Friday, June 29, 2007


Omg, a couple of posts ago Sandra from Stay at Home Knit suggested I need an intervention…she really may be onto something. I have written about it before, my need for a 12 step knit group - but ah, where's the fun in that - yarn recovery? I think not. I have been working scads of extra hours lately because staff is down at the office - one is on bedrest and another will soon be going out for some paternity leave…so the overtime is plentiful. While maybe working more puts me in the hospital - it has really opened my budget up for more yarn, I'm merely supporting my own illness. I feel like a yarn rock star writhing in the excesses. But I'm not drinking or using drugs hence, I rationalize and perhaps have a tad of denial about my addiction. We could call me a "functioning yarnaholic". I'm sure that I buy more yarn than I can ever knit - for the pure beauty of it, the squeezability factor, for looks - it's ridiculous. I have yarn stahsed in every open container in the house, you know it looks lovely in a glass apothecary jar - decorative, no? The Yarn Harlot once wrote about putting yarn in the freezer and I thought, she's crazy"…now I'm thinking "the freezer you say?"

I've learned I probably need to join less sock clubs as I belong to four, egads. I love the bi-monthly windfall of goodies but perhaps I am not "spending" my choices wisely enough - because if I am not crazy about a yarn, well…what are you gonna do? I feel like a terrible traitor - just because my tastes may not always jive with that of a goddess dyer. I do love each club for different reasons. Sundara's Petal's Collections…let me count the reasons - I think she is a true artist and puts together the most classy packages. Yarntini's club over at pureknits…I just enjoy Jessie so much - she is so real, sweet and funny and her yarn is a carnival. Pass the cotton candy please. Scout's Swag - Scout rocks plain and simple. Rockin Socks with STR is my only "meh" so far. I love STR, so please don't anyone get hackles up - the yarn is fabulous - but the first two installments were in a colorway direction I couldn't appreciate to it's fullest - I tend to go "girl" with pinks or reds, some cooler colors are good but the first two were very murky to me - so I was a little let down. But then #3 comes and I'm in love again. And then more indie dyers/ distributers announce they are coming out with a club *anxiety sets in* - Yarn Pirate - I had to leave the house, I start playing games like "if when I get back there is an opening available I'll join" or "gosh, her prices are so good, maybe if I don't eat out for a month, I can join" - it's a sickness I'm telling you…and now Woolgirl is teasing about starting a sock club too - but I am already overcommitted. I know I have to really review my choices before the next rounds, be more discriminating for the sake of budget and maybe For now, I must admit I feel like the Paris Hilton of yarn - so wickedly spoiled, I'm embarassed. Maybe I even think I am a litle "hot"! Sheesh. If I start carrying around a little dog in a purse, commit me.

After all of this yarn ho confession…I still hope to get my club spoils posted over the weekend. Such guilty pleasures. I am pretty stoked about them, especially Scout's - she included a custom Cookie A. pattern! *clapclapclap*

Lastly, I am celebrating my blogiversary next Thursday - I took the day off of work (okay, well not to celebrate blogdom, but sounds so decadent - so Paris without the sex tapes) and I am trying to think up a contest. So keep your eyes peeled - surely a skein or two from my sock stash must go! I'm off to rest my eyes and try to think up of a clever contest. Or boldy plagierize someone elses...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

"Terrible Twos" Start Today! :)


Afterall, she doesn't call herself "Tutti Debil" for nuthin.

I can't believe we are two years into this little life. Two years ago at this very moment I was working on a sock and timing my "contractions", I just wasn't sure even though I had been through this before. I went to work and decided, you know, this is probably it. She is mama's girl, the apple of my eye. She was such a tough baby - no kidding - my family was scared of her she cried and fussed so much. I feel like it was the months of steeling myself against the din of her squawks that has ultimately made our relationship more special. I feel like I had to work for her devotion. Her real name seems nearly forgotten as she has been our Tutti Pickles since in the womb, a silly nickname given by my oldest daughter - and it has stuck. People often stop and say "what is her real name?", people that should know:)

So most happy birthday my littlest punkin! Let's eat cake!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Pact - another great read

I wrapped up this book last week and enjoyed it so much. I also liked another Jodi Picoult novel My Sister's Keeper, this was no exception.It was hard to put down when I felt I wanted to race to the end to see how it was all going to shake out. It is based on the inseparable/ undefinable love of two teenagers and the pain that apparently comes with that. Their depth is nearly unfathomable - I may have related a little more to the book if the focus characters were a bit older. Maybe it is because I don't want to imagine that such young people can experience such intensity.

I could relate to all of the different relationships and found the characters likable - including a defense lawyer - I never thought that was possible:) Please understand that I do not play on the same side as they do however.

I have a friend reading it now and she keeps e-mailing me what her guesses as to what will happen in the end, but she doesn't really want to know, right? But I just love that it has her imagination running wild as it had mine. I don't want to give away a thing. I truly enjoyed the read despite some of the darkness - teen suicide and teen pregnancy being a few - oh, I wasn't going to give away a thing was I?

I just finished another Picoult book, The Tenth Circle. It didn't grab me in the same way but it was still a worthwhile read. I have an aversion to comic books, if you read the book, you'll understand. I found death, suicide, troubled, sexual teenagers and self mutilation to be a recurring theme.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Customer Service Extraordinaire


Cider Moon rocks - simple as that. I ordered yarn on Saturday, Monday I come home to a nice little box with samples even. I got two skeins of Glacier - in Asbury Park and Kansas. I got them with this hat in mind - and so I got the pattern too. I like the cables, but I would make is sans beads though I'm thinking. I held out for a couple of weeks - I made the Campfire Socks - oh, that sounded like past tense didn't it? Like they were done - as if. I have 1.5 socks done - with Cider Moon I got from Christine in a swap (so Christine, I have to hold you responsible...) - love it! Anyways, I was weak. I mean it is seriously 90 degrees in Wisconsin today, supposed to be 97 with humidity tomorrow and I'm thinking cabled winter cap - insane. Now if this hair would just grow out...


Check out these delicious pictures...I love the relationship between yarn and the sense - taste being just one. Yum!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

editorial comments


I was just over at January One reading a particularly interesting post giving a low down on several stores she shopped at in San Francisco. She gave, what appears to me, a very honest assessment of the shops she saw and how she felt when she was there. My impression is that she felt like she didn't belong at one of the shops. Found the staff unfriendly, maybe even unhelpful. Some commenters were upset by this assessment, while many others were totally on board - perhaps the dissenters felt their store was being dissed? But honestly, haven't we all been to a store that feels like that? I will sometimes go father into Madison (through beltline traffic and construction people!) just because I really like how I am treated at one store versus another. The closer store has an awesome selection but I never feel welcome, no one ever speaks to me - but I remind myself that I am not usually there for the warm fuzzy, just yarn dammit. *wee* Don't you think it would behoove an owner is to try to foster a great "vibe"? I mean, this is knitting right? I am sure I am living a pipedream to think all knitters are warm and helpful people, but I do think they mostly are - call it denial. So wouldn't a shop be wise to emmanate this as well? I am not as ballsy as January, I am not going to name names because the pickins are kind of slim really and I need these shops - however, if I went on vacation somewhere I would be glad to tell it how it is. *wink*

I sensed from more recent posts that January One was uncomfortable with people leaving her blog ruffled, maybe it wasn't worth continuing. (I may be wrong here) I think a blog, a web log, is just that - an on-line diary to be honest and share what you're thinking - not what you think people want to hear, right? So I vote she keeps on blogging! please.

Immediately after I wrote this post I headed to Madison to both aforesaid shops - and true to form - not one person acknowledged me at the first shop - not an employee, not even another customer, I walked out empty handed perhaps in part due to this, I can't really say. But the second shop, I was able to get some fabric I needed - dual purpose, and the addi turbo lace circulars I have been dying to try. Score!

I was also able to find some of the cool Zulugrass bracelets at Wild Birds Unlimited, of all places. Double Score!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

This is your cat on drugs...


This is Ernest. This is Ernest on drugs. We had some paint chips in a bag with a sack of catnip. I left just the paint samples out - well, when left to his own devices, the guy pretty much licked the paint off...what a little kitty dope'll do for a guy...the munchies were soon to follow.

Yarn loot and STR spoiler!

I have had a couple of good mail days...

First I got the most recent Rockin' Socks Club installment. I really like the colorway...Firebird. I was about to take a bite out a peach and lo and behold - do you see the similarity?


Then yesterday...I got my Yarn Pirate order, I could not resist "Apple" any longer. I can't wait to ball it so the colors can intermingle. I also got a skein of "Rosie" because I have liked other projects that I have seen in the colorway. It also feels like a staple of the YP collection and since she's been offering to sell a few colorways to anyone, rather than laying the weeds on etsy or whatever - I grabbed up on it. My will power is pathetic. I did avoid signing up for her Booty Club...and have kicked myself regularly since.


I recently decided to join up with the Mystery Stole after reading about it over at Marisol's blog - btw, she has the best stash ever! I purchased Vanilla JaeggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk for the project as well as some optional beads. The whole idea is interesting in theory but I am not sure I am invested in taking this on the more I consider it. I have been wanting to try this yarn but I also would like a shawl for a September event, and if it's not done, I'm outta luck. Such a dilemma. Maybe I am just scared? But then I look at past stoles, they are pretty fabulous if not a little challenging. I may just have to sleep on it, a mid-afternoon snooze is so appealing - but what are the chances? (*hint* zero)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Itty Bitty Flower Power

First - thank you for all of the love after I wrote about my trip to the ER, it was scary but it may have brought me some necessary perspective. I'm home this afternoon with a sick child and really, family does need to be first. Whether or not I am going to have to breath into a paperbag because undone work is freaking me out is still up for debate. But seriously, when I was hooked up to the EKG Monday I certainly wasn't thinking about reports left undone or my offenders clamoring for is where it's at. Seriously.

On a lighter note, I did finish up this sweet little upside-down daisy hat last night. It is from Itty Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson.


I wish the contrast was a little better between the hat and the flower petals but I used what I had on hand - I had 3 separate skeins of the shell pink, must be a favorite? My flower petals are a little wonky but I am happy with the results just the same. I made it with a co-worker's new babe in mind, but it might be too cute for me to give it away - how ridiculous. Can baby hats be used as decoration? I mean, just look at that crisp cotton, I love it. Note to self - buy many more skeins of this Rowan cotton in many more colors to make many more hats - beats therapy.


Look at Scout's bracelets and new colorway in silk. I think I will need them both. (well, need is relative) I found the bracelets here but can't narrow down my selection - they are all gorgeous!

Monday, June 18, 2007

A little help from your hobbies...


That's what I read on a heart health brochure in the E.R. today. Somehow I took comfort in that. So how did I get in the ER? I ended up there with some chest pain and arm numbness - I am a pretty high strung person, so the tight chest stuff is somewhat normal but that pesky numbness threw me for a loop. So off the the hospital I went. *hint**don't google your symtoms* After being hooked up to a bunch of things, a chest x-ray and bloodwork, I got a little pill and was out the door a couple of hours later. So it ended up being no big deal, I felt a little foolish - but then I think of my girls and needing to be healthy for them and dammit, if it's just anxiety I should just find out:) I think what precipitated the whole gig was a ridiculously stressful custody transport I was part of on the job today - imagine a large (unfriendly, slow, overcrowded) metro jail, and a partner who forgot her i.d. leaving me to go it alone with belly chains and leg irons to cuff up the 210 lb dude myself. MY hands were a little cold and shaky at the thought - I knew I could do it, but it was a little inimidating. That was merely the beginning of the cluster...but now I am home and ready to relax so I can try this again tomorrow.

The hospital staff were so friendly and kind and considerate. No one made me feel like I was 3 fries short of a Happy Meal showing up with what ultimately is "stress related atypical heart pain". The trip was as enjoyable as it could be really. I was eventually able to relax and regroup - when you think something is going terribly wrong it is amazing how close the emotions come to the surface. I was thinking of my kids, my husband, would they be okay? So a tiny serving of perspective today. It's a good thing. A trip back to yoga for some meditation might not hurt either:)

While I was laying there hooked up to contraptions waiting, I was thinking about my ipod laying out in my car ...I could have listened to that Socks in the City podcast Susie suggested. Or worked a few more inches on my Fitted Tank if I could have manuevered around the finger pulse thingy. (so much for just resting, eh?) But it is almost as though blogging and knitting has be the medicine that really does the trick - just like the brochure said...a little help from your hobbies - so do it for your health people!:)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Podcasts rule and fathers too!

Do you ever wake up and feel like you have clouds in your noggin? This morning was just one of those days - I think it is allergy season. Of course today I was communion assistant and brain power could have helped - but I made it. I only spilled a little...

Anyways, I listened to the latest Inspiration Wednesday podcast yesterday - my friend Susan B. Anderson, author of Itty Bitty Hats was the featured interview! I really enjoyed the format of the program and it was only 30 minutes - some podcasts get longer and I have to break them up. It was nice to sit back a squeeze in a whole show - and it was Susie, so extra bonus. (She mentioned my blog in her interview, I was swooning - thank you friend!) So I think I have a new podcast to download weekly - the interviews feature a more wide range of crafters - so not just knitting, but still a treat:) Susie talked about her upcoming book Itty Bitty Nursery - go check out her blog, she has posted some pictures of what is to come. I must make that chicken! Now the dilemma, to pre-order or not to pre-order. I am such a book junkie - I will be infinitely disappointed if I find it locally and have to wait for my Amazon pre-order to come...

Lest I forget...Happy Father's Day to all of the wonderful dads out there! (including my own! Hi Frank!)

Here's my dh following a particularly rigorous game of monkey pile - definitely a "dad game"! You can even find his blog here - he is training for a 1/2 Iron Man right now and has hopes for all the marbles next summer in Madison. I think he is a little crazy. But, then wouldn't you have to be to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 and then close with a 26.1 run, em marathon?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Grateful Wednesday


What a gorgeous day - smack in the middle of the week I have off to enjoy with my two little girls. Tutti and I dropped off the eldest for summer school and were off for a nice long walk - we saw a tiny little bunny just nestled in a yard. He was frozen and scared - and honestly, in my pre-kid days I would have scooped him up in my hat for a round of Animal Doctor at home, but with little ones of my own - what if this little guy was sick, or better yet, his mama was just out getting breakfast? He was a sweet little thing and the rest of the walk Tutti kept saying "where'd the bunny go?" I am hopeful that she will be the kid who finds little squirrels and chipmunks to befriend - I grew up in the country and my mom always said - "if Stacey finds a stray anything...give her the day and it'll be her pet." Bet you can guess what I wanted to be when I grew up? Vet school just seemed awfully daunting when it was time to go to school - so I now try to rehabilitate a whole 'nother group of animals :P

So I digress. I am also grateful for the hot sun today - feels so good on the shoulders. We admired so much green grass and flowers on our walk - it is just summerlicious. I was grateful for the sleepy face in the rearview mirror on the way home, the smell of toddler noggin - it's like sandbox and sunscreen eau de toilet, her telling me "here ya go mama" when I lifted her out of the car. Now Tutti is napping so the eldest and I can play some Wii - so from simple pleasures to high tech competition. I'm grateful my 7-year-old is so darn video game savvy, and that Wii requires some calorie burning after that great ice cream she and I had after lunch.

I'm also grateful for time away from my munchkins. My dh and I saw Ocean's 13 last night. Egads, the actors are a delight - this group of thespians just begs you to hang out with them. So we did for a couple of hours. The quirky music is fun. Another winner. The drawback of a mid-week tryst to the movies is tickets = $17, 1 small popcorn and large soda to share = $8.50 and sitter = $25. So $51 later, it thankfully was a great movie, wait, I mean priceless.

I am also grateful that cbknits saw fit to tempt me to head over to Cider Moon today since they are restocking earlier than I was expecting. Thanks Christine!! I couldn't help but put some Asbury Park and Jackie O. Glacier in my cart - now to place the order...I am a damned yarn collector! But isn't this hat sweet? I can see this little beanie on my daughter or sister - or if I can keep with the hideous process of growing my hair out...maybe even me.

I am finally grateful for the wonderful comments I receive. I am giddy at the growing number of commenters - hurray! It is like a little present each time I get a new one - and today the pal I have been gifting through SP10 left me a comment! Love a new friend! Thank you Ericka - you sound like too much fun!

And what do you say Knitting Bandit? Let's just call the whole thing off? Frogging is for sissies. Maybe tomorrow I'll drink a protein shake and feel strong enough to rip back that doggone sock.

pesky frogpond candidate...
can you see where my dilemma lies? Love that grape ape Yarntini!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

baby did a bad, bad thing.

I have kind of "prided" myself on typically not starting a new project before finishing another - even if it is just one sock (like that lone Pomatomus awaiting a mate...). I do have some unfinished stuff, but usually I just decide, "meh, don't like it" and when I grow tired or uncertain it may "marinate". Unfinished cast off sounds so dirty.

This weekend my pride is of no apparent relevance - I have three projects going at once - egads. First, my second Campfire Sock is on the needles. Next, I have my Clapotis about 1/2 done - realizing of course it will not be useful until fall. So really, no hurry there right?


And today I cast on my third project - the Fitted Tank by Blue Sky Alpacas in pickle green. Omigosh, I could not help myself. I ordered the tank kit from kpixie and could not leave it alone. I am already plotting a skirt to go with.



So three projects! I plan to frog something in honor of my triple play - kind of a deal with the Knitting Bandit. I have a Grape Ape Jaywalker past the heel - and the heel seems, well, baggy. I think the size 2 needles I have used are really more like a 2 1/2 - is there such a thing? So anyways, the Jay has to go - I cannot waste Yarntini on a sock I may never finish, right?! So to the pond with you!

Photo proof to follow!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Sum-ah is here!

A little frivolous maybe, but a yummy rumrunner from Cheeseburger in Paradise . I had it last night while bantering with my sister. Good times. Can you see the little banana dude wearing sunglasses?

We met to look for dresses to wear to weddings we each have coming up. I went to White House/ Black Market - where ouch, could've stung the pocketbook a bit (somehow, if it's yarn - price is no object - an impractical dress though...) but the dresses were fabulous. Of course the one I had to have was in a size too big and a size to small - and then a bunch of those for people who are a size 0...I checked online and of course - no dress to be had like it. I may have to trek to Milwaukee to see if they have it there - you know when you find something that just works? It's strapless - kind of daring for me - but it is perfectly country club-ish and classic for the occasion. I am actually kind of excited - and people, dresses don't usually excite me. I have already knit a little shawl in my head to go with. We'll see.

All in all the afternoon was gorgeous, my sister and I had great gossip - goodness, I think we both got a little lit on our super sized drinks - I'm certain we got a little loud at times, it still makes me giggle. With 8 years difference between us, it has taken a long time for us to find an easy friendship, I'm so grateful that I think we are really getting there. I think there is some truth to birth order stuff but thankfully I don't have to be the curmugeon older sib any longer (though I still am a boss occasionally, old habits...) and she has elegantly shirked off being the baby. I'm quite proud of the young lad I must say.

Then I got this...strfun

That is summer - that's what I'm talking about. Holy bright STR batman! In Sherbet and Rhodonite. I saw some of this Sherbet over at my SP10 site and thought - gotta have me some of that! Speaking of SP10 - I just sent out my last package and can't wait to get mine and have the big reveal.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

what am I?


7 skeins of Noro Silk Garden in some fiery reds, oranges and other some other more eathy tones...Who guessed Clapotis? I have dropped my fourth stitch - it's a wierd business - dropping stitches on purpose. I am torn about it, Silk Garden might be more rustic than I was hoping but other Claps in the same yarn are hot! It is damn boring knitting but I couldn't help myself...I crave the point (about every 12 rows or so) where I can slip a stitch off of the needle into oblivion. I have been like a squirrel collecting nuts for winter - each time I get to my LYS I would grab a skein of #84. One shade of pink makes me think of some great lipstick each time I get to it - pucker up!

I'm excited - I just learned that my last post inspired someone to join - woot woot! I have received three books in pristine shape this week and sent two more out - I *heart* books! If you mosey over to A Caffienated Yarn - check out Jodi's pretty sock in the Cider Moon Magnolia colorway - it rocks. I ran right over to Cider Moon - because I am going to need some of that plus Asbury Park - and their store is empty until June 18...*sob*...more time to fantasize about all of the pretty colors.

Yay! Another PBSer!!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

the internet rocks

I am just astonished at the valuable tools offered on the internet. Do most of you remember doing research with real encyclopedias or *eek* science journals? Microfiche? Good lord, sometimes aint technology grand?! Even "aint" is a word now!

First of all - I have found Bloglines to be indespensible. Sure, for some time I denied myself looking into it and surfed from blog to blog - on Bloglines you can "subscribe" to your favorite blogs and when there are updated...voila! Bloglines tells you so. So instead of surfing all over the net, one handy site can do this all for you. It's like having a paralegal do all of the research. You all know how much time can get away from you mindlessly wandering from here to there - time management at it's finest.

Then there is the new craze...have you heard? Ravelry! It's amazing. I think you have to wait around for invite these days but I was lucky enough to score one from Chicken Knits pretty early in the game. Boy, am I glad I did. This site is like a "clearing house for knitters". You can store a picture history of your stash, current and finished projects - and search easily for people who are working on the same project, working with the same yarn or...good grief, it's endless. It's like a great meeting place to network with other knitters. So many familiar faces there: Scout J, splityarn, hello yarn, etc. There are designers, links to advertisers. Too much for words, people - you need to get on over there.

Then along another path there is If you are an avid reader - you should check. this. out. I am kind of a book whore - I love to read and then I like to stick the book on my shelf - to admire my collection - I like to watch it grow. But then every once in awhile you get a lemon - a book you know will never get taken out of the shelf, one you wouldn't even lend to a friend because maybe you didn't like it. Well, guess what friends? Someone out there is waiting for this book. You can post books on a "virtual shelf" and for merely the cost of media mail shipping - which has gone up to $2.13 - someone can request your book, you send it off and earn yourself a credit. With each credit you can request things off of other members' virtual shelves. This week alone I have ordered The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Rosie by Anne LaMott and two by Jodi Picoult. The kicker here is - it's nearly free. You know a good book over at Borders, or even Amazon (which I frequent enough anyways) will run you $10 - this only costs you mailing. In addition, you have the pleasure of knowing someone else is enjoying a book that may have otherwise collected dust on your shelf while waiting for something new in the mailbox. I received the Tenth Circle today - in pristine condition - what a treat. Once I get through Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver - I will have a fresh stack waiting for me. If you cannot bear to part with some of your own collection to gain "points" you can buy credits - three for $10.35 - still way cheaper than going to the store for a new copy. You gotta love this kind of recycling.

Obviously, the library is a great choice, but I did preface with I am a book ho...

I just finished...

I was drawn to this book because Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote my #1 favorite book Eat, Pray, Love, had a quote on the cover - so a leap of faith. It's a quick read and the narrator is very likable. This sweet book runs two concurrent threads...the narrator's spanking new, modern day marriage, intertwined with the story of her grandmother's marriage in old Ireland. Each chapter is kicked off with one of grandma's recipes - honey cake may just be a keeper. The book lends a great perspective in some respect to the true life yet somehow unexpected unpleasantries of marriage. The narrator had delusions of granduer - oh, certainly you married women can relate as I did. You get to watch both main characters struggle through their relationships and understand what love is probably really about. It was enlightening to see the rose colored glasses come off - I personally think the comfort and security that my own marriage has grown into far outweighs the wandering and elusiveness (sprinkled with good stuff) the first years came with. I think the true reward lies beyond the exciting beginning. I truly believe slow and steady wins the race, - and marriage is no exception. I think I saw both main characters ultimately prescribe to this reality - life is good.