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December 2004
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February 2005

Like Daughter, Like Mother


Just back from a good weekend visit with my mom, who was eager to pop down to Yarns, Etc. before the ice & snow got started, so she could get going on a new scarf. We'd suffered a false start with a prior purchase, those needles and the yarn on 'em gone missing. But this is a better project, Crystal Palace Musique on US10.5s, and BJBT is at it again.

And what's that around her shoulders, d'ya wonder? Why, it's her Christmas shawl, finally doing duty keeping her warm, despite all those holes! I'm glad to have helped her see the light on my autumnal labor of love, for I might have had to trade my Clapotis for it ~

Much more to report, but this traveler is weary, so you'll have to wait for news of red scarves, felted bags and (early) birthday bounty . . .

The Movie Questions

Sub_statuette Thanks, Em, for sending me these in honor of the Oscar nominations and our being Netflix buddies!

1.  The last movie you went to see in a theater: 
Ocean's Twelve, a perfect vacation-day romp to end the year. Beautiful people having such fun ~ the actors and their characters ~ it's infectious. Suspension of disbelief isn't difficult when you're on this ride.

2.  The last movie you watched at home: 
The Man Who Wasn't There, via Netflix, which, alas, I did not love. I'm a Coen devotee, but ambivalent about Billy Bob Thornton, and this one just didn't rank with the rest for me.

3.  How many movies do you own?
Just a handful, really. With so many out there to view, I'm not much of one for repeat screenings. (Caroline, on the other hand, . . . )
3a.  What was the last movie you bought? 
Sex, Lies & Videotape. (Thank God I didn't have to say Clifford's Really Big Movie, which was next-to-last and has been in near-constant play, but since I never watch it all the way through . . . )

4.  Got Netflix (or a similar service)? 
You betcha. Their timing was great for me, coinciding with parenthood. (But TV DVDs have interfered with my queue movement. Roswell, anyone?)
What are the next three movies in your queue? Donnie Darko, Super Size Me and Magnolia. The first has a Richmond connection; I'm glad to catch the second as it's a fresh Oscar nominee; the third I keep thinking I can watch in installments . . . .

5.  List five movies you adore/mean a lot to you:

The Wizard of Oz ~ repeated childhood viewings never dulled the technicolor thrill of this one for me, so I was really excited to meet Ray Bolger sometime in the 1970s in an Atlanta park. (Runner-up sibling: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; I bought this one when I got Clifford, but haven't screened it for Wee C ~)

Raising Arizona ~ the (semi)annual viewing of this brilliant comedy is a highlight of ChickVa, my river vacation. Lizzi owns it, but I think maybe I'd better get myself a copy. Of course I saw it in the theater the first time ~(Unrelated Holly Hunter: The Piano)

The Third Man ~ I know this one makes a bunch of all-time top lists, but I still love its cinematography and that pesky zither ~

The Searchers ~ Epitome of the Western. And I generally don't adore Westerns. Studying this in a college film class sealed the deal, though, and I've been heard to say That'll be the day in a remotely John Wayne tone ~

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind  ~ this is my fave of the century, so far, and I've only seen it once!

6.  Name your guilty pleasure movie (or genre):
I'm with Em: it's sappy mainstream romantic comedies for me, too. 'Nuff said.

7.  Name 3 people to whom you're going to pass these questions on, and why:   
Lisa, who's retrieving Spirited Away from my mailbox right now; Mindy, who's kinda a professional; and Rachael, just 'cause!

In the Red

Red0002 Finish one scarf, start another!* I do rather think of Clapotis as more than a scarf, but the new one bears its own importance. I'm knitting a red basketweave scarf for Lisa's Red Scarf Project, with which I hope you may be familiar by now. I was pretty tickled when she emailed me, seeing as how I know all about that red thread, and am a fellow Tar Heel to boot. I'm just glad to see so many others in our special cyber-community joining in her support. I'm using my mondo stock of Bartlett's workhorse worsted, which in hindsight I wish I'd given a dunk before casting on. It's sturdy, and warm, and for now darned rough on my fingers ~ the cones I have must've been treated for machine knitting, since I got them from a friend who had a Christmas stocking business. But tender fingertips are a worthy sacrifice for the many children yet waiting in China's orphanages.

And, say, what's that marker hanging off the Addi? It's a fabulous RAOK gift I received last week from Illana! She used Shrinky Dinks ~ a way cool product that I somehow missed as a kid ~ and a photo from this very blog. See her site for step-by-step instructions. I may have to give it a try! I had a little trouble getting a good close-up, but here's an enlarged view from the same shot. Thanks, Illana!

*Actually, I cranked out one more little neckwarmer last night, from a ball of Phildar Terre Neuve that my friend Kim brought me from her Paris trip last year. It's a fun novelty yarn, 58m of 80%wool/12%acrylic/8%nylon in the pale purple Lupin shade, with tufts of fiber hanging off the main strand at about 3cm intervals [What's with the metrics, Mag? Must be l'influence francaise~]. I cast on 18 stitches then k2tog after a coupla rows in my fave ruffle trick learned from Theresa. Knitting nine stitches in garter on US10.5s garnered me about 40 inches of fluff in a skinny scarf ~ jsut in time to show it off to Kim at ART 180's Big Show this evening!


Clapfinis0002 I've happily joined the ranks of knitters with the Clap. And in less than a month! For as many square inches of knitting as comprise this wide scarf, that's pretty quick ~ for me, at least. And, like many others, the 675 yards of alpaca did not make it through the entire pattern. I managed to turn the corner and start the decrease-rows section for three drops, but then I chose to bind off rather than order more of this delish dyed-to-order yarn. Partly I didn't want to wait for more, and partly I covet a merino-silk version; if I order again, I'd rather it be for even yummier yarn. I had about six yards left. While many of us have let the Clapotis go out into the world unblocked, mine needed a dunk to bleed a bit and soften. Here she is on the board.

Specs: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert in the Fall 2004 Knitty
hand-dyed alpaca in Cranberries from Mystical Creation Yarns
knit on US7 Addi circular
started 12/27/04; finished 1/22/05

Black Thursday

I don't want to look at him anymore either.

War President
Mosaic of fallen U.S. soldiers
created by the American Leftist
Faces of the Fallen

I'm wearing black in memory of all those who have died in the Iraqi war, including my War Without End? Not in Our Name T-shirt. I have to lead a meeting this morning, so I don't know if I will be able to stand outside and shout NO at noon. I'm certainly not going to have the stomach to listen to the speech, and I have no interest in watching the parade. It's a dark day for this American ~

Sock it to me

Sockcats0002 I decided to go with a rather basic pattern, just knits and purls, choosing the Fluted Banister Socks from the Six Sox Knitalong. I'm using some gorgeous Mountain Colors Bearfoot that Em gifted me when we met last February ~ even photographed in bright morning sunlight, the yarn isn't here revealing its depths of purple, green and blue of the luscious Midnight Sapphire colorway. [Thinking of you, girlfriend, there in the Northern Plains, as it's only mid-20s here at noon~] Yesterday, as I  walked five blocks back from an afternoon meeting, I longed for some woolly goodness, my tootsies cotton-clad and chillin'. I think I can complete these and still enjoy them this season. I'm trying the two-circ method for the first time, with some US1 Addis, and liking it, not that I mind DPNs. Actually, I did use two Inox US2s for one of Wee C's Koigu mittens, but I didn't have to turn a heel. I only used them for the second mitt ~ which is one reason they aren't perfectly matched. (A wonky thumb on the first is another, but that's not stopping her from wearing them today, and gladly!)

Speaking of Caroline, she was photo-assisting this morning and recommended a shot of the kitties enjoying their fave morning post atop the radiator and in the sun.

Tool Tube

Holder0001 Look! During a bit of my caregiving time earlier in the week, I crafted myself this handy holder. Mom had sent us back from Christmas with a tube of Moravian Sugar Cookies, which Wee C & I enjoyed for dessert after many a meal ~ including breakfast. It occurred to me that it was just the right size for my DPNs and crochet hooks that were overflowing their current multipurpose container. So I covered the tube with some groovy gift wrap designed by my dear friend John, and loaded it with wood and metal and plastic ~ see?

And I don't know if it was all them needles, or the Sockapalooza, or the sock lists I've lately joined, but I heard the call to start some socks. I think if I can have a little fun knitting a new pair for myself, I'll be ready to make the mate for Brotherman's lonely sock. Stay tuned to see what pattern I pick!

Poncho Confirmation

Khcard_front_1 Earlier this week I received a postcard from my goddaughter. Apparently she has no recollection of having requested her particular Christmas gift. That's OK ~ all that matters is that she likes it. And I appreciate that the note came on a fiber-related card.


Wee C has been fevered all week, and staying home with her has been an interesting change of pace. The first day she actually seemed sick, took a couple of big naps, and then we spent 2.5 hours confirming that she doesn't have the flu. Yesterday she was so lively in the morning that, after sharing the fun of Play-doh, paints and her new kitchen, I chanced taking her to my office for a little while, crayon box in hand. My wonderful colleagues Becca & Cathy diverted her for about two hours while I accomplished some timely tasks. When our boss noticed I was in the house, he called a meeting to fill me in on an important presentation I had missed Monday. I told him I had company, but he & the other two in the meeting were all understanding dads, so they didn't blink when coloring transformed into whining and on into sleeping in mama's lap. I'm not sure, though, that the whole experience didn't set her back, as she was hot again in the evening, alas. Tomorrow I'll be taking her back to preschool, at least for the noon-on childcare portion, and not only because I cannot endure another viewing of Clifford's Really Big Movie.

Kudos to you moms who go it all day, every day, whether with one or three. I know I'm not getting the real deal, as Caroline is under the weather and therefore a little cranky, and illness keeps us from playgrounds and even errands. Sometimes I long for a way to get the full-time gig. These three days haven't made me stop wanting that job, but they've certainly reminded me what challenges it holds.

Ten rows o'web

Char It was a good weekend for my Charlotte, as I finished the colors 4+5 section and moved into the last. However, I had to use some of number 2 (KPPPM 516) where number 4 (450) ran out. Actually, one can hardly tell, so I'm quite pleased with that easy fix. And if the same thing happens as I wind up with number 5 (328), I think I can sub in the first one (301) with similar ease to the eye. Things may get tricky after that, though, since I'll mostly have the blue (418) from the middle left for the trimming, and I think it's too radical a shift, and will make the shawl too stripey. I'll be surfing around everyone's archives to remind myself how other knitters completed their Charlottes [OK, I just typed Caroline there for Charlotte ~ could've been her name, but I prefer the one I chose] ~ particularly the crochet options, as I'm not itching for fringe. I welcome any thoughts!

I'm One


I gave, and you can, too. Visit our favorite Harlot's special page to find out more. It took me longer than I'd like to admit because I had earlier donated to Oxfam. But that didn't get me a cool blog button, nor affirm the sense of community that keeps me at this ~

Clapotis update: I've dropped the sixth stitch, which I think means I'm halfway through. I'm trying to have faith that the 675 yards I have will suffice for a pattern that calls for 615 yards, but the supply gives my eyes pause .  .  .