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, July 31, 2015

Gencon Day 2

One of the fun things I like to do at Gencon is the Paint & Take. I usually like to paint something like a wizard or a swordsmaster or a rogue. But, they didn't have any of those when we went, so I grabbed an Orc Mauler. I thought he looked interesting. Lots of things to paint, detail-wise. And I thought, if he looks good I'll use him in an adventure.

He doesn't look too bad... I could've used more time. A lot more time.

But T did a great job on his.

And look at this. This was on display. Makes me want to play in a horror-style game.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

GenCon Is Here!

It's that time again... Nerdvanna!

Holy crap I need this. We have not taken a vacation in over six years. Seriously. Even when we are not at the store, we are still working from home. Except for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and our anniversary, we work every day. That includes my birthday. So, that was one of the reasons we decided not to work this con and just have fun.

Saw lots of cool stuff. Like this guy:

And this amazing Cardhalla. This is only Thursday's progress. It will be even bigger and better by Sunday, when it gets destroyed. Yes, destroyed. Everyone throws loose change at it and knocks all the cards down. Then all the change is swept up and donated to this year's charity. (Which is the Julian House, a safe place for families in danger.)

I made a stop by the open crafting room. It was a lot busier than it has been in previous years. That's a good thing. My friend Lori was there, knitting a shawl. I picked up some bulky yarn, some double knitting weight, and a shiny flag yarn and held them together for this drop stitch scarf.

I must be getting old, because a day's worth of walking really wore me out. Normally, we would be there until very late, watching independent films and playing games. But tonight I was just too tired.

Oh well. That's why there are 4 days of Gencon.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Fair Food

The best thing about the fair is the food. Today T & I decided to go to the county fair and get our Templeton on.

Normally, I can hog out with the best of them. But, I was a bit off my game this time. Probably because it was so freaking hot. I did manage to have some roasted corn.

Then I had the worst polish sausage ever. Tasted like a boiled rubber gasket wrapped in a dry sponge and topped with mustard.

I had to have a blooming onion to get that taste out of my mouth.

It didn't work.

But, luckily there was a Dairy Queen on the way home.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Struggling With Time

I have not done very much of my 2015 Holiday Knitting, I'm sad to say. Life, and all the bullshit that goes with it, has just interfered with my plans so much...

Wouldn't it be nice to just have a day to sit and knit? Like do nothing else? Except eat. I would have to eat like six times in an eight-hour day. But that's it. Eat and knit. (And take bathroom breaks, of course. I'm not going to sit and knit in a diaper or anything.)

I feel like eight solid hours of knitting might help my stress level. Unfortunately, spending eight hours on knitting would create other stressors, like all the work I would be neglecting while I knit.

Someone told me the other day that I was doing so much, I needed to be cloned. I just rolled my eyes. Seriously? If there were Patwoman clones, everyone would want one. Then I'd really be pressed for time.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Not Knitting... Bead Night

Bre and I attended a free beading class at Michael's. Michael's has a free bead class every month, where you can learn basic beading techniques and create some lovely projects. However, since Bre and I already have that foundation (and since my friend Elaine was teaching the class), we ended up doing a different project than was planned.

This is the necklace and bracelet I made. I love this blue.

Elaine had a lot of good tips for us, things we really didn't know. Like, using this elastic on the matching bracelet. It's thicker than the elastic I normally use. And, let me say, there is a big difference. This thicker elastic makes a much nicer, more secure bracelet.

I used all but 2 of these blue and silver beads, but I have plenty of the the square blue glass beads left. I think I'm going to make some matching earrings. I'm told people don't really do that anymore--wear matching necklace, bracelet, and earrings--but I like it.

This was a lot of fun. We will definitely be doing this again soon.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Oh Tarn It!

I have been in a mood to get rid of stuff lately. Not that I enjoy cleaning. I don't want you to think that. No. I'm just looking at my closets and saying to myself, "What am I keeping this junk for?"

Especially old T-shirts. Look, since leaving the real world and working for my own self, 90% of my wardrobe is made up of T-shirts. And since I wear them almost all the time, some of them are starting to look "not so good." But I pulled out a huge stack of these less than good shirts from my side and T's side of the closet. I can't just throw away 20 shirts. That just seems wrong.

But, you know, no one is going to want these shirts. So I can't donate them, either. I decided to cut them up to make tarn.

Here are just a couple of the shirts I've done so far. As you can see, this tarn is not super pretty. It's not exactly cut (I did it pretty quickly), and it's not a beautiful color (although, I suppose it could be dyed). But I think I will use this tarn to make a rug for my entryway. And I think it's just fine for a rug.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

More Tablecloth Progress

...but when will it end?

I have been making good progress on the tablecloth lately. Yes, the tablecloth that was supposed to be done at the beginning of May. Sigh. I guess I underestimated:

1) How fast I could knit it
2) How many stitches it is. (Good God! There are a lot of stitches!)
3) How much time I had to devote solely to knitting it.

I have progressed to the second to last stopping point. So, technically, I could just make this a table topper instead of a whole cloth and I'd be okay. But, you know, in for a penny; in for a pound, I always say. So I soldier on.

This is going to be so pretty when it is done. So pretty.

When it is finally done.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Happy Anniversary

Thirty-one years ago today, T and I got married. We did not have any major plans for today. In fact, we had both planned on working. However, R showed up this morning and said he was going to run the store so we could have the day off. 

I know what you're thinking. And you're absolutely right. He's very thoughtful and his mom taught him right. 

Anyway, we thought we might go down to Brown County and do some hiking. But then, the sky opened up and the deluge began. Seriously. It rained two inches in about half an hour. And then it rained some more. The little pond in front of the elementary school near our house (And seriously, why would you put a pond in front of an elementary school, where the little kids go? It's less than 30 feet from the front door. Seems dangerous.) was swollen to the point that the water was level with the road and with the sidewalk to the school. And all the runoff ditches were filled, pretty much everywhere.

Ok, wait. I want to go back to this pond/school thing. It bothers me. My kids both went to elementary school there. (A long time ago.) Last summer, the school expanded. They added a wing and got rid of the parking lot that was between the front door and the road. They added a small retention pond where the tree lawn was (the patch of grass between the parking lot and the road that the school's message board sign is on). It's not a big pond. If you drove off the road and into it, you'd probably survive it. But a K-5th grader who fell in? I just don't think that's safe.

I also don't understand why there is a pond there. There was never any problem with water run off or flooding. In fact, the school is at the top of a small hill. That pond has to be a design feature. An unsafe design feature.

Anyway. The pond thing bothers me. 

But, at any rate, there was just so much rain that we decided maybe hiking was not in the cards for the day. So, instead, we went to lunch (tacos!) and then home to watch shark shows on Shark Week. 

I know. That is the wild, crazy, glamorous life we lead. Still, it was nice to have the day off and to just spend time together. We purposely avoided talking about business or about any of the day-to-day stressors that tend to monopolize most of our time these days.

Instead, we discussed where we would make our "home base" in an zombie apocalypse, what insane extenuating circumstances would entice us to get into a shark cage in the water, whether yoga pants should be worn outside of yoga class, and whether Jared Leto is going to suck as the Joker.

It was a fun day, really. 

Monday, July 06, 2015

Fair Season Is Upon Us

You know I love the fair. It's one of my favorite parts about summer. (My other favorite parts are No Snow, and Gencon.) If I'm honest, though, it's not the fair I love, so much as fair food.

I almost always start off with grilled corn on the cob. (If it's a vegetable, then it's ok, right?) But I was reading an article about this year's "in" fair food.

I'm interested in Fried Lemonade (you had me at "fried") and Fried Buckeyes. I'm not so sure about Fried Oreos, though. Oreos are one of those things that are just fine the way they are. The article says the centers liquefy. I wonder if that is a good thing?

The donut burger is a no. I've seen those for several years, so they're hardly new. I'm just not a huge fan of Krispy Kreme. And I feel like the sandwich would be too messy to eat. There is no place to wash your hands at the fair, folks. Those bathroom faucets don't ever work.

My favorite thing on this list is the deep-fried Superstick--dough, pepperoni, pepperjack cheese. That's like a deep dish pizza, right there. And you know I loves me some pizza.

Our state fair is in August. I will, of course, be posting pictures of every single thing I eat there.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Knitted Summer Jewelry

Remember the Ringbearer Pillow? It's from the book 101 Designer One-Skein Patterns. Well, I still have that book on the side table in my living room from when I knit the Ringbearer Pillow. Don't you judge me. It's not that I was too lazy to put it back on the shelf. It's that I enjoy reading knitting patterns and looking at the pictures of knitted items. I've been thumbing through this book pretty regularly, even though I've had it for years and have been cover to cover through it.

Anyway, one of my favorite patterns from this book is the Scallop-Edge Beaded Necklace. I've made it several times--for myself and for gifts. It's fun and much easier than it looks. And it looks great.

So, I'd gotten this single skein of Patons Grace cotton yarn in Wildberry on clearance at Michael's. (You know I can't resist a clearance sale on yarn.) This picture doesn't really do it justice. I would say the color is a little too pink to be coral and a little too coral to be pink. But it reminds me of summer. Summer ice cream. Summer flowers. Or my favorite summertime drink, Strawberry Skyy Lemonade.

I made these two necklaces the other night, while watching TV. One is for M and one is for Bre. M's has silvery-white beads and Bre's has dusty pink beads. The necklaces knit up pretty quickly, but it does take some time to string 178 beads. (It takes even longer when you keep dropping beads.)

This skein is still about 2/3 full, so I may have to do some more of these necklaces. I also have a few of my own patterns I'd like to experiment with. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Scarf Update

I've been working here and there on my treble crochet scarf. Remember that I thought it needed a border? Well, I added a single crochet border around all four sides. I used a smooth worsted, Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in Burgundy, because I wanted to accent the flecks of burgundy in this main yarn.

What do you think? Needs something, right? But I don't want to add anything to the sides. It's already wide enough. What about some double crochet scallops?

I still think it needs something. I found a video on YouTube to make this flower. I'm thinking of adding this, with a button underneath. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

On Travel

I have not had a vacation in 6 years. I found this little widget on someone's profile page and thought it would be cool to track all the states I've visited.

visited 32 states (64%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

It's pretty impressive, right? Sadly, most of this travel took place when I was a kid. My grandma lived in Merced, California, and for about 4 or 5 years, we woud travel to visit her in the summer. After that, they moved to Indiana and then to Ohio, so there was no more need to travel like that.

One year, we did take a plane. It was shortly after DB Cooper and maybe shortly after the airports added minimum safety features like a bag x-ray. I remember how mad people were that their bags were being x-rayed. They worried about getting radiation on their clothes. They worried that the security people would see their underwear. But mostly they hated the time they spent waiting in line. Apparently, before that point, you could just walk up and get on the plane. No wonder there were so many hijackings.

Anyway, I was a child and very worried about flying. There were a lot of DC10 crashes that year, too. That contributed to my fear. I white knuckled the whole flight. I'd like to say we didn't fly after that because I was so terrified, but I think it was because it was just cheaper to drive. My dad was self-employed at the time, so he could spare the time to drive across the country and back more than he could spare the money for four plane tickets.

So most of our cross-country trips were in the car. You get to see a lot of the country when you drive through it. In order to make it educational for my brother and me, my mom mapped out different routes each time. So we might go across the northern states on the way out and then the southern states on the way back. And maybe next time we would go right through the center of the country.

I remember I used to pick up some rocks in each state, and some plants if I could get them, to remember the trip. I think, a few times, those plants were thrown away by the California border checkers. But I did have several cacti that I got on these trips that I had for years--one even went to college with me. I don't know what happened to the rocks. I imagine I must have thrown them out at some point. Too bad. I'd like to see them now.

The southeastern states are states I visited as an adult. I also visited some of the western states as an adult, too I guess. We've vacationed in California, Nevada, Michigan, Illinois, and Missouri. And my brother used to live in Oklahoma for a while. And, then of course, I've had various business meetings in Missouri, Iowa, Tennessee, Illinois, and Kentucky.

I haven't been to the northeast or the far northwest. That would be interesting, I think. I'd like to see the Cascade Mountains, Niagra Falls, and all the historic places in the colony states. Maybe some day. Hawaii and Alaska are probably out of the question, due to the aforementioned fear of flying.

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