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, January 30, 2015


Is it the end of January already? Almost? WTF? How did that happen?

I had such plans for January. January was supposed to be a month for finishing some WIPs. Now, while I'm not delusional naive enough to think that I would finish then all in January (after all, it's only 31 days), I really did think it was within my grasp to finish one thing. I really, really thought I would finish the Winter Is Coming Scarf.

That thing is becoming my new Chaos Sweater. Remember that? Only I'm not frogging this thing. This thing is going to get knitted if I have to drag it kicking and screaming to the FO pile.

But seriously. What is it about this scarf? Is it harder than I thought it would be when I started? No. I don't think it's particularly difficult. Is it longer? Yeah, I suppose so. But it's no 4th Doctor Scarf. It's just a longish scarf.

The kind I should be able to knock out with no problem.

Granted, I've not been working on it non-stop. I'm not a robot (yet). I have worked on a few other projects that needed to be done. Besides, I can't just work on one thing. That kind of mechanical start-to-finish task-driven process is what kills the fun for me. But still, I should be able to finish one scarf in a whole month.

So what is it? Am I slow? I don't think I'm slow. I'm actually pretty fast. That's why this doesn't make sense. I am pretty unfocused these days. Lingering effect of the massive amount of soul-killing stress that I'm under right now. And I'm working so much that I don't have a lot of time.

But, you know. I'd say I had time to finish one scarf. Sigh. Looks like I'm going to have to make February a WIP month too. Jan-ebruary WIP months.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ringbearer Progress

This Ringbearer Pillow knits up pretty quickly for lace. But you know, even if it is lace, it's still only an 8 inch square of lace, right?

Here is the lace pillow top, blocking. You see that I don't have an actual blocking board and just have a towel-covered piece of cardboard. But it works. You just have to imagine that lace sitting on top of a white satin pillow.

So, next up is attaching this to the pillow. Then beading it. Then adding the ribbon and the two fake rings. (For some reason, they don't want to take the chance that the best man will untie the real rings and then drop them so they roll under the piano. Like what happened at my wedding.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Truth In Advertising?

I had to share this. I bought some of those bags that you pack blankets and pillows in and then suck all the air out of them with a vacuum cleaner. I'm trying to minimize the things that take up space here and I thought this might clear out the hall closet a lot.

In the commercials, the bags flatten down to a thin... flat thing. In real life, they look like this:


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Little More Progress

Not on the Winter Is Coming Scarf, of course. Still waiting to get to Michael's to get some yarn for that.

No, I've made a little more progress on the Fuck The Cold cowl. I have the naughty reindeer done and now I'm working on the words. Pretty soon I will be done and everyone will know how I feel about winter.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Perils of Pauline

When I was growing up, we didn't do a lot of things as a family. Not the way other families did, at least. And not the way T and I do with our kids. We didn't do cookouts and they didn't go to our school functions or anything like that. There are only a few times I remember doing stuff as a family, really.

One of the times I do remember was seeing this movie. We went to the drive in with another family. I believe it was my cousins who had come in from Michigan for a visit. The drive in was cool because you got to sit in the back seat with pillows and blankets and eat hot dogs. I think I can remember two times in my life ever going to the drive in, until I got my drivers license and could go with my friends.

Anyway, when I saw this movie was playing on Turner Classic Movie Network, I had to watch it again. It's a pretty good movie, by the way, but it was kind of funny how little I remembered of it. I remember the beginning and then just bits and pieces throughout that make absolutely no sense. Like, I remember Pearl being chased by a lion and jumping on a train. But these were two different scenes, far apart. (And she wasn't actually chased. The lion was just there.) I think I must have fallen asleep right after it started.

I honestly don't know why we didn't do stuff like this more often. It seems like it would have been a good deal for my parents to pay one price for a carload and then have use zonk out almost immediately so they could enjoy the movie. But, you know. We didn't do stuff like that. I think that's why I have always made such an effort to do stuff with my kids.

Anyway, the movie is about the real-life Pearl, who starred in the Perils of Pauline serials. These were fantastical movies in which Pauline might have to ride a horse, fly a plane, or outwit an Arabian prince. The damsel being tied to the railroad tracks while the train is coming? That's Pauline. Great stuff.

You should watch.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Another UFO On The Needles

Since I can't leave well enough alone, and since I have not had the opportunity to go to Michael's or Joann's to get the additional yarn I need for The Scarf That Shall Not Be Named, I'ved decided to cast on another UFO.

Why, you ask, would I cast on another UFO instead of finishing one of the many UFOs I already have on the needles? Because this one has a naughty word in it!

It's the Fuck The Cold Hat, which I am working as a cowl instead of a hat. This is the way I feel, folks. Cold. And angry about the cold. Cangry, if you will. Plus, I just wasn't able to get guage for the hat.

I will probably try this again with smaller needles. Or different yarn, maybe. I think T would like to have a matching hat. And it goes pretty quickly. For colorwork.

I'm trying to carry my floats pretty loosely across the back. I want to avoid any scrunching up of the fabric. But I am noticing that I can see the floats through the space between the stitches in some places. Is that too loose, then? Sigh. I'm working on finding that Goldilocks tension.

This should be finished quickly. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Almost An FO

I needed a quick win, so I knit my February Ornament Swap ornament.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "What? But it's only January!" Don't worry. I don't want to shake the foundations of your belief in me. I'm not going to finish it until February.

You know that.

I can't tell you what it is or show you a picture because I don't want my swap partner to find out what it is. Not that I think you would tell her. I just don't want to take any chances that she'll see this blog post.

I do have to go buy some small jingle bells, though. (Oh dammit! Did I give that away? Okay, fine. It has jingle bells on it. But that's all you're getting from me.)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Neurophysics and Ghosts

Have you ever seen something in your peripheral vision that just kind of took you aback? Like, you're looking at something else, but out of the corner of your eye you see a man in a hat standing in your hallway?

Creepy, right?

I was watching this show the other night that claimed the human eye doesn't really see as well as we think it does. According to this show, the eye really only sees the center of its vision really well. Everything else is kind of crappy vision. But our brains interpret those crappy signals to make it seem like we're seeing well. The brain draws upon what it knows from past experience and whatever crappy signals it gets from the eyes, and then uses that information to interpret what you are seeing there.

This predictive nature of the brain is really kind of cool. And it works most of the time. But sometimes, you see a guy in a hat standing in the hall. Bad brain. Bad.

Seriously, why does the brain think it's acceptible to give you something like that? I assume my brain realizes my mom has been gone for 28 years. So why would my brain make me see my mom out of the corner of my eye? Or a grey cat (which I don't have) running down the hall?

And, for that matter, what is the deal with ears? The other night, in the middle of the night, plain as day I heard R say "Hey Dad?" from right next to the bed. I shot wide awake. (Seriously. I always wake up whenever one of the kids makes a noise, no matter that they are adults.) My eyes snapped open, but no one was there. So I listened carefully to see if I could hear R at the bedroom door, or walking down the hall, or whatever.

Let me clarify here, that if there had been any indication of distress or urgency, I would have answered right away. But since it was a very calm "Hey Dad?" I decided to wait to see if I heard it again. My grandma used to tell stories of dark things that waited for you to acknowledge them. It gave them some sort of power. (According to my grandma, those things are always there, by the way, just waiting for someone to see them.) So, having been emotionally scarred frightened as a child, I like to wait to see if I hear it again before I answer.

I didn't, of course. Creepy.

My nose has the same sort of neural misfires. Today, as I was sitting at my desk, I smelled my dad's cigarettes so strongly... Now listen, my dad smoked for 40 years. Smoked unfiltered Lucky Strikes. The smoke is very acrid and sharp. It's very distinct.

I was home alone.

Yeah. That's why I just keep telling myself it's just neurophysics.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ringbearer Pillow Started

Okay! So I've got my yarn and started the Ringbearer Pillow from 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders. I'm excited about it because R and Bre are doing a lot of DIY stuff for their wedding and I really wanted to make something very special for the wedding. (Bre's mom is fantastic with the sewing machine and she is making dresses for the two of us! How awesome is that?)

I'm also excited because I haven't really knit lace in a while and I just think it will be fun. And, by fun, I mean challenging. I certainly don't think I'll be cheering "Whoo-hoo! Tiny yarn on tiny dpns, and a chart!" If that were my kind of fun, you can bet I would've enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey a lot more than I did.

I guess the needles aren't so tiny. I had to step down to a #3 for guage. But the yarn is tiny. It's Light Fingering. (Not going to make a Fifty Shades joke here.) But, it really is only 36 rounds, so it's not going to be too terrible.

And, I've got the worst of it out of the way--the beginning. (You know, that part where you have just a few stitches on a bunch of dpsn and you're trying to increase and join and not twist...) I have just enough done that you can see the lace starting to emerge.

I don't think this will take long to knit, if I can devote the time to doing it. Of course, after it's knit and blocked, it will have to be sewn to the pillow form and then beaded.

Still, I think it will be spectacular-looking.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WIPs and UFOs

I've come to the sad conclusion that the Winter Is Coming Scarf is going to take another skein of each color. Is it supposed to be this long? I can't see how it can be this guage and be this long.

Anyway, I think I will need to hold off on the dupe stitch until I finish the scarf itself. I'll need the rest of this skein to work on alternating rows with the new skein so there is not a huge difference because of dye lots. And let me just say that pisses me off, because I had plenty of yarn for this. Or so I thought. Obviously, I was mistaken.

What a pain in the ass.

Anyway. Progress on that has halted until I get more yarn.

I wanted to start the ringbearer pillow for R and Bre's wedding. I dug out the book with the pattern that I'd already packed. And I found my dpns to start the thing off. But, I realized that the yarn that I had earmarked for this pillow wasn't white. I had Ivory. And, while ivory is a fine color, I want white.

So I will need yarn for that.

So, since I feel the need to have yet another UFO on the needles, I started a hat for T.

I know.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Let's Talk About Robots Some More

I know we just discussed robots, but you know I'm a robo-lover. And I just watched a program on the Science Channel about robots and sentience. (Plus I am dissatisfied with how both Transcendence and Her handled the issue. Both movies were just dull. Dull. Dull. Dull. And they could have been very thoughtfully handled.)

Anyway, the question that seems to come up in these movies and this show is, if these robots don't know what it is to be human, how can they empathize with humans? What reason would they have not to destroy us? In real life, in the last five years or so, some companies have experimented with trying to program Asmimov's Robotic Laws into robot minds. It hasn't really worked. The problem is, people say, robots don't have the same values we do. They're like bald barbers--they don't really care about your hair.

I'm just kidding. I'm sure bald barbers care about hair. It's the male gynocologists you have to watch out for.

But all this assumes the robots would act in a human way. That is, people fear that if robots develop sentience, they will realize they are better than us and just do away with us. Which may be what a human would do, but we don't know how a robot would react. The argument is that humans are inefficient and not as durable and not as smart as robots so the robots would say "Hey, let's not clutter up our planet with all these inefficient, stupid, breakable things. That's just logical."

And maybe it is logical. But lots of machines are not logical. They may be mostly logical, but they can be really random sometimes, too. You know what I'm talking about if you've ever had to deal with office machinery, manufacturing machinery, a car, a DVR, or an iPhone.

But also, it seems like faulty if/then logic on our part. Look, if the robot can't be sentient because it is acting out of pure logic, with no emotion, and even if it sees humans as inefficient, stupid, and not durable, there's no reason for robots to destroy humans. Why would they? That's not logical. We don't eat the same food. We don't breathe the same air. We're not taking all the robot women. Why would they want to kill us off?

Wouldn't they have to have some sort of emotion to feel jealous of humans, or angry, or disgusted in order to decide to kill us off?

And if there is emotion, then why can't robots empathize with humans? (Unless we are saying robots only have negative emotions. That seems a little racist, doesn't it?) Look, when you go to a bald barber, he doesn't shave off all your hair because he doesn't have any, right? And your cat doesn't kick you out of the house even though it's much more efficient for him to get his own food off the shelf, tear open the bag, and feed himself without having to wait for you to come home from work and do it. And children don't kill their parents because they are no longer of any use to them.

The truth is, no one really knows if robots can be or are sentient right now. There are some pretty strong arguments in the scientific community as to whether animals are. No one knows if robots can develop emotions. Or if they should. I just find it very interesting to think about all of this.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Holiday Mouse Ornament

Now that my swap partner has received the ornament I made, I can show you a picture of it.

Cute, eh? It's the Holiday Mice pattern from Barbara Prime. I decided to knit mine in white because I just thought she'd be cuter that way. Little pink nose. Little pink ears.

And how do you like that pink tail? I braided the yarn super tight so that it was pretty stiff, then I just curled it around my finger. Worked awesomely and held up, even during shipping.

This little hood gives the mouse the look of a caroller, I think. I had that thought a little too late for this nmouse, but I think the next one is going to be holding some sheet music. Or maybe a gift.

I have to say, this one was so cute I almost kept it for myself.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Rockin' It!

This is so awesome. Students of University of Art and Design Lausanne, Damien Ludi and Colin Peillex, created this rocking chair that knits. It has a mechanized loom knitter on top (like the knitting machine my cousins had to knit clothes for their Barbies that I was so jealous of) and the mechanism is turned by the rocking of the chair. So, as you are rocking, you're knitting a tube of fabric. They show the finished product as a hat, but of course you can do all kinds of stuff with loom knititng.

I have got to get me one of these!

I would take this a step further though. Like, right behind this rocker, put another rocker that rocks in tandem with this one. I'm envisioning rocking a child in a crib in this second segment, but since it is powered by the person rocking Chair #1, you could also put a closed vat with an ice cream mixer in it. It would also have a knitter (perhaps a different size or color) on top of it.

You could even attach a third chair, if you were so inclined. I'm pretty sure one person could power 3 chairs, at least once the motion got started. And maybe that chair would have some other use, too. Like it also cranked the paddle on a washing machine. So there, one person could have the whole house taken care of--child rocked, ice cream made, clothes washed, and hats and tube socks knitted--while they were just rocking in the chair.

Would it be too much to also be knitting while you rocked?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Swap Package Is Here! My Swap Package Is Here!

Oh hooray! Imagine me doing a little dance around the dining room with a package clutched to my chest.

Or that, I guess. Yeah. I was excited. So nice to get personal mail. So nice to get something that isn't some bill or some other bad news.

And look at this. It's such a cute little Christmas ornament. I love this so much! He looks like Santa getting ready to go to bed. (Probably stuffed to the rim with cookies and milk and pretty worn out from travelling.) I'm not going to mention my swap partner's name here, just because I haven't asked her and don't know how she'd feel about that. But I have to say, thank you!

I am so excited about doing this every month!

Monday, January 12, 2015

January WIPs: Progress Report

So far, so good staying on task. Sure, I've been distracted a little, but hey. I'm gonna get distracted. You just have to deal with that.

I have worked on the Winter Is Coming Scarf here and there. (Only so much dupe stitch you can take before you start going a little crazy, right?) I have WINTER IS C so far. (And it is. It's cold. Freakin' cold front just parked right on top of Indiana.) This is it on top of my piano. Couldn't get the whole thing in the shot.

I also finished my January swap ornament and got it in the mail. Once my partner receives it, I'll post a photo. But let me just say, it's so freakin' cute, I will definitely be making some of these for myself.

Then, since I wanted to get a head start on February's ornament, I started that. It was going pretty well, until I remembered... Oh hey. Maybe I should start knitting the ringbearer pillow or the lace tablecloth that I want to do for R's wedding?


So, first things first. I packed the book with the ringbearer pillow pattern in it, back when I thought we would be moving soon. (That's still going to happen. By the way, if anyone has any ideas on how to get a realtor to call you back or return emails so you can look at one of their listings, I'd love to hear them. I swear, if I were working on commission, I'd be following up every lead. I mean, good God. I called them. It's not like they had to do any work to source me, right? I called/emailed/hit the button on the website and said hey, I want to look at this house. And not one of them has called me back or emailed me. Three different realtors. In over a month. Even the realtor we were working with before has not responded to any communication in over 2 months. But then, he was never any good at communication anyway. But I digress.)

So I have to find that box and get the pattern. I have the yarn and needles in my stash. My plan is to use this pillow to get back into the swing of lace knitting before I tackle the larger tablecloth. Also to build my confidence before I start the large project. (I like to have a score in the win column before doing something important, don't you?)

I'm pretty excited about it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

FO: Gallatin Scarf Version 2

What a difference following the pattern makes, eh? This is the second time around knitting the Gallatin Scarf. Same yarn, Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in Tidal. (I actually only used about 20 yards from the 2nd skein for both of the scarves.)

This is a very pretty, very quick scarf to knit. It's also very easy, if you actually read the pattern instead of watch TV.

I don't know that this would be a scarf for me, though. It gets cold here in Indiana. Maybe not as cold as Norway or Alaska, but still cold. I like a little more substance in my scarves. Like enough scarf to keep my head from moving at all. I am, after all, a delicate hothouse flower.

But, these will make good gifts for my friends in warmer areas. You know, those places where people start whining about how they're freezing to death when it dips down to 55 degrees are not used to the cold. I have most of one skein of this left, which I believe will be enough for a set of fingerless mitts. I might come back to this later and make one of these a set.

But, for now, I've got to bust a move and get some other things knitted.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

So Freakin' Cold

Yeah, I know. The Amazing Hot Flash Lady is cold. But seriously. Look at this:

This is how farking cold it was this morning when I left for work. I hate winter.

It is a good day to sit next to the fire, cats all around, and knit. Which is what I did when I got home.

Worked on my ornament for the ornament swap in my Ravelry group. I want to make sure to finish it up this weekend so I can get it out in Monday's mail. Once my partner has received it, I will post a picture of it here. But let me just say, I'm really liking the way this looks.

Stay tuned.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Thinking About Plants

At Thanksgiving, R and Bre gave me a pretty little fern with a winter-print box over its plastic pot. Looked great for a centerpiece and I used it all during the month of December on the table. When it was not in use, I put it in the kitchen window.

I have to say, I did feel a little bad about putting it in the kitchen window. That spot seems to doom all plants to death. I don't know why. I thought it was the temperature, like maybe the window was getting too cold. But plants die there in the summer, too. I thought maybe it was the amount of light. But I'd call that spot part-sun. I thought maybe it was steam coming up from the coffee pot that killed them. But moving the coffee pot didn't really help.

Whatever the reason, plants don't last long there. Unfortunately, I have nowhere else in the house that they won't get eaten. When I use the plant as a centerpiece, for example, both cats' faces light up like salad was their favorite dish. Any other window in the house is fair game for plant-eaters, too. I think the kitchen window is just too inconvenient for them to jump up and eat my fern.

So, I've been pretty happy that this little fern has been doing so well for so long. Today, however, it's looking a little sickly. I think my luck has run out with it. It's very limp and sad-looking.

Back in the 70's, when I was a teenager, there was a lot of talk about how talking to plants was good for them, that they could pick up on your love and nurturing. I wonder if that is true. (I've always assumed it was the extra CO2 of your breath that they liked.)

Hey little fern. How's it going, bro?

I'll let you know how it works.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Planning Stages

Not sure if I shared with you my plans for R's wedding? As the mother of the groom, I don't have a lot to do. (Or, I don't know. They haven't given me a lot to do at any rate.) So I am planning to make a lace tablecloth for their wedding present. That's a nice thing to start off with, I think, something kind of fancy that will hopefully be around after I'm gone. I have some quilts that my grandmothers, T's grandma, and that my mom made that I like having for that reason.

Of course, I haven't knit a lace tablecloth in over 30 years. But, that one was a pretty intricate one and I managed just fine, especially considering I hadn't been knitting very long. And I've done lace on a large guage yarn. Or on a smaller scale--ornaments, a scarf, etc. So I should't have any problems with it.

Back then, it took me months to knit, but I had no expectation of how long it would take. I also didn't know lace was supposed to be difficult, so I just knit with no preconceptions. (Wouldn't that be nice if you could do that in all things? Kind of like that sappy thing you see on Pinterest posts: What would you try if you knew you couldn't fail? The problem is, when you get older, you start to realize how hard most things will be and how much they will cost/hurt. That's why we don't try things.)

But, back to the tablecloth... I'm thinking three months is enough to get it done. That's my plan, at least. If it's sooner, great. And if it looks like I won't finish it before the wedding...

Well then. Perhaps they would enjoy a large doily?

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

January WIP: Winter Is Coming Scarf

Remember all the problems I had with duplicate stitch prior to Christmas? I was so frustrated! And, if it hadn't been for all the problems with duplicate stitch, this scarf would have been done in time for Christmas.

The Christmas Knitting Ravelry group I belong to has a January knit/crochet-along of sorts going this month. Basically, it's a finish your Works In Progress knit-along. Now, you and I both know I'm never, in a million Januaries, going to be able to finish all my WIPs. Especially because I have R & Bre's wedding to knit for in May. But I would like to finish the Christmas scarf that I am making for T.

Since it's a Christmas present. And Christmas was weeks ago. And it's freakin' cold now. And he could use it. You see what I'm saying here?

Frankly, I've been a little off duplicate stitch since the pre-Christmas duplicate stitch fiasco. Like, I just don't even want to try because I know it's just going to frustrate me. And really, I'm stressed to the limit right now. Any more frustration and I'm likely to do something really crazy.

But, you will be happy to know that, after I forced myself to get the project bag out and actually begin, it went pretty well. I had no problems. (Well, outside of the fact that it's difficult at my age level of blindness to see any sort of stitch definition with black yarn.) I was able to accomplish quite a bit in a very short period of time.

Here's the first leg of the W in Winter. Looks pretty good, eh? Lots better than my first, second, third, etc. attempts. How weird is it that nothing has changed, but somehow now the results are good?

Need to finish this up, but I am also working on my January ornament for the ornament swap. And, you know, I started a second Gallatin Scarf (this time, according to the pattern). But I'm maybe 4 rows from being finished with that, so it's ok.

And then, it's time to start the wedding stuff.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Bluer Than Blue (And Red In The Face)

What do you get when you knit in the dark while you are catching up on all the Venture Brothers Season 4 episodes you've missed and you are only occasionally looking at your phone to check the pattern?

Well, you don't get the scarf in the pattern. That's for sure.

Look at this. Do you see what I did?

Yeah. I knit every row instead of alternating knits and purls. It doesn't look bad. I think it actually looks really good. But, it doesn't have those stripedy ridges on it that it's supposed to have.

I think I'm going to knit this again. I have more of this yarn. Lots more, actually. And it's a pretty quick knit, so that's not a big deal. Just... grrr. I can't believe I did that!

Monday, January 05, 2015

The Blues

So, yeah. I'm still stressed out. I've been trying to work out of it, though. I cast on for a new project. That always makes me feel better.

This is the Gallatin Scarf in this lovely yarn that's all blues and greens. (See? I could have called this post The Blues and Greens, but that wouldn't have been as clever, right?) It's a nice, easy pattern, that goes very quickly in worsted weight yarn.

It's a triangle shaped scarf. I like that it starts at the point and then increases. That makes it seem like I've knit soooo much after a short period of time, because it's a few inches long. When I get up to the wider part of the scarf, I'm sure it's going to seem like it takes forever, though.

I probably should be working this on circulars, since I'll be increasing up to almost 200 stitches soon enough. But, I had these straight needles close by, so I'll get by for a little while, at least.

I probably should be working on finishing T's scarf. Or my January ornament for the swap. Or the lace tablecloth for R and Bre's wedding gift. Or the ringbearer pillow for their wedding.

But I just want to knit with this calming blue yarn for right now. Is that so bad?

Sunday, January 04, 2015

I Swear, I'm Not A Creeper

I just like to take pictures of things when I see them. That's not weird.

So, I was in this public bathroom today and, as I washed my hands, I noticed the lamps were mounted on the mirror. It looked cool, but also kind of strange. Like, they were just floating there. So I took a few minutes to examine the lights to see if I could determine how this was done. And finally, I took a picture of the mirror and the lamps, just so I'd have something to reference later.

The whoosh-chick of my iphone camera shutter echoed off the walls of the ladies room.

I quickly looked around, to make sure I was actually alone. I could just imagine some old lady sitting in her stall, hearing my camera, and thinking "WTF? What kind of pre-vert takes a picture in the ladies room?" (I hadn't even thought of that before I took the picture.) Luckily, there was no one there but me. But it did make me realize that I have to be careful. I can't just go taking a photo anywhere I feel like it, right?

A few hours later, in another bathroom, I happened to look up at the ceiling.

Is that blood on the light? Or just red paint? I took a picture, then realized that I had once again taken a photo in the bathroom. Once again, I was lucky that no one was around to know that.

Okay, I told myself. I was lucky the first two times. I can't keep taking pictures in the bathroom. Sooner or later, someone will hear it and then I will have to explain that I wasn't taking naughty selfies, or creeper pictures of someone else, but that I was just snapping a picture of something I thought was interesting. In the bathroom.


Then, just to show that I never learn... a few hours later, I was in the bathroom at work and noticed that the farking roof is leaking a-goddamn-gain. I swear the landlord must hire the most incompetent roofers. Or use the cheapest materials. Or both. Anyway, I took a photo for our files.

And realized I had taken yet another bathroom photo.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Yarn Diet Resolutions

I love to hear about other people's New Years Resolutions. I try not to make any, myself, simply because I know how difficult it is to keep them. Lose weight. Stop smoking. Save money. It's almost like people set themselves up for failure. Especially when you start talking crazy, like "Yarn diet."

First of all, I want no part of any activity with the word diet in it. That's just code for painful denial. But secondly, I'm going to buy yarn. I know it. You know it. Let me tell you, the folks at Michael's? They know it. (Boy, do they know it!) So if I say my New Year's Resolution is not to buy any yarn, well that's one resolution I can guarantee I'm going to fail at.

And while I probably have enough yarn to supply an imported-by-Anthropologie-sweatshop for a year, I'm still going to buy yarn. Because I like yarn.

Oh sure. I love knitting with yarn. I love crocheting with yarn. But, you know, I love yarn for its own self, too. I like having it. I like getting it. It has nothing at all to do with whether I need it or not.

Some of you may not relate. (Although, seriously, if you don't understand this you've probably stumbled upon this blog by accident.) Let me put it a different way: I'm not starving. I don't need to put on any weight for my health or for my looks. I definitely don't need coconut cream pie. (Although, really, this is open to interpretation of the word need.) But I freakin' love coconut cream pie. It's my favorite of all the pies. And I will eat coconut cream pie whenever I have the opportunity because it's so good.

No New Year's Resolution is going to change that.

I'm not completely goal-less, though. My goal is to finish the Winter Is Coming Scarf this month. And buy more yarn.

Friday, January 02, 2015

FO: Ribs 'n Cables Beanie

My first FO of the year: Ribs 'n Cables Beanie.

This is a great pattern. I would recommend it to anyone who wanted a good, warm hat that was easy and quick to knit, but also had some details to make it interesting. This would be a good hat for men or women, or for teens. Or for a gift exchange where you didn't know the gender of the recipient. Or the size. This hat is really stretchy.

I used Purl Essence Sincerely in Sincerely Charcoal Grey because I made this for a man. But this would be a fantastic hat in a different colorway. Imagine this in white. Or red. Or burnt orange. Or sage. You could totally knit this hat for every person on your list and have it be a very different hat.

Plus, you could wear this hat either with a folded brim for extra ear warmth or semi-slouchy if you're a hipster. (Check out my artistic photos, btw. That's one of my goals this year, to take better photos for my blog. As you can see, in this photo, Alpha Male is looking off into the distance, contemplating his life choices.)

Now, back to work on the Winter Is Coming Scarf for T.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year!

I hope you are all well and happy in the coming year.

T & I actually took the day off today and just relaxed. This has been such an eventful year and sometimes it seems like all we are doing is working. Today, it was really nice to just... not work. We slept in a little, then got up and played some games. Then lunch, more games, and then a long drive to places we'd not been in years--just to see how they've changed. Very relaxing.

Oh, and M came over for a while today, too. That was really nice. She and her bf Ryan also spent New Year's Eve with us. We watched Guardians of the Galaxy. It was over just in time for us to switch to the TV and watch the ball drop at midnight.

I did a little knitting in the dark while we watched the movie. Knitting in the dark goes slower, but this pattern is pretty easy, so I could do it by feel mostly. I knit a little bit more on it this morning while we were gaming, so it's actually almost done now. I just have the crown decreases to go, really. (I know this photo only shows the ribbing. Trust me. I knit more than just that.)

This is the Ribs & Cables Beanie, knit from Purl Essence Sincerly in Sincerely Charcoal Grey. I think Sincerely is a brand made for Joann stores. It's comparable to Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice or Heartland. It's very soft and the colors are really lovely. I love this Charcoal Grey color. I think it's probably my favorite of all the colors available.

This will be a Christmas gift. I am planning to do a lot of gift knitting this year. I was really happy that I was able to do so much during the course of this past year. I think planning ahead and knitting ahead is the way to go. I had (and still have) so much other stress to deal with over Christmas 2014 that it was very nice not to have to stress about the holiday knitting. And I think I was able to knit things I know people liked.

Last year's goals otherwise did not fare so well. I still didn't have time to read (unless you count trade journals and event contracts) or write (unless you count marketing pieces). And I did not do such a great job taking care of my body. Despite my (self) denials, I'm pretty sure I've gained weight, added lines and shadows, and let the rest slide into hell.

I console myself that at least the brain is still a 10. (Not that the body ever was.)

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