Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn Crawlย is on through Sunday, September 25.

Surrender, Dorothy?

Dear Kay,
Here’s how bad it is: I ran into a civilian reader of the blog, somebody who is a) a male and b) does not knit. (No, I don’t know what’s bringing him here except maybe he’s a Jack White fan? Loves felted containers? Looking to meet women?)
Before “Hello” or “My, you’re looking even more like Julia Roberts than usual today,” he says, “So. Are you just not writing the blog anymore?”
Ach, such a backlog of bloggery! So sorry! Maybe it was because during the Thanksgiving holiday, we had this one scooting around the floor with one leg under her, one leg doing the business:
She looked like the world’s most adorable hermit crab. When we raced, she totally kicked my butt.
Maybe it was because my father left his new karaoke machine at our house. [Let’s pause to consider how a 75-year-old man has a new karaoke machine in his life.] Leaving a karaoke machine around the house results in things like:
Grandmother singing “New York, New York” just loud enough, but not loud enough to wake up our newest fambly member.
A three-year-old’s rendition of “Happy Birthday” that included all ten of the verse repeats included on the karaoke disk.
Hubbo and Ann singing “Golden Ring.” Both George Jones and (omg I just killed George Jones–sorreeee!) Tammy Wynette raised from the dead to yank the power cord from the wall, disrupt the Davidson County power grid, anything to stop this desecration. My chief problem, other than singing in general, was finding myself drifting off into the harmony backup vocal. Hubbo kept waving frantically at me, mouthing “Melody! Sing the MELODY!”
Speaking of Lazarus
You may or may not recall the Print o’ the Wave shawl I was working on back in October. (To be honest, I can’t always recall what you’re working on except that it generally includes a dozen or two of whatever it is. How do you achieve such QUANTITY? What is your evil secret?) Anyway, when we last visited this project, this is where things stood. About 80 yards shy of a shawl. I was so disgusted that I left the thing in the exact same place for four weeks. Couldn’t even touch it. It literally gathered dust.
My efforts at locating a new guinea-pig-sized skein of Blue Heron Mercerized Cotton were limping at best. I like to think I can track down any skein of yarn, in any dye lot, at any time. I pride myself on this–it’s like scavenger hunting, or a road rally, or knowing how to find good shoes at T.J. Maxx. There’s a lot of yarn in the world; a woman ought to know where to find the yarn she needs.
I did the obvious thing, which was to call the shop where I got the yarn. No luck. At that point I figured, hell, this is such an obscure yarn that if Seaport Yarn doesn’t have it, it simply doesn’t exist.
As week 5 of my shawl boycott approached, I decided that this stale old shawl wasn’t going to finish itself, and I’d already sunk a fair portion of my life into it, and I would actually like to wear the thing at some point. So I did the thing that I never do, which was to call the yarn maker directly and throw myself on their mercy. In yarn scavenging, this is considered downright cheating–anybody can call the yarn company and drive them crazy asking for Lot 104 of Shade 38 you know the tealy one with the golden highlights? Yarn makers have retail outlets just to avoid this sort of unpleasant phone call.
But get this: I called up Blue Heron Yarns, which from what I understand is a pretty intimate little operation, said, “Hi. Do you have a skein of Bluegrass Mercerized Cotton?” and the nice woman on the line said “Yes, we have one skein left” and I said “Great!” and zipzap we did a deal.
Raised from the dead, Eunny’s shawl is back on track.
The second skein of Mercerized Cotton does not match the first. Not all that close. But at least now this thing will HAVE a border.
I have a newfound excitement about blocking this thing. I’m on pins and needles. I can’t wait. When’s the last time I’ve had a full-out lace blocking? It’s like CHRISTMAS or something.
Or maybe I should abandon this thing altogether. Look at that Ozlike message right there in the middle of this picture. YIKES!

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  1. 2 thoughts:
    1. In the Touching Photo of you and Hubbo, that is NOT the white t-shirt that we’ve spoken about, is it? I may have to take matters into my own hands on this one.
    2. Only love can make a golden wedding ring.
    xoxo Kay

  2. 1. Yeah. But you should SEE MY FOXY SHOES.
    2. And only professional singers should sing about it.

  3. I just love you guys. You give me a good healthy laugh with every post.

  4. Oh wow. Karaoke. Ha, ha.
    Way to go straight to the source in finding that yarn. I cannot wait to see the finished product!

  5. Just so you know, George isn’t dead.
    I am mastering Continental Knitting aand thought you’d also like to know that just now while reading your post, I am breaking the threshhold to the “no looking” level. At my knitting that is-
    Three cheers to me and to George, who has a few good years left in him.
    I love the Racontuers too!
    Have a Happiness Day

  6. My, you’re looking more like Julia Roberts than usual today.
    Your shawl will be so lovely! Can’t wait for the blocking photos!

  7. You must not be too terrible of a singer for 2 reasons (had to keep the Ann/Kay format going!):
    1. you are actually doing the karaoke thing in front of Real Live People.
    2. you know what these “melody” and “harmony” things are.

  8. The “x” in the photo means Santa wants you to have the shawl done by Christmas or you’re getting coal in your stocking. Don’t ask how I know, I just do.

  9. You will look just a little bit more like Julia Roberts when that shawl is done.
    Also, if you need a home for your Blue Heron leftovers… We could do a swap of sorts. Or Whatever. I’ve been coveting it ever since you posted that you got it and am TOO RIDICULOUS to have gotten my butt to Seaport yarns to get some. While they had it. Which we know they don’t anymore.

  10. Nobody but you will notice that the colours don’t match, just tell them it is how the light hits the border stitches differently than the rest. It will be beautiful.
    I wouldn’t even karaoke alone in my bathroom.

  11. airmail that little “hermit crab” to me! LOVE the babies……(and the knitting, of course.)

  12. X marks the spot. Clearly, it’s a pirate shawl.

  13. Oh my goodness, that picture of Grandmama with the sleeping babe in the sling, and her with the mike…that’s just entirely too much sweetness.

  14. I’m just coming back to check whether we actually got an irate comment from George Jones.
    Phew! xox Kay-

  15. I’m planning to make Print ‘O the Wave for my grandmother for Christmas and I’m on pins and needles waiting to see how yours turns out.
    Wooo! Go Ann! Ann Ann Ann Ann!

  16. Oooh! It’s pretty! But, beware! That X reminds me of the Omen or Final Destination!

  17. Perhaps it is “X” for x-cellent? Surely the universe wants you to finish the shawl, that’s the only way to explain the positive mojo that enabled you to get your hands on another skein!

  18. Hey, Ann. My mom – otherwise known as Dorothy (and yup, she’s from Kansas), is vis’tin’ your fair city – seeing the sights with my other fambly member (sister) who works at Vandy. So if you see her riding around in the car yelling at my sis for talking on the cell while driving and eating contraband fast food be sure to stop them and give them directions to the fab yarn stores in N-town.

  19. woops! forgot to say thanks and …go go go on that shawl! Remember, most everything in Oz was an illusion. Poppy fields, poppy fields.

  20. Posting knitting that is months old, showing us a shawl as if it’s the only thing you are working on but then admitting that you left it in a heap for a month… Have you all actually abandoned knitting all together and are going to start a concert/music/karaoke blog at any moment or are you both in undisclosed locations talking to each other on shoe phones about *gasp* quilting? ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Is it just me or is your title a quote from one of the comments on MST3K? I forget what movie they’re riffing (some war movie or perhaps Godzilla movie) but it’s hilarious.
    If it is MST3K, you rock so hard. Really. Hardcore.

  22. I’m still keeling over about the German iron…the karaoke is too much to consider.

  23. i was wondering what happened to that shawl, but I daren’t ask because I would had done exactly the same in your case…

  24. i was wondering what happened to that shawl, but I daren’t ask because I would had done exactly the same in your shoes…

  25. Congrats on The Yarn! I just knew you would come up with it somehow, but didn’t think about (doh!) calling the manufacturer. Finish that beauty and show us!

  26. Okay, you’ve inspired me. I recently ran out of Kidsilk Spray binding off the border of a scarf. It’s a cruel, cruel business, this knitting thing. I just ordered another skein–even if the dye lot doesn’t match, at least this project will be DONE! It won’t, however, be nearly as beautiful as your shawl. Well done. All my best,

  27. Still love the stole, and the color.
    I feel your pain, my projects have a 2-week to 6-month waiting period between hitting a snag and picking it up to fix again. I’m trying to reduce the lag time…

  28. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain – it looks great.

  29. Just a fate thing. X marks the spot where that shawl shoulda been at that time ;)it’s fabulous too!

  30. …and a beautiful shawl it is. I wish I’d had your “dye lot hunting skills” this summer. Let’s just say that I wasn’t happy to have to frog an entire sweater because of dye lot issues.

  31. Hi Kit, for the record, “Surrender Dorothy” comes from the movie After Hours with Griffin Dunne and Rosanna Arquette. A wonderful movie, but I don’t know if it got onto MST3K.

  32. First of all, that one-leg crawler is the cutest kid I’ve ever seen. Ever.*
    Second, I believe “Surrender Dorothy” traces all the way back to The Wizard of Oz. That is, if I remember my childhood nightmares correctly.
    *FULL DISCLOSURE: Um, that’s my daughter. Still, I stand by my comment.

  33. Dear BIL of Ann: You may be biased, but the little chilrens in your fambly are REALLY SUPER CUTE.

  34. i’m feeling all crotchety and old-fogey, now, thanks to the comments here: what-the-frog is a MST3K? feelin’ older-than-old-school,


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