Friday, October 29, 2004


As Kim stated in the comments...the book is Knitting Made Easy by Best Recipes and the shawl is Watercolor Wrap. Thanks Kim!

My laptop died on Tuesday. Needed a new hard drive. Mike the PC dude had it for 2 1/2 days. He was able to find all but 4 of my files. YOU ROCK MIKE! Do you know how much I rely on my laptop? A LOT! The entire bank communicates via email now. No more calling to invite you to a meeting. Nope. You use meeting planner on the Outlook calendar and send the invite that way. I missed 3 meetings. Oh well.

I've been working on a purse from Pursenalities: 20 Great Knitted and Felted Bags by Eva Weichmann. Can't remember the name, but it's the green/black plaid. Good instructions. Easy to follow. The purse is done but I still need sew up the bottom, knit the i-cord handles and work on the weaving. Then it's felting time!

Not sure what to start next. I have yarn for 4 more To Fringe or Not to Fringe Shawls..I need a shorter name for that pattern. I should start the red/black merino.

And Bobbie is ordering Cascade 220 in a tan with speckles of browns and black for a sweater. I have the Neck Down Pullover for Women #9724 and the Neck Down Pullover Tunic #9726 patterns. Not sure which one I'll do. I ordered enough yarn to make either one.

Well I'll just let my fingers tell me what to begin. Hmm, there's the Watercolor wrap too...

Monday, October 25, 2004

A nice surprise

I had a nice surprise waiting for me at Ewe Knits on Saturday. A student sent me an update on her shawl and a gift. "I" came from Northern Virginia area to take one of my To Fringe or Not To Fringe classes a few months ago and wrote to tell me she was making progress and included a small booklet/magazine of knitting patterns with a shawl pattern pointed out that I might be interested in. She was right!

Now of course I don't have the magazine with me and can't remember the name. I've never seen it or noticed on the net where anyone has spoken about it. And there are some nice patterns besides the shawl....I'll update tomorrow.

But the shawl is knit in Lorna's Lace Helen's Lace weight yarn, with Old Shale trim...hmm, maybe that's the name. Anyway, I've added it to my list of things to knit. I have some black merino lace wt that would be perfect.

As for knitting...I'm 1/2 way through the second cuff on the shrug, should be done tonight. It's a nice pattern. We sold a few on Saturday with customers seeing my 7/8's finished one.

I picked up the new Vogue Holiday issue...the "felted" shawl ..have you seen it. It doesn't look felted in the picture. The changes in the before and after felting measurements are minimal. I haven't used the yarn. I'm wondering if the yarn is a slow felter and you're suppose to just get a more firm fabric vs. a truly felted shawl/stole.

On an unhappy note...heard this morning that more reduction in force layoff's happened last Friday....I know most of the people. Most have been around for 15+ years. One guy was layed off 6 months ago, found a position and now another notice. (it's not for performance, it's becasue of down sizing) Sigh.

Friday, October 22, 2004

the Great Pumpkin

So I was grocery shopping the other night at Harris Teeter, thought "I'll get a pumpkin here for $3.99 instead of fighting the masses at the pumpkin place". Looked through those I could reach in the big crate, found one that I thought looked pretty good. Not perfect. I don't trust perfect pumpkins. This one has a spot on it's back where it layed/laid/layne in the soil, has a few blemishes on it's front too. It has character.

A while later as my pumpkin and I were happily shopping through the aisles looking for tuna fish, a woman, a total stranger says...and I quote..."You shouldn't buy that pumpkin, it's ugly. There must be better looking ones."

I may have looked around to see who she was speaking to, but I don't remember, shock and all you know. I did reply that I thought it was fine and tried to walk away. She added (no quotes here because I don't remember exactly) 'But you won't be able to carve it.'

Aside: carved pumpkins, aka Jack o'lanterns, scare me! Big mouths with snarly teeth. Triangle eyes and noses...and then light them from the inside so they glow...nope. Don't want it. Don't want to see it. In grade school we had to make our trick or treat bags and we had to paste orange and black triangles on paper bags in the form of a Jack o'lantern. I would always trade once I got home to a plain paper bag. Now, pumpkins carved to look like a flying witch, or a person of noteworthiness, like Martha Stewart or Mel Gibson, I'm okay with, just not Jack o'lanterns.

Now back to the woman in HT...I was able to screw up my face and say "I don't carve pumpkins" and walk away...but what I wanted to say was "What possessed you to make a comment like that to a total stranger?" and "Every pumpkin deserves a home!"

I've been thinking about it..I'm sure she thought she was being helpful pointing out the flaws on the pumpkin. And is that what we do in society now..toss away a person because they don't meet our idea of perfection? Is that why there are so many advertisments on tv and radio and newspapers for plastic surgery, and don't get me started on the reality shows.

Pumpkin has a home in the front garden next to the single petunia out of 5 that lived through the summer.

Knitting news: the shrug is a good 3/4 done. I worked on it last night at the Homeowners meeting while sitting as far away as possible from the table of snacks brought by one of my neighbors...cookies with Jack o'lantern faces.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

A Mall Rant

Last year or was it the year before, I told myself that I would never shop at Hecht's again. I broke my promise to myself and went in this past Sunday. It was a HUGE mistake. I do like the "house brand" turtleneck shirts (cotton with spandex in the cuffs and neck) and I needed a few new ones for this winter. Plus there was a 15% coupon in the paper. So I chose my shirts (red, black, blue, pink) and hunted for a dressing room or a salesperson to point me to a dressing room. Finally after wandering into the mens' department I saw one across the store. So I waited for one to become free, tried on my shirts (all fit) and went to the check out line. 8 customers in front of me. I really wasn't paying much attention to the conversation between the cashier and the customers but when it came to the woman in front of me my ears perked up at her "I hate this store and will never come back" remark right before she threw little pieces of paper on the floor. So it was my turn and after saying twice that I was paying with my Visa and not their credit card, asking the salesperson to please FOLD the shirts and not wad them up I was told that the coupon could not be honored. WHAT! It says on ALL WOMENS CLOTHING EVEN THOSE ALREADY MARKED DOWN in really big print... but when you get to the store the yellow signs that had blocked my sighting of a dressing room said in little tiny print that items on this rack were excluded from the sale. I asked the salesperson what I could purchase and use the coupon and she pointed to the women's suits that started at $300 and gave me a sheepish smile. Now I know it's not her fault...I purchased my shirts and left...but last year or was it the year before I wanted to pay CASH and the sales person REFUSED. There are or were only certain registers you could use a credit card. WHERE IS THE CUSTOMER SERVICE????? No one on the floor to help you find items, check outs few and far between, clothes piled up on the floors, boxes stacked in I'm writing this to remind myself that I WILL NEVER SHOP AT HECHTS AGAIN AND IF I HAVE TO FOR SOME REASON THAN I WILL EXPECT TO BE TREATED BADLY.

Now on to Hallmark ...which isn't as bad but does concern customer service. The 2 saleswomen were chatting and ignoring me (I won't speak for other customers in the store) so I walked over (3 steps) to ask if one of them could help me locate an ornament on display...they continued to chat ignoring I said either one of them could help me or I was going to pull all of the ornament boxes on the floor until I found the one that I wanted...that got their attention. One of the gals went to the back for about 15 seconds, came back and said they were out of stock and went back to chatting. I know the owner of the store. I called her this morning.

My next attempted purchase was at a "record store", Frye's I think it's called. Well since I had a package I couldn't go in! Couldn't even check the package. No Chrismas cd sales from me.

I made a run through WaldenBooks but the static from the piped in music combined with the cashier's cell phone chatter was to much. I went in one door and out the other.

The cashier at the last store I stopped in (can't remember the name but it's one of those fake Pier 1 stores) was at least $1 short when he counted his drawer last night. I purchased a yellow ribbon magnet, it was $2.80something. He gave me change and 3 $1 bills. I tried to give him one of the bills back but he said it was the right change. I did explain that my change should only be $2+change but he said the register told him $3. Who am I to argue with a machine?

At that point I'd had enough of the Mall...I headed to my favorite strip mall...I just wish I knew the name...

A stop at the "stand alone owned by Hallmark"
store found sales people handing me a basket as I walked in the door, pointing out the "new this week" items and a sample of coffee. I found the ornament, a few cards, a candle and a treat for a friend.

Next stop at my favorite strip mall was Target, where I picked up a treat for Bailey, checked out the Christmas cd's, and contemplated a Halloween decoration for the yard.

Just down the way I found the perfect pillow for my knitting chair at Pier 1, new panties at SteinMart
at a good price, and priced dog bed/pillows at PetSmart.

I was then in the mood for chicken and broccoli so off to China Chef my favorite Chinese takeout that changes hands every few months but the food is always the same, and a quick run into Spooling Around which is coincidentally 2 doors down, while my food was cooked...but didn't buy anything.

So this post is to remind myself to stop wasting time at Greenbrier Mall!

Oh, knitting content: still working on the shrug, should be about 1/2 completed.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Great Aunty Wallis

Congratulations to my niece Becky (the mother) & Jon (the father) great niece was delivered yesterday.

Here are the statistics as reported by my mother (the great grandmother) who said she wrote as fast as she could while talking to my brother(the grandfather).

Date: Oct 5th
Time: 4:30 pm
Weight: 9 or 8 pounds (9.5)
Length: 29 inches (21 inches)
Head: 9 inches
Name: either Meredith or Charlotte Anne
Hair: long and dark yep and right now steele blue eyes but I imagine they'll turn brown
I'll update when I have accurate information.

A simple rule to remember

No matter how simple the lace pattern is....see yesterday's posting....don't knit lace while watching the VP debates. Even a lifeline won't save you.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Another day another all day meeting

Time off was okay. Got things done. But was called to attend meetings...27.5 hours worth. Blah.

Did get a lot of knitting done though. Made swatches for my class (more on that later). Finished the Hitchcock shawl. Bought and knit a shawl from Crystal Palace "Beatrice" in the pastel colorway. Think Monet garden colors. I think it's going to be my favorite cold weather shawl.

Felted the Sheeps laptop fits in with room to spare. It felted to the size I wanted.

I also felted my "if I need to teach felting at KnittaPalooza" project. I'll fine tune the pattern and make it again. BUT, I have several requests for the pattern as it stands. (insert smilie here)

And my coat was washed.

And the garden weeded.

And the Financial Planner said I wouldn't be a bag lady in 2 guess I can stop buying totes.

Did get by or should I say buy the new LYS The Yarn Basket in Va Beach. No website yet. They carry pretty much what Ewe Knit carries with the addition of some Lopi. I picked up a few skeins of wool ... no plans for it yet though.

I had 7 students at the first Knitting Around the Edge class. We knit cables without a cable needle and scalloped edges on ribbing. They all said they enjoyed the class and will come back for more....YIPPEE!

This Saturday is felting class. I understand that I have 6 students. Winter is here.

I picked up a Falling Waters Shrug pattern from Maggie's Rags on Saturday to make a sample for Ewe Knit Kits and Yarn. I'm using Lorna's Laces sock weight in Forest colorway. The pattern calls for lace weight I went up a size in needles. It's an easy pattern and if you want a beginner lace pattern this is it.

Okay, back to really listening to my all day meeting.....