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.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Animals, Cavemen, The Walking Dead, And Diet

As I get older, I worry about things no one else (probably) worries about as much. Like, losing my mind. I mean, I've already ruined the body, so the mind is really all I have left.

Anyway, I was watching this show on PBS (I mention that--not to be a hipster wannabe--but to add validity to the information.) about bird intelligence. The essence of the show was, basically, we think birds are stupid, but they are actually smart.

A lot of the show was devoted to the problem-solving abilities of ravens and crows. Complex problem solving. It was a little eerie (and yes, remember birds kind of creep me out anyway) the way these birds looked at the situation and then determined, "Okay. I need to fly up to this perch to get this short stick. Then I can use the short stick to push the rocks out of these little wooden cages. Then I can take the rocks and put them in this other box so the weight will open the trapdoor bottom and drop the long stick out. Then I can use the long stick to reach the bit of meat in the deeper wooden cage."

I must stress that the birds did not try to reach the meat with the short stick. Nor did they try to get the long stick without getting the rocks. They just took a few seconds to fly and hop around and look at the situation, then they took about 20 seconds to do all of that and get to the meat.

They did another experiement in which the bird had to unlock a series of latches to get at the meat. Ten seconds. In order to show the bird was thinking about this and not just going through a routine, they removed one of the series, making all the steps before that point superfluous. The birds imediately recognized that, and started working the problem after that step.

These are dinosaurs, people. This is what the dinosaurs turned into. And you were suprised those raptors in Jurassic Park could manage a doorknob? Puh-lease.

Right after the animal show, another progam came on. This one was about prehistoric man. And especially about the evolution of modern man's brain. I was in a brain kind of mood, so I watched it, too.

Basically, as hunter/gatherers, according to the show, man had to consume a lot of protein. A lot. It was apparently very hard not to starve to death. And it wasn't until fire that man was able to maximize the benefit of protein. After he learned to cook food, he was able to better process the food and get more nutrients out of it. More protein helped his brain to grow and evolve.

Still, researchers say he had to eat about 4 times as much protein as we do today, just because of all the physical activity his day to day life involved. And, because he lived in a very small society of 3-12 members, he had to know how to do everything. Anything he owned, he had to know how to make. Anything he ate, he had to know how to hunt it, where to find it, and how to cook it. Any situation he was in, he had to know how to treat it.

That's about 180 degrees from modern society, where, if we want something we can buy it. And if we want to eat something, we can just go buy that, too. And if something happens--someone gets sick or hurt, we need to move, or we need something we don't have--there are places and people to take care of that, too. We don't need to know everything. But our ancestors did. And their brains were bigger and more efficient because of that.

Of course, we have a much broader scope of thought in this modern day, albeit the sampler version. We all have some basic concept of science, art, music, medicine, literature, politics, etc. Our ancestors were concerned with day to day life, for the most part.

So that made me think of The Walking Dead. These folks are basically wandering around all over hell and creation, spending a lot of their time and effort trying to find food, shelter, medicine, etc. They don't have a whole lot of need to be thinking of astronomy or iambic pentameter. Just like cavemen. But they aren't eating like cavemen. They're eating old cans of creamed corn and the occasional squirrel. (They have established in the show that the walkers are eating animals, too. So there are not many animals around to eat. Not a lot of protein running around in this world.)

So how is it that Rick and Company can walk around all day on basically no protein? It's been five years since Z-Day. Why aren't they all skeletal-framed and rickety? Why haven't some of them starved to death? Why don't we see people who have starved to death in their failed societies? Why haven't the members of this group lost much of their ability to think logically? They have to be malnourished as hell, right?

For that matter, what is happening to our brains in this day and age? If we know that our brains have gotten smaller with the lack of use and the lack of protein, what happens if you are eating a low protein diet or if you are simply not eating a balanced diet?

Clearly we all function just fine with only 25% of the protein of our ancestors' diet. Our day to day life has changed, though. If we had to hunt/gather like cavemen, that diet would kill us. If something catastrophic happened, like a zombiepocalypse, where the need for more protein (because of a lifestyle change) became necessary, would our bodies make the adaptation right away? And if our bodies were able to somehow adapt, how soon would it take our brains to adapt, as well?

And... if we have the bigger brain of our ancestors and the broader knowledge of modern man, wouldn't that push us forward on the brain evolution track? So would a zombiepocalypse be necessarily bad?

Oh, of course it would be bad. I'm just trying to follow this train to the end of the line. Because, you know, I want to keep my brain active. Use it or lose it, people. Am I right?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Who Does Sting Trust?

So, I was just thinking the other day about Sting. (No, not in that way. Not this time at least.) What I was thinking was about how he has legally changed his name to Sting. A lot of celebrities do that, I guess. Madonna. Prince. Cher. That's not a big deal, I suppose. I just wonder how awkward it makes some things.

Like, when Sting goes to the parent/teacher conferences at his kids' school, does the teacher call him Sting? That seems very familiar on a first meeting, doesn't it? But what else would the teacher call him? Mr. Sting? What do Sting's kids' friends call him when they come over? "Thanks for letting us stay the night, St--er, Mister--um, Joe's dad."

Ha! Who cares? You're spending the night with Joe! And Sting!

But seriously, what name is on Sting's mailbox? Who is the junk mail addressed to? Does Sting even get junk mail? (If not, please tell me how you did it, Sting.) What name is on Sting's American Express card? Sting? That's it? Just Sting? Can he do that? Because my credit card won't even let me use an initial.

Does Sting have a credit card in his name? I mean, of course he has credit cards. Everyone has credit cards. What I mean is... I just can't imagine Sting running over to Target to get a stick of Arid Xtra Dry because he ran out. Or ordering one of those green ceramic cookware sets from late night TV. Or purchasing K-Stars for the Kim Kardashian Hollywood Game for his iPhone. Maybe he wouldn't do those things anyway. Maybe that's just me.

But surely Sting buys stuff, right?

He probably has an assistant who runs to Target for him, right? So what name is on the card? Sting's? Or the assistant's? It's awful risky giving your assistant full access to your money. Lots of celebrities have learned that the hard way.

Like Lilo. (Yes, I know. We haven't talked about Lilo in a long time. But she's been boring a pretty good girl lately.) Remember when she got busted for stealing a necklace from a store? She said yes, she did walk out with the jewelry without paying. But she never pays for things. She has assistants who do that. That seems legit to me. I think it's perfectly reasonable for Lindsey to assume that her assistants--whose job it is to take care of these things--would be doing their job.

There's a lot of things you can bust Lilo on, but I think this was a bogus claim. I think either the store wanted some publicity (or maybe Lilo was rude to them and they just wanted some revenge?) or maybe the assistant wasn't doing his/her job. And seriously, if you were not the most honest of assistants (and let me stress that I don't know Lindsey's assistants, so I can't speak to their character. I'm just speaking generally here.), you could easily steal from your boss, who would likely never find out about it.

Say you go into a clothing store and your boss tries on a dress. She likes it and decides to wear it home. Now you are supposed to pay for it, right? But, instead of doing that, you talk to the store manager and say "Hey. My boss really likes this place. Can we work out some kind of deal where you give her a dress every now and then and she tells everyone she got the dress here? Good publicity for your store." The manager either says no and you pay for the dress or they say yes and you pocket the money and tell your boss you paid for it.

Or, maybe your boss has been a shithead to you, so you don't even bother. And then the manager calls the police because your boss didn't pay for something. And then, because your boss has not been a stellar personality lately, with her DUIs and club fights and stuff, some stiff-ass judge decides to make an example of her. (Judge, can't you see? She only hurts herself.)

But we were talking about Sting. And maybe none of this applies. I mean, Sting's probably not the type to go traipsing la-te-da around Beverly Hills, trying on jewelry and expecting his assistants to take care of it. And he's not been a "bad boy" for a while. So no need to be made an example of. He is, in fact, a pretty good example, from what I can tell.

He seems pretty devoted to Trudi and pretty business savvy with his projects. Those projects--plays and documentaries and recordings of Elizabethan-era music played on a freakin' lute--I mean, that's pretty grown up stuff! And he's an environmental and human rights activist. And, I mean absolutely no disrespect by this, Sting, he's a senior citizen for crap's sake!

But still, knowing all of that, I still wonder... What name is on the card that pays for Sting's AARP subscription?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Not Knitting: Crochet

I've been doing a lot of crochet lately. Mainly because I've been teaching crochet. But, in the process of teaching, I've remembered how much fun it is to do. I don't know why I don't do more of it. I always think that it's because it's slower than knitting, but I've timed myself. It's about the same.

Most of the projects I teach in class are half double crochet or single crochet. I throw in a double crochet every now and then. But I had this bulky yarn I was playing around with and thought "What if I treble crochet this?" Ha! Ca-razy! But you know what ol' Jack Burton says at a time like this?
What the hell?

So this is the scarf, all treble crochet. It worked up super quick, which is probably the best thing about treble crochet. The yarn is a little fluffy, too. So it's floppy and drapy for a bulky yarn, but the halo keeps it from being too airy.

It's Yarn Bee Icelandic Jewels in Rose Quartz. I still have a few skeins of Icelandic Jewels sitting around here from when Hobby Lobby closed it out and I got a million of them. It's a 100% acryllic yarn and I know some of you don't like that. But I'm not a yarn snob. It's soft. It's washable. It's easy to use. That's what I'm looking for in a yarn. 

Anyway, Icelandic Jewels has been discontinued for a number of years, so you probably won't find any of it around. A good substitute would be Lion Brand Jiffy, I suppose. That would give you bulk and halo. Although Jiffy is a little fuzzier than Icelandic Jewels, I think.

I like this scarf, but I think it still needs something. Maybe some fringe? Or a border? Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Now This Is Both Awesome And Frightening

I found this a while back. I keep watching it.

I realize that this is something that will probably never happen in my lifetime. Or my children's lifetimes. Or their children's. I also realize that there are asteroids whizzing around out there that we don't even know about. And if we don't see them, they're not harmful, right? (Kind of like those sharks you don't see 20 feet away from you while you're swimming in the ocean.)

Although, in my mind, the ocean is more like this:

Which is why I stay out of the ocean.

But you can't very well stay out of the universe, can you? What do you do when the killer asteroid comes? Everybody on this side of the planet. We'll try and tilt out of the way!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Another Class Project

Here's another project I use in my knitting classes. It's a cute garter stitch clutch. I use this pattern, of course, to teach the basics, Cast On, Knit, Bind Off, and seaming.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Is Everything Really Better With Bacon?

I saw this in the clearance section at Kroger one day and had to take a picture of it. It's a mold to make cups out of bacon. Apparently, you wrap the bacon around the mold and then bake or microwave it until it's crisp. Then you can fill it with whatever you want.

So, when I first saw this, I thought "Yes!" I was imagining a chicken/bacon/ranch salad, where the bacon was the bowl. Then I thought about potato soup in a bacon bowl. Then, I thought about mac and cheese in a bacon bowl.

I stood there, in the clearance section at Kroger, turning this thing over and over in my hands as my mind was flooded with possibilities. Like mashed potatoes in a bacon bowl topped with cheese. Bean soup with cornbread in a bacon bowl. Chicken salad in a bacon bowl lined with lettuce and topped with tomato. Biscuits and gravy in a bacon bowl. Chocolate ice cream in a bacon bowl.

I had to stop. I was packing on the pounds just thinking about it! This little invention is one of those things that are so much fun to use, you find yourself using it all the time, just because it's fun. I mean, I can think of a way to use a bacon bowl at every meal. That's the problem. I very well might use it at every meal.

And then what will I say to the cardiologist, when they wheel me in to the ER after my massive coronary? (That's, you know, after the firemen cut a hole in the wall of my house so they can forklift me out.)

I briefly considered purchasing this along with some turkey bacon. That would be a healthy choice, right?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Lace Tablecloth Update

I thought I should post a photo of the lace tablecloth so you could see how it's progressing... Slowly. Ha!

Actually, this photo does represent a lot of knitting from the last time. As you can see, I've switched from one circular to two because the nightmare-inducing number of stitches in the rounds now. Seriously, there are so many stitches that I can get maybe four rounds completed in a night.

I'm thinking: "Happy belated wedding present! I made you a doily!" Haha!

Still, I'm very happy with the way this looks. No way am I taking it off the needles just to get a picture of it laying flat, though. You'll just have to use your imagination. You can kind of see the lace pattern I just finished here.

How do you like my point protectors, by the way? They are earplugs from the dollar store. I don't have any point protector small enough for these needles. (And I don't have four of them anyway.) But I got these foam earplugs for a $1, with 12 in the package!

Boom! Saving that money.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Episode Where Patwoman Is Abused By Hair Stylists

This post is going to be all about my hair. So if you are not interested in a rant about the color or the gem-topped bobbie pins I made for my hair for R's wedding, you probably aren't going to be interested in this post.

So, the week of the wedding, I went to get my hair cut and colored at the salon I normally go to. I know. Probably shouldn't have waited until a few days before the wedding, but I had stuff to do, you know. I have a business to run, after all. Of course, my stylist left the salon a year ago to be a stay-at-home-mom, and there's never the same person twice at the salon now. (I need to find somewhere else to go!) So it's always a new person doing my hair.

I like to bring pictures of the hairstyle I'm going for. I try to get pictures from multiple angles. And I bring photos of me with the color I want. I used to have the formula saved in my phone, but then my phone just decided to eat all that info. And, apparently it's not on my iTunes either. What the heck? Anyway, you'd think the stylist could figure it out with all those pictures, right?

Let me just say right here that there were other things going on in that place that night. First of all, there were only two stylists working and no manager. Stylist #1 was doing my hair and Stylist #2 was hanging out. Stylist #2 was apparently going to go on vacation beginning the next day and wanted Stylist #1 to do her hair so she could get it done free. So, as Stylist #1 is doing my hair, Stylist #2 is turning other customers away because they are "booked up" for the rest of the night. (Meaning, Stylist #1 would be cutting and coloring Stylist #2's hair, using the salon's supplies and turning away paying customers.)

This is not my business. I suppose that's between them and their employer. Here's the problem I have:

The first time #1 colors my hair (Yes, you read that correctly. The first time.) it turns out like this:

This is not me, by the way. This is just a photo I got from Google. I was frankly too shocked to take a picture of my own hair. Shocked by the way my hair looked, compared to how it should look, but also shocked by the Stylists' comments. #1 asked if I had been taking a lot of really harsh drugs, since that would affect how the color pulled on my hair. Then she said don't worry. These things happen. And that she could fix it.

#2, however, said it looked great, just like the picture. She thought the color really suited me and that it didn't need fixing. (Yes, because she wanted #1 to be done with me so she could get her free salon treatment on company time.) Apparently she doesn't think I know how to look in the damn mirror. #1 even said to her, "Are you crazy? No. I'm not happy with this at all." Let's be clear. If your hair is this color, I have nothing against it. It's just not the color I wanted.

The second time #1 colors my hair (again, no photo because I was in shock and almost in tears at this point) I still have the pink hair, but now I have roots this color:

Again, I'm shocked, upset, and starting to get angry. Mainly because #1 keeps telling me I must be doing some harsh drugs to make it pull like this. I assured her that, unless Tums is considered a harsh drug, there must be another reason.

Stylist #2 proclaims this color to be beautiful and very attractive on me. When #1 says she wants to redo it because she is really not happy with the color, #2 gets a little mad. She says she doesn't see a thing wrong with the color. It's exactly like the picture.

Really? You think that--orange roots and pink hair--looks like this?

That is the actual picture I showed the stylist.

Now, I should have left. I should have just said fine, fuck you, and left. I should have gone somewhere else and begged them to have mercy on me and fix my hair. But I was panicked at this point. And hideous. With my pink and orange striped hair. It's not even striped in a cool way. It's obvious someone messed up.

So when Stylist #1 whips up another batch of color, I numbly sat there while she slathered it on. This time, it turned out--not what I wanted, but at least not bad. I took this picture a few hours later at home.

I can tell you #2 was not happy that I had taken so much of her time. She not only didn't get the tips from the customers she turned away, but now she was going to have to stay after her shift was over in order to get her hair done.

Seriously. I need a new place to go.

Deep breath. Sorry. Still upset about it. But it's in the past. And I have since colored over that mess with a more suitable color. (I know that's reckless, but I figured if my hair didn't burn off at the roots after 3 colorings in a row, it's tougher than average hair and would be okay with one more corrective coloring.) So I am back to normal now.

I did go ahead with my planned hairstyle for the wedding, even though I was pretty sure my hair color was going to detract from ceremony enough without the addition of rhinestones. But I had made these special...

I took about a dozen bobbie pins and glued some rhinestones on them. Then I just inserted the bedazzled pins randomly into my hair, so that every now and then, the light would catch one of those stones and sparkle.

Okay. Well this post was mostly rant and a little craft. Ha! We'll get back to our regularly scheduled program tomorrow.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Swap Flower!

I must say, I'm really enjoying this monthly ornament swap! It's so much fun to get a new ornament each month. But also, it's fun to see the ornaments, fibers, colors, embellishments that others have chosen. I have been so happy with all the ornaments I've gotten.

Like this one, from Sha. What a gorgeous flower! I love the little bead center. Thank you Sha!

Listen, I was going to hang all my swap ornaments on the big tree this Christmas. But now I think I will give them a special place of honor, all to themselves. There will be 12 of them, so plenty to do a separate display. I'm thinking of putting my small tree in the dining room and hanging all the swap ornaments on it. That will be pretty, I think, especially because the mitten garland I got in a previous swap from Mary Elizabeth will be displayed in the window of that room.

Look at me... planning ahead for Christmas! Ha!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Patwoman Reviews Grocery Store Booze

Check this out! I found a whole display of these at the grocery store the other night. (Actually, it was Meijer and I went there because of the previously mentioned clearance yarn. But I've already told that story.) Anyway, a display right up front when you come in the door--in all kinds of mixed drink flavors.

What is this? I asked myself. Some kind of cocktail mix that you add rum to? But no. See? It says right on the label, it contains alcohol. (So probably not a good idea to add rum to it.) Just freeze and serve. Easy-peasy, drunk and sleazy. I bought one (only one) because I wanted to try it.

And because I really like Bahama Mamas.

I put that puppy in the freezer, anticipating my adult Capri Sun, as I had come to call it. ...And then I promptly forgot about it until tonight.

It was rock solid, so I let it thaw just a bit, then squished the bag around a bit so it would have more of the slushy texture instead of the ice block texture it had after being in the freezer for a few days. I thought about just popping a straw in this bag, as if it really were a Capri Sun, but then I decided that was kind of trashy.

And even though there are no people here right now (Except me, of course. I don't mean to imply anything by that.) I don't want to appear like a trashy booze hag in front of Achilles and Miss Gracie.

Cats can be so judgmental.

It is pretty good. But not exactly like the Bahama Mamas I'm used to. This has a very slight mango flavor to it. In fact, I believe those are mangos pictured on the package (They may actually be peaches, who knows?), along with strawberries. None of those fruits are in a Bahama Mama, by the way. I'm not crazy about mango, but oh well. Blue Hawaiians taste like cough syrup and Aqua Velva, but if you have a couple of them, you don't mind so much, right?

Disappointingly, this is pretty weak, as far as mixed drinks go. Like, the cash bar at your cousin's wedding weak. Applebee's weak. But, I am okay with that. I'm not, after all, an actual booze hag. (Sure, I'm drinking a frozen cocktail at home, alone, with two cats and a dog for company. But that's not as pathetic as it sounds.) I just wanted to try it.

It was $2. (That's better than that cash bar, right?) And for $2, it's a nice, cool treat. Bottoms up.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Clearance Yarn!

The Meijer near me is remodeling. At first I thought it was probably because a WalMart opened within a quarter of a mile of them and they wanted to compete. But then, I realized it's probably because this is one of the oldest footprint Meijer stores around and it's probably just time to remodel. Then, I realized... It really doesn't matter. I will say, whoever planned their remodel did a pretty good job of it, because it's pretty shopable, even with sections being blocked off so they can put in a different floor.

One of the cool things about the remodel is that there is a bunch of stuff on clearance. Like all this yarn.

Don't worry. I didn't buy all of it.

Most of this is Red Heart Super Saver. Now while that's not the kind of yarn you would make a fancy sweater out of, it's great for afghans. I picked up about 10 skeins of it, for that purpose.

Oh hush. I did so need more yarn.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Crochet Classes

So, remember I told you I am teaching some classes at Michael's, right? I teach knitting and crochet. Here is one of the projects from my classes, a purple beanie.

I use this to demonstrate not only HDC and SC, but also how to work in the round, and increase stitches. I also like to teach the Magic Circle method as an alternate way of starting off.

I'm enjoying the crochet classes a lot. I'm enjoying the knitting, too. But I'm expanding my horizons with the crochet classes. For example, I am making myself use a proper hold on the hook and the tension hand. Ha! I also taught myself to crochet left handed, just in case I get some lefties in my class. That's a little harder for me, because my left hand is completely uncoordinated.

Friday, June 05, 2015

A Very Mice Ornament

This was the ornament I made for the May ornament swap. It's A Very Mice Christmas Pudding. But, instead of a Christmas pudding, I thought it would be a little more apropos if the mouse were still knitting scarves for Christmas even while he was hanging on the tree.

So this mouse has a garter stitch scarf, still attached to the knitting needles.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015


So this is why you should take pictures of your projects before you ship them out. I made this one for the March ornament swap, but I forgot to take a picture of it before I sent it to her. So, I had to wait until she posted a picture.

This is it (on the right). It's Loops & Threads' Penguin.

I made a few alterations. The feet are different. I wanted them to be more webbed and less like chicken feet, which is what the pattern looked like. And I added ear muffs.

Because it's cold in Antarctica.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Why Patwoman Should Clean Out Her Purse More Often

I have a confession. I'm really, really bad at cleaning out my purse. How bad? Let me put it this way. Whenever I get a new purse, I take my wallet, keys, and brush from the old purse, and move them over for a fresh start with the new. I always say, "Oh, I'll finish cleaning this purse out later. When I have more time." But, you know, what is the one thing I never have any of? Time. (Money would also technically be correct, but we are talking about time right now.)

Anyway, I recently started teaching knit and crochet at Michael's, so I needed my drivers license and social security card to complete the necessary paperwork. But ha! They were not in my current purse (which I have been carrying since Christmas, so good thing I didn't get pulled over or anything). So I started emptying my old purses to see where I might have left my ID.

Now, it didn't take me long to find my IDs, don't worry. Because I would never lose something important like that. But once I had emptied the previous purse, I kind of got on a roll to see what was lurking in some of my old purses.

Now let me warn you. This is going to be sad, funny, shameful, and disgusting.

First, the good news. I recovered $7.42 in change, plus a couple of dice, and some glass markers I use for Drama Points in my Supernatural games. (I haven't run one in about 2 years, so yeah. That was an older purse.)

I also found a lot of candy wrappers. So, so many candy wrappers. These are just a few. I don't want to show you how many candy wrappers I found. You might begin to think I have some sort of Starburst addiction. And I definitely don't want a Starburst intervention right now.

There were also plenty of gum wrappers.

But hey, at least by keeping them in my purse, I'm not littering, right?

My bank gives you DumDums in the drive through. I can't even tell you the last time I went to the drive through at the bank.

These are Tums. Or Rolaids. I think. They might just be Wint-O-Green Lifesavers. Who knows?

Five year old Red Hot Atomic Fireballs, anyone?

And these... These are probably safe to use, right?

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