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.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Quick and Awesome Dice Bag

This is the Deep Sea Flower Dice Bag from Nina Hyland on Ravelry. The original is done in Noro, but I happen to have about half a skein of SWS in Natural Blue left over from that cowl I made myself last winter. It turned out to be a nice substitution. Although, now I wouldn't call this a deep see flower. A pale blue and tan like that... that's more Greek Islands.

It knitted in a night, even on the dpns. Seriously, there was so little swearing, you would've asked for my identification. I even watched Mega Piranhna on SyFy (Tiffany!)while I was knitting and didn't have to tink back--not even once!

Other than the yarn sub, I didn't make any other mods to this, except the closure. My problem with knit dice bags is always the closure (they usually don't). But Nina had a good idea with this one. She made a little knitted bead to lock the I-cord drawstring in place. Clever! I decided, however, to simplify and use an actual bead. This is a light blue pony bead I got from a bag of pony beads I'd bought at a garage sale a couple of summers ago. It didn't fit over the I-cord, so I took an E hook and crocheted a chain. That worked perfectly. I added a bead on each end of the cord so the closure bead couldn't come off.

So here is the bag. It's not lopsided. I stuffed it with a sock so you could see it standing up. It's big enough to hold a couple polyhedral sets or a couple of sets of tenners. Or a cube of sixers, whatever. I'd say two handfuls of dice. Definitely enough to beat this guy, at any rate.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rainbow Scarf

It's not really a rainbow. But it is colorful. I like it. I think it would be fun to wear in the dead of winter, when everything is grey and dull. You'd step out into to the wet brown/grey world of mud and twigs that most of winter is and BAM! Look out!

Okay. Maybe not. But I had this colortastic yarn and wanted to do something with it. And I wanted to knit, but couldn't think of anything I really wanted to knit. (What's that? Why not look at the 300+ patterns in my Ravelry queue? Shhhh.)

This is two skeins of Yarn Bee Aurora in Northern Lights, knit on #8's, in a double-drop-stitch pattern. Knit while I caught up on my DVR'd episodes of Fringe.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Depression Spiral (Hm. Kinda looks like a cinnamon roll, doesn’t it?)

You ever wonder why Notpatwoman models almost everything? It’s because I hate to see pictures of myself. Beyond the whole photographs-steal-your-soul thing, they also serve as a cruel reminder of how unkind my body has been to me. (And I to it.)

Jordan is leaving us at work, so we all took a picture together so she won’t forget us. (As if she could!) I would show it to you, but then you’d see the giant company logo behind us, and then someone from the company IT department might find it in a search and start reading this blog and then what would happen? OMG, who hired this crazy Patwoman lady? And then I will have to watch what I say, and where’s the fun in that?

What bothers me is that… well, yeah, I’m fat. But, you know, you can sometimes forget about that, if you’re not looking in a mirror or trying on jeans… or looking at a picture of yourself. Or apparently trying to wear a sweater you knitted without trying on… But I digress.

Here’s a question, though… Why is it a big deal? It is, right? It is to me. I feel like the 95 pound 17-year-old I used to be. And then, I see this... this horrible… proof!

There’s always a moment of denial, a quick Who the fuck is that? Then, a flash of pity for that poor woman with her chins and granny arms. Maybe even a quick Hey, what’s Aunt Lulu doing here? And then, you realize…..OMFG.

Oh, cruel age and metabolism, you suck ass!

Now I know some of you youngsters out there may be thinking “But Patwoman, why don’t you just diet and exercise?” Out of politeness, I will not respond. But I will take care of this in my own way:

Denial. I’m not fat. I’m fluffy.

Friday, May 21, 2010


And here it is, the finished Foliage. My fears of this being too tiny for an adult human head were completely unfounded, as you can see. Wet-blocked it, and it fit Notpatwoman’s head just fine. See how Achilles admires it? (Actually, he was a little pissed that Notpatwoman chased him down and forced him into this photo op.)

So I was glad it blocked out okay. And you can see how the lace opened up. I was still a little skeptical however because, as you know, Notpatwoman does not have as much hair as I do.

But, here it is. Lookin’ fabu on my brainholder. What do you think?

(Achilles is still not happy about the photo op.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tales From Patwoman’s Mailbag

We haven’t done this in a while, so I thought I’d open up the ol’ mailbag and answer some of your burning questions.

Dear Patwoman,
Have you been back to the LYS that just opened near your house? That seems like a great opportunity for you.

Gentle Reader,
Sadly, I haven’t. It’s really a combination of things. I have been crazy busy recruiting for DrugCo as you know, and then I spend my evenings trying to finish up my book manuscript (which is already so far behind deadline I’m about to have a brain hemorrhage over it). So, that’s kept me away, somewhat. The other reason is when I met the LYS owner, an exceedingly nice person I must say, she asked what I knitted and I said “Anything but socks and dishcloths.” (Because, Gentle Readers, as you know, I don’t enjoy socks or cotton yarn at all.) Being the nice person she is, she friended me on Ravelry and I promptly set about cyberstalking her to find out what she was like. And guess what are her favorite things to knit? (So embarrassed.)

Dear Patwoman,
Where will you be when the Zombie Apocalypse begins?

Gentle Reader,
Feel free to join me in the Arctic Circle. You know that normally I fear the lawlessness of the Isolated North, but in this case, I’m willing to trade that for the relative safety of dead flesh not being able to locomote much when it is frozen solid. You may also join me as I double tap each of those zombie-popsicles so we don’t have to worry about a sudden thaw.

Dear Patwoman,
You haven’t talked about Adam West in a while. Did the two of you break up?

Gentle Reader,
No. You know Adam West and I will never break up. But, like all relationships, we go through periods of activity and quiet. It’s not unusual for a couple—especially one on the DL, like me and Adam—to burn hot for a while and then cool off. And that’s been the case with Adam and I—we have been burning so hot, we just don’t have time to talk about it! Holy Utility Belt, have we been hot!

Dear Patwoman,
Any progress on procuring a robot companion?

Gentle Reader,
Not as much as I would like.

Dear Patwoman,
I notice sometimes you write forever about nothing, and other times you barely say a word on a subject. It seems like, the more someone might be interested in something, the less you say. Why do you do that?

Gentle Reader,
I don’t know.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Television Game

I was reminded of this the other day. Michelle and I were talking about TV shows as we walked down to lunch and she asked if I watched "Survivor." I answered that I would watch "Survivor" if surviving were the point. Like, if they had to fight to the death or stay on the island until they gave up or starved… that would be interesting to watch.

So that got me thinking about a game we played in college, The Television Game. In The Television Game, you are a network executive and you have to plan your weekly primetime lineup to compete with other networks’ lineups. Can’t remember what T and I called our network, but we had shows on our lineup like “That Darn God,” as well as several others. We all compared our schedules and decided who “took” that hour of programming.

Yes, we’re nerds.

Anyway, that little conversation with Michelle made me think about what kind of a lineup I’d make for today’s audiences. I can’t imagine it would be difficult to do. Do people really enjoy "Dancing with the who the hell are these people? Stars?" Are people only watching "Gossip Girl" because there is nothing better on? Do they tune in to "Jersey Shore" just so they can say to themselves “Well, I may not be thin or good looking any more, but at least I don’t act like that!”

Here’s my weekday lineup:

Monday is typically hour-long drama night. "House." "Law & Order." "One Tree Hill." "Gossip Girl." I concede that drama does well on Monday. Especially medical drama. Or police drama. Or teenage angst drama. I just think my network will do it better. My show, “Teenage Wasteland,” will encompass all of that. It follows the lives of eleven teenagers and young twenty-somethings, set in the small suburb of Forest Mountain. Most of them exhibit the bored cruelty of the young and popular, but one of them is a cold-blooded killer. But the killer is not content to shoot or strangle. Oh, no. They take their victims slowly, by infecting them with some horrible disease that doctors will work to diagnose—sadly, always after the fact—every week. (Incredibly, all of their parents work for a local evil corporation that creates these diseases in a laboratory in order to sell to the military for biological warfare.) And the police must try to find the killer before another teenager dies—without implicating the politically powerful parents or the evil corporation, which owns pretty much all of Forest Mountain. All of this, of course, brings more angst to our young people. Irrationally, that will cause them to have more sex and drugs and be even more vicious to one another. I don’t know why, but that seems to be the pattern on those shows and, hey, the pattern seems to work.

Tuesday is reality TV day. "Dancing with the Has-beens Stars," "American Idol," "Biggest Loser"… I am convinced that people are only watching this because there is nothing else on. My network will fight the reality TV trend with an Un-Reality TV show called “Sparkling, Spinning Things with Fireworks and Animated Cats.” It will feature all of that, set to a soundtrack by Depeche Mode. I’ll advertise it as “An Acid Trip Without The Lasting Aftereffects of Real LSD” or something like that. It won’t matter. I’m sure that most people, when faced with choice of "The Show That Has Ruined Popular Music Forever By Convincing The World That Every Note Needs To Be Dragged Out Ridiculously Long And Run Through At Least A Two Octave Scale Twice While You Grimace As If You Swallowed A Poisonous Snake" and… well… anything else, people will make the right choice.

Wednesday seems to have no pattern of genres, and no clear winner in the ratings. So, Wednesday becomes my night for “Gripping News Stories,” a show about all those things we really want to know about. I’m not talking about what Congress is arguing about, or which companies are projecting second quarter losses. I’m talking about news you know you cannot look away from—like the CNN story the other day about the woman who was awake during her eye removal surgery, but was paralyzed and couldn’t tell anyone. Or the story about the guy in Ohio who kept all the dead bodies in his house after he killed them. Or pretty much anything about robots or people who’ve had to have foreign objects surgically removed from their bodies. I will follow that show up with an hour-long commentary show which reviews politics, music, fashion, literature, and—ironically—television shows, called “If I Had A Hammer.”

Thursday is Must See TV Night. This is typically where you’d want to put your powerhouse show, the one that everyone is going to watch and talk about the next day. Thursday will be a tough night. "CSI" has done well in this slot, as well as the newcomers, "Flash Forward" and "Fringe." (So has "Bones," but I have no idea why.) The big dogs, of course, are "The Office" and "30 Rock." So I have to bring out my big guns. Once upon a time, Thursday was ruled by "Friends." My show, "Zombie Friends," starts its season with “The One Where Rachel Eats The Landlord’s Brains And They All Get To Live In An Apartment They Couldn’t Otherwise Afford.” As always, the friends are sadly lacking in brains.

Friday is the kiss of death for TV. Thank God people have better things to do on a Friday night. Sadly, for most of them, those things usually involve some sort of alcohol. A good network executive, of course, will capitalize on this trend. My Friday lineup will include “Truth or Dare or Drink,” a game show based on the slumber party game. Contestants have the choice to tell a truth, take a dare, or do a shot. However, the audience will be equipped with electronic voting devices and they will be able to over ride the contestants’ decisions at any time.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Children Should Not Be In Bars

You know when you go to a restaurant and they say, “It’s a 45 minute wait, but there’s immediate seating in the bar?” Most of the time, I just wait on a table, or go somewhere else. I just don’t like to eat in the bar.

Anyway, T and I were out the other day and there was a long wait, so what the hell? We went to the bar. It was just the two of us and we’re both over 21 (well, just barely). But what I noticed was that we had the only table that did not have at least one child at it. Not exaggerating there. The only table. In the bar. There were a couple of tables that had younger teenagers, but most of the tables had very small children. One table had two children in high chairs.

These people weren’t just sitting and waiting on a table. They were eating in the bar. I just have a problem with that. For one, I’m pretty sure you have to be 18 to enter a bar in Indiana. Pretty sure, in that I looked up the code.

Parent taking child into tavern prohibited

Sec. 9. (a) It is a Class C infraction for a parent, guardian, trustee, or other person having custody of a child under eighteen (18) years of age to take that child into a tavern, bar, or other public place where alcoholic beverages are sold, bartered, exchanged, given away, provided, or furnished.
(b) It is a Class C infraction for a permittee to permit the parent, guardian, trustee, or other person having custody of the child under eighteen (18) years of age to be in or around the prohibited place with the child.
(Formerly: Acts 1973, P.L.55, SEC.1.) As amended by Acts 1982, P.L.69, SEC.17; P.L.102-1983, SEC.6.

But also, it was way loud in the bar. More than in the restaurant. The babies in the high chair were clearly uncomfortable and crying every time the drunk guy a few feet away screamed some racist crap at the top of his lungs. (I felt like crying at that, too. But mainly because I was embarrassed and ashamed of him.)

More than anything, though, I was reminded of the scene from “Sweet Home Alabama,” where Reece Witherspoon’s character says “Oh, you’ve got a baby! …in a bar…” And we, in the audience, laugh at how hee-haw and uneducated that woman is.

And yet, as I look around the bar… everyone? Is it an Indiana thing? Are we the ignorant hicks the rest of the country thinks we are?

Monday, May 17, 2010

To Nosteprine or Not Nosteprine

You all know I lust after a ball winder, right? I’m not talking dirty here. I mean a yarn ball winder. But I have yet to purchase one. For a couple of reasons… The most important one is that almost everywhere I buy yarn winds it for free. And non-wool yarn is usually sold in pre-made skeins. So there’s been no reason to actually buy one.

Once in a while, though, I get some yarn that isn’t already skeined. And then, sigh, I have to do it my own damned self. Now, I have a method some may find strange. It’s this: I sit on the couch, with my feet up in the chair. Then I loop the yarn over my knees. Then I wind the yarn on my Not Nosteprine.

Here’s my Not Nosteprine. Came in a package of two, even. Ha! Actually, this works pretty well. It just (obviously) takes a lot longer. I suppose it might even look as nice as those cute little yarn cakes you get at the LYS if you had enough practice at it.

Word of warning: make sure the room is clear of cats before you start this. They seem to think you are winding yarn for their entertainment.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Foliage So Far

Foliage has been in my queue since I first joined Ravelry, I think. It’s a very pretty hat and not all that hard to knit. I don’t know why I haven’t knitted it before now.

It might be the yarn. I wanted a hand-painted sort of yarn for this hat, something that would really give Foliage a foliage look, you know. Then, the other day I remembered I had this yarn. It’s an acid-dyed bulky in Orange Sunshine that I got off eBay. I bought it a while back, but was saving it for something or another.

It’s not soft, really. I mean, I know it will soften once it’s wetted and blocked, so I’m not worried about it. But it has that 100% wool scratchiness that wool snobs swear doesn’t exist. The color is lovely, however, and I’m very happy with the way it looks in this pattern. And, since I will be wet blocking, I’m sure it will soften up.

I am a little worried that it looks like such a tiny hat, even though I am knitting exactly to gauge (which is as much a surprise to me as is to you, I can tell you!) It looks like a baby hat! But the pattern does say it will stretch to fit, so I’m gonna trust the pattern.

This would probably be a quicker knit (and would answer the question of whether it would fit an actual grown-up head) if I could find my #8 circs, but you know how that goes. I would bet money they are in the lining of my comfy chair, a victim of the knitting needle-eater that lives within its cushions, devouring anything I might possibly need and passing it through to the very bowels of the chair bottom lining. I would stick my hand down between the back and seat cushion to check, but who knows what else is there? Yuck!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dream Therapy

Do you know someone who insists on telling you their dreams? Like, hello, dreams are personal things that only have emotional and psychological attachment to the dreamer. When these people tell others about the giant eggplant they discovered growing in their kitchen (and it was so scary!), it doesn’t mean all that much to the listener.

I, personally, am not afraid of eggplants if they are just sitting there. But these people get really offended for some reason if you ask them specific questions about why they were afraid of the eggplant:

Patwoman: Was it a carnivorous eggplant?
Stupid Dreamer: What? No. Just an eggplant.
Patwoman: Did it growl or bite or threaten you in any way?
SD: No.
Patwoman: Well, then did it grow and grow and grow until you were sure it was going to crush you against the kitchen walls or force all of the air out of the room until you suffocated?
SD: No. It was just there on the table.
Patwoman: But you were afraid?
SD: Yes! Do you want to hear this or not?


Of course, I am a raging hypocrite on this matter. I tell T my dreams pretty much every day. Of course, my dreams are a lot more interesting than eggplant dreams. If I had an eggplant dream, I wouldn’t be scared. (Except that I was actually dreaming about eggplants.) Now cucumber dreams… that’s a different story.
Lately my dreams have been about parallel universes, arguing with people, and going up and down stairs in unfamiliar office buildings.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What Has Patwoman Been Up To?

Lots o’ stuff. The main thing is pain.
Had to go to the dentist for a new crown. Now, I’m not one of those people who freak out over a trip to the dentist. Actually, my main heartburn over this was that I had to use half a vacation day to go do it. But, let me tell you, this was not a joy ride.

First of all, I broke the root of this stupid tooth (the root, the part that is protected by the crown, my gums, and my jaw bone) biting on something not hard. I can’t remember exactly what it was, but it was like a piece of bread or something soft. Not like a jawbreaker or a rock or anything. So I totally did not deserve to break the root.

Anyway, no root in the tooth, so the tooth doesn’t hurt, but the gums and jaw do. So I was getting headaches that were not making me very nice as a person. (Yeah, it was the headaches… that’s it.) But then, when you go and have them re-post and cement and re-do the crown… It just makes you feel like Michael Flatley did the Riverdance in your mouth.

Ha. That’s an interesting mental image.

But wait, there’s more! As I am getting ready to leave for the dentist, M comes to say goodbye. And trips. And falls. Against the solid oak dining table. With her face! OMG. Do you know how you watch those action movies and they karate chop the bad guy right under the nose and it breaks the bone and drives bone splinters into the bad guy’s brain and kills him?

That’s where the table bashed her.

Oh, sweet God. I thought my heart had stopped. Seriously. So we took her to the ER for scans and all. And she is ok. Did not break any bones or knock out any teeth—but miraculously so, according to all medical personnel who examined her. And no bone shards to the brain.

But now I feel so irrationally angry at my dining room table.

Sunday, May 02, 2010


As you know, Sunday is my game night. We usually get pizza or Subway or something and spend a couple of hours playing whatever game we happen to be playing that week. Fun, right?

So last Sunday, we ordered Papa John's pizza. There are a bunch of us, so we ordered a crap ton of pizza. And this is what we got:

Can you see that? It's a coupon for a complimentary consultation with a fitness specialist at LA Fitness.

Now, maybe Papa John's and LA Fitness think this is good cross promotion, but frankly, I find it offensive.

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