The Weaving Inn

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

Sunday, April 29, 2007

No Hoof, No Horse

In the horsey world, there is a saying, "No Hoof, No Horse." What this basically means is if your horse doesn't have good feet, he's not much good for anything. Of all the different breeds there are of horses, Thoroughbreds have a reputation for having really bad feet. Ahh, you know where this is going, don't you?

Last Thursday I had the farrier come out because Victor obviously had tender tootsies. Limping, not walking correctly, tripping over himself, it was clear something was going on. Along comes Dave The Farrier, who I adore, and after inspecting Victor's feet proclaims, "These are the worst feet I've ever seen on a horse. I can't believe he's still walking." Then he looks at me and says, "I have no idea what to do. I'll have to get my friend to come out, he's had 25 years of experience." I look back at him and say, "But, but, you're the farrier. You're SUPPOSED to know what to do." He shrugs and replies, "See ya Saturday."

I take Victor back to his stall, a process that takes 20 minutes because we have to stop every few feet because his feet are so sore. All I can think is that they're going to tell me I have to put him down.

Yesterday rolls around and Dave The Farrier and The Expert Farrier show up. I've already been to the ATM and pulled out every penny I have. The Expert Farrier looks at Victor's feet and tells Dave, "Shoe the fronts." Dave puts the shoes on and The Expert Farrier looks at me and begins giving me my To-Do List.

1) Pick out all the rocks in Victor's pen every day.
2) Rub iodine on his soles every night to toughen the skin.
3) Buy special hoof supplements that cost $50 a bucket.
4) Put special boots on his feet so he doesn't throw a shoe.
5) Hope for the best.
6) Give me $80.00.

Victor is already walking better with his new shoes on his front feet. The front feet of a horse absorb 70% of the overall weight of the horse which is why we shoed those first (he was barefoot previously). Today we walked up a small hill and Victor didn't hesitate once. Except for when he stepped on the back of my sneaker and I yelled at him to get off me.

Here's Victor in his rock free pen with his snazzy new shoes. On the left is "Peyote" who Victor tolerates and on the right is "Meteor" who Victor likes to bite through the bars. It's a good thing I had a substantial stash of yarn before I got this horse.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Hey! Someone paid the DSL bill! I'm back with PICTURES. Crappy pictures, but pictures nevertheless. First up, NEW YARN!

On the far right and far left, Mission Falls "1824 Wool." I'm sure 95% of you know all about this yarn but for the 5% of you that don't, this is a worsted weight superwash wool, 85 yards. I bought two balls of each color and will be turning these into little people socks for Dulaan.

Next to the purple Mission Falls is Fearless Fibers worsted weight 100% merino wool, also slated for socks for Dulaan. And next to the blue Mission Falls is a yarn I purchsed on Etsy from Marble Head Hand Dyed. It's 250 yards of sportweight merino. My plan to buy up all the sportweight sock yarn in the entire world is coming along nicely. In fact ...

More sportweight yarn! I did not know Claudia's did a sportweight yarn, but lookee! They do! This colorway is "Purple Earth". 225 yards of 100% merino. Notice Andy's artful RE-arrangement at the right end.

It's all about the little people socks around here. This is the Mini-Basketweave Toddler's sock (I'm quite sure I got the title wrong there) in Rowan's Cashsoft Aran. This is my new favorite worsted weight yarn and I absolutely love the way these tiny socks turned out. The yarn was an absolute joy to work with. Yes, it's a bit pricey for charity knitting but what the heck.

And finally, a pair of "Rattie" sock blockers. I've wanted a pair of sock blockers for a while and I'm very pleased with these. Too bad they didn't have goat sock blockers.

Tomorrow an update on Victor's latest setback. Suffice to say, I'm going to be installing an ATM machine in his stable.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Recipe For A Rehab

- One half pound Senior Equine pellets
- One half pound Rice Bran
- One pound "All-In-One"
- One scoop "Focus Weight Gain" supplement
- Two scoops antibiotics
- One scoop "Source" equine supplement

Skinny horses = a lot of work. This is the recipe for what goes in Victor's bucket every night. He gets this after I've cleaned his stall and he's had fun running around one of the round pens. He loves to roll in the sand which alarms me to no end because I'm afraid he's going to bonk his face. So he rolls and I stand there screaming, "Watch your face, watch your face!" This horse thing has basically taken over my life. I go straight to the barn every night and generally don't get home until after 8:30.

Which I'm going to use as my excuse for being such a lax blogger.

As opposed to the fact that I haven't gotten around to paying the DSL bill so no Internet access at home right now.

But there has been knitting. Really. I've finished another pair of little person socks and have started on a third pair. Speaking of which, Norma has started a ring for anyone interested in making little people socks for charity. It's called "Magic 28" because the pattern she wrote for it consists of multiples of 28. Or maybe it's numbers that add up to 28. Anyway, the link is over in the sidebar.

I'm tired. Really.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

One Step Forward, 300 Back

Victor arrived on Tuesday night. Bloodied nose and all. But this was to be expected. Earlier in the day, Joe, the fellow I'm fostering for, phoned to tell me that Victor had bonked his head on his feeder but that Victor was on his way, regardless. "Just clean up his nose and he'll be good," said Joe.

For some reason, the hauler decided to take Victor on a tour of Northern California so they didn't show up until 7pm. Victor has claustrophobia issues so I didn't expect him to be all happy and smiley when he got here but jeepers, he looked bad. Really bad.

Yesterday at work I get a call from the ranch. "Victor's nose is still bleeding and his face is swollen." Bye bye work, hello 80mph up Highway 87.

For those of you who don't have horses, let me tell you that every horse person is an expert on horse care. So when I got to the ranch I had six people giving me six different explanations as to what was wrong with my horse. I opted to call the vet since Victor's paddock looked like a crime scene. There was blood smeared everywhere.

I shall spare you the gory details of the vet visit. The long and short of it is, Victor has fratured his frontal sinus bone on both sides of his face. He also has a rather nasty wound where his head made contact with the feeder. For now, we're taking a wait and see approach and treating with antibiotics and the horse equivalent of Motrin for pain. My vet is reasonably confident it will heal on it's own, provided Victor is kept quiet over the next three weeks. If not, well let's cross that bridge when we come to it. But you know you're a horse owner when a vet hands you a bill for $300 and all you think of is, "Oh thank God that's all."

And through all of this, Victor has been the kindest and gentlest soul. Can you imagine what kind of pain this poor boy was in, standing in a trailer for seven hours with what must have been the world's worst headache? Yet not once has he fussed or been difficult.

Joe's response when I phoned him to give him an update yesterday? "Well just send him back."

Like hell I will.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Anatomy Of A Romance

It begins with a two hour drive to a tiny town in Northern California called Woodland (population 50,000).

Where a kind man comes to the gate and says, "Hi, I'm Joe. Can I help you?" and you tell him that you've come because you want to provide a foster home for one of his 104 horses.

Then one by one, he pulls out skinny thoroughbreds who weren't fast enough, or tall enough, or had the right body type. And there are many, many reasons why these horses have come to live at Joe's ranch. But that's a whole 'nother story that involves a soapbox and we don't need to hear that today.

All that matters right now is that these horses have caught a break in their short lives because there are people like Joe. Who thinks horses are the reason for living and that each life is precious.

And you look at all these horses and you think, "Oh my God, how will I ever choose?" There's Duncan, and Penny, and Big Red. And each one is gorgeous and each one wouldn't be here if it weren't for Joe, his wife Cathy, and their friends.

Then Joe brings out the last horse and your heart melts. You're introduced to Victor, who's only three and seems to think your hair tastes pretty great. Who's amazingly calm for a baby, especially a thoroughbred. He stands there in the rain and looks at you and you wipe the raindrops off your glasses for the hundredth time that day and you know.

The papers are signed, the romance begins.

Friday, April 13, 2007

P. Lo To The Max

I've gotten back into going to my bi-monthly Crochet Meet-up meetings. After I started knitting again I quit for a few months but I'm right back in the swing of things. For a number of reasons ...

This is MY CHAIR at Knitting Arts. Well it doesn't exactly belong to me although I have been known to shoot dirty looks at anyone that might be sitting in it when I'm there. But this is a magical knitting chair. I can sit for hours in this chair and knit. I love it. And then there's ...

PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES!!! That's exactly how you have to say it, in a very high pitched squeal with much jumping up and down in your chair. I am the Vice President of the Peaches Fan Club. The president is her Mom, Britt, who is also the organizer of our group.

Britt looks very stern and somber in this picture but trust me, she's not. She's certifiably wacky. Britt is an extremely talented crocheter and makes the cutest outfits for Peaches. I'm trying to talk her into setting up an Etsy shop to either sell the little doggy sweaters or at least the patterns. Her mother, Cynthia, also attends our meetings. She's a rocket scientist. Really. For NASA. So while I sit and crochet she tells me all about the problems with the latest launch. We don't get to see her much because she's forever running down to Florida to solve some new crisis. She likes to swatch a lot. Maybe it's the scientist in her.

PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES!!! Peaches is eight months old and is a chihuahua although she kind of looks like a Jack Russell terrier. Britt gives Peaches scraps of yarn in the hopes that Peaches will learn to crochet. I agree that Peaches is a very smart dog but uh .. perhaps her paws are the wrong shape for holding a crochet hook. I'm just sayin'.

PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES!!! Here we can see that Peaches has a crooked face. Really. However, I think it only adds to her delicate beauty. Has it become obvious to anyone yet that I'd really like to STEAL THIS DOG? Ah well, thank God Friday has finally arrived at Chez Insanity.

And what's Friday night without the world's largest pizza, eight movies and four bottles of wine? Party ON, dudes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In Lieu Of

Occasionally my employer, the House Of Torture, will hold a social event for it's hard working employees. It's usually tied in with a "State Of The Nation" address by our CEO and sometimes has a theme. We are having one of these events tomorrow. I'm sure you'll all be terribly jealous to hear that I'm going to a Hawaiian LIEU.

Yes, indeedy do, I'm going to a LIEU. In fact, I've received several e-mails reminding me of the LIEU, including one that resembled a postcard from Hawaii. Now I don't have a college degree but it would seem to me that if you were going to send out mass mailings inviting people to an event, that you would make sure you knew how to spell the name of the event.

Finally, after today's e-mail reminding me to wear my "Hawaiian garb to the LIEU tomorrow", I could remain silent no longer. I responded to the e-mail, written by the Director of Human Resources, and said that I had no suitable attire for a LIEU but would try to come up with something suitable for a LUAU. Her reply, "Umm, was it spelled like that in all the e-mails?" I responded in the affirmative. She left for the day shortly after.

Moving along, here's something bright and cheerful for this Spring day.

Remember me mentioning I had no worsted weight yarn in my stash? Well you probably don't but follow along anyway. That has now been rectified. This is by Handspun And Dyed Too, another lovely Etsy shop. It's 210 yards of 100% merino superwash and is the very definition of squishy soft. The fondle factor for this yarn is extremely high. It's destined for another pair or two of socks for Dulaan.

Speaking of Dulaan, the sock knitting continues ...

Sorry, should have told you to put on your sunglasses before looking at this. I need sock blockers like WHOA. This picture does not do the pattern justice. This is the Little Runes sock by the amazingly clever trek. The yarn is a sportweight from Fearless Fibers in the colorway "Fruit Pop." So it came out a bit bigger than it would normally. But not *big big* as we can see in this picture ...

Thank you, Andy, carry on.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

When There's No Cable T.V. ...

... things actually get done around here at Chez Insanity. Like, for instance, Argosy gets dragged out of the UFO bag and becomes an FO.

It still needs to be blocked but since I don't block, it's done as far as I'm concerned. I used Noro "Silk Garden Lite" which is the same yarn used in Version 1 of the scarf in the Winter '06 edition of Knitty. Same colorway even.

If someone were to ask me what a good "first" pattern would be for lace knitters, this is the one I'd suggest. I did Branching Out for my first lace and it was much more difficult than this. And this one looks significantly more complicated than Branching Out. Or at least I think so. I'll probably do it again in a lightly variegated yarn to see what it looks like. Perhaps I'll use one of the eleventy billion skeins of Cabin Cove that I seem to own. Also moving into the FO column ...

A pair of Mini-Basketweave Toddler Socks for Dulaan. These are knit in worsted weight yarn and the only worsted weight I had was Lion Brand Wool-Ease. What the hell is up with that? But since this is "Knit From Your Stash" year, Wool-Ease it was. Do you have any worsted weight yarn in your stash? Don't you think it would be fun to knit a pair of these for Dulaan? Of course you do! Ha, you thought I was going to ask you to send me some, didn't you?

And to give credit where credit is due, I was inspired to make these after seeing Norma's version on her blog. Anytime I'm looking for something to knit for charity, Norma's blog is the first place I go. I'm quite certain the only knitting she does is for charity.

OK, it's back to the couch for me, I'm four rows away from finishing a Mason-Dixon Ballband Dishcloth.

Kiss my ass, Comcast.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Eejit, Thy Name Is April

I cast on for a new sock this morning. And I'm having a blast. The pattern is a joy and the yarn itself is, in my opinion, beyond beautiful. I am in Sock Nirvana.

I get up to make myself a cup of tea and carefully place my work on the couch. Oh Lord, do I love this sock.

I come back and one of my DPN's is missing. Where the hell is my DPN? I look around for Andy, he's usually the culprit. But no, Andy is out on the walkway. I pull the cushions off the couch, it must have fallen down when I got up. I find two Q-tips (Andy's toy of choice), fifty cents and what might have been part of a muffin at one time. No DPN.

Back to the kitchen. Maybe I took it in there when I went to make tea. No DPN.

Tear apart the couch again. Still no DPN.

I'm using US 2 1/2's for this sock and I don't have a spare. Sit and wonder for five minutes if using one US 2 and four US 2 1/2's will make a big difference. Try and remember how much the last pack of DPN's cost and do I have enough money for a new pack.


What's this in my mouth?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Three Day Weekend!

Hooray for three day weekends! Those of us employed by the House Of Torture have kindly been given today off in observance of Good Friday. Or, as the more politically correct of my co-workers might say, "Our Spring Vacation Day."

And I doubt there could be a better way to kick off a three day weekend then to have the following delivered the day before!

I have come late to the Mason Dixon party. Sometimes being anti-trendy can be a detriment. So after seeing a multitude of cute Mason Dixon projects in blogs everywhere I decided to bite the bullet. Plus I'm a huge fan of Ann and Kay's blog. I am *loving* this book. I got it from Amazon and apparently I'm the only one in the entire world who gets decent service from Amazon. I bought this last Friday (Mar. 30) and got the Free Super Saver Shipping. It took less than a week to arrive. I don't think I could ask for more. Well unless they wanted to send me free books.

But the mail excitement didn't stop there! In my continuing quest to purchase all the sportweight sock yarn there is in the world, I came across the Ruby Sapphire shop on Etsy. This is from their Tenderfoot line in the colorway "Hayley" (they name their colorways after family, friends and customers). It's 100% merino and 375 yards. On my monitor the colors in the picture are pretty accurate. But not only did I get gorgeous yarn, I also got a little skein key ring, a Tootsie Roll and a Tootsie Roll Pop! My excitement over these extras may be a bit extreme but I love surprises like this. I'll most certainly be buying more Ruby Sapphire yarn.

Finally, from the "Kiss My Ass, Comcast" file, I have canceled my account. As some of you may recall, Comcast lost my recent payment which was deposited in THEIR night box. I went to their friggin' office with my money order receipt and they still couldn't find any record of it. Which meant I would have to send $15.00 to Western Union to get a copy of the canceled money order. In the meantime, I had no cable. So I coughed up the money to pay the bill AGAIN. "Oh thank you, loyal Comcast customer, your service will resume in 10 minutes," they said.

Ahem. Two hours. Three hours. "Oh goodness, loyal Comcast customer, there must be something wrong with your service, we'll have to send out a technician. When would it be convenient for you to miss work?" Well how about Fucking Never o'clock? Changed the ol' Netflix account from 2 movies to 4 movies and I will never use Comcast again. I'm not so good with writing movie reviews but this is what I've seen recently -

1) The Illusionist - five stars

2) Marie Antoinette - one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Sorry Kirsten, I really don't like you. Negative ten stars.

3) Derailed - far better than I expected. Four stars. Would have been five but it's a bit gory in parts.

4) Little Manhattan - fantastic movie about a ten year old boy who falls in love for the first time. Not only a good adult movie but something I think kids 8+ would like too. Eleventy billion stars.

5) The New World - Colin Farrell yay! This movie, ugh. Too long by about an hour with a musical score guaranteed to drive you out of your mind. Every forty minutes or so the music would start up but it would be the same two or three bars over and over and over again.

6) Talladega Nights; The Ballad of Ricky Bobby - For the redneck in all of us. Humorous one liners galore. A "rest your brain" kind of movie. Definitely not kid suitable.

7) Mildred Pierce - Black and white oldies are my favorite and this is one of the best. Joan Crawford is amazing but lordy, she's got a big head. It's fine if she's the only one in the scene but enter another person and it's extremely disconcerting. Fantastic story about a mother who devotes her life to giving her daughter everything she could ever want. Bad move, Joan. Eleventy billion stars.

Tonight - "All About Eve"!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Word To The Wise

Learn from my mistakes, Grasshopper. Learn.

Never, EVER, have two lace scarves going on at the same time. Especially if one scarf has 41 stitches and the other has 51. Because inevitably, you will be at the end of a row on the scarf that has 51 stitches and you will count them. And you will say to yourself, "OH MY GOD, where did that extra 10 stitches COME FROM?"

Then you will look carefully at the pattern and be unable to see where you went wrong. But the scarf is a gift and how can you give someone a scarf with such a glaring error even if you can't see it? So you will tink back a row. And you will drop a stitch. And you will count. And you will say, "OK, I'm getting somewhere, I'm only 9 stitches off now."

Then you tink two more rows. Drop another stitch. Count. "Ah, 8 stitches off, getting closer."

But now you are frustrated. You start wildly ripping. And after you've ripped out 10 rows you finally freakin' realize you're ripping for no good reason. So you start knitting again on row 3 of the chart because that is where you think you are.

And you get to the end of the row and realize that you were supposed to knit row 5.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Stan's To Do List

Break the leg off Mom's favorite chair.

Play in Mom's car.

Check the ground for stuff to eat.

Eat Mom's broom.

Poop all over the picnic table after eating the broom. Mmm, fiber!

Eat one of the ranch's rose bushes.

The End