Tuesday, February 28, 2006

updated

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Friend in need


This super cute dog is Oreo and she needs your help. See the cute little blinkie on your right. Please follow it to The Muttering Muse where you'll get the whole scoop on what's happening with her beloved Oreo. She tells it much better than I ever could. If you can help at all, that would be awesome! Slap the blinkie on your blog and maybe more folks can pitch in. I know all of ya'll have wonderful friends like Oreo in your life. Oh, and the Muse is a new knitter! Consider the whole knitting aspect a bonus!

Now, to really rip your heart out, I'm going to share something very mushy and pet related. I've carried this as a beat up clipping everywhere we've moved. I've re-read as I've seen 3 of my kitties off the Kitty Heaven, (the oldest one last year at the age of 19. She was a spry little kitty, too.), taken in a stray or two and found them homes, and done what I could for various animal charities over the years.

The Pet Owner's 10 commandments
...From a Pet's Point of View
1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that before you get me.
2. Give me time to understand what you want from me.
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial to my well-being.
4. Don't be angry with me for long, and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, entertainment and friends. I have only you.
5. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don't understand your words, I understand your voice.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I'll never forget it.
7. Please don't hit me. I can't hit back, but I can bite and scratch, and I really don't want to do that.
8. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm no getting the right food, or I've been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak.
9. Take care of me when I get old. You, too, will grow old.
10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, "I can't bear to watch," or "Let it happen in my absence." Everything is easier for me if you are there.
...Remember, I love you.
(Reprinted from Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, CO, The Stethoscope, original author unknown.)

Typing that makes me cry like a big baby. (Okay, I've got PMS but I can cry!) I hope I don't sound to preachy, but if you can help Oreo, that would be awesome.

On an upbeat note, I'm moving!!! I've gotten my account over at Typepad up and running. Sort of. It's pretty boring right now but I've got 2 photo albums up and 1 lame-ass post. My goal is to move the whole Blogger blog over on Sunday evening. I don't know what will happen, but I don't want ya'll to lose me! I've met lots of nice people over the last few months! So it would probably help if I gave you the new url: http://knitiotsavant.typepad.com
It's already set up with Bloglines and my goal is to be totally ready at the new site for March's Knitting Confessional.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I've got the munchies

To avoid working on Boogie's dress and coming clean about my lack of progress, I've decided to post about food. I don't remember where I got this recipe but it is incredibly delicious and perfect for the vegetarian in your life. This is a crockpot recipe so those not into crocking their food might want to turn away.

Hearty Bean and Vegetable Stew



Ingredients:
1lb. assorted beans, dry
2 cups vegetable juice
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup apple juice
Vegetable stock or water
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, diced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. black pepper
1 cup cooked rice or pasta (I use brown rice)

Directions:
Sort and rinse beans then soak overnight in water. Drain beans and place in crockpot. Add vegetable juice, wine, soy sauce and apple juice. Cover with vegetable stock or water, the amount depends on whether you prefer a soup or a stew. Cook on high for 2 hours. Add vegetables, herbs, spices and cook for 5-6 hours at low until carrots are tender. When tender, add rice or pasta and cook for 1 additional hour.

I serve this with cornbread. Yes, you are looking at a very blurry image of made-from-scratch Southern cornbread. It's a family recipe. You didn't actually think I'd give you the recipe, did you?
It's even baked in an iron skillet! How's that for homey goodness?

I mentioned earlier I have a lot of cute critters in my home and here's one of them:

Cecil is part Cocker Spaniel (mom) and whatever mutt jumped the fence and her (dad). Likes include chewy toys, playing fetch with Boogie and snuggling under the covers. Dislikes include leaving said covers, anything that requires a great deal of exertion on his part and people clapping for him.

I've been toying around with the idea of moving my blog somewhere else. Although I've enjoyed Blogger, there are some features that I'm looking for and am simply to lazy to program into my current template. Right now, I'm trying the 30 day free thing at Typepad. I'll let you know if I make the jump.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Knitting Project Progress

Okay, not the most original of titles but at least it's about knitting and not pics of me going through my a.m. beauty routine. That's a blessing. Am I right?

At the beginning of this month my blog celebrated its first birthday. Yeah blog! I mention this only because of my oldest UFO, the project that got me blogging in the first place, Boogie's dress. I've never posted a picture of any part of it at all! So hold onto your hats kids as I proudly offer for your approval....the back of Boogie's dress:
The pattern is from "Baby Knits for Beginners" by Debbie Bliss. (Boogie's dress on the Debbie Bliss page is the far right pic.) I chose the largest size to knit because I knew that A) I'm a freakin' slow knitter and B) babies grow incredibly fast!! Especially Boogie. She's 21 months old and 3 feet tall. Read it again folks, 3 FEET tall. I'm seriously considering enrolling her in super model school and livin' large off her good looks.

Before I go on about this project and pattern, (or get sidetracked by talking about how beautiful and tall my child is) here's a shot of the front:

No, it's not even done but it's my own salute to the knitting Olympics. I knew that I couldn't finish anything in 16 days but I decided I would attempt to complete this dress by the end of the Olympics or before Boogie grows another foot, whichever comes first.

So why has this taken me so freakin' long? The pattern confused the crap out of me and it's knit on size 3 needles. When I started this dress I hadn't knit anything of consequence for almost 10 years. To say I was rusty would be the understatement of the century. Anyway, I've gotten great help from my SnB gal pals and I'm sure this sucker will be finished well before Boogie's 2nd birthday...in 3 months...when she has to wear it for a picture. No pressure, right?

To keep my brain from oozing out of my ears while I finish the dress I've been working on Wavy, (on the left) and a potential Christmas present scarf on the right. Wavy is being knit with some Alpaca I got as a Christmas gift and I'm using some Highland Wool from Elann for blue boy. I'll give more specific info once I post the finished pics. By the way, ordering the blue stuff was the first time I'd ordered anything from Elann and I think I'm in love! The service was beyond great and the yarn is cool, too!

This is my cat, Zoe. I have a lot of really cute critters at my house and I just don't post pictures of them like I should. So here's Zoe. She's a shelter kitty adopted not long after we found a home for another kitty we were fostering. Zoe thinks she's a dog because she likes to growl at people who come to the door and try to tear up tennis balls. I just don't have the heart to tell her she's a kitty. Yes, her eyes glow like that all the time. Either she's possessed by Satan or she's been smokin' too much catnip. I'll try to get a pic of my feral kitty up next time.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday-Week 2 - All of Me



Source of Inspiration:
Conversation overheard between two Texas Rangers on special assignment for the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Vern: Shit J.D.! I got sumthin!
J.D.: Yeah.
Vern: 'Pears to be a 40 y.o. white female, bra-less wearing a "Run for the Cure" bandana. Jesus! I think it's one of them granola eatin' Birkenstock wearin' lefty liberals.
J.D.: And?
Vern: Hell, J.D.! She's foamin' at the mouth! I think she's either rabid or angry about cuts in social programs! I'm gonna call this one in.
J.D.: Gimme those. (snatches the binoculars from Vern) Idgit. She's brushin' her teeth. (Pause) Let's call her in to be safe. Those terrorists are a wiley lot.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The generosity of a stranger

Where do I start with this? Thank you is obvious but seems inadequate. That's all I really have, though. A big heartfelt thank you to my Secret Pal! My stash thanks you, my chocolate addiction thanks you and Boogie thanks you for more music to jam to on those boring car rides. Each gift was wrapped with pretty fabric with a little handwritten card attached. I'm not going to list every item but let's just say I love the magnet!

Seriously though. This was such a wonderful treat filled with lots of stuff to learn and play with. I'm thrilled.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I'm so unoriginal

I saw this super cool thing over at Sknitty so I swiped it. It's cool. Also I'm not feeling very witty, Boogie should wake up in about 15 minutes so I've got to make this quick!!!

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Knitiotsavant!

  1. Only twelve people have ever set foot on knitiotsavant.
  2. The most dangerous form of knitiotsavant is the bicycle.
  3. Pacman was originally called knitiotsavantman.
  4. Early thermometers were filled with knitiotsavant instead of mercury.
  5. In Japan it is considered rude to talk with knitiotsavant in your mouth.
  6. If the Sun were the size of a beach ball then Jupiter would be the size of a golf ball and knitiotsavant would be as small as a pea.
  7. Three seagulls flying overhead are a warning that knitiotsavant is near.
  8. The first domain name ever registered was knitiotsavant.com!
  9. South Australia was the first place to allow knitiotsavant to stand for parliament.
  10. Ninety-six percent of all candles sold are purchased by knitiotsavant.
I am interested in - do tell me about
1. Wow. I always thought I was kind of slutty.
2. Damn right! If I'm not hurting myself on a bike you can be certain I'll hurt you.
3. The name didn't take because it was too long and the little yellow ball just sat around wrapped up in its own angst.
4. Bet ya didn't know we knitiots were so filled with liquidy goodness.
5. The imagery on that one alone is enough to keep me from ever speaking of it again.
6. I dig logic. Weird spaceman logic.
7. I think the poop left behind would be more of an indication that a seagull is near, not me.
8. Damn! I knew I should have registered this name!
9. We weren't allowed to hold any seats in any government anywhere else in the world. Although I think our government could use a dose of savant.
10. Did someone mention arson?

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Knitting Confessional

Okay all you sinful little knitters, it's time for the monthly confessional. Actually, I've struggled a bit with my confession this month. My knitting projects are moving along nicely and I don't have any strange knitting accidents to report, yet. I do, however, feel the need to confess my knitting weakness. No, it's not thoughts of Koigu keeping me up at night or regret over not even attempting the Knitting Olympics. (The World's Worst Knitter completing something in 16 days? I'd have to give up the title and I'm fond of my title. It even came with a really tacky belt that has brass stuff all over it.) My confession has to do with a psychological condition. I suffer from Stash Envy.

I don't think it's very common. I mean, almost every knitter I've ever met has a stash. Except me. I just don't have a very big one. In fact, it's embarrassingly small. (It's so small that I keep my back to the other knitters when...wait I'm thinking of something else here. ) I'm so jealous of knitters who, when asked where they found the fabulous yarns for their incredible projects glibly reply "It's been in my stash for awhile." I don't have any yummy stuff just aging away waiting for the perfect project to present itself. What I have, dear readers, is a Rubbermaid tub full of crap.

Don't get me wrong. I have 3 interesting skeins from Russia. Different colors, all hideous. I have 2 skeins from Germany. Different colors, both hideous. These were gifts. Am I going to turn down gifts? (I know it's considered rude by some to even discuss the topic of gifts on a knitting blog, but not everyone is fortunate enough to receive crappy European yarn as a gift.) The rest of my stash consists of sad little leftovers and a few skeins from a grab bag of yarn I bought a couple of years ago.

It's not that I don't buy yarn. Actually, it is that I don't buy yarn. Okay. That's not right. I do buy yarn for the project at hand and just don't buy anymore until I have another project coming up. I made a huge leap when I bought some Koigu just for the hell of it last month. That's knitting out of the box here in Savant world.

Confession is good for the soul and so, to relieve myself of this envy and enter the world of normal knitters who hoard and fondle fabulous yarns right in their own homes all the while wondering where the hell they're going to store it, I will start my stash. It will be tough, but I think I'm up to the challenge. Now where did I put that Knitpicks catalog?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Pardon the mess

I've been toying with the idea of changing to Type Pad so, instead of moving, I'm going to play around with my template...again. Hopefully I'll have everything cleaned up with some nice buttons in place by this evening.

One of the things I'm going to change is adding my blog links. When I subscribed to Bloglines, I stopped putting those links up and I miss them!

Okay. I'm going to run.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Blogger's (Silent) Poetry Reading

I saw this over at Chris's place and followed the link over to Grace's Poppies to get the scoop. I love this and wanted to share a poem that means a great deal to me.

Morning Song by Sylvia Plath

Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.

Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.

I'm no more your mother
Than the cloud that distils a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind's hand.

All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.

One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. The window square

Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

In the bag



So here's Triangle before being subjected to the violence of felting. Pretty big, huh? I like this look. When I'm old and homeless with a half dozen cats to feed, this is the bag I want with me. Groovy, eh?

Here we see Triangle just after being rescued from the washing machine. Notice the baby bib, baby laundry and dish towel all trying to muscle into the shot. Cheeky little items.

This is the final product. The pattern does have a little asymmetrical flower that you can knit and felt but I had this pretty groovy pin on hand and decided that it looked cool. (It also provides me with a nice excuse to continue to look for groovy pins.)

So here are the specs for Triangle:

Pattern: Designed at Pick Up Sticks! but purchased through Jimmy Beans Wool.

Yarn: Cascade 220 in colors 9477 (MC) and 2403 (CC)

Needles: Size 10 circular and DP.

This pattern is pretty easy to follow. The exception would be shaping the bottom of the bag when sewing it all up. If you're a visual learner, you won't have any trouble at all. The pattern recommends doing the decorative stitching when the bag is damp. DO IT! I waited until it was dry and it was like pushing a really dull needle through leather. I think the top of my bag is too tall and it could be because I didn't allow it to stay in the washer long enough or I screwed up the pattern. Either is likely with me! I also took too much of the base in so you really can't see much of the contrast color when the bag is sitting.

All in all I really enjoyed this project and have plans to make another one!

Now I need a little blog advise. I'm thinking about moving this blog to Typepad. Anyone out with experience moving from Blogger to Typepad? If so, was it fairly straight forward? If your blog is currently hosted by Typepad, what do you like about it? Dislike? I'd love to year your thoughts!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday Week 5 - Personal History


Source of Inspiration:

Cost of 2 band banquet tickets in 198?: $10.00

Cost of the silk corsage his Mom picked out: $12.00

Married 20 years and still in love: Priceless

He is the love of my life.

Edited to add: Before I tell how old we were in this picture I want to remind all of ya'll that we are from South Alabama and Southerners like their women young! I was 15 and Big B was 16. We both look like we need to be fed. Get that couple a hamburger! Stat!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday Week 4: Personal History



Source of inspiration:

My parents. I didn't change anything about this photo. Sort of a "what you see is what you get" affair.

I don't know when this picture was taken, but I love it to pieces. I love the way my Mom hangs onto my Dad's coat. I love how cocky my Dad looks, like he's ready to kick the world's ass. I love that they are both dressed to the nines, even though I know that they struggled to put my Dad through college and have never really been good with money. My parents eloped. My maternal grandmother didn't like my Dad at all so my parents decided it would be better for everyone if they just eloped. My Mom was 18, my Dad 24. They each had dates with different people the night they to get married and they kept those dates. Late into the night, after the pretense of seeing others, they and 2 of their closest friends drove from Alabama into Georgia and were married in the laundry room of a local JP. They drove back that night and kept the marriage a secret for a very long time.

When we look at our parents, we see parents. Sometimes it's hard to believe that there was a time before us, when our parents were people without us. People who struggled and loved and wanted us in their lives with a desperate passion. For me, this photo represents the people that are my parents and I'm happy I know them.

Monday, January 23, 2006

It's about food...


For the life of me I can't explain why I've decided to post recipes and pictures of food. I'm no Julia Child or anyone else who can cook decently and yet here I am offering another recipe. Like the chocolate pie, the only origin I have for this is my Mom. I don't know where she got it or if, like a lot of stuff she cooks, she just made this up. For better or worse I proudly present:
Spaghetti Sauce
Serves at least 5 people
You'll need:
1 lb. ground beef (I use ground turkey)
1 onion, chopped
1 minced garlic clove
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
3 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
Lightly brown the ground meat, onion and garlic. Drain fat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer uncovered one hour. (This recipe leaves a ton of wiggle room for jazzing it up the way you want.) I serve it over whole wheat pasta.
Okay, no more posts about food! These are desperation posts!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Secret Pal Foo


I LOVE getting mail. I think it's something that no one really outgrows. The anticipation. The warm fuzzy knowing that someone thought enough of you to put even the smallest of items in the mail and send it your way. Very nice. It's even nicer when you're the recipient of the kindness of a stranger. When you participate in a Secret Pal, you're opening yourself up to the generosity of a stranger and, hopefully, a new long term friendship. At least that's how I see it.

LOOK WHAT I GOT IN THE MAIL!

Look how beautifully it's wrapped. There's a little handwritten note, pretty red ribbons on everything and two other notes explaining the gifties. Sigh. I put everything on top of my piano, (it's closed because it's actually cold here tonight. What the hell?) and Boogie just ran around saying "Pesents! Pesents!" Pretty neat. She got to keep a couple of ribbons and she examined the handwritten note. I think it met her exacting standards. Notice how I'm just sort of rambling away here delaying the inevitable picture of everything opened just so you can experience the excitement of opening "pesents" with me. Enough of that. Here's what was inside:

From the left to the right we have 4 bars of dark, organic chocolate; (and let me tell ya'll right now as I begin the long decent into PMS that chocolate is more than appreciated.) Targhee roving, a breed that I have never had the pleasure of spinning but which sent me running to my copy of "In Sheep's Clothing" to see what else I could learn in addition to the incredibly thoughtful info provided by my secret pal and finally, Wilton's Icing Colors. That's right kids, food coloring to dye my Targhee with. Who knew? Did you? I never even considered food coloring when talking about dying yarns, just Koolaid, plants and some scary chemicals that require the wearing of a mask. How narrow-minded is that? I mean, it dyes food. Why not dye yarn? (Hell, we drink Koolaid.) This is the coolest thing I've ever seen. SP even provided instructions on how to do this. Holy crap is that awesome or what? (Let me guess. All ya'll already new about the food coloring, didn't you?) I am blown away. So here's a big public thank you to my SP and I'll send my private love later.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Chocolatey Goodness


Okay, if you're diabetic or on a diet step slowly away from the monitor. Otherwise buckle up kids cause this is one super yummy and idiot simple desert. I got this recipe from my mom and I have no idea where she got it but damn near every relative on her side of the family makes this thing.
Without further ado I proudly present:


SELF CRUST CHOCOLATE PIE
(pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees)
You'll need:
1 stick plus 1 Tbls. of butter or margarine
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of flour (all-purpose . If you want a more cake like texture use self-rising)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup cocoa
Melt the butter in a 9-inch pie pan. (This step is extremely important as the melted butter provides the non-stickiness for your pan.)
Pour butter over other ingredients. Mix well. Put mixture back in pie pan. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. (My personal preference is ice cream and, if I'm feelin' crazy or have raging PMS, hot fudge on top of that.)
Yummy!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I've been tagged, and it's not a scary tag

My friend my SP 5 Amy tagged me. This meme isn't nearly as disturbing as the last one. Here goes!

4 jobs you have had:
Speech-Language Pathologist
Personnel Clerk, Dept. of Defense
Sales Clerk (in a book store!)
Film Library Clerk (Janna, I too was once a librarian...sort of.)

4 movies you could watch over and over:
Best in Show
Serenity
Drop Dead Gorgeous
Mystery Men

4 TV shows you love to watch:
(I mainly watch DVDs)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Firefly
Rome
Deadwood

4 places you have been on vacation:
New Orleans
The Netherlands
Florida
Virginia

4 websites you visit daily
Bloglines
Don't really look at anything else on a daily basis

4 of your favorite foods
Krispy Kreme Donuts
Mexican Food
Moose Munch candy bars
Pad Thai

4 places you would rather be right now
In bed
On my sofa, knitting
Snuggling my baby
Closer to my mom

4 bloggers you are tagging (a couple of these chicks are new to blogging. Feel the crazy love, ladies!)
Sandy
Janna
Chris
Mouse

Self Portrait Tuesday Week 3: Personal History


Source of inspiration:

This picture was taken over 30 years ago at my grandmother's home in Jasper, Alabama. I'm the kid with her finger in her mouth and my sister is peeking out from behind the bed. The only "doctoring" I did to this photo was to enhance the color. The original was very faded.

My grandmother's home was filled with antiques. The huge bed we're hiding behind was the one my grandfather died in, at home, surrounded by his children. I never knew him. There are other photos from that day; my sister and I jumping on the bed, running around it. It's somehow fitting that a bed that witnessed the end of a life becomes, in later years, the playground of two little girls. I really love this picture.

Edited to add: Donna, Oakman does sound very familiar! I'm sure we drove through it.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Knitting Foo


Finally, a post about knitting! Let's start with this little gem, Wavy.
I got off on the wrong foot with Wavy but I wouldn't be worthy of holding the title of World's Worst Knitter if every project I started went along smoothly. I'm using some alpaca that my sister gave me for Christmas. I really like this pattern and, even though my scarf will be a bit smaller, all that alpaca snuggled against my neck will feel nice. Of course, it would feel even nicer if the temperature would cooperate and drop about 20 degrees but I'm sure I can find a reason to wear this sucker. Maybe we'll move north.

Ah Triangle. My first adventure in intentionally felting something. At this point, the entire bag is about half-way finished. (I'll give the specs on it once I take a pre-felting pic.) I've really enjoyed knitting this and even though it's stockinette it really is a quick knit. Although I don't think the picture shows it well, the contrast color is a chocolate brown. It's really pretty. Hey, I have a question, should I block this thing before I sew it up and felt it? Any advice about the whole felting experience would be fab.



Last month I talked about re-discovering how much I loved spinning. This humble little ball is the result of that fling. It's a little uneven and the twist did relax though not as much as I'd hoped, but I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out. I have a bunch more of this stuff to spin up. I don't really have anything in mind to do with this yarn. Maybe I'll give it away or something. In the mean time, I'm lovin' the spin. I think I have some undyed Merino somewhere. I played with dyes a few years ago so I might give that another shot, too. Or maybe I'll take it slow and do a Koolaid dye.

Friday, January 13, 2006

A relatively uninspired post

Yeah, this will be a pretty "thisisthedayinmyworldhowaboutyourworld?" sort of post. I just haven't been terribly inspired to sit and write. Maybe my brain needed a break.

I was so unaware of this but this is National De-lurking week! I had no clue! Let me tell you folks, I am the queen of lurking. I lurk and lurk and when I finally decide to comment it either turns out that A: I've said something completely stupid or B: the person posting wasn't necessarily interested in hearing comments from anyone just sort of enjoying the sound of their own voice which is not a bad thing because don't we all love to hear ourselves rattle on and on and on and on...you get the picture. If you're lurking, come out into the sunlight! Out yourself, you lurker you!

This week has just been sort of "uh." You know, nothing great, nothing bad just a week. That's really a good thing, I think. Boring can be nice. (Please keep telling yourself that as you read.)

In the knitting world, I've started Wavy. I managed to turn a simple little scarf pattern into a comedy of errors! I'm just going to leave it at that because I'm still a little raw from my brush with utter stupidity.

I've also started working on my felted bag which is going much better. I love knitting the bag because it's fat and fast. I also frogged Boogie's dress to get some help with it at the next SnB. If any of you have checked out my humble blog from the beginning, Boogie's dress was sort of the catalyst for blogging about knitting. I hit a snag and all but gave up on it. Not to mention the fact that she's so tall I'm not sure it will even fit her anymore. Well, I finally grew a set, frogged back to the beginning of the error and am ready to tackle and beat the crap out of this pattern. I've got knitting attitude to spare. I'll snap some pictures of everything this weekend.

Lack of inspiration is seeping back in so I'm going to wander away from the computer and work on my bag before Boogie gets up from her nap. Poor little thing just isn't jamming on the afternoon nap this week. I think she's sleeping in a little too much. Plus she gets really wound up and has a tough time chillin'. Allergies have kept is inside a bit and I think she might be stir crazy. It's sort of hard to tell in a 20 month old, though.

But I digress. It's off to bag world.

Monday, January 09, 2006

SP7 Questionnaire

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? I don't like Red Heart at all! Other than that, I don't think I'm a snob.

2. Do you spin? Crochet? I spin. I can crochet but I don't do it regularly at all.

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? My straight needles are in a case I got for Christmas. Circulars and DPNs share a very crowded shoe box and my crochet hooks are in a felted holder my mom gave me.

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I've been knitting of and on for about 10 years but only got serious about it in the last couple of years. I consider my skill level to be intermediate, but I'm not a terribly confident knitter.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I don't have a wishlist but I can make one if you need it.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) I like melon scents.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I love chocolate!

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? I like to sew but knitting is my primary craft thing.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I have really eclectic taste in music. I'll listen to just about anything except rap. I can play MP3s.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? My favorite colors are black and purple and I love a fall palate of colors. I absolute detest fluorescent colors. (I can't even spell it I hate them so much.)

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I'm married with one child. She's 19 months old. I have 2 dogs and 2 cats.

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I love scarves, hats and mittens but could live without ponchos. I live in South Texas so there really hasn't been an opportunity this winter to wear those things.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? Brooks Farm Yarns

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Linen! Hate spinning it and won't knit with it. Cotton is a close second, but I've found some pretty decent cottons so I wouldn't mind exploring them some more.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? I want to learn cables and do felting.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Almost anything that's fast. I like instant gratification.

17. What are you knitting right now? I'm working on a hat, a scarf, a child's sweater, child's dress and a felted bag.

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Absolutely

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? I like straights.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Bamboo

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I own a ball winder but no swift.

22. How did you learn to knit? I taught myself.

23. How old is your oldest UFO? About 9 months.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? I love cats and dogs. Not really into animated characters.

25. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween

26. Is there anything that you collect? Teapots made in Occupied Japan.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? None

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? I'd love to try Noro and I'm a sucker for pretty needles.

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Cables

30. Are you a sock knitter? Sort of. I have issues with the second sock. What are your foot measurements? Oops. I'll measure and get back to you.

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) June 9 (Thanks for not asking for the year.)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

A Yarny Sort of Weekend

I had a really nice weekend, chock full of yarn, shopping, knitting, yarn and did I mention yarn and shopping? It was really super. Here's why it was just fab; I and 2 of my SnB buds made the pilgrimage to Hill Country Weavers for their end of the year/just before inventory sale. (Okay, that's just the sign. That's how excited I was about this trip. I took a picture of the sign and, just so you'd know I'd been there, I shot the store front as well. Cute, huh?) Not only does HCW have a really great sale but I had Christmas money to burn. How dangerous is that combination?

Christmas money + yarn = something bordering on a euphoric experience.

Actually, I had anticipated my giddiness and made a pretty specific list of what I wanted to look for. The number one rule was that it had to be all about me. No yarn for gifts, Boogie knitting included. I did not stray from that rule.

My gal pals were pretty giddy too and as proof I offer up this pic: Kim is on the left in a state bordering on ecstatic. She's brandishing her Cascade 220 in the left hand and my Koigu in the right. Janna, also feelin' the high, is sharing her stunning Koigu as well. All sorts of goodies found their way home with us. It was a lot of fun and a treat to be in a REAL yarn shop. (Don't even ask about my LYS. You'll just get a long ugly rant.)

Shopping made us hungry so we dodged traffic and had some really tasty Italian food at a small cafe. No, I'm not so insane that I snapped pictures of us stuffing our faces. I'm not saying I didn't consider it, I just decided against it.

So what, specifically, did I buy? I bought some desperately needed needles and yarn. Here's my humble haul:

I picked up some Cascade 220 to make Triangle, a felted bag pattern from Jimmy Beans and 3 little skeins of Koigu. I didn't shoot pics of the needles because don't they all really look the same; pretty straight, short of sharp and a little sad when empty?

Today was our coffee shop SnB but the coffee shop was closed so we went to a nearby Borders. It was nice enough, but not the same without the worn out granny furniture and music courtesy of Lilith Fair playing in the background. Still, it's knitting with friends and coffee so that's a pretty cool end to a pretty cool weekend.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Freakin' Meme

I'd like to thank JenLa for permanently damaging my eyesight and my ability to sleep through the night without chemical support. I've never been tagged before and it had to be this one. Geez.
P.S. He's not wearing a fuzzy hat. That's his brain.
Yahoo! Avatars

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday: Personal History


Source of Inspiration:

This photo was taken in April 1990 in front of the West side of the Berlin Wall. The wall had fallen about 5 months earlier. I was living in Germany then and it was a surreal moment in history.

For me, looking at this picture is like looking at a stranger.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Knitting Confessional

Welcome to 2006 and the first of many installments of the Confessional! Since this is the first day of a new year, there aren't any pictures nor much confession to be had today. (Trust me, pictures of horrible knitting tragedies will come.) Instead, I thought I'd provide a list of knitting resolutions. We know that resolutions don't usually stick, but isn't that the fun of being a bit retrospective this time of year?

1. Consistently swatch. I know, I know; we ALL knit to gauge and just don't need to make that pesky swatch. Let's face it kids, how many of us are that consistent and accurate? I'm not sure I trust someone who's that reliable. Yes, swatching takes time away from the fun of starting the project, but look at it as sort of a toy that enhances the knitting experience rather than a chore that makes you want to blind yourself.

2. Review a pattern before knitting. Do you know how many patterns are published every year with errors? How many hours of frustration that can cause a person? Not only that, think about the most difficult instruction you've ever had to translate. Did it leave you feeling lucky you passed the 1st grade? Deciphering a knitting pattern can be like trying to crack the Rosetta Stone; it can be done but it might leave you broke and sick in the process. While reviewing won't solve everything, it might give you a leg up on your potential screw-ups.

3. Burn your oldest UFO. Seriously. Take a match, some gasoline or your crusty Yule log and say Adios to that thing that you really haven't touched or even thought about in 3 years. Why hang on to it? If the motivation and love are gone, contribute to global warming and set a match to it. Think of it as the ultimate in penance for the confessional. A sacrifice worthy of any of the saints and a quick way to ditch that knitting albatross.

So that's it. Yes, only 3 resolutions. I wanted to at least attempt to be realistic. I'm going to print them out and stick them in my knitting journal right next to a picture of the vest I didn't swatch, the most complicated set of instructions I've ever read and a 10 year old afghan that I just can't part with. See, resolutions do work!

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!


I don't know about the rest of you, but New Year's Eve makes me sappy. I get really sentimental about the past year and jazzed about what's to come. For me, 2005 will always be a year of lessons learned and all at the knee of the best teacher I know; my beautiful, smart and extremely fabulous Boogie Baby.

I learned that I have more patience than I believed, that sometimes accomplishing one really small task is better than a whole lot of big ones, that a hug and a kiss can cure damn near anything and that I'm married to the most remarkable, supportive and outstanding man in the world. I'm weepy now! See what happens when you combine PMS and New Year's Eve?? Not a pretty picture, is it?

Seriously though. Thank you to everyone who has read or breezed by this blog. It's gone from a pretty lame little endeavor to something I'm pretty pleased with and I hope ya'll will keep on reading me through the new year. I promise to do my best to keep it interesting and funny in the coming year.

Have a wonderful New Year! Take time to get a kiss and hug from someone you love best. See ya in 2006!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

FO in the house


I finished Clapotis and it was fun to knit but gave me no gristle for the Knitting Confessional. That's a GOOD thing!

It was so much fun to knit and I have to give a huge shout out to Brooks Farm Yarn. Easily the best yarn in the universe. Just to review, I used "Harmony", composed of 55% Mohair/ 22.5% Wool, 22.5% Silk Blend. I just hope the picture really captures how beautiful this yarn is. We took Boogie to the park this morning and I had Clapotis on, (until my brain realized that I live in Texas and it just ain't cold right now. Vanity never listens to reason.) and Big B was blown away by the colors. Really spectacular.

We had a nice holiday. It was so much fun to see Boogie really confused by the presents, ripping paper and the tricycle that Santa left for her. She loves her trike. Big B pushed her around on it Christmas Day and Boogie kept yelling, "Faster!". I think I have a little daredevil on my hands.

This is a truly uninspired post this evening. I'm feeling tired. My grandmother was hospitalized this week and should be released tomorrow or Saturday. She is 94 years old and treats life like one big adventure. I really admire her spirit. So here's a cute grandma story. (Actually, we call her Ma.) Ma was riding the elevator in her retirement community one day. She was sharing the ride with another elderly lady who was wearing a square dance dress. Ma told her fellow traveler how beautiful she looked in the dress and how pretty the dress itself was. The new friend said, "I think we're about the same size. Come back to my apartment and if they fit, you can have a couple of my dresses." Ma takes her friend up on the offer and walks away with a couple of swanky square dance dresses. She promptly buys matching tights and scarves for these wardrobe additions. Ma loves wearing these dresses to go shopping, eat out, or just chill with her buds in her retirement community. She gets compliments everywhere she goes. The hell with wearing purple when I'm old. I want my very own square dance dress with spiffy tights, beautiful scarf and even a little handbag. We should all be so spunky. I love you, Ma.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday



Source of inspiration:

Doesn't everybody want to be on T.V.? Here's my 15 seconds of fame. (There are 2 people in this shot. Look very closely!)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Happy Holidays!



The Insane Elfcat and I would like to wish each and everyone of you a wonderful and joyous holiday season. No matter what you're celebrating, enjoy your friends, family and the alcoholic beverage of your choice. (Makes those family gatherings a weensy bit less painful. So I've been told anyway.)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday

Source of inspiration:

I've played the piano since I was 8 years old. It's a love that, although I haven't always had the time and energy to devote to it, has refused to die. My grand reflects a great deal about my life.

This was shot off the fall board of my grand piano. Yep. The sucker is just that reflective.

I was playing a Beethoven Sonata that I've been struggling with for a few months.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I've got the Clap and the burn is good.


I am completely obsessed with Clapotis. I'm not knitting much of anything else. Well, something small but I don't really count that project. I have one more repeat to go in section 3 then I start the decrease stuff. I'm really excited about how this is turning out. Honestly, the credit goes to the yarn, not my knitting. This picture doesn't begin to do the colors justice but trust me when I tell you that it's just a stunner. My next picture will be a completed Clapotis with the specs.


In other news, the Savant household is completely ready for Christmas. All the shopping is done, wrapping is wrapped up and now we're just waitin' for Santy to make his appearance. This Christmas should be a lot of fun because Boogie is older and sort of gets the whole gift idea. Which reminds me that I just can't talk about Christmas without the obligatory picture of our tree. Yes, Boogie is holding a watering can. She's very concerned about the tree getting enough water. No, the can did not have water in it. She's sort of missing the tree and jamming on the can. Most of the presents under the tree are for Boogie. We worked very hard not to overdo it but in the end we gave in to "new parent buying frenzy". It's frenzy in a fun nobody gets hurt sort of way so that's cool. I hope she likes everything we got for her. I already know that the boxes the stuff comes in will be a big hit! Maybe I should have just saved our money and raided the dumpster at the grocery store for boxes. Hm.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday



Source of inspiration:

I was washing my face the other night trying to come up with something fun for my next self portrait. I glanced at the faucet and thought:

"Gee. It really sucks to live somewhere where the water is so hard and it leaves spot on everything I bet Martha Stewart doesn't have spots on her faucet and if she did I bet some poor maid has to scrub them off with her very own toothbrush that Martha barely pays her enough to afford and Whoa. I can see myself in there."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Spin, Span, Spun


A few years ago I used to spin regularly. I even took a class on novelty yarns. About 11 months ago, I cleaned out most of my fiber stash. I kept my two spinning wheels and some fibers that I just really loved.

I don't know what got into me but I had the strongest desire to spin again! I had a chat about spinning with my friend Annie and with a little encouragement, I dragged out my wheel and decided to go for it.

The roving is combed Merino top from Misty Mountain Farm. This poor roving has seen the dark side of a Rubbermaid tub for a few years now. Okay. I know what you're thinking. You're frightened by the prospect of the World's Worst Knitter attempting to make yarn. As if I don't mangle enough of it without the help of a spinning wheel!

Here's the result. I spun it up on my Joy wheel set at an 8:1 ratio. Probably a little too fast for someone just getting her spinning legs. I found that my treadling was uneven an a little quick. You can see some of the super tight twist on the bobbin. I'm hoping some of that will be dispersed once it's plied. Maybe I'll go back to the 6:1 ratio. Honestly though, I did a whole lot better than I thought I would. More importantly I had a really good time. I missed spinning and now I'm just thrilled to have rekindled that passion. Sort of brings a tear to the eye, don't it?

Now to share another passion wholly unrelated to fiber. I refer to snacks. These may look yucky, but I'm not pregnant and they really are a great treat with cocoa on cold winter nights. Here are the specs:

4 saltine crackers

1 piece of American cheese divided among your 4 crackers

16 marshmallows (or more) divided among your cheesy crackers.

Set under a broiler until the cheese bubbles and the marshmallows turn a golden brown and you've got cheesy/salty goodness. (I like to smash the marshmallows flat before I eat them. This picture was taken in the pre-smashing moment.) My mom used to make these for me when I was a kid. I think they're just "Poor College Kid" snacks but they're pretty darn tasty.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday


One day while I was eating lunch with my daughter she started doing the strangest thing. She would look at her spoon, point to it and yell her name. Being the absent-minded mother I am I said, "Honey that's a spoon. Not you." (She's only 18 months old. Poor baby. Looks like she might be dipping into that therapy fund I started for her a little early!) When I managed to give her my full attention, I realized she saw her reflection in the spoon. She gave me the idea for today's portrait. Hey, it's better than the overly used reflection in a Christmas tree ornament.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Knitting Confessional

Welcome to the December edition of The Knitting Confessional. As the World's Worst Knitter, I feel compelled to lay out my screw-ups for ridicule and as an act of contrition. This month's confession addresses the act of frogging or, more accurately, the de-construction of a really crappy garment.

EXHIBIT A: The Garment

I started knitting this vest...hell, I don't remember when. I thought it would be a great first garment project. Here are the specs:
The Pattern: SeaBreeze from "Knitter's Magazine" Spring 2005 edition.
The Needles: Size 13
The Yarn: Knit Picks "Wool of the Andes" in Cranberry.
Let's think about the name of this pattern. SeaBreeze. I smell sea salt and feel the sun. Don't you? Did you believe for one minute that The World's Worst Knitter would make this sucker as suggested? Hell no! Instead, I thought it might make a cute winter vest. The 3 days of cold we get here in South Texas are perfect for a little number like this. Throw it on over a tee, slap on your shit-kickers and you have yourself one hot cowgirl. At the very least you have a cowgirl that looks like she raided Granny's closet. This turned out Granny. Big Granny. Granny with a capital G.
Exhibit B: A comedy of errrorrs.
I did not even make the attempt to check the gauge. How on earth could I retain my title as The World's Worst Knitter if I checked the gauge on every little thing I knit? Especially something as little as a piece of clothing. Notice the lovely eyelet pattern. Cute, huh? Pretty simple, too. I bet that it would have looked really cool and perhaps less Granny if I'd checked the gauge, used better yarn, anything. Nah. On second thought I think this vest would have sucked like a fashionless blackhole no matter what I did.

Exhibit C: I am undone.
This is all that remains of my ugly vest. Well, this giant ball and 2 small skeins of the same yarn. Pretty swell, if you ask me. It's just screaming to be made into a scarf for a niece or nephew. Or maybe I'll let it age in my stash until I'm struck stupid by another idea.

A lesson can be gleaned from every knitting tragedy and as a continuation of penance, here are the lessons I learned:
1. Gauge. Sort of a giant "DUH", don't ya think?
2. I learned the 3 needle bind off. Too bad it didn't stop the sucking/Granny effect.
3. Recycle, reuse. I'm feeling very environmentally friendly since I didn't set fire to the vest.

Anyone else out there feel the need to confess? Come on. The booth is warm and cozy, I've got my nice starched collar on and confession is good for the soul. Join in the fun.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Self-Portrait Tuesday

This picture reminded Big B, (or Mr. Savant) of a Star Trek episode. The original Star Trek. Anyway, it's the episode where this scientist has been stranded on a planet all alone for years save for the brightly colored alien lights which envelope him and give him hours of good lovin'. Since Big B couldn't remember the title of that episode, he yelled the first Star Trek reference that came to mind; "Twelve quatloos for the knitter!" Can anyone out there name either one of the episodes? Twenty-five quatloos for the knitter with the right answer.

Friday, November 18, 2005

A fun post

I liked my photo for self-portrait Tuesday but wrote some of the most self-important trash! Sorry about that! I'm really not that melancholy. Although my Inner Sheep might suggest otherwise. I'll try not to be so, well, just yucky next Tuesday.


Which flock do you follow?
this quiz was made by

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday


This is my piano. In point of fact, it is a grand piano. It sits in what should be a formal dining room along with shelves of books, and a really cheap stereo. Sometimes the area underneath my piano is home to push toys, wagons, small cars and a dog or two.

I bought this piano one month before I found out I was pregnant with Boogie. I've played since I was 8 years old and my current instructor felt I had outgrown my upright. She was right, but the purchase of a grand piano is not something done lightly. I could afford a Yamaha but dreamed of a Steinway. ( Did this stop me from heading out to the local Steinway Gallery and spending the better part of an afternoon playing their grands? Hell no.) The Yamaha I chose spent one year at a local university in a practice room. Students sweated out their performances over it's keys. They left their pencils in it's innards and small rings where soda cans rested. When I played this piano in that cramped room, I knew she was for me. She had a sweet, rich voice even when out of tune. I'd waited my whole life to have a grand and this abused little instrument was the one.

I don't get to practice as often as I'd like. Truth be told, I simply don't make the time for it. I keep her tuned and Boogie likes to pound her keys with small baby hands. When I do play, Boogie twirls around the room; a little leaf fluttering about to the likes of Chopin and Mozart. My piano stays tuned, enjoys a relatively spacious room and the occasional loving touch of one who waited a lifetime for her and a child who, hopefully, will share her Mommy's passion for this instrument.