If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

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

My Photo
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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What Do You Suppose This Means?

I've been having the craziest dreams lately. Some of it is decipherable and some of it... well, wtf?

Like, I know water is a stress symbol in my dreams. So all those dreams of escaping a flood, or a flooded house, or going to an amusement park and seeing it all flooded... I know what those are.

Likewise, I think I can figure out the hot dog dreams.

(I just bought one of these for the new store. Why? What were you thinking?)

The ones I don't get are the ones where people I know change into centaurs. Or the ones where a tornado blows ducks into my yard. Or the ones where I am inspecting an old house, but all the plumbing is brand new stainless steel.

Oh, and I've dreamed about the Zombie Olympics again.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

And Sew On...

Finally decided to just go ahead and purchase a sewing machine. There are so many things I would like to do and I just don't want to do them by hand. (Like 18 table covers for the new store.)

So this is the new sewing machine. As you can see, Achilles photobombed me... again. He's never there when you're setting up the shot, but always just pops in at the last second.

I spent the afternoon looking over the instruction manual. (Because I read those things. They are there for a reason, people.) And, I also dug out the reading glasses. I thought that might be a big help in reading the teeny tiny print on the inside of this booklet. (Ha! Before the glasses, I was like "Oh look. This is a book with pictures of all the fancy filigree stitches this machine will do.")

Also a big help in threading the needle.

Seriously, though. Someone needs to come up with a better way of sewing. It's pretty freakin' ridiculous to expect someone to get a teeny tiny little piece of thread through a teeny tiny little hole at the end of a needle.

I had some issues at first with tension. Then I just experimented with stitching and the different types of stitches. (None of them the fancy filigree I thought I saw at first.)

And, just when I think I'm beginning to get the hang of it, I need to rethread the needle. But...

Just my luck.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hanging With Mr. Booper

Or maybe... Tin Man?

Or... Terminator 4?

Or... Robocop? He's got the Cop-stache, doesn't he?

M and I ran into this guy at Home Depot while shopping for paint. I don't know why, but he just amuses me.

Unlike most of the stuff I see at other places.

Like this Pegicorn Rabbit from the auction:

Or this cat and kittens thing from Goodwill. I don't know why this thing bothers me, but it does. I've had cats all my life. And kittens. I'm not ignorant about those things. But it just doesn't seem like the sort of thing you should make a figurine of and display in your home.

Those kittens are a separate piece, btw. I think that makes it worse.

At any rate, nothing was bought on this shopping trip. Just looking.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Help Me! I Can't Stop!

There's just something so gratifying about having a finished project. After knitting two scarves this week on Speed Stix needles, I decided never to stop to knit another one.

This one I call Calico Cat. Can you guess why?

Same pattern as the other two (no pattern). Cast on 8 stitches and knit, knit, knit. I swear, these scarves are like Lays Potato Chips! You can't stop at one! Plus, they only use about half a skein of four different yarns so the combinations are endless!

For this one, I used Lion Brand Homespun in Fawn, Yarn Bee Jewelsong in Nightfire, Wintuk Worsted in Fisherman, and Crafters Square Fun Yarn in Black.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Not Knitting: Solidarity Pendant

Yu-Gi-Oh! cards are so much fun. I found this one (Solidarity) a while back and kept it. This artwork really just cried out to be made into a charm. (Oh, I guess this picture would make more sense if you could see the front of the card. Whoops.)

Anyway, I gathered up my trusty materials--Mod Podge, MP Dimension Magic, scissors, toothpicks, paintbrush, and a dead gift card to recycle for the back. I had this idea of painting the gift card silver, cutting it to fit, and attaching the Yu-Gi-Oh! card to it. But then I decided to cut the pieces first (and here you can see not only the solidarity back, but the back for a couple of other charms I am making) and spray paint them flat black.

I chose flat black over gloss because A) I always have flat black here at the house and B) I'm hoping that the glossy card, over the flat black, covered with glossy Dimension Magic will add some depth there.

I trimmed Solidarity down to just the artwork, coated the back in Mod Podge and centered it on the black piece. Then I smoothed on a couple of coats of Mod Podge to seal it and covered the whole thing with Dimension Magic. DM, by the way, is a fantastic product! I love this stuff. The only thing you really have to watch for is getting air bubbles on the top. But, that's what the toothpick is for, right? Herding bubbles off the edge.

I glued a bale to back and strung it onto a cord, and viola! Yu-Gi-Oh! players will recognize it as a card, others will just think it's a bunch of cute little monsters holding hands. But you and I know, it represents friendship and unity.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fuzzy Navel Scarf

I was so happy with the outcome of the Chocolate Covered Cherry Scarf that I decided to make another. Behold, the Fuzzy Navel Scarf--so called because of the color and texture.

Four different yarns again. This is more of the Soft Pink Caron Perfect Match, the Yarn Bee peach colored yarn, some Lion Brand Fun Fur in Ivory, and I Love This Yarn Yellow (left over from M's Police Line Scarf).

By the way, let me say that this kind of scarf is perfect for using that single skein of Fun Fur or half skein of some other yarn. I like a long scarf--5' or more--and I used about 60 yards of each. Great way to combine textures, too. The pink and yellow are both smooth yarns, the peach is a soft, fuzzy yarn. And Fun Fur is an eyelash yarn. And they all worked very well together, I think.

Again, simple garter stitch with the Size 50s. I think four yarns and a large stitch gives this scarf enough interest that it doesn't need a fancy stitch. And it works up so quickly that I was able to do this one in about an hour and a half. This would be a good way, I think, to make up a bunch of nice-looking gift scarves in a short period of time.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chocolate Covered Cherry Scarf

One thing about The Year Of The Afghans, there are frustratingly few finished objects. So, sometimes you just need a win, you know? So since yesterday was game night (and since you know I don't work on the afghans on those nights) I decided to do something quick and satisfying.

You know what that means, right? I whipped out the ol' Size 50 Beasts and a couple of skeins of yarn and just went to town on them. And boom! Before the game session was over, I had a scarf.

I used some Caron Perfect Match in Soft Pink, Caron Simply Soft in Chocolate, some LB Homespun in Antique, and some peach-colored yarn from a frogged project that I'm pretty sure is Yarn Bee.

This is a simple garter stitch scarf, but the 25mm needles and 4 strands of yarn give you a gauge of about .75 stitches = 1" so it knits very quickly. This was, start to finish, about a two hour deal, including fringe. I really like the look of it. It has an interesting texture--partly because of the large-scale stitches and partly because of the different textures of the yarns.

It's also kind of fun to knit with these monsters. Like knitting with two telephone poles. Ha! Makes everybody at the table say "What are you doing?"

Friday, July 20, 2012

She Makes Me So Proud...

M and I were shopping the other day, as we are wont to do sometimes. And, as always, we stopped in to Joann so M could pick out the yarn for her next scarf to see what was new on the yarn shelf. We are both pretty tactile shoppers, so our typical MO is to pick up a yarn that catches our eyes and see how it feels.

So we're strolling down the aisle, touching a yarn here or there, when M touches a skein without looking. "Hm. Wool."

I smiled because it was. And because she knew it by touch. "I'm impressed."

She shrugged. "I only know that because I have more hand-knit scarves than any human being has a right to own."

She does, of course.

Then she quickly added. "That doesn't mean I want you to stop knitting them for me, you know."

I nodded. "I know."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Parenting 101

First, let me stress that I am not judging anyone's parenting style. I'm only judging the poor execution of basic parenting skills. You want to let your kids watch Simpsons, I'm okay with that. You want to take them to church 3 days a week, I'm okay with that, too. What I'm not okay with is putting your children in danger.

For example, the parking lot at Sam's Club is busy. Your kids are too small to be seen by drivers who are looking in their rear-view mirrors to back out. If the drivers are even checking their mirrors. Just from casual observation, I'd say 99% of drivers who park at Sam's Club do not even look--in any way--before pulling out of a space.

So, let me ask you: Is it more important to watch the child or to talk to Betty Lou Jenkins from your spin class, who happened to be at Sam's Club at the same time you were? Is the gossip about who said what to whom so juicy that you can't even turn your head to see that Junior and Juniorina have run in between cars and are now two rows away? Are your meds dialed up so high that you don't even look when I honk my horn because Junior darted out from between a Range Rover and an Altima and almost ran right in front of me? You didn't even look, lady. It's just lucky for you I saw your little monkeys running all over and was expecting them to try and kill themselves. If I had been someone more like you, I might have run him down.

And it's not just the active kids who are in danger of getting run over. I saw one guy put his baby down (in the carrier seat) in the middle of a parking lot aisle at night and walk 30 feet away to talk to someone. While the baby sat in the middle of the lane. This was actually the shopping center my business is in, so I yelled, "Hey (name withheld)! That's not safe!" And he seemed like he thought I was making a big deal out of nothing.

Here's another thing. Glass display counters are made of glass. Not adimantium. Glass breaks. Do not put your kids on top of them. Sure, it probably won't break. But if it did, the results could be disastrous. Why would you risk it?

Patwoman: Please don't put your child on the glass cases. If that glass were to break, he could be seriously injured.

Customer: (Very smugly) You put boxes on the cases. They probably weigh more than he does.

Patwoman: Maybe. But if the boxes break the glass they won't bleed out before the ambulance gets here.

All of these stories are true. And sadly, they are not isolated incidents. You know, I'm not trying to be one of those old ladies who criticize the way other people raise their children. I'm all for parents raising their kids how they feel they should be raised. I raised mine how I wanted and didn't give a flying fat rat's ass if my neighbor thought they would turn into criminals because I let them watch tv before school or if my dad thought they wouldn't know who their mom was if I let them call me Pat.

But it is Basic Parenting 101 that a parent protects the child. They definitely don't put the child in danger. Sadly, it's as they say: Common sense is not all that common.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Zara In The Midnight Moonlight

Ooh. That's clever, isn't it? Because it's a Zara scarf knitted in Midnight Moonlight. See what I did there?

Remember I told you that I picked up some of the Red Heart Boutique Midnight yarn in Ohio? By some weird coincidence I had just seen it the week before and really admired the Moonlight color and then, there it was, on clearance in that exact color.

When the universe throws something like that at me, I take it as a sign that I should just go ahead and buy the yarn.

So, since Sunday is my game night (and I can't knit any of the afghans because all of those people are sitting at the table with me) and since I must knit while gaming or become severely disruptive, I decided to do something with this Midnight Moonlight. Luckily, I found a pattern for Zara, a mitered scarf with pompom ends.

I found the pattern on Ravelry and thought it would be perfect for game night. It's a two row pattern (and one of the rows is "knit all stitches") so it's simple enough to do without taking my attention off the game. It's from Yarn Tree Designs, but they don't appear to have it up on their site yet. They do have a couple of other very nice patterns, so if you get a chance, check them out. I'm sure Zara will be posted soon.

I didn't get a whole lot done because, even though my hands don't necessarily hurt any more, they don't have the stamina they had before this bout of carpal tunnel (or whatever it is that turns my hands into painful, tingling, claws). So, I did take several short breaks in which I (gasp) put the knitting down.

Plus, it was Game Night, so I do have to pay attention to the game. Sheesh. (Seriously, though, the game is really fun. It's an RPG adventure in Unisystem that R created--the adventure, not Unisystem--for our group. I play a werewolf.)

Midnight is a great yarn for this pattern. I knitted this on #7 needles, and it is exactly as wide as the pattern lists it and it has a beautiful drape and texture.(Even though the pattern does call for a bulky yarn on #7 needles.) Midnight is a chain-plied yarn, so the color changes are subtle. The metallic thread is not overwhelming. I'd call it just enough.

I wanted to give you a better idea of how the colors change, so this picture is shot in bright light. In real life, the color is much darker.

As I was knitting, M looked across the table at the pattern and the developing scarf and slyly raised her eyebrows--the unspoken question, "Is that for me?" Oh no. I quickly shook my head. This one is for me.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Finally, my hands decide to cooperate with me. I picked up the knitting needles last night after work and knit about 6 rows on M's afghan. Yeah, I know 6 rows is nothing, but after being benched for a couple of weeks, I felt like I was really accomplishing something!

My hands didn't hurt while I was knitting. Didn't go numb or tingly or anything. It just went very, very slowly. I don't know if it's from the carpal tunnel or from not really moving my hands for two weeks, but my fingers just seemed to lack flexibility and strength. Hopefully that's a temporary thing.

I did wrap the left hand last night before bed, because it always feels so much better in the morning if I do that. And this morning, my hands felt fine.

Also, finally, it rained this afternoon. For about 15 minutes, but I'll take it. I heard that there was much more rain north of here. It was very light here. Like, so light that it took a long, long time to even get the sidewalk wet.

And finally I stopped having those stress dreams where some horrible catastrophe befalls just as I notice something that makes me do something stupid heroic. Like, A huge tornado is coming, but OMG someone has left their small children outside playing! or People are running away from something but OMG look at all these newborn kittens about to get stepped on!

M says these are empty nest dreams.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Never One Drop Of Rain On Arrakis

My sad little tomatoes are not doing well in this drought. I keep watering them and watering them, and they're hanging in there, but they're pretty pathetic excuses for tomato plants, if you ask me.

These are Early Girls, so they should be about the size of a tennis ball. I got two out of the garden last week and these six this week. As you can see, they are pretty small.

I guess I should be happy, though. My shrubs are all ok. And my trees. I just can't remember the last time it rained here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Shopping Trip: More New Yarns I'd Like To Try

With my gimpy hands, all I can do these days is think about yarn. (As opposed to knitting yarn. I mean, of course I can do other things... I'm not completely immobilized. I can function in my daily life. I just can't knit without pain. That's what I meant.)

So this is my latest visit to Michael's, and some of the new yarns I liked there.

I found this Impeccable Glitter right off. Now, I'll admit I tend to be a magpie sometimes, (Oooh! Sparkly!) so it's no surprise this caught my eye. I didn't purchase any this day, mainly because I can't knit and I didn't want to buy it and then have it just sit there and mock me--Knit me, Patwoman. Why won't you knit me?--but I think I'd like to pick up some for some fun, sparkly winter accessories.

This is Mirror. It's black, with a multi-colored sparkly effect. I tend to gravitate toward the dark side, I guess. There were other colors, including a white, which had a opalescent sort of sparkle to it, and Blue Diamond, a deep blue on blue. I think Gold, a cream color with gold metallic sparkle, would make an excellent Christmas stocking.

I am also a fan of ruffled yarns. They are definitely on my list to try. (I actually have some LB Ruffles in the stash calling my name right now. What? What's that, yarn? You want me to come and knit you? Oh, God damn my carpal tunnel syndrome.)

This is Starbella from Premier Yarns, a wide-ruffle yarn. Again, I've chosen the darker blue yarn to take a picture of. This color is called Canyon Sunrise. Michael's didn't have a sample of this yarn as it would be knitted, but I took a good look at it.

The fabric is more open and lacy than, say, LB Ruffles is. I think that will make it easier to knit (since you would have holes already there to poke the needle through) than the LB version. But, the ruffles themselves will have a completely different look to them than a more solid ruffle yarn.

Speaking of a different look...

This is Loops & Threads Flaunt. It's a weird looking yarn on the skein. Looks almost like a ladder yarn and a ribbon had a baby and named it Flaunt. It's not as wide as most of the ruffle yarns I've seen but it has a lot more body to it.

Michael's had a scarf knitted up, using Flaunt. The pattern is on their site. It looks fantastic. Ruffles on both sides, and the short color changes give it a really fun, unique look.

As I have not actually tried a ruffle yarn, I'm only guessing, but I believe a scarf would be very quick to work up using one of these. I'm looking forward to making some for gifts, and for myself.

If my hands will only cooperate.

Monday, July 09, 2012

I Love Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards

I've said it before... I love Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. They are some of the funniest things I come across in my daily life. I'm just not sure they're meant to be funny.

Like this one. Is this supposed to be funny? Because the thought of Triangle Ecstasy Spark brings to my mind images of... you know... threesomes. Not that that would be funny, I suppose. But I do think it's funny that Yu-Gi-Oh! named a card Triangle Ecstasy Spark.

And look at the picture. I'm seeing one guy and two girls. But they both have their backs to him. He's shooting some sort of electricity at them, trying to get them to turn around, but they're just not having any of it. In fact, it kind of looks like they're flying away from him. So really, Yu-Gi-Oh!, exactly who is in ecstasy here? Hm?

Now this one...

This one is obviously a joke. Look at the epaulet on the shoulder of his uniform. Look at the way his nose is drawn like a toothbrush mustache. Look at the angry countenance. Look at the freakin' pose!

I call this one Hitler Koala.

Friday, July 06, 2012

No FOs. No UFOs. No Os Of Any Kind

I would like update you on the knitting this Friday. However, there has been no knitting to update you on. Sadly, I have not been able to pick up the needles in a few days.

Literally. I'm having trouble grasping knitting needles. I think the time has come to just admit to myself what T has been telling me for years: I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

I guess I've just been in denial all these years, telling myself that it's perfectly normal for a person's hands to go numb while they are knitting or typing. And really, don't most people wake up with their hands curled into claws? And tell me you don't eat Advil like delicious little blue candies.

No? So that's just me, eh?

Anyway, I'm giving my hands a break right now, hoping to get back to the knitting soon. I'm okay with doing that for right now, because with everything going on with the store (busy, busy, busy) and our 28th Anniversary tomorrow, I'm not gonna have time to knit anyway.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Shopping Trip: Colorblind

As I've said many times in the past, the Dollar Store is a wondrous place, where you are likely to find anything. The downside to that is that you are likely to find anything. For example, I found Avengers Baby Wipes on the shelf.

Now, let's think about that one for a second. And don't even consider that the babies who would be using this product are not even going to care about whose picture is on the package. (Unless they are big comic fans. I don't know many babies who are, but I suppose there's always the possibility.) No. My question is, did Marvel really give licensing permission for that? Was whatever percentage of estimated sales--from a Dollar Store product--worth dirtying (pun intended) your heroes' images?

"Wipe my ass, incredible hulk!"

I think sometimes these products are produced elsewhere in the world, where maybe the American culture is not understood. You can lose a lot in the subtleties if you don't have a frame of reference.

However, I am pretty sure kids color all over the world. Or draw. Or paint. Some kind of art, at least. So I'm really dumbfounded by this:

M: What kind of cruel bastard makes a coloring book with black and white dogs?

Patwoman: Well, sure, you would only use one crayon for the dogs, but there could be other things in the picture to color, right? Like, maybe the dogs go to the park?

M: Or maybe they get stuck in a clear glass cookie jar?
Patwoman: You get to use the brown crayon for the cookies, at least.

M: Have you noticed the black spots are already colored in?

Monday, July 02, 2012

Finally -- A FO!

I could not wait until Friday to post a Finished Object. Here is the Green Feathers scarf I told you about last month. It's my game day, keep my hands busy so I don't get disruptive, project.

This is Eve Self's Mother's Day 2008 pattern from Ravelry, using Yarn Bee Fleece Lite in Autumn. I used only one skein, but I used all but 4 inches of that skein. So basically, this scarf takes 108 yards on Size 10.5 needles.

This picture makes it look like it's wider at the end, but it's not. That's just the camera angle giving it a weird perspective. You also can't see the lace much in this picture, but I assure you, it's there. It looks pretty good. The color is great, and I love a lace pattern in a bulky yarn.

Fleece Lite is kind of a pain for me to work with, but I think that has more to do with my mental block against boucle than anything else.

This scarf is done in two halves and then seamed up the middle, so that both the ends (with that little fishtail thing that feather and fan does) match. However, I am not one of those people who measures out exactly half the skein and divides it into two balls.

No. I just knit until it looks right. Then I cut the yarn and start the other half. It usually turns out okay. In this case, it turned out exactly right.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Free Counter