Monday, November 21, 2011

Careful what you wish for...

Gawd! Will she ever shut up?!?! I guess I over did it, but I've been so cranky and anxious for about the last month, Mary Poppins would have punched me in the mouth. I won't bore you with too many of the details, but after enduring an allergy patch test that nearly drove me up the wall--and coming no closer to finding out what IS driving me up a wall--and finally biting the bullet and getting an MRI on my knee, I decided there is no way around not whining in public. I wish I could say I feel better now, but at least I don't feel worse, so hey! At least I have that going for me. Stay classy, Jelli.

My slender link to sanity has been knitting, of course. I'm posting a few photos here, and I'll give you details later in the week. I've been so lazy preoccupied I haven't even posted any of these on Ravelery--I'm an equal opportunity slacker. It's not just my own blog that I've been ignoring.

Tulips Colorful Cardigan

Sock Swatch

Pretty Baby Sweater--a gift

The buttons cost more than the yarn, but so worth it!

I started this Traveling Woman Shawl on the way home from our Minnesota road trip. I've actually finished it AND another shawl. Not bad for a slacker.

Last but not least, a few weeks ago I managed to kill my 20 year old Kitchenaid mixer. Fortunately Costco had this bad boy on sale:

It was love at first sight!

More tomorrow. No, really. REALLY! And thanks to those of you who sent me emails, wondering what the hell happened to me. I also promise to catch up on my blog reading. ::sigh::

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On the road again...

We're off to Minnesota to visit Tilly and her parents and to celebrate her daddy's birthday. I'll try to blog from the road but you can follow our adventures on my Twitter feed. Don't miss exciting stuff, like us turning around after half an hour on the road, to get the camera I forgot at home; Ogallalalalala; and our 2nd Starbucks of the day. Did I mention the dog throwing up in the back seat? Awesome! Don't you just love car trips?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meme Monday--Getting My Lemming On

I've never been much for memes. I'd rather read about other people than tell you stuff you can hold against me in the future. But I've been challenged by a certain other blogger, and I figure that gives me license to copy and paste her work. Also, we have a lot of things in common, which is even more of a reason. (I highlighted where we answered pretty close to the same.)  Here's the link to the person who started the meme.

Age:  Recently turned 55, and I act like a two year old at times, so if you take the average, I'm 28. 

Bed:  Queen sized, and barely big enough for two humans and one eleven pound dog. Guess which one takes up the most room?

Chore that you hate:  Don't really hate any of them, although dusting seems pretty pointless--it just keeps coming back from nowhere.

Dogs:  See "Bed." 

Essential to start my day:  Quiet time and coffee. Take either from me at your own risk. And I am not kidding in the slightest. 

Favorite color:  I really can't pick a favorite color. That's like picking your favorite child.

Gold or silver:  Gold!  White or yellow --- but, gold all the way.

Height:  5'4"

Instruments that you play:  Have tried piano, guitar, and violin.  Found I'm best at the MP3 player.

Job Title:  Assistant, but I really prefer Empress.

Kids:  Two really great ones!

Live:  I prefer Tape Delayed because you can cut out the parts where I look really bad and say things I regret.

Mom's name:  Rose, which I think is very pretty.

Nicknames:  I never had a nickname growing up. Now I have a husband who has about a hundred different ones for me, and no I won't tell you any of them because I will never be allowed to live them down. 

Overnight hospital stays:  Two, see "Kids." I should have left earlier from the first one--my roommate hadn't given birth yet and whined INCESSANTLY. The second one, I had a private room and I have fond memories of the adjustable bed and the half dozen pillows that surrounded me. I'd probably still be there if the coffee had been decent.

Pet Peeves:  Bad personal hygiene. We went out for lunch today and the hostess had a runny nose. She kept wiping it ON HER FINGERS then she would hand the waiters the menus and napkins as they seated people. We left. Gross! What are you, three years old? Blow your nose then wash your hands! Did I mention gross?

Quote from a movie:  "I'm not gonna play... by their rules... anymore." ~ Phil Connors (Bill Murray) Groundhog Day

Right or left:  Right. I can't even wave goodbye with my left hand.

Siblings:  Seven sisters. And no, I'm not making this up.

Take-Out-Food:  Chipotle, hands down the best fast food take out place EVER. And not just because I like their cheap margaritas. 

Underwear:  Clean is best. Words to live by.

Veggies:  Love most of them.  Even eggplant. 

What makes you run late:  Blogging and staying in the shower too long. Sue me. 

Xrays:  Yes --- regularly at the dentist and several other times throughout my life.  

Yummy food:  Pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks--non-fat, hold one pump of the sweetener, light whip, a slice of the gingerbread loaf on the side. NOW please. 

Zoo Animals:  Anything but snakes. ANYTHING.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tell me about it...Winter

Do you love it? Have you gathered up all of your wool socks and sweaters, put 'em in a big pile and done a snow dance around it? Are you searching Ravelry for turtleneck patterns? Or do you hate Old Man Winter with a passion and can't stand the thought of summer EVER going away?

Tell me about it!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Here Kitty, Kitty!


I keep coming across cat stuff that just will not leave my brain alone. It's like an ear worm, but with felines. One cure for an ear worm is to sing the entire song. Here's my cat-on-the-brain solution: pass it on to you! Even if you don't like cats--and I'd keep that fact to myself--you should click on these links.

This cat moved from Colorado to Manhattan for five years--but didn't tell his family.

GirlAnachronismE sent me this link. I'm wondering how many lives that kitty used up.

Last, but not least--obey the kitty!

And because I occasionally like to toss in something about, oh I don't know, KNITTING, here's an extremely amazing tip for avoiding those holes that seem to appear at the top of your gusset out of nowhere. Sounds like a disease, doesn't it? Anyway, it's slap-your-forehead simple and makes me want to cast on a pair of socks right this minute just to try it out, because I have ten thousand other things nothing else to do today.

* Found this photo on Google Images. I think it's from and I couldn't figure out if it's copyrighted or not. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


los●er [loo-zer]
a. a misfit, especially someone who has never or seldom been successful at a job, personal relationship, etc.
b. a person who wakes up their neighbors at 3 a.m. with their loud, obnoxious, illegally mufflered piece of crap automobile
c. a twenty-something who moved back home with his momma because some woman probably got tired of living with a LOSER
d. a person stupid enough to deprive a knitter of her sleep, thereby rendering her cranky and dangerous; see CIRCULAR KNITTING NEEDLES

Monday, September 12, 2011

Now that I've depressed the crap out of myself...

How about something funny?

I found it here. Anybody else got any funny knitting links they'd like to share? If they're NSFW please indicate. It won't stop me from posting the link but it's good to know. We don't want anybody fired for links to knitted codpieces. Just sayin'...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Eating Le Big Mac on My Soapbox

Today is the 10th anniversary of 9-11 and I’ve been debating all day long whether or not to post something about it. While I do have giveaways on my blog partly for the purpose of upping my readership, I don’t like pimping, even if you think it’s for a good cause. A couple of days ago I passed by a church in my neighborhood and the marquee out front was inviting people to their 9-11 picnic. What the hell do you do at a 9-11 picnic? Play pin the bomb on the mosque? Picnic and 9-11 on the same sign doesn't seem right.

Maybe that church just wanted people to remember those who died and the families they left behind. Maybe that was the goal of the 9-11 television specials that were on all week, or the 9-11 anniversary pins, key chains, and coffee mugs you can buy online. But commemorating such a horrendous episode in our country’s history without talking about how to keep it from happening again anywhere isn’t enough of a remembrance. If we’re going to print In God We Trust on our money we should still be concerned about the lives of people all over the world without thinking we’re going to look like commie-pinko-hippie pushovers. Patriotism isn’t being blind, deaf, and dumb to what's happening on the rest of the planet.

Real patriotism asks the hard questions and brings up stuff we’re not always honest about, just like those forms at your doctor’s office that ask you how many drinks you have in a week and if you use recreational drugs. Let’s at least be honest about the fact that our nationalistic intuition tells us anybody who looks Arabic is born wanting to blow up sky scrapers, and the metric system is downright un-American. These beliefs are wrong and we all know it, but we’re not the only ones guilty of confusing patriotism with nationalism. A few years ago the city of Paris supposedly raised over $40 million dollars to keep out corporations like McDonalds. But this wasn't really about corporations, it was about defending what it means to be French. Le Big Mac isn’t going to destroy French culture, but this guy? If I were French I would be le worried, but I wouldn’t blame Americans.

I hope 9-11’s legacy will be more than just airport body scanners and pat downs. I imagine those who died that day would be sad at the idea of their surviving families still living in fear. Maybe before another ten years pass, we can figure out how to coexist while ridding the world of the bad guys who think that destroying one way of life will save another. I have my doubts, since we can’t even agree on who the bad guys are, but I haven’t given up on the idea. In the meantime, I go about my daily life and try to be the kind of person other people don’t want to blow up. It’s not much, and it won’t keep me safe from life’s random acts of cowardice. But it does keep me from being that paranoid neighbor who has a year’s worth of dried food in the basement and thinks the government implanted a homing device in her head when she had her tonsil taken out. That’s good enough for now.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tell Me About It

Congratulations to Helen, Rebecca, and Natalie, the winners of my latest giveaway! I'll let you know which prize is yours and get them on their way soon. Thanks everybody for all your great comments. And don't fret if you didn't win. There will be more giveaways in the future because I LOVE doing them!

I know lots of knitting bloggers have FO Fridays but since I don't seem to be finishing anything I can blog about, instead I'll do Tell Me Friday.

Yesterday I got my brand new (hopefully) permanent crown put on. My dentist is a really nice guy--DH once yanked him off the golf course because I had a tooth ache the day before I was supposed to fly out to Someplace I Can't Remember. (His diagnosis was that I clench my teeth in my sleep and he had a night guard made for me. I seriously love wearing this thing, which probably says something about oral fixations and such but we won't go there today.)

Anyway, while he's gluing in the new crown yesterday, he asked me why I thought people didn't go to their high school reunions, especially if they still live in the same town as their high school. I wasn't sure how to respond since it seemed to me he'd answered his own question. He thought maybe it had to do with cliques and maybe people didn't want to socialize with the people who reminded them of what a tough time high school was. When he took his hands out of my mouth I said something about not really remembering my high school as being particularly "clique-y." It was more like a been-there-done-that-bought-the-tee-shirt kind of experience for me, so I didn't see the need to get on an airplane and revisit the whole thing. No, I've never been to a high school reunion.

Have I missed out on one of life's greatest experiences? Is my perception that hanging with a bunch of people who are way older and dumpier than we ever dreamed we'd be a much more fun night than I give it credit for? If I went to one of my high school reunions, would the guy from my geometry class who used to ask me to study with him admit he had a crush on me, since I barely passed geometry and he was a mathematical genius?

Tell me if you've ever been to your high school reunion. If so, did you like it? If not, why not. Were the hotties still hot? Did the geeks end up inventing Post It Notes? And if you're like me and have never gone, why have you skipped it? Tell me, I'd love to know!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

The random number generator did its thing and I've notified the winners. They have 48 hours to email me back. Congratulations to everybody!

I'm going to compile the great organizational tips from the comments and post them in the near future, now that I'm organized. Ahem.

DD's doing well in school, the book process is moving along, and the weather has finally cooled off here. Life is good. What's up with you?

Monday, September 5, 2011


Who or what inspires you? Last week Donna Druchunas gifted me with, among other things, this bounty from her garden:

Most of these lovely veggies ended up in a delicious pasta sauce I created--inspiration never tasted so good!

When I created my new studio, I was inspired to tackle some projects that have been hanging over my head for a while now. Somehow in my newly organized space, it was easier to sit down and get the work done.

Every time I read through the blogs I follow I'm inspired by you, my fellow bloggers. There's so much creativity out there, I'll never be able to create all the projects on my wish list, but that's O.K. The desire to try is what inspires me.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway. As a special Thank You to those who follow my blog, if you leave a comment on this blog post about what inspires YOU you'll get an extra chance to win. It doesn't have to be knitting or cooking inspiration either. Tell me about anything that lights your creative fuse.

Happy Labor Day!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I am one lucky dog--you can be too!

First of all, thanks for all the nice words--I'm convinced they made me feel better faster, which just proves that whining works.

Time for the fun stuff! The "surprise" I've been alluding to for weeks now? This empty nester now has her very own space to create and work and relax in. I still almost can't believe it. I've turned our guest room into the studio I've been dreaming of for years. Check out these before photos:

This is one way to make sure guests don't stay long, but I don't recommend it. And don't even get me started on the closet in this room. I'll spare you the photos, in case you've just eaten.

And now the after photos:

This is my new desk and chair. The clock hanging on the wall above the cabinet was made by my son many years ago, and it's very special to me.

I love the chair by the window. Unfortunately, I haven't had as much time to lounge in it as I planned, but it's lovely to sit by the window and knit or read, even if it's only for a short while. The footstool is the reason for my second and third trip to Ikea. They were out of it when I decided I really did want it after all.

I love the shelving, my favorite Ikea purchase. DH and I put it together and while I wouldn't call it a walk in the park, we did it without snarling at each other even once. Notice the picture above the rocking chair...

I love all the little cubbies that hold my stash and books. It's so nice to have everything where I can find it and get at it easily, and there's the perfect amount of space for the vertical swift I picked up at Sock Summit. I'm hoping I'll get back to inkle weaving now that I can find my loom without sending out a search team.

I honestly feel like I'm more productive already, even though the closet is not completely organized, and I still need to find window coverings and do some wall patching.

Yes, I know how lucky I am, and I know I had a lot of help and inspiration getting here. This brings me to the best part--the giveaway! There will be not one but THREE lucky winners. I always feel bad when I draw one name, knowing that everybody else is disappointed--not this time!

Here are the prizes:

Donna Druchunas has been such a huge inspiration for me. She has been so generous with her knowledge and expertise, and has given me yarn, books, and so much more. It is because of that generosity that I'm offering three of her books and some very yummy lace-weight yarn as two of the giveaways.

The third giveaway is inspired by Sock Summit. It's the necklace I showed in this post, and some delicious sock yarn called Twinkle Toes.

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment here. The first name I draw will get to choose first, the second name goes second, and so on. Want to up your chances of winning? Leave another comment with your favorite organizational tip or a link to one, and you'll get an extra chance.

Remember, all comments must be on this blog post to be eligible for the drawing. I'll pick the winning names on September 7, around noon MST, by way of a random number generator.

Good luck everybody and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry Yarn

I hate to use words like 'gastrointestinal' in a blog post, but I figure if I do, you won't ask for details. Trust me, you don't want to know. I'm only surfacing today because somewhere in my foggy brain I recall something about a contest and a surprise and who knows what else I said.

I've been saving the few working brain cells I have for basic functions like sleeping and whining, but I promise the moment I have the energy to do anything more there will be one heck of a giveaway on this blog. Seriously. And my surprise? Let's just say it was worth three trips to Ikea...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Parents of College-Bound Kids: It Will Be O.K.

Tomorrow, DD moves out of our house and into the dorm. This is a good thing. Let me repeat: THIS IS A GOOD THING.

The last few days I've read so many blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts from parents who are ready to have a nervous breakdown because their adult child (emphasis on ADULT) is doing what they raised them to do--grow up. I have a headache from all my eye-rolling. Seriously. The obstetrician cut the umbilical cord eighteen years ago. It's your turn now. Get out those scissors and finish the job. IT WILL BE O.K.

I know I will miss DD's presence. I know I will worry about whether or not she's eating right, being safe, doing homework on time, wearing clean underwear, hanging out with good people, and all the other things I've worried about for the last eighteen years. But now these decisions are hers. For all those years, I cooked the meals but didn't force her to eat them. I told her how to be safe online but didn't restrict her internet access. I reminded her that doing homework first, then playing X-Box was a much better plan then vice versa, and let her deal with her teachers when she ignored that advice. If she smelled funny and we were going to be in the car together, I gave her the choice of changing her clothes or riding on the roof of the car. She wasn't the most fastidious kid in the world but she never chose the car roof, not once.

I suppose I should sympathize with parents who are freaking out because their kid will be on their own. If you spent their childhood making sure that they couldn't handle life without the training wheels, then I guess you do have reason to worry, and I'm sorry about that. But just like cats landing on their feet, so will your kid. They might get bumped and bruised along the way, and have to go commando because they haven't done laundry in a month, but they'll figure it out.

Don't get the impression that I think my daughter has this whole thing nailed and will never call home crying or complaining. *I'm not that stupid. But I am so excited for her! I know that after all the gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair, she is going to find out she can handle way more on her own than she ever thought she could. She's going to learn and explore and grow and turn into the most magnificent woman I can image. She's going to change the world--this I am certain of. She changed mine and her dad's eighteen years ago, and nothing has ever been the same.

So I just got a little verklempt myself, but when I think about DD's closet now having room for her stuff that's presently in the guest room closet... stay tuned!

*My son turned out pretty damn wonderful in spite of me, so I'll let my track record speak for itself.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I'm anonymously famous!

Check out the cover of the next Piecework Magazine. See those mittens? No, I didn't design them--Donna Druchunas did. But I made them, which is a little bit like saying you proofread War and Peace for Leo Tolstoy. Or something like that.

This is not my exciting news that is worthy of a giveaway, by the way. Stay tuned...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Me and My Arrows...

As usual, I'm up to my butt in alligators. DD moves into the dorm on Thursday and there's chaos and piles o'crap everywhere EXCEPT FOR ONE PLACE...

Let me explain the arrows in the crappy iPhone photo:

  • The yellow arrow is pointing to my new vertical yarn swift. The nice people from The Oregon Woodworker were letting people demo their swifts at Sock Summit. I saw this bad boy hanging on their booth wall and that was all she wrote. I love it! No more schlepping my swift and ball winder downstairs to the kitchen. 
  • The red arrow is pointing to the Sock Summit tote Donna gave me. Thanks Donna, you're the best!
  • The blue arrow is pointing to the yarn swift bag I bought from Slipped Stitch Studios. They were at Sock Summit too, and had some really great things. The link is to their Etsy shop (and the bag that ran a close second to the geisha-print bag I bought) if you want to check it out. I'm going to keep my original yarn swift in it so it won't get dinged up. It'll be great for travel--you just never know when you're going to need a yarn swift on the road.
  • And last but not least--the green arrow is pointing to something in that one place I alluded to. It's almost ready to be revealed and I am so happy and excited about it I can hardly stand it.
I'm going to have a post-Sock Summit, Empty Nester, and EXCEPT FOR ONE PLACE give-away on Friday. There will be details in the next few days. Stay tuned...

Monday, August 8, 2011

What's the hurry?

The trouble with life in the fast lane is that you get to the other end in an awful hurry.
—John Jensen

I am decidedly NOT in a hurry to get to the other end of anything in summertime. If I had my druthers, mornings would begin about 9 a.m. and end about 2 p.m. The rest of the day could then commence, but at a leisurely pace. Cocktails at 5. That being said, I'm up to my eyeballs in deadlines and unfinished and unstarted projects. (I stole "unstarted." Come forth and claim credit.) My carpets haven't seen the vacuum cleaner in so long they probably wouldn't recognize each other. I have a hundred ideas for new patterns racing around in my head, along with updates to my blog template. Those days that should start at 9 a.m. will have to end at 2 a.m. if I'm going to finish anything before Fall gets here.

Here's a tidbit from Anne Hanson, since I promised you Sock Summit goodies: tie knots in the yarn tail of your gauge swatch to correspond to the needle size you used. Brilliant! My own riff on this for those X.5 size needles--tie one extra knot separated from the knots for the needle size. 

There will be more from Sock Summit soon, I promise, but I'm off to a book meeting. I'll leave you with a hint of a project that just needs seaming. And soaking. And blocking. And mailing. ::sigh::

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sock Summit 2011, Day Four: When do they open the 2013 registration?

I'm writing this last post about Sock Summit on the train from Portland to Tacoma, Washington. I'm going up there to spend a few days with family before I head back to Denver. I wish I could take the train back! Right this moment, I've got wifi and a glass of wine. Just polished off a bowl of Ivar's clam chowder and it's so lovely, just sitting back and watching the scenery go by. Nobody xrayed me or grabbed body parts--this is so much nicer than air travel! When I finish this post I'm going to knit a little, if I don't have another glass of wine...

I had another class on Sunday with Anne Hanson, and the poor thing was pretty much fried by then--she came to Sock Summit directly from London and has one more teaching gig before she heads home--but she was gracious and attentive, as always.

The Fleece to Foot Challenge was Sunday--pretty cool, but no one finished their second sock. Not surprising, since they had to comb the fleece, spin it, then knit the pattern, all in a few hours. Crazy! Here are the three sheep that gave it up for a good cause:

Here's one of the teams:

I heard a rumor that the next Sock Summit (2013) will take up the entire Oregon Convention Center. I'm not sure how they're going to top a flash mob, live sheep and the biggest yarn market I've ever seen but I plan to be here. 

I'll try to post about the classes I took before fly back to Denver, but I'm making no promises. I'll be surrounded by nieces and nephews I haven't seen for a while and I'm hoping some of them will sit still long enough for a few knitting lessons. But oh how I wish you could all have been at Sock Summit with me!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sock Summit, Day Four: Crazy Good!

Today I took JC Briar's sock pattern writing class. It was only a half day class but we tried to convince her it should be six hours. Or maybe one of those two-day intensive workshop things they do after Stitches. Or hey! How about an entire WEEK. The only reason she didn't run from the room screaming is because we had the door blocked. Ahem.

It was a great class with a ton of information. I'll hit the highlights of this, and my other classes when I get home and get my notes organized.

Another cool thing about Sock Summit, besides the flash mob, is getting to see new books and meet the authors. I saw Ilisha Helfman walk by and asked if I could take some photos of her stunning scarf. She showed me her new book Jazzknitting, An Introduction. It has some of the most amazing knitting I've ever seen! I'd never heard of jazz knitting until I talked to Ilisha, and I would love to take a class.

Isn't this amazing? Click on the close up below. Gorgeous!


It's been almost overwhelming at times. Not only have I gotten to hang out with Donna Druchunas, but today I'm walking around the convention center and in a matter of a few minutes I see Cookie A, The Yarn Harlot, Carrie Sullivan, Shannon Oakey, Tina Newton, Anne Hanson, Cat Bordhi, Franklin Habit, and Anna Zilboorg. I swear I almost had to sit down, I was so verklempt. But it gets better. Sivia Harding happens to be standing there wearing her fabulous new sweater. I tell her how gorgeous it is AND SHE TAKES IT OFF AND HANDS IT TO ME. No, not to keep, but so I could see the construction. I know I got all fan girl on her but I don't care. Sivia is just the nicest person you could ever meet and is stunningly beautiful too.

I don't know how they can possibly top Sock Summit 2011, but I'm sure Tina and Stephanie will come up with something.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sock Summit, Day Two: The Mother of all LYS

A prudent spouse will only say that she showed great restraint and practicality. Color me prudent at the yarn market today. Ahem.

Let me instead divert your attention to the world's largest sock:

It's been on the needles since 2006, and has travelled to many shows and knit shops where knitters are invited to jump right in and knit a bit. Takes about 45 minutes to knit one round of the 1500 cast on stitches. Think about that next time you're freaking out about a shawl with a 350 stitch cast on. Skacel is promoting this behemoth. I should have counted the number of circular needles in this bad boy when I sat down and knitted a needle's worth. See the binder in the center of this crazy mass of yarn? The hosting group invites knitters to sign the guest book after they've taken a turn. So far, they've filled five binders.

The sock will probably take a few more years. The plan is to make the leg twelve feet long before they start the heel. Right now it's seven feet long.

There's a sock hop tonight, and everybody is supposed to show up in 80's style clothes. I just can't make myself revisit the nightmare of spandex and gigantic shoulder pads, so I'm showing up in skinny jeans. Or as skinny as jeans can get when they're on my ass. Double ahem.

I'll leave you with an iPhone photo I took just before we started our decent into Portland. Extra points if you can name this mountain.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sock Summit, Day One--The Madness Begins

Here's a few photos to make you wish you were here. Details will be forthcoming when/if I make it out of the yarn market alive.

The first photo is the line outside of the yarn market, right after they opened the doors. The yellow arrows are pointing to the line to get in. I stood on the stairs where I took this photo, for several minutes and never saw the end of the line. Crazy! I'm half hoping they'll buy everything before I get there. I only brought one suitcase.

This is the dragon where people were going to meet today, to trade stitch markers--the stitch markers I forgot to pack. Fortunately, DH has Fedexed them to me, and I'll do my trading later.

The convention center hangs banner from the different conventions and meetings happening here. I think this is the banner from the very first Sock Summit two years ago. I'll show you this year's banner in another post.

And finally, just for fun:

I wish you all could be here!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One More Reason to Never Watch TV Again

This is going to be a totally random my-god-what-is-she-talking-about kind of post because I've recently discovered I'm allergic (or sensitized) to sunscreen, and at this very moment I'm having a reaction to the sunscreen I put on a little while ago. So yeah! Good times!

These are some of the stitch markers I made for the Sock Summit stitch marker trade. Yes, I'm going, and yes, I realize how lucky I am, and yes, I'll bring you back something. Giveaway time! W0ot! Stay tuned... If I can put two coherent thoughts together tomorrow, I'll blog a little more about Sock Summit and some book related things, and if I haven't started to pack by then, I'll ask for volunteers to kick me in the butt.

Totally off-topic and random: DD just turned the TV on, and it was tuned to the TLC channel. Some guy was talking about his addiction to pulling hair out of drains, and he was wondering how to tell his girlfriend. I cannot make this crap up. And yes, I'm sober. I think I'll kill my TV now.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Because not everybody thinks about yarn 24/7

This is an actual made-up conversation DD and I almost had on our way up to the dentist this afternoon:

Me: Cool! Look at those clouds! That group looks just like roving. Quick! Grab my phone and take a picture.

DD: What? Take a picture of what? What the hell is roving?

This is a photo she took on our way home, actually, and no the clouds didn't look like roving anymore.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Does this blog post make my butt look big?

I have so many *WIPs going on at the same time, it's almost depressing. A couple are gifts that I know won't be finished on time. Some are work related that MUST be finished on time. Others are for me, so they've been pushed to the bottom of the heap. Great! Now that I've written this down I really feel like a slacker, so to distract myself, let's talk about my ass instead.

I've been trying to lose a few pounds--I will settle for ten, although in all honesty it should probably be more like fifteen or twenty. For a couple of months I was keeping track of my food intake and weight loss with this app. The result? Five pounds over two months, not much bang for my depravation buck. It would have been more fun to give myself a Twinkie enema. I know I should be happy with ANY negative number, but I need some instant gratification in my life, especially since everything else I'm doing is all about the Long Term and nothing about the Right Now. Not that I'm knocking the app--it's pretty good for keeping track of your food intact and exercise regimen, and it does a great job of reminding you to log your meals. But I don't know. When I upped my calorie budget because I got so damn hungry I almost ate my shoes, that's when I would lose a little weight--but only sometimes. Most of the time the scale didn't budge.

Now, the website has added this little device you clip on, to record the number of steps you take, your activity levels, and how much and how well you sleep. Apparently, good sleep is important to weight loss and might explain why I suck at it. The Fitbit Tracker wirelessly uploads the data so that's one less thing to think about. Applying my no-fail logic, something with such a dumb name will never work. This means, of course, that it probably WILL work, since my track record for getting rid of my extra ass poundage is pathetic. I know nothing. Do not listen to me.

I've decided to order the Fitbit Tracker and give Lose It! another chance, if for no other reason than to eat better, nutrition-wise. It can't hurt to consume more fruits and veggies and less salt and fat. I'll let you know how it goes, from time to time, but it's not going to become a focus of this blog.**

If you're reading this blog post today, July 13, 2011, please note the fact that today is National French Fries Day, according to the Punchbowl widget in the sidebar. This explains so much...

*Works in progress, for you non-knitters
**Notice how I neatly dodged the whole accountability thing. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I've been seeing other blogs...

Here's the linky to my latest guest post on, and here's another photo from the Cherry Creek Arts Festival:

The kids are busy in the kitchen making pasties--extra points if you pronounce it PAST-ies and not PASTE-ies. Triple points if you know the difference.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cherry Creek Arts Festival Redux

I guess it's technically not a redux if this is the first time I've mentioned the Cherry Creek Arts Festival on this blog, but I like the word REDUX and I did tweet about it, so redux it is!

It's probably been ten years or more since the last time we attended the CCAF and it's changed a lot. The thing is absolutely huge--I'm pretty sure we didn't even see it all even though we wandered around for hours. Thank goodness for the ice-cold and not expensive beer stands is all I can say. That was probably the most affordable thing at the festival, next to the free water from Eldorado Springs. When the guy found out we've been customers of their delivery service for a long time, he gave us several bottles. Since it was really hot that day and (for me) porta-potties and multiple beers are a bad combo, the water was appreciated.

Don't get me wrong--there were lots of gorgeous pieces of art but $5,000+ for a painting is way outside of my budget. $500+ for a photo is out of the question, too. I was beginning to think I'd be leaving empty handed, and I was also lamenting the lack of fiber artist, when I came upon this booth:

This is Krista Gorrell of Slim Pik'en Design and she has the most gorgeous hand felted accessories. I bought this infinity scarf:

The colors are stunning and the quality of her work is superb. Plus, her helper in the booth held my beer while I shopped. You can't get customer service like that in a mall. Krista and her associate were a whole lot friendlier than some of the people working the other booths. Call me cranky, but if you're going to ask me to spend a few mortgage payments on your artwork, maybe look up and say hello when I walk into your booth. Just a suggestion...

CCAF is a great place to take the family, even if you can't afford much there. They have a ton of stuff for kids to do--painting, clay, chalk art--and they even let adults participate.

We also got to see the Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile, which is always fun. Sorry, Wiener fans, I didn't get a photo but I hear there might be something on Twitter...

Here's something I would have bought if I had somewhere to put it:

Aren't they cool? They look almost like they're knitted.

We had a lot of fun and we're not going to let ten more years pass before we attend another Cherry Creek Arts Festival, but I'm hoping I win the lottery by then. Or maybe Krista will come back and I'll just buy her stuff and beer. Works for me!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Got brains?

Last weekend DD and I were hanging out together after she had another round with the oral surgeon. She was on light duty, so to speak, so we were looking for low impact activities. Got Paint? came to mind, and we trekked on over to the mall, figuring we'd spend the afternoon painting and bonding. Those paint-your-own-pottery studios are a blast. You get to make a mess creating cheesy, useless chotchkie, and somebody else cleans up. If only the rest of my life could be this way...

The pottery studio is pretty close to a Borders bookstore that some moron attempted to blow up the night before. (Take note of the guy's last name.) Apparently, he has nothing better to do than try and blow up bookstores and strip clubs. I don't get the connection, but I doubt he does either. We had no idea this was going on until we drove up to the mall and saw the crime tape and the news trucks everywhere. We checked things out on our phones while we were debating whether or not to stay. That's kind of a weird discussion to have, but post 911 and Columbine, it didn't feel out of the ordinary. I told DD we'd go inside and if my crap detector went off, we'd go someplace else. That's just how it is nowadays--welcome to the new reality.

We ended up spending several hours there and I painted a big ol' coffee mug with my new logo. It took me a little while to feel totally comfortable and maybe that's why the mug looks like a blindfolded kindergartener painted it, but we had a good time.

You just have to wonder what possesses people.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Odds and Ends

I was trying to clear my brain yesterday. Multiple projects for multiple people, an unexpected trip to the oral surgeon for DD, and a serious case of start-itis left me out of focus. I decided to play with the camera and worked on shallow depth of field shots. This close-up of my wee bit of lavender isn't exciting but does illustrate fairly well the concept of shallow depth of field.

DD had a complication from her wisdom teeth removal back in March. I will spare you the gross details, but all is well now. She is one tough cookie, that daughter of mine! One day she will come to the Way of the Wool, and sheep everywhere will rejoice. Or not. Her choice. Last night I started a blanket for her new dorm abode. It is black and gold, the University of Colorado colors. The part of my brain with common sense says to plan on finishing this in time for Parent's Weekend at CU, mid October. The Screw Delayed Gratification Finish It NOW part says get it done in time for move-in day, mid August. Let's see which side will win. I haven't started working with the gold yarn yet, so no photos. I find black notoriously difficult to photograph, so I'm not wasting the pixels.

Work on The Book continues. Everyday I'm thankful for Donna's guidance and wisdom. Without it, I'd be in deep dodo. She has such a clear vision of what our book will be--I have no doubt it will get written and published and be something we can be proud of. I have no clue how many copies we can sell, but I do know what all my relatives and friends will be receiving gift-wise for a long, long time. To borrow a phrase from, yes, I did write it and no, you can't return it.

Have a lovely weekend everybody!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book Update

I'm in the midst of getting test knitters for the patterns we will feature in the book. This can be challenging, requiring skill, timing, and diplomacy on my part. You might be surprised at just how diplomatic I can be--I could be called by the U.N. at any moment, that's how good I'm getting at this. But wait, it gets better. One of my responsibilities is to contact yarn companies and ask them for yarn. I send an email or make a phone call and like magic, they send yarn--FREE YARN--just because I ask for it. Dropping the name of a famous and published knitting author certainly helps. But still, I love this part of the job. I hope I never got over the excitement of when they email me back and say, "Sure! We'll send you yarn. How much and what color?" I'm sure I'll come back to this moment when I'm in the middle of writing my chapters and I get a terminal case of writer's block while ripping my hair out by the roots. Or not. I'm working on developing the cocky side of my personality, the one I never show you. STOP LAUGHING. I GET FREE YARN.

But here's the thing I'm discovering about that free yarn. Designers who have gotten to the point where yarn companies will supply them with yarn for their designs have earned it. By the time they're well known enough to have that privilege, they've put in countless hours swatching, drawing, knitting, frogging, cussing, and worrying about whether the designs will be accepted and liked enough to be knit by anyone. And I'm sure the yarn companies don't mind the publicity. Don't get me wrong--designers don't get all of their yarn for free. But when somebody like The Yarn Harlot or Donna Druchunas or Jared Flood even mention a yarn in their blogs or books, people rush out and buy it. (This only partly explains my enormous stash.)

I don't know if I'll ever get so famous knitting-wise that my name alone will get me free yarn from Plymouth or Brown Sheep or Cascade. But I intend to keep on working hard and having fun at all this. For me, that's the point, but having a dream can't hurt.

You're not famous until my mother has heard of you.
—Jay Leno

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Most people who read my blog are knitters and crocheters, so you get what I'm about to tell you. For my non-fiber followers, I'm probably not talking to you. If you follow this blog, you most likely "get it" or are at least polite enough to act like you do. For that, I thank you. For everybody else...

Knitting is NOT like watching paint dry. For the record, I have watched paint dry and it's not nearly as exciting as taking yarn and pointy sticks, or hooks, and creating something wonderful. Seriously. Even knitting something hideous is way more fun than most non-knitters seem to think it is. I don't knit because I'm old and don't have any other options like wild sex or sky diving. I knit because I love the feel of yarn through my fingers; because I love taking a big ball of string and turning it into this; because I can't NOT knit.

I'm not into proselytizing. When a non-knitter friend or acquaintance doesn't get excited over something I've made or has zero interest in my blog, I don't try to force them into the Enlightenment that is Knitting. If you are meant to know The Way of the Wool, it will happen. But say I tell you I have some photos you might be interested in and that they might be on my blog later, how about not rolling your eyes and asking me to email them to you instead. This kind of thing gets your name permanently engraved on my "I Won't Even Knit This Person a Rope to Climb Out of a Burning Building" list.

Some day I will be too old or too blind or senile to knit. (I hope I don't miss it. I imagine that would be like missing my very best friend forever.) I'm sure it won't happen for a long, long time and I've got the yarn stash to back up my optimism. But if I'm in The Home and you're the one who has to listen to me tell you, for the 47th time that day that I used to knit and blog about it, or that I used to party with the Yarn Harlot, or that I worked with Donna Druchunas, please just smile and nod your head. Otherwise, I've got one word for you--bedpan. Enough said.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I have no idea who Joe Palen is.

Awfully nice of them to let people use THEIR OWN CELL PHONES IN THEIR OWN CARS, wouldn't you say? I'm wondering how they feel about knitting in public. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my knitting. And do you get the irony of this photo? No, there's nothing oppositional about me, nothing at all.

# 2,499 from The 2,548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said:
If I had permission to do everything, I wouldn't want to do anything.
--The one best thing Joe Palen ever said

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pattern Revision--Sandia Crest Socks

For those of you who have downloaded the Sandia Crest sock pattern, there was a mistake in the gusset decrease section. I've corrected the mistake and reworded the section for clarity. Sorry about that!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Shout-out to Yarn West

Yarn West is a lovely LYS in Evergreen, Colorado, where I used to live once upon a time. Unfortunately they didn't exist when I lived in Evergreen. It's a pretty quiet place when you get over the novelty of herds of elk in your backyard, so it would have been nice to have a yarn shop close by. And yes, John Hinckley Jr. did live there when he was a kid. I used to get asked that a lot. His parents left shortly after the whole infamous mess, and I'm not sure I would have known who they were if I saw them in the grocery store, but I can point out where they lived if you're interested.

Laura Watt opened Yarn West just over a year ago. She is seriously one of the nicest people you will ever meet and absolutely the nicest LYS owner I know. I hadn't seen her in a while and today she remembered my first AND last name, and knew everything that had come into the store, yarn-wise, since the last time I was in. She never makes you feel like you have to buy something, so of course I do. Not that I need coaxing... YW is such a nice place to hang out and knit or fondle the new merchandise or whatever. I seriously think she would be alright with a person camping out there for the day, knitting and socializing. She just makes you feel at home, and to me that's what your local yarn shop should be about.

Happy one year anniversary, Yarn West. Here's to many, many more!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Notice anything new?

I really should have waited before I unveiled my new look but I couldn't stand keeping it to myself a minute longer. Jill Zielinski Designs created this great new logo for me, and I love it! She's going to do a blog banner when she gets back from TNNA (lucky woman!) For now, I slapped the logo at the top of the blog and made the favicon myself. I haz skillz! Thanks Jill, for hanging in there and creating my new look from the dozens of crazy emails we exchanged. You are the best and the check is in the mail!

But wait--there's more! I've had something up my sleeve for a while now, and I'm finally ready to reveal it. I am co-authoring a book with Donna Druchunas of Arctic Lace fame. How cool is that? She and I have been working together for a couple of months now. The woman is like The Yarn Harlot--never sleeps and swears she does--and has a hundred projects going on at the same time. I'm doing fun stuff for her like editing, knitting, writing, and rounding up test knitters, among other things. Check out this issue of her blog, Sheep to Shawl, for details about the book.

I can honestly say that when I started this blog, I never envisioned all this happening so soon. I had dreams, but this is crazy-good don't wake me stuff. If I stop to think about it all I get a little panicky. Fortunately, I'm so busy I don't really have time to think about it too much.

I'll leave you with a bad iPhone photo of the other thing I've been doing with the spare few seconds I have--jewelry making, an old love of mine I've recently revisited. I bought the large bead at the center of the necklace at a bead show Donna and I attended a while ago.

But wait, there's more... hint hint.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fastest Kitchener in the West

I'm a big fan of the Kitchener Stitch. Yeah, I'm aware that officially brands me as a knitting geek, but whatever. I've been called worse.

Yesterday, I'm pretty sure I broke some kind of record for Kitchener-ing a pair of sock toes. Had to be less than three minutes for the pair, because that's all the time I had to finish them and head out:

Sadly, I didn't have time to properly block them (or take a decent photo) but I haven't figured out how to block and dry socks in a matter of minutes. Yet.

I made these socks for a tennis buddy who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Marcia is a tiny little thing who can just drive you nuts on the court with her diabolical shots. Some of us made her food she can reheat when she doesn't feel like cooking, but since I figured she has enough problems, I decided to knit her something instead. These are your plain vanilla generic socks with a baby cable cuff, in Cascade 220 Superwash. I hope they'll keep her feet warm while she's undergoing treatment, and remind her she's in our thoughts daily.

Her prognosis is excellent. She's keeping her family and friends informed through a wonderful resource: Please check it out when you have a few minutes. Cancer patients or their friends and family can set up a website to let people know what's happening with their particular situation. There are features such as a Helping Calendar, a photo gallery, and the Laughing Medicine Page. All this is provided free of charge and donations to this 501(c)(3) are tax deductible.

Enjoy your summer. I'm working hard at doing just that. There's only 72 more days until DD moves into the dorm. Not that I'm counting or anything...