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Archive for April, 2008

Well, the votes are in, the winner has been chosen by a random number generator, and I’m about to cast on with the winning yarn.

First, thank you to the SIXTY-FIVE people who voted! This is a new comment record for little GetYourHookOn. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the yarn choices, and for taking the time to comment! And bonus: I now have new knitting blogs to read and new knitters to meet!

Second, the winning yarn.
The winner and clear favorite (getting more votes than the other two choices combined) is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in MONET!
Cherry Tree Hill
Monet got 33 votes and lots of love from just over half of you!

We had a tie for second place between Lorna’s Laces Flames Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (16 votes), and Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Jewels Cherry Tree Hill (16 votes)

(Rest assured that I will be using the second-place yarn in the future.)

Third, the winning knitter…
…is Sprite! Hooray! You have been chosen by a computer program as the winner of the sock bag from StuckInIllinois’s Etsy shop! Congratulations! Also included in your sock bag (which is green and earthy in honor of Earth Day totally by accident — I forgot about Earth Day until after I had purchased it) is a set of 5 stitch markers made by me (probably not very well, this was only my second attempt):
Set of Five
You will also find some hand lotion and a magnetic notepad, both of which are somewhere in my home and cannot be located for photographing.
Congratulations, Sprite! I’ve emailed you for your mailing address.

Fourth, I’m off now to start on my Chosen-by-Blog Monet Socks! Thanks again to everyone who left a comment!

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Did it move for you?

I woke up at 4:35 this morning to the sound of stuff falling over, and I couldn’t make up my sleepy mind between the idea that someone had broken into our apartment or that someone had driven a car into our building. Fortunately NinjaHusband’s reflexes and reactions are sharper than mine — he got up and walked around the apartment and made sure we weren’t about to be robbed, then we both fell back asleep.

Turns out we had an earthquake this morning. Yes, I still live in the middle of the corn in Northern Illinois, but the USGS does not lie. Apparently the earthquake was 5.2 (downgraded from 5.4), stronger than the last one we had in 2002, which I slept through.

Kind of weird, and kind of scary considering very few buildings around here have any sort of earthquake-proof reinforcement. My apartment already has some weird cracks in it, in places where I would not expect to find cracks. ::crosses fingers and chants:: We’re going to find a house, we’re going to find a house, we’re going to find a house.

(Don’t forget the contest, going on until midnight Central time on Monday, April 21st!)

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Today’s Thursday Three post is late because I just now (at 9:30pm) got back from a floral design show.

Yes, a floral design show. It was the biggest gathering of older white women I have seen in a long time.

It was a fundraiser for a local charity whose main focus is literacy. I was there with two other library staff members to get an award for our work in last year’s Big Read program, and I didn’t know until yesterday that it was this big flower show. The charity partners with a local florist, and four designers create these massive arrangements LIVE AND ON STAGE while you watch, and the whole thing gets narrated by a very droll man who talks about each arrangement as it is finished and brought to the front. Amazing. The theme this year (it’s an annual event that’s been going on since 1974) was A Salute to Disney or something. Every arrangement was based in some Disney movie or other. Wow. Snow White, Pocahontas, Tarzan, 101 Dalmatians, Cinderella, Honey I Shrunk The Kids — all in floral arrangement form. Overwhelming was just the beginning. It was really neat for the staff to be recognized individually and to have my work acknowledged, but I’m not sure if all that was worth sitting through the flower show.

(After each arrangement was described and it was announced who won them — audience members were put in a drawing — people walked up and down the aisles of the theater with them, showing them off. Wacky! Sadly, I did not have my camera with me, so no pictures of the horticultural splendor that befell me.)

Here is this week’s repository of randomness, the Thursday Three:

Three Things I Love About Spring
1. Trees are starting to bud out
A sign of spring!

2. Blue flowers are carpeting the lot half a block from my apartment
blue flowers

3. I can air out my apartment! I’ve been leaving the windows open during the day and the whole place smells amazing! This spring is Nature’s reward for surviving the bastardous winter. There better be some sweet weather this season, Ms. Nature. I’m telling you.

Three Houseplants I Own
1. Ziggy, my longest-lasting plant
Ziggy

2. Charles in Charge, a gift from my sister
Charles in Charge

3. Chuck Norris, a spiky aloe plant from friends who couldn’t bring him along to California. (We renamed him)
Chuck Norris

Three Yarns I’m Considering For My Next Pair of Socks
(Help me decide which yarn to use for my next pair of socks! Tell me in the comments what yarn you want me to use and why!)
1. Cherry Tree Hill potluck Jewels
Cherry Tree Hill
The picture’s a little blurry due to lunch-hour time restrictions, sorry!

2. Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Flames
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock

3. Cherry Tree Hill in Monet
Cherry Tree Hill

I’m getting along on the Shockwave Socks, but I want a plain sock to work on next week when I see The Yarn Harlot, so I don’t have to worry about following a pattern when I just want to laugh and have a good time and see Rachel again (we met at the last Harlot event in town)(that link goes to a WordPress entry but it’s a carryover from when I was on Blogger (evil) and the pictures are all gone and I’m sad. I’ll have to see if they’re still on my computer, upload them to Flickr, and paste them onto that year-old entry. Of course I’ll do all that. I totally have the brainspace, energy, and time to do all that. It’ll only take a minute, right? Right.).

Anyway, so yes, I want a plain sock, and I want to use one of those yarns. Tell me which one you like best and I’ll use the yarn that gets the most votes. One lucky commenter will win this bag from StuckInIllinois’ etsy shop! And it’s highly likely that there will be some knitter-friendly goodies in the bag when you get it. Highly. Likely.

Comments will stay open until midnight on Monday, April 21st. Happy voting!

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Rainbow waves sock 1, side 1

My policy on colors is this: If they don’t immediately burn your retinas, they’re just not bright enough.

Yes, I have been knitting. And much to my surprise, the sock gets longer when I knit on it. Isn’t that odd? I thought so too.

The picture at the top is one side of one sock, and here is the other side:
Rainbow waves sock 1, side 2

Same sock. It started to pool in this highly amusing (to me) way, but after the heel it sorted itself out just fine. The second sock appears to be doing the same, with green on one side of the gusset/heel and pink on the other, and I love it.

The second sock is getting its gusset just now, and may need some minor repair work after last night’s Drink-n-Tink at the bar. I had two delicious beers and now I have an extra stitch on one side, OR I am lacking a stitch on the other side. Either scenario is possible, and I haven’t sat down to check it closely yet. Moral of the story: knit garter or stockinette when drinking, lest ye botch your knitting.

In other news, did you know that being a grown-up is expensive? Houses are expensive, rent is expensive, babies [NO I AM NOT PREGNANT*] are expensive, student loans are expensive… Do we get a break anywhere? Or was the break when we were kids and had no idea what high-priced tragedy was about to befall us? Stupid adulthood. I called two childcare centers in my town today and asked for a quote on newborn care [because I’m a doula and I’m trying to compile resources for clients NOT BECAUSE I AM PREGNANT BECAUSE I AM NOT PREGNANT*] and the cost per week is anywhere from $215 to $245, which translates to $11,180 to $12,740 per year. Madness. I’ll take my childhood back, please.

*The all-caps are for my mother and for Heather who seem to be very interested in the state of my uterus. Almost in a creepy way.

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Thursday Three

My computer hasn’t killed me yet, so I assume it has either forgiven me for my transgression or it’s too dumb to even realize it’s been insulted. (It’s okay, I’m writing this from a different computer. Because I fear my possessions.) Our neighbors and sweet friends Adam and Beth have generously loaned us their not-in-use computer-slash-dust catcher, and I’m almost tempted to pull out the loaner laptop and taunt my old desktop with it. After I back up my files, of course.

Today I’m starting something new: the Thursday Three. I think it’s going to be a glorious repository of my weekly randomness, but it might evolve into something else entirely. Who knows? Who does know? Not me.

Three Things I Did Last Weekend
1. I saw some really good friends
2. I took my shoes off outside and walked barefoot on grass for the first time in like 7 months
3. I definitely took this picture of three very awesome people:
DSCF1292
How about that… three of them. It’s as if there is some kind of theme here.

Three New Yarns I Bought On Sale
1. Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (in poppy and in natural, for an eventual Me sweater)
Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool
2. Cascade Sierra Quattro (in three colors, for a baby blanket)
Sierra Quattro
3. Maggi Knits Irish Maggi’s Cotton (in white and in hot pink, for a baby something)
white cotton boucle

Three Things I Love About Working Out
1. I have more energy!
2. Smoothies for breakfast!
Smoothie
3. Holy crap, I can fit into these pants!

Now I have to run, because I need to make sure I take off time from work on Friday, April 25th so I can behave inexplicably.

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Whispered

I was going to tell you about my new knitting and this past weekend and all kinds of other things, but my computer has been acting like a complete ass all morning and it has taken me two and a half hours to upload 37 pictures to Flickr and to update my ipod and I’m furious at the damn thing and I’m just done and maybe I’ll get a new computer.

Maybe I shouldn’t have typed that last bit.

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I’m a bulb.

This is my answer for why I’ve been feeling hibernate-y and uncreative and unsocial and grumpy this winter. I’m a bulb that turns inward until the sun comes out again, when I can synthesize the sunlight into huge bursts of creative energy that turn into something beautiful, after the frost is gone and the risk of damage is minimal.

Either that or it’s a significant chemical imbalance, so I’m leaning toward the bulb theory, if you don’t mind.

Anyway!

I promised details about the ingredients (seen here:)
Assemble the ingredients!

They turned into this glorious confection:
Pie.

Want more? Of course you do. Here’s another look:
Chocolatey goodness

It was SO AMAZING. And so very vegan. And delicious. The texture? Imagine if a peanut butter cup got mixed up with pudding. In a good way. It was denser than a mousse or a pudding, but not what I’d call chewy or hard. Hey, I have a picture of the middle right here:
Aftermath

It was perfect. And I got the recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking (amazon.com link, but if you have a local bookseller, think about buying it from them). The only thing I would change is that I would add about 1/2 a teaspoon of salt to the mix. I think my peanut butter (East Wind or Earth Wind or East Tree or Wind East … something), an organic natural thing, is a little under salted and salt would have brought out the chocolate and peanut butter flavors even more. I actually salted a couple of the slices that I had, and they tasted better. Not that the pie wasn’t good. Because it was freaking awesome. And freaking vegan! So that’s why this is kind of a swatch for future pies made from this recipe.

Because I am strong and feel I can withstand the judgment that will inevitably come with this confession, I want to tell the internet that I finally washed my purple hat after two years. The hat was not fluffy, was no longer snug on my noggin, and did very little to keep the whistling winds of winter (yes, I went for the alliteration) from my delicate ears. So on Saturday I threw it in my hand-knit washtub (which also doubles as my dyepot when I dye yarn, which is never) with some Eucalan. The water, it was disgusting. Seriously, the hat had barely hit the water before the water went all brownish-cloudy and started smelling really strange. TOTAL GROSS. I squeezed the hat to let the wool wash get all through and I had to work hard to keep my lunch to myself. LET THIS BE A LESSON TO YE: do not wait two years between hat-washings!!

The drying process reminded me why I didn’t wash the damn thing during the winter though…
Handknits, drying
… it took three days to completely dry.

And the very neutral-colored yarn I was knitting up turned into this,
six and a half inches
… a swatch for this summery sweater (.pdf link), which I’m hoping I can finish before winter comes back. Which means I should start it before spring is over. I am the slowest knitter ever.

drape!

In other news, this sign is on the side of a building in Rochelle, Illinois…
No Clearance
Possibly a proactive and helpful approach to dealing with the town’s joyriders.

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