March 29, 2010

A Direct Link, I'm Sure

I went to the doctor’s last week and was diagnosed with high blood pressure. I tried to explain about the Flower Basket Shawl but I don’t think she quite understood the connection.


Posted by Ryan at 10:26 AM | Comments (11)

March 22, 2010

Crappitycrapcrapcrap! Crap.

So the saga of the FBS comes to an ignominious end. After:

Chapter I
Initial Trepidation Underscored by the Temptation to Run Screaming from the Mere Idea of Knitting an Entire Lace Shawl

Chapter II
Putting on my Big-Girl Pants and Knitting Attempt #1, the Kevlar Version

Chapter III
The Abandonment of Attempt #1 and The Search for and Finding of the Perfect Yarn

Chapter IV
Knitting Attempt #2, the Version That Could Actually Bend

Chapter V
Knitting for the Duration of the Olympics, in Conjunction with the Hunt for the Elusive Page Two of the Pattern

Chapter VI
The Obtaining of the Elusive Page Two Through Nefarious Means

Chapter VII
The Battle of the Claw

Chapter VIII
The Battle with the Cats Over Ownership of the Denise Needle Tips

Chapter IX
The Unexpected Yet Frequent Disconnecting of the Replacement Denise Needle from the Cable, and the Running of Stitches in Various Directions, Requiring Large Amounts of Tinking

Chapter X (yesterday)
The Triumphant Completion and Binding Off of the Shawl, Accompanied By a Little Fist Pumping and Secret Dreams of Submitting the Project to a State Fair and Winning a Big Blue Ribbon

Chapter XI
The Discovery of a Mysterious 3” Loop of Loose Yarn and the Absence of Half of One Entire Flower Basket, Leaving a Large, Unsightly, Obvious and Completely Unfixable Gap, Waaaaaaaay Back in Pattern Repeat 1.

Final Chapter: In Which Our Heroine Turns to Swimming With Sharks, BASE Jumping, Bungee Jumping, Moto-X Bike Racing, Freefall SkyDiving and Extreme Whitewater Rafting as a Calming Escape from Knitting

Posted by Ryan at 11:00 AM | Comments (18)

March 16, 2010


Joined Costco this weekend. Now what the hell do I do with all these cans of black beans? Build a fort?

Posted by Ryan at 01:31 PM | Comments (11)

March 11, 2010

The Ultimate Revenge

The Flower Basket Shawl (or FBS, as the cool people say, and I do so desperately want to be cool) has been going well and will be done long before the 1.5 years it took to knit Olympic Squirrel, maybe even by this weekend, a year and four months ahead of schedule. Other than requiring a lot of counting to make sure one didn’t leave out a yarnover—and 99.9% of the time discovering that, yes, one did leave out a yarnover—it’s truly a breeze. (This has also had an unexpected side-effect which is that my Ravelry "Favorites” queue is now bulging with lace shawl patterns. Which is even odder considering I’m not all that fond of shawls and have no intention of allowing the FBS or anything similar to besmirch my virgin shoulders. I realize this is the knitting equivalent of buying the expensive ingredients for and cooking a fancy gourmet meal and then chucking the entire thing into the garbage can but, meh.)

Then came Monday and Tuesday. [Imagine I’m making the sound of screeching brakes here.] The wrong-side purling of something like 300 stitches resulted in my developing The Claw accompanied by some mysterious pain that ran the length of my forearm. Okay, not really mysterious. If, even without needles and yarn, I “air knit”—like playing air guitar, only different—and made a purling motion with said arm…yeah.

Then, sensing I was weak and falling behind the herd, the cats got into the act. Having to hide the knapsack every night from the zipper-opening demons—and then not being able to remember where I had put it in the morning—was getting old, so I had experimentally been leaving it out again. For a week or so, everything went tickety-boo until Tuesday when they unzipped the entire thing from one side to the other—not just a paw-sized hole, all they really needed; they unzipped The Entire Thing—and went rooting about to see what they could find. Fortunately, yarn-wise, they zeroed in on two relatively useless-to-me half-balls of cotton yarn which they just muddled about half-heartedly on the floor and which I, upon discovering this in the morning, picked up and threw away. Needle-wise, though, they found one of the needles of the FBS and chewed the tip just enough for it to be snaggy, just enough to put it on the disabled list. Here, however, is where my sweet, sweet revenge came in. What the cats didn’t know is I have two sets of Denise Interchangeables. Two. Meaning I have four size 6 needles. Imagine, if you will, the looks of smugness on their faces being replaced by looks of surprise, horror, frustration and defeat, as I unscrewed the damaged needle and slapped on a fresh one*. I believe I actually said “neener, neener” out loud to them.

I win.

* This will make sense to Red Dwarfers only, but I’ve been watching Red Dwarf for my FBS knitting entertainment. While I was swapping the two needles out, my brain was thinking, “Remove Spare Head 1; replace with Spare Head 2.”

Posted by Ryan at 10:03 AM | Comments (11)

March 04, 2010

Stool. Corner. Dunce Cap. Sit.

I see the light at the end of the Flower Basket Shawl tunnel (only 2 repeats plus the border remaining), although (a) time-wise, I’m officially competing in the Special Olympics now and (b) after what happened at lunch, I think I should just toss in the whole thing.

A co-worker paused by my lunch table to see my handiwork and I showed her the printed pattern, then lay the shawl down and stretched it out—à la severe blocking—so she could see what the finished product would look like. Right away, she said, “Sure ‘nuff; there they are, flower baskets.”

My response: “What?! Where?! Hey, look, flower baskets! I never noticed!”

SRSLY?! I’m knitting the Flower Basket Shawl and I never noticed there were flower baskets in the pattern? Got in himmel.

Even worse, when you know they're there, they're so obvious: A basket, a basket handle, and a flower.

As a distraction from my dim-wittedness, here's my one and only ever lolcat picture:


Posted by Ryan at 03:40 PM | Comments (8)

March 02, 2010

Psssssst! Hey, Buddy! Over here!


Karen is my new BFF. She has managed to—as they say in the ‘hood—hook me up with the missing but oh-so-vital paragraph from my Flower Basket Shawl pattern.

Since, copyright-wise, I realize this is all a bit iffy (or not, since I’m merely neglectful, not criminal, and I did buy the pattern), I thought the exchange of information would take place in a dark alley somewhere, lit only by the glowing tips of cigarillos, and would involve baggies and large rolls of cash but, nah, nothing that exciting—unless a clear plastic document cover qualifies as the knitter’s version of a baggie.

However, work on the shawl will have to take a back seat to Year Two of Ryan Tries to Fill Out Her Tax Worksheet for the Tax Guy. Remember this from last year?


Wish me luck.

Posted by Ryan at 09:14 AM | Comments (6)