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.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Patwoman's Job Hunting Tips

1. I have a name. Use the one I tell you to call me. Not Hon. Not Sweetie. Not Babe. Not Pam. Not Patrick. And not Gurl. (As is "Gurrrrrrl, I need a job.") True stories, all.

2. Don't smoke. I'll be blunt. You stink when you smoke.
Regardless of the smoke smell--which is stronger than you think, trust me--smoking dries out your mouth and tongue. Dry mouth = bad breath pretty quickly. It's not fun for me to sit across from you when you are scorching my eyebrows with your breath. It makes me want to cut the interview short so you will stop breathing on me. Understand?

Use a breath spray, mouthwash, Tic Tac, whatever. Or better yet, don't smoke.

3. Turn off your cell phone. Why do I keep having to say this over and over? Let's just assume for a second that you don't have some "Smack That Ho" ringtone. Let's say it's a normal, comes-with-the-phone ring.

Hear's what you hear: Ring Ring.
Hear's what I hear: "I don't care about this interview."

Now, if you answer the phone during our interview and it's not something very, very important (like "OMG this is the Fire Department that services my neighborhood!") it reflects very badly on you.

You may say: "I'll just answer it and tell them I'll call them back."
I hear: "This might be something more important/interesting than this job interview."

Turn the cell phone off.

4. Show me you can/will/want to do the job. Sure, you say you want a job. You say you will work. You say you are capable. But if I ask you to complete an application and you say "Can't you just get all that information from my resume," guess what that says to me?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Not Knitting

Of course you all remember last week's Stepping Up Necklace, right? I liked that so much that I decided to make the matching bracelet and earrings tonight. Let me say, I love these stones. They are slightly heavy and very cool and I like the way they hang. I'm liking the toggle clasp on the necklace, too. Makes it very easy for me to put on my jewelry without assistance.

Hey, I have a lot of hair. It's hard to fasten most necklaces.

The bracelet went together just fine. (I might be getting better at this beading thing.) Really the only difficulty is finding seed beads of just the right size to string in the middle of the silver O's.

That, and the part where I tried to measure the almost-finished piece against my own wrist and ended up dumping the whole string onto the floor.

And the earrings went smoothly, too. I finished the danglies and got ready to attach them to earring wires, but... No silver earring wires. What? How is that possible? Sigh. I guess the earrings will wait until next week.

Oh wait! Next week is GenCon! My Nerdvana! Oh, well then, Gentle Reader, you may have to wait a bit longer. When will we see these earrings?

Admit it. You are tingling with anticipation.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Twenty Minutes Into The Future

So have you seen this?

A Japanese company has developed technology that would allow us to physically interact with holograms. Physically. Like touch them. How cool is that?

Apparently it works by creating a field of force (or a force field, if you will) that resists a person's physical touch. So when you touch a holographic surface, you feel like you are touching something. (Presumeably, it isn't yet sophisticated enough to feel "furry" or "scratchy" or "cold," but that's coming, I'm sure.)

So cool. So many practical applications for that. Like this:

And this:

I mean, a holodeck. How can you get more practical than that? Imagine yourself interacting with me and Adam, in a holo-world you can see, hear, and touch. We'd run along the rooftops of the Helsinki museum district, priceless works of art in hand--Adam not quite catching us until we let him.

Then we exchange some witty repartee, engage in some mild melee action (the kind of repartee accompanied by Pow, Bam, and my favorite... Thwack). And, tempers stoked, heartrates skyrocketing, breathless Adam grabs me by the--

Hey! Wait a sec! Are you still here? WFT? Ever hear of privacy? Get your own holodeck experience, perv.

Oh yeah. That reminds me. Porn. Hologram Forcefield Technology would be good for porn.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What Is It?

What is this? Gracie wants to know. Are you curious too?

I dug this out of a pile of UFOs I had shoved into my yarn shelves, apparently because I was too ashamed of it to finish. Honestly, I knit this so long ago, I have absolutely no memory of doing it. So I can't tell you exactly what was going through my mind at the time.

But I'm really frightened of what I might have been thinking. Look at this. Does that not look like a K1 P1 waistband to you? Tell me I wasn't knitting some sort of garment out of this yarn? Seriously?

I can only think I must have been doing it as some sort of joke. I mean, it's pretty yarn. The color, by the way, is most like that first pic, with Gracie. Very peachy, slightly pink. And it's very soft. That lighter bit is a sort of angora-like fuzz. It would be a lovely scarf or hat.

But seriously? I'm trying to picture this as a vest or something and I am just struck by the thought that, looking at it from a medium distance, a person would think "Why is Patwoman topless? And why doesn't she invest in a full body waxing?"

Yeah. Some things you've just got to frog.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Letter From AW

My Dearest Patwoman,

Come live with me and be my love
And let me breach your facade so tough;
Let us scorn those who would undo
A love so sure, undying, true.

Our love burns with like fires
Same of heart and mind and desires;
And since our passion cannot be moved
Come live with me and be my love.

As always, your loving bat friend-with-benefits,



Sweet Adam,

There once was a bat who felt
Up a young nemesis before he knelt
He tried, with love, to reform her
And plied her breasts to adore her
And finally bound her with his utility belt.

And though his firmness of...heart she felt
And his stamina threatened her health
She could never walk in the light
Yet he was the original dark knight
Oh, er, wait. Do you still have that utility belt?

Call me.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday UFO - 10 Stitch Wave

Thought I would update you on the progress of the 10 Stitch Wave Scarf I've been working on. It's been a pain in my ass practice piece for working short rows. Not sure I need this much practice, but...

I love the way it looks. It's actually a little darker, a little browner and less red than this picture shows (effin flash). I think it will look really nice when it's done. I have plans to keep this one myself.

It's very slow going, however, since I have to actually pay attention to what I'm doing. That means I'm not knitting it at the normal times, like when I watch TV or game. So I'm getting it done a little at a time.

You might see this as a Friday FO sometime in 2013 at this rate.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Not Knitting - Beadwork

So this is what I like to call my Stepping Up Necklace. Sure, that might seem like a lame name to you, since you don't know the whole story. You might expect to see some sort of steps or increase in size, some gradation in color maybe. Something that would justify the stepping up label.

Lemme 'splain. (No. It's too much. Let me summarize.)

My company has a series of recognition awards and one of them is the Stepping Up To The Plate Award. I got this award. The award was a very nice certificate that I hung in my office.

Unfortunately, I can't post a photo here because someone from work might see it and you know how companies get when you're talking about them online. It might get back to someone who can't take a joke and they'd be all like "Oh Patwoman, you can't talk about kinky sex with Adam West and your employment at our company all in the same blog post--although I totally just did--You are in big trouble, Missy."

And I would be, because I got in trouble not too long ago for cruising the local news channel at work, even though I still did a massive amount of work that day and it's not like I was shopping for shoes for hours like some people at my office have been known to do. But you know, I haven't owned the company in years, so I don't get to make the rules any more. Suffice it to say I find it monumentally offensive that our IT dept has the time to police my internet activities and yet every single time I call them for help with something so fucktardly simple, like installing the most recent update of Internet Explorer to my testing computers so I can have candidates test, I'm on hold for 20 minutes before I can get help?

Anyway, that's why you can't see the award, because you know how obsessive I am about not naming my company here just in case.

Where was I? Oh yeah, so the award was a very nice certificate, which I hung in my office, and a gift certificate to Michael's. And I bought these beads.

As I strung these beads, I thought about work and about how I could improve my work and more or less infused these beads with positive energy directed at my work. Hopefully, when I wear them I will feel the power of that positive energy, and every time I wear the Stepping Up Necklace, I will step up.

I'm very serious. That may sound like I'm being funny, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence (in psychology, religion, philosophy, and physics) to suggest that focusing mental energy on some object or action will bring about a result.

Ha! We're Not Knitting today. We're gettin' down with our bad metaphysical selves!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shake Well; Apply To Skin

So you know about this, right?

Of course you know Japan has been struggling with energy issues since the tsunami/earthquake/nuclear meltdown. They are conserving energy by scheduling rolling brownouts, relaxing work dress codes to allow for cooler clothing, limiting power usage for all non-essential uses (like air conditioner), and other accommodations. Some of these other accomodations include this cooling foam.

Basically, you spray the foam on your wrists, around your neck, ankles, and waist. It goes on like shaving cream and dries hard. In the meantime, it's very cool. So, if you've applied it to your hotspots, you effectively have a personal AC.

I'm thinking I need some of this foam. It's been hot scorching hellish the temperature of the surface of the sun here in Indiana. Like, I leave my air conditioned 60 degree office at 5 pm and step out into the day and the air literally hits me like a punch in the face.

And listen to the kinda crap every wannabe weatherman in Indiana will tell you if you accidentally make eye contact with one of them:

"You know, if you don't like the weather in Indiana, just wait two minutes. It will change." Really? Because it's been hot like this for two weeks so far. That seems pretty consistent to me.

"This just means we'll have a mild winter." and from others "This means we'll have a harsh winter." Thanks, Professor. Now I see why there are so few scientists produced out of Indiana Public Schools.

And my favorite, "It's not the heat. It's the humidity. It wouldn't be so hot if it were a dry heat." Listen, when it's 98 degrees, it doesn't matter if it's humid or dry. Hot is hot. You wanna know what dry heat is? An oven. That's dry heat.

Anyway, I think cold foam you wear on you body is pretty cool. (Whoompah!) But I have to say, when I see an article about spraying foam on your body, my mind immediately goes to this:

Monday, July 18, 2011

What Is It?

What is this? Gracie wants to know. Are you curious, too?

Is it a Bunny Bed? A vorpal bunny! Ha!


Is it a Clown Cozy?


Let's sew up this gaping seam on the side and see what we get?

What could it be?

You know, don't you? Don't give it away. Let the others guess.

Yay! It's a slouchy hat!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What Do You Think This Means?

For the past several nights, I've had dreams of a post-apocalyptic world. And not the good kind.

In these dreams, whatever has happened is over (Oh. Hence the post-apocalyptic, I guess.) and it is a time of rebuilding. But there is terrible danger, still. In one dream, I was attacked by a squiddy thing that tried to burrow into my ribs. I could feel it wriggling its way in, even after I woke up.

That turned out to be Gabgab, by the way, sitting on my side and washing her face. For some reason, she feared losing her balance and plummeting the 4 inches to the soft bed, so she was digging her claws into my ribs.

In another dream, a person I was with was wounded and I was trying to find medical supplies to help him. And in another dream, I was building a long-term shelter and the most important feature had to be that it could not be easily detected by others. Last night I dreamed of exploring a flooded amusement park. (But I actually have that dream fairly often.)

These were not really nightmares (well, except for the squid trying to burrow into my insides) so much as they were just strange. Usually, my dreams are a little more straight forward. Running, pickles, towers, forgetting something, snakes, sausages, being lost, hot dogs, tunnels and trains, cigars... You know, normal stuff.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Continuous Learning - Wire Crochet With Beads...

...or It's Harder Than It Looks.

I was cruising Ravelry a while back and saw this really cool wire crochet necklace with beads. Now, you know I've done knitting with wire and with beads, so big deal, right? And I have some wire and some beads. (I did buy a new crochet hook though, because all my crochet hooks were my mom's and I just don't want to scratch them all up with the wire.)

The pattern is very straight forward. It's actually more of a process than a pattern. It's basically chain 2, slip a bead. Seems pretty easy, eh? Let me tell you what I've learned.

1. It says 39 beads. String 39 beads on the wire. I already had this wire strung with beads because of another project I had done a while back, so I decided to be lazy and just use that. The problem was, this wire had about 100 beads strung on it. It was so heavy and hard to work with. Plus, I had to stop and count how many beads I'd crocheted on a couple of times. If I'd only strung 39, I'd know when I got to the end, because I'd have no more beads.

2. This probably would have been easier to start if I'd left a longer tail at the beginning. I didn't know that at the beginning, however, and fought with the first 6 inches.

3. I probably wouldn't have had so much strain on my hands if I'd rested the bead tail on a table (like my dining room table, which would've put the
beaded wire not too far below hand level. I think that might have made the process quicker and easier. Instead, I sat on my new couch and tried to let the beaded wire rest in my lap. But, beaded wire (with a hundred beads on it) is heavy and it kept sliding off my lap and creating a downward drag on my hand.

You'll notice, by the way, that I am wearing a skirt. This is my 12th day in a row wearing a skirt. Why? Not because of the Amish thing I mentioned before. No. Because I have decided I look like crap in shorts. Plus, our company's dress code won't let us wear shorts to work. So a skirt is how I keep cool.

Curiously, the dress code policy doesn't mention whether or not you have to wear underwear. That's unrelated. (Or is it?)

4. You should probably use the correct guage of wire and the same kind of beads if you want to get the same results. I didn't because, as I mentioned, this wire was already strung with beads. And I have a bracelet made from these beads that I thought would be nice to match the necklace to. But this wire was a little stiffer than the wire called for in the pattern, so that made the process a little more difficult than it needed to be.

I think I will try this again soon, using a finer wire and these amethyst beads. Now that I know how not to do this, it should go much smoother!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday FO

Friday. The most holy of all holy days. I love Friday. Friday makes me dance. Even knowing I work in our game store on Saturday, I love Friday. Even knowing I will spend most of the weekend doing laundry and dishes and other heinous housework, I love Friday.

There’s just something so nice about Friday.

Friday is usually my day for mindless knitting. Sometimes you need a little mindless knitting. Just sit on the couch (which, by the way, has not eaten any knitting needles at all, unlike that old couch) with a cat on your lap and needles in your hands, and whack out a garter stitch scarf while you watch Supernatural. That’s a good Friday.

So, this is one that I’ve been doing. It’s garter stitch, no top secret methods here. Nice chocolate brown yarn—I’m pretty sure it’s Simply Soft—and some leftover Yarn Bee. I didn’t even measure. Just knit a bit, change yarn, knit some more, change yarn… Again, not a top secret method.

But it’s nice. I like the color combo. And I like the use of novelty yarn as an accent.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Back From The (Metaphorical) Dead

Alas, I have been away too long, leaving you--my gentle reader--to wonder what has become of your dear Patwoman. Have I folded under the stress of weeding out the one job seeker in twenty who can follow simple instructions? Have I collapsed under the weight of my ever-growing yarn stash? Have I been spirited away by a playful bat-suitor?

No. My neighbor cut my cable line with his lawn mower. Such is the excitement of my life.

Actually, it's been very frustrating. And certainly disappointing to know that there is no courtesy in this society. (I actually knew that, trust me. But every now and again that fact is proven to me materially, just so I remember.)

Let me say first that I, personally, have never chopped through a cable line with a lawn mower (or anything), so I'm speaking theoretically here. But let's say I did. I--having been raised with manners, if nothing else--would apologize. "I'm sorry." That lets the cable owner know you sympathize. It's a crappy situation. The tree root brought the improperly buried cable up above the ground and I didn't see it. Now, even though I didn't mean to do it at all and would never do that to you, you are without cable. That sucks. I'm very sorry.

Or you can be my neighbor. "That's not my problem. The cable shouldn't have been above ground." Yes, we know that, jackass. I'm not expecting you to reattach the cable with your own hands. I just think it's only common politeness to say, "I'm sorry" when you do something that causes someone else damage or inconvenience.

Also, I have never run a cable service center. (But I have run multiple customer service departments of small to multi-million dollar businesses, so I might know a little something about this.) I just think the response should be "Let's schedule a time for our service crew to get out and replace the line."

Not Comcast's responses of "It's not our fault. The cable shouldn't have been above ground." and "We're not getting anyone out there for over a week." And it's an insulting spit in the face (but not wholly unexpected from Comcast) to say "While I have you on the phone, have you considered adding phone service to your cable and internet package?"

No, Asshat. The phone is the one thing I've got that works right now. If I had phone service through you, not only would I have no television or internet right now, but I'd have no phone, as well. WTF are you thinking?

Never mind. I know what they're thinking. They're thinking, If Patwoman has no phone, she can't call and complain about the rude condecension and substandard product she's paying out the bahooey for.

So, long story short...and trust me, I could go on...I have had no internet or cable for so long, I might as well be Amish now.

And I'm very disappointed in the lack of service in customer service. And the lack of courtesy in society in general. And the lack of accountability overall.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Shopping Trip

Yes I know. I don't need any more yarn. But when you come across a yarn sale like this, you just have to. And, I have been so good this year, not buying a whole lot and using mostly from my stash.

I have!Don't you judge me!

I swung by JoAnn and found all this yarn on sale:

8 Naturally Caron Country
9 Patons Decor
4 Bernat Satin
1 Red Heart Eco Ways
3 Lion Brand Hometown USA
1 Patons Beehive Baby Chunky
26 skeins

Are you ready for this? $.97 each. That's right. The whole haul was $28.02, including sales tax. Booyah! That's a clearance sale, Michaels. Take a lesson.

(That's my new couch, by the way, in the background. So far, it has eaten 0 knitting needles. New Couch and I are getting along just fine.)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Fourth of July

We celebrated yesterday, actually, since R and T both had to work today. As per the usual summer holiday celebration at Patwoman's secret hideout my house, we played a highly competetive game of croquet, full of smack talk, sabotage, crude gestures, and incendiary victory dances.

Sadly this year, I did not win. I like it better when I win. You can see one problem from this picture: the grass was too high. Now, we had cut that grass a mere 36 hours before. But all the rain in Central Indiana has made my yard a jungle-wannabe.

It was still fun, though. Some highlights:
Eric, systematically either passing a wicket or knocking another player's ball each turn.

M, dancing and singing "I'm Germany. I will conquer all of you."

Sharon's first time playing croquet, first time playing it the way we play it, and first time witnessing the good-natured comedy of our poor sportsmanship.

R, hoping she will not hold that against him.

My game was seriously off. I hit the ball like I was not even familiar with the concept.

And T took all the pictures. (And eventually won.)

A good time was had by all.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

To Felt Or Not To Felt

This clutch could very well have gone on a What Is It? post. Because I have no idea what it's made of. Usually I can tell wool vs acryllic, just by the way it feels. But for some reason, it just feels like it could go either way. And I knit this so long ago, the band is long gone and I don't remember, so no help there.

I found the end that was worked in, though, and snipped a little bit to test. first I tried to felt it a little with my fingers, but there just wasn't enough to do that.

But, remember all those crazy yarn snobs who insist you can't make baby blankets out of acryllic? Their concern is that wool only smokes, but acryllic melts. (I say, if your baby's on fire, you've got bigger fish to fry, so to speak.) But that should be a pretty decisive test, right? I held the piece in a pair of pliers and lit it with a fireplace lighter. It neither smoked, nor melted. It just turned to ash. What's that mean?

Sigh. You know my motto:

Okay, well I don't actually have a motto that pertains to this. But it's just yarn, right? So I threw it in the washer, thinking it will either felt, or it will get really, really clean.

And the verdict is...

It is wool. And here is the felted clutch.

Add a magnetic clasp, and a painted shell charm, and this is a pretty sweet little clutch.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Holiday Weekend

The 4th of July is always a great holiday for me. You know how much I love to see stuff blow up. And fireworks, too.

But it's also nice because this year it's a 3 day weekend. We'll get together with R and M, and Sharon and Eric, and we'll do our traditional grilled cheeseburgers and Killer Croquet. It's a cutthroat game, really. It always involves swearing, smack talk, crazy victory dances, and minor property damage. Oh yes. I will pass the wicket to knock your ball out. That's how we play.

And I plan to get stuff done this weekend. For example, R and M have left the nest, and I still do not have a yarn room. (I know! You're thinking, "Who are you, and what have you done with Patwoman?")

I'm planning to do some crafty-type things, too. Things I've wanted to do for a while and just haven't had the chance. I've got a bagful of Scrabble Tiles and some Dimensional Magic calling my name, for instance.

And writing. Always the writing. I set aside the werewolf story I was working on because I wasn't happy with some of the story mechanics. Sometimes, you have to put things away for a while and then go back to them with new eyes. (Ew. That's kind of a gross expression, isn't it?) Anyway, I worked on a bunch of other stuff in the meantime--mostly game-related. But now, I think I know what I want to do with it. At least, I knew enough to sit down and chunk out 5K words of outline today. So that's encouraging.

One thing I will not be doing is relaxing. I don't much like relaxing. Not because I don't enjoy relaxing, mind you, but because it takes so much effort to come back up to speed once you've relaxed. Plus, I'm pretty much held together by tension, so relaxing is almost traumatic.

Besides, I'm always wary of relaxing on holiday after last time. Relax in beautiful Isla Nublar, my ass!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Friday (almost) FO

I came across Olgajazzy's site the other day and found this knitted necklace. It really appealled to me because it seemed kinda Celtic and kinda Viking... And then I realized Yeah, because it's a braid. Isn't it funny when your brain just makes a leap like that? (In my case, I think it doesn't so much leap as it more or less trips and falls a great distance.)

Anyway, a fantastic lady, Michelle passed away this week.(You remember Michelle from this post? And this one?) I am just so devastated by it. She was so full of life, I just can't believe she is never gonna laugh or quote Michael Scott from The Office to me again. So basically, I just really wanted to do something almost mindless. Or conversely, something that completely occupied my mind.

I did both. I worked like an obsessed person this week--not that I don't work hard all the time, but I really got a buttload of stuff done. And I didn't think about much of anything else.

And I knitted this necklace. It's relatively mindless knitting. Mostly it's a strip of stockingette with a YO every so often. Well, it's two strips like that. And then they're woven together and it makes this lovely braid. Olga suggests using a luxe yarn like silk or alpaca, since it's going at the neck. But, I definitely don't want anything hairy at my throat (Somewhere Michelle is saying "That's what she said!") because I don't want to be itchy all day. So I used some cotton.

I was thinking this would be really pretty with the addition of a pearl at the base of each YO. I might try that next time. Oh yeah, and I have to get some sort of bead or button for the clasp. But other than that, it's a FO, so I'm gonna call it 99%.

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