Monday, December 01, 2014

Rocking the Thank You's

I have half a second to breath again so I can finally start the Thank You for the Geology Rocks swap. I'm still going to have to break it into installments so I can do it justice.

What I wanted most from this swap was a local rock. Whenever I travel I pick up one rock from the trip as my memento. They have such a feeling of place to them.

listeningmoth, sent me this rock from her Grandmother’s farm in Virgina. She said it was typical of the location. We have nothing like this in Kansas. We specialize in roundish jagged rocks. It never occurred to me that a rock could be this shape or so smooth. I keep picking it up and feeling it to reassure myself it’s really a rock and not a railroad spike. It just blows my mind. I love it. I’ve added it to my small collection of travel rocks and feel like I’ve visited Virgina

 Among my travel rocks I had a sand rose from Africa. I had mentioned that while I still had the petrified wood from my time there the sand rock had broken in a move. Look at that. She sent me a sand rose! I reverently added it to my travel rocks too.

The swap yarn is the blue corner of the first picture. That is the best photo I have of the yarn. It’s wonderful yarn in one of my very favorite color but I was so excited about the rocks it didn’t get it’s due in the photo shoot. I can’t wait to knit it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cherry Opal Thank Yous

A special thank you to listeningmoth, who spoiled me rotten and has waited so patently while I get this thank you is order. Sadly, I still can’t get a real thank you up yet.

My swapping pal and I are hanging out heads in shame at the delay.

The photos are done but to express the epic stalking listeningmoth did of me and how each and every rock as an incredible special personal meaning will take time. Until then let me post a teaser of the photos that speak for themselves.

The rock is upside down in the photo. On the other side are green crystals. I didn't know that until later.
 Sadly the photos don’t do it justice.
See, like this one. Cherry Opal chips. The photo barely shows it but they flash green and red fire in low light. Pretty right? You look at them and move on. But NO! They are so much more than pretty. listeningmoth, listened when I lamented about how I dislike my April birthstone of diamond since they are expensive, and I’m sensitive to the negative consequences of the diamond trade, and the fake ones usually look like cheap glass.

Well, the mystical birthstone list from Tibet list OPAL as the April birthstone. Here they are, my very first birthstone that wasn’t my wedding ring. The first time in my whole life I received a birthstone “just because”. I about cried when I opened it and they were in the card before unwrapping anything in the box.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Worlds of Fun

I'm just back from Worlds of Fun. It wasn't my idea but I was practically begged by coworkers to go with them to the hunted houses there. Surprising, since they are about half my age, but flattering, so after the third time I was asked I said "Yes".
My outfit. That's glow in the dark nail polish to match the highlighter yellow undershirt.

We left right after work at 6pm when it was still warm out but the forcast for the night was 40F. I dressed in layers. Long underwear, wool, lots of wool but I don't have a causal jacket, just winter coats that I didn't want to carry. My sweaters are pullovers and I didn't want to cover up my themed shirt.
So I pulled this sweater out of time out. I finished knitting last May but I didn't put in back darts and I didn't like the baggy look. I tried it on today and it fit great. I've put on weight this summer so it's less baggy and I don't mind oversized for the fall. I wove in all the ends and tried out buttons from my button jar. It took a moment to realize there is no way I could sew on 7 buttons in 15 minutes so I left it button free. I ended up letting a coworker wear it all night and did well enough in my layers even when it became cold enough our breath steamed. 

The spooky stuff wasn't that scary. I dislike scary but the fog machines were pumping and then a real fog rolled in blanketing everything so we could only see four feet in front of us. The monsters were hidden in the fog making them less scary not more. The scary part was that we might get separated. We were all rocking it old school with no cell phones since we left everything in the car for easier ride ridding and if someone got just a few feet ahead they could take a different path and nobody would know.

I had said yes to going as a social opportunity, not because I thought it would be fun. I though of World of Fun for preteens because I haven't been there since I was that age. I was wrong. Riding roller coasters in the dark might be the best thing EVER! It was fantastic to see the city lights spread out all around and to not see what was coming up on the ride. I would do it again next week. Hell, I would go back tomorrow.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Geology ROCKS!

I'm in the  Geology ROCKS! swap right and have been doing things and crafting for my downstream spoilee. Yesterday it wasn't raining so I went fossil hunting!

It's been fun making projects inspired by rocks for my spoilee but they are all super secret so let me pull out some old photos from this summer instead.
This project was for the challenge inspired by a place you have traveled. When I was a child, from time to time, Dad would wake us up and tell us we were skipping school to go out and really learn something. We would then take a day trip to a museum, visit a university, a historical monument or stop at a state park.
One of the most memorable was the trip to Mushroom Rock State Park where we learned about Dakota sandstone concretions, glacial action, quartzose sandstone, and the lichen that grew on them. I spun the yarn for this Lichen scarf colors to mimic the sediment layers of the sandstone we saw that day and chose the pattern because of its reminiscent of the lichen.

Pattern Lichen and the yarn I spun from a merino wool/tencel/banana fiber blend. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I finished the hot water bottle cover. The whole thing is just too adorable. There isn't anything better than a hot water bottle for heating the bed or on the couch while watching tv. The heavy, squishy, warmth feels alive. It's such a low tec solution and so much nicer than an electric heating pad. I like the Fashy brand because it's made out of silicone so it doesn't have that strong rubber smell and doesn't leak as it ages.

It's October and that means I'm not running the AC or the heat, like I always do in October. It's nice to have a month with a negligible electric bill.

In this place saying I'm not running the heat in October isn't very impressive. This apartment is well insulated and on the top floor so it stays 30 degrees warmer than outside. It's 85F in here right now!  The windows take three hands to open and four to close so I don't open them very often and never at night. I should be commended on not running the AC when I sleep. Some night it's tough to not turn it back on. Maybe I will try filling the bottle with ice water.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Brown Bagging It

Since last Thursday my coffee maker would no longer seal and the steam escaped instead of making coffee. I could make coffee by holding the lid down with a spoon (so I didn't get burned) as it brewed.

This weekend I went to Wal-Mart to replace it and ended up in the sandwich section looking for a better way to cart my lunch to work.

The second hardest part of working 10 hour days is food (the hardest is sleep). I'm at work by 12:15. My lunch is 4:15 and I clock out at night at 11:00 or later and it's a really long time from 4pm to 11pm. I'm not even hungry at 4pm.

It's all about managing the snacks and my current system was too small, no good place for snacks, and, most importantly, I can't find the lid.
That's when I found this cute little system with two large side dishes for my snacks.
The best part about it is that it snaps together. I can tip it over or turn it upside down and it stays in the cube shape.

I've started knitting a lunch bag. I'm unraveling a cowl to reuse the yarn. The yarn is my very favorite malabrigo Twist and the pattern is something I'm making up as I go.

Oh, and now my coffee maker is working fine. I had left the new one in the trunk of the car and only carried in the perishables through the rain. The next morning I needed coffee before I could face trudging across the quad and the parking lots to the car for the coffee maker. I used the old one "one last time" except that it worked great.

Now I have to decide if I return the new one (ugh, visiting wal-mart is unpleasant), store the new one for later (I have so little space I avoid keeping things just in case. When I do, I end up without enough room to live) or just move out the old one and start using the new (but the old one has lasted forever what if it has another 5 years left and the new one doesn't last a year). Well, it can ride in the trunk of my car until I decide.

Hmmmm maybe the answer is to store it for "just in case" out in the car instead of in the apartment.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Such a Fangirl

I also knit myself a red bandana style scarf. 
I can not express enough the SQUEEEEEEE factor of this project. First, the yarn was a prize drawing from the Stash and Burn podcast. My favorite podcast of all time!!! OMG Squeeeee. Second, the pattern was a RAK birthday present from the Doubleknit podcast. Squeeeee I can’t even. They know who I am and noticed my birthday. Third, the pattern is written by a local designer that I bump into from time to time at the LYS! squeeeeeeeeeee.

Zuzu's Petals knit in is Pigeonroof Studios Cassiopeia DK. I was working on this project when I first started listening to Dresden Files. I had to redo the lace bit quite a few times because I was so engrossed in listening that I couldn’t count. It's why I switched to socks, pushing me into that rabbit hole that became 2014 Epic Summer of Socks.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Today I made a trip into Yarn Barn for my current swap box and some Christmas presents. A trip to Yarn Barn also means a trip to Subway Thai. This time I picked up food to-go for everyone at Movie Night as we started going through our lists with my pick Run Lola Run. 

Bandit Cowl knit in malabrigo Twist in the color Sealing Wax 

It was Kiddo's birthday and as we ate dinner he unwrapped presents. I gave him a neck warmer shaped like a cowboy bandanna since real men don't wear cowls but might like a neck warmer. I didn't wrap it since I wasn't sure he would be interested and wanted to keep it causal and not as a real gift. Knitwear as a gift on a Birthday or Christmas just doesn't even register among the video games.

I asked him if he would wear it, meaning "Would you wear it and if you won't I can make you something else that do like because that is some damn fine yarn. Oh, and I want you to be warm. That too. And you won't be warm unless you wear it", but he took it to mean to try it on for everyone to see and thank me nicely. He's really growing up.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

"In My Stylish Yet Affordable Boots"

Today was fun and productive. It started with getting together with a friend to buy clothes at Savers, eating sushi for lunch, then visiting a few book stores, and coming home to an Amazon order.

The clothes were especially satisfying because we found three shirts to go with a pair of pants I bought while living in Chicago, so I've owned them for years. The pants are a fine grain corduroy in a strange brown leaning blue color and I've never had a shirt that really went with them. I've worn them from time to time but they've never been in regular rotation. With my new to me shirts I expect to get a lot of wear out them.

Better yet, when I was trying on shirts my friend wandered over to the shoes and came back with a pair of fall boots for me to try and and they are perfect. Brown, high heeled, wide width so they actually fit, perfection.

I'm so pleased with the clothes that this month, as I cycle through my wardrobe, I plan on getting rid of anything that's worn out or no longer flattering. I'm also going to look for any other pieces I don't wear because they need something to go with them. Once I've done that I'll evaluate and see what I need and go buy it.

The Amazon package held a used DVD for movie night, since buying was cheaper than renting, and a little hot water bottle. Joey has taken ownership of my large hot water bottle and won't share. Ok, I can make him share but with winter coming we might as well each have one. Also, the small sized hot water bottle was too cute to resist.

I decided to pause the Dresden Files so it wouldn't be over too quickly and instead of listening to James Marsters read I would listen to him sing. I put on Once More, With Feeling and watched Buffy "Not Exactly Quaking in My Stylish Yet Affordable Boots" as she kicked ass and I got sucked into the emotional train wreck of Season Six

More than one episode of Buffy later I have most of a hot water bottle cover. Pattern is Honk Shu Hottie Cozy and how I found out small hot water bottles are even a thing. Yarn is some of my first hand spun back from 1999 or 2000. It's always been problematic with the combination of turquoise and orange and rather thin. I'm holding three strands together to knit this I'm pleased with how it's turning out.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Falling Asleep on the Couch

I managed to not cast on anything new. After making the cupcakes and painting my nails pink I was falling asleep on the couch. I did a knit a few rounds on my current project while the cupcakes were in the oven.

I'm hosting an UFO Smack Down contest in the Stash and Burn Listeners Group. This is my current project I took out of hibernation, dusted it off,  and started working on it again. It was started in December 2012 and put down for I don't know why...

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Urge to Cast On

There is some sort of appreciation week at work so everyday has a theme. Tomorrow the theme is PINK! and HATS! so we are to wear pink or hats. Also the company is grilling us chili dogs and we are having a building wide food day with the request everyone brings a dessert.

So I'm sitting at my computer unwrapping candy caramel cups to bake inside of mini cupcakes looking at my stash spreadsheet to see if I have any pink yarn to knit a hat. Never mind that I just got home from work and have to be back there in 12 hours. Or that I already knit a pink hat this summer.

Barley in KnitPick City Tweed. City Tweed is a joy to work with. I want to knit a sweater from it some day.

Some fingerless mitts of my own design to match.

These are some hearty winter knits and I want a fashion hat. 

First the cupcakes then I'll do my nails in pink hoping the urge to cast on goes away. I could use some sleep tonight and it's not like I don't have several pink knit lace scarfs to choose from and they would all be perfect.

Monday, October 06, 2014


Sunday I had my haircut with a new style. It's my regular bob but a little more choppy, a little more layers, and I really like it. It's not just me either, at work today it was declared "Delicious".

The two grocery stores next to my home closed this summer. A new one moved in but I'm not impressed so tonight I tried out the HyVee next to work on my way home. It was really great to be able to visit a real grocery store at midnight.

All the grocery stores in my area have large Latino sections and this one is no acceptation. I found single servings of flan next to the cottage cheese. Delicious!

Bad Oyster scarf knit in two colors. The black is  Kraemer Yarns Sterling Silk & Silver and the purple is Schmutzerella Yarns Donna Noble Has Left The Library. Deeelicious!!! I'm going to have to make another.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

I Love Where I Live.

Today instead of taking the four minute drive to the walking trail...wait for it... I walked to the walking trail. I know, shocking.

While I appreciated the not needing a car for my daily walk I didn't enjoy the ten minutes of walking to get there. It's all the same if the goal is exercise but when I walk instead of going to the gym it's to be outside. Walking through the Hobby Lobby parking lot to get to the Taco Bell parking lot to get to the trail didn't much feel like being outside and then my time on the trail was cut by twenty minutes, so I don't know. The trail is stunningly beautiful this time of year, well really, most anytime of the year, so it's a shame to cut it short. I'm going to try it again a few more times to see if I get used to it. Maybe if I jogged the urban part? Good for me but it sounds unlikely.

When I'm walking I listen to podcasts but at home I'm listening to the Dresden Files audio book so that means I'm knitting even more socks.

This is Knit Picks yarn I was gifted for my birthday. I just love the color. I've always like Knit Pick sock yarn fine but this time I knit it really dense on size 000 needles because I was too lazy to get up and find the 0 I usually use for the yarn. The fabric is AMAZING. It's so much softer and squooshier. That's not what normally happens when a fabric is knit so densely it's bullet proof, normally the fabric gets stiff and harsh. I'm very pleased with how they turned out.
Anyway, I'm listening to Dresden Files and knitting socks and sad I'm on the last book, so I go online to see if more books are in the works. I'm clicking around the official website pleased to find that seven more books are planned when I stumble across the author bio. He lives RIGHT HERE. I could be at his house in 42 minutes accounting for traffic. I'll have to watch for any local book signings.

Walking trails, our library system, our community radio, the local art scene, the food, the local gaming (board games), the best yarn stores (and I've traveled looking), and now local authors. I just love where I live.

Saturday, October 04, 2014


My friends and I have been talking about movies lately and about setting up a movie night now that we've finished the available episodes of Doctor Who. It was thrown out there that we would each make a list of great movies that we could choose from as a group. It was quickly decided that the pressure of picking our favorite movies was too much and we would just pick movies.

I went with ones that I've seen once but still think about years later. That doesn't mean they are good, or even that I enjoyed them, although most are and I did, but there is something about them that has stayed with me.

I also wanted to cram as many of my favorite actors into the fewest number of movies so most of these feature two or three (or more) actors I enjoy.

Here's my list:

Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Being John Malkovich
Edward Scissorhands
Fierce Creatures
Jumpin' Jack Flash
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Moonrise Kingdom
Much Ado About Nothing- Joss Whedon version
Muriel's Wedding
NeverEnding Story
Only the Lonely
Pulp Fiction
Red Dawn
Repo Man
Run Lola Run
Stand by Me
The Man with One Red Shoe
The Truman Show
When Harry Met Sally

But this post isn't about movies but knitting at movies.

I can now knit in a movie theater completely by touch! That part's not too surprising, what surprises me is that I can cast on during the commercials, knit the ribbing during the previews, start the body of the hat with the opening credits and be ready for the decrease by the time the end credits roll.

These aren't baby hats either but full on 22 inch man sized hats.

X-Men: Days of Future Past yielded this hat from Cascade Eco that might be too large for any human head because when it was time to start decreasing there was still more movie to watch so I just kept on knitting. It can be worn cuffed and big hats are the style again this year. It could be fine. I just need to find the head it fits.
At Guardians of the Galaxy I upped the game with a garter stitch section. Pattern is Barley and the yarn my handspun. Again I was ready to decrease by the time the movie was over.

When I'm at home watching movies about a fourth of my mind is on the knitting not the movie. I'm watching the pretty yarn or working a complicated pattern so I do more listening to the movie than watching. With these I was completely engrossed in the screen and I didn't look at my hands or think of what I was doing for 121 minutes. I can knit completely by touch and I'm fast. Really fast. I'm still a little shocked by it all.

Friday, October 03, 2014

It's So Pretty.

I really enjoyed the Renaissance Festival this year. It started out a little on edge because I was on a mission of shopping for my current swap partner and I wasn't in the mood to watch the shows. I go with friends and it can be a challenge to get the schedule coordinated.  But I drove myself and looked at booths while meandering to the group meetup. While watching the keg toss I circled all the booths I wanted to visit on a map and grabbed a friend and we power shopped all but 3 of the booth on my list in 40 minutes. I found exactly what I wanted at the first booth but needed to glance at all the others to be sure. 5 booths later I was sure.

So the rest of the day when friends kept on saying it was time for me to go look I was all- but I'm already done.

Yarn in the damp. It's been raining for 3 days and there isn't a dry space left.

Then I found this. Pretty, pretty yarn. It's so pretty. 530 yards of superwash wool from Th'Red Head and I bought it for someone else and feel super pleased that I'm working ahead. That's some gift knitting right there so I can't talk about it.

After the yarn we split up with some going to the joust and the rest of us going to a singing group. The singing was the highlight of the day. Along with the uncomfortable anticipation of a wardrobe malfunction involving a corset (it never happened, I suspect glue) the songs were fantastic. Fun geeky songs. Mash-up of Irish ballads and 90's cartoon theme songs, movie references, and an all around good time.

We all met back up at the caber toss. I've never been so emotionally invested in a sport before. I was gasping, and covering my mouth with my hand, and cheering and having a blast.

It was a good day.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Perfect Match

I've gone to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival almost every year since I was 14. I missed 2 years when I was living in Illinois but it's been a yearly mission for most of my life.

Over the years it's become more and more and excuse to dress up. It used to be garb but now anything goes and I'm smitten with the faerie outfits.

I wanted to knit a vest with lots and lots of fringe to wear with wings but I was worried about the muck and the straw and the everything fouling the fringe. It didn't seem practical.
Instead I knit these gauntlets out of malabrigo lace to wear with a silky black shirt and a butterfly necklace my mom made me a few years ago. The gauntlets and the necklace match perfectly and I received many complements on them. The thing is, everything was so tidy there this year I think fringe would have been ok. At least this combo I can wear any day and not just at the Festival.

Oh, and I bought yarn. Beautiful, beautiful yarn. I should take a picture of it.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014


I knit this hat (pattern is Minty) to go with one of my favorite shirts. I imagine wearing the tee layered over a long sleeve shirt and the hat out walking the trails next to my home. Or perhaps out at some of the October festivals or even to game night.

Already I've worn the combo butterfly tagging. We gathered on a Saturday morning to catch Monarch butterflies and to place a little sticker on the underside of the hindwing of the monarch. One of the best parts was being handed a long handle butterfly net like the ones in cartoons.

I learned to tell Monarch from a Viceroy and I've been watching for both ever since. I see at least one a day, on the steps leading up to my apartment, in the parking lot, on the walking trail, next to the stream. They are just everywhere this fall.

Friday, September 19, 2014

It's so Good

I mentioned in July that some of the best things in life are knitting socks and listening to audio books read by James Marsters.
It's now September and I can top it. Knitting socks WHILE listening to James Marster read. It's so good!
Here are the socks I've knit since July 27th while listening to The Dresden Files.
I'm so engaged in the listening that I can't handle anything that involves counting or thinking.
Socks are something I can knit while lying on my back. I lie on the floor with my feet on the sofa like a kid.
My elbows resting on the floor and my sock held just above my chest and I can knit like that for hours. If I'm listening to CDs I have to get up to change them out and then go about doing other things, but if it's a Library download I can loose most of a Sunday.

It's been a fantastically good summer.

Friday, August 01, 2014

A Moment in Time

Nerd Wars just announced this is it's last tournament.  I've really enjoyed the knitting challenges and this summer was heavily involved in it. It's sad to see it come to an end.

 This is one of my submissions.

 Challenge:  To craft something inspired by a way of measuring time.

 Description of how project meets challenge: VOLUME T: TIME

 Clock of the Long Now is a proposed mechanical clock designed to keep time for 10,000 years. It is now being built inside a mountain in western Texas. Ten thousand years is about the age of civilization, so a 10K-year Clock would measure out a future of civilization equal to its past. 

My hat colors and texture reflect the prototype that is currently on display at the Science Museum in London.
Team Spirit tie in (if desired):
Photo(s) related to Team Spirit:

Monroe is a clock repairman but the tie-in is not to the clocks. No.

 It’s to his brown eyes with flecks of green and grey, like the hat.


I would start by making anything I wanted. For this project I spun some yarn that was brown and green plied with blue with flecks of white and I though of how much it looked like hazel eyes. I had thought to tie it to Nick in the show, but on taking the photographs the brown came out overshadowing the green and blue bits. That tie-in was easy enough to change.

The next step is how to relate a brown hat to measuring time. I could take the easy way out and talk about winter or needing the wear a hat on the winter solstice but I wanted more. So then comes an hour of browsing the web, reading about time, time dilation, redshift, water clocks, radioactive decay, and pretty much just geeking out. I ended up going back to one of the first references I found with the Clock of the Long Now.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Knitters Know Everything

All the best little pleasures in life I've learned from Knitters. In person and online, Knitters know all the good stuff and their recommendations are unfailing. A very abbreviated list includes;

Knitting socks,
Making marshmallows from scratch,
Ace Cider,
Warehouse 13,
malabrigo Twist,
Maker Faire,

And now from Knitters I've learned about the audio books read by James Marster. That man can read. He has a voice like warm honey and sandpaper, whiskey and chocolate, good leather and musty books. I normally find actors to be pretty but uninteresting, however I believe I'm developing a bit of a crush. My last crush I was a girl and it was running away with MacGyver. So yeah, it's been a long time.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Tour de Fleece

Today is the start of Tour de France. Since there is not much that I like to do more than to watch tv while knitting and then find a group of like minded people on line to chat about the show and, more importantly, the knitting of course I joined Tour de Fleece.

From July 5 until Sunday July 27th the goal is to spin every day. We will watch the race but more importantly we will be talking about spinning and making lots of new yarn. I've knit 8,000 yards since I last bought yarn so I really need some new yarn to coming in.

I can only spin for a minute today to say that I did. Then Joey and I are loading up for a day trip. I have trepidation about taking a 17 year old dog out for the day. Added to that, yesterday my car was hit while parked on the side of the road and the back door is, well, it's not good. I feel like it's a omen not to drive for six hours today. So far we are still going. I'm starting to pack our stuff up now but I will have a good look at that door before we actually go. I haven't had a good chance to review the damage yet.

Friday, July 04, 2014


My friends and I spent a quiet day protecting our dogs from the loud scary fireworks but first we went out to eat lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant.

As part of the meal they served us a huge salad that looked like backyard weeds. We recognized the Spearmint and Italian Parsley and Cilantro and, I think, Chervil. There was a heart shaped leaves that might have been Violet and finally a furry purple plant that I have no idea, except that it tasted like black pepper. As a salad it was too harsh but as garnish to my egg and rice flour crepes stuffed with whole shrimp and spiced pork it was delicious. I pretty much finished off that family sized salad on my own.

Then we spent the afternoon setting off our own kind of fireworks.

Hanabi is a cooperative gave where you see everyone's hand but your own. It's so much fun!

It was recommended to me by a member of my Nerd Wars team and yesterday I wanted something smallish I could buy to support my local game shop for their 20th anniversary. Ever since I started working the 10 hour days in February I've been going there on Thursdays. Yesterday, I looked around and realized I knew at least one person sitting at each of the 17 tables!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Drive By

I'm downloading photos from my camera and since it says it will take eleven minutes I thought I would do a drive by post.

In no particular order.

1. Last night on the way home from work late at night my favorite to listen to at late night radio station was playing Christmas music. This amused me to no end.

2. I love my shift of working four- ten hour days so much that I go around randomly telling people this. Mostly to other people at work that don't get to work four- ten hour days. It's amazing my chair hasn't been messed with out of spite.

3. However, it's exhausting. Three days a week all I do is eat, sleep, go to classes about work, and work. I even think about my job while eating and sleeping.

4. I've always been really good at my job but since this change I've become a superstar. The stack of awards I've racked up since March is going to collapse my desk. And I'm modest too. Seriously, my chair will be messed with one of these days.

5. But with the good comes the bad. My department, and my team in particular, we are being jerked around like a dog on a leash. The awards are because I can switch horses in the middle of the stream without complaining. Well, without complaining to the people that matter at least.  In the last five months I've been told four times on a Friday that starting Monday I would be doing a completely new job. Which is fine. Fine-ish.

What isn't fine is the day they say- "ok that's enough. We don't need this any more. We trained a new department to do this you are going back to your original job after lunch". After I've taught myself everything I can with no training about a new system, or a new way to present, or whatever and on my own time, going back is deflating. Mostly I'm excited to know more but part of me is just suppressed rage at the lack of control and the lack forewarning.

6. I was randomly invited to an award meeting last Friday and did not get an award and was rather surprised. That was the same day I found out the meaning of "The cake is a lie" and I went around muttering that to myself. It was very fitting. For context none of my awards came with a meeting or with anything, really.

7. I just found out that FTW = For The Win and not WTF spelled backward for emphasis like I've thought for years. I found this out by watching Castle.

8. I've been watching Castle, Grimm, Doctor Who and the X-Men movies streaming over my compter. That's right. I've finally joined 2010 and bought a subscription for the instant teevee downloads.

9. I knit while watching the teevee and the reason I have so many photos it's taking eleven minutes to download. I hope to posting them here soon.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014


My current project, Lichen, knit out of hand spun yarn.

I don't have time to talk about it because it has an important deadline looming. Really, the only reason I took a photo is to capture what 24 hours of knitting looks like. That was cast on at 7pm Saturday and this is how much was knit by 7pm the next day.

I did sleep 5 hours, went grocery shopping, cooked and even cleaned my place for the length of an ABBA CD but the rest of my time was spent knitting. My ring finger is still tingling and it's midweek. I've hardly knit a stitch since and it's due on Friday so my goal, when I get up in the morning, is to finish it.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014


I'm still working on the Weasley sweater. I'm still not buying any yarn to make it and am only using Cascade Eco scrap yarn. Except I'm running out of scraps.
The solution was to unravel a vest that I knit back in 2010. I had worn the vest all the time but the shirt I wore under it wore out. Without that shirt it was no longer fitting into my wardrobe. I decided that I was more excited about the blanket than keeping the vest until I could find a new shirt. I go cloths shopping about every other year so It was going to be a while.
I'm so excited to be working with a new color. 

Monday, June 02, 2014

Dye Lots

I haven't been swapping this year so for knitting community I've been joining KALs (knit a longs) instead. This one was sponsored by the Doubleknit podcast and the goal was knit a project that we has queued up long ago but never got around to knitting. Mine was a pattern I discovered back in 2009 the Simple Summer Tweed Top Down V-Neck by Heidi Kirrmaier.

The yarn was even older than that. It was my first real yarn (real=real expensive) and I saved up to buy a skein or two of it at a time back in 2006. My life was going to hell those few months and I would walk to the yarn shop on my lunch break and buy a ball as a treat. I then added to my pile until I had a sweater worth. I can't remember if I didn't notice the dye lot or if the first order ran out and a new one came in before I had enough. 

 The two dye lots are completely different. One is a smooshy and plump and the other is more string like. The colors are just related to each other and not at all a match. The thing is, this is not at all noticeable in the skein and doesn't show up until a few rounds are knit. I didn't even know I had two dye lots until I was part way through the sweater. Once I realized I planned the rest out in a trendy color block stripe design that is so popular now. 

Yarn is seven skeins of Rowan Summer tweed knit on size 5 needles. I didn't like the cast on number in the pattern so I changed that and then every single thing after that too. By the end of the second paragraph of instructions I set it aside and just designed my own sweater as I knit, looking at the pattern photo once and a while for inspiration. I'm quite pleased how it turned out and with the J Crew rolled edges. It's a sweater that I had wanting to knit for forever and it took the KAL to get it acomplished.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Rain, Rain, Rain.

This is the view from my front door.

It's rained every day this week and most days last week too. Instead of the small gurgling stream, at this point, with every rain it turns into a raging torrent. I've never lived so close to water and I enjoy watching the stream crest. I didn't know that it was such a physical thing. That it's possible to watch the high point move down stream as a wave and from that moment on the water level drops like a plug was pulled.

There are two ducks that moved in this winter and have stayed. On days like this they sadly stand on the grass just looking at their home in betray and horror. I'll be walking past them now as I go fetch my laundry with the same hunched miserable look. It wasn't raining when I started the load but it began poring before the wash cycle finished. Poring to the point that the stairs to my apartment are waterfalls and I can hear the roaring water even inside. The dryer cycle it over and I could stay up until the rain stops but it's midnight and I still need to fold and put away before bed. There is no sign that it's letting up anytime soon so I go out into the rain and I'll say "hi" to the ducks and they will waddle farther onto the grass with their bright orange feet and we will all be wet together.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ravellenic Winter Games 2014

So much has happened since my last post it feels like a year, at the same time I can't believe February is coming to a close. Didn't it just start yesterday?

Another thing that is coming to a close is the Olympics. Today is the last day of the Olympics and that means Ravellenic Winter Games 2014 is also coming to a close. Ravellenic is a chance for knitters and spinners to ignore real life to watch the Olympics and challenge themselves to extraordinary knitting feats while eating chocolate. The chocolate is in rules, I don't make these things up. I couldn't let Ravellenic pass without note since this year has been such a big one for me.

I came home from a New Years Eve party to a push, a tease, from Bungalow312 to captain the Stash and Burn team. I had already been thinking about it but didn't want to step in on anyone else's plans but that push at 2am and me full of party exuberance I was off and running.

Never mind that 2am and full of party exuberance might not be the appropriate time to be picking out team names, tags, setting rules and planning prizes. But it worked out ok and that one moment has snowballed into an event!

Our team is low key and fantastic! As I set up a website to collect donations so Jenny and Nicole could buy us prize yarn at Stitches West, a team member spontaneously made artwork for banners, buttons, and avatars. While I asked designers to donate patterns as prizes the main board exploded into drama over Russian politics and a team members spontaneously knit a No Drama Llama that we now have as mascot.

One of the challenges I set myself was to spin some difficult fiber.

 I decided that I wanted to use the yarn as a prize and I wanted the prize to be meaningful.

Jenny has mentioned loving yak yarn more than once and I love yak fiber probably more than any other, proving yet again that Jenny and I am the same person, it was an easy choice to pull this yak/silk roving from my stash.
It took four hours to spin up 140 yards of DK weight yarn. This is the softest, most luxurious yarn I have ever made. Ever.
It wasn't spun without incident or injury either. As I watched Shaun White crash and burn on the snowboard track I also had issues with soft spots and control as the yarn hit rough spots or drifted apart. That pile of snarls are the casualties of the night.