Friday, March 31


Here's El Stasho Gigante!
Click on the flickr badge to the right if you'd like to see snappy titles and descriptions. You may be able to pull up captions by clicking on the pix below---if flickr and the html gods are in a good mood today.

Some people harbor their stash in the usual bins and boxes...

Put another Giotto on the barbie!

while some of us get get more devious, er, creative.

Diakeito for HPNY KnitsLet's whip up some Angoraritas!Trendsetter Tailgate

Noro Ganpi abaka tape, 10 skeins, on sale Assorted Habu Textile delights Habu Kurikura Silk cocoons--huh?
Native fibers from NZ and Wales Woolly Buggers 9 sheepy skeins natural wool, Sardinia or Corsica Anny Blatt Bouton D'Or Outlet Binge Anny Blatt Bouton D'Or Outlet Binge redux Anny Blatt Capella Cashmere Anny Blatt 100% Cachmire, 10 skeins, France More Anny Blatt Victoria and Bouton D'Or Libertine Put another Giotto on the barbie! Recycled Silk, 10 skeins, Ebay Dalegarn Svale, 14 skeins, Oslo Silk in the Grass Interlacements Montana 'poppies' Knit Picks Vacation and Get Away Brown Sheep Kaleidoscope, 9 skeins, Ebay I eat Pashminia for Breakfast Elann Peruvian Collection Uros Aran TKGA 2004, Cashmere?merino Random Acts of Art Fibers Let's whip up some Angoraritas! Newest addition-Noro Lotus, 10 skeins Trendsetter Tailgate Newest addition: Sock it to me Koigu! Diakeito for HPNY Knits Newest addition: Qiviuk


Archie spends a little quality time watching his archie-nemesis, the neighbor's cat Vegas.
Today we're going on a scavenger hunt. You know, where you run around the neighborhood and plague strangers for oddball items? Well, this time the internet will be our stomping grounds. Have fun! Here's the list:
1. A famous chef and a giant matsutake mushroom
2. White guy in Africa
3. Your last name
4. Ninja Hamlet
5. My New Knitting Project
6. Vegas the Cat as a human
7. Texas Hot Potato
8. A Tobacco Brunette
9. Tex and Bandit's lunch
10. Tomorrow's blog

I've got to get the camera charged up. Woohoo!

Thursday, March 30

Today's Wisecrack

Driving home from school.

Tex: "Mom, you know what you should've gone as for Halloween last year?
Me: "What, dear?"
Tex: "YOURSELF! Hah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Yarn Geeks+Digital Cameras=Stash Envy


Timbuk 3 and 2

Those krazy kats over at Knitty are having their 2nd annual 'Flash Your Stash' day on April 1st. Basically, we all take pix of our stashes and post them for online ogling. I'm participating mainly to get my yarnporn jollies and to prove that stash addiction helps the economy in a myriad of untold ways.

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Looky here! El Stasho Gigante waiting to be photographed.

I plan to select my absolute favorites and the yarns that I have way too much of. I'm half tempted to just say send me a self-addressed box with postage and it's yours. But, I can't. Every skein tells a story--where I bought it, how many times I had to ask directions to the shop(often with family in tow), was it on sale, what happens when you shop online after a couple glasses of plonk...the sort of details that would make any non-knitter roll on the floor, clutching their stomachs and beg for mercy. In fact, my DH engages in that activity everytime he checks his e-mail at home and realizes he is completely surrounded by jillions of mute skeins in bags and Rubbermaid containers...just waiting....and watching.

My stash is counteracted by the hundreds of books in our house. Books that have been shipped from DC to Austin to Paris to Key Biscayne and back to Austin. Many of these books are for 'research' as opposed to entertainment. Not all are classics. "Man Kzin Wars 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5?" Guide books from the early 80's? "Once A Bum, Always a Dodger?" We have mutually agreed not to question each other's ,ahem, research projects even though I'm convinced that if the yarn doesn't suffocate us then we'll literally get crushed by all those weighty tomes.
(I'm currently reading "The Amalgamation Polka," by Stephen Wright for my book group. Lots of chewy Proustian descriptions that go on forever and therefore have a soporific effect on me. I really wanted Richard Rutt's action-packed "History of Hand Knitting" to be this month's choice. Needless to say, various members fell to the floor, clutching their stomachs and begged for mercy.)

Well, I have worked a few more rows on the Sunrise Circle Jacket and intended to do more when I got my monthly yarn samples from Elann. I wasn't too jazzed about them for knitting but thought they'd work well for a weaving sample, so out came the Knitter's Loom. Setting up the damn thing takes time...and...concentration...and....more time. This is so different from knitting where instant gratification is only how long it takes you to find a pair of needles and cast on. I also found a Louisa Harding silk that Anneke had sent me that has 'Bollywood' written all over it(it really helps to have a LYS owner be your former employer). So here's what happened:
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Yeah, the one on top hurts my eyes, too. I'm not a big orange/yellow person but I did find a yellow skein of Phildar's 'Phil Tulle' in my oddballs box. This stuff is like knitting with pantyhose and is a real pain but I think it redeemed itself for weaving. It's very sheer so the yarn looks barely held together. It's an experiment but I may have to trot it out the next time I feel like dancing in the Alps.
Ah, Dan the Postman has just dropped off a box from Amazon for me. More research!

Tuesday, March 28


Dear Anonymous, Thanks for the tip on my potential career in secret shopping. I do have reservations about a garage full of barbecue grills, gun safes and power tools. Is there secret shopping for yarn? I'm there.

Dear Other Anonymous, I'll take your question about my creative processes as a compliment. Doesn't everybody have a bunch of drunken monkeys posing as ideas in their brain? Thanks for the link! Unless you're the Sober Simian Brain Alliance, of course.


1. Hull City Tigers. Hull, Yorkshire, UK. Football as in soccer. A former nanny's hometown team and where they round up local kids to play extras in the 'Harry Potter' movies. Cheers, Rachel!
2. Paris. And you thought all roads led to Rome.
3. Rick Marin. What a disaster that marriage was. And my bridesmaid's dress that I picked out. Rick tried to be the Candace Bushnell of 'dick lit.' Tried is the operative word. His current wife is Cynthia Rowley's best friend and they have a line of doodads at Target.
4. Kaffe Fassett was born in San Francisco but he grew up in Big Sur, where his parents started a hotel called Nepenthe. Great gift shop.
5. Kirstie Alley was a Vulcan, as seen here in Star Trek II:
Her ex-husband, Parker Stevenson, was one of 'The Hardy Boys.'
6. Shaquir Rashaun O'Neal, which means 'my daddy's boogers can squash you like a bug' in Swahili.
7. Vinegar, baking soda and food coloring can make for hours of chemical eruptions whilst trapped indoors on a cold rainy day. Just go here for the exploding lunch bag recipe. Tons of fun!

8. Vince Young ran in three touchdowns, two in the last five minutes of the game. Matt Leinart threw passes for TDs but didn't make any himself. Just watch the last 6 minutes of this game to understand why this is one of the most amazing Rose Bowl games of all time. And you thought last year's UT/Michigan showdown was a thriller...ok, am I the only football watching knitter here?
9. Puffy Ami Yumi did a remake of "Secret Agent Man" for the cartoon show "Teen Titans." We all have our favorites, but Beast Boy is mine. Such a cute underbite.
10. The #@%! charger was in the graveyard. It was the outlet that didn't work. Doh! Yes, that's my Longhorn cellphone in the pic above--at least I can always find it.

Weekend Update

It's raining cats and dogs today. A real frog drowner as they say in these parts. Luckily, Archie the wonder pup doesn't freak out with the thunder, he justs sits in one of his spots and looks pitiful. We're up to 2 inches already.

I spent all day Sunday working in the yard, my khaki-clad butt mooning the neighbors as I planted all my seeds from Japan and a few others. Mainly flowers--morning glory, a red baby's breath, balsam, poppies, foxgloves and such. This should make a change from the Swiss Chard tableau in the front planter. What a workout! My hamstrings really hurt.

I cast on for sock #2 during Tex's ballgame on Saturday. While the other moms were chatting, there I was with my iPod grooving to Bebel Gilberto and my Toasty Toes. Some may see this as antisocial behavior but I view it as an exercise in self-preservation. It's going to be a loooong season, there will be plenty of time to complain about the stringent parking measures at school or how much crap my kids eat.
Speaking of food, I thought I'd blog more about the gourmet thing but I don't. Truth be told, my DH does most of the cooking. Hey, I put in a good 15 years of chef-on-demand for this guy. So, after a hard day researching and writing a book, he unwinds with....a cookbook. He's been trawling through 'The Moro Cookbook,' by Sam & Sam Clark, really good. I do get called in for the heavy duty lifting like pastries, sauces and cutting up dead animals. Now that I have these super sharp knives from Japan I can start cutting radishes and carrots into decorative shapes.
Here's a treat he found--the vineyard is Mas de la Dame, a Provencal winery run by 2 women that is near Camp Trade-Off, our annual reward for leaving La Belle France. Don't say France, say 'Fraaaaahns.' Now see how long it takes for your friends to stick pins in their voodoo dolls. Anyway, it's a solid red with some oomph, great with Moro's spices.

I was goofing off bigtime reponding to a sideways sweater topic in Knitter's Review and found this:
my sideways cotton tank done in Tahki Cotton Classic. It's my 'Retro Beach Chair Stripe, Design Experiment #41.' I cast on for the front and knocked off a few rows. Gee, maybe it will be done in time for summer this year.
I also dug out my Ashford's Knitters Loom out of the box and set it up. I figured if I can decipher Japanese toy instructions, surely I can master the mysterious world of warp and weft. Sturm und Drang. The 'what the..?' and 'how in the hell?' of an ancient craft. I used some scrap cotton and Bouton D'Or's Reflets for the first try.
OK, all you eagle-eyed weavers will see that I set up the loom backwards. Well, they weren't so clear about that in the pix. I managed to weave anyway while watching the Texas basketball team lose to someone called 'Big Baby' in overtime. You know, if they gave my kids catchy sports nicknames they'd be something like "Stitches' (six scars and counting) and "DogBoy"(he'll play catch all day long).
I'm waiting to see what Annie produces with that oak tree in her apartment. Me, I'm planning to make scarves and shawls and, I dunno, like sell them or something. So far, I have one $200 thing completed.

Now, I know you've been on the edge of your seats drumming your fingers waiting for the answers to the trivia questions. They're coming right up in a separate post. Hey, stop it! That hurt! Don't make me get my beater.....