March 31, 2008
Image courtesy of Amazon.com
Happy Monday Bloggy Peeps!
Laura tagged me last week for a “7 Things About Me” meme and since I have absolutely nothing interesting to share today, except for some remarks on the pushy local Starbucks baristas, I thought I’d play along (have you noticed your friendly neighborhood baristas pushing the extra shots as if they were high priced crack? - Would you like an extra shot?, Are you sure?, Positive?, I’ll give it to you on the house! – Fine. Give me the damn extra shot! It’s like they can’t fathom someone not wanting that bitter, nasty, extra shot! Sheesh.). As if you all aren’t sick and tired of reading about my so-called quirky life, here’s a bit more! Read or not, at your own leisure.
How to play along:
1. Link to your tagger and post these “rules” on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
So, here we go…..
I pretty much hate bananas (unless they’re used to make cute little wiener dog photos). This hasn’t always been the case, but probably a good 8 years ago I decided that they were gross and I never wanted to voluntarily eat another one again. I would consider eating a semi-green one (yes, I do like them chalky and firm; I like me a firm banana! Hee.) but maybe only if it was the last fruit on earth and I was starving already. There are so many other yummier things out there. Why should I waste my time with something mushy and revolting?
I hate to drive. I think this is because when I was learning to drive my parents criticized every little thing I did incorrectly (in an effort to help I’m sure) and I ended up not only being fearful of being behind the wheel, but convinced that I was bad at it. My husband, who teaches driving techniques as a big portion of his job, tells me that I am a great driver but I still get nervous any time I have to drive somewhere especially if it’s an unknown area or a high traffic time of day. If I ever won the lottery the first person I would hire would be a chauffeur!
I like warm soda. Actually, I like room temperature water too. My teeth are extremely sensitive and the cold just kills me. No ice please unless it’s in my margarita!
I rarely shave my legs. O.k. Before you’re all “Gross!”, I’ll explain. I have, oh, about 5 hairs on each knee and about 3 on each shin. And when they grow in they are baby fine. I’ve probably gone about a month before without shaving and R. Darling has never once noticed. Lucky me ;)
I am extremely shy. I think this one probably surprises some of you because I have had one or two of you tell me, when I mentioned it to you, that you would never have guessed. The version of me that you get on my blog and in my e-mails is the true me, but the true me that is usually only witnessed by those people really close to me. Big groups of people intimidate me and I am most likely to be the one avoiding everyone by hiding outside or stuffing my face so I don’t have to talk. I am always afraid that people will think I’m stuck up because I don’t talk much so I try to smile a lot in compensation. I’m sure that it ends up looking creepy or fake but I don’t know what else to do. Stupid social anxiety disorder!
I used to collect cow poop for a living. Yeah, the glamorous life! When I was right out of grad school I worked at the university for about 3 years for the Field Disease Investigation Unit. We did a lot of studies on dairies and feedlots tracking E. coli 0157:H7 and Salmonella in feed, water, and feces. We got a lot of strange looks from the farmhands when we’d drive up in our white government vehicles and out would jump all these 20-something girls in coveralls and boots. Good times. Good times.
I cannot have my food touching on my plate. Everything must be completed separated by a good inch or so of space. And definitely no hot things touching cold things or gravy touching anything except for turkey and mashed potates and gravy. Heaven forbid if it should ooze on over to the cranberry sauce. If that happens, I will not touch it. They should make those little divide-y plates for grown-ups like they have for the kiddies (with Hello Kitty on them too please). Seriously. Ewwww.
Alrighty then. I’d say that’s enough soul searching for today! And I’m breaking the rules and not tagging anyone since I’ve already tagged most of you at least once already ;) Play along if you feel like it!
March 28, 2008
Honey Buttery Hill Country Yarns Superfine Sock Goodness
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Friday Fill-In #65
(get yours here)
1. Some relationships are meant to teach you something whether they were good, bad, ended, or are still going strong.
2. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts is the last concert I saw; it was in Sturgis in 2002 and way awesome.
3. Spring should be here but instead we’re getting snow every morning!
4. Oh no! I forgot to tell you that I ran 1.5 miles on Tuesday night with R. Darling! My first run in 5 years or more. Not too shabby to make it that far! I’m paying for it now though ;)
5. I’ve recently started feeling bummed about the state of clutter in my house.
6. Watching my flowers grow never fails to make me smile.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to watching Dexter episodes with my husband who has been working way too hard recently, tomorrow my plans include meeting a new friend for coffee and Sunday, I want to enjoy a nice lunch with my MIL for her 60th birthday!
Have a snow-free weekend Bloggy Peeps!! Unless you like that sort of thing ;)
March 26, 2008
Like knitting with acrylic.
Friends shouldn’t let friends knit with crappy yarn…….
It’s hard to believe that at some point acrylic was the newest and best thing on the handknitter’s radar; a full-blown miracle fiber in its convenience and cost effectiveness. I like to think that I’m not really a yarn snob, having begun my stitching odyssey crocheting afghans in miles of acrylic, but knitting with this stuff is a little like huffing a dream gone sour. I imagine some over-enthusiastic spinner somewhere exhausted their pile of wool roving and thought to themselves: Hmmmm. What to spin next? Well, here’s a nice little pile of steel wool. Let’s try that! And though it’s been killing my hands, trying to cable with the stuff, I did it anyway. Why? Oh, because of this little conversation:
Mom: Do you think you’ll have time to knit a pair of those gloves for B. before she leaves for Alaska? It’s in a couple weeks. Remember. Make them man sized.
Me: Well, I thought we were going to go out and get some nice yarn for her first.
Mom: Oh just use that stuff we got at the garage sale. She says the colors match the interior of her truck.
Me: Oooookaaaaay…… Except that’s acrylic and I think an animal fiber would keep her much, much warmer. I mean, she’s going to Alaska!
Mom: Yeah, but that stuff I gave you is machine-washable [this is like the holy grail for my Mom; things aren't worth much if you can't put them in the washing machine]. And it’s soft too [I find that debatable actually; seems scratchy as hell to me].
Me: (Refraining from complicating things by trying to explain that there is such a thing as superwash wool now) Sure Mom, I’ll get those finished up for you as soon as I can.
Pattern: Fetching from Knitty Summer 2006
Yarn: Caron Dazzle Sports in Onyx Black (CC) & Red Heart Super Saver Multis/Ombres in Grey Heather (MC); about 1/2 skein of the MC and small amount of the CC
Needles: Size 6 Susan Bates dpn’s
Mods: Quite a few actually. I cast on with the CC and worked 4 rnds in 4×1 rib, did the cable round and then switched to the MC. I worked one extra 4×1 rib and cable repeat before knitting the 18 rounds to the thumb. After putting the thumb on waste yarn, I knit 5 rnds in 4×1 rib, did the cable round, then repeated those 6 rnds for a total of 3 times. At that point I joined the CC and knit 7 rnds in 4×1 rib before casting off with the picot edge. These are really really looooooong. But they’re not for me so that should be fine. The recipient has the longest skinniest hands on the planet so I’m hoping they’re perfect for her.
Comments: I have made so many of these now that I’m actually getting really bored with the pattern. I still enjoy the finished product though and despite being made in acrylic, these don’t look half bad. It’s the feel I don’t like. But then again, I don’t have to like them. They’re not for me.
Remember kids: Life’s too short to knit with crappy yarn!
March 24, 2008
Posted by knittymuggins under Baby Knits
, Charity knitting
, Knitting Swaps & Exchanges
| Tags: Alisa
, Guilty Pleasures/Good Karma Swap
, Hazel Knits
, Test Knitting
|  Comments
I decided something yesterday after spending an hour, half a box of baking soda, and all of my limited interest in housework trying to scrub the crap off of our stovetop: Housework is for suckas. Whatever possessed me to think scrubbing the stove would be a good idea? I’ve got hobbies for cripe’s sake! (Wait, drinking coffee and staring out the window is a hobby too, right?) I’m interesting (o.k. crazy)! I’m multi-faceted! Housework will only atrophy my ability to create. It’s downright harmful. No one could possibly expect me to damage myself in such a manner as that, could they? I thought not. Oh lookee! There’s still dishes in the sink.
So, let’s discuss more important things, shall we? I joined another swap. Wait – what? I know. I wasn’t going to do any swaps this year, but this one is special. SaucyMinx found my LovePurl KAL and was inspired to create her own Guilty Pleasures/Good Karma Swap on Ravelry. The swap is based on the idea that so many of us knitters feel a little guilt over buying ourselves the luxury yarns and/or treats that we desire, but yet it’s so much easier to treat a swap pal to something special that they covet. Another condition of the swap is for everyone participating to knit at least one item for Warm Woolies during the swapping session. Since Warm Woolies is something that is close to my heart, and since the swap was based off of my KAL (thank you SaucyMinx! I’m honored!) I couldn’t help myself. There’s no real knitting deadline for me since I’m already knitting for Warm Woolies, so I can handle just buying gifts for someone :) I don’t know if there’s any room left but check it out!
Mmmmmm……I could just eat this up!
And what is that adorable little thing up there? It’s a Lacy Baby Sock Kit from Hazel Knits in the Peach Sanguine Colorway. An old co-worker of mine just had a baby girl a few weeks ago and I think these are going to be the sweetest yummiest little baby socks ever. Seriously going to have to consider buying some of this colorway for myself for a pair of big girl socks.
This is something I’ve been meaning to mention for quite a while because I’ve actually been working on it since February. But as you know, February was kind of rough-ish for me so I kept missing my chance. Anyhoo, I’m test knitting again! It’s always hard for me to post about a test knit because I want to tell you everything and I can’t. Plus, I am always worried I’ll say more than I’m supposed to or show you more than I’m allowed to. But I think I’m safe with this photo. My online pal Chrispy of Pursuit of Fiber has designed her first pattern. Hooray for Chrispy!! I’m very excited for her and very honored that she asked me to test knit it for her. It’s so wonderful to be helping a fellow knitter and pal with their pattern production process. The pattern is called Alisa and you can find it on Ravelry. It won’t be released for sale (with a portion of the proceeds going to Ravelry) until the end of April, but that’s coming awfully soon! I am just up to the armholes and with another couple days of knitting, should be close to finishing it for her. I can’t wait to be able to show it to you once the pattern is released! Until then, I’ll be stitching secretly and feverishly until I finish.
Hope everyone had a lovely Easter and that your Monday is off to a great start! Remember lousy housekeepers out there – if anyone starts to complain about your lack of interest in cleaning, be sure to loudly proclaim how stifling it is to your creativity (feel free to incorporate “suckas” if you like), and don’t they care about your needs? then sigh deeply for effect. I don’t typically condone drama, but that should do the trick ;)
March 21, 2008
The Goat King and his minions have donned the handknits today as a reported 3 feet of snow fell in Lavaland overnight. Yes, that’s right kids. Lavaland may have just frozen over. Why you ask? Because I am posting more than one FO this week. Can you even believe it? I know. And monkeys may fly out of my butt before long too.
But here he is! Meet Sheldy McSheldonstein! I actually finished him last month but with all our dark and rainy days it took two photoshoots before I finally gave up snapping a decent photo and sent him off to my niece. I mean, she’d already waited two extra months for her Christmas gifty. Then again, she’s also 1 ½ years old so I’m not sure it matters. But anyway, I picked the best of the suck and here they are:
Sheldy poses for the camera (and if you look very closely, so do I!)
Wow. This bowl is really cold……
Are you done with that camera yet? I’m tired of looking cute.
Pattern: Sheldon from Knitty Winter 2006
Yarn: Knit Picks’ Shine Sport in Grass (MC) & Green Apple (CC); 1 ball each
Needles: Size 3 bamboo dpn’s & size 4 bamboo circ
Mods: None except for the eyes. Since this was a gift for my niece I was worried about using safety eyes just in case she managed to pry them off somehow so I used this mod to sew felt eyes on. Otherwise, everything was by the pattern.
New Techniques: Applied I-cord. Fiddly but effective.
Comments: This turned out pretty cute but really, seemed way too labor-intensive as a gift for a little one who will most likely chew on and pull the head and legs off at some point. I seriously tried (and failed) about 6 times sewing the first appendage on, which put a whole damper on finishing. Could be that I stuffed the shell too full as well, which made it difficult. Not sure I’d want to make another one on a time schedule, but might be fun sometime when I really get to feeling I want to torture myself with craploads of finish work ;)
::Hope you all had a great week and have a lovely weekend!::
March 18, 2008
Posted by knittymuggins under Crochet
| Tags: Katamari
|  Comments
Hot off the hook!! Do I smell a Katamari?
My co-worker Miami has this huge obsession with the Katamari Damacy video game (o.k., totally not his real name but if Frespañol was a language like Fritalian is, mi ami would mean my friend, which is a pretty good fake name for your buddy). If you haven’t heard of this one yet, basically it’s a Japanese acid trip with a disturbingly electro pop soundtrack that worms its way into your brain like no other. It’s probably delivering some kind of insidious subliminal messages directly to my cerebral cortex and some afternoon I’ll wake up from a trance wearing a Hello Kitty shirt with at least 84 stuffed animals attached to my purse by keychains. Oh wait. That was last Thursday. Anyway, the whole point of the game is to roll your ball all over the planet, picking things up as you go and allowing your ball to get bigger and bigger until you can throw it into the stars to make a new planet to please your father The King. Simple and somehow addictive, it’s developed a huge cult following all over the world. So when Miami’s birthday came around, and I found the pattern for this Katamari toy, I knew I had to make him one. Three shockingly tacky colors, 28 magnets, and a crapload of sewing later, Miami had his new toy. And yes, those magnets work folks!
Don’t get me too close to your face or I’ll suck out your fillings!
Pattern: Magnetic Katamari Pattern
Yarn: Red Heart Ltd. Soft Yarn Solids in Tangerine; Caron Simply Soft Brites in Limelight & Blue Mint
Hooks: Size E & Size G
Other stuff: Magnets & Stuffing
Comments: A little sewing-intensive, but technically easy. Miami seemed to love it ;)
And now, back to our regularly scheduled fall off of the workout wagon! Also known as attempting to drag your sorry ass into the workout room when you’d rather sit on the couch knitting and stuffing your face with bon-bons.
March 15, 2008
Lovely “Chocolate Sea” earrings from the Morgiana’s Manifesto shop
Made with: Silver wire, Shell & Rainbow Jasper
Check it out – it’s a shop shout out to my good friend Kasia! She’s opened her own etsy shop called Morgiana’s Manifesto and I’ve been meaning to give her some props here on the blog since she opened it back in September. Her shop specializes in “handmade jewelry with a mystic twist”. And if you visit, you’ll notice that most of the lovely earrings available have names referring to mythical or fairytale ladies of lore. She sent me the darling pair of earrings pictured above over the summer as a nice surprise to go with my chocolate Lelah (which is still sadly, hibernating). There are so many attractive varieties to suit every personality (or outfiit) in her shop. Don’t you want to stop by for a peek? Soon, she’ll be adding some lovely flower barrettes to the shop as well. I’d love to get my hands on one of these (you can see a photo of her wearing one on her blog) because who doesn’t need a lovely flower in their hair to celebrate springtime? Be sure to drop by for a visit and have fun deciding which one’s your favorite!
March 14, 2008
Lovely posies from my garden……
I didn’t even know I had this color! Isn’t nature wonderful?
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Friday Fill-In #63
(get yours here)
1. Contact may cause incessant giggling.
2. The parties hereto do mutually agree to never grow up.
3. Disney parks bring back fond memories of my childhood.
4. A Starbucks Honey Latte sounds really good right about now!
5. I positively love where I live.
6. R. Darling always makes me smile :-)
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going out to dinner, tomorrow my plans include shamelessly knitting the day away and Sunday, I want to enjoy a screening of Pacific Horizons with R. Darling!
Have a lovely weekend Bloggy Peeps!!
March 11, 2008
Image courtesy of Zen Yarn Garden
Maybe this is old news to some of you, but it’s new news to me. This morning I received word from Zen Yarn Garden that Momma Monkey (Gigi Silva) had recently lost her battle with Lupus. I didn’t know Gigi, or know much about her, but I did know of her lovely sock patterns and had stopped by her blog on occasion. In fact, my Ravelry Faves are full of her sock patterns! To hear that she had passed away shocked and saddened me even though I didn’t know her well. Now that I can count myself amongst the members of the knitosphere, I instantly feel a bond with others who knit, no matter how different or distant we may seem to one another. Losing someone with that kind of artisitic fire, who is so willing to share her creations (many of her patterns were offered for free) is truly a tragedy and she will surely be missed by the knitting community. I never got the chance to knit any of her patterns, and they are currently unavailable until further notice, but I do hope to be able to honor her one day by doing so. Until then, if you stop by Zen Yarn Garden, she has a colorway (pictured above) named for Gigi and for every skein purchased, $5 will go to Lupus research in memory of Gigi. Best wishes and heartfelt condolences to Gigi’s family and friends. I know she will be missed deeply.
March 7, 2008
My “work family” is the best!
They heard I’d had a hard couple of weeks and look what they brought me yesterday afternoon!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Friday Fill-In #62
(get yours here)
1. Ahhhh, it’s so nice sleep in!
2. One of my favorite things on my desk or bureau is a small red picture frame with a silver heart on it that R. Darling gave me a few years back when he set up the coolest ever scavenger hunt for me to cheer me up one day. It still doesn’t have a photo in it (bad, bad Knittymuggins!) but I love it just as much as if it did because I’m always reminded what a sweetheart he is whenever I look at it.
3. A Japanese Cherry Blossom is actually the very tattoo I’d want to get if I was going to get one.
4. My spare bedroom (the “yarn room” as R. Darling calls it), when it’s clean, is my favorite place to sit and read.
5. I love pie and rhubarb is delicious!
6. I love to watch stop-motion in movies.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to hanging out with my man, tomorrow my plans include knitting something secrety squirrel that I will blog about soon and Sunday, I want to enjoy dinner at my MIL’s!
Have a knit-tastic weekend Bloggy Peeps!!
March 5, 2008
Happy memories keep me going when everything else is the suck…..
The very sweet Laura e-mailed me yesterday and mentioned that she noticed I hadn’t blogged since Friday and was wondering if everything was alright here in Funkytown. My life the last couple weeks can best be summed up by that old adage: “When it rains, it pours.” Except this time Life skipped the thunderstorm, backed its ass up to the the fire hydrant, turned that sucker on, and aimed 800 gallons per minute directly at my face. I need a vacation.
Realistically though, my little lapse in good luck is nothing compared to what many people go through on a daily basis so I haven’t wanted to spend much time here feeling sorry for myself. Suffice it to say, I’m grateful for so many things and a little run of badness here or there is just the way the cookie crumbles. I know I’m a lucky girl and life, for me, is pretty darn good.
But Laura’s e-mail got me a-ponder (New word? Hee. I love those). See, I’d never thought of myself as a very regular blogger. Not regular enough for anyone to notice if I was “missing”. Unlike many of you, who blog every day and seem chock full of exciting activities and novel ideas, it takes a few days for something interesting to rise to the surface of the slow bubbling crock pot that is my life (no, not crack pot, unless you’re asking the neighborhood witnesses to my front yard “photo shoots”). Yeah, I said it. It seems an appropriate metaphor despite the kitschy 70′s overtones.
There’s always something delicious-smelling, warm and comforting in this pot of my life, but it has to simmer and mingle and frolic in that pot before the full flavor and spice can be appreciated. The tiny seeds of thought in my head and meaningful events that shape my days percolate in the background; sometimes languidly, sometimes germinating in seconds, taking root and spreading in lush vividness until I can’t push them away. When I’m ready, I share. And I always hope, with all my might, that it’s worth the wait.
But something has been occupying my thoughts the last couple weeks away and today seems like a good day to discuss the whole mess. See, even though I blog, I don’t know why I blog. I’ve tried to figure it out but I just can’t. Maybe if I had a clear sense of this I’d be more like those of you who can blog every single day and always have something exciting to talk about. Or would I find myself on the other end of the spectrum with those of you who only blog once a month, or on a more random basis? Maybe your schedule is defined by the reasons that you blog. I’m curious. Truly I am. Because sometimes I feel without purpose here and I wonder what keeps the rest of you going. Fill me in please! I’m dying to know: “Why do you blog?” and what keeps you going?
So, that fire hydrant has slowed to a trickle and I’m back to stirring the pot. Thank you Laura for checking that I’m indeed alive! You’re a dear ;) And I hope to be back with all of you on my regular slow-cooker schedule very soon! Until then: Knit on & prosper!
* I do not speak French so feel free to laugh yourself silly