Friday, March 30, 2007

Pray For Me. Pray For Us All.

Travis is younger than me by three years. Travis' sister is younger than him by eleven years. Consequently, I am a 28 year-old woman with a 14 year-old sister in law (to be). D is a remarkable young woman who is already leaps and bounds more mature and responsible than most adults I know, and she reminds me a LOT of me when I was young (never stops talking, total drama queen, too smart for her own good - all of which I consider to be positive attributes, thankyouverymuch.)

And right now, she's in a play. A high school play. And we're proud, and of course we're going, even though she has a small part. Size doesn't matter - she has a part, so we will be there tomorrow night with bells on.

But. We're going to see a high school play. And not just any high school play. Little Women. Oh, the humanity - it's a chick-flick live on stage. And it's the straight play - not even the laughable musical reincarnation. I've no idea what part she's playing (I do know she wanted to play Jo - and I could have told you that even before anyone told me she wanted to play Jo, because I would also have wanted to play Jo. Because if Little Women was an 80s sitcom, Jo would have been played by Nancy McKeon. And in the 80s, I wanted to be Nancy McKeon when I grew up. Actually, whenever I picture Jo from Little Women, my mind generates an image of Jo from The Facts of Life. I then, because of the association to Charlotte Rae, immediately go to reminiscing about The Worst Witch, possibly the best terrible movie ever made.)

Okay, enough free association. Point is, it's a good thing I love this chick, or I might be compelled to wander into traffic sooner than face a high school production of Little Women. Hell, ANY production of Little Women for that matter. Instead, I'm kind of looking forward to it. And I hear the drama department is respectable at this school, so I'm interested to see what they do with the show.

You know, I loved the book Little Women when I was eight. And for a moment I thought it was strange that I would turn my nose up at it now - but then, I liked frozen fish sticks and Anne Murray when I was eight, too.

In other news - no turning back now:


The invites! They're addressed! They're in the mail! Wahoo!

I got a little bit of a boost today; Stitch Diva Studios sent out their newsletter, and they plugged the Bellocq KAL blog, mentioned me and this here little blog, and posted a picture of my sock in progress. What a wonderfully nice thing - and perfect motivation. Besides just wanting the stockings and needing them for the wedding, and being an admin on the knitalong, my sock-in-progress has been shown to I-don't-know-how-many subscribers. Abandoning them would be completely humiliating at this point. (It's not the pattern that would make me abandon them, or the yarn, or anything like that - it would be the chronic startitis and the 80 skeins of sock yarn in stash that want equal treatment, and the fact that I so rarely take on projects larger than a pair of crew socks.)

(For anyone who gets the newsletter and came here, thanks and hello! Also, I want to point out that the credits for the knitalong and blog are all totally due to Sweet Pea (Eva), and I'm mostly just along for the ride.)

Tonight I couch-surf and knit. I'll work on my Bellocq stockings, of course - although since Yarnbeans mentioned it, I'm compelled to snatch up one of my gazillion skeins of Nature Cotton and whip up a washcloth or two. I think we may run up to the bookshop so I can snag the new Vogue Knitting, too - and maybe hit Best Buy and replace our sad, broken, pitiful TiVo. (Once replaced, I will carefully disassemble the old one with a claw hammer and bury it in tiny pieces in our backyard as punishment for depriving me of the middles, endings, and sometimes entire episodes of my favorite shows.)

Okay, so I didn't have much to talk about really - I just figured I should post something, so if anyone came here expecting to read about Bellocq, they wouldn't instead find yesterday's underpants post. I'm not sure a rambling diatribe including a paragraph largely dedicated to Nancy McKeon is quite what I was striving for.......

Happy weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Just a Quick Thought

Normal Knitting Obsession Level:
Feeling well-rested, while picking up a healthy lunch during a regular workday, you spot a lady wearing a commercial machine-knit lace sweater and spend a few minutes stealing glances at it, trying to figure out the pattern in your head.

Abnormal Knitting Obession Level:
Sleep deprived and hopped up on refined sugar, you spend several minutes staring at the lace trim on your own underpants, trying to figure out the pattern in your head.

Clearly, I need a nap.

I'm A Leader! Kinda!

So I was thinking that this Bellocq pattern is just SO beautiful and SO perfect and SO deserving of a knitalong, so why don't I just start one up?? But of course, before doing that, I googled Bellocq KAL to make absolutely sure that I wouldn't be stepping on toes. And sure enough, I found SweetPea on the Lime & Violet message boards (and isn't that just THE place to find someone nowadays?) She was discussing setting up a blog - so I emailed her, and just a few short hours later, the Bellocq Knitalong blog was born! It was born entirely of SweetPea's efforts, mind you - I'm new to the whole Wordpress thing, and she did all the legwork; she's definitely Big Admin, and I'm happy being Little Admin. The site looks beautiful - I am duly impressed. (If I hadn't invested all this time into Blogger by now, I would probably be a Wordpress convert.)

Welcome to the world, Bellocq Knitalong!

We have two admins - Ms. SweetPea (Eva) and myself - and we are pretty much available 24 hours to answer your questions. (In a very handy twist, she's in Luxembourg - so basically, an admin is always guaranteed to be awake somewhere.)

I'm really excited about this - I've joined KALs and stuff, but never taken such an active part in one. Thank you, Eva, for letting me jump on your coattails and be a charter member!!

So if you're watching my progress and thinking it looks like fun, grab the pattern and come join us!

This will not likely bump the Bellocq as being the only project I talk about here for a while - two months to go, and I have to knit these stockings, plus the groom's "formal wedding socks" (read: black Regia Silk ribbed socks knit on 2s as fast as my little fingers will fly me there). And there's that whole, you know, wedding thing. That's still getting in the way a lot. I hope marriage isn't gonna be like that - 'cause in a fight between marriage and knitting.....I don't know.....knitting has all those sharp sticks at its disposal.

And that's all for today's post. I'm not going to squee about how Marnie (Bellocq's mama) wrote a lovely and encouraging comment on that last post. Nope. Not even one tiny squee.


Oops - pardon me! It just slipped out.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

If You Were A Crew, You'd Be Home By Now

Progress, 3/28

You know how they say that when you leave your time zone, you should immediately start thinking of time only in terms of whatever time zone you're now in, because apparently the jet lag effect is worse if you continually think of the time "back home"? I need to shake off my tendency to watch my sock progress in terms of crew socks. I mean, this progress is pretty wicked for me, considering I cast on late Friday night...but I can't think of this sock as being close to finished. (However, if I WAS knitting the crew sock, I'd just have the lace cuff left.)

So far, so good - I would definitely recommend this pattern for immediate knittage. I really love the cool Cuban Heel - it's a nice touch at the ankle.

I do need a little work on my short row heels. They could be better:

hmm...short row heels

It's getting difficult to keep my focus already - after getting all that fantastic Cashsoft DK yesterday, it's a serious challenge to not cast on for a delicious sweater. Reminding myself that even if I finished it in record time, I'd still not be able to wear it until October - that should help.

Thank you for your kind comments about Travis' reference to my "plump" bottom. I've decided that since Travis doesn't really like super-skinny chicks, "nice and plump" is a premium compliment. If he said, "Hey, your butt's looking scrawnier," that would definitely be an insult. I will rejoice in my plumpness! (As long as it doesn't manifest ANYWHERE ELSE!)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Poll, And Knitting Content (Kinda)

Okay, ladies, Travis and I have been going rounds on this. When I got home today, Travis gave me a big hug and told me how pretty I look (which is a standard greeting for me at Chez Lucky Girl). He then added that my bottom was looking, "so nice and plump." I immediately burst into fake tears, and he INSISTS that "nice and plump" is a compliment. Now, of course, if he says it's a compliment, I have to take it as such.

But really, is a "nice and plump" bottom actually a compliment? While it's true that the bellydance habit is probably taking a lifting-and-rounding toll on my rear, and that would be a pleasant change, I'm not sure that "plump" is quite the right way to go....

Speaking of being a happy couple in love, you'll love this. Susan at work is throwing me an office shower (wheee!) and she put the invites out today:

Shower invites

Lookit!! Little balls of yarn and needles! Susan did all these herself - wound the yarn, sharpened the dowels into needles, printed out a very cute invite (with a knitting sheep!) and wound them around the "needle". And it's not a small office - she had to make at least thirty of these. THIRTY. Try it. Wind thirty little balls of yarn, sharpen sixty little sticks, roll up thirty little scrolls of paper, and if, by the end of all that, you haven't jammed at least one little pointy stick in your ear, you win. (Oh, and you'll need to fight off an army of cats who aren't used to having yarn balls rolling all over the house. Susan's already a prime candidate for knitting, though, don't you think? She's got miles of patience, and cats. I think that's pretty much the criteria.)

About the stockings: some comments asked for modeled shots. Yeah, about that........they're, um, snug. Snug snug snug snug snug snug snug. I've managed to get them on with the needles in them - but I wouldn't want to do it again. I'll have to swap it onto scrap yarn to try them again. (It's the Cuban Heel - it's a very cool touch, but it's stockinette-based, and it doesn't have the give of the lace pattern.)

There was a Happy Fun Box on the porch when I got home. My first (yes, first) box from the Knit Happens sale arrived today, and I took a Rosi-inspired photo.

Yarn score!

Oh, I'm so happy! And would you look at this? Mr. Fluffy McGrumpersons doesn't even want to let ME near my yarn. He's really quite good at his job!

Here's a better representation of the haul:

Partial Haul

I picked up four skeins of Koigu in browns and oranges/yellows. (I spotted something similar to this on Aija's blog several months ago, and never quite let go of the dream of orange Koigu.) I also got seven skeins of taupe Rowan Cashsoft 4-ply for my Rhiannon socks, and eleven skeins of charcoal Rowan Cashsoft DK for...something that will become my most favorite sweater. (This stuff is so deliciously soft.) I also picked up four skeins of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk and a silk needle case for secret pal gifts.

Travis finally got a decent picture of me with the yarn when he heard me grunting over my inability to get a decent photo by myself. Want some outtakes?

Outtake 2

So excited about all this yarn, I'm trembling. (Instead of "blurry", can we call it "soft focus"? Wasn't it Loretta Young who insisted the camera lens be draped with silk so she would look softer and lovelier?)

Outtake 1

Rooster's all, "Bitch, whatchoo doin'?"

Outtake 3

Help!! HELP!!! The yarn is EATING ME ALIVE!!!!

I gotta go knit...I think my yarn is plotting against me.

Monday, March 26, 2007

As Promised...

I'm not normally a big fan of multi-posting in one day - but I must get into the habit of doing this at home, not at work. So.

(I'm also blogging during Dancing with the Stars and I can't guarantee that I won't sneak in a few snippets here and there. Let me get a few things out of the way: I want to be Cheryl Burke when I grow up; Joey Fatone is just the cutest thing ever; wait, no, Apolo Anton Ono is; I love how Paulina Porizkova hasn't aged even a little bit, but she doesn't look completely plasticized either - I'm looking at you, Leeza Gibbons. I'm sorry, I can't help it - even though reality television is truly the lowest common denominator, I have a few weaknesses. This and America's Next Top Model are the ones I really just can't give up. And Project Runway, but I don't think that really counts.)

Okay. I picked up some fantastic batts from the Lime & Violet update today, and I'm anxiously awaiting those now. I do listen to the small doses. (Nothing personal - the volume levels get on my nerves really fast, that's all. I can barely hear them when they speak normally, but then suddenly one or the other of them will get really excited and make a joke or laugh REALLY LOUDLY and blow out one or both of my eardrums. But they can be really fun to listen to on the bus.)

A bit of yarn and stuffie p0rn, perhaps?

Mr. Fluffy McGrumpersons and his yarn

I spotted this huge sheep at Target last weekend, and I carried it around the store for a while, but Travis wasn't going for it. Then when I had one of my really crappy days at work last week, I came home and went into my knitting room and sheepie was sitting on my chair. It did cheer me up a lot - even if he is so scowly and grumpy looking. (Hence he was dubbed "Mr. Fluffy McGrumpersons.") He's a good yarn guard, though. No one's going to mess with my stash with Mr. McGrumpersons standing watch! I mean, look how he disapproves of you even LOOKING at the yarn!

Here's a better shot of the yarn, without the stern disapproval:

Yarny yumminess

Mmm. Zen String in "Bart & Louise in the Garden" - I managed to score one of these coveted skeins from a recent update at The Loopy Ewe, and it was worth every penny! I lurve it! I also have two surprises from The Sweet Sheep; my installment of the Fiber Club, a four ounce bump of merino from Mama E in a colorway called "Marbled", which I really like, and the Mystery Dyer for the month of March - also Mama E! Totally fine with me - I'm a huge Mama E fan. This is a great spring color, and I'm thinking about maybe doing something other than socks with it - plenty of babies due in the spring, and this would make an adorable little sweater....

Things are going really well for me with the wedding stockings; I've turned the heel and worked most of the ankle; if I were making crew socks, I'd only have about another three inches. Of course, I need another twenty-seven inches just to hit mid-to-upper thigh. (Being super-tall with "legs for days" is not always such a blessing; my leg from hip to toe is 48 inches.)

progress 3/26/07

My feet aren't as heinously long as the sock would have you believe - the lace shortens up significantly when worn, so everything has to be knit a hair longer than normal. (Which isn't bad on a nine-inch foot...but on a twenty-nine inch leg, it could prove to be a bit more trying!) I can't wait to see what one looks like completely finished! And hell, maybe even two....I think I just realized today that this is really going to be a LOT of knitting!

However, these will make me so easy to spot at fiber festivals and Knit-in-Public gatherings! I'll be the one in the short black skirt and the mile-long pink lace stockings...assuming Travis lets me out of the house looking like that. Hehe.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Public Service Announcement, And I'm a Big Liar With No Photos

I'll post it, since there are still surprisingly a few left - Michelle has stocked her shop with lovely Sknitches sock yarn. You might get some if you hurry. (Great, highly-coveted stuff, that Sknitches.) I managed to snatch up Showgirl and Zombie. (And, like I told Michelle, I really want to write a screenplay based on those colorways. Wouldn't you want to see a movie about zombies and showgirls? Although my best friend pointed out that it'd be even better if the showgirls WERE the zombies. Yes. We'll make a fortune. I wonder if we could get Simon Pegg and Elizabeth Berkley?)

I promised you photos, and I've failed - I took them, just forgot to upload them last night. I'll do it tonight, I swear. Instead, a little excerpt from Sunday afternoon.

Scene: A man stands in the kitchen, his fiancee in the nearby guest bathroom, tidying up. A loud *thud* is heard, along with a small yelp.

Man: Baby, you all right in there?
Woman: Yeah, sorry - no big deal. The turnip greens just fell off the back of the toilet.
Man: (silence) (note: did you know that silence can actually sound confused?)
Woman: Huh. I bet no one has ever combined those words in a sentence ever before.

(There's a reason I keep canned goods on the back of the toilet, I swear. See, I set the twist in my handspun by hanging the skeins from hooks on the towel bar/shelf above the toilet in our guest bathroom. I then use a huge can of turnip greens to weigh down the skein. So, when the can is not being put to its intended use, I just set it on the back of the toilet. No guest has mentioned it yet, but it's only a matter of time.)

Saturday, March 24, 2007


"Yoink" is the sound one makes when stealing something. I find it is important, when stealing, to verbally acknowledge that you are a blatant thief.

So I present: A color study in pinks, a la b r o o k l y n t w e e d. Yoink!

Color Study: Pinks

This is part of the new batch of Socks that Rock, four skeins in Rose Quartz - I received them Friday and wound the first one up immediately. I'm not as in love with this batch as I was with my previous batch - this one's more strongly variegated and less of a shaded solid, and there are also some little splotches on it - spots of darker colors and even a few areas where it appears a bit of red dye fell on the yarn. I'm at a point where I can't really risk further delays, though, so I'm just going to shrug it off. I wasn't hoping for much perfection on the wedding day, but these - I mean, I have complete and total control over how these turn out, and they're going to be my heirloom item - though a shawl might be a nicer heirloom than socks, that just wouldn't really be me - so I wanted them flawless. But the important thing is to have handdyed yarn by artisans who I respect and admire and want to support - and STR is definitely that! And the yarn just seems like a universal truth - sometimes even the most wonderful things end up with a few splotches. You take the splotches with the beauty, and you learn to appreciate it all. *end Pollyanna moment*

I did cast on for the first stocking, and I've made really great progress today. We spent a good portion of the day in the car, so I had passenger knit time - we went down south to visit my best friend and her boyfriend - we had lunch with them and her dad, and then we went to see 300, and we got to play with their new Wii a bit. (Dude. We need one of those. I mean, video games you can write off as exercise?? Crazy!) All in all, a totally great day.

Here's Bitty, modeling the humble beginnings of the stocking on Friday night:

Toe Head

She gets such a sad face when she's sleepy. It probably didn't help that I forgot to check the settings on the camera and the first time I took this picture, I blinded her little sleepy eyes with the flash. My poor baby!

Note to last week's contest winners: through a series of issues that were totally the post office's fault (according to me), your prize packages finally went out today - I did send them all Priority, though, so you should have them shortly.

Sale Update: My best count, just from the ones who've fessed up, seems to indicate that I took at least seven people into the Knit Happens fire with me. I feel so perfectly, deliciously evil. (Think how happy we'll all be by mid-week, though!)

Tomorrow: decent stocking progress photos, along with a bit of yarn p0rn (my Sweet Sheep order arrived! Loopy Ewe too!).

Friday, March 23, 2007

Quickie Post, Nothing to See Here...

Yeah, so about that post yesterday - that wagon was sure easy to jump on, wasn't it? I feel much better about my fall from grace at the hands of Knit Happens now that I know that several of you were right there in the pile with me! Thank you for commenting to let me know I wasn't the only one who went nuts.

One thing I want to point out - I noticed something when I was perusing the site yet again this morning (no second purchase so far, but the day is young yet). When you click on Rowan (you DID click on Rowan, right?), the RYC Cashsoft 4-ply doesn't show up. There's still a TON of it - probably because it's not in the "brand" directory. Here's the link to that yarn. I point this out because it's a great fingering-weight yarn, and if you're thinking of making yummy socks, it's a good choice. I picked up seven skeins for the Rhiannon stockings - if you're planning on knitting any of those knee-high-cuffed patterns of Cookie's, this would be a good choice - and it's $3.83 per 190 yard skein.

In case you didn't check out the sale because you thought, "Yeah, sale, big deal," let me emphasize this is not just a sale. It's a SALE. Caps, bold, italics, all that! Example? FOUR DOLLAR KOIGU. (Yeah, it's all gone. So's the Lorna's. I think the Cherry Tree Hill is too.) But there's still tons of Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Cascade, Classic Elite - much of it for under four dollars. The needles are on sale too, so if you've been needing some Addis to round out your collection, go nuts; or if you've wanted to try the Lantern Moon Destiny circulars but couldn't swallow the $23 pricetag, now could be your opportunity - they're fifteen bucks.

I've been too exhausted to knit most nights this week, and I'm still mourning the slow death of my Mystery Dyer and Fiber Club installments from The Sweet Sheep (shipped two weeks ago, Expedited, and still not here because US Customs remains diligent about the counterfeit sheep trade in Canada, apparently). They seize every second package of goods I order from Michelle - but I keep ordering, dammit, because her shop is just that good. I'm keeping hope alive, though - the last time this happened, my package arrived, covered in weird stamps and symbols, right around the time I gave up on ever seeing my yarn. ETA: Michelle just reported on the shop blog that her shipment of Sknitches just came in! She's hoping to have them up tonight, and if they don't fly off the shelves immediately, I'll alert you when they're posted. Of course, I won't alert you until I take my picks first. I love you guys, but I love me more. ;-)

I'm going to spend the rest of the day trying to refrain from buying any more entire lots of yarn. Please Lord give me strength....the mortgage payment is due. (ETA again: Well, I didn't buy an entire LOT of yarn. Just a few skeins. Of cashmere. Dammit Amanda.)

Since I have nothing to show for this week, I instead give you the opportunity to laugh at what a lousy knitter I can be. This is an older photo you may have seen before - but it's worth sharing again - keeps me humble.

Rob a liquor store.

That's a sock.


Have a great weekend! Don't do anything I wouldn't do! (Although judging by the fact that I pull socks over my head, that's probably not setting the bar very high.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007


(Alyson bursts breathlessly into the room)

Oh my God, you guys. Oh my God. Get thee to Knit Happens RIGHT NOW! It's gonna all be gone! HUGE sale. For real. Seriously. Huge. Like, stuff you WANT. MORE THAN fifty percent off!! Koigu! Lorna's! Alchemy! Rowan! Debbie Bliss! Did I mention KOIGU??


(Rosi, I love you and hate you all at once. You're my favorite today.)

Serious destashing will follow - but I have a huge box of yarn coming for insanely cheap! Whee!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I had such a crap day at work, and I was just rubbish - couldn't seem to get anything I wanted to done, that kind of thing. And at about 5:07, that sound that you heard all the way in [insert your location here] was my head hitting the desk when I read this. I was online, hitting refresh, ready to Get. My. Sundara. Yarn. Dammit. go on the update. Boo. (I understand the reasoning, I totally think it's cool what she's doing. But that doesn't make it any easier!)

So I came home and had some macaroni and cheese (mood clue: I always want macaroni and cheese when I need comfort. Stouffer's frozen if I'm sick, and the cruddy Kraft-in-a-box powdered crap if I'm sad or down.) Travis is on his way to pick up some frozen custard, and I'm watching Grey Gardens. (I tell you, after a rough day, there is nothing like watching two batshit-crazy old ladies in floppy hats run off at the mouth about some of the nuttiest stuff you've never heard anyone talk about in your whole life.)

New stuff I love: The Arcade Fire. Ohhhhh the new album Neon Bible is just Uh-Huh-MAAAzing. If you're interested, NPR has an article, where there's also a concert download and some streaming audio of some live cuts. I first heard them on NPR's All Songs Considered - which is a fantastic podcast if you're one of those people who can never decide what kind of music to listen to. I like almost everything and have been way out of the loop on what the kids are listening to these days, so I use it to catch up on what doesn't suck. I used to be so in touch - my ex-fiance was a rock musician, and I always knew what was hot, what was coming up, and I could recognize and turn my nose up at all the right sucky things. (Hint: Emo. See also: Evanescence.)

Awesome sidenote about my ex's band - they got to play at THE CBGB in New York last year, right before the eviction. It was pretty amazing that they had the chance. He's a cool guy - he deserves to have that story to tell his kids someday, even though they won't know what the hell CBGB is - isn't that sad?

Watching the batshit ladies did give me the downtime I needed to turn the heel on the Friday Harbor socks. Lookit:

Friday Harbor, turned heel

Happy bright colors to cheer me up...hurray for the healing qualities of knitting and Socks that Rock!

Friday Harbor in progress

And, of course, all hail the Nancy Bush!

Renewal! Tomorrow is another day!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Knitting Infiltrates Everything

Sometimes I think that if I were to ever win anything really huge, like the lottery, I would literally drop dead.

Yesterday, on the way home from Travis' mom's house, I checked my email on my phone and saw a message from Scout (or Scout, depending on which link you prefer, the one with words or the one with goodies). The subject declared, "CONGRATULATIONS!" It could only mean one thing - I got into the Indie Swag Club!! (She had a lottery for it, which was both excruciatingly fair and 48 hours of horrifying torture.) I bounced around, shrieked, squealed, and otherwise rejoiced. I explained the whole thing to Travis.

After listening patiently, Travis declares thus:

" just got an email that says you owe this lady one hundred and ninety dollars. And this is the big highlight of your day?"

Okay, when you put it THAT way, yes, it sounds less thrilling. But you should see what some of the last round's kits included! This is a GREAT bargain!

But yeah, it does make me wonder what would happen to me if I ever won something that didn't actually cost me money. 'Cause so far, some of my best days have been expensive. ("Here's your Rockin' Sock Club registration code!" "You're a Loopy Groupie!" "Welcome to the Indie Swag Club!" "I've upped the Loopy Seasonal Sock Club limit to 150 participants!") Life was maybe simpler, and definitely cheaper, pre-yarn. (But not nearly as fulfilling.)

I believe this brings me to a total of three sock clubs and one fiber club. I think it's time to dedicate myself to the club yarns and slow down on the non-club sock yarn spending. (You don't even want to know what I just typed instead of "sock". Let's just say it's something that I frankly don't EVER want to slow down on. Giggedy.) How many different yarn-purchase-related resolutions have you seen here over the past few months? But hey, it's not like I didn't have a good reason for calling myself the Yo-Yo. I'm working on two sock projects right now, though, and tearing through them at a respectable there's hope for me yet. And I think it's very impressive that I managed to refrain from Pure Knits' Yarntini sock club. Travis almost had to duct tape my wallet to the ceiling to keep me out of that one. (I can't jump very well.)

Question: Is anyone in Sundara's Petals Collection sock club? Thoughts? Opinions? I'm considering it, but I've not tried her yarn because every time she puts stuff up, the ones I'd really want are gobbled up instantly. (There's an update tomorrow, dangit, and I'm hoping to catch something...)

You know, I see knitting everywhere. I saw a sign of it in my onion rings on Saturday. Most people would have looked at it and seen a zero, or a "Don't eat me!" symbol. Not me. I saw Aija and her stitchmarkers.

Zer0 onion ring

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Clever Title Here

Old business first, right? Let's see the winners!

The random number generator selected Michelle, ThreeDogKnits, and Heddy! Congratulations - your goodies will be going out in the mail this week - and thanks so much to everyone who left comments! It's fun for me too - I get a chance to see who's out there reading, and to discover some new blogs! I steal discover a lot of ideas from blogs, like which projects to start next or what yarns I need to gotta try. (Remember when you were a brand-new knitter and you'd never heard of Socks that Rock? And you discovered KnitPicks and the whole world opened up to you? The days you realized there was more yarn out there than what the local craft stores carry? You've all brought that to me!)

So you remember that whole chasing-down-the-bus thing on Friday? Well, I walked down to the last stop Friday afternoon, stopping by the Starbucks for my drink, hopped the bus, took my seat - and when we got to the highway, I discovered that we had yet another, entirely different, brokedown busted bus. This thing was LOUD. I mean hella loud. Have you ever been on one of those commuter planes, where you can't hear or speak to the person sitting next to you because of all the horrific engine noise? This bus sounded like one of those planes - but with a seagull caught in one engine and a cargo load full of rabid chimpanzees. There was squealing, roaring, and best of all, bone-rocking vibrations. On the one hand, plenty of people pay good money to have a massaging chair like the one I was sitting in on that bus. On the other hand, the bus', um, unwelcome advances were somewhat distracting while I was trying to knit. At one point, I started laughing out loud because the whole thing was so hysterically funny to me. Fortunately, the people sitting two rows up couldn't even HEAR my shrieks of laughter.

Bus ride

Oh my stars, I do believe this bus is coming on to me!

Yesterday Travis had to work, and when he got home, he wanted to work on our TiVo, which has not been behaving itself of late. So he dragged the laptop down to look up some troubleshooting points. He didn't get much done. (Please forgive the following series of photos - I had to move fast, so I didn't get to adjust light or shutter speed settings, and some of the images are blurry because I was laughing.)

The Battle Begins

At first, there was just one.

Two against one

Then two...

Awww, that's cute and all, but....

He attempts to soldier on...

Snuggle, pops?

Fluffy enemy begins to expand as small enemy continues to run interference.

I'm sorry, were you doing something?

Fluffy enemy turns indecent, small enemy begins more aggressive interference...

Determination sets in as a third foe joins the fray

Undeterred, he continues his attempts at productivity, and a third troop (a "surge", if you will) is called in....

The white flag is raised

Finally, the enemies succeed and the white flag is raised.

What? This is a knitting blog?? Oh, right, right....okay, here:

Friday Harbor sock

I cast on the Friday Harbor sock from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road. The yarn is Socks that Rock in "Fire on the Mountain". I think that's a really nice name for a colorway that contains every color on God's green earth...much more appealing that a name like "I left my crayons out in the sun, then my dog ate the melty wax, and then he threw up in the yard". (Which name implies that I don't like this colorway, when it's actually one of my favorites of theirs.) Still...don't you wish I dyed yarn? Wouldn't my colorways be inspiring?? Heh.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy Birthday to Blog, Happy Birthday to Blog!

(It's also my mother-in-law-to-be's birthday, for the record. Edit: No it's not. That's Monday. I'm easily confused.)

Look around! Things are looking different! (I realize most everyone uses Bloglines, Newsgator, or Google Reader these days, so for those of you going that route, things aren't looking the least bit different.) I decided to celebrate Bloggy's birthday by giving her a new grown-up look. I'm not completely in love with it - but it's better, and less busy. And the biggest improvement? Haloscan commenting! I've been getting a lot of comments I'd love to respond to, and the Blogger system has never been overly friendly about giving me that option - so now, when you ask me a question, I can answer it!! The only thing - I goofed and didn't think to find a way to keep my old comments on here - so they're all gone! Sad face! But fear not! I got email notifications of all those comments and I save them all (your words mean so much to me!) so they're not really gone; just elsewhere! (And I'm keeping a running list of all the contest commenters, so you're all safe!)

So since the new commenting just now went into effect and I still have some questions to answer:

Stariel: The Starbucks mug came from one of my Starbucks visits...I think I found it at the Winter Park store. But I got it not too long ago, so it's probably still out there. You'd think they'd have it on their website, but apparently all their mugs are too good for the Internet. Bah!

Heddy: The wedding is June 2nd, and I'll allotting myself six weeks to get those stockings done. I'm hoping it won't take that long - but I'm anticipating that it could take longer!!

Necia: Ooooh, let's talk America's Next Top Model! This season's going to be good for reals! I missed Wednesday's episode, but it's on again Sunday. I think I hate Natasha so much that it kind of shimmies around and turns into love...she's so blissfully unaware! I think I like Brittany - she's not standard pretty, but the girl can take a photo! And what's with Jaslene???

Irene: That was the nicest comment!! Thank you!!! (Okay, so hers wasn't a question, but she left such a nice one that I wanted to acknowledge it.)

Alright, I gotta finish up laundry, meet Travis for lunch, and head to dance class. Don't forget, you have until midnight tonight (eastern time) to leave a comment for the contest. I don't want to spoil the surprise, but I will give you some hints:

1. Alpaca.
2. Cherry.
3. Fluffy lambykins.
4. Happy hands.
5. Sweet Georgia. (Okay, that's not a hint, that's an outright tell.)

Happy happy Saturday! Thank you, Bloggy, for being so much fun for me over this past year! And thank you, reading people, for being with me!

Friday, March 16, 2007

I'm Always P0rny on Fridays...

Man, I wish y'all could've seen me this morning. After a hideous debacle yesterday in which I missed the bus and ended up driving Travis' work truck (which I hate driving) all the way downtown because he had my car so the glass repair guy was scheduled to come fix the crack in my windshield, only the guy never showed up - still with me? - I was determined to catch the bus today. But the damned thing LEFT EARLY. I passed it on the road at 7:26 - it's supposed to head out at 7:30. I will not stand for this!! I had words with the driver at a stoplight, raced past it to a nearby parking lot, parked, crashed through the bushes and down the embankment to the highway, and flagged it down. I was getting ON THAT BUS. About the time I got to the side of the road, I was feeling rather foolish - but it was the principle of the thing! The bus driver was very apologetic and seems like a lovely guy - apparently there were some problems with the bus starting and he had to leave as soon as he got it running because he was afraid it would break down if he let it idle. That was reassuring; at that point I almost asked if I could get back off and drive to work after all.

After all the Indiana Jonesing it took just to catch the bus, dudes, I am feeling FEISTY today!!

So I've got oodles of p0rn for you! Chart p0rn, yarn p0rn, prize p0rn, AND bling p0rn! You ready?! Take this ride with me!

Chart p0rn! Behold the charts for my wedding stockings (pattern released yesterday). I've blocked out the key so I (hopefully) won't get in trouble for taking a photo. But hot damn, these are some serious freakin' charts. (The pattern is spectacular though - they have a full page version of each chart included, saving me the step of xeroxing this to death until I can read them.) I've decided to go with the thigh-highs instead of knee-highs, so I have to return my two skeins of Rose Quartz Lightweight Socks that Rock to Blue Moon and pick up four from the same dyelot. (I included a bar of chocolate in the return envelope. Couldn't hurt.)


Prize p0rn! One of these bags is filled with contest prizes! (Hint: the bag with the prizes is not a blue bag. Sorry, we had to work HARD for those prizes, so we's keepin' 'em!) I can't wait to spoil you - I've come up with three batches of prizes, so I will have three winners! If you've left a comment, you're entered. And of course, each prize has yarny goodness as well!

My new bling

Bling p0rn! In normal worlds, yarn would come before bling. But this is the knitting world, and I'm saving the yarn p0rn for last. This is my new official engagement ring; the one Travis proposed with is my great-aunt's ring, and I'm just kind of scared of it and not crazy about wearing it - if anything happened to it, I couldn't ever forgive myself. And this is nice and simple and something I can and will wear every day.

Ready for the Yarn P0rn??? It is so GOOOOD.

Sunshine Yarns in Westwood colorway

I love this whole it's-still-daylight-when-I-get-home thing...the yarn photos are much better during this half of the year!! This is Sunshine Yarns in Westwood - I picked it up from Yarnbeans when she did her destashing - I've not tried Sunshine and I've been wanting to - so when the chance came to get it at a destashed price, I jumped! This is so soft, and the colors are great fun - they remind me of 70s home appliances. (Dig it.)

Perchance to Knit in Breezy colorway

Here we have the skein of Perchance to Knit I managed to score during the recent Loopy Ewe blitzkrieg - I lost the skein I really wanted, and so I picked this one instead, and I am so glad I did! These colors give me the grins - this is her "Breezy" colorway. And with a matching stitchmarker, to boot! Twee!

Socks that Rock haul

Now that's a good mail day: four skeins of Socks that Rock! (Hey, if you're going to use a discount, you might as well make it count!) The colorways shown here are Little Bunny Foo Foo, Fire on the Mountain, Rooster Rock, and G-Rocks. I always like their colorways even better in person - the colors are so rich and bold. It's so difficult to not wind them up and cast on four different socks right this minute!

Have a wonderful Friday, all!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I Never Promised You a FO Garden

I keep forgetting to post this, and I've been meaning to for ages: Rosi wrote up a very awesome (free!) pattern, and she's also holding a contest for the first six people who knit the pattern up. It's especially great for bold sock yarns - which I'm sure we know I'm a big fan of. This will link you to the pdf for the pattern; if you're not ready to commit to a download, check out her post about the pattern here.

Also, I got the sweetest e-card from my brand-spankin-new secret pal. I was easy to entertain yesterday due to my exhaustion level, so I sat there giggling as I watched the goldfish jump out of the bowl, wave at the bird, and fall back into the bowl for probably two minutes. Thanks pal - good to "meet" you!!

One last thing - my suggestion for the Socks That Rock name-the-colorway contest got selected for the finalists! I'm thrilled! I won't tell you which one was mine - I don't want to be accused of attempting to ballot-stuff - but even if it doesn't win, it was an honor just to be nominated. ;-)

So let's get to it, now, shall we? Behold! The sixth completed pair of the year!

Posh Socks #6

(My showcase "Socks on Trees" shot deserved a bigger entry - the rest of the photos will be the little ones.)

I LOVE these socks. Love the yarn, love the pattern, love the blockers - everything is fantastic.

Posh Socks #6

The fit is great...they're maybe a tiiiiiny bit big in the foot, but I'll survive. I must make an effort to baby these, though - they're not superwash, so I have to be very careful!

Posh Socks #6

I couldn't stop taking pictures of them! At some point, a leaf grabbed hold and went for a ride with his knitted bretheren:

Posh Socks #6

Project Stats:
Yarn: Posh Yarns (70% merino, 30% cashmere) in Scuffle colorway (purchased from The Loopy Ewe - I'll be sure to let you know when it's back in stock.)
Pattern: Embossed Leaves by Mona Schmidt (from IK Summer 2005, I believe - it's also featured in the new Favorite Socks book we're all so crazy about.)
Needles: US size 1 Lantern Moon Sox Stix
Start Date: February 9
Finish Date: March 13
Mods: I didn't do the cast-on directed or the first couple of rows directed - just used my regular old long-tail cast-on and started the twisted rib. That's about it, other than some minor changes made based on length requirements or preference.

Posh Socks #6

I think we can safely say the star toe that Mona uses is one of my favorites. It fits me so comfortably. Oh, and let me talk about those Sox Stix for a minute - they're rosewood, and they're 5" - they're lovely for knitting, a little bit less smooth than some of your metal needles, so they grip quite well. My only beef is that they're pretty stumpy. I'm not a convert from my pointy Crystal Palace DPNs, but these were nice enough, and they come in a pretty bag. (I'm a sucker for packaging.)

Posh Socks #6

I'd skipped the garter ridge design element on the previous Mona Schmidt socks I knit, and now I wish I hadn't - I like the little bit of flair it adds. I really enjoy Mona's patterns; I think hers might be two of my favorites I've knit. (The other was the Bells and Whistles socks from the recent IK Holiday issue.)

How 'bout a little help?

While I was taking pictures of my feet, Travis was replacing my newly-patched tire. See that little arch in the right eyebrow? That says "Uhhh, you're taking pictures of your FEET - you wanna come help me out here??"

But wait! There was more! It was a happy mail day!


I'm a Loopy Groupie now!!! Sheri sent my goodie bag 'special delivery' and I got it yesterday - check out that tote bag and all the goodies inside! How AWESOME!!

Groupie goods (minus two chocolates)

I got the tote (which is awesome), a skein of Opal (whee!), a very cool pattern, and ten yummy chocolates! (Yes, I realize there are only eight in this picture, and I'll thank you to mind your own damned business about it!) ;-)

Sheri did a shop update a few days ago, and in a new twist, everything's not gone yet. If you're jonesing, I highly recommend All Things Heather, and the new Cider Moon yarns are supposed to be fantastic.

Tune in tomorrow, when I will bring you yarn p0rn, a sneak peek of some of the contest prizes, and show you the really special giftie I got yesterday from Travis. (Hint: It's not the patched tire.)

Remember....leave comment, win contest. (Possibly, anyway.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Episode 82, In Which Mother Nature Punishes Me For Failing To Commute Properly

Portrait of a Girl, Her Sock, and Her Stupid Flat Tire (flat tire not pictured)

Why this portrait of me, in my car, looking so forlorn even as I embrace my lovely Posh sock?


Nice. And of course it's due to a big ol' screw in my tire - which I'm sure has absolutely nothing to do with the massive construction going on in, around, and above our parking lot (which is under the interstate, which is of course in a constant state of torn-apartedness). This is why I love the bus...but I had to drive in yesterday, and I was duly punished. Thank you, universe. This is a brand-new tire. Sigh.

I had to call Travis to come help me. Not because I'm a girl - on the contrary, I'll have you know that I had the fastest tire-changing time in my driver's ed class, thankyouverymuch, and I've changed tires on residential streets and on the side of the turnpike. (Admittedly, that was a little scary.) But I've never been in a situation where I was in fancy dress and being accosted by the homeless while trying to change a tire. And while I sympathize with the homeless, I really don't want to attempt to change a tire while a toothless man harasses me about letting him do it in exchange for two dollars. (Why? I'm doing just fine on my own, and it's free! Besides, don't you think two dollars is kind of lowballing for that kind of labor?) So along came Travis, and since he was there....I let him do it. Heh. Today, though - this was stressful morning, man; the stakes of catching the bus have never been higher - there's no more driving on that little cruddy spare, and I would have been stuck at home.

I made a HUGE commitment yesterday. I'm immensely proud of myself. And since I've not forgotten about my pledge to do new things this year, we'll call this my New Stuff Wednesday item:

This is what commitment looks like.

Okay, to the average eye, this is nothing special. But to me, it is an incredible stride into adulthood. I still have trouble describing myself as a "woman" and fall back more frequently on the term "girl" or "gal", and I think it's my inability to commit that makes me feel that I'm still falling short of adulthood. But this! This is my beloved conservationist-approved Starbucks mug marked in PERMANENT INK with my drink of choice. (Grande iced single shot caramel macchiato, 2% milk). I love this mug because it looks like a Starbucks cup and I think that's endlessly clever...still, I couldn't bring myself to tattoo it. But today, I am committing to my drink; I am establishing permanence! Not that I can't tell them something different if I'm feeling feisty that day....but hey, it's progression!

(And yes, I do carry that cup everywhere in case the craving strikes. It's in my knitting bag with all my other essentials. The sad thing is that Starbucks' coffee beans aren't even very good. I'm not a big coffee fan, but even I can tell that they over-roast their beans and there's better coffee in this world. And yet, I'm completely addicted and in love with Starbucks. Thank goodness I don't live in Seattle (yet) - I would just pitch a tent outside of Caffe Ladro and live there. A Ladro latte alone is worth the flight out there.)

Yarn Pirate merino/tencel in Dogwood colorway

Hey, a wound cake of sock yarn! That must mean there's a new sock on the needles - which in turns means there's a sock OFF the needles! Huzzah - FO photos coming soon. (This is Yarn Pirate's merino/tencel yarn in the Dogwood colorway. I almost started my Socks that Rock kit, but I've been itching to try this merino-tencel blend. The pattern for my wedding socks hasn't been released yet, so I'm killing time.)

Remember, blogiversary contest - leave comment, fabulous prizes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

O Cookie, My Cookie

So was anyone else kind of socked shocked and disheartened by the absence of Cookie from this season's issue of Knitty? I even saw the thumbprint photo of this sock and thought, "Ahhh, the Cookie pattern!" And while it does have a Cookie correlation, it wasn't a Cookie pattern. (Granted, it's a fabulous pattern and I'm going to knit it anyway.)

But of course, she's been busy with Stitches and all those crazy awesome patterns she was writing for that...and now they're available for sale to the non-Stitches public!! Wheee! AND they're downloadable PDF files, so you can have them right this second! I'm grateful for the instant gratification, even though I'd love her to write a book so I could buy all the patterns in one handy volume for about twenty bucks - I just spent plenty on four of her sock patterns...but a book would take over a year, and I needed them NOW. They're so blissfully gorgeous...Rhiannon in particular is such a work of art. I can't guarantee I'll knit it, but I know I want to...and that's half the battle.

I finally got my Favorite Socks book from Overstock. I'm so thrilled with it - sure, a lot of them are reprints, but just having them all in one place is worth the money. I'm tired of rifling through my issues of Interweave to find the right sock - and hunting for back issues, since I'm still relatively new to the scene. (I'd also picked up the Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook - I can't wait to dive into that one!)

In News of the Smooth Segue, did you hear about Eunny?? I'll let her tell you herself - it's such big news, you really should "hear" it from her. But man....she has our dream job. Lucky duck.

I've been having fun reading all your comments for the contest. Keep 'em coming; remember, it's just leave a comment - any comment, any post - between now and midnight Eastern on Saturday...I've started perusing the stash, and there's some great brand-new stuff in there that I'd love to share. There may be enough for several really fantastic prizes - and if you're not a sock knitter, there's something for you, too. ;-)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Stuff, Things, Freebies...

Heddy mentioned that she'd not tried buying yarn online yet - it's tough for me to not order online, though; Orlando isn't exactly a happening place for knitterly pursuits, and my LYS, as much as I completely adore it, doesn't carry a tremendous amount of sock yarns; further, none of them are indie dyers. My favorites are the indie dyers, so I do most of my shopping online. (Psst, Heddy, a word of caution: it is a slippery, slipperly slope!)

A couple of folks mentioned my poor flogged and bleeding wallet - most of my stashing lately has been gathered with destashing funds - so I haven't been tapping the mortgage or wedding accounts in the interest of yarny pursuits. (Well, not this time anyway.) It is time for me to slow down, though.

I just noticed the other day that I'm coming up on my one-year blogiversary - this blog, anyway. (My other blog is coming up on its one-year-abandonment blogiversary. I had it for almost two years, though, so I can't bring myself to delete it.) And, in the spirit of knitting blogiversaries, I'm running the obligatory contest.

Everyone who leaves a comment between now and midnight eastern time on March 17th (Saturday) will be entered in the contest. Any comment, any post - and it doesn't have to be the least bit profound - if you just want to delurk and leave a comment on this post saying "enter me", go nuts. One entry per reader, for the swag....well, as you can imagine, it's sock yarn.

I haven't decided yet how many winners I'll have - but I've got an idea of what the prizes would be. There may be some Cherry Tree Hill.....there may be some Kindred Spirit....there may even be some Sweet Georgia!

So don't forget to leave a comment this week - the winner(s) will be chosen at random on Sunday morning.

I'll be starting on my wedding stockings soon. I'm not planning on wearing shoes, and my mom is very concerned about this. Granted, we're not always the luckiest people, and I'm fully expecting that anything that can go wrong will...but she had a really intriguing theory about the sorts of things that could be present at the wedding.

Mom: "But what if you step in something???"
Me: "Like what?"
Mom: "I don't know, dog poo or something!!"
Me: "Um. If my wedding features an aisle smeared with dog crap, no amount of pretty high heels are going to make me feel better."
Mom: "But what if??"
Me: "You know what, if that happens, I'll be thrilled. Because my socks and dress will be ruined, but be damn sure my wedding will be free!"
Mom: "Hmm, good point....I'll get there early, you distract the inn's owner."

Heh. Heh heh.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

What A Day. And Night.

Dudes, Travis is out playing video games with the guys. I am home with some cold jalapeno pizza, Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle on TBS, and a sock-in-progress. Heaven! (Note: I don't normally enjoy stoner comedy in the least...but dammit this movie's funny. Any film that includes the line, "Did Doogie Howser just steal my f***ing car?" is alright by me.)

Today was such a great day. There's an FO a few paragraphs down, if you want to skip to that, but for a second I want to harp on my awesome day.

We hit up the tux shop first to get Travis fitted and make our final selections. We went to Mellow Mushroom for one of their delicious wheat-crust pizzas, then to Starbucks for my macchiatto fix, and headed to the mall (which I survived, thank you) so I could pick up some essentials (read: get some makeup and a free gift). We also stopped by the SPCA to snuggle some kitties and make cute noises at the dogs - the shelter is right across the street from the mall, so I like to drop in and spread some love.

And we got our rings! It makes me feel that much closer to marriage - wheee!!! Poor Travis had to try on dozens of rings before finding one that was comfortable for him - he has the strangest fingers. He has beautiful hands, especially for a mechanic - he's almost obsessively clean. But his fingers keep changing sizes! Last weekend, he was measured at 8.25. Early this afternoon, another store measured him at 9. And later in the afternoon, when we bought the ring at yet another store, it was the 9.5 that fit best. We get home, unwrap them, try them on again.....

His is too big! What the hell??? So now we have to take it back, get the 9....what's causing this? The only thing I can figure is that he works with his hands, and they must swell and shrink depending on what he did the day before. He did have a really long tough day at work yesterday, so maybe his hands are swollen.

I photographed a few highlights.

The man waiting for me at the end of the aisle.

I've only seen him in a full suit once, at our friend's wedding when he was an usher. I was sort of stunned again by how handsome he is. The same face I see first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and yet sometimes it still comes as a happy surprise when I look at him.


Honestly, this one just almost stops my heart.

Okay, thank you for indulging me and my nothing-to-do-with-knitting nonsense. I reward you with an FO report!

Mata Hari socks #5

Fini!! I'm so happy to have another sock FO - feels like it's been ages!!!

Mata Hari socks #5

Pattern: Craftoholic's Mata Hari sock (unfortunately not available right now.)
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in one of their potluck colorways
Needles: US size 1 Crystal Palace DPNs
Start: February 22, 2007
Finish: March 9, 2007
Pattern Notes: The pattern was sort of a guidline more than anything - a portion of a chart, and some pointers. It assumed you could pretty much wing a sock pattern - but of course I can, so I inserted 2x2 ribbing for an inch, an eye of partridge heel, and a wedge toe. The recipient has little feet, so I think I like knitting for her!

Mata Hari socks #5

Oddly, even though the yarn stained my needles purplish, it didn't bleed much at all. And it's very squishy and soft; I think I'll put Cherry Tree Hill on my list of favorites. And I love this potluck thing - I like variation in my colors, but I'm actually selective about variegated yarns; I like the depth, but I don't like the pooling. This is a perfect yarn for that.

Okay, back to my quiet evening with myself, the pets, Harold, and Kumar. I just got a nice surprise, too - this weekend is a big celebration in our little town; some festival thing on the lake a few blocks down from our house, and they do a huge fireworks display that can be seen from our front porch, and which made the night that much more awesome. It was nice of the town to celebrate our great day.

Happy knitting!