Travis ended up taking the day off too, as we spent more time doing the marriage license than expected.
So I'm flipping through the channels looking for something to watch, and the guide tells me Ellen DeGeneres is coming on, and I flip to that channel. It's not Ellen, it's some ridiculous soap opera...and:
Me: What the hell is this?
Me: (silent slow turn with that, "What the hell?" expression)
Travis: Uh, I mean, I don't know. (runs up stairs)
Add this to the fact that Saturday night he let slip that he really likes that John Mayer "Your Body Is a Wonderland"
schlockfest song, and I'm starting to think I don't really know who I'm marrying. ;-)
Monday, April 30, 2007
Travis ended up taking the day off too, as we spent more time doing the marriage license than expected.
Posted by Alyson at 2:56 PM
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Maybe not completely lazy...we walked the dogs down to the lake, and we went to the grocery store. And....okay, that's about it. But yesterday was really busy! We hit the Farmer's Market, went to big sale at Sears (where I hoisted myself up onto a Craftsman tool chest and sat there knitting a sock while Travis ran around like a kid in a candy store and I shouted out periodic reminders - "Floor jack!" "Sawhorses!" "Stubby ratchets!") and stopped by the furniture store to ask where the HELL our buffet server and two dining room chairs are - ya know, the ones we PAID FOR a full MONTH ago, that were supposed to be delivered five days later, then were late getting to the warehouse, then were in the warehouse and would be delivered that week, then mysteriously disappeared from the warehouse...argh. And then that afternoon, we attended a wedding. A Disney Wedding (tm). I believe I'm contractually obligated to state that it was like a Fairy Tale Come True (tm). No, to be completely fair, it was stunning, and not nearly as saccharine as I had expected it to be. It was a beautiful day and everyone had a blast, and the food was hot AND delicious (wedding food can be hit or miss) and the bride and groom were so happy you couldn't help but smile (or, if you're me, get all teary-eyed) every time you looked at them. The groom is one of our groomsmen, so it was a nice moment for the boys.
(Oh, and by the time it was all over, we were in hyperactive freak-out fix-stuff mode because, as it turns out, we are SO NOT READY. I was watching the ceremony repeatedly whispering "Oh my God, I haven't even thought of that!!" Who's going to walk my mom down the aisle?! What are we going to write for the officiant?! Aw crap, we didn't even start thinking about the programs yet! We haven't decided on music! What have I been DOING?! It's okay, I calmed down eventually..but by then Travis had started to freak out a little. We're good for each other like that - we're not usually both panicky at the same time, thank God.)
There was, however, one hilarious moment where buddy James and I almost fell apart in the middle of the ceremony. The officiant was a pastor from Jason & Jen's church - they're regular attendees and good friends, and so there was a real sense of familiarity that's rarely seen at a religious ceremony, or at least the ones to which I've been. He was very jovial and I enjoyed him a great deal...but at one point, he talked about how the ceremony is often forgotten because of nerves, and he gave an example of his own ceremony - that the only thing he remembers is the wildly inappropriate story that the pastor told during it. He carried on about it for a bit, and he kept insisting that he wouldn't share it because it was so awful...and then he moved on. James and I exchanged looks like "Well, what the hell? Why bring it up?" and I mustered every bit of strength I had in me to keep my voice at a whisper and I hissed, "Alright, folks, but I can tell you how it ends - syphilis." Have you ever silent-laughed until you felt like your face was going to fall off? I don't often laugh that hard at my own funnies, but we could NOT settle down. It's a wedding thing, I think - something about the hush and the utter gravity of it (this is your WHOLE LIFE we're talking about here!) just gives me the giggles. God knows I'll probably alternate crying and snickering all the way through my own.
I shot this picture of them cutting the cake, and I just love it, even with the "mood lighting":
Beautiful, aren't they? And she's slender and stunning in that gown, enough to make a bride-to-be stop eating altogether. Well, after the cake. (I want to be thin, but let's not get stupid.)
Okay, enough of that, eh? Let's talk about all the fantastic yarn I got in the mail on Friday!
Seacoast Handpainted Panda in colorway "Night Sky", to replace the skein I have that wasn't quite the colors I had expected (wanna buy it?). This is a beautiful skein, and I already know just who will get the socks. I love the slight glimmer the bamboo content gives to the fiber.
I also got the first installment of my Scout's Swag!! I LOVE being a part of this club. One of the greatest things about it is the hella deal it is - I did the math, and basically I'm paying for yarn and postage, and the other stuff she sends is icing on the cake. It's wicked icing, too!
Heal My Lips in Madagascar Vanilla, and Heal My Hands in Lavender Mint (great stuff! already packed up in my knitting bag!) The yarn is Blue Faced Leicester superwash sock yarn, which I think is the one kind of sock yarn I don't have in stash! Exciting!! The colorway is "Lavender Mint" - that clever Scout!! Not pictured here - the sizeable samples of Heal My Heels and Heal My Face that came with! This could possibly be the greatest club EVER.
And then, there was this beauty.
Handmaiden Two-Ply Cashmere. I don't think I've ever had my hands on a cashmere so soft and fluffy in my life! This is even softer than the eight-ply cashmere from Handmaiden that I made a neckwarmer out of!
I don't think there's a single base hair in here. It's all the softest, lightest down imagineable. Just look at the halo!!
See that? Doesn't it look like I've added soft-focus? So Loretta Young...
I was originally thinking luxurious socks, but no WAY. This stuff deserves royal treatment - it's 50g and 300 yards, so I'm thinking a nice lacy scarf to wear with the lovely charcoal sweater that I'll be knitting eventually...
I'm glad I chose this colorway (Glacier) - it was a bit of a departure for me, and I'm just in awe of the crispness of that aqua color.
The Loopy Ewe provided the fix for both the Seacoast and the Handmaiden, and there's still some left of both. (The Handmaiden, I assure you, is worth every single penny.)
Tomorrow I have the day off from work - we're going to get the marriage license, and then I have an urgent appointment later in the afternoon in Leesburg. :-D Ta-ta!!
Posted by Alyson at 8:01 PM
Friday, April 27, 2007
Hey everybody. I'm posting a big wad of yarns on destash tomorrow (or whenever it's back up and running), but I thought it only fair to give you first crack - some of it's good stuff. (Yarn Pirate.) So if you want to peruse some yarn (Yarn Pirate) or have any need for anything I might have (Yarn Pirate), go ahead and head over (Yarn Pirate) to my FLICKR DESTASH SET and email me if there's anything (Yarn Pirate) you want. (There's other good stuff, but I figure the Yarn Pirate is probably the one you're going to be fighting for.)
Posted by Alyson at 8:53 PM
Thursday, April 26, 2007
ETA: The Knitty Surprises are up! How freakin' cute is this? And although it didn't grab me at first (because I suck at fair isle), when I discovered this cardigan was mosaic and not fair isle, I felt strongly drawn to it...can I knit a sweater on size 2 and 3 needles? Perhaps we'll find out! (Uh, we'll be perhaps finding out in different colors, though.) The Interweave Summer Preview is up, too, and ohmygoodness! I WILL be knitting the Wheat Ear Cable Yoke Sweater! And the Spiral Boot Socks! And perhaps the Open Lace Skirt! And the Montego Bay Scarf! Egads, that's a lot of knitting. (Get thee behind me, Bellocqs!)
I got home today and had a pile of yarn in the PO box AND a delivery to the home mailbox, too! Add that to the stuff I've been thinking about photographing, and I am just a big yarn slut for you today!
Keep sending in your entries for the contest - and thank you SO MUCH for your optimism! You guys are giving me a lot of credit...I sure would love to finish close to your guesses, so that I can let my mind wander free again! And thank you for not asking me what time the ceremony is (5:20) - I figured I'd get at least one person who'd guess 5:14 p.m. on June 2nd. (Don't guess that, there's not going to be ANY WAY I'll be knitting that day! I'll probably be heavily sedated. Not because of nerves - but because I have to spend a whole day without yarn.)
Oh, and you know how I say "dude" conversationally sometimes, as in "Dude, I'm so excited about all this yarn I have to show you!"? Well. I called my boss "dude" today. Yeah. *hangs head* I guess it could have been worse - I could have hugged him inappropriately.
Alright, let's get to the eleventy-four billion photos of yarn I want to show you.
This is yarn I acquired in a swap on Saturday from a.blossom.knits - Monarch hand-dyed in "Roses". Pink ribbon socks! Knit for the Cure!
One of Sheri's new lines, Chewy Spaghetti, in "Decadence". Hey, whaddya know, more pinks and browns - thank goodness, I was running low! (Sigh.)
Why yes, that is the Sunshine Yarns' Gryffindor self-striping colorway. Gotta have this knit up by July the Whateverst for the big release!
If you have any use at all for sportweight yarn, make absolutely certain that you pick up a skein of Cider Moon next time Sheri updates it. This is the softest most delicious wool I think I've ever squished. I cannot wait to wind it up...oh, what agony.
I also got my Socks That Rock Rockin' Sock Club shipment. I'm pretty sure everyone's received theirs by now, but I don't want to be a jerk, so I'll just show you the links to the photos and you can pull it up and look at it if you like. I wasn't nuts about it when I saw a photo online, but when I actually got to hold it, squeeze it, love it - it's fantabuloriffic!
My last two batches....ohh, I love them.
Wheee! The colors!!! All the colors!!!!! This is Perchance to Knit's yarn, a nice little remnant pack she was selling off on her Etsy site. (Keep an eye on that - she updates regularly there, and you know how fast it sells out at The Loopy Ewe!) I have almost 1,000 yards here! Squee!
From left (or bottom) to right (or top): Pastel Rainbow White, Primarily, Pond, Irises, Breezy, and Bachelor Button Blue. I think Susie is quite possibly one of the best at wonderful bright cheery colorways. Irises might actually be one of the most striking colorways I've seen - I'm strangely fixated on it.
It took me so long to get my hands on it, but I finally got it, and I did it up right! This is Sundara Yarn. Yes. Sundara. (Moment of silence in deference and awe to the striking colors.) Left to right: Sock in Redwood over Sage; Sock in Indigo over Ultramarine; Sport in Blackberry over Blueberry.
Luscious. Just absolutely luscious.
Posted by Alyson at 7:24 PM
NOT retiring the Bellocq, of course - the second stocking is in full swing. But I'm through posting about it for a while. Why? Because I'm having a contest! :-D
I have determined that I am most definitely going to have enough yarn in three skeins to complete these stockings. (How 'bout that yardage?!) But of course, I bought four. So I'm going to "destash", via prize, my fourth skein of Socks That Rock in Rose Quartz. Oooh, just think of it! You could be a part of history! Well, not actual important history - just a part of my own particular history...but this yarn has lots of love karma in it! (Oh, ew. Not in a dirty way - in a cosmic way. I assure you this skein is completely sanitary.)
Here's the contest: When, date and time, will I be completely finished with the pair? By completely finished, I mean the whole thing - ends woven in, ribbons woven through, all that. (If it helps you, I always weave in the ends on my socks immediately after finishing them. And I'm not including blocking, since I'll probably do that right before the wedding day.) Also, for those of you just joining us, remember that we're talking thigh-highs here.
The basic facts: the first stocking took me one day shy of four weeks, I'm knitting the second one exactly the same, and I've already started it and am about four inches into the foot (toe-up). Oh, and the wedding date is June 2nd. So if your entry states I'll be finished after June 2nd, you'll be disqualified for being a negative nancy!
I should mention that it's not my only project - but the only thing I am still working on is the groom's second sock, and I do have a plain vanilla stockinette sportweight sock that I work on, but ONLY when I absolutely cannot pay attention to what I'm doing. (Like last night, when we watched the movie Children of Men. I can't sit there for two hours without knitting, but I can't be forever looking down at my hands, either.) But basically, nothing has changed since I knit the first stocking.
Send me your entries to yoyocontestATgmailDOTcom. (Look at me! I'm big time! I have an email address just for contests!) State the date AND TIME (note: I work Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 5:00) when you figure I'll be finished, and whoever gets closest wins. (Yes, I am totally ripping Cara off.)
And, as a bonus, I'll be throwing in a Bellocq pattern of your very own!! (Which, obviously, I will purchase, download, and email to you in pdf format, unless I figure out another way to get the download link directly to you. I will NOT be sending you my pattern - I'll be buying another one specifically for you. I won't be stealing!!)
Enter now! You have plenty of time - I'll give you until May 9th to email me your entries! (Come on, I have to be able to start talking about it again eventually!)
Kamikaze Subject Change: Yesterday, I had a lovely little unexpected boost. I work for Government Agency, and I got a call from someone at Related Government Agency. Part of my former position involved the occasional transmission of information to Related Government Agency. And the lady from RGA had to transmit that same information to Yet Another Related Government Agency, and she called just to tell me that I had done everything so beautifully that she didn't have to do any additional work - just hand it all over. She was thrilled to not have to do a whole lot of fiddling with it, and she just called to say "thanks, and good job." Can I tell you how wonderful that is? I work in the sort of place where "thanks, and good job" do squeak by occasionally, but to hear it from someone who is only peripherally involved in my performance...well, that was just very nice! Like when a stranger tells you that your eyes are pretty, or that your shoes are fantastic - you're really inclined to believe them, and it's such a great confidence booster.
You're still here? I'm giving away Socks That Rock, for goodness sakes! Enter now!! (Remember, email me your entry, don't leave it in the comments. I am suffering from wedding-induced dementia and cannot be relied upon to keep track of stuff right now.)
Posted by Alyson at 9:16 AM
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
The stalking continues unabated, as it has all week:
Meanwhile: Remember this day not so long ago? Yeah, that sucked. And I get off the bus at the park-and-ride lot yesterday, start up the car, pull out of the lot....and right into the next lot because I had a flat. Again. Same tire. Again. Guess the patch didn't hold up. I'm going to have to have words with my mechanic. I told Travis about it and he said the guy better pray he never gets a hold of him.
(Psst: Travis is my mechanic.)
I called Travis and told him about it, but he was only just then leaving work. So I sat in the car for about five minutes before I decided to change to the spare myself. Last time it happened, I waited for him due to the fact that I was in downtown Orlando and in just the time it took me to get out of the car and observe the flat, a homeless person scuttled over to offer to change my tire for two dollars. Having no desire to spend 20 minutes attempting to be a Strong Independent Woman while also battling off hordes of indigents in need of a couple bucks - I only carry so much petty cash on me at a time - I waited it out that time. But waiting it out in little ol' Clermont when I am completely capable of changing the tire myself - well, that would have been a little too intimate an embrace of my utter laziness. Besides, there might be Sundara yarn waiting in my PO Box, and I must get to it!
So I changed my tire. And here's why I love my town - in the brief time it took me to change it, four different people pulled over to offer assistance. There is still hope for the world. However, it was very hot outside and I didn't want to drag anyone onto my Lanai of Sweat and Curse Words without a lemonade, so I declined. This particular exchange amused me most.
Guy in SUV: Hey, can I help ya? I was driving by and my kids were yelling, "Stop, Dad, help her, help her!"
My brain: Hey, kids, thanks for keeping daddy from being an arsehole. Keep up the good work.
My mouth: Haha! No, thanks, I'm fine. You got great kids! I really appreciate it.
I'm glad I didn't say what my brain did - I certainly don't think not stopping is an indication that someone's not a good person. I just found it amusing that he basically copped to the fact that he might not have stopped if it weren't for his kids - though I do concede that their compassion had to come from somewhere, so the parents must instill it. But then, children are great that way - they're so aware. I don't know what happens to us as we grow up - our self-preservation instincts increase and we become suspicious, or we're too busy to notice. I can't bear to give much thought to the "too busy to care" possibility...I'm sticking with "too busy to notice."
(Oh, to tidy up that loose plot point up there - no Sundara yarn yet. Probably today.)
In knitting news: I finished up the first Groom's Sock last night. So that's one of those, and one of mine. And for those of you who were beginning to doubt me - I cast on this morning for the second Bellocq, thankyouverymuch. I managed to work the toe on the bus ride in. (Note: Wrap and Turn not so much fun on the chugging delapidated bus. Lots of pokeys.)
In I'm-A-Bad-Person news: I read this post today. (Ping!) It wasn't me to whom she was referring, but I've done what she's talking about. (In case you're short on time, her post is about people who "borrow" photos from another blogger without expressed consent and post them, even with credit to the photographer or their blog.) Her point is that one should always explicitly ask for permission before doing that, and she is absolutely right! I know here recently, I borrowed a photo from Michelle to plug a big Yarn Pirate update at The Sweet Sheep. The intent was "lookit the pretty colors, go buy yarn," but you know, I should have asked permission to post her photo, even if I did say it was hers.
See, never apologize for posting rants on your blogs! It's helpful, because sometimes it helps someone like me wake up and realize that I'm not adhering to proper Internetiquette! So I apologize to Michelle, and thank you to Sweet Pea. (And I hope whoever did that to Pea was just clueless or had a "duh" moment like me, and not an intentional douche.)
(I should mention the disappearing post. Some of you might have noticed an absent post yesterday that showed up on subscriptions - yeah, I posted a nice long one, decided that I didn't like the photos, and moved it back to draft. I'll put it back up later, with decent pictures - I'd planned to fix it yesterday when I got home, but after 30 minutes changing a tire in dress clothes in 90 degree heat, I just wanted to lie halfnekkid on the floor near an air vent for a while. I don't know how people work outside in this place. I wanna move to Oregon.)
Posted by Alyson at 9:32 AM
Monday, April 23, 2007
I keep trying to come up with something to post, and there's just nothing, at least from a knitting accomplishments standpoint. It was all Bellocq, all the time, and I can't bring myself to cast on the second one just yet. Don't worry! I have time, and I'm just on break - I've been working on Travis' wedding socks, which have the same deadline as the Bellocqs, so it doesn't count as putting off the stockings at all.
I did buy a garter thingie to hold the stockings up - and by the way, who knew that Elle MacPherson, of all people, would have a fabulous lingerie line? I guess it's to be expected from women who get paid to look good in underwear. It makes more sense than having a furniture collection, anyway. (Please. You wouldn't have an ass like that if you ever put it in a chair or at a dining room table. Trust me, I know Sofa Ass - you're not fooling me.) However, I'm going to want to return the garter and get something else - upon further consideration, I determined it would be wise to purchase a garter and underpants as two separate and distinct items. The one I got is a garter/drawers combo, and these stockings are heavier than your standard delicate silk stocking hose. If there's even the slightest chance that the stockings are going to try to pull the garter down, I'd rather they not take my undies with them. I'm disgracing my mother enough by getting married in stocking feet - God knows the last thing she needs to live through is me hobbling down the aisle, shoeless, with my panties around my ankles.
(Too much of a visual?)
For anyone who's curious - some have asked - I am wearing a traditional floor-length wedding gown. I've mentioned to a few people that I really wish I had that Stephanie Seymour wedding gown from the Guns N' Roses "November Rain" video. (I tried to find a full-length photo of it and have had no luck so far, but it was suuuper short in front and had the traditional long train.) It was a heinous and tacky dress that only worked for her because of those legs, and the fact that it was a rock video, and I would NEVER consider wearing something like that ... that is, until I spent dozens of hours of my life knitting a stocking that isn't immediately visible. But when I think about it, you know, I was always that kid whose mother dressed her up in a pretty dress, tights, and cute Mary Janes for school. And every day I'd spend the first few minutes of the morning kicking off my shoes, tugging my tights off and stuffing them into my lunch bag, and yanking my dress up around my waist so I could sit down cross-legged in the dirt. This is when I was five, and I had learned to control myself by the age of about seventeen...but by nature, I'm basically still that kid. So there's a good chance everyone's going to see these stockings at some point.
I trekked over to Tampa again on Saturday to meet up with the knitters. (We must come up with a name. Otherwise, I'm going to go with that old traditional using-our-first-intials-to-make-a-word routine - and no one wants to tell friends that they're spending Saturday with The CLAP.) There was a bit of yarn swappage - I walked away with some REALLY great stuff!
AND I also won a contest yesterday! Etsy took a big ol' crap during a routine update, and so it was down for most of the day - and so while we were all stalking the Etsy blog in anticipation, one of the newer sellers announced a quick leave-a-comment-win-yarn contest over on her blog, and I won! SWEET!!! I'll get good photos when my yummy prize arrives. In the meantime, check out her shop.
Rockin' Sock Club Shipping Day Monday!
(Sale Update: Carla added Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb to the sale, and as they continue to inventory, the sale will continue to grow. She's trying to clear out her entire Lorna's stock and start over. And she's got a LOT of Lorna's stock. I'm just sayin'.)
Posted by Alyson at 2:14 PM
Friday, April 20, 2007
Super-awesome Carla of Chez Cas is having a sale. Skeins of in-stock Lorna's Laces shepherd sock are $8 a skein (Carla's "celebrating" the Lorna's price hike and assuaging her customers by giving breaks on the colorways in stock - she's cool like that.)
Here's her Special Deals page. Besides the Lorna's, there's also 30% off all her in-stock Malabrigo. (Who doesn't love that stuff??) And there's Tilli Tomas on sale, also about 30% off. I love the Tilli yarns - I have several skeins of a sinful dark ruby Pure & Simple that's slated for a Sahara, and I just like to pet it sometimes.
Though not on sale, she has these tasty skeins of Colinette's new Velvet Jitterbug nearly-solid yarns (bottom of the page). I wasn't a huge fan of the Jitterbug colorways, but these new solids are so edible.
Worth noting, all orders over $25 get free shipping, which I think is just about the best deal out there. So, if you're hurting for yarn like I am (ha!!), run on over there.
Posted by Alyson at 3:15 PM
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I should just hang out and post tomorrow, but I'm anxious.
One down!! One down!!! One (blurry) sock completed!
(It was heinously difficult to get these things photographed without blurring or strange angles. Oh, and I learned today during a meeting that "heinous" really needs to be enunciated clearly and carefully. Other Guy In Meeting didn't say anything, but the look on his face let me know that wasn't what he heard - I need to put a harder "h" sound on there. Anyway - I promise these stockings will get the photo shoot they deserve when they're completed - if nothing else, they'll be heavily featured in the wedding photos, I'm sure.)
Blurry pooling - as you can see, this one will need to be worn on the right leg. The only thing I could/should have done differently is the thigh shaping - I didn't need it. Or I should have gone back down a needle size. Basically, it turns out that my leg is almost the same width from upper calf to upper thigh. Shaping isn't the most important thing when that's the case. (Yes, I measured. But.) Still, with the help of garters, no problem.
And now, an installation I like to call, "Goober In A Stocking":
Please excuse the Jessica-Simpson-circa-2002 Juicy Couture shortshort velour dress. No idea what I was thinking when I bought it, but at least several years later it has finally found a purpose as a decent backdrop to show off thigh-high stockings without panty flashing. (No one wants that, I know.)
There's the leaf lace border, which I attached wrong-side-facing the first time but managed to catch it in a few rows and nailed it almost perfectly the second time.
Look, two socks! Ohhh. No. Still got that other one I have to do, huh?
Bracing myself....hopefully by the end of the second one I won't be climbing the walls.
And now, to prove that I am the worst ever at segues: speaking of climbing walls...
(Sometimes you gotta really dig for a reason to post a goofy photo of yourself.)
Posted by Alyson at 9:43 PM
Okay, look, I know there's all this going on, and it feels so strange to just ignore it and talk about socks. I've typed three - THREE! - posts that turned into exhasperated rants, but I've decided that since there's nowhere anyone can go to get away from the sorrow and awful images, I'll not post anything about it and just try keep the blog crafty and chipper - but I can't not acknowledge it; my soul aches for all those connected. Now, deep breath, and moving forward with today's regularly scheduled post:
Or comin' dowwwwwwwn the
Come on, deeeeliver
(Ahh, West Side Story...man, I always wanted to play Anita, even though I'm not crazy about the show - but a fair Irish lass with green eyes does not the best Puerto Rican princess make...)
I may have something very exciting to share with you soon, something that has to do with a stocking border and a ribbon and a very excited and self-satisfied knitter. If only it signaled the end of the process, and not just the halfway point.
There's not much else to discuss - the usual yarny acquisitions and not much exciting to report so I'll just OH MY GOD I CAN'T STAND IT - I FINALLY GOT SOME SUNDARA YARN!!!! WHOOOOOO! WOOOOOOOO!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!
Oh goodness. How undignified of me. My apologies.
And, because I have nothing to share, I present to you: Muggles and Yarn!
Posted by Alyson at 1:35 PM
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I know, the wedding stuff is supposed to be at a minimum - but I do have some neat pictures to share! Yesterday was some serious good times - even for a day at work! Superlady Susan C. and team threw me a work shower, and let me tell you - completely outdid themselves! She put together some of The. Coolest. stuff for this thing - inclusive of chocolate bars with our names on them and a gorgeous cake and flowers everywhere and beautiful decorations and great food (mmm, I could so just live on fruit and cheddar) and a HILARIOUS Marriage Survival Kit. Travis was there, as were both our moms, and it was really the most fun I could have while getting paid. (Well, legally anyway....)
These are the chocolate bars - we may have made off with more than our fair share of them - and she framed the labels for each mom and for us. Awesome!
There were a LOT of gifts - I was stunned! I was not expecting it, and I was totally overwhelmed by kindness and generosity. (And towels! I love soft, squishy towels, and I registered for a truckload of them - and coworkers spoiled me rotten!)
And check out the CAKE!!!
That's us! Travis, and me, and Odessa! (My cake has a handknit on it! Squee!) What? You want another angle? Okay!!
Do the graphics on the side look familiar? Yeah - she took Heather's beautiful artwork from our invites and had it put on the cake! So! Cool!!! What a great time!!
THEN when I got home, there was this:
My Secret Pal rocks! I got some ginger chocolate (yum!) and some mint chocolate malt balls (I love mint chocolate, I love malt balls, but I've never had them together - verdict: delicious!). She also sent a DPN stitch keeper (I have wanted one of these for ages but never got around to buying myself one!) and some gorgeous stitch markers, and the cutest sheep magnet, which went straight up on the fridge! Last but certainly not least, a really beautiful lacy sock pattern from Lisa Souza, and a skein of Lisa's wonderful yarn in Agua Fresca! The colors are BEAUTIFUL! (My mom was really fawning over it - so a pair of socks for Mom might be in order!) The kit is listed here, and the sample sock is knit in the Agua Fresca colorway. They compliment each other so well - good choice!!
Thank you SO MUCH, Pal! What a great surprise!!!
I leave you with a Portrait of the Awesomeness of Wedding Showers, and my mom's best Vanna White impression:
Whooo-hoooo!! (Can I tell you how grownup it feels to have full sets of matching towels, glasses, dishware, placemats?)
(What? Bellocq? I was supposed to have one finished by the end of last week and I haven't made any progress whatso...but...knitting...responsibility...naked feet...frantic last minute...unless...on the ball... You know, what, I can't hear you, you're breaking up, must be going through a tunnel I'll call you back later okaybyebye!)
Posted by Alyson at 9:56 AM
Monday, April 16, 2007
Saturday was my wedding shower - today's a shower at work. Both are giving me reason to be very happy. Yay!
No, really, that's what I do with them when I'm not knitting.
Okay, so that's where we are, as of Friday. I've accomplished virtually nothing since then - it was a fabulous and busy weekend.
Currently stressing me out:
One side of the leg. Minor, minor pooling - bit of spiral action, nothing unusual.
Then there's the other side of the leg:
Gah! Gah! Welcome to Poolville, baby - population: you! See that big ol' puddle of dark pink that looks like Miss Piggy yakked all over the top of my stocking? I'm trying not to let it bother me. I'll position it on the inside of my leg and hope that if the other stocking pools, it does so on the opposite side so that both pools will be discreetly hidden on less visible areas of my legs. Let's all pray together.
The shower this weekend was a great time - there were a lot of nice yarn-y accents there, but I'll save some of the pictures for another post....however, I have a few that can't wait.
See, my best friend's original plan for the shower was to have two pinatas - a motorcycle for Travis, and a lamb for me. Unfortunately, the lamb didn't make it in time. Jessi, intrepid as she is, had to improvise with what she could find.
Ever seen a sheep with udders? She found a cow pinata and glued cotton balls all over it. Best. Friend. Ever. No one was allowed to break this one - I carefully unplugged it and removed all the candy, and stashed the intact pinata in my car. (Well, after taking it down because Travis, blindfolded and dizzy, bashed the hell out of the sheep instead of the motorcycle and I screamed for him to stop - he told me it was one of the most bloodcurdling sounds I've ever made and for a minute he kinda panicked that maybe he'd accidentally attacked a box full of kittens with a big stick.) Bessie the Sheep is now safe in my knitting room. :-)
(Speaking of best friend ever - I wish you could have a glass of the sangria she and her boyfriend made. Holy. Crap. Dude.)
We had a great time. And just as an example of my hardcore knitterness:
We got two Crock Pots (hey, it happens) and I seriously considered keeping them both so we'd have one for food and I'd have one for yarn dyeing.
(A word about that photo: we look half-crazed because we're laughing our heads off - my mother, right before this photo was taken, turned around to see my friend David's posterior up-close and personal - she was seated, he was standing - and declared, "Hey, nice ass!" I love my mommy.)
Posted by Alyson at 9:57 AM
Friday, April 13, 2007
It's funny how used to something one can become in a relatively short period of time. I'm not actually an official participant in Yarn P0rn Fridays, but it doesn't change the fact that I like to flash fiber on Fridays.
Yesterday I got the BEST stuff in the mail.
Okay, fine, I'm a liar. I didn't get all that Yarn Pirate in the mail. I did get two awesome skeins of Sknitches and a braid of reee-heeeally gorgeous Sweet Sheep fiber, my club installment. But my mom's in town and I had dinner to make and gifts to open and lots of goat cheese to shovel in my mouth (long story) and so I didn't get around to taking fiber photos.
I'll also owe you a photo of the wonderful and amazing gift my mom brought to me. It's gonna be a sentimental post - beware!
So since I don't have much to talk about, I'll just try to sell you stuff. Not because I benefit from it, but because there are things out there worth having and I want you to be happy. I love to enable - there are few things that give me more joy than getting an annoyed comment or email from someone cursing my name for sending them someplace where they spent part of their grocery money. I'm always happy not to be the only one out there eating saltines for dinner while petting the stash - which brings us to that (stolen) photo up there - that's the giant pile o' Yarn Pirate tastiness that Michelle is putting up in her shop tonight at 7:00 EST. I'll probably avoid it, just because I have about four or five skeins of YP in stash and I must not buy any more. But if you're craving some YP, go nuts!! (In the interest of fairness, I *think* that The Loopy Ewe has some YP going up next week also. But a Yarn Pirate update is always a push-and-shove event no matter where it's put up, so it's best to be on top of all the vendors!)
Oh, and *singsong* I know something youuuu don't knoooowwwwww....
Neener. Neener neener!!
Recommendation of the day (besides Yarn Pirate and The Sweet Sheep and The Loopy Ewe, of course): Soap Deli. I got about four hundred bars of soap last night from her (okay, I'm lying, I got maybe six or seven) and they are Yum-mmy. Most of them go into the "prize closet" (stash of gifts and giveaways for forgotten birthdays or blog contests). Recommendations: Lemon Verbena Mint goat's milk lotion and the Lettuce Gardener's Soap (which I didn't buy but she sent a sample and ohhhh I wish I had.) It'll be enough to tide me over until Rosi starts her business back up again. (Ahem-ahem-ahemahem.)
Big weekend planned for me! I'll try to post if there's anything fibery worth mentioning - I don't know how much I'll really get done, though. Happy Friday!!!
Posted by Alyson at 9:59 AM
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Ask me who my favorite author is, and I will not blink, pause, or ponder. Vonnegut. Loud, proud, and the same every time. I'll gobble up every word he puts to paper, and I'll do it over and over.
I wasn't expecting Mr. Vonnegut to be the sort of person who would ever die. He'd just live somewhere out there, forever, sketching little odd things and occasionally publishing a small tome to tide us all over and motivate us to read his books, all of them, over again.
This was a shocking morning for me - I even cried a bit. Sadly, it seems like everyone keeps mentioning the movie versions of his books, so I've had a couple of people ask me if I'd heard about that guy who died and what other movies did he do? Sigh.
Thanks for the words, sir. I'm very grateful to you for leaving so many of them behind.
*End weepy tribute*
In related news: CNN gets its priorities straight while still somehow managing to minimize the man's impact on American literature:
Nothing like the faint memory of a former Patridge Family train wreck to jar you out of mourning. Update: By 3:00 p.m., all reference to Vonnegut had been removed from both the Headlines and Entertainment sections of the CNN homepage, replaced by a link to an interview with the Ugly Betty actress. And yet for the past two days, I've been forced to endure Larry Birkhead and Howard K. Stern ad nauseum. And sure, I'm biased because I'm so admiring of him...but ya know, I tolerated everyone else's fascination with a crazy astronaut going all Cannonball Run in a diaper. So not to get all uppity - but seriously? Seriously.
Since we're on the subject of the printed word - no one has mentioned being bothered by what I wrote about The Secret, but I do feel compelled to mention that if you read the book and it helped you, or feel you would like to read the book and it could help you, I'm all for that - I think that the underlying point of the book is an outstanding one. I was just surprised to learn that it wasn't so intuitive a point as to cause the book to be a tremendous and grand flop.)
Posted by Alyson at 2:28 PM
So apparently there's this book (I don't go for heavily-hyped things much, so I'm way behind the times) and it's called The Secret, and it's supposed to tell you how to get (and keep!) everything you want in life. And from what I understand, The Secret is - brace yourselves - to think positively!!!
Sheer. Effing. Genius.
I'm going to post some pictures of my Bellocq stocking (which, I'll have you know, I am thinking very positively about!) and then I'm going to go bang my head on the wall until I pass out because I really wish I had written that book and made millions of dollars off of telling grown people the same (true but simplistic) ideal that preschool teachers shovel at four year olds.
(Again, this is total speculation on my part, based only on synopses I have seen and a conversation I overheard, and I have not and have no intention of reading the book, so I restrict the right to keep my hoity-toity opinion despite obtaining any real basis for it.)
Let me get to it, and head to bed.
Moving right along, no?
I had to stretch the stocking up and hold it in place - without the border or anything in place to keep it where it belongs, it slouches down around the knee. Observe:
I'm not completely unopposed to this look, because the baggy-sock-around-the-knee look actually works wonders for my thighs. Who knew?? I may start wearing baggy thigh-high stockings all the time.
As with all my photos, click for bigger if you want better detail - I want to show off the clever shaping.
I'm dreading the border a bit - I'm quite certain I'm going to muck that up several times...I'm leaning on Adelle on this one, hoping she gets it down first. (Hee!)
Alright, I'll cross-post at the KAL tomorrow - for now, I'm off to hurriedly chant my positive thoughts about winning the lottery and pass out....it's way past my bedtime!
PS: I think there's a very good chance this pair of stockings is only going to take me three skeins. I have four. So if I'm right, look for a free skein of Rose Quartz Socks that Rock in a celebratory contest when this is all over. If it takes four - look for an annoyed YoYo.
Posted by Alyson at 12:22 AM
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I have nothing significant to report, really. I downloaded the pattern for Green Gable last night, at the recommendation of Phoebe, and I'll be starting on that with some stashed DK weight merino (dark red, natch)....that is, if I ever finish these blasted stockings. Still love 'em. But damn, they tall.
My mom will be in town from Thursday to Tuesday - we have wedding showers (yes, plural!) on Saturday and Monday. I'm excited to have her here - and to have so many good things to look forward to sharing with her!
If you watch Dancing with the Stars - ummm, did you notice Joey's shirt? Was it just me, or was it rather....I mean...did that pink flappy stuff on the back look kind of similar to....um....well, listen, I don't know how to do this without being blunt, so I'll just say it:
Joey Fatone had vajay-jay on the back of his shirt.
There. I said it. For shame, Joey. Please, no more fashion homages to Paris Hilton - it's bad enough that lady parts are the new black, and starlets are flashing proudly like they finally scored an Hermes Birkin bag and that's where they decided to keep it. We certainly don't need the boys jumping on that wagon, too.
Enough of that, back to fiber stuff for a minute - I think I'll sign up for Sockapaloooooooooooooooza when the registration opens (any minute now, as I understand it.) I've never knit socks for anyone other than close friends, family, Travis, and myself. But by the time these thigh highs are done, crew socks are going to seem like they just flyyy off the needles, and I think it'll be a nice change to knit for a stranger. And to have exact measurements would be grand! Any time I knit socks, it's usually a surprise, so asking someone to give me the measurements of their foot would be a bit of a giveaway.
Last but never least - today's my dad's birthday, so even though he doesn't read this blog (or, to my knowledge, is even aware of its existence), I gotta pay him tribute, 'cause he's all awesome and stuff.
Posted by Alyson at 10:15 PM
Monday, April 09, 2007
(Here I go, posting twice in one day again. You'll have lots of reading if you didn't catch up at lunch today.)
Other than the whole bank fraud thing, Easter was super-awesome, by the way. Figured I should clarify that, since my last post's title was so very aggressive. The dinner served was delicious (made even more so by the fact that I've been very strict with myself lately, food-wise, and I allowed myself whatever I wanted on Easter) and the company was delightful. We watched The Pursuit of Happyness (strong performances, heavy-handed direction) and had a nice evening. All in all, not a bad day!
Today was wicked good. I found out while reading a blog (which I think is the best way to find stuff out) that I won Sheri's Frank & Martha contest! Dudes, I never win SQUAT. At least, I don't win stuff in the literal sense. I feel like a winner every day, what with great friends and family and my pets and Travis and a charmed life - and I win lots of chances to pay people money for great stuff (see also: Scout's Swag, The Loopy Seasonal Sock Club, Rockin' Sock Club, scoring one of the Gryffindor skeins from Sunshine Yarns, etc.) But in the strictest sense of the word, I don't win things a lot.
So you can imagine how it felt to win a $25 gift certificate to The Loopy Ewe! And if you can't imagine what it's like, I've put together a little illustration for you.
The coolest thing about it - yes, even cooler than $25 to spend at The Loopy Ewe even as I was lamenting not being able to jump on this week's still-to-come update, since I need to start focusing my spare money wedding-wards - is that people voted for the winner. People VOTED for my KNITTING. MY socks WON something. (These ones right here.) I'm flabbergasted. (Which is a fun word to say, but sounds like some sort of unpleasant abdominal medical procedure.) I knitted something. And it was good enough for me to be proud of. And then it was good enough for people to think it deserved some sort of prize. I feel like a really good knitter right now.
(It's a good feeling.)
Speaking of good feelings - I forgot to share one of my peripheral favorite things about Saturday. Meeting up with other knitters was the overall favorite, and I really loved the lady who came over to ask us how she could learn to knit (I really hope she dropped in to Knit & Knibble and signed up!)...but while we were sitting there, this darling little old lady walked by, and she paused to smile at us. She stated, in an accent that sounded vaguely Germanic, that she was reminded of her grandmother, who used to knit all the time. The fact that she was elderly, coupled with the fact that she was foreign, led me to believe that her grandmother lived in a high time of knitting, in the sort of place where knitting was commonplace. I imagine her grandmother being a wonderful knitter. And I've said it before - people can grouse all they want and buy their "it's not your grandmother's knitting" books and exclaim "oh, I hate the whole knitting-reminds-me-of-old-people thing!" but I LOVE IT. I love that she remembered her granny! I love that we brought that to her! It made my day, because she smiled and remembered.
Knitting gives us the opportunity to give so many gifts, besides just a knitted item itself. We can give our recognition of the handiwork of others. We can give a memory back to someone who might have misplaced it. We can give hope to someone who hasn't given it a shot yet.
What's your favorite gift you've given as a knitter?
Posted by Alyson at 4:20 PM
Well. Or rather, in the immortal words of my dear friend David, upon finding that his roommate's cat had done something inappropriate: Well well wellwell well well WELL well WELL wellwell!!!
I get a phone call Sunday, right around the time I resolved to finally drag my ass off the couch, put the Bellocq down, and shower and make a casserole for the Easter dinner gathering. I often don't answer the home phone...but I did and was, at first, annoyed by a robotic voice.
"Hello. This is the automated *Bank* Fraud Alert Center. We would like to take a moment to go over some transactions that may have been fraudulent."
(This is where I almost hurl. This happens several more times over the next hour or so.)
Sure enough, someone has (AGAIN!!) managed to get hold of my debit card number and tap into me to the tune of nearly three hundred dollars over about ten transactions. Thank God for the fraud alert call center (even if I did get suspicious since it's operated by a third party and I panicked when I thought I might have just divulged personal information to the very people who had gotten my card number, but *Bank* was - eventually - able to alleviate my fears.)
This is not the first time this has happened to me - I'm not sure how, as in both instances I've been in possession of my debit card at all times. The first time was much worse - someone had forged a copy of the card itself and was tapping ATMs all over the state. It was harder to prove that wasn't me - I finally managed it when I showed that I'd completed a transaction in my hometown about twenty minutes before Not-Me yanked $500 out of an ATM in Fort Lauderdale, three hours away.
Fortunately, *Bank* caught it this time around, and was wonderful to me - even the dear little man with a heavy accent who had to deal with my rather frantic exhasperation, which I of course took out on him (and on Easter, no less!) Everything should be easy enough to iron out. But I do have to cancel my debit card - AGAIN! - and get a new card - AGAIN! - and swap over all my automatic payments to the new card - AGAIN! Good thing I really like *Bank*, or I'd be seriously peeved right now. (Well, I am seriously peeved, but not enough to change banks.)
Besides that, Bellocq continues. It's well over the knee now. (And entirely too big. But my thigh will start to expand soon, and it does so at a more rapid rate than I believe the thigh shaping does - so I should be okay. I could go back down a needle size - but I don't have a 16" size 1 circular. *Shrug* (See what a perfectionist I am? Heh.)
Thank you for your reassurances that I am not the only one who gets all mouthy when other knitters are around. It's just so wonderful to not get the same glassy stare that I'm used to getting when I try to talk about knitting for an entire afternoon!
No post is complete without pictures. Digging through Flickr to see if there's anything there I haven't posted before, I come up with this:
I like to take pictures in the produce department at Whole Foods. Is that weird?
Edit: Gah! Checking my stats - who on earth found my site by Googling "spent the entire weekend n@ked"?? And how would that lead here?? There aren't many things I avoid blogging about - but I think if that happened, it would definitely be one of the things I wouldn't share!
Posted by Alyson at 10:55 AM
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Thus spake my inner monologue all afternoon.
I have two modes around new people: Shy and Eerily Quiet, and Shy and Verbal Diarrhea (the shy's not as obvious in that one, but it's there.) If I'm fortunate enough to have something major in common with the new people, I'm more likely to be in Mode #2. And Mode #2 was in full force today, because I Could. Not. Be. Quiet. What amuses me to no end is how I can in fact recognize my jabberiness, but I can't seem to stop it. And there's no filter, really. Maybe that's why I don't go to meetups much - because I know I may find myself wishing I had a backspace key. After all, did Phoebe and Christine really NEED to hear about the time our pup Brodie got all excited during a Game Night at my house and started humping my friend Steven's arm and wouldn't stop? For that matter, did YOU need to hear it?? (They weren't really given a choice, so it's only fair.) And every time there was a long pause in the conversation, I did my best not to be the first one to speak again, just in case they were secretly terribly thankful for the break.
In any event, today's meetup was very fun - thank you for having me along, ladies, and I'm sorry if I interrupted you endlessly. I did have a wonderful time! (Er, not with the interrupting - that I kind of just do without so much being aware of it until later.) Next time I'll lay off the caffeine a bit....
We knitted for .... well, about four hours! Whee, four hours with like-minded knitters! That's much more fulfilling than four hours on the sofa knitting and watching Airplane! on Comedy Central and....whatever schlock comes on after Airplane! because by that time I'm not even cognizant of the world around me and I can't be bothered to change the channel.
I'm pleased with my Bellocq progress - I have officially started the thigh shaping, and I've moved off of my DPNs and onto a 16" circular!
The astute among you will note that there are still DPNs and this is still only upper-calf height. True - this photo is a cheat. I took it this morning before leaving for Tampa - now it's up to the knee and on a circ. (Yes, only up to the knee in four hours. It's a lot more stitches to the end of the round now.) I should take an updated photo, but - just picture the same sock a bit taller. Oooooh, aaaahhhhhh, right?
Sidebar: I find it interesting how people regard someone out by themselves in the evening. On the way home, I stopped by Chipotle for a bite, and when I placed my order at the counter, the young man preparing it declared (not inquired), "To go," despite the fact that I had a book in my hand (found the new Yarn Harlot in a store, finally!) and looked prepared for a sit-down. I find it interesting how it seems I am expected to gather my supper and scurry home to hide behind the sofa in shame for spending a Saturday night alone. No thank you - I rather enjoy my own company most of the time, and I see nothing wrong with being alone in public. (God knows it's one of the few times I'm likely to be found keeping quiet and relatively still.)
Friday marked the one-year anniversary of the purchase of our home. Aww, look at it.
Oh, that's not quite what it looks like now. Now it looks like that, but with slightly more raggedy looking plants in front. (I'm not capable of maintaining green stuff.) And we upgraded the wiring. (Rewiring not pictured. Sad how the changes that take the most work are often invisible.)
We celebrated by having a snack and a glass of wine on the front porch yesterday after work - the weather's been so beautiful - blue and breezy, cooler than usual...delightful! Fortunately, a glass of wine is all it really takes to get to Happy Town.
Right as I was about to take a picture, Travis burst into peals of laughter and started exclaiming, "Pink monkey!" I thought he'd finally gone off his head, but there was just a girl crossing the street a half-block down, and she was carrying a pink stuffed monkey (bag?). He was endlessly amused by the pink monkey. Immediately after this, I thought it best to pour the last bit of wine in his glass into the shrubbery. We had planned to fire up some barbecue for dinner - ribs for him, tofu for me - and I didn't think it wise for him to dangle over a propane grill in the state he had appeared to be rapidly approaching...
(All's well - turned out he was perfectly fine, though maybe a little miffed at me for tossing his Malbec into the hedge.)
Happy Easter, if that's your thing, or Happy Sunday, if it's not! Hope you get time to knit - and if you're hosting a gathering, best of luck!
Posted by Alyson at 9:43 PM
Thursday, April 05, 2007
tugged tried on my Bellocq last night when I finished the second repeat of the calf shaping - even unfinished, this is now officially the tallest sock I've ever knit! My goal is to finish one stocking every three weeks, so I won't be working on these right down to the wire. Tomorrow is two weeks - hopefully I'll be doing a LOT of work on these this weekend.
Sidebar: I get to knit with real live people this weekend! I don't go to the stitch-and-bitch at my LYS because I can't seem to get into it, and there are meetup groups around, but for some reason I've never done that either. But there's a group of ladies who are in the Rockin' Sock Club who get together occasionally, and this weekend I'm actually free when they've scheduled their gathering! So I'm going to drive to Tampa to meet up with them - it's only about a 90 minute drive. Well worth it to knit with other STR fans! I think there will be about five or six of us, and I'm so excited I'm actually making plans in my head. Travis is amused.
Me: I need to put different stitchmarkers on my socks.
Travis: Is something wrong with those?
Me: No...but they're kind of plain. If I'm going to be knitting with people, I want my sock to have her pretty jewelry on.
Travis: (sound of a head dropping and shaking slowly side to side)
I don't think that's crazy. Whatever.
Okay, here we are:
It's about three inches to my knee, I think, and I'm still very pleased with it. I pulled this on upstairs, then had to come downstairs to get the camera and try to locate decent light in my house at 11:30 at night (dining room + heavy Photoshop edits). Then I had to climb back up the stairs and into the bedroom, where I finally removed the sock. I'm proud to report that I only jabbed myself in the other leg with one of the needles once! But I had to walk very carefully, and I felt a little like a first draft of a character from Grindhouse. ("You know, Quentin, I like the needles sticking out of her leg, but wool and bamboo aren't very menacing. Maybe....I don't know, a machine gun would be better?")
I wanted you to see the calf shaping, and this is about the best I could do with getting a photo of the back of my own leg. (The stitch markers are the new pretty ones I used to replace the plain ones - they're Aija's garnet-and-freshwater-pearl markers, and they're so preeetty.)
I had mentioned that I changed needles shortly into the calf shaping - while the socks aren't completely uncomfortable, I don't think I should have trusted my gauge swatch, and I'm going to knit the second sock on the size 2 the pattern calls for rather than the size 1 needles I (thought I) got gauge with. But the good news is that you can barely tell where I changed needles. (Snort.)
As if I needed to point it out. Hear that deep sigh of relief my calf is taking? I could pretend that it occurred to me to start them over - but no way. Not even if I had all the time in the world. I'm not enough of a perfectionist to really care - they fit well enough and are only just a tiny bit snug, and I'll give a prize to anyone at the wedding who peers at them and declares, "Say, looks like you changed needles right there." (Except you, Susan - that would be cheating!)
I'm off to cross-post at the knitalong!
Posted by Alyson at 9:37 AM