Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Epic Knitting Failure or the 29th of February

First, I want to say that I am blogging today so I can have at least one blog post with the date of February 29th.  Like a lagniappe, we get this extra hours to enjoy one more day of the mildest Februaries I can remember.  And the forecast says tomorrow will be just as unseasonably warm.  I say bring on the strawberry spring, I can handle it.

Second, I am very tickled with the new look on my blog.  I am also impressed that I figured out how to change the format and give the fonts a fresher look. I am not very computer savvy so I was pleased it turned out so well.  Now if only I can figure out how to fix the broken flickr link, I will think I am a computer goddess.  As to the new look I hope you like it too. 

Third and lastly I have made an epic knitting failure and of course it was on a hate (my word for hats these days).  I have been working hard in the land hates trying to improve my knitting skills.  So when I found a slouchy beret pattern called Starving Artist by Laura Linneman on Ravelry I thought that looks kind of fun.  I even had some cotton chenille in a strawberry parfait color that I thought would look charming.  I hit a snag when I had a purl front back increase, I had no clue how to do it.  However youtube saved the day with a very good tutorial ( so onward I knitted thinking my problems were solved.

My mistake was the usual, I knit big.  I think because I am a queen size woman, everything I knit must be queen sized as well.  My head is actually very normal sized and I don't need to knit like I am knitting for a titan sized head.  This lesson had yet to be learned, it is now.  My starving artist is more like a gluttonous hack, fat and overdone. Sigh, I have only myself to blame.  I would rip it out, but using a cotton chenille makes that an effort in frustration.  In the end I have a beret that has a 15 inch diameter.  I think it looks more like a mushroom hat, than a slouchy beret.  In other words EPIC FAIL.  But I knit on and think, never, ever, super size your head again.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In the Soup (Tureen)

So you know I love Fiestaware.  Last fall the good people at Homer Laughlin said to each other how can we truly torture our faithful customers?  They decided in the spirit of evilness to put out a 75th anniversary soup tureen, which would cost almost as much as stove, in their new color marigold. I tired to resist the urge to own one, I really did.  I am not even crazy about the marigold color.  However, time and obsession undid me.  A piece of Fiestaware, I don't own was too much, and I do make a mean bowl of soup when I put my mind to it. My baked potato soup is particularly tasty.  In the end I truly have no willpower against shiny anniversary pieces of pottery.

The power of Fiestaware was strong and I did end up putting it on my wishlist of fantasy dishes I wanted to own.  The price was steep and the hope strong.  Last week my wife gave me a very large box with Homer Laughlin printed on the side for Valentine's Day.  I know they say little packages contain the best presents, but not always.  In my box was the much desired marigold soup tureen.  My wife was happy, I was happy, but in the end she said good luck finding a home for that.  As always she was right, I have very little space for new editions, let alone something so significant.

I fussed and I measured, my china cabinet was too small.  My corner cabinet refused to be worthy to have the soup tureen inside it as well.  So I fussed and looked around the dining room and looked and looked.  With much study, thought, and tea I did find a home for the new Fiestaware.  It took effort, movement of much stuff, and a couple of glass blocks to make it work, but I am pleased with the end result.  The top shelf of the corner cabinet full of teapots was cleared and made way for a burst of marigold to take center stage.  Now to dust off those cookbooks and start thinking what soup would be worthy of the new tureen.

P.S. With the soup tureen my wife also bought me a chartreuse Fiesta Lady (I know I am very lucky to be so spoiled by my spouse).  She is very lovely dancing at the base of the mighty piece of pottery.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Cruelest of Months

Unlike hometown boy, T.S. Eliot, I think February. not April is the cruelest of months.  February makes me think about losing my dad.  Friday will be the second anniversary of his death, and I have to tell you I still miss him so much.  I have come a long way from where I was last year in my grief.  Sometimes it is hard, but that said, I am trying to focus on moving forward while still holding on to the good memories.  

I have been so lucky (last years resolution) to be surrounded by so much love and support from my friends and family.  Their everyday kindnesses have been a comfort getting me through some these rough times.  Today I was surprised by a very sweet Valentines present from some of my nearest and dearest.  The gift though not expensive was so thoughtful and lovingly given, it made a cold snowy day in St Louis a little less bleak.  I got hot pink heart shaped peeps, Swedish fish, and a groovy salt and pepper shaker set.  I can only say as cruel as February may be, this little bit of valentine love made the month seem not quite so cruel and my heart a little less achy.  To all of you who have helped me get through this loss know how much it has helped, thank you.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dyeabolically Wrapped or I Talk About Knitting

I couple of years back I bought a significant amount of cotton warped yarn from my good friend at Dyeabolical Yarns (  I bought over 900 yards of a blue/green colorway, that I called Peacock.  I decided to knit the Elegant Scarf Wrap pattern from the Spring/Summer 2009 Knit Simple magazine.  I even decided to put the project supplies and notions all together in a knitting bag and take it to work, making it my work project.  On Ravelry I marked the start date as April 9, 2010.  The project had a cast on of 350 stitches.  I thought, and you should not be surprised by this, I would cast on 50 more stitches, so it would be just a little longer. 

At first I was very diligent about knitting on this project during my lunch and breaks.  Over time I got sick of the project and knit on it less faithfully.  Somewhere last summer I stopped knitting on it all together.  Before Christmas I decided to take it home and after all my seasonal knitting I would put my needles to the grindstone and get this baby done.  Well the Elegant Scarf Wrap made out of cotton warp yarn is done, all 60 inches of it.   A lovely summer wrap perfect for throwing over your shoulders on a breezy summer night, and as if on cue St. Louis has had temperature in the sixties.  I love it when a plan comes together and I look FABULOUS!!!