Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm Completely Out of Time

First of all:


Finally. I still have a lot of yarn to put on it, but I got several up there. Take a gander and see if yours is there. I've got a diverse list still to go as well as a non-yarn item.

I also have a slew of yarny goodness to show you, but I'm running late (what else is new) to leave for Folsom (tomorrow is orientation day, and I have to get up at 5:00 fucking a.m.), and I'd like to eat and knit for at least an hour tonight (knit, that is).

So I just wanted to yell hello, tell you that I'll be gone tomorrow night but will be blogging Saturday, let you know that the update is done, and now I've got to find a top I want to wear tomorrow. Is it in the closet? Nope. Is it on the clothes rack at the back of this shithole? Noooooo. Is it in a box somewhere still waiting to see the light of day? Because I want to wear it, I can bet you any amount of money that that's where it's at. Shit.

I hope you all had a good day. Mine has been busy from the moment I opened my eyes this morning sprawled in the Monster with my knitting clutched in my sweaty paw. Once again, I managed to not drop any stitches. Unlike the other morning.

We shall not speak of that.

See you Saturday!

Oh Crap

Oh crap indeed. I've done it again. I was up all night and didn't get to bed until 6:00 p.m. You read it right. 6:00 p.m. I was busy all day doing stuff that needed doing, the Yarn Fairy brought 10 (yes, 10) packages which I haven't opened yet, and I asked Hubster to please wake me up at 9:00 p.m. so I could work on this blog and the Yarn Review. What happened? Well, it's almost 1:00 a.m. the next day and I just got up. It seems that the alarm was blasting classic rock and Hubster fell asleep. My alarm woke him up. So, needless to say, I haven't done anything in the world of blogging. I'm so sorry - I know I promised to have it done. Shit. I don't know why this happened, but the first thing I'm doing tomorrow is finishing up my blogging. I don't blame you for not believing me; with my sleeping schedule lately, something isn't working right. I'll make sure I get some more sleep so I can work later today.

Off to open packages. I have a feeling that I'll have a LOT of yarny goodness to show you.

Oh.... and I won't be posting tonight (hence the early working hours) because I have Friday orientation at the prison, so we're going to Folsom tonight. Then we're staying another night so we can go out to dinner and relax. I'll be back on Saturday. But I'll see you in the morning before we leave.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Was Wrong - I am Getting Older

I'm sorry, my dear readers. No yarny goodness today. I did get two skeins in the mail which I'll show you tomorrow, but I'm just starting to function and it's too dark to take pictures. As a result, I can't update my yarn review page today, either. I promise that it will be updated tomorrow. My goal of doing it every few days seems to be impossible; I'll be doing it once a week.

What a horribly boring day. I didn't fall asleep until 9:30 a.m. and was instantly awakened by Hubster getting up 10 minutes later. I thought I was fully awake - he made coffee and poured me a cup in my poor damaged mug (I dropped it on the floor and broke off the handle). I don't remember ever getting that coffee, and when I woke up at 3:30 p.m., it was stone cold anyway.

So I dorked around, talked to my darling and treasured Monkey pal/sister (hi, Kel!!), began going through my yarn, got on the computer, took care of mail and wound up playing some stupid game, went to the grocery store, dorked around some more, opened the mail that came today, and sat down to write my blog. It was then that I noticed the time - 11:20 p.m. Where the hell did the day go? These are all signs that I'm getting older. Shit.

I suppose it doesn't help when you get up so late in the day. These trips to Folsom wipe me out something fierce. I thought I had gotten enough sleep last evening; apparently, I didn't even scratch the surface. When I take my pills and am instantly asleep, I know that I'm trouble. Sigh. I had such big plans for today, too.

But there is always tomorrow. I'll get up at a decent time and begin work on the yarn update. Then I'll work on the Sockamania updates. Then... then... I don't know. That's the nice thing about not having to go to work. My days are my own.

I've begun research on the new store, and I think it's going to be a winner. I've received a few congratulatory letters from some of the big online yarn stores, and they're not only happy for me, they're also willing to help where they can. I've been told that my shop will fill a niche that needs filling. Things on the vendor front are picking up, too. I've got 16 of them signed up and hope that I'll get answers to the other letters I sent out. If any of you are still interested, please e-mail me. I'd be delighted to buy a skein of your yarn or one of your notions to see if they're a good fit for the shop. I'd much rather buy a skein instead of asking for a sample, which was my original intent. This way, the vendor won't be out any money, and I'll have an entire skein to goof around with. Win/win.

I took a good look at the choker and rattle that my boys made me, and I'm here to tell you that I haven't seen work as fine in the best Native galleries. The beadwork on the choker is exquisite: tiny beads, perfectly geometrical, outstanding color selection, workmanship to die for. The rest of it isn't anything to sneeze at, either. The rattle has painting so fine that it's astonishing, and the leatherwork on the handle is incredible. Wow. I'm so lucky!

In addition to opening the store in January (I hope - I don't want to go past my deadline), we're looking at recording my CD then, too. The studio is in Los Angeles, so I'll be down there for a few days when the recording takes place. The goal is to have it ready for next year's concert. Talk about nervous! It's kind of funny - I'm not nervous at all about walking through hundreds of inmates, yet I'm nervous as hell about recording a CD. Go figure.

Work on my swap socks continues. I plan on casting on one of my club socks tomorrow, which might be a good thing to do since I've never made any of them. I belong to a ton of sock clubs and have lots of yarn, patterns, and swag from them; I just don't have any socks. Again - go figure.

I'm sorry to be so boring today, but there's nothing at all to report on. I wanted to write a brief entry, though, so I get back in the habit of writing every day. It's so easy to skip a day here and there, and then those occasional days turn into several days. I don't want that to happen.

I mean, who else (other than Rabbitch) is going to yell "assclown" for your entertainment?

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Days Grow Longer, My Yarn Pile Keeps Growing, and I'm Officially Brown

What a day. But first, some yarny goodness from the Yarn Fairy (yes, he's back from vacation).


Totally out of character for me, the first yarn is Colinette Jitterbug in "Sea Breeze", and Spinning Doggies in "Greenie Goodness" and "Fall Leaves".


These are by Enchanted Knoll Farm in "Queen Mermaid", "Gypsy", and "Spruce Woods". I think these might be on a different base than the first yarn I bought from them, but I have to check to make sure. In any event, this yarn is one worthy of drooling over.

I'm telling you, either I'm getting older (impossible) or the days are getting longer (not at this time of year). Today was prison day and, as usual, I had to be at the gate at 7:30 a.m. While I'm normally awake at that time of the morning, trying to fall asleep (so I'm not a total zombie when I'm trying to play my flute) when I'm used to being awake and getting up at 6:00 a.m. in order to be there on time is a different matter. After piggybacking two doses of my meds, I was finally sleepy enough at 2:00 a.m. in order to fall asleep, only to awaken an hour later. I sat up, had a smoke, and don't remember finishing it. I woke up with the phone ringing loud enough to wake the dead (wake-up call) and found the ciggie on the floor. I'm bad that way.

I got to the prison on time and found the chaplain, who escorted me inside in his little golf cart. I didn't even set off the metal detector this time, and the guard was all ready with the wand, too. He asked me what it was that had set it off before, and I reminded him that it was my bra. "Oh!", he said, "did you stop wearing an underwire?" I've never worn an underwire; when you're as big as I am, you shove the wire up into your throat (sagging boobage dragging the bra into all manner of weird configurations), and then the ends of the wire magically appear through the sides and stab you in the armpits. "No", I told him, "I just didn't wear one today." He turned beet red, grinned at me like a bad little boy, and waved me through.

As usual, my boys were waiting for me outside the chapel. I went in first and into the office where I wait for them; they have to be searched before they enter any buildings. After they were declared free of weapons, my three bodyguards came into the office as usual and stood in front of me (I was sitting in an office chair). Cloud (the big Apache) was grinning at me from ear to ear; Rick (biker) flashed me one of his infrequent smiles (you have to earn them); and Stan (the elder) held out his hands. In them were a choker made from pipe beads with a hand-beaded rosette and a rattle made from a gourd. He told me that the three of them had gotten together and made them for me, that I deserved them, and that making them had brought them great joy. Both things had also gone into the sweat lodge with them and been blessed. I have rarely been so moved; I couldn't believe that these men who were serving life sentences and had to battle for their own lives on a daily basis took the time and trouble to make some beautiful items for me. And beautiful they are - the workmanship on both items is exquisite; the rosette is made with colors that would make any knitter weep with longing; the gourd is painted and has my totem animals painted on that, a willow handle that is covered in leather which has been sewn with tiny, perfect stitches, and a waterproofing agent applied that renders the entire rattle waterproof so I may take it into sweats if I so choose. Stan tied the choker around my neck and when I almost burst into tears, they all turned red and stared at their feet. I gave each of them a real hug, not the prison hug, and they almost didn't let me go. Class lasted about two hours today due to some other activity which was scheduled for 10:30, so I gathered my things, said my good-byes, and went outside with Bill, the chaplain. Then it was off to the administration building to check on the status of my brown card.

My paperwork had been approved, so we picked that up and went to the warden's office for his signature. I spoke to him for about five minutes about what I do in class, and then he signed everything for me so I wouldn't have to come back. Off to the New Hires office, where I was scheduled for orientation at 7:00 a.m. Friday (ARGH!), and then to Personnel where I had to fill out yet more paperwork, get fingerprinted, have my picture taken (I look like I have buck teeth and just smelled a skunk), and a machine ground its' gears and spit out a card with a brownish hue and my lovely picture on it. It was also signed (I had to sign one of those electronic pads - I hate those, since I can never see what I'm doing), and the guy doing all the work punched a hole in the top for my whistle (I have a whistle that was given to me in the New Hires office - it's loud!!). I am now officially brown, and after Friday, a full-fledged, card-carrying member of Folsom State Prison (well, it's really the California State Prison at Repressa - they distinguish the new one from Old Folsom Prison with that name instead of just calling it New Folsom Prison like they used to). Yay!

Things are going swimmingly with the online store. I have about 14 vendors lined up and letters out to some others. I've bought a skein of yarn from each instead of asking for a sample; this way, I won't feel obligated to invite them to sell through me if I don't like their yarn. I haven't run across a single dyer whose yarn I don't like; some of the skeins make me swoon and engage in a heavy petting session. Research has begun, and I'll be applying for a license in the next few weeks. Excitement! This is why my yarn pile keeps growing despite my yarn restriction. Well, okay... so I've bought a few skeins just because I wanted them, and even though Jitterbug isn't an indie, it's my one concession (other than qiviut and buffalo and camel and other exotics) to commercial yarn. And here's the really good part - I'll have my resale number by the time Stitches West comes to town. Since I live 20 minutes away from it, it would be a damned shame for me to not attend. I'd better start selling some stuff I don't need or want anymore...

Once we got home today, we had to take the truck into the shop and then go to Enterprise to get our rental car. We're driving (are you ready for this?) a Toyota Corolla. No flair, no sense of style, ugly as hell (I apologize to those of you who own one), and they expect me to... oh wait, I have a Thunderbird. But I never drive the damn thing, so it sits in the driveway with its' cover on. I hope the battery hasn't died - I've gone through about four of them by now because I just didn't use the car enough.

So we've got room reservations at the motel for Thursday and Friday nights; we're going out to dinner Friday night in Sacramento (it feels so strange to be on the freeway coming back from Folsom and not going home to my old house (VERY heavy sigh)) and then back home on Saturday. I had intended to update the Yarn Review site tonight, but I'm wiped out. The pictures are taken, so tomorrow I'll just put the pictures up there and get it back in shape. I think for the time being, I'm just going to flop on the Monster (yes, that's the Monster with my blue bathrobe covering it - don't ask) and work on my knitting. I have a lot to do, and it all has deadlines; in addition, I'll probably doze off and drool all over my clean jammies. So I apologize for not having it done tonight, but my days are growing longer and longer and...

I'm NOT getting older, damn it.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Don't Be Jealous - You Have Money

Ah yes. Another intriguing title from She Whom is Obscure. It will be explained in a minute.

Do I ever have yarny goodness for you today! Hang on to your recliners. Here we go!


These beauties are from One & Only in "Biarritz" (this dyer will be selling her yarn through my store), Bluestocking Yarns in "Sea Change" (I hope this dyer will work with me; she gets her inspiration from literature, this one being from Shakespeare's "The Tempest"), Digi-Tech in "Rainbow", and Digi-Tech in "Electric Mint". Those last two skeins are a bit of a mystery. I don't remember ordering them. I can't find where I bought them, so I went to the dyer's website and got the information on the skeins there. If you're the dyer, please drop me a line and tell me where I bought it! It's really hell to be getting old and senile. By the way, those skeins in question are Peruvian wool; they're a bit different than the usual sock yarn.


Here we have Madelinetosh in "Kale", Liisu Yarns in "Persian Lilac" (this one is the 75/25 Merino/Mohair blend), and Madelinetosh in "Maple Leaf" (this one is going to make some killer lace socks - the colorway is incredible).


Finally, we have Dream in Color Smooshy in "Cloud Jungle", Das Schneeschaf MeriLin in "Lunelle", and Liisu Yarns in "Chestnuts Roasting" (the same blend as above).

I want to say a word about the Das Schneeschaf. This yarn is a blend of 80% Merino/20% Linen and is airbrushed. The outcome is beyond description. I thought the linen might make the yarn scratchy or a bit stiff; nothing could be farther from the truth. It's soft and silky, and the airbrushing puts a whole new light on coloring.

I'll be reviewing some of these yarns, as well as some from yesterday's post, on my Yarn Review site this Monday night. Monday is prison day, so we'll be leaving tomorrow for Folsom. I won't have the time to devote to the reviews tonight, so Monday it is. I also won't be posting tomorrow night.

I've been getting a lot of letters about my last post - the one where I shared all the Woolly Boully skeins. People are jealous; people want them; people love them; people want to know how I got ahold of them; people want to know how much I paid for them. Well, I'll say this much: you have a lot more money than I do. This has been a sticking point in my household for quite a while now. Hubster understands the concept of stash, but his idea of stash is a couple of skeins for my next pair of socks. He doesn't understand why I have to have over 1,000 skeins of yarn (and the number is quite a bit higher than that). I even look at it sometimes and wonder why I've spent so many thousands of dollars on it. After a lot of thinking, I've come up with some reasons.

The main reason is that it makes me happy. I don't buy clothes; in fact, I've got shorts and tops from the 1980's. No lie. I have underwear older than my daughter. So I spend the money I would have spent on clothes on yarn instead. Clothes don't make me happy; yarn does.

I also derive a lot of comfort from looking at them, fondling them, smelling them, just being around them. They're a ray of sunshine in a life that is frequently full of pain so severe that I can't get out of the chair without assistance, a depression so black that I sometimes wonder if I'll ever see a pinpoint of light, despair over the situation of my granddaughters. I've tried to curb my buying and fail every time. If I try to buy a skein a day or less, you can bet I'll see a club I want to join, a luscious skein that I can't live without, a notion or gadget that I need. And that's the operative word. Need.

I NEED my stash. I'd go nuts without it. It's the one concrete, truly happy thing I have at this point in my life.

That's part of the reason I'm starting my store (I'm still waiting for those letters from you dyers and notions people). It will give me a purpose. It will allow me to help other people get their businesses off the ground. It will help supplement my family's income (eventually). It will fill a void in my soul. I try to do things that help - the prison work (which is extremely satisfying); buying from new dyers to help them get a start; giving of my time and yarn to help in swaps where people have been abandoned by their partners; writing the reviews so others may buy yarn without fear, since yarn is such a tactile thing; and any number of other things. But the store is my guiding light right now. December will be filled with activity getting it ready. I'm hoping to open in January. But it will allow me to play with yarn, see people's work, make others happy by providing a service where they can find unique yarns and supplies that they might not otherwise find. It's a good thing. It will help all around.

So my house-buying fund isn't growing as fast as we'd like; however, I have a roof over my head, food on my table, enough money to buy yarn and do things with Hubster, and that doesn't sound all that bad to me. The store won't provide me with money for a while, since the profits will be rolled right back into the business. But that's okay. I've learned that the only person who can help me is me, and that's what I'm doing. The stash is something that I need. Hubster suggested that I stock the store with my stash.

Silly man.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Family Holiday Dinners - An Exercise in Overeating and Frustration

I hope all my fellow American friends had a lovely Thanksgiving. Ours was... uh... interesting. More about that after the eye candy.

First, though, I want to clear something up. There has been a little confusion about what kind of store I'm opening. This is going to be a real online store - NOT on Etsy - like Woolgirl or The Loopy Ewe. I need some more dyers and bag makers, as well as people who make stitch markers and other knitting notions. Please e-mail me - I'd like to talk to you about working with me. Keep in mind that I'm not looking for minimum orders or replication of work - I'm allowing control to the artist. Again, my vision is to have a store where people who can't or don't want to work with the larger stores can have a place to showcase their work. 'Nuff said.

I actually got this yarn the day before Thanksgiving, but since I was so busy working on stuff to take to dinner and knitting (not to mention getting up really late in the day), I didn't have time to photograph it. Two of the skeins are from my forays into Etsyland. The others are all from Woolly Boully. I had written to Jenny asking her if she had a certain colorway and ended up buying everything she had (well, one of each). Here they are in all their yarny goodness.


This first set is from Etsy. They are Twisted in "Sherwood" and Ancient Threads Farm in "Tri" (what's interesting about this skein is that all-natural dyes are used - they're gorgeous).


For those of you who read Jenny Boully's blog, you may remember seeing some yarn which she kettle-dyed. I saw that and fell out of my chair. It was the yarn I wrote to Jenny about, since she said she only had six skeins. I was fortunate enough to snag one. :) All the rest of the yarny goodness presented here are by Woolly Boully, so I'll just list the names in order. They are "Kettle Dyed", "Country Apples", and "Beneath The Cherry Trees".


Here are "Autumn Tremblings" and "Fishing With My Father".


Last but not least, we have "Supernova" and "Cherry Cola".

Getting Jenny's yarns is always like a breath of fresh air. They're so beautifully dyed with such incredible bases that it's like opening a Christmas present. With some of them, it doesn't look like she's reskeining, which is just fine and dandy with me. It turns out the same anyway, and I like being able to see the blocks of color which went into the making of the yarn.

Thanksgiving dinner. Why is it that just because a day has a label on it, it gives you an excuse to eat like a pig? Then we pay for it the next day and wonder why we feel bloated and fat. It's because we ARE bloated and fat. I'm no exception. I normally don't eat very much - one meal a day, and a small one at that - but on Thanksgiving, I load up my plate with everything on display and shovel it in like the next day is the coming of the Apocalypse.

We arrived at my mother's only marginally late (I'm one of those annoying people who always arrives late, no matter where I'm going), and before dinner got underway, my mother presented Hubster with one of his Christmas gifts. There was a good reason for this. She bought him a kitten (on my advice), and she wanted him to have her while she's still a kitten. She didn't come home with us - she has a parasite, so my mother is taking her to the vet and giving her some medicine - but she'll be here in about two weeks. She's darling - 10 weeks-old and mostly a soft gray with white on her face and paws. We got clawed to death as she romped around on our laps, playing with the ties on my sweatshirt and eating his fingers. I don't like cats, but I love baby animals. Besides, he misses Monkey (and I do, too), so I thought that another kitty would make him happy. He was a little ambivalent about it - he thought it was a little soon - but as soon as he played with her, it was all over. Love at first bite, as it were.

After the nameless feline was put back in her playpen (formerly the grands'), I took Amber (the daughter) outside for a chat. I brought up the idea of me and Hubster adopting the grands. I explained to her that we weren't trying to take over her role - I wouldn't allow them to call me "Mom" or him "Dad", but that they needed father and mother figures as well as a stable and loving home, and we could provide that. She immediately went into defensive mode and said she didn't like the idea. She wanted to know what would happen when she got married, settled down, and wanted them back. I told her that if she was able to provide for them in all respects, we would transition them back to her. Then it struck me. Amber wants free babysitting, and she has this fantasy that she's going to get the husband, white picket fence, and fairy tale ending with the instant family. I didn't raise my voice, but merely told her to drop the attitude. Then she went on about how my mother and grandmother call her boyfriend "the asshole" (which he may well be) and how I didn't even know him and how dare I want to take her kids away and and and... I think I went through about six ciggies during her tirade. She also told me that she's filing for bankruptcy again (this is the second time) because GM is after her for $13,500 due to a car she defaulted on and which they repoed. She's a 16 year-old in a 30 year-old body.

We haven't even met lover boy, but if past experience has taught us anything, it's that he will be an asshole. What's even more troubling to us is that this dude is 39 years old, lives with his mother, and is raising a 12 year-old daughter. It's weird. He's one year younger than Hubster. Amber can't even match her socks, yet she's already banking on marrying this guy and raising not only 3 year-old twins, but a stepchild who's going to be a teenager next year. Oh lord. Then she told me that he works for some company which does "technical things" (for all I know that could mean he knows how to turn on a radio), and his company does work for the Lab (where I worked for years); the only bad thing about his job is that they're outsourcing to the Philippines, so he may lose his position come July. Oh boy. I asked her why he's living with Mama, and she said he's saving money. For what? I don't know any men who live with their mothers at that age. She said he needs help with his daughter. Yeah? Let the mother pick her up after school and watch her until he gets off work, then he can pick her up from Mama and go home to an apartment or condo or cardboard box.

But here's what did it for me:


I don't know why, but that made me want to upchuck all over my sandals. I don't like the fucktard already, but I couldn't let her see that. So I told her that we'll be happy to meet him next week (at a restaurant, like we've met all the other losers she's brought home - that way, I can get up and leave if this fool is manhandling her after I tell him that I'll kick his nuts up between his shoulder blades if he doesn't take his hands off of her). Amber is a bum magnet. My mother used to tell me that I was one, but I'm an amateur compared to this child. So we ended the conversation on a somewhat pleasant note, stating that we'd like to have a nice day and going back inside. Of course, my mother immediately cornered me as soon as Amber went to the bathroom to see if I had made any headway with her (I had to tell her no), and she just shook her head and began to tell me what they thought of him when Amber came back. Sigh. This means another crappy several months while Amber clings to this guy like a fly on a turd. I told her she'd better get on birth control - and fast - because my family is so fertile, if we see a picture of a swimming sperm on TV, one of us gets a bun in the oven. I also told her that if she gets knocked up again, this one is on her. I am NOT going to raise three children. ARGH.

Dinner itself went reasonably well. The turkey was done perfectly (Amber cooked it - the child actually paid attention when I taught her how to make one), the stuffing was decent (she didn't pay attention to that lesson), we burned the rolls (which is a family tradition - we usually burn them, but we always burn at least one item), and the rest of the food was good. I piled so much shit on my plate that it was falling off the sides. Then I realized that I couldn't eat even half of what I had taken. Mom sent turkey and ham home with us so we can have leftovers, which is the best part of Thanksgiving for me. I love turkey and ham sandwiches the day after. We also brought home some of my macaroni salad, so we're all set for the next two days.

So that was my day. When we got home, Hubster fell asleep on the couch and slept for close to four hours; the little ones wore him out. I dozed for a time and then picked up my knitting. I'm trying a new pattern with numma numma; that yarn is so fantastic, it ought to be illegal. This is for a swap pal, but I have lots of time to finish the socks before the deadline. My savior socks are also going well; when I get them done, I'll post a picture because I know that this particular pal doesn't read my blog.

And there you have it - the Pam family saga during the holidays. They're all coming over here for Christmas, which means that I have to actually clean my house. I'm afraid - I have dust monsters the size of VW Beetles lurking around corners and under the couch.

Who said that hardwood floors are easier to care for?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

All Kinds of Fun Stuff


Yesterday and today were filled with all kinds of strange, fun, and just plain barfy news and events. I'll share them with you, but I thought that some yarny goodness would make things happy all around. Speaking of yarny goodness, I'm also updating the Yarn Review page. For those of you who don't know where to find it, it's at:

Here's the latest yarn haul:


You'll notice that Gabby has made a reappearance. She finally got over her female issues and wanted to snuggle up to some yarn. She's shown here with Hobbledehoy in "Bluegrass" (which has donegal in it - it makes delightfully tweedy socks), Hobbledehoy in "Rosy", and dye4fun in "Blue Spruce"


But that wasn't enough for her. Yarn hog that she is, she posed in yet another montage. Here she is with Castle Fibers in "Earthy", Castle Fibers in "Spicy", C*EYE*BER Fiber in "Plum", and Rabbitworks Fibre Studio - Toe Jam Sock Yarn in "The Sweet Sheep".


Just like her mother, even that wasn't enough. So I allowed her to pose in one more group. This yarn is by Halftone; the skein on the left is wool/nylon; the skein on the right is wool/silk.

Yesterday, both Hubster and I sat up all day waiting for the UPS man to show up. Not at our house; he was heading to a little rural town clear across the country to my Monkey Sock Swap partner's house with a box of goodies. He finally arrived around 2:00 p.m. our time. Then I called my pal and "opened" her box with her. What fun! Even with the gifts opened, she still didn't know who I was. I finally had to tell her. What's been so much fun over the past several months is that we've become very close and dear friends/sisters; she also became friends with "Pam". So I had to maintain two identities, keeping each one straight depending on whom she was speaking with. How I managed to do that for all that time without telling her my identity was difficult at times, downright hilarious at others, and extremely satisfying at the end. She was delighted with everything, I was delighted that I could share the moment with her, and her socks fit! I now have a friend for life, a most unexpected side benefit of the swap. She's a dear, sweet lady whom I love dearly. :)

I cast on for a new pair of socks last night using "numma numma" from The Loopy Ewe. What a delight to use! It's soft, flows through my fingers, and makes very precise, well-defined stitches. I'm on the home stretch of the socks I'm making for my Sock Savior duties and just needed a break. I'll be working on one or both of them tonight.

We got a phone call today from my mother - you know, the one whose house we were going to for Thanksgiving? Well, it seems that her oven has broken - as in it doesn't work for shit. She's got some dude coming tomorrow to look at it to see if he can fix it, but if not, guess who gets to make dinner? Yep. Moi. Just what I wanted to do - get the house cleaned up, all the boxes put away, my computer taken off the dining room table, the kitchen put together, and having to begin cooking tomorrow night through Thursday morning/early afternoon. Shoot me now.

I said in my last post that I had an announcement to make. So I do. Here it is:

In January, I am opening an online yarn shop.

Yep. I'm really going to do it. I've already got some exceptional indie dyers lined up and am looking for others, as well as people who make knitting notions like stitch markers, bags, needles, etc. My vision is to have a store where indie people who are too small for the large stores can have a place to showcase their work. I'll be putting all the details together during December and should have everything in place by the end of the month. If any of you are interested in selling your work through my store, please e-mail me at:

I can tell you that there will be no minimum orders, no need to replicate colorways, and total artistic license for you - I won't be telling you that you have to dye a certain series or specific colorway. I want unique things, one of a kind things, things that make people sit up and go "WOW!" Are you up to the challenge? I know there are a lot of you out there who are looking to get your work known; join me and we'll do just that.

In other fun and weird news, I did it again. I was darning a hole I had burned in my jammie bottoms (yes, with my ciggie when I fell asleep) while I was watching TV. You know what happened next. I sewed my finger to my jammie bottoms and had to extricate myself. In the process of cutting myself loose, I managed to cut a sizable chunk out of my finger, which I didn't feel because it was in the numb zone. I was busy carefully snipping the threads when I noticed that my white, pink, blue, and purple striped jammie bottoms were turning a really pretty crimson red. My first thought was, "Hm... that would make a really pretty yarn color. I wonder if I have any?" Then my pea-sized brain kicked in, and I realized that I was bleeding rather profusely all over myself. My first thought then? "Hm... I'm glad I put my knitting over there so I don't bleed on it." Spoken like a true knitter. But of course, knitting is now a pain in the ass because my bandage keeps getting caught on the yarn. If this keeps up, I'll have the furriest socks known to man. I tried that Liquid Skin shit, but it stung like hell and caught on my knitting because it never dried completely (it doesn't work really well with flowing blood). I'll have to be more careful with those little embroidery scissors or get the children's kind with the blunt tips.

Then came the coffee explosion. I've been pretty bad lately with my coffee drinking, managing to wear most of it (don't even ask how many clothing changes I've gone through in the past several days). But the mother of all coffee explosions happened this morning. I was half-asleep and trying to drink a cuppa when out of the blue, my fingers suddenly opened (they do that sometimes) and the cup went ass over teakettle, spraying everything with coffee on its' descent to the floor. BANG! it went as it crashed to the floor, which fortunately is wood (it cushioned the fall so I didn't lose my favorite mug). However, I now had an entire cuppa on the floor, and it was spreading quickly to a stack of knitting books I have near me.

NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! I screamed, as I leapt over the spreading ooze and ran into the kitchen, where I grabbed an entire roll of paper towels and madly ripped off single sheets, throwing them on the puddle which was now the size of Asia. I managed to go through over half the roll before the spread was staunched. Then I had to mop the floor with my Swiffer spray attachment thing. I now have the cleanest floor in town, the spray somehow managed to miss my computer, and I have some extra paper towels. It didn't do much for my coffee consumption, though. All I could think of was that it would have made a killer photograph (kind of like that scene in "Needful Things" when Brian Rusk is throwing apples at Wilma's house and hits the sugar bowl on the kitchen table, sending it into a high-flying arc while the sugar flies out of it in a spiral).

On the happier side of things, Hubster got a new wedding band tonight. It's my Christmas gift to him. He had to have his original band cut off after he gained too much weight to take it off himself. He's been without one for a few years, and I like him to wear one. So he selected a plain yellow gold comfort-fit band. He likes it, even though I wanted him to get diamonds. But then again, I suppose he isn't a diamond type of guy. Me, on the other hand, haven't met a high-grade diamond I didn't like.

I guess that's about it for the ins and outs of my life. I won't be posting until Thanksgiving night or possibly even Friday. Tomorrow night is going to be taken up with cleaning and cooking, since I doubt that the oven repair man is going to be able to repair the damned thing. It's a curse. I know it. And it's all because Hubster prefers my cooking to my grandmother's.

Who the hell does he think taught me in the first place?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hectic Days, Hectic Nights

My Dear Readers,

I'm so sorry that I haven't posted for a few days. Life has been awfully hectic, and I've been trying to catch up on things as well as get some sleep. I've got some yarny goodness to show you tomorrow (as well as updating the Yarn Review page), and I'll be making an announcement as well. Tune in!

I'll talk to you all tomorrow - be well and happy knitting!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Just Another Day in Pamland

I can't believe it.

I really do have a bed that can be slept in.

In fact, I slept in it until 6:30 p.m. Granted, we did go to bed late (or early this morning, depending on how you look at it), but I got a solid eight hours of sleep. I just can't believe it. In fact, we would have slept longer had my therapist not called asking where I was. Hubster answered the phone and sounded like he was loaded. Then I groggily fell out of bed, pulled on my sweats, and stumbled out into the front room. Hubster went and got the mail, bringing in a huge stack of boxes. Was there anything there I could show you? Nope. One skein of yarn in the bunch. The rest consisted of a pair of sock blockers, a gift for my Loopy Ewe swap pal, some patterns, and that was about it. I've got a lot of yarn on order that should be arriving any day (tomorrow, hopefully), so that I can regale you with yarny goodness and update my yarn review page with. But alas, not today.

I feel good today. I know it's late for me to be blogging, but it's the first chance I've had to do it. I had a ton of e-mails to answer, some stuff I had to do around the house, and after this is done, I have to make dinner. Yep. Another day in the life of Pam.

Hubster and I have made an important decision. We're going to try and adopt our granddaughters. Our daughter isn't spending any time with them - she has a new boyfriend (oh yippee - maybe I know him from Folsom Prison), so she's with this assclown as much as possible. She has the bad habit of latching on to any guy who shows her attention. So my little ones are left without a mother to care for them. It's a big step, but one we're ready for. We already have a notarized paper from our daughter that gives us custody of the little monkeys; now we just have to convince her that this is best for them. We're afraid that she'll marry this fucktard and want to play mommy. She can barely tie her shoes, let alone care for two active children. Sure, I'm not well, but I won't stand by and let those children be neglected. My mother and grandmother are far too old to be raising kids. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I could have done something but didn't. So there it is.

I got so many lovely letters from people inquiring about my health and feeling bad for me. Thank you so much. You have no idea of how much I appreciate your concern. I'm doing okay. Pain is a part of life; I just have a little more than a lot of people. We all live with the cards we've been dealt, and since I have a shitty hand, I won't bet a lot. But that's why drugs were invented. Better living through chemistry, I always say.

Enough maudlin crap. We're getting ready for Thanksgiving, which consists of my making macaroni salad and some cookies to bring with us to my mom's house. I know her house will be hotter than hell, so I'm wearing shorts. Yeah, I know - shorts in November. It's only getting cold at night, so I can get away with it. Besides, if I wear jeans, I'll be uncomfortable. I live in sweats all winter long, but in her house, no way. I'd have sweat running out of every pore - not a pretty sight or feeling.

I'm finally feeling like I want to put this shithole together and make it a real home. If we're getting the kids, I sort of have to, but I haven't felt like it since we got here. We may have to get a small storage unit to put our stuff in - the stuff we don't need right now. I'm just tired of living with boxes everywhere and not having my cooking utensils in plain sight.

I'm casting on for a new pair of socks tonight on those incredible Golding needles I got. These are for another swap pal, and the yarn I'm using is... well, pretty incredible. I'm using one of the patterns I got today. It's just too pretty, and the yarn will go perfectly with it. My other socks are coming along like a champ. I'm at the heel now, so I'll be turning that when I get tired of working on the other ones. I have to do the gauge swatch for the new ones first - a step I really don't mind. I always buy way more yarn than I need so I don't have to knit with kinky yarn that I've unwound from the swatch. I don't swatch for lace knitting - who cares how big a shawl is going to wind up? Besides, I always try those on as I go. Socks, though - if you have the wrong gauge and knit them too small, you're screwed.

I'm feeling a little out of sorts because I'm not teaching anymore. There's no LYS anywhere nearby that I could teach at. Oh well - it saves me a lot of money on paper and ink that I would have used for handouts, not to mention the gas I'd use driving over and the wear and tear on the truck. Hm... I think I'll point that out to Hubster. Maybe he'll let me buy some yarn LOL.

Oh well - time to go make dinner. Keep your collective fingers crossed that some yarn arrives tomorrow so I have something to show you. Otherwise, I'll have to dig through the stash and find some stuff I haven't shown you. Gee... I wonder if I have any yarn to photograph. Like I said in an earlier post, I crack myself up sometimes.

That's okay. I'm easily amused. And forgetting everything within 10 minutes has its' benefits. I can hide my own Easter eggs now.

And there's never a rerun on TV.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just Another Thursday

First of all, I've updated the Yarn Review page. I've been getting a lot of letters thanking me for it, so it's going to be something I'll update at least a few times a week.

Before I begin blabbing, here's a couple of photos of some yarny goodness and even a little swag.


This picture contains a bag of moth repellants from Scout's Swag (the more you buy, the cheaper the individual price becomes); a pair of sock blockers (also from Scout's); the "Chaos" yarn which is shown in an earlier post; Perchance to Knit in "Sugar Maple"; and a pair of hobo gloves I had custom-made from Suzanne of "knithappens".


This picture has BungalowBuns in "Jewels of Autumn"; and OneSheepHill in "Cheetah".

It's been a quiet day, one in which I've dozed, knitted, worked on the computer, and begun to work on some Christmas presents. Wow... exciting day, huh?

I've also begun cutting down on my sock clubs. Some of them I'm keeping; the majority of them, I'm not renewing. Hubster has lowered the hammer again; I'm on yarn restriction. Anybody want to have their yarns reviewed? Send me a skein and I'll review it and knit you a sock for your website. Actually, a few people are doing that, so it's not completely a joke. Hubster looked at me and said, "You'll get yarn one way or the other, won't you?". I just grinned at him and told him I couldn't help being a yarn ho.

It would appear that my disease is in full-bloom again. My joints are locking up on me, and my hands and feet are freezing at night. Those gloves in the picture above are a blessing. Suzanne worked closely with me to make a pair that fits "like a glove". Since they have the finger stubs, they don't catch on my knitting or typing. I love them. I usually sit cross-legged in the Monster, but when I'm like this, I have to sit with the footrest extended and my legs stretched out. Those hand-knit socks (especially the angora ones) sure feel good!

I'm back in my reflective mood. I guess the holidays put me in it. I think of holidays past, when friends and relatives all gathered for huge parties and dinners. Most of them are gone now; the huge dinners are a thing of the past. I look at the pictures and cry. It's also getting close to the time when my Grandpa left me. That really makes me cry. Time doesn't heal all wounds; it merely lessens the pain and allows one to go on. At least I have the memories and got to have the dinners and gatherings; many people aren't as lucky.

I'm truly sorry for the lack of anything funny to say and no stories to tell you, but it's been quiet as can be around here. Hubster is taking a nap; I'm working on my Sock Savior socks; the weather is calm; nothing at all is going on. I'm going to go back to knitting as soon as I finish this, and that will make up the rest of my evening. Maybe tonight, I'll actually get to climb in my bed; it's been close to three weeks since I've been in it. I keep falling asleep in front of the computer or in the Monster, and when sleep comes, it comes with no warning. This morning found me with a crease going diagonally across my face from forehead to mouth and the left half of the keyboard imprinted on my cheek. I'm such a lovely creature, it's no wonder Hubster stays with me.

On that incredible visual, I'm going to go back to my knitting before my hands cramp up and I have to put it down. I hope you're all having a lovely evening. Keep your fingers crossed that I'm able to get a lot of work done tonight.

Before I drool all over my knitting.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Please check out my yarn review page at:

I have added a lot of new yarns for your reading and viewing pleasure.


The Prison Diaries - No Place for an Airhead

As you all know, yesterday was my day at the prison. It must have been an exhausting experience, both physically and emotionally, because I slept all the way home and most of the evening. It's just been since about 3 a.m. that I've been awake and functional. So I knitted for a while and thought about my post for today.

One of the types of shows I love to watch are prison shows - you know, the ones on Discovery, A&E, MSNBC, etc. I think I've seen every one made several times. My love for this type of thing came from my childhood. Grandpa was a cop - a high-ranking cop with the nickname "Iron Balls Miller". My mother used to take me to the substation on the nights he worked so I could be with him. I had the run of the department - sending teletypes to agencies across the country, sitting in with the men during roll call, peeking at the prisoners in the holding cells, etc. - and I absolutely loved riding in the cruiser. He always wanted me to be a cop, and to this day, I don't know why I didn't. Now I'm too old and fat to even consider such a thing, but I can live vicariously through the shows and my twice-monthly visits to Folsom.

One of the things I learned today is that you can't be complacent in a prison. It's a dangerous environment, a microcosm of the free world - all crammed into little cells smaller than most people's bathrooms. I knew all this, of course, but even walking across the yard, I had no fear. I still don't have any fear, but now I have a healthy respect for what goes on inside.

I met the chaplain at the main gate and walked inside with him. We didn't have a cart, so we had to hike the entire way to the cellblock (which is a considerable walk). As we were walking, he mentioned to me that on Friday, there was a riot, which caused Block B to be on lockdown. Part of Block C was also on lockdown (that's the one I go to), but the men I work with weren't affected. Even those statements didn't really sink in. It wasn't until I left the building and walked onto the yard that I sensed something different.

First of all, there were very few men out there. Usually, the yard is crammed full of people. It was also quiet - way too quiet for a prison. We got to the chapel where my classes are held, and the chaplain called the towers to have the men report for class. Since it was a holiday, nobody was sure if I would show up. The guys showed up pretty quickly, and I was chatting with one of them in the office when he told me that there had been a war between two groups. I also found out that some of the men in my class wouldn't be attending anymore. I didn't ask questions. I just thanked him for telling me and continued chatting.

It was sinking in. I was in a Level 4, maximum security prison with very dangerous men who had nothing to lose.

Fortunately, I trust the men in my group. I know that they have sort of adopted me and look out for my welfare. They will be escorting me across the yard when I get my brown card and no longer need an escort. If you talked to any of these guys, you wouldn't give it a second thought. I've been treated like a lady at all times. I get the prison handshake and hug from them now. They're opening up. They're serious about their class and their spiritual path. I feel that I've been led to work with them. I wouldn't miss it for the world.

But I also realize now that I need to keep my eyes open and not be such a bumbling idiot as I bounce across the yard completely oblivious to what's going on around me. Everything could change in the blink of an eye. It's a comfort to know that five gun towers have their M-16's trained on me as I'm walking - not to shoot me, but to protect me. These gunners are sharpshooters who could probably shoot a mosquito off my jiggling ass from 500 yards away in a tall tower. However, I don't care to be involved in a war, a riot, or a hostage situation. It sounds strange, doesn't it? But it happens, and it happens all the time. I'm also a woman, and a lot of these guys haven't seen a woman out of uniform in a very long time. No wonder the prison has a hard time getting volunteers on a regular basis.

I've been invited to the Christmas program. Will I go? Absolutely. If I can, I'll sit with my boys. I guess they have outside entertainment come in like Johnny Cash did all those years ago. It sounds like fun. They have rodeos and all kinds of activities that the public can attend. It's a whole world unto itself. But as I said, it's a dangerous world. I'm responsible for myself and need to learn how to draw lines. My men respect me, but they know me and my limits. The other men in there don't, and inmates will push you to see how far they can get. I'm very conscious of the prison rules and adhere to them religiously. I don't want to have them take away my visits. I truly love going there. It's a really fulfilling thing to do, and unless you've done it, it's hard to explain why you would want to put yourself in that situation - not to mention driving four hours round trip and paying for a hotel to spend the night. I don't get reimbursed for anything, nor do I get a salary. The way I look at it, my salary will come later in some other way. I'd do it regardless.

I guess I'm in a reflective mood today. I'll get some sleep, follow Hubster to the body shop to drop off the truck for repair (sigh), and then knit all evening. I rarely get like this, but there it is. One really nice thing is that Hubster told me he was extremely proud of me for doing this, for sharing my gift with men who need something in their lives. That one comment made everything I've fought for right and good. It made me really happy.

On a more uplifting note, my pal's socks are finally going really well. They're looking killer, and I love the way the colors are wrapping themselves around the sock. I hope my pal feels the same way.

Hopefully, I'll have yarny goodness to show you tomorrow. I'm also going to work on the yarn review page tonight. It's been woefully neglected due to crap that's happened, but that's no excuse. I really need to get my act together and be a big, grown-up person who takes care of the things I'm responsible for.

I really don't have anything funny or witty to close this post with. So I guess I'll just say, "See you tomorrow.".

And watch your ass.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's Finally Happened

I never thought I would see the day, but it's arrived. What am I talking about? In a minute.

First, some more yarny goodness from the Yarn Fairy and the YFIT.


These are Dream In Color Smooshy in "Blue Lagoon", numma numma Toasty in "Boysenberry Preserves", numma numma Toasty in "Grape Jam", and Yarn Nerd in "Jewel of the Nile".


These lovelies are The Painted Tiger in "Koi Pond", and Dragonfly Sock Yarn in "Let It Rain".


Last but not least, we have Lavender Sheep in "Sexy Chocolate Cherry", Vancalcar Acres Flock Sock in "Random Rainbow", Madelinetosh in "Ginger", Liisu Yarns in "Waves of Memories", and Liisu Yarns in "Woolgirl With A Twist".

So what am I bitching about tonight?

I was doing so well. I had the ability to look at Etsy without ordering anything (well, nothing much). I could look at bags, notions, patterns, and all other manner of knitting swag without so much as twitching. What happened?

We went on vacation. I got back in the habit of spending money.

But that's not really the problem. The problem is that I've lost track of which yarns I've photographed and which ones I've posted. I can't tell anymore when I look at a skein if you've all seen it or not. I can't even tell which yarns are in which bins.

In short, my stash has gotten out of control.

You have no idea of how it pains me to type that. I'll say it again: "MY STASH HAS GOTTEN OUT OF CONTROL.".

I'm usually an organized person when it comes to things like keeping track of how many needles and which sizes I have, which types and colors of yarn are in which bins (I even have some bins dedicated to certain yarns), which projects are in which knitting bags. But somewhere along the line, I've failed. I began buying yarns from new dyers, yarns from old favorites, yarn yarn yarn, and instead of taking a picture of them immediately, I started stacking them on the dining room table (I had run out of room in my bins). Then I began sleeping a lot and running out of good light for pictures. So today, I took pictures of the yarn which has arrived during the last three days. Hence, the problem.

Since I also have the yarn review page, I have to take individual pictures of the yarns in the groupings which you see and write a review for each of them. That means I have to have the yarn right next to me so I can record the information off the ball band. It's gotten complicated because I was on vacation, then I got sick, and I didn't do anything with the reviews. Now that everything has calmed down, I'm starting to write them again. But I have so many to write that it's going to take me a few days to catch up. That means finding all the yarn that needs to be reviewed, getting the pictures on the page, writing the specs, the review, blah blah blah. It makes my head hurt just thinking about it.

So what am I going to do? I'm going to finish putting together a package that I have to send out, put my yarn in the two new bins Hubster bought for me (heh), go to KFC for dinner, and get ready for tomorrow (Monday is my day at Folsom Prison, which means that we're spending the night in Folsom tomorrow). Will I get to the reviews tonight? I'm going to try. But I also want to knit. I finally figured out this bitch of a pattern and am not going to let it defeat me. I've finished the cuff; now I'm getting ready to tackle the leg. Who cares if it's the fifth time I've tried it? So I'll do the very best I can with the reviews. It's a good thing I'm up all night; that means I can put on some music and just sit here typing.

The other thing that happened today was that I fell asleep in the Monster again, right after Hubster went to bed. I was rudely awakened by some dude who was knocking on doors asking if we needed any work done on the house. I'm sure the house needs lots of work done, but I'm not paying for it. At least this time, I didn't have on jammies with my tits hanging out; I had on my trusty sweats (it's raining and cold - YAY!). What freaks Hubster out is that our screen door doesn't lock; anybody can just push it open and walk on in. I probably wouldn't hear them. At least I'm armed with sharp knitting needles and even sharper embroidery scissors. I just hate getting awakened by a stranger when I've been drooling all night, have myself twisted in a weird position (I guess I should be happy that I'm still flexible - it makes things more fun for Hubster), and am clutching my knitting for dear life. Oh well.

I wanted to thank all of you who commented on my last post and sent me letters for your extreme kindness and love concerning the loss of Monkey. It made me cry and touched my heart that so many of you care. I love all of you and am very fortunate to have you as friends.

So that does it for tonight. I'm off to KFC, since I hear Hubster growling over in the corner like a caged bear. Then I'll tackle the rest of the night's chores. At least I got quite a bit done today; it will make tonight go smoother.

No post tomorrow night. I'll be back Monday night with Tales From the Prison.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Time Flies When...

Who would have believed it? I've pretty much been asleep the past two days.

Maybe that would account for the disaster that befell me this morning when I was working on my Savior Socks.

I don't know what's happened, but I keep dozing off in the Monster. Then I can't wake up. I'm not talking about having a difficult time waking up - I'm talking about literally not being able to do it. Hubster tells me that this morning, he took a cup of coffee out of my hands and went to bed. I don't remember it. I do remember spilling another cup of coffee on myself at some other time during the evening (that poor chair - it looks like I got it off the sidewalk after someone else dumped it). In any event, I've been spending most of the past couple of days and evenings asleep. I did wake up for a time last night and couldn't get the damn Blogger/Google thing to upload my pictures, so I got pissed off and decided to try it later. Later never came. Now I've wised up and put them on Flickr. That worked like a charm. So without further ado, I present to you some yarny goodness.


These beauties are Araucania Ranco in "Multy", Sunshine Yarns in "Indie", and Y4S Casapa in "Celtic".

Here's the second batch from the same shipment.


These are H. L. Miller Merino Monkey in "Boardwave", Dragonfly Fiber Designs in "China Cat Sunflower", and gentlesunset in "Autumn".

I so love finding new dyers. I'll be reviewing these on my yarn review page.

I've got a whole new box that arrived today, but it's too dark outside to take pictures. That's okay - it gives you all something fun to look at tomorrow.

I did manage to finish a pair of socks last night before the debacle. I can't take a photo of those because they're going to someone who reads this blog, and I don't want to spoil the surprise for her. As soon as she gets them, I'll post a picture. I've got so many things that just need threads woven in, washing and blocking done, and other small finishing tasks taken care of. It's like SSS - I just can't bring myself to do the final step. So things sit forever; by the time I do finish them, the recipient has either outgrown them or I've forgotten who was supposed to get them.

So... the debacle.

I'm a Sock Savior for a swap and decided to work on those last night. This is a pattern that has bedeviled me already; I think I've frogged about four times already and started them over once. Those were minor, though. This was a bit more... uh... advanced.

Things were going swimmingly until I realized that my count was off again (this is a lace pattern). Being one stitch short, I figured that I had forgotten a YO on the previous row. No matter - I decided to frog the row I was working on and just add the YO. I had gotten to within three stitches of the end of the row when it happened.

On the row directly beneath where I was frogging, I had knitted two stitches together. I went to put the two stitches on the needle so I could slip the other stitch through when something went very wrong. I still don't know what happened, but all of a sudden, I had a huge tangle. Swell. I worked through that and thought everything was working fine when I noticed that two of the three remaining stitches had suddenly headed south. And I do mean south. They were at least eight rows down by the time I stopped them from running any farther.


I had two options. I could either try to reconstruct a bunch of twisted stitches, YO's, K2tog's, and all the other fun things that come with working an intricate lace design, or I could employ the tried and true Pam method of fixing a problem. I chose the latter.


Now I have to start the damn thing over. Hubster suggested that I find another pattern, but I'm bound and determined that this assclown of a chart will NOT defeat me. I do have to find another yarn, though. I hate trying to knit with twisty yarn, so I need to go rummage through the few scanty skeins I have to find something suitable.

Scanty. Sometimes I crack myself up.

Oh... to those lovely ladies who commented on my post about Sabella's: Thank you so much for your kindness and love. What you all had to say meant a lot to me. I'm finding that a lot of doors are beginning to close, and it's because of my getting older. I know we all have to deal with things like this, but it doesn't mean I have to like it.

Speaking of things I have to deal with, we brought our Monkey home the night before last in her wooden box. She's our kitty my mother took to the vet while we were on vacation. She died of kidney failure while in his care. They gave us a lovely box with an engraved plaque on it which contains her ashes, a plaster cast of her paw print, and a beautiful card that the entire staff signed. I'm afraid that our Cheyenne puppy will be following her soon. The good news is that Cheyenne recognized me when we went into Mom's house and got down off the couch. Then she leaned against my legs and looked up at me. She couldn't see me, though - her eyes are completely white. She also followed me up and down the hall. She has good days, but a lot more bad ones. I can't bear to look into her eyes - all I can see is the young, scared dog with the enormous brown eyes we brought home from the pound so many years ago. So I rub her head, cry all over her, and kiss her good-bye when we leave. I'm afraid that one day when I kiss her good-bye, it really will be for the last time. Sigh. It's so hard.

And on that note, I have nothing more to say because I can't see the screen now.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Computer Issues

My dear readers,

I know I haven't posted in a few days, but my computer is being a pain in the ass. I can't upload pictures, and I do have some to show you. I'm working on the problem right now, so I hope to have a post for you later tonight. I also want to update my yarn review page, but I obviously need pictures to do that.

Keep your fingers crossed - I hope to be blabbing in a short time.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The End of an Era

I was sitting at the computer the other night just goofing around and keeping half an eye/ear on the news. Then one of the stories cut through my mind like a buzzsaw:

"Famous Restaurant to Close in Fisherman's Wharf"

Huh? What restaurant? I had to watch the story to see. I was sure it was one of the crappy tourist places that serve overcooked crab at highly inflated prices. So imagine my shock and horror when the story came on and they said:

"A. Sabella's, a San Francisco institution, will be closing this weekend".

Oh no. I almost fell off my chair. Then I rushed over to the TV so I could listen to the entire story. As I listened, I became aware of tears streaming down my face and memories flooding my mind.

You see, I didn't have a father when I was growing up. So my Grandpa took his place. He was a cop for many years, and after he retired, he did odd jobs just to keep busy. I went everywhere with him - to Alcatraz when it was still a working prison, to repossess cars in the worst neighborhoods of the Bay Area (I loved it), and when he wasn't working, to the zoo, Golden Gate Park, the aquarium, the de Young Museum, Fisherman's Wharf and all the hokey attractions... and A. Sabella's.

It was our place. We went there almost every week. It was the first place I had seafood (Dungeness crab, to be specific - he cursed the day he made me try it, because then I no longer ordered cheeseburgers and his lunch bill went up considerably). We went there for over 40 years. I watched San Francisco evolve from the '60's through the '90's as we sat at the window tables (no inner tables for Grandpa's little darling). Those windows ran the entire length of the restaurant, and since it sat on top of the Wax Museum and Ripley's, we had a second-floor view of the wharf, the Bay, Alcatraz, and all the weirdoes that made that area so endearing.

I remember the time we were on our way across the street to go eat lunch when a Hare Krishna approached me, gave me a flower, and then turned to Grandpa for money. Grandpa just looked at him, said something that I didn't hear (but which I'm sure was obscene - I get it from him), and marched away with me still clutching my flower. I remember when we went to Cost Plus down the street and he bought me my first hookah and Zig-Zag man t-shirt. I remember when we went to the tourist shit store across the street and he bought me a turtle with a painted shell (a real one - the head waiter brought me a finger bowl full of water with a rock in it for my turtle while we ate). We would ride the Red and White fleet boats around the Bay, me standing at the point of the bow with the wind whipping my hair around (I still had long, beautiful hair then), and Grandpa huddled on the benches right behind me in case he needed to rescue me, and then heading over to Sabella's with my face numb from the wind and cold. We went to the Balclutha (a moored tall ship) where he would buy me dried seahorses (I loved them - I have no idea why). We went to Playland on the Beach (sadly long gone and replaced by condos), where I would drag him into the fun house and make him sit on the whirling wood disk with me or climb the stairs to slide down the giant slide. We went everywhere in the City and did everything that tourists do and some things that only locals knew about, and we always wound up at Sabella's. In the early days, I would order my cheeseburger, which was served with great fanfare on a silver platter under glass; as I said, later came the crab, which was served with even more fanfare along with a bib, finger bowls, a bib, crackers, and a bowl for the shells. It was a grand childhood, and as I sit here typing with the tears starting again, I can see and hear and taste every single thing we ever did and saw and experienced.

My Grandpa was stricken by a horrible disease one late Friday night (after we had had lunch, of course), and I was called to the hospital on Saturday. Thus began a year-long saga of daily hospital visits (he was completely paralyzed), my shaving him every day and cleaning out his tubes (he wouldn't let the nurses touch him), my joy when they did a tracheotomy and he could speak again, taking him home with my the day before my 30th birthday, and the all-encompassing sadness and horror when I got the call saying that he was back in the hospital, having undergone surgery for septic shock. I sat by his bedside for days before someone finally told me he was dying. I signed the papers to take him off life support and wouldn't let anyone touch him, and he came out of his coma long enough to look at me and say, "Grandpa loves you", before slipping right back into it. For that one minute, he was my Grandpa again. And then the Saturday night I told him that it was okay, that I would be okay, that he could go, that I loved him, and that I wouldn't be back. He died early the next morning. And when he was home with me before he went back into rehab and eventually back to the hospital to never come home again, I would load him in the car and take him to Sabella's.

All the waiters knew us. I wouldn't go back there for a year after his death. When I finally did go, they inquired about him and were in tears when I told them. We had an unspoken rule that neither of us would ever take anybody else there while one of us was still living. It was OUR place. And we never did.

So tonight, at 6:00 p.m., Hubster and I will go there for dinner one last time. At the end of the evening, the restaurant will close forever. We'll sit at the window, gazing out over the Bay, and I know that the memories will fill me with sadness. I know I'll cry. I know I'll probably make a scene. But I have to say goodbye to a place I've loved for most of my life. It's only fitting.

And Grandpa will be there with me.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Back to Normal - Yippee

All good things must come to an end. And so it is with vacations. The final stop on ours was Disneyland, but I didn't bother to take pictures because almost everyone knows what the park looks like. Besides, it was so crowded that I wouldn't have been able to get a clear shot of anything. The park was done up for Halloween, but having been there last year on the actual day, they really didn't do anything. The kids had a trick or treat thing at the hotels and something outside the park, but that was about it. The park is much more festive for the Christmas holidays. If I get down there to record the CD around then, I'll certainly stop in; if not, I won't be back until next year. I slept all the way home, and thus the vacation came to a screeching halt. I hate that. I always want to go back, to extend it, to get out of this stinking box called my house. But I guess vacations wouldn't be special if that was the case.

So here I sit in my sweats, running a fever high enough to cook an egg on my head, taking a break from knitting. It's a good thing I take a break from it, too. I messed up my Loopy Ewe pal's socks in a major way this morning and had to start them over.

It happened sometime around 8:00 a.m. I had just finished the cuff and was beginning a 26-row repeat. First row, fine. Second row, fine. Third row... wait a minute. Where did that last stitch go? I counted all four sides and they all had 15 stitches. I read the pattern over and over, sure that there was a typo. Nope. All the rows came up to 16 stitches. I kept staring, reading, fretting. Nothing came to me. Except sleep. When I woke up, the answer was staring me in the face. I had missed a yarn over at the end of the row. ARGH. So then I began to frog it. I lost some more stitches and got really, really pissed. So out came the scissors to cut away the offending cuff. Snip. Problem solved. It doesn't matter. I have plenty of the yarn I'm using, and I also didn't like the way the colors were lining up. I cast on again and like this version much better. I'm sure glad I finally solved that one. Dipshit.

So I was snoozing in the Monster while clutching my five DPN's (I still hate them, but I'm learning to live with them), not realizing that my jammie top had come unbuttoned and one boob had escaped, when the Yarn Fairy delivered these (and yes, he could see me through the open front door):

These are Perchance to Knit in "Inner Space", Perchance to Knit in "Sugar Maple", and numma numma Toasty in "Pesto". numma numma is a new dyer for the Loopy Ewe and is soft as a cloud. I already have it earmarked for another swap pal.

Then there were these:

Perchance to Knit in "Rainbeau" (Merino/Cashmere), and Seacoast Handpainted Yarns in "Mountain Rainbow" and "Harmony". Those are both in 100% Merino.

I'll be reviewing these later on tonight. I still get dizzy from sitting too long, but I'm slowly getting better. That's what happens when your immune system thinks you're a giant germ and ignores the real ones.

I got my package to fill out for the prison "brown card". That will allow me access to all the cellblock areas without an escort. The damn form is longer than the one I filled out when I bought my house. I also have to have a TB test on Tuesday. Sheesh. It's actually an employment form, but even volunteers have to fill it out. I guess they have to make sure that I'm not a drug mule or trying to sneak in the prison for three hots and a cot on the state.

Other than that, it's been a slow, sleepy day. I'm going to knit tonight and watch TV, doze in the Monster, and try to figure out what I can eat for dinner. Hubster is feeling back to normal (at least his appetite is), so he's hungry and wants real food. He's talking about getting take-out. Uh... barf. Maybe I'll have to hit the soup for a few more nights and make him get Swanson's.

Dinner in front of the TV. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?