The Weaving Inn

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

Friday, March 30, 2007

Busy Hands Are Happy Hands

We've been busy, busy, busy here at Chez Insanity. Here we see that I'm doing some major construction in my sandbox using the two fisted shovel approach. After all, Spring is here and that means long days diggin' in the ol' box. Gotta get it spruced up in case any of my friends want to come over and play.

Stealth Knitting - The Excitement Continues

I've also been stealthily knitting. I'm lovin' this SECRET pattern and how well the yarn shows the stitch definition. It's ever so rare that I choose a pattern and a yarn that actually go together.

I also have grandiose plans for finishing March's PL blanket tomorrow since it's the last day of March and all. Prior to the beginning of last year, whenever I'd knit I'd get terrible pains in my shoulders. Which is why I taught myself to crochet. Then I started knitting again and tried my best to ignore my aching shoulders. I guess you could say I "worked through the pain" because now I knit pretty much pain free. Now it's the crochet that makes my shoulders ache. Whoever says you can have it all is a big, fat, poopy liar. We'll see how my old, broken down body stands up to a marathon crochet session tomorrow.

And then there's that damn Cookie. Who keeps posting these beautiful sock patterns on her blog that cry out,"Knit me, knit me!" The latest pattern is the Nasturtium Anklets. And me being me, I had to find a yarn that made me think of nasturtiums. Because God forbid I should knit something in a color that doesn't match the color of the object in the title of the pattern. Being me is pretty much a 24/7 job. Anyway ...

I went to Commuknity after work and picked up a skein of the new Tofutsies yarn. Which, according to the label, is a "Great Yarn For Socks." It's 50% Superwash wool, 25% Soysilk fibers, 22.5% cotton and 2.5% chitin. For those of you who don't know what chitin is, it's the fiber they get from shrimp and crab shells. "It's naturally antibacterial!" Odd as it may seem, I've never paused to consider the antibacterial qualities of the yarn I've bought over the years. But of course, now I will. 425 meters for $16.95.

If I'd only felt this yarn in the skein I probably wouldn't have bought it. It feels very cotton-y. But fortunately they had some store sample socks knit in Tofutsies and once it's worked up it's very soft and springy. As in boing boing, not as in the season. A full report ONCE I've finished my stealth knitting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Shhh ... It's A Secret

I'm "stealth knitting." It's fun. It's exciting. It's a BIG SECRET.

And it'll probably stay a big secret since these colors in no way resemble how they look in real life. I'm making "something" for "someone." Whoa, that cleared the room pretty fast. Where's everyone going? C'mon, toilet paper cozies are great gifts! This is probably only the second or third time I've knit something with a particular recipient in mind. Because my family is anti-homemade. And since I live in California there really isn't a big demand from my friends for wool items. But this person doesn't live in California. They live ELSEWHERE. I can hardly stand the suspense.

March's Project Linus blanket. A big ol' granny square. It's only about half done because some IDIOT dropped the skein of white Simply Soft in the butter dish. This is a very good reason not to store your projects in the kitchen cupboard. No one likes a greasy baby blanket.

Andy says ...

"Mice? There's mice in this cage?"

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Good Deal

Did you know that if you fall off a horse and injure yourself, people will send you presents? Personally, this all comes as news to me and it all came yesterday.

Look what trek sent me!!! Food! And reading material! I love a good mystery because I'm kinda stupid and I *never* know "who done it" until the end. Uh ... and the licorice is already gone. Thank you, trek, you are such a good friend!

And look what came from Heide! Beautiful yarn and the most wonderful card. I'm not sure what I'll make with the yarn. At first I thought socks, now I'm thinking either fingerless gloves or a very simple lace scarf. Regardless, I fell instantly in love with the colors as soon as I opened the package. Heide, am I ever glad I sent you those stitch markers and that you saved my address!

Am I like the luckiest person in the world to have such great pals? I sure think so.

I'm still matching up socks here at Chez Insanity and another pair bites the dust. The ol' Baby Cable Rib socks are now happily wedded together. I don't even remember when I started these. Sometime last year for sure. So does that make them a 2006 FO or a 2007 FO? Or half a 2006 FO and half a 2007 FO? Will Brad and Angelina adopt AGAIN? Will Britney go back into rehab? These are the thoughts that keep me up at night.

Here we have further evidence of global warming. It's only March and Andy is already seeking sanctuary in the refrigerator. You'd think that he'd learn not to do this because of all the times I've locked DeeDee in the cupboard but apparently not. One day, Andy, one day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Snippets Of Nothing

The Hare Krishna baby blanket is finally done. Actually it was done a while ago but someone was dragging her feet (both literally and figuratively these days) about sewing in the ends.

And yes, that is Red Heart Super Saver yarn that is making up the border. As often as I slam Red Heart on this blog, it's still great for charity blankets. Especially charity blankets destined for children. This blanket, like all my baby blankets, is going to Project Linus. I'm trying to do a blanket a month which means I'd better get going on March's if I hope to stay on track.

Today is the first day of Spring so why am I buying yarn in the colorway "Autumn Reflections"? For some reason I have a craving for brown socks. It might be the Percocet. This is more yarn from Fearless Fibers in their superwash sportweight. I'm becoming addicted to sportweight for socks. Because then your socks go zOOooOOooOOooM.

Clover has been complaining she's not getting enough "blog time" so here's an action shot of her in her wheel. She wakes up every night about 10 and then it's whir whir whir all night long. That's Willow in front of her, buried in the shavings. Willow is a bit camera shy.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pairing Up

Hi! It's me! Just thought I'd pop in with a rant and some pictures. First rant, then pics.

My rant today concerns my nemesis, Comcast Cable. I hate the cable company. Oh, how I hate the cable company. However, over the years I have come to accept the fact that if I do not send them 80 billion dollars a month I won't be able to watch American Idol.

As some of you may be aware, I am a little couch bound these days. My tiny television and I have become quite good friends. So you can imagine my dismay when I turned it on at noon today to find out what Tad would say now that he knows Krystal's baby is really his and not Adam's and was faced with nothing more than a blank screen. And through my Percocet induced haze realized that I must once again do battle with the evil forces at Comcast.

Now I'm not saying I am all that good at paying my bills on time. But I KNEW I had paid the cable bill because I had dropped it off myself, not two weeks ago, in the night drop box. So I called the euphemistically named Comcast Customer Service.

I firmly believe everyone deserves a job in this great country. Whether they do it well or not is another story. And I realize that not everyone speaks English as their first language in this great country. Which is why, when you call Comcast, you get to choose which dialect you'd like to converse in. I chose English. If I'd chosen Spanish, I could have told the operator not to put cheese on my hamburger but that's about it. If I'd chosen Chinese, I could have wished the operator a Happy New Year but I still wouldn't have gotten my T.V. problem solved. Needless to say, my friendly Customer Service Rep was not terribly conversant in the Queen's English.

I politely explained to the operator that, although I had paid my bill, there seemed to be a problem with my service.

CSR - When you pay bill?
Me - March 4th. I paid by Western Union Money Order. I left it in the night box.
CSR - Why you pay Western Union for your Comcast bill?
Me - I didn't. I paid with a Western Union MONEY ORDER.
CSR - If you pay Western Union Money Order we don't know what account to post to. Comcast have millions accounts.
Me - I wrote my account number on the MONEY ORDER.
CSR - When you pay bill?
Me - March 4th.
CSR - Today March 19th.
Me - I know.
CSR - Something wrong.

So tomorrow I will hobble down to the Comcast office and show them my receipt for the $93.71 I paid them. In the meantime, Mr. CSR has kindly turned my service back on as a courtesy. But he also warned me that if Comcast does not receive my payment by tomorrow he'll have to turn my service back off. Which might actually be a blessing.

Now pics. When I first started knitting socks, oh eight months ago, I promised myself that I would never fall victim to Second Sock Syndrome. Ha! Yeah sure, April. So while I've been on the couch I've been catching up.

Two Chocolate Pink Cherry Socks

Two Koigu Socks

Note - my experiment to see if I could get two socks out of two different balls of Koigu did not go so well. The contrast toe on the second sock had to be about an inch longer than on the first sock. Next time I'll make the legs shorter. Or knit the leg and the foot in one color for the first sock and in the other color for the second sock. Does that make sense? Pass me the pain killers.

Almost Two Socks

I really wish I'd done the baby cable rib on the instep of this sock as well as on the leg. Oh well, live and learn. And don't you love how the angle I took this picture at makes it look like this is a sock for Big Foot? Back to the couch!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What I've Learned

My, hasn't this been a fun week? I've learned a number of things in the past "not even 48" hours. Allow me to share.

1) Apparently the law that prohibits being on crutches AND having intestinal difficulties at the same time has not been passed. However, you will become quite adept at using your crutches.
2) Vicodin makes me very, very ill, even on a full stomach.
3) I'm glad I have a small apartment.
4) A chair with wheels substitutes quite nicely for crutches.
5) Wilma does not appreciate having her tail run over by the above referenced "wheelie chair."
6) Friends will bring you food and drink if you're immobilized. Apparently all you have to do is ASK.
7) The promise of a big tip will inspire the pizza delivery man to get you a Diet Coke out of your fridge.
8) Knitting while being horribly nauseous does not work for me.
9) Trying to go backwards while on crutches is not a good idea. Unless there's something on the floor that you wanted a closer look at.

Things I learned between 5:30am and 10am this morning -

1) 5:30am is the best time to visit the ER.
2) You can go to the ER as many times as you like!
3) Percocet is a fine, fine drug.
4) I'm allergic to anti-nausea medication.
5) My new best friend is a knee immobilizer.
6) Saying, "I bet you've seen a lot of butts in your time, eh?" to the gay male nurse who's about to stick a needle in your bum is not a good idea.
7) Blogging while under the influence of pain medication takes quite a bit longer than normal.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Call Me "Trek 2"

It was all going so well. Really. I like Indi, she's a good horse. And she's short so I knew that my fear of heights wasn't going to be a problem. I hopped on and around and around the arena we went. Both ways, even! The crowd of people who'd gathered to watch April's return to horseback riding were all suitably impressed. But then my bum got sore and I got tired of going in circles.

So it was time to dismount.

And I did. Halfways. Unfortunately I was a dumbass and wore my sneakers. My left foot got stuck in the stirrup. This is not so bad. I am the world's worst "dismounter" and it's happened before. But this time it was uhh ... really stuck. And my right foot was on the ground. I don't think I'm far off in saying this position would be difficult even for an Olympic gymnast.

Crutches - check
Ace bandage - check
Prescription for Vicodin - check
Referral for three orthopedic surgeons - check
Evening spent at the Good Samaritan Emergency - check
Torn knee ligaments - check
Three day work release signed by the attending physician - check
Desire to read a horse again - negligible

Our hero, in happier times.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Cat's Meow

I got nothing. So, let's have story time, shall we?

The Cat's Meow

Buddy lolled on his pillow, idly batting at a fly as it buzzed overhead. Ahh, this was the life he thought; fame, fortune, all the catnip he wanted. He stood up, arching his back and yawning as he made his way over to the mirror. He was one handsome cat, no doubt about it. Sapphire-colored eyes, sable tufts highlighting his majestic ears, and a long, lean body that just screamed “Show Cat.”

“Come in,” he meowed, as someone knocked at his dressing room door.

“Five minutes until show time Mr. Siam,” the poodle informed him as she stuck her well coiffed head in the door, “five minutes.”

“Ok, ok, I’m comin’,” said Buddy.

Gliding down the hallway, his slender, brown tail swishing, he mentally reviewed his list of guests for today’s show. First up was that stupid hamster who had lost 3 ounces simply by using his exercise wheel daily and limiting his sunflower seed intake. After that, there was the fanatical ferret, founder of some coalition that wanted the ban on ferrets lifted in California. Who in their right mind would keep a ferret anyway? And finally, it was that swan that thought she was the living reincarnation of Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

Buddy took his place on the stage, sitting primly on the top of his gold scratching post as the poodle counted down the seconds.

“5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Welcome to the “Cat’s Meow” with your host Buddy Siam!”

The pigs in the audience broke into wild applause as the cows from Wisconsin stomped their hooves. Buddy smiled brightly, he had always been a big hit with the barnyard sector.

“Welcome everyone, welcome to our show today,” he purred. “Our first guest today is Herbert Rodentus who’s going to share with us his inspiring tips for losing weight and getting into shape! Let’s have a big round of applause for Herbert!”

Herbert scurried quickly onto the stage, taking the seat furthest from Buddy. His whiskers twitched frantically as he surveyed the packed hall. Jeepers, half the audience were cats! His publicist never said anything about a room full of cats!

“Good afternoon, Herbert, and welcome to the show,” Buddy said, as he casually sharpened his claws on the post.

“Err eeep, hello Buddy,” squeaked Herbert. “It’s a pleasure to be here.”

“Of course it is Herbert, after all this is MY show. Now tell me, how long have you been on this weight loss program of yours.”

“ Well Buddy, it’s been about …”

“Herbert, don’t you think I’m in remarkably good shape,” interrupted Buddy. “I work out, but I’m sure that’s obvious. Being the huge star that I am, I’m very image conscious.”

“Yes Buddy, I would agree that …”

“I play with my catnip mouse for at least 15 minutes a day, did I mention that Herbert?”

Buddy’s producer let out a loud sigh of frustration. Why had she ever agreed to produce a talk show with a Siamese for host? All her friends down at the kennel had warned her but oh no, Michelle thought she could handle it. And now, here was poor Herbert Rodentus trying to tell his story but Buddy would not SHUT UP. Talk, talk, talk. The poor hamster couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

“Herbert, thank you so much for joining us today, your story was very motivating,” smiled Buddy as he got up to shake paws with the hamster.

“But, but, I haven’t …”

“Good-bye Herbert, good luck with your book!” said Buddy as he pushed the tiny creature off the stage.

“Go to commercial,” Michelle growled at the engineer, “I need to have a talk with that cat.” Jumping up on the stage, Michelle planted herself at the base of the scratching post.

“Buddy, may I have a word with you?” she inquired.

“Sure Fluffy, what’s up?” smiled Buddy.

“Well Buddy, I don’t know if you’re aware of this or not, but the reason we have guests is so we can hear what THEY have to say.”

“Huh? What in the world are you talkin’ about Fluffy? Check the title, it says “Cat’s Meow”, I’m the cat, therefore I do the meowin’.”

“Then could you explain to me why we have guests Buddy?” Michelle sputtered.

“I dunno babe, as far as I’m concerned it’s all about the Divine Feline and that’s me,” he replied, winking at a cute little tabby in the third row.

“Buddy, please, I’m begging you. We need to let the guests tell their stories.”

“Yeah, OK, whatever Fluffy. Who’s next, that militant ferret?”

“That’s correct Buddy. I’ve got him down for five minutes of air time,” smiled Michelle.

Buddy swished a paw over his mouth and purred, “Send him in, I’m all ears.”

“Welcome back to our show everyone. Next up is Sunflower Mooncatcher from Santa Cruz, California!”

Slinking up to the stage with a Grateful Dead bumper sticker on his tail, Sunflower Mooncatcher positioned himself directly in front of the camera. Waving and flashing peace signs at the pigs and the cows he began chanting, “FREE THE FERRET, FREE THE FERRET!”

“Hey dude, you’re blocking my angle,” Buddy whispered, his tail flicking from side to side.


“I’m the Star here!” Buddy yelled, jumping down from his post, claws bared. The entire room was in an uproar, roosters crowing, ducks quacking. Over in the corner a hen was throwing freshly laid eggs.

“Order, order!” screamed Michelle as she threw her clipboard at the hen.

On the stage, Buddy had a claw hold on the ferret’s tail.

“My camera, my camera,” Buddy huffed as he tried to pull the animal off stage.

"DOWN WITH THE OPPRESSORS!” screamed the ferret. Turning, he lashed out at Buddy, tearing one of his perfectly shaped ears.

Buddy’s eyes widened in shock as blood poured from the injured ear.

“Why you little fruit eating maniac!” he howled as he lunged for the ferret.

Running towards the stage came two German Shepherd bouncers. Managing to pull the two angry animals apart they threw the ferret into a Comfy Critter carrier and quickly removed him from the stage.

“Buddy, that’s it,” announced Michelle. “I’ve had it with you, I’m leaving.”

“But babe you can’t leave,” pleaded Buddy. “Where will you go?”

“I’ve had an offer from another show, where the host is a DOG this time,” she replied.

“A dog,” sneered Buddy. “What’s the name of this “dog show”?

“Oh I’m quite sure you’ve heard of it Buddy,” Michelle answered haughtily. “It’s the Jerry Springer Spaniel show.”

Sunday, March 04, 2007

My New BFF

There are some of you who will suggest that this was inevitable.

No, I did not buy him. I'm not quite that crazy. However, I have more than willingly (some might say "enthusiastically") volunteered to look after him. "Him" is Meteor, a three year old Belgian. His mom works a lot and isn't always around to turn him out, give him hugs and teach him to mind his manners. Enter Auntie April. Who is always around because she has goats to tend. And who happens to have a thing for BIG horses.

Child included for scale. Here is my constant companion and trick or treatin' buddy, Austin. Austin is a little in awe of Meteor as are most people at the barn. Meteor probably stands five feet at the shoulder, six and a half feet in total and I would imagine weighs around 1500 pounds. He's the biggest horse at the barn and has another two years of growing to do. He's also more than capable of figuring out how to open his stall door. Which makes it even more important that he get out on a regular basis so he doesn't get bored and start looking for trouble. If you suddenly feel the ground tremble beneath your feet it means Meteor has escaped again. Some people at the barn are questioning my intelligence in looking after such a large creature. I say he's just a big puppy dog.

As I mentioned yesterday, I picked up some yarn at Purlescence Yarns last week. This is Classic Elite's "Wool And Bamboo", 50% wool, 50% bamboo. It's a sport weight and has been earmarked for the Faina scarf, which is scheduled to be knit after "Dave's Scarf" which is scheduled to be knit after the "Oak Leaf And Acorn Scarf." This is really, really nice yarn. Or at least I think so. And at 30% off, well need I say more?

The End

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Resurrection

Last fall I cast on for Evelyn Clark's "Oak Leaf And Acorn" scarf for the third time. The two previous attempts had been with yarn that didn't want to be the Oak Leaf and Acorn scarf. But I had finally found what I thought was the perfect yarn from Fearless Fibers.

The scarf has a provisional cast-on which I had never done before. In this case you do the cast-on, knit one half of the scarf, undo the cast-on and then knit the second half. The first half of the scarf went well. Even though the yarn is variegated, you could still see the pattern. And then it came time to do the second half. Did I mention this was my first provisional cast-on?

I was ever so pleased at how the stitches were undoing themselves that I got a little overzealous. Suddenly I was going weeEEeeEEee but my stitches were going wooOOooOOoo! Ahem. I ended up with 32 stitches when I should have had 41.

Being the highly intelligent knitter that I am, I said to myself, "Self, just undo a row and pick up the stitches." Uhh .. not such a good idea.

So the scarf languished in a bag for five months, haunting me.

Until last Wednesday when I finally sucked it up and took it to the Lace Goddess Of The South Bay, Nathania. I walked into her store, scarf in hand and looked at her woefully. "I broke it," I whined. Nathania looked at her co-workers, announced that she was "in surgery" and sat down with my little scarf.

Ta da! Hallelujah, the scarf has risen! She is a genius, that Nathania. Of course, no good deed should go unrewarded so I was compelled to spend money in her lovely shop, Purlescence Yarns. I mean, what else could I do? Right? Yes? C'mon people, work with me here. So anyway, the goal is to get this thing finally finished and then I can go back and work on "Dave's Scarf." Yippee!

Here we have the defintion of annoying. See that tiny little ball of yarn at the top of the picture? See the sock without a toe? Yeah. My own fault though - this is what happens when you get too big for your knitting bag and think you can just "wing it."

Andy doesn't know what to do either.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thank God That's Done

And so, without further ado, the winners are...

Rebecca of - 15 skeins of sock yarn!

Leslie D of no blog - 10 skeins of sock yarn!

Adrienne of - 5 skeins of sock yarn!

Winners, please to send me your snail mail address ( and your yarn will be forthcoming. I'd like to thank everyone who participated, together we raised $800.00 for Knitters Without Borders, a most excellent number.

How's this for gorgeous?

Somehow the always wonderful Dave over at Cabin Cove forgot that he'd already sent me a birthday present and sent me another one! Thank goodness for forgetful friends! Of course, it could simply be construed as motivation to get me to hurry up and finish the Dainty Bess scarf for him so that I can knit with this. Because I can't wait to see what it'll look like as a Leaf And Acorn Lace Scarf. Pretty, no?

And to celebrate the end of February, I've cast on for Easter socks. Let spring begin.