28 November 2004

FO - The very Harlot Poncho!

Done! Woo-hoo! Just in time to take it to Michigan for my grandparents' 65th wedding anniversary party. (Not so much to wear it to that, but to impress the family. :-) )

Voila - done with 6 skeins of Manos del Uruguay's Cotton Stria (2 each of three colors), plus two different coordinating colors of Filatura Cervinia kid mohair for trim and tassels. After switching from the lavendar to the blue, I knit approx. 5 rows, then doubled the blue Cotton Stria with the coordinating lavender mohair for two rounds. And again, when I switched from the blue to the purple cotton, I knit about 5 rows then doubled with the coordinating mohair in blue (see pix). I ended up crocheting in the lavendar mohair around the neckline to keep the cotton from stretching too much - the colors are almost identical so it blends right in. I love it!

18 November 2004

Midwestern Nirvana

Yeah, well - so I haven't written for a while. The election blues are wearing off. A friend sent me a Michael Moore email titled "17 Reasons Not to Slit Your Wrists." One was that there is NO WAY Dubya can be re-elected again. Plus, Canada is actually hosting seminars for disgruntled Americans on the best way to get in line for a big move north. Awfully nice of them, I think.

In the meantime, a ray of hope: St. Louis now has a Trader Joe's store. It's not as big as those I used to frequent in southern California, but hey - they have the staples: UFOs and Two-Buck Chuck wine. UFOs are mint-chocolate disks. They're heaven. Two-Buck Chuck wine is the nickname for the Charles Shaw label. It sells for the grand ol' price of $1.99 per bottle on the west coast - but here in St. Louis, it's $2.99. Probably some sort of midwest import tax. I'm sipping the Shiraz now, actually. And, they have fabulous flowers:

These are some gorgeous ... uh, somethings with eucalyptus and bittersweet.

I am making progress on the poncho... with hopes of wearing it in Michigan the first weekend in December. Not to give away the total design, but here it is. I hope to make a lot of progress during the Michigan-Ohio State game this Saturday. Go blue!

5 November 2004


St. Louis, IL (Reuters) -

The 'blue' city of St. Louis, Missouri, is picking up and moving - next door to Illinois.

Though a slim majority of Missouri residents voted for Republican George W. Bush (1,452,715 votes to 1,253,879), St. Louis City voted overwhelmingly for Democrat John Kerry (115,414to 27,460).

"It's difficult for the City to remain a part of Missouri, given the great divide between our residents and those of the rest of the state," Mayor Francis Slay said Friday. "Despite the President's desire for us all to work together, I don't see how that's going to happen any time soon."

Plans are already underway to re-route the Mississippi and Missouri rivers to pass west of the city. It is estimated that the work may take up to two years to complete. "But, by the next presidential election, we should be geographically and politically aligned with the blue state of Illinois," Slay said.

City residents seem to approve the measure. "I was devasted by the election results," said Zev Shepherd. "The City voted blue all the way... but we just couldn't make up for the rest of the state. Moving will be a good change, though I'm still not sure if you pronounce the 's' at the end of Illinois."

Assisting in the move is Illinois' newly-elected U.S. Senator Barack Obama (Dem). "I felt it was important for Illinois to give the citizens of St. Louis a sanctuary, where they can practice their political beliefs without persecution by the rest of the state," Obama said. As part of the deal, Alan Keyes, whom Obama defeated for the Senate seat, will move to Missouri. "We've found a nice foster home for him for now," Obama said, "but we home to have him permanently placed by the end of the year."

St. Louis had originally thought to become a Canadian outpost rather than remain within the United States, but Canadian officials politely declined the offer. "I don't really think we need an outpost in the middle of the States," said Prime Minister Paul Martin. "The U.S. may think they're under a constant threat of terror, but we don't think the U.S. is a danger to Canada. The Bush administration seems to be a few elves short of a productive workshop, so it's not likely they could occupy half the Middle East and still figure out how to attack us."


*special thanks to the Yarn Harlot for the 'workshop' phrase, which I shamelessly swiped for use here.

2 November 2004

Thick and Thin

Cascade 220 wool. It's actually really pretty stuff. And when I was agonizing over possibly using it for the very Harlot poncho, I decided that if I couldn't wear it, I could accessorize with it. So, I got 4 skeins (WAY too much) to make a Booga Bag. Sure, Kureyon is pretty - but I like the combination of colors below. I'll probably end up with several bags, but so be it.

1 November 2004

Too many stitches...

Well, it sounded like a good plan. I found a poncho pattern on the web - a very Harlot Poncho, which apparently EVERYONE is knitting (I'm so behind the times). The Yarn Harlot called for Mission Falls 1824 wool. Well, with my wool allergies... that wasn't going to work. So off to Chris' Needle Crafts I went. I fell in love with several colors of Manos del Uruguay's Cotton Stria - and got three of them. My poncho will be a lavender, followed by royal blue, followed by dark purple. And at the bottom, I'm going to do something funky with Filatura Cervinia kid mohair - I got two balls which match the lavender and blue exactly. I mean, perfectly.

Anyway, I was guessing that the Cotton Stria was lighter than the Mission Falls. (It isn't; that's a separate story.) I also thought that #13s would be a bit big for the Stria, so I got #11 circulars. Now, given (however erroneously) a lighter yarn and smaller gauge needle, I figured I'd have to cast on more than the prescribed 64 stitches... especially when 64 didn't even seem close to coming full-circle on the, uh, circulars.

Without getting into really embarrassing detail, I cast on way too many stitches. After a few rounds, I got suspicious of the copious amount of 'give' on the needles... so I took some spare yarn and measured it off.

Sure enough, I was knitting a skirt, not a poncho. The Cotton Stria skirt was shortly frogged and reassembled into a somewhat lumpy ball. Next night, I tried again... casting on 66 stitches. So far, all looks promising...