Friday, June 27, 2008


Sorry for the silence! Brax's computer is dead again, and the reason we share this blog is cause neither one of us is together enough to blog regularly on our own.

Things are steady steady steady here. I am writing on the book a lot, and I am gearing up to teach a mess of classes over at Wholly Craft in July and August. I have to say I am also spending a big chunk of time sitting in the sun and drinking wine. It's summer! I don't think that on my death bed I'll be saying "I wish I hadn't spent all that time in the sun drinking wine when I could have been working harder." I guess in the story I would have been the grasshopper.

Let me tell you about my new house. It's great!!! I've got an office just for me, with a funny little closet for my yarn, and a desk for me to write at and a spot for my swift and my sewing machine. It's got so many windows that it's almost like being outside.

There's my desk! I'm not done decorating in here yet,but I'm already pretty happy with it.

There's my shelf! And what is that above it? Is it a little door in the wall? Maybe a gnome-sized door, like, 4 feet off the ground, just hanging in space?

YEAH IT IS! The creative genius people who built this house wanted there to be closets aplenty, and there isn't room for a regular old closet in here. So what did they do? Why, they built a horizontal closet. It goes back about six feet. For a minute I was calling it a spare bedroom, because it is pretty much exactly the perfect size for a person to hang out in there, but that was kind of creepy and really, it works fine for yarn.

I am amazed at the improvement in my quality of life in this new spot. Little DC apartment, you were good to us and you mostly did your job, but jeeze louise this is so much better.

Last week was my birthday, and Brax got me a fabulous present. We went up to Toledo, where they have some really sweet yarn shops. At Yarn Cravin' (excellent name for an excellent shop) I bought me some of this stuff that I'd been eyeballing ever since I first discovered it on our Seattle trip in November.

I can't get the gorgeous mossy-green-flecked-with-gold color to show up right, but trust me, if I could, you might pass out from the gorgeous.

Next we headed to Fiberworks, where we manhandled there gigantor selection.

I wanted to knit a bed out of this yarn and just roll around on it.

After this sweetass yarn tour of northwest Ohio, we headed up to Detroit to see Alison Krauss and Robert Plant at the Fox Theater. Oh, man. We expected it to be awesome, but we did not expect to walk out of there speechless. I have never seen so many world class musicians all in one place. If they come anywhere near your town, you'd better go see them. Also if you don't have their record you should buy it.

So it was a pretty fantastic birthday. Thanks, Brax!

OK, this blogging is fun and all but it is Comfest this weekend, and I've got a 32 oz. beer mug that needs fillin'. Later dudes!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oh, freaking yuck.

Remember when I said I had moths? I was wrong, they're not moths. They're carpet beetles. I bet no one ever told you that there is a thing called a carpet beetle that can eat your yarn. There sure is, Brax. They ate my Nashua Creative Focus Worsted! Apparently carpet beetles just love Nashua yarns.

Anyway, if you are curious about mean little insects eating your wool, I'd recommend this article.
They don't recommend anything except poison. You have to poison them with deadly poison. Apparently they are harder to get rid of and to prevent than moths. They don't give a shit about cedar or lavender or soap. Just poison.

I don't even clean with chemicals! For one thing they're bad for people and the environment, and for another I don't want Sister and Lucky Lucy to be sick.

I just don't know what I'm going to do about these jerks, but save yourself before it is too late.


P.S. Here's a handy hint: when I have to look up something online that involves an insect, I do a google image search for "puppy" first, and open a really cute puppy in a new little window. Then when I click on the bug pages, I can just resize the puppy and put it over the disgusting picture of a bug while I read the text. This enables me to learn what I need to learn without wanting to die because I'm looking at an insect. That's right, everyone. That is how much I hate insects. Oh, Merciful Heaven, I hate insects.

Saturday, June 14, 2008



I heart connecting with knitters. They're excellent people. Nice, quality people.

For starters, Cat Bordhi. Here is a (very dark) picture of her introducing Jess, Casey, and Mary Heather at the Ravelry talk.

Man! She's kind of a genius. Brax and I were in Karida's booth, and Cat Bordhi came in and she walked up to us just when we were looking down at our feet, talking about how we got so many mosquito bites on our feet from being barefoot in my yard. Then I looked up and...Cat Bordhi! So we said to her, "We got a lot of mosquito bites on our feet last night!" And she said something like "ooh, they might not be mosquitoes if they were in the grass, girls. They might be little creepy things." And we said "Ewwwwwwwww!"

And that's the story of how Brax and I met a knitting superstar genius and told her about our mosquito bites. She didn't seem to think we were too weird. She is very nice that way.

Karida, Cabbage, and I also hung with the Ravelry folks. These are seriously, seriously cool people. They gave a talk, and it was their first time giving a presentation about Ravelry, and they did a great job!

L to R: Karida, Jess, Me, Cabbage, Casey

After the talk we headed to the Surly Girl. Casey and I have Pabst in common.

Yarmando, Casey, my Pabst tall boy, Casey's Pabst tall boy

Gerry and Mary Heather

Jess and Me

So much fun! We were all pretty exhausted from the show, but managed to eat some great food and have a few drinks anyway. I am generally never too tired for food and drinks.

See? Knitters Connecting.

Our booth was right behind the Ozark Handspun booth. Good Golly Miss Molly! Terri and David are their names. They're a married couple, and they are so nice that I sort of wanted to ask if I could come home with them. I didn't get any photos of them, but Brax and Karida and I all got some of their pretty, pretty, pretty yarn.

This is my little guy. I love him.

Our yarn combined filled up the plant stand.

(I'm getting a pretty weird reputation in my new neighborhood. "Have you met the new people? ...the guy seems OK, but the woman? I keep seeing her in the front yard photographing balls of yarn.")

So in short we got to spend time with a bunch of lovely yarn and lovely people this week, and it was rad. It's been said many times, many ways, but knitters are some of the by-god best people anywhere. Hooray!


P.S. Thanks to Priscilla, for being great at the shows this week! It was great to get to know you!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008



I love this book! If you are a big fan of cable knitting, but you've always been sort of intimidated by those involved and amazing fisherman sweaters you see around, then you absolutely need this book. The patterns are fresh, stylish interpretations of traditional cable patterns. It even has a little cable stitch dictionary in the back, a section on designing with cables, and a very thorough discussion of the technique for beginners and intermediates. I haven't actually knitted anything out of it yet, but I'm going to go ahead and give it the Wine Lips two-glasses-up seal of approval.

Other things:

1) Knitter's Connection. This week! OK! Updates to follow, maybe.

2) NFC sock yarn! Awesome. Blue? Yes. Per our recent conversation about opening the door to blue. I'm comfortable with it. I'm pretty ready to have some jewel-toned bright blue socks.

...Now it's just a matter of finding the time to knit them.

3) New Knitty is up!

4) It's officially summer. I love that. This time last year we were posting all the time about Comfest and how we couldn't wait to see each other and all our friends back home. I've been thinking about last summer, and the parade of awful, awful things that happened. Summer '07 taught me two important things. One is that I should listen to my gut because my gut is super smart. The other is that being around my friends and family is a lot more important than pretty much anything else. I hate it when you learn a lesson, and it's really profound to you, and then you say it out loud and...whoops! It's a cliche!

Anyway, now we're in the same city, and everything looks a lot better, and I really feel like this is going to be a great summer. Anyway, if it's not I'll be pissed off.

Summer! Get ready for awesomeness.

P.S. OK, everybody, now Brax is actually in my house, snapping her gum at me, while I'm trying to blog a letter to her. Let's call this the "period of adjustment" for Wine Lips.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

oh, blarg


You moved! I moved! We're going to have to change the blog description. The idea of us writing letters to each other is funny now that we're just 4 blocks apart. I love it!

For those who don't know, Brax and I were both at TNNA this weekend. It was awesome but I didn't take any pictures because a) you're not technically supposed to in there and b) I don't know, I just didn't get around to it. And when I was meeting people who were all fancy knitting superstars, I was like, I would be a total dork at this moment if I got out my camera, like, can we get a picture together? So no pictures! It was very fun, though. I got to meet my editor, Jessica, in person, and she was totally fabulous. I am looking forward to next TNNA when I will be doing book promotion stuff. WOAH!

It has been a lot of busy busy bee stuff around here, with the unpacking and the new horizoning and the big-idea-ing and the TNNAing and the house-guesting and the job hunting. Also the drinking. I am ready for things to settle down a bit so I can get to work. I've got literally NO knitting for you, and I'd really hoped I'd be socking it up by now. Oh well. Soon! Soon!

Will you be placated by a cat picture? Please?

It's a cute one!


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Oh, Malabrigo!!


This whole week, I've been training my replacement. Part of that training, I feel, involves showing this poor girl all around town. In the last few weeks, on the way to the bank and post office and usual "work" haunts, I have acted as a crazed tour guide, pointing out landmarks on the way. "Okay, on our left is where I buy wine! There's a feminist bookstore next door." "WHOA, watch out for this pothole...that shit will cost you a new axle!"

Kate made the mistake of mentioning in passing that she once knit a scarf long ago, and I (being the socially adept creature I am) immediately latched on to knitting as our one true bond. Not that she is going to take over my job. Not that she is moving into my apartment complex. (I think I might have bullied her into that, too) No, I've decided that I'm going to set Kate up in the knitting world in Toledo.

This being my second-to-last day at work, I decided that part of Kate's training ought to be a whirlwind tour of yarn shops in Toledo. We drove out to Fiberworks, this awesome store south of the city. Of course, we were just there to observe, not buy...and I had a really difficult time resiting...but I'm moving on Saturday. The last thing I need is to add to my stash, which I still have yet to pack. Next, it was on to Perrysburg to the Yarn Haven, which is apparently changing its name soon to Yarn Cravin'!!!! How awesome is that? It's four exclamation points awesome.

Back in one of the back rooms, I was admiring the Malabrigo shelf. I had been able to resist the call of the Malabrigo in Fiberworks, but I guess in the second yarn store of the day, my resistance had worn down. I selected two beautiful blue skeins ("This can be a present for Dad! For his birthday!") (His birthday is in November).

I wandered up front, where the proprietors of the shop were knitting. They noticed the Malabrigo in my hands and gave me some terrible news. There was a fire in the building containing the Malabrigo mill and warehouse last Thursday! Here is a link to Malabrigo's website, where you can read all about it. Apparently, the mill is probably going to be okay, but they may have lost a lot (if not all) of their warehouse stock. There is also a blog on their website with updates. They are also going to be at TNNA in Columbus, OH this weekend! Everyone in Ohio, please go to TNNA and buy a whole bunch of Malabrigo!

Of course, I did my part already:

I, of course, picked the worst weekend of the year to move. With TNNA, a party in Chicago that a number of our friends are going to, and several weddings this weekend, I am finding it difficult to enlist moving help. My parents have to come down and help me load the truck, which means a beer-free move. I don't think I can do that! But I've already decided that in lieu of unpacking on Sunday, I'm just going to give up and go to TNNA. Karida is going to be there selling her bee-yootiful yarn! Of course, Bruce already knows this because she's going to be there with Karida promoting their upcoming book!! I can't believe I'm friends with famous writers!!

So, in short, everyone needs to visit Karida's booth and check out her yarn. Everyone also needs to go to the Malabrigo booth and say a few kind words of encouragement. And don't forget to stock up!

p.s. I seriously hate moving, why did I decide this was a good idea?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Super long moving style blog post of doom

Oh Braxie! Thanks for the moving well wishes.

I've been back in Ohio for less than a week, and I am covered with insect bites, bruises, and scratches, plus my feet are completely black on bottom. I wondered if maybe I was always covered in bug bites and scratches and bruises when I lived here before, and I just didn't notice it because I was used to it and all my friends were similarly ornamented. I asked KT if this was true. She said yes. Huh.

At the moment I am sitting in the new house, being sort of overwhelmed at the amount of stuff I have yet to do. The first floor is maybe 80% put together. Hey, good work! The second floor is an insane nightmare. For a minute I thought the bedroom couldn't get any worse, but then I decided to put together this dresser. Once the dresser is put together, I thought, I'll be able to put away all these clothes. Then the bedroom won't look like 15 drag queens used it to get fancied up for a show featuring vintage, punk, and DIY fashions of the last decade. My Chi will have room to flow. Things will be great when I put together the dresser, quoth I. Then I opened the box, got out some of the pieces and the instructions, got real intimidated and bored, and decided to go see the Sex and the City movie instead, which was really funny.

So that was a failure, but I've also been doing some homestyle crafting. Check my pot rack!

It's easy! Even people who don't know the right names for hardware things can do it.

You will need:

-1 pegboard cut to fit your space. Mine is 2X4. They cut it for me at the hardware store.
-pretty paint and paintbrush
-Hooks. NOT S hooks, they will not work. The hooks you want look like this. The young man who helped Matt at Lowes did not believe these hooks existed, but trust me, they do, and if that Lowes kid is reading this he should take my advice and investigate it, because what in the world would be the point of pegboard even existing if these hooks didn't exist? Oh, fabulous, a board with holes in it, why don't I hang some stuff on it, oh wait, I can't, they don't make hooks that will fit.
-2 small boards. The size will depend on the size of your pegboard. You'll want them to be about half an inch thick and a couple inches wide, and cut to the length of the pegboard. (These go behind the pegboard to get it away from the wall a little bit so you have room to stick the hooks in.)
-Another person to help you, especially with the attaching the pegboard part.
-Drill and long screws.
-a level wouldn't hurt.

I think you know where this is going. Paint your pegboard! Hooray! Colors! Find your studs. Mark where the top and bottom of the pegboard will be, and drill in your boards there, using the level to make sure you're, you know, level. Then attach your pegboard over top of the boards. Stick in your hooks. POT RACK. Under 20 dollars. Stylish and customizable.

We totally stole this idea from Julia Child, who was rad. She had an entire wall like this in her old school kitchen, which is, rightfully, in the Smithsonian. You can go there and stare at her big blue-green pegboard wall anytime you want. Have a drink, too. Julia would want you to.

Now, everybody, Brax is moving this weekend. I bet she's freaking out about packing AS WE SPEAK. Good luck, Brax!


P.S. Thanks to all the move helpers, including Gabe, David, and Courtney on the DC end, Juan, Mom, and Tome on the Ohio end, and very most especially this here guy:

Honestly, I have exactly ZERO non-goofy pictures of him. Every single picture is in this vein. Even in the Christmas morning pictures from when we were kids, he's always dancing around with a box on his head or something.

Topher! You guys, not only did Topher come all the way to DC to help us load the truck, he also drove my car back with only my cats for company. He took the cats to my new house and gave them food and water and stuff hours before Matt and I arrived. Then, the next day? He helped us unload too. Thanks, Topher!