Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Here's The Stuff

Ok so, as promised, here's all the knitting that I've been up to recently!

First, I did a washcloth in the "lacy mock-cable" pattern that I got from Dishcloth Boutique. I highly recommend Dishcloth Boutique. All the patterns there are free and they are very nice. This washcloth is done one skein of Sugar & Cream in the Rosewood colorway. I chose this because it actually looked like Neapolitan ice-cream! I like how it turned out. I am giving this cloth to my mom with some other goodies for her birthday. The other dishcloth in the picture is for my Dishcloth Swap pal, who said that her kitchen was done in black & white. This is the pattern from the Mason Dixon Knitting book. Do not adjust your monitors! :-) It really is black on white, then white on black, then black on white again! I think it turned out cool! Again, this is just regular ol' cotton yarn, Bernat Handicrafter, one black and one white skein. I probably have enough left over to make another cloth too.

Here's another shot of them, without a flash so you can kind-of see the patten a little better on the Neapolitan one:

I ordered a bunch of stuff from Yarn & Thread By Lisa, again, a site I highly recommend. She has great prices on yarn, particularly the cottons. So I bought some Bernat Handicrafter in a twist of colors, I think it was called Summer Twist. Anyway, the twist yarn is really cool! Because you don't get any pooling or weird striping of the yarn because all the colors are twisted together as separate strands. There was a free pattern on the label for a bath mitt.

So I made one to include in the package for my Dishcloth Swap pal. Super easy and I think it turned out pretty nice! I plan on making a bunch more of these.

Then I started another Market Bag. I bought some Bernat yarn called Cool Crochet in their Neapolitan colorway. This is interesting yarn. It's mostly cotton with a bit of nylon in it, which gives it a sheen. I am knitting this bag with 2 strands together throughout because it's thinner than regular cotton yarn and the Fantasy Naturale (which the pattern calls for). I tried to line up the two skeins so that the colors would match up. So far so good.

I mentioned once before that an ongoing project of mine for the last month or so has been a baby blanket for my sister's baby. I am using the same "lacy mock-cable" pattern that I used in the dishcloth above. It translates really well from a dishcloth to a larger-scale project, such as a blanket. To me, the pattern has a very organic look to it. I really like it a lot. I am knitting this with Caron Felt-It yarn in the Wildflowers colorway. Honestly, in person, the yarn is a lot less impressive. For one thing, the colorway isn't quite as pictured (as you will see in my photos below). There isn't nearly as much variety in color, but it's still nice. Also, it's 100% wool that is like barely twisted beyond wool roving into yarn. It's obviously meant for easy felting, but I really liked the colorway so much and couldn't find anything comparable. I'm about 1/3 done:

Here is a close-up so you can see the pattern:

Overall, I am happy with how it's turning out. I still haven't decided if it's going to be too itchy or not once it's done. I might try to sew a cotton or flannel backing to it after I block it. But I'll have to see if a gentle wash will soften it up a little. I hope to have this finished soon. Maybe I should stop casting-on new projects and just buckle down and get this DONE!

So that's what I've been up to. That and reading the Song of Ice and Fire series and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I swear, there seriously aren't enough hours in the day, I'm telling you....

There And Back Again

I'm back again from Virginia. We all had a nice time down there. And I actually got a little color. However, the pleasure of our trip was pretty much slapped out of us when, about 30 minutes from home, the battery light came on the car, which indicated that there is some problem somewhere. Nice. Then later, the engine light came on, which is even worse. So this morning we took it back to Saturn bright and early. This is the 4th time. FOURTH. We've had the car less than 3 months. Now something else needs to be replaced. The mechanic told me twice what it was, but damn if I can remember it. Todd and I are just absolutely frustrated beyond belief. This bullshit with the car has seriously drained us. I mean I've been feeling pretty much terrified to even drive the damn thing.

Maybe I shouldn't even be complaining; it's not like I've had to pay for any of these repairs. The only thing I've had to pay for was insurance on the rental cars that we've had. But geez, a 2007 model car with 3000 miles on it should NOT be having all these problems. It's a total pain in the ass. So, today we have yet another rental. This time it's a Chevy Tahoe, a.k.a. Chevy GLPTBAMVOTPSTH (Good Luck Parking The Biggest-Ass Motherhumping Vehicle On The Planet, Save The Hummer). We're probably going to get like 11 miles to the gallon with it. But it's STILL better than Vlad.

I can't believe my Vermont vacation is less than 2 weeks away! Where did the time go? I hope our car is actually functioning properly by the time we leave. :-( I really don't want to go up there driving a Chevy GLPTBAMVOTPSTH.

So I'm just waiting for a couple of things to arrive in the mail and then I can send off the package to my Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Swap spoilee! This swap has been SOOO much fun! I took pictures of the things I made and will get them up here asap. I did a lot of knitting recently and am really pleased!

More later!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


OH MY DOG! They DID break the copy machine! RAGE!

Monday, July 16, 2007

How Many Ph.D. Professors Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb?

Hopefully fewer than it takes to figure out how to make double-sided copies on the photocopy machine.

Seriously people. It took THREE---YES. T.H.R.E.E. (3)---Ph.D.s to finally figure out how to get the machine to make the copies.


I am in pain from laughing right now. I'm sure I'll be pissed in about 20 minutes when I discover that they actually broke the photocopier....

Friday, July 13, 2007

Caption The Cat: #4

Caption The Cat #4

Hmm...wha-? Oh, hey, thanks for letting me crash here last night, man.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

And Now The Ensemble Is Complete

So as you know, I made a Mason-Dixon kimono for my sister's baby girl, Aubrey, who will be born sometime around August 23.

Then I made a hat to match. I just kind of made this pattern up on my own. It's just a super easy circular knit all the way up, with a "k2, yo, k2tg" row about an inch from the top where the i-cord is cinching it together.

Once those 2 items were done, I wanted to make baby booties. Oh. My. Dog. Why, in the name of all sanity and human reason, are baby booties so freakin' impossibly complicated to knit?! I searched high and low for several months for a pattern for baby booties that wasn't like 14 pages long and written so that you had to hold it up to a mirror while standing on your head to comprehend it. Well, last night I stumbled onto a great yarn webstore (Fabulous Yarn) and they offered a free baby bootie pattern. I took a look at it and it seemed simple enough.

I said, "What the hell," and gave it a try. This is about 10:10pm.

11:15 pm the bootie was done, seamed up and everything. Yes. I know. Todd had to come give me smelling salts to revive me. I was totally like, "Mick! Mick.... Cut me, Mick!" Well...not really. Anyway, the only thing not done was the i-cord that I chose to add to it to match the hat and kimono.

I knit the second one on my lunch break today. It's unbelievably satisfying to cast on, knit, and finish an object in about an hour.

So here they are, done, complete with the i-cords that I made tonight:

People, couldn't you just DIE from how cute they are?? And their cuteness is increased exponentially by the fact that these took a mere 3 hours to make (that's including the i-cords).

Ridiculously easy; just the way I like it!

Oh, You Do Amuse Me So!

Apparently the folks at play World of Warcraft! I bet you didn't know? Yes, 'tis true! This became obvious to me today when I discovered their homage to the Horde via this image of a level 5 Undead Rogue named Zahir.

"Embrace the shadow!"

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I Have Returned

Todd and I went on a mini-vacation for about 4 days to his parents' place in Hague, VA. It was nice to get away from work and vomiting cats for a little while. But alas, I am back at the grind.

Just a couple of things to update everyone who might read this:

1) The car, I think --- I mean, I hope against all hope--- is fixed, finally. For reals.

2) Sophie has been taking her anti-biotic in liquid form mixed in with straight-out-of-the-can-real tuna fish. So she's on the mend in that regard. However, we learned that she has Hyperthyroidism. For the last 2 years or so, Sophie's weight has been steadily, although not dangerously, decreasing. Keep in mind that Sophie was once a 23-pound cat; and not too long ago, either. Yeah. Sophie the Hutt. Anyhoo, when we took her to the vet last week to get her looked at for her 3rd respiratory infection this year (nice), she weighed in at 13 pounds. Actually, weight-wise, she looks awesome. Not fat, but not all scrawny either. Well, some blood work revealed that the weight loss is attributed to the over-active Thyroid, but that we were catching it early. So she's going to be fine. Now, I know I should not say this, but...

WTF? I WANT THAT. It's SO freakin' unfair! Why not me?? No, see, I have to get the OTHER thyroid problem: Hypothyroidism. The one where your joints ache and you feel exhausted all the time and can't lift your arms above your head and you can't tolerate temperatures below 40 degrees or over 80 degrees and you have virtually no libido at all. No. Shut up. I mean it. NONE. AT. ALL. I feel like a ficus tree. And you gain about 10-15 pounds a year despite eating like 800 calories a day because your metabolism is that fucked up. Yeah, THAT one. Welcome to my shitty world.

Sigh. Whatever.

Also, I am about 1/3 done yet another baby blanket for my sister. It's done in a mock cable pattern that I found on the Dishcloth Boutique site. This is it. It looks super as a blanket. When I get a little further along, I'll take some pictures. I might just abandon the houndstooth one. Well, it's a real big pain to knit because it is curling up something awful. I honestly do not feel like picking-up and knitting a border around all that, with no guarantee that it will make the curling stop. And you can probably tell how much I want to start it over....

Oh! I got my match for the Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Swap. This is going to be awesome. I am so looking forward to it. I love making dishcloths! They take no time at all and it's a great way to try out a new or more-advanced pattern without wanting to rip your hair out.

Can't believe my Vermont vacation is less than a month away! Man this summer is flying by.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Oh My DOG. Gorram You, ETSY!

At one time in the recent past, I proposed to you that the web store for all things handmade, Etsy, is evil. Evil by way of temptation and gluttony. I basically, freakin' want everything there. Ok?

Now to remove any doubt at all as to exactly how evil they are, I give you the following picture links:

Monday, July 02, 2007

Many Thanks, Secret Pal!

I received my last package today from my Secret Pal who is: Marvelous Madam Mimm's

It has a cool Harry Potter theme! Observe:

The yarn is just so delightful! Soft and comforting. And there is a pattern in the book for a lovely shawl, called "The Invisibility Shawl." :-) I will definitely be using this yarn to make that shawl. To add to the Harry Potter theme, the yarn itself is patterned after the Chinese Fireball dragon, which is one of the dragons featured in the Tri-Wizard Tournament from The Goblet of Fire (book 4). Here's a close-up of the yarn:

The Charmed Knits book is, of course, also inspired by Harry Potter. There are many really nice patterns in there! My favorite, though has to be the knitted owl "Errol." Here is posed my very own little Chinese Fireball on the Errol pattern page. I hope you can see how cute the owl is. I can't wait to make one!

And yes, as you may have noticed, nestled in that box among some interesting Harry-Potter sweets is more Rifftrax! This time, the riff for Eragon, which is a movie that I actually have not seen! So watching it with the Rifftrax will be awesome!

So thank you so, so much, Secret Pal! :-)

Worth Repeating

Marsha: So what kind of car did they give you?
Me: It’s a dumb-ass Chevy Impala. We hate it.
Marsha: If I ever got stuck with an Impala, I’d have to nickname it Vlad. Vlad the Impala; just to make it tolerable.

I won't go into all the gory details leading up to that quoted text above. Suffice it to say that I had a recurring issue with my Saturn Vue Hybrid, which is now fixed (the fuel pump needed to be replaced). And while my lovely, red, darling of a vehicle was at the dealer being repaired, Saturn paid for a rental from Enterprise, which was a shitty-ass, silver Chevy Impala.

Awful, awful car. Let me count the ways:

First of all, it smelled weird. I don't know if they used Febreeze or what in there but it had a mildly sickening, sweet smell that kind of made me nauseous. Sort of like "vanillaesque fakey strawberryish."

Second, the key-less entry system did not work. We had to manually unlock and lock all the doors. It was a pain in the ass.

Third, the PNRD123 shift was behind and to the right of the steering wheel, a la the 1978 version of the Chevy Impala. It was tricky, too. Hard to maneuver and wonky, it would get stuck sometimes.

Fourth, the most sensitive breaking system on the planet. In fact, if the brake pedal even sensed that your foot was coming close to it, it would break, thus thrusting you forward into your seatbelt. Couple that with that vomit-inducing smell in the car and you have a real swell driving experience! NOT.

Fifth, where the fuck are the windshield-wiper controls?????????

Sixth, the gas pedal was so unyielding that you need the strength of Methuselah to bear down on it. I mean really. Getting the damn car to accelerate past 20 mph required me to bear down as much weight as I could muster from a seated position.

Seventh, thank CHRIST the headlights were already set on "auto" because I don't think even Stephen Hawking could figure out how to turn them on.

Eighth, even though I had the air-conditioner fan set to release air ONLY to the top of the car (dial was turned to the "head" portion only), it still came out wherever the hell Vlad felt like distributing the cold air. This was particularly annoying on my 40-minute trip to one of my knitting get-togethers, as it poured out cold air right on my right shin. Yes, that's right, my DRIVING LEG. So not only was the tibialis anterior on my right leg pumped like Schwarzenegger's from the resistance of the gas pedal, but it was also frozen solid.

Ninth, because of the way you had to work the brake and gas pedals, i.e., barely touch the brake and alternatively try to STAND UP ON the gas pedal, the driving position in the car was just horrible. After just 10 minutes of driving, my lower back was screaming bloody murder.

Tenth, the radio barely worked. Anytime you can't get a clear-sounding KYW1060 am on your radio, and you live within 50 miles of the city of Philadelphia, then that is one shitty-ass radio.