29 June 2006


I'm not sure that anything could top yesterday's post. Who wouldn't love that Guinea Pig? (My husband has adopted him as a mascot, but I'm sure no one needed to know that.)

I was going to title this post something like "help, please" but I realized that I do way too much of that begging for help thing. Especially if it is information that I seek (kinda embarrassing with me being a librarian and all). This time, however, the fire burns within me and I am in serious need of enabling direction.

I need a wheel.

My list of justifications include:

  1. I have a Rubbermaid bin of fiber, and the spindle isn't burning through it so fast.
  2. I have about a pound of prepared alpaca fiber I got for an embarrassingly low price. The spindle is intimidated.
  3. Spinning is therapy (I dare any spinner to argue that)
  4. My husband actually said, "Do you want a wheel for your birthday?"

Do I need to go on? I thought not.

What I would like to know is how those spinners out there found their first wheel. Did you try out a bunch at a store? (And if said store is in CT, dude, let me know) At a festival? A guild meeting? Did a pusher friend get you started?

I have a serious itch to spin (no, Eskimo, not the kind that cream can help), and I don't know where to start. I beg thee for direction.

28 June 2006

I can't make this stuff up

I needed a laugh today, and thought you might, too.

(Click to enlarge)

27 June 2006

No bunnies were hurt in the making of this post

There has been very little knitting to report of late from the Cygknit household. Sunday night, I knit my first hat for the Dulaan Project. It may fit a small doll. Hat 2 is on the needles, and appears that it may fit a real live human. If this is the case, I shall post pictures. In related news, it appears that no one else knows if washing greasy wool will make it less scratchy. I don't feel so bad.

I went back to work yesterday, eager to track down and tackle some normalcy. Ummm, maybe not the best idea. Sometimes, heavy lifting and librarianship aren't so distantly related. Sadly, I had somehow not heard the nurse mention that I shouldn't lift things and found myself delirious from pain. It does, however, help with cranky patrons. Today has been much better, due in part to being in an (actually) interesting training all afternoon--across the street from my house. Yup, I am located quite close to one of the places that the State does workshops for Librarians. I ate lunch outside (more on that later; trust me, it has interest) and then walked down my driveway to class. Now if I only worked there...

A Bunny update:

Since the knitting has been paltry, I thought I would share a bunny story (I know at least 2 people who read this that are suckers for bunnies. This is for you guys).

So last night, the wild rabbit was out, eating goodies (weeds) from the lawn. Olive, who is usually hidden away napping at the dinner hour was actual up and wandering about. She saw the bunny and raced to the screen door, pawing at it like a dog wanting out. I explained that we don't chase bunnies, and picked her up so that she would stop whacking the door could see better.

The bunny hopped a few feet past our view just as I realized that fat cats constitute heavy lifting, and I let her down. She raced to the french doors, (which the landlords have screened for summer) only to see that the bunny was just feet away. Much butt-wiggling and mewing ensued. I again assured her that we in this house do not chase bunnies.

Feeling that my little lecture had worked, I sat down with got sucked into the vortex of the laptop. A few minutes later: rrrriiiiiiiiiiip.

The cat had popped through the screen and was dashing after the bunny. I was not amused.

Mr. Cygknit was touched that the rabbit had escaped, and (I believe) giggled at Olive as she sat in the remains of the Lily of the Vally patch, wondering "Where did it go?" He even, in a fit of good feeling, said that the Little Nut Brown Hare (as he calls it) could eat the bean seedling outside our makeshift fence, if it wanted. Do I need to tell you that we have no bean seedlings left?


Nut Brown Hare: 1
Olive: 0

25 June 2006

Some help, please?

At some point in the recent Vicodin-induced haze I was accepted into the Knitting Blogs webring (Yay!). Rather than freak out at the huge spike in hits on the blog here, I decided to ask all those passing through for a little advice. And you folks that are always here for me? You chime in, too, you hear?

Perhaps you remember the woolly windfall a few weeks ago, where I was gifted with a bin full of Maine wool? After receiving a suggestion from Sharon G. (sadly, Blogger shared no information on her) that the Dulaan Project needs wool warm stuff, I emailed Ryan to see if they still were accepting. And they are! The reports of them refocusing on other needs was true at the time, but apparently the response was so great they're keeping it open for another year or so.

Still with me? The question is this: Some of the wool is scratchy, so I won't use that for next-to-the-skin stuff. All of the wool, though, (now that I use it) is greasy. Now, this isn't a bad thing--my hands are soft now--but I was wondering if I washed it, would the scratchy go away? All the wool smells strongly of sheep, so I was going to toss it in some warm soapy water, anyhow.

Any thoughts?

24 June 2006

Some reasons

Some reasons why Vicodin and knitting are not mutually compatible:

1. It is possible that your ability to make good color choices can be affected.

2. Lace, even easy lace, can be a bit of a challenge.

(It may not look like it, but I took Netter's advice and Eskimo's encouragement and went from memory. It was quite exciting.)

3. Ankle socks, in 100% cotton, (worsted weight, no less) seem like a supremely good idea.

4. The fourth time you attempt to kitchener the same toe should be a clue to wait until you're not high on painkillers.

I have noticed how easily amused I have become.

This little bunny has been solely responsible for decimating most of our garden. Isn't it cute, though?? He/she was just two feet from the porch doors and I would have given anything for it to hang around longer (except Chucky's beans. He's a bit cranky about it eating the beans.) I thought of you, Knitterbunny.

Thanks for all the good wishes, all of you. I'm still trying to catch up with all my email. Thankfully, it is back to the regularly scheduled kitting and blogging for me.

23 June 2006

We're sorry...

...but your regularly scheduled blog has been temporarily disconnected. Please try your call again in a few days.

My apologies for the lack of blogging the last few days, and most likely the next two. I had a wee surgery yesterday, and all icky feelings about it aside: they have given me Vicodin. Vicodin. Not sure what the next few days will be like. After sleeping the anesthesia off for the last seven hours I'm ready to pop the first one, but I kinda feel like Alice dropping into a rabbit hole.

It is probably a good idea to hold off on the knitting during this time, isn't it?

20 June 2006

Book Review

Aside from a few book reports in middle grades, I have not ever done a book review. I read plenty of them, they're essential to that purchasing part of my job (have I mentioned that I get to buy lots of books with other people's money? Best part of being a Librarian.) But book reviews haven't blipped my radar.

Since I started knitting, I've mostly given up reading. Well, yes, there is an obsession happening, but a few years ago I stopped being able to read for pleasure. For a person who, as a child, did everything with a book in hand (especially folding clothes), this has been hard. Awful. My eyes do this funny thing when I read for pleasure (read=for hours on end), and I end up having, after just a few books, to go to the eye doctor and get new glasses. Knitting, however, doesn't stress my eyes, and I can (with good lighting) knit 'till I pass out.

Where's that book review I promised?

I stayed up until I finished it last night (late!), even though I had to be up earlier than ususal. I dreamed of sheep. Sheep testicles, that is. Read this, if you get a minute, and all will be explained.

You know what? I don't know how to do a book review. This is what I can tell you though:

  1. Sheep are way more fun than I thought they would be, and lambs are small and bouncy.
  2. I'm pretty sure I would freak about easy lambing, and a prolapsed sheep uterus would render me a vegetable.
  3. It is entirely possible that sheep may be too smart for me.
  4. I still want this farm thing, bad.
  5. Not sure I could handle a sheep-for-meat farm. I'm a chicken.
  6. Speaking of chickens, I didn't know they had bellybuttons, or that chicken nookie would be so darn funny.

I could keep going, but I'll spare you. Llamas, ducks, coyotes and women's underwear. The author has a blog (yay!).

Excuse me, I'll be off in the corner dreaming of having a farm.

19 June 2006


Today's post was going to be about an ankle sock I cast on last night. Let me just say now, for the record: A gauge swatch for a sock is not a stupid idea. No matter how much so it may seem. Trust me on this, ok?

How about some Project Spectrum-ness?

A wee bit of blue in the leftover bowl yarn display:

Our dairy set of dishes:

In Mr. Cygknit's kosher home growing up, anything in the kitchen colored blue or green was only to be used for dairy (milk, cheese, etc) or parve (fish, eggs, veggies). If you were having a meat meal (red or chicken, even with parve stuff), you used red or yellow dishes. Everything, from the designs on the plates to the sponges and towels by the sink followed these color coordinating rules. When we were trying to figure out what to register for, (my lord, what a pain that was) we fell in love with these blues. We eat a lot of dairy meals now.

Being the only person who doesn't own the Mason Dixon book, I have to design my own washcloths (rather, warshcloths--I have plenty of Southern in me):

A little blue never hurt no one.

18 June 2006

Hey Pop,

Happy Father's Day. It was good to talk to you today. After I hung up, I looked at the phone and saw we had talked for seven seconds short of fifteen minutes. Not that long ago it was just three or four.

I don't know what to say to you, and I sure don't know what to buy for you. Something practical. Something important. But not too much. That card I bought for Father's Day in 2003? It is still on my desk. All those words are good and solid and what I really want to say...but can't. After all this time, its still akward, isn't it.

So I thought and thought of something practical (so you'd use it), of something inexpensive (so you wouldn't fuss at my "extravagent ways"), of something you might, maybe, like.

I thought, maybe, that since you still have on the wall that awful picture I painted when I was 10, you might like them.

14 June 2006


I have nothing to post about. My dad's second sock (for Father's Day) isn't done yet, and HAD to be mailed today to make it by Saturday. Whoops. I have a paper due tomorrow that I haven't started.

Not very exciting stuff, I say.

So, many thanks to Jess for posting a wee meme:

Take a look around you. Apart from your computer and its peripherals, and your computer desk/table/milk crate and chair, what, in order of their physical closeness, are the five things nearest to you right now?

1. Spine labels for a set of Shakespeare DVDs
2. A spool of stickers that proclaim "7 Day Loan"
3. A set of Shakespeare DVDs
4. A protractor
5. Cassette 4 of "The Hours" (returned solo)

A librarian's job IS exciting, isn't it?

Your turn, in comments here or on your blog :)

And Jess? Don't tempt me with toe-up lessons, or I may show up on your bear-ridden doorstep.

12 June 2006


Thank you all for the suggestions on what to do with all that wool. Try as I might, I just can't let it go back to the dark shed it came from. It would be too cruel of me--it would be lonely there, right?

Reflecting on that sentence for a moment, I realize that (most) other people would think I have a serious problem, (not with what to do with the wool, but a mental kind of problem) but I knew you guys would be helpful, and wouldn't think I need special medication. At least for this, anyway.

I'm going to have to poke around to see what charities allow 100% wool. I know that some prefer *gasp* acrylic as it is washable. There must be some that like wool.

I realized that I don't ever show pictures of knitting anymore. That can't be good. I certainly wouldn't want any nasty rumors going about that some silly girl has a knit blog...with no knitting.

That said, I present...dyeing:

This is going out in a care package for someone who's doing a felting project of purples. Its just 100 yards, but I think it will help.

And since I did promise knitting, I present my sanity:

(The color is actually brick red, not the bright pink that's showing up here at my work terminal)

This is the lace border that Chucky spent hours charting to fix the obvious error in the pattern. I worked on it on the way up to Maine last weekend and, uh, it (the pattern) was right. Whoops. Not that it was easy, though, as it took more than 5 hours to do those 11 rows. I think the words "Don't even think about talking to me. I'm doing a K4tog" came out of my mouth. Most likely followed 30 seconds later with "Why are you talking to me?" (I know, I really ought to work on that nice thing.) Even though the lace made me want to fling myself out of the car, the stockinette stitch is the real (and desperately needed) sanity knitting.

And, because sanity is overrated, my Dye-O-Rama sock:

Toe-up? What toe-up? I have no idea of what you speak.

11 June 2006

Wool etiquette

I seriously need some help, folks.

The owners of our wee cottage live next door. They own most of the land along this side of the pond, and we have a downright friendly relationship with them. They're my parent's age, but are laid back and quite nature oriented. The Mr. is an adjunct professor, and the Mrs. works in psychology/social work. They have a gynormous garden that's 100% organic, and they often bring us goodies from it. (Want mustard greens? I got tons of 'em.) The Mrs. is from Maine, and is a knitter of many decades. She doesn't knit much anymore; it was a way of life in Manie, but not so much in Connecticut. She knows my obsession passion for it, and thought of me when she found some wool.

She came over today, while we were working in the yard, and dropped a big Rubbermaid tub on the ground. Opening it up, she said "Take whatever you want. Its all Maine wool."

A photo:

(Chucky (my sweetie) calls this "wool on a picnic." I tried setting them on my coffee table, but there was too much. And I have a big cofee table.)

Here's the deal:
1. Most of these skeins are huge, well over 200 yards.
2. 4 skeins are Peace Fleece
3. Several are straight off a farm, and are old. Like, I was a toddler when they were bought. (no apparent damage, though)
4. They are all worsted weight, heavy, and mmmmmm mmmmmm greasy.

I have been fighting the urge all day to grab the bucket and run. In my fantasy, I'm screaming "MINE! Mine! All MINE!" as I run down the street laughing maniacally.

That's probably not proper etiquette, is it?

How much can I take and not be a wool-pig? Is there a legal limit? Seriously, I full believe that whole "wool fumes" concept. I can't think straight. My vision is all blurry. My hands are trembling, and I see wool everywhere I look. (Picking it all up from the yard should help that.) What should I do?

09 June 2006


I've loved that word since I've started reading knit blogs, but never really had a reason to use it myself. Now, don't think I haven't knit truly awful stuff. Rather, it has been awful--just not Craptastic (with a capital C).

What I really wanted here was a pic of the absolutely gorgeous hand dyed yarn my Dye O Rama swap partner sent me. You know what? I'm going to cheat like hell and post a pic from her blog:

Isn't it awesome?

Because it is so perfectly what I wanted and she asked to see a swatch, I rushed right in and started a sock. Now, remembering something from Knitting Rules, something about wanting to use every last wooly bit of yarn, I decided to try toe up. I had tried it once before waaaaaay back when I first was learning to knit. I don't know what instructions, what pattern or anything that I was trying to use, only that I couldn't get the increases right. Do I have to admit that I didn't know how to increase then? Yah, go ahead and laugh, it is embarrassing. To top it all off, I was using size 2 metal needles. This sock was just not in my destiny to happen. (Still haven't used the yarn, either. Just can't look at it.)

Since then, I've been coming up with perfectly legitimate reasons to not do toe-up again. Oh, I don't have the time to learn a new technique. I prefer top-down. I only have 4 dpns in that size, not 5. (Yes, the last one is a bit lame. I never said I was clever at justification, only good at it.)

So, being now conversant with increases I figured I am much smarter now than I was then, and perfectly capable of toe-up. Ummm, not so much. They (and all their holes) are kicking my sorry butt. Hard. These toe up socks: Yarn = Fantastic. Sock = Craptastic.

You may have won this round, sockies. But I'll get you yet.

08 June 2006

The fiber-related pics from this weekend have been languishing on Blogger for days, waiting for me to get around to describing them. Since my dear friend eskimo pointed out that today IS the Third Anniversary of the Union of Cygnet and Mr. Cygknit, I figured now was the time to post about our weekend away. Um, last weekend. I know, I'm a little lame.

So, we stayed at the Hotel Pemaquid Mid-Coast. Because it was still off season (they had only been open for the summer just 8 days) we got a killer deal and could, you know, afford to eat. Flip a Maine Quarter, and you will see what was just at the end of the road. I couldn't decide on which picture to add, so if work is boring, click here for a bunch that some guy took. (We haven't flickr-ed ours yet).

In the museum there, I found this:

They were labeled "Fishermen's Gloves" and were the hardest, scratchiest, toughest gloves I've ever felt. Not something I'd be keen to wear. I thought the open thumb was kinda snazzy. I id resist stealing some of that fiber in the background, though it was hard. For posterity's sake, I mean.

Although it rained constantly the whole weekend, we did get out some (it was our anniversary, you know, so we didn't get out *too* much). We did hit Winters Gone Alpaca farm, which is open for drop-in until 6pm every summer day. For some strange reason, Halcyon Yarn, with a catalog to rival KnitPicks, is only open 'till 4 pm on a Saturday. That cute little alpaca farm? You betcha.

Eskimo and I visited an alpaca farm in NC back in March, but didn't get to have hardly any contact with the animals. The owner was really helpful and all, and sold me a HUGE bag of the most beautiful roving to behold for a ridiculous price, but No. Animal. Contact.

See these babies?

I got to help put their coats on. (I really wish you could see the smile on my face right now. It was so freakin cool.) The little guy is just a week old, and the slightly bigger one is two weeks. The owner just picked 'em up like naughty children and slung 'em under her arm. Can you believe they're the size of greyhouds? I didn't care that I had alpaca funk all over me (the boy had been standing in the rain instead of coming in. Duh.) I got to play with babies.

(I can't resist. Here's another pic. Its the girl and her mama.)

Of course, (and how could I think otherwise?) there was a trail of destruction awaitng us on our return:

Recenty acquired roving from Ruit Farm plus some orange stuff...Oh. Crap. My Dye-O-Rama yarn to send out.

Ohhh! More roving to eat, plus other assorted stuff. Note that the trail of roving starts here and winds around the table

She was quite proud of herself, of course. And, I'm sad to say that there was more. Gotta love the Olive.

Finally, while fighting with Blogger for the better part of this afternoon, I gave up and went to check on my friend Lisa. The darling girl dedicated a post to me and Mr. Cygknit. If you can stand it, go check her out and give her some love. I promise its not too ooshy. Thanks, Love.

06 June 2006

5 things

I keep meaning to post, but it hasn't seemed to happen so much. The pics from our Fiber Weekend In Maine have been downloaded to the laptop, but guess who left the laptop at home today? Yeah, guess who doesn't have herself together so much.

And so, since I can only go to my blog so much and see pics of my hair, I present the best in-between-post post I could manage:

A meme, courtesy of Jane, and straight from the Swiss cheese holes in my memory:

5 things in my fridge:

  1. Fresh mustard greens (from the landlord)
  2. Radishes (from the garden)
  3. Pickled garlic (from learning to preserve)
  4. Mongo hot sauce (from my old friend Tijuana Flats)
  5. Soy milk

5 items in my closet:

  1. Basil (in the window)
  2. Office supplies (stored on the shelves)
  3. A lady's kilt (from my days with Clan MacDuff, TX)
  4. Cat hair (from Olive, of course)
  5. Spiders. Lots of spiders.

5 items in my purse:

  1. My Dye-O-Rama swap yarn to send out!
  2. Dad's 2nd boot sock (not yet half done)
  3. A collapsible brush
  4. Mini notebook listing projects to knit and the yarn for it.
  5. Emergency chocolate (its that time)

5 items in my car:

  1. CD version of Devil in the White City
  2. Another collapsible brush
  3. A selection of earrings
  4. A varied collection of directions to places here and in Florida (don't clean out the car much)
  5. Spiders. Lots of spiders.

Here's where I'm supposed to list 5 people I want to tag. For me, a meme is something to do when I want to post, but, well, I'm needing a little help with the content. You wanna be tagged? Insert your name here _________.

Pics tomorrow, hell or high water.

01 June 2006

Hair (not knitting)

I hate getting my hair cut. I always have, probably because when it came to hairstyles as a kid/teen, my vote didn't much count. ("While you live in my house..." or more often, "No! You'll look like your mother.") Probably had something to do with me leaving home so early. So, as soon as I could. I started growing my hair long, plain out of spite. Years later, I ditched the spite, but still drag my feet. I bump an appointment off a week, then poof! another six months go by.

Then, I read Jess' post last week. Time to get off my lazy end and go from this:

To this:

See how much happier I look?

Thanks, Jess.