My current work in progress:

Long Line Slipover designed by Lesley Stanfield, knit from Jamieson & Smith Jumperweight and Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift  on a US 3 needle

Archives for February 2010

Happy Birthday to Lucy

When Lucy came from a rescue organization to live with me back in May of 2003, the only thing I knew about her birthday was that is was in February. We decided to make her official birthday February 14.

So today Miss Lucy is officially 9 years old. Here is what she looked like at a bit over 2 years old on her first day in my home:

And here she is today:

As you can see, she was not fully matured when I first adopted her. Her points were chocolate brown, but her body was pure cream-colored. She developed her cafe au lait shading over the next year.

She has a new bowl to celebrate her special day:

Here’s the inside:

And she is getting lots of hugs and kisses today. Between her naps, of course.

And because it is also Valentine’s Day, the KOARC has been presented with a new pair of socks:

These are the “Manly Aran” socks from my upcoming book, Toe-Up Socks for Every Body. The book comes out on March 23. 🙂

And the red blob I showed on my blog last week? I ripped it out completely and started over.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Don’t forget — if you are in the area, I’ll be at fibre space in Alexandria, Virginia tomorrow from noon to 2pm. Fibre space will have copies of my one-skein shawlette patterns for sale (Argus, Seaside, and Miss Woodhouse), and I’ll be there with the original shawls for you to see, fondle, and try on. I hope I’ll see a bunch of you there!

And the five winners in the Crazy Aunt Purl book contest will be announced in tomorrow’s blog.

Now excuse me because I want to go play with my precious little birthday girl.

ETA: Doh! winners in the contest will be announced on Tuesday Feb 16, since y’all have til midnight Feb 15 to enter. Sorry!

An Interview With Crazy Aunt Purl

I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of Laurie Perry‘s latest book, Home is Where the Wine Is. I sat down and read it immediately and am happy to report that it is just as wonderful as her first book. Laurie has such an exquisite sense of humor and a knack for documenting the crazy that is every day life.

A few days ago we sat down (well, we did it online — I was sitting, Laurie may have been in some complex yoga position) for a chat.

Me: Have you always been a writer? Were you writing little stories as a child,
or did your career as an author stem from your blogging?

Laurie: My dad worked at a newspaper and he would bring me to work with him when I
was little and I would sit at the typewriter and clack away for hours. We
lived out int he country and I used to carry around a notebook and write
down my little thoughts and stories (“The cow licked the salt block. It
was salty.”) I wrote all the time, I can’t remember not writing. Later I
went on to be a mediocre reporter, but writing for magazines and
eventually online content was a much better fit for me.

Me: Your writing seems so natural, I picture you sitting down and just putting
words to virtual paper as fast as you can key them in. But I’m guessing
this is not the case (if you are anything like me).

Laurie: I do tend to sit down and just blurt it all out with the keyboard. I don’t
get hung up on my many comma splices or my terrible typos, I just type
(and loudly — I am so hard on the keyboard!) I benefit a lot from an
editor, I tend to be too wordy. This method of pouring it all out in a
stream has worked well for nonfiction but right now I’m trying to write my
first fiction novel and it’s frustrating because you can’t just sit down
and write a fiction book in an hour or two. I get going and I feel like I
can’t type fast enough or keep up with the plot. I’m working at it, but
it’s not coming naturally.

Me: How do you balance your career as an author with your day job, or as I
like to think of it, your Superman persona with your day-to-day Clark Kent
persona. Do your colleagues know much about your life as a celebrity?

Laurie: I try to keep real life and writer life very separate. I don’t talk about
my books or website at work and even though most folks in my office know
about it, they don’t bring it up in conversation usually. I like the
normalcy and routine of my job, it keeps me balanced. Eventually I want to
be able to write full-time but I worry I would become a total recluse and
never leave my house! It’s sometimes hard to balance both jobs when I’m on
deadline but at least with a day job I do have to see other humans and be
presentable and get out of my head.

Me: Will you be touring for this new book? Come to Washington, DC!

Laurie: No tour, thank goodness. I thought a book tour would be glamorous and fun
and then I went on one. I’m pretty sure people in the airport bar in
Nashville still tell tales of the crazy woman who had a nervous breakdown
in the booth by the window.

Me: And that reminds me – I’ve got a great idea for a future Crazy Aunt
Purl project: travel to different cities and write about each place’s
own special brand of crazy. You could start with Washington – I’d be
happy to give you the tour. What do you think? 😉

Laurie: Now that sounds fun! Much more enticing than a book tour. I’m all up for a
crazy tour! You know I have never been to Washington, D.C.? I’d love to
go. I’m a big museum geek, I think I’d love Washington.

Me: It’s a date! hey, the knitting projects in your new book are so fun! What are you knitting
right now?

Laurie: Right now I am still trying to finish some baby booties to match a baby
sweater I planned to send to a friend two months ago. I think the baby has
long outgrown them, sadly.

Me: Oh, and Lucy wants to know – would Bob consider an online relationship?

Laurie: Bob is already sitting on the keyboard. He is awaiting her email.

Lucy sez:



And here is a bonus: Laurie’s publisher has generously offered to give away 5 copies of her new book to my readers — to those in the U.S. and Canada only, please. If you’d like to win a copy of Home is Where the Wine Is, leave a comment to this blog entry by midnight (eastern time) on Monday, February 15 and the great and mighty Random Number Generator will choose five lucky recipients.

What Today Has Been Like

Here’s the text message I got sent to my phone from the city government this morning:

“Blizzard warning for City of Alexandria until 7 p.m. Stay home.”

That sums up our weather better than I can.

The view out my window:

The flag outside the front of my condo must be pretty tired by now:

It looks chilly, no?

So far today my power has stayed on. fingers crossed . . .

You know how I am always yapping about weighing my skein of yarn so that I can divide it into two balls for knitting socks? Well, I have a new digital scale.

It’s this one: the EatSmart Precision Pro.

You can switch the unit of measure between grams, kilograms, pounds. and ounces. And you can weigh up to 5Kg/11 Lbs on it. It runs on 2 AAA batteries.

It has a nice large display:

And it comes in 5 colors. Mine is a pretty red. 🙂

While I have been using it for weighing my yarn, it is also darn handy for weighing food. One of the cool features of this scale is a “Calorie Factor Booklet” that comes with the scale. You weigh your food in grams, then look up that food in the booklet and multiply the weight in grams by the “Calorie Factor” listed in the booklet — that’s the number of calories in your portion. Kind of a cool little feature.

Anyhow, if you are looking for a compact little scale for weighing your yarn and/or food, this one works great. Check out the reviews on Amazon (see link above) — you’ll see that a lot of people agree with me!

Speaking of red . . .

Lucy has been surprisingly unaffected by the high winds and dramatic weather right outside the window:

Let It Snow

We’ve got another “major snow event” blowing through here tonight and tomorrow, so once again the federal government is closed and I am at home. Snow is supposed to start . . . well . . . any minute now.

Things had better be all clear by next Monday, because I’m doing a mini-trunk show at fibre space in Alexandria, Virginia.

And here’s a good reason to stop by — they will be having a big Presidents Day sale! Here is the info, shamelessly lifted from their newsletter:

We are delighted to announce our first big President’s Day Sale!

Monday, February 15th
10 am – 7 pm
We are making room for new Spring and Summer yarns by putting many of our favorite winter fibres on sale. Discounts will be from 10% – 40%. Find sale prices on Kathmandu Tweed, Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky, Berroco Cuzco, Malabrigo Chunky, Shokay Yak and much much more. All single patterns will be 30%-40% off.

And here is the bit about me. 🙂

Knitwear designer Wendy Johnson will also be at the shop on President’s Day from noon – 2 pm along with a mini trunk show of her three newest shawlette designs! Meet Wendy, purchase her patterns and ask questions about the projects. Her new three designs can be worked up in only one skein of sock yarn.

Fibrespace will have copies of my one-skein shawlette patterns for sale (Argus, Seaside, and Miss Woodhouse), and I’ll be there with the original shawls for you to see, fondle, and try on. I’ll be happy to answer questions about the designs, offer my opinion (whether or not I am asked) on your yarn selections for each design, and just generally hang out to knit and chat.

Oh, and I’m betting I’ll do some shopping too.

Speaking of fibre space, the other night I signed up for fibre space’s new new Fibre Girl club. You can read about it from that link.

And I’m just sayin’ that I may or may not be providing a pattern for one of the club offerings somewhere along the way . . .

Current Knitting

I’m making good progress on the second Manly Aran sock.

The red lacy thing from yesterday’s blog? I’ll show you that tomorrow. That is, assuming I have electricity to power up the ‘puter and access the internet. We are supposed to have blizzard-force winds tonight and tomorrow, so if you don’t hear from me, you’ll know why.

Lucy is on snow watch.

Knitting Time

It is interesting that considering I’ve had way more knitting time in the past few days than I usually do, I’ve shown far less knitting on my blog.

The federal government was closed today so I had another day at home. I did go out to the grocery store and post office. That was . . . interesting. Some streets were passable, some not so much. Most public transport systems here were severely curtailed today.

If the government will be open tomorrow, they’ll need to have public transportation up and running, and hopefully have plowed some more streets. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Oh, and there’s another storm supposed to hit us tomorrow afternoon that the weather people are predicting will dump 10 – 20 inches on us. Hard to believe!

I did finish the first of my Manly Aran socks:

I’m plugging away on the second sock.

And I started something else lacy . . .

In other news, I think Lucy is good and sick of having me at home.

“Just go to work, will ya?”