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Moving right along…. January 28, 2008

Posted by marymac in Excuses for not posting, Me me me!.
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No, I’m not dead. Yes, I know it’s been a while. Yes, I know how to pick up a phone…have you been talking to my mother? She could call me once in a while, you know….


Aaaaanyway, I’m really just here to announce that I’m moving. The blog, that is.

Now that I’m co-blogging my fiberish-related things with the fabelaktig group over at House of Wool Repute (when I have any that aren’t super-seecrud projects), there isn’t much reason to post here as well and be redundant and repetitive. Also, I know this is hard to believe but I have one or two other interests besides knitting (okay, try to get hold of yourselves — the fainting couch is to the left and I believe there are smelling salts around here somewhere) that I’d like to spend more time writing about without worrying that The Knitterz will come after me.

So…the new places:

For knitterly things (I’d like to pretend there will be other fibery things involved, but I’m a one-craft girl right now): houseofwoolrepute.com

For Otherly things (including politics, culture and stuff that you’re not supposed to talk about at the dinner table but I was raised by wolves and we talked about all sorts of things at the dinner table*): storyvalue.com

So, you know, move your bookmarks and all accordingly. The archive here isn’t going anywhere (for a while, anyway) in case I hate the my own domain thing and because I’m busy and lazy and the new semester is about to start (there’s always an academia-related excuse for everything; I love it).

See you in the new digs!

*oooh, I think I have a new About Page slogan!


Not Dead Yet. December 16, 2007

Posted by marymac in Excuses for not posting, musicals.

I meant that title in the Monty Python sense, but take it as you will.

Things are a bit dusty around here (story of my life), but I’m hoping to be back soon with my barely-started projects and boring social issues. I’m now co-blogging with a bunch of fabulous fiber fans over at House of Wool Repute, so there’s a very good chance this blog will be not so much about teh knittingz and more about teh other stuffz. We shall see.

In the meantime, I leave you with a little bit of Mame, because I’m a Cultural Catholic (which is a fancy way of saying sometimes you can’t subtract the Catholic in its entirety from the Italian Catholic) and the lyrics fit how I’m feeling right now. (Except the snow part.  Snow, we got.  Also, oh how I wish there was a version of Angela singing it from the stage show, but this will do.)

(This was shot at a concert celebrating the end of the Broadway stagehands strike, so I’m even incorporating boring social issues. Go, me!)

Ceci n’est pas un swatch. July 27, 2007

Posted by marymac in knitting, Me me me!, yarn.

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(This is not a swatch .)

Neither is this:

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And neither is the blue thing I blogged about in my last post.

I might possibly have a case of Startitis.

(And I bought crochet hooks today. None of these projects are crocheted.)

It’s as if I’ve forgotten that I’m a Wicked Slow Knitter(TM). I blame Ravelry and its easy access to gazillions of patterns. I have a habit (pre-dating Ravelry, even) of browsing patterns online when I’m trying to avoid buying yarn (yes, sometimes this has the opposite effect of the one I intend). Fortunately, I am a Wicked Slow Knitter(TM), so mostly I acquire many patterns that I will never get around to making. (Welcome to Circular Reasoning 101.) It’s not often that being disorganized actually saves you money.

This is how it starts. July 21, 2007

Posted by marymac in Adam and Clive, Blondie and Dagwood, gimme gimme gimme, knitting.

My friends Adam and Clive were in town last week and after a loverly lunch where we finally got a chance to catch up on everything that’s been going on lately, they presented me with a little gift.

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You may recall that Adam and Clive are also the ones who gave me Elvis the Penguin. Sensing a theme?

Here’s why. (I think there are some missing.) Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This is how crazy packrat people with houses full of tchotchkes get started, isn’t it?

My other friends are getting in the act, too. This was a recent gift from Blondie:

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I couldn’t get a shot where the writing was legible, but it’s all along the lines of “Where are we going? Are we there yet?” chatter. Because they are Chatty Penguins. Very polite Chatty Penguins. They are British, after all.

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Aaaaanyway, this is what I’m up to when I’m not counting penguins.

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Easy-peasy lace, because that’s about all I can handle right now (and even this project could have used a lifeline in it a few repeats ago when I totally screwed up and had to go back ten rows). The photo below is more true to the actual color, but it doesn’t show the stitch pattern very well.

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Why, no, I don’t have my copy of the new Harry Potter book yet. Why do you ask?

Partly Cloudy July 20, 2007

Posted by marymac in not me (OMG!).

The weather was still not great this morning so no pictures of anything new, but I do have some I took ages ago.

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And should have posted ages ago.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Aren’t they pretty?
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Many (belated) thanks to the folks behind these. For everything.

Habeas Corpus July 18, 2007

Posted by marymac in charity, not me (OMG!).
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Ed. Note: I have been AWOL because Life has been kicking my butt (and other parts) lately. This post is unrelated to what’s causing the butt-kicking, just to make that clear from the beginning.

I’ve been known to run for a bus occasionally (though to be honest, I live in an area where the buses run quite frequently, so unless there’s a dire reason to catch that particular bus, another will be along in ten minutes, so where’s the fire, gotta-run-for-the-bus person?).

And I may have run across an airport once or twice in order to make a flight, but those don’t come along every ten minutes. Also, it was more like a trot.

And it’s been a while since this has come up in any context, but I suppose I’d run if someone was chasing me.

I do, however, know people who do the athletic version of running. My friend Melissa*, for example, took up running a few years ago and has since run two marathons. Two. Marathons. I get tired just thinking about marathons (except for the carb-loading part — I can totally get behind that step of the marathon process).

Anyway, what happened was that she ran the first one and then insisted to everyone that she’d met her goal of running a marathon and didn’t think she needed to do it again. And then a year or so later she ran the second one.** I’m not sure that anyone was surprised.

Now she’s decided to take it up a notch, and is training for a triathlon (that’s when you swim and then run and then ride a bike and it’s a race, for anyone who’s not up on these technical terms). And because she’s not only more of an athlete than I am but a mensch in general, she’s doing it for charity. So I’m taking this opportunity to boost my karma by pimping her charity stuff for her. (I won’t be able to be there to help with the carb-loading this time.)

I’ll let her explain the deal in her own words:

I am training with Team in Training, an arm of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. More than 115,000 people are diagnosed with a blood cancer every year. Two of my grandparents had blood cancers, and you may know someone with one as well. As of 2006, more than 785,000 people in the U.S. were living with a blood cancer, and someone dies from a blood cancer approximately every 10 minutes. The mortality rate has actually improved over the past 10 years — in large part because of the research of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (which addresses all blood diseases, of which leukemia and lymphoma are the two most common). And they want to make the prevalence and mortality rates even lower.

So here’s where you come in. I will swim, run and ride with and for people with blood cancers, but I need to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to do so — $3200 to be exact (although, really, the more the better).

Please go to this link and make a donation:

It is quick, easy, secure, and completely tax deductible. You will receive email confirmation of your donation right away. I will also be notified of your donation — and will thank you as well (and update you on my training and such, unless you don’t want me to) . If you work somewhere that provides matching grants for your charitable donations, please let me know and I will help with any needed paperwork. If you don’t like to make donations on-line, let me know and I’ll send you a donation form with an envelope in which you can mail a check.

So there you have it. I know people get these requests all the time and no one is under any obligation to help out — no one will be checking to see if any of my four or five readers contributes, I promise. But it’s a great cause, and having known Melissa for nearly 20 years I can vouch for her 100%.***

And now a small reward for those who hate how I’m all talky all the time and don’t post enough yarn pr0n.

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Handspun from a prizewinning spinner!

There may be more knitting content soon, if the sun decides to come out this week. Hell, there may be more content content soon — you never know!

*Who goes by several names around here, but for now we’ll use this one.

**I came along for the carb-loading for the second one. I am nothing if not supportive.

***And no, she won’t tell you any of my secrets. Hence, the vouching.

Would you believe….no. May 17, 2007

Posted by marymac in I'm so deep, Me me me!.

So, there were lots of interesting guesses regarding my last post.


Not what I was looking for. I seem to have out-clevered myself (this happens sometimes) and led you all astray. This is probably a sign that I shouldn’t do contests. Or I should only do them when I know what the prize is. Or when I’ve put more than thirty seconds of “hey, that would be funny” thought into the answer.

Officially, however, you were ALL right and blew the curve and I am so unprepared for your brilliance that all I can give you is my undying love and affection. Congratulations!

Aaaaanyway, as I mentioned in my last post, a couple of months ago (before I turned into a big bad-contesty liar) I had a thing and people decided to send me stuff. First came a box all the way from my beloved Theresa in Norway.

I’m not sure why Theresa even talks to me, exactly, because I am a Big Meanie, and she is the direct opposite. You know in those cartoons where the kind, gentle girl is followed around by happy woodland creatures? Well, I have it on good authority that this portrait of Theresa is quite accurate:

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Theresa doesn’t wait for shearing — she negotiates the wool from the goats. It’s FABELAKTIG.

Also fabelaktig…the stuff in the box from Theresa.

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First up, a lovely card with lovely Norwegian sheep on it.

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Next, a box.
A LUNCH box.
A Norwegian one.
I love boxes. (I’m serious — containers are fun.)

And I really love boxes that have more stuff in them.

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Seigmenn are little gummy people. And you can bite their heads off. Not that I do that kind of thing. (yum yum yum).

And then….and then….there were these:

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Okay, that’s just one, but I promise she sent both mittens. Those are the Hermione Mittens.

Bobbles, anyone? (I am actually kind of creeped out by bobbles, but Theresa’s are quite tasteful, don’t you think?)

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I would have posted sooner, but… May 8, 2007

Posted by marymac in Excuses for not posting.

…my parents sent me and my siblings off to stay with this Professer dude and I got stuck in an armoire with some happy woodland creatures….

No? Would you believe…I was minding my own business in my tiny bedroom under the stairs when an owl arrived…?

How about a wicked witch with some bright red shoes? Would you believe a wicked witch?*

Well, clearly I need to read more non-fiction. And maybe less 900-page novels. (It’s an excellent book; just know that if you get your copy from the library you will be reading nothing else for quite a while if you want to finish it without accruing a ginormous fine.)

Anyway, I promised my dear LauraLauraLaura more pink, so here we have my Big Pink scarf. This is made out of the Blue Sky Alpaca that my co-worker gifted me with a while back and I couldn’t figure out what else to do with. (My apologies to anyone who hoped I’d end up sending it to them. I needed a new scarf.)

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My one teeny-tiny problem with making things like the Big Pink Scarf, however? Well, maybe this will give you an idea:

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GREAT BIG KNITTING NEEDLES…teeny little girly hands. Ow.

But I was strong. I persevered. My neck was cold.

(Bear with me on the winterwear — did I mention the owl and the armoire?)

Meanwhile, this is one of the superseekrid projects I was working on and much more in my physical range:

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A couple of months ago a friend of mine did a very brave thing. I won’t get into the details here because it’s not my story, but suffice it to say that it was a Very Big Deal and she kicked ass and took names and all is very well right now. Well, she’s a big Firefly fan, so I made her a Jayne hat to recognize her heroism (also, there’s no knitwear associated with Captain Tightpants, so there you go). And if much of that paragraph means nothing to you, go forth and watch, my pretties.

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Isn’t it fabulously unattractive? That’s part of its charm. (Oh, and the lovely Pam came up with this particular version of the pattern, but you should not hold the fabulous unattractiveness against her. She did a great job of reverse-engineering.)

That’s all for now, my pretties — next time I’ll tell you all about how people sent me stuff for no particular reason recently and show it to you. I think there’s a camera somewhere in this armoire.

*If you know what tv show I’m referencing here and tell me in the comments and are the first one to do so I will send you something nice.** Well, something that I’ll pretend I think is nice and you’ll pretend to also think it’s nice in order to be polite but secretly you’ll talk about my bad taste behind my back. And call me paranoid.

**”Something nice” will probably be yarn but there used to be some non-knitters who read this blog (though I think perhaps I’ve driven them away with all the yarny posts) and I’m trying to be inclusive n’ stuff.***

***Inclusive N’ Stuff would be a good name for a store, but I don’t know exactly what you’d sell there. Maybe it would be a better name for, like, a community center or something.

Oh, For the Love of Maude January 29, 2007

Posted by marymac in I'm so deep, knitting, Me me me!.

First, replies to a couple of comments on my last post.

Karen asked: Is there a superseeeecret project that I’m not aware of? Or don’t you guys love me anymore because I”m not in chat as often?

If there are any current group superseekrit projects, I’m not aware of them, either. I have some personal superseekrit projects that I’m not posting about yet because at least some of the intended recipients read this blog regularly and I am trying to be surprising…erm…to surprise them. So no pics until the gifties are in their hot little hands (and that hand comment is not a hint). Also, I think Valerie was supposed to talk to you about how we voted you out of the cool kids club because you’re not in chat as often, but you didn’t hear that from me.

And Laura says: More pink (and more Barbie) please.

There will be more pink soon, because I think you have done something to my brain. Also, Blogging is Hard! (How’s that for Barbieness?)

Okay, all personal messages aside I wanted to talk to you about…the weather. Why? Because that’s what people do here in New England. All. The. Time. I do it too, in spite of the fact that I’ve never really considered myself much of a “New Englander” — Monkee‘s assertions of my “Yankeeness” notwithstanding. I suspect this has something to do with my family’s having lived in the US for less than 100 years (yes, both sides), but that’s another post.
Recently, our weather went from this:

To this:
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No, really!

Okay, maybe over the course of a couple of weeks months. Not more than six, I swear. Regardless, it got wicked cold wicked fast, and I found myself wanting a new hat. (My old hat still worked, it was just kind of itchy, which was entirely my own fault for cheaping out with the itchy wool, I know, and that’s why I put up with the itchitude for longer than I should have. Also, I am lazy about making stuff for myself. Yes, I am deserving. Yes, I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. Still lazy, though.)

!@#$@#&^ freezing cold can be quite motivating, however, so it only took me a couple of evenings to churn out this:

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‘Tis the Sunflower Tam from Knitting Nature, done with Patons Classic Merino in Burgundy, which I have a ton of because I think it was meant for a sweater that never happened. (I am slow as well as lazy — much of my stash was purchased for projects that never materialized.) Anyway, this took less than a ball, so I still have a ton of it. And no, that’s not my head in the picture.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about the finished hat at first — the fit is fine, but it’s a little chef‘s toque-y, and I was concerned about appearing…howyousay…dorky. Fortunately, I am growing too old to put dorkiness over non-itchy headgear, and I decided to embrace the toque-yness. You’re still not getting any pics of me wearing the hat, however.

These give you a better view of the sunflower pattern:

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And lo, my head was warm, and there was much rejoicing. Which continued when I heard this news. When I was a kid I watched a lot of tv, and I associated many of the characters on my favorite shows with people I knew — mostly family members. My Aunt V. was Maude — divorced, tall, brassy, and with a mouth like a sailor. V. is still kicking at the age of seventy*mumble*, and it’s nice to see that Maude is back, too.

…compromisin’, enterprisin’, anything but tranquilizin’,
Right on Maude!

Resolved January 21, 2007

Posted by marymac in knitting, Me me me!, yarn.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I like to pretend that it’s because my eternal quest for self-improvement is beyond regulation by some arbitrary date on the calendar at which time I’m supposed to decide on all the things I’ll want to do over the next twelve months. But just between you and me and the lamppost, the truth is that I hate to be wrong, even if it’s about something as trivial as my ability to get to bed at a certain time on a regular basis, and you can’t break a New Year’s resolution if you don’t make ’em in the first place.

(And what does happen if you come up with a new resolution in, like, July? Do you call it a Mid-Year Resolution? Do you wait six months before trying to follow it? I have no idea what’s going to be important to me in July, kittens! (Hell, I have no idea what’s going to be important to me in February, but I’m working on that — see “eternal quest for self-improvement”, above.))

It has been suggested to me that perhaps I could resolve to update the ‘ol blog more often, because I’m a wee bit behind. Yeah, that’s gonna happen. I have been remiss, though in a couple of things…..

Shortly before The Holidaze, I went on a little WEBS mission for my dear Roxy, and in return she sent me a treat:

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(“Barbie” is one of my aliases. Don’t ask.)

Now, the little pink case would be exciting enough on its own, but when I opened it I found these inside:

Loverly stitch markers! I promise to try not to lose them, Roxy! (I’m kind of bad with the stitch marker losing, but I’ve managed to hold on to these so far. The case helps.)

Also, just to prove that I do occasionally finish things, these were part of my brother and SIL’s XMess gifts:

They’re the Manly Mitts from Knitty, sized down a bit because my brother has “teeny little girly hands” (don’t tell him I told you that). My hands are the same size as his, so getting the sizing right on these was easy-peasy. They’re done in Cascade 220 in colors that I don’t remember because I bought the yarn a year ago and only just got around to giving the gifts. They were my first stranded pattern and I had a lot of fun making them until about 1/3 of the way through the fourth one, at which time I never wanted to see a mitten again in my life. I have since recovered.

Close-up of the stranded colorwork:

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I also made a scarf for my SIL’s birthday gift (her birthday is between XMess and New Year’s, so it tends to get lost in the shuffle). She likes pink, in case you haven’t figured that out:

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That’s Argosy, also a Knitty pattern. It’s made from two balls of Valley Yarns Amherst (a little less than two balls, actually, because I kind of misjudged on how much I needed to finish so it’s a short scarf). This was the first opportunity I’ve had to use Amherst, and I liked it a lot — it has a nice hand (it’s Merino wool) and shows stitch definition well:

I’m not crazy about non-reversible scarves, but I wanted a relatively quick knit (since I didn’t manage to get the gift started until the day before I wanted to give it…oops) and the stitch pattern for Argosy is pretty easy to memorize. SIL said she liked it, but she used to be an Actor, so I’m never sure if she really means it when she says she likes her gifts.

Now it’s time for television and dinner and knitting on superseeecrudprojekt #3432564.5. I resolve to blog again sometime this year….