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I joined the Vegan Pal 2 Swap for several reasons, the biggest of which is I CAN’T WAIT FOR FALL.

Vegan Pal 2

What is/are your craft(s), and how long have you been doing it/them?
I’m a knitter and a crocheter. I’ve been crocheting since 2003 and knitting since 2005. I knit more than I crochet, but I love both.

Are you a vegan, vegetarian, veg-curious, veg-friendly or other?
I’m a vegan when it comes to food and leather, but I happily knit with wool, alpaca, and other renewable resources.

Is this your first swap, or have you done previous swaps before? What makes a swap enjoyable for you?
This is my … third? fourth? swap, and I like swaps when there’s a theme, when the senders really take the time to figure out what their recipients like, and when recipients are clear about what they like. I hope I’ve done both in the past. 🙂

What is/are your favorite color(s)? Do you particularly dislike any color(s)?
I am in a strong green phase right now; I love all kinds of jewel tones (bright, clear reds/blues/yellows/oranges/pinks/purples/greens, etc); I love warm spicy fall colors (wine, pumpkin, gold, curry green, olive); I don’t do well with misty, pastel colors. Colors from a bright sunny day are my favorites; colors from a foggy seashore are my least favorite.

Do you have any allergies (such as pets, foods, fibers or cigarette smoke)?
I’m allergic to cats and cigarette smoke, and might be allergic to mohair. Or it might just be itchy. Either way, not much of a fan.

Do you have any companion animals? If so, name(s) and type(s)?
No animals. Many houseplants (named Ziggy, Lily, Charles in Charge, Locke, Montescue, and Ivy).

Do you collect anything?
I suppose I collect books and yarn, but nothing of a collectible, displayable nature.

Do you have a favorite vegan food, snack or dish? If no fav that’s vegan (for those who aren’t vegan), what’s your favorite food? (Hopefully your pal can find a vegan version!)
I love nori rolls (nori seaweed, sushi rice, and veggies in the middle), I love cozy stews in the fall, and I love Indian food.

What are some of your favorite/least favorite tastes/flavors? (e.g. sweet, salty, chocolate, crunchy, smooth, tart, sour, spicy, thai, whatever –Help your pal get a feel for what kind of recipes you might like and/or never ever make.)
Oh, I love me some chocolate (dark), I love salty, savory, and Thai. I like using peanuts in my cooking, or as in a Thai curry. I’m not a fan of tart or sour, really, and I’m in the middle on sweet overall.

What tools/supplies/accessories for your craft(s) are you wishing you had but don’t? Also, what do you have TOO many of? (basically a wish and anti-wish list)
I’ve been thinking of trying socks on two circular needles, but haven’t gotten any of KnitPicks’ small-size (2.25mm) circulars; I could use another Clover clicky-clicky row counter. I have a TON of straight needles that aren’t gettting much use, and I have all the crochet hooks I need right now.

Are you on Ravelry? What’s your handle?
Yes, I am on Ravelry — my handle is KathyMarie.

Is there anything else you would like your pal to know about you?
I’m trying to get back into shape — I was a runner in high school and I’m trying to get back in that groove. I’m married (just over 1 year). I live in an apartment. I like reading non-fiction and fiction by Terry Pratchett. I hate millipedes, centipedes, and earwigs.

What scents do you like/dislike?
I really like spicy, autumny scents like apple pie, cloves, nutmeg, pine, etc. I’m not a fan of floral scents, or any “air freshener” scents.

Do you prefer fall or Halloween or some other Autumn theme?
Halloween’s not my favorite holiday, so I’d prefer an autumn/fall/cozy/tuck-in-for-winter theme. It’s my favorite time of the year — sweater weather begins!

Just for fun – tell your favorite Halloween or Autumn related memory.
I don’t have just one. I love the smell of poplar trees in the fall; hanging out with friends around a fire; the excitement of school starting; football games; bringing out the winter clothes; apple-picking; lots of baking; and Thanksgiving with my family.

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Renae! Who is, sadly, without blog.

The random number generator randomly generated the number 12, which means Renae wins the sock yarn. Renae, I’ve emailed you for your address.

Thank you to every one of you who commented — I really appreciate seeing everyone’s name and hearing what you like about springtime knitting. I’m with Jessica who liked the no-sleeves aspect of spring. I’ve started a tank top in the round (more on that project later) and I love that it’s going to be done when the body is done.

I’m also loving this new (-ish) project…

… which is keeping me on my toes. Counting is definitely not my strong suit these days. I blame the gorgeous weather. It’s Molly’s Headband from the Sweet Somethings extra (it’s a .pdf) from IK a hundred years ago or something. The yarn is Twize from SWTC, and it’s in the colorway Twing. I love the shine, I love the color, and I love that it’s making a great headband.

And in honor of spring and things I love and all things green, I bought this wallet from DogwoodLane at etsy. Fantastic customer service, quick shipping, and stellar work. If you need a new wallet, go to her. Go.

In other news, if you’re thinking of going on the Yaz birth control pill, don’t. It’s made me miss a period, break out in more acne than I’ve had since sophomore year of high school, and now I’m having the period from hell during the hormone weeks. We hates it, precious, and we’re going back to our old pill in 24 days.

What do you think? Too much? (Hi Mom!)

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Welcome!

Hey, I see you found your way over here! Thanks for stopping in.

I’m still getting the blog the way I want it, so things may be moving around for a bit. But I have all the major things settled in, and I’m glad you’re here to visit.

If you came from my old blog, you may have noticed that I’m having a giveaway to celebrate the new place.

Giveaway Sock Yarn

It’s KnitPicks Sock Garden in Morning Glory [I’m an idiot, it’s actually the Stargazer Lily colorway] (discontinued), and all you have to do to get a chance to win it is leave me a comment telling me what you love love love about springtime knitting. Or telling me hello. Really, this is a massive begging maneuver to increase my comments and make me feel better about myself. Post a comment by midnight Central time on Tuesday, May 15th, and I’ll give the yarn to the lucky commenter whose number was chosen by the random number generator. For fairness.

So poke around, get to know the place, and feel free to come back. I’ll be talking about my latest knitting mistakes (three big ones!), my feelings for the Summer 07 Interweave Knits mag (hint: I wish the new layout would die a fiery death!), and how I fell off the Knit From Your Stash bandwagon (sort of!).

Have a great weekend!

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Thanks to everyone for your sympathy in my last two posts. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to reply to all of you directly — Blogger doesn’t give me your email addresses all the time. Grr.

This week has gone better (dark chocolate and Merlot have kept me just out-of-it enough), and is ten times more better because I have tomorrow (Friday) off. And though that means I have to work Saturday, I’ll be all alone in the basement of the library and can play music through the computer’s speakers instead of my headphones. !!! That’s just the kind of rebel that I am.

And for the record, I did totally kick winter’s ass and send it packing. For about three days. Now it’s cold and grey and rainy and entirely non-glorious today, and winter just sits out there, begging to come back into my life and telling me it’s the only season that could make me happy, that spring doesn’t love me like it does, and that summer’s just a flash-in-the-pan.

Whatever. Winter, you suck.

And I suck for not having a photo of anything WIP-ish, but I am in a bit of a snit with most of my projects just now, and we’re not speaking.

This, however, does not suck:

Yes, it’s the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Knit Along. I’m a fan of Buffy, I’m a fan of knitting, it all works out beautifully. It’s the whole pointy stick/pointy stick affinity. The sweet thing about this KAL, aside from the obvious BtVS-ness, is that there are no time limits, no mandated patterns. Just hang out and knit and discuss. Plus you get to pick which category you want to be in — Slayers, Vamps, Witches, Scoobies, Watchers, Demons. It’s awesome. If you love Buffy (or Angel), you should join. (I’m talking to you. You know who you are.)

I embrace the weird, and it embraces me back.

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My day started all virtuous-like. I went to the chiropractor (where I heard, again, that I’m running sideways, and to stretch ALL THE TIME), went to the gym, then stopped at various stores for those necessities I mentioned.

And then apparently I made a vow to devote my writing time equally between normal writing and parenthetical writing (I think it’s working out pretty well so far).

So, I ate lunch, thought about what I was going to pack in my knitting bag, showered, and then had like 3 more hours until I wanted to leave for Oak Brook (I wanted to get there early, but 6 hours before the reading started sounded a little nuts, even to me).

What did I do with all that time?
I made the bed (a rare occurance Chez HookOn, unless I’ve just changed the sheets)…

… I washed most of the dishes and cleaned the counters and (though you can’t see it from here) I even swept and sort-of-mopped the floor (I used a wet paper towel to get all the leftover crumbs)…

… and I cleaned the stove (it was truly horrific. The bowls and protective rims that sit under the burners? I’m not sure if I have ever cleaned them, and I’ve lived in this apartment for three years. They are soaking in the sink.)

At this point I was feeling quite virtuous, and very deserving of a trip to see my most favorite author. I selected projects to take along to the reading, two of which you’ve already seen…

the grey bag ends (heh) for the to-be-felted bag,

and the second pair of socks (STR Fred Flintstone, lightweight, 2.5mm needles).

(make note of how much shorter the top sock is than the bottom sock… this will come into play later on.*)
The third project is a headband (the same one that Femiknitter made a while back) that I just started yesterday as I waited to leave for Oak Brook. I’ll talk more about it later, because right now it is just i-cord, and you know what that looks like.

I left my house about 4:00pm with my knitting, necessities, water, and camp chairs. Why camp chairs? Because I heard that Borders in Oak Brook was only putting out 75 chairs. Then I heard it was 100 chairs. Foolish muggles — when will they learn?

Laugh at me if you will, but I get a little nervous driving into the suburbs when I’m going somewhere for the first time. I don’t get nervous about the actual driving, but I worry that I’ll miss my exit and accidentally drive to Indiana (almost happened once).

I arrived without mishap at 5:10pm. Here’s the view I had (from the fourth row… yes!!!!)

I walked in and saw the tell-tale signs that I was not the only knitter there. Shawls on shoulders, knit-or-die t-shirts(no actual picture, I was walking out of the bathroom and, strangely, didn’t have my camera ready), felted bags… it was great. I bought some books and while I was in line I saw a woman wearing this great pink cabled sweater (do I have a picture? No, of course not) and I asked her if she made it and if I could touch it AND SHE DIDN’T BACK AWAY! She was a knitter and she understood!

I don’t know if this applies to anyone else, but I’ve gotten the feeling that people (muggles) think I’m working a few beers shy of a six-pack when I walk up to them and ask to examine their sweaters. This is off-putting (to me) and makes me feel like my knitting is this highly un-understandable weird anomaly, and therefore, you know, so am I.

But this! This room full of knitters! I felt completely at home and comfortable. If you know me personally, you might snicker at this, but generally I feel kind of shy and awkward with people I don’t know. Especially groups. However, this appears to apply only to muggles. I was all over the place, talking… (turns out my one-seat-away neighbor Renae [Hi Renae!] used to live in DeKalb and demonstrated how to use 2 circular needles to make an in-the-round item [a new-to-me concept]) …and ogling yarn across the aisle and getting up to talk to the knitter about where she got it and what was it, and having a grand old time. Everyone was saying things like “I love that, what is it?” and “What are you working on” and eventually a wise woman stepped up to the microphone and said “While we’re waiting, who wants to have a show-and-tell?” So we all showed off what we were working on. It was amazing. It was like this huge stitch-n-bitch full of happy energy. During the show-and-tell (I think), Nick sent me a text message saying he hoped I was having fun. My return text message said “I am with my people!”

Anna (who has written about all this already) and Heather were there by this point, and we were just looking at each other grinning. Grinning like fools.

Then Stephanie appeared. She blogged us blogging her blogging us (one of those infinite cat things… infinite blogger?),

(the Bohus? freaking stunning in person)
and she spoke. And she was hilarious and encouraging and unifying and hilarious and smart and strong and ohmygod was she funny. I saw her two years ago (or thereabouts (I just said “thereabouts.” I am my father.)) and I loved that experience, but I had just learned to knit and didn’t feel comfortable doing any work while I was trying to listen to her. This time, I had no trouble knitting while she was talking (I knit on the socks only, by the way), and could even look up from my knitting when I got to the stockinette parts! I felt like a real, live, grown-up knitter!

After she was done speaking and taking questions (during which she introduced a seven-year-old knitter to the word “harlot” and some of its meaning, and almost fell over laughing while doing so), we all got in a line to get our books signed (knitters with children first!). Strangely, the three of us all had socks on the needles. A lovely fellow knitter took our picture:

and then I took hers — blog, meet Rachel. Hi Rachel!

Her sock (that of her second pair ever) matched her knitting bag and her top and jacket ENTIRELY BY COINCIDENCE. She may be the most coincidentally well-put-together knitter I’ve ever met. (it was great to wait in line with you!)

Then we got to the signing table and I gave Stephanie some wee gifties (from the three of us DeKalb knitters) and I got to hold the sock (!!!)

and of course, we’re blurry.

I had the best time.

*(And the socks that were wildly different lengths when I began my tale?…

I can’t tell them apart now!)

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For a special News Update! [important newscaster voice]

There’s a new community knitting project in the Knitblogville! Every knitter knows that Barbara Walker’s Treasuries are indispensable. We use them constantly for designing, for help with a difficult pattern, and for pure inspiration. Sometimes, though, the mostly black-and-white and small pictures keep us from seeing the full potential of a pattern. That’s where the Walker Treasury Project comes in. We’re gathering high-quality, color photos of all the patterns in all the Treasury books and putting them on the internet as a visual aide to this wonderful collection. Help your fellow knitter by choosing a pattern from a particular book, working up a nice big swatch in a light-colored yarn, and posting it to our blog. We can help you label and categorize everything. Also, keep in mind that we’re not posting the pattern (no violations of copyright here), just the picture!

This was all Nicole‘s idea (kudos, girl!), but it’s up to the rest of the commuknitty (ha! that has never been used before!) to make it work. Nicole, Alison, and I are moderators (and we could use a few more if anyone is interested) and we can steer you through the process if you should need steering. Check out the About page and the FAQ page and help knitters ’round the world get a better look at the Walker Treasuries.

Want to contact us? Email walkertreasuryproject ATTYatATTY gmail DOTTYdotDOTTY com.

(Next time: Birthday present run-down!)

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… to keep you entertained while I am busy elsewhere. Doing things that aren’t knitting. They mostly involve hot chocolate and schnapps (peppermint). And some rather brilliant conversation, in my opinion.

In the Knitting Blog category:
If you don’t already read Mad Hair Day, and I’m guessing you don’t, go run away and check it out. This delightful lady discusses knitting, life, and (just recently) making chutney. All from New Zealand, where there are like 50,000 sheep for every one person (I may be making up the numbers, as I don’t remember the actual figure. But they do have a lot of sheep.)

And In The Pink is discussing Santa Clams and holiday knitting just now, among other things. I like to watch others get knitty this holiday season, as I’m taking a break from it. [ETA: “it” being holiday knitting and deadline knitting, not knitting in general. No, never that.]

For the knitting librarians and/or readers, let me recommed to you Penguin Girl, who blogs, knits, reads, and is very smart and is also good at writing (much, much better than I am). There is learning and fun aplenty over there.

And I swear I am going to gain 10 pounds just by reading The Knitting Cook‘s blog/podcast site. She’s got a whack of holiday recipes listed, and I’m so very tempted to go make everything she’s talking about. Eeeeeevil. But in a good way.

In the Non-knitting Blog category:
My sister has started up a blog based on answering life’s little reference questions. She’s doing this as part of a library-school class assignment, but I hope she keeps it up because I learn a hell of a lot every time I visit her blog. Did you know that female marsupials develop an extra vagina in order to give birth? I didn’t either, until I read her blog. Run away and read The Actress and the Bishop, and absorb knowledge.

Part of me is ashamed to admit to reading gossip rags in any form and sniffs derisively when it sees a photo spread of Stars! They’re Just Like Us! But another part of me embraces gossip rags and their weird voyuerism (I’m probably spelling that wrong) and just giggle at the inane shit that goes on in that alternate reality peopled by the rich and famous. And that is why I have been reading The Superficial, and why you should too. Because you don’t want to be the last one in your office to know that Britney has flashed her poon again.

(Special thanks to Femiknitter, who introduced me to this site. That’s right, I outed you. Just be thankful I didn’t post the tie-on-the-head picture. You know.)

In the Non-blog, Non-knitting category:
My pet cause, as well you know, is the annual exam and the prevention or early detection of gynecological cancers. This site has a very detailed and clear explanation of what to expect from an annual exam. It’s run by Cornell’s health service, so it’s aimed at Cornell students, but the overall information is stellar. So go schedule your annual. Sing a silly song out loud while you’re being poked and prodded to relieve the tension. Try to get your midwife/doctor/nurse practitioner to join in. And then tell me all about it!

The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation is a great place to find out what is going on in the fight against these cancers, and they have an 800 number (1-800-444-4441) for doctor referrals, in case you don’t have a midwife/doctor/nurse practicioner of your very own. Interestingly, I just found out from their site that September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month. My Gram’s birthday was in September.

Check Your Boobies, a site dedicated to preventing breast cancer by making sure women are informed about how to do a breast self exam, when to do it, and how it’s not a scary or shameful thing. Rock. You can even sign up to get a montly email that will gently remind you to get to know your boobies. I signed up for the reminder, because I never remember to do it on my own. I should get one of those hanging things in the shower. (You and I can both get a free one from the American Cancer Society by calling 1-800-ACS-2345)

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