Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Toes Are Overrated Anyway

Things I Learned Today:

I am apparently allergic to mosquito bites suddenly. I had three swell up so badly we almost decided to go to the med clinic.

I am probably about two stubbed toes away from having the most hideous left pinky toe of all time. I JUST grew the nail back to nearly normal a few months ago, and then I did it again tonight. *sob*

Purchasing things from Canada is rapidly becoming a non-possibility for me; stupid American dollar is weakening to an unjustifiable level. Between the Dow, the housing market, and the Remarkable Collapsing Currency, I'm beginning to feel a little bit of pressure. (*sobsob*)

If you love something, set it free. If you want it back, eh, just buy it.

The Loopy Ewe updates are just too hard to resist. (Huge one last night - click the link to check out the new stuff.) Sknitches was the breaking point - I'm declaring (another) moratorium on sock yarn. I behaved so well, too - I even PUT THE YARNTINI BACK and only bought the Sknitches. Even that was probably too much. A roving moratorium can't be far behind. (Especially since I just bought half of Carrie's destash.....)

Saltines and cream cheese is a viable lunch option. It wouldn't need to be if I'd lay off the sock yarn. Speaking of which, should I join the Duets sock club?

(Now you know why I generally avoid things like alchohol and heroin. Well, I generally avoid alcohol. I think saying I "generally" avoid heroin gives the wrong impression - I actually skirt it entirely altogether. But have you started to get a feel for how easily I hit the addiction stage? I might have a bit of a problem with attachment....)

I got some photos of the latest handspuns:

Grape Bubble handspun

Grape Bubble, so named for its similarity to the Bubble Yum of my youth. No point in spending too much time talking on this one, since it doesn't belong to me anymore - but it's a bulky weight two-ply superwash merino, about 95 yards to four ounces, and the roving, from Aija's shop, was just amazing to spin. So soft and squishtastic....

This one's not in the shop - I'm not sure it's going to be:

Nightie handspun

I'm calling this one Nightie (I'll get to that) and it's the Funky Carolina July fiber club installment. I couldn't wait to spin this one - 100% soy silk in her "Coquette" colourway. (How much do I love that name?) I got about 94 yards out of this, and I'm thinking it's maybe DKish, light worsted weight? I haven't gotten around to weighing it yet. (Staggering, sometimes, my laziness, as the skein is in the same room as the scale.)

Nightie handspun

Soy silk is so much easier to spin than silk. It took me just a bit of a learning curve, but then I rocketed through the singles.

When I was younger, maybe grade six or seven, I had a dream in which I was wearing this really great dress; I dreamed it in very clear detail, and when I woke up, I described it to my mom (an artist) and she sketched it out for me. It was pretty much EXACTLY these colours; I thought of that sketch immediately when I saw this fiber, although my first memory of it was that it was a sleeping gown, not a dress. Hence, "Nightie".

Got two other skeins going right now - a worsted merino/bamboo (hi Michelle!) and a fine fingering luxury blend (alpaca, silk, angelina, merino - batt from Loop. Oh, and I'm still knitting sometimes...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Bizee, Bizee...

What a weekend! Yarn crawled, watched some movies, did some spinning, did some laundry, drove south for lunch and The Simpsons with Jessi and Jimmy, did some more spinning...all in all, I have not touched the Mystery Stole in two weeks, I've started another sock (not the one I'm supposed to be finishing for the palooza, but that one's progressing) and I've finished three - count 'em, THREE! - skeins of handspun since Friday. Two are now dry and will be photographed tonight, but another is ready for its close-up:

Circus Peanuts Handspun

I am really tremendously proud of this skein. It's a three-ply sock weight, 340 yards, superwash merino dyed by Mama E.

Circus Peanuts Handspun

This spin is even, even, even. I can't believe I spun it. It's called "Circus Peanuts" and it's in the shop; I priced it a bit higher than my previous sock yarns because of the three ply (I usually do two-ply)...but not really that much higher. (Pricing is by far the hardest part - after spending seven or eight hours at the wheel for a three-ply sock yarn, you really *want* to sell it for $145.)

The yarn crawl was expensive productive. I picked up two skeins of the new fancy Fiesta Boomerang at Chez Cas (25% off!!) and I can't WAIT to knit with it. I also picked up some other goodies from Cas and Sip and Knit, all of it on sale (Koigu, Louet Gems, Nashua Ecologie cotton, Lorna's...yummy good stuff!) And there was this:

Where did this COME from??

I have to assume this fell off of some sort of truck that would haul these sorts of things around - but then they must have just LEFT it there, in an act of infinitely responsible behaviour. Enormous Ford Expedition shown for scale. (Not pictured: the people in the car, who were one-half of the people on the yarn crawl.)

Amazing how I managed to not get a single photo of the Not Your Grandma's Knitting Group knitting group. They were awesome chicks, by the way, and in a piece of irony, there was indeed a grandma there - the founder Megan's mom, actually, and since Megan has kids, that equals a grandma. Although the "Not Your Grandma's" thing still worked, since she wasn't MY grandma...though it amused me that Megan must have had to tell her kids that she was going to meet with the Not-Your-Grandma's-Only-Actually-In-Your-Case-Specifically-It-IS-Your-Grandma's knitting group. (Also, in a turn that will surprise no one, she was cooler than me. Grandmas are almost always cooler than me, like the one who was on the zip line tour with us in Whistler and I swear I caught her rolling her eyes at me when I started panicking about getting on the zip line. Ugh, I'm so old before my time.)

Oh, and there was Travis, too. I wasn't sure if it was okay to bring a boy to the knitting group, but since he knits, he joined us for lunch and Chez Cas. He's the reason for the second skein of Boomerang; I picked up one and told him I wanted to knit a pair of socks for my dad, and he squeezed the skein and made that pitiful face that indicated that he found the omission of socks for him to be a wholly unsatisfactory decision on my part. He sniffed but declared $25 to be too much to spend twice...then I mentioned the 25% off and he declared $18.75 perfectly acceptable to spend twice. Oh, and he's such a cute little newb; someone asked him what yarn he was using and he said "Umm...fingering, I think." Well, baby steps - he didn't know the dyer, but he got the weight right. And I told him it was just as well he didn't know what yarn he was using, since the answer (Sweet Georgia) would have been likely to get him conked on the head and mugged for sock yarn.

More handspun tomorrow...I'm trying to spin as much as I can to stock up the shop and start promoting - we really really need to find another income, so if this isn't working it's going to be back to the ol' waitressing grind for me...gotta do whatcha gotta do! Because as you might have noticed by my brief coverage of the Yarn Crawl, the "I'll just stop spending" approach is experiencing progress akin to that of peace in the Middle East.

Oh! Contest winners - I assigned random numbers to each entry, then put ol' Random.org to work - and came up with Adelle and Turtlegirl! Thanks for all your great entries, and ladies, I will be in touch.

(PS: If anyone wants to know what my Mystery Stole would look like if I wasn't a slacker, you can start tracking Adelle's progress - I must have mine done at least in time for Rhinebeck so we can wear our matching stoles, won't that be precious?)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oh, Right - 100%

Remember those socks I was knitting while reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

Deathly Hallows Socks

I forgot to ever talk about these again, huh? I only just wrapped them up today at lunch; it would have been way sooner, but I ruminated over the fact that one was too short, and decided that I really needed to rip out the toe and add some length...I'm glad I did.

Deathly Hallows Socks

The standard "look how bendy my feet are" shot. I like these pretty well - I'm definitely crazy about the colour, but I think I'd like the socks themselves more if I'd gone down a needle size or two for a denser fabric.

Deathly Hallows socks

"Deathly Hallows" Project Stats:
Yarn: Cider Moon Glacier in Cayenne colourway from The Loopy Ewe
Pattern: Me Wingin' It (with shaping)
Needles: US3 Crystal Palace DPNs (I think I would recommend US2 or US 2 1/2
Start: Friday, July 20 (book party)
Finish: Thursday, July 26 (at lunch)

I enjoyed adding the shaping; I enjoyed even more that I didn't royally screw it up like I usually do when I try to just toss shaping onto a sock willy-nilly.

Deathly Hallows Sock - Shaping

Now granted, I probably could have placed it higher...but to be perfectly honest, I hadn't planned on the shaping at all; I got to this point in the first sock and decided it was going to be too baggy around the ankle. They actually fit beautifully.

Okay, that's all I'll post for now; I'm a little off today. Really rough night last night, and totally bizarre day at work today, so it's definitely time for bed. I'm in a hurry to get to tomorrow evening; everything about our weekend plans so far promise total awesomeness.

Enter the contest! Remember, it's a random draw thing, so you don't gotta put too much thought into it. I've been loving reading the entries so far!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Is That A Sports Reference?

So I got some yummies in the mail yesterday (much faster than expected):

Love and Peace or Else roving

(horrendously crappy picture of) Love and Peace or Else superwash merino roving from Adam's shop (so punkrock, I love it - and named for a U2 song!)

Tour de France roving, side one

Side A of Tour de France superwash merino roving from Adam's shop (I was a little greedy.)

Tour de France, as I understand it, has something to do with bicycles? (I KID! I know many of you guys take this thing very seriously - Tour de France seems to be a very big deal in the knitting community; there are a lot of bike riders in our gang, far as I can tell. I fancied myself a cyclist in a former life, but all I have to show for it now is a rusty spinning bike and Specialist cleats, and a big ol' rear to prove that those days are past.)

Tour de France roving, side two

(Side B) Anyway, I loved this roving way more than I was expecting. Basically, Adam came up with two colourways for roving, and I bought 'em both, with an early favourite. (Hint: I love U2 more than life and couldn't tell you who won the Tour de France - wait, is it over?)

I am notoriously (in my own mind) picky about roving colourways; I don't like more than maybe two or three different colours going on, I don't like a lot of white parts...but when my last experiment with a heavy-on-the-white-parts roving turned out so very well, I thought it was time to reexamine. And now I snuggle with this multi-coloured roving and I. LOVE. IT. Is it the depth of the colours? The fact that it's got a little suave something going on? I don't know. But I am totally crazy about it.

Does anyone remember that brief venture into "grownup colours" that M&Ms tried a while back (that went over like a lead balloon)? This roving reminds me of that - only what totally didn't work in candy totally works in roving. (Side note: seriously, Mars, did you REALLY think that what adult America was clamoring for was GREY CANDY???? Mmm, beige chocolate! Finally I can take myself way too seriously even when I'm indulging in a sugar high! I knew what my blissful guilty pleasure needed was a little taupe and burgundy action!)

Moving on to Wollmeise:


Yes. Yes, I do love it. Yes I do want more. (Sheri!!!) No you cannot have it. No it is not up for grabs in the contest. And it's more likely to end up in the sock-yarn-as-shawl stash along with the Schaeffer Anne. It's just so rich...

And to the Deathly Hallows:

Deathly Hallows socks

Nearly done now. (I have been getting less and less knitting done at home.)

Finally, I wanted to mention that Michelle has put the Sweet Sheep Sock Club up for sale! So if you want a taste of my FIRST EVER PROFESSIONAL PATTERN, that's where you'll need to go! (And thank you so much, Michelle! This rules!) I also love that she's going to be doing semisolid yarns for this, which is my new craze. (And before you ask - yes, I am joining.)

Don't forget to enter the contest!

Monday, July 23, 2007

99 Subscribers To My Blog On The Wall - And A Contest

Hee - according to my calculations on Bloglines, I have 99 total subscribers...neat! (And to think I started with...well, zero.) Thanks for readin'!

Sure enough, the SAFF workshop coordinator e-mailed me today to ask for a bio. WHY must she be so well-organized and on top of things?? I'm not!!! (Aha - and we discover why SHE is.)

So....bio....bio....let's see....

"Alyson has been knitting for about three years. What?! Don't look at her like that. It's totally enough. It's longer than you! Oh, it's not? Well...um...wanna give her a few bucks and knit a sock anyway?"

All right - in celebration of my 99 subscribers (Bloglines alone - I know there are other subscription services out there *cough*thatdon'tsuck*cough*) and my need to come up with a bio, and my nifty workshops, I have a contest!

For one entry: Help with the bio. Send me a "jacket quote". You know those little blurbs on the backs of book jackets, the ones that fledgling authors slobber all over their fellow (more famous) writers for? "I thought this book - eh, well, it didn't totally suck" - John Irving, or "Congratulations on getting it published" - Stephen King, that kind of thing. I may have to resort to desperate measures, so I thought maybe just a series of fun quotes from blog pals could be fun. It is unlikely (though not impossible) that I will actually just construct a bio out of your contest entires; still, I'm not going to rule it out. (Love ya! Oh, and PS: I can totally take a joke - it's okay to tease, the blurb doesn't have to be touching or anything. Neither do I expect Tolstoy - any random phrase gets you an entry, ya know?)

For another entry: Help with the workshop. The "Other Class" I'm teaching, the one that's not sock knitting, is all about being a Strong Brave Knitter. About not being afraid to try stuff, about using gauge, about fixing mistakes, et cetera. But I admit that being a Strong Brave Knitter can, on occasion, have some - uh - creative results. Send me a picture (or a link to a picture/blog post/whatever) of your most "creative" (read: disastrous) project. I'm sure you've seen my Sock Monster of Doom by now. Stuff like that. I want my sweet newbies to know that it happens to every knitter and that it's nothing to be ashamed of or fear. It's going to happen - we laugh, learn, and move on. (After lighting our lying cheat of a gauge swatch on fire and dancing around it with glee.)

Important note: you're not signing off permission by entering the contest! I'm thinking hard about cost - I won't have access to projection technology, so I'd have to do colour copies of these things - I may use the creative knitting examples more anecdotally. Like how one of the speediest, brightest knitters I know of somehow ended up making a sweater that looked suspiciously like a Muppet. And I would request your permission before using it either anecdotally or photographically - both anonymously.

Back to the contest - you can enter one, or the other, or both!!! (I guess you could enter neither, too, if that's your game.) I'll ask that you only enter each of them once, but you can totally send one blurb and one "creative project" for two entries.

Then we'll use my old pal Random.org to determine winners. Winners of what, you say? Well, obviously some sock yarn (not ALL of it!!). If you're a spinner, maybe some fiber. Probably some stitch markers, the ones that I love so much. And who knows what else! There will be multiple winners, depending on how many entries I get.

Enter by email - don't leave your entry in a comment! I can't be guaranteed to keep track (see also: not on top of things). Click the link or send the e-mail to yoyocontestATgmailDOTcom. You have until Friday at 10:00 p.m. EST (while I'll undoubtedly be at The Simpsons movie) to enter!

(Pssst: while you're feelin' out contests, check out Turtlegirl's! And Adam's!)

Tomorrow: photos!

Previews and Suprises

Knitty Surprises are up. I'm completely taken with this; not even so much the top, which is lovely, but for the designer's hair. I love her hair! Want!!! And dude, this?! When I saw the thumbnail of it on the pattern page, I was like, "meh" but then I pulled up the pattern page and saw what it does and I LURVE IT. Must have it for Farmer's Market! Must, must!! And I know she knit it in hemp, but that stuff killed my hands, and I think this bag also screams organic cotton, so I could play with that...or maybe a nice strong cotton-hemp blend, like Elsebeth's...

Also, the Interweave Fall Preview. As always, a ton of awesome stuff I will never knit. (I must find a full-scale garment and commit to it. It's pathetic how many half-finished sweaters I have lying around. I think I'm up to four. When you consider that I've only finished ONE top - and it was a super-fast-easy one that I never even wear - it's pathetic that there are that many almost-tops languishing in my house.) I really really want to see the bonus photos on Eunny's design, since I think it's the cardigan I've been waiting for all my life, but there's an error when I try to load that page. Grrr. Fixed! Some rockin' accessory items, too - and man, can you pick a Norah Gaughan out of a lineup or what? As soon as I saw the cover, it was instinctive.

Update: Oops, that link's not working currently; after I posted this, Interweave caught notice that the preview had accidentally gone up (it had nothing to do with me posting it - my phrasing sort of makes it sound like I'm trying to take credit, doesn't it? Yay, I crashed Interweave!) Lisa Shroyer posted on the Ravelry thread: "the preview page was actually not ready...we've taken it down to fix the bugs (and one of the photos was completely wrong), but it will be back up and final, bonus photos included, this afternoon or sometime tomorrow. sorry!" So it should be back up soon... Fixed!

I'll have some picture-taking to do tonight when I get home - I got my Wollmeise, and I want to stuff it in my mouth it's so delicious. I also got my club fiber from Funky Carolina, but I'll probably wait a few days to show that - I'd hate to spoil!! And I have to show you my Deathly Hallows socks (what else was I gonna call them??) I'm more than halfway done with the second sock, it shouldn't take long to finish at all. Then it's back to the Sockapalooza socks and the Mystery Stole (which saw zero progress this weekend, for obvious reasons.)

That's all I have - I'm sure everyone will want to scurry over to Interweave and Knitty, so I don't wanna hold you up (if you're even still here anyway...)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday: Final Update

**I feel that I should point out, by the way, that I will NOT BE WRITING ANYTHING ABOUT THE DETAILS OF THE BOOK. I would never, ever, ever do that to you. The only book-talk here is related to my own progress, in broad terms.**

Potter Progress:

Vanilla Socks Progresss:

Personal Hygiene Progress:

Annoying Hell Out Of Husband Progress:

Aching fingers meant that not much got done on the second sock; but hey, a sock in a day?? Who's complaining? (For the record, briefly, Cider Moon Glacier in Cayenne colourway on US3 needles, eight-inch leg, nine and one-half inch foot. And I started it while waiting in line for the book on Friday.)

Also for the record, I had to wait a smidge over two hours in the store to get my book, having not pre-reserved. My best friend had pre-ordered for me, but I knew I wouldn't be able to wait for Saturday's mail. The gift-wrapped copy is intact on my dresser, and I may leave it that way for posterity, or a really long time. Something symbolic about that, to me, since she's the one who introduced me to the series and I read the first installment while I was visiting for her graduation from the University of Florida; her mother, her father, her brother (and his girlfriend at the time, I think), her then-boyfriend-now-fiance, and me and Harry, waiting for her name to be called (and yes, I did put the book down when they got to her row!)

We did get a call shortly after midnight from Travis' aunt, who informed us that she had been able to waltz right into the Wal-Mart and get her book with no wait, but when I halfheartedly offered to spare him and risk everything, Travis quoted a line from one of my favourite movies, The Contender: "Principles only mean something when you stick to them when it's inconvenient." And thus the Wal-Mart ban holds strong.)

Now I'll be curling up in bed to keep going as long as I can or am able; I really do need to at least get to the Whole Foods tomorrow, so I need to do better than half of the book for today's progress. I'm not leaving this room until it's done. If I set one foot outside of here and catch a spoiler, I'll wither up and die. (Or be really pissed.) I hate it - I'd really love to be able to savor this precious last tome, but it's more important to me that I get to see whatever Rowling has to say from her own pages.

As for Travis...the poor, poor man. He's really terrifically understanding about this disease of mine...but after staying up until the wee hours of the morning with me last night, and working on his truck all day today and coming home to hear me bellow at him every time the dogs indicated that they needed to go outside (seriously, I'm not setting foot outside of this place,) I'm fairly certain he's about had it. I did manage to drag myself into the kitchen to slap together a respectable dinner for him out of gratitude, before I retired to the bedroom again with cheese, saltines, and a V8.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I Win Some, I Lose Some

Well, I got a skein of Wollmeise in the Loopy blitzkrieg. I'm anxious to see this stuff. I hear the Pope just put it on the fast track to canonization.

I'm not ashamed of the fact that my TiVo is picking up Victoria Beckham: Coming to America right now. I love Posh, and I don't care how self-absorbed, or not, she is, and if there's even a CHANCE I'll get to see a train wreck, I'm there. Remember the Britney & Kevin mess show on UPN? Yeah, I watched every episode. I know it's shameful and I'm contributing to the complete and utter downfall of society as we know it - but dammit, I must take advantage of the opportunity to feel like I'm better than someone who has more piles of money than I can even drum up in my fantasies. Update: What the hell???? Apparently it was so vilified in the press, Bravo decided to run a Kathy Griffin rerun instead. I've never in my life been disappointed to hear Kathy's voice, but this is a real blow. 2nd Update: No, it's okay, they just bumped it. It's on in an hour. Whew! Just to be on the safe side, I've programmed the TiVo to pick up the next three hours. Don't you judge me.

Work's been rough lately. Times are hard, budgets are crunched. Tough on everyone...I do seem to be okay, individually speaking, for now, for whatever it's worth. (Maybe that little bit of dreary explains my need to shake my head and be mortified at Posh and her man-meat husband.)

Oh, oh, oh - the book! God, can I WAIT for this book?? I'm getting it in the mail on Saturday, and I don't know that I'll be able to stand it. I may have to show up at the bookshop to get it at midnight Friday. I'm sure I could sneak that copy back to them and no one will ever be the wiser....but seriously, how am I supposed to sleep Friday night??

You gotta see this. A few days before the wedding, we came home from work to find the world's most enormous unannounced crater in our front yard; apparently the city had to fix the neighbour's septic piping or whatever, and they didn't feel like it was necessary to let us know that they were going to tear the holy hell out of our yard. They assured us they were going to fix it, and they did, in a sense. They piled dirt around and tossed some sod on it (without leveling the dirt first) with little to no regard for where our sprinklers were. Travis called them, and they came out and unburied a couple of sprinkler heads, breaking them both in the process. He called again and mentioned that we could swear our front yard was level when we bought the place, and now it looks like we've been digging shallow graves all over the front yard and would they please come fix the sprinklers AND the lawn? And then Tuesday, we got this:

My God

I have to note that this all happened the day I was working from home, and I watched this entire process, laughing my big ol' ass off. I don't have it in me to get mad, because it's just funny to me that someone would call the city and complain, and THIS would be their idea of fixing it. Backhoe tracks, piles of dirt, and a small square of dead sod. (As a person capable of mind-boggling laziness, I know that they're employing the "screw it up worse and worse until they just decide to fix it themselves" technique, and they're in for a fight. They only THINK they'll win in the Battle of the Lazy. You're city workers. I'm FEDERAL. Bring it.)

Moving on: no one is on fire in a ditch. My friend got in touch with me, so I'm quite certain now that it's okay to mentally pull her out of the imaginary twisted pile of metal, hose her down with an extinguisher, straighten her blouse, and apologize. (Thank you for all your reassurances that even though I'm crazy, you have a friend who's crazy like me too. Appreciated.) ;-)

So. This stole. This....thing. This. THING. This M*****F***ING THING.

Mystery Stole 3

I spoke too soon. Remember that post earlier where I loudly and proudly extolled my own virtues and praised myself for not having to tink ever anything at all yay me I rule neener neener? Yeah, well, I can just roll that up real tight and cram it - I've had to tink every single one of the last four or five right-side rows. I get to the end and every time I'm one or two stitches short or over. I'm going to light this stupid thing on fire if it happens one more time.

Sorry, that could be the heat speaking. (The A/C has pooped on us again. We're back to living downstairs, and I brought all the roving down too. I'm thinking about packing up all the yarn and bringing it down, but that's a little daunting a prospect. Travis is still certain he can fix it, and I'm still certain we can live happily ever after without ever going upstairs again, so either way we win.)

I'm conflicted about something - the Orlando "Not Your Grandma's Knitting Group" is doing a yarn crawl around Orlando next Saturday, and they're even getting Carla (Chez Cas) to open the shop just for them. I really would love to have a local knitting group, and this seems like a wicked cool group of chicks, from what I've seen. But my aversion to the "not your grandma"/"not your mother" take on knitting is well-documented, and while I'm certain it'd be fun, what if I'm a jerk? (Remember, I'm kind of obnoxious.) I'm meditating on it.....Update: I'm being silly. Cool knitters are cool knitters, and what's in a name? I wanna go!

How about this for a nice morning pick-me-up?

Thank you God for this beautiful, beautiful day

YES!!!!! Oh man, do I wish I had some iron to be worked. I would hire these guys in a heartbeat. (Again, I'd like to note my questionable future capabilities as to raising children. This is not the sort of thing I should giggle at...the kids will ask what's funny...and I won't lie to my children, and so I'll have to explain to them why even though I'm a zillion years old, boners are still funny.)

In other awesome news: Kathleen* is going to be here NEXT WEEK! SQUEEE!!!!

*Kathleen and I worked together for about a week before she moved off to Germany - pain in my arse - and took all her coolness with her. I credit her with my renewed interest in knitting; well, my mom started it and then Kathleen finished it off. I stumbled onto her blog - perhaps by Googling her name, like a stalker, but I don't recall and/or it's not really important - and discovered that she was KNITTING now, which, I mean, how uncool is that and what's happened to my friend Kathleen? Then I figured if she did it, it must be cool, so I gave it another shot, having suffered through one failed half-ass at an acrylic garter stitch something ... scarf? ... and now, well, here I am.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

This Is Awkward...

What do you do when you run out of ways to try to get in touch with somebody and you don't know who they are?

Dear Pal: I'm worried about you. Please write! -alyson-

There's something one might not know about me: I worry way too much. I can seem pretty laidback and chill, but in my brain, I am forever picturing fire and smoke and mangled metal and ditches and bridges and flesh-eating beetles and CSI teams and all sorts of atrocities. Thankfully, it never turns out to be the case, but I'm afraid to let down my guard and I get frantic rather easily - which is unusual for someone who's notorious for going weeks without returning a phone call. (Hey, I never said that my neuroses make sense or that they make me more considerate and aware that others might share the same condition.)

Early on when we had just started seeing each other, Travis didn't return my calls for about a week (turned out to be nothing me-related, just personal stuff) but I went from "Ew, what a jerk," to "I've been dumped! What did I do to deserve such uncermonious treatment?" to "What did I do? Oh God I did something, I must have done something, or he heard something about me that made him never want to speak to me again - crap, did he see that copy of Spice World on my DVD shelf?!" to "I can't eat today, I'll throw it up, my nerves are shot, what is GOING ON???" to "OH GOD HE'S DEAD I JUST KNOW IT HE'S DEAD AND I'LL NEVER KNOW IF HE WAS 'THE ONE' AND I GIVE UP I'M RUNNING OFF TO THE NUNNERY". Well, he IS the one, as it turns out, and good thing because I never did figure out where exactly one finds a nunnery. And of course, even though I'm sure my voicemails sounded increasingly crazed, I didn't actually come out and tell him how frantic I was until much much later (I'm clinically insane, but I'm not stupid).

I bet I'm going to be really fun to have as a mom.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Scenes From A Post Office

I dropped off a couple of boxes at the post office just now (wedding albums galore). The line was short, so I didn't have any knitting with me - thus, it's worth noting, no visible signs of my knitteriness. As I was about to leave, the lady at the counter glanced at the return address, which was my PO Box, and shamed me with the following statement:

"Are you the one who gets all the yarn?"

Ha!!! To be fair, in the conversation that ensued, I gathered that she knits or crochets too, so she'd be more inclined to notice who was getting all the yarn. But that's what grabbed me.

She said ALL the yarn. Not "Are you the one who gets a lot of yarn?" or "Are you the one who gets yarn delivered frequently?" No, not this little knitter. I don't half-ass it; I get ALL THE YARN, and I save none for the other residents. All your yarn is belong to me.

Well, hey, anything worth doing is worth doing right.

PS: I told you he hugs:

Brodie gives a hug

Addressing The "Where Have Your Pets Gone" Issue: Brodie Edition

I rarely share pictures of the kids anymore, or at least of the non-Indiana kids (Indiana is far too elusive to capture on film 99% of the time.) So I figure I owe a few pet-related posts.

This is the exciting life of Rooster and Little Bit, as illustrated in a recent photo:


Cute, but unproductive, bordering on laziness. (Which is how I know they're my children.)

And then there's Brodie.

How do I put this delicately?


Brodie is precious, but...well, frankly, functionally retarded. I'm not being mean, and it's not his fault; we're pretty sure that even though he's sweet and lovable and button-cute and (generally) such a good boy, he's ... well, I'd say there's a good chance he's his own cousin, let's put it that way. He was named Brodie after Jason Lee's character in Mallrats. I wanted to name him after Jason Lee's most recent incarnation, Earl - we heavily favoured Kevin Smith and Jason Lee on the names list - but Travis pointed out that Earl was a good guy but kinda dumb and we'd be tempting the fates. Yeah, well....apparently the fates were listening in anyway.

The fact that he learned commands right away actually works against him - this breed is notoriously smart and stubborn. The fact that "Brodie, sit!" leads immediately to Brodie sitting? Not actually a good sign. Little Bit spins around twice, jumps in the air, and then sits. Just to prove that you're not, in fact, the boss of her. There's something very Homer-esque about Brodie, loving but not the brightest bulb; like if you were to cut to a visual of what's going on in his brain, it'd be a little man in overalls whistling "Found a Peanut". The dog eats hair and fuzz. He scours the floor and finds fuzz, and he eats it. (I'm not complaining, really, it does cut down on the amount of times a week I have to sweep up.) So we're frustrated but not surprised when he'll suddenly go for three weeks without remembering that he's supposed to potty when outside. This leads to a lot of time spent in the backyard with him, showing him how to squat so he'll remember why he's out there in the first place. I've actually witnessed him losing his train of thought mid-stream. He'll start his business, and it's like he immediately forgets why he was standing that way, and he wanders off to sniff a butterfly or something. (No, you can't use the puppy excuse. He's nearly two. There's nothing to explain it anymore.)

A lot of this may sound like complaints, but really, it's completely endearing. I love our dog. His eyes never seem to quite focus on anything, kind of like he's *thinking* about looking at you; he has the Princess Di eyes down pat. He's eaten an entire tube of superglue, which to date we're not sure how he obtained. To jump down from somewhere, he actually just kind of flings himself straight upward into the air and hopes for the best. To get a closer look at something, he just basically runs headfirst into it. I'm forever terrified he's going to hurt or poison himself, but he never seems to register any sort of injury, which has led me to believe that he's completely numb from the ears down, with cast-iron intestines. He will eat absolutely ANYTHING as long as you call it a treat (on those occasions when we've had to administer a nasty pill for something or other, this comes in extremely handy.)

And if you need a cuddle - hell, even if you don't - boy, he is right there for you! I've never known a more affectionate dog in my life; he actually hugs. Full on gives hugs - if you're sitting on the floor, he'll walk up, stand on his hind legs, stretch up your body, put his paws around your neck, and hug. Cutest. Thing. Ever.

That's our boy - cute, lovable, and dumb as a stump. You're my guy, Brodie. You're my guy.


I noticed something...check out this photo from last week's progress:

Mystery Stole progress

Do you see it? It's not stretched out, so it's maybe kinda tough to see. But look:

I've asked for permission to provide a visual to help you. That up there is my stole. This is Adelle's (photo and knitting credits, natch):

Adelle's stole

Gorgeous, no? (And yarn choice leads to still further proof that we are the same person; if it weren't for the fact that my stole has a big ol' mistake in it, these two would be hard to tell apart.) Something had looked slightly off in my stole, and so I pulled this back up, and that's when I was sure.

For the true comparison and confirmation:
Somethin' what gone wrong Aha!

See it now? Granted, hers is all nicely pinned and the stitch definition is clear, but even all scrunched up and pitiful-looking, you can totally make out that huge glaring something-done-gone-wrong in the middle of my stole. Things aren't lining up, and I never even noticed the goof (how do you screw up lace without screwing up stitch counts?) And since I have progressed well past where I was when I took that first photo up there (I've completed clue #2 and am into clue #3,) there is virtually no chance I am going to frog 80 rows to fix this little glitch. Eh, not even virtually no chance; there is absolutely and completely no chance. Instead, I'm going to let its little wonky eye stare at me, crooked and leering, for the whole rest of my life.

And I'm going to not care. (Wrong.)

And I'm going to not let it bother me. (Still wrong.)

And I'm going to finish it and place a shawl pin carefully over that spot every time I wear it. (Now I'm on to something.)

Thankfully, it's not huge, glaring, godawful; it's not like I missed twelve yarnovers in a single row. It's a little goof that's not immediately noticeable to anyone but me. There's always the added bonus of only knowing like four knitters in person; no one else would EVER pick up on this. (You'd be surprised how many little errors I can brush off by using the ol' nobody-knits-but-me excuse. Will the mistake bug me? Maybe. Would frogging 80 rows bug me even more? Ohhhhh yeah.) And I know the whole happy story of the Aztecs (Mayans?) and their placing intentional mistakes in handmade goods so as not to piss off the gods by creating perfection, but I'm interested in flawless knitting. I would like to offend the Lord with my lacework.

But! On the bright side, I made it through Clue #2 without having to tink one. single. row. That's a phenomenal achievement, as far as I'm concerned; not one time did I come up with too few or too many stitches at the end of a row. And now that I've thoroughly jinxed myself...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Wheee! Accomplishments!

First, thank you all for your affirmations - it's nice to know that we're all friends here! And I'm hoping to someday, somehow, meet everyone in the whole world. (Well, er, the people worth meeting, anyway. Kim Jong Il and the Hiltons can take a back seat.)

I finished a skein of handspun! I'd show pictures, but it's in the bath...and besides, it's a total surprise who it's for, and I wouldn't want that person to have a ruined surprise. So I can't show it. Nor can I tell you who it's going to. (Ooops!) Now I just have to take my wheel apart; the thing is behaving very badly and I think it needs its parts oiled and a little love administered. (It literally rocks back and forth while I'm spinning. I'm pretty sure that's not what's supposed to happen.)

So I have really exciting news I want to share; I wasn't sure if I was allowed to share it, but I spotted it on her blog, so it must be okay! You know how I'm knitting those Sockapalooza socks and I was saying I'd like to do something even spiffier and write up a pattern? Well, that new and spiffy pattern will be available *exclusively* with The Sweet Sheep!! Michelle has asked me to provide one of the patterns for the sock club she's starting up in the fall! Whee!

So you'll haveta join the club if you want the pattern (which is looking kinda nifty, if you ask me, and you would never guess what project's leftover yarn I'm using for the swatch - never thought I'd lay hands on that stuff again but hey, it was nearby.) I shouldn't have to twist your arm; Michelle dyes beautiful yarns, like this awesome skein I'm still crazy about, and the club yarns are going to be gorgeous semi-solids, each with an exclusive pattern - the other two patterns are designed by not-me, but by an incredibly talented designer. Not to say that I'm not potentially an incredibly talented designer; we're kind of on a wait-and-see thing with that. I think you have to design more than, like, one thing before the jury will come back. I may have to sign up for the club, too - I'm a sucker for handdyed semi-solid sock yarns.

Also, in case you're not swayed yet, I can vouch for Michelle's skill as a club-mistress; I was in The Sweet Sheep fiber club a while back, and I was completely thrilled with the experience; the fibers were beautiful!

I should have a picture of something. Um...

I love that necklace

I'm not posting this because I'm an egomaniac...I'm posting it because it looks like I have really long nose hair, and that cracks me up. Heheheh.
(Photo by Charity de Meer, gorgeous custom necklace by Emily Gems, nose hair insane wind by Tropical Storm Barry.)

Friday, July 13, 2007

You've Got A Friend In Me

Warning: There's a good chance this post is going to, in the end, kind of make me look like a crazy person. I'm okay with that.

We had such a good time last night! Wanna see?

Silly goober

Robyn, Valerie, me, and Kelly, photo by Valerie's (superadorable) husband. (Sorry, Valerie, is that inappropriate? But he IS cute.) We're missing two; by the time we got to photos, we'd already lost Chris and Phoebe. Boo. But it was a blast (and I was the only one who had the sangria, and I'm totally okay with that) and these girls were all charming and fun and funny and it was such a joy to meet all of them and yay!

We did tone it down for another picture:

Okay, get serious

I was thinking last night - it was a bit of a drive home, so I had too much idle time in my head - about friendship in the Internet age. A lot of things about friendship have changed. For example, you don't have to have actually MET someone to feel connected to them. (Case in point, the fact that I STILL cannot sing that stupid Anne Murray song without thinking about Laurie and her kitty Roy and starting to sob.) And your own close personal friends may not be as tuned in to every tiny detail of your daily life as blog readers whom you've never even met! (Well, that's unless you're one of those people who very carefully balances things and keeps your personal life out of your blog. I am completely not one of those people.)

Have you ever been having a conversation with someone and you just blurt out something about your friend Rosi (picking on you, girl) and then realize that you really hope no one asks much more about your friend Rosi, because you'd have to try to gloss over the fact that you've not, in fact, MET Rosi? And yet, there are bound to be people in your circle of readers/readees who you would readily consider friends. I'm really grateful that when someone walked into my office two days ago and found me crying over the death of the pet of a total stranger, it was someone who's also a cat nut and pretty much understood it (and started to tear up herself when I explained what my problem was.) But other people would think it was just plain crazy to care/talk so much about people who don't exist in your physical world.

When I told Travis about my plans for Rhinebeck, which may include crashing at a friend's place, whom I originally "met" because she was my Secret Pal, he furrowed his brow just a bit. "And she's cool with that? I mean, you don't know each other." But of course we do!! He gets it...but I'm not sure he GETS it. And sometimes I wonder if I'm overreaching; is it okay for me to be all excited about the pregnancy of someone who's nine states away? Across the country? Not even IN the same country?

Also, it's easier to say "friend" than "this girl I met through a knitting swap who is in some of my Ravelry groups, and we exchange e-mails a lot and send each other random stuff in the mail sometimes" and that may be because there are so very many things in that longer phrase that regular non-knitting people are just not going to understand. (Please don't ever tell them I stalked a person called the Yarn Harlot. I'm pretty sure I'd get shunned completely; I might even lose my job.)

I digress; a friend is someone with whom you share a connection, something in common, and for whom you have warm feelings. And you don't have to have actually stood right next to a person to get that anymore...in an age of blogs, Myspace, Internet dating, and other advances in interpersonal communication, I don't think that actual physical presence is a high priority anymore in the list of requisites for friendship.

I guess what I'm saying is, thanks for reading and I hope you don't mind when I talk about you as my friends. *end cheese*

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Carla's closing the store!! Nooo! Leesburg is a little bit more of a drive for me, but I always loved going in to Carla's store when I could. You know how some yarn stores give you that snooty we'll-tolerate-you-because-you're-here vibe? Totally NEVER the case at Carla's. She knew my name on my first visit, and called me by it every time I walked in. She laughed at Travis, asleep at the table in the front of the store (he's precious). She's jovial and loves yarn and has amazing sales and is just a super person. And while I do also frequent other yarn stores that are bigger or shinier, none of them have the warm fuzzies that Carla's store does. (None of them have the Lorna's, Cherry Tree Hill, or giant wall 'o Malabrigo that Carla does either and she has the yarn snob market around these parts cornered, for which I was totally crazy about her, but I digress.) She also has really fair prices, which is harder to find around these parts; seems like most yarn gets marked up a bit in the Sunshine State.

I'll miss her. But! The Tampa people get lucky, AGAIN. The shop is being packed up and transported to Tampa, where there's a good new mommy waiting for it. (Well, an additional mommy - the old mommy's not going anywhere. Carla, from what I understand, will retain ownership, but she has a new fabulous job so she won't have as much of a hands-on thing going.) God, stupid Tampa! They have so many good yarn stores already!!

The A/C is fixed...ish. It's always way colder in my zen yarn room than anywhere else upstairs, which throws off the curve and makes the other rooms feel warmer, so I always think it's not running properly. But we think it is...who can tell. All that matters is that it's liveable up there, and the wool is safe (and for now, so is our bank account,) and I can finally spin again. I NEED to get some things finished!!

We went to see The Order of the Phoenix last night and DUDE. It. Was. Awesome!!!! I don't want to spoil a single thing, but the acting was superb and I absolutely loved the whole thing from beginning to end. (And maybe I'm crazy, or maybe I just didn't notice as much in the first four movies, but I could SWEAR this movie was way heavier on the knitwear. Do you think they've caught on to the whole Harry Potter knitting craze? Because honestly, there wasn't a single scene where I didn't find myself studying a piece of knitwear and scribbling notes in my head.)

Oh!! And I keep meaning to mention this, but I always forget; Pure Knits is having a sale on some nice stuff. I have to pick up some of that Dolly Maxi superwash wool to knit Travis a hat that won't end up felted in the wash. (We're not always super-cautious around here.)

Also, do not read this post. I read it yesterday at work and sat at my desk weeping like a little girl. (If you do read the post, which actually you should because she's one of the best bloggers ever, just be prepared that there's a sad bit coming.) And like an idiot, I read it again when I pulled up the link and now I'm sitting here crying AGAIN. (It's hard being a cat person sometimes.)

Ending on a happy note: Movie Night is fun. Dinner last night? Cheese fries and root beer. Yay cinema! I *heart* gluttony!

Oooh, a happier note: Ms. Gadabout gave me a really great idea for a contest yesterday, so look for that sometime in the next little while!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007



GAH!  Now there's two of them!
There that is. They're multiplying. Now there's two of 'em. On the schedule. Descriptions, dates and times, requirements, all of that. Carved in stone. (Soft stone, maybe...limestone. But stone nonetheless.)

BUT! I'm teaching in the arena, on the main floor! This is fun for two reasons: one, I'm right in the middle of everything and the wool fumes will help fuel my mania sparkling personality and teaching ability. And two, it means I'm not in one of the barns outside, where it was SO FREAKING ASS COLD last year. There were about fifteen of us huddled around the dyepot for warmth. (Toxic fumes? Who cares? It's damned cold out here.)

I still have a lot of work to do for these classes; all the handouts and samples I need to knit, that kind of thing. I can get it done. If I can EVER EFFING GO UPSTAIRS AGAIN. (Yeah, A/C still in a state of not-fixedness.)

Oh, and I don't have a bio on the instructor page. The coordinator hasn't asked for one. Probably a good thing. Hoping she doesn't. But if she does, I'm going to be making stuff up like crazy. 'Cause really, would you take a class from someone whose bio read "I've been knitting for kind of a little while, and I'm sorta funny sometimes"?

But! It occurred to me last night that Grumperina has only been knitting a little longer than I have. And God knows I'd take her word on just about anything knitting-related - so I guess years of experience does not necessarily equal an expert, and an expert isn't necessarily the eldest in the bunch. And I'm gonna keep telling myself that.

I think I'm beginning to settle down. If nothing else, I know how to knit a sock, and the students don't. It's not likely that they're going to walk out of there not knowing how to knit a sock. But if they do, I'm preparing a standup routine so that at least they got something out of the class. Maybe a slide show that combines The Escapades of The Socks. (Though showing them photos of a sock I knit that fits over my head might not necessarily instill confidence.)

The rest of the week is looking good; tonight's movie night, obviously, and then tomorrow is the Tampa knitting meetup with Valerie and all the gang. If you expressed interest, I've emailed you; if you'd like to express interest, please go ahead and do so, it's never too late. And Friday? Well, Friday's...Friday. What more do you want?

You know, come to think of it, Friday gets off pretty light in life - Friday doesn't even have to DO anything to be beloved. If you ask me, we should hold Friday to a higher standard! Friday shouldn't be allowed to skate just based on its station in life! Friday should have to actually DO something to earn its good fortune! Friday should not be the Paris Hilton of your datebook!!

Down with Friday!!! Or maybe Up with Friday!!! I'm not sure!!! Whatever!!!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Oh, The Night We Had.

For me, it was one of these nights:

It's one of those nights

I went to the fridge to get a glass of sweet tea, and walked away with one of these. I don't drink at home ever, really, but I bought these on a whim at the store yesterday...thank God I did.

Bad: The A/C? Yeah, not fixed. Fortunately, we know a guy; or rather, Travis' mom knows a guy. Hopefully that will serve us well (and ohmygod PLEASE let this not be a huge expensive thing like we need a new air handler, or I'll just hurl myself off the roof.)

Good: I got all the wedding albums done tonight for his mom and my folks and the maid of honour. Yay accomplishments!

Way Icky Bad: That was a nice way to wind down after what I'd had to do when I got home from work. I don't want to just say it outright, but it has to do with my kitty Rooster, a mess to clean up, and rhymes with "mexplosive biarrhea". Thank God I got home at just the right time, and that he made it to the box (what a champ)....but in case you've never had to take a shower with a very pissed off and miserable long-haired cat who's, um, gross....well, it's about as much fun as it sounds. Poor kitty. (Not to downplay how much it sucked for me. Ever considered scrubbing your own skin with bleach?) I've been watching him closely all night, and he seems to be completely fine now. (Thank God. If there had been a trip to the emergency vet in order...well, even moreso with the roof hurling.)

Ms. Gadabout had a good point; my kids have been rather inconspicuous around this blog lately. They're all fine; they're just not as photogenic lately. Brodie's in one of his "I'd forgotten how much fun it is to forget all my training and just be a pain in the arse" phases, so the only photos I could get of him would be me clutching him and sobbing about what a good boy he used to be. (Fortunately, we have Little Bit's eternal saintly behaviour to fall back on.)

When Travis gets all cranky, I make him tell me something he liked about his day, so that the negativity doesn't set in and permeate everything. I'm starting to get gripey, so let me share some stuff that rocks today:

These are a few of my favourite things

I got this on Friday! (Hence I was finally able to get the wedding photos up, and now I can upload at will!) I love it! I almost ruined it immediately (I have little fear of technology, which is not as good a thing as it could be if I knew what I was doing) but I restored it to factory settings and started over, and now all's well and I lurve it!!! Yay Mac!!

And I've made pretty respectable progress on the Mystery Stole:

Mystery Stole progress

I've finished the first clue and am maybe six or eight rows into the second clue. This yarn is stunning, a deep purple handdyed silk I got at the Victoria Fiber Festival; the artist uses natural dyes and makes some of the most bold, vibrant, rich yarns. I'm still stunned by this...oh, and I LOVE the stole so far. The scrollwork is incredibly appealing to me. (And I am using the beads, but you can't really tell because I did such a bang-up job of matching the beads perfectly to the yarn that the beads aren't even visible.)

Now, I'm going to keep working on the Mystery Stole to stay in my happy place. (And Rooster is lying nearby, trying his hardest to, if not forgive me and snuggle up, at least not spend the entire evening glaring at me with hatred burning like a thousand fiery suns. I really love him for his strength and loyalty.)

The Next Big Thing

I'm in love with the Giotto socks, and I'm putting them on my prediction list for What's Everyone On The Planet Knitting Now?. Adelle knitted them in the recent club installment from Socks that Rock, and they are gorgeous! See them here. And Ms. Yarnbeans is knitting the Giotto cuff with the Hedera leg, which is really exceedingly pretty.

I have a zillion skeins of sock yarn. I have a zillion and one patterns to knit. And now that I have spare time, I have completely filled it with deadline-knitting. Sockapalooza socks, Harry Potter book/movie socks (well, ONE is done in time for the movie...Dobby socks, anyone?). The Mystery Stole, which isn't technically deadline knitting but I really don't want to fall so far behind that I get discouraged, or worse yet, that I lose interest entirely because I'm four weeks behind and other people have finished and now that I've seen the finished product, the fun is zapped. And then there's the swatches and half-finished things scattered all over the house because I somehow have decided to fancy myself a designer and instructor and now have samples to knit, which is heaps and heaps of fun and I love it, but it always leaves me wondering how many of me I thought there were when I started all these projects at once. (I really should sign Travis up to punch me in the face every time I say, "You know what I think I'll try?") And spinning, let's not forget the spinning. (Well, YOU don't forget the spinning, because clearly I already have.)

AND!! The upstairs A/C unit took a poopie yesterday. Thank God we have central zones for upstairs and downstairs; we were able to sleep in comfort in the downstairs guest room while we let the thing rest overnight. Travis opened it up yesterday and found a huge block of ice inside the handler. Here's a tip: change your air filters. We're pretty sure it was the huge rectangles of filth that used to be filters that were blocking the air flow, so the unit never shut off, then froze over and seized up. All we had to do was replace the filters, shut the thing off and let the ice thaw. But here's the thing; it's Florida, it's July, it's like 103 degrees outside with about fourteenhundredeleven percent humidity, and the wool is upstairs. I didn't mind being boiling hot, and I could just move downstairs when it got too bad; but a trunk full of gorgeous handpainted roving braids that each look like they've had a bad perm was not something I was looking forward to. So Travis went up into the attic (didn't I mention the air handler is in the attic?) and sat there in sweltering stagnant heat, sweating bullets and inhaling insulation, with a hairdryer pointed at the ice, trying to melt it faster so we could get the A/C back up and running at least for the afternoon to save the wool.

My hero. For real. I mean, I don't know that I myself could have spent 30 minutes blow-drying a block of ice to save my roving. (For the record, yes, when he crawled back down, weighing probably a good four pounds less than he did when he went up there, he did look an awful lot like he hated me and my stupid stupid wool.)

We let the A/C rest overnight, since it was less oppressively hot and the wool would probably survive, and it seemed to be running okay when we tested it this morning. We *think* everything is okay, and the wool should be fine. We'll see when we get home, since I accidentally forgot to raise the thermostat before leaving and it'll probably be running all day. Hee...oops. (Not that it should surprise anyone. I break stuff. It's kind of my thing.)

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Our wedding photo

I got some photos up! All photo credits go to Charity de Meer (who, in case you've forgotten because I haven't said it enough, was freakin' awesome.)

I won't post a ton of them here - but I did want to share a couple of favourites, and if you want to see the rest (I uploaded about 40), you can check out the photoset on Flickr.

Holy crap, I got to MARRY this guy!!!

OHMYGODHEISSOHOT. Er, I mean, I really love this picture of Travis.

The stockings

As promised, full-length photos of the stockings!

Heeeyyyy, I love my socks!

And there are PLENTY of them! :-D

Okay, I've been playing with my photos for about three hours now! Back to what I SHOULD be doing - knitting! (Clean house? No thanks, I'm okay.)

Friday, July 06, 2007


I post a lot lately, eh? But this is a good one. I'm back to my good ol' enable-tastic self.

You know how self-striping sock yarn is so awesome, but usually more expensive than regular ol' sock yarn? Lookit this shop called LoveSticks. Tons of self-striping yarn in really cool colours (love Surf and Turf, Drama Mama, and Rose Garden) and the skeins are only $18.99!! Love her!!!

I found the Love Sticks shop by way of this blog, which I found from this shop, which I found from this blog post. (Whew! Gotta love the commuknitty! Although sometimes you leave a blog sooner than you'd like to, because you get that feeling that you're not supposed to loiter around too much until maybe a little later....) As soon as I get paid next week, I am SO buying this bag set. (So don't touch it!!!) I also like the following items that I will allow you to purchase: here, here, and here. And there are tons more awesome ones here. I had to stop before my head exploded from being filled with stuff I wanted. Too many great fabrics!

I think I may have to see if I can find somewhere to commission some sort of butch bag for Travis to carry his knitting in. Some fabric covered with, I don't know, wrenches and naked chicks or something manly like that. It's not going to matter. They'll just give him hell regardless. Still, I love the idea of a WIP bag in nekkid-lady fabric. Heh. Or maybe just a plain heavy canvas black blag with "This Guy Loves VaJayJay" silkscreened on it in big red letters. Yes. Perfect.

I Like My Beverages Discombobulated

Travis had to buy me THREE Simpsons twistee straws at the 7-Eleven/Kwik-E-Mart, under threat of temper tantrum. (What can I say?) They have given me great joy ever since. Twistee straws are never unfun, no matter how old you are.

I had a happy mail day yesterday. Hee!

The Latest...

I got a shipment of Funky Carolina fibers, by way of The Sweet Sheep. This is the highly coveted Vampyr (red) and Forsythia (gold). I know already that Forsythia is going to be something special. I have a Rumplestilskin project planned. ;-)

You can also just catch a tiny glimpse of the other mail goodies from yesterday - I ordered four yummy soaps and three (more) lip balms from Rosi! Her soaps are so delicious, and her lip balm is my new Most Favorite Thing.

As I mentioned, I finished that first Sockapalooooza sock:

Three Strikes

My own pattern, Dave Daniels' Cabin Cove yarn in Yankee Ikat colourway. As I've mentioned before, I'm happy with my little pattern, but I do think she's probably going to wear these about four times before exclaiming, "Oh my God, there's a cable on these! I never noticed!"

Braided Cable detail

Bonus points if you can pick it out. Extra bonus points if you can't pick it out but you tell me you can! I'm going to tinker with this pattern and do it in a solid/semi-solid.

But not before I get to work on something special for this:

Sweet Socks

Lookit!!! Lookit!!! This was the most awesomest surprise! Michelle had mentioned a little while back that she had a new colourway she was working on and I was so excited about it, and then yesterday I get this! It's called "Wedding Bells" and I love how edgy it is! I also love that my ceaseless yammering on about my wedding inspired something wonderful in the fiber world! (See, I CAN use my powers for good! I oftentimes just choose not to....oh, and that's of course only if you count self-involvement and diarrhea of the mouth - or for blog purposes, fingers - as "powers".) The darker colour looks like it's black, but it's really a dark, dark blue. It's my new favourite in the stash, but I doubt it will be there for long! I have some thoughts on a pattern for it...we'll see!

Also, please keep your fingers crossed for me; my laptop is listed as "out for delivery" in Orlando today, but the delivery date is still posted for July 9th. I NEED IT today!! I have to get some photos done and properly edited, and my computer as-is will not let me do much without some sort of technological temper tantrum. Yay!!!!!!!!!

Oh, I read the bios of the SAFF instructors, and it's vaguely terrifying. Almost every instructor has been knitting (or whatever their chosen craft) since conception, and were born attached to their mother by i-cord, not umbilically. I'm going to have to come up with a very creative way to sell myself if I end up teaching.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Florida Central/West Coast Peeps:

Hey, exciting news about Valerie (also of this yummy place, and I'm warning you, do not click that link if you want (your bank account) to live. I found so much stuff I want that I should just move into their stock room.) Anyway, she is coming to Florida to vacation and hit the beach with sticks and wool (it would sound crazy to anyone other than us) and she's going to be in Tampa on Thursday the 12th! We're meeting up that evening to hit yarn shops, probably get dinner, and maybe drink too much wine and wake up to a morning of frogging several rounds of whatever it is we knitted on Thursday night. (Though that part might be just me.) If you're in the Tampa area or would like to come to the Tampa area and meet up with us, just drop a line by comment or email! Also, any suggestions of where to knit & eat would be welcome and much appreciated, as it is not my town and I'm relatively clueless.

Happy *hic* Fourth!!

Wow, what a great day off! We were very productive and patriotic; we arose early, took the dogs for a nice long walk, hung out the flag, did some all-American gardening for a few hours, packed up a healthy picnic lunch and walked down to the lake, where we spent a few hours sunbathing, splashing in the lake, and picking up litter; then we returned home and got ready to hit the town parade, where we were marching with the volunteer firefighters, and sang the national anthem while watching the fireworks display. Then it was home and in bed by 9:30. Yay, America!!

If you're having a hard time swallowing that crap, then congratulations - you've been reading this ol' blog for a while. The dogs kinda walk themselves, I don't garden, lakes are kinda gross and I sunburn like crazy, we're not good community people, and we were too lazy to go watch the fireworks. What really happened? Well, it's more likely that we stayed up until 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday night, slept until almost 11:30 a.m., wandered around the house in our pajamas until about 2:00 p.m., took lazy showers (you know, the ones where you scrub properly but you only rinse your hair and don't bother with shampoo) and went to see a movie (Pirates of the Carribean; we're behind by several weeks on the new releases.) Oh, and we had someone else prepare lunch for us in air-conditioned comfort (picnic my ass).

Oh, and I *would* hang a flag, except I don't have the dedication. See, I'm VERY particular about it, and I get really annoyed when proper flag etiquette isn't observed. I don't have the tenacity to keep up with all the regulations, so I avoid it altogether. I have no idea why I have this hangup, but for some reason, I just do; I figure if someone went to all the trouble to write it into the US Code, then it must be important. And half-mast is an especially big deal for me; after President Ford died, I drove by a car dealership that didn't have the flag at half-mast, and I called them. It's just one of those strange things I've decided to obsess over.

We DID get to visit the 7-Eleven that was converted into a Kwik-E-Mart, though, which was freakin' awesome (photos to come). I got a Squishee! And we got home and had Krusty-O's for dinner. (Sad. But true.)

But on the other hand, someone else I know and love had a VERY VERY good day! (More on that later, I promise.)

What else - oh, I also spun up a bobbin of merino (which required an assertive pre-drafting because I was not doing a very good job on it without). This is a special skein that will hopefully turn out well enough; it's a very nice soft fiber in beautiful colors, a soft purple (hmmm...) with just a touch of mocha. Love it!!

The first of my Sockapalooza socks is finished as of this morning, and I'm pretty happy with it. I figured out I'm going to have a TON of yarn leftover (dangit! I wish I'd made them taller!) and so I think I may do matching handwarmers or something. (Me and my ambitions...) But right now I have to set it aside and finish the Gryffindor socks; I figured rather than try to finish them in time for the big release on You Know When, I'd work fast and try to finish them in time for the other, sooner big release on You Also Know When. (What, too subtle?) I almost never ever see movies the day they come out in theatres; but I may make an exception for this one, because it looks badassss!

And then when those Gryffindor socks are done, I have plenty more to choose from...which are you?

Sunshine Yarns self-striping


Sunshine Yarns self-striping


Sunshine Yarns self-striping


Or are you Hufflepuff? (Which I didn't purchase because I'm definitely not Hufflepuff and their house colours aren't as appealing to me and I already have Hufflepuffy sock yarn anyway.)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sale Alert

Okay, this is kind of a cheat - it's MY sale. But if anyone's in the market for handspun, I'm knocking 20% off my stuff until the 5th; it's my "Freedom Sale", in a nod to both Canada and the US. (Respeck.) So if you're interested, see the shop. (I wish I had a ton of handspun, but unfortunately the stuff's kind of, um, labor-intensive.)

I'm trying to brace myself to brave the tempestuous waters of yarn dyeing....I'm sort of nervous about it. Acid ain't kool-aid, ya know? And it's not like there aren't enough brilliant dyers out there already. But still, it looks like fun.

Speaking of fun - back I go to the Mystery Stole. Thanks to Rosi's slick tip, I'm moving a little quicker. I'm sure she won't mind my sharing: When you're working a lace chart, first go through the chart and anytime you see a bunch of knit stitches (more than two), count them up and write a numeral in the first box; that way when you come to it in the chart, you know right away that you have to knit seven, and you don't have to count it up and risk getting it wrong because you're starting to suffer from chart-blindness. (I got sick to death of tinking every other row and finally tried it - wouldn't you know it, I haven't had to back up a stitch since then. Rosi rules.)

Monday, July 02, 2007


Does anyone have experience with Aperture for Mac? I'm going to try to get all my stuff from Laptop A onto New-and-Improved Laptop B, but I'm not sure whether I'll be able to move my mack-daddy gazillion-dollar version of Ph*t*shop over (without getting into the specifics of why, I don't actually have discs or other necessary things for that program); in any event, I'm thinking of getting Aperture either in addition to or instead of That Other Program. Do any of you use Aperture? Email or comment with any thoughts, puh-leeease!!

What? Knitting content? Um, okay...uh....oh!

New patterns and stuff: I like this. But I'm wondering if I like it on me, or if I just like the twee-tiny version of it in the photo. I'm not sure this is a look that would be cute on me...but I really might have to try it...and it looks like a simple and quick knit.

And I also think this is a supercute top, and I'm thinking about making some alterations to it (length, bulkier yarn) and making a quick-knit little supercute housedress kind of thing instead. It looks so adorable but comfy... (Two garment items in Magknits that I like this month! Yay, go Magknits!)

Also, I really love these bags and I want more money so I can have one. (I thought about asking for Paypal donations so that I can have all the cool things I want, but people tend to want goods or services in exchange for their hard-earned dollars...pfft.)

Oh, and I really want to get out of here and get home so I can work on Mystery Stole. Lurve it.

Carry on!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Canada D'Eh!

Yay, Canadians! Thank you for: Smarties, gun control, proving that healthcare for everyone IS possible, Roots, Dan Akroyd, John Candy, caring about silly things like trees and air, the Kids in the Hall, Fleece Artist, Phil Hartman, maple syrup, Barenaked Ladies (whatever, I like them), Arcade Fire, being the country we point at and go "Why can't we be more like that?", and Martin Short. (Added: Duh! And of course, this!)

However, I'm still not over Tom Green. You'll be paying for that one for a long time to come.

Secret Pal's all wrapped up. Um, kinda; I have some loose ends...but it was a fun round, for sure. I'm definitely hanging back on the next round though - having done three in a row and serving my duty as fertility goddess (funny thing about the people I get matched up to...) I think I'm ready for a break. Maybe more KALs and less swaps - that might help with my whole I-spend-more-than-I-knit problem. :-)

We got our wedding photos yesterday! An album with 300 (fantastic!) proofs and two discs with all the pictures. All ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN of them. (Our photographer still freakin' rules.) I'll share a few of the really good ones - particularly ones featuring the stockings - hopefully within the next week or so; right now I'm not really able to upload them.....which brings me to my next point:

I caved on the "To MacBook, or not to MacBook" situation. As it turns out, I actually DO kinda need a new laptop. It's not a cute little "hey, I wanna new laptop 'cuz I'm spoiled" issue anymore; it's an "I'm almost out of memory, need a new battery, it takes forever to run apps, and this thing keeps kinda shutting down on its own" issue. So I can prolong the inevitable and spend at least a few hundred bucks to buy the external hard drive, move stuff over, get a new battery, and clean up the thing; or I can just face that it's a three year-old base model laptop and suck it up. I've decided to suck. (Wait....) So I just have to wait for the thing to be delivered; it'll be ordered for me tomorrow (I have my own sneaky and diabolical ways of saving money, you see; it's called Take Advantage of the Kindness of Others, and I'm a big fan of it.) I should have it...I don't know, end of the week? I'm pretty stoked. Poor, but stoked.

(And this time, so help me, I'm going to learn to actually USE the thing, not just have an expensive place to keep pictures and songs.)

All right, I gotta get back to the Mystery Stole. It's kind of all-consuming, to the point that it's eating my soul (in a good way.)