Archive for February, 2007

Aw, You Guys!

I am feeling better now, and in posession of all my wits enough to say:

  • Thank you to everyone who shared their happy things with me. Vacations, planting the garden, wine, finishing projects, new sneaky yarn — hooray for you ladies! Winter hasn’t kicked our asses yet! Especially not those of us who live in Australia and who are revelling in summer. Kate.
  • Thank you for your well wishes. Lisa, I didn’t get a chance to try the hot toddy — I took some NyQuil on Friday night, slept for 10 hours, and woke up feeling much better than I had the whole past week. Then Nick and I cleaned house all afternoon and I felt way better (it was the stuff of nightmares). My kitchen is actually amazingly clean, courtesy of my husband — hey! my dream totally came true! Awesome!
  • Thank you for the happy comments on my socks, which I posted about almost a month ago. I’m sorry I didn’t say Thank You earlier, and appreciate everyone’s input. It’s nice to be validated.
  • Thank you to everyone who said nice things about my birthday, which was a month ago. What is my problem? Sheesh! I am shamed. But still grateful for the happy wishes. They all really perked up my day.

And now, I’m going to run away from this room in my apartment because I (stupidly) opened up an old jar candle to see what it smelled like, and it smells like awful cheap perfume. And it’s making me itch.

May your day not involve awful smells.

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Let me just get right to the reasons for my snarking.

Reasons One through Five: I have a cold and I have no idea where it came from. I have been a good girl this winter and have worn my woolen hat and wool/alpaca blend scarf EVERY DAY, even the warmish ones! I have taken my vitamins, have been drinking LOTS of water (okay, and beer, but still! lots of water!), and have diligently sanitized my hands and the gym equipment every time I use them (both hands and gym equipment). FROM WHENCE CAME THIS EVIL PLAGUE??!

I had to take Monday and Tuesday off work, went in yesterday and today and moved, as my Grandma would say, slower than molasses in January due to all the snot sloshing around in my noggin (yes, I’m being disgusting). And I have to go in one more day this week. One. More. Day. I don’t think I can make it.

To top that off, I’m taking this lovely concoction

and it says it doesn’t contain alcohol, but I think they’re lying. Unless they are using alcohol-flavored non-alcohol. Ponder that one for a minute.

Reason Number Six: My camera is beyond being a jackass at this point. Now it’s just taunting me. I finally got my shit together (yes, I’m swearing) to post on the DeStash Blog, wound up all this yarn I want to sell or swap, and took pictures of it. In natural light. For I hate myself and want to make my life harder. Of course.

Can you tell what that is? Through the horizontal-blind-like madness of my camera’s fiendish gaze? It’s mohair, kiddies, and it looks pretty craptacular.

Reason Number Seven: I still haven’t figured out how to knit by using only my brain, so progress on all projects has been slow, much like the proverbial molasses in January. Although I did rip out the bottom to the to-be-felted tote and cast on fewer stitches, as it was way too big initially. So, does that count as progress or not?

And I know I should find seven things to be happy about, as is my wont, but I am so cranky about wanting to feel better (it’s lovely, really, to see a grown woman whinge about like a toddler with a toothache. Shame you aren’t all here.) that it’s hard to see the happy things.

Really hard. I’m in massive hate with the whole world right now.


Okay, fine. I’m really not that cranky and I do in fact have a heart that could be compared to marshmallow fluff and not granite. Witness:

Happy Thing One and Thing Two: The needle cases I ordered from granny’s closet came today and made me smile all big, through my snot. They are pretty and perfect and well-made with love and care.

Circular needle case, holds nine.

Double-pointed needle case, holds eleven sets.

Happy Thing Three: My neighbor gave me this anerable bumper sticker, and she left it stuck to my door in a sneakily fun way, and it made me laugh out loud. And then cough.

Happy Thing Four: I’m wearing my travelling garden gnome pajamas,

from Wanda and Heath, from two Christmases ago. Thank you.

Happy Thing Five: We watched The Protector (a.k.a. Tom Yum Goong) last night, and it was the most amazing kung-fu movie I have ever seen and I now have a love for Tony Jaa that knows no bounds and if you don’t see it there will be a hole in your heart and you will weep. There were three distinct fight scenes during which Nick said “this is the best fight I’ve ever seen.” Story, not fantastic. Fight scenes, freaking amazing.

Happy Things Six and Seven: More Ghirardelli Intense Dark Twilight Delight 72% Cacao chocolate, because he feels bad that I feel sickly. Good lord I love this man.

Okay, now that I have proven my ability to find some good in this world, you have to spread the cheerful love and tell me at least one thing that has made you happy this week. C’mon. Help a sickie out.

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The other night I had the best dream ever.

I dreamt I came home to … a clean kitchen! The dishes were done, the garbage taken out, counters clean — and I didn’t have to do anything! Someone else did it all! It was great!

This is possibly the lamest thing I have ever dreamt.

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I have completed my Koigu Sherbet-Berry-Sunset socks.

I couldn’t be prouder. Or more addicted.

Pattern: None, just Wendy’s Generic Toe-Up sock pattern over 60 stitches. Short-row toe, short-row heel. I added a 2×2 rib for a change (and also because I seem to be held in the thrall of 2×2 rib) at the leg.
Yarn: 2 balls Koigu KPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPM, in a colorway whose number is lost to the mists of time. I almost snarked up a storm when I found knots and ravelings in one skank, but gracefully moved on without a murmur. Yes.
Needles: KnitPicks dpn 2.5mm (they’re calling it a US size 1). They are pointy and perfect.
Time spent: Begun December 2nd, 2006 and finished February 3rd, 2007. (Except I haven’t woven in the ends at the toes yet. I don’t know why.) I started these right after I learned that my grandma had died, and knit on them during the visitation. It was nice to be able to focus on something else.
What I learned: Short-row toe, short-row heel, provisional cast-on, patience.
Thoughts: I completely love sock knitting. I love the wee bitty needles and the wee bitty stitches and I adore the way they fit and feel. Does everyone know about sock knitting? Should I be running up and down the street shouting about the benefits of handknit socks? Maybe not?
Bonus: Hey, this yarn has been in my stash since May of last year, so not only am I knitting from my stash (yes!), but that means that I can buy more sock yarn because I just knit a pair of socks! Or did I say I had to knit two pairs of socks? Dammit, it’s two pairs. Screw it, I want to buy some sock yarn!

Edit: I forgot to write down what I did for the bind-off. I normally bind off very loosely and don’t tend to have problems with final products (and here I speak as though I have a lot of those) being too tight in that respect. However. I tried binding off in my normal way, very loosely, because I wasn’t sure how to do the sewn bind off (I have never kitchenered, for those who might tell me it’s just like kitchenering). Didn’t work — it was too tight. When did I realize this? After the entire first cuff was bound off, of course. After many tinkings (very frustrating when I wanted to WEAR THE SOCKS IMMEDIATELY and be done), I discovered the perfect bind-off that does not involve sewing: work 1 rnd in pattern in same needles (2.5mm in my case) very loosely, then work bind-off rnd using a needle 2 sizes larger (3.25mm in my case), also very loosely. Put your socks on and dance around your abode.

All the posts about my first-ever pair of socks:

(this post being the end)

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It’s so cold that there is no moisture in the air anymore. Everything is drying up and freaking out. I live in fear of the inevitable bloody nose, my hands appear to have aged 75 years in the last week, my hair is static-y and clinging to my face and neck which is making me want to just hack it all off with a knife, and the snow makes this annoying squeaky-squeaky sound when one steps on it.

That’s how cold it is.

I am pretty much done with winter, thank you.

Oh, and the vegan bechamel sauce? Right. The other night I had a taste for pasta with leftover vegan sausage (it tastes amazing and very much like sausage, because sausage tastes like spices), and thought I’d make a white sauce to go over it. In my mind it was going to be a lot like biscuits-and-gravy, a very savory white sauce full of pepper and goodness.

Did I go to the computer and look up “vegan white sauce” or “vegan biscuits and gravy”? Of course I didn’t, for I was feeling cocky and oh-so-capable and full of my ability to MAKE FOOD OUT OF NOTHING! So I just grabbed a non-vegan cookbook full of pasta sauce recipes, found one that resembled the concoction in my brain, pulled out my vegan ingredients, and went at it.

My first red flag should have been the quantities called for. Six tablespoons of butter (I used Earth Balance… mmm)? Some flour… three cups of milk (soy milk)? All this wasn’t really necessary — it was just Nick and me. Did I stop and reconsider? Of course I didn’t, for I was feeling cocky, etc. It was only after I’d added everything together and tasted it that I realized what was certainly obvious to Nick (who was humoring me in the cutest way): it was wrong on many, many levels, not the least of which was the fact that it tasted like a damn sugar cookie.

We had marinara with our pasta and sausages that night.

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Yes, it’s been a while since last I posted. I am a bad blogger, and I deserve no cookie. I have a list of excuses, though:

1. It’s been cold. It was -14 here (without the windchill) on Sunday night, and yesterday was the same and when it is cold I apparently cannot blog. (I realize that -14 might seem downright balmy to those in more northern (read: arctic) climes, but it’s a big deal here in Northern Illinois) And now it is snowing.

(you can click the picture to bigginate, but I don’t know why you would. It’s just all white and snowy. I could have saved bandwidth by just leaving a gap in the prose and saying “this is an entirely accurate depiction of what it looks like outside my window this morning.”)

2. The debacle on Sunday. I have been weeping. Let us speak no more of this.

3. I wanted my post about the Walker Treasury Project to stay up for a few more days so everyone (all 9 of you) could see it.

4. Work has eaten my brain the last week or so. I’m working on two big projects that are coming up next week and next month, all the windows in the building are being replaced, the plaster is being repaired, and the fire alarms keep going off several times a day. I have developed a mean twitch over my right eye, and haven’t felt much like sitting down at the computer after sitting down at a computer all day at work.

Okay, those are my excuses for not posting, and here is my Birthday Round-up:

Friday the 26th saw me at my lady-parts-doctor’s office (except I see a nurse practitioner, but “nurse’s office” doesn’t sound the same as “doctor’s office.” hm.) and I got weighed, which was a sobering experience (I am now extra-committed to going to the gym every day for the rest of my life), then got asked questions about my lifestyle, habits, concerns. And they let me keep knitting. I love them, even though I did have to endure The Speculum of Doom.

After my appointment Nick picked me up and gave me a present that was not at all birthday related

(not all gone, see above re: weight)
Three kinds of dark chocolate, not for my birthday, but because I had to endure The Speculum of Doom, and because he knows I need a little comfort after that. This man is amazing.

After I cried a little (which made him say, “Honey, it’s just chocolate!”) we went to the Yarn Sellar (website-less, sadly) where I spent my entire gift certificate on a Nifty Swift!

(I also bought a ball winder, but through the mail. I got it yesterday. I am in yarn heaven.)

I love this swift. I love that it sits on a table and does not need clamping. I love that it’s made entirely of birch. I love that it’s cute. I loff it, in fact. And with its new friend, Windey von Ball-Winder, I finally put up my Wedding Day yarn:

It looks like I took the picture through a veil or something, doesn’t it? I didn’t, my camera is just being an ass.

Okay, so after the Yarn Sellar we went to the India House (and if you’re ever in Rockford, let me know so I can take you to the India House) and it was amazing. Then we went to Best Buy and I bought an iPod with my birthday money. And this thing is damn cute, let me tell you.

I had to kiss it when I took it out of the packaging, it was so precious. I’m so happy about this little buddy and its magical ability to make my workouts more fun and enticing and also to make the workday go by faster. (Oh, and the book underneath? My own gift to me — the Second Treasury by Barbara Walker.)

The next day we had dinner with my family (as my sister Laura’s natal day is six days before mine, we try to combine forces) and my mom gave me an Ott-Lite!

And it is like natural daylight indoors! It’s made my knitting life a little easier on my eyeballs.

And I don’t have a picture of it, (see above, re: camera acting like ass) but Margaret sent me a sweet bookmark in the shape of a frog made from recycled Thai telephone directories. I loff it.

This concludes our Birthday Round-up. Thank you for playing, please see the secretary on the way out for your prize. Next time I’ll talk about the bechamel sauce that tasted like a sugar cookie, and why that is never good.

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