Tuesday, July 31, 2007

El Squid

The Squid Pacifier Holder is felted and complete.

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I believe the term you're all looking for is: Rasta Penis.

I should have embroidered the eyes a little farther apart to be true to nature, but I think he looked kinda cute with them closer together.

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Unlike Cold Fish, I did write down the instructions for El Squid. I'll post those later.

I'll leave you with a picture of the second (and last until she can determine if they fit right) tit bit for my mom. This time in an eggplant pima cotton/tencel blend.

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Pretty fitting coming from Jersey as I believe this place is the largest producer of eggplants in the country. (Zack Braff wouldn't lie about that would he?)

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Here Comes The Brides

In the past three weeks we've received two wedding invites in the mail.

The first was for Dr. Mad Scientist's sister who's getting married for the second time around.

Per Miss Manners and our craptacular move-depleted bank account, they get a nice card and no gift.

I ripped off Jersey Knitter's idea of taking the Ann Budd Knit Your Own Greeting Card idea and twisting it to my own.

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This comes from a heart-lace bookmark pattern I found somewhere out there on the internets. (See? You don't need no stinkin' Site That Shall Not Be Named to find cool patterns--all I did was type "Heart Lace Pattern" in Google to find this. Oh, how difficult!)

I decided to thread ribbon in the lace holes because they didn't show up too well even after blocking.

I think it's a snazzy little alternative to a present her and her second husband probably don't need/want.

The second invite came from Dr. Mad Scientist's oldest nephew.

His oldest nephew is the same age as my Youngest Younger Sister. If you really want to get creeped out...the mother of his oldest nephew (Dr. Mad Scientist's sister) is closer in age to my mother than he is to his sister. This is what happens when an oldest child marries a youngest child.

This was the more interesting wedding invitation.

Why?

Because when I accessed their registry lists and found that they registered for the baby layette set AND the matching king size bed 300 threadcount cotton sheets--I had to laugh.

Now maybe their marriage will last, it's possible. I'm a half-bastard myself and my parents have been married for (hmm..I'm 29....) what will be 30 years this December.

I have no room to judge. It's very well possible Chunky could have a string of knocked up women before he's 25. Who knows?

I do know that this maternity wedding gives me the opportunity to knit baby presents instead of trying to come up with something more wedding-y. (Not everyone likes hand knit washcloths.)

So I whipped up a quickie bib out of some dishcloth cotton in the stash.

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No pattern for that one. It's a bib, not toe-up short row heel entrelac cable double knit knee high stockings.

But you know, even though the wedding is obviously a shotgun one, they needed something else.

Remember Tiny Tether from Knitty? So cute! But so girly! And going off of the fact that the aforementioned layette was requested in blues and sports themes, I am ascertaining that they're having a boy.

I quickly came up with a different idea for a pacifier tether:

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A squid!!

A felted squid actually. This is the pre-felted version. I've still gotta felt the hell outta this knitted calamari, attach the clip and the ribbon for the pacifier and embroider some eyes.

Ha ha! The coolness will probably be lost on these people of a felted squid pacifier tether, but no big deal. It was fun and easy to make.

And the best part? Both the nice card for the second wedding and these wedding-come-baby presents cost me nothing than an afternoon of knitting and using up some scrap yarns in my stash!

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Chasing My Tail

Well kindergarten registration was a bust. And my next paycheck will suffer because of it. I don't have paid time off yet, and we're still living check-to-check as we pay off our dark masters Visa and Mastercard from the 2006 moves.

Oh the doctor's appointment went well, and I had all the right paperwork, and technically he could start in September.

But because I didn't register before June 21, they can't tell me whether or not he'll be in afternoon or morning kindergarten until the day before or the first day OF school.

Now I understand teachers and administrators are entitled to three months off. But shouldn't there be a way to assign kids as they register to morning or afternoon kindergarten as they register?

And am I just nuts to find it odd that teachers don't have to show up until the day before school starts? How do you prep for a school year in one day???

Effing New Jersey is probably too cheap to pay them to come in a few days earlier. They're probably coming in a week early, but they're probably not getting paid for it.

Now tell me, how am I supposed to arrange for before and after childcare when I don't KNOW when my kid will be going to school???

It probably doesn't matter anyway. Since it's half day kindergarden finding childcare would be an effing nightmare even if I knew what time of day he was going to school. (No, the Y, the primary before and after providers at the elementary school he'd be going to does not offer full before and after care for kindergarteners.)

On the plus side, the preschool he's at has a kindergarten program. That's actually the classroom he was in when the school year was in session.

He was behind the other kids as he joined the class in April, not September when it started. But his teachers have told me he's very quick in picking it up and very excited to learn it. (He really digs math. I know those genes aren't mine.)

Plus the place is run by a bunch of Russian women and there are a lot of kids there who's first language is Russian. Chunky's already rattled off a couple of words (and tried to teach me some!) at home. It makes me homesick for Alaska hearing all those Russians. I know they're from a place nearly as far away as we are.

So I guess for next school year he'll be going to "private" kindergarten.

And all I'll have to do is dip a little into our meager excuse for a "savings" account to cover the money I lost taking him to the dr. and to register for public kindergarten.

Plus he was overdue for his yearly physical. Can you believe that child of ours is only a foot and two inches shorter than me? Dr. Mad Scientist did the math compared to his measurements from February last year and he's growing 1/2 an inch every two months. Geeze! He's not even six!

Moving on, I finished Mom's boobie.

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Sorry about the concave nipple there Mom. Just tell people your nip is a little shy. As I knit more of these I'm sure I'll get the nippleage down better.

I think it might be a tad bit too big than your other boob. I'm not sure. It's been a while since I've seen your rack. Besides, who has two boobs that match perfectly?

This is why Laverne is named Laverne and Shirley is named Shirley. Laverne is bigger than Shirley.

Speaking of Mom, I can now tell you what I put on the cards for the Very Devious Plan for her 50th birthday.

It was a rebus.

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Each card had a picture or symbol. The final message read:

"Happy Birthday!! You are old like cheese, but you smell better!!"

The stamps on the cards were upside down because I believe that means "I love you." Chunky's coveted Star Wars stamps however were not put upside down--they were too beloved to put upside down. He agonized for half an hour about which stamps to part with!

And the fat cat? That was an old picture. I've been told he's lost a few pounds since that was taken. But they don't call him Pig for nothing!

Finally, I think something is up with my baby tomaters:

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Two of them (on the same plant) look like this. The one in the picture is the worst of them.

Doing some research it looks like buckeye rot at first but these maters don't touch the ground, which is what tomatoes with buckeye rot do. Therefore I'm thinking that it's blossom end rot. That would make more sense since that has to do with watering stress (they can get quite wilted from the time I leave for work and when I get back home) and lack of calcium.

I think I need to lime them. But where do I get just a little bit of lime? I don't need a whole honking bag.

I feel a weekend quest coming on.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Very Devious Plot Unveiled--Sort Of

So say your mom turns 50 today.

What do you get her?

Chocolates?

Yeah, she can't eat them.

Flowers?

Yeah, the monster of a cat she lives with might eat them.

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(That's Youngest Younger Sister in the picture--not me. Pig and his four mitten paws --to help support his large frame-- is her cat!)

What to do, what to do?

You could send a card!

Or maybe 50!

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And on each card you could number them and put one clue to a puzzle on them.

And on the envelope you could come up with fifty different variations on your mother's name ranging from "Dr. Mad Scientist's Favorite Mother In Law," to "- - a" (her name is Barbara).

And mail them bit by bit from mailboxes all over Northern New Jersey.

I don't think she's received all of them yet so I can't reveal exactly what or how the puzzle works.

Funny thing is, with the price of postage these days, 50 cards still cost me about as much as a nice bouquet or box of chocolates might have.

Happy Birthday to my most Favorite Mommy!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tell Them What They Could Win This Month, Roddy!

I'm home this morning with El Chunkito as he's got his kindergarten physical at 11:30. Makes no sense to go to work for a whopping hour before I have to turn around and go back to pick him up from school, take him to the dr. etc.

On Thursday I get to do it all over again, except in the afternoon, as I have to have his TB test read and then at 2:15 p.m. I've got an appointment to get his kindergarten registration taken care of. Lord, all this hoop jumping for kindergarten--college applications can't be much worse! Never mind I don't have any leave accrued at my job yet!

Anyway, because we're sitting around watching daytime TV (I'm such a good mom), like the Price is Right, I figured it was way past time to show you the July K.A.Y.E. prize!

Ok, ok, it's sock yarn again, (don't worry, next month's prize is NOT sock yarn!) but only because the name was so appropriate: Cherry Tree Hill "Life's a Beach." It's July, perfect beach weather!

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But wait, what else do you win this month?? Why that would be a pair of snail shell double point needle/crochet hook protectors from 3 Owls Knitting (Sherry Santa-Slammed me last Christmas and included a pair of these and I freaking LOVE them!) Get it? Snail shells--the beach??? (Oh needles and hook are not included. Those are just there for reference!)

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Ok, moving on. You'll also win a set of six danglefree Entrelac stitchmarkers.

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How do these tie in with the beach theme? Well they sort of look like nipple rings. Which you might see on a nude beach right? I haven't used these myself, but they get rave reviews from people who have.

There you have it. If you haven't entered yet this month there's still time. The official rules are here. The random number generator will be pulling a number August 1 for July's winner.

Speaking of nipples and danglefree stitchmarkers--I wish I had ordered some of those stitchmarkers for myself for my latest WIP.

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What is it? Why it's a Tit Bit.

I'm knitting it out of some Berroco Ultra Silk. I honestly didn't even think about how cracker-fleshy colored it would be when I picked pink! I just fell in love with the softness of it.

Stix-n-Stitches was having a kick ass sale and for $32 I walked away with a ball of Ultra Silk, a couple of balls of yarn for some secret spoilage, next month's KAYE prize, and a skein of some cotton/tencel Classic Elite blend I can't remember the name of, and a set of US 5 Brittany DPNs (although needles weren't on sale).

The wonder of these Tit Bits is you don't need a lot of yarn and can splurge on the more expensive stuff since you only need one small ball.

So who's the Tit Bit for? No, I haven't decided to try and join the circus as the three-boobied woman.

It's for my mom.

Even though she's not a knitter, she particpated in KAYE. Her kootchie passed the exam with flying colors, but the mammosquish that comes standard with the cooter rootin' in her age bracket revealed a tumor in her left boobie.

Therefore in August she's having Lefty removed completely.

She's given me permission to share this information. (Even though I have no problem blogging about personal things like what color underwear I'm wearing--boring white if you're curious--I did want to make sure she was OK with me blogging about Lefty.)

One more reason to join in the Kootchie Awarness Yarn Extravaganza! It's not just for kootchies!

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Cold Fish

We don't have A/C here in New Jersey.

It doesn't get Texas-hot here, but it's not Alaskan "hot" either.

So there are nights where I wish we could crank up the A/C. In the throes of a heat wave a few weeks ago, I started snuggling up with a bottle of frozen water wrapped in a dishtowel to keep cool when I slept.

But then I thought--why not knit a cozy for my frozen bottle of water? People knit covers for hot water bottles. Why not frozen water bottles?

Therefore, I give you "Cold Fish" (All photos taken by Chunky)

Step 1: Take your bottle of frozen water out of the freezer. Grab your fishskin.

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Step 2: Stuff yer fish!

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Step 3: Snap up the fish's mouth, snuggle up and enjoy!

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I slept with my Cold Fish last night. No, it wasn't 90 degrees last night, but the Cold Fish also does wonders to soothe a sunburn I got driving to the Jersey Shore with Chunky and Dr. Mad Scientist Sunday.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

One Local Sidedish

My bi-weekly baby-step entry into One Local Summer. I hope it's not a cop-out to post a side dish, ha ha.

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My food porn skills are lacking, pardon the odd cast to this photo.

Salad is probably one of the easiest local things to make, and one of the most delish too.

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Tomato (farm stand across from the office)
Cucumber (farm stand across from the office)
Scallion (fresh from my "pot" garden)

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Olive oil (Italy--but the importer was local!)
Rice vinegar (California, and even worse I bought it back when we lived in MI. Which means I have trucked that bottle of vinegar from MI to TX to NJ!)

Coming up this week--more knitting content!

I've got that crazy FO to show you that I alluded to when I was whining about how hot it was in the Armpit of America.

I'll post this month's prize for KAYE.

And a Very Devious Plot may be revealed late in the week!

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

If You're Not On the Pooper Reading Pooper...

...you're obviously reading this.

Here we are on the day of the release of the Book That Shall Not Be Named.

Wait, that's what I call the Website That Shall Not Be Named.

Ok, here we are on day of the release of Harry Pooper and the Ghastly Sellouts.

Like I said before, I'm not a big fan of the Pooper. And unlike my harsh judgments of The Website That Shall Not Be Named*, I can actually say I've tried the Pooper.

I was home from being forced out of college (I say forced out because if I had had the money I would have stayed in; I refuse to say "dropped out." That implies that I no longer wanted to attend.)

It had to have been 1999—before the Pooper phenom took over the globe.

It was probably the end of 1999 when I was working for Uncle Sam and planning Dr. Mad Scientist and my ghettorific wedding.

I was plagued with insomnia and couldn't get to sleep. I figured I'd read something and it would put me to sleep. I picked up Youngest Younger Sister's (who now works summers and winters at that same job for Uncle Sam that I did) library book which happened to be the first Harry Pooper story.

The book was amazing! It put me to sleep! For the blessed sleep I was grateful, but after reading the first Harry Pooper, I had no desire to ever touch anything by that author again.

I'd like to say it's because I'm an author snob, and if the first book I read by you doesn't do it for me, I'll never touch anything with your name on it again.

But this isn't true. I just finished my second Haven Kimmel novel which was a highly recommended author. Yeah well, let's just say that when I didn't want to violently smack the characters around for being so goddamned stupid in the first book of hers I read (The Solace of Leaving Early), I was too busy falling asleep reading the second book I tried (Something Rising Light and Swift).

I'd like to say it's because I'm not a big fantasy reader and wizards and magic don't raise my exciteometer.

However, a couple of months ago, on our monthly weekend trip to the library, Dr. Mad Scientist asked me to pick up a childhood favorite of his "Swiss Family Robinson." Since I was in the juvenile book section anyway (Chunky prefers the juvenile non-fiction section. We're raising a bonafide nerd!) , I decided to peruse the titles.

I made it to the "B"s when I discovered a blast from my past.

There was "The Figure In The Shadows" by John Bellairs on the shelf.



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I had to check it out!

The Figure in the Shadows is part of the Lewis Barnavelt series of books by John Bellairs. It's about an orphan (hm, sounds familiar) named Lewis who lives with his wizard uncle. Living next door is his uncle's friend, Mrs. Zimmerman, who is also a witch. Lewis is a fat kid who's always picked on and has one good friend—a tomboy named Rose Rita. Put simply, in this book, Lewis and Rose Rita uncover a magical amulet that summons a spirit from the dead that tries to kill Lewis.

"A Figure In the Shadows" is not as voluminous as Harry Pooper and not as fantasmagorical either. Lewis is a normal kid living in a normal town.

In re-reading this book, I had forgotten that Lewis lived in a town in Michigan. Well of course having lived in MI for six years and spawning there, I looked up John Bellairs's personal history to see why he might have choosen to set the stories of Lewis in Michigan. Ends up John Bellairs was born and spent a good portion of his life in Marshall, Michigan.

This just made re-reading this story even more quaint for me because I myself have been lost down the snowy dark farm roads of Marshall that the climax of this book is based on in the wee hours of the night.

I credit my Old Man a lot for giving me the love of reading. Even if it means that I've got not-so-pleasurable childhood memories of him sitting me down when I was younger than Chunky and making me sound out the words of "Tom Thumb" over and over and over and over again to the point that I despise the story of Tom Thumb.

When I was somewhere between the ages of 10 and 12 and in the throes of my John Bellairs phase (much like kids of today are into their Harry Pooper) I believe it was my Old Man who encouraged me to write a letter to Mr. Bellairs letting him know how much I enjoyed his books.

I did, and thrillingly enough—he wrote me back. It was just a short note typed on a ruled index card on what appeared to be one of those old fashioned typewriters and signed by Mr. Bellairs. (I'm old enough to have typed a few school papers on an old shuddering typewriter, but I'm also young enough to have gone to school where we were taught "keyboarding" in highschool not "typing.")

I don't know if I still have that index card. I do know that in 1999, around the same time I read that first Harry Pooper, my mom made me clean out all my childhood junk and box up the stuff I wanted to keep and put it in the crawlspace. I know I kept all my John Bellairs books. Many of them are hardback as I always looked forward to their release just as Harry Poopophiles have been looking forward to today.

Mr. Bellairs passed away when I was a teenager and reading more mature books. He left behind two unfinished manuscripts and two summaries for two future books. Those were finished by a different author. That author went on to write quite a few continuations of the different series John Bellairs created after his death on his own.

I have not read anything not written by John Bellairs solely.

I'm not sure I want to. It wouldn't be the same.

Imagine if J.K. Rowling had been tragically killed in a landslide of her own money or if she choked to death on a silver spoon half way through writing book seven, and someone decided to finish writing Book 7 for her. Would the book many of you are reading instead of reading this blog post be as good?

So there's my nose-thumb to the Rowlinglings and their Harry Pooper mania. I'll stick with my chubby quasi magical protagonist and the world of everyday wizards and witches.

Pooper still sucks in my opinion.

But like a wise librarian once told me when I was grumbling about having to organize the shelves of "Choose Your Own Adventure" and "Sweet Valley High" paperback books that my fellow middle schoolers devoured like candy and always left a mess on the shelves**: It's not what kids are reading, it's that they are reading.

That same librarian also called me flippant once.

Maybe she was on to something.



*Although, a little sweet little birdie kindly invited me over to visit their nest, and I can now, without a doubt, back up my opinions on The Website That Shall Not Be Named. I stand by everything I've said about them. It's really not that exciting of a Place That Shall Not Be Named and certainly does not live up to the hype in my eyes.

**I dropped out of home economics and instead TAed for the school librarian.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Falling Out of Love

By the time I get to about the heel of a second sock, I am ready to move on to a new pair.

You could say I've fallen out of love with them.

Which was true as I knit the Falling Out of Love socks.

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They're based on the Falling In Love socks from Magknits. They're supposed to be knit toe-up. But you know how I feel about toe ups.

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I like that when I look at these socks when I'm wearing them, the hearts are upside right. Not upside down as the pattern would have been had I knit them toe up.

The details:

Pattern: "Falling Out of Love" based on "Falling In Love" from Magknits

Yarn: Socks that Rock lightweight in "Mustang Sally" (Thanks Amy!)

Needles: US 2 DPNs. I snapped one of my 5" Brittany birches doing the K4Tog this pattern calls for. Brittany not only sent me a replacement needle for free--they sent me TWO needles. Nice!

Mods: Obviously I flipped the design by knitting them cuff-down. I also didn't knit the pattern all the way around the cuff. Since there are cables involved in these socks, I'm glad I didn't. I would have run out of yarn had I done that. I like the plain stockinette back to these socks. It really shows off the purtiness of the yarn.

I really hate to say this, because I know there are people out there that put a lot of thought and effort into designing socks, but the past few fancy socks I've knit, all I do is copy the design pattern. I ignore everything else about the heel and toe and even the top cuff. All I really care about is the main pattern.

When I printed out the pattern for this sock, all I did was copy the lace instructions into a word document.

I added a 1X1 cuff to the top and I did a band/German strap heel. I think I'll stick with my old standby the round heel. The band heel was OK, but not as asthetically pleasing to me as the round heel is.

We'll see how these hold up in the wash. The STR is very soft indeed, but in some places it the yarn was pilling already! The red here (best portrayed in the first sock) also stained my needles. I'll have to handwash these puppies a few time to avoid turning my laundry pink.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

I Swear Officer!

It's oregano!

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I've been trimming back my out of control oregano every now and then and hanging the bundles in my closet. As I was putting away the latest batch, I realized I might want to reconsider what I store it in.

Reminds me of the time I left for college and my mom sent me away with a small rubbermaid container of powdered laundry detergent.

She labeled it with a sharpie in big block letters: LAUNDRY SOAP so anyone checking my bags wouldn't think I was smuggling coke. This was waaaay before 9/11 too.

I still use the little rubbermaid container to hold my laundry soap--even though the sharpie label wore off long ago.

I also noticed the beginnings of a tomato!

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I must not count my 'maters before they're ripe! But I'm still very excited!

Not much in the realm of knitting this weekend. I was working on A Very Devious Plot for someone who reads this blog.

I should probably rename it.

"A Very Devious Plot" sounds like some lame-ass Harry Potterism.

Harry Pooper can kiss my bootie.

I've ordered a different book about wizards and witches (that quite honestly one could say Harry Pooper ripped off parts of) that should be coming right about the time Dr. Mad Scientist's copy of Harry Pooper and the Ghastly Sellouts arrives in our mailbox.

But more about that later. Hee!!!

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Friday, July 13, 2007

We won't stop until we have underpants!

Dear Jackass Who Dropped/Left The Plastic Garbage Bag of Grass Clippings On Eagle Rock Avenue:

You owe me $330.

Because of your supreme lack of intelligence in putting your clippings in a plastic bag (Who collects grass clippings in a plastic bag? ) and your incredible negligence in letting said plastic bag make it's way into the right lane of the aforementioned avenue, you have cost me $330.

Why?

Because your mother effing bag was in the middle of the road in the middle of a torrential rainstorm and I ran over it. It then proceeded to wedge under my back right tire, locking my wheel from turning.

I have never seen so many idiot lights on my dash light up at once. It was like a Christmas tree. ABS! Low Traction!!! Service Engine Soon!!!!

Lucky for your lame ass, I was able to limp my car 500 feet to a side street, get soaked getting out of the car in the pouring rain (black bra under a light print shirt and the pouring rain--not a good idea) to assess the situation and back my car off of your damn plastic garbage bag of clippings.

I thought I was in the clear as the lights on my dash turned off and the car performed OK the rest of the way home and on the way to pick up Chunky.

But I knew there was something amiss when the next morning I went to back out of the driveway and there was a great grinding noise emanating from my back wheel.

Now I'm out $330 to have the drums on my back wheels replaced (because you have to replace them both at the same time--not just one!). Thanks Jackass.

Untruly yours,
Bezzie


What a Friday the 13th this has been.

The town of West Orange is now on my shitlist. I don't care that you're named after a directional color or that Thomas Edison died there (Did you know he also lived in Michigan? I've been to Port Huron before. They aren't all braggy brag about To-Ed living there like West Orange seems to be. Weird.). You and your plastic-trash-bag-littering-citizens are dead to me.

I finished my water bottle sweat sock, but for the life of me, I can't freaking find it!

I put it on top of my knitting bag that I take to work with me the night I finished it. The next morning--gone! What the hell?

I'll bet the Underpants Gnomes have a splinter group working for them.


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Bah.

Speaking of underpants and gnomes that steal them, I'm starting a new meme. Why? Because I can dammit. I spent $330 on a wet bag of grass--don't question me!

But this is a meme with a twist. It's a photo meme. Sort of like the old Blogstalking that used to go on.

Maybe this has been done before, but I want to see your sock drawer where you keep your handknit socks (which is also where I keep my underpants, but don't let the gnomes know that).

Here's mine:

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(That's vintage Michigan State University dorm furniture if you're interested.)

Ah so pretty. I wish I could take credit for them all, but the green ones are the Potomamamai that Cooknknit made me.

I'm tagging four people: Karen, Cpurl, Rebel/Zuma (because she's new to the blogging scene and I don't think has been tagged before--I wanna be her first!) and Kay.

All you gotta do is post a picture of your sock drawer. If you don't knit socks, that's OK, I'm still nosey. I still want to see your socks. Then go ahead and tag however many people whose sock drawers you want to see. Not tagging is perfectly acceptable. But I must warn you though that the last person who broke this chain ran over a plastic bag of grass clippings in the rain or they went bald. I can't remember. Do you really want that to happen?

Finally, I'll leave you on this abysmal Friday the 13 with the latest blossom from my pot garden. No potato pics today. I still took one today, but it was becoming boring blog fodder.

Behold the sunflower instead!

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

If you were lucky enough...

...to read my now-deleted post, you will laugh at the timeliness of this!

And if you weren't lucky enough, the post had a diatribe that used knitting lace sweaters out of Thai noodles as an example.

Crochet and spaghetti are the next best things!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It's a Cruel, Cruel Summer

Yeah, the collective is right. I should just shutthefuck up about It. I deleted that post. I make myself sick of It. But if you actually read the whole post, you'll remember I promised it's bedtime and that's all I'll say about that ever again--positive or negative.

Quick Edit: Nope, no one gave me a hard time last post. Deletion was by my own free will.

* * *

I don't know if it's the phase of the moon, if Mercury is in retrograde, or what, but I'm going to put my money on the damn heat being the cause of my supreme bitchiness lately.

Here's another thing that will open a can of worms I'm sure: I would trade a dry heat for a 3H day (hot, humid and hazy) any day.

It constantly got up to and well past 90 degrees in San Antonio the paltry 7 months we were there.

Colorado was no pussy in the hot weather department either. She could dish up a sizzler as well (which when you're at that high of an altitude is much worse for the pallid like myself). Again, it was a dry heat in Colorado.

But 90 degrees and above in Michigan and New Jersey? Holy mother of Fatzah, I'm sweating in places I never knew existed. When you get knee-pit stains on your pants, you know it's too hot.

Somewhere in the move to New Jersey, I lost the last sweatsock I knit for my frozen waterbottle.

It was time to cast on a new one.

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(Oh yikes, check out that laddering. Hm. Ah well.)

This will keep my water partially frozen until lunch time at least.

Once I finish this up, I'll be casting on for another hot-weather inspired design.

It's a spin on something that I never really understood why people knitted them. However, now that I've got the reverse thinking going on for that type of knit, I think I am grasping why I never really understood why people knit those things. They're TOO HOT!

And it's a wet heat, not a dry heat--blah!

Cryptic enough for you?

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Ripe Tomato

Damn.

It's time for the Tomato unveiling.

But guess what? I literally just realized that I effed up the boobie band.

I am SO pissed!

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What's on the boobie band?

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It was SUPPOSED to be Morse code for TIT.

But stupid me, it should be dash-dot-dot-dash. Not dash-dot-dash.

Ugh. I swear I cannot do math!

But! How's this for a silver lining?

What my Tomato boobie band really has is a series of K's around it.

Check it out:

Morse

Ok, close enough to K for me.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Since I'm not a part of the the Illuminati Ravelrati, I shall now regale you with the details.

Pattern: Tomato by Wendy Bernard, originally found in No Sheep For You by Amy Singer.

Yarn: 3 and a smidge balls of TLC Cotton Plus in Lavender. The boobie band color is cream. I love this yarn. Sooooo much nicer (and cheaper per yard!) than Lion Brand Cotton Ease in my opinion. You can't even tell you're knitting with cotton when you knit with TLC Cotton Plus. I only wish I was getting a kickback for constantly extolling the virtues of this yarn.

Needles: US 8 and 7.

Modifications: Obviously the boobie band. I wasn't about to knit little Texasses all over my breasts. Oh hell no! I knit a few more rounds on the sleeve ribbing than called for and less rounds on the neck ribbing than called for. I also modified the neck so that it didn't scoop so low as the pattern offered instructions.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this knit. It was very fast and I love the way it hugs my incredibly wide hips. I am officially in love with top-down sweaters after this and Bad Penny. If I were to knit it again, I might let the neck scoop a little lower. I also think that I would have put a different collar on the neck. Maybe a 1X1 rib? Of course I would then put a 1X1 rib on the bottom and sleeves so everything matched if I did that.

So there you have it.

And just think, you didn't even have to wait three months for an invite so you could take pictures of your stash and stack up a bunch of projects that you know you'll never knit, but they're pretty and you feel pressured to have a long-ass list because everyone else does, which in the end would make you feel completely overwhelmed by your pastime and guilty about not donating to a service that vows to stay free yet wouldn't mind if you threw a few bucks their way, to read about this sweater. (Oh, that was mean of me. I should be more Harloty and think before I type huh? It's all tongue in cheek in case the typed word doesn't translate as well as the spoken. I'm sure Rivalry is a very nice place to be.)

It's a shame that the stifling heat of 100+ degrees here in the armpit of America will prevent me from wearing this sweater for a while!!!

Stay cool Comrades!

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Tomato Sweaters & Local Dinners

First the knitting!

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That would be the bottom ribbing of Tomato. The sleeves are also done.

I'll start the neckline tonight.

I tried it on after binding off the bottom. It fits like a dream! I'm very proud I was able to follow the destructions well enough to figure out how to place the neck higher so I don't end up flashing everyone when I wear it.

I don't own a "cami" that everyone uses as the universal bandaid to fix too-revealing knitting.

Now on to the non-knitting (feel free to surf away if you come here just for the knitting).

I'm discovering my inner Canadian Potato Farmer in not just growing an out of control Yukon Gold on my balcony, I also joined One Local Summer.

The guidelines are simple. You eat stuff that's "local." Now "local" has many interpretations in this challenge. You can eat stuff that is from your state only, from within a 100 mile radius, within a comfortable day's drive, etc.

This is my first time doing it, so I'm kind of going with the "comfortable days's drive" theory.

I'm also personally trying to do this with minimal trips all over the county divining places that sell local meat, produce, milk, etc.

I'm a busy paper pushing monkey that has to juggle getting her Chunkito to school and her Dr. Mad Scientist to and from the train station every day (although Dr. Mad Scientist has lately been walking home if he works past 10:00 p.m. which has been more often than not lately.)

I don't have much time to shop all over for local food. Besides, if I do make it to say the local farmers market after I've finished up work and picking up Chunky from school, they're closed. But I'm not bitter.

Baby steps. I knew signing up for this, I wouldn't be able to participate with one local meal a week. But like Liz stated when she rolled out this year's challenge, it's all about baby steps.

When has crash dieting every worked? Yeah hardly ever. But if you make small steps, it's easier to incorporate them into daily life and stick to it.

Without further blabbing I give you my first "local" meal:

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Ok, it's a little unbalanced. Lots o'starch there!

We've got some Jersey white corn purchased from the farmer's stand across the parkway from my office. Dee-freakin' liscious! Dr. Mad Scientist and I have determined that Colorado has the only other corn that rivals Jersey corn in the states we've lived in.

Texas was awful. Michigan was hit or miss with their corn.

We're corn on the cob snobs after being raised in Alaska where "corn on the cob" meant those nasty little four inch frozen cobs you boil up. Oh god, they make me sick just thinking about them!

Then we've got some cheddarwurst from Black Bear Deli in Philly. I'm lucky in that a comfortable day's drive means I can hit quite a few states coming from Jersey. I don't think I could have done this challenge if we were still in Texas.

I discovered these in the deli section of my Shoprite. They weren't with the rest of the bratwurst with the rest of the meats. There were only five to a pack as opposed to six when you buy Johnsonville Brats. However, they were comparable in price.

The taste however makes up for the fact you're only getting five instead of six.

My father's peeps settled in Wisconsin, so I'd like to think I've got a genetic sense of what makes a good bratwurst--and these local brats were ten times more flavorful than the Johnsonville ones we normally buy. The boys agreed with me on this as well.

Finally, the buns are from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. These are from the farthest away--about three and a half hours.

There you have it!

With the exception of the corn (which I'll be trying to make a point of hitting every Friday at lunch), it was all purchased at Shoprite--no hole in the wall farm stand/market/store that I would probably waste a tank of gas trying to find because New Jersey, me and Mapquest don't mix.

The only challenge in shopping locally at a chain store like Shoprite is that you have to read labels and do your research.

For example, I found that on the package of the brats, they have an address of Moorestown, NJ on there. However, if you go on the internet and do a little digging, you find that they're actually made in Philadelphia. (Never mind that Moorestown is basically a suburb of Philly!)

This is good practice for the day say Jeb Bush is elected into power and I have to take the family and emmigrate to Canada and make that potato farm dream of mine come true.

But for now it's all about baby steps!

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Damn Blogger won't let me title this post. Bah!

A day late, but definately not a potato short--

Friday's Potato Shot:
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Last Friday's Potato Shot:
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Yup. No big change. But it did start to flower this week. That's exciting!! (If you're a dork like me that gets a rise out of growing a potato on your balcony.)

Next up, I mailed out a box of baby hats for Hats For Alex to Pam today.

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Nineteen hats total. They represent each week we've lived in New Jersey. They also represent three loads of laundry each!

They're the best things to knit while doing laundry (thus the three loads=one load per person per week in this household) at the laundromat. They bust some serious stash, and they're a great way to try a new technique. I've got lacey ones, color worky ones, and a simple cable hat in there.

As a working mom who struggles to find decent child care in each damn state we live in, I identify with this rememberance project. It's every working mother's nightmare come true.

I'm making good progress with Tomato too. I probably won't finish it this weekend but definately next week.

I'll give you a hint: there are no little Alaskas or New Jerseys on the boobie band.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

It Was One Year Ago Today

July 5, 2006.

The day we landed in Texas.

Three days later Dr. Mad Scientist would leave to go back to Michigan to finish up his PhD leaving me and Chunky behind on our own for five months.

What a horrible chapter in our lives. Never again!!

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Texas is a lovely place to sweat your ass off and kill legions of ants that have invaded your kitchen when you're with ALL the ones you love. However, I blame our Texas Nightmare for the reason I decided not to knit the boob band that Tomato calls for.

Look at this:

stitchpatterntoma

(It's probably not kosher, but I lifted that picture from Amethyst from the No Sheep For You KAL--lots of pretty Tomatoes on there!)

That's the original boobie band design the Tomato pattern calls for.

To me, those little thingies look like this:

Texas

Can you see it? Don't they look like little Texases lined up?

Allegedly everything is bigger in Texas, which may have included my boobs for seven months, but now that we're in New Jersey, I don't want that state anywhere near Laverne and Shirley.

Here's my progress on my Tomato over the past couple of days.

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For the record, it's lavender in color and that picture is pretty close to the true color. Now that I'm employed, I don't get good afternoon-sun shots of my WIPs

I'm making good progress. I'm not happy with my first rounds of increases in the waist shaping though. There are two holes on each hip that look like rattlesnake bites. I think I'll be able to easily sew 'em up though. Frog back and reknit it? Why would I want to do that???

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy Fourth!

I really enjoyed the non-face-on pictures of la estatua de libertad I took in May.

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It's one of the more patriotic pics in my library. Look how chunky she looks at that angle. Maybe there's some huddled masses underneath all of that drapery.

I'm don't really express myself in a rah-rah USA way.

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I leave that to the monkeys. Sparkly star pants make my ass look fat.

Regardless, Happy Fourth of July!!

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Tomato Update

The sleeves have been divided off and the band is complete.

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Ha ha! The band design waits til the final modeling shot!

Tonight--the waist increases.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

And the winner is...

I've been busy getting Chunky's stuffed monkey to work on my Tomato this weekend.

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You didn't think I knew how to knit did you?

I've decided to skip the houndstooth checking band and I designed my own band. It's subtle and yet outrageous all at the same time. I think you'll laugh when you see it. Dr. Mad Scientist thought it was amusing. If he finds it amusing, I know it must be good.

But on to the reason you're all really reading today!

The winner of June's KAYE drawing for the qiviut generously donated by my Youngest Younger Brother who's making his way in the world pimping 'Sk ox to hapless touristas to the great state of Alaska at the Palmer Musk Ox Farm during the summer is....

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The blogless (as far as I know--she didn't send me a blog address with her entry) Yvonne!

Congrats Yvonne, I've emailed you for the details as to where to send it.

And of course, if you didn't win this month, stay tuned, your entry is still able to win in the upcoming months.

There's some cool stuff coming at the end of the summer too. That's all I can say about that for now. Hee!!!

If you're new to reading about this and wondering what in the hell I'm talking about and wondering how you can get in on a chance to win some free yarn in the name of Kootchie Awarness click here.

P.S.: The Jersey Tomato from yesterday's post was everything the Jersinians (is that what they're called?) have hyped them to be. It was like an orgasm in my mouth and everyone was invited. Mmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!

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