Thursday, March 31, 2005

Music just sunk my battleship

Don't forget about my stash sale!

I just went ath-crathzy with my With Litht (Wish List) at so I can remember all the GREAT iTunes hoppin' I've done tonight. I remembered two things more or less simultaneously tonight: I found a great new folk singer recently (while in Austin, TX and not-so-coincidentally seeing Austin City Limits on PBS in my hotel room), and I had five free iTunes downloads. Patty Griffin has a strong and wonderful voice, yet she is a tiny lil' twig of a thing. Isn't that how it always is? I recognized two songs from the 30-second snippets and got them. Even Charlie is in love! And she's playing in Chicago on April 24. Who wants to be my date?* If you can possibly get your hands on "Useless Desires" or "When It Don't Come Easy," give Ms. Griffin a try, even if folk ain't your thang.

Plus I got the new Weezer single, "Beverly Hills." It sorta blows, what's new, but I'm a sick loyalist. I know I will never get another "Surfwax America," but that's okay.

On this topic, I could get me some serious knitting vibes if I put on some new CDs...Sounds like an excuse to visit some local music stores!!!

And, anyone got some music suggestions? I prefer unique pop/indie/folky ladies, sorta in that order. I already fed liberally from Jeph's list at Questionable Content, much of which made me snap my fingers and go, "Yeah! [Insert hipper-than-me buddy] recommended that to me!"

* Even if Charlie likes this music, he's not interested in seeing concerts most of the time. I'm already hearty when it comes to amps and loud music, and goodness a FOLK concert won't be loud, but I don't think he'll budge.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Finally a secret gift photo!

No point putting this down at the original post now, so here it is: MY FIRST secret pal gift, and what a gift it is! Great yarn and roving and needles and smelly soap!

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Stash sale!!!

[Photos at Photobucket gallery]

All yarn still has its original tags and wrappers unless otherwise indicated. Smoke-free home and stored well away from cats (space bags, Tupperware, dresser drawers, etc.).

To buy or trade something, just leave me a comment; it will send me an email.

Will ship at cost within U.S. via USPS unless requested otherwise (I will also do FedEx). Contact me for shipping estimates outside the lower 48. Most of this is just being sold because I have no plans for it in the immediate future and it’s taking up space!

What I want in trade: any Rowan Cotton Tape (ideally “winter” colors), 5 balls Rowan Calmer for a pillow, any cotton or silk or cotton/silk blends (with no synthetics), any Rowan magazines (especially #33)

NEW -- I will trade my 10 balls of Cotton Tape, bamboo (light grass green, color #544, lot 43852), for another color. I'd like electric (#550), fever (#555), glade (#546), or any other bright pink or turquoise. Leave comment if interested. (I will also consider selling it -- make me an offer.)

Bernat Boa, 1 ball parrot (purple), lot 99854, asking $3

Bernat Matrix, 1 ball natural network (02011), lot ?, asking $3

Berroco Pronto Print, 13 balls park slope (4571), lot 5890, from Elann, asking $35

Berroco Chinchilla, 1 ball tan (5535), lot 42, enough for chemo care cap (ask if you want the free pattern), asking $3

Gedifra Verusca, 2 balls lilac (2106), lot 71701, great for felting, asking $10

Katia Reno Plus, 12 balls fresh water pearl (614), lot 71886, from Elann, 1 ball partially used then frogged, patterns in Katia #43, asking $40

Lion Jiffy, four colors: peacock teal (2), black (2), denim (1), camel (1), email for color and lot #s, asking $1.50 each or all of them for $7

Elann Peruvian Collection Baby Silk, 5 balls raspberry (2010), lot 2, asking $12

Cascade 220, 3 balls orange (9444), lot 4153, asking $18

Classic Elite La Gran, 4 balls coral (a pretty orange), no color or lot # listed, asking $30
* Buy the 220 and La Gran together to make Cherry Twist from Knitty (my original plan), only $42! *

Katia #43, fall/winter, 58 designs, asking $11 (includes sweater patterns for Reno Plus)

Gifts and photos!

My my, this post is overdue!

I will be posting photos to go with all of this TONIGHT. (I need Charlie's assistance to get the photos onto his computer and then onto mine.)

In the meantime, as previously reported my Mom gave me WONDERFUL gifts when I went home! The theme here is bright colors, people. She used really fun flourescent fabrics to make me a straight needle roll and a circular needle holder, both patterns from Stitch n Bitch. Neon cats! This stuff is awesome. I still use my wonderful straight-and-DPN roll from Boogie for my DPNs. Now I have more room for straight and double points! *Bwahahaha*

Mama also made me bright socks! They have this awesome twisted stitch that is hard to see in person, so probably also hard to see in a photo, because of the variegated colors. But they FEEL twisted, sister. Ooooo! Mom's in sock mode lately. I now have two pair and expect more as spring wears on. I may have to get on this bus, too, considering that I have the needles and the yarn! (Thanks, Boogie!)

See, Amy (Boogie) was my Santa-Pal last December. She rawked. And NOW I have another awesome Secret Pal through KR who sent me NIIIICE things. First, two balls of Noro Silk Garden, which I have been craving for ages. (One of those put-it-in-the-shopping-cart-then-take-it-out things!) It's color 65 with lots of muted brights in it: purple, turquoise, pink, green, OOOOO! I am really into capital letters over this stuff. Some dark red corriedale rovingg, too, to get my off my butt and spinning! I am PSYCHED to learn this stuff on my spindle. Then, MY FIRST PAIR OF ADDIS! Yes, another shopping cart dilemma. And they're long size 7s, how practical!!! Then, of course, a wonderful sniffy thing: lavender soap, handmade and wrapped in fabric. Such a strong and delightful lavender it is!

I think I now have to ration exclamation points for the next few posts. Oh well.

For knitting content, here I go: I have been slaving away on the drop-stitch ribbon scarf, which seems to be taking forever. I think I'll work hardcore on it this week and (cross my fingers) finish it at this weekend's Stitch 'n' Bitch with my knittin' coworkers. Alas, Traci must miss this one again! She is the only one who still doesn't know how to knit. Darn her and her LSAT test prep. Wouldn't we all rather be knitting? (Says someone with no idea of taking the LSATs in the near future...)

My Banff sweater (from knitty) is a little too itchy. Not sure what to do with this "barn yarn" as Bonne Marie would say. Maybe it's finally getting too warm to work on this wooly mammoth! Good and bad, I suppose.

The green sweater (Honey) still needs to be sewn up. I think I'll only block the sleeves separately due to the sweater's odd costruction, then wet-block the body as one piece after stitching it up.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Ahhhh...back home again!

Whew! My whirlwind tour of Both Coasts is done. By which I mean, I have been to Pittsburgh/D.C. and back, then to Tucson and back, and now the Windy City greets me anew with freshly cold weather.

The funraiser reception in D.C. was awesome! I met Sargent Shriver, IN PERSON, and was completely awed. I also introduced my parents to Sen. Barack Obama and got my picture taken with him.

In Tucson, my friend Brody's wedding (to the ever-lovely Esther -- seriously, so beautiful, and as a BRIDE? Whoa!) was ever so great, as was the whole weekend. The five Carleton guests (including Charlie and me) got to spend more time than we had even hoped for with Brody on Friday and Saturday. Lots of frisbee, some mini golf, and general hanging around eating pre-wedding-party leftovers.

We went to the Desert Museum outside Tucson, which also makes you drive through the Saguaro National Park. Lots of cacti and arid animalia were photographed. Also, somehow I did not get a sunburn! Trust me on this, that's rare -- I am as white as a polar bear's belly. (Note: polar bears actually have black skin. I just thought this was funny.)

Speaking of photos, I still want to post pics of gifts from Mom, and also some selected Tucson pics. We took about 350 digital photos in Tucson. To be fair, most of them are duplicates when I thought I had blurred the shot, but still, it will take some sorting through to filter out the best ones.

This Secret Pal thing is awesome! I have been looking at some of the gifts those in the exchange have gotten and I am PUMPED. I won't say whether I already sent mine out, but suffice it to say it did/will rock as well.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Knitting & nerdiness: a lethal one-two punch

Tomorrow is the Big Day, when I go to the fundraiser in D.C. for work and have to meet (gulp) famous politicians and historical figures. At least I got a haircut today!

On to my title. I have so many things to report! When I came home, my mama had a whole bag of goodies for me. She sewed me a circular needle holder and a straight needle holder ala Stitch n Bitch patterns with WONDERFUL and BRIGHT fabrics! I am talking fluorescent, people. (Photos to come, probably Wednesday night, for all'a these.) Also the cool, avant garde (if I may) book, Simple Knits With a Twist. I think I'm inspired to knit with wire and recycled plastic bags! And some great socks, knit with Mom hands so extra-great, and pom-pom stencils (aka little circular whatchamacallits). Also some fun fur she picked up for me at a sale, so I can knit the monster slippers from Stitch n Bitch Nation.

On to nerdiness: I was just thinking that I should add some links to my sidebar, but first let me highlight them here. I read quite a few free webcomics on a regular basis, generally ironic slightly-R-rated ones that deal with goofy animals and/or hipster-youth goofery. (Oh, you would be surprised how often those overlap.) I ain't no hipster, at least not since high school (I guesstimate), but still I do love me some hip friends and cultural references! And humor. So here, in no particular order, are my most-read webcomics. Check 'em out, they're free, and you're bound to find at least one of them funny. Not "bound" bound, but likely...

Achewood by Chris Onstad. Highly bizarre, in the best way. Animals and stuffed animals in a sort of parallel/underground world, being funny and nasty and neurotic.

Scary Go Round by John Allison. Wonderful art, British accents, and again with the bizarre. More surreal storylines than the others. Zombies, spies, bald child-like harbingers of cetera.

Diesel Sweeties by r stevens. All about the old-school: laughing at this one since it started. I have not one, but TWO t-shirts by this guy. The baby dolls he stocks (along with many other webcomic artists), brand name Bella, are totally comfy and soft. Plus they come with funny things on them, like pixellated skulls. You see, DS is drawn to look like old-old compy graphix. Part of its retro charm!

Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques. Read it for the first time a month ago or so, then read ALL the past ones. Fun storyline; more straightforward and less gag-oriented, too. A little romance with your indie? Go get it.

Goats by Jonathan Rosenberg. Anyone on top of "it" enough to register back in the days of the Big URL Shuffle has to have a good sense of humor. Diablo, the satanic chicken, awaits thee. Proceed with caution and beer.

Magical Adventures in Space and Wigu and Overcompensating by Jeffrey Rowland. Wigu is the old comic, retired at the end of 2004. Magical Adventures in Space...seriously, look past the title that makes you think of kids' shows -- well, it's about a kiddie show, sorta. Well. Go see. And Overcompensating is his almost-daily comic-blog that frequently cracks me up even more than his regular comics!

Those are the ones I have to keep up with daily. Though it is fun to forget, since then you get to overindulge and read three or four comics at once! Ahh, I am ill.

Not sure how this makes a lethal one-two punch. Perhaps by making this post inordinately long? Ka-slamma POW!

Friday, March 11, 2005

Leaving on a jet plaaaane

Today is my last day in Chicago for a while. I'm heading home, as I mentioned before, tomorrow morning. Coming back Wednesday night, then leaving Friday night for my friends' wedding in Tucson, coming back Monday afternoon. Whew!

Sherry in Pittsburgh: you left a comment about Yarns Unlimited in Sewickley. That's where Mom and I are going! I couldn't remember the name when I posted the other day. (I would've emailed you but you didn't leave your address.) My mom has been there once before, and she's excited to take me there on the way home from the airport. We live in northern West Virginia, about an hour and a half south of Pittsburgh.

I really don't need any more yarn or patterns, but I'll leave room in my suitcase anyway...

Girl Scout cookies are here. I am trying to limit myself to one "serving" per day, according to the boxes. But let's face it: these little cookies have shrunk over the years, so two Samoas doesn't go too far toward sating my caramel-coconut-chocolate desire. Maybe two servings to start out. I am such a wimp.

Then Easter. I think I'll wait to limit my sugar intake until, uh, April...

If I did LiveJournal, my current mood would be "Guilty, barely."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Yeah, so the title, it's just that I'm WAAAY excited about this Secret Pal thing (through the friendly forums at Knitter's Review, a wonderful site besides the message board -- see my sidebar). Right now I'm knitting up something for my pal, which means no updates on that. Suffice it to say that it's really cute and going pretty fast. If it turns out nice, it would be great to make for lots of friends! Befriend me, all ye strangers, and get a Wonderful Knitted Thing. It's possible!

Also Charlie wants me to point out that the kitty photos in Sunday's post (below) are wonderful passage-of-time selections because the cats are sitting on the same blue cushion. I guess they like it, non? It was in the $1 bin at Ikea but didn't fit in its intended place, a chair. Luckily it fits atop the kitties' handmade scratching post. I want to make this one next -- just need a wooden stepladder and some elbow grease. Well, and all the other supplies. Yeah.

I think I may just block the sleeves and lightly block the body of my ribbon twist sweater soon. However, I'm going out of town for a family visit and then a business trip on Saturday morning through Wednesday night. I doubt I can do the blocking and seaming by then...If I get over the feeling of futility with that time frame, I'll start it. I was sick yesterday and it got me feeling behind.

But soon! I will be flying into Pittsburgh & yarn-shopping with Mama! Weeehaw!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Sunday is kitty day!

Check out how cute my kitties are.

They were born sometime around April 15, 2004, so they are our tax day kittens. Charlie and I got them over the July 4th weekend last summer, so the ickle-bitty kitten pics are from last summer. Here's a particularly cutesy kitten picture:

Eli is a male, white with black spots. Margot is our gray girl. She has some faint tabby markings and thicker fur than her "brother." (We adopted them from PAWS, a wonderful no-kill shelter in Chicago. No one is sure whether they were from the same litter; a woman brought in several litters at once to be rescued. Margot and Eli were in the same pen, all cuddled up, and to this day they are good buddies!)

The kitties bein' buddies just a few days ago:

Yes, Eli has pink ears. HUGE pink ears.

One more thing: I know the cats look fatso in those photos of them lyin' on the rug together, but they're not. It's weird. Now I'm worried I'm porking up my cats!

On a knitting note, I have finished the second sleeve of Honey out of Rowan ribbon twist (see below). Now I need to block the sucka, seam it up, then pick up stitches for the collar & knit the drawstring & pom-poms. I think I'll have at least one ball left over.

Did I mention Entenmann's coffee cake (especially the raspberry) is the best thing ever? Purrrrrrr.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Happy Tavern Day!

My Secret Pal once again came through today (hope I'm not putting too much pressure on you, if you're reading this!!) with a funny e-card. As it turns out, today (March 4) is Tavern Day, marking the opening of the first tavern in the U.S. (in Boston to be exact) in 1634. Lucky for us, this year it falls on a Friday. Partay!

Actually tomorrow is Tavern Day for me. My friends are holding a fundraiser for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk at a bar tomorrow night. Make a donation and drink all night! Or at least until you're wobbly. I'm taking my dearie and some friends from work (and some of their dearies). It's the Boob Party!

By the way, look out for March 22. I think I'll try to plan a little something special for that one!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Some knitting say the least!

Finally! First, a photo of two gifts for two love-r-ly ladies. On the left, a Hannah in a barely-visible bulky cabled hat. On the right, an Amanda in a drop-stitch thick & thin wool scarf. It's OnLine Linie Jumbo that I got from knitwerx. Yay Yarnni and size 35 needles!
(Click on all of these photos to see them full-size.)

(Also, I gave Hannah that sweater. I didn't knit it; just a hand-me-down.)

Then we have a photo of my lovely Rowan Ribbon Twist sweater-in-progress, from the yarn's own collection: the shy, the bold, the contradictory cardigan called Honey.

Here's a photo of the whole shebang minus sleeves, pre-blocking, followed by a close-up of the edging stitch, a cute wavy triangular jobber.

It sleeps in this bag.

Before the ribbon twist, I started knitting Banff from Knitty in a Rowan chunky tweed yarn I bought on Ebay from Jannette in the UK. It was an unreleased shade so mega-cheapo, plus brrrrown which I loves, I does. The ribbing is killing me, though, so far all I have is this...(Sorry for the crapola photo. Brown is not so easy to pho-to-graff.)

I'm also doing another drop-stitch scarf in Lion's Incredible ribbon yarn. Incredibly twisty, that is. Though it doesn't look neat, I think it's cool-neat, if ya dig.

Finally, here is some of my stash. Uh, I actually have TWO drawers full of yarn, but this one was prettier on top. It's an Ikea coffee table with two pull-out drawers. Awesome.

Now I hope I don't look terribly giant-needle-crazy, though I do seem to be this week. Actually that stash drawer makes me look mohair-crazy. What can I say, I can't resist Rowan's kid classic, nor can I hold back when Little Knits' Sue has a sale on La Gran. It's stashability at its finest. Plus I can't recommend Sue highly enough. If you're in Seattle, you can even meet her at her "real" brick-and-mortar store. Online, she'll give you 20% off your first order (non-sale items, but the SALES people! It's all fine).

I'm actually thinking of knitting something for Me Mama on sizes 2 and 3 needles. She reads this, though, so no more details 'til her birthday!

My Secret Pal is mysterious!

Dear Laura,
Hello from your KRSP secret pal. I am looking forward to getting to know you.
I hope you are having a great day in windy Chicago. We had snow here last night.
More soon.
Your secret pal.

Oooh, I am DYING here! I got this email on Tuesday, March 1, the first day of Knitter's Review Secret Pals 3! I have never done this secret pal thing before (though I did do a secret Santa sort of thing through KR -- yay for Amy the Boogie-Boogie!) and I am WAY excited to start shopping. I almost forgot that I'd be getting gifts, too, and this email was a wonderful surprise. It came the FIRST DAY so obviously my secret pal rocks.

And she/he leaves me clues! Oh the mystery. "We had snow here last night." Obviously not wanting to say more, but just enough to whet my curiosity. Must be somewhere that's still wintry (probably not Florida....or Australia....), though that's not saying much.

Me amused.