Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Boring post #5782

The doldrums are moving on. (Do they move? Or does one simply coast out of them and they lie in wait for the next little sailboat?) Anyway, I had an unplugged weekend courtesy of the fried router. We had a Saturday of crazy storms followed by gentle, soothing rain, I sat and chatted with a friend over pizza and homemade brownies, and had leftovers (meatloaf sandwiches, my favorite) for dinner. Sunday was a beautiful day, unseasonably cool, reminiscent of late October 'round these parts. I knitted my little heart out and played with the Bug in the mud, and a good time was had by all. My sockpal socks are nearing the finish line, I am thinking about what else I'd like to include in her package, and she was very understanding about the fact that they'll get there late.
Alas, since I am out of the habit of checking email and blogs from home now, I have no pictures. (Well, that could also be due to the fact that I did not finish off the last stitch on the first sockpal sock since I was unsure if I bound off loosely enough, and the Bug was kind enough to rip it back a little for me. Sigh.) Anyway, perhaps tonight I shall get with it enough for a picture. My heart is already knitting lace, so I need to finish these socks so I can indulge again. I am aware of the irony that I want to knit lace, since my first lace project was HATEFUL and I am not a lace kind of girl, but hey, things change, right?
Oh yeah, and tomorrow is August, and WHERE DID MY YEAR GO?!

Friday, July 27, 2007

I have no desire to type anything here.

Bleh. The doldrums get worse. I am dragging around like a slug. I ran out of coffee this morning. Blehbleh. I went to that place you all hate because some latte is better than no latte, and with the way I order it, it's good anyway. (Hello, five shots of espresso!)
Last night DH and I watched Walk The Line. I think I liked it, I'm not sure. DH thought it was great and had a nice happy ending. The ending was happy, alright, but DAMN. I'm just not sure I'd be thrilled to have all my indiscretions splashed about on screen. Anyway. I managed to finish Sockpal Sock #1 last night, except for the weaving of the ends and the fixing of the One Hole that always appears when I do a short row heel. Must take a class or something, because I'm clearly missing something. Anyway, I like the sock. I like my pattern, I like the yarn, etc. I hope knitting the second one doesn't kill me. I have great hopes to make big progress this weekend so my pal's package isn't much later than it already is.
Alas, I have no photos. The thunderstorm that knocked out our power killed the wireless router in our house, so the computer on which I store my photos has no internet access. (I am shocked to find out how useless I consider a computer with no net.) I hope to procure a new one this weekend, but we shall see. Circuit City on a weekend is not where I want to be. Maybe now DH will believe me when I tell him he needs to plug things into a surge protector...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A day without sunshine is like night.

Yesterday was surreal in the extreme. We had storms upon storms that lashed our little town, hailed buckets, flooded every street for miles around, and the weather service said we got 1.5 inches. Yeah, maybe in that first ten minutes, but what about the rest of the hour, yo? Anyway, five minutes after arriving home safe with the Bug, DH rolled in with dinner. (Thinking ahead is a quality I value in a man.) Five minutes after that, the power blew. Our transformers control one row of houses, so the row behind ours still had power, as did all our neighbors across the street. DH hooked up the generator to watch movies with The Bug while I ran off to SnB. (My PT, who seems to know what he's doing despite the Jeff Goldblum-like mumbling, referred to it as Stitches and Bitches when I told him to invite his wife.)
We have been going to a little market with a cafe, where you can get a salad from the salad bar, a hot meal-of-the-day, coffee, bakery items, or a few groceries. Last night, the staff was behaving in such an odd way that I think "medicinal" marijuana might be provided by their health plan. At one point a kid at our table spilled a giant cup of Hi-C, so there was a four foot puddle of pink on the floor. I asked for a rag and a mop while I was paying for my coffee, and the gal wandered off in a state of bemusement, came back and stood RIGHT NEXT TO the puddle, and said, "Now, where are you sitting?"
Um, right there by the PINK PUDDLE.
She said, "Oh, wow, I'll need a mop for that."
Yeah, that's why I asked for one.
She wandered off (I'm thinking a little of Luna Lovegood here) to get a mop and comes back with a large Russian guy with a huge floor cleaning machine. The manager wandered by right then and said NO, and he said, "Is GUUD!" She said no again, and he went back for the mop. He was so angry at being denied the floor cleaner that he was flinging the mop furiously, covering our feet with ice and soda and slamming chairs out of the way.
Then I realized I had never gotten my brownie, so when I asked for it, she said, "Yeah, I got it." I had to tell remind her she'd never gotten it out of the case. She got one out and folded it all up tightly in paper before putting it on the plate. Completely baked.
After negative knitting progress, I went home to find the power STILL out. Fine, whatever, I went to bed, and was kept awake most of the night by the neighbor's horrible, hateful, awful, rotten yappy dog. And their roosters. (I peeked over the fence today and I think they keep their roosters in a shed, which is why they have NO FREAKING CLUE that it's MIDNIGHT and most sensible animals would be ASLEEP.) Power was restored at midnight, and at 3am, DH thought it was a good idea to turn on the lights and reset the clock. Oy.

I wasn't kidding about The Pit of Despair.


Bug says


I'll help, Mama, I have snacks and water for a week in here...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Who authorized the speeding up of the calendar? I swear I'm still in May. This is not good, people. Do you realize that Christmas is coming?
Actually, I'm mostly just exhausted. We've had some good rain here, which we needed most desperately, but it's bumped the humidity up and I am not a fan. One should not get sweaty when one is towelling off after stepping out of the shower. I swear, it's just not right.
Yesterday there were Big Announcements at my place of business. Our division is being sold to another company and the Nasty Stepmother who owned us before will soon be a bad memory. Most of us view this as a happy event, about which to be optimistic, but questions and extra work abound. After the initial shock wore off, there was much happiness and cheering. May we all still feel this way, this time next year.
Knitting proceeds slowly, due to heat, physical and mental exhaustion, and the general slowness of this pattern of mine. (Well, and due to the fact that I can't even follow my own pattern and I've had to rip several times. Sheesh, pay attention, self!) Next week begins The Month Of Family Visiting. I am looking forward to it, but it's another thing on the plate. If we'd kept the guest room as a guest room instead of The Pit Of Despair, it would be less exhausting. Last night I opened the door, intending to put a few boxes away. I surveyed the room, shut off the light and went away - it was just too much to think about. Tonight is SnB, after which I always feel energized (could it be the double-espresso latte and the caramel brownie? no, of course not, it's the company and the knitting) so maybe more will be accomplished and decent knitting photos will be taken. Maybe.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I've finished


Friday, July 20, 2007

A favor please, y'all

In the past week or so, I saw the picture of the start of a patio or walkway, using prefab tiles that had curved edges. They appeared to be random, but they all fit together nicely. I think they were pinkish or terra cotta. I have searched all my blogroll for that picture and can't seem to find it. If it was you, or if you know the blog of which I speak, would you please point me to it again?

ETA: Nana knew the answer!!! YAY NANA! Thanks! It was here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Gifties, socks, and a public service announcement

First, the public service announcement:

"To whom it may concern: If you cannot pick up your feet when you walk, you MAY NOT wear mules, slides, or clogs of any kind. If I can hear each step as you walk across the floor two hundred feet and several walls away, this applies to you. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter."

I think my dad gave me that particular pet peeve. As a kid I must have scuffed an awful lot, because I remember being told on more than one occasion to PICK UP YOUR FEET. I have taken this to heart, and do on occasion scold my youngest stepdaughter (goodnaturedly). She has taken it to heart as well, and before I can say anything, she looks at me, grins, and scuffs harder. Aaaah, teenagers. (Incidentally, the person who inspired the PSA is an adult woman who works in my building as a temp, and I truly can hear her from across a floor that holds two hundred cubicles. I can only guess what it sounds like from the floor below.)

Here are my sockpal socks.


Do you love them? Because I'm not sure I do. I think the yarn is neat, and I think the pattern is neat, but I don't know if I feel the love for the two together. However, my pal asked me to surprise her, and I think these do the trick. I also admit to a clear prejudice for solid or semisolid yarns on patterned socks, but since many many knitters enjoy patterns with variegated yarns, I shall persevere and hope she enjoys them.

And finally, gifts for me! First, the haul. Jen clearly spent many hours thoughtfully wrapping up this package. Check out the little book she made with snippets from the first book! Check out the little treasure chest with socks, needles and stitch markers! Check out the coordinated Ravenclaw wrapping! I am not worthy (but I'm keeping it all anyway!)


Here are the goodies. YAY FOR ME!


Socks, stitch markers, Lantern Moon Sox Stix, a vanilla scented candle, chocolate, Persuasion by Jane Austen (YAY), a handmade Hogwarts book, Ravenclaw colors of Peruvian Highland Wool, a pretty little chest, and a Fairy Catching kit.

Here are the socks. YAY FOR SOCKS!


They are so soft and snuggly, I love them! Now I REALLY need to get some clogs or birks to show off my socks. Jen, what's the pattern? It looks familiar but it's not coming to mind right now.

I actually received this package on Saturday, but kept it for today because I knew I wouldn't have time to savor the experience. THANKS LOADS, Jen! I love it all.

The Bug thinks he's going to sneak in and get some chocolate...


Monday, July 16, 2007

I know, right?

The above phrase is said often by my oldest stepdaughter. It drives me absolutely batshit. She has achieved the ultimate in domination over the stepmother* though: she got me saying it.
And that has nothing to do with anything.
I have a FO, yo.
Hogwarts socks, to be specific, to be express-mailed to my pal since I wasted every freakin' available minute to work on these socks. I hope she likes the package, and I hope she gets the durn thing before Saturday. (C'mon, post office people!)


Do please ignore the jogged jogless stripes and the laddering. I 'spect that both will even up after a good machine washing, but as I am a giant chicken and do not have the time to knit my pal another pair of socks, she'll have to be the guinea pig.

Annoying thing #17: my office is so quiet and the cubes so small I can hear my three nearest neighbors chewing. One likes espresso beans, one eats popcorn frequently, and MDC (most despised coworker) eats carrot sticks ALL AFTERNOON. I think she knows it's loud or something, because she'll [crunch], wait a minute, [crunch] again, another minute, more [crunch], and finally she reaches the tolerance level for crunch noise, and chews regularly. I swear I was not kidding when I said I could hear them eating. (I myself must sound like a doritos commercial or something...)

Happy thing #59: I got my package from MY Hogwarts swap pal! I haven't opened it yet - I am saving it until I know my pal's package is on the way. I will report back on that, but given the work she put into the BOX, I think I'm in for a treat!


I opened it this morning and found a whole box of presents wrapped in Ravenclaw-blue tissue paper. Hee! Today looks to be a crazy day too, so I might have to wait until tomorrow to give this package the time it deserves...

Mature thing #1 (those don't happen as often): I immediately cast on for my sockapalooza socks. Knit! Knit like the wind!

Adorable thing # 947892109.3
Daddy made mud this weekend, and the Bug took full advantage. It took two hosings and a shower to get the leaves and mud out of all the crevices.


Having a drink. I've tried to stop him. It doesn't work.

Mud rules.

*I went to California Adventures and took a quiz, and I am most like Cinderella's evil stepmother. Heh. I put it in quotes, though, because I'm closer in age to oldest SD than to her dad, so I'm more just the annoying younger chick he married...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Has it been a month already?

Wow, I know you've heard it before, but Ravelry is GREAT. I would like to point a few things out, though, that seem to have been glossed over in other reviews, which are mostly along the lines of YAY KNITTING ORGANIZATION SOFTWARE.
Casey and Jess are brilliant. Not just for the original idea - I'm sure we've all wished for something to organize our things. But the execution is fan-freaking-tastic. I dunno what companies they worked for before doing Ravelry full-time, but I bet their former bosses are weeping into their disgusting office coffee that their programmers are gone. Not only is this knitting/crochet organization software, but it's put together in a brilliant, well-thought out, intuitive way that is crazy-easy to use. The thought that went into this monster database is astounding. I work in the tech field, and have seen examples of really good stuff, and we've ALL seen examples of really bad stuff. This stuff is Really Really Good. The execution of the idea, the search functions (complete with easy searching help, if you want to narrow things down), the information you can store... Well, Jess is a knitter, and Casey is a jewel. This is technology at its finest (IMHO) and I hope this site has them rolling in money and excited to do more projects along this line.
I'm not trying to rub in that I just got in, I am just trying to give some semi-public kudos to these people who not only worked very hard on this, but they did it RIGHT.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A short announcement

YEEHAW!!! MY RAVELRY INVITE JUST CAME!!! WAAAAHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOO! See you in a month when I come up for air.

Ahem. That is all.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Turns out, there are some benefits to waking up before the ass crack of dawn.


Monday, July 09, 2007

The heat is on

The weekend was not as it was intended to be - we missed a dinner and the cleaning lady we hired for my dad's house had vehicle problems, so Dad's place is still The Place Where Dust Goes To Retire. I believe that house hasn't had a complete and thorough cleaning since my mom died in 1995. It will be cleaned someday, but we will have to deal with the filth for a while longer.
That being said, I have FOs. These are the only pictures I have, and they were taken quickly whilst The Bug slept in the car (with the AC on, I'm not nuts, but still) so I make no guarantees about their quality.
As always, click to embiggen.


Apparently I suck at the Harlot's Knitwear In Foliage photography.

The funky dark blob is the comforter underneath. I think it's a lion.

One Hogwarts sock. If this picture sucks, we can blame my photography skills, because I had plenty of time with this one.


The second sock has been cast on, and I hope to churn this puppy out THIS WEEK. I am running out of time since they should be in the mail this weekend, and I have to knit the Sockapalooza socks to be sent shortly thereafter. I do believe I will opt out of future knitting swaps. I should have had plenty of time with the Hogwarts socks (and by extension, the palooza socks) but I stressed out so deeply about the perfect pattern and yarn that I piddled all my time away, and now I'm feeling the pressure. Sigh. Spinning and all projects for me are on hold until these lovelies are finished and mailed. Alas, because here is some temptation.

Luxury Sock Batts from Franquemont Fibers. I call this colorway Intimidation. (She calls it Heartbreaker.)

This weekend, after his bath, the Bug found a way to keep cool.

The coating of soap and the last bit of water soaked into the diaper necessitated another showering off, which I think was his plan all along.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Head down and workin'

That's me. No chat (hi, La, remember me?), less than normal email, little phone time. I am buried under work and knit deadlines, some of which are self-imposed. I finished the beautiful Swallowtail shawl with plenty of yarn to spare, and it's currently blocking. In this heat it's probably already dry, but I have yet to unpin it. We recently bought some lake-near property (that's when it's just a hop to the lake, but isn't actually lakefront) and DH has dropped everything to run off and play. Well, he's not really playing, he's hooking up utilities, cleaning up the lot and moving the ancient mobile home that's on there, in the eleventy-hundred degree heat. (We were there dropping of some stuff on Wednesday and the temp in my car said 140. Heh.) The Bug and I have been holding down the fort at home, but we're off tonight to join DH, and then have a family-type weekend in Phoenix.
Wish me luck on the Hogwarts sock. I can't believe I piddled away all that time working on non-stripe patterns and ended up with a stripe pattern anyway. D'oh. Oh well. I hope there will be photos of some FOs when I get back to the land of the Connected (the new place has no phone yet and is remote enough that the phone company isn't even sure where it is and whether they service it).


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The no-good, very bad blogger

I can't have been the first to appropriate (and mangle) that title for myself, but I believe it's quite true. It's been [checking] five days since my last post. I don't suppose that's terrible, as far as blog-slackers go, but I feel like it's been ages and ages.
Since then, I have made all-good, very nice progress on Swallowtail. I have finished the nupping, even managing to ladder down and re-nupp a nupp that had only four of the five loops nupped the first time 'round. It's not perfect, but I didn't have to tink back two whole rows of the little buggers, so I was happy. And not angering the gods, and all that. I have 10 rows of the last chart, plus the two or three setup rows prior to binding off, and they are taking me for-bloody-ever. I timed it last night, and the purl-back row took 15 minutes with no interruptions. The Bug loves him some interruptions, though, so I get a row here and there. The first round of my friend's chemo is Monday, so I hope to have some good solid knitting time tomorrow and this weekend and deliver it to her prior to her first appointment. No pictures as yet, because we've been told time and time again, knitted lace looks like ass on the needles and prior to blocking. (I have to work in a swear word here or there, since I was rated PG. What does it say about most of the bloggers I've seen, who all feel the need to "spice it up" a little to get a racier rating?)

I can't remember where I saw the blog rating thing (I wanna go back and see if I upped my rating, dammit!) but here, have this:


Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

I'm fairly certain my survival percentage would go up dramatically if I already had The Bug with me. DH can look out for himself - he's a big boy, right? Heh.

The Bug went on his first hike this weekend. We found a relatively flat trail with no cliffs or drop-offs nearby (soothingly named Bear Wallow) and let him walk along the trail with us while I pushed the empty stroller. He loved it and was a total trooper. He pooped out just before we got back to the car, which was an astounding half-mile walk for a kid whose legs are only about 8 inches long. I loved seeing him tromping through the grass, picking up rocks, and climbing over logs (heh, I typed blogs). We will have to schlep him back up there more often. It doesn't hurt that it's 20 degrees cooler up there, either. Alas, no pictures of the hiking, either, since I was happy to experience the occasion whole, instead of through a viewfinder. You'll have to imagine it.

I can't let the Bug fans down, though, so I will give you another from the last photo-shoot, with the mugging and the hat.

That was the "scale" puppy I used to mark his growth in photos. He's so big now... [sniff]