twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

Hat’s Off! Travels with the Bug… July 23, 2010

Well, just in case you’ve been looking for me, here I am…Chicago. Yep. Surely my favorite place on the planet. For a variety of reasons, but mostly because my dearest friends and family (and some of you are both!) are here. Sadly, we have to wait a bit for Captain Romance to join us, though, since he’s such a hard worker.

And once again, I apologize for taking so very long to post. It’s just that I’m still rather under the weather, so I haven’t had as much energy as I thought I would’ve. At any rate, this will be a long (and some of you will say endless) post with many pictures to make up for my absence as many things have been going on (nothing waits for me to be 100% well around here).

So about a week ago, we left on a jet plane.

Hey stewardess--got any peanuts?

As you can see, the Bug was quite excited and it’s not just because she was sporting that jaunty cap (which you will see repeatedly in this post as she’s quite enamored of the thing). She knew that Momma and Poppa would be waiting and she’d be with her cousins soon. I was excited, too, but I did not allow her to take any photos of me–too scary! You’ll just have to trust me on that.

Our first adventure was to attend the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Show with my most favoritest group of knitting gal-pals in the universe. You know, as I sit here, I’m thinking that we (this little knitting group of ours) should really have a moniker. Frankly my head is a bit too fuzzy right now to come up with anything. Do any of you dear readers out there have any ideas? Perhaps I’ll be able to come up with a wee reward for a good name for our little group of intrepid knitters…say a pair of my new earrings (currently being twisted into shape)?

Anyway, we got there early on Friday morning (as you can see, the hat made it here), zooped through the booths oohing and ahhing over skeins and batts and bunnies too.

Giant angora bunnies! Big as a Bug!!

Giant bunnies. Reminded me of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Remember: “Killer rabbits!” ? But they were actually very cute and I digress. I was extremely good and purchased only 2 skeins at The Fold, and happily achieved my objective of finding Franklin Habit and getting him to autograph my copy of his book. What a sweet and gracious fella!

Next adventure involved having a “Girls’s Day Out” with my Bug. Down to the city on the train (did you know that you could get one of the best bratwurst sandwiches on the planet in the train station at the Chicago Hot Dog stand? OMG)…to the top of the John Hancock Building (can you believe they actually expect us to call it “Big John”? Never in my life have I heard it called that. Really…Sheesh.) and a lovely day for some fun photos .

In the John Hancock Plaza. Fab Motown group performing there!

This was the Bug’s (and the hat’s) first trip to the top of an honest-to-goodness skyscraper, and she couldn’t believe how many pools there were on top of the other buildings.

The Sears Tower fits in the palm of her hand, haha!

She has now decided to make a million dollars someday and buy an apartment in one of those buildings so she can live in the city. I remember wanting to do that myself, once…still wouldn’t be against it!

Then we were off across the street to the American Girl Store, a bit of shopping, and a Girl’s Lunch together. How delightful! I think the Bug enjoyed it. It was all so cute and well thought out. I’m guessing that there were many focus groups filled with 7 to 12 year olds in the planning stages of this place. A real girlie dreamsicle of a place, it was. They served a four course lunch, with our favorite course being dessert…of course: 😉

Chocolate mousse in a tiny flowerpot with chocolat cookie “dirt,” a butterfly sugar cookie, and an angel food cake flower…sweet. Really. By the way, that is sparkling cider in the Bug’s glass, not an Old Style!

After conversing with some sweet old horses, we hopped in a cab and headed back to the train and home…exhausted, sweaty, but happy.

Will wonders never cease...I done wore out the Bug!


And oh yes, I finished Poppa’s Socks! Yippee! They’re a perfect fit, but I must say, I still have some issues with the binding off of toe-up socks. I mean, they look kinda ruffley…and this isn’t the first time this has happened.

I made a pair a couple of years ago and had the same issue. This time I used the Russian Bind-off from the Wendy Johnson “Socks From the Toe Up” Book. Not convinced this is the best bind off. Must try another.

Anyway, I think Pops is happy with them…they look good on him.

Loved working with the Shibui Yarn! I think it's my favorite sock yarn.

Well, I’m off to knit a bit on a shawl I started, as well as a little design experiment…more on that later. Have a wunnerful day! 🙂

Oh yes, and if you do come up with a great name for my little group of knitting buds, I will send you a pair of earrings when I get home. Seriously! Happy thinkin’!

Almost too cute to eat!


I only wanted to spare you July 10, 2010

Oh, what a crank I’ve been of late. Super-cranky. Cranky from coughing so hard that at any moment I expect to see my tonsils fly out of my throat onto my knitting. Cranky because the official word from the 6 or 7 different doctors (and these are just the ones I’ve seen, forget CR’s and Bug’s physician experiences) I’ve seen is that there’s nothing wrong with me. I just have a cough.

Tell that to the other 2 sick bodies walking around here. Though I must say that the Bug is sounding much better, so there must be some hope. On the other hand, CR is not.

This cough to me is like Delilah with a pair of Fiskars is to Samson.

Anyway, I haven’t posted anything in a couple of week because I wanted to spare you from my morose and self-absorbed, crabby and whiney thoughts.

And let me say “thanks so much” to all of you and your kind thoughts and prayers over the past few weeks. At least you all may have helped my sense of taste and smell return. Those are 2 senses I will never again take for granted, believe you me.

But I’m still cranky.

On the bright side, I discovered a really great thing to drink to fight the dehydration that comes from this crud we have. Coconut juice (or water).

...they put the lime in the coconut...

It’s the stuff that sloshes around inside green coconuts, and evidently, is an awesome source of potassium and electrolytes. Surely some of you already know about coconut juice. All I know is that I really feel alot better after I quaff a can of it. This brand definitely tastes best to me; here are 2 flavors. The yellow can has lime in it. Yes indeed, they put the lime in the coconut…(CR spent most of the day singing that after I brought this one home. Sheesh.) Who knew that that was actually effective in battling dehydration?

Also, I have been knitting…this is a good thing. I hate not being productive each day in some way. Hate it. I mean, life is whizzing past me as it is, and I need to seriously make a dentola in my stashola. Seriously. Besides, after cleaning my closet out so thoroughly pre-carpet replacement, I need new sweaters. I have, like 5 or 6 sweaters, most not made by me. This is not good form in the household of  a lunatic knitter who has scads of raw material on hand. Especially since the upcoming Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Show is just days away and I will be there with a few of my BFFs! I understand Franklin Habit, author of the delightful satirical knitting book, “It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons,” will be teaching a few classes there. I will be stalking him, I mean, keeping on the lookout for him in hopes of getting him autograph his little book for me. Wish I had time to take one of his workshops…

Yippity do da!

So after a slowish start on my Jordan tunic (which included some issues with a couple of lying gauge swatches), I jumped in and let me tell you, this is potentially a quick knit!

I suppose if I had nothing to do every day besides knit, I could get this completed–start to finish–in a week. But life as it is, I’ll have to settle for about 3 weeks. However, I’m doing something a little tricky, for me anyway…going up a size or two with the needles because I’m really in between pattern sizes–negative ease or not. I may have gone too far, but blocking the body, which is just a few rows from being finished, well tell me if I’ll be taking a trip to the frog pond or not.

Love this pattern.

All of Wendy Bernard’s patterns are smart and really cute. Something like this in some other designers’s hands could potentially have been pretty frumpy. On the other hand, I need to try it on. May look frumpy on me! LOL

Oh yes–I hope you all had a wonderful 4th! Here’s what CR did for us:

Probably one of the best batches of baby back ribs he’s ever done…he rubs them with his own rib rub concoction and then smokes them over a low flame, Memphis style, for at least 6 or 7 hours. Yumbo. Lucky us. I can’t tell you how happy I was to have regained my senses (senses of taste and smell, that is–haha) so I could enjoy them! Oh yes, he made a brisket, too, but that was still on the fire when I took these shots. BTW, the best barbecue sauce out there, bar none, is Trader Joe’s Kansas City Style. Nice and spicy and smoky and not too sweet. Just saying.

So, as you might have gathered, the Bug and I will be winging our way to the great land of Chicago in just a couple of days. Poor CR will have to stay home and work, but toward the end of our trip, he’ll be coming out for a trip to the MN Boundary waters to camp with his BFFs, and then, we all will be taking a special surprise trip (It’ll be a surprise, remember? More at a later date…). Good thing my house sitter’s got a big chunk of spare time.

Well, as usual, my big dilemma is what to bring to knit. Figured out most of it already and have sent it ahead, but the fact that this top I’m working on is going so fast, I worry about finishing it on the plane. I don’t worry about what I’ll be doing when I get there, however, because something will be sure to come home with me from the Fiber Fest, although I will be extremely careful about buying there. I really shouldn’t buy anything, but let’s be honest…I know I’ll get something. However it will be nothing in quantity. Instead, I think I’ll splurge on a skein of laceweight qiviut and make myself this:

If I were young and cool, I’d make myself something like this:

Alas, I may be cool, but I am no longer young, so I shall leave this to those who still have some growing up to do. 😉

Well dear friends, once again, thank you for all your kind wishes of wellness. I am off to finish packing for my trip home! See some of y’all real soon!


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