Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Yarnarian Wishes You and Yours

A Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

I raise my glass (of water) to you and to the new year. You all have enriched my life with your comments and made blogging such a pleasure.



Happy New Year, Jen and Ria!

Hi, Deborah - The only good thing about vertigo is when it goes! Finally! Happy new Year!

Here we go!

I've started listing the Snow White Collection. I'll be doing this a bit at a time, so that you all have a fighting chance.

Gotta run. Talk to you later.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Yarnarian Has Show and Tell.

What to talk about first?

Fiber Baristas! We have shipping dates listed, and we'll probably open for registration on Jan.1, 2009! Let me tell you how excited I am over this sock club. If I weren't dyeing for it, I'd join. 9 different dyers with 9 different styles; 7 from the US, 1 from Canada, 1 from the UK. And all top notch people. I'm doing the July shipment, and I know what I want to do already. Of course, knowing me, that could change. I have a lot of time to decide.

So, go and check us out. I think we're a pretty snazzy bunch, and this is your chance to be among the first to join us.

Showing news: Here are some more in the Snow White series!

First we have the Wicked Stepmother, that evil queen (or as DragonYady says, that ebil queen): She has lots of black hair, a bright red mouth and purple clothing because she is a royal person.

Nest we have one of the 7 dwarfs. He's kind of a generic guy with his little brown cap on his head and his forest clothing. I might make more of these fellows, all with that little brown cap, but with different clothing.

The we have the mirror, all done up in gilt and silver. No image here; you know who the fairest one of all is.

And lastly (at least for today), the apple. My favorite of the entire bunch! A nice shiny red apple with a bit of yellow and green to make it even more delicious!

Are these enchanting you? The entire month of January is going to be the theme of fairy tales! I just can't get away from my beginnings as a children's librarian.

Repeats? I can do Snow White and the Wicked Stepmom again. They're very simple dyeing with no much color blending. The others are OOAK (one of a kind), but if you want one of them, I can re-invent them a bit.

When do they go on Etsy? I'm thinking either New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, most likely New Year's Eve. The Hubbo is riding rescue squad that night, so I have some free time.

The little mermaid has a shrimp/lobster yarn dyed, and a tropical fish, and some other goodies, but I'm not going to show you. Hah!

Who knew you all would love these guys so much! Maybe, the Little Mermaid needs to swim around some more so I can do a couple of these yarns again. Well, all will be listed at various points tomorrow, New Year's Eve. We all need new yarns for the New Year. If SW and TWS sell out, I can make more to order.

Thanks, Jen and Ria and Linda! And Cathy and Carolyn and anyone I've forgotten. Hey those fumes get to my brain!

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Yarnarian Checks In.

just a quickie: you all seem to like Snow White herself, and I only have one of her. Ya think I should quick invent a couple of others?

Gotta dye up the Wicked Stepmother. And an apple, and maybe one of the 7 dorks.

The verdict is in: I'll do some more Snow Whites tomorrow. They won't be exactly like the first one, 'cause I never write anything down. But they'll be equally pretty, and I do know which dyes I used and the base yarn.

Wickie Stepmom has black hair, white skin, and royal purple because she is the queen.

The apple, which I like a lot, is reds with a touch of yellow and green. And I also have one of the 7 little guys.

I started dyeing up The Little Mermaid, and I have a really wild lobster.

Good thing I just checked this because I'm about to prepare my yarns for tomorrow's dyeing.

I'm having so much fun dyeing towards a theme.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Yarnarian Has Pictures.

I do, finally some nice new pics of yarn and projects.

A Winter's Tale Scarf for me knitted out out an almost solid Alexa yarn. I made it a bit longer than I usually do, just to see the yardage. It's about 60 x 5 inches and is so soft and cuddly. I wore it yesterday into Brooklyn. We went to Bubby's for lunch and hung out by the playground so that the Benster could have some fun. It was damp and chilly, but my neck was toasty and warm. I like this yarn even better for scarves than for socks; it must be the softness factor! I'll post the pattern on Etsy and Ravelry as soon as I get it written up.

It was delightful to knit, even though I had to frog it 5 times. I just wasn't paying attention at all, silly moi. Once you get into the swing of the pattern, it's so pleasant. Not auto-pilot, but not very difficult either.

Knitting News: I started these socks last night out of Rose Yarn. The poor skein had been sitting unloved in my Etsy shop, and I liked it, so I grabbed it. The advantages of doing your own dyeing.

These will be called Rapunzel's Braid. See that braided cable and that lacy pattern that swings back and forth? Those are the braids. Just in case you couldn't figure it all out.

I'm doing a theme for Etsy for January: Fairy Tales! And I remembered this lovely braided cable and thought of you-know-who. So here she is. I was going to put a lacy ruffle covering the cable, but I don't think that a gal stuck in a tower and trying to get out would use lacy ruffles. She's much too practical for that.

The gansey is proceeding nicely, and I have about 8.5 inches done. And I've started a Revontuli shawl in Kauni, but no pics because there's nothing much to see.

Dyeing news: The first fairy tale of January is going to be Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. So, here is a first peek at the yarns to be listed.

1. Snow White - see her black hair, white skin and rosy lips and cheeks? And she's wearing a gown of green with gold trimming.

2. Here's the glass case in which she rests until her prince comes to rescue her.

3. The huntsman and the mines.

The prince:

Other yarns are in process for little Snow White.

More news and pics coming as the week progresses.

Wow! You all really like Snow White and her buddies. That's so nice to hear. I was going to dye up this afternoon, but got back too late from the Mommie's Chanukah party. So instead I made up a list of what I want to do for each fairy tale.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Yarnarian Wishes You and Yours

A Very Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah, A Happy Solstice, a Happy Kwanzaa, and a general good day to all!

The vertigo is going! I'm so high this morning on feeling well, I can't even begin to tell you! There's only one thing good about feeling crappy: it's so good to feel better!

Quick, go look at this poem. It's so cute!

The Hubbo has half day today, and will go to Trader Joe's after work for his daily TJ treat and then we're going out for lunch at Dabbawalla in Summit. Mm. Indian food. And they serve masala dosa. I love masal dosa. I could have one every day!

I'm baking chocolate cupcakes to take to Judy's tomorrow. I found a great recipe from scratch and it uses baking chocolate, which has no soy, so Judy can have some.

Knitting news: I'm making great progress on the second lace scarf, which I can't show you. If I pace out my knitting into small doses and I alternate projects, I can get a lot of knitting done. It's all in the interest of keeping the wrist stress from arriving, so I'm very careful.

I'm getting a bit of startitis, but I'm trying to hold off as long as I can. Once I start a new project, all the others play 2nd fiddle.

Health news: Doesn't that sound ominous? Nope, it's not. Yesterday the 2 docs, who are both in their 40's, and fit as can be, and I can a discussion about exercising. I stopped going to the gym about 10 months ago, and have been back very occasionally. So everytime I go, the next day everything hurts like crazy. Not the usual post ex aches and pains. No, the real pain. So, you know that then I don't go to the gym, and the whole cycle replays itself out again and again.

Well, these guys told me that it happens to them too. You take a lay-off, you go back, you hurt big time. It's normal. Now here's the neat thing: they have just hired an awesome physical therapist who is also a licensed trainer, along with her Ph.D in pt. Neato, huh? I've an appointment with her next week to get my kinks out and get me back into shape so that I don't destroy my body, and then get me back to the gym. Is this not great?

So my vertigo was had a good result.

Relax tonight, girls and boys. You've been relatively good and will not get the dreaded lump of coal. May Santa and all the helpers of every faith and non-faith and atheism, and whatever I've left out, bring you an evening of peace and joy and good food, family, friends.



Jan - Thanks. and to you too.

Ria - Some day we just might meet! Who knows, I may have bumped into you somewhere in Morris Twp! Have a happy Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Yarnarian and the Lump of Coal.

Holiday Spirit: I, unfortunately, have never experienced any holiday spirit from anyone ever. It's talked about and written about, and yes, there is probably a Santa Claus, but folks, people are not nice to each other these days. You know what I mean: You open a door at the post office for someone, and she doesn't say thanks. Some poor guy is trying to get out of the gas station, and no one will let him in. (Or conversely, some twit pushes ahead of you in line at the airport because she or he is a Very Important Person.)

So this year, as a RESOLUTION for 2009, let's try to pass something forward every day. Be gracious to others, and they just might pass it along during the day. Life is especially tough this year. People have lost jobs, and it's killing us all around. No, you can't support the country, but maybe you can just try to be nice to someone. It's a two way street here: you do a kindness, and you then feel very nice about it all day long. You do what's good and just imagine where it might take you.

We need real holiday spirit 24/7. None of this ersatz stuff. The real McCoy!

AND, this is not a rant! It's a plea for civility and kindness and goodness. so go and do it or I will know and you'll be sorry. I call this my "lump of coal" effect. I and Santa and the Chanukah elf and the Solstice Spirit will know what's going on, and if you're not good, you will get the lump of coal. You'll become a rotten person with no concern for others, and I'll write nasty things about you all year long.

Oy, the dizziness has infected my brain. No untoward or fresh remarks here, although I probably deserve it!

I went to the doctor yesterday; my sweet Hubbo drove me, because I was a bit too-whacked out to drive.

Yeah, I have the normal positional etc. vertigo. He gave me a bit of steriods and had the chiropractor adjust my neck. It really cleared out my sinuses, and I liked it. I could get addicted to the neck adjustment.

Anyhow, I'm going back this morning for another run of it, and hopefully will feel a lot better tomorrow.

ENUF of the kvetching!

New Poll: I posted a new poll. Why? I like to post them. Must be the librarian gathering data part of me.

This one is asking about lace scarf kits. You all were not exactly overwhelmed with desire on a scarf club; but then only 11 people voted. And you know I'm on the fence here too.

So now I'm thinking of a scarf kit with 3 color choices in the yarns for each kit. Whaddya think? This is a bad time to take any poll, I know, so it's going until mid-January.

If you want something lacy for me to do, whatever it is as long as it's not illegal, pornographic or fattening or has too much salt, let me know. I'm not in great idea mode but want to do something. OK, I can do a porno sock thing. Um, I'm tempted to delete that last sentence, but just can't resist leaving it in!

Holidays: We have managed to forget to light any menorah 2 nights in a row. This could end up being a virtual Chanukah! I'm back to the better spelling of Chanukah because it has the gutteral as the first letter, and that's the way it's pronounced. No, you don't have to spit the Ch part; just a soft back in the throat gutteral.

If I don't post before Christmas, have a wonderful holiday and health and happiness and keeping jobs to you and yours.

And, just in case you were worried, I'm getting ready to put on Christmas music on the radio all day tomorrow and Thursday. I'm already filled with the Chanukah spirit, and will add the Christmas spirit as well. (No, you dingbats, not booze. I'm allergic to booze; it does bad things to my body.)

Grace - Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year to you and yours. And congratulations on the Elann shawl! I keep meaning to tell you congrats, and I keep forgetting.

Ruth in Ottawa - Hi, fellow retired librarian! Sheri has it right. Of course she can afford to give away prizes. I'm just a teensy, weensy dyer out to build a deck onto the back or the house. ;-)

I so like the idea of civility; it's lost, but then I suspect that it was never around in big quantities anyhow. People talk it but don't walk it. I had not one chance to practice PIF today; the universe behaved. But I thought it, so that was good too.

KV - Yeah, vertigo is making me cranky. I've now had the latest edition for a week, and it's gotten old pretty quickly. Just when I think I can go, go, go, I turn my head and I'm so dizzy. I think it's beginning to get better, what with the meds and adjustment, so hopefully I'm good by the end of the week. It's a most unpleasant illness.

Susan - anything counts. ;-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Yarnarian is Dizzy!

The Vertigo hath struck again, and I'm really getting tired of this! I had to postpone a lunch date with a wonderful co-worker, and that's no fun at all. Ears - clear yourselves up! Now!

So what does a dizzy dame do while her head spins around? She wastes time in front of the computer because her head is in one place here. And look what I found? A quiz about which House character I am.

Which House Md Character are you?
Your Result: Eric Foreman

Congratulations, you're Dr. Eric Foreman. You're tough and smart. You don't take crap from anyone and are proud of who you are. You don't let House's remarks get to you much and you aren't afraid to do what you want most times.

James Wilson
Allison Cameron
Lisa Cuddy
Robert Chase
Gregory House
Which House Md Character are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

And I love Foreman! He's one of my favorites. House, Cuddy, Wilson and Foreman and a bit of Taub thrown in.

Knitting News: Here's what a dizzy dame knits while waiting for her head to clear.

Did you check out Fiber Baristas yet? What are you waiting for? This is the big time for this little old dyer. (Watch it on the "old" word, there, buddy!) This is the ultimate present to yourself! Hey, you take care of the family and/or yourself, the parents/grandparents, the co-workers, the chickens, the nation's politics! I think you need to treat yourself to 9 months of yarny goodness!

I copied this from a neat Ravelry person. It says it all!

Copied and pasted from WOOLSTOCK
Here is my take on your yarn club……..
Lost value of retirement fund $$$$$$
Lost equity in home $$$$$
Uncertain job makket $$$$$
Higher gas prices $$$$$
Higher heating costs $$$$$
Higher food prices $$$$$$
Kids moving back home $$$$$$

Monthly hand dyed sock yarn delivered to my door? PRICELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Yarnarian Announces the Fiber Baristas!

Are you intrigued? Well hold onto your hats, because this is such exciting news, and I am so proud to be among this stellar group of dyers.

Flavor of the Month: Postcards from Home

We are really pleased to introduce a brand new yarn club from a group of fellow dyers who decided to come together to offer a flavoring of yarns on a monthly basis! Not seen anywhere else, this club will offer yarn flavors from nine different and unique dyers.

Each month, you will be treated to yarn from a region of the world that'll include a yarn painted to reflect some aspect of the region it is coming from as well as information from the location the dyer represents. To tantalize your senses a little further, we have several dyers from different regions of the USA, one from Canada and one from Great Britain who all offer their unique view on handpainting yarn. You will indeed be treated to different dyeing styles in this club!

This club is going to be fun - won't you pull up a chair and join us for a flavorful cup of yarn on a monthly basis?

Want all the info as it comes out? Here's where to go:

Is this not an intriguing yarn club? Wait until you see the list of dyers! We are talking top-notch here!

Velma - Me, being me, now I'm getting nervous about it all. Thanks for the kudos!

The Yarnarian Sings:

Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go, Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Ahem, it is snowing. Lots of lovely, white fluffy snow and I don't have to drive in it. Yes! And the Hubbo got sent home very early. So this is all good.

I just took these pics outside on my front stoop.

And these in my living room:

What's that you say? There are flowers in the fireplace? They're not burning? Is this some sort of miracle?

Nah, we have a fake fireplace lighting device. It looks like the logs are burning, but all it's doing is lighting them. And the flowers are fake. So the entire thing is a fake. Ha ha, I faked you out.

This is what happens when you are married to the Hubbo: strange and wondrous devices. (This is the man who calls an apron a "protective device."

Off to drink my tea.

Ria - I love snow as long as I'm on the inside watching it. I don't even mind a walk in the evening on fresh snow, but I want it all to go away the next day. ;-)

Carolyn - Ours is just a noisy fan and color, no heat at all. But it looks pretty, and the living room is the warmest room in the house, so sometimes it feels like the fireplace is working.

I'd love a gas fireplace, but the deck and patio have to come first. Maybe even next summer provided our finances are good and I earn a bit of money.

I'm already disenchanted with the snow. I think snow should arrive, look pretty and then disappear the next day. Hah!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Yarnarian Knits.

I started an Eriskay gansey last night. I spent a bit of time playing with charts and such, and came up with this baby. I did fool around with the marriage lines chart so it isn't a real authentic gansey, but then I never intended it to be.

So here's what you can see so far: ribbing, a bunch of stitch markers, and 2 rounds of pattern.

Note the goofy stitch marker at the beginning of the round. It's a chicken. Is this not a hoot? or a cluck?

Plug! - Take a look at the fiber and yarn dyed by my friend, WhimzyPinzy! Are these not awesome? This is a very talented dyer, my friends.

Colors of PennyRose Yarns - Sock club is still open. I'll need commitments with payment by Jan. 5th or so; I need time to dye up, and I'll want some info from you about colors and such. Check it out on my Etsy site!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Yarnarian is Back.

I'm back after a wonderful MN vacation. It was a wonderful trip and I had a great time, and now it's good to be back home with the Hubbo.

So here's what I learned on my trip:

1. 6 year olds can out-energize me by 58 years. Miss P is loaded with energy. If we walk, she runs, hops, skips, jumps. If we sit, she squirms and wriggles. The neat thing is that she can sit still and concentrate when she needs to. What a kid!

2. I can survive -degrees in the frozen northland provided I have the right clothing.

3. I really, really like Minneapolis! Well, I have always known that, but since I'm always out in the frigid temps, except for the birthday visit, I still love it even in winter.

4. I like the Mall of America. I know it's non-uppity to admit that, but during the week early in the morning, it's a great mall.

5. I like the 50th and France area a lot. We never had a chance to get to the hotsy totsy consignment shop, but I looked into the window, and I could do some damage there.

6. I miss light rail. Hey you can't have everything.

7. It's good to be home! Yup, New Jersey wins.

No pics because I didn't take my camera with me.

Miss P loves her AG doll. I knitted 2 sweaters while there, but no pics. Sorry about that.

American Girl Doll info: the doll is a tad bigger than my cheapie knockoff that I got from Amazon. I can still use Sweater Wizard for proportions, but I will make future sweaters about 14.5 - 15 inches around instead of 14". Make the sleeves wider also, and decrease less. Someone on Ravelry mentioned that she bought one of the original dolls about 17 years ago, and just got a new one to knit for and the older dolls are definitely smaller than the new ones. Just for your info.

Also, the AG dolls are much better made, and the hair is awesome. You have to get something for that price! If the doll is out of your price range, the knock offs are still pretty darn good. You don't have to impoverish yourself to get a nice doll.

Dyeing News: While I was away with no dyeing to do (and to tell the truth, I didn't miss it at all), I started thinking about 2009, and what I want to accomplish during the year. I like a challenge, so I am going to have a different theme for each month. And I may just dye up 2 skeins simultaneously which is the max I can do, just so that folks who want considerably more yardage can have it.

January's theme is going to be Fairy Tales. I have the year pretty much blocked out, but if you have any neat ideas, let me know. Nothing is written in stone except for Jan and Feb. And I always like your feedback.

I'm still noodling around with the idea of a lace scarf club. It may or may not happen. It's mostly a matter of time; I have 2 of the scarves done, and I have to write them up. And the dyeing is always fun. Just when I start is the issue.

Business news: I'm fighting it tooth and nail, but I may have to go up a tiny bit on my yarn prices. My cost has gone up during the last year, and I've absorbed it, so it all depends on what new yarn purchases cost. Not a great increase; maybe a buck per skein, but don't worry, I'll keep it as reasonable as I can. I know that money is tight, so you know I won't knock my prices way up. And anyhow, I'm cheap which means that I assume you are also cheap, ahem frugal, know good value, whatever. If this happens, it won't come for a while because I have a good stock of yarn on hand. And it may not happen at all. And now I've frightened you for no good reason. Bad Yarnarian!

Also, there is a mail increase coming up (blech); that'll add about 20 cents to the shipping. I personally hate paying shipping charges, but that's the cost of shipping, so what can I do?

Oh, I hate ending a post on such a negative note. So, let me tell you that any wicked witches in fairy tales have their yarn already dyed for them. Before I left for vacation, I went into wicked witch mode, and have some lovely gloomy, witchy colors. Evil laugh here: Mwahahahaha!

KV - And a Happy Hanukkah to you and yours! Eat a lot of latkes and take a lot of Tums.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Yarnarian is a Popsicle, or a Momsicle.

Just checking in with you all to let you know that this morning in Minneapolis, we had the wonderful temperature of around -9 degrees. You need to know this so that you can feel warm wherever you are.

It's now about 2 hours later and we've moved up to -4.

Makes NJ look like a tropical paradise.

I'm visiting DD, DSIL, and the wondrous, silly, adorable, pesky Miss P! They moved to the 50th and France area, which is tres chic shopping and eating. It's too bad that it's too cold today to walk down to the area and spend my money.

I'm having a wonderful time, but I do miss the Hubbo lots!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Yarnarian Knits Another MIllieLillie Top!

Here it is. It was going to be a dress but I got bored, so I turned it into a tunic instead. Ah the wonders of doing your own designs.

I find the fit a bit difficult to put on the doll. It goes on easily if the arms are up in the air, but I won't do another top-down raglan; just fiddly for a little kid.

The yarn is an ancient Trekking that's been in my stash for years, and was waiting for the proper moment. I have lots and lots left over, too.

merrilymarylee - The "girls" are addictive. All mine, except for the ugly one in this little tunic, were bought at garage sales. The Hubbo's an expert at stuff!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Yarnarian Gets Wowed!

The Hubbo and I, my BFF and ME went off to hear Bff's hubby sing in the Messiah this afternoon. Wow, and quadruple wow! Every year her hub's church puts on a short version of the Messiah, replete with professional soloists and orchestra, and every year it gets better and better! What a performance. I do love choral singing and the Messiah is one of my faves. The other 3 big choral pieces that I love are Bach's Mass in B minor, Mozart's Requiem, and the one and only Verdi Requiem!

From the sublime to the normal:

Here's another poll: Would you be interested in a lace scarf club? 3 times/year. My hand-dyed yarn, 2 in lace weight and one in fingering wt and a brand new scarf for each one designed by me. Approximate cost (I think) about $100, including shipping. Maybe a little more depending on the yarn cost, but not too bad. I have to work out the money factor, so this is just a guess, but I think it might be in the proper range. Start time? Maybe February or March. I don't want it to coincide with the sock club. Maybe Feb, June, Oct. What do you think? Poll over on the right.

Results of the fancy schmancy yarn poll are clearly in favor of trying out some luxury yarns. OK, next time I order from my guy, I'll put in a few skeins involving a bit of silk or cashmere. I won't overextend myself, and we'll see how it goes.

Knitting News: Here's the top of the latest garment for MillieLillie, my AG doll knock-off. It's supposed to grow into a dress. I'm not sure about that; I may just make it into a top. And maybe make a skirt instead. We'll see. I think I have to frog one of the sleeves to make it one round longer.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Yarnarian is Virtuous and Cheap.

What? It's not what you think.

Here's the deal: both the Hubbo and I need to exercise. We need it for the health aspects as well as losing weight. He has a bunch to lose. (Did you read that, my Honey?) And I have about 4-5 lbs that have crept up on me, and I'd like to get rid of, and I don't need to diet, just exercise. Trust me on this one.

So we've been looking for positive rewards for exercise. I decided that for every 10 times in the gym, I'd gift myself with $20. Doesn't work. If I want to buy something, I go ahead and do it. The reward system is not working any more here.

Well, at 2 AM Monday morning, the Hubbo woke me up with a brilliant idea: we set an exercise goal for the week, and if one of us poops out and doesn't do the workout, he/she has to Paypal the other $25! Now you see where I'm going? We're both amazingly cheap on some things, and the thought of having to give him $25 just because I was too lazy to go to the gym is dreadful.

So yesterday, in fear and trepidation of having to give the Hubbo my hard-earned dollars, I went to the gym.

I haven't been in so long that they had to reboot me into the system. I'm not a total dummy, so I started out slowly. The goal is not to be in such pain that I can't move the next day. So 20 minutes + cooldown on the treadmill, and then half of the machines was just fine. And I have felt so virtuous ever since. Clearly the carrot ahead of me doesn't work, but the kick in the behind does.

Knitting news: No pics today. Yesterday I worked on one of my scarves for an eventual lace scarf club, and knitted and frogged 4 times until I finally decided that I should put it away for the evening. It's not a particularly hard scarf, I was just in one of those "it's not meant to be tonight" moments.

This scarf I'm knitting in my Alexa yarn because I want a cuddly winter scarf. The others are in lace yarn. Both scarves (this one and the Zephyr one) have interesting construction techniques, and are very pretty. I'm thinking about the last scarf and have some ideas.

Does something like this interest you? I'm thinking 3 times/year and am working out the cost.

Tamar - Interesting question. My feeling is that if we both fink out, we have to donate $25 to the family pot.

Do you like klezmer music? I love it. but I want a Jewish carol not in a minor mode. giggle.

Linda and Tamar - So far we have done week one; it pays to be cheap, um frugal. Tamar - I asked the Hubbo about it, and we have not yet come up with a solution.

Ria - Where's that radio station? I have normal, non-subscribing radio.

Sharon - I love Deck the Halls; it's zippy and cute. Not much for jazz, although I like Dixieland mostly because it's contrapuntal.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Yarnarian Plays With Dolls and Eats Her Words.

Knitting these little sweaters is soooo much fun. I know, all of you who don't have a doll to knit for think I've gone off the deep end. And before I owned one, I thought that knitters who "wasted" their time knitting these things were silly. "What a waste of effort", I thought. Seriously, this is like eating potato chips. You finish one, and then you have to do another one.

OK, my excuse is that I am doing this for Miss P. It's a very good excuse. But you all need to go and buy a cheapie knock off and knit for it. Maybe it's the small size, but even the Hubbo is fascinated with it. Last night I finished this little cutie, and mentioned that I was going to do a top-down dress next. Says he: "You'll need to find a pattern." Says I: "What, are you nuts? I could do a pattern with my eyes closed and my needles in my feet!" And I can and will.

Here she is: Miss MillieLillie in her new garment. Notice that I shaped the back of the collar with short rows to have it lay nicely. As if Miss P will notice, but I did.

And while I'm posting pics, Jo of Celtic Memory brought up the topic of Eriskay Ganseys, and asked me if I had a pic or two. Yes indeed, I do. Back in the '90s or maybe even the '80s I knit a bunch of these. The kids own a couple I think. And here's what's left of mine. They've been worn to death, and it's starting to show. Plus the pink one was knit when people were wearing wide sweaters, so it's rather full at the bottom, but I love it.

Here's the pink one:

And here's the gray one. Notice the underarm gusset and the shoulder strap knit in the "corn" stitch. I was doing this rather seriously. the little bloop in the center is just a spot where I didn't smooth out the sweater.

I didn't use the real gansey yarn for these because I don't like knitting with it.
And now, thanks to Jo, I'm getting that gansey urge again.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Yarnarian Has One More Rant! (well I warned your, didn't I?)

OK, not really a rant. More of a ridiculous blather.

Warning: This has no religious content whatsoever! We're talking foolishness here.

So here's the deal about Christmas from my Jewish standpoint! I love Christmas, especially since I get to enjoy it all, and not have any of the work.

But how come you Christians get all the pretty stuff at this holiday? You get lights, trees, candles in windows, wreaths, carols. If it's beautiful, you have it. We Jews get this little menorah, a bunch of candles, that idiot game of dreidel. For the non-cognoscenti, a dreidel is a top and you spin it and get pennies or M&Ms or other junk. This is one very dopey game, and no matter what the rabbi says, it is dumb, dumb, dumb. Where did we go wrong? We have wonderful holidays, and crappy songs.

Yup, here I go on Christmas carols. I love them; I adore them; I'm already singing Adeste Fidelis, in Latin no less. When I was in elementary school, there was no such thing as everyone sharing his or her religious experiences. We were not PC in those ancient days of the '50s. So that meant that from Thanksgiving on, every kid in this little elementary school made Christmas decorations, read Christmas stories, and caroled in the halls. And here I am, this little Jewish kid, and I'm doing all this stuff for a holiday that I don't celebrate. And not just me. About a quarter of the kids in my class were Jewish, all children of people lucky enough to be in this country during the Holocaust. And all the parents born on the other side, I might add.

So I happily made stained glass windows and sang Christmas carols. OK, time goes by and now I'm in high school and we're still caroling in the halls. In Latin of course and French and German and Spanish. Not one little "Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel" do we sing. And to tell the truth, that is one silly song. So I didn't miss singing it. And who in holy hell knew how to sing Maoz Tsur (Hebrew, boys and girls. Rock of Ages) in Hebrew except for the Jewish kids and we were outnumbered.

Now, you're wondering where this blather is going. Well, at some point, I started to feel guilty singing songs of another faith. Why I should feel guilty is beyond me, but I do.

Here's the deal: I don't want the decorating and presents trappings. They're yours. You should live and be well and enjoy them and kvetch every year about keeping the candles in the windows lit, and have the annual debate over fresh vs. fake trees, etc. Me, I'll admire everything about the holiday, and revel in the fact that I don't have to do the work. But I want Jewish carols!

We Jews know how to compose music. Mendlessohn, the Strauss family converted, Irving Berlin, Mahler, Gershwin, Lenny Bernstein, etc. So why can't we come up with Jewish carols? We could sing them for Passover! Now that would be really neat.

And now I'm officially done with my annual rant. Whew, you say. Relief. She's finally off her toot. Don't worry, I have a few good Passover ones ready to go, but that's not until April, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief now that I'm finally done.

KV - Yeah, it sufficeth (try saying that and/or writing it 10 times!) What will you do without my rants, huh? Your life will be lonely and loaded with vrittis and then what will you do? There's nothing to kvetch about for the next 4 months except for the econmy and the world going downhill and the horrible murder bombers. I refuse to call them suicide bombers; they are murderers and no whitewashing of the name will do. See, another rant.

Skepweaver - I'm fond of Figgy Pudding. It makes not much sense to me, but it sort of rolls along.

Jo - You ain't lived until you've been in a synagogue where every guy is praying in his own speed and volume. True cacophony, and nothing even remotely melodious about it, but then the guys could care less; they're praying and that's that. I grew up with this, and it's awesome to see these guys with their tallit (prayer shawls, the original prayer shawls) over their heads blocking out the world around them and praying with such fervor. But, she asks in a very tiny voice, could we have just one tiny little itsy bitsy Jewish carol, where everyone sings in unison.

Sharon - Tomorrow we're going to see a truncated version of the Messiah; they leave out all the boring stuff.

Susan - "Hannukah has probably just not had the catchiest librrettist and musician focused on that." You noticed that too. giggle. The trouble is that our music is an integral part of the service, and how do you make a classic out of Adon Olam? I love Adon Olam, but it is just not a carol. Kvetch, complain, kvetch some more.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Yarnarian Finishes a Sweater!

OK, a doll sweater. Hey, a sweater is a sweater, no?

I dyed up some odds and ends of Penny sock yarn and had more than enough for this little sweater. It weighs about 1.1 oz. Dyed in that pink color that Miss P will love and it fits the American Girl doll exactly. Easy to get on and off, too.

I had quite a time getting the little ruffle border to work with such a small piece of clothing. I had to rescale it way down, but I think it works well. I used 2 circs in 2.5mm, and it was really a lot of fun to do.

Replies to Saturday's rant: Looks like we're all on the same page. If you haven't read the comments, do so; they're very interesting.

On the same day as I was posting this I read something about a group of parents who were asking toy companies not to market to children. In their dreams, I'm afraid. The only way you can control your kids' access to these commercials is to really be careful what they watch. PBS, I suppose, and maybe videos? I understand why the toy companies do it; children are big business; but the pressure put on the parents is awful.

Oh, and while I'm ranting (and having a good time doing it, too), why, oh why, do little girls need to have clothing marketed to them? Do my granddaughters need to own Hannah Montana junk? What are we teaching kids when we buy this crap? And while I'm really on a tear here, why do little girls' clothes have to look sexy? Are you telling me that a 6 year old needs to wear Hannah Montana clothing that brings out her sexiness? Like she even knows what that is all about. What happened to little girls looking like little girls? Nope, they don't have to wear frilly dresses; there's nothing wrong with jeans and cute tops, and such, but I see ads on tv where these little ones are wiggling their butts and giving off "sexy" signals. Well Moms, you're in charge here. Let your kid be little while she can.

Now that was a good curmudgeonly rant, no? For all my fooling around here, I am serious about it.

Wait until I go into my Christmas carol mode. I love, love, love carols! But I'm a committed Jew. OK, I'll save this for another time. Be afraid, be very afraid. I'm revving up. I'll give you a little hint: You Christians get the most glorious music around, and we Jews get "Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel". What is wrong with this picture? What, we Jews can't compose beautiful music? OK, I'll save this one for another time. Giggle!

Off to dye yarn. I'm kvetched out for the moment. Kvetch = complain

Christine - Thanks for the tagging, I think. ;-) I'll do it in a day or two, or maybe when i get back from Minneapolis.


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