Monthly Archives: January 2007

Mommy & Me

We have no room on our boat for a washer/dryer so to the laundromat we go. To felt up my slippers, I am at the mercy of whatever machine is available. Luckily, there’s a clean, quiet ‘mat in our marina with newer front-loading machines. Unfortunately, you can’t just pop them open to check the felting process.


Happily, my slippers felted up nicely even though it took three washes. I think I’ll do it one more time as they’re a little flopsy but otherwise, I love them! So does my mom. That worries me. We’ve never had the same taste in clothes. Am I becoming my mother? oh god.

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The Fringe of Society

I just learned about the Red Scarf Project about a week and a half ago so, since the deadline is the end of January, I knit up a couple big gauge scarves with stash yarn. The yarn is all recycled wool (from sweaters) that I bought in an eBay frenzy months ago, before I found the bliss that is STR. Regardless of its past, the yarn is nice soft wool (mostly lambswool) that needed a home I probably would never be able to give it – appropriate for an orphan knitting project, no?


The the scarf on the right is a mixed brown and white yarn in seed stitch (with a stripe of off white thrown in). It was a quick knit and seed stitch is so fun for me that knitting it was never boring. There was still so much time before the deadline, in fact, that I decided to whip up another scarf. I puttered around with this one for a week but only for two reasons: 1) I’m on deadline so my knitting time is limited and 2) I made it really looooooooooong. It’s just a simple 2×2 rib with 5 strands of yarn held throughout on size 19 needles but the fun part is the fringe. This was my first fringe experience and I can happily say I survived. Seriously, the recycled yarn is very kinky so I had to straighten it as much as possible first. There’s still a slight wave but it’s pleasing to my eye.


I wrapped them up with Melissa’s fabulous wrappers, tucked a box of organic chocolate truffles and gourmet cocoa inside and shipped them off today.

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Heaven…I’m in heaven…

Yesterday Julie wrote about her new skein of ‘G Rocks’ Socks That Rock by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Her lovely description and photos made my heart ache for the skein of ‘Fire on the Mountain‘ I ordered a few days ago. I couldn’t wait to see what it looked like because, as Julie put it, every skein of handpainted yarn really is different. Guess what was in my mail this morning!


It’s so pretty it makes me want to cry just a little. The gals up there in Scappoose are true color geniuses! Just look at the vivid colors . . .


And the subtle blending . . .


When I started knitting two years ago, I would never have imagined being so happy about spending $25 on a skein of yarn. I’m a spendthrift by nature and have spent many a happy hour frogging a thrift store find but the scales have fallen from my eyes. Next time I won’t wait for Christmas cash before buying some yummy yarn. Oh, yeah, thanks Mom!

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Paging Jill

I’m a chronically honest person. I feel tremendous amounts of guilt when I lie about even the smallest thing — “No, your new haircut is great (inwardly cringe at the lie).” So when the barista would ask for my name after I ordered my tall non-fat latte, I’ve always sighed and said “LaDonna . . . L-A-Donna . . . like ‘Madonna’ but with an ‘L’.” They invariably looked at me with a mildly frightened expression, furrowed their 19-year-old brows and laboriously wrote down what they think I said. It was always interesting to hear the kid at the end of the line try to pronounce such classics as ‘Ladawnna’.

We moved to Marin County in the Bay Area last year and I quickly found ‘my’ Starbucks — the one on my way to work, when I needed it most. For the first few visits, I used my real name only to have the same trouble as usual. Then it struck me — an idea I couldn’t believe I’d never contemplated before, which I blame on my honest streak. I needed a Coffee House Name! Yes, it would be ‘lying’ but these kids don’t really give a damn what my real name is. They just want to make sure the coffee gets to the right person.

The guilt relieved, I now needed to come up with the perfect Coffee House Name. It needed to be short, preferably one syllable, easy to pronounce, and had to have only one accepted spelling. I bounced around a few names — Sue, Jane, John — but all were disqualified for one reason or another. My new name, my new persona, hit me like a lightning bolt: Jill. Only a freak would spell it any other way, the letters were all pretty much one line — no compound curves — so it would be a quick write, and everyone knows how to pronounce it. Success! How creative and innovative am I?


The switch from LaDonna to Jill only confused one barista because he remembers everyone’s name. He still calls me LaDonna and occasionally, to screw with the new coffee pullers, will write “Jilladawnna” on my cup. Always good for a laugh, that one.

One pleasant morning I was waiting for my drink when the new kid on the line put a tall non-fat latte for Jill on the counter. I reached for the cup at the same moment as another lady. She’d been standing there for awhile so it was obviously hers but we laughed at the coincidence that there would be two Jills waiting for the same drink at the same time. Then she leaned over and whispered conspiratorily “My name’s not really Jill, but my real name’s too hard for them.” When I caught my breath from laughing, I told her my story.

I guess I’m not so original after all.

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Me Seester Fie Dallah

My sister is precious to me. Even though she’s nine years older, we are absolutely the best of friends. Plus she’s the sweetest thing ever (except in the morning – a word of warning: NEVER say “Good morning, Sunshine!” in a sickly singsong manner upon her arrival at the breakfast table . . . unless you like grapefruit juice shot in your eye). That’s why I couldn’t say no when she made the request. And, if you recall, I made a wobbly scarf with the remaining yarn as a surprise. The only requirement was that I get a picture of the items being worn. Did I get such a photo? Nooooooooo-oooooooooo. I don’t mean to be a selfish knitter but come on.

A nasty voicemail shamed her into finally calling to grovel for my forgiveness – given, of course. How could I resist? And here are the promised pix. She is just preciousness embodied!


I’m still in love with the way the color swirled around in the knitting – yummy!


The scarf didn’t swirl but obviously matches. She loves it, or so she says. What else can she say?

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Charity case

I finished a nice little seed stitch scarf for the Red Scarf Project last night. It’s recycled lambswool from a sweater in mixed brown/cream. I have no idea what the WPI is but I used 11s and it knit up with a loose enough gauge so the finished product wasn’t stiff as a board.


Now I have all that Fun Fur just waiting to be made into hats for cancer kids but the RSP ends at the end of the month and I thought I’d whip up another big gauge scarf to use up some stash, so the Fun Fur will continue to wait.

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Red Jenny Rackam

That’s my lusty new pirate name and I love it so much, I think I’ll change my official ‘Coffee House Name’ of Jill (easy to say and spell, as opposed to LaDonna) to RED JENNY RACKAM! That’ll send those baristas’ caffeine riddled brains reeling.

Get your own pirate name here.


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