Thursday, December 15, 2005

Song of the week is back! The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead

I've grown more and more fond of XTC in the last few years, I think they get better with age. I think their last couple of records (CDs, downloadable releases, WHATEVER) have been great. I heard this song on the radio today and it made me really happy, even though it's a little sad. It made me think of Paul Wellstone a little: "but he made too many enemies of the people who would keep us on our knees". Is it really so much to expect someone who's a politician to just be a good person? Now I guess I'm the mayor of simpleton for saying something as ridiculous as that! Anyway, here it is, The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead

Back to the reason why this is a so-called "Knitting Blog"

This is what I've started for the boy, in a lovely dark blue so that it will look like a little pea coat! I have to admit, I always choke a bit over the price of these Debbie Bliss yarns, but I'll be danged if they aren't truly a pleasure to handle. This is from the Debbie Bliss Baby Knits Book. Here's another view:

I'm not going to make the pants---I just picture them all saggy, with a big old dirty diaper in them!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I'm All Verklempt...!

For our friends who read Gnitter...

I just can't help myself, here's a portrait of our little BOY! If it's hard to see at first, it's just his face, his nose is pretty much smack dab in the middle...

Now send him your LOVE!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bear with me...

Sadly, pregnancy is really taking a toll on the blog. Oh well, the five friends who actually read this thing are likely to tough it out with the Gnitter. Look at it this way, would you prefer long gaps between posts or long posts about what it's like to go maternity clothes shopping for the first time? Uh-huh, I thought so...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Song of the Week: Mmmbop

What?! Don't you ever just want a big piece of Bubblicious? The Archies had one or two good songs, The Monkees had many...Granted, I have no idea what these young fellers are singin' about in this song, but I can tell that they FEEL it, maaan! Bottom Line: I have a weakness for Hanson, especially on a sunny day, blasting in my car. So sue me.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Friday Cat Blawg

It's Oni's world, we just try to brush our teeth in it.

Song of the Week: Get Him Back

Fiona Apple. As my dear partner says, she definitely seems to fall into the "In Praise of Difficult Women" category. One of those who is probably high-maintenance, but worth it. I have to admit that when she first popped up I lumped her in with the Tori Amos and Alannis Morisette crowd unfairly (if you love those guys, don't be offended, they just don't flip my wig). She's much more painfully honest and at the same time somewhat painfully mean like our beloved Chrissie Hynde but with some serious composing chops. Plus she has a beautiful voice. My husband stumbled upon her last winter when there was a real controversy surrounding a record that she had recorded but that Sony wouldn't release---"Free Fiona" websites and petitions were all over the place and one rabid fan had the unreleased album (named "Extraordinary Machine") in its entirety available for download, so we grabbed it to see what all the hoo-ha was about. Both of us got addicted to it very quickly and it has been in heavy rotation here since! It was hard to pick one song to put up here, and I wound up going with a lighter, poppy number, Get Him Back. The album has since been re-recorded and released by Sony. We bought it, and though it's a little hard to get used to after listening to the first recordings 900 times, I'm liking it more every time I hear it. This track is from the unreleased version. Anyhoo, take a bite of the Apple, if you wanna, we think she's worth it...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Song of the Week: Autumn Almanac

Oh, there will be many Kinks songs featured on the Song of the Week. There's a Kinks song for every occasion. The Song of the Week could be ALL Kinks songs, as far as I'm concerned, but my more sensible side says that it may be better to spread them out over time. Suffice it to say that I am a fan, a student, a disciple of Mr. Raymond Douglas Davies*, and that is an understatement.
So, anyway, I was thinking of what a perfect and beautiful Fall day it was here in Minne-scrapolis today, and what song I could post as the best theme for perfect Fall days, and, well, here it is...

Autumn Almanac

*Who else would pen this rhyme "Oh, my poor rheumatic back, yes yes yes, it's my autumn almanac"?

From Here to Maternity

Well, I've hemmed and I've hawed and I've wondered whether it would be really stupid to 'fess up to being knocked up on the blawg. Me and the old man just decided, what the foo?! Most of our closest friends already know and I don't mind our not-as-close friends knowing now and I guess it really doesn't matter if some strangers know. So there. This is why I've been feeling sick---when they say "nauseous" and "morning sickness", they really mean it. Months of it! I had also temporarily lost interest in several of my favorite things: coffee, good tea, and knitting, though I'm starting to feel better and thankfully my knitting muse seems to be back! My posting may be sporadic---especially around late March, if all goes well...

By the way, is that barefoot and pregnant doll not the scariest?!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Song of the Week: Everybody Knows

Mister Leonard Cohen

Everybody Knows
"Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died
Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows"

...and, well, it just goes on from there...Sound familiar?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Song of the Week: Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

(FSA photo of a breadline during the Depression)

Bittersweet Bing. What a great song! Also eerily timely, when you see these news stories about soldiers coming back from Iraq to find their families living on canned food donations collected by the Boy Scouts.

Oh, we'll all be singing it again soon enough. We can't seem to stop these looters in the Whitehouse from completely bankrupting this country (both fiscally and ethically), so you may as well learn the words now!

Bing Crosby singing Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

Russian Mitten Patterns

I got this cool book earlier this summer. Here in Minnesooooota it's just starting to get coooooold. So I think it's time to make some of these mitties. More soon!

Friday, September 30, 2005

Jumping on the "Friday Cat Blogging" Bandwagon

My new favorite knitting blog

You Knit What???

So many times I've looked at a strange, ugly, uncomfortable looking knitting pattern and thought, "What were they thinking?!" Thanks to Joanna for sharing this one with me. These two gurls SET FIRE to anyone who DARES to air an ugly pattern!

Song of the Week: Day After Day

I woke up this morning and this song was in my head for no particular reason. I hadn't heard it in a long time and upon listening to it, I thought it sounded great, so I'm sharing it with you.
In 1980, us tomboy-ish music fanatic girls just didn't have all that many, um, "role models" to read about in Creem Magazine. Sure there were some, but I was 12 years old and at the time Patti Smith talked too much about bodily functions for my liking and the GoGo's were too girly and goofy. I first saw the Pretenders on Saturday Night Live, must have been shortly after their first record came out. I listened to Pretenders and Pretenders II until they were literally worn out and I had to buy new copies. Chrissie Hynde was the coolest thing ever to me back then! Just look at those boots! Not too long after Pretenders II came out half the band died and things changed some musically. But y'know, I still think she's pretty cool and I still always check in and find the gems when she puts out a new record---there's always one or two. Viva la Chrissie!

Day After Day

Thursday, September 29, 2005


I had to update this with better photos---the others were crap!

Well, to be honest I've been having some (relatively minor) health troubles lately, and surprisingly enough it's dampened my will to knit (only because it's dampened my will to do just about anything)! Still, I've managed to finish one project, and here it is! It's from a Reynold's pattern (except that I adapted it and knit it in the round), and it's made out of Blue Sky Alpaca organic cotton---the softest yarn ever!
For a lucky (and tiny) boy OR girl!
And I do believe that as far as kid stuff goes, these are the cutest buttons I've ever seen. Ever. Anywhere.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

I happened upon this bizarre documentary the other day and could not pull myself away from the TV. I would have to say I was positively riveted by it! I also have to confess that after watching it I felt a new found sympathy for Tammy Faye and even her ex, Jim Bakker. They were pioneers and of course wheelers and dealers in the Christian Broadcasting world, but they got chewed up and spat out by the truly Satanic dark forces of Christian Broadcasting: Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. It's a cooky little documentary with lots of fun gay overtones (Tammy is, after all, the first and probably the only Televangelist to openly embrace AIDS victims in the mid-eighties, and her mascara ran from real tears!) and it's just a damn good story! It might even make you feel a little better about those over-the-top Christian Right wingnuts who've been trying to take over our country lately. At least it'll lighten you up for a minute. Rent it!

Link to film website: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Monday, September 19, 2005

Song of the Week: The Street Parade

I love the Clash. What do you expect, I'm 37 years old and I hated the "popular kids" in junior high. I also think that Sandinista gets better with age, which is somewhat surprising considering how topical it was in 1980. The Street Parade is kind of a sleeper song, but I've always really liked it. Hope you do, too.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Some nice Fall patterns fer ya

Get Pattern here

Get Pattern here

Please note: these are older patterns, so some of the sizing is a bit different then nowadays, and some of the sizes are British, from 40 years ago. Check gauge and see if sizing works for you, otherwise alter it. Have fun!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Song of the Week: Stardust

From Wiki: Hoagland Howard "Hoagy" Carmichael was an American composer, pianist, singer, actor, and bandleader. He is best known for writing "Stardust" (1927), which has been called the most-recorded American song ever written.

And there's a reason why it's been recorded so much. Here's Hoagy himself singing it and accompanying himself on piano.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Gnitter Gnausea

Sorry no posts in the last few days, I'm sick! Feeling a little like this:

More soon!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Song of the Week: My Head is My Only House Unless It Rains

Hard to pick one Captain Beefheart song but who says I can't pick ten more down the line? This is a nice love song for ya...

My Head is My Only House Unless it Rains

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Grizzly Man blew my mind!

Yes, it was like watching a train wreck, but Timothy Treadwell is so entertaining that you almost forget about the train wreck. What a bizarre story! This is a documentary put together by Werner Herzog using footage shot by Treadwell of his time spent with grizzly bears in Alaska. After spending 13 summers "protecting" the bears, Timothy and his girlfriend Amie were killed and eaten by one in late 2003. Thankfully, we're spared the gruesome audio and photo details (Treadwell's video camera was on but covered during the attack) in the movie. We do get to know Treadwell fairly well from his footage and interviews with friends and family, and Herzog takes care to try to help us know Amie, too, though there is not much footage of her on the tapes. It's hard to describe why I liked this movie so much. Herzog is a giant, in my opinion, and it would never have been this great without his attention and not so subtle opinions about Treadwell's well-meaning but naive "relationship" with the bears being interspersed throughout the film. Herzog narrated the movie and his belief that "the common character of the universe is not harmony, but hostility, chaos and murder" droning over Treadwell's constant, excited "I LOVE you!!!" shouted to the bears is just a bizarre contrast to behold. He manages to do this without being judgemental or unkind to Treadwell. You really get the feeling that Herzog likes Treadwell and appreciates the footage on a level that no nature channel ever could.

Okay, it certainly isn't for everybody, but I loved this movie. It was NUTS!

Link to website

Saturday, August 20, 2005

What I'm gnitting on presently...

I used to feel guilty if I had several knitting projects going at once, like I was betraying one with the other. Somewhere along the line I decided that variety truly is the spice of life, and they do all eventually get done.
1) Ultra soft baby hoodie (no hood yet, though) made out of Blue Sky Alpaca organic cotton yarn (pattern by Reynolds)
2) Seed stitch scarf made from leftover Noro Silk Garden
3) The blue boyfriend cardigan knit in the round, made from New England Harrisville Shetland wool
4) "Branching Out" mohair scarf, a free pattern from

These mutton-heads felt a need to come out and get in on the action while I was taking pics of the knitting:

Friday, August 19, 2005

Song of the Week: The Thoughtless Kind

A nice, honest song about friendship. John Cale: Whatta cute little Welshman! And such a smarty, too. Here's a beautiful song for you and your friends, never ever turn your back on them...

The Thoughtless Kind
If you grow tired of the friends you make
In case you mean to say something else
Say they were the best of times you ever had
The best of times were the thoughtless kind

We dress conservatively at the best of times
Prefer the shadows to the bright lights in the eyes
Of the ones we love, the bright lights in the eyes of the ones we love
What we see, what we imagine, the eyes tell us nothing
The bright lights in the eyes of the one we love will tell us nothing
Like the scars of imagination, the scars of imagination
The bright lights in the eyes of the ones we love will tell us nothing
Except that you're the thoughtless kind

So if you grow tired of the friends you make
Never ever turn your back on them
Say they were the best of times you ever had
The best of times were the thoughtless kind

link to his site

Squirrel Bait (call me nuts)

I have seen what seems like an inordinate number of little grey fuzzy dead bodies on the road here in Minneapolis in the last few years. Yesterday I actually witnessed one being crushed by a truck that could have easily avoided it. I'm starting to think that some creepy people actually enjoy killing critters on the road.
I happen to know from my experience that it's not that hard to avoid running over small animals. I know sometimes horrible accidents happen where it's you or the critter and of course you choose you---you could even call it self defense. I'm grateful to have never been in such a situation, I sure hope I never am. I watch for them, slow down a little, and usually we both come out just fine. Sorry to be a bummer, I've seen two animals killed this way, and the image kind of gets scorched into your brain (if you care the least little bit about another being's pain, that is). Give 'em a brake.

Addendum: My husband read this and said I should start a new category in the blog called "It seemed like a good idea at 3 a.m."

Thursday, August 18, 2005


I broke down and bought these books tonight, I needed a treat...

Perhaps I'll make this cute little number...

...after I order some Noro yarn at a reasonable price from Jannette

Here's a link to a page with more pics of the patterns from these books. I like Jane Ellison's patterns. A few years ago it seemed like all you could find for Noro patterns was kinda frumpy stuff, and it's such gorgeous yarn!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

HEY! You got your Intelligent Design Peanut Butter on my Evolution Chocolate!

I promised myself I wouldn't rant about this stuff, so I won't other than to say if you haven't ever seen "Inherit The Wind", or if it's been a long time, you should watch it and consider the fact that it was made 45 years ago about a true story that happened 35 years before that. What kind of sick Wayback Machine has this country stepped into?

Here's a website that, er, addresses this issue that makes me very happy, thanks to my friend Tony for sending this link:

And here is a beautiful painting by a feller named Niklas Jansson, Touched by His Noodly Appendage. You'll appreciate it if you bother to read about the church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Steek Mystique

Here's a good illustration:

and here's a pic that I took of my test run (click to see it bigger):

Here are a couple of links to info about the steek technique (some vary from those above), because steeky can be spooky to gnitters...

Knitty Steeks


Schoolhouse Press

Thursday, August 11, 2005

One Step Beyond: The blue cardigan knit in the round

I owe my old man a sweater, cuz I kinda blew it on one I was making for him a while ago that didn't work out well. He picked out a pattern:

These are the pretty yarns we chose to make it with (Harrisville New England Shetland Wool):

With my ongoing desire to knit in the round, I did a little research on how to do that with a cardigan. I'm gonna try to use a technique called "steeking". The first step is to knit 5 extra stitches beyond what the pattern calls for, and these fall where the front split will be. These 5 stitches have to be knit through the back loop.

Someday, when I get to the end of the body of the sweater, I will either sew or crochet along the outer steeked stitches to secure them, and then CUT right up the middle! Stay tuned, more to come, albeit slowly...

Song o' the Week: Broken Hearted Melody

Broken Hearted Melody, performed by Sarah Vaughan. It's a pretty little pop song from the late fifties. I just have a scratchy little 45 of it and I like it, no big deal. I told ya there weren't no rhyme or reason to this song of the week thing...

It reminds me of Hymie, in fact I'm pretty sure I got it from him.

NOTE: The link to listen to my song of the week will only be posted for a week. after that you gotta find it yourself.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Saints be praised! Lush is done!

Well, I accomplished one thing this week (I've been sick, and whiney, and basically useless since last weekend). I finished my pet knitting project! I was really sweating this, as I converted the pattern pretty drastically, and Rowan denim yarn is a little tricky to work with because you knit it 20% longer than you want it to be and then wash and shrink it. I knit it in the round, the body and the sleeves onto the body (see previous Lush posts by using the google search on this page), and I was nervous that the sleeves wouldn't shrink right with the body. No worries! It worked!
Before washing pic:
After the shrink:

Friday, August 05, 2005

It's like Miss America is right in my frikkin' face!

Here's a link to make your own 3-D pictures!
Stereo View Tutorial

Song of the Week: Águas de Março

Link to listen to Águas de Março, by Antonio Carlos Jobim

What a beautiful song, written by this suave mofo pictured here, and performed by he and Brazillian chanteuse Elis Regina. A lot of people have lovingly covered this number, but this is the real deal. This version is in Portugese. If you haven't heard much Antonio Carlos Jobim, I highly recommend the "Man From Ipanema" Box Set.