Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You Say It's Your Birthday?

It's my birthday, too, yeah!

In 1955, A Gallon of Milk Cost 92 Cents

Dwight Eisenhower is president of the US

Hurricane "Diane" claims 184 lives form North Carolina to New England

Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat, which leads to bus segregation being declared unconstitutional

The AFL merges with the CIO, creating the nation's largest labor union

Dr. Jonas Salk discovers a vaccine for polio

The Scrabble board game debuts

Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California

Kevin Costner, John Grisham, Arsenio Hall, Steve Jobs, and Billy Bob Thornton are born

Charlie Parker, Albert Einstein, and James Dean die

Brooklyn Dodgers win the World Series

Cleveland Browns win the NFL champion ship

Detroit Red Wings win the Stanley Cup

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov is published

And a Happy Birthday to Kay, too.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In the Green, In the Green

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In case you've been wondering, I really am still working on the green blanket for afghans for Afghan. I'd say I'm about half-way, feeling deeply grateful that the current campaign will still be shipping in April and May. Chunky yarn. I really need to get into the habit of doing my charity knitting in chunky yarn.

The other thing I'm really pleased with? Observe.

I hate that the "wrong" side of knitting so often looks like, well, the wrong side of knitting. Especially when there's no place to hide the wrong side, like an inside. Not a problem with this blanket. It looks good on either side.

And yes, I have deliberately held off posting about blanket progress until today. Erin go bragh.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's Friday Again

I love this piece, and these guys are having a great time with it. I just had to share.

Makes you want to just sit down and read your atlas, doesn't it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Foot In Mouth Disease

I had to laugh. I didn't mean for yesterday's post to be a polemic against coffee cup souvenirs, but apparently the universe chose to take it as one. I quite like cups. I fall prey to the siren song of the new coffee cup all the time. In fact, my favorite cups are souvenirs, and vice versa. Behold some evidence.

On the left there's my Tube cup from London. Clare brought it home last year, because back when we took our "us alone" trip I was so entranced with "Mind the Gap." Occupying center stage is one of my first souvenir cups, purchased from The Scarlet Letter at the Country Folk Art Fair held at Kane County Fairgrounds. Next to that is from this year's Stitches Midwest. It's a Jennie the Potter (I may have talked myself out of one that first year at the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Show, but, you know, second shipwrecks and all that).

So, despite yesterday's comments on the souvenir cup, and particularly in light of the deep freeze we're in -- it's a very brrr-inducing 19 degrees (Fahrenheit) here as I write -- I have to say I'm delighted with the Malabrigo Club's March shipment. Hence the above-mentioned laughter.

The yarn is Malabrigo Lace in Cognac, but it's clear to me that Erin, recognizing that Winter hasn't loosed its grip yet, somehow aware that it would -- however briefly -- snow(!) today, has sent a cup of hot chocolate.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And It Only Took Me 31 Years

Marc was at a conference in Seattle last week. A nice irony when one considers the near non-stop rain we'd been cursing hunched under enjoying here in the Windy City. ( It was rain. That meant it was above freezing. Count your blessings.) Whenever he travels, he picks up something for us poor benighted types who were left at home. It's usually t-shirts for the kids. Often a coffee cup for me, although he has been known to deviate from the program - like the year he brought back the embroidered shawl from Olvera Street, but that's another story.

On one of his daily check-ins he commented that he found only one t-shirt vendor who had Pacific Northwest designs, and had had no luck finding a replacement for the Orca design necktie he had gotten for some long-distant Father's Day (must have been the year we bought him ties from all the museums where we had memberships). Hoping to stave off another souvenir cup, I casually mentioned yarn.

"You know, I saw a yarn store on my run, not far from the hotel and I almost went in." Being a smart woman, I nearly jumped through the phone lines encouraged this train of thought. I even went so far as to Google yarn stores in Seattle. By the way, do you people know about KnitMap? What a great invention. Sure enough, there at Second and Bell I found So Much Yarn - a clear and karmic sign. At the question of how much yarn, I knew right off to respond, "Sweater quantities. The staff will know."

(Him)"You'd really knit a cardigan for me?"
(Me) "Um. Well. Sure."

He went off to scout. It occurred to e that the yarn requirements for a man's cardigan might be a little different than a child's pullover. A quick check through Ann Budd's A Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns and Martin Storey's Knitting For Him confirmed the suspicion.

He confirmed the existence and status of the yarns store (moving, not going out of business). I told him how much yarn.It got a little sticky.

(Him) Silence. "That's a lot of yarn."
(Me) "Yes it is."
(Him) "It wouldn't fit. How would I get it home? Where would I put it? I'd have to buy a suitcase. Do you think they'd let me have a box?"

I could tell I was losing him.

(Me) "What if you just see if there's anything there you like? You could pick up a couple of skeins for me to play with."
(Him) "That could work."

I was quite excited when he handed this over. It obviously wasn't a coffee cup.

Behold my souvenir.

I admit, I was a bit puzzled. The skein is Cascade Sierra, a 50/50 cotton/wool blend. The ball is Samoa, a 50/50 cotton and acrylic.

(Me) "You want a cotton sweater?"
(Him) "Well, no. Wool would probably be better. I just bought them for the color."

The irony of all this?

I'm already knitting him a navy blue wool sweater.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I Feel Old

Do you know whose birthday it is? If I hadn't heard it from Carl on the Morning Program on WFMT I wouldn't have believed it. Barbie is 50 today.

I'm not talking about her current incarnation as floozy. I'm talking about Sorority Meeting Barbie. Solo in the Spotlight Barbie. Back in the day when you could buy an outfit without a doll in it. She had an outfit for a Friday Night Date, a Movie Date, the Junior Prom. Her wedding dress was a Bride's Dream. For all her bad rep, though, she had a cap and gown (the outfit was called Graduation), something to wear as a Commuter, a Stewardess, and a Fashion Editor. She played Guinevere in Camelot (my sister had that one). She was Barbie who had her own car (an orange corvette). Barbie who had her own Dream Home (it may have been out of cardboard, but it was all hers).

Why, you may wonder, have I bored you with this frenzy of nostalgia?

Barbie was a knitter.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Friday on Wednesday

Well, That was an interesting two weeks, filled with holidays and stomach flu. I remember there was a birthday in there (I finished the scarf), and some meetings and coffee. I know I did some driving to and from Urbana. I have a vague and faded recollection of a multi-generational lunch out for another birthday.

It was the stomach flu that threw me off. No. Not me personally. It was a very sexist stomach flu. It zeroed in on the members of the male persuasion that dwell here. Still, all in all, things have been rather more eventful than I like. I like peace. I need quiet. Not all the time, but some. Having all of the guys home last week was not conducive to either. It's a long time since I've spent the night on the bathroom floor with a child draped across my lap, and I was a lot younger then.

Looking over that last paragraph it's clear that I'm still swimming in the stream of my consciousness. So here's Friday's post today. I'll try to string together some coherent thoughts tomorrow.

Your Quirk Factor: 47%

You're a pretty quirky person, but you're just normal enough to hide it.

Congratulations - you've fooled other people into thinking you're just like them!

Edited to add: I don't know why, but Blogger won't publish my quirk factor, which should be appearing in that big empty space. It's 47%.

Oh. And here's a close up of the birthday scarf. Just to remind myself that I still knit.

Handmaiden Lady Godiva in Renaissance. Knit according to Misty Garden from Scarf Style on I forget what size needles. Maybe I'll remember tomorrow.