30 July 2006

Secret Pal Group Questions

1. What is your favorite season?

Fall! Can’t wait to wear sweaters again and coats and boots… I love that brief time when it’s chilly but there’s no snow, when you can go outside and run around but are pretty happy when you get to come back inside for a warm cup of coffee. I think I usually clap when I see the first bit of color on the changing trees. Yes, I’m that dorky.

2. Where is or would be your favorite place in the world to take a vacation?

Right now I’m dreaming of a trip to Johannisburg and Cape Town, South Africa. (Don’t worry, Mom. I won’t tell you the scary details of my adventure until I’m home safe and sound.) If that doesn’t pan out, I’m hoping to try India. You gotta dream big, right?

My favorite place to go so far has been weekends in the Catskills, Adirondacks or Poconos… just a tiny little cabin, boardgames, knitting, wine and a boy. I’ve ditched that particular boy, but the rest of it sounds nice. Maybe I should start looking for another fella since fall in a cabin is pretty darn nice…

3. If you could have any job in the world and not worry about finances (everything would be taken care of), which means you'd be doing something you actually like, what would it be?

I’d probably be a writer… which I guess is kinda what I am. But I’d be a novelist with unlimited funds, a room of my own (as Ms. Woolf prescribes), and hours to dream, plot and play with words. And of course I’d be hooked up with a publisher who adored me and published whatever drivel I managed to spew out.

Other dream jobs include an interior decorator, high-powered editor at a fabulous magazine or publishing house (just saw The Devil Wears Prada and a big part of me would love to be Miranda just for a bit… evil, snarky comments and all…), quilter/knitter/crafter extraordinaire, graphic designer, and some days even an engineer. Those are the days I’ve spent too many hours at the office writing about job promotions for engineering alumni.

And although I hesitate to say this for fear of jinxing myself, I really do think being an English professor would be pretty cool. So, Mr. Universe-Controller, think we could work something out on that one? Pretty please.

4. What is your favorite project to knit or crochet?

Any one that actually works! Seriously, so far it’s been things that offer some challenge for me to figure out. I’m enjoying working on the Mystery Stole lace project because I have to think, use pens and highlighters and doo dads and what nots. It’s slow and meticulous, but even the few rows I’ve completed are gorgeous. (Due to the pattern, trust me, nothing to do with my skills.) I enjoyed learning fair isle for my felted bag (which is yet to be lined and put into rotation) or even figuring out mattress stitch (the right way) for my last sweater. I don’t think I’ve had a roaring success in the knitting department, but if I do, you’ll be the first to know!

5. What is your favorite food - whether it be a main dish, dessert, snack, whatever?

Grandma’s gooey butter cake… divine. Or maybe sweet corn from the family farm… homemade ice cream… Grandma’s rolls… biscuits and gravy from dirty greasy spoons (the restaurants, not actual dirty spoons)…

Yeah, it’s no wonder I need to exercise more!

6. What is your favorite way to relax and unwind?

If I’m stressed after a hard day, I enjoy hitting the gym until I’m exhausted, then coming home to a nice bath with fancy bubbles or bath salts and a glass of wine. When I’m too pooped for that, give me a DVD of old CSI episodes and some mindless sock knitting. I used to enjoy curling up on my back porch with a book but now books = work, so blech!

29 July 2006

Let's Twist Again...

Despite the scorching weather, I've been working on a bit of cool weather yumminess... Trellis.

As with any project on or off my needles, there are mucho mucho mistakes, but eh, it's a baby sweater "learner" project for cabling. I've done the Irish Hiking Scarf but wanted more practice reading cable charts and there are several babies coming into my world soon so I figured, perfect combo of learning a technique and checking off a shower gift.

I tried working on my cabling without a needle techniqe and it was soundly declared a disaster. For one, I'm working with acrylic (yeah, I know, but I'm stash diving for this one...) and it doesn't "stick" to itself very well.* So when you pop those little babies off the needle to do the switcharoo, they want to just jump all over the place. Not good. Then there's the thinking.... "So, do I bring this around this way or this way? What order should these be in?" It seems oh so simple, but for this little brain, simple was too much to handle. I found that I was enjoying the knitting much more with the assurance of that cable needle and in the long run, it was much faster to stick it in and take it out every little bit than to try to process the stitch switcharoo. Part of me felt like I was "supposed to" do it the "cool" way, but then the friendly voices in my head reminded me of my "bad ass knitter" status and if I want to be a tool and use a tool, then I darn well will. Does anyone else have that feeling? That you're supposed to do things using some hot shot shortcut, even though you're down with taking the long way?

Maybe I need more work at this "bad ass" frame of mind...

Anyway, I definitely think cabling has earned some cool points in my knitting book. I decided to sign up for the Central Park Hoodie Knitalong starting in September. I've got some Cascade 220 lingering in the stash, intended for a Rogue sweater but I think I'll get more wear out of a hoodie and it'll be nice to be knitting something with others rather than years behind. And then there's the Curvalicious Cardi to do... and the Mystery Stole to finish... and more babies coming...

Maybe the tool that I really need is the ability to say no to new knitting projects!

*For some reason, knitting with this stuff (Wool-Ease) in this heat has been really sticky. Isn't it supposed to be real wool that's a pain in the summer? This junk is sticking to my metal needles and to my hands... very icky. Just another lesson in the "why not to use crappy yarn" handbook.

25 July 2006

Can I Get a "Woot Woot?"

Dontcha just hate looking at someone’s blog and seeing them brag about their glorious children, adoring husbands and stunning sweaters that hug every curve (or lack of curve) on their perfect bodies? Yeah, don’t worry, I’m all about keepin’ it real. None of that kind of bragging going on here. I’ll spare you the pics, but you’ll just have to believe me that my life is more about dirty dishes in the sink, Saturday nights with books and knitting, and the curves on this body should definitely not be hugged by my so-so sweater knitting abilities. But… I do get to brag.

I won a tape measure keychain! And not just any ol’ tape measure keychain… an Amazing Lace tape measure with magical powers that will ensure I will get spot-on gauge. I think it may even be so powerful that it will actually bring out finished projects simply by having it in my notions bag. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

I know this probably sounds like I’m being facetious, but really, I think it’s pretty cool and I needed a little bright spot in Casa de Chaos.

All this for churning out a little sestina action...

Now to actually knit some lace so I can measure it!

*Big thanks go to Rachel and Theresa for all their work on this knitalong. I've enjoyed seeing all the posts (well, some of the posts... I'm only human (unlike you two) so I only get to keep up on a fraction of the updates). It's a big creative boost to get an assignment and have to try out something crazy. I like that there's no finish deadline or even pressure to keep working on the same thing. Just knit a little lace when you can, when it strikes your fancy... that's my kind of knitting!

24 July 2006

The Addiction is Real

Socks, socks, socks... gotta knit socks...

Plain 'n Easy Socks

Yarn: Lion Brand Magic Stripes, less than 1 skein
Needles: Addis Magic Loop style... need to look up the size again...
Pattern: Hodge podge
Date Started: February 2006 (Knitting Olympics training socks)
Date Finished: July 2006
Recipient: My greedy tootsies
Notes: I just CO 58 stitches, 1 inch of 1x1 ribbing, stockinette for awhile, standard slip stitch heel, then my usual toe. Have I been knitting socks long enough to have a usual toe? Well, it's the only one I've done so I guess it counts. I like it. No need to change when you find something you like and you just want to whip out a pair of socks. Nothing fancy, just easy socks for TV watching and chatting with friends. I still have to look at a few of my reference guides for the heel and gusset info, but most of this is just around and around and around... my kind of knitting...

I immediately cast on for my second Trekking sock after finishing these. The first one came in the middle of these as a sort of intermission and since I just couldn't wait to bust out my new yarn. I can now see why people swear they have to have socks on the needles. They're portable, easy for knitting while socializing or being mindless, and the yarn is just so much fun to collect. Not that I'll be collecting this kind of yarn any more, but it was in the stash. I do like the blues and purples and really, my tootsies aren't that high class. We can hang with the Lion Brand.

Well, to a degree. Tomorrow I'll post about another stash project that is turning me away from another of their fine, or not-so-fine, products. The pattern is great, the product is not.

22 July 2006

The Pursuit of Happiness

Recently, a friend turned me onto this book on happiness. I try to think of myself as a happy person. I want to be happy. I try to be happy. I’d say the vast majority of people who see me day to day think of me as happy. I smile quite a bit. I try to be friendly. I can usually pull out a joke or two when needed.

But really, to be entirely honest, I don’t really feel particularly happy, or at least not generally happy, not the kind of happy that some people just have. You know the kind… the people who seem to possess happiness in an ever-abundant supply, the people who may be upset or frustrated or downright sad about things in life, but there’s a deeper happiness that’s just waiting to take the stage as soon as the moment passes. Even if you saw them at their worst, you’d still walk away and call them a happy person.

Now don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong. Life has actually been pretty good as of late. I’ve been doing fun things, enjoying my friends, even having a spot of good luck with my work. But as to that inner happiness, it would use some work. I’d say I have a little, tiny glimmer of that kind of happiness that I desire, but it’s pretty close to draught mode on any given day.

I don’t like that. That’s not the Leslie I want to be.

So, I started reading the book. I also started reading these books.

I started reading stuff on this website

I started reading blogs and magazines and I started writing journal entries. I started taking lots of baths and long walks, just thinking about happiness.

And I’ve processed a lot of it, and I’ve struggled with more of it, and I’ve gotten downright frustrated and angry about even more of it.

But I’m ready to give it a go.

And I’m taking the blog with me.

Now this may be bordering on the line of a really, really, super terrific bad idea. Announcing your psychosis, neurosis and general screwed-up-sis to the world, uh, yeah, not exactly subtle. But isn’t that why we read Crazy Aunt Purl or She Just Walks Around With It? Or maybe that’s just part of why I read them. I read posts that are real, that involve real thinking, real personal development and I’m entranced. I suppose it may just be schadenfreude,* but I think it’s something more that draws me in. And I’m not the only one, as convinced by the number of commentors who seem genuinely touched to read a real story written with feeling and style. (Now I’m not promising either of those, but I’ll try to include a story or two every now and then…)

I think there are quite a few of us that need to up our happiness stockpile. I think there are a lot of us that aren’t ready to be committed to a funny farm just yet, but there’s something off. We’re in a funk, not really full-blown depression but more just funk. We need to find something more. Maybe we’re unhappy with our job, our personal life, our friendships, our homes, our bodies, our relationship to the greater world and the devastation going on all around us… but I think we’re all hurting a little bit and I want to see if there’s a way that I, at least, can get more happiness and less frustration, less anxiety, less hurt.

And who knows, maybe the three of you that are still sticking around this fairly pathetic blog will want to bolt for the hills. But the posts I’ve enjoyed writing have been those where I’ve been thinking aloud, wondering about materiality and consumerism and my penchant for choosing the color white when I get stressed out. And I think one or two people have told me they enjoy reading them. So I guess I’m just giving you a warning. There will be knitting coming up, don’t worry, but I can guarantee you aren’t coming here for the knitting content. If so, O wayward knitter, go look at the experts. Really, me and my Lion Brand stash aren’t going to get you anywhere but in trouble with a whole bunch of ill-fitting acrylic sweaters that’ll get you a superstar on You Knit What? Expert knitter I am not… mediocre knitter I only am when I really, really concentrate… Frog pond queen, now we’re talking…

Anyway, just to clarify before my mom starts calling or I start sounding like a total sad sack… I’m not devastated. There’s nothing really wrong. I really have nothing terrible to complain about, but that only seems to make the funk more difficult. Things are just… not good. And that makes my outlook… not good. Stress levels are high. My grouchiness is high. My shoulders are high… odd little way I physically carry stress and unhappiness… my shoulders look like they’re pretty much even with my ears. It’s attractive, really. True, I don’t have the job of my dreams, a guy that’s more significant than a Flavor of the Month, a fancy house, fast sports car, killer abs, or even an awesome knitting project to show off. There are lots of things that are making me unhappy. But I also don’t have a serious illness, a recent death to mourn, creditors coming to lock me up, or a lack of supportive friends and family.

I’m just not as happy as I want to be.

So this project is just about upping the happiness quotient at Chez Leslie. I just thought that I’d share a little of my journal type writing. It may not be anything worth reading, but maybe someone else in a funk will find something here that’s worthwhile. Maybe those of you fortunate ones that are clearly in the happiness camp will share your secrets and wisdom. Maybe I’ll get bored and move on to some other new project or scheme or idea. I have no idea.

* By the way, I recently got the soundtrack to Avenue Q. Must. See. This. I mean, c’mon, they have a song titled “What do you do with a B.A. in English?” Damned if I know, but I do know this little theatrical treat will be worth a trip to the city in the near future.

21 July 2006

Certainly No Shakespeare Here

Uh… yeah… so hope you’re not going to hold me to any standards of eloquence here after that last post.

Thank you all for the emails and comments yesterday. I feel a little sheepish about putting it out there, especially since it’s a professional publication and I try to at least be conscious of the blogging code of separation of professional and personal. I don’t always succeed, but I try. Anyway, to clarify, it’s a research essay that has been accepted for a collection that will be made into a book, or at least I think so. I’m new to all of this so I’m not entirely positive on the way something goes from my ramblings on my trusty laptop to pages sandwiched between hard covers in the library but I guess I’ll be finding out very soon. Just an essay… just 25 pages of historical research with my own little bit of spin… just an entry in a table of contents and a line on the CV…

But it’ll be my 25 pages of spin…

As far as the big diss, well, it’s going about as well as the Big Dig. I just hope that I don’t hurt anyone with the chunks that are suffering the fate of the red editing pen. Right now, there are many, many more pages in the trash can than in the keeper pile. Oh well, I’ve been told that’s the nature of the beast.

Sometimes though all you need is a little shot in the arm to keep you going. I’m a simple girl, really, don’t need too much attention or too much praise. So yes, I’m pretty happy with this news. I needed it and wanted to share it with anyone who happened upon my little corner of the Internet. I’ll trot out a few more pages, look up a few more articles and throw away a whole bunch more. Someday my name will be on the title page… someday…

Whoever happens to stumble on this entry, here’s to a little hope. We’ll stumble through this mess of life together and every so often we’ll get exciting emails when we turn on our computers.

20 July 2006


I just got published...

... in a real book and everything.

I'll be in the library revising and panicking.

16 July 2006

Off the Deep End

I have lost my bloody mind. In the next few weeks I need to finish a newsletter that goes out to 22,000 readers, submit another draft of the current dissertation chapter and get everything ready for a 10-day family visit to Missouri, including a quilt camp weekend.

So this morning I decided to start two new projects...

Since my Knitpicks order came, I jumped on the bandwagon of the Mystery Stole 2. Surprisingly my order came within a week. I ordered two sets of their new needles to give them a spin and ooh la la, I think these little puppies are going to make fast work of lace. If I wasn't totally addicted to this project and wanting to get in a few more rows before crashing, I'd give you the scoop on what I've learned from the knit-along. There will be time for that, I'm sure. I'll likely be working on this one until I'm in the nursing home.

And since it's baby time around these parts, I start Trellis. So far so good on this one although my attempt at learning to cable without a cable needle still needs some fine tuning. Don't look closely or you'll see several mistakes. The good knitter in me is saying that I should rip down and correct them, but the naughty knitter is reminding me that the whole sweater will likely be covered in spit up shortly after its debut so why bother. I'm going with the naughty knitter on this one. (Check out Yarn Kitty's stitch markers... what did I ever do before my secret pal hooked me up?)

So I'll be in the local loony bin if you need me. Bring your knitting. It'll be a party!

15 July 2006

Say "Yes!"

(No, not to THAT question… And don’t even think that’s where this post is going, Mom!)

Anyway, yesterday I went to the beach with Laurie and her three-year-old. We had been discussing a knitting night but due to unforeseen circumstances (namely a mother-in-law needing emergency surgery post sidewalk fall), our evening of yarn and cocktails was changed to a day of lake and sand. On Thursday evening, when Laurie suggested the alternate plan, I almost gave my usual response, “No, I shouldn’t go to the beach all day because I need to work.” It’s automatic really, the “No, I shouldn’t…” Somewhere in my mind, I’ve trained myself that “No, I shouldn’t replace my ratty wardrobe until I lose weight.” “No, I shouldn’t go out for drinks so I can get up early to work.” “No, I shouldn’t go for a walk until I write a few more pages.” “No, I shouldn’t buy yarn until I use up every yard of what I own.”

Really, the mantra is that “No, I shouldn’t have a life until I finish the dissertation, become movie star thin, and have a perfect apartment.” Yeah, we all know how well that plan is gonna go…

So this week, I practiced saying “Yes!” Well, "Yes!" to everything but blogging...

After Monday’s gloomy post, I had a productive writing day on Tuesday, endured/enjoyed an intense, super-sweaty workout and then said “Sure!” when Laurie asked me to go for a walk. I even said “Yippee” when she suggested we go for ice cream… despite knowing that would mean walking on Elmwood, the place to see and be seen, and specifically, not to be seen sporting the stinky gym look (and smell). So after four hours of exercise, my body was just on the point of collapsing when I got terrific news from home. I’ve got baby knitting to do! Now that deserves a “Yes!” It also deserves many, many postings about the knitting objects to be completed. Let the cuteness commence.

Wednesday brought yet more opportunities to actually just relax and enjoy a bit of summertime fun. At the office we have monthly “Warm and Fuzzies.” Yes, I too was a little worried the first time I got the “warm and fuzzy” announcement while sitting in my concrete box, typing away as a good writer should. Barely knowing anyone, I was just told, “Come on, it’s warm and fuzzy time.” Um, yeah, okay, see, I need to work on this little article about Joe Schmoe getting a job promotion and I really don’t think I’m ready for whatever or whomever goes by the name of ‘warm and fuzzy.’ Of course, I should’ve known it was going to be about food, as pretty much everything in the office has to do with food. Basically, once a month the office gets together for an hour (or two) of fun and silliness (and food). I once thought that it was a bit of a waste. You mean we’re getting paid to go do a wine and cheese tasting? I’m supposed to go enjoy an ice cream sundae now? The longer I’ve been at the office though I’ve seen how these little events are actually rather wise management. I talk to people I rarely see, even though they are just at the other end of the hall. By conversing about what we did over the weekend, we foster relationships that usually lead to agreements to stay a little late to help on a big project or stopping our own work to assist someone else stuck on a problem. Maybe this philosophy of a little work and a little play has something to it…

Anyway, after earning a respectable second place for the washer toss (lost to the Dean… I think it’s only right to lose to the big boss), I decided to take in a little shopping, another of my usual denials. (Yes, there was more yarn at the clearance sale… since I didn’t get enough glittery acrylic crap the first time.) I had to run a few errands at the mall and lo and behold there were clearance sales at my favorite shops. I was able to stay within budget and get a few updates for summer/fall wear. Thursday brought another opportunity for fun with a dinner out and then Friday’s sand and sun expedition topped off what turned out to be a really great week.

Of course a great week means a weekend with the diss, but could be worse. At least I have the memories of getting out and about to inspire me to keep my nose to the grindstone until the next opportunity to say “yes” comes my way. So, since it's summer, let's make a deal. When someone asks if we'd like to get out there, enjoy life a little, try something new, or shoot, buy yarn, let's all say "yes." The work (and the stash) will be here waiting for us come fall.

Random Addendums (with more to come):

* Thanks for all the comments on my kerplunk off the non-stashing wagon. I’m not sure any of you would help with the “to stash or not to stash” question as I think you all are complete enablers! Dangerous, dangerous ladies! The latest trip to the sale meant I bought fabric. I really have a disease. It's contagious. Consider yourself warned.
* I'll post info soon on Buffalo area yarn stores, Pam. They're definitely worth a trip from your area.
* Since I've decided to go completely hog-wild with my knitting projects (and never finish a thing... ever again), I signed up for the Mystery Stole 2 and the Yarn Aboard exchange. I really am truly hopeless.
* I may just post some knitting content soon. That is, unless I start a new project...

10 July 2006

I Caved

Well, the moment you’ve been waiting for since December… I bought yarn. I was doing just fine, just sticking to the stash and avoiding the new project lure… and then, *bam*… out of nowhere one of those store closing signs jumped out into the street and wrestled me into a clearance sale. I was powerless to resist.

I’m not sure if this is local or national, but our Hancock Fabrics store is closing up shop and has things marked down. Truth be told, I’m not surprised. Their fabric selection was decent, but couldn’t really compete with JoAnn’s variety or the specialty shop’s quality. Their yarn selection was all Lion Brand, all the time so not enough to really draw in the yarn customers. I think their home dec fabric was pretty nice, but again, the casual consumer is going to go to JoAnn’s and serious decorators are going to use a higher quality product.

But even more than that, I avoided the place due to their customer service… or lack thereof. Yes, I may gripe about the big box store of JoAnn’s where you better know what you need before you go in there because you’re not going to get much advice once you’re wandering the aisles, but this place was pretty bad. They never seemed to have enough employees to keep both the cutting table and the cash register going at the same time. Yes, that means two competent people at a time… tough, I’m sure. It seems like a simple concept… customer service. Maybe we take it for granted as American consumers who are used to being courted. But I either want to be left alone in places like Target, where you expect to get zilch for customer service, or I want to be helped. I didn’t go in there looking for advice. I can sew, knit and everything in between, thank you very much. Just cut my fabric in a reasonably straight line and don’t make me wait for 15 minutes before you get a cashier to the front of the store. Often, these two demands were ignored. But anyway, they’re closing and they’re having a sale.

Things have been a little on the stressful side around chez Leslie (thus the lack of blog posting) and there are a few known coping strategies around these parts, for better or more likely, for worse. I shopped.

I was hoping to end the yarn diet with some fabulous purchase to end all purchases. Eh, not so much. I caved on some black Glitterspun to either make this shrug from Knitty or try to design some sort of lace bolero. I convinced myself that I needed this to go with a halter top I’ve started cutting out. Granted, summer will be over and the halter top/bolero/shrug layered combo look will be oh so over before I finish (or start) either of these, but whoever said I was timely in my fashion choices. The yarn was 50% off and I’m sure I can find a use for black yarn with silver glitter. And since I was caving, I got some sock yarn and wool as well, just for good measure. It was all Lion Brand, as pathetic as that is. Laurie has since informed me of her great disappointment with my collapse at the sight of cheap acrylic, but at least I didn’t totally go for Red Heart or something. It could be worse… maybe.

And then, hell, since I was on a bender, I placed a Knitpicks order. I started justifying it by saying that it is partially for my secret pal, but then I just caved and ordered two sets of needles and laceweight for me since I joined the Mystery Stole II KAL.

Yes, when stressed I run from my problems by buying yarn and signing up for complicated lace projects. At least I’m not a crack addict who turns to the pipe when all ain’t well in diss-land. Well, not yet anyway… I’m only on chapter two.

Anyway, happy post tomorrow, I promise.

Oh, and the contest winner, Erica, will be treated to a dinner on me. I thought about knitting something for the winner, but we all know that would never happen.

So will I wait until Rhinebeck for my next hit or will this be the start of something very, very bad…

05 July 2006

Sock it to me

Although the Trekking socks have yet to undertake a maiden voyage into the wilderness, the first one is nearing completion.

I'm using colorway #135 and a chevron pattern from Sensational Socks, I think. I'll check those details when I'm not too tired to get up from the desk. The pattern is easy to memorize and I got to try out a new heel.

It's a before-thought heel, or something to that effect. Despite the gaping hole there that will need a little sewing action, me likey. The look of a short-row (sorta) but without the fuss of purling... a winner with me!

Random note: Yarn Kitty, it's a good thing you're (a) anonymous (for now) and (b) far away because you could get this knitter into trouble. Are you thinking of doing the pink and brown cardigan in Big Girl Knits? That was one of the reasons I recently bought the book. I may just be going to investigate Calmer colors. I see blue and brown for fall... Have you found the knitalong group on Yahoo? Guess you can't tell me if you're a regular poster there, but so far I'm just a lurker. Must finish up some of the projects in the queue before jumping in there. But great book that will give me many future projects!

04 July 2006

And a fun time was had by all...

30th Birthday Party
Originally uploaded by ldgraffnu.
Just to make everyone drool, I had to show off the pictures of (1) our yummy desserts and (2) my gorgeous friends. Hey, hot women and chocolate... something for everyone, right? (If you like to combine these two luxuries, that's up to you. Those are pics for an entirely different kind of website.)

So to celebrate my entry into a new decade, one where I think I'm supposed to start acting like a grown-up, I summoned the posse and we headed out to a waterfront restaurant for some grease and river breezes. Maybe a few too many breezes considering Erica and Rachel's coats... After our meal and a stroll to the dock (which totally burnt off all the calories of those french fries), we headed to one of the most amazing dessert places we've found. And yes, we've done our homework on dessert places. I'm not sure if I was more impressed by the engineering on the fancy pants bathroom sink or on Shelby's dessert (both of which were not captured with phtographic evidence), but there were gasps and sighs.

All in all, a great birthday. Thanks, girls! Who do we get to celebrate next?

Oh, and I promise the top inches of Shelby's head are gorgeous. The picture is actually very nice but for some reason the Flickr mosaic tool chopped her off. I'm learning, but these new-fangled toys are sometimes too much for me. And no, Susannah and Hilda aren't zombies. Again, blame the non-techie here who can't seem to figure out the proper flash setting. I should stick with knitting and old books.

03 July 2006

Ah... Calm

Yay, another turn to brag on my secret pal. Yarn Kitty read in my questionnaire that I haven't found a cotton that I adore so she decided to do something about that. Little did she know that she would also be helping me turn my weekend guffaw around.

In case the picture isn't clear, she sent some great Batherapy (mmm... lavender bath salts), spa soaps and gorgeous crocheted cloths. (I'll add another picture of these so you can see the great patterns. Talk about inspiration to take up hooking...) Of course there was chocolate. I've surprised myself with the restraint I've demonstrated. There is still some left. Of course, that's because Rachel got me granola and Shelby got me chocolate biscotti for my birthday. I'm trying to be good, but a girl has her limits.

The yarn, in case you don't recognize it, is Rowan Calmer. Ah, feel calmer already... She sent a pattern for it, but I was poking about the internet and thinking about giving it a try in Magknits Nothin' but a T-Shirt (because don't we all have a soft spot for Jessica Simpson music???) or a Berroco lace sweater pattern (made a little more fitted and possibly with 3/4 sleeves for a summer look). Surely with a name like Calmer, the finished product is destined to be a success. I'm a big cardigan sweater wearer so always looking for an excuse to add another to the rotation. (Have you done any sweaters with it, Yarn Kitty? Any suggestions?)

There was another cloth in the package that I'll have to show tomorrow. She's in the laundry and I'm sure the internet doesn't need to see pictures of my dirty wash. I may have restraint on the chocolate, but Thursday's airport journey demanded a follow-up bath. At least after a few days, all has returned to normal here (despite hearing way too many times about how good Mom's homemade ice cream was...). I've added a new list to my other blog but I want to write about it as well. Eventually I'll get there. Oh, and I've managed to check one thing off the list. Any guesses?

Anyway, hopefully I'll get time to do catch-up blogging tomorrow. Believe it or not, I actually still knit and have a few things to show. I guess it really is true that when you hit the big 3-0, you get forgetful and tired and disorganized. Dimensia is just around the corner... Is there a yarn to cure that?