Thursday, December 11, 2008

Post 180-The Inevitable

It was just a matter of time that a couple of things would eventually happen....

1. There's a 50/50 chance that if you are the govenor in the state of Illinois or heck even a politician here in Chicago, then you're a crook and will get caught. Obviously we won the odds with Barack, but nature strives for balance and we lost with Blagojevich.
2. Hell made not have frozen over but according to my sister in Houston it does snow.
3. Temp jobs end (that's what temp means right?).
4. I will get a bad case of lazyitis and prefer to mess around and try out new banner looks and fuck up my sidebar design of my blog.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Post 179-Obsession

When I discover shiny new play things I tend to get obsessed with them. Last year when researching a job and trying to find the e-mail address of the HR person at this particular institution I came across, but didn't know anything about it and never thought about it again, until last week. During the seminars I was lucky enough to go to at work, the professional resume spiffer mentioned the website again and I thought I would take a look, and now I'm hooked. Seriously ya'll, I think I check my account as often as Ravelry right now. The website is like the bastard child of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" and Myspace. I love the idea that I can see who knows the people I know and what they do, plus it might be nice to get the inside on jobs right? One of the girls at work got an e-mail from a friend telling her about a job posting she heard about at a particular company. Now I've heard of this company, they're located two miles from my house and I used to work with their customer service people when I worked at the coffee place. It also turns out that the one legit person interested in my tag watch I've been trying to unload on craigslist works there, but better yet I know someone who knows someone at the company. Will this help me in the job search, maybe, but it was also s nice surprise to find a college friend is working at Harpo too, kewl.
The other obsession, Buddha's Hand. I had to go to the store of Evil Wholesomeness, aka Whole Foods to pick up some oatmeal and coffee. I love myself some quick cooking oats from the bulk bin and I just had to have real coffee this weekend. So I was in the produce department looking for lemons when I found this freakish thing that belonged on the shelf on a prop department more so than the grocery store. Buddha's Hand is this crazy citrus fruit thing that is a very pretty yellow color with lots of long finger like appendages.

It's use is really unclear but the scent, mesmerizing. I in general detest lemon scented anything unless it's made with real lemon or expensive hand creme, Lemon Joy literally makes me want to vomit and don't talk to me about Lemon Coke. The perfume from this fruit was floral and citrus, soft and exotic, I'm in love. Unfortunately love is expensive at 7.99 a pound and the smallest weighed in at 1.5 pounds. My god I want this fruit, its supposed to last several weeks, but-I-just-can't-do-it. I looked online but no one makes a perfume with this smell, I would buy a gallon if it existed.
So the stockings are coming along, sort of. There's no deadline but I do know the customer has started decorating her home in Christmas Cheer, so I need to speed it up, too bad I'm almost finished knitting the background of sock #2 only to realize that she want's 2 green and only 1 red, fuck!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Post 178-Highs, Lows and a Little Cold

The lows showed their ugly heads again and I while I was depressed for a moment I'm good now. The temp job I was working at is ending a little earlier than planned, but not really unexpected, the company is moving and I will be moving on. I made a big personal decision that I didn't want to but I can now rest a little more and not stress out to the point and sleeplessness. Wow, that's deep and cryptic eh?
So the highs...the company I was temping was generous enough to hire a employment professional to help them dust off, spiff and and go over resumes, interviews and all the fun in between. Lucky me to be included in these workshops, I learned a lot, will have a great resume and learned about I love this website, it's like Ravelry meets Facebook but for working professionals and it's interesting to see who knows who you know. The best thing of all is that it is turning out to be another resource for job postings. So if you happen to know me and I sent you an invite, please recommend me or at least join, the more the merrier.
Now the cold. It is really cold, so cold in fact that I pull out my wool knit, fleece lined earflap hat with matching gloves from Target, also known as, the fucking cold hat set. Add the Sporto snow boots that I used to hate and now am happy to have, wrap me up in a rich red cashmere scarf and call me warm. After work I joined Rachael and Linda at the magnificent ice rink that we have in Millenium Park right downtown in Chicago. I didn't go skating (those without insurance should stay off the ice), Linda can't, but Racheal got a couple of rounds in. When they came out to clean the ice we set off for a pub and were joined by Shannon for some vittles and hot cider with a splash of whiskey. It was a long day and we ended up at the German Kristkindle Market to do some window shopping and drink Gluwein (hot spiced red wine). See, long day and I'm pooped.
I have a lot to do this weekend, got to work on those Christmas stockings, help John the neighbor bring out his massive collection of vintage holiday decorations from the fourth floor attic (he's paying me), assist Rachael in selling the textbooks from her previous life to fund her new life (also paying me) and then end the day with a movie maybe?
Oh and to top it off, the new Mason Dixon book is finally in at the LYS for me to pick up with my store credit and start making loads of more x-mas gifts!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Post 177-Silent City

Damn you Mother Nature, I want my autumn back. I never got to take those long dog walks with the falling leaves around me and a hand knitted scarf gently tied around my neck, I miss it. Winter came last night and laid a blanket of quite snow on us.

Thanksgiving became a nice a mostly peaceful weekend for me. I spent the holiday the way I wanted and not the way some of my family wanted me to, against my will and with them (it's along story). I made pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and a bread boule and then my neighbors John and John brought over a turkey, potatoes and green beans. The house was clean, linens ironed, candles lite and very nice. I did very well with my diet and didn't freak out with holiday food that much. The rest of the weekend was spent laying on the couch watching only movies and no TV while knitting away. I started and finished the Foliage hat for my cousin Patricia and was able to do that with stash diving yarn, Manos to boot!
Currently the Tangled Yoke has been delegated to bus commuting knitting and I'm working on a trio of Christmas Stockings for a customer of a LYS.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Post 176-Rock Star Friday

Friday was one long day and my poor feet hurt to much at by the end of it. It started off all fine, I went to work, but unlike the previous two fridays, there was no beer-going-away party to go to so I had to actually work the whole time. I agreed to meet Linda and Rachael at Bar Louie for a drink before heading over to Loopy Yarns for the book signing for Franklin Habit, rock star number one. I came to say hi mostly, I didn't need to spend any money and besides, his book would make a great suggestion to give relatives for Festivus gifts. Everyone was nice, the store looked great and full of yarn, Franklin was adorable as ever, it was lovely. By the time we were finished we were famished and found a nice bar/restaurant in the area to eat at. I don't spend much time in Printers Row, and while not a large area it still has a nice old feeling. I got lucky and found something to eat on the menu that fit into my diet just fine, a whole wheat wrap with hummus, spinach, carrot and apple, with a side of fruit. We talked and ate, discussed life and money, love and the lack of it, basically a good night out for a group of gals.

Sometimes less is more, and my cheap little camera took this cool rock-god-like picture.

My cousin and his little hobby band, AKA The Academy Is, has a concert that night as some venue you might have heard of, The House of Blues. Since I am one of the few with his number, I called him up and managed to get a couple of comped tickets. So that night after Rock Star Franklin, we saw Rock Star Adam. Kinda weird, I remember babysitting him and when he was young he looked EXACTLY like a young Kurt Cobain, freaky now considering he's in a band. The show was enjoyable and I met up with my other cousin Patricia but managed to avoid evil aunt.

Awesome picture taken by Rachael's fancy-shmancy phone.

It took me a week to get this post together and it's late, so I'm off to bed with more to follow soon.
PS-I'm well on my way knitting up the second sleeve, finally!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Post 175-Just a Normal Day, NOT!

I would love to say that today was like any other day, but it isn't, it's historical. I just made a lovely dinner of whole grain spaghetti pasta covered in homemade marinara and herb chicken, it was soooo good, oh, and I was watching the election too. I initially wanted to go downtown when I heard about the rally, but I didn't get a ticket and I'm not in the mood to be up all night, I'll watch via TV instead. It doesn't matter in the end, only this does:

With free Starbucks coffee in one hand and flexing my index finger on the other, I touch screen voted. Is it dorky of me to want to keep that cheesy little voting receipt for sentimental sake? I'm so happy I might just cry.

Halloween pictures from this weekend to follow soon.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Post 174-A is for Anticipation

I was downtown tonight picking up my paycheck and I noticed/felt the electricity in the air. It may have only been every one's reaction to it getting darker sooner thanks to daylight savings time, but I think it's about what will happen tomorrow, ELECTION DAY!! I can't believe it's finally here, it seems like ages ago I was at Punkrockknitter's election party and listening to the dreaded news on the TV. I feel good about tomorrow, of course it helps that I'm in Chicago and we'll do our part tomorrow in changing the future. I was listening to Sticks and Strings #80 podcast and David Reidy pointed something out that I think a lot of Americans don't realize. The election results not only affect us here in the states but will be seen and felt around the world. The domino effect is bigger now the closer the world gets and our election is no longer just a small family matter amidst us Americans. What the next president decides about the war in Iraq will be felt by the Australian bloke fighting over there. I was hoping to move our SnB meeting tomorrow to Rachaels house to watch the TV, but as her place is currently in deshambles, I'm hoping the TV in the bakery we always meets at actually gets reception and is not just there to showcase a slide show of creepy cakes. (you don't want to see the picture of the cake with a woman giving birth made out of marzipan, ick. (while I'm sure it's tasty, it's pure tasteless in my book))
So here's to freedom, tolerance, open-mindedness, a dose of reality and a good outcome.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Post 173-Over Eight

Did I post about the research study I'm participating in? I dunno and can't remember, I have surely talked about it on the forum for the condition. Well, I wasn't going to say anything because it may be a fluke and I don't want my very supportive friends to make a big deal but I had my first of 6 monthly check-ups, and it was good, very good. I don't mean to be mysterious but I'm happy and the only way I can express it is to blog it, even cryptically. I talked to the doctor, and as long as I'm a good girl I'm allowed to have a drink, so I'm hoping to knit like the wind and whip out a Hallowig so that I can go out on Halloween and have a really good Scotch, if it's good enough I'll only need one I think. Ummm, buzzed...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Post 172-Am the World?

You are the World

Completion, Good Reward.

The World is the final card of the Major Arcana, and as such represents saturnian energies, time, and completion.

The World card pictures a dancer in a Yoni (sometimes made of laurel leaves). The Yoni symbolizes the great Mother, the cervix through which everything is born, and also the doorway to the next life after death. It is indicative of a complete circle. Everything is finally coming together, successfully and at last. You will get that Ph.D. you've been working for years to complete, graduate at long last, marry after a long engagement, or finish that huge project. This card is not for little ends, but for big ones, important ones, ones that come with well earned cheers and acknowledgements. Your hard work, knowledge, wisdom, patience, etc, will absolutely pay-off; you've done everything right.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Post 171-1 Down, 9 More to Go

I am a knitter and by that admission I must embrace tedium from time to time, but OMG! I am soooo bored at work. I scored a temp job for the rest of the year AKA 9 weeks, and while it's not difficult to do, its as boring as hell. I'm just filling for someone who is leaving the company because the company is moving to Texas. Now I don't get this, this person is getting a sevrence package from the company but because they aren't paying or really bribing her to stay to the end she's leaving next week. Does she have another job lined up, no, does the economy suck, yes, are people being laid off everyday, yes, are jobs hard to come, yes. I don't get it, but it doesn't matter, I got her job.

I'm glad I have good problem solving skills, though sometimes it can take me awhile to see the whole picture and find a way to climb out of a hole. My laptop is kind of old but it's hearty, it works and I love it. The battery, I noticed, was slowly losing it's charging power, but I could see that coming and knew it would have to be replaced again. At the same time that the battery was dieing I must have squished my power cord box one too many times under my recliner because all at once I started have problems keeping my computer powered up. I was able to go online every once in awhile by using my roomies power cable but with it not quite fitting my laptop and with the battery biting the dust I came to the conclusion that a new battery was needed. I love ebay and the amazing deals you find there. So I got the new battery but still have the problem with the power cord. I did some research and had to prepare myself for one of three possible problems. 1. The power cord box has died and just needs to be replaced. 2. The connection between where the power cord is inserted and the important parts inside is loose and needs to be repaired. 3. The motherboard needs to be replaced. After performing some minor surgery of unscrewing the bottom cover of my computer and checking the connections I deducted everything is fine down there so lets go to ebay and get a new power cord and hope for the best. YEA! All is well again, laptop is happy, battery has charged and little green light is brightly signaling a working and happy power cord. All is good in my computerland again.

So this weekend the plan is to:

Clean house-much needed since the house cleaning fairy has been banished for the rest of the year due to budget cuts.

Find Knitting Mojo-it's in here somewhere, probably inside a half knitted sleeve for a sweater that would be highly appreciated in the current cold weather

Frog the Rusted Root-it's been sitting in limbo for way too long and I don't like the way the neckline was designed, plus a new person to my knitting group made the Dahlia and I like it much better, tunics look good on me.

Help jewelry lady set-up show-I might also mention to her that she owes me a lot of money that I would kinda like to see some of it sooner than later.

Give private lesson-I like teaching people how to knit socks and see their reactions when they realize how easy it is when you break it down step by step.

Help Chicken Linda-Garden Party at Linda's house Sunday, just imagine yourself wrapped up in warm sweaters and scarves digging in a garden and prepping it for the winter, rosy checks are a requirement. It's the least I could do since I was unable to attend the applesauce party or the hydrating apples shindig.

And last but not least, pamper self by having a sugar body scrub, manicure and pedicure at home and then sleeping the hell in past 6:45 am for the first time in a week!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Post 170-Awwww.

Previously I was having issues uploading images because I couldn't find my camera cord, well I solved that problem only to have my computer battery no longer be able to hold it's charge, so now I have to replace that. Effing technology, if it's not one thing it's another. Later this weekend I'll post the status of the job thing but right now try looking at some of these cutie patootie pictures of Mia.

Classic Mia, in the park.

Mia's first new sweater.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Post 169-And Then There Were Two...

The wait continues. Yesterdays job interview went well, pays not the best but the company is awesome, local owned and operated, financially stable and doing well, I can walk there if I had to and maybe come home for lunch (and walk crazy dog). I got a lovely call from HR and they have one other person to interview and then they will let me know on Tuesday. Yes, I sent thank you emails (which I already got one response) and just sent out thank you cards. I have done all I can.

So now the crazy dog. My wise neighbor told me that you can tell when a new dog has adjust to it's new home and become one of the members of the household, the dog will start letting down it's guard. Boy has it happened! All of a sudden Mia is being naughty. Say goodbye to waste baskets, she tips them over and drags everything out, recycle bin is banished to the back staircase and nothing tasty can be left out. Mia wants to play and get in trouble, it's nice to have an active dog again though when ever I'm around all she wants to do is sleep on my lap. I don't have a lap dog, I have a attached to the hip dog. I love her.

I finally got my USB memory card reader so now some long awaited pictures.

And I thought Qiviut was expensive. I did good last year in buying my little ball of luxury for around 70 bucks, this year at Stitches it was over 90. The vendor I got mine from had Vicuna for sale. There is no way in the near future I will be able to afford Vicuna but he was nice enough to take a picture of me hold it.

I spotted one of knit hero's out in the wild at Stitches and she was nice enough to take a picture with me, Nancy Bush! I sorta took a lace class from her many years ago when CookieA, Rachael and I went to some knitting convention in Toledo and I have all her books. Me so happy. Now I hate the picture of me, which is one reason I'm doing the medical study and I have to admit Nancy Bush looks a little tired and not so thrilled, I'm sure she just finished teaching a class and just want to shop in peace.

Glorious in blue, Franklin wearing I don't know what at YarnCon. He's such a sport, is a great hugger and I'm telling you, nice ass.

From left to right, one of the girls from Mason Dixon, Bonne Marie who was in the original Chicago Stitch N Bitch with me and has one of her wonderful patterns in the book and on the far right, Linda's head and ass.

Now I'm off some tension off my face, put on some anti-stress cream and get some good, long and deep sleep.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Post 168-Return to Me

All I want to do this weekend is sleep, just lay in bed pop some sleepy pills, cuddle with the animals, maybe watch some tv and sleep the weekend away. I'm about as depressed as the country is and there's nothing I can do about it (it's not like my 401K has tanked, as I have no money to loose right now). Normally when I feel the blahs I'm good at finding that internal happy switch and turning it on, not so much luck right now. Things are a wee bit tight and I'm doing the hustle, lot's of side jobs, private lessons here and there, and finally a good interview (of which I will not talk about because I don't want to jinx it (even though talking about will in no way change the outcome and I know that)). I want to be able to reach for my knitting and know the comfort it gave me after 9/11 but I'm just not feeling it, instead I wonder how much is that yarn worth....

About the election, I'm so over it, I know who I'm voting for, I knew since the beginning and nothing will change my mind. If my cat and dog can along so well that they are sleeping next to each other why can't the Dems and Reps?

Harmony, animal style.

In the end I think talking about it just now is going to help my nerves because I was starting to fry this past week from having it all pent up. It will get better, unless this is a side effect of the mystery medication I'm taking for a research study because if it is, holy shit. OK there, got it off my chest, feeling better now. I think I should focus my anxiety on cleaning the house now that I persuaded roomie to cancel the house cleaning service for the rest of the year (and unneeded luxury right now) or perhaps do some light gardening and put up the Halloween decorations.

That's it, this weekend will be old-fashioned 1930's weekend. Do some canning, cut down on tv time, trim the plants, make some good looking knitting, create some jewelry baubles with the beads I have and look for those metal bookbinding stamps and make my own stationary like I've wanted. I need to call my neighbor John and see if he's up to having a cup of coffee and playing a couple of hands of cards in his lovely garden since it going to be all nice and warm this weekend.

I've feeling better already.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Post 167, Me So Tired

I am one tuckered out girl here. I have, in the name of science, volunteered for a medication research study for a condition that I have, this required me to get to Northwestern Medical at 6:45 am Monday morning and stay until 4:30 pm Tuesday afternoon. I got home yesterday and took a nap, got up and ate out at my favorite pasta place as a kind of last supper of yummy food then went to bed. I am still tired even after a nap today, being at a hospital is tiring, having your arms treated as a voodoo doll and feeling like a piece of meat, exhausting, but if you ever find yourself on floor 10 in of the Feinberg Pavilion in the General Clinical Research Care ward and have tricky veins, ask for Joan, she's the best pricker ever! So enough on that, for six months I will be taking special meds, eat a more restricted diet (though nothing harsh) and therefore probably be more bitchier than ever, ha! Rachael and other pcos-sisters, you owe be one.

Camera cord still hasn't been found, will probably show up after I the USB flash drive memory card reader that I ordered on Amazon gets here. I hope this thing works because I have the cutest dog sweater to show off and a large backlog of pictures piling up.

It's getting chilly here in Chicago, I'm really going to have to get my lazy ass in gear and finish the twisted yoke cardy because I could really use it now! Last night my toes were so cold I finally pulled out the uber thick duvet that I invested in last year, oh how I love you, it's like covering yourself with a fluffy layer of heaven, I may not need to plug in the heated mattress pad this year because of it.

I'm tired and need to go take another nap and maybe figure out some way to remove all the tape and band-aid residue from my arms.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Post 166-No, Seriously..

I'm serious here, have you seen my camera cord, where the fuck can it be? I think I'm going to have to go high tech and order the coolest little and rather cheap gadget from Microcenter, a USB flash SD card reader. Without a way to import my picks I can't show you what fun Linda, Rachael, Anne and I had apple picking and Mia snuggling with Pyewacket the cat. I've also finished Mia's new sweater (I still have sleeves to add), just in the nick of time because it's turning cold soon, like tomorrow I think. So give me a couple of days to get that new gadget and soon I will be flooding my blog with more pics than content, just like the old days.

Thanks Nora for the great cartoon, just over a month to go!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Post 165-Fun Tests

Your result for Reincarnation Placement Exam...

Traveling Circus

Your answers indicate that you might be the reckless, fun-loving sort. We can go with that. You don't need to bind yourself to any particular civilization or routine. You don't need the complications of technology, especially if it means you have to get an education to employ it. What you do need is adventure, particularly the complicated and exotic kind... plus, the fun of working and playing with fellow adventurers like yourselves. So... why not run off and join the circus?

You can run the fun house ride, play lion tamer or get shot out of a cannon. It takes all kinds!

Take Reincarnation Placement Exam at HelloQuizzy

Your result for The Geek-Fest geek test!...

39% geek!

You scored 39% geek.

90% to 100% --- you should not only be at the FEST, you should be running it.

70% to 89% --- At some point in your life, I am postitive that you were a dungeon master.

50%-69% ---You are an X-files fan, and probably TIVO shows on the Sci-fi channel.

30-49% ---At some point in your life you had a toy light sabre. (If you still have one, you may need to retake this test. You should have done better)

Under 30% - Congratulations. There is actually a good chance you will find a girlfriend/boyfriend.

I took me a long time to write this test, so I am asking you, please, please, PLEASE, rate this test. Even if you didn't like my little test, you can give it a one-star, but don't go away without rating it!!! Thanks for yor time.

Take The Geek-Fest geek test! at HelloQuizzy

Your result for The Things You Learned In School, But Probably Forgot Test...

96% Brain Cells Left!

You have 96% Brain Cells Left!


I hope you liked taking this test! Oh! Please give me a high rating! Otherwise, I'll feel bad! :(

Take The Things You Learned In School, But Probably Forgot Test at HelloQuizzy

Your result for How Much of the United States Have You Been To?...


You may have grown up as a military brat or been the kind of person who saw the road less traveled and took it. There are only a few small corners of the U.S. which you haven't seen (probably because you just haven't gotten to it yet).

Take How Much of the United States Have You Been To?

Your result for Life Experience Quality Test...


Your life has a quality of 88% The higher the number, the better quality of life you scored. Thank you for taking the test! Well done!

Take Life Experience Quality Test at HelloQuizzy

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Post 164-Reward, Lost Camera Cord

Um, I'm still here, I just can't find my camera cord again. It's in the house I'm fairly sure... it's just that a decent post is made better with pictures especially if you want to talk about Stitches purchases, pretty jelly jars and oodles of other things.
And no, I'm still not done with the Olympic sweater, does it count that on one of my 4 NBC HD channels is showing repeats of the Olympics? I have started the Mystery Shawl 4 project and am already behind, I've been eyeing the shivering dog and then a couple skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Grumperina and then back at the dog...I've got a couple of weeks before the chill comes back. Through this all I also went to a very wet Renegade Craft Fair and bought some pretty dyed roving and I'm still debating whether to frame it or spin it.

See, pictures are better in a post. At least I'm over my blogitis and hope to get back on the bandwagon as soon as I find that pesky camera cord!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Post 163-OMG!

OMG! Stitches is this weekend, as much as I would have liked going to the Michigan Fiber Fest in a bus filled with knitters, I like to think I can use the 55 dollar bus fee at Stitches and get some really good shit instead.

Mia says hi, and is totally devoted to me and still really scared of other people, one step at a time.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Post 162-Ravelypics Status

3 words on my progress, can anyone say "Jamaican Bobsled Team"? Not a chance in hell.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Post 161-Indigo, Stars, and the Big O

That title says a lot eh? So sit down, this is going to be a long post.

Starting in reverse order, my new addiction is green! How I love the color green now, where have you been all my life? I remember now, when I was young in the 80's you were neon lime, ick, and in the 90's you were drab olive, ugh, but now you are emerald and celery and all goodness in between. A couple of years ago I noticed that the green colors being used in fashion were starting to look good on me, but I have to say with the Pine colored Rowan Felted Tweed yarn I bought and that is in my Ravelypics project I have admitted I am addicted. It's the buttons you see, I bought these faceted dark celery green glass buttons and I must have more. I just won a vintage lot of buttons on e-bay that might also do, I'm wearing my favorite green t-shirt right now that everyone is sick of seeing me in, and my favorite head band is green silk.

The buttons from ebay, possibly for the Tangled Yoke sweater.

Last night I have a very sad and disturbing dream about some relatives of mine and throughout the dream I was carrying around with me an emerald green silk dress while trying to buy a matching long green crystal necklace. Yea I'm weird. After this post I might have to go to the bead store and see if I can recreate the necklace because I must have it and like long beaded necklaces that you can wrap around your neck 3 times.

The big O is not what you're thinking, dirty dirty, it's Oprah! Yes, I have finally procured some tickets, what luck. A couple of days ago I was on her website and remembered they sometimes take your info if you're interested in last minute tickets, and low and behold, they called me! It's been 12 years since I was last in the audience, 16 years since my aunt and uncle were on the panel during a show, so I'm thinking it's about time.

The three lucky people I will be taking with me are the only people who were nice enough to answer my phone when I called them, they are are John the wonder-neighbor, Valerie my star seeking companion and Shannon the roommate who just had a birthday(what a gift she gets this year!)

So the week we had the yearly visit of the Perseid meteor shower, and considering that next year's visit will basically suck and the fact that every year that I've remembered to look up it's been cloudy, a road trip was in order as suggested by Valerie.

Not my picture, my camera is a cheap little digital and could never capture a meteor shower.

Trying to keep a grasp on my youth and remembering that in the past I used to take impromptu little trips I said yes. The basic idea was to go out to the country, and while Chicago is the US's third largest city, cornfields can be found just over an hours drive out. With map in hand, strawberries, chips and ice coffee in tow we headed out and found ourselves going through a maze of highway construction and found ourselves on Tollway 88 heading east, past Dekalb. We kept looking looking for clear sky, I though Valerie was joking when she suggested we just drive due west until we reached Iowa (I would have taken a nap that afternoon if I had known) but I persuaded her to turn onto highway 95 that goes north to Rockford, we turned onto route 64 and found ourselves a little bit of cornfield (ala Children of the Corn if you ask me), copped a squat and stared at the sky looking for shooting stars, which we found.

Children of the Corn could have been filmed here.

Amateur stargazer hard at work.
The view still wasn't the best, but it was cool and everyone one spotted got a squeal of delight from me. Later on we found another brief viewing spot, made out way east on 64 back toward the city and if we wanted to could have taken all the way home. Valerie perfected her coasting skills, the speed limit was obeyed and besides being pulled over in St. Charles for going too slow and admiring the vintage architecture we found the best donuts at Bosa Donuts and made it home before the sun rose. I was tired after that and poor roommate had to deal with a new dog that missed her master and paced the apartment the whole night waiting for me, ahh. I need to admit something about that little road trip, I stole 4 ears of corn and don't even know if it's human corn or animal corn, and I peed in my first cornfield, I'm sorry.

And now the Indigo part of my post. Rachael and I made a pilgrimage to The Fold in Marengo. What a beautiful day it was, and while it did rain why we were in the workshop it was nice before and after. Knitting and the fiber world is a small place, it turns out there was a lady in my workshop that knows some people I used to work with a long time ago at a Saudi Museum Collection, I find these connections pop up every once in awhile. I brought with me three skeins of yarn to dye and each was a little bit different from the next. I dyed a skein of Treenway silks lace weight, a skein of Knitpicks bare sock yarn, and about 1200 yards of mystery silk/wool lace weight that I paid 1 buck for a cone that contained over 3600 yards. This was a good study on how different fibers take dye differently.

Boil, Boil, Toil and Trouble...., a good pot of indigo this one was, it has the perfect blue scum on the top and soupy green liquid underneath.

All dyed and ready to sit for 24 hours before washing.

All dried and re skeined, looks store bought to me.

Finished product. I highly recommend Toni's dye workshops, they are so much fun and you don't have to worry about making a mess in your kitchen or on your floors.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Post 160-Ready, Set, Knit!

12 hours and counting until I can officially start my Ravelympics project. Rachael's hosting the opening ceremony party this time and I thought that was when I could start but according to Team Chicago's leader the start time really is 7am for us here. I am absolutely ready to go, yarn has been bought, swatch knitted and steamed, gauge measured, needles purchased and buttons on order. This Olympic's project, the Tangled Yoke from Interweave Knits.

I fell in love with this pattern and figured it was about time I make a complete sweater, details and all. The plan is to change the button hole from 3 stitches to 1 or so to fit the slightly smaller buttons I found at Soutache and to lengthen the sweater by a couple of inches for my longer torso, at least I hope so. I have the exact number of balls for the specs as is but have located a couple of more from a LYS to cover a longer version if needed.

The buttons are untraditional and even though tweedy yarns tend to scream for wooden or leather buttons I like the look of these glass bottle green faceted ones, tweed meets vintage, very Rowan I think.

I finished the Lace Wings shawl the I knitted from some Seacell purchased at Midwest Folk and Fiber. This pattern knits up so fast that I got it done before I had a chanced to photograph it and put it in my stash.

Blocked on my bed. My technique is to blocked it by pinning and then spraying with scented laundry spray, umm roses, very girly.

A Close up.

Modeled by me, it really helps to have a big ass to give you more surface to show of the shawl with.

Mia is coming along just fine, she no longer needs to get feed in front of her cage, has learned where the water dispenser is and might just learn to sit on command soon, I am very pleased with her and glad she got me.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Post 159-July Sucks

Yup, that's right, this July was officially the suckiest month. Not only did I lose a pet but so did my surorigate dorm mom, aka John my neighbor. John was the person I called while at the emergency vet late at night and he was the one who took me to my vet the next with Bella. Three days later one of his own dogs was at the vet for minor surgery when he died unexpectantlly. Also, a good friend and fellow knitter would agree July sucked because she lost two really close family members in a matter of weeks.

After I let Bella go I was really depressed and just plain sad. Didn't cook, didn't garden, didn't even knit, I'm amazed at how much I can sleep. Right away I wanted to do two things though, buy Bella an urn, and adopted another Italian Greyhound. Because July sucked, both of these endeavors proved hard to accomplish and had catches.
First the box, I looked all around online and couldn't find a good doggie urn that wasn't overpriced, cheaply made or just plain tacky. Ta-da, etsy to the rescue. I found this woodworker guy that makes them out of solid exotic woods, unstained and simple looking. After many e-mails, Fred designed for me a memory box that not only held Bella's cremains but also had a lined top section where I can keep her collar, paw print and mementos. This is July and nothing good can happen. Last week I heard a thump outside my door, my substitute mailcarrier tossed the box over my very tall wrought iron fence and broke the box in doing so, see, July sucks. After a couple of visits to my local post office I managed to convince them that one should not have to buy insurance on a priority box to cover the gross negligence a mail carrier shows when throwing a box over a 7 foot tall fence onto concrete, it also helps to explain that the special made box was an urn for my dog, can't diss the dead I suppose. I should explain that in the whole US, Chicago has the worst postal service, and in the whole of Chicago I have officially the worst local post office. I was guarranteed a check, don't laugh, in the mail, haha in about a month and then I will have to order a whole new box again, maybe this time I will go for Purpleheart instead of Bloodwood.

I missed having a dog and wanted to get another adult one and not deal with puppyhood or the cost of a purebred puppy (anywhere from 350 to 1400 dollars) so I look to the local rescue group for the breed I like best, Italian Greyhounds. I won't go into too many details but suffice it to say, I find most rescue groups run my crazy militant people that make it is so damn hard to adopt a puppy there's little wonder why there are so many out there in foster homes and not with permanent families. The rescue group leader in my area did not like my vet or the medical care given to Bella and denied me with out a home visit, talking to my references or my landlord. I assume it was my vet she didn't like since I was never given an explanation and I haven't talk to the group since except to say....I have a new doggie! Via the Doberman rescue group I got Mia. Mia was known as Nancy and is an IG, go figure how they and not an IG group ended up with her but she's mine now. Mia came from a hoarders home with over 50 other dogs, she was used for breeding and is about 3-4 years old. It will be awhile until she is acclimated to the life of a lazy city dog, she's scared of the world but it is totally crate trained, pad trained, is oblivious to the cats and is cute as a button.

Knit content to follow tomorrow, perhaps with a finished project.......maybe.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Post 158-Be Still My Aching Heart

Bella was 6 they said when I adopted her. She was owned by an older woman who moved somewhere and couldn't keep her. I adopted Bella in late March of 2006, I had lost Mona in October of 2005 and had a big void in my life that needed to be filled. I loved Bella, she was a pain in my ass sometimes but she loved to cuddle and knew the words sit, lay-down, dance, food, walk and many others.
Bella-July 5, 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008

Post 157-A Little Lagging..

I've been slacking off....blogging, knitting, sending our resumes, bad me. I've this conversations on my head of good blog posts, unfortunately they do not count and since my free internet is slow I'm forced to get out of the house and go to a cafe. I have 15 minutes before the shop closes so I'm going to make this short and sweet.

When Linda and I went last week to the Yarn Harlot we weren't fast to jump up and get in line to get our books signed. She said she wanted people to come up who had trains and buses to catch and try to make it fair, well, the line was long anyway. I didn't really see a need to get another book signed, I'd been to her last two signings and appearances and besides I was able to chit chat a little with Linda and Franklin of the Panopticon (he has a really nice bum I noticed). So, for those of you who have never been to a Yarn Harlot signing or she'll be in your area soon, be prepared, be very prepared!

I am envious of my friend, Chicken Linda, she has the best garden, though technically I would call it a mini-farm since she has chickens. If it were my place, I would have a hammock it was so nice and peaceful. After many years Linda decided to have a party and it was lots of fun, I had great conversation with a wide variety a people and lots of yummy food. I made for the first time a chocolate ganache and raspberry tart and played around with my basic hummus recipe and one of the varieties I brought was a roasted garlic and basil experiment, it was very good. (it helps when you grow your own basil!)

Since the weather was picture perfect on Sunday, Rachael and I drove up to the forest preserve a couple of miles south of the Chicago Botanical Gardens and biked up for a little exercise. The forest preserve has made a lovely paved bike path the meanders over little streams, by some fishing and kayaking lakes and through some swamp/wetlands (they may not be real swamp/wetlands and could be lowland that was still a victim of all the floods here). It was a nice afternoon, I got some much needed exercise and chilling at the gardens are nice, we like to bike up because the admission is free and the only cost is for people parking their cars.

Couldn't you just waste a day sitting here enjoying the weather?

Pretty enough to make Monet jealous.

Every time I see poppies I think of the Wizard of Oz.

On our bike ride back to the car we narrowly out rode a big thunderstorm that hit us when we got back on the highway, I don't think I would enjoy biking in the rain.

I won't bore you with more photos of my tomato babies, suffice it to say they are everywhere! I was a little nervous about my sugar snap peas, I think everyone doubted my ability to grow them in a pot with an old apple tree and that using the apple tree as a natural trellis was silly. Well, take a look at my first pea flower, since the first bloomed I've had several more, hopefully I will get sugar snap peas from them.

This little purple blossom surprised me, I think it belongs to my cucumber or eggplant, I'm not sure which, since I tool this pic I have had several more bloom. I was kinda playing god with one of my pots and planted four different plants and thought if something grows, great, it'll be survival of the fittest. I didn't expect all the plants to do so well, but I'm only halfway there, they've bloomed, but will the veggies grow?

I think this is my melon plant, I have no idea anymore, I'm just happy to see it survive and bloom.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Post 156-Mosaic Me Game

This was a fun game to play, I saw it on Knit and Run.

The concept:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink? (for the record, I was drinking these long before they were made popular by a show on telly!)
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Post 155-Way Cool

I just discovered some more coolness information about my cousin in the band. Did anyone else see that movie P.S. I Love You? Yea I was suckered into the theater to see it with the previews that made me think it was a love story, it was sort of but not as much a love story as a sad depressing story, I cried because it was sad, not romantic, not what I was in the mood for. I was looking around on itunes and occasionally look at the reviews of my cousins' albums (he is currently working on number 3 in NYC) I didn't know his band had a song on the P.S. I Love You soundtrack, now I'm going to have to watch the movie all over again just to see when it's featured, ugh, the stuff I do for family.

The Noro Snowdrop socks are all done. I put the finishing touches on them last night, soaked them and then hung them on the blockers on the refrigerator from magnetic clips. Strange I know but it keeps them away from furry cats and they actually dry faster then being laid down on towels.

All done, see that little bit of yarn, that's all that is left! I didn't plan it that way I just got really lucky. As for the second sock being too rainbowy, yea, I really don't like it but that's what jeans are for right?
I was up until 2 in the morning trying to figure what sock pattern to do next and with what yarn. I an effort to help myself decide I thought I would pull out all my sock yarn, I have a lot.

Guess which one I choose to work with.....Brooks Farms's Acero. After looking at several patterns I decided to try it out on the Baudelaire, I think I'm the only one who hasn't done them yet. The thing is, I think the yarn is a little thicker than the pattern calls for and I can't find my set of DPN's, I think I left them in my luggage and need to dig them out. For the time being I will start the first sock on 0's and see how it goes, if I don't like it I can pull out the Austermann Step yarn I snag from my stash as a backup.
Linda decided to take the day off work and called me last night with the idea that we trek down to the southwest suburbs and make a last minute pilgrimage to the Yarn Harlot signing. I've seen her before and always enjoy myself, I'm looking forward to getting out of the city and going a yarn store I've never been to before. It's hard to imagine that there's a yarn store in Chicagoland area that I haven't been to!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Post 154-Taking Fruit

I think we should bring back the concept of the Victory Gardens (maybe we should call the Economy Garden) and not only that but there should be some sort of incentive to jump start it and get people to grow their own food in their backyards. If I, an apartment dweller can grow tomatoes in a container so can a lot of others with no grass or earth for sowing seeds. It's not hard, you just have to remember to water, I have to everyday now that it's stopped raining so much.

I am now proud to say I now have at least 3 tomatoes growing on the vines. Take a look at the picture of my plants on my last blog post and look at this:

Holy Cow. Now I have no idea about sugar snap peas but at least my plan of the pea plant using an old dead apple tree for a natural trellis is working.

Anybody know anything about peas, like do they flower or do the pods just appear?

WWKIP day was a blast. Yes it was hot but Rachael and I were smart to get the shade on the west side of the promenade so even as the sun moved we were nice and comfy. Lots of people were about so I was able to catch up with those I don't see often, including an old art school classmate. After a little pitstop for coffee at Intelligentsia, Linda, her husband Mark, Rachael, Adrienne and I went out to dinner at the West Town Tavern and it was delightful. It's been awhile since I had such a yummy meal out the was so good I wanted to lick my plate, service was good but they didn't scrape my place for crumbs like on the ship, boo-hoo. The first Noro Snowdrop sock was done before WWKIP and I cast on for the second on there.

I am now past the heel and almost done with the leg shaping increasing and with the pattern fully memorized it's just a matter of time, I suspect I will be done by this weekend. I really like the colorway on the first one and the way it turned out, but this second one I hate, it's all rainbow bright and way too colorful, not at all what I expected.