Saturday, December 30, 2006

Brideshead(case) Revisited

Man. This whole getting-married thing is kinda cutting into my knitting time.

Got the location, photographer, and all attendants secured. (Each of us has five - absurd for a small wedding, maybe, but we love our friends and want them all by our sides.) I'm keeping copious notes so as not to confuse myself, and setting up a website (well, really a blog) for us. We're keeping the invite list small (for us, anyway) as the location's max capacity is 80. I'd probably have a hard time filling 80 seats myself, but both sides of Travis' family are very large, and all of them live in within a 50-mile radius. So it's a challenge.

I know I said I'd skip the wedding talk, but seriously, you're gonna love where this goes. We thought about who we are and what we represent and what we'd like our wedding to represent. We're fun, independent-minded, and kinda goofy. We live in a house built in 1920 and hate subdivisions where everything looks the same. We refuse to shop at Wal-Mart. When going on vacations, we like to stay at small, independently-owned places and eat at small, independently-owned restaurants. So would a Papyrus-invitations, hotel-ballroom-reception, mass-produced-candles-as-favors wedding be true to who we are? No way.

I found an artist on Etsy who does hand silk-screened invitations. I found a beautiful B&B for the ceremony. My jewelry, and hopefully that for my bridesmaids? One of my new favorite Etsy artists. Favors? Some of our favorite little things - Gudonya has agreed to make me small Floap soaps, and I'm going to talk to a talented friend about making a slew of those chocolates she does that we like so much. (She's gonna have to love me a LOT to be willing to do that....but I'm hoping....and willing to beg.)

It really means a lot to me, as a fiber artist and big fan of the little guy, to have as much of this as possible come from artists and little guys. No matter what happens on the day, we're going to be so proud of this wedding and the people who put so much into it. I'm already just totally psyched about the fact that when I'm 80, I'll be able to open an album and point to an invitation and say, "Heather designed those for us and printed them herself." I'll be able to hand my daughter a necklace and say, "Emily sketched and made this for me by hand and I wore it when I married your father." I think it's just incredibly special to have things made especially for us that someone put their own precious time into, and it's such an honor to have talented individuals accept my requests for their time and artistic talent.

Spectacular bonus: it's also a good way to keep the costs a strange paradox, keeping it personal seems to be cheaper than keeping it corporate. Go figure.

Today was such an AWESOME DAY!!! Last night I managed a really great FO. It's simple but fun and I love it. (Gotta keep you waiting for the pictures...but I've hinted at it before.) This morning we headed off to the mall and knocked out some details - setting up registries, that kind of thing. (Yes, corporations are less preferable - but if you want accessibility and faboo kitchen gadgets, you're kind of limited.) I got to have my beloved grilled vegetable salad for lunch, and I splurged on a few new sassy Chanel nail polishes - which it turns out are (say the following in a snotty-brat Paris voice) only, like, THE hottest new things right now and are, like, only sold out EVERYWHERE. Whatever, I just thought they were pretty.

I'm sort of proud of myself, really. Every once in a while I accidentally end up being trendy and cutting-edge. Don't worry, I ruin it immediately by pulling out a sock and knitting at lunch.

But it wasn't just a great cool fun day! No, it was a great cool fun day with FLAIR!


Dude, a surprise from Rosi G.! I love opening my post office box and finding a little key inside that means, "You've got mail! The good kind!" It's even better when it's surprise good mail! (You know, the kind you didn't order online and pay for.) She sent soaps (handmade, my favorite!!!) and a sock-blocker keychain with instructions to make a tiny little sock (which will be a great gift....for ME!) and wool yarn that my sad crappy picture does absolutely no justice to but which is fabulous and kind of like Trekking and destined to be great socks. (It doesn't matter what kind of yarn I pick up lately, all I see is socks. I think I'm getting tunnel vision....and I like it!)

Big ol' hugs and thanks, Rosi! You're way-super-awesome!

Last little bit of eye candy before I'm back to sock knitting. (What's that you say? Christmas is over? Ha!!! Not until I say it is!) Earlier this week, a coworker sneaked her Christmas puppy into the office to show her off. We tried to keep it quiet for a little while, but damned if she wasn't too cute for secrets - after a few minutes, we wound up in one of our larger open spaces with pretty much everyone in the office cooing over her. She was the CUTEST little thing.



Yeah, it was probably a big-time no-no. But deep down, we're all a sucker for puppies.

Happy new year!!! I think I'll make sure I'm snuggled up to Travis and knitting at midnight. That seems like a good way to spend a year.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Now, To Knit The Invitations.

Thank you all so much for the kind words - I'm very excited myself!

There were a lot of kind comments on the ring - this ring is the most special thing in the world to me. (Well, the most special inanimate object, anyway.) It was my great-aunt's ring. My mom's own mother passed away when my mom was only two, and her stepmother was nice enough, but a bit of a ... um, crazy person. So her aunt and uncle (who were also her godparents) became almost like parents to her. She and Aunt Trudy especially had a very warm and close relationship. My Aunt Trudy bought herself that ring in an antique shop decades ago, and it was her most prized possession. She passed it along to my mom about seven or eight years ago. I've coveted it ever since - not just because it's a huge herkin' diamond, but because of what it represents. And in October, she offered it to me, which was a complete shock, since we had always joked I'd have to literally pry it off her cold dead hand. So I offered it to Travis, whenever he chose to use it. And he chose to use it on Christmas morning.

Now, incredibly enough, we're getting married on June 2 of this coming year. I figured I'd have not a chance in hell of securing a location or anything and we'd end up having to go with next June.

Oh, that's the rest of the story - I'm not dying to be a June bride, but it HAS TO BE June 2. That same aunt and uncle? They married on June 2. My mother and stepfather married on June 2, 1993. And so it's extremely important to me that I marry on June 2. I'll also have Aunt Trudy's lily-of-the-valley carving knife for the cake. And when I graduated college, my parents gave me a bottle of Dom Perignon from 1993, the year we became a family. I opted to save it for my own wedding toast. (Yes, I will probably spend the entire day crying, with all this sentimentality going on.) Aunt Trudy passed away earlier this year, but I know she'd be so thrilled to know that she and her marriage are playing such a large part of my own wedding and marriage.

My first choice for a location, the one that is beautiful and intimate, a lakefront garden setting that's booked 18-24 months in advance and could not possibly be available for the first Saturday in June a mere five months away? Available. (Even the onsite wedding coordinator was stunned.) And they handle EVERYTHING - food, decor, cake, DJ...I show up with my dress, my party, and the photographer.

Speaking of - my first choice photographer, a tremendously popular and widely-published photojournalist, who was the ONLY photographer I saw whose style matched what I had in mind? Yep....available.

(I don't get it, but I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth. I like to picture Ghostie Aunt Trudy sneaking around and erasing other peoples' info out of the books. It's the only possible explanation.)

So it's all set. Now all we have to do is narrow our 175-strong guest list down to no more than capacity, which is 80. (Which would be only about half of his family alone - so this should be heaps of fun.) But one of the reasons I wanted a small venue is so we are forced to keep it tight and not go crazy overboard.

As for here? No worries - I'll not bore everyone with wedding plans for the next five months. It's a knitting blog. I'll bore you with knitting.

So. Five months. Who wants to knit me a wedding shawl? (I'm not deluding myself, I will NOT get that done.)

Monday, December 25, 2006

Hey, Christmas Is Pretty Sweet...

So I wake up this morning and stumble down the stairs to start baking our Christmas morning breakfast goodies. Travis was already up and came into the kitchen in his robe to request that I return upstairs and wait for a few minutes. I figured he must be doing some last minute frantic Christmas morning somethings, so I obliged, grumbling something cranky about wanting presents. (I'm precious.) In my own unobtrusive way, I tried to spy...

Christmas Morning Prep

Photo taken from the gap in between the ceiling of the first floor and the staircase. I thought it was kinda goofy for him to be bundled up in his robe when it was about 76 degrees outside...

When he called me back down, the fire was going in the fireplace and he had lost the robe - he was all dolled up in his dress duds....

Marry Christmas!!

Well, lookie what we have here! Yep, a Christmas morning proposal - certainly more than I was expecting for Christmas!!!

(Um, I said yes.)

And it would appear I have been fully domesticated:

Fully domesticated

A food processor, a wok, and a husband - all of which were on my wishlist! Score!!!

Little Bit was really excited.
Whatever.  I'm pretty.

(I love her Christmas dress, I'm sorry.)

I tried to get Rooster's blessing...

No, I refuse to give my blessing!

He seemed less than enthusiastic:

I can't believe you're doing this to me.

"Break out the catnip, and we'll talk."

The date is up in the air for now - we'll figure it all out eventually, I'm sure. For now, we're just focusing on spreading the word and making sure we have a good photo for the announcements and Save-the-Date cards.

Whaddya think?
We're so happy!!!

Ain't love GRAND??!!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Lazy Sunday/Christmas Eve

Travis gave me my Christmas DVD gifts early - we're spending the day listening to the rain on our metal roof (one of my favorite sounds) and watching Clerks 2 and Little Miss Sunshine. Watching a Kevin Smith flick is always a marathon event for me because I have to watch all of the commentaries and deleted scenes and documentaries and extras.

And there's the frantic knitting.

Christmas Countdown

The Christmas Countdown:

1. Concerned knitter overwhelmed by frantic multi-tasking.
2. Blurry kitty trying to get love amidst said frantic multi-tasking.
3. Sock-in-progress #1.
4. Laptop for keeping up with blog subscriptions. (Shown: Wendy)
5. Sock-in-progress #2 (if you can call three rounds of ribbing a sock-in-progress)
6. Spinning in progress for pal

I've been doing some stocking stuffing, too. Can you guess which one's mine?

Christmas Mantle

Everything in my stocking was put there by me. I'm not ashamed, dude.

Travis didn't have any room to put stuff in my stocking, so he threw it all in a box and wrapped it up. Something in here has bells on it, and it's driving me nuts trying to figure out what it is. Rooster seems to have noticed it, too:

Is this for me?

Breaking continuity for a moment....we spotted this on Friday when we went to lunch. It amused me a bit:

Lock the doors

Travis had to go to the store today and buy strawberries for tomorrow's dessert. When he got back, the animals were very thrilled to see him. Oddly, it just happened that he was wearing The Shirt when purchasing berries and cuddling with furry creatures.

In any event, this could be next year's Christmas card:


Have a happy, snuggly holiday!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Eye Candy/Yarn Pr0n Friday!

First things first - presents!

My coworker Susan S. gave me The Devil Wears Prada on DVD for Christmas yesterday. On a whim, El Capitan let us take a two-hour lunch in the breakroom to watch it!! I LOVE when he gives us movie day - he did one earlier this year with Fun with Dick and Jane. For me, it's a double-whammy - I get paid for watching a movie AND knitting a sock!!

And La Pal sent me the cuuutest necklace! She got it from Mack, one of my favorite Etsy-ers - which is funny, since I also got something for MY pal from Mack! Even funnier, I had spotted this necklace in Mack's shop and wanted it, but someone else bought it - turns out someone else bought it for ME! Here's me with my superfly new necklace:


The necklace is black and white, so I'm not depriving you of color. It's just that everything else in this photo (uh, me) looked better in black and white. I wish I was better at photoshop so I could have fixed my tired eye - but it's been a long year, so I'm embracing my circles.

(For the record, I'm not the eye candy. I'm narcissistic, but I'm not THAT narcissistic.)

THIS is the eye candy. And the yarn pr0n. And my best spinning to date.

Firefly handspun2

This is four ounces of Sweet Georgia's Blue-Faced Leicester roving in "Firefly". I didn't do anything terribly scientific with the colors - just split it up and started spinning. I ended up with a great fingering weight in two-ply, about 520 yards! I was more consistent with my plying this time and managed a nice, even and tightly-but-not-too-tightly plied yarn.

Firefly handspun 3


Firefly handspun4

I'm not entirely sure what I'll do with it - probably not socks since BFL probably isn't the best sock yarn - but I'd LOVE them as socks...maybe I'll knit them for show.

Firefly on the niddy-noddy

The niddy-noddy shot...

And of course, the now-obligatory Yarn Scarf shot:

Firefly handspun

Now I'm off to surprise Travis and take him to lunch - he thinks I'm at work today, hee!! If I don't "see" you before Monday - have a happy Christmas-or-holiday-of-your-choice!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Photos and Pointers

Sunday night I went to my new bellydance school's Christmas party. (I wasn't an official member of the school yet, but I had an invite.) The first performers were the younger girls. They were so CUTE.

Little BDs

They were all having such fun, and the crowd was loving them. Actually, the crowd was loving everyone - you won't find a more supportive room full of women than at a bellydance party. And confident! Every woman, regardless of size or appearance, just oozed self-esteem that was well-deserved. I didn't see a single woman get up there who wasn't hot hot HOT, even the shapely lady who appeared to be about my mom's age. She was my favorite dancer of the night - Travis' too - because she was a spectacular dancer and her personality just filled the whole room.

I didn't get photos of any of the adults dancing, but I did get a shot of my favorite young gal:

Little BDs

See the one in the white tank top there in the center? She was pure sass - I loved her! If you saw Little Miss Sunshine, think Olive. If you didn't see Little Miss Sunshine, see Little Miss Sunshine. (Out on DVD today!)

Next up, my goodies from the fantastic wonderful fabulous Valerie:


Hooo-ray! It's a big ol' pile (that's a scientific measurement that's not often used) of Corriedale fiber from Mata Hari Spinnery in the Autumn Leaves colorway! And the Spinner's Companion book that I had on top priority! Now, besides getting a better idea of what the hell I'm doing, I can answer Susan's question about the difference between top, roving, and batt!

Now, for your Tip of the Day.

In some extreme circumstances, you should attempt to rescue a needle that goes rogue as you turn your work, such as if it'll never be seen again if it gets out of your hands. Say, when you're knitting in outer space. Or if the needle is wired with explosives. Otherwise, if you're knitting over your lap and a needle makes a run for it, probably best to just let it fall. Even if it's just a little bamboo needle.

'Cause they still hurt like hell when you try to drive one through your palm.


Um, "ow" n' stuff. When you're as coordinated as me, catching a falling needle looks a lot like jamming the tip of it halfway through my own hand. It takes skill, folks. It's a gift. You either got it or you don't.

I got it.

Am I Awesome? I Mean, I Must Be Awesome... have been blessed with such good spoilers in my life!

Not long ago I got a surprise package of fabulous from Rosi G. And today, after my devastating (to me) doctor's appointment (just a minute), I swung by the post office to check for goodies. Besides a Christmas check from my father in Texas (which happened to be more than enough to cover the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club I had yet to figure out how to pay for - woot!), I had a package from Valerie!! Now, the Knitter's Tea Swap is long over, so this was just a super-nice-person thing she did. I'll have to post photos tonight when I get home, but I got a splendiferous spinny surprise that I'm VERY excited about!! Thank you SO MUCH, Valerie - you made my little crusty heart feel so warm!

(Oh, about that doctor's appointment - I'm mostly better from my latest bout of nasty sinus/respiratory infection, but I had some bloodwork to go over. Turns out this little vegetarian has a cholesterol level of TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY. Yeah. Hurray for heritage!! S'okay, it's been high before and I managed to work it down pretty quickly - I've just gotten lazy. I'll hit up some omega-3 supplements and cut out some of the junky stuff. But man, I really hate watching what I eat, hence the devastation.)

Guess what else? I'm a bellydancer now! (Of course I'm sure you realize we're using an extraordinarily loose interpretation of the word "bellydancer" here.) I started classes last night. Hopefully this will go much more successfully than our ballroom dance classes. (Uh, we attended two classes in total, but halfway through the second one I got upset at a mean old lady, yelled at the instructor, and left the room in tears. It was not a good experience - next time we'll definitely go to a different school.) I may not be a particularly good bellydancer, but I'm having a grand ol' time! And the instructor, Suspira - she's the textbook definition of a "firecracker"!

My folks decided to go on the fiber cruise with us. (They, like Travis, will not be partaking of the fibery part.) They've already booked a suite - I guess that settles it, we're definitely going! Though we'll get our own cabin, for what should be obvious reasons. >;-)

Finally - thanks to everyone for the well-wishes on the TV, and the reinforcement that we did the right thing in keeping it. Travis agrees heartily. I'm getting there...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

It's Beginning To Look Not A Lot Like Christmas

This is a loaded post. All my favorite topics - my pets, my knitting, my yarn, and stuff for me!! There's even a picture of Travis!

Despite the fact that it's still hitting a high of 80 around here in the afternoon (keep arguing that global warming is a myth, Congressional naysayers), I finally insisted that we go obtain a tree. (We've been dragging ass.)


Lookit my baby - it's so pretty! I like the fluffy branches of the white pines...and they're cheaper! Bonus!

We also gave the pups their Christmas present. We got them a big huge bed to share so they wouldn't have to fight over all the little ones (or kick us off of the couch). Of course it didn't matter that it was huge - they both wanted the same spot. The fight that ensued was amusing. And you can probably imagine how it ended.



Yep, ended with both of them finally settling down to snuggle with papa:


Oh it didn't.


"That's right, bitches."


We win!

Okay, the secret knitting continues, but just to show you how much I love me some Yarntini, a little teaser:

Yarntini Gimlet

I also love me some Yarn Pirate:

Yarn Pirate Hawthorne

This is her Christmas "Hawthorne" colorway. I love it - it's Christmas, all grown up. The red is more cranberry, the green more evergreen, and there's some chocolate thrown in for good measure. It's PERFECT. And she sent a Christmas card. Too sweet!

Okay, are you ready for this? This is my favorite bit of the post..

Last night was Travis' company Christmas party. He started a job with a new dealership in September and started making good money and working hard. Lot of people didn't really like that. (Management did, though.) The party was a blasty - it was Casino Night with an open bar. Vodka tonics + blackjack = good time. At the end of the night, we traded our chips in for raffle tickets, and a couple at our table offered us their tickets as well. We did the obligatory three-time "Are you sure?" and accepted gratefully.

We won a TV!!!!

WE WON A TV!!!!!!! A Samsung flat-panel LCD HD TV!!!! This thing is SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS.

We won it with that couples' ticket.

I'm still feeling a little guilty. (Not guilty enough to give them the TV of course - there had to be some reason they didn't even want to SEE if they won anything before trashing the raffle tickets. I'm going with religious purposes, though it could be extreme wealth.) But I'm definitely grateful. We needed that TV...the one in our bedroom has been on its last screechy leg for months and months - watching TV isn't much fun with heavy audio feedback.

I don't know how many more friends Travis made with that, but ... whatever, we got us a TV!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Stop Me Before I Etsy Again!

I can't stop, guys. Seriously.

Last week the only things I'd really ever ordered from Etsy had been a rather large quantity of Carolyn Greenwood's glorious cotton/lycra sock yarn. And now I appear to have been hopelessly sucked into a vortex of handmade goods.

Christmas is the equivalent of sock yarn - money spent on it doesn't count. And I operate so heavily on a "one-for-you, one-for-me" principle that things are starting to get out of hand.

Gudonya. Stocking stuffers galore - stuff like my beloved Lush carries, only even more personally handmade and infinitely cheaper. (I love you, Lush, but really - does a bar of soap need to be nine dollars?)

Emily Designs. Beautiful handmade jewelry, absolutely stunning. Everything in the shop is 25% off, and while I haven't yet determined if the discount's already been taken or has yet to be taken, the prices were good enough already to pick up some earrings for me and a bracelet for Travis' mom. (We're done with her for Christmas, but hell, her birthday's in March, nothing wrong with being prepared.)

Yarn Ahoy. I can thank Rosi for the enabling there - but hey, the seller gives you a 20% discount on your first purchase if you go for the mailing list. Gotta make that discount count, right? Can't just buy one skein of yarn, it would be's the same idea I applied earlier this week to my shipment from The Sweet Sheep. Must maintain a rational frame of mind.

And Julia updated her shop tonight...which promptly sold out. She's hotter than a Madonna concert! I managed to nab one precious skein...and I had a skein of the famous-and-fabulous Strange Little Mama colorway IN MY CART and when I checked out, it was gone. Someone snatched it! God, it's like being at a Prada sample sale - bitches are ruthless. No one would dare pull that on me in person - I have a look of grim determination that's truly terrifying when I'm on a yarn mission. But the anonymity of the internet has its drawbacks....sigh.

(Got my first-ever skein of Mama-E sock yarn in the mail tonight. Holy wonders of the world - this stuff is SOFT. I wish I had Squish-O-Vision so you could squeeze it...I adore it beyond measure. And ya know, I still got that Yarn Pirate and the cutesy Mack stitch markers, what an awesome few weeks this will be for my mailbox!)

The best part about all this heinous indulgence? None of it would even COUNT in Wendy's Stashbuster '07 project!!! HahahaHA!!

(Meanwhile, Amazon is hating on me hard and fast. My order, received on Sunday with a promise to arrive in time for Christmas with free shipping? Yeah, hasn't even shipped out yet and is now projected to arrive December 27th. Well, Merry &%$*@#! Christmas to you too, Amazon!)

Go Etsy!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Wooly Wonderland

You know how sometimes a non-knitter will buy you a gift, and it doesn't suit you?

Susan is not that non-knitter.

Organic wool

Today she gave me two skeins of this amazing organic Icelandic wool. (Sorry about the stock photo...I promise I couldn't take a better picture than this, and it does look like this.)

There is nothing more "me" than organic yarn. These sheep are raised on an organic farm - it's very circular, they're fed organic roughage, and they in turn produce organic manure - and the yarn is millspun in accordance with organic standards. Even though Icelandic sheep produce less lanolin, the yarn still has that wonderful non-commercial feel, that squishy feel that seems like it leaves your hands a little softer....I LOVE it.

I have about 410 yards, and it's a dk weight. Maybe a nice cabled scarf, you think? It'll bloom well when washed - it's a bit firm now - and I think cables would be stunning in this sort of natural wool. (I could dye it, but I don't dare. There's something so precious about this stuff as-is.)

And then I can wear it two days a year. Sigh. I wish I didn't live in Florida. Stupid, stupid warm weather. Yuck.

Ohhhh....maybe a cabled bag?! Those are so popular right now, and I love the way they look, and I'd get more use out of that...but I'm so terrible at finishing work, so I'm always afraid to try bags and purses.

Today I had several people in the office express interest in learning to knit. I think we're going to try to set up a Stressbusters class - once or twice a month, we'll teach a craft or something relaxing. I'm hoping El Capitan goes for it - if we don't pitch it as just a knitting class, but rather something to relax and boost productivity, it might be more appealing to management. We shall see...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Nobody Loves Me Better...

...than ME!! I should be completely ashamed of myself with the number of items I have purchased for my own Christmas stocking.

I should be.

But I'm not.

See, everything I buy past about December 1st, unless I absolutely need-to-have-to-gotta make use of it right this second, goes into my Christmas stocking. I'm a stocking nut - my mom is a champion stocking stuffer, and I inherited the gift. So, an example:

The Mama-E sock yarn I bought? Stocking. The Yarn Pirate Christmas-y sock yarn ("Hawthorne") that I bought to replace the skein I just destashed because I liked the Christmas-y one even better? Stocking. The DPNs I bought last night at the LYS? Stocking. The sterling silver stitch markers I ALSO bought at the LYS? Stocking. (Uh, both sets.) Mack's adorable stitch markers that look like baked goods and backyard-barbeque food? Stocking. (Her stuff is SO CUTE. You must purchase.) The sock yarn I bought today on The Sweet Sheep? All four skeins, and a bit of Mama-E fiber? You guessed it - stocking. (And that's just the stuff from this week. I mean it - if I buy pens, candy, nice soap - anything that's not completely essential in the month of December.....stocking.)

What can I say? I spoil me rotten.

But hey, I buy all that knitting-related stuff so I can spoil OTHER people rotten. It's what I like to call "The Circle of Gimme". Only one skein of that sock yarn is actually intended for me...the rest will be knit into gifties. As stressful as it is, I like knitting for Christmas gifts - it frees up a bit of extra money that I'd otherwise be spending on store-bought stuff that's not as special. (Lest you should think I hit the lotto - I've gotten in on a lot of good sales and customer-special deals this week, and I'm spending mostly destash-cash. So I actually, for once, earned the splurge!)

So, with all that spending going on, I've updated my sidebar, adding some of my new favorite places (in no particular order), and I've given my Etsy faves their own little spot.

You know what I did over the course of this year that was absolutely brilliant? I saved gift cards. When I get gift cards, I have a tendency to run out and spend them on myself immediately, as God intended - this year, I saved several for Target and Pottery Barn and managed to get a lot of Christmas shopping done. That's been a huge help in allowing me to buy more yarn get more and/or nicer gifts for people this year.

There's going to be a lot of secret knitting for the next few weeks - maybe even a month. I'll have to come up with something to blog about, or just disappear for a while. (Don't bet heavily on disappearance - I'm too much of a loudmouth.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Eye Candy Tuesday

I can't commit to something as strict as an Eye Candy Friday. I post eye candy as it becomes available.

I had a rare photographic opportunity at my house last week - Indiana sitting still out in the open:

Rare Sighting

She's the quiet black lump on the chair. The restless brown lump on the ottoman is Brodie, of course. Indy isn't one for adventure - ironically, since I chose the name Indiana when she was an intrepid kitten who used to jump on poor Rooster's back and cling to him for dear life while he ran around the house trying to shake her off. She's since become....well, kind of a recluse. (Also, please note the decorative wool on the chair - Mom brought those back from a rugmaker's in Turkey. They're not practical for knitting, since they're in 12-inch lengths, but eventually I'm going to hang them around the room. See how that cream-colored one is kind of a disaster? Yep, earlier in the day I'd caught Indiana up there making a nest. Brat.)

There was an even more rare sighting on Saturday:

Rarer Sighting

Lookit the cute li'l possum!! Let me tell you why it's cute - because it's outside where it damned well belongs.

When we first moved into our house, in April, Travis spent a lot of time wandering around the property, surveying his land. (He's cute.) I spent that precious quiet time on the couch, knitting. One afternoon, he came in and (here's my big mistake) I didn't look up right away. I only glanced up when I heard a "Hey, baby, look!" I pick up my head and there's a tiny, very angry possum hanging upside down inches from my FACE. I quietly and tensely stated, "Get. That. Thing. Out. Of. My. House." Travis had thought it was cute, and before he pissed it off, I'm sure it was.

I have to wonder if this is the same possum. I can't for the life of me figure out why he would have hung around.

I've finally gotten around to starting up a project with my Yarntini. MAN why did I wait so long? This stuff is delicious! Soft yarn, happy colors...I should have started this months ago!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Lazy Sunday

I had my own version of a very productive Sunday. First, I got up a bit before 10:00 a.m. I took my penicillin and sent Travis out for bagels. I ate said bagel. The two or three hours after that were a flurry of inactivity. (For me, that is - Travis did plenty of man-work today.)

Then...I put on my Christmas toes:

Christmas Toes

(MAC polish - I love my MAC discount!)

And I finished up a project, as promised.

Boyfriend Socks

Project Specs:

Pattern: Boyfriend Socks (Christmas gift for my dad)
Yarn: Koigu KPM in my own Kool-Aid handpaint for an Army guy
Needles: Size 1.5 Crystal Palace DPNs
Start Date: November 10th(ish)
Finish Date: December 10th
Changes/Pattern Thoughts: I used bigger needles than called for, and I only did seven rows of ribbbing at the top instead of ten (yep, not enough yarn.) This was my first toe-up sock, and it went well, I think.

I'm pleased with how they turned out, although I think the cuff may be a bit large for him. It's not entirely likely he'll wear them anyway - he hasn't worn the last ones I made for fear that he'll wear them out. I'm determined to make enough socks for him that he'll stop worrying and start wearing them.

Boyfriend SocksBoyfriend Socks

These photos were taken in my downstairs tub. I know it would appear I have a strange love for photographing socks in may seem a bizarre fetish, but I promise it's just that those are the rooms in my house with the brightest lighting.

Boyfriend SocksBoyfriend Sock closeup

I found a few things in this month's Knitty that I'll want. Small, clever items like the lunchbag and the coffee sling. (Did anyone else think about how cute your coffee sling will look if you're wearing your Swell, too?) And the obligatory-but-always-fabulous installment of Cookie's Seasonal Sock - although this one doesn't call to me quite as loudly as Pomatomus, Hedera, and Baudelaire did.

The Summer and Fall Knittys provided me with no fewer than 20 intended projects. Frankly, I was kind of praying this issue would fall flat with me, and it only sort of did.

I got a question - well, a statement really - from Knotingale about the idea of taking a Nova Scotia cruise departing from Baltimore when I live in Florida - land of the cruise departures - and it would be infinitely easier to take a cruise from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or Cape Canaveral into the Caribbean. There's a cruise coming up, actually, that's sailing from Miami. There are several reasons why that doesn't appeal to me as much. One, I don't have enough leave saved up for that cruise. (That's the short & sweet answer.) But also, I hate hate hate Miami and I don't even like the idea of driving into it for a few minutes to catch a boat. I also have been to the Caribbean and am not as jazzed about that, being that I live in the tropics and it's pretty easy to get to the islands cheaply from here. But I LOVE Canada and I don't ever get to see enough of it - and I've never been to the Nova Scotia part.

However - I'll probably take a short Caribbean cruise at some point before the big long Nova Scotia one just in case. I've never been on a cruise and I'd hate to spend nine days with my stomach inside-out in my cabin while Mama-E and Kate Gilbert divvy up my share of the dessert bar. (God, can you imagine a flock of knitters set loose on a boat with an endless dessert bar and great huge sacks of wool? I'm pretty sure there will be booze a-plenty too....I MUST remember the camcorder.)

Finally - how do I put this delicately - there's a certain breed of knitter in the south Florida area, and I don't think it's my crowd, exactly. I'm not a very "Florida" girl, and I'm REALLY not a "Palm Beach" girl. I'm sure there's oodles of non-Floridians on the cruises that depart from here - but I think the northern cruise might be more my speed.

And I really want that Mama-E fiber.

Now I have to prioritize my remaining Christmas gifts and see what's practical for completion and what's not....wish me luck!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Well, I Suck.

Edit: PS! The Winter Knitty issue just went up!!

I'm late posting this - Jimmy (best friend's boyfriend) had seen this tidbit weeks ago, and my mom just saw it on a national news story, which means that every knit blogger who hasn't posted it already will be posting it any day now...

knit ferrari

This bitch KNIT A FERRARI.

Art student Lauren Porter spent ten months knitting this thing, a full-sized replica knit with over twelve miles of yarn.

I want you to read that last sentence again.


What have YOU had on the needles for ten months? Hell, I got a pair of socks that's at seven months, and I only have one completed! A whole car in ten effing months. I know we should all be really impressed with her, and thrilled that she's bringing attention to us again...but frankly, ten months to knit an entire CAR really just makes most of us look bad.

She better not have had a job, a life, or any other WIPs or FOs for that ten-month span.

In a related story - I still have not finished a damned thing. I'm close on my Dadfriend Socks, though. Then I can whip up that matching Zephyr sock for moi. I really want to do the Leather Herringbone Cuff from Alterknits as a Christmas gift too...but I'm not sure how well it will turn out, and I don't want to kill my hands, which knitting with leather seems like it would do.

Schrodinger knit this gorgeous Ripple Weave sock out of Brooklyn Handspun. Like a dumbass, I went to the site and poked around. Why do I DO that?! Now I have another ten skeins of sock yarn and four spinning batts I want. To quote Schrodinger, "You're supposed to be DEstashing, not REstashing!"

True. But, I ask you, don't we destash so that we may restash? (Nevermind that I've already replenished my stash several times.)

I went home last night and showed Travis the cruise. I told him about it. I bubbled, I effervesced, I enthused. I spoke about it in that "when I go" and "they keep lists of singles so you can find a roommate" kind of way. He asked about whether there would be other stuff to do there that wasn't knitting-related. I said sure - I mean, it's a boat...I'm sure there's other stuff. So damned if the man didn't later mention saving up for OUR cruise!! He appears to actually be considering GOING ON A KNITTING/SPINNING CRUISE with me. I would bear quintuplets for him right this minute.

I'm hoping to have a picture of something worthwhile to show you by the end of the weekend. An FO, preferably - although if all else fails, it'll be a silly picture of Travis, me, or a pet. I hate not having anything to visually stimulate you, and there's only so much snatching of photos of other people's knitting I can do before you catch on.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Nausea Can Be Fun!


Did you hear about the next big fiber-related cruise? Mama-E says it's gonna be cool. And you must trust Mama-E. She will never fail you.

Uh....she also says Kate Gilbert's gonna be there.

(There's a cruise-y blog, too.)

Nine days...Baltimore to Nova Scotia. I think the fact that I'm seriously considering it makes me officially hardcore.

Now. If I only knew someone who might be interested in traveling to Nova Scotia. Maybe somebody who, besides loving knitting and spinning, had some ties to Nova Scotia. Something that would make her really want to go there for a little while...again. Damn. Wish I knew someone. Anyone.

(In some cultures, they say, subtlety is highly valued. Huh. Imagine that.)

But hey, ya know what? Let's ALL go!! (Though, am I the only one concerned that spinning on a boat could really be nauseating?) I confess, $1200 is a lot of jack...but I've never been on a cruise. And I can tell you right now, there is almost zero chance Travis and I could ever go on a nine-day vacation anywhere for $2400, by the time you add up air/hotel/food. (And I can tell you right now, there is almost zero chance Travis will be remotely interested in this cruise. He gets enough of this shit at home...I doubt he'll want to deal with it, at sea, with a couple hundred fiber-crazed nutjobs in addition to the one he already has.)

What else....I signed up for a nifty monthly fiber club surprise thingie - it was about $75 for four months, shipping included - which didn't seem like a bad deal, especially if it means having a surprise box of fiber in my mailbox once a month. (Especially when there's a good chance it's gonna be Mama-E's and SweetGeorgia's fiber!)

The new Knitty issue should be coming along any day now. I'm antsy. 'Cause ya know, I don't have enough projects I want to start...might as well throw a few more on the pile!

Monday, December 04, 2006

And The Knitter Of The Day Is....

Rosi G.!!!!


My reaction on tearing open the envelope waiting in my PO Box today was pretty much "F***ing WHAT??!!" Rosi had emailed me to expect a surprise. I'm a low-expectations kind of gal, so I was all stoked, waiting for maybe some chocolate, a cool pattern....but no WAY! That's a cobweb lace wool, a Habu silk/mohair (it never ceases to amaze me that the Habu factory is in an alternate universe where 120 yards fits into a half-inch square), and some beautiful stitch markers!


Check the cobweb! Man, 1650 meters in 100 grams...whew!! I keep staring at this stuff, wondering, "How do they get it so....LITTLE??" And the label's all in Finnish. (I know that because the label says something about Finland. Which, of course, prompted me to launch immediately into song.)

Row Markers!

I love special stitch markers, and these stitch markers are uber-badass. Here's an explanation of how they work (they're low-tech, but so damned clever). I love it - my Boyfriend socks have a six-row pattern repeat and I was sick of dedicating my katcha counter to that, but I was also sick of counting those rows and second-guessing myself. Problem solved, baby!

Thanks, Rosi! You made my day! And it's a Monday, too!!

We had another special treat tonight. Travis hooked us up over the weekend:

Dee Flames, Dee Flames!!

For some reason, some crazy bastard converted the fireplace in our nice 1920s-era house from wood-burning to gas. Travis re-converted it over the weekend, and blessedly, the temperature dropped drastically and we could light it up tonight. He got a little overzealous, though, lighting the fire and throwing all the windows wide open. I pointed out gently that I was still, um, kinda sick. He closed the windows and continued to pace in front of the fire, staring at it with pride. While I ate dinner. I honestly was sort of expecting him to strip naked, start grunting, and stick his fingers into the ashes to make cave drawings on the walls. I gently explained that, while I was proud of him and thrilled about our fireplace, he had just thrown a match on a starter log, not actually DISCOVERED fire. He acquiesced, but there was still just a hint of caveman....

Kill pigs, eat pigs, rawr!

But......He complained that this pose was designed to make him look too Neanderthal. So, for his benefit, I'll point out that after a few hours, I looked at the fire, then back at him, and frowned.

" do you turn it off?"

See, I'm an idiot and he's a caveman. We're precious.