Friday, February 29, 2008

The Blankets Square Contest

Stephieface asked about the blankets that we are making. We are making them in 6 inch squares out acrylic or synthetic materials. We want to make them as easy to care for as possible. There is no set pattern they can be as plain or as complicated as you like.

We are going to be stitching them together so we are asking for no really strange colors. Neon Green Hot pink that sort of thing. Other than that any other type of color is just fine.

I still have to work out a few details, a drop off point and that type of thing. If any one else had any type of contest suggestions I would like to hear them.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Practice Practice and some more practice.

A fun day was had at the shop and during practice. Looking down at the last couple entries i realize that I have not posted a picture of the finished clown sweater. Since the blogger is still giving me heart burn I have gone to the old standby photobucket. So if these pictures show up funny let me know. I probably wouldn't do anything about it. Still, it is nice to know these things

By the way this is the full duty/ practice uniform as it stands now. We are still debating what sort of hat should be worn with it. The hat in the picture is the hat I wore with my uniform from my for profit clown troupe. We have been thinking that maybe we should be wearing Salvation Army hats.

This would lead us to another interesting dilemma. Male and female clowns were the same hats. At least they did in the troupe that I ran and the one I came up in. We don't have to decide today. Still, I am not going to wear a female hat. So that means all the women in the Brigade will have to wear male hats. In the Eastern Territory the man do have much better hats.

Any way that brings us to other uniform stuff. Apprentice Aarasen just got his first full uniform from trade. As with every piece of clothing you get from trade there is some assembly requires. In most Corps you have one of the kindly ladies from the Home League alter your uniform. Here at Steel Valley Corps we do things a bit differently. You have to ask the kindly Master Clown from the Special Service Brigade.

Moving along we have a new apprentice with us during practice today. Apprentice Prealu was working on the all important selecting a clown face. This is her trying to find a wig type.


She is still working on it. We finally did settle on a Doris Day style wig for her. She is still torn on weather the wig will be red or green. She has settled on white face and a blue nose. Ahh a girl after my own heart. At this point we I am the only white fact clown in the Brigade. Everyone else is Auguste or a Carpet clown.

There is still hope for Apprentice Stewart and Apprentice Speigel. Neither have settle on a face yet. One of them might choose to be a while face.

Before I had the beard I had a blue nose. Unfortunately with the blue beard there was just to much blue in my face so I switched my nose color.

Well that is probably more than you ever wanted to know about clown noses and such. Be safe out there and keep you stick on the ice.

Blogger Issues Planning a Blog Contest

Blogger is once again not letting me open pictures. It is at times like this that you realize that you have not uploaded that pictures that you want to.

I have not put up pictures of the kids or the Dolittle scarf. I also took a sequence of pictures making the giant pompom for Lucy Dolittle's hat. Oh well

On other fronts book work continues slowly on various projects.

I am thinking of running a contest on my blog. I am trying to get blankets for our shelter here in Pittsburgh. We have been getting squares to make blankets. They are six inches square I think. I will have to look up the paper work. What sort of prize would make you all want to knit or crochet squared of cloth and send them to me?

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

Monday, February 25, 2008


Fun was had at Hive Knitting this evening. I have been up to my eye balls in books and clown stuff. So it was nice to get away and knit with some folks on The South Side. Walt has started postng to the Hive Knitting Blog it looks as if the Hive Knitting group may be turning the corner. For a while there it was Walt me and my wife.

I am still playing around with the shop thing on Etsy. Several people have sent me notes reassuring me that paypal is safe. I sometimes think that I am becoming one of those people that thing a little gremlin lives in the conputer waiting to mess my life up. Although it is is better safe than sorry.

I have had several people tell me that they have been burned by people that did not send them checks. I wonder if there are enough people using pay pal that one would not need to take checks.

Ravelry night on tuesdays has been going like gangbuster though. It is amazing what you can do when you advertise something through and internet site that his hundred of people on it at any one time. That group should be having it's own surprise sometime soon. I will keep you posted on that when I have something to post about.

I have been working on Vests for the Clown Brigade. I should have one finished in the next couple days. We will see how they go. Be safe out there everyone and keep your stick on the ice.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Good Times

As noted I was suggested that Natural Sitches would have a surprise for the Pittsburgh Knitting Community. The papers have been signed and everything is in place.

Natural Stitches has decided to sponsor Knit and Crochet Today on PBS. It will start on MArch 17 at 2:30. With our sponsorship WQED has bought all 13 avalible episodes. This a great a shop much better than anything that has been avalible in recent years.

As stated in our slogan Where Pittburgh Knits Together, we would like to improve the Pittsburgh knitting community. I didn't learn to knit in any of the tradition places that people learn to knit. In fact after I learned I decided that I wanted to take my knitting to the next level.

Now this was a few years back and many of these people have moved on or are not around. But when I went to the shops in the area I sort of felt like a freak. I suppose a few years back male knitters was an oddity. So without a shop to call home, (I used to hang out in the Woolworth's downtown. Yes I am a Red Heart Junky, you want to make something of it?).

Back then there were not many public groups of people just knitting. So I went to the guilds. I went to two of the locals guild. One turned me away outright and the other made me feel like trash.

That is the nice thing about this show. It has a freindly feel and is exceptionally informative. It also pay Crochet it's dues.

With the exception of classes at your local yarn shop there are few places to learn to knit or crochet. I remeber a really freindly guild in Toronto that attended craft fairs and even had a couple folks that would come out and speak at your organization.

Grumpy knitters should be on notice. We want everyone out there to be knitting. WE are going to be freindly and give you the best information that we can.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Charity Knitting

This was the first day of a new knitting group at Natural Stitches. I beleive it has been named knitting for the soul. We had Walt, my wife and myself at the first meeting.

I do miss the knitting at Knit 1 and will probably drop in from time to time. Still, they are not knitting for the Army anymore and about hald the time I am the only person there actually knitting for a chairity. It is sad to see thing pass that were once good. Still, time marches on.

On a personal level I have be very disapointed by how thing have transpired in the knitting world recently. I have to admit the Knit and Crochet Festival was a let down. I was mostly disappointed by the number of peopel that thought the event is some sort of charity fund raiser. There is nothing wrong with someone wanting to make a profit off knititng. I am very disappointed that the old websites are still up suggesting that it is a non profit event.

I also deeply regret my part in getting The Army involved in this event. Even though we do not get a portion of the procedes we had a drop off for yarn and items for our Fabric Fair. On Ravelry there were several people that thought the Army was getting money from this thing. This is one of those things that bites you in the rear eventually. I just hope the Army does not get slammed by this when it finally does go south.

I am waiting to find out the last couple detail about that suprise that Natural Stitches is working on. If all goes well I should be able to post about it Monday evening.

It is getting late and I have some work to do on the books. Be safe out there and keep you stick on the ice.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Just Checking In

It has been a while since I have posted. After I go back from Illinois my basement flooded taking out our phone and internet service. The Water Heater is replaced as is most of what is damaged. I still have to pick up some phone cord to get my internet back on line so I am posting this from the shop. If I have been really smart I would have thought of typing at home and uploading at the shop a couple weeks ago.

Anyway, I have lots to talk about and I will try and keep it to knitting relevant type stuff. We had a Knit and Crochet festival here in Pittsburgh over the weekend. It was a packed no room to breathe event as it was last year. The truth is I am not much of a festival person. I had to be there this year with the shop.

On the up side I did get to see a lot of people that I do not see on a regular basis.

On other knitting news. I just wanted to mention that there is something that Natural Stitches is going to be bringing to Pittsburgh. It is a nice little thing for the knitting community at large. It is also a surprise. Well it is a surprise because I do not know if I am allowed to tell people yet. Any if Martha or another shop person reads this don’t spoil it. I have like a whole production number thing I want to do to announce it. It will be really cool if you are into knitting.

Also in knitting type news stuff. I have had several people as for pattern for some of the strange things that I make. So I have decided to drag out the idea of the Etsy shop again. One again I would like to state that Natasha is my hero in the knitting world. She make really cool yarn and there is link to her on the right over there.

Anyway back to the subject at hand. I have decided to make up pattern and sell the on line for several of the projects that I have done over the years. The first one that I am going to roll out is my newest pattern, the Lucy Dolittle Scarf. This is a great little pattern that I will be talking about more as time goes on. I just made up one of these as a test bed for Dark Horse Fantasy as a yarn for clown props. It has made it through the first couple tests and we will see how it does over time. In the mean time I think I am going to make one out of the old standby Red Heart while I am waiting. I will have pictures of it after our next practice.

As for where the shop is I will let you know when I have finished setting it up. I did all the Etsy stuff a couple weeks ago before everything when haywire at the homestead.

Just as a question for poling. How many people out there use Pay Pal. I thinking of making it the preferred payment method for Zeeppo’s Store (Inspired Name Right). I have not really used it much so I am interested in what other people have to say about it.

I am still in the middle of doing some project for the nieces and nephews. I am going to finish a hat for Tank today. I am still working on Sierra’s scarf. It is a pink thing with a ribbon carried along in the center of the scarf. It is doing a funky curving thing as the moment. I will have to crochet an edge or seam it in some way.

There is men’s Knitting tonight at the shop. We have consistently had a few guys in for that. I don’t know how many we have had thus far but it is nice to see the thing doing well. If I think about it I will get some pictures.

Well that is just about it for the moment. I did want to talk a little about the nephews but I don’t have that post done yet. Be safe out there everyone and keep your stick on the ice.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Good Adolph, The Good Whitey and Cute Kids

The Quad Cities is a town like many others in many ways. Yet unlike most town they stradle the boarder of Iowa and Illinois. It is the home of John Deer and my seven Neices and Nephews. It is also were my wife grew up.
In a lot of ways it is trapped in the 50s. One of these ways is the popular ice cream stand Whitey's. I can't imagine that you get away with calling an ice cream stand Whitey's in Pittsburgh or New York. Still, this is the Quad cities where anything goes. It is like Vegas without the sin.
Anyway this is Carol inside a Whtiey's in Moline. By the way the Quad Cities is Moline and Rock Island Illinois and Bettendorf and Davenport Iowa.
And like the Man or Whitey who has been oppressing people for generations this Whitey's has the best of everything. Look at how happy Carol is with her Sugar Free Moose Tracks ice cream.
Person ally I have met moose in the wild. I would not want to eat anything they left behind. This even trandlates to things that they are named for.
Another Quad Cities thing that you will not fine anywhere else is Adolph's Mexican Food. I have been looking around trying to figure out how a Mexican kid got the name Adolph. No one has been able to answer this question. Still, the man knows Mecian food.
And unlike the Adoph the rest of us know and loath this guy appear to be a good guy by all reports. He also opened his first taco stand long before that Austian Idiot went goose stepping across Europe.
One of the draw back of Pittsburgh is that we do not have access to great Mexican food on every corner. This is not the case in the Quad Cities. Besides Adolphs there is also Rudy's {Yeah I don't know why a guy named Rudolph opened a Taco Stand either}. There are also tons of mom and pop places all over. With the Exception of El Campencino and a Taqueria on the Sotuh Side Pittsburgh are stuck with Taco Bell and Quedoba.
Onto some picture of my neices. I have three neices Charae who is picture bellow. She is athletic and laughs at my jokes. What more can you ask for. This was unfortunately the first time that I have gotten to meet here. At this point she is in the final stages of her adoption.
She plays basketball and her favorite color is blue apparently {She had me make here a blue hat}.
She is also a better bowler than I am. I could claim that I was handicapped by my bad hand. Still, even if my hand was just find I am fairly sure she would have beaten me. All of this kids have a bizzare attachment to bowling. When I was I kid I suppose it was not that popular. In the Cities it is like a minor religion.
Another kiddo that is waiting to be adopted by my sister in law is Sierra. She is the quiet studious one that does not like to have pictures taken of her. Out of respect for her I will not put her picture up on the blog even though I sneaked a couple when she was not looking. She is also a better bowler than I am.
I will probably have to find some one to tach me how to bowl, but I digress.
My last neice has been adopted for a while. And as you can tell by her picture she is a shrinking flower that does not like attention. Tasha {who think I pronouce her name funny} makes is a Disney Cartoon look reserved. She was the flower girl at both our weddings and is growing into a lovely young lady.
She got robbed during bowling and still managed to get more strikes than I did.
She is bouncy and bubbly and life of the party where every she goes. She reminds me of a what I thought I was like as a child.
She also got a red hat {So there was knitting on this trip}. I am currently working on a pink scarf for Sierra and a blue hat for her brother.
Hopefully my wife and I will be able to bring them to Pittsburgh during the summer. They are great kids who are going through a rough time at the moment. Still, even though they are not biologically from the same parents you can not tell that they haven't been a family since birth.
I write about the boys in my next entry. I am still going through all of the pictures that I took on this trip. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.
The spell check is not working on this thing. I hope it is not that hard to read.

Friday, February 01, 2008

In Rock Island

Hello everybody, I have not posted in a few days. I have been busy visiting with my neices and nephews. They are the ones I have talked about before.

Anyway I am here with a couple of them. I have not asked their mother's permission to put up pictures of them. So I will not at this time. I did take a few pictures and if I am allowed I will put them up when I get home. I also forgot to pack the cable thing that will take the pictures of the camera. They are currently laughing at my bad spelling and grammer. Believe it or not I acutally edit this thing before I put it out. I am just a lousy editor.

Also as I type this thing Sierra is reading it outloud over my shoulder. It is like I am having my life narrated. It is kind of neat. If I had the money I would hire a narrator for the rest of my life. It might get annoying after a while. Still, I have not reached that point yet.

Is there anything that the two would like to say to the people who read this blog?

Well I am waiting. Is there anything you want to say?

Sierra says "I don't know"

Tasha say "OOO OOO"

"Tasha says I would love to meet them sometime." She said the whole line including that she said it. Sierra is continuing to read as I type. She is really good at guessing what I am trying to say even though I am mispelling stuff.

Monogahela, Duquesne, Allegheny, Juniata. I just wanted to see if she would try and say those words. She did even though she pronounces them wrong. It was really funny. I suppose you had to be here.

Anyway, I am still working on the sweaters. I took a break to make some hats. I made a couple on the train up here. Or I suppose it over here. the Quad Cities is not really that much further north than Pittsburgh. It was more of a lateral move than an north south move. Although i did get to go to Chicago on the way.

I have always loved Chicago. they have great pizza. You know the deep dish style that you do not see very much around Pittsburgh. We have been contaminated by New York too much.

On to some knitting news. I visited The Yarn Shop in davenport Iowa today. It is just called The Yarn shop. It is a small little shop with a ton of yarn packed into it. It is in the Paul Reever Square shopping area. If you are in Davenport it is worth a look.

The staff was very freindly and did not assume I was looking for yarn for my wife. This is always something that i look for in a yarn shop. Also they had a good selection Plymoth Yarns and a couple other that i like. I did take a picture of the outside of the place. Still, once again I cannot up load it because I forgot the cord.

Well I am going to hang out with the kids while they are here. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.
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