May 23, 2008

Poking My Head Up

Sorry for the long silence, Dear Readers, but I recently found myself suddenly and very unexpectedly single. And very much on the market, if anyone out there is interested. I don’t need much: just brains, brawn and a sense of humor.

That being said, I wanted to reassure you that I have not been neglecting my Cotton Club duties and any and all of the washcloths I received have been whisked to work and to my employee, who loves every single one. Today is the official deadline, since the walk is on June 7th so if you have washcloths sittin’ around, please get them to me! I just have to say, this has been such a great project! I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

Posted by Ryan at 08:26 AM | Comments (95)

May 09, 2008

Proving the Muggles Wrong

cottonsocks.GIFAll sock-knitters know how well-meaning but misguided non-knitters often say, “Why knit a pair of socks when you can go buy a pair for blahblah dollars at the local store?” Not, my well-meaning, misguided non-knitters, a pair of 100% cotton socks. I’ve tried, Lord knows I’ve tried to find a pair of 100% cotton socks in stores and have encountered everything but. I’ve found cotton with lycra, cotton with spandex, cotton with nylon, cotton with polyester, cotton with rubber, cotton with elastic, cotton with acrylic, cotton with “other” (?) and cotton with every imaginable two, three, or four-ingredient combination of the above—all of which make my feet sweat horrendously—but no 100% cotton socks. I even walked into a sports-shoe store and asked the clerk, to his face, just this way, so there would be no misunderstanding, “Do. You. Have. 100%. Cotton. Socks?” His face lit up and he said, “Why, yes, ma’am, indeed we do have 100% cotton socks!” and promptly handed me a bag containing socks made of 79% cotton, 20% stretch nylon, 1% spandex. It must be the New Math.*

So, Dear Readers, I am in the questionably enviable position of proving the well-meaning but misguided non-knitters wrong: I can’t go buy a pair for blahblah dollars at the local store. (I could order some over the Net but somehow that strikes me as ridiculous. What did people do before the Net?) Which’all means I want/need to knit myself a pair of 100% cotton socks. Any advice on a good cotton to use, and/or needle size? I know that cotton doesn’t have any of the elasticity of straight wool, sock yarn with nylon, or Cascade Fixation but I’ve made my peace with that. I have a few pairs of manufactured cotton socks that I bought many years ago—and which I am nursing along with quiet desperation to make them last as long as possible—and they sag inelegantly around my ankles but meh; they’re still the coolest thing to wear in the gym (in the temperature sense, not in the Big Man on Campus, I-have-a-cleft-chin-and-you’re-a-dork sense). I’ve also heard that the purl “bumps” on the inside can be uncomfortable on the soles of your feet, so I’m toying with doing them, the foot part, at least, in reverse stockinette. Any other ideas?

*TMK and I are also struggling in a similar arena with jeans. It has become impossible to buy women’s jeans, of whatever size, in whatever department, that don’t contain some kind of stretch fiber in them. What gives? (“Gives.” Har, har. Bad pun.) We’ve taken to just buying jeans in the men’s department where stretch fabrics have not yet invaded.

Posted by Ryan at 09:50 AM | Comments (15)

May 07, 2008

Success!

gstar.GIFNot much to post today, but I did want to give you an update on how the Cotton-Club Dishcloth Debut of this weekend played out. My employee reports that she took about 20 dishcloth/soap bundles to the restaurant event and sold 14! I think that’s fantastic! That alone would’ve raised a good $140, but there’s a little more to the story: One woman bought a bundle and handed her a check for $500! We’ll never know if she would’ve done that without the option of buying some of your craftwork but I'd like to think that all of your generous efforts and the beautiful cloths you knit motivated her to donate more than she otherwise might have.

Amazing, gold-star job, Cotton Clubbers! I am so thrilled! This bodes well for the Cancer Walk in June. 16 days until the May 23 deadline!

(Oops. Time to go to the Punctuation Store and buy some more exclamation marks. I used all of mine up in this entry alone. I got a little giddy.)

Posted by Ryan at 10:48 AM | Comments (10)

May 05, 2008

I Continue in My Nefarious Ways

Stupid, stupid spammers! I had to shut down my comments for the last entry after an insidious and never-ending spam attack so it looks as if, from here on out, I’ll be keeping comments open for about three or four days and then shutting them for that entry.

My mother used to have a favorite curse, to be used only in times of utmost frustration, and I think it applies here, so I say to the spammers, voice trembling with the passion of the righteously just, fist raised to the skies: May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits!

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I was hoping to have an update for you today on how the debut of the washcloths went, but my employee is out sick today. Given the warm weather, I would be tempted to think she’s suffering from, ahem, “sun sickness” but that would be out of character for her. So stay tuned. Perhaps Wednesday.

Long-time readers will remember the Dulaan Scam thread that’s been a regular theme of the blog. While there never has been any kind of a “scam,” of course, sometimes I feel as if I benefit from these projects more than I should, flirting, perhaps, with scamiosity. Take, for example, the Cotton Club Project. Sure there’s the fun and excitement of opening the packages and seeing the dishcloth treasure or treasures inside. But there’s always a little something more, a lagniappe, if you will, in the package. First, there’s the fact that some participants wrap their contributions in tissue paper. You can almost feel the tenderness with which the knitters wrap and package their cloths. I may be overly sentimental, but the tissue alone makes me feel something above and beyond. There are frequently beautiful little gifts for me in the packages, too: an extra dishcloth, some soap, a beautiful card with a loving note, a notepad (Maui-themed, of course, this time around), and, most recently, this, which I’m going to keep on my desk at work so I can see it all the time. The “MCK” stands, of course, for Mossy Cottage Knits!

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I love everything about this little guy, the bright eyes, perky ears, sincere expression (which, now that I look at it more closely, is exactly the same expression Frankie trots out when she wants a cookie), the banner, of course, but mostly I love this, the saucy little tail:

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Thank you, everyone!

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This weekend I made some real headway on The Coyote-Ugly Sweater, as you can see (the sleeves are actually the same size. The left one has just decided to curl up like a salted slug until I can get the seaming done):

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Embarrassingly, this is the toned down version. Originally, I had grand ideas about one red sleeve and one yellow sleeve and then a red cuff on the yellow sleeve and a blue cuff on the red sleeve and then some stripes…and then the Universe hit me upside the head with a Sanity Stick and I settled on blue with some color thrown in.

Half a sleeve, the neck ribbing, and some seaming to go.

Posted by Ryan at 10:18 AM | Comments (12)

May 02, 2008

Fasten Your Seatbelts!

This weekend some of our Cotton Club for Cancer dishcloths will have a trial run! Local restaurant Watercress Asian Bistro and Wine Bar is hosting a special dinner from 6-10 p.m. this Saturday, May 3, 20% of the proceeds from which will be donated to my employee’s cause. My employee is going to be at the restaurant, selling items, including the dishcloths, to raise further funds. Here, a picture of the first set of the clothes to be officially bundled with the soaps, and which will make their debut at the Watercress event:

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Don’t they look beautiful?! They look like a box of exotic, mouth-watering, fruit candies! Even more importantly, we’ve sold our first one! Since I didn't have my camera with me, my other employee took this photo and then bought a dishcloth for his wife. I was so thrilled.

Thank you everyone for being a part of what is turning out to be an extremely rewarding and over-the-top fun project!

Posted by Ryan at 02:31 PM | Comments (11)