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Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Catty Muse

Sometime an inspiration strikes.  You don’t always know where it comes from or why it strikes at that particular moment.  It could be the way your brain synapses fire, it could be a color or combination of patterns, or it could simply be your muse found you.  But, whatever the cause, an artist is always glad when it does strike. 
My muse deserted me for years; I mean years!  I would get ideas, but they wouldn’t make it from my head to my hands.  Something stopped the process and I would go find an already written pattern and be happy.
Then, one day last week, my muse not only struck, but whapped me upside the head!  “Bev,” said the annoying little being, “You are such a Catty Bitch!”  And there it was!  A thought.  An idea.  Something I could get behind – cuz let’s face it, my muse was spot on with the evaluation.
I went looking through my color palette of  yarns.  Blue?  Nah – too calm.  Tossed it aside.  Yellow?  Hmmm…Overdone.  Threw it back on the shelf.  Orange?  Hey – it’s a Catty Bitch, not a fruit drink!  Again, to the floor.  Brown?  Could be a good start, we all know what brown is.  Then to put some other colors with it.  Heathers for the times we want a little cloudiness and subtlety to soften our edges.  Rust to calm the brown in our lives.  And green!  Green for no particular reason other than it was incongruent with the background color.  Sounds good to me.
Then, needles in hand, I preceded to listen to my muse.  Make it curl!  Throw a few bumps in there.  Braid a bit.  Make it sassy!  I laughed to myself as I knit.  I threw myself into the project with a vim and vigor that hadn’t been mine in so long.  It was fun and people wondered who the crazy person was, sitting in the corner laughing hysterically.  They were afraid to come close for fear of a needle in the eye.  And, yes, I had many – 5 to be exact.
A few hours later what lay before me was worthy of all the laughter and fear that that laughter had evoked.  What lay before me was worthy of  the long desertion by my muse.  What lay before me was…
Catty Bitch Mitts!
Catty Bitch Mitts
And they are now available on Ravelry.  If you aren't on Ravely, you can get a PDF copy if you ask nice.   Have a blast making yourself or for some dearly beloved Catty Bitch of your own.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Patterns Anyone?

I have just uploaded two Emma’s Daughter original designs onto Ravelry. 
Amhra'n Pic The first one is a sweater that I designed a few years ago for Knit Picks.  It has been languishing within a pile of patterns that I have sold in the past.  Now, resurrected, it is again available either on Ravelry or by going to my Sweater Patterns page, above.
003 - Copy The second is a new pair of socks made with a sport weight sock yarn.  These are quick and easy to knit.  Slipped stitches add an extra layer of warmth, making them an excellent winter sock!  The pair pictured were made using Zwerger Garn’s Opal 6ply.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cascade Cash Vero

I am currently knitting samples for the new store.

Sample garments sell patterns - of which I don't carry many because of Ravelry being so rich with free ones.  I am knitting up a pair of Susie's Reading Mitts for a future class.  And let me tell you, they are so soft that they may not make it to the sample display!

But, sample garments also sell yarn.  And the yarn I am using now is like knitting with butter!  It is Cascade's Cash Vero DK.  I have to say it is similar to Debbie Bliss CashMerino in that it has just a small amount of Cashmere.  But oh does that Cashmere pack a punch!

Cascade's blend is 55% Extra Fine Merino, which gives the yarn a wonderful elasticity and makes it behave as a good wool should.  Then they added 33% microfiber acrylic to the blend which gives the yarn a nice handle and added sturdiness.  Add 12% cashmere to the mix and you have knitting heaven!

I don't know how it washes up yet.  But I can tell you it is truly a dream to knit with. The mitts slide on and off so easily.  They are so warm and so soft that I want a pair in every color!  And there are many to choose from.  Currently I have given this yarn top place in my baby yarns.  I carry the soft baby colors of pink, blue, mint green and white, along with black, wine and gray.  As the cash flow pick up I hope to bring in more colors.

If you have never tried a cashmere blend yarn before I would highly recommend this as a starting point in your fiber exploration.  It is easy to knit with, relatively affordable at under $9 a ball, and so soft that you will want to spoil yourself and knit up something to keep!  Head to your LYS as soon as you can and give it a touch and a fondle.  If you don't have it locally, give me a holler - here, on Ravelry, or Facebook and we can get you taken care of.  You have to try this yarn!!!!

I give it a Blue Yarn Ball!

+It is soft to the touch
+It is easy to knit with and doesn't have a tendency to split
+It show great stitch definition
+Is relatively affordable
-Only has 125 yards per ball.  

Friday, September 10, 2010

Too Much To Say!

After a couple of months...who am I kidding...after a summer off from blogging I realized too much has happened and there is too much to say to leave the doors closed any longer.  So here I am, dusting off the bookshelves so to speak and sticking my toe into the blogging waters once again.  (How do you like those mixed metaphors?)

It was a busy summer.

The beginning of June saw the Boyfriend and I taking our first "couples" vacation in over 20 years!  We drove down to the D.C. area to visit our mutual and much loved friend Becca.  She gave us a whirlwind tour of the monuments and the city.  We stayed at her home and branched out from there.  It was only 3 days, but it was 3 days that changed my life.

As a result of our visit I went back to work.  Not just any work mind you.  With a bit of prodding from Becca and the support of the BF, I am now the proud owner of a small yarn shop in Clinton, NY.  I. Love. It!

Shortly before the shop opened I was in a bicycling accident and broke my shoulder and my wrist.  That was a minor set-back, let me tell you.  Talk about crazy!  Still, almost 3 months later, it is still painful.

But the shop is now open and an internet store is under construction.  This minor change in my life has lent new focus to this blog and will undoubtedly give me so many more things to chatter on about.  Yarn, knitting techniques, knitting groups, new friends...it will all find a place here.

Hope to see most of my old friends find there way back here and hope many more stop in.  I am glad to be back!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Closing the Door

This is a post to let any reader that remains know that I am closing the door to my room.  Well, not really.  I am still babbling away.  But for personal reasons the babble is now on Facebook and available for my FB friends to see and read.

Why the move?  FB allows for a bit more privacy.  And, most of my friends are there anyway.  If you aren't sign up and look for me there!  Bev Warner, at Face Book.  My logo is my avatar.  Looking forward to seeing yo there.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Kohl’s Boycott

Before I start my story let me say that my family is military; I am retired Air Force, the DH is a Senior Master Sergeant in the Air Force, my son is an A1C in the Air Force. My son-in-law is also military as was my father during the Korean war and my Grandfathers during WWII.

With this in mind, read about why I am no longer shopping at Kohl's. The family boycott is on!

Today I was walking through our local Kohl's to pick up my daughter. In front of me was a young man wearing his dress blue uniform. He looked proud. After he had walked by, one of the employees said to another - “He is in the Air Force. That is the sissy's way out.”

I took a few more steps and froze. I wasn't angry so much as truly annoyed. Who was this kid? What was he saying? Did he even know what he was talking about? I turned and looked. With my military instructor background I sized him up and he wasn't going to fit! I walked over to him and this is what followed.

Me: Excuse me. Did I just hear you say that the Air Force was the sissy's way out?

Him: I was just joking.

Me: Oh. I didn't find it funny. I am retired Air Force and I found it rather offensive. I also found nothing “sissy” about the Air Force.

Him: I was joking...

His manager walked over into the fray to save his hide.

Her: I didn't think we were talking about anyone in particular. And, I don't believe it was meant for your ears.

OMG! What was she thinking?! Of course it wasn't meant for my ears, but it landed in them nonetheless!

Me: I am sure it wasn't meant for my ears. But that doesn't mean I didn't hear it. I managed in retail for years and know that some things are best not said on the sales floor. Maybe you should discuss that with the young man. I won't be back.

Her: I am so sorry mam...

She was talking to my back.

So, I am boycotting our local Kohl's. I am writing to their corporate headquarters and the district manager. If an employee will say that and be allowed to get away with it I will never set foot in that store again! Maybe I am making a mountain out of a molehill, but I am proud of my husband, I am proud of my son, I am proud of my family history of service. I am proud of any person that puts on a uniform and stands up for this country.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Unexpected Hilarity

Years ago I saw a segment with Steve Martin - "Teaching Your Children To Talk Wrong".  Although not his most famous routine, it was one that I found to be his funniest.  When I had children, I set about doing just that!  It was fun, it was entertaining, it was interesting to watch them wrap their limited experience around the concept.
How does one teach their children to "Talk Wrong"?  It is simple really.  All you do is take one of the small, baby babble words they use everyday and use it too. 
With my oldest daughter it was Kikity Kat.  I must admit, she was very bright.  It didn't take her long to figure out the Kikity Kat was, in truth, a kitty cat.  The day I discovered this revelation on her part was a sad day for me.  Very sad  indeed as she refused to play along.  She would not allow me to repeat after her.  It was always, "Mommy, what is it really?"  She questioned to the point of me feeling absolute distrust on her part.  To this day I just don't understand. Where did I fail.
Hija Primera must have clued her sister in on the evil game as Segunda never uttered a word until she could speak in complete sentences with a preciseness reserved for a professor of phonics.  Not just complete sentences, but sentences packed with three and four syllable words!  Where is the fun in that.  A child that is quiet until they are six years old, save the occasional bleat or whinny.  No, I am not kidding.  This child wanted to be a horse when she grew up.  Her animal sounds were so convincing that creatures large and small would answer!  Cattle were lowing right along with her.  Horses would stop their grazing and run to the fence to see the small human that spoke their language.  Cats would meow, dogs would bark, Segunda would answer in kind.  Then, one day...She spoke!  And. Never. Shut. Up.
Then along came Hijo Segundo!  Another opportunity to excel in the art of parental mis-guidance.  I waited the first year as he learned the basic sounds.  Then, as he uttered his first words.  The normal Mama, Dada, and mundane words for his day and needs.  Then it happened...Da Da Da Dumm...grand-teton-national-park-pronghorn "Look Mommy! A hoe hopey!"  He shouted pointing at an antelope.  There is was!  The perfect thing to teach him to say wrong.  From that day on it was Hoe Hopey.  Not antelopey, not Hoelopey, but Hoe Hopey!  Always said with delight and exuberance.  This went on for years...and years...and years. 
Tonight I found out just how long his belief that antelope were Hoe Hopeies went on.  He was 18!  All I could do was fall over in fits of laughter.  Tears running down my face, legs crossed to alleviate the urge to...well, you know the result of hysterical laughter.  As it turns out, he was driving home with his brother and his girlfriend.  They turned onto our country road as a large herd of antelope ran in front of his 4-runner.  "Look and all the Hoe Hopeies!"  He said with delight and exuberance.  His brother thought nothing of it as that is what we always called them.  His girlfriend on the other hand, hadn't gotten the "Talk Wrong" memo.  "What are you talking about?" she asked him in puzzlement (she had no sense of humor that girl). "The antelope?" 
And I was busted.  The child/parent bond was shattered.  I was evil.  From that day on he asked his father things.  Everything from how do you get to Denver from Cheyenne to how much salt to put in a pot of water for pasta.  I was unworthy. 
Was this Grand Canyon of a rift worth it?  Hell Yes!  Steve Martin, you are my hero.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Small Victories

Last fall I whined and moaned about my Dr.'s request that I go on a diet and stop with the sweets.  The diet she suggested was a Mediterranean, not difficult - actually rather fun.  The sweets were difficult.  I am of the opinion that humans are genetically wired to eat sweets until they explode, thereby decreasing the surplus population.
The weight loss seemed to be non-existent.  In fact, my scale was really stubborn about allowing itself to decrease in the numbers shown. 
What was going on?  I analyzed my food intake.  I looked through a microscope at the ingredients on my food purchases.  Any more than 4 ingredients (sometimes 5) and it didn’t make the cut in my hunter-gatherer expeditions to the grocers.  I shopped the outside isles of the store, rarely venturing into the center isles.  My vegies were fresh; my meats organic.  What was going on?
Then, one morning a few days ago, after looking at the stingy movement of the scale, I got dressed.   I looked in the mirror.  Now, this is something I avoid for the most part.  Mirrors and I don’t get along.  But this time, as I gazed at my reflection, I noticed that my clothes didn’t fit quite right.  The jeans were baggy in the butt.  They required a couple extra notches taken in with the belt in order to stay up.  My shirt was lacking that little bit of padding around the mid section. 
Had to be my imagination.
Later that day I went out to purchase a bit of new bedding and decided to get a pair of jeans as I had worn out a pair earlier in the month.  I grabbed my favorite brand in my “size” and tried them on.   Low and behold!  The mirror in the store revealed the same poor fit.  The sales woman ran, giggling, to grab a size smaller. 
A. Size. Smaller!
Yes!
It took months.  Lots of months.  My weight is almost the same.  But, I am a size smaller than when this little ordeal began! 
Small Victories.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Knitting Away the Hours

Knitting has been an on-going thing – still one of my favorite activities.  I have joined quite a few groups this year and am feeling as though too much has been bitten off.  But, I won’t drop out and I won’t stop.
My only independent project is Crocus Pocus.  003 It is coming along fine.  Had to frog it a couple of times.  First because I didn’t read the pattern correctly.  (A procrastination problem, as in – why read the directions now?  It can always be done when I need help.)  The next time was when I made an error in chart 2 and tried to tink back.  The lace ended up all discombobulated and I had to frog.  (again a procrastination thing - “Why put a lifeline in?  I can do that if the going get rough.”)  But, once I read the directions and put in the trusty life line, things began moving right along.
Then, the KAL projects are really moving!  First, the Basque hat 021 that I cast on for the Knit a Norwegian KAL was started the 1st of January and finished a few days later!  It was promptly taken by Hija Primera and, frankly, looks really cute on her.
Another KAL, the Smart Assed Yarn Ho’s Sock a month KAL started out the year knitting Thuja.  001 I made this one in Knit Picks Stroll, for Hijo Primero.  He says they are a bit too warm!
Then, there is the SSYC KAL.  It didn’t start until February 1.  I cast on to knit a pair of socks for the Boyfriend.  002 For these I am using Opal Rainforest, 6 ply sport.  They should work up quickly.
Then, for the February Smart Ass KAL, I am re-working an older pattern of mine – previously seen at Knit Picks as the Twisted Sock.  It is getting a re-write and a new, more imaginative name. 001 It, too, is knit with Opal Rainforest, 6 ply, sport. 
Love that yarn! It is smooshy, soft when washed, wears well, and comes in myriad colors!  What is not to like?  You can find it at SSYC.  All my favorite sock yarns come from Allison!
The next KAL hasn’t started yet.  This one, I am sure is going to be the end of me.  It is the Evenstar KAL, knitting a shawl designed by Susan Pandorf, inspired by the pendant worn by Arwyn in the Lord of the Rings.  I have the yarn and the desire.  But, the time?  We shall see.
On top of all that, there are the 2009 projects screaming for completion.  And a new project on the way from the cyber LYS – a cardigan to add to my Norwegian KAL.  Will it all get done?  Heck, maybe.   

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Procrastination

Why do I procrastinate?  Because procrastination is my middle name.  You didn’t know?

I hit the snooze alarm on my cell phone until it gives me no choice but to get up or go back to sleep.  My house is in dire need of cleaning, but it will be here tomorrow.  The dust bunnies are lazy, they aren’t going anywhere.  And that pile of stuff in the basement called fiber?  It hasn’t moved an inch!  Why should I help it? 

When things get the slightest bit uncomfortable, I just don’t do it if at all possible.  It has been the bane of my existence since day one.  When it isn’t something that really strikes my fancy at the moment, I wait until it does. 

Not a good practice.  It leads to clutter.  It leads to dust bunnies so large that you have to name them.  It causes your school aged children to rush out the door for school without that “most important meal of the day”.

Yes, there are boxes in my attic that date back to the move, but I haven’t the desire to unpack them.  There are clothes that need to go to Good Will, but I haven’t the will to move them.

With all this spare time that is mine because of my refusal to do anything of import I should have something to show.  You would think this to be true.  But…well…maybe I do. 

I finally got Open Office loaded on my new computer and have not one, but two, maybe even three new sock patterns!  There is the “Jus’Chillaxin’”, the re-write of Twisted Sock, newly named “Re-Twisted”, and a man’s sock “Geoffrey Alloisius III Esq.”  Now if I could only get a few pics of them that were cover shot worthy, all would be good.  But, for the life of me, every time I pull out the old camera, the pictures are fuzzy.  Or cockeyed.  Or bad color.  Oh, well.  There is always tomorrow.

And, yesterday was the first ski trip of the season.  Don’t ask me why I procrastinated on this one.  Totally ridiculous!  Finally got the Boyfriend out, thanks to Hijo Primero.  We all hopped in the car and headed to the hills – haven’t had enough snow at our level yet this season!  But, it was good.  The drive to the snow was only about 30 minutes, past beautiful scenery, into the Adirondack foothills.  We stopped in Booneville, and trekked the easy Black River Environmental Improvement Association trails.  It was a beautiful day; sunny and warm.  It was such a great day, that the Boyfriend said he would do it again!  Now that is astounding!!!

Let’s see.  What else have I procrastinated?  Dance classes.  The Boyfriend has agreed to submit to learning Ballroom dance.  He agreed to this almost a month ago.  Have I found a dance studio yet?  Are you kidding me?  No.  This morning I did go online and fill out a form so some search agency could find one for me.

So life goes on, as it will, with or without me.  All I have to say is that a Procrastinator will never start a insurrection.

Why do today, what you can put off until tomorrow?