Thursday, August 28, 2008

Malabrigo Swap Goodies

Anyone who snoops around my ravelry profile a bit can see that I do a lot of swaps. I don't always update this blog with all the swap swag I get cause I just don't always remember, and I don't want anyone's feeling to be hurt by not being recognized/thanked in my blog. However, I have so many pictures and wonderful things to say about my recently received Malabrigo Swap package, that I just couldn't fit all this gushing in the forums :).

The theme of the round of the swap was to create a Magic Yarn Ball, a ball of yarn with little goodies hidden inside, so when you knit with it (or greedily unwind it right away) you discover all these little surprises! It took my mild OCD about yarn a little while to get used to this idea, but eventually I got excited about it and signed up for the swap. It's a good thing I did cause I got to get to know Katie in Seattle (dancingsheep on ravelry), who sent me the most amazing gift! She themed my package "children's books" which obviously, I love.

As I navigated through the brightly wrapped gifts, I read this little picture book that Katie made for me with beautiful photos of the Seattle Public Library and children's book covers. Almost every book represented a little gift. Each gift was so well chosen; Katie did a great job of stalking me!

The first gift I opened was the pattern for Koolhaas, which I have been lusting after for quite some time! Coincidently, the new Seattle Public Library's architechture was designed by Rem Koolhaas. How cool is that?!


Here are all of the pretty packages (minus Koolhaas) complete with children's book cover tags!


Next I was instructed to open this gorgeous handknit hemp washcloth and honeysuckle L'Occitane soap by the book The Won't-Take-a-Bath-Cure. This is actually a book I've never seen, and it looks like a useful one! I love the washcloth--it's almost too pretty to use! And I know I mentioned somewhere on the Malabrigo Swap boards that I love the scent of honeysuckle, but I'm not sure I mentioned why. It kind of has a sentimental meaning for me because in one of the villages I visited in Greece on the island of Ios (where Homer is supposed to be buried!) there were these arches of honeysuckle draped all over above these cobblestone pathways up a mountain. It was so quaint and breathtakingly beautiful. The honeysuckle scent was positively intoxicating, and every time I smell it now a part of me goes back to Greece.


Next I opened a package tagged with the newest Magic Tree House book. It was the pattern for the Tree Jacket, a gorgeous Zephyr Style pattern that I bought and promptly lost/threw away.

The next page in the book directed me to a delicious looking box of Cinnamon-Orange tea from Seattle's Pike Place Market. At least, there's a picture of Pike Place Market on the box, and that's good enough for me. What was the book corresponding to this, you might ask? Why, Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea, of course. I just love Cynthia Rylant. She could rewrite the dictionary and make it sound cute.

The next several pages unveiled two delicious skeins of Malabrigo--a skein of chunky in Verde Esperanza for Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan and a skein of worsted in Emerald for The Emerald City of Oz by L. Frank Baum. They are so gorgeous, I can't get over it.


All right, so they kind of look like they are humping in that picture, which is so not what I intended. Trust me.

The following pages of the book led me to some orgasmic-looking (ok, and tasting, I tried it already) chocolate, courtesy of none other than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl stuck around to lead me to my MYB with James and the Giant Peach. The MYB was made out of Dream In Color Classy (!) in the colorway Giant Peach. Seriously, who noticed that there were so many yarn colorways either named after or reminiscent of children's book titles? I'm surprised I never noticed this before.

Inside the MYB I found a blue and brown pencil case/notions holder printed with different book genres. This is perfect! I also found post its with a pretty turquose border and a "J" on them, two packets of Soak in Citrus, some locking stitch markers (I've never tried these, but I like them cause I think they'll work for crochet as well), some very pretty pewter and blue buttons with different floral designs embossed on them, a pink sharpie highlighter that I can clip onto my oh-so-stylish nametag lanyard at work, and tons of pretty beads that will be good for either stitch markers or knitting with beads, which I think I am ready to try!

Here's a final picture of all the goodies together:


To say I'm pleased would be the understatement of the summer. Thank you Katie! You knocked my (hand-knit) socks off!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Quidditch Round 3

1. When Hagrid returns to Hogwarts after being sent to see the giants with Madame Maxime, Professor Umbridge questions him on his late return to school. She suspects that Hagrid had been to the mountains, but where does he tell her he has been?

d. South of France

2. Professor Umbridge comes to Hagrid's Hut and searches his cabin one evening (as she believes Harry, Ron and Hermione are there visiting him at night when they are not supposed to). When she walks past the place where Harry, Ron and Hermione are hiding under the Invisibility Cloak, Harry holds his breath. True or false?

b. False

3. A stately-looking witch in an emerald green shawl is one of the members of the Advance Guard who rescues Harry from Privet Drive. What is her name?

a. Emmeline Vance

4. What is the name of the witch who was killed two weeks after the photo of the original Order of the Phoenix was taken?

b. Marlene McKinnon

5. Which two fifth year Ravenclaw students does Dumbledore choose to be prefects?

d. Anthony Goldstein and Padma Patil

6. Which house was Rose Zeller sorted into?

d. Hufflepuff

7. What is the color of Murtlap's essence?

c. Yellow

8. Name the Ravenclaw girl who became prefect in Harry's fifth year

b. Padma Patil

9. According to a healer's portrait at St. Mungo's hospital, which disease was Ron suffering from?

d. Spattergroit

10. Which book did Harry give Hermione for Christmas?

a. "A New Theory of Numerology"

Picture Scavenger Hunt

Padma Patil

Hannah Abott


Dumbledore's Army

Cedric Diggory

(Extra 5 pts - What movie will Robert Patterson star in this December?) Twilight!

Owl Delivery!

Just as I was getting my owl ready to send out a VIP (Very Important Package), another bird swooped into my window! This poor owl was very tired, as he had flown here all the way from Azerbaijan where my spoiler's hubby works for the US Embassy (right?) I gave him some water right away, and he even stooped to eating the cat food I had just put out for my hungry little familiars.

Bella Shacklebolt did a fabulous job of spoiling me! She must have used occlemency to determine exactly what I want and need the most! If it's not too late, I'd like to nominate her for the Best Kit award.

As soon as I opened the box I knew I was in for a treat, because the package was beautifully wrapped and adorned with some cute stickers: A Gryffindor crest and the charming Neville Longbottom, one of my favorite characters.


Right on top of the package I found a beautiful zippered pouch from an Azerbaijian street market adorned with a Kingsley Shacklebolt sticker--my favorite member of the OotP and Bella's father. This pouch will be perfect for storing little notions.


Here are the rest of the magical goodies:


Bella sent me a gorgeous felted bag in Gryffindor colors. It's the perfect size for a small-medium project or my lunch! I just love the pebbly texture that yarn takes on when it felts--it makes me so happy. This particular felted bag is so fluffy and soft--it must be a wool/alpaca or wool/mohair blend. I love it! Also included was a booklet on the Magic Loop technique (love this!), TWO sets of needles--size US0 bamboo dpns and a KnitPicks metal circ in a US1 (perfect for magic loop!), dpn and wip tubes (My dpn collection is all over the place and I am forever dropping stitches when my wip bounces around in my handbag, so I really need these!), point protectors (will also help with the wip control), the most amazing stitch markers from etsy (KnitSticks), and best of all, gorgeous gorgeous yarn from Cosmic Fibers. The stitch markers are unbelievable. There's so much detail, yet they're so tiny. Each one has a different crest--each of the houses and the final one has the Hogwarts crest. I requested yarn that is reminiscent of the HP and the OotP book cover, and I can't believe how gorgeous it is. It's a varigated blue and charcoal gray yarn, and the colors have such depth, I can't stop looking at them. Bella tells me that the Cosmic Fibers had a HP book cover yarn club, and I am so jealous that I missed out on this! I'll definitely be visiting this seller's etsy shop soon :).

By the way...I wasn't the only one who enjoyed this special delivery. Check out one of my cats exploring and eating the box it all came in.

First she played with the ribbon


Then she got friendly with the box.

IMG_1563 IMG_1564


(She doesn't seem to know it, but she's a little too fat and fluffy to fit in that box) I think she approves.

Thanks, Bella!

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Won!

I haven't won anything since I won the "Read Around the World" contest at Adamsville School in third grade. I was a quiet, shy child, and I was so excited that I could compete in something I actually was actually good at--unlike so many of my traumatic experiences with gym class dodgeball. I spent all of my free time with my nose in a book during that contest. Yet I was still so surprised when my name was announced over the loudspeaker. Me, a winner?

I guess I still have that attitude, because I was completely stunned when I saw my name on Laurie (trumom on ravelry)'s winners post. Laurie is walking in the San Francisco Bay Area Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk, and she had a raffle to encourage ravelers to donate for this great cause. I hesitated to donate not because I doubted the worthiness of the cause but because I didn't think my donation was enough. The 3-Day walk is a big deal, and walkers are required to raise a lot of money to participate. My $10, all I could afford to give, was really just a drop in the bucket, no? Does $10 really make a difference? Furthermore, would I even have a chance of winning a raffle prize when other donating ravelers surely could afford to give more than I did? Then I stopped all those negative thoughts and reminded myself that (1) It's not about the prizes, and (2) Every little bit really does count. So I made my donation and moved on. Now, thanks to that small bit of generosity on my part, and a huge bit of generosity on Laurie's part, I am the proud winner of a skein of alpaca yarn from K2Tog, Laurie's LYS in San Francisco.

The raffle is over, but you can still donate to Laurie, Michelle, or Deena, other members of Team BFF (Breast Friends Forever). Even though neither my family nor I have been affected by breast cancer, it's a cause I feel passionate about. Just think of everyone in your life who loves or appreciates your boobs. Maybe it's your significant other or a child you nursed, or maybe you just think you look dead sexy in a turtleneck sweater. That's reason enough for me!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Gryffindor Quiz

Cryptogram (sort of)



I say sort of because a in a true
cryptogram no letter can represent itself and in this one, neither "p" nor "m" were encoded. It was still cool and fun to figure out, though. Now I want to make my up own little coded messages! Like I have time for another hobby...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quidditch Victory!

Wow, CentyB of Gryffindor found the snitch! We really needed this boost, so I'm happy. I'm also glad we did a rerelease of the snitch this round. Even if I can't get to the computer to look for the snitch along with everyone else at game time, I like to read the clue(s) and figure it out on my own. It just wasn't fun for me to search randomly. Even though the clue was pretty hard, I tried!

Gryffindor Quiz

Who is your favorite member of the Order of the Phoenix? I have a special place in my heart for Lupin. I also love Dumbledore, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and Tonks.

Favorite person at Hogwarts?
Ah, Dumbledore.

Favorite spell or charm to use?
I like to use Vanishing Spells for messes. Or annoying people.

Best and worst classes at Hogwarts? Worst--definitely Potions. I'm horrible at mixing and following directions. In muggle high school I could never light the bunsen burner in chemistry class. When I did manage to light it, I was so surprised that I usually blew it out. My best class is probably Transfiguration, as I am very crafty and good at transforming things.

Favorite flower? Pansies--I have a tattoo of one one my back.

What is your beverage of choice? Coffee, tea, latte, soda/pop? mmm tea. I drink green tea every day, and iced tea is so refreshing.

Favorite muggle music? I honestly like everything except some rap and heavy metal. Some of my favorites are the Beatles, Guster, Coldplay, Jack Johnson, Carrie Underwood

How many family members do you have? 6 including me. I have two brothers, a sister, and my parents.

What do you do on your summer vacation? What is your Favorite vacation ever taken?
My favorite vacation ever would have to be the one I took to Italy and Greece two years vacation for me this year. I am very busy at work during the summer, though, so I don't even miss it. yeah, right.

What is your favorite subject at Hogwarts? Why?
Transfiguration because who hasn't wanted to turn someone into a frog at some point?

How many pairs of shoes (footwear) do you have? Which are your favorite pair?
I can't even count how many pairs of shoes I have but my favorites are my reef flip flops--most comfortable shoes ever.

How many projects do you have OTN (on the needles)? 4

What is the oldest project you're working on and when did you cast it on?
I started a blanket about 18 months ago that has been hibernating for about a year.

Favorite food(s)?
sushi and ice cream

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Quidditch Round 2

1. At the beginning of the year feast, who is the only person who rudely interrupts Dumbledore during his speech?

b. Professor Umbridge

2. Off what street is the alley where Harry first met Sirius?

Magnolia Crescent

3. Tonks’ mother had two sisters, both pure-bloods, and both left on the Black Family Tree. What are their names?

c. Narcissa and Bellatrix

4. What spell are the students studying in McGonalgall’s class when Umbrdige is doing her inspection?
d. The Vanishing Spell

5. Who comes to warn Harry and the rest of Dumbledore’s Army that Umbridge and her group of followers are coming to break up their meeting?

Answer: Dobby
6. Who are the members of the Order that met Harry Potter in the Dursely’s house during the summer before his fifth year?

c. Alastor Moody, Nymphadora Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Elphias Doge, Dedalus Diggle, Remus Lupin, Emmeline Vance, Sturgis Podmore, Hestia Jones

7. Moody used the Disillusionment Charm on Harry.
a. yes

8. Which of these Death Eaters is Sirius related to?

d. All of these

9. At what age did Sirius leave his home?

Answer: 16

10. How many of the original Order members were killed (don’t include those who disappeared)?
b. 8

Saturday, June 14, 2008


1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago I was finishing up my freshman year of high school. I don't remember much from that year except that it was pretty uneventful. I started having lots of fun sophomore year...

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today?
Well, it's Saturday and the day is winding down, so thankfully I don't have that much more on my to-do list. Earlier today my only responsiblities were getting myself showered, dressed and over the the WWKIP day at my LYS. I tried to go to my other knitting group after that, but I was running too late and didn't make it. The #1 thing that I must do today is finish the socks I'm knitting for my dad for Father's Day, which is tomorrow. I'm about to start decreasing for the toe on the second sock, so I know they'll be done. If only I could wave my magic wand and let the needles knit the sock themselves...

3. Snacks I enjoy
I love popcorn, especially kettle corn, but plain old fat free butter popcorn is great too. I recently learned how to pop popcorn on the stove in a big soup pot with olive oil. It's so fun, and it is literally the best tasting popcorn I've had in my entire life. I also love Stacy's Pita Chips, soy crisps, all forms of chocolate, ice cream, and sushi. If I could only eat 2 foods for the rest of my life they'd be sushi and ice cream.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire
Pay off my student loans and credit cards, buy a house, buy my parents a shore house, take a trip around the world, and give a lot to charity.

5. Places I've lived
Bridgewater, NJ, and Boston, MA

6. Jobs I've had
library page, starbucks barista, daycare caregiver, SAT Prep teacher, preschool teacher, Victoria's Secret slave, children's library assistant

7. Peeps I want to know more about...I have enjoyed the posts of the following on HSKS and Ravelry, and invite you to respond to this Meme if you care to:
Firenze Spinnet
Jalanna Kedavra
Minerva Dumbledore
Ophelia Ballycastle
Laeita Khandylle Haxloeffen Bharnoell

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Second Gryffindor Quiz

Unscramble the words below:

1. onihexp __phoenix__
2. nro__ron____
3. mayr___army________
4. seelway___weasley_______
5. hrigda___hagrid______
6. ifdynrrgof___gryffindor_
7. dawn__wand_________
8. oshawrgt____hogwarts_____
9. busnim___nimbus________
10. bdulodeerm___dumbledore____
11. bydob___dobby________
12. bugmrdie__umbridge_____
13. emionehr____hermione___
14. rhayr____harry_________
15. arkreech____kreacher___
16. riissu____sirius_______
17. dootvlemr___voldemort____
18. ptrote___potter_______
19. hwgedi____hedwig____
20. ebtahlkclso__shacklebolt______

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Quidditch Round 1

1. Which of Arabella Figg's cats ran out from under the car
a. Tibbles

2. Which of the following is NOT one of Albus Dumbledore's middle names?
a. Ignatius

3. Which educational decree introduced a High Inquisitor to Hogwarts

4. Apart from Harry, Ron and Hermione, who was the first person to enter the Hog's Head that showed an interest in Harry's Defence Against the Dark Arts classes
a. Neville Longbottom

5. In the first Quidditch match of the year which player attempted to score first
a. Angelina Johnson

6. What kind of bush does Harry hide behind to listen to the news
b. A hydrangea bush

7. Why is Mundungus Fletcher disguised as a woman when he witnesses the DA (Dumbledore's Army) meeting in the Hog's Head pub
b. He was banned from the Hog’s Head pub 20 years ago

8. When Harry and Cho go on their first date to Madam Puddifoot's in Hogsmeade, what is it decorated with for Valentine's Day
c. Golden cherubs and pink confetti

9. How old is Sturgis Podmore and where does he live
a. 38 and number 2 Laburnum Gardens Clapham

10. What did Fred and George Weasley do to Montague
a. Forced him head-first into a Vanishing Cabinet on the first floor

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Redneck...and shoulders, and back...

It's a pretty good thing that I have this week off, cause I haven't been able to comfortably wear anything more supportive than a bikini top since before my beach trip on Sunday. My sister and I went to the shore at Seven Presidents Beach in Long Branch, NJ. I'd highly recommend it. Even though it was Memorial Day Weekend, it wasn't too crowded. This beach really never is too crowded, but I don't understand why--it's gorgeous! It's always clean, they have nice, clean bathrooms, a little snack bar, a nice patio area to eat your snacks on, a huge playground for kids, AND there's usually a sandbar in the ocean! I don't really understand the whole "Closing NJ State Parks" thing that was talked about over the past few months, and I'm not even sure if that plan was put into action or not. But either way, I am sooo glad this state park is still open. It's my favorite one, hands down. But anyway, back to me. My sister was only responsible for putting sunscreen on my upper back. Funny, that's the only place I got burned. After a little while I turned my back towards her and said "Sar, my back feels kinda hot. Is it red?" She was like "Umm...yeah, let me put some more lotion on." So she did. I knew I was in trouble when she said, "It's the worst here," and touched the sides of my lower upper back, sorta almost under my arms. Great. The fleshy part that always seems to be pinched by my bra, no matter what size it is. Of course, it doesn't hurt when your skin isn't barbequed. So, it's halter tops for me for a few days. Luckily, I have plenty of those to put into the rotation.

I don't want to waste all of the sunshine today--I'm off to dye some naked bamboo for a very lucky ravelry swap spoilee!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

First Gryffindor Quiz!

1. Molly and Arthur Weasley have 7 children. Name three. Ron, Ginny, Percy
2. What is the full name of Gryffindor house ghost Nearly Headless Nick?
Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington
3. Which Ravenclaw sports a hat with a Gryffindor-like life sized lion's head which roars in Order of the Phoenix? Luna Lovegood
4. Name five members of the Order of the Phoenix. Molly Weasley, Arthur Weasley, Remus Lupin, Arabella Fig, Nymphadora Tonks

5. What is the profession of Hermione Granger's parents? they are dentists!
6. What is your favorite thing to knit or crochet? socks, lace, shrugs, cute sweaters, pretty scarves or wraps
7. What is Professor Minerva McGonagall's animagus? cat
8. What size needles (DPNs, circular or loop) do you prefer for knitting socks? US1, but I'd also like to try a US 0 and US1.5
9. Where are the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix? the house at 12 Grimmauld Place, the Black family's home
10. What is your favorite pastime when not studying at Hogwarts? traveling or going to the beach
11. What is the name of the last book you read? Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs--so funny!
12. Which Gryffindor used to play "Charlie's Angels" and always was Bosley? That would be the fabulously friendly Lizzie Wychwood!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

If Only...

What Harry Potter Wand Are You?
Your Result: 11.5" Yew, Unicorn Hair

Your wand is of average length, with a flexible and long-lasting wood. Unicorn Hair is less common than most wand cores (owing to the high probability of being skewered), though easily found at Ollivander's. Your wand is ideal for Charms.

12.5" Yew, Dragon Heartstring
11" Mahogany, Unicorn Hair
14" Holly, Veela Hair
9" Willow, Phoenix Feather
10.5" Ash, Phoenix Feather
11" Ash, Hippogriff Talon
8.5" Mahogany, Dragon Heartstring">What Harry Potter Wand Are You?">See All Our Quizzes
I think that socks are one of the most special items you can knit for someone. There's something so thrilling about constructing such a basic, necessary garment out of nothing more than sticks and string. All of knit or crochet is pretty amazing. Unlike other methods of constructing garments, like sewing, we knitters/crocheters start from scratch, creating our own fabric. But socks still amaze me. That is why, about a week and a half ago, I set off to knit my dad a pair of socks. He had been in the hospital for about 4 days following a minor stroke, a TIA, and I was already feeling guilty for not knitting him something. But I thought he'd be home soon. And what was I supposed to do? Knit him a bathrobe? Men can be so difficult sometimes. Then he was tentatively scheduled for surgery to unblock his carotid artery. It was 95% blocked. The intense worry set in. I was afraid that his heart wasn't healthy enough for the surgery. I felt so guilty thinking these horrible things, but I couldn't help it. I know he was worried too. I set off to knit him a pair of socks. Worsted weight slipper socks. Time was not something I had lots of...with his surgery and who knows what looming on the horizon, I needed these socks to be done. I knit so fast and so constantly, that my hand began to cramp up. But I finished those socks in 12 hours. I NEEDED him to have those socks before the surgery. Not because I thought there was a chance he wouldn't be around after the surgery, I just needed him to have worn them and know that I cared enought to knit them before he went to sleep. Then his stress test came back with abnormalities, and he had to have another scary-sounding test. A cardiac catheterization. I looked it up on WebMD right away, and was totally stunned. It sounded more like surgery than a test! The sinking feeling I had been trying to ignore for the past week immediately took over my body. I felt guilty when I was not surprised when I found out that my dad needed to have heart surgery. A triple bypass. I have seen him cry before; he's even cried during sad, stupid movies. But to see your father cry because he is afraid for his life is an entirely different experience. Well, I cried. A lot. I clung to my family; my siblings and I came together to support our parents, and we all hoped and prayed for the best. But feared the worst. When you are faced with the extreme illness and possible death of a family member, it is hard to care about much else. It's probably even impossible to pretend to care about who gets kicked off of American Idol or how understaffed your department is at work. But I cared about my knitting. I could control that. And I was happy that my dad was wearing those slipper socks. Even if they were a little itchy, I think he was happy too.

Well, his surgery was a week ago today, and thankfully, it was a success. Without a doubt or an ounce of exaggeration, last week, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, were the worst days of my life. Not knowing if Monday would be my last day with my dad was a completely morbid but anavoidable thought. Wanting to say goodbye, but needing to show a postive, hopeful attitude was excruciating. Waiting, for eight hours, was absolute torture. And even after the surgery, seeing him all puffed up with extra fluids, machines and pumps whirring and hissing and breathing for him, was so scary. I couldn't sleep that night knowing that he was not breathing on his own or sleeping soundly of his own volition. After his heart surgeon came into the waiting room to tell us that he was ok, my mom and sister and I sobbed with relief. My mom left the room to make phone calls, and my sister and I stayed behind and texted our friends. Text messages sent and received, I returned to my lace knitting. I knit a row, and had to put it down. My hands were shaking to hard that my stitches were all loose and messy.

It wasn't until a few days ago that I didn't feel scared and uncontrollably upset about the whole situation. Yesterday he was discharged from the hospital to a rehab center. He should be home by next Monday at the latest. Even though our lives will eventually go "back to normal," I truly don't believe they will ever be the same. My dad needs to change his lifestyle if he wants to keep his newly renovated heart healthy, and we'll all have to be healthier along with him. But that's just the surface change. We are all closer now, and I will never take anyone's health for granted. I also won't wait until someone's sick to knit for him/her. I generally don't knit for anyone who won't appreciate it, but now I know even the pickiest member of my immediate family does. This week I'm casting on for another pair of socks. This pair will be a gift for Father's Day.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I've been a bad, bad girl...

I have contracted an exotic, rapidly-progressing virus--yarnbuyingitis. Recently I've bought way more yarn than I can afford. Check out my most recent acquisitions:And this isn't even counting the huge order from WEBS (8 more balls of Debbie Bliss Cathay and 8 more skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere) and the Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere and Noro Silk Garden I just bought at my LYS. Some of these goodies are going to swap partners, but still. I thought swapping might help me spend less money on myself. Obviously not. If you look closely at the above photo you will see some less expensive yarn from Michael's...I have a few kids's garments on my queue, and kids need washable, non-itchy clothes. I've chosen some cotton since warmer weather is right around the corner. I now HAVE to stop shopping because I'm out of cash until my next paycheck, and most of that money is already earmarked for bills. Paying bills is so boring. [sigh]

Friday, March 21, 2008

Second Sock Syndrome No More!

So I have been knitting 2 socks on 2 circs, and I'd have to say I'm addicted. I only garnered the courage to try two socks at a time by signing up for a Magic Loop class at Angelfire Studios. Go figure, I decided NOT to knit my socks using the Magic Loop. After Carolyn's quick demo of the technique, I decided that A. This technique was easy enough for me to figure out on my own. and B. It did not look like fun. I wanted a challenge, so I made the impulsive decision to use two circular needles to knit two at a time. Carolyn warned us that the 2 circs method was very easy to get tangled. "You'll need to use two balls of yarn, keep one ball on either side of you, move the whole thing when you turn your needles around, and not let any pets or small children get into it." (not a direct quote, but necessary for editorial purposes). I thought about this for about 2 seconds. Moving yarn is a magnet for my cat. I'm kinda impatient and not very organized. I am the queen of tangles. I made my decision. "I'll do it!" It hasn't been so bad. As I was warned, the biggest challenge was the tangles. But my knitting taught me patience. I just breathed deep breaths and channeled my friend Scott's precision and superior problem-solving skills. [He once helped me wind up a ball of Tilli Thomas spun silk with sequins, and we had more than a few snags. I just blithely spun my wrist around balling the yarn until the ball leapt out of my hands and Scott calmly and quickly undid the sequinned snag. Thanks, Scott :-*] It worked! This would be reason 123873598732 why I love knitting: by taking on challenges you learn new things about yourself and do things you never thought you could do. Just a bit of advice for anyone who is inspired to take on this endeavour, as I have: In between round, your needles should never be twisted or tangled, but lying straight across with two little socks hanging between them. One needles shoulc have the fronts of the socks and the other needle should have the backs. When you pick up the stitches for the heel gusset, one needle (the one that had the fronts) should still ONLY have the fronts (instep stitches) and the other needle should have the heel and all gusset stitches. I did this wrong at first and my needles were twisted like some middle eastern cobra in a basket. Not fun. I didn't get a picture of this collassal screw up because I was too furiously knitting trying to get past those awful gussets. The manager I used to work with at Victoria's Secret about two or three years ago insisted that we did not use the term crotchless panties, but panties without a gusset. I know that "gusset" is just the name for a joining wedge of fabric but I can't help making the connection in my head. Stupid heel gussets. But I've moved past them (figuratively--I'm actually still knitting them.) Pictures will definitely be posted when I'm done!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Good call, Britney

Question: Did Britney opt for the anime/Fullmetal Alchemist-like animation in her video for "Break the Ice" so she could make some geek with a pencil and a computer do all the work of video production instead of her?

Possibly. Thank you, Brit, for avoiding yet another trainwreck of paparazzi photos and reports of bizarre behavior from disgruntled PAs.
Check out the video on The Superficial because I couldn't figure out how to link it directly :(

Although I have to say, I absolutely loved the montage of clips/stills from her previous videos set to this song (Piece of Me). I don't know how offical that is cause I found it here on YouTube.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Thank goodness for knitting...

So I had an appointment with my Ear/Nose/Throat doc this morning, and I didn't even realize how heinous the wait was (45 min before 10:00am) and how bitchy the receptionist was because I was so occupied and pacified by my second jitterbug jaywalker. Knitting calms me down aaaaalll the time. It's probably added YEARS to my life due to stress reduction. I once saw a little logo (probably a ravelry avatar) that said "I knit so I don't kill people." I seem to feel like that more and more lately.

So, about this's been my first visit there in about a year and a half, so I got a new referral from my PCP (yay HMOS!) Here's how the greeting conversation went:

me: Hello! I have new insurance, so here's my card.
receptionist: Do you have a referral.
me: yes.
recep [rudely]: Can I have it?
me: Oh, I thought it was electronic.
recep [looks at insurance card]: Amerihealth? No!
me: Um, my doctor told me it was electronic.
recep: Well, we have no way of accessing it. If you wnat to see the doctor today, you're going to have to call your doctor and have them fax it over right away.
me: Um, ok.

All this before 9:20 am. Maybe she hadn't had her coffee yet? I know I hadn't, but luckily I also neglected to take my bitch pills. So, I got the stupid referral faxed over. After my 45 minute wait and 6 minute visit with the doctor, I got a look at their computer screens as I checked out and paid my co pay. They probably couldn't access my electronic referral because they couldn't access the internet. Seriously, the computer moniters were like small white boxes. The screens were black with orange-MS-DOS-looking type on them. These machines appeared to be circa 1987. This is the office of the man I trusted with a laser in my throat and sinus cavity?? Oh, well. He is a good surgeon...

I finished the heel flap on my jaywalker, though! Hopefully I'll be done with these little suckers by Wednesday or Thursday. I probably only need 2 nights for the heel gusset, foot, and toe. I can't wait to wear them! They'll be my first finished pair of socks.