Monday, October 27, 2008

No, I will *not* knit you a Steelers scarf.

I do love Florida, but I tire quickly of the sweltering summers and long for the bitter chill of a 50 degree low. Luckily, tonight there is an inland frost advisory. That meant that today, I got to sport my Colts rugby stripe scarf (pictured, left) in honor of their Monday night football game vs. the undefeated Titans.

I am always thrilled when I am wearing something I knit and people comment, "Where did you get that? I love it!" I resist the urge to ask, "Why? How much would you pay for it?" and instead shyly admit that it is a creation of my own. This response is usually followed up by an uncomfortable line of, "Ooooh, can you make me/my grandson/my random neighbor/my kid's lunchlady something?" Today, my Colts scarf provoked *three* reactions, all the same: "Can you do one in black and gold?" The first time I heard it, I thought the person meant sparkly glittery gold, which I asked, just to clarify. To my dismay, they replied, "No no, like, Pittsburgh Steelers gold". (Or, as I call it, BHS Golden Bears gold). When I told them (as nicely as possible) there was no way, ever, and that it was absurd that they would even ASK such a wretched thing, they acted like *I* was the one who was nuts. One person even said, "Wow, you really ARE a big Colts fan". Really?? Was it the homemade scarf, the football/horseshoe earrings, and blue and white coordinated (but still professional and within dress code confines) outfit, or the "Manning to Wayne in the end zooooooone!" ringtone that tipped you off? Maybe you walked into my office and saw the MASSIVE Peyton Manning posters? I never knew that refusing to knit a scarf in a rival team's colors would be the quality that defined my "true fan" status.

This is not the first request I have had for a Steelers scarf (blogger shoutout to reader Tabitha, who asked for a "WEdey" version of Lindsey's orange and black striper), but I was appalled to have 3 in one day. (For the record, Tab, you are the only one I would ever maybe even consider knitting this for, and that would be strictly offseason ONLY).

If you do not know me well enough that my fingers would bleeeeeed knitting a Steelers scarf, then you do *not* know me well enough to be the receipient of an MA* Knit Creation.

Go horse! (7-6 at the half!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008


A quick Sunday evening post to declare another project off the needles! As of 5 minutes ago, Lindsey's WhoDey lunchtime scarf is complete!

I hate to post pics before this little lover reaches her Cinci destination, but I was excited to have her finished. This scarf is of my own design, knit in a basic 1x1 rib with 16x16 stitch blocks. You can use any yarn (obv), but I used "Peaches & Creme" worsted weight, 70 oz. of each color ("11-Sunburst" and "2-Black"). I worked the scarf until it reached 7' in length (!), and then added black fringe to the ends, so it is about 8 feet long overall! It is skinny and super stretchy, so Linds will be able to bundle up for the chillier Bengals games this winter.

I dubbed this pattern the "Lunchtime Scarf" because I would knit 1-2 blocks on my lunch hour at work. It helped me relax and prep for the second half of my usually horrific days, but it didn't go without garnering some weird looks from other patrons of my favorite lunch establishments (mostly, I work the Chili's, Moe's, ChickFilA circuit). Toward the end, I stopped knitting it at lunch because it was so long (and I was reading the new Nicholas Sparks book, look for a review in a later post!).

Of course, a post celebrating a finished project would not be complete without a picture of me in my pajamas with no makeup on and a pony that has seen better days. This blogger has no shame -- enjoy :)

I have never been one to believe in superstitious sports rituals, but maybe the completion of this scarf will pull the Bengals out of their 0-8 slump. If they win next week, I will believe in the jinx of the project-in-progress and finish my Colts square right away!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The hot stories on the playground.

I may not be shouting it from the rooftops, but I've never tried to hide my massive crush on Zac Efron. The rumor is that he may be cast as the newest addition to the motley cast of Pirates 4. As if the HQ* of this movie trilogy could *get* any higher! Zac denies it, of course, just like he denied his romance with Vanessa Hudgens until they'd been dating for oh, I don't know, 18 months or so? I have had to lay down some pretty serious hints to my 12 year old neighbor to try and get her to ask me to go to HSM3 with her (some movies I can attend on my own, this one I'm not so sure). Pirates 4, however, I would gladly line up to see solo. Perhaps Zac would even have a musical number?

In other tween-interest stories, Jenny Humphrey was released from the hospital today after battling some sort of "potentially life-threatening throat infection". This blogger thinks it was either the rampant bulimia or aggressive crack habit that caused this serious infection. Any other guesses out there?

*HQ = hottie quotient. Tiger Beat editors, please accept this blog post as a submission for a freelance job with your publication.

**Blogger's Note: I attempted to open this Zac Efron pic in "Paint" and add a pirate bandana and token gold hoop earring. My skills in this format have sadly declined horribly.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Future Model.

The Linus-inspired blankie for Anakin was finished several blog posts ago, and Lord knows I donated *plenty* of blog real estate to the trials and tribulations of this stepping stone in my knitting career.

Once I saw this pic of Ani celebrating his new cuddly friend, I could not resist posting it. My Aunt Brenda also knit him a lovely blankie, featured in the other picture here. I know none of my blog readers knew my brother Michael when he was a baby (even I did not know him then!), but his son looks exactly like him. Look at the adorable smile!

I think I will test my baby hoodie pattern on Ani for Christmas. This kid can make anything look good.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Today's blog brought to you by the color pink.

You did it, Mom! Here is a pic of my amazing Mom and equally wonderful Aunt Kimberley at the finish line of this past Saturday's "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" walk in Fort Myers, FL. Even though the 5K course consisted mostly of one huge (scary) bridge, Donna laced up her tennies, registered proudly as a "Survivor", and kicked some serious bridge butt! I'm so proud of her and can't wait for all the girls to RUN the 5K next year. (Even Lilly has her pink collar and harness ready!)

Since I was unable to walk with Donna this weekend, I set forth on my own road race with my 80 lb. beast of a dog and the aforementioned harness hookup. I have been "running" noncommittally all summer, but the heat has been so hateful I have been less than consistent. (The fact that I am lazy, have a 2 hour daily commute, and general unease about any type of physical activity hasn't helped, either). Determined to conquer 13.1 with Donna in February, and fearful of Hal's tip that, before embarking on a 12 week training program to a half-marathon, one should "need to possess a basic fitness level" and "the training schedule assumes you have the ability to run 3 miles, three to four times a week", I thought I should see how I was doing. 3 miles, 35 minutes, a one VERY overheated dog later, I was happy to say I had "run" for 23 minutes of the 3 miles, a feat I was pretty ok with. Sunday morning, my legs were pretty darn sore, but I am working through it and took lots of stretching breaks during football/knitting time.

Also this weekend, I received my new pink BlackBerry Pearl! I thought I was pretty tech savvy, but I must admit that I know next to nothing about how to use this phone (is it really necessary to send me a text when I have a missed call?!) or how to use it (thanks to Michael's help, I did manage to download some free ringtones), but I am pretty impressed with having the internet at my fingertips. I am already a CrackBerry addict, and this phone is all but glued to my hand like a Barbie accessory. I am getting used to the typing, and am proud (?) to say I wrote 80% of this blog with my new pink lover. I think it will really help me in half marathon training (if I manage to make it that far). I will have inspiration, training schedules, and potential running courses at my disposal no matter where I am!

More later this week as I learn the proper way to align my knuckles for maximum typing efficiency...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Vote or... Knit?

Now, I do not want this blog to get political, but when I received my weekly Lion Brand weemail and saw the pattern for these guys, I couldn't resist posting them. Your eyes do not deceive you; these are in fact Senator McCain and Senator Obama FINGER PUPPETS. Whip these guys up and hold your own debate!

Lion Brand Yarns says, "These are serious times and we have a serious choice to make, but that doesn't mean we can't have a little fun! Who do yarn lovers choose for president? Tell us who your presidential pick is and we'll publish the results!"

Could your choice at the polls in November have an impact on the price of yarn in the future? Who knew?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Just hear those sleigh bells jinglin'...

It's cliche, but true... Christmas comes earlier every. year. This past week, that realization set in pretty hard as I received the biggest truck of stock to date since my store has been open for 11 months. I had been a bit nervous since we received our full assortment of boxed Christmas cards just in time for Labor Day weekend, but I had no idea what was about to hit.

Over the past few weeks of deliveries, we have been seeing the occasional shipment of wreaths, holiday-themed dishes, and ornaments. This week, Christmas officially arrived. There is at least 3500 square feet of space in my store devoted to what the company has deemed the "Florida Lifestyle Holiday Must-Haves". Think surfing Santas, flamingos with wreaths around their necks (see above), penguins in bathing suits, and the like. Then put all of these outrageously kitsch-y themes onto everything imaginable: t-shirts, dishes, towels, stocking, ornaments, figurines... the list goes on and on.

I have tried my best to get in to the spirit of the season early, at least for the sake of my staff, who all (with good reason) cannot for the life of them understand why anyone thinks we will sell this product 3 weeks before Halloween has even hit. As part of this effort, I even attempted an OTG Holiday list of my 10 favorites ("Kiss Me at Midnight" can get me pumped ANY time of the year), but 2 minutes into "Santa Can You Hear Me?", I still wasn't sold.

The one silver lining of the onslaught of Christmas product was Friday afternoon when I signed for a delivery of 545 pounds of holiday candy. Now, I loooooove my Moose Munch as much as the next girl, but I couldn't get excited about unpacking Lindt truffles and Ghiradelli peppermint bark before the candy corn had gone stale. It's just TOO early.

As this post goes to press, I'd like to extend a shout-out to all of my favorite athletes and their outstanding accomplishments today! The Colts have settled comfortably into a 31-0 lead over Baltimore, Peyton and Marvin have both gotten their groove back, and I have received 3 v. important text message alerts letting me know Em, Linds, and Casey have made it across the finish line in Chicago. So proud of the three of you and of the money you raised for Team Lungevity! Can't wait to read the post full of deets.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


One of the most fun things about knitting is hopping online and seeing all of the ridiculous patterns/projects others have embarked upon. Let's be honest about one thing: I am a complete nerd. The majority of those who knit are nerds. You would be surprised by the number of blogs I have come across featuring patterns in computer code, and lots of inside jokes I could never understand.

One shared passion between me and this community of nerds is our love of Nintendo. Never one to be lured by the advanced graphics and plotlines of xbox and playstation games, I have remain tried and true to Mario and Yoshi. Ever since I realized any pixelated image from these old-school games would translate nicely into a knitting project, it's been hard to narrow down which Nintendo project I would start on first.

Enter Chain Chomp (pictured above). Featured throughout the Mario Bros. series of games, Chomp is a worthy adversary of Mario, Luigi, & co. When I saw this hat pattern, I knew my brother Joey HAD to have it.

So, Yoshi tote bag will have to wait as I search for the yarn needed to complete Chomp. To see more awesome Nintendo-inspired projects, check out the link to "The Mario Scarf Project".

Holcs, I might end up knitting this for you (for Christmas 2014):

I love etsy...!

Monday, October 6, 2008


You may recall a post back in June when I had recently gotten the fabulous news that I would soon be an aunt! I was toiling with the decision of what yarn to choose for what would become the most insane project I have knit to date.

I can't pinpoint the day I cast on this project, but it was somewhere between June 20th and June 23rd. Anakin came on August 4th, 2008, and I was nowhere near done with his Linus-replica blankie (inspired by his middle name).

Today, 3 1/2 months later, I can proudly say that this project is OFF. THE. NEEDLES. The finished dimensions are 26" wide by 38" long, and knit with a v. light baby-weight super soft yarn, this beast contains an approximate 46,208 stitches (which actually seems like a lot fewer than it felt like).

Here you can see me holding up the finished work, a close up of the stitch pattern as it is bundled up and ready for delivery, and the dimensions after blocking (the silver thing is a ruler!)

I must admit, I had a bit of a separation anxiety attack when I was binding off the last 20 or so stitches. Anakin Leonard Linus, I know you will treasure this blankie as much as your daddy cherishes caveman Zeke and all his stuffed kids. I hope it is big enough to grow with you over the years!

What will Aunt Sis knit next...?!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Pictured here is one of the many, many breast cancer awareness pieces I knit when my mom was diagnosed a year and a half ago. Throughout her surgery and various treatment stages, I was surprised to find how many people I knew who had been personally affected by the disease, whether it was themselves or a loved one. Research and treatment methods have come a long way, and these days, a diagnosis merely states the type of treatment options you will pursue, rather than a consideration of throwing in the towel.

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but I'm pretty sure the majority of the population is aware that this disease exists. What you may not know is that an estimated 182,460 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in American women in 2008 alone.

While the focus on a cure is encouraging and noble, there is a new organization focusing on what causes the disease. Lindsey sent me a link to a group that made its debut this week on The Today Show:

"The Love/Avon Army of Women offers a revolutionary new opportunity for YOU to partner with research scientists to move us beyond a cure.

Breast cancer has been around for decades, but it does not have to be our future. We can be the generation that eliminates breast cancer by identifying what causes this disease and stopping it before it starts. This is your chance to be part of the research that will end breast cancer.

Sign up for your sister, mother, daughter, granddaughter, best friend, and the woman you met last week.

Help us eradicate breast cancer once and for all. Join the Army of Women today!"

Check out this site, and while you're at it, stop by and read Susan G. Komen's site. Many "Race for the Cure" events are occurring this month in various locations throughout the country. This year is the 25th anniversary of Race for the Cure, the largest 5K run/walk in the world.

This month is also a great time to stock up on adorable pink items, brought to you by manufacturers such as Brita, Ralph Lauren, and KitchenAid, to name a few. A portion of the proceeds from certain items they sell will be donated to breast cancer awareness and research.

Mom, your strength, determination, and courage continue to inspire me every day. You did not let this disease slow you down one bit, and because of brave and wonderful women like you, we are miles closer to discovering treatment options and eventually eradicating this disease. I love you!