Archive for January, 2008

That’s all for now.

January 25th, 2008 10 comments

The Jayne hat list stands at 42 hats waiting to be knitted. Assuming I knit a hat every two days, that’s a 12 week wait. In fact, of course, I knit them faster, and that wait is only about ten weeks, but still. That’s ridiculous. is closed to new orders until February 10th (the day after my birthday). If someone’s already contacted me but hasn’t decided whether they’re ordering, I’ll take them. New inquiries will be asked to call me back when I’m out of the tub. I’ll be putting up a note on the site expressing this.

I’m thinking about going to limited signup windows, but let’s see what a little break from new orders does to whittle the line down first. Every year I think the demand will die down, but every year there seem to be more and more Browncoats, and the wait gets longer. It’s amazing, and wonderful. Of course there will come a day when that last order comes in and it’ll all be over, but that day doesn’t seem to be coming soon.

In addition to the practical matter of needing to get more caught up, there’s also a more intangible issue. I am a creative person and I HAVE KNIT THE SAME HAT 500+ TIMES IN A ROW. To be a Jayne hat, it has to look exactly like a Jayne hat. It’s not like I can throw some cabling in there, or stick a knitted spout on the side and call it a teapot hat. I’d like to have the freedom to make a few non-Jayne things and not feel guilty because I really should be getting caught up on the list. I had someone write and ask if they could order a Space Invaders hat for someone’s birthday a month away, and I had to turn them down. Broke my heart.

Finally, those suggesting that Pat’s quilt plays a part in this wouldn’t be wrong. I’ve promised scarves and slippers and dolls to friends and family members, but they’ve been on the back burner for far too long. I promised my father a Charlie Brown sweater last year for his birthday. His birthday’s coming up again next week. You can see how the sweater’s coming. I’ve swatched for gauge and done the math to figure out the stripe placement and the number of stitches to cast on. IT’S BEEN A YEAR. That’s just unacceptable. And bless my dad’s heart, he always says, “Well, I know your paid orders have to come first, you take your time, it’s okay.” Yeah, but I shouldn’t have to backburner a project for my own father to make the 600th hat for a total stranger. That’s nuts.

So I’m taking baby steps in cutting the hats back to a more reasonable level. When wearwithstyle returns, the price on a finished Jayne hat to the U.S. or Canada will also rise to $40. Brown Sheep has raised its prices for my wool twice since I set my initial rates, and I need to continue to cover my expenses and also maintain my enthusiasm for this.

Don’t get me wrong. I love knitting the Jayne hats. I enjoy talking to people from around the world who share my love of Firefly. I like helping many of the people who buy the kits to knit their very first hat. And, on a less noble level, It’s fun having the tiniest possible level of celebrity within the already tiny groups of geek knitters and Firefly fans. I don’t see myself giving up Jayne hats. But if I’m going to keep at it, I need a break.

Hats up for: Alberta, Texas, and Texas.

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An American pineapple.

January 24th, 2008 8 comments

Originally uploaded by The Library of Congress

This may be one of those things that everybody knew already, but The Library of Congress has a flickr account and they’ve been scanning photos and putting them online.

The photo shown is captioned, “An American pineapple, of the kind the Axis finds hard to digest, is ready to leave the hand of an infantryman in training at Fort Belvoir, Va. American soldiers make good grenade throwers”

I have a sudden urge to buy war bonds.

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Pat’s quilt.

January 24th, 2008 14 comments
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Emily’s Angels.

January 21st, 2008 6 comments

A few days ago, Emily suddenly took an interest in the Entertainment Weekly magazines I sometimes pick up at the store. I didn’t notice she was reading it until she came in and asked, “Who’s this?” There was a two-page photo closeup of Lucy Liu in a magazine from a few weeks ago. (It takes me a while to get enough time to read through these things. Jayne hats, you know.) Now Emily is absolutely fascinated with Lucy Liu. “She’s so pretty!” she keeps saying.

She and Steve searched for pictures of Lucy Liu online today, but unlike 90% of the people searching for Lucy Liu on the internet, they searched with safesearch on. Tomorrow she wants to draw pictures of Lucy Liu. In the meantime, to divert her from Entertainment Weekly, which has language which is a bit salty for an eight year old, I stopped by Borders and picked up a copy of Discovery Girls magazine. She flipped through it, but I don’t think it’ll hold her interest until it starts featuring articles on Lucy Liu. It’s all Lucy Liu, all the time here.

I’ll be out of town tomorrow, and Steve will be home to watch Emily since it’s a teacher workday. Hopefully they’ll have lots of fun with Lucy Liu. I should be back late tomorrow night.

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Zzzzzip it!

January 20th, 2008 12 comments

This morning, Steve and I had been talking with Emily about going to the zoo at some point. She’s very excited, but clearly doesn’t want to go right now. She wanted to set a date far in the future, to give herself some time to get adjusted. She picked Nov 12th at random, and then we settled on a date in August. So after all that, she told us, “I want to go play now.” That’s fine. She’s eight, and we had been talking about something fairly directed and focused, and she was still in her PJs, for Pete’s sake.

Shortly thereafter:

Me: I need to go to the post office later, do you want to come?
Emily: No, thank you. I want to stay here.
Me: Okay, that’s fine, but I’d still like you to put on some daytime clothes.
Emily: Okay. Then will you leave me alone?

Heh. I think she was worried I’d still make her go to the post office. The thing is, she really doesn’t mean it rudely! Any more than she does when she says, “I don’t want to answer that now” or “I’m done talking” and then launches into an involved story involving someone imaginary. She really does mean what she says, and she says it very matter-of-factly. She’s had enough of whatever I’m forcing her to concentrate on, and she needs to do her own thing. The tough part is getting her to communicate that in a way that doesn’t come off like “talk to the hand!” We seem to have curbed a flat “Stop talking” from her.

So what’s a short, effective, direct, polite way that you can tell someone that you need to not talk with them anymore? Something an eight-year-old would understand would be ideal.

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Jayne hat list

January 19th, 2008 No comments
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We control the vertical, we control the horizontal…

January 18th, 2008 2 comments

This evening I was at the video store, and a roving reporter from our local Fox News affiliate made the critical error of asking me if I’d talk on camera about the snow for a “man on the street” kind of thing. So assuming I made the cut – and I think I did – the entire city will know about drinking cocoa to make it snow. Soon I’ll have the entire nation drinking cocoa! Mwahahahaaaaa!!!

Yesterday when we were out in the snow, I couldn’t find my gloves. The first thing that came to hand was this truly giant mitten. I believe this was the first mitten I ever knit. I have a history of knitting my first of any garment truly huge. Because it was huge, I didn’t bother knitting the other one, but neither did I get around to unravelling the first one.

This may be a bust as a mitten, but it was a huge hit as… THE MITTEN MONSTER! RAARRR! This giant mitten now belongs to Emily. It comes out periodically and tries to eat people. I offered to put eyes on it, but apparently it’s fine as it is. Well, not exactly fine – now she wants a middle-sized mitten and a small mitten so that it can be an entire mitten monster family. Heh. This was‘s “merino bulky” in mint, a colorway I don’t think they offer anymore. I think I’ve still got some stashed away, so we’ll see if we can create Bride and Son of Mitten Monster.

On the needles, a Berroco Jayne for the German Browncoat who sent us those care packages. Woo!

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January 17th, 2008 18 comments

Pat passed away last night, very peacefully, in her sleep.

Thank you for all the good wishes and support you’ve given during this difficult time.

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January 17th, 2008 6 comments

Emily’s had great fun playing in the slush today. However, my feet are cold! I’ve made at least six pairs of felted slippers for other people, but none for myself – maybe that’s something I need to fix.

Pictured: A 2004 gift for . Big Kureyon with decorative ties and Plasti-Dip sprayed on the soles to make them grippy. This may be my favorite pair.

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

January 17th, 2008 10 comments

Good teamwork, everyone! Your cocoa-drinking efforts paid off nicely.

We got a nice gentle snow all night, the roads stayed clear, and we got a chance to go out and play before it started to melt. Perfect! Next time we’ll go for greater volume.

At right: the world’s smallest snowman.

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