Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas everyone! Hope you have a wonderful holiday full of peace and love. :)

I finished some socks today.

These are from the book Favorite Socks. They're the Merino Lace Socks, and if you'll look at the photo in the book, you'll see that you can tell next to nothing about the pattern from looking at it. This is a kissing-cousin to Canal du Midi syndrome, which essentially is where the photo makes the socks look completely unappetizing and unappealing to knit. These socks didn't look completely unappetizing, but there were definitely intricacies of the pattern that were lost by showing a side only photo:

Merino Lace Socks

Now look at the top:

Merino Lace Socks

The back:

Merino Lace Socks

and finally the heels: (I did make a mistake, but I am NOT ripping back to the gusset pickups.)

Merino Lace Socks

Yarn is All Things Heather superwash, needle is 1.5mm, time to knit is an embarrassing two and a half months. I've been stalled, and I don't know why. I started this sock Thursday night. I hope my productivity is a sign of things to come! :)

Anyway, don't be afraid to try to puzzle out lace charts despite what the photos show. Sometimes taking a chance on sock patterns is a home run!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Elvis is Everywhere

So, back in the early 90s I had some weird musical tastes. I won't list all of them here, but they included, in no particular order, Love and Rockets, The Replacements, Government Cheese...Dread Zeppelin, who dressed as Elvis impersonators and reggae covers of Elvis songs (and the occasional Who or LZ song)...oh, and Mojo Nixon. Mojo Nixon was a rockabilly dude from Kentucky who had a song called "Elvis is Everywhere." It's just about as silly as you're imagining right now, extra cool, and goes down in history as one of the great songs of my past.

This is one of the very very great things about MySpace. (Another is checking out people you went to high school with without them knowing, hehe.) But seriously! Revisiting your musical history on the internet is very, very fun - and sometimes very very embarrassing.

Did you know you can search the iTunes Music Store by year? You should check it out. Revisit your past, just for kicks!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Legend of MouseTrap

First things first dearies:


Three prizes. I decided to do one more for Christmas. :) And because so many people had such great stories, and because we have all so enjoyed reading all the stories and thinking of our own.

My family's Christmas tradition is just kind of silly. We call every present under the tree a mousetrap. This started when the nephew the eldest was a curious toddler who tried six ways to Sunday to get us to tell him what his gifts were. Over the years the gifts have changed, but the Legend of Mousetrap remains the same. And now nephew says, "Hey Jennifer, you know what I got you? A MOUSETRAP!!!" and cracks up like it's the funniest thing ever. Gifts are always a funny thing in my house. There have been times when we've all schemed and put the wrong names on gifts and filled boxes full of nails and wrapped them and labeled our presents with elaborate naming schemes that contain clues to the contents; actual mousetraps have been bought; Crazy Dog gets into my mom's sugar-free Christmas candy. We always get a present for him, and put peanut butter on the paper so he'll open it. This Christmas we won't get to all be together, but the Mousetrap legend lives on.

There are three winners. The brown and gold yarn is Mama-E, and the green and pink/green combo yarns are All Things Heather. All three are yummy, soft, and have been (mostly) left alone by my cats.

Congratulations, Chris! (Here's her Christmas tradition: One thing that we do is go around in a circle and open packages, so you get to see what everyone receives. Chris: we do this too. I am always shocked when I hear about people who just make a mad dash for the tree and everybody opens stuff at once!) You're the first of two blog comment winners chosen by random number generator. You win the Mama-E, because I know how you feel about purple deep down in your soul.

Congratulations, Kathleen! Your email was chosen by random number generator to be a winner! (Here's her Christmas tradition: Hmmm.... My boys have always gotten one small stuffed animal. I thought when they hit their late teens they would outgrow that. No, I was reminded just last year that it is a TRADITION! So, small stuff animals are in their stockings each year, still, at ages 17 and 19! :) Personally, my tradition is to bake Nestle's Toll House Cookies while watching White Christmas and, invariably, burning that last tray in the oven! ) You win the green All Things Heather!

And...congratulations, Rainberry!You're the second of two blog comment winners chosen by random number generator.(Here's her Christmas tradition: My family's Christmas tradition is on Christmas Eve, my mom makes lasagna and then we go to church. Then on Christmas Day we open presents and eat blueberry french toast and a kringle. Then in the afternoon we go to my aunt's house and eat appetizers like chips and little hotdogs in barbeque sauce. Then we eat dinner and then we open presents.) You win the green and pink All Things Heather!

All right y'all, I will send each winner an email, and y'all need to reply with your address so I can send this yarn out.

Thanks to EVERYBODY who left a comment, posted a link, read the comments section, thought of something funny, sweet or a little bit sad, and generally reminisced with me. I appreciate y'all so much, and I have missed being the crazy poster I usually am. I'm going to do better in the future, and spend less time playing Scrabulous with my sister. :) Hehehe.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Thanks all!

I never could get it together to photograph the prizes this weekend, but I promise that I will tonight, and winners will be announced! There were so many good answers, so many lovely holiday traditions. (Go read them!) But I think the funniest one has to be the Hunt for Christmas Pickle. (I like your family, it seems a lot like mine.) I did almost all of the shopping I've done at all for Christmas between last Thursday and last night. So that's the reason for the delay; I did look at it and make a couple of decisions, but didn't shoot anything. I'll do that tonight. (And I'm done shopping, hooray!)

Meantime, to distract you here are pictures of my finished Koolhaas hat:



Pattern: Koolhaas hat by Jared Flood, IK Holiday Gifts issue 2007 (link opens IK store page; you can now download this pattern for only $4.50! It's worth it!)
Yarn: Malabrigo worsted
Yarn Source: Threaded Bliss
Needles: #6 and #8 Options
Notes: I didn't do the 1/1 LC the right way with a cable needle, just knitting into the back of the second stitch, then the back of the first stitch, and all was well, and you can't tell. Right? :)

I am very exceedingly happy with it, but I worry that the Malabrigo is going to felt on my head. It just seems really soft, like crazy soft. But I made a My So-Called Scarf with the same yarn last year, and now I have a matching hat. Whee!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A quick note about Koolhaat

Jared is right about using Malabrigo on this hat. I got pretty skimpy row gauge too. I thought I was doing okay, but of course one cannot easily see the top of one's head; I tried doing the decreases after only 4 pattern repeats and it came out too short. So I ripped back the decreases - first with abandon, then more carefully for the last two or three interminable rows (Malabrigo is so splitty) - and have decided to add a fifth repeat to it. (I am always plainly terrified to rip cables, but it usually works out all right unless you get a runner - you know, a dropped stitch within a cable.) I think after this repeat the hat will be long enough. Also I have to say that if you start knitting the decreases and try hard to understand them before you do, you'll probably mess up. This is one of those shaping things that you just have to follow blindly and then all-the-sudden you'll see exactly what you have just done.

Be strong of heart, and knit it blindly! You can do it. :) Hopefully I'll finish it tomorrow.

Just checking

Check, 1 2, Check.

Friday, December 14, 2007



I get my blog comments sent to an email address that's home-only, so if I want to check comments while I'm at work, I have to go to the blog to do it. For a couple weeks I have been BAFFLED because if I log on with Safari, my banner and profile pic don't show up. But if I log on with Firefox? No problem.

So after Sharon left a comment that they weren't showing up for her, either, I knew I wasn't crazy, I surfed till I found the problem, used the guy's fix and voila! it works again. Apparently my images were being requested too much from my server. Since I have a scratch-and-dent, Uncle-Louie's server and not the sleek speedboat I wish I had...well...I had to trick it into handling it. Hopefully it worked. (Maybe it is time to get my own darn url and server.)

So, a big shout-out to Sharon for letting me know about this problem, and - I can't reply to you personally because I got the darned "no reply" email (I still need Haloscan! drat!) but thank you very much, and I hope you'll keep reading since I fixed it!

If you ever have a technical problem with the site (including pattern downloads), let me know, please! :)

PS: Speaking of technical problems, it WAS Bloglines. My readers are back! Like they never left. All y'all - I am so glad to see you! Seriously! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I lost 40 subscribers??? EEK!

Either Bloglines is just weird lately or being sick for three weeks really hurt me. :(

At any rate, I need some serious love so it's time for a contest! Tonight I'm going to pick out some tasty sock yarn to give away!

There will be TWO winners. Not just one!

You also have two chances to enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite holiday tradition (family, funny, fuzzy or otherwise) on THIS post by midnight CDT Sunday, December 16th, 2007. You'll be entered in the contest once for this.


2. To get entered a second time, post a link on your blog to this blog (just the main page is fine) and click this link to email me, and include a link back to your post. (You MUST use this link to email me, so I can keep everything straight. When you click it, you'll see why!) Change the AT to @ and take out the spaces.

Dearies, I have to make you work a little. The prize will be enough sock yarn for a pair of tasty, toasty socks. You can work on them over the holidays if you want!

The winners will be chosen by random number generator on Monday the 17th. You'll need to follow up by emailing me your address if you win! Just sayin'.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Koolhaat has me in its Koolklutches. I don't know why, but I am positively unable to put it down. I have been down this road enough to know that I should just give in to it.

The color is very similar to my hair, but I tried it on last night and it's fine. I don't think it looks all that weird or anything.

Cat fight again! Sigh. More later.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Here are some too-low-light pictures of my Koolhaas hat in progress. I do love this hat but the yarn is very splitty. The HempforKnitting was much, much nicer to knit with - but made for a stringier, less dense fabric that I didn't like when it was stretched. This is just perfect. As always, Malabrigo is squishy and soft and sproingy. (Does anyone besides knitters use that word?)

Koolhaas hat

Koolhaas hat

The pattern really is fun - just toothy enough to be interesting without being a full-on assault to your knitting powers (like maybe Shedir, which I loved knitting). What I mean is, you can probably watch tv decently while knitting this hat. It looks complicated, but really it's just a little fussy. But ultimately it's very simple - only an 8-row repeat, and only moving stitches around twice per series.

You should try it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Top Phrase Heard Around the Apartment This Christmas

"Will you PLEASE stop chewing on the Christmas tree."

(to Grady.)

Good morning

Once again, I'm so sorry for being such a lame-o poster. I seem to have come down with something ELSE, or else my runny-nose thing turned into a stomach thing, and I didn't do anything yesterday except rip out my HempforKnitting Koolhaas hat and cast on again with a lone leftover skein of Malabrigo I have from last year, which is almost the same color as my hair, but I don't care - I love it anyway. (Hello, runon sentence!) Mr Brooklyntweed himself posted a finished hat made with it the other day and it's just gorgeous. So if I decide the same-color-as-hair thing is creepy, I'll have a nice Christmas gift.

Note to anybody making the pattern: On the rows where you purl two and then do a 1/1 cable, don't bother cabling - just knit into the back of the second stitch, then (a little tricky, but you can do it!) knit into the back of the first stitch. Much faster and looks just the same. I haven't yet figured out a workaround for the other cables.

I love my hat. Pictures soon, when my tummy doesn't hurt so much.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


An Old Navy knockoff of that Pringle of Scotland sweater, for $25...

Trouble is, not only does it add serious bulk because it's a v-neck, it SMELLS. Not really oily or wooly but some kind of machine-y smell. Cascade 220 used to smell like it. Whatever the smell, I am allergic. But for $25, it just seems like I ought to at least keep the yarn - there's probably over 2000 yards in it. Except that it smells. How can I get the smell out? Anybody know? Maybe I can wash the yarn and use it to knit the Lion Brand knockoff??? Because this one doesn't really look like the others, though it's definitely inspired by it.

Dreary and rainy hear. I'm drinking Cold Season tea (Thank you, Yogi Tea!) and it SERIOUSLY helps.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Somebody on MySpace asked me if I got beat up.

I didn't get beat up. I just have a large supply of black eyeshadow and decided to play around with photos and makeup.

In these photos, I:
1. Have on nearly floor to ceiling black eyeshadow, with a bit of silver over the top of it and a tiny bit of white at the top. You can see what the light does! Look how much disappeared!
2. Have jet-black mascara on my eyebrows.
3. Have pinky-gold shimmery powder all over under my eyes.
4. Have foundation on my lips, with clear gloss over it
5. Have my hair in a ponytail.

I've said it lie.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Think of it as performance art

(There's no limit to what you can do with black eyeshadow, some glitter and a little water.)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

From the department of "crazier than you thought"

Happy Holidays.

(PS, the kitties protest. I did this against their will.)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


More apologies for not being around! I stink. I'm way overwhelmed right now AND I'm sick again, this time with a bad case of sniffles/body aches. Friends who have had some big major thing that sends them to bed for three days say I don't have that, but every other person at work is out for 2-3 days so I probably have some other crudness; I'd know it if I was really sick or maybe that Airborne stuff really does something after all. I'm all Mucinex-ed and Claritin-ed up.

I wanted to post last night, but y'all, my internet was down and I was watching that game and eating chicken soup and also, it was the best football game in the history of the world! That last Hail Mary pass! Those four Patriot defensive guys just putting the bear hug on the receiver! Drama!

Before that, I watched a movie called Onegin, which was Awfulgin. I mean really. No resolution whatsoever at the end, just a sad sorry sack of a movie. So after, I switched over to some Tom Brady goodness, but boy was HE having a bad night. I am glad that his bad nights are still better than everyone else.

I am stressed out, tired, sick again and have nothing interesting to talk about. I miss y'all, I really do! Wait, I **do** have something to talk about! Knitting!

I finished Glee, but I don't like it. I need to make some modifications to the body, which will take a bit of effort, so for now she is in time out. Till probably after the holidays. Not good when you knit a sweater with a V that comes out all baggy under the V and right over your belly. Because it makes me look ROUND. Grrrrr!

I started a sock for my mom out of Tofutsies (the pink pink colorway) - these absolutely gorgeous socks from SpaceKitty. I mean, how gorgeous are these? And fun to knit! And fast, she wants short socks so they are super-quick. The Tofutsies feels a bit stringy, but I really like how it's knitting up. Word is she wears her other pair all the time, so I think it's time I gave her some more, don't you???

Also, I grafted the toe of the first one of my Merino Lace Socks last night by the light of the monkey-infused Christmas tree. Pictures soon! I quit the foot a tad early and made the toe a bit longer and I love them. Really, truly love them. This sock pattern I was nervous about! Mostly because of Canal du Midi syndrome (ugly photo in the book) but also because it just didn't look fantastic until the toe was on it. Now it does! Must start second!

ALSO, you get a lot of knitting done while you are sitting on the couch sick and don't have a tremendous, fine-gauge sweater to hog all your knitting time. I *really* miss knitting socks and smaller items. I started one of Jared's lovely Koolhaas hats (don't forget to knit those cable twists through the back loops!) in some brown hempforknitting that I absolutely adore.

In short: Sick. Love knitting. Miss you. Write soon. :)

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Grady is kind of shrieking out on the porch right now, but otherwise today was pleasant: I slept in, worked on Glee, had a nice breakfast. Got a Bare Minerals makeover for kicks, at a terrific lunch at Tossed, and went for an hour at Massage Envy. I was almost ready to throw in a pedicure as well, but a) it's December and b) there were two products from Bare Minerals I wanted to try - the foundation and eye primers. All in all, a very tasty day.

The kitties relaxed and took in some sun (sorry that Fee had to be restrained):



Tonight my goal is to knit 55 rows on the last sleeve of Glee. If I can make it, I'll wear it tomorrow with the hem folded under and redo the hem next week. Gotta run! :)