Monday, March 29, 2010

It might be the longest 5 days EVER

It's raining in Miami, but after a winter of nothing but snow, this is pretty nice. We are now onboard the Century, a gigantic floating smorgasbord and bar. Signed up for the wine club first thing, because it's all about prioritizing. Next important item, finding my own personal space to knit and read and try and stay sane. For the next five days, I'll be trapped on a ship with a 17 year old who is doing nothing but obsessing about carbs. Pray that the ship doesn't run out of Chardonnay.

I am experimenting with mobil blogging. If you are reading this on Monday, March 29, I'm smarter than I thought I was. If you're reading this in April, then I'm not, but at least it will mean I survived.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

No more excuses

My main form of exercise these days is tennis. While I used to be a golf nut (too much time, too expensive), and a skier (not a year-round sport, even in Colorado), tennis is the thing I've stuck with for years. I just love whacking the crap out of that fuzzy yellow ball, and cute tennis outfits are a bonus. Lately, though, I've been slacking off.

I used to be a runner, until I my knees and shins quit on me. They got tired of hauling my ass around and I can't blame them. Still, there are times when I regret not having run a marathon. I trained for it, did a half marathon, and did one 16 mile run before I gave it up. I figured if I wanted that much pain I could just smack myself with a hammer or go swimsuit shopping. Today, while running errands, I saw something that almost made me want to get back out there. There were two runners, about six feet apart, one in front of the other. They had a length of rope between them, and the runner in back was wearing a white t-shirt with big red letters--BLIND RUNNER.

Oh man. I thought of all the times I didn't feel like playing tennis because I was too tired or it was too hot or some other lame excuse. I'm betting that blind guy doesn't get up in the morning and say, "Meh. I'm feeling too blind today. I think I'll skip it." Don't get me wrong; I have more than my share of aches and pains, and more cortisone shots than I want to think about, but these are temporary. Sometimes we need a little inspiration to keep us going, and I got mine today. I don't know if my creaky knees can handle running anymore but as long as they can take a little tennis, I'll keep at it and try not to whine. It won't always be pretty and I know there will be days when a six year old could beat me with one hand tied behind his back. But until my knitting gets fast enough that I can call it an aerobic workout, I'm going to get out there as often as I can, smack that tennis ball and be grateful that I can. Even if it hurts, it still beats swimsuit shopping.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Does Punxsutawney Phil wear socks?

I'm loving the color turquoise right now. It reminds me of the blue skies we used to have here in Colorado, before global warming put us into permanent winter. It's like that movie Groundhog Day. We keep getting the same storm over and over and over again. We had a doozy last night--no school today, trees falling on cars, downed power lines, the usual March stuff. It just feels like winter is going to last for-freaking-ever, so I might as well keep my feet warm, and stay one step ahead of the holidays by knitting a new sock pattern in several versions. Yeah, I crack me up too.

Half way through the first pair, I came up with an idea--reverse the pattern on the other sock. Brilliant, right? Not so much. Turns out, at least on my needles, a right twist and a left twist aren't mirror images of each other. They don't look opposite, they look different. Not exactly what I want in a pair of socks. I'm a 2-at-a-timer, so I finished the first pair with a right twist pattern, then started the second pair with a left twist. This is when I figured out these two pairs aren't going to be identical twins, they'll be fraternal. I've got less than two inches on the second pair. My dilemma is whether to keep going with the left twist, which is a bit harder to knit than a right twist, and put it in the FO holiday pile, or rip it and go with another pair of right twist, which I like better. It's not that the left twist is hideous, I just don't like it as well.

At any rate, I'm calling the pattern Sandia Crest. It's the highest point on the New Mexico Turquoise Trail. The original is knit with Cascade 220 Superwash. I've ordered some sock weight yarn, in a multi-turquoise, and I'll work on that version when I get the yarn on Friday, if we don't get another storm that stops The Big Brown Van from getting to my house. I'll post the patterns soon.

Sandia Crest
right twist
left twist

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Toe-Up Socks for Every Body: It's a keeper

In another life, one of my jobs was writing book reviews. Since I was only an admin assistant and not one of the "real" writers, I got the books nobody else wanted (or understood.) I was pretty good at making the mundane sound downright sexy, but it's been awhile. Fortunately, I don't need that skill to write a review of Wendy Johnson's new book, Toe-Up Socks for Every Body. I was pretty sure it would be worth buying; I wasn't prepared to love it. Did I say love? When I buy a book of patterns and I want to make at least half of them NOW, that's love. Colorwork, cables, lace--this baby has it all. Yes, there are things in the book I will probably never knit, and rightly so. My thighs in thigh highs? I will spare DH the sight of that. But I can totally see myself in the Wrought Iron Kneesocks. I'll make a pair for DD, too, if she stops pissing me off long enough for me to knit them. Kneesocks are a commitment, no doubt, but when they're this cute, it's worth it--even for a cranky teenagers.

I've been wanting to expand my sock repertoire to include colorwork, but I can't decide which to make first, the Norwegian Rose Socks, Sneaky Argyle, or Stjärnblommesockor. They're all gorgeous, and there's a sock for every skill level. WoOt!

One of the great features of this book is the chart at the beginning of each sock category. It lists the degree of difficulty for each pattern and any special techniques that are required. There are lots of illustrations and the index has a thumbnail page of all the patterns, something I find very helpful. The charts aren't written out, but I consider that a plus. I don't know if/how many corrections will eventually be posted, but I'll take my chance with a chart any day. A chart doesn't lie.

Wendy, you hit this one out of the park. Toe-Up Socks for Every Body--Adventurous Lace, Cables, and Colorwork, is gorgeous. My only problem is deciding which pair to knit first.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Duck poop and other crap

There's a lot of spring cleaning going on here in our townhouse complex. They're patching and painting and sprucing things up from the humongous hail storm we had last summer. I'm hoping they'll also repair the holes the woodpeckers are making. But in the meantime, the woodpeckers have been replaced by guys on the roof, staring into my skylight whenever I happen to walk out of the bathroom naked. Fun!

It's a glorious day here, so DH and I took Sophie for a walk in the park behind our complex. I got a picture of a heron, but since I used my iPhone, you'll really have to hunt for it in the photo, kind of like Where's Waldo. We should be seeing ducklings and goslings soon, which means the sidewalk between the two ponds at the park will be covered in goose and duck poop, as the duck and goose families go back and forth. I just love spring! The nice weather also means the Lance Armstrong wannabes will be all over the park, getting pissed off at us walkers for getting in their way. They love to scare the crap out of you when they rip by with no warning at all, but I guess when your genitals are being squeezed by spandex shorts, you forget to be polite. In the spirit of compromise, I'm proposing this idea: if all you skinny tire fanatics will give a little shout out before you pass me, I'll leave my air horn at home. How 'bout it?

In between dodging poop, bikers, and peeping Toms, I've managed to finish the blue socks--just need to find a foot model and get some decent photos. I'm going to make another pair in sock yarn weight, then write up the pattern. I'll have plenty of time, because all this beautiful weather guarantees there's going to be another snow storm any minute now. Maybe I'll wash my car just to make sure.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy First Day of Spring and Happy Birthday Mom!

We finally have some blue skies instead of snow. To celebrate, I dug through my stash and found a pretty skein of Cascade 220 Superwash. Since the weather is only teasing us and winter is NEVER going to end, I'm casting on a pair of thick, cushy socks to keep my toes warm. I'll post the pattern when I'm finished. For now, here's a sneak peek.

Today is also my mom's birthday. Happy birthday Mom!

Friday, March 19, 2010

I ♥ Ravelry

Here I go, getting all fan-girl again, but I can't help it. After agonizing over my first pattern--designing, writing, testing, getting it on Ravelry--the Ravelry part was the easiest BY FAR. I don't know who these crazy, code-writing kids are, but I do know they are geniuses. I won't call the process idiot-proof, although if I can do it maybe I should. All I know is, my pattern's now available as a .pdf download right from Ravelry, and it was easy to do. Everything about Ravelry is so well integrated and seamless, it just begs you to participate. Isn't that what a social networking site should do? They got it right and it just keeps getting better. Facebook, take a lesson.

Mother Nature, meanwhile, is not getting anything right, as far as I'm concerned. Yeah, I know. March is our snowiest month, here in Colorado, but enough already.

We're supposed to get about eight inches before it's over with, and Round Two should hit in a couple of days. I know I asked for sweater weather back in October, but seriously. Give it a rest!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Free pattern: Garden Patch Hats

I offer to you the Itty Bitty' Pumpkin, Itty Bitty' Peach, and Itty Bitty' Eggplant. Change the color--think apples, oranges, tomatoes--and knit a garden for that special baby. A link to a downloadable .pdf file is provided at the bottom of this pattern, and in the sidebar to the right. If you like my patterns, follow my blog and you'll always know when I offer a new one. Thanks!

To fit sizes 0-3 months (6-9 months)
1 ball Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran:
300033 (orange) for Itty Bitty Pumpkin
330022 (peach) for Itty Bitty Peach
330014 (purple) for Itty Bitty Eggplant
Cascade 220 Superwash
about 30 yards 866 Forest Heather, for Lil’ Pumpkin and Lil’ Peach
Plymouth Encore Worsted Weight
about 30 yards 1232 light green for Lil’ Eggplant
Set of 5 size 7 double-point needles
Or 1 40-inch size 7 circular needle, for magic loop, and
2 size 7 double-point needles

Crochet hook size F or G
Stitch marker, tapestry needle
Gauge—21 stitches and 28 rows to 4 inches

Knit leaves:
Here’s a great tutorial for crochet chain provisional cast on:
Using a couple of yards of waste yarn, crochet a chain of about 70 (75) stitches, to be used as a provisional cast-on for the leaves. Do not pull the last chain stitch too tightly, as you will undo the chain later. Break yarn. Mark this end of the yarn. (I like to tie a loose knot close to the end.)
Using dpns and starting three stitches from one end of the chain, and using yarn designated for the leaves, pick up 5 stitches. Turn.

Row 1: K1, ktfb, K1, ktfb, K1. (7 stitches) Turn.
Row 2: (wrong side) P all stitches.
Row 3: K2, ktfb, K1, ktfb, K2 (9 stitches) Turn
Row 4: P all stitches
Row 5: SSK, K5, k2tog. (7 stitches) Turn
Row 6: P all stitches.
Row 7: SSK, K3, k2tog. (5 stitches) Turn
Row 6: P all stitches.
Row 7: SSK, K1, K2tog (3 stitches) Turn
Row 8: SP2P (1 Stitch) Fasten off, leaving about a 5-inch tail

Knit 7 (8) more leaves in the same manner, spacing leaves 2 or 3 stitches apart on crocheted chain. 8 (9) leaves total.

Knit hat:
With main color, cast on 72 (79) stitches, arranging evenly on three double-point needles or as for magic loop on circular needle. Join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist stitches. If needed, place a marker at the beginning of the round.
Knit all rounds in St st until hat measures 5 3/4 (6 3/4) inches from cast-on edge.
Begin decrease round. Note: the important part of this decrease round is the final number of stitches, 56 for size 0-3 months, and 63 for size 6-9 months. The instructions create a fairly even decrease. Feel free to improvise, as long as your total number of stitches at the end of this decrease round is correct.
Decrease round for size 0-3 months: (K2, k2tog) twice. (K3, k2tog) four times. (K2, k2tog) four times. (K3, k2tog) four times. (K2, k2tog) twice. (56 stitches)
Decrease round for size 6-9 months: (K2, k2tog, K4, k2tog) 7 times. For remaining 9 stitches of this round: K2, k2tog, K3, k2tog (63 stitches) Break main color thread.

Attach leaves to top of hat:
Beginning at the marked end of the chain, carefully release the first leaf from the crocheted chain and place each live stitch on a dpn, taking care that stitches are facing in the correct position. Push leaf close to the right end of the dpn. Set aside. Switching to yarn designated for leaves, knit first 2 stitches of hat. Pick up leaf needle and place it together with hat needle, leaf needle on top. Knit the first leaf stitch and the next hat stitch together. Repeat for remaining 4 leaf stitches and next 4 hat stitches. Knit next 2 hat stitches. Place next leaf from crochet chain onto empty dpn and knit the leaf together with the next 5 hat stitches as before. Continue around the hat, adding all leaves.

Next round: Knit even.
Decrease round 1: *K1, k2tog. Repeat from *. 38 (42) stitches
Next round: Knit even.
Decrease rounds 2, 3, and 4 *K2tog. Repeat from *, until 5 stitches remain.
Place remaining 5 stitches on a dpn. Work I-cord for about an inch. Break yarn. Thread yarn tail through all stitches, and pull tight.
Weave in ends with tapestry needle and block hat if desired.

Stitch guide:
K knit
P purl
K2tog knit 2 together
dpn(s) double-point needle(s)
SSK slip 2 stitches, one at a time, knit the 2 stitches together, through the back loop
SP2P slip 1 purl-wise, purl 2 together, pass the slip stitch over the purl 2 together
St st stockinette stitch
© Susan Santos 2010. This pattern is offered at no cost, for personal and charitable use only. Please do not attempt to sell this pattern, or objects made from this pattern.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

If you don't know me by now...

We're getting ready for our spring break vacation, a short Caribbean cruise at the end of March. It will probably be our last spring break together as a family, because next year DD will be at Disney World with her high school marching band. I won't be a chaperon for that trip. I already did my time in that particular hell a couple of years ago, when the band went to Disneyland. Trust me--the Happiest Place on Earth isn't so happy when you're babysitting a bunch of teenagers, and you haven't had enough sleep and, oh by the way, chaperons aren't allowed to consume alcohol DURING THE ENTIRE TRIP, not even a glass of wine at dinner or a little something from the mini bar in our hotel room at night. Martha Stewart had it better in prison. I'm not dumb enough to spend another week making sure a bunch of hormone-crazed kids stay out of each other's rooms. I can do that here at home, with all the wine I want.

This year we plan to relax and spend some quality time together, before DD and all our money go off to college. DH and I were discussing which books we would take on the cruise, when out of the blue he says, "It's too bad you can't read and knit at the same time." Seriously? Did you not just witness me knitting, writing out a pattern, watching the hummingbird cam on my laptop and a tennis match on the television, simultaneously? I'm the knitting mother of a teenage girl, with a dog that needs walking, a cat with a litter box, and a blog. I'm a bad ass with circulars and I do it two-at-time, sock-wise. Knit and read at the same time? Uh, no. But I'm working on it.

Extra points if you can name this book

Monday, March 15, 2010

This is very cool and very good

Had a physical therapy appointment this morning and on my way home, with a little detour to hunt down the spring issue of Vogue Knitting, I saw this:

Phoebe update: No baby hummingbirds yet. This is seriously beginning to be a problem. I have accomplished nothing since I started watching those damn eggs. Nothing!

Tina is working on the Phoebe Series and I think it's starting to work her nerves a little. She will probably bitch-slap me if she ever sees me again, but it's a small price to pay for being able to drop her name like I know her or something. Just remember, Tina, it was all your idea. Turtlepurl is also feeling the hummingbird love. It's all hummingbirds, all the time. Hatch already!

The BMFA Phoebe the Hummingbird series was my idea, sort of...

Show of hands--who else spent the entire weekend here? No thanks to the Yarn Harlot, the pumpkin hat pattern is thisclose to being finished. I'm just waiting on some photos from the rent-a-baby model. I spent the rest of the weekend glued to my laptop, waiting for hummingbird eggs to hatch. THE ENTIRE WEEKEND. I kid you not. And apparently, so did a lot of other knitters. We pretty much took over the chat at the hummingbird cam last night, which was rather cool. Knitters, represent!

I follow the Yarn Harlot, and her partner in crime, Depraved Dyer, on Twitter. (I love Twitter, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.) So a few days ago, YH and Dyer mention the hummingbird cam and the site goes from a few hundred viewers to a few thousand--I am seriously not kidding. I'm pretty sure the Harlot and the Dyer are in cahoots together, because last night they were tweeting back and forth about Phoebe the Hummingbird, and the next thing I know I'm tweeting Dyer telling her she needs to do a Phoebe series colorway, and I swear on my stash, she said yes! I'm not claiming I gave her the idea, but you heard it here first people. There is going to be a Blue Moon Fiber Arts Phoebe Series colorway. I got the word from Tina herself, and permission to blog about it, so I can kinda sorta take credit. That's only fair, since I'm now sucked into buying the whole series when it comes out. Tina and Stephanie, you are evil!

Those darn eggs better hatch soon, or my cat is going to have to learn how to use the toilet. Sorry, Katie!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

No need to think about holiday knitting just yet. Right?

I used to go nuts at Christmas time--I'd make my own greeting cards, decorate the house, hang lights outside, cook for days on end. One year, I made 24 miniature gingerbread houses that I used as place card holders, each with its own decorated roof, and a tiny wreath hanging on the tiny front door. Another year, I made seven different pies for dessert: cherry, pecan, sour cream raisin, apple, pumpkin, blueberry, and peanut butter, all from scratch. You get the picture. I turned into this crazy woman, trying to outdo myself every year, dialing up the stress meter to the max. I owned Martha Stewart--until I started knitting again.

It crept up on me slowly--freeze dried scalloped potatoes one year, no handmade chocolate covered cherries the next. I got tired of doing the big production meal every single year, while somebody else picked up the slack, oh let me see, ONCE. I don't remember what re-ignited the spark in me, but I wanted more time for knitting. Making hats and socks and scarves became a whole lot more fun than baking gigantic star and moon-shaped monogrammed cookies for eighteen people. You can knit sitting down with a glass of wine. Cooking? Not so much. It was time to cut back.

This past year, I finally did it--no gourmet-type meal for the in-laws, just a huge pot of kick-ass chili, a crunchy salad, brownies, and lots of knitting time for me. They'll love it, everybody's happy, problem solved. Winner, winner Costco chicken dinner! I could spend the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas doing nothing but blissful knitting, without having the burden of that huge holiday meal on my mind.

You're not going to believe this, but trying to crank out the majority of my holiday knitting between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve is about as stress-free as taking your kid driving on the freeway for the first time. Who knew?

It just seems like a month ought to be plenty of time to finish all my holiday knitting, because of course I will have started all my projects early. But then, I let spring go by, and summer, and all of a sudden it's Thanksgiving and the only thing I have to show for all my good intentions is one pair of socks. That sweater for my mom? Still in skeins. The stranded mittens I planned for DD? They have to mutate into plain fingerless gloves. It's not that I haven't done any knitting. I've done plenty. But somehow most of the Christmas socks turn into birthday and Mother's Day socks. The rest of it always seems to go to this really selfish person who collects Danskos just so she can show off her hand-knit socks. She's so bitchy sometimes. I don't know why I keep knitting for her.

It's beautiful outside today. The sun is shining, that damn woodpecker is drilling holes the size of basketballs into the side of our condo, and for the first weekend in a long time it's not snowing. Christmas seems so far away. In the back of my mind, though, I can feel just a little bit of that holiday pressure. This is a good thing. Maybe this year I'll not only make the list early, but also begin the actual knitting BEFORE Costco re-stocks the blowup Santas. I can look at the patterns I already own and try to remember who I bought them for in the first place. I can knit those patterns with the stash I already have and put them away for the people on my list (except for You Know Who) until the holidays. But for now, while the sun is out and the sky is a gorgeous shade of robin's egg blue, I'm going to put on my Danskos and take the dog for a nice long walk. I've got plenty of time to start my holiday knitting, right? Right?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

At least she wasn't wearing a thong

I had to pick up DD from the downtown college campus library today. DH had dropped her off and was sweet enough to let me sleep in, so I didn't see them when they left early this morning. Big mistake. As I pull into the library parking lot, I see this girl out of the corner of my eye and think to myself, "She's very cute but that dress is way too short." Any idea who it was? Two guesses and one doesn't count.

I didn't say a word when DD got into the car, but apparently I'm no good at keeping my thoughts to myself. The first thing out of her mouth was, "I look a little too much like a hooker, don't I?" A really short dress combined with tall wedge heels can give that impression, but really, 'hooker' wasn't quite accurate. She was rockin' the boyfriend jacket like nobody's business, so we agreed on naughty schoolgirl instead. I love that we can have conversations like this without screaming at each other. This, my friends, is progressive. After I dropped her off at school, I picked up some tights for her to wear under the dress, so it's all good.

More good news--my cupcake eating cat Katie seems to have made a full recovery. She's looking a little scrawny, but an extra meal per day should rectify that. Always works for me.

Now, if everyone will just keep their butts covered and not throw up, maybe I can finish writing that hat pattern.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You know how dogs roll over and show you their bellies?

One of the reasons I decided to start blogging is my impending grandmother-hood. I'm looking forward to it, since I was sure it would never happen. As excited as I am, this is NOT a hint to our other grownup offspring. I think it's rather pathetic when parents try to get their kids to procreate--Hurry! Get knocked up NOW so I can one-up all my other friends before they have grandchildren! Not my style.

Knitting-wise, I've finished three items for Upcoming Grandchild--monster booties, a blanket, and this hat:

While I love the booties and the blanket, this hat is my favorite. Why? Because I made up the pattern all by myself! Yes, in addition to a being a blogger, I am now a designer. I know--one hat and one blog ain't much to hang your credentials on, but you gotta start somewhere. I have made up patterns for socks, but I've never released any 'real' patterns, just basic info about what I did. I'm posting the photo so I will get off my lazy (and admittedly chicken) butt and finish writing up the pattern.

I know some big-time designers have gotten hate-mail about patterns they've released, and I do not understand getting all psycho about a knitting pattern. The phrase, "get a life," comes to mind. This is way nicer than, "are you *$&^#*% kidding me?" But neither is a good response to somebody who's flipping out about a pattern you slaved over. So I'm going to work on the pattern and do my best to make sure it is easy to understand and mistake-free. I'm also hoping this post will motivate me to get the work done by next week. This is my pinky-swear to you: I will post the pattern instructions for this hat BY NEXT WEEK, no matter how vulnerable it makes me feel. I also promise not to get all Sally Field on you, but I do hope you like the hat.

In the meantime, I might do a little housekeeping on my blog. I follow a million other blogs, so I think it's time to do some rotating on the blog roll, maybe slap on a fresh coat of paint, add some new doodads, take out some old ones. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Six degrees of separation, sort of

Much to DD's chagrin, I'm on Twitter. She doesn't get it, but then I don't understand the fun in stealing virtual cars*, so I guess that makes us even.

Today, YarnHarlot twittered something about wishing cats could drive themselves to the vet's office, which is kind of weird because I was wishing the very same thing. Not to be a copy-cat (ha ha, I kill myself) but I have to drive my cat to the vet today too. YH, did your cat eat three cupcakes and a partial loaf of bread? I think not. Top THIS if you can. I double-dog dare you. (I am seriously killing myself now.)

Seems I'm not the only one having tons o'fun here in sunny Colorado: linky for those of you unaware of the pissing match between Amazon and the Centennial State. Draw your own conclusions. It will be a mute point for me after I give the vet the entire balance of my checking account.

I have managed some knitting, in between cleaning cat barf and getting cortisone shots in BOTH shoulders (pausing for your gasps of sympathy).

These are the sleeves for the Chic Knits Ribby Cardi. I have a cotton sweater I need to replace. It's gotten ratty enough that I feel like a bag lady when I wear it outside of the house, and I got the pattern free, for being a test knitter on another project. I would have paid for this pattern, I'm enjoying it that much. I like to do both sleeves at the same time. That way if/when I make a mistake, I make it on both sleeves. I'm all about consistency.

The yarn is Berroco Weekend, a cotton/acrylic worsted weight-ish blend. I don't normally go for acrylic yarn--I don't like the squeakiness. This one seems pretty nice, but since the last time I got all fan-girl over a yarn, it turned out to be a pain in the butt, I will reserve judgement until after I finish this sweater.

Back to the sunny day here in Colorado. It's gorgeous today, but it won't last. I've lived here long enough to know that our weather is all about trying to make us psycho--sunshine one day, blizzard the next. I'm going to take a photo off my back deck every day until at least the official first day of summer; then, I'm going to put together one of those time lapse thingies, to show the progression of our crazy weather. As you can tell from all the technical language I've used, this is going to be a delicate operation. I'll put it up when I have enough frames to make it fun. It won't be as fun as the hummingbird cam, but really, what is?

*Grand Theft Auto, another one of those things where I told DD no and DH said, Yeah! Sure! Guess who won.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Why I knit

This list isn't complete by any means. I could add more, but somebody didn't toss out their leftover breakfast, so the cat did. It would be TMI to tell you how the cat accomplished this, but if you own a cat, you already know what I mean. I may add to this list after I clean the carpet.

1. I knit so I don't strangle people who leave their breakfast for the cat to finish. You know who you are.

2. Knitting makes a glass of wine last longer, thus keeping you from drinking too much. It also saves money for more yarn, and more wine, which you will need after you clean up after the cat.

3. It makes it harder to eat cheeseburgers, which I have no business eating but had for lunch yesterday anyway. Bite me, Cholesterol Police. I got the results from my annual physical and blood test yesterday and it's all good. Sort of.

4. A yarn stash is better than say, a drug stash. I have no personal knowledge of this, but I live in Colorado, where we have more marijuana dispensaries than coffee shops, and some pretty rockin' yarn shops, so I'm certain this is true. Yarn is my drug of choice.

5. It gives you something to do when your plane is pushed back from the gate and you sit on the runway for hours, with no food or beverage. A knitter, however, will not only have yarn in his/her project bag, but also snacks and a couple of those tiny bottles of vodka they sell at liquor stores, right next to the checkout stand. I have no personal knowledge of this either. Really.

6. It is a safe activity, unless you do this.

7. You can knit stuff that looks like a codpiece, but it's not. I don't make this stuff up, but I know where to find it.

Brace yourselves. There's more to come.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Anybody got a pattern for a straight jacket?

Yesterday was one of those days when DD did everything possible to make herself totally unlikeable. Today, she is feeling sorry for herself because nobody likes her.

I wear a size medium, by the way.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Shout-out to Alan at Bed Bath & Beyond

Yesterday, DH and I had to go shopping for a new down comforter. A certain person's little dog decided it was time for the old comforter to go, and let us know this by peeing on it the day before. We also have a cat, but it was pretty clear who the real culprit was. Sophie had refused to come to bed on the night in question. Instead, she hid behind the clothes hamper. Busted! DH tried to convince me that it could have been Katie, our cat, but I knew better. A cat will stand over the evidence and be all "Yeah I did it. And your point is?" Even DH, who believes his dog can do no wrong, finally had to admit that Sophie was the guilty one. You wouldn't know it to look at her, would you? It's the eyes.

We drove all over town looking for a good quality comforter that cost less than a car payment--not as easy as you would think. Seriously. Who knew you could pay $1,200 for a comforter? I know it's been a long while since we bought the old one, but really! And as long as there's a chance that our pets could confuse the comforter with the lawn or the litter box, paying that much money is insane.

After hours of shopping with nothing to show for it except a jumbo box of assorted Rice Krispies Treats and some printer paper, we ended up at Bed Bath & Beyond. We found a comforter we liked, at a decent price, but then a scary and wonderful thing happened. Alan, who was working the floor at BB&B, showed us a different comforter. This one was priced $50 more than the comforter we had just picked out, but Alan informed us that in a day or two it was going on sale for half price, and maybe we wanted to hold off. He also told us that if we got a BB&B coupon in the mail after we bought the comforter, we could bring in that coupon and the receipt and they would give us back the difference. How cool is this?!?!?

Yes, I know I'm pathetic for getting giddy over something like this, but when's the last time you shopped and got customer service this great? Call me crazy, but it felt like Alan cared. Bed Bath and Beyond, if you give Alan a raise, I will also buy a waffle iron when I buy my half-price comforter. The old waffle iron died a few months ago, but I'm pretty sure the dog had nothing to do with it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I attempt to photograph like Jared Flood and fail miserably

Am I the only one left with that hollow, empty feeling, now that the Vancouver Olympics are finito? I watched a few minutes of Letterman last night, just because going to bed before midnight seemed sad, like I'd run out of options or something.

My Knitting Olympics project is FINALLY off the blocking wires. I don't know if it's the bamboo or just the bad juju I have with this particular yarn, but it took for-freaking-ever for the thing to dry. It was worth the wait, though. I'm calling it Caribbean Ocean Blanket--the fan and feather lace border makes me think of ocean waves, hence the name. I tried to channel my inner Jared Flood when I photographed it, but of course with my SUCKO camera... oh well. It's the thought that counts.

Jared's pattern calls for a tweedy DK wool in sophisticated grays, but this is for a July baby in Minnesota. They have hot, humid summers and I figure they get enough gray in winter, so I went with the brights instead. I don't know if it's a boy or a girl, but I don't go for the blue is for boys/pink is for girls rule. I just pick the colors I like and go from there. Hopefully, the parents are cool with this.

I also finished my Ravelympics socks. LOVE the fit and the yarn, but hate the photo. Yeah, you're as surprised as I am.

It is one of the highlights of my life (and I'm not kidding) that I can add the Ravelympics and Knitting Olympics medals to my blog. It doesn't take much to make me happy. Thanks Franklin and thanks Ravelry bigshots, for creating these medals.

My silly little blog reached a milestone yesterday--1,000 page loads. WoOt! Thanks for reading.