Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another Great Day of Knitting

I was another great day of knitting here in Pittsburgh. I picked up some Cascade 220 in black and gold to make a Steelers scarf as a model for my class.

I am almost finished with prayer shawl that I have been working on. The one made out of the alpaca silk blend. If I like it will be one of the patterns in the Knitting For War Book.

The Ravelry has been taking up a bit of my time as well. The Natural Stitches group is up to 75 members and still growing. It is nice to see the response the store is receiving. We have been receiving really good feed back. I truly impressed at the Ravelry thing.

In the same vein of the Ravelry thing being cool There is a Ravelry Holiday coming up in April, Bobmas. That is the Birthday of the Ravelry and will be celebrated by getting together and sharing out knitting. It does not get better than that.

I have already volunteered to host for Pittsburgh. DDancer will allow us to use Natural Stitches. So it will be a party at the largest Yarn shop in Pittsburgh. It doesn't get much better than that.

Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

First Meeting at Joseph Beth

The Joseph Beth was everything we hoped for. We met on the second floor around a fire place. We have a couch and padded arm chairs. This is compared to a used kitchen table and chair that have been salvaged from the garbage of the South Side.

I still love the Bee Hive. And it do not like the idea of going to a big chain. Still Scott and Steve {the owners of the Bee Hive} so not stress customer service in any way. I suppose it is easy to say that rude is cool. I looked at the Starbucks across the street and several other cafes in the area. The bottom line is that the chain store is willing to treat us well.

I like the sort of Independence that the Hive represents. Still, there is a line when people just need to be treated right.

On other fronts the class schedule for December is up on the web site. We are also working on January. Hopefully I will get it up on this blog soon.

Well I hope to see you all at Hive Knitting. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Moving Hive Knitting

Well it appears that Hive Knitting will be moving to the Joseph Beth Book store on the South Side. I spoke to a manger at JoBeth's today and they will be getting back to me on Monday.

When we do move we are going to be moving the group up to 6:00PM because they close a bit earlier than the Bee Hive.

It sad to have to be moving the group. Still, we have had to bend over backwards to do the group. We bring our own lights are frequently the subject of rude people. I don't know. We should have given up on them months ago. Still, it used to be the cool place to hung out.

Poetry readings, musicians and all sorts of artists used to call it home. Now it is dungeons and dragons and people playing cards games with monsters. I suppose that officially makes it not the place the cool people are hanging out at.

I never claimed to be a cool person. I suppose cool people are people that others aspire to be. I have never really aspired to be anything other than the best me that i could be. Maybe that make me cool. Probably not, still, it is nice thought.

Well that leads us to the next question. I suppose we can no longer call it Hive Knitting. I suppose I will put it to the group. If anyone out there has a good name let me know.

Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Of all the holidays that we celebrate this is the one that has the most meaning. I know that some may think settling America was a terrible thing. Still, I had ancestors on that ship. And I was lucky that mine survived to have the children. They were the first democracy in the new world. And quite frankly I don't believe the world would be the place that it is today if it were not for their cultural contributions.

We take so much for granted these days. Still, the society that allows some one to aimlessly ramble about anything they want is a result of their suffering. The danger in the world is not just evil or intolerance. There are so many cultures that desire stagnation. Even within our own culture there are so many that are so afraid of anything that is different.

There are so many places that a kilt wearing knitting clown would be put death. Fortunately the United States is not one of them. And as I sit here remembering my lovely sushi diner I am thankful. I would not have done well in a country run by the Taliban.

Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Savage Chickens

Oh Christmas Tree & Visit to the Hurricane Knitters

Good times at the shop yesterday. One of the fun parts of my job is that I get to build things out of these black grid things. Well here is my latest creation. Just in time for black Friday a Christmas tree.
The gross commercialization of our Lord's birth is still alive and well. I have to admit that I have not really respected Christmas since I was twelve. When I have kids we will not be doing the Christmas thing like everyone else. If we are going to celebrate Christ's birthday we are going to do it right.
And being a clown I know how to celebrate a birthday. We are going to have a cake and I will hire a pony and a clown. Sure there will be a tree to decorate and presents for the kids. I am a progressive not a sadist that hates kids.
Also for the true spirit of giving we will work in a homeless shelter or hospital. I remember something about giving to others. It was in a book type thing they make us read at church.
Anyway back to Black Friday. As you might imagine the shop will be open on Friday. Stop by there will be fun and yarn for everyone. We also filled the tree with some fun things from the good people at Aslan Trends.
Being the Wednesday before Thanksgiving we did not have activities at the Corps. So I have a chance to head out to a knitting group that I rarely go to. Wednesday is busy day for knitting group here in Western Pa. So I went out to visit the Hurricane Knitters In Fox Chapel. I figured it would be a slow day because it was close to thanksgiving. It was a bit slow, still great fun was had by all.
There were five people and fun was had by all. This group meets at the Barnes and Nobles in the Waterworks shopping complex. Like most Barnes and Nobles they have a well lit and fairly comfortable cafe. The staff was incredibly friendly. the manage even gave up the table he was doing paper work at for the group. This is always a good sign.
I would imagine that the group usually has more members. Still, the people that were there were very friendly and were working on a variety of projects. I was working on a fairly simple prayer shawl. A seamless sweater was finished and there was even some yarn from Righnbeck.
All and all if you have the time this is a definite place that a knitter should stop by. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A great day at Natural Stitches

Great fun was had at the Natural Stitches today. I got to build a Christmas tree shaped shelving unit for our December display. I just need to put up some Christmas lights and a few decorations. When I am done I will try and get someone with a camera to take a picture of it.

I must admit that I am liking selling yarn more than I thought I would. You get to meet people and hang around with yarn all the time.

On other front we are organising a Men's knitting night for December 14th. There will be a ten percent discount for men attending. It is nice to be doing something like this at the shop. I have consoled myself with the fact that there is not much a local male knitting community. Still, with events like this one we may be able to nurture one over time.

As I am working on the Knitting for War book I am thinking of other knitting books that I might want to write. I would like to write a real knitting book for men. Not something with a silly title and little content. But a real book aimed at at men that does not insult their intelligent. Yes I know it would not sell. Still a clown can dream can't he.

By the way I am still looking for pattern for the Knitting for War Book. I am going to put something on the side bar with a list of the patterns I still need. I continue to be bogged down on the how to knit section. I think I will have something that people can look at in another week or so. I may be overcritical on this section. I had not really thought about doing it when I started working on the book. I figured that I would concentrate on the who charity knitting thing and little else. Still enough people thought it was improtant that it should be included.

I am still kicking around the books about Brigadier Mason and Admiral Jefferson and his wife. I have found the old old short story that was about John Jefferson's first fleet command. I never did publish it. I have been working on it a bit. I will polish it up and send it to the Navy for approval. If they like it I will put it on the blog. Also it will be a relatively painless way to see if the plot and characters are up to snuff.

The main character in these book represent a couple organization that I care greatly about. Mason represents The Salvation Army which is my church. Even if I am not respected by them I still respect them. The other is the Navy. And quite frankly their daring during world war II may be the only reason that we are still here. When we look back at it now we tend to think it was foregone conclusion. The reality was there were several places that things could have gone the other way.

My grandfather served in Halsey's fleet during the war. He did not talk about it much. Still, it was apparent that the Navy made him much of the man that he was. I do hope to represent both of these organizations well.

On other knitting subjects. The Bee Hive Knitting Group is still up in the air. If I do not hear from them by noon Wednesday then I am calling Joe Beths. Knitting is supposed to be fun. Arguing with people over tables is not fun. And I am not going to do it any longer. Life is just too short. I will let people know via the Hive Knitting Yahoo thing if we change locations.

Well read me here and or see me at Natural Starches. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Savage Chickens

Monday, November 19, 2007

Happy Me - The Last Hive Knitting Maybe

I have had several people say that my clown picture is not happy enough. This is one of the cartoon type pictures that we have been working on for the Brigade. I am thinking about going with a half bald blue wig. At the moment I am still coloring my hair white which turns to an interesting color. It also has me in my Salvation Army Uniform.
Any way if you like it better than the actual picture of me let me know. I am thinking of using it on the Ravelry as well.
Hive Knitting was a Disaster this evening. At the Bee Hive there is only one table that we can use. We have an agreement that we get this table. In order to make it better we bring our own lights. Well our table was taken over by Dr. Who game players. They refused to move even tough there were other table available. The staff claimed they could not honor their agreement with us because they were not aware of it.
If they do not call be tomorrow with an apology and a promise that will not happen again we will be moving the group elsewhere. I am think about Joseph Beth Book at the South Side Works. I do not want to go to Starbucks even though they are willing to host us.
I don't think the Joseph Beth's has a coffee shop. Still, they probably have better light and no smoking section. I know they would put us in their newsletter as well.
Anyway it is one of those things. If anyone knows if there is place on the South Side let me know.
Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Knitting

It has been a busy Sunday. In addition to church I have been working on various writing projects. The fun part is switching from writing as the Brigadier to writing about Admiral Jefferson and Kate Mason. It is a bit odd. Still, it has been fun.

Not much has been happening as far as actual knitting. I have been working on a prayer shawl. I am tempted by the huge number of new yarns at the shop. i should be a good knitter and make some samples for my upcoming classes. Making a living at this yarn stuff could be fun.

Well I just wanted to check in. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ravelry - Coffee Feinds Heaven

This is Bob. He is the mascot of the Ravelry I think. He is a cute dog. I don't know what he is. Still, he is a cute dog. I am not a big dog person. This one appears to have character though.

My wife's dog Sally is a cute dog with character. She just will not let people take pictures of her. And I don't have a camera anyway so that is the end of that. I must admit the Ravelry thing is addictive. I think I can also put it in the category of things that are going to turn the knitting trend into a full blown knitting as part of the culture thing.

I once mussed that I thought knitting would be something that will go up and down. And that it would need some sort of catalyst to keep it going. I think this way me the beginning of that catalyst. I still think we need something like the knitwiki and a few other things. Still, it very promising.

In that vein I have started three Ravelry groups.
Well this if fairly self explanatory. This a group for people that live in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It also happens to be the area that live in.
This is the group for Natural Stitches the most awesomest knitting store ever. Alright I may be bias. This is the shop that work at. Hey it gives me a chance to wear my ties that are not blue. Now if i could only find my Veggie Tales Tie.
This is the group of people that are interested in my book. There have been some super friendly people sending patterns.

This evening I spent some time at the Museum of Modern Failure. It is a project of some kids From Carnegie Mellon University. I showed off The Judy, The Barry, played the accordion (badly) and told some circus stories. Tommy Amoeba was there and fun was had by all.

By the way this place it across from the South Side Works and has six cent cups of coffee. If you are into coffee than this is the place to visit. It am told it is great coffee. They are some sort of cheap coffee selling it for what ever it really costs. Hopefully this will take out Starbucks or at least know them down a couple pegs. I am not a coffee person if you cannot tell.

Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Ugly Side of Knitting

This is one of those time in knitting where I truly feel uncomfortable and do not like how things are going. In clowning there was a certain line that competing clowns did not cross. The same is not true in knitting.

Firstly I would like to state that I have a warm place in my heart for both Knit 1 and Natural Stitches. Both have helped The Army with donations and a place to hold Charity knitting events for our local shelter. Stacey and Knit 1 have been very supportive to us and I grateful to Knit 1 for that.

I have friends on both sides of this and it is painful to see the drama.

The sad thing is that horrible things are being said in the name of Knit 1. Quite Frankly they are lies. The person who is spreading them is not an employee of either shop. And it appears that she has started this only to be busy body.

Bellow in italics is the message:

So... The long and short of it is that Martha (the owner of Natural Stitches) had her best friend Carla teach classes at Knit One so that she (Martha) could gather as much information as possible into how Stacey ran her business and how to undermine it as best as possible.

Also, Carla built up a loyal client base there so that, when Natural Stitches open, she could bring them over to the new store and away from Knit One.

If you ask me, that's a really ****** thing to do. From what I have heard, Martha (who is one of those people it's just really, really hard to feel comfortable around) has long been one to employ whatever tactics she deemed necessary to be on top, no matter how immoral or down-right *******-ish. Either way, I'm not setting foot in that place.

On the plus side, because of her shadyness, her last business went under, and the same will probably happen with this one as well.

This email was sent in seceret to people who requested it. I have removed the profanity. It was said that this had to be sent in private because they could be sued for liable.

The only way to deal with things said in secret is to bring them into the light and show them for what they are. So here goes.

Carla worked for Knit 1 for two years. Starting the yarn restarting the yarn shop has only been an idea for six months. I know I was there when it was hatched. Carla has not brought a single email or scarp of information from Knit 1. She is working at Natural Stitches because she wants to not as a reward for spying.

And Carla has built up a Loyal Following. She is nice Lady that is a talented knitter that is just what happens. It was not intentional. I mean the Loyal Following was not intention I think the nice lady that is talented was intentional. Well the nice talented thing might have been unintentional. I will have to remeber to ask her the niext time I see her, but I digress.

And as for this being a ******* thing to do. Well telling lie behind someone's back is a ******** thing to do.

And for the personal attacks on Martha that is just silly. Martha is also a nice Lady. And from what i understand does not really know the person that made these accusations.

And as for the closing of her last shop it did not have to do with underhanded tactics. The bottom line is Martha wanted to do it all on her own back then. She just didn't want to do it any more. Nothing shady involved.

I have known many grifters and underhanded people in my travels. And people that are trying to pull one over on people do keep the same name. They change the name of their company on a regular basis and move from city to city. It you are going to pull one over on people Martha is going about it the wrong way.

As for it failing you should drop by and see the shop for yourself. I have not witness one unsatisfied customer yet.

The only failing Martha had with the original show is she tried to do everything and got burned out. This time she is going at it with a helpful staff. What is not to like.

And with the current popularity of knitter there is room for a yarn shop on every corner. I find it hard to believe that either shop will take away from the other. And I thought we were at this to have fun and share our craft.

Well that is all I have to say. This really tweeked my gears and I had to say something.

Be Safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Oh and I am not saying this because they let me lay in the yarn. Nope being allowed to roll around in the Cascade 220 has nothing to do with it. Just remeber your yarn has been slept in by a Master Clown. How many people can say that? Life is Good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I GOT IT - I GOT IT - Youz Peplz is Yarnz Snobz

I am not going to spend a great deal of time on this. Still, I love Red Heart. It is a great yarn and perfect for clown knitting. If you have a problem with that then you are probably a mime or some kind of communist.

There I said it if you do not love Red Heart then you are some form of evil. Not Nazi evil, but evil enough.
And by the way I made up my own picture just to show that I have a sense of humor about this cat talking thing. I even use real words. Because I taught my cat the proper way to speak. When kind of sicko teaches their cat the wrong way to talk?
The thing that bothers me is that I have gotten this picture about the Acrylic hating cat, again. I get it you all don't like the Red Heart. Well fine, e that way. I have received this picture at least 20 times. Here I am sticking it on the blog you can stop sending it to me.
Any by the way the yarn that cat it hating on it Red Heart Mexicana. The absolute favorite yarn of clowns. You people are threatening my clowing heritage. It is like smashing clown figurines with a steam roller. Like calling a kilt a skirt. Just you wait. One day you are going to be sitting at your knitting group taking shots at acrylic yarn. And out of no where I clown will fly out of rafters and take you down a notch. You will be pied by a a flying clown from the sky. You just wait.
Any way these are some cat pictures that I thought were funny.

Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Why is This Funny

People have been sending me stuff like this recently. Why is funny about the bad spelling. I spend hours trying not to spell thing wrong. And even then it does little good.

The sad thing is that this dog really lives in that bottle. Nothing sadder than homeless puppies. Fortunately he live along the shore in San Francisco. Oh Heck

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Again

Another Sunday draws to a close. I have been writing various stuff.

I found an old short Story with then Captain John Jefferson and his wife Evangeline. It was the story about when Jefferson freed a Crel Slave Planet. I didn't remember finishing it, apparently I did. It is not edited but it was the first story with Jefferson and Evangeline in it. In my free time I might edit it and put it on the blog or something.

I am probably going to spend most of my time at the shop this week. It is not every days that you get to be involved with opening of a new yarn shop. If all goes well well the shop should be open this week. Still, I am not in charge so do not quote me. i will post the minute I know when we will be opening. I put the link to the shop on this blog under knitting sites. I will also be teaching knitting classes there. So if you are interested the link is over there as well.

I started a group Mid Atlantic knitters on the Ravelry. I also started one for the shop. I can see how one would become adicted to the Ravelry thing. I am not there yet. The computer still scares me. So I will probably not become addicted. So if you are interested in either subject drop by.

Well I am going to make myself some cool aid and get back to writing. I think it will be science fiction this evening. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Savage Chickens

Friday, November 09, 2007

Changing Stuff

good grief. Well I changed some things to up date them. Apparently my banner was also off. No one tells me these things. Someone should have told me my banner looked silly. Well i mean looked like it was wrong. It is supposed to look like it is silly.

If anyone sees something else that need fixed let me know. And if your blog links here let me know I will put up a link.

I Need a Nap

It has been a strange and busy couple of days. Fortunately everyone made it through and there was only property damage. My wife was in the hospital for most of the week with minor stuff. She is home.

The odd thing was the pick up truck in the back yard. Too bad I have not received the pictures yet. Someone drove the wrong way down Manton and then drove through my neighbor's yard landing in mine. That was annoying. Besides the place where he tried to back out we lost our fence.

All and all not a big deal. Still, it is all fun and games till someone looses a fence.

I have been working at Natural Stitches putting yarn places building tables all great fun.

Blazing Saddles is on AMC so this is the light at the end of the tunnel.

Also a light at the end of the tunnel is the Clown Brigade. I had to miss practice this week for various reasons. So the Brigade's Music Sergeant was able to take over the Brigade and run the practice without me. The rest of the Army may ignore this little group. Still, the Lord is using them and when they are ready they will be a force to reckoned with.

I really need to do some updates to this blog. I will get to it someday.

I have been playing around on Ravelry. The most popular topic on male knitters is are there more gay male knitters than strait knitters. Apparently I am in the Minority. Odd a white male knitter in the United States is the minority. Somewhere there is a joke in that.

Be safe out there and keep you stick on the ice.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Good Morning

Well it is off to the shop this morning. My retail yarn adventure continues. It is not the circus or private practice clowning still, it is interesting in it's own way.

We had a good time at the Hive Knitting last night. We are hovering around half a dozen folks now and it is an interesting little group. I have noted that there are very few people that go from one group to another. There are folks that have a couple knit together that they go to. Still, there are not people that visit random knit togethers.

In clowning when a clown goes to a new town they would always visit the local clown club if they were meeting at the time they are in town. Perhaps clowns are just friendlier than knitters. Maybe it has something to do with excessive amounts of makeup, but I digress.

I do need to update the blog. Put up a new class schedule and add some links. I must remember to take some time to do that. You all have a good day out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Monday, November 05, 2007

More Ramblings

The gizmo is not letting me post picture so no Save Chicken for the moment. Anyway it is monday morning and it is off to the shop. It is odd working in a retail enviroment. True the shop has not opened. Still, I am used to having my clowning skills being the thing that is being sold. Now something else will be the object os my sales skills. It is not bad just different.

I am not in charge so I will not say when the shop is opening. I will say that it is coming together rather quickly. Everytime we leave we are amazed at the amount of stuff that is done. True we have a good crew. And there are several folks working at this enterprise. And many hands and all of that stuff.

Between the shop and the book I have not had much time to get to all of the knitting groups that i usually ghet to. I have not been to either of the two groups that I attend sporatically at Knit 1 for a couple weeks. I do need get back there.

The book is plugging along. I am working on a section on The Army's History of knitting. By the way if any of the Army Knitters out there know some are knitting sotries I would like to hear them. I know the Red Corss had a knitting kit that they gave to soilders in hospital. I am wondering if we did the same thing. i have not found any evidence of a kit as such. I will keep looking though. It does appear that the majority of our historical records we have are in Alexandria Virginia. And I do not have time to go down there before I would like to publish this thing.

Well I need tobe heading off to East Liberty. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice. And see you at the Bee Hive if your a Hive Knitter.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Insainly Busy

I was so tired that I had to take a nap on this pile of every color of Cascade 220. Natural Stitches order every single color of Cascade 220. I had to help move all of the yarn into the space. So I was tired.
All of this yarn is now on hooks on the wall. So when I am not helping at the shop i am practicing my accordion clowning or writing the knitting book.
Well I am looking forward to my extra hour of sleep. It will help me catch up.
On other subject I am still looking for pattern for Knitting For War. The Brigade is plugging along and we are working on new routines.
We have settled into a schedule much like a circus. We work on new material routines and props in the winder and perform the rest of the time. It is odd how that centuries old time table emerges. It must mean we are doing things the right way if we are falling into time tested patterns.
Well I have typing and reading to do. be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.
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