Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Zack at 2

The Costume: Carefully hand made by mom, complete with perky ears and mane
The Tennis Shoes: Pooh Bear (his favorite)
The Makeup: Mom's eyeliner applied to nose and chubby cheeks
The Prep Time: DAYS
The Look: More cute than scary lion!

Zack at 13

The Mask: $1.99
The T-shirt: from the drawer
The Blood: corn syrup and food coloring
The Scary Hair: gel and spray
The Prep Time: 10 minutes
The Look: Totally 13!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Happy Halloween!

This is our newest (temporary) family member. Zack did an excellent carving job. I helped a bit with the thin parts, but he did 99%. This is a cool pumpkin.

Randy and I ventured to Murfreesboro last weekend for Harvest Days at Cannonsburgh Village, probably one of the best kept secrets in the area. I was in fiber heaven! Some of you may laugh, but here in middle Tennessee there aren't many opportunities to commune with fellow fiber enthusiasts. I collected several business cards and brochures, and I took a bunch of photos. I'll write about it in the coming days. It really was a lot of fun.

Finding time to blog has been a bit difficult of late. I've been very busy. I just painted my kitched red (it rocks!) and I'm about to tackle the den. You see, I have a limited number of days until my parents arrive for Christmas. I haven't started the count-down yet...that will begin on November 1. Pray for me!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Duke's Adventure

The #1 thing you don't want to see when you've returned from a weekend of camping:
It really was inevitable, so they tell me. "They" being everyone who has owned a hamster.

We returned from a weekend of camping (where I knit like a mad woman on Zack's afghan) on a Sunday night and to Zack's horror, Duke was AWOL. Duke is a dwarf hamster who came to live with us last February. He's pretty cool as far as rodents go and quite social. When I saw the bag of hamster food next to the open cage door, I knew exactly what had happened. I (that would be me, The Mom) fed Duke and FORGOT to shut the cage door. At that point I knew I had about 18 hours to located said rodent before the dog, who thinks hamsters should be kept in dog tummies and not cages, returned from her weekend at the dog spa.

Well, we got out the flash lights and looked under everything. Oh my God, the dust bunnies! Around midnight we gave up. Zack put saucers of water and pieces of dog kibble (Duke's favorite treat) in each room, we turned out the lights and went to bed.

Hamsters are nocturnal.

I got up every half hour to try and chase down the scratching noises I heard throughout the night. By the time my alarm went off, I had maybe gotten 2 hours of sleep. It was going to be a long day. I shuffled to the kitchen to get breakfast going as I yelled to Zack to get up and wouldn't you know it, Duke came scurrying out from under the oven looking for breakfast. I scooped him up, degreased him a bit and put him back in the cage making sure the door was secured! Every morning I tell Zack to get up and then poke my nose in Duke's cage to say good morning and give him a treat. He probably heard me from under the stove and thought, "Woohoo, breakfast is served!" Smart little hamster. I can only imagine what he explored all weekend!

Duke the Dwarf Hamster

Sophie and a freshly de-stuffed buffalo

Stay tuned for the Great Dust Bunny Rodeo and Round-up. Coming to a Blog near you!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

On the River

On the Ohio River
Originally uploaded by KnittyBits

This is Zack trying to be very serious while modeling his new Marshall University hat. It's a good looking hat...good looking kid too! This photo was taken on the Big Sandy River, a tributary of the Ohio River. There's a really big refinery on this river. It looks pretty grubby by day, but at night it's rather pretty...if a refinery can be considered pretty. It does, however, smell like a refinery.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Whip it Good!

Hi, I'm Chris, and I have a problem with knitting books...hell, books in general. Ok, magazines too. I finally ran out of shelf space (and my budget was straining) so I quit buying books, but every time I drove by Borders or Books-a-Million I got that twitch. I knew there was shiny new knitting book, hot off the press and still smelling like ink, that I had to have. I kept driving and renewed my library card.

So the library books don't really have that fresh ink smell (I was a graphic designer in a former life, there are some smells that we designers will never get over), but the books are plentiful and FREE (if you return them on time, if not there's this nasty business about fines and harrassing e-mails.) The REALLY cool thing is that I can browse the library shelves from the comfort of my home, select the books I want and put them in my online book basket. It's a lot like shopping online, but without giving up your credit card information. Then the library elves go get the books for me, put them in a special place in the library and shoot me a friendly (not harrassing) e-mail to let me know the books are waiting for me. It's amazing. Have I mentioned that it's free? (If you return them on time.....)

This week's book is DomiKNITrix--Whip Your Knitting into Shape by Jennifer Stafford. It looks a bit gothy, but it's a great book...I think I have to have it. I'm not sure if this a "learn to knit" book, but she's got some great tips and tricks coupled with DomiKNITrix-type humor. I was paging through the book the other night and Zack took a peek just as I turned the page to the Mohawk Hat. The yarn came yesterday. It will be black and lime green, just like it is in the book. I told him he has to model it when it's finished. He informed me that he "needs" it in time for ski season. I mean SNOWBOARD season, the young man doesn't ski anymore. Heaven forbid. Faux-mohawks (faux-hawk?) and snowboards...nope, not my DNA.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Prayer Shawl Update

I'm almost finished with my third prayer shawl. It's off the needles, and now I just need to add the fringe....cringe. I don't particularly like doing the fringe, but our "Fringe Lady" (non-knitter who likes to hang out with knitters--the feeling is mutual) has three shawls ahead of mine. Looks like I need to start cutting and tying. The next colorway is Lionbrand Homespun Windsor.

The first prayer shawl went to Zack's grandma after Zack's grandpa passed away. It's a lovely shade of yellow and knit in the traditional K3P3 prayer shawl pattern. The second shawl went to Randy's Aunt Ella who recently lost her 4th, maybe 5th, battle with cancer. It was a green/blue shawl (Tudor) that was so calming to me when I knit with it. I hope it brought her the same calmness it brought me. I knit it a little lacier (bigger needles), but it was also in the K3P3 pattern.

For both of those shawls I knew the people for whom I was knitting. This shawl, on the other hand, is...well...anonymous. It's kind of strange to knit for someone you don't know. This shawl is a triangle. It went very fast, lots of YO, K2TOG and decreases. I'll post photos when it's done.

It's time to log off. There are tornadoes in Hopkinsville, KY, which is too close for comfort. The weather here is about to get a bit exciting. (Randy, please tell me you have moved your 5th wheel.) It's very windy, Sophie is pacing, the weather radio has fresh batteries, and there are two beers in the refrigerator.

See you in Oz!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Originally uploaded by KnittyBits

We are in Huntington, WV for the weekend. Our schools are on "Fall Break" so we took advantage of the long weekend and hit the highway to visit my parents. Today we spent several hours on the Ohio River. It was a bit blustery, but the river is very interesting in this area. Lots of barge traffic. This is a shot of West Virginia on the right and Ohio on the left. Kentucky is right behind us.

I've gotten a lot of Zack's afghan done in the past couple weekends. I really want it finished by Christmas. Not that it's a Christmas gift, but I'd just like to get it done. I'm praying I have enough yarn.

The box from came on Thursday. Oh YUM! I think I posted my latest "in the queue" project on It's the harvest pullover...killer sleeves! I keep telling myself that I'm going to wait until all the Christmas knitting is done before I cast on. Right.

More pictures when we get home!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

An Essay by Zack

Zack's 8th grade history class is studying the early European explorers. His history teacher is also his language arts teacher. She made them write an essay. Zack will probably shoot me if he finds out I posted this. What are mom's for?

Fernando Santosh
By Zachary L

My name is Fernando Santosh and I was born in 1502 on September the second. I explored with Hernando Cortez and I have the biggest passion for sailing these seven seas. My brother was attacked by a shark on my tenth birthday when my father took us out in his canoe. The canoe flipped and that was the last we saw of him. I have devoted my life to the sea so I can find the shark that killed my brother so I can kill him. I plan to catch him on Cortez’s ship.

“I love you, Mother,” I say as I leave our hut in Spain. I went down to the shipyard to join my shipmates and meet our captain, Cortez.

“Isn’t he the one who sailed to Hispaniola in 1504?” asked my best friend Roberto.

“1503!” I corrected as I glared at him while he walked out on the dock. “And yes, I think it is.”

He said we were to set sail and explore Mexico. In the early sunrise, we untied the ship from the dock and we were off for Mexico. It didn’t feel as if it were to be that short of a journey, but if you have to work to keep yourself busy, you’ll see land on the horizon before you know it.

This journey would make this my first birthday away from home. I wouldn’t have the fruit from my mother’s garden of any of her seasoned chicken, which I loved the most. I began to feel a tear rolling down my face as I was looking out on the horizon knowing that my mother had no one to keep her company as her birthday passed as well. Now I am eighteen years old and have been sailing since I was twelve years old.

“Stop dreaming. Get back to work!” said Roberto. “It’s for your own good. It won’t be long before we’re back home. Oh, and happy birthday!”

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


We don't need no....wait a minute...Yes, I do need stinking badges!

I must admit I'm a Brenda Dayne junkie, and I am a Badge-Whore. There, I've said it. Brenda, for those of you who don't know, is a podcaster and hosts "Cast-On, A Podcast for Knitters". When I first encountered Brenda, it was more of an accident. It began like this...

It was a dark and stormy night. Randy had just arrived at my house with yet another new gadget called an mp3 player. "Why would you want one of those?" I inquired. He began explaining podcasts. "Why would anyone want to talk about something, record it on their computer and upload it for all the world (or mp3 player owners) to hear?" I queried.

Randy looked me in the eye and said, "do you trust me?" I nodded and he took me by the hand and gently led me to my computer. He fluffed the cushion on my computer chair and beckoned me to take a seat. I did so. I surrendered to him as he led me to Podcast Alley. It looked a little nerdy, but I trusted him. I let him show me the thousands of podcasts available to the world. He showed me ham radio podcasts, linux podcasts, and hiking podcasts. In jest he said, "I'll bet they even have knitting podcasts." The damage was done. I found Brenda, or maybe Brenda found me.

I bought an mp3 player and I've been an avid listener ever since. I may not be lurking on her website to be the first to download the latest podcast. I may not post comments to her website like the many other listeners. But I am devoted. Basically, she rocks! I'd like to sit and knit with I listen to her podcast, sometimes more than once. Is that wrong?

This past summer Brenda took us to camp. I'm a former Girl Scout, and somewhere in my stack of photographs is a 4x4 black and white photo of me in pigtails, wearing plaid bellbottoms, sitting on the floor of the school gymnasium, stitching together an afghan. I learned to knit before Girl Scouts, but that's a very vivid memory of my girlhood knitting. To be quite honest, I don't even recall when I learned to knit. I've always known how. But when I think of knitting when I was a girl, I recall sitting on that hard floor piecing mishapened knitted "squares" together. I don't recall what we did with the afghan, but it was a thing to behold.

When Brenda posted badges for her "Knit Sibs" to earn, I downloaded every one that I have earned at some point in my life.

The first badge I earned is the “Proselytize Knitting” Badge. I earned this badge by schlepping my knitting EVERYWHERE. When people inquire, I talk about the latest project. I have been known to say that knitting is sexy and hot. The “MacGyver” Badge (Level One) - For this badge the recipient must demonstrate clever use of a non-knitting tool in a knitting-related scenario. I've used paper clips as stitch markers, a bamboo skewer as a cable needle, used my son's geometry protractor to measure gauge.
The “MacGyver” Badge (Level Two) - The recipient must demonstrate clever use of a knitting tool in a non-knitting-related scenario. I earned this badge on a Sunday when the hardware store was closed. I used cotton yarn to tie up a seasoned pork tenderloin. I didn't have any butcher's twine. All I could find was worsted weight mercerized 100% cotton. It worked.
The “Knitting Whilst Under the Influence” Badge - This applies to both actual knitting under the influence, as well as achieving moments of stunning intellectual clarity about ones knitting under the influence. I've done this...results weren't good. Step away from the knitting needles!The “Knitting Got Me Through My Divorce” Badge - Knitting has gotten me through a lot of things, not just my divorce. Now I use my knitting to help other people get through tough times. I'm a member of the Prayer Shawl Ministry at my church. What an awesome group of friends I've found!

For my next post, I'll try to find the black and white photo of me in pigtails, it's around here somewhere. But in the mean time, if you run across Randy today, be sure to wish him happy birthday...and put a pink bow on it!