Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Clapotis Lite!

I broke down and I knit another Clapotis (http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2009/09/clapotis-anyone.html).  Yes, I did it again.  I have no excuse for myself accept I had a stray skein of blue heron metallic yarn and directions to make a smaller version of the original pattern.  Instead of 80 inches of dropped stitched awesomeness, this one is only 64 inches of lime greenness. I used much restraint even ending with a small ball of left over yarn.  Alright, talk about me amongst yourselves, I deserve it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


This year three women I know had motherhood happen to them (last year it was just one of my knitting buddies).  Two of the women are friends from the library.  I decided I wanted to knit both of them baby bootees.  I looked at several patterns, all of which were styled for baby girls and my friends were both having boys.  I got a little frustrated and kept looking.  One day I was thumbing through my copy of Knits to Share and Care by Gerard Alt and found his pattern for Bountiful Bootees. At last a boy pattern was found.  I liked that the bootees looked like little boots and the pattern was fairly simple. 

I hit the sock yarn stash and found enough for two pair in some easy care fibers.  With a weekend and #2 needles I was off.  I trusted the pattern and hope the size of the bootees fit newly arrived feet.

I had just enough yarn in a color that when knit up looked  like camo boots.  So cute!  The next pair was suppose to be knit in blue, but by the time I got to the first bootee's sole I knew I wasn't going to have enough blue.  I improvised and gave these bootees red soles.  I gotta say again, so cute!

At this point the bootee knitting got good to me.  My neighbor just got her first grand baby, another boy, I hit the sock yarn again and found just enough to knit a pair for this new boy too.  Finally, I said enough of the cute.  And to the new moms out there I say, congratulations.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Angel the Whippet Or Crazy Cat Lady No More

As I have blogged about in the month of June I lost my cat, Dante.  I  losing him has been hard, but being catless has been even harder.  I have had cats since 1985.  I have no desire to go back to having 8 cats, but lack of feline companionship is a little lonely.  However, I decide to take some time off from having cats, losing them is just so painful. 

That said, Natalie and I were talking about the possibility of adding another dog to our household for me.  I want to stress the word talking.  My wife is not one to let the sunset on a problem and with that idea and a conversation with her mother she came up with a solution.  The solution was to take in a retired show dog from her mother's kennel.

Things went very quickly and suddenly I have Angel, a 10 year old whippet.  I have not agreed to keep her, I have agreed to foster her for 13 weeks before we make the decision if she stays.  Angel is a very well behaved and sweet dog.  I have yet to hear her bark and she comes immediately when called.  I walk her in the evenings and she never pulls at the leash and always heels to the left.  In other words she is a good dog. 

Please don't think badly of me for this, but after 2 weeks with Angel, I realize I am a cat person.  I have 11 weeks to get use to co-habituating with a dog.  I want to say to you, I will get there.  I do.  I just don't know.  Maybe I was just born to be a crazy cat lady, wish me luck in changing my cat loving ways.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

I Buy Yarn, Much Yarn

July was a good month for yarn crawling.  Mid-July we were lucky enough to head up to Illinois for a friend's birthday.  With our fiber manual and Garmin in hand we stopped in Springfield, Illinois to do some checking in on both of their local yarn shops.

First we stopped at Nancy's Knitworks (http://www.knitmap.com/locations/nancys-knitworks).  A larger shop in a strip mall.  Mr. Nancy, the son of the owner, was downright chatty.  He made us feel welcomed and cut us some great deals on yarn.  I got 3 balls of cotton yarn that I love for $2 a ball from the sale table.  The shop was spacious and he had a variety of yarn.  I felt the pricing was hap-hazard to my benefit.  The shop didn't have anything out of the ordinary, but he was friendly and we were able to find things we wanted to buy.

Jabro Super Soft Cotton

Not too far down the way we found Knitwits Yarn Spa (http://www.knitmap.com/locations/knit-wits-yarn-spa).  Where Nancy's was spacious, Knitwits was cramped and overwhelming with product.  Again the staff was friendly and helpful.  I saw some nice yarn in the shop, but the amount of yarn made it all little hard to see the sheep for the size of the flock.  I stuck with notions there and found some new lantern moon needles.  It is always good to find new yarn shops you like, and I will make it a point to stop by those 2 shops again when I am passing through Springfield, Illinois.

While in Chicagoland we spent time with some of our dearest friends who we don't see enough of.  The birthday party we went to had yummy food and fun people.  The birthday girl though not surprised by the party, was glad to see our two faces from St Louis. The birthday girl suggested on our way out of town we stop at her local yarn store, Knitche (http://knitche.com/).

Scrumptious Yarn, Aran Weight
I want to preface my remarks about Knitche that the shop had a sidewalk sale over the weekend. They were trying to put things back in order, but they were open for business with at least 3 staff people on the floor.  The store was a little in disarray; I didn't care I was just happy to be there.  The shop seemed to be chocked full of yarn goodness.  We looked around and even found the second story with the sale yarn.  I found a sweater's worth of Scrumptious Yarn in an aran weight on sale.  Natalie found some chunky yarn too, so we were not leaving there without dropping some dough.  Maybe, it was the staffs' hangover from a busy weekend, but the woman who checked us out took her time ringing us up.  She even tried to make me feel guilty for getting a sweet deal on the sale yarn.  Her co-workers kept interrupting while she was checking us out to discuss their weekend.  In all the staff made me feel like an annoyance, not fellow knitters on the road to knitvana.  Next time I am in  Downers Grove I will stop by and give them another chance to be a great yarn shop, but not to the tune of a sweaters worth of yarn.  It is just so disappointing to go into a yarn shop and have the staff not appreciate your enthusiasm.

As if my yarn obsession was not satiated enough, I spent the next weekend doing the St Louis summer yarn crawl.  I did not have enough time to do all 9 shops, but manage to squeeze in 7.  I bought some yarn, magazines, and an Elizabeth Zimmermann book.  Everywhere I went I meet excited knitters and friendly yarn store workers.  My enthusiasm was shared and I spent way too much money.  I even found a pattern for that sweater's worth of yarn I bought in Chicago.  Now to find the time to knit that sweater.