Tuesday, May 30

T Minus...

I can pack t-shirts, shorts, bathing suits and feminine hygiene products in my sleep, but every year I am faced with the glaring question: Which projects to take on vacation?

Last year, some needlepoint(yeah, right), watercolors(that was good for 2 days) and some knitting. I can't remember the knitting because it was thrown into the bag in a last minute swoop. I do remember knitting up a cabled scarf for our landlord in some really scratchy wool I picked up in Sardinia. I later made amends by sending him the same scarf done in cashmere(on sale at Anny Blatt factory outlet shop--believe me, you'll hear more about that in a couple of weeks).

I'm trying to be organized this year and here's the A-list;
Socks--enough yarn for 2 pairs because I can't make up my mind.
Blue Heron rayon/metallic for Raj shawl. Already started--could actually be worn on vacation if actually finished.
Giotto shrug. I am up to the sleeves and this is good airplane knitting--pretty simple.
Sunrise Circle Jacket--if I was an FO fiend I should take this. The likelihood of it being worn in the next 6 months is slim.
Somewhat Cowl--see above.
Euroflax Linen--this is the dark horse candidate because if I make a cute top, it will get worn immediately. Of course, I'm thinking of a lacy/corset/wench number which would involve, like paying attention. World Cup starts June 9--If Ronaldhino's not playing, I'm safe. Size 3 needles--not fast. Ronaldhino plays, then forget it.
Yarn to swatch and design big fat juicy cable sweater. I've got a bunch of Peruvian Collection Uros Aran...the Furlana is really soft...one is periwinkle blue, the other natural.....aaaargh!

OK, roughly three weeks to complete a pair of socks, one easy lace shawl, one shrug, possibly a lacy linen top and some swatches. And you call this a vacation?
I had better mention that all bets are off after my annual trip to the AnnyBlatt/Bouton d'Or wonderland. I return to the house where I spend days alternating between swooning and petting my new found treasures. Mr. Mary(a seasoned pro) brings me a restorative glass of local plonk and reminds me that I have not spoken to our guests in about 2 days. Really, do these people expect me to entertain them when I just got the deal of the century? Go visit a vineyard or something. Here, I just found a brochure on some neato ruins. Now take off!

Oh, right, where was I? Packing.

I completely forgot the Hana silk top!

Saturday, May 27

Someone get the hose...

because this baby is ON FIRE!

Ok, I swiped this from GoFugYourself, but we all need a little break from the nonstop trips to the grill (and cooler), grabbing that must-have Memorial Day sale item at the mall, and the dawning realization that your kids will be home 24/7 for the next 12 weeks.

And I thought smocking was for babies.

Friday, May 26

Book Report due on Friday

T-minus-5 and counting...just days away from the annual family trek to Provence. All you Texans out there are thinking, "OK, Little Miss La-Di-Dah, why in the Sam Hill would you spend good money to park your butt on some frog's hardscrabble land with a bunch of cicadas and no AC? You want yer nature? Cheap local wine? Local crafts and food? Hell, just load up the war wagon, drive to the Hill Country and stop in Fredericksburg where the Germans use deodorant for God's sake!"
edited to add: And those Texan drivers? Just listen to this!

Honey, the French do it better.

Oh, and the Anny Blatt/Bouton d'Or factory outlet shop is 45 minutes away. Need I say more?

This stripey little gem arrived from my Dye-O-Rama buddy. Isn't it fun? Don't you just love that blue and yellow? It reminds me of the sno-cones we got yesterday at Sno-Beach. Green Apple Sour with Lemonade and Blue Coconut. My stash has been overrun with pinks and oranges(Sugarfree Red Grapefruit if you're at Sno-Beach), so this rounds out my sock stash rainbow quite nicely. Please march over and give mookitty a shout. She needs some positive vibes from all of us.


Stash enhancement has dwindled due to pending departure but that hasn't stopped a couple of trips to the bookstore and amazon.com. Here's a brief round-up of the latest in the library:

Knitting Nature, by Norah Gaughan (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2006). This book is published under the Melanie Falick imprint so that should give you a heads up that some treats are in store. Maybe a first for knitting books, is the foreword written by a scientist. Gaughan then explains in her introduction how she became intrigued by a book on pattern formation in nature which led to the 6 chapters here. Don't worry, there's a not a test at the end of each one. So let's skip the higher thinking and get down to the reason why I plunked down $30 for this book. 'Hex Coat,' 'Swirled Pentagon Pullover' (check out Grumperina's FO), 'Phyllo Yoked Pullover,' 'Ogee Tunic,''Coastline Camisole,' 'Turbulence U-neck Pullover' and 'Droplet Hat' all have some intriguing techniques. For instance, 'Coastline Camisole' has a wonderful edging that reminds me of Morrocan tiles, while 'Droplet Hat' has a no-turn bobble---NO-TURNING, people, and the hexagons/pentagons are just plain cool. I would definitely check for corrections on the publisher's websight before jumping off these technical cliffs. Gaughan is the design director for Berroco Yarns(which is misspelled on the jacket flap, FYI, better fire that intern) so a few of their yarns are featured but there's an array of others. The photographs are pretty straightforward, like an old Tweeds catalog shoot on Mount Desert Island or Big Sur. This all begs the question, "Norah, darlin, what are you doing with those Berroco patterns?"

Simply Fabulous Knitting, Montse Stanley (David&Charles, 2006). I saw this at Overstock.com and thought 'Yippee, another tome from the venerable Montse Stanley, oh happy day!' Whoa, Nelly, just back up a bit there. This is 'Based on the work of Montse Stanley.' This is a sampling of Stanley's earlier books tarted up with an irritating cartoon and geared for beginners. For a few dollars more you can buy Reader's Digest Knitter's Handbook (The Handknitter's Handbook in the UK) or Creating&Knitting Your Own Designs For A Perfect Fit(Harper&Row, 1982) for the real Stanley. She's one of the grande dames of knitting and you should treat yourself to the original and not this slapdash wannabe.

Knitorama, by Rachel Mathews (MQP, 2005) and Funky Knits, by Carol Meldrum & Julie Marchington(Interweave Press, 2006) are two books that fall into the kitsch knitting category that is so krazy!kool! these days. Knitorama has a whole kitchen sink of knitted objects such as fried eggs, ham sandwiches, vegetables, Battenberg cake, Bakewell tarts and even a pint of crochet stout. This seems to be bigger trend in England than here(the authors are British) and I hope it stays that way. Personally, knitted/crochet food creeps me out but with squeakers they'd make great dog toys...for about 2 seconds.
Funky Knits is marginally more practical with the requisite iPod cover, beanie, felted slippers, a guitar case and a washbag made from recycled plastic bags. There are a few sweater patterns, even one with 'distressed holes.' It's a toss up as to which group of models I'd like to strangle most.

Mon Tricot Knitting Dictionary:800 Stitches Patterns(1963). I love my Mon Tricot 1500 Stitches and when I spotted this on eBay, I couldn't resist. I look at knitting stitch patterns they way other people pore over gardening catalogs or Jane's Fighting Ships. The variations, the detail, the nuances... the possibilities are endless for complete world domination by knitters. 800 Stitches has some promising weapons; their 'wasps nest stitch' is different than Stanley's with crossed stitches versus slipped, the 'swarm' and 'ant egg' stitches have nice nubby textures and their insect names make me smile, the intarsia squirrel is darling and the 'horizontal bat stitch' will be swatched very soon. If you find 1500 Stitches then go for it, but you won't be disappointed with 800.

Weldon's Practical Needlework (Facsimile edition, Interweave Press, 1999) is the basis for Knitting Vintage Socks, by Nancy Bush (Interweave Press, 2005). This is just fun for historical interest. The 'Men's Smoking Cap', antimacassars, and 'invalid's knitted boots' are all wonderful examples of Victorian knitting. There's even a 'Ball knitted like an Orange' that's a whole heck of a lot more practical than the fruit protectors in the Knitorama and Funky Knits books. You may not attempt any of these patterns, but the 'Gent's Shooting Mittens' and other glove patterns would work on today's needles.

Knitting Yarns and Spinning Tales, edited by Kari Cornell(Voyageur Press, 2005). Maybe it was after a long day or my mind was not in the mood, but I found this collection to be a downer. I wasn't expecting happy-ha-ha, but many of these essays deal with loss and loneliness. If you're in a contemplative mood, you'll probably enjoy this. If you're just plain tired, then skip it.

Generation T, by Megan Nicolay (Workman, 2006) Ok, not a knitting book, but I did just pick it up. There's another t-shirt book out there, but I found the tops too skimpy--at my age, some things are better left to the imagination. I saw Nicolay on 'Martha' and my first reaction was, "Megan, why don't you trot over to the gals at Knitorama and Funky Knits and introduce yourself?" Later, I was in the bookstore and gave it a glance. Not bad...really...oooh skirts!...ugh, tube tops and bikinis....a braided rug, cool...a pic of Jean Seberg...and, good Lord, a t-shirt wedding dress! Any redblooded American has a jillion t-shirts--it's our most common cultural bond--and you're bound to find something fun here, just in time for summer.

Tuesday, May 23

DPN: Deeply Personal Nirvana

The Little League play-offs are over, thank God. The teams have had their parties, the trophies handed out. School is winding down and I let the boys stay up late because it's still light outside and there's no homework. The thermometer is hitting 90 degrees and summer is here.

On Sunday I had my SnB group over but not before I tore around the yard weeding the flower beds. Nothing like having company over to make me lose all sense of priority. Homemade cookies, nah. Freshly made limeade? Yeah, right. No, I really hated to have the knitters think I was as lax with my gardening as I am about housework(a messy house is a badge of honor for most knitters in my experience, but the garden is a different matter). These beauties are from the seeds I brought back from Japan and they look just like the package--that never happens.

And while I was pulling a basketball out of the bushes, I discovered a bird's nest with hatchlings. This is a miracle after the tempest a couple of weeks ago. This nest is located directly behind the basketball hoop in our driveway. The parents are cardinals, a bird very dear to my heart. Bluejays and grackles are something else. My first thoughts were that this nest is in the danger zone bigtime. Then, I realized how smart the parents were in putting it there. It's near our yard and the dog, but he can't get to it. Because of the dog, the next door neighbor's cat won't come near it. The nest is fairly sheltered and very well camouflaged. I've forbidden the boys to play basketball and have posted signs on the garage saying "Careful! Bird's Nest in Bushes" so the neighborhood boys will take note. And the neighborhood boys are probably thinking, "Oh great, now we get crazy KnitterBirdLady on the corner. Hey, let's go meow like cats and see if she freaks out!"

Having a group of knitters over to the house was one big playdate. And this being their first time here, there was a grand tour with promises of the YarnCave being the final stop. Wow! Seeing those gals in the Cave was like watching my kids at BlazerTag--their eyes were darting around, fingers twitching, just trying to focus on one thing before spying another. I guess I've gotten almost immune to it, so it was a great joy to see their delight. It wasn't long before they're pulling skeins out with uncanny radar--the pashmina, the qiviut, the Zephyr laceweight. And then Entrelac spotted some stray roving that I had from my LYS shopgirl days. Next thing I know, she has spun and plied it... well, after Tex was caught foolin' around with the treadle. I gave the yarn a quick KoolAid dye job and look! Is that cool or what? I'm going to knit it up as a peace sign doodad for my Dye-o-Rama pal.

In order to cast on for the Dawn Brocco sherbet stripes pattern, I would have to use dpns and not my usual 12-inch circulars. I love my 12-inch Addis and it's one of the perks of having big feet--usually there are enough stitches to join in the round without any problems. Not this time. I toddled over to my LYS, gift certificate in hand, and gave the needle wall a good hard look. Now, my dpn history goes back to France where I picked a few sets on sale at the Phildar shop. They're metal, 8 inches long and heavy. I started a couple of socks but it was like knitting with shish kabob skewers. I became a needle bigot and nothing was going to change it. Even Clovers put me off--points get dulled and they drag.

What's this? Short lightweight Bryspun dpns? 5-inch Brittanys? Where have I been all this time? Where have THEY been? I mentioned that I should use Cascade Fixation but wasn't sure when the owner casually pointed out a new yarn that had just come in: Needful Yarns Dubai Stretch, 85%Viscose, 15% Elite pbt, whatever that is, 50gms=182 yds. And then there was this saucy little number winking at me: Bouton d'Or Nomade, 50%cotton, 50% modal, 50gms=115 yds, color Carmin--might just work for the pattern. I also picked up a copy of "Poetry in Stitches," because I really want Norsk Strikkedesign in English(my copy is in Norwegian, Oslo souvenir) and needed a Norwegian color fix. But I digress. The gift certificate lasted....8 days. I ran home, cast on with the Bryspuns and I have become a dpn lover. A bonafide Born Again DPN knitter. As for those nasty metal sticks, they'll come in handy for BBQ and voodoo dolls.

Plans are afoot for the unveiling of the SockBlog-NoRules-KAL. HPNY, Annie and I have been busy little bees getting it ready. Soon, my pretties, soon.
In the meantime, ladies, I PLEDGE!
LOBSTAH, you're next.
My apologies for the mix-up and any confusion it might have caused for crustaceans and vertebrates.

Friday, May 19

While the Cat's away...

Mr. Mary has run off to Cuba on another research trip for his book. Yeah, I just bet he's doing a lot of fact finding at La Floridita, The Tropicana and the Hotel Nacional. In the meantime, Mousetress Mary has stocked up on Squirt, microwave popcorn, vin ordinaire, take-out menus and lots of chick flick videos for a few days of neglectful parenting and obsessive knitting.
I even picked up the June issue of Vogue, drawn by the silvery top on the cover. I'll save you the $4: Silver acetate-and-polyester mesh top, $945; Maison Martin Margiela, NYC. I guess that acetate and polyester is harder to come by these days than $2 gas. On page 138, there is a cute woven grass basket from Crate&Barrel, $40, that has knitting written all over it. I would probably line it with some fun fabric to prevent snags.

Soooo, I'm flipping through Vogue and there's this spread, "What do you pack for your summer escape?" with the contributors' lists of exquisitely precious items from farflung and/or expensive sources. You know what's coming....
"For my frequent trips to my family's suburban backyard in Austin I bring a large can of Deep Woods Off, my Green Lantern t-shirt, the one bathing suit that sorta still fits, a dingy pair of Old Navy shorts, CVS waterproof sunblock SPF 30, a copy of "Take Me," by Bella Andre and a six pack of either Safeway Select Refreshe bottled water or ice cold Shiner Blonde."

I have good reason to hang out in my backyard--it's finally back to normal after a week's worth of stump grinding, tree removal, fence and sprinkler system repairs. This ordeal has yielded unexpected dividends: we now have a new spot for lanyard making and sing-a-longs at Camp Dystopia with custom chainsawed seats for Grumpy, Jumpy, Lumpy and Frumpy. Unfortunately, next door at Camp Wilson things went from bad to worse when this rotten old oak gave up the ghost in highly dramatic fashion at 3pm the other day.I'll admit it was practically impossible to repress my wicked glee when I saw this. OK, I'm petty and childish...I hang out with 2nd and 3rd grade boys for cryin' out loud and nobody got hurt.

Here's my progress on the Giotto shrug: I've finished the back and am now increasing for the sleeves. There's a lot of basic shaping involved and the double moss/seed stitch is fairly mindless. I know the dark color obscures some of the texture, but that will change with blocking and a light t-shirt underneath.
I joined Sundara's Petals Collection where 2 skeins of hand dyed sock yarn ambrosia shows up at your door. This is pure indulgence, especially since I haven't cast on for my next pair of socks. HPNY is not helping matters any when she posts all sorts of pattern and yarn links. We're actively mulling over the Team Sock Blog--I really need it because on top of all the new sock yarn, I'm finding new pattern sources. One of them is Dawn Brocco. I was intrigued by her Curvaceous Cable Collection which led me to her site.
http://www.dawnbrocco.com/webshelly15.jpgThis is what I've been reading while waiting for the boys to get out of school. Charting Your Way Through Heel Turns, Heels and Toes Gazette #14 and 15. Real page turners for us new sock zombies. The H&T Gazette has Turkish socks and a lovely Sherbet Stripe Socks pattern that I'll do with a variegated yarn. I really like the fact that she includes multiple sizes--very important for my honkin' big pontoons.

And now Mouseketeers, it's time for to sign off with today's yarnprOn:
A.L. de Sauveterre Estrelle cashmere,'Muench' and Sundara Yarn aran silky merino, copper on brown.
New and improved shots of last weekend's dye pot experiments.

Tuesday, May 16

I'm a Little DyePot

We're not a big Hallmark holiday family but the doubleheader of Mother's Day and my 18th wedding anniversary on May 14 meant I got charming cards from the boys and a gift certificate to my LYS(there were many dropped hints) from Mr. Mary. The little man told me that when he walked into Hill Country Weavers the owner looked up, smiled and asked, "Who sent you? Men are usually afraid to come in here." Heh-heh-heh, we women knitters really know how to make the menfolk walk on the wild side.

I plan to hoard that gift certificate until I can't stand it any longer and then I'll swoop in and succumb to the $ Fiesta Yarns handpainted bamboo that they got in a couple of weeks ago. We are not placing bets on how long I hold out.

One of my Sunday treats was to read the NYTimes at my leisure. What a waste of time. Every article pertaining to Mother's Day included the phrases 'bi-polar,' 'years of therapy,' 'prescription drugs,' and 'midnight trysts with Jack Daniels and Mr. Wilson.' OK, I made up the last one, but each mother-oriented piece was a downer. Perri Klass, the knitting pediatrician who writes for Knitter's Magazine, has a much better article in today's Times.

DYE-O-RAMA or Let's Watch Mary Torture Yarn:
I signed up for Dye-O-Rama where you dye a skein of sock yarn for your pal while out there someone else is doing the same for you. I ordered 4 skeins of a merino/tencel blend from Socks That Fit! OK, math whizzes, I know I need to dye only one skein but I wanted one for myself and the other two for insurance. And you'll see why...

Armed with a variety of Procion MX dyes and my yarn I set to work. Now, there are a bunch of photo tutorials so let's leave those details to the, ah, more technically abled. I knew my dye buddy likes orange, so I blobbed oranges, yellows, and pinks on a couple of the hanks and got this: Tequila Sunrise. Not bad if I do say so myself.
Gee, that was so easy why don't I kick it up a notch and go for self-striping? How cool would that be? And I know my pal has a thing for the Colinette AbFab throw in 'Antique.' I could dye up stripes in purples, pale pinks, faded olive and a touch of gold. I'll call it 'Mother's Day,' make a skein for myself and get all fuzzy thinking about that special time when I dyed this yarn.

Cue up the Danny Elfman soundtrack...first off, I walked across my living room about a thousand times to rewind the skein in 208 inch loops, then I tied off sections for the different stripes, plopped each section onto SaranWrap(don't get the kind with the dopey Slide 'n Cut Bar--pure evil), squirted colors onto the yarn, nuked it and let it stew. I didn't have the wherewithal to properly rewind the second skein, so I just tied off sections and figured this one will be 'Texas Crapshoot Stripes.'

This isn't 'Antique.' It's SHREIK.
Quick, kill it before it finds the pedigreed stash yarns and creates mutant ninja socks.
I made neon pink without even trying, nifty neato. The bronze is faded dust bunny, the greens and purples are too dark and the whole combo hurts my eyes. So, I overdyed both skeins with golden yellow and got this:
Now I feel better about the colors but the stripes are truly crapshoot deluxe. So, my dye buddy is getting the original Tequila Sunrise...the one I dyed before this madness took over my life, my kitchen and my yarncave.
I did dye a couple of other skeins in solids. This is some silk in pearl grey. Zee leetle monkee rows across the river Sticks in search of zee stash. Allez, mon petite singe, allez!

Friday, May 12

Take Yer Time, Mon*

The drone of chainsaws is in the background as the Stump Grinders gang gets to work. Soon our yard will be restored to its former weedy glory.

*Spoken to my then 4-year old as he raced towards the ocean and did a huge faceplant in the sand in Providenciales.

Jamaica Tank: DONE!
Katia Jamaica cotton, color 4002, size 7 needles, 5st=1" after washing, 220 gms total(2.2 skeins). My own design.

The bottom still flared out after washing it in hot water, so I was faced with a dilemma: either I take out the seams and redo them OR just whip out the old sewing machine and sew up the little buggers in a straight line. I opted for the more daring approach and sewed up the sides, zigzagged on either side of the seam and cut off the excess. This trick wouldn't work as well on a chunkier yarn, but comes in handy with a worsted or lighter weight yarn. I almost always use mattress stitch for my seams but, yes, people, you can sew up your knitting--just don't tell the Finishing Police.
A row of single crochet around the top and two rows of single crochet on the bottom with some Jo Sharp Desert Garden cotton tidies it up nicely, don't you think?

Poor old Sunrise Circle Jacket and Somewhat Cowl are languishing in WIP purgatory but they'll get done eventually. I've learned that knitting is not a race and that some projects fly off the needles while others take their own sweet time. KALs with a deadline may not be a good idea for my ADHD style of knitting. I see other blogs with loads of finished objects and I think, "Wow, now that's an A-to-B knitter." Especially with the lace crowd. I tend to zig and zag amongst my projects like a little bee happily landing on the next pretty flower. Ok, maybe that's a bit smarmy....more like a spastic 7-year old all hopped up on Dr. Pepper with a pocketful of tokens in a video arcade.

Speaking of instant gratification or lack thereof.... While the rest of you were reading "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life" last night, I was looking over my 1956 Bernat Handicrafter Book No. 51 with a calculator, a skein of Colinette Giotto and pair of size 11 needles in hand. How about a summer shrug? It's done in one piece--yay--double moss stitch. I'll skip the fringe. The model is Joan Crawford scary but at least you can see the piece.(UNLIKE the current trend in various knitmags and books that think we're all knitting anoxerics with great cheekbones and long legs--don't get me started)
And here's a little eye candy for Friday Fun.

Wednesday, May 10

Weekend Update

Whew! I've been busier than a credit card at a yarn shop closing.
Thursday: A one-night performance of 'The Tempest' wreaks havoc on Austin.
Friday: Two of our trees have landed in Mr. Wilson's pool, his trees have taken down the other neighbor's power lines and ripped the electrical boxes off the side of her house. She and I have had clinched teeth dealings with Wilson in the past. Remember the tough girls in high school who would snap their gum with a mile long stare? Well, that's pretty much how we interact with Wilson. Now we're all in UN negotiation mode.

The other crazy thing that happened on Friday was that I got over 200 hits on my blog. At first, I thought the Weather Channel or Shrinks Without Borders had linked me. Then I checked my site meter stats and realized that the Aranknit group on Yahoo had obviously posted a link to my Oscar de la Renta sweater post and were frantically charting it. Good Luck, AranKnitters, whoever you are!
Cable News: I've gotten a couple of e-mails from people as a result of the AranKnitter frenzy and I'm planning to chart and design a streamlined version of that sweater. This will not happen overnight people, so be patient. I think I may have something by the end of July.

Saturday: My in-laws arrive for their first visit to our new house and to celebrate Bandit's first communion.(Cuba beat Texas in the religion play-offs a couple of years ago.) I make my annual batch of fried chicken with collard greens, cheese grits, lemon chess pie aided by a couple of belts of Knob Creek bourbon. Yes, I did all the cooking, now quit gasping.

Sunday: First communion goes off without a hitch, meaning Bandit didn't step in dog poop or drip juice on his white shirt. Boys are ecstatic after trip to Best Buy for more PSP games and the in-laws(relieved that we don't live in a neighborhood with trucks on cinder blocks or pit bulls) announce that they'd love to take the boys for 2 weeks in July. Let me repeat: TWO WEEKS. NO KIDS. 168 hours of potential knitting.
Monday: I field calls from the insurance company, the fence company, my tree removal guy and Kofi Annan.

But, as HPNY says, 'when the going gets tough, the tough get knitting.' So, let's take a gander...

My first pair of socks! Interlacements Toasty Toes, Nancy Bush's Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns basic sock, size 3 needles--should have used size 2s for a snugger fit. This has excited me so much that I now have enough sock yarn to outfit the Russian Army in 1812. Then there's the lovely yarn that I got from Red Bird Knits--Laceweight wool/silk hand dyed by Kathryn Thomas, color 'mineral' and Scaefer Yarn Anne merino superwash, color 'Earth#2.'

I'm planning ahead for autumn with the former becoming a lacy cardigan and the latter a pair of basketcase socks. So this sock thing has gotten a bunch of us knitbloggers in a tizzy. So much so that we're thinking of starting a group sock blog. We know that there's a few out there already but this would be pretty much a no rules deal with the idea that you try to knit up a pair every month. Everyone could use different patterns, different yarns, post what they like and don't like about their projects and swap tips. Anyone interested? I'll keep you posted and check comments to see who else is game.
I'm almost finished with the Jamaica tank. I have to shock it in the washing machine, let it dry and then crochet an edge all around it. It's a little big on the bottom but we'll see what kind of shrinkage I get after the wash.
New Toy--an Olympus Evolt E-33o digital SLR camera. So far, I'm still reading the manual and trying to figure out manual macro settings for extra yummy yarnprOn. I hope to have some eye candy by Friday unless I'm documenting more storm damage...

Saturday, May 6

Giant Crocheted Art Piece in NYC

If you're strolling around Riverside Park in Manhattan on Sunday, check this out. It's a giant piece titled "Puzzlejuice" by Orly Genger who crocheted nylon rope and then painted it.It's at the 70th Street entrance to the park. HPNY, can you take some pix?

Otherwise, you can join me for some woodchip stew and bark juice.

Friday, May 5


There was a violent storm last night and we were greeted this morning by the sight of this.

Two huge hackberry trees are now in my neighbor's aka Mr. Wilson's pool. Trees are down all over the city. Our insurance company has set up a catastrophe hotline. Luckily, Mr. Wilson's house is undamaged and I've spoken to him more in the past 3 hours than I have all year. So, I'm a little busy right now calling three different people regarding our claims, deductibles etc....

I want my mommy.

Tuesday, May 2

We are the flowers

I've been busy writing a travel piece on Tokyo and going through paperwork. Going through paperwork really means trying to find something that I saw floating around a month ago and now I can't find it anywhere. So, I finally went through the mountain of school papers, returned and graded homework, notices--oops, that was in April--, and the general detritus of having two school aged children. And this was in 7-year old Bandit's folder:

We are the flowers and we speak for flowers.
that you need
Please stop killing
us. You need it to live.
Thank you
we are the flowers

I can't decide whether this is a commentary on the state of our backyard or a protest about spending 15 minutes with me at the florist the other day.
What's really running through my head is Eddie Murphy on SNL reciting "Kill my landlord, kill my landlord, C-I-L-L my landlord." But it's Bandit chanting "Kill my mother, kill my mother, C-I-L-L my mother."
Edited to add: I just asked Bandit about his poem.
He looked at me with total exasperation and said,"It's The Lorax."
"The Lore-acks by Dr. Seuss. We read it in school."

Monday, May 1

Happy May Day!

Time for some pole dancing and protesting. I plan to grab a few skeins, twirl around a Bush protesting various government policies before plopping down to watch "The Wicker Man". Ou sont les muguets?