Saturday, September 29, 2007

Class? What Class? I Had a Class Today?

You could have fooled my alarm clock. More on that in a minute.

Pickings from the Yarn Fairy are getting slimmer and slimmer. That's what happens when you stop buying yarn. I know I have to; I know it's for a good reason; I know that I have more yarn than I'll ever knit in a lifetime. But damn it, I love getting packages in the mail. Thank god for my sock and yarn clubs. I did, however, get a few things in the mail today, only one of which I can take a picture of. Yes... I bought yet another thing for my pal, but I couldn't help myself. I like it so much that I'm ordering one for me, too.

Today's offerings are all from dkKnits!, a new seller for me on Etsy. Her yarns are sublime - soft and squishy, with beautiful, inspired colorways that flow in and around each other. The yardage is terrific, and I think they'll hold up well as a pair of socks. She also included a pair of knitting needles with my initial on them, stitch markers, and a mini-skein of silk. They're all gorgeous. See if you agree.

The colorways are "Napa Valley Vineyard" and "Random Rainbow". Check out her shop - you'll find a lot of beautiful colorways at a good price. The needles, even though I don't use straights, will come in handy. I sometimes use them for a variety of reasons, and it's always nice to have a few pairs of different sizes laying around. I didn't show the test skein because that's a surprise. I'll be posting the finished sock (my own pattern! - looking at The Painted Tiger) when it's ready.

Last night, I intended to get to bed early and wake up in plenty of time to get to class. It didn't start until two, so I figured I had lots of time. Midnight came and went; I worked on my socks, dozed, had some coffee, dozed; came over to the computer and did some stuff; and before I knew it, it was six. So Hubster and I packed it up and went to bed. I fell asleep immediately.

This morning, I woke up with the sun steaming in through the cracks in the blinds. I cracked my eye open as far as it would go and looked at the clock, expecting it to read 10 a.m. or so. Nope. It read 1:15 p.m. OH NO! I overslept. Right through the alarm that is loud enough to wake up the entire neighborhood. Hubster was no help; he overslept, too. I didn't have time to get up, get awake, get ready... and get to class. Shit. I totally blew it.

So I got up, yelled at him to get up, and came storming into the front room. Hubster kept suggesting that I get ready and go anyway. "You'll just be a little late", he said. No. I would be a LOT late, and I hate going anywhere if I'm not on time. So here I sit, still fuming, partly because I didn't get to take the class (which, given my track record this year, would have probably been another disaster), and partly because I didn't get a chance to say good-bye to Nancie. I might check to see if she's teaching tomorrow and go to say good-bye and thank you to her, and also to apologize for missing the class today. The only saving grace with all that is that she knew I was sick yesterday, so I doubt it came as no surprise that I wasn't there today. The bright spot is that this keeps me out of the market, which would surely cost me a couple of bills (I wanted the Nancy's Notions skein winder and the yardage counter with the tensioning rods). Why doesn't anything go right with these stupid classes? And today's class wasn't full, so there would have been more time for personal attention. Oh well - I have the books, and that's how I usually teach myself things. I also saw things demonstrated. I'm just not a class person. What this has all taught me, though, is how to better handle those students who are having a hard time with something I'm trying to teach them. It's also interjected a healthy dose of humility into my way of thinking about my knitting. So maybe this entire experience turned out to have some good lessons for me after all.

So that leaves me lots of time today to work on my socks, work up the pattern for the test socks, and get my flutes unloaded. It also allows me to work on the inventory of the yarn for sale and maybe even start getting them photographed. I'm not looking at today as a total loss; I'm trying to look at today as a gift. I'm trying. I'M TRYING, DAMN IT!

On the interesting side of life, I picked up my Monkey socks last night, looked at them, looked at the counter bracelet I use, and then remembered that I was using two of the bracelets. They were in different positions - one had more beads shoved over to the side than the other. But which was which? My memory is so bad that I couldn't remember. So I had to sit there trying to count through lace rows. I finally came up with what I thought was a good count and ran with that. So far, so good. I remember I was using the other bracelet because at the point I was at a day or so ago, I had to keep track of two different things going on. Now I just have to keep track of the lace pattern. It's coming along nicely, and I'm picking up speed as I go. I still can't remember the entire lace sequence, but I can remember individual rows once I start them. I think she'll really like them. That reminds me - I need to get in touch with her to see how she is. I try to drop her a note about once a week just to say hi, and I've sent her a couple of small gifts, but until the socks are done, I really need to keep doing that so she knows I haven't abandoned her.

So today I'm being a slob. I'm in my jammies. I'm knitting. I'm sitting in the Monster with my legs crossed until my knees lock up and I have to move. I'm not even taking a shower. My body needs to rest after two days of activity. That's one thing I've learned - I can only go for a few days, and then I have to rest. It doesn't bode well for vacation, but the first few days are unscheduled other than a formal practice for the concert. We're also going to eat dinner on the beach while the sun sets. There's nothing in the world I'd love to do more.

Other than buy a new ball winder and counter.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I Will Never Take Another Class Again

If you want to feel like a complete idiot, take a class from a renowned knitting teacher when you're out of remission, feel like shit, and are so tired that you can barely hold your head up.

But first, the haul of the day. The Yarn Fairy was very good to the Goddess.

First of all, I bought some sock patterns. I'm bored with the patterns I have, so I decided to get some that I haven't tried before. With the exception of one, they're all by Wendy.

The patterns standing in the back are all Wendy's; they're "Frog Warts", "Garden Path", "River Run", and "Tangled Vines". The smaller one in front is by Heartland Knits and is called "Fanning the Flames". That one is going to be a challenge. I don't know if I'm ready for a challenge right now, but when I am, it's there.

Along with the patterns was some yarny goodness to cheer me up. All of the yarns are by Yarn Pirate with the exception of the yellow skein; that one is by Yarntini. I would have bought more Yarntini (I love the base they use), but none of the other colors really spoke to me. The small blue skein in the front was purchased at the show today; it's 100% silk by Red Fish. In fact, it's the replacement for the yarn I bought from them yesterday. I went back to get another skein because I was afraid I'd run out, and they had already sold out of it! So I had to buy another color. As it was, they only had three of these. I bought two - even though it's 400 yards, it's also knit on size 000 needles. As you all know, that will take more yarn. Enjoy!

What happened today? What didn't?

First of all, I got a grand total of 45 minutes sleep last night. I had a feeling that today would be a challenge since my sleeping schedule is so out of whack. But I gave it the old college try and failed (just like I did in real college). I figured that I would be okay since I snoozed during the evening, but you have to remember that I haven't been in my bed for a week. When my body hit it, it was like meeting an old friend. I just didn't want to get up. But get up I did, put on my sweats (it was cold today), and off to class I went.

For those of you who don't know, Nancie Wiseman is a well-known knitting teacher and has written some killer books. Today's class was on Fine Finishing. No problem, right? I've been finishing garments for years. The techniques she was teaching were new to me and just ingenious; you sewed the seam, pulled the sewing yarn, and it just disappeared. I was using hot pink (the lovely yarn I got from Lion Brand yesterday) on a soft peach swatch, and you just couldn't see it, either front or back. I so wanted to learn all about it. But then something happened.

My head hit the table.

As it turns out, the lady sitting next to me knew me from Sacramento (told you I can't go anywhere without someone knowing me). When I formed the guild there, she and some of her friends came to the first meeting to see if they could help with the organization (she belongs to an old and well-established guild in the northern part of Sacramento). Anyway, she gently nudged my arm, which woke me right up. She had to do that three times. Nancie knew what was going on, because every time she walked by me, she gently laid her hand on my shoulder. I just love her. I managed to make it through the first half of the class, but to my horror, my brain wasn't working. I just couldn't pick up what Nancie was laying down. I felt stupid. I felt like a loser. I felt like 47 years of knitting was for nothing. I was in tears. Nancie saw what I was going through and came up to me after the class broke for lunch. She asked me if I should maybe consider going home for the day. I told her that Hubster was coming to have lunch with me and that I was sure I would be fine. She nodded and set off for the fashion show (she was in it). I went to the hotel lobby to wait for Hubster.

He showed up right on time, and we went to the hotel restaurant for lunch. They have an excellent restaurant; it's the place we had dinner last night. I ordered a burger, which turned out to be two huge patties stacked on top of each other. No way could I eat the whole thing. The fries that came with it were sublime. Hubster had a Reuben, but it turned out to be soggy. I guess it's hard to make a Reuben correctly. Since I don't like anything about them, I've never made one. We talked during lunch, and he told me I needed to come home and sleep. I finally agreed and went off to the market where the fashion show was occurring so I could tell Nancie I was leaving. I also needed to buy that extra yarn. I lucked out; she was just coming off the runway when I came up. I told her I was leaving, she hugged me and said she'd see me tomorrow, and I took off.

We got home and Hubster told me to go to bed. I had every intention of doing just that, but I wanted to check my mail or something first. Well, I fell asleep at the keyboard again. Worse than that, I burned the numerical keypad with my ciggie. The number 5 is now obliterated. Hubster wasn't home - he had to go to an appointment - so he wasn't around to save me from myself. I also burned a hole in my favorite old Disneyland sweatshirt. I was so pissed off that it finally woke me up.

What really upset me about the class today was that there were techniques I really wanted to learn. I also had such a hard time yesterday that I feel like I look like a total idiot to Nancie. Everyone else was getting it; why couldn't I? I think it was the total lack of sleep and the overriding pain. It was just too much.

So I've decided to never take another class again. I'll finish out the series with tomorrow's class - Cast On and Bind Offs. If I fuck that up, then I'm heaving my knitting bag over the rail on top of some conventioneer and going to the bar. Nancie sad to me that she thought everyone in the class should go to the bar during a break. I love her to death. Oh... and I had her autograph my book today. She wrote the coolest inscription I've ever seen. It was incredible.

Especially for a moron like me.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Went, I Saw, I Almost Conquered

Today was the first day of three days of classes at the TKGA convention. It was an afternoon class, so I didn't anticipate any problems in getting there. Wrong. Hubster overslept and didn't get me up, so I had to haul ass to get ready. We barely got there in time, since I had to register, get my goody bags (more about that in a minute), and find my classroom. The Oakland Convention Center is huge; fortunately; there were signs everywhere pointing to the various rooms. Unfortunately, I misunderstood. I thought that the number on my name tag (yes, I have one of THOSE) was the room number. It was the class number. So I wound up in a crochet class and had to hotfoot it down the hall to the other side of the building to find my classroom. Fortunately, I was right on time, but I had to sit in the back of the class.

Nancie Wiseman was the teacher. What a delightful, giving teacher and person! The class was difficult for me - in part, I think, because I've been knitting English throw for so many years that doing something totally different made me feel like an idiot (it was a lesson in humility - now I know how my students must feel). This class was on Continental knitting, and while I could do the knit stitch with no problem, the purl almost drove me (and several of my classmates) to the bar. At one point, I had just about had it. In typical Goddess fashion, I yelled, "HOLY SHIT!". I think I forgot where I was. The entire class burst into laughter (since that's what they were all thinking), and Nancie came up to me and said, "I think the purl stitch deserves a holy shit." She was endeared to me forever at that point. She's an excellent teacher, and I'm looking forward to today's class on Fine Finishing (even though it's an all-day class and I need to get to bed so I have two hours' worth of sleep). ARGH.

The goody bags given out were... uh... huge. I got two - one because I registered early, and the other because I registered. The Lion Brand bag is enormous - I can just about climb into it - and it had three skeins of yarn, a pair of Lion Brand straights (14" long and size 9), and a bunch of patterns in it. The other bag, from Red Heart, had probably seven skeins of yarn and a bunch of patterns. Even though it's mostly acrylic yarn and I'll never use it or the patterns, it was nice to get something other than what the ball game people passed out.

Nancie understood that I have to smoke periodically (I explained what was wrong with me, and that my doctor told me that I had to keep smoking because my body can't take the stress of quitting), so she let me go whenever I needed it. Tomorrow there's a two-hour break for lunch, so I'll have plenty of time to smoke, work on my Monkeys, and have some lunch. The ladies in the class were all really nice, and I actually got to talk with some of them. Then, while waiting in line for the market to open (they had a special preview for members), a lady ran up to me and yelled, "You're the Goddess!" Turns out she was on Ravelry. I tell you, I can't go anywhere without someone recognizing me. We talked while we waited in line, and then we hit the market and went our separate ways.

Ah. The market. I didn't expect it to be huge, and it wasn't, but what they had made me swoon. Here's a picture of the yarny goodness I bought. I apologize for the quality of the picture, but I think you can pick up what I'm laying down.

You know me and indie dyers. The yarn is from The Knitters Studio in "Prism" and "Orange Spice" (SW Merino), Argosy in "Swamp Thing" (silk/cashmere blend - I almost creamed my jeans when I felt it), Red Fish (pure silk - it's the wine skein, slightly variegated with 450 yards - I can get an entire pair of socks out of it, and the pattern for the socks shown were from "Folk Socks" by Nancy Bush - gorgeous), and Royale Hare in "Armstrong Woods Redwood (Merino - 620 yards). They handed out big bags from SWTC that said "Soysilk Bamboo Corn", etc., on them. I didn't care what they said - I cared about stuffing the bag full of stuff.

This second picture has books and a pattern for man socks. The titles are YNotKnit (continental knitting - so I don't forget), The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques (for class tomorrow), and Folk Socks (so I could get the pattern for the silk socks). There are also two sets of Addi Natura bamboo circulars (I never can find them, and while I don't often knit with bamboo, it's nice to have), and a miniature crochet hook of bamboo to pick up dropped stitches when doing socks (I NEVER do that - ahem). There were spinning wheels, swifts, carders, fiber, yarn, patterns, books... you name it, they had it. I was coveting a Nancy's Notions ball winder - I've seen it in magazines, but had never seen one in person. Wow! It's smooth as silk and enormous. It was also $200, and since I had gone apeshit with the other stuff, I didn't dare buy it. Maybe after vacation. The Village Spinner (I think that's their name) from Solvang was there, as was Carolina Homespun (talk about a lot of stuff!), so I finally got to see both those places. It was a blast, and I spent almost all the time allotted for shoppers nosing around. I didn't buy my usual two skeins with the silk and an extra for the silk/cashmere because the yardage was about what I normally use. I can't wait to use both of them. Hubster liked the crochet hook the best (he would) because it's a cool gadget. If there was one thing to complain about, it was the lack of gadgets for knitting and/or crocheting. I guess there's not a lot new under the sun. I was hoping to find the needle keepers for DPN's with work on the needles, but there weren't any. No matter. I got enough good stuff. If you were a felter, there was a ton of stuff, but I'm not. I almost bought a kit for entrelac socks, but then I saw the price ($88). I don't think so. Koigu had a booth, too, but they didn't bring a lot of their yarn. They had all the new types, but not huge quantities of the KPPPM, which is what I need for the swing coat I'm slowly accumulating skeins for. Oh well - I had too much fun.

We also ate dinner in the hotel restaurant. It's a lovely restaurant, with views of downtown Oakland. There are a lot of very old buildings with amazing architecture, so it was nice to look at while we ate. The food was delicious, the service divine, and I barely managed to stay awake. I'm worried about that tomorrow.

So that was my day. We came home, I worked on the swatches for class tomorrow, fell asleep right after I began, and woke up at 3:30 a.m. I got them finished and am now working on this before I go to bed. Oh... I also have to repack my knitting bag. Turns out that the one I took today just isn't large enough. Good thing I bought a suitcase of a bag to stuff things in. The thing that bums me out is that I have a gorgeous large bag that was a prototype of Martha's (she never did make any more of them) which I dearly love, but it must be packed somewhere because I can't find it. Oh well - it's just a class, not a show off your bag event (well, maybe it is).

So tomorrow I'll be sewing seams in all manner of configurations with a variety of needles. If I go blind doing this, you'll understand. After all, the stitches aren't huge, and a lot of what I'll be learning tomorrow is foreign territory.

And I'll make sure to bring an extra pack of smokes.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm Too Old For This

What a crappy couple of days.

To begin with, the Yarn Fairy hasn't brought any yarny goodness for the past two days. So instead of being pictureless, I decided to dig in one of my original stash bins to see how my stash has evolved. If this yarn isn't out of my first bin, it's certainly one of the first. Feast your eyes.

In this pile are offerings from Lisa Souza, Scarlet Fleece, All Things Heather, Thank Ewe!, Perchance to Knit, and Heavenly Creations by Karen. I still buy a few of them, but others are dinosaurs in that I either haven't seen them for sale, or I just don't buy them anymore. They're gorgeous, though, and one of these days, I'll get around to knitting them up.

On the yarn sale front, I've sold very few skeins of the Lorna's Laces. I still have to finish inventorying the Opal, which has turned out to be an even bigger job than I first thought. The third Rainforest collection is now out, and I haven't even gotten around to writing down what's in the first two.

The pain doctor went fine. I saw him for a grand total of one minute. He asked me if the magic pills were working, I told him yes, he handed me my new scripts for the next three months, and that was the end of it. Then we headed to the yarn store. It was fun seeing the people I haven't seen in quite a while, but I really didn't buy much of anything. I did snag two skeins of Bearfoot (which I didn't take pictures of because you all can look at it anywhere) in one of their new colorways (dark purple, black, yellow, and some others) instead of going autumnal or bright. It will be nice to have dark socks for a change. Other than that, I bought a booklet and some notions. That was the extent of my buying. Oh... and I yelled at them for not calling me to teach their sock class. In their newsletter, they said they "finally found someone". Blow me. I've been here all along.

Then we hit the casino. I might as well have blown money out my ass at people on the street for all the money I lost in the slots there. I know the machines in these places are tighter than Reno, but I've actually hit some good jackpots there. Not last night. I couldn't hit anything to save my soul. Neither could Hubster. He lost at blackjack, which he's usually really good at. We had a good burger for dinner; that was the most exciting thing to happen - that and getting new cards with some free play on them, which I promptly lost. We didn't get home until really, really late, which is why I decided to post today. I was hoping the Yarn Fairy would bring something to photograph. No such luck.

The other day, I realized that tomorrow is the TKGA conference. Not only that, but I'm taking classes for the next three days (three more days of evening posts - I'm sorry). The worst part is that I have homework to do, so I had to run out, buy worsted weight yarn (I just don't have any), and get the notions I needed. Tomorrow is a class on Continental Knitting (which I've never learned how to do), Friday is Fine Finishing (an all-day class), and Saturday is learning a bunch of new cast-ons and -offs. I had signed up for a class on Sunday on free-form knitting, but I just don't feel like taking it. The funny thing is that Nancy Wiseman is teaching all the classes. She's going to think that I'm stalking her. So that means that not only do I have to finish my homework, I have to get laundry done so I have something to wear to class. I'm looking forward to the market - hopefully, they'll have some yarny goodness that's just too good to pass up, or some really cool notions that I can't live without. I signed up for these classes months ago. Do you ever sign up for stuff that sounds really fun, only to realize when the time comes for the event that you really don't want to do it? I do this all the time. Oh well - at least I'm taking most of the classes I signed up for. Hubster is driving me so I don't have to fight the Oakland traffic or park my car in the garage. Speaking of Hubster, he just got home from work. Yay!

So the night before last (the night after the gigantic monster attacked me), we got home from doing errands, turned on the light, and what do I see booking across the room? Yep. The devil incarnate himself, hauling ass right towards the Monster. And then it went UNDER the Monster. I screamed and climbed on top of the dining room chair. Of course, Hubster didn't see it, but he took my word for it. He lifted up the Monster, and the nasty little bastard ran out from under it toward the hallway in the back of the house. This time, he saw it. He banged on all the furniture with his foot and the flashlight while I was cringing on the chair in the dining room. I finally told him that it was probably in the hallway, so he went back there (we still have boxes stacked back there - there's simply no room for their contents), and began whacking the boxes. Sure enough, the thing was hiding there. So he put the card table across the opening to the hall and began pulling out the boxes. I heard all this scrabbling and Hubster whacking things (and swearing), and then I heard this infernal squeaking (SHUDDER!!!). Hubster had managed to catch the beast as it was trying to jump over the card table. I ran over, pulled the card table out while Hubster had the blazing monster wrapped up in a towel, and he ran out into the backyard. The creature met its demise under his Birky. Whew. What a horrible evening. For those of you who think we should have just released it, I was afraid that it would come back in. Cruel, perhaps, but at least it was dispatched quickly.

I wasn't able to work on my socks last night because I've been busy doing these swatches for the finishing class. Actually, it's kind of nice to do some mindless knitting. I'm looking forward to the classes (I think; I'm not a class person), and I'm really looking forward to the market. The weather is nice, so I can sit outside and have a smoke or ten. It'll be nice to get out of the house to go somewhere other than the usual spots, too. The only thing that worries me is my weird sleeping schedule. I'm going to try and get to bed somewhat early tonight so I can actually get some sleep and get up like normal people. Heh. That'll be a miracle.

So that's been my life the past few days. The beast's relatives didn't come visit me last night, so I'm hoping that that's the end of the devil saga. If not, I'm willing to sacrifice another one of my dish towels (why he grabbed one of my new ones is beyond me). Keep your fingers crossed that tomorrow brings goodies and fun and a good class that I don't fall asleep in. Maybe I'll have stories of strange knitters to tell you about. I get a goody bag from Coats & Clark and another one from Lion Brand, I think, for being one of the first 500 to register (or something like that).

Oh boy. Lion Brand yarn and safety pins.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Late Post Tomorrow

My dear readers,

We'll be going to Sacramento tomorrow to see my pain doctor, and from there, Hubster is taking me gambling for the evening (or until we run out of money - we might be back out the door in ten minutes). In any event, my doctor's appointment is at 3:30 p.m., so we won't be home until late. I have stories to tell you already, and with some good luck, I might have even more to tell you about our casino adventure. Keep your fingers crossed that we hit something worth hitting!

I Was Attacked By a Four Ft. Long Monster With Huge Yellow Teeth

Things are rarely dull around here. Last night (or rather, early this morning around 7:00 a.m.), I was attacked.

More about that later.

First, here is today's offering of yarny goodness. Enjoy! (Especially you, Anni.)

The yarns on the left are from White Willow in "Dark Autumn Oak" and "Rock Candy". Her colorways are heartbreakingly beautiful, and the yarn is as soft as a baby's bottom (after its been cleaned). If you haven't tried her yarn, you must. The other two skeins are from Halftone (yes, I've recently shown her yarns before), and as usual, there are no color names. The larger skein (the green and blue one) is for two pairs of socks or a large stole - it has 1,120 yards in it. Her yarns are the softest things on the face of the earth and a terrific bargain. This is another must-try for the uninitiated. You won't be sorry and will probably spend the day petting it.

The little purple pouch in the center is a sachet of lavender provided by White Willow. She ships all her yarn with them. It smells just heavenly. I put them in the bins, and the lavender scent permeates all the yarn. Delightful.

The happy stuff out of the way, allow me to pontificate upon last night's joys and horrors.

Hubster and I went out on some errands (and failed, for the most part, to find what we were looking for). In particular, I was looking for Crazy Aunt Purl's new book. I know that Barnes & Noble has it, so we went over there. We couldn't find it in the yarn, crafts, knitting, crocheting, drunks, divorce, or self-improvement sections, so Hubster asked the lady at the help desk if they had any. She ran it up on the computer and discovered that yes, they had three copies. Oh happy day! She said that perhaps they were in the back, so off she went to bring me my coveted copy. We waited. And waited. Finally, she returned with no book in hand. I looked at her rather quizzically, because I knew they had some. So she went back to the desk to call the next closest store to see if they had any. While she was on hold, I asked her why, if the computer said they had three, she couldn't find them. She told me that there are huge stacks of books in the back, and that she took a quick look at the titles. If she had to pull out a book from towards the bottom of a stack, all the others would come crashing down on her, and she didn't want that. I just looked at her with her dirty blond hair, her blank eyes, and her stupid bovine face (no offense meant towards our cow friends) and said, "Aren't you supposed to provide customer service? Isn't this what you do for a living?" To which she replied, "Oh, I work in the children's book section. This isn't my job." I wanted to lean over the counter and strangle her, but I would have gotten hair ick all over my hands. Sigh. So we left with no book and before I committed some heinous act. Clownbitch. (Thank you to the lady who provided the world with that word. And you know who you are.)

Next was the usual question: "What do you want to do for dinner?" This simple question has stymied us for almost 20 years. I used to make a menu for the week and stick to it, but after our daughter left, it sort of took the ambition out of me. Then I got sick and just sort of stopped cooking altogether. Now we eat out a lot or have the English muffin sandwiches. It's a lot cheaper for us to do that because with the way I cook, it costs some major change. During the summer, Hubster BBQ's, but now it's cold at night.

We went to one place which was closed (on a Sunday night??), to Olive Garden (which had a line out the door - I'm not standing in line for bad Italian food), and were heading down the street when inspiration struck. I told Hubster which way to turn and, lo and behold, we wound up at a place called Banchero's. Those of you in the Bay Area near San Leandro will know whereof I speak. It's been there since 1948, and as soon as we got out of the car, the aroma of good, genuine Italian food wafted over us. We saw a lot of elderly people carrying very large doggie bags out of the place. Good sign. I had heard that their food was incredible and the portions huge. So in we went and were seated.

It was immediately clear that the people working there had been there since the place opened. The first thing that caught my eye was an Elvis impersonator who came out of the bar. He was waiting for his take-out order. When he turned around, there was an Oakland Raiders patch sewn smack in the middle of his jeweled cape. I guess he goes to the games and sings for the crowd when the Raiders screw up (which means he puts on an entire show at every game). Anyway, as soon as we were seated our waitress appeared, handed us our menus, and brought us something to drink. Then she immediately began to compliment me on my ring. I had to show it to her, front and back, and then the entire wait staff (the women, anyway) were brought over by her to see it. I spent the next 15 minutes having a bunch of Italian ladies ooh and aah and shower me with compliments. Good way to start dinner.

Hubster ordered the lasagna (full dinner, which came with soup, salad, antipasto, bread, and dessert). I ordered the stuffed prawns (stuffed with cheese and crab, and then deep-fried) a la carte with a side of spaghetti and meatballs (just a small side, mind you). I was brought an enormous plate overflowing with pasta and a delicious meat sauce before my dinner so I would have something to eat while Hubster plowed through his food. I ate enough garlic bread to sink a ship and mopped up the sauce with it as well. Then the main courses arrived. Holy shit! Hubster's lasagna was the size of a brick (no exaggeration), and I had four extremely large, fat prawns. They were incredible. You'd think I could eat four prawns, but no. Not only were they huge, they were filling. I had to leave one (to my great sadness), and I covered it with a napkin so the waitress didn't try to send it home with us like she did the garlic bread (they brought almost an entire loaf). Hubster had spumoni for dessert, and I had some orange sherbet. Again, I couldn't finish it. All the years I lived down here, I never ate there. Why, I don't know. I certainly knew about it. I just never got over there. We'll be going back, however. The entire thing cost us $38 including tax. We spend more than that buying shit to make hamburgers with.

So home we came, and I changed into my jammies and sat down at the computer to take care of some things. I awoke having turned on the volume, almost canceling myself out of one of my groups, and having done some other strange things. I'm a very talented typist, especially with my nose. I finally woke up sufficiently to really take care of my stuff, and then I sat down in the Monster to knit. I actually got through about two rounds before I fell asleep.

After a couple of hours, I woke up, talked to Hubster while I knit, and then he went to bed around 4:00 a.m. I continued to knit, trucking right along and watching Divorce Court, People's Court, Judge Mathis (do you see a theme developing here?), and a bunch of other TIVO'ed stuff. And then it happened.

I heard a noise over by the slider that allows entry into the backyard and figured it was the cat. I yelled at her (she gets cat hair all over the drapes, and it drives me nuts), and continued on with my knitting. About an hour later, I heard the same noise. I looked up to see one of the drapes moving. Definitely the cat. I didn't yell, but then I saw the feather duster move a little. Then I realized that there wasn't a feather duster by the door, and we certainly don't own one that tall. I squinted so I could see better, and there it was. It was an enormous rat mouse draped over the handle of the slider. And it was headed down to the floor, certainly on its' way to attack me.

I'm terrified of mice, rats, rat mice, mice rats, and anything even closely resembling them. So I screamed. Loudly. Hubster came running into the front room to see what the matter was. I was blubbering in terror, my legs pulled up under me as far as they would bend (and when you have thunder thighs, that sort of inhibits bending much). I cried out to him what the problem was, and he grabbed a broom and headed over to the drapes. Of course he didn't find it, which terrified me even more. I sat there curled up in a huge ball with my knitting clutched firmly in my hands (no rat mouse was going to attack my yarn to make a nest with), smoking away like a chimney in sheer and abject terror. He sat up with me for about a half-hour to see if the creature came out. The cat even came out. Nobody seemed to be able to find the beast from hell. It had fangs the length of my arm, a nasty yellow color, which I'm sure would have gnawed off my feet had I had them on the floor. It was huge and fat and hideous, and I know it was on the hunt. I'm shocked that the cat didn't even go sniffing at the drapes. So much for using the bathroom this morning. I wasn't going anywhere near the drapes, even to walk past them. So I spent the rest of the night/morning curled up in the Monster with the foot rest up (so it couldn't climb up to my feet), and fell asleep shortly after Hubster went back to bed. That much stress does that to me. I figure that if I sleep through it, I won't see it, it won't be real, and it can't hurt me. Sure enough, when I woke up this morning, I was intact. There were no dead rat mice lying around the floor. And the cat was asleep in the bedroom. Hubster has a theory that it escaped back outside through a little hole where the screen meets the door frame. I hope he's right.

I'd hate to lose one of my needles trying to stab the devil incarnate through the pentagram on it's enormous, bulbous head.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I Finally Made It

Happy Autumn! Yay! No more summer!

Before I get into the madness that is my life, let's look at some yarny goodness. It's not a lot, but it's pretty. I should have a lot more by next week. I'm happy to say that I'm doing much better with my yarn buying, although I haven't stopped completely. I joined a yarn club today by Jenny Boully (Woolly Boully), which I know I shouldn't have done, but I couldn't resist it.

This is by KnitFit Knitting in "Pink and Browns" and "Back to School". She's a new dyer for me, but when I saw the yarn, I thought I would give it a try. It was worth the chance. The yarn has great yardage, is soft as can be, and the colorways are gorgeous, especially in person. It will be a joy to knit with.

Now for a bit of business.

I said I would come up with my nominees for the Rockin' Girl Blogger award, and I've come up with five. I don't know if any of these people have been nominated before, but unless they have the button displayed on their blogs, I don't have any way of knowing unless I read through their archives. I love their blogs and feel they're worthy of the nomination. To top it off, I think only two of them know me LOL. Here goes:

The Adventures of Gladys & Harold Quimby
Crazy Aunt Purl (I'm sure she's been nominated at least a dozen times, but oh well)
Agile Knitter

All of these ladies have copious pictures on their sites (with the exception of one, but she works an awful lot), are hysterical, post often, and are endlessly entertaining. When I read a blog, I look for someone who is honest, down to earth, has lovely pictures (although that's not as important to me - I like to read), and exemplify (to me, at least) real women instead of plastic Barbie dolls. I'll notify them later today (and hope they don't say, "Who the hell are you and what the fuck is that award for?").

With that piece of business out of the way, allow me to apologize for the lack of a post this morning. Yesterday and this morning did NOT work out the way I had anticipated.

Yesterday, I could NOT keep my eyes open. I had taken two of those magic pills along with a tranquilizer in order to help me sleep throughout the night. While they didn't do that, they had another effect. As soon as the sun came up, my eyes began to feel heavy. Before I knew it, I was sound asleep with my knitting clutched in my hand as usual.

I slept. And slept. And slept. Then I'd open my eyes for five minutes, ask Hubster to put on a pot of coffee, and fall asleep again before he could get the cup to me (and we have one of those high-speed coffee makers that brews a pot in less than three minutes). This went on ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT. Finally, at about 1:00 a.m. this morning, I was able to open my eyes and keep them open. I left my brief post (I don't remember what time it was), had to put together a voting poll for another site which has a contest going on right now (I'm the admin, so I had to put the whole thing together), and by that time it was after 4:00 a.m. I decided that I'd leave my regular post around 7 a.m. and knit until then. I knit until about 6:45 a.m. and fell asleep again. I didn't wake up until 1:00 p.m. this afternoon. ARGH! And I have so much stuff to do today. This was NOT supposed to happen.

One of the first things I noticed when I woke up was that my knitting looked weird. I'm used to dropping a few stitches when I wake up, but this was definitely a new problem. It took a few minutes to figure out, but then I realized that instead of using the fifth needle to knit with, I had simply moved from one needle to the next and knitted with the one I had just put new stitches on. No wonder the knitting was so tight! I picked out all the stitches, got them on the correct needle, and reknit them with the fifth needle. The I counted them. Uh oh. I had five more stitches on one side than I did the other. This was on the back of the sock right above the heel, so both sides had to be balanced. You'd think it would be easy to move a few stitches back, right? Maybe if I was totally awake (I should know better than to knit when I'm still sleepy). That little maneuver took 30 minutes to fix. Then I got to the next needle and noticed 14 stitches just dangling there. 14. I was ready to throw the whole thing in the trash (for the second time), but I kept at it. Success! They weren't even wonky or anything. Whew.

All my knitting disasters finally taken care of, I saw our porch light go on (it goes on whenever anything is moving outside - like when we drive up), so I got up and went outside to check on things. It rained yesterday, so everything was still wet and there was an enormous pile of wet, slippery leaves in front of the porch steps (foreshadowing). I made the mistake of going out there in my slippers and misjudged the depth of the pile. So I stepped down into them off the step and kept going down. And down. And DOWN. Before I knew it, I was sitting on my ass in the middle of wet leaves with bugs crawling in them. SHIT SHIT SHIT!!!!!!!! I jumped up as quickly as I could (holding my hip because I had fallen sideways), my feet shot out from underneath me, and I fell flat on my back right back into the pile of leaves. Oh no. At least I didn't bring my knitting outside with me.

I finally discovered that it was a cat who had set off the light (even though it was daytime, it was very overcast), so I brushed myself off as best as I could and came back into the house. I knew we had errands to run today, so I didn't want to shower until it was close to the time we were leaving. I draped a sheet over the Monster (I actually keep one on there since SwissKnits had suggested it), but I didn't want to dork that one up. I washed my hands and set back to my knitting. This time, everything went according to plan. I'm close to the toe and anticipate finishing it tonight.

I'm still waiting for clearance on getting into Folsom Prison to teach the convicts (I think that's what they like to be called), so I won't be going there tomorrow. That's a good thing, since I have a bunch of crap I have to do. Tuesday we're driving to Sacramento for another pain doctor visit, and then Hubster is taking me to the Indian casino we used to go to all the time. I think I'll also pay a visit to the LYS in Rocklin and see the folks there whom I've known for 25 years since the shop was close to where I lived in the Bay Area. I'm hopingt the day is a nice one.

Another lovely thing happened (and this one IS lovely). I've had one person ask me to design some sock patterns to sell in her Etsy site, and another lady asked me to knit a pair of sample socks to put in her Etsy store and on her blog. I'm jazzed about it. I love being a test knitter and also being asked to knit samples for folks to put on their sites.

So that's about it. We're off to buy refills for the litter box (oh yippee), and then somewhere else that Hubster says we need to go to but can't remember. Then it's back home to work on my knitting again. I also have to do my homework for the TKGA show next week, but I have to buy the yarn for that tomorrow. I'm inventorying the Opal today, getting all my flutes out and put away so I can begin practicing, and by the time that's all done, it will be tomorrow. Sigh.

Maybe I should take two more of the magic pills so I can sleep through it all.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I'm Sorry

My Dear Readers,

I'm so sorry there hasn't been a post today. We've literally been sleeping all day. I've got a yarny picture for you and some blabbing, so I'll get that up later tonight. It will be there for you to read when you wake up on Sunday.

I hope you all had a wonderful Saturday!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Kind of a Boring Day (But Loud)

First of all, I need one more willing soul to join the "Pay It Forward" group. C'mon, my friends. We're going to have a blast, and it's a really nice thing to do for someone else.

Second, I've sold some of the Lorna's, but I have over 100 skeins left. If I don't sell any more by tomorrow, then I have to start photographing it and putting it on Destash. Please don't make me spend an entire day and memory card taking pictures and then typing up descriptions. I may burn out my keyboard. I'm going to start inventorying the Opal on Sunday. I don't know if I can list it all here, but I'll figure out a way to do it. If you want some Opal and know the name and/or number, please e-mail me. I'll check for you before I list it.

Thank you.

Now for the fun stuff, since I know you all like to see pictures of Gabby peeking out from skeins of happiness.

The Yarn Fairy didn't have a lot today, but what he had was good stuff. I couldn't photograph one of the things because it's the last thing I ordered for my Monkey Swap pal (waving). As soon as I finish those infernal socks, I can send off her package. Anyway, the skeins on either side of Gabby are from Wooly Treasures (she doesn't name her colorways, but they're stunning), and the chestnut-colored skeins in the center were spun by a lovely lady named Kate. They're from Kate's alpaca, Katrina. It's a horribly sad story. Kate went out to feed her critters and found that Katrina had passed away sometime during the night. At least she was able to get the fleece and spin it up. I was fortunate to get some. It's soft as soft can be, and her spinning is outstanding. She also sent me some roving and a lock of Katrina's fleece so I could see what it looked like before she spun it. I didn't realize that alpaca locks are so long. In any case, enjoy.

So last night, we did our usual grocery store run and got home at a pretty good time. Neither one of us were hungry, so I settled down at the computer to take care of some stuff, and Hubster sat down in his chair. Three hours later, I woke up and had a huge dent in my face from leaning it against my ring, and Hubster was still snoring away. I woke him up, asked him to put on a pot, and I woke up two hours later to a cold cuppa. He made another pot. I woke up an hour after that to another cold cup. Sigh. We waste more coffee in this house. The upshot was that I didn't get to my knitting until after 3 a.m. Hubster went to bed at 4 a.m. (but not before I had a couple of my now infamous English muffins and ham - he makes them for me), and I put on my court shows. I woke up with the sun streaming in the room at 11 a.m.

I think I knit on auto-pilot sometimes because I immediately pulled the needles out of my boob (at least I didn't lose any this time) and began to knit. I was working on the heel flap (I thought I had finished it, but I was sleepy and not paying attention, so I counted every row instead of every two - just like my student did the other night), and when I got to the end of the row, I noticed that something wasn't right. The two end stitches had slipped off the needle and were trying to escape, but somehow they got all twisted up around each other. It took me 30 minutes to get them untwisted and oriented on the needle correctly. So I finally finished the flap, and when I'm done here (I've only been farting around on the computer for almost four hours), I'll turn the heel. That damned sock has been giving me no end of misery. I think it's because it's different from the type of sock I usually knit, and I'm treading in unknown waters. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Either that, or all the monkeys I've said I didn't like over the years have transferred their revenge on me to these shitty socks.

As for the "loud" part of the title? The damn phone has been ringing off the hook ALL DAY because Hubster is looking for a new job. Remember when I mentioned his horrible bonus this year? Well, we decided that maybe it was time for him to find greener pastures, so he put his resume on Craig's List. He got something like 25 queries and is busy setting up appointments. Some of them are for contractors (which is a problem because I need health insurance and can't get it privately - no company will insure me), but they pay very well. I guess his industry hires people on a contractor basis, see how they do, and if they like you, then they hire you after three months or so. He's not sure he'll leave his present company, but it doesn't hurt to look. I told him he should ask for a down payment on a house as part of his hiring package. He just looked at me like I had just asked for sex reassignment surgery.

So it's been a horribly boring day. I don't have any funny stories, anecdotes, or news. Oh! Yes I do! I e-mailed Crazy Aunt Purl and asked her if she would sign my book. Not only will she sign it, we may meet up next month when I'm in Los Angeles (we're going to be right up the street from her). How cool is that? We can brush cat hair off each other in the hotel lounge.

Off to knit. Or rather to lose needles and face whatever new disaster awaits me.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Yarny Goodness, Swag, and Something New

Before I get started with the pictures and the funny stories, I want to bring your attention to the new button on the sidebar. It says, "Pay It Forward". What is it? What does it mean?

I got the idea from Anni's blog (Confessions of a Yarn Addict) and thought it was brilliant. So I went to the website where she got it, which is Whimsical Knitting and found not only the button but the description. Giving full credit to Becka, I am copying her text so you can understand exactly what it is I am doing.

"It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based on the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. You all know I’m already a PIF type of person. So here’s how it works. I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise! What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

I will now Pay It Forward to you THREE, I wonder who you will be?!
Please, be a PIF!"

I signed up on Anni's blog as one of her three people. In return, I have promised to make a gift for the first three people who leave a comment on this blog. Those people, in return, then have to post on their blogs what I have just posted here and make a gift for the first three people who leave a comment on their blogs. It will just keep growing and going around. I thought it sounded terrific, so here it is! Please consider doing this. Your gifts for the people who comment on your blog do not have to be big or elaborate, but they do have to be hand-crafted and made with love. That's it! If you choose to do this, please go over to Whimsical Knitting and take one of the buttons for your blog so people know you're participating. Thank you in advance! Oh... and please be sure to leave your e-mail address (or send it to me), so I have a way of communicating with you.

With that out of the way, it's time for some yarny goodness and also some swag.

This first picture has Spunky Eclectic Tough Sock in "Pumpkin" and "Scarecrow". The large skein is a new indie for me called Lobster Pot Yarns. The skein is called "Whale of a Skein", and the color is "New Seagrass". The yardage on this monster is 740 yds. with a gauge of 5 SPI on size 6 or 7. I have no idea of what to make with it, although when you look at the next picture, you'll see the pattern that came with it. This yarn is intriguing. The tag says, "This yarn was hand-dyed in a lobster pot and hung to dry in the salt air of Cape Cod." The lady's name is Susan. And get a load of what this beast is made of: 80% lambswool, 10% dehaired angora, and 10% cashmere. Heaven. She also has pure cashmere and I think baby camel (if I'm remembering the right person), as well as another blend. This one, though, just grabbed me. I don't usually use yarn this thick (in fact, I don't even think I bothered to look at the gauge), but I had to have it. Hubster gave the okay, and my finger hit the "return" key so fast that I'm surprised the damn thing didn't go flying off the keyboard.

The ball of yarn and needles laying in front is a magnet from Scout's Swag. It's lovely - very heavy and very definitely a strong magnet. It's residing on the fridge door.

This picture has the other magnets I ordered from Scout's Swag, as well as a license plate holder (when I see the word "balls" on something, it triggers something in my brain and I have to have it). Hubster is suitably horrified that I'm defacing the T-Bird with it. The large pattern is the one that came with the Lobster Pot yarn and is for a bolero. The smaller pattern is one I bought and is called, "Eleanora Socks", designed by Miriam L. Felton. Here is what the description says about them:

"These socks are inspired by the socks found in the tomb of Eleanoro de Toledo, the wife of Cosimo I de'Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. She was buried in 1562 after dying of the plague and her crimson silk socks are amazingly well preserved.

They were knee-high with turned down cuffs. The lozenge patterned cuffs on this adaptation are NOT turned down and the motifs have been reduced in number of stitches due to gauge differences."

There is more historical information, but I'll leave that for those of you who buy it. I was intrigued by the patterns and thought they would be gorgeous in some special Merino/silk sock yarn I have, although you could use any softly variegated, semi-solid, or solid yarn for it (the knitter who did the socks on the cover used Opal). As for skill level, I would rate it as intermediate, although an advanced beginner with drive could easily do it. It's going to take some concentration and a lot of love, but the results will be spectacular.

I have received some lovely letters from ladies looking for SEX with the Lorna's I'm destashing. I've compiled a list of it and am sending it out to those who are interested. It's on a first-come, first-serve basis. As they are already selling (thank you!) and if you are interested, please contact me so I may send you the list as it becomes available.

So yesterday, I was knitting like crazy on the Monkeys. There were a few things about them that I didn't like, so I changed the pattern to suit my taste. That meant that I had to go a bit slower than normal (that's like saying I went from a snail to a slug), but I got quite a bit done. Then I set it aside, and we got dinner. After dinner, I sat down on the couch to watch TV and promptly fell asleep for three hours. No problem. I still managed to get the heel flap done, and now I'm ready to pick up the stitches for the heel turn.

Then it happened. You would have thought I would have learned my lesson the first time around, but sometimes I'm stubborn or just don't believe that it could happen again. That damn fifth needle fell on the floor, so I leaned forward to retrieve it. I didn't see it, so I leaned forward a little farther. And then the unthinkable occurred. The foot rest collapsed, everything on it fell on the floor (two remote controls, my knitting, the ball of yarn, my ruler), and I did a face dive on the floor. What was worse was that I didn't just hit the floor - I skied across it like a bobsled on the luge. In the process of skidding along helplessly while this whale of a body picked up momentum and pushed me forward faster, the damn fifth needle materialized and got stuck. In the side of my neck.

After picking myself up from the floor (and saying more than my fair share of bad words), I dusted everything off, put it all on the chair, and removed the needle. Back to the scrubbing and waxing. I had a puncture wound on my neck (had there been another one, I would have looked like a vampire bit me). But all is well. The chair didn't get harmed, I have only minor wood floor burns on my cheek (the upper one), and my knitting didn't fall off the needles.

One must always get their priorities straight.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Escaping a Sock Class Does a Body Good

I'm still floating from the nomination. Wow. I never thought such a thing would happen to me. I haven't been blogging all that long, so I'm especially pleased. I'm working on my nominations and will have them by this weekend.

Not much came in the mail today. YFIT was delivering, so it's not a huge surprise. I also have really cut down on my buying (vacation coming, you know), so there's not a lot left to arrive. I do have my yarn and sock clubs, but for obvious reasons, I can't post pictures of those.

These two things did come today, though.

The goddess was custom made. She's filled with all sorts of wonderful-smelling herbs, has real stones on her, and a medicine bag around her neck. The back side of her also has stones and beautiful embroidery. I'm extremely happy with her. The yarn is from See Jayne Knit and is called "Canadian Maple". It's gorgeous, soft, squishy, and did I say gorgeous? Incredible.

I decided to dive in my closet (after having to clear out a bunch of crap from in front of the doors) to find the yarn I want to sell. Just for fun, I took pictures of the bins that will be sold. I'll tell you what's in them after each picture. Please forgive the quality of the pictures - today is a strange day weather-wise, and the light wasn't the best for taking pictures.

This entire stack is what I'm selling. There's all kinds of yarny goodness in those bins. The bins aren't for sale - I may need to fill them back up. :)

The two bottom bins are all Opal. Not only are they filled, they're CRAMMED. The yarn is all neatly put in rows, but those rows are tight. There are single skeins, collections, and old/rare skeins in there.

This bin is all Lorna's Laces. There are mostly two skeins of each color. I also have some duplicates in there, but I need to make a list of them all. I have one person who is very interested in buying some, and she has some specific colors in mind. I haven't bought any Lorna's for a while, so these are the older colors. Some of them aren't available anymore.

The small bin to the left is Schaefer's Anne. I see one errant skein in there, but the rest is all Anne. There's one of each color in there. The small bin to the right contains things like OnLine, Regia, etc. I also have a large bin which is at the bottom of a lot of others that I'm selling off. That one contains Trekking and other skeins like it.

It's going to take me longer to inventory all this yarn than I thought. In fact, I didn't realize I had so much yarn. If I can sell even some/most of it, I can make Hubster a happy man. It's all brand new, never been exposed to my filthy ciggies (it's always been in these sealed bins in a closet far away from smoke - we never smoked in our house, and even though we smoke in here, they're not exposed to it), and it's also protected from the cat. If there's anything you are looking for in the lines I've mentioned, please let me know. Chances are that I have it.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, allow me to tell you about the hell that was class last night.

We got home around 10:00 p.m., had dinner, and I settled down to knit a little before I blogged. I needed to unwind. I unwound, all right. When I looked at the clock, it was 3:00 a.m. So I came over to the computer, wondering what to take pictures of. I had decided to take some pictures of the stash when I noticed that it was now 7:00 a.m. I also noticed that my hand was dead, as in so numb that I couldn't even move it. Not conducive to typing. So while I was waiting it out, I heard Hubster's alarm go off. At 10:00 a.m. Sigh. Those classes just wipe me out, and I have one more to go.

First of all, I'm now down to four people. Buffalo Woman is long gone, as are most of the other people who gave me totally blank looks when I said anything. Fine. The four women left had finished their homework and were justifiably proud of having done so. They all held up their socks with pride. Then I saw it.

One of the women had begun her slipstitch WAY too early, so that it began under the arch of her foot.

I took the sock from her just to make sure that I wasn't seeing things. Nope. She hadn't even knitted the foot long enough, because her gussets were started in the wrong place. To make matters worse, she hadn't listened when I explained where to put the slipstitch and counted every row of the gusset increases instead of just the increase rows, so she had twice as many rows left to do before she should have started the slips. I told her to pick up the stitches below the slips and rip it back, then reknit back to the point where the gussets should begin. She sighed heavily and set to the task - after a 15-minute explanation of how a knit stitch is formed and how to slide the needle under the leading leg. ARGH. And these are people with knitting experience. I think they might have seen a knitting needle at some point in their lives.

Then I turned to the lady next to me. She gave me her sock. Not bad. I didn't have the heart to tell her that it was poorly knitted, but I thought that since it was her first one, she would improve. It was for her daughter and was the same size I wear, so I tried it on. It was uh... slightly large. Just a bit. Kind of baggy. Okay... so the damn thing hung off my foot. I looked at her and told her that the only thing she could do was to start over. Besides, I've seen superwash felt, and if I tried to get her to shrink it down, she'd sure as shit felt it and then wind up with a Cabbage Patch doll slipper.

The third lady actually did well. The sock was nicely knitted, the stitches were even, and she had followed the directions. No problem. Whew.

The fourth lady had taken my last class but missed a couple of the meetings. She was taking it again to make up for what she didn't get the first time. She handed me a completed pair of socks. Nice, I thought, even though I told everyone to NOT go beyond where I told them to. There was a good reason for it. She had 1" long cuffs.

I kid you not.

I asked her why the cuffs were so short, and she told me that she was sick of knitting them and wanted to start another pair (?), so she just stopped knitting on the cuffs and began a new pair. Okey dokey.

Last night, I had hoped to get them to do the heel flap and then begin to meld the flap with the gussets to form the heel turn. I'm an overachiever in thought as well as action. I began to explain how to use the markers in conjunction with the decreases and what the markers meant when the lady who had done a decent job interrupted me. "Can you please repeat that?" she asked. So I repeated it. And again. And again. And then I told her to look at the fucking book with the pretty pictures and follow along with what I was saying. I was sorely wishing I had my pills.

After her 10th question, I finally told her, "PLEASE don't make this any harder than it has to be." She was taking copious notes, but I figured that if it helped her, so be it. They all finally understood what I was saying and demonstrating. At 8:45 p.m. They had 15 minutes left to knit the entire heel flap. I realized that teaching them the next step was out of the question (I tell you, sometimes I'm as sharp as a cow patty).

The lady who had to frog left early, claiming that she just couldn't deal with it all and promising to come back to their fifth and free session. I didn't see what the problem was, but I figured it was better to let her go. The others gathered up their stuff in preparation for leaving. So instead of leaving them with nothing to do for two weeks, I told them to do the other sock up to the point we had stopped at (you normally do the entire heel on one sock before you move to the other, but I had to give them something). They seemed cheerful and left.

I stumbled out to the car, lit a ciggie, and yelled, "FOOD!" So Hubster and I went to the coffee shop that serves such good burgers. They were closed. For vacation. For three more weeks. Then we tried another coffee shop. Closed. So guess what I had for dinner? Yep. English muffins and ham.

I don't know why these classes wipe me out so much. I think I'm so stressed out by the time they're over that I fall apart when I get home. I'm not teaching next month, so that will give me time to charge my batteries.

Next week, the Monkey Socks have to be set aside while I do my homework for the classes I'm taking at TKGA in two weeks. I'm hoping to find some really cool things in the market there for your viewing pleasure (and my yarny pleasure). I've never been to it, but I've heard differing opinions about how good it is. Stitches West comes in February, and I'm definitely going to that one. Not for the classes. For the market.

I'm afraid that if I push my class taking/teaching, I'll be a quivering mass.

Oh wait. I'm already a quivering mass.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Quick Thank You - More Tonight

I'm teaching that damned sock class tonight, but I wanted to write a quick thank you to Anni of "Confessions of a Yarn Addict". She nominated me for:


I'm SO excited!! Now I have to come up with nominees of my own. I'll be giving that a lot of thought over the next few days.

Thank you again, Anni. You're a doll!

More tonight after I get home from class. :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Knitting Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

The Yarn Fairy cometh. Or would that be cameth?

Sweeping from left to right are yarns from Halftone, who is a new indie for me. I found her on Etsy. The prices were incredible and the colorways intriguing. I had to have some. She didn't name the colors, but they're all superwash merino with the exception of the semi-solid green (merino/silk). The put-ups are incredible (462 yds. for the merino, 440 yds. for the blend). When I took them out of their protective baggies, I couldn't believe it. I was swooning. If you haven't tried this seller, you simply must. Her yarn is so soft, it's orgasmic. I could have sat there all day just squeezing and fondling and rubbing and petting and... and... excuse me for a minute.

That's better.

The other two skeins are from Woolly Boully. One is Red Robin and the other Luna Moth. I just love Jenny's yarns. They're soft, squishy, beautifully colored, and a pure delight to knit with. I'm using one of her yarns right now to knit something special, and I can't put it down. She is the sweetest lady in the world, and I love her to death. You simply must patronize her, too - she's a college gal and is paying New York rents. Help her out if you can.

As you know, we went to the boringball... uh... baseball game yesterday. I e-mailed with another lady who was there, and she was similarly disappointed with the cheapness of the gift. In fact, she's so outraged that she's writing a letter to the dude in charge of this stuff. I asked her to forward the letter to me so I can add my two cents' worth. At the price of those tickets, you'd think they could put a pattern in there or something. Oh wait - the buckets are too small for a pattern. Maybe a tape measure, some stitch markers, an A's patch? Anything? She told me that the Giants at least gave out knitting bags at their game, and that she bought her tickets at Article Pract, who at least gave her a tape measure. Never again. Especially after they got over a bill for clothing and food. Fuckers.

Some good news on the vacation front. Hubster discovered that the rooms which I had booked were NOT the only rooms available. When I talked to the reservation lady, she quoted me the prices on the most expensive rooms they had. I assumed that they were the only rooms available. Turns out that they had a shitload of other, much cheaper rooms. So we got a room for half the price, and here's the kicker. It has all the same amenities of the more expensive room. The only difference is that the more expensive room was on the executive floor and had a private cocktail lounge (I can't drink because of the meds), a continental breakfast (we don't eat breakfast), and a paper delivered to your door (we never read the damn things). A total waste. So instead of paying almost $2K, we're paying $800. Totally doable and already paid for. Now I don't have to destash! Actually, I do, because I told Hubster I would, but the point is that I don't have to break my neck trying to get rid of yarn. He's in the room right now, throwing away garbage, unpacking flutes (I have to practice - the concert is a month away), and making a space for me to open the bins and inventory what yarn is going. I won't know what to do with myself.

Now for the title of the post.

I slept a lot last night (as I stated in my last entry), woke up early, and began to knit while I watched my TIVO'ed stuff. I thought I was wide awake, like I usually do. I wasn't. I fell asleep sometime around 8:00 a.m. I knew that Hubster wanted to get up around 10:30, so I figured that I would make sure he got up.

No such luck. I woke up at 11:30, called down the hall for him, and realized that my face was squished sideways against the arm of the Monster. And there was something else wrong, too.

I had been knitting with DPN's last night, working on my Monkey Socks. I also have a nasty habit of losing the spare needle (since I'm knitting with four, that makes the fifth needle the roaming one). I didn't lose it this time. In fact, it was near me. Very near me. Up close and personal near me.

I felt something strange and swiped at my face. Now remember that I was still half-asleep and wasn't with it yet. But something wasn't right, and I swiped at my face again. Then it hit me.

My spare needle was crammed up my nose.

As bad as my eyesight is getting, I still could see it dangling there. My $15 a set Addi Natura spare needle was shoved WAY up my left nostril. It was so comical that for a minute, I didn't even think to pull it out. But then I realized that if Hubster saw it, he would most certainly take a picture and post it somewhere.

So very carefully, I laid down my knitting (which was still clutched in my right hand - no stitches dropped, thank goodness), and grasped the end of the needle. After what seemed like forever, I finally got it pulled free.

I've had a huge cotton swab soaked in lidocaine shoved up my nose before (up into the eye socket, in fact), so it didn't hurt. What I was worried about was the needle. Was it going to be covered with rubbery snot balls? Was it going to have blood on it? Had I ruined my needle, thereby necessitating a trip to my LYS? No. The needle was just fine. I washed it carefully and made sure that it was gleaming, and then put a coat of wax on it to make sure that nothing horrible was going to touch my yarn. I now have the cleanest, fastest bamboo needle in the Western Hemisphere.

That bag of dope sure would have helped.

Extra note: I just got a call from the chaplain at Folsom Prison. They want me to come teach a regular Native American flute class to the convicts. How cool is that? They're doing a clearance for me right now, so maybe I'll be there as soon as next week. I LOVE this shit!

Maybe the bag of dope isn't such a good idea after all.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I Really Was at the Ball Game

Yes, I really was at the ball game today. Here's stuff to prove it.

We were originally going to take BART, but at the last minute decided to drive. That was fine with me. I don't like riding a train car with a bunch of drunks, whether or not they're really drunks or just boys having fun on the way to the manly bonding experience called a baseball game. It only took us ten minutes tops to get to the Coliseum (I know they call it something else now, but to me it'll always be the Coliseum, just as the stadium where the Niners play will always be the Stick).

Going to our seats was a huge moment of deja vu for me. The last time I stepped foot in that arena was the summer of 1975 when we attended a Day on the Green (remember those, Bay Area old farts?). I think that year was a British invasion with Fleetwood Mac, Peter Frampton, and whoever else was from Britain and on the charts. I do remember that we were sitting in the seats under the overhang and some dude walked up to us, dropped a huge baggie of dope on my lap, said "Peace", and walked away. I don't remember the rest of the concert except that Stevie Nicks took off her bra and threw it into the audience. It must be the age thing that prevents me from remembering. Ahem.

One thing I noticed is that they must have ripped the seats out and replaced them with very small ones. I sure don't remember being so squished in them 32 years ago. I know I haven't gained any weight - in fact, I can still wear the miniature clothes I wore back then. (If you believe that, then I have something to sell you.) Hubster and I were so mooshed up that I couldn't spread my arms out to knit. After the game had started, we moved down a few rows, since there was NOBODY there, and then I was able to take up almost two seats (I can't believe I gained that much weight... or maybe I just spread out a little).

But I'm getting ahead of myself a bit. First of all, it was also Hat Day, so I was hoping to get a straw hat. We got there too late - they were out. So we bought the hat you see in the picture. It's a child's hat, which shows you how small my head really is. Hm. I wonder if I look like those space creatures on Bugs Bunny with the huge bodies and tiny heads. That's a scary thought. So while we were in the souvenir shop, I asked the clerk where the Stitch 'n Pitch table was. They hadn't even heard of it. Not a good sign.

It turns out that there was a tiny table set up on the upper deck behind all the seats and crammed into a corner. Only a few people were in line to get their gifts. I saw what it was and wondered how they put yarn and needles and stuff into it. Well... they didn't. The green container thing you see in the picture was it. While its cute, I never would have gone to a ball game just for that. I got two of them, since we had two tickets. If I'm knitting a single sock on DPN's, I can fit it in there. If I'm doing two socks at once, forget it. Sigh.

So we went back to our seats, Hubster went for grub (nachos, beer, hot dogs, more nachos, Sierra Mist, etc. - you have to eat like a pig at these things), and I spread out (literally) and began to knit. There was a very small group of knitters behind me and a few more below me. It was terribly disappointing - I thought there would be a huge group, judging by the pictures of other games I've seen. Oh well - more room for me.

I kept falling asleep every few stitches and then got really cold (we were in the shade, and the wind was blowing). So I went to another souvenir shop to buy a zip-up sweatshirt. I bought the cheapest one they had - $66. While its nice, its not worth that much money. Oh well - I spend that much on a couple skeins of yarn. (And that's what I was thinking as I paid for it - how much yarn I could be buying.) At least I was now warm.

Hubster and I left around the sixth inning. The game was boring as hell (although there was a fight between the second batter and the pitcher - the pitcher hit the batter with the ball, and the batter ran to the pitcher and started whaling away on him... then both teams came pouring out to either help or try to stop it). That was the highlight of the game. I damn near fell asleep in the car on the way to the grocery store and did fall asleep on the way home. Then I sat down at the computer and promptly fell asleep again, waking up just a half-hour ago.

So that was my Sunday. There was so much I could have done - knitted, worked on getting my stash sorted out, drooled all over myself as I fell asleep in front of the TV - but I have to admit that it was fun going somewhere and being outside. Will I go again? No. It just wasn't worth it.

And I didn't even get a baggie of dope.

Going To Be Gone Sunday

I'll be at a Stitch 'n Pitch between the Oakland A's and the Texas Rangers on Sunday, so I'll be late posting. I'll give you all the details when I get home.

Have a lovely Sunday!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A New Day Has Dawned

First of all, dear readers, I want to apologize to those of you who read yesterday's post. I typed it in a moment of weakness. To those of you who were so kind as to leave comments and suggestions, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. However, I've decided to delete the entire horror story. It was just too depressing for words (no pun intended), and I decided that it had no place here. There is one thing I want to say about it, though, and then we'll move on to the fun stuff.

I am going to destash. One of my lovely readers suggested that I try and destash through my blog before I put them in my Etsy store, and that's what I'm going to do. I had a talk with Hubster, and he told me to only sell those skeins which I'll never knit. So today, we're going through the entire stash. I know, though, some of the yarns which are going to go.

As soon as I have a complete list of what's for sale, I'll list it here (hopefully by the end of the weekend). I can tell you, though, that I'm selling all of my Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, all of my Opal (including some old and rare skeins, as well as two complete Rainforest collections - the older and newer ones), all of my Schaefer's Anne, and any duplicates of indie yarns. I'll be keeping all the other indie yarn I've acquired because I love them too much to give them up. Hubster understands this and is fully supporting my decision. What I'll do is sell it on a first-come, first serve basis. If any of you have need for any of the yarn I've listed already, drop me a note at I'll be happy to take pictures and quote you a price. I'll be doing everything through PayPal just to make things easier, and the price I quote will include shipping.

That being said and done, I'm back to normal today. Last night was a good talking night interspersed with some slapstick comedy. More on that later.

I told you all that I had some yarn and other goodies on order. The Yarn Fairy was working today, so I hit the jackpot yet again. I had to take two pictures for your viewing enjoyment.

Here is the first picture.

Here we have Lovesticks Sock Yarn in "Vegas Baby!" and "Watermelon Slice (Dark)", Prairie Daisy Handspun in "Kaleidoscope", and My Small Wonders in "Camouflage" and "Earthly Goods".

Next we have these lovely creatures.

There is Gypsy Girl Creations in "Cotton Candy" and "Winter Solstice", as well as Perchance to Knit in "Hedera Helix", "Fragile", and "Mexacali Peppers". I do believe that "Mexacali Peppers" is a duplicate (you know you have too much yarn when you finally can't remember what's in your stash), so there's a strong likelihood that I'll be selling one of them.

Have you ever noticed that you seem to go in color runs when you select yarn? I didn't have a lot of blue in the stash, so I decided to buy some. All of sudden, I'm being bombarded with blues, blue combined with hot pink, blue with electric green, blue blue blue. No matter. It will eventually get knitted into something.

I also got my first shipments of the Art Walk Sock Yarn Club and the Woolgirl Sock Club. I won't show those because as usual, I don't want to be a spoiler. Let me just say that the yarns in both are gorgeous, and Jen did a kickass job of putting together a package. Too exciting! My sock and yarn clubs are things that I'm going to keep at all costs. They're just too much fun to get rid of.

Now for a bit of humor.

Last night after we saw the therapist, Hubster and I went to The Cheesesteak Factory for dinner. I knew it would be crowded, but I like their food and didn't want another English muffin. So we got our little mechanical buzzing thing and were told that it would be about 45 minutes to an hour for a booth (I hate tables, especially there - I always feel like I'm in a fishbowl). So we went outside, had a smoke, came back in, stood, sat, went back outside, had another smoke, came back in, sat, dozed, and well after an hour the buzzing thing FINALLY went off. So we went up to the desk and waited some more for the girl to take us to our booth.

We got down the aisle and she informed us that our booth wasn't bussed yet, so we stood in the aisle waiting. While we were standing there, we noticed (how could we NOT) a young couple sitting at the table right next to us. He had that dopey, sleepy-eyed look that young men (well, all men) get when they have a boner the size of Manhattan and was kissing her in an... um... rather inappropriate way. On top of that, he had his hand placed firmly on her boob and was caressing it. I couldn't stop staring and Hubster couldn't stop making remarks. Not that they would have heard us - it's amazing what a couple bottles of wine will do to people.

We finally got the all-clear and were seated at our booth. We hadn't been there for more than five minutes when a waitress bounced around the corner, scaring the shit out of us. She announced in a loud and happy voice that her name was blah blah blah (I was in shock) and she would be our waitress. Then she bounced away. That was the last time I spoke to her.

A few minutes later, Hubster pointed out that the tables next to us (all four of them, and they're long) were pushed together, which meant only one thing. Yep. A party. And here they came. It seemed like hundreds, but there were probably about 30 of them. All in their early 20's, all half in the bag, and all loud. Balloons. Gifts. And worst of all, cameras. I thought I was going to go blind from all the flashes popping. You have to figure that these people see each other all the time, yet they had to have pictures of each other standing there in the aisle. Go figure. And then I realized that 30 years ago, that was me with my friends (did I ever have that many friends?), looking at the old fucks sitting at the booths around the tables and thinking, "I'll NEVER be like that." Famous last words.

Then we were approached by a young man with some sort of weird splint on his arm. He proudly announced, "Good evening, guys! I'm blah blah blah and I'll be your waiter for the evening. Our specials are...". GUYS? I have the biggest tits of any guy I've ever seen. Now, I realize that being a bald woman sometimes confuses people, and I've been called sir a few times, but this guy was supposed to be paying attention to us. You could tell that as soon as he said it, he looked at me and realized his mistake. I'm not bragging, but Hubster bought me a rather large diamond ring (I don't recall ever seeing a man with a large marquise center stone on a wide band of diamonds) which you can't miss, especially when light of any kind hits it, tits that have to sit on top of the table because I can't squish them under (although without a bra, I can tape them to my knees), and somewhat feminine features. I kept looking at Hubster, he kept grinning at me, and at the end of the monologue, the waiter said, "And please allow me to apologize for my mistake." It would have been okay had he looked at me, but he stared at Hubster the entire time (Hubster is 6'4" and rather large, so maybe he was afraid Hubster would get out of the booth and beat the living shit out of him). So I looked at this young man and back at Hubster, and said in a rather loud voice, "See? I TOLD you we shouldn't have scrimped on the sex change and gone to Argentina!" I thought the dude was going to drop a load on the floor. He turned visibly purple, took our drink orders, and ran away. I was pleased with myself and couldn't stop giggling.

We ordered quesadillas as an appetizer, and since I can't eat anything hot, we ordered them without chiles. They arrived without the side condiments (guacamole, sour cream, salsa). I don't like them without sour cream, so I asked Hubster to please go find the dude and ask for the side dishes. He didn't want to do it (he being hungry and happy to eat them as they were), so I began to look for the blind bastard. I saw him walking rapidly away from us down the aisle. So I decided to go after him. And then it happened.

I had on my ratty old sandals with two straps going across the top of the foot. They tend to fall off sometimes. I slid across the seat as fast as I could (big flat asses are good for some things), planted my left foot in the aisle, and swung my right foot around in order to stand up. It would have worked just fine, except I was moving too fast. My shoe came off. I kept going. I literally fell out of the booth flat on my face with my ass sticking up in the air and wedged between the table and the wall.

Hubster didn't dare say anything or even giggle. Instead, he crammed a condiment-free quesa into his mouth and began to drink a lot of Coke. The party of young drunks fell silent as I lay there in the aisle, cursing like a sailor who has just been told that the whorehouse is closed for the night when he's shipping out in the morning. And then the second thing happened.


They took a picture of me.

I gathered what little was left of my self-esteem, picked myself up off the floor, brushed off my tie-dyed shirt, and hobbled down the aisle. The dude was desperately trying to not look at me. I made it up to him, told him that we were missing the condiments, and carefully walked back to where we were sitting. By this time, the party was in full swing again, and they were all waiting to see if I was going to offer a repeat performance. No chance. I carefully slid in the booth with as much dignity as I could muster, picked up my Coke to take a drink, and promptly dropped it on my shirt. The whole thing.

This time Hubster couldn't stand it. He burst into hysterics, got up, and went to the men's room. A few minutes later, he returned with a fresh Coke and a bunch of towels to try and mop up the mess. The only time I made a worse mess was in Reno when some clown unscrewed the top of the hot maple syrup container, and I poured the entire thing on my dress... after we had checked out. Argh.

Those English muffins are looking pretty good.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Monster Scorned

I knew it! Remember when I said that YFIT wasn't bringing packages on the Yarn Fairy's day off? It was confirmed today by two things: a) the sheer volume of yarny goodness which you are about to feast your eyes upon; and b) the Yarn Fairy telling me that YFIT and some others weren't delivering parcels on his day off. Wait until Hubster hears this. He's going to be pissed.

Thank goodness the Yarn Fairy was here today. Otherwise, he might have needed a hand truck to bring everything up on the porch. Here, for your pleasure, are two pictures showing what arrived today.

This picture contains The Painted Tiger in "Wind" (Merino/Silk) and "Crisp Green Apples", the little bear sitting on those cakes is "Acid Panda" by sunfleur1, Curious Creek Fibers in "Birches in Norway", Lavender Sheep in "Truffle", Zen Yarn Garden IN-SNYC in "Apricot Kiwi", and Zen Yarn Garden 100% Cashmere in "Terracotta".

This picture contains Smoky Mountain Fibers in "Lavender Blue" and "Turquoise Jewelry", and Spinning Yarns Online in "Gecko", "Dark Foliage", and "Regal".

I also got a couple of bags of moth-deterrent herbs and some books (two technique, one pattern, one novel, one spiritual - all knitting). Jen at Woolgirl was also kind enough to send me another skein of the club's yarn so I'll have enough to make the socks offered last month.

So what the hell does all this yarn have to do with the Monster? Everything.

You'll recall that I mentioned karma biting me in the ass - yesterday, I think it was. Karma not only bit me in the ass again this morning, but I almost was in fairly serious trouble for a while.

The usual ensued last night. We both fell asleep after dinner, and it wasn't until close to 4:00 a.m. that I picked up my needles. I got a fair amount of knitting done on the Monkeys when disaster struck. I don't mean your ordinary "Oops, I dropped a stitch" disaster, either. I mean start the fucker over disaster.

I have no idea of what happened, but I was doing an SSK. Somehow, one of the stitches slipped off the needle and began it's perilous journey down the sock. I watched where it went and thought, "No big deal. I'll just grab it and bring it back up."

If only it were that simple.

What happened next was a comedy of errors that wasn't funny in the least.

Before I had a chance to fool too much with the stitch, I dropped my lighter. Instead of just dropping the foot rest, getting off the Monster and picking the lighter up off the floor, I did something really stupid. I decided to get on my knees on the cushion, lean over the foot rest, and pick the lighter up that way. Unfortunately, when I did that, I couldn't see where the lighter was. So I began to move backwards to drop the foot rest. That's when the real horror of the morning occurred.

As I was teetering on the cushion at an odd angle, the Monster decided to take revenge on me for all the coffee I'd spilled, all the ciggies I'd waved over it, every bad word I'd ever said about it, and snapped the foot rest shut. On me. I was trapped between the chair and the foot rest by my legs.

As if that weren't bad enough, the entire chair then tipped forward on top of me. What made it really horrible was that I was bracing myself against the floor with my hands, had my legs and right hip literally trapped in the jaws of death, and the entire weight of the chair pressing on my hips and back from behind. We were both at a funny angle, and I quickly realized that I couldn't get out. I couldn't move. In short, I was stuck fast.

So I did what any other sane person would do. I yelled at the top of my lungs for Hubster and began to bawl.

You see, I have an auto-immune disease that has decided to take the form of a muscular and joint degenerative condition. My immune system, instead of fighting off disease, is a disease. It eats whatever it attaches itself to - cartilage, muscle, etc. It perceives my body as a giant intruder that needs to be disposed of. On top of that, I have fibromyalgia. Not only did I have my legs trapped, the chair was wrenching my joints at an unnatural angle, thereby causing them pain. A LOT of pain. The more I struggled, the more I got stuck and squished, and the more it hurt. The more it hurt, the more frightened I became. If Hubster didn't hear me screaming, I'd be stuck like that for over an hour until he got up. Fortunately, he heard my screams and came charging down the hall, got me untangled, and put the chair back upright. Unfortunately, my knitting and everything that was on the chair or foot rest also came crashing to the floor. Hence the unfixable error in the sock - the yarn got ripped out of whack as it got caught while falling.

I did everything I could think of. I dropped the whole decrease area down to see if I could just reconstruct it. Nope. I tried weaving the stitches back the way they were. Nope. Nothing worked. Then I realized that the yarn must have caught on the edge of something, because a piece of it was pulled out longer than the others, and a couple of the stitches were tangled together. So then I decided to pick up a row above the heel, rip it back, and just knit the section over. Nope. I couldn't find a straight row to save my soul. That, of course, is part of what makes Monkey Socks so beautiful - the way the lace pattern forms, the way the pattern moves and breathes, how everything intertwines and blends in with the next set of the pattern. I think because of the trauma of the fall, it somehow got mangled up just enough so that I couldn't find a straight row (or at least one I could follow around and pick up). I had no other option.

I swore a lot, cried some more, and cut the yarn. I've just cast on to begin all over again. I know now what I'll be taking to Stitch 'n Pitch with me. So now I'm covered with bruises on my legs, my hip hurts like a bitch, my wrist has a rip in it where it raked across the edge of the chair when I was falling, my knees hurt, and it hurts to breathe. But I keep one thought in mind as I labor over the socks yet again.

At least it wasn't buffalo.