Sunday, October 28, 2007


Last night's party at Ruth's was fun. Most of it was spent watching the third game of the World Series. Most of the party goers were rooting for Colorado but Ruth and I were rooting for Boston, who were able to counter Colorado's threat and the high altitude to win. The theme was pirates so after the game we were watching the first "Pirates of the Caribbean".

I went as a corporate raider, Capt. Maurinda Pocquette of International Acquisitions, LLC. The fact that I was dressed to the nines was shocking in itself. It was fun passing out business cards and talking about my minions out hunting targets.

Knitting update

The Twisted Stitch Gauntlets so far aren't coming along. I found a major mistake (a two row jump in the chart) in the hand then found others where the twists were going in the wrong direction, so I ripped down to the beginning of the hand chart. So far I haven't worked on the gloves since but I'll get back to them. In the meantime I've whipped up more stitch markers and worked on a couple of wips: the Clapotis in Blue Heron rayon and Opal Lollipop socks.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Getting dolled up

At first impression I appear a soft butch. Pants in one form or another, shirts with little frou-frou, low or no-heeled shoes, no makeup, polish, jewelry, or hairspray. But give me an opportunity to dress up and I'll put on the duds. Tonight I'm dressing up for a Halloween party and as part of the get up I treated myself to a manicure. It took me almost 20 minutes to finally get out of the shop when it was done because every time I'd try to do something I'd screw up the polish. You can't take me anywhere.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A burst of sunshine

The Portland area got a break from the rainstorms that have been going through recently with a few days of warm sunny weather. The trees are now in their full spray of colors and starting to shed in a great storm of leaves. The storms take down a lot of the foliage so the break gave us a respite from flooded streets due to all the leaves clogging the drains.

It's also cold season in full bore and I've been trying to throw off bug after bug. However, I think there's one that is giving my body a real workout. It's not fun to wake up to a swollen tonsil. Time to bring out the Airborne. Fortunately it's been a quiet time for me so I'm getting the rest.

The pictures of Rhinebeck I've been seeing on the blogosphere have been wonderful. I doubt I'll be able to go next year. What with the chorus trip to Miami and preparing for GLBT Knitcamp West it's highly unlikely that I'll be able to wing a trip out east. But the virtual trip is enjoyable. Dr Mel in his kilt was quite the hit, though I've been told it's because he was center square for Rhinebeck Bingo. You can't argue with those legs though and the fact he made the kilt himself as a first sewn garment.

Next on the hit parade: what to do with Christmas.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Autumn dressing

The neighborhood is full of old trees which most seasons don't put out much color. This year, like last year, we've had nights in the 40's soon after the warmth of September, setting the trees ablaze.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Back to knitting

The box that holds my stitch markers has gone missing. This isn't an uncommon event. I tend to drop things hither and yon in my house and with the number of projects I have going on (Clapotis, Rogue sweater, socks, lace sample, Modern Quilt Wrap, felted knitting bag) it's more likely that the missing tools are with a project or lying on a table somewhere. Because I have a bad case of startitis going on right now, my tools are scattered about the house. Cleaning up for Knitcamp West uncovered several tools that had gone missing--scissors, cable needles, dpn sets--but not the box holding my two dozen or so stitch markers.

Yesterday was my first day of not having to clean or go anywhere. It was a day I could call my own. The only thing I had to do was send off Mr Pink, so once that was done I was free to do as I pleased. I had a few things I needed to get for my Halloween costume I'm wearing to my friend Ruth's Halloween party and I wanted to visit with my friends at Unraveled Yarns. So with what tools I had I packed up the Modern Quilt Wrap and headed out.

The nip in the morning air warned me that I needed to make gloves for the upcoming winter. The gloves I have are okay but not quite satisfactory for walking. I have fairly large hands and many womens' gloves are too small to fit well. I've been on the lookout for a pattern for gloves and was going to make a pair from the Selbuvotter book, but nothing really sparked me into action. When I got to my LYS, I noticed Lisa had in some lovely fall yarns and I was smitten. I only blame yarn intoxication for taking up skeins of Louet Gems in eggplant and the IK Holiday Knits to do the Twisted Stitch Gauntlets. The thought of a small project with a different stitch method really appealed to me and the eggplant color was irresistable.

I swatched the yarn to make sure I could make the gauntlets and was pleased by not only how my seat of the pants purchase came out on gauge but also how beautiful the fabric came out. The Gems had me in its fibery hooks. I cast on, then I had to do a set up row for the pattern. It was there that I ran into trouble. The pattern doesn't start with an even rhythm section of stitches like ribbing. It had knits and purls in a sequence that required stitch markers. Being that it was getting late in the evening and I was tired from my day it didn't occur to me until I had tinked back a couple of times and looked at the chart that yes, I needed stitch markers. The problem was where the heck were they?

I looked in project bags. Nothing. I looked in my tool drawers and bags. Nothing. Not even enough loose ones to cobble together to keep me from going nuts. I wanted to work on my glove but without stitch markers to guide me with this dark colored yarn I was going to be cursing the air blue. I did find a box of vinyl covered paper clips that worked for the time being but they're awkward on the small needles and project size.

I then remembered reading someone's blog on how they made stitch markers out of vinyl covered wire and beads. I've seen folks make beaded stitch markers with jump rings but I've found jump rings very annoying, especially with laceweight yarn, because no matter how hard I would try to close it the gap on the ring is never perfectly closed or smooth so fibers snag. The vinyl wire would work better. The great thing was I had the materials for making my own markers: beads, wire, crimps. But it would have to wait until the morning. There was no way I was going to try to thread a tiny crimp onto wire at 11 pm.

So this morning this is what I came up with. I'll have to test drive them to see if the ends aren't snaggy. I haven't done any extensive beading for some time so this will be a great way to use up some of the items I have. And later on I can make more for prezzies.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

For those who love cat pictures we bring you CATNIP SMACKDOWN!

Maisie has found the stash. Sammy's waiting to make her move.

"Don't get too close there or I'll smack ya!"

"Great. Her back's turned. Maybe I can get a good sniff."

Buster finds out what's going on.

Tension rises as Maisie finds interlopers in her stash.

If there's anyone who can stand up to the Queen, it's the Studboy. Sammy wisely stands aside to wait for her next chance.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Book Meme

This came from Mel, who got it from Rabbitch. As Mel opted not to tag anyone but invited others to take it if they desired, I took him up on it.

1. Hardcover or paperback, and why? It depends on the book. If it's a book I know I'm going to love or use a lot I prefer hardcover. For others I'll take paperback.

2. If I were to own a bookshop, I would call it... A name just popped into my head now that seems so appropriate: Hidden Wishes.

3. My favorite quote from a book is (mention the book): It comes from Ursula K Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness but I can't find my copy to quote it here. It speaks of darkness and light moving with each other like two lovers who cannot be separated.

Update: I found it. "Light is the left hand of darkness/ and darkness the right hand of light/ Two are one, life and death, lying/ together like lovers in kemmer/ like hands joined together/ like the end and the way."

4. The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be: I agree with Mel. Definitely Molly Ivins.

5. If I were going to a desert island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be: Roy Blount's Book of Southern Humor. I've got to have something that will make me laugh.

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that: will put my books away when I'm done with them.

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of: going to bookstores with my mom and getting lost in the stacks. Especially Powell's before they moved all the used books elsewhere.

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title) it would be: Morgon, Prince of Hed in the Riddle of Stars trilogy written by Patricia McKillip. He is a prince that learns that he has a destiny beyond the small island of farmers he rules and discovers powers he is reluctant to use.

9. The most overestimated book of all time is: I could join the flock and say the Bible but a Christian society would have the Bible as a highly influential book. It would be interesting to hear the viewpoint of someone living in a culture with a different faith. There are many others though. For now to me The Da Vinci Code certainly doesn't warrant all the brouhaha it has generated.

10. I hate it when a book: falls apart after a short time. Especially a reference book that you know you will use a lot and paid good money for. There's no reason to make books so cheap that all it takes is a couple of openings for the cover to pop off.

I won't tag anyone since I wasn't tagged. But this was fun to do.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

And the wheel goes round and round...

This weekend I hosted GLBT-Knit Knitcamp West, a gathering of folks from the GLBT-Knit list. There were only 9 of us but it was a raucous, fun and fiber-filled weekend that felt like old friends getting together after an absence of years. One day was spent shop-hopping, starting with Powell's Books and ending with dinner at Old Wives Tales. Much fiber was fondled and purchased, stories and techniques were shared, and laughter punctuated all the places we went. I'll be hosting the gathering next year. This time there will be a venue that is affordable that we can all gather at comfortably. Nine people in my little house was a little cozy. It made for a nice gathering but it was a bit snug. It would be nice to have more space for doing demos, spinning, and displaying goodies for others to look at or swap. Not to mention someone else doing the dishes.

The next couple of weekends will be quiet, giving me a chance to recharge the ole batteries before going to choir retreat the beginning of November. I'll be able to finish up the cleaning and spend some quiet time on projects that need to be done, including a block for a quilt that is being made for one of the directors who is retiring at the end of the year. Now that the evenings are getting darker sooner it's easy to just settle into the recliner and do nothing. I'll have to make sure that I do stay active.


The evenings often include a little feline pedicure. Last night's was Buster's turn. He's not too thrilled with having his toes done but he has gotten better about letting me do it. I got a nasty surprise when I discovered that he had somehow gotten one toenail completely ripped off the quick. He hadn't been limping or showing signs that it was painful, but it was not pretty. He's spending time in the house for it so that it can heal up.

So what's this wheel thing?

This is some of the Colonial top I got at OFFF. It's spinning up beautifully. I've moved on to some of the Shetland/ alpaca mix I got so that I can make up a hooded scarf for the winter. Goody Baynes is a good worker, she is.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Mr Pink Goes on Tour

(Note: I sent this to the Head Can Opener Kidnapper, but I haven't seen it up on their site. So here's Mr Pink on tour with Confluence. )

After having spent some time in solitary confinement after having been found with Miz Swing-A-Way and the church key (you don't want to know!), Mr Pink is feeling more contrite. We were glad he was because the last thing we wanted on our tour was a wayward can opener making lewd remarks to other appliances and hooting from the back row. As we were driving to the first concert on the tour in Salem, we were hearing mutterings of "not the drill...not the drill" in the back seat.

After breakfast, we headed out on the road to Ashland. The weather was very cooperative, giving the turning trees' color brilliance. "I had an ancestor who was a big ole crosscut saw," said Mr Pink. "Worked out in Valsetz cutting the big firs. You can see him in pictures just standing there proud and sharp." I expected him to start humming some lumberjack song but thankfully we had Ella Fitzgerald on the stereo.

At Rice Hill we stopped at the K-R drive-in for ice cream. It was my first time there. Mr Pink had a hard time trying to make up his mind what ice cream to pick as there were over 20 flavors of Umpqua ice cream to choose from. In the end he settled for just watching as we had a chocolate black walnut shake and a chocolate coffee malt.

We reached Ashland in mid-afternoon in time to make a visit to The Web-Sters . Duffy found a book on Latvian mittens while Reid waited and looked on, the knitting "widow". Duffy also picked up the last ball of yarn she needed for the Modern Quilt Wrap. The ladies at Web-Sters were very friendly and helpful and listened patiently to Mr Pink's tale of his travels.

We met up with the other Confluence Chorus singers and the singers of Women With Wings and the Rogue Valley Peace Choir at the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. While we waited for the concert to be set up Mr Pink lingered in the library. "Very interesting," he said later, "though I see God as being more a great metal press." Some of the singers from Women With Wings caught his eye. "Do you think I could go home with them?" he asked. "No," we said, "you're staying with us for now." He did enjoy the concert. "We are different yet we are the same," he murmured. "I suppose you could say that, though it's hard to think how I'm the same as you." "You have feelings," I told him. "You like to be appreciated and respected. Just like me." "That's true," Mr Pink answered. He has some pretty deep thinking, that can opener.

In the morning, we rose early to get a good start for Roseburg. Our hostess, Charlie, was quite taken with the can opener. "He has lovely lines," she said as she posed with him and a photo of her dog Chewy. After a quick breakfast, we headed up north. The rain we had been expecting had arrived making the roads slick. It was a little harrowing driving in the Bright Red Bug next to the big trucks through the hills. But we arrived in Roseburg safe and sound and reached the Umpqua UUC in time for Confluence's performance. Mr Pink made the rounds of folks in the chorus while we waited. He even made a friend out of one of the children of the UUC, Victoria, who was happy to hold Mr Pink. After the concert and a potluck lunch we headed on our way to Eugene. "You had folks in tears," said Mr Pink, touched. "It was amazing."

By the time we reached the UUC in Eugene, all of the chorus were tired. People were grumpy and having difficulty concentrating. The director gathered all of us together after we warmed up to give us a pep talk and remind us of how important it is that we be mindful of what we say about others. Our last performance of the tour received a very warm reception, bringing the weekend to a triumphant close."So what's next?" asked Mr Pink when we arrived back at Chez Runamuck. "That's up to the Head Kidnapper," I said as I unloaded the bags from the Bright Red Bug."I hope it's someplace fun," said Mr Pink. "This has been a great week.""And you'll mind your manners?""Of course," said Mr Pink. "Mr Man won't know me when I get home."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I'll try not to whine in this entry. It's hard not to when I feel like a dishrag after Thanksgiving for 30 people. So if the house has dust, oh well. The ole bod's saying that I bit too much so the clutter will have to just be tolerated.

The KCO's adventures on tour with the chorus will soon be up on the KCO's blog. It was very amusing taking pictures and explaining the story behind the KCO. While in Ashland I was able to stop at Web-ster's where I picked up the last ball of yarn I needed for the Modern Quilt Wrap and found a copy of this to add to my growing collection of knitting books. When I told the ladies at Web-ster's about the KCO, I got the laugh and look of people who are tolerating the mentally ill person's antics enough to humor her before shooing her out of the store. Reid, my tour carpool partner, just sighed and waited while his fiber fanatic friend flitted about the store.

Guilty pleasures

QueerJoe asks people what guilty pleasures they have. It's funny what people consider "guilty pleasures." What could be a guilty pleasure for one could be something ordinary to another. The joy something brings to a person shouldn't create guilt, but we can be such a judgmental society frowning at what may be just an innocent escape from the normal brouhaha of life that we feel we need to hide what we love to do. But we also love to go to extremes so finding a happy medium is not easy.

At any rate, here are my guilty pleasures:

1. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese with the sauce packet.

2. Lying in my recliner with a comfy blanket and reading until the wee hours of the morning.

3. Standing in the shower just to luxuriate in the warm water running over my head.

4. See's dipping chocolate.

5. Zipping down a freeway onramp, especially if it's downhill and I'm driving a stickshift.

What are your guilty pleasures?