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.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What Is It?

What is this? Are you curious? My cat is curious.

Is it a hat? No.

Is it a scary carnivorous red kelp seaweed, come to devour us all? No.

It really is a shawl I started a while back, when I was convinced I might actually use a shawl. It's Lion Brand Homespun in Mexicana, which is a really pretty color. Unfortunately, sometimes when you are working with a "painting" yarn, and you add another skein, you hit it in the wrong spot and it just looks like a crappy unplanned stripe.

That's what happened with this. Then I decided to pull back a few rows and try and make the "painting" match up. But it's a lace pattern and... uh yeah. You know what happened.

Lots of swearing.

So now, this shawl goes back into a ball and can be used for something else. Something I might use this time.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Free Pattern: Patwoman's Cat Hat

So you want to make Patwoman's Cat Hat, eh? I will show you how. It's basically the same as the Hello Kitty Hat, at least in terms of construction. This one is just sized for adults. It also calls for a bulky weight yarn, so it goes really quick.


You will need:

About 80 yards of a bulky weight yarn. (Furry yarns will give you a fluffy cat; smooth yarns will give you a sleek cat.) I have used Yarn Bee Luscious, Yarn Bee Soft Delight, Lion Brand Homespun, Lion Brand Thick And Quick, Lion Brand Jiffy, Sensations Sumptious, and NoBo, among others. Some other yarns will work, too, if you double them up. For example, I used a strand of Patons Divine with a worsted weight yarn and got a very good effect.

Circular needles that will give you a gauge of 2.5 stitches per inch. (I used #10.5, but if you aren’t a loose knitter like me, you can go up a size or two.)

An extra set of needles of the same size for the three needle bind off.

A stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round.


Cast on 50 stitches, using a nice, stretchy cast on like the knitted cast on or cable cast on. Or just use a backward loop cast on if you are in a hurry. If you are using a fuzzy yarn, no one will see it, no one will care. (I call this Patwoman's Rule of Plausible Deniability. Did I cast on the way all the knitting books say I should cast on? Sure, why wouldn't I?)

Join and place marker, being careful not to twist the stitches. (I
have two tricks for that: 1) you can lay the circular part of the needles flat on the table, only lifting the part you are knitting up for the first couple of rows. That keeps the yarn nice a flat, not twisty. But it is a pain in the ass to do. And 2) Knit the first two or three rows back and forth, as if you were knitting flat. Then, when you feel comfortable with that, you can join and continue knitting circularly. You’ll have to seam that little bit when you are finished and you’ll have to remember to reverse the knit/purl stitches when you are working the reverse side of the hat flat. But that’s all pretty easy to do.

Knit 1, Purl 1 rib for 5 rows.

Now switch to stockinette (remember, on a circular needle, that’s knit every row. So this is the time you can watch TV or read or whatever.) and knit until the entire piece measures 7½ “

Next, slip the first 25 stitches to a straight needle. Now, slip them to another straight needle. (You’re positioning them for the 3 needle bind off.) Now you can hold the needle with the first 25 stitches against the needle with the last 25 stitches (wrong sides together) and bind off.

Three Needle Bind Off:

Knit the first stitch from the front needle together with the first stitch from the back needle and slip them off. You will have one stitch on the right hand needle.

Knit the next stitch from the front needle together with the next stitch from the back needle and slip them off. You will have two stitches on the right hand needle.

Pull the first stitch on the right hand needle over the second stitch and off the needle. You now have one stitch on the right hand needle again.

Continue until only one stitch remains. Cut yarn and pull through remaining loop. Pull tight. With a yarn needle, pull the end through to the inside of the hat and secure.


Weave in any ends. Seam the little bit at the beginning if you need to.

Place hat on head and mark the spot where the base of the ears should be. Take the hat off and put a stitch or two there to shape the ears.


Monday, February 14, 2011

What Is It?

What is this? Are you curious? My cat is curious.

Is it a hat of some sort? No.

Is it a cat sweater? No.

Is it something naughty? No.

It's actually an attempt at a shrug. But this yarn doesn't want to be a shrug. Look at it. It just hangs. You really can't blame all of this on the fact that this mannequin has no arms, either. This just isn't the pattern for this yarn.

But this yarn is very soft. (I believe this is Moda Dea Dream.) It will be a good yarn for something. It knows it, too. It didn't put up a fuss at all when I frogged it.

Good yarn.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Patwoman Makes A Visit To DrugCo

So this was pretty cool. As you know, I've been recruiting for DrugCo for about five years now. And I've been at the production site millions of times. But, because pharmaceuticals are produced there, I've never been actually in the production area before Friday, when I got to take a tour.

Not because they don't trust me around pharmaceuticals. What? What were you thinking? No. It's because there are some pretty stringent government, industry, and company standards for that. Like, I had to suit up for every production department.

And let me tell you, these suits are not cool. They are less:

And more

Actually, they looked a lot like these:

Only the ones I had to wear were not this sexy, by far. Unless you think steel toe covers and a crotch that hangs down to your knees is sexy. Then, I guess, I was dead sexy.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A Letter From AW

My Dearest Patwoman,

February already, my darling. The Month d’Amor. And though you are never far from my thoughts, as Valentine’s Day approaches, my (other) thoughts, of course, turn to you. Oh Patwoman! How can I resist the desire I have for you? Everywhere I turn, I am reminded of our tempestuous and titillating history together.

Do you remember Helsinki? All those moonlit nights—you, me, and the Bat-a-rang? Say that excitement is not merely in the past, but that it burns in your heart the way it burns in mine!

Oh Patwoman, you voluptuous vixen! How I yearn for you to knit for me, the way you once did. Just a few stitches, you crafty minx—a turn or two around the circular needle, if you will—to demonstrate that your affection for me is not mere fiction, but that it is epic. (Much in the way the Batster, himself, is more than fiction.) A cape, a cowl, a mohair whip to enslave my heart forever.

Or, if you will, stitch a naughty costume—some alluring attire designed to stimulate decadent dreams. We can renew our passion for one another. We can animate our animal natures. Drive our desires. Pursue our passions. Wear out our welcome. Patwoman, do we dare relive Helsinki?

I await your response. As always, I am a bat to your flame.



Sweet Adam,

Forget Helsinki? Never! It was Helsinki, after all, when you first introduced me to the Bat Utility Belt. (And how it holds up the Bat-tights… remember?) It was Helsinki where you first gave your, uh, heart to me. And Helsinki where I first gave you a, uh, heart too.

Ah, such memories! Those rooftop chases, those will-she/won’t-she moments. (Of course, she would! I think we’ve established she definitely would. And more.) How could I ever forget your efforts to turn me to the side of good?

That’s what the whipped cream was for, right? To turn me to the side of good?

And so, in memory of those nights, I have crafted for you, Adam. I’ve crocheted something that reminds me of you. And of Helsinki.

Oh, er, um. Hm. Now that I look at this and I remember Helsinki…

Adam—Call me.


Monday, February 07, 2011

What Is It?

What is this? My dog is curious. Are you curious, too?

Is it a purse? No.

Is it a cup cozy? No.

Is it something naughty? Uh...

It's a hat! It's the Brown Button Hat that I started three years ago. I just wanted a little something to keep my hands busy during the down time at Origins and I knit this hat. It's loosely based on the Robin's Egg Blue Hat that I've knit about a billion times.

I say loosely based because this yarn is a worsted weight, not the bulky weight the pattern calls for. And because I lost the pattern some time after knitting the edge. (No, like, literally lost it. That was the trip that I lost the #10 dpn, too, remember? Bag got a rip in it and suddenly, I'm missing half my stuff.) So basically, I did most of the top from memory. It's okay. I've knit this hat so much I could probably do one right now from memory. It's a good pattern.

Anyway, I finished this way early because this was also the year the hotel messed up our reservations and we ended up staying way out at the airport hotels. And, with only the one car we travelled in to Ohio, if you didn't have anything to do, you just kinda got stuck waiting on everybody else to be ready to go.

But then this poor hat sat, neglected, in my knitting bag because I had to button with me to sew on. (And no yarn sewing needle. Hole in the bag, 'membah?)

Join us, Coraline...

I feel really stupid that it sat idle for three years and it took me only five minutes to bring this hat to a finished state.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Patwoman's Job Hunting Tips

1. Show up to your interview. True story: "Bob" was scheduled to interview with me at 9 am on December 7. He didn't show up, didn't call to say he wasn't showing up, didn't offer any explanation until January 3. Now, if you're doing the math, that's almost a month later. His explanation? "I misunderstood."

2. Don't lie. What did Bob misunderstand? Was it the phone conversation where we scheduled the interview? And I asked, "What day is best for you?" And he chose December 7? Or was it the follow up email I sent him, titled "Appointment Confirmation" which began with "Your interview appointment is confirmed for 9:00 am on Tuesday, December 7"? Or perhaps it was his own reply to that email: "Thanks. See you then."?

3. If you are going to lie, make it a better one than "I misunderstood." I talk to dozens of people a week. They all follow those same instructions just fine. If I've given you explicit instructions and you've confirmed verbally and by email and then you misunderstand, well then, this is probably not the job for you. One of the basic expectations is that you will be able to follow basic instructions.

4. Next time, call to cancel or reschedule before the scheduled time. Don't no-show a potential employer. I believe this is actually called "Burning your bridges in front of you."

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Not Knitting

So I decided to organize my yarn stash/bead stash/craft area(s) this month. Okay, I didn't decide anything. I was just moving stuff around as I am looking for other stuff. The organization is purely a side effect.

Still counts though, right?

Ye gods, I have a lot of yarn. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I love each and every skein like it was...er...my own. Which it is. So good. That works out well.

Anyway, I was thinking about these crime shows on television, where someone is arrested for something and the cops go to their house to search for evidence and they always find something really shocking and weird at the residence--like fifty jars of toenail clippings or a maze of empty coffee cans. And then the cops (and the viewers) think "Sweet God, this dude is nuts! How did no one see this obsessive behavior before?"

Well, just imagine what the TV cops (and viewers) would think of my (and yours, I'll wager) yarn stash?

Just something to think about.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

I Am The Ice Queen

If the Ice Queen is not expected to mingle with her subjects, that is. Otherwise, I guess I'm Mrs. Heat Miser. Because I'm sitting inside today. All day.

So, you've probably gotten some of this ice storm where you live, too. It started yesterday about 6 pm and laid down about 3/4" of ice overnight. I watched all the school closings while I watched Office reruns last night.

I am not going in to my office today, either. Yesterday when I left, I grabbed all the hard files I needed. So those two files, my flash drive, my computer, and my cell phone--I could basically work from home indefinitely.

Unless the power goes out, I guess. Which they are saying is likely, since last night was just Stage One of this storm. Stage Two, which is supposed to be worse--twice as much ice--is supposed to start today sometime soon. And then Stage Three, the cherry on the hot fudge sundae of this storm, is supposed to hit tonight. Stage Three is apparently a buttload of snow.

I didn't mean to go to the grocery store last night. I hate how people mob the stores every time a snowflake falls. But this time, I really needed to. So I hit up Kroger after work.

What a madhouse. Imagine if everyone in town all decided to go to Kroger at the same time. That's what it was like. Had to park way out in the middle of frackin' nowhere. Shelves were empty. Cases were ravaged. It was like a preview of the Zombiepocalypse.

I'm all set, though. Bread, milk, water, wood for the fireplace, canned goods, candles... I actually would be all set for a Zombiepocalypse--once I boarded up all these windows, I guess.

Oh, btw, all these photos (except the Kroger pic from yesterday) were taken from the warmth of my house. The Ice Queen likes to keep herself removed from the ice.

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