Thursday, June 28, 2007

Caption The Cat: #3

Caption the Cat #3

You'll never learn the secrets of the MAD organization, Inspector Gadget! Bwaa, ha, haaaaa!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"Dog Days of Summer" Dishcloth Swap Questionnaire

1. Do you knit, or crochet, or do both? How long have you been knitting\crocheting?

I've been knitting for about 2 1/2 years. My friend Marsha taught me in the summer of 2004. It was always something that I wanted to do. My grandmother was a great knitter and an expert at crochet. I have a crochet tablecloth that she made. Incredible. Marsha's husband, Jan, taught me how to crochet. I just really like being creative and making usable things. I would consider my skill level in knitting to be advanced beginner/intermediate. I'm still just a novice at crochet. I very slowly build up my knowledge of stitches and techniques. I'd like to be able to master a particular skill first before piling on something else.

2. Have you knit dishcloths or dishtowels before?

Yes. I've knit 3 or 4 dish/wash cloths so far. I bought some linen yarn to make hand towels for the powder room, but I have yet to attempt that!

3. What are your favorite cotton yarns? Is there a cotton or linen you’ve been dying to try but have not?

Well, I really like the good ol' Sugar & Cream cotton yarn. It's inexpensive and comes in a bajillion colors. I also like Bernat's CottonTots yarn. Its texture really makes a nice, absorbent cloth. I love the feel of mercerized cotton. I have yet to try that in a dishcloth because I don't know if the mercerization has any effect on the cotton's absorbency, thus rendering it useless as a dishcloth! I'd love to try a bamboo/cotton or bamboo/linen blend!

4. Are there any cotton yarns you don’t enjoy knitting with?

No, not really. Although, I tend to find cotton a little difficult to knit with in general. It tends to be stiff and unyielding and it sometimes splits too easily.

5. What type of needle do you prefer using? (Metal/Wood/Plastic)

Hmmm...well, I have all kinds of needles (wood, plastic, metal, resin, etc.) and I think my favorite needles are made by Bryspun. They are sometimes hard to come by. But use them once, and you'll love them, especially the circulars. No tangling/twisting, which is my biggest complaint about circular needles. I recently purchased some gently-used Denise needles from a friend and they are SUPER!

6. What other projects do you enjoy knitting or crocheting?

I like to knit interesting, useful items that aren't fussy or overly complicated. To me, there is really something to be said for the soft, warm garter-stitch scarf. I love knitting baby items, particularly blankets and sweaters. I like knitting things that are quick and give instant gratification, like dishcloths, hats, and baby sweaters!

7. Do you have other hobbies or enjoy other kinds of crafting?

I like to cross-stitch and needlepoint. I can sew a bit (like curtains, pillow covers, etc.). Decoupage, paper quilling, oil-painting, pastel drawing, scrap-booking, silk-screening, photography, pottery/ceramics, origami, jewelery making, beaded fruit--- you name it and I've at least dabbled in it. Hell, I used to even make rosary beads. I'm a fairly artistic person and I like to draw and occasionally paint. I'm big on home improvement, so I do a lot of wallpapering, tile grouting, house painting, linoleum laying, etc. I love putting together Ikea furniture. How lame is that? :-P

8. What kind of treats do you like? Chocolate? Candies? Nuts?

Chocolate, of course. I'll eat anything of the chocolate variety. And I am a real sucker for a good chocolate-covered marshmallow. Candy is ok, but chocolate is better! Candy I will not eat: Twizzlers or any of its rubbery, stringy look-alikes. Yuck. Nuts are cool with me!

9. What colors are your kitchen and bath decorated in, if any?

My kitchen is sage green and black with oak cabinets. I have a couple of baths. One is done in a seashell theme, and that's coral, cream, beige, with touches of pink & light blue. The other bath is basically black & white with some cream color in there.

10. What are your favorite colors and what colors do you dislike?

Well, I don't think it's really a question of me not liking colors, because I pretty much like ALL of them, except for teal. Teal should be obliterated from all human existence. Really, it's more like what colors don't like me! For instance, I love yellow and orange, but they look hideous on me. However, I will admit that I'm not a huge fan of pastels. I guess I like heathered, natural colors the best. I'm fond of plums, sagey greens, denim blues, gray, terracotta, coral, browns and mocha. I like red, too.

11. Do you drink coffee? Tea? Other beverages?

Yes and yes!

12. Do you have any kids (human or pet variety!)?

Heh. Very nicely phrased question! I have five furry children, all cats, all mostly evil, except for the oldest, Sophie. You can poke around my blog pretty easily and find pictures of them being bad. They are: Sophie, Hercules, Titus (the evilest one), Ophelia (we call her Fi-Fi for short), and Luna. So, yeah, FIVE cats. Hey, less time in purgatory....

13. Do you have any allergies?

Cats. Ha! Joke. Not really. None that are life-threatening, anyway---as far as I know!

14. Please share 3 tidbits about yourself that you think your pal and other swappers might find odd or interesting.

Gah! I always find this so hard. Um let's see...

1. I am a total video-game geek. I play Warcraft regularly and have three console and several hand-held systems. I love games and gaming in general.

2. I've seen the movie Clue more times than any other movie I've ever seen. I'm going to guess...hmmm...25 times? I can't even tell you why. LOL

3. I can't ride a bike, or roller skate, or skateboard, or ski, or surf, or swim, etc. (No, really, I CAN'T swim AT ALL. Some people say they "can't swim," meaning that they can doggie-paddle and/or keep afloat. No, I SERIOUSLY SINK LIKE AN ANCHOR. I am terrified of the water.) I pretty much can't do anything. I can't dance either. I am the least athletic and most uncoordinated person I know! :-P

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Here's the Hat

And here's the hat....

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Stuff of Knitting...and Some Other Stuff

Ok, so I have a few things to report on the knitting front. One is, I broke down and bought a yarn-ball winder and a swift. I got them from for a great price. I mean, the swift is all wood, much nicer than their picture (smooth, and nicely finished) and it was $39!

Here it is all set up with the winder!

So I used them last night to wind up some Tilli Thomas 100% silk chenille yarn that I got on clearance from somewhere---2 hanks of it. This task would have normally taken me well over an hour and I would have been rendered hoarse from all the cursing and swearing. Seriously.



Done in like 10 minutes, not even, with the swift and ball winder. I was like Keanu Reeves in...well... basically any movie he's ever been in: "Whoa." Incidentally, have you gotten a gander of him lately? Shit on a shingle, he looks BAD. Bloated and semi-crazy. He's only 42 and easily looks 20 years older than that. And what's up with that facial hair? Is he like razor-phobic on the down low? Or maybe he's just outright homeless. Not sure. All I know is he looks like a creepy college professor who drinks Tequila in his office before stumbling across campus, 15-minutes late, to teach a bunch of college sophomores about medieval England.

But I digress...

So along with the swift and winder I bought a couple of skeins of Bernat Cool Crochet yarn. It's like 70% cotton with 30% nylon. I bought a coordinating pink color to use to make the i-cords for that baby kimono and hat that I knit. I had tried to use the same yarn that I used to knit the kimono and hat and it just was not making a decent i-cord. I made the cords for the kimono, and I attached them last night. It looks cute. I will post a picture of the hat once I get that done.

I also bought 2 skeins of the Cool Crochet in the Neopolitan colorway. How cool is that yarn? It looks like Neapolitan ice-cream! I am going to use that to make one of those market bags that I love so well. Now the problem is that it's supposed to be knit on size 5 needles. I think that it might be a little thin for a market bag, so I am going to double up the yarn. Just so I have enough, I bought a couple more skeins from this new online store that I discovered today: Yarn & Thread by Lisa. I bought a bag of 3 skeins and it was $8.07. CHEAP!

I bought a few skeins of regular, old, Sugar & Cream cotton yarn there too, because I need to make a couple of dishcloths. I've joined the Summer Dishcloth Swap. This sounds so neat. I am really looking forward to it. I decided to get the Sugar & Cream version of Neapolitan Ice Cream, which is actually called Rosewood. I think that's what I will use to make the dishcloth for the swap. I am going to attempt a whole ice-cream/dessert theme, I think. I also got a couple of skeins in the Buttercream and Landscape colorways. If I have the time, I might make 2 for the Dishcloth Swap, using the Buttercream for another cloth. Hey, look, it's $1.63 a skein, so I HAD to. Come on! If I have any left I might make some bibs for my sister's baby. Like I have infinite amounts of spare time on my hands....

Anyway, what else? Hmmm....

Oh, I hate my job. Like seriously, I am having major problems even motivating myself to get out of bed in the morning to drag my sorry ass over there. I am getting more frequent migraines and anxiety attacks. I am depressed and can't sleep and I am paranoid too. Not good, in fact, decidedly awful. I feel pretty much sad and at my wits end about a lot of things, but feel utterly powerless to change anything. Very frustrating. Ah well, life goes on I suppose....

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dear Blogger:

I've had this blog open for almost a year now and I have got to know: when are you going to have some new themes for us to choose from for our blog pages? Hmmm? I am tired of these lame-ass, pastel-ish dots. And the other six or seven themes you have just leave me flat. Just so you know, I went over to Vox to check them out and guess what? They have like 17,952 different blog themes to choose from. I'm too much of a lazy slob to be bothered to move my blog over there. So you really lucked out. But geez, Blogger, get with the program, people and make with some new skins!

K? THX! Buh bye!


Monday, June 18, 2007

24 Just Isn't Enough

Seriously, people, there just aren't enough hours in the day for me to accomplish everything I really need to do or want to do. I propose that we either add another day to the week or extend each day by about 3 hours. I think it's just easier to add another day. That way we won't have to deal with day/night, sun/moon difficulties. Like really, who wants the weird feeling of jet-lag for the rest of their lives? It should be added after Saturday. And we can call about Octurday? Just think, 24 extra hours to do all the stuff you were supposed to do and couldn't get around to. Here's a litany of things that I could have gotten done over the last couple of months, had Octurday actually existed:

1. go to the grocery store
2. go pick up the new license plate for our new car before the temporary one expires
3. buy cat-care supplies
4. bring box to UPS to send back $280 worth of clothes that don't fit my fat ass
5. go get the weed-whacker and garage-door opener that we have been putting off buying for months now
6. actually install the garage-door-opener
7. change all the dead light-bulbs wherever they need changing
8. vacuum the upstairs
9. clean the bathrooms
10. make the curtains for the bedrooms
12. get Lorna to level 70
13. fix my direct-deposit so that it goes into my new checking account
14. go to the bank and close my old checking account in Philly
15. get someone to give us an estimate on putting a good fence around our yard
16. do the oral-history transcribing that I have agreed to do by mid-July

and the list goes on.

Ah well, I can dream, can't I?

Anyway, I would like to mention that I managed to finish the baby kimono for my sister, I just have to make an i-cord and attach it as a tie to the front. And on Saturday, I managed to knit and complete a matching hat, which, again, I need to make an i-cord for in order to cinch the top and tie it. It will be cute, like a little sprout up on the top. I'll take pictures and post them once I make the i-cords and get them attached!

Saturday, June 16, 2007


You Are Not Stupid

You got 10/10 questions right!
While acing this quiz doesn't prove you're a genius, you're at least pretty darn smart.

Hooray! I R SMART!

You Are a Centaur

In general, you are a very cautious and reserved person.
However, you are also warm hearted, and you enjoy helping others in practical ways.
You are a great teacher, and you are really good at helping people get their lives in order.
You are very intuitive, and you go with your gut. You make good decisions easily.

Yeah, I'd say that's pretty accurate too.

Your 80s Theme Song Is:

Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode


You Were a Giraffe

You are a high achiever - able to reach things others can't.
A great communicator, you are good at getting past superficialities.

O...K....Wish I could have kept the height advantage in this life.

You Are A Gold Girl

You're dependable and hard working. You never miss a deadline - and you're never late.
You have a clear sense of right and wrong. You're very detail oriented.
You get frustrated when your friends are sloppy - or when they don't follow through.
You're on top of things, and you wish that everyone else was!

Sounds like me, ok.

Your 80s Hunk Is

Jason Bateman

Hey, I'll take it! The first time I took the quiz, I ended up with Kirk Cameron. SHUDDER. But I realized I clicked the wrong button for one of the questions. Whew.

You Are A Poplar Tree

People tend to look up to you, and it's a bit lonely at the top.
Inside, you are not always self confident, but you show great courage.
Mature and organized, you are reliable in any situation.
You tend to have an artistic or philosophical outlook on life.
You are very choosy in love and take partnership seriously.
What's Your Celtic Horoscope?

Yeah, this is pretty much me too.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I Can't Have Nice Things

Remember when your mom would say that in utter disgust when you and one of your siblings accidentally knocked over a chair or dropped a dish in your childhood clumsiness? And the WAY she said it too, with a sigh and a tone of just the most defeated frustration you've ever heard? Yeah. Also recall, if you will, how you snorted under your breath and swore on your Trapper Keeper, Depeche Mode albums, and posters of Knight Rider---all the priceless treasures that you held near and dear---that you would never allow yourself to speak such silly, silly words over such trifling things as furniture, china, art, antiques, jewelry, and crystal?

Well, I'm very sorry to have to inform you---here, now, sit down, that's better---it grieves me to have to tell you now that your mom...was right. Whatever she said, I don't care; it's all true. All of it. She couldn't have nice things. Not while anyone under the age of 17 lived in the house, anyway.

And now, dear readers, I found that I have truly begun my great transformation into my mother because I uttered those very same words this evening upon the discovery of this in my bedroom:

Yes. I know. Oh in case you can't see it, here's a close up of that yellow vase, which landed in the middle of my overturned and splayed make-up case:

Notice how it's broken. I assure you, it was not that way this morning when I left it, resting, peacefully, without knowledge of the atrocity in its near future. Also worth noting is how that little vase was a handmade piece of pottery with a sculpted green dragonfly on it. There is not another like it.

I would, in addition, like to point out the ivory, hand-painted, floral jewelry box that somehow managed to be flung to the opposite side of the bedroom, its contents spilled out all on the carpet:

Those are all my good earrings in there---well, now all over the floor: Gold, pearls, the lovely diamond earrings that my grandmother gave me about a week before she passed away.

I remained.

Now, I've always heard that a criminal almost always returns to the scene of his/her crime.


And it's none other than Squinty McFootball-head Magoo (Titus). Why am I not surprised?

Sigh. What can I say? I can't have nice things.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Three years ago today, Todd and I got married. We've been together for 8 and 1/2 years---great years. I don't know what I'd do without him. And I don't even want to think of what my life would be like if he were not part of it.

Incidentally, when we were outside the reception taking this picture, Todd and I were heckled---yes, that's right, heckled---by these two old geezers who were attending a separate party in the ballroom next to ours. They were outside puffing on stinky cigars. They made some comment about me being "an ol' ball and chain," and that they'd give Todd $2 for our wedding bands, if we wanted to accept their generous offer. Nice.

Friday, June 08, 2007

And a Little Something For Me

So I am about to send my last package out to my SP10. And, among several other things, it contains this cool little knitting/craft tote bag that I got from Knitting Warehouse. Knitting Warehouse has really great prices on yarn and accessories. Most of their yarn is the average consumer stuff that you can buy in Michael's or Joann's. However, even those average brands have some really nice stuff sometimes. I think several of the big yarn companies like Lion Brand and Patons are moving more towards the simpler, natural-fiber yarns and moving away from the "fun & funky," eyelash, novelty junk. At least it seems that way to me.

Marsha discovered a free pattern on for this sweater. She made a child-sized sweater in about 6 days. You can see it here. I think it looks fantastic. And apparently, it can be worn from about 6-months to 4 years old, depending on how you wear it. I believe she used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes.

I love it so much that I am going to make one of these pinwheel sweaters. For me. Yes, yes, that's correct. I am actually going to make a garment other than a scarf for myself!

Now, while I do love natural wool in knitting, I sometimes find it itchy, seasonally specific, and also challenging to wash. Enter cotton. Love 100% cotton sweaters, especially in Spring, Summer evenings, and Fall. However, cotton shrinks in the wash and tends to be HEAVY, especially on something this scale. So I decided to use a cotton/acrylic blend. So it won't be as heavy as an all-cotton sweater and will also be more resilient. Basically, I want this sweater to be practical and to last.

That said, I bought some of Lion Brand's Cotton Ease yarn to make the sweater. I bought an array of heathered colors: taupe, stone, lake, charcoal, and violet. I'm excited about trying it! I hope to have the baby knitting for my sister completed soon (that kimono is nearly done)! I think this might be the project I start when I am on vacation in Vermont again this year.

If it turns out well, I think I am going to make one for my mom. She would love it.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'd Like To Thank..., for making me laugh for about an hour.

Lionbrand, for this, thus making me laugh for about another hour.

Now return to your assigned work areas.

Four Out of Five Cats Prefer the Window

Well actually, they all like the window. It's just that Sophie won't get up there if there are more than two of her siblings already there. We got this cool bench from Ikea that opens up for storage. It's the perfect dimensions for a window seat for our front windows. The cats love it:

So from left to right it's: The Fuzzimous Sean Connery Squintified McFootball Head (Titus), Hercules, Ophelia (notice how LARGE her posterior is), and Luna.

I only wish it would provide enough entertainment to keep them from horribly scratching the furniture up. I swear, we bought a sectional about a year ago and it's already like shredded to pieces. RAGE.