Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Tomorrow is opening day!

The excitement is building! Tomorrow is opening day for The Garter Belt. I want to let everyone know that we have many more pattern ideas in the works and you should check back often for updates. I think it's a good start. When I add that to upcoming knitty submissions (look for the Men's issue in July), I'm unleashing quite a body of work at one time.

I hope to add a few more reasonably quick projects over the summer and maybe a major project for fall. Right now my offerings are all in the intermediate skill range and I'd like to give the fearless knitters something to sink their teeth into.

We're counting down to the end of the school year. Colin wraps up at the end of this week and Owen the week after. Then we head north for a week on Lake Superior. The last time Scott & I went to Lake Superior, he came down with mono and was miserable for a month. That was Sept 1983 when we went to Porcupine Mountains State Park on Michigan's U.P. We assumed that because September is often a nice month in Chicago, it would be a nice time 8 hours north. The temperature topped out in the 50's and rainy early in the trip. As the week went on, it got colder and the locals told us that snow was predicted by week's end. We were camping in a very small 2-man backpacking tent; so small we couldn't both sit up at the same time! We were a stone's throw from the lake and very wet and chilled to the bone. Finally, we gave up and went to a motel. We returned in the morning for our stuff and I drove us back to Chicago with Scott becoming more fevered and ill. So, Lake Superior hasn't exactly treated us well, but 22 years later, we're trying again. With kids and pop-up camper in tow. In June, which is blackfly season. At least it should NOT snow. Just need to line up the cat sitter.

I'm not sure how productive my knitting time will be through the rest of the summer. It can't get worse than last summer when my boys could not be left alone for even the time it takes to fill a glass of water without trying to kill one another. I've been able to work on simple projects while they play with water in the yard. It's safe to say that I won't be able to do anything really complicated with many colors while Colin's awake in the day. But maybe cables...? Dare I hope?

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Saturday Morning Knitting Group

This morning the newly forming knitting group, as yet without a name, met again. There were 5 knitters in attendance. I forgot to get a picture of Leslie before she left, and I don't have one of myself, but did manage to get these pictures:
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Caitlin and Maggie

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I think it will come together as a nice compatible group, once we all get to know each other. We're meeting on the last Saturday of each month and we welcome all who care to join us.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Today's Knitting Output

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I made this hat for the new niece today, hence it will be The Beatrix Hat. I need to make another for the new neighbor, Luann (not sure of spelling, but the the "a" sounds like awning, not Ann). This hat was made on #2 double points out of Dale Baby Ull which is most delightful. I will sew the i-cord into a little loop at the top.

I hope to have the pattern available as a Garter Belt freebie, but probably not until at least a couple of weeks from now.

And now to sleep.

Monday, May 23, 2005

This is my new niece

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Beatrix was born last Monday. I just got some pictures and here's a real cute one. Isn't she perfect?

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Working hard... but no pictures for the public

We are closing in on opening day for The Garter Belt. Yes, excited knitters, June 1 is the day for all of you, BUT May 21 was the day that our fearless webmaster decreed our opening day deadline.

I finished a wonderful men's offering and got it photographed today. The pattern is written, the schematic is drawn, and the whole package has been emailed to Italy for Wendy to make it presentable for the public.

I took a few new photos of The Plum Shrug. Or rather, Scott took them. Outdoors by the blooming Bridal Wreath. It was a challenge because Colin so rarely sees me in a dress, he immediately wanted to rub his ketchup-smeared face on it! Then he wanted someone to chase him and catch him and generally make himself the focus of all attention.

Owen had a sleepover for three of his friends last night. We put the four of them in the pop-up camper in the driveway where they could annoy the whole neighborhood, instead of just us. I was hoping that they might inflict a little sleep disruption on our neighbors to the southeast, whose active social lives have so often disrupted my sleep. I'm not sure if it succeeded or not. I know they did manage to disturb some of the very nice neighbors I would rather not disturb. Scott took the whole pack of them to see Star Wars at 10 a.m. on the Ultrascreen. Not quite as big as an Imax, but bigger than average. Owen was a wreck in the afternoon: exhausted and in the let down after the big build up. He enjoyed the movie: "the awesomest-est!!" but it's very hard for him to cope with what comes after an event he's looked forward to for months

I did, rather guiltily, cast on for a sock yesterday afternoon. Why guilty? well, it's nothing original and I can't publish it. Totally boring and all about function. I need to have a project which is easy to stop and start,and socks qualify. When your house is teeming with kids, it's not a good idea to try much challenging thought. Like proofreading knitting patterns. So, I swear I will only work on the boring socks when I really cannot possibly work on a Garter Belt project. There, no guilt.

Monday, May 16, 2005

More Quizilla Results. How Do They Do That?

You are pink aluminum.
Retro, straightforward and fun, you love classic
things. If they're 99 cents at Goodwill all the
better! You are moved by striking colors and
tasty morsels, and you like a stitch-n-bitch
session in the sun. Just remember, while
you're being kitschy cool, don't get too cold.
Ice cubes are best kept in your cocktails,

What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I had to omit their photo: too wide for my blog and it displaced my sidebar. But really, I'll find my own pink aluminum needles to photograph and make an appropriately sized photo to add later.

So this is Monday...

Jacquiebean has posted a pdf of her entry in the Woolease Contest. Download it from the May 16 entry.

I was greatly tempted to send Jacquie something, too. Hers was the only entry I got with photos to illustrate her need. Go get it and have a look! But really, I didn't think worsted weight Wool Ease was the best thing for socks. So, maybe we can start a collection to get her some nice sock yarn? It really will be a better choice.

In other news, I just realized that we are more than half-way through May. Goodness, time is flying. The school year will end soon and then I'll be a raving lunatic. Must enjoy the peace while I can.

LATE BREAKING UPDATE: I have heard from my dad that I am now an aunt and my boys finally have a first cousin. My sister gave birth to a girl, 6 lb 15 oz, at around 4:30 this afternoon. My boys were less than gracious. Owen said, "Why does it have to be a girl." and Colin said, "I don't want any cousins!" (Do that one with the three-year-old's pout and foot stomp to get the full idea.) Now this news is filling me with all sorts of conflicted feelings because my sister has been completely distant from me for at least 15 years. Not overtly hostile: just completely not interested in having any kind of relationship with me. So, absent a direct announcement from her about the arrival of my new niece, do I still sent a gift? I don't have her current address but can get it from my folks. Or do I follow her lead and leave her alone? What would you do?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Catching up on business

How can it be so hard for me to be without my computer for only one business-week. That is, Monday through Friday. Really? Well, part of it is that I have a big looming deadline and some serious typing to do. Part of it is that I live by email.

I spent less time reading knittyboard than usual, and less time posting than reading. This is not all bad, as I probably need to spend more time connected to my bricks'n'mortar life than my online one.

Urban Pagan aka Lisa has posted her delightful photos of herself, thoroughly enjoying her yarn. Go have a look and leave her a fun comment.

So my computer got a lot of new inards and now I'm still trying to find my stuff. The old "elizabeth" account doesn't exist and I seem to have a System Administrator nicknamed "Root" who will not be displaced. Root did have a password I could never have guessed, but we did manage to delete that. Thank goodness. My old desktop stuff, which is way too much cause it piles up and seldom gets cleaned away, is all deeply buried in a folder in a folder in a folder on my hard disc. But it's there! I did manage to tell the new hard disc not to start up iphoto every time I plug in the camera. So, that's progress. i photo is nice enough, in a limited way, if you only have 50 pics, but infuriating when you get over 1000 amassed.

I just realized that it is DINNER time here at my house and there is NO dinner on the way. And dinner is my job. So, I'll do more catching up later.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Computer conspiracy?

Last night, after the scheduled Blogger downtime, I tried to update the blog. I wrote a post all about the sad situation of having my computer in for repairs, just when I need it most. After hitting "publish post" I waited and waited. Finally, the attempt to publish failed. Then DH, whose computer I was trying to use to post, used the open window to look at the weather! When I tried to recover the post, it was gone. Alas, alack.

So, my computer is off getting a new hard drive and new CD drive, under extended warranty. I'm muddling through without at a very time-sensitive point.

Can't remember what else I said in that post. Oh well. It's just time to get the Grim Reaper Poncho moved down from the top!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Grim Reaper Poncho?!?

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We've been having a little fun on Knittyboard with this garment and I took the liberty of modifying the original picture a bit to enhance the effect. I'm still a beginner with Photoshop, but that was fun!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I've been tagged by Ali

For Book Lovers.....accepting and passing of the stick.

This questioniare was passed to me from Ali, from Knitty.
1. Total Number of Books in Your House:
I started thinking about this after reading Cook'n'Knit's answers a week or so ago. I think I'd have to calculate in lineal feet. About 200 lineal feet of shelving times about 12 book per foot= approximatedly 2400 books? In my defense, I owned a used bookstore for 10 years BC (before children) and my parents are used booksellers. It's a family disease.

2. The Last Book You Bought Was:
The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek.

3. Last book you read:
Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood

4. Write down 5 (or 6) books you often read, or that mean a lot to you.

This kind of question always throws me for a bit. I'm not a great re-reader, although it sometimes happens. Books that have made a lasting impression on me? This is subject to change, depending on what I've read recently. I find this is the type of question I find hard to limit to a few, or hard to answer at all. I'll probably sit bolt upright at 2 a.m and wonder how I could possibly not have included (fill in the blank).

Nevertheless, here goes:
The Stranger by Albert Camus. (After all, my philosophy is Existentialism.)
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. (Probably also Oryx and Crake is equally important)
The Dollmaker by Harriette Arnow
Going way back to my college years, two books that permanently rearranged my thinking were The Republic by Plato and Democracy in America by de Tocqueville.

5. Who are you going to pass the stick to (three people) and why?
Lets see... I suppose they should be three people with blogs, though I would love to see my Mom's answers to #4. I'm not sure who has been previously tagged, but I think I'll tag Fathom, Joeli, and Jacquiebean. I imagine they will have interesting answers. And Jacquiebean is new to blogging, so this will give her a big thing to post.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Wool Ease Winners!

After reviewing all the wonderful essays, I decided to give 7 people Wool Ease prizes. In no particular order here they are.

Joeli C
Oh woe is me: my name is Joeli and, alas, I am a
yarnaholic. I need a big box of Wool-Ease like I need
a hole in my head, which is to say, I need it
desperately (a hole in my head would make more storage
room for yarn, in case you were curious). My main
reason for asking though is not for my sake but for
the sake of my boyfriend. My boyfriend needs a
sweater, and he needs it badly. His criteria for the
sweater are as follows:

1)It has to be inexpensive for me to make.
2)It has to be machine washable.

That‚s it. He really is such an easy boy to knit
for--so grateful for everything. Unfortunately I am
only a poor college student with no money for yarn to
make him a sweater and none in my pitiful stash that
will work. Take pity on me, send me your yarn. Give
me a chance to challenge the sweater curse once and
for all. Help me to please my boyfriend in a way that
only a knitter can. Thank you.


Alice C
Wool-Ease would be a great yarn for my group of friends who knit prayer & meditation shawls for those going through a hard time. The coolest part of our group is that it is very multi-generational! My 14 year old and her friends sit mixed among 70 & 80 year olds and laugh at jokes together, eat great goodies together and knit together. In fact, you can come to our monthly knitting times and work on whatever you want, not even a prayer shawl. We're very inclusive:)

Some of our shawls go to people we know who are in the hospital, or undergoing chemo, etc. Others go off to homeless shelters or with a nurse friend to people we'll never meet. It feels good, just like knitting and just like our knitty group.

So, your big box would help us keep creating, and keep recruiting more knitters. Some in our group can't afford much yarn, others can. This would give everyone the chance.

Temperance B

Ode to Wool Ease

Bastard child of a sheep and Dupont
Doesn't know what to be
Doesn't dye, doesn't felt
Despised by ewe, just right for me

Lovely colors, soft to the touch
Snugged up tight or wrapped around
Garter, stockinet or cable
Knitted stitches perfect to see

Wash in hot, dry to fluff
Not to pricey, easy care
It doesn't itch or irritate
Wool Ease please for me.

Heather B

Wool Ease, dear Wool Ease,
You boggle the mind.
My wallet you may please,
You're easy to find.
But what does one make
Of acrylic and wool?
What could I do with
A great big box full?
Some knits and some purls;
And maybe some cables.
Okay, it's not cashmere,
Or the Noro of fables.
But, Wool Ease, for now,
You'd come in quite handy.
For an afghan or poncho,
I think you'd be handy.
But do not despair,
If you're thrown in my stash.
You can be sure you'll be used
When I'm strapped for cash.

Lucinda of Rochester
My dad is, in the l33t speak the kids seem to use these days, teh roxor. He volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. He is a rockin' grandfather to my son. He was the Rock of Gibraltar for my mom when she was in the hospital a few months ago. He taught me the importance of balancing a checkbook. (Like I said, teh roxor.)

Anyway, I decided a while ago that I wanted to make him a sweater. Talked it over with my Mom and she said that he would prefer a machine-washable kind of yarn, so he can just throw it in the laundry without fear of shrinkage. (Yeah, he does his own laundry too.)

So, if you decide to give the yarn to me, I guarantee that I will turn it into an awesome sweater for my awesome Dad.

Liz R
Here is my sob story that I hope will win me the yarn.  I am currently organizing knitting projects and supplies to keep me company next month.  My husband will be having brain surgery and will be in the hospital for about 10 days (if everything goes well).  I will not get into all the details with you because it would take a lot more than 200 words.  I have taken time off work and will spend every day with him.  I would not be able to concentrate on work anyway.  Since he will be having a lot of procedures and I assume sleeping a lot I am relying on my knitting to keep me sane.  I have been knitting for about 4 months and with 10 full days of knitting next month I should be a much better knitter at the end of this ordeal not to mention a much less stressed and happier person.
Lisa P. (urban pagan)
"What I would do with a big box of Wool Ease" by

I've thought about this for some time now. I thought
of how I would dazzle you with a grand tale of how I
would knit hats for the cancer center here at UNC
Hospitals. Or a tale of how I would make some toys
for the Children's Hospital. Of course, there is
always the story of how I would make hats, scarves and
other items for the troops overseas. All of these are
things that I have done previously and I know that I
will do again.

Maybe I would stack it around the almighty Cone of
Power (as seen on my blog) and build a shrine of yarny
goodness to which I would offer a weekly sacrifice of
broken needles, torn yarn threads, and Bacardi rum in
exchange for the secrets to the elusive techniques of
intarsia, fair isle and steeking.

But honestly, if I had a big box of Wool Ease yarn, I
would probably throw it all on my bed and roll around
in it, laughing like a fool and hugging it to my chest
and/or joyously throwing it in the air, giggling with
glee all the while getting stared at by my husband and
cats who would be thinking it was time to have me

Yeah... it would most certainly the latter.

What they'll each receive:
Joeli will get not quite enough piney green to make a sweater. I wanted to give her a sweater's worth, because I applaud the spirit of bucking superstition. But Cindy, my co-judge, didn't want it hanging over our heads if anything bad happened to Joeli and the BF's adorable relationship. Maybe she can make a sweatervest. or as those Brits would say, a waistcoat.
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Alice will receive a large mass of burgundy colored Wool Ease, with bright colored flecks in it. This originally came in Big Bundles, and some has been put into some partial UFOs the group will have to frog. But it should make a good size shawl.
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Temperance and Heather will each get 5 miscellaneous skeins. These were the only poetry entries and I enjoyed them a lot.
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Lucinda will get 9 skeins of a color called Tartan Twist which is dark purple and green. I hope her dad will like it.
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Liz will get some yarn to sustain her through this terrible time. And she will get my thoughts and prayers, and I hope all of yours, too.
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Lisa will get enough yarn to roll in. Although this isn't Wool Ease, it is a stash of other blends, some better and some worse.
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I hope you will all send pics of any finished objects and Lisa, I want a pic of you rolling in your yarn!

Make sure you all email me your mailing addresses soon!

Owen in his new pullover

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Here is the top-down raglan of the previous post, as it looks off the needles, unwashed and unblocked. Owen says it's very comfy: nice and warm and not itchy a bit. He's wearing it over a tshirt, so there's a lot of yarn-to-skin contact, and he's the kid with super-reactive skin. And now I can live without motherly guilt for a few months, at least where the equal distribution of hand-knit garments is concerned.

Later today, I'll post some pics of the Wool Ease prizes and name the winners.