A champagne lesson (with a small amount of knitting talk)

So, I’m in the process of moving cross-country. I’m already here in Charlotte (yes, as in North Carolina, the new anti-gay state–boo!!), but Kirk and Olivia are still back in Iowa City. Things are pretty chaotic at the moment; I’m now living in a rental house while we do some house hunting for something not quite so “subdivision” as the rental house is. I have no furniture, not even a single chair. I did splurge and spend 7 bucks on a camping mat so I’m not totally “roughing it”.

My set-up includes: coffee maker, refrigerator well stocked with beer, frozen burritos, and condiments; camping mat and suitcases upstairs in the bedroom, and temporary craft room in the dining area. I am moving to Charlotte for a yarn related job (yay, exciting!), so I have come well stocked with knitting books, all my needles and crochet hooks, plenty of yarn, my swift and ball winder, etc, etc. Because all my other stuff is still back in Iowa, I have no table on which to attach the swift and ball winder. Bummer! The kitchen counters are too thick for the clamps, but luckily there is a spare bathroom with a counter-top sink that is the perfect thickness. So I currently have a really awesome bathroom/yarn ball winding room. I could, like, wind a yarn ball, and then jump in the shower, and I’d only have to walk 2 feet; how convenient!

Anyway, back on topic. So, a couple of weeks ago, Kirk and were busy packing boxes. Moving is something I’ve done a fair amount of over the past 15 years, but every time I do it, memories are stirred; old photos and books, childhood stuffed animals, knickknacks…

Something I’ve been moving around with me for many years, is a bottle of Dom Perignon, 1985.


This was a gift from my old friend, Brendan Lynch, for my 19th birthday. (Brendan, are you out there?) It also came with a sweet Scottish tweed newsboy cap that I still wear today. As many times as I’ve been desperate for a drink of booze at 3 a.m. over the years (after 2 am when stores in Iowa stop selling), I never did break down and bust out the Dom. I think I wanted to save it for some sort of special occasion. Although I’ve had a few of those over the years, I have somehow managed to  refrain from opening this bottle.

It was a night or two before I was to set out on my 20 hour drive from Iowa to The South, that Kirk suggested we open the champagne. Just for fun, he checked online to see how much a bottle from the year 1985 was selling for; something like 200 bucks, he found out. Well, gosh, that was exciting! We were about to consume sought after, expensive beverages!

I let Kirk do the honors. Pardon the crappy pictures of our rental house, particularly around moving time.

Ooooh, we have foam. And bubbles! Vintage bubbles!

Now, unfortunately the photo chronicle ends here. If I had kept going as I should have, I would now insert a picture of Kirk with an unpleasant, scrunched up look on his face as he takes his first sip. The flavor experience from this vintage beverage is not what it should have been. It was sour and kind of rotten tasting. That didn’t actually stop me from trying several small sips, just to make sure this was actually happening. I’m not the classiest person ever, after all, and thought maybe people who actually drink this stuff prefer stinky champagne. But, alas, it was determined our lower class taste buds were correct in their assessment that this bottle of garbage was, in fact, trashed.

The problem, my friends, is bottle storage. Specifically, this bottle was stored upright at times, keeping the cork from staying wet. This is what ultimately killed the Dom. How was I to know? I’m just a vodka drinking simpleton from Iowa.

The one-liner of wisdom for the day: always keep your cork wet.


Lighten Up!

Latest pattern offered through Knit Picks, Lighten Up!

Available on the Knit Picks website or through my Ravelry pattern store


Dark graduates to light, in this simple yet interesting take on the zig-zag. Knit center out in the round, there is no need to worry about matching cast-on to bind-off since you’ll be binding off all stitches in one fell swoop! Follow the suggested striping sequence or make up your own for a totally different look!


Pattern includes instructions for shortening scarf. Finished size pictured is 85” long x 18” wide from point to point.

Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss Fingering 70% merino wool, 30% silk; 220 yds/50 gms
Color: #24612 Kenai (turquoise); 3 skeins Color #25017 Sea Spray (light blue); 3 skeins
Needles: Two US 4 (3.5 mm) 40 inch circular knitting needles
US 8 (5 mm) straight or circular needle, for binding off
Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch markers

Techniques required:

  • knitting in the round on two circular needles
  • Judy’s magic cast-on

Links are provided in the pattern to free tutorials on the above techniques, but are not explicitly explained within the pattern itself.