Stacy Knits

Ramblings about knitting and whatever else crosses my mind

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Here goes nothing...

Yet another rainy dreary day. I want it to warm up, NOW! I just got an e-mail from the local running shop. The owner is turning 70 tomorrow and is running a half marathon to celebrate. How awesome is that? It made me smile!

Modeling my Honeymoon Cami. If you saw the woeful post about its fit the other day,you'll be able to see the details. If you didn't see it scroll down or else I'll summarize: it's too big.

Moi in my Cami. It looks good here, huh? I even look like I've got muscles in my scrawny arms so who cares that I look drugged. I love the color of the yarn (it will look fab with a tan!) and love the look of the finished camis a lot.

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Not bad. But here's the bad news. Look underneath the arms. They gape open an inch or two on each side, and it looks sloppy (unless I'm holding my arms down. Hmmm, there's an option). You can see a bit of the problem above and I took a better shot of the issue below. I always lose a little weight in the summer too because I start running more so it may be that much bigger in a few weeks.

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I made the XS, and my gauge was spot on. So here's what I'm gonna do. I still need to shorten the straps. I've tried pinning them up there, and that helps the fit a little. Then I'm going to crochet an edging around the armholes to see if that helps. Then I'll wear it. If I find that I don't wear it because of the fit, I'll frog it and start over. I'm really thinking about doing another with some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece I have and making some adjustments to fix the sizing.

I'm surprisingly at peace with the idea of having to rip this out. It's kind of a boring pattern to knit with all its stockinette but it moves so quickly that it's not that bad of a knit.

Lucky is moving along...

I usually knit in the evenings while watching TV. Now that I've admitted that in my blog, everyone knows that I watch wayyyyy too much TV. The number of hours during the week I watch Law and Order SVU alone is frightening. At least I have a bunch of nice knit stuff to show for it. I used to read a lot. I don't read that much anymore, knitting has taken its place. I think I'm addicted.

I finished one sleeve of Lucky and got a few inches done on the second. After that, I'm just the dreaded 1x1 62" ribbed tie and seaming away. I can't wait to wear it, especially after seeing a few completed ones.

Here's the blocking sleeve and front piece...

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And a closeup of the lace. Ooh, pretty! I love this clover lace. When I first started, I thought I'd have to rip out rows on end but once you get going, it's easy to see what comes next.
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And a shot of what it will look like once put together! I took a bunch of pictures because I've had trouble getting a good shot of the color. The color looks closest to accurate on my monitor here.
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I just noticed that my little weather girl is saying it's 57 and sunny while my ISP's site says 49 and raining. I now know not to use the weather girl when deciding what to wear!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Cami Shot

It seems weird to be talking about a cami when it's snowing outside. We go from 75 and sunny to snow in under 48 hours. Gotta love Kentucky. But on the bright side, I did get to wear my beloved Simply Marilyn one more time for the season yesterday when I wore her to church. I love this sweater. I may very well make another one next winter.

Look at Winnie's blog, it's a completed Lucky! Doesn't it look great? Now I'm really inspired to finish mine up soon. I just need to do the sleeves. I did the 18" side tie and about 12" of the 62" one. That's a lot of 1x1 rib on size 2 needles so I've been working on it some when I don't feel like doing much else. 62 ", 10 rows per inch, 13 stitches per row=8060 stitches in the 62" band.

Here's my Honeymoon Cami!

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Cute, isn't she? The shaping is wonderful! Not so fast though. I'll post photos of me wearing her later. I love the look of the pattern, it's just a little too big. Well, way too big under the arms even though it fits okay in the bust. I made the XS, and this isn't the pattern's fault, if anyone is worried. It's my own weird shaped body. I'm short and small framed but really curvy. I have small armholes and shoulders but am a C cup which means that many knit patterns are way too big in the shoulder/armhole area. I'm thinking a crocheted border along the armholes may pull it in a little. It doesn't look bad, it just doesn't fit quite like I wanted! I'm even thinking about ripping it out and redoing it. It will be awhile before I can wear this so that gives me a chance to stew on it a bit before deciding what to do.

I still need to shorten the straps some. That would be the ends you see hanging off the top, although if the practice of not weaving in ends would come into fashion, I'd be all over that trend!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Recipe Time!

I finished my Honeymoon Cami! I'll take pictures later. It's cute.

Since I have nothing else much to say today and with Derby coming up in a couple of weeks, I thought I'd post my family's Derby Pie recipe. Er, not really Derby Pie which is a trademarked name that only the pie maker can call the ones they sell but I like this recipe because it tastes more like the original than many others. It's easy to make. My Dad even makes it all the time. I've made it (but I'll usually just buy one of the real thing to take, it's just as cheap as making it!). Anyway, this is the best dessert ever. It's like the biggest, gooey-est chocolate chip cookie you'll ever have.

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup walnuts
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix in order given; pour into an unbaked 9 inch pie shell.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Finished Pink Bucket Hat

I've been wanting a pink hat for summer so made it for myself. I used Plymouth Fantasy Naturale mercerized cotton but realized I may come up a little short so used a little leftover Paton's Grace, doubled up, in a champagne color to add a few stripes. It's cute. My only problem with it is that garter stitch in the round in cotton gets a little lumpy in spots so it's not perfect (and I'm a perfectionist) but I still like it.

I use the pattern from Chic Knits. My only suggestion to anyone making this would be to make a size smaller than your the size you think you need. I've made 2 bucket hats now and made the medium in each. Both are a little big. Not too bad but I'd rather them be a little smaller.

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Monday, April 18, 2005

Finally finishing some things

I guess the biggest problem with doing something that takes as long as Lucky is that I haven't finished much lately. I'm usually one that has a few projects going but finishes quickly. I'm too obsessive compulsive not to get them done. This weekend, I managed to finish up a couple of things, when I should have been out doing yard work. Sorry neighbors. Here's my Mom's Om Yoga Mat Bag from Stitch and Bitch Nation...

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I was excited when she said she was taking a yoga class, and she bought a mat without a bag. I had to make one. It's pretty pathetic that I was considering taking up yoga myself, just to be able to knit this cute project! It was really a simple lace pattern, and although I cast on for it about a week and a half ago, it didn't take long at all to make. I barely worked on it in the meantime. It probably would have taken 3 evenings of TV knitting to get it done. I rushed on it yesterday evening so she could take it to her class tonight. I used the pattern's called for Lion Cotton and used less than 1 skein, even though the pattern calls for 2.

I also finally finished up my pink cotton bucket hat. I didn't snap a picture of me wearing it last night. I was sporting my lovely post-run, no makeup, nasty hair look, and I don't think anyone really wants to see that. I'll take a picture this evening! It's cute.

Now back to the Honeymoon Cami. I'm hoping I can get this done by the weekend. It moves so quickly. I'll probably cast on for Lucky's sleeves sometime this week too.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Honeymoon Cami Progress

I'm moving along on the Honeymoon Cami. I'd love to get it done by next weekend to wear to Keeneland if we go and if it's warm enough. April in Kentucky is so unpredictable!

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Isn't it pretty? I love this yarn! It's Berroco Cotton Twist in #8338, and it comes in the prettiest colors with such a nice sheen. I was afraid it was going to be a nightmare to work with because the reviews at Wiseneedle are bad and others have said it's splitty but I don't mind it. It is loose and splits quite a bit if not careful but since I got going, I've had no problems.

I need to finish my Mom's Yoga Mat Bag this weekend but I only have a couple of inches left of the lace plus the strap. I still would love to finish Lucky by the end of the month but I wanted to try a couple of quick projects in between.

Elly got her stitches out yesterday! The vet said she is amazing (referring to how she was trying to run in the backyard like normal, just 2 days after the surgery).

Here's Elly, post stitch removal yesterday:

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Compare to Elly post surgery last week!
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I feel like Parker's been neglected so here's one of him from yesterday. He loves the warm, sunny weather. He may have taken Elly's surgery hardest of all of us! He is crazy about Elly. When I walked in the door with her after her quick trip to the vet yesterday, he began running around in circles, he was so excited.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Rainy Day Ramblings

I talked to the vet yesterday. He talked to some specialists who believe that Elly's recurring bladder stones are caused by one of two things, a persistent bladder infection or Cushing's Disease. Fortunately, she displays none of the symptoms of Cushing's so we are going to keep a close eye on bladder infections. She's never shown symptoms until stones are formed so we're doing to do monthly urinalysis. She'll keep eating her regular prescription diet for stones and drink distilled water. I'm just glad to have some other options. She'll go in tomorrow or Friday to get her stitches out.

A couple of weeks ago, my Mom was talking to my aunt about my knitting and she exclaimed that I start several projects before finishing. Apparently she thinks that a knitter should complete one project before beginning a second. I'm sure that's funny to the rest of you! Right now, I have on the needles the Lucky Clover Wrap from Stitch and Bitch Nation, the Honeymoon Cami (couldn't sleep last night so got cast on and a few rows done), and the Yoga Mat Bag for my Mom. I have a Minisweater on the needles but I'm not so sure I'll wear it. So that may get ripped out in favor of doing a cute tank with the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece yarn.

I was searching for a pattern for a friend the other day and came across a knitting blog that left me unsure whether to laugh or cry. In the end, laughter was the choice! I guess I never realized that there was dissension between younger knitters and um, more seasoned knitters. In this blog and the ensuing comments, they started by trashing Fun Fur which led to trashing Knitty and its "crap" projects, throwing in a few insults at HYUK's (hip young urban knitters. I'm glad it was explained, I'd never heard that). They really went off on the steering wheel cover and Cleaves. There was a snarky comment about Ipod Cozies (that serve a very practical purpose, to protect an expensive piece of equipment). Now I'm not a Fun Fur fan (hate the scarves made of it!) and I just don't get Cleaves but basically the implication is that these "HYUK projects" are ruining the craft and that they wished these "hip" Knitty-type patterns would go away. I don't really care what some random grandmothers online think about what I choose to knit but it made me giggle at how these commenters sounded like a combination of the "Old School Knitter" and "Holier than Thou Knitter" that Debbie Stoller writes about in SNB.

I checked out the blog owner's personal projects, and don't get me wrong, they were exquisitely done and I hope to have skills like that someday. But geesh, there wasn't a thing I would even think about wearing. Boxy sweaters and lace shawls aren't my thing? Which is a better advertisement for the craft? Spending months and months on an intricate lace shawl that will be worn outside the house once or wearing a big boxy Aran sweater that overwhelms my small frame OR spending that same amount of time doing a tanktop, a bulky weight sweater, a purse, a furry scarf, a steering wheel cover, and an Ipod cozy, things that I will wear/use often and enjoy? To each her own, when it comes to personal style, right?

This whole thing just struck me as very funny!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Sun Does Funny Things to Me

I was sitting at a Lexington Legends baseball game Sunday, in the nice warm sun, when it hit me. I NEED a Honeymoon Cami. I've admired this pattern but have never really thought to make it. After looking through the designer's Honeymoon photo gallery, I knew I needed it. Off to my LYS to buy yarn. I was planning to use Tahki Cotton Classic but ended up with Berroco Cotton Twist in a great turquoise color. I love how soft and shiny it is. I figure I need a nice quick fix after working on Lucky for so long. It's a little darker than in this photo but isn't it pretty?

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I also realized at that same baseball game that I really need to get working on the pink cotton bucket hat I want for summer and cast on for that. I love how this pattern comes out but it's such a pain, having to do garter stitch in the round using size 3 needles for cotton!

I did a bit of shopping over the last couple of days. I got a new pair of running shoes, Mizuno Wave Precisions. My Dad, a better runner than I ever dream of being, is a recent Mizuno convert so I gave up my previously beloved Nike Air Pegasus to try these. I haven't run in them yet but they are so comfy! They fit really well. The guy at the running shop told me that Mizunos tend to run a little narrow which is good for my small foot. I've had trouble finding shoes that fit well. New Balance, Sauconys, and the other biggest just don't. This is a nice lightweight shoe, perfect to take me into racing season. Now I've never run a race in my life but it sounds good, huh?

I went to Ulta to blow a gift certificate and use a 20% off coupon. Look at this! It's the cutest little thing ever! It's a mini foundation! It was only $4. I wish more companies would make little samples like this.

It matches my cutie pie Keychain Lipgloss

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Beautiful day here!

The weather is gorgeous, and what am I doing? Bumming around inside of course. I've had an exhausting week. I need to mow the lawn but it just may wait until some evening this week. I'm going to go run a little later this afternoon. Parker's outside sunbathing. Elly's inside laying in whatever beams of sun she can find. She's not allowed outside off of her leash still since she can't control her urges to run the fence and bark at the neighbor dog. Parker can't either but he didn't have surgery Tuesday. Otherwise, Elly is doing great.

I finished the left front of Lucky! I had to put up a picture of the left and right fronts to show the huge difference between blocked and unblocked pieces of this. See how smooth the one on the left is. The one on the right is the left front that I just finished up, no blocking. Now, onto the sleeves. For some reason, I hate doing sleeves.

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I started the Stitch and Bitch Nation Om Yoga Mat Bag for my Mom's yoga mat. This is knitting up really quickly, and the yarn is cheap. 2 skeins of Lion Cotton in red, and I don't think it's going to require much, if any of the second skein. I'll make a washcloth or dishcloth of any leftover.

2 lace projects at once. Who would have thunk it?

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Thursday, April 07, 2005

The New Knitty is Up

Yay! Not long after I had posted earlier today, I got the e-mail that the new Knitty was up. There were a few things in it that I really want to make. The biggest two are Spring Fling and Via Diagonale to satisfy my desire for a summery knit purse. I have a cute little crocheted purse that I bought a few years back that I've gotten more compliments on. It's kind of beat up so a knit version is definitely needed. Cocktail Monkey is really cute too. I'm kind of liking the monkeys although they really aren't me.

I love little tanks so Soliel and W may also be must haves. I'm crazy about Xback but it's not super wearable for me. I have to wear a bra, no doubt about it, and don't like strapless ones.

And then, Shade and Wheelie may be perfect quick little knits that I can really use. In fact, I have a lamp in my bedroom that is screaming out for a new knit lampshade!

Elly continues to do great. I called the vet to tattle on her today. I can't keep her from jumping and running. This is what happens when you get a terrier! She's not really hyper like some terriers, luckily, but she is happy go lucky and energetic. The vet said not to worry about it. Parker's still not sure what to think.

On a UK basketball note, our leading scorer, Kelenna Azubuike (he who is really hot without his shirt on) has announced that he's leaving one year early for the NBA. He's hired an agent so it's bye bye Kelenna. I thought he may declare for the draft but not hire an agent which would leave the option of returning. I don't think he's ready and may not even be drafted but with some family problems he's had this season, it may be the best decision for him. Best wishes Kelenna! We'll be fine without him with our depth at his position (aren't you glad you stayed, Joe Crawford?), but it's still a little surprising.

Gettin' Better

Elly continues to improve. Dogs amaze me. Almost 48 hours ago to the minute, the vet called to let me know she had just come out of surgery just fine. Last night, I was struggling to keep her from jumping on the couch and bed. Outside, she was trying to run. She didn't eat much of her breakfast but by evening, her full appetite had returned and she was nagging me about wanting her dinner. If a human had surgery this major, we'd still be in bed unable to move much. Hopefully we'll be able to kick these bladder stones once and for all.

I'm plugging along on Lucky. I had to rip out my bind off on the right front and knit a few more rows. Someone lost count of her rows and wasn't paying close attention to the schematic.

I'm thinking I can get it done by the end of April. It will be perfect for our May weather. I also need to go ahead and finish the Hip to Knit turtleneck that has evolved into more of a boatneck sweater. I only have one sleeve left to go.
I hate having almost finished objects around, I'm much too obsessive, so I want to get that done. I've been enjoying Lucky so much so far that I haven't picked anything else up. I can't believe I am enjoying lace on size 2 needles but I am.

What to do next? I have this mint green yarn that I plan on turning into a tank and slim fitting summer cardigan. I have 2 skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece that I think is going to end up as a Minisweater, minus the edging. I'll have to refigure the pattern for a smaller gauge, and I'm not fond of the puffy sleeves so I think I'll have plenty of yarn. I guess I could knit it double stranded but for summery things and being short and small framed, I really prefer the look of the smaller gauge.

After that, I am liking Cable 8 from the Spring Interweave Knits and then there are a couple of things in the upcoming summer IK
that I like. And my Mom's taken up yoga and has a bagless mat. The shame! She needs the Stitch and Bitch Nation yoga mat bag. It should be a cheap (Lion Cotton) and relatively quick pattern to do.

The new Knitty will most likely have a project or two I can't resist as well. By the time I'm done with all of this, it will be time to start plotting knits for next fall and winter!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

My girl is home!

Elly's home! She's groggy but in true Elly fashion, when I mentioned getting Parker's dinner for him, her ears perked up. The dog loves to eat. The vet said I could give her a little, and she ate that up. She seems to be getting a little life to her.

She was so funny leaving the vet's office. I was standing at the front desk with her on her leash, and she was staring out the door, waiting to go. When I opened it, she was out of there. She walked to the car just fine. When we got home, Parker was so excited. He jumped around to get at her but after sniffing her a bit, he's stayed away from her. I think he's a little afraid to hurt her. He isn't taking his eyes off of her though, and he's so much happier than he was earlier.

Since this is the 3rd time she's had stones and we've switched her diet and to distilled water, the vet is going to talk to some specialists for other prevention ideas for me.

A post surgery pic:

Elly Update

She's fine and out of surgery! I get to pick her up at 4-ish!

Nervous Day

I dropped Elly off at the vet about an hour and a half ago. She was so chipper and upbeat, her typical Elly self. That makes it all the harder! The receptionist was fawning all over her. Elly loves that. She had a rough evening yesterday. She was really struggling trying to potty and peeing a lot when she did. I'm not sure why since she was okay up until yesterday. I guess it just all came to a head yesterday.

Parker will be depressed without her. She's his idol. When she comes home, he'll be so excited. I'll post again as I get word on Elly.

I finished the right front of Lucky during the basketball game last night. Once you hit the neckline and raglan decreases on this front, it flies. I went ahead and blocked it because I'm anal. I think this is typical of lace knitting but pre-blocking, it looked awful. I wet blocked it, and this morning, it's smooth and pretty. For the next piece, I'll take a pre-blocking versus finished photo. It's an amazing difference. I didn't feel like casting on for the left front so I cast on 13 stitches and began working on the ribbed band. 80 inches total of 1x1 rib for the band and other tie. Eek!

I think I'm going to have enough Cotton Fine leftover to attempt my first socks. The reviews on Wise Needle say that this is a good yarn for socks.

Great basketball game last night. I thought Illinois could pull it off but they didn't. I really didn't want UNC to win but that's mostly selfish reasons more than any big issues with them (I used to despise Dean Smith but I *cough cough* like *cough* Roy Williams). We're #1 in alltime wins, they are #2, about 50 wins behind us. I want to stay far, far ahead!

Why did CBS change One Shining Moment a few years ago? This used to bring me to tears every year even if we didn't win. They had to bring in star power with Luther Vandross who doesn't sing it with nearly the emotion of the old one. You know, I never have seen the 1996 One Shining Moment. We won that year but I was at the Final Four and of course didn't see it on TV that night (we were too busy celebrating). I'd love to see it, that was a fun basketball season because we were so good. We would have killed the two Championship game teams this year with that team but that's not really a knock on them as much as it is a knock on the changes in college basketball.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Prayers for my Elly-Dog Please

Elly peed in the house last week and again last night. That's really unusual for her. The only other times she's pottied inside since she was a puppy was when she had bladder stones. Off to the vet today. There wasn't any blood in her urine last night but she peed on the floor at the vet and there was some. I feel pretty bad for missing it for so long, and the vet told me not to beat myself up over it. He said that as Elly was tugging at the leash, trying to get someone to pet her, so it's not like she was acting differently. I have to say that I suspected something was up last week when it seemed like she was taking forever to potty.

She'll be having surgery tomorrow morning. It's her 3rd bladder stone surgery in about 2 1/2 years. It's been 3 years since her last one though (the first recurrence was within 6 months!).

We saw another Cairn at the vet! It's one of the few Cairns Elly has ever met. Elly really doesn't care for dogs that much (except Parker, the rest are below her) but she got a kick out of this one. I wondered if she thought she was looking in a mirror. A guy had a little long haired Doxie in the waiting room, sitting on his lap. Elly went over to sniff around, and the Doxie looked down and gave Elly a big lick on the nose. She's a kisser herself and seemed to think that was pretty great. It was the cutest thing.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Not much going on

It's so hard to come up with a title when you are just going to say a bunch of random stuff! I just talked to my Mom. The felted bag below was for her friend Karen as a little thank you for helping me with names and e-mails of people to invite to my Mom's surprise party back in December. She loves it. It's so nice to knit something as a gift and have the person like it!

I haven't knit much the last couple of days. My wrist has been bothering me. I have had flare ups of tendinitis since I was in college, and sometimes it just gets bad. This is the first time in awhile so I'm not too worried about it affecting my knitting or having to try continental. Many swear by knitting continental but I just don't like it and oddly go slower when I do it. I'm going to work on Lucky some tonight. I'd like to get the right front piece done this week.

The Lucky pattern shows a sleeve that is wider at the wrist than at the top. I think I'm going to reverse that, making it taper like a normal sleeve and also possibly make it 3/4 length.

I'm enjoying the lace knitting of Lucky but the pattern calls for a 60-some inch tie in 1x1 rib. That's NOT going to be fun! I did a scarf in 1x1 rib and said never again. I'm thinking about getting another set of size 2 needles so I can work on it when I want mindless knitting from time to time. Maybe that will make it more bearable, if I can do it in bits and pieces. Seaming on this is going to be a nightmare too. But it will be all worth it in the end.

Louisville lost last night. Pitino's biggest coaching weaknesses came out. If the three isn't falling, they are in trouble. If his game plan isn't working well, he can't make adjustments (Illinois ate their zone defense alive). He's a master motivator and great at devising a game plan but like every coach, he has his weaknesses. These aren't criticisms based on bitterness that he took the UL job. He was criticized for this at UK too.

Random rant: I've been reading some sports blogs during the tournament and have seen a couple that talk about how Tubby Smith is on the hot seat at UK and how he isn't happy here and fans aren't happy with him. This is absolute total BS. Why people perpetuate this, I don't know. It was perhaps true at one time, especially when Pitino was trying to get Tubby out so he could get his old job back after leaving the Celtics but no longer. 90% of UK fans are crazy about the guy. The rest, well, every fanbase has its idiots. His secretary who has worked in the basketball office for many years has said that he gets less hate mail than any of the prior coaches.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Final Four Decision

I have made a decision. I've had a change of heart. I will be cheering for Louisville in the Final Four and hope they win it all. I should be proud that they are from Kentucky. Garcia is such a pleasure to watch. I wish our players acted more like him on the court. Wonder if we could trade Randolph Morris for UL's Otis George? Rick Pitino is a class act and quite frankly, I wish he was still coaching UK. Tubby Smith should take the Virginia coaching job because the guy just can't coach, and Mitch Barnhart should be at Pitino's doorstep in minutes to replace him.


Man, that even hurt to write.

I finished another felted bag last night. I used the Felted Marsupial Tote pattern for the bottom, replacing the handle with i-cord straps instead. I also made stripes of gray, black, rose, light blue, and violet Cascade 220 since I like how this look with a little bit of color (and it's nice to use up some scraps of yarn :). I overfelted it some and thought it was a bit too small but my Mom thought it looked good. It resembles the Booga Bag I made for her.
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