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, January 31, 2011

What Is It?

What is this? Are you curious? My cat is curious, too.

Is it a bolster pillow? No.

Is it a tent for my cat to go make believe camping? No.

(Well, maybe. This is really a cat-sized tent.)

Is it something naughty? No.

It's an afghan I started--oh, I don't even know how long ago--and didn't finish. It's pretty much done, though. I guess I just got bored with the fringe.

So here it is, finished and ready to cuddle up with. Cat, husband, afghan. That's just what I need tonight as Indy is hit with a major ice storm.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Back To The Ol' Drawing Board

...or back to the circular needles, as it were.

You remember the saga of the peacock blue hat for M, right? Well, I knit the @#$%*&#@ thing twice already and finally just decided to move ahead to Plan B.

T was able to find some almost-but-just-barely-not-quite-matching-color wool. (I was not able to venture into the cold because breathing single digit temperature air is like breathing knives. Knives made out of molten steel. And acid.) Thank you, T.

So I started this over for the third time. Did I mention I was on a deadline to complete this by Thursday, so M could wear it on her vacation this weekend? (Insert insane laughter here.)

Sunday night:

Monday night:

Tuesday night:

And here it is Wednesday, blocking on the ever-lovely Notpatwoman:
And finally dry on Thursday:

And that, my friends, is how you earn the nickname "Sweatshop."

Monday, January 24, 2011

What Is It?

What is this? What could it be? Are you curious? Zeus is curious, too.

Is it a hat? No.

Is it a bag?No.

Is it something naughty? No.
But it does bring to mind the Fuzzy Sexy Lingerie, doesn't it?

No, this refugee from the UFO pile is a cat bed. It's two giant rectangles of novelty yarn, sewn and stuffed with a pillow that was too flat to sleep on anymore. I just whip stitched this shut with some semi-matching yarn (believe me, this is too fuzzy to show the stitches anyway) and viola! Cat bed!Sadly, Zeus is a little too freaked out by the novelty yarn texture to actually sit on it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The One Where Patwoman Has Chest Pains And Ends Up In The ER

So about 4:40 on Wednesday--after a pretty good day at work, I must say, and as things were winding down--I got some really massive pains in my chest and back. When I say massive, here's what I mean: Imagine an ogre standing behind you, with a rusty spear. And then the ogre takes that rusty spear and stabs you in the back. And the rusty head of the spear pokes through your chest, almost right through your breastbone. And it makes it really hard to breathe. That kind of pain.

Listen to the state of denial I was in. I looked at the clock, thought "Oh, well it's almost time to go, anyway." And then I washed out my coffee cup and closed all my computer windows and cleared off my desk.

The whole time I'm doing that, my coworkers are saying "Are you okay? You look terrible." Eventually, I decide to leave at 4:55 instead of running out the clock. By this time I am feeling so bad I can barely breathe and apparently looking so bad that two people offered to walk me downstairs.

Now, you know M and I carpool, right? But it just so happened that her car went down and so T had driven us to work that day. So T is waiting in the car with M when I get downstairs. He sees I can barely get the door open and asks if I'm okay.

These are my words: "Now don't freak out or anything..."

So now we're on the way to the ER.

They take chest pains pretty seriously in the ER, btw. They make you sit in a wheelchair, even if you insist you can walk. They slap that beepy thing on you right away. And they make sure you get to show at least ten people your naked breasts.

Seriously. If you are shy, don't have chest pains. Because they put those snappy things and wires on your chest and then they take them off so you can go get your CAT Scan and then they put them back on and take them off again when you have to pee because of all the fluids they've flushed through your IV and put them back on again and take them off when they have to do some other test and put them back on again... You get it? You're flashing your boobs so often you should be getting paid for it.

I know, I know. They don't care. It doesn't embarass them. They've seen it all and worse. That's probably why they don't even both to shut the curtain when they do it. Whatever. It really was the least of my worries. Just kind of funny annoying confusing now.

That CAT scan is weird. They told me the dye they inject in the IV would make me feel like I was peeing my pants. And it did. I wonder if anybody ever pees their pants for real when they do that? Like, "OMG I peed my pants! Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound."

Okay, I won't keep you in suspense any longer. If you've read this whole thing, you deserve to know the ending.

I didn't have a heart attack. My chest pains were caused by pleurisy, which is a fluid buildup between the plueral lining and the lungs. Causes pain, shortness of breath, all that. Feels really effin bad, like a heart attack.

That seemed so crazy to me, that it would be a lung inflammation, because I didn't feel sick. Not like pneumonia sick or any kind of lung sick. But the doctor said I may not feel sick right away. And she was right. Because I felt worse on Thursday.

Now, I can breathe okay today, but I'm getting really tired over the most ridiculous things. Yesterday I finally felt like knitting again and spent 15 minutes looking for some yarn I bought last week. I had to take a nap afterward! WTF?

Anyway, I am taking this weekend off--no work in the store, no laundry, no cleaning--in the hopes that I can go back to work on Monday. Because you know, if there is one thing your friend Patwoman hates, it's having to use sick days for actually being sick.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This Post Is Rated MT/FI (Mature Themes/Frightening Images)

I just wanted to warn you so you wouldn’t be scared. I found it quite disturbing, myself.

So I was sitting at my desk, working away when I got the strangest sensation of being watched. Ever get that? You’re sitting there, minding your own business—and then, always, when you look up it’s someone really creepy watching you.

Or someone not creepy necessarily, but watching you in a very creepy way. Like while they eat a banana. (Does that creep you out, too?)

Anyway, I’m sitting there, and then I feel eyes on me, so I look up and…

It’s looking right at me!

Of course, I looked down right away. I needed to take a second to collect myself. I mean, did I see that? I couldn’t have, right? It’s some trick of the eyes, the way you see an eagle in the pattern of the floor tiles or the way you see a big ladle in the pattern of the stars. I tried to calm myself down. It’s just a chair, I told myself. It’s not like it could hurt me, right?

I stole another glance.

Oh, sweet God! Look at the size of its mouth!

I made up my mind to try and get past it. Just don’t look at it, I said to myself. Show no fear. There’s only one, anyway. I can outrun one chair.Oh shit.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What Is It?

What is it? My cat wants to know. Are you curious, too?

Is it a cat bed? No.

Is it a cat sweater? No.

Is it something naughty? No.

What? No more guesses? You don’t know what it is? Me neither! Ha!

Found this in my knitting bag, discarded. I don’t even remember buying this yarn. I have no memory at all of knitting this. You don’t suppose it crawled in there on its own, do you? It’s not going to catch me unaware and attack me, is it?

Only one way to protect myself.
Ah. And now it has potential. It could be a cat sweater. Or a cat bed. Or even something naughty, teehee.

Or it could be a simple scarf, held together with a couple of other yarns (the two pink colors left over from the two pink cat hats and a cream colored smooth worsted) and knit on some Speed Stix. Oh, and when they named these things Speed Stix, they were dead on. Despite feeling like I was holding two telephone poles (Ha! Reminds me of the Helsinki incident!), I knit this scarf in about an hour.

It reminds me of sweet tarts.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I Need To Stop Reading Facebook

It's just pissing me off. Seriously.

Now, I think you all know me to be a technophile. I am just waiting for the day when the chip in my forearm will keep me from ever filling out another form. So I get the tech part of FB. I think it's kinda cool to be able to share photos and conversations and play games and chat with people you may not have seen in years, or family that you want to stay in contact with, or friends whose schedules don't match ours for whatever reason.

That's the cool thing about FB.

What I don't like is all the dumbasses on FB. You know who I'm talking about.

"Joe Smith feels so sad today." Know what Joe? Say what you mean. A better post is Joe Smith's uncle died today. Very sad. See how that makes a point? Your post doesn't do that. Your post says "Whoever cares about me will immediately comment and ask me what's wrong and if you don't, then I guess you don't care about me." And I don't appreciate those manipulative games, Joe. It's childish.

"Betty Jones' whole world is falling apart." and "Bob Jones just thinks there must be more to life." Bob. Betty. Seriously? You're breaking up on FB? Could you not get enough attention by doing it at Wal-Mart?

"Oh really?" So what? Now we're all suppose to ask you what that means? Do you think being cryptic is the same as being interesting? Hm? That might be part of the problem.

"(Blah Blah Blah religious or political opinion you got from someone else's status update) If you agree/love God/have a mother/love America, post this to your status. I dare you!" Maybe it's me, but if it's your opinion, shouldn't it have come from your mind? I'm pretty tired of seeing the same three statuses on all my FB friends'/relatives' feed.

Okay. Maybe I wouldn't be so offended by those status updates if they were 1)spelled by someone familiar with the English language, 2)at least somewhat accurate, or 3)Well, okay. I probably wouldn't be okay with them any time. They're kind of stupid.

I guess what I'm trying to say is not really that FB is bad. Just that there are a lot of dumbasses on FB. And I guess it's not really that bad, at that. My rule of thumb: If it's just stupid dumbass stuff, I ignore it. If it's really offensive, I let the person know it's offensive. But after that, I unfriend anyone who can't hold civil discourse in a public forum.

Because that's what it is. Public. I think as many people who think FB is a place where everyone wants to (figuratively) see them naked--there are just as many who don't realize that everyone can (figuratively) see them naked.

That's why I don't post naked pictures any more.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Continuous Learning, Episode 1

So the problem with knitting for 28 or so years is, you think you know how to do everything. It’s an old dog/new tricks sort of thing. So I’ve decided to do some things this year that I don’t normally do.

Like Illusion Knitting.

Okay. This is not a new skill for me. I’ve actually done this before. But it’s been a long time and I really wanted to try it again.

So, Step One was to graph out my design. Remember that each row of the pattern is actually four rows of knitting. (But I just made the chart like a regular chart and knit the extra rows as I went.) I made some Excel graph paper with rectangles instead of squares and free-handed the pattern. I thought I was really clever.

Oh, I was clever alright. So clever I graphed the knit stitches badly. So I ended up with a waaaaaay stretched out design. I actually even thought I might fix it by just taking out a row or two.

But that’s really not a solution.

So, I've frogged. And I will have to start this thing over. That's been the theme for 2011 so far: frog. And I guess I've proved that new tricks thing wrong, because I've learned something.

And I taught my cat some really spicy swear words in the process.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Unfinished Friday

So, I did find the blue wool that I needed for M’s felted hat. I knew I had some. And I knit the hat easily enough. Actually, I knit it so easily I knit it twice. The first time, I used the suggested needle size—#8, but it came out huuuuuge. And I ran out of yarn.

I don’t know if there is a law of diminishing returns on felting. I would assume there would come a point where a piece couldn’t be felted any more than it already was. So, I didn’t want to chance trying to make this thing fit by felting.

Plus, I ran out of yarn.

So I started it again, using #6s. That’s how I would normally make gauge anyway—go down two sizes from the recommended. (Although, I have always heard that gauge is not a big thing when you are felting. Guess I destroyed that myth. Ha!) Anyway, it came out huuuuuge. And I ran out of yarn.

Sigh. So, I am going to try and find more of this yarn. It doesn’t make sense that I would have only bought one skein. There must be another one around here someplace—hidden by fun fur, obscured by UFOs…

Plan B is, buy 2 skeins of the same dye lot and reknit the hat using that yarn. Then this thing becomes the matching bag.

I am not pulling this out again.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why Coffee Is Better Than Wine

So we had our big year-end celebration at work tonight. The company reserved a private room at a really nice restaurant and we had appetizers. They also gave us drink tickets for wine, which were immediately pounced on by those who know I don't drink wine.

Not that I don't like wine. It's okay, I guess. But I'm not going to drink it just because it's trendy to drink. I would have some maybe at a nice dinner, or on a date with T, or at a friend's party. Just not that into drinking at work functions, as a rule.

I know, you're thinking, "But Patwoman. Didn't you work for a bank? Aren't bankers the most notorious drinkers there are?" Yes. Yes, they are. But they drink cocktails. So that's a different story.

Not that I drank at the bank, either. Again, not that into drinking at work.

I hear people say, "Oh, I just want to go home, pour a glass of wine and relax." It's an odd concept. Maybe there's something weird about me, but at the end of the day, relaxing is not an issue. In fact, I'm so ready to relax by the time 5:00 comes along that there are times on the drive home that I find myself becoming a little too relaxed.

"Hello, T? Can you come get me? I'm just going to pull over here and take a nap in the parking lot of this McDonald's until you get here."

No, I don't need help relaxing at the end of the day. What I need is coffee.

Of course, I've always resented the time my body requires itself to be unconscious. It seems like such a waste of time. When I was a little kid--I don't actually remember this, but I've been told--I used to dig my fingernails into my palms so I could stay awake.

It's just always seemed to me that the night holds more interest. The TV shows are better, for instance, and there are fewer interruptions to what you are doing--whatever you are doing.

I'd probably make a good vampire, come to think of it. I dress in black a lot. I tend to go all angsty and emo if I get bored. And I look awesome in a cape. The only downside is that I don't sparkle and I don't date high school girls.

Oh wait, neither do vampires.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mew Too

Remember the Cotton Candy Cat Hat? Look at the same hat/scarf set in this hot pink color!

This is the Hot Cat Hat, knitted for my friend Amber in Yarn Bee Luscious Bubblegum.

Instead of pompons, this one sports some big-ass tassels.

I hyphenated big-ass so you wouldn't think I was talking about ass-tassels.

Which are something else, entirely.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Looking For Yarn (In All The Wrong Places)

That's not my version of a country song. It's what I've been doing today. Here's the story... The Fabulous Miss M and I were at a craft fair last fall and saw a hat she went nuts over. It was a knitted, felted blue hat.

And I know I have that exact color blue wool somewhere.

Anyway, now that we're through with the holidays, I can get started on this hat. I've found a pattern that will make a hat of that exact shape. I just need to remember where this yarn is.

I've searched in all the usual places. All the places yarn is supposed to be. But apparently this is rebellious yarn.

Come out, come out wherever you are!

Monday, January 10, 2011

What Is It?

Oh hey now. What's this? Are you curious?

My cat is curious.

What could it be?

Is it a hat? No.

Is it a cat hat? No.

Is it a bag? No.

Well, okay. It is a bag, actually. Or at least it was supposed to be. It was supposed to be this bag. But then it looked so small. And I thought, "How am I gonna put all my stuff in this?"

So now it's a hat. I frogged the I-cord at the bottom of the bag and just closed the top of the hat naturally. Then I remembered this morning when I was going to work I saw this woman waiting to cross the street and she had on a hat with a tassel and I thought "Tassels are cool." So I--clever little minx that I am--took the frogged yarn from the I-cord, straightened it, and made a tassel. Attached that with simple SC chain and...

Gabgab thinks the tassel is the best part.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Road Trip, Mushroom Cloud, and Technology

That pretty much sums up the whole day.

We took a road trip today to visit my brothers and their families. I haven't seen them in a few months and it seemed like a good time. Little did I know that we would run into this, less than 20 miles from home.

What's funny is that my first thought was not "OMG a mushroom cloud!" or "OMG the steam from that factory is being reflected by the force field of that cloaked alien ship!" It was, "How cool is it that I'm able to take a picture of that with my phone, which also has a road map, a knitting counter, my Facebook and email, and it's a phone!"

Haha. Seriously. T summed it up when he said "We are living in the sci fi future of our past selves."

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