I opened it up and found this drool-worthy lace knitting book, "Shetland Lace Knitting from Charts", by Hazel Carter, and a skein of oh-so-soft laceweight Alpaca (875 yards!).


Now I am off to play with my knitting presents.


Color Woes Part II – better, still not the best

I changed my blog style/design last night. I think it looks better now – easier to read. Maybe more boring. I will keep looking around until I find something that just – fits, you know?

Yesterday when I was out shopping at a nearby yarn store I was able to cash in a 20% discount. Whee! The bad thing is that I would have made this deal a lot sooner had they given me their envelope system. Lots of receipts never made it into the tally, probably about $200 worth of purchases, and they are only looking for $300 to get the 20% off discount.

I have a like/hate thing going with this particular yarn shop. I love that it is quirky. But I don’t like the business attitude of the owner. She makes a big, big deal about using credit cards or debit cards. Supposedly they won’t take either for anything under $25, but I have never been able to take a stand on using a credit or debit card on even a $90 purchase. They pointedly ask if you are carrying your checks? Then give you a speech. I always crumble. Damn.

There was a person with a small purchase and she did not have any checks. The clerk kind of leaned on her to make a bigger purchase, which she wouldn’t. The owner gave her the speech, several pointed looks, and then some dramatic sighs, and then they let her use her card, all the while making a big deal about it. I bet they lost a customer.

Are there any store people online that can tell me how much the charge is for using a debit card? I know of another shop that does the same thing.

I think the crabbiness about it is what really ticks me off. Post your guidelines and kindly remind people, but to get a lecture – I just don’t know what that accomplishes – I would think less sales, but maybe I am just being naive.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Onto the pics:

I found (and bought) this cool drink bottle yesterday.

It says, "feeling unraveled. . . knit!". It has a nice built-in handle, but 2 pics of a water bottle seems a bit excessive.

Here is a somewhat decent pic of the Highland Triangle Shawl start:

highland shawl

Now imagine less neon, and the greens are more natural. Less blue.

It will block very nicely. I just can’t bring myself to up my needle size because the sloppiness just kills me. I would rather block it to within an inch of its life.

Now, off for a late-ish shower, a trip to the bank, and some shopping before it gets too hot out. I am dealing with some major hot-flash moments lately. Sometimes it really sucks to be me.


Color Woes

I started on the Highland Triangle lace shawl yesterday. Seeing that the yarn I am using is not the same weight that the pattern calls for, I knew that I needed to try out different needle sizes. I went with a US size 5 last night and just didn’t like it. It looked too messy, so today I got out my ancient set of Susan Bates Circulons and tried the pattern with a size 3 needle.

It is working fine now. Of course, it will need to be blocked.

Speaking of blocking, I have yet to block and finish my Fan Stitch Half-Circle Shawl from Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls, by Martha Waterman. What has been keeping me from moving forward is that I can’t pin it out on my bed because I have one of those Sleep Number Beds. I finally figured out that I could pin it out on the futon in the guest room. Now I just need to get some blocking wires and do it. Maybe tomorrow? I have a 20% off deal that needs to be cashed in at Three Kittens. I just hope they have those blocking wires.

Now, the reason for the title of this post. I just can’t seem to get decent colors from this camera. Everything turns out looking blue. The Fan Stitch shawl is a deep eggplant color, but the pic looks blueberry blue and neon-like. Ick. So I made the pic black and white so you could see the details better. Remember, this is before some serious stretching/blocking and finishing.

It needs to be stretched before I can finish any additional borders. I think it will look very nice once it is finished, it is just a bit poochy right now, and very stiff. The yarn I am using is (I am guessing) heavily sized because it is on a cone.

I couldn’t get a decent color shot of my Highland Triangle beginning, nor a pic of my Clap 2.

Color. Who would know that the camera, even without using a flash, would distort color so much. Maybe it is just me. I am having a hard time liking this blog background too. Too lacquer looking and too dark. I will probably be switching it next week. Don’t get me wrong, it is not that it is red – my living room is a very bright red. I just think these colors make the blog hard to read and they just don’t suit me blog-wise.

My pet pictures seem to work just fine though – go figure.

Here are some fun photos of my dogboy Spencer. He thinks he is cool because he gets to play in his own pool whenever he wishes:

cool dog

and this action shot:

cool dog two



I tried to finish my Clapotis – the return (2nd one) but ran out of yarn! So off to shop last night. Couldn’t decide if I needed to get more other yarn, so I put off the final decision until this am. Of course, it was one of those places where you get free or discounted shipping with a $40 purchase, so guess how much I spent— a bit over $40. I tried to not look at too many of the other pages, just stuck to the kettle dyed yarn. I figured I needed to get more of the 2nd colorway I had ordered previously, and noticed that they were selling a 3rd colorway and ordered a lot of that too.

So, Clap 2 is going to be set aside on a cable and I will start another shawl today. I need to get my rump in gear and get some notes typed so that I can carry the pattern around without worrying about losing my book.

Which pattern? The Highland Triangle Shawl from Folk Shawls

25 Knitting Patterns and Tales from Around the World

If you want to see some finished shawls check out these links:
Wendy (of course), Cassiana, Barbara.

If you are interested in shawls and do not have this book there is something seriously wrong with you. Now you know you want it, just give into the temptation and go ahead and (at least) add it to your wishlist. Perhaps a kind person or your Secret Pal will help you out.

I saw a sample knit of the said shawl done up at Borealis Yarns. The middle triangle was knit using Cherry Tree Hill Sock yarn (varigated), with all the borders done in Gems Merino in a solid color. Fabulous! I asked about the amount of each and bought mine at their latest sale. Pics coming soon. I know I promised that before from another sale at another place—just haven’t been in the photo taking mood. But if you want to see the colors, Old Rose from Cherry Tree Hill (4th one down on the left) and Gems Merino Opal Sportweight in Fern gems merino opal sportweight in fern colorway

This morning I spent time updating both my knitting links and my separate set of links for knitted ponchos. You would not believe the amount of hits I get for those 2 pages.

There may be some dead links on both because sometimes it is hard to tell if a page is truly gone, or whether the owner is experiencing some server problems.

Now I need to get going on those typed instructions. Hope you are having a great weekend —- what are you doing inside? the weather is fantastic – go out and play!


Money Well Spent

There is a great sale going on at Needlwork Unlimited. Today was the first day and I knew I had to get there as quick as I could.

After kicking back with a friend – helping her with a beadwork project, I took off for the store. I had my lists for my 2 secret pals (AK and Secret Pal 5).

I bought a lot of stuff but I really can’t show you much until I decide who gets what. What I mean by that is that what I purchased was soooooooo goooooood that I am sorely tempted to keep it all. All the yarn I purchased was 20% off, and the book deal was buy one get another at half-price, ditto for the patterns and pattern leaflets. Wow! There were some other fab deals of high-buck yarn (cashmere and the like) being on sale with a bigger discount, but my mind couldn’t deal with that. I have plans on figuring out some projects and going back there again before the sale is finished.

By tomorrow I will have set my mind right and will probably get a pic on here for you – showing you my purchases sans the Secret Pal gifts.

Just to keep you from getting bored I leave you with this pic of Guinevere:

guinevere's angry tail

This is from the other day. She first had her head stuck down between the table and my computer table — trying to suck energy from me. By the time I grabbed my camera she had decided to plop down and rest her head in the printer tray. She proceeded to give me "angry tail" — you know when cats look all calm and sweet but their tail tells another tale.

That’s all for now.


Unbirthday Tea Party

What seems like ages ago, Sally B. decided to try to corral some of her friends into signing up for an "Unbirthday" tea party at a fancy tea place. She warned the shop owner that the group she invited were a rowdy bunch. I guess the owner said it would be okay, as long as we were dressed. I don’t know what Sally said to her to give her the impression we were nudists, but anyway….

Sally mentioned that we could dress up and wear hats. Hats! I remembered looking at both the Chicken Viking Hat , the Hallowig,
& the Knit Your Own Fry Up Beret. I planned on making all three.

The Hallowig was easy, and the Viking chicken hat wasn’t too bad, but I ran out of time and didn’t get to make the Fry Up Beret. I was a bit hampered by the fact that I didn’t want to show my hand and have Sally see it, so I couldn’t knit it on Wednesdays with TheBeadLadies.

Finally, on Saturday Chaachi and I picked up our friend Joan and headed off to Tale of Two Sisters in Redwing, MN, which is about an hour long drive. The weather was rainy off and on, but it was still pleasant.

Tale of Two Sisters is in a very nice Victorian home, a great place for colorful pictures both outside and inside. We arrived a bit early, so we had time to look around:

tea party

tea party

tea party

tea party

tea party

tea party
I love this kitchen! Especially with its funky linoleum floor.

Sally finally made her grand entrance and it was time for pics of us all at the table. Everybody looked fancy and normal, like nice, respectable people.

tea party

tea party

But here we are – being our normal weird selves:

tea party
Chaachi and Moi

It was fun. The other people present weren’t put off by the weirdness, thankfully. I didn’t want to spoil anybodies day (really) . We did take the hats off after the pictures, and it was a good thing because they were hot!

I totally zonked out because I should have taken pics of the fancy food. First we had chilled peach and yogurt "soup" with what looked like a dollop of whipped cream. Then out came the little fancy sandwiches (cucumber, egg salad horns, chicken salad on cinnamon bread, tomato and pesto) . The tea was Lemon Solstice, and was tasty and unusual and didn’t need sugar. That was good, because we certainly had enough sweets. The beautiful tea pots had cute holder gadgets to keep the lids on while you pour, with a sponge near the spout to keep from dripping. You probably know what they are called, but I don’t get out much *grin*.

Next came the almond scones with devon cream and lemon curd. We also had a tiny parfait of peppermint ice cream. I managed to remember to photo the cookes shaped like tea pots and chocolate dipped strawberries:

tea party

Then the owner came out wearing a birthday cake hat and we sang an unbirthday song. We ended with a tiny birthday cakes – very sweet. I almost passed out from the sugar buzz.

I think Sally enjoyed herself. Here she is grinning away amongst the roses:

tea party

As you can tell, I’m having fun trying out some fancy stuff with my photo editor.

All that was left to do was have a sleepy trip back.

Now I need to move along and get started on some new projects. My 2nd clapotis is still in process, I don’t know what else to work on, but I am sure I will come up with something soon. I have so many things planned, but nothing is really calling out to me yet.