Friday, April 28, 2006

fear the broccoli monster!

So I saw this childhood meme over at Bev's and decided to do it. Consider yourself tagged if you're reading.

Favorite special treat food - My mom makes these cookies, Russian tea cakes, only for Christmas. I don't even really like them, they're awfully dry (hence the "tea" suggestion, although we're not tea people and drank milk with them instead; we're also not Russian, but apparently there's no "English, Scottish, and Polish-but-really-French tea cake") and you get white powdery stuff all over your shirt and hands, but we only ate them at Christmas and that made them special.

Favorite real food - Broccoli. Seriously. My parents called me the Broccoli Monster.

Favorite thing to wear - I had a purple corduroy shirt dress, with snaps instead of buttons, when I was in second grade. That year I was in the third-grade reading class (nerd alert!) and you know how older automatically equals cooler when you're a kid? Well, in the midst of all those older, cooler kids, I got yelled at by a substitute teacher for calling out and not raising my hand. So later in the class when my stomach started feeling weird, I raised my hand and waited and waited... and threw up before she ever called on me. All over my awesome purple corduroy dress, in front of the third-graders.

Favorite place to go - the pool! My sisters and I swam competitively, summer and winter. Close runners-up: the duck pond, the library, or Dutch Wonderland.

Favorite person - Aside from my parents and sisters, of course, our next-door neighbors, an older couple from Virginia whom we called Miss Di and Mr. Harold. Miss Di was a retired hairdresser and used to cut my sisters' and my hair for free. We would go over one at a time so we could have special one-on-one time with Miss Di, who made us coffee-milk with marshmallows.

Favorite event/occasion - Christmas Eve. Better than Christmas morning because of the anticipation, the carol-singing, and not having to go to church.

Favorite pet - Heather, the cat. We adopted her when I was seven and she died when I was seventeen. She used to meet me at the bus stop after school, like a dog. She was the best.

Favorite TV show - I was so mad the day they interrupted "Darkwing Duck" to announce that Nelson Mandela had been released from prison. Well, I didn't know who he was. I was nine! I wanted my cartoon to come back on!

Favorite book - all the Little House books. True Geekiness Confessions: My family used to read them out loud around the fire in evening on camping trips. We once won the church Halloween costume pageant with our Ingalls Family costumes. My older sister was Mary, I was Laura (yay!), my little sister was Carrie (after whom, by the way, I'm named), and my mom held a dolly that was Baby Grace. More geekiness: Rose Wilder Lane, Laura's daughter, was also a novelist, among other things. I love her Old Home Town. It's a bit slow to start but the last sentence makes me cry every damn time.

If you've manged to read this far, you deserve some knitty goodness. Clapotis progress: I'm about a third of the way done, I would guess. You can see the dropped-stitch ladders on the left corner in the picture there--the weird lighting is due to the porch roof (stripes on left) and trees (general blotchiness).

I'm also up to the bust increases on my second Hourglass sweater. Speaking of which, here's the first, still un-woven-ended, still unblocked, in my bathroom mirror. It goes well with my saggy pajama pants, no? I must be crazy to be posting a picture that shows me looking both cross-eyed and mega-hipped (I swear that's the effect of the lower mirror being closer than the upper mirror! All right, no more Mamut cookies...). Also please excuse the cluttered bathroom.

Friday, April 21, 2006

by hand

So I love this handwriting meme that I've seen going around. I have a thing for handwriting. It shows so much personality. Once an old roommate and I got packages from our moms on the same day. After we ripped them open and squealed over all the awesome mom-stuff--handknit socks for her, homemade jam and a book for me--as we sat in a sea of bubble-wrap my roommate looked at the outside of her package and said, "Don't you just love your mom's handwriting?" And you know what? I really do. My dad's too. My mom's script is very even, all the letters properly proportioned (as you'd expect from a mathematician), perfectly clear, slanted and slightly angular but obviously feminine. My dad's script has huge, dramatic, sweeping capitals and a bunch of little scribbles in between--exactly what you'd expect from a writer, and a person of wide interests--a generalist, not a specialist.

My handwriting, as Amy once said of her own, is somewhere between engineer and psycho-killer.

I also have this thing about drawing squares and windows. I used to cover the margin of my notebooks with them.

In other news, I've got the clap. Yep, I jumped on the Clapotis bandwagon, after seeing the beautiful results that Noelle and Laurie got, as well as prolonged ogling of the thread on Craftster. I got some Andean Silk, color slate, and cast on yesterday. I'm already halfway through section 2 (the increases) because I sat for an hour at work yesterday (on what was supposed to be my day off, but whatevs, I didn't have to work on Easter) waiting for a computer problem to be resolved, with nothing else to do and nobody around... I'm a stealth knitter. WIP photos soon.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

kelly kelly kelly kelly kelly kelly kellyyyyyy

I think I'm becoming a yarn snob, because I used acrylic for this Headline News Cabled Newsboy Cap from SNBN, and I feel sort of naughty, like I'm an uptown girl dating a downtown guy. Like Kelly and Woody on "Cheers," this hat and I are now inseparable. I used acrylic because a) I wanted some instant gratification, and nothing's more instant than standing in the aisle of Michael's deciding which is the least hideous-feeling yarn, unlike the hours I could spend at Village Wools deciding which is the most luscious, and b) it's practically summer now and wool is HOT! And all the cotton I saw was either soft, twee, dainty-English-rosebud colors or that heinous Sugar n' Cream, kitchen-yarn texture. You'll note, though, that I didn't cable it. I had a little trouble with the pattern. It says to cable every four rows, which with a 6-stitch-wide cable seemed too tight to me, so I changed it to every six rows. It also says to start decreasing after 3 cable repeats, which seemed too short to me, so I went an extra half-repeat. And the thing was still too small. Comically small. It was a red cabled yamulke. I swear. Fortunately, I am persistent in my quest for instant gratification (ha), so after emerging from the pit of despair, I dropped the newsboy yamulke into my stuff-for-Goodwill pile and cast on again, this time without cables so that it would be quicker to knit and because I saw this girl's newsboy on Craftster and liked the way it looked sans cable. (Also, someone in that thread mentions seeing Debbie Stoller on Craft Corner Deathmatch, which I have never heard of, probably because I don't have cable--hee--but am very interested in seeing. "My glue gun's hotter than your glue gun!") I didn't put plastic mesh in the brim, either, because I thought it was firm enough as it was, and I couldn't find the stuff at the store anyway. So here it is, in all its Caron SimplySoft glory. I've promised one to my sister Katie and want another one for myself, in a less-bold color... and perhaps a nicer yarn?


Friday, April 14, 2006

fun with wikipedia.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, guys! My friends took me to Graze, Ramona's restaurant, and we looooved it. I noticed a birthday meme going around--coincidence? I think not--at Pomo Golightly, January One, and Saving Nine, among others. The idea is to search for your birthdate, sans year, at Wikipedia and see what you come up with, then list three events, three births, and three deaths. (I'm not always really strict about following meme rules, so if I list more than three, just chalk it up to my being a supercool lawbreakin' badass and not to my inability to count.)

1742 - George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah makes its world-premiere in Dublin, Ireland.

1861 - American Civil War: Fort Sumter surrenders to rebel forces.

1970 - An oxygen tank aboard Apollo 13 explodes, putting the crew into deadly peril. The explosion occurred on April 14th in several time zones.

1519 - Catherine de Medici, wife of Henry II of France%

1743 - Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States (d. 1826) [The weird thing about this is, my parents (who have the same birthday) were born on Lincoln's birthday, my older sister was born on Patrick Henry's birthday, and my younger sister missed Washington's birthday by one day.]

1866 - Butch Cassidy, American outlaw (d. 1908)

1946 - Al Green, American singer and pastor

1949 - Christopher Hitchens, English-born journalist, critic, and author

Deaths--not a lot of people were listed as dying on my birthday, and very few that I'd actually heard of, so I picked the ones with the coolest names. Imagine if they all got group-married and hyphenated!

814 - Krum, khan of Bulgaria

1941 - Annie Jump Cannon, American astronomer (b. 1863)

1997 - Dorothy Frooks, American author, publisher, military figure, and actress (b. 1896)

2002 - Desmond Titterington, Northern Irish racecar driver (b. 1928)

"Hello, I'm Mrs. Jump Cannon-Krum-Frooks-Titterington. Call me Annie."

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

and the award goes to...

Noelle! Officially the world's most thoughtful person. Not only did she get me Knitorama for my birthday (from which I'm thinking I'll jump on the grenade purse--get it, jump on the grenade? hee! woo ha ha!--and the dropstitch nightgown), and lend me her Upstairs Downstairs DVD boxset, she also found this awesome snake scarf pattern and sent it to me, remembering that I had mentioned several months ago that I'd like to make a snake scarf for my nephew but had been discouraged by the thought of trying to alter the alligator-mitten pattern in SNBN to make it more snakey (and also a scarf). I liked the look of the yarn, so I went and bought the kit. Yay for a snake to wrapped around my neck! (Well, his neck.) And double yay for people who lend you awesome period-drama DVDs and send you just the pattern you've been looking for! Thank you Noelle!!!!

I finished my hourglass sweater, and one of these days I'll have to get someone to take a picture of me in it. The boatneck is a little wide, but since it's wool and I live in the sunbelt, it's not like I'm going to be able to layer it over anything but a tank top anyway. I've already started another one (at Crafty Friday--good times!) in bright green cotton. Still working on my second "circus freak" jaywalker, which one of my coworkers refers to as his (his? as if!) "pride" socks. I'm knitting a rainbow of understanding in the break room.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

beautimus maximus

(Like my faux Latin?)
It's here! It's here! My beautiful, beautiful C*Eye*ber Fiber sock yarn from Mama-E arrived today, and look--isn't is luscious? Isn't it just delicious and candy-like? Don't you sort of want to bite into it? Well, don't, or I'll have to kill you, because I can't wait to knit with it. (I have a weird thing about wanting to eat things that I think are cute. Ask my sister Katie about our mutual obsession with eating babies. No, really.) The thing is, I have so many projects I'm contemplating right now, I don't know when I'm going to be able to start more socks... and I'm kind of afraid of getting something on it. It's so lovely! That's supergirl on the left and mermaids on the right.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

i'm a moron

Holy crap, I completely forgot that I signed up for Stash Your Flash! Apologies to those who showed up looking for some yarnography. My stash is pathetically small, mostly because of my budget--I try not to buy yarn unless I have a project planned for it. Subtract gift WIPs, and the fact that FOs don't count, and I barely have enough stash to warrant a photo. I really only joined because I liked this button:

So instead of flashing my stash, I'm going to flash my new sewing machine! Yeah! Thanks to Noelle's hot tip re: this month's Bust and the good folks at Sears, I now own a Kenmore Mini Ultra. Here's my own hot tip: only the blue ones are on sale! The pink and the green are going to cost you like $30 more. I'm off to Hancock now, hoping they haven't closed yet, because I've heard they're having a $1 sale on McCalls (or was it Butterick? whatevs) patterns and my idea of a big bad Saturday night out involves pattern shopping. Woooo!