Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Seamless Sweater - One Armed Bandit

Just one arm to go.

I decided on a slight bell shaped sleeve with seed stitch on the end to match the bottom of the sweater.

By next week it should be completed. Just in time for 80 degree weather. Perfect!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Just Because You Can Knit It…

…Doesn’t Mean You Should

Since knitting took over my life these past few months, I’ve been looking at a gazillion knitting patterns. Because I really need more projects on my project list. And more yarn bursting out of my closet. Really. I do.

But in the plethora of knitting patterns, there are good and there are bad.

I preface this post with the following: I am not a fashion goddess. Vogue Magazine is not banging down my door to do a photo shoot of my fabulously, stylish wardrobe. In the words of Freddie Mercury, “bad mistakes, I’ve made a few…” Like the horrible linen thing that touched me everywhere and flattered me nowhere. Or the flash dance days when scissors and my clothes were best of friends…But I digress.

I apologize at the start if I insult anyone’s fashion-ability with what I’m about to show you. As they say: one man’s horror show is another man’s love story. (OK, no one really says that, I just made that up.)

Let’s begin:

I’m not sure if this pattern book irked me because of the perky, annoying, girl-next-door-Katie Couric-type model. Or that the patterns inside are so god-awful. Or both.
Poncho Hell

But look at this poncho. I have nothing against ponchos. I like them. I currently wear one that I knitted and I’m struggling to knit another.

Bad Poncho
But this poncho? Why? Who? WTF?

This next number I found in a book called “Hip Knits.”
Hip Knit Book
Nice book. But then I started turning pages.

Hip Knits
Hip Knits. Oh. I get it. Knits that run out of yarn before they reach your hips.

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The black bar? The fringe?

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Ah. That's what was missing.

I bet this would come in handy…
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…in a very cold and drafty CONVENT!!

Now really, how much more SHIT could you knit into one truly ugly scarf? Squares. Assorted stitch patterns. Variegated yarn. Eyelash yarn. Tassels. Oof.
squares poncho
And what do you say when opening the box? “Oh, this is just beautiful. You shouldn’t have” Really. You shouldn’t have.

Again, let me repeat. I like ponchos.

Not color-coordinated dishtowels.

Or ponchos that just barely cover ‘the ladies.’

This book is called “Fur all the Time.”
fur all the time
Should be called “Fur. Why?”

You look like…a Gorilla.

Now, maybe in some circles, gorillas are fashionable. But when you meet your friends for dinner and you’re wearing this, do you want them thinking: “I hope they’re serving bananas foster tonight or she’s going to be one pissed off primate.” I didn’t think so.

I love hats. I love furry hats. The more hats the merrier and the fluffier the better.

a hat that looks like a Smurf barfed all over my head? No.

This fur jacket is really pretty.
No, it’s not. I’m lying. It’s really ugly.

The furry poncho?
striped poncho
I repeat: Just because you can knit it...

And not to slam because I love it and all -- but Cleaves? Personally I think they've missed the boat on this one. Who gets cold elbows??

What Happens When You Leave a Poncho on the Couch?

Moneypenny decides it's a good place to knead.

And knead some more.

Before settling in for what she thinks is about to be a nice nap.

Too bad her momma was leaving for work and taking the poncho with her.

Moneypenny: "This is beat. When the hell am I getting my own Kitty Pi?"

Friday, April 22, 2005

There is a God...And I Can Buy it By the Case!

For those of you glued to your seats waiting to hear what Colgate had to emphasis in bold italics.

To: stacyo
Subject: Colgate
WebSite Query
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005

Thank you for contacting us. We are sorry that you are having difficulty locating Colgate Cavity Protection Winterfresh Gel Toothpaste.

Our sales force works to sell all our products in as many stores and geographic areas as possible. However, there are retailers who limit their selection of products and may decide not to stock a particular brand. If a store is part of a chain, the main warehouse may order only certain products. Individual store managers choose which products to carry. If the store is small, they may have limited stock space.

The product you inquired about is currently being produced. (YAY!) We have informed our sales force that there is interest for this product.

If you are interested in purchasing our products by the case, there is an independent distributor, DEI Services, Inc., that you can order from, either via the Internet ( or by phone (1-800-798-8889).

We hope you will continue to rely on our company for quality products and services and that you will contact us again if you need additional information or have any further questions.


Consumer Affairs Representative
Consumer Affairs

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Call Me Hank. Call Me Skein. But Skank?

Yup. Skank. That’s what I call ‘em. Those fluffy, colorful balls of yarn that now possess me and all the available space in my closet. My mother’s been a knitter for years. It was one of those things she did that I didn’t pay too much attention to. (Unless it was time to talk about what she was going to make for me!)

And you know the way it goes with mothers. They talk. And talk. And you listen and nod along, and retain about 25% of what they’re yammering about. (Sorry mom. I love you – really. And your conversations are ALWAYS riveting. I swear. I’m just making this up to have a blog entry for today.)

In my mind I knew the words of her knitting – she interchanged “hank” and “skein” at will.

TheMotha, one day, pre my knitting, via cell phone: “I’m in the knitting store now and there are some beautiful skeins here. I see one that I think you’d like. Are you online? Look up Gedefra. That’s spelled gee, eee, dee...”

Me: “Yeah, yeah, I got it.”

TheMotha: “Did you find it? Which coluh (Brooklyn accent for “color”) do you like? Make sure you like it. These hanks are $17.50 a piece. This isn’t going to be a cheap scarf. But mahdohn (Brooklyn Italian for “my god”) this is beautiful wool.”

So the day she was teaching me how to be my own knitter, I combined these two mystery words and came up with “skank.”

Me, in knitting store, pretty confused: “So what kind of skank should I get for my first scarf, mom?”

Skank. I kind of like it.

Not “skank” like the cheap, dirty girl from high school who everyone knew was a slut. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…) But “skank,” the nice, expensive stuff I now carry around with me everywhere -- always on the lookout for a free moment where I can knit a few rows.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Not a good word. Makes me do crazy things. Take, for example, Colgate toothpaste. The original Cavity Protection Gel. Not the white. Not the gazillion stupid new flavors they’ve introduced recently. The Original Gel.

It’s impossible to find anymore. I.m.p.o.s.s.i.b.l.e. Targhey doesn’t carry it. Safeway doesn’t either. Rite Aid had a few – and I bought them all. Yes, all of them. Oh yeah, I can hear you now. You sound just like my husband. “What is wrong with you? You’re hording toothpaste!”

Yes. I hoard.

Cabinet One

Cabinet Two

I’ve even sent an email to the geniuses at Colgate to find out WTF is up with my favorite toothpaste. I’ll let you know what they say. (I know, you’ll be checking back DAILY to hear the final word…)

So what does ANY OF THIS have to do with knitting? I’ll tell you.

See this?

It’s a great Hasana shawl using Berroco’s Nimbus yarn. One of the free patterns available from their website.

Ah. But read the fine print:
“Please note that this pattern specifies yarn(s) which have been discontinued by Berroco.”

DISCONTINUED. Warning. It’s discontinued. Nimbus is its name. I must find it! I must have it!

Ebay to the rescue. And a yarn seller named Toadal Discount Yarn. She’s selling 83 skeins of this limited stuff. (Well, make that 77.)

Soon, I will make myself a Hasana shawl. Because I need it. Yes, I do. Really. And I’ll wear it while smiling and showing off my pearly white teeth. Newly brushed with Colgate’s Cavity Protection Gel. Because I am a hoarder.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Birthday, The Sea Ranch and Lambswool

Spent a great birthday weekend in a fab rental home in The Sea Ranch, a wonderful 10-mile stretch of rugged landscape on Highway One in coastal Sonoma County.

Pilot's Reach
View of the house

We took a morning walk to the local hotel for breakfast. The views are so spectacular that you forget how hungry you are in your brisk one-hour trek (!) for food.

The Sea Ranch Fence
Such a view! Like buttah!

Coincidentally, the hotel had a gift shop. Imagine that. Also coincidentally, it had been about 48 hours from *any* shopping for me and I was getting restless -- beautiful views or not! And guess what I found?

The Sea Ranch Wool. And birthday flowers and card
The Sea Ranch Wool.

50 grams of fine yarn from the sheep that graze on The Sea Ranch. Had to grab myself a some (four) of these. According to the wrapper, "Before The Sea Ranch, this land was a sheep ranch. The sheep have been brought back to provide an environmentally gentle way to protect us from fire hazards."

So while the sheep are busy protecting the land from fires, I will be contemplating the creation of a Sea Ranch hat. Or scarf. Or something else wooly and great. Something I know I'll wear on my next trip to The Sea Ranch.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Seamless Sweater Progress

It's starting to look like a sweater now. If I were Britney Spears I'd just wear it like this!

My homework for next class -- to finish knitting the body to the length and finish on the end that I want. Ribbing (non-indenting ribbon, of course...), roll bottom, seed stitch, garter stitch?? So many choices.

Yes, I know. My Photoshop skills amaze me, too..

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Yarn Stores Close. Ebay is open all night...

No telling what you can find surfing ebay for yarn. Now my obsession can continue long after closing hours!

Acacia likes orange
My new orange collection. Courtesy of ebay.

Acacia, the orange kitty, decided she should model near my new stash, what with being orange and all. (Plus, I've been getting a few comments that making my cats wear my creations is just plain weird. What can I say? They like wool.)


Today. Lunch time at the office. We have a kitchen with two large tables that we all gather round every day and comment on what everyone else is eating. Lately, the "knitters" have been ballsy enough to bring our work with us to the tables. Right there in the open. With all the world to see.

Yes, we hear the snickering. We see the sideway glances. We hear the "old lady spinster" jokes. We just don't care. We like to knit. It's not so much the process as the excitement to have something new to wear or give as a gift.

"Shit" is what came out of my mouth as I dropped my right needle. (yes, with stitches on it. I mean the one that used to have stitches on it.) Right there at the lunch table. Me. Cursing. Go figure.

Me: "Oh, sorry, it's the knitting."

KnittingWannaBe sitting across from me: "Stacy...It's not the knitting."

She's no dummy, that KnittingWannaBe.

Tomorrow, she gets her first knitting lesson. And we'll see what a potty mouth she'll turn into overnight!

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Bear in a Shameless Seamless Sweater Plug

Profile: The Bear (aka Boo Boo Bear)
Age: About 3
Story: Rescued from Madera Shelter duing the Marin Humane Society's yearly Whiskers on Wheels event.
Personality: Sweetest cat that ever lived. Come on -- he lets me put a not-yet-completed sweater on him.

Sweater Bear
He looks pretty cute if you ask me. (The cat. And the sweater too, come to think of it.)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Dude, Where's My Car?

To recover from my poncho disaster (see previous post) I attended a "seamless sweater class" at my LYS last night. Once a week we'll meet for four weeks, and at the end I am told I'll have my first seamless, hand-knit-by moi-sweater. I ask in advance -- how many times will I frog said sweater before the beautiful orange-y/red alpaca wool caresses my torso? I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, shortly after I arrived at the store and during my search for the perfect yarn for my sweater -- my cell phone rings. It's my mother. From New York. For her to be calling at 9:15 pm her time makes we wonder if something happened.

Me: "Hello?"

TheMotha: "Sob, sob. sniffle. sniffle. My car was just stolen."

Me: "Your car? Stolen? From where? Where are you?" (Thinking: should I get this yarn in green or red? Or is the green is too Christmas-sy?)

TheMotha: "I'm at home. Sitting on my couch. And all of a sudden, I looked out the window and my car isn't parked in my space in the back. It's stolen." Sob. Sob. More sniffles.

I cut her off, already knowing the answer to my soon to be asked question: "Mom, have you called the police or I am the first person you're calling?"

TheMotha: "No. I called you."

Me, thinking: ‘Good call. I'm in San Francisco and can be *very helpful* locating the thieves who made off with your car. In Long Island. 3000 miles away.’

Me, speaking: "Why don't you call the police right now and then call me back."

TheMotha: "OK." Sob, sob. Click.

I got a voicemail a short while later, saying the car was found. Everything is OK. I guess the thieves didn't like that year Lexus. Or the CD collection of a pushing 70-year old woman wasn't cool enough. Or the lack of the "diamond in the back" interior wouldn't fly with friends. Whatever. They left the car behind, TheMotha was going to sleep, and I was about to begin my journey in knitting a seamless sweater.

Fast forward to this morning. 5:45 am (yes, I was on my way to the gym...have to compensate for all this sitting on my ass --knitting is not the most active hobby, you know). I call my mother to get the whole story on the car.

Me: "So what happened with the car?"

TheMotha: "Um, can I call you back later? I'm driving Agatha (6-year old niece) to school and then I'm working at 9. I'll call you when I'm done."

Me, thinking: ‘Why am I getting the bum's rush here?’

Me, speaking: "I'm only in the car for a few more minutes. Just tell me what happened with your car last night."

TheMotha: (speaking really fast, faster than her normal NY fast talk) "It was parked in the front of my building the whole time. I parked it there yesterday and forgot. I have to go to the police station later and apologize to them. Can I go now??" Click.

Two minutes later it was TheMotha on my cell phone again. "And don't go blabbing your big mouth about this to everyone on the west coast." Click.

Me: "Me? Blab? Never!"

So. Let me tell you about that sweater. It's coming along quite nicely.

Sweater in progress

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

K.N. I.T.T.I.N.G. Spells "Frustrating!"

Argh. I took on this new poncho project because in my head I'm a great knitter. In reality, I'm a sucky knitter. As I mentioned earlier, I found this great pattern in the Stitch 'N Bitch Nation book. And I spent a few hours over the weekend teaching myself yarn overs, slipping a stitch (um, not hard at all...), and passing slipped stitch over. I even *practiced* the main lace pattern for my poncho on $2 yarn so as not to ruin my nice yarn by repetitive frogging.

Yeah, well, WHATEVER. I'm now frogging the nice yarn as I began my fourth attempt at this poncho.
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The picture from the book shows a nice, even lace pattern.

See *my* version of the poncho??? A mess:Image hosted by

I had 15 extra stitches at the end of the fourth row. And that uneven lace pattern? What is that? This thing would fit an entire small village if I keep on knitting. And they would not look cute wearing it.

My solution? I'm taking a class tonight on how to make a seemless sweater at the great
Urban Knitting Store. And like a good Scarlet O'Hara, I'll worry about the poncho tomorrow.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

"Your Blog is Stupid"

That's what my sister emailed me recently. Mostly she was pissed because she couldn't find the comment she posted earlier and accused me of removing it to add more "jibberish." (Lack of web skills and the knowledge to click on "comments" would have helped...) but hey -- she might suck at computers but speaks fluent Italian and can run circles around me in the kitchen. So I'll keep blogging and she can keep making the meatballs...

In the meantime, she asked for pictures. "I want to see stuff."

Ask and ye shall receive. Here is an assortment of stuff that I've completed over the last few weeks or works in progress. No animals were hurt in the photography process. (Sleep was disturbed, yes. But come on. They sleep 20 hours a day -- what's a few minutes for a bit of Knit Kitty Knit fame?)

Simple garter stich scarf with very cool (and cheap) Peacock yarn from Joann's. The scarf brings out the blue in Missy's eye.
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This scarf was made with Moda Dea Tutu. I used a checkerboard pattern (k4,p4 for 25 stiches and then flip) which you really can't see unless you look at it closely.
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I don't mind. Because not only can't you see the checkerboard, you can't see all the mistakes I made, either!

This is the same poncho that my mom made. Once I saw hers I ran out to get yarn so I could make my own.Image hosted by
The hat I made with left over yarn. Bad enough that my ass freezes when I wear the poncho. At least my head can be warm!Image hosted by

I love this pom pom yarn. I wanted it to go with the eyelash yarn to make a great long and wide scarf using 17 needles. But the eyelash was too overwhelming when combined with the pom pom. And the pom pom was too airy on its own. So I opted for a shawl, just using the eyelash in the first two rows and the first and last stitch on each row.
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We'll see how this ends up. On my shoulders or rolled up back in balls in my yarn drawer...

Friday, April 01, 2005

Soon, They Commit Me

Ok. It's Friday. So that meant trip number two *this week* to a fab knitting store that we found that isn't too far from the office. (Not too far on a day that *isn't* Friday with traffic up the wazoo and every truck on the planet needing to do some awkward traffic move in front of me that holds us up as we rush to the store...!!!)

Anyway....6 skeins for a groovy new poncho pattern I found in Stitch 'N Bitch Nation; 2 skeins of something I needed like a whole in the head, but was too cute to pass up; 2 skeins of really cute red and orange yarn to make an ADORABLE purse; glass swirly button for said purse; one pair of 17 inch bamboo circulars for the groovy poncho -- and I was all set to check out.

Damage done: $203.00. Oh well. It's an addition. I'll admit it. My name is StacyO and I'm a Yarn-aholic. Whatever. It's payday. And I'll look cute in my new poncho.