Sunday, December 31, 2006

It's just another New Year's Eve...

Couldn't let 2006 go out without one last post, could I? (sorry about the recent absence... I'm yet another blogger who's lazy during the holidays).

Christmas was good. The family hasn't yet figured out that they can get me knitting paraphernalia, but I got some really nice non-knitting stuff... From my parents, I got a couple of new shirts and sweaters, a gorgeous leather jacket, an obnoxiously large set of philosophy bath/lotion stuff, an electric grill/griddle/panini press that I'm quite excited about (since I didn't have so much as a grill pan before). From my brother, the Alan Lee illustrated Lord of the Rings set, which is one of the best presents I've ever gotten. Ever.

Everything that I got for everyone went over well. The sweaters I found for my family members fit them all and looked good, which made me happy. Banana Republic was SO happy to see me and my wallet walk into the store. I was at the mall on other business, and after needing 10 minutes to find a parking space, I decided to make the most of it and wander around. I went in to BR just to browse, and I came out with three sweaters -- a blue v-neck for my mom, a grey crewneck for my dad, and a brown zip-up pullover for my brother. I know, I know. "You BOUGHT sweaters???" When I get to the point where I'm proud enough of my knitting to want to give elaborate knitted gifts (beyond scarves and other smallish things), I'll still want to collaborate with them to make sure that they're getting EXACTLY what they want. Plus, 2 of the 3 sweaters I got were incredibly fine gauge double-knit things that would be impossible to do without a knitting machine. That gets me off the hook a little bit, right?

Here's wishing everyone the best in 2007! Lots of love to everyone. :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I've joined the 21st century...

A happy hello from my brand new computer!!!!

I was expecting a bit of a fight with it... an insistence that I needed to go look up my router password to be able to connect the internet, or a driver that wouldn't load correctly, or SOMETHING going horribly wrong. Perhaps the missing front panel on computer #1 WAS the computer drama, since setting up this one has been painless. That's good. I'm not a fan of drama, unless it's on TNT. ;)

Part 2 of the new computer happiness... my iPod nano is charging as we speak. I have had this thing since last Christmas, but haven't been able to use it because my old computer had Windows 98, and iTunes only runs on 2000/XP. I wasn't in a financial position to be able to upgrade, so the nano has been sitting quietly in its box.

I introduced my parents to DuClaw tonight... good times all around. And I now have a liter bottle of Devil's Milk in my kitchen, just awaiting a suitable occasion at which to be opened.

It's been a good weekend. :)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Jumping on a bandwagon...

Shobhana, blogger at my life in stitches and author of Yarnplay, has a scarf pattern for sale at her site (the Bejeweled Scarf). It's a lovely pattern, and here's the kicker: for each pattern sold through 12/31, she'll donate most of the profits to the Mongolia Project, which is the organization that handles all of the shipping for the Dulaan Project. A textile company is matching Shobhana's donation, so the amount of the donation ends up being MORE than what you'll pay for the pattern... it's great when math works out like that!

This is an incredibly worthy cause, so if you're in the market for a nice lacy scarf pattern, have a looksee.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Geek link

Gotta pass this along to any fellow TNG fans out there. Wil Wheaton has been doing some guest blogging spots at TV Squad, where he recaps old TNG episodes. His recap for Justice went up yesterday, and it's darn funny. He mocks himself a whole lot. He mocks EVERYTHING a whole lot. Enjoy. :)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Simple Knitted Bodice body

Not too shabby, if I say so myself...
Simple Knitted Bodice, no sleeves yet

It would be a passable top even without the sleeves, which I may keep in mind for a kicky summer top somewhere down the line. Using something that's not alpaca.

It's been a lovely day of watching movies and finishing this up. Love Actually and Elf on USA, and now, School of Rock on TBS. And oh, just wait until I get my season 5 dvds of 24 next week... I'll get some mega knitting done then, my friends.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Happy December!

Work: We're already starting to plan for the big Harry Potter extravaganza event that will be taking place next summer at the library. The planning starts now so that those of us who will be making costumes will have PLENTY of time to get supplies and remember how to sew. I'm hoping to be able to buy a lot of the parts of my costume... I've never actually sewed anything more ambitious than a hem, or the pillow I made in 7th grade home ec.

Reading: I'm reading Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman, and am LOVING it. Normally, I read in bed until I fall asleep, which means that maybe I'll get through a chapter of a "regular" book each night. Since Fragile Things is a short story collection, I can get through an entire story or two... yay, instant gratification! A person's reaction to the following statement is a good indication of how they'll like the book: The first story is a combination of Sherlock Holmes and H.P. Lovecraft. :D

Knitting: I'm hoping to finish the body of the SKB tomorrow. I'm on the bottom purl ridges, so there are only a few rows left! And then I get to make sleeves. I'm doing long sleeves, but I don't think I'm doing the full-on bell sleeves that are in the pattern. Maybe a bit of flare, but big bell sleeves would drive me NUTS at work. Not to mention that I think of bell sleeves as a "young" look, and I try hard not to encourage the comments about how I look like I'm 16... I know, I know, I'll love it when I'm 40.

Other: I got a haircut. Nothing drastic, but it had reached that phase where I think it looks like a frizzy mess no matter what I do to it. I've learned that this phase is my head telling me, "You need less hair."

(Ignore the fact that I took this picture of myself by holding the camera as far away as possible... I hate doing that, but didn't feel like setting up a faux tripod with the self-timer.)

Sunday, November 26, 2006


First off, thanks to some awesome people for some gifts that I wasn't expecting at all:

Goodies from Lolly
(Bath & Body Works white tea and ginger hand soap, Grassroots ginger sugar scrub, a felt pin from 60 bugs, and a box of lollypops from See's Candies)

Handpainted bead necklace
(A handpainted bead necklace, which I think she said was from Greece, but I was distracted by pretty things and was only halfway paying attention)

Bath mitt kit
(a K1C2 knitted bath mitt and soap kit -- cucumber melon, one of my faves!)

Mama-E's C*EYE*BER FIBER sock yarn
(YARN!! Specifically, her C*EYE*BER Fiber sock yarn in "coldplay". Gorgeous stuff!)

and Jolene
(She made socks for me!! Hederas, from Knitty, in more C*EYE*BER FIBER)

Thanks so much, gals!

By the way, I suck; I owe giftage to so many people...

So, Wednesday at around noon, I drove up to NJ, taking along 3 bottles of wine, fresh-baked rolls, and a gingerbread cake. When I got to my parents' house, my mom gave me this:
new manicure kit
A manicure set from Bath and Body Works, which was a "thank you" to me for doing the Thanksgiving baking while I'm still adjusting back to a full-time work schedule (I was up kneading dough until 1 am Tuesday night...).

Thanksgiving was good. My brother subjected us to the Madonna concert and America's Next Top Model on Wednesday night... and I subjected myself to the Macy's parade and the 6ABC Boscov's parade Thursday morning. The 6ABC one is the local Philly parade, and since it's on ABC, it's like a 3-hour ad for Disney. It's just about the best opportunity for snarking that I get the entire year (I know, I'm not taking it in the spirit it's intended for AT ALL).

One of the things that was supposed to happen while I was in NJ was the hand-off of my new computer. Since I'm not home most of the time, my dad figured it might be easier to have it delivered up there. So, Thursday night, we opened up the box to get the computer out so that I didn't have to haul the whole huge box back, and discovered that the geniuses at Dell packaging had left the front panel off the computer. The front panel that holds in the drives and usually has things like volume controls on it... missing. So, no new computer just yet. Perhaps in a couple of weeks. :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving still feels weird without an MST3K marathon...

Just a quick post to say happy Thanksgiving. If you're driving (like I am), drive safe. If you're not, good luck with the cooking, and don't have any unfortunate turkey fryer incidents (AB's fried turkey episode, during which he demonstrated exactly What Not To Do, has been airing in heavy rotation on Food Network).

I'm heading out this morning as soon as my baking is done. A bunch of from-scratch rolls, a cake, and 3 bottles of wine will be keeping me company in the car. Dad requested 2 bottles of wine for tomorrow, so I'm bringing 3 and he can pick which ones he wants. I had fun at the wine store on Sunday, let me tell you.

There'll be an actual update on various things when I get back.

Happy Turkey Day!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Something pretty

Yesterday, we had a nice whopper of a storm come through. The circulation desk at our branch sits underneath a large opaque skylight, and I'm not kidding when I say that, mid-afternoon, it was raining so hard that I couldn't hear someone talking 3 feet away from me. There were times when the rain was coming down in such volume that I couldn't see the houses across the street through it.

However, we also got this:


My photography skills don't do it justice.

Monday, November 13, 2006


In scanning through radio stations on the way to work this morning, I discovered something terrifying. One of the stations in the area has already switched to Christmas music. Nothing but Christmas music. 24 hours a day. For the next month and a half.

*cries* Can't we have Thanksgiving first? Please?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A little quiz

I saw this quiz on another blog, and I had to take it to see if they'd have my accent listed (most people don't think I have an accent at all, and a few people just notice that I say certain words a little strangely).

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: Philadelphia

Your accent is as Philadelphian as a cheesesteak! If you're not from Philadelphia, then you're from someplace near there like south Jersey, Baltimore, or Wilmington. if you've ever journeyed to some far off place where people don't know that Philly has an accent, someone may have thought you talked a little weird even though they didn't have a clue what accent it was they heard.

What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

For the record, I'm from Cherry Hill NJ, a suburb about 10 minutes from Philadelphia.

If anyone watches Good Eats on the Food Network... you can't imagine how hard I was laughing during the construction of the turkey lowering derrick during the fried turkey episode. That may have qualified as my favorite Good Eats moment ever.

Not a whole lot going on in knitting that's newsworthy. I finished the lace waist detail on my Simple Knitted Bodice, so I'm doing the purl ridges, and then it's back to the larger needles for the waist shaping. My hold for Inspired Cable Knits was made available at the library last week... I liked a lot of the sweaters in it, but the one I know I'll be making is the Gathering Intentions sweater. The one with the I-cord. It's nifty.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Stitches East 2006

I went a bit overboard at Stitches, but I'm ok with that. For one thing, my birthday was last week, so this was kind of a present to myself. For another thing, this was the first time that I've bought yarn knowing that I had an actual salary coming in, so I told myself ahead of time that it would be acceptable to splurge. I've spent the last 2 years of knitting NOT splurging.

We had a big group: Coleen, Laura, Jolene, Diane, Lolly, Jenna, Suzanne, Erin, Cheryl, Stacey, Midge, and myself (and I'm hoping I haven't forgotten anyone... yell at me if I have). None of us cared for the "no photography allowed" rule. It's not like we're industrial design spies looking to rip off people's patterns. I could understand "no pictures of pieces on display", but no pictures of ANYTHING? This didn't disgruntle me so much that I had to protest by not buying any yarn, of course... but it was an irritating rule.

I had told myself that I'd look around for a while before buying anything. Of course, 5 minutes after arriving, I was walking out of the Brooks Farm booth with this luscious skein of Duet:
Brooks Farm Duet
It has a really interesting texture. It's a single of mohair plied with a single of wool, and it's incredibly soft. They had a wall full of this stuff, and I was tempted to just throw myself on it.

Closer up:
Brooks Farm Duet

After that, we tried a methodical plan of walking down each aisle in order, which worked for a while and then degenerated into a less methodical mish-mash of running around everywhere. At the Mannings booth, I picked up these skeins of Koigu:



My first Koigu! I can't wait to see this knitted up. And while I was on a sock yarn kick, I got my first Socks That Rock at the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth:

Socks That Rock

Socks That Rock

The color is "Watermelon Tourmaline", and it's bright and springy and definitely "me". That was it for my Day 1 yarn purchases. Some of us went to the Downtown Sports Exchange for lunch, since it's right across the street from the convention center. Yes, a sports bar. And no, we were definitely not the only group of knitters. They had Yuengling on tap, so I was happy (and my Caesar salad was pretty decent... the service wasn't the swiftest ever, but it wasn't a bad place).

So, I had already decided that I was going to go back today. I had gotten a two-day ticket, and there were a lot of booths that we didn't look at too closely. Rather than pay $20 for parking near the convention center, I took the light rail in. I'd like to implore MTA to update their website to reflect the actual location of the Glen Burnie station, because it's not even on the same STREET that the website has listed. The signs aren't very visible, and coming from the direction I came from, there were NO signs indicating that the station is somewhere else. Found the station, parked, and as I was walking over to the "platform", I noticed a LOT of people in purple. There was a Ravens game today. You can't imagine how glad I was that I hadn't driven in. Aside from the traffic, it looks like a lot of people park further away from the stadium and walk over; I'm almost positive I wouldn't have found parking in any of the lots around the convention center.

Plus, this gave me the experience of riding the light rail in a car packed with Ravens fans, including one guy in a mask and purple cape. Super Raven, maybe? There were also some people going to Disney on Ice. One little girl (she turned 6 in August, but her mom STILL hasn't given her a party) was asking me about my knitting, and then was telling me about the first time she went to to Disney on Ice, and told me about her favorite princess... chatty kids are too funny.

Yarn buying. I had 4 booths that I really wanted to look at: Webs, Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm, Tess Yarns, and Wool in the Woods. Webs had bags of Elsebeth Lavold Angora, and I couldn't decide yesterday if I needed a bag. I decided overnight: Yes, I need a bag of this stuff.

Elsebeth Lavold Angora

I've used EL Angora before, as the lower 2/3rds of my Jayne Hat. The thought of having a whole sweater in it makes me giddy.

Back at MDS&W, I found Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm almost by accident. It was late in the day, and things were pretty picked over. I did find two skeins of a merino/silk blend that I really liked, but there were ONLY two skeins of it. Luckily, I found another three skeins at Stitches:


Two of the skeins here are $5 half skeins, so I basically have 4 total skeins now.

There were a lot of gorgeous things at the Tess Yarns booth, but I ended up not getting anything. Which was just as well, because then I went over to Wool in the Woods. I'm kind of obsessed with this company, so I knew I'd be getting something. That "something" was 4 skeins of their cotton tape yarn, called "Gypsy"... I loved Rowan Cotton Tape, back before they discontinued it (ARGH), so I'm always looking for similar things from other companies. Plus, Gypsy, MST3K... yeah, I had to get it.



And at that point I decided to leave, since no more yarn would fit in my bag. :)

While waiting for the light rail, ANOTHER chatty kid started talking to me, this one a boy, probably about 10, who was taking the train out to BWI to fly home to Albany. And then his dad was having problems with the ticket machine and asked if I knew how to work the things. I didn't have the heart to tell him that today was the first time I'd ever used them myself. The problem was that the machine was low on change, so if he used a $20 bill to pay, he was going to lose about $3. I ended up giving him 50 cents so he could pay with the change that he had (not that they collect or scan tickets anyway). He seemed to be in full-on frazzled "gotta get to the airport" mode, since when my train showed up, I had to tell him that the BWI train would be the next one... Yeah, that's airport frazzle. I hope he and the kid had a nice flight home.

This, by the way, is possibly the closest to home I've ever been when someone has asked for directions or help with public transit. Probably the best was the couple of times I got asked for directions in London, by people who apparently thought I was a native. The looks on their faces when I opened my mouth and an American accent came out... kind of priceless.

So, that's my haul. I'm good on yarn for a while. :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Something that made me smile

This was what greeted me first thing in the morning on my first day:

New job!
Note the balls of yarn on the banner. :)

New job!
And flowers! Potted flowers that, theoretically, won't wilt after a few days. I just have to not neglect them horribly.

I have discovered a surprising love for herbal tea. I say "surprising" because I've never liked herbal tea before, EVER. On a whim, I got some organic mint tea at the natural market a few weeks ago. I still don't know what made me buy it, but I LOVE the stuff. I went back last week and got more, along with some "wild berry herb"... and I like that too. So now, I need more. The brand that I'm in love with is Choice Organic, but I'm taking other recommendations. :)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Originally uploaded by 2chacha.
I've been saving the skull in all its AA-battery illuminated glory for my official Halloween post. I got this at Target, and I absolutely have to go back to see what's been marked down. There were other figures in this line, although the skull was my favorite.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Some spinning

Thanks to everyone who commented on the socks! I was very happy to get them finished before the end of Socktober, and I even wore them to work yesterday. Speaking of which, I have three words to describe work yesterday: Library. Haunted. House. It was pirate themed, and performed by a local costuming group. Lots of fun, but some of the kids got a little (or a LOT) overexcited, and came back into the library screaming their heads off.

No big knitting progress to speak of. However, I had some handspun that I pulled off my drop spindle and wound into a mini-skein. This is SWTC Karaoke fiber, and I was basically playing around with it to see how it spun. The resulting yarn is about DK weight.

Karaoke handspun

Up next: knitting a swatch with this, and testing out some of the navy blue corriedale I got a few weeks ago.

I'm looking forward to Stitches, taking place in Baltimore -- my backyard! I'm not taking any classes, but I think I'll be marketplace-bound on Saturday and maybe Sunday.

Also looking forward to seeing Firefly folks popping up on CSI and Lost... that makes me happy. :) And it'll be cold enough for me to start wearing my Jayne hat soon.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Petticoat Socks

I have finally -- FINALLY -- finished the Petticoat Socks!

Petticoat Socks

Turns out, projects get finished when you work on them, opposed to letting them sit untouched in your project basket for days and weeks at a time. As of 3 days ago, I was still on the leg section of Sock 2, with 3 lace repeats to go before I could start the heel flap. Worked on it Wednesday and yesterday, and this morning, I finished off the toe decreases and Kitchener stitched the toe closed. And then my camera announced that the battery was almost dead, so I had to wait a couple of hours before I could upload pictures.

Petticoat Socks

This was my first "official" pair of socks. I have a pair of Lion Brand Homespun slipper socks, but since there is no way I could ever wear them with shoes, I don't count them.

Although I took a long time to finish them, these were fun. Learned how to do a picot edge, learned that I will never again do socks one at a time...

As for overdyeing them, everyone I've talked to has said that they like the striping, so I'm going to hold off to see if they grow on me. I can always dye them later if I still want to, but I can't un-dye them. I feel like I can't really see the lace pattern; the pictures in the book look really detailed and delicate compared to mine, which look like striped socks with some yarnovers.

Pattern: Petticoat Socks from Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick
Yarn: Knitpicks Palette, overdyed with grape Koolaid
Needles: US 2
Done top down, with a heel flap (because I like Kitchener stitch and picking up stitches... because I'm weird)

Yay, Socktoberfest!

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I want one.

I don't know that I have the wiring skills needed to make one, and I have nowhere to display pumpkins here... it makes me so happy, though. How can you look at it and not laugh? It's so awesome.


SKB is coming along. I love fantastically easy lace like the lace on the waist section: a 7-stitch repeat that's just a mirrored set of yarnovers and decreases. I've been working on the lace while watching Mythbusters repeats today. :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

In-progress pics

Blogger is being persnickety today, so I'm trying to make this quick in case it stops working again and I end up having to retype everything.

Simple Knitted Bodice without flash (color is wrong, but fuzziness is more visible):
Simple Knitted Bodice

With flash (color is correct, but yarn looks weird and shiny):
Simple Knitted Bodice

Beaded purl ridges
Simple Knitted Bodice - Beaded Purl Ridges

Getting the beads on to the yarn was an adventure, and not a fun adventure like Goonies... I'm using 6/0 E beads on worsted weight yarn. They fit, but it's a pretty tight fit, and I had to fight with a lot of the beads to get them on. I got about 500 beads strung (and if you've worked with beads, you know that's not an exaggeration), and then went about spacing them out along the length of the skein... and discovered a knot in the yarn about 15 yards in. A knot that I couldn't get the beads to go past. So, I had to cut the yarn and RESTRING all of the beads on the other side of the knot. I'm just glad that the beads look good with the yarn; I feel like it was worth the expletives.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Some yarn porn

To make up for my last really-long-and-completely-devoid-of-pictures post...

Cascade Fixation. I have 10 balls of this, because it's on sale at Little Knits. There are only 2 colors available (this color, and an orange-yellow-pink combo that I came close to buying as well), but if you like either color, full bags are $29.75 + shipping...
Cascade Fixation

Some Lorna's Laces, Miata colorway, maybe?
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock

Classic Elite Star
Classic Elite

Rowan Cotton Braid
Rowan Cotton Braid

Rowan All Seasons Cotton
Rowan All Seasons Cotton

Mystery green cotton
Green mystery cotton

Last night, I put my Simple Knitted Bodice on to waste yarn so I could try it on to make sure the fit is ok. Wow, it takes a little while to transfer 250 stitches on to waste yarn and then back on to needles... however, it looks like everything is where it should be, so we're on to the main body knitting. Another couple of rows before the fronts get joined, and then it'll be bead stringing time.

Monday, October 16, 2006

News! Real news!

So, first, the giant happy news: I've been promoted to full-time! I can't accurately convey how thrilled I am about this without using a glut of exclamation points, and then my blog would look all OMG LOL!!11!!!!!! I got off the phone with HR Thursday morning and had a total happy fit, complete with jumping around and making high-pitched noises. I've been working part-time since January, and I don't think I need to tell anyone that part-time work doesn't cover the bills. Full-time work will make life a lot easier, and I feel like a fairly huge weight has been lifted... Hey, I'll have money for Stitches! :)

After getting this phone call, I then had to work Thursday afternoon and evening, 2 shifts at 2 different branches... which I won't have to do any more as a full-time employee, yay! They do schedule an hour between shifts for travel time and dinner, so I got to my evening branch and had about half an hour to eat. For some reason, I also had two cups of coffee. I don't know if it was the caffeine just knocking me for a loop or what, but I spent most of my shift jittery, light-headed, woozy, and generally feeling very VERY weird. I got home around 9:30 and went straight to bed. I almost never go to bed before midnight, so... no, I was not feeling well AT ALL. I know caffeine is bad for me, and doubly so because of my panic attacks. It's probably for the best if I go back to my "only have coffee at knitting group" rule, and stay away from it other than that.

Whatever was going on, illness-wise, it was mostly gone on Friday, so I was ok to go to work and then to Erin's birthday party, which involved much wine, much food (Cheryl put together a FANTASTIC spread -- thanks, Cheryl!), much yarn... we had lots of fun! And we had a yarn swap, and I'm pretty sure I ended up with more than I brought. Also on Friday, a bag of Cascade Fixation that I ordered from Little Knits showed up, so I think I have enough yarn to last me until Stitches. Probably. :)

I spent the weekend up in NJ, and my brother was actually visiting at the same time. I saw him for about 6 hours on Saturday before he had to catch a train back to NYC. Spent Sunday afternoon at a brunch at my grandmother's retirement complex (there were cream puffs, so I was happy). For dinner, my dad and I went to pick up stuff from Boston Market, where we waited at least 30 minutes to just start placing our order. Too few employees who weren't exactly rushing to fill people's orders + a couple of high maintenance customers with complicated orders = a line 45 minutes long by the time we finally got out of there. You better believe we had wine with dinner: a lovely bottle of chambourcin from Fiore that I brought up with me.

I managed to get back from NJ today in time to go grab some Indian food before Knit Night... yum. Although I love Indian food, this actually was the first time I've ever had tandoori chicken (I tend to go for curries instead). I want to try to make naan, but I'm not sure how close I can get in a home kitchen without a tandoor oven. I'll have to try it out anyway, because I could live on the stuff. Well, except that I don't want to get scurvy.

At Knit Night, I finished another square on the Manos mitered square bag (I'll finish this bag someday, honest)... the Simple Knitted Bodice is at the point where I need to put it on waste yarn to see how it fits, so I couldn't have worked on it even if I had brought it with me. I had my sock with me, but didn't work on it. Worst. Socktoberfest participant. Ever. ;)

Anyway, that's the past few days. SO HAPPY about the job situation that everything else is just gravy. :D

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Bloglines folks, I have no idea. I had Bloglines ping my feed, and it seems to have reset...

My Bloglines subscribers were treated to a crossed feed this morning. Instead of my knitting blog, they got a bunch of new entries from "Everything Sports". Rest assured, I have not started a sports blog.

Thanks, Erin, for the heads-up!

Monday, October 09, 2006

New roving!

So, I did indeed go down to Springwater in Alexandria to pick up a couple more skeins of the Misti Alpaca that I'm using for my Simple Knitted Bodice. I also got 6.2 oz of Corriedale roving in a gorgeous dark navy blue:

Corriedale roving

I know: a subtle color of roving, for once. Not bright and neon. Not 5 colors that don't really go together.

Since it was a gorgeous day here in the MD/VA area (70 degrees and sunny), Alexandria was a mob scene. The apparent thought process of the Old Town pedestrians yesterday was, "Oh, a car is trying to turn? Well, I have a 'Walk' sign, and I will be taking my sweet time crossing the street. I will probably even give snotty looks to drivers while they wait for me to slowly amble my way across the street. I don't care that they have a line of traffic backed up behind them and can't move because of me being in the way. La la la." Nobody could turn because of the pedestrians who wouldn't move. I know when I see a car waiting for me to cross the street, I hustle a bit... but that's the way I roll. So, the roads were crowded, the sidewalks were crowded, and walking around there wasn't going to be a leisurely or fun activity. I decided to come home. Since I definitely wanted to do something outdoors, I went over to the airport trail and wandered around for a while. Some of the trees are starting to change colors, but things are still mostly green.

Some kind of thistle

Changing leaves

Bike path

The rest of this is going to be about my geeky reading habits... consider yourself warned. :)

I don't know how a new Terry Pratchett book snuck by me, but there's apparently a new book in his Tiffany Aching series, Wintersmith. *waits patiently for the library to get copies in*

Over the summer, I was reading a lot of non-fiction (A Short History of Nearly Everything and A Walk in the Woods, both by Bill Bryson, and Decoding the Universe by Charles Seife, for starters) but now, I'm on a "whatever interesting-looking sci-fi/fantasy books cross my path" kick. Just finished the Dies the Fire alternate history trilogy by S.M. Stirling and The Necessary Beggar by Susan Palwick, and Saturday, I grabbed a copy of Celtika by Robert Holdstock. Liked Dies the Fire, could have done without The Necessary Beggar (very overwrought, everybody's depressed and anguished... I read an online review that compared it to a Lifetime movie, which I can't exactly disagree with.) Celtika could be interesting... Merlin + Finnish mythology + Jason and the Argonauts. I love Arthurian legend and I love ancient mythology, so I'm hopeful.

I also have 3 other sf/f books waiting in my mailbox at the main area branch, and a copy of Beyond Reason: 8 Great Problems That Reveal the Limits of Science by A.K. Dewdney sitting on my to-be-read shelf (plus about 20 cookbooks/knitting books/other how-to books)... so it's actually ok that I have to wait a little while for the library to get copies of Wintersmith.

You know, I stayed far away from fantasy reading for years, probably because I knew I'd go nuts with it. Having an obsessive personality is fun. :) We're all so very lucky I didn't blog during the height of my Buffy addiction.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Oh, Battlestar Galactica, how I've missed you. Frak me, what an awesome show. ;)

I had to laugh when they showed the "This season on BSG" preview, and there's one of the characters who was supposed to have been executed at the end of tonight's premiere, walking around and doing just fine... Sci-Fi has been taking lessons from the Fox promo monkeys.

I tried to knit during it, but I didn't get much done. Probably just as well. I've had wine. :D

The little that I did get done brought me closer to being finished with the yoke increases on my Simple Knitted Bodice. I'm on my last repeat before joining. My only real concern is that I might run out of yarn, but everything I have is labeled as dye lot "1", so it's apparently not a yarn that has many dye lots. I'm hoping that I'll be able to grab a couple more skeins, maybe on Sunday (I got the yarn at Springwater in Alexandria, and going there isn't exactly something I can do spur-of-the-moment). I can think of worse ways to spend a Sunday than doing some browsing in Alexandria, especially since I haven't really gotten a chance to do that the other times I've gone there.

I can't go yarn shopping tomorrow, because I'm working all day. If anyone wants to come to work with me, I could totally smuggle someone in my knitting bag... ok, a very small someone. And the purse lockers probably aren't the most comfortable place to hang out. Aaaaand that's it, no more wine for me tonight. Although I haven't reached "drunk" (as evidenced by the fact that I can still type), I do have powerfully bad judgment when I get too much alcohol in my system. Right now, I think I'm at a nice level of "acceptably tipsy, yet not too stupid"... Good night, folks. *hugs* :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Evil little nuggets of caffeine

So, I slept through tonight's Baltimore SnB, after having spent the last few days on an all-hours cleaning spree. This was inspired by two magic words: "apartment inspection". If I had known that the inspection would be a guy flipping a couple of lights on and off, I might not have gone so nuts. Anyway, my cleaning spree had been fueled by Trader Joe's chocolate covered espresso beans, and I finally crashed this afternoon... and slept right through the SnB. At least I got to Knit Night last night. If I had slept through that, I would have been cranky. I got a bit done there on my second Petticoat Sock. It's lace, but easy-to-remember lace, so there haven't been any distracted mishaps on it yet. I have 8 leg repeats done, with another 5 to go before starting the heel.

The good news is, post-cleaning, my apartment looks quite nice. I'll see if I feel like rearranging the furniture tomorrow... It's been a long time coming, considering that I've had my current configuration for well over a year. I even have a floor plan drawn out, so I know ahead of time where everything is going. :)

There are so many TV happenings that I am excited about this week. Lost, the Project Runway reunion show, Battlestar Galactica... yay! Makes up nicely for my Fox shows being gone during the playoffs. I may end up watching some of the playoffs anyway, but not as much as I would have if the Phillies had gotten their wild card spot. *sigh* They were close this year.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Crafty Bastards!

So, how could one NOT go to something called the Crafty Bastards arts and crafts fair? I went with Sarah and Kirby, and we had fun. None of us got anything at Crafty Bastards... we didn't get there right at the start, and some of the booths were already pretty picked over. A lot of the vendors were just selling t-shirts or tote bags with their designs, and it wasn't as much handmade craft stuff as I was expecting (Oh, Craftsman's Christmas Classic in Richmond, you spoiled me). We wandered around for a while, then headed out of the festival and got the hugest slices of pizza I have ever seen. They gave us two plates to hold each slice, and the slices didn't even entirely fit on those.

After Crafty Bastards, I think we all needed to go buy something, so we went over to Stitch DC.

Stitch DC

Some RYC Luxury Cotton DK came home with me:
RYC Luxury Cotton DK

Not a color I usually go for, but I really liked this. It's a very champagne-y beige with a nice sheen to it.

And, in honor of Socktoberfest kicking off, I picked up my neglected second Petticoat Sock today and finished a lace repeat. :)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Lion Brand 2006 catalog

A couple of weeks ago, I got a Lion Brand catalog in the mail. It seems very much like they're trying to make their brand image a bit more upscale... they have it available as a pdf here.

A couple of sample pages:
Lion Brand catalog

Lion Brand catalog

This catalog is much more about the projects than the yarn, and they're putting some thought into the designs. A lot of the patterns featured are for sale, not freebies, and I can definitely picture people paying for some of them. If you look at a lot of their previous free patterns, it's all huge ponchos and shapeless sweaters. If they're getting away from that, it's a great move. As much as it pains me to say it, I don't even completely hate the Fun Fur offerings (except for the "mink" coat). This rug/pillow combo, for example:

(lefthand page)
Lion Brand catalog

How cute would that be in a kid's room?

See what I mean? Isn't there a rule that Fun Fur projects should be tacky messes? How did they find something cute and appropriate to do with it? I need to lie down.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

As promised... of my crafty purchases. :)

First, the beads I got for my Simple Knitted Bodice:

TLC Amore:
TLC Amore

Amore, detail to show fluffiness
TLC Amore

TLC Cotton Plus (I got 2 skeins of each color)
TLC Cotton Plus

TLC Cotton Plus, close-up
TLC Cotton Plus

Monday, September 25, 2006

Too early for Christmas decor

I worked over at the Crofton branch on Friday, where I got to meet fellow knitters Kathy and Catherine (Hi Kathy, who reads my blog!). I don't get over to that branch very often, basically just for emergencies when nobody from their area pool of subs is available... but knowing that there are knitters there, I definitely hope I get to work there more.
(Plus, interesting things seem to happen over there. The first time I worked at that branch, there was a fire drill. This time, the police were searching for someone on the run in the area, complete with helicopter surveillance. Seriously.)

Today, I went over to AC Moore to take advantage of their 20% off all yarn sale. They're such wonderful enablers. I got some TLC Cotton Plus for the stash, and some "Vanilla" TLC Amore that I'm going to use for a blanket for my grandmother for Christmas. I wanted something that would be machine washable for her and not too heavy, and Amore's a pretty nice, fairly light acrylic. I also got some beads to use on my Simple Knitted Bodice, along with some beading needles with huge eyes so that I can actually get the beads on to the yarn. (Pictures on the way tomorrow.)

I also decided to finally go check out David's Natural Market in Gambrills. I've driven by it a bunch of times, but I've never gone in. I ended up just wandering around, humming along with the in-store radio playing Vaughan Williams' 5th Symphony (and it isn't exactly a hummable piece, so I was probably getting some odd looks). Since I still owe my SP a final package, I picked up a couple of things to send to her. It's a neat place, and I have to go back... it's closer to me than Trader Joe's, and it's bigger and has more stuff. Like every kind of flour know to man, which is exciting when you're into bread baking. Plus, they have Dirty Chips! A few years ago, I was on a roadtrip, and picked up a snack bag at some little independent convenience store... and I haven't been able to find them since.

I got home, and I had to go spend some time outside because it was absolutely gorgeous out. I went over to the BWI Trail, which is a paved biking/walking path that goes around BWI Airport. I have to say, it's a bit surreal to be walking along surrounded by trees and suddenly have a plane pass overhead only a couple hundred feet up (the one parking area is, quite literally, across the street from one of the landing strips). I don't know who came up with the idea to put a trail around BWI, but it was a stroke of genius. I walked about 2.5 miles, and snapped a picture of this nifty plant:

BWI flora

Yes, it really was that pink. The full path around the airport is about 12.5 miles, so I'll have to take a few hours one Saturday or Sunday and walk around the whole thing.

As I was on my way back home, I decided that I wanted to get a pedometer, so I went to Target. And I made the mistake of venturing into the Halloween section.

I went to Target for a pedometer...

You can see the pedometer sitting there in the front, dwarfed by Halloween purchases. I got a couple of bags of candy, a 4-pack of Jones Soda "Monster Mojito", and a LIGHT-UP sparkly skull. For $3, I couldn't NOT get it. When illuminated, it's simply resplendent.

And yes, Target has Christmas stuff available now.