Monday, July 31, 2006

She came...We saw...It kicked ass!!

I did make it down to see the Harlot yesterday in Ann Arbor. My dear friend, Moshel met me at the 'Rents house where I deposited Peanut for the day. We enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Connor O'Neil's. Too hot for a beer, though. Never thought I'd say that...but it was damn hot yesterday. I now understand when people say the heat was "oppressive". We made our way over to the library about 1:00 p.m. We arrived about 1:10 and found seats in the back row of the room. Just a word of caution, if you do open the Library's elevator doors mid floor "passengers will be trapped". I love that. No beating around the bush there! (Sorry about the photo, I know it's hard to read)

They eventually added two more rows of chairs and then shut down the room about 20 mins after we got there. While we waited, Moshel cast on a dishcloth with the yarn & needles I brought to gift her. Moshel's a sometimes knitter. She does a great job with lovely fun fur scarves.

The dishcloth was Grandma's Favorite so it was easy enough for her to pick and do, but helped her learn a basic increase and decrease. Dear Moshel is moving to Tucson in six weeks or so, so it was only fitting she was using the Fiesta colorway. She worked diligently on the cloth during the talk and cast off while we were waiting for the book signing line to die down. Now she has a commemorative Harlot cloth to move with her. I will miss her dearly. She's the only one of my friends who doesn't totally make fun of the knitting. She does poke fun, but it's all good hearted. Let's hear it for vacation trips to Tucson! (Anyone else think of Road Rules and want to call is "Tuck-son" when you see it? Season 1 maybe?)

Oy. I finally got to the Harlot at 5:30. She was well worth waiting for. She signed my book and I got this great photo. She is nothing short of fabulous. I am in love with her voice. I could listen to her speak for hours. Seriously need her to voice some books on tape. Here she is signing my book. I just love this photo because it kind of sums up the day.

I lived one of her stories once I got back to the 'Rents. My gram asked what I'd gone to today. I said "An author lecture." She replied with, "Oh what kind of books?" I had a hard time not grinning when I said, "Knitting books." "OH! Knitting books? Did you learn a lot?" "Um,'s not that kind of knitting book. It's knitting humor." Then she gave me that look.

After leaving the Harlot, Moshel and I ventured to chocolate dipped sea foam. Am I the only person totally in love with this stuff? Unfortunately, they don't sell it by the piece. My attempt to describe what sea foam candy is to Moshel peaked her interest...the lovely lady at Kilwin's said enough to seal the deal. "It's the base we use for peanut brittle that's pumped full of air and then dipped in chocolate." $7 later, we had a bag. Moshel is hooked. Good thing since she sprung for the bag. We enjoyed a piece on our way back to Main to visit Busy Hands.

This was my first visit to Busy Hands. They have a really nice store, but I didn't feel like there was a large selection of yarn. Fabulous selection of INOX needles. The owner was a lovely woman. All of the non-sale yarn was 20% off in honor of Stephanie's visit. I picked up three skeins of Grignasco Strong sock yarn for $16. Asuper duper pink is for Peanut and a Strong Print blue faux fairisle is for the Mister. It's really soft. I'm considering going back to get enough of the solid color for a shawl. I could probably get enough for under $30. Really cool thing about Busy Hands? Open on SUNDAYS! Totally viable to take Mister & Peanut down for frozen custard and then slip away to the shop. And Ann Arbor has free parking on Sundays. Genius.

I had mentioned previously that the lovely, Erin was to accompany us on our Harlot journey. I'm so sad to say that Erin fell under the weather just before time to leave her house. Erin, you were dearly missed and certainly not forgotten. I'm not saying any more than that.

Here's a photo of Peanut once we pulled into the drive. It's a 13 min drive from the Rents house to ours. I'd have to say based on how deeply asleep she was, she had a fabulous time.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

5 hrs 12 mins and counting...

At this very moment, the Harlot is somewhere in the same area code as me. Well, that's assuming she flew in last night. Let's assume that. She'll be at the Ann Arbor District Library downtown at 2:30. I called and they suggested we show up at least an hour early as they expect a large crowd. They're even simulcast it into their "Board Room" for the overflow crowd. Peanut will be spending the day with her beloved Great Grandma. She's incredibly excited about that. I'm incredibly excited that my clapotis KAL 'net friend, Erin and I will be enjoying the Harlot together. It's our first meet up after several months (and one KAL - which she's finished) of email being exchanged. The camera is charged. The memory card newly formatted and functional. Photos will be posted.

Erin asked me on Friday what I was going to knit. I never thought about it before. I'd considered what to wear because it's going to be freakin' hot! but not what to knit. This weekend I contemplated many things...a new sock for mister..a dishcloth or bib..the anniversary cardi scarf...nothing seemed right. The one thing that deserves to go is clappy. She's the most beautifully thing I've knit to date (well, knitting). She is my summer project and Erin will be there with her finished clappy. So, that's it. No matter that it's going to be in the mid-90s with an insane heat index today. Giant clappy is going to see the Harlot. It's only right.

Mary asked how Peanut's enjoying school. To say Peanut loves school would be a severe understatement. This is how I found her at 6:30 on her second day of school. She'd been like that for 45 mins. I moved her to her bed without her waking up and she slept there for another 90 mins.
School is her favorite place to be second to Great-Grandma's. It's definitely brought out the girly girl in her. She now refers to herself as a "I a pincess" and babies her Pooh Bear. As I'm writing this, she's "cooking" dinner for her friend Josh. We bought her the kitchen when she was 14 months old and she's never really shown much interest in it until now. Each Friday she brings home her art work for the day with a note explaining what their theme had been. She loves to sit down with us and go through it all to talk it over. We're also noticing a very positive change in her behavior. It might just be an up in the roller coaster of toddler emotions, but I'll take it. She's been a real joy and so much fun the last few weeks.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before or not, but Peanut is in love with dirt. Not just a standard kid love for it, but absolutely infatuated in love with it. One of her teachers mentioned to Mister that while on the playground she had scooped up handful and was petting it as if it were a tiny kitten. She came over to Miss Amanda and announced "I love pretty dirt!" and walked away. We've recently switched her to a booster seat from a car seat. She can now see more. They're building a new Speedway in town and had huge mounds of dirt on the lot. Out of the back seat I hear "Mommy, mommmmyyy!! Look at all the PRETTY dirt!!" as we passed it. A few days ago, we found her "washing" her face in a dirt patch in the yard. Maybe she'll be the Princess of Dirt?

I finished a blanket on the USM for our neighbor to give as a shower gift. It's 44"x39" so it's a pretty good size for him to grow in to. I'm really pleased with how it came out. I used Caron One Pound, which I wouldn't normally do for a baby but figured I'd give it a try. It washed up very nicely and you can tell with a few more washings, it'll be pretty soft and durable. I did a crochet edge to it. It's pretty obvious my crochet skills need some help. The neighbor was thrilled with it and her sister would now like one for a coworker. Probably a slippery slope but I'm saving up to buy a custom bowling ball, so I'll take what I can get.

For those interested:
KP3 Caron One Pound in Fisherman and a gray/blue color (lost the ball band)
Using a closed edge CO, CO over 160 needles with MC (blue)
K 30 rows. Switch to CC (fisherman/cream) for 20 rows.
Repeat until RC = 230.
BO using the latch tool BO method.
I then folded it in half and whipped stitched it together.
It then took a trip through the washer & dryer.
I took out the stitching and did a single crochet border changing colors to match the stripes.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Attack of the Giant Clapotis

I'm exactly halfway through clappy. As of now, with 6 dropped stitches...she's a whopping 26" x 38". I'm guessing she'll be 30" x 72" when finished. I'm ok with that. I was reading Big Girl Knits and it suggested larger shawl sizes for those of us on the fluffy side of things. The Garbo of my knitting projects has stepped out of the shadows and allow herself to be photographed. Here she is lounging on the back of the couch. The colors aren't really true. She's much more rich than what's shown. It's almost like she was caught out in a baseball cap with no makeup. When she's all finished, I'll be sure to do a red carpet worthy photo shoot.

Here's DBO. It's measuring 7". I can only imagine it'll grow when blocked. The color is much deeper and more purple than it's showing here. Our halogen lamp really skews the colors when combined with the flash.

Shelagh is my new lunch knitting. I haven't started it, but I am working on a decent sized gauge swatch. I also want to wash it to see if the yarn will soften up a bit. I certainly hope so or it'll go back on ebay. I like the lace pattern. I could do without the ptbl, but I'll live. No photos of as of yet.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I am insanely happy to report the USM survived a not too recent fall from the dining room table when Peanut's head stood up into the board it's clamped to. 100 rows of a striped cream and blue baby blanket are currently hanging from it. It's a shower gift for the our neighbor to give to her cousin on the 31st. I'd been putting it off because I didn't want to know for sure if the USM was really broken from it's fall. All is well. Let's move on.

No new knitting photos. To make up for it, here are some family photos:

Mister & Peanut on their way to the pool.

Mister's new tattoo.

Peanut's first day of day care school.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Not a whole lot to update you on. I'm inches from the end of my 2nd skein for clappy. The 3rd is just waiting to be wound. Man, I need a ball winder. I do have an Amazon gift cert and I've heard there's a way to shop through Amazon, so maybe that'll work. I've completed a few more repeats on DBO. It's probably 5" or so long. I adore the cashmere yarn I'm using for it. I got it from It's their Baby Cashmere. It's a cashmere/alpaca/merino blend. I'm hoping they'll get some again. I'd love to buy enough to do a shawl. I've decided I enjoy fingering weight, but anything thinner is too much. Not sure what I'll do with that beautiful blue lace weight I bought. Maybe someday I'll be able to deal with knitting with thread.

The Harlot's coming to Ann Arbor on the 30th. My dear friend, Michele and I plan to attend. Michele's moving to Arizona in August, so it's good to get some quality time in before she leaves. We don't see each other nearly enough as it is and she's only 40 mins away now. Michele tries to humor me with the knitting and has even done a few scarves and bunnies herself. I'm hoping she'll enjoy it as much as I know I will. I recently reread Secret Life again. For some reason, I can't find At Knit's End. I've gone through most of Knitting Rules. It's good, but not my favorite. I can't wait to see her.

Well, the Mister's home and Peanut's wearing more of her dinner than she ate. Off to the bath with her. Thanks for checking in!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Um, yeah..Hi!

Gosh, has it really been three weeks since my last post. I'm so sorry. Who knows if anyone is still checking in on me.

We've had another daycare shake up. Peanut starts at the new center on Monday full time. The poor kid is so confused on where she's going and who's taking care of her. She spent last week with my grandparents and had a total blast. The said she was "a joy to have". Yes, my demon child "a joy to have"!! My grandparents are 78 & 79, so I was a bit worried about her unleashing the devil on them. My gram insisted on taking her and finally told me "Janette Elaine, I raised 7 of my own kids. I'm sure I can handle yours." As always, she was right. Peanut had a try-out day at the center on Wednesday and did quite well. She's very excited to go back to "school" on Monday. It's a bit of sticker shock for our family, but it's what's best for Miss Peanut. Mister and I discussed that it's tighten the financial belt time, so my yarn diet is a permanent one.

Our anniversary was Wednesday. Mister has an appointment for a tattoo this afternoon. That's my gift to him. I took matters into my own hands and bought my own anniversary gift. It was no surprise that he hadn't thought about it and was relieved I'd done it for him. I won 18 skeins of a wool/acrylic/nylon blend on ebay. It'll be used to make Shelagh for me. It's a lovely dark mauve color and it's for me. I also picked up a skein of blueberry sock yarn from Laura along with some lovely stitch markers. Do I need more sock yarn? Um, no. Did I justify it as a way to support Laura's quest? I sure do. Anything I can do to help her out.

Clapotis is coming along. I'm very near the end of the second ball. I'm going to measure it once I'm there to find out how long it should be when I'm all finished. I added a few extra repeats in the increase section, so it's quite a bit wider than the original pattern. I'm ok with that. I just don't want it to be too short. I'm worried it's going to be a square rather than a rectangle. I haven't knit a stitch on double branching out in a while. With all that's been going on in the JB house, lace knitting isn't possible.

Pepper's had some more insane vet bills recently. We're hoping we're finished for a while. We did have her shaved for the summer. She was pretty mad about it to say the least. We doubled over with laughter each time she'd come into the room the first few days after. She refused to come near me for four days. I guess she blamed me for it since I took her to and from the vet. With her hair now short, we can see that she has an insane hanging belly that swings while she walks. It looks as if she's had 30 litters of kittens in her life, but has never had even 1. I don't know why they call it a "Lion cut". She looked more like a poodle. I think she appreciated it the first really warm day we had. She seemed to be much more comfortable. Her coat is growing back in quite nicely and we won't have to shave her again until next summer.