Monday, April 30, 2007

Massage Monday


Massage Monday!

I was a massage therapist for 7 1/2 years before we moved here and I became a stay-at-home-mom.

While working as a therapist, I came up with a seminar I gave to businesses called, "Of Tennis Balls and Towels". It's a whole lotta self-massage techniques and stretches you can do at your desk or, well, anywhere, really. We'll start with my favorite...

Take a tennis ball and put it under your desk while you are working. Take your shoes off and roll your feet around on the ball for a few minutes. Then really press and release, press/release, press/release the ball into the floor. (You always want to work from toe to heel.) It's a fabulous foot massage while you're working! (Or sitting and knitting, studying, insert seated activity here.) (Not driving.)

Believe it or not, that simple exercise also helps keep your hamstrings loose. (If you learn anything in massage school, it's that every thing's connected.) Don't believe me? Stand up and touch your toes (or try to). Sit and roll the tennis ball under, say, your right foot for 3-5 min. Stand and try to touch your toes again. Your right hand will be closer to your toes then your left. Go ahead, I'll wait....

See! Ain't it cool!

Come back tomorrow for a more yarn-related tip on Tippa Tuesday.

See y'all then, Ruth!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Birthday Party Tantrums

The boys went to a birthday party yesterday at a place called Pump It Up. It's a jumpy castle place. They have giant inflated slides and jumpy castles and obstacles courses. If you ever go to one of these places kick off your shoes and enjoy! So much fun!

Unfortunately, the party was at a time of day when Davie's usually napping. They had a game with GIANT boxing gloves and padded helmets. He threw his first crying fit because his thumb wouldn't go into the giant thumb space. (Anal much?) He only cries like this when he's really tired.

The second fit came when the birthday kids (twins - boy and girl) were opening their presents. Davis kept going to the present table and trying to score something. I saw he was crying and asked him why. "They're not giving me any presents!" I explained to him that it wasn't his birthday. He cried back, "But. But. But, I ate some cake!!!"

He's only 3. And he's really good at it.

He'll be 4 on May 4th. We will appease the child then!

Getting him some more cake soon, Ruth!

Friday, April 27, 2007

My First Meme!

This was sent to me from Nell at Chicken Knits. Splee!

Interview time...Here's your 5 questions...

1. How many pairs of shoes do you own? Are they all different or do you have a shoe "type"?

I have one pair of tennis shoes that I've been wearing for about a year now. I used to be a total shoe hound but can't afford it anymore. (OK, truthfully, any extra cash I have goes to yarn now.) I also have about 6 pairs of sandals. You get quite a collection of those when living in the desert. They're not much use here (yet) in Colorado, but in Tucson, that's all anyone wears! I have no dressy shoes, unless you count my dressy sandals. I don't have a shoe "type" but I do have a shoe I won't wear. Those wicked pointy toe high heeled torture chambers! I heard this on TV but it's true, "I need a ten-toe shoe, not any of those 7 or 8-toe shoes!"

2. What's your pet peeve? What really annoys you?
Rude people, rude strangers, really. I don't hang out with any rude people. Seriously, what does it take, like 5 extra seconds to straighten your car so your not double-parked? Also, all the males in this house seem to have trouble turning their clothes right side out before they hit the hamper. Grrr.

3. What is one piece of advice that was one of the best you've ever received?

Life's too short, be picky.

4.If you had to pick one color to wear for the rest of your life, what would it be?

No fair. I can't even pick one color yarn to knit with. I almost always choose variegated stuff! If there was a gun to my head, I'd have to say red.

5. Do you have a "green thumb"?

No way. I've been known to kill cactus! I am doing better since we moved to CO. That and the fact that the boys remind me to water our seedlings!

Then add this to the bottom of the post.

Want to play? Here's the scoop:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me." (andgive me your email address if you can to make thiseasier on me!)
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. Iget to pick the questions.3. You will update your blog with the answers to thequestions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer tointerview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, youwill ask them five questions.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Did anybody else watch Boston Legal last nite? A mother wanted to sue the "family-oriented" department store for selling Tarties. Tarties are fictionalized versions of Bratz dolls. The mom called them "ProstiTots" which is dead-on appropriate. Sometime last month, the Sunday paper had an article titled "Are We Sending the Wrong Message?", also citing Bratz dolls. Then I turn on the computer and this article is on the front cover of

Dave and I initially wanted a boy, then a girl. We got two boys. That's fine, had a moment or two of... I don't know, not disappointment but... a little bummed? Of course, we couldn't be happier with the way things turned out and when I think about it, yeah, thank fate we didn't have any girls. I am so not a girl-mom. I would never buy Barbie. I'd let the daughter collect her allowance and buy her own if she had to have them. However, I would never let a Bratz doll of any kind into our house.

Have ya seen 'em?? They are these little, scantily clad, overly make-upped, trashy looking things. That's all well and good. They have cars and little play night clubs so you've got to figure them to be at least 21. When you're 21 you can wear whatever you like. But then they came out with Baby Bratz.

They were marketed as being the Bratz girls when they were babies. Hmmm. The dolls are tiny babies wearing diapers, midriff-baring tops (some with pierced belly buttons), sassy hair and tons of make-up. The company has just succeeded in selling these wildly popular, completely sexualized baby girl dolls. It makes me nauseous. They have Bratz tots now too. In case the sexy baby is too young for your taste and you prefer your sexy girl to be at least 2 years old. And the news article has the nerve to ask "are we sending the wrong message"??

This article defends Bratz over Barbie by saying how Barbie is white and has limited career and man choices and Bratz are ethnic and represent individuality and more realistic body shapes. The Bratz dolls brought in about 100 million dollars last year, Barbie stilled topped out at about 2 billion worldwide. Personally, I think they both suck as role models/toys for girls. Even when I was a girl, I never like Barbie. Loved her cars and her shoes but she seemed so weird to me. My mom is a curvy, pretty woman who rarely wore make-up.

At the spa I used to work at, they cut hair for Locks of Love . One day I was getting my hair cut the same day an 11 year old girl was getting hers cut for this organization. The hairdresser asked the girl how she wanted her hair done, like Brittany Spears or like Pink? The girl said she wanted neither, that neither one of those girls was a good role model. She proceeded to explain the haircut she wanted, comparing it to no one, just saying, "Short, layered, no bangs please." Her mom was standing behind her smiling proudly. And rightly so. Girls like that (and the moms who raise them) give me hope.

Still, though, glad to have boys, Ruth!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More Sockfoolery

"OK, more urban-legends-turned-tippa's:

I hear tale of a technique where one can knit two socks at the same time and like magic, when you're done, you pull one sock out of the other! Now, Tracy (knitter/teacher extraordinaire) claims this is a real pain in the ass and has something to do with knit one, slip one, something, something, something. She says that if you knit when you should slip, you've knit the two socks together and ruined the whole show. I say:Why not knit two different color socks? You don't skip second sock angst but you end up with two pairs!

Again, I give this tip with the utmost optimism since I, as of yet, haven't learned to knit socks!

Good news, though! I just bought one pair of size one addi's and some sock yarn. Next week, I'll buy the other size 1 addi's and get my first sock lesson! (It's a matter of coupons, people.)"

The above entry is brought to you by my old blog 6/6/06. I had the lesson, it didn't go too well. Not Tracy's fault, mine. Since I wrote this, (one of my favorite knitmags!) did
an article about the sock-in-sock technique. Wonder if this technique could work for sleeves knit in the round? Why not? You try it first and let me know how it goes.

I still haven't tried to knit any socks yet but am looking forward to my first pattern from the Sockamania knitalong I joined. I should be getting it May 1st.

I got this deliciousness in the mail last week:

It's Fearless Fibers sock yarn from Etsy (Shades of Teal colorway). It's soft and beautiful and it even smells good! (Yes, I smelled it. Don't judge.)

I'm going to try a mini sock pattern this week with waste yarn. Just to get the feel of it.

Here's your knitting sighting for the week.

I read a lot of kids books. Every nite, for 10-20 min. at story time! A lot of them have knitting hidden here and there in them. Here's a couple...

The Awful Aardvarks Go To School - this is an alphabet book, these types of books almost always have knitting in there somewhere. Usually around the letter K.
Sophie's Masterpiece - this is a lovely book. Beautiful illustrations, lovely story.
Harold's Fairy Tale - this is the second in the Harold and the Purple Crayon series. Harold has his adventures and ends up back at home next to his mother who is knitting in the comfy chair.

Knittin' and Readin', Ruth!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Yarn Has No Legs

How's this for Things You Don't See Everyday...

Last Friday was the 8th anniversary of the Columbine High Massacre. Columbine High is a mere 25 miles away from our house, so you can understand that people around here are a little closer to this subject then most.

Every year on the anniversary, there are shenanigans. Fake bomb threats and such. Mostly kids looking for a free day off from school. Last Friday, someone took it a little far. The high school closest to our house had an actual bomb go off. It was a firecracker with a bunch of stuff attached to it that some silly kid set off behind the high school. They quickly identified the kid and tackled/arrested him, then searched his stuff/locker. They found another bomb. The other one was an actual incendiary pipe bomb that could've done some real damage. I found out all these facts on Sat. On Friday, this is what I saw....

(Sorry, no pic's) Davie and I were heading out of our development to go volunteer in Trev's class like we do every Friday. There was a cop car coming into the area and heading up the street. I looked up the street and saw another cop car and a big white thing that looked like a horse trailer. Thought nothing of it, went to school. At school, the kindergarten teacher gave me a memo (then asked me to hand them out to all the kids to take home) informing the parents that someone had set off a smoke bomb at the high school and they knew who it was and they were having a meeting.

When we came home an hour later, all the neighbors were outside and there were 4 cop cars and that trailer thing at the top of the street. I started to drive up there to see what was going on, got halfway there and saw that the horse trailer was actually a Bomb Squad truck!! I turned my little minivan around and went home. (I'm not one of those people who hear gunshots and go outside to see what's happening!)

I called my friend, Rachel and told her what I'd seen. We both figured that the high school kid in question probably lived at the house in trouble. Her daughter was still at school in their daycare program but she came home and got her anyway. Didn't bring her home in the neighborhood but took her a couple of miles away to the McDonald's.

I called Dave and told him and I was a little freaked out. He said, "Calm down, if there was a problem, they'd evacuate you." I'm thinking, yeah, right, what if they don't know about the problem til it's too late!

Although I was freaked, I was also pretty calm about it. If you picture my house, then go to my backyard and look at the house behind mine, then cross the street in our development and go up about four houses... that's where the bomb squad was. It'd have to be a pretty big bomb to reach us.

In my head I was inventory-ing my yarn. I called my friend Elizabeth (in Kentucky) because I was still weirded out and needed some adult company I could talk to (can't tell the boys, didn't want to scare them). I told her, "If something happens, what about all my yarn? The boys can run but the yarn has no legs!" We both laughed and she said, "Wow. Now I realize the extent of your obsession!" I told her, "Took this long, did it?"

The bomb squad and friends were there for about four hours and now everything's back to normal for us. I imagine, since they were there for so long and were wearing there big full body armour things (Dave took us out for pizza and insisted on driving by the house in question) that they may have actually found some stuff. Who knows. I feel for the family. I also feel for the boy in trouble. Maybe it was a stupid prank, maybe the kid's actually got some issues. Either way, he's screwed up the next few years of his life pretty good. Especially in light of the Virginia Tech nightmare.

Still a bit jumpy, Ruth!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Feelin' Itchy?

Not even a little bit! Happy 7th Anniversary to us!

We got married on a boat on Lake Tahoe. If you have any kids ready for the big leap, leap on over to Tahoe. Unbelievably inexpensive, incredibly beautiful!

That's my hunny, Dave! Isn't he hot? I still think so!

Still in Love, Ruth!

Friday, April 20, 2007

More Bad Dogs

I talked about a different kind of bad animal here. While that kind of animal enrages me, the type of animal I'm talking about today merely annoys me. A lot.

I'm a firm believer that there are no bad dogs, just lazy, irresponsible owners. Occasionally, you'll find a dog that's ruined before you get her. The only thing you can do at that point is give it lots of love and keep it away from small children and anything that's going to set off it's triggers.

My neighbor has little dogs. Little yappy dogs. Little incessantly, won't-shut-the-hell-up dogs. Seriously, what the hell. This morning, they were going off at 5 am.

Usually, dog barking doesn't even bother me. In my old neighborhood, in Tucson, we had a veritable dog chorus. They were, for the most part, big dogs. Maybe that's the difference. Also, it was actually a good thing - people who had lived in that neighborhood since it was built 20 years ago say there's never been a robbery. They attribute it to all the watchdogs. Our own dog, Maggie, was a 90 pound, embarrassingly harmless Rottweiler. Maggs wasn't allowed to bark at nite and if she did it was something we needed to check out (like the time we had a 4' rattler in our back yard - a story for another day).

These dogs next door (and there are 3 of them) have no rules. This year was the first time I was able to watch the Superbowl in 7 years (I used to work every Sunday at the spa). Those dogs were put outside where they proceeded to bark for 2 hours straight. No joke. 2 hours, non-stop with the owners home and doing nothing about it. That's just thoughtless and rude.

Normally, I'd say something to these people but they are fairly nice women and since we only have a lease that's up in Nov. .... why bother.

Question of the day - Should I say/do something? What would you do?

Gritting my teeth, Ruth!

P.S. T just came downstairs with his toy keyboard. It's the kind with a bunch of pre-programmed music. The tune he was playing has a sort of smooth jazz feel to it and he asked, "Is it a date song?" I said, "Kinda". A date song? What 5 year old talks like that? He cracks me up!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Slog 'N Suckin'

But in a good way!

Here's a pic of the "NeverEnding Blanket" so far. I keep meaning to join Mason-Dixon's slogalong and will probably do so after this post.

I started out just wanting to make a throw blanket to sit with on the couch. But with two small, yet growing boys and a husband who's 6'1"....

Dave thinks it should be able to cover all of us at the same time and by the time I'm done, it'll be able to cover the house. As of now it measures about 55" X 68". I am 62" tall.

I only had one skein of the really dark green (lower right square) and it seems to be a discontinued color (of course) so I'm going to try a new color. A dark grey. I'm going to put that along the bottom edge of the blanket as it's pic'ed above. The whole skein. Then, after the grey, another skein of the color on the left. Then more dark grey as a border. I should be finished sometime around my 80th b'day. (In case you missed it, I turned 37 last Friday. Presents still welcome!)

Fiber snobs, turn away for a minute...

The whole thing's done in Lion Brand Homespun.

OK, you can turn back now.

I was able to photograph it on the floor because I was able to use my birthday present before hand...

It's a Hoover Mach 5 All-Terrain. With a name like that, is it a jet, is it an SUV, who can tell? Now don't be mad at the boyfriend, this present was my idea. I actually got $ in a card from the in-laws and this is what I chose to spend half of it on!

Our old vacuum broke before we moved, last November! We've been so broke from buying the business and moving to CO, and the house in Tucson not selling till Apr 2, and..... blah, blah, blah. My friend and crochet-along buddy, Rachel has taken pity on us and brought her vacuum over about once a month. It's pathetic and sad, I know. Even worse, it's gross! Especially when your carpet changes colors after you vacuum. I am a LOUSY housekeeper and that grosses even me out!

Anyway, I highly recommend this vacuum, if you're currently shopping one. It's got lots of cool features (14' hose, instant retraction 28' cord, lifetime filter, bottom release dirt cup, the list goes on) and it's supposedly better then the Dyson at a fraction of the cost.

Happily Sloggin' Along, Ruth!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Apparently, if you make a post and save it as a draft (you know, to put up on those days when you are too busy/lazy to think of something new). It's going to post on the date you saved it. I did a Visual DNA after seeing it on some other sites. Scroll down to April 14th! Below the Food Hangover post.

Still learning, Ruth!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tippa Tuesday

For some reason, my post for this Tippa Tuesday is coming up as published on Friday April 13. See below.

It's titled, "Delusional"

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Food Hangover

So, Friday was my B'day and Dave said to pick a restaurant and we'd all go out. (The boys, D, and me) I picked Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger. It's a burger joint (obviously) and I was craving a real burger and a shake. Plus we love the way the boys play with the name whenever we pass one. We'll say, "Look, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger." Then Davie will start, "Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, What. Have. You. Done?", then we continue the rhymes like in the "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear" song. It's really funny the way Davis says it and hard to convey here but it's like he's accusing the Cheeseburger of something nefarious.

OK, so we get there and order. You can order any number of delicious toppings for no extra charge and I had a "Semi-serious" size burger, med/well with lettuce, tomato, bleu cheese crumbles, and BBQ sauce and horseradish sauce on the side. Dave got a "Serious" size, medium, with jalapenos among other things. The boys split a small kids burger meal. Boring and mundane so far, right?

I'm a third of the way through this delicious, amazing burger when I see it. It's either a very small hair or (I'm hoping) an eyelash sticking out of the meat. We show the waitress, she takes it away and starts the kitchen on a new burger for me. I don't send stuff back, I really don't. I spent 5 years in the Army and it takes a lot food-wise to gross me out. I, however, can't deal with hair of any kind in my food.

This is one of those places that actually forms the patty and cooks it, so it takes, like, another 15 minutes for the new burger to show up. (Meanwhile, I'm working my way through the large order of fries and onion rings we ordered and finishing my chocolate/peanut butter/banana shake.) The burger shows up.... with jalapeno and yellow cheese. The boys (all three of 'em) are done eating and now it's just funny. I'm laughing when I point out to the waitress that this is Dave's burger (which, incidentally, they brought him the correct burger but the wrong size - mine was bigger, his was the smaller). At this point, I should've just shut my mouth, asked for a to-go box and we could've gone home. But it was my birthday, dammit! So the waitress
apologizes profusely and takes it back so they can make my burger.

Long story short (too late), I'm eating a whole other burger, at home, at 9 o'clock at nite. I couldn't breathe and had the worst heartburn and all day Saturday, I felt like shit.

Question of the day - "Can you get a hangover from food?"
My answer - "Why yes. I believe you can."

The food was great and we will be going back sometime. Just not for awhile.

Tomorrow we focus on a different kind of stupidity involving swatches and our need to ignore the obvious. Along with a great tip for frogging.

Starting to feel better,

P.S. Here's a contest for today
The deadline for this contest is midnite on April 17/07
This contest was sited on a post from Stumbling Over Chaos.

Visual DNA

Friday, April 13, 2007


Happily humming along on the crochet-along sweater. I measured the gauge and was happily getting gauge. Then Rachel came over with her sweater and it looked a lot smaller then my sweater. We were doing the same size. Then I held my sweater up to my hips and it looked too small for me. It wasn't until two days later that it occurred to me what was going wrong.

When we did our gauge swatches, we were doing the V-stitch as we learned it (Double crochet, chain-1, double crochet). Also, in my gauge swatch, the gauge I was getting was a half stitch too big. No problem, I thought, I'll just make a size smaller and it should all even out. (Stop laughing.) At the lunch we had, we realized the actual pattern's V-stitch was just double crochet, double crochet. We even realized our gauge would end up a bit smaller then our swatch. We plowed on like it wouldn't matter. (Seriously, I can hear you giggling.)

This is how far along I was after four days...

The worst part is, in case you missed it, I measured my gauge in the actual sweater and was getting proper gauge according to the pattern. Well, duh, my swatch was bigger so I was making a size smaller. Do you get what I'm saying? I should be making my proper size.... (sigh).

I call Rachel at work and tell her the whole sad story. She says we should just frog and start over. I couldn't bare to think about it. I said, "Maybe I could just lose weight! That might be less painful then ripping all this out." She laughed. I know, truly delusional. I told her I'd need a couple of days then I'd frog.

That night, I tried it on. I had trouble getting it over my head and arms, even more trouble getting it over the girls and stretched it over the hips. I took it off, sighed and said,
"Ribbit, ribbit."

So here's my tip. Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with gauge. I've had to rip out two completely finished sweaters in the past. My tip is to start you're re-do while ripping the mistake at the same time.

New on the left while frogging the mistake on the right.

Instead of frogging, re-rolling each ball of yarn and re-starting. Just re-start and you have a handy carrying case of the old yarn!

Blissfully Unaware, Ruth!


Today is my birthday. I'm 37. 30 didn't bother me. 35 didn't bother me. For some reason, a few weeks ago when I thought of turning 37, it bothered me. Then I told Dave about it and he teased me mercilessly for a few days, then I was over it. He's a good husband.

I never understood people being sensitive about their age. After my brief interlude, I still don't. The only time I ever lied about my age was when I was a teen (saying I was older).

Anyway, happy birthday to me!

37 for now,

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

38 Across

Yesterday, while flipping through channels, I happened upon an episode of MASH. Imagine my surprise when I saw Hawkeye knitting! It was an episode about the characters trying to find ways to stave off the boredom of downtime during war. The episode is titled "38 Across" because they find a crossword puzzle.

Truth be told, I never saw him make an actual stitch (though he faked at starting a couple), but I thought it was interesting. He was holding the working yarn in the continental style. That's how I was taught.

If you're interested in helping our current troops stave off this same boredom.... please sign up for Books For Soldiers. You can "adopt" a single soldier or a whole troop. There are people with specific requests and some that are just asking for anything ("for the love of god, send some entertainment!"). You can even browse for certain areas of assignment, from Germany to Iraq to the hospitals where they are recovering from injury.

Some of them are even asking for knitting/crocheting supplies! Also, if you are willing to send a whole care package here's some great items to include:

Wet wipes (handy when there's no shower)
Packs of tissue (handy when there's no T.P.)
Sunscreen and lip balm
Cans of tuna
Individual packs of drink mix (i.e. Crystal lite)
Hard candy (chocolate's just going to melt)
Peanut butter and crackers (or other snacky foods that'll travel well)
Any hygiene products (toothpaste, waterless soap, lotion)
Deck of cards, dominoes, other non-battery related games
Pictures of home (even if it's not theirs, trust me, they'll appreciate it)
Amazon/eBay/Etsy/etc. gift cards
Phone cards
Handknit/Crochet helmetliners

Supporting friends, Ruth!

Cast Away

This is a day late, I'd forgotten what day of the week it was. Ever have one of those days? I'll make it up to y'all with the best tip I know.

If you read my last post, I explained how I hate to cast on because it's such a guessing game as to how much yarn to pull. Well, what if you didn't have to guess anymore?

Here's a pic of the typical way to cast on.

Is there enough yarn? Not enough? Who can tell?

Here's the new, spectacular way. (OK, probably not new).

Did you notice the difference? Look at the background. Two skeins instead of one. Take the end of both skeins and tie a loose knot.

Slingshot the yarn as you would with a long-tail cast on.

Pinch the knot btw your index and middle fingers.

Cast on as usual. Scrape the thumb,

over and under the rest of the slingshot,


Once you have enough stitches, cut the yarn that's not on your thumb (leaving a 6" tail), and start knitting as usual! (Be sure to double-check that you have the correct # of stitches before you cut. Don't ask how I know.)

I LOVE this tip. Changed my life! At least my knitting life. The right amount of yarn every time! What more could you ask! (As with most of my tips, I learned this from Tracy, the guru.)

The only snafu's with this type of cast on are....
a) if you only have one ball of yarn - no problem, make a center-pull ball and do the above cast on using the center pull and the outside end at the same time.
b) mohair - no problem, use the two skein method
c) one skein of mohair - OK, you got me. (You never want to center pull mohair. You will end up with a tangled mess that you will probably not be able to untangle. Ever. Don't ask me how I know this. I've blocked it out. Suffice it to say, the birds at our old house in Tucson, have a ready-made, expensive, mohair nest.)

Every time, Ruth!

P.S. That beautiful yarn is Schaefer Laurel in the ever-lovely Frida Kahlo colorway. Tracy and I just call it the "woman yarn". I have three colorways in Laurel and one in Elaine. Only one has been knitted into an FO. But they frequently get pulled out for admiration purposes.

Monday, April 9, 2007


"Last night, I cast on for yet another project. Have you ever pulled just enough yarn and placed your slipknot just perfectly so that you only have to cast on once? Not too short, not a 3 foot long tail (too long). This happens rarely with me and since I'm a bit anal, if it ain't just so, I'll recast. And recast. And recast. Well, last night - 200 stitch cast on and I NAILED it! I looked at Dave and said, "I am the greatest mediocre knitter ever!" He looked back and said, "Maybe. Or are you just the slacker of the really elite knitters." (Have I mentioned that, yes, I married this man?) He's so damn quick-witted that he sometimes gets an arm punch. It's like the Pulitzer Prize only with slightly more bruising."

That entry is from my former attempt at a blog, dated 4/30/06. Tomorrow, on Tippa Tuesday, I'll teach y'all a way to cast on where it's the perfect amount of yarn every time. Tracy, the guru, taught it to me and it changed my life! At least, my knitting life!

I remain, Ruth!

Friday, April 6, 2007


WARNING: This will be a PHP (picture-heavy post)

I didn't want to say anything before because I wasn't for sure I'd be able to go or not. But here it is.

I'd been hinting to Dave for a couple of weeks that this is what I wanted for my b'day. I equated it to him being able to meet Tom Osborne. He wasn't really getting it til I told him that 's all I wanted for my b'day. He wasn't happy about it but he agreed. (It was going to be a little expensive in the childcare area.)

So take a little journey with me...

First we get to ride the light rail into Downtown Denver. (It's my first time for both the rail & Downtown.) I say we, but I'm going by myself. Into town, by myself, like a big girl.

The seats for the light rail, though fashionable are brutally uncomfortable. And clean!

This is the only sign of detritus in the entire car. It's Evil Puzzle #3,865,047,986. I'm not good with math or numbers so the whole sudoku thing escapes me. That's OK, my yarn thing escapes most others.

On with our journey, here's another clue.

This is the group of women I ended sitting with while we waited entry into the holy grail. In the left picture, we have Amber knitting a pinwheel baby blanket. Next to her is a daughter and mother, the daughter reading, the mother, Deborah, spinning the coveted quivet with a beautiful drop spindle (feel the envy on many levels). The quivet was mixed with a bit of mohair and alpaca and when I asked if I could touch it, she tossed the bag to me. I dipped a finger or two in at first, tentatively. Then my whole hand. It was like touching a cloud.
A few minutes after I returned the bag, I noticed a piece of cloud stuck to the carpet in front of me. I asked Deborah if she wanted it back or could I have it as a souvenir. She let me keep it. Very nice! Also, I should've gotten a better picture of it, but her young daughter was wearing a sweater that Deborah had knit 30 years ago. It's a beautiful mix of textures and looks brand new.
The picture on the right is Deborah and her daughter again, a woman (in the turquoise blazer) knitting a beautiful sock in Mountain Colors yarn, and Kristina in between them.

Let's continue our journey....

We were finally allowed in and we (Amber, Kristina, and I) were sitting behind this nice, young guy wearing this T-shirt. He was a big hit and many, many people took his picture. (Sorry about the sideways pic, kid, but I can't figure how to change it)

The place is full and the excitement is palpable. Any guesses yet?

(Kristina's Colinette Jitterbug)

Getting warmer...

The Yarn Harlot!!!!!

What a fabulous night! She talked for an hour and I laughed my ass off for an hour! I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Big, belly, side-stitch laughs. Amber, sitting next to me actually snorted with laughter at one point.
She talked a lot about C.H.O.K.E. (Cultural Humiliation Of Knitters Everywhere). She brought up the stupidity of banks, both with the Blue Moon Fibers trouble (go to Yarn Harlot's site, archives - January 2007, Jan.11 post) and this little nugget...
A knitter decided to open an online yarn store and wanted to buy this building to store her inventory. She had 50% of the money needed as a down payment and went to a bank to get a loan for the other 50%. They turned her down cold as they didn't see an online yarn store as a viable/profitable reason to purchase the building. The next day, she sent her husband to the same bank and they lent him the $ to buy the building.... to store his camping equipment. "It also stores a lot of yarn." Love her.
She went on about how our culture belittles us in other ways and stereotypes abound (like, if you knit, you like boys... whether you are a girl or a boy yourself). And how to explain (or not) your stash. And many, many other things that I hope you all get to hear for yourselves, someday. In the short question and answer period after her talk, she revealed that she is about a month away from putting all her books on tape!
It was fascinating to see all the other knitters of all shapes and sizes and to see all the fabulous creations they'd come up with. Case in point...
This sweater is a fantastic example of people creating their own designs to suit themselves.

She did a cable down the middle with a lace element, then knitted some i-cord and threaded it through the lacy bits. Brilliant! Also, though I didn't get a picture of it, she had a double edge along the bottom. First your standard ribbing in the main color. Then a second ribbing in the i-cord color. She said she added the second ribbing when she realized she wanted the sweater to be a bit longer! Knitters are so clever!

Here's the Harlot during her standard after-talk book signing. I got in line to see her at about 5:30p. I was #59! The first person in line showed up at 8:30a. We loves her!

Here's the bohus in all it's glory. I wish I knew how to take better pictures. I don't but suffice it to say it is such a fine gauge (10 stitches to 1" people!) that it looks like it couldn't possibly be made by human hands. (At least not these days. Another topic Stephanie covered.)

I asked her to sign my # paper (signifying my place in line) as well as my book. I will have it laminated to use in a bookmark for my knitting books.

Not pictured is her accepting the gift I brought her. I put the gift bag on the table and she said, "I like you already." (Sweet) I brought her a homemade loaf of chocolate chip banana bread, a bath fizzy (for all those tubs she looks at longingly as she's dashing out the hotel room door on to her next gig) and a new pack of clean underwear (since, in her April 4 post, she almost lost all her luggage for the duration of her tour). So if she references the crazy-banana-bread-underwear-lady in her blog, that'd be me. (Not really how I wanted her to remember me but there it is.)

I also had planned to ask if I could, as a massage therapist, stretch her hands (the golden hands) for her. I was so nervous I forgot. Damn.

Here we are together, me holding the famous traveling sock and her in all her Harlot-y fabulousness. Her t-shirt reads, " All your yarn are belong to us." She said if you are an Internet geek, you'd understand it. I guess I'm not that geeky yet, but I still like it!

OK, she's not picking on my shirt. The thing is, traditionally, you are supposed to bring the sock you're working on and she holds your sock while you hold hers. I don't know how to do socks yet, but my new-found friends, Amber and Kristina pointed out that I'd made my top. So here she is holding my top. I look unstable in this pic. I am. Giddy, in fact.
So here are my new found knitty friends, Amber, Kristina and me.
Amber actually got interviewed by the channel 9 news while we were waiting in line! Who knows when it will be on, but Kristina said she'd Tivo for the next week or so and let us know.

The rest of the pics are random shots of my trip...

I like this poster. It's on all the light rail cars. It reminds us that we should as human beings, just watch out for each other. Not as in suspiciously, but as in watching each others backs. It says, "Count on each other for a safe ride." and "Be involved, be informed, be alert, be prepared." OK, so the second one is a little post 9/11 but the first one is a pleasant and wishful dream.

I took this one on my trip back, so I'm tired and it's a little blurry. It says, "No Smoking, No eating or drinking, No loud music (use headphones), no littering, no gambling." Alright, totally on board with the first four but is the fifth really a problem? Are people shooting craps down the aisles? Busting out the roulette wheel between Invesco Fields and Union Station? Odd.
I'm sure I've forgotten about a thousand things and I'll probably be remembering/talking/posting about it for the next, I don't know, forever.
I leave you with a final picture. It's my reflection in the window of the light rail on the way home. It's about 10:30p and it's about as blurry as I felt at the time. It was a wonderful evening topped off with a quiet and lone ride home. I had the car all to myself and the peace was a perfect end to a perfect evening. What a great birthday present, thanks Dave!

P. S. The final count of people who came to hear the Harlot.... 200. Someday, we will rule the world.
Basking in the glow, Ruth!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

3 Days!

I've been hesitant to post any pics of yarn. I wanted something really worthy to be the first. Here it is.

This is Jade Sapphire 2ply cashmere/silk in Lagoon color. See in the bottom picture how the skeins are bound together? I'm designing something special with this yarn and I had about 3" done and didn't like it and am starting over.

This yarn is to die for! It's "expensive" at $34 a skein. I put that in quotes because it's sheerly a psychological thing. There's 400 yards per skein. That's $8.50 per 100 yards. Tell me you haven't paid that or more for a skein. And it's cashmere and silk. Delicious!

I have set that lovely yarn aside to work on my crochetalong I have going with my friend Rachel.

We are both making the Unseamly sweater from The Happy Hooker. I'm using some GGH Samoa (50% cotton/50% acrylic) in a brick color. She's using some KnitPicks Shine in a light blue color.
So far, she's kicking my ass. But I did get this much done in just 3 days! Well, technically four. Either way, it always surprises me how much faster crochet is then knit. On Friday, I did the initial chain and first row but it was twisted. I pulled it out and did it again. Twisted again. On Saturday, Rachel and I met for lunch and a browse thru an art/fine craft show in town. At lunch, she fixed my twist and I was off. She only had her swatch done at the time but now, she's way ahead of me. That's what happens when you have project monogamy. She just don't know yet!
I have so many things on needles now! With the exception of a surprise I'm making for a friend and re-casting on of the Jade Sapphire, I'm going to crank away on this sweater. OK, the moderne blanket, too. And Trev's blanket. Damn! I can't even be project monogamous in my thoughts!
I remain, Ruth!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Sock me? Sock You!

So I heard this FABULOUS tale for defeating "second sock angst". (Keep in mind that I have not, as of yet, learned to knit socks) This tip may just be an urban legend but I love it anyway!

I heard a tale of two dear friends who enjoy knitting socks. They figured out a way to each get a pair but only knit a sock once. Here's how:

"Amy" knits one sock of, say, Broadripple. "Brenda" knits one of , say, Jaywalker. Then Amy knits one sock of Jaywalker and Brenda knits the other Broadripple. Two socks, two pairs, no boredom!

Alright, so obvious (but overcome-able) problems:

1. Gauge - different knitters have different gauges. - So you fiddle with needles to get the same gauge, same as any other project.
2. This will only work for friends with similarly sized feet. - Well, true. Wouldn't be quite fair for me (with my size 9's) to trade with a tiny foot girl. But something could be worked out in advance (maybe the sock plus a scarf?).
3. What if they both want Broadripple? - Then they'd both knit two socks for themselves. (duh) But maybe in two different colorways.
4. None of my friends knit socks. - Perfect opporunity to teach someone and share the love (obsession).

Pretty cool, no?

Monday, April 2, 2007

Of Chicken Legs and Rabid Dogs

OK, seriously people. WTF?

I'll give y'all the minor stuff first.

We went to Costco yesterday to do our weekly shopping. We'd had an exhaustive day, stopping at 4 places already and buying two bikes for the little guys. We decided to buy a delicious rotisserie chicken for dinner and Costco's are the best. It was almost closing time and there were only two left. Well... almost two. One was missing a chicken leg! Someone popped open the plastic container, helped themselves to a leg and closed it back up! Did no one see this happening?

So that opens up the question - if you saw it would you do something? I totally would. I wouldn't go tattle on the person but I would make sure they knew they were seen. I'd probably just say, "Nice, very nice." if I saw them eating it. If I saw them actually in the act of pulling the leg off, it'd be more like, "Seriously, what are you doing??"

Now on to the serious stuff...

Dave told me about this sad state of affairs. There's this woman with 5 kids and she offered up her 7 yr. old daughter for pornographic pic's and sex. Luckily for the girl, the woman was offering it to an undercover agent. Actually shows up at the hotel with the girl and a bag of sex toys and different outfits. The article, if you can stomach it, is here.

Of course, she's pleading not guilty. And she may only get 20 years for this. As an officer, I would have to take the woman into the street and put a bullet in her head for all to see. Same as you would to a rabid dog. I wouldn't make a very good cop.

My friend and I were talking a couple of years ago about the sheer amount of pedophiles these days. Was it always like that? Are we just talking about it more? Has this replaced, "If it bleeds, it leads" in the news? My theory is this: Statistically, a pedophile will get to 30 kids before they are caught the first time. Almost all pedophiles say they were messed with themselves at some point in there lives. So, out of those 30 kids, say 3 take the same wrong path. Alright, now, mathematically where you had only one, now you have 4. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am no mathematician but that's my theory.

Another statistic is that when these pathetic wastes of DNA do jail time and are let out, that's when they start killing. Leave no witness kind of thing. And there is no cure, people. They never stop. So my other theory is... never let them out. Even better, let's expand our death penalty. Swing that needle 'round. Rabid dogs I tell you.

Thanks for listening, friends. We will resume our lighter fare tomorrow.

I remain, Ruth!

Update: My SIL just sent me this website so you can check your area. It's here.