Saturday, May 31, 2008

What's Goin' On?

It's like the calm before the storm.

The weekend before you know you're being executed.

Monday's going to suck. Large nasty brief due. Boss who likes to wait til the very very end (i.e. 11:59 p.m.) to file.

But I'll try to enjoy my weekend.

I was tagged by Elizabeth to do a meme. Between brief revisions at work, I did it.

The Guidlines:

* Answer at least three of the questions. Yes, I know a few look time-consuming and there are several of them. That's why I only ask for three. See? I'm nice!
* Post them and the rules on your blog, and please link back to me here. Pretty please?
* Comment here telling me and the rest of our little party where you're at and link to yourself.
That's all!
* Oh yeah, don't forget to tag others!

The Meme:

What's the last book you read that you thought was really super, inspiring, you'd recommend it to most anyone?

Wow. It takes a lot to impress me, so this question is a bit difficult. I’ve run out of authors to read lately and I’ve been taking this list of authors to the library and slowly reading them.

It’s primarily white woman fiction which I’m finding very bland. Very different than the Isabele Allende, Julia Alvarez, Ana Castillo type authors I normally read and prefer. Their stories tend to have more depth in their characters and settings to me. Maybe I say this because I am the white woman of white woman fiction and I subconsciously find my own life boring? If I was still in college, this would make a great research paper.

What food totally grosses you out, you'd never be able to touch it? Ew. Gag. *hurl*

Sauerkraut and that Chef BoyRDee Ravioli in a can. I made some for Chunky the other night and nearly vomited.

Did you ever watch a scary movie that frightened you so much you were afraid of the dark afterward? I mean like you're lying in bed trying to sleep, but you have to pee, but you're scared to get up. It doesn't have to be recently; could be when you were a kid. So what movie was it?

I don’t remember many movies freaking me out as a kid or as an adult. Maybe just because I never watched “scary” movies. I do enjoy watching scary ghost movies (think Sixth Sense) or watching those ghost shows on the SciFi or Discovery channel when Dr. Mad Scientist is around. I think I’ve spilled this before—but those movies and shows scare the hell out of him.

Is there a song that makes you dance every time you hear it? Would you tap you feet and sing along to it in public?

If it’s outside the car, than no. No singing or dancing in public.

Tattoos: yes or no? Do you have any? Tell us! Do you think they're gross? TELL US!

I have a ladybug about the size of a dime on my upper chest near my shoulder. I got it when I was 18 and a college freshman—me and six friends all went out and got one. I didn’t want anything too big but I wanted something meaningful--My Old Man nicknamed me Kayebugs (or some derivative of that—it’s mutated over the years) when I was little and thus gave rise to my affinity for ladybugs. I don’t think they’re gross at all. Dr. Mad Scientist has four himself. Hee hee, we’ll rock the retirement home someday.

When's the last time you laughed so hard your ribs ached and/or you nearly peed yourself? What made you do it?

When I put Chunky to bed, I will “work” Rosie, his monkey (i.e. make her talk). Rosie has a penchant for potty humor so I know the last time I laughed really hard was after something Rosie said at bedtime that probably involved poop or farts that set Chunky off laughing hysterically and well kid laughter is quite contagious. Even more so when I myself love a good poop or fart joke.

Draw or doodle a picture of your pet(s) and post it if possible. Nothing fancy, don't be shy!

Yeah I'm skipping this question like Elizabeth did. Too lazy.

Go through a stack or box of your old music. Stuff that you may not have heard in years. Pick one and tell us about it. Is it as good (or as bad) as you remember?

I really never listened to more than the radio years ago. I just bought my first MP3 player this year and have maybe 10 CDs to my name.

Do you still sleep with a stuffed animal? We won't laugh!

Yes. It’s a little bear that came with a pendant that Dr. Mad Scientist gave me for Christmas the first year we were dating (cliché, yes, I know!). I got into the habit of sleeping with this bear between my arms. Now if I sleep without him, my arms go numb in the middle of the night. Plus, having the bear under the covers helps deter Springs from blanket humping my boobs in the middle of the night. Ever wake up to find a cat giving you a breast exam while saluting you with his cat wiener?

Alright was that boring enough for you?

Now I'll show you what I'm working on:


My Own Personal Jesus Spider Shopping Bag--this time in just some Lily's cotton partial balls I've had lying around.


My Lily cardigan. I dig this pattern because you knit the sleeves before the body. That's a nice change of pace. The different increases I did turned out just fine. Messed up the stitch count a bit, but the sweater is pretty intuitive and being off a few stitches isn't going to ruin it.

Doesn't look like much now, but I'm excited to get it done. I'm knitting it out of my most beloved of all yarn -- TLC Cotton Plus.

And finally:


Some spinning. Just one more bobbin to do of this and it's ply-city.

Oh and of course there's the super secret Christmas project. But it wouldn't be super secret if I showed you that now would it???

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Zen and Spinning

Everyone was right--spinning is quite relaxing.

On my Monday off, I spun 4 ozs of a deep dark chocolate brown Romney that Bina sent me.


I set it outside to dry after wetting it a bit to set it.

And as you can see, Chunky likes to get his zen on on the hood of my car.



Labels: ,

Monday, May 26, 2008

I Love 3-Days

It is simply amazing what I can get done on a three day weekend.

The weather this weekend has been simply gorgeous. A reward for the weeks leading up where it's been beautiful during the week and as soon as the weekend rolls around--it's rain and wind?

We've been eating like pigs this weekend too. Saturday was hamburgers on the grill--with lettuce from my little pot! Sunday was homemade tortilla soup (think the cheesy tortilla soup you can find at McCallister's Deli or Max n'Erma's--two restaurants that my east coast readers have probably never heard of...). And tonight is spareribs (bought as they were about to expire and promptly frozen until today) and potato salad.


That's the "before" shot with Dr. Mad Scientist's rub on there. He's outside grilling them as I type this. Nothing more sexy than a man rubbing meat.

In the knitting department I finished the Monkey Bottom Bag for Chunky's teacher Miss Donna.


Man, I totally dig this bag. Maybe because it wasn't so damn big like the last one.

I added some nicer detail on the straps.


A couple of faux buttons from some buttons I scavenged from a tacky outfit many moons ago.

And of course, I had to get the monkey bottom shot.


Those little snowman things are supposed to be gourds. Or mammaryteste hybrids.

Then I also finished a 9"x9" square for a blanket Dame Wendy was soliciting help with.


It's nothing fancy, just a simple checker pattern.


I also had time to spin up the rest of the fuzz I bought at Maryland Sheep and Wool.


That's the black with hints of color merino Chris chided me into buying (I like to blame her--although I would have probably gotten it anyway!). My merino spinning still needs work. It's a darn slippery fuzz that merino is!

I even had time to futz around in the pot garden.



My onions are finally coming up! Now if only my herbs would take a hint and follow the onions suit. I think it's the soil I planted them in--very clay like and doesn't hold water well. Ah well, that's why it was probably so cheap. Live and learn.

My potato on the other hand is going to town!


The potato on the left is a funky-tater I pulled out of a bag that was going bad. The potatoes on the right are from seed potatoes I got from my plant last year. How proud am I that the seed potatoes are doing better than the funky-tater?

And to wrap it all up--I sewed myself a new lunch bag, the crotch on a pair of Chunky's shorts that was falling apart (again, you get what you pay for) and four bottoms for some new bags like the one I made Miss Donna. This time they're for me.


I'm not religious, but I freaking love this fabric. I'm thinking four My Own Personal Jesus Spider bags are in order.

Now that Shoprite will pay you 5 cents for a non-plastic bag you bring in (I really think that the "fabric" bags they sell aren't very environmentally conscious as they're made of a poly base anyway...) I might start actually bringing these to go shopping with. Before they would only pay you 2 cents.

So there's my wrap up. Amazing what one extra lousy day of not working can do to a person.

Now somebody remind me of all this fun next week when I'm working til midnight again to help file a brief. You know it's going to be bad when your boss asks you three weeks in advance if you can work overtime on the deadline day.


Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Catch Up, Reminders & Tossin' Some Back

First up, Reminders (and I'm in no way following the order of the subject here). I guess there's only one.

It's May 21. Have you had your cooter rooted this month?

Only 10 more days to enter for this month's K.A.Y.E. prize. 1000 yards of green laceweight that's superwash and superdry. Although I've never heard of anyone tossing their lace-knits in the washer and dryer but whatever.

Ok, next up Catch Up.

AliceC also felt the need to baptize me with "fuzz":


That's Springs getting his huff on there in the beautiful fuzz she sent me. I am bummed I didn't get to meet Alice at Maryland Sheep and Wool. Someday though. I get the feeling we'll be in this timezone for a bit.

And then, I don't believe I mentioned this, but my Younger Younger Brother and his wife in Alaska are expecting a baby early next year. So check out what Dave from the board sent me:


Some vintage knitting booklets gifted to him by a veteran knitter. He reasoned since he doesn't have any babies in his life they'd see better use with someone who will. Let's just say I'm now even more excited to be knitting for family babies.

Well I should say I'm happy to be knitting for family babies in cold climates. My Young Younger Brother (older than the one who's expecting the kid) unfortunately lives in North Carolina where it never gets cold enough for me to knit for the little chubbanooches that they have.

The patterns in here--despite the dated looking photos you see there--are pretty timeless. I've already picked out a couple of things I'll have to paw through the stash to find yarn for.

And finally in the catch-up department, I finished some spinning last night.


Not bad huh? That's some corriedale I bought from Jennifer off of Etsy. I love the colors. She didn't officially name it, but it kind of reminds me of a sunrise you might see in a cartoon. I've got a 6 year old boy. All I ever watch on TV anymore is cartoons!

What fun to spin with! The corriedale is a bit "crunchier" (but in a good way) than the super lofty merinos I had been spinning up to this point. The crunchy factor gave me really good control over how evenly it spun.

It's certainly much more even all around than my last attempt, although you can still see where I got some thick spots in that picture.

Oh and for those who asked, that's a Morgan Dollar from 1887. I want to say my Uncle T gave each of us kids one. It's not worth much given the massive wear on it. But it's still cool to have around to show Chunky and stuff. He's into old-time things be they pirates or the Civil War or dinosaurs. Plus Uncle T is dead now so it's kind of a nice way to remember him, he was quite the history buff.

Finally, it's time to toss some goodness back into the karmic salmon stream of life.

I've got these four key-fob wristlet-majigs.


As long as you don't mind my piss poor top stitching skills, one of them could be yours.

All you have to do is leave me a comment describing the weirdest place you've ever had to use a restroom; or

If you could vote for anyone for President who would it be? (Now that BO looks to be in the lead I'm looking for a good write in candidate.); or

If you could be any yarn, what yarn would you be, and more importantly, what would you want to be knit/crocheted up into?

Just pick one to answer. The funniest two answers will be selected by me. The other two winners will be random draws.

I'll close the contest the same time the entries for May's K.A.Y.E. drawing are due--May 31 at midnight.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, May 18, 2008


When I originally bought Adeste, my Fidelis spinning wheel, my intenion was to buy a bump/braid of roving/fiber, spin it and then buy another one. The one-in-one-out method.

However, spinners have other ideas:


This is a technicolor array of merinos that Lynn sent me.

A few days later came this from Bina:

Look at all of those animals depicted!

By Saturday, Chunky when bringing up the mail from downstairs and he gave me a package that was in the mail pile he said: "It's more fuzz isn't it mom?"

Hee hee!

This time it was from my spinning guru straight from Geddesburg:


There's angora, some Blue Leicester locks, some Fat Cat Knits, and a Terra Bella batt (which I've eyed on Etsy...).

Thanks ladies--you sure do know how to welcome someone to the dark side!

So what have I been spinning?'s still very rough, but here's my first plyed skein.


That's the merino I picked up at Maryland Sheep & Wool from the Drafting Zone.

It's very thick n'thin. But it's definately an improvement from the first stuff I spun.

But like Dr. Mad Scientist was quick to point out--I didn't learn to knit in a day.

Oof. So true!


Thursday, May 15, 2008


Blobs, blobs, blobs.

I've been dealing with blobs a lot lately.

And it's spilling into my knitting.

Here's what I've been working on.

Blob #1:

It's the start of a Lily Cardigan. I wasn't able to figure out the raglan increases of K1, YO, K1 all in the same stitch so I'm doing my own increase.

Next up is Blob #2:

A smaller Monkey Bottom Barf Bag for Ms. Donna at Chunky's school. Kindergarten Graduation is June 13 so I've got a few weeks to get it done. It's much smaller than the one Squeaky's taken a shining too so it should go by much faster.

Those are the only things on the needles now except for Chunky's tiger sock. But that's my lunch knitting and when I'm not napping--like a lazy blob--I work on that.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

WIP Wednesday

You don't really think I'll show you what I'm knitting today do you?

Ha ha, I'll do that on Thursday to spite the WIP Wednesday theme.

Instead I give you my Pot Garden WIPs:

Munchkin Broccoli:
Not too happy.


Munchkin Radishes:
Pleasantly content. Their green onion pot-mates? They're a little shy. We'll give them another week to sprout before we give up on them.

Flowers in the Socks that Didn't Rock (In the Dryer):
Not too shabby.

Munchkin peas:
Oh so happy.

Lettuce/Spinach Mix:

As you can see, my cold weather plants (the peas and lettuce) are loving this mild spring weather we've been having.

The rest of my green children? Not so much. It's not quite warm enough for them yet. And the damned birds (pigeons?) have been eating my sprouts--I've lost my cukes, some tomatoes, and some pumpkins to them. Thus the ghetto fab window screen quasi-shielding the seedlings from aviary foes.

We've been having these fluctuations in weather where one week will be 70's, sunny and downright summer like.

The next week will be rainy, windy and cold.

I guess I got spoiled by last spring. It got and stayed warmer faster.

But it's OK. I know I can re-start everything that doesn't work out here. That's the joy of pot gardening--I'll bring it inside if it starts getting too close to fall frost.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Cup Overfloweth

Due to an unexpected weight gain, Laverne and Shirley, my resident mammaries, have decided to slip the surly bonds that is a C cup and move on to a D cup.

On Sunday I ditched the boys and went bra shopping.

I might as well have gone hunting for a Hillary Supporter at an Obama Rally.

I started off at Kohls.

After wandering around the store I finally found the intimates section where I was faced with about 10 double sided racks of bras.

But here's where I get pissy--about 99% of those bras were the kind that hold their shape when your boobies aren't ensconced in them.


They were all these seat-cushion foam padded nightmares.

Rack after rack!

So here's the deal. The next time I hear ANY woman complain "I hate it when men don't look me in the eyes when I'm talking to them--they just stare at my chest!" I'm going to demand that said woman flash me. And if said woman is wearing one of these seat cushion bras that add extra padding, I'm going to smack her.

Now I haven't been bra shopping since Chunky was a pup--so that was what--nearly 7 years ago? But I can tell you that back then, there was not this proliferation of artificial boob armor.

How do I know this?

Because the 1% of bras I found that I liked, i.e. they lacked an extra inch of padding, were labeled "Vintage Style."

I will say that once you started looking for anything above a D cup, this padding nightmare ended. Larger ladies don't need the extra padding I guess.

However, I'm feeling like a porn star sporting a D cup myself. Why the hell would I want to add another inch to my cleave?

Now maybe I'm being harsh.

Maybe women like to pretend like they have big boobies.

But what good does this padding do? Does it double as a personal floatation device if you're wearing it on a plane that crashes over the Atlantic? Does it make you feel sexy?

If it makes you feel sexy and you're going to play the "My husband/boyfriend/girlfriend likes me wearing this bra..." I'm going to have to say that you're sadly misinformed. No horny husband/boyfriend/girlfriend likes their woman IN a bra. They like their woman OUT of a bra.

Maybe people do really have sex with their bras on like I see in PG-13 movies?


And please don't get me started on the price for these things! We're talking a median price of $25!

Here's my cheapass tip for making your own PFD Seat Cushion Uber Fake Cleave Overpriced Bra: buy a sports bra and fill it with some of that spray foam from Home Depot.


I can't help but think about how much of the planet we could save if we stopped caring about adding a little somethin' somethin' to our gozangas.

Think about it: in addition to not polluting the earth with manufacturing all that foam padding--think of the tenths of pennies you would save in gas mileage not having to haul that extra weight on your boobs around town!

Needless to say I left Kohls and went to Target where I should have started off and bought myself a plain, underwire, cotton, unpadded, D-cup bra for $10.99. No fuss, no muss.

Laverne and Shirley love it.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother Smugger

Remember the hideous Monkey Bottom Barf Bag that I've been using to transport Chunky's naptime blankets to and from school on weekends (so I can wash them)?

I now have feline approval of the bag.


The little mother smugger has been sleeping in there all weekend!

Now that the Community College Vest is done, I've cast on a smaller monkey bottom bag for Ms. Donna--Chunky's teacher.

She was hired after Christmas so I didn't get to make her anything. I figure she can have a mini-monkey bottom bag as a end-of-the-school-year thank you.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Chunky really outdid himself in the handmade gift department this year:


That's a handpainted cutting board, a card from my "sun" Chunky, and a hand colored pot of petunias.

This is a very special Mother's Day indeed!


Thursday, May 08, 2008


What this picture cleverly hides is all the crappy yarn wrapped earlier on the bobbin.


You can see a bit of it there on the left.

And gross--I've already spun my hair into it!!

Here's what the real poop looked like when I first started. This is literally after five minutes of spinning.


Yes, very blurry, but you can see the overspun nature.

What helped me was slowing down my treadling.

As I hit the last half of the practice roving she sent with the wheel, it clicked and I got into a rhythm.

I absolutely LOVE the fact I can get a thicker yarn on this wheel. I've got it set for the 6:1 ratio so it spins a bit slower and thus I get a thicker yarn. Maybe when I get comfortable, I'll flip the bobbin and spin it a bit faster and thinner.

But for now, I'm loving this.

And these huge bobbins rock! I can see how she claims you can hold a minimum of 6 oz. on each one!

I'll probably knit this crappy stuff up into my little handspun sampler blanket/rug I'm making.


Ala those log cabin blankets you see--I'm just taking small bits of my handspinning (minus the white--that was some stuff Karen spun for me on her Lulu when I originally gave up spindling a year ago and had a little bit of roving left over) and adding it onto this.

It's random and unplanned--kind of like a sampler/crazy quilt. No worries if the handspun sucks.

I kind of dig it.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Community College Vest

So maybe you've seen Turtlegirl's amazing Ivy League Vest Ivy League Vest photoshoot.

And maybe you've seen Trillian's spoof.

After seeing Cristi's amazing work (in person even!) on the Ivy League Vest, I knew what I had to call the vest I was working on:

Because in Community College, we're not afraid to pick our noses.

The Community College Vest

Pattern: My own.

Yarn: Mirasol Miski, 100% baby llama in "Jade" kindly RAKed to me by Cpurl

Needles: US 4

Notes: I started making the Devon vest from the now defunct Magknits. But I couldn't get gauge. So I though: "It's just a vest, who needs a pattern for a simple vest?"

And I was right. Sort of.

I pulled a sweater vest out of my closet that I had bought at Burlington Dog Hair Factory about 10 years ago and used it as a guide.

The vest turned out great--except that it's really small.

You can't tell from these blurry pictures (taken by my fabulous photographer Chunky--sorry Turtlegirl, I think my photographer is cuter than yours!), but my girls are super squished.

This vest puts the negative in negative ease.

If it wasn't made of very warm llama yarn, it would make a great vest to run a marathon in--keeping Laverne and Shirley firmly in their places.

So I've decided I'll gift this to my Youngest Younger Sister who graduates from college this weekend.

Does it still count as a graduation present if I didn't really intend to give it to her, nor give it to her around graduation day?



Monday, May 05, 2008


First we have the largest yarn purchase I have EVER made to date in one sitting (pricewise that is):


Before we boarded the bus we fondled the Koigu mill ends that Rosie's had for sale. I purchased the top two because they were pretty. The bottom picture shows what I purchased with the intent to make a Tulip Baby Sweater (shush Pam!) for a couple we know who just found out they're having a baby.

Although they were still pretty pricey, mill ends were the perfect solution for this sweater that only calls for 8 rows of seven different colors.

Of course Koigu is fingering/sock weight and the pattern calls for worsted, but it's a top-down sweater. Those are pretty easy to modify.

Price for the mill ends: $46

Next was 4 oz of merino roving from The Drafting Zone.


Price for the roving in "Sapphire": $9.50

Here's the part that sucks. I found some GREAT roving at Delly's Delights Farm. But it's black, with red mixed in it. The two hardest colors to photograph.


Trust me, it's damn gorgeous. Chris didn't have to twist my arm too hard to get me to buy it. Especially at this price--4 oz for $10.00

Finally, you can or cannot include this into my total purchases. It's the prize yarn for May's K.A.Y.E. prize.


That's 1000 yds. of laceweight in a beautiful vivid green from Tess' Designer Yarns. Tess's had to be my favorite booth of all the vendors. Except I don't like the way they put the apostrophe after the s and don't follow it with another s. Yes, I know technically it's the correct way, but I like the look of "Tess's" (which is also the correct way) better.

Oh and it's superwash AND superdry. If only Socks That Rock was superDRY! Ha ha!

Total price for both skeins: $20.

So there you have it. If you count the K.A.Y.E. prize I spent $85.50. If you don't count it, I spent $65.50.

I even indulged in a lamb sausage and a horribly overpriced coke (not unexpected).

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date with my girlfriend, Adeste:


After a few minutes of futzing with her I was able to spin a bit of poopy yarn.

It's poopy, but I can tell that it won't be poopy for long. A little practice will be like Immodium A-D for my spinning little fingers!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Even Better Kept Secret

So remember how I said I didn't have enough money to make it to Maryland Sheep & Wool?

I lied.

Chris and I had been planning my attendance for two months.

Muhahahaha! Chris was sweet enough to reserve me a spot with her and her lovely friend blogless friend Jen on the bus that Rosie's Yarn Cellar charters to Maryland.

There were three legs to my journey yesterday. I woke up at 3:30 a.m. (2:30 a.m. if you count the practice wake-up session that Springs decided to give me).

Then I drove to Bridgewater where I met Chris. I got into Bridgewater about...


And that's a.m.

I ditched my car and from there Chris and I drove to Flemington where we met up with Jen.

Then we ditched Chris's car and went on into Philly.

Once we boarded Rosie's bus, it was pretty tough to stay awake.

Of course as we got closer--it was hard to not get excited.

Look at all the cars!


And this was at 11:00 a.m.

We quickly got off the bus and got down to business.


At the Brooks Farm booth (ironically the only vendor I have ever experienced at a fiber festival if you count Kid n'Ewe in Boerne, TX), Chris spotted Pam and I spotted Val. Since I've been lucky enough to hang with Val a couple of times since moving to the NY area, I knew she might recognize I ducked for cover behind Chris.

After Chris and Pam gave each other a hug, I popped out of hiding.

Hee hee, the look on her face was priceless! As was Cristi's a few minutes later when we found her.

Man, what a fun time!


That's Chris, Cristi, and Jas aka Artsygal.

I even got to meet the (in)famous Roxy and MonkeeMaven.


I won't lie (this time), I did tell Jo I was I got to meet her too!!


I wish I had gotten more pictures, but I was kind of overwhelmed by all these knitters I've only ever read about and not to mention all the wonderful vendors!

I also got to meet Michelle/AKknitter too!


My only regret?

I didn't have the huevos to introduce myself to Marie Grace at the Llamajama booth.

The best part? Meeting all these knitters I have only read about and making new friends that I had only heard about (I'm thinking of you Jen!)

Tomorrow: the loot and the story of my wheel.