The Weaving Inn

Home to the knitting world's anti-Finisher. Kind of like the anti-Christ, but with a smaller following.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Retreating Part One

This weekend Kerry and I headed to Carmel, CA for a "Knitting And Crochet Retreat" hosted by Knitting Arts in Saratoga. It turned out to be a weekend filled with yarn, learning new skills, a bottle (or two) of red wine and proof that you really never can eat too much chocolate.

We headed out Friday afternoon and en route stopped at Monarch Quilt And Yarn Shop in Pacific Grove. Might as well get into the spirit of things early, right? Either that, or Kerry and I can't go more than two hours without stopping at a yarn store.

If you're ever in Pacific Grove, near Pacific Grove or just want to visit a wonderful store, this would definitely be a good choice. The people who work there are very nice as well as helpful. They also have a good selection of yarn including this sock yarn which I couldn't resist. Ahem. The first person to mention the fact that I have yet to actually make a sock is hereby and forewith banished from this blog forever. And it was CHEAP. $8.45 a ball with 414 yards. It's called "Sockotta" and is 45% cotton, 40% supewash wool and 15% nylon. Made in Italy, ooo la la. AND they have a dog and a parrot in the store. How much better could it get?

Then it was back on the road for a very short drive to our hotel.

Yes, I know, what a dump. Ha! This particular hotel is included in the "Historic Hotels of America" registry and was originally built in 1904. It's not a big hotel with only 73 rooms and 5 cottages but it lacks for nothing. The service was marvellous and the rooms were gorgeous. The Yarn Gods decided to smile down upon Kerry and I and we ended up with an ocean view room. We're talking "and with the windows open you can hear the waves" ocean view.

This was about 4:00 Friday afternoon, looking out from our room. Kind of foggy, kind of cloudy but breathtaking nevertheless. And when you looked down this is what you saw.

A lovely garden with benches for crocheting and knitting on. Doesn't this place just scream "California"? It was fantastic. We couldn't have asked for a nicer location.

In the interest of keeping my blog entries a reasonable size to load and so that I don't bore you all to tears, I'm going to spread out the events of our little vacation over the next few days. Tomorrow's entry, "What's Another 60 Balls Of Yarn?"

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Traveling Driver's License

This is where I am.

This is where my driver's license is.

I believe the accepted practice, when one has a driver's license, is to keep it in one's wallet or purse. Alas, my driver's license is currently residing 3,000 miles away.

Remember on Monday when I had my acckydent? Well at the time I was transporting trek's "Made In Canada" prize in an envelope in my car. Of course I was in such a tizzy after my commute was so rudely interrupted that papers were more or less flying everywhere in my car. Someone really should clean out their glove compartment more often. Anyways, today I got an e-mail from trek thanking me for the yarn and the book I sent her and did I know that I had also sent her my driver's license? That trek - such a sweetheart for giving me the benefit of the doubt like that. As though it might be a normal thing to do to send your driver's license to someone you've never met before who lives on the other side of the country. I'm sure this happens all the time. Oh and trek, my weight is WAY WAY overstated on my driver's license. Really. Tomorrow I think I might send my library card to Florida.

We haven't had an Adopt A Pet picture lately. Not since I posted Fifi's picture. Oh and by the way, all you people out there in Blogland, I see Fifi still hasn't been adopted. What? Not a single one of you wants to adopt a chicken? Merciful heavens, she's a senior, she needs a retirement home. Sure, you'll love her if she's deep fried but if she's at the end of her egg laying career it's a whole different story isn't it? OK, let's park the guilt bus and meet -

Leonardo Chima

Leonardo is seven weeks old and is a chihuahua/beagle cross (a cheagle?). And look, he's even got a last name, clearly he's a very special puppy. He's in foster care in Berkeley through the Milo Foundation and will be ready to go to his new home shortly. Maybe that's your home ...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bus Terminology

Today I learned a new phrase which is used by employees in the transit field. I shall spare you the phrase but I will tell you that it's used when someone pukes all over your bus. And I just KNOW you want to know how I came to learn this new phrase. OK, I'll tell you.

Traveling home today on the correct # 62 bus there was a middle aged lady sitting two rows in front of me. To be quite honest with you, I didn't notice when she got on the bus or where she'd planted herself as I was quite engrossed in my "bus book." Until I heard the sound of someone being violently ill within my immediate area. I looked up to see this woman slumped over in her seat as she lost her lunch on the floor beneath her. And everyone on the bus looking at her, including the bus driver.

Everyone was *encouraging* her to get off the bus since we were right in front of Valley Medical Center but then she began wailing that she was about to pass out. This was followed by another extensive round of illness, so to speak. The driver was left with no choice but to summon one of these.

All of the healthy people, myself included, were then told to get off the bus. What could we do? So we all stood around on the sidewalk discussing possible reasons this lady was horribly sick. Drug overdose? Bird flu? Bad chili? Who knew? Then the fire department showed up. Then the amublance showed up. Then the sherriff showed up. I asked "Darrell" (our bus driver) if he was going to have to clean the bus but he assured me that the Transit Authority had a special crew for that type of job. After about 10 minutes the ambulance crew had loaded "Michelle" (aren't I good at getting names? I should be a reporter) into their vehicle and off they went. Twenty minutes later a clean # 62 bus showed up and I finally made it home. This bus riding business is certainly more exciting than driving.

Iris, my dear co-worker, brought this leaflet to work today. It was published in 1996 in case you're wondering why you haven't seen it at Michael's. And oh my goodness, it has some beautiful afghans in it. If you like the ocean and the beach you'll love these 'ghans as they all revolve around that theme. Isn't the one on the cover gorgeous? I thought at first it was motifs but it's actually one big piece. This leaflet is still available on the Leisure Arts website. I think any of these would make a fantastic summer Crochet-A-Long over at the 'Ville ... Don't you think ... Sue?

Pansies. Just because they're pretty and I'm still waiting for Spring to arrive in California.

Monday, April 24, 2006

# 62 - Penitencia Creek

This is how my car looked prior to 9:15am today. And I'd love to show you a picture of how it looked after that but well ... they towed it away before I could get my camera. No, it hasn't been repossessed. What happened is that a very large "car transport unit" which was in the act of transporting a car, decided he wanted to share my lane. These are some of the sounds you don't want to hear when you're driving up Highway 880 - BAM, THUNK, SCRAPE and then of course, the sound of your own voice screaming, "WTF?"

Upon realizing that someone had just plowed their truck into the side of my car, my normal Canadian reticence went flying out the window. I'm sure the last thing that Oscar Oliver Lee, a 6' African American from Oakland expected this morning was some crazed white woman racing along the side of the highway median screaming at the top of her lungs, "You ASSHOLE, why the HELL did you drive into the side of MY car?!?!?" His little eyes were the size of the Grand Slam breakfast plates at Denny's.

As O.O. Lee tells it, he had swerved to avoid rear ending the person in front of him. Apparently I was the lesser of two evils. This is not what I needed to hear, standing on the side of 880, while people slowed to see if there was any blood or perhaps mangled bodies lying about.

The long and short of this tragic tale - my little Nissan Altima was towed to the car hospital. Something about driving a car when the driver's side door doesn't close put me off. But dear reader, this is not the end of the saga that was my Monday.

Upon calling my insurance agent, I discovered that he had neglected to include rental car coverage on my policy. If I wanted a car, I would have to pay for it out of my own pocket and wait for reimbursement.

Enter the always reliable ...

Santa Clara County Light Rail and Transit System

I'm not a snob, I've ridden the bus before. In fact, before I moved to California at the age of 36 I'd never even HAD a driver's license. I was truly the Bus Queen. So I consulted the Transit System website and plotted my route home. Piece of cake - it would only take an hour. All I would have to do is hop on the Light Rail for a few blocks and then jump on the #62 bus.

So there I am, on the #62 bus and after a few blocks I'm thinking to myself, "This is an odd route to get to my house." A few blocks more and I start to wonder if the route planners actually had a map of San Jose when they worked out the route for ol' #62. But what do I know? I gave the transit system the benefit of the doubt and watched the world go by. Finally we came to the East Foothills.

Penitencia Creek

Next to this creek is the bus stop which marks the end of the route for #62. As you may have guessed, this is nowhere near my house. In fact, short of leaving the city of San Jose, you couldn't have gotten any further from my house.

After he had turned off the bus, my bus driver, Mr. Singh, looked in his rearview mirror at me and announced, "Last stop." I replied, "Does this mean I need to get off?" Mr Singh answered, "Well the bus doesn't go anywhere else." I explained to Mr. Singh where it was I had intended to go and he kindly pointed out that I wanted the #62 - Good Samaritan Hospital, not the #62 - Penitencia Creek. I imagine I was still looking a bit shell shocked from this morning as he very nicely agreed to waive the fee for the return trip.

Then he said, "But you must get off the bus while I have my 10 minute break. There is a lovely creek just over there, would you like me to show you?" To which I, being the highly intelligent person that I am responded, "But I don't want to miss the bus." Mr. Singh, again very kindly, pointed out that as he was the driver of the bus it was unlikely that it would leave without me and him. So Mr. Singh and I took a little stroll down to Penitencia Creek while he ate his orange and then he drove me home.

Thank goodness for ...

Enough about me, how about the people who entered the "Made In Canada" contest today. Through the wonder of technology, Kerry's answer made it to the blog first but Wendy's answer made it to my Inbox first. Therefore, I have no choice but to declare a tie.

For Wendy:

2 Balls of Phildar Auteuil - a lovely Belgian yarn

And for Kerry:

A cat with a dirty bum. Or dinner Friday night. Your choice.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Weekend

Things were pretty quiet here at the old homestead this weekend. Most of it was spent either working or sitting on the couch. However, I was able to conduct the first official "Tangled Yarn Analysis." Here are my findings.

Yarn Attacked - Takhi Cotton Classic

100% Cotton

The Attacker


Approximate length of attack - 10 Minutes

Location of attack - Bedroom

Time taken to untangle yarn - 85 Minutes

Takhi Cotton Classic was a relatively easy yarn to unravel. This may have had something to do with the fact that I had just taken it off the yarn winder and put it on my desk. I must say that I was quite surprised that this particular ball of yarn was assaulted given it's 100% cotton composition. It's generally only the wool or wool blends that are prone to attack. Regardless, as I previously mentioned, the yarn was fairly easy to untangle with very few knots. However, this yarn does have substantial yardage which slowed the process significantly. Therefore, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give this yarn a 6 on ease of unravelling.

In other news, strip # 2 of the Mile-A-Minute afghan was completed and joined to strip # 1.

This minor accomplishment was achieved while watching the last seven episodes of the Soprano's Season 5 and the first four episodes of Season 2 of "24".

Don't you love Kiefer Sutherland? How could you not - he's Canadian after all. Hooray for Canada! Which means it's time for another "Made In Canada" question. Did I segue nicely into this or what? OK, it's a two part question. First of all, name Kiefer Sutherland's father and secondly, name the woman that left Kiefer at the altar (more or less). Remember, if you've won in the last 4 weeks, have patience, your turn will come again soon. Please post your answer to the blog. Prize will be posted tomorrow.

And what's a weekend without a little light reading?

Adolf Hitler - The Definitive Biography

Friday, April 21, 2006

Just Say No To Crocheted Socks

U-G-L-Y. Even without the toe and heel sewn it's easy to see there's NO hope for this crocheted sock. My apologies to those who have made lovely crocheted socks but it's just not in the cards for me. I worked on this thing for six hours today. Not only is it way too long, the ribbing is loose and it's too thick for my shoes. This is the "Socks In Shoes" pattern from CrochetMe. I know lots of people have had fantastic success with that pattern and I admit, it is super simple. Maybe a smaller hook? The pattern calls for a "G" but I got gauge using an "F". I think I shoulda gone "E". This is Bernat's new sock yarn which is a very nice yarn despite being 100% acrylic. What the heck, for a test sock who cares what it's made of. I liked it MUCH better than the pricey German wool yarn I used to make my last failed sock.

Does anyone out there in Blogland own a copy of "Socks Soar On Circular Needles" by Cat Bordi? If so, would you recommend it to someone with oodles of knitting experience but no sock making experience? Please, don't suggest DPN's. I hate DPN's. Hate them. Oh by the way, Cindy, I found mine so you can have them whenever.

Here's something I do like.

The first of seven strips for the Mile-A-Minute is done. I did the center Wednesday night and the edging Thursday night. This is a dead easy pattern but I love the way it works up. And what's not to like about "Simply Soft"?

Today while I was home waiting for the less than capable Comcast cable man to show up, I organized some of my stash.

Here is the Box O' 100% Acrylic. That's Norma standing in the box, she's a camera cow. Don't you love a well organized stash? I know I do. And it's very comforting knowing exactly what you have stash-wise in case of a pending yarn makers strike or some other horrible disaster.

Here is the Box 'O Something Other Than 100% Acrylic. Look there's Trek's sock yarn right at the front waiting to be taken to the Post Office tomorrow. Oh and lookee there, circular needles. Hey, there's two more balls of sock yarn in there as well - I wonder why no one has made anything with them yet? And there's Renee's scarf yarn. And a mauve ball of Louisa Harding's "Aran Kashmir." Let me tell you, that yarn is delightfully easy to untangle after Andy's beat it into submission. It practically untangles itself. I'm thinking of designing a blog devoted strictly to rating yarn based on how easy it is to untangle after a kitten has had 10 minutes with it.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Preventable Death

Not such a cheery title, eh? Well, the story I'm about to tell isn't very cheery. If you are a person with a kitty or kitties and you're not so good with the sad stories, you might want to close this window right now and go read something else.

Tonight after the weekly meeting of the Silicon Valley Stitchers I decided to go in search of food. McDonald's to be precise. I decided to get there via Dry Creek Road. Dry Creek Road is a residential street lined with very expensive homes. But the street is very poorly lit and is very twisty. My ex-husband would use it to test drive the handling abilities of any new vehicle he bought. The speed limit on the street is 25 miles per hour and there are some turns where even that seems excessive.

Driving along the first thing I noticed was a little black cat beside the road. Of course I immediately slowed down in case he should try and run across. But as I got closer I realized there was something else in the road. His friend. I guess he was wondering why his friend wasn't getting out of the road like he had.

I slammed on the brakes and hit the emergency flashers. As I was getting out of my car, an SUV with 2 young men pulled up and stopped. They had hit the cat with their truck. As I got closer to kitty I could see blood all over the road but kitty seemed to still be alive. I ran back to my car and pulled a blanket out of the trunk so that I could take kitty to the Emergency Vet down the street.

The passenger from the SUV was beside himself. He was almost in tears and just kept pacing back and forth, repeating over and over again, "Oh my God, I can't believe this happened." The driver kept apologizing to me and saying he never even saw the cat. By the time I got the blanket and went back to kitty it was obvious a trip to the vet wasn't going to be in the plan. I stayed with him, stroking his fur until he crossed over.

Someone who lived on the street had come down to see what the commotion was. When he saw what had transpired he went back up to his home to get something to move the kitty off the road with. Instead, I picked up kitty and wrapped him in my blanket. His little body was still warm as I cradled him in my arms and walked up the driveway. When I got to the man's front door I pulled back the top of the blanket and removed kitty's collar in case we could contact his owner. Unfortunately it was just a simple flea collar with no tags.

I asked the man to please call Animal Control to come and get kitty and he promised he would. The two young men were still hanging around and I tried to reassure them that this was in no way their fault.

If you have kitties and you let them go outside, I hope this story has somehow struck a chord with you. Yes, I know when you try to keep kitty inside he or she makes your life miserable by trying to get out. Yes, I know litter boxes are rather disgusting and it's so much easier when kitty does his business outside. And sure, in a perfect world kitty would be able to go outside and watch the birds and hunt mice and climb trees.

But it's not a perfect world. It's a world filled with big cars and dark, windy roads. And four people who had to deal with a very tragic situation tonight. And last but not least, one kitty who won't be going home.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Mile-A-Minute Memories

Last year when I decided to teach myself to crochet I came across a leaflet proclaiming that "Even if you've never crocheted before, you can create this beautiful afghan!"

I ask you, where's the "beauty"? Now don't get me wrong, I think the whole concept of MAMs is great. You've got these thin strips you can take with you pretty much everywhere you go. You can join them as you go so that at the end you've got your afghan all ready and waiting for you. And, in the midst of 100 degree heat, I'd far rather have 5 inches of afghan sitting in my lap intead of 36 inches. But this is butt ugly. Notice the attractive swerve (gauge problems, anyone?), the random positioning of holes up the center, how nicely the fans on the opposing sides line up ... Thank God I stopped after 3 strips.

So I was pretty convinced I'd never do another MAM again. Then tonight while I was going through my patterns I came across this.

Don't quote me but I think I bought this to make an afghan for my second cousin. He's almost a year old and lives in the upper reaches of Alberta, Canada where you can always use a blankie. But that's not why I started flipping through this book tonight.

One of my goals this year (besides losing a heck of a lot of weight) is to make a blanket per month for Project Linus. I'm doing much better on the blanket plan than the weight loss plan except for this month's blanket. Which hasn't been started. And it's past the middle of the month. I mean, yes this month was named after me and so I should get cut a LOT of slack but a goal's a goal. Then ... I saw it. An afghan with hearts. I love hearts as much as I love ladybugs. Maybe more.

So after conferring with my stash, it came to my attention that I had more than enough yarn to make this particular afghan. Go figure, eh? This is Simply Soft's "Pink." Nothing like stating the obvious, huh? The pattern is over six rows, you do 14 repeats and then 2 rounds of edging in "Off White." It's like ... 87 rows, 7 strips. I finished the first strip tonight because I kick butt. Or more likely because each row is only 11 stitches. Anyways, I like it, I'm doing it, please hold your applause until it's done.

And finally, for Cindy.

Why are these penguins wearing sweaters? Well read the following excerpt from an article in the Salt Lake City Tribune.

"LDS women (April's note: Also known as Mormons) in New South Wales have undertaken an unusual service project, knitting sweaters for cousins to the loveable stars of the Academy Award-winning documentary narrated by Morgan Freeman.

The smallest breed of penguins, often known as "fairy" penguins, tend to get caught in oil spills off the coast of Australia, which can destroy their natural oils or even kill them. Doll size, tight-fitting wool sweaters can keep the penguins warm during the rehabilitation process, and "stop them preening and ingesting the poisonous oil," according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

The sweaters improve penguin survival rate to about 98 percent, the paper reported."

Cindy ... start your needles!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Baseball And Alpaca

Commuknity is a lovely yarn shop located here in San Jose. Today at lunch I decided to go down and see if I could find some yarn for my Summer Scarf Swap (don't panic, Renee!). Not only did I find the yarn I found a few other things as well. First up was ...

No, the Giants weren't playing at Commuknity today. What IS happening is that Commuknity is organizing a "Stitch 'N Pitch" on Thursday, July 20th. At 5:30 that afternoon a contingent of crazy knitters and crocheters who like the Giants will board the train from San Jose to San Francisco to take in that nights game against the San Diego Padres. There will be a special bleacher section reserved for the "fibre artists" and all attendees will receive a special Stitch 'N Pitch Tote Bag, a limited edition Giants pattern and a ball of orange yarn, courtesy of the Giants (anyone want a ball of orange yarn?). I think if you had to pick a sport most suited to being watched while crocheting, baseball would be it. I'm definitely signing up for this.

Also at Commuknity, this beautiful Alpaca yarn.

Purple and grey are my two favorite colors. Particularly this shade of grey. Grey makes me think of Canada in the winter, with the women in their cabled sweaters and wool skirts. Lined wool skirts, that is. Canadians are not masochists. This is fingering weight yarn though so I doubt I'll be knitting any cabled sweaters and I'd rather shave my head with a cheese grater than knit a skirt. This is not to say I've never worn a knitted skirt. I have. In this color in fact. When I was ohhh .... about that many pounds lighter.

Progress continues on the Simply Soft "Simply Shawl" with only 9 pattern rows and 3 edging rows until it officially becomes an FO. Speaking of FO's, I give you "Chic On The Halfshell - Cali Style." Kudos again to Drew for designing such a fast, fun AND easy pattern.

On Saturday I bought a plain yellow button to use as a closure. And promptly threw it away. So instead we have a daisy. I'm going to give this to the niece of a co-worker since it really is a little small for me.

Papa Don; size G; the obsession continues ...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Bad Mojo

It all started on Friday evening when I purchased this fine Leisure Arts publication.

I had seen a Terry Kimbrough afghan over on the Show and Tell forum at the 'Ville and fell in love with it. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, it was the same one that's on the cover of this booklet. Anyways, how hard could it be to make one of these I thought to myself? As I picked it up I managed to ignore the little voice in my head which kept repeating, "You have too many projects, too many projects ..." Oddly enough, that voice almost sounds like Kerry's. But I digress.

I scooped up 3 balls of Bernat Softee baby along with the booklet, again ignoring the voice in my head that kept repeating, "You have too much yarn, too much yarn" and handed over my money to the nice lady at Michael's. This would make an excellent project to do while Cindy drove us to Capitola the next day. It turned out that there were a few "unknowns" with this plan.

Highway 17 to Capitola is a very twisty highway. Normally people drive it with a certain amount of caution and appropriate speed. And then there's Cindy. Who was apparently attempting to set some sort of land speed record that day. Second, it would appear that to successfully complete a Terry Kimbrough afghan you need to be locked into a room where there is virtually no noise or other distractions. I think you also need to have a degree in advanced mathematics but that could just be me.

So ... here we have Cindy hurtling over the Santa Cruz mountains and me rolling from one side of the back seat to the other, trying to read pattern instructions written in Sanskrit. Read pattern instructions? Heck, it was all I could do not to stab myself in the eye with my crochet hook. This was a BAD idea.

The next day I came to the realization that maybe a Terry Kimbrough afghan might be a bit advanced for my skills. Granny Squares! I'll do some Granny Squares and it'll be fun and I'll whipstitch them all together and ta da! .. a new blanket for Project Linus. I made four squares. All in different sizes. This was a BAD idea.

Today was a holiday for me. A good time to start working on my Summer Scarf Swap project. I changed my mind and bought Takhi Cotton Classic instead of Rowan Cotton Rope simply because the yardage was better. Oh OK and it was cheaper. Geez. Six words. You. get. what. you. pay. for. This was a BAD idea.

Another BAD idea.

Here we see an example of an imbalance between dry ingredients and liquid ingredients. Also known as the Lake 'O Chocolate Chip Cookies. Have I ever baked before? Yes. Have I ever had this happen with chocolate chip cookies before? Just that one time in Mrs. Pinfold's grade 8 Home Ec class when I read "1 cup butter" as "1 pound butter." Never smoke drugs before Home Ec. Well never smoke drugs period but especially not before Home Ec class. Trust me, straight or high, cleaning an oven filled with melted cookie dough is no fun.

A GOOD idea

So I'm going back to the tried and true. I'll spend the next couple of days working on my Simply Soft Simple Shawl. I'm pretty sure I can still manage that. Oh Lord, what size hook was I using ....

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Who Needs Men?

Especially when you're the proud owner of one of these wonderful toys.

I've wanted one of these for about a year; ever since I went up to ImagiKnits in San Francisco and bought a skein of yarn. In return they gave me back a yarn cake. A perfect center pull yarn cake. It was love at first sight. Where were all the knots? The yarn that was twisted around itself 63 times? The end that I would pull and instead pull out half the ball? No. Instead the yarn simply flowed from the center. It didn't bounce around on the couch, it sat quite contentedly beside me in all it's cakey goodness. This was yarn nirvana. Not only that, but when was the last time you gave your significant other a 5 ounce ball of Lion Brand Baby Soft and he gave you back one of these?

Is that gorgeous or what? A veritable work of art. Why even Ralphie who is usually busy swimming in his tank has stopped to stare in envy. And bettas ... not a fish normally known for envious feelings.

And if the purchase of a yarn winder wasn't enough, I spent a fabulous day in Capitola with my fellow Musketeers, Kerry and Cindy. Capitola is a small village right on the coast. It's one of my favorite places to visit in this area not only because it's right on the ocean but it's also very laidback and unassuming. Quaint. Capitola is quaint. As opposed to Santa Cruz which is overrun with dope smoking surfers who live in Volkswagen vans.

So we had lunch and wandered through the stores. You might want to make a note never to take Cindy and Kerry into a store offering free samples of saltwater taffy. Although it did not specifically SAY on the sign ONE piece per customer, I think that was the general idea. I'm just saying. You might also want to note that you should never, EVER tell these two women if you have a particular fondness for say ... ladybugs.

Yes, I'm 46. No, I'm not too old to carry a velvet ladybug purse.

But finally, the meter had run out on our parking space (I'm quite sure the City of Capitola generates 95% of it's annual revenue through the distribution of parking tickets) so back into the car to drive to the REAL reason we came to Capitola.

Isn't that a cute sign? Yes, we came just to see the sign. OK, maybe not. I liked the Yarn Place. On a scale of 1 to 10 I'd give it a 7. It had a very good assortment of yarn, reasonably priced, but holy claustrophobia, Batman, put on an addition. It was one of those stores where you stay on the allotted path to make your way through the store because if you don't, you're gonna knock something over. Another thing I wasn't so crazy about - no prices on the skeins. I'm sure putting prices on skeins of yarn isn't the most stimulating job in the world but if other places can do, why can't you? Is there anything worse than finding the perfect yarn, a yarn that practically sings to you, walking up to the counter and jeepers creepers, it's $93.25 per skein?

But we weren't done with Capitola yet. It was time to visit Special Place # 2. And if you want to experience true claustrophobia, this is where you want to go on the Saturday before Easter.

Apparently this is where every single person who lives in Capitola goes to buy their Easter goodies. People were three and four deep at the counter. Thank goodness they had a ticket dispenser. And someone with a microphone announcing the numbers. Otherwise I might still be there.

Happy Bunny Day to all my blog reading friends.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Resistance Is Futile

So much for the best of intentions. I posted yesterday about how much I wanted to do the Nine Patch afghan but I had too many WIPs on the go. Did I fool any of you? Maybe one person? Not even?

Well I'm NOT doing the Nine Patch afghan; I'm *using up my stash.* Which is a very thrifty thing to do and honorable and noble. I'm not taking on another project, I'm being financially responsible. And furthermore, the little squares which make up the blocks have a cross in the center (sort of). Is it not Easter? The season of the cross? GOD WANTS ME TO MAKE THIS AFGHAN. Yes, once again God is speaking to me through the fine art of crochet and verily I say unto you, to ignore this message would be a sin.

Back to the little squares (with the sorta crosses in them). I don't care for them much. Oh no wait, I need to tell you which colors the blocks will be. I am using Simply Soft in Off White and Violet. Here's what Violet looks like. And I think I might use Sage as well.

OK, back to the squares. I made up six of them last night, whipstitched them together ... Oh did I also mention that my whipstitching needs work so not only will I be fulfilling a religious dictate by doing this afghan it will also be an educational undertaking? That too, is an honorable thing. So the squares are all whipstitched together and the kindest word to describe them is lopsided. I do a granny square consisting of two rounds and it's lopsided. How the heck does that happen? And let me tell you, if I'm going to make 3,638,295 of these squares they better be looking good. Out comes my copy of ...

Hmm ... this is supposed to be a picture of "200 Crocheted Squares." But instead we have a picture of Nina who's available for adoption through the Pacific Siamese Rescue. This bloggin' stuff ... so confusing.

Back to the 'ghan. There's no hard and fast rule about what pattern these squares need to be so I'll just pick one I like. I choose "Textured Bluebells." I figure any square with the name of a flower is guaranteed to be beautiful because all flowers are beautiful, right? And did I not post just a few days ago a picture of bluebells? Is this afghan preordained or what? I stayed up until midnight last night working the first square. And it turned out very nicely. And large. 7 1/2" X 8". Which means that each Nine Patch would meaure out at ... 22.5" X 24". That's not a patch, that's a blanket in itself.

99 Granny Squares to the rescue! I'm sure there will be a square in here that will be appropriately sized. There's a heck of a lot of nice squares in this book. If you don't already own it and you like Granny Squares, I would suggest you buy it. Actually this would be a good "Made In Canada" contest prize, wouldn't it? Not my copy of course, but a new copy. Ladies, do you see how all of this is coming together ?!?!

This afghan was meant. to. be.

Oh, please to note my new button that KnicKnac over at the 'Ville made just for ME! Thanks KnicKnac!!!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Color Me Confused

Over at the 'Ville there is a new CAL goin' on. It's called the Crochet-A-Quilt CAL. I had a brief love affair with quilting three years ago. Actually it was more like an obsession. I had never sewn before but I was determined that I would teach myself how and that I would create beautiful works of art with fabric. I bought a basic sewing machine and oh ... 300 yards, give or take, of fabric. Quilting is a precise business. I was an anal person without a clue on how to even operate a sewing machine. Did I forget the part about how I was on medical disability for working myself into the ground at my job? Maybe not such a great time to take up quilting with it's exact 1/4" seams. Every time I sat down at the sewing machine my ex-husband would look up and say quietly, "Umm ... are you going to ... sew?" I'd snap back, "DUH, am I not sitting at a SEWING MACHINE?!?" Quilting. Not such a relaxing hobby.

But being so anal and an accountant to boot, how can I resist the wonderful symmetry of quilts? So when I saw this CAL it seemed to have my name written all over it. And when I saw this Nine Patch (one of my favorite quilt patterns) it was even harder to JUST SAY NO. So far I have managed to stay focused on my current WIPs. OK, so I read the forum every day to see what other people are doing but that's all I'm doing. Really. Anyone need a slightly used sewing machine?

Also over at the 'Ville I'm doing the "Summer Scarf Swap." I'm making a scarf for Renee who in a very coinky dink kind of way was one of the winners of the Heartmade Blessings baskets that were actually boxes. Weird, no? So Renee, bless her pointed little head, (yes, I know you're reading this, Renee) would like a scarf in coral. Let me tell you, the coral yarn, she is hard to find. And when you do find it after searching for days on end, it's either pinky coral or orange-y coral.

So last night at the Crochet Meet-Up I decided to enlist the advice of Sue, who is very knowledgable in all things color. Since the Meet-Up is conveniently held at Knitting Arts we were able to check out the yarn during the meeting. I picked up a lovely ball of Rowan's Cotton Rope and showed it to her.

Me: Isn't this the perfect shade of coral for Renee's scarf?

Sue: That doesn't really look like coral to me ...

Me: Well ... maybe it looks different outside.

Sue picks up a ball of Rowan's Cotton Handknit.

Sue: This is more like coral I think.

Me: You don't think it's kind of orange-y?

Sue: No. When people say coral I think they think more orange-y.

Me: ACK, I don't know what to do.

Sue: Well that one you had looks kind of nice too ...

A lot of thinking, not much deciding. So Sue and I decide I should send Renee an e-mail and ask her which she prefers. Renee's response ... "Either would be fine."

Please come visit me in the institution. You'll be able to recognize me by the bright pinky orange-y coral scarf wrapped tightly around my neck.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hot Chicks Want U !!!

Why yes, my television IS broken ... C'mon admit it, when you saw the title of today's entry you thought you'd clicked the wrong link. Yeah, yeah, I know you did.

OK, enough silliness, let's move along. Here is the delivery du jour.

(I know, enough with the random French words)

No, it's not elephant poo. It's wool from CANADA. Hooray for Canada and cheap yarn. Ten skeins to be precise. This is from the nice people at Wool-Tyme and is Briggs & Little's "Heritage" yarn in Light Grey. Heavy worsted weight, 215 yards per skein. That's a total of ... 2,150 yards. Which all needs to be WOUND. Do I have a yarn winder? No. I'm hoping to bribe the nice people at Knitting Arts to let me use theirs. Or maybe I'll just buy my own. And would you believe I actually purchased this yarn for a specific project? Of course since this is wool yarn and it's almost the middle of April I think I'll start it in a few more months ...

Speaking of Canada ... I think it's time for another "Made In Canada" question!!! Now I realize this blog is primarily a crochet blog but I'm thinkin' it's time to give the knitters a little love (well not literally of course). So here's today's prize.

What have we here? Well we have a copy of "Knit Socks! 15 Cool Patterns For Toasty (I almost typed Tastey there, yuck) Feet!" and one ball of Trekking XXL sock yarn. Now I am not a knitted sock savvy girl but I'm pretty sure one skein will do two socks since it's 459 yards / 100g. Isn't it a pretty color? If you like purple, you'll like this yarn. OK, now we need a question. Hmm ... OK, the question is "What is the national animal of Canada?" Post your answer to the blog and remember, if you've won in the last 4 weeks you're not eligible to win the Sock-A-Rama prize.

And since we started this entry with poultry, let us finish with poultry. Allow me to introduce ...


Fifi is available for adoption through the Nike Animal Rescue Foundation here in San Jose. According to the Nike website here are a few reasons why you might want to add a chicken to your family.

  1. Chickens enjoy sitting in your lap and being petted.
  2. They can be taught tricks.
  3. They will come when called.
  4. Get along fine with dogs and cats.
  5. Will rid your garden of pests.
Fifi is nearing the end of her "egg laying career" which I suppose is a polite way of saying she's a senior chicken. I don't really know, because I'm not a chicken expert.

Hey, don't look at me like that, I'm just trying to find a home for a chicken.