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. :)