If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Baby Flamez!

You all remember that Patwoman's little bro just got married, right? And they are expecting their first child?

Well, you know I can't let that poor baby be dressed in baby-boy blue or powder pink! Pastels are so... babyish. No, that baby will be stylin'--thanks to Aunt Patwoman.

Found this pattern on Ravelry. It's by Jessy Henderson, who apparently feels the same about baby attire as I do.

It's a very easy knit, if you've done colorwork before. I used Caron Simply Soft (I think. It's all left over from other projects and no longer has a label. I used that orange, I think, in my Jayne Hat.) I also added a strand of yellow baby yarn to the orange, just to give a more flamey effect. If you look at the original, Jessy used a hand dyed yarn and it already has that look.

I think this one might become my standard baby gift.

A Letter To Adam West

My dear Batman,

Guess what time of year it is? Time to be planning your trip to Indianapolis for GenCon!

I'll admit, I was very disappointed that you didn't come to GenCon last year. And you know how long it took you to make that up to me! (And how many items from the Bat-Utility Belt we had to use!)

But, if you attend this year's GenCon, think about what a higher jumping-off point we'll be starting from! Eh? (Nudge nudge. Wink wink.)

Think about it... Batman vs Patwoman! Wouldn't you like to be part of that match up again? You, with your spandex tights and cape. Me, with my cat ears and bullwhip. Doesn't it just make your heart race?

We could make this a repeat of the Helsinki adventure! I am waiting eagerly for your reply.

Love and Bat-kisses,


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Another FO

I know! Another one? What's going on? Patwoman finishing knitted items? Has the world gone crazy?

Yeah, it's a scarf. I made this one for M, too. Remember the Bernat Max? This is what I did with it. It's just your plain-old-stockingette stitch scarf. I think I used #11s. But remember my loose gauge. You may use #13s for the same.

So yeah, it's plain. But it's very funky-looking. Not all one width or texture because of the extreme thick/thin nature of this yarn. Very soft. Very cool looking. Very warm.

And, to all of you whe are saying, "Warm? But, Patwoman, wasn't last week the first day of spring?" I remind you that I live in Indiana. Indiana, where it might snow, rain, blow, and hail fireballs all in the course of a day.

Ok, that's a slight exaggeration. I've never actually seen it hail fireballs.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I Do Finish Things... Sometimes

Actually, I finished all of these things some time ago, but I wanted to show them to you.

Remember when I said M wanted a bunch of scarves this season, in all colors and styles? Well, this was a little something I knitted up, just to be different from all the others. I'd used all of this yarn in other scarves, so I had less than a skein of each color.

Normally I would do a feather and fan stitch, alternating different color stripes, but both M and I wanted something a little different.

Braided Scarf

(Takes about 80 yds of 3 different colors/textures)
Purple/Pink scarf is Mosaic Twist, Luscious, Playful
Black/White scarf is Luscious, Fancy Fur, Playful
Red/Black scarf is Luscious, Playful, Luscious Sparkle
Size 10 1/2 Needles

Cast On 6-8 stitches (depending on yarn)
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl

Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until piece measures about 5-6 feet. You'll lose about a quarter of the length when you braid, so you judge.

When you have 3 equal pieces, sew all three together at one end. Then braid them. Just like braiding your armpit hair. Only easier. When it's all braided, sew that end together, too.

Then make a couple of tassels. I wrapped all three yarns around my hand about 6 times, then tied them all together at the top of my hand and cut them apart at the bottom of my hand. Then I wrapped a strand of yarn around the top third to make the tassel top and tied it off.

Sew one tassle to each end.

Later, I made myself one, in black and white, because--you know--I was feeling philosophical that day. I wore it to work and a coworker mentioned how much she loved that scarf. Well, I always make scarves for my coworkers for Christmas and I hadn't made hers yet, so I asked, "What colors do you like?" She said, "Oh, red, black. Anything."

So I made this one, which I think is pretty neat. Very striking color combo, I must say. Ah, but I don't think she liked it. When I gave it to her, she thanked me, and said she really wanted one more like the one I'd done for another coworker.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Scarf: Before And After

The first thing I ever knitted was a light blue acryllic garter stitch scarf on #13s, with doubled yarn. I knitted it for my sweetie, T. My roommate assured me a scarf like that could be knit in an afternoon. It took forever.

Nevertheless, he was happy to receive it and wore it proudly. OMG, how could I not marry this man after that? He has worn it ever winter season since that first one, 24 years ago.

Yeah, it's a little faded and worn. But he won't let me replace it. I pleaded with him. I can knit so much better now. Let me make you a scarf that's reflective of my current skill.

Finally, he relented.

So, here is the scarf I knitted for him. Bernat Alpaca in Ebony. Two skeins, right about 240 yards. Size 9 needles (but remember my loose guage). The pattern is from Melissa Leapman's Cables Untangled. It's Panel 54, which is a 32 stitch, 24 row pattern, with two knit stitches on either side. I think it looks Celtic.

He likes it. But as I lay the two scarves out side-to-side for the "Now & Then" shot, he informed me that he would continue to wear his scarf every day and the new one for dress.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Oh What A Tangled Scarf We Weave...

...Or knit, as the case may be.

I got this book, Melissa Leapman's Cables Untangled, for Christmas. I love this book. Everything is so beautifully complex-looking, yet not so complex to knit.

Of course, because of my never-ending battle against Chaos, I really thought I might never knit a cable again.

But then I decided I wanted to make something for T. Something simple, yet complex. I decided to knit him a scarf to replace the one I knit for him so long ago. So, I've picked out a suitable cable pattern and some nice grey yarn.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "There's another one for the Patwoman UFO Pile."

Maybe. We'll see.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Patwoman's Trip To The Sunshine (State) Part 3

Since we were at Universal Studios (which is my favorite amusement park, by the way) to see M perform, we decided to spend a little time there.

Universal has the best attractions. I ride almost everything when I'm there. Except the Hulk ride. It goes upside down. And you know how Patwoman hates to puke.

So, while T and R were off riding the Hulk coaster, I harassed amused myself with costumed park mascots.

You know I love Wolverine.

And here is a picture I call Where Is Patwoman's Hand?

And here is a picture that is not very interesting by itself. But what is interesting about it is that, after my picture, I saw 3 other people take the exact same picture! So, I'm calling this one The Picture That Everyone Takes.

Patwoman's Trip To The Sunshine (State) Part 2

Entertaining Yourself On The Road

It's a long trip from Indy to Orlando. And I must have some opossum DNA in my heritage because I seem to just fall asleep without warning. (Don't worry. T was driving.) So, you've got to have a plan to stay out of trouble keep yourself entertained.

Step One: Take lots of pictures on the way. I had the camera out because of this sign. Hilarious. You think they know people see this sign and laugh? You think people other than me laugh at this sign?

A little later, I snapped this picture. Jason Statham (The Transporter) in a black BMW.
Not really. I just thought he looked like him. The funny part is, after I took his picture, he seemed to get a little upset. We had passed him and he kinda sped up after us. Then, he gave me a really odd look as he passed. I just smiled and waved. Then, once he was in front, the passenger's head popped up from the seat.

I'll just let that sink in. Yeah.

So, once I stopped laughing, I started taking other people's pictures, just for the heck of it. Zoom up. Take a picture. Zoom away. Talk about interesting reactions. People get all weird. Why did that woman just take my picture?


Then I got aggressive with it. Like these drunk bitches. They were weaving all over the road. Jeez. It was, like 10 am. Who gets that drunk at 10 am? So I took a picture of their license plate. They seemed like college students to me, so if you're a mom and these are your daughters... They were very bad.

They didn't like me taking their picture, either. Here was their reaction. Of course, they were so drunk, they didn't take the flash off, so I guess they got a nice picture of the passenger side window of their own car.

There was a state police car parked in the median about a mile up the road. Don't worry. I don't think they were drunk driving long after that.

Step Two: Pay Attention. There are lots of things to look at along the way. I love the mountains. I love the red clay of Georgia and Tennessee. I love all those signs along the road. (Apparently, in certain parts of the country they have an affinity toward Asian Massage, especially if there is truck parking available. But, they must feel incredibly guilty about it, because there are an equal number of Avoid Hell: Repent signs.)

Pay attention to the others in the car, too. Being in a car for so long tends to make them a little punchy. You've not experienced comedy until you've deprived R of the internet for 12 hours.

Pay attention, also, to the camera. That little button on top is what takes the picture. If you don't watch out, you'll end up taking a dozen of these.

Step Three: Don't Rely Totally On Garmin. Garmin sometimes gets bored too and will lead you around in circles. It also lists Kentucky Paralegal Services under Fast Food in Louisville, KY.

Think about that one.

Patwoman's Trip To The Sunshine (State) Part 1

M had the honor of competing in FAME show choir competition at the Hard Rock Cafe at Universal Studios Orlando this weekend. That's pretty exciting. There were schools from all over competing there. And M's group went into the competition undefeated.

No pressure there, right?

Of course, they won. It really is that good of a show. You should see it.

Anyway, we followed along, in order to see M and her group perform. I am a supportive mom, after all. Plus, she's a senior this year, so it's the last competition of her last year. And you know I'm having severe separation anxiety these days anyway.

Plus, it's grey in Indiana. I know, Indiana can't help it. Geography. Weather patterns. All that. But, jeez. It's grey. Compare that to Florida. Yeah. That's what I'm talkin' about.

We didn't get to have much one-to-one time with M, because she was busy with rehearsals and performances and all. But I found ways to entertain myself.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Your Resume, My Job

Blamey sent me this one. You know I usually just hit delete if I see Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: in my email, but this one was actually kinda funny. I have seen resumes like this. Unfortunately, they don't ever have that picture attached.


My Resimay

To hoom it Mae cunsern,

I waunt to apply for the job what I saw in the paper.

I kin Type realee qwik wit one finggar and do sum a counting.

I think I am good on the fone and I no I am a pepole person, Pepole realee seam to reespond too me well. Certain men and all the ladies.

I no my spelling is not too good but find that I Offen can get a job wit my persinalety.

My salerery is open so we kin discus wat you want to pay me and wat you think that I am werth, I kin start emeditely. Thank yoo in advanse fore yore anser.

hopifuly Yore best aplicant so farr.


BRYAN nikname Beefy

PS : Because my resimay is a bit short - below is a pickture of me.

Dear Beefy-I mean Bryan,

It's OK honey, we've got spell check.
See you Monday.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Did I Call It Or What?

Yeah, okay. I really did no knitting.

I cast on for the Flamez Baby Hat, but my guage was different, so I had to do some math. So I knitted about 6 rows and realized... wrong color! I had started with black (instead of orange), so I would've had reverse flames, if I'd continued.

Then I cast on again, using a strand of orange worsted and a strand of yellow baby yarn (to give it that mottled flame effect),
but then M sat down with me and wanted to learn to knit a scarf for Zeus. So that was really nice. I had tried to teach her to knit a few times before, but she was not really interested. But, she must have been listening, because she pretty much knew what to do anyway.

After knitting a few inches, we decided that the scarf would be a little drapier (and a little easier to knit) on larger needles. So we decided to frog and try again on 8s.

There's a Patwoman knitting lesson for her: Always make sure you have to frog something two or three times so you can be thoroughly frustrated before you finally get something you like. (Just kidding. She's not frustrated. That's my M.O.)

The day was very enjoyable, though. I spent a lot of time with M. Got to be part of her show choir world for a while. And they took Grand Champion. Again.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Big Knitting Day

Okay. So I got this call from one of the choir moms, asking me to be a chaperone on Saturday. I said yes, of course. I'm happy to be asked to help. Just a little surprised, since I got basically kicked out of the financial committee. Well, they stopped inviting T & I to the meetings and stopped even telling us where and when they were.

That's kicked out, isn't it?
Anyway, this mom says... "It will be a long day, so I don't know if you have any handwork you could do while you are just sitting..."

Oh, I can probably find something to do.

Anyway, so here is my plan for the day:

Flame Baby Hat

Ribbed Lace Bolero

Celtic Scarf Based on a cable motif from Melissa Leapman's Cables Untangled.

That's what's in the knitting bag, at any rate. Who knows what's coming home with me?

Probably 3 UFOs.

Needle Envy

Okay, this is actually art, so maybe it doesn't count, but....


Now I'm feeling a little... inadequate.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Boyfriend Sweater Curse

So I'm looking through my UFO pile today, thinking "I think I'll finish something today."

Oh, calm down. I was just thinking it. It's not like I was actually going to do it.

So I'm looking through and I come across Chaos. Ah, Chaos. My bete noir. Front and back done. Both sleeves cast onto one needle and halfway done. Why not finish? It's like I have this crazy finishing phobia when it comes to this sweater. IDK. Maybe it's related to the Boyfriend Sweater Curse.

But, Gentle Reader, let me say that I do not believe in the Boyfriend Sweater Curse. Here's why:

I learned to knit way back when T and I were just dating. Of course, the very first thing I knitted was a scarf for him. (Which he still wears, btw.) The second thing was a pair of mittens for me.

But the third thing... I wanted something really impressive. You see? I wanted to give something out-of-the-ordinary to this out-of-the-ordinary boy. So I found the most complicated sweater pattern I could find. One that no one else in the world could knit for him.

It should be noted at this point that I had only been knitting for a couple of
weeks. And I didn't really understand things like guage, or swatching, or reading patterns. I knew Knit, Purl, KFB, K2tog. Everything else I learned as I went.

What's that? Purl through the back loops? Knit in the row below? Slip to cable needle? (What the heck is a cable needle?) And my favorite, S1K1 PSSO. (Mainly because of how I was pronouncing that for a few years.)

But I did learn. And I did finish. Eventually. And he still has it, though he can't wear it any more. It lives on a shelf in our closet, reminding us of how special T is. Of how determined I was. Of how we are not governed by superstition, but by love, so no "curse" can touch us.

And, of course, of how I have still not finished Chaos.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Lesson #1: How Not To Be Seen

I think this is pretty cool. Look closely.

Can you imagine the artist's frustration as she painted. Oh my God! Where was I? I've lost my place again!

The artist is Desiree Palmen. Check out the rest of her work here.

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