Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Excuse me while I wipe the eye boogers out of my eyes

I am beat.

I've been running on empty for a few weeks now. Which means I'm running on negative empty at this point. Last night was the topper on the cake. I stayed out until 11:30 on a school night. Whew. Call in the adult police and give me a ticket for irresponsible behavior. I'm crazy I tell you.

Sweet
Elisa had Keiko and me over for some tasty soup and salad. We got to eating, knitting, and talking. Before I knew it I was stumbling to my car, turning it on, and getting my first peek at a clock in 4 hours. Sorry Elisa! I had no idea it was that late. But, damn did I ever have a good time. It was good company and we sorely missed Jackie who apparently was in desperate need of a shower.

I cast on for a pair of fingerless gloves for my brother. I had abandoned the idea that somehow, in addition to my other crafty projects, I was going to knit a long cablely scarf for him. I figured fingerless gloves would be just the ticket. The yarn that I got, which I love (and is not in front of me right now, I'll update it later), knits up at 10 sts per inch. After much befuddled confusion trying to figure out how many stitches to cast on I realized that this wasn't going to be a quick knit project. Alas, they will just have to be for me. Poor me.

Thanksgiving was filled with lots of thanks and some giving. The highlights included:

1 - A sweet "family" moment during T-day dinner. In addition to my immediate family and grandmother, my aunts, uncles, and cousins were all in attendance. Oh, and the dogs. There were five dogs there.

2 - Yarn Stores. Okay there was only one, the other was closed (still biter.) It was a great one (Spirit Work Knitting and Design) and there was coffee and couches which perfectly fit the asses of my father and husband while my sister, mom, and I ohhh'd and ahhh'd over the fun.

3- Teaching my sister to knit, she's going to be a maniac.

4 - The Polar Express movie in 3-D at the IMAX. It was my first 3-D movie and I loved it.

5 - Purchasing Molly Pops and proceeding to eat three of them in a row. Yum.

6 - Eating a homemade fabulous meal orchestrated by my brother. Who the hell knew he could cook?!

7 - Sending Rob into a room filled with hundreds of guitars and watching his eyes swim.

8 - Seeing lots of men with big hair, tight jeans, and pointy boots at that same place. Man, it was like being in the 80s. Some of them even wore make-up and THEY WEREN'T PLAYING DRESS UP.

9 - The fact that the yarn store and the guitar store are STEPS from one another!

10 - Spending every minute of four days with my wonderful Husband who gives really good massages that don't ever render me unable to walk straight.

11 - Sleeping in, there was lots of sleeping in!

There really isn't any exciting knitting news. Flogging away at the Christmas gift list. Almost there.... one gift finished, four in progress.


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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Best Of...

It's that time of the year again. I l-o-v-e the holiday season. I just do. I love it so much that the unbelievable embarrassment of commercialism that takes over doesn't bother me. I just go on one of my anti-capitalism campaigns* after the holidays and all is right in the world. I love so many things about it that I think I'll list them periodically. Just to relish the feeling.

I love the end of the year "Best Books of 2004." I love books and I love to read about new unknown books. These lists are usually stacked with titles that are obscure. I saw my first today via
Bookslut. I have no idea who this guy is (Neal Pollack, should I know him?!) but I will record his top five here because they (for the most part) are titles that are lesser known. Most importantly, they sound good. Go to his website to read why they were chosen.

1.
Wake Up, Sir! by Jonathan Ames

2.
My Old Man by Amy Sohn.

3.
I, Fatty by Jerry Stahl.

4.
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth.

5.
Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman.


What are your favorite books of 2004? Mind you, these are books that were published this year. I have to try to figure out if I've even read any!


*I am famous for these campaigns. Okay, famous in my own head. Which really is the most important place to have any level of fame. The campaign consists of not buying anything that isn't needed (food, etc.) in an effort to thwart the big commercial boxes of the country. The longest I've ever gone - 8 months. For real. No cloths, shoes, books. Nothing. I haven't tried this since I've started knitting.

Hey Alison - I would love some bath bomb making resources...point me in the right direction. Which Alison are you?!



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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A Little Consideration Please

It's days like today that I wonder, WHY THE HELL DON'T YOU PEOPLE UPDATE YOUR BLOGS MORE OFTEN?! I mean, once a day is not enough. And those of you who limit yourself to a few days a week, how do you expect me to pass the long hours of unmotivated time at my computer?! Have some consideration people.

In case you were not aware (I most certainly was not) Christmas is in three weekends. Yes, I measure my time in weekends. This and the previous paragraph should give you some idea of how much I'm enjoying my job lately. I will wisely digress. It is a small, small world. And yes, if you look at a calendar you will see that there are actually five weekends until Christmas. This weekend does not count. What kind of horrible family member would actually work on a gift in front of the recipients face? Why, I would. However, I will not "count" the time spent.

Let's talk knit gifts. I have the following things to complete:

1. Mom's caplet (25% done)
2. Dad's scarf (1/8 done...someone stole my calculator and I'm too sick and tired to figure out the percentage. Yes, I am a scientist and no I don't know my alphabet unless I recite it in my head first. So what makes you think that I would know the percentage of 1/8?)
3. Sister's Banff (85% done. There is a story in this epic sweater...it's stuck on my computer at home, it will be liberated and the truth will be told)
4. Brother's something (hat or scarf...haven't decided yet. Which logically means that 0% is done.)
5. G-ma's scarf (85% done)

I'm also going to get a bit crafty and rewrap some homemade soap. Make some wire angels. Write our wedding Thank you cards (yes, I know..these should have been done a long time ago.) Write Christmas Cards. And knit up a few Christmas Dishcloths for packaging the soap. Oh, I also want to learn to make bath bombs.


I think I've figured out why I'm unmotivated at work. There is no more of me to go around. Tapped out I tell ya!

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Monday, November 22, 2004

Monday, Monday, da da Bah da bah da


Either you all have started to de-lurk or I picked up some commenting readers. Which ever it is, it’s pretty damn fun. Thanks for the feedback. I love to write this stuff. I do it for me but it is much more fun when it’s a conversation. The only thing that stinks it that Blogger, unlike Typepad, doesn’t have a way to email people from their comments. I suppose that leaves me conversing in the comments, which is more fun anyway.

Bah da bah da da da
Bah da bah da da da
Bah da bah da da da…
Monday Monday can't trust that day
Monday Monday sometimes it just turns out that way

Now that we’ve gotten
that out of the way…

I made some new friends! This is huge! I think they actually think I’m semi-normal. I know, this must mean there is SOMETHING wrong with them. Really, I am willing to take what I can get. Totally kidding girls, you too are perfectly normal.



On Saturday I met up with these two jokers and a third joker who somehow managed to escape the lens of my camera. This is
Jackie and Elisa. Keiko is lingering on the other side of the yarn store drooling over some blue yarn. They are great women. I am impressed and starry eyed at their intelligence, humor, and talent. This is the first time I’ve embarked on such an endeavor, meeting people I’ve only known through the Internet (don’t worry, I called Emily and let her know where I would be, JUST IN CASE.) We had a pretty great time and I was absolutely dumb-founded to learn that an entire morning and afternoon had passed before I thought about going home. I’m looking forward to a “second date.”

I decided to make the Heart Scarf from the
Knitty Fall Surprise for my G-ma’s Christmas Present.


click for close up

I picked up the called for yarn (
Reynolds Blizzard) on Saturday and cast on as soon as I got home from my social day out. I’m just about 3/4 of the way done. I had no idea that the yarn for this was so bulky. It’s a quick fun knit. I must say, the yarn sheds quite a bit. It’s quite fluffy and it has made its way into my throat! I feel like one of the cats trying to hack up a hairball. Good thing I started this AFTER I met the new ladies, huh? What an impression that would have left! I’m sure G-ma will love the scarf but I’m going to have to warn her about the hacking thing.

In Finished Object news. Robby’s stocking is finito!



I taught myself the Kitchener Stitch (you inspired me Elisa!) It really is quite easy, although I am not sure that I did it correctly. I suppose I will have to get the master Elisa to give the nod of approval. I hope to finish another (this one will be for me) before Christmas. I think it will go faster now that I have all the quirks of the pattern worked out. It took me forever to find a simple and classy stocking pattern. I don't love working with the Lopi, too damn scratchy. I'm not sure I would substitute though, I think that you need it for its stiffness. A softer yarn wouldn't stand-up as much. You need a stand-up kind of yarn for this project. Kind of like needing a stand-up kind of man in your house. Definitely a fun knit and I suppose I am now prepared to tackle human-sized sock.
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Friday, November 19, 2004

Knives, Puppies, Babies, Cables, and Fuzzy Yarn

I've been working on Robby's Christmas stocking. I had another late night yesterday unfortunately, which leaves me with no pictures. I've ripped the toe about 4 times. Again, I have to mention how proud I am of myself. Typically I wouldn't rip and I'd just convince myself that it would work out. Like Magic. I'm really learning and enjoying the process. I think having multiple projects going at once really helps this attitude. When I get frustrated, which is often, I can put the project in Time Out and move onto something else. Knitting is making me a better person. I swear.

I'm super excited for tomorrow. I get to meet JKC of the
Project and I get to see Elisa who is a bit Tongue Tied and her friend Keiko again. We're meeting up for fun in the grand city of Milton with a possible side trip to Jamaica Plain. Yarn stores and food are in order. I will bring lots of pictures of puppies and babies to bring Jackie over to the fuzzy side and I will bring a cable needle to bring Elisa over to the cable side. Keiko shall escape my wrath for now. I've warned them of my Curious George head knife wielding tendencies. Apparently they are not afraid.

Which brings me to a funny story. Rob and I started dating about three years ago. I met him at a Dog Park in Athens, Georgia. This was as cheesy and movie-ish as it sounds. At least for him it was, I was a bit timid and overwhelmed at the time. I was finishing my thesis, applying for jobs, getting over a relationship, and getting ready to move back to civilization (the North.) Rob, on the other hand, was in love and ready to marry me after the first date. Really, he was very vocal about this. Thank God he stuck around. I was a bit slow to come around to his many charms and qualities. In fact, for the first couple of months of our “relationship” I would sidle up to the passenger side door as we pulled up to my driveway with my hand on the door knob ready to jump out as the car slowed in order to avoid the dreaded kiss. Eventually this kiss came and the rest is history.

My friend Emily came to visit me during this rocky beginning. The three of us spent some time one evening in a bar. Drunk Emily, who is always amusing, had a sudden thought, “Wendy is down here all alone. What if this guy does something bad, like kill her? We don’t even really know if he is who is says he is.” She mumbled something about not believing Rob was as old as he said he was. Rob whipped out his license and Emily proceeded to memorize his full name and address. Just in case.

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Thursday, November 18, 2004

Arrr-right.

Notice the buttons on the right. Robby did these for me. I love the book spines. They list the titles of some of my favorite books. We've still got to tweak a bit and there are more to be made but I am one lucky duck to have Mr Photoshop in the house!

Arrr-right.

This is the midwestern way of saying all right. I learned this in college. I learned other things too but this was by far the most annoying. Nails on a chalkboard I tell you.

First, this is Susan:



She is my mom and is she ever a good one. My parents live in upstate New York. As far upstate as one can get, you'd be in Lake Ontario if you were any more up the state. Rochester, New York. This is where I was raised. (Born in Texas. When I was off to graduate school in Georgia my dad told me, "Don't worry, you'll fit right in you're really a red neck at heart." Didn't float there. Could it have been the carpetbag I was carrying around?)

Susan is a worrier. In fact, she has created an imaginary hat called the worry hat. This hat is probably a bit worn down and thread bare, it gets a lot of work. She called yesterday morning to ask me about the tires on our car.

Mom: "How are your tires?"
Me: "Good how are yours?"
Mom: "Kevin Williams is predicting a snow storm for Thanksgiving and I just wanted to check to make sure your car was all set."
Me: "Well, it's been in the shop twice in as many months and it's on the heavy end of 100,000 miles. I'd say is not quite all set."
Mom: "But your tires, how are your tires? I don't want you two coming home without good tires on the car."

Okay, I should interrupt here for some background. My mother is obsessed with the weather in the winter. This is understandable. Rochester is a miserable place in the winter and one can only watch and hope that it can get better. Kevin Williams is like an old family friend. And he is trust worthy. The mom says he's pretty good, good enough to predict a snowstorm a full week before it will happen. Rochester also gets an unbelievable amount of snow largely in part due to the mysterious
"Lake Effect". There is so much snow that it's hard to get excited about it and/or worry about when and if it will come. It just will. If you're in the car on I-90 driving west from Massachusetts it will start at Rome, New York (there are a lot of Italin cities in Upstate New York. There are a lot of Italians in Upstate New York. Fabulous food!) and it will continue until you pull in the driveway...at which point it will stop. Really, this is no lie. Rome, New York. Regardless of this certainty the worry hat comes out in full force this time of year. The emphasis usually falls on the tires. The tires will get you through. In fact, while I was living in Georgia my parents financed new tires often. Just in case I drove the 15 hours home AND hit a snowstorm on the way. If and when that happened, I would have good tires to get my through. It never did. Everyday these whoa-fully over qualified tires hit the steamy streets of Georgia without a purpose. It was horrible to watch.

After assuring her that the tires were okay, and yes, I would go check them as soon as I got off the phone. And yes, I would call if they were worn down even a little bit, and yes, and yes, and yes. And mom, will you go bury the worry hat in the closet?

I hang up the phone. I get back to work. The phone rings again.

Mom: How about your AAA, is that current?
Me: Yes, mom we just used it last week, and about three weeks before that. It's current.
Mom: Are you sure?
Me: Yes, I'm sure.
Mom: Well, maybe you should call and check. Because I think I used to renew it for your Christmas Gift.
Me: I will call and check to make double sure. And mom, will you go bury the worry hat IN THE BACKYARD before the permafrost sets in? It will have to stay there all winter, 'kay?

She is a great Mom. And because of her, I will always have good tires, a clean bed, lots of love, and clean teeth. To show my love and appreciation I am making her a caplet for Christmas (also named Susan.) The mom has a bad neck and back and she has to keep them warm and covered. She
picked out the yarn a few months ago. I cast on this weekend. I started with stockinette stitch because that's how I did the other. It didn't work with this yarn. My other caplet was made with Ribbon and it didn't roll in stockinette. Maybe because of its weight? The Interlacements that I'm using is primarily wool yarn with a bit of nylon. Roll city. I ripped and started it in garter stitch. This is a big step for me. Usually I fool myself into believing that it will work itself out and get better with time. The garter stitch looks awesome.
Click on the picture below for a close up.


This is the perfect stitch for this thick and thin yarn. The variegation has worked out perfectly so far, no flashing, pooling, or puddling (
The Harlot has a great definition of each.)

I love working with it and I'm really excited to see what the mom thinks of it over Thanksgiving. You can bet we'll get there all in one piece because the tires will get us through.


BTW - check this out...
my first pie. Cool, huh? I'm obsessed with pies. A few years ago I had the best pie I've ever had. I realized then that a good pie is hard to come by. I decided I would learn to make one. This is the first. (The mom says you'll always remember your first pie, she does. Good thing I got a picture. Someday I'll be able to show my daughter. ;) ) The piecrust dough is store bought (gasp.) I only wanted to deal with one variable at a time. It's apple-cranberry and it's delish. I used a recipe in Baking Illustrated. A fabulous book, I would recommend it to anyone who likes to cook/bake and is interested in the how and why of the process. The bread is out of my bread machine. Second loaf...the first didn't rise. Total bummer, I had forgotten the oil. You must have fat for bread. Fat good.

Lastly, Rob and I are creating a Christmas CD for our friends and family (The Stompers do Christmas.) Really, Rob is creating the CD, I'm just an advisor. We're in pre-production right now:


What's with all the green? For crying out loud.

I can't sing. But apparently I have to on We're a Couple of Misfits from
this movie. We're going to do a punk version where you don't really sing so much as YELL and SCREAM. I can't wait. Part of pre-production is figuring out how to edit out the swear words in some of the songs we want to do. What's a Christmas song without the occasional, fuck and hell thrown in? We don't think the right-wing contingency of the family would appreciate these shenanigans. Maybe Rob will just pause at the parts where these words fall. That way when we do the family sing along we can all YELL THEM REALLY LOUD and spread the REAL joy of Christmas around.






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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Money you can't buy me love

I got home from work at 8:30 pm last night and was back at work at 6 am this morning. I ain't complaining. Work = money. Money = food, heat, wine, books and YARN.

It does not equal love,
for money you can't buy me love.**

Bookslut reviews a handful of the holiday issues of cooking mags. Her wit is perfect for the early morning lull and I'm thankful that I no longer have to read any of the magazines. Because, really, who has the time? I have at least four knitable Christmas gifts to tackle.


** My new goal for this blog? To get a song stuck in your head at least once a week.
Elisa has a most curious method of heading off such torture. Check out her comment on this post.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Be there or be Square

A fun knitting event...

Holiday Knitting w/Circles Knitting Salon at Village Books in Roslindale
Thursday, November 18th 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Join fellow knitters and prepare a unique gift for a loved one this holiday. Guided by
Circles owner Allison Nevitt, you’ll choose from several knitting project kits—an ornament! a sparkly scarf! Expert knitters and novices welcome.

Please come if you can! I'll be there. Roslindale really isn't the end of the world, unless of course you don't live in Boston. Then really, it is the end of the world.

Directions:
www.village-books.net

***

You may have noticed the lack of updated knitting progress...something good this way comes.


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Monday, November 15, 2004

Lockerbie Squashed Derrida

Two sites that are amusing me right now.

The first (found via
lyc fyi) is 10X10.

This site takes the most popular images from three RSS news feeds (NYT, BBC, Reuters) and puts them together into a postcard format. The most popular is in the upper left hand corner, least popular in the lower right hand corner. Words are also ranked to go with the images. It's a very interesting snapshot into our hourly news. Lots o' pictures of Arafat right now and war. Lots o' war. I wonder if there would ever be a day where only flowers were pictured, or puppies, or babies smiling. There I go again, being fuzzy again (sorry JKC, it's like a disease or something :) ).

The second site, I found via the 10x10 site. This is even more fun.
Word count: Tracking the way we use Language.

WordCount™ is an artistic experiment in the way we use language. It presents the 86,800 most frequently used English words, ranked in order of commonality. Each word is scaled to reflect its frequency relative to the words that precede and follow it, giving a visual barometer of relevance. The larger the word, the more we use it. The smaller the word, the more uncommon it is.


The first word I scrolled to - Number 28,897 - FART. Hmmm, only 28,897? They obviously haven't been monitoring my language. The most common word? THE. Not surprised there. My name is listed! Number 8,453, my name is more popular than Arafat's.

Other amusing combinations of words:

Lockerbie squashed Derrida Tubular
(numbers 17,070- 17,071- 17,072- 17,073). What is the state of our society if Derrida is more popular than fart? Uneducated masses my arse. You also have to admit that it is somewhat ironic that his name appears on a web site that deals with language? Tubular dude.

Narrowest Withers Sobered
(numbers 33,138- 33,139- 33,140) This just makes me laugh, I can't even crack a joke about it. It's just plain funny.

Texas Erected Colitis
(numbers 7,031- 7,032- 7,033) Now, is it okay to equate colitis with our president? I think this combination endorses it.

Did you know W is a word?
Yup, number 2,571.
It follows Liability. Speaks volumes I say, speaks volumes. I'll just leave it at that.



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Friday, November 12, 2004

Feminist Who May Have Lost Her Way

Robby shouted at me from the bathroom this morning, "You know what stupid song I have in my head?"

Now, when someone asks you this question I would like to think the answer would be, no and don't tell me. Because really, who believes that once you tell someone it goes away? No, it just spreads the pain.

So, of course I say, "No, what song?"

"Oh, Culina you're so fine you blow my mind. Culina! Culina!"

Yes, this is the song that I was yelling through the house as I embarked on my first
Culina adventure. Little did I know then that it would bite me in the ass now. Incidently, this entire Banff/enough yarn thing has just about killed me. I'm hoping to record the evidence this weekend and will post about it soon.

As a non-related bookend to that, I find this
Dear Prudie exchange to be absolutely hilarious. Playboy a gateway drug, pallleeeze.
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Thursday, November 11, 2004

Hi Guys!

Whew....honey get out the good linens.....

The girls are coming over!

Hi Guys!



(this isn't really how your hands are when you knit.)

I finally "came out of the closet" to all of my girlfriends. They don't knit. They know I'm a dork, but I think this may even surprise them.

The boys are next. I'm afraid their mocking won't be as merciful as my girls.
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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Saturation

Whew. I'm all blogged out. Crazydaisy Kerstin is at her Knits End and the action is hot. I've been spending a lot of time over there reading, contemplating and writing. It's been great to watch the discourse turn from anger to measured, educated, and passionate debate. I love it and I'm so happy it's happening. If you haven't already been there - check it out (link to yesterdays post with 100 comments!). Weigh in. Especially if you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum...your voice is welcome and it will be heard.

It's easy to get saturated with talk about the election, our country, the "moral majority", etc, etc, etc. That's where I am, saturated. I keep going back for more. Why? Because I'm still trying to understand it. What makes people feel the way they do? I see a president who misleads me, judges me, and limits my choices as a person and as a woman. I see a president who picks his battles for personal gain, who refuses to protect the needs of his natural world, and who puts his people in harms way. I see a president who fails to admit his wrongs, does things because he "feels" they're right, doesn't know one geographic border from another.

This is what I see. I also see a country divided, as it was four years ago. The actions of the executive office did nothing to bridge that gap last term. I don't see any way they'll accomplish that this term. We can all argue until we're blue in the face. It's time to start to understand one another and learn, teach, and hear. I’ve been hard pressed to find measured opinions from those who voted for Bush. I'm working at finding partisan (from both sides) and non-partisan sources backing up my thoughts because I'm going to start speaking. Speaking out a lot...

Go team!
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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Besot

Besot [v. bih-SOT]
If something besots you, then it has either inspired you with overwhelming love or it has made you stupid and muddled, as if you are drunk. Example: "How could I have known, on that glorious morning, that the lovely Lorelei would so besot me?"
Someone who is besotted might be called "drunk with love," but originally the sense was more of being just plain drunk. The word comes from the obsolete English sot (a habitual drunkard), from Old English sott (to stupefy; a fool or a drunkard). The earlier source was probably Old French sot (foolish).
The transitive prefix be- was added by the mid 1500s, by which time the word had acquired the sense of love-drunkenness and the phrase "besotted lovers" entered English literature.
(definition copied from Philoman's Home Page of Cool Words)

I'm making a
Besotted Scarf for my Daddy-o for Christmas (are you still out there reading Dad? If so, you're going to ruin Christmas for everyone if you read the rest of this post. ;) )

I'm not sure that this scarf has inspired me with overwhelming love, but it certainly is a fun knit. I'm guessing it's called Besotted because of the X O pattern made by the cable combination. Kisses and Hugs. All good things for a Dad!

The yarn is super rough on my hands. I'm using
Reynolds Turnberry Tweed that I got half price at a Snow Goose sale a few weeks ago. I am hoping that it will soften a bit with a washing. I have a feeling it will. Does anyone have any experience with this yarn? A rough scarf isn't too good for the face. Dad does love wool so I'm not too worried about it. This is my progress as of Sunday (my camera can't catch the cables):



I've since completed 3 or 4 more pattern repeats and discovered that I missed a cable in the beginning. The first "circle" is twice the size of the others. No worries...I'll just make the last circle the same size and it will be a style element! Gotta love the style element.

I missed my train to work yesterday and had to sit and wait for another one (45 minutes! argh, grumble, bad Monday.) I was thankful to have my knitting with me, not too thankful for the large smelly homeless man next to me trying to guess what I was making. "A Sweater?", "A Blanket?", "Is it for a Baby?", "Are you pregnant?" To add insult to injury I realized I had forgotten my cable needle. Bah. I tried to figure out how to do it without one...no luck. It did inspire me to look it up and learn.
Wendy Knits comes to the rescue. I'm not sure if I'm a big fan of the no needle method. It seems to be a bit more difficult only because my stitches are so tight. I suppose I need to loosen up a bit eh? It wouldn't be the first time that I've reached that conclusion.



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Monday, November 08, 2004

Hot Whip


Circles Salon (one of my LYSs) celebrated its 1st Anniversary this weekend.
Check out the beautiful cake! How cool is that? I went and knit for a bit. Got a bit knit on
Rob’s Christmas Stocking. My first sock! And it's for a giant! Kris was right, turning the heel was pretty damn exciting. I did have to rip about 8,000 times. It’s hard to knit a bit when you’ve got such great company. I met my first blogging friend, Elisa. She’s a cute one and I’m so excited to have a new knit friend.


We spent some time at the beach on Saturday.
The weather was beautiful. It freaks me out that we live so close to this. Granted, the water is never warm enough to swim in. It's still pretty damn cool. The dogs are only allowed there during the fall/winter. Rya absolutely loves the water. Can't ja tell? We forgot to bring a ball for her so I kept throwing clam shells out into the water. She somehow has picked up this new habit of dunking her head to get them off the ocean floor. It was very cute.




I've discovered my new favorite thing...


I call it hot whip (hot chocolate and whip) just because it sounds a lot more risqué then my life really is. And really, who couldn't do without a little hot whip in their life?


Reverse Flash made a rare appearance to sneak some whip...yes, the man fills his mouth directly from the canister. Let me count the ways I love him. (One would have to include the fact that we now have "Pear Green" walls in our office.)

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Sunday, November 07, 2004

DAMN THAT BLOGGER

I JUST SPENT TWO HOURS UPDATING MY SIDEBAR AND STUPID BLOGGER CRASHED ON ME!! It was GENIUS, PURE GENIUS and now the world will never know it. Isn't that always the way?!

DAMN THAT BLOGGER....

**incidently, blogger doesn't have the word blogger in their spell check. more proof that it is STUPID AND ANNOYING**

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Friday, November 05, 2004

The Bored March

I'm happy to say that knitting has taken over my life. Why am I happy about this? Well frankly, it needed taking over. I am an active person with a lazy streak. Hmmm, how does this play out in my everyday life? Not well I'm afraid. Wanting to: Be Productive! Do Something Significant! Enrich the Life of Others! doesn't really mix well with: I love my Bed! I love my Couch! Hmmm, I'm lazy! They just don't play well together. I'd spend many of my free evenings wandering around our house whining about how bored I was. I can't read anymore, I'm not hungry, I don't want to take the dogs to the park AGAIN. Rob would be off in his productive corner of the house writing, playing music, listening to music, theorizing about his latest conspiracy theory (he'd be bored stiff if Bush hadn't been elected) rolling his eyes at my bored march.

Enter knitting...enter my couch...ahhh, production at its laziest.
With this new lazy productive hobby I've started constantly scanning magazines for knitted objects. I found these two sweaters in Self Magazine (the irony).





Aren't they beautiful? The pink one is neat because it's garter stitch (or just the purl side of stockinette, I can't tell.) I like how the thick rib pops out of this background. The brown one is cool just because it's different. One day I will figure out how to reproduce things.
FroggyKnits does a great review of the stuff coming out of Anthropologie, one of my favorite catalogs for knitted objects.

Until I learn how to challenge the knitting goddess I think I'll continue on to the sweater with the sleeves that could take over the world (Banff!) and marvel at my ability to be lazy and productive at the same time.
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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Entertainment

I'm still trying to process the election results and the after-talk. In the meantime entertain yourself with some books to help you get through the next four years (via bookslut.) Someday I'll figure out how I'm feeling and I'll post it here. Otherwise, you'll catch me working on getting my demographic to vote.



I just received this via email and it made me smile. Yes, I know it's a generalization, yes I know that NOT everyone in the Red States are part of the religious right, yes I know that not all those in the Blue States voted for Kerry, yes I know that believing in Jesus doesn't make you a Bush supporter, yes I know, yes I know. I happen to like Jesus and I believe he was a democrat. But I digress, this is funny it made me giggle...it is a joke. For crying out loud don't get all up in my shizznizz (like some commenters on
Kerstin's blog) for trying to find humor in what I find to be a very dismaying situation. I mean really - if you get too upset exercise your finger and click off the blog or comment, educate me, educate yourself. We're all here to learn and discover new things...not legislate behaviors and/or force beliefs on others.
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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Weighing

Banff sleeves:



There was no weighing or calculating (yarn yardage) last night. All the analytical energy of the world was going into the election results. There wasn’t any left for me.

Today I hide...



Tomorrow I move to Mexico...


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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Ahh, lovely Culina

Okay, now that we've gotten the whole rant thing out of the way we can get down to bizzness.


Meet Culina....



Isn't she lovely? I found her at
Home Goods for a mere $9.99. I snatched her up and planned on using her for my soap making adventures. Little did she know that she would be pressed into service for another worthy cause.

Like knitting. She is perfect for knitting. We have the following scenario:
1) The label listed yardage for the Araucania Nature Wool has been called into question.
2)
I am a total moron and failed to buy enough yarn for Banff (this is I did without the help of the misleading label.)
3) The Banff pattern does not have the breakdown of yardage by piece. You never see the yardage by piece in a pattern, why is this?!
4) One sleeve is knit, another on the needles almost completed.

So, how does one figure out if she's going to have enough yarn?
Julia, Margene, and KLV offered great advice. Thank you ladies. I never even thought of looking at the comments in posts about Banff...genius. In the end I was still left with my question. I'm not exactly on pattern gauge and I substituted yarn, will I have enough?!

Aside from just knitting it up and holding my breath there aren't many options. Culina to the rescue. I am a scientist. I love to weigh things, count things, and statitize things (is that a word?!). I'm not sure where this is going to lead, the suspense is killing me.

A finished Banff Sleeve



Time to Weigh it up (
scale reads: 150 grams)



A skein of Araucania Nature Wool steps up to the plate (
scale reads: 100 grams, hey! the label weight is correct....)



So, it takes a skein and a half to complete one sleeve of Ms. Banff. Unfortunately the needles are still in my other sleeve. Does anyone know the weight of Clover US Size 10 24" Circular Needles? If you do, you are a big nerd like me and you must be my soul mate (sorry Robby). I should finish the sleeve tonight and will rush to weigh them and report tomorrow.

Back to the question at hand, does this help me figure out how much is needed for the back and front pieces?! Stay tuned for math, spreadsheets, and calculator fun. I know your boiling over with excitement. Humor me here....nerds need love too.

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Support the Environment Plant Bush In Texas


Support the Environment, Plant

BUSH
In Texas


First things first, VOTE! You are an observer in most of this country's affairs. You listen, read, and watch and 99% of the time you have little voice. Here is your opportunity. Use your voice dammit and VOTE! I don't care if your State is already leaning one way or another. Use your voice. People have died for it. I don't care if your undecided. Pick a topic that is important to you, say the environment, do a bit of googling, look at the records of the candidates and VOTE!

If you know you have registered and you're not listed at your polling place you can still vote - it's the law. First, make sure you are at the correct location. Call 1-800-OURVOTE to check. If you're at the correct location you have a right to a provisional ballet.
Check here for Individual State requirements.(information via Taegan Goddard's Political Wire.)

In the midst of all of the Polling and Theorizing your bound to get overwhelmed. Decompress and spend some time on an issue that really matters.
Presidential Hair.

Also, the
History Channel shows a very funny side of the election process with HOW THEY WON: 7 Secrets to Winning the Presidency. The hour long documentary is hosted by Mo Rocca. Here are the secrets (taken from a History Channel Press Release.)

* Be the Common Man: How do you convince people you're someone you're not,
especially when you come from a privileged background? George H.W.
Bush munched on pork rinds. Bill Clinton jogged. To seem like the
common man, candidates try to eat, exercise and drink like common men,
despite their elite backgrounds. Mo shows Bush and Kerry how to
overcome their fatcat handicaps.

* Have a Ne'er Do Well Brother: Billy Carter. Roger Clinton. Donald
Nixon. Having an eccentric in the family makes candidates appear
smarter, more human, and able to weather a crisis. Are there black
sheep siblings in the Bush and Kerry clans who can inadvertently help
their more accomplished brothers out?

* Pick a Presidential Pooch: Only two (we have it that only ONE president
did not have a pet) presidents didn't have pets. John Quincy Adams had
an alligator, and all but five presidents had man's best friend. What
makes a pooch presidential? Mo heads to the American Kennel Club dog
show where he pits a Scottish Terrier (Bush's breed of dog) against a
German Shepard (Kerry's) in a "Canine Good Citizen Test" to determine
which breed is better suited for the White House and which one belongs
in the dog house.

* Better Hair Matters: Does it matter if a president has a full head of
hair? You bet. Only five elected (Ford was bald but not elected)
presidents have been bald-and only one in the last century (Eisenhower).
"Hair Part Theorists" John and Catherine Walter claim that the side on
which hair is parted emphasizes activity in the brain-presidents with
hair parted on the left (18 presidents) signify strength; while those
with hair parted on the right (6 presidents) may be too sensitive. Mo
meets with image consultant Beryl Wing for candidate hair care tips.

* Mudslinging 101: Think those swift boat commercials are too negative?
In 1828, John Quincy Adams called Andrew Jackson's mother a whore.
Fear factor tactics have been used since the election of 1800, when
Thomas Jefferson was accused of being an atheist and John Adams a
monarchist. Television has made the effectiveness of negative ads all
the more persuasive. Aided by GOP pollster Frank Luntz, Mo puts
together a hilarious 1908 TV attack ad blasting William Howard Taft
using the techniques perfected in the trade today.

* Have a Great Theme Song: Today, candidates rely on pop songs as
campaign theme songs, but as recently as the 1980s, songs were written
specifically for candidates. Folksinger Oscar Brand performs excerpts
from songs like "I'm Just Wild about Harry" (Harry Truman), 1824's
"Little Know Ye Who's Coming" (a John Quincy Adams song foretelling an
ominous future if he wasn't elected) and other presidential theme songs
that attempted to use music to reinforce positive images.

* Have a Lot of Money: The key word here is "money."




One Last Thing - VOTE!

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Monday, November 01, 2004

The Convergence of Superheroes

As you may remember Robby and I planned to have a Halloween Party.

This party was to serve a few functions:
1) to celebrate Halloween
2) to motivate us to finish painting and unpacking the boxes (we moved a year ago!)
3) to warm our new house (a la housewarming)
4) to give me something to plan in the post-wedding planning lull of boredom.


A few things we didn't count on:
1) me taking on lots of Christmas Knit projects
2) the Red Sox going to the World Series
3) the Red Sox winning the World Series
4) did I mention the World Series?!


These four seemingly benign details managed to throw all Halloween Party planning into a whirlwind two day affair. This is not how I do things. I plan, and plan, and plan some more. I am way too much of a control freak to swing everything in such a short amount of time. Not to mention the fact that we had loads of people coming to our house for the first time expecting food and fun. Yikes.

Enter Super Duper and Super Star. Emily and Kourtney, fabulous friends from college who came into town for the weekend extravaganza. Enter Super Freak and Reverse Flash (the slowest man in the world). My adult sized nephew (how a young bird like me gets a hunk of a nephew like this is a mystery of the universe) and my dear husband.

This motley crew pulled it off. I took the day off of work Friday to clean the house (mostly to clean the room the cats reside in.) Wow. Did that take a lot longer than it was supposed to. Luckily
fatty was off at the groomers getting his ass shaved (for real, no joke there...that story is for another day.) Kumar, who I have yet to introduce to blogland, presided over the scrubbing of his domain with reckless joy. He is a clean, clean, clean cat.


He wishes he could say the same for his ever loving brother.

All parties were present and accounted for Friday night. Flights arrived, cars pulled in, and we were ready to go for the next day. We woke late (it WAS a Saturday for crying out loud) and commenced the cooking. The cooking went on and on. We commandeered my neighbor’s oven. We mixed, diced, sliced, wrapped, fried, boiled and baked our brains out. The girls were maniacs. The boys sat in the grocery store with cell phone in hand awaiting our next demand with baited breath. My mom was on speed dial for the emergency word of advice. It was the work of gods and goddesses.

For posterity’s sake (and so I can marvel at the feat we pulled off) this is what we made:
- Corn and Potato Chowder
- Vegetable Soup
- Crudités with Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Dip
- Asparagus Spears with Tarragon Dip
- Baked Brie
- Roasted Chicken Sandwiches with pesto, goat cheese, and roasted red peppers
- Hummus
- Fresh Baked Cracked Wheat Bread
- Toffee Chip Bars
- Prosciutto Wrapped Shiitake Frittata
- Feta Cheese Tortillas
- Pumpkin Pie
- Cupcakes

… and more.

Seven hours later we were all dressed and ready to meet and greet our guests.



I dressed up as The Bookish Girl "Saving the World with Literacy". This is the only picture I have of my costume. The greatest thing is that I couldn't even take off my real glasses...the nerd in me was full force. I intended to make arm cuffs with the names of all the books that you all listed as "books to sell". I also intended to knit a
Hallowig. I ran out of time on both accounts. I am delusional but at some point reality was bound to catch up.

Everyone's costumes were great we had a fabulous time. There are a ton of pictures here if you'd like to see some of the costumes. People were asked to come as superheroes (either real or made up.) The creativity was pretty amazing (Jesus was there...because really, who is more super than Jesus?!).

The dogs were even dressed up and were in severe hangover mode on Sunday.


They managed to eat an entire plate of the prosciutto wraps and snagged a few toffee chip bars. Not a good scene. Poor little sneaky greedy things.

We were all sore and full by the end of the night. Marathon cooking is hard on the body. Sunday was spent on the heating pad. Today I almost have full mobility of the neck and head. Tomorrow I'll be bored again. Thank God for knitting.

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