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.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday UFO - Not Really Making Progress

And, by not really making progress, I mean not making progress at all.

I have done no work on the afghan this week at all. I really didn't knit much this week at all. I did some work for the store--for the website, which will go live in the next week, and for a major event coming this summer--and I looked for my Case O' DPNs, which has mysteriously vanished. But that was about it.

And what is it about this house that my needles go missing? Here are the likely culprits:

Achilles: who has been known to swipe my circular needles and hide them, and who also once chewed the crap out of a melamine dpn.

T: who has been previously guilty of moving things "to where they won't be bothered", and whose middle name is, actually, Dammit.

The Unseen Ghost In This House: who moves things that I spend weeks looking for and then they turn up in a place they couldn't possibly have been all this time, like the dining room table.

Even odds on all three.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Shopping Trip - To The Auction

I decided to try something a little different this week and go to an auction. I wasn't really looking for anything in particular. Just wanted to see what a large auction house would hold. And, you know, see what the auction was like.

I've been to auctions before, you know. There was that time in early high school when Angie and I went to an estate auction and somehow tricked her dad into bidding on (and winning) a box full of rusty railroad spikes.

So, as you can well imagine, I was up for some fun at the auction house.

Wow. If you have never been to a large auction house, you should go. Just for the sheer, overwhelming eye rape that you will experience. And the torrent of creative juices that wondering what the story behind the items will initiate.

Like this terracotta statue of a Chinese horse. (Or Chinese statue of a horse, if you prefer.) This is a heavy, hand sculpted (you could see up close) statue, with plenty of patina. It looks like those terracotta horses that were discovered from the Qin Shi Huang dynasty along with thousands of terracotta soldiers. There were some words crafted into the base, which I couldn't read because, presumably, they were in Chinese.

But then I thought... What if the words were a curse? Wasn't the terracotta army buried as part of some sort of necropolis, similar to the Egyptian pyramid complexes? Didn't the pyramid tombs have curses on them? What if this horse came from the estate of some dead adventurer--someone who wasn't supposed to have this horse? What if reading these words sets off the curse? What if I don't even have to understand the words to set off the curse? What if the words are a warning, or a safeguard to defend against the curse?

Well then, I'm screwed.

The next table held its share of cursed items, as well. Cursed violin. (Obviously. Why else would you get rid of a violin?)

Cursed.. um... cudgel?

Cursed gun.

I was so distracted by all the sights--Star Trek memorabilia and Lost Collector's Set of DVDs and He-Man action figures, side by side with depression-era glass, silver tea sets, porcelain dolls, and surplus military helmet liners and socks. (And why are these surplus, I'd like to know? Don't we have troops who can use this stuff?)--that I didn't notice this giraffe until I was this close.

I'm not embarrassed by that, though. Giraffes are widely known in the animal kingdom for their stealth. It's why they're an apex predator.

Suddenly, I felt like I was being watched. Big time. But I saw nobody close by. Just this creepy statue of an angel. Then, I blinked.
And it was time to go.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tales From Patwoman's Mailbag

We haven't done this in a while, so I thought I'd pull a couple of random letters from the ol' mailbag and answer them for you.


Dear Patwoman,
Is it true you no longer recruit for DrugCo? What are you doing now? How ever will they get along without you?

Gentle Reader,
Yes, it is true. I left my recruiting job after six years in order to devote myself more fully to the game store T & I own. The business has grown so much in the 3 years we've owned it that it was just time for me to make that move. I must say, I am enjoying the creative freedom I have with this work. And I've always been more of a night owl, so the schedule fits my body clock. However, as a weird side effect--by not getting up at 6 am and going into the office Monday through Friday--it feels like Saturday every day.

Dear Patwoman,
Do you think you will do more writing now? Will you produce indy movies again?

Gentle Reader,
I hope that I will have more time to write. So far, I've been pretty busy, just in a different way. But I do have several ideas forming in my brain (I'm envisioning these ideas making room for themselves by pushing other thoughts out of my mind--like multiplication by negative numbers. Who needs that anyway?) and I am hoping to be able to start putting them into a readable format soon. Six Gun Horror, the game sourcebook T and I wrote, is due out this summer. As far as the movies... I would love to do that, but it just takes so much time and energy. I don't see myself doing that any time soon. I am punching up a script that I wrote a few years back, though, because M has asked to produce it in web series format.

My Dear Patwoman,
Why haven't you called or written? Have I done something? Please tell me you miss me too. I cannot stand the silence.

Dearest Adam,
We will meet again. Soon.


That's all for now. As always, Gentle Readers, if you have questions you'd like to ask me, feel free to email them to me and I will ignore them because I make up all these letters anyway answer them in an upcoming Mailbag episode.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Women Knit Uteruses (Uteri?) For Lawmakers

Sheer genius.

This organization, Government Free VJJ, sends a knitted uterus or vagina to a male lawmaker, with a note that says something to the effect of "Keep your outdated laws out of my uterus."

First of all, that is straight to the point. Brava! A knitted uterus so eloquently points out the fact that You Don't Know What You're Talking About, Jack!

Second, it's a female body part. And you know how guys get weirded out with female body parts and functions. (If you're talking about them clinically, that is.) Seriously. Want to know the last time my little brother got anything out of my purse? When he pulled out my tampon case and asked, "What's this?"

And third, it's funny! And I so love it when one can be funny and smart at the same time.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday UFO - Christmas Ornament

Yes. Because you can never have enough UFOs, right?

This is a Christmas Tree Bear from Little Cotton Rabbits that I started as part of that whole make-some-Christmas-ornaments-each-month-thing that I am was am still doing.

I decided to make them polar bears with red dresses. This is what I've done so far. I'm liking the Coca-Cola look. What do you think?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bead Nostalgia

I don't know what it is that's making me nostalgic. Digging out old recipes... Digging through the jewelry box... Maybe I just have more time now that I have a two minute commute to work.

I found this in my jewelry box the other day. Well, I didn't find it there. Of course, I was the one who put it there in the first place. I mean that I came across it accidentally and was pleasantly surprised.

This is something M made for me at the Y-camp a long time ago. It's lovely, isn't it? When you first look at it, it seems like there's just a bunch of random beads strung on a line. But if you look at it closer, it looks like something organic--a plant or an animal. When M first gave this to me, I hung it in the kitchen window. That window faced the side of our neighbor's house and it was nice to have something to look at.

But, then we moved and I put it in the jewelry box so it didn't get lost. I never put it up at this house. I don't know why.

I also found this lizard. I love this. M learned to do this in Girl Scouts. I think she made about a million of these. I saved this one because it makes me smile.

Okay. Well, this has gone beyond nostalgia, hasn't it? Like "OMG is she going to start crying about her empty nest again?" beyond. Well don't worry. Outside of the pleasant memories these beads give me, my only other thought when I look at these (especially in the pictures) is that I really have to start exercising. My fingers are starting to look like plump sausages.

Mm. Sausage.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Not Knitting - Cooking

Well, not so much cooking as going on a recipe safari. Anyone who has been to my house has seen my massive cookbook collection. But I wasn't looking in any cookbook for this recipe. I was looking in The Bag.

Look at this. This is a bag of my mom's recipes that my dad gave me after mom died. It's a Trick Or Treat Bag. (It has McGruff The Crime Dog on it. Do you rememeber McGruff? Or was that just an Indiana thing?) It's the same bag Mom kept these recipes in. It's about 30 years old. That's why it looks so ragged. I've copied a lot of these recipes into a Word document, but I still have the handwritten sheets, just because.This bag has recipes clipped from local papers, promo recipe cards from a grocery store (Marsh did this thing when I was young where they had 4 or 5 new recipe cards a week. There's like a whole set in this bag.), plus recipes handwritten by my mom, my aunts and great aunts, my grandmas, my brother, my mom's friends, my sisters-in-law, and my cousins.

Like I said, I've transferred a lot of these to the computer but there are still a few that only exist in The Bag. And that's what I was doing today, browsing The Bag.

My goal is to someday scan all these documents so I can preserve the handwriting, as well as the content.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On My Needles - M's Wool

I've been spending all my time on my big projects these days. As you know, this is the Year of the Afghan. And I'm already behind. But, sometimes you need to take a break and do something small.

So this is the Full O' Sheep I got from M's apartment. Seeing as how this is the first day of spring, I cast on for a small spring purse. I'd thought to felt this, but I'm liking the texture so much, I might leave it au natural. We'll see.

This wool doesn't have much of a twist to it, so I'm afraid it will fuzz up just from ordinary wear--or just from the process of knitting. I'll re-evaluate once the knitting is done.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Robot Cheetahs

I really had not expected to use those two words in the same sentence. But have you seen these? That's a robot cheetah, folks. There's nothing else you can call it. And it can outrun any human on the planet. Think about that.

Fascinating videos. It seems like these robots don't have the balance issues that other robots have had in the past. Watch the video with the Big Dog robot. You'll see what I mean. It had no problem with uneven ground, snow, mud, and only a little problem with ice. And, it looks freakin' scary.

And not big dog scary, either. Alien scary. I would soil myself if I unexpectedly came across one of those in the woods. (I say unexpectedly, because I'm usually okay about not soiling myself if I'm expecting something.)

It's only a matter of time, people. And then...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thinking About My Garden

This is the time of year when I start to think about my garden. It's a brown mess right now, because I didn't even get a chance to have a garden last summer. Remember?

But, the weather is awesome already. And I am ready to go. I will definitely be planting tomatoes and green peppers. Probably chilis and jalepenos, too. I am also starting to forget about how much trouble I've had with cucumbers in the past toying with the idea of trying some cucumbers. And I think I might try some beans this year.

I'd like to do more, but that's probably all I can handle. I've not had much luck with strawberries--although almost everyone I know has been able to grow them without trying. And the blueberries I planted two years ago died before they produced anything.

Ah. Who knows? I'm planning to till up this garden this week and add in my compost (remember I have a compost bin now?). Maybe I'll go crazy and expand the plot?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Pat's

Full disclosure: this day was not named after me.

This would have been a good day to be knitting something green. Or beading something green. Or cooking something green. But, dammit. I didn't do any of that. I don't think I've even eaten anything green today. Well, nothing that isn't naturally green, anyway.

I am wearing green, though. And I did listen to The Pogues while I was working this morning.

So now, it's late. And if I'd been not lazy motivated this afternoon, I could've done something with this felted material:
Ah well. Next year.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday UFO - But Making Progress

My work continues on the afghan for M. That first part, with all the crossovers and cabling, really went slowly. But the dividing rows breezed by. And now the second motif is going pretty quickly.

You know, as quickly as it can go when you are knitting something as big as an afghan.

As you can see, I've got about 12-13 or so inches completed so far.

Oh. Only 12-13 inches so far? Oof. I'd planned to be finished with this by the end of the month. I guess I'm pretty far behind schedule when you look at it that way.

This is the back side of the project, btw. You can't see all the prettiness that is the front side. Can't take the chance that M will see it before Christmas. Just take my word for it.

Also, take my word for this: make sure you don't get yourself one stitch off on Row 1 of a motif and then not realize it until Row 6 or so. Good thing I know how to do this:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shopping Trip - In My Daughter's Apartment

So I was visiting M's new apartment the other day and she hands me this and says "Can you make something out of this?"

It's one skein of Stitch Nation Full O' Sheep in Meadow.

What should I makes?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Not Knitting - You Can Never Have Enough Earrings

I always say that. That's because earrings are so easy to lose. Especially the dangly ones. They hook onto my hair (which is pretty long these days) and just work their way out of my ear. Then, at some point, they fall onto the ground. Once in a while, I'll get lucky and look down at just the right time. "Hey, I have a pair of earrings just like that!" And then I can save the pair. But, most of the time-- Well, let's just say, I think there'd be a market for earrings sold in 3's.

And yet, here I am again, making a pair of dangly earrings. Two.

But, they are cute. And I really don't have a pair of red and black earrings. And I need red and black earrings. I wear so much red and black. And they are very simple to make. Seriously, there was very little swearing involved in the making of these earrings. Just 3 danglies with seed beads on each wire and done. The only swearing I did was just for entertainment value.
I plan to wear these for my last day at work tomorrow.

Yes. You heard that right. Last day recruiting tomorrow. My marketing projects are just becoming so wildly successful that it was time to make a decision. It's a good thing, really. I am very excited about the opportunity to work creatively all the time.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I've Got The Guts To Experiment

Or at least the yarn that looks like it. It's Martha Stewart Crafts (Lion Brand) Mambo in Flamingo. I've seen this yarn in stores for a while now and have really wanted to experiment with it.

It's cool. I gotta say. It's like a roving-style acrylic mix covered in a (I don't know. Feels like a cotton or poly-cotton. The words are too small on the label for my blindo eyes to read.) thread. And so thick. Like, finger-thick.

Well, maybe not if you have chubby sausage-shaped fingers like me, but--you know--if you had normal fingers.

Anyway, I've had my eye on the black--which is called Zebra, btw, presumably because it has a white thread covering the black. (Which is pretty much the opposite of a zebra, in case you were wondering. Zebras actually have black stripes on a white body. But, you know, Martha didn't ask me when she named the yarn. So she will just have to deal with that embarrassment.)

Where was I? Oh yeah. I wanted to try this yarn, and I was at Michael's the other day and hey! All the colors except black were on sale for $2.49. So I got this pink thinking 1)It will be fun to wear with my pink Gamerz shirt and 2)Red heads aren't supposed to wear pink, so naturally I have to do it just so fashion knows it isn't the boss of me, damn it.

This little experiment, the Two Stitch Necklace, took me all of about 10 minutes to knit. (You know how I love to get my hands on those fat needles!) And I like it a lot. Even if it does slightly resemble a loop of large intestine around my neck. But you know what your friend Patwoman says at a time like this?

No guts, no glory.

That's right. I went there.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Have Missed You!

And you. And you. And you.

Good God, I feel like I've been away for so long! And I have! But not by choice. Believe me, not by choice.

Have you seen that cheesy commercial where they try to scare-sell you some sort of computer virus protection/cleaner? This is a Computer Graveyard, filled with computers that contracted viruses... Yeah... That's where I've been!

Apparently there are viruses out there, cruising the interwebs, looking for sweet, innocent little computers like mine. These viruses just surf along on the interwaves, until they spot a good, no-nonsense message swimming along--like the automatic updates Microsoft sends to your computer. Then, they latch onto that message and ride it all the way back to your computer, where they kick off their shoes, put their maxi pads in your medicine cabinet, drink all your beer and basically just move in.

Of course, you don't realize that, at the time. You're just thinking Hm. Why is my computer running so slow? You're not thinking you have a virus, because you've got virus scan software, right?

But no. This is a tricky virus. It didn't come into your computer looking like a virus. What self-respecting computer security program would let a virus in? No, it took advantage of the nanoseconds that passed while it was riding your Microsoft update to, basically, mug the update and take its identification from it.

Virus: Yeah, hey Patwoman's Computer. It's me, Microsoft. Let me in.

So then once it's inside, this virus starts rooting through your computer's closet, trying on your computer's things and basically pulling a SWF on your real software programs. So when the auto-update from your virus scan comes in, it's ready for it.

Virus Scan: Hey, Patwoman's Computer. Everything ok?

Virus: Yeah. Fine. It's just me, Little Ol' Microsoft, chilling. No probs, bro.

Virus Scan: Well, okay then. I'll leave you to it.

So now this virus is feeling pretty cocky. I mean, it totally just fooled your Virus Scan into thinking it was Microsoft. What now? Well now it eats your Office.

Microsoft Update: Okay, Patwoman's Computer. I'm here to update you.

Virus: It's okay. I'm good.

Microsoft Update: You sure? 'Cause I thought you disappeared there for a second.

Virus: What? No. That's weird. No. I've been right here. Me. Little ol' Microsoft Office. Doing good.

Microsoft Update: Well, okay then. Have a good one, Microsoft Office.

Well now, you can imagine how arrogant this virus is. I mean, it just fooled Microsoft into thinking it was Microsoft! And all that gives it an appetite. So it eats your Adobe Acrobat and Flash.

Adobe Update: Hey Patwoman's Computer! I'm here to update you.

Virus (wearing Adobe's clothes): No need.

Flash Player Update: Hello Patwoman's Computer. Here comes your update.

Virus (now wearing Flash's clothes): Oh, no. I already got it. I'm good.

And it continues this whole Buffalo Bill-style killing and wearing of the skin until you don't have a single program on your computer that works. Oh yeah, your virus scan software tries. He keeps coming back every now and then, checking in. But this virus is like a bitchy girlfriend and apparently the virus scan just reaches the point where it just starts staying away longer and longer.

Virus Scan: You sure you're okay? Not sick or anything?

Virus: Why? Do I look sick? Is that what you're telling me? I look terrible?

Virus Scan: No, I mean, I-- I just-- Oh, hey. What's that waaaaay over there?

And so it goes, until the virus has run off all your updates. Then it gets lonely. It decides to have a party. It sends out invitations. Imagine opening your front door and letting just anyone come in and make themselves at home. That's what happened in my computer.

Thankfully Jim, the local computer brain surgeon/psychiatrist/mechanic/witch doctor at Fixit Computer Service, was able to bring my baby back to life. Thank you, Jim. I'm so glad I didn't have to send my computer to the Computer Graveyard.

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