Thursday, September 22, 2005

Does anyone remember...?

This was my obsession project on Friday night, when I couldn't get out to go and hear Black 47 at the Ocean Mist. Anyone who can guess who/what this critter is wins the Steel Trap Memory Award. (Not that the award amounts to much, just my admiration for fellow Steel Trappers.)

During, I swear, the last 3 minutes at work on Thursday, one of my co-workers mentioned Shmoos, and this brought back a flood of memories. WHERE, for instance, did the sock Shmoo my Dad once had end up? It may be in some of the stuff we brought back from cleaning out the old family homestead a few years ago, but frankly it was far easier to design and knit a prototype than to go a-hunting. So, I made it up as I went along, got the bulk of it done on Friday, knitted and attached the legs on Saturday, felted it lightly on a glass washboard, and left it to dry. Today my book of Shmoo cartoons arrived and I chose a face to copy. It's not an exact replica, but I had a lot of fun creating the face with a felting needle. The only area in which this Shmoo is deficient is the butt. Quite simply, it just isn't big enough! But I am content. My Shmoo is cute and smiles down on me from atop the piano. And I did not have to go pawing through the basement.

I used stash yarn, some natural Shetland I had lying around, double-stranded, and size 4 needles.

Saturday saw me making a trek to Pasa and The Yarn Shop, both in Uxbridge. The Yarn Shop looks terrific, but I tend to have more fun at Pasa. You never know just what you're going to find. Anyhoo, my great-niece, Kitty, not quite 3 years old, kept grabbing skeins of more expensive inventory at The Yarn Shop and carting it over to the Bargain Bin, as if to say, "This is nice! Let's make it cheaper so more folks can enjoy it!" So my sister was pretty busy retrieving these skeins and replacing them on the shelves. This child may grow up to be a knitter yet. She certainly has the die-hard's love of a bargain.

I finally finished the back of the latest Aran extravaganza and have started one sleeve. That will be good car knitting on the way to Camden tomorrow. Will miss everyone at the spin-in, but really need a weekend away. With my choirmaster out of town for the weekend, it's a good time to carpe diem!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Dyed 'n gone to heaven?

A friend sent me this cartoon in an e-mail the other day. Is this what all we wool-loving folks are coming to? Or perhaps it should feature a couple of knitters conferring about how they'd rather put gas in the car to make a trip to their LYS than mow the lawn....or how about "Look at all this WOOL, and they keep the lawn in darn good shape, too!!!!"

Here's the latest from the dyepot. It's a lovely wool/silk blend in Deep Teal, and there are twenty 200-yard skeins! This was originally a light brown, and as always, I am amazed at how well the dye takes. Nice and even, and knitted up on size 3 needles, this stuff has the most fabulous stitch definition. (Those of you who have seen the Egyptian Red aran sweater I'm currently working on will know what I mean. And those of you who haven't...sheesh! I've gotta post a picture soon!)

I'm within 30 rows of the end of the back of the afore-mentioned sweater, and am very pleased with the way it is coming out. One front, two sleeves, and a neck to go!

The Deep Teal yarn is for sale, by the way. Only $9.75 per skein. If you want some, e-mail me. ( Shipping is via USPS Priority Mail, or if you are local, I can make arrangements for drop-off or pick-up. Sometime this week it will very likely appear in my ebay store. (

Well, it's That Time Again. Off to work in a few minutes. Knit a few rows for me...

Saturday, September 03, 2005

When the World Goes Crazy...

The prices at the gas pumps are frightening. I don't even want to think about how much worse it's going to get. The way things are going, though, I may have to choose between keeping up with the kids' choir schedule or taking time out for ME. I don't want to give up going to knitting and spinning meetings, as these are what keep me sane. I just don't know what the proper answer is right now. [sigh]

I thought I had figured out a solution last week at knitting, when Patty talked about her daughter running her (diesel) car on biodiesel. I have long though that biodiesel was a real slick concept (no pun intended), and I quietly made the decision to start pricing diesel autos so I could finally put this into practice for myself. I went as far as making a trip up to the local VW dealer to inquire about a diesel Beetle. Well. It seems that the state of Massachusetts passed a law in January 2004, banning the registration of any "new" diesel automobiles. You can register a "pre-owned" diesel vehicle, which is what I hoped to do, but...just try finding one now, with EVERYONE in a panic about fuel prices!

I thought my modest little RAV-4 was good on gas, but lo and behold, this morning I "did the math" and came up with about 22 mpg. This is not good. And then there is hubby's "man-mobile" which doesn't do too badly for a pick-up truck, but his commute is about an hour-and-a-half one way, Monday through Friday.

I think I am going to have my doctor to write me a stronger prescription for my daily dose of "Fukitol" (aka Celexa).

On the textile front...

Here is the latest batch of tres cool dyed stuff. This is Persian Wool Yarn, originally a pale cream color, which I overdyed with a lovely greeny blue. The photo doesn't do justice to the intricate subleties of this colorway, so trust me, it is gorgeous! AND it is FOR SALE. Generous 150 yard skeins, $9.00 each, 12 available. E-mail me if interested and we can Reason Together. [grin]

Along with half the rest of the world, I am so sad about what has happened to Louisiana. I had friends who lived in Shreveport and Benton a few years back, and while they were there, I visited. I loved the area and was privileged to drive from there to New Orleans just once. Though the weather was beastly hot, there are things about that city I will never forget. It was such a vibrant place, with streets full of impromptu entertainment. My personal favorites were the tiny black children who would affix bottle caps to the soles of their shoes and tap-dance their hearts out. Adorable and talented! Now I imagine it will be many years before the people feel like doing much of anything celebratory again. So much has been lost. What, if anything, can be salvaged?