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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sneak Peak?

I suck at surprises. I'm awful at keeping secrets. If threatened with torture I'd spill my guts before they could even tie me up. Hell, in five minutes we'd be yukkin' it up over mojitos and nuts and all this 'torture' talk would be a punchline. (But not my punchline. I also suck at telling jokes.)

Not that I'm a gossip (much), I just hate the anxiety I feel over the suspense of NOT KNOWING. Or someone else not knowing. And Christmas? HA! Nate and I do our gift swap days before the 25th. And my family is usually somewhat privy to their gifts as well.

In fact, here's a snippet of the email I sent my step-dad yesterday. We drew names last year because our family keeps growing and we don't know how to not spoil the hell out of everyone, which makes one big day a year become a budgetary nightmare. Well I immediately walked up to my step-dad, showed him that I drew his name and promptly asked what he wanted this year. Here is my follow up email (tongue-in-cheek mind you):

If you'd like a knitted garment, you need to let me know asap, as you are not a short man, and a sweater will take all my energy and lots of yarn (and love, of course). I can send you links to patterns of anything you might like (and which are also easy enough for me to produce in this ever-shrinking time allowance). The internet is crafty like that. Scarves, gloves, and socks, oh my!

If you require a knitted gift, do keep in mind that these have strings attached in the form of profuse gratitude for the time and effort spent. And you also must wear said item more than once in my presence. Even if it is very, very hot and the item is quite hideous. Consider yourself forewarned.

If you do not require a knitted gift, consider sending a list of desires. You might get a knitted gift anyway.
This is your one and only Christmas list threat. All other requests will be accompanied by begging, pleading and a possible wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Anyway. Point made. I suck with surprises.

Meet Bloody Mary, another cool pattern from Sandra. Love you Sandra! I also made Charade a while back. Yum.

And what is this yarn? Could it be a semisolid? Gasp! It looks like several colors, but it's really just one. I love it, and therefore, I knit with it.

Coming soon to an etsy store near you!

(Every time I type 'near', I can't help but think of Grover. I'm such a 5 year old. Sigh.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Dyeing Update

Hi ya'll! Hope your week is going well. Mine is moving along at an alarming rate. I'm very grateful for my full-time job, but sometimes it's hard knowing that I have so much dyeing to do when I get home and nothing I can do about it at work. Except drool on Ravelry. Like that helps.

Wednesday brings many things, not the least of which is a very long to-do list. I have a huge mail out for the sock club (yay!), grocery shopping, walmarting (eww), and a couple of other non-descript things to handle. House cleaning and the like.

I've gotten a few emails asking when the etsy store is going to get some yummy new yarn. Thanks so much for asking, ya'll! I'm going to be dyeing a few things this week (and weekend) for the shop, which is now woefully empty and super lonely. I am still working on two big wholesale orders, so the update is taking some time, but it will be back and rockin' as soon as possible.

I still have some yarns being shipped to me, which is part of the delay, but you guys are gonna be so psyched when they get here and get dyed up. Y.U.M.

For now, please visit The Sweet Sheep to purchase Lotus Yarns! Michelle will be glad you came!

So, to wrap up: New yarns (5 total!), new fall colorways, and a delicious surprise are on their way!

Stay tuned!

Because I'm a Contest Junkie

Hi ya'll! Happy Tuesday!

Race on over to Schrodinger's blog and enter the contest for her cool knitting bags! And mention that I sent you, would ya?

Help me out, I gotta beat Cass. Teehee! Kidding Cass!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Feel-good

Oh wow, that last post was #200. Sweet! And since November will mark my 2 year blogiversary, I'd have to say only posting 200 times in almost two years is kinda lame of me. I vow to do better. Ok, I promise to *try*. I think once I feel like I have some control over all the stuff happening around me it will be easier. (How often do we say *that* to ourselves?)

I'm having a really great Friday, and I hope you guys are too!

I've been doing some things in an effort to be more positive, and while having a new job, new house and living in the city we love really helps, sometimes you need to get rid of the cobwebs of the old ways of thinking. Being in a town we hated for two years was so emotionally hard that I'm just now coming around to who I was before we left. And we've been back for a year. It's almost like I forgot some big things that were very important to me, and I'm *just* remembering. Like waking up from a really strange, trippy nap.

Ya'll might think I'm a geek for this, but I'm a big proponent of self-help books. I have several on my nightstand and many more on my bookshelves. Depending on the topic, of course, I think they can be helpful to give us ideas about getting what we want from life and living it to the utmost potential. I think we're all here to learn as much as we can and evolve. I love that I'm not the same person I was in college. And I'm certainly not the same person I was a two years ago, or even one year ago. I used to be into meditation, kinesthetic (chakra) therapy, weight lifting, yoga...all these wonderful things that helped me to be centered, focused, strong, and calm. And I miss that. I want it back. I was so unhappy for those few years that instead of turning my attention to the things that could help, I went to gaming to avoid as much of the unpleasantness as possible. And it worked. Too well.

So I've started slowly welcoming those things back into my life, warmly, and remembering to take care of myself. It's taking some time to reestablish those habits, but they're beginning to take hold.

Some of the tools that are helping are:
Sparkpeople. I don't post, but I do read the motivational tools and look for healthy recipies.

Flylady. Don't get me started on the cheese factor, but the directives, habits, and encouragement are priceless. And free. My house is cleaner every day.

Conversations with God. I'm not really into religion, but this book puts into words many of my general spiritual thoughts, and helps remind me who I want to be. (Link goes to the author's website)

This Year I Will... I know. I'm the biggest geek on the planet. But this book has some really great tips about making changes in your life, and the author is funny and smart.

Bodybuilding Bible for Women. Since I've started lifting again, I basically had to start over since I can't lift anywhere close to what I could two years ago. This one is helping the inches find someone else to cling to.

Yoga Burn. This one is fairly obvious.

All this makes me exhale a big old 'ahhhhhh'. I'm already feeling so much better.

Are you guys doing anything new? Creating new habits? Changing your mind about something? Fill me in!

Random aside: There's this dear sweet old lady who somehow has written down the phone number for a friend or relative incorrectly. She dials my number instead...on an almost daily basis. I used to answer the phone and politely tell her that she has the wrong number and that perhaps she should ask her friend for the correct one. She would say 'thank you,' hang up, and immediately call right back. So I stopped answering. Yet she still leaves me voice messages asking if I could get her some milk on the way to her house, and oh yeah she forgot to give me the leftovers and could I come right back and get them? I'm tempted to just play along and tell her oh yes, I'll be right there, but I fear the karmic retribution for messing with the nutty of the world. So instead, I've stored her in my phone as Crazy Old Lady with Gnarls Barkley's Crazy as her ring tone. Now I know who it is when it rings and I can have a good giggle. (ok, maybe i'm not so evolvy, hehe.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hot Flash

A conversation with Denise the other day made me realize that I've been neglectful of photo content around here. She even went so far as to ask me what I was knitting these days. Eek! Sorry!

Therefore, though I don't officially participate in things like WIP Wednesday (cause I'm lazy, yet busy, and things like that require more organization than I have room for in my head), consider this your WIP update/flash.

On a side note, I really wish I had my camera with me at work so that I could take pictures surreptitiously all over campus. Some things would be stunning, like the flowers blooming on North Campus despite the heat. Others I could post, but wouldn't be safe for work. Ass cheeks, you know. (I tend to be of the thought that no matter what slutty celebutants are doing, I should resort to the opposite behavior, just to be safe.)

Without further ado, some projects in progress:

I'm using the suggested yarn, Rowan Calmer, for this hat. This is my third time making Shedir, and it's alllll mine, as I gave away the other two, which were most perfect and wonderful, but barely appreciated. This one will be loved, worn and most likely abused. But I feel certain Calmer can handle it. I've just started the 3rd repeat. I think I'll do 4 instead of 5. Just for shits and giggles. And also for my teeny noggin.

(A lovely thing happened between 'photo shoots'. I took photos of Shedir, walked back inside, and then when I went out again with the U-Neck, this little gem was in the spot where I had been taking pictures. We have lots of cardinals, but they don't usually leave gifts. Other than poo. ***Update: apparently the cardinals are PISSED OFF thank you very much because we have not put out fresh bird food. This 'feather' might be more death threat than gift.)

Back to School U-Neck Vest:
This pattern from Fitted Knits is cute and easy. It was going to be a surprise FO, but now it's a surprise WIP. Surprise! I've stalled a bit, as the prospect of doing three more shoulder sections is a tad daunting. I'm not saying it's difficult, I'm saying I'm a lazy knitter who is stalling. It's 105 today; I'm justified in stalling on a wool project. Shush now.

In her semi-wholeness:

Ooooh waffle stitch...

Invisibility Shawl:
I'm not sure if this will ever be done. I love it, however, I don't really *do* shawls. I was making it for the last HP book release and didn't finish it in time. I haven't picked it up since. To rip or not to rip, that is the question. What else does one make with Zephyr wool/silk? Most of what I see on Ravelry is the Mystery Stole 3. Love ya'll who are working on that, (cause my eyes are crossing already just looking at it on ravelry) and bless your little fingers and eyes, but I'm not up to the challenge.

Turtleneck Tube Top:
Also from Fitted Knits. Creates a very uni-boob effect for me, though it looks great on some other folks I've seen. Soon to be ripped.

Next up is Cobblestone from the Fall 07 IK for Nate. (p.s. I love Jared.) He doesn't ask for knitted items often (or...ever), so he's very excited that I'm making this for him.

Photo courtesy of Interweave Knits, Fall 2007 Preview.

And just because I love them so very much, I'd like to introduce you to my new Merrells. It's almost shameful how much I love these shoes. Cute, classy, and most important, comfortable. Swoon!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Notes on a blog

I'm going to keep the lotus template for a bit (sorry bout your eyes, Cami), but I might make some changes. (The background of the lotus is black, so changing the rest of the background would just look silly, unless it was hot pink but then eeek!) The lotus is a symbol of peace and tranquility for me, which is why I have a huge tattoo of one on my back. It also reminds me 'bloom where I'm planted' and to create beauty and harmony where none is visible. I've always been focused on finding balance in my life (go Libras!), so the symbolism and meaning is powerful for me.

I need to add back my blog roll, but that needed a good cleaning anyway. I do still read some of the 'rock star' knit bloggers, but I get far more interaction and enjoyment from us smaller folks, so I'll be adding more of the folks I actually interact with (hi ya'll!). I've met so many wonderful people via the knitting blogosphere and it fills me with a lot of peace and contentment to know that there are such amazing people out there.

I really wish Blogger contributed more to this interaction though. I would love it if the comments had you put in your email addy so I don't have to search all over to try and find it and then get frustrated that I can't email you back to acknowledge and reply to a comment. I'd switch to wordpress, but it actively hates me and swears it has no knowledge of my password. No matter how many times we fight, I lose.

I know I know, I should get my own space. But I've no idea how to deal with hosting and all that stuff, and I don't know that I can afford it right now. Nate's not very helpful in that arena, so I have to figure it out for myself. Har. I've also discovered that I may need to get trademarked as well, but we'll see. There is another blogger with a similar name who is selling handdyed yarn on etsy, as well as a handdyer at my LYS with a very similar name, so perhaps I should do it just to be on the safe side. It's frustrating to say the least, but it's not close enough to ask them to stop and I'd be pissed off if someone did that to me.

There's a lot of stuff going on at Chez Lotus, and all of it is good. I'll post more news later this week!

In the meantime, I leave you with the Rolling Stone article on John Edwards, my favorite candidate. He's espousing all the things I support right now, and I hope he continues to work towards these things in or out of office.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Ah shit

So I know I said I wanted a new template. I tried out a few things. Ended up hating them all.

I love love love this lotus at the bottom! But it deleted all my sidebar stuff! Grr...I'm such a tard.

I don't know that I'm keeping this, but I like it for now.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ladies, Tuck your Fannies

I had a lovely blog post all geared up in my head today. It was about how awesome you guys are, and that the sock club is SOLD OUT, even after we added 5 more spots. And how I really hope everyone likes the colorway that Robyn and I have created. And that holy shit there's a LOT of yarn coming to my house in the next few days (I'm tapping my feet in excitement already).

But as I was walking back from lunch in the 102 degree heat with the drenching humidity, I got a little sidetracked. Today, it would seem, is the first day of class. And there are a lot of students around. (Duh.) And while yes, it's such a palpable heat that it takes a good 30 minutes to cool off once you get inside, we should still consider wearing clothing that completely covers our asses. Especially since we have to sit those sweaty things in seats that other sweaty asses just got out of. Personal hygiene is important, people.

Apparently this is not taken into consideration by the majority of the female population on this campus. (I admire those who are wearing skirts; a cool breeze up the skirt is worth your weight in gold on a day like this.) I might be an old fart, but some things should remain a mystery, and the lady parts of half the campus are not things I wish to have revealed to me. I feel bad for the boys...they have no choice but to look what with bouncy boobies and half asses everywhere. And then they appear rude and perverted. What a shame.

I hope it cools off soon. I have sweaters to wear and everyone else has body parts to cover.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Going fast!

Just FYI ya'll, there's only THREE spots left in Robyn's sock club featuring my yarns!

She's asked me to do the October installment as well, but I'm so swamped I don't know that I'll be able to.

So, if you'd like an exclusive colorway that I'll never dye up again, go get it now!

Also, if you see something you want in my etsy shop, go grab it. I'm about to take everything down and revamp my lines, but it's going to take a few days/weeks I think. I'm NOT going to stop selling on etsy. I love that place! But I have some things I need to add and change and it's going to take me a little while. When the shop comes back up there will be new yarn lines, new colorways, and maybe a few surprises.

In the meantime, here's Wish You Were Here, recently dyed from the HUGE box of Louet I got yesterday.

This yarn is so lush, I seriously don't want to let it go. I'd rather roll around in it or wear it as a big furry necklace. It's very tightly wound, and when you wet it, it gets all sproingy. Then after dyeing and rinsing, its so soft and still very sproingy while maintaining that tight wind. It's an absolute joy to dye and I'm definitely going to be sneaking little bits for myself. Y.U.M.

Yay for weekend yarnporn!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Wuppin' fo' nub in all da wong pwaces...

This template will have to do for now. Blogger and I might not be friends much longer. The template offerings are sparse at best. I still have to adjust the banner, once I get some help from my genius hubby, who is much too involved in his gaming to be bothered with some silly old blog. (Insert an artfully raised eyebrow here.)

Still, these colors are better I think. I like the green at the top and how it sets off the banner. Better. And temporary.

Thanks so much for all your input in the survey! You guys are great, and I really appreciate your support, encouragement and generosity. I wish I could hug you all, but that would require an awful lot of racing around the globe and money for air fare, and not much time actually spent hugging. Fly-by hugs. I suppose I could always send a hug in a box, like Cass got today. I'm still snickering at her post title.

Oh! Speaking of Cass, she's hosting a hot little contest. Enter here and tell her I sent you over for some milk and cookies.

Where was I? Oh yeah. (Bear with me, the brain's a tad on the scorched side thanks to the heat.) I'm doing some ordering and organizing and I'll have some new colorways and yarns in the next month or so. Apparently semisolids are in demand! Sweet. I'm really excited about working some up!

This week I bought a new toy for skeining yarn. And by toy I mean absolute freaking necessity. I found the Will Taylor skein winder at Carolina Homespun (the links might be a little cranky), and it should be here next week! This thing will make my life sooooo much easier. So far I've just been using my swift and niddy noddy. Talk about exhausting. The niddy makes my hands cramp and in the last few weeks I've rapped my knuckles so hard they STILL hurt. Many, many days later. Perhaps I wind too hard and fast for my own good. I'm so ready to have my knuckles back in good working (and pain free) order. Cause you know, I got kids to beat up for their lunch money and stuff. Gotta stay in shape.

And for no other reason than the fact that this long ass post needs a pic, Denise outted me on ravelry today.

I'm a yarn sniffer. Yes I am.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

New Look & a Poll...or two

I'm going to be changing this here blog template soon to something lighter and perhaps more festive. The darkness is getting hard for me to read (old much? jeez) and it really doesn't represent who I am at this point in my life. I'm a lot happier since our move back to Athens last year and the new job kicks ass. I'm also refocusing on some inner peace and happiness, so the all-black-all-the-time isn't doing it for me anymore.

I'd love to have something totally new (aka my own site perhaps?) but I'm not savvy enough for that just yet, and frankly, I've got bigger skeins in the dye pot, if you know what I mean. Any thoughts or suggestions? Just change the template to something not so black? Beg someone to put together a site for me? (Just because I have a job now doesn't mean I'm not broke.)

List of random thoughts (cause my brain is all over the place today):

1. What is this Shelfari thing? I've received four or so invites in the last few days, but I haven't had time to figure out the purpose behind the site. Is it like ravelry for books? I read as much as I knit and dye (it's how I fall asleep at night), so I'm interested in general...can someone make me bite?

2. For those of you working toward a greener life, check out this girl's blog. I'm not sure I could go as far as she does in some areas, but many of her ideas are just brilliant and totally do-able.

3. Also, can it please stop being hot now? 103 is not fun times.

4. I'm considering some new things for my yarn line, and I want your input. Who's ready for a poll? Oh goody. Sorry about the weird coding stuff at the tops of the surveys. They just come disfunctional like that.

And here's another one!

Thanks for your input! See? Brain is everywhere today. But it's all positive things, and that's what's most important.

Have a kickass Thursday!!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Big Announcements

First things first.

Big Announcement #1:

Robyn has opened an online yarn store! She's doing a sock club, and I was lucky enough to be the first person she chose to do an exclusive colorway for her! How cool, right? She created the colorway and named it, and along with the sock yarn the club is offering *matching* stitch markers and an awesome pattern!! Go reserve your spot now! I'll wait.

Glad you could make it back.

Holy damn what a busy week! It seems like five. Maybe seven.

The new job is going great. My supervisor is awesome, as are all the folks in my department. I'm getting the hang of the new duties and things are falling into place. The first day I wore a super cute outfit and some hot little heels, in the hopes of making a good impression. Mission accomplished. And my feet still remember. We literally walked all over the building, to and from downtown, then all over the department again. By noon I was bear foot and blistered. And I learned I can wear flops if I want to. Noted.

I'm walking distance to more than one coffee shop (very dangerous) and lots of shopping (way, way more dangerous). Luckily there are tons of options for a good quick lunch too, so on the days I forget my lunch or just don't want it, I'm $5 away from yummy satisfaction.

This weekend has been pretty crazed. I spent all day Saturday with a German graduate student who had just arrived to the states to discover that her apartment deal had fallen through. She hooked up with another grad student who offered her a place until she could find her own, and I, knowing how rough those first few days in Athens can be, offered to help her get an American cell phone, bank account and a new apartment. We had a lot of fun, but it was a very long hot day. Thankfully she got everything taken care of, and I'm pretty sure she's found a great apartment with nice roommates.

Big Announcement #2:

I spent most of today finishing up my Sweet Sheep order and starting my order for Knitch. You read that right!! And you can see both links on my sidebar over there!

Um....holy shit! I'm going to be at the Sweet Sheep AND Knitch! And right after I finish those, I'll be working on an order for Cami's shop (p.s. we need to make you a button)! Squee!

You know the part in Pretty Woman where Vivian's sooooo excited about her $300 and she's jumping on the bed in nothing but a robe and a hair towel? That's so me right now. Except shorter and rounder and not so much hair.

So uh, yeah. If I don't post much and fail to reply to comments and email or answer my phone, I'm sorry, but I'm ass deep in dye and yarn, and I'll reemerge soon. I can't promise to have clean hands though. I do promise, however, to not jump on my bed in just a robe.

I'll resort to full on nakedness for that.