Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Notes from the Front


Thank you, I feel better now. I've been having computer issues, which is why I haven't been able to update lately. Okay, "able" isn't the right word, but it's not been convenient - that's the truth. My PC has been overheating regularly, and even after taking it apart and cleaning it out, it still did the overheating thing. My husband is my HERO, tho, because he fixed the bugger! He took out something inside... (near the?) Heat Sink? Sinque? I dunno, and he's at work, so I can't ask him. Anyway, he took it out and cleaned inside it - and said that he's SURE that was the issue. So far, so good - and that was DAYS ago! Everything else was nice & clean, where I'd taken it apart...but I had no idea that the Green Thingie came out, too. *Grin*

Sock Wars III is still running, and oddly enough, I'm still alive! I think I'm the slowest knitter in all of Sockdom (said in the Juan Mouse voice), and although I HAVE been knitting, I've also let some days go by where I haven't touched them. I'm into the foot on the 2nd sock, so it's not like I'm just past the cuff or something...but still. I wanted to be done by now - BUT THE IMPORTANT THING IS, WE'RE ALL HAVING FUN!



Indeed. There have been some...interesting twists in The War, and I don't know if I'll sign up again, unless & until there are major organizational changes. However, I am looking forward to Hat Attack 2 starting up this summer, and a Sock Scarefest that I just read about on Ravelry. I do love some socks, so hopefully by the end of this year, I'll be even faster with them.

If I may digress for a moment...I do have a sick cat that I'd like to request prayers for, if anyone has the energy - Onyx.

He's had an upper respiratory infection for about 2 weeks now...and for a while, he'd disappeared from the daily life of the house. I went & found him where he was sleeping, and started him on Amoxicillin. That helped a little bit, but he's not very interested in food - and he's lost weight. He will lick a bit of tuna juice, or sauce off of wet cat food, but that's all I've seen him do. Once the Amox was done, I decided to start him on Clavamox. I also did the same thing we usually do at this point, got him a B-vitamin injection (which I did at home, after getting it from my vet) and gave him subcutaneous fluids, as he was getting pretty dehydrated. I've given him the fluids three nights in a row now, and he's looking better - but his aspect is still worrisome. Edwin wants to test his blood sugar, because in the years he lived away from us, he had needed insulin at one point, we were told. Thank you for any prayers or good thoughts or even advice/suggestions you can spare - we love our furry family members very much.

One other story to share right now, from the other daughter Boo sat up mumbling a in the middle of the night, and then got quiet. I asked her if she needed to use the potty, and she nodded, eyes closed. I am in the habit of walking her there, sometimes carrying her if she's still very sleepy, so I did tonite. She takes care of her clothes, the toilet, etc by herself...but we have a little routine since she was just starting to use the toilet, and I just realized tonite that I really love this routine, as strange as it might seem to someone else. The first Winter she was using the toilet, she was also wearing one-piece pajamas often. This necessitated taking the entire thing off (except for the lower legs & feet) to sit on the potty, and she would shiver, complaining of being cold. Of course she was! She'd just woken up and was toasty warm...then had to strip - I felt bad, and so I knelt down in front of her, and wrapped myself around her upper body as she sat on the toilet. She relaxed into my warmth, and let herself do what she needed to do. The few times I forgot, she'd say, "Momma, it's cold" and I'd remember. I don't forget anymore, it's almost reflex...but I noticed this time, even with a long sleeved pajama shirt on, I reached in and wrapped my arms around her - and she slumped against me, rested her head on my shoulder - and I, my chin on hers - and relaxed enough to do what needed to be done. I smiled, and decided that I felt good about this strange little routine, and hoped it would be something she always remembers.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Battling along in the Sock War!

Sock Wars III progresses apace. :) I've gotten through the gussets/instep on Sock 1, and I'm liking both the pattern, and the way the tofutsies is knitting up. I hope my target likes them!

Here's sock #1 as of yesterday:

My cat Murphy is a big help in "modeling" the sock in progress. ;) He's a good sport, hey?

Home sick today, so I'm gonna get back in bed & get knitting. Happy Hunting, Sock Warriors!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Little By Little

FINALLY got my Dossier, at around 5pm today. S'okay, I know Our Supreme Commander has an incredibly hard job on her hands. It's all good. :) So, I found out who my target is, and I emailed her to find out her sock/shoe size, so then MAYBE I might get her socks done before I get assassinated. I only have one cuff done so far, tho, so it depends on how much I get done tonite & tomorrow. If my Assassin is local to me, she might just decide to hand-deliver the socks once she's done. Her Nom De Guerre is The Knitphomaniac, tho, so I'm assuming she's a fast knitter. Eeek! :)

My Weapons:

My Knitting/Weapons bag:

I finished Boo's socks on Thursday night, so I could "fight" unencumbered...I didn't take a pic of the pair finished yet, but when they come out of the wash, I will. In the meantime, I have this of when the 2nd was still in progress:

They came out very nice, and she wore them for 1 1/2 days before I demanded they get put into the wash. We gardened today, so it was an easy argument, truthfully. ;)


On another front, we were all farmers today. I dropped Boo & Edwin off at our Community Garden plot this morning, on my way to work. I was at work for about an hour, then went to join them. We raked the straw off of the plot, broke the crust on the dirt a bit, and then Edwin went to get snacks. Around 12:30p, he came back with a Farmer's lunch: Loaf of crusty bread, water, some cheese, and a cup of pineapple. I asked him where the red onion was - after all, a true "ploughman's lunch" is a slab of bread, slab of cheese, and slice of red onion. :) It was tasty, and we took a break to eat.

We found that the plot was roughly 36' x 36' - in other words, Huh-YUUUGE! We had a flat of plants: Sweet 100 tomatoes, Old German heirloom tomatoes, Roma Plum tomatoes, Cherry Bomb hot peppers for Edwin, Sweet Red peppers and Cubanelle (Italian Frying Peppers, also sweet) for me, Lettuce (I forget which kind), Eggplant, Yellow Summer Squash, Zucchini...and I think that's it for the seedlings. We also had Peas from seed - and we still need to put in Carrots, Beets, Cucumbers, Green & Wax beans, all from seed.

I REALLY need to sit up & knit my weapon....but I'm EXHAUSTED! Hubs & Daughter were at the plot from 10am, and I got there at 11:30am. We worked all day - raked, dug, planted, carried water - until 2:45p, and I am amazed that I forgot what a workout just PLANTING the damn things is. Seeing as how
tomorrow is Mother's Day, and I've asked my Husband for a day where I do NOTHING but knit, watch my Discovery Channel Marathon and drink tea - and he's acquiesced, I may just sleep now and try to catch up tomorrow. Since there's no post tomorrow, I really shouldn't have too many worries.

ROFL - Watch, that'll be the line on my Obit!!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Sock War III Update

I'm about 14 hours into The War, and still haven't recieved my dossier yet. Grrrr...I'm not the only one, by far, but I'm thinking - and again, I'm not the only one - that a knitting tournament that has over 1000 knitters is really too much for ONE WOMAN and two email accounts to manage.

What with family & life, I have only now managed to cast on for my first sock; it was pointed out on the Ravelry group for SW that I really only need my "target's" sock size for the length of the foot. Thus, I can cast on and knit through the heel & gussets...that is, as long as I don't get killed first.

I'll check in when I get another chance; tomorrow morning it's work, and then some more knitting. I go see my Mom for mother's day tomorrow rather than Sunday, because I'm supposedly going to get a day where I don't have to do anything or go anywhere...after church, that that means, I go to Mom's tomorrow instead. I wanted to do this - for once, I've stood up for myself and what I wanted to do with my family. I'm nervous, but I think it'll be okay!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Girding my to speak.

On May 9th, I will be a willing participant - I should really use the term "combatant" - in a war. On that day, I will become an assasin...and a target. I will be presented with my dossier containing the information I need to accurately eliminate my subject. I have selected my weapons with care, and have been acclimating myself to their heft & style. I will be doing all of this with the knowledge that someone else will be doing exactly the same, only with ME as their intended victim. In the end, after all, there can be only one.

Plus, I'll get a cool pair of socks when I'm "dead"!

Some of you are most likely scratching your heads in consternation about now...wondering WTF am I nattering on about.

Why, knitting, of course. What else? I am entered in Sock Wars III: "the original and bloodiest death-by-knitting tournament."

From the website: "Sock Wars III kicks off on 9th May 2008 and will run until only one blood-soaked champion remains. Over 1,000 knitters around the world have already signed up - are you brave enough to do battle with them til the death?
If you ARE brave enough sign up to do battle you will be emailed a top secret assassination dossier on 9th May 2008. This file contains the details of your target and an exclusive, never-been-published-before knitting pattern with which assassinate them.To kill your target you must knit them a pair of socks in the pattern (your "weapon") and mail it to them. Once your target receives your parcel they are dead and must post their death on the website.They must also send you details of their intended target (who becomes your next person to assassinate) along with their unfinished knitting (which becomes your new weapon).All the while this is going on, someone has been assigned YOU as their target!Prepare to live in fear... kill or be killed!"
...What?? Don't look at me like that, it sounds like fun! Admit it! :)

Okay, so I'm not a very fast sock knitter. I'll probably get killed in the first round - but I will try my darndest to survive at least long enough to finish my target's socks! I may not post very much for those few first days - we shall see. ;) I may ask my long-suffering husband to post updates for me, but whether he will or not is yet to be seen. Depends on if he feels like humoring me or not that day. I certainly hope he's up to child-wrangling for a few days!!

There's a wonderful crafter at Starknits who has sewn up some WONDERFUL sock knitting bags, and she's currently running a contest to win one with a "Sock Wars" label on it! Later on this week, for folks who aren't involved in Sock Wars but still love the sock bags, she'll be making them available in her Etsy shop, Star Knits Crafts. Check them out, they're really cute!

On a slightly unrelated note, I've got two friends who are both Yarn Dyers, and are going to try to work up a "Breast Cancer Support" colorway for me, to be used in my Fundraising 3 Day Walk socks. I mentioned these in my last entry, I'm going to knit them while I walk the 60 miles, and then they'll be auctioned off. I may run the auction before the walk, I haven't decided yet. :) Please visit my Personal Page at The 3 Day website,

Help me reach my goal for the Washington, DC Breast Cancer 3-Day!

and please donate if you can at all afford it - this disease has touched many of us, and we can make a difference! Let's show folks that knitters can do great things when we put our minds to it. :)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Ambitious Knitter Here!

I'm walking 60 miles in the Washington, DC Breast Cancer 3-Day! Will you help me reach my goal?

Well, I've just started my 3Day Breast Cancer walk journey: I signed up. :) I will be training from here on out, and soliciting donations. That sounds naughtier than it is, darn it all. Please check out my Personal Page - I will be keeping a blog over there to update people on my progress. I may just copy & paste to here - it's easier that way, I think.

Here's where I have a fundraising idea that I need help with, from certain talented members of my reading audience: I need a Sock Yarn dyed in a "Breast Cancer Awareness/3Day Walk" colorway. Shades of Pinks, whites, whatever makes YOU think of Breast Cancer awareness, or what you think of, colorwise, when you think of that subject. Anyone up for the challenge?

I need this because I will be auctioning off a pair of socks to be knitted FROM this yarn - to be knitted while I walk the 60 miles. Yes, I knit while I walk if I have my hands free - and a simple sock won't be a problem - probably a pair of Anklets, I think. The proceeds from the auction will go to the Susan G. Komen fund, in their Entirety, and the winner gets the socks to wear proudly. At least, I am praying they'll be something someone would be proud to wear!!This walk will be in October, so I have some time yet. I'm out of ideas for tonite, and I'm hittin' the sack. I look forward to hearing ideas or seeing hits to my 3Day page soon!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Succsessful Fiber Hunting and Gathering, AND a Yarn Harlot

I mentioned the CT Sheep & Wool fest before, but didn't post what I got there. I can't show you the Dark Chocolate Alpaca Pops (C'mon, they're Lollipops of Dark Chocolate shaped like an Alpaca head!), 'cause the Husband and Childe ate them Immedjitlee. Which is good, 'cause it was hot by that time, and melted chocolate is yummy but no fun to clean up.

I aquired Sheep's Milk cheese rolled in Herbs De Provance - I'm not a huge fan of herbs, but this is nice...and the cheese SQUEAKS when you eat it! On your teeth, I mean - and the young lady selling it told me that I could cut some into boiled potatoes, and it would melt like butter. We stopped at the store for Potatoes, and yes, I cut the cheese...into the potatoes. People, PLEASE. ;) It was YUMMY, and Supper.

I also bought Creamed Honey, which is lovely - 'specially on fresh bread. It was a good price, methinks; $6 for a big ole tub of the stuff...and the fresh bread was mine, at home.

I also bought two sets of Brittany DPNs, US0 and US1. TOOTHPICKS, they are!! I'll be knitting socks with TOOTHPICKS! We shall see how they work, and I'm glad I've finally got them in my inventory, as I do read that many of my sock-making friends use those sizes.

I'm making a pair of socks for my daughter Boo on a pair of US2's, for the first time. I like the socks, but these aren't "sock needles" per se, they're really too long.

So...when I went up to WEBS in Northampton, MA on Sunday, I bought a set of "Pony Pearl" US2s. They seem nice; not exactly pointy enough for me, but I think they'll be okay. It was either those for $5.50, or the Rosewood DPN's for $19.50. Now, I would love nothing more than a set of rosewood dpns...but that's just not In The Budget right now. YEOWCH! The bamboo 2's were sold out; I think it's due to the upcoming Sock Wars III - they've just published the desired gauge/tension, and they used 2's to get it. Speaking of Sock Wars...

I've joined! No, I've never been what one might call a "fast" sock knitter - but I think it's good motivation, and no matter what happens, I'll get a neat pair of socks at the end of the competition. It's all good. :) The yarn that is suggested for SWIII is Southwest Trading Company's Tofutsies, and the suggested Colorway is #733 - originally called "Get Your Feet Wet", but renamed for the competition "One foot in the grave". :D I didn't know the number, just the when I was at WEBS, I couldn't find it - and ended up with #864, "TOEpiary".

It's a greenish/bluish/greyish colorway, and one I thought a man could safely wear - since I won't know who my intended target is until I get my dossier on May 9th. If I make it through the first round - God Willin', and the Creek don't Rise - I'll go back & get #733 for the next pair. :)

At WEBS, I also got Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's latest book, "Things I learned from knitting...whether I wanted to or not".

I got it signed, too - because Steph was there for a talk & a signing! She spoke at The Calvin (also in Northampton, MA) because WEBS, while large, isn't large ENOUGH for the thousand or so knitters (no kidding) that showed up to hear The Yarn Harlot:

EXCELLENT talk, by the way - I mean, she's ALWAYS good, but this one was one of the best I've heard. Nice Job, Stephanie!!

I got to chat with Herself for a bit - and she remembered me, which is always cool. T'would be even better if I updated regularly, LOL. I got a picture of TYH holding Boo's first Sock, being made of Brown Sheep's Wildfoote:

TYH got a picture of me in my First Socks, and I'll be snagging THAT pic if she posts it! :) I asked Stephanie about her knitting bag - the one she uses to carry with her and knit while walking - because I want one for the 3-day Breast Cancer walk I'm doing this fall. Remember when I shaved my head last year (July 31st 2007) with my best friend Mattie, while she was going through chemo for BC?

Well, I'm building on that with this walk this year.

Anyway - I went up to MA with a bunch of my SnB friends, but we didn't get a group photo this year - every time most of us came OUT of the store, and we grabbed a camera, one or more ran back IN. :) Suffice to say, we ALL had a great time, and came home happy, tired, and full of inspiration. Can't ask for a better day than that, methinks!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Testing Email Posting and a Name Change

Greetings, Fiberfriends & Muggles alike. Wilkommen! At CT Sheep & Wool yesterday, I met lots of Ravelry folk - and lamented the fact that I had no nametag. Then I had to explain why I'd been calling myself "Claire" to a few, since that's not my "real" name, but a nickname - unfortunately, there are a LOT of Claires out there, and more than one of my friends/readers of the blog tended to get a wee bit confused with which Claire I was, and how I'm not really a Claire at all.


Still with me? Good. I have made a decision, then. Everywhere else on the Internet, I am "thinggtwoo" - I am a younger sister, and the family are BIG Dr. Seuss fans - thus, growing up I was always "thing 2", and it was a natural progression to the 'net. Unfortunately, when I went to register said name on AOL back in the dark days of dialup, someone had -gasp - taken the name already! Oh, the horror!! So, I had to fiddle with spelling, and eventually came up with my current moniker - two O's, two T's.

Therefore - I am now ThinggTwoo - again - and hope that will clear up any confusion now or in the future. :)

Oh, also at CT Sheep & Wool, I ran into an ADORABLE Llama - I will attempt to put the picture in this post, tho since I am doing this via email, I will be interested to see if it actually works, or not.

I also ran into my dear friend WoolWytch, and we spent some time together - she will post photos & videos on her blog, so you can check them out there.

I'm in need of breakfast, currently, as I'm preparing to hike up North to hear The Yarn Harlot speak at the Calvin today, then go to Webs for some Tofutsies (I'm in Sock Wars III, and need to get my Weapon) and some size 2 dpn's. Have a grand day if at all possible, y'all!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Finally Finished!

They are FINISHED, and she loves them. :) YAHooo!! The "she" is my sister - and she is really the ideal sock giftee. She LOVES them...wears them out...and tells everyone she knows/sees/meets that she's wearing handknit socks from her baby sister. :) She's sent a few commissions my way for felted bags, scarves, hats - not socks yet, which is okay; those are hard to do for someone I'm not close to.

I've signed up for Sock Wars III, which makes me laugh- I mean, c'mon...It took me from November 2007 till MARCH 25, 2008 to finish these! Granted, that's not my standard turnaround time...but It'll be fun, no matter.

I am going to start practicing my knitting-while-walking; I'm intending to do a 3-day Walk for Breast Cancer this October, and I want to be able to knit while I walk. What else? Probably a sock! :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wouldn't you know...

This is the pair of socks I've been working on for my sister C since December. Originally, they were to be a Christmas present; then when they weren't done, they were to be a birthday (February) present.
Well, they still weren't my new deadline is Easter dinner on Sunday - 5pm. Yep. Day after tomorrow. I've got one finished, and am at the heel on the 2nd.
Actually, I was past the heel, working merrily along through the gussets...when I realized that I had completely forgotten to Turn. The. Heel.
SO I ripped back, and will be turning the heel, THEN moving along the sock. The one I finished? I need to pick the toe apart and rip back to the toe's an INCH too short. Yes, I DO want them done for Easter, and NO, I won't give myself any slack. Why? Because I signed up for Sock Wars III this year, that's why! :) I need to UP my SPEED and get a better chance in the competition. I'm excited! I DO love socks, I don't know why I can't get them done in a timely fashion. After these, I plan on a pair for my daughter, and then for my husband. ALL before the Sock War starts in May!
Pray for me. ;)