Thursday, May 31, 2007

With enough Advil to feed Texas, you can do anything!

Note to self: five Advil at a time, even by mistake, is about three too much.

I have two skeins of lovely rusty Cocoa Kiss Dream in Color yarn to make this simple and beautiful scarf. (I don't want the rolly edges though, so I'll be adding a wee bit of garter stitch to the sides.) Though I'm not going to work on it tonight, just the thought of this lovely, plush, cushy yarn waiting for me is enough.

Though, strangely, I have a bit of a craving to knit something plush and lacey with it. Like...a shawl. You know, a shawl.

For your amusement

You know those dippy church signs like "Seven Days Without Prayer Makes One Weak"?

Here's a collection.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

That meme

I've been thinking for about a week about which eight random things about me I should post to answer the meme I got tagged with. I think most of the random junk about me y'all probably already know, but I'll try to sum up. I'm going to do this as a stream-of-consciousness thing, so whatever I think of next is what goes in the list. (After re-reading it, most of it is embarrassing. I like to do things 110%.)

1. I collect hair and pet grooming salon names. "Groomingdales" or "Krazy Kuts" never fail to send me into gales of laughter. This is my hobby when traveling, because I often have to go places that are out of the way or populated by strip malls.

2. When I'm traveling out of town I don't like to eat at restaurants I can go to at home. I'd rather go somewhere particular to a place, like Texas BBQ or chili in Cincinnati.

3. My favorite LA restaurant is Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles. True story. You should go there - it's in North Hollywood. Get the meal that's a piece of fried chicken and a waffle. You will not regret it.

4. The dining room at Roscoe's reminds me of my aunt Ruth's basement for no reason whatsoever. It's brown paneling and gold-spackled mirrors. Auntie had a winding, dusty, cluttered basement in her house that I loved being in as a kid. My two cousins were older than I was, and every toy they'd ever had was in there. It was like my own personal thrift shop. Here is a 1975 photo of Aunt Ruth, my dad, cousin Wayne and cousin Debi. I'm the charming little monkey in the red bikini looking up adoringly at Debi. (Aunt Ruth had all kinds of crazy pronounciations I have to write about some day. Nobody knew what the heck 'maintainance' was, but we all knew what she meant.)

5. Aunt Ruth's daughter, my cousin Debi, taught me how to feather my hair when I was in 5th grade. There followed at least four horrifying hair years, because my hair is curly and it just never would do the right thing at the sides, and also it was the late 70s and my mom had long straight hair and wasn't much help. Also I had terrible, terrible eyebrows. In fifth grade some friends on the bus staged an intervention and told me that if I didn't pluck my eyebrows they were going to tie me down and do it for me. (I did, and then had a few years of tadpole-shaped monstrosities before I finally got the shaping right.) In seventh grade I discovered Sun-In, and since my normal natural coloring after being outside with all my tanned friends was usually either "sunburn" or "freckles", I learned fairly quickly that orange hair and red skin don't mix. Unfortunately I have a school picture taken before I figured this out - wearing a red-and-white striped shirt. (And I think that was the year I bought my first eye makeup, which was a Maybelline eye shadow in four shades of purple. I really did not know what I was doing to myself.) In eighth grade I finally started growing my hair out, and had a sort of mullet, but it was 1984 so that was all right. My hair naturally is kind of a greenish ash blond, which doesn't suit me any better than the orange so I've been coloring my hair (properly) since about 10th grade, at very least with lemon juice.

6. At one point in my life I owned several Van Halen albums, including 1984, but if I'm going to pick trashy rock-and-roll music from my childhood, I'll always pick KISS.

7. I went through an Aqua Net Extra Super Hold phase in high school. There were times when I honestly didn't know if it was going to wash out because I used so much. Once I shaved off the sides of my hair and left the rest long. Another time I cut it into a bob and put blue streaks in it with my mascara whenever I felt like it. During college I grew my hair out down to my waist. It was long and curly for about nine years. Then I cut it off, and now it won't really curl anymore, so I wear it straight.

8. I have nicknames for most everyone in my life - the cats (Bunny, Bird, Fat Boy, Bubba, Trixie, Kitty, etc), my nieces and nephews, people I see at work all the time but do not know, etc. For some reason it's easier for me to keep track of nicknames than actual names. Weird, huh?

I finished my reworked armhole decreases last night. Oh, and you can do this meme if you feel like it, eh?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Getting my act together

Well, the bad news is the buyers for my mom's house had their financing fall through, so we are back to square one. Bah.

Oh, I'm just gonna complain today. Normally I keep on the sunny side but there was the part this morning where somebody accidentally went just outside the catbox and then somebody much taller stepped in it just as she was going to put on her socks. There was the traffic part and the feeling pms-y part and "I bought the wrong size air filter for my furnace" and three of my favorite people are not coming back on House. And I know my momma is upset and that makes me sad too. Waaah.

And then on top of all that I kept looking at that right front of Twist and thinking there was something not quite right about my armhole shaping...then I realized that when you work a front by doing the same shaping you did for the back and it says "decrease five stitches at the beginning of the next two rows" you are only supposed to do one set of decreases, because you are ONLY DOING ONE ARMHOLE.

Why I did this right the first time (for the left front) and wrong the second can only be chalked up to how completely tired I was Sunday night when I came home and thought knitting would be a good idea. (I did have enough sense to do them both on the same side of the piece, in two consecutive rows, but never noticed how odd it looked until today.)

But hey, the good news is that I AM FIXING IT. All by myself, although it is my first sweater and cabled! (I usually do fix things myself - I will be DANGED if I will wait for a yarn shop to open and then go over and tell them to fix it for me. I have my pride to think about.)

My camera is out on loan for a day or two, but here's a picture I took this weekend in Kentucky - it's green hay. Have y'all ever seen green hay? I never get tired of it! It's very nice. I hope the horses like it. (Yes it's from the window of a moving car, and no I wasn't driving.)

Green hay!

Also, from the department of Random, y'all know those Hallmark card ladies that just spend hours picking out the right card for somebody? How if you aren't careful, you can lose a half-hour easy over by the cards? Today I realized I am like that about cleaning products. I went to Home Depot (part of the air filter search) and found myself zoning out completely over the boxes, bottles and tubs in the cleaning aisle. I don't even need any cleaners! Even my shower cleaner is stocked up. It might be that the packaging is like eating Funyuns...essentially revolting but don't start because you won't be able to stop. It might be that I'm just tired and fighting a sinus thing. It might be that my dinner at Waffle House was taking over. Either way, I escaped without buying anything - but just barely. Thank goodness.

Now that I'm feeling all better from my little vent, I'm going to go see if I can make up some progress on my sweater. Bye, darlings!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Vacation summary!

I almost typed "summery." Because I am like that.

Ten things about my vacation you should know:
1. I saw a manatee. A real, life, honest-to-goodness, rusty-pipe-looking manatee. It was swimming off the dock at Boondocks, a super great restaurant I always went to with my folks. Since they are moving awaaaay from Daytona Beach, we will just have to find something similar in Gulfport.

2. Found on one of nephew (Chief's) detention papers by my sister: "I AM IN DETENTION BECAUSE I WROTE THE WORD 'FART' ON MY PAPER." Subsequent quizzing revealed that a) they were doing mad libs; b) technically, 'fart' can be a noun or a verb; c) the trouble came when Chief had to read his mad-lib aloud in class.

3. I am a little embarrassed at how much I laughed when my sister told me about #2. (Ahem.)

4. My niece (Pixie) is talking like mad and calls me Aunt Jen - and it's understandable!

5. Osmond brother lookalike one row up from me on airplane talking in very loud voice to two eleven-year-old girls who were crushing madly on him and did not really care how to do a Sudoku. (It's ok, because he didn't really tell them how, despite a lot of talking.)

6. Lots of Halo. Me and Chief like to obliterate the Flood by switching - first I'll shotgun and he'll sweep, then we switch. (I apologize if that sentence made absolutely no sense to you.)

7. Kitten videos. (There is apparently nothing more fun when you are almost two.)

8. Crazy yard sale people tramping through the house to look at washer/dryer for sale: a) Guy with shorts and white tube socks pulled up to his knees; b) 14,000 fanny packs and sun visors; c) frizzy perms; d) sun damage; e) more guys with white tube socks pulled all the way up. This one guy, if he could have made leggings from his socks, he'd have done it. They were pulled up so high they were almost see-through. (He didn't buy anything.)

9. An entire bag of White Rabbit candy ALL FOR ME. (Haven't seen these in years, I am SO HAPPY!)

10. Really really really really really really tired.


Thursday, May 24, 2007


I'm off on vacation, see you Sunday if I don't post before that!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Remember a while ago I was talking about getting a custom case made for my Options needles? Because I am so not down with the black binder. Well, Zonda and I put our heads together and an Idea was hatched.

She worked all week on the Idea, and today the Idea arrived in the mail. Now, if you are the type that likes custom cases and you have an Options set, this is for you. (As always, click for bigger.) I can't believe nobody makes these! Meet my new case!

Options case

Custom Options case

It holds my entire Options set of size 4 - 13 needle tips. What you're seeing there is my set minus the 4's and 6's, 2 40" cords, 2 32" cords, 2 24" cords, all the endcaps and keys that came with those cords (I think there are 6 of those little baggies plus the needle size tag and my Threaded Bliss gauge ruler/needle sizer.

Custom Options case

Aren't you just the teensiest bit jealous? Of the efficiency, the Amy Butler fabric, the sturdiness? The sheer beautifulness of it?(The brown was my idea and might not be your cup of tea. I love it. So there.) I am so glad I'll be able to find my needles without measuring them, and see at a moment's glance which ones are in use.

As a bonus, she made me a box bag! (This is probably better used for knitting but I really want to use it as a travel bag for makeup.)

Box bag

And also! A lovely bucket tote with wooden handles! The Options kit fits right in there, but I think I would rather use this to carry a project-in-progress.

3 bags

I believe Zonda can be coerced into making and selling more of these. I'm not sure about the price she set, but mine was very reasonable - a little more than the Binder, but well worth it! Go give our girl some love! :)

Another photography lesson

Avoid, at all costs, forced juxtaposition.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Here from its world tour!

I've neglected to blog about my most recent SP experience because it was sad - there was mail trouble! - and there wasn't anything good to say except that my pal was nice, kept me entertained, and was very cool. My pal's packages, posted from Europe, got lost in the mail! (I blame American efficiency.) Both my pal and I agonized over the state of them, and finally today I just said a little prayer that whoever got the yarn was happy with it (and not a family of moths).

But look what I got today! Here from the Netherlands!

A lovely goldfish card! (really lovely!)
Card from SP!

Theo! (Tea?)
Tea from SP!

Yarn! Calmer and Tapestry, one of each. Tapestry has soy and y'all know about my short, torrid little affair with SWS.
Yarn from SP!

Scarf style!
SP book!

Brabantse elerkoeken! (I have no idea what this is, but there are 4 "stuk" in the bag and apparently each has 1235 calories. Yeah!)

...something...from SP!

STROOPWAFELS! (I have been searching the continent for some proper stroopwafels for two years, since my friend Jethro from Holland spoiled me with some. They do not exist here. These are the good ones. The bag is so heavy it makes you laugh. These are to be jealously guarded!)

Stroopwafel from SP!

When the box arrived it was looking very shabby, and I was worried the contents fell out or were damaged. Nope! It held together, nothing is damp, there is no odd odor. Here's the box, sturdy fellow:


And now I am going to go try a stuk. THANK YOU MY LOVELY PAL, YOU'VE MADE ME SO HAPPY! :)

PS: A new hair salon for the list: Fades n' Braids - WOO!

Stop laughing

Say hello to my Pomatomus:
More monkeys

Yep, your eyes do not deceive you.

Ripping out the Pomatomuses felt so good I just kept right on going - I got a dropped stitch in the lace pattern and when, when will I realize that this pattern and I just do not like each other? it's fun to knit, seriously, but I never do a good job of it and now I'm tired of trying. It's not that there is anything hard about it - it's just not hanging. And y'all remember my excellent experience with my first pair of Monkeys. These are better. Made a lot of progress last night and managed to rip back a bunch of Twist (where I forgot a cable crossing) and reknit and go about ten rows farther (thank you, crappy season finale of 24!).

Behold, half of an extremely curly right-front of Twist:
Twist again

Grady, with an unidentified white object on his nose:

Fee, plotting my complete destruction:

That's all for today. :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

For posterity

I can't ever seem to find the instructions for doing that toe-up-no-flap-gusset-and-short-row-heel. Somebody over at Flickr asked me about it and I couldn't find my own notes! Here they are now, preserved for all blogdom:

Toe Up No Flap Heel:

Mentally divide your stitches in half. The bottom is one half, the instep is the other. Work the heel only on the bottom stitches. Start at the place where the sock is long enough to cover your whole foot but doesn't go up your ankle - just where your foot and ankle meet on the front.

So say you are working that sock on 64 stitches. 32 will be the heel and for this part you increase every other round BOTTOM ONLY until you get to 52 stitches - 10 increase rounds.

Then you turn the heel just like a flap heel. All that decreasing will bring the stitch count back where you need it. Once when I made these I ended up two stitches short, and just increased on the next round.

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Slightly more "normal", slightly less "crazy"

Sweater knitting sure takes a bite out of my sock-knitting time. I'm trying to find some balance, because I really do love knitting socks and I have been very non-productive for a while. I keep picking bad pattern-yarn combinations. Last weekend I was treated to several long plane rides. I'm also a very effective knitter in hotel rooms, so I got an awful lot done on the first of my sockapalooza socks. Only problem is, I had this nagging feeling about the gusset. I couldn't find anything specifically wrong, though, so I just kept going. I'm not very far past the gusset, but I haven't touched the socks all week. And wouldn't you know it, I realized yesterday I left off an entire pattern repeat on the leg. They are very short socks, indeed. So it being two full months before the deadline, you know what I'm going to do later today, don't you?

I was trying to get the right front of Twist finished this weekend, but it didn't happen. Wildly unrealistic. I'm traveling all weekend next weekend, and it's very doubtful I'll work on it while I'm gone. I'm a much better sock-knitter on vacation, and I've got some other projects queued up as well. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up.

I was laying low all weekend, still not feeling tops but a little better than I did. It's lovely and green around here again and a constant visual reminder of why I love Tennessee.

Hope your Monday is happy! Pictures tomorrow (I hope). I'm on my last final deadline stretch before I'm all caught up (didn't I just say that?) and hopefully I've got it sorted. This is a "normal" deadline, not a "crazy" deadline. If I finish it tomorrow as planned I'll be able to relax for the next week, yay!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Resistance is futile

Well, I've bought the magazine, I've swatched, I figured out with the help of a friendly co-Ravelrina** how to actually DO the swatch, I've frogged, reswatched, frogged, reswatched, came down with a stomach virus, looked around online for some yarn to do this in, found some yarn to do this in, played around with colours, swatched some more, thought, made swatch bigger.

OH YES I AM. There is no turning back. Resistance is futile.

Babette swatch

**PS: The male version is hereby christened Ravelrino.

PPS: Sing to the tune of "I Feel Pretty": "I feel crappy, so so crappy..."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Random Thursday

I had a few things to talk about, like how I forgot to shave my legs before I went for that pedicure. I was at least a week past permissible leg hair. You know, a few days after you shave you can still get away with wearing shorts. Not me, though! I do things 110%. (In this instance I think I went for 150.) The lady who does my toes gave me a real nice "Dontworryaboutit!" and of course I forgot until the massage part, but it was generally okay. And of course yesterday morning I did possibly the best job shaving I've ever done.

But then I decided that what I really need to talk about is how my aunt Carol's house was haunted, back when I was growing up. I have already mentioned this, but it bears repeating because I am reminded of Ethel a lot. Every now and again I get a whiff of cigarette smoke in my apartment, although I have lived there for many years and do not smoke. As far as I know my neighbors don't, either, unless they have a strict no-smoking-outside-on-the-porch rule. So I figure that although I have new carpets and a nice coat of paint (including covering over the part where the dog tried to chew its way out of the window, at least I hope it was a dog), I occasionally get a little whiff of smoke. I don't know where it's coming from.

But Ethel? Ethel smoked and smoked. Nobody in Auntie's family smoked, but every once in a while they'd wake up in the middle of the night smelling smoke in the front room. Auntie would yell "Go back to bed, Ethel!" and the smell would dissipate. So we figured Ethel was a ghost, sitting in the front room and smoking like maybe she did years and years before.

I don't think I have a ghost. I also don't think my kitties have taken up smoking. But the whiff of smoke I get every so often baffles me.

And also, my parents are in Ocean Springs, Mississippi looking at houses. Mom is lucky as ever - she turned a $20 free voucher into $575 last night in about thirty minutes. They love the area and while I'm sad they aren't moving to Memphis, at least it's closer than 12 hours by car. They smoke. I am really hoping they don't take it up again with a vengeance when they move to their new place. They've been on hiatus for a while because the house was on the market and most people don't want to buy an ashtray. Personally, I don't want parents who are ashtrays.

I keep feeling I missed something important last night in Lost. Maybe I'll think of it later. For now - here's hoping you have a day free of hairy legs, cigarette smoke, and ghosts.

And also: Click here. (Golgotha is the English-language name given to the place where Jesus was crucified. Cheery.)


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Space-Time Continuum

Well, I thought for sure I posted my post this morning about the needles, but earlier it was showing up as Tuesday. Weird. I have to leave early tomorrow morning, so I hope y'all will count this post as Thursday. :)

I have started another sock. All y'all out there who are in a slump, please take some of my mojo because I have castonitis coupled with buyyarnitis and that is a particularly deadly combination. Additionally I have been knitting and crocheting so much that my right hand is in rebellion. (Note: Do not knit or crochet with your elbows resting on any surface. This causes pain!) Once it's gotten going I may ask y'all to help me decide - for now I am still knitting the cuff. These are Sockapalooza socks. I started a Pomatomus (third time's the charm!) but I also really like Roza's Socks from the Spring 07 IK. I decided to start it as well, same yarn, and then frog whichever one I don't like. I know I am taking the long way around but I don't want to do this halfway. Pssst - my sock pal is a very good knitter, so I don't want to fail her. :)

Sorry about Melinda to all her fans but I think this will actually be ok in the long run. Any one of the final three could have won it, but Jordin and Blake are more classically pop stars, and they will function better in the Idol star-making machine. Melinda will not go away...she'll cut a great album with a lot of creative freedom and do very well. If R&B fails her, then she can do Christian music. I don't think anyone will forget about her soon. Did y'all notice the church she was in at home? (Here.) It's called Born Again, it's a great church and I've been a couple times. She's got a lot of support. It's a good church.

My prediction: Jordin will win it.

Lost: weak episode. Not necessarily a farewell to Charlie. Who knew the Looking Glass was so big? And why call an underwater station a mirror? Because it's deflecting signals to the outside world, that's why. Think about it. :)

As for the case for my Options needles, I think it will end up being a hit with more than just me and I think some of y'all will love it. Stay tuned for more details. ;) It will most likely be after Memorial Day before I can talk about it.

Embracing the Dark Side

My you-know-whats arrived yesterday. They are SHINY. They are PRETTY. They are...all in their little bags waiting for me to take them out and pet them:

My dark-side membership kit

But I can't just yet, because one crucial part of the entire deal is on its way, the case. Call it a social experiment, or call it more evidence for Crazy, but I am not going to use, buy or own that awful binder. I have something else in mind, and I'll be sure to show you as soon as I can.

I know it sounds dumb but I feel an awful lot better after getting a pedicure last night and picking up some sushi for dinner. (Cats like salmon nigiri. So do I.) My toes are now "Hong Kong Sunrise" and I had a nice hour in that crazy massage chair. I know, shallow, but sometimes pretty feet make it all better.

I've been looking around for a book for quite a while, just stopping in to different bookstores and asking when I thought about it. After about fifteen tries, it became apparent to me that I was not going to find The Element of Lavishness anytime soon. Though I'm still loving reading Rising Tide...I just wanted something...warmer. (And I was going to drive to Florida for Memorial Day, but the fires are so bad I'm not taking a chance on driving, so I bought a plane ticket. Less time for audiobooks though. More room for a good read on the plane and sitting by the pool for the last time at my Mom's house. They sold it. !!) You know, Posie talked about this book, too...after I read the excerpt, I was severely needing it. Tonight I bought a copy on eBay for $10. Hopefully it will arrive by next Wednesday afternoon. (Read the excerpt at will make your heart ache a little for the days of proper correspondence, and you'll smile at the little look into their lives.)

I have two good friends in letters - people with whom I carry on almost exclusively written correspondence. One friend and I have done this for many years, through job changes, home changes, additions of boyfriends, cats, hobbies, problems, redecorating. Ann and Kay over at Mason-Dixon started this way. I think everyone should have a writing friend - not a pen pal per se, but someone who is simply there during your day-to-day ramblings and thinkings. I guess I'm reading this book because I know how much a friendship like this has cheered me, and I want a glimpse of someone else's conversation as well. (Though I doubt ours is nearly as elegant.)

Anyway, just a little book recommendation for you. I know it isn't everyone's cup of tea, but a book like this can be a nice warm patch of sunshine to curl up in on many an afternoon. A friendly book, a cuppa, a little sunshine...warmth and prettiness.

Today is all pretty toes...pretty yarn...pretty new shiny needles. Pretty cats.



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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Never Use While Sleeping

The 10-hour days just aren't slowing down around here. I'm really trying hard to maintain the tiny shreds of sanity I pretend I have still have left. Here is me and a stupid cardboard cutout in a bookstore at Chicago O'Hare. Did you know his mother is Gloria Vanderbilt?


(I should have put my arm around him. If we are going to do trick pictures...)

Here's one of Fee.


The camera did not love her this morning.

I bought a flatiron that is supposed to be Sally's version of a CHI, and I'm not sure if I like it. I may take it back. Until then I am far, far too over-entertained by the phrase "Never use while sleeping" in the instructions. I seriously don't think they mean "sleepwalking" - I think they mean that you shouldn't straighten my hair while I'm sleeping. "Prepare for any contingency." You know that somewhere some nutter tried to sue them for something related to this.

I finished the left front of Twist and I am one cable repeat into the right front. (Once again, I got to row 19 and realized I was forgetting shaping and had to rip back to 15. At least I wasn't at row 29.) So far I seem to have actually, through some miracle of God and technology and maybe science, made the left front the same length as the back, with the decreases and increases and stuff for the sleeves at the same rows. (At least I hope I have.) (We'll find out.)

I am really enjoying this, but I am not sure I'll be a sweater-knitter forever. I like making toys and socks and other things that have interesting construction and are more three-dimensional. I'm not saying I don't like sweaters, just that they are sort of sloggish and long and require a stick-to-it-iveness I'm not sure I have permanently built into my character. I live on deadlines. The comfort and structure of my life comes from having a "finish by" date.

I'll give it 110% though, and we'll see. Maybe once I'm done and can wear something I made, I'll like it better. For now, I'm just cussing a little - I found a hole in the heel of one of my Elfine's socks. Once again, it looks like it was cut. I think it's Fee.

I'm keeping my socks locked up from now on.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hey, my internet works again!

Hi y'all! Sorry for being so silent for so long but yesterday my internet wasn't working at all. I tried everything I could think of.

Here's my weekend, in a nutshell:
1. Got up at 4:30am and flew to Indianapolis through Chicago. (Indy is on the wayyyyy to Chicago, people at American Airlines, don't y'all have maps?)
2. Asked for directions to a certain giant retailer in Indy. Instead of going down road A and turning left at road B, was instructed to take road A to road C, then road D and finally road B. Got lost. When we had four possibilities for turning, we took all but the right one in our search for the hotel. Saw more Indiana farmland than we ever care to again.
3. Had a rental car that featured an automatic stick shift, but both my editor and I were so tired that it took us a full 15 minutes to figure out we didn't have to use it that way. (There is a regular automatic built in.)
4. To compound the horror, we saw a clown waving at us from the side of the road.
5. Got to our meeting site only to find that right around the corner was...a certain giant retailer (different location).
6. Went back to airport to fly to Chicago again. Forgot to get gas in rental car. (Probably used a 1/4 tank driving around getting lost. Or un-lost.) Got stared at by a dude with a Bert eyebrow. (Notice I did not say "Bert eyebrowS." It looked to be knitted from black fun-fur.)
7. Flew to Chicago. Had 2-hour layover in Chicago and distressing meal at Chili's during which we were held hostage by a slow waitress.
8. Finally made it back to Nashville with partial sanity intact.

I did knit a whole lot, but I'm running behind this morning and can't show you pictures. I worked on my sockapalooza socks. I like how they are turning out, but there is one dodgy area I need to ask y'all about.

Also, Happy Mother's Day to my mom, who used to be a pediatric nurse and was checking out a niece for some leg problems my sister had when she was little (she doesn't have them):


And to my stepmom, telling my hammy nephew to sit down:

My grandma, and all the other mothers out there. :o)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Radio Silence

I'll be away until tomorrow night...see y'all then and happy knitting!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

That way lies Madness, chapter 78

Hi y'all! Wow, I have so much to say, I hope I can get it all done before y'all start drifting off to sleep and drooling on keyboards and whatnot. (My dad always says 'whatnot.' I think it's funny. Mom says 'tree' instead of 'three.')

So the last couple of days have been really busy with getting some office furniture reconfigured. It's heavy and in order to move it I had to empty it. I found a note in my junk (I threw out boxes of junk) with a list of pet salon names from some town or other I'd been to: Bark n' Tweet Pet Boutique was my favorite. As in, "Honey, I'm gonna drop Fifi off at the Bark 'n Tweet and meet you at Logan's for dinner." I'll bet that place has mostly women dropping off the animals.

I got unpacked and then I had lots of meetings and somehow today I decided it was a good idea to wear my Monkey socks, what with them being wool and all and an expected high of 87. (This turned out to be a really bad idea. Hot feet are not the reason I wear wool socks.) But I just have to ask - do y'all have a lot of pilling and fuzz with your Cherry Tree Hill supersock socks? Because, dang. These things fuzz up fierce, and yet you can't just pull the fuzz off. It's hard-wired into the sock. So my Monkeys are looking a bit...manky. I love them anyway, but I don't think I'll buy this yarn again. Pity, though - it's beautiful, sheeny stuff.

Cara got me thinking about crochet again, this time that seriously cool, shamelessly cute granny-square blanket called Babette. Honestly, if I wanted to drop $300 on Koigu this is all it would take. I'm not super keen on that kind of investment, though, so I'm currently snarking around trying to find other options. One is to collect big fat skeins of solid sock yarn. Another is to see what I have and make it work. Then I think, HELLO, YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT CROCHETING 3200 YARDS OF SOCK YARN. And you know. That way lies madness.

I am not sure I am up for madness at the moment. I'm having enough trouble trying to figure out how to bind off neck stitches and keep cabling and hopefully stop when it's as long as the back. Also I am seriously tired of looking at "charcoal" yarn.

I'm just sort of fizzed also on my sock project. You know, the Zutano Scout yarn that I originally did a Conwy sock with but wasn't feeling the love, then made into the Retro Rib? I'm past the heel and still not feeling the love. I don't know why. I just keep dreaming about solid sock yarn. So I think this weekend I may cast on for a pair of Waving Lace Socks or Uptown Boot Socks. Because I think at night I hear them calling my name. And there is that turquoise Lorna's Laces.

Also, I have Sockapalooza to think about.

SO ANYWAY. (I told you I would go on long, and my passionate love for the run-on sentence is in full speed ahead mode tonight.) My SPRING PAL! sent me a package with some really lovely stitch markers, these are way better than any I've ever made and they are super pretty. Love the blue and green swirls. Love the pink ice cubes. THANK YOU SECRET SPRING PAL!!!

Spring Pal Stitch Markers!

Also I want y'all to know that taking pictures of Fee is not always a picnic.

Four of Fee

And here's Grady, looking mightyfine.

Mister Schmade

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

It holds a lot, too

This weekend was...interesting. I watched my first-ever Kentucky Derby, that was fun but I have to confess I'm still not sure I "get" the whole Derby thing. Also, my tv crapped out on me. After more than six years together, it let me down. There was a big blue blob on one side of the screen, and a big green blob on the other. And it wasn't a greenish cast, either - it was kelly green. So Sunday found me wandering around inside Best Buy wishing I actually wanted to spend $900 on an HDTV. The sales guy ended up talking me out of it anyway, when he said that regular TV on an HD model was basically less than worthless. Maybe next time I'll make the leap, but for now I have a nice new regular tv with no green and blue blotches.

Next I got fed up with a corner of my apartment, which was a total cluttery yarnish mess even though I've cleaned out bags of stash and tried really hard to get a handle on my WIPs. I originally wanted to get some big drawer-things from IKEA to fit under the windows, but not only are they sold out, they are discontinued. And I am still bummed about that.

So the next best thing was this storage trunk that holds a lot of yarn. There are a few odd balls in there, plus my sock-yarn stash and about four bags of yarn. I have a lot of sock yarn. Not what some people have, but a lot. So this thing holds a lot. Barring the acquisition of extra rooms with big furniture for yarn storage, this is a pretty good answer.

So this is the corner now, except for that I got one complaint that the picture looks dumb. I don't think it looks dumb. Maybe just me. I am going to work this weekend on cutting the clutter a little more.

Trunk in action

And one know. She is not a morning kitty. And one of the sky this morning, which makes me wish I was a morning person. I am more of a late-afternoon gal.

Mad, mad kitty

Blue sky

Just started the left-front armhole shaping on Twist. It's not too bad.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I took the leap!

I just ordered my own personalized-customized-you'll-be-surprised Options set today. Truth is, I like the needles. I still don't think they are cheap, but I like them. So maybe in a few weeks they'll be here, huh?

I spent a whole lot of time last night watching the trailer for next week's Lost frame-by-frame on my DVR. There are a lot of subliminal messages in that thing. Here's what I saw, interspersed among the action, all in black and white, and some were negatives:
1. A woman in a dress, full-length
2. A wooden stick ? maybe a shovel handle, carved, with a smiley face on it (negative)
3. Ben
4. Locke running
5. a finger holding something that says Roger Work Man (negative)
6. a baby swaddled up (negative)
7. 3 blue VW vans and stacks of boxes (supplies) in the jungle (color)
8. a person wearing a gas mask - looked black to me (negative)
9. Marvin Candle, with two men talking and walking in the background from left to right, and a guy riding a bicycle from right to left
10. Stacks of boxes (color)
11. A younger Richard Alpert with long, unkempt hair (negative?)
12. Locke, closeup
13. Locke? negative? very light, possibly shocked or screaming.

Freaky. I've heard this epi is supposed to contain flashbacks from Ben's past, so maybe that's what that was.

I'm about a third of the way up the left front of my sweater. It is going faster now that i am actually remembering to cable on the cable rows.

Friday, May 04, 2007

It's the absolute coolest thing ever

I know by now the blogs are all abuzz about Ravelry, a new online knitting and crochet community started by Frecklegirl Jess and her husband, Casey. At the moment the site is in beta version, open by invites only so it doesn't get too huge too soon and they can work the bugs out. I read about it on Adrian's blog on Wednesday and must have sent in my invite just before about 1,000 other people did, because Jess got right back to me and I've been a member ever since.

Y'all, I love this place. It's so cool. It's so intuitive and goodlooking and easy to use and it's really helpful as well. I put four or five projects up so far. Think of it as an online diary containing all that stuff that you keep on your blog anyway, but organized so you can find it all. You link in your pictures from Flickr. You connect your journal page to all the posts in your blog about a project. It makes you fill in critical stuff you aim to remember but will probably forget, like how many skeins of yarn you really used for that scarf. All your pattern notes are centralized and organized by project - great for somebody like me who often finds untranslatable notes in my knitting Moleskine. Best of all, it's shared - so I can see how many other people are working on my same WIPs at the same time without googling and searching all over and then having to go hunt through their blog and hope they wrote down what needle size they used.

Sign up for it absolutely as soon as you can. It's going to be an absolutely indispensable tool to most knitters. We need to give serious props to Jess and Casey for not only dreaming this up, but making it a reality. It won't take the place of blogs, but it's definitely a place to organize everything you blog about. (My username is MeanGirl. Surprise.)

Also I've been having way too much fun over at Twitter. It's hard to explain. It's kind of a cross between a message board and a chat room. Everybody gets 140 characters to type in an answer to "What are you doing right now?" The answers go online in realtime. It's kind of like online people-watching and totally addictive. My favorite from yesterday said something like: "On the one hand, vegetarianism is humane and sensible. On the other hand, bacon."

I love that. Just absolutely love it.

Didn't do much knitting yesterday, just a couple rounds of a sock. I got the new IK for summer in the mail, and boy do I ever love that tuxedo linen top, the Josephine top, those spiral boot socks (must buy Sea Wool NOW) and I have a feeling I'll be making you-know-who that little doggy sweater (we just won't tell her it's for dogs). The only complaint I have this time - as a magazine designer - is that the cover is weak. It needs bolder fonts and brighter colors. More tags. The new IK is full of lots and lots more stuff. I wish they'd just try more tags one time and see how cool it really looks. (It's hard to ease into, and always looks different on-screen than when you print it out. A certain amount of hope is necessary.)

All in all, it feels better organized and like there is a lot more content. I don't know, what do y'all think??

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I started the left front of Twist last night. Very very easy cable pattern but I'm still petrified I'll forget a decrease. I was supposed to decrease on row 15, and wouldn't you know it I finished 17 and went "Uh." Ripping back two rows is no big deal, but from that point on I employed two highly technical assistance methods: I wrote out line instructions of how the decreases should fit in and at what row, and I employed my technologically brilliant pink stitch marker to keep moving up as I get closer to the decrease row. Maybe I'll take a picture, all the ones I took last night are way way too yellow.

Also, in the grand tradition of veterinary catscaping in this family, Grady got shaved a little at the vet. Every time I take one of the cats there he finds an excuse to use the clippers. This time, it was to find a vein in his neck so he could get blood. (I shudder to think about a needle so close to my neck.) In this picture you can see his stylish, awe-inspiring haircut. The interesting thing? His skin is gray. And striped. Together now: Awwwwww!

Grady's haircut

Also also, two kitties stalk a dog from our upstairs porch:

Two cats

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Double yay!

Grady's tests are finally back after a silly mixup at the lab. Everything's normal except two numbers that indicate an infection. Since he's already taking antibiotics, he ought to be fine soon.