Tuesday, December 27, 2011

That's Where Jewelry Comes From

Recently, I have been obsessed with the sell of Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry in mid-December.  I had my eye on the Bulgari Diamond and Emerald necklace.  I was happy to hear that Bulgari bought the necklace back for $6.1 million.  However, can I just say OUCH, that is much bucks for your bling.  I kept teasing my friends that I wanted the necklace for Christmas and if they all went in together they could probably get me a parking space to the auction.

However, all that necklace lust went out in the universe and I got four new, beautiful necklaces, and a kit to knit my own sparkly bauble for Christmas.  I think I am so lucky to have friends who know and love me so well.  I cannot wait to wear my new pieces of jewelry, I am just perplexed on which one to wear first.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I love the Heat Miser

I am not a Christmas person.  I don't like carols and dream of snow.  I do love spending time with my family and friends and having the day off from work.  As you imagine I am not checking the TV schedule in search of any Christmas specials.  However, there is one number in The Year Without a Santa Claus that I do love, the Heat Miser song.  I think I love the flaming red hair of the Heat Miser and his minions.  I thought now would be a good time to share this clip with all the joy of the season.  I'm too much!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Compromise or Dinner with My Wife

Tonight I really wanted sushi.  Specifically, I wanted the volcano roll at Cafe Mochi on Grand.  My wife wanted Vietnamese from Mekong on Grand.  We were doing that usual, no it is okay we can go to your pick , no-no-no let's go to your restaurant dance that we do when we parked at Jay's. I needed Ting Ting ginger chews. 

Tangent:  I love Ting Tings.  They are these spicy little candies which are the consistence of stale taffy and once soften just gum up your teeth.  I can only get them at international groceries and I am almost out.  Our goal was to pick up a few bags and then get dinner.

We walked back out to the car and I noticed Wei Hong, a Chinese Restaurant, across the street from Jay's.  We were, in fact, midway between Mochi and Mekong.  I looked at my wife and said, "How do you feel about Chinese instead?" I pointed across the street.

My wife cocked her head and gave me one of those pirate smiles of hers and said, "Why that is an excellent compromise."  And so I had hot and sour soup and many smiles from my wife as she ate her shrimp fried rice.  A happy medium was exactly what we both wanted for dinner.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Not Forgotten or Love and Hate

Loved Yoga Socks.

I have not forgotten my blog, I have just been very busy with Christmas knitting.  However, I did have three knitted items which were gifted on St. Nicks Day.  I knitted two pair of yoga socks, which were a free pattern I love (http://www.plymouthyarn.com/index.php?nav=cPatterns.freePatterns&pattern_id=000031).  The sweet stitch pattern was just fun to knit.  I made a pair for myself (http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2011/07/i-needed-yoga-socks-because.html) that I just love them to wear around the house.  Co-worker Angie said she wanted a pair and my work bff, Cynthia, needed a pair too.  Both projects turned out great and I loved the knitting.

Right Twist Stitch Pattern

Okay back to Angie, she wanted a hat and with trepidation I found the pattern and did the knitting.  The end results were not my favorite, I really don't like knitting hats and I think it shows.  First hat had issues so I decided to try again.  The second hat turned out much better, but trust me on this, it did not make me love hat knitting at all.  I have started calling hats, hates.  Note to self, STOP knitting hates.
Angie in the Dreaded Hate

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Weekend or On My Own Schedule

I have said this many times before, I really do love being on my own schedule.  A holiday weekend with four full days off, is amazingly brilliant.  I have been trying to shove as much me things as I can in 96 hours. 

Sweet Potato Casserole

Thursday was of course the whole family thing.  So off to Hermann MO I went with my much requested sweet potato casserole (http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2009/11/day-twenty-fivegratitude.html).   I came home with homemade (by my niece and nephew with the help of their Mimi) chocolate turkeys.  I had a nice day and was glad to be with those I love.

Chocolate Thanksgiving Turkey

Friday it was off to lunch and a pedicure with my work bff, Cynthia in the hinterlands of South St Louis County.  This area is a bit of mystery to me, but the food was good (Frankie G's) and the sparkly Fresh Frog of Bel-Aire OPI polish on my toes was very worth the trip.  Natalie went with us and we both enjoyed spending the afternoon with the always amazing Cynthia.

The Knitting Patterns Mess, Before

Saturday I decided it was time to finish the a project I started on my last holiday weekend (Labor Day).  I have been wanting to get my knitting patterns in order.  I had previously sorted the patterns, but hit a wall of not having enough notebooks and then space for the organized notebooks.  It took me three months to get myself together enough to finish the project.  Of course I needed the help of the always organized Natalie to reach my goal.  We spent the afternoon together sorting patterns.  I told her it wasn't fun, but it was alot more enjoyable with her sitting across from me.

Knitting Patterns in the Drawer After

Sunday is at this time unscripted.  All I am hoping for is just one more day of sleeping late, knitting, and of course doing whatever I damn well want. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Rolling in the Deep Christmas Knitting

Here I am again, looking at the calendar and panicking.  It is Christmas knitting season again and I am rolling in the deep yarn knitting like a fiend.  I promise myself every year to not over reach my knitting ability, but here I am feeling guilty for blogging when I should be knitting on project x for person y.  The absolutely worst part is I cannot post lots of photos and brag on endlessly about my knitting prowess.  You will have to wait until after Christmas to hear the post season wrap up, I know you will be waiting with bated breath to hear the final score.  Until then think of me knitting on until the wee hours of the night watching Top Gear.

The amazing Adele, Rolling in the Deep

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Wife

Birthday Girl with Fried Cheese Cake Dessert
Today is my wife's birthday.  Unlike me, my wife does not like to be the center of attention.  She truly is a no fuss kind of person.  After having such an awesome birthday this year (http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2011/03/lucky-in-iowa-or-how-i-got-married.html), I was at a loss as to what to do to make her day special.  After much discussion we decided to just go out for sushi and invited anyone who wanted to join us to show up, keeping it very casual.  And show up they did; we even had to move up to a larger set of tables to accommodate the crowd.  Much sushi was ordered and consumed, much birthday love shared, and a few silly cards enjoyed.  I looked around and felt the love, I know she did too.  At the end of the meal I headed down to pick up the check and Knitter Man had swooped in and already taken care of business.  Shocked (it truly was much sushi), I can only say thank you to Knitter Man and thank you to everyone who made this birthday lunch so special.  We are lucky to be so loved.

 THE SUSHI (California Roll, Crabsticks, Salmon Roll, Scallops, Caterpillar Roll)

Fried Cheese Cake (So Yummy)

Count Cross Stitch Scooby Wall Hanging From the Kluesners

Handmade Thread Ornament from Lenore

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Don't Like Monday

In a nod to Bob Geldof, I don't like Mondays.  Not my A day of the week.  I think it is because the dream is over and I am back at the grind living by someone else's rules.  Today at work was the usual mundane stuff that just wears me down.  Once I was out the door at 5:15 the night was mine and things improved.  I improved.

I had dinner with a good friend and as always it was a good time.  We ate at Lulu's Seafood Restaurant  (http://www.luluseafood.com/) in University City.  Tonight the dinner was capped by the most awesome fortunes in my cookie.  I was so lucky I ended up with two fortunes.

My Monday was obviously looking better and with fortunes like these, I was smiling all the way to my car. 

Immediately, my fortunes started coming true.  My friend gave me a new pair of size 7 knitting needles and a hug before we said good-bye.  I stopped by another friends house on the way home and she gave me a gift she had seen on vacation and knew it had to be mine.  As soon as I saw the satin and sequined flamingo box, I was so touched.   Finally, the sweetest thank you card was waiting for me when I walked in the door.  So much good fortune on a Monday night might make me reassess my opinion on Monday, sorry Bob.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kimono for Me, Or What My Wife Knitted

As I have mentioned before we are a two knitter household.  Just a little over three years ago I taught my wife to knit.  Knitting is language, and since she has started speaking in a language I understand, she has amazed me with how skillful she has become.  We have learned and grown together as knitters.  However, like so many things, we have both grown in other areas of knitting.  Natalie prefers large projects, with chunky yarn and big needles.  I like smaller projects, and have yet to knit on the scale on which she envisions projects.  So while I think in socks and scarves, she thinks in blankets and sweaters.

Early on she became fascinated with a book called Knit Kimono by Vicki Square.  Square's kimonos are based on rectangles and Natalie knew she could knit a rectangle.  After many days of painstakingly studying the book she ask me to pick a kimono and she would knit it for me.  We labored over which pattern would be the most flattering, and what yarn, then came the color choice.  I, of course, chose a green palette.  Natalie began on the project and I left her to knit on.

Front View of Kimono

Fast forward to this September and our plans to go to Iowa in October.  I ask my wife if she thought the kimono might be done for the wedding?  She mulled on this idea and one night came down with the finished product and said, "Here you go."  Of course it still needed to be blocked.

Back View of Kimono

I went to my knit family and the always wonderful Tammie took on the challenge of making the cotton beast look very square and perfect.  I dug through my closet and in my opinion a stunning outfit was put together.  I hope the photos show off all my wife's hard work and my love of the beautiful kimono.  As I have previously said, the wedding was wonderful, and I only hope I did not outshine the brides.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Southeastern Iowa Yarn Crawl or Abusing My Credit Card

The best thing about traveling is getting to shop at exotic yarn stores and the southeastern corner of Iowa was very exotic, indeed.  We found several string emporiums vying for our attention, but in the end only 4 made our iteneary.  I see another Iowa yarn crawl in my future.

Immediately on our arrival in Iowa City we were on the look out for a yarn store and in three shakes of lamb's tail we found ourselves at Crazy Girl Yarns ( http://www.crazygirlyarnshop.com/ ).  Crazy Girl Yarns has two locations, one in Coralville and one in Cedar Rapids.  We went to the Coralville location, because Coralville is a suburb of Iowa City.  I didn't know Iowa City was so cosmopolitan.  Crazy Girl was a nice yarn store, large with a good selection of Noro, Cascade, and Mirasol yarns among others.  The store had lots of space and tables to sit and knit.  I was very  impressed by the variety of knitting books as well, they even had one section of books labeled "SAUCY."  I bought some Noro and a book called Knit Green.  A very determined woman was knitting at one of the tables with the help of the store clerk.  The woman was chatty and I even helped her fix a mistake.  We spoke the language of knitting like we were old friends and that made me feel good about Iowa knitters.

Next we headed to The Knitting Shoppe ( http://www.knitmap.com/locations/the-knitting-shoppe ) and trust me we would have never found it if we had not had a garmin to guide us.  The parking lot was very full and the car next to us had two adorable little knitted critters in the backseat that I had to ogle. 

Once inside I asked who had the animals in the car and a woman told me her latest project was to work through Knitted Wild Animals: 15 Adorable, Easy-to-Knit Toys by Sarah Keen. She almost made me want to knit a purple rhino.  The shop was very crowded with  loud friendly knitters.  Yarn was in shelves almost all the way up to the top of the 10 foot ceiling.  It was a little overwhelming to know where to look and I kept tripping over other knitters.  The shop felt more like a party than a business, and we were hail knitters well met, I LOVED the atomshere of this shop.  I bought Liberty yarn and Natalie bought some delicious alpaca yarn for a sweater pattern she als bought at the shop.  She loved the yarn so much she went back the next day and bought more.

We did wedding stuff and on our last morning in Iowa City we went to Home Ec Workshop ( http://www.homeecworkshop.com/ ).  What a sweet shop!  The shop has, a fabric room, a yarn room, craft lab, and snack counter.  The selection of yarn was smaller than the other shops, but they had chosen well.  The Madelinetosh and clearance Mirasol Tupa kept subliminally saying, "Buy me."  I spent most of my time digging through the clearance bin finding green Tupa (9 skeins) making sure to get it all so no other knitter would be tortured with only one lone skein of the perfect green color and not another to match in sight.  I would also like to say the couch was particularly comfortable there.

We also were able to stop by R. Rabbit's Fiber Studio in Cedar Rapids.  I have to say this shop was very small.  They had packed the shop with yarn, fibers, looms, spinning wheels, books, and state winning knitted items.  One of the State Fair 2nd place winning shawls was hanging on the wall.  The yarn had been hand spun and then knitted into a very complicated lace pattern and only won 2nd place.  I can only imagine what won first.  As with every shop we had been to the knitters were so welcoming and ready to start talking yarn.  I will say it again, I think a second Iowa yarn crawl is in order.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wedding Number 3 or Iowa Revisited

Johnson County Iowa Court

Once again my wife and I found ourselves on the way to Iowa for another wedding.  This time the wedding was not ours, but our good friends Kim and Barb.  Kim has been someone I have known from many years back.  One of the truly lucky things about my time in North County was reconnecting with her. 

The soon to be newlyweds

Kim and her very witty partner, Barb, decided to make the trek to Iowa and make their 18 years together official.  Natalie and I decided that a return trip to the mid western state where gay marriage is legal was in order.  The added bonus of 3 days off from work and spending time with good friends sealed the deal.

On October 13 we stood in the same courthouse in the same courtroom with the same judge watching our friends get married.  It was nice to actual hear the marriage vows that I sobbed through.  It is also good to finally know I did not agree to "Obey" Natalie.  I had just agreed be her partner in life.  Their ceremony was beautiful, Barb was radiant and Kim all smiles.

The good people of Iowa did us proud.  They were so welcoming and pleased that we came to their state for a wedding.  Judge Karen was happy to spend time in her busy day to perform nuptials for two people so obviously in love.  She told us that she enjoys marrying people and this year she has married about 75 gay and lesbian couples.  After the ceremony we all left the courtroom smiling. 

The wedding party
To Kim and Barb I wish many years of love and happiness.  Thank you for letting us share in your joy.  For the rest of us I wish all states would open their minds and hearts to allow this equal right to all of their citizens.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

$200, 2 Hours, and 1 Broken Nail Later, Or Going to Costco

I know I owe you dear reader the final chapter of 3 Weddings and a Trip to Iowa, but I just got back from Costco and feel a little careworn.  Let me outline my excursion to Costco and you may feel I have earned a brief respite from responsibility.

I needed to go to Costco because I am running a little low on essentials and they kindly sent me a coupon flier.  With my paycheck recently deposited I headed to the warehouse of wholesale prices, my shopping list engraved on my brain.

Trying to think smartly, I decided to gas up first because I know I will be too exhausted afterwards to save 7 cents a gallon on gas.  After waiting my turn I fill up and move on to parking.  I parked about 20 yards from the pump because the lot was packed.  I knew this was going to be a busy day for warehouse shopping. 

Sighing, I grab my enormous shopping bags and go.  I no more than flash my membership card and my bladder decides I need a trip to the women's room which is of course on the other side of the store.  Leaving my cart I take care of business and of course have to go back out and get a new cart because my old one is gone.  To get back in I have to flash my membership card again. 

Hardcore grab and go shopping is on my mind, I head immediately all the way back to the cheese section and then move on to fruit.  Just out of fruits I start looking for the coupons.  No coupon book.  Yup, I left it in the car.  Leaving my cart I run back out to my car, pick up the coupon book, head back in, and of course flash my membership card again.

And you guessed it I go back to my cart to find it gone (glad I took my shopping bags with me).  There I am back to go, collect another cart, and of course flash my membership card again.

Back to cheese and fruit and on to freezer section for me.  After dodging other shoppers, small children, and the very friendly demo staff I have finished my scavenger hunt for couponed items and I am in line to pay.  Of course I am in the wrong line.  I always pick the wrong line.  I notice my error about halfway through unloading my cart, that was the moment when I notice my clerk has his arm up the money tube.  Apparently, the plastic money bin is stuck in the tube.  After he and another clerk use a stick to unwedge the bin my clerk has to walk it to the office.  (I am not kidding folks).  The other clerk finally logs in and starts to finish with the customer in front of me.  I try not to judge people, BUT the customer in front of me waits for a total and then pulls out a check book.  Say what you will about debit card fees, but they are quicker.

So with purchases in cart I head to my car.  I bag up the items fill up my hatch and realize, yes I have to go to the women's room again.  I debate with myself and then back to the store I go.  And again I am asked to show my membership card.  I make the long trek to the facilities feeling like every employee there is thinking, "When will that bitch leave?"

At last I found myself at home parked and looking at the long walk to my house with enormous shopping bags full of army of children sized portions of bread and milk.  Somewhere on this shuffle inside I managed to break a nail and snag my shirt on the door. 

So I feel I have earned a respite from my chores to watch Top Gear and blog. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Have I Mentioned I Like Fiestaware?

No wedding this weekend, I have the joy of working instead of celebrating with people I love.  Don't despair dear reader, next week I go to my final wedding of the season and I will report with joy for the newlyweds.  In the meantime I will gush lovingly about my latest Fiestaware acquirement.

I have been working on getting a complete set of Fiestaware mixing bowls, five in total.  The problem with getting the set has been I wanted each one in an individual specific color.  Homer Laughlin decided to retail these in blocked sets.  Initially it looked like I was going to have to purchase either one color set or buy multiple sets to create the set I wanted.   The later being a very costly endeavor.  So I was a little sulky about the whole thing.

My sulk actually gave me time to accept that I am powerless to powers of brightly colored dinnerware and  with my credit card in hand found myself at the local place where Fiestaware lives, Cornucopia ( http://www.kitchencopia.com/ ).  As I stepped into the liar of Fiesta I was happily surprised to see that they actually had individual bowls for purchase!  If there had not been so many breakable things around me, I would have danced for joy.   Three of the five bowls went home to live with the rest of Fiestaware family.

Three down, two more to go.  Getting the last two was trickier, they also were a two piece set.  Utilizing patience, resolve, and much time spent on the internet at last victory was mine.  The set was complete in all the colors I wanted: Evergreen, Shamrock, Lemongrass, Marigold, and Ivory.  Once I had all my bowls, like a possessed thing I stacked and restacked them, lined them up on my table, rubbed them down with a towel, and general stared at the glory of my new set of mixing bowls.  I swear I heard angels singing at one point.

I told Natalie about my quest realized.  She snorted and said, "So when are you actually going to use those to cook with?"  I think my face fell at the thought of actually using a hand mixer in my new bowls.  Natalie just looked at me and laughed.  "That's what I thought," she said shaking her head and walking away.  

Oh well, did I mention Homer Laughlin has put out a new 75th Anniversary soup tureen?  It is stunning with a ladle and a tray.  Sigh, I know where my next quest will take me and trust me it isn't making soup.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wedding Number 2

Today I went to another wedding, these nuptials were a family event.  I got to see cousins, aunt, uncles, nieces, siblings, and my wonderful mother.  I wore a my birthday dress and my beautiful wife wore green.  The weather was lovely and the caterers were awesome (granted they are also family, but the food was still very good).  Basking in the love of my family and a radiant pair of newlyweds does much to warm your soul.

Mandy, the radiant bride
I remember Mandy being born when I was 12.  She is my first cousin once removed, one of the earliest of that generation.  Today she and her three children joined another family of three, so like the Brady Bunch they became a large family over night.  I really liked that all of the children were in the wedding party.  To show their commitment to the new and improved blended family they each poured colored sand in a large jar.  I thought it was a brilliant way to show unity.

The Newly Blended Family, All Smiles
I can only wish them all the best in their new life, with the hope for more smiles and few tears.  I would like to say I prefer family get togethers which include weddings over less joyful events.  Even more I prefer events which include my wife; having her by my side always makes everything better.  My family gets kudos for all the congratulations and hugs I received about our recent nuptials.  My Aunt Maryann, the family matriarch, made it a point to come over and tells us how happy she was for us.  I thought it was another beautiful wedding and I am so glad I was invited to celebrate.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yes, I do Love Green Taco Sauce

I love La Victoria Green Taco Sauce.  In my opinion if I am going to slather something on my tacos this green goodness is what I crave.  I have tried many other green and some red taco sauces and nothing can even compare to this brand.  My wife introduced me to the condiment in the first year we were together.  My commitment to both have withstood the test of time.   While we lived in Rolla, La Victoria was a staple on our shopping list and easily acquired at Kroger's.  Of course there are no Kroger's in St Louis anymore and with much search I have discovered only international grocery stores carry the stuff.  Weird considering the company is owned by Hormel, but I digress.

Because La Victoria Green Taco Sauce is scare in St Louis, I have taken to hoarding the stuff.  Whenever I find some I clear out the shelf.  However, I must be one in a small minority because most places that do carry the stuff only carry a couple of bottles.  Last week I proudly paid for five bottles and told the cashier I had cleaned them out.  She looked at me like I was some freaky green taco sauce eater, which I am.  I was almost giddy as I walked out of the store fondling my bag.

I love the green taco sauce on Mexican food, but it is yummy on baked potatoes, eggs, all kinds of sandwiches, and my favorite grilled cheese.  I often toast bread put on slices of cheese and spread on the sauce to nuke later for my lunch at work.  That little spot of green in the middle of my work day makes me smile like I have a secret ingredient on my toast. Just thinking about it makes me want to have that sandwich right now...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wedding Bells and Old Friends

The Newlyweds
I have a trio of weddings coming up in the next weeks.  They run the gambit from old friends, family, and another trip to Iowa.  I went to the first weddings today.  I was lucky (my word for the year) to be invited to the nuptials of a woman who I have known since kindergarten.  In other words most of my life.  She has always had the prettiest hair of anyone have I known.  I can remember sitting behind her in class and always wanting to touch her hair. 

Toothy Grins Were the Accessory of the Day

With my family in tow we went en mass to Ozark Outdoors (http://www.ozarkoutdoors.net/) for a very simple, but lovely afternoon wedding.  The bride was radiant, her dress perfect, and those gorgeous tresses of hers beautifully arranged.  I saw my friend smile like I have never seen her smile, she truly glowed with love.  Her new husband beamed with happiness as well.  I can only wish the two them the best in their new life.

Two of My Favorite People
I spent the late afternoon surrounded by my family, and other guests, basking in the celebration of two lives.  Other then the beautiful dresses and happy couple, I think the thing I liked best was the fact that everyone brought their dogs with them and with the doors open the canines came in and out of the reception enjoying the festivities as well.  I left the party feeling happy for my friend and glad to have had such a wonderful afternoon with my family. 

One down two weddings to go.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dreaming About My Dad

As you dear reader know I have been working very hard to deal with the grief of losing my father.  I feel I am doing better.  So much better that I stopped seeing a therapist in June.  I am remembering my dad and talking about him more without my throat starting to close up and tears springing to my eyes.  If I were to give myself a grade, I was say I am at a B. 

That is not to say I don't think about my dad and miss him, I do everyday.  I can still see his face and I remember the sound of his voice.  I think the problem is sometimes I forget that he is gone.  Last night I dreamed about my dad.  I dreamed my phone rang and when I answered the phone I could hear his voice saying my name over and over again like he could not hear me.  The dream was so real I woke up crying, "Dad, I'm here!"  I was startled and immediately grabbed my phone to call him back.  It wasn't until I got to my contacts list that I discovered I had no listing for "Dad." It was then I remembered I would need a much more powerful network to call him.

Those moments are hard.  Very hard.  I have to re-experience the trauma of loss all over again.  I feel like all the air has rushed out of my lungs and I can't breath.  I think it must be the same for most us in dealing with grief.  As much as it hurts today I got up and went to work and pasted on that fake everything is good smile and went on with my life.  However, a part of me wishes I hadn't woke up and I could have just heard my dad talk to me just a little longer.  Yes,  I still miss my dad.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Woman Who Loved Scarves

Trillian Scarf for my mother
Lately, I have been knitting scarves lots of scarves.  Scarves for me, a scarves for others, long ones and short ones, elegant and crazy scarves.  I dream about scarves, count them like sheep to help me sleep,  and right now I trying to decide which one to knit next.  I guess you could say I like scarves.

Trillian scarf for me

Before I started knitting I collected scarves of all sizes.  I preferred the really long ones that I could swish around my neck in a knock things off tables kind of way.  It is no surprise that when it comes to knitting projects I am known for super sizing everything often with tragic (in a mock epic kind of way) results.  One of my recent knitted scarves, a luscious bamboo blend diagonal pattern, was almost half done when I decided it was not going to be long enough.  I ripped out the scarf and started over again with fewer stitches so I could have a longer end product.

Bamboo blend diagonal scarf
The diagonal scarf in the end was 58 inches, but it just seemed too short for me.  With this in mind I started on an ambitious project using all my various stashed sari silk and ribbons and a funky yarn I had scored at Tuesday Morning.  I did not swatch, it was after all a scarf.  I knitted through my three day weekend while watching Top Gear.  I think the end product is fabulously sumptuous.  Colorful sari ribbons and recycled silk running in vibrant colors the length of my creation.  I refuse to divulge the actual end measurement, but between friends, it is about double the diagonal scarf. 

Sari Scarf
I know when I am gone they will find cabinets, wardrobes, drawers, and closets full of scarves.  I just hope they understand that I was a woman who truly loved scarves.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy Half-iversary To Us

Today my beautiful wife and I have made it to the halfway mark of our first year together as a married couple.  Granted we have over two and half decades of experience together, today we are still technically newly-weds.  I think about that game show, The Newlywed Game, and wonder how we would fare.  I have to think we would do just about as well as the other couples.  There are so many things we still don't know about each other and we still disagree about many things.  I wonder if even a life time together will be enough to share with Natalie.  Or if one day I will just snap and kill her (I know, but the more you love someone, the more you want to kill them does have some relavance).

Photo by the talented Sungazing Photography

I also think about how far we have come from the two teenagers from Crawford County struggling with our feelings for one another.  I can remember being shocked that ever time I saw her my heart beat faster and how she would give me a lopsided grin and my knees would turn to water.  Time and familiarity does change some of those the feelings, but then she will give me another of those lopsided grins and my heart still thumps a little harder and my knees weaken.  And I think maybe I don't want to kill her,  just yet.   

Friday, September 2, 2011

Three Days Off

I feel a deep sigh of relief as I sit here on my futon with my feet up, blogging, and watching Top Gear.  I have three whole days off.  No library, no crabby customers, or annoying phone beeping in my ear.  I will spend the next three days knitting, hanging out with friends, sleeping late, drinking ice tea, and starting to feel like my real self again.  I have really only a few goals.  I will do laundry, take out the trash, update my checkbook, and organize my knitting patterns.  Yes you heard me right.  I will drag out a stack of patterns organize them into neat little categories and file them in color coded notebooks.  Yup, lucky me, I am living large.   Don't envy me too much.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Heart Top Gear

One of my favorite things to do on Monday night is knit and watch Top Gear on BBCA.  I really can't explain it, but I will try.  I am not a car girl.  I bought my last two cars without even cracking open the hoods to check out the engines.  If you started to compare the merits of Toyota to Chevy, I would probably stare at you blankly.  However, Monday nights I rush to be in front of my tube just in time to see what craziness is going on across the pond.  These guys do the stupidest things with cars, things that make me laugh, things that make me wonder how these men made it to middle age.  They push campers off cliffs, ride vespas across Vietnam, and cause general mayhem wherever they go.  I can't wait to see what stunt will be on next.   It truly makes no sense to me. 

I have described the show as Master Piece Theatre meets the three stooges.  I think the key is the British accent.  Somehow, the accent makes the show funnier and more intriguing.  Why would Brits want to trash vehicles in ridiculous displays of idiocy?  I mean, parking a truck on the roof of a sixty story building that is about to be blown up just to see if the vehicle will still run once it is dug out of the rubble, is insane (the truck drove away).  I am often dumbstruck by the things they get away with each week. I find this show and Parking Wars to be my two favorite things to watch while I knit.

The rub is though the American version of Top Gear on the History Channel is not much different, I just don't like it.  The presenters are uninteresting and obvious hipster dudes in love with how cool they are.  And you know they don't have British accents.  Apparently, I prefer goofy, middle aged, British guys talking about cars, not the dude that could be sitting at the next table in a restaurant talking about his weekend 4 wheeling.  Presentation is everything. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Feeling Very Metaphysical

I have always loved the poetry of John Donne.  For some reason the last couple of days I keep thinking about his imagery of the compass.  For him the compass represented his love for his wife and how though he was often parted from her, they would always be connected like two legs of a compass with one head.  I know it is terribly sexist, but her leg was the stationary one and his leg of the compass was always in motion.  The image remains for me one of the most beautiful things one spouse can say to another (accept maybe John Cash in I Walk the Line).  Read for yourself and see what you think.

by John Donne
AS virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
"Now his breath goes," and some say, "No."

                                      So let us melt, and make no noise,                                       
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ;
'Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears ;
Men reckon what it did, and meant ;   10
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers' love
—Whose soul is sense—cannot admit
Of absence, 'cause it doth remove   15
The thing which elemented it.

But we by a love so much refined,
That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assurèd of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.   20

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to aery thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so   25
As stiff twin compasses are two ;
Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th' other do.

And though it in the centre sit,
Yet, when the other far doth roam,   30
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like th' other foot, obliquely run ;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,   35
And makes me end where I begun.

Donne, John. Poems of John Donne. vol I.
E. K. Chambers, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1896. 51-52

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Tisket, A Tasket, A T-Shirt Basket or Market Bag

On the yarn crawl a couple of weeks back we fell in love with this upcycled t-shirt yarn we bought at BAH! Yarns in Washington.  Natalie and I thought we would both do a knit along with the yarn.  Well, that didn't happen. Natalie is deep in knitting vintage acrylic yarn into "tushie cushies" for her dogs.  I wanted a quick knit so I decided to make mine.  I followed the pattern and was surprised to find that three spools was not enough to finish the pattern.  I modified the pattern, and though I liked the basket, it wasn't quite what I had in mind.  I swiped Natalie's spools and tired again.  I made a smaller basket/bag which I liked much better.  I gave Natalie the first try basket and kept the second round market bag for me. 

I really do love the idea of making yarn out of old t-shirts, I googled "t-shirt yarn"  and found several links as to how to make your own yarn.  I liked this one ( http://www.craftpassion.com/2009/05/recycle-tutorial-making-of-t-shirt-yarn.html ).  I think this yarn would make great bags and rugs.  The yarn is a little hard to knit with, I would use slick needles.  I also found dpns to be really impossible to use with this particular pattern.  Circular needles are the way to go.  So to the t-shirts in my my wardrobe I say beware of an upcycle.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Shameless Stitching

Tonight a group of us got together at a local coffee house, Shameless Grounds (http://shamelessgrounds.com/ ) for a R-rated fiber group.  Many from my knitting tribe showed up, and several new fibernistas joined as well.  It is always exciting to meet new people, but to meet people who share a common interest is extra special.  I have found in these networks of people not just great teachers, but a network of amazing men and women who have helped me with more than just a few dropped stitches.  If you knit, crochet, needlepoint, spin, or just like to fondle fiber, you should look around and find your tribe.  Most yarn stores have an open knit night or day.  Shameless Stitching meets the second Monday of the month from 6:30 till 9:00 know you will be welcomed.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Scrappy Bag, Warning This is a Very Knitty Post

I have loved the Plymouth Earth, Oceanside Organic yarn I used to knit the yoga socks.  The yarn and the pattern made a very soft, but elastic fabric.  I had two small balls of yarn left over and wanted to knit something fun out of the leftovers and decided a small bag would be nice.

With my limited amount of yarn I cast on 60 stitches on 3 size 6 dpn.  I knitted about an inch and then did a double yarnover after the 5th stitch and a knit 2 together after the double yarnover.  The next round I opened the yarnover making it just one stitch.  I knit for about another inch and then I did the classic knit 2 together yarnover combination for a row and followed it with a knit row until I had the length I wanted.

Once It started to look like I was running out of yarn, I knitted a row and then quickly went to decreasing the bottom.  I knit 8 and then did an knit 2 together, repeating to the end of the row.  The next row was a knit row, followed by knit 7, knit 2 together, repeating until the end of the row.  The next row was a knit row, followed by a knit 6, knit 2 together, repeating until the end of the row.  The next row was a knit row, followed by a knit 5, knit 2 together, repeating until the end of the row.  The next row was a knit row, followed by a knit 4, knit 2 together, repeating until the end of the row.  The next row was a knit row, followed by a knit 3, knit 2 together, repeating until the end of the row. The next row was a knit row, followed by a knit 2, knit 2 together, repeating until the end of the row. The next row was a knit row, followed by a knit 1, knit 2 together, repeating until the end of the row. The next row was a knit row, followed by, knit 2 together, repeating until the end of the row.   I was left with 6 stitches and very little yarn.  I put 3 stitches on one needle and 3 on the second needle.  I very gently turned the bag inside out with the dpns still on the stitches.  I did a three needle bind off and wove in the ends. 

I have found that bamboo I-cords make the best drawstrings because the slide very easily.  I made approximately a 24 inch cord and double threaded it through my eyelets and knotted the ends together to give it a good closure.  I think if I had more yarn I would have knitted another inch on the top so the it had a taller opening.  In the end I had a 4 inch tail, so I was sweating having enough yarn on the bottom, but the goddesses of knitting smiled on me and I have a great bag for carrying fruit to work.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Yarn Crawling

1 Yarn Crawl, 2 Women, 4 Days, 12 Shops...Epic, Absolutely, Epic.  Each day we picked an area and focused on those yarn shops,  With 80s rock in the CD player we brought along the Garmin for help locating some of the shops (you really do need to update those things occasionally).  We put almost 200 miles on the car and did our best to help kick start the fiber economy,

We meet so many wonderful fiber enthusiast and shop owners.  I was surprised by all the cool things I saw.  I promised myself this year to focus on notions and not be seduced by green sock yarn.  At Loopy Ewe I was sorely tested, but held on to my goal and bought sock blockers, pattern tamers, and a cute notion bag.  At Meyer House I got an adorable pair of tiny scissors shaped like a puppy.  Today at the Bead Store in Fairview Heights, IL I even got a hairpin lace loom.  Okay, as much as I tried to resist, yarn was purchased.  Just for the record I did not buy any green sock yarn.

After 4 days and much debit card abuse, I am reflecting on my what was the best part of the yarn crawl.  I like all my new fiber stuff, but the time I got to spend with Natalie was my favorite part.  I always love doing things with her and this weekend was perfect.  We talked, we laughed, we ate pie, and just enjoyed having a good time.  The word lucky comes to mind, damn lucky.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The 1970s Are Calling

My lovely spouse lucked into some vintage 1970s yarn in some very vintage 70s colors.  She brought home six large containers of these man made fibers.  The skeins ranged from white and crunchy through the rainbow of technical color scratchy acrylic.  Each box has been an assault on the retinas and in many ways a crime against the dinosaurs who gave their lives for petroleum products that made the yarn.  I nabbed some bright colors for some possible guerrilla yarn actions and well beause, darn it, some things are just too ugly to force anyone else to take.

As we have sorted these assaults on the senses we talked about what we could knit out of the bright array of colors.  The always resourceful Natalie is planning puppy and kitty pads for our critters.  I watched her sort and think and sort some more as she discussed Ria's, one of our dogs, new blanket.  In the beginning of this haul I was less than excited about the edition to our constantly growing stash.  However, tonight as we went through the colors I must admit her excitement and planning drew me into the fold.  You know as crunchy as some of this stuff maybe in the end dogs and dreamers just don't care. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Oh Grammar you are a Bitch

I was rereading though some of my old posts and groaned at some of the atrocious grammatical errors.  I hate that I have an English degree and still stumble through a sentence making basic mistakes, it is humbling.   I, always, did preferred reading Victorian novels rather then struggling through diagramming sentences.  The worst is that I do edit my blog posts.  I do, just as my high school English teacher suggested, reading everything aloud to better hear my mistakes.  I rewrite anything I stumble over.  However, despite my best efforts there they are those glaring mistakes.  The truth is I just can't seem to edit myself (Unfortunately, that is a problem in all aspects of my life).  I fix the mistakes in my head never seeing the botched tense or the mismatched pronouns or wiley run on sentences or well I think you are getting my point.  I freely admit commas are my enemies.   I subjectively pepper my prose with the rascally little slices whenever I think I haven't put one in for awhile.  I hope you patient reader and friend will just politely smile and shake your head at my grammar, saying in your kindest voice, "Well, at least she has style!"

I needed yoga socks because...

So I went to one of the local yarn stores and fell in love with this pattern for Twisted Rib Yoga Socks that was free with purchase of Plymouth Earth Oceanside Organic cotton yarn.  Free pattern, awesomely soft cotton yarn, and the desire for socks without toes and I was suddenly driven to make them even though I have never, ever done yoga.  I get that way sometimes, driven to do something that has no purpose.  At least in this case the mistake of knitting something totally frivolous and pointless made me smile.  So though these socks will never see any yoga classes, I will see them warming my feet and making me amused for months maybe years to come.  I am so lucky, I may not do yoga, but I know how to knit myself into happiness.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Oh Technology You Are a Bittersweet Princess....

I know I have not posted much lately.  I do have some really good excuse, if you want to hear them?  I am struggling through a technological crisis.  I have a old laptop (2003), and a newer netbook (2009) and neither of them is functioning well.  Actually in the case of the netbook, it is only good for playing solitaire right now.  My laptop can go the distant, but like a Model-T Ford, it is very bumpy and takes a long time to get there.  Many nights I just don't have the patience to wait.  I did just buy a smartphone to help as a patch until I improve my situation.  I tell you that was a colossal mistake.  I am more vexed then I have ever been with the electronic and this includes the time my car refused to start in -5 degree weather.  Yesterday I was explosively pissed I am surprised the Discovery Channel didn't report a volcano eruption in St Louis. I know woe is me. 

The plan is to get a new computer, but time, money, and indecision has left me still at square -5 (Notice I am transitioning with the previous paragraph by using the same negative number, clever me).  I have yet to decide what I want.  After much thought and discussion I know I don't want an Ipad.  However, I may still want a tablet.  I want a new computer that I can stream on and at least attach a regular sized keyboard to it.  I am not made of money so I want something that is reasonably priced.  After lugging around a laptop and then having a netbook, I do indeed want a skinny model (my fat girl heart just hurt a little at that statement, because size, in this case, does matter).  I refused to be tricked by any description that has MS Office on it to only later to find out I have half-ass demo versions of MSWord.  Finally, and I think most importantly, I want a computer that can read my mind and do exactly what I want it to do on the first try. 

So I think you see my problem.  As is always the case with me, my expectations are far exceeding the possible.  However, NASA maybe having an online garage sale soon and I just might find the computer of my dreams.  I do like the idea of having a computer named HAL.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What Came in the Mail Today!

Today the postal carrier showed up with some wonderful new editions to my Fiestaware colllection.  I got two new bowls and a mini disc pitcher in the latest color, marigold.  I actually am not a very big fan of the color, but you know a have to have a mini disc pitcher in all of the colors.  And I think the color will look very bright on the table next to the shamrock and lemon grass pieces.  I also, finally, tracked down some of the teaspoons and bought four.  I don't know which I liked more the teaspoons or just the fact that I got fiesta love in the mail.