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.