If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Don't Be A Hater

What is it with all the anti-robot sentiment these days? I keep seeing articles like this one, which claim robots are scary or evil or creepy.

I mean, come on. How cute is this? And it's so helpful. Say you were a lost child in the mall. "Oh, where's my mommy? I'm so scared!" and then this robo-helper comes up and says "Are-you-lost?"

I don't know about you, but I'd feel a tremendous sense of relief.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

@#$%!@!!!! IT!!!

WTF? Can I not knit a hat any more? Is that skill completely beyond me? How long have I been working on this damn flame beanie?

The first time I knitted it, it had a very pronounced bell shape. Like a cloche. Which is fine if I were knitting that for me. Hey, I think an old fashioned cloche with punky flames would be cool. But since it's for T, I don't think he'd be pleased.

The problem was this 3-row garter stitch border on the bottom. I should've just ripped it out. But no. I kept thinking "It will probably get better."

In what fantasy world does that ever make sense?

So, I thought about ways I could fix it. I could slip some elastic in the bottom. I'm sure that would look fine.

Or I could put in a lifeline, snip a row, rip out the garter stitch and then knit down from there? Maybe a rib to pull it in at the bottom? It would be off half a stitch, but if it were right at the point the ribbing started, would anyone notice?

Fine. I just ripped the whole thing out and started over, this time, adding a couple rows of 2X2 ribbing instead of the garter stitch and the plain rows immediately above it.

Better, but I'm still not happy with it. It still looks too damn big. Did I gauge? Um...A little. And I was off a little. I didn't think it was that much. Lesson learned.

I did have a moment where I again thought, "I'm sure it will get better." But then I cursed and threw the thing down and fumed for about an hour realized I'd be happier just reknitting it.

So, here's my solution: Since I can't really go down much more in needle size (without changing the yarn weight) or else it will have the soft drape of a steel girder, I'm going to go up to a 4 st = 1" gauge and cast on one less chart repeat. That will give me a 22" circumference, which should fit T nicely.

On the up side, I'm getting pretty good at working this chart, after doing it so many times.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chili Pepper!

Here's how to make one for your cat:

Small amount of red yarn (a few yards?)
Small amount of green yarn (less)
Pinch of catnip (BTW, that is catnip in the picture. I grow my own. Really.)
2 dpns (I used #6, you'll probably want #8)

This is basically a tapered I-cord.

Cast on 2 stitches in red.
Work 2 rows of 2 st I-cord.

Knit into the front and back of next stitch, Knit 1
Now you are working a 3 stitch I-cord.
Work 2-3 rows of that.

Knit into the front and back of next stitch, Knit 2
This is a 4 stitch I-cord.
Work about an inch and a half of that.

Change to green yarn (Just tuck the ends into the inside of the I-cord)
At this point, you will want to stuff the catnip inside. If you don't want to use catnip, just put a little cotton, or even leave it empty. It's I-cord, so it holds its shape.

Safety note: If you don't want to lose fingers, do not knit with catnip if your cat is around. This stuff is like crack for cats. It takes only a minute or two to complete the toy at this point, but it will take even less time for a cat who's "hurtin' for it" to cause you grievous bodily injury.

Knit green I-cord for 2 rows.
Knit 2 together (2 stitches)
Knit 2 together (1 stitch)
Cut yarn and pull through remaining loop. Thread yarn through yarn needle and poke it through the length of the chili pepper to hide it. Do the same with the cast on tail.

Because the increases are all on one side, your chili pepper will have a slight curve to it. Realism!

You can do some different things with this pattern. I made one for my friend's blind cat, and added a bell to it for interest. This one has catnip, since it is for GabGab. Gracie, however is not that into catnip. When I make her toys, I add a cottonball with some peppermint extract on it. That has the same effect for her.

I suppose, if you were a vegetarian family, you might also knit this in orange and green and just tell your cat it's a carrot.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I'm Meowlingual!

I read about this device, made by Takara. And my first thought was, "Oh cool." Then I thought, "Well, maybe I don't really want to know what my cats are saying." Then I realized, "Hey, wait a minute. I already do."

I am, in fact, Meowlingual. I know what my cats are saying.


GabGab: I have nothing to wear, but that old sweater you made like, a year ago.

Patwoman: Okay, Okay. I'll knit you a new sweater. Okay?

GabGab: Better. But now I have no new toys to play with. Am I supposed to just play with these same old, tired toys?

Patwoman: Okay, how about this? A Red Hot Chili Pepper for my spicy cat?

Patwoman: And for Miss Gracie, a Peppermint Twist.

Gracie: Meh.

General:Oh boy! Cat toy!

Sargeant: Oh boy! Cat toy!

Yes, I am Bowlingual, too.

You may wonder why Zeus has said nothing this web episode. Cat got his tongue, I guess.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Patwoman's Job Hunting Tips

1. Don't threaten the recruiter. Don't tell me I will give you a job or I have to give you a job or you know people or anything of that nature. That usually gives me a really creepy/annoyed feeling about you.

2. Don't tell the recruiter you're desperate. That just sounds... well, desperate.

3. Don't expect me to offer you a job you're not qualified for. If I'm looking for at least three years experience and you've never held a job before... you're not qualified. No amount of arguing with me will make you qualified, either.

4. Don't show up way late, or way early. As annoying as coming 15 minutes late is, it's even more annoying when you show up an hour early. Listen: it doesn't seem eager. At best, it says "I'm desperate." At worst, it says "I'm more important than you are, so we'll do things when I'm ready."

5. Do wear deoderant. But don't wear perfume or cologne. Not everyone wants to be trapped in a room with someone dripping Baby Phat. Y'feel me?

6. Do brush your teeth. Don't smoke before your interview. You see how my eyes are watering? That should be telling you something.

7. Don't tell me you have a gun in the car. For any reason. Even if you do. a)That's very threatening. b)That's a little crazy. Who brings a gun to a job interview? c)That's grounds for termination. d)There are children in the area. You can't leave a gun in your car. e)That's crazy. (It needed to be said again.)

8. Don't pick your nose. Or your ears. Or your teeth. Or your butt. You know why. Just don't.

I swear. Sometimes I feel like I'm being punked.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

How To Choke Your Pets

Not really. But check out these pix.

Ever notice how your dog will just be laying there, all sweet until you want a picture? Then, when you whip out that camera, they're all "Hey, whatcha got? Lemme see!" So, T is holding them for me.

Of course, cats pay no attention to humans, so it's pretty easy to snap a candid shot of them.

So Sad

So, the football season is officially over for me, with my beloved Colts' heartbreaking loss today.


Now there is only the Pro Bowl to look forward to. That, and whoever can finally beat the Patriots. Oh, and they will fall. Nothing that evil can last forever.

But the question I have now is, what am I going to do with my blue and white striped scarf? I started it during the game, but sometime in the third quarter, when I began clutching my heart pretty constantly, I stopped knitting. I'm so sad now. I don't even feel like finishing.

But I want my needles. Got these #13's recently. And they are a cool steel blue color.

I'm also pretty bummed about my flame beanie. I just don't think it's going to look right. Katie says I should probably rip it out and reknit it. I think she's probably right.

That sucks. But I guess it beats the alternative: marry a guy with a bigger head than T.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Yes, Still Surfing

And this. This is frickin' awesome!

Whenever I'm Bored....

I just cruise the internet, looking for knitting porn.

I love the internet. Where else can you find something like this. This is absolutely the coolest, creepiest thing I've ever seen.

I must make one.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


I've taken a page from M's book. I suddenly need scarves of all different colors, textures, lengths, and styles.

In addition to all the Christmas scarves I did, I also recently completed:

Green and black 2X2 Rib to match the green/black lace hat.

Plus a Chain Stitch Scarf (pattern from the skein) using Bernat Bamboo in Dill. (Still blocking, so no pix yet.)

Criss-Cross Scarf in Mosaic Twist in Cider Kiss. Pay particular attention to the triple-knot fringe.
This stitch pattern is from Knit 1 Winter 2007 issue. They had an article on reversible stitches and I started it, just as an experiment, but finished it because it looks pretty cool.

On the needles, a flame beanie for T. Not my pattern, but I did change the colors. More on that, later.

Kind of a dull day for me. No football. Colts are on a bye week. It was kinda nice, though, to see Eli win.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Patwoman VS The Kobayashi Maru

Did you see this story? It's all over CNN and NASA and MSNBC, etc. An asteroid might hit Mars? Wow. That's a little scary.

Yeah, I know there's no danger to the Earth. Not even to the NASA-directed Rover that is collecting data on Mars. It's just... I mean, it's in our backyard, cosmically speaking.

So T and I, being the ├╝ber nerds that we are, had a very lively discussion about this "harmless" asteroid:

What if, say tomorrow, we got some sort of transmission from Mars, saying something along the lines of "Help us. This asteroid will destroy what is left of our dying civilization."? What would we do? Would we help? How?

T believes the only way we could help would be to offer aid in the way of food or supplies, provided they told us what kind of food or supplies they needed. He says, we could maybe launch everything we have, loaded with supplies, within the (approximately) one month time frame between now and the impact.

He also says there may be a chance to divert the asteroid, using grazier technology. (Gravity lasers, basically.)

But, since I am a cynic, I have to ask... Even if we have the technology to help, would we? I want to say that we, as humans, would help in any way we could. However, I've met a lot of humans. I'd say it depends.

Who would we help? Basically, humanoid or humanlike aliens.
Friendly aliens.

Cute, fun aliens.

My favorite alien.


I'm guessing we'll be sending up an archaelogical expedition after the impact.

As far as knitting goes, I cast on, knitted, and finished a green and black scarf to match the lace hat I did earlier this week. I like matching things.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

FO's For The New Year!

I'm loving vaca time. Sleep late. Cruise the internet. Knit. Watch Ninja Warrior. Chillax. I don't know a way it could get better.

Well, maybe if I had a few more days. Sigh. Back to work tomorrow.

But yo! Check out some FOs:

R had asked me for a hat recently. Okay, he never asks me for anything. So, if he wants a hat, he gets a hat, dammit. I made this one from LB 100% Wool in Navy. It's on a pretty tight guage, so it's warm, but light. It was my first attempt at a shaped man's hat. I think it came out pretty nice. I knit that diamond embossed scarf (from a previous post) to match it.

Then, because everyone liked the hat I did for Jon, I decided to make T a hat like it. He's not stoned in this picture. I promise. He just has this thing where he can shut his eyelids really, really quickly--like before the flash can finish going off. I call it his Vulcan Inner Eyelid. T's hat is the same as Jon's, only I had to make it bigger for T's blockhead massive brain. (Added 4 stitches circumference and 1 inch in length.)

Then, I had yarn leftover, and I thought... what's better than one hat?... and I made R a hat like that, too. (In the regular size, though.) He didn't model it for pictures, but here he is again, mugging for the camera in the blue hat.

So, those were the final FOs of 2007. But I was really bored productive today. I saw this hat on Craftster and decided to make one for myself. First I tried it with a fuzzy yarn. Yarn Bee Luscious in Sugarplum, combined with some LB 100% Wool in Navy (leftover from R's hat and scarf.) Color is awesome. Unfortunately, the fuzziness killed the laciness of the pattern.

That's okay. I like it anyway. Although, M did criticize that it didn't match my scarf or mittens. So I knit a matching scarf with the remaining Luscious. It's plain garter stitch. 12 stitches on Size 10 1/2s (remember my loose guage). I just knit until I ran out of yarn. It's very fluffy and soft.

Still wanted the Lace Hat, though. But all my bulky yarn is pretty fluffy yarn, too. (I know... why not just go out and buy some more yarn?) But no. Let's try and use some yarn we have. Novel concept, there!

So, I put together a strand of this evergreen color and black to make a bulky weight. (Both acryllic of some sort. From the stash.) Now, you can see the lace. I noticed, I had some issue with the decrease rounds both times (even though I made the larger size with the fuzzy yarn and the smaller size with the smooth). I just didn't end up with the same amount of stitches as the pattern seemed to think I should. But the lace pattern looks the way it should, so I didn't worry about it.

Oh, by the way... in a topic somewhat related to knitting... I saw a preview for new Prison Break! January 14!

Okay, that's not knitting related. I just loves me some Wentworth.

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