Tuesday, January 29, 2008

America! America!!!

America! Eff yeah!!

Welcome to my politika knitting post wherein I mix politics with knitting.

Let me tell you a story.

It starts with a young girl.

She's somewhat new to the Lansing area and is sleeping with this really hot graduate student attending Michigan State University (let's pretend they're not married like they are, it makes it sound sexier if they're not...).

The young girl takes a job at a law firm we will call Scheister, Shafter, Conniver & Dodge, P.C. (don't take the name personal SSC&D, P.C.--I just don't want everyone to know where I worked) so she can support the super sexy grad student--for what he reaps in good looks, he does not in salary.

After about two years of working there, or maybe it was three, or maybe it was one...who really cares...the young girl meets the law clerk just hired named Barb.

Barb has big dreams. She wants to get her law degree and run for a seat on the Michigan State House of Representatives.

The young girl finds this fascinating as Barb is only a few months older than herself.

The two become friends and keep in touch as Barb later successfully runs for and wins a seat in the Michigan State House of Representatives and the young girl follows her sexy graduate around the country with the sweet beautiful child she bore him in tow.

Then, one Christmas, many years later after the young girl and Barb have parted, the now not-so-young-girl receives a birth announcement in the mail.

Barb and her husband have had a little boy.

The not-so-young-girl having been a student of the grandmotherly art of knitting for a few years, embarks upon a quest to find the perfect knitted baby gift for Barb's newborn son.

She trys that dump they speak of called "Ravelry" for the perfect pattern.

Nada.

She resorts to plain old googling.

Zilch.

Then, one day, she's reading a blog. A blog about another student--but this time a student who is a bunny shepherdess (for we all know bunnies are more comfortable in herds--ok, I can't back that up, I know nothing of rabbits).

This purveyor of all that bunniferous has posted an entry on her blog highlighting the cutest little barnyard Amigurumi animals she has recently knit.

The not-so-young-girl, intrigued by the felted teats on a very cute little Amigurumi cow, follows the link to where the Lady of the Lepus has purchased her pattern.

Behold!

The perfect pattern the not-so-young-girl does spy for her friend's new baby!

The Born in a Barn Donkey Amigurimi!

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Nothing says "I'm a little Democrat!" like a mini felted donkey doll!!!

Pattern: Born In a Barn Donkey by Crafty Alien

Yarn: 100% non-superwash wool for felting

Needles: US 10--straight.

Notes: While has got to be one of the damn cutest things I have ever knit, it was a royal pain in the ass (pun totally intended).

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First up, the pattern has you picking up stitches--on straight needles--around a teeny tiny little piece of knitting to the point where you're basically knitting in the round--you're just not connecting the rounds.

Second, the pattern was wrong. It skipped Row 14 on the head instructions all together. If I had followed the pattern as written, not realizing that Row 14 was missing, I would ended up with a ridge of purled knitting that should have been smooth stockinette. Now I know that felting hides mistakes, but that would have been hard to hide. I emailed the designer this information. I guess unless you buy the pattern from here on out, we'll never really know if she makes the change or not.

Overall, it reminded me as to why I don't publish patterns. My own personal patterns are a lot like this one. Complicated when they don't need to be.

That's why this fact, combined with the error, makes me think this isn't the best pattern for a beginner knitter looking to branch out.

But it's a damn cute donkey and I love it. And I know Barb will love it too.

They say career politicians are slimy bastards, but honest to god, I have never met a politician as genuine as Barb. She doesn't give off that phoney vibe you get from politicians who can seem like they're just spoon feeding you what you want to hear.

Plus it helps that I'm a democrat too, hee hee.

I'll leave y'all with a picture of me modeling my hat--again. Believe it or not, that post from yesterday was the hat on my head.

True to form though, I can't show my face when bandwagon knitting. I did it with Ice Queen, and I'll do it here. Hee hee!

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Viva!

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Sí, sí Señor!

Muchas calor, could fry an egg on the sidewalk it's so caliente!

Ok, I don't know why but this hat makes me think of that old Sesame Street song.

But here's the cabled mystery WIP, now an FO.

And no, it's not Fetching. I may be bandwagon, but I do draw the line somewhere.

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Pattern: Capitán by Rosi G. Her firm knows how to make a mean memo and she knows how to make a mean hat!

Yarn: Monica might recall this as well, it's Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky in some unoriginal color named after a number and not a real color. It's light blue. I purchased on sale at Stix last weekend. It took about one and a half balls.

Needles: US 10 DPNs

Notes: I'm happy to report I don't feel like a total doof trying to be hip wearing this hat. It will be a cute spring-time weekend hat.

I wish I had picked bigger buttons, but I had these on hand (I salvaged them from the failed Victorian Lace Neckwarmer) and with a little tacking down of the band-strip, they work just fine.

It's a wonderfully written pattern. I know I messed up the decreases toward the top though. But that's OK. I've always had issues wrapping my brain around decreasing ribs.

The brim was also cool too. As I was knitting it, I was sure I messed it up because it was long and floppy. I didn't realize that it's folded in half after knitting and sewn onto the the bottom of the hat. I don't really read ahead in patterns, what can I say?

Next up, I finished my first baby sock for an ex-coworker's new granddaughter.

Me and this ex-coworker were (are) both into the campy holiday socks.

The dorkier the better.

For Christmas I sent her a set of socks I found at one of the tourist souvenir stores in Penn Station that had a map of the NYC subway system printed on them.

I figured we'd better get started on converting this new granddaughter of hers to the cult of the sock.

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I'm very proud of this--it's my first short row heel! Now never mind I'm not showing you the other side with the larger holes, but it will do. I plan to make three variations of this basic sock and I'll have plenty of time to practice the heel.

I suppose now I could tackle toe-up socks since it was always the short row heel that confuzzled me.

But I don't think so. I still think toe-ups offer no advantage over top downs. I don't buy into the yarn-use argument.

Speaking of debate, the next post will feature my political knitting.

Don't worry, it's not a Barack Obama voodoo doll or anything...although his campaign is a bandwagon I refuse to hop on.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ooog.

Remember that delightful stomach virus that Chunky caught in December thus allowing him to live up to his blog-0-name?

Well it took about a month, but it hit me on Friday.

I woke up at 5:00 a.m. with stomach cramps and the urge to vomit.

Without getting into too many gory details, let's just say due to this virus and the lunar timing of the moon--minus pus--I have had pretty much every disgusting bodily fluid leaking from me this weekend.

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A random cat picture to keep you entertained.

I probably should have stayed home from work on Friday. But I persevered.
But every time I was wracked with a round of stomach cramps I reminded myself that childbirth was more painful. Of course I wasn't expected to type, file, and answer phones when I was in labor.

I wasn't too concerned about infecting my coworkers either--that had already been done by Attorney DK's secretary a week before. I suspect I got it from her. Attorney DK is one of those people that unless you're truly dying, he won't let you take the day off. So the poor girl had to work thru her illness, which thus I believe passed it on to me.

It's also hard to just lie in bed and wimper when you're the only parent around.

Dr. Mad Scientist went down to Richmond, VA to reunite with all of his siblings and his mom and stepdad for like the first time in over 20 years. He's from a big family like me, although there's only five of them, not six.

He's from a family like mine that's nomadic. We don't believe in staying in your hometown/home state your whole life. Therefore, it's been hard for everyone to get together in one place at one time especially once they start having kids, and hell their kids start having kids.

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Have you made it this far?

But it was his mom's 60th birthday this month and they used that as the occasion to all reunite.

I would have loved to go too, but I had to work. And after this stomach virus, even if I had taken the day off, six hours in the car thinking about how horrible I felt would not have been fun.

It worked out well. I caught up on some knitting--I've got a couple of finished objects to show once Dr. Mad Scientist brings back the camera.

Be warned though, one mixes politics and knitting. Muhahahahahaha!

Alright, I think I'll go find something to eat considering I haven't eaten since Thursday.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Beast Doesn't Include Selling Out

If you're a knitter, more than likely you're familiar with Knitty.

If you're not a knitter, well then, you're more than likely not familiar with Knitty.

Knitty published their "surprise" patterns today.

Now, this isn't going to be a "Knitty sucks!" "Let's hate Knitty!" "DEATH TO CAPITALISM!" or "Jesus Haploid Christ, these patterns suck for reasons I can't back up but I'm going to bitch about them anyway!" post.

No, this is just an observation of something in these surprises that made me laugh.

First up is the pattern called Bell curve. It's a skirt knit from a bajillion yards of Artfibers Zoe yarn.

Now if you scroll down, you'll read that the designer is a store manager for Artfibers in San Francisco.

Hmmm...

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Second pattern isn't as obvious. It's the Modern lace henley designed by Pam Allen.

Now most knitters will know that (not all, and non-knitters probably won't know this), Pam Allen is the old editor-in-chief of Interweave Knits.

In her blurb about the Modern lace henley she talks about shaping lace. She informs the knitter that "For an excellent discussion of just how to do this, see Eunny Jang’s article in the Summer 2007 issue of Knits magazine."

Huh, that's weird.

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Today in my email box was an advertisement for Interweave Knit's big Back-Issue Sale of their magazines.

If you really wanted to take it further you could say the third surprise, a hat called Bloody Stupid Johnson, is a walking ad for Terry Pratchett novels. But I kind of think of it more as fan-fic for knitters. Fan-nit perhaps?

Now, this isn't a hatefest of people that have to schill their products or support their companies to make a living. These designers are livin' the dream and feeding their families or goldfish too...and if it means selling out a bit, so be it.

I'm merely pointing out what I find to be an amusing set of assuredly subtle coincidences in these patterns.

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And if you couldn't tell by now, it just totally brought me back to one of my fave movies of all time: Wayne's World.


**********

Benjamin: Wayne! Listen, we need to have a talk about Vanderhoff. The fact is he's the sponsor and you signed a contract guaranteeing him certain concessions, one of them being a spot on the show.

Wayne Campbell: [holding a Pizza Hut box] Well that's where I see things just a little differently. Contract or no, I will not bow to any sponsor.

Benjamin: I'm sorry you feel that way, but basically it's the nature of the beast.

Wayne Campbell: [holding a bag of Doritos] Maybe I'm wrong on this one, but for me, the beast doesn't include selling out. Garth, you know what I'm talking about, right?

Garth Algar: [wearing Reebok wardrobe] It's like people only do these things because they can get paid. And that's just really sad.

Wayne Campbell: I can't talk about it anymore; it's giving me a headache.
Garth Algar: Here, take two of these!

[Dumps two Nuprin pills into Wayne's hand]

Wayne Campbell: Ah, Nuprin. Little. Yellow. Different.

Benjamin: Look, you can stay here in the big leagues and play by the rules, or you can go back to the farm club in Aurora. It's your choice.

Wayne Campbell: [holding a can of Pepsi] Yes, and it's the choice of a new generation.
**********
This post was brought to you today by Random Meanderthings, your one stop shop for all things knit-related. Random Meanderthings is a subsidiary of the conglomerate group KayeBugs Enterprises that has been bringing you fine stores like K-Bud Mart where you can purchase such quality items as Canned Elephant Meat (TM) and many more.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stricken

It's like a virus.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Snags

Ok, it's settled. From this day forward, the rules have been amended.

You enter once, and you're only eligible for that month. The pot shall not rollover like it did last year.

So if you don't win the month you enter, then you're out of luck for the X number of months left in the year.

The whole intent of the keeping one's name in the pool was to keep the momentum going throughout the year--to keep it fresh in everyone's minds.

I'll bet that this year the list doesn't top 161.



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In my email box this morning:

Dear Bezzie, coordinator of the K.A.Y.E. program,

My kootchie is cold--and has been rooted by many certified doctors, and some not-so-certified people and objects. I know it haven’t actually had it done this month, but can you enter my name in your drawing? I'm asking for a skein of yarn to keep my kootchie warm. See, with a skein of yarn I can knit my rooted cooter a Kootchie Kozy (I can send you the pattern). The world's kootchie are better because of you.

Sincerely,
Cold Cooter

Boy, I wish I could win the lottery (and not the Irish one I keep getting emails about) and give everyone who had their cooter rooted a skein of yarn.

But sadly I can’t.

When I first started this contest, it was in the spirit to get women to get in to see their doctors.

My sister-in-law neglected to see her doctor and was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

They had to open her up, and basically scoop out her internal lady parts to make sure it didn’t spread. Thank Squashola the cancer was contained to her lady parts.

Six months after this, a coworker of mine in Texas, after being chided by us to just go in already and have a pap, did. And she too was diagnosed with cancer and had to have a hysterectomy as a result.

After listening to her get the diagnosis of cancer over the phone and listening to her choked sobs as she heard the news, I decided there had to be something I could do.

I will never forget the sound of someone reacting to being told that they have cancer.

And thus K.A.Y.E. was born.

Last year I had 161 people participate in K.A.Y.E.

A few people emailed me to let me know that they were glad for the bribery of a chance to win yarn because lo and behold something suspicious was found. As far as I know, those people are all OK today.

Shit, even my own mother, who hadn’t been in to have her cooter rooted in many years scraped up the cash to get it done. While her cooter came back clean, her mammo that they couple on to a cooter rooting when you get to a certain age did not.

The woman doesn’t even knit or crochet (quilting is her drug of choice) but each month she crossed her fingers that her name would get pulled and she’d have an instant Christmas present for me. Ha ha!

The point is, while K.A.Y.E. is about the yarn, it is more about the message and getting women to go in and get scraped.

When I dreamed up this scheme, I didn’t think it would be as popular as it was and that I would continue it another year.

As such, some irregularly spun sections of the yarn have come to light:

What about those people who go in at the end of the year? Their names are only in the pot for X months. People who enter in January have a statistically better chance of winning than those who go in in November.

What about people who have to go in every six months (or more)? Do they get to enter their name twice thus doubling their chances?

Can you enter in January if you made your appointment IN January for a rootin’ in July?

For the last two questions, my knee jerk reaction is to flat out say sorry, but no.

Unfortunately, I don’t know how to answer the first question.

Since I didn’t think I was going to be returning this contest this year, I didn’t keep track of what month each person emailed me their entry.

I suppose I could go back and sift through the 100+ emails and sort it out and then instead of starting with a fresh pot, each month’s last year entries get booted (for example, everyone but January 2007’s names stay in the pot this time—anyone from January 2007 would have to send in their new 2008 entry, and in February, I pull the names from February 2007..etc.)

I can’t even describe how much time that would take though.

Could I take an IOU? Say a promise or blood oath that you WILL be rooted later this year? However, it’s really easy to promise something…and in 10 months forget about that promise.

I’m distraught by these snags. I knew from the get-go that my rules weren’t 100% wonderful. But find me any contest that is 100% fair to everyone.

Like a finicky piece of knitting, do I keep on plugging through and accept the flaws in my finished object?

Do I put it in timeout and try to think of better ways to come up with knitting around the problem areas? How long will that take.

Do I frog the whole damn thing and give up?

I’ll be honest, I’m a little saddened by the sentiments of Cold Cooter and the fixation on win, win, winning. But I guess that’s to be expected when you offer anything as a prize.

Maybe this contest wasn’t meant to go on another year.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

K.A.Y.E. V 2.0

Back by popular demand!

And this month, the prize (Monica should recognize it...) is:

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Two skeins of Araucania Nature Wool Chunky. Yes. It's blue. Sue me.

It reminded me of a dark winter night. Mmm...dark winter nights....

The same rules apply this year as last year. The only difference this year is that the contest ends December 31, 2008.

Read the rules, email me with your name and if you want to share a blog address (blog not necessary to win) at rkbezzie @ gmail . com. (Of course delete the spaces!)

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Warm Hands, Warm Feet

Suddenly I have a flood, ok, well two, FOs finished at the same time.

First up are my CSU Socks.

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I love the yarn, but I'm not too fond of the Jaywalker pattern I used.

I gave away my last pair of Jaywalkers, so I never really had a chance to realize how they fit. These are really big socks that don't fit my feet well.

Pattern: Jaywalkers (dude, I'm not linking the pattern, it's ubiquitous)

Needles: US 2

Yarn: Superwash wool sock yarn dyed by Pink Wool in Colorado State Colors (no, not the Packers...although I kind of hope they crush the Giants this weekend...I always root for the non-local team except when it's CSU!)

Even though they're too big, it won't stop me from wearing them. But the next (if any) pair of Jaywalkers I knit, I will modify the stitch count or knit them on smaller needles.

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Next up, I was inspired by this post on my sister T.'s blog.

The girl had been living in Atlanta, GA for two years, tried to find her fortune in Portland, and finally found a job in Cincinatti (that's a lot of driving...). Well unlike Portland, where I suspect they get that kind of "snow" we had in Juneau (a slushy mix of rain that doesn't really ever accumulate into much over a few days), Cincinatti actually got some snow.

Girl didn't have an ice scraper or proper mittens.

Now I'm not mitten queen, but I whipped her up a pair.

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They're a tad bit small for my hands which I'm assuming are about the same size as T.'s. But I like my mittens snug and non-floppy so I think they'll do the job. At least until she gets a decent pair and a real ice scraper.

Pattern: Easy Mittens from 101 One-Skein Wonders.

Yarn: Paton's Classic Merino in what I'm calling Oscar The Grouch Green.

Needles: US 7

I had never made mittens before and the thumb gusset was a mystery to me until now. I modified this pattern to include a ribbed cuff instead of a rolled cuff that would have occurred had I followed the pattern.

I think they turned out OK and will soon be off in the mail to Cinci.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One Girl, Two (Yogurt) Cups: My Adventures in Naked Plumbing

WARNING: GRAPHIC STORY AHEAD. NOTHING TO DO WITH KNITTING AND COULD BE DESCRIBED AS "TASTELESS" TO SOME FOLKS.

Before I finished etching my glasses and finished up Ice Queen on Sunday, I had quite an adventure.

Dr. Mad Scientist had to go into work on Sunday--so by 8:30 a.m., he was gone.

Chunky and I went about our normal Sunday morning routine.

He and I scootered/walked up to the corner neighborhood store and scored a Sunday paper.

By the time I got to the Target ad, mother nature called and I had to visit the bathroom to do my business. And when I say "business" I mean Number Two.

Now flash back a week ago when I'm at the grocery store price shopping toilet paper. Imagine how excited I was when Charmin was the best deal on the shelf.

Delectably soft Charmin!

Of course I bought it.

The problem with Charmin is that, at least in my opinion, it's almost TOO soft so you have to use more than the cheap rough stuff to get that good clean feeling. It has something to do with friction.

Sunday morning was one of those times I had to use a little more to get that good clean feeling.

Cut to a few hours later. It's noon. Chunky's been lunched and it's time for me to hop in the shower.

I strip down, and of course, hit the bathroom before I start the shower up because c'mon, who doesn't get the urge to pee as soon as they hear all that running water or are submerged in it?

A few friends of the aforementioned turds that were not ready to show their face after the reading of the Target ad, make an appearance.

I finish up on the toilet, flush, and go to brush my teeth.

As I'm reaching for my toothbrush, I realize that the sound of water spilling is NOT the sink where I'm brushing, nor is it the shower (that I hadn't started at this point).

No. It's the toilet.

Overflowing.

Massively.

Now I don't know what fills me with more dread: the sight of a nuclear missile screaming towards me, or seeing the water level on the toilet bowl rise to dangerous levels. Although I've never had the first happen to me, I can without a doubt say the toilet bowl would probably trump the missile each and every time.

So I start panicking.

In my naked, vulnerable state, I rip off the top of the toilet tank to see if there's something in there I can jimmy with to stop the water from running.

But the toilet is old. Real old. And I don't recognize how it works in the tank.

Somehow, as the water is spilling over and piss and shit water is cascading over my feet, I remember something either my mother, or someone taught me during my nearly 30 years here on earth: How to turn off the water to the toilet.

I take a deep breath, ignoring the fact that I'm still freaking naked and turds threaten to spill over onto the floor at any second, close the lid, and I reach down back behind the toilet and I turn the knob to shut off the water.

And the Niagara of poo and pee ceases.

Whew.

But now I'm faced with a dilemma.

What the hell do I do now?

I open the lid to discover the kids I dropped off at the pool are at the very precipice of the toilet bowl. There's no way I could put the plunger in there without having them spill out onto the floor.

But I'm not even sure plunging will fix the problem.

I consider calling the landlord.

But he's not home and dude, that's my crap floating in the bowl, I don't want him to see that--how embarrassing!!

I consider calling Grandpa Mad Scientist who is a Postal Clerk by night (he works at one of the twelve 24 hour post offices in the country) and a plumber by day. But it's only 8:00 a.m. in Alaska. I doubt if he's up, and if he is, he's probably on the early Mormon-Church shift and at church.

I have to get those turds out of the bowl before I can plunge it.

So I pace around my kitchen in my birthday suit when it hits me.

Ever since I was hit with the urge to grow my own pot garden, I've been saving the plastic cups that Chunky's lunch yogurt comes in. They're not recyclable on the curb here (they're #8 plastic, not #1 or #2), so I've been saving them to start my seeds in come this spring. I figure if I get two uses out of them, that's better than tossing them straight up.

I grab some cups from the closet, the rubber gloves I wear to change the catboxes, and a trash bag.

At this point though I decide it probably isn't a bad idea to put some clothes on.

So with my hair pulled back in a wild mess, braless in a tank top, in a pair of yoga-capri lounge pants, and my winter boots (I didn't want to take the chance of any poop/pee water hitting my bare toes), armed with my cups, rubber gloves and trash bag, I head into the bathroom again.

I slowly liberate the turds from their watery grave using the yogurt cups and toss them into the trash bag.

I nearly lose the microwave burrito I had for lunch in the process. Why is it I have no problem changing a diaper, but scooping my own poop makes me want to hurl?

I march the bag o'shit outside to the trashcan and thank god that it's winter and not summer and 100 degrees with humidity out, because trash doesn't get picked up til Wednesday.

With a turd free bowl, I am able to plunge the toilet.

It still takes me quite an effort to get the embolism of Charmin free from the innerworkings of our 1920's plumbing.

I turn back on the water, and test-flush the toilet. SUCCESS!

I spend the next hour mopping up the pee and poo broth that was liberated, and I hop in the shower to scrub all the icky feelings off that come with scooping your own poop.

This plumbing success definitely ranks up there with some of my proudest moments. I was able to keep my cool, and the contents of my stomach despite being completely naked when my turds decided they weren't going to test the theory of all drains lead to the ocean.

And the moral of the story: Charmin sucks. Even if it's cheaper than the cheap-feeling stuff, don't get wooed by it's supple softness on your buttcheeks.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

El Fin

My first finished object of the year is done, and I couldn't be more amused.

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That's right, it's the ever-so-bandwagonish Ice Queen.

The pattern description says you'll feel like a movie star wearing it.

I feel more like:

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* A scared turtle

* A frizzy haired freak

* Someone who wanted a knitted piece that accentuated her double chin

* An uncircumsized penis

But never fear, it also doubles as a really shitty, floppy neck warmer.

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And if I ever want to post my Manifesto on YouTube, I can wear it to keep myself anonymous.

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Overall I give this pattern an A+ for enjoyment to knit, but an F- minus in personal wearability.

The details:

Pattern: Ice Queen from Winter Knitty 2007

Needles: US 8

Yarn: Taiga Yarn's Peacock Feathers--50% merino and 50% goat down in the color "Icy Water." They've since "discontinued" Peacock Feathers. I say this because they're still selling it--just under the name Bohemian.

I can't say enough wonderful things about this yarn. It was WONDERFUL to knit with. It's super soft, it gives a similar halo effect that mohair does, and it's easy to frog, unlike true mohair. Plus it's cheap--$4.95 for 246 yards. I still have a few ozs. left!

Modifications: I didn't do the picot bind off on either end. I thought it looked ragged and uneven. doing a normal bind off gave the hood/wimple/smokering a nice taughtness to the face end. I can't imagine how much more moronic I would have looked had it been limp and bunchy with the picot bind off.

Like I said, this was fun to knit, but if you're a project knitter and not a process knitter, and you don't think lacy smokering/wimple/hoods are for you, keep on moving. I learned my lesson.

But if the Sisters of Perpetual Weirdness ever hold a recruiting drive, I'll be ready!

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Drink Up!

I should start drinking because we got NO snow last night. That 100% chance of snow materialized into NOTHING. I should have known. Meteorology is all voodoo anyway.

Maybe Rebel is right. May February 10 is the big day. It worked last year. Right before we landed in Jersey they got a big snow storm, and we left Texass on February 14.

Instead of showing you pictures of me and the Chunk enjoying our sleds and frolicking in the snow, you get an advertisement.

See? Aren't you now bitter we didn't get any snow too?

I spent all day Sunday working on a measly three new glasses for my Etsy shop.

I really like the Socktail ones the best...

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I also finished another Knit, Drink & Be Merry one.

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(The first one went to Merrymom as part of the grand K.A.Y.E. Prize).

But what irks me, is that one took for-EVER to make. And as I'm finishing it up, I spy a small chip at the base of the glass.

D'oh!

Ah well, live and learn. They are fun to make.

We'll see how well these do. If they do good, I'll think about investing in the supplies to offer more than just three at a time.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Can't Talk Now--I'm Praying Too Hard

FOR SNOW!!!

Severe Weather Alert
Heavy Snow Warning
SOUTHERN FAIRFIELD- SOUTHERN NEW HAVEN-SOUTHERN MIDDLESEX- ESSEX- HUDSON-UNION-SOUTHERN WESTCHESTER-NEW YORK (MANHATTAN)- BRONX- RICHMOND (STATEN ISLAND)-KINGS (BROOKLYN)-QUEENS-NASSAU- NORTHWESTERN SUFFOLK- 1048 AM EST SUN JAN 13 2008
...HEAVY SNOW WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 12 PM EST MONDAY...
A HEAVY SNOW WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 12 PM EST MONDAY.
A MIXTURE OF RAIN AND SNOW IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN THIS EVENING.. CHANGING OVER TO ALL SNOW BY MIDNIGHT. THE SNOW MAY BE HEAVY AT TIMES OVERNIGHT INTO MONDAY MORNING BEFORE TAPERING OFF AROUND NOONTIME WITH A TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 5 TO 8 INCHES.
A HEAVY SNOW WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.


Hee! 100% chance of snow at times tonight! Oh Jeebus, please give me a snow day!!

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Oh soon, my pretty, soon you shall know the pleasure of hauling my butt down the gentle slope of the neighborhood park's hills over a blanket of white delicious snow!

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Cleaning Up After Cleaners

At lunch time, I like to go take a quick 20 minute walk around the rich-ass neighborhood located behind my office to pretend that I'm getting some exercise and to eat my peanut butter sandwich in some fresh air (my remaining lunch hour I spend in my car knitting).

Some of the fair weather walker women lap the parking lot.

I find this boring.

Plus I like to fantasize that maybe some paranoid home bound rich person might be watching me each day thinking that I'm casing the neighborhood.

But this isn't where I was going with this.

Yesterday, I was walking out of the parking lot when I spied a postcard on the ground.

A few feet later, the same postcard.

And in another few feet--the same postcard yet again.

You get the picture.

It seems a company came by and did the ever-so-effective "paper each parked car with an advertisement" marketing campaign move.

What company was it? And what were they advertising?

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Why it was a dry cleaning place a mile down from the office and they were advertising their "Earth Friendly" dry cleaning procedures.

As you can see, I spent most of my 20 minute walk picking up the errant postcards that people had either tossed on the ground or had fallen off when they drove off. (For the record, it was only 1/3rd of the parking lot the cleaner got to--my car was untouched).

Does anyone see the irony in this?

Let's advertise our Earth Friendly cleaning by using an advertisement method that is 99% guaranteed to end up as litter--what a great idea!

How the hell is that helping the earth?

I thought about just picking up the postcards, irately blogging about them, and tossing them in my recycle bin, but I've decided to go a little further.

I'll be mailing these postcards back to the Dry Cleaning Station (located at the corner of Eisenhower Parkway and Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland, New Jersey if you're interested in never getting your clothes dry cleaned there) with a short note pointing out the irony of their ad campaign.

It may not stop them from this most ridiculous advertising campaign, but it might give them a moment to pause and think about how they're dirtying the landscape by advertising their cleaner cleaning methods. I'm sure if I looked really hard they're probably violating some non-soliciation/littering ordinance as well.

And yes, I realize I'll be adding an extra two ounces to the mail truck which may cause it to get .045% worse gas mileage when I mail these back to the Dry Cleaning Station. I thought about just dropping them off with a note before work, but in this Post-9/11 world a person can't leave a good irate note and packet of battered postcards without getting the authorities called in fear those postcards might be laced with something.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ice, Ice, Baby.

Now that I have that song sufficiently stuck in your head, I'll wip it out for you (because seriously, you didn't think I'd actually whip out a wip on the traditional Wednesday did you?).

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Half asleep in piggie pajamas.

This is the newly popular Ice Queen. It's a fun little knit, easy lace pattern, and knit in the round. What more could you want?

But I don't see myself wearing it. I think Zknitter said it best, I can wear lace, but feeling comfortable in it is completely different.

As you can see, I didn't do the provisional cast on.

To be honest, I didn't like the picot hem down there (or even at the top). It looked ragged and uneven in laceweight yarn to me.

The plain old cast on rolls a bit, but ah well, IF this ever gets worn, the bottom will be hidden by a coat.

I'm still mulling over whether I'll do the picot bind off at the top or not.

It's providing a nice diversion from the boring baby bunny towel I should be knitting.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Adventures in Rootin'

Disclaimer: If you're uncomfortable with colorful talk of all parts female, you need to click away now.

You might remember back on December 18th, I had my first encounter with gynocology in my new state when I went in for my cooter rootin'. (If you missed it and are comfortable with even more graphic talk click here.) Before I left, Dr. Jersey informed me if there was anything abnormal with my test, he'd call me.

On Monday, it was 11:55 a.m. and I was nestled in the stacks of paper and binders that have come to rest on my desk doing whatever it is legal secretaries do, when I heard my phone vibrating in my purse stashed in my desk drawer (one of the benefits of going blind is my hearing and sense of smell are pretty good).

I figured it was a wrong number as Dr. Mad Scientist and I just got new phones. But the person left a voicemail.

It was Dr. Jersey's office.

I called them back at lunch (they must be open during the lunch hour) and they informed me I had to come in to discuss the results of my recent pap with Dr. Jersey, and that's all they could tell me. I scheduled an appointment to come in on Tuesday at 12:15 p.m.

I then proceeded to call Dr. Mad Scientist at work to emotionally unload on him (one of the perks of being married aside from regular sex), go on my lunch time walk with my stomach in knots, and back to my car to not eat my lunch as my appetite had disappeared.

Cut past a night of freaking out and finally coming to the resolution that there wouldn't be much Dr. Jersey would be able to tell me if my pap came back abnormal without further testing and worrying wasn't going to do any good.

But I kept thinking about the tone the receptionist had in her voice when she realized who I was calling. It dropped considerably--like what did she know that she couldn't tell me???

Finally after a restless night, wherein my only dreams involved spinning (which I have no real desire to do--maybe it's relaxing in real life and the unconscious world), and a few hours of work, I found myself again at Dr. Jersey's office.

I was positioned in the office across from the Gyno Movie Games. They've got a flat screen TV in one corner of the waiting room emblazoned with some drug company name that flashes little health tidbits and games.

So instead of answering Coke Trivia questions about what movie Kevin Bacon first starred in, you get to descramble: REPRATUME ROBAL and then get to read about all the fun of premature labor. It would have been a lot more fun waiting with a jumbo popcorn and diet coke, that's for sure.

In between watching cartoon characters suffer strokes, while listening to the New Hamshire primary results coming from the real TV on the other side of the room, I sized up Dr. Jersey's clientele.

There weren't as many people waiting for him today as there were last time.

Now, I've never thought of myself as well dressed.

When I go to work, I wear a pair of unironed black slacks and a sweater or blouse. I know the slacks are going on 7 years old and most of my tops are just as old if not older. I don't wear make up, and I don't fuss over my hair. Not exactly dressed to the nines.

However, in Dr. Jersey's office, I felt overdressed as I was sitting across from Ms. Yellow Terrycloth Warmup Suit and Pencil Cut Skin Tight Jeans Girl. I guess I was spoiled in Lansing where I could recognize other office schmucks taking time out of their day to have their nether regions spelunked.

Finally, after arriving at 12:00 p.m. for my 12:15 p.m. appointment, at 12:30 I am called back into the office.

I'm seated in a room where I proceed to wait until 12:55 when Dr. Jersey finally shows up.

I start reading some Pregnancy magazine that was left by the sink. After I get tired of reading about the glory and magic of Courtney Thorne Smith's impending spawn (I mean has anyone even thought about her since Melrose Place ended? Why is it the merely human function of getting knocked up is press worthy to even the most washed up of stars?), and how to breastfeed (what a bunch of bullshit those magazines are, breastfeeding is not easy for everyone, and if you can't do it, there are other ways to make sure your kid gets nice cheap delicious mommy juice), I decide to examine the room in more detail.

Oh sweet Lansing OB/GYN Associates, how I miss you!

This waiting room seemed worse than the one I was in in December.

There was a yellow water stain on the tile in the ceiling, I counted two Nuva Ring models stashed around the room, the paper towel dispenser above the sink was out of towels, so they just had a roll of Bounty next to the sink and this time it was the paper covering the exam table that bore a Gynazole advertisement (Gynazole--doesn't that sound like a filthy guacamole?), even the stirrup covers had a drug advertised on them!

Good lord.

Anyway, Dr. Jersey walked in on me as I was scratching notes about the room onto the back of a receipt in my purse (I really need a digital pocket camera or a camera phone for moments like these).

He hands me my test results and tells me that I tested positive for HPV.

And that was it.

No abnormal cell growth.

No Jesus appearing in the cells of swab slide.

HPV.

THAT'S IT.

That's all.

The analogy I've been using is imagine if my vagina smoked.

clam

cig



Not all smokers will get lung cancer, but their chances are a whole hell of a lot higher than non-smokers.

80% of women by the time they reach age 50 will have HPV. It's an very common virus that may or may not develop into cervical cancer. It's kind of like how I view my boobs now that Mom's had breast cancer. My risk factor is dialed up a bit more than your average Josephine.

I wanted to smack the man because at this point.

He proceeds to talk to me like I'm a fucking moron (which OK, maybe he's used to) and explains how HPV is very common, but could lead to cervical cancer later and how I should come in for a pap in six months.

Which, if the douchebag (Summer's Eve douchebag I'm sure, because everything this man has has a brand name on it) had read his notes, I had to do anyway because he wants to keep an eye on Freddy the Fibroid I've developed.

I didn't want to tell him that the man who gave me this HPV has a bachelor's in microbiology and as hostess of an online yarn bribery program for knitters and crocheters to get their cooters rooted, HPV isn't a huge deal.

Why?

Because first off, I don't believe the man has ever had to wear a sweater in his life. He seems to have enough chest hair growing from what I could see sticking out of his labcoat where sweaters would just be a redundant piece of clothing.

Second, I get the feeling he's trying to scam me, I don't want to let on that I'm more educated than I appear (hey, you pick up some useful knowledge sleeping with a microbiologist-toxicologist-pharmacologist!).

Remember that STD test he kept trying to push on me?

I distinctly remember telling him NO. Because well, silly me, I trust my husband, and I was screened for gonno and syphillis six years ago when I was pregnant with Chunky (but not HPV because HPV doesn't make babies go blind when they're born).

But apparently he ran it anyway. What he didn't mention is that HPV is included in that screen along with gonno and syphillis.

Here's where I get into stereotype-ville.

I think he sees me as a little bit better than his average client with better insurance (Which is it really all that great? We cheaper version with the higher deductible.) and a PhD husband working in Nueva York City.

I base this all on his talk about getting a new car or jewelry from Dr. Mad Scientist for a postive test result back when Dr. Jersey was trying to upsell me the STD add-on to my pap test in December.

Anyway, to wrap up the utterly useless conversation I have with this man (I get HIPAA, I really do, but at this point I wanted to scream--this was like being diagnosed with a stuffy nose, is it so hard to release that over the phone, or at the very least just MAIL me something?), he asks me if I've heard of Gardisil.

I told him, um yeah, I had and I'm too old and too sullied for it (it's for younger girls with no or limited sexual experiences). He agrees but hands me a pamphlet about Gardisil with "good information about HPV" on it.

Um, yeah, it was a pamphlet trumping the benefits of Gardisil. There were two sentences about HPV in the whole two pages of it.

But would I expect anything less than an advertisement from the man with ads on his stirrups?

So I go back in 6 months.

In the meantime, I think I might shop around for a new doctor. I only half understand this man's concern. But if I'm coming in for cooter rootings every year anyway, does the fact I have HPV, given the extreme prevalance of this virus in nearly the whole population of women really going to mean my cervix is going to catch fire or I'm going to develop cervical cancer more furiously than that 20%-ish that's not walking around with it?

When I was checking out and making my appointment for June, I noticed the receptionist.

Around her neck was a Mal de Ojo.

I recognized her voice from the one tinged with doom on the phone when I called to set up my appointment.

Maybe they make a Mal de Voz.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Monday Meanderings

Do you ever visit blogs you really don't like, but a part of you can't get enough of them?

I think of that Seinfeld episode where Jerry secretly watched Melrose Place and denied that he did until his cop-girlfriend gave him a polygraph and he cracked.

I visit a dirty little secret knitting blog like this, and every time I read the comments left for this blogger, my stomach turns.

I just want to take this opportunity to thank youse guys for not being so saccharine and ass-kissing in your comments.

I love that if you don't agree with something I say or if I mis-state something--you call me out on it.

Of course this dirty secret blogger writes pretty bland on-point knitting posts 100% of the time, which probably explains the lack of variety in their comments.

Ok, I've become distracted. I really came here to post about a soup.

Amy from grand old Texas is doing Souper Saturday--i.e. she's vowed to eat more soup.

It just so happened she declared this on our grocery shopping day--the day I handed Dr. Mad Scientist our winter food bible and told him to pick a recipe for dinner this week.

He picked German-Style Potato Soup.

I like to do my crock pot meals on Mondays. I have time Sunday night to prep the ingredients, I don't have to cook on Monday when I get home from work, and I can usually get a week's worth of leftovers to double as lunch for the sexy Dr.

Some might think this saves us money--no it just keeps him from whining about always having to eat PB&J for lunch four days a week (Friday is Seminar Pizza Day at Mt. Sinai).

Anyway, here's the recipe, mainly for Amy, but y'all can enjoy it too.

Brown up some smoked sausage. We decided to Polish up our German style soup with some Polish kielbasa. (Which probably wouldn't fly too well in Germany if what I've heard is true.)

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Chop up 2 stalks of celery.

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Chop up a medium sized onion, or in my case, half of a giant onion.

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Peel and chop 4 medium sized potatoes. Because I love potatoes, I didn't use four mediums, I used five (that meant I had three potatoes left in the bag--perfect for a later dinner side dish of baked taters). I also didn't peel them. I'm lazy, I like to think there's maybe some nutritional value in the skin, and my potato peeler is broken (please reference the first attribute in this list as to why I haven't bought a new one).

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Bag up your meat, (Hee hee, didn't they teach us that in 5th grade sex ed?) and your veggies separately and toss in the fridge.

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Next I create my herb bag. In a separate ziplock I put in 1 tablespoon of sugar, some black pepper, and 1/2 a teaspoon of dried mustard. It also calls for 1/4 teaspoon of celery seed but meh, I didn't have that.

The recipe also calls for 4 cups of beef broth.

As you can see in my herb baggie--

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I smashed up three beef bouillon cubes. (One bouillon cube + one cup of water = 1 cup of beef broth). I wanted to go a little light on the salt, so I only used three beef bouillon cubes instead of four. I'll add 4 cups of water in the morning, and we can salt to taste if it's too bland.

In the morning, what I do is empty all of my meat, veggie and herb bags into the crock pot and then add the aforementioned 4 cups of water (or 4 cups of broth if you're feeling fancy!), and 2 tablespoons of vinegar.

I mix it all around a bit and then set it for Low and 8 hours.

When I get home, I'm supposed to mix in 2 cups of coleslaw (shredded cabbage and carrots) and cook it for another 30 minutes.

Truth be told, it will be more like 10 hours it cooks for and I'll add the coleslaw and let it cook for as long as it takes me to pull out my ladle and three bowls when I get home.

We haven't had this soup in a while, but if our notes in the margin of the winter food bible are any indication--it's a good one!

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

I Love Winter

However, the lack of real ice has me knitting things I'll probably never wear.

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I like to pretend in my mind that I'm a pretty girl that likes to and can pull off wearing chi-chi lace things, but I'm really not.

And my mind has been drifting to greener pastures.

Or greener staircases and landings.

I put my Pot Garden to bed in September. It's January and I'm already itching to get it going again. I've been dreaming of everything I want to grow this year.

Here's my list of "to plant" this year:

potatoes
tomatoes
green onion
lettuce
broccoli
radishes
peas
sunflowers
marigolds
jalapeno
oregano
lavender

Last year the grocery store potato was my experimental planting.

My Yukon Golds (this time from the starter potatoes that I grew!) will be planted again this year, except I'll be layering them through the season for a better yield.

I've decided this year my experimental plant will be a peanut plant.

Inspired by Local Eater Extrodinaire Wendy and her only non-local vice being peanut butter I figured what the hell--why not try growing a peanut plant? Peanuts need 4 months of frost-free growing.

Can you say thank you global warming?

Now that I think back on it, I think it was a post on Wendy's blog that inspired me to plant a grocery store potato.

Dr. Mad Scientist has promised to pinch me a couple of peanuts from work so I don't have to buy a whole bag. I guess they use them to make small batches of peanut butter to induce allergic reactions in mice.

Of course, I'm not stupid. I watched Sesame Street. I know that it takes a lot of little nuts to make a jar of peanut butter. But that's not really the point, I want to see if I can actually grow a peanut plant!

In the meantime, I'll have to occupy my time knitting, praying to the snow gods, and tending to my grocery store garlic in the windowsill.

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Yarn Porn Friday

Now, most of you know I'm not your typical yarn pornographer. It's my anti-bandwagon (which seems to be selective) personality combined with my crappy camera that makes me shy away from participating in your typical Yarn Porn Friday.

Today is an exception.

I've noticed lots of people in the blogoverse showing off their yarny Christmas hauls.

Wednesday I got to join that group.

My Youngest Younger Brother is notorious for sending his Christmas gifts late. Which is fine. Growing up in Alaska, you always had at least one relative's gifts shipped via the slow truck that came after Christmas. It was always fun to open presents after Christmas had come and gone.

I had written off this year as not one of getting any yarn or yarn related paraphernalia (despite the fact I put it on my list and spelled out the details...).

Until Wednesday.

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Mmmmm....

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The note on there reads:

Dear Kaye,

It was brought to my attention that it does matter what kind of yarn you work with after I purchased this (spool?) of yarn. It was soft and somewhat shiny and I couldn't resist. Sorry it isn't Qiviut.

Love,
Youngest Younger Brother

P.S. I just realized this is a laundry marking pen.

Isn't that awesome?

He gave me a skein of Caron's Simply Soft in Dark Sage. Apparently after he bought it, Mom told him I was picky about my yarn.

I'll cut her some slack. I don't think she was reading my blog when I knit this out of Caron's Simply Soft in Dark Sage.

Cold Shoulder

This skein is more touching than any fancy non-box store yarn could ever be!

That and I do loves me some Simply Soft!!!

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

For Merry

And keep in mind this is the closest I'll ever come to flashing any stash the traditional way.

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Congrats Merry!

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Thank God I Think He's Sexy

Because I sure didn't marry him for his photography skills.

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Two pictures of Times Square, NYC at approximately 5:00 p.m. on December 31, 2007.

Aside from no vehicular traffic, it looks like any other day at Times Square.

Apparently about 5:30 is when people start really showing up (per the copper Dr. Mad Scientist spent 10 minutes talking to before he left to go back home to Jersey for the night).

Tomorrow: pictures of Merry's mini-stash and Friday, a very special edition of Yarn Porn Friday.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

And the winners are...

For December's regular drawing:

Amelie (blogless--I think! Let me know if you have one and I'll link ya!)

And for the 2007 Grand Kootchie Awarness Yarn Extravaganza Prize, the winner is:

Merry!

Congrats to all the year's winners, and everyone who supported my crazy ass idea that was hatched a year ago.

Without y'all spreading the love this wouldn't have worked.

But now it's time to clean the slate--and start over for 2008!

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