Monday, May 28, 2007

Et Voila!!

Bellocq 5/28

Here they are!! Ribbons and all, blocked and ready to wear! I have garters to help hold them up, although the ribbons help a lot - and they look good!!

Bellocq 5/28

I would love to show you modelled shots, but - well, you don't need to know me THAT well, do you? I'll be sure to get our photographer (one of the best - that was my splurge) to take some really fantastic shots without getting all icky, and I'll share those.

Bellocq 5/28

Project Stats:
Pattern: Bellocq Stockings by Marnie MacLean for Stitch Diva
Yarn: Socks that Rock lightweight in Rose Quartz, two skeins and about a third of a third skein
Needles: Size 1 Crystal Palace DPNs, size 2 Crystal Palace DPNs, and size 2 16" Addi Turbo circular (which is larger than the CP size 2 DPNs)
Extras: Hanah silk ribons and a pearl for trim
Start Date: March 23, 2007
Finish Date: April 19, 2007 (stocking #1), May 27, 2007 (stocking #2)
Pattern Notes: I knitted the size tall medium. The changes I made to the pattern were negligible; I changed up the thigh shaping a bit to suit my own needs.

Bellocq Progress 5/28

I'm so happy to have them done and looking so good. I could have been happier with them if the pooling hadn't been so bad...but I'll survive.

Bellocq with something blue

And I had to have a little something blue, right? My last order from my favorite stitchmarker Etsy shop included this little barely-blue freshwater pearl marker. She includes a little giftie with the orders, and this was my giftie - as soon as I saw it, I knew I was going to have to include it in the stocking - I slipped it onto the yarn before I did the three needle bind-off. I'm trying to include as many of my favorite artists as I can!

And there's a little matter of a contest to tie up - several people wagered guesses of May 27th, but the one who got closest to my actual completion time (5:15 p.m.) was Irene! Irene guessed 4:30, so she'll be receiving a skein of Socks that Rock in Rose Quartz and a copy of the Bellocq pattern! Congratulations Irene - I'll be emailing you!

And now that I have completed my birthday present to me, back to work on the groom's stocking!

(PS: Nah, 28 doesn't feel any different...still lying here on the couch in my jammies, knitting and watching an all-day marathon - except this time it's CSI.)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Works in Progress

I said I'd share photos of my new miniskeins today, but I can't. They're in the freezer, along with the rovettes. I picked up one of the minis last night, and something fluttered off of it. Upward. Into a Ziploc and banished to the freezer! I inspected the yarn room upstairs, distributed fresh tubs of lavender buds all over the place, gave the cedar shelves a quick rub with the steel wool, dug through my bags of wool roving, and have determined the threat to be, for the time being, contained. (Or I was delusional. But one can never be too careful.)

Now I am currently enjoying the greatest birthday gift possible. Travis kept asking me what I wanted for my birthday, and since the only things on my Must-Have list currently are a new MacBook and one of those Canon digital SLRs, and we're not actually independently wealthy, I came up with something else. (Well, something besides the skein of All Things Heather he ordered from The Loopy Ewe for me because I just couldn't resist any longer.)

So I am downstairs on the couch in front of an all-day Monk marathon (I love all-day marathons of shows that I never watch unless they're on all-day marathons - I love Monk but it's strictly a semi-annual indulgence) and working on the border of the second stocking (I know!!!! Who guessed today?) And while I'm doing that, the intoxicating scents of Pledge, Tilex, and Clorox - or rather, earth-friendly versions of those products - drift down the stairs.....because while I spend the day guilt-free on the couch, Travis is cleaning the house. All of it. I LOVE him. He's not particularly enjoying it ("You SURE I can't just buy you something?") but it's getting done, and I'm down here not feeling (too) bad about being lazy!

I'm not the only one.

Work in Progress

Rooster has decided he's a WIP. I looked down and there he was, tucked neatly into my bag. I wondered why the thing is always completely covered in cat hair, even though I use a lint roller on it constantly. Aha!

The house is a WIP, the cat is a WIP, the stocking is a WIP - let's see who finishes first!!!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Oh. My. God.

Dudes, I'm getting married in a week. *squee* I'm still not especially nervous, although I think I could probably work on my diligence - there are still things to do, and I have to finish my thank you notes from the shower (over a month ago!) and I have to finish both pairs of stockings (I'm not particularly worried about that - we're very close).

Meanwhile, I'm very close to the day when I'll be 28 years old (that seems awful close to 30...) and I can't seem to set my priorities in order - I haven't been able to stop playing with my rovettes.

Li'l Handspuns

I'm finding that they're fantastic for trying out new things - I've never spun soysilk (that's it on the left, and it's a joy to spin, much easier than silk silk), and I'm playing with techniques. I tried for less uniformity on the middle left, spun some little matching thrums into the middle right, and the one on the right is navajo plied. (I had theorized I would not be very good at that, and, uh, I was right.) I spun up I think five more minis today - another navajo ply, and one plied with crochet cotton thread. And then I went nuts with coils. I enjoy spinning coils - those are of those little skeins tomorrow. I've probably gone through about half the rovettes now. (I used five coordinating ones to make a coil mini - coils take up a lot of fiber.)

Oh, and this is fun: my friend and coworker went to New Zealand and he was back at work on Friday. He regaled us with hilarious stories (he's a blast) and then pulled a puffy package out of his backpack for me:

New Zealand wool

Real New Zealand wool! From New Zealand! Isn't it wonderful to have someone bring a fantastic present like that for me? I love that he was all the way in New friggin' Zealand, saw some wool in a shop, and said, "Hey, wait a minute, I gotta duck in there and pick up a couple of those for Alyson." Too cool!

I really should be writing thank yous. Or working on the stocking. Or doing some of the work I brought home because I haven't a chance at getting everything done by Wednesday (I'm off Thursday/Friday.) Or finishing the favors. Or watching the rest of Baby Boom on cable. (Yeah, probably that one.)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Roving: A Love Story

Another happy mail day!

Today's fiber installment


Yarn Pirate

My self-imposed ban on Yarn Pirate does not extend to fiber - I just have to knit the yarn I have before I can buy more. Doesn't preclude my buying roving in colorways that match yarn I already have! (This is BFL fiber in the Culture Club colorway, yes I have the sock yarn and don't you judge me.)

Funky Carolina

Both of these are Funky Carolina (shameless self-and-other-promotion: I started a Funky Junkies Flickr group for others who have the same fixation interest I have.) On the left, BFL fiber in Vineyard - I'm trying to learn to love BFL - and on the right, merino in Weeping Cherry.

But then.


I didn't get my usual little nubbin or two of fiber sample in my order. Why? Because instead, there's this:

Screw Disney, THIS is the happiest place on earth.

It makes me so happy, I could weep. Look at all those little puffs of delicious!! All those different colors, and fibers, and textures....the joy! (If you had told me three years ago that I would have gotten this delirious over a bunch of oversized colorful bits of fluff spread out on the couch, I would have run over you with my dirtbike.)

I did not immediately bury myself in these things and start taking gratuitous pictures. No, I did not.

When Rovettes Attack!!

Yes. I did. But they wanted to snuggle! What am I supposed to do? It's rude to refuse to snuggle with fluffy things! But they got fresh...

When Rovettes Attack!!

In the first step of the attack, the snuggles take on a vague air of hostility...

When Rovettes Attack!!

In the next step of the attack, a second wave marches forward (a "surge", if you will), contemporaneously forcing the victim to take photos from reeeally unflattering angles.

When Rovettes Attack!!

Victim symptom: chest compression.

When Rovettes Attack!!

Attackers initiate rapid self-duplication.

When Rovettes Attack!!

Victim symptom: early onset of vague panic gives way to abject terror.

When Rovettes Attack!!

Attackers initiate oral intrusion.

When Rovettes Attack!!

Victim symptom: suffocation (and weird wispy little bang-like things)

When Rovettes Attack!!

End result: Victim defeat.

Time to go. Can't blog. Must spin. Can't blog. Must spin. Can't blog....

(I've heard it said that a bride won't have many spare moments in the week leading up to her wedding. I defy thee to take away my ability to waste time!!)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Having just reorganized the knitting room a bit (getting all the bags of yarn all over the room organized and shelved, moving all the spinning fibers into the trunk (and holy crap do I have some fiber), and marveling over how I am officially out of room in my sock yarn cubbies (a feat, considering I only recently moved from two cubbies to three), I WANT TO KNIT SOCKS!! I'm really over the Bellocqs now - I hate projects with deadlines, because the harder I knit to meet the deadline, the more I want to knit other stuff. It's so close now....

I'm flipping out a bit over all the knitting/spinning I want to do. So many sweaters' worth of yarn, so many wonderful rovings to spin...and so many half-finished garments I really should get back into. And I'm back on my four ounces of Hello Yarn fiber that I'm spinning super-fine so I can try a three-ply sock yarn - but it's right up there with the Bellocqs as Great Unfinishable Projects - I just go and go and go and there's still this huge pile of roving. I've spun two bobbins, and I think I somehow now have seven ounces of fiber left.

Add to that the fact that my class proposal is EXTREMELY late, and I'm feeling completely unaccomplished. That's something I haven't discussed yet - but I am familiar with the organizer of a rather major fiber event, and she was short on instructors for knitting courses, and since I'm a freaking moron with a gargantuan overachiever streak, I opened my fat mouth and offered to write up a few class proposals. Given my tremendous knitting experience (*cough*bullsh*t*cough* - two years) and my vast teaching experience (having not only never taught a class, but indeed never even TAKEN a class on knitting - only spinning and dyeing - I think I can assure you that's also nonsense), I don't think this was too much of a task to take on at all. Do you? I'm going to pretend that teaching Travis and Jessi to knit - sort of - counts as experience. But still....I'm definitely going to have to delude a large group of people into thinking I'm qualified to teach them how to knit a sock, based solely on the fact that I have successfully knitted a sock and they have not. (Hey, if the President can run the joint based on his own admittance that he's "the Commander guy" and therefore allowed to do whatever's clever, people are probably willing to swallow just about anything at this point.) She's given me until the end of June to come up with feasible proposals. What the hell am I thinking? If I don't chicken out, it's entirely possible I'll chatter nervously through the whole thing, then cheerfully return everyone's money and give them a link to a useful website that will show them how to knit a sock. Thank goodness I have that day job that will allow me a few more opportunities to practice my instructing skills between now and then. I knew this pesky work thing would come in handy someday....

PS: Just got some amazing Zen String merino/bamboo roving in........which is suspiciously similar to my amazing Sweet Sheep merino/bamboo roving. Definitely time to study the fiber stash, memorize it, and stop ordering doppelganger roving!

PS Again: I'm so overwhelmed by my own stash that I couldn't even bring myself to order anything from the enormomendous update at The Loopy Ewe today. I wanted to...especially with all that wonderful new All Things Heather...but I just can't bring myself to do it. But there's no reason that should stop you. (And if you're interested in buying me a set of those Celtic Swan sterling silver DPNs, please email me for my address. Travis has already turned me down. Ha!!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Whatever You Gotta Tell Yourself To Sleep At Night

I spent today at our Tampa office. It was a frustrating morning - the Google Maps directions were wrong, I couldn't find parking, I forgot my government ID at home, I didn't take the Swiss Army knife out of my little notions bag and was running too late to dash the several blocks back to my car, so since I couldn't prove I was an employee and not a murderous litigious nutjob, I was forced to throw away the knife (which my dad gave me when I was twelve - but don't worry, a Tampa-based coworker took me down to the lobby later and we both used puppy dog eyes to get my knife back. I'm grateful to security for guarding our safety so diligently - and more grateful to them for letting me fish through the rubbish bin for my knife.) And since I had to get up at 5:45 and be on the road by 6:45, but I didn't get my Starbucks until about 6:20 (p.m.), I only just woke up a few minutes ago.

The trip to the post office was a nice one today! First we'll cover the stuff that I knew was coming - sort of.

Roving goodies

Michelle had a sale for her birthday (yay for other people's birthdays!) and so I bought me stuff for MY birthday! I have Spritely Goods batt in Larkspur (a merino-firestar blend that I've spun before and am just completely nuts about); Funky Carolina merino/tencel roving in Bohemian Love; and Mama E merino/tencel roving in Garden Path. (I was all about the merino/tencel in this order, apparently.)

And then there's this. I'm not sure how this happened:

One of these things is a lot like the other....

Uhhhhhhhh. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..... So, on the left, we have Mama E merino/tencel in Mermaids, and on the right, we have Funky Carolina merino/tencel in Tangerine Dreams. The astute among you will notice that the Funky roving is the perfect roving for Project Spectrum and is completely different from the Mama roving because it has yellow in it (although when I made that observation to Travis, well, it was his quip that provided today's title.) Frankly, I had no idea I ordered two rovings that were so closely matched. (Michelle: do me a favor, if you catch me doing that again, just toss something else in the box instead; I assure you I won't even notice anything changed.)

The other goodies were unexpected!

Better at wrapping stuff than me...

My Secret Pal sent me a wonderful package! (She's better at wrapping stuff than I am, too.)

Rockin' Secret Pal

Look at all the great stuff! She sent some delicious chocolate (which I should not have eaten - notice the careful way that's worded), some beautiful lavender bamboo yarn (shawl?), some notecards that I absolutely LOVE and adorable pins, a plum-scented soap, and a couple of wonderful little bags!

Notes and Pins

The pins are adorable; I love the sheep with the handlebar mustache - see him? The pins have all been jabbed into my Namaste messenger bag (which I have decided to never go anywhere without), and the notecards are sitting right in front of me while I decide whether to frame them or share them with the world by way of correspondence. (I may have to frame one, though...)

Supercute bags

Aren't these bags GREAT? The one with the Spanish word fabrics (hee - who WOULDN'T love fabric that included a skull en Espanol??!!) is a DPN case that my pal sewed herself (I'm humbled, as I can't even cut in a straight line). I have already stuffed it with my 0, 1, 1 1/2, and 2 Crystal Palace DPNs and stuffed that in my Namaste too, so that I'll always have the needles I need on hand. And the little sushi bag has been packed with all the notions I had in my bag's front pockets, so now they won't fall out every time my bag tips over. (And the fabric reminds me of the "yummy sushi jammies" that Sarah Michelle Gellar wore in an episode of Buffy - I always wanted those jammies, but when I found them, they turned out to be like ninety dollars, and I don't find ninety dollars to be a reasonable expense for jammies. This bag is a perfect substitute!)

Thank you my pal!! This was a wonderful treat to come home to after such a long drive and a day spent doing things that had nothing to do with knitting!! (I must find a job that involves knitting for a respectable income and great benefits and plenty of vacation time. Anybody know of any openings?)

Monday, May 21, 2007

I Lied

I said yesterday that I didn't have fiber content and that wasn't entirely true. I'd forgotten about some photos I'd taken at Animal Kingdom. (No, not sheep pictures - we've had enough of that post-MS&W.)

Animal Kingdom

While in line for the new roller coaster at the park, Expedition Everest (yes it was fun, yes I screamed like I was being tortured, no I didn't throw up, yes I seriously thought about it), I spotted some wonderful things. Lookit! Gloves! Hanging from the ceiling! I held up the line for a good minute, trying to get decent pictures of these and trying to determine whether they appeared to be handknit. I mean, they LOOK handknit, but a lot of things have that look now.

It gets better.

Animal Kingdom

Socks! Tons of them! (This one deserved a larger treatment.) These have to be handmade. Check out all the colorwork! The stranded slip-stitch heel flaps! I was in heaven! (The ride itself was good too, whatever.)

I had an inquiry about the groom's socks and their progress - they should be done in time as well. They're simple enough, a pair of black garter rib cuffed wool/silk blend socks (Regia - sorry, I had to go kind of generic). I drop the pattern after the cuff and the foot is knit in stockinette, so it goes pretty fast. I'm about halfway down the cuff on the second sock - his are my can't-focus-on-a-pattern knitting - when we're watching an intricate plot or driving somewhere, I work on his stockings instead. (Except for when we watched The Good Shepherd - I was lost within three minutes of the opening credits and decided to just work on my stockings and ignore the movie almost entirely.)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ass + Couch = Happy Sunday

Yesterday was quite the day - my best friend and maid of honor extraordinaire, Jessi, got into town late on Friday night, and we were up early Saturday to hit the seamstress' shop and check the dresses. (Fit: eh. Not great, but better. Few more pounds...) Then it was off to Disney World - we hit EPCOT and Animal Kingdom, and had planned to stay the whole day, but we are apparently getting too old for that sort of thing - we headed back home for a nap before going out with the rest of the ladies for dinner and sangria. We then met up with the bachelors for a round of putt-putt that didn't even pretend to be a serious game - we were throwing little colored balls all over the course. The best part - the place closed at 11:30, but they allowed us special exception - so we didn't even START the game until midnight and had the place all to ourselves. (Kimmy at Pirate's Cove totally rules.)

There's not much on the fiber front to discuss, and I'm not going to post 50 pictures from Disney World and the bachelorette party, but if you're interested in seeing me in my Mickey Mouse ears (they make Bride ears complete with veil), all the animals, both real and costumed, and the bellydancer we watched light herself on fire (intentionally) later in the evening, the Flickr set is here.

I will post this picture because I'm so impressed with what a beautiful, fun, intelligent, wonderful group of friends/bridesmaids I have.

The bridesmaids and the bride

Marcie, Amber, me, Jessi, and Stephanie. It would appear that I had not yet donned the special veil Jessi found for me, complete with blinking lights in the shape of, um, boy parts. Isn't it a shame I somehow avoided being photographed in that?

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I'm trying to get into the habit of responding to comments with better frequency again. I've slacked - it doesn't help that Haloscan is kind of being a bitch and only emailing me partial comments, if at all. But I'm trying to be better, 'cuz I enjoy the discourse. Diligence.

I moved the stocking onto my 16" circular at the end of the calf shaping, same as I did on the last stocking. Guess what I discovered? My 16" circular, size 2, is 3.00 mm. My beloved DPNs, size 2, are 2.75 mm. (Damn the subjectivity of US needle sizes!) Do you think maybe that could explain why it didn't seem like I even needed the thigh shaping?? God, I'm a doofus. I'm not even letting it bother me, though - these things happen. No one's going to notice. And I'm not going to care if they do! Not so much with the diligence.

Christine tagged me for this damned 7 Things thing that's going around. I think I did one of these a while ago, but it's not like I'm short on weird stuff about myself...I had planned to be sneaky and pretend not to see the tag on her blog, but then she came here and called me out. Curses! It's not that I don't want to share stuff about myself - please, what would you like to know? - but I always assume no one's likely to want to read that kind of stuff- though I'm not sure why I'd think that, since I like reading other peoples' weird stuff. And I have been tagged. Diligence.

So here it is, as brief as possible. I didn't pull up my last one to check for duplicates, so if these look familiar, my apologies.

1. The sound of chewing gives me hives. I cannot STAND that sound. I hate when they ADR it into movies during meal scenes for realism's sake. If the dogs or cats lie near me and lick themselves, I get very agitated. Travis has learned to eat very quietly. (On the other hand, I love chewing gum. Go figure.)

2. I also can't stand the sound of shoes slapping someone on the heels. This is a new development that came out of nowhere, which has also led to my inability to wear most of my most fabulous shoes, about 80% of which are backless and create that "thwack-thwack" sound when I walk.

3. Cell phones going off at inappropriate moments infuriates me beyond reason. I know no one likes it, but I turn bright purple and grow the largest pair of nards you can imagine when it happens - I've threatened very, very large individuals in movie theatres with bodily harm for answering their phones and carrying on conversations during movies. God help anyone whose phone rings during our ceremony. Ever seen a bride leave the altar to punch somebody in the neck?

4. I don't pay much attention to food expiration dates. If it smells okay, looks okay, and a test taste goes okay, I'm fine with it. When we first moved in together, I watched Travis pour out almost an entire gallon of milk one day prior to the stamped expiration date. He's since learned to just not look at the dates - I haven't killed anyone yet.

5. I'm mildly claustrophobic, but it's much, much worse in crowds. Crowds and I are NOT friends. I get really jumpy and start to shake much more than normal (weird thing 5.5: I have a persistent tremor). I especially don't like sweaty people - I have trouble going to concerts because if people get sweaty and bump into me, I FLIP. OUT. It's gotten to the point that I don't go to events or happenings if I know I won't have at least a foot of personal space on all sides.

6. When we're driving somewhere long-distance, I get punchy and start yelling "Moo!" at all the cows we pass. I've been doing this for years now. I consider it endearing. (Don't argue with me. It's endearing, dammit.)

7. I'm very fidgety, and I put my hands up to my face frequently. I hadn't ever really noticed it until I started my new job and started having to attend meetings constantly. Everyone else in the room is capable of sitting very still and behaving like adults, and I'm constantly rubbing my chin, picking at lint on my dress, and just generally fidgeting. But I noticed during a series of video conferences that I touch my face a LOT. I remember reading a study that showed that women have a tendency to subconsciously use their hands to draw attention to the parts of their body that they feel people should focus on. So I'm not sure what that says about me - am I implying that I think I'm super-pretty, or that I think all the focus should be on me? Or am I just the nervous type? (It could also have to do with the fact that before the gap between my front teeth was fixed, I used to cover my mouth with my hand a lot, without even realizing I was doing it, like if I smiled big or laughed. So it could just be habit.)

Turns out that wasn't very brief at all. There were some rules about posting this, something about standard text that had to be included and then I'm supposed to tag people. Hell with it. Thing 8: Generally speaking, and outside of work, I can't be bothered to pay much attention to details. (See also: Size 2 circular vs. size 2 DPNs) Ironically, my entire job now centers around excruciating attention to detail. I guess I'm just worn out on it by the time I get around to regular life. ...diligence?

If You Wanted Crap, All You Had To Do Was Ask

Ahhhh....someone was linked to my blog by Googling the phrase "deep down crap about Alyson".

I have to wonder if that was a secret pal with an odd method of obtaining information about me. In any event, thank you, random person with a strange Google request. That gave me a hearty laugh.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I Knew There Was A Connection

So I realized, with the help of Rosi and her contest (which I won! wooo!) that you can't have mAtRimoNY without yarn. Sure, you gotta dig around to find it....but it's there!

My birthday is all around us - lookit what my special guy had for me today!

the new toy

I've been piping up fairly frequently about how much I'd love to have one of these little shuffle things to keep in my knitting bag, so I don't have to listen to Loud Cell Phone Bitch and Crazy Talks To Herself anymore on the bus. I have an iPod, technically true, but it's also our stereo at home (gotta love the speaker dock) so while it's portable in theory, that would mean it's never where we want it to be....but this little guy is just the right size for some podcasts and several albums' worth of songs, and it's mine, all mine!! (Currently obsessing over: the new Tori Amos disc.)

We also got our new buffet piece for the dining room on Saturday - we were told we wouldn't be getting it until late May, so thank goodness it came early so it wasn't one more thing we'd have to juggle around that time.

The new buffet

This is the first time in my life (on my own) that I've had a formal dining room - I've always just had a cute little kitchen table, but nothing fancy.

Dining Room

And now, with that buffet stocked with family china, family silver, family serving pieces, I feel very adult once again, and very connected to my family. (The candlesticks you can kinda see on the table belonged to my grandparents.)

I'm apparently not the only one excited about all the memories in the house. Our entertaining invisible resident Phantom Dennis has been acting up all day - knocks and doors swinging open and tapping and all sorts of odd noises. Gotta love the 90 year old home! Our friend Marcie stayed overnight once and was kept awake all night by Dennis playing drum solos on the floorboards. He's a good guy, though - he turns lights on, and I very nearly fell down the stairs once and I felt something actually grab me by the shoulder and steady me. We love Dennis - but man, he's fired up today!

I wrote the ceremony today. (And by "wrote", I mean "largely plagiarized." I don't have a lot of time, okay?) I also wrote my vows. There MIGHT be a reference to knitting in there. (I'll post them after. Or maybe I'll rig them to post around that time.)

How's about that Top Model winner? I won't spoil it in case anyone has yet to catch up on the DVR...but I'm very pleased. Amused, in a way, but pleased.

One of the many loves of my life currently?

Americone Dream delicious. The ice cream is good too.

You know who's NOT a love of my life currently? Travis' ex, who found out by bumping into one of Travis' friends that he's getting married. And who drunk-dialed him last night at TWO O CLOCK IN THE MORNING. This is what I get for marrying a stud. If I were marrying a troll, we wouldn't be dealing with this, now, would we? I have to laugh and shrug it off - can I blame her? Had I ever been stupid enough to let him get away, I'd still be kicking my own ass too!

I do have fiber content today!

Handspun "Something Blue"

First and foremost, handspun!

Handspun "Something Blue"

More of Funky Carolina's magnificent roving, this time in 100% delish merino. The colorway name is "Touche" and the stuff practically spun itself.

Handspun "Something Blue"

I have wedding on the brain - why fight it? - so the skein has been dubbed "Something Blue". I have four ounces, 245 yards of the old standby two-ply. It never gets old with me - I'm a fan of the two-ply. Gotta love my reliability.

Handspun "Something Blue"

I managed a much tighter ply this time, and I'm endlessly thrilled about it. Especially since this one's not for me - although I'm tempted. I spun it with my SP pal in mind, so this will be off to her just before the wedding (and in time for her own one-year anniversary!)

Handspun "Something Blue"

Sick of photos of this stuff yet? Don't worry, that's the last one.

Handspun "Something Blue"

Sometimes I lie. So I guess the reliability thing is kind of up in the air.

I also finally have photographic evidence of Bellocq progress:

Bellocq progress 5/16/07

Very nearly finished with the calf shaping...then it's onto a circular needle and two repeats of thigh shaping, and a border! You'll notice perhaps that there's no lifeline. I'm flying without a net, baby. If I screw anything up, I'm just gonna have to find a fix. (Once I move it to a circular, I'll start with the lifelines. It's easier then.)

Long enough? Still here? It's okay, you can go. :-D

(You didn't think I was gonna forget, did ya Jess? Happy birthday to my dearest friend in the world! I wouldn't be able to make it through life as half the woman I am if I didn't have you - and the rest of the clan - by my side these last 16 years. Sixteen! Cool!! I love you!!)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Startin' To Get A Little Adult Around Here...

I realized on Saturday that I would be getting MARRIED in THREE WEEKS and I very nearly shat myself. Married. That's kind of a big deal, right? I've gone through a number of rebellious "I don't really want to get married" phases in my life (largely attributable to whatever idiot I was seeing or had just finished seeing). But I'm really glad I changed my mind. What blows me away is the fact that Travis is younger than I am; therefore, I think he's crazy. He's only 25! He's much too young to get married! But he's not me - and since he's the one who asked, he has clearly decided he is ready to be married. And he treats me mind-bogglingly well. And he's very cute. So who am I to stop him? *wink*

Dudes, I'm pretty stoked.

Today I had to give a brief and informal but still vaguely terrifying training session today as part of my new position. Even though I'm an actor (in a manner of speaking) and trained in vocal performance, often appearing in front of large and/or influential groups of people, this was just short of abject terror for me. Something about peers and feelings of inadequacy - but I got through it absolutely fine, and I didn't deposit my breakfast onto the podium - which as far as I'm concerned means it was a raging success.

Now, to counteract all that grown-up-edness going on.....Saturday is my bachelorette party!! And since I'm not REALLY a grown-up, but in fact a four year-old with rather sizeable breasts, I'm spending the day at Disney World with my very best friend! And then we're going to meet up with some girlfriends and go get hammered and ogle the bellydancers at a local awesome restaurant, because when I'm not a buxom four year-old, I'm a horny frat boy. And then we're going to play bachelors-versus-bachelorettes putt-putt - there's no reason for that, really, just that drunken girl-on-guy mini golf seems like a killer idea.

The stocking has progressed! The stocking HAS progressed! I'm about halfway through the calf shaping - I estimate, based on the previous stockings' progression timeline, that I'll be finished with the thing in about two weeks. So those of you who hazarded a guess for Memorial Day weekend, keep your fingers crossed. Those of you who guessed sooner - cross fingers AND toes. It could happen. Those of you who guessed after...oh God, I feel sick....

Oh, and the dress fitting is this Saturday as well. Seeing as how I might have ACCIDENTALLY fallen face-first into a pint of Americone Dream and very nearly drowned in it, I may have a tiny bit of backpedaling to do this week. (I couldn't help it! The stuff was nearly as delicious as Stephen himself!) But I've made spectacular progress, for me, and I'm wearing pants today that used to be ENTIRELY too snug. (I still wore them even when they were embarassingly ill-fitted, but it feels nice to wear them without feeling like I should have another pair of pants on over them.)

My birthday is two weeks from today. And three weeks from today, I'll be on my honeymoon. I'm gonna be a twenty-eight year old married woman! Hee. Thank God I'm marrying someone like me - someone who is as likely to do an "I love my wife" fingerpainting as I am to turn awkward cartwheels in the front yard while sing-songing "I gots me a husband, I gots me a husband." I sometimes question our ability to (someday) parent, but only because I'm afraid we'll steal the childrens' toys.

This is gonna be a fun couple of weeks! :-D

(PS: I finally got around to making use of that Ravelry invite that I got before everyone started getting all hyped up about it. I think this could begin to border on obsession soon. Or has it already? So to my enabler gracious invite-issuing friend, thank you!)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Knitters Rule!!

I got a wedding gift today in the mail! And not just any old wedding gift:

Knotingale rules!

A FUKBUK wedding gift! (That's "For Us Knitters, By Us Knitters". I always thought that the FUBU clothing line, "For Us By Us", was pretty clever, so I'm stealing it and making it our own, and a tiny bit vulgar - best of both worlds, really.) I was completely shocked and blown away by this gift! Knotingale (check out her April 2nd post - I love that Cabled Points Cardigan, and consequently bought Knitting Beyond the Edge recently) asked me for my address earlier in the week, and said she had a little something to send us. But this!!

Colorwork kitchen towel

The towel alone is beyond my capabilities (I'm rubbish with colorwork). It's hanging in the kitchen, but so help me, if I ever catch anyone wiping their hands on it, I'm going to give them a whack with the scraping tool. (I love that she included a useful toy for Travis - she was very helpful recently with Travis' furniture project, and he's going to be very charmed that he was included.)

Lovely bags

Mostly I'm just beyond stunned because this is much more handwork than I would put into most anything that wasn't for me. :-) See the bottle bag there on the right? My absolute most favorite color combination. You'll see a lot of that in my stash - there's something about red/orange/yellow that just makes me extremely happy. There's a handsoap and a dishsoap here. Poor shoddy old naked handsoap and dishsoap have been banished to the sink cupboard and replaced with these lovelies. This then led to me deciding that my kitchen wasn't worthy of such accoutrements as it was, so I had to actually clean the kitchen to bring it up to the standards of the new kitchen handknits. (Travis will be especially grateful for that little side effect.)

Here's a fun little bonus, too - when I opened the bags to see what, exactly, would be found inside:

I LOVE Cucina stuff!

Cucina dish soap!! Cucina is one of my favorite lines of kitchen stuff (handcare, et cetera), because they follow what I believe to be sanctimonious reasoning that all cleaning products, and particularly those that are used in kitchens, should smell like food. Also photographed here is my favorite coriander and olive tree room spray, also Cucina. (Dead serious abotu that food thing - our wood floor cleaner smells like marzipan, our counter cleaner like grapefruit - the only way to get me to clean is to allow me to wallow in food scents. My adoration of Simple Green cleaner is attributable expressly to the fact that it smells like root beer.)

Thank you so much Knotingale! You competely and totally blew me away!!!

Now that I've cleaned the kitchen, I've earned the right to sit here, knit, and watch Love Actually on cable. (I LOVE this movie. I'd forgotten how much I love this movie. Love it, love it. Bill Nighy is such a damned genius. And I wish Hugh Grant really were Prime Minister. And maybe I'd be able to tolerate our president being a bit of a ... well, you know ... if he were Billy Bob Thornton. Why do I have a weird thing about him? Is it the Angelina connection? He's kind of strangely dreamy...)

Friday, May 11, 2007

All Funky, All The Time

First of all, I'm wearing hole-less jeans today! It's very thrilling to not have to worry whether anyone can see parts of my body I don't want them seeing. I avoided purchasing anything else when I went to the store last night to pick them up - I'd had to leave them for the tailor to hem them, which was shocking for me. I've never in my life had a problem with jeans being too long - it's always and eternally the opposite. Even the sales girl (Lena, who was such a doll) was stunned: "Oh my God, how long are these if you need hemming???" Then she held them up and the waist hit her in the boobs. "Oh. Wow." (I am aware that I am a crafter and that it should be punishable by flogging that I actually paid the department store an ungodly sum of money to hem a freakin' pair of jeans - but I still have not gotten around to obtaining that sewing machine that I asked for at last year's birthday. And frankly, do I really need it? Who am I kidding?)

Also, it would appear Haloscan took a crap yesterday and wouldn't let anyone leave comments for a while, and the comments that were accepted weren't sent to me in notification emails - so for those of you who managed to leave comments, thank you! For those of you who were annoyed by Haloscan's petulance, I apologize. I assure you he's in timeout, thinking about what he's done.

Today's Yarn P0rn is (again) courtesy of me. I received an order yesterday from Funky Carolina, and she threw in one of those fabulous little roving teasers along with my big ol' sexy braid of merino. (Oh, she just updated her shop last night, and The Sweet Sheep will be putting up a bunch of her rovings soon too.)

Twee skein, part deux

So of course, I spun the teaser up right away (regardless of the full bobbin already on the flyer and the unfinished portion of roving that had already patiently waited its turn). I got about 50 yards of two-ply out of it - part of the fun is seeing how much yarn I can get out of a roving niblet.

Spinning for the Commitophobe

It's good Thursday night TV spinning, too - it's just for fun, so I don't have to keep an eye on it as much as usual, and it goes crazy fast.

Little snuggly skeins

Look, there it is enjoying a good snuggle with the other twee skein I spun from the last roving niblet. They're so cute together - look at 'em there, all "Yay, we're Spectrum buddies!" Awwwww.

I also threw the sexy merino onto the wheel (again, forget about that full bobbin) and started it up.

Touche merino singles

I'm whipping this up into what will (hopefully?) be a worsted-weight two-ply for my SP. I have to get one last package off to her before the wedding; I'm making a conscious effort to not just completely neglect her but I've been slipping a bit, so I need to make up for it. Anyway, I'm wanting something sproing-y and well-balanced and fluffed, like this stunning skein that Ms. Funky herself spun up. (I'm not jealous, I'm just admiring....I'm not jealous, I'm just admiring....I'm not jealous....) I need to settle down, though - I'm overspinning the crap out of this poor stuff!

That bobbin I cast aside? The colors are astounding (and my camera hates them, so you can tell I had to futz with this picture a lot). It's a Hello Yarn roving that I think (but can't recall entirely) is a merino/silk blend. I just have passionate dirty thoughts about the colors - but I'm spinning it super thin and planning to make it a three-ply that will hopefully still be sock or sport weight. So it's a LOT of spinning - hence the "outta da way, I'm going worsted!" I'll get back to it.

Hello Yarn

Huh? What stocking? *whistles*

My eyes are burning and itching and generally bothering me due to all the smoke down here. I got a picture of the skies outside our office window - it's not raining or overcast or foggy, that's just the pall from the's worse than living in Los Angeles. Bring the rain, dammit! (Preferably not in the form of a hurricane already in freaking May, but at this point, I think we'll take what we can get.)

Fire haze

It's Sneeze Command Central in the office - everyone's sinuses are revolting against the ash!

Happy Mother's Day for those of you to whom it applies. I'm admiring my mother from afar this year - and getting her started on a new collection. Have a great weekend!