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The WeatherPixie

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November 30, 2002
yarns Yesterday was a


Yesterday was a total "yarn gift to myself" day. I nipped into the yarn store to pick up some fuzzy stuff for the cuffs and sleeves of Zoe's tutti-frutti sweater. Bought some fluffy stuff, but not the colorful Fizz, though I did exchange the leftover green. Some pink Aura and some melon colored something. So much for this being a cheap project -- At least the rest of it only cost $2.99! I was making tremendous progress with this project, but now that I've divided the body and the arms and slipped the stitches onto some scrap yarn the shape seems funny. Mostly, the neckhole is too small for the width of the sweater. I checked early to make sure it would go over Zoe's head, and it does, but it just looks funny. This is raglan top-down, so there's all kinds of shaping around the neck, and I don't think I could just pick it out. I suppose there's no harm in trying that before I just rip out the whole thing. The hole can't become any smaller, and I can always improve things by knitting on a collar. It's really too bad because it was coming along so nicely and was nearly half done, but I really don't want it to look funny. There's no point in that! Any thoughts?

If you're my relative, don't read this. You'll spoil your gift!

Okay, they've been warned! As if one yarn treat were not enough, my package from arrived yesterday. Some Magic and some Cozy, both from Tahki/Stacy Charles. The Magic is in a colorway called "Chess" -- perfect for a scarf for my chess playing brother-in-law! Almost went with the Artful Yarns' Jazz in Theolonius, but didn't (they even make one called Ella, but I haven't succumbed yet). I'm planning to knit the Chess in a pattern of knitted and purled squares -- naturally.

And the Cozy. The Cozy! I guess that's one of those things about mailorder. You don't get to fondle the yarns. The flipside of that is that it can be such a pleasant surprise. The Cozy is SO aptly named. Very soft, lots of subtle (and not so subtle, but not riotous)color knitted up. This too will make a nice scarf. I've started in 1x1 rib on #13 needles and it looks great, but my wrist hates the extra motion of ribbing. Might try something else.

The tutti-frutti has to marinate for a while so I can think about how to approach the neck with a cool head. In the mean time, scarves! It's weird, but I don't think I've ever knit a scarf before last week. Seems bizarre, but I just never did the scarf stage. Anyway, they are totally fun and quick and require so little commitment... I'm enjoying them. Everyone's getting scarves for the holidays!

Not quite true. Leo opened his felted Noro slippers last night. I couldn't wait longer than the first night of Hannukah. Now that they've been presented I will photograph them. They are warm, they are thick, they are not too slippery. I think I may be at the end of my felting thing for the moment though. Also ended up making a felted bowl. That's what I am calling it. Thought it might be a little purse, but by using the Lamb's pride at the bottom and the Noro on the sides and not really thinking hard enough about how huge the difference is between the shrinking of height vs. width, it's a little bowl. Sort of a "useful pot to put things in". If I could come up with the right thing to put in it, it would be a charming little tschotchke. Food's out. Not really washable enough --and fuzzy. Too big for paperclips. Not big enough for any but the smallest of yarn skeins -- but then, small skeins of fancy yarn... hmm.


07:09 AM
November 26, 2002
Dear Prudence Ooh. I

Dear Prudence

Ooh. I just found out that Prudence Mapstone will be in town for a "scrumbling" workshop in January! She's the one that does that wacky freeform knitting and crocheting. Check this out. There's a North American workshop schedule on her site. Cool.


07:21 AM
update Zoe and Ella


Zoe and Ella ended up sick on the morning of Zoe's big 5 party and we had to postpone until next week. How sad! Ella has croup, which was treated with a wonderdrug at Children's hospital and she hasn't barked since. Who knows what Zoe had? A fever. Kept her home on Monday (her real birthday) -- she'll have to take her cupcakes in to Kindergarten today. She took the whole thing pretty well, thankfully. So I'm in total party limbo now with sagging decorations, and a half frosted cake -- now with a couple of slices out. It looks vaguely obscene in its partial nudity, but at least I know it was tasty! Needs a little more orange-curd filling between the layers... didn't want to go overboard for fear of it being "yucky" to five year olds. Will have to rebake and reclean. Ah, well.

On a happier birthday note, my dear friend's baby arrived yesterday. Welcome Leo! He is the recipient of a little hat and booties. I never photographed them though. Perhaps he will model them for us -- he weighed in at over nine lbs, so they ought to fit soon!

Made the mistake of going by the knitting store AND the european children's clothing store on Friday. They should not be next to one another and I (a devoted tightwad and thrift-shopper 95% of the time) should be thoroughly restrained or sedated before venturing anywhere close to them. I was looking for something for Zoe, sort of -- I had only been semi-successful in my mall adventure for gifts (silly me for thinking it would be easy!) Ended up buying a coat that was marked down more than 75% and will be worn by both girls over the next, say, 6 years. So really, a bargain.

Yarn store, less of a bargain. Bought some sort of celery colored Fizz and Aura which I made into a scarf using a bias technique the yarn lady had models of (and a flyer for). The flyer came from EFFECTIVENESS by design. Essentially, after you cast on, you increase on one side and decrease on the other, so the scarf is knit a bit diagonally. Adds a bit of interest to a plain garter scarf. Plus, it encourages one to put a tassel and bead on each end. This is pretty glam. Aside from the aesthetics, I think the bias helps the scarf remain shapely.

Susan, the yarn lady, is totally knowledgable and helpful, so what happened was a fluke: She suggested that I'd need two Fizz per Aura. This was not true. The Aura was actually slightly shorter than one Fizz. The scarf was plenty long at 20 stitches x 1 skein, so I am hoping to return my un-used Fizz. Or trade it in for some of the rainbow sherbet colored one. My plan for that would be to make a sweater with some tutti-frutti ribbon yarn that I scavenged from the clearance rack at Ross once and use the fruity Fizz for cuffs and hem. Perhaps also a small removable neck/scarf/tube thing. This would be for Ms. Pink and Sparkly Five. No suprise there.


06:31 AM
November 20, 2002
free shipping Okay, I'm

free shipping

Okay, I'm a sucker for free shipping -- especially when you only have to buy $30 worth of yarn. It's practically impossible to buy less! Especially when you figure you'd pay at least $5 for shipping, so if the total's at $21, you're really SAVING money by buying more...

I just came across* Very good prices on yarn and books. The free shipping... and I just figured out that this knitwear gift giving must be a total scam -- I mean, I get to BUY cool yarn, spend time knitting it, and it counts as a GIFT for someone else! That's pretty cool.

*Apparently they are part of some huge craft mail-order mega-giant that I have never heard of, but the actual
seems very Mom & Pop -- and is located in Vancouver, WA. Not all that far from my hometown.


07:25 AM
November 19, 2002
imagination Zoe has her


Zoe has her friend, Max, over yesterday. They're playing doctor. Her doll, Lila, is the patient. Zoe starts scribbling on her prescription pad. I hear her sounding things out. She asks me how to spell "should". Later, I see what she's written.

LiLa Has POLEO so You ShOulD GiV her MeDSin cAllD P.N...


07:19 AM
November 18, 2002
fantastic voyage Okay. I've

fantastic voyage

Okay. I've made a little link there on the left with information on the fantastic voyage. If you'd like to sign up, you still can. There's no deadline. I've added the names and web addresses of those who've already signed up as well as the week you are up to show us around. Have a look!


11:16 AM
November 15, 2002
on the road Alright,

on the road

Alright, knitters, step right this way. We've picked an unbelievably gorgeous day for our visit to La Jolla. It's clear and sunny, and though it's a bit cool in the morning, the temperature will be up to 80 by this afternoon! Hope you brought your sunglasses... and some comfortable shoes. I decided to park the magic bus and limit our visit to a walkable area. The scenery and window-shopping will be well worth any tired feet.

We'll start the day with brunch at Pannikin's Brockton Villa, an historic house turned restaurant, overlooking La Jolla Cove. If you look here, you can check out the "virtual cove scene". The Pannikin's white porch is visible on the far left.

I'll have the Greek Steamers with the fabulous Bread & Cie bread and coffee. We'll sit on the front veranda where we can see the pelicans and cormorants and hear the waves crash as we knit. Given the nature of our visit, we've got the spot to ourselves so we're free to linger with our coffees and projects.

When we're ready to move on we're off to The La Jolla Fiber Arts Gallery. They don't have any knitted items showcased right now, but the colors, textures and designs of the works displayed are sure to inspire us... Or at least give us that 'for $300, I could do better myself' sense of smugness.

From there we'll wander through the village over to Knitting in La Jolla. No web presence yet, but owner, Suzanne Pineau, says it's in the works. The store in medium sized and located upstairs in a complex of shops. It's cozy and a bit crowded, but not in an overwhelming way. Like the neighborhood, the yarns are upscale here. Draped skeins of Colinette greet you at the door and inside you'll find lots of sumptuous yarns to tempt your fingers and pull at your pocketbook. She carries many gourmet yarns as well as some of the old standbys. There's a reasonable collection of books and a large variety of interesting buttons. It's hard to walk away empty handed!

New purchases tucked under our arms, we'll amble over to The Museum of Contemporary Art. We'll sit out in the scupture garden overlooking the ocean while we admire everyone's latest yarn selections and work a while on our projects. Some will be interested in seeing the galleries, though the windows often offer the most aweing views. Others might like to spend some time walking on the beach or checking out galleries, rug stores and shops along Girard and Prospect Streets. So the afternoon can be spent as you wish -- just be sure to work up an appetite!

As the day draws to an end we'll order some delicious fish tacos (the San Diego treat) from Wahoo's and
eat them al fresco as the sun sinks into the Pacific.

A beautiful end to a beautiful day. Pass me the salsa... and another napkin!

Next stop, we're moving up the coast for a visit with Larry.


04:58 PM
November 13, 2002
road trip! Since all

road trip!

Since all the knitting's hush-hush for various reasons -- involving publications and gift creation for the holidays, I think it's time for a Fantastic Fiber Voyage!

Here's the idea: We'll all jump on the virtual magic bus (needles in hand of course!) and traverse the ether. The bus will stop wherever we want it to and when it gets to your town, you'll show us around and give us a fabulous fiber filled day in your neck of the woods. Take us to your local yarn shop! Perhaps we'll stop in for a coffee somewhere or loll in the park and knit a few rows as we absorb the local culture, maybe you'll have us over to your place where we'll sit in front of the fireplace and eat soup and knit socks. You are Julie McCoy. You control our destinies!

If you don't think your hometown is particularly fiber rich, feel free to take us someplace you'dlike to go on your own knitting holiday.

First stop: Lovely La Jolla, California. I'll post my fantasy fiber daytrip soon. Sign on below in the "Comments" section and we'll work up an itinerary from there.


07:56 PM
November 7, 2002
spring cleaning. It's not

spring cleaning.

It's not Spring here. Maybe I've caught a Southern Hemisphere thing...

Anyway, I've been on a blitz of closet cleaning this week. Ahh. Started with the girls' room/linens/miscellaneous craft bits closet. Yes, all of those are contained in one 3' x 5' closet! Oh, it also contains a single sized futon for small sleep-over guests. You can see why it needed order imposed on it.

Also, the refrigerator, including removing all 'non-essential' refrigerator magnets and art projects. Seems like a subtle thing, but it's nice not to be visually assaulted by the hodge-podge of stuff everytime I walk in the kitchen.

I know some gain comfort from accumulated objects. I get great satisfaction from getting rid of things.

The next thing SHOULD be cleaning the windows inside and out, but I don't know if I'll do that. We do have a really nice cobweb that I've been cultivating outside the kitchen window, but now that Halloween is over, it probably should go.


07:09 AM
November 6, 2002
Party Planning Okay, before

Party Planning

Okay, before you read any of this, you should probably listen to episode 187, act 2 of This American Life.

Zoe's 5th birthday is around the corner. I've decided against Human Barbie AND skewering gummy bears however. We're going to play dress-up. An invitation is above. More on the party as preparations are made.


04:20 PM
Spin! Okay, it's official.


Okay, it's official. I want to learn how to spin. I've been eyeing all kinds of beautiful rovings on Ebay and can just imagine what beautiful, unique yarns you could make from them. So, help! Where do I find a good beginner's drop spindle? Any especially good websites to check out? What sort of fiber should I buy for my first attempt? Probably not the hand dyed baby alpaca and silk that I was eyeing, eh?

Any guidance appreciated.


06:45 AM
Show Your Stuff Stumbled

Show Your Stuff

Stumbled across the Harrisville Designs site today. They have some really inspiring objects up from the Convergence "Show Your Stuff" contest. I especially liked the woven and knit sweater and the felted elfin booties.


06:19 AM
November 3, 2002
mix tapes My husband

mix tapes

My husband surpised me on Friday with two mix tapes -- okay, actually they were CD's, but how romantic in a Sarah Vowell kind of a way! If it weren't too dark to read the label, I would tell you what was on them.


06:06 AM