Thursday, December 31, 2009

Post 208-Headache at the Airport

It's New Years Eve and I find myself at the Little Rock Airport with time to kill and a delay in my departure. I'm fighting a headache, is it the delay, maybe, was the hour long ride with my aunt who dropped me off, yes. I just want to be home, to sleep in my own bed, cuddle my own pets and deal with my own worries and not stress about those which are not mine and therefore cannot be fixed. My vacay was overall great. I spent some nice time with my grandmother, who keeps puttering on even at the age of 85.5, but I especially bonded with my cousin over the general annoyance and worry about her mother, my aunt. I do not mean to quote the bible because I am NOT religious, but this really is true (except the god part), but, god helps those who help themselves. That's all I have to say on the matter.
I have a new laptop, I totally scored at Bestbuy and got my pretty little mean green machine for just under 500, and low and behold it went on sale while I was in Arkansas so I got the price adjusted and have 50 more bucks in my pocket. I'm happily typing away at the airport using there free wifi, wish they had had it at O'hare when I was delayed there.
I have no plans for tonight, if I'm lucky I will have someone pick me up, if not I take the train home. I wish I had time to go to the liquor store to get some cheap Andre champagne that my grandmother turned me onto, but I have Guinness in the fridge and that will just have to do. Pizza sounds good tonight, so does getting into my pj's and spending so time with my poor doggie Mia who I think went a little crazy missing me. It doesn't feel like New Years' Eve to me. I don't believe in making crazy resolutions that most fail to follow. I don't believe in extensive review of the past years events, you can't changed what happen. I'm always thinking about where I am in my life and the road I'm on. I promised my doctor that now I'm back on the meds I will try to go back to the low calorie diet that worked so well, but I won't be a Nazi about it. I will try to take some exercise classes if I can find a willing partner in crime, and I must get back into dating.
Oh shit, I amost forgot to talk about my knitting. I got off to a great start with my vacation knitting project, the Willoughby stole using Great Northern Yarns' Mink yarn, uber-soft! I also started another sock using some indie-dyed cashmere yarn that I picked up at Renegade craft fair this fall (because you always need a sock on the needles to carry around with you), and I started the Milkweed using this absolutely devine Handmaiden Casbah sock yarn the I picked up in Victoria during the Alaska cruise, it is the most beautuful color, it just glows.
While me cousin was here we went through my grandmothers craft supplies and cousin Patricia decided she wanted to learn needlepoint/cross-stitch. We picked a rather beautiful flower pattern that wasn't the easiest for a beginner and had about 30 different colors but she got addicted fast is on her way. I miss needlepoint and find it a different kind of relaxing then what you get from knitting and want to do some myself. I've been lusting after a Erhman Tapestry kit for a few years now and have decided to bite the bullet and just buy one and forgo the facial I was going to get while on vacation, besides, it will last longer.
See what happens when I have an espresso in one hand, free wifi and a flight delay in the other, I ramble on and on.
Happy New Year

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Post 207-Soon My Prettys

I have a new baby, it's green, 14" and it's name is Dell (for right now). This is the first time in a VERY long time that I have had a computer on more than 20 minutes without having to plug it in or have the battery die, YEA! It's going to take me some time to transfer all my photos over (should have stored them all on Flickr)and other important docs but at least I can blog! Stay Tuned.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Post 206-Sooner Than

Pretty soon my dearies I will be back to blogging, really I will. Currently my issue with blogging is that it's not something I dare do at work even though it is very slow now due to the holidays. The real problem is at home and basically my trusty ole' faithful laptop, is dying a slow death. I believe in getting my money's worth out of things or at least as much as possible which is why I am only now on my second bedroom tv since high school. Technically this was the first computer I bought myself and I've had it for over 5? years now and before that was a couple of years of internet cafes and before that, my old desktop from back when I was the only person I knew with a computer. In the back of my mind I'm have this feeling that my old green backup monitor might still be on the top shelf of the room I had in my aunt and uncles house, need to ask about that. So, I'm hoping to score a new computer soon and after much research I have decided that as cute as a netbook is it's not really what I need. So lets hope I survive Black Friday.
PS-Knitting continues non-stop as does cooking and scooter riding.

Monday, September 07, 2009

That Old Saying

I am once again reminded of that saying "You can choose your friends but you can't choose you family". You hear it every once in awhile but you only really listen when it hits home. I spent the long weekend visiting my sisters and their family deep in the heart of Texas, I go every couple or so years. O.K, I admit it, I'm bad, it's been at least 4-5 years I think since the last time I went there. There is a reason, I value my vacation time, I work hard all year for the two measly weeks I get and I'll be damn if I'm going to waste 3 days of it reminded of that saying from above.

I am sadden from my trek and the hardest part is knowing that there is nothing I could have done to make the visit better. I find it interesting how us three sisters have taken different roads, the choices we made and how we deal with what life has given us. In that old Nature Vs. Nurture debate I think it's 50/50. We all lived the same lives, sort of, we had the same childhood experiences at least. There are some reasons for how and where we ended up but I will not allow it to dictate our lives. One sister is defensive and always has been, you cannot have a conversation with her and if you try to pick a topic she sees that as criticizing. While she seems to have a loving husband she has a couple kids with some issues and are a handful, I think a gentle hand and soft voice would go along way in that household. The other sister has a medical illness that makes her life somewhat hard, throw in a husband that never says much and has no compassion and you get depression. Her two kids are great, the son is still quiet lovable but idolizes his father and runs the chance of learning no compassion from him, and so far the little girl, well she looks like the spitting image of her mother at that age and knows nothing is askew.

I wish I could fix them, I wish I could win the lottery and make their lives easier. Nothing will help them if they don't see that something is broken.

We choose the lives we live to a certain degree and the rest is all perspective, is the glass half full or half empty?

Back to the knitting another day. I forgot that one of the reasons I had this blog was so that I no longer had to talk to myself in my head and that writing things down releases them and allows for contemplation and solutions.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thank You Facebook

It's the weather, what can I say. I think Chicago must be the new Seattle. I find my myself at the end of July and in years past I would have the A/C cranking, but nope, I turned it off. Except for the odd day, I haven't had the air on in my apartment for 3 weeks, wow! Right now I'm laying in bed, just got out of the shower, listening to some classical music, contemplating why my bedroom is always a mess and I'm suffering from a headache. I had a most excellent dinner, popped two tylenol a couple of hours ago and it's still pounding, next I'll try a nightcap.

I've never had a period like this where I've not blogged for months on end, I'll blame Facebook. Finally I've caught up to the hype and I find I like making quick little notes about what I'm doing, life in general and little observations. Perhaps since I'm finding my voice there I've not blogged?

It's been a busy summer. Work is going well. The weather is pleasant. The dog and cat are a hoot. I've been knitting up a storm, sort-of. So far since April I've been to Arkansas twice, Galena and in just over a month I'm going to Houston. 5 lbs of blueberries have been hand picked, I've gone down an Alpine Slide 6 times, been biking a little bit more, gone to several festivals and discovered a new bar, The Matchbox and new bar/lounge/restaurant, The Paramount Room. Every weekend I've been busy and one of these days I would rather sleep in really REALLY late like I used to and not be social. Tomorrow I might bike to work for the first time (if I get to bed early) and if she's not busy, when I get out of work at 3 I'll stop of and see my cousin for a round or two of cards at a coffeeshop.

Don't feel blog, not only have I abandoned you for a while, I'm really behind in post new projects and yarn to Ravelry.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Post 203-Tomorrow

Tomorrow, or shall I say today being that it's 2 past midnight, I will write a real post. I also promise to update my ravelry page with recently acquired yarns, finished projects and general maintenance. Perhaps I will clean my room a little, do laundry and roasted a chicken....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Post 202-Threes and a Five

It's hard to write a blog when you cat insists on giving your arm a bath, just in case you wanted to know.
I have been very busy, work is going fine and the day zooms by so fast. My four week class on knitting I've been teaching at Northwestern University is over now so no more 15 hours mondays of non stop go-go-go. Everyone seems to be in motion these days, wanting to get out, do stuff, hang-out and enjoy life, and as busy as we all are, I think we will be enjoying this hectic summer. They say things happen in threes, well my threes involve high school. I didn't bring my lunch to work in friday so I decided to explore the eating choices in the river west area I work and remembered Lou Mitchells was only a couple of blocks away. The ambiance is classic, overpriced diner food, decent, but it reminded me of my days in high school when we would take field trips into Union Station from the burbs for art or music class, eat breakfast at Lou's (they still handout Milkduds) and lunch at the Berghoff. Later on friday after I got out of work early (summer hours) I met up with my cousin Patrica at Lovely, which is literally a lovely cafe, to catch up on family gossip and play the family card game of Spite and Malice with my new Tiffany and Co playing cards. The music being played by the coffee shop, Nirvana, also from my high school days. And just today I was friended on facebook by an old friend from high school's younger sister, who I also knew. See, things come in threes.
Now I'm busy planning a quickie in and out trip to Arkansas again, and by in and out I mean in on saturday and out on sunday. A bit pricey for one night, but it's the Grandmothers' 85th and she was so happy to hear I was coming. I might have to deal with some relatives I do not like (using good language here and keeping the cusswords that are more descriptive in check)but as long as I get my haircut, nails done and facial before, I'll be all set. Now I don't know what to wear, I have a nice arsenal of dresses to choose from, but if G-ma uses the word swanky in describing the shindig, I'll be in trouble. I need to find myself a little black (or in my case, a not so little) dress that can be dressed up or down easily and won't wrinkle to much in an overnight bag.
This weekend I'm already booked up, what happen to the lazy days when I got to sleep in??? Saturday is the Knitting Guild's Annual Lorna's Laces tour and sale, and I love me some LL sock yarn. Sunday is the alumni viewing of the new modern wing on the Art Institue, this is the first time I ever got something for free from them since I graduated, not even free admission after the first year.

I think I'm going to splurge on a purchase of some books from Amazon that have been piling up on my wishlist, in honor of what appears to be my 5th year blogiversary. I keep thinking how the hell did that happen and damn, my laptop is old.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Post 201-Time to Ponder

Now that I can breathe easily with the way things are going in life, what's next? Guess I got to start being social again, getting out and meeting people, that would help if I ever want to meet mr-right-for-me. If you know any eligables, let me know. I think it would be fun to fly out to Portland for the weekend and partake some of the fun of Sock Summit, any takers?? I should really look into what I'm going to do about g-ma's 85th, do I fly out friday night just to come back sunday night??? Must find doctor to give prescription, every since I finished the research study I can feel myself getting fat again, pudge is not good.

Photo of the high ceiling in Coco Rouge taken friday night during my night of excess and celebration, this is an accurate representation of how I feel after a couple of drinks.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Post 200-Whirlwind

It's been very busy over here at Casa de Yarnsnob. I started a new job last week and it was very stressful, not bad stressful, but busy being thrown lots of info and needing to retain it crazy stressful. This week is just as busy but a little easier and wow, it's already Wednesday, that was fast. To add to the whirlwind my class at Northwestern is a go this session but I'm happy that we're playing with the format and content of the knitting class and only made it 4 weeks. So for me Monday and Tuesday are very busy, go to work, come home, have just enough time to walk dog and change cloths and out again to either Evanston in which I'll get home by 10 or to coffee shop for SnB with the peeps in which I get home at 9:15. Really, it's nice to be so busy and at least it's knitting that takes me out late.

A shot of the lake shore from Northwestern's campus by the Norris Center taken with new birthday Motorola Razr2 phone.

Rachael for my b-day put together a package for consisting of a new fancy music playing-Internet capable phone and it's accessories. The battery is shit if you ask me, I don't play the music too much because I have my iPod but it always seems to need in need of a charge, argh. I splurged a bit to test my feet in the waters data capable/web accessible phones. Well, that sounds awkward, and I don't know the lingo, but what I want to do is be able to track the bus that takes me to work and back. I hate the CTA and think it would be handy to know if there is a delay in the buses and if I'll be waiting around forever, it would be nice to take planned route B of C in times of need. Would you believe it, but the day after I agreed to cough up an extra 10 bucks a month for a simple data/SMS plan and try to use it, the bus always seems to arriving at my stop shortly after I do. I'm thinking the CTA and T-mobile have it in for me. Over all, so far so good, this new technology could be a dangerous thing in my hands and it makes me crave an iPhone or Crackberry. To me there is something so cosmopolitan about sitting on the bus on your way to work wearing a khaki trench coat, cute kitten heals, carrying a stylish bag and playing with your crackberry/iPhone.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Post 199-A Few Words and Pics of My Vacay

Where I went.

There were red clovers in bloom everywhere.

Visiting the G-ma, not bad for 85!

Former luxury of the famous Hot Springs bath houses.

An artsy shot.

One of my self-portraits I'm famous for.

Japanese Maple artsy shot.

Japanese bridge in the Japanese garden, Arkansas style.

My aunt really likes Dogwood trees.

Sunset from the plane leaving Houston, end of trip.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Post 198-Evolution

Things area changing around here. Spring keeps wanting to make an appearance, but we Chicagoans aren't fool. It's very typically to have a really nice weekend like we had for St. Pat's and then to have in snow a few weeks later. The crocus's may be in bloom but I'm still wearing my pink wool coat.

Evolution has come to my shoes. I have 6 pairs of clogs, and I'm sad to report the departure of Big Red. Big Red was my first pair, I was enamored when I first discovered their existence when first spied on the feet of Brenda, creator of the first Chicago SnB, years and eons ago.

I loved you greatly Big Red, you started out all bright and perfect in your red suede, and over the years have performed wonderfully as the "it's raining out" clog and the "camping" clog, you've even come to my rescue as a makeshift sledgehammer for pounding in tent stakes.

But it's time you retire to the garbage heap. Farwell. I have promoted the Mauve clogs to the new rank of good-for-everything clog. I was seeing signs of promotion with the wonderful job Mauve did on my Alaskan cruise and she has allowed herself to be stretched out and become the official clog to me wear with handknit socks.

I know I'm talking silly about my clogs, but when you invest 120 bucks in a pair of shoes that you wear all the frigging time, it becomes a relationship. Plus, the clogs are the perfect height to match my foot brace to I don't gimp around too much.

Last week Linda discovered that for one magical day a year, which just to happens to coincide with April Fools, her chicken laid eggs that evolved from brown to bright plastic.

At the same time, and only for that single night that also got larger and some contained yellow Peep chicks and candy, I wondered why the chickens choose that day. Maybe they were trying to bring some humor into the world?

I'm still cranking away with the February Lady Sweater, though from time to time I go on hiatus so I can also work on a pair of socks. Right now I finished sock numeral one and have started on number two, trying to keep ahead of second sockitis.

A very simple pattern from one of the Charlene Schurch books. I like short row heels and toes, but next time I want to try this new short row technique were you don't wrap the stitches but slip them after turning and then on the way back you knit 2 together and make a lift increase, apparently there are no holes and it's a very smooth look.

I prefer to knit toe up so I can add some of my own leg increasing to make them fit better. How come that is never discussed in sock books?

Now on to the button saga of the February Lady. A couple of weeks ago I purchased some buttons online from a Czech button manufacturer. One of the sets were wrong and I had to wait a couple more weeks for the correct ones to be sent. Obviously I'm in this old-fashioned retro mood right now and am keen on vintage or glass buttons.

The ones on the left are the incorrect vintage 80's (that's how the marketed them, but I don't see using the work vintage unless the era is more than 30 years ago) and the ones on the right are new green glass with an AB finish. Even with the corrected left buttons, I don't like, too white, but they would look cute on something else. So I thought I would just go with the green flowers, but truthfully, my gut wasn't 100% sold on them even though it looks just fine.

So last Saturday when I was out doing errands with Racheal and helping her pick a futon cover, shop at Costco (I got the biggest strawberries!) we stop in a Soutache. I like to support local stores and the only reason I got the first sets of potential buttons online was for the variety. It's hard, buttons can make or break a look, and when you've put all this time in knitting it, it matters even more. I don't want a typical wooden/leather/horn button and want to be able to wear the sweater both casually and in a professional office. (just planning ahead) So I found these at the button store, and in keeping with my mood, they are vintage french. Now they're nothing fancy, but they match perfectly which I hadn't been aiming for because I didn't think it was possible.

I was unable to keep it a complete secret, but yes, my birthday was Saturday. I had a nice evening Friday with friends, good movie, good food and good conversation. But those of you who should feel so inclined to get me a gift, the link to my Amazon wish list has been added to the right sidebar.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Post 197-My Adventures with Boots

I know I've been slow in updating my blog lately, I have no excuse as I am slightly home-bound by my little accident. I wish I had a good story to tell, I'd almost be proud and less embarrass to say what happened was a result of excess drinking, but it's not, it was just an accident.
What happened was, on Friday the 13th, (I know, I want to giggle too) Rachael had an appointment to look at a new apartment, I was asked to go along to play devils advocate and general safety monitor. (never go to a strange person's house alone looking at apartments) It was a cute place but no big deal, we decided to meet out new Canadian SnB friend Christine in Lincoln Square for dinner. Rachael has this big mini-van from days gone by and you have to hoist yourself a little just to get in. I made the mistake that day of getting a touch of spring fever and pushed my usually Dansko clogs aside for a cute pair of red patent flats that scream SPRING! Big mistake. Those little red flats have no grip on the bottom and when I was trying to get into the van, I slipped and landed badly on my right foot, half in the street and half on the sidewalk. Imagine the pain you experience when you bang you funny bone and multiply it by A LOT! The wind was knocked out of me and I was stunned, but being a good trouper I insisted we head off to the restaurant. The conversation was good, the benefits of a tax-free pass used by consulate employees deemed equal to Wonka's Golden Ticket, and I spent the evening with a bag of ice on my foot supplied by the waitress.

And this is looking good, with considerable swelling and visible bruising gone done.

The details of my incident are as follows, I tore two ligaments in my foot/ankle area and was in a soft cast for the first week, in an ace bandage now and have to wear a big plastic cast-like boot for two more weeks. The massive swelling has gone done considerably, my foot has become one giant purple bruise, but on the upside it was a good thing I had a pedicure that day and wearing a clog on the other foot balances out my awkward gait and is barely noticeable!
This was my third booting experience this year, the first was given to me by the lovely city of Chicago which changed the laws recently. If you have more than two parking tickets they will attach a big yellow metal Denver Boot to your car, aren't I lucky!
My second boot experience was finally finding a pair of rainboots to fit! I got lucky with a pair of Tretorn boots on super sale at They are the perfect size, don't come up to high and just barely fit around my chunky legs.

I made the misfortune of buying the wrong size so I have to exchange them for the right one, but I'm sooooo happy to have my first pair of rainboots, I hope we get struck with a deluge just so I can wear them. Best part is they are a real sturdy European brand that should last for years!

Last Friday I went to a small dinner party and for the first time felt like a grown-up, weird. There was really good food, drink, good conversation with people I didn't know, I felt included and part of a group, I am an adult. Crap, when did that happen?

I did end up frogging the Hourglass Sweater and am speeding away on the February Lady Sweater, so far so good, though I haven't tried it on yet. I hope to get the buttons soon. I bought three of each of these from a seller in the Czech Republic. The AB ones are new and the yellow flower ones vintage 80's. I like the look of both styles so I guess the winner be decided when I see them in person and which one will fit the button holes I made!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Post 196-Fuel the Fire and Go With the Flow

So lately I've found myself watching things for other people. First it was house and pet sitting and now it's LYS sitting. For the past two weeks I've been babysitting unruly yarn and teaching new knitters while the owner has been on maternity leave and I have to say, I love being surrounded by yarn. Sometimes I find my juices waxing and waning too much but right now they are on a steady stream, I'm trekking along on a good and sturdy sock made from Austermann Step and I made the relatively easy decision to frog my 1/3 finished Hourglass Sweater and become a follower and make my own February Lady sweater with the Cash Iroha. I think I've gravitated back to socks not just because they are portable but because I was unsatisfied with the way the Hourglass Sweater was coming along. Technically everything was fine, the gauge was right, the fabric being made felt really good, I just don't think right now is a good time for me to make pullovers when cardigans are better suited to fluctuating body shapes.

Speaking of shapes, I BOUGHT NEW JEANS! Yup, I bought two pairs of new jeans (in smaller sizes because all my other ones kept falling down and I was embarrassed to keep tugging on them) one from a store for um, curvier girls, and one pair from Old Navy. Holy Shit, I also bought two t-shirts and a trench coat from ON, at they weren't even the largest sizes. I'm very proud of myself but I still have a long ways to go, my only worries is that the med study I'm on ends this month and I don't want to stop doing well. Part of it is what I eat and when I eat it and lately I have been bad about getting three square meals a day (I get lazy sometimes) and the other part are good old fashioned drugs. When I was talking to the study co-ordinator I asked her if I could make an appointment to see the head doctor after the study so I could get a prescription for the medication I'm positive I'm on and she said the doctor only takes new patients on referrals. Um, excuse me, I just donate my body for the last 6 months to science to help you on a research project and that doesn't count? Can you write me your own referral?? WTF??

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Post 195-Sitting Around

I always thought I did my best work sitting down, it's one activity I do well. It so happens I've been doing a lot of sitting lately, house sitting and store sitting that is. First the jewelry lady I do work for went on her first trunk show cruise at the same time her husband was on a business trip so I was asked to house sit. I hope she did well and made lots of money on the trip because that's the only way cleaning up parrot poop is worth it. She lives in the huge queen anne house in a historic area in Chicago, her house is a mostly beige and not very homey. On the upside besides of watching her two dogs and birds is her cable, I watched my hearts content of cable tv of the last week. Currently I'm store sitting at a local yarn store for the owner who just had a baby. There's a coffee shop next door and a radiator at my back, so I'm warm, cozy and surrounded by yarn, not a bad way to spend the afternoon eh?

I was trolling the net and found this test, I'm a Chicagoan so it wasn't too much of a surprise.

You are a

Social Liberal
(65% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(20% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Democrat

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Post 194-Variations of a Theme

I received my very first knitting magazine subscription in the mail last week. Grandma did me right this year at Festivus and gave a year of Interweave Knits to enjoy. Yes everyone, I am not ashamed to admit it but until last week I was a knitting magazine subscription virgin. I know it's less expensive to get it in the mail, but you have to understand a couple of things, mail service in Chicago usually sucks and I would go postal on the post office if my precious magazine that I so carefully archive where to arrive in my mailbox wet from rain or suffer damaged by being shoved in a box to small to contain it properly. Plus, I rather enjoy buying it from my LYS (or upon occasion the bookstore), waiting to get home to crack it open and slowly peruse its contents several times in complete bliss, it's a ritual. But I will not look a gift horse in the mouth and am ever so thankful that I have it, I am much happier with IK than I was with Simply Knitting that Grandma tried to give me several years ago.
I've looked it over once the other day and tomorrow I will scrutinize it again for fun but already a couple of interesting things have popped up. This first thing was brought to my attention via a lively Ravelry discussion.
How much would you pay to make this dress:

Overall the dress design is cute, I think the use of variegated yarn a travesty and takes a cute possibility and places it in the hall of fugly. Interweave Knits did a Vogue on us and published a dress design that they tried to sell us as actually knitable and wearable (versus Haute Couture or a wedding dress pattern which clearly is not) and put a price tag of....$440 on it, ouch. Of course they don't tell you to make that pattern with the exact yarn used and a decent enough knitter would know to switch out the recommended yarn and use one they liked and could afford, the problem is, and any knit shop owner could tell you, that a large percentage of knitters out there never vary from the yarn/color used in any given pattern published. What the hell? IK, if you want to dazzle us with a really expensive project that makes us knitters daydream about making it with exquisite yet expensive yarn, make it really REALLY stunning, not walking Barney vomit. If I had an unlimited budget and if the dress where in a solid color, any color, I wouldn't think twice about it.

Next up, Eunny Jang, I'm ashamed of you. I'm proud to say I caught this one myself.

They may not be identical twins but certainly fraternal. The colors used, the shapes, makes you wonder...

I wouldn't have caught this coincidence if I hadn't just seen the movie Penelope on my watch instant Netflix, but shame shame. This stuck in my head because not only did I see the movie but I am questioning the publishing of a pattern I'm working that is a variation on a theme from someone else's pattern. What to do? So the other day I made this quick hat from a free pattern. It's cute, very simple, almost basic knitting here. I changed a finishing detail and instead of using an over sized button as written I made a two-tone knit and crocheted flower with button center. Because I have 1 1/2 skeins of the yarn left over I must make something to match because I love a good accessories set. I've decided to play around with making some matching glove covers, the kind that you wear over the cheap stretchy gloves, has a hole for your thumb, comes up to your knuckles and goes half way up your arms. If I take one tiny detail, change it, make it my own and add it to a completely different type of garment, is it my own design and can I put my name on it?
Pictures and examples to follow as soon as the items in question are finished and pattern written up.

Sorry if this post was snarky, I must be feeling more myself now.

OMG!! How did I not know until just now that seasons 1-3 of American Chopper were on Netflix Watch Instant????? I love that show and was so happy that they started to air it occasionally on regular free TV.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Post 193-A Case of Indigo

God I love Chicago. So what if the politicians are corrupt, so what you get a boot after 2 measly parking tickets, you got the blues to soothe you. I never understood why we don't have a radio station that plays the good ole blues and jazz stuff, in the city you're lucky to pick up one of the suburban community colleges that play it. I understand the many shades of blue and how they relate to your feelings, and I've had a case of indigo. Not old fashion blue jean indigo, but deep dark stuff. When I was working at the Saudi museum I was cataloguing the costumes and came across these facemasks that some women would wear that only covered the face from the middle of the nose on up. Those masks were pounded with indigo and the color was so dark it looked shiny black, I get it now and I embrace it.

A new website I've been playing with, it's all the rage now.

The pale green Cash Iroha Hourglass Sweater is coming along, I'm almost finished with the decreasing at the bottom and am working my way up. I like the feeling of the new fabric I'm making with the smaller needles and even though I'm not the largest size I did cast on for it and I was going to add a couple more decreases to make it fit my waist, but I have this nagging feeling it might be too big. It's hard to say, I do have an hourglass shape with curvy hips and with the recent weightloss my waist is back, I just don't know. I'll give it a couple more inches but if I have to rip it out a third time, it might get frogged and put on the shelf for awhile in the "wrong time to knit this pile, stop now or you will really fuck it up".

Friday, February 06, 2009

Post 192-A Mournful Little Troll

The more I de-clutter my room the more I don't want to leave it, it has become my special cave. The more job searching I do the more I do not want to leave my bed. I feel like I'm in a holding pattern with 2-3 more weeks of agitation to go.
I have become a troll.

How do you mourn someone who was your godmother and great-aunt but only saw at weddings and funerals in a faraway mythical land called Texas? I feel so bad, not about her death because she lived a happy life to the age of 90, but because I didn't honestly know she was still alive. Lacking notification and funds I won't be able to go to the funeral. After a little cyber-sleuthing I found her memorial page set up by the funeral home in small town USA, boy was I surprised by how modern and high-tech they are, I signed the guest book and did my part.
I wonder which is worst to go to, a high school reunion or family reunion taking place at a funeral?

How effing depressing eh?

I need some serious knitting therapy, and perhaps a good walk with the dog.

P.S.-Fixed the laundry machine myself. I picked up a new belt, unplugged the unit, took off the front access panel, played around a bit and presto-chango, it was done. I wonder if I can or should deduct my labor cost from my rent check?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Post 191-The Gentle Warmth of Heat and Solving Lifes Little Dilemas

I am warm again, thank-you HVAC man, the bringer of heat. Being warm means I'm clean! Let me tell you, it is impossible to shower when your house is 50 degrees and I dared not bring a space heater into the bathroom (this would spell disaster and I don't want my burned fat ass on tv). I'm thinking that while it may seem silly, a heated toilet seat is not a stupid idea at all. In the midst of a really cold effing winter, try sitting on an ice cube while trying to take care of business and you'll agree. Come to think of it, when/if I ever win the lottery I will have not only a heated toilet seat, but heated floors and a small fireplace in the bathroom, just in case...

I have correctly diagnosed the problem with the laundry machine, yea me (FYI-until the repair is actually made and machine back in working order, the diagnoses is not 100% guaranteed). I partially opened the front just enough to see a broken belt, me smart cookie. Hopefully this too will be fixed soon. I have high hopes landlord will get new belt to match the model number I gave him and soon so I can try my hand at the repair, it doesn't look too hard according to help I found on-line. If I fix it do you think I can bill my landlord for the time?? I'm in desperate need of the laundry machine so I can shrink my jeans some more because they are getting way too baggy for my arse.

Turns out, Rachael should have been named Mary at birth, as in Typhoid Mary. After a very animated conversation at SnB tonight regarding my recently bought of stomach flu, the definition of what the stomach flu really is and who I knew that knew others that suffered the same afflication, I discovered the culprit, um carrier, Rachael! Sorry to tell you the bad news, but it's true. According to Wikipedia (the ultimate bringer of knowledge) "Typhoid Mary is a generic term for a carrier of a dangerous disease who is a danger to the public because of refusal to take appropriate precautions". No, my friend is not a carrier of a dangerous disease or danger to public health. Like me she loves the smell of bleach in the kitchen and the taste of overcooked meat (except for sushi and good steak, but close enough).

Not much knitting has been getting down, cold hands don't knit fast when they are praying to the porcelain goddess and as much as I love watching it, the fireplace DVD I have doesn't seem to generate any heat.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Post 190-They Come In Threes

First-The heater in my apartment went out on Friday. My landlord was contacted prompted which was easy since he lives upstairs from me. HVAC guy came out, fiddled a bit and then declared a new motor was needed and being that the time was near evening on the Saturday before the Superbowl, the likely hood of getting one before Monday was impossible. No problem, landlord gave roomie and I a couple of space heaters and all is well. Not so, Monday has come and gone and no heater guy, nope, not until tomorrow. This is a minor inconvenience and in the grand schemes not the end of the world, I have a fuzzy cat, hot little dog and uber warm down comforter to keep my cozy during this order except....

Second- Hours after coming home from Valerie's house warming party I come down with the stomach flu. It's been a good two years I think, though I can't really remember, since I was last sick, including catching a cold. I've had the flu and the stomach flu which really isn't the flu, but every time I try to forget the unnatural things your body has to go through, it's just wrong! I really think it was the stomach flu because I didn't have a fever or lingering chills, mine were just from the lack of warmth in the house. So either I got sick from someone or something at the party (and it was the most socializing I've done with the largest group of people I didn't know in a long time), or me being a good girl and eating healthy backfired and the spinach salad I shared with Karen at Knit1 while I was helping her out last week backfired. I'll call her tomorrow and ask if she felt OK this weekend.

Third-In my drawn out attempt at cleaning and purging the excess in my room, I have discovered tonight that my laundry machine no longer wishes to cooperate and has denied me it's agitation and spin cycle. Thankfully all the undies and jeans are clean and all I really needed to do next were some sweaters which I guess can do the old fashion soak and air dry way.

See, these things do come in threes.

Mia keeping warm in the burrow she made in my down duvet just as I was writing this post, ahhhh.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Post 189-Houston, We Have a Sweater

Yea, it's finally done! I have finished my Ravolypics Tangled Yoke Sweater. There is no excuse for the delay because the truth is I did do lots of other knitting but I just got bored with the tedium of knitting on size 3 needles. Other than my blackhole/buttons and lace issue, I am very happy with my overall execution and the replacement ribbon and buttons I ended up using. I did learn several interesting things through this process.

1. Always keep the buttons and ribbon/lace trim together with the project yarn and do not lose it.
2. I learned how to cable sidways which is very sharp looking.
3. Do not steam your buttonhole band too much or it will pucker more than the buttonband.
4. I learned how to use the timer feature to take my own picture.

I am still in the process of doing a massive cleaning of my bedroom, starting with all my clothes and the clutter that has spilled over onto my floor. I really need to evaluate my wardrobe and give away/donate clothing that is old, stuff I do not wear, and items that no longer or never really did fit me. I am 4 months into my PCOS study and have lost 33 pounds, yea right? I have some items that don't fit because they are too big and others that are too small. I want to pare down my stuff and look over everything because I have the feeling the knickknack clutter that I thought I once needed I can probably live without. I have been needing to repaint my walls, no strike that, I never painted my walls to begin with so they are cover with nail holes, smudges, marks and wear, but before that I need to have a presentable room.
Next on my list as I finish up on the clothing sorting is the re-arrangement of my wall art. I was about to throw away a pair of gold gilt framed postcards of a Van Gogh and Monet that I bought at the gift shop at the Art Institute years and years ago. They no longer are cute and actually are pretty ugly now but the other night I was inspired and while they are cheap frames they do have a nice texture.



See-much better! I just popped out the post card, added a couple of layers of black acrylic paint, covered the backboard with really nice stationary paper, and attach a couple of collectible Sterling Silver Towle Christmas ornaments/pendats and Voila! I dare Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters to do better.

This was a nice braided wheel of spaced dyed roving I picked up at the Renegade Craft Fair last autumn that I dare not spin because I its just too pretty and my spinning skills are sorely lacking right now. Frame it and call it wall art.

Still on my needles are:
-Nora's holiday scarf, easy but bland.
-The evil Habu paper bag.
-Need to make one more thing for my sisters Domestic Diva birthday set.

What I am starting:
-Hourglass Sweater. I did start it and got 6 inches in but I realized that while I did do a swatch it's just too loose and way too big.
-Scheherazade Slippers, these are a store sample/pattern editing for Tactile Fibers.

Obligatory Cheesecake Shot.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Post 188-You Say Goodbye, I say Hello...

Good bye El Presidente Bush, go back to your compound in Texas, we don't require your services anymore.
Hello President Obama, doesn't that have a nice ring to it and doesn't it just sound good rolling off your tongue? Funny thing is, Obama comes up under lined in my spell check, I guess someone out there needs to add Obama to Blogger's dictionary. I woke up early and camped myself on the couch all day to watch the events and I believe a tear or two may have rolled down my face. I am happy.

I always believed there were invisible black holes in my bedroom because of there shear number of socks that came up with missing mates. My theory is sound because I moved a lot as a kid growing up and I never found those socks when my room was packed up and I know I didn't throw them away, what the hell happened to them. I think a small black hole has infiltrated my yarn stash. First to go missing was the white/gray/black cashmere Tess Designer Yarn that I purchased at Stitches this summer to make my grandmother a cowl for Christmas. I pulled apart my stash and went through every single container. I should have been there in the white bin, nope, not even in the black bin, I organize my stash by bin color and it has always been easy to find everything. Now I am literally 4 rows away from finishing the Tangled Yoke sweater and I can't find the 3 different green lace trim colors I ordered or one of the sets of buttons I bought, they were stored together and have disappeared. Like the cashmere yarn, I know they made it into the house because I photographed them and now I don't know what to do, I've looked everywhere.
I guess I'll have to start another sweater in the meantime.


I snapped this nice winter picture walking through a park on the way to the Windy City Knitting Guild meeting on tuesday.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Post 187-A Touch of Insomnia, A Dash of Creativity

It's amazing what you can get done when you embrace the sleepless nights instead of fighting. Such, during a viewing of All the President's Men via Netflix, I kitchnered the armpits of the Tangled Yoke, wove in the ends and knitted a few more rows. When I attempted to go to bed, which was fruitless, I got really bored and surfed the web. Mix one part Mucha, one part self-portrait, stir with Photoshop and Voila! you too can find yourself inside a Mucha print. FYI-he's one of my favorite artists.

Yea, it's not my best work, but then again I was never studied computer graphics and stuck with the fashion/fiber stuff instead. I think tomorrow I will rearrange the art on my bedroom walls for a fresh look, clean my room, put crisp sheets on the bed, take a nice hot bath, drink a nightcap and see how that goes.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Post 186- Weather:Wicked

It is effing cold here, no, excuse me but it's no time to be polite, it's fucking cold here, really. I was reading up on some news on the Chicago Sun Times website and where it described the weather conditions it just said wicked. We keep the house here at 64, though sometimes I can't stand it and raise it to 66 or 68, oh I'm so bad! Today I remembered the wise words of Brenda Dayne of Cast-On, "If it's cold out, put a sweater on, that's what they're there for" and took it to heart. Normal I putz around the house in jeans and a sweater, sweats or even sometimes my pj's. Today I wore two pairs of socks, thermal bottoms, long thermal skirt, t-shirt, long plaid granny pj's and a wool cardigan, and then was on the couch with two blankets, a really furry siamese to keep my arms warm and a not so furry Italian greyhound to keep my legs warm, I think I was successful. This year roomie and I even put up thick insulating curtains and shirk-wrapped several windows to see if that would help.
Yesterday when I ventured out to Stitch and Bitch I was happy to have my new whimple and had to wear a pair of stretchy gloves inside my warmest lined wool winter gloves. I am so grateful for Megan who ventured out from suburbia to join us, she kindly drove Rachael and I back to out places and saved us from long cold walks and waits for the never coming bus/train. This losing weight thing has been a mixed blessing, yes my jeans are loose and it sucks that they are looking sad and baggy on me but at least I can wear my thermals underneath without them becoming too tight!
I tagged-along with Laura to the Noble Square Stitch and Bitch on sunday and had a lovely time, I might have to go back more often. Besides the always yummy food was a nice group of gals, one who ever brought her wheel. Lucky me to pick the white elephant meeting to go to, I made a set of 6 tourmaline and silver on aluminum rings stitchmarkers for the swap and in the ended up with a gorgeous skein of handspun yarn. Gift swapping always makes me a little nervous and I prefer to have amount limits but when you or other people make things I think we always undervalue our skills. I know that the yarn I got would sell for way more than the swap limit was and same for my stitchmarkers, but they were small and I kept thinking if someone really wanted them, I would just give them away. I guess I'm still not used to charging for my creative time or skill.
Anyway, I think tomorrow would be a great day to venture out of the house and into the cold again. I need to go to Keihls to exchange some facewash that I bought with a holiday GC, I got the wrong formula and then head on over to Knit1 to pick up another repair project and the moula from the holiday stockings I knitted. I know lately I haven't been sleepy well, just can't get to sleep and have resorted to drugging myself or have a nightcap of scotch, which might be why I've been having weird dreams. Besides the weird one about sock yarn and books, I had one where I dreamed the flat iron building here in Wickerpark didn't contain artists studios but a yarn dying company that was closing shop and had a big sale. There are more details than that but the fact it was about yarn again, sad. I picked out some sock yarn from my stash and was playing with it a bit thinking maybe I need to have a pair of socks on my needles but it wasn't going anywhere so instead, get this, I'm working on the Tangled Yoke again. It's amazing how much knitting you can get done when you don't watch crappy daytime tv and depressing news and instead watch movies on Netflix or Hulu. I finished the second sleeve, have attached them and now am working on one giant cardigan, officially I am 3.5 inches from the tangled part of the yoke, Yea!!!!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Post 185- In Which I Dreamed of Socks and Other Things

So last night I dreamed of socks, sock yarn, sock patterns, sock books, sock designer friends etc. Why? I guess I'm bored with kitchen cotton knitting and sweater knitting and would rather be doing something else. My old friend Cookie A has a sock book coming out in the spring and I'm really excited for her, I remember two years ago our IM messages regarding sock patterns, how to market them, what stores to go to and book titles, how the time passes. Tomorrow I will choose from my stash and cast on a new pair.
FYI-I hope Linda is feeling better because I sure am. If you ever find yourself in Chicago and want an awesome place to get a drink, try the Violet Hour and ask for the punch that starts with a P, I can't remember what it's called, but boy it sure creeps up on you and it's really cheap. I was more buzzed than I thought and I enjoyed my walk home from the train, it was snowing snow-globe snow, all glitter like and pretty, I was thinking naughty thoughts about the shapes in the snow, I will sleep well tonight.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Post 184-My Table Runneth Over

What what a mob last night at Stitch and Bitch Wickerpark/Bucktown, it was a blast. There is a lull of public knitting during the hot months, and now that the holidays are over and we are getting ready for 4 months plus of bitter cold snowy Chicago winter we'll have lots of time to have fun.
My sister's birthday is coming up at the end of month and I have no idea what to get her, so she's getting some good ole fashioned handknits. Seeing as how sis lives in Texas, no sweaters for her (which I wouldn't have done anyway). I know that her kitchen is ivy themed and there are lots of lovely kitchen cotton projects in the second Mason Dixon Knitting book.

Behold, a hanging dishcloth.

I plan on making her a swifter cover, oven mitt, rubber gloves and several dish clothes, let's just hope she isn't afraid to use them. I wonder if she ever used the fur lined handcuffs I sent her a couple of years ago...

Monday, January 05, 2009

Post 183-And Underneath Her Whimple She Has Curlers In Her Hair!

I think the new knitting project craze are whimples. Everyone is making them and every since I saw Linda's (and tried to steal it at SnB) I had to have one. Secretly deep down I always wanted to be a nun. Once upon a time when I was a child I was Catholic, but it wasn't the religion thing that appealed to me (because I think god if there is one is a female), but more that I liked the outfits. I'm still disturbed by the fact that the nun's at the high school I went to didn't wear the full penguin outfits and you could see their curly gray grandma hair sticking out from under their short white wimples. Doubt was a great movie but what's up with the bonnets?
So I have made my own wimple and will no longer be trying to borrow others. Several weeks ago I found myself in west suburbia and make a trek to String Theory. My first instinct was to use Meriboo from Frog Tree, such luster it had and I've never worked with bamboo before. Instead at the last minute I picked some Imperial Stock Ranch. As much as I really liked the yarn, it's color, the lingering hints of lanolin, and it being American made, bred and grown, it just didn't have the drape that I was looking for, so back to Meriboo I went.

I just finished it tonight and while it is a little short I have no doubt that it will stretch with use. The next project that needs to be finished it Nora's scarf. I cannot for the life of me remember what the pattern's name is, it's so easy to do you memorize it right away and I don't think I put it in my favs, oh well.
I will get back to working on the Tangled Yoke after I finish knitting up gifts.

Mia and Pyewacket.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Post 182- One Month of Pictures

The cranberry sauce I made for Thanksgiving. Same recipe was repeated for Festivus but with added Clementine peel, cloves and crystallized ginger, yum!
FYI-I just started making the sauce when this pic was taken, I prefer my cranberries cooked until after bursting so it's nice a thick.

The Foliage hat I made for my cousin Patricia for Festivus, yarn came from stash diving and used up some Malabrigo that had been languishing for years. Changed pattern to only 2.5 repeats.

The call went out in the Chicago knitting circles that Jamba Juice was introducing hot oatmeal and as part of the marketing campaign they hired some of us knitters to come and knitfitti the store on Michigan Ave just north of the Art Institute.

I crocheted the cover of the handle on the outside sign display after the previous knitted bow was removed by some stranger walking down the street, I guess they need a scarf? It was kind of funny seeing it happen.

I knitted the orange and green striped bar cover and mattress stitched everyones cover on.

Made a quicky crocheted doily cover for one of the tables, it's removable!

The bane of my existence for several weeks, these damn stockings took way longer than expected but I am glad to get them done, I am offically a knitwhore.

I joined Linda and her niece and nephew on their visit to the Art Institute to view the tapestry exhibit, it was sub zero that day and fucking cold!

Linda and I smile with some holiday cheer in front of a poinsettia display in the Art Institute.

While waiting for some in our party to make use of the restrooms I played around with snapping some photos in the statue area that I never really noticed before. This is a favorite of mine now, I kept staring at it thinking I really need to get myself a lover this year.

Linda chatting it up.

So Festivus dinner was at my house with John, John, Valerie and Rachael coming over for food and just general good times.

I was ironing the table cloth only to find that a little creature wanted to make a tent out of it.

The table was well set considering that the only items I bought for the occasional were the candles and some matching red cloth napkins. I made pomander balls with clementines and cloves and made some glittering pine cones for a decorative splash.

Rachael was proud of her(our) turkey and couldn't wait to carve it. I say our turkey since I helped carry it into the house, it took up space in my fridge, we brined it in my cooler, Rachael got turkey juice all over my kitchen and it was roasted in my oven. I may not have slapped some cash down for it but I think I still contributed to it's well being and tastiness.

Someone said something funny and I think Valerie is agreeing with it.

John chilling on the couch after dinner, Pyewacket really REALLY likes him.

A nice little Potpie I made with leftover turkey, veggies, and a piecrust, um yummy!

Mia enjoying her Festivus gift from Nora.

Self portrait.

New Years Eve revelry with Nora and Valerie make growling faces.

We went out to Chief O'Neils for NYE partying with Rachael, Valerie and Nora with Val's boy joining us later. We wanted to keep it on the cheapside and all the planned events in the city were sooooo expensive. There's nothing better than good friends, cheddar bear soup and a tumbler of scotch.

Happy New Year! I started earlier that day with some wine and then this champagne and even after a night out barely managed to achieve a really happy buzz.