17 November 2005

The Mysteries of Blogging

I've got a lot to learn about blogging. Today's post is under November 4. If only it was so easy to turn back time! Not that it matters, but in case any special prosecutors want to know just exactly when I blogged about my shrug. Cause I'm sure that's important...

14 November 2005

They Did a Very Bad Thing...

Well, Tom and Nicole attending orgies of various flavors have nothing on us. We went YARN SHOPPING, which we all know is a type of highly dangerous orgy. You walk around touching gorgeous things. You encourage each other by yelling, "more, more, more." And then you get out your pocketbook. It's good that the things you take home don't require a visit to the doctor.

The shrink, maybe, but not the doctor doctor.

So, wanna see my goodies? (That should draw in some porn seekers from Google.)

First up, the real reason we went on this expedition, the beads:

Laurie and I have signed up for a knitting with beads class in December, in part because they described the class as using as "shitload" of beads and offering wine and dinner while we work. I mean, c'mon, any LYS who uses "shitload" in their newsletter is a place for me. So between now and 2 December, I've got me some stringin' to do. And just in case you can't see it, those are good ol' Addis in size 00. I'm scared already. I hope we get lots and lots of wine at this class!

Then, since of course I can't walk into a shop and only buy what I came in for, I managed to get 10 skeins of this thrown into my bag:

Cascade Quatro Color 5016 for Rogue, that big baby of cabley yumminess. That won't happen until January at the very earliest. I'm letting the Cascade settle into the yarn stash until then.

That was going to be the end of it, just a nice little trip to one store. *snort* Yeah, right. I was with Laurie and you know that spells trouble. She just got in the car and said, "Where to next?" At least this time it really only took us 30 minutes to get to the other shop, as opposed to the 8 hours of our last journey. I'm exagerrating, but only slightly.

So shop #2, where I usually have to hold Laurie back and tell her to breathe regularly. And of course you know I'm going to hit the sale bin.

And I kinda maybe found a whole bunch of this:

Classic Elite Waterspun Felted 100% Merino; 10 skeins in a dark grey, 4? skeins in celery; and 5? skeins in turquoise. I'm thinking this yarn wants to be the striped hoodie in Stitch n' Bitch, but we're still negotiating.

And then I just had to grab these two lonely skeins in the sale bin:

Plymouth Yukon in 578. I made a buttonhole bag out of the variegated flavor of this and really like it. There's enough mohair and wool for it to full a bit although it's a bit too floppy for a bag. I still need to line that one and maybe include some plastic canvas to help it hold its shape. Another project for another day. And speaking of, I'm pretty sure that's not on the blog. Maybe tomorrow will be a day to show pics of purses I've made, to get those recorded for all posterity, or for my own vanity, either one.

Anyway, have no idea what to do with the Yukon. It'll come to me.

Whew, could barely carry all this back into the house. And oh yeah, just remembered there's another gigantic skein of mohair to do one of the ruffle scarves that everyone has to have this season. Pics of that tomorrow.

This girl loves her some new yarn. It's sick, sick, sick...

And just so you see that I really do knit with the yarn I buy, here are progress pics of my felted fair isle bag. The colors are pretty bright right now, but I love it. I'm slowly getting the hang of fair isle, but I'm still trying to figure out the best way to wrap and hold the yarn. The top chart puckers pretty badly so I'm trying to loosen up at the bottom. I just keep telling myself that all the mistakes will get lost in the felting. Guess I'll always have to felt my fair isle sweaters too! (Yes, I've taken two classes on fair isle knitting and I'm already planning sweaters. At least I haven't bought the yarn for them yet!)
On another note, I got my scarf exchange partner today. Woo hoo! I'm excited to get going on this, but she doesn't have a blog and wasn't very specific in her description. I was hoping she'd give me a few more guidelines so I know where to start with my planning. I'm thinking something lace out of alpaca from that farm in East Aurora. She mentioned "soft" as a requirement so this would certainly fit the bill. Hopefully I'll hear more from her over email so I get some ideas. I want her to like what she gets!

1. diss: worked on transitions tonight so it makes sense why I jump from 1818 to 1847 just for kicks. Why can't everybody just be in my head and know why I think these authors are the same?
2. Diet: Did the 5k training again tonight. About the same time as last week, but at least I'm able to do it. I guess I'm giving this a go. I think this scares me more than the diss.
3. Organization: 2 out of 3 ain't bad? Guess there's time to tackle the dishes and some picking up. But you know I'd rather knit.

13 November 2005

Flash Your...

Every so often I get the wild idea to become a sex pot. No, I’m not planning to stand on Chippewa and charge the lonely old men $100 for a night of thrills, but sometimes, I think I might like to dress like it.

Although I’ve yet to splurge on a vinyl catsuit with places to attach my dominatrix tool belt, I do own a few items that need to be retired to sex pot heaven. I’m sure there are a few drag queens out there shopping at Amvets and I feel it really is my civic duty to donate to the cause. If my skanky clothes can aid in the effort to thrill creepy guys and dolls, hey, it’s an honor to help.

So, for all you kinky readers, be sure to head out to your local thrift store and pick up these classy and tacky numbers.

Perfect for ambling down to the local street corner… and limping back after you sprain your ankle wearing 4 inch spike heels. Yes, I actually taught a comp class in these suckers. One class, 8 a.m., an engineering block of 24 young males. At some point during the hour my feet were hurting so badly I couldn’t see straight. It took longer for the blisters to heal than it did to grade the set of bad essays they submitted. For those of you who aren’t comp teachers, that’s a long, long time. Say sianara to the stilettos!

(Believe it or not, I haven't gone out and bought six more pairs to replace the two that I've gotten rid of... at least not yet.)

1. Diss: By golly, I have an introduction to the chapter. I'm not going to jinx myself by saying the draft will be done before I leave for Turkey Day, but there's a slight, slight chance that I'll have lots of reasons to be thankful.
2. Diet: Good day here with a long workout this morning and a generally healthy eating day, well, except for that mocha I had this afternoon. Oops.
3. Cleaning: The shoes were actually a few days ago so I don't get credit on this one. Hmm, I did laundry and washed some dishes. Oh, and I put away the new yarn I bought yesterday. Pics of that tomorrow!

12 November 2005

If Only It Was Cold...

Today I spent the afternoon driving around the window down because it was so warm. This is November people. I'm a knitter. I've got scarves to wear and this nice weather routine just ain't cuttin' it.

I'm working on making a Flickr account to keep track of all the finished projects, but for now, thought I'd post some pre-blogging scarves in the collection. The collection sitting on the shelf looking very, very forlorn.

Pattern: This is the My So Called Scarf pattern from Sheep in the City, a very cute blog that I love to read for inspiration. I've heard it described as a herringbone pattern. I believe I cast on 17 stitches on size 11s but I can't say for sure.

Yarn: 3 skeins of Lion Brand Landscapes (I think); Rose Garden colorway

Date Started: ??
Date Finished: Summer 2005

Notes: I love the finished product of this scarf and always get compliments on it, but dang, this was a booger on my hands. I ended up making it shorter than I usually make scarves, but I was frustrated and just wanted it to be over. It works okay with my pink coat, especially if I use a broach on windy days. Overall, good project but I'm not sure I'd tackle another one. Still have 2 skeins of the yarn which I plan to use on mittens from the Weekend Knitting book. Someday...

Pattern: Family Circle Easy Knitting Holiday 200??;

Yarn: This was recycled yarn from a rummage sale find. I'm pretty sure it cost me $2 for enough to make both Ashley and I very, very long scarves. Not the softest stuff, but pretty.

Dates: Winter 2003

Notes: This scarf is super, super long. It's very, very frilly when I put it on and wrap it around several times so it's only a cold weather wear, despite all the holes. I love the picot edge and the long fringe and the crochet was rather fast. I'd make this one again. I believe the pattern calls for flowers or beads or some sort of embellishment on the trellis but I decided to leave it as is. This one's a keeper.

Pattern: The scarf is just a simple rib pattern with garter at the bottom. The mittens are from a LYS pattern.

Yarn: Trendsetter Dune and mohair, I believe it's Turberino or something like that. I used 2 skeins of the Dune and at least 2 of the mohair.

Dates: Winter 2003 for the mittens and winter 2004 for the scarf

Notes: This is one of my sets that gets the most wear, simply because of having both the mittens and the scarf. I made the mittens in a class and have been surprised at how well they've held up. They're pretty warm and I love the sparkle from the Dune. The scarf was made to match and basically I just knit until I ran out of the Dune, then added some garter on the ends. I even had to use a different color of the Dune because I didn't get it when I made the mittens and of course they didn't have the right color when I went back. I wish I would've made the scarf more narrow so it would be longer. This is another one that works, but I wish I had more length. I'm also not really crazy about the ends, but I was pretty desperate. Again, I just wanted to get this one finished and I wasn't about to rip out once I saw that it was too wide. It's functional and I enjoyed working with the mohair for the most part.

Pattern: Good ol 2x2 rib

Yarn: Another rummage sale find. I believe it was 3 skeins of something acrylic.

Dates: Summer 2003

Notes: There have been a few occassions, a very, very few occassions, when I've actually needed to buy yarn to have a project. Really, it's only because I haven't brought enough knitting home and had more time to play that I anticipated. We were planning one of our driving expeditions back to the Buffalo and I needed something to keep me busy in the car. I found this acrylic stuff at a rummage sale and got busy. I love the way it has three different patterns due to the patterning of the yarn. In the future, though, I'd probably make sure I started a row to match the pattern that's already going, since it does look rather "homemade" in the bad sort of way. This isn't anything special, but I wear this scarf with my tan coat when I just want something rather plain. It isn't itchy at all, although not particularly snuggly either. Just a scarf...

Now one would think that this would be enough of a collection to keep a girl warm and happy. Yeah, right. Like shoes and purses, you can never have too many scarves. I've got several others on the needles or in my head so bring on temps where I can actually wear some of my knitted gear!

1. Diss: Plugging along. Tonight I must work until I have 3 pages.
2. Diet: Um, monthly brunch with the girls... pancakes with walnuts. Not good.
3. Cleaning: Two more sweaters bit the dust today. I'm not sure if it's sad or scary that I remembered buying these cheap things 8 years ago. Why do I feel the need to keep these ratty things?

07 November 2005

Leslie's Rule #812

Leslie's Rule #812: When you are fantabulously craptastically dressed, you will run into someone you'd rather not see, even when you are looking your finest.

Today, after my rendezvous with the treadmill, I get the brilliant idea to bust it to Wegmans to pick up some dinner fixin's. I even delude myself into believing that I can beat the 5.00 rush. So I'm just tooling along after I pick up my deli meat and BAM, I nearly run the cart right into my last actual date. Granted, this little coffee affair was a few weeks ago, but he has the dubious status as being my last late.

For those of you keeping score (hi, mom), there were no sparks on either side. He said he'd call. He didn't call. I didn't mind.

But there he was, looking pretty darn cute in his wool peacoat.

And there I was, looking (and smelling) pretty darn nasty in my gym clothes.

We chit chatted and I bolted as soon as possible. To avoid any further encounters of the uncomfortable kind, I then spent an inordinate amount of time analyzing whole milk vs. part skim ricotta cheese. I can probably give you a rundown on the nutrition label if you're interested. Yes, it does actually matter. Might even make up for the frivolous calories in the Weight Watchers chocolate cake in your cart.

Yes, I ran into a former date with Weight Watchers pseudo-twinkies in my cart while I was stinky from the gym. Poor guy is probably really, really relieved our coffee date was a one time only event.

And then just to prove my point about the inevitability of the bad dress = former date rule, last weekend while I was in full-on Martha Mode, painting my schnaaaazzy new dining room set, I had to make an emergency hardware store run. Who knew you couldn't paint six chairs and a table base with only one can of black spray paint?

Well, knowing that I have on a 3xl sweatshirt, tapered leg blue jeans and a stupid clip in my hair, I wisely chose to avoid Home Depot on a Saturday afternoon and head to the ghetto Valu Hardware. C'mon, there won't be a soul I know in Valu Hardware. Most likely the customers at Valu Hardware will look worse than I do.

Yeah, so much for that theory. I walk in like a woman on a mission and nearly clobbered one of last summer's one date wonders. Again, not someone I felt any sparks with or anything, but still, another guy who says he'll call and doesn't. Luckily, there was no acknowledgement of my presence but I'm pretty sure he was thinking, "How do I know the girl with the streak of black spray paint across her forehead, the crazy one trying to hide in the aisle of bolts so I don't see her? Hmmm, oh yeah, whew, glad I didn't call her for another miserable coffee date."

I expect this sort of thing in Hometown, Missouri. You will run into four classmates every time you enter the Pizza Hut. This is why I prepare my speech ahead of time. "No, not married. No kids. Still in school. Have no desire to be a member of the Pinto Alumni Pep Club. Just here to see my family. Please ignore me so I can go back to the horses and sewing machines."

Either Buffalo is now officially too small or I've gone on too many bad coffee dates.


Now, for something truly shocking, it's November 7. My grandmother's birthday is December 1. I just bound off on her birthday scarf.

The blocking will commence once I get blocking wires. Woo hoo, an excuse for more knitting tools! I'm just planning to sort of leave this one until at least the night before I'm flying to Missouri, so there's a thrill in wondering if I'll get it finished or not.

(For my knitting readers, project specs once I get it blocked with a decent picture.)

Now see, if I was wearing something schnaaaaaazy like a lace scarf, wouldn't see a soul. Guess this means I'm going to have to start busting out the cute outfits to keep all the bad dates at bay, sorta like garlic to ward off vampires. That or just go out for coffee with the girls so we can knit and be thankful we aren't one of the bored girls that you always see at the coffee shops, stuck on one of those dates themselves.

1. Diss: Today was a reading day, which was actually helpful. Now if I can just find the book that says that Victorians thought that the exotic is grotesque in its excessive nature. Well, guess that's what my book is going to say, but damn, that one's not written yet.
2. Diet: Weight Watchers pseudo-twinkies, do you need to know any more? Actually, I ran 5k today. Well, ran/walked is more like it, but still, me, on the treadmill, 5k. Debating whether or not I'll try for the Turkey Trot Quincy style, or as Adam says, the Chicken Chase. I won't go into explaining that one now. Hmm, we'll see if I can do this same run a few more times this week. How embarrassed would I be if all the little old lady mall walkers are faster than I am?
3. Organization: I think knitting counts here when it means checking off a December present. And no, shopping for knitting tools doesn't count in the opposite direction. I can add to the stash when it's necessary for completing a project, right? That'll be rule #813.

06 November 2005

Oh Nuts!

One of the reasons I particularly enjoy my aerobics class is that we have a little community of fellow sweaters (no, not the wool kind, the people kind who are dripping all over the room, yes, it’s gross…). One girl in the class is a med student who always brings us entertaining (and sometimes gross) stories of her patients. Basically, if it’s nasty and related to bodily fluid, she’s dealt with it.

However, after talking with her, she assures me that even I could be a doctor. 98% of her work to this point has been telling people that they need to eat better and exercise more to manage their heart disease, diabetes, joint problems, ingrown toenails, colds, etc. She even has me practicing, “Eat broccoli, go for a walk and come back in three months.”

She was in I’m-so-tired-I-can’t-think mode, handing out the broccoli prescription when the old man she was working with took one look at her, got wide eyes and informed her that he wouldn’t be able to come back in three months. She asked why not. His answer, “The chestnuts are covering my front lawn.”

Yeah, so much for the dog ate my homework.

She woke from her intern stupor to go through a checklist of just why the chestnuts might prevent this man from returning to the clinic. Perhaps he was having trouble walking and was worried about falling. She suggested asking a neighbor to clear his sidewalks. Perhaps he was just stinking senile and was scared of chestnuts. She wrote down “suggested psych evaluation” on his chart. Perhaps there was a chestnut explosion and he wouldn’t be able to open the door after they piled up for three months. She took another drink of coffee and tried to calm her imagination.

“Sir, I don’t follow. Why are the chestnuts going to prevent you from coming to the clinic for a check-up that you really, really need?”

“Don’t you know anything, doc? When the chestnuts fall this much, we’re going to have a horrible winter and I’m going to be snowed in in three months. I won’t be able to get here through all the snow.”

What do you say to that?

If you live in Buffalo, you stock up on canned soup and harvest some of the chestnuts to roast over the pilot light in your furnace. I’ve never been much on Farmers Almanac knowledge, but personally, I’m glad I’ll have lots of time to knit while I’m snowed in this winter. Let those chestnuts fall as much as they want.

Diss: Wrote, read, enough said.
Diet: I'm trying to find small successes here. I did manage to make meal plans for the week. I find that I'm much better when I take time to cook decent dinners so hopefully Almond Crusted Chicken and Beef Mexicali Casserole will keep down the munchies this week. I'm trying.
Organization: The bags are filling the trunk. Will do a run this week to drop off and not pick up!

04 November 2005

Finally Finished!

Be careful what you wish for. Scarf weather arrived with a vengeance. Buffalo has snow. I sort of feel that the universe is aligning again. There for awhile, t-shirts in November, whew, I was worried.

Anyway, I am working on my blogging skills and one talent which I do not seem to possess is the infamous self-portrait in the bathroom mirror. Here's my first attempt. It's about as good as this knitting project.

Craftster/Urban Outfitters Shrug
Yarn: 4 skeins Lion Brand Jiffy Thick & Quick in Adirondacks (3 skeins were gift from Susannah); $6.80 (my cost)
Pattern: Here
Started: October 2005
Finished October 2005
Recipient: Me, me, me!
Notes: I'm not sure I would've purchased this yarn on my own, but I like it knitted up. I didn't particularly enjoy working on size 17 plastic needles though and don't see many big and bulky projects in my future. I'm not sure if I like the way this makes me look, as if I need any more help looking like a football player! I bought ribbons to use as a tie in the front but will leave them unattached so I can use a brooch to keep it closed if I prefer. I've been following the development of this pattern on Craftster since the thread started and was excited to make one of the circular shrugs that are so popular this fall. This was a fast way to make something trendy, but I do think I'd like it better in a much smaller gauge. Overall, the pattern was easy to follow and fun to knit. If this trend is still around in the spring, I'd like to make one in a worsted weight, maybe with a lace or decorative stitch for the back portion.

This may actually get me a point on my 20 things to do in my 20s list. I have actually worn this sweater in public on three separate occasions. It's not exactly one I'm super proud of, but if all else fails, this one gets me a checkmark!

I've written about this before, but in my attempts to continue to get my knitting on the blog, here's another FO.

Handspun Scarf
Yarn: 2 skeins, Knox Farm Handspun, 100% wool (from "Hope" the sheep), 4+ ozs. 172 yds; $25
Pattern: Simple 2x2 rib
Started: October 1, 2005
Finished: October 2005
Recipient: Me, me, me! (starting to feel greedy here)
Notes: I barely made it home before I wound up the yarn and started knitting. What fun to work with handspun and hand-dyed yarn. It was a little "sheepy" with lots of lanolin in the yarn, even some hay in case I got the munchies. It softened considerably when I washed it (soaked 20 minutes in Eucalan bath). The dye faded slightly, but not enough to change the color scheme.
Verdict: Will be returning to the Knox Farm in East Aurora for more handspun! I think the pink and green colorway is calling my name!
I've ordered yarn for my Scarf Exchange partner and I have a few patterns in mind. I think I'm going to give lace a try using some alpaca from a local farm. I'm starting to get a little nervous about all my holiday crafting ambitions so this one will hopefully stay on the backburner for awhile. Although we all know that the minute the yarn comes, I'll be casting on!

1. Diss: Was sick at home today so I read. Won't be making my Thanksgiving deadline... grrr.
2. Diet: Does reaching for a kleenex count as working out?
3. Organization: Since I stayed in my jammies today, I already have my outfit planned for tomorrow. Yes, I'm so pathetic that that's going to count for today.

01 November 2005


If only all homework was as enjoyable as knitting homework. On Saturday, I took a class on fair isle knitting. Eventually we're going to end up with a felted version of this bag from the Summer 04 issue of Interweave. Impressive, eh?

Well, no actual fair isling yet, but there's a start. Easiest homework in the world. Assigned Saturday morning, finished Sunday night. Just how I wrote all my essays in college... uh huh...

Anyway, I intended to show some pictures of recent knitting acquisition but my computer and pictures aren't playing well again, so I'll save that for a day when I have more energy to futz with this stupid thing.

Just wanted to check in on my list:
1. Diss: Ugh... I'm not even thinking about how bad this is going at the moment.
2. Diet: Same as above... Halloween, enough said.
3. Cleaning: Even worse than the previous two. See what happens when I actually do my knitting homework? Must focus on the priorities here. Well, at least until I get my next knitting assignment next week.