Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's mine, it's mine, it's... Wollmeise!

It's that yarn that everyone talks about and that turns up on eBay for obscene amounts of cash.

It's Wollmeise!

I'm told by my DH, who speaks a little German, that the proper pronunciation is vol-meez-uh. Which means I've been anglicizing the name totally wrong all this time. ETA: DH told me wrong! It's vol-MY-zuh. And now I can't get the "I'm Mr. Heat Miser" out of my head.

BUT the point is that I didn't spend obscene amounts of money to get it. Our Stephania, our knitting group's indie dyer and yarn pusher ("What'cha got this time, Stephania? Ooh, shiny! WANT!") has a secret, which seems to involve a Firefox plug-in, one of the Wollmeise vendors, and a new baby keeping her up at all hours of the night, including the hours that Wollmeise is listed and gets snatched up almost instantly. By procuring odd lots and grab bags, she's able to bring skeins of the stuff to meet-ups, where it's snarfed up by the rest of us for a rational price instead of an eBay price.

Out of the last lot, I picked this skein, in a rich purply-burgundy:

Now, is Wollmeise really so special that some folks are willing to part with hundreds for a single skein? Ummm... it's very nice sock yarn, but so are Malabrigo and Cherry Tree Hill. It's the super-saturated colors that people are after, and of course other brands offer those, too.

And -- well -- it's getting the Wollmeise bragging rights. To say, yes, it's in my stash. Yes, I actually touched a real skein of the real thing. Yes, I'm in the club! Ooh. Shiny.

Now, what does one do with a skein of THAT wool that everyone wants? After petting and admiring it, I think this one is going to be a lace shawl rather than socks.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Knitting Scholarship? For real?

Yes! Athletes can have scholarships for their skills, smart students get scholarships for mental prowess, and members of school clubs may have scholarships all their own. Now, for us fiber enthusiasts, there's a knitting scholarship! Read the article on Knitting News about the Beans for Brains scholarships, brought to you by Jimmy Beans Wool and Vogue Knitting.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I've been on the couch most of the day. There is a pile of soggy tissues and an empty juice cup on the end table.

Yeah, I've got the creeping crud. Bleagh. All my hand-washing and hand-sanitizing to ward off the things my students bring to school with them, and I was brought down when my DH came home with a cold himself. One stray kiss -- "Oops, sorry, forgot" -- and then another sometime later, and yet another... do they make lip sanitizer? 'Cause I could use some.

It's not the flu, just a rotten cold, rotten enough to make my nose run like a faucet and give me a low-grade fever Wednesday night that made me sleep poorly (I must have slept on and off because stuff happened that I know couldn't have really happened). Thursday I went in to school long enough to return graded exams and deliver a lecture, then went home and curled up with the vaporizer for the afternoon. Thursday night I slept well enough that I thought I'd do okay Friday, reinforced by a 24-hour antihistamine and some aspirin.

Mistake! Bad mistake! I barely staggered through the day, making sure I slathered on the hand sanitizer before grading and handing back papers. Oh, the stupid decisions we make when the brain is distracted by a cold!

Today I've been perched on the couch all day, working on my NaNoWriMo novel (over 7000 words in one day and passed up the 50,000 word mark, hooah!), and knitting. The one consolation to sitting on the couch all day is having some luscious cashmere (beautiful domestic cashmere from Breezy Meadow Cashmere Farm) to work on:

The pattern is Spiraluscious, a lovely little cowl that was designed for fingering-weight yarn, but this laceweight on size 4 needles seems to be getting near gauge.

The bad part? Is when you feel so rotten with a cold that you don't even feel like knitting with cashmere. Cashmere! Yeah, that's a rotten cold.

The kitties have been consoling me all day. I've had at least one cat with me, sometimes two or three, most of the day. Odin is all soft and poofy and orange and has the most luxuriant purr. Belle decided she needed a nap, too -- in my big knitting bag, the little darlin'.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where in the world...?

Nothing knitting-related, but this little "map where you've been" thingie is kind of fun. Here's where I've been in the U.S. We hit lots of states on our Oregon-Indiana road trips with the kids, and others I've gone to for conferences. I'm not counting Colorado even though I've gone through the Denver airport many times because airports aren't really "there." I'm not sure they even count as reality.

visited 24 states (48%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

And in the world -- hmm, not much of a globetrotter... yet:

visited 2 states (0.88%)
Create your own visited map of The World

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sheepy in NYC

It's not often that The Sartorialist and I agree on what's great in fashion -- once in a while, but sometimes what he calls "fabulous!" I call, "Um, really? And your mother lets you leave the house like that?" (Or once in a while, "Oh, look, the circus is in town!")

But today -- check out this great sheepy sweater with jeans and pearls (little hint on the right -- follow the link to see it all). Yeah, that's fashion I can get on board with.

It's not that easy, Ebenezer Scrooge...

A frank plug:

So, in A Christmas Carol, Scrooge was visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, he reformed his life and his soul was saved forever and always.


Oh, it's not that easy. Not according to the novel my dear hubby wrote, and is now published by a wee tiny press and out on Amazon.com:The Charity of Ebenezer Scrooge: A Christmas Carol II

Do you really think that Lucifer will let the old miser go to the side of goodness and mercy without a fight? The three ghosts were given one night to reform Scrooge. Now three demons have an entire year to bring him back -- and take his new-found friends and his entire charity down with him.

This is a rip-snorter that will have you up all night to find out what happens next. You can read the first few pages on Amazon. Demons! Ghosts! Romance! Danger! Great writing! What more could you ask for?

Makes a great gift! ::she says, grinning widely::

Did the Knit Princess adopt our cats?

Today's Knit Princess looks all too familiar. When given the choice of a hand-knitted kitty bed and a pile of random papers on the floor, which does kitty prefer? Yeah, she's been around our house, all right!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monsters, cables, and FOs, oh, my!


The shrug I've been working on is finally complete. Well, more or less. After putting it on I think the ribbing around the opening should be an inch wider. The chunky-looking Terra yarn from The Fibre Company seems to call for more than the 3 inches of ribbing that the original pattern said to use.

The shrug began as a free simple shrug pattern from Caron yarns. I added a Celtic cable (also called the Saxon braid) from Super Stitches Knitting, flanked by two 4 by 4 cables twisting in opposite directions.

Here's a detail of the cable pattern:

And no sooner had I finished the shrug (which I wore to school the Friday before Halloween over a black cotton top and a long woolen black skirt, with black boots, to be sort of Celtic and cable-y and y'know, mysterious and all), than I took up the needles and some Lion Brand Organic cotton and started work on two mini-versions of Penelope the Empathetic Monster from Danger Crafts. One of my colleagues lost a sister to a long, terminal disease, and another just lost his mother quite suddenly. I thought they both needed some empathy, in small, desk-sized versions. By Monday evening I had two mini-Penelopes:

One in green and pink:
And one in blue and green:
They appeared like magic on the desks of their recipients this morning and were much appreciated.

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