May 26, 2004

Cootie Catcher!

Due to vacation, no postings on Friday or Monday, Dear Readers, but it'll be bloggin' as usual when next Wednesday rolls around!

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Feeling a little punk today, sort of as if the dryest and hottest of desert winds are sashaying up and down the back of my throat, with an occasional side trip into my ears and sinuses. I think I contracted some cooties from the baby at the Buffalo Meat Hoedown so right now I’m thinking sullenly and petulantly, “Babies! Who needs ‘em!,” but this is the same pink-cheeked punkin’ I keep maniacally knitting things for, so my grumpiness should be taken with a grain of salt. What this does mean, however, is that I don’t feel like thinking much, so I think I’ll just segue straight to the knitting stuff.

First, the Baby Norgi body is off the needles! A big thank you for the much-appreciated encouragement from Dear Readers and Feral Knitters. You'all were instrumental in helping me keep going on this although, in and of its own, it’s been loads of fun.

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Now, on to the sleeves, now that I am the proud owner of some size 0 dpns.

In other projects, since our friend’s vision quest is on June 10th and it’s already May 26; since she has been blessed with industrial-size feet and ankles; since she requested long-ish, foldable cuffs; and since I somehow have to beam the socks to her before the 10th and she lives waaaaaaaaaaay out in the boonies (Snohomish, for you locals, which is a fer piece from where I live), I’m knitting like a maniac on the Vision Quest Socks. I am, however, improving my odds of finishing on time by using Cascade 220 (in the juiciest, most energizing bright red) and size 4 dpns. Thank God for my favorite sock pattern, Evelyn Clark’s Railroad Track Socks, which is easy-peasy but still gives the socks abundant personality, and which calls for ribbing from cuff to toe for a better fit. (We are blessed to actually have Evelyn as an active member of our Guild. You may know her from some of her other exquisite designs like her new Spirit of the Southwest Shawl, the Estonian Garden Scarf, the Seascape Shawl, the Pacific Northwest Shawl, and too many others to mention.)

In the only other vaguely interesting news, I find myself in knitting design purgatory right now, going neither up nor down, backwards nor forwards. I have A Plan, A Pattern, and a Potential Color Design, Period. The Plan: Knit Janine’s beautiful Fair Isle “sampler pillow” (which I don’t have a link to yet but which rumor has it may be available the next time I post), but using my own design. The Pattern: The iris picture I posted last time, with maybe some wrought iron curlicues thrown in for good measure (thank you to Charlotte and my self-titled "stalker" Angie for some great links to wrought iron sites!). The Potential Color Design: A dark background, maybe midnight blue, three colors of green for the leaf area of the iris, and three colors of light blue/aquamarine/light purple for the flower part, and who knows what’all other colors if I add peerie*-type accent bands to the pillow. What’s missing is (a) a yummy new box of colored pencils so I can sketch out the pattern to see if it will work and (b) a visit to Sheila’s Two Swans Wall O’ Yarns (which I keep hearing in my head as Two Swarns Wall O’ Yarns) to see if all these pieces will actually come together. The good news is Sheila is having a Soiree on June 13 so I have a ready-made opportunity to visit La Wall. The bad news is…the Soiree isn’t until June 13. I will be patient; I will be patient; I will be patient, written 100 times on a chalkboard.

Still in design vein—and, come to think of it, still in “waiting” vein, dang it all—inspired yet again by Janine, this week I ordered these books from Dover Publications:

Charted Peasant Designs from Saxon Transylvania (no vampire jokes from the peanut gallery, especially from The Mysterious K who is on an Anne Rice/Vampire Lestat reading kick right now)
Celtic Charted Designs
101 Folk Designs for Counted Cross-Stitch

Any chance they’ll arrive by this afternoon so I can lie on my fainting couch, hand delicately resting on my forehead, weakly but determinedly willing myself out of design purgatory?

*In Scotland, "peerie" means "small." In the knitting context, it means the small, simple (two- to five-row?) accent bands used in Fair Isle.

Posted by Ryan at 11:05 AM | Comments (6)

May 24, 2004

Time to Brush Off Those Four-Letter Words

Argh! Mossy Cottage really got hit by spammers this weekend. Those loathsome, belly-crawling worms left over 3000—yup, three thousand—comments on the blog! Out of shear bullheadedness, I am slowly but surely deleting every single *$#!%!@! one, and turning the comments option off on earlier entries, but I still feel so annoyed. Long-time readers will know I avoid venting and kvetching on my blog but even a semi-Pollyanna like me has her limits...

Anyway, on to more pleasant things...

Partly inspired by Sheila’s design based on the back of a Chippendale chair, partly inspired by my determination to design something Fair-Isle-y, and partly inspired by my love for things ornate and Rococo-ish, on Friday I did a Google search based on “wrought iron,” hoping to find clip art or a picture of a wrought iron design that would translate well to a charted pattern. While I didn’t come up with anything useable, I did find this and this. What a hoot, eh, Dear Readers?

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On another topic altogether, this weekend The Mysterious K and I experienced a first, eating buffalo meat. For me, buffalo meat was Something Other People Ate, that is until Sunday, when, at a friend's house, I found myself sitting in front of a plate containing mashed yams, a roll, Caesar salad, fruit salad, a small piece of barbecued chicken...and a small piece of barbecued buffalo. I can now say buffalo meat is some day-um fine eatin'! Flavorful, light, and beefy. That doesn't mean I'll be running out to buy half of a buffalo carcass to stash in my freezer anytime soon, but I am definitely a believer.

(Of course, this all gets put into a weird perspective when I remember that once, in my childhood, I ate water buffalo meat, in fact huge, Flinstone-sized, barbecued water buffalo ribs cooked in an open fire pit at a missionary family's home in the jungle somewhere obscure like Bali or Java--which now makes me wonder why I think eating plain ol' buffalo steaks cooked on a plain ol' outdoor barbecue was such a big deal after all.)

Knitting Knews
The gecko swatch:

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Robbyn, since you asked, the Grand Vision was for me to knit a hat with three or four geckos cavorting around the crown but, as I mentioned in my last entry, the swatch turned into a not-very-satisfying, semi-intarsia, semi-stranded, worst-of-both worlds knitting mess. Not to mention the fact that the gecko looks as if it made a trip or two around in a blender. The places where the head and arm look as if they have been cut off and the body looks as if it has been neatly severed in half are the places where the variegated yarn matched the solid yarn exactly. A lesson learned: Sometimes matching yarns exactly is A Bad Thing. Who knew?

Having abandoned the "wrought iron" project and muddled my way through the gecko swatch, now I'm going to try to design something based on this pattern (although I am starting to think this design stuff will be no easier for me to do than it would be for me to haul my portly body up on a balancing beam and toss off an Olympic-caliber routine. How I envy the people for whom this would be easy like, oh, TMK or Big Sister. But I plug on because I Am Determined.)

Another new, fun project came up this weekend. The people we visited on Sunday follow a Native American spiritual path, and one of them is going to undergo a spirit quest in early June. I offered to knit her some socks for the quest and she gladly took me up on it. In keeping with the requirements of the quest and with Lakota traditions, they have to be red 100% wool. An excuse to go to my LYS!

Posted by Ryan at 12:37 PM | Comments (12)

May 21, 2004

Say "Cheese!"

An example of what it’s like to work for the state:

In the private sector, it’s not unusual for snacks to be provided at meetings, usually donuts, pastries, danishes, muffins, maybe fruit, certainly coffee and decaf, juice, water and sodas. Compare that to the state environment; compare that, in fact, to today’s meeting where we were given…cubes of cheese. Yep. Dotted few and far between on our immense conference table, small blue plastic bowls containing toothpicks and…cubes of cheese. It felt very Skinnerian. Ask a good question, make a good suggestion, get…a cube of cheese.

Knitting Knews
Janine’s presentation on Fair Isle knitting at Guild was right on the money. She made a focused attempt to reach out to and reassure knitters like me who were born without the color gene. (Before I go any further, to put Janine’s place in the knitting world in perspective for the Dear Readers who do not know her, one of her creations—Dragonfly River Vest—is in Meg Swansen’s book “Sweaters From Camp.” Take a gander if you can. Dear Reader Sheila has been working on this project. You can see a photo here.) Janine surprised us all when she prefaced her talk by saying that she has only been knitting for six years, which caused quite the astonished muttering among audience members. She then described her journey to the world of Fair Isle knitting, how she started out as a weaver, how she spent years simply learning and absorbing the information provided by other, more-experienced knitters, how she learned to take color and design inspiration from the world around her, and how she learned to avoid certain pitfalls such as assuming someone else’s way is “right,” assuming you don’t have the ability to pick colors, listening to your negative voice, and being afraid to make mistakes or to frog designs or colors that aren’t working. She was even brave enough to whip out her most current “failure,” a Christmas stocking that, color-wise, isn’t working out quite the way she envisioned. In typical Janine fashion, she's going to solve the problem by simply cutting off the offending cuff and knitting on a new one. Oy. Imagine!

Thank you, Janine, for a wonderful presentation!

On the Baby Norgi front, I chickened out, but not in a breast-beating, hair-rending way, just in a mild, wimping out way. I opted for one line of blue followed by plain yellow stockinette so I didn't have to do stranded purling. So far, so good. In the meantime, for my Knon-Knorgi Knitting, I'm making a swatch based on this cross-stitch pattern. I have learned a lot from this small swatch, including how easy it is to get lost in a bastardized, half-Fair Isle, half-intarsia world. Pictures next week!

Posted by Ryan at 10:00 AM | Comments (4)

May 19, 2004

Kare for More Kooky Krafts?

Time for another round of Kooky Krafts, which, for this go-round at least, will include Daffy Designs! Here’s one of my favorites which I found a couple of months ago, a bowl made out of half-melted green toy soldiers. It actually works in a way, doesn’t it? The whole MocoLoco site is interesting, in fact, since it features unique, modern architecture, furniture, fixture and accessory designs. Worth a few minutes exploring. (An aside to my sister Who Will Understand: Interesting company name, non?)

Along this same modern industrial design vein, here is some furniture made from corrugated cardboard which, just now and on a whim, led me to Google on “cardboard furniture,” which resulted in a surprising number of hits, including this and this and even an HGTV segment on how to make a cardboard table.

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Addendum: After I posted this entry, my sister sent me this link. The cardboard, yes, again, cardboard furniture on this site ranges in price from $345 to almost $2,000. Can you say, "we are all in the wrong business?"

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My haphazard surfing also somehow led me to to the site of a British company called Unto This Last which makes this table , which I think is astoundingly beautiful. Doesn't it look as if it could just float away at any moment?

Knitting Knews
A bittersweet Feral Knitters on Monday since it was the second to last one, I believe, for our Fearless Leader and (oh, cool! This is gonna rhyme!) Dear Reader Janine who is moving to California soon. Janine has provided us with so many “lightbulb moments” that, one the one hand, make you feel like a complete dork for not thinking of them yourself but, on the other hand, are so useful and helpful that you don’t care if you feel like a complete dork (right, MaryB?). In fact, I think that more than one of us will swear to the fact that after one of Janine's pronouncements, we actually hear heavenly music and angels caroling and a certain sun-like glow bathes the table. (There have been rumors of our all chipping in to buy a webcam to follow Janine wherever she goes in her new life, with, ahem, a few exceptions, of course. All in favor of the Janine-Cam, say “Aye!”)

Fortunately, we get a gratis bonus dose of Janine tonight since she will be our guest speaker at Guild.

I’ve finished tinking Baby Norgi, cast off the 15 neck stitches as I was supposed to, and am now completely befuddled. The instructions say "Break off yarn and move the left front shoulder sts from the left needle to right needle. Reattach yarn and begin working back and forth." First, do I reattach the yarn to start knitting from the right side (i.e., to knit the first row) or do I reattach the yarn to start knitting from the wrong side (i.e., to purl the first row)? Or—now here's an idea—does it really matter?
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I also have to reconsider whether to continue the little green diamonds up to the shoulders because now I will be doing stranded knitting flat, not in the round. I have three ideas floating around in my head: (1) Keep knitting the green diamonds; (2) Go straight to plain yellow stockinette to make life easier; or (3) Knit one row of blue as a "divider" and then go to plain yellow stockinette. Any opinions? And any hints for how to deal with stranded knitting when you have to knit flat?

Gardening Gazette
A gratuitous picture of some of the lavendar in TMK's yard. We had a particularly hard freeze for Seattle this winter andTMK surmises that that is why this lavendar is unusually purple.

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Posted by Ryan at 02:54 PM | Comments (6)

Slooooow Start Today...

My morning has been taken up with meetings, my noon will be taken up with lunch and American Sign Language signing, and my early afternoon will be taken up with more meetings and beating my employees about the head. Will post as soon as I can. As always, thanks to all my Dear Readers for continuing to read the blog!

Posted by Ryan at 11:46 AM | Comments (4)

May 17, 2004

It's My Party, I Can Bite You if I Want To...

Was the first meeting between Frankie and LindaK’s Scarlett a success? Well, it depends on whom you ask. If you ask me, I would say “Yes.” If you ask The Mysterious K, she would say “Yes.” Not to be presumptuous, but I believe LindaK would also say “Yes.” Based on these pictures of happy abandonment and stomach scrootchies, I believe even Scarlett would say “Yes.”

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But then there’s this picture of Frankie which gives me pause. Does this look like a happy dog to you, or a dog that has sold her soul to the Dark Forces of Evil?

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Actually, the two girls were quite well behaved, give or take the occasional unladylike flash of fangs and stream of ear-pinning doggy obscenities. Next time, however, I will have to remind TMK that, whether the dogs are really mad or just having a small turf war, swatting them gently about the head with a soft fleece toy isn’t going to make them stop. In fact, I believe said fleece toy was what started World War III in the first place. Two dogs, one toy, fuel, fire, yaddayaddayadda.

Knitting Knews
Anyone out there remember “Dumb Donald” from the Fat Albert show—you know, the kid who peered through eyeholes in his too-long knitted cap? When I read that the Coronet cap called for me to knit the hat 8” deep before starting the decreases, images of me as Dumb Donald wearing a Coronet cap kept popping into my head. However, this questionable measurement turned out to be all too accurate since apparently I was Knitting the Hat Completely Wrong.

Upon rereading the pattern with as much care as I should have used the first time, I discovered I was supposed to knit the crown of the hat with the wrong side of the cabled band facing me and then flip the band up, thereby creating a firm, thick, secure double band for the bottom of the hat while simultaneously sucking up two of those 8”. I, on the other hand, just picked up the 96 stitches for the crown and started knitting away with, of course, the cable band facing me, blithely assuming the pattern called for, in short order, a band, a crown, and some decreasing, period—none of this “folding up” cr_p. I have since realized, however, that my way looks adequately spiffilicious, and the “real” way would have required 2” more of knitting with not much to show for it. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see how I feel about “my way” the first time I go out in a light breeze and the hat instantly flies away and gets snagged way up on a tree limb, lacking, as it will, the secure grip of the double band. Ultimately, though, this is a great, fun, fast pattern. I wholeheartedly recommend it!

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For an added bonus, a picture of Dear Reader Angie from Texas's first cables ever. Look familiar? Yup, it's a Coronet cable band. I'm pleased to say she was motivated to give cabling a try after reading the Mossy Cottage entries on this project. Yes, my evil plan to take over the world is working, although it's going veryveryveryvery slowly.

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Feral Knitter's tonight! And what will I be doing? Why, tinking the extra .5" of little green diamonds that I knit because I thought I was supposed to make the body of the sweater 10.75" long, not the 10.25" long the pattern actually calls for. Anyone besides me think I need to take a remedial pattern reading course?

Gardening Gazette
Today's Gardening Picture O' the Day is a peach iris from TMK's back yard. I could look at this flower for hours. Of course, being a knitter and a Fair Isle wannabe (or, more accurately, a Fair Isle wannado), I'm also seeing a color palette here: light peach, dark peach, medium green, chartreuse, navy blue and medium blue (because I know those are the colors of the unopened irises in the back), yellow, and brown (from the dirt which we can't see but which we can safely assume is there). Ack! I'm starting to see color palettes everywhere!

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Posted by Ryan at 11:13 AM | Comments (6)

May 14, 2004

Door-to-Door Doggie Delivery!

It’s not surprising, given the number of cyber-savvy, net-surfin’ and blog-reading knitters out there, that, through Mossy Cottage, I've met quite a few people locally and “met” quite a few people around the country and internationally. It was perhaps a little more surprising that this opportunity for meeting and socializing would trickle down to The Mysterious K, who now has, for example, a friendly baseball rivalry going on with Dear Reader Debra. But Frankie?! Yep. Again as a direct result of the blog, tonight Ms. Frankie meets her very first cyber-pal, Scarlett, aka “Miss Bossyknickers,” daughter of Dear Reader LindaK. The festivities begin at 7:30 with a little nose- and, most likely, butt-sniffing (dogs only), followed by a little “walkies” around the neighborhood (dogs and humans) followed by, hopefully, a madcap chase around the back yard (again, dogs only, although the humans are invited to join in if they so desire).

LindaK, we are looking forward to our adventure!

Knitting Knews
If you thought last Sunday was an ordinary day located somewhere along the Ordinary Day Continuum, you would have been dead wrong. It was, in fact, Steek Cutting Experiment Day! Did you not feel it in the wind, Dear Readers?

Below, a few photos of the nerve-wracking process…

Here, the right side of the Sacrificial Snowflake Swatch. (It’s not your imagination—you have seen this picture before; twice, in fact.)

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Here, the wrong side, showing the steek and the double lines of sewn stitches. I just took a stab at where these should have been positioned because I didn’t have a frickin’ clue. The inner line of stitches on the left had to be sewn twice because, during my first attempt, I started in the upper left-hand corner and somehow managed to sew diagonally across the entire width of the steek to, yes, the lower right-hand corner, although I could have sworn on a mile-high stack of pristine, new, shrink-wrapped Bibles I was going in a straight line down. I had even selected a specific line of stitch "v's" to follow down. But, no. I said a few choice words picking those stitches out, sounding, I’m sure, like Muttley when things aren't going his way.

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The beginning of the surgical procedure. (Is it my imagination or am I always wearing that same flannel shirt when TMK takes a picture of me?I do have other clothes, really, I do.)

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Almost to the end! (Do ignore the dirty thumbnail. Usually my thumb is much more socially presentable but we had been gardening just prior to The Moment of Cutting and, trust me, when you have worked up enough nerve to slice through a steek, you don’t suddenly stop and say, “Oh, wait, I need to go clean my nails.”)

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A flat piece of knitting!

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Now what do I do with it?

Garden Gazette
Since photos of TMK’s garden seem to have become a regular part of this blog, here is a picture of one of her pyrethrums (pyrethra? pyrethri? Help, Anne!) taken last week. This plant is also referred to by us as the “Step-On Plant” because, during one of her first couple of years of gardening, TMK managed to grow one pyrethrum plant with one blossom, which I promptly (but, cross my heart, inadvertently) stepped on, squashing it into a sad bright-pink stain on the dirt. I still remember the look of total disbelief on TMK’s face. It was priceless.

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Posted by Ryan at 10:58 AM | Comments (12)

May 10, 2004

A Little O' This, A Little O' That...

No posting on Wednesday, Dear Readers!

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The weekend was too quiet to supply me with a new Gratuitous Story o' the Day, although we did discover that the sound of ripping Velcro will send Frankie straight into a whirling, twirling, stub-wagging frenzy of happy and excited barking so we spent an inordinate amount of time chasing her around the house with The Mysterious K's Velcro'ed wrist brace. But other than that, things were quiet and sedate, so on to knittin’, woodworkin’ and gardenin'.

This weekend, the various muscles, tendons, sinews and nerves that make up my wrist finally declared they were On Strike as far as two-handed knitting with size 1 needles was concerned. However, I had done a few of the four-row diamond repeats by Friday, was able to sneak in one repeat a day over the weekend without my wrists finding out, and ended triumphantly with this:

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I think the "busyness" of the diamond pattern will be balanced out by the plain yellow below it and the plain yellow part of the sleeves. (Sleeves. Oh. My. God. I have to knit sleeves! Two sleeves! What was I thinking?)

Since four rows of knitting a day just wouldn’t do, even though my math tells me this still adds up to 792 stitches (or 396 stitches per hand)—I poked around on the Net for another project that used larger, less-wrist-aggravating needles. I settled on the Coronet cap, which I think is the ultimate in perfect design: original, simple in style, tailored, and easy but not dull. And it called for size 8 needles! The pattern uses Lamb’s Pride Worsted but I substituted some beautiful mauve-y, periwinkle-y handspun I got from Dear Reader Janine as part of her stash reduction. (Janine, this yarn is beautiful! I can't tell you how many times I paused during The Knitting Of just to stop and admire at the yarn. It's a mite itchy, but perfect for a hat!)

Here is the cabled band in progress:

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The actual color of the yarn is lighter and more purple than the color shows. Imagine fine baby blue fibers spun together with fine medium purple fibers, and you get the idea.

Woodworking World
TMK's latest project is a craftsman-style mirror for over her fireplace. I'm in love with this project, even in its beginning stages. In fact, it could well be the woodworking equivalent of the Coronet pattern; again, simple, tailored, and easy but not dull. Here, the pieces, cut and clamped together:

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Incidentally, for any other woodworkers out there, TMK is getting her project plans from this book.

Garden Gazette
One of my favorite plants in TMK's garden bloomed this weekend, the George Burns floribunda rose, also referred to as "The Rescue Rose," because I purchased it for my house originally and let it languish until it was rescued by TMK and planted in her yard, where it is doing much better. Since I am a sucker for variegated yarn, you can see why this exotic flower would draw me in:

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Posted by Ryan at 09:31 AM | Comments (10)

May 07, 2004

Battah, battah, battah!

MaryB, Debra, any other baseball fans out there—The Mysterious K is officially no longer a Safeco Field virgin! On Wednesday, she went with a friend to a game between the Mariners and the Twins. Oh, wait, what’s that? Why, it’s an emphatic (and slightly painful) poke from a little TMK sitting on my shoulder reminding me I’m supposed to tell you they sat Right Behind Home Plate. Apparently that’s important.

TMK’s enthusiastic description of the game when she got home sounded something like, “Blah blah blah strike blah blah blah out blah blah blah stupid umpire blah blah blah pitcher blah blah blah blah homebase blah blah blah blah batter blah blah blah blah Edgar Martinez!!” Don't tell her, but I found the story of The Little Boy and his Licorice much more interesting. Apparently you don’t need a Bionicle, Transformer, G-I Joe, or Pokemon to entertain you if you are the proud possessor of a piece of licorice. The little boy of the story sat in front of TMK and spent the game doing all the creative and disgusting things with his stick of licorice that little boys do, including waving it furiously around, curling it on his head and wearing it as a hat, eating some of it, dropping it, picking it up, eating some more, sticking it up his nose, eating some more, and waving it around again, all punctuated by long, lingering looks of intense desire directed at The Hot Chocolate Guy, The Popcorn Guy, The Hotdog Guy, The Soda Guy, The Pretzel Guy... Maybe it’s just me, but the little boy sounded vastly more entertaining than the game. (Of course, this comes from someone who is relatively new to baseball, and even thought until recently that the "seventh inning stretch" was an inning that was played reeeeeaaaalllly slowly. Imagine my surprise when I found it was when people stood up, stretched, and rubbed their numb bums—all of which was revealed to me when I was at my first game and had to ask TMK why everyone was standing up. This gets a good belly laugh out of TMK whenever she remembers it—or tells it, which she likes to do uh-lot.)

Knitting Knews
I’ve reached the top part of the Baby Norgi. Since the reindeer with the crooked legs and the only microscopically more attractive trees have been banished, I had to choose between leaving the top part plain or repeating one of the existing motifs. I had had puh-lenty of knitting round after round of plain yellow stockinette lower down in the sweater, thank you very much, so I decided to go with a motif and chose to repeat the rows of little green diamonds with one row of yellow in between. Much to my frustration, the row of yellow, specifically the one stitch jester.GIFthat was supposed to separate a lower diamond from its corresponding upper diamond, got sucked into the fabric and essentially disappeared. The result? I now have a little sweater that looks like a cross between a beginner’s Norwegian sweater and a jester’s costume. Picture on Monday. (And I know I promised a picture of the felted clogs today. My bad, but in my defense, I was under the weather the one night when the the clogs, the digital camera, and I were all in the same vicinity. Fer sher next week. Thank you to Dear Reader Lisa from Ontario about the suggestion to try Lopi!)

Posted by Ryan at 10:06 AM | Comments (7)

May 05, 2004

Be Careful Where You Point...

The mischievous Mysterious K and I cobbled together a little surprise for the Dear Readers who were at Feral Knitters on Monday. The idea was for TMK, who has all sorts of spiffy graphic software and fancy printers at her disposal, to create this and show up at Feral Knitters wearing it. She was supposed to come stand nonchalantly near me, and wait to see who noticed the “TMK” and was able to put two and two together—but our plan didn’t play out quite the way we had envisioned. Ever the meddler, when TMK arrived I couldn’t resist moving things along by pointing her out to Janine. With hand gestures, I mutely tried to direct Janine’s attention to the “TMK” on the t-shirt, but the lighting and fact that Janine was sitting and TMK was standing conspired against me. Come to find out Janine couldn’t see the “TMK” and thought I was just, arbitrarily and out of the blue, pointing at some strange woman’s breasts. Fortunately, by that time Dear Readers Karen and Kit had made the connection and converged on us and everything was explained to everyone’s satisfaction, although it took a long time for my face to turn from bright red back to its normally pale and freckled self. Unfortunately, some Dear Reader Feral Knitters weren’t there for The Great Unveiling. Missed you, Mary and Linda K! And missed you, too, Sheila, of course, but you’ve met TMK so I say your time was way better spent enjoying your last few hours at Maryland Sheep & Wool.

Knitting Knews
Between bouts of trying to put stitches back on my size 1 needles for the Norgi, I finished the felted clogs. My final opinion—they’re easy but odd and take a long time, especially since you have to knit four soles. (Talk about the ultimate Second Sock Syndrome!) I say knitting a pair of Fuzzy Feet would be a much faster and more direct way of achieving pretty much the same thing.

The unfelted clogs:

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I'll take a picture of the felted clogs tonight and regale you with the story of their felting—and how TMK "didn't" participate—on Friday.

Posted by Ryan at 11:00 AM | Comments (8)

May 03, 2004

The Copper Topper

The Great Tuteur Debate is over, with the unscientific and sloppily counted vote tally being 3-ish votes for the finial and 8-ish or 9-ish votes for the copper (with a lot of added discussion about sun and heat and rain and patinas and whether or not a tuteur is just a beanpole with a college education). And to (gently) prove wrong Dear Reader Janine—who was convinced we'd just talk a good talk and not put anything on the tuteur at'all—abracadabra! The tuteur is now sporting a copper top!

Here, the copper sheet metal and the trammel The Mysterious K used to draw the cutting line. (Don't worry; I don't know what "trammel" means either. It's either the funky stick thing-y in the middle she used to draw the lines, or it's the line itself. I'm sure TMK will enlighten us.)

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Here, the copper top on its way to being shaped. Apparently, the tuteur itself has fainted dead away in the heat.

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Here, the copper top on the tuteur, already sending signals out to the universe.

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And here, the whole shmeer. Remember what I said about the tuteur being big? Well, the fence behind the tuteur is 6' tall. You do the math.

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Knitting Knews
Here, the most current picture of the Baby Norgi. This picture was taken, however, a few seconds before I picked it up and one hand zigged and the other zagged and ten stitches sproinked off the needles—and I haven't been able to put them back on correctly since. Poo. Fortunately, there is another meeting of the Feral Knitters tonight and perhaps I can get some help. (Then again, unless I stop picking on our Fearless Feral Fore(wo)man, Janine, perhaps I won't get any help. In fact, maybe they'll have a lottery and I'll mysteriously get the piece of paper with the black spot on it.)

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Dye Garden Dyegest
As I mentioned on Friday, the indigo has "graduated" to real dirt. The plantlings immediately started to go all crisp and brown after they got transplanted but we have our fingers crossed that they will get over their little snit and go back to growing big and tall and green (well, actually, big and tall and blue).

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Posted by Ryan at 10:25 AM | Comments (9)