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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Merry Sunday!

Hope you guys have had a great weekend. I'm not ready for Monday, but alas, it cometh anyway.

Thanks so very much for your thoughts regarding my last post. It's an issue that has always been important to me and now it's something I can actively fight for if necessary.

If you'd like to get involved, please check out Planned Parenthood. When/if I go protest in Atlanta, ya'll will hear ALL about it, rest assured.

In the meantime, let's get back to the knitting shall we?

I joined a little KAL on Ravelry, hosted by my blog buddies Marie, Mary, and Madge, and as part of this little KAL, I cast on and busted out a Shedir in less than a week.

Voila, just like that, Shedir. I feel all Emeril-esque. BAM!

And so now I have a pink Shedir to go with my pink jacket. Love!

Also capturing my love this evening is my big black kitteh.

Who really wishes you'd look away now.

My favorite part of him, aside from his soft lush belly is this:

His one black toe. All his other toes are pink. So freaking adorable.

p.s. OMG I totally have cool news! And maybe this is only exciting for me, but I just returned from my third voice lesson and I absolutely blew my instructor away. I've gone from virtually zero range to TWO full octaves including the high operatic C that (he says) people generally work really, really hard for. EEEK! Turns out all I needed was a little technique and some confidence! I'm directing myself toward musical theater, though he said if he had a say I'd train for opera. Holy shit, ya'll. Me. In the opera. The world must be tilting on its axis.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Good Grief

There are few things that send me into an absolute rage. Ok that's a lie. There are lots of things cause I'm short tempered, but I get over most of them quickly.

But when legislators talk about restricting my personal rights, shit is gonna get ugly. I can't believe my state is up to this kind of crap. Cristina Page has an excellent article here. Not only are they trying to overturn Roe v. Wade, they want to BAN contraception. Nevermind if you need hormonal regulation, or you have endometriosis or you just plain don't want kids.

Oh really? Ok fine. When I get pregnant, tell me where to drop off the kids I'm not ready for yet.

And if I kept it (really "them", cause I'm way fertile) and it/they got sick and I couldn't afford insurance...well we're just all kinds of fucked now aren't we? It's ok if I can't keep them clothed, fed, and healthy, they're HERE.

And they want to call ME anti-family. Pish. No dahlings, it's called pro-common sense.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Thanks so much to all of you who voted for our movie!!! I think we'll know the results by the end of the month.

I'm very sad today though. Granted I should be in an awesome mood ("Thank you, MOOD!" - sorry I had to) beacause I have a lot of cool stuff going on and work is easing up. But. We are canceling our cable today!!! It will be auf'ed. I'm so sad!! I was really hoping my shows would be back by now, but it's ridiculous to pay so much (don't ask, it's embarrassing) for crap reality tv for two whole months and possibly many more. I'll miss you Project Runway. And Janice Dickinson. And Make Me a Supermodel. And Paranormal State. And LA Ink. Le sigh.

There's always Netflix and the internet, right?

(I'll have some knitting pics soon, promise.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Yarn is Up!

If you're not on the mailing list you might not know.

Now you do!

The etsy store is updated with new colorways and some of your favorites.

I'm exhausted so I'm going to lay down and watch crap TV now and try to knit something. Ha. I forgot to take my vitamins most of this week. Combine that with a lot of stress and I'm not doing as well as I would like. But I'm eating good and forcing myself to take a little break so we'll see how that works.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Calling ALL Readers, Friends, Family and Hobbits!

That means YOU, my friend. I need your help. Remember a few months back where I was in a short little movie as a lesbian pizza girl? Well, it was all done as part of the National Film Challenge, and out of 180 or so teams, we made the top 16!!! A lot of teams who participate actually work in the film industry, but we're all a bunch of nutty regular folks so this is HUGE for us!

So please, please, please, please go the the site linked above and register and vote for our little film called "Machiste Nouveau: The Lost Loves of Laura LeVane" (you can watch it via this here link!) for the Audience Award. Winning means we get to show at Cinequest (a film festival), which would be so awesome.

Our lovely director sent us all a form letter and it cracked me up so I'm including it for your reading pleasure (and more information too). You can vote through Jan. 22nd at midnight EST. You do have to register through the site, but they won't sell your email addy or anything, it's just to keep the voting fair.

Please go register and vote for our film! I beg of you. For the love of all the yarn I dye for you...slaving over the steamy dye pot for hours at a time, getting pink and black and purple in the worn creases of my pruney hands...all for you. (Let me know if that worked and I'll keep using the "walked 5 miles barefoot in the snow uphill" approach! hehe :D)

And of course, thank you!!!


"Dear Friend/Family Member/Long-Lost Cousin/Carpetbagger/Hobbit,

Recently I participated in a national filmmaking competition, The National Film Challenge. The objective of the competition was to write, shoot, edit, and score an entire short film from scratch in one weekend. The competition organizers provided each team with some key elements (genre, prop, character, and a line of dialogue) that are required to be incorporated into the final film. Almost 200 teams from around the country participated in this competition. It was actually 184 teams, but it sounds better when I say almost 200.

Making an entire film in one weekend is a difficult and exhausting task, but one in which my team (named Rational Spirit) tackled with great energy and enthusiasm. The experience was not unlike the March of the Penguins, only it was over in two days and much less cold.

Our film is titled "Machiste Nouveau: The Lost Loves of Laura LeVane" and it is throwback to the great silent films of the 20's and 30's, with a nod toward modern mainstream themes. I'm not exactly sure what that means either, but the director told me to say it.

It is with great pleasure that I tell you that our film was selected as one of the finalists in this competition. We are excited that out of almost 200 films (see, it does sound better!), our movie was chosen as one of the best by a team of judges comprised of 30 film industry professionals.

Now here is where I need a favor from you. Remember that time where I did that thing for you and you said one day I will return the favor and do a different thing for me? No? Well, it totally happened, so I need you to pay up now.

If you could, please take 5 minutes out of your day and visit this website:

Watch our film and then take a moment to register and vote. In this particular case, I mean register to vote for the audience award for best film (Machiste Nouveau!), though if you have not registered to vote in the national elections, I would urge you to do that as well. An participating citizenry is the only way to ensure true democracy and plus you get a sticker!

The winner of the audience award voting will get to screen their film at the prestigious Cinequest Film Festival, which is a great honor. I mean, it's not a knighthood or anything, but it's a big deal to film folks such as myself.

It would mean a great deal to me if you would take a moment to do this. And if you do, I solemnly swear that I will never tell a soul about that other thing that happened that we said we would never talk about again, but that I might have had my fingers crossed behind my back when we agreed to that.

Thank you so much Friend/Family Member/Long-Lost Cousin/Carpetbagger/Hobbit! Your continued support means a great deal and I'm not just saying that because I want you to vote for our film. Really, that's only about 60, maybe 70 percent of the reason why I said that.

With best regards,


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

And miles to wind before I sleep...

I spent today dyeing, drying, and reskeining lots of yarn, ordering more yarn and dye, and paying some medical bills for all my recent trips to various doctors. I'm generally feeling more energetic, but today has seriously worn me out.

Exhibit A:
This is only about a third of what's going out this weekend.

Some Hydroponic, chillin' in all it's green glory.

Tristan, getting ready for his run and some yarn going up the shop this weekend. Black and white so you can be surprised!

Much to your probable shock and awe, I have been knitting a tad.

Behold, some actual progress on the Hourglass Sweater. I've finished the decreases and am now on the second set of increases. It's good for mindless TV (of which there is MUCH lately - guilty pleasures include the Janice Dickinson show, Make Me a Supermodel, and PR - gotta love superficial drama!).

This is 2/3 of the Cherry Garcia neckwarmer in Malabrigo's Damask colorway. Love this little thing as it's so super quick and will only take me about 10 minutes to finish. This project is all Cher's fault. In a good way, of course.

Last but not least is the casualty of my castonitis. I've cast on and ripped a sock from the Trekking I bought at SAFF about twenty times. I can't pick a pattern I like and I can't decide between regular sized socks and knee highs. Knee highs on US1?!? I just don't know that i have it in me. But then I'll have SO much yarn left over if I don't. Grrrr.

I still want to knit everything I come across. Maybe this is all related to the reduced amount of caffeine and chocolate in my life. My brain says it's missing something and my first thought is "KNITTING!!".

Oh, I just remembered! I had my first voice lesson on Sunday. So. Much. Fun. I was literally terrified, but in about 30 mintues he explained all the parts of singing well enough that I was able to seriously belt some shit out (I took voice lessons when I was 13 but obviously I learned NOTHING). I barely even talk above a whisper sometimes so I really surprised myself. Fear conquered. Can't wait for more. And it turns out I'm not an alto, as I always thought, just a petrified soprano . We'll be working on that, cause me and Amy Lee have some dueling to do.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Oh yes, I'm that big a nerd

Wow, just a week or so ago I couldn't be tempted to knit anything and now I have SERIOUS cast on-itis (it's a word, shush).

So I ran through my queue on Ravelry (hi, my name is Melanie and i'm an addict), and re-sorted everything. Now it's in order based on the top 10 things I'm about to work on (or already have on the needles, just sans pictures) and the yarn I plan to use. If I don't have the yarn yet I bumped them down a tad until I decide what I'm going to buy or dye.

Even my lists have lists. And this is why all those cute little planners never work for me. I really just need a sticky note. Or ten. You know.

In case you're curious, here's what my list looks like (you know I had to write it out). All but the top two are subject to rearrangement per my mood. I might decide I have to have Lady Eleanor RIGHT NOW and race to the yarn store. Let's hope not, I'm broke.

1. Blue Light Special - using Telemark, already cast on. Slowly working my way through the rows. Very slowly.

2. Hourglass - ripped the evil cotton denim, replaced with yummy Pastaza. Oh so soft and pretty! I've already turned the hem. It's working up SO fast and is stealing focus from the hat.

3. Hanami - I'm so dyeing something gorgeous on the Aura yarn (the one with the silver strands) for this one!!

4. Brea Bag - Got me some Ultra Alpaca all ready to be a sweet little cabled bag.

5. Foliage - My Malabrigo in a dusty pink is perfect for this hat, and hopefully a scarf to match.

6. Tangled Yoke Cardi - Have the Silky Tweed, but it might get dyed first.

7. Juno Regina - Still considering a yarn. May buy something, may dye something.

8. Lady Eleanor - Need yarn. Want Rowan Tapestry.

9. Clapotis - I know what yarn I want for this, but I can't justify the expense just yet.

10. Quant - Need yarn. Might get bumped up for the Fearless Knitting KAL, and cause it's cute.

Another Central Park Hoodie might get mixed in here. I have the yarn (Cascade Sierra) and it stares at me from the stash all intent on getting my attention.

It's almost Friday and I have 2 more colorways to dye and LOTS of yarn to reskein. Have a great weekend. You can guess what I'll be doing.

Monday, January 07, 2008

London Calling!

ETA: Silvery yarn is now up at!!! Go check out Kiss Me!

I managed to dye 35 skeins of yarn on Saturday in about 8 hours straight. Which means I'm almost done! Well sort of. I have about that many more to do and then I can be done. Maybe.

Anyway, I need to order more dye and yarn this week, that's for sure. Sunday I had to rest because Saturday wore me out. I rested by doing laundry, changing sheets, organizing closets, buying and putting up new shower curtains, taking stuff to Goodwill, moving a few pieces of furniture and treating myself to a sushi lunch. Yeah I really need to get better at that rest thing. Nate said I'm worse than my gramma. And then he got walloped with a pillow. But she's still going stronger and faster than me at 75, so it's something to aspire to I guess.

Today's title is brought to you by Big Ben and Parliament (cue your recollection of European Vacation).

Nate and I have decided that for our fifth anniversary we'll do a little traveling. My home country is England, his is Ireland and France. The language barrier freaks him out a little, even though I know enough French to get us around, so England it is. Our plans are to spend a week there and see as much of the country and Ireland as possible. Nate's undying love for U2 drags him to Ireland while I'm just after some yarn, and scenery of course. What I really want to see is castles, palaces, and manors and LOTS of them. British Museum, Hadrian's Wall, Stonehenge, Tower of London, Hampton Court, Buckland Abbey (Sir Francis Drake is an ancestor), Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Kensington, etc. Doubtful that I'll get all that in, but one can try.

We'll be heading there either late in 2008 or early 2009. Our anniversary is in May, but that's not the off season so we're going early. So! Excited! And then we'll have babies so the fams will STFU already.

On the health front, here's what I've learned so far:

1. Sugar bad. Especially in the form of Ghiardelli chocolate chips. Thanks PMS for making me reach for those. The aftershock headache/coma took 4 ibuprophen and a whole hour to conquer. I'm not cold-turkeying anything but I had a serious moment (or two) of weakness yesterday. Lesson learned.

2. More than 1 soda a day dehydrates me so much that the only cure is four very large glasses of water and several trips to the bathroom. I've limited myself to one soda, sometimes just a half, per day to help stave off the caffeine headaches. I'm eventually cutting it out completely.

3. Exercise good. Even just a 20 minute walk makes me feel great. I have energy all day. And lifting is even better. The weights are low but I feel the burn, baby. I'm down a whole inch and half a pound in a week and that rocks.

4. When you resolve to feel better, sometimes the hubby joins you. He's been getting on the treadmill every day this week and reminding me when I forget about workouts. It's part of his own agreement with himself. If he exercises every day for the next 30 days he gets to keep the PS3 he doesn't need. Hopefully he'll make it a habit since he hasn't been treating himself very well either.

5. Veggies are hard to eat when you don't want them. Normally I love me some veggies. This past week I could barely get them down. I think it was the 'must eat veggies' attitude. Switching to the 'I love veggies, mmmm' attitude and we'll see how that works.

Hope your pre-Tuesday is going well!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Working my ass off...

Alrighty, since I seem to be neglectful of pictures lately, I've included several for you in this post. I didn't take my camera to anything Xmas related, and that was really dumb seeing as how that's where finished scarves were given out en masse. Ah well.

Today I'm seriously busting my ass in the kitchen dyeing up yarn. My intention (damned road to hell) was to dye it all up over my super long break from work, but as you can probably guess I mostly stayed sick. I'm finally feeling awesome this week and I'm eating mostly good and exercising daily, even getting in a touch of running. It's amazing how much better I feel and my body is cooperating with my adjustments now, which is helping tremendously. So anyway, I didn't get as much done over the holidays as I planned and now I'm dyeing like crazy to get stuff ready. Good times. I'm probably going to have to offer sexual favors to Nate so he'll wind yarn for me. Like he'd say no.

The order went out and should be up on their site soon, so go check it out! It's all silver and the custom pink colorway I dyed for them is rockin'!!
***ETA: The yarn is going up on Monday!

Oh yeah, pictures!

This is that Noro sock that I don't love. Well, I love the sock, not so much the yarn. I copied Stephanie's sock pattern, which is just an 8x2 rib, but I added 1x1 ribbing at the top and decreased to 7x2, 6x2, and 5x2 as I got closer to my teeny ankle. Hers looks better than mine and maybe they'll actually get worn.

Oh look! I started a Fair Isle hat! This is Blue Light Special, part of my self challenge per the Fearless Knitting KAL. I'm using KP's Telemark in blues, gray and cream. Love. It. It's easier than I though, other than the damn yarns tangling and spinning around each other.

And this is my cotton denim Hourglass Sweater. Can you sort of see the striping? That's where you can call me a dumbass. I had 10 balls of Elle True Blue, which is now discontinued and impossible to find. It's not enough for a sweater. So I bought some Rowan, which looked like it matched. It's close, but there won't be any cigar tokin' over here. So I'm alternating them and we'll see how crappy it looks in a few days. I only have 3 balls of the Rowan so I doubt the striping will last for the sweater, which sucks ass. Maybe I should have just done the sleeves or edging or something with the Rowan? I don't know, I just want my damn denim sweater. (Can you tell that blue has made its way back into my knitting?)

And what are all these lovely knitting project being photographed on? My brand new island from Ikea! Our previous "island" was a ghetto set up that was not working any more. This is MUCH better, though now I have to paint yarn on something else. Pay no attention to the crap in the background.

In other news, go check out the newest (#6) Knit Sibs podcast. They're having a contest, and I think they might like my yarn. Actually, I did a lot of blushing while listening to the podcast. Thanks so much for the mention, ladies!

Ok, back to dyeing. I'm trying REAL hard to finish the wholesale and have an etsy update by the 15th. Cross your fingers, eyes and toes. And call in sick for me, k?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2007 Review

First, I hope you all had a nice holiday season!

(and p.s. this might be a long post)

What a year! I've done a lot of knitting, a ton of dyeing, and a ridiculous amount of life changing. Last December we bought a house, in April I quit my job which was a terrible move financially but the best choice for my sanity, I did a little job hopping over the summer, then landed an awesome job at the University and I'm still loving it (thanks Carrie!!!).

Last year I made some resolutions, and for the most part I've kept up with them.

They facts were these (I love it when Jim Dale says that on Pushing Daisies!!):

1. Stop letting my fear of failure hold me back.

I'm still working on this one, and I think it's a lifelong goal. This year I'm signing up for a photography class and voice lessons (egad!!).

2. This year I’m going to work toward making changes I’ll appreciate in the next 30 years. That includes: losing 15-20 lbs, making exercise a daily habit, eating healthier, drinking more water (and less diet soda), meditating, keeping an eye on my posture, and generally taking better care of myself. I’d like to run a few 5ks this year too.

I'm uh...still working on this one too. I had made some great exercise and weight loss progress before my unfortunate tangle with the evil stairs, and I'm not able to exercise much now, but I'm working back toward it when I'm not in pain. See below for more details on this.*

3. My goal is to read as many of my technique books as possible and incorporate more mastery into my knitting. I’m going to start with EZ’s Knitting without Tears, and Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks. I’d like to get better at making socks, venture into fair isle, work on developing prettier cast on and bind off methods, learn to like seaming, and maybe try my hand at a lace shawl.

I've done quite well with this one. My socks now rock with little effort, I cast on a fair isle hat this week in prep for the Fearless Knitting KAL that started today, and I've learned a few new cast ons! I tried lace and it didn't like me much, but I have the Hanami Shawl all queued up in my head and just need to dye some yarn for it. Did I actually "read" my books? No. But I did glance through them. Once.

This year my goals are remarkably similar.

1. I want to keep getting better with my knitting and keep working hard on the dyeing business. I'm adding fair isle, intarsia, and entrelac to my skill set, and I might completely jump off the knitting ship with some steeking. Be prepared for lots of hair pulling and freaking the fuck out. Taking scissors to my knitting makes me a little weak kneed. I've no idea how the dyeing will go, but I'm hoping for the best.

2. *The most important thing I'm going to do though is to become very serious about taking care of my health. This year has been especially difficult health-wise, as I've literally been sick almost the entire time. My plan involves a strict diet, lots of vitamins, exercise and yoga. I have no choice. I want to be well. So I'm basically going to be treating myself like I have an autoimmune disorder since I can't stay well for long. I'm cutting out fast food, soda (omg), coffee, and white sugar while treating myself to yummy greens, good food and lots of water. I did this sort of thing when I went vegan for a few years in college and I think it might be the best thing for my body right now. I just have to start over and help my system heal.

Next week I'm going to an eye doctor to get prescriptions for a condition I've been ignoring (yeah I know, that's totally not helping), and I'm going to get myself back on track. If I have to take 15 pills a day to stay healthy, then fine. If it costs me $100 a month, ok. Whatever. It's the most important thing right now. And for some reason, I'm terrified. What if my grand plan doesn't work? The implications are that there's something bigger and uglier under the surface of all my symptoms and I just don't know that I'm prepared to face that. Ok, enough panicking and being irrational.

I'm also going to be re-strengthening myself with cardio and lifting weights. I have to start slow and with teeny weights, which is humbling since I used to be able to lift a pretty decent amount, but it only increases my resolve to get back what I had.

Moving on....I've been occupying my time this week with dyeing for as long as I can stand up and trying to find something to knit. Funny how when I'm faced with gift knitting I can think of eleventy billion things I'd rather be doing, but when I actually have an entire week off, I can't come up with ONE thing. Not one. I did cast on the Red Light Special hat and the Hourglass Sweater in a fit of "omg i must knit something or my brain might rot". Pictures to come! (p.s. I'm lame for not taking more pics, but hey, I'm on vacation!)

I'm not really pleased with the Noro sock yarn, so I've finished one sock but I'm totally unmotivated to start the second one. I don't dig the thick and thin parts, it's scratchy, and I have serious doubts as to how it's going to hold up through wear and tear. But the colors are fun.

So to distract me from my knitting frustration, I've been playing Rock Band. OMG. I've never had so much fun in all my life!! Nate plays the guitar and I sing and drum. I'm a fair singer (in privacy), so I can do most songs I know on hard, but the drumming is a BITCH. I'm having fun learning, and all the reviews basically say "woe to the drummer in this game" so I have to play on easy, but I can do fairly well at the medium setting on the easier songs. (p.s. I totally rock out Wave of Mutilation and Blitzkrieg Bop)

Ok, that post only took about a week to finish. Hope you're having a great New Years Day! Wish my mom happy birthday and junk! Probably shouldn't tell you how old she is, lest I want my own death on my head.

Also, just cause I had to share:

My dog doesn't like the holidays much. Hehehehehehe.