Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Interrupted

Thanksgiving weekend was not at all what we had envisioned here in Knitsburgh. I spent the week cooking and baking vegan tastiness to carry forth across the land to visit two sets of Wee Grandfolk. Misfortune struck, bringing a hasty retreat back to Knitsburgh. Family drama, car trouble and finally illness ensured our fate. So disappointing.

Have faith readers, there is always good with the bad. Blue Molly (the car) only sustained a busted radiator hose and did not in fact need a new alternator. The illness appears to be a fierce cold at its worst and not any type of scary flu. We had gotten both the regular and H1N1 shots last week in an effort to prevent the Wee One from sickness, however he too has the cold, poor thing.

So what to do when you are stuck in Knitsburgh? You can knit up a Wee Hat:

The pattern came from Just Jussi thru Ravelry. It was fun and fast and keeps a Wee One's ears warm. It also seems to actually stay on his head through a walk, which is hard to accomplish with his other hats. Thank you, chin strap! That Jussi is pretty smart, I would say.

I also hit a great sale at Joanne Fabric this weekend and picked up some super-cheap printed flannel to make into some Wee Fun. If things turn out like I think it might look like in my head, I will share the results here.

We also made some ornaments this past week and weekend and will have photos up soon after they are completed and sent to some special folks.

We also started the Holiday-ification of the Estate. I need to tell you about our artificial tree. Years ago, when living in Colorado, we would trek up into the mountains, pay $10 and cut down a tree the forest service had designated as one that would be removed for fire control purposes. They were wild and scraggly and see through and so natural. When we left Colorado we were stuck with either buying a cut tree or one with a root ball. I would normally prefer the second option, however when living on the shore and our yard was sand, it wasn't really feasible. Now, living in the city where the estate grounds are rather limited, there really wouldn't be any space. We were buying a cut tree and then "recycling" it after the four short weeks it lived with us.

Three years ago, we decided to get an artificial tree. Part of the decision involved our oldest cat, Madison Penelope. Though Miss Madison Penelope has been with us for thirteen holidays now, she will still eat the pine tree. She chews it up and throws up needles. Every day. She doesn't want to eat fresh cat grass; she wants to eat pine trees. She is insatiable, unstoppable and irrepressible. Which if you ask me is part of the beauty of her, she's not just a lay-around-and-nap-cat, indeed.

So back to the main point here. We got this tree and it came pre-lit which also means Nature Boy and I don't disagree about where the lights should go (deep in the branches say I, right on the tips says Nature Boy). We just snap three sections together, plug it in and put on the ornaments. Sounds great, but one section of lights is not like the others. It doesn't light up right away, then will suddenly start blinking, then go out, then blink. This year, Nature Boy seemed determined to fix this. He took out fuses, replugged things, adjusted bulbs and wires, with no fix. Then something unheard of happened. He read the directions! He found a number for customer service. Customer service was called and they are sending a whole new middle section for our tree! Incredible! A tree that is three years old. In fact I was informed the tree is under warranty until 2017! So if anyone out there needs an artificial tree go with the Sylvania Staylit types, which have a 10 year guarantee.

Thanksgiving wasn't the greatest but I've already got my sights on Yule and it looks like it will be fantastic!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Who's a Rude-A-Potamus??!?!?!??

It is done! Behold, the Wee One's Yuletide Stocking:

I like it better now that it's finished and hanging by our fireplace, ready for the holidays to get started. I mean, why pack it away now, we'll be putting up the holiday decor in a couple of weeks? Still needs a washing and blocking though.

Now I'm back to working on the Red Sweater for the Wee. It's honestly a boring knit for me after all that stranded colorwork. I can't say I even worked a stitch on it in two days' time now. Could mean trouble...

Ok now for a pop quiz. You are shopping in a small-aisled grocery store called Complete Edibles. You come upon an aisle where a stunning woman is making her canned pumpkin selection and her cart, with the most beautiful wee one in all the land, is in your way. What do you do?

A. Wait a moment patiently behind her as she finishes. Hey, you're retired and have all day...
B. Say, "Excuse me" and allow her to move her cart out of your way. Hey, you're retired and need to make up for lost years...
C. Push her cart with her baby in it aside, scraping your cart into it in doing so and say absolutely nothing. Hey, you're retired and a big, mean, rude-a-potamous and eat cute babies for dinner.

Yeah, that's right. I went to the store for some foodstuffs and came out again appalled at the minds of people. Who moves your cart with your baby in it and says not a word? You can bet I said a few things. I really need to do the whole on-line food ordering. It could also help me avoid the H1N1...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Of Note...

Thanks Teresa from Affectioknit for the lovely note cards! They came Saturday and we found them when we returned from our Saturday Adventure.

What indeed was the Saturday Adventure? The Wee One and I went walking along the South Side. We walked along the river first, then walked along Carson. We stopped at Dozen and I tried a vegan choco chip-pecan cookie. Honestly, I was not that impressed and think my cookies taste a bit better...but I've had their vegan cupcakes before (at another location in the city) and they are quite tasty. I would recommend the cupcakes for sure!

Since I like to dabble in All Things Craftacular, when passing the Bead Mine, I saw sadly a store closing sign which declared all merch was on sale at 40-60% off. So if you like me can't have enough beads and findings even though your Craftorium might explode at the seams from all the shiny beady fun inside, you might want to get there and soon. Avoid the shortest salesgirl, she was not the most helpful. I could explain further but really that's all the info you need in the end, just avoid her if you can.

Of course, I forgot my camera but the views of the Monongahela River, the Canadian Geese, the boats, the Wee One in the sun under some trees are living inside my head at least.

Friday, November 13, 2009


So yesterday I stole some moments and tried to further the Wee Yuletide Stocking along. I guess I was a bit preoccupied and seemed to miss some light green and undyed stripe-age:

So I ripped back and tried it again. I was so hoping to have the foot pattern finished yesterday but when I discovered my mistake, all the wind went out of my sails. So I'm only about as far as I was when I initially discovered my mistake.

Here is a close-up, albeit blurry, of the part I'm not so happy with.

It lies in the joining of the rounds. I just can't seem to figure out how to join and carry up the other colors without them showing through to the right side. If you don't twist the two yarns together from the previous and current rows, there is a hole in the seam. If you twist, you sometimes get color where it should not be. Also, seems my tension has been a bit too tight when carrying the yarn up through the join too, resulting in some puckering. Again, hoping a good blocking might help it a little but the colors showing through won't be helped, I'm afraid. I need to further investigate how to sucessfully knit fair isle and/or stranded knitting in the round. Too bad I didn't do so before knitting this stocking...but then again this is a stocking built upon and for tradition and my tradition seems to be knitting with some flaws. The age-old "proof a mortal made it" saga or risk being turned into a spider. Click HERE for some other myths about weaving, spinning, knitting and other fun fibre forms.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Big Thank-You!

Thanks veterans and those who are currently protecting us right now! We love you here in Knitsburgh.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Indian Summer

What a great warm weekend we just had! How did we spend some of the time? We walked with the Wee One downtown and on the north shore, then toured some replica ships built to the specifications of the Nina and Pinta of Columbus' fleet. You can read more HERE about the "floating museums" and see the schedule; they are going to be spending the winter in some tropical place. There was a sign in the Pinta advertising for crew members...

We also went to see the new Fred Rogers statue.

We ended the day in a Mexican restaurant, tofu and bean taco with chips and salsa...the best day. Wee One did not sleep once, he was too busy taking in all the sights.

Oh, the knitting, right. The stuff this blog is supposed to be about. The Wee Yule Stocking is about 6 rows shy of the start of the heel. Its ok, I'm not happy with something on the round joining and will show some photos of the problem later when I feel strong enough to face it. At this point I will not rip back and Nature Boy assures me no one but I will notice it. The problem is I will notice it and know it's not my best knitting. I could care less when it's on a sweater for me, but the Wee Yule Stocking? Oh dear...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Post-Samhain Photo Diary

Pre-Trick-Or-Treat wear about town:

This was our best costume pic (cold weather + excited fidgety Wee One = quick blurry photos):

Hangin' on the stoop giving out the treats:
Our jack o' lanterns:
The morning light showed the back of the Estate had been *GASP* egged by some goblins from the alleyway. As a vegan, I'm takin' that one REAL personal, ya hear, little thugs?!?!?!? Next year I plan to install a camera trap so you should smile for the camera while you are winding back to throw....