Wednesday, August 29, 2007

On Loan From the Department of Crazy

I really don't know what is going on here.

On loan from the Department of Crazy

This is the bag I got when I bought some Balance bars tonight; I crumpled it up and threw it, and Grady chased it; Fee was laying on it when I walked into the bedroom to charge the iPod; and when I walked out it was in her food bowl. ???

Cryptic. And dang, why didn't I paint those circles inside the chairs?

Very Charming

Hello lovelies! I've gotten a lot of mail asking where the "hand made" charm came from and how I made the cord I put around the socks.

My sockapalooza pal sent my socks with a similar setup, and I liked it so much I stole it. :) Hi Nynke! I found the charms online here and ordered 2 bags of 50. With shipping it came out to right around $18, shipping was prompt and I now own two little bags of lovely 'hand made' charms.

For the cord, here's what I did: Make a length of yarn about twice as long as you want the final cord, and split it into two pieces by separating the plies. For me this was about a yard.

Fold the length of yarn in half and knot the two open ends together. Get your big toe ready by doing some stretches, and sit down if you're not already.

Hold the knot in your left hand and put your right index finger in the loop on the other end so you have stretched out the folded piece of yarn between your hands. Now with the right, twist-twist-twist the yarn until it's wound up real tight (I twisted mine until the loop around my finger pretty much closed up). Stop before your finger falls off or something hurts. It will look WAYYY too tight but this is what you want. Keep the length of yarn stretched out while you do this.

Stretch that big toe again, then (keeping the yarn stretched!) lay it down on the floor and put your big toe smack in the middle. What you want to do is, in one motion touch your big toe to the yarn so it will bend in half, release the tension on the yarn, and get your toe out of the way. (It won't hurt it, just do the whole thing quickly.) If you don't use your toe, it will bend in half pretty much at will. I wanted mine to bend exactly in half, because I am crazy.

The yarn will double back on itself in a nice neat twist. Some of the twist will come out. Let it, and coax it into even twistiness. Knot the end where it bends back.

Smooth it again, and knot the other end again (I did this to make mine more neat). Trim loose ends.

Then I used one of the yarn plies to make a little loop for my charm. Charming!

I tried to work all this out on my own the first night, but then decided I needed help and looked around. This page has excellent illustrations - so much so that because of it I decided not to take pictures. However, it does involve a pin and I still am not quite sure what you do instead of using your toe. So I used it as a guideline.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Those pdf links

Welcome, anybody coming over here from Wendy Knits! The pdf links you want are:

How to work a dpn sock gusset on magic loop


Converting 4- and 5-needle dpn sock patterns to magic loop

These are written for magic loop, but if you will just pretend that the needle marked 1/4 is one of your circulars and the needle marked 2/3 is the other, you should be able to use these to do the same thing with two circular needles.

I have also found this tutorial to be very helpful for casting on and getting yourself going.

Feel free to stick around and get a dose of cats and/or crazy! :o)

FO: Emergency socks

The emergency socks have been gifted, so now I can talk about them.

Socks 2

Yarn: ArtYarns Ultramerino 8, less than 1 skein
Needles: US 4 Options
Pattern: My own. Cast on 36 sts, knit 4 rows. Knit 1 row of yo/k2tog, then knit another 4 rows. Tack down the picot by knitting one stitch on the needle together with one from the cast-on edge. The yo/k2tog row makes the jaggies. I have also heard it called cat's tooth. Then I knit another 14 rounds, did a basic heel flap heel on 18 stitches, and a basic toe. As simple as they can get.

I am surprised, however, at how much they match. The banding is almost identical, and I didn't even try to match them:


Also, Fee says "Don't I have the prettiest fur ever??"

Pretty Fee

(I think so.) Grady was not available for comment. Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

FO: Twist

I finished the collar on Twist today and blocked it. What finally got me going is the chance to wear it next week when I go visit my family. Supposed to be 39 Friday night!

I'm pretty happy with it, but I'll detail my frustrations below. :) (The wrinkles in the arms are because the sweater is still wet. Hahaha.)


Pattern: Twist / ChicKnits
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Charcoal, about 6.5 skeins
Size made: 38
Needle: 5 for the ribbings, 7 for the body. Or maybe 6.
Buttons: basic navy 3/8" buttons from JoAnn

Modifications: I like longer sleeves on a sweater, so I added 1/2 inch to these. I'm not sure it was the best choice. Also I left off the fringe and to finish the collar I knit to 5", then did 2 rows of k3, p2 ribbing and bound off in pattern.

Obvious problems: the buttonholes are badly off center, and I am still not sure why. I followed the pattern as written, but somehow it still looks screwed up. When buttoned, the band is a bit wonky because of it. The plackets don't lie flat.

What I would change next time: Believe me when I say this to y'all - do NOT weave in ANY of the ends in a sweater until you are completely done and satisfied with the knitting. Some things don't become obvious till you attach a collar or sew on the buttons. Finish the knitting, THEN weave them in.

Also, I would not use Cotton-Ease again for a sweater. I do like the way the cables pop and it's soft, but it gets this weird kind of fuzz on it that's almost impossible to remove and looks badly worn.

But, for around $35 for all the yarn, it's not too bad for a first sweater. It's machine-washable (though the buttons clanking in the dryer nearly made me run screaming from the house) and dryable.

To sew the buttons in I split the plies on my yarn and sewed the buttons in with two of the plies held together. I shanked the buttons, because I am crazy like that and otherwise tend to lose them. And that is all I have to say about that.

Friday, August 24, 2007

One Emergency Sock Done

I cast on for it last night at Sit n' Knit, and after a few falterings - adjusting the cast-on, reknitting the heel - I finished it at about 10pm. (Takes a lot less time to knit socks for small feet, and with a 5.5spi gauge.) Very simple picot hem, stockinette, plain toe, let the yarn talk. (The yarn is ArtYarns Ultramerino 8, it's talking in quiet, pretty, comforting, cool-summer-with-the-barest-hint-of-breeze whispers.)

I spent a little time making one of those twisty cords where you split the plies of your yarn and then twist, twist, twist to make it twist back on that. And I love my little "hand made" tags. I'm going to use one. :)

Did I mention it's HOT? And I am sneezing! Thank God for my Neti pot.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I used to have this collection of alert sounds for my Mac back in the day. It was a Power Mac 7500 with a gigantic 500mb hard drive, if that tells you anything. Anyway, I think it was a clip from The Honeymooners...anyway, it seemed to be Alice saying "I'm tryin' to think but nothin' happens!"

Well, that's me this week. I am trying to come up with something witty and fun and happy to blog about, but the truth is I am sneezing so much that all rational thought is being driven from my mind almost hourly, and I find it really difficult to -


Ahem. Ok, here is where things stand.

Jemima - what a lovely pattern this is. Anna, I'm sorry I ever wondered about this pattern! I have been skeptical of knitting only 12" to the armholes, but it's a raglan so I persisted. I finished the front last night and pinned it all together. It fits around me just fine, and is long enough for me. Currently I'm trying to cast on for both sleeves. I have one done but messed up the other. (I am using this cast on. It was totally incomprehensible to me until I watched the video at the end. It's beautiful.)

Norwegian socks - These I will come back to again, but after my hand settles down. I have swatched with the brown as the background and the blue as the motif and it's definitely the way to go. I have to decide if I want to continue with DK weight yarn (it's very heavy) or switch to sock yarn.

Lace socks - Past the heel on second sock. Must finish by this weekend.

I need to make a pair of socks for a friend who is hurting, that's next on the list, along with working on my Absorba bath-mat (finally! Options #13s, you saved me!) and my Elisa's tote, which is really easy but still manages to confuse me. I may frog it and just do a yo/k2tog pattern and then use her i-cord handle instructions.

Ok, time for me to go find out what size her feet are. Ciao.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Word is that Evan is out of surgery and doing fine. Here are two pictures to celebrate.

I call this one "My head is a triangle."

Triangle head

And Fee says, "It's hoooooot." Little Miss Furcoat oughta know.

Fee says, "It's hot."


Today is Evan day

Y'all, our gal, fellow blogger and Supercrafty maven Allison's son is having brain surgery today to remove a tumor/growth on his hypothalamus that is benign but not at all harmless. The surgery is this morning, and Allison and her husband Jeff and little Evan are in Phoenix for it. Evan is nine months old. As far as I know he is the second youngest person ever to have this surgery, which is rare anyway.

There are an awful lot of people who love them and are praying for them, and I figure a few more won't hurt. So please, when you think of it, whisper a little bit of love and prayers for this family. Make today Evan Day in your mind, ok? I know it will mean a lot to a lot of people.

You can start reading the story here. Updates here.

Tomorrow I'll show you some progress, finally - but I want today to be about Evan.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Today I have a sore throat and don't feel well (I think the weather is kicking my behind). I talked to my four-year-old nephew on the phone last night. (Complete sentences! Clear as a bell! Love that!) I'm going to see him next week and I couldn't be more thrilled. He was surprised to learn that Grandpa is my daddy. Etc. Grady is being mean and Fee is being mean back. Just a normal day!

I am halfway up the front of Jemima. I will take some pictures tonight.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I actually did a lot of knitting-related stuff this weekend, though today I am feeling kinda behind and distracted. I shot more pictures of the stash, for one thing, and put 'em up at Ravelry. Thaaat's been eye-opening. I still have all my kitchen cotton (don't know if I'll shoot that at all), my fenway-park-green yarn from unravelling a sweater, a bag of Lamb's Pride Bulky scraps that is enough to make another pair of slippers, two skeins of Araucania Nature Wool bulky, with which I had a short-lived but passionate affair last winter, 3 skeins of Lorna's Laces sportweight in Safari, which I wanted very badly but have never bothered to use, at least two other skeins of sock yarn, two skeins of Wick, 4 skeins of Paterna wool, and quite a few stray others.

Sigh. All is stuff I feel the need to keep, but none of it is anything I'm really passionate about anymore. Maybe I should just move on and get rid of it. (The cotton from the GAP sweater is really too piecey to do anything with - it fell apart in a lot of the seams. I should chuck it.)

I finished the back of Jemima and am about 1/5 of the way done with the front. I'm working on the heel flap on a sock and I even took out Absorba the Giant Bath Mat to work on a little. (I figure two more strips and it's good.) I didn't work on my Selbu socks this weekend or on Elisa's Nest Tote. They are on hold till I get some other things done.

I cleaned out some kitchen cabinets and got a bag of stuff together for the Good Will. I banged my hand into a drawer that wasn't closing, and now I have a bruise (in a different spot than the July bruise). It's on the heel of my hand. I didn't think I hit it all that hard, but apparently I'm an idiot. I did ice it last night, and it looks better today. Sigh.

And that hurricane...yipes.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Just another Saturday at the I-Cord

Fee is mad again

Grady poses

I've been putting stash up like mad at Ravelry. I think I am about halfway through. Ugh. I need to get rid of some yarn!

Friday, August 17, 2007

It's like being at my house, but with 75% more cats

Y'all know what I am talking about, don't you. I'm talking about Eddie, Buckley, Tabitha, Dooper and Mrs Boots on Slacker Cats. I watched it last night, then rewound it and watched it again (thank you, dvr!) and I laughed even harder the second time. (I have a feeling things between Flatcow and Tabitha are not going to work out.) The "rodeo" scene was killing me, Buckley's item of clothing, and the whole crematorium thing? Hysterical.

Fee watched quite a bit of it (she usually doesn't watch tv at all). Grady ignored the whole thing.

Of course, the hurricane geek in me is watching Dean out there in the ocean. He's going west into the Gulf, where an unlimited supply of hurricane fuel - hot ocean water - waits. (The high that made it 105 here yesterday is making him stay south and go into the Gulf instead of crossing Florida.) Keep an eye on him if you're so inclined.

Last night I worked some more on my swatch, and as soon as I get a few more rows done I'll show some pictures and talk a little about color theory. (Possibly tomorrow.) Also I did a few rows on Jemima and some on my second sock. I'm chugging along.

Catch Slacker Cats, willya? It's CRAZY.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Lurching along

I didn't do any more swatching last night, because I had plans, but looky what I got in the mail!

Summer Camp swap gift!

This is from my Summer Camp swap pal, a swap that's been going on at Ravelry. There's a spending limit and half of it has to be spent on yarn, which is one of the best ideas for a swap rule that's ever been. My pal hit a home-run out of the park! She got me some lovely Austermann Step, several kinds of tea and a cool Bodum single-serving tea/coffee press, some chocolate-pretzel mushroom-shaped goodies, a bar of chocolate I literally tore into within minutes, a little pack of knitting notions, an AWESOME knitter's inspiration journal, a card from New York, where she is from. Thank you, HPNYKnits! I really really really love this gift and I'm going to enjoy everything you gave me very much! (And I keep reading your name as 'happyknits'.)

Also, this pal surely knows the way to everyone's heart around here, because each item in the package was individually wrapped in tissue, and you know who loved that. I stacked it up for her and within minutes this is what happened:

Fee likes the tissue

(Not a v good picture, sorry. Seconds after it was taken my friend arrived, so no more pictures of it.)

But I did promise some pictures of my personal Selbu process. Here's my chart and the swatch so far. (I don't have a sketch of the sock, yet.) I like the blue with brown more than I thought I would, but I am still going to try brown with blue just for fun.

Selbu chart

Selbu swatch

I think it goes without saying that one of the most important decisions to make - along with sizing, fit, motif and yarn - is going to be which yarn is the background. It's going to look totally different when I swap them. And as you can see, my particular brand of crazy means knitting charts top down. (I don't honestly know why I numbered it that way!)

Happy Thursday! I don't have anything to eat for breakfast so I've got to rush and eat in the cafe at work. Eggs today! Maybe some bacon.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Jacquard...or not.

My dictionary defines 'jacquard' as 'fabric with an intricate pattern.'

(Hey, Mac users! command-control-d and rollover 'jacquard' and you'll see a definition! Hold it down and roll over any word!)

My Montse Stanley book defines 'jacquard' to include all types of stranded knitting, including Fair Isle, two-color, and I forget what else. For purposes of discussion, I'm about to jump into some Norwegian stranded knitting. Call it jacquard if you want, but that feels a little too highfalutin for me. Because the mittens knit this way are part of my youth, knitted items with these patterns are comfort items for me. "Jacquard" doesn't suit them. And it's not Fair Isle - it's Norwegian, not Scottish.

I want to make my own pair of socks inspired by these and these. You probably aren't surprised to learn I have already made my own selbu chart and started swatching. I've been debating floats vs weaves in my own mind for a few days, and decided that for socks I need to weave. Which is not difficult and helps me get through needle divisions with better tension, except that I have learned that two-handed knitting makes my right hand hurt. I still have the ortho's card from my original doctor visit, and I think I'll be calling him soon for an appointment. Writing seems to bother me a little as well - but not knitting continental-style. Just english. That second knuckle on my thumb and the tendon are a little sore. Not a lot, but enough to bother.

See, if I do floats I can use my knitting thimble, which goes faster and doesn't require me to use my right hand to throw yarn. But if I weave, well...I am not sure how to do this with the yarn in only one hand. (I do think Ms. Montse goes over it, and I will have to check again.) I think I will only weave when I have more than 4 stitches together in one colour. Wool is sticky.

The interweave socks are pretty but I prefer a more Norwegian pattern with more background and less foreground colour. The Strikkegal socks are exactly right as far as the motif goes, but I don't think I need that shaping and I would like a different pattern for the sole.

On selbuvotter, the mittens that feature these patterns, there is usually an intricate pattern on the palm, and the selbu or other charted motif on the back. The thumb mirrors both of these - the inside of the thumb will have the palm motif, and the outside will have the back motif. The borders between the patterns can be striped (like the interweave socks) or striped with a dashed line in the center (like the Strikkegal socks). That part should be a little more simple than your design.

Top side

Palm side

The process is everything I love about Norwegian knitting because it is very simple and it asks you to think through your problem and solve it logically.

Decide on a motif. Make it symmetrical by charting one more stitch than the repeat, then taking it away. (Top and sides.) Find a yarn - typically DK weight on 2.75mm or 3mm needles. Swatch in the round for gauge. Block swatch.

For me, two repeats in DK wool on 3mm needles are too tight. (I don't want a tourniquet.) I will either need to do three or up it to four and use smaller needles.

I may not get anywhere on these but I have been wanting to do this for almost a year, and maybe it is time. So far I've been doing a blue background with brown motif, and I can already see this is wrong. The background needs to be brown and the motif blue, and I'm going to swatch that tonight (if I can get to it). If I come up with something I passionately have to have, then I will knit them.

Either way, I'll take some pictures today.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"Hand made"

Somebody was asking about those little hand charms - I found some here... and ordered two packs of 50 ... they will make great little secret pal gifties, etc...

Hi everybody!

I woke up late from a really involved dream in which I was with GB and we were trying to find our way into a downtown building for something and I remember seeing about fifteen very cheery people in Kl*n uniforms going into what I knew was a photo studio, and him and I deducing that somebody was shooting an ad, and lots more trying doors and finding entrances, all in the dream. I don't like dreams that go on and on. But I will tell you that I worked the cast-on for Jemima last night, an Italian tubular cast-on that is unbelievably easy once you get the hang of it. I sat down with my Montse Stanley book for a good hour trying to figure out her version of it but no matter what I did I kept messing up which strand was which, and I was trying to use only my regular yarn. Then I went to FluffBuff, but the real clincher for me was watching the video of how to do it.

So I promptly went back and did it on my size 8 needles, then realized as soon as I finished it that I was supposed to be doing it on 6s. Half hour later, I had my cast-on and first row of ribbing. I ended up doing all ten rows of color A rib plus three of stockinette, and went to bed at midnight.

How do I feel about this cast-on for a sweater edge? I don't know, honestly. It's very pretty and neat, but it looks a bit loose. This may be my inexperience, or it may be how it is. But it does look good.

The yarn is Rowan Cashsoft DK - I got it from Elann when they were having a sale last month. The color is Savannah Sand, and the contrast tipping is in cream. It's going to be really nice together.

Twist kept staring at me the whole time. I need to set a goal of getting it done this week.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Somebody needs to go back to gauge school, and I'm not saying who, but Annie and I are doing our own little knitalong of the Jemima pattern from Anna Bell, and I got a great deal on the yarn at Elann, and finally sat down to swatch it tonight.

Of course the gauge is given over four inches, and y'all, I am here to tell you that it took me three needle sizes, two hours of swatching and a whole lot of patience to figure out that 18/2 does not equal 8.

I was trying SO SO HARD to get 4 to the inch. And finally I was sitting there talking to Grady about it and I told him about how I had to go up to a SIZE TEN needle to get my gauge and even still I wasn't sure I was getting 8 stitches per inch and he didn't say anything and then all the sudden...18. 8. Noooooeeeewwwww. 9. Half of 18 is 9. I needed FOUR AND A HALF stitches per inch, mathematically demonstrated by:

18/2=9, 9/2=4.5 or 18/4=4.5.

This is not hard, but I checked my work with the calculator on my phone just to be sure. Because after you've been swatching for two hours to get a mythical number that only exists inside your blonde head, anything is possible.

Luckily I did not cut the yarn after I bound off my swatch, just pulled the loop out and so I was able to rip back the totally useless bit I did on 10s and re-bind it off after the 9s section, where my gauge is 9 stitches over two inches. Or, pedantically, 18 stitches over four inches.

Y'all, i joke all the time about being number dyslexic...this is an example. Funny when it's knitting, but less funny when it's the checking account. Luckily I figured out my ineptitude years before I had a name for what ails me, so I have a system of trickery in place to make it all work out - the ferocious tag-team of Online Banking and Microsoft Excel. With a healthy dose of Don't You Dare Change Anything Because You Know What Happens, I can usually get my bills paid all right.

The swatch is having a soak at the moment. I'm going to go wring it out and go to sleep. Because, frankly, after all this math I am positively EXHAUSTED.

Six things for Sunday

First of all, no, mister mall hand-lotion kiosk guy, I don't want a stranger squeezing lotion into my hands, no matter how free it is. Why do they think that's okay? How do I know it's not some stinking greasy mess? Why would I let a stranger put ANYTHING on me?

Second, thank you for the happy response to my socks! Nynke said she got the pattern out of the same stitch dictionary Cookie found the Monkeys stitch pattern in. I think it's the one before it? A little searching and it ought to turn up.

Third, Ramona has a great sock pattern up - make a donation to her 2007 Weekend to End Breast Cancer fundraiser, and you too can knit it. It's really a pretty pattern and Ramona is a super nice gal. What's not to like? If I wasn't so busy I'd be working on it myself - and it's in my queue, so I might just do it anyway. You can also set up a donation here if you don't want the pattern. Her goal is $5k raised, and she's nearly halfway there. The walk is in September. No pressure, but if you're looking for a pretty sock pattern and a way to help fight a real-live monster, it's an option.

Fourth, I got some Flintstones sour-gummies vitamins. They are sour! My doc said that she recommends Flintstones to everybody, because they are complete and people are more likely to take them if they are painless.

Fifth, I'm nearly done with the toe of my first TL sock!'s 95. Too hot!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Seriously, I can hear the angels singing!

I got a package today from the Netherlands! From Nynke!

You know what was in it, don't you?

No? Well, here they are! The most beautiful socks in the history of the world. Forget making anything this beautiful (my pal is very very skilled!), I've never SEEN socks this gorgeous! They are a perfect fit. They are absolutely stunning. I will wear them with happiness forever! :)

Here are some pictures. I prattle on a bit with them, but they are so pretty!

From my sock pal


Lil charm

Lil charm closeup



Thursday, August 09, 2007

It's just lace!

(Um...sorry about the dog story. I giggled the whole way through writing it, and maybe I thought it was better than it was.)

I've purchased a skein of Euroflax linen and I am working on making Elisa's Nest Tote from the Purl Bee. Scandalously, I like the handles better than the Everlasting Bagstopper now on Knitty, and they are APPLIED I-CORD.

I was willing to tackle that...but...I can't seem to make a simple yo/k2tog - ssk/yo stitch pattern work. Line 1 is purl, line 3 is purl. 2 is yo/k2tog, line 3 is ssk/yo. No matter how many times I count the stitches on line 2 (41 as it should be) I am still coming out with 40 stitches after line 3. I can't see where I don't have a yarnover.

I've knitted the same two rows three times. I'm trying once more today. I should be able to do this! It's just lace.

(ETA: I was forgetting the last yo before the knit stitch on row 4. Fixt!)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Crazy dog

(In which I occasionally dip into bathroom humor, but it is hot outside so let me get my crazy on.)

It is hot. Hotter than the aforementioned devil in a fur coat. Triple-digit hot during the day. At 11 at night it's now 92 degrees. So I'll attempt to divert attention away from the heat by telling y'all The Legend of Crazy Dog.

Grady and Fee both have nicknames - he's always been Fat Boy, or Schmade, or Sam. (I mean that endearingly.) Fee has always been Bunny, Trixie or Bird. (Bird is a reference to the movie Blow Up, because she is my photographic muse.)

But my parents' dog Zeke only has one nickname in my book: Crazy Dog. Here is Zeke. He is a Great Pyrenees, and he sleeps on the couch whenever he feels like it. I got to see him this weekend, so it seems a fitting time to tell about his particular brand of crazy.


Back when my parents lived in Daytona, he would often inexplicably fall into the pool. We never saw him swim, but occasionally he'd be soaking wet, miserable and sitting outside when they got home. (He's a mountain dog, not a retriever. Sheep don't swim.)

There was the time my sister and I went through the Walgreens drive-through to pick up a prescription for him. The label said "Zeke Dog Smith" and we put it in the tray and waited. The pharmacist picked it up and asked "Is this a dog?" and my sister is over in the passenger seat yelling "No, it's my KID!" and we nearly died laughing about her imaginary kid, Zeke-Dog. (The pharmacist was strangely quiet after that.)

But by far the tastiest quirk in his character was his penchant as a puppy for eating everything in sight, and the ensuing gastronomical distress that followed. Cords, computer products, chicken bones, dirt, sticks, napkins - all went down into his amazingly tolerant gut in the name of giving everything potentially edible a fair shake. The topper, though, was the time he ate the toilet brush in my mom's guest bathroom. He ate the entire thing - including the bristles. He did seem to spend some time chewing up the handle, so at least he broke it into parts. If I remember right, Mom caught him while he was doing it, and decided to let him - it was too far gone and probably too dangerous to stop him. She told my stepdad about it. You can imagine what the yard looked like that week. It apparently never hurt him.

There was the time he ingested a whole wrapped box (BOX!) of sugar-free Godiva chocolate bars under the tree at Christmas. My mom is diabetic, which means sugar-free, which generally means that any candy she gets contains sorbitol. Sorbitol is not only a good sweetener, it's a...cathartic. (Moves the mail.) Zeke stayed outside that Christmas. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but he never seemed to suffer at all for it, beyond the sorbitol.

The most baffling thing he ever ingested was an entire ear of corn leftover from dinner one night. My sister was scraping the plates into the dog dish and asked if she should cut the corn off the cob for him. "No," said my stepdad, "throw it in there." He thought Zeke would gnaw on it a bit and then leave it alone, but when supper was over for Zeke, there was no cob in the dish. So we figured he hauled it off somewhere to work on later. Imagine our surprise when Zeke threw it up whole a few days later. We never could figure out how he got it into his stomach, or why.

(Gross body functions stuff aside, that really is funny.)

From that point on, he's been Crazy Dog to me, my sister, my nephew, and other family members. He answers to it! If I say "Hey, Crazy Dog!" he'll come over to say hello. He will go down in the history of my family as the craziest dog we've ever had.

Schmade says "Humph." And Bird says, "Is that Crazy Dog out there? Should I run away??"



They got there safely, AND they fit her!

The Anniversary Socks have been well-received by Maggi of Maggi Stitches - go check out her blog for pictures!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Fun with Photoshop

The last couple days of my life can best be summarized by this statement: I friended C.S. Lewis on MySpace and am waiting for him to friend me back. From where? The afterlife?

More pics of Biloxi at my Flickr page, with detailed captions and map links. I spent too much time tonight playing in Photoshop.

Actual as-shot:


After I messed with it:


I think what I did to it makes it more interesting, but maybe I am biased. Tomorrow: cat photos and crazy stories!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Beach view

A view of the beach at Ocean Springs. There was seaweed hanging from the second floor of this building:

Beach View

These little fellas looked tasty:

Blue crabs

Required viewing

This video is for anyone who wants to know what a hurricane is really like. May I remind you that a cubic yard of water weighs fifteen hundred pounds.

I saw this freeway today - drove on it, in fact. The ramp curves down over the ocean, starting about 40 feet high. The bird is a pelican. The live oaks are about 60-75 feet tall. The big casino sign - the water covers about 40-50 feet of the base.

Turn the sound up, too.

Friday, August 03, 2007


I don't know what had me thinking about this last night but when I was a kid I was afraid of three things. I lived up in northern Michigan, 2 miles inland from the big beautiful Lake Michigan. You know, you can't see anything but water in any direction when you stand on the shore?

I was scared killer bees would get me.
I was scared a black hole would swallow us up.
I was scared there would be a tidal wave on Lake Michigan.

You know, a tsunami.

It seemed perfectly reasonable at the time. We had water - they had water. To my nine-year-old mind there was no difference between the coast of Japan and the coast of Michigan. We had bees - how did anyone KNOW they were not killer bees?

I admit the black hole was pure silliness. (I wasn't too bright.)

What were your (irrational) childhood fears?

(See you Sunday! And here is something I won't be doing on vacation.)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Dear Diary

7:00am: Stagger out of bed (late) and into shower. Must wash hair, so running behind.

8:15am: Get in car for morning commute. Notice gas level is low, so running very behind.

8:20am: Fill up car at gas station.

8:40am: Get to work, roll down window to scan badge for parking structure.

8:41am: Window stuck. Will not roll up.

8:42am: Try window several times. Stuck.

8:43am: Call receptionist to report late, trying to talk over noise of driving in traffic with window down.

8:44am: Still stuck.

8:45am: Pull into dealership and drop car off. Walk to work. Running very very behind.

9:30am: Phone call from dealership: motor is bad and must be replaced. Part is on order. Will be fixed tomorrow. Must drive home with window down, and park overnight. Will be $450.

9:32am: Dealership offers to tape plastic bag over window for me. Hang up with dealer.

9:45am: Call Hertz to reschedule car rental for today instead of tomorrow, and change location to down here. Find out that rental will now be $166 instead of $62.17. Call dealer and tell him to keep the car for weekend.

10:00am: Arrange ride to car rental place.

11:30am: Arrive at car rental place. Car they had tagged for me has no fuel. Must clean other car with full tank. Mgr gives me business card with instructions to call him personally if there is problem.

11:45am: --

12:00pm: Get in newly cleaned car, discover sticky steering wheel and gross interior. Drive 7 blocks.

12:01pm: Call Hertz manager. Manager instructs me to turn around and come back.

12:02pm: Garage calls. Motor is not bad after all. Master switch assembly was broken and is now fixed. $250.

12:05pm: Return to Hertz, explain car situation to them and ask if I can cancel rental.

12:06pm: Rental cancelled.

12:10pm: Original rental for tomorrow rescheduled. $72.00.

12:12pm: Hertz associate offers to drive me back to work.

Am slightly scared to leave office again today.


(But we are not talking about a treat made from carp.) GB was messing around and calling the skein I have set aside for somebody 'koig-yoo' or 'koi-gooey' or 'koigie' and finally settled on 'koi juice.' I like it! From now on it's 'koi juice.' (He also said 'to a country boy, French cooking sounds like 50 different kinds of gravy.' Does anyone else get that? We were cracking up.)

Have finished 2 repeats of lace sock pattern. It's zooming. Hope to be done with sock 1 by Tuesday. Tomorrow I'm going to visit my mom in Mississippi! We'll see how the drive is. It will be a quick trip.