Thursday, November 30, 2006

$#!^ $#!^ $#!^

Do you see what I see in this picture on the left?

Yes, as Irie described it in episode 13 of Irie Knits, I knitted the second sock in "coffee gauge." TIGHT! TOO TIGHT!

I can feel it when I pull the finished sock on and off, then I try to pull the second sock on and off. It's not much tighter in the leg, but I can feel it trying to pull it over my heel.

Why the *bleep* didn't I *bleep*ing notice that the *bleep* *bleep* colors weren't striping like in the first *bleep*ing sock? Now I'm going to *bleep*ing rip out twenty-*bleep*ing-five *bleep*ing pattern repeats and do them over again! *BLEEP*! *Bleep*, *bleep*, *bleep*!


At least I don't have to rip out anything on the uber-simple sweater I'm making for the Nephew-in-the-Oven. I thought one side was longer than the other, but they seem to line up all right. It's a boat neck sweater, so it's pretty easy. Started one of the sleeves, even. Thank God for small favors.

P.S. Yes, I realize this is a very boring picture of two knitted squares. Shut up.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

December Project

I was just going to have holiday knitting for my December project (which was also my November project). But then- the lovely director from the show I did last summer called me and buttered me up good and now I'm painting the (MUCH, much smaller) backdrop for his high school Christmas play.

The play is the weekend of December 8, and since I have a fair amount of time and it's small enough that I don't need anyone to help, it will be all about the painting and rather than the organizing and people managing. And since Carl and I love each other and we want to stay married, some time away from one another is the best gift I can give. So Carl and I get time alone, I get to paint, and Steve gets his set painted by someone he trusts (see, he played to my ego). This is a win-win-win situation.

The play sounds funny. I don't know the title, but it's something like the Batley Townswomen's Guild Re-enactment of A Christmas Carol. Something about a few British women trying desperately to put on A Christmas Carol, but they speak to one another out of character, and they start over from time to time. Good fun. I'm painting the background to look like a Victorian Christmas Card. And I get to learn to use an air brush, so after this I can move to the beach and open my own T-shirt stand.

Monday, November 27, 2006

What I learned over Thanksgiving

1. I make lots of wonderful rich foods. I should not make them all at once.

2. I totally love Daniel Craig as the new James Bond. Best Bond movie ever.

3. Even if it seems like a good idea while watching The Big Lebowski, I cannot drink White Russians. I've had this revelation before, but I think it was a couple of years ago. It had apparently been long enough that I forgot. I am too damn old to be drinking anything much other than wine, and even then, only with care.

4. Sleepy-Voiced Sister and her husband are the Best House Guests Ever. Not a single complaint.

5. Kouros, despite being small, needs his space. After 5 nights of guests, he begins to show his dissatisfaction by clawing the carpets all night and knocking stuff off the table to make people wake up.

6. Sleepy-Voiced Husband, after a night of this noise, begins to declare loudly that he hates that damn cat, and makes plans to barbecue him.

7. I can knit stockinette in movie theatres without looking and it turns out pretty darn well!

8. I need to be more physically active again... this whole lounging because I want to be hibernating thing is getting to me. Time to move more.

9. We have absolutely GOT to get out of this damn town and move back to the Twin Cities. The more I looked at everything while taking our guests around town, the more I realized this place has very little of what I want for my life, and I can't take it anymore. Really, staying here is bad for us. My next priority is to ramp up the job search and get us out of here within 6 months. You heard it here first, folks.

I'm glad I got all my holiday over-consumption and idiocy out of the way early. Now I can enjoy the holiday break in December when we go visit family, because I'll have my wits about me and I won't overdo. I feel like I have a Thanksgiving-over. It's like a hang-over, but it takes more than a good night of sleep and an antacid to fix.

I was listening to Cast-On this weekend, and Brenda's essay really hit home for me. She was talking about how her physical surroundings often need to transform to reflect her inner changes. I've been feeling weighed down by our circumstances. I need to dump some of this load. I've been feeling the need to cull and downsize our possessions. Get rid of the junk. Lighten up so we can take off when the opportunity presents itself. Great revelation to have right before Christmas, when people want to pile stuff on you, but there you go.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

No Pardon for Tom

So, we're meat eaters in our house. I thought I'd get that out there right now. This year, we decided to get a turkey from our friend who raises turkeys every year for the holidays. I know this bird was well cared for, and had a good life.

The problem? He sent me a picture of it!

I'm sure there are issues of responsibility here, like I should know where my food comes from. We're very disconnected from our food sources in this modern world, and I think that's why farmers make smaller incomes and people insist on paying less and less for food. However, I'm also a product of my time. I'm not used to seeing the individual animals that make up a part of my diet.

I think I actually feel worse about seeing the picture of my turkey all alive and stuff, and still being ok with going ahead and cooking it for dinner tomorrow. I feel like I should have had some conversion to vegetarianism. I'm so disappointed in myself. Maybe that means I'm more responsible in my views than I realized- that my decision to be a meat eater was well considered and responsibly made? Man, sometimes I wish I could just coast through life, blissfully unaware....

Well, the house is ready for SVS and her husband to arrive tonight. The cooking frenzy will begin after work today. All you USA-resident-types- have yourself a happy Thanksgiving! Kisses!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Cats and Hair

Kouros is incredibly helpful. Here he is, this time helping me dry my hand washables.

I got me a new haircut. In honor of Crazy Aunt Purl's Hairstory week, I decided to post a picture. I wanted to be a flapper for Thanksgiving. I like it!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Preparing for a holiday...

I've spent a lot of time this weekend crawling into all the scary places in my apartment where it appears Kouros is trying to replicate himself. Unsuccessfully. All he's really made are hundreds of furballs that could be mistaken for actual kittens. But man, if he ever figures out how to animate those kittens- boy, are we outnumbered.

This is all part of trying to make our three rooms hospitable to the Sleepy-Voiced Sister and her husband (he actually has 3 sisters, but this one has a similar vocal quality, hence she gets the nickname). Now that all the fur has been removed, I think we can fit guests in the apartment. To make this possible, I've been doing the kitten extermination (AKA sweeping behind the computer table), I swept the entire apartment twice and then mopped, and this will be followed by several maintenance sweeps before Wednesday night. I've also been trying to remove our piles of clutter, since there really isn't even room for us in this place.

Amidst all the crazy cleaning (did I mention the Sleepy-Voiced Husband has tendonitis and has to "aggressively rest" his arm? And his other arm is starting to hurt because it's not used to all this use?), I have been working on the holiday knitting. I've finished one of the Jaywalkers, presented by the mighty Kouros below. The second one is about 3 inches into the leg.

Last night my friend, Eric, asked if he could try it on. I said his feet were too big. He said he didn't want to try it on his foot. I took the sock back.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

*Awwwwwwwwwwwwww* (now with pictures!)

To continue the mushy theme...

I met Carl at a party in the apartment I would shortly move into. My soon-to-be roommate, Emily, worked on the school newspaper, and she invited a bunch of the kids from The Record. There was this one guy, leaning back against the stove with the hood light back-lighting his long blond hair. He had clear blue eyes that matched the blue t-shirt from his summer archaeological dig in Corinth. His voice fascinated me as he told stories from his summer in Greece. He was teaching us a drinking game he learned on his trip. I won.

I didn't see him again for a while. I had gone to that party with my boyfriend at the time, who was always drunk and usually embarrassing. I do remember seeingCarl twice more around campus before Emily and I ran into him again and she reminded me of his name. We were inviting him and his friends to come play Charlie's Angels with us in one of the academic buildings (you ran around with your fingers like guns and jumped around corners and kicked over tables and stuff). I went to volunteer on the paper the next week.

One day, Emily and I made Carl come see a band that had been big when we were sophomores (we were seniors by then, the band had graduated, and Carl was a wee sophomore). We were playing pool in the pub, waiting for the band to start. I can still so clearly see Carl walk around the table after a particularly bad shot on his part and I thought, "I have such a crush on this guy."

Eventually I cut the old boyfriend loose, something I should have done much, much earlier. One week later (exactly) I was hanging out with Carl and his friends. Somehow Carl and I were the only ones who went to dinner in the cafeteria that night. On our way back to his dorm, conversation drifted to what his friends were saying about us. I said, "Well, I have to admit, I have a terrible crush on you." And he said, "Yup, me too." Then he hugged me. We decided to talk some more (on the balcony on his floor- that was when I still smoked) and we decided we should wait a bit, since I'd just gotten rid of the deadbeat ex. And right after we agreed to wait a while to start "seeing" each other, but still spend plenty of time together (I don't know, either, but I was a bit giddy and it sounded great at the time), he kissed me. And that was it.

That was ten years ago tonight.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


So I found this one today while cruising my bloglines...

Scout’s Meme:

1. How and when did you learn how to knit/crochet? Who taught you?
My Norwegian friend Berit taught me a few years ago. I had tried to teach myself back in college, but I never quite got it.

2. How has this craft impacted your life? (besides financially!)
I've got something to keep my hands busy (did you know I'm a bit hyperactive?)! I've got something soothing and productive to do in my "down time," and it's a good repetitive task to inspire creative thoughts. I get to make stuff, which I love. I get to buy yarn, which truly is wonderful stuff. Plus, I've made a bunch of new friends! Friends I get to take with me no matter where I go!

3. Pick at least one person to talk about who you have met through the knit-world and why you are thankful to have met them. Feel free to get all mushy.
I hear from a few people quite regularly (in particular, Aprilynne, Amanda, Hesira and Jacey- love you guys!), but I think what meant the most to me was hearing such supportive, kind words after my miscarriage in August. Every comment at that time made me feel like a cozy hug with a warm plush blankie. I love that my imaginary knitting friends are so forthcoming with affectionate words. It's so much warmer than the outside world- must be the wool. Thanks, guys. *sniff*

Bring your swatch to work day

Yesterday was Swatch at Work day around these parts. Of course I forgot my camera, so I have no proof. Gauge was spot on for the Nephew-In-Progress sweater. I cast on for the front last night and moved up to the bigger needles before calling it quits. I'm working on the Boatneck Pullover from Debbie Bliss Beginner Baby Knits. I wanted something very simple that nearly everyone would see as unisex- my brother-in-law is a true blue John-Deere-working, country-music-listening GUY. He's great, but I have the feeling we might have different ideas about what is unisex. Also, it was the only pattern I'd found that had a newborn size. NIP is due at the beginning of March, so something that fits 3-6 months would hit squarely in the summer. Not helpful. Anyhoo, it's straight stockinette with a nice wide neck for those big floppy baby heads. It won't be the most challenging knit, but it'll be another good chance to get a feel for sweater construction on a smaller scale before I delve into my first woman size sweater (stay tuned for further info on that one in the coming weeks!).

Big straight needles felt totally awkward. Turns out I'm missing working on that tiny wee sock. Actually, I think I'm missing working on Circs. The first time I knitted with a circular needle, I felt at home. I noticed when I was working on the felted bag (pictures of the needle felting to come, I promise!) that even the 10.5 circs give me the same feeling. Maybe I'm to spastic for straights. I may move the sweater off my beloved Addi Turbo US8 straights and onto my FABULOUS Knit Picks Options 8s instead! Squee!

Oh, and I might cast on for the second sock and knit simultaneously. I figure if I get too behind on the holiday knitting, straight stockinette is better car knitting that a jaywalker. Yes, we drive from NY to MN. Usually through the night. In good weather, 18 hours. Christmas time, we rarely make that good time.

Monday, November 13, 2006

It's official, I'm in love again

This time, it's with the entire band OkGo!. And it's for this video. And maybe this one, too.

How can I not love them? They're so ridiculously cute, they dress in my favorite nerdy-chic style, and they obviously have a sense of humor. Carl and I watch the videos regularly on YouTube.

I was going to get Carl the CD for Christmas, but I think we need it sooner than that. Like tomorrow.

Finishing up the toe on the first pansy jaywalker! I'm thinking I'll start the sweater for the nephew-in-the-oven next and then I'll do the second sock. I need to knit something on bigger needles for a bit.

Kiss kiss! Talk to you tomorrow!

Me likes the Spider Solitaire

D'you ever have those days where you need to play solitaire like it's your job?

Especially at work?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Suspect Apprehended

12:30 pm EST, Geneva, NY - The suspect in the sock attack that took place late Friday has been found in his Behind-the-futon Hideout. He was discovered based on an anonymous tip, potentially from a relative of the sock. Further information is unavailable at this time. Rest assured, he will be brough to justice. Or given a good belly scratch, since he has the memory of a gnat, and punishment would mean nothing.

America's Most Wanted

Do you see this cat? Don't be fooled by how adorable he is. He is a menace. Under no circumstances should he be cuddled, scratched, petted or, most of all, fed. If you see this cat, please contact the authorities. Do not try to approach on your own, especially if you have any knitting with you. Below are some photos of the scene of his most recent crime. He should be considered... uh, toothed and dangerous.

(L to R): End of yarn attached to skein, where sock was originally attached; Small bit of yarn chewed off- we have no way of knowing how many pieces like this were swallowed, only to be discovered later as brightly colored kitty nun-chuks in the litterbox; A needle, found on the other side of the room, formerly a part of the sock in progress.

The sock in progress, found in yet another corner of the room. Notice the lack of second circular needle. It is believed the needle pictured above is the needle removed from this sock. Note, too, the purple hippo, plaything of the suspect, in close proximity to the victim. The sock is in good condition and has already been released. The yarn has been re-attached and all ends woven in. A full recovery is expected.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Big Decisions

Since in one of my more recent posts I told you how sickeningly smitten I am with the entire Winter IK, the following announcement will likely NOT come as a shock to you.

I hereby declare that I am going to frog Tempting.

It's about 7 inches of 2x2 rib HELL and I don't even care for the bloody thing anymore. It is so desperately boring, and I've been trying to finish it just to finish it. I wouldn't actually wear it. This, much like my desperate attempt to complete a grad school when I was also in HELL, is an example of having the message "You've got to finish what you've started" pounded into your head a little too well. I've been wanting to try other sweaters, but I felt like I had to finish this one before starting another. So, no more. I'm not going to finish it. I feel so free.

Because tempting is a short sleeved sweater with a very wide neck the yarn doesn't lend itself well to another project- either not enough or too much yardage. I'm contemplating a full size clapotis (my other one was 3 repeats short and in DK rather than worsted), or perhaps finding more of this brand of yarn- whatever the HELL it is- to begin another project. Just checked in an old post - it's Baruffa Maratona. Does anyone sell that anymore? Can't seem to find any online other than on Ebay.

So, that's my proclamation. And now that I've had the rather tempting invitation to knit along on the Enid Cardigan with Amanda, I think I may have found my new sweater project... hello, Knit Picks Telemark!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

We regret to inform you that Susan cannot come to the computer right now to write about knitting or art or the pet behavior class she attended because she is busy doing the happy-happy dance over the election results. She'll be back when she can talk about these things without her bleeding-heart liberal political views seeping into her yarny commentary.

Please Stand By.

Monday, November 06, 2006


So, the weirdest thing happened today. I told the husband to check out my blog because I had finally posted a good picture of him. He went to google, typed in "hyperactive hands" and found an article on Associated Content called Ten Blogs About Knitting that included my silly little blog! It just seems so bizarre. Blogging is such a strange thing, because you're writing all this stuff and putting it out for the public, but at the same time, you're shocked when people actually read it. Carl's response was, "You're famous." It was funny and far, far from the truth, but it's still surreal to see my blog listed with some of the greats, like Wendy Knits, Claudia's Blog and Needles on Fire.

So, now that I'm all full of myself and my opinions, I'm going to spout off about the winter knitting mags I got recently. I'm so totally in love with Interweave Knits, especially this issue. As usual, there are about half a dozen projects I want to make. The one I want to make the most is the Venezia Pullover that Eunny Jang designed and showed little snippets of on her blog a while back. It might be one of those things I get to someday in the future, considering it's knitted on size 0 needles. It might make me insane. Kate Gilbert has TWO designs this issue- A Cardigan for Arwen and the Equestrian Blazer! They're both clean, good looking pieces, and I think I need them both. She's so brilliant. I'm quite taken with the Cabernet Ribs. Such a great idea and beautifully executed. I'm also smitten with the Enid Cardigan and the Nantucket Jacket from the cover.

I'm gonna have to pay some close attention to Eunny's article on steeks, because several of the patterns this month require steeking. I'm starting to feel the siren call of steeking. It's drawing me in, like a really scary rollercoaster that I have to ride. The anticipation! The adrenaline! I'm becomming a thrill seeker, I guess. I'd better take my wild-child self back out to the greenhouse and get back to work. I'll post on the newest Vogue Knitting another time.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The one where I make up for the lack of pictures lately

So, the art show ran Wednesday and Thursday. It was lovely. I got lots of great feedback, and many people thanked me for doing it. It almost made up for all the pain. Still, when people asked me if I was going to plan it again, my typical response was, "Oh hell no."

Kouros was extraordinarily helpful in getting my September art together for the show.

In other news, my bag is knit. I've already felted it, but I don't have a picture. I think it needs another cycle. I'll post a picture later (the picture below is pre-felting).

Finally, my sleepy-voiced husband has complained that the only pictures of him that I post are of him asleep with the cat. So, here is a well-groomed, bright-eyed Carl at our banquet on Friday. Behold the cuteness.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Love Note To Knit Picks

Dearest Knit Picks,
Hi. I feel a little shy writing to you. I'm all fluttery and nervous because I have a crush on your Options. They came yesterday, and I've been so happy ever since. They're all I can think about. They're so sleek and sharp. And they come with such a terrific storage case. I spent all of study hall today doodling "Susan + Knit Picks" all over my Trapper Keeper.

Do you think maybe we could go together? You know, like, on dates and stuff? We could go together to my knitting class tonight. And tomorrow night we have our banquet for work. You could be my date (there's nothing wrong with knitting at a semi-formal event, is there?). And we could go out on Saturday and find a coffee shop to spend hours cuddled into a cozy chair together.

Do you like me? If so, check this box: []

Love always,