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Draft–and I don’t mean beer.

Well, there was beer, but thank goodness, no cigars.  The guys in my new Fantasy Football league were very nice to me.  They were a little tougher as the night progressed which I take to mean I was holding my own.

I made some great picks, even  sneaked in and got the Steeler defense.  Ray was crushed.  I only got one Falcon, so DGS#1 Zachary will be disappointed.  I’m sure he’ll continue to advise though.

For those of you who watch football, and I know some of you do—-

Amazon Warriors

The Amazon Warriors 2011 from the Draft

Bye Player Team Round
WR1 6 Larry Fitzgerald ARI 1
QB1 6 Phillip Rivers SD 2
RB1 5 Steven Jackson STL 3
WR2 5 Miles Austin DAL 4
RB2 8 LeGarrett Blount TB 5
TE1 7 Vernon Davis SF 6
RB3 9 Rashad Jennings JAC 7
DEF1 11 Steelers PIT 8
WR3 11 Austin Collie IND 9
WR4 11 Robert Meacham NO 10
RB4 11 Pierre Thomas NO 11
QB2 5 Sam Bradford STL 12
K1 5 Billy Cundiff BAL 13
TE2 5 Ben Watson CLE 14
DEF2 5 Cowboys DAL 15
WR5 8 Harry Douglas ATL 16
K2 6 Matt Prater DEN 17

Not too shabby.

The first two picks are elites, and I went for Rivers because all the QBs ranked above him were gone by my first pick. I got a great Tight End in Vernon Davis and stunned the table by sneaking the Steelers in the 8th round. My draft position was 9th of 10 and we alternate 1-10, 10-1, so it was a long time between each pair of players. My Running Backs aren’t as strong as I would like so I need my Steelers.

I have Sam Bradford as my second string QB which is awesome. I took Harry Douglas at WR because Zachary would not be happy if I didn’t have at least one Falcon and the better known guys were picked before I could get them. Same for Knowshon Moreno and AJ Greene who were on my list.

I don’t know one kicker from another, but had seen some good hype on Billy Cundiff. Matt Prater was my last pick and I picked him solely on his good name.

It was really fun to compete with these guys. I had studied very hard and felt I wasn’t totally outclassed. Now to play the season and have a bit of fun. You know, I love to knit to the sound of the snap.

Next blog–Altering Katherine’s tank top–Genius or Idiocy????

More later–


Free Opportunities

I get the Tahki Stacy Charles newsletter because I love some of their yarns.  They have just released a huge group of free patterns and I thought you’d like to know.

I downloaded the Chanel Inspired Cardigan, the Ritratto Criss Cross Shrug ( I love this yarn.), the Taos Foliage Cowl (just to see the cast on numbers), the Lacy Sampler Scarf (maybe a class?), the Ruffled Shawl, and the Venus di Milo vest.    I just love free anything!  Here’s the site.

Also free is the upcoming Charlotte Knitting Guild meeting on September 6th.  I will be leading a program on Embellishing Your Knitting with Applique and have some fun ideas to share.  Some a little subtle and

some way out there.

The guild is a great organization and if you have never been and live in the Charlotte area, please come.  Check their website for details.   I’ll be showing off Winestains, my crazy afghan.

New Brioche, New Jewelry

So, spent the weekend at an adorable cottage at Richard B. Russell State Park in Elberton, Georgia.  Beautiful lake and woods; lovely townspeople.  I did take the camera; I did not take any pictures.  Idiot!

Silver and squares

Erica and I made earrings.  We strung beads and later I did the wire work.  I’m getting better at it.  Not really good yet, but growing.  Zachary joined us and made earrings for his new teacher and last year’s teacher and for me.

Designed for Nana by Zachary

Don’t think he loved it; think he was just bored.  There was a nice flat screen TV, but only three channels that you could actually see.  Enough to drive a 9 year old to beads.

I gave Erica the three brioche pieces for her birthday.  She wore the beret all Saturday night in the cottage.  Must have liked it.  I also finished one for dear friend Kate in Boston. This one is Nancy Marchant’s Windmill.

Windmill Beret, Marchant

I really like making these things.

Braided cast off

Kate’s is made with Abuelita Merino Worsted Multi  and Brown Sheep Prairie Silk which is a discontinued yarn.  The Abuelita I brought back from Australia; it has to be the same yarn that Malabrigo uses.  It is that soft and buttery.  I also have a hank of the lace weight which feels just like Malabrigo lace.   In case you don’t know, most brands of yarn do not create their own base yarns.  They buy them and have them dyed to their own design.  So you may find the same yarn distributed by several yarn labels in varying colors.

Erica's Tree Beret

The yarn I used in Erica’s beret was Malabrigo, but the pink was Lanaloft from Brown Sheep.  This is a single ply just like Lamb’s Pride, but without the 15% mohair.  It knit just like Malabrigo and I like the colors so will be getting more of it.  Many folks like the colors of Lamb’s Pride but don’t want the mohair.  Try the Lanaloft; it’s great and 100% American.

Also made some more jewelry today.

I tried to do a bit of wire wrapping of some beads.

Chinese beads

And I put together a bracelet for Erica.  She loves the blue and white Delft porcelain, so this seemed a good idea.

Now I need to get to work on a plain white cotton/linen tank for Katherine.  Her sister started and knit most of it, but the neckline was confusing her.  I agreed to finish it and haven’t knit on it since early June.  Katherine comes to dinner Thurs and it better be ready or else.  She is a public school counselor and can be scary.

Then I’m going to make me a beret.  And the Hosta scarf.

More later–

FOs and Fun Things

Trying to make the perfect gift

Twice now, I have tried to blog only to have the entire text eaten by an Ethernet monster when I tried to preview the thing.  This time I am writing it in Word and will cut and paste.  I am so mad.

My brioche journey has been fun and filled with problems.  I love to solve problems.  Don’t try this path at home, kids.

The first scarf I made for Erica is fine, but not amazing.  I wanted to give an amazing birthday gift.  So I took on the
Rembrandt Neckpiece—too much, way too soon.

Many errors later I had learned huge amounts.

wonky st will be fixed

When I went to Nancy’s website to get patterns of the free berets, I was so ready to make them.  This one knit beautifully.  It was clear and easy and fun. 

The pattern is great, the class I took was better, but don’t undervalue the struggle I had with the Rembrandt.  A lot of “a-ha’s” occurred there.

I’ve started a second one, another gift, but I will want one for myself.  I’m thinking to teach this beret as a class.  Nancy has given me permission.

I also have the Hosta scarf on my list.  Trying to figure out a color other than green
for it.

Meanwhile, back at the yarnhouse—-

The kitchen renovation should start soon.  It has inspired me to declutter a good bit.  One new tool for beating clutter is
the website Houzz.com.  This is a home dec site that is mainly photos.  It’s a way to get ideas and inspiration without paper.
(Hoarding paper is a big weakness of mine.)

Check it out.  You can “clip” the photos and file them any way you want.  Once a week they send an email with new
portfolios of pics.  It really helped us make some decisions about the kitchen; one of this week’s portfolios is about
hanging utensils on racks.

Meet my new Fantasy Football Logo.

Amazon Warriors

I’ve joined a league here in Charlotte.  It will require graduate school level research to do this, but what the heck. Learning is learning.   There are nine guys and me.  So I thought I had to have a woman-oriented team name, and I wanted something intimidating.  Team Estrogen just didn’t do that.  I’m counting on being underestimated and then scoring big due to my superb study skills.
Worst case scenario—I will have to travel to various sports bars to watch my assigned games each week and drink lots of beer.  I always knit in sports bars; it’s fun to watch the guys try not to stare.

Just sent something off to Knitcircus for the Gift/Holiday issue this fall.  Now I have to rewrite the pattern to their editorial standards.  It’s just typing, but I put it off as long as I can.  Knitting is much more fun.

It’s only supposed to be 93 today with decent humidity.  I might go outside.  Maybe.

More later–

Some random knitting discoveries

Always take it slowly.  Try to master one thing at a time.  I preach it, but I don’t do it.

Knit 4 rows, remove 3

This is the beginning of Nancy Marchant’s Rembrandt Neckpiece.  The story—on the way home from camp I knit a one color brioche scarf.  Somehow I thought that made me an expert.  Next project was a FOUR color piece.  Only I hated having to deal with four balls, so I just changed it to a Two color piece.  Problems arose.  When on the pink side, was I knitting Row C or Row A?  I assumed it didn’t matter.  Wrong.  Wrong many times.  Thus arose the chance to use my new trick from a camp friend.

Really long circs in a tiny size

I’ve used my tiny dpns for repair tools forever.  I was so pleased to discover this idea.  Use really long circs in a tiny size to set a safety line.  Then when you pull out, you can just knit the piece off the safety line using the regular needle.  Threading the safety line doesn’t distort the stitch pattern because a US zero or 1 is so tiny.  Eureka!!!!  And this project has proven it works several times.

It's reversible

This pattern involves increases and decreases.  Brioche inc and dec is different — a new skill to learn.  But I chose a pattern with reversible inc and dec.  Why not just go whole hog as we Southerners say.  Remember that I never quite know which row I am on.  Also it matters if you misread “alternate RS rows” as “alternate rows.”  Struggles ahead.

Decrease lines

I don’t know about you, but I finally reached a point where I just said “Let it be.”  Generational thing.  Anyway, I have stopped trying to work a perfect piece and am satisfied to think I can knit a finished piece.  Most people don’t notice errors anyway.  I am focusing on the fact that I have at least mastered the decreases now that I am beginning them on the correct row.  New knitters struggle, so I am just learning empathy.

About the finished nature of this piece.  Either I have misplaced two skeins of yarn or I have run out.  I’m not sure which, but I am smiling.

Another use for tiny needles.  These are 000 ones.

I hate it when the glue doesn’t run freely.  Cut and paste is such a challenge for me anyway, but I can always count on my knitting box for a rescue.

More later–

The Noise in My Head

I’m not yet really comfortable with the new electronic readers.  I use my iPad mostly for surfing and gaming.  But last night after an attack of some kind of stomach flu, I found myself in bed with some time to surf books.  That, to me, is the coolest use of my reading apps.  I downloaded some samples and checked out some reading.I am an American Idol watcher and have been entertained by another 60+ year old wacky brain this season, so I checked out his new book.  The sample was illuminating.  It is written in the voice that is the noise in his head.  Yikes.  I recognized it right away.  It is very similar to what I put up with in my own and the term “noise in my head” rocked me.

One of my friends told me a student of hers informed her that he was ADSSHD–Attention Deficent–Something Shiny!–you know the rest.  Another great term.  Anyway, I jump around a lot inside this head and it results in some fun things and a bunch of unfinished.  However—after a certain amount of noise, productivity stops and guilt begins.  The answer is to stop and focus and prioritize.  It won’t last, but it helps.

I narrowed my blog reader list to 36 blogs.  Hey, that’s down from 80+.  A few are friends, a few are knitting, a few are art, and some quilting ones still remain.  If I read too many, I get too many ideas, start too many projects, accomplish little except Protestant guilt.

I finished the Cabin on a Hill hanging.  At least it is hangable and if, in the future, I think I want to bind it differently, I can.  (Will never happen.)  I do like the pins and beads I sewed on.

I made some earrings.

Red acylic-very lightweight

and some other things

Torn paper flowers

Crazy Lace Unblocked

Something for Knitcircus

and took Evan school shopping where we bought a Shawn White hat.

A cool first grader

Next–some knitting discoveries.

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