November 30, 2005

I'm Not Aging Gracefully

I feel old, soooo old. In the most recent Mason Dixon entry, Ann mentioned a mimeograph machine—and had to link to a Wikipedia definition of it so the younger set would know what one was. Truly, I'm feeling more arthritic, more musty and dusty, more crotchety, more incontinent by the moment. And I suddenly have an overwhelming urge to inhale a big snootful of that smelly purple ink, the first introduction to mind-altering substances for every child of our generation. (It makes me feel a skosh better to read in the Wikipedia article that mimeograph machines still exist and are still used…but are now called “digital duplicators.” La-di-dah.)

It doesn’t help that last night, for the second time this month, I tried to open my car door with my TV remote control. Specifically, with the Mute button. Which means that I looked directly at the remote control unit, scanned all the buttons, rejected Volume, Channel, Menu, Display, and all the other buttons as being Not Quite Right, and picked the Mute button as the one that would do the trick. Which it didn’t, of course…so I pressed it again. There were So Many Opportunities for my brain to say to me, “Hey, dude, that’s the remote control for your TV. It won’t open your car.” But no.

On the Dulaan front, a couple of people, including our own Cuzzin Tom, sent me a link to this heart-wrenching article about "our" kids in Mongolia and a woman who is trying to help them. You might as well just stuff a piece of Kleenex up each nostril before you read it; you’re going to need it. Oh, and for an extra twist, don’t miss the part where it mentions that the angel of mercy has cancer herself. Oy.

Time for some comic relief, methinks. For the members of the Frankie Fan Club, a photo taken at our local u-bathe-it place, Rub-a-Dub Dog. If you think she looks deliriously happy, you’re wrong; she's just delirious. That wild-eyed look means she’s getting ready to escape the tub by jumping onto the counter on the left...and garroting herself for the 15th time. Stupid dog.

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Caption anyone?

(P.S. For some definite eye-candy and a lesson in patience, go to Moth Heaven and take a gander at Julia’s amazing and colorful sweater which took her years (I think?) for her to finish, with many an adventure along the way.)

Posted by Ryan at 09:53 AM | Comments (23)

November 28, 2005

How to Make a Relationship Stronger

My vision of what our four-day Thanksgiving weekend would be like: It would start with this, our usual Lilliputian but sumptuous, two-person Thanksgiving (er, most of the food was still in the kitchen; despite appearances, we did not have just gravy, cranberry sauce and butter for our Thanksgiving meal)...

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...and segue into three more days of tea-drinking, cribbage-playing, dog-walking, movie-watching, video-game-playing, knitting, and the consuming of copious amounts of Thanksgiving leftovers. Followed by more tea. And more walks. And movies. And video games. And knitting. Oh, and sleeping. Lots of sleeping.

The Mysterious K’s vision of what our four-day Thanksgiving weekend would be like:

“Hey! Let’s paint the guest room!”

(I think I have mostly Elaine and Leslie to blame for this insanity since I believe their detailed descriptions of the improvements they’ve made to their house rekindled the home-renovation fire under TMK.)

After 19 years, I thought TMK understood. I’m a princess. I don’t do home renovations. Which is why I was so baffled to find myself standing on a ladder taping off the ceiling. And even more baffled to find myself on my knees taping tarp to the baseboard. And to find myself with a paintbrush in my hand. And to find splashes of Portsmouth Olive green paint on my face and my hands and my clothes. And to find myself putting Liquid Nails on the back of some wainscoting. And to hear a nail gun going off a foot from my head while I held the wainscoting in place. I’m a princess, damn it!

The admittedly uninspiring storage closet room as it looked on Friday:

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The room as it looked on Saturday, torn apart and taped and tarped to within an inch of its life:

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What to do when you run out of tarp, you still have to cover the entrance to the room, and your partner happens to be a graphic designer with an endless supply of 11” x 17” paper:

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The first coat. The paint is a really lovely green, sort of a dark sage.

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Because we planned on putting wainscoting up, we didn’t need to paint all the way down to the baseboard…which meant we needed a handy-dandy reference point for figuring out how far down the wall we could stop painting. Come to find out that that handy-dandy reference point was, in fact, our belly buttons. This meant that, had you been a fly on the wall, you would have heard frequent mutters of “Belly button. Belly button. Belly button,” and seen us poking bizarrely at our midsections and then to the wall and at our midsections again and back to the wall as we gauged yet one more time how far down we needed to paint. (Of course, after the fact, we discovered that our belly buttons are at two completely different heights. Need I say one side of the room needed a little more paint?)

Thank Gawd for the four-hour drying time between coats, because that’s when I managed to squeeze in some knitting. I finished the second of what could best be called the Cloud Mittens since they follow the mohair-additive principle of the Cloud Hat:

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Thanks to freezing temperatures, I personally had many opportunities this week to test-wear the Cloud Mittens, and I learned that the itch of mohair is directly proportional to the temperature. At 40 degrees, you just want to tear the frickin' mittens off and scratch your skin raw. At 35 degrees, you find you can live with the itch. At 28 degrees, you feel nary a scratch and are grateful for their surrounding warmth. Methinks these are going to work very well for our Mongolian brethren.

I also started designing this, a hat using one of the leaf patterns from “Poetry in Stitches”:

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The rim of the hat, my first attempt at a braided edge:

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But don't get too attached to the hat; it has already been frogged. Apparently smooth machine-washable Dale Baby Ull, very smooth metal circular needles, and stranded knitting do not go well together. Knitting the hat was a slippery, sloppy process and my stitches varied wildly in size. To make matters worse, I grabbed the needle, pulled in the wrong direction, and half of the stitches went sliding off. Not fun. There will definitely be a Round 2, maybe just not right away.

(Welcome back to Lisa in Oregon and Devin, returning Dear Readers! So good to hear from you! And my apologies to anyone whose comment I deleted in my too-eager attempt to get rid of spam. You have no idea how much I hate it when that happens.)

Posted by Ryan at 02:07 PM | Comments (15)

November 18, 2005

Transformation

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As always, thank you to my army of Amazons for describing all the life- and genitalia-shortening things they would do to my Demonic Driving Man. This road rage stuff happens to me (who'm I kidding—to everyone) two or three times a year; the difference this time was that I couldn’t come down off that adrenaline “high.”

However, speaking of O. Henry (weren't we?), this story now has its own interesting karmic twist. Late in the afternoon of the day that I posted my story, I received an email from Janine saying she had donated a llama to The Heifer Project in honor of my traumatic experience or, as she put it, in honor of Insane Driver Day.

While, in and of itself, Janine's act of generosity was remarkable, what it ultimately meant was that the man’s desperate, out-of-control, pointless and destructive rage was directly responsible—directly—for improving the life of a poverty-stricken family somewhere else in the world. I just can’t get enough of this chain of events, this chasm-wide leap from blackly negative to supremely positive. I thought about it often over the next two days, and was reminded of another, similar incident.

When I lived in New York, I was mugged at gunpoint in my elevator. The mugger got a ring, $30 and my watch (and almost a new cat litter box, but that’s another story). I was so shaken up by the experience that I had trouble going to work the next day. (This was before I (a) got mugged again, (b) heard countless mugging stories from friends and family, (c) realized that muggings were par for the course in The Big Apple and (d) moved to Seattle because I didn't want to become one of those people who thought it was normal to have mugging war stories.) I called my boss and told him what had happened and that I would be in but that I would be late. Now, my boss was very rich, very sophisticated, very high-society but also a little wacko* so I never knew from day to day what to make of him. We had a civil employer/employee, high society/working-class drudge relationship, no more, no less. On that day, however, when I arrived at the office, he refused to allow me to sit at my desk but, instead, hustled me off for a long, luxurious, expensive lunch and then gave me a beautiful gold watch to replace the one that had been stolen. And then he sent me home.

To this day, because of his healing kindness and generosity, I only have positive memories of the day I faced the business end of a gun (and let me tell you, that hole is big and dark when it is pointed right at you). And now, thanks to Janine, that same thing is happening with Road Rage Day. I would just say to everyone, never underestimate the power you have to turn a crushing negative into an uplifting positive. Everyone has in them the ability to perform small miracles for the people around them.

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If you live in the Sedona/Flagstaff, AZ, area, F.I.R.E. is having a fund raiser this weekend. Here are the details:

"The Second Annual FIREWORKS, Fine Art Show and Auction is Saturday November 19, 2005, from 7-9 PM. All proceeds go to help support the projects of the Flagstaff International Relief Effort, currently working in Mongolia, Pakistan, and Arizona. There are 16 hand selected Mongolian paintings, as well as 5 donated photographs and paintings from American artists such as David Edwards, John Running and Michael Nichols, and a traditional Kazakh ger (yurt) available for auction.

Hand-made, Mongolian, felt and embroidered bags, wool rugs and small original pieces of Mongolian modern art are available for purchase. The items can be viewed Wed – Sat or anytime by appointment at Photography on the Square, on the east side of Heritage Square in downtown Flagstaff. Please call 928-779-1966 for more information."

On that note, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I will be on vacation next week, so no postings, Dear Readers.

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*One day I overheard him talking on the phone and saying grandiose things like, "Have your people call my people," but I could clearly hear that what he was listening to was a recorded weather report. Hew wasn't, in fact, talking to anybody. Huh.

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

November 16, 2005

Driving Me Nuts

On Monday I drove to work with an absolute madman in a Jeep behind me. He was obsessed, crazed, almost demonic, a truly monstrous human being. Because of an accident on the 520 bridge, we were all at a standstill, with news helicopters droning overhead, and police cars and ambulances worming their way through the tightly packed traffic. And yet Dude spent the 45 minutes we were stuck in each other’s company screaming obscenities and bellowing dementedly that I needed to “Move, move, MOVE!” I was terrified because I couldn't get away from him and I didn't know how far he would escalate things. I managed to escape him when I reached the bridge but our paths crossed again on the other side, and he screamed some more.

Usually I can work my way through the trauma of a road rage encounter relatively quickly but this time I just couldn’t shake the adrenaline. I cycled through all of my pat rationalizations: He was drugged, sick, crazy, emotionally tortured, I should feel sorry for him or, my ace in the hole: It had nothing to do with me; he would’ve treated whoever was in front of him the same way, it was just my lucky day. But I couldn’t calm myself, and continued feeling restless and agitated and unsettled…until last night.

Last night I went to the presentation given by Linda Roghaar, one of the anthologists for the Knit Lit series, who was on the road promoting Knit Lit the Third. There weren’t very many people there but the few that were were all knitters...and within five minutes my agitation and the remnants of the adrenaline had disappeared. How could it be that one stranger could terrify me so, and yet another entire group of strangers, equally unknown to me, could be the key to my regaining my equanimity and composure? All I know is that when I left, I felt calm behind the wheel of my car for the first time in 24 hours, and I enjoyed my little tootle home.

My emotional ups and down aside, the presentation was short but magical. Because Knit Lit the Third is an anthology, Linda introduces herself, the book, and the idea and the history behind the book, and then the contributors who happen to live in whatever city Linda is in read their own entries—which means every presentation is guaranteed to be wonderfully unique. I'm an indescribably huge fan of “short stories with a twist,” specifically O. Henry stories, which I read obsessively as a child, and the entries in the Knit Lit books are much like that. We had three local readers, and they all read their “short stories with a twist” with confidence, style and just enough wryness. I could have listened to a hundred more readers read a hundred more stories. Linda, if you’re out there, thanks for a great evening!! And, Dude, if you're out there, as my mother used to say, "May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits." Only, in this case, that would be an insult to the fleas.

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On the knitting front, a lot of people were interested in the pattern I used to knit my sister's Typing Toasties (which should be on their way to you by this weekend, Big Sis!). The pattern was from a magazine so I couldn't photocopy and share it, but the various requests did goose me into seeing what was available online and, boy howdy!, there're a lot of patterns out there! I did a search based on "fingerless mitts" knit (including the quotation marks) and discovered this cornucopia just on the first-page-and-a bit!

http://wendyknits.net/knit/mitts.htm

http://freeknittingpatterns.lionbrand.com/patterns/kff-valentineStripedMitts.html (almost qualifies to be on the "You Knit What?" site, if it isn't already)

http://www.theknittinggarden.com/gallery-dec/dec-art-6.htm

http://www.wolfandturtle.net/Yarnpath/Patterns/Fingerless%20Mitts%20-%20Knit%20and%20Crochet.pdf (Pdf file. From our very own Dear Reader Robbyn! Crochet version included.)

href="http://mary4169.tripod.com/id41.html">http://mary4169.tripod.com/id41.html

http://www.scknitting.com/spring2005/mitts-to-fit.html (custom fit fingerless mitt design worksheet)

http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/directory/mittens_gloves.php (scroll down to all the fingerless mitts patterns)

http://www.zenknit.com/blog/

http://www.virtuallydesigned.com/gottamake/patterns/websurfingmitts.htm

Posted by Ryan at 11:37 AM | Comments (15)

November 14, 2005

Sedona Is Looking Pretty Good Right About Now

A month ago we were in a helicopter, soaring through the magnificence of the Grand Canyon. This Sunday we (okay, mostly TMK, because I'm a princess and I melt) stood in a bone-chilling and breezy rain, loaded the truck up with the ironing board and the pieces of a car door that some frickin' bozo had tossed onto my property, and then took it all to the city dump. Lo, how the mighty have fallen.

On the (very) up side, we spent Saturday evening with PinkPurlGrrl and her partner Bling, otherwise known as Elaine and Leslie, chowing down on Azteca’s finest and indulging in lots of girl talk. You know how these things are—those scary, tentative, initial getting-to-know-you meetings, when you either click or you don’t? Well, our plates and the check and the credit cards and the money were long gone, and our Cokes and iced teas had been filled and refilled and refilled again and drained yet again to the last drops of ice water, and a remarkable three hours of non-stop talking had passed before I—yes, I, the ultimate extrovert, the ultimate socializer, the ultimate gabber—pooped out on everyone. What a blast! Elaine, I look forward to seeing you at Guild on Wednesday!

My knitting challenge this weekend: What do you do when someone gives you some luscious superbulky yarn—but the skein contains a scant 25 yards, not enough to make any one particular thing? You make a Dulaan hat with a bright, variegated, superbulky brim and an aquamarine bulky Lopi crown.

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This hat was a hoot to knit. I cast on 32 stitches for the brim, ribbed a few rows, made a turn row, and then picked up 66 stitches in the Lopi and knit the rest of the hat. I was partly inspired by Janine’s latest creation, which had the same bulky-brim feel even though it was made completely differently.

(I do have to ask, though, what is the deal with Lopi, people? I find it the itchiest yarn ever—a wool-hater's nightmare—yet some knitters swear by it. I jus' don’ get it, mon. But, hey, it was free, it was blue, it matched one of the variegated colors in the superbulky, it was destined to be used in this hat.)

And, ever since I discovered (a) how easy it was to churn out Cloud Hats and (b) that you can buy mohair relatively inexpensively when you wind it off a bulk cone, I seem to have gone completely mohair crazy. (I suspect I will eventually end up in the special, secret wing of the Betty Ford clinic. You know what I’m talking about. Some of you have even been there. Some of you are there right now, and are breaking curfew to read this blog, which is against the rules and you know it.)

After a quick trip to Weaving Works, I combined these two yarns, my newly acquired, jewel-tone, variegated, off-the-cone mohair and some freebie, cream-colored, worsted wool I had in my stash...

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...to make this, my fourth Cloud Hat (the colors in this picture are pretty accurate; that mohair was bright!):

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Again, loads of fun to knit. And fast!

And, apparently, I wasn’t done with the mohair. After churning out the superbulky hat and Cloud Hat #4, I immediately grabbed some freebie purple mohair I had in my stash and some variations-on-purple bulky yarn and used a slightly modified version of this pattern to make this:

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Help me stop!!!

(P.S. A note to local knitters: I learned recently that the Knit Lit authors Linda Roghaar and Molly Wolf will be doing readings from the book Knit Lit the Third, this Tuesday, November 15, at 7:00 PM, at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. Here are the details on the Third Place Books site.)

Posted by Ryan at 12:08 PM | Comments (17)

November 11, 2005

Kleenex, Please!

On this day, Veteran’s Day, I always think about my father, Vincent, a World War II veteran. He served in the Navy as a deep-sea diver and a demolitions expert who blew up sunken boats. Somewhere we have a haunting photograph of him in his diving suit, bell helmet, air hoses and all, heading down into the water. I was never able to reconcile that image, and the thought of my father setting off hundreds of pounds of explosives under water (and getting trapped under falling steel, which did happen one time) with the mild-mannered, white-haired-even-at-a-young-age, movie-star-handsome family man sitting across the table from me whupping my ass at cribbage. Here’s to you, Dad. Wherever you are, may you be enjoying a large, frosty glass of beer and a 29-point cribbage hand, and may they be playing a good version of “Danny Boy” over the intercom.

Okay, well, writing that upset me. Let’s move on to something more cheerful like, oh, Dulaan, shall we?

To wrap up the retreat weekend, here were the Dulaan activities:

LindaK put together a fantasy knitting package using a Dulaan tote bag, some jewel-toned roving, six skeins of a wonderful burgundy yarn, some WoolWash, a Gary Larson sheep-themed mug, and some packages of peach cobbler mix. We raffled off the package at the retreat, adding a good $135 to the Dulaan coffers! That money will be combined with the profits from CafePress and donations to the Dulaan Coin Can and sent to F.I.R.E. Thank you so much for, literally, investing so much in this project, Linda!

In the meantime, back at the ranch, the housemates were busy churning out knitted items for Dulaan. As I mentioned before, two housemates, Natasha and Terri, made Cloud Hats. Flora contributed these:

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(She also knit an earflap hat which I forgot to include in the photo.)

And Nina (pronounced Nye-na), she of the much-abused snowman, started and finished this Dulaan fleece blanket:

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But wait, there’s more.

After I got home, emails started to trickle in about the Knitter’s Review Retreat. This retreat is held annually at Grave’s Mountain Lodge in Virginia and is attended by knitters who have met each other through the Knitter’s Review Forum. (Although I don’t spend as much time on that forum as I used to, it has always been my hands-down favorite. The topics are well-organized, it’s well-designed and easy to read, and well-moderated by the fair and even-handed Clara.) As I mentioned in an earlier posting, this year Dulaan had been chosen as the special charity project for the Retreat.

One of the attendees was Dear Reader Anj who sent me this remarkable photo of all the items donated to Dulaan during the Retreat.

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Another attendee and Dear Reader, Martha, took charge of all the contributions and reported that the official count was 60 hats, 17 scarves, 9 sweaters, 7 pairs of mittens, and 4 neck warmers, 97 items in all! So heart-warming, so wonderful. Thank you, Martha, Clara and everyone at the Retreat!!

If you’re not already feeling hyperglycemic from all of this good-heartedness, this should send you right over the edge into a diabetic coma. I received an email from the Cuzzin himself, saying the following:

“You know I've been writing about my work for Dogwood Hill Alpacary. [Ed note: Yes, the place where Black Ice beat the crap out of our own dear monk.] Well, the owner, Susie Homire, has been very moved by The Dulaan Project. Not only is she intent on getting fiber folks in her area on board to knit things, but get this. Each calendar year she names the baby alpacas born in that year according to the next letter in the alphabet. So 2005 saw the birth of Chloe, Carina, Cynthia and Cassidy. So guess what she plans to name the first cria of 2006? Yup, Dulaan. Awesome, no?”

Our very own Dulaan cria. This made my day.

Posted by Ryan at 10:36 AM | Comments (8)

November 09, 2005

Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar

While I personally hesitate to include this next in the blog, I fear my retreat housemates will hunt me down if I don't at least mention the retreat’s One Tasteless Gag That Wouldn’t Die. Let me just say that, quite innocently and with the best of intentions, LindaK brought one of, er, these to the house, merely to help with the post-dinner wash-up, no more, no less.

Certain housemates (you know who you are) soon noticed that it was of a suggestive size, heft and shape…

…runs on batteries…

…vibrates…

…and spins.

Need I say the jokes were endless?

And just when the jokes did die down, some new innocent would join the household, the dish scrubber would be proudly trotted out from the kitchen, and the insanity would start all over again. Suffice it to say that if a Chippendale dancer had inadvertently stumbled into the house, he would’ve been torn from limb to limb.

No, this was not your grandmaw’s knitting get-together.

'Nuff said. Now, on to the more civilized, sensitive and compassionate side of my retreat companions.

One of the women who was slated to attend found herself instead undergoing an emergency appendectomy. During the retreat, we learned that the appendectomy Did Not Go Well and she had to have a catheter installed. Thus was born the Communal Catheter Cozy, otherwise referred to as The Pee Bag:

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Each person knit a few rows in a pattern of her choosing and then the two sides were tied together with ribbons and the bag was embellished with buttons, shells, and a tassel. Despite the bag’s dubious aesthetic qualities, let the record show that, thanks to expert advice from one of the housemates, the dimensions of the Catheter Cozy were scientifically accurate and it would, indeed, have fit a catheter bag.

Along these same lines, because she knew our Absent Friend has a passion for beach rocks, MaryB collected beach rocks and beach glass, crocheted a small drawstring amulet bag and put her finds inside it.

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All of these items, plus a card (and a bell? I heard rumors about a bell…), were carried home by the woman’s sister, one of the housemates, and, last I heard, were received with smiles and tears. Sure they make crude jokes about dishwashing implements but, when push comes to shove, those ladies’ve got heart.

Besides making salacious jokes and knitting medical waste bags, rest assured we did do some “regular” knitting and crafting. I say “crafting” because one of the women is a miniatures buff and spent her time needlepointing Persian rugs for her dollhouses. Here are some examples of her breathtaking work. (Note the dime for size comparison. The stitches on these things were infinitesimally small. They are best seen in the black rug at the bottom.)

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These non-knitting distractions aside, we were still all about the sticks and the string. In fact, here is the ugly truth: I arrived on Wednesday at about noon. I reacquainted myself with the ladies, got all my shtuff hauled up into my room...and proceeded to knit from 1pm to 10pm—9 hours—nonstop. My hands were literally swollen by the end of the night. On the positive side, by noon the next day I had made three of these for Dulaan (the other two were knit by other women in the house):

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These hats are knit by combining one strand of mohair with one strand of any kind of worsted weight wool yarn. Some of the housemates asked me to write up the pattern so I named it the Dulaan Cloud Hat, cobbled together a pattern, gave it away at the retreat to whoever wanted it, and am posting it here for youze guys. A very simple hat, lightweight but extremely warm, and a great stashbuster!

During that time period of intense knitting, I also started and finished my sister’s by-request Typing Toasties, here modeled by TMK the day after I came home. These are knit from a scrumptious merino, silk and cashmere blend yarn.

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These Typing Toasties, although simple to knit, did lead me to one of those moments when I wonder why I knit at all. I made a ridiculous number of changes to the pattern including making the ribbing on the finger end ten rows long instead of the original eight. However, by Toastie #2, I had a senior moment and made the ribbing shorter. I was very frustrated because, in order to add the two rows, I would have to tink something that was completely finished, add on a new strand of yarn, knit two frickin' rows, and weave in extra ends…and I didn’t wanna do any of it. TMK took one look at the Toasties and said, “Why don’t you just take two rows out of the 10-row one?” Dude.

On Friday, more contributions to Dulaan from my housemates and from the folks at the Knitters Review Retreat (wait till you see this photo!).

P.S. For those folks who may not have caught this in the comments, I found copies of the Snowman pattern here and here. Also, the housemate who knit the pattern sent me this link to the Sirdar site. Click on Collection, then Miscellaneous/Toys/Books and then Miscellaneous/Toys to see their long list of toy patterns.

Posted by Ryan at 10:56 AM | Comments (13)

November 07, 2005

Naughty, Frankie! Naughty!

The frickin’ dog was the Guest Blogger’s Guest Blogger?!! Here I thought that writing a blog required at least a wee smidgen of skill and style and intelligence but, no, because apparently even a dog—who barely squeaked through obedience school, and whose idea of true talent is seeing if she can clear the room with one tremendous fart—can churn out a blog entry, given access to a keyboard. I have been humbled.

On the bright side, thanks to that astoundingly unflattering photo of me from the knees up, now people will believe me when I tell them that I can’t see my feet.

But I am officially back, back from my classes (during which I discovered that my brain is Completely Full, since everything I learned in Class A was summarily flushed out to make room for everything I learned in Class B); back from breaking my tooth; back from grownup camp; back from a lovely ferry ride followed by a lovely drive through the country followed by days and days of guilt-free knitting followed by another lovely drive through the country and another lovely ferry ride.

A few photos, beginning with the business end of the ferry Walla Walla:

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The inside of the ferry. This photo shows maybe 1/3 of the seating and doesn't show the hundreds of cars and trucks this ferry is also transporting. These things are ha-yooge, let me tell ya'.

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The part of the ferry where you would lean on the railing, fling out your arms and yell, “I’M THE KING OF THE WORLD!!!!”—if you were that kind of a geek.

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Arriving in Kingston. (The drive between Kingston and Port Townsend, where the retreat is held, involves going over Hood Canal Bridge. Maybe ho-hum for the people who live in the area but, for me, always cool.)

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The house where we stayed (nope, not your imagination; I just re-used last year’s photo. Gotta love that digital technology.)

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Some of my knitting companions at the dining table where we spent most of our days and nights. (Quiz: How many Ott lights can you count?) For a refreshing change of scenery, we moved to an identical dining room table in an identical dining room in the other half of the house, which involved walking across the adjoining deck in flannel nightgowns and bare feet in heavy rain but that's par for the course for us hardy Northwesterners.

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We discovered at one point that every person at one end of the table was knitting in purple or using something purple. See?

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One of the projects finished by one of the housemates during the retreat. I caught the snowman during one of his more dignified moments, when he wasn't being squished, folded, squeezed, bedecked with a strand of Christmas lights, stood on his head, or remolded into a female snowmanperson with little boobies.

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Wednesday, more photos of our projects, the Dulaan-associated activities that went on, the story of the Catheter Cozy, and a glimpse into the bawdier side of knitting camps.

Ah, but it's good to be back!

Posted by Ryan at 11:23 AM | Comments (21)

November 04, 2005

Now This Break for Station Identification

Good morning and happy Friday, all!

Well, I've reached the limit of my blogging abilities, so there will be no post today.

Frankie wants to thank everyone for their lovely comments about her entry. She enjoyed sharing her view of things with you.

And since this is a knitting blog, I thought I should say "knit" at least once. So, knit.

The great news is, Ryan will be back on Monday to resume her responsibilities as blog mistress. It's been fun!

TMK

Posted by Ryan at 08:05 AM | Comments (6)

November 02, 2005

One Foot Tall

My Mommy-TMK has too much work to do today, so I decided to take matters into my own paws. I don’t type very good, so there are a lot of pictures.

frankiepaw.jpg

Mommy-Ryan has abandoned us for a week. She went off to knit. I live for the days Mommy-Ryan comes to visit. And I’m sad that I won’t get to bounce on her this weekend when she’s still sort of sleepy.

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to live your life as a foot-tall Corgi?

Well this is what I see all day when Mommy is at work. All day. She sits there and makes clicky sounds and doesn’t move.

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Sometimes if I get really bored, I poke her with my nose. (My Mommies call this “poke-a-nose”). Then she’ll stop and play with me. I don’t like loud unexpected noises, so when the phone rings, I leave. My favorite place to snooze is here:

frankiekitchenbed.jpg

Or here:

frankieplaidbed.jpg

Or here:

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There’s a story about this pillow. It used to be Mommy-TMK’s pillow, but when I first moved in with her, I really liked it. So I pulled it off the couch and called dibs. I was only 3 months old (and I was very cute), so she let me keep the pillow. It’s the only thing I ever took on my own. It’s my afternoon-nap pillow.

This is my bowl.

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It was empty when I took the picture. It only has food in it twice a day. I think they should fill it more often.

This is my favorite door in the whole house.

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This is where the cookies are.

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I love this door. Sometimes I try to trick the Mommies into giving me cookies. I poke-a-nose them and when they get up to see what I want, I run to this door. It’s not working the way it used to. I think they’ve figured me out.

This is what my Mommies look like:

frankietallryan.jpg

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They are SO tall!

Sometimes I get to go to Auntie J’s house. I helped carve pumpkins at her house last weekend!

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Now you know what it’s like to spend your life looking up at everything.

Time to go herd squirrels! Woof!

Posted by Ryan at 08:51 AM | Comments (22)