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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Disaster Averted!

Someone, and I'm not going to mention any names here, accidentally knocked a Dr. Pepper onto her laptop keyboard today.

Okay. I am going to mention names. It was me.

I think my baby is okay though, because I immediately flipped the whole thing over to keep the drink from going in between the keys. I think it worked. The keys make a pretty good seal anyway, but flipping it kept it from getting into those cracks.

I cleaned the keyboard with a Q-tip and alcohol, as a preventative. And I got a commercial cleaner for the screen.

It seemed to have worked okay. I'm hoping there was no actual damage.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Thinking About Tigers

I was thinking about tigers today because of the tiger scarf. And also because Shark Week is coming up soon and I just saw a commercial for it.

I know sharks are not tigers. Not even tiger sharks. But this was how I got there: Let's say you were in the ocean, swimming around. And a bull shark wants to eat you. Now, even if you're looking around underwater, watching out for hungry bull sharks, you can't see very far. Even with goggles you can't see very far. I don't know exactly how far you can see and my friend Professor Google is not very helpful on that subject. But I've been in the ocean and let me tell you, you can't see very far at all. Like maybe a dozen feet.

Not far enough to see a bull shark coming at you. Those things go about 60 mph. In the water. Think about that for a second. A couple hundred pounds of fish going 60 mph, slamming into you teeth first. You just got hit by a truck, baby. (Well, maybe not a truck. Maybe like a cow going 60 mph. With razor sharp teeth. Now that's a scary thought.)

Anyway, the point is, at 60 mph, that fish is swimming a mile a minute. 88 feet a second. That means, if my public school math is correct, you are screwed. You won't see it coming, even if it comes at you while you are looking that direction. Just, one second there's nothing and the next second, bam!

It's the same with tigers. We had the opportunity to see and touch Siberian Tigers up close several years ago. One of the things the zookeepers told us is that, even though these tigers had been around people since they were babies and they liked people just fine, they can still hurt you without even meaning to.

Tigers are lightning fast. Like, you-do-not-ever-want-to-piss-off-a-tiger fast. Tell you what. Go get a flashlight and start shining it all around the floor in front of your cat. They will watch intently for a while and you know they're going to pounce on it. You are expecting it. You are watching for it. But when they finally do pounce, it's such a sudden, rapid explosion of muscle that you are a bit taken aback by how fast they are. (And you might think to yourself, "Hey, cat. If you can move so fast, why did you let that spider in the bathroom get away yesterday?")

Anyway, as fast as your cat is, tigers make your cat look like they're ready for a nap. And, on top of that, they're big. The male that we saw was 700 pounds or so. The zookeeper said, "Even when they're just playing, if a 700 pound cat sits on you, you're not getting up until he wants you to get up."

Think about that.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Tiger Scarf

In keeping with my garter-stitch-o-rama (Breaking Bad viewing nights), I've completed yet another scarf. This one is garter stitch, but it's also striped.

I can handle stripes while watching tv. Don't worry.

I used size 8 needles and some Bernat Berella 4 in Black and Yarn Bee Italia in Umbria. Almost one skein each. The Italia is discontinued, I think. That's the problem with Yarn Bee yarns. They're only around for awhile, then they discontinue them. This has been in my stash for a few years.

I made a scarf out of just Italia a couple of years ago. It's very squishy-soft and I love the colors. I get a lot of compliments on that scarf.

Actually, I think Berella 4 has been discontinued, too. Although you can still find it in stores. It was marketed as The Afghan Yarn. I probably have a bunch of that in my stash, too.

So, this scarf is done and I still have more Breaking Bad to go. What should I knit next?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Yarn Shopping With Patwoman

Since I was in the LYS getting a swap present for Shilo—and I’d already come to the conclusion that it would be foolish to send wool, since Australia is known for its wool and Indiana is known for its… er… corn—I thought I’d go ahead and get some yarn for myself.

I think it’s actually a state law that you have to buy yarn if you go into a yarn store. At least, that’s what I keep telling T.

I found this lovely Cascade Jewel. It's 100% Peruvian Highland Wool in gold, browns, green, and a deep rusty red. Look at those colors! It actually sang to me from its shelf. “Aaaaaah!”

I need to find the perfect pattern for this.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Milkshake Diet Not Working

You know those diets where you drink a shake for two meals and then eat a sensible meal for dinner and you're supposed to lose weight?

Well, I've been having a shake almost every night for the past week and it's not working.

Friday, July 26, 2013

What A Day!

What kind of a day am I having? Let me tell you.

It's the kind of day that you try to be patient with, but it just keeps working at you--seemingly maliciously--until finally you can't take it any more and you just want to grab that day by the back of the neck and shake it until it behaves.

Of course, then Day Protective Services will appear and tell you "You can't shake your day like that." And you'll be all like, "It's my day. I'll do whatever I damn well please with it. Mind your own business, lady!"

And then, the Day Protective Services lady will be all like "I'm taking your day away from you." And you'll be like "You take one step toward my day and you'll be sorry, lady." And then, of course, you'll wind up in jail, thinking "What happened to the days when things were less stressful and I got more done and got more sleep? I want those days."

And all because your day is a bad day.

Yeah. I'm having one of those days.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Christmas Ornament

Since I haven't made a Christmas Ornament in a while, I thought I'd whip one up. This ornament symbolizes all the knitting I do for Christmas gifts. You've probably seen similar ornaments. I'm not claiming to have invented the wheel, you know. But this is just how I do it.

Christmas Knitting Ornament

2 1/2" clear glass ornament
2 round toothpicks
2 small beads for ends
Tiny amount of sport weight yarn
8" of ribbon
Craft glue

Step one: Make your knitting needles. Cut about 1/3 of the length of each toothpick off. (Throw that part away.)

Glue a bead to the cut end of each toothpick.

Step two: Cast on 5 stitches and knit about 3/4" in stockinette stitch, using the toothpicks as your knitting needles.

JK. You can't knit with toothpicks. That's crazy. Use knitting needles and then just transfer the stitches to the toothpicks. Trim the tail and working yarn short and secure with a dot of craft glue.

Step three: Carefully cram insert the knitted piece into the clear ornament.

Step four: Embellish with ribbon.

I sent this one to my Shilo, my swap partner. I think I will make some more for myself now.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Swap Gift Has Arrived!

Aha! So Shilo's swap gift has arrived and I can show you what I made. May I present:

Elvish Aaron Presently!

This is my version of Santa's Elf by Phoeny. I changed the color and made him a pink-skinned elf. Because, really. I can't see doing a green elf, like the pattern calls for. That's a goblin, folks. Elves are not green.
Now compare that to:

I rest my case.

I had a lot of fun making this elf. He's knit in multiple pieces, though, so you end up having to sew up a lot of seams. If I made him again, I'd probably do him on dpns. I used Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in Kelly Green and Soft Pink. Yeah, that's a worsted. I also knit him on #4 needles. So, yeah, he's bigger than the original. But he's still small and cute.

One thing I did with him is add pipe cleaners to his legs and arms so he's poseable. Not that I would ever used posed shots on this blog.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Jam Making

Well, really this post is more about the idea of jam making than the actual act of making jam. It's more wishful thinking than anything else.

I had some jam in my freezer, you know. I had peach jelly that I made, strawberry jam that I made, and I also had some grape jelly that a friend of mine made in the fridge. (She didn't make it in the fridge. She made it at her house. But I stored in in my fridge. Isn't language funny?)

Anyway, all that went bad when the fridge died. I'd like to make some more.

I keep seeing these great sales on strawberries at the grocery store. In a few weeks, peaches will be on sale. And I'm sure to have a bumper crop of tomatoes soon, due to all this rain. I'm thinking salsa!

Alas, I have no time to get any of this done. And even if I did have the time to do it, I'm working so much, I rarely eat at home any more. And if I do, it's at 1:00 am, after a long day.

I need to figure something out, though. At least for the tomatoes.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Change In Perspective

It's funny how your perspective changes as you get older, isn't it? When I was younger, I did a lot of crazy things that, looking back with my adult eyes, were really stupid scary. I didn't even think about the danger involved in some of the things I did. In fact, I kind of liked the danger.

Now, in my middle age, I am nervous about crossing those bridges that are so high above the ground or so low on the water. I get nervous being in a boat on a large body of water, knowing that just about anything could be beneath me and I'd never know. I get nervous about driving in the fog.

It's kind of embarrassing comical.

Other viewpoints have changed, too. These are good changes, though. Like, I no longer care what everyone else is wearing or driving. I don't care if someone thinks I'm silly or doesn't like me. I'm not influenced by other people's opinions and the things that used to make me uncomfortable, don't really bother me any more.

Except spiders. Always gonna be scared of spiders.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I Bought A Hula Hoop

Remember Hula Hoops? When I was a kid, everyone had one. It was one of those fun things you could do by yourself, like jump rope or Skip-Bo (look it up). I loved to Hula Hoop.

I saw one the other day and decided, on a whim and much to the disapproval of M, to get it. I thought it would be fun exercise. (Normally fun is to exercise, as axe murderer is to baby sitter.)

Let me just say, I was much better at this when I was a kid. I mean, seriously. How did it get to be so hard to do? I can't keep the damn thing up for more than one orbit around my waist.

I kind of feel bad for laughing at all the old people who failed at Hula Hooping back when I was young.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

What To Do In Case Of Zombiepocalypse

I know I've talked about this on several occasions, but I was just thinking about it again today. (Wow. That really speaks ill of my brain, doesn't it?) The folks on The Walking Dead are just stupid.

Now, I'll grant you this whole Zombiepocalypse took them by surprise, so they weren't prepared for it--physically, mentally, emotionally, any -ly. And I imagine there is quite a bit of shock involved. And panic. And depression. And fear.

But, they've been doing this for what? Two years in show time? I would think they'd be a little better at this by now. I know I would be.

For one thing, I wouldn't be roaming around the country. I'd find a place and fortify. Like a tall building. A high rise apartment building. Sure, that place is going to be filthy with zombies, but this is the proverbial eating of the elephant. One bite at a time, people.

Bleh. Tell me I didn't just liken clearing a building of zombies to eating an elephant. (Which is worse?)

Anyway, you clear the building one floor at a time. Go in, block the stairwell to the second floor. Block the entrances/exits well enough that the zombies don't see you and come in behind you. Clear all the zombies. Reinforce your entrance/exits.

Then, unblock the stairwell and clear the zombies as they come down. Zombies are stupid. They will follow that first zombie right down the stairwell. That's good, because they won't be able to mob you. They'll be two or three abreast at the very most. And the ones behind the first wave will be slowed, almost blocked by the front line, as you dispatch them. Seriously, two people standing shoulder to shoulder at the stairwell door, with one person standing on a chair a few feet behind them with a ranged weapon... It would be pretty quick work. Then all that would be left to do would be to carefully search the 2nd floor (barricading the 3rd floor stairwell and the stairs to the lower level the same way) and get rid of the stragglers.

You keep doing this until you've cleared all the floors. Now you have a defensible building with plenty of room for your group and any others you feel would add to your society. Don't forget to shut off the gas to the building. You don't want a random gas explosion taking out your building, too.

Put your water collection and purification bins on the rooftop, along with hydroponics and other gardening. Or, if you worry about some living person coming to take your building when they see all your nice plants, cut a hole in the roof and hide your water collectors in that recess.

Now you've got a pretty good start. That's a lot better than camping out in the zombie-infested woods or sleeping in the field of a farm surrounded by zombie-infested countryside, isn't it? Yeah. I think so.

But I guess that wouldn't be good for ratings.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Christmas In July

My swap package is here! Whoo-hoo!

We were all so excited, we couldn't take it.

Some of us more than others. Come on, Achilles. What's so interesting?

Ah! I see now! MaryEliz sent you a special catnip bunny!

But look at all these other gifts! Don't you want to know what's in them?

Look! A snowglobe, a cosmetic bag with some organic tea (mmm), French Vanilla coffee (mm-mmm), and a book on knitting tips and inspiration. And she's also sent along a chocolate chip cookie recipe (mm-mm-mm)!

And look! Look at this mitten garland! All of these mittens are different! That's awesome!


Achilles? Where are you?

Oh. Lol. Sleep it off, Buddy.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What To Knit In The Summer

A lot of people have told me their knitting slows down in the summer. For some strange reason (I can't figure it out.) people don't want to cover their lap with a half-knitted afghan in July.


I guess mine slows down a bit, too. But not because of the heat. You know I like it hot. (90 degrees and 90% humidity. That's for me.) I just tend to get a lot busier from May-December, so I have less time to knit.

I have noticed though, that--even though the heat doesn't bother me, and T likes the house the temperature of a meat locker anyway--most of my summer knitting tends to be small projects. Scarves. Hats. Ornaments. I don't know why that is. Other people have told me the same thing--they knit small things in the summer.

A lot of people knit dishcloths and socks. But I don't do those. Here are my suggestions for things to knit in the summer (besides hats, scarves, and ornaments or dishcloths and socks). None of these, btw, are original ideas. If you look around Ravelry or Pinterest, you'll find hundreds of each of these.

Afghan squares: Make an afghan for yourself or someone else, one square at a time. Pick out a bunch of different afghan square patterns that will knit up to the same size. Pick out some coordinating yarn. Now you're making an afghan, but only knitting a small square at a time. And you save the sewing up until the colder months.

This is how you can use those dishcloth patterns,if you're like me. Afghan squares. There are tons of dishcloth patterns that are really cute. But I don't do dishcloths. So, I knit them as afghan squares.

Afghan strips: Okay, this is kind of like afghan squares, with less sewing up. You make a bunch of scarves, using whatever stitch pattern and whatever color you want. You just have to make sure all the scarves are the same length. Then, when winter comes and you're ready to have a half-finished afghan across your lap, you seam them together along their long sides. You get a striped afghan that you knitted a piece at a time.

Candle jar cozies: Basically, you're making a lace tube wide enough to go around a jar candle. There are plenty of patterns for these, but you don't really need one. Just pick any lace stitch pattern that gives you a tube the circumference of your jar and knit it up on dpns or circulars. Make it just a bit shorter than your jar (no need to create a fire hazard, right?) and slide it on. These are actually really pretty. I think I will make several to give as gifts.

By the way, you don't even need to do this on dpns or circulars. You can knit a piece of lace flat and then seam it onto your jar. You'll, of course, have a seam if you do this, but if you don't mind that or if you're a fantastic finisher, it's fine.

Toys of any kind. For me, that's mostly cat toys. But you could also do toys for non-furry children, if you have that variety.

Jewelry: I love knitted jewelry. Knitting with wire, while somewhat bitchy, will at least not make your hands hot, like yarn. And even if you're knitting with fiber, jewelry pieces are so small you can finish them (usually) before you get bored or hot. Jewelry is also a way you can use your finished knit immediately, unlike a scarf or mittens.

Hm. All this talk of knitting has made me a little anxious to get some done.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I heard this phrase the other day. Fantitlement. It's the belief that a fan's devotion to, knowledge of, or proximity to a celebrity somehow entitles them to be part of their life.

Now, you would think this would only apply to those crazy people who stalk celebs or have mosaic walls of photos of that celeb's eyes or forcibly move into the celeb's house while they are out of town or create a whole fictional past for their blog.

Not that last one. That's perfectly normal.

The point is: Yeah, these people have extreme cases of Fantitlement, but I think it's actually fairly common, to some degree.

Listen, a couple of years ago, I was at a Comic Con event and talked to a celeb's assistant. He told me it's a big issue with fans who want to touch, hug, even kiss this celeb. There was actually a sign up prohibiting it.

At first I thought, How sad that they have to actually put up a sign so people won't paw at him. But then I thought about it a little deeper.

From the stalker fan's perspective, this is someone they've watched on TV for several years. They've read about him, maybe even seen photos from life outside the TV show, heard stories about how nice he is, etc. Maybe that celeb did something in the show or in real life that had an impact on the fan. Maybe the celeb said something in support of a cause the fan supports. Or against one the fan is against. For whatever reason, the fan feels a connection to the celeb. (I'm not saying this is good, right, or agreeable in any way. Just saying this is how it happens.)

Of course, to the celeb, the fan is a complete stranger. So you can understand how creeped out the celeb must feel when that person leaps across the autograph table and attaches herself, lips first, to the poor guy. And, it must be very frustrating for the celeb to have to listen to all the rambling crap people want to share with them--even if it comes from that feeling that the celeb is part of their life.

All I can say is, most celebs realize that's all part of it. Even if they don't want it to be. Even if it's not fair. And I think most celebs are cool about it, as long as it doesn't get crazy. They put up a sign, or whatever.

Felicia Day, for instance, (I've not actually met Felicia, but I did see her meeting with fans at a con.) was a very good sport about it. She was very gracious and friendly. She was having a lot of fun with it. And I'm sure, since she is who she is, people were feeling plenty of fantitlement to her life. But, she was cool with it. After her handshaking session, she slapped on some hand sanitizer and went into the exhibit hall to shop. And I thought: Pretty cool, Felicia.

I used her first name, even though I don't know her personally. See? Fantitlement.

Hey, I'm not immune to it. I have met a few celebs at cons and in a previous job, working in television, and there are some celebs that I feel some measure of connection to. Not in a weird way, though, like creating a fictional past on a blog with a celeb. Again, that's perfectly normal.

Here's an example: A few years ago, Hayden Panettiere was at Gencon, as a spokesperson for a card game marketed to little girls. When she and her handler arrived at the booth, there were hundreds of little girls, waiting to talk to her, get her autograph, take a picture. By the time her allotted booth time was up, there were still little girls in line who had been standing there for hours. The handler told her it was time to leave and suggested that he could get her out of there without being mobbed by fans. But she said no. She wanted to make sure that all those little girls got a chance to talk to her.

And she met them. All of them.

And right there, that act made me a Hayden Panettiere fan. I've never met her. Probably never will. But if Hayden Panettiere comes up in a conversation, I'm gonna tell you what a outstanding person she is. I feel Fantitled to that opinion.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Caveman Inside Us

Wow. I didn't realize how much that title sounds like a porn movie until I wrote it. Ha! I'm going to leave it, though.

I was thinking about the primal appeal of a bonfire yesterday, and that put me on the thought path of our ancestors. I was thinking about this article from earlier in the year. It discusses the possibility that our distant human ancestors might have mated with neanderthals. (Voluntary or not, the offspring would have to have been accepted into society in order to continue the DNA line, right?)

Not only that, but there are some other hominid species we've apparently added to our DNA. Again, it's not clear whether that was a willing or unwilling addition. But again, at least the children were accepted into society enough to pass those genes on.

Apparently, new studies have shown that the neanderthal (and other species) did not simply die out, as we were all taught in science class as a child, the backwards half-cousin of humans. But, they had some interaction with humans--enough to produce children and pass on neanderthal genes. There are several commercial labs now that will test your DNA and let you know what percentage is neanderthal.

If that's something you would be interested in. I don't know that knowing that has any practical implications, but it is interesting to see how humans spread across the world, absorbing other human-like species. It would be interesting to know where exactly your ancestors came from.

My ancestors--at least my recent ones (from about the 1500's on)--were very much like those early humans, in spirit. They went to new countries and married and produced offspring there. By the time they got to the melting pot of America so they could stir in some Cherokee, they were already multi-faceted in terms of DNA. I would not be surprised at all if that genetic blending tendency went back even further in our history and we also had some neanderthal.

Of course, anyone who's been to a family reunion would not be surprised either.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Summertime, And The Living Is... Crazy

Remember when you were a kid and the summer just lasted forever? I was thinking about that the other day and about how time is just different now. I was looking at fire pits--I have been contemplating buying one for several years now--and thinking about the bonfires we had as a teenager.

We used to make a big bonfire and sit out at it all night. There would be music and hot dogs and marshmallows and friends. Oh yeah, and there would be alcohol. That, of course, was the main reason for a bonfire, so we could stay out all night drinking. Of course, as an adult, I'm horrified by the thought of fire and alcohol together, but back then... Yeah, we're all stupid as teenagers.

Still, it was a good time. There's something primal and raw about sitting around a fire and talking. That's why, I guess, I'm so interested in these fire pits that are so popular right now. I would love to have little get togethers (with friends and family or just the two of us) where we sit around the fire and laugh and talk.

But then I'm reminded that I really have zero time for that. I've pretty much given up my Sunday Game Night--at least for the time being--because I just have so much to do. But that's the goal. I'd like to get to the point where T and I can take a night off together and just relax, maybe sit around our fire pit and look out at the backyard night.

Sigh. Maybe next summer.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Breaking Bad Cowl

I've been watching Breaking Bad on DVD. Like, every night. I'm hooked. (Ha! Pun!) I can't believe I haven't been watching this show all along!

And I'm into it, man. I watch it intently. That's why, if I knit, I have to knit something I don't have to think about. Something like this cowl. I call it my Breaking Bad Cowl. That's not because it was inspired by anything in Breaking Bad (talk about a non-inspirational show!) or that anyone in the show has ever worn anything like it (it is New Mexico, after all). But it's my Breaking Bad Cowl because it's the cowl I knit while I watched Breaking Bad.

I used some yarn that I had frogged from an old project a while back. This is, I believe, some Moda Dea Dream. It's a really soft, light yarn, which I prefer for a cowl that goes over the head.

I knit this extra long, so it would drape down over my shoulders. I have a couple of cowls that I think would be so much better if they were two inches longer so there are no gaps between coat and cowl.

It kind of pools around the neck if you don't pull it up over your head.

Straight stockinette stitch doesn't get boring at all if your mind is occupied elsewhere. But, now that I've finished this, I've got to find another project. Because....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Not Ready For Prime Time Commercials

I've always been a fan of late night television, and also of late night commercials. After 11:00 pm or so, you'll see commercials that are too risque or for products and services that are--how should we say?--not family-friendly.

Some of these commercials are so bad, they're effective. For example, there is a local gun dealer whose late-night commercials are practically iconic here in Indy. In fact, we actually studied them in one of my college courses. Of course, the dealer didn't do a ton of market research and strategically plan where and when to place his commercials. He took the package that would give him the most slots for the least amount of money.

That puts him smack in the middle of late-night tv. Which, as it happens, seemed to reach his target market. And they were so bad, people quoted them. They became popular.

Of course, some commercials are just bad. Like, those chat line commercials. Let's have a show of hands. Who believes that those women are representative of the people on those chat lines? And who believes those women were cast for the commercials because of their stellar acting ability?

I didn't think so.

I love the Enzyte commercials, though. They're hilarious. And so multi-layered. Like the wood background. And the driving golf club. They don't even mention these things, which is why these commercials are so well done. They're smart.

But some things, I think, should not be advertised on tv. Like Trojan Twister. I'm not a prude or anything, but seriously. That's a dildo commercial. And I've seen them on as early as 10:00 pm. Now, I realize the Europeans are not phased by this and I'm trying not to be provincial. But come on. It's a dildo commercial!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Yu-Gi-Oh! Dreams

Somehow Yu-Gi-Oh! has tapped into my dreams. Maybe it's because I've recently bought about 35,000 cards for the website and have been focused on all that data entry lately.

I'm literally dreaming about Yu-Gi-Oh! And not interesting dreams, like being in a Duelist world or facing off against monsters. Or being a cartoon. No. My dreams are more like sitting at the computer, entering in cards.

Of course, if I were dreaming Yu-Gi-Oh! style, the cards have plenty of ways to give me nightmares.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Ultimate Insult

M sent me this Ultimate Insult Generator. She got it from Pinterest, I think, but it originally came from Mandatory.com. She knew this would appeal to me because of how much I enjoy swearing creatively.

Basically, take one word from each column. Lazy Butt Hound. Insecure Turd Waffle. Pompous Crotch Biscuit. I could go on and on. It's so much fun.

And so much more colorful than the way most people swear these days. Bitch? Whore? Dick? (Come on. That's how your grandma swears.)

And lately, when I've fallen into the lazy habit of swearing like this: You backward, provincial dirt eater. You monkey-sucking mouth breather. Yeah. It's sad, isn't it. And not up to my usual standards. It's like I'm just phoning it in.

But now, with this generator... You dicknose taint blossom. You drug-loving douche canoe.

Yeah. I can work with this.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Copper Molds

When we were first married, maybe about a year or so, T's grandmother moved to a retirement home. She naturally had to pare down her belongings in order to fit into a dorm-sized room. No small task considering 1) She had lived in that house for over 50 years and 2) She was a crafter.

I'm not sure who was gifted with all of her craft items. No one else in T's family would be caught dead making something (like poor people do!).

But, one evening one of T's cousins brought us a box filled with Oma's copper molds. There were five of them and they were beautiful. I've always liked the look of copper, but I especially love copper in the kitchen.

I hung them on our kitchen wall. After a while, I started adding copper molds of my own. I got them from garage sales and Goodwill, mostly. And when we moved, I'd take the copper molds with us and hang them on my new kitchen wall.

I like copper molds, you get it? They're pretty, and they remind me of Oma, one of the nicest, kindest people I have ever met. Having them on the wall is like those big signs other people put on their walls that say things like Family, Love, or Sharing.

They say the same thing to me.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Button Organization

My mom, having grown up during The Depression, used to have this fantastic button stash. I was an old Christmas fruitcake tin (remember those?) and it was filled with buttons she had cut from shirts and dresses that had been thrown out (or recycled into rags). As a kid, one of the greatest things ever, was when Mom let us play in the buttons. Better, when we made sock puppets and got to use some of those buttons for eyes!

Anyway, I grew up in the 60's--a time when we were pretty certain we wouldn't need buttons in the future, because our sleek, silver, self-repairing, self-cleaning, Space-Age jumpsuits would not need buttons. So I never started a button stash of my own.

It was never an issue, really. There have only been a few times when I've needed a random button and didn't have one. But, I found myself there--up button alley without a, uh, button--when it came time to sew the eyes on the Fox Scarf.

Seriously. I had no buttons. Just that one white round button that came off the neck of that blue silk blouse with the flutter sleeves that drive me crazy. Actually, the whole top is wrong. Seriously. I don't know why I even bought it in the first place. First off, the flutter sleeves are ridiculous. They have a slit at the shoulder, so they basically flop all the flutter right in your armpit. And that button--at the back of the neck. Seriously? Who puts a button right where it can sit on your spine bone and alert you every time you move? And don't get me started on the pull-on style. Silk has no give, people. That means, however big your boobs are, that's how wide your blouse is going to be. It's like a big blue silk tent with stupid flutter sleeves. And a button on the back of the neck.

Where was I? Oh yes, buttons. I had no buttons for the eyes of the Fox Scarf. So I had to go to Michael's and pick some up. (And some yarn. If I went to Michael's and didn't buy yarn, they'd think I was some sort of doppelganger and all attack me.) I was going to just by a card with a couple of buttons on it for $2.99... until I saw this.

This bag, this pound of buttons, was only $4.99. I said to myself, Hey, I ought to be able to find two matching buttons in this bag, right? And then I'll have all those left over buttons.

Yes, that's right. I made a button stash.

My mom would be proud.

Monday, July 08, 2013

She’s Such A Fox!

People probably don’t say that any more, do they? Hmph. That was the ultimate compliment when I was a Patgirl—You’re a fox—exceeded only by the rarer Stone Cold Fox.

Not that I ever heard either of those phrases used to describe me as a teenager. Listen, I was flat-chested, poor, and smart. How many guys do you think were interested in me? I have no idea what it was that attracted T—a handsome, funny, smart, popular, jock—to me all those years ago, but I was really suspicious of it in the beginning. Now, of course, I know it’s because he was so much more substantial than other guys.

That was a win for both of us.

Oh, but back to the phrase—she’s a fox. I kind of like that phrase. It implies someone sleek, clever, a little bit wild, a little bit exotic—definitely not your ordinary suburban fauna. Think about it. If you were standing in your front yard and a stray dog ran across your lawn, you’d be like “Sigh. Dog.”

But, if you were standing in that same front yard and a fox ran across the grass, you’d be all “What was that? Was that a fox?” You’d feel a little excited, maybe a little nervous, and kind of thrilled to have seen one so up close and personal.

She’s a fox. That’s such a descriptive turn of phrase. What is it that people say now? She’s hot? Screw that. My oven’s hot. It’s hot outside. Lots of things are hot. She’s bangin’, kickin’, tasty… Those are just crude. I like fox.

Anyway, that’s all neither here nor there. I was just thinking about the phrase as I knitted this fox scarf for my niece. It’s the Fox Scarf by Satu Dolk and Ossi Laine. And I will warn you, the pattern is in Finnish. I don’t speak Finnish, of course, but my good friend, Professor Google, does. Still, the translation is not infallible and there was more than a little educated guessing going on.

But don’t think this was in any way difficult. It’s pretty basic knitting—all garter stitch, with some increases and decreases. You don’t even have to be fancy with increasing and decreasing. It’s all garter stitch, so none of the slants really show. Just K2tog and M1. All the color changes are at the end of a row, so no problems there, either.

I used Vanna’s Choice in White (maybe a quarter of a skein, there’s plenty left over) and Tangerine Mist (half a skein), plus a little bit of some random unlabeled black for the nose embroidery. It’s a scarf for a 4-year-old, so it’s not long. It took me maybe two hours to knit, all total. Of course, I haven’t had two knitting hours in one chunk in a long time, so this was spread out over a couple of days.

This is a cute little pattern. The head is a loop that the tail passes through. So it keeps the scarf close around the neck and it looks like the fox is biting its own tail to stay on. Ha! Like the Flintstones!

Into the Christmas box with it!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

T and I have been married 29 years.

It's funny, because it doesn't really seem like a long time to me. You know how they say the excitement gives way to habit after so long? Well, it's not true. We're still having just as much fun as we did when we first met! And he's still my favorite person to be around.

Still, I was thinking about the sentence I've been married to T for 29 years. And I thought, if you replace married to T with anything else, it completely changes everything.

--I've been at the same job for 29 years.

--I've been in the same apartment for 29 years.

--I've had the same hairstyle for 29 years.

--I've had the hiccups for 29 years.

Well, okay. That last one was weird. But you get my point. All of those things seem like they would be so tedious and dull. But 29 years with T is just getting started.

Trust me.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

What To Do In Case Of A Rip In The Space/Time Continuum

I was watching some late night tv the other night and there was a commercial for a show that was on a while back. Apparently they are replaying it on some other channel. Or making new episodes. Or something. I don’t know. I wasn’t paying that much attention.

I did watch this show once or twice when it was on the first time around. Basically, we find out this world is going to be destroyed sometime in the near-ish future, but we also discover a wormhole back in time. So a bunch of people are chosen to go back in time through the wormhole to live in the past.

Now, of course, if you send a bunch of people back in time a million years and they screw up the world in the past, that’s going to have repercussions on the present, right? No. Don’t worry about that. That wormhole? It actually takes them to an alternate timeline. So they can screw up whatever they want.

But what if you do go back in your own timeline? If you mess around too much, you could end up creating a paradox—a rip in the space/time continuum. And nobody wants that. I mean, one minute you’re sitting around, watching bad movies on Syfy, and the next minute you’re gone and the world is populated by gorilla/insect hybrids—all because you stepped on a butterfly and caused your great, great, great grandfather not to be born.

Let’s face it, though. If you do go back in time, you’re gonna screw up something. At the very least, you’ll end up having sex with an ancestor and become your own great-grandfather. And what you don’t want is some weird incestuous relationship with your granny. Hey, it could happen. A million science fiction stories can’t be wrong.

So, Since you are going to screw up the space/time continuum anyway, I say there is only one thing you can do. Yeah. You know what what I'm going to say.

You’ve got to call The Doctor.

Friday, July 05, 2013

I'm On A Roll!

Not really. I've just decided that on the nights when I want to knit but can't knit on one of my projects (because the recipient is right there) or on those crazy nights when I can't decide what I want to knit, I'm just going to knit something plain. Yeah. Tired of being paralyzed by indecision or by the artificial stress of secrecy.

I'm knitting something.

So, here's a basic 2X2 rib scarf for one of those times. Well, two of those times actually. I worked on it on two different nights. It's knit from Yarn Bee Icelandic Jewels in Marbled Onyx. Icelandic Jewels is discontinued, but I have a few skeins left over from the big clearance Hobby Lobby did on it.
It's a nice brushed acrylic with a shiny ribbon running through it. It has a really woolly feel to it. I especially like this black color. The ribbon bits are a great accent. This is exactly the kind of yarn to knit a 2X2 scarf out of.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy July 4th!

We planned to spend the day relaxing. What is it they say about making plans? Something about God's sense of humor...

Anyway, we bought a new grill so we could have everyone over and cook out. It was on sale and had a rebate, so it was a good deal. However, when we go to put the grill together, we realize it's the wrong one. It's the next lowest model. So we have to hurry and take it back to the store and exchange it.

When we get there, however, the manager argues that the grill they've given us is the exact same grill. Of course it's not. Why would it have a different model number? (He says it's not a big deal. There is only one number different.) Plus, the one they've given us is a two burner grill and the one we paid for was a three burner grill.

Then--get this--the manager says the two burner grill is actually a three burner grill. The third burner is the side burner. When we point out that there are actually three burners in the main area of the three burner grill PLUS a side burner (so would the three burner actually be a four burner in his world?) he was really snotty.

Look, we told him. We're bringing in an unopened, boxed grill with a receipt. All we want is the one we paid for. In the end, he did exchange it. Although, I think he probably had one of the sales associates do a quick cycle count so he could verify we hadn't somehow slipped this huge grill out of the store and then tried to return it with a receipt for something else. T insisted he give us an assembled grill, since we had wasted 90 minutes arguing with this jackass and people were due at the house any minute.

But the fun didn't stop there, folks. Oh no.

When we get home, I have R put the grill out on the back patio. I'm watching as he does it and suddenly I notice Holy God! There's a crapload of bees out there!

So I make R come inside, hoping they will dissipate. But they don't. So I make him go back outside and spray them with bee killer.

Don't get upset. These aren't honey bees. They're those burrow-in-the-ground bees that are nothing but a nuisance.

Ok. So that gets settled and we get the food on the grill. We're having cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and brats, with potato salad, chips and dip, and corn on the cob. I've made some strawberry/blueberry shortcake for our red-white-blue. After we eat, we're going to play croquet.

You know how we love croquet.

We just get the food off the grill and what do you think happens? That's right. Rain.

Still, we had a good time, playing games indoors. Even though I didn't win any games. Even though I lost spectacularly at all the games we played.

Hope your 4th went well.

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