Friday, June 30, 2006

New sock!

Yesterday I hit the wall with those blue, green and brown socks. I love them - don't get me wrong. But after binding off the cuff on one twice, it's still too tight. And after knitting five inches of 2x2 ribbing on the other yesterday (y'all who can do eight inches of complicated adult male sweater in one day have my respect), I was a little burned out. And since I just happened to bring that Sundara yarn I've been dreaming about lately -
Popsicle sock

This is the start of the Madder Rib sock from Knitting Vintage Socks. Every sock I do from Nancy's book starts the same way: I whine. Do I really need 8 inches of leg? Do I have to do a seam stitch?

Well yes, actually. I have decided that other than sizing modifications in length or circumference, just for a little while I'm going to try to do some new things and not knit my standard heel and toe on every single sock I make. So we are going to try a "star toe of three points" and a welsh (or maybe it's german) heel.

The ribbing pattern on the leg of this sock is real interesting - part stockinette, part rib - and it really kept my attention last night. It prevented me from showing off with fancy no-looking stockinette knitting, but also manages to escape from the utter boredom of miles of 2x2 rib.

And the yarn? I am not kidding - go buy some of this sock yarn right away. It's SO yummy and SO squnschy and so cushy soft. The colors are beautiful (mine is "popsicle") and they are continually a surprise, yet completely right.

I'm really in love with all these yarns. Go give Sundara some love!

Grady says "We need more sock yarn." Enabler!

PS: Tomorrow, people! Tomorrow is the day that Ivan Basso is going to begin his ascent from being second in the world to being the best. Tomorrow is the Tour de France Prologue. I have to cast on something for this crazy knitalong I started at the Knittyboard, and I think it's going to be the Pea Pod sweater (a gorgeous Kate Gilbert pattern free on the Interweave Knits site and recently knitted by Stephanie). Yarn buying expedition tonight!

Update: Seems Ivan was just throw out of le Tour on a doping scandal. Craptastic. Dave Zabriskie it is!

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Yawn. (Tired today.)

I see everyone is buzzing about the new Options needles, made by The Company That Shall Not Be Named (hey, it's better than accidentally confusing them with a small, upscale knitting boutique, huh?). Just to jump on that bandwagon, I won't be getting these anytime soon. Why? 1. I own a set of Denise needles already that were not nearly as expensive as the Options kit 2. I don't love metal needles that much, except for socks, and I already use the perfect sock needles (INOX Express with the black cord, that's I-N-O-X, ladies...har). 3. I knit Magic Loop and their longest cord for the smaller needles sized 0-1-2-3 is 32". Not gonna do it.

No problem - I am sincerely and with best wishes hoping they turn out to be positively pointy, if only for Grumperina's sake.

Here is a picture of the hatboxes I bought:

And one of the giant, amazing, gorgeous and wonderful stash-building project that just arrived in the mail:
Mama E Sock Yarn

This is, of course, Mama E's hand-dyed sock yarn. The two skeins at the top are a custom colorway she did for me called Mean Girl! Isn't THAT cool.

I love the little special yarns made by sister knitters - Vesper, All Things Heather, Mama-E. (Hill Country is next on my list, because I have a friend who went to U-T, so you know I'll be buying "Hook 'em Horns" to knit her some birthday socks.)

I'm all for the great, great stuff you can find at yarn shops - Regia, Fortissima, Wildfoote. There will never be enough sock yarn in the world as far as I'm concerned. But I have a special place in my heart lately for the handpainted lovelies.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

$68 and change

Lord help me, I was watching QVC last night. Because they had Bare Escentuals on there (doesn't that sound like a typo), complete with sales lady wearing too much of it (tan body, white face too!) and lots of deals. The sales lady kept saying "for $44 and change" and I thought it was funny. I watched in the hopes I'd pick up a few makeup tips. I used the BE for a shoot yesterday, and I'm not sure if it worked or not. It seemed to reflect well, but maybe looked a little chalky.

So I bought three faux-leather hatboxes at Target last night. Part of my ongoing stash-management operation. One now holds sock yarn, one holds wips, and one is empty (but I feel I'm going to need it). Aside from sock yarn, I don't have much of a stash. I also bought one rectangular divided box I am using for my office, some 2.5 gallon ziploc bags and three bars of Irish Spring (apparently a moth repellent). The total? $68 and change.

Weirdly, I didn't feel like knitting socks last night. The pattern I'm using - 2 x 2 rib - just isn't that exciting anymore now that I've done the heel, and the Sundara yarn is still calling to me. So if you can believe it, I pulled out my Clapotis to work on. I'm on repeat 11 of the straight section. I have always liked this pattern and I love my yarn - it just got to the point where it wasn't portable anymore and socks got my attention (this is my 12th pair this year, I'm obviously chasing Stariel). But for some reason it just feels like a waste to have poor little clapotis sitting in a basket with no one to love her, knit her or wear her, so I'm going to make an effort.

Some of you expressed interest in that sock heel. You can find links in the comments section. The general instruction is to start increasing when you get to the part where the top of your foot meets your leg. Increase the bottom only by 175% (multiply your number of stitches on the needle x 1.75, so if you have 40 stitches on your bottom needle, increase to 70). Whatever that number is, round it off to an even and increase at the bottom corners every other row till you hit it. Then decrease/turn like you turn a normal sock heel - knit to 2 past the middle, ssk, k1, turn; sl 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn. Work the two stitches over the gaps together until you are back down to 32 stitches. (I came out with 30 left over after I decreased all the way, and added two stitches next round to avoid gaps). There are no gussets to pick up - you simply rejoin for working in the round. So easy!

Ok, I'm not kidding - that really is all there is to it. If you can turn a regular heel, you can do this one. And while I could have eventually figured that out, it was nice to have a guideline or two to work from.

I washed my hair today so you know I'm running late. Happy Wednesday.

(PS, If anyone has been wondering, our good friend Kirsten hasn't dropped off the planet, died, or run away with the circus. She has hit the ground running selling Arbonne since she came back from Croatia. So if you have a need for know where to go! I miss her blogging too.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

3 is the Magic Number

Go take in some Schoolhouse Rock.

(By the way, I put pattern notes and a thankyou to Sheila in the comments section of the post below.)

I like it! It's the best!

(Apologies for putting Nacho Libre quotes in every post.)

Here's a picture of my sock:
Funky socks are back again
(I have another one to match.)

Check out the funky heel! It has no flap, but uses a gusset and short row method to get bigger and turn. I love this heel. I don't know how durable it will be, but it's neat, a fast fast knit, and very comfortable. Well, actually it's a little short:
Close up of the heel

And I'm thinking I could use a few of Grumperina's sock tricks for making it bigger - I think what she does is knits a little extra stockinette before starting the next part of the sock.

And one of Fee. I turned the camera sound off and she seems to put up with it better.

Happy Tuesday.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I know y'all will think I'm crazy

But I am positively enchanted with these socks.


They were going to be called Geography Lesson, because the right one honestly looks like a coastline. But despite three (!) rip-and-reknits, I couldn't make Lefty match. They actually remind me of sound distortion, so they'll either be called Fuzz or Sonic socks.

Not that anyone could ever repeat this fiasco, but I'm telling you - they are so loud, so crazy bright, and so completely cool looking with all this flashing and pooling that I am besotted.

Nacho - on viewing 2, I laughed just as hard and thought the movie was even sweeter.

Usually Mom wakes me up at 7am on my birthday to regale me with some kind of crazy story about stuff I did when I was little (like yelling at my mom that my much-more-French-looking-than-me sister was brown and I was white on the day she came home from the hospital) but today she let me sleep in till noon (I didn't, but it was a nice thought.)

Mom is going back to work on Tuesday. I am no less amazed at the miracle her life has been over the past few months, or how healthy she is now. I'm so glad she's better. Knowing what could have happened to her is somewhere I'd rather not dwell, but I am thankful that God in His mercy saved her from that. (Be thankful along with me. Come on.)

Anyway, I hope 36 is as good as 35 was. Thank you for all the lovely birthday wishes and I'm sorry I confused everyone about which day it was. Y'all rock, and I'm so glad to know you.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Today is especially delicious

Today: Flea Market.
Pancake Pantry.
Tennessee State Museum.
Pizza, cake and presents. (Epson Photo Printer.) Oh, and Garage Band.

Especially delicious!

Tomorrow: Knitting and a repeat of Nacho Libre.

Now: I'm off to knit.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me!

Claim your free lawn tractor!

(Spam I received today. Evidently they don't realize there isn't much need for a tractor living in a 2nd floor apartment.)

OH. MY. GOSH. I would just like y'all to know I have the BEST secret pal EVER in the WHOLE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.

I got a birthday present from her today!!!

(Sound of camera clicking)

There was A Box waiting for me today when I got home. I had to pee, but I danced around the kitchen with scissors and opened it anyway:
Oooooo a box a box a box
(Card: "Fe-lines, nothing more than fe-lines. Happy Birthday." Good card.)

There was much wonderfulness inside.

Plates, cups, napkins and FLIP-FLOP NAPKIN RINGS:

Party favors, including a beach ball, chocolate, a Tiki door topper (with metal curtain!), "champagne" bubbles...
Party favors and decorations
and a little silver box with Reese's Pieces CHAPSTICK, a surfboard keychain, and more chocolate!

Entertainment provided by California CD, flip flops and BEACH SAND...(photo of party goes in frame)...

And last but not even remotely least, YARRRRRN.

Ahem. I said YARRRRRRRN!

(That is THE most lovely shade of light olivey goodness ever invented.)

I planned on posting the pictures from my FIRST box tonight, but I'll post those tomorrow.

Here at Chez I-Cord the birthday fun never stops! I'm going for a walk and then I'm gonna wear my new flip-flops and possibly put up some decorations.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What was it I said?

Didn't I just say "That way lies madness" about trying to knit a sock with a gusset and short row heel? (No flap.)

Well, this time I have a pattern. And armed with my own hand dyed yarn, I'm gonna do it!

(We are having some major flashing/pooling issues. If this sort of thing bothers you, you may want to skip the first picture. It doesn't bother me.)

Flashing, pooling

I finished the Embossed Leaves socks yesterday:

Finished Embossed Leaves socks

Pattern: Embossed Leaves socks, Winter 2005 IK
Yarn: All Things Heather handpainted sock yarn, color Leprechaun, size 1 needles (2.5mm)
Modifications: I cast on 72 stitches instead of 64, and worked the extra 8 stitches into the pattern by adding purl stitches between the pattern repeats - but only for the leg. It's not perfect, but it fits and maintains the pattern. After having knitted these once, I think I'd put the stitches on the sides if I did it again. This will never ever show (I'm not a dress and socks sort of gal and they are comfy, so I'm okay with it). I worked my own heel, did not cut the yarn at the end of turning it, and then decreased back down to 68 stitches so I had the right amount for the top (32) and some wonky number for the bottom (36?). When I got to the toe I did a slip 2/knit 1/pass slipped stitches over to decrease the other four stitches away from the bottom side, then knit the toe as written.

Loved knitting this pattern. Love the yarn. Love my new socks!

I signed up for Flat Scout and you should too if you think it might be fun to haul a cardboard cutout of a fellow blogger around with you and take pictures. (I do.)

I finally got my camera cable, so my days of terrorizing the cats with camera have returned:

She finally sat still

(They hoped that the camera cable fiasco would teach me a lesson, but alas for them.)

It's supposed to be 96 today. Argh.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Slow going

First, I have to report that the company behind the Dazzle camera card reader that I bought has graciously offered to replace the drive with one that has the firmware installed on it. Apparently it needs a firmware update to be able to read bigger cards, but the firmware is PC only. So I send in my drive, they update the software, and they send it back to me. (I think.)

Today is the day that my new camera cable is supposed to be delivered by UPS. Ahem. Maybe there will be pictures tonight.

Last night I watched a few episodes of The Dog Whisperer. My mom has been trying a few of Cesar's techniques to get Zeke (our Great Pyrenees, who is thought by some to be the dumbest dog ever on planet earth):

to stay in the house when the front door is open, and to stop barking at everything that moves. So far she says it works.

Yesterday (I don't know what came over me) I bought a Bare Minerals kit - you know, the foundation that is all mineral? I've used the foundation for about a year but never the mineral veil or warmth and this kit had brushes, and I am an absolute sucker for makeup brushes the way some people go for kitchen utensils or double-pointed rosewood needles. The jury is still out on whether it will replace my foundation, but the mineral veil is really what I was interested in (apart from the brushes) because it supposedly sets the makeup so well.

So last night I put it on after I washed my face and went to sleep. And really, you could not tell I'd slept at all. The makeup was perfect. Perfect to my the-model-better-look-good eye. That is impressive.

It's going to be 95 today - we'll see how it weathers 100-degree heat!

No knitting news - I'm 1 1/2 repeats from the toe of Embossed Leaf #2, and stalled on the headwrap, which is fun to knit, but not while you're watching your favorite dog trainer change the lives of pups everywhere...

Lord have mercy, on Sunday I am going to be 36.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Champagne, brownies and yarrrrn

I went makeup shopping this weekend for the first time in a very long time, only because my lipstick was completely gone and I needed more. I am absolutely monogamous to lipsticks anymore. I used to have five or six that I wore all the time, then I whittled it down to two, and finally for the last year I have only been interested in one at a time.

Normally my hair color in winter is a dark reddish mahogany. In the summer it's a few shades lighter. What this means is that in the winter I'm high-contrast: pale skin, dark hair. My hazel eyes usually look brown. That looks best, to my eye, with a red lip. I'm not talking scarlet (for me), I'm talking brick. But in the summer, when I get my hair colored much lighter and my face is covered in freckles, the brick doesn't work. It's too severe. I become low-contrast, with a very narrow range of tones for hair, skin and eyes. (My eyes get a sort of light brown or weird goldy color or look green in the summer.)

So after trying about a hundred lipsticks on Saturday night, I had her put some blush on me and the new color just leaped out at me - Brownie. (Go to Bobbi Brown to see it. Though it looks peachy-brown in the tube, on me it's a lovely rich brownish pink. Then I needed eyes to match, so I got a new liner (shimmer ink Bronze Shimmer) and some eyeshadow (Champagne). Now that's the most fun I've had with champagne and brownies in a long time - no threat to my hips!

I bought a skein of Koigu this weekend in blues and browns, and started knitting Knit and Tonic Wendy's Dream Swatch (available at The Garter Belt). What an interesting and neat pattern! I am addicted. I think that if I don't like it in my hair it will make an awesome belt.

Yesterday I saw Nacho Libre - I laughed myself silly. I cried, that's how much I laughed. I thought it was funnier and kinder and more affectionate than Napoleon Dynamite, but just as beautifully shot and nearly as quirky. Definitely a must-see.

Finished the heel of Embossed Leaves sock #2 and am two pattern repeats from knitting the toe. After that I start my lovely Sundara sock yarn socks, but I still don't know which pattern. Maybe some Diagonal Rib socks - I had fun making those for Mom a while ago.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Thunderbolts and lightning

Very very frightening! (It's not raining here yet though, but it's gonna.)

Somehow my entire apartment just reached its toxic clutter threshold. Most of the stuff is exactly the same as when I left, but I didn't notice it I guess. Now suddenly everywhere I look is just covered in junk. I am going to attempt to clean it today, but it may not be cleanable in one day (or I may get distracted by knitting). I've divided things into three zones in my bedroom - desk, floor and bookcase. I'm going to change the sheets and make my bed. Next step will be desk - remove everything from it and add things back only as needed, and deal with the rest. Second is the floor - sort through suitcase and dirty clothes and get the laundry going. And while that's washing the third step is to attack my horrid bookshelf, which I would show you in pictures if I had a camera cable that worked.

I called the Ziocorp company, maker of little card reader that won't read my card. Four times, in fact - I called them often enough for the tech representative to recognize my voice. She was going to send me a firmware update for my Mac that would allow the reader to read a 512mb card. Finally at about 4:00 it was sent - an email with a 1.7mb attachment - exactly twenty-one times to my email account.

After I sorted through them to make sure they were repeats and not needed files, I opened one up...only to discover they'd sent me PC updater files.

I'm telling you - these people have the worst customer service on the planet. No easy download on the website. No information on the package saying "this card reader does not read photo cards over x mb." (I'm a designer, I could fit that on the package along with instructions in three languages, eight international phone numbers and some very large client logos...believe me.) Technical support that doesn't technically seem to know what they are doing.

And her explanation? Well, it seems this reader was a new one 3 years ago. The company that originally sold it was purchased by Ziocorp. Is that an excuse? I mean really.

So no pictures.

I gave Shedir to my colleague yesterday for his mum. What a fast knit! Aside from a bit of puzzling over line 54 (you have to read it literally and not assume the stitches are in the right order when you put them on the cable needle) this pattern was super challenging physically and mentally, but definitely do-able in a super-fun kind of way. Everything about it seemed new to me. I don't love the Calmer, and when I handwashed it it seemed to get a little stiff, but it will make a lovely hat for his mum and be very stretchy. So that was fun.

The yarn that I keep looking at longingly (for after I finish my other Embossed Leaf sock, I'm decreasing the gusset which is making my eye wander) is my Sundara sock yarn in Popsicle. I am trying to understand what sock pattern it wants me to use.

The other thing I'm doing (Lord help me) is working on being able to knit a flower basket shawl for my stepmom for Christmas. I got a trade for the magazine at the Knittyboard since it's out of print, and I've been investigating yarn. The yarn I'm completely and utterly in love with was one I saw last weekend at The Yarn Market in Beulah, MI - It's called Alpaca With A Twist "Fino"...mmm...875 yards of laceweight silk/alpaca blend (30/70) for about $20. Nobody in my state sells it so I'm going to have to order it online, and after a lot of searching and asking around I found a color she'll like called Plum Wine. I can't begin to explain to you how soft this yarn is, or how luminous and beautiful. I almost bought a skein without even a pattern in mind and I never do that (some of you are laughing at me).

So I'll have about six months to make the thing. I don't know if I'll be able to do it, honestly. But I've read the IK tutorial on lace and Eunny's blog entries on lace and I've knitted a bunch of lace socks, so why not try some actual lace knitting? I'm not a shawl person...but Donna picked up a fbs sample at that yarn store this weekend and just went nuts. I mean she really loved it. So we'll see if I can get 'er done.

Last but not least, I had a yummy box of treats waiting for me when I got back last week from my SP7 - Sockotta yarn, a super cute black-cat tape measure (you pull his tail!), bath crayons, a book about kitties, jasmine green tea, goat's milk soap, paper flowers, two lovely stitch's lovely! I will put up a picture as soon as I can.

Can you tell I'm dying without my camera???

Friday, June 16, 2006

That Other Meme

Play as you will. (This is to distract me from the camera incident.)

Rules: Please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me — it can only be one word long. Then copy and paste this into your blog so that I may leave a word about you.

Also also wik: Gearing up for nonstop 27 day coverage of the 2006 Tour de France. Get ready by refreshing your memory with this Phil & Paul Bingo card.

I finished Shedir last night. It's a bit short but unless her head is bigger than mine it should be fine. It's killing me to not be able to post a picture. Hurry, cable guy! ( that's funny right there, I don't care who you are.)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A quick, pictureless post

So, my trip was fun. Exhausting, but fun. I'm through row 61 of Shedir, but can't show you a picture because I left my camera cable in Chicago at my sister's house on the same day they were traveling to Florida on vacation. (The dog has probably eaten it by now.) So I went to CompUSA and tried to get a cable, but it turns out Fuji doesn't make it that easy. You have to buy a FUJI cable. Or something. So I bought a card reader. Took it home, cut the package open and somehow broke my scissors doing it.

You know how I broke the scissors? By cutting through the cd that was contained in the package. The one I'm not supposed to need, because I'm on a Mac.

THAT was a waste of $20. The card reader doesn't show up on my desktop. At all. For no apparent reason other than pure crappiness. Never, ever buy something called a Dazzle Avanti Portable xD and Smart Media reader. You know why? Because it is abso-friggin-lutely impossible to get any technical support from these people.

Because it should have been a simple download to make up for my scissor shenanigans. Not. Simple. At all. I checked approximately 475,000 websites, downloaded useless software, restarted several times, wiggled plugs, verified that my computer was seeing the drive - all to no avail. My card simply won't show up.

And these idiots just made $20 off me that I could have spent on sock yarn.

So I spent another $20 and bought a replacement cable from PC Cables online. Transaction took all of 30 seconds, and if I get my cable back from my sis, I'll throw the new one in my suitcase to forever be known as my "travel" cable - like I have with phone, iPod and other chargers - thereby insuring I never, ever, ever have to spend another five seconds of my life trying to find software to work with something called a Dazzle.

Which, quite honestly, doesn't quite deliver on its name. I am not in fact Dazzled.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hurricane season

The start of hurricane season usually means the start of the summer worrying about my family. They live in Daytona Beach (well, except for the ones that live in Michigan) and it's always touch-and-go. My mom is a certified hurricane addict. She watches The Weather Channel even when there is absolutely no chance the hurricane will come anywhere near a single human being.

My brother-in-law Erik works for a major airline and is equally obsessed with tropical weather systems. Because of them both, I've learned a lot about hurricanes. Also, because I've been trapped in Florida several times in the past couple years before, during and after hurricanes, I've had more than my share of hurricane TV coverage.

So yesterday Mom and I were talking about how it's a bad thing that the media circus started already with Alberto, and that people will eventually start tuning the non-stop coverage out. I was driving through Illinois very slowly, and Mom and I amused ourselves by coming up with a game - Hurricane Party Bingo.

If you've ever watched coverage on TV you know how crazy it can get. If you've been through a hurricane you know how awful staring at the box hour after hour can be, with a terrible feeling in the pit of your stomach and the windows boarded up so you can't even see outside. If you've been stranded by a storm you know how awful it is to wait hour after hour, glued to the tv and hoping against hope that the system is going to pass you.

The sick dread is the worst. When you go to sleep dreaming you're still watching coverage, you know it's been too long. When the taste of the bbq ribs you ate before the storm started is finally gone and the newscaster looks like she's been on a 3-day binge at the local tavern, you know you've had enough.

For those times, for those awful, horrid times when you hear the wind whistling up and the sky has turned black and your tv is your only connection to reality, life and safety, for the horribleness of hoping the power and water hold out, for the nightmare of evacuating your stuff while you feel the wind picking up, I offer you a little something to take the edge off -

Hurricane Party Bingo.

You decide the prizes, you decide what to use for markers. Try to entertain yourself while you're stuck at the mercy of those often unintentionally hilarious newscasters.

And stay safe.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Jinjifore's meme

Take a look around you. Apart from your computer and its peripherals, and your computer desk/table/milk crate and chair, what, in order of their physical closeness, are the five things nearest to you right now?

1. Skein of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in kind of a brown color

2. Spiral notebook

3. Cabled swatch from a pattern I did one time

4. Biofreeze

5. Badly Drawn Boy / One Plus One Is One CD

You're it!

From Jen.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


I am setting up my old Mac for my dad, and downloading a billion software updates. I'm through the third pattern repeat of Shedir (did I tell you I was making that for my colleague's mom, and it's kicking my butt?). We went for a walk on the Riverfront today, Dad and I walked on one of the piers, and then we all went fishing. It would have been nice but the wind was wrong and we could smell the sewage plant a teeny bit too strongly. (Eeewwww.) I will have more interesting things to blog about (and pictures!) in a few days, but for now I'm just relaxing and enjoying myself.

All that cabling. No cable needle! I am sorry to say that this yarn isn't really good for cables. It's pretty lumpy. But it will be a super comfy hat, and it's amazing how that pattern just sets up, one row at a time, till it's all of a sudden this crazy twisted pretzelness. Very fun!

Stay frosty.

Friday, June 09, 2006


I am exceedingly and abundantly happy to reveal that my Dye-O-Rama pal was Lauren, and she really loves her red yarn! I named it Red Planet, and it's groovariffic!

Go give her some bloggy love! Yay, yay, yay I'm so happy my pal loves her yarn!

Two new hair salon names: 1. Kutnup (yeah!) and 2. Waggin' Tails (pet grooming).

I had a fish fry tonight (heaven) and went for a brisk walk and then gave my nephew his birthday presents, one of which was a rapid-fire Nerf pistol. That's right - a semi-automatic Nerf gun.

He also has a Nerf crossbow. (I am not making this up.)


I ate breakfast in Cave City, Kentucky at a place called the Bel-Air Restaurant. If you're ever there at Mammoth Cave, stop in. Two eggs, sliced tomatoes, fresh biscuits, country ham and the best hashbrowns ever, all for about $6.50.

It was delightful. Traffic was not. Grrrr.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Loveliness as promised!

Don't you love it??

Yarn Love!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Oh my goodness, my dye pal is so awesome I want to jump up and down!!!

(be right back thump thump thump)

My yarn was dyed by the fabulous Rosa of Purly Q's (go see it! it's dark here, but pics in the morning!!!).

It's beautiful. It's spring green and pink and rose and yellow. AND AND AND it came with the most awesome matching tote bag THAT SHE MADE HERSELF!!! Utter adorableness! I'm already scheming about how I want to pack it up for my trip this week.

The yarn is beautiful, soft and gorgeously done. You'd never know we were the WTF group, honestly! (Maybe we've had such great teachers!)

In other good news - I got the paint on my car fixed today. I have a late 90s Altima - runs like a dream but has never been the prettiest of cars. It's black, and was oxidized bad. Like, hooptie bad. So I had it shined up with rubbing compound and buffed and waxed. And this I did get to take a picture of, just to prove it could look good - because I got the package after I took these, and had to shop for Nephew's birthday present, and then I came back and it was dark:

Super shiny!

Not bad, huh? I know there are dings in the door and I am NOT worried about them. Even GB was impressed - he was sure that it wasn't going to help it at all. But he said maybe I need to think about putting a better stereo in it and fixing up some other stuff that is creaky. Ha! I think the value of my car went up about a grand today.

While I was at the car shop this man in a baseball hat with long hair and positively revolting teeth told me he hadn't seen anyone knit in years - not since his grandmother. (What a charmer. That's what I kept thinking.)

It's supposed to rain tomorrow, just my luck (hence the pictures). And Grady nailed me yesterday with his claw, by accident, but I have a one-inch long cut on the palm side of my right middle finger, and it didn't quite need stitches because the angle was shallow but maybe one place did need a stitch or wasn't far off, so I have to go soak it and pack it full of neosporin again. They don't stitch cat scratches - they're too filthy. Ask me how I know.

And I started Shedir in the most gorgeous blue, for my colleague's mother who has stage one bc. Check yourselves, y'all. The pattern is kicking my entire behind - it's totally logical, makes complete sense and for some reason is an utter horror to knit. Physically, that is. The Calmer doesn't stay on the needles. It splits (I thought it was cabled ply, but it isn't). I have completely lost the ability to cable WITH a cable needle - but a back/right cable is killing me without one. I drop the stinking stitch every stinking time. Oh, and i need some more of my teeny metal ring stitch markers. Like about 500. I use the snot out of those things.

So go give Rosa some love on account of my yarn! She's the best!!!

Yahoo: worst american idol auditions tanned blonde

(A blog search that found me.)

Monday, June 05, 2006


I will NOT be overdyeing this yarn. Meet the Silver Streak:

Silver Streak

And this one is Toucan:



My left arm feels like someone is grabbing it (on my forearm) or my skin is crawling just a bit, my head is pounding and I can barely stand to look at the brightness of my monitor. Migraines are wonderful, let me tell you. I'm pretty distracted and spacey today.

I just realized I've only got three projects going on the needles. And I've an itch to either start a sweater (Hourglass or Sweet) or to cable. A big, toothy, aran-infested cabled project, like the scarf from Annie Modesitt in the Knitting Pattern a Day calendar.

I was also cruising by some lace shawl patterns very slowly today (think Raising Arizona "I found myself driving by convenience stores that weren't on the way home").

I think the sweater will come first - I want to see realistically how long it takes to make one. Do I pick the one that I love, but has 400+ stitch ruffles around the bottom? Or do I pick the one that looks easy to knit, but I'm not sure will look good on me (or that I have enough yarn for)?

Stay tuned.

I caught her

I finally caught Fiona this morning with the camera:

I dyed some yarn last night, and I'm pretty sure the yarn was too dry when I put the dye on, hence the streakiness in the weird blue color which is supposed to be gunmetal gray:
Another dyeing experiment

I'm not sure it bothers me but I think I need to overdye it in something, because my pal ...

oh, who am I kidding? I already have my pal yarn done, and I'm feeling nervous about it even though my own eyes tell me it's lovely. This yarn is for me. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Sheila asked about the sofa project - it's on hold while my decorator friend is traveling this month. It will probably get done next month. So the fabric is sitting in the little corner of the dining room I optimistically call "the hall" - it's about 4 x 4 and is the segue from dining to bathroom and bedroom.

I have a button left to sew on one piece, but the hoodie is done, the baby sweater is nearly done, and the slippers are knitted, felted and blocked to the right size. Now to find some rug backing! Michael's, I guess.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Godfather night and a something or other

I'll be honest - I'm not really sure what this log-cabin piece is going to be. Maybe I'll make 11 more squares, back it with flannel and call it a throw. (Or maybe I'll just weave in the ends and not put a backing on it.) Maybe I'll make another strip or two and make it a pillow, or a cat bed cover for this funky Coleman cat bed I got that's plaid and really not my thing. Maybe I'll just keep knitting it and soon I'll have a washing-machine cozy or something. (It's a little messy in the inside square - don't let anyone tell you to slip the first stitch of a row in the interests of making stitches easier to pick up. Sloppy.)

A log-cabin something

So, tonight is a Godfather night. You know in the movie where Michael has the heads of the five families all killed in one night? Well, today I am going to try to finish two baby sweaters (finishing only), plus the last half of the fuzzy feet slipper #2, plus a Codenames poster. I think I can get it all done if I keep at it. I'm going to pick up Kate and we're going to SnB.

Yesterday I saw The DaVinci Code. Apart from being a bit of a cliched Catholic-bashing movie, it was pretty interesting. It was a little heavy-handed in some parts ("I'm the smart one, and you dummies are so stupid you'll follow anything someone tells you is God") but overall pretty enjoyable. And hey, I'm not up in arms over the movie's theology - it's fiction. It's publishing an age-old conspiracy theory by the guys who have always wished the Gnostic gospels were the true ones, who never quite got over that they were rejected at Nicea.

Grady says "Well, yeah."

Cat of Leisure

Fee, as usual, is hiding. Grr.

I've been lost

In log-cabin land. Pictures tomorrow.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The sunny days don't get here

But at least this time they haven't updated Saturday to be rainy, too. Because every day the forecast has been 2 days of rain followed by 4 days of sun. The sunny days never catch up - they're always a day off, and if Friday and Saturday are rainy, you can bet that when rainy Saturday gets here, they'll have updated Sunday to be rainy as well. It's sort of getting depressing, though I really love rain.

I had my car checked out yesterday. The A/C blows intermittently warm and cold, but it's random, not every day and normally the cold is REALLY cold. They didn't even charge me for the diagnostic - they couldn't find anything wrong with it. The guy had two theories - either I have a small, mischevious ghost living under the hood (maybe I could buy some of that TBN prayer oil or one of those cloths that is supposed to be from Paul's robe, huh? KIDDING, I've been reading too much at Lark News) or it's a sticky switch that just needs to be reset every now and then by turning it off and then on again.

(insert puzzled expression)

Last night I finally got to go to SnB and it was fun - we had a pattern exchange. Pattern Trading Cards, to be specific. You bought a folder of patterns (I think there were 10) and then everyone swapped. I am not much of a pattern-buying chick, I'm more the books and internet type, but I still did it. I got a couple things I probably won't make and a couple patterns my stepmom will love. It was fun.

I worked on my other Embossed Leaves sock and got as far as picking up gusset stitches on Nephew's Fuzzy Feet. (I have to crank on those this weekend.)

I have these brown pants from Old Navy with embroidery all down one leg and big patch cargo pockets. I don't know what possessed me to get a 14 instead of a 12, but they are really quite funny - way too big, I can pull them down without unzipping. But today's a good day to wear one of those long-sleeved t-shirts that is too thin to do anything but layer with a bright Tiffany blue t-shirt, those pants and my new stripey socks. Even if it will be hot.

I am prepared to drive home barefoot if necessary. (Snort.)