Monday, January 29, 2007

Dude, we're gettin' a Dell....

Do you remember that annoying little man from the commercials? He was the epitome of the ultimate-stoner dude. As I clicked the "complete order" button today, I said, out loud "dude... we're getting a Dell." My cubicle neighbor giggled uncontrollably.

Why are we getting a Dell? Mostly b/c our old computer is PC's old computer and while it's been working "ok" for a bit now, our MP3 players don't play nice with it. Specifically PC's new 20gb MP3 that I got him this summer. And with an increase in salary for moi this year, we can afford this little luxury. A laptop. (don't worry honey, we can still use a "real" keyboard). Also, my digital camera currently spits and hisses at PC's old computer. I don't see them playing nice in the near future.

What else is new in Chez Mini et PC? Well, the pipes froze this weekend and we thought we were going to have to move VERY SOON. But, some clarification with the landlady and some creative suggestions on PC's part (he's very smart about these things---renting and such, I assume the best of all people and think "oh, well... we have to pay it"... guess what? we DON'T! who knew??), we are staying put in our little hovel of a home. Now, an enlightening moment from PC: he doesn't like our little apartment! Personally, I think it's "good enough" for what we pay and where we live. I like to think "we don't own it" and that makes me feel better about not having any counters. :)

Knitting? I am *thisclose* to finishing ONE Anemoi mitten. Oh, these are addictive! AND I have the entire Knitpicks Pallette collection ( a gift from a friend a long time ago) so I am thinking: Christmas presents! Next year, there will be Anemoi and other colorwork mittens for Christmas. :)

We got a ton of hats over the weekend ( I really need to bake cookies for the mailperson (ours' is a girl)).

Oh, and my extra special goodie of the day? Adrian of Hello Yarn, is speaking to my knitting guild on Valentine's Day! YAY!

Friday, January 26, 2007


Hi, long time, no blog, huh? Sorry... life got in the way! I have some knitting content (no photos) and some hat project updates, so this will be a combo post.

  • I finished my socks! I got this Claudia's handpainted in the yarn aboard! swap and I knit it using two methods I have never used: toe-up and short row heel. I think I am a convert!
  • I only have one more sleeve to go on Dad's sweater (yay!)
  • I cast on for Eunny's mittens. LOVE THEM.
  • I am in the Bloomin' Feet swap (again!) --- and I will be shopping at SPA for my swap pal, I think I know something she'll like!
  • And, I was in Knit and Dish... I submitted some v.yummy recipes!

Muppet-head update:

The hats are already rolling in! Just yesterday, I had 4 packages waiting for me! You have gotten really crazy with the color combinations! I love them! Pumpkin sniffs and inspects each hat. She hasn't been going near them, so that's a good thing! Overall, total success. We are WELL over 600+ knitters right now. And the 'registration' emails have slowed... thankfully. I will take some more photos of all the hats this weekend. :) And I will show off some of the "handsome prizes". ( i know, even better!) Also, if you knit one hat, you are making one smile. So, please don't apologize for making one smile. One smile is worth alot. And people... with 600+ knitters... that's a lot of smiles!!!!

So far, we have seen:

lt. pink
lt. blue
electric blue
red w/ sparkles
red w/puffs
dk. pink
oh.... the list goes on and on! Tune in on Monday for some photos!

Unfortunately, with doing good, comes some bad. There are things coming up in the emails that are recurring so I thought I would mention them here and perhaps it'll save you and me some time, energy and teeth enamel (i'm a grinder).

I work full time. I don't have an easy job, I am a scientist. I wish I could email you immediately after you hit the send button, but I can't. I want to get back to you, but there are a few things stopping me. Thing the first, slow computer at home.... hates my email system. So, I cannot email from home without it being a "project". I don't want email to be a project. Cooking dinner, knitting and talking to PC are my projects when I get home. Oh, and opening all the wonderful hats you are sending! So, if it takes more than 12 hours for me to reply, please don't send me a nasty email. It's not nice. And I play nice.

I purchased fun fur for this project. I have it. A lot. Not as much as some of you, but enough. I have no time-resources-intention-desire to be a fun fur distribution center. Several people have emailed saying that they cannot knit the hats, but would like to send the fun fur yarn. I have responded: please, please don't. I have no weekly SnB to hand it out at. I can toss it willy-nilly into the air with abandon, but only the crazy guy with the boat (a local "curiosity") will catch it. And I don't think he knits. I know you all mean well, but seriously, I can't do anything with it. There is no way I can knit all of it. I have no one to send it to.

Keep up the good work! :)

:) Mini

Friday, January 19, 2007

I really should have some photos to put up here, but I don't. I have been knitting... mostly on my socks (that fun fur really knocks it out of you, doesn't it?), they are almost done. I've made some decisions about this blog and the charity drive, etc. I will be updating with fun fur hat stuff 2X per week. And the rest of the week is mine. M'kay?

So, Fun Fur for Kids (or, as I have been calling it "muppet heads"):

1. the Sweet Sheep ( has donated a prize package and has an offer for people knitting for the cause: 10% off coupon!!!! (check it out, I am drooling over some of the things over there!) Now, the coupon code is my zip code (the 5 digit # that is included in my address); this prevents non-participants from getting discounts! Michelle, the owner, is so proud of you all that she wants to give you this 10% as a reward. So, when you pop over there and spend some money, share the love... and tell her thank you!

2. I have more emails donating skeins of yarn than I can mention here. Also, stitch markers from tons of Etsy shops... I need to sit down and really go through the emails (sorry, everyone, i do have a full time job and I answer emails "as-needed").

a very special note though: we have a donation of a skein of Lisa Souza Sock! yarn (one of my favorites!) from Paula; Paula lost her daughter (Jenny) to leukemia 17 years ago. She was 10. Paula sent me an email saying that her Jenny would have loved these fun fur hats. So, my next 2 hats are "from Jenny".

3. Windsor Button in Downtown Boston has become an accumulation site for Kate's Fun Fur hats for Kids! Sue, the owner (and Beth... her rockin' employee and knitting instructor----I think I need to take a class!) has set a 20% discount on some of the "furry yarns" like :
Fun Fur Stripes
Fancy Fur

Make sure you tell SOMEONE there that you are knitting for CHILDRENS' Hospital. :) This shop is a Boston institution!

EDITED TO ADD: we have one more yarn shop "signing in": the YarnGrove has donated 2 skeins of J-knits SuperLight Sock yarn: one in "rhode island" and one in "wisconsin"--- just.gorgeous. :)
and finally,
#4..... oh, should I tell you? Ok...

549 knitters.


And, hats have begun arriving! :) Pumpkin has been inspecting each hat and having PC and I document who sent what and from where... (she's quite the taskmaster!). She wants me to say "mew,meow...meow meow. Mew mew mew. me---ow!" I think that means "way to go! keep on knitting!"

:) Mini

Monday, January 15, 2007


Ok, settle down! I need everyone's attention please!

(wow...flash back to jr. high!)

I have some announcements to make:

Donna has donated some stitch markers from her Etsy shop.
We have *almost* 400 knitters ready to knit.

A few things that have been coming up in the emails:
1) non-fun fur hats are ok... shedirs, london beanies.... just make sure they are age-appropriate!
2) colors-- all colors are cool... color combos are cool.
3) mail the hats to me. You can wait, build up a bunch, then mail them.
4) If you are attending the NETA Spa, Knit and Spin event in Portland, I will be there. I am NOT taking my own vehicle, so please do NOT hold hats for me (Amy, look for an email offline)--- I don't want to overload someone else's car.

please, please...don't share my physical address with anyone--- if someone needs the address, have them email me. I have had several (more than I ever thought possible) requests/offers from people to print out my "reply" email with the instructions and post it. I live around Boston and would rather not have my name, address and any other information posted in a public place, such as the gym, the grocery store or on your local cable access channel. Thank you to everyone for wanting to get this out there, but please email me to ask permission before you send my personal information out into the world. Please respect my family's privacy. thank you.

On the Needles:
a) 2nd toe-up, short row heel sock in Claudia's handpainted--- need these quick! getting chilly in Boston!
b) dad's sweater's sleeves... welcome to Sleeve island, enjoy your stay!
c) Emerald Sweater from Knitty....
d) fun fur hats.....

:) Mini

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Holy Smokes Batman!

Or should I say "knitters"?
We are *ahem* (drumroll please...)

300 + knitters.

In a week. Holy crap.

These hats (see above) are just from Kristie! & hats... I know that Sue is on hat #4? probably 5 by now... :)
Some more prize announcements:

Cara at January One has donated 2 skeins of Socks that Rock (in the G-Love and January One colorways-- see her blog for the photos) and a box of her notecards... this is all one prize package b/c well... who could split up Cara and her G? that's like having peanut butter without jelly!

Jyny (blogless) is sending in a to-be-determined gift card to Michaels' or Joann's!

Catherine has donated a $30 gift certificate to Mama Llama (check it out! nice stuff...) shop!

Isobel has donated some hand-dyed sock yarn... drool...

Jenn has donated a set of stitch markers (she just started her own business... and is a good email friend---send her some love!) of your choice!

Maureen has offered some handmade button covers--- check her out!

If I have forgotten anyone who donated, let me know! As the hats start rolling in, I will be posting some photos. Pumpkin (our cat) will start drawing names on March 1st for all the prizes and will assign prizes to people... she's being very secretive about the entire process of selection.
Mini's knitting guild ( Hi Ann! I know you are reading! but go knit a fun fur hat, please! lol...) is off to a weekend knitting retreat this weekend. Last night, they all cast on for fun fur and I unloaded about 60+ balls of fun fur on them! So, what are they doing? Finishing up hats... and knitting some over the knitting retreat. I was super-impressed with how many people brought already-completed hats to the meeting! PC commented that the skateboarder-type hats (London Beanies) were "pretty cool." In "PC"-ish, that's like getting a nod from Mr. Blackwell.

A note about what hats to knit. Yes, the kids requested fun fur. The conversation between me and the Child Life Specialist was that *most* of the kids wanted those. So, what about the "not-most"? Skateboarder hats and skull caps for boys and girls. 10-16 is a tough age and sometimes crazy hair-head is cool, sometimes a skull cap is cool... so, I am offering up the opportunity to knit both. No hat will be sent away unloved! Also, some of you knitters didn't have fun fur or couldn't knit with it, so this gives you an opportunity to knit for the kids too!

A reminder: if you are knitting the non-fun fur, please make it machine washable and soft. :)

Knitting in Mini-land: I am working on one of Dad's sleeves, a pair of toe-up socks and fun fur hats. This weekend will be fun... I am dying some yarn (some for me, some as a donation to the contest) and hopefully i will be able to clue you in on some knitting by then.

keep on knittin' !

:) Kate

Monday, January 08, 2007


Wow...did the "people in the computer" come through or what? I left the post up for a few days b/c I wanted to give the people I asked (Norma, Margene, Cara, Deb, Karen,Susan, etc...) to post to their blogs time to get the links going. I certainly didn't expect the response I got:

200+ knitters have answered the call.

Check out Susan: 3 hats already made! Norma made 1 (and yes, it'll fit!)... I will try to pick a few each week to show off on the blog.

You people amaze me. Amaze. Me. The weekend went like this (you will now know why your emails were a little late):
Friday night: call to PC, "you have a giant package here". Hmm.. Fun Fur! Work late, get home, cook dinner and then check out package. Start knitting hats. talk to PC about "overwhelming response: 50 knitters! this is HUGE!"

Saturday mid-morning: Check email. refresh page. Refuse to believe eyes. Start to cry. Yell to PC: mover 150 knitters! Need to run errands and get ready for dinner party. Make dinner, put fun fur hat on a friend, snap photo... (see below).

Sunday morning: Check email again. Make tea. Make Lunch. Check email again! Oh god...more tea and some serious cut and paste... I answered over 200 emails requesting the pattern info and my address. Then, the prize donations, discount messages from yarn shop owners... oh. wow. Mini pretty much lost her stuff on Sunday. I can only explain it this way: my heart is full. Please bear with me if I get a little behind on emails, etc... I really did expect *maybe* 50 people if I was "really really lucky"... you people amaze me.

So, we have some really cool things to announce like prizes and discounts.

First up: Yarnzilla

this is a great offer from a woman who owns her shop and will be knitting hats for the kids also. Now, who wouldn't want to buy yarn from someone who is knitting along with us???
Here's her offer:
I own both a bricks-and-mortar yarn store that does lots of online business, and we offer Funky Fur Magic on our website (which to me is about the coolest fun fur for kids, since it's self-striping). Funky Fur Magic retails for $6.43 (I think that price is already slightly discounted, which is why it looks a bit weird), but I'd be happy to drop the price to $3/skein for anyone who's knitting for your project. If you'd be interested in passing on this discount, please ask participants to type "Kate's Caps" in the comments area of the checkout form, and we'll manually change the price for any and all Funky Fur Magic purchased before we charge and process the order.

Prize info:
#1: Chris over at Woolybuns has offered up a skein of handspun (yet to be determined...)

#2: Joni at Union Center Knits has donated a very generous $50 gift certificate (with free shipping!) to her Etsy shop: Union Center Knits

#3: Sarah has donated a spindle/large project bag as a prize--- very pretty!

#4: One of our knitters (megann... no blog) has donated a ball (or two!)of Opal sock yarn

#5: Donna (another blogless participant) has also donated a ball of Opal sock yarn

And probably the most interesting prize donation yet comes from a non-knitter. See, PC's sister (hi Mel!) lives not just far away. She lives FAR FAR away-- the Isle of Man in the UK actually. So, we don't see her as much as we would like but we do email her. She visits this blog every so often and she saw the contest. She has very nicely offered to create a little box of goodies from the Isle of Man. Now... some of you knitters are true Anglophiles and we all know how knitters react to the idea of some international exchange... so, this is a cool prize. And, she has said she'll look into getting some of the wool from these sheep to toss in also. WHAT. A. PRIZE.

So, there you have it. This week's prize announcements. Pumpkin is anxiously waiting for packages--- she gets excited for boxes y'know! she was a bit overwhelmed by the 80 balls of Fun Fur that arrived at my house on Friday ( I made a bulk purchase for my knitting guild).

So, what did I do? Cast on Friday night for this:

This is my friend, Mari, modeling the "muppet head" at my house on Saturday night. My goal is to knit one or two hats per week... it took me 2 hours on US9 to knit the "no hair day cap" seen above. that's a movie with the great PC. I knit during movies anyway. :)

E.T.A: thanks to Headhuggers for all the pattern info and also to Alison Hansel for the generous use of her "thing 1" pattern!

Have a great day!
:) Mini

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


UPDATE: you need to EMAIL me with your info... I cannot send info to people if I don't have their contact info. leaving a comment without an email address will not let me contact you.

ATTN: Diane from Holden-- please email me at kskaare (at) gmail (dot) com, insert the @ where is says (at) and a . where it says (dot).

Ok, some of you Bostonians and New Englanders may know Childrens' Hospital Boston. and if you don't, just stop a random stranger on the street and ask them about it. A child they know went there, got treated, passed away, got cured... it's one of the best hospitals for children in the world. And they need our help. If you don't live here in Boston, be assured that Childrens' Hospital treats kids from all over the world and provides support to their families while they are undergoing treatment. It's an amazing place when you are sick child or if you have a sick child.

There seems to be a ward of 10-16 year olds who are undergoing radiation and chemo for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses who need some hats. No, not just ANY HATS... they want the fun fur. Yup, I said it. FUN FUR. And they want a lot of it! Girls, boys... teens, preteens... all running around the wards at Childrens' Hospital with fun fur "hair"--- laughing, playing, raisin' hell.... sounds good, doesn't it?

Now, the contest part. I'm willing to give up my hard earned money (via yarn) to pass out some prizes... there will be prizes for "largest # of hats" and "random name picked from hat" and "ohh, it's hat #50!". Everyone will be given a chance to win something. As the hats start coming in, the prizes start going out. Got it?

The Rules:
1. you email me with your name, email, snail mail and blog ( if you have one)
kskaare (At) gmail (Dot) com
2. I email you with a word document with several hat types.
3. you knit a few. I knit a few. You tell your SnB to knit a few. If they arrive in a box from you, you get in the prize drawing-- more hats, more chances.
4. You must have the hats TO ME in Boston by February 28, 2007. (these hats are not rocket science, they are easy, they are on big needles... one takes about 1 hour to knit)
5. I put your name in the contests... PC pulls names, Pumpkin announces winners via this blog and emails....

The prizes? Monica of Two Left Needles is offering up a skein of handspun. I am going to offer up some sock yarn (variety of kinds) and some other yarns. If anyone would like to donate yarn or prizes, please email me.

C'mon--- who's with me?

:) Mini