Friday, December 21, 2007

death by email

crate and barrel has just sent me the eleventy-hundredth email i have received from them this holiday season. the first line is, in HUGE red letters, wwith many explanation marks:


are they actually TRYING to kill me?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

successful shopping + cute and well-dressed children expedite the ebb of hostility

last night after work i went to the mall with a list, a plan, and a route planned out. i made a tremendous amount of headway with minimal pain. amazing. i was really prepared for a walk through the seventh level of hell, but it was instead, surprisingly pleasant. the mall was full of beautifully dressed little children having their pictures taken with santa, and all that cuteness didn't hurt. no one was mean or rude to me the whole time i was there, even after i had so many packages that, between them and my giant belly, i was having trouble navigating the aisles in the stores. i even had some extra niceness from a handful of clerks in a couple of my favorite stores. amazing. so let's just say--i am in a WAY better mood today. i think my hostility is abating a little bit...

somewhere in the drive home from my last stop, i hit a wall of tiredness so significant that i think i could have just pulled over and spent the night on the side of the road less than a mile from my house. it's kind of amazing. when my body is done these days, it's just DONE. no arguing. i had grand plans to get a bunch of packing done last night so i could ship stuff today, but alas--this did not happen. so people far away from me? your shit is going to be late. the end. i have done my best, but i am sorry to say, i have failed you. tomorrow i will make a massive post office run, and we will see what makes it and what doesn't. my hopes, they are not high. oddly enough, i am not that stressed out about this for once in my life. i have done what i can, and now--wahtever... these people know that i love them and that my life is insane, and they will understand when things are not on time. i will run the rest of my errands this weekend, i will fill my house with people i love and fabulous little girls who i will turn loose with cookies and icing and sprinkles, and i will wrap things and knit things for the entire two days before christmas. and after tomorrow, i am off work for over a week. i can't wait.

my one last lingering annoyance is that the etsy order that i placed almost a month ago is still not here. i have tried to contact the seller, but have received no response, which is a bit of a disappointment. there's nothing i can do about it but hope the stuff eventually shows up, but it sure does suck. maybe those can be next year's presents.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

jackie goes postal

today my friend tina and i went to carolina cafe where we often meet for lunch--it gets super crowded, so we go early, snag a table and get in line. one table had 4 laptops on it, so we assumed ppl are sitting there, right? but in the WHOLE time we were there, no one sat down there. and then a guy from the next table over, got up, picked up a cell phone from that empty table, and sat back down. it turned out that 4 business guys were having a meeting over lunch at the next table, and they left their laptops at the table beside them, a booth at a prime location in the restaurant. there were at least 5 groups of ppl are standing around with nowhere to sit, holding their food. people kept checking to see if that booth was occupied. these guys finished their food, then move back over into the table with the laptops just as we were leaving, and i lost my shit. i told them they should win some kind of rudeness award, and that i thought sometimes something just needed to be said to people who acted like that. they were hostile of course, and one of them even tried to deny that they had been occupying the table next to them. at that point, i ALMOST started talking smack about their mamas, but then i decided that would just put me on their level. i don't usually lose it at people like that, but this time i just could not help it. it was all i could do not to yell, "happy motherfucking holidays, assholes!" as i walked out the door. but i showed some restraint. go me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

don't even listen to me--i'm too whiney to be tolerated

today i am not a people person. i am irritable and stressed and just want to go home. i am annoyed that i ordered all this stuff for christmas ages ago, and none of it is here. this makes my presents to others late, which i hate, but what can i do? i have no backup plan for what to do if my presents fail to arrive. nor do i have a backup budget laying around. *sigh* i am sick of work, sick of having no time, sick of being tired, and sick of hearling myself whine about it all. i have road rage, and i want someone to bring me a really good cup of tea right now. i guess this is just "one of those days". i am certainly ready for it to be over. blah.

Friday, December 14, 2007

gettin' there...


hippie at work
christmastime's a comin', people. who's ready? certainly not yours truly, although i am running to catch up as fast as i can! slowly, slowly, i am getting it done. i finally mailed all the christmas cards today. i have at least SOME presents, although i have wrapped not a single one. and i am so sad--i placed a big etsy order in november, and i have yet to see that stuff. there was something in there i was hoping to give this weekend, but alas--that will not happen. and i have SO MUCH shipping to do! whew! let's just say, i am really glad i decided not to knit presents this year--there's no way i would have had time to do it. strangely enough, i am not as stressed as i usually would be at being this behind. i am feeling almost human again for the first time in weeks, and we have plans to go to our favorite big holiday party this weekend. PLUS, there's an ikea run on the table for sunday afternoon--an added bonus. i can't say enough how much i love the ikea. it's filled with awesomeness. affordable aweseomness! but i digress... there's a tree in the house, and boy, it's a BEAST of a tree. the hippie put the lights on (because he loves me), and they have been on there for almost a week. the ornaments (my job) remain wrapped and packed. the tree skirt? still in storage. but there's a tree, by god. apparently the poor hippie is stuck in work hell, so it seems we may be trapped in NC until in the morning. maybe i'll just go on home and put some ornaments on that there tree, and maybe wrap a present or two, and i don't know--pack for the weekend. y'all have a good one, too. :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

half way home

belly at 20 weeks

check out the belly! last friday was the 20 week mark for my pregnancy--half way home. it's still almost impossible for me to believe, even though, as you see, i have the belly to show for it. i am starting to accumulate baby stuff, which continues to freak out both the hippie and me. and yet--it's so freakin' cute, it's hard not to be a little excited about it now. it's a strange thing--i am still too nervous to be all excited. i guess everyone reacts differently. i have spent the past couple of years trying to accept NOT having any children, and here i am, about to have one. it's a tremendous mind shift. of course, i firmly believe that my baby will be the strongest and best and smartest baby ever born. of course i look forward to that smell of his little fuzzy head and to holding him asleep on my chest like a bean. but it's also so scary. i never knew what a mix of emotions i would be feeling if this ever happened to me! it's so overwhelming sometimes. the hippie is handling it all better than i am, but i think some of that is just because he's less emotional than me. it's fun, it's distracting as hell, it's nerve-wracking,a nd yes, it's exciting, too. especially now that i can feel him moving all the time. he's active, and it's not as weird as i thought it would be. in a way, it's such a comfort, him moving around. it's reassuring me that he's ok and that he's here with me. one of my best friends was telling me that it felt in some ways like a loss when her son was born, not to have him fluttering inside anymore--kind of lonely. i can totally see that. but i digress... the news of being half way is--the plague is nearly gone but for a cough i can't quite shake, and the nausea is mostly abated with a few early morning exceptions here and there. i am mostly ok, if still a bit tired. so far, so good. i have another doctor's appointment this week, in which i will certainly get to hear his heartbeat again. i look forward to that every time. :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

giant red cat brush

new couch and rug

we've got a new sofa--it came in the day before thanksgiving, and it's beautiful, and i love it, and it looks fabulous with our new rug. but there's a wee little problem. the fabric is brushed canvas--we picked a canvas because we thought it would hold up better to the cat claws that live with us--and it's doing that beautifully. however, the word "brushed" apparently has some unforseen consequences. brushed canvas has a bit of a knap to it. which means that when the kitties come and lay upon the new divan (read: always), the fabric is brushing their fur and clinging to it like freakin' fly paper. i've been vacuuming the thing twice a week. looks fantastic for about--oh--three minutes or so, until the cats are all--"hey, thanks for cleaning up the new couch for us--that was really getting nasty there. you, with the thumbs, come over here and pet us. and maybe a treat?" little bastards are getting fur all over my new couch. i guess nothing's perfect. that said--the new sofa has passed the sick test--i've been on it pretty much all week and my verdict is Damned Comfy.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

getting back to human

i am finally starting to feel better, although now i have these amazing 20-minute coughing runs that just seem never to end about 5 times a day. i sound like a frog, and i'm sniffly, and this is such a vast improvement over how i was feeling a few days ago that i feel like dancing. the bad news is that all this time on the couch has resulted in little knitting--you would think i would have done more, but alas, i was not up to it. my focus has been for shit, and i have been trying to use what brain power i've got to keep up with work. that said, i could get used to working from the couch. i get way more done from home than i do at work--i wonder why that is... less distraction maybe. also, maybe as sense of guilt for being comfy on the couch instead of sitting in the flourescent world of corporate america? anyway, i'm rambling.

in other and better and more interesting news, i felt The Parasite moving for the first time night before last, and again last night. looks like he's on his way to being nocturnal like his father. i can't wait for the land shark phase when the hippie will be able to feel it too. :)

Monday, December 03, 2007

this just in: being sick blows

and here's the thing--it's even worse when you are pregnant. i'm sick. the hippie has given me the plague he had last week, and it's dig in for the long haul, it appears. i had all these plans for the weekend--fun things like getting a christmas tree and re-organizing all of the books--and yet, no. i spent the weekend not breathing, napping, drinking tea, and apparently overdosing on sudafed. don't owrry--sudafed is on my very short list of crap i can take if i am all congested. however, who know that a dose was one tiny little insignificant pill. further, let me point out that at least two are required for the medication to have any effect. iam thinking maybe one pill is enough for a 100-pound girl, but not for yours truly. that shit just doesn't work. but anyway. now i am taking--oh--nothing. i am sitting on the couch, wishing for enough energy to knit or something, and dyikng to be able to breathe. BLAH. i am whiney and annoyed and useless. lucky for me, my immune system is down a bit from being pregnant, so it should take me longer to get over this nasty cold. maybe tomorrow i will get past the point of being able to feel my heartbeat in my sinuses at least. y'all, this sucks. and it's making me miss scout even worse--she always sat with me when i was sick. blah blah blah. i am going to shut up as i am disgusting myself with the whining.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

snakes and snails and puppy dog tails...

if that's what little boys are made of, then no wonder i am still throwing up every day...

we had a level 2 ultrasound yesterday where we confirmed that all the parts are present and accounted for, everything is working like it's supposed to, and that we are indeed having a boy. kieran, not rosemary. it's a mental adjustment to let go of the idea of either gender at this point, so you know--it's a combination of excitement and disappointment. i am excited by the thought of a healthy and sturdy little hippie toddling around after his father trying to fix things with a leatherman micra and learning to sail and writing computer programs from age three. but i am also sad to lose the prospect of ribbons and dresses and knitting little lace sweaters for a girl, too. life is filled with bittersweet things like this i guess. don't get me wrong--i AM happy about the boy in spite of my desire for a girl. and mostly i am happy that he's healthy and active and robust. he's about 5 days larger than his gestational age would indicate, which is right on target for us. the hippie was over 10 pounds at birth. my brother was 11 pounds and 10 ounces. this doesn't bode so well for my comfort level, but it does mean that we don't really have any worries in the failure to thrive department either.

i'd show you some pictures from the ultrasound, but honestly they were mostly crap. we only have a few in spite of the hundreds they took--no one gave us a fabulous DVD this time--and none of them are really very clear. sad. i can tell you though--it's awesome to see him and spend so much time watching him move about. he was sucking his thumb, which was really cute. he has all his fingers and toes, we saw all the chambers of his heart, his brain, his abdominal organs, the bones in his legs and arms, his skull--all of it. it's mind-blowing.


have to get used to saying he instead of it.

and now the house is officially full of testosterone. two boy cats, a hippie, and soon, a little boy baby. i told the hippie--i am getting a fluffy girl dog and tying it's fur FULL of pink ribbons.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

back home, on my own...




too cute
oh yeah--i blew it. that whole posting every day in november--well--we got on the road on friday, and i just utterly forgot. and then it was already screwed up, so i admit, i just didn;t worry about it over the weekend while i was at my parents' house. oh well--nothing lost i guess, although i admit i am a little disappointed in myself. stupid type a personality...

anyway--check out these cute as hell babies! these are kimmie's twins, matthew and katherine. they have an older sister, caroline, who is also very cute, but who, unfortunately, i didn't take a single picture of. heck, i barely took any pictures at all on this trip--i was mostly holding babies, or feeding babies, or riding, or feeding babies, or something. i gotta say, kimmie got lucky here--these babies are good natured, adorable, smiley, and they smell good. in short--they are nearly ideal. it is my experience that matthew (my new boyfriend--sorry, hippie!) is more demanding and would mostly rather be eating than just about anything else. katherine seems more reserved and mild-mannered. clearly she thinks her older brother is bourgeois. caroline is toddling around, and appears mostly indifferent to her tiny twin siblings. she's in that phase where she's learning to talk, talking a mile a minute, and you can understand about 2/3 of what she says. she can very clearly say "backyardigans," however, and thank god for it--her love of that show probably saved our asses on the drive down. (btw, the backyardigans have my vote for cool kids' show, even though their website kind of sucks. i am not a fan of dora, who yells everything and tells lies. a riddle is NOT just a silly question, dora! but i digress...)

so that's where i was on friday--kimmie and i (with major help from the man of the house) loaded up the luggage and babies in the minivan and headed south from detroit to our hometown in western nc. the drive went FAR better than we expected. by the time we got to dayton, we had a feeding and dvd schedule all worked out. i was even able to feed both babies at once due to my extraordinarily long arms. the only down side to me is that i feel i have now had enough road food to last about 3 years. i am currently in detox mode. but i digress... so--we got into the hometown at something like 4am, at which time i fell into my parents' guest bed and slept like a dead thing till at least 9 when the parasite demanded i go eat something. kimmie, unfortunately was not as lucky. when she arrived at her parents' house, caroline decided she was up for the day. at 4am. after a 13-hour drive. i know that i will have some moments like this at some point in my future. tell me how parents resist the black market purchase of tranq guns, people. whew. she seems to have recovered. and now i am back home until next wednesday when we split town for t-day. too much travel, man.

anyway--i am on my own till friday while the hippie is off at a conference in reno. the house still seems weird to me without scout, and even weirder with no hippie. and i admit, kind of missing those babies. kimmie, if you are reading this, go kiss the peach fuzz for me.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

slow day at the office

today was fairly uneventful. i spent the bulk of it holding one or more babies and trying to do the job I came to do. tomorrow afternoon we will leave michigan and drive down to rutherfordton--should be quite an adventure. y'all cross your fingers for us that things go well. for now, i think i will retire early to rest up for the coming trip. us knocked up girls need our rest...

highlight of the day: it snowed this morning--so pretty to watch out the window with a baby sleeping on my lap.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

michigan, baby

ah, blogging from my phone... how well i remember this from last year. today i flew up to detroit to see my friend kimmie and meet her nearly 4-month old twins. it's so awesome to see her not so little family on their home turf. the babies are adorable and caroline, the toddler, was very funny today showing off for me. i will be spending a couple of days here with these guys, and then we will pack up all the babies and our stuff and head down to nc to our hometown. cross your inger that we all survive the 11-hour drive in tact! meanwhile, prepare for more phone blogging from's all i got for ya right now. :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

new baby in a new hat

i still haven't found time to clean up the SAFF pictures, but i did squeeze in this one little beauty from last weekend. this is madeline, my brother doug and his girlfriend chrissy's new baby. isn't she the cutest? and check out her fabulous new raspberry hat. see? i really have been knitting some--just not as much as i would like. which is why madeline's baby blanket, and the sweaters for kimmie's babies are still all half done. i will be meeting kimmie's babies tomorrow, and well--i am empty handed. this is very un-Southern of me. but i digress... so this is the third fruit hat i have knitted from ann norling's lovely pattern, and i still love it. it's fast and cute, and yet, still practical. this one was done with my beloved julia on some size 6 needles. i bet i make some more--there are more babies around, after all. :)

Monday, November 05, 2007

the road to hell...

i really do always have good intentions. but you know--life and work and all--they get in the way, and the next thing you know, i am back in that handbasket and feeling the flames get closer and closer again... today is no exception. i have lists--lots of them. i have prioritized and re-prioritized everything i need to do. and i feel like i am in one of those dreams where i am running and running, but getting nowhere. god, listen to me bitch. this has just been one of those days, y'all. here it is not even 9 o'clock, and i am beat--i feel like i have been through the ringer. i have all these pictures i want to get off my camera and onto flickr, but that ain't happening tonight. i have a lot to say about SAFF and ravelry and the cool knitting people who keep crossing my path. i want to tell you all about meeting my brother's new little baby and finding out that his oldest daughter is also pregnant. i want to talk about being knocked up. but man--today is not the day. i gotta get all scarlett o'hara on you people--i will tell you some of this stuff tomorrow. and then maybe some more the next day. right now, though--i am thinking maybe i will make and drink a cup of tea to fortify myself to handle one last load of laundry, and then i am crawling into the bed with a book. unless i skip the tea and laundry and go stright to bed. i'm just--done. wow. two days in a row of writing about being too tired to write--i am doing great over here, aren't i? lol--it's just been a long couple of weeks is all. i promise, it'll get better...

note: i DID manage to update the baby blog if y'all are interested... i can't decide whether to keep my ramblings about pregnancy over there or integrate back into one blog now that the word is out. any opinions?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

too tired to write anything coherent

i'd like to have a real day off. today i tried to be somewhat productive, as i had pretty much let everything go for the past week. yesterday i thought i might be productive, but the truth is--i was just too washed out--tired and sad and useless. it wasn't a bad day, but productive it was not. today, however, i washed a ton of dishes, dragged my butt to the grocery store to re-stock, made a fabulous beef and lamb stew for dinner, and spent about 3 hours, maybe more, ironing the massive pile of linens i have been procrastinating dealing with for about a month. yes, i iron my linens. i may be the last person on the planet who is not a paide servant who does this. people make fun of me, but man--i love me a crisp, ironed, lavender-scented sheet on my bed. and especially pillow cases. you know, this is when i would normally say, "but i digress...: but in this case, i am not even sure what my point is. i am tired. the hippie and thk are a bit tipsy and being amusing in the kitchen. lord i love laid back sundays. i just need a repeat one tomorrow where i could maybe stop working around the house and just knit. i remember liking knitting...

i'm tired. i think i should maybe shut up.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


when i moved back to north carolina to go back to school, i moved into the cheapest house i could find to rent that was close enough to walk to campus. next door to me, renting from the same slumlord, was a woman, kathy, and her 8 cats. kathy had a soft heart and took in any kitty in need that crossed her path. a big orange tabby named roger, a balck and white tom named biscuit, a little matching black and white girl named molly, a few others who were too skittish to get to know, and a half grown tabby female named scout. all these kitties were loved and well-cared for, and most of them had clipped ears--kathy took them to the aspca to have them spayed and neutered because she could not afford the vet bills, and the aspca clips the ears of feral cats brought to them, presumably so that they don't duplicate the surgeries.

scout in a sunbeam

when i met scout, she had recently been hurt--trapped under a car and burned on her back--and was a bit wary of strangers. she was also the most vocal meower i had ever seen. after a bit of time, she learned that i was a cat person, and she started meeting me at my car when i would pull in, meowing for a scratch or two. in the other half of my duplex, a botany grad student sheri and her dog billie moved in. billie and scout were fast friends and took to sleeping ina pile on out front porch. even jojo, my former cat who hated everyone, took a liking to scout--they communed through the windows onto the porch. scout was just--part of life. not everyone treated her well--the frat boys down the street did SOMETHING to scout that made her panic when she was picked up--i don't know what, and i don't WANT to know. but she never ever wanted to be picked up--she fought tooth and nail if you tried. literally.

years passed. kathy met a man and got married. she moved away and took all eight cats with her. a couple of months later, there was a familiar meowing from the porch--scout had come back. she was starving and bedraggled and in a sad state. i went out and fed her, petted her, and supplied her with water. she stayed. she got better and fatter and happy again. i had jojo in the house, and scout outside. then jojo had a heart attack--she was sitting on my lap purring one minute and gone the next. i was shocked and devastated and unprepared, but in retrospect, that was about the best pet death one could ever hope for. by this time i had graduated from school and was thinking about moving out of the ghetto--the time seemed right. i made plans to move to an apartment complex in a newly developing area. but what was i going to do with scout? i didn't really feel ready to take on another pet, but i could not just leave her to starve either. i called every no-kill pet shelter and rescue i could fine, and no one would take her because her ear was clipped. it still shocks me that something the aspca had done to the cat rendered her un-adoptable to every rescue place on the map. so--i did what i had to--i kept the cat.


in one day, i changed scout's life forever. i lured her into the house and closed the door behind her. the same afternoon, i took her to the vet for shots and a check-up. she was healthy as a horse they said. scout and i moved away from maiden lane at last. she howled like a banshee the whole way to the new place and hid under the bed for a week. but she adjusted. she came out and interacted with me and slept on the bed at night, but it was clear that she was lonely. she had never been alone in her whole life. so--i decided to get scout a kitten. when a man i work with brought in a litter of 8 kittens his girlfriend had rescued from a madman, i immediately told him i wanted one. instead, as happens with people like me who are ultra-susceptible to the cute, i came away with two, samson and fergus. the difference in scout was night and day. fergus was, and still is, scout's cat. he was her shadow, her annoyer, and her constant companion. and scout--scout became one of the best cats i have ever known. affectionate, loving, happy, vocal, content. she loved other animals and children, and she was patient and tolerant of everyone. she was a slut for pleasure and adored anyone who would sit on the couch and absentmindedly stroke her silky fur. she liked to be between the hippie and me best of all--this is where she spent every moment possible for the past 4 and a half years. she was a cat who just made good company.

over the past three weeks, we noticed that she was losing some weight, but she didn't seem sick at all. cats are really good at masking symptopms, as it turns out. this is the first time in her life that scout has ever been sick, and i guess the last as well. it was just too much to fight. when they told me what was wrong, all i wanted to do was bring her home, and i am so glad i did. her last night was spent sleeping with me, and her last day was spent napping on her favorite blanket, purring the time away on the couch. when we took her in, she was calm and not afraid. and at the vet's office, i let her out of the carrier, and she snuggled down between me and the hippie and purred and licked my hand. when the doctor came in, he was surprised to find her purring. it was simple and fast and painless, for which i will forever be grateful. i know we did the right thing. and although it is AWFUL to lose her, i am glad she could die with dignity and without suffering.

kitties under the tree

the past two weeks have been terrible. the last few days, some of the worst i have ever experienced in my life. but i weigh this sadness against the years of happiness and all the joy that scout brought into my life, and i have to say--it is all worth it. she was the best cat ever. and oh, how i loved her. i will never forget the feel of her thick soft fur or the sound her loud-ass meowing or her warm comforting presence by my side. i will miss her every day.

i am grateful for the support of everyone over the past week. it's amazing what an impact a pet can have on you and how hard it is to lose one. they really do become members of your family. people get this, it seems--they come out of the woodwork to offer prayers and condolences. the original vet who saw scout yesterday called to see how she was and how i was and what had happened. two of my amazingly good friends figured out where scout had been hospitalized and called to make donations to help cover her massive bill--that was a shock when i went to pay the bill yesterday. unexpected and generous, unnecessary, but utterly appreciated. i have good friends, what can i say. i love you guys.

ok--i am going to stop now--i guess this is something like a wake for the kitty, it's a damned shame i can't drink a bunch of beer in scout's honor--i totally would if i weren't knocked up.

Friday, November 02, 2007

a youth in asia

today is scout's last with us. i brought her home from the hospital last night and took the day off from work to spend it with her. and i am so glad i did. she's purring and napping by my side right now. she hides her symptoms so well that you would almost not know she is sick. but he is. she has a large mast cell tumor in her abdomen, and there is nothing to be done for it--we COULD choose to put her though a major abdominal reconstruction, which she may or may not survive, and then treat her with chemotherapy afterwards. but to me, this is not an option--it would mean buying her some poor quality time for purely selfish reasons. i just cannot do that to her. right now, she is weak, but not in pain. she is not suffering, but is fading quickly. so this afternoon, we will take her back into the hospital, and end her life in a loving and humane way. and i have to say, this is the worst and hardest thing i have ever had to do in my whole life. i know with complete certainty that it's the right thing to do, and i hate every second of it. i have been lucky as a pet owner--this is the first time in 38 years i have had to make this kind of decision. this week has been pretty much god awful. it's just life, and i know that, but man--it sure feels heavy right now. i would really appreciate any good thoughts y'all could send my way today.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


1) it's november. i will be posting daily again. we'll see if i can pull it off.

2) i'm knocked up. i'vee been quietly blogging about it on the side over here. i'll link that blog in in the side bar when i get a minute.

3) my cat, scout is very very sick and probably dying. i am depressed as shit and am in hermit mode as a result. blah.

4) i have pictures and all kinds of news and shit. a lot's been happening, as evidenced by my conspicuous absense from this here internet. it's coming people. be patient with me.

did i say blah already? if not, then--blah.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

on socks...

sock stuff

trekking for socktoberfest

trekking swatch

failed provisional cast-on

trekking socks, WIP
yep, that's right--i've been knitting socks. i haven't been talking about it a lot as i have barely had time to breathe, buti HAVE been working on them. a couple of weekends ago, the hippie's friends all came into town to play D&D, as they are wont to do. to escape on saturday--i split the house and headed to the LYS, where my friend works to take advantage of the company, the good light, and the help. seemed like a good day to start making socks. i took everything i thought i would need with me, and still ended up buying a few more fiddly bits. (of course! it's the YARN STORE!) (click on that top picture for an explanation of all my gear--there are many notes on that pic.) for my first socks (again) (let us not dwell on last october's false start.) (poor unfinished alpine lace socks, languishing in the sock bag all this time...), i decided to copy some socks THK made a while ago--a pair of plain old knitted socks made of trekking. i love this yarn, both how it feels and how it automatically creates all these lovely tweedy stripes. i swatched it, aiming for 8 sts per inch, which i got on my first try on some 1's--go me. i learned to do a provisional cast-on, which means i also learned to crochet a chain, and promptly fucked it right up. the choice of dark green yarn to provisionally cast on for dark blue socks? perhaps unwise. so, what this means is that i spent two hours in the yarn store working on socks, only to come home with--exactly what i came in with plus $50 worth of random crap i just HAD to have. (what? that little blue bag matched my sock yarn? what could i do?) i started over the next day, and managed to get going on the cuff. a week of knitting later, i got going on the main part of ths sock. and you know, they look good. they will fit me. i want to wear them. but man--i am not loving knitting them. here's why. if i had more time to knit, i would be all over these socks. but i don't. i have precious little time, period, and my time to knit is even less. i think is this part of why i make so many baby objects--i have a prayer in hell of finishing them in under a year. i keep looking at these socks and thinking about how many stitches i have knitted on them already, and it's more than a whole baby blanket. and i KNOW this is the wrong way to think about it. it's a different beast entirely. but it's just frustratingly slow for me. i need a week to work on them to get one done. and i just don't have it. i am still trying. i am knitting every chance i get. i have touched nothing but socks all month. and you see before you what i've got. a third of a sock. i need to find a way to go faster. tonight i will knit on something else--i just need a break...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

too much to do!

this past weekend, i actually started painting my studio. saturday i got it ready, sunday i put a coat of paint on it. i think i like the color, but of course, it needs a second coat to be sure. my plan was to finish it monday night, but instead i got kind of sick and ended up going to bed REALLY early monday. no painting. last night, we had a friend over for dinner. good time, but no painting. tonight, there will be a handful of people in the house for dinner as well, but i am still hoping to paint anyway. this may be a pipe dream, but i'm hoping... then tomorrow night, i can start putting the room back together, so that i can get all the studio crap out of the guest room so that people can actually sleep in the guest room this weekend. did i mention that we are having house guests this weekend? houseguest i LOVE and look forward to, but still... and now, my parents have decided by come miracle to come visit the following weekend as well. there's just too much to do. i need to quit my job to deal with my life. or at least get my environment set up the way i want it. sorry this post is such a bitch-fest. i am just feeling a tad overwhelmed today. thank god i took friday off.

by the way, i am holding crazy aunt purl's book out as a carrot to myself--i am not allowed to read it till the studio is done!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

gotta have it

must haves

yarn and shadow
sometimes a girl just needs a little instant gratification. retail therapy. whatever you want to call it. today at lunchtime i ran out, drove all over hell and half of georgia, and came back with these: crazy aunt purl's drunk divorced and covered in cat hair, which i cannot WAIT to read (LOVE crazy aunt purl--hey girl!), and a beautiful little natural ball of kidsilk haze, with which i will, in my copious free time, knit a branching out scarf as a gift for my lovely work friend janie, who is both awesome and a really tremendous help to me. why i had to have these things TODAY, i am not sure, but i did. and now i have them. so yay! besides, who can argue with the benefits of a yarn store visit at lunchtime. that's just good stuff right there.

ps--that second picture is just there because i like it--love the sunlight this time of day.

time flies

it always seems like we are busiest at the end of the summer--this year even more so because we put the beach trip off till september. since i last wrote anything, we have been on vacation, had many houseguests, and run around like chickens with their little heads cut off. i actually wrote a post about leaving for the beach and failed to publish it. i even put the pictures from last year on flickr in honor of leaving this year. and the pictures from this year? those are sitting on my memory card just waiting around for me to deal with them. in my spare time.

i am so glad fall's here! fall is quieter than summer. there's more time for knitting. it's such a great time of year to cook. it makes me want to be home, work on my house, knit, make stews and soups, dig holes in my yard, plant things, and generally nest. and i think fall weather might be my favorite of all. i don't know though--it seems like i get excited by every season change...

this fall promises to be filled with events that please me. the hippie's friends are coming down the first weekend in october, which is a huge treat. i thought i would be out of town, but plans have changed, and now i will be here to go with them to a hockey game (the first in a LONG time!), and to feed them a big pot of chili and some pies--man, am i craving some apple pie! then in november, i am flying up to detroit to meet my friend kimmie's new babies. we will then drive (with two infants and a toddler--should be VERY interesting) down to NC, where kimmie will be spending a few weeks in our hometown with her mama. hopefully i will get to see my mama, too! i actually really wish my mama would come to see ME, but she's got some travel phobias--i am always surprised to see her further than 8 miles from home.

and speaking of fall--october is looming CLOSE on the horizon--and that means socktoberfest, which will once again be hosted by the lovely lolly (who is sporting a fabulous new haircut). i have promised THK that i will knit some socks in october. i guess since i started my first sock last october, maybe i should finish it this october. (first sock status: the heel on it's turned, and i am through the gusset and to the start of the foot, but i have STALLED...) i can't say i am looking forward to it, but hopefully i will get more fired up. i am way more into making random items than socks--maybe because i don't really like to wear socks... anyway--it's in my knitting future either way. my goal is to have two finished pairs by the end of the month. and maybe the hippie will finish my pippi kneestockings, too. we'll see...

anyway--that's about it for my rambly catch-up post. i have stuff going on that calls for pictures, so hopefully you will be seeing and hearing more from me in the next little bit. maybe i should make october a month where i promise to post every day like i did last november, so i am committed and don't let time get away from me like this. that was awesome...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

points of interest

it's been a busy couple of weeks here, people. the hippie got me a new 8G iPod nano for my birthday, and it still has nothing on it--that's how busy i've been. travesty, if you ask me. so anyway--it's calming down, sort of. i am gearing up to head to the beach on saturday, and i can't believe it's already time to go. i didn't even count down this time. so much i still need to do before then! however, i can't let my life pass withouth ANY commentary, so here are a couple of highlights from the last week and a half.

last week we went to a couple of concerts. we saw nickleback, who were awesome. sadly they were playing at walnut creek, a sucky venue. totally worth it for a band that's great, but i swear, that place actually has energy sucking powers. anyway. then we also went to ozzfest. the hippie goes to this every year that he can, and i had never been--i admit i was kind of a tourist. in years past, there have been at least a couple of bands i love at every ozzfest--this year, not so much. however, this was the last year for it, and i just wanted to experience it for myself one time. really--it was TAME compared to how i thought it would be. we met and hung out with cool people, but there just weren't the number of freaks i expected. nor was there any body painting. and the stuff they were selling was mostly--eh, whatever.
the one standout of the day for me was this one girl's piercing. this picture is from my phone, and therefore it sucks, but you can see the ribbon pattern on this girl's back, right? (click on it to make it bigger.) that's 12 steel rings pierced through her back and laced up with a black silk ribbon. holy OUCH, batman! but it was also really beautiful, in a tortured sort of way. i will also say that seeing ozzy osbourne in person was worth the whole hot day. what an icon in the world of rock and roll! to me, it is amazing he still lives and breathes.

isaac flailing

isaac, vaguely troubled
now, on a completely different note, i got to meet isaac earlier this week when his parents came over for a little cook out with us and jenn and harry. he's the 3-month-old son of our friends jeff and carrie, and he's cute as a button. his big sister ella was off running around with gabriella all night, so there was no photographing them, but i grabbed the camera and snapped a couple of isaac shots since he was flailing around on the floor on his new blanket. the top one's my favorite because it's the most accurate. the kid is NOT still. however, i also LOVE that expression on his face in the bottom one. he's all--what in the WORLD are you doing up there??? so cute. he's a smiley kicky baby with a sweet nature and a total cutie pie.

and for the record, long weekends ROCK. we need more of those, please.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

down time

the bosses are all out of town. this in no way means that i have no work to do. however, it does mean i have a prayer in hell of getting my office organized this week, something i am dying to do. also it means i can get out of work a tad early and get home to the making of dinner (relaxing), and the couch (relaxing), and the watching of some battlestar galactica, to which the hippie and i have become addicted (also relaxing). i have had a headache for about a week, and i think the time has come to take steps to de-stress and get rid of that thing. tonight's going to be my night to sit, knit, and go to bed early. whoo hoo!

and tomorrow's my birthday, by the way--i keep forgetting... happy birthday to me.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

roller coaster

man, this week! it's all up and down. the hippie's birthday was tuesday, and he loved his gifts--at least the ones that made it here on time! on the other hand he's sick. i've had long conversations with well-loved and old friends. on the other hand, it's mostly because some of us are going through a tremendously shitty time, and the others of us are rallying around them. it SUCKS watching your friends deal with the hard parts of life. stuff in the yard is blooming. except for the stuff that's dying instead. i am getting caught up at work, but my concentration level is for shit. i am just all over the place. oh yeah, and the car? seven hundred and fifty-one smackers. but hey--it's running now! so yeah. enough talk--let's look at pretty stuff!

hibiscus stamen

crepe myrtle
the hibiscus bush that gave not a single flower last summer is bloming up a storm. it's been hot as balls lately, and this thing loves it! we will not speak of how much water it needs, and we will not tell the town how much we give it, either. but we will speak of the vibrancy and beauty of these flowers. i love them so much! and at long last, the crepe myrtle tree in the front yard has revealed itself as a white tree. i have mixed feelings about this. i generally prefer my crepe myrtles to be colorful because the white ones start to look like they have mud spashed on them when they begin to fade. that said, it sure is lovely right now! the flowers are so clean and delicate! this baby is just getting revved up, and promises to bloom like crazy in spite of my fears that the frost had killed it off. what is it about flowers? no matter how crappy i feel, flowers make me feel better.

and so does yarn!!!

jaeger, sadly, is going out of business. this means that webs is selling their yarn in super-cheap close-out prices! as you see--i stocked up. a few of these balls of yarn are for meredith, but most are for me! whoo hoo! it's all good baby sweater/dress amounts of wool and cotton in many colors with the exception of that stuff in the bag that's hiding in the back--that's 2000 yards of matchmaker 4-ply in anthracite, which someday... a day a long time from now... will be come a fine cabled sweater for me.

Monday, August 13, 2007

stupid car, redux

car has a oil leak that's going to cost me a bunch of smackers. suck. i'm getting to that point where i am like--the car is 10 years old and has almost 150k miles on it. it's sliding down the hill into old age and infirmity. when do i replace it? what to i replace it with?? a new honda civic? a used something or other? heh--a mini cooper??! i know i will end up with something practical and economical, because that's how i roll on the car thing. but man--i don't WANT a car payment! bleh! *whine*

dear car,

please last another year before you croak for good and please don't cost me thousands of dollars in the meantime. and if you could eject the tape you have eaten, i would really appreciate that as well. and also, please take a bath--you are NASTY!


Friday, August 10, 2007

just thinkin'

so i was just looking for something back in my archive, and made the mistake of clicking on last november. i forgot i had actually written a post every day of that month, and then i got lost re-reading what i had written and remembering everything. compare that to this summer, and well--i should really write more posts. it's actually kind of cool to have that whole record back there, and i find i enjoy re-reading the snippets more than the long tomes i tend to write. there's no real point to this post--i was just thinking about it, this whole bloggety thing we do. i'm sure not tired of it yet, but i wonder occasionally if i am maybe just a TAD narcissistic. but then--i guess you have to be to start a blog in the first place, right? anyway...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

knittin' for littles

i've been running around like a mad-woman latey, and work has been kicking my ass--thus the lack of posts. even so, i've been knitting when i can, even though i have way less time for it than usual. i spent some time this past weekend project-wranging and trying to assess my overall knitting progress. i haven't gone ANYWHERE on the baltic sea stole as it takes all my concentration not to mess up. some people won't let me work on it on sundays because they think i am BORING when i knit it--it's probably true. however, i have been making some headway. get ready for a long post about knitting! (tom, you may as well stop reading now...)

matthew's cardigan, ready for sewing

matthew's cardigan, buttons
this is the garter stitch baby cardigan from simple knits for cherished babies, which, if you recall, i hae made before. i really love this pattern, and i like how it comes out with this mission falls 1824 cotton. it's a heavier gauge yarn than the pattern calls for, which makes for a sturdier garment; i like that in a cardigan. it's got a wonderful hand, and the colors are fabulous--they remind me of beach glass. i am also all about these little wooden buttons. i think this will look smashing on kimmie's new baby boy, matthew!

katherine's cardigan, WIP

katherine's cardigan, buttons
this is the same sweater as the cardigan above, but this one's for baby matthew's twin sister katherine (katie). these itty bitty babies are only a couple of weeks old and are quite a long way away from fitting into these sweaters, so i am not in a gigantic hurry to get them finished. (plus--hello? it's a hundred degrees out, even way up north in michigan!) however, they're fun to knit, so they are going quickly anyway! i can't decide which of these two buttons to use on katie's sweater, although i am leaning heavily toward the green ones. you can't tell from the picture, but the grey ones are actually iridescent shell buttons, and also look smashing. any opinions would be welcome and appreciated.

ella's hoodie, ready to block
ah, ella's hoodie. i finally sucked it up and did the finishing work on this on sunday. i am embarrassed to say that i have procrastinated sewing up the casing for the drawstring on the hood and finding a button for this thing since NOVEMBER! ugh! seriously, people--that's just crazy. that said, i think this might be one of my favorite things i have ever knitted. i LOVE the noro silk garden and the way the colors just fade into each other. (look at this detail!) i am going to block this tonight, and hopefully ship it off to little ella in a couple of days. it's going to swallow her whole, but that's kind of the idea. hopefully, she will be able to wear it for a couple of seasons.

isaac's blanket, FO
yet another basket weave baby blanket made from paton's melody. i just keep knitting this thing--it's so fast and practical, it's almost hard not to! this one's for our friends, jeff and carrie's new son isaac who was born in may. i knitted this in two days, and then it took me a month to get around to weaving in the ends. i picked something bright this time, just to try something different, and as you see--there's some pooling and flashing going on up there. it doesn't really bother me, but it's something to consider if you are thinking about using this yarn for anything.

in addition to all this, i am also about 2/3 of the way through yet another felted bag, this time in red. that's my current knitting-in-the-dark project for. you know--movies, road trips at night, and such. i also started another baby blanket for a co-worker who will be having a second squeaker in january. that one's my knitting-in-front-of-the-tv project. and there's still the baltic sea stole in the wings as well--that one will be on hold until i can find a day to myself somewhere in my crazy life.

in other, un-knitting-related news, the hippie's been away at a conference since last saturday, and it's time for him to come home. i miss him! look how cute he is knittng me some pippi kneestockings. how i do love my man!

Monday, August 06, 2007


a couple of weekends ago, we took the kid home to pennsylvania. it's been like 3 years since we have been up there when it wasn't winter: cold, rainy/snowy with iron grey skies and ice on the ground. i forgot how beautiful it can be in the summer, with the blooming and the ripening and the sunshine and the kitties. i think we managed to hit the Perfect Weekend up there. i took a lot of pictures, which i will now attempt to show off, using this pictobrowser thingy i discovered on another blog. let's see if it works.

ok, so there are a couple of scaling issues to work out. not to get too technified, this thing wants to be 500 pixels wide, and my template only allows for 400. when i try to scale it, things are getting a little pixelated. there must be a way around that, but it's going to take some time to figure out. till i get to that, here's a link to the set on flickr, if you feel like having better picture quality: click here for the set. oh, and for good measure, here's a link to the un-pixelated pictobrowser thingy too: click here for the un-pixelated pictobrowser.

Friday, July 20, 2007

you can't make this stuff up

today i made a ninja strike on the grocery store to get tampons. ii saw this great bottle of wine we like on mega sale (ravenswood sonoma county old vine zinfandel—yum!), so of course i grabbed it. as an afterthought, i added a couple of those hershey's dark chocolate and almond nugggets. so i went to get in the checkout line. there were two women in front of me.

the first woman was buying the following: a six-pack of bud, a box of kotex maxi pads, and a 2-pound bag of peanut M&M's.

the second one was buying a 4-pack of peach wine coolers, a box of tampax tampons, and a snickers bar.

and then me.


and now, we're on the road to PA to deliver the kid back home. the kid's in a foul, foul mood, angry to be leaving in spite of having declared that he wanted to stay another week. can you believe how MEAN we are?!

the trip is being made easier by the spontaneous last-minute purchase of the audio book of harry potter and the order of the phoenix. the book? 75 bucks. the peace? priceless!

ps—writing from my phone, so please forgive my typos. (not that y'all aren't used to those...)

Friday, July 13, 2007

poor kid!

being an insta-parent for a cople of weeks isn't all fun and games. the kid is sick. i've filled him up with ibuprofen and apple juice and piled him on the couch with chicken soup, tissues, blannkets, pillows, cough drops, and a big glass of water. he's watching the mummy and will probably talk me into a sequel before i stick him into the bed for the night. the sad thing here is that he's probably not going to get to go sailing with his big brother and harry tomorrow, which blows--i feel bad for him. anyone with good tips for entertaining a sick 10-year-old, feel free to pass them along.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


it's summer alright. i can tell by how days and days go by without me writing any blog posts, and i end up SHOCKED and APPALLED that i have been so slack. but then the truth is that i have NOT been slack--i have just been running my ass ragged. we have the hippie's family in this week, so i have been focussed on them and not my own pursuits. in fact, we've put the hippie's baby brother, who is only 10 years old (almost 11!) into camp here for two weeks, so we'll have him till the 21st. so far, he's liking camp, which is awesome--he's been home schooled till now and hasn't spent a ton of time with other children, so the camp thing was either going to be pure love or pure hate. i am so glad for him that it seems to be LOVE! hopefully this will help him adjust to going to a public school this fall--just being on a tight schedule is something of a shock to his system. it's kind of funny, having this kid in the house--i feel like an insta-parent a little bit. i am sure that feeling is going to get worse when his mother leaves tomorrow. heh, maybe this is good for me, too! we'll see--ask me in a week! :)

in other news--DAMN, it's hot! thank the sweet baby jesus for air conditioning.

in still other news--those rocking chairs are getting a WORKOUT. it already seems like there aren't enough of them. and we should have gotten a smaller one for G--that's clear.

in knitting-related news--i am back to work on the sweaters for kimmie's soon-to-be-born babies, since thery are you know, soon-to-be-born. the blue one's almost done... the green one's yet to be begun. poor neglected baltic sea stole. poor neglected project spectrum. poor sock, resting in it's cool dark bag waiting for october when i have decided i will knit socks and nothing else. poor bags in need of felting. poor ella's hoodie that's ben done except for sewing up the casing for--oh--about 7 months. do all knitters have this problem?

and last but not least, a moment of extreme sadness for crazy aunt purl--laurie's lost her sweet kitty, roy, and every time i think about it, i start to cry. i keep reliving the horrible day when my mean josephina died in my lap. losing a pet just blows, especially when one has seen you through a lot of time and rough patches. hugs for laurie today, people.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

front porch livin'

rocking chairs

bistro set
one of the major selling points of our house was the front porch. we are front porch people. all my life, i have heard my mother longing for a big front porch, and since i moved back to raleigh, i have made it a point to try to have one. even our old apartment had a good one, and believe me, we used the heck out of it! this is something that people not from the South don't always understand, but let me tell you--there is no better place to relax than in a comfy rocking chair out on the front porch, especially if you have a big glass of iced tea, a bowl of cold grapes, and a ceiling fan. last weekend (which the hippie and i have been referring to as "the weekend of acquisition") we bought 3 brand new rocking chairs and two little tables for the porch. they were made here in NC and sold by a cool old guy at the local flea market--our favorite. add them to the wonderful little bistro set that i inherited from my grandmother's house, and the porch is really coming together. we even have homes for the bugs of benefit we bought years ago. i want to pick up a few more plants and some wind chimes to complete the environment out there, but it's already becoming my favorite place to be in the whole house. there's already been some knittin', some readin', some drinkin', and the smoking of a cigar or two out there. the porch tells me that it's really summer. i may not go inside till fall.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

baltic sea stole, the early years

my, time certainly flies by, doesn't it? especially in the summer, when we are tremendously busy and there is so much going on. you can expect a few catching-up style posts today, as i have the day off. :)

blue heron beaded rayon

blueberry yarn cake

lace on the porch

last sunday, i finally got a chance to sit and knit for a whole day, something i haven't managed in months! i now have a good foothold (knock on wood!) on the baltic sea stole. the pattern is from fiber trends (designed by faina letoutchaia) and calls for a sport weight mohair, but i didn't want to knit it with anything that fuzzy. there's a beautiful sample shawl at my LYS that's made out of this super soft alpaca from curious creek fibers, which is what made me want to knit this pattern. however, the LYS doesn't have that yarn in any colors i love, and upon further investigation, i decided that the yarn was also way too inconsistently dyed for its cost. it's soft as hell, but i don't know--not really worth it. i found some yarn i like even better at bella filati a few weeks ago, this beaded rayon from blue heron yarns. neither THK or i were certain about how well this yarn would do with lace, but so far, it seems to be about perfect. the proof will be in the blocking, but that, my friends, is a long way away. even though the yarn is turning my hands and my needles blue as the beejeezus when i knit with it. however, the results are so soft and drapey, i am finding it hard to care too much. i'm knitting on size 9 straights and it's working out pretty well. the only downside is that i have to seriously concentrate on the pattern. THK and amy spent all day sunday giving me crap for not talking as much as usual and begging me to go back to working on washcloths, but i wasn't about to waste a whole day NOT working on it, especially after the whole train debacle. now that i am getting further into it, the pattern is starting to make more sense to me. i can see the structure, and the repeat is burning itself into my brain. hopefully the concentration level can drop to something like 87% in the very near future. i am afraid this thing is going to take me a year to knit, but i just don't care. i am loving it!

the beginnings

Friday, June 22, 2007

weekend excursions, part three: YARN!

yarn bouquet
i have crossed over, people. i am buying yarn with no real plan. everyone told me it would happen, and i said--no. and i still have to have SOME rough idea of what a yarn will be before i just go throwing my money down and walking out with a pile of it. but i challenge anyone to go to purl in soho and not come out of there with a pile of yarn. i mean, seriously--that place is a wonder. so many beautiful things packed into such a tiny space! the yarn just about comes to you--all you have to do is soak it in. add to that the generosity of a good friend, and a trip to bella filati in your recent past, and your stash is going to have some serious new members in its ranks. and lucky for me, rita's window sill turned out to be a FABULOUS spot for yarn photography. here's the run-down:

koigu to give away
ok, so i mentioned in my previous post how THK saved my ass on friday, right? how she came to get me at the train station in her bathrobe at 5:30am and made me an omelet? yeah. i owe her so MUCH for that day. i decided to start with some sock yarn, as she has some kind of SOCK OBSESSION. i picked these two little skeins of koigu from the--oh--8 or so shelves PACKED with it at purl. lovely, no? i am sure she will make at least one sock from this. maybe someday she will even make two--we'll see...

alchemy silken straw
this yarn is maybe the best thing EVER. (although i am sure i will think that about a bunch of other yarns as soon as i start fondling them!) it's enough alchemy silken straw to make a whole entire sweater. with sleeves! for me! do i have a pattern? no! but i know i want to make something simple with it, not too fitted. think something you would want to put on over your tank top and linen pants to go take a walk on a windy beach. that's what i want. suggestions highly encouraged. requested even. perhaps i will go so far as to say--suggestions DESPERATELY NEEDED AND SOUGHT! help! have you guys ever touched this after it's been knitted and blocked?? it's AWESOME.

kidlin to give away

kidlin closeup
next is this kidlin, which i had never seen before. it's a blend of nylon, kid mohair, and linen, and the colors were deep and saturated and gorgeous. i wanted this all for myself, but i wasn't done with gifts for THK yet: i got some for her and some for me. i love that green with a fervent passion (is that redundant), but the truth is that it looks like crap on me. the close-up of the red? that's all me. i am going to make something lace from this and wear it in the fall with bright red lipstick and smoky eyes. THK is trying to talk me into some kind of kidlin knit-a-long with her, but i know for a fact that her fast self would kick my ass, be done in a week, and have made three (single) socks while i was still working on my setup rows. then again, that WOULD mean she would have already made the lace and be able to help me with it when i get stuck. hmmmm...

boucle from steam valley fibers
rita de-stashed and gave me some FREE YARN! and not just that! free yarn from steam valley fibers, a small family farm in pennsylvania near where my friend rita used to live. this stuff is lace weight, hand spun, and hand dyed. check out the close-up to see just how awesome it is. it's a superfine wool of some kind, and it's solft and fuzzy and pliable. i have no idea whatsoever i am going to do with it, but it sure is fun to fondle! this one is going to take some thought... again--if anyone has any suggestions for what to do with around 260 yards of fab yarn, i will be glad to hear them.

more free yarn from rita's stash--this is a ribbon yarn from berroco, the name of which is escaping my tired and tiny brain right now. it's awesome though--rita made a scarf from it that's very pretty and actually feels a little suede-ish. again, i don't have a clue what i am going to do with this, but there's enough of it to do something good. might make a drop stitch something or other to show off that ribbon-y-ness. by the way, while digging around in her closet, rita said--i have some cashmere in here somewhere... and i was really torn between yelling at her one of two things: 1) WELL, KNIT IT, GIRL!, and 2) FIND IT RIGHT NOW! 'cause i love me some cashmere. i'm just sayin'.

blue heron beaded rayon
ok, this yarn isn't from nyc. it's from bella filati. it's the blue heron beaded rayon that's destined to become the baltic sea stole. i have mentioned it before, but i could NOT get a good picture of it at my house. rita's window sill, however, proved to be the perfect place to actually GET the color. the color name is blueberry, which i think is wildly appropriate. this yarn is what THK wound for me. i was planning to knit it on the train, but only got as far as the cast on. this sunday, come hell or high water, i will start in on the stole. it's time i made something for me! yay!

whew! are you overwhelmed yet?! i am! i can't wait to swatch it all up and play!

it's official...

i still hate canteloupe. yuck.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

weekend excursions, part two: NYC

view from the hotel window--you can just see central park in the distance
the sam's birthday was this weekend, and we met in new york to play. this is always a good idea. new york is just such a mecca of shopping and eating and walking and people-watching--it's just a fun place to be. sam and wendel and i shopped and ate our way across the city of course, and walked and walked and walked. then the sam left, i got to spend and afternoon and evening with my friend rita, who i haven't seen in person in about 3 years, so that, too, was delightful. some highlights from the weekend:

from the window of the train
first, the trouble: got up at 4am on friday to take the train to new york. i had a knitting project all saved up to work on and everything! i check for delays and none are posted, so i head to the train station, get ticketed, and find out that my train is a minimum of 3 hours late. so, the hippie helps me find a cheap plane ticket and i shift fire and fly. THK proves her worth as my friend a thousand times in the space of 3 hours by a) coming to pick me up at the train station in her bathrobe at 5:30am, b) making me a cup of tea and a omelet at her apartment, c) winding my giant 500+ yard hank of yarn into a perfect cake for me, and d) driving me to the airport in rush hour traffic. i owe her. i bought her some yarn, but i think i still owe her. meanwhile, the train home was ALSO 3 hours late, so i ended up not getting in until after midnight on monday. i am still tired. conclusion: take the train to DC, yes! but do not take the train to new york--it's just too far. blah.

now, on to the good stuff...

we saw wicked on friday night, which was awesome--i haven't seen a broadway show in ages! highly recommend this one for the polular song alone... and then as we were leaving the theater, i get an text message from my friend alyce that says, "in new york. everything makes me think of you." so i asked where she was--she was ONE BLOCK AWAY! so i got to have an unexpected drink with her. very serendipitous.

poised to bite the unwary
wendel appeared to have a good time biting people in central park, having some cheesecake at lindy's, stealing wine from alyce, and yarn shopping. he's a pretty good traveling companion as long as you remember to watch those teeth! fortunately, i got the silken straw away from him just in time!!!

magnolia cupcakes, pretty but blah
we went to a somewhat famous place for cupcakes, the magnolia bakery. and well--i have to say that in spite of both its reputation and the massively long line that got my hopes all up, the cupcakes were just ok. first of all, they only had vanilla and chocolate cupcakes--i was really hoping for something a little more creative (and maybe some place to sit). they were pretty, but mine taste better. theirs were a little dry and crumbly--sam was making fun of me for feeding some of mine to the pigeons, but i still think it was the Right Thing to do. that said, the piece of coconut cake that sam got was fantastic. i wish i had some more of that filling right now.

a rundown of my purchases in NYC: yarn from purl (more on that later--it gets its own post!), a ton of makeup from face (the best make-up store on the planet), some artwork for the hippie, some porch art (i'll provide a link to these things later, but in short, they are wood things that hang on your porch and spin in the wind--very pretty), street jewelry in the form of a murano glass necklace, some handmade soaps at a street fair, a bunch of small things at the MoMA design store (baskets, an umbrella, presents, etc...), and some clothes (new dress--yay!) (freaky silver top--yay!). i almost bought a fabulous ring, but i talked myself out of it. now, i am filled with regret over this ring. i am also now very poor. i love you, ne your, but you are a thief of my cash!!!

this is a cool picture take by rita's boyrfriend. he's a camera guy for CNN, and i think it's clear he knows what he's doing. the crazy man was standing int he middle of the street to get this. i love it!
new york sunset

more on the yarn tomorrow--there's much to show.