Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sure, NOW I Remember My Camera...

Mr. Pointy Sticks had to go to the mall this morning to get a couple new shirts for work. And, while I loathe the mall, I went along because (a) I like spending time with him and (b) I thought I might find a pretty top or two for spring. And I have to say, this trip wasn't too horrid...perhaps because we got there early. While Mr. Pointy Sticks wandered around choosing his boring blue shirts, I amused myself by taking pictures. I loved the tie displays...all those colors!

I actually love the colors in the tie that you see the most of here. I thought it was really pretty. and look at all the yellow!

And look at these pretty blues and greens...

It's almost enough to make one contemplate wearing a tie.

I tried to help by pointing out all the pretty shirts to Mr. Pointy Sticks..."How about this green one?"

...but he stuck with blue Oxford cloth and a simple stripe.

I kind of want the job of wandering around and matching up ties to shirts on display. I thought some of the matches were pretty horrid, although some were striking.

Went into Christopher & Banks (which I always want to call Christopher Banks) and got a couple cute spring tops...only $17 each, so that was gratifying. Then we went to Nordstrom Rack and I spent too much on a hair clip for Rachel and some earrings for me. (I do love earrings.)

But hey, I was going to show you yarn. Here's what I got at Webs last weekend.

The book below has the Abigail sweater I liked on the cover. It's knit from a rustic looking sort of yarn, but I choose the now discontinued Pure Merino in the Glacier color.

It's a yummy smooth yarn and I don't know why they discontinued it, but it's all savings to me, as Webs has it for cheap, cheap, cheap. I was torn as to color. Before I got to Webs I was looking at it on line. I really liked the Ballerina and the Wisteria. But in person, the Ballerina was a little more bubble gum and the Wisteria was purpley. You can see that the color of the Glacier is really washed out on the website. Although it's a little paler than what shows up in the picture above, I think. Anyway, it's a pretty color.

And here's the newest sock yarn.

I love the little blue specks in the Maxime, which came from the Grampa's Garage section on Webs and was extremely cheap. And the one in front is from the Flower Color line and it really does have all the colors of a flower garden in it. I think all the colors are pretty in this line, though.

So there you have it...some pictures at last.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sometimes I Think I Just Need To Be Shot...Perhaps With A Camera

So, I should just be drummed out of the Blogging Corps, I guess. We went up to Massachusetts this past weekend.

I went to Webs and bought yarn.

We had some lovely dinners out, including a fun one with Rachel and her friends.

We met the new boyfriend.

We bought Rachel a car.

It snowed all day Monday.

And I kept my camera in my pocketbook the whole time! What an idiot!! It just went completely out of my mind.

So let me just say…the snow was pretty, the car is very nice, the boyfriend is, as far as we can tell after a short visit, a keeper, and the dinners were fine and Rachel's friends are all delightful young women and I loved spending time with them.

The yarn I will be able to show you after I get some pictures taken. You know, with a camera

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sleazy Business Practices

I've been a Game House/Real Arcade member for years. For a small sum, each month I can download samples of oodles of games, get a free game, and can, if I wish, buy additional ones. And I love my games! I'm a computer game junkie. And Game House has some good ones! But lately Game House has been doing something that really bugs me...and now it's gotten worse.

When you ask to download a game, a special download screen pops up. Generally you have to listen to an ad before the download will start and that's okay. I understand that Game House has costs and maybe the members' fees don't cover all of them...and they certainly are entitled to a profit. Fine.

Then, sometimes the download screen pops up and you are given a "chance" to download some other sort of software. Some time ago it was Chrome. In order not to download the additional software you had to click a radio button. Okay, that was mildly annoying, but it doesn't take much effort to click the button...provided you remembered to do so.

But they've gotten me angry. The last couple of games I have tried to download have offered some sort of "Registration Optimizer" with no explanation as to what this will do, what it's for, where it comes from. But there's a radio button and you can opt out. Then I noticed that even if you opt out of the Optimizer, by clicking on the button to begin downloading your chosen game, you are automatically agreeing to the end user agreement for something called (if I am remembering correctly) OpenCandy. There is no way to opt out, no explanation about what this is, no clue as to where it comes from. How sleazy is that!!

(After doing some Googling, it appears OpenCandy has something to do with advertasing and tracking responses to advertisements. So possibly perfectly legitimate...but I don't want it!)

So I haven't downloaded anything (even though there are a couple new games I really want to try) and this evening, I called Game House to complain. Apparently, I can't get an answer over the phone. My complaint has been upgraded to a service request and I should get an email at some point.

I'm thinking that if they can't resolve this, I'll be stopping my subscription. Feh.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I'm So Bad...

So, the other day I was drooling all over The Loopy Ewe's website. I don't buy as much there anymore because (a) I am trying to be a little more frugal, and (b) many people (i.e., those with their sanity intact) think I have enough yarn already.

But then I saw this:

I love the color...and the name? Baltimore Oriole. How could I resist it? The answer to that one is easy...I couldn't.

And, mostly because I hate to think of that poor little skein traveling all by itself, somehow these two little guys worked their way in.

The one on the left is called Janice's Sunshine in Winter and the one on the right is called Linda's Antique Treasures. (I'm not sure who they are named for, actually, but I love the combination of the blue, white and yellow and I think the one in shades of blue will make pretty socks...sort of like an Oxford cloth shirt.)

And then today...sigh...we went over to Catonsville to turn our tax papers in and Mr. Pointy Sticks asked if I didn't want to visit the yarn shop there, Cloverhill. Well, it's hard to turn down something like that. You never know what you're going to find in a different yarn shop. And sure enough, I found out that they carry Mini Mochi. Oh, so soft!

These skeins remind me of a rose garden. I'm not sure I'll make socks with them. The yarn is so soft, it seems that socks might just melt right off your feet. It would make a purty little scarflette, though.

And then, even though the Black Sheep carries Noro and I try not to buy stuff in other shops that I can get there (gotta support your local yarn shop!) I fell in love with these colors...
The areas that look green are really more turquoise. So pretty! Could be a scarf, might be a hat and mitts. Could be a little shawl. Decisions, decisions.

In the reading arena, I am reading lots of Scandinavian mysteries...Johan Theorin, Ake Edwardsson, Hakan Nesser...all pretty good. But yesterday I read Kate Atkinson's latest, Started Early, Took My Dog. So good! I love her books. Now, though, I have the long wait until her next one. Le sigh.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Miss Babs dyes beautiful yarns. The colors are rich and intense and just gorgeous. And her Yowsa skeins are 560 yards of yummy, soft merino goodness, that come in monochromes or beautiful handpainted colors. Love her yarn. So when I needed some yummy yarn to knit a present for the second June baby in the office, I went up to the Black Sheep. And when Tracy suggested the Yowsa skeins, I knew I had to have some.


So now I do.

I may have overbought a little.

From left to right, Vlads resting on top of A Day at Monteluce Winery. In the middle, Black Watch, almost hiding Violets in the Grass. And at the far right, Tulipa...a name which may sound familiar to one of my readers. The colors are a little washed out here...think darker and richer. But I think the Black Watch will make a very handsome sweater for a certain baby boy. I may try a baby surprise jacket in it.

I finished the first sleeve of my kimono and will probably start one of the fronts this afternoon. If I can keep my eyes open. Stupid daylight savings time is messing with me. I hate daylight savings time and was thinking of starting a letter-writing campaign to Congress to get them to repeal it all together. It doesn't save energy and it's not good for our health!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Psycho Knitting

So, there is a blogger -- The Samurai Knitter -- who is very smart about a lot of different stuff. Including knowing a significant amount about fashion and knitting and styling. And she does interesting and sometimes scathing reviews of Vogue Knitting magazine.

I'm not as smart as she is, but I got my latest copy of Knitter's magazine this afternoon and I just have to post some of the patterns from it...though it is somewhat like shooting fish in a barrel.

Let's check out some ads, shall we? I told Mr. Pointy Sticks that I had found my next project and then showed him the following ad. His comment: "Oooh, classy."

It's a Twisted Sister's twisted, all right.

Another ad:

Okay, I'll say I don't really get knit skirts. I would say there are probably three people in the world who would look good in a knitted skirt. Not this knitted skirt, though. This is ghastly. So ghastly, the model's legs have gotten up and left. And, using Prism yarns, you'd pay a lot to look this bad.

And here's another one! This is actually a pattern in the magazine.

If a professional photographer, professional model and some sort of stylist can't make this skirt look any better than it does here, what hope do normal mortals have? "Sarong, farewell, auf weidersehn, good grief!!"

The first section of the magazine has entrelac designs. Like this lovely coat.

I don't know why the model seems to be trying to hide this with her arms. Way to show off a design. Perhaps the colors make her feel as ill as they make me feel. But it gets worse. How about this?

Again with the concealing arms...but man, this design has it all. Godawful color combination, unflattering boxy fit, odd pokey edges. But I keep coming back to the ugly colors. Who thought these looked good together?!

The third entrelac design is a stole that can double as a blanket. Which is good because it looks like a blanket, even in its stole manifestation.

Now I will admit that until just a couple of minutes ago, when I was going to make a comment about how dark and dreary the colors were throughout the magazine and how un-Spring-like it was, that I looked at the cover and realized it was the Winter 2011 issue. So the blanketiness of this stole is a little more understandable...but then the dress....I don't get the dress. Wouldn't you be chilly? Even with your blanky wrapped around you?

This one seems to be Bohus for the visually impaired.

And the color combination? Again, gag. (The colors actually look a little better, because a little more subdued, on my monitor. In the magazine...they're pretty awful.)

And then there's this one.

I don't care for these wrap cum stole cum sweater sort of things. And this one is particularly nice with the butt vent. Look people, my butt is waving at you! And I can't imagine how bunchy and awkward the front must look.

There's more but I'm afraid that I might just overwhelm you with ugly. You know, I've been a subscriber since the first issue of Knitter's and have watched it get dumbed down over the decades. But until this issue, I've usually found more patterns in the magazine to like than to dislike. Not this issue, though! It may be time to let Knitter's go.

In good news! Rachel got her sweater and it fits and it looks great!

Not the best picture in the world, but you get the idea. I'm so thrilled. Maybe I can take another year and half and knit her another one!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Beginnings and Ends

I finished the first of the two baby hats I will be knitting for the new office babies. Sorry for the not-so-hot's hard taking pictures of white things! This may get a pompon on the top. I have to wait and see how much yarn I have left after knitting the second hat. It's awfully by-gum-cute in person.

And I started the kimono.

I figured if I was going to do a swatch, I might as well just start a sleeve. Again, not a great picture. It's a dreary gray day here and the flash is not my friend in these photos. Anyway, the Mica is slippery enough that I am keeping each ball in a ziplock while I knit from it. But it's really a pleasure to work with. No catching on the needles and the stitches don't immediately run away if you should happen to drop one. And it's so pretty and glisten-y. I'm almost thinking that I ought to order another sweater's worth while Webs still has it...and might just do that if I had another pattern in mind that I thought it would work for.

I had a terrible case of the brain feebles when I first started this sleeve. I cast on and gaily knit 32 rows (two repeats of the pattern) and thought, "Huh. This is rawther different from the picture in the book, isn't it?" Well, instead of sitting quietly and thinking about what I was doing, I immediately went into high gear. I looked at the lace chart and thought, "Oh no, I've forgotten how to read charts!" Decided to check the DVD that came with the book, hoping for guidance. Well, the DVD contains tips for working many of the kimonos...but not this one. Then I decided that there must be errata...checked on-line. Nope. I would have just run up to the Black Sheep but I had already been there once already! So I thought I would call and ask Tracy. Ann answered and was with a customer and I said I'd call back. And in the 5 minutes before I called, I looked at the chart and thought, "Oh, you idiot! You do the first two stitches and then you repeat the part in the box until you are at the end and then you knit the last stitch on the chart!" (What I had done the first time was just repeat the first row of the chart over and over until I got to the end and, while that worked out well enough not to raise any alarm flags, I could tell it was not what was shown in the book.) So, brain function restored, I ripped out my first attempt and started over. The good part of all this was that the first attempt had wider areas of stockinette so it was easier to check my gauge...which seems to be okay.

In my defense, it's been a long time since I knit anything that was charted this way. I realized that most of the things I've used charts for recently have shown the entire row. And most the things I knit aren't charted, either. So there is a small excuse. But jeez, I felt dumb!

I sent the alpaca sweater up to Rachel and it should have gotten there yesterday but I haven't heard anything, so maybe it didn't make it. Or else she's just too busy with her new boyfriend to think of her mother. [/pathetic whine]

Thursday, March 3, 2011

We've Got Mica

Nope, not mice (having two cats sort of helps in that regard)....mica. As in the Berroco Mica yarn that I ordered for my kimono.

It's a little darker than it is in this picture...but otherwise pretty true to the color. Not quite as purple as it appeared on the Webs site, but I think I like it. Can you tell how shiny it is? Pretty glistening! Now to rustle up the needles and make a copy of the pattern...

This sweater may go fast (depending on how the yarn behaves) as the back, two fronts and sleeves are all rectangles.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Huzzah, huzzah! Started in the middle of November 2009, today I finished Rachel's alpaca sweater. (It looks a little odd here hanging from the looks fine laid out but nowhere light enough to take a good picture.)

Now to send it off to her to see if it fits. Fingers crossed, everyone.