Saturday, June 23, 2012

Planning a Vacation is Difficult enough without a Twisted Family Tree

Is it just me?  Am I the only person that has a Family Tree so twisted that I can't begin to plan a Vacation to track it?  I have friends that have recently returned from "across the pond" where they were able to meet relatives and see where their ancestors left from before they came to America.  (Cue the "No Cats in America" music from Fievel Mousekowitz movie).  I can't help but be envious of those that know "where their roots are".  I've been working on it for years, and still can't prove anything definitive.  Every time I think I've made headway, another "weed" crops up in the field.  That birthdate that just cannot be physically possible (not to mention not "legal" by today's standards). 
A friend went to meet her fourth cousin in Italy last fall.  They own restaurants, in Italy and US.  Tiny little restaurants, nothing famous or grand.  But they were able to share recipes and swap stories.  How cool is that? 
One of our Church Families got to go to Switzerland and stay at a relatives Ski Resort and see where everyone came from. 
My older kids had to do school projects on their family heritage.  It was deemed "not politically correct or socially sensitive" by the time the younger ones got to be that age.  Anyway, they had to do their Dad's family heritage because he's the one that knew something about cultural heritage.  My family?  My Mother wasn't sure what her Grandmother's first name was.  No one knows where my Father's Grandfather lived before he met his Grandmother.  There's multiple generations of Women with no name recorded other than Mrs. His Name.  Really?  How did this happen?  So, that's what got me involved in Genealogy.  And don't even joke with me about "Witness Protection".  Not funny......

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fiber Law: Differences between England and Colonies

I've been looking into the laws that have influenced fiber production and consumption.  It's very interesting to me to find the wide disparity between the laws enforced in England itself as the "homeland" and in the Colonies in the Americas. 
If I'm understand this correctly, it seems that there were completely different rules, regulations, and taxes depending on where one lived.  I have to assume that this is part of what has led to such a difference in the importance in specific articles of clothing and uses of fibers.
So far, I have not found anything in the Americas similar to The Cappers Act of 1571.  I cannot imagine the "government" regulating a minimum number of hours a week that a person must wear a cap, much less what style and of what materials the cap should be made of. 
On the other hand, I'm sure there were Early Colonial regulations on Modesty that probably provided guidelines for Women's Wear and Headcoverings.  Totally different rules for totally different results with different application.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sorting out my Favorites and finding a way to not loose them....

It's been a couple of weeks, and I've been keeping busy.
I started a new Blog, just for the pages, and then realized that I could just as easily post those pages on This Blog!  What was I thinking?
So, I'm collecting all the Favorites from my various browsers into the "pages" here.  I use several different computers, and can never remember which one has the Favorite that I'm looking for.  DH gets very flummoxed with me about it too.  I've given up using his computer for anything because I always seem to mess it up or change something on it that adds to his frustration level.  He's always thought of computers as "Black Magic" anyway, and has a bit of a paranoia thing about them being out to get him. 

The point is:  there's new "Pages" here with links to all the stuff that I don't want to loose.  Let me know if you know of websites I should add.....

Oh, and just in case you just want the links, and not all the narative:

And if you want to know why I've included each link:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Another Place to Visit: American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts

Another on my List of Places I want to Visit:  American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Their website:  not that great, compared to, say, Victoria and Albert, but maybe it'll improve.  Most of their stuff doesn't have photos that you can access.  And I swear I've seen a lot of the photos they do have representing items on eBay.  (So watch out what you're bidding on.)

491 Dutton Street
Lowell, MA 01854-4221
Tel: (978) 441-0400
Fax: (978) 441-1412

Wednesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed on holidays.
School and scout programs available by reservation Monday through Sunday.
For reservations phone 978-441-0400 ext. 250 or email

Free for Museum members and children under 6.
$8 for adults 17 and older.
$6 for seniors (65 and older), children 6 – 16, and college students with ID.
$6 per adult for groups of 10 or more.
$8 per adult or college student for group guided tours – prior reservation required.
$6 per student for grade school group programs and guided tours (10 person minimum or $80 minimum fee) - prior reservation required.
Teachers always admitted free of charge with school groups or individually with teacher identification.
Receive $2 off one full price $8 adult admission with this coupon.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fiber Law: Cappers Act of 1571

There is a knitted and felted wool cap at the Victoria & Albert Museum probably made between 1500 and 1550.  It was found in London, England, and may have been made there also.

If I'm understanding this correctly, every person, except the Nobility, was required to wear a hat on Sundays and Holidays.  You might not be able to afford to feed your family, but you must buy a cap from an official capper tradesman.  In the interest of keeping those makers in business.  Even though they were no longer "fashionable".  Was this an early version of "financial stimulus"?

"Historical significance: In England, the manufacture of caps was of sufficient importance to merit control by Act of Parliament from 1488 onwards. The 'Cappers Act' of 1571 stated that every person above the age of six years (excepting 'Maids, ladies, gentlewomen, noble personages, and every Lord, knight and gentleman of twenty marks land') residing in any of the cities, towns, villages or hamlets of England, shall wear on Sundays and holidays (except when travelling), 'a cap of wool, thicked and dressed in England, made within this realm, and only dressed and finished by some of the trade of cappers, upon pain to forfeit for every day of not wearing 3s. 4d.'. This act was intended to keep domestic production alive, as caps were outmoded by this date and there was a danger that a fall in demand for them would have a detrimental effect on the makers. (From Statutes at Large, vol vi, p 288, quoted in Textile History, vol 1, 1971; article by S M Levey: Illustrations of the History of Knitting Selected from the Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum)."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Colonial American Fiber Law information from Hands on History

OK, this particular site leaves out all but the English Viewpoint, but it has good information on that view.
According to Hands on History,
"....began with English settlement of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 and ended at the beginning of the Revolutionary War in 1775. Establishing permanent settlements in North America was a way for the British to obtain raw materials from the colonies then in turn, provide the colonists with manufactured goods."

My take on their report:  from the point of view of the early settlers (from Great Britain) still considered themselves subjects of The Crown.  Many of the British still in England were focussed on the colonies as a resource of raw materials and as a market for British goods.  The American Colonies were an investment. 

"To ensure continuation of trade with the colonies England tried to discourage colonial cloth manufacture, high tariffs were levied on looms and spinning wheels. The British also passed acts forbidding the export and the sale of cloth woven in the colonies. "

Maybe our National Flower should be the Linum Usitatissimum.

Keep in mind that the British and their Parliament had a long history of govenrmental control; as an example:  requiring the wearing of caps by the 'Cappers Act' of 1571.  They hadn't counted on the "strong spirit of independence among the colonists. As the desire for independence grew so did the price of imported European cloth. It soon became not only practical, but a sign of patriotism as well, to spin and weave one's own cloth. The first sound of revolution was the rhythmic "thwack" of the beater against the web of colonial looms."

As the ties were severed with Great Britain, the Colonists began manufacturing their own spinning wheels, looms and other textile tools, growing flax and raising sheep to provide fiber for spinning yarn. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fiber Law and Things I Wish I Could Do

Well, this one kind of covers Places I would like to visit and Fiber Law.  But, this doesn't seem to be a static place to visit.  It's a program where they will come into your school to do demonstrations or a Colonial American Fair.  "A Living History Day" how cool is that?!

Hands on History Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation for the purpose of research, development and presentation of experiential, living history programs.  This photo is from their website.  How cute is this?  It seems that the kids dress up in colonial gear for the day.
Contact information email:
Shuttlemail:  Alice Seeger
Executive Director
Hands On History Inc.
P.O. Box 776
Rhinebeck, NY 12572
phone:  914-475-0204

Oh, and Where Have I seen this Rhinebeck name before? 
Maybe that's what I need to research.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I would like to visit: Pioneer Village: Salem in 1630

I'm going to list a few of the places in the world that I want to visit someday.  When you arrive home after a trip, have you ever had the realization that you were just a short distance from a place that you've read about and wanted to go to?  Or you didn't realize that you were so close until it was too late?  Well, maybe if I post the list of places here, I'll be able to remember and access the information when I need it.
Now, remember, these may not actually be what YOU would call "tourist attractions". 

Pioneer Village: Salem in 1630  is only open from June 22 to October 31 for 2012 and only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and only from 12 noon to 4 pm.  It's not expensive once you get there.  At this time, it's $5 or $6 for the Self-Guided Tour option.  A Scheduled Guided Tour is $8/student (with a school group/field trip).  Tickets to Pioneer Village:  Salem in 1630  

I am wondering if there's an option for a Guided Tour if you're not part of a school group.  Timing would be the important thing here.  It's soooo disappointing to be at the place on the day that it's closed.  Cannot tell you how many times that has happened.

Their website points out that it's America's first living history museum and was built in 1930 for the Tercentennial of Massachusetts.  That's kind of hard to believe, that there was no living history museum in America before 1930, but, I guess they can claim it if they want too.  They also have a list of several buildings and attractions.  I'm a little concerned that "The village sits on three acres of land..."  THREE ACRES?  Really?  Ummm, my mowed yard is about 2 acres.  3 Acres doesn't even get you much of the area where I expect kids to play when they come to my house.  Maybe it's just me, but I think the local Walmart has more than 3 acres of parking....  I know everything's smaller back east.  Maybe it's a typo?  I just looked it up: the EPA Superfund website for reuse of land states that an Adult Soccer Field with supporting areas may need up to three acres of land.  Same with baseball or football.  And we're not talking about pro sports or parking.  Just a little local Parks & Rec field.  Anyway, I would like to visit:

Pioneer Village:Salem in 1630

Pioneer Village   Salem, MA

Pioneer Village is America's oldest living history museum and recreates life as it was for the Puritans in 1630. Visit thatched houses, dugouts, period gardens, a wigwam and the governor's house. Costumed interpreters give guided tours which explain what life was like for these early colonists. Pioneer Village is located in Forest River Park near Salem State University.

Online tickets purchased through Brown Paper Tickets may be redeemed anytime during regular hours before October 31. Normal hours may be found on our website:

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Non-Smoking: Yes!Pioneer Village: Salem in 1630

Monday, May 07, 2012

Fiber Law

You may all know this, but I've just got to find out:  Where can I find all these Laws about Fiber? 
I just came across a description of the Carding Comb at the Museum of London website.  And it says they
 were also used 'illegally' on woven cloth to raise the nap or surface. This process, known as 'rowing' or 'barbing', was ...

And, I found on another site a vague reference about the US Maritime Regions (I assume New England) that it was Illegal for Men to Knit during Fishing Season???  Then there's always the references in American History about specific pieces of fiber working equmpment being illegal to export or import at certain times.
Where can I find more of these "Laws".  Was it Elizabeth Zimmerman or Stephanie Pearl McPhee that said "There are no Knitting Police."?  Because it seems to me that there clearly used to be Fiber Police.
I've always been fascinated by the crafts demonstrators at the theme parks and Ren-Fest.  I wonder how many of the activities they are demonstrating would have actually been illegal in the time/place they are Re-enacting?  That leads to a fun "Sheriff" situation play:  "Sorry lady, we're gonna' have to take you in to the hoos-gow for usin' that teasel on those woven-goods."  Headlines reading "Shoot Out Over Socks".

This really bears more research......

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

I LOve my Mixer

I've got to brag a little on my DH and kids.  I know it's far after Christmas, but, It's never to late to say thank you, again.
Their Christmas gift to me was a KitchenAid Mixer.  If I can find a good photo of one, I'll post.  It's the beautiful RED Artisan Tilt-Head Stand type.  And we've been using it a lot.  A couple of weeks ago DD#2 had a Bake Sale to bake for.  In one morning, we made two batches of cupcakes, two double batches of Pan Cookies and another double batch of chocolate chip cookies.  Talk about the little mixer that can....
Anyway, the Sale day turned out to be a lot warmer than seasonal.  Just so you know, 90 degree heat on the Sunny West Side of the BigBoxMart is not the place to be trying to display iced cupcakes that have been packed in little zippy bags.  On the other hand, nothing slows down the sale of Chocolate Chip Cookies.  We even had a few customers opening them and eating them on the way to the car.  Got comments like "Wow!  They're warm and melty!  Are these right out of the oven?"  Uhhhh, yeah, they are, kinda...
And just so you know, I've tried to attach an add that shows this, but I keep getting an "Invalid Link" so if it shows up about a dozen times, just go with it.  OK?

Monday, April 02, 2012

Again, Techonology turns on me.........

I've spent the last few weeks fighting with technology, and IT is kickin' my britches. 

My ATM cards suddenly changed their PINs.  Both of them, on the same day, would not recognize the PINumbers that I've been using all along.  The same week that DH Lost his ATM card while staying in another town to paint a friend's house.

I can't seem to get any of the SD cards from my cameras to download to my computer.  Two different cameras, two different SD Micro Cards, three different adapters (1 a USB, the others SD adapter cards), and 4 different computers.  I finally got a few photos copied off one of the cards and tried to "move" the files to make the SD Micro "empty".  When I put the SDMicro back in the camera, it now gives me an error message that there isn't a memory card and I should insert one.  It's there!  I can see it!  I've checked and it won't go in backwards or upside down or wrong end first.  Replaced the batteries ( I know; totally different problem, but it couldn't hurt?)  Not sure what else to do, but I refuse to give up.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Technology is not always my friend.......

I'm having some issues here lately, and technology is NOT always my friend.  Quite a lot of the photos that were part of my blog posts have disappeared.  Vanished.  Cyber-invisible. 
Where did they go?
My DH got a really great song downloaded, but I can't listen to it because his i-dud has a glitch.
And, the internet bandwidth available seems to be shrinking as much as the waistband in my pants.  It seemed like we would have plenty of access when I upgraded from the "rocky-limestone" plan to the "pie-in-the-sky" plan that costs more each month than the car payment was on my first car.
Then, there's the Unlimited access phone plans that I've been shelling out for on 3 of the 5 cell phones based in my household.  Turns out that "lifetime guarantee" contract wasn't talking about My lifetime.
Like so many other things in life, they get you hooked and dependent on them, and then they go and change everything.
I remember an Auntie that didn't trust those utility companies to keep delivering the gas and electricity.  She kept her wood cook stove for a good 20 years after her kids tried to haul it off.  The wood was dependable.  Nobody could shut that off!
And there was a Granny-Aunt in the family that didn't trust those people that delivered milk to your door.  It just made too much sense to have it bein' produced in your own barn where you knew what was what.  And then they stopped delivering milk, and you had to drive clear in to town to get it.  And nobody had Real Cream anymore.... 
Hmmmm, maybe they were right???
I'm beginning to think that it is just possible that it is all a conspiracy.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Getting ready to clean VM-ish Fleece

There's a lot on the internet about how to card wool and spin wool; how to start with a commercially prepared Top or the myriad other forms available for purchase.  There are many discussions on how to diplomatically let your esty or eBay seller know that your are displeased with the amount of "the Barn" recieved along with the wool or alpaca fiber.

So, just for the sake of covering the topic: Let's say that I've sheared my very own sheep and it's got a lot of VM and other sheepishness in it. (Because we have, and it does.) Nobody to notify (or complain to) but myself. Can't bear to just throw it away...... Can't let DH know it's been a "worthless waste of time" to have a couple of sheep..........

How's this for a plan:

1. Shake out the fleece/blanket that is still all together. But, it's really more in clumps than a fleece.

2. Gently spray with a hose on Mist while the fleece clumps rest on a sheet of expanded aluminum lath like they use for stucco. Think of a large strainer - only flat; holes are big enough to put a pencil through, but not a finger.

3. Wash and rinse in plenty of very cool water with a tiny bit of detergent.  (Very worried about felting the wool that is "irreplaceable")

4. Let dry.

5. Comb out chunks with livestock combs used to prep show animals.

6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 every time DH goes to work for as many repeats as necessary.

7. Get out the good hand carders.

8. Never, ever let on what a PITA this has been. When asked, smile and recite what a joy it is to work with REAL WOOL we raised our very selves.

9. Find out how on earth the real sheep raising people keep the little beasties clean.

Monday, February 06, 2012

My UFO in the Attic........

My DS1 recently read my UFO blog page (, and got a kick out of the "lurking in the attic fair" reference.  Actually, said DS1 has been living in the attic since we finished insulating part of it last year.
Which brings up the whole discussion:  is HE an Unfinished Object?  One of my many uncompleted projects?
Or is it one of those "God isn't finished with me yet" situations?
DS1 is, by the way, one of my best knitting victims and is willing to wear several of my hats out in public.  Just saying that so you knitters will know the kind of offspring I'm talking about here.

What are the statistics on adult children living with their parents?  Not the adult children that are caregivers for their frail parents, but the returning to the nest children (in the 18 to 30 age range) that are moving back in with Mom & Dad.

DS1 says that the reason young adults are willing to live at home, when those of my generation weren't, is that today's 20-somethings get along with their parents much better than the Baby Boomers did.  Looking back on the issues that encouraged children to move away from home as soon after High School graduation as possible, I do really see the difference in the generations.  And, I take it as a compliment that my children are willing to move home.  But, it isn't a condemnation of what my parents did.  The times changed, and parenting had to change too.  That Said.......
While there is something to that, I'm sure there are other factors at work here too. 
Examples:  Minimum Wage buying power, expected standard of living, expenses of education, technology required for communication, housing/building market crash, loan unavailability, insurance rates, transportation costs, the list goes on….
And I will too, as soon as I can get enough bandwidth to upload the file……

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Obsession : Spinning Wheels

Ok, at last report, DH & I were trying to shear the 2 little sheep we have.  Well, admittedly, it was actually DH, DS#1, & DS#2.  And then I got in on a little of the fun after work on the second day.
Notes on shearing sheep: 
It's a dirty job!
If your sheep haven't been sheared in 2 years and have been just roaming around out in the field, It's a dirtier job.
If the field has thistles, and stick-tights, and cockle-burrs, It's a Dirtier & Thornier Job!

Sheep that are not handled by people don't like being sheared.
Jacob sheep are stronger than they look.
A Jacob sheep can drag a 6 foot tall teenager through the orchard quite a ways before he lets go.

This wool is worth it's weight in Gold, Blood, Sweat, and Tears.  And It Shall Be Spun AND USED.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rick Reeves 1977 17" Solid Cherry "Slanty" or Saxon?

reeves 1977 by rubyintheroughknits
reeves 1977, a photo by rubyintheroughknits on Flickr.

This is how the spinning wheel looks today. Still trying to get it all fixed.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Knitting Graph paper calculator & printer

The same person as mentioned in the last post, Lucia Liljegren, has a program that will create proportionate knitters graph paper.  This is a very tallented person here.  I'll be doing more research on this.

Wolly Wormhead has good hat patterns - some are free

Wolly Wormhead has patterns for hats, caps, and other kinds of "Toppers".  They're even available in digital form for download - some free, some at a price.  Don't let the British Pounds Sterling worry you on the prices.  As of this writing, $1 = about .6 pound.  Or inversely, 1pound = about $1.65.  So, I shop online like this I kindof figure the final cost will be 2x what is shown.  Then at the end, I'm sure to have stayed in budget.  When you go to PayPal, the calculators will figure it out for you in USA Dollars if that's what you usually work with.
                                         This is one of the free patterns I'm going to try this weekend.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

I found a wonderful web page that has Typical Head Sizes in a very nice table format.
Since I'm on a hat knitting binge, I need to have this available and thought you might like it too.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Nationwide Knitting Craze Hits Four State Area

Nationwide Knitting Craze Hits Four State Area
Really?  Are we having a Nationwide Knitting Craze?  Again?  I love a good craft craze!

It'll be great if we do.  Wal-mart's sure missed the boat though.  As far as I can tell, they've cut back all their craft department offerings in the stores that I've been to lately.

Wal-mart's loss will be the LYS's gains though, won't it?  Maybe the big W has lost it's strangle-hold on the pulse of mid-america.  That would be sooooo good.  I could really look forward to the return of LYSs on Main Street and at the Strip Mall.  Actually, wherever and whenever I can find more yarn and fiber, I'm good with it.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Psalms 139:13

So, even the Creator is a knitter?
If you look at all of Creation as a knitting project......
That just gets really deep.

Just looking at the smallest thing, say a leaf......
The interconnectedness of everything.
How one part depends on another.
If a piece is missing, sure the world can go on,
but it might leave a hole in the fabric.
Is the soul, the spirit of a person perhaps "joined" to a body,
much like a new fiber is joined at the spinning wheel,
or the next ball of yarn is joined when the first is used up,
or maybe like a Kitchner Stitched seam?
So invisible that only the maker can see the join?

One thing leads to another:
Then there's the history questions: 
When was this translation of Psalms recorded?   When did people start knitting?
Was anyone actually knitting when the Psalms were originally written in their original language?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ravelry Stash update

Update on the stash I have listed on Ravelry:
195 different kinds of yarn - includes different colors and different packaging (ie: a Ball of Lily Sugar'n Cream is not the same as a Cone of Lily Sugar'n Cream)
379.49 skeins of yarn - Yes, I'm entering partial skeins
76,076.2 yards of yarn = 43.225 MILES

Calculations:  if one square inch of knitted fabric uses up one yard of yarn, on average,
This is ONLY 528.3 square feet of knitting.
Now, really, that doesn't sound so bad does it?
I know, it's only the tip of the iceberg.
Hmmm, will have to add the photos later, not seeming to let me do it here and now.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ravelry is so cool.

My goal is to list all the yarn in my stash on Ravelry
Get it all into one place for safe storage and organization.
Throw away any yarn that is even slightly damaged.
Life is too short to knit with bad yarn!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Has it really been that long since I last posted?

Wow, this is all changed since last time I posted.  I'm sure I'll get used to it though.  Bear with me while I get everything set back up though.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cap & Booties from Akron Children's

The first is a pattern from the Akron Children's Hospital for booties and hat.

It calls for Baby yarn - plain, pastel only - and has no fuzzy yarns in bold and underlined. Well, I've got Bernat Baby Jacquards that is begging to be used. So, that's what I'm going with.  I've done several hats with a ruffle and lots of pink.  So, this is Blues and Greens called "I'm a Big Boy".  Since I actually have some big boys, including one teenager, I'm thinking it still needs to be a pretty little big boy to wear this color.
In the past, a lot of my hats have gone without being worn because the intended "victim" wasn't pleased with the color choice.

So, here goes.

Preemie Pattern site

I found a preemie pattern list at:

It's a place to start.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Preemie Knits

Maybe this is my "calling".  I'm going to make preemie baby knits.
I've made several from the pattern on Bernat Baby Jacquards titled "Ruffle Hat".  It's a top down pattern and so to make smaller sizes, I just increased on fewer rows.  Photos when I can get to them.  Several were made from one skein of pink and blue stripe with pink, blue, yellow and white patterning.  I was using US size 3 double points, instead of the US 6 that the ball band calls for.  I think they came out wonderful and soft.
More Later

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Knitting on through Adversity

What is the Elizabeth Zimmerman quote? Knit on through all adversity. ? Maybe. I'll have to verify that.
Personally, I've been experiencing adversity. A lot of the people around me have been experiencing adversity. The knitting does help.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

March Madness

Oh, no! Is it March already! My goodness, I’ve got to get a move on quick. Hustle, Hustle!!! What should it be this year? I love the socks that I made last year “Jayhawk Jaywalkers”. Every time I had a bad day, or was sick, I wore those socks. I even wore them to work a couple of times on Jayhawk days when other people were wearing KU shirts, etc. Soo, I’m goin’ huntin’

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Having a change of focus

Have you ever realized that your project has had a major change of focus?
That you had started out on a journey, and the destination has somehow changed?

I've been here before, you know?
I didn't even realize that it was happening, but here it is:
I don't want to be snarky about other people's knitting mistakes anymore.

There you go. It's the truth.
I just realized that I haven't really seen any knit objects that I cannot resist making fun of.
How did that happen? you might ask.

Well, I think I'm going to blame it on Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Yarn Harlot, the witty writer about knitters, not knitting. I've been reading her books a lot lately. Mostly when I can't sleep and my hands hurt too much to knit. She really is quite inspiring. And she seems to be such a good hearted soul. The point is, I just can't condemn another's efforts in knitting anymore. No matter how wonky the project, someone poured a lot of effort into it. No matter what the fiber choice, or the color, or texture, it is a rendition of someone's creativity and that should be celebrated. Who am I to say "What Were You Thinking?" when you knit that?

Now, that's not to say that I won't at some point in the future point out some questionable design choices on the part of say, a Yarn Company. Or a Magazine Editor. Or some high fashion designer that forces hard working runway models into outrageous garb that no mere human being should try to wear.

Let's just recognize that there's a Kinder, Gentler, Ruby out there now.
Thank You Yarn Harlot

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Well, lots of stuff is talking to me, but not the yarn

Did you ever have one of those weeks where the "Muse" is not with you?
The highlight of my week was when DD1 introduced me to a D&D cartoon on YouTube.
Did I do that right? Anyway, we've had a love/hate relationship with the kids playing D&D for several years now. It just struck me as increadibly funny when she was reciting parts of the video for her little brother. And, now I just can't get it out of my head.
Anyway, that's the kind of week it's been.
The DH's Work Socks With a Twist from Unique Sheep's Ram Club are showing progress ! Yeah !

Saturday, October 18, 2008

When is a pattern modification really a new pattern?

At what point does a pattern modification become a whole new pattern?
The case in point for me right now is the February Ladies Sweater that has taken Ravelry by storm. What I have read about it so far gives a lot of credit for inspiration to the EZ SBJ.
But, it is obviously a new pattern, not just a derivation. Where does that line get crossed?
When did it become New and not Copy? Where is the line between the New FLS and something equally different that can stand on it's own merit?
The February Ladies Sweater is absolutely wonderful. When I saw it today for the first time, I knew that I would be casting on asap. The yarn has just been waiting for it since it jumped into my arms at the RenFest. A Black Baby Alpaca that is so luscious, I could not put it down. Of all the yarns there, this was far and away the softest. I would have picked it no matter what color it was.

There are literally hundreds of FLS photos posted on Ravelry. Many, many of these are being made as fast as needles can fly. Very few of them are in dark shades. Maybe because of the season of the year. Maybe because black doesn't photograph well. And, I agree that the FLS does look lovely in all of the infinite varieties of colors and fibers out there. But, I have this black that is begging to be made into something that I will want to wear every day.

1) The baby Alpaca is far finer than what is specified, worsted, I'll check exactly how fine.
2) The square neck isn't the best for my narrow, slopey shoulders. I'll be checking into a smaller, rounder neckline.
3) The widening look at the shoulders is good, and I'll be emphasizing that as much as possible.
4) Maybe not so much garter stitch. The Baby Alpaca wants to be smoother than all garter.
5) The lengthening look of the vertical lace pattern is good, but I'm not sold on the pointy shape of the lace. Due to the yarn's RenFest background, it wants to be a celtic knotwork of some kind. Aran or Gansey or some such mystery.
6) Not so sure about the 3/4 sleeves. Not sure why, I always push my sleeves up to that level anyway, so why not start out there? Hmmmmm
7) Must have a pocket somewhere. Yeah, I'm weird.
8) Not so sure about the baby doll, show off the baby bump effect on someone of my age. Might be kind of scarry.
9) Will be as long as I have yarn to make. It could end up quite a lot longer than in the design. I knit until the yarn is gone. Yeah, I'm weird.

So, more planning, more sketching, more thinking. Maybe if I just hold the yarn for a few minutes it will tell me what it wants to be.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Missed the Yarn Harlot !

No one that I know (outside of You All) can possibly understand how disappointed I am. The Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee came within driving range, and the job sent me the other way! I even Excel calculated it out and MapQuested and everything. There was nothing short of a Hiro timeshift that was going to get me to the Yarnies before they left the building, and probably the airport. (Which makes me think, maybe if I had been a little more creative, I could have found out what flight she was on, raced to the tarmac, and .... what then? Would I have Kinneared her unobtrusively? Would I have collapsed, laughing, at her feet?)

There I was, all set to go to a wonderful night of knitting, ROFL, the awesome Yarn Harlot ! I mean who cares about the Debates, the New TV season, all that stuff. What is really important here, people? I mean, where are your priorities? All the Heroes, LOST, BSG, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, ER, CSI, EM-HE, and Gray's Anatomy in the world don't measure up to one evening with the "One Who Understands". (Don't get me wrong, I know there are more important events: my faith overall, staying married to my DH, the birth of a child....)

Well, obviously, my priorities are with my job. Eventhough the non-knitters had no idea what they were doing by sending me to a different office miles and miles in the wrong direction. But. Seeing as how the paycheck leads to Stash Enhancement.
And, this paycheck will pay for the book that is waiting for me at the wonderful local book shop.
And they called today to let me know that Ms. Pearl-McPhee signed it for me even though I wasn't even there. If I wasn't in the office full of non-knitters, I would have cried. She is So Wonderful ! So Human, so Humane, so Knitterly!
Counting down the minutes until I can leave for the book shop to pick up the new book! Free Range Knitter! It's gotta be good.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Excel My Knitting

Excel is my friend, it helps me think to see everything all lined up in neat rows. Sortable, alphabetizable, numbers that can be manipulated: added, subtracted, averaged, factored. Lists that I can print off and boxes that I can use to check off. Excel doesn’t care about my grammar, or punctuation unless it’s in a formula.

I’ve been wanting to come up with a way to chart knit stitches in Excel. In the past, I tried using the regular fonts that come with Office and just typing in the stitches. But, it really only works for the simplest of patterns. So, off to search the internet. Maybe people have put new stuff out there since the last time I looked.

If I was going to spend money, there’s a program - Stitch and Motif Maker:

For free: you can download fonts with knitting symbols that you can plug into an Excel spreadsheet or a Word document I would assume.

Almost every link on the internet that showed up in my search eventually pointed to one of these two. So that’s where I’m starting.
(scroll down to "Symbol Font")

Update at 11

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Greg Kinnear and the Yarn Harlot

Ok, so I have been out of the loop. Greg Kinnear was on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and actually talked about the Yarn Harlot; called her the Michael Jordan of Knitting!
It's about 20 minutes into this show:

So, this knitting wild woman that writes about knitters (not knitting) posts a story about the airport on her blog in August 2007. Then, a word she has coined, minted herself, is listed in the Urban Dictionary within days. See it here: Way to go Ms. Pearl-McPhee!

Yet, it takes over a year for it to hit TV. Makes you think, doesn't it?
Maybe Television is going to loose it's status as the trend-setter of our times.
Does that mean that within my lifetime, Television rose to the pinnacle of influence and then was usurped by the microchip on broadband?
Man, and my grandma thought that she had seen great changes in her lifetime.
What will tomorrow bring? What wondrous leap of progress is flying off someone's needles right at this very moment?
You know how the Geek/Nerd crowd is always talking in languages that mere mortals cannot comprehend? Clingon, for example. Metric, Binary, Emoticons, txtng, OMG, ...
What if the knitters spoke their own language? Would it be Yarnish? Harlotton? Knitish?

An international language of fiber, where fiber lovers all over the universe live together in peace and harmony. Think of the influence that knitters, and fiber artists overall, would have on the world.

Wait a minute, I think we might actually have that started already.

I am so proud to be a knitter right now! sniff, sniff....

Friday, October 10, 2008

Buttons on Baby knits

The S'nB calendar pattern for Friday, October 10 was a Baby Swing Sweater. Absolutely adorable. On my list to cast on ASAP
Designed by Leslie Barbazette. The credits on the calendar page list at but that goes nowhere. So, I'll be tracking her down. (found her here: )
But, the point of this post is Buttons on Knits for Wee People.

Good, bad, rules, guidelines? What is the ongoing debate saying these days?
At what point does a button become big enough that it isn't a choking hazard? When are they small enough to not be a problem? When they're small enough to not be a choking hazard, don't they become a nose stuffer hazard? Please don't tell me that you don't know that little kids sometimes stick things up their nose that should not be there, or in their ears: cereal, corn, beans, peas, tape, string, beads, rubber bands, the key to Big Sister's diary.
Holes or not: Would the holes in a button work like the hole in a lifesaver and help out a little in choking situations? Would they air whistle, alerting adults to the crisis?
Teething: Buttons make great teething chewies from one point of view - they really help the teeth make it through. Grandma used to make strings of buttons on a cord for the babies to play with. On the other hand, how often does a baby chew right through the cord, string or other attachment to get that button off? How often would you have to keep checking on the attachment to make sure it's still secure? If it's a Gift Knit, how do you know that the responsible adult will know to keep checking?
Brain Development: Buttons are colorful, textural interest. Playing with buttons and figuring out how they work has got to be good for fine motor skill development. I know that my nursing babies were very clever about unbuttoning my top at the least opportune moment (think about Church, the grocery store, yep...). And everyone of them has grown up to be so brilliant now.

Strings are out on hoodies for children - because they get caught on so many things and choke the little ones. Blankets and Bumper pads are in question right now, or they were last time I checked. Car seats keep getting better, but keeping a little one comfortably warm on the way to and from the car without cooking them in the car is getting more difficult. Then there's the sleeping thing: Back to Sleep, Wedge to not roll over, Tummy Curling, propped up, sling, swing, bottle, water bottle, no bottle. Pacifier, thumb, ortho development device?

That's one of the problems with having kids; the experts keep changing all the rules. I refuse to give birth ever again until they quit changing the rules.

The Yarn Harlot Commeth !

O M G !
I just found out that the Yarn Harlot (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee) is coming within range of where I can be. Not like she's coming to my Home Town or anything. But, she's going to be at a location where I could conceivably be there too! Yeah!

Keep in mind that I didn't bother to go see any of the Political Candidates when I had the many, many chances. No on T. Boone Pickens. Same thing with Hannah Montana and several other celebrities. It just doesn't seem that important to me to see those people in person. I even once turned down the chance to see the Pope parade - it would have been a long distance view. But still - He's the Pope. That one, I probably should have gone to see.

But, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee ! That's a whole nother story, now. She's a person I would drive far and wide to see. And there's a couple others on my list of people to revere enough to go out of my way to be close to: Dave Ramsey, ... Can't think of anyone else right now. Maybe I'll add more later.
Hey, you know it's gotta be good if I'm willing to Drive Down Town to get there!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

There are so many great new patterns out there

This is such a difficult time of year for a fiberholic.
All the magazines are coming out with great new patterns. The websites have great stuff, Knitty and Ravelry, and all those other ones too.
The shops are stocking up on great new yarns.
And the Sales!
The Gift List is clamoring for promises to be made. (Don't remind me that about half of the projects that I started last fall didn't ever get finished.)
There even seems to be a conspiracy with the babies ! Yes, the babies. There are new ones and babies in the making everywhere. And each new little downy head begs to be swaddled in cushy hand knit goodies. The patterns for babies and little ones are getting better too.
And then there's the new TV season. Finally. There's good stuff on TV to knit to, calling me to the big comfy chair. It's cool enough outside (and inside too) that it isn't torture to snuggle into a big pile of fluff.
But, there's so much other stuff that needs to be done.
What's a fiberholic to do?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Adding the CDC Widget to this page

Today, there's a new addition over there in the links side.
It's a CDC Widget that will have new information on health statistics from
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
They have lots of good information.
Especially for some of us that tend to be in denial about our health risks.
Personally, I have been using knitting as a "medication" for about 6 years now.
With my knitting, I'm lowering my blood pressure and stress levels. I hope that I'm also making more brain connections to help reduce the effects of strokes or Alzheimer's (not that I'm experiencing any of that)
My family history runs deep with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, allergies, asthma, arthritis, high blood pressure, strokes, kidney problems, .... Yeah, this is depressing.
So, I'm working on reducing the risk factors that I DO have control over.
Please feel free to join in, and I'll try not to bore you with it too much.
Now you know how this applies to Knitting - which is the most important. Right?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

UFO pledge

Seventh and last in the Why UFOs series:

7) Might it be possible to take a No More UFOs Pledge?
A set of Vows?

Wouldn't that just be more unnecessary pressure?
Setting oneself up for failure?
Unreasonable expectations?
Pipe Dreams?
Pie In the Sky?

I am not seeing this one happen.

'Nuff said.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

UFO amnesia

Sixth in the series

Sometimes a UFO happens because the knitter just forgot.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Why so many knitting UFOs?

Fifth in the series on Knitting UFOs:

5) Why are there so many UFOs in the knitting universe?
a) Conspiracy theory: the yarn manufacturers, publishers, and the LYS are in league to get us to over consume their products.
i) They will stop at nothing until they have the entire world knitting 24/7.
ii) They will change fashion so quickly, no one will be able to keep up and finish a project while it's still fashionable. Therefore, UFOs multiply like tribbles in the bin.
iii) They are secretly blending in a tactile addictive substance to the yarns, the coatings of the needles, the surface of the paper of the patterns.
iv) Secret, Hidden, Subliminal messages are encoded into the patterns, the pixelations of the web pages, the photos in the publications.
v) The Paparazzi have discovered that if a magazine publishes a photo of a celeb knitting, the circulation skyrockets.
vi) The Movie Moguls have discovered that if there's good knitwear design in a movie, knitters will flock to see it and buy the DVD asap to replicate the designs, thereby boosting the boxoffice.

b) Short Attention Span, ADHD, what is the catch phrase of the week?

c) What 'r we talkin' bout? Moving on....

d) It's a nutritional deficiency. Lack of fiber in our diets. But that explains OCD Hoarding issues, not UFOism. That's gotta be a potty training issue.
e) The knitted UFO is indicative of our fear of commitment as a society.
f) Baby Boomers and those who have come after have never been required to finish anything. We've become a nation of quitters or at least changers; Is that a bad thing? or a good thing?
i) It's OK to not clean your plate.
ii) when we couldn't take the pressure, we quit the team, or the class, ....
was that because the pressure was too much? too soon? too intense?
iii) we changed our college majors 5 times, sometimes to get jobs that didn't exist when we were born.
iv) we job hop, often because the job left us.
v) we can't drive one car long enough to not be upside-down in the loan, (see notes on job above)
vi) we can't stay in one place long enough to pay off the mortgage, or say that we have a "Home Town", or give our kids a place to say they're "From" (see notes on job above).
vii) If we don't like the rules, or the laws, we change them
viii) We don't stay married when it isn't working
g) We demand instantaneous gratification. But with perfection and style. We want to finish a sweater in a day, but make it look like it took a lifetime.
h) We've become too busy with all the things that fill up our calendars. We fill every moment with something important, or maybe just urgent.
i) We've forgotten what is really important.
ii) We are flooded and bombarded with information and images.
iii) Even from infancy, we are driven to "live up to our potential".
Even our youngest children are learning more facts than our ancestors ever dreamed of.
There is so much more information in the world, and so much fantasy and imagination.

A distracting thought here: As an example, when she was a child, my grandmother had
8 grades to finish (no kindergarten or pre-school), now there's at least 15 to 20
26 presidents to memorize, soon to be 44
45 states and capitols
When she got a phone, there were only 4 digits in her number
Her house needed no key
Her one car had one key
The only passwords were for fun, or on a show on one of the 3 TV channels in Black and White, not 3 million colors HDTV via satellite.

Gotta go, There's a new Lost Heroes Star Expose' Mystery Reality Show on in a minute. My TV automatically tuned in to it (from among America's Top 200) so I wouldn't miss it again.

Wherefore art thou, dear lost UFO?

4) I don't even know how many UFOs I have, or where they all are.
a) Should I spend some Saturday, or a sleepless night, sorting UFOs to find which ones have all their parts?
b) As I am sorting out and straightening out my Stash, should I come up with a way to store the UFOs? And maybe an easier way to access them in the attic?
c) Ravelry. Could this be my salvation? Or just another obsessive / compulsive distraction?
i) Could I make a fortune by selling the rare vintage yarns I have to Ravelers and eBayers that really need them?
ii) If my stuff was on Ravelry, and accessible from my smart(alec) phone, Would I be inclined to buy less?
d) If I had all my Stash - and all my UFOs in one place at one time, would negative things happen:
i) The world as we know it be at an end?
ii) The attic would explode from the pressure? (Insurance does not cover that)
iii) Would the men in white coats come to take me away because my significant support people decide I was a danger to myself or others?
iv) Would my DH ever understand?
e) If ...., Then ... Would positive things happen?
i) The attic would be fully insulated and we would save a fortune in energy costs.
ii) The rest of the house would seem spacious and airy.
iii) Really never need to buy anything again, retire debt-free to knit full time
iv) Become totally inspired to finish all the UFOs
v) No Christmas shopping required - everyone gets a FO that was a UFO.
vi) All the people I've ever promised anything to see that I am good for my word and love me even more than ever before.
vii) Lucky Seven - That guilty feeling would go away.
viii) Peace Reigns around the Earth!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Knitting UFO excuses

3) What about those projects where I did come across a UFO later, only to cannibalize the needles and stitch markers for another project? Not too long ago, I used to do that.
Why would I do that? What makes one project more worthy of finishing than another?
a) Lost the pattern
b) Lost a needle or other required tool
c) Lost the yarn and might find it again
d) Ran out of yarn and need to buy more
e) Ran out of patience with the pattern because it was:
i) Boring
ii) Too Difficult
iii) Poorly written directions
iv) Not turning out as expected
f) The intended victim outgrew the UFO, or made a disparaging remark about knitting, fiber, color, style........
g) The yarn wasn't right
i) didn't survive the swatch & wash test: faded, bled, shrank, felted or fell apart
ii) didn't survive the knitability test: itched, scratched, or was otherwise not worthy of knitting.
iii) not right for the pattern: couldn't get gauge, didn't showoff stitch properly, too many colors for the stitch.
h) Got side-tracked onto another project
i) a new magazine / book / Knitty / pattern came in the mail / email / bookstore
ii) a new yarn seduced and distracted
iii) a gift giving opportunity was looming, and the victim really "needed" something besides what was on the needles
iv) Oh, let's be honest, I'm just too easily distracted by anything.
g) The project, or it's component parts, got "lost" when:
i) We cleaned house
ii) We moved
iii) We cleaned out the car
iv) We went on a trip
v) Reorganized storage
vi) Someone was sick, hospitalized, Born, in crisis
h) Priorities Change
i) Stuff Happens

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

More UFO theory ....

To continue:
More on theories for UFO Rescue inspired by SnB Pageaday calendar 2008

2) Items like needles, markers and counters are usually assumed to be AWOL when the associated project becomes a UFO. If I didn't plan on loosing it, how could I plan on how to rescue it?

a) As a compulsive shopper and obsessive collector, I tend to buy more than I need of everything. So, I have plenty of duplicates of my favorite tools. I know, I'm working on getting over it.
b) Thinking about it just now, it probably would be a good thing to plan out the rescue of the UFO while I'm planning out the project in the first place. It's not like this is a rare occurrence for me, is it? It isn't an accident when a WIP becomes a UFO in my life. Unfortunately, it is very predictable and happens with great regularity.
i) Besides, the planning is the best part. For me anyway. So, getting the disaster drill ready would be a fun mental exercise while knitting.
ii) Note to self: Try not to scare significant support persons with statements like:
"I'm going to put a marker here just in case something happens to me tonight and I don't see this project again for 5 years."
"I'm putting this pattern in the bag with the yarn, just in case I get hit by a bus on the way to work, so someone else will know how to finish this project some day."
It really creeps them out to think that I think such things that they think are morbid things to think. One in particular tells me that it's very negative thinking.
iii) So, what's the positive way to state it?
"If I can't remember what I was doing next time I work on this, maybe this will jog my memory."
"When I pick this up next time, a little piece of waste yarn will mark where I last decreased." Annunciate very clearly so no one hears "deceased".

See ya later, gator.......

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

UFO Rescue - SnB calendar page for today

I love my SnB page a day calendar. Today's page is on UFO Rescue.
Something about putting in waste yarn as reminders.
Well, that's a great suggestion. Because sometimes from one day to the next I don't know where I left off, when I did the last inc/decrease, especially in something that says to "decrease every third row", or even better "decrease at rows 57, 92, and 111."

As self-declared Regional Queen of the UFOs, I have come up with a few strategies of my own.

1) Always keep a copy of the pattern with the WIP (which may become a UFO at any moment). I don't carry my prized books and magazines with me. I photocopy, or print, the page to carry in my knitting bag. I learned this the hard way; lost the pattern for my DD1's "wedding afghan" and it took me 3 years to get another. I still haven't been brave enough to try to figure out where I was.

a) I never know when a WIP will spontaneously become a UFO. It's not like I see it coming or it's a conscious decision. It's a default setting: I lost the bag, started another project, got sidetracked, ran out of materials, lost a tool, Who Knows?! But I do not ever remember saying "I think I'll pack this away until some later time and finish it then".
b) If I carried the whole book with me for every WIP in my bag today, I would have 2 magazines, 2 full sized books, and a computer in there. The point is, it would weigh a ton and have all my significant support people thinking I'm crazier than I really am.
i) OK, I admit, I do have one of those USB drive things with some of the pattens stored on it. And about 10 sheets of paper in various states of crumple.

More next time.........

Monday, June 30, 2008

Knitting in the Movies

OK, I know, I didn't originally want to see Golden Compass. Just to
prove that I'm not a flock-following sheep, I did read the first book of the trilogy. And, I may even slog my way through the next two in the series. I am very proud that I did Not Buy the book (or financially support the writer in any way). The gigantic tome was left at a friend's workplace break-room by a disappointed reader. And, because of our earlier discussions, he gave it to me ! Woo hoo! I think it was a compliment on him realizing that I am a discerning person that likes to know what I disagree with and why. And, yep, I did not like it.

And I don't mean in the way that I "didn't like" Harry Potter,
but then I read it, and bought copies for all the people I know,
and got on the advanced order list every time a new one came out,
and helped my kids (that were of the right age)
go to the Midnight Opening Day showing of all the Movies,
and knit a bunch
of the stuff from the Charmed Knits
book by Alison Hansel.

So, my point is, I don't like the Golden Compass book. I do not believe that it was written to entertain children or encourage a desire to read or educate or anything positive.

So, when one of my young-ish friends brought over
the DVD one evening, gushing
"You have got to see the Knitting In This Movie !".
Well, I had to watch, and it turned out to be The Golden Compass.
And, I was totally enthralled with the KNITTING !
Not that you ever see anyone actually doing Knitting (that I remember). But, Knit articles of clothing are everywhere in this movie! And they are so "Interesting". I haven't gotten any of my usual victims to commit to wearing any of the FO's that I have sketched out or pointed to in the film.

Anyway, my point is, The Real Story from the
Book is awful as a children's story.
The movie isn't too bad.
The knitting in the movie is awesome.
But, just like the Brats Dolls, I'm not going to support the writers by buying into their commercialism.

I'm sure not too Good to knit from an online photo, though.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kids in Animal Hats

OK, it finally got here. The kids are sooooo cute! The knits are soooooo cute!
Of Course, I'm talking about Knitted Critters for Kids to Wear. Arf, Arf. Meow, Meow.
But I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed. It's basically just hats and mittens knit in colors to mimic animals. I think that many of us could have come up with these.
Use a little graph paper, it's even available online in knitter's dimensions. Find some Fun Fur. Make a hat to match the family pet. Or use the pictures out of any number of kids coloring books for inspiration.
Ears, and Eyes. Yepp, that's about the most inventive new thing in this book. So, if you can figure out how to make droopy ears vs. round teddy ears vs stand up bunny ears, you probably don't need this book.
I'm keeping it for a while to see if it grows on me, other wise, it's going back on the Amazon List and someone will get a great bargain.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Free Vintage Knitting Patterns

Were they Foretelling the future of the Teletubbies?

Found this on Ravelry today. The creator has quite a collection of patterns available. Some of the more interesting ones are for sale as "Digitally restored e-book". Interesting idea? Novel home business? Be sure to check your copyright laws before you try this at home.
Free Knitting Patterns
And, Yes, I know that some of these are Crochet Patterns.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

New Book: Knitted Critters for Kids to Wear

To Be published 6/3/2008:

Knitted Critters for Kids to Wear: More Than 40 Animal-Themed Accessories (Paperback)

by Jean Adel (Author)
List Price: $19.95
Price: $13.57

This just looks too cute!
Gotta have it. I wonder how long it really takes to get stuff from Amazon? Would I get it faster if I wait to buy it at one of the book stores? Do LYSs get copies first?

Tuesday Tips: Photocopies of Patterns

Keep in mind that there are copyright laws, and they apply to all of us.
But, one of my best tips ever is to photocopy the pattern from the book or magazine, and then carry the photocopy around instead of the whole book. You can write on the pattern, highlighting parts, coloring in patternwork, marking off where you've finished, all kinds of stuff.
As far as I can find out, it is perfectly legal to make a copy of a work that you own as long as it is for your own personal use. It seems that you cannot make a copy, then sell the book and continue to use the copy. Then there are the hazy areas of scanning to a disk, and "archiving". Well, those areas are not hazy at all to the writers, publishers, and copyright holders. So, watch yerself! Don't even try to post a scanned copy of a pattern on the internet. It will come back to bite 'cha in the butt.

Now, my Aunt Mary liked to make tiny little pencil notes in her books to remind her of what patterns she had made for whom, changes she made, sizes for people, etc. But, surely it is better to have not lost the book entirely than to have all your notes scattered around in all those books. I would give anything to have some of her books with all those little notes in them. But, after her funeral, a nutty brother of hers trashed them all. They were "worthless" to him.

But, I digress. If having a record of the projects made, etc. is important, maybe you could put those copied pages into a notebook to track the notes? I know that at some point in time my DH is going to "have enough" and go on a cleaning bender, probably throwing away magazines in the process. If a copy of the pattern has been stored with the UFO, is is possible, in theory, to finish it at some later date. So, in the interest of someday conquering my OCD-hoarding disorder, the notebook and copies make it possible for me to let go of some of the mounds of periodicals that surround me.

Library Books: Who in their right mind even imagines that a person, even a super knitter, would be able to finish an entire knitting project before the library book is due?

Magazines: Why do some magazines spread the pattern out over pages scattered somewhat randomly around the magazine? Photo on one page, yarn choice advise on a second, directions on a third, charts on a forth. Oh, and don't forget that the finish up directions might be somewhere else.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Online Shoe Shopping

Ok, We've had quite a hiatus from being Snarky about Fuggly Fashion.
So, We're Baa ... ack!
I know, these aren't KNIT, they're SHOES, kinda.

Actually, they're 6" heels.

This is the kind of thing that happens when I search the internet. "Honestly, Mom, I was just looking for some shoes that would show off my hand knit socks!"
Ri ig gh ht!

Please do not go horseback riding or even into the barn in those boots.
And, on behalf of the emergency personnel that will inevitably become involved if you wear these: Don't forget to wear clean panties. And, Keep them On! (Quoting Crazy Aunt Purl's Mom)

Well, when I can get back up off the floor: We'll have a few posts featuring good shoes to wear with Hand Knit Socks.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

News from the Sock Wars iii Front

To those who have missed me:
I've been observing the Sock Wars iii phenomena.
This is amazing, absolutely amazing.
Only half of the warriors are still standing.
The creativity is rampant.

If you joined up, you could go to this link and follow what's going on:

If you're part of Ravelry, you could join the Sock Wars group:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The origins of Schwag / Shwag / Swag?

Knitting connection to what sidetracked ramblings follow: (
is have a contest in honor of their 50 Millionth Site Visit.

"So we sat down and thought about how we could thank you guys for reading, linking to, talking about and knitting from Knitty magazine. And one thing came to mind: really great shwag."

There's that word again. Where did it come from?

Have you ever had one of those days where you hear the same term over and over again? And you realize that it isn't a word you remember being in the dictionary or on the spelling list at school? Well Schwag or Swag is one of those words for me. I was trying to figure out if it was an acronym for something. "Something Worthy As Gift" "Some With A Gift" "Stuff Can Happen With a Gift" "Special Happiness Wins A Grin" I don't know. I wanted it to mean something. So, I looked it up:

There was an article int Wired 9.01 (
"As schwag has evolved into a status symbol, even the word itself is gaining respectability. Once it was slang for stupid, or for low-quality reefer, or, in the classical, dictionary sense - spelled swag - it meant ill-gotten gains or booty. Today schwag has morphed its way into the American lexicon, sans criminal undertones. And so, there's now The Schwag, a Grateful Dead tribute band, and "schwag hags" who covet "schwag bags" hawked at extreme sports events. And there are the industry professionals, who wish the word would just go back where it came from."

There's also the Urban Dictionary:
The term is also used by many pot heads to describe anything that is low grade.
noun. low grade marijuana"
Yep, there once again, is a word that my Aunt Mary would have ROFL over. A word that not so many years ago might have gotten you detention. Out there in the mainstream with everyone, even knitting grannies, saying it without a clue as to what it means! Aunt Mary, believe it or not, convinced me that Reading The Dictionary Is FUN. I know, she brain washed me when I was young and vulnerable. They didn't used to prosecute people for those kinds of child abuse (kidding).

I keep a list of the words that my kids can say without even blinking, except when in my presence they give me "that look" because they know I'm obsessed about it. It's the list of things that I just cannot say in front of my MIL. I was going to list them here, but I want to keep the G-family rating. Even you would be amazed at the words on my list. Words that you use everyday that your great-grandmother would be scandalized by. Really.
Then there's the words that my MIL uses that have changed meaning: thong, hickey, shag, ...

Aunt Mary didn't ever want to rest in peace. She's up there; texting to me "LMAO" !