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, June 30, 2013


I was sorting Yu-Gi-Oh! cards and found this one:

It's what I will become eventually... Part woman, part machine. Patroid.

Why aren't you laughing? What? Oh! You're so judgmental.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Don't You Tell Me What To Do!

I do what I want!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Practical Jokes From The Cat

A cat sense of humor is a complex thing. As far as I can tell, though, it's fairly similar to mine--mostly inappropriate, multi-layered, and just slightly mean.

Take, for instance, the recent trap laid by someone in this household: I come home from work. It's dark in the kitchen. I go to put down my bags of groceries on the counter...

And step on a tack.

Luckily, I still had my shoes on (unusual, since I usually take them off first thing) and the tack had stuck into the sole. I felt something under my shoe and heard the plastic push part of the tack on the floor, so I put down my bags and looked to see what it was.

When I say "tack," of course I mean "many tacks." There were several in my shoes. And when I turned on the light and got down on my hands and knees (because they were clear thumbtacks and I couldn't see them without glasses unless I got down closer to the floor) I could see the entire kitchen floor had been booby-trapped with thumbtacks.

Very funny, cats.

Here's another example: On the days when I work from home, I like to sit at the dining room table with my laptop and other work implements. The unused outlet in this room is on the wall at the other end of the table. I plug in a power strip and rest it on that end of the table. That way I can jack in my laptop and phone, and if T is there, he can too.

I left the room for a bathroom break and when I came back, Achilles thought this was funny.

Not only is he laying all twisted up on the cords, next to the power strip... His eyes are open. And look at the position of his hand--hovering off the ground, as if frozen in mid-air.

Very funny, Achilles. You don't want me to play practical jokes on you, do you?

I'm thinking about taking the middle leaf out of the table and putting the cloth back over top. Now that would be funny!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Meaning Of Dreams

You know how you have a crazy dream and you try to tell someone and they're all like "Hm. That's interesting." But their eyes are totally saying "Good God, shut up. Nobody cares!"? Well, that's not me. I have always been fascinated by dreams--mine and other people's. I'm not only likely to listen intently, but also to ask you questions--Is there someone at work causing you stress? Do you feel a little ignored lately? Did you recently accomplish something big? I like to know the meaning of dreams.

Some are pretty easy to figure out. Mine tend to be rife with word humor. For example, the other night I dreamed there was a giant tomato in the garden that was about to be blown away by a strong wind and flooding waters. I was worried because I had worked very hard on it and didn't want anything to happen to it. T went out to save it, but when he turned around he was holding R & M (as very small children) and he was carrying them through the storm to me.

Now you see what a funny place the mind of Patwoman is. T was holding the fruits of my labor. Literally. The fruit of the labor in the garden changed into the fruits of my maternal labor. Ha!

My dreams are also pretty symbolic sometimes. This tomato/child dream, for example. Water tends to be a stress symbol for me in my dreams. So I'd say this dream has something to do with all the long hours I'm working is leaving me less family time lately.

Water is a significant stress symbol in my dreams. I frequently dream about going to an amusement park, but when I get there, the rides are either totally under water or at least partially underwater. Sometimes I try to ride them anyway. And then, I enjoy them--until they go underwater, which is not fun at all.

In that dream, I'd say the message is that stress is taking away all the fun, and spoiling the fun I am having.

(I've had that water symbol all my life, by the way. When I was younger and I would tell my dad that I dreamed about a flood, he would laugh and say "That means you have to get up and go to the bathroom." Not a big believer in symbolism, my dad.)

Anyway, I think dreams are entertaining and sometimes insightful and I enjoy trying to decipher them. Although, I still haven't figured out the dream where I'm standing naked on top a giant golden pyramid, holding a pickle in the air above my head, while all around the base of the pyramid a thousand loincloth-wearing men are cheering and shouting my name.

What do you suppose that one means?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The One Where Patwoman’s Refrigerator Dies And Leaves Her With 22.5 Cubic Feet Of Spoiled Food And Melted Ice Cream

Well, that title kind of says it all, doesn’t it?

Came home late from work last night. We were so busy that, not only was I there late, I also didn’t get a chance to eat dinner. So I was pretty anxious to make a taco salad with all that fresh produce and ground beef I’d just bought. Then, I opened the door and grabbed the package of meat and…

Uh… Why is it room temperature?

Yeah. Everything in the fridge was room temperature. Everything in the freezer was room temperature. Not only is that gross, but it makes no sense, since they should be on two separate compressors. I thought maybe the power had gone out in the evening since we had some pretty major storms moving through earlier (while everyone was at work). But the power was back on when we got home and the fridge was still warm.

Flash forward to today. The repairman says there is nothing broken with my fridge, but apparently there was some weird power surge that reset the computer brain of my fridge (did I mention that, this last time around shopping for kitchen appliances, I popped big bucks for The Fridge Of The Future?) and so now it thinks it’s in demo mode on the showroom floor.

Boop. Boop. Beep. Ding. Ding. Pressed a few buttons and my fridge was fine.

Of course, all the ice cream had already melted out of its cartons, over the shelf and into the ice-maker, so it could pour out the ice dispenser the first time someone accidentally touched that dispenser lever. (Guess who that was?)

What a mess.

Still, in the grand scheme of things, all that was lost was several hundred dollars’ worth of food. And the repair bill. I guess it could have been much worse.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Hair

My hair has been driving me crazy. Not just because it’s so long and floppy there’s nothing I can do with it except put it in a pony tail. I’m also not crazy about the way it’s gotten so freakin’ wild. I have some natural wave to my hair, yeah, but it’s like a jungle on top of my head. I can’t make it do anything.

I’m also not too thrilled with the grey. But I will deny saying that. I will deny, actually, that I even have any grey. Grey is not in my head vocabulary.

Anyway, I just haven’t had any time to do anything about it. Frankly, I have so much hair that getting a cut and color is a 3-4 hour job. And I’ve been so busy with work (Yay 7 day work week!) that I can’t spare 3-4 hours.

But I woke up this morning and said “I’m doing something about this hair or everyone’s going to pay.”

Here’s my before. You can’t really see how long this is, I guess. Should’ve gotten a shot of the back.

Here’s during.

And here’s after. Four inches shorter. No grey. (But then, there never was, right?) And multiple layers to take off the weight. Looks so much better.

Now, if I can find someone to give my body that kind of treatment…

Monday, June 24, 2013

Gifts From The Cat

Cats are so funny. They want to be cool and aloof, like they don’t care if you like them or not. But they get all freaky jealous of each other. They want you to want them more than they want you. And they want you to want them more than any other cat.

Example: I told you about Odysseus, right? He is my slightly feral outdoor cat. Actually, I think he’s probably more PTSD from being abused than feral. But you know what I mean, right? He’s not going to be a lap cat any time soon.

What he will do is come to get food. And sit and sun himself on my porch, my car, or in my window. He will acknowledge me by running to the porch when I come out (but he stops shy of arm’s reach and hisses at me). And he will bring me presents. Lots and lots of presents.

I’m talking frequent decapitated bird donations to the family. Thanks, Odysseus. (No, seriously, thanks. I always thank him profusely and give him some Friskies in a bowl as I take away his “gift.” I want him to know I appreciate the gesture in the spirit it was given.)

Of course, Achilles doesn’t like that at all. And, since he has no way of killing any birds for me, he has had to be very creative in his gifting.

So, one night I found a piece of glass under my pillow. Glass. WTF? Upon closer inspection, I realized it was the tail from my blown glass hummingbird hanging in the hall. Someone must have jumped up there, bashed the tail off my bird and then brought me a trophy. And yes, as a matter of fact, Achilles was right there, watching my reaction.

Of course, I had to praise him, as well. And give him some special treats. I thought that might be the end of the rivalry. But no. A few nights later, I found this under my pillow.

It’s a giant dead moth. Thank you, Achilles. It’s just what I always wanted. But you know, I’m good on dead bugs right now. No more, okay?

I probably should have just said “I’m good on bugs.” Because the next thing he brought me was a live spider.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jammy Dodgers!

We all know I am not only a Whovian, but an Anglophile. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when R brought me some Jammy Dodgers that he got at the World Market. I had to try them, of course. If it's loved by The Doctor, it's loved by me.

I have to say, I was a little disappointed. Maybe they just weren't as fresh as they could be since they were imported. And who knows how long things sit on the shelf at the World Market? They also were not very sweet, compared to American shortbread cookies. Not even the jammy part. Not like the American Girl Scout shortbread cookies, which are so overly sweet you're almost in tears by the time you finish a box. What? You don't eat a whole box in one sitting? So that's just me, then? Huh.

Even so, I thought Jammy Dodgers were ok. But I'd also be interested to see how some other cookies stack up, too. (Purely scientific research, mind you.)

If you want to send me cookies, let me know. I'll send you my shipping address.

I did find it curious that there was a sticker on the back with all the Recommended Daily Allowances printed on it. So I pulled the sticker back to see what was under it. The British RDAs. Well, of course. That makes sense. The whole Metric/Standard thing.

But then I noticed other differences. The British label is more descriptive "each tasty Dodger," as opposed to the American "one serving."

There's that, too. The British label tells you what's in each cookie. So you can choose how many cookies you will eat. (Who eats just one cookie?) The American version gives you the nutritional information per serving. An American serving of Jammy Dodgers is two cookies, by the way. That's pretty outrageous, too. Two cookies? I eat two cookies when I don't even want cookies. Please! (See the previous paragraph on Girl Scout cookies.)There are only eight cookies in the whole package.

Who can't eat eight cookies? Seriously.

The British label has more personality, too. It warns you to store leftover cookies (Leftover. Ha! As if!) in an airtight biscuit tin "unless you like soggy biscuits!" The American version doesn't add anything like that.

Maybe because they know we're going to eat the whole package at once?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Don's Birthday

We had a nice little get together with Don the other day for his birthday. I baked him a cake. Yes, I know it has pink filigree on it and that's not super manly, but I didn't really want to leave it plain. Plus, that pink is just extra frosting. And everybody loves extra frosting.

Everyone loved this cake, too. Very rich. It was a dark chocolate cake, with chocolate pudding and chocolate chips added into the batter (plus some other special ingredients that make it super moist). Then, I filled it with fudge ice cream topping and frosted it with chocolate frosting.

It was delicious.

We played some games--Legendary's Dark City expansion and King of Tokyo. It was a great time!

Friday, June 21, 2013

It’s All Cook

Iphone and I have a love/hate relationship. I love my iPhone. But sometimes it hates me.

Like the time I texted my son’s girlfriend to say he was at Meijer (a grocery store) and it autocorrected to say he was at Mary. I luckily caught that one before I hit send.

Like the time I was texting a playful little message to T and got a text from M at the same time, so iphone sent my T text to M. My daughter’s response…. “Gross.”

Like all the times iphone decides I need to end my texts with the letter V. As in, I’m on my way V. Or What’s up V.

Sure, those incidents are not as bad as they could be. Certainly not as bad as I’ve heard of. They’re just annoying. And I get tired of apologizing for my iphone’s autocorrect. So I’ve just decided to go with it. No matter what it is.

Just this week, iphone changed the text That’s cool. To That’s cook. I don’t know why. Cool is a word, iphone. It didn’t need to be autocorrected. But you know, I decided not to fight it. I decided to just pretend that I meant to say That’s cook the whole time. I decided to try to make cook happen.

I’m now using the word cook in all my texts. R has jumped on the bandwagon and is helping me. We use it in our spoken communication, as well. Mark my words. Cook
is going to happen.

And that’s cook with me.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pardon Me, I Mistook You For A Cowl

I finished the mistake rib cowl I started the other day.

This is Mistakes, I've Made a Few, using my reclaimed and Easter Egg dyed wool yarn. It's pretty fabu, I must say.

I knit until I ran out of yarn, making this about 7 inches long. I'd like it to be just slightly longer, but this is fine, too.

I love the color. I used blue, green, and yellow on this yarn--though the yellow pretty much disappeared into the green.

This is a good pattern, too. It's fast and easy to memorize. You can do it while you are doing something else. (Or while you got the dumbs after a long day at work, like me.)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

No More Flirting With Disaster

I finally got my Rx refilled for my blood pressure and potassium. I knew you'd be happy to hear that. It's been kind of a chore, really. And kind of a surprise. Here's what happened.

I'm at the end of my bp pills before I realize, Hey no refills. It's okay. I'll call the dr. for an appointment and miss maybe only a couple of pills, right? (I try not to think about it, since I don't want my bp to shoot up at the thought of having high blood pressure. Vicious cycle, that.)

So I call my doctor's office--hands down, the worst doctors office in the civilized world, under normal conditions--and I'm told my doctor is no longer there. Not there. Not at any other practice. None of the other doctors are accepting her patients. No refills, even to give you time to find a new doctor.

Now, normally, I would be upset. I would normally think the office should have given patients a little warning. Or the doctor should have. Like a postcard saying something like "You should start trying to find a new doctor now so you're not fucked when you go to schedule your next appointment."

But, you know. This is pretty typical of my doctor's office. This is the office that makes you schedule an appointment two weeks in advance but then cancels at the last minute. Or you get to sit in the waiting room for two hours. Or they can't find your chart. Or they schedule appointments for sleep study--even though you have said, specifically, that you are not interested in a sleep study--without your knowledge and you only find out about it when the sleep study place calls you.

It's the doctor's office that calls you and tells you your potassium levels are dangerously low and you need an Rx. But they can't tell you what dangerously low means or if you need to leave work and take the Rx now or if you just need to start taking the Rx regularly from now on. It's the doctor's office that can't understand why a person cannot just change their schedule at a moment's notice, that people have other obligations to fulfill even though the doctor's appointment is important, that's why they scheduled an appointment in the first place.

Ugh. What was that about not getting my bp up?

Anyway, I'm not sorry to be at a new doctor. I should have done it a long time ago, it was just a matter of not really having time to research doctors (until, I guess something like this happens and you need to). So, it's all fine now. And I'm taking my bp med (and getting up to pee 8 or 9 times a night, thanks) again and taking my potassium (no more charley horse legs and arms, and hopefully no heart stoppage).

The potassium pills cause me to have crazy dreams if I take them before bed. With the crazy dreams I've been having lately, I can't wait to see how the bar gets raised.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I Have A Dream

My dream is to one day use my dining room table for eating meals, instead of using it as my computer desk.

My dream is to one day use my living room coffee table for something other than holding a week's worth of newspapers. (Which, by the way, why am I getting the newspaper again? I cancelled my subscription years ago. I called and left a voicemail telling the paper I don't subscribe, but they are still putting it in my paper box--which is still there from years ago.)

My dream is to one day weed the garden before the weeds take over. And, while I'm at it, I'm dreaming of trimming my rose bushes.

My dream is to one day paint the kitchen walls some color I enjoy looking at. Something that will make me hate being in that teeny tiny workspace just a little less.

My dream is to one day organize all my yarn so I can spend less time looking for yarn and more time knitting it.

Yeah. But like the dream where I'm standing atop a golden pyramid waving a 3 foot long gherkin, those dreams are probably not rooted much in reality.

Monday, June 17, 2013

I Couldn't Take It Any More

I have had no time to knit, no time to do anything really. And I really need to. Stabbing yarn is the only acceptable violence T will allow me to do for stress relief.

Patwoman: OMG I just have so much to do and so little time to do it and I can't be all things to all people especially when people keep interrupting me! Where's my hammer?!

T: Now, now. Let's not go to DefCon 1 straight out of the gate. It's not Hammertime yet. Here. Why don't you work on this yarn.

(He is the master of the mixed metaphor, isn't he?) But he's usually right about that. Torturing yarn knitting does tend to relieve the stress and settle the urge to kill tension.

So I just picked up the closest yarn, which happened to be my hand-dyed green/blue/yellow recycled wool, and the closest circular needles. And then I did a search on Ravelry for a suitable pattern for that yarn and those needles, one that I wanted to knit. (Because, it's not going to relieve much stress if I don't enjoy knitting it, right?)

And I cast on for Susan Ashcroft's Mistakes--I've Made A Few cowl, which--by the way--seems like an appropriately titled pattern for me. Take a look. I knit 4 inches without coming up for air.

Yeah, I mix metaphors too.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to T, and to all of you who are fathers or have fathers. We spent the day together--T, kids, and me--as one should on Father's Day.

T is a great dad. I know I'm biased, but it's true. He has always spent time with our kids, always listened to them, and always enjoyed them. Even now, when both R & M are grown adults, they both spend a lot of time with him.

Of course, he is the "fun parent".

We went to dinner, came home for cake, and played some board games. Afterward, we watched one of the movies he had gotten as a gift, The Dark Knight Rises. (Yeah. Well, we hadn't seen it yet.)

It's been a pretty good day.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

What Dreams May Come....

I have had several nights' worth of crazy dreams. I don't know why. You know I have always had crazy dreams--good, bad, indifferent. I've never been one to sleep through the night.

Lately, my dreams have been highly symbolic--travelling someplace, looking for someone, trying to read a message, etc. A few dreams have been variations on previous dreams, which I believe hold some meaning for me--a dreamwalk, as my grandma used to call it.

For example, I often pass through a graveyard. It's the same graveyard, but not one I've ever been to. It's not a real graveyard, I'm sure, since the new graves are at the front and the old ones are in the back (and that's the opposite of how it should be). There are two paths, and I always take the one on the left. It's not scary to me, until I realize I am deep in the cemetery.

Usually, I turn and leave when I realize where I am. The other night, I went all the way to the back, where there was a mausoleum under construction (surrounded by scaffolding and plastic tarp). The entrance to the mausoleum was guarded by two cats, who just looked at me in what I felt was an amused manner. I offered the cats blessings and apologies and "blessings and apologies to all whose rest you guard here", as I had to pass them to get by.


Also, I have been looking for Jack in my dreams. Once, outside a hotel restaurant as a parade passed. Once in the graveyard. Once near a river (but not any river I've ever been to). The weird thing about this is that I don't know any Jack. No one.

R says this is my brain telling me "You don't know Jack, lady."

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tales From Patwoman's Mailbag

Dear Patwoman,

What are you up to lately? We haven't heard much about your current WIPs.

Dear Curious Reader,

The reason you haven't heard much about my current WIPs is that there has been no progress on the Works in Progress. The Christmas Knitting has pretty much stalled. So has the Advent Garland knitting. And, if you've been reading, I am really struggling with the pattern I'm designing for the knitting group.

I've not had a lot of time to knit, with my work schedule. It's been a little hectic. Thanks for asking, though.

Dear Patwoman,

You used to review movies for us every now and then. What have you seen lately? The new Star Trek movie, maybe?

Dear Curious Reader,

Sadly, I haven't seen the new Star Trek movie. Or the Man of Steel. Or, really anything. Oh, wait. I did see Iron Man 3. That was really good. But I'm sure everyone has already seen it by now, so I'll not review that one.

Free time? What is that?

Dear Patwoman,

I will be in your area soon. Same bat-time. Same bat-channel. Will you be there?


Is that for real? It's not been announced yet. But if you are there, I will be too.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Altoid Cans: Curiously Strong

And curiously strong dog teeth. Let me tell you a story:

Once upon a time, Patwoman was reading about things you can do with repurposed Altoid tins. It was pretty cool, so Patwoman went out and bought some Altoids so she could have the tin. (She knew she would eat all the mints in a curiously quick amount of time.) But she left the tin on coffee table in the living room and left the house.

Let me tell you another story before I get to the end of this one, because they both end the same way.

Once upon a time, Gengen saw an unguarded tin of candy on the coffee table in the living room. Now, the candy was in a metal tin and the metal tin was still wrapped in plastic, and the tin was on the table in such a position that she would have to knock almost everything off the table in order to get to it. But that didn't matter to Gengen, because she wanted to eat the candy inside. (Even though she had never tried Altoid mints and had no idea what to expect.) So she cleared the coffee table, knocking the Altoid tin to the floor, where she proceeded to chew the can.

When I got home, I found what was left of the can on the floor--a mangled, twisted, holey, soggy mess. I wish I'd taken a picture of this can, but it was so horrific I just tossed it.

For the record, Gengen did not suffer any damage to her teeth, that I can tell. But, holy crap! She bit through a metal tin! That kind of makes me a little nervous about Cookie Time.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Silver Age? Really?

I was looking up the entry for The Metal Men comic book on Wikipedia today. People don't really know about The Metal Men. But I really liked them, as a child.

I can't remember the whole story, but basically, this scientist makes some androids. And, in order to give these Metal Men their own free will and (I know they didn't say "soul" back then) life, he tried to endow them with his own personality. Something happened, as it always does, and each Metal Man became not only the embodiment of that particular metal, but also they got an aspect of Dr. Magnus' personality. So, Iron became the strong man, Platinum was his libido (a woman), Mercury was his temper (but I don't know why he made a robot out of mercury, that doesn't seem very practical.), etc. It was pretty far-fetched, but I was a child, so I didn't mind. I loved to read those stories.

And that's really the point. They're fun to read. And if they're fun to read, people--especially kids--will read them.

My mom's philosophy on reading was that any reading was good reading. The more you read, the more you learn, the more you are encouraged to imagine, the more ideas you are exposed to, the more words you learn, the more you are required to think and analyze your own opinions and feelings. So we always had plenty of things to read around the house. And that meant plenty of comic books.

I was just a little astonished to read (in the Wiki article) that all those comic books I learned to read on were from The Silver Age of Comic Books. The Silver Age? Really?

That makes me feel so old.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Designing Woes

I think I've told you that I belong to a knitting group online, the Holiday Mystery Knitting Group at Yahoo.com? Well, I decided to contribute one of my patterns to the group. After all, I get to use so many of theirs, right?

The trouble with that plan is, I don't have the pattern written. At all. I just have this vague concept in my head. (Yeah, this is the same pattern I was talking about last week. I still have not written anything.) I've been trying to work the math on this thing and finally decided it was just not going to work the way I imagined it.

So now I am re-imagining.

What's fun about designing your own knits is that you can do what you want, to suit yourself. What's not fun is that--at least if you plan to share the pattern--you have to communicate the instructions well enough that someone else can understand.

That's the hard part, really.

At any rate, I'm liking this re-imaging better than the original anyway. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Geese Are Odd Ducks

I've recently learned more about geese than, really, I wanted to know. Just to set the stage here, there are geese everywhere around here. I don't really mind them. They don't seem to hurt anything or anyone.

There are usually geese in our parking lot when we get to work every day. I don't know what they think. Something like "This looks like a good place for a nest." or "I just can't flap my wings any longer." I know it's nothing like "Here's an out of the way place with no cars driving through." Anyway, they just seem to settle willy-nilly in the lot, regardless of the amount of traffic.

It's ok. I always go around them. The only time I've ever had any issue with them was the one time they decided to park right in front of the door to our store. They were not happy that I asked them to leave.

But that prompted a lot of conversations about geese in general. One of our employees was telling us about the geese he had to chase off of his front porch. He said two males had cornered a female. Apparently, it's pretty common for geese to have an accomplice/rape buddy to help them out, even going as far as helping force the female out of the sky to the ground.

But, you know, that's the animal kingdom. Lots of weird, Jerry Springer-style stuff going on in the animal kingdom, in general. What gets me though, is that--once the male has forced himself onto the female--they're now a family. The male and female raise the young together.
Now what kind of alpha male crap is that? He forcibly impregnates her, and they live happily ever after? Oh, my geese sisters... You gotta respect yourself a little more than that.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Wire-Wrapped Rings

I should be working. I should be exercising. I should be knitting. (Well, okay. It's not that I should be knitting. I just want to. But those other things... I should totally be doing those.)

Instead, I am taking a few moments to make some wire-wrapped rings. But really, they go so quickly, it's not like I'm really slacking off anyway. Each took just a few minutes. I made three tonight.
I made the blue one first. It's a blue and gold bead, accented by gold beads on either side. The wire is blue. I really like this one a lot, but I made it just slightly too big. It's not loose enough to come off, but just loose enough to turn around on my finger after a time. I might wrap a bit more wire on the sides. That might tighten it up a bit.
Then, I decided to make the pink one without any beads at all. I was going for a rosette type swirl. I think it looks pretty cute.

It's a little tight, though. Just slightly. So then I made the red, white, and blue one. And it fits just right. The only thing I don't like about it is the weird wire wrapping on the side. But that was all me. What can I say? I need some glasses.

Still, I'm pretty happy with these. It was a very satisfying fifteen minutes of crafting. Maybe I'll do some matching earrings next time?

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Time To Start Rehabbing This Knee

So the knee brace has been off and I’m walking on the knee pretty much normally now. But I can tell, it’s not as strong as it was before I spent 2 months off of it. So, my plan is to get that knee stronger. It’s a plan with other benefits, as well. It does require some exercise. And exercise is the one thing I am not getting enough of.

That’s actually not true. There are plenty of things I’m not getting enough of—sleep, money, time, energy, creativity… Probably easier to name the stuff I’m getting plenty of—stress, work… It’s going to be difficult to find the time to actually do any exercise, but I really need to, I guess.

I’m hoping this also helps my weight loss. I’ve been trying lose some of this bulk for about 3 months now. I have just been restricting my caloric intake and nothing else and I’ve lost about 22 pounds. Sadly, there’s been no progress in the last 3 weeks. So it looks like I’m going to have to throw some exercise into the mix.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Shawl Blocking The Patwoman Way

Common Rocketpop has been knitted!

Man, it took me a long time to do such a small piece! I just haven’t had a lot of time lately. Work in-store and on the website had kept me pretty busy. Gotta love those 80 hour work weeks. But I have been picking it up and knitting a row or two here or there, just so my hands didn’t forget how to do it.

Here it is, damp and blocking. Like the look of the lace, all opened up. It’s a little smaller than I thought it would be. That could be because I skipped the last couple of rows of pattern (I was running out of yarn). And it could be because I stepped down two needle sizes (as I normally do) to account for my loose knitting. Of course, I did get the guage (12 st = 4 inches in stockinette) so I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s just smaller than I expected.

Still, I like the pattern a lot. And the colors are pretty cool together. I haven’t knit a shawl in a while, so it was a fun experience too.

As you can see, I don't have an actual blocking board. But I make do. I covered a big double thickness of cardboard with a bath towel. Yeah. I'm nothing, if not resourceful.

Achilles! Don't lay on my shawl! It's wet and full of pins!

That sounds like a dare to me, Humom.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

On The Road With Patwoman

When I was young, I used to love traveling. Maybe it’s because we only did it once a year that it seemed like such a luxury to me. I also used to watch Wheel of Fortune during the day in the summer and coach the winners to go for the trips. This was back when the contestants would win a dollar amount, and then they would “shop” in the “prize showroom” for that round. The showroom could contain trips, cars, boats, furniture, ceramic Dalmatians… all kinds of things. The winner of the round would stand next to Pat Sajak and say things like “Uh… I’ll take the side-by-side GE refrigerator for $850, Pat…” and meanwhile, I’d be screaming at the TV “Take the trip to Paris for $2000!”

Yeah. I got into TV back then.

Anyway, travelling is not really a lot of fun for me now. I’m good for, like, one day. And toward the end of that day, I’m ready to be home. In my comfy pants. On my own couch.

Still, yesterday was a good trip. (A day trip. So by the time I got home, I was ready to be home—but not crazy ready, if you know what I mean.) And there was so much to see on this trip.

One of the coolest things I saw was when we stopped at a Starbucks. There was a used car lot next door, and at the end of the drive was a pickup truck with a 9-foot rooster in the back. I tried to take a picture, but sadly, going through the mountains sucked the entire life out of my iPhone. And our rental car was apparently the only one on Earth without a cigarette lighter or a USB port to recharge it.

One of the worst things I saw was a gas station bathroom. First, it was outside of the station, so I had to take a key attached to a long plastic bar to the darkened side of the building. (That’s #1 of how you know the bathroom is going to be bad.) Second, the toilet was stuffed with paper towels (and bodily excrement) and the walls were written on.

As I turned to leave, without using the facilities, I noticed a sign on the wall from the management. It said “Please do not put paper towels in the toilet or write vulgarities on the wall.”

Now, seriously. If you write something like that, what do you think is going to happen?

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Get It Right

I really hate it when people use the wrong word. I don't mean when they call something red and it's really more maroon. That's fine. I'm not a snob. And I don't mean when their brain's language centers accidentally misfire and they call the neighbor child the wrong name. That happens to everyone. I mean when someone calls something the absolutely wrong thing because they just don't care to get it right.

For example, I continually see stories in the media about crafters. There will be a photo of the crafter, crochet hook in hand, and the story will use the words "knit," "crochet," and "sew" interchangeably. I suppose I should be happy that this kind of story gets any coverage in the mainstream media. (It's not a sensational spurned-love murder story, after all.) But, come on. That's just bad journalism.

I can only assume the person who wrote the story did not ask the question "What is that craft you're doing called?" Or, if they did, they didn't ask a follow-up question like, "Crochet? Is that the same thing as quilting?" The fact that they didn't ask these questions says they just don't care to get it right.

That's just bad journalism.

Would the same reporter write a story about football and call the quarterback the center? Would they write a story about a dog show and call the dog owners zookeepers? Would they write an article about cake baking and call it bbq?

It just bothers me, as a former journalist and a current crafter.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Pattern Creation

I've been working on a pattern for a couple of days now. And when I say working on a pattern, I mean thinking about it and getting very frustrated.

I don't know why the pattern creation is frustrating. I feel confident of the design. And it's not really that difficult. And I've knit similar things before.

I think it's just the math.

Is that sad, or what? It's basic math, too. But I find myself working it out aloud: "So, if there are 120 stitches total, then the middle is between stitch #60 and #61, right? And then, divide that by 5 stitches... Oh, wait a minute..."

When I was in high school, I told Mr. Leach that I would never use math in my real life.

I can hear him laughing at me now.

Monday, June 03, 2013

I Want To Paint

Paintings, you know. Not like the house. Although it could use it. Desperately. Every room. Every wall.

But, I was really thinking about painting pictures. I think it's fascinating that someone can have an idea of something--something that may not even exist anywhere other than in their head--and then put that representation down on the canvas. And other people can look at it and see just exactly what the artist was thinking about. That's really cool.

I'm not artistic like that, by the way. My drawings (I do about one a week for the cafe sign at our store) are nothing spectacular, believe me. I get happy when people can recognize what I've drawn.

I do like to talk to artists about the creative process, whenever I get a chance. I like to hear about the inspiration and the method of portraying whatever emotion they are trying to portray. I like to hear what they think of when they look at their art. And I think they like to hear what other people think, too. (At least I hope they do. Otherwise, I may have gotten very tedious with some artists I've met!)

I wonder though, if they ever get tired of hearing people say they like their work? Would they be displaying their work if they didn't want people to say they liked it? I wonder about that.

Like the music stars who won't play their signature songs because they have played them so much. Or actors who don't want to be identified with characters they've played. Do artists feel like that? ("Yes, it's a lovely painting, but I've done ten others since then.")

I have to think that they don't think that way. I think, at least the ones I've talked to, are pleased that people look at these pieces of themselves and find them interesting, or beautiful, or thoughtful, or exciting, or whatever.

Hm. I'm going to ask some artists at Gencon this summer. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Slow Mouse

Work on the Very Mice Christmas Pudding is going slow. Oh, there’s nothing wrong with the pattern. It’s not particularly hard or anything. I just have not had a lot of time to do anything other than work.

Here you can see the body—probably should have tried to find some pink mohair yarn, but this looks fine—and the head, both unstuffed. Sadly, that is all I have completed so far of this mouse.

The arms and legs are just I-cord, so that shouldn’t be too difficult, if I can just find the time to get it done.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Shopping Trip: Beads

I went shopping at Michael’s today. I had actually gone to sign up for another cake decorating class for M & I, but sadly we had already missed the first one. So, I guess that will have to wait until next month.

Anyway, while I was there, I decided to take advantage of the bead sale. Michael’s was celebrating their 40 year anniversary by pricing these beads at 40 cents a strand.

Wait… What?

Yes. You heard me. I grabbed a metric crap-ton of them. (They apparently know me well enough to never put yarn on sale for 40 cents.) If I ever get any time, I’m gonna make some jewelry.

If I ever get any time.

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