Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Resolution

I know I have been a bad blogger this last month.  It has been a tough month.  This first set of holidays without my dad has been so very painful.  I just miss him so much.  My goal has been to survive this holiday season, and so far so good.  With this in mind last night I laid in bed (staring at the ceiling like always) and thought about my new year resolution.  I thought about all the things I wanted to improve about myself, all the things I wanted to do, and where I want to be at this time next year.  I came up with only one possible resolution that fit the bill.  My resolution for 2011 is:  To be luckier in the next year.  I already feel like I am working to achieve my goals, luck is just oozing from my pores.  I promise to update you on all the good luck I am going to have in the next year!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Much Sorriness, or Elvis sighted on my Blog

I am so sorry I have not blogged lately.  I find myself having the proverbial blue Christmas.  I am hoping after the new year things will improve.  So I thought why not really go for the seasonal pity party song, sung by the King of pity parties himself.  (This video is actually exceptional in video quality and Elvis croons out the ballad with much heart and soul)..

Monday, November 29, 2010

Did I mention I like scarves?

I have been working on a pattern, yes I am designing a pattern.  I got a little bogged down in the process and had to put it down to clear my mind.  I cast around and with a little stash diving and a wonderful new knitting book I found just the thing.  If you remember I went to the Midwest Fiberfest last summer ( ).  I bought some crazy thick and thin merino yarn from some sweet ladies hailing from Minnesota. It was in fact taking a lot of space up in my pie safe o' yarn.  I knew from fairly early on I wanted to make a scarf out of the yarn.

Flash forward to my new book. Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant.  The book is brilliant, packed with patterns for gloves, bags, scarves, shawls, lamp shades, and of course socks.  There is a Noro scarf that I am so going to knit.  Anyway, the "19th-Century Honeycomb Stitch Scarf" caused my little felted heart to go pitter-pat.  It was exactly the pattern I wanted for my thick and thin yarn.

My first cast on was on 9 straight needles and it was just to tight.  I frogged my first attempt and pulled out the big guns, a set of 11s.  I also decreased the cast on by 7 stitches.  In four short nights I had a new, wildly garish scarf.  I am in love with the silly thing.  Trust me you can't miss me flying my new green scarf, I love scarves.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Smitten by Fingerless Mitts

One mitt from each of Bob and Greg's pair
I learned to knit because I wanted to make myself a pair of fingerless mitts.  I bought the yarn and the pattern for the mitts, but I have yet to actually use that yarn to make those mitts.  However, I have knitted lots of fingerless mitts over the last three years. 

My beautiful wife modeling Barb's pair
This year our household has been the fingerless mitts knitting factory.  Using a pattern from a ballband of Artful Yarns I have made five pairs that I have given away.  My wife however is dropping pairs off her needles, like leaves from a tree.
Mom's Pair
She has tweaked the pattern and worked it into her own.  She actually gave me pointers on how to attach the gusset to the rest of the mitt.  Yesterday I nearly tripped over a big bag of mitts in her living room.  Sometimes it is good to share a home with another knitter.

Kim's Pair

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Letter

Dear Friends,

My fortune cookie tonight read, "You have a charming way with words.  Write a letter this week."  The advice of a cookie seemed like a reason to write a small missive to you.  I feel cookies don't lie.  I say that to you and then I remember that I did have a cookie lie to me once.

A sad tale of losing cookie confidence that has marked me as a person who will in fact spit out a cookie in front of a room full of people.  So let me begin with once upon a knit night I showed up at my usual tardy, last half hour.  Now the women and men I knit with are some awesome bakers.  If I see a plastic container on a table with napkins, I know goodness is to be had.  On the table was just such a container and some of the most perfect looking snicker doodles I have ever seen.  My inner cookie monster was about to put her face into the container and eat some cookies.  I waited, was polite, and took only one.  Cookie conversation swirled around me as a generous bite settled on my tongue.

Okay, there is something you should know, I really don't like most tropical fruits.  The most heinous of the bunch is bananas followed closely by pineapples.  I don't even like the smell of either of those fruits.  It may be a character flaw, but I will not deny my abhorrence of these things.  This truth revealed, I sat there with a mouth full of pineapple flavored cookie growing in my mouth.  Talking around the cookie, I asked the room, "Whaa kinda cooookie is this?"

"Pineapple cake batter," the proud baker said.

The group must have registered the complete look of disgust on my face, because a chorus of, "Just spit it out." went around the room. 

I felt bad,  but I just could not bring myself to swallow.  With a mumbled "Esqoose me," I spit the cookie into the napkin and ran from the room to get a drink of something to wash the horrid taste of pineapple out of my mouth.

The moral of this story is always ask before biting into any cookie, pineapple cake batter could be hidden in even the most delicious looking morsel.  The moral could also be forget the fortune, this letter is not charming. Or maybe the moral is skip the fortune and stick with the lottery numbers on the back (2 7 22 33 46 47).


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cool Friends

I think I have some really cool friends.  My wonderful photographer friend, Sungazing, ( ) has sold some of her photos for the covers of books.  Two to be exact.  One of the photos was snatched up by  Random House and used for the cover of Kelley Armstrong's Industrial Magic

I think what gets me so excited about the cover is that the photo is one of personal favorites.  A couple of years ago I was so excited by the photo she gave me a framed copy of the image.  The image of the leg with the chess pieces makes me think about an adult Alice going through the looking glass.  The photo is sexy and intelligent.  I also wonder how the hell did she take the photo and keep those chess pieces from falling off her leg? 

Friday night I was at Borders and I kept seeing Sungazing's leg everywhere.  I just kept thinking I know that sexy leg.  I bought my own copy, not even because I want to read the book, but because Sungazing is so cool. Her other cover for the Pigman and Me   
( ) is out but I have yet to find a copy.  Pretty soon bookstores everywhere will be show casing her sexy gams.  You go Sungazing!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tempest in a Pot of Reality

Thursday is always my favorite night of the week.  As I have mentioned before my Beloved Cuz and I always get together and spend some time together having dinner, knitting, and enjoying each others' company ( ).  Over time we have stumbled into all kinds wonderful things.  Tonight it was reality TV!  No kidding when we showed up at one of the coffee houses we frequent they were filming a reality show for HGTV.  Bright lights, lots of extraneous people, and cameras littered around the otherwise subdued setting.

I know, you think I am exaggerating, but the producer, Heather, made us sign a release to be part of the video landscape.  The reality show was about people buying their first home.  Apparently, they are filming a whole season of the show in St. Louis.  Beloved Cuz and I were kind of excited to have something different happen on our Thursday.

So it was lights, camera, action and here we are trapped as knitting background props.  I am not worrying about how my hair looks or whether I am making a stupid face.  No I am worrying if someone will see this episode and critique my knitting.  Will someone see my knit front back and think, "Oh my god, why is that woman strangling her Cascade Magnum?"

I was glad when the filming stopped so we could pack up and leave.  I was also surprised reality TV was not that real.  They made the couple repeat their surprise on the contract offer four times, it felt forced.  It was also weird to see these men shouldering around heavy cameras and zooming in on the couple through a pastry case.  I am not even sure what the name of show is and I will not be on the lookout for my debut.  However, my final comment on the whole thing is if you see a woman strangling her Cascade Magnum on a reality show, please be kind, you may know her.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fiestaware or the Multi-Colored Monkey on My Back

Being the woman with the multi-colored fiestaware monkey on my back literally ( ) it is not surprising that I get excited everytime a new color is put out by the good people at Homer Laughlin.  This fall the new color is the aptly named Paprika. I am not a warm hues kind of girl, but you know it is a color I don't have. 

Paprika Tower of Fiestaware
Excited I went to my favorite place to buy fiestaware, Cornucopia in Kirkwood ( ).  I went alone with intent to buy some colored dinnerware.  I was not disappointed.  I bought a paprika mini disk pitcher, gusto bowl, and a fruit bowl to add to my rainbow collection of dishes.  I am going to ask my mom for a place setting of the paprika for Christmas.

Paprika Mini Disk Pitcher Joins the Herd
I also found a new addition to the fiesta family, a jam jar.  Forget the fact that I don't routinely keep jam in a special jar.  You know I had to have one.  I even bought the new design in the last new color, lemon grass.  I left the store poorer, but with a bag full of pretty pieces of pottery going to a good home at my house. 

Lemon Grass Jam Jar

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rockin' the Blue Sky Alpaca

I love the color green, I find it really hard to resist anything in a showy, bright green and one day I found myself fondling this very supple, chunky, blue sky alpaca in the most beautiful shade of green.  In a fit of green envy I bought 5 skeins of the yarn.  I knew I wanted to knit a beret with the yarn, but it took me forever to find just the right pattern (OK nine months), bulky beret from Vogue.  Once I had the pattern and the yarn I needed the time. 

Last week the trifecta of knitting goodness came together and I knitted out the beret of my dreams. Surprisingly I was left with two extra skeins of alpaca.  I thought, whatever shall I knit?  Inspiration came in the stitch pattern on the beret.  The bulky beret pattern had a twisted cable stitch, very easy and a whole lot of fun (if you get off on knitting).  I decided on a gaiter with a twisted cable pattern to match the beret.  I busted the gaiter out in record time and was left with a little more than half a skein left.

I thought if only I had a little more I could make wristwarmers.  I abstained from going to the yarn store and putting myself further into a yarn debt.  Instead I decided to try and knit little mitts.  Okay, bulky little mitts.  After a few false starts I came up with silly mitts to match the whole ensemble. 

I am so kitted out for cold weather, I am thinking I should move to Minnesota.  And in the end I was left with maybe a yard of the Blue Sky Alpaca.  In my attempt to use up all the yarn I almost (almost) made a tassel to go on the top of my beret.  Good sense prevailed and instead I put the dab of yarn in my pot of stray pieces.  I may one day decide something else needs a tassel.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tank You, Or My First Garment

 I have been knitting for just over three years and I have made scarves, wash cloths, berets, wristwarmers, coasters, socks, throws, and gaiters.  I have avoided making a sweater or clothes of any kind for fear of badly botching the job.  I have toyed with making a tank because it would be less of a commitment, no sleeves.  I only toyed with the idea until last spring a good friend ask me to make her a top for her.  I would have liked to put her off instead of failing at the task, but she had been so supportive  last winter when I was struggling through my father's illness.  She sent me cards, flowers, and photos of her dog, making me smile when smiles were few and far between.  If anyone was worth the challenge, she was. 

I found a basic pattern in KnitSimple ( ) and thought maybe?  In late may I started knitting, and knitting, and knitting.  Somewhere on the front V neck I started to be wracked by doubt.  I the neckline looked weird and if I failed, I was afraid she would think I was an awful knitter and an ungrateful friend.  My knitting confidence was at an all time low, I found working on the tank to be an exercise in failure.  This pattern was never going to look right, I told myself.  I even quit knitting for a couple of weeks because I just knew this project was a fiasco. 
Finally, I gave up on the doubt and my mantra, "Just keepon  knitting!"  Once I sat down and started again, I decided if I just do this project I can get on with my life. 

After much forced knitting and many mental pep talks, I finally had both front and back pieces were done.  Sandy at Knitorious helped me sew my pieces together teaching me the mattress stitch. I picked up the neck and armhole stitches followed by I-cord bind offs.  I had some problem with armholes they were just too big.  I decreased to cinch them up, but in the end I think I should have decreased a little more.

Tank on fabulous supermodel, Beloved Cuz

The tank is done and the garment given with all my hope and fretting knitted into each stitch.  I have no idea how the item was received or if it even fit (cross your fingers for me).  I can only say that I have completed my first piece of clothing and like so many other things it was a life lesson in perseverance.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Finding Piccadilly at Manhattan

 As I have mentioned before Thursdays are special nights for my beloved cuz and me.  We like to eat good food and unwind from our work week.  Both of us keep our ears open for any mention of good restaurants and this week we found a keeper.  One of my most annoying customers was talking about this place, Piccadilly at Manhattan ( )on the edge of  the county and city line.

He told me I could never find it so I would have to take him.  Silly customer, I work for a library, I know how to find things.  The gauntlet was thrown down and good food as my prize, I was up to the challenge.

 With a little care reading street signs, we found ourselves standing outside this charming, clematis covered, neighborhood restaurant.  I stepped inside and felt as if I had stepped into a the Ellendale Neighborhood's private little Brigadoon.  I saw people step out of their homes cross the street and walk in to be greeted as if they were family.  The restaurant was clean, bright, and very welcoming.  We were told to sit anywhere and choose the Bob Dylan table next to the window.

 The menu was simple, unpretentious and full of reasonably priced comfort food.  I chose the fried chicken with mash potatoes and green beans.  Cuz decided on the meatloaf.  We sipped our freshly brewed ice tea, knitted a row on our projects, getting excited as we saw our fellow diners meals come out.  The special was a Fred Flinstone sized rack of ribs, and the cheeseburger was a beauty of two stacked patties and lots of melting cheese.  Our food came out fairly quickly, steaming and smelling like heaven.  I am very picky about my fried chicken and I was stunned, I had four very crispy pieces.  The breading was not too salty and the meat tender and moist.  The mashed potatoes were the real mccoy and the green beans just like my grandma use to make.  I fell on that plate like a wild thing.  Cuz was equally as enthusiastic with her meatloaf.  I am not a meatloaf fan, but I am here to tell you that was some awesome meatloaf.  The slice had a good savory flavor with a firm, but juicy texture. The only complaint we had was that we both wished we had a biscuit to sop up all of your very tasty gravy.

With such a good meal we decided on a very decadent dessert, chocolate cheesecake mousse.  What a little luscious dish that was.  We left the restaurant feeling full and very happy. I kept turning around as we walked to the car, expecting the building to disappear into the mist.  Wonderful meal, and after all that food we spent just at $30 for both of us. Definitely the sort of evening that sooths away some of the rough edges of the work week.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cleaning Out My Closet

Last weekend sucked.  I felt since I was at a low point I should dig down and really wallow in my misery.  With gritted teeth and a mobile clothing rack I plunged in cleaned out the closet.  I tried on almost every piece of clothing I owned.  I managed to get rid of a significant mound of clothes that no longer fit my curvaceous frame.

I found this process so very hard, this purge was a painful trip down memory lane.  My leather mini skirt that Natalie had made for me, my cream lace shirt I wore to the bar that turned heads, stacks of pants and shirts all removed.  I had to let it all go, I needed the space, I needed to not think about all the clothes in my closet I could no longer wear. 

The deed is done, the items dispersed, and I have space for new clothes.  However, I don't want new clothes.  I want the space, I want to keep things simple and uncluttered.  Okay, maybe a little less cluttered.  If  only I could keep my life a little less cluttered.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Grasshopper 1994-2010

Last night when I heard her cries of pain, I knew it was time to let go of my cat, Grasshopper  Like everything else about her nothing was ever easy.  She was and remained to the end a difficult creature.  I knew this from the first day I got her and after sixteen years she went to the great kitty beyond pissed off and ready to do some serious damage.

I have always loved cats and it is a rare thing for a cat not to like me, so it is with heavy heart that I confess Grasshopper only tolerated me.  I was the person that feed her, gave her water, and when she was in the mood I was allowed to rub her behind the ears.  She did not like people, other cats, dogs, loud noises, the vet, wet cat food, and just about everything else.  I tried over the years to ingratiate myself to her, but only when she wanted something would she even consent to recognize I even existed.

The staff at the vets knew her as "that scary cat."  They could only work on her after she had been knocked unconscious.  Any treatment was done very quickly so they could get her in a cage before the anesthetic wore off.  This morning they all came through to pay their respect to the cat that always got the "use caution" sticker on her kennel.  I heard her howls of anger as they prepared her for the end, it only made me sob harder.

Despite her prickly behavior and aloof demeanor, I loved her very much.  She made me work harder to be a good pet parent. I had to learn to give with no expectations of any return of that care.  I was her companion, not the other way around and I am humbled by her spirit of independance even to the very end.  Her chair, the only thing I think she really loved, sits empty, I will miss the indifferent presence that sat there, not needing anything, but herself to be content.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Knitting can be Funny.

Today I got a pedicure.  My toenails are now a very bright green.  I liked to knit while getting a pedicure, it makes me less self-conscious about my feet.  The women at the pedicure place, all make over my knitting and it does give me a tiny (really) ego boost. 

I was knitting along and doing fine and then, as it often does, calamity ensued.  I dropped a stitch on another pair of the lacy summer socks, I keep in my car for outside knitting.  I knew I would need a crochet hook to fix the mistake, so I packed up my knitting and put it all away.  My pedicurist looked up and said, "Why did you stop?"

I gave her a chagrined look and said, "I can't I dropped a stitch."

She immediately began looking around on the floor, and then before I could stop her she starts splashing around in the foot bath looking for my dropped stitch.  I must admit I laughed out loud when I told her to it was okay.  I explained the stitch was in my sock and not something that fell on the floor.  She smiled at me, but as a non-knitter I don't think she ever got that nothing was actually "dropped."  What she did get was a good tip for being so concerned about my knitting.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What next, flip-flops?

To prove I have indeed fallen into the world of rubber footwear, I exhibit the Crocs Suede Alice (Ruby).  I have been wearing it all day.  So far it has been very comfy and much fussed over.

These are the bad, the Crocs Malindi.  I paid $20 for them and I am unsure if I am going like this expensive version of the 80s Jellies.

The ugly, the Crocs Celeste shoes, I paid a whooping $5 for these homily step-sisters in cotton candy and ruby.  These babies are not the prettiest things I have ever seen, but they are way comfortable.  Judge me if you will, trust me I did all the way out of the mall carrying that big green bag proclaiming "CROCS."   I am sure I will lose diva points everytime I slip a pair of these on.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Oh how the mighty have fallen. I just bought 3 pairs of crocs! What next? Tube tops? (shudder)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dim Sum or Tasting Chicken Feet

I love good food, and it shows when you see me.  I am not an adventurous eater, but I do like to try new things within limits.  I have always wanted to do dim sum, but with no experience in Chinese cuisine and a complete idiot with languages I had yet to try one of our many wonderful restaurants which serve dim sum. 

Once again the world of string brings me to new frontiers of experience.  One of the women I knit with had put out the call for yarnies and dim sum with the added bonus I got to meet her hubby and her mother.  So with Semperfiona and knitting tribe around me I got to try so many wonderful new things which have names I will never remember or be able to pronounce. Thankfully, the organizer of dim sum and her amazing hubby or very seasoned dim sum eaters.  They directed us to some very yummy stuff..  The pot stickers and sesame dessert balls were not new to me, but the fried shrimp balls were attractive and very  tasty.

I loved how the items came in little steamers which were put on the ubiquitous lazy susan.  I kept having issues with the lazy susan because I would move it just as someone else was trying to get something yummy.  Then I whirled the thing and a plate knocked over one my co-patriots tea.  That is me making a buffoon of myself in front of such nice people. 

My fellow knitter's hubby, who was just awesome at picking the yummiest stuff, kept the food coming.  He even made sure chicken feet were on the lazy susan.  I like chicken and have tried just about every part of the chicken except the head and the feet.  I find all but the gizzard palatable.  And now I can say I am not crazy about the feet because I did try a toe.  It was weirdly chewy and other than the sauce not very tasty.  I am doubtfully I will eat chicken feet again, but I was very happy to have such a wonderful opportunity to be able to come to that conclusion from experience.

Once again I think thank you my tribe of knitters for bringing so many wonderful things to my life.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sorry No Pictures

I have not blogged for two weeks and I feel bad about that.  I try to blog at least once a week, but lately I have been struggling to find things I want to blog about. I am knitting, but I am in the middle of two projects (one at work, one at home).  Both are progressing at a sloth's pace. I want to be knitting socks, but I need to finish home project before going back to my sock pattern that I am currently obsessed with (lacy summer socks).  So nothing really to blog about there.

My large seven year old computer Penelope is not doing well.  She is not even moving at sloth's pace either.  My fears are that she will go to that great technological landfill at the base of Gasconade Street very soon.  I will be left with my little Penny, a netbook, which I am typing on now.  She is very portable and easy to use, but hard to use for photos and forget about installing MS Word on it, not enough memory.  I am struggle with inertia on this front and wonder, if one day I will come home and find Penelope has walked into the sun to end the misery.

My Mom has taken off to Sturgis SD on the back of one of my Dad's buddies motorcycle.  She has been gone a week, to camp, ride, and experience the things my Dad did on his motorcycle runs.  I can't imagine her camping and spending that much time on a motorcycle, she always hated doing those kind of things.  I will admit I was a little stunned by the plan and tried to talk her out of it.  She stayed strong and said she was going through with the trip.  After all these years my mother still confuses me.  I am left wondering why she never did this trip with my Dad, and why she wants to do it now.  Mothers are mysterious.

I think you can see why I have been so lax lately.  I will work harder to have a more interesting life in the next week.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Yarn Crawl or Doing My Part for the Economy

This weekend is the St Louis Area Yarn Store Crawl, where the owners lure the yarn heads in with the promise of free patterns and prizes.  With my debit card in hand, Natalie, Lenora, and a full tank of gas we were off making the loop around St. Louis.  The night before I gave it some thought and came up with a master plan for the trip and a list of things I am looking to purchase.  I packed my bag and I was ready by 11 to start doing some crawling.  I promised myself to space out the purchasing and try to buy something at 5 of the 6 locations.  I played the part of the Garmin.  Natalie was the chauffeur, and Lenora was, let's just say the rock star knitter in the back seat of the Ford Focus wagon.

We started at Hearthstone Knits and immediately I ran into a woman I had not seen in at least a year.  We chatted and caught up a little and before I knew it yarn was purchased and we were off to another location.  Knit and Caboodle in the bustling St Charles historic district was the most expensive stop of the day I fell in love with the drape of some gorgeous sea silk and well had to have it, in green (of course).  I found a lovely one ball knit lace scarf pattern for the very dear yarn.  I blame the evil Ariel at Knit and Caboodle for this purchase, not my own lack of control.

We ended at Knitty Couture in University City.  We got very lucky and were able to park right in front of the store.  I can't tell you how exciting it was to get all 6 spots stamped on my little passport or how awesome it was to get 6 free patterns by 6 designers that I knew. But I think the most exciting thing was that we had the rock star knitter, Lenore with us.  Everywhere we went people knew her and clamoured to talk to her about hardcore knitting issues and yarny gossip.  She knew everyone and I felt like a yarn groupie hanging out with her.    We rocked the yarn stores, and I think more than a few of them were glad when we took our rowdy selves out of their shops.

I came home with haul of magazines, yarn, and accessories, see the picture of haul at the top.  Keep your fingers crossed that one of us wins a prize (that bag at Hearthstone Knits was a stunner) and if we blazed across your trail Saturday I hope it was as much fun for you as it was for us.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Look, or Showing off My Fiestware

Back in May I crowed on and on about my wonderful friend at Sungazing Photography taking tea party pictures of my beloved wife and I in the briar's of Eureka.  The sweetheart gave me a disk of digital images of the tea party so I could spruce up my blog.  As you can see I am like a proud parent showing off new born pics.  Just look at my lovely pieces of fiestaware pottery.  I can't get over how cool the colors contrasted and I especially love how everything is set up on the funky little table.  And can I just say those orange daisies are the bomb! 

Sungazing took so many wonderful photos, it was so hard to chose which ones we just had to have.  In fact it took us almost six weeks to decide, but we decided on an official photo of the two of us, with three individual ones to go underneath.

Sungazing gets many thanks from me.  She brought out our personalities in a way which makes me not care that I am the size of a barn and no longer the spring chicken running around the a fore mentioned barn.  We look good, flaws and all and still in love with one another. 

If you scroll down to the bottom of the blog you can see even more of my adorable dishes. As and added bonus you can see my wife and I acting like buffoons, but you know what can I say who cares as long are entertaining somebody.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair

Last weekend I went with my mom to a fiber event in North Chicago.  My mom came to me with this event and asked if we could go together.  Mom is one of those people with the itch to always be on the move.  The last two years she has spent a significant time at home taking care of my dad and their life.  Now she wants to go...just go about anywhere.  At first I said no because I had scheduling difficulties, but with a thoughtful co-worker I was able to say yes. My wife, my mom, and I took off Friday to experience fiber together.

The fair was fun with lots of fiber, accessories, and all things yarny.  I especially liked that the fair was in a very large air conditioned building.  It was a little overwhelming at first, but with a game plan we attacked the fair like seasoned fair goers. We looked first and then went back to buy, at least that was what we tried to do.  I saw so many cool things.  Spinning wheels with cool space age knobs, handmade soap in wool sleeping bags, triangular knitting needles made from old broom handles, pottery bells, buttons, public knitting projects and yarn.  Lots of yarn.

Needless to say I bought yarn, I bought buttons, I bought needles, I bought earrings, I bought.  My mom, who is not a knitter, enjoyed herself, but was ready to go after half a day.  I would have liked to stay and done some of the lectures, but mom was ready to find some quilt shops.  So off we went.  We had a really nice time together.

The trip home included a side excursion to my favorite place on the planet, IKEA.  We wandered through the beautifully arranged rooms.   I long to be the kind of person who could have all those clean clear surfaces uncluttered by a lifetime of junk.  So of course I felt the need to buy stuff to further clutter up my life, but you know that new green rug in my bathroom is beautiful!

I wish I could spend more time like this with my mom and my wife.  They truly are my favorite traveling companions.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ikea done. Want a million $ & an ikea less than 10 miles from me. On way home now, bye chitown.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

And Yet More Furniture Comes to Live With Me

Before I could even read, I loved books.  The colorful pictures, text crawling so orderly across the bottom of the page, and the way my golden books looked lined up neatly on my little house bookcase.   Every time I got a new book I would take it to the shelf and judge the size finding the perfect position on my shelf.  My brother would come in and knock the books off the shelves destroying my system.  As soon as he was gone I would start all over again putting everything back in order.

I learned to read, I got bigger books, and outgrew my little house bookcase and it disappeared.  As my mother releases furniture old friends keep showing up.  My little house bookcase is back and I am once again lining up my knitting books by size to live on its shelves. Of course my cat, Seven, is disagreeing with me on what should be placed on the those shelves.  His vote is fluffy blankets or a stash of catnip, not boring old books.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Puzzle Furniture

My mom has started to think about downsizing and has been letting go of some of her favorite pieces of furniture.  When she asked if I wanted her antique oak knockdown wardrobe, I said let me make room.

I was excited, I have loved this wardrobe since we brought it home in pieces when I was ten.  It went to live in our garage for many years to be a home for motorcycle helmets and several generation of spiders.  In the late eighties my mom evicted the spiders and  had it refinished (I know that ruins the value, but it looks so much better and it got to move into the house). 

A few weeks ago all twenty-seven pieces came to live with me.  Of course it came knocked down in all of its separate pieces.  My wife, bless her occasionally cranky heart, with some effort put all the pieces together into one whole wardrobe.  I am fascinated how all the pieces slide together and like magic make an impressive piece of furniture.

I have all this potential storage space.  I imagine putting all my yarn in it, books, quilts, or even, heaven forbid, clothes.  I am giddy with all the things I just might store in the wardrobe.  My cat, Seven, has ideas of his own.  He thinks with a few rugs, he just might get his own room.  I think he is wrong.