Friday, December 30, 2005


Am currently obsessed with Sudoku. V fun.

Left Chicago at 1pm, arrived home around 8. V tired.

Knitted a few rows of Clapotis, many rows of Liesel. Did not knit much this week. V sad.

Got two skeins of Lamb's Pride Bulky in Chocolate for a scarf. (Mistake rib? My so-called scarf?) V pretty.

Cats were not fed dry food while I was gone. Cat box was not scooped. V upset.

Tummy hurts. V tired.

Sudoku. Yeah. That.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

It's Raining

Nephew and I are in Michigan until the end of the week and I really thought I would see snow. Silly me - no snow here, just rain. Dreary day. Nephew #2 has been using Nephew as his own personal pony.

Actual conversation from telephone yesterday:
Mom: I had a nice Christmas. I really like the moisturizer you got me. The slippers are too small but I can exchange them. And Bill got me one of those Shih-tzu massagers.
Me: Shiatsu, Mom. Shih-tzu is the dog.
Mom: Oh, whatever, but it hurts my back.

(Wonder what this is? Massager made of small hairy dog? Massager made FOR small hairy dog? Huh.)

Dad likes his new scarf. I made it extra long, and as soon as he opened it he said he had just been wishing he had a really long scarf. He really seems to like it.

For gifts here I got a JoAnn gift card (next 50% off sale online I'm getting a ball winder), three - THREE - skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Safari, a Knitting Pattern a Day calendar, and a cool knitting book with some really nice Kim Hargreaves patterns in it. Very tasty!

That's all for now. Got to go set up a blog for Space Dad.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Pass the Eggnog

I made it to Chicago in about 7 1/2 hours. Highlights of my trip:

1. Signs: "Hell is HOT" sign strategically placed just across the freeway from a 24 hour Adult Superstore; "Begley's Rear End Parts" just south of Indianapolis; "Nervous Charlie's Beer and Fireworks" (bad combination); Used Cows (sign on a barn north of Bowling Green, KY).

2. Christmas Carols: "I Want a Hippopotamus for CHRISTMAS" (it's a march, and butt-stupid); a parody Christmas album commercial with top song "Dig a Hole and Put Me In It (I'll Be Dead in Just a Minute)" (sing to "Deck the Halls" tune); Dean Martin Christmas album (you can hear the ice cubes tinkling in the glass if you listen closely) because he called Rudolph "Rudy the Red-Beaked Reindeer"

Anyway. My niece is adorable and my nephew is super fun. There was some kind of altercation in the next yard with two snowmen - one is missing a head and the other tipped over. They are full of sticks and twigs. Looks like some bad stuff went down.

I knitted a few rows on Liesel and one row of Clapotis last night. Whoo hoo!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I'm so tired

I just loaded up my car and I'm. So. Tired.

I leave you tonight with The Overalls of Shame in Fun Fur -- actually done by an actual Knittyhead.

I laughed, I cried, they moved me.

And YES, they were knit as a joke

Merry Christmas, Part II

Some of the history of Christmas among Christians can be found in this article, a decent summary from Slate.

Yes, I think Jesus was probably born in September instead of December (based on some basic math from the gospels) but since we can't know the day in any case I don't see why it matters what day we celebrate it on. I don't celebrate the winter solstice, regardless of the fact that Christmas falls at the same time. And many people who celebrate the winter solstice don't celebrate Christmas just because it falls at the same time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


# of gifts bought and wrapped: about 42
# of gifts shipped to Florida: 6
# of gifts left to buy: 2
# of gifts left to wrap: 3
# of gifts left to seam: 1
# of stores I went to today: 3
# of clerks who wished me anything, let alone Merry Christmas: 0
# of those clerks who worked at Wal-Mart: 1

# of songs on my new video iPod: 1237


As requested by Jo, my top 10 favorite songs in my iPod, in no particular order:

10. "With God On Our Side" - Buddy Miller, Universal United House of Prayer
9. "Little Ways" - Dwight Yoakam, Just Lookin' For A Hit
8. "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" - The Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
7. "Fly Me to the Moon" - Frank Sinatra
6. "Family Tree" - Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose
5. "I Envy the Wind" - Lucinda Williams, Essence
4. "The Lonely Goatherd" - The Sound of Music soundtrack
3. "Don't Look Back in Anger" - Oasis. (What's the Story), Morning Glory
2. "Fit But You Know It" - The Streets, A Grand Don't Come for Free
1. "There Is A Fountain" - Selah, Press On

As you can see, I'm an Americana fan, but I also like the swingy timelessness of Big Band jazz, soundtracks from musicals, and Britpop. Oh, and hymns. Especially those sung by Selah. Don't know why, but they always bless me.

Merry Christmas, part I

Part I - Please read this article from my favorite gay Catholic libertarian Englishman-turned-American and all-round super cool fellow, Andrew Sullivan. It's a keeper. (Andrew's site is here - it's worth checking out as well if you haven't already.)

Anyway, I agree with him on the "Merry Christmas" issue - what about you?

(And yes, I do see the mistake in the IH Scarf, it was three repeats into the pattern, which is always the place where I stop being hypervigilant and think I know it, and therefore screw it up.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Six pix

Because I am so behind, but also feeling generous.

1. Please admire Grady's whiskers:
He's quite proud of them.

2. Note the characteristic Maine Coon traits - tufty ears, tufty paws. You can only see a little of the tufty-ness of her right paw.
Maine Coon

3. Behold the Secret Pal socklets:
SP socklets
I am happy to share that my SP5 was StickChick. She was fantastic. She sent me a great email and I haven't had time to write her back yet.

4. Behold the Irish Hiking Scarf:
Irish Hiking Scarf
Terrible picture; I had no sunlight so I boosted the contrast. Blech.

5 & 6. Behold the Guitar Boy socks, modeled by Guitar Boy hisself:
Guitar Boy Socks
Obligatory heel shot
Can you believe I got him to do the obligatory heel shot?

To answer Grumperina's meme -
1. I think all my friends know about my knitting.
2. I think only my knitting friends know about my blog.
3. I am not sure my non-knitting friends would be interested, and they would probably think I'm dumb. I don't know.

To answer the other meme circulating:
I knit on the couch, my yarn is in a copper tub to my left, needles stored in a spaghetti holder, and I have a turtle box on the table next to couch that has notions in it. Knitting in progress things are usually on my gigantic coffee table.


I finished my Irish Hiking Scarf! Woo! 54 repeats of cable pattern, 2 full skeins of Patons Classic Wool in 'dark grey mix.' Pattern is at Hello Yarn. It's blocking like a stinky dog in the bathroom.

I owe some pictures big time of my fo's, but I don't have any time today.

And Stariel raises a good point - even though Christmas IS my thing, by this time every year I'm pretty tired of it. A friend from Europe is totally baffled at how we Americans "celebrate" Christmas. I don't believe Jesus was born December 25 (or even in the winter) and that whole Jeremiah 10 thing gives me the willies about Christmas trees, but I think it's fine to celebrate the birth of Christ once a year. So my question is, is the big shop-fest eat-fest we have every year a celebration? Obligation? To me the most fun thing this holiday so far was going to hear Handel's Messiah. It was absolutely lovely, sacred and not commercial. It's a beautiful piece of music. It's the scripture that blesses me and keeps me going. But it is not - not - "A Very Beyonce Christmas."


So, one of my illustrators sent me a copy of Yarn Harlot's latest book - go to and check it out. I thumbed through it and it looks positively hilarious and brilliant. As always. She's great!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Forget it

I've amended my previous comments because some freaking idiots just left the blogger I mentioned death threats. I mean SERIOUSLY wake the snot up and read your bible, you morons. Death threats? WHAT?

As an aside -

I think it is rude when someone wishes you Happy Holidays and you correct them by saying "Merry Christmas." That is rude. It is rude to correct the speech or wishes of a sales clerk who's been on her feet for 14 hours and has probably had enough of screaming snotty kids, complaining people who trash the public bathrooms and yell at her on line, and standing up. It is bad - no, terrible manners to give so little thought to the person helping you that you feel it is permissible to correct them. If she doesn't wish you a Merry Christmas, it's because she doesn't want to - either because she is respectful of her company policy or because she doesn't share the sentiment. Why is none of your business. Do not correct her. You do not have the right, and it is not your responsibility.

Take the Christmas tree out of thine eye before attending the tinsel...never mind. Pfft.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Kong Kong Kong

1. Seamed up half of Daisy
2. Saw King Kong - fabulissimo, go see it RIGHT NOW
3. Ate lasagna
4. Knitted about 10 repeats of Irish Hiking Scarf, ow, right hand
5. Watched Animal Planet program "In the Lion's Den" - v scary
6. Dishes, dishes
7. Cuddled with Schmade

I bought a new wool coat - just a classic tan 3/4 length coat I got a great deal on. It's lovely and extra warm. I am behind on my Christmas shopping and knitting. That scarf needs to block Tuesday night at the latest, and I want exactly 27 repeats with this skein...I'm five short. Wheeze, wheeze. Daisy needs seaming which I can technically finish in a couple of hours - just the left sleeve - but I have to go buy buttons for it and a satin ribbon because I'm going to do kind of an empire waist ribbon detail thingy - the colour isn't quite girly enough.

GB wears his socks constantly! I'm going to knit him another pair, this time a different pattern. Always good to have a backup.

Oh, and I finished Bear's body/head and knitted one arm. I also need more stuffing. Why isn't there an all-night JoAnn around here?? Eek, that would be serious enabling...I categorically and empirically hate Wal-Mart but I might possibly go there for stuffing, buttons and a gift card for niecie. We'll see!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Stop and eat chocolate!

WHOO HOO WHOO HOO WHOO HOO I finished the knitting on Daisy.

Now I have to eat chocolate, go to a party, and seam the seams...oh, and get some buttons, and I'm done-er-oonie!


I could drink 467 bottles of Nestea before croaking!

How much caffeine would it take to kill YOU???

Friday, December 16, 2005

Weirdest. Thing. Ever.

I'd expect someone with the name "Jim Smith" to encounter a lot of instances where his name gets mixed up with someone else's.

But me? MY name?

Oh yes. I'm not going to tell you what it is, but if you already know it, well, there are two of us in Nashville, one in Greenbriar, and one in Memphis. JUST in the state of Tennessee.

I nearly picked up her tickets at TPAC for Handel's Messiah tonight. There were four instead of two - luckily I had the confirmation number with me.

A long time ago I signed on to online banking to discover $4000 in my account that wasn't mine. Turns out it was the OTHER me. I changed banks. We also have the same dermatologist.

Well, my last name is very common up north, but I wouldn't have thought it would be common down here at ALL.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


What do Jodie Foster, Annette Benning and Faye Dunaway have in common?

Apparently they all have the same facial structure as ME!

Seriously - go here and upload a picture of yourself. It will measure your facial structure and compare it with the structure of celebrities and tell you who you match. Super cool!

I uploaded two vastly different pictures of myself:

This one gave me Jodie Foster as the top match, and Annette Bening as third or fourth.
and this:


Which gave me Annette Bening as first choice, followed by (in no particular order): Jodie Foster, Sigourney Weaver (I hear that a lot), Faye Dunaway, Mariah Carey (WHAT??), Kate Winslet, Shirley MacLaine, and Cate Blanchett.

Well, that was a fun five minutes. Go do it! :)

Crazy Apes, Crazy Sleeves and Other Craziness

I watched the 1933 version of King Kong tonight and wow, what a technological achievement for that day. It would have been a better movie without the closeups of the crazed ape-face, but it was very, very well done all things considered. My father and mother weren't yet born. Hitler had not yet invaded Poland. World War I was only fifteen years gone. They did amazing things. Yes it's choppy but someone working on that picture had a vision. Who can you think of today that is pushing the boundaries of creativity and technology more than any other filmmaker? Peter Jackson, of course. Which adds a nice layer of irony.

Although I am doing both Daisy sleeves at once, through a decided lack of attention to detail I have somehow managed to make one sleeve AN ENTIRE INCH shorter than the other. This happens when you don't always remember if you just turned the work or not. I put all the stitches from the longer sleeve onto a holder and I'm currently playing catch-up with Shorty.

I decided on an all-black number with a yellow Jerry Garcia necktie for a belt for tomorrow night. Going to see Messiah, cannot wait. I love that piece of music.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Shake it Like a Snow Globe (It's Christmas Time!)

I invite you to go over to The Codenames MySpace page and listen to their brand new Christmas release - Shake it Like a Snow Globe (It's Christmas Time). If you aren't familiar with The Codenames, they sing songs about zombies, witches, and haints with an Americana flavor and a Tenacious D Meets Scooby Doo spirit. They are hilarious. (I promise.)

And go here - link- and play with a cool online snow globe!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Wisdom for Nine-Year Olds

Tonight I spoke with the Esteemed Nephew, who's 9ish. He got in dutch for not realizing that his dog, Brandon


did not come back in the house with the other dog, either last night or this morning. Kid saw him run off but didn't chase and didn't tell his mum. So last night Brandon, having exhausted all his squirrel-hunting options in the city of Chicago for one night, simply stood outside and barked when he wanted to come in. That's how my sister found out. Not good!

So tonight Nephew told me about it, and what he learned:
1. The dog is his responsibility.
2. Always get a visual on the dogs when you come inside.
3. Never leave a man behind (or dog).
4. Brandon isn't being bad when he runs off - he's being a dog.
5. Always tell Mum when Brandon runs away.

You and I would think this is pretty basic, but Nephew is 9 1/2 and is slowly sneaking into the uncharted waters of 10-13 year old boy, during which time brain is made of rice noodles and the most common phrase uttered is "I don't know." Which is second only to "where's the trigger on this thing?" and "did you fart?" ( I do love working with teenagers but this group baffles me the most.)

My motto today (stressful day) is "Happiness is a choice." GB told me last night that his motto is "It's all gravy from here on out." I like that.

My other motto is "just do the next thing." This is great for following knitting patterns, as well as stressful days at work, housework, dieting and exercise, to name a few (I just typed "exercist", hee hee hee).

Speaking of knitting, I'm off to work on Henry some more before bed. Happy knitting!

Monday, December 12, 2005


The post-person was ESPECIALLY kind to me today:

yarn overload

Later: Of course I started Henry the Bear tonight, with light blue britches, an orange sweater and "snickerdoodle" fur. I got his body done in about an hour. Very easy knitting and VERY well-written patterns. I am so impressed with the designs in this booklet! Order one if you haven't. Jess is talented! And I can't say enough good things about Wool of the Andes. I know, it's cheap. I don't care, it's lovely to knit with...or maybe I've been using too much cotton and acrylic just seems so lovely and bouncy and warm and I really love the way it feels in my fingers. Yep, quick! Somebody hand me a ball of Karabella, right now!

PS: Blood Simple is a bad movie to watch while knitting.


Thanks to Stariel ! I've now registered both my kitties at Catster. Please click the links below and leave them some treats!


Home needed!

Stroll over to Julia's Knitterly Things blog and see if you can help her...she needs a home for a lovely, lovely kitty. Julia is the wonderfully talented person behind Vesper sock yarn. The cat is lovely! If you live around Pittsburgh or know someone who does who wants a kitty cat, look her up!

Happy Monday.

Oh, and this post has a picture of me at SnB! This is at the lovely Threaded Bliss. I'm in the "second renovation" photo (very crowded) at the table. I'm sitting at the front left at the table. And actually sitting up straight?? Who knew!

(PS, must check out that new handpaint, add to my list of yarns to buy when I get a few more things taken care of financially.)


I worked about 2 pattern repeats yesterday on Liesel, a tiny bit of baby sleeves, and spent the rest of the day cleaning my abysmally filthy apartment and learning what I could about websites. I have a big site due at the first of the year. I think it finally made it over the hill for me last night, thank God. I learned what the "float" command is in CSS.

So not a lot of knitting yesterday. On Saturday I watched several movies: House of Flying Daggers, Rebecca, and The Aviator. While I knitted. I took it easy and man, I really needed to.

Off to work, must get there early today.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Another new project

Scarf the Liesel, in Blue Sky Cotton on #8s. It's gorgeous so far and is a Christmas prezzie, so don't yell at me!

Here's a picture - go to Yummy Yarn's home page to get the pdf.

Liesel scarf

Enjoy! It's a fast and easy lace knit, even for a dyslexic girl like me!

Saturday, December 10, 2005


I had in mind to do laundry and cleaning today, and I did get some done, but this is what I spent most of the day doing:


That's Daisy, a sweater pattern by the lovely and talented Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl Mc-Phee and published by the esteemable Knitty. The yarn is Dreambaby DK, which I totally recommend for anyone knitting babywear (Sheila told me that it's the only acrylic she'll use, at least I think I remember that right, hey?). The pattern is very easy and quick to knit. I had about 5" of it done (bottom up) and I got to 7", divided for fronts and back AND knitted them plus about 2.5" of both sleeves between about 12:30pm and 6pm.

Things I regret: using an Inox needle for this, which seems too heavy for this light and froufy yarn; not starting with the sleeves (because although I'm doing both at once - you should too - I am working sleeve 1 from the inside of the ball and sleeve 2 from the outside. This means I have to stop and untangle the ball every few minutes. I tried the Ziploc bag thingy but that was a mess.) Also watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie with Laurence Olivier in it while I worked on this. Why does he always give me the creeps?

Things I changed: I kept the button placket (left front, stage right in picture) border in seed stitch. Her pattern says to just k1, p1 on rs and purl across on ws, and I've no idea why. I knitted a few rows this way and didn't like how it looked, so I dropped stitch 3 down and made that column seed stitch. I didn't fix the border, but even I can't tell so there is no need.

I think I am going to do the hood version, if I have enough yarn for a hood. I have the yardage specified by the pattern to do the hood version, so we'll see once I get the sleeves and neck done how that works out.

All in all, a very easy pattern and quick to knit!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Happy Friday Before the Friday Before Christmas

(I think)

Narnia was very good, very entertaining. The scenery, camerawork, art direction, costumes and set design are positively awesome. I found the story a tiny bit rushed or thin for some reason I can't put my finger on, but only up till a point. Then it got bigger, quick. Everything happened so fast and they just ran with it. Every kid in the audience was left with his mouth hanging open by the end. Mine wasn't far behind. Plus I got a cool swag hat that says "Aslan is on the move" on the back of it.

When I came home yesterday from work, I noticed Mr Honda had backed nicely and neatly into one (and only one) parking space. Perhaps his heart did grow!

Hooray and hallelujah, I finished the socklets! Pictures later. I can't post them yet for an unspecified reason. I printed an article from Knitty (Techniques with Theresa, specifically) on grafting. When last I wrote I'd had a horribly frustrating evening of trying to bind off the toe of the Guitar Boy sock. I have never grafted before, nor have I done anything other than your basic short-row toe. So I made a mess of things, and tonight I plan to clean that mess up! I am going to graft the toes and hopefully will have yet another FO to add to the list. The Irish Hiking Scarf is clipping along nicely and I'd say I'm at the 75% range now. So maybe by Sunday...but I shouldn't get cocky, eh?

I had to leave work at 4 today to go for a walk. I'm feeling so depressed and sunlight-starved and sedentary it's crazy. The temperature is 26 with a wind chill of 19. I wore two t-shirts, a sweatshirt, my teflon-coated thinsulate lined parka, my Aslan hat and gloves. My fingers were freezing for about 10 minutes and then I pulled out the sleeves of the sweatshirt and wound them all up together with the gloves. By the time I hit 15 minutes I got positively hot and had to unzip my jacket and take off my hat for a minute or two to desteam.

Let's see if I can find a picture to post. Ok, here's one. This is Fee sitting in the dining room. She's looking at a Degas print on the wall. She likes to sit on the floor with her front legs resting on the crossbar of the chair. She's done this from day one. She's your basic garden-variety kook.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Today is the day

I will return to Clapotis once more. I miss her!

Update: sadly, Mr Honda Pickup was still parked next to me this morning when I left for work. So he probably didn't see my parking work of art, and I'm sure his parking heart is still two sizes too small.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Turtle boxes, turtle wax and parking hearts

I got a present from Guitar Boy, and I have to take pictures of it. The only way to describe it is to say it's a turtle box. So stay tuned for that!

Tonight I finished most of the knitting on the Guitar Boy socks. I say most because I actually had them done with ends woven in (very securely, might I add) before I realized that since I have never actually knit a "traditional" toe before (as opposed to a short-row toe) I didn't realize that once you stop decreasing, you have to STOP. Because otherwise your toe looks like some kind of boxy hammerhead shark wannabe, and we don't want that. So I ripped. And I mean, I just unravelled as patiently as I could and then got tangled up and RIPPED. (Too bad, Sock, I am the Boss and you will not get the better of me.) (Why do I always have so much trouble with sock bindoffs?) (Why am I typing everything in brackets?)

So I didn't finish the sock. He really wants them, and I really feel bad but I was just lost, dropping stitches and trying to unravel and re-ravel and it was a big ravelly mess. Pffft. I will return to them tomorrow night. We will have Guitar Boy Sock Redux.

Today was massage day. I really think massage is the best stress-management in the world. I am not talking candles and spa treatment, I'm talking sports massage. Neuromuscular. Lymphatic. It will change your world. I have been going once a month for 3 1/2 years. I would give up yarn before I gave up massage.

To quote Grumperina - I am so out of the club now! Honestly, I won't give up either. :)

I did a mean trick tonight. Not because I was feeling particularly mean-spirited, but because...well...I have a narrow car. I mean, it's really really narrow. It doesn't have much else going for it - it's black and has a terribly oxidized paint job but it is a good car, a very good car actually. Yes, I should have bought the purple mist instead of black, but darnit, I wanted the CD player (you know, the one I haven't used in years). Anyway, the paint. Turtle Wax won't fix it. According to Space Dad I need something called rubbing compound done to it. I don't even wash my own car, so I'll have it done - eventually. But the point is, it's narrow. And this is of great benefit to me because I can fit in nearly any parking space known to man, including spaces that I am positively certain I will never fit into.

Tonight and every other night this week I've noticed this jackass Honda pickup truck parked in the lot for my building, and he (I assume women do not drive jackass Honda pickup trucks, but this IS the South) - he is always parked over the line. The spaces in this place are narrow anyway, but he's positively obnoxious about it. Plenty of space on the passenger side, and over the line on the driver's side. Every stinking day. So just for fun, and not because I am mean-spirited but because my car is narrow and I love that I can do this - I parked next to him tonight. On the driver side. I left plenty of room on my driver's side so the guy next to me doesn't get upset, but on my passenger side? Unless Olive Oyl is driving, homie will have to get in on HIS passenger side (and really, if I was mean I'd have waited till he was boxed in on that side too and THEN parked next to him). And maybe when he stands there cussing me tomorrow morning in the 17 degree weather, when he has to back his new black truck out and pray he doesn't scratch it along the side of my homely (but faithful) scratch-and-dent Nissan, it will occur to him that he parks like a jackass. Just maybe.

And maybe his parking heart will grow three sizes tomorrow. One can hope. I was kind of actually hoping there'd be ice on his window so I could etch "NICE PARKING" or something equally eloquent into the frost. But no luck.

I hope you don't think less of me.

Debbie is now doing so well she no longer needs supplemental oxygen during the day - only at night. YEAH!!!

Yarn Harlot Meets Goat

You must read her today! You must, must, must!

Really, I laughed my head off.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Now that I've revealed myself to her, I would like to announce to the world that I am Stariel's secret holiday pal, and you can read about her giftie here. Let me say I am just in awe of this chick's personal and knitted accomplishments, and I hope that I have done her justice.

Ah, well, it's freezing in the apartment tonight, I just ordered Jess Hutch's Unusual Toys for you to Knit and Enjoy booklet. I've got to make that big-headed teddy bear. It's lovely!

Ok, so now I'm committed to the Kate cat, the bunny, the bigheaded bear and about five thousand other things. I don't even have progress bars for everything, I'm sad to say! I'm too embarrassed. I'm like a junkie cruising dead-end streets for a fix...always looking for the next project. I have a wayward eye when it comes to knitting, and knitting on deadline does take away a lot of the fun for me.

Debbie is already out of the hospital and living comfortably in her apartment in Jacksonville. With a new lung. Can you believe it??? God is good!

Really, it must be winter.

Time to dig out actual socks, which means it must be winter. (Fifteen days early.) I rarely wear anything more than footies unless I absolutely have to. This is evidenced by the near-removal of my poor right pinky toe-nail when I was putting on the aforementioned socks this morning. It hurts when I walk. So I went to the WC and took off my sock. My toenail appears intact, but it is angry with me.

So it was freezing, but at least my feet were warm. After a whole lot of vigorous scraping I finally got going and made it about 1500 yards on the freeway (!notice how I measure distances as if they are yarn!) when traffic came to a dead standstill, and all I could think when I saw the ambulance was, "somebody is having a worse day than I am." So you know what I did while I was in this godforsaken 2 mph stop-and-go traffic, don't you? I worked on my Jaywalker sock. Mostly it was knit a few stitches, move ahead a few feet, knit a few more stitches, etc. I got about three rounds knitted before I pulled on the wrong needle (oh, you evil Magic Loop) and ripped it clean out of my knitting! (Which, honestly, if you pull out only a few stitches, it's grounds for cussing, but if you rip out the WHOLE needle it's a moment where all you can do is laugh.) YES, I did put my knitting on the seat when traffic picked up again, and I drove to work, where people were circling like sharks waiting for parking in the parking structure, and after about ten minutes and a tasty pigfest holiday snack, I felt better.

Lots better, in fact. Although I have to know that verse that says "do not become weary of doing good"? Well, I'm pretty weary lately. I think I'm pilling, actually.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Just ordered

Because well, I *need* more yarn...this is for a Kate stuffy (link below, utter cuteness), some armwarmers and possibly a felted bag, for use with my Evergreen SP yarn. I want to make some mistake-rib armwarmers, some where you k3, p1 on the rs and knit the ws rows, and some using whatever other stitch combination I can find that looks yummy. But not stockinette.

Knit Picks Wool of the Andes:
2 skeins Chocolate
2 skeins Stream
2 skeins Fern
2 skeins Pumpkin
2 skeins Snickerdoodle
2 skeins Chestnut
2 skeins Rain

Color breakdown: fern, snickerdoodle, chocolate and stream go together; pumpkin, rain, chestnut and evergreen go together. Oh, and I got one ball each of Bark, Nutmeg and Twig in Palette, to go with the two balls of Blue I have (also SP yarn). I have some ideas about what I'm going to do with that, but not ready to share yet. Of course I will probably change that up completely when I actually see the yarn. Now if only Knit Picks didn't take so long to ship!!!

(oh yeah, the Kate stuffy will be pumpkin for skin, and one of the blues with one of the browns for clothes. I love that dolly! Have you seen her OTHER stuff? It's so AMAZINGLY cute!)

Utter cuteness!

Utter cuteness!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Two photos:



Some things I have discovered:

1. When people refer to giving "Greenies" to their cats, they are talking about a) a treat and b) a treat for cats. No wonder my cats wouldn't touch the doggie kind I bought them. (Snobs.)

2. Chicken soup on a Sunday afternoon when the Titans are losing and the sky is threatening snow is very nice indeed. Here is a recipe. You need a grater to do this.

1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 cup onion
1 zucchini
3-4 cloves garlic

(grate veggies and saute in 1 tbsp oil)

1 chicken breast, shredded
1 box broth
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper
1 cup cooked rice

(add this to the veggies, boil 10 minutes, simmer 30 minutes or so and enjoy)

Simple and easy! And tasty. I like adding a little "better than bouillion" and water to it once it starts boiling. And I made ice tea, and cheese dip and guac for a work party tomorrow. Cookeriffic!

3. The new Pride & Prejudice movie is the Best. One. Ever.

4. My family seems to all want to forego the spendfest that is our usual holiday custom and do something a bit more sedate this year. I'm happy about that.

5. Cabling without a cable needle really IS fast - I am still flying through the Irish Hiking Scarf and hope to finish it by Wednesday night. Along with Guitar Boy's second sock.

6. There is a little rubber brush called a Zoom Groom that works absolute wonders on the hairy little rugrats who live with me. It was $7 and I kind of balked at that but now knowing what it's like I would pay double that. It is just short of miraculous! They love it.

7. I think today would be a good day to have a fire in the fireplace.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Another day in the life of crazy people - and cats

I went shopping tonight. I need something ... interesting ... to wear to a function. Ok. I found a really lovely sweater at The Limited for half price. I've been looking for a brown sweater and I don't do lace, so I don't feel guilty about buying this! (I also bought a groovy brown pullover, but I have no excuse for that). The sweaters are hand knitted. They are lovely.

So anyway. I have been laugh-laugh-laughing at Wendy's blog and how her cat Lucy is just incessantly sitting all over this sweater she is making. The sweater is Noro, and Lucy is apparently a Noro junkie. She's in nearly every picture of the sweater (click Wendy Knits at right), crawling all over the sweater and loving on it. Tonight I brought this sweater home and noticed it had a weird plastic smell. Funny, like it had something on it. So I washed both of my gorgeous new brown wool-acrylic yet oddly soft blend half-price sweaters on the delicate cycle (since now I know how to wash wool) and laid them out on towels with fierce instructions to cats to stay away.

That lasted about three seconds (and only if I count fast).

Grady sniffed and went to his usual perch on the couch. Fiona, on the other hand, can't contain herself. She literally can't stay away. Every once in a while she will run, but come sniffing back and bobbing her head and making sure the coast is clear...and then she settles down for a snuggle.

So let's be realistic. This is a sweater that belongs to me. That means over the course of its lifetime it will pick up approximately 170,000 cat hairs. Even if I lint brush myself until I bleed underneath the sweater. Even if I store it in a paper bag and never open it. It will become a cat-hair magnet over time. Eventually cat hair will become one with the wool, entwined and felted in and absolutely indistinguishable from the fabric (this is why I buy brown sweaters). Realistically, I am asking myself, does it matter if the sweater has 170,108 cat hairs? Does it matter if she sits on it now?

I don't think so.

Grady supervises knitting

New Task!

Last night I learned to cable without a cable needle thanks to Wendy! Whoo hoo Wendy!

I am flying through this Irish Hiking scarf now...I did five pattern repeats in an hour last night! I am finished with my first skein of yarn (Paton's Classic Wool in colour Dark Grey Mix). It's 32" long so far and just beautiful. This is for my daddy and I want to knit some love and prayers into every stitch. I am going to knit both skeins up even though the pattern calls for a 55" scarf. I don't think 64" will hurt my tall father at all.

This morning I had what can best be classified as "make you a better person whether you like it or not" moment. I was late. It was cold. I had to scrape off my windows. I noticed a car running on my way out to my car - obviously defrosting. When I was scraping, I could hear the windshield wipers on the car running. "Why don't they just scrape off the windows? That's not safe!" I wondered, quite huffily (I am not not not a morning person). Then the driver door opened and I decided whoever it was was going to ask me to borrow my scraper, but I'm late, it's cold, so I (am ashamed to say) hurried up and got the scraping done and threw the scraper in the car. Phew. Except nobody got out of the car. I put the car in reverse and looked in my mirror - the car was in a handicapped space. Which is stupid of me - how did I miss this? I walked right by the car. I know this lady - she's elderly and very nice and seems to get around well. So I backed up and scraped off her windows. She waved and smiled and was nice. It took all of two minutes.

I'm really just embarrassed that I didn't see this to start with and had to go through griping about her and trying to get away quick.

Tomorrow and in future days, if I see her car sitting there in the morning when I am leaving, I will scrape her windows along with mine. I mean sheesh, she would probably have waited a half-hour for them to thaw out.

Well, today is Friday! I'm going to finish Guitar Boy Socks, Irish Hiking Scarf and my SP giftie this weekend. No knitting Clapotis until I get some FOs under my belt. I have started way too much lately and it's payback time!

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I went to a great SnB. Tonight I am going to work on my Irish Hiking Scarf again, inspired by Nikki's beautiful blue version (at SnB) and the fact that I think I have finally internalized how to cable without a cable needle. I REALLY messed it up before. I thought I was supposed to take all the stitches off the needle - whoopsie.

Just call it fun with dyslexia. Ha. At least I know now why I flunked math four times - although I am only mildly dyslexic, it is mainly numbers that trip me up. For the last math class I took I had a teacher who showed me tricks - "If it looks like this, do that" and I passed (finally), and I can do logic problems all day long but I have never successfully done a story problem, and I mean NEVER. In school I was called careless for my constant transposing of numbers, leaving out of zeroes and decimals and just generally screwing things up. I still count on my fingers and can barely make it through a long division problem.

Accounting? Forget it - that was just carnage (never mind that I had to be at the boathouse 15 minutes before that class got out, and it was at least a two - mile walk to the river).

For everything else it helps if I read out loud. But when you are constantly doing stuff like reading PRIVATE instead of PIRATE it can make for really hilarious reading. I can't get away from reading knitting patterns, though, so I just try to laugh about it when I get to the end of a pattern and realize I was supposed to slip the first stitch knitwise but I did it purlwise, or I back-crossed my cables when they were supposed to cross in front, or I kept decreasing long after I was supposed to stop.

Kind of sad, really - but also funny. This is why, if you've seen me knit, I don't sit there even with really complicated patterns in front of me. I memorize them and knit accordingly. Except for Clapotis. I only look at rows 6 and 8. And only when I have to.

No wonder they laugh at us

I am not a fan of Tim LaHaye or his "theology," but this gave me pause:

Quote from Gary Frazier, apparently one of Tim LaHaye's right-hand-men, in Vanity Fair (the one with Kate Moss on the cover):

"How many of you have read the Left Behind prophecy novels?"

PROPHECY NOVELS? You freak, do you understand what you are saying? It's not prophecy if it's fiction. It's not a novel if it's prophetic. I mean seriously, do you ever step back and listen to yourselves? Is this Christianese just out of hand?

Am I overreacting? Sigh. Let me say - I'm a Reformed christian. I believe things that would send most mainstream christians to the hospital as stroke victims - predestination, the sovereignty of God, and the fact that the Bible has more to do with Israel than with the Church, especially later, that Christians "misabuse" the tithe, the concept of Sabbath, and probably shouldn't do puppet ministry as part of their services...I could go on and on. The trouble is, people don't actually know what the Bible says. (And don't go thinking that I think I'm an expert, I'm not.) They think Christianity is about morals. I didn't realize Francis Schaeffer started the whole Moral Majority thing. I realize my opinion is in the minority.

I wish they'd read some Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Anyway, ranting and I need to go put on makeup.