Monday, August 19, 2013

How many needles does a knitter need?

I've gotten on an airplane only nine or ten times since 9/11, but I live my knitting life as if I traveled daily by air.

Among the airport security people, there has never been found any of them who are knitters. Or, who have any clue what knitting entails. After hearing a few horror stories about how airport security people have ripped complicated knitting projects totally off the needles, I switched to using wood -- or bamboo. It now appears there is a difference between wood and bamboo. I always thought bamboo was wood, but looks like I was wrong.

Now wooden needles do have certain advantages -- they do not appear to be so threatening to airport security officers. Sometimes the yarn absolutely drags on the needles, which set me to thinking about the fastest pair of needles I own. They were bought at a knit shop now closed, but I drug them out of my stash, only to find they were size fives, too small for the ankle warmers (K-State purple, by the way) that I am working on.

Shouldn't be too hard to find a pair, known as Addi Turbos, at the corner knit shop (turns out knit shops are getting harder and harder to find). Wrong. That's another story, but I settled this morning for a pair of size 8 of a brand called Nova. Couldn't get 14-inchers, took what the store had, 10-inchers. (Overheard the clerk tell some of the knitters who were gathering for a class that nobody is knitting with 14-inchers these days!)

Since I knit the pair of ankle warmers at the same time (keeps them the same size) I had two anklewarmers on the wooden needles. Dubious, I sat down with my project. I was right, two ankle warmers on one 10-inch needle is too much. I was so concerned about keeping them on the new size 8 needles I failed to observe if they were truly any faster. Looked for a rubber band I could use to restrain all the stitches from pushing their way off the needle. Yarn is like that, some it has very aggressive, pushy tendencies.

One of the ladies I met this morning talked rhapsodically about circular needles, so I searched through my tangle of circular needles for size 8. Did the second row on a second set of size 8 -- if you can call a plastic string with two pointed ends a set. Remembered after the first ten stitches why I had fallen out of love with circular needles.

Now what? Remembered that I was using a set of plastic size 8 for a pink-and-white baby cap. If I would go ahead and finish the cap -- I was at a place where I was decreasing and had to count every stitch as I went along -- I would free up the plastic 8's to use on the ankle warmers. Made the next row on the ankle warmers with the plastic needles -- three rows in a row with three different needles!

After that I really needed a break. Spent the next half-hour reading my favorite knitting blog, the knitter from Toronto, Canada.

Friday, February 15, 2013

It's Time to Read Cupid's Quiver

Cupid strikes again!

I’m so pleased Welkin Press liked another of my short stories – the editor liked A Vested Interest so well it was included in Cupid’s Quiver, just out as an Amazon ebook.

While A Vested Interest is not based on any person, all characters are fictional, I am blessed to know some fabulous barbershop singers, who in fact spend Valentine’s Day delivering special musical Valentine messages. And yes, they do wear fancy red vests with red bow ties, all of them looking like the exact image of Cupid in disguise.

They work hard at getting all the notes right, practice every week, and the money they collect – and this is where the story is actually true – goes to scholarships for talented musical students.


Sunday, January 20, 2013


Wow. It's been quite a ride, having my short story, One Cool Cat, published as part of the Christmas anthology, Fifty Shades of Santa.

It's been fun, watching people's reaction to the title Fifty Shades of Santa. You don't need to be embarrassed if you're caught reading Welkin Press's Fifty Shades -- they're romance stories for the "rest of us".

One Cool Cat is the new name for the cat featured in the story -- when the story begins, and a stray cat tries to move into the household, Dennis rules that the cat's name is Outside. What kind of a cat does Dennis think it is?

Friday, January 4, 2013

WOW! 78 "likes"

As of today, Fifty Shades of Santa had 78 "likes" on the Amazon page.

That ain't shabby, seeing as how the Christmas Season is over. Publisher Pat Smith had a great idea, but many things conspired to keep Fifty Shades of Santa from being available to the buying reading public until merely hours from December 25. Ah, but we can dream about what heights of sales it might reached, given more advance timing (and less hassle from Amazon).