Saturday, December 31, 2005


As stated previously, I think New Year's Resolutions are bunk. Most of them aren't even kept a week, because people set themselves up for doing crazy things and then get upset when they fail. I agree a new year is a nice fresh start for doing/trying things however, but I don't think that waiting for a new year is necessary if you really want to make a change in your life.

On that note. These are my knitting resolutions and the only New Year's Resolutions I am making.

Complete the project or frog it. Don't leave it laying around half done.

No more than 4 WIP at one time, this includes small little quickie things. This includes everything! - Failed!

Knit something Lace. - Done!

Knit something Entrelac.

Knit something Intarsia. - Done!

Knit several somethings for shmoo.

Try to knit one pair of socks every 2 months. - Failed!

If it is meant to be a Christmas gift, it must be done by December 1.

Still do my other crafts as well.

A crochet WIP counts as one of the 4 WIPs I am allowed to have. - Moot.

Knit myself a sweater/cardigan.

Knit more chenille washcloths. (They make fabulous presents when given with a bar of handmade soap. I tend to always have the soap on hand, I should make a point to have more washcloths as well.)

Take a picture of each FO and put it in my photo gallery.

Realize that I will never make all the things I see and want to make, and buying yarn for those things doesn't get them made any faster.

Knit from the stash whenever I can. Even if I may not like the yarn as much. Even if the color isn't just perfect. (Or perhaps sell it? and make room for new yarn?)

Happy New Year Everyone!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Finished sock and other bits.

A friend of mine who often comments here, MrsIrb, wrote a guide that I just love. How to give a knitter a gift: A guide to non-knitters. It made me giggle. I recommend you go give it a look, and laugh.

I finished the first Jaywalker. I didn't do kitchner at the toe. I did a three needle bind off. Yeah, it made a visible seem outside the sock. I am ok with that, when I wear it, it is actually under my toe. I have toes longer than some people's fingers, so it works out fine.

I started my Clapotis. It's rather curly so I had to hold it down for the pic.

I went to The Celtic Knot today while I was in Ellicot City and picked up some yarn. I got two skeins of the green and two of the amethyst. Both Lamb's Pride Prairie Silks. The shot might be blurry but it's fairly true to color. (Camera decided it wanted to focus below the glass table for a change. Same problem in the sock shot.) I also got some brown to do the ballet wrap on the cover of IK Winter 05, but it turns out we didn't pay close enough attention when she came out of the back with more of the brown, because it was a different color brown and none of us noticed, so I have to take it back. That's ok. It gives me an excuse to browse some more.... right?

Finally, a candle I made recently. A 6" pillar scented (and colored) in layers. Sugar Cookie, Carrot Cake, Apple Jack, and Pecan Pie. An overall, homey, holiday cooking sort of smell with the individual scents peeking out as that layer is burned.

Also, we were at a friend's house baby sitting when I finished my sock. Their 4 year old decided that he wanted socks, and I needed to make them. RIGHT AWAY! So I am going to whip him up a pair of socks. When asked what color, he said, "Batman!" I tried to say it wasn't a color. Shmoo tried to say it wasn't a color. He went and got his Batman pillow and brought it to me and said, "See? Batman!" He finally decided that he liked the light blue I was using for the Clapotis and that I should make his socks with that. So very shorty, probably before I start my second Jaywalker to complete my pair, I'll be making Batman colored socks.

That just about sums it up. Have a safe and fabulous New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I've got a fever, I think it's the Clap!

Clap-o-tis that is. I have decided to rip out my Craftster Shrug. It's not that I don't like it, it's that I just don't need anything emphasizing my chest. Ever. And I just don't see how it won't do exactly that. So I am going to frog it and use both colors in my Clapotis. If I do it right, I will have just about the same width of color bands going opposite the dropped columns. I am hoping that will add some visual interest since I am not using a variegated or really special yarn. Just the plain old KP: WOTA from the shrug. I don't know that I am making this for myself but it seems like a nice non-thinking knit once you get it going, and I would like one of those very soon.

Also, I am almost at the toe on my Jaywalker. I know, I knit slower than Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. Hopefully, I'll find my way to a completed pair of Jaywalkers before my 40 years of wandering are up.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Scent of Woman

So today I was looking for a Fragrance Oil that is a copy of Bvlgari Black. Shmoo wears it and it's yummy. I want to make an aftershave for him that smells just as yummy. After having no luck I remembered Royal Aromatics. They have an FO* they are calling Bvlgari Men. I wanted to get a 1 oz sample to see if it was the right thing. Last time I ordered a pound of the wrong thing, (from another supplier) and while it doesn't smell bad, it's not what I wanted either.

Royal Aromatics is also the only supplier for the FO that I use to make my mom's soaps, bath bombs, lotions, etc. (L'air du Temps in case you really wanted to know.)

Unfortunately, they only use UPS.

Now, I have ranted on and on before about how I feel about UPS, and not only do I not want them to try to deliver anything to me ever again, I don't want them to receive my money to do it. I am not about supporting "Brown" anymore. Brown can do absolutely NOTHING for me. I have emailed the company and am hoping that they will hear my plea to use something besides UPS. If not, I guess I will just have to do without, and when my mother's FO runs out, well, then I guess it's gone until I can find another supplier. Which is unlikely, it took forever to find this supplier, and it's a bang on copy as well. So this is just disappointing.

But all this led me to thinking. How we associate memories with smells. When I smell L'air du Temps, I instantly think of my mother. It is HER scent. It is the representation of her to my nose. I have been told by other people who smelt the soap before I gave her the last batch of it I made, that it smelt like an old lady. Which leads me to think that my mother *might* smell like an old lady. (She doesn't to me of course, she smells like Mom.)

But then I thought, what is old lady smell? I think it changes, with each generation. Old lady smell becomes what our mothers wore. The scents and fragrances we associate with their generation. It's not the smell that changes. It's the people.

One day, someone will tell me, in passing, that my Jessica McClintok smells old and not light and heavenly, nor sweet and innocent. Or that my Tuscany Per Donna doesn't make them want to commit wicked sins with me, but quite the opposite. And that my Obsession is obsolete. And that my favorite everyday scents of Coconut Lime Verbena, and White Tea Ginger are neither light or refreshing but simply passe.

It is then that I will know that I too smell like an old lady.

*Note: FO in this case means Fragrance Oil and not Finished Object.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas to All...

Happy whatever your holiday of choice is. Now.. on to the loot!

Shmoo's mom,aka Shmom, (a fellow knitter) is the only person who got me knitting stuff for Christmas. And she did an awesome job. She sent me two addi's! Yes, two! Both 12", US sz 4 and US sz 5. I love them. I mean, besides being addi's they are so small and cute and will work so well on small round projects... love love love them!

She also sent Daisy and Bri some presents. Daisy got the Candy Cane rawhide chews pictured above with the Addis. Here she is guarding it. She may look cute and small and asleep, but she's not. She's waiting for shmoo to come along and try to take it so she can bark and growl at him.

Bri ran off with his Catnip Moose. I have no idea where he took it, but after he got high, he apparently had the munchies and went thru his entire bowl of catfood.

And here is the US5 12" Addi's already in use on my Jaywalker Armwarmers I started. I love using them already. I mean, I like dpn's. But a nice small circ you can just zip around with is hawt! You know it is!

And this is the glass turtle she got me. Shmoo said I couldn't have a live turtle. *sniff*.And finally, I think I am going to make these Catwarming meece from SnBN. I don't plan on using all the details on them, and I am using multicolored cotton. I want them to be washable and stand up to Daisy stealing them from Bri all the time. Poor Guy. He has no meece because she steals them all.

Also, I don't usually do New Year's Resolutions cause I think they are crap, but I think I am going to make knitting resolutions this year. More on that for New Year's!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A surprise gift.

My friend Penny (who often comments as anonymous for those of you who read them, and is linked to the right as Pennywise Specialties) surprised me today with a lovely Christmas gift.

It's a lovely little knitting book full of quotes by some famous, and not so famous knitters. It also has a very cute charm on the bookmark. This is a perfect gift for me. I love it.

Penny is a wonderful person, with whom I instantly clicked when we met at a soap con in Ga, two years ago. She is an inspiration of ideas in soaping, and bath products, and she is the reason I make candles. She is a master at packaging. She could package dog poo in a way that would make you think they are lovely and cute and want to buy them. But most importantly, she is my friend.

Thank you Penny. Friends like you are hard to find.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Slight of hand, turn of heel.

I have completed my first ever heel flap. I have turned my first heel. I have worked this ancient magic using only my hands, small pointy sticks, and yarn. I will be a sock knitter.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


We arrived tired and happy to be home on Friday night. Saturday we picked up Daisy from the kennel and ran a couple of errands. One of which was dropping into REI to find me a winter coat. I had already driven shmoo crazy with the LL Bean Catalogue at my mom's. I want a super warm great winter coat, but I don't want to pay that super price. Finally I picked what I wanted out of the catalog with the intention of ordering it online. Turns out they are out of two of the three things I wanted. So we tried REI. That too was a bust, so I came home and re-evaluated my LL Bean order. I ended up ordering a windproofed fleece and a different, but better, pair of boots. I hope they arrive soon. When they get here we are taking the fleece back to REI with the hope that it will fit into one of the shells there. I never knew coats were so complicated! To top all the coat drama off, I left my new pink cord jacket at my mom's house, so now I REALLY want that order to arrive soon.

So I went to Kroger and they had White Lily products on sale for 99 cents a bag. I stocked up.

And before you think, "Oh my God at all the flour!!!" please remember that I can't buy it up here in the great white north. I got two bags of All Purpose, 6 bags of Self Rising (cause it's just easier, at least for me, I am lazy), and 1 bag of the Buttermilk Cornmeal. Yes, I spent a whole 9 bucks on flour. There is no way I could have managed to get it cheaper, especially once you consider shipping for each of the 5lb bags. Also, one bag is a small gift to someone I know who really loves to cook and mentioned she would like to try it. Possibly two bags if she wants an all purpose and self rising. Slowly, White Lily will take over, and when it does, maybe I can finally buy it up here.

Ok, so yeah, as for the knitting.....

On my Jaywalker, I got ready to start the heel and realized that my printout of the pattern, well it was out in my book in the back of my car. It was late, cold, wet, and dark. I decided it could wait.

Then, because I wanted to knit while we watched CSI, and I didn't want to go out for the pattern, I started on the Armwarmers. I swatched. I measured my arm in circumference in inch intervals from my elbow to my knuckles. I worked out pattern measurements and decreases. I did some math. I made notes. I cast on. I am only as far as the ribbing, and I see that it's a little loose. I guess that's ok, there is no need for it to be super snug, is there? It's an experiment. I can always frog it. I'll keep telling myself that while I work on it. Maybe I won't hate it when I am done. I plan to finish the Jaywalkers first however.

On a random side note: Shmoo got to eat at a Waffle House for the first time ever on our way home. I was proud to see the northern Waffle Houses held the same standards as the southern ones (None). While it wasn't as good as Waffle House at 3 AM when you are drunk and just back from Buckhead, it was still pretty darn good.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


And I don't mean that british ska group. Things are nuts right now as we prepare to fly down to visit my family tomorrow and then drive back up with my car. I had a huge list of things to complete, but finally it's down to just three things left. One of them however, is packing. The stress from getting so much done in so little time however has led to massive freaking out on my part.

A problem package from UPS hasn't helped things either. I hate UPS. I am pretty sure I am calling their corporate to complain about how much I hate them, as soon as I get back. I even asked them if they could blacklist me and never never never take a package delivery for me again. They said no. So, if you plan on sending me stuff, don't use UPS. I hate them and it will just cause a week of stress while I cuss at them on the phone.

Yes, I said cuss. I hate cussing to people in the service industry. I have been there, and I didn't like it when it was directed at me, so I know how they feel. But after I almost had a seizure from frustration and then cried, openly, on the phone, I gave up and let it fly. Skies darkended and rumbled. Winds picked up. Sailors blushed.

On the bright side, shmoo handled the freak out well. I am so gonna keep him. He even had to talk to my mom on the phone because she apparently decided I was in mid-spaz-attack and no longer sane.

And while I am in the beautiful south... I am getting more White Lily!!!! Both all purpose and self-rising. Maybe even some whole wheat. I am tempted to get some Dixie Crystals as well, but I am not so hung up on a particular sugar that I can't deal with a substitute. Perhaps some more Duke's Mayonaise, (which, ironically I can't buy here, but it's manufactured in Richmond, so I can always roadtrip it down there really fast to get some) and there was something else but I can't remember what it was. That's ok, it will come to me when I am in the Kroger. I have a big truck, it can hold it! ;)

And of course I have to decide on my travel knitting. Taking my jaywalkers. And the yarn and needles to swatch the Jaywalker Armwarmers I think. Bigger yarn, bigger needles, planning of length and decreases. Blah blah blah. I am interested to see if I can do this on my own. Perhaps, we'll see.

Monday, December 12, 2005

So I was thinking...

I really like the pattern stitch of the Jaywalkers. Love it, in fact. Shmoo's mom likes the pics I have taken of my Jaywalkers too. She asked if there were pictures of them so I pointed her to Grumperina's gallery of Jaywalkers. If that gallery doesn't convince they are cute socks, then you will never be of that opinion. I also told her what yarn I was using. KnitPicks, Simple Stripes, Autumn. But I digress.

Yesterday, I wanted to see how the cuff of the leg I am STILL working on would look on me. I didn't want to hurt my skacel sz 0 dpns, (I swapped from my circs sz 1s to the 0s so that it would bring in the pattern a bit at the ankle, I can't see much of a difference really, but we'll see in the final product.) so I put the sock on my arm instead. Your forearm, nearest your elbow is supposed to close in size to your ankle, at least I have always thought it was, so that was my test. At this point, it occured to me how hawt these would look as armwarmers.

So, because I have frogged out my FCEK sock and wound that yarn, when I finish my Jaywalkers, I will use (some) of that yarn for Jaywalker Armwarmers. I am basically going to do a tube of the needed size and then do the decreases within the pattern as needed for my arms. I have no idea how to do a gusset for the thumb so that will just be a slit where I have started knitting flat until it's time to join back together. I plan on using sz 6 dpns, as they seemed to work well with that yarn. (Moda Dea, Sassy Stripes, can't remember the colorway.)

I am a horribly slow knitter, so I thought if I put this idea out here, perhaps someone else would be able to take it and run with it and by the time I got around to it, there might even be some instructions on a thumb gusset.

So there you have it. My idea. Take it, run with it, make it your own. Or not. :)

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Today I was going to write a treatise on the stupidity of our cat. I mean, my sock is progressing slowly and there really isn't much to report. But luckily for me (and possibly my reading audience...) my new toys came in today!

My Aunt and Nana gave me money for my birthday and I was to use it on my self. I did. I got myself a yarn swift and a ball winder. They were delivered today. I immediately started playing! It makes winding the large skeins SO much easier!!! That handpainted yarn on ebay that I order is always such a mess if I try to do it myself, and even with the swift I had some issues with it today, but I am NOT paying someone $3 per half pound to ball wind the yarn THEY dyed. I also think I won't be buying from her anymore. It's very pretty yarn. Her dyed chenilles are just beautiful. But the skeins are a mess, and I just don't want the hassle. The other yarns I did today did beautifully with no issues, and I just loved the little cakes it made!

Here is the swift and winder set up on my desk. I am winding one of the previously posted about cotton hand dyed skeins from Ebay.

Here are the wound skeins. The top two variegated are the Ebay cottons. The bottom left is Brown Sheep Prairie Silk in Green Back, and KnitPicks Shadow in Lost Lake.

And finally, because I am a dork, I couldn't find the center of my knitpicks sock yarn ball, and was knitting from the outside in. I hated it, the ball went everywhere. So I wound it. It is now taking up way less space as well as being a bit more stationary. I must say I like the way the stripes are working out on this. I don't knit on the sock constantly, so I don't have a whole lot of progress, I do however use it when I am playing World of Warcraft. When I am waiting on a boat, or riding a griffon, or being disconnected yet again because our Verizon DSL is crap, I get in a row, or just a section of row. It's starting to add up. I am still excited about the pattern and cannot wait to try on the first sock!

Off to Amazon to buy presents for my Aunt and Nana for Christmas. It's funny how holiday knitting stress is relieved when you elimante the gift knitting. Now if I could just get my gift sopaing done!

Friday, December 09, 2005


I have concluded that I am a slow knitter. I am ok with this mind you, but it means that I need to plan accordingly. As such, I have decided that perhaps my Aunt and Grandmother would like to recieve books for Christmas.

Here is my Jaywalker. As you can see, very little progress. I like the way the yarn is striping however, and I think I like this pattern. Usually when you start a pattern, you are in complete trust mode. You don't always see why the pattern has you do things a specific way. With this one, it becomes clear pretty fast, and I think it's coming along fine, despite my slow slow pace.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


I didn't cast on for Jaywalkers. Nope, nope, nope! Not me. I am a good girl and I am waiting until all my other projects previously listed are done. That is not a printout of the pattern, nor my new bamboo addis, nor knitpicks sock yarn. Me? Give in to the power of new needles and new yarn and a new pattern that everyone seems to love? Surely you jest. *Shifty Eyes* Hey! What's that!?! Look over there!!!

Biscuits anyone? Made with White Lily of course! As a side note, that skillet was my great-grandmother's(Mother's Dad's Mom). Can you say seasoned children? Suuuurreee you can.

Monday, December 05, 2005

A day of Inspiration???

Or possibly overload.

First, let me say, My Aunt's scarf has undergone a change. I got pissed off last night when I picked up a stitch in the middle of the main cabling motif and couldn't find where it came from. There were various other annoyances going on at the time, (Verizon DSL has been flakey ever since we got it and there was a queue on our warcraft server. These combined to mean that every time we managed to get on we got disconnected and had to start all over again. I gave up and knit instead) and that was just the last one. Instead I started over with a yarn from my stash. I bought it last year, some kind of wool blend. Two ply. Thick and thin. Lovely color. It's now going to be a garter stitch shawl on size 13s.

Now, onto the the inspiration. NEW KNITTY! Out today! Biggest Issue EVAR!!! I want to make the Boogie Time and Tempting II. I also like Danica and Cheesy Puffs. Cheesy Puffs could end up as a sweater for Shmoo. I have always wanted to make Tempting. It was one of the things that encouraged me when I first started to knit. One day, I told myself, I can make that sweater. Now Jenna has redone it and I like it so much better! And this time she has included my size so I don't have to do "the maths"! Yay. Very happy with Tempting II, and one day, hopefully this winter, I'll make it.

My Winter 2005 Interweave Knits came today as well. I love the cover shot. That ballet wrap cardi... I plan on having one. Not with the Colinette yarn however. Perhaps with my favorite, Lamb's Pride Bulky. I also like the Hip Hop Cardi and the Pearl Buck Swing Cardi. Both are appealing for different reasons. One is just warm and cuddly looking and the other has a classic feel to it. Not to mention both of these patterns are in my size, so once again, no math.

And now I leave you with pictures of Daisy getting a bath in the sink last night. Shmoo felt the need to take pictures. She hates baths.

Shmoo called her name to get her to look at him in this one. She was hopeful. She thought he might save her. She was wrong.

Trying to climb out of the sink to get away from the horrible soap and water.

Sad and pitiful from the abuses to which I have subjected her.

The cat watching all the action from the floor. Probably mocking her.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

In progress.

I feel that it's time to sum up everything I have going on, perhaps that will motive me to get it all done so I can start the Jaywalker socks.

My Nana's hat, in Noro Silk Garden. A circular cable and two small twist cables on each panel. There are 4 panels and there will be two repeats before I start the decreases, which I am still unsure as to how to go about. I have ideas, we'll see.

My Aunt's scarf. Also in Silk Garden, which I am still disappointed with by the way. Same cables as the hat for my Grandmother, a bit different arrangement however, and of course, it's a scarf. The Noro for this one is darker as well. Yes this was originally a hat, I changed my mind about that when she mentioned needing a scarf however.

The poor forgotten shrug. I actually did a repeat on this while riding the Metro into Arlington this week. That was it, one repeat, and now it's back to the corner for it. I don't think I'll actually finish this before starting the Jaywalkers, but I haven't forgotten it either.

And here are the FCEK socks. Sitting there. Waiting on me to finish my Christmas knits so I can knit them and then move on to the Jaywalkers. They know I don't love them. They know I don't want to finish them. I am only a tiny way in on this, I could blow them off. I could try the Jaywalker pattern with them (not really, the yarn is too thick), but I won't. I will make them as I meant to and then promptly forget about them until I need a pair of socks to wear.

My completed crochet scarf. It took a little over an hour all told. And that includes the tacky tassles. I was feeling whimsical and a bit tacky at the time, so they got added. I know them for the bit of tack that they are and don't mind them a bit. They add a touch of weight to the ends of the scarf. Also, it's a basic scarf other than I made a whole in one side so that I can put one end thru the other while wearing it. My scarves always seem to come unwound from me, so this was a good solution, and what do you know, it worked! Shmoo is wanting a scarf now too. I am willing to bet I crochet his as well, without the tassles.

And finally, something that isn't knitting (or crochet). Shmoo showing off his fancy Logitech diNovo keyboard. And to increase the geek factor of this picture, yes that is the starwars IV, V, and VI box set in the background beside the printer. Yes that is slashdot on his Mac (for which I am to make a felted case for it, Eunny-style, eventually), and yes, that is warcraft on his monitor. I love my geeky boy.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Move over King Arthur,

the Queen has arrived. The Queen of all flours that is. White Lily. THE cooking and baking flour of the south. You can go to their site and see why they think it's good. This is about why I think it's good. It makes "finer" biscuits. Even shmoo noticed and that was a quote from him. They just taste lighter and more refined. I couldn't match White Lily's texture even with sifting. When I made my White Lily biscuits I just put the flour in my bowl and went at it. NO SIFTING! And they were still better.

I have taken pictures of the sacred bag that was delivered unto me by the saint of flour deliveries (also known as my aunt). Gaze upon her beauty peasants and know the joy that is mine!

The top of the bag with the lovely guarantee, as well as the address if you aren't happy. And finally, below, the money shot. Bask, Rejoice, and go find your own bag!