Tuesday, April 28, 2009

And Now For Something Completely....Weird???

I have come across a much larger version of this opossum on my deck. It was dark out and I was letting the cat in. The cat, however, wouldn't budge and was staring at the far end of the deck. I turned to see what he was looking at, and there it was, a huge opossum staring back at me. It was creepy. He stared and stared and didn't move for awhile, and then s.l.o.w.l.y climbed the post to the arbor.

I learned that the opossum is the only marsupial in north America and that it has lots - maybe even fifty - teeth, very sharp teeth. Not something to tangle with.

So it was a surprise when I came across a vendor at Stitches South who was selling possum yarn from New Zealand. That stopped me dead in my tracks. I asked the vendor "You can shave a possum?"

She hesitated, and then said, "The yarn is recycled."

Huh? Recycled from what? Oh....

She could tell that I had figured out that recycled meant killed and quickly explained that opossums were introduced to New Zealand and that since they have no natural predators, they overrun the country. She said that they are very destructive to vegetation and therefore, people are allowed to kill them.

Oh. The yarn is blended with merino to make it soft and pliable, and did feel quite nice. But they shouldn't have displayed a photo of a mother possum with babies riding on her back. Just makes the whole thing feel wrong, somehow. Fifty sharp teeth or not.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Stitches South

Stitches South - the first one ever - was held this Friday, Saturday and today at the Cobb Galleria outside of Atlanta. I went on Friday with a group of my LYS's knit-night knitters. As we walked into the convention room, those of us who had been to SAFF in Asheville, NC, last fall, said, "Is this it?" We had heard tales of how huge Stitches events were, how great they were, and this was just one room with booths in it.

However, because it contained just yarn and yarn-related accessories (no sheep, alpacas or any other animals, no weavers, only a few spinners), Stitches WAS huge: all of the space was for vendors - hundreds of booths with all sorts of exotic yarns and lots of tools for knitting and crocheting. As we left, eight hours later, we carried bags and bags of new supplies. And if we had been brave enough to deal with what were probably very large crowds yesterday and today, I'm sure we could have come away with more bags and bags and bags....

One of our biggest scores was free - these Ravelry pins. They are scarce, but we accosted a knitter wearing one to find out the source: a nice vendor had bought lots of them from Ravelry and was handing them out to those who knew where to ask.

Unfortunately, one of my purchases was these socks. The group I was with decided that we should all buy them and wear them Thursday night. I remarked that we knit socks; we don't buy them. I was out-voted. I'm wearing them with Birkenstocks. That'll teach 'em...

At one point, I wandered away from the table where we were all taking a break, just sitting and knitting. I found a basket booth, and this basket just jumped out at me.
I bought it and took it back to the table, where, when I glanced at the socks I was working on, I realized WHY the basket had jumped out at me:

And of course, I bought yarn: two different sock yarns, and another yarn (the large hank) that was part of a kit for a feathers and fans pattern wrap. I would like to have bought lots more, but I decided to be realistic about having a large stash of projects ahead of me. I may end up regretting this decision.............but there is always more yarn.....

Stitches has signed the contract to come back next year, and if the dates are better, it may be even larger. One of the vendors told us that next weekend is the very huge Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, and that some vendors just couldn't re-stock and organize two events so close together and chose the Maryland event because it is so well known and successful. Sad for us (well, not really), but we managed to have a great time anyway.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


The wisteria on my arbor over the deck is in full bloom now and I love it. It is this beautiful for a week and a half or so, and then, daily, snows purple blossoms all over the deck. It's a mess, but worth it for the time we have this beauty right outside our back door.

However, perhaps this wisteria can be classified as a parasite or a virus; it is trying mightily to destroy the structure on which it lives, as you may be able to see from the photo below. Look at where the horizontal beam is no longer attached to the support post. We (That's the royal we- what I really mean is dh ) have to figure a way to muscle it back up and a way to fasten it more securely. The weight of the wisteria has, over the past few years, pushed the beam down in spite of really sturdy bolts.

And here is a bonus-my beautiful fuschia. Once it gets hot, really, really Georgia-hot, the fuschia shrivels up and asks to be put out of its misery. But for awhile, it's a treat to have and the hummingbirds love it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

46,980 Stitches + 135 cast on + 135 bind off stitches


This is the first time I've ever counted the stitches in something I've made, and I don't think I'll do it again...and certainly not before I begin a project. I was just curious.

This is my second Mountain Colors throw in the Northern Lights colorway. I gave the first to older daughter when Elizabeth was born five weeks early, but this one is for me! I love it. It's made of five different fibers in the colorway, alternating four rows of each one with four rows of mohair. It takes a long time to knit, but this one didn't take me as long as the last one did.

THIS time I used some common sense. Before I started the first throw, I had gotten a cool hint from another knitter: to keep a ball of yarn from rolling around, put it in an empty cube box of tissue. Problem solved! So since one is good, six must be even better. I put each of the six balls of yarn (one of the fibers is used double) in its own cube. Big mistake! The throw looked like an octopus missing two limbs and all the yarns kept twisting around each other, annoying me no end.

Do NOT try this at home!

I am happy to say

that I am not a control freak or saddled with OCD just because I believe in: A place for everything and everything in its place.

I lack imagination. If something is not where I expect it to be, I simply cannot imagine where else it might be, and therefore, don't know where to look for it.

So I just wait for it to show up, which it always does, since stuff cannot just disappear on its own.

And that's the truth. Pfttt...
Says I (and Edith Ann)

Friday, April 10, 2009


Apparently, he would drive a Jaguar. The one his dad lets him drive.

Vanity license plate seen by my husband in Jackson, Mississippi

[not the actual plate---dh didn't have a camera with him---but OMG]

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I'm An Adult

What was my first clue?

The husband? the two children? the four grandchildren?

No, no and no.

Two college degrees? certification to teach in three states? various teaching jobs, including one as an adjunct University professor, teaching adult military students, on a military base?

No, no and no again.

It's a new bed. A REAL wooden bed.

For years, no-not years...for DECADES, we've had a wobbly, very, very faux brass headboard that wasn't even attached to the bed. It was just wedged between the bed and the wall. I'm sure I thought it was attractive or something when I bought it, but really? Ugh.

So once we put wood floors in the bedroom, I decided that we needed a new REAL bed, and thanks to the poor economy, everything is on sale everywhere.

So, for a really good price, I now have this real grown-up's bed:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Cute, You Say?

Wrong. This Bunny Blanket Buddy is pure evil. Pure Evil!

Right from the poorly written free downloadable instructions (which do not include the fact that the knitter has to know how to double knit (which has nothing to do with dk yarns, and which I had never even heard of) to the nylon yarn (which I ended up having to buy double the required amount of since the first bunny did.not.come.out.correctly because I didn't know the instructions were telling me to "double knit," a technique which, I repeat, I didn't know even existed).

Do not be fooled by the cute faces on photos of free downloadable patterns on the web. Those little creatures are up to no good.

You Can Take Me Out

But apparently, you can't dress me up.

I am not one of those pulled-together women who always look perfect. Their hair is perfect; their nails are perfect; their makeup is perfect; their clothes are perfect. You get the picture. You might even BE the picture.

Saturday night we went to the symphony. I got all dressed up in new gray flannel dress that I just love, and topped it off with a blue pashmina wrap. Thank goodness.

When we returned to the house, my husband started to ask if I needed help with the zipper, and then said, "Oh, you've already partly unzipped the dress."

Oh, sh*t. (Remember, I don't swear.) No, I hadn't already unzipped the dress. I had never zipped it all the way up to start with. I had meant to ask my husband to zip it up all the way before we left the house. But hadn't. I just hope the pashmina was enough cover to hide my mistake.

On the good news front, while I was at my LYS this morning, buying more nylon (yuck) yarn to RE-MAKE ( don't ask)the Bunny Blanket for Elizabeth, I noticed this gorgeous stuff. The picture doesn't even begin to do it justice. It is soft. It's 100% superfine alpaca. It's soft. It is natural colors-no dyes, just scoured. Did I mention it's soft? It is from alpaca raised in the Andes above 13,000 feet (I don't know what that has to do with anything, but the yarn sure is soft). AND there are approximately 600 yards of it!
I love it. I have no idea what it might turn into, but for now, I'm naming it and keeping it as a pet.

Friday, April 3, 2009

More Short-Attention Span Knitting

At last night's Knit Night I bought yarn for two more quick projects-a project bag and a really cute stuffed bunny with a cloth attached. The bunny will be for Elizabeth for Easter. The bag? Who knows.....

The Marble Chunky ball is even larger than it looks in the photo. It's 100% acrylic, something I NEVER knit with, except for this project, and the other is Plymouth Yarn Heaven, and it is 100% nylon, something I NEVER knit with, except for this project. What can I say? I am a wool snob!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Short-Attention Span Knitter

That would be me. For awhile, I've been knitting socks, scarves, a chicken and other mostly quick projects. This is my latest:

Surprise! It's a scarf!

I made it using Rowan Cocoon yarn, emerald color. I love, love, love this yarn. It's heavier than worsted weight so I used a size 10.5 needle. It took three skeins, and it has ribbing, seed and garter stitches in it.

The reason it took so little time to knit this (just over a week-and that's a little time for me) is that the lace project and the loopy Shaun the Sheep tea cozy are in time out. The lace project has been very, very bad and may be in time out for a very, very long time. Shaun the sheep is just annoying me a bit, so he may come out of time out sooner. We'll see...

So now I have started the second of my Mountain Colors throw. I made the previous one and gave it to older daughter, but this one is for ME!