Sunday, April 30, 2006

Long awaited Bling or tales of Augie part two

I had a completely different post planned but this is just too good not to share :)
I introduced my best friend of more that 30 years, Augie, to my blog readers a few weeks ago.

I shared tales of sweaters of long ago revisited and how much this meant to both of us. At the time, Augie mentioned he wanted to do something special for me in return. I told him knitting the sweater was as much a joy for me as it was for him to receive it and his pleasure was more than enough "return".

A few weeks later, Augie and I were chatting on the phone while my TV was on, watching one of my favorite shows, Sex in the City. It was the episode in which Carrie is in Paris with "the Russian" and she realizes she's lost the "Carrie" necklace she bought at a street fair while shopping with her girls. Carrie's necklace looked like this:

When I was a teenager (think late 70's - early 80's), these necklaces were very popular, in one's own name, of course. I ALWAYS wanted one yet my wish went unrequited...and these were not expensive necklaces at all so I'm not sure why I never owned one.

When "Carrie" showed up wearing one, my heart fluttered with nostalgia. I mentioned to Augie that I'd always wanted one. He wasn't watching the episode along with me so he really didn't know what I was talking about...or so I thought....

Almost a year after I had given him the sweater Augie made a confession....he had bought me the name necklace I so coveted when we were kids! I of course told him it wasn't necessary but inside, I was all aquiver with delight!

Now, Augie being Augie, nothing is ever simple. Months went by, no birthday, no necklace....Christmas, no necklace....

After a YEAR I finally confronted him and asked what happened to the necklace? He said he had it but just hadn't had a chance to get to the post office....FOR A YEAR???

So time continued to march on and still no necklace....I asked about it and Augie repeatedly "promised" to get it in the mail....and yet NO NECKLACE!!

Now, I couldn't understand what the problem was but finally, about a month ago, I finally FORCED him to tell me why this necklace remained in his underwear drawer???

And my sweet Augie finally confessed he wasn't sure I would like the final product! He made me PROMISE that I would send it back to him if I didn't like it....I did and so he agreed to send it....

About noon today, (yes TODAY, SUNDAY!!) beckoned by a loud knock on my door, I found a mail person. She was wearing a "Special Delivery Unit" patch on her uniform (hee!) and handed me a large pastel heart covered mailing bag. I expressed my surprise at receiving mail on Sunday and her very official response was "special delivery, ma'am" (hee, redux!!)

I came inside, opened the bag to reveal a silvery glitter covered gift bag. Inside the silver gift bag was a smaller pink glittery gift bag. Inside the pink bag was pink tissue paper wrapped around silver tissue paper....and finally a black velvet box....

So after TWO years this is what I found inside.....

LOOK! It's Snoop Dog meets Growing Up Gotti :)

Actually, it's so over the top, it's FABULOUS!! And I love it!

I think it was worth the two year wait, don't you?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Finally, some serious knitting going on 'round here!

I've FINALLY finished the albatross Diamond Fantasy Shawl! Whew, I never thought I'd get here!

I started this shawl February 5th and this project has been on my needles longer than ANY OTHER! And it's a very easy lace pattern so that's no excuse! I love the yarn, the pattern was just interesting enough....but I finally figured out what was bothering me. The shawl is a gift for my Mom for Mother's Day and altho I know that a cotton shawl in these colors will be perfect for her, the truth is she almost never wears the things I knit for her. When I've asked her about this she says "Oh, I didn't think about your (sweater, shawl, poncho....) I know she "doesn't want to ruin it" and I believe she genuinely loves the stuff I've made her but it's pretty disheartening to never see the garments get any use. Any suggestions for coercing reluctant hand knit recipients? Anyway, for better or worse, here she is:


Diamond Fantasy Shawl designed by Sivia Harding.

Size US #4 Addi Natura 40" circ.

About 700 yards Blue Heron Mercerized Cotton in the colorway Flax

I worked 10 pattern repeats as recommended by the pattern for a shawl

Mods: I worked my left slanting decreases as a Knit 2 together thru the back loop (K2togtbl) as I feel it more closely resembles the K2tog for the right leaning decrease. I also changed the center stitch from the recommended left leaning S2KP to a centered double decrease (slip 2 as if to knit, K1, pass slipped stitches over)

I heartily recommend this well written, intuitive pattern to anyone as a beginning lace pattern and will probably make this shawl again myself someday!

I also finished my manly GGH Marathon Socks! Didn't they come out great?


GGH Marathon Sock Yarn

Size #1 (2.5mm) addi turbo circ

Magic Loop method. My own pattern, basic stockinette sock.

The yarn was a bit scratchy while knitting but it softened up beautifully when washed. Unfortunately, this hard wearing, manly yarn has been discontinued! I have a few more skeins in the stash and I'm sharing a few with a reader who's fancy they tickled, right
Lolly? Keep an eye on your mailbox!

I also started a new sock:

These are knit in Sockotta. To be honest I was gifted this yarn by another knit blogger and when I saw it my first thought was "That is the UGLIEST sock yarn EVER!!" But the joke is on me because I've wanted to knit cotton-y socks for the FK Dad and finding a cotton blend yarn that could pass the "nothing fancy please" wishes of FK Dad while keeping FK Deb at least mildly interested was no easy task! Enter "ugly" Sockotta....Done in a nice, stretchy mistake stitch rib, they are cool and crisp and perfect for Mr. Conservative FK Dad!

Also in the new beginnings category.....
this post about my planned next project?

I decided a long sleeved, lacey cotton sweater was not very practical no matter how pretty the design. I love the yarn but wanted to find a pattern that I would actually use so I chose this instead. Enter the Mock Pocket Top!

Here's my WIP so far....

It's a pattern from K1C2 and the yarn is Second Time Cotton in the colorway Valencia. It's a soft, 8 plyed cotton with a bit of acrylic for lightness. It knits up beautifully with great stitch definition and I love the color! I had a few false starts because I thought I would try a tubular cast on but HATED how it looked with the seed stitch. Then, despite a pretty large swatch, my gauge was completely different when actually knitting the sweater. It seems I knit cotton very loosely no matter what type needles I use! The gauge called for is 5 sts/inch on a US #8. The fabric I liked best was 5.5 sts/inch on a US#6 addi turbo so I did the math and I discovered I could knit the pattern as written but 2 sizes up to get the dimensions of the schematic. Unfortunately, as usually happens with me and cotton, when I'm actually knitting along on the sweater, my gauge loosened and the size would have been HUGE! So, take 3, I've used a much prettier german twisted cast on and went back to the size I originally planned to knit and things are clipping along famously!

Since my original long sleeved sweater called for more yarn than this sleeveless one does, I'm thinking of using the additional skeins to make a matching shawlette to throw over my shoulders in the frigid South Florida A/C. Of course I might be good and sick of cotton by then.....all these cotton projects makes me miss my wool!! So we'll see but I do think a matching "twinset" might be very cute!

Last but not least, my studly, cat-porn starring handsome P-Man......

Being this adorable is hard work you know! Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

For Jody....

I know I'm achingly handsome and my fans want me all the time but can a cat get a little privacy? Sheesh.....

I is for one of my most precious posessions

Any guesses what this might be?

Altho I was born here in Florida, I grew up in a small town on Long Island, New York. Next to my house was a empty lot that all us kids used to play in all the time. One especially fun activity was sneaking in the house and "stealing" one of our Mom's spoons to dig in the empty lot!

Most times we just dug for the sheer childhood joy of playing in dirt and getting completely filthy :)

One afternoon during one of our many juvenile excavations I unearthed this:

I thought it was just a cool rock formation and was fascinated by what "nature" had made.

I kept this odd looking "rock" for many years, always considering it a special and unique find but never thinking it more than just a rock.

When I was around 13 years old my class went on a field trip to Eisenhower Park, a huge park in East Meadow.

Back then there was a small museum that featured the history of Long Island. As we walked around looking at all the different displays I noticed one highlighting Indian utensils and tools. And much to my shock and disbelief, there in the case was my "rock"!!!

It turns out, my "rock" was something called an
Indian Paint Pot!

The Indians native to Long Island used rocks and mud to form small bowls and pots in which they stored the decorative face paints! AND I FOUND ONE! I was beside myself with childood glee!!

When I got home that afternoon, I told my parents about what I had seen in the museum. Not sure that this wasn't some wishful thinking on my part, they agreed to take my brother and I back the next weekend along with my "rock" and really check out what I had seen!

Practically bursting with excitment, the Fluffy Family set out for the museum in the park. Sure enough, there was my "rock" in the display case and in my hand! The two were identical! We took my newly grand Indian Paint Pot (since it was no longer a mere rock!) to the curator's office and he confirmed that what I had found was the geniune article!

I've kept this artifact over many moves and many years and it's still as special to me as it was the day I found it.

To me, it holds the history of my land and it's first people as well as so many childhood remembrances.

I is for my Indian Paint Pot and the immeasurable pride I have to possess it.

I promised myself no knitting posts until the albatross Diamond Fantasy Shawl is finished....and I'm getting close! So i'll be back soon with socks, shawls and a sweet orange kitty!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Be Happy!

Whether you celebrate Passover or Easter or Spring this little guy says....


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It's been quite a year....

H is for.....

It seems like so much longer but Fluffy Knitter Deb turns 1 today!
Thanks for making it a great year and for finding my (and the P-Man's) little slice of life interesting!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Stacks, sniffing, socks and stash maintenance.....

But still no shawl :(

I'm going thru some personal stuff that's made me kinda sad so I find it hard to concentrate on anything that needs my full attention. Sigh....

Even tho my Diamond Fantasy Shawl is pretty simple lace, it's more than my brain wants to handle! I hope I get my lace mojo back soon cause I'd hate to be empty handed on Mother's Day which is barely a month away! Of course I could *buy* a gift but I know FK Mom could really use a nice cotton shawl! Maybe if I sleep with some Addi Naturas under my pillow, hehehe...

I have taken some solace for my loss of mojo in a habit I'm glad to share with so many of my fellow knitters, so many that there's even a button for those like me....yes, I confess, I'm a sniffer! And thanks to
Grumperina, we sniffers now have a button to display our solidarity, see?

Image hosting by Photobucket

Thanks, Kathy, for letting us sniffers come out of the closet! Now all you yarn sniffers out there, unite (and yoink the button but save it to your own server!)

Now, I haven't been entirely unproductive, just not using my brain :)

I give you, MEDALLIONS!

You're not looking at some bizarre breakfast food from another planet, you're looking at 34 medallions for my Carnival Afghan! I actually made two more to add to the stacks since I took the pic so I'm more than 1/3 of the way to a completed afghan! See, I'm no slacker!

I really want this afghan to be finished by next fall so I try to produce 1 or 2 medallions daily. I adore the colors I chose, the medallions are very easy to crochet so it's very pleasurable for me to work on these and I'm really enjoying it!

I've also completed the first sock of my GGH Marathon Socks. It's been so long since I've knit a plain stockinette sock but I'm enjoying the Zen and process of just knitting round and round, watching the stripes form as they may. Yes, Margene, it's rubbing off :)

Aren't they attractive and manly?

I added another button to my side bar too. I've joined the Yarn Focus Challenge coordinated by Rebekah of Knit Knack.

Image hosting by Photobucket

The Challenge isn't a "yarn diet" per se, it's more of a way to focus on items we really want/need rather than just impulse purchases. We all know how easy it is to see something lovely on another blog and, bang! the yarn is just a click away!

I'm not a big yarn buyer when it comes to sweaters and such but I am completely addicted to sock yarn!! So pretty, so many colors, so many patterns to knit with...ack!!!! I have determined that I probably have enough sock yarn for every foot in Ft. Lauderdale! Ok, that may be a *slight* exaggeration, but only slight!!

So I joined up!

The Challenge lasts for three months and allows you one "free" day per month to purchase the yarn you really want but the "waiting period" gives you time to reflect rather than buy on impulse! I must say it's been hard already because I've been feeling down and my usual mood booster would be a nice new skein of Trekking or Bearfoot! So I know I'm in the right place, controlling some of those impulses! If you're interested in learning more or joining, sign-ups are open til April 15th so go pay Rebekah a visit and check it out!

Now the P-Man wants to wish you a wonderful weekend full of beautiful spring weather, blue skies, even stitches and knitting mojo!

And when we return next week, it will be a day to celebrate!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

G is for......

After my well received "F is for friendship" post I was kinda at a loss for a suitable "G is for......"

So I bring you some of the various and sundry G's in the life of this Fluffy Knitter....

First I bring you the humble Gecko.

No, not this guy

This guy!

Isn't he cute?

These creatures are a part of life in Florida, both inside and out!

When I walk outside I often see as many as ten scurry in all directions at my approach and I know spring is on it's way when all the tiny baby geckos make their first appearance.

Altho few Floridians actually keep Geckos as pets, few would complain to have a Gecko house guest because they eat all the unwanted house creepies, especially ants and cockroaches! YUCK!!

A unique feature of the Gecko is that they have a regenerating tail! When Pumpkin a bird swoops in for a game of tag a meal, the wiley Gecko makes it's escape by leaving it's tail behind while it's body remains unscathed! Florida wouldn't be Florida without the useful escape artist that is G for Gecko!

I am sure my love for the G that is Green is no secret! My blog is green, my pics all have green backgrounds (green towels, blankets, green couch, ect.) but unfortunately there is no wearing of the green because it makes me look like death! So I live Green vicariously thru my knitting. To wit, another sock steps into the spotlight....and it's the G that is Green!

This is some GGH Marathon Sock yarn that's been marinating in the stash for a while. I love the marled green goodness and this workhorse of a sock is yet another installment of my evil plan to inundate a certain
cold footed New Yorker with so many hand knits he just HAS to wear em! Muahahahaha....

Now the best G of all is for GOOD NEWS!!

In previous posts and tutorials I've shown off my glamorous darning egg but alas after many moves, computer crashes and fruitless google searches the artist who wrought my lovely knitting accoutrement was lost. The GOOD NEWS is he's been found!!

One of my readers,
Melissa of TiaKnits, was a woman with a mission and a sister named Kelli who's a computer genius as well as a crackerjack knitter! And Kelli found our man!!! YAY Kelli!

Phil of
Custom Wood Designs is my long lost artiste!

I've been in contact with Phil and he is still making stunningly beautiful fiber related tools such as Niddy Noddies, Nostipines and DARNING EGGS out of gorgeous exotic woods. Phil plans to update his site but if you contact him, he will fashion whatever tool you fancy in any of a bevy of lovely exotic woods!

So now Margene anyone can have a beautiful Darning Egg of their own to make their kitchener knitting easier! Isn't that GOOD NEWS??
Go pay Phil a visit and see what goodies he has!

Thanks again for your persistence and genius Melissa and Kelli!

My closing G is of course, my Gorgeous P-Man who's busy getting his nap on!

Have a GREAT week, G!