Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sad nose

My nose is very sad, very stuffy. However, this will not deter me from my goal of finishing this Toasty Topper from Knitty for my nephew.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


We have a horrible infestation in our kitchen. No matter how much I clean, wash dishes, and put them away, each time I return to the kitchen, every plate, glass and utensil is dirty and ready to be cleaned again. Surely there must be something more powerful than mere soap and water to combat this sad state.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


My mother knitted Christmas stockings for the whole family. The stockings are striped in green, white, and red. Each stripe has something special. One has the person's name, the next has dancing people, a "Merry Christmas" message, another has the person's birthday, and finally the santas.

This year, I'm knitting one for my husband. The intarsia didn't frighten me, but it has slowed me down. I've knitted and frogged the dancing people twice now. They look pretty decent although not as wonderful as Mom's. I've got quite a bit of knitting to do before Santa arrives.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Holiday Excitement

I love my family. I really do. The holidays though? I always think we're going to be an essay in the next David Sedaris book. Admittedly, the holidays have officially begun, and we haven't had any kerfuffles. Not even a little one. No one has been in a snit, gotten her panties in a wad, said something outrageous at the dinner table, nor had too much to drink.

Peace on earth, good will to man. My fingers are crossed that it stays that way until after New Year's Eve when the planets return to their natural paths and my family settles back into their normal ways.

But if life offers too much normal, be suspicious. Be very suspicious.

Yesterday, after talking and knitting with a friend, I drove home. My husband hadn't returned from work. The house was chilly and the kitten was super excited. She was so excited she jumped out the back window and jumped back in the house. Since this had never happened before, I was slow to process what was happening. I felt certain that my husband must have started some odd project around the house that required leaving the back window open and the storm window hanging off of the frame at an odd angle.

About the time that the older cat strolled past the window to look in and greet me, I started to wonder what the hell hubby was thinking. He wasn't in the office, but the desk drawers were open and doors were open. "What a slob," I thought. I picked up my cell phone to call him, but he didn't answer.

Then I had another, more alarming thought and dialed 911. The nice dispatcher answered, and I told him someone had broken into our home. I couldn't explain why the computer, the tv, the radios were still here, but they were. The sensible dispatcher tried to convince me to wait in the front yard for the police while I babbled about my indoor cats who were currently delighted to be roaming wild outdoors. Finally, I heard what I was saying and agreed to go outside.

The police were very nice and thorough. After looking around, we did discover that a bicycle and camera were missing. The police supposed that the burglars were interrupted and had to leave. Several hours later, my husband noticed that his laptop and an air compressor his father built for him were missing. The air compressor is the only thing that cannot be replaced. I felt so grateful not to have been at home, and that no one was hurt.

The lingering questions are what bother me. Before the 80 pound air compressor was discovered to be missing, it looked as if the thief wanted easily portable items. We cracked jokes about how you know you live in a bad neighborhood -- the burglar has to steal the getaway bike. A day later it seems as if it were much more intentional and carefully planned. These items were in specific places in our house, and not much rummaging went into retrieving them. Did the person know us?

But these are the sorts of questions that are likely to remain unanswered. I'm trying to focus on being grateful that no one was hurt, and that the missing items are inconsequential. People have asked whether I feel afraid or whether I sleep well. I'm not having any troubles with fear or sleep. I don' t think this was violent or malicious -- simply unsettling.

Monday, November 19, 2007


The class on spinning yarn was so interesting, frustrating, and addictive. We used castle style wheels, and the instructor made it look so easy. She held the wool in one hand, patted it with the other, and viola! Yarn magically appeared. It was even more amazing when she plied it.

I, on the other hand, struggled to keep the wheel going. Even when the wheel did spin, it changed directions when I wasn't looking. This spinning business could take some practice. I'm intrigued and inclined to keep trying.

Monday, November 12, 2007


A wonderful woman named Dawn, who I've virtually met through the KIPers, is going to teach a spinning class. I'm so excited! It starts on Saturday.

Also, Norah doesn't use her scratching post. She uses a chair in the living room. I bought her the mother of all scratching posts. It's four and a half feet tall and it is called a cat pagoda. This is the only thing keeping her from being declawed -- the hope that she might use this instead of my chair. I wish she knew her options.

Since cats are all about visible damage, it is in the middle of the living room. Hardly noticeable, right? I like to think of it as an art installation. Notice the lifelike kitten at the top.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I'm snuggled for a night of goblins and candy give-aways. My husband is making a frittata for our dinner, and apple cider with mulling spices is warming on the stove. I really savor this time of year. It's the little things: the candy corn, the urge to bake, the music.

October slipped by so quickly I feel cheated. 'Tis the season for big projects at work. Plus, I threw in some travel and a nasty sinus infection. It didn't leave much time for knitting and blogging and talking with friends.

But now we've arrived at Halloween. It might seem like a single day, but really, it is a day of many decisions. Will this be the year I actually do NanoWrimo? It starts tomorrow. Will this be the year I get Christmas shopping finished so that December can actually be enjoyed? Will my house be cleaned before holiday guests begin to arrive? November is a high-stakes month in the personal goals department.

I might just decide to make November a month for knitting and blogging and talking with friends. And savoring the season. I wonder if we have any candy corn.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

State of the Sock

The RPM sock just isn't progressing the way I'd like. The more I knit it, the less satisfied I feel. Trekking XXL is beautiful, but it isn't bamboo. (Perhaps the whole problem derives from leaving the beloved bamboo.)

Solution: purchase Panda Wool from Twist and cast on for Floral Lace Anklets -- a pattern in the Lace Style book by Pam Allen and Ann Budd. The anklet pattern is by Evelyn Clark.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


No knitting happened at my house this week. I've been tired and sniffly, which I ascribed to allergies. By the end of the week, with my voice gone, my boss said, "What's wrong with you?" I couldn't ignore it any longer: sinus infection.

Thank goodness for a wonderful doctor. He send me home with decongestants, antibiotics, and orders to stay in bed! He didn't have to twist my arm on that one. I love a good nap. Hopefully my voice will be back by Monday, and I'll be knitting again soon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

More socks

I cast on some Trekking XXL for Knitty's RPM sock. If it weren't for an ill-timed case of perfectionism, they might be finished. As it is, I've ripped them out three times before turning the heel. This time, there is no turning back. I'm committed to finishing -- imperfections and all.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


The first monkey sock sighting of the fall happened in my own backyard. It's a little early for the annual migration south to begin, but we've had strange weather lately; perhaps their monkey instincts are prompting them to prepare for an early winter.
I first spotted the male as he rested in the Mimosa tree. Then he fluttered down to join his mate in the spruce.
Knowing how monkeys find the sight of an uncovered human foot irresistible, I promptly flung off my sandal, laid on my back in the grass and ever so casually lifted my right foot straight into the air. The neighbors were astonished, but I knew just what to do. The male sock fluttered over and drew himself right over my foot. The female soon claimed my left foot. They appear to be made out of Crystal Palace Panda Cotton in chocolate almond.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Knitting, work, and -- what else? -- cats!

Bamboozle baby booties and hat in p-i-n-k! After two years of knitting, someone finally produced a baby girl. Just so I could knit something pink. It's my favorite color this year.

I love my work. It challenges and inspires me. But today? It was a DAY. Please send back the normal work place I love.

Work Haiku
You make me crazy;
you deliver solvency;
can I go home now?

And cats. Norah Cat exhibited signs of pending fertility, so she went to the vet this morning and mewed pitifully all the way there. I'm absolutely committed to spaying and neutering, but in the back of my mind I was thinking of junior high and adolescence. It wouldn't have been a good time to say "Welcome to womanhood. Please leave your working parts at the door."

Norah isn't traumatized at all. She's home and playing with a toy mouse. Atticus Cat, on the other hand, is disgusted. He enjoyed the day alone and thought the chit was out of his life for good.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Yarn Harlot

The Yarn Harlot was in town yesterday, and she was wonderful. She is self-effacing and yet wonderfully confident. Knitting seems so much more important than it did before I heard her talk. I might even feel a bit evangelical about knitting now -- watch out!

Sitting in the auditorium with fellow knitters was equally delightful. Knitters are spicy, welcoming, kind, and shocking. Who would have thought that was possible?

Friday, September 14, 2007

New Projects

Should I let the fact that I have a baby booties cast on one set of needles, a half-finished Monkey sock on another, and hubby's Christmas stocking on still another keep me from trying something different? Maybe it's all of the sockishness of my current projects, but suddenly, I must try the new, lacy Muir wrap from Knitty's fall issue. Srsly.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


A coworker and his wife had a baby girl in August. I babbled on and on about how I could hardly wait to knit something pink.

Four skeins of Crystal Pink Bamboozle yarn are sitting on my bookcase just begging to be baby clothes. They've been there for weeks, and I still cannot decide what to make. I fear that I have contracted the dreaded knitters block.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Baby shower

Baby booties for sister-in-law's baby shower. Bamboozle in fruit salad.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Anything to make you happy

A wise woman (who is welcome to reveal herself if she wishes) told me that a woman will say to her spouse, her children, her parents, "I'll change anything about myself to make you happy -- if you'll only be happy." The woman, however, won't say that to herself.

I tried saying it to myself. The answer? I want to be stronger. For the first time in many, many months, I went to the gym and spent 20 minutes on the elliptical trainer. It felt good. It felt really good. I want to go back tomorrow.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Little Knits

The last few days have been so lovely and relaxed. Yesterday a friend brought me lunch and we chatted. Then I finished reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Today? Lunch with a different friend. We brown-bagged to keep our choices healthy. Then we knitted. We knitted a whole bunch.

This is the meaning of life -- I'm sure of it. Lunch with friends, knitting and reading.

Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono from Mason-Dixon for newest nephew.
This knitted up very quickly, and the Berroco Comfort yarn feels great. If I make this again, I want to find out how to convert a pattern from garter stitch to stockinette. Garter stitch doesn't have the refined look that I like to see in baby garments.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Love the Mason-Dixon Knitting

The Mason-Dixon heartbreakingly cute kimono is growing quickly and nearly finished. I hope it grows up before the recipient outgrows it. Making this led to my second knitting epiphany.

The first knitting epiphany was a jumble of thoughts: finishing projects is satisfying; children are small; therefore finishing a knitted project for a child would be more satisfying than knitting for an adult. The size of the child and the size of the knitter count when determining the quantity of satisfaction.

A five-year-old child's knitted garment is the equivalent satisfaction factor of X. A newborn's clothing, being ever so much smaller, rates a satisfaction factor of approximately 7X -- the purest ectasy possible when knitting. Imagine the equisite satisfaction and near instant gratification of a newborn's baby bootie. A full-grown adult's sweater would be X/5 or 0.2X. Being well-rounded and fluffy of figure, the satisfaction factor of knitting a garment for myself is X/7.

As you can plainly see, 7x > X/7. Therefore, knitting babies clothes is better.

Here's the rub (and the second epiphany). Kids grow quickly. If you cannot knit quickly enough or get it in the mail with appropriate haste, the joy is lost. Just multiply your satisfaction factor by 0.

A quick analysis reveals that even a sweater knitted for myself at X/7 is far more satisfying than 7X(0). If you're going to make this gamble, knowing full well that the returns are great, then clear your calendars and pull out your knitting needles. You'll have to sprint for that finish line.

The inevitable cat picture: Norah with her litter mates. That sweet little black thing -- all by himself is her brother Magraw. The black kittens in the litter were separated. Magraw is at Petsmart West and waiting for someone to adopt him.
The woman who placed Norah with me suggested we would like Magraw. She says that folks are very reluctant to adopt black cats and kittens. Part of me wants him to have a wonderful home, and I know he'd get that at our house. But holy smokes! We'd have three cats. One of those cats is eleven years old and pretty grumpy about the first cat.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Brand new and busy

Here at Casa del Sally, we have a new member of the household. Meet Norah. She's terribly busy. Her little tail waves like a flag as she trots from one project to the next. She purrs constantly and is a very cheery kitten.

Atticus isn't so sure about this nonsense, but he tolerates her. She follows him from room to room. He walks at a dignified pace while she follows him dancing a conga. Inevitably, he stops and she rear-ends him. He hisses and then they proceed about whatever cat business is at hand. Atticus has had to take more naps than usual to deal with the change of pace.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Dear Sock Drawer

My dearest sock drawer,

You know I love you dearly, but you have become so messy. A drawer filled with black socks should have enough matching black socks to provide one week's worth of foot coverings. The lacy navy sock and dotted black sock you threw at me this morning was inexcusable. This is a wake up call. Please organize yourself or I may be forced to do it myself. Don't make me come in there.

You might be thinking that you're out of danger because I procrastinate, but you'd be wrong. It might be the moon, the planets, or even the water; I'm on a completion kick. Just this week, I've finished three craft projects -- if you must know, it was the monkey socks, nephew's sweater, and napkins. The house is getting cleaner by the minute and you're next on my list.

Consider yourself warned.

Sally Knitz

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Loose ends

After beginning several knitting projects and finishing none, I decided that I needed to see progress, to see completion. Cross one thing off the list: Monkey socks.

They were fun to knit, quick and look harder to make than they actually are. They feel very soft and comfortable on the foot too.

Back to that in progress list. Next! Husband's Christmas stocking or nephew's sweater?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Knitting books

A friend sent this estate sale treasure. For a small pamphlet, it certainly has most of the things I've ever needed to learn about knitting -- casting on/off, basic stitches, pattterns for socks, sweaters, scarves and mittens. Proper attitude included: note what a happy occassion this is for the girls in the picture.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Goodbye to an old friend

We said goodbye to our beloved kitty Trouser. Even the best cats can't stick around forever and Trouser was no exception. He passed away in his sleep last night.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Crazy days

As of 10:30 am this morning, I'm an aunt again. Everyone needs a crazy Aunt Sally. I'm so happy to step up to fill the role for my sister's boys.

This was very good news since most of the weekend was spent at the emergency vet with our kitty. He's really sick, and it is hard to watch. The good news is that since Monday morning his been at the regular vet's office on a heating pad and with an IV. And yes, I love that cat far more than I should. Husband and I went to visit him today. He had a feeble purr for us as we scratched him under the chin. We need many good thoughts for Mr. Kitty.

Ordinarily, I would have unburdened myself to my sister, but (see above) she was busy. Another good friend stepped up to fill the void on Sunday. We went to lunch, shopping, and the bookstore. And I got an invitation to the Harry Potter movie and a Harry Potter book signing party on Friday evening. Very exciting. Is it Friday yet?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Not so much knitting

The sock growth has slowed drastically as the toe approaches. This defies my understanding of how a sock develops. If one knits at the same speed, the end of the sock should take as long as the beginning of the sock, the middle, and so on. Turning the heel is different. It goes quickly because the directions require a certain amount of attention.

Since the sock wasn't finished, I did the next happiest thing. I took the almost-finished sock to work and made everyone pet and admire it. Oh yes I did.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Knit one, purl one; hurry, hurry, hurry!

Dear Monkey Sock,

It's true that you are more enchanting than any sock I've ever knitted. Your pattern is complex enough to fascinate and simple enough to learn. Yet my dear sock-to-be, you are not becoming a sock quickly enough. If only you had a sense of urgency.

Sally Knitz

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Gotta Know

I've been browsing knitting blogs and now I've simply got to know more. What is that two-dimensional foot shaped thingy that people put a sock on when they want to take its picture?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Yarn Treasures

Sometimes yarn simply arrives. A coworker was decluttering her house recently, and then she invited me to the parking garage to look in the trunk of her car. That's because she is a yarn pusher. A beautiful, witty, wonderful yarn pusher. Who knows what insanity drove her to this ill-advised purge, but the yarn has fallen into good hands.

Two skeins are a lovely blue, tan, brown self-striping soy wool blend from Patons. Perhaps the Booga Bag is this yarn's destiny. If only it had bamboo handles.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Little Kid Stuff

Nephew's sweater is nearly finished if you don't count the infinite number of lose ends that need to be woven in or blocking. So, so close. This sweater has actually been knitted twice; the pattern contained an error that wasn't detected until the body of the sweater had been made. Perhaps it is too soon for a victory dance.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Play hard

One of the cats who lives at my house spends all night moving his toys (and some of mine, ahem!) to new locations, pouncing on them and doing who knows what. This morning he had fallen asleep with his head on one of his toys, and I was able to catch a snapshot just as he realized the paparazzi were stalking him.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Tomatoes, green peppers, lettuce and herbs have been staples of my summer garden for years. This year, I decided to grow carrots and summer squash instead of 'maters and peppers. A co-worker reasoned that you can always swap other homegrown veggies for tomatoes because folks have so many this time of year. I hope he's right because I'm feeling woefully deprived of tomatoes right now.
Instead, I thinned the carrot patch. They're still pretty small but promising. The red ones are orange on the inside.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Send a man to Starbucks

If you send a man to the coffee shop with a note like this,

then you get a drink with this written on the side -- note not in man's handwriting:

Monday, July 2, 2007

Sunday morning

It's been rainy. Really rainy. I've complained. I've complained lots and lots.

However, this rainy day was very pleasant. I met an old friend for coffee. We talked and talked and went back to her house. Then we rolled up our pants and walked barefoot in the garden (with mud squishing up between our toes) and picked beans. Her husband met us at the back door with towels after we'd rinsed our feet with the garden hose. Then I snuggled with her kids, drank tea, and we talked more. Now that's my kind of rainy day.