Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ravelry, oh Ravelry...

Wherefore art thou, Ravelry?

Like Frankin, I check my e-mail every day, waiting for my beta invite. I am #10372. What's your number?

You like me! You really like me!

Thanks to everyone who dropped a line to say you read the blog. I wasn't really fishing for compliments, but boy, they sure do make a bloke feel good!

Progress for Progress' Sake

I am making great headway on the prayer shawl. I imagine I am 3/4 of the way done. I'm already looking towards my next shawl. I'm fairly stuck on lace shawls, as I seem to get a lot of knitting for my yarn dollar! Of course, that could be because I have to rip back so often...

Sunday, July 29, 2007


After viewing the Daniel Sotomayor exhibit at the Gerber Hart Library -- Norbert takes him middle name from Danny, z"l, -- Myfanwe and Norbert decided to take a little time to enjoy the beautiful day with a romp around the North lakefront.

As my favorite outdoor activity is going indoors, I hied myself to Cafe Ennui, where I ordered an XLarge cafe au lait, tucked my tushie into a comfy chair -- on a raised dias no less -- took out the prayer shawl and started to knit.

Now normally I wouldn't draw attention to myself by choosing to knit on a dias, but it was the most comfortable chair available, and the side table was exactly the right height to hold my pattern and my au lait.

As I very, very happily knit on the prayer shawl, prayers rolling through my mind for good health and happiness for my cousin, Sr. Clemente, I began to overhear snatches of conversation from the table to my immediate left.

Only inches to my left -- but 24 inches below me -- sat a pair of young women (I'll call them Alice and Betty) who were speaking in stage whispers.

Alice says, "Do you think that's really him?"

"Of course it's him. Who else could it be? I mean, really. He's knitting. In public!" replies Betty.
You can see where this is going. They have read my blog! I'm about to become acquainted with a fan!

"But he doesn't look Jewish!" Says Alice.

So now I KNOW it has to be me! I have fans! This is SOOOOOO exciting! I'm being recognized in public! The next thing you know I'll be seated at Booth #1 at the Pump Room with Chad Lowe and Mindy Cohn.

I am really feeling the electricity in the air! And then one of the young women tap me on the elbow and Betty asks, "Excuse me. I'm sorry to bother you, but are you Franklin?"

All hopes for glory being dashed, I tell them that Franklin is my friend and that I write this blog. They said something about never having heard of me before, finished their lattes quickly, then sashayed out the door in their tube tops, too-short short shorts and annoying, clompy flipflops.

Now I'll never get to dine in Booth #1.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Because I Don't Like You.

(Note: In consideration of, if not compliance with, The Pearl Principles, names have been changed to protect the guilty.)

There is this woman I know, Darla, who really ticks me off. She goes to a Stitch n Bitch I used to attend. I'm not exaggerating -- I would rather stay home and stick hat pins in my thigh than have to attend the SnB when she is there.

One of the (many) things that I don't like about Darla is that she is an unnecessary yarn snob. She will brag about the brand and price of every yarn she knits. I have actually heard her tell people knitting on an inexpensive yarn that she wouldn't be caught dead knitting with cheap yarn such as theirs. I kid you not -- if you tell her that you just found out that a friend of yours has cancer, she will find a way to steer the conversation back to how expensive her yarn is and how much better it is than yours. (This has happened.) That was almost offensive as the time she told a woman who was crocheting a shawl that she thought crochet would be a good skill to teach retarded people.

And I swear to Dog, if I have to hear about her trips to Europe (always as if Europe was a country, not a continent) one more time, the hat pins are going to be used for a trans-orbital lobotomy. (Don't ask if the lobotomy is for her or me -- I've not decided yet.)

I don't believe writing this violates the Pearl Principles. I know for a fact that this woman won't read what I'm writing. When I mentioned something I'd posted on this blog, she said, "Oh, I never read blogs. They are all written by stupid people -- if these people knew what they were doing, they wouldn't be giving it away."

And even if she read this, she wouldn't know it was her. I could read it to her myself and she would ask me if she knew the person. She is that oblivious.

Because of this woman, I stopped attending one of my SnBs. I really miss it. I miss my friends. My Bitches are important to me. But I did not and would not and could not have even a moment of fun if this woman was there.

Writing this won't do anything, I understand. It certainly won't change Darla's personality. It isn't going to make me find her less offensive. And I doubt it will even make me feel any better. I'm not exactly sure why I wrote it. Except that you all are great people and sometimes talking to you makes me feel loads better.

(I miss my friend, Hugs, who would have known what to do with this woman. His solution would have started with a bag of Sacrete and ended with a pack of cigarettes and a micro-brew, but he would have know exactly what to do. Hugs, dearest -- you are missed.)

Now I think I'll go clear my mind and knit on the Prayer Shawl for a little while. It will be good to think positive thoughts.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Since Last Post...

Well, I was right. I did need a wee bit more time in the oral surgeons chair. Actually, three more times...but who's counting?

The two week delay in healing sets my whole healing schedule back, and I am now looking at a total of 6 weeks on a completely soft diet. I would like to point out that, at this moment, I am living proof that not all fat people are jolly. As much as I used to love them, I sincerely believe I will rip the face off of anyone who tries to feed me jello, pudding, or chicken noodle soup. (I do think I could eat a bit more spicy lentil soup, though. And I am positively gaga -- even still -- for chocolate malteds. MMMMMmmmmm. Malteds. I have to eat them with a spoon...nothing through a straw for a while yet.)

"What is the upside to having an ever growing changing array of stitches and incisions and extractions in your mouth?" you say? Whell here it is: I think I've lost about 10 pounds, though I can't say for sure. I still avoid scales. But I've definitely lost a noticeable bit of pork pie. Ummmm. Pork pie. Ummmmmm.

I have lost ten pounds, but I haven't lost the yearning for food. I can't tell you what I wouldn't do for a bucket of fried chicken. It might be easier to say what I would NOT do!!

I ripped back a few rows of the prayer shawl -- back to the lifeline. I will have the iPod charged and loaded with the remainder of the HPDH audio book by the end of the day tomorrow!


Sunday, July 08, 2007


Gentle Readers: I would that you could benefit from my experience, that you should never have to endure the sadness I have brought upon myself.

  1. Never, ever, knit lace in a narcotic haze. I don't care if it takes the edges off of your painful childhood memories, effectively blocks out your bad marriage or teen acne, or, as in my case, it helps you forget your mouth full of stitches. Never, ever, knit lace while stoned.
  2. If you do knit lace while hammered, it is a good idea to use lifelines. Maybe even put them in more frequently that usual. And it wouldn't hurt to stop and count your stitches once in a while.
  3. Drugs make you sleepy. Sleeping and knitting don't mix. Really. Kinda like the time I tried knitting and swimming. Those floaty things are NOT, I repeat, NOT stable. And whatever you do, do not attempt sleep-knitting with Vicodin on a pool float. Disaster. (Though Knitting with Vicodin may well be the title for the Yarn Harlot's inevitable rehab knitting book.)
  4. It is very difficult to knit a prayer shawl when you are dropping stitches and cursing. Not that anyone would have recognized it as cursing -- it's is amazing how far a wad of gauze can go towards preserving your reputation for maintaining a high standard of discourse. I let loos a string of expletives so vile that it gave even me pause, and Myfanwe's response was "Of course I'll make you tea, Dearest. You are so sweet." (Recognizing, though, that my true attitude and frame of mind were not conducive to a prayerful and prayer-filled product, I ripped back 11 rows to my lifeline (which I had contemplated -- and rejected -- running again after row 8) and began anew.
  5. The prayer shawl is absolutely the very, very last lace project I knit with Addi Turbos. I swear, these things are so blunt at the end, I might as well be knitting the shawl on tampons. I am going to purchase a few of the new lace models -- Loopy Yarns is carrying a couple of brands, from what I can tell.
Take head, dear friends. Consider me your Jacob Marley. You do not want to be visited by the Ghosts of Knitting Past, Present or Future. (I'm casting Hugo Neuproler, Stephanie McFee, and Franklin Habit in the roles for my owl little production of A Lace Weight Carol.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think it may be time for my meds now.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


All those fears about dropping dead in the chair were for naught. The surgery was a success, though something tells me I may need a little more. But not to worry.

The post-op pain is different from, and somehow more bearable than the pre-op pain. I'm not even taking great drugs. The swelling makes me look like Ted Kennedy. I've got jowls that would make my beloved childhood hampster, Ernestine, envious. (I probably could store an entire Boston Market family meal with a gallon of lemonade, extra sides, AND a whole pie in these puppies!)

Sorry if I made you worry for nothing. Well, not for nothing. You have the kugel recipe now, so you won't have to ask for it when I do finally kick it.

Shalom, y'all. And thanks.

P.S. I have arrived. Rabbitch left a comment on my blog! I feel like Steve Martin, "The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!"

Thursday, July 05, 2007

For the Shiva, Darlink.

Since I know you'll all want the recipe, I figure why make Myfanwe look for it! It isn't LOW fat, but it is lower fat. And really a lovely flavor. I don't know who Naomi Rifkin is -- I got the recipe from a my friend Judith, who didn't know either. But credit must be given where credit is due -- Naomi Rifkin -- you sure made a swell kugel.


1# wide noodles
1 qt. low fat buttermilk
4 extra-large eggs (or 4 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter

Optional: 1 can Pineapple tidbits, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup craisins, 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger, 1 cup coarsely chopped apple, 2 coarsely chopped fuyu persimmons.


1 cup brown sugar
1 cup crushed corn flakes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Butter a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the noodles in plenty of lightly salted boiling water until still slightly undercooked. drain the noodles well, then return to the pot and add the stick of butter.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs well. Add the buttermilk, salt, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Mix well. Pour buttered noodles (and any accumulated butter) into the prepared pan.

Sprinkle the noodles with any of the optional ingredients. Pour custard mixture over the noodles. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. While the kugel is baking, combine the ingredients for the topping. after 45 minutes, remove the kugel, sprinkle evenly with the topping, and bake for an additional 15 to 30 minutes. The custard should be set and the topping crisp.

THis is really, really good leftover for breakfast. I once dipped cold slices of this kugel in some batter left over from french toast -- then grilled it.

Let's just say that it was divine. More yummy goodness than decent people need.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Scardey Cat.

I am having some fairly substantial oral surgery on Friday. General anesthetic. Myfanwe is going to go with me.

I don't like pain -- I think you all know I'm a big baby. But now the drama queen in me has decided to date the neurotic guy inside me. So in addition to my fears of dentists, I'm now afraid I'm going to die in the chair. The old ticker could just stop -snap- just like that.

Don't laugh. My cousin, Karen, went to the dermatologist for dermabrasion and died in the chair. Just a few blocks from where I'll be. She was much younger than I am -- newly married, with a great life ahead of her. She was beautiful. (Note: her dermatologist turned out to be a psycho who ended up losing her license...and being married to a murderer, if I remember correctly.)

Then the horrible uglies go through my head -- Myfanwe would be alone, they'd have to tell Norbert at camp, there are these important projects at work that I haven't completed, Norbert would grow up without me and would someday forget the look of my face or the sound of my voice ... I'd never see him become a bar mitzvah ... never dance at his wedding ... never bake bobka for my grandchildren. Norbert wouldn't remember how much I love him and how important he is to me.

On the plus side -- If I live, I'm going to get several days eating all the Jello I want. This makes it almost a holiday. I loves me some Jello. And after THAT, I get to move up to pudding and applesauce. We are talking my three favorite food groups. After a couple of days, I can wash it all down with hot tea. That will be like icing on the cake. I'm going to make massive quantities of Jello Thusday night -- Raspberry flavor and Watermelon.

If anything happens to me, will one of you finish the shawl I'm knitting for my Cousin Margie? (I've currently knitted 37,920 stitches -- out of an estimated 73,312 stitches.) And please tell Myfanwe and Norbert that I loved them with all my fur? I think they know that, but it doesn't hurt to remind them. REmind Myfanwe that, from the moment I set eyes on her, I've been madly and irretrievably in love with her. The worst day with her was always 100 times better than the best day without her. Thanks. You all rock.

If I should die, give my 8000 yards of ultra lace wight cashmere and merino to Stephanie Pearl McFee. Maybe she'll do a shawl for Myfanwe, who will be lost without me and who will find great comfort in a shawl made from my final wishes.

Oh, I know I've gotten this promise before, but it is worth reinforcing. Can you make sure someone brings kugel to shiva? MY favorite is made with pineapple tidbits, but I also like it with raisins with the corn flake crust. Naomi Rifkind made a spectacular kugel. If you need the recipe, call Myfanwe and tell her it's in the breadbox. She'll find it for you.

Wish me luck. And please forgive if I'm not up to speed for a little while.