Friday, December 29, 2006

mom's foot, RIP

Farewell, old friend. You'll be missed.

Okay, I'm exaggerating, but my mom broke her foot yesterday. She and my dad had driven out from PA to St. Louis the day after Christmas for my dad's best friend's dad's funeral, and then to Chicago to visit her sister, as long as they were in the neighborhood (the entire length of the state of Illinois being a "neighborhood" when you're already that far from home), and on the way my mom tripped over some uneven pavement in a gas station parking lot and skinned her hands and knees. She didn't even realize she had hurt her foot until they got to my aunt's house in Chicago and she tried to get out of the car. So now she has a temporary cast on her foot and is at a Chicago orthopedist's office for a follow-up as I type. My poor mom, who's very independent and dignified and hates asking for help, is hobbling around on crutches nine hundred miles from home. I know my dad's taking good care of her, but I wish I were there to help.

The picture is her Christmas gift, the Log Cabin Socks from Handknit Holidays, in Cascade Pastaza. (And her skin isn't actually gray, she's just wearing black pantyhose under the socks.) She refused to let me get a better picture. She was busy with the roast beef she wouldn't let anyone help her cook. Aw, Mom.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Clapotis revisited

Thus begins my Christmas gift round-up. It won't take long, I wised up and only knit three gifts this year. Gift the first: the world-famous Clapotis for my sister Katie. She admired mine, so I subtly, delicately investigated what her color choice for such a piece might be (i.e. I sent her a link to the Andean Silk page at knitpicks and said, "What color do you like best? I mean, if I were to knit you a scarf or something"). She picked olive, which is nice on the screen but gorgeous in person. My only modification was to omit one repeat of the increase section to make it a little narrower. I liked the drape of my Clap post-blocking, although I know Kate Gilbert says not to block it, so I blocked Kate's too. She models it fabulously on one of my parents' notorious vintage plaid couches; it goes with her new ipod.

Can I just take a minute to rave about Andean Silk once again? It feels thicker than it is, if that makes sense, it's so soft, and just look at that drape. If I had to describe it in one word, it would be sumptuous--accurate, but also, a word you don't get to use all that often. And if I had to use only one word to describe the picture below, it would be... spectacular.

Get it? She wears glasses.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

people, I love this weather.

I have to scrape off my car. The sidewalk is icy. Albuquerque drivers are insane in the snow. And I'm doing a mental Charleston of joy. I can't help myself, I just love winter. It's visceral. The first little snap in the air in the fall is like an alarm clock. No, wait, I hate alarm clocks. Well, whatever, I'm loving it. The downside is, I have to work. I can't bring myself to call in sick to go snowboarding, because I'm such a goody-goody. Dammit.

Anyway, it's sweater weather, so today I wore my LMKG Hourglass and my fabulous new Scout's Swag panta, color Orchid. Look, pretty!
This is, sadly, the best FO pic I have of the Hourglass. I meant to get someone to take a good one at Thanksgiving, but I forgot my camera, and I'm the only one who ever takes pictures. But I will remember to take it home for Christmas. Although, sadly, it'll be a much smaller crowd--no cousins, no aunts, no nephew. But my sister Katie and I need to get a picture of ourselves in our matching Dinosaur Vice Principal t-shirts, and I want to get pictures of all my Christmas knitting being enjoyed by its recipients. Just in case it's the last time they ever enjoy it. (That sounds like there's going to be a Christmas massacre or something. I don't mean "last time" like they're going to die, I mean they may not wear it if I'm not around. In which case I will have to kill them.)
p.s. peep my bloodshot eyes, yo. They match my panta.

Friday, December 15, 2006

cheeseless vs. cheesefree

Long time, no blog.
So earlier I had a craving for my mom's cheeseball, for which I have the recipe, at which I've never looked. I dusted it off and went to the grocery store, struggled through the crowd of people who apparently all had the same idea--"I'll just stop by the store after work"--got my sharp cheddar, bleu cheese, cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and onion, and brought it all home. Only then did I read further down the recipe, where it says, "let cheese soften outside fridge 1 hr" and "best after setting for 24 hrs." So starting right now, it's 25 hours before I can eat cheeseball! And I bought two varieties of crackers and everything! And I'm exhausted from the grocery store, where I (stupidly) did not buy anything else but cheeseball supplies! I can't go back there! I can't face it again! I just can't!

I've decided to take charge of this situation. Instead of being cheeseless (i.e., a sad, passive victim in a situation beyond my control), I am declaring myself cheesefree (i.e., a take-charge grrrl with a strong sense of her own agency, who doesn't want any damn cheeseball!). I decide my destiny, and for the next 25 hours, I am cheesefree!

In other words, I'm going to order a pizza, and make the cheeseball while I wait for it to get here.

Friday, December 01, 2006

December, yo!

Not only am I close to finishing my mom's first sock, finished with my dad's socks, finished with any sisterly knitting that may or may not have occurred, and any other Christmas shopping necessary, the yuppie water feature at my apartment building is now an icy pond. Winter is here, bitches! (Sorry, but it's my favorite season and I get a little worked up.)

In other news, I'm about to take an oath never to knit flat again and rip out my Central Park Hoodie because I hate seaming so much, I knit a hat on the plane, I love my hourglass sweater, and while taking Thanksgiving family photos, instead of "cheese," my 85-year-old grandmother yelled, "sex!" Awesome.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

what's a holiday without a hat?

Christmas has Santa hats, New Year's has party hats, Halloween has... well, all kinds of headgear. Thanksgiving, according to my sister and me, has a Mexican Disneyland feel to it:

(I finished my dad's Christmas socks and started my mom's. Today, the ankle tube; tomorrow, the heelflap; the day after that or possibly next week, the world!)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

this year I'm thankful for Cascade Pastaza

because it is so soft and the colors are so rich.
I'm getting on a plane in a few hours and my mom's pecan pie is awaiting me. Oh yeah, and the rest of the dinner, and you know, my family. (The lineup this year, should you care, is two parents, one grandparent, two sisters, one sister's boyfriend, one sister's fiance, one nephew, one aunt, and two cousins, with another aunt and cousin coming the next day.) I'm excited. I love Thanksgiving. Besides the food and the importance of gratitude and (at my house) the inevitable game of Trivial Pursuit ("Ty Cobb! No, Babe Ruth! STUPID SPORTS QUESTIONS!!!"), there's a nice certainty to Thanksgiving. You know how at Christmas there's always a ridiculous public debate about whether it's okay to wish strangers Merry Christmas, since you don't know whether they celebrate it or not but at the same time the intention is not to offend but blah blah whatever I'm so bored of it and I actually celebrate Christmas. (I can't imagine how dull it must be to people who don't.) Well, you can wish anybody Happy Thanksgiving.

(Also, I thought you'd all like to know that while most liquids and gels are restricted to three ounces, you can carry on all the medically-necessary KY Jelly you want. Go nuts.)

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Pattern: Craftster's ubiquitous panta
Yarn: ? Leftover from a scarf I made last year for Christmas, and I can't find the ball band. I know where this yarn was stocked at Village before the move, but I don't remember the name, so I have no idea where it is now.
Picture: blurry, because my hands will not stop shaking today.
In other news, I picked out the bind-off on the neckline of my original LMKG Hourglass Sweater, having decided the neckline wasn't high enough and was going to fall off my shoulders annoyingly all day long (much like the very disappointing second Hourglass Sweater). I knit it up a big higher and bound it off in stockinette, so that it rolls a little bit, because I will be damned if I will sew down another hem. Handsewing. Blargh. It's blocking now. FO pics forthcoming. I think I'm going to wear it on Thanksgiving. Wish me luck not dropping any food on it. (That won't happen, but that's why I used superwash.)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

are you sitting down?

Today in news that will shock no one: my love affair with green continues. The color of the yarn (more Cascade Pastaza, for my mom's Christmas socks) is pretty accurate; the color of the mug and the green chile packet is also; the color of my kitchen is totally wack. It is not yellow. My camera works in mysterious ways its wonders to perform.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

er... yeah

This is what happens when you brag...
You don't knit for almost two weeks.
You don't blog for almost a month.
You glance at your WIP basket and shudder with guilt.
And still you do nothing.
I broke through the doldrums yesterday at SNB though--I'm halfway through my dad's second Christmas sock (and no, Molly, my parents don't read my blog--at least I don't think so! if you're reading, Dad, look away!--so I can safely post pics), and going to hit the Village tomorrow to pick up yarn for my mom's socks.
(I've noticed lately that I say "hit" a lot. It's funny because I tease my mom for saying "bop," as in, "We're going to bop over to the post office on the way to the grocery store" and sometimes, even worse, that "we're going to do a bop-n-drop," meaning go someplace and drop someone or something off. Well, I totally do the same thing with "hit." When I'm a grandmother, I'll still be using my outdated slang and kids will snicker--"she's going to hit the orthopedic shoe store?")

Friday, October 27, 2006

i am kicking christmas ass

I probably just jinxed myself, but my dad's Log Cabin Socks (from Handknit Holidays) are going so incredibly fast. I started them around midnight on Wednesday and I'm halfway done with the heel flap. Three cheers for bulky weight socks! I'm using the recommended yarn, Cascade Pastaza, which I picked up at Village the other day. (New shop looks fantastic, by the way--light and bright and spacious. I spent about an hour there and could've stayed much, much longer if I didn't have to get back to El Crappo McJobbo.) Pastaza is soft but splitty; the colors are gorgeous and I had a hard time picking out just one. Cascade doesn't name their colors, just number, but I'm calling this color Pale Blue Eyes a la early REM song, which (not entirely coincidentally) are the kind my dad has.

I'm planning on making my mom the same thing, so they'll have a matched set; I have a major crush on some tweedy dark green, so we'll call that Hazel and continue the eye theme. In other news, it's a gorgeous fall day and I'm going to go outside and enjoy it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

since the movies came out, all the jokes have been done

I had a good time at SNB last night. Got there late and starving, so had to wolf down a sandwich before I could get any actual knitting done, but I put a couple of inches on the second sleeve of my CPH, which I have been neglecting to get some Christmas knitting done. Today I'm planning on hitting the new Village Wools on my lunch break--everybody was raving last night about the space, the skylights, etc. So I'm dying to see it.
And just because:

Your results:You are Spider-Man
Green Lantern
The Flash
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty, a bit geeky and have greatpower and responsibility.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

48 Things
As seen around Blogland:
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Baby Carrie (and for my full name, Ma) from Little House on the Prairie
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Yesterday. Career- (or lack thereof) related.
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? When I'm not rushed and get to pay attention to it, I do.
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? turkey or roast beef.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I think so. I talk to myself all the time and I'm always cracking myself up. Plus, I know me pretty well, so I'd understand when I get moody.
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? I scribble things down occasionally when I think of something I don't want to forget, but I'm not a diarist. (I like that word.)
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? First of all, I hate cereal, like corn-flake, Cheerio-type cereal. I can't even stand people eating it in my presence. Secondly, if oatmeal or cream-of-wheat counts, then yeah, one of those.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Enough, yes. As I'd like to be, no.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Black raspberry, strawberry, or coffee.
14. SHOE SIZE? 9
15. RED OR PINK? Both, together
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I'm indecisive and sometimes shy. And I say I don't care about what people think, but I kind of do.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My granddad, who smoked a pipe, said "hubba hubba," and taught me to tie sailor knots with my shoelaces, all of which I've forgotten; and my parents and sisters, who I live far away from.
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Well, if they do, their crush will call them in seven minutes.
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Blue running shorts, black long-sleeved t-shirt, no shoes. (Trying to psych myself up for the gym.)
20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Chocolate cake decorated to look like a cemetery, with shortbread-cookie headstones and little candy skeleton parts sticking up out of the Oreo-crumb ground. My friend Shamsi made it. I wish I'd gotten a picture.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The gurgling of the "water feature" of my yuppie apartment complex outside my open window.
23. FAVORITE SMELL? Summer in the woods.
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? An automated voice telling me that early voting starts today. Actual person? My mom.
26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Yes indeedy!
27. FAVORITE DRINK? Yuengling.
28. FAVORITE SPORT? Snowboarding! Wolf Creek opens next week! (That would make a good chant, if my favorite sport were cheerleading.)
29. EYE COLOR? Blue
30. HAT SIZE? Heh. When I graduated from college, I had to get my head measured for the cap, because I didn't know my hat size, and the lady said, "The caps run large, so most of the girls have been taking small or extra-small.... Ohhh-kay, now you would be a large or an extra-large." So yeah, I've got a big head.
31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No. I just got glasses though.
32. FAVORITE FOOD? Pizza. Good for all moods and just about any occasion.
36. HUGS OR KISSES? That's tough to say, because I hug a lot more people than I kiss, but I like the people I kiss best. This'll take some thinking.
37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Strawberry pie or plain cheesecake.
40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? The Nutmeg of Consolation by Patrick O'Brien, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker, re-reading Back When We Were Grown-ups by Anne Tyler. ...It just struck me, I haven't bought new book in ages.
41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? Rosie the Riveter.
42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? I didn't watch TV last night.
43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? wind-in-trees, snowboard-on-snow, laughter. Can I get cheesier?
44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Beatles, but it's a tough call.
45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Depends what you mean by "home"... if ABQ, then New England; if PA, then Seattle or San Diego.
46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? I'm good at talking people into things.
47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Baltimore
48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Found it on Bev's blog.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


1. I finished knitting my first Christmas present last night at 2 am. It's all over but the weaving and blocking.
2. A neighborhood strip club (heh) is having a "Nude Halloween Party" featuring a costume contest. [Edit: This is funny to me because there are only so many possible costumes for someone who is nude.
"What are you supposed to be?"
"A baby! What are you supposed to be?"
"Slim Goodbody! Um, with a tan!"]
3. I'm dying for a pumpkin spice latte right now.
4. I really wanted to stop by Village Wools today and pick up some yarn for my next Christmas project but forgot they're closed to move to the new location.
5. It's deliciously crisp outside. I'm busting out the puffy vest.
6. Wolf Creek opens (tentatively, weather-dependently) next Friday! My ecstasy cannot be expressed in words. I love winter!

Friday, October 13, 2006

first in the hearts of his countrymen!

Remember when you were little and saw shapes in clouds?
These clouds I saw on the mountains a few days ago remind me of a powdered wig. Extremely clever viral advertising for that new Marie Antoinette movie? Or a patriotic moment?
Also, this is what I saw when I took out the trash just now. Ahh, October.

I thought that closest balloon was going to land in the next parking lot, but with a burst of flame they went up a little and continued north to Balloon Fiesta Park.

p.s. I'm halfway finished with my first Christmas knitting project. If I knew how to do one of those "pictures after the jump" thingies, and if I thought I could trust Katie not to click on it, I'd show you, but believe me when I say that the color is beyond gorgeous and I like how it's looking so far. Onward!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

it's fall!

(...and now I have "It's 5" by Architecture in Helsinki stuck my head. Warning, the link plays music.)

It was chilly enough to wear my new sweater (not handmade, from the Gap, and thanks for pilling already, by the way!) today. This fall I'll be cozy in my new newsboy. Slightly modified from the SNBN pattern, in Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran (and thus, because I still haven't learned my damn lesson and checked my damn gauage, a little too big, since the pattern calls for worsted, but maybe I'll just take the mesh out of the brim and call it a rasta cap), and believe it or not, this is the best picture I could take of it. I have a bit of a sore throat and think I may be coming down with something, which is why I didn't come to SNB tonight. I had a glass of OJ instead. Well, half OJ, half whiskey. Whatever works.

ETA: Oh yeah, it used to have a pom-pom. But not anymore. (See what I mean about "best picture"?)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

saturday sky

At the Kiwanis Cabin.
Fake yoga at the crest. (I should've taken my backpack off.)
My girls Shamsi and Wendy checking out the view--the red speck on the lower peak is the top of the Sandia Tram.I'm going to go start my Christmas knitting now.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

CPH would never do that.

So I'm trucking along on the Central Park Hoodie. I have the back, both front pieces, and one sleeve done so far, and I'm five inches into the second sleeve. If I can keep up this momentum I may be done by... nope, can't. Don't want to jinx it. Anyhoo, here's how it's looking so far. See if you can spot my totally obvious Grey's-watching, McSteamy-induced mistake, which I lazily decided not to frog back and fix. It'll be my badge of dorky fangirl honor.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I can't say how awesome this is. I may have to invent a new word for it. I'll get back to you on that.

Monday, September 25, 2006

It's pronounced like "cup o' tea"

Finally, finally, finally blocked this baby:

(Hopefully tomorrow at SNB I can get someone to take a better action shot. This is the best I can do with the bathroom mirror.)

Pattern: the world-renowned Clapotis
Yarn: Andean Silk, color slate
Mods: none.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I can't wait to knit with my prize skein from strangelittlemama! Look how pretty!

ETA: WTF, Blogger? The colors look normal and fantastic on my screen until I upload them! ARGHHH!!! Sorry, Carole, I meant to show off your yarn artistry...
Okay, here's Carole's pic:

what I did on my day off.

...and then I went to SnB. Good times! I can't believe I actually got to go two weeks in a row. I got my lovely prize from Carole, which I'm waiting for natural light to take a picture of, and I screwed up multiple times on my Central Park Hoodie but with a yarn needle from Ramona and some scrap yarn from Noelle, I made it work. I gave Noelle a ride home and got to come in and pet the kitty and the doggie, which is a treat since I'm petless, and check out her marvelously organized WIPs and projects-in-queue, which was pretty impressive. Girl's got the pattern and the yarn in a plastic bag, all packed together in a big plastic tote, like one of those "get organized!" articles in Real Simple that make you long to buy lots of big plastic totes and adorable little matchy-match stacking boxes, because then you'll really have your shit together. And I got some of her weeded-out stash to give to a friend who's a beginner knitter because the colors just screamed her name (like this: "SHAMSI!") (Now that she's read that I hope she ends up liking it.), and her gypsy-scarf pattern to go with it.
p.s. My Project Runway Season 2 Disc 2 came from Netflix today and I can't keep my eyes open long enough to watch an episode! At least that gives me something to look forward to after work tomorrow. All day I'll be saying, "How were your orders? Everything okay today?" but thinking "Where the hell is my chiffon?"

Saturday, September 16, 2006

"friend mischief" TOTALLY goes with my last name

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"Mischief is your middle name, but your first is friend. You are quite the prankster that loves to make other people laugh."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

it's so nice to see you back where you belong

[/louis armstrong voice] I finally got to go to SNB this week! Yay! It was a smaller group, but it was nice to catch up with Beth and meet Jody, Molly, Bentley, Morgan and the others. I got out of work ridiculously early (6:30pm!!!!) so I got to hang out as long as I wanted, without thinking about my desk phone going unanswered and getting needled about my long lunch breaks. (Hey boss, if you don't want me to take long lunch breaks, don't say I'm allowed to take long lunch breaks.)

I have so little knitting progress to report. I tried to replicate Katie's eyelet newsboy and undershot the mark; curse my enormous head. So that'll be frogged back a little this week. I went to Village Wools with Shamsi the other day and accidentally bought some purple cashmerino that's becoming a pom-pom beanie. (I was never a purple person before, and now I'm working on two purple projects--the beanie and Tivoli. Remind me not to sit next to Jamie because apparently whatever she has is catching.)
I still have my Tivoli (apparently it's not a Picovoli unless it has the picot edging? Whatevs) and my Central Park Hoodie on the needles. They're both at parts where you need to keep checking the pattern and measuring/counting after every row. I hate those parts. I like the smooth-but-not-boring sailing of a huge section of easily-memorizable pattern. Oh, and I still have my circus-freak jaywalkers going. They're stalled because I've dropped another stitch that I don't feel like fixing. They're sitting on a shelf, not moving. One of the joys of living alone is that you can put something on a shelf, or even on the floor, and it won't move. For months, even. You say, "Sock: sit! Stay!" and it does, and the stitch drops no further.
Speaking of leaving things on the floor, I do have another kind of progress to report. Today I managed to clean two whole rooms in the Apartment of Ever-Increasing Squalor (kitchen and bathroom--smallest rooms, yes, but most important) and do two loads of laundry. I'm a freaking domestic goddess. Worship me, I'm slightly neater than I used to be.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

umbrella: the new tiny dog

Noted fashion-monger Ian had his first day of school today:

That brightened my day, after plans changed at work once again preventing me from going to SNB. Dammit! I need to get another job, if only to have my evenings free again.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

cari needs to sleep. sleep, cari, sleep!

So I saw this at Nichole's: google "[your name] needs" and see what you come up with. I love stuff like this because my name is such an unusual spelling.
She may not realize the danger Cari could be in, and probably thinks Cari needs privacy more than protection.
Hello life... Cari needs to get one...
Cari needs to furnish her empty dining room with seating for eight to ten people.
Just tell your boss "No! Screw You! Cari needs me and she says you're a butthead!" That'll teach 'em.
Cari needs some band - aids .
NO, Cari needs to find out her past and her destiny!
Cari needs two medallions and a head then she is set.

Fortunately, I already have a head, so that saves me some trouble. Now to track down some medallions, band-aids, my past, and my destiny. Tomorrow, because I'm tired.

Friday, September 01, 2006

what would tim gunn say?

I'd also really enjoy seeing Michael Kors' and Nina Garcia's reactions to the sock monkey dress.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

update on the hipster-to-robot-dinosaur transition

So I have been working on the Skully sweater from SNB for over a year now. It was supposed to be my sister Katie's Christmas present. I wrapped it up, minus one sleeve, and promptly took it back so I could finish it. It's still not finished. I feel awful.
Instead of wallowing in guilt, or you know, actually finishing the damn thing, I made her some consolation prizes.

(I brightened the photo a little and raised the contrast, since I didn't use the flash and otherwise the hat kind of blended into the background.)
Here we see the eyelet newsboy, the hat that disappointed me, then grew on me, in its natural habitat: Katie's head; and the robot dinosaur messenger bag, of which I have NO pictures but this one (because I was trying to keep it secret, you know, for the surprise factor). Oops. Anyhoodle, it's a fairly simple, squarish messenger bag in a fabric printed with dinosaurs and (inexplicably dog-like) footprints, on which I put a gray felt robot. I also did a couple of interior pockets, including a cell phone pocket of which I'm pretty proud. She seemed to like the hat and the bag, so I hope I'm forgiven for the dick move of Christmas past.

Also? Katie's boyfriend has a peg leg.

ETA: It now has two sleeves, and needs a neckband. Well, a neckband that I can fit over my head. Although I have a pretty big head, so maybe it'll fit over Katie's head just fine. The thing is, the proportions are awful. The armscyes are too big for the sleeves and the shoulders look all puffed out, and not in a cute puffed-sleeve way, but a 1980s, linebacker way. I don't want to give her a sweater that looks like crap. It's not a gauge issue either, because I used to knit much tighter and have loosened up, and also I measured. I could frog the sleeves and redo them, casting on a few extra stitches to take up the slack, but the key word there is "could"--I hate redoing things. I think the lesson I have learned from Skully is not to promise people stuff until/unless you KNOW you can pull it off. That said, I WILL finish it and give it to Katie. Someday.

Edited once more! I hope the above didn't come off as snippy, I know you guys were joking, and it is really pretty pathetic to have been working on it for over a year. Maybe I should make September the Month of UFOs and focus on Skully.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

everybody needs a holiday, a little time to celebrate

My parents' backyard. I love me some rainy trees.

I love surprises, okay? Getting and giving. Fair warning: if I know you (and like you) I may spring something totally awesome on you with zero notice. (Alternatively, I may spring something totally awful that was intended to be awesome. But hey, the love was there.) So this past weekend I went home to PA, hung out with the 'rents (check out my slang, it's tots def dated) Thursday night and Friday, then Saturday we went to the Jersey Shore. Here's where it gets shocking, so hold on to your hats. My sisters, their menfolk, my nephew, and my step-niece-to-be (whom I hadn't met yet) went to the shore that day too, expecting to meet only my parents. There was some really flattering shrieking and running when they realized the strange lady walking next to my mom was me.

It was a gray and chilly day but that meant lots of huddling in sweatshirts, sitting on the blankets, cuddling shivery munchkins, etc. It also meant that the beach was less crowded than it would've been otherwise, which is good, since for the little ones' sake we had to go to a beach with lifeguards. (My dad used to be a lifeguard, and my sisters and I are all strong swimmers, so we usually go guardless and just keep an eye on each other.) The downside of the grayness and chilliness (besides the actual, you know, grayness and chilliness while you're at the beach) was that the water was pretty choppy and the overzealous lifeguards wouldn't let us go out very far. Knee-deep was the limit, in fact. Which is pretty damn ridiculous. It's not a wading pool. My dad was so furious when he was whistled in from the breakers that he went over to the lifeguard stand and argued with them. It didn't make a difference, of course. Damn the lawyers!
In closing, I present my new niece. Check out those curly pigtails:

I come not to build sandcastles but to destroy them.

p.s. that's right, no knitting content whatsoever.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

grow, baby, grow!

In the works: Knitscene Central Park Hoodie in good old Lion Brand Woolease (and by "good" I mean "cheap, but quite soft"); Grumperina's Picovoli in knitpicks Shine; and the second circus freak jaywalker... be worked on during another taped episode of Project Runway this evening.
I'm also working on a little something special for a special someone--I knit an octopus. It's almost finished, just needs a face, stuffing, and maybe some pretty beads on the ends of its tentacles, but that's the boring part, the hideous, dull, finishing details. Once it's past the exciting, winging-it-with-no-pattern, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, "hey, I'm making something" part I get bored. This may be why I never finish anything (grad school, I'm looking at you!). I will force myself to finish it soon though, because this special person deserves a knit octopus. And speaking of works in progress, here's another:

Several months ago, my friend Wendy and I went out for a walk in a nice, houses-not-apartments neighborhood near our building and passed a man messing around in his garden, who surprised us by looking up and saying, "hey ladies, want some iris bulbs?" He was thinning his irises and had a pile of bulbs that he was just going to throw out, so we took four or five each. This is the only one of mine that's made it this far.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

saturday sky (sort of)

While watching "What Not to Wear" (you may not believe it, but I do sometimes do things other than watch fashion-related TV shows) my friend commented, "you really are a green-whore, aren't you?" when I shrieked over a pair of shoes--hey, they were moss-green suede! (Also, they had round toes. I'm a sucker for round toes.) So here's my Saturday sky, as modeled by a mountain-ash, a Douglas fir, and some aspens in the courtyard of my building. (See, I am a green-whore--I know my trees. Er, I mean, in a tree-hugger sense, not the Biblical sense.)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

i made it work

At my Project Runway marathon tonight, I confirmed that I have lost my knitting mojo. I made myself work on my circus freak jaywalker (yes, seriously second sock syndrome). And I did something--two things, actually--that I never used to do, but lately have been doing like mad. I dropped a stitch, and I didn't notice until the next row. I didn't have a teeny tiny crochet hook (suitable for sock yarn) and even though my lovely hostess probably did, I didn't ask, because I decided I'd rather sit in total stillness and watch, and criticize. What is wrong with me?

I did do something creative today, though. I made a cake. My lovely hostess, the heroic cat-rescuer Shamsi, usually invites my friend Wendy and I over for PR, since we don't have cable. She's been on vacation for the last couple weeks, so she set up her VCR to record it and we had three episodes to watch, back-to-back. In honor of the magnificent Tim Gunn, I attempt some cake decor:

The rainbow sprinkles (or "wickety-wack") are in honor of Santino... and apparently also of Angela. It was red velvet cake (maybe next time I'll make lemon chiffon), and it came out pretty well. Shamsi also had the perfect plates for it:

Sorry for the blurriness, my hands were shaking in anticipation.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

100 things

So the "100 things about me" meme has come and gone, I know, but I'm doing it now because I have no real knitting progress to report, and because I'm a rebel, dammit.
1. I already know I'm going to have trouble making it to 100
2. Unless I split things up.
3. Like this.
4. Just kidding.
5. No, really.
6. Or not.
7. Okay, plunging in. I'm not a morning person. I don't know why morning people think this is funny. I never torment them when I'm wide awake in the late evening. And I'm perfectly pleasant if left alone.
8. I'm not a "crowd" person either. Last time I went out for Fall Crawl I got groped like four times before we even got into the first venue. So I don't go anymore.
9. I live alone. I like it. I have two sisters. I did a lot of sharing. I'm taking a break from that. It's nice.
10. I don't like to knit for charity. I'll give my time, my money, my voice, my vote, whatever, but not my knitting.
11. That said, I learned to knit as part of a Hats for the Homeless project.
12. I knit so tight that my hat was just the right size for a homeless baby. Which is so freaking sad. The homeless baby, not the amateurish knitting.
13. I had cast on 20 extra stitches, too, because I have a big head and one-size-fits-all hats really don't.
14. I have since loosened up. But not much.
15. I used to be an archaeologist. I'm taking a break from that too. Which is also nice.
16. I used to live in hotels approximately three weeks out of the month. I had no social life except sitting around my coworker's hotel rooms drinking. That got old.
17. I also got tired of being the physically weakest member of the crew. I don't mind being the only woman, unless they mind. Which some of them did.
18. I'm not the kind of woman to slam a door in a man's face after he's opened it for me, but I am the kind to get angry when you lift heavy things for me, when lifting heavy things is part of my job.
19. I have a serious punctuality problem. My theory is, it's my passive-aggressive way of lashing out at the world's high expectations of me.
20. Oh yeah, and I overanalyze things. See for example #19.
21. My favorite colors are red and green.
22. I kind of like to wear them together.
23. I don't mind looking Christmassy because I love Christmas. Also Thanksgiving. And Halloween.
24. But I hate New Year's.
25. Again with the crowds. Also the drunken drivers, the pressure to make it the Best! Night! of the Year!, the emphasis on time passing, and the whole "kiss somebody at midnight" thing. I'll kiss somebody when I feel like kissing, thanks.
26. I don't usually do swaps or KALs. I'm not much of a joiner.
27. Except for the occasional meme.
28. I like to make people stuff. But I want to do it when the mood strikes me, or when I think they need something in particular, even if it's just a treat. So deadlines and themes and me? We don't mesh well together.
29. Things like this make me miss the East Coast.
30. I'm from Pennsylvania.
31. Yes, that's still East Coast.
32. My town has like 2000 residents. And it still has more of a city feel in some respects than Albuquerque does.
31. People don't make small talk with you, for one thing.
32. I always get weirded out when strangers talk to me in public. In fact, kind of annoyed.
33. Also, you can flip people off in traffic. It's no big deal. It's kind of like waving hello. But in a "screw you, jerk" kind of way.
34. After I moved to ABQ I flipped somebody off and got a talking-to by a cop.
35. Another time, the lady followed me to my destination, parked her car so that it blocked my exit, and screamed at me as I walked away.
36. Her skin looked like Victor Yuschenko's. I'm pretty sure she was on meth.
37. I don't flip people off in traffic anymore.
38. My middle name is Ann.
39. My mom and sisters have the same middle name.
40. My family is super-creative on this whole middle-name thing.
41. But at least I'm not named Madison. Or Addison. Or any of those "we want you to be a tough girl so we named you, our daughter, something that ends with son as if the only way to be strong is to be masculine" names.
42. Carl Sagan's daughter is also named Cari.
43. I get called Carl sometimes. It happened a lot more in the days of the dot-matrix printer. The i runs together, or people just assume.
44. I have a big thing about people just assuming.
45. Like when you spell your name for someone and they write it down wrong anyway.
46. What's up with that?
47. My last name is Polish. It's only been pronounced right on the first try 4 times in my life.
48. Three of those times were by people who have difficult Eastern European names themselves. So.
48. The last time it happened I squealed with delight. Yes, out loud. Yes, at work. Yes, I saved the phone message.
49. My favorite season is winter.
50. I love cold weather, cloudy skies, and wearing sweaters.
52. Yes, I know I'm in the wrong state.
53. I also love snowboarding. I've seriously considered moving to a teeny-tiny mountain town and making it the core of my existence.
54. Which would actually be great, since my existence doesn't have much of a core these days.
55. (Because I'm done with my field archaeology career and not ready to move on to... whatever's next... yet.)
56. I don't mind slacking off right now because I went straight from college to grad school, and never had a job that wasn't archaeological, except an outlet store I worked at one summer in high school. So I've never had much time to explore my other interests.
57. My lack of direction only bothers me when people who don't know me well start pestering me about it.
58. One guy at work has actually set a deadline by which time I must "change my life."
59. It's January 2007, if you care.
60. I don't.
61. He also called me a "lone wolf" once. In response, I howled.
62. I was a total tomboy. Still am, really.
63. I did have a pedicure this morning though. My second ever. I dig 'em. 64. I used to keep track of how many scars I have. If you're really nice to me, maybe sometime I'll show you my x-rays.
65. I talk to myself.
66. I sometimes crack jokes. To myself. And then I laugh, and people are like, "There she goes again. [shudder] Hide the knives."
67. My apartment is a constant mess. I like it that way.
68. Except when I can't find stuff, like my DVD remote.
69. Which is preventing me from watching my current Netflix, Goodbye Lenin.
70. I took three semesters of German in grad school. I was surprisingly good at it.
71. I meant to keep studying it on my own. But it's hard, when you've got so little self-discipline.
72. So I watch a lot of German films (but with subtitles!) and sometimes listen to Deutsche Welle's German-for-dummies podcasts.
73. I'm listening to one right now. Apparently there's something going on with drei Soldaten in Lebanon.
74. I'm much better at reading German than listening to it. It sort of reminds me of Shakespearean English.
75. I once starred in a German-class skit in which I had to yell "Ja, ich bin einen Mann!" (Yes, I am a man.) I played a drug-addicted transsexual thief. My friend played a cop.
76. My current top 5 most played songs on itunes are "Evil" by Interpol, "Goodnight and Go" by Imogen Heap, "Disposable Parts" by Enon, "I Hear the Bells" by Mike Doughty, and "I Think I Need a New Heart" by the Magnetic Fields.
77. Enon was at the Launchpad a couple years ago.
78. My friend Amy wanted to go.
79. We didn't for some reason. I wish we had.
80. My best friend's name is Jessa. She lives in DFW.
81. The first time I saw her, she was wearing light blue pants with red lobsters embroidered on them.
82. I knew we would be friends.
83. I mean, lobster pants. Come on.
84. The smell of the self-tanner I used earlier today is really getting to me.
85. There's a pool at my apartment complex. I've never used it.
86. I love to swim.
87. But I don't like having to talk to my neighbors fully dressed. In a swimsuit? Forget it.
88. If only I had a waterproof ipod.
89. Science needs to stop looking for a cure for cancer and get on that.
90. Oh wait, apparently you can buy a waterproof case.
91. Eh. I don't trust it. These newfangled inventions, I tell ya. The more parts they have, the more parts there are to break.
92. That's why I like driving a stick, hand-knitting, etc. So that when the end times come, yes, I'll stay down here on earth with the rest of the heathens, but at least I'll have something to wear and drive when the antichrist destroys automatic transmissions and the ready-to-wear garment industry.
93. My favorite colors are... oh, I already said that.
94. I have two orange backpacks and two yellow backpacks. Graduated sizes. Two with hydration systems. Archaeologists need a lot of backpacks.
95. So what the hell am I supposed to do with them now, I ask you.
96. Save them for the end times, obviously.
97. When the antichrist will also destroy purses, messenger bags, rucksacks, briefcases, and totes.
98. And we'll have to carry everything in our bare hands.
99. Thank God this is almost done.
100. Because I'm rambling on about backpacks, ferantichrissakes.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

the no-frills version

So I had this post all written out earlier with links and photos and all, and Blogger ate it.


So here's a quick recap of this weekend's activities:
1. made Radar from M*A*S*H* hat according to this tutorial:

2. made belt-loop-hanging ipod cozy a la this tutorial, which is actually for a lipstick cozy:

3. Have monkey toes:

Saturday, July 29, 2006

saturday sky

Up my street.

The mountain wears a toupee.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

i'll sell this screenplay for dozens and dozens of dollars!

My friend Damien used to say he was looking for the romantic-comedy movie ending, relationshipwise; if my quest for a digital camera were a movie, it would be something like "Green Card" or "Fools Rush In." My camera and I met, I bought it, took it home, and then fell in love. It's so little and shiny! And it has all these different modes and stuff! And it's totally easy to use, but not in a dumbed-down way! And it's got enough detail that you can see my individual eyelashes and eyebrow hairs and stuff when I take a picture of myself with the camera at arm's length! For example:

I think this was taken with night mode, which is why it's all romantic-candlelight looking (or am I just that much in love?)

I just noticed that I cropped that pic right in middle of the white of my eye, and it's creepy as hell, but I'm leaving it that way because a) I'm lazy and b) I think we need a little creepiness to cut the sweetness of this post. So you have lots of better-quality photos to look forward to, once my Vivitar Vivicam 5386 and I have gotten to know one another better.


Saturday, July 22, 2006


...that's me! Just kidding, I am actually average height. No, I just wanted to reassure the knitblogiverse that my green cotton hourglass was successfully shrunk in the dryer. (Also just wanted to spell something with 'n' in the middle, because I'm cheesy like that.) Although it is still baggier than I'd like, it's wearable now--I wore it to dinner last night. You may all breathe a little easier now. Sir, please, step back from the ledge. I know how you feel. But it's going to be okay.

Still hunting for the right digital camera. It's like dating at this point, i.e. irritatingly fruitless, but on the other hand I don't want to just settle, you know? Well, who knows, someday soon that special camera will come along and blah blah whatever. I'm off to Target with Wendy, who wants a new tent. (And they also sell cameras.)

Monday, July 17, 2006

the pit of despair

So I wore my lovely green hourglass sweater to work today and discovered some things. Things that have long been known to knitters. Things which I nevertheless disregarded.
1. Gauge swatches are important. (Duh.)
2. Cotton really does stretch out a lot.
3. Even if you have made a sweater in wool that looked fabulous and fit well, if you make one from cotton from the same pattern, you still have to do a gauge swatch. And knit a size down. Possibly two sizes. So that you don't have to come home on lunch break and change because the damn thing is so close to falling off your shoulders that your back starts to ache from all the hunching.

Also, I dropped a stitch on my Picovoli and may have to frog back like 15 rows. Son of a BITCH. Also, the t-shirt I changed into is one that I ironed an explodingdog image onto with that eighth wonder of the world, iron-on inkjet paper for dark fabrics, and the edges of the image are curling after only two washes, which did NOT happen with my iron-on inkjet paper for light fabrics. (I don't think I ever posted it here. So here it is:

...slightly wrinkly from my ever-worsening posture, based on this.)

Friday, July 14, 2006

sneak preview

Guess what's blocking:

Hourglass #2. Hopefully real FO shots tomorrow, when it's dry. And maybe with a real camera!

ETA: the color of the sweater is quite accurate. The color of my skin is quite Impressionist. I seriously see a rainbow on my neck. And since the rain (beautiful, beautiful rain!) has stopped here, I'm going to look for one (a rainbow, not a neck) in the sky. (Wouldn't it be awesome if I did see a neck in the sky? You know that oldies/possibly country song "I love a rainy night"? Well, when I was little, I thought it was "I love a rainy neck." I thought it was a song about a guy who didn't have a hood on his raincoat, and cold trickles of rain kept invading the space between his hat and jacket. Make sense? No. Entertaining to a five-year-old? Heck yes. I actually do love a rainy neck. Time to go get one.)