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Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

I hope 2008 is filled with wonderful things for all of you!

Have a blast tonight! And enjoy some good football tomorrow.

(I'd say "go dawgs" but I think Hawaii should win. Don't throw things at me.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On Christmas

This is the first year that Nate and I have put up a Christmas tree. We have a few ornaments but rather than going out and buying more, we just got a really pretty garland and matching topper.

The tree is just so pretty in its simplicity, it might be my favorite tree ever. Just the garland and white lights. I love it! (He found this cranberry garland at Target. Love that store!)

I'm driving to my mom's house after work tomorrow to visit and deliver scarves, then I'm driving back home on Saturday for Nate's birthday on Sunday. His only wish every year is to not travel on his birthday, and since we don't have kids or a very long drive to our families homes I honor that wish if possible. All that changes the minute we have a child though, and he might have to do a little growing up and getting over it. But I'll still honor the "no red or green wrapping paper" on his birthday gifts.

We don't do a traditional Christmas at all. The only reason we have a tree is because it was free from our neighbor and I insisted we put it up now that we have one. Mostly out of tradition more than anything, since he's an atheist and I'm just not religious. The lights are pretty and they make me smile, so I think it's worth it!

We give each other gifts, but it's never a surprise and we don't wait until Christmas day to deliver. We got each other North Face jackets, and I bought him a very nice chef's knife for his birthday. No wrapping paper or surprise here, and everyone's happy.

Happy Holidays everyone! Have a great couple of days of rest and relaxation and try not to beat any relatives about the head. I know how hard this can be, but only do it if they *really* deserve it.


p.s. I've added a little info about the mailing list on the left sidebar. If you'd like to join, just shoot me an email. The first one will go out in January!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Why does Theraflu have to taste like ass?

I mean really. I'm drinking the stuff three times a day, I have a virtual BUFFET of Theraflu, and every single one tastes like ass. Not that I know what actual ass tastes like, but in my imagination, it's something really close to Theraflu.

This is all so irritating! Mentally I'm sharp, I'm geared up, I have lots of dyeing and fun things I want to do, and yet about 30 minutes into anything that requires standing and my body says, "oh really? yeah, i think you ought to sit down now, smartass".

So I get two or three skeins wound for my order and I'm out of commission for a few hours. They're getting about 20 skeins of the silver yarn, and an exclusive dark pink/purple semisolid called "Kiss Me x 3" (named for the Cure song, natch). And if for some reason they don't like it, I'll put it my shop, cause it is to DIE for. For you Canadians, I also have some of the silver yarn and some Louet going to The Sweet Sheep as soon as I feel well enough to stand over a dye pot. Then I have a ginormous order going to Knitch, again, as soon as I'm well.

At least I can knit while I'm sitting.

I could have been done with my Christmas knitting by now. But no. I got some of the Noro sock yarn and I got sucked into being a selfish knitter. I'm turning the heel on a very tall purply sock for ME. But look! It's green and purple and gray and pink and black and purple again! How could I not cast on?

I think I need to drag my knitting to a Barnes and Noble with a Starbucks inside just to get out of the house, cause I'm getting a little nutty being cooped inside for 3 days straight.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, ya'll! I'm going back to work tomorrow, hell or high fever!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Grrrr damn it

I had such a fab weekend planned.

Two Christmas parties, both including insane amounts of yummies, tacky gifts (on purpose), and spiked punch (definitely on purpose). And now I have the stupid flu. Physically I feel better, thanks to my chiro therapy, but otherwise I'm pretty sure I got hit by a cross-campus bus around 7:30 this morning. (Read: my bones and joints don't hurt, but that's about all I have going for me.) So I'm OD'ing on vitamins and orange juice and waiting it out. When I get restless I dye yarn or knit.

Thanks for all the great comments on my scarves! I'll be sure to model them when I'm done, provided it's not a weave-ends-then-immediately-wrap scenario.

On a completely unrelated note, I've been getting tons of emails and etsy convos about my yarn, which is awesome, but I'm wondering if setting up a newsletter would be an easier way for me to communicate. What do you guys think? If I started a (totally voluntary) newsletter letting folks know about store updates, would you be interested? I have no idea how these things work either, so maybe a little insight would be helpful too.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oh look, it's Wednesday

And I happen to have a WIP report for you (finally).

I'm only knitting three scarves for Christmas gifts this year. I finally got started on Nate's sister's scarf, the Woven Cables pattern in Sublime Yarns Cash/Merino/Silk DK.

I knit a good 3-4 inches further than this last night while watching the last few episodes of Prison Break (2nd season, I'm still catching up), then I discovered a miscrossed cable and had to rip back to about what you see here. Grr.

I only have 3 balls of this yarn (about 300 yards) and the pattern calls for 700 yards, so I'm only knitting one pattern repeat. I think I like it a little better than the original pattern. It's simpler, yet definitely wide enough to be a good fitting scarf. And the yarn is soooooo soft.

This is the One Row Scarf for my mom in Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed, in the Posie colorway. It's coming along. I'll probably use 2.5 balls of the yarn and it will be as long as I'd like it.

Also in the Silkroad is my step-dad's Irish Hiking Scarf. He's a very tall man, so this is taking forever. At least it's easy and nice to work with!

In other news, Nate and I did the bulk of our Christmas shopping on Monday. Shopping for girls who are 13 and 8 is no easy feat. When I was 13 all I wanted was heavy metal tapes (CDs were just a passing fad), Guess jeans, Swatch watches and black eye shadow. I was such a little rebel, har. I couldn't tell you what I wanted when I was 8. Probably lots of Barbies and a Cabbage Patch Kid. Gosh I feel old now.

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ms. Boleyn if you're nasty...

I found this little quiz over at the JollyEwe's blog, and it cracked me up. Then again, I have a strange fixation with all things 15th and 16th century England, so it's fitting.

Which of Henry VIII's wives are you?

this quiz was made by Lori Fury

p.s. Monday is half over! Yay!

Friday, December 07, 2007

And of course, world peace

I feel like I won the Miss America pageant or something! And I didn't have to wear a bikini or do a choreographed dance! Believe me, I would not win any contests if those two things were requirements. The world is lucky that they never have to witness such a catastrophe.

It has been an overwhelming week, but I've survived the "Harlotting" as it were. I swore that I was just going to do the dyeing for my wholesale orders and chill out the rest of the month. But Stephanie had other plans, and I will gladly change my agenda for her. Seeing as how she came to see me in Atlanta and all. And I'm so grateful. Thanks Stephanie, and thanks to your hoard of readers. You guys rock!

So this weekend will be spent winding yarn and packing/shipping orders, which is awesome, wonderful and pleasantly unexpected. There are still a few skeins of yarn in the etsy store at 10% off with the codeword "Harlot". After that I'll be focusing entirely on my wholesale orders til January. I'm a one woman show and I have a full time job, so it's an interesting adventure!

In knitting news, I'm still (yes still) working on scarves for my parents. Not sure that I'm going to get to Nate's sister's scarf. I might just have to hand her the yarn and needles and show her how to knit it herself. Let's hope my time crunch isn't really that dramatic. I'm not sure "let me teach you to knit your own scarf" qualifies as a Christmas gift.

I know you're probably bored to tears without any pictures, but I just don't have any right now. I haven't been able to touch the knitting or the camera all week. I'll get to it this weekend.

In other news, I'm my new chiropractor's favorite patient.

1. I have to go 3x a week at $35/pop because my body won't hold the adjustments. Merry Xmas to her!
2. I nearly pass out at the sight of my own xrays. This is why I'm not a doctor.
3. I also might pass out if she adjusts my neck the manual way (with her hands). My little nervous system goes into "fight or flight," and uh...I'm a runner.

Today she called me Speshal. Can I get that written on my sash?

World Peace!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Ok Monday...

I take it back.

This time.

Happy (in denial) Monday!

(p.s. Back off Monday or I'll kick your ass. Or just refuse to leave the building, whatever.)

Hi! Hope everyone had a great weekend! Mine was somewhat relaxing, but mostly spent dyeing yarn and decorating a tree.

But I told ya'll I was knitting!

Madge introduced me to BMF's Raven colorways and I just fell in love with Korpii. Madge is devious like that. She shows you yummy yarn and just leaves you to drool and mindlessly order while your credit card screams. (Whether it's screaming in pleasure or pain, I'll leave to your own minds.) It was all I could do to resist the temptation to knit and I finally just gave in. This is your generic stockinette stitch sock pattern using the medium weight yarn and 52 stitches (I started with 60 and got icky pooling so I ripped and reduced the stitch count.) They are the most perfect socks I've ever knit. Turns out if you knit them back to back you can remember what you did and not have to write it down or fudge the second one!

Sexy black and purple, no pooling. Rawr.

This next picture is actually a sock I worked on back in Sept/Oct. I've had a few folks on Ravelry ask me for the pattern so I'm working on writing it all out. The cable is the Buckle Braid Cable pattern from Barbara Walker's Charted Knitting Designs book. I love that book with an unexplainable ferocity. In fact, I thought it was missing for a few minutes and almost went into hysterics.

Yup that's my hand in there trying to stretch out the cables. Wish I had sock blockers right about now. The cable stitches and the knit border stitches are knit through the back loops to make them stand out more. I love that trick!

I'm also working on an Irish Hiking Scarf for my step-dad and a One Row Scarf for my mom (both in Jo Sharp Aran Tweed). I need to cast on for a scarf for Nate's sister but I don't have the right yarn. I'm probably going to have to dye something to make it the right yarn. She wants something green, and I have some natural colored Ultra Alpaca that would be perfect as a green semi-solid. I just don't know what scarf to knit. I'd like it to be a quick knit while looking somewhat complicated or sophisticated. I really like the Woven Cables and Inner Truth patterns. What do you guys think? Or should I pick something entirely different? I'm so indecisive.

In addition, I really want to knit the Urban Homesteader hat for myself!! I *need* a hat with ponytail AND pigtail holes! IEEEE! I love that it has buttons where you can close the parts you're not using. Ok, clearly it's time to confess. I'm not really 31. I'm still 5. And I need pigtails and a hat to go with them. And little flower buttons for the closures.

Have a lovely Monday (or as I'm now referring to it, pre-Tuesday)!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Final November contest winner!

Happy Friday ya'll! I hope your week has been a good one! Thanks so much to all of you for participating in the contests this month. I'd like to make it a regular/monthly thing but maybe it will have to start in January, since December is going to be nuts for me.

I've got knitting to finish (I swear I'm knitting!) for Christmas and tons of yarn to dye for a shop or two. So everything you see up in the etsy store is ALL I HAVE through the end of the year. Please go get what you want NOW. I won't be able to do custom orders or restock the shop until some time in January. Unless you're really sweet and send prizes. Hehe.

We've got one final winner for the November contests, and I bet you'd like me to to ahead and get to it.

I grew up listening to bands like the Violent Femmes, and I feel it absolutely essential to include them in my work. This one is called Kiss Off, and it makes me giggle like a 12 year old!!

I hope you know this will go down on your permanent record...oh yeah!

Mmm yarny goodness! Two shades of pink, two shades of brown!

The winner this week is Elaine!

Congrats! Email me your addy and I send it out asap!

Ok, that's all I can handle today. My fall on Monday messed up my back and hips pretty good, and they were already in bad shape. I got adjusted yesterday and it almost made me pass out, which sucks, but is typical for me when I haven't been worked on in a few years. I feel pretty loopy and I have to go back today and Tuesday. Fun. But I'll feel better when it's over.

Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dear Monday

You are fired.

Why, you ask? Whatever have you done to deserve such a firing?

Because all wrongs happen on Monday (other days: don't try and break the streak, i like my catastrophes predictable mkay?), and it isn't just a "case of the Mondays," you do in fact actually suck.

Lucky for you I didn't crack any ribs, break my arms or legs or bust my head open this most recent Monday as you had me tumble ass first down a flight of wet, slippery marble stairs. In front of a bus load of people. All graceful like and soaking wet on a Monday morning. Thank you for your generosity, Monday, I should have expected as much.

It's almost as if the entire week saves up its punches until you roll around again. I think you do it on purpose. You hoard all the drama until it's your turn and then unleash your hell when I least expect it. Seriously, I manage to navigate those stairs in my rubber soled shoes on a regular basis. I'm not feeble, old or clumsy. I blame you, Monday. Kiss my ass for making me hold my germophobic hand over all nearby stair rails. No, I'm not going to touch them unless you make me. Other people don't wash their hands.

And no, you can't come back. Don't beg, lie, or make excuses. It just makes you look insincere, when we all know the incredible brute force of a fucked up Monday.

Don't slam your ass on the stairs on the way out.

On second thought, do. It's fun. Promise.

Monday, November 26, 2007

And we're back!

Gosh, what a weekend! I hope yours was great! (I won't bore you with my Monday, which already sucks - yay for rain, boo for falling down stone stairs in it.)

My week/weekend was full of travel and lots of food. Most of Thursday was spent on the road. We drove to my dad's house in Alabama, had lunch and enjoyed family, then drove back to Georgia to my grandma's house. I've managed to screw up my back pretty good in the last week, so we stayed in a hotel rather than sleeping on an air bed. Friday included more good food, zero shopping, and driving back home. Saturday we slept in, then went to Nate's parent's house to eat and watch the UGA/Tech game (go dawgs!) and enjoy more family time. So we've seen all of our immediate family in 3 days. Crazy. No pics from the festivities cause I was too lazy to take many.

I also was made keenly aware of a few more things I'm really thankful for:

1. Good, affordable chiropractors - I've managed to tweak 2 muscles in my back last week, and of course everyone is closed.
2. Free massage therapy (close friend is a CMT, but now lives far far away) - Much needed, hard to afford.
3. Advair - It's amazing how you can depend on something you use every day and not realize it until you're out and your damn doctor's office is closed for the ENTIRE holiday week. I forget how bad my asthma is when I don't have this stuff.

Moving along! Sorry for not posting last week's winner on Friday. There was so much cooking, traveling, and trying hard not to feel like crap that I just wasn't up to it. Thanks so much to all of you for chiming in with your favorite things on Ravelry! It's fascinating to know what people's most loved parts are. Sorry if I didn't respond back to everyone, but now you know why!

Without further ado, our winner for last week's contest is:

Edina of KnitWithMe!

This pretty teal semisolid is called Prayers for Rain dyed on the Buddha superwash merino/nylon yarn. There will be two up in the shop later today! Edina, shoot me an email with your address and I'll send it out tomorrow!

And now, for the final contest question this month:

A few weeks back we discussed our knitting fears. This week I want to know what you LOVE to knit. Sweaters? Socks? Giant squid? Are there patterns you've knit more than once? Are there patterns you want to knit again but haven't gotten to yet?

Ya'll know the drill. Leave a comment answering the question before midnight on Thursday to enter. Mention it on your blog and refer folks for extra entries. This week's yarn is a painted colorway...and that's all I'm saying!

My favorite knits right now are socks. I have several in my queue, they're easy, quick, and portable. I also love hats and scarves for the same reason. I've knit Shedir 3 or so times, and the Irish Hiking Scarf twice. I want another Central Park Hoodie, but I haven't made time to knit it yet. I'd really like to work on more garments for myself and overcoming my shaping issues, which I suspect has more to do with how I feel about my shape than the actual garment shaping, but I digress.

Honestly I'm in a knitting funk at the moment. There are items I want to cast on, but I have gift knitting to do and I just don't feel like doing it! I did start and finish a pair of socks over the holiday but they're for me (shocking, I know). Pictures later this week.

One last note: I'm going to be adding a few things to the etsy store this week and then I'm done until next year. I have a ton of wholesale dyeing to do in December, so if you see something you like get it asap!

Have a great Monday (if it's possible)!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Week O' Thanks & Contest #3

One Last Edit: I'm *not* going to draw on Friday. I'm too sick and I have too much to do, and I'm sorry! But I will draw and announce the winner on Monday with the last contest question. Have a great holiday, ya'll.

ETA: The
Fearless Knitting KAL is up (though very rough)!

****If you're Jess or Casey, move along. This is not the blog you're looking for...****

I don't know about you guys, but this time of year makes me a real sap. I think it's good to be reminded of all the things we're truly grateful for as often as possible, though a full on holiday is a nice reminder too! It really irks me that Turkey Day gets pushed to the side in the commercialization of Christmas. This year, the decorations in our town were up at Labor Day. September 4th, people. Halloween barely had a chance, and Thanksgiving is relegated to "fall themed" dinner plates and napkins with turkeys on them. Lame.

Anyway, aside from all the usual stuff I'm thankful for this year (Nate, good friends, family, our furr babies, sanity, etc), I'm especially thankful for Ravelry. It's a place I visit several times a day, and I often spend hours reading the forums. I've been wanting to give back for a while, so I advertised on the site, though that helps me far more than it gives to Jess and Casey.

Some folks on the boards have cooked up something special here for Thanksgiving. Seriously, go check it out. There are cool avatars for Thanksgiving (or, Ravatars, if you will) and a special thank you thread and donation plan. The link above has all the info on how and when to donate for the special day. I plan to give, but no dollar amount would truly reflect the gift that Jess and Casey have given me. I love that site!

This week's question is: If you're on Ravelry, what are your three most favorite aspects, the things you're most grateful for? Communities/Groups? Forums? The Notebook? Pattern searches? If you're not on Ravelry, are you on the list? What do you hope to find when your invite comes?

As always, you have until Thursday night at midnight to comment
(I know it's a holiday, so get your answer in early!) . Mention the contest on your blog and/or refer folks for extra entries. On Friday I'll randomly draw a winner and post a pic of the skein of yarn and the winner's name. No hints this time! Good luck!

My favorite things on Ravelry change pretty often. The ability to look at friends' queues makes me really happy. I love seeing what sparks another person's interest, and I'll often add things to my queue from other queues. I'm especially thankful for my own queue. God knows I'd never find anything or remember that I wanted to knit something without it.

I love the diversity of the groups and forums. I love that most issues rarely become inflammatory, but I also love reading about those that do (especially the Big Issues/Debate board...thanks Carrie, I'm totally addicted). I like that in general there's a feeling of good will and helpfulness in the forums. That feeling is a real gift, cause I know as well as ya'll do that shit can get ugly fast in a forum!

Most importantly, I'm thankful for Jess and Casey (and Bob too) for creating the site. It is truly an ingenious work of art, and even my networking hubby thinks it's pretty awesome. And it's hard to impress this man with computer stuff. Very hard.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone! Hug your families and furr babies for me!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Friday, Friday, Friday!

Wow, thanks for to all of you who participated in this week's contest!

It seems like there were several themes to our knitting technique fears. Lots of you are intimidated by Fair Isle, entrelac, steeking, and socks!

I'm resolving to get over my entrelac, Fair Isle and steeking fears starting in 2008. I have too much personal and Christmas knitting to finish before then, but here's my plan: I'm going to choose a project for each of these three categories and I'm going to learn them in succession. Trial and error is fine, so is ripping back. I'm going to put the pressure on myself to learn these things by coming up with a goal, but at the same time I'm going to take the pressure off by relaxing, buying cheap yarn for the projects (or better, using stash), and not being worried about the outcome.

Don't we all feel some sort of desire to not only knit and learn new things, but to have everything we produce be fabulous? Maybe it's just me. I want everything that comes off my needles to be as glam and fab as possible, and I think that holds me back when it comes to new techniques. So in my learning processes with these new things, I'm letting go of the results. Beginners mind, right? If I hadn't done the exact same thing when I first started knitting I never would have gotten anywhere!

My question for you guys is this: If I start a KAL based on conquering knitting fears, would any of you be interested? Should I just focus on one technique or should it be a free for all?

I searched the interwebs for good places to start with each of these big fears and I've included some links to good places for information on getting started with each. I hope this helps some of you overcome your trepidations!

Fair Isle:
Knitting Help (video!)
Eunny's Tips & Tricks (awesome tips)
Headbands (cute small pattern, thanks Madge!)

Eunny's Steeking Chronicles (details)
Knitty's Steeking article (more details)
Jared's pictorial (great pictures)

Silver's Sock Class (excellent online class)
Socks Compendium (great resource links)
Knitty's Socks 101 (excellent walkthru)

Forest Path KAL (these ladies culled a lot of resources so I linked them directly)

And now, for the drumroll please.......

This week's winner is Kendyl!

Bet you'd like to see what you won, eh?

Walking With a Ghost!

It's a light silver semisolid, and in this instance it's dyed on a merino/silk/nylon silver yarn. YUM. Kendyl, email me your address and I'll have it out to you tomorrow!

I'll have some up in the Etsy shop today!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Day Trip and Contest Question #2

Happy Monday! Hope your weekend was great. My Saturday was spent in gorgeous Helen, GA.

The weather was perfect and the photographic opportunities were numerous. I met my brother, sister-in-law and some friends, and we hiked up to Anna Ruby Falls to do a photography assignment for their class. I tagged along hoping to learn something. What I learned is that I need a photography class. And a tripod. I added a bunch of stuff to my Amazon wishlist today!

They were working on shutter speed and taught me a few tricks.

Here is my original picture:

And here's the same location after messing with my shutter speed. Pretty! (Don't ask about settings, I haven't the first clue.)

There were lots of folks around, but I was able to get a few shots with no one in them. This is the overlook bridge.

And this is the path leading up to the falls. So lovely.

And you can't have the mountains in fall without some gorgeous leaves.

Anna Ruby Falls and some more shutter speed action. Woo! If you click on the link above, you'll see what the falls *should* look like. At least there's some water, but this is so sad.

But still pretty.

Now, on to the knitting content! I've been working on Nate's Cobblestone sweater off and on and I'm just now on the 3rd ball of yarn. There isn't really much to photograph, so I haven't taken pics of it yet. Maybe when it grows some more. I have until his birthday, 2 days before Christmas, to finish and I think I'll make it. Nate loves it already and is practically standing over me while I'm knitting hoping it will be done soon. I update him on how many balls of yarn are left (13) and he gets a sort of sad face and walks away. Eventually, my love.

Unfortunately there are a few other projects demanding to be knit, and even more I'd love to cast on for in the middle of the night, totally exhausted and bound to screw it up, but that's how bad I want them on my needles. Some of them are a little intimidating though. By now I shouldn't ever be intimidated by knitting, but some projects make me drool and hesitate at the same time. I love a challenge and I want to try new things, but I'm also aware of my frustration level and my tendency to put a project into the basket o' shame when I reach my limit with a new technique (or sometimes just the pattern in general).

I've added two projects to my queue in Ravelry in the last few days in an attempt to try new things. The Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole is one of them. (Link goes to the fig and plum blog, since her photos are gorgeous.) I know I could totally rock some Entrelac (and rhyme in the process), but it freaks me out for some reason. I can't seem to wrap my brain around it. I know I could do it if I tried. But eek! All that picking up and sideways knitting!

Another is the Hanami Stole. I'd love to cast on for that thing right this second, provided I had the yarn, and knit just the Cherry Blossom section, but...I don't know what's stopping me. It's not that I can't or won't knit lace. It's a stunning pattern and I've bought, downloaded and printed it. I think it's my fear that I have no use for a stole/shawl/wrap sort of thing. And maybe that keeps me from starting Lady E also, except that I really don't have the yarn for either project. Oh darn, must go out to the LYS and fill up the stash again. Poo.

So my contest question this week is this:

Do you have any "dream" projects that you have trepidations about casting on? Does a new technique keep you from trying a pattern you love? Or do you just try everything, no matter what? Give an example!

Ok, leave a comment with your answer to enter to win this week's skein of yarn. You have until Thursday night at midnight! If you post about it on your blog you get an extra entry, and you get another every time you refer someone who mentions you.

This week's's a semisolid.

Good luck, and thanks for playing!

Friday, November 09, 2007

We Have a Winner!

***ETA: Seven Nation is now up in the shop!***

First, thanks to everyone who entered the contest! It was a lot of fun reading your answers. There are so many gauge rebels out there! Who knew?

(also, thanks for all the well wishes. i'm looking for a new doc along with a chiropractor and massage therapist...i need lots of work, lol.)

I'll have a new question posted on Monday, so get ready for another fun contest and a new colorway!

Now, down to business. Using's list randomizer, I plugged everyone in, plus their extra chances and the winner is....

Anna of Knitting Up a Storm!

Congrats, Anna! You've won a skein of Seven Nation Army! Email me your address and I'll send it right out!

This is a brand new colorway (props to Cher), and I'll have it up in the shop later today!

Also, I've fallen in love with my lightbox again. I got frustrated when I first made it, but I'm learning more about my camera (finally) and now it's a lot more fun! I'm going to go take pics of all the yarn I have dyed up and post the new pictures in the shop. Whee!

Have a great weekend everyone! I'll be in Helen, GA taking pictures with some friends and checking out the fall foliage! Oh...maybe I should cast on for my Foliage hat on the way...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Moving Forward, Awake

***Thanks everyone who has entered so far! You have until Thursday at midnight to enter if you haven't yet!*****

There are no pictures or knitting in this post, sorry. I've been debating posting about this for over a month now, but I figured I'd feel better if I just got it out.

The last year or so has been kinda rough for me physically. The past 3-4 months have been especially difficult. I've been sick at least once a month, sometimes more often, and I've used all my sick days at all my jobs for the last 2 years, even going over into my vacation time. Lately I've been dragging so bad that even though I have the motivation to work out I can barely make it to the treadmill, much less walk on it. It's affected every part of my life, and it sucks.

Generally, I'm tired. All the time. I feel damn near narcoleptic. I also have severe allergy symptoms so I get upper respiratory infections pretty regularly. I'm prone to vicious colds and the flu. I tell Nate that if I had been a pioneer woman I wouldn't have lasted very long. And the 16th century, with all the plagues? No way I'd have made it to 30.

But I've been doing pretty well this month, and I'm glad for it. I get so tired of being sick. I worry that people think I'm making it up or it's all in my head. I wish. I've been keeping very good notes about *when* I'm sick and in what ways and I've got a pretty good little chart going. I took it to my regular doctor and he says things like "oh well, you have allergies, so you're going to be weaker sometimes and get sick often". Um, ok, but surely there's more? It isn't *just* a cold or an upper respiratory infection, often it's other strange occurrences (I might go into those later, but for now they're not relevant). He keeps prescribing allergy meds, but I'm immune to all of them. Shots don't do anything either.

I've had blood work done in the last 3 months and I'm not anemic, diabetic, or hypoglycemic. I get a decent amount of sleep every night, but I could easily nap for 2-3 hours every day. I'm tired a LOT. And while yes, there's a certain element of laziness to me, I'm rarely too lazy to dye yarn or knit. When you find me on the couch passively watching TV with NO KNITTING in my hands, something is VERY wrong.

The last time I felt like a normal person I had taken two huge vitamins, 3 omega fats pills, 2 green tea pills (caffeine!), a sudafed, an allergy pill (just in case), and had a nice cold 32 oz diet coke (more caffeine!!). That was breakfast. By lunch I felt like a million bucks. Sure my pee was neon green, but hey, I felt amazing! Well, awake at least, which was an improvement.

A few weeks ago I saw my obgyn for another opinion. I guessed that it's hormonal. She said that a hormone test would be inconclusive since they fluctuate all day long, and I'm on a pill so it would be very unusual for it not to be working properly. So they siphoned off some of my precious blood to do a few tests (I'm kinda protective of it, cause the evil needles wantses it all!).

Heard back from her in the last two weeks. I'm officially diagnosed with PMS (ok, there's a hint at those other symptoms). HAR! Who knew there was an actual diagnosis?!? And possibly PMDD. Oh dear god, I'm not that girl. I'm just sleepy! And a little grumpy sometimes.

There's also a severe B12 deficiency. B12?!?! That's it? A freaking vitamin? Um. Yes. But the deficiency can lead to anemia and it looks like my iron was on the low side this time. She also mentioned that maybe my body isn't absorbing the B12 I get regularly and it could be an intestinal issue. Yay. So she put me on a new BC pill for the crazies and a pretty serious vitamin dosage for the fatigue. I go back in 8 weeks to see if I'm making progress. If not, there may be scans of whatever variety on my intestines, and prozac for the wackiness. Sweet.

While it's good to have a better idea of what's going on with me, I'm so glad that thanks to my mega dose of vitamins and new BCP I'm starting to feel like a normal person again. It's like coming out of a 3 month long coma. I know I did things, like go to work and be somewhat social, and sometimes I could even get in a run or two, but man I feel like I slept through most of it.

I still want a nap some days, but I'd like to think that's normal. On Sunday I actually worked in the yard. I haven't done that since March! Then I exercised. I shocked myself with how much energy I had! Of course I took a nap later, but it was good while it lasted.

I'm looking forward to getting a run in today, and then dyeing massive amounts of yarn!

Monday, November 05, 2007

An FO and Contest Question #1

And a very happy Monday to all of you! I tend to dislike Mondays, so I'll usually grab something caffeinated on the way in to work, read some email and blogs to wake myself up, and then get moving on to the actual work part of work. Today is different because I'll be in meetings all morning, and then I have to jaunt off to the lovely DMV to get my license renewed. Yay.

Before all that though, I have an FO to share. I finally finished my Socktoberfest project, though I'm a few days late.

Meet Tyrolean Stockings. These are my favorite socks EVER.

Forgive the blur. In my excitement I didn't really care about picture quality. Also, one sock is not actually taller than the other. Posing is not so important to me either.

The closeup is better!

These socks are wonderful. I still can't believe I made them. They just look so very cool. And the Swish Superwash is WARM.

Pattern: Tyrolean Stocking, Interweave Knits, Fall 2007.
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Superwash (worsted) in Camel Heather, 3.5 skeins
Needles: Knit Picks Classic Circulars, US2.
Gauge: eh, whatever
Result: Super happy!

And now to the part you're really here for.

Here's the first question of the month. Leave a comment answering the question to be entered into Friday's drawing for a free skein of Lotus Yarn! Per your request, the prize will be a surprise until Friday! I'll give you a hint's a new colorway. Feel free to post about the contest on your own blog. The more folks you send over, the more chances you get to win.

Question: You can see by my project details above that I don't always pay that much attention to gauge. How often do you knit a gauge swatch? Be honest now. Every time you plan a project? Do you wash and block too? Maybe you check your gauge on the fly. Cast on, knit for a while, then check and see how close you are, and rip out when you're way off. Or are you a 'fly by the seat of your pants' kind of knitter who never checks gauge. It will fit someone right?

Leave a comment with your answer!

Friday, November 02, 2007

good grief

I'm having a very Charlie Brown sort of day, and I'm beginning to wonder if Lucy will let me pay a nickle for her services. If only all shrinks were so cheap. You get what you pay for though...

Yesterday Nate got his annual "Happy Birthday, pay your taxes" bill from the tag office, which made me realize that I never got one in September. So I raced out to my car to discover that indeed my tag is expired as of Halloween. Shit.

So today I get in my car to drive out to the dreaded tag office to relieve myself of $200. They ask for my license and insurance. Right. Those would be important. Managed to find my license. It too is expired. My insurance card is nowhere to be found. Dear gods, someone get me off the streets, I'm clearly an insane person who can't keep up with anything. Thankfully I don't have kids. They'd be jumping on a trampoline with scissors and eating candy with razorblades.

Paying better attention to my life might be a good course of action here. Ahem.

I'll start on Monday.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Positive Karma and a Contest

First, I want to thank all of you who contributed to my Habitat for Humanity fund! Together we raised over $300!! You guys are great! Thank you so much!

November represents a time for us to be thankful. I'm thankful for so many things in my life, not the least of which is you guys! I've made so many great friends through this blog and Ravlery, and it's such a pleasure to get to know all of you. You enrich my life in ways you'll never know!

To honor your greatness, I'm going to hold a month-long contest. Each week of November (that's FOUR whole chances) I'm going to give away a skein of yarn! I'll ask a question on each Monday, you reply in the comments and I'll draw a winner on the following Friday. Easy enough, right?

The first week's contest question goes up on the 5th!

However, I have a question before we get started: Do you want to see what's up for grabs each week or would you like it to be a surprise?

Also, these were delivered to me at work today, because I'm awesome. And because a student made a very big mistake and this is the very expensive apology. Mostly cause I'm awesome though.

Enjoy your virtual flowers! Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


(grrrr. argh.)

I can't believe it's freaking Halloween already. This is my favorite time of year, but for some reason we didn't decorate or buy candy. I am going downtown tonight with some lovely ladies for drinks and costume watching. I'll probably be dressed as myself, as usual, cause I'm just that scary all on my own.

Last night I sat around after dyeing a ridiculous amount of yarn and watched Resident Evil in hopes of scaring myself. If I hadn't seen it 10 times it might have worked. Then I chose Wes Craven's Dracula. Also decidedly not scary. So I added some creepy stuff to my Netflix queue for when Nate is out of town next week. He hates scary movies, so I'll watch them in the dark by myself while he's gone. Or maybe with a friend. And lots of kitties.

I like Emily's movie suggestions here, but I always love to hear what other people like! I really enjoyed the Scream series, but I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I was about the same age as the actors at the time and everything they were doing was relevant to that time in my life. Except for the nutty serial killer.

What are your favorite scary movies? Gimme some Netflix fodder!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

under construction

pay no attention to the little html behind the curtain.

*ETA: Ok that's all I can handle for today. I'll add more blog links tomorrow. If you'd like me to link to your blog, leave me a comment.

Oh, and I had to share...

I was walking back to work from lunch when I saw this little accident. Looks like they tried to lift too much with the crane and the entire back end of the truck is off the ground. Smart.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Oh my, did we have a good time at SAFF! Anita, Steve and I cruised over to Asheville on Saturday morning and enjoyed the gorgeous day and glorious yarn! Some of it seriously tried to jump in my bag. I unfortunately had to return it to its booth. Next time I'll go with more money in hand!

As a SAFF virgin, I was a little stunned. And when I'm stunned I rarely act. It was all could do to walk around and drool while not running over anyone. Indeed, there was lots of drool. I didn't have much money to burn anyway, but I managed to purchase a Trekking colorway that immediately made me swoon and Cat Bordhi's new book. I'm kicking myself for not getting some Brooks Farm, but hey, a girl's gotta eat.

In addition to yarn, there were bun-buns (so soft you could barely feel the coat)...

llamas and alpacas (you talkin' to me?)...

and sheeps for the shearing...

And LOTS of Ravelers! I didn't catch everyone's name, mostly because in a crowd my inner hermit is trying to run for the hills and I become a little socially awkward (in my head at least), but this is Trillian42 on the floor in the shawl, ZKnitter in the corner chair, MeanGirl in the blue chair, SGeddes in green, and KnittingBetty in all black. (Thanks Jen, for filling in my gaps!)

Spinning ladies include funfairiegirl and turtlegirl, with a side order of bavgirl on the right.

And Jen was wearing her socks made in Lotus Yarns! I'm such a dork that I forgot to take a picture...figures.

It was great to meet so many familiar faces and I don't know that a meetup like this could have happened without Ravelry and the girls who organized. Thanks ya'll!

Now I must sleep. So tired.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bubble Wrapped Hot Chicks (on a stick)*

What an eventful weekend! On Saturday and Sunday, I got to be a lesbian pizza girl in a silent film. Cause, you know, every silent film needs its lesbian pizza girl. Then I got killed by bubble wrap! Whee!

Brooke on the left, me on the right. Resting in peace (and popping bubbles when no one's looking).

If you'd like to see the short film in it's entirety, click here. It's part of the National 48 Hour Film Festival. We were given the Silent Movie genre, and everyone had to use the Celebrity Impersonator character, bubblewrap, and the line "it's hard not to look". We are super goofy, and also tons of fun.

On Monday, I took a personal day and went to see the Dalai Lama speak at Centennial Olympic Park. I think I love him. He was so inspiring. He spoke of the path to inner peace, finding happiness through being compassionate and helping others, and how such deeds lead to exterior/international peace.

I kept giggling though, cause I'm soooo mature, and his cute little robes and cute little face made me think of Pooh Bear, which made me think of Pushing Daisies last week and the whole "Kick, Pooh, Kick!" scene.

In other news, this is the last full week for you to purchase yarn at my etsy store and contribute to the Habitat for Humanity fund! Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far. I hope to have a nice big check to send come November 1! (I'll be adding a few more skeins later tonight when I get the energy!)

*not really "on a stick" per se, but congrats if you get the reference! yes i watched a lot of stand-up comedy as a teenager. also, i wonder how many google hits i'll get from that title? hehe.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I like brown. (aka WIP update)

Or so my recent knitting would have you believe. Also, say hello to all my Christmas knitting. There will be no more. I have spoken, knitting goddess, here me now. There will be no more Christmas knitting other than these projects. The End. Amen. Etc. (ack! except for the hat for pete. i haven't forgotten, p. i swear. stop peering at me.)

Nate's Cobblestone. Round 2. First attempt had to be frogged because I can't read simple directions. And also because I should have swatched, apparently. This attempt will prove successful or I will burn 15 balls of Skye Tweed in effigy. Or shame it back into the stash for another project. One of those.

My step-dad's Irish Hiking Scarf in Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed. To sort-of-match the brown tweed hat he got last year. Oh shit, just remembered I have to make my mom a red one too. Guess I better revise the above "I have spoken" statement.

This is the enchanting and lovely Tyrolean Stocking in Knitpicks Swish. For me. It will probably take me until Christmas to finish these darn socks. And you can guess what's getting most of my attention. YUM.

And today I got this for my birthday from my boss, along with a gift card to Borders (woo!).
The sheep is from bossysfeltworks. She even has a cute little sheep bum, which I declined to photograph for the protection of the innocent. (p.s. iPhone camera is not too shabby!)


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Call Me a Convert

Nate and I had a small fit of retail therapy on Saturday. We had been saving up to buy him a scooter for those days he needs to work late, and since it's finally decided to get cooler, we figured we'd wait until spring and reconsider.

We've been in a serious love/hate relationship with our Razr phones since we bought them a while back. They're too slim. They get dropped a LOT (especially mine). And I have a hard time hearing through the ear piece way too often.

So we indulged and bought iPhones.

They are super fun (a little *too* fun)! My only fear is crackberry-itis. I don't want to be addicted to my little black-screened friend here. There's no way I'll fill this thing up with music, movies, and podcasts, but Nate probably will fill his. I like to change my music out a lot, lest I get bored. And I still have my little blue shuffle for running. There's no way I could have this huge phone apparatus attached to me during a run. Sticking to my cute little clippy ipod for that chore.

I'm officially a gadget geek. As if there was any doubt.

Tomorrow there may be a little WIP Wednesday action around here...stay tuned!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Greenspeak for Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day. That means lots of bloggers are going to be talking about the environment today, which is awesome.

As Georgia is having some pretty serious drought problems, I'm going to limit my focus to some local issues. While this may not interest everyone since it's "local," do read on anyway, as our problems are not unique.

This month our governor declared that October is "Take A Shorter Shower" month. This in addition to the *complete* ban on any outdoor watering might give you a taste of what we're dealing with. As I type, we're 36 days from "forced rationing" of water in this county. Just last week Atlanta made ABC News with the fact that within a year the city could be out of drinking water. Watch that video would you? It's eye-opening.

Part of the problem is excessive lawn watering. Few things could anger me faster. I'd much rather have water to drink and a nice, hot (quick) shower than a green yard. Let the grass go, people. It grows back.

Another issue specific to Athens and other college towns is the number of students and football fans taxing the ecosystem. Ever wonder why College Station Rd. stinks the day before a football game? The waste water sanitation plant is flushing the poo tanks to make room for 90k extra "contributions". Nice, eh? Not that I have anything against college students or football games in general, but the influx of so many extra people is hard on the system. More resources are necessary and more trash and pollution are generated.

The vast majority of students and fans I've run across in my years dealing directly with them (at this particular school, mind you) are wasteful, neglectful, and generally couldn't give a shit about this town. Some have a very different mindset, of course, but after you've worked in a very large complex and have to deal with $300 water bills, you come to realize that most of them either don't care or don't think it's important to conserve or recycle. And why should they care? They're here for their own personal adventure and then they're out in 4 years and only return for football games and nostalgia, leaving a trail of trash behind them. I know; I was that student.

Thankfully there's an on-campus organization that's doing some recycling after games, though I have doubts about what percentage of trash they're able to recycle. Compared to the amount of trash tossed aside on the way to the game, I don't see that they can really collect any where near the majority of it.

To get some idea of the volume of trash we're talking about, check out this article from the University of Tennessee's student newspaper regarding the UT/UGA game last week and the volume of trash generated. 12 tons is the average. In one day.

Some students are taking up the proverbial torch, however, by launching "8 Days to Go Green" (Oct 14-21) in recognition of National Energy Awareness Month (Go Green Alliance). Yay! Students who care!

So what do Nate and I do to be more green? Lots of things!

Shorter showers and turning off the faucet when it's not necessary. Drinking all the water I pour myself or watering plants with anything left over. Not flushing every time (using the "if it's pee, let it be; if it's brown, flush it down" rule. Switching to Swheat Scoop for our cat litter, which caused a short rebellion that was quickly squashed. We use big reusable bags when grocery shopping. We carpool, in the hybrid naturally. We recycle everything possible (including junk mail and cataloges, and even going through the trash to dig out anything we threw out by mistake). We have water and energy efficient appliances, especially the washer and dryer. We've replaced almost all of our lightbulbs and we unplug things not in use (mostly). We use cloth instead of paper napkins when possible. We regulate the thermostat (and I wear more clothes).

I know there are more things we could be doing, and we'll be adding to our list. The next big thing we'll do is get rid of our carpet (donating it if possible) and put down bamboo floors. So excited. Must save money.

And maybe our next house will be green all over like Chris's Green House.

If you're interested in some more green blogs, check out Green as a Thistle, No Impact Man, Treehugger, and Eco Chick. All of these have great links to other blogs, companies and products.

What are you doing to be greener, if anything? Got any suggestions of things I can add easily?

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


If you didn't already know, I'm pretty much obsessed with Ravelry. I didn't expect to be. But you know that when you stalk *your own* projects, you have a problem. What are they gonna do, knit themselves?

As I also stalk my bloggy friends' notebooks (via friend activity, woo!), I've come to realize that there are many features lots of you aren't taking advantage of yet. Maybe you are overwhelmed. Intimidated. Afraid to look at your own stash of knitting related items and admit that maybe, just maybe, you have a problem (it's not your fault, blame the stash.). Nevertheless. Only in knowing what we lay claim to can we tackle the beast. Or at least create a cool spreadsheet to compare with other folks' and see that we're not so nuts after all. There is righteous justification in being able to say to one's significant other, "at least *I* don't have as much stash as she does..."

Without further ado, I present:

"What you might be missing on Ravelry"
(aka, little things they keep adding to enable your addiction)

The Needles/Hooks page:

(as ever, click for bigger!)

Located in the "my notebook" section, this is one of my closet favorite features of Ravelry. Not only can you enter how many of each needle type you own, a little box pops up and asks for more information. I plug in what brand and sometimes where I bought them. You can see here that it would appear that I don't have many needles. I use my Denise set a LOT, though I don't see the point of adding them to the spreadsheet. I don't use straights any more, nor do I use DPNs (please don't stab me). So I basically catalog my circulars for socks and what not. Then I reference this page in my notebook when I'm ordering more online (hi KnitPicks, love you), or I can click the Print a Little Card button and have a reference to take along to the LYS. So cute.

Ravel It! Bookmark button:
This button can be found at the bottom of the main patterns page.

See? I'm also super crafty with my arrows. Anyway, drag this nifty little button to your bookmark bar, and when you run across a pattern that geeks you out, clicky and the ravelry page with that pattern comes racing to a tab near you. Awesome for addicts like me.

Custom Search Features:

Wanna know what baby items have been made with purple DB Baby Cash? Voila. How cool. You can now search yarns to see not only what people have made with them, but by category and color. Nifty!

Favorite Yarnies:
(p.s. ahem...hint hint)

Now you can add yarnies and commerical yarn to your favorites! That Casey and Jess are so smart.

What are your favorite features?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Fall Season So Far...

I love TV.

I even went so far as to major in it. Well that and film. And radio. And then acting. I'm so diverse and junk.

Though I'm not working in the field, I have some pretty strong opinions on the fodder they chuck on the air to try and sell to us. Some of it sticks, most of it oozes down the screen. Many shows just. keep. going. (Ghost Whisperer? Smallville???? for gods sakes!) I don't do full-on reviews since I can summarize why I do or don't like something pretty quickly in my head, and folks who get paid for that sort of thing do a better job than I would anyway.

But here's the quick and dirty of what I've seen so far (thank the gods for Tivo):

(I've only linked brand new shows...)

Heroes - Love it. Though I'm waiting for NBC to fuck it up. The over hyping gets old fast for me. The "MYSTERY OF THE BOX!!!!"?!?! Seriously? We're already sucked in; you don't even have to advertise for it anymore, mkay?

Dexter - I love this show with a sick fascination. Michael C. Hall is just perfect in this role. I'm on the edge of my seat with every episode. Very well done. Writing - excellent. Premise - brilliant. More, please.

Gray's Anatomy - Ok, I sucked it up and watched the first episode. Honestly, the only characters I have any sympathy for anymore are Callie and the new girl, Lexie. But if she's related to Meredith, that probably won't last very long. I'm sick of the bullshit story lines, so I doubt I'll watch for long, unless it's with disgust/fascination at the oncoming train wreck.

Pushing Daisies
- Lovely. Perfect. Well written, interesting, witty, and funny. Might be too stylistic. Possibly doomed for cancellation (especially since I like it.) Jim Dale of Harry Potter audio book fame narrates. He's awesome.

Bionic Woman - I love that this remake isn't campy. Will be interesting to see how long it lasts. Love that Katee Sackhoff is in it. Go Starbuck! (i should probably dial down the nerdometer now...)

Journeyman - Quantum Leap meets The Time Travelers Wife (book, not tv). I like it so far. The whole thing with Olivia following him is enough mystery to keep me watching. For now.

The Office - I bought sticky notes yesterday that say "I <3 Jim". Enough said.

Earl - Har. I'm so glad Jamie Pressley won an Emmy for this show. She's a hoot! And Jason Lee is not so bad either.

Desperate Housewives - Bored. Over it. Move along.

Reaper - Somewhat campy, but very well written and funny. I snort laughed at least twice, which is always a good sign. And when you have Kevin Smith directing on occasion, you know it's going to do well. Bret Harrison has this Affleck/Biggs quality that makes him cute and quirky at the same time. And what knitter can argue with a sidekick named Sock?

What are your favorite new shows and why? Am I missing something good?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Socktoberfest is HERE!

First: Thank you all so much for the comments, emails, chats, phone calls, and Ravelry messages wishing me a happy birthday! You guys really went all out to make a girl feel special! I took the day off, did silly stuff, had a nice long nap, went to dinner, then had friends over to watch Heroes. It was a really great day.

Plus, I got some great knitting presents! Sunne sent me some stitch markers!

Hello Mr. Buddha, I'll be rubbing your belly now.

Some Punk Rock polka dots and rhinestone skulls.

Skulls...and crystals! (Girl must know I like Halloween or something!)

Buddhas, knitting balls (har), and a cute little sunshine!

Angela, my PRGE pal sent me a protozoa that she made, with funky blue hair, some punk knitting books and pattern yarn, some cool punk buttons, and Glow In The Dark Yarn. Ya'll. I can't wait to see what this stuff looks like knit up! Thanks Angela!

The hubby bought me the Heroes Season 1 DVD set. Woo! And Socks on Two Circs book. I can't wait to master that! Love me some magic loop!

And of all things to do on my birthday, I cast on a project for SOMEONE ELSE. It's amazing. I never knit for anyone else anymore, as my mad skills seem to go unappreciated, but Nate saw a sweater he loved and I finally put aside all my procrastination excuses and got on with it. This is the incredibly humble beginnings of Cobblestone in Skye Tweed's Heath colorway that I snagged from Webs. (The link goes to Jared's flickr pics...cause really, no one shows it off better than Jared. Rawr.)

Moving along. As you all know, with October comes Socktoberfest. Love. It. I have so many sock patterns that I want to knit right now!

Tyrolean Stockings. Rainbow Socks. Bellatrix. Nevermind the two pairs I have on the needles now.

Best get crackin'.