Sunday, June 5, 2011


Hi everybody
I know, I haven’t been posting in a very long time. I’ve been away far too long but I’m back in a Norma Desmond-like sweep of strings and wind instruments. See the truth is.. and I’m a little ashamed to admit I’ve had to reconsider a couple of major relationships In my life lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that It’s not me, It’s them.

It’s not just a simple case of start-itis. We all get that from time to time. Starting an epic crap-ton of projects and eventually finishing them ( even if you have to reincarnate to finish the amount of projects you’ve cast-on or chained, or Fsc/Fhdc/Fdc’d.  I’m convinced Shirley MacLaine is just a slow yarncrafter)  It’s  more like..well.. this is what happened

I was sitting in a local coffeehouse working on a project, and working this row where I’m supposed to work x number of stitches into a cluster, then chain a certain amount, then work another cluster of stitches into the next cluster. And I was coming up one cluster short. I checked my chart ( I don’t like written instructions and much prefer charts since I can slip them into a page protector and stick them into my murse. That’s right; I carry a man-purse. ) The problem evidently is that the cluster that was THREE GOD DAMN ROWS DOWN vanished from existence and evidently occupies the same frame of reality as the Island of Avalon, the Island on Lost, and the Island of Misfit Toys. The Island of Misfit stitches is where all your missing crochet stitches go. They slip in through quantum wormholes when you are not looking and hang out on this tropical location sunning themselves and drinking themselves silly on mojitos until they relax so much that if and when they ever do decide to reappear on your project, your gauge has now gone all catty-whompus.  Or perhaps that’s what the number sequence was on the Dharma computer was, it wasn’t actually the combination to the island or whatever ( hell it was Lost, nothing was what it was supposed to be) it was the stitch and row co-ordinates to all your missing crochet!

So now I’m faced with a few choices, rip out a hundred yards of crochet, in public, on lace weight cotton thread, with coffee dangerously close to my yarn, OR curse effectively and creatively in public in various languages, OR  send the shawl to the naughty projects bag until it has learned its lesson. The shawl and I were obviously having a major fight, and I don’t like to make a scene in public. And trust me, the sight of a six foot plus, two hundred and XXX pound bald man in glasses cussing in French, Russian, Sicilian, and Cantonese at the top of his lungs as he rips out five hundred blankety-blankety-blanking crochet stitches is VERY MUCH  the definition of making a scene in public.

So I packed up the crochet, and when I got home, it went into my naughty projects bag. The Naughty Projects Bag is sort of like the naughty chair for your kids or the Naughty room for the cat. (Yes, my cat goes to the Naughty Room when he’s a bad boy, it looks remarkably like my cellar) It’s not an effective discipline tool for felines (as my cellar door will attest, it looks like the victim of veeery tiny zombies clawing at it in search of smurf brains) but the Naughty Bag is very useful for disciplining bad projects. It goes in the bag and I start another project or three until the project in the Naughty Bag tells me it is sorry and gives me back my missing stitches.  Then I give it a hug and finish the job.

FYI.. the shawl’s still in the damn bag. The stitches are having too much fun on the Island.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Flamies Recap 2011

Hi all, I know this went up insanely late, but in my defense, I've been working my butt off this week. So now, without further ado..the Flamies Recap for 2011

Good evening all and welcome to the 3rd annual Crochet Liberation front Awards, The Flamies!

Brought to you by Mary Beth Temple and the gettingloopy podcast, I’m your color commentator, Joshua McKiernan, also known as the Fibear and I’m waiting here on the red carpet with all our arrivals. Our beloved  Laurie Wheeler  has obviously taken a page from Lady Gaga, but instead of arriving in an egg, Fearless Leader showed up stuffed inside an alpaca. When asked if if was a designer alpaca, Laurie replied “Mmph mph MPH mpph Mmmph!”

Mary Beth looks marvelous, rockin one of her gorgeous beaded shawls, and cleverly hiding the battleaxe she might use depending on how the voters have spoken tonight.  I believe her “for your consideration” ads ran something akin to “VOTE FOR ME OR THE BUNNY GETS IT”, but I think all Lapine members of the Temple house hold have pulled a watership down and scarpered off to safety in Mount Stash.

Shannon Mullet Bowlsby of the Shibaguyz has arrived, with his usual date, the big cardboard cutout,It was rumored that we might have heard this mysterious "Jason" speak during the podcast at some point, but further investigation has revealed the dialogue was, in fact, just photo-shopped in. 

And of course, the goddess that is Doris Chan arrived,  in a dress made entirely of Godiva. She instituted a drinking game very quickly, from which Yours Truly opted out. I'm like this stone cold sober, do y'all really want to see what I'm like under the influence??

The first award of the night, Best Crochet Event, went to the NY stitch-n-pitch. While I appreciate that it was in fact, the largest gathering of crocheters ever in public, it took place in New York City..Home of bad salsa, and the Evil Empire. Living as I do, in Massachusetts, the heart of Red Sox Nation, it's inbred into my very DNA that NY sports events are evil evil things that are run by scary intelligent Goats. Of course, I have no idea what kind of game they went to..something involving touchdowns?..

Next up was Best Designer for Menswear, and it went to the wonderful Peter Franzi, who was taking time from his dress rehearsal to make his acceptance speech. Having just gone through nine concerts in three weeks myself, I say whatever Deity he believes in bless his cotton socks. I just finished the last of them two hours ago and it's only through the application of several large iced coffees that I'm even remotely verbal. 

Best Crochet Blog went to Designing Vashti, by Vashti Braha. Vashti's speech was cut short due to a dinner party she was hosting, since the awards were on the first night of Passover. I censored myself on-air and didn't use this joke on the podcast, and was told it's slightly sacrilegious, So if the following joke offends, I am sorry. 

Why is this night different from all other nights? : It's the Flamies!!

Best podcast went to Mary Beth Temple, which was a bit of a godsend, since the show WAS being broadcast on her podcast. It would have been much more awkward otherwise..and MB would have joined in the drinking game.

Best Hooks Independent and Commercial went to Dyak and Boye, respectively. I have to say, I'm a big fan of Boyes. Nothing like coming home after a long day and just grabbing a Boye and working all night until I'm too tired... And that was the cleanest pun I could come up with. It's been a long week.

Kristen Ohmdahl took home two awards, and definitely proved to everyone listening what Crochet can and should be. Drew Emborsky took home an award for his newest book "Crochet it. Love it. Wear it!" and since he's one of my heroes I'm thrilled. Doris Chan (we're not worthy we're not worthy) won for Crochet Lace Innovations. I love this book and have made many things from it. Except Hairpin lace. I tried it, and it hates me. With a passion. Doris also won the coveted Flaming Hook of Justice award. I met her at Chain Link in Manchester NH last year and let me tell you, She is one of the most gracious, nicest people you will ever meet, and she knows how to party. I have a sneaking suspicion she could drink anyone under the table. 

Robyn Chachula won two awards as well. Best designer for Children and Best professional video. I love her blueprint crochet books. In fact I LOVE working off of diagrams as opposed to text, and I'm somewhat spoiled in that respect where I find it easier to work off of those than the long text. 

Best 3-D object went to the Dragon Ship by Susan Lowman. It was available as a free web extra from Crochet World. A magazine I don't get... I. WANT. THIS. PATTERN!!!!!
I could just wait a week or so till payday and get a digital subscription to, but a) why do things the easy way and b) complaining about it is so much more fun. Of course, The space shuttle is awesome too, and I might make that for my mom someday. You know, I'm the only member of my immediate family that has never been to space camp? My brother went when he was little, my mom went as an adult. Silly me, I went to Europe instead. Bad Geek, no Jammy Dodger!

Kim Guzman (another fine lady I met at Chain Link, total sweetheart) took home awards for Best Instructor and Best Home Decor project. Having seen some of her instructional videos I can believe that. If it weren't for her I'd still be trying to figure out Tunisian Purl stitch. 

To all the winners mentioned, and to the others who weren't ( sorry my shorthand SUCKS and I was scribbling as fast as I could while emceeing the event) Much Congratulations. And hey, maybe I'll be in the running for Best Blog next year. You never know....

The Fibear.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday, April 9, 2011

No yarn, but a sing-along!

Good morning readers!
I'm right at the start of concert season, so I haven't even looked at my project bag for an entire week and I'm slightly going through withdrawals. Do you know how I can tell?

I am prone to singing or humming under my breath while I go about my day. It's a slightly annoying and mildly rude habit, I acknowledge this. But I always have at least two or three songs running around my head at any given moment of my waking day and it's the only way to get them out of my brain before I start twitching and foaming at the mouth going "Make the Voices Stop!!!"
and do you know what's been going around my head for the last week?

( to the tune of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, by the Sherman brothers)

Iiiiit’s Super-wash-alpaca-lace-weight-yarn-by-malabrigo
If you crochet shawls with it, it can destroy your ego
But it’s fun to say and sing so in your brain it will go
Um-diddle-iddle-iddle stitch stitch sitch
Um-diddle-iddle-iddle frog frog frog
(Key change)
 Um-diddle-iddle-iddle stitch stitch sitch
Um-diddle-iddle-iddle frog frog frog
Because I’m not afraid to stitch although I’m just a lad
My friends all like to pick on me and make jokes that are bad
But I’ll have my revenge soon on the whole entire brood
For when the zombies come I will have skills and they’ll be food!
 OH!  (repeat chorus)

yes, I'm not a well man.. what can I say. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's a thing.. respect the thing!

It's been a heckuva week here in the Fibear's cheerful little den. I am in rehearsals for Easter services, Easter Cantatas, Easter Vigils, Cadbury Easter eggs.. ok those last ones aren't rehearsals..they're just crack.
On the hooks, I have 25 rows left on the Garden Path shawl. I have 20 rows left on my fez.

Speaking of Fezzes (which are cool) I am extremely upset with the Ecumenical Council of Nicea ( despite the fact that they're all SEVERELY dead). Why, you may ask, am I upset with bishops and cardinals who were dust centuries before I was born? These are the people who decided that Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. Which means this year Easter vigil is April 23,2011. Do you know what else is happening April 23 2011????