Happy Boitday to Me

Thanks to Rob, my mom and sister (Debbie… HI, DEB!) our staff at ThreadBear and several wonderful and dear friends, I had an awesome birthday a few weeks ago. As always, life is nuts here at the shop, and if you haven’t noticed, I’ve been working on updates on the shop website. But for my birthday, Rob and the gang put together a birthday bash for me at my favorite local Mexican restaurant.

If you’re in an area where good Mexican food is easy to find, count yourself among the lucky ones. Michigan has a monstrous dearth of good Mexican, but the best I’ve had in the state is at Hacienda Los Amigos within minutes of the shop. The salsa’s good, the Poblanos Rellenos are to die for, and they even have excellent cheese dip, guacamole, and pico de gallo. That may seem simple, but if you’ve done without for a while, it’s manna.

Anyway, Rob contacted my mom with this terrific idea for getting me an iPod for my birthday since I constantly listen to audiobooks and have complained repeatedly that CDs skip, and cassettes are clunky, and blah blah and kvetch-kvetch. So, they along with the rest of the gang actually managed to collect enough money to purchase the iPod and have quite a bit left over. So what do I do just in time to screw everybody up? I went out and bought a new Palm that has an MP3 player built right into it. I was in hog heaven. And yes, I’ve since been severely throttled.

In my defense, Rob’s one of those darling human beings who goes around saying things like “it’s just another day” and “don’t you dare spend money on gifts for me” and “if you get me presents I’ll just cover them with dog feces and set them afire.” Well, in all honestly, that last bit is more extreme—and quite more southern—than anything I’ve ever heard him actually say, but you get the gist. He’s always been kind of a humbug about such things. So I’m supposed to expect something so incredible? Uh… NO. How am I supposed to know that my diamond in the rough is going to start sparkling out of the clear blue? I ask you.

So, to rectify my idiot behavior, he freaked, scrambled, and came up with an even more marvelous idea. They had a ton of extra money, and I’ve lamented that I could get much more done from home if only we could break down and get a computer for the house. Granted, in times past, we either worked in our home or never actually got home, but I’ve started taking one day off a week, and I saw no reason why I shouldn’t be working on it.

So they gave me a new laptop.

Well, they sort of gave me a new laptop.

Ok. The evil bitches wrapped up a dummy HP laptop that one of our friends had from her son’s stint at Staples or OfficeMax and let me open the damn thing, swoon, and suddenly realize that the case had no innards. And the horses you rode in on, dearies… vee have vays of payink you back for zees…

So for now, I’m shopping around and saving up the extra bits to be able to get exactly the model I want, and I still have my Palm that I’m dearly in love with. Seriously, I really do sleep with it. I listen to a book until I start to get sleepy, then I reach over, click it off, and drop my headphones on the night stand. I haven’t had stories read to me at bedtime since Debbie read me Mary Higgins Clark and Peter Straub novels when I was six. She’s a dear, no? Oh, the beauty of having a much older sister. Love you, Deb. 😉

Much love all,
Matt.

Thoughtful Knitting

I’ve finally started taking a day off once a week, but I gladly relinquished it this past week for a day with our guest instructor, Lucy Neatby of Tradewind Knitwear Designs. Lucy taught classes in finishing and sock knitting, and frankly, I’m surprised my head didn’t explode with all of the information she passed along. I was only in attendance for part of each of the classes, but between what was offered in the classes and my several conversations with Lucy, I’m so Jones to get back to my techical knitting roots.

Granted, if you’ve not been in the shop you wouldn’t have seen a lot of the mindless knitting I’ve been doing since we moved to Michigan, but I’ve been doing much more with color than with technique lately.


Case in point, the oh-so-fabulous and monstrously simple Pyramid Sweater from Gooseberry Designs.


Pyramid Sweater detail.

I was inspired to rewrite the pattern as a toddler coat, but still, it’s really quite simple.

Toddler Coat

Toddler Coat, open

Toddler Coat, open as knit

So, now I’m off on double knitting. I’ve tried it before, but hadn’t really gotten into it. Now, I’m intrigued. I’m still working on my technique… particularly in evening out my gauge, but mostly, I’m interested in seeing the patterns that we’ve ordered from Tradewinds. I understand there’s also an article in the most recent INKnitters, so I’ll be checking that out as soon as I have a chance.

In the meantime, I’m working on our class schedule for spring and summer. Hmm… how many technique classes dare I add?