Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tying Up Loose Ends

Woo Hoo!  Mushrooms for Color has arrived!!!  The famous first book (famous to mushroom dyers, that is) has come and it's wonderful.  The seller even tied a wonderful piece of yarn around the carefully wrapped tissue paper.  I'm so exicited!!!  I started cleaning the bedroom and craft room today.  At the very least, I'd like to wake up in the new year in a clean, fresh bedroom.   It was starting to look like one on "Clean House."  I'm taking the bed linens to the laundromat when I finish tidying up and hopefully, I will finish the last two inches of the leg so I can start on the heel flap.  I believe that the heel flap will give me a burst of vigor until I start getting bored with the foot.  Poor DH.  He really does put up with a lot of messiness.  Today I'd like to return my library books, find that damn Twinkle book,  go to Central Park with P and make a nice dinner with Mr. Miukat.  Oh, the best laid plans of mice and men... 

I'd like to say that I did everything I wanted to today, but it would be a lie.  I cleaned the craftroom up a bit, and can see the floor now.  That's super exciting!  Also, I made beef stew and red velvet cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese icing at DH's request.  He's still playing video games, though and hasn't noticed.  I also did some laundry and have only 1 inch to go before I work on the heel flap.  It's already 11!  

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Starting Early!

I'm trying out a new tradition.  It's based on a Chinese New Year Tradition.  It's Cleaning-The-House-Before-The-New-Year.  Last year, I tried to get on the cleaning bandwagon, with limited success.  Still have clutter, and stuff to move, but for the most part, we've donated a few truckloads of stuff to Sally's Department Store.  I got a cleaning caddy, learned about cleaning and have been moving slowly forward.  I'm not there, yet, but it's coming.  My real goal is to be a neat and clean person by the time I'm forty.  I have a few good years left before that happens.  I will cry on my birthday if that day comes and I wake up still a slob.  This year, the craft room is my focus.  It wants to be a storage space and I want it to be a work room.  We're still in the process of compromise.  The other thing is that my husband wanted the room to be storage, but I claimed it as my own immediately.  Sackgirl-in-progress stabbed him in the leg with a knitting needle, and i think he's had it.  This is not fair to him, especially when the spillover creeps into his domain:  the entertainment room.  I'd like to clean it up and work in there also to show him I respect his space because as of now, I don't.

In other news, I discovered/identified two key things about my personality:  I am a flutterer and (damn, I forgot the word.  Basically someone who likes to do things in short bursts)  I like to wash the dishes and clean the house when I can do it a few minutes at a time.  I never do all the dishes at once.   I like do a rack, let them dry, then go back.  Same with the rest of the chores.  Devoting big chunks of time to things I don't really like stresses me out.  Vacation has been good, because I have the time to live like this for now.  What will I do when work and school start?

Monday, December 29, 2008

R and R

Well, today was not quite as busy as days past.  I contacted the WildMan Steve Brill to see if I could set a date for a dye forage.  We are tentatively scheduled for October 5, but nothing is confirmed.  In the meantime, I'm learning all I can about natural dyes.  I don't want to be a point person for an activity I know nothing about.   Maybe I'll go to the park and look for polypores to play with.  

Here's what I actually did.  I went to see my MIL, took a nap, and went to hang with Spin City. It was really nice to hang out with MagicStix and play show and tell. It seems qiviut is the fiber of the hour. It's super soft and luxurious. None for me until I can whittle down my stash. Next year, I would love a subscription to A Verb for Keeping Keep Warm.  The roving there is to die for!  I love all the soft colors.  I think they are what made me interested in natural dyeing.  I don't dabble much in sampling wool, but I heard that this year's Featured Sheep Breed is Leicester Longwool.  OMG!  Just like at Colonial Williamsburg!  I was super excited.  It seems that this sheep does not have a good reputation for the spinners in my area.  I guess the wool is a bit rough compared to, say quiviut and merino.  Oh well.  I would love to get my hands on some.  Little by little, I will learn.
Lastly, I finally got my hands on the Stitch and Pitch bags.  I was like a kid in a candy store.  (Saber, stop purring over my shoulder!)  In any case,  I got some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, an few sample skeins of ArtYarn, some Moda Dea Dream, Red Hear Foxy,   Sirdar Snuggly, Austermann Samoa, KnitLites needles, size 9 and 15, and a few patterns.  Oh, I almost forgot, some Caron Simply Soft, and some safety orange yarn.  Woo hoo.  Camo bikini-here I come!  It was like Christmas all over!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mr. Sandman...Bring Me a Dream

Good Morning! The day is already starting out way better than yesterday. The cats are licking their chops from breakfast and the house is quiet. I spent about a half-hour in bed this morning dreaming happy wakeful new project thoughts. I don't know if this happens to any of you out there in Blogland, but right before I fall asleep and right as I am waking up, the weirdest projects come to me. It's how I conceptualized my niece's birthday cakes, and wedding dress, and I love when it happens. Well, I guess something happened when I was sleeping and the "Tinsel Bikini" somehow weavedknit it's way into my subconscience and came out early this morning as "KnitBits-12 months of Knit Bikinis." Oh yeah. I have one for every month, save May, as nothing much really happens in May, and I have flowers on my August bikini. Here's a list:

January-Fancy New Year's Bikini-silver fun fur
February-Valentines Day Bikini-pink, white, and red, with a big red heart on the each triangle cup
March-St.Patrick's Bikini-Green bikini with rainbow i-cord ties and black wide waistband on the hipster with a big gold buckle. Accesories include a pot-o-gold purse, black with crocheted gold coins on top.
April-Easter Bikini-white angora bikini with knit bunny ears and a pompom tail
May-May Flowers-Basketweave crochet bikini with flowers trimming the waist and top
June-Grass Bikini-green fun fur bikini accessorized with red ginham and a picnic theme
July-Fourth of July Bikini-blue triangle top bikini with stars on each triangle cup, red and white striped bottoms
August-Birthday Bikini-yellow bikini with jewel-toned crocheted flowers (like my birthday dress)
September-Back to School Bikini-White halter top bikini with collar and pink tie, gray bottoms with pleated flouce.
October-Hunting Bikini-Camo bikini with saftey orange trim and button down, wide leg-warmers
November-Thanksgiving Bikini-Brown bikini with turkey tail
December-Christmas Bikini-haven't decided yet

So you see, I have issues. Off to clean the kitchen, make red velvet cake and dye my reclaimed mohair.

Here it was before: Here it is after:
I call it Raspberry Truffle. I know it's not very original, but I like it. Off to watch football and get some knitting on the socks-that-will-take-forever (STWTF for short).

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I went out this morning to get cat food, parked my truck, then noticed a bunch of wires and lightbulbs hanging out of the hole where my tail light should be.  Ugh.  I can't use my truck until I get a replacement.  I spent the better part of the day doing fibery things to get my mind off it.  First, I took some roving that's been in my stash for years and started spinning it.  Don't know much about wpi, but like most yarn that I make, it will be a 2-ply and is slated to become a cropped vest.  So far I've got a bobbin and a half.  If I had to guess at wpi, I'd say it's 9-12.  It's grayish, with burgundy and dark green streaks, with some flash.  It will make a good top to a sexy librarian outfit!

J and I went thrifting, and I bought some sweaters for the frog pond.  The first one was a complete bust.  It was ladder yarn, and I thought it had sequins stranded with it, but upon frogging, I realized the sequins were sewn in.  The yarn was hard to frog, so I gave up.  It was a silk/nylon mix and had beautiful drape.  Oh well.  Lessons learned.  AND, it had a crocheted edging on the hem AND was edged with a chain stitch thingy which did NOT want to unravel.  
The next sweater was an Italian hand-knit mohair sweater.  The sewing yarn was really hard to see.  I did waste a bit, but got a big, hunkin' skein in the end.  There are a bit short lengths in it.  It's not a problem, though.  It was so damn annoying to frog that I can't imagine anything I knit from it coming undone.  Tomorrow I will try to kettle dye it brown/pink.  That failing, I will overdye it burgundy.  That's all for now.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better day.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Friday!

It's the friday after Christmas and I'm sick, tired, and broke.  I had a wonderful holiday, but the day was long.  The hour and a half drive back from upstate on Christmas eve was through a dense, gray fog.  We didn't wake up until 12 on Christmas.  DH has been sick, and I think he may have spread his disease to me.  I vow that the new year will be better.  On a lighter note, in order to get my mind off the possibility of vomiting, I have been considering the idea of getting this.

Here is a bad picture of my fiber stash.  (I didn't get the camera I wanted for Christmas, but it's ok.  I think I may read our camera manual and try to do better.)
Jasper, the 20 pound cat in the corner, will give you an idea of the scale of my stash.  I found adult natural mohair, merino fleece, a few pounds of merino roving, a few ounces of dog hair, a few ounces of cat hair, black shetland fleece, free brown mystery fleece, free gray mystery fleece, mohair roving in blues, gray roving, brown/multicolor roving, green merino tussah roving, random odd dyed bits, tussah roving, purple roving with blue angelina, pink and orange dyed merino fleece, and I think that's it.  NOW, if anyone believes that I DON'T need a drum carder, SPEAK NOW, or forever hold your fleece peace.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thank You, Mr. Postman

So, my husband comes up the stairs and brings me a package and says, "Here.  It was outside.  Did you order anything?"  and I say, "Nothing that I can remember, but it's always possible."  So he gives me a media-mail envelope which CLEARLY feels like a book, perhaps from my Amazon wishlist, and sure enough, it's The Age of Homespun.  There was no note, no message, and no one told me I was getting anything.  Thank you, O mystery book gifter.  I look forward to reading it over the holiday.

On the mad present crafting front, my coworkers liked their gnomey ornaments, and yesterday, J and I made decorated molded sugar flower-cubes, and decorated sugar cubes with Christmas-y flowers.  We also made bathbombs.  I dare say I added a bit too much liquid and the domes now look like silicone breast implants.  Oh bother.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy...

Today I gave J her neckwarmer.  I was so happy to see it go to it's intended.  We did a lot of christmas-y stuff today like:  make eucalyptus bath melts, green tea cookie bath salts, lavendar bath salts, marbled peppermint bark, chocolate sauce and caramel sauce.  Tomorrow, we'll make up a quick batch of half-sphere bath bombs.  I think she made pizzelles, too.  DH and I saw Broadway's version of "Young Frankenstein."  It was cute.  I especially liked the parts when they made new songs/scenes.   My only complaint is that I don't like when the Broadway actors try to hard to be the movie actors playing the part.  I think that actors need to bring their own experience/take on a character, rather than acting like another actor.  This was the same complaint I had about Little Shop of Horrors.  I wanted to see the Dentist, not an actor acting like Steve Martin acting like the dentist.  Still it was fun.  Must...finish...knitting... 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Died Dyed Today!

O! frabjous day, Callooh Callay!  I dyed some yarn with food coloring and vinegar.  Strike me down for not taking pics.  Still having camera issues.  I knew I wanted purples.  I knew I wanted an adult palette, serious and toned down.  I also knew I did NOT want pooling.  I used some chunky superwash that I had gotten at Smiley's a few years back in a neutral color.  First, it soaked in hot water w/ a little detergent for a few minutes.  Then I squeezed it out, salad spun it, and laid it on plastic wrap on the counter.  I mixed up some squeeze bottles of warm water, a glug of vinegar and a squirt of food coloring.  I used the paste and gel colors that come in squeeze bottles in violet, gel violet, red red, and rose.  One violet separated and turned sky blue.  The black looked dark blue, one violet actually  looked purple and the pink was an afterthought when the red was too red.  It behaved more like a paint, somehow.  Anyway, I started with the black, zigzagging lines in a somewhat pattern, then added the purple, the blue, and some red.  Then, I squeezed out the excess water, flipped the yarn over, finished off the dye and still had some light spots.  I squeezed out the excess again and then overdyed in violet, which somehow looked blue.  I gave up trying, dismayed, and consigned this batch to a possible overdye after processing.  Then I microwaved for ten minutes, cooking for two and cooling for two five times.  I will def. steam on the stove next time.  This was too labor intensive for me.  I'm impatient to let the bath exhaust, and couldn't tell when it was finished, so I gave it a soapy rinse after about 4 minutes.  It ran like hell.  So I did six more minutes.  The dye still ran.  Rinsing in the bathtub helped a lot.  The colors seemed better.  I dried it on the radiator, wound it into balls and started on another neckwarmer.  Pictures to follow.  Once again, my buttons came in handy and I found the perfect ones.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fall In Love All Over Again!

So, I finally got up enough willpower to do it.  I literally dusted off my spinning wheel, ditched the pluckfluff-inspired yarn that was too bulky for the orifice and which kept getting stuck in the hooks and spun up some of that yummy merino/silk blend that I got at Rhinebeck. It was really hard to pick a name and colorway for the new yarn, seeing as I've misplaced the vendor information at this moment, but settled on "Wooly Silk" in the "Swamp Flower" colorway.  A green name that accurately described the color was very hard to come up with.  It wasn't emeraldy, or jade-like, and all I could think of was a swamp with colorful flowers in it.  I envy the people who have all kinds of cute, funny and snarky names for their yarn.  This yarn satisfied my urge to spin a thick and thin bulky yarn.  The "Cashmere Neckwarmer" pattern only used about 75 grams of this gorgeous roving  I am so in love with this pattern!  A large, iridescent white button from my button thrifting outing and is just perfect to finish her off.   It only took a few hours to complete and I feel like I could make one for everyone I know!  (Just kidding!)   The picture doesn't do it justice and I'm working on getting a new camera for xmas.  Maybe I'll build a lightbox over vacation, too.  I can't take the crappy pictures anymore!

While spinning on my wheel, I remebered why I bought a wheel to begin with: a.) I like yarn b.) I like making yarn and c.) I hate drop spindles.  Ok.  I said it.  I hate drop spindles.  I don't want a Lollipop, or a Golding, or an ebony and tiger-fox-bearwood maple hand-carved spindle.  I don't want to spindle in public, or at home, or on a hike in the woods.  I love that some people love it.  I love the idea of it, but the truth is, I don't like doing it.  If I want yarn, I want it now.  I haven't spun in at least a year, and within an hour, I had a finished 2-ply.  I have a need for speed.  I will not be denied.  Going back to my wheel was like going home.  Ahhh.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sackgirl's Evil Twin

Sackgirl is becoming my nemesis.  Yes, she is cute and perky, but the worst is that her head is hard for me to shape.  It not round, but sort of square, a little bit wider on the bottom and tapering slightly towards the top.  She's making me crazy.  When  I started this project, I was like, "Ok, I'll just improvise!" and I thought it would take me one skein and a few days.  Well, a few days has turned into a few weeks and one skein has become two and maybe even three!  I am not knitting Sackgirl.  I am knitting her evil, teenaged, difficult twin.  I don't like her much right now.  The knitting is hard on my hands, so I put her down for a while.  Since I've picked her up, I more confused than ever.  I hope we can salvage our relationship.  (Cry, cry.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We Got Mittenz!

I finished my Cabled Owl Mittenz today!  They were so easy, I almost couldn't believe it.  The only other mittens I made were crocheted a few years ago, and I lost one.  These mitts are going on a cord ASAP!  They'll be no divorced mittens for me!  I worked a little bit on my Sackgirl.  She's a real brat.  She hurts my wrists and I need to buy another (2?) skein(s).  My deadline is before Comic-Con, so I have two more months.    In any case, I'm just praying she doesn't need to be disciplined (aka ripped) for being a bad Sackgirl.  I have my reservations about her mouth, as I cast on 35 stitches, and now they grew giant, like double the size of the ones on the needle below.  (I should take  pictures of what I'm talking about.  Basically I am making the mouth with a short-row toe.)  I'm hoping when I pick up the stitches, it will go back to the shape it's supposed to be.  If not, I will k2tog on the next row until it's the right size again.  The worst part is that the top of the mouth is stretched out and the bottom isn't.  Optimal for a frown, not a smile.  Ugh.  Oh well.  Like Tim Gunn says, "Make it work..."

Lastly, I wrapped up a present to myself with a big, fluffy ribbon:  yarn from my stash and the pattern for Baby Cables and Big Cables, too.  I want to start on January 1st, 2009 as part of my knitting resolution to make a sweater next year.  I really want to downsize the stash a bit, not that I have alot, but just because.  I really should add I need to downsize the fiber stash, too. Most people don't have three sheep in their closet!  I am nervous that the Plymouth Colorspun DK in shades of pink and gray will be too much for the delicate design, but I've seen garments knit with the same yarn (on Ravelry, of course), and hope it will be subtle enough to pull it off.  I guess I'll be able to tell after the first few rounds.  I added size 6, 32 inch addis to my amazon wishlist because, well, because damnit, it's my first sweater, and I should have tools that enable me to finish it as smoothly and quickly as possible.  Nothing is worse than working a project you've been looking forward to, only to find out that your tools aren't right for the job.
I've been toying around with the idea of a cabled shrug and tube sweater.  Basically, it will have a large collar, will only be about 6 inches long or so, owl cables will run vertically around the back and front and it will have gigot sleeves. I've never really knit a sweater before. I know that it will have to have inset sleeves. I guess that bottom up would work best for the owl cables. I think it will also have about 1 inch of ribbing, because I couldn't stand it if the bottom were all mis-shapen and rippled. I guess I'm just thinking out loud here. I guess I can knit a front and back, sew them together, pick up stitches for the collar, then knit the sleeves, pleat the sleeves at the top for fullness, and then continue to knit until I reach above the elbow and then decrease until I have the correct diameter for the rest of the arm, or rib the rest of the way down. It also may have eyelets at the decrease area to thread i-cord and a pompom bow. I feel like this owl cable obsession is really bad for me. I was going to use the Adriafil Party I got at Smiley's, but alas, Lion Wool-Ease Chunky is so cheap and easy to use, not to mention, easy to take care of. And it will match all the rest of the owly accessories I have been making.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Whew! Half-way Through the Weekend!

Been uber-busy this week at work.  On top of that, I've had a full-on mitten obsession.  I only have half of the second one to finish tonight and I'll have another FO.  So what, I have several other wips that I need to work on, I started two more projects.  The pile of yarn vomit on the left side of the futon has been growing and growing.  I'm starting to think that yarn comes from the same planet as Tribbles.  Oh well.  J and I plan on doing some elfy stuff tomorrow, like making stuff for Christmas.  Friday night, I went to a Christmas tree trimming party.  My co-workers were like, "Stop freakin' knitting!!!!"  It was making them crazy.  The next party was J's birthday party.  She went to FIT and all her friends are crafty and fashiony.  When I busted out my knitting, they were all like, "OMG, that is so cool.  Show me how to do that!  What are you making?"  It's funny how people's perception of knitting in public can be so different.  My knitting group would never dream of having a party and not knitting.  

Speaking of knitting groups and parties, the Sit n' Knit Christmas party at the Gin Mill was this afternoon.  It was awesome! MisplacedPom knit me a pair of super-yummilicious merino wristlets in pink!  It's like she knew they'd be for me!  I can't wait to show them off at work!  As an added bonus, she also gave me a cabled bangle.  This is so cuuuute!  I was thinking of making some for gifts, and I think I'm convinced now.  Dollar store, here I come!    ZsaZsa7 loved her new felted clutch.  I was so happy it went to someone who liked it.  Well, off to eat a Philly cheesesteak and finish my mitten.  I think I'm going to have an end of the year resolution:  to finish all WIPS before Dec. 31st so I can start on my first sweater: Baby Cables and Big Ones,  Too.  That's all for now!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Scrounging on Starr Street

Hey all.  Yesterday I went thrift shopping and scored a button stash.  OMG, it was awesome.  I've been so inspired by all the embellished purses and accessories on Ravelry that I needed to expand my button stash.  It wasn't terrible, but it could certainly be enhanced.  What stash couldn't?  I went to my favorite thrift shop on Starr Street.  First, I beelined my way to where I know they hide the sewing supplies, scrounged around in the drawers and dug, dug, dug into the buttons.  Then, I grabbed a cup because I couldn't hold anymore in my hand.  My cup overfloweth, so, I found a clear box of buttons, dumped those out and continued building my custom button stash.  Also, I found a thread organizing box.  What luck!  Add to that a copper mold of the sun to add to my kitchen collection and two vintage 50s knitting pattern books (one for men's items, and another for people who like knitting dresses with size 3 needles.)  All for $19.   I could've haggled, but it really was a deal.  Those thread boxes cost that much easy.

Today, I'd like to see some FOs, so I'm off to find some material to line my purse.  Also I got some cute accessories for my Korknisse (gnomey cork toys) on Ravelry, like tiny jingle bells and mini candy cane decorations.  Yeah for gnomes!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Another Lazy Day

I better be careful, or all my posts will have this title.  Working on finishing my Sit n' Knit gift exchange present, a felted clutch.  I love it so much, it will be hard to part with.  I keep imagining that the person who will get it will scream and jump up and down like when they call your name on the Price is Right.  I should be prepared for, "Oh, it's nice," just in case.   I had a hard time figuring out strap.  Clutch bags are inherently impractical if they have no strap.  Who wants to grab onto their purse all day/night long?  What about grocery shopping, trying to put the key in the door with all the packages.  I just couldn't do it. 

So first, I was going to do a strip of felted fabric and attach it.  That was voted off because there are no gussets on the clutch, and the correct width of fabric for the strap would look bunchy at the joins.  Then I thought about felted i-cord.  That would be too thin and the design would not be balanced.  So then, I wanted to get a chain and thread a thin strip of felted fabric through it, like a Chanel bag.  That didn't work, because there was no suitable chain at the craft store, and Home Depot would render chandelier chain, which would be too heavy.  So THEN, I went back to i-cord, which I will felt, and use a 3 strand braid, possible with some gold ribbon woven with it.  Note, that each time I changed my mind, I frogged the last idea, and started from scratch.  This better work!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Halloooooo There!

Hi out there in Bloggerland. Today is my first day on Blogger. My cats are mad at me and hungry because I've been f^%!# around with templates all morning.  I've finally settled on this template and am relatively happy with it.  It would be awesomeif I could actual use xml.  I am bidding yahoo 360 goodbye, but my older posts can be found here.

So I had a few drinks (ok, so it was two, a glass of champagne and a whiskey sour) last night in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the end of Prohibition and it turns out I'm a lighter weight than I formerly thought.  I woke up this morning feeling like a prune in vacuum.  So  I can't believe i slept until 1:30.  I usually wake up between 6-7 EVERY MORNING, RAIN OR SHINE, WEEKDAY OR WEEKEND!  This was crazy.  Then I ate 1/2 a pumpkin pie and have been craving fatty, fried, junkfood.  (Chicken tenders are in the oven, and honey mustard is ready to go!)
The house is a disaster area.  I have no inclination to lift a finger to change it.  I have knitting to do, but all I can do is watch tv and mess around on the computer.  I feel like I am the only scrooge I know.  I don't like christmas.    I was raped of Thanksgiving this year, with no one to cook for and that has set the tone for the whole season.  Supposedly, I'll be making Christmas dinner, however, and I have to drum up the spirit to make a menu.  I've been toying with idea of red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and piped pointsettias, as well as Turtle Cheesecake with a Gingersnap Crust.  That's all for now.  Hopefully, I'll have some FO's on Ravelry by the time the weekend is over.

It turns out that I will be able to move my blog over very slowly.  Don't be confused about the older posts.  This is going to take a while with my unmatched skill of procrastination...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's Like Christmas!!!

Hi all. I finally got my KnitPicks order!!! Yeah. DPN tubes, sock needle set (Harmony) and wpi tool. I can get started on my ankle socks!!! I registered for my last teaching exam: The Multi-Subject. I'm so excited. The last one. No more. Finito. Fin. No mas! I'm so happy. December 13 is D-day. Wish me luck! Only 12 credits to go. Will I make it? Survey says...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy November Everyone!!!

I can't believe it myself. Halloween was cool. I was a gingerbread girl and I won 3rd place in a bar costume contest thanks to my friends obnoxious yelling. (I think it's also because I told the announcer he could lick my candy...literally. All the accents were necco wafers. They rock! Oh, and I had gingerbread body spray so I smelled like a cookie.) DH and I went to the parade and it was ok. I always have a good time when I'm in costume!!! The only hitch was that traffic was a bitch until the 30s, but after that we flew home. I wanted to celebrate La Dia de Los Muertos, but had too much to do today. (Procrastiknitting takes so much effort!) Been a little obsessed with LBP diy merch, planning out what to wear to Comiccon. I am a geek. It's true, it's true.

BTW:  I hated my white neck and added more make-up after this picture was taken.  Talk about blending foundation past your jaw line!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Monkey Business

Trying to keep up with my pseudo-blog. When I look around the web and I compare my blog to others, I get very dejected. It's lacking pictures, witty comments of the state of the world or my life, and sadly absent of fiber pr0n. Oh well. I'm asking DH for a new camera. Somehow, unbeknowst to me, I've lost 2 cameras. I think I know what happened to one, but the other? Who knows. The last camera we bought is huge and I take sucky pictures with it. I just don't like it. I want a slim compact point and shoot which is easily connected to my computer and transfers pictures. Not too much to ask. Anyway, I promise more fiber, more pictures and more frequent posts.

I've joined a few groups on Ravelry, which I'm excited about. One is for toe-up socks. I'm determined to make three pairs of socks before the end of the year. I know I can do it!!!

Lastly, I made this. It is soooooo good. The question was "What can I bake when I have no eggs, no milk, no cocoa powder, no honey and no maple syrup?" Answer: Chocolate Monkey Bread. It was awesome. The house smells like chocolatety goodness. I'll make it again with some more juiciness, like the original.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What Happened?

OK, seriously, something is wrong with me. All week I've been obsessed with making a sock with my Rhinebeck yarn, Aussi Sock by Oasis in Faded Valentine. I sketched the sock (You'll never see it because it looks like a 5 year old drew it. And people wonder why I never pursued a fashion career!), I picked out the stitch pattern, I found a formula for toe-ups that look promising, chose a ruffle pattern, the ribbon I need for finishing, figured out what kind of cast-on I will use, etc. I've researched on Ravelry, joined two groups, one for socks and one for knitters who try new things all the time and don't know what the hell they're doing. I demonstrated using dpns to a co-worker using said stitch pattern to show how easy it is to work a sock. This morning I decided I will try the turkish cast on, because it eliminates mykitchener stitch, which is an abomination of a technique in my hands. I unraveled my mini-swatch, and started to make a slipknot. Wait a minute. How do you make a slipknot? OMG! Why can't I make this *&%$^* slipknot?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I actually had to google a tutorial. That is so embarassing. I've been making slipknots with relative frequency for 20 years and this morning, my brain went dead. Lord help me!!!!! Anyway, after I looked at the picture, I was like, Oh Yeah, that's how you do it. Now it's back to automatic. For some reason this projects scares the bejesus out of me. I'm so scared to use my sacred yarn and make a zillion mistakes. I feel like a nervous wreck. I need a support group. Oh that's right, I joined one on Ravelry. How sad. 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rhinebeck Rocks :)

Yeah baby!!! Rhinebeck was awesome. This is the first year I went with a bus and it was great. Driving back home after the bus was a bit nightmarish, but still, it was doable. I'd rather drive an hour than four. I got some kewl stuff and bought some uber-soft tussah and merino roving that was sold to me by a customer of the store. She kept going on about how she comes back every year to buy some more. I couldn't resist. I also bought some sock yarn for myself. It's like neopolitan ice cream. It makes me hungry. I met the Plucky Knitter, the Ravelry people and Hello Yarn, which was fun. Knitting celebrity. Who'd of thunk it? I'm ready to knit again. The apartment is about 68 degrees. Perfect for knitting and pumpkin pie. Mmm. Punkin' pie. Yea. I'll be knitting in a little while...must...preheat...oven.....

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fix Me, Elixer!!!

Ugh. Sick with a cold and a stye. I hate styes. Luckily, it's been a long time since I had one. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember what I do with them. I read a lot about tea bags and washclothes. I didn't like tea dripping down my face and the bag would not stay warm. The washclohth also cooled off too fast. I came up with a paper towel filled with dry rice, and tied on top and a wet washcloth. First, heat the rice in the microwave for 30 seconds. Put the damp washcloth on your eye and then the hot rice pack. Lay there with it on the styed eye until the rice cools off, about 10-15 minutes. Make sure it's not too hot. Initially, I would put fold the washcloth into two layers, then as it cooled down, one layer. Then I took two Tylenol and put some stye ointment on it. Well see how it goes. Stye treatment down, cold treatment to go.

I've been working on a recipe for my "Common Cold Fix-Up Elixer" I posted the label for all to see. I can't sell it because it makes health claims and contains alcohol. I can, however, freely give it to my friends and family. I'm thinking of making cold care xmas baskets, seeing as January usually brings a slew of nasty viruses. There will be an elixer mug, elixer, rice heating pad, herbal blend for steaming and sea salt for decongesting the nose, as well as chix soup in a jar. It's definitely good for my family, they're always sick. Oh, and puffs with vicks and vicks vapor rub. MMMmm MMMmm good.

Tags: | Edit Tags

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Hi all. Just relaxin' and scoping out new recipes this Sunday morning. Working a lot. School is stalled because I didn't finish my IN from last semester. Oh well. I guess I'll have to enjoy Christmas this year. In any case, I wanted to post a new recipe. Baked Meaty Veggie Eggs. All that's missing is some fruit and nice buttery toasted bread.

Bacon, spinach, peas, 2 eggs , shredded cheese, chopped tomato, Old Bay seasoning mix

Turn oven to 350. Grease a oven-proof dish. (I use my vintage Pyrex small casserole looking plate. It's about 7" across, with a slight handle on one side.) Fry bacon until super crispy. Drain on paper towels. Put spinach in frying pan to cook (fresh) or dry out (frozen). (You could add some onions here too, but I forgot.) Put spinach on the bottom of the greasesd dish, throw some peas on top, crack open the eggs on top of this, without breaking the yolk, throw some cheese on top and crumbled bacon. Last, sprinkle spice mix on top, liberally. Bake in a water bath until the yolks are how you like them. 15 minutes will probably be hard-set. Put tomatoes on top before serving. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Waaaaahhhhh :(

Hey there. I'm in a crappy mood. You know, the one that hits you when you know vacation will soon be over and all the responsibility and rushing craziness begins again. Nevermind that I still have one week left. Like a true pessimist, my cup is half empty. School is supposed to begin tomorrow and I still haven't registered. My crazy advisor will be very unhappy with me when I ask her to put permission into the computer for the classes I need to take. Half the house is still a mess, and my papers are still unfinished. So, what the hell have I been doing? I'll tell you what. Cleaning and orgainzing. Ugh. However much I do it's never enough. I read a blog today called Stacks and Stacks Clutter Control Freak blog. Though inspirational, I'm still sitting on my ASS, messing with the computer. What will it take to get me moving? Ugh. Well, school is really getting me down. My schedule is tight, and I'm supposed to take three classes, more than I've taken in a while while I work full-time. What a horrible semester. The silver lining is that if (and I mean IF) I make it through this semester, I only have one class left in the spring to graduate.

While I'm being miserable and self-loathing, I should also talk about the standardized exams I took on Saturday. The first one was horrific. All the questions were situational. I knew what I would do, but is that what THEY wanted me to do? The essay was even worse than the multiple choice, instructing me to write an essay for educational professionals about the importance of communicating with students from diverse backgrounds. What the hell is that?! If I can't communicate, how can I teach? Someone please explain this to me. The second one was much better, and I finished in about an hour and a half, but still, some questions really stumped my and I could only take my best guess. It will be only through God's grace that I will pass these damn things. At least if I fail, I know I need to study. Ugh. Studying. The classes I am taking require that I remember a ton of information. I'm not good with classes like that. I'm really nervous that I will not make it through this semester without screwing up.

Lastly, I've been trying to clean up the apartment, and it's been coming along. All crafty stuff has migrated into the bedroom for the big craft room clean up. That will take at least a whole day. That day should be today, if I weren't procrastiblogging instead of finishing my papers that were due last spring. A vicious cycle has been formed: I have lots of work to do for school. It's stressing me out. I sit down to do it, but begin to look around at the crap that I live in. That stresses me out. I think that if I clean up the crap, I will be more calm and focused and able to complete my assignments. I start cleaning up. Things don't really have a place to go and there's too much crap. It begins to migrate to different parts of the house. The place never got cleaned up and now I'm too tired to bother with finishing my assignments. Daily reading, what's that? Due dates. What are those? Everything gets done at the last possible moment.

I've really been trying to accomplish my goal of cleaning out and organizing the apartment since February. The bathroom and living/dining room are good. The kitchen is coming along and the bedroom and craft room need some serious TLC-tough lovin' cleaning.

Blogging is something I do when I remember, and to keep me sane at moments like this. I've been grumpy and crappy to my DH because of this stress, the mysterious symptoms I had at the close of the spring semester have gradually been coming back after an absence during my stress-free summer. I just want to cry, but am too tired of everything to bother.

This is the end of the venting part of my blog.

Good morning everyone. Today is a new day and I am going to get shit done!!! First, I will make some breakfast and eat, since I have a habit of forgetting this when I'm really busy. Then I will do the dishes. Next, I will open the word document which contains my research paper on generalization and read it. Upon completion, I will reward myself by choosing a recipe to make for dessert later and purchasing the ingredients. This will give me time to reflect upon the ideas and concepts in my almost finished paper. When I come back, I will have something to contribute to my paper. When I finish messing with my paper for at least 1/2 hour, I will put the laundry away and make the bed. I don't know what I will do after that, but that's a start.

Sorry, ranting will begin again; it's just one of those days.

Yesterday, J and I began organizing our Christmas lists. Yes, I know we are crazy, but with a hectic semester at hand, I really need to focus on this now. You may already know that I don't really believe in buying presents for people. Everyone I know has everything they want because when they realize they want it, they go out and buy it. What's happened to us? I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but I dread the day after Christmas. That is the day I look at the pile of unwrapped gifts on the living room floor and have to figure out where to put it all. Cooking gadgets I will use only once, four pairs of slippers, a dozen candles and bottles of bath wash, pajamas that don't fit, scarves that don't match anything I own. Lord help me! I want to reiterate that it's not that I am ungrateful. I know each gift was picked out lovingly by the giftor, tossed into a shopping cart with a knowing smile, "Yes, she'll love these pink furry bedsox!", wrapped carefully in tissue paper and placed in a festive gift bag with my name on the tag and a "Love, Santa." However, I wish the giftor would take more time to empathize with my situation. My whole family knows I am a slob with too much crap. I continually tell them I don't want anything that requires that I put it away unless I specifically ask for it. Is this mean? Am I wrong to have these gift requirements? I tell them I want things that are disposable, i.e. bath products, food items, gift certificates, yet somehow, I still have a pile of stuff I don't need on the morning of the 26th of December. Not to mention, many of the giftors don't really have the money to spend on all the stuff they buy, but feel pressured to "perform" after Christmas dinner, so they go further into debt. I know because I was once one of them. I'm sure I'm still paying for Christmas presents I gave 10 years ago. In any case, I've greatly reduced spending by making my own presents. Last year, J and I made soap and bath products, and this year, well, I can't divulge the details, but let's just say, they're still disposable presents, for the most part. We will begin collecting and making the necessary item to complete each gift starting this week. The list has already been drawn, and we're just ironing out the details.

Oh the plans of mice and men...

In another blog I read this morning, the author talks about creating a challenge for a specified amount of time. The only rules are that it must have a measurable goal and it should be specific. (It sounds like a program from work- "Cleaning the house means that the homemaker should 1. clean and put away the dishes, 2. vacuum the carpets in all rooms 3. clean the shower, sink and toilet, 4. wash the kitchen floor, 5. make the bed, 6. wash, fold and put away the laundry, 7. wipe the stove, counters and cabinets in the kitchen, etc. without manual or verbal prompts within the hours of the weekend) I think about what my challenge will be and it has to be the craft room. Only after cleaning out and organizing the craft room with the bedroom have any chance of being completed. Here it is:

My goal is to have a craft room with items easily accessible. All craft books shall fit on the bookshelf or in the magazine files on top of it. I should be able to walk through from one end to the other in a straight line and should be able to sit at my sewing table to sew (imagine that!) or do other work. It will be a place where I can be relaxed, inspired and challenged to do new things. (I'll make a project board to keep track of stuff that needs to be worked on.)

The craft room will be gutted of all contents, save furniture and fixtures, spread out in the bedroom, and only things that I have used within the last year will be put back first. Things that have not been used within the last year will be sorted according to if I anticipate using them in the next year, and if I do, individual goals will be made for each item. If I have not met the goals for these items by January, these items will be moved out immediately (i.e. terminated). This category of items is subject to storage issues during the clean up. Let me write a list of crafting categories in order of importance to simplify my task:

Soapmaking, Resin, Sewing, Knitting, Scrapbooking, Spinning,Wrapping, (need wrapping paper organizer bin) , Papermaking, Winemaking (temp. discontinued, but keeping items because of expense and rarity).  No. 1 on my list is to get rid of scrap fabric. I have a large bin and have hardly touched it in years. I will go through it and only keep fabric in a small bin. Any sewing UFOs will be put in project bags and given a due date. Any large amount of yardage needs a pattern assigned to it and will be completed before January, or else will be donated. Hopefully, once the craft room and bedroom are clean, I will have time that I will actually want to spend doing this stuff again.

When the craft room is done, then I can fully focus on finishing the bedroom. I have a lot of great ideas for the bedroom, but cannot work on them because there is too much stuff laying around. My biggest problem is papers from school. I don't know what to do with them. I guess I'll just make room over the closets and put them in cardboard storage boxes. Do I really need two punch bowls? Over and out.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pepsi Wars

So we're having a beverage war in my house. It seems that DH is unwilling to give up his no. 1 vice, PEPSI. I've given up Dr. Pepper, not that I drink it so often, but it's a given with Chinese and barbeque. In any case, Trader Joe's has stopped stocking what DH thinks is the best lemonade ever. It was only $1 a package and made about 3 quarts at DH's level of optimal watering down. Well, I found a way to one-up him. The dollar store around the corner carries awesome Polish foods. I found herbal teas in cellophane packages to make up aguas frescas and mint iced tea. I found that the hibiscus or "jamaica" flowers at Western Beef were far more expensive than the mixed fruits, herbs and berries in the herbal tea mix and hibiscus is an added bonus. They only cost $1.39 so I've stocked up. Yum.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Just Relaxin'

Whazzup! I've been having a nice vacation. Still have to do some work, though. Burnt myself to a crisp on Saturday at a friends house, but at least I can move. It was really bad, and the stupid part is I knew I was gonna get a burn, and I still went out there. I got to drive a boat, which was awesome. My dad invited me to the lakehouse where we will kayak and work on the deck. Yeah! Power tools!

Last night I went to dinner with my friend M. We ate Moroccan food and it was awesome. He had steak and fries, (OK, he eats like DH) and I had bastilla, an awesome sweet/spicy chicken and egg dish in phyllo dough with a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar. Yum. For dessert, we had gingerbread cake with vanilla ice cream, maple sauce and caramelized apples with muscat Beaumes de Venise. I forgot that it had a citrusy top note, and it went awesome with dessert. I would love to go back there. Still have some fun stuff up my sleeve before vacation. Oh, and I combed some wool, and started "Coachella" from Knitty with some crazy Moda Dea novelty yarn. Wish me luck. If I have enough (yarn and luck, that is) I will make a dress from it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Watch This!

Well, here it is, my finished watch cap. DH and I watch "Deadliest Catch" all the time, so when I heard about the Seaman's Church, I thought it would be nice to remember the people out at sea all the time. That job seems not to change too much as time goes by.

On a lighter note, I'M ON VACATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That means I have to get some stuff done. Today I'm raking out the craft room. I'm a little scared that I will not finish organizing it today. Wish me luck!! I have to make room for the Joan Vass sale yarn that I will buy this week.

Bye :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I'm Bringing KnittingBack..

Yes. I'm back. Been having lots of probs lately. School, work, health. Now I'm on vacation and I plan on playing catch up with chores, beach and knitting. Yesterday was World Wide Knit in Public day. We had a great time in the park, all 60 of us! I'll update soon, hopefully with an FO. I'm also hooked on Ravelry. I see now what everyone is talking about.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring (Cleaning) is in the Air

Yes, another episode of procrastiblogging. I've been sick as a dog all week and today was the first day I felt like I should push and try to move around. As many of you know, I've been undergoing a bedroom transformation in an effort to spring clean and organize my life. I decided that the bedroom is one of the most trashiest rooms in the house, especially when company comes over cuz all the crap ends up in there. How can I study and relax if the bedroom always looks like this? So...a couple hundred dollars that I don't have later, the room is undergoing slow transformation. I can't take pictures because DH has bought a new camera which I cannot use properly, and I think I lost two already. I've been banned from camera usage. I'm still optimistic, though, when I finally get down to the craft room that I will find them. Scary, huh?

I've managed to go through my clothes many times. Still have too many shirts, but overall, have knocked down some content. Shoes are in order. I've done a good job of keeping shoe issues under control over the years. I've even managed to tidy up my dresser top. That's a miracle. We'll see how long that lasts. Magazines have been gone through, clipped, and discarded. Jewelry the same. Cosmetics, ditto. Body stuff, too. The bathroom has been cleaned under the sink, and the kitchen has downsized stuff, too. Too much damn work! Did I mention that books have been sorted, too? I'm trying to downsize to one large bookcase. Seems like it will be successful. One bookcase will go into the craft room for more shelving options. Soapmaking supplies have taken over the kitchen. Stuff just migrates all over the house. Help!!!

I've been watching organization shows on HGTV to give me inspiration. If two gay guys can clean up their crappy rooms and get rid of all kinds of costumes and wigs, then I, too, have hope. I dream of the day I can wake up and not trip over anything. The day I can write something at a desk and not have millions of tiny tasks pecking away at my brain. The day I stop procrastiblogging and just blog, for heavens sake. I will be able to live in the moment, then, perhaps.

Lastly, I'm getting my gardening underway. I've thought before that I will not garden because of a non-existant water supply, but now have decided to make/buy a rainwater collection barrel and divert draining water to my rooftop paradise. (Hardly) In any case, I am adding two windowboxes to the front windows in the bedroom and a terrarium. We'll see how that goes. I'm not sure I want another responsibility for a living thing, but maybe I will not be so stressed about it since my life will be better organized? Do ya think?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

High on the Hog

I'm completely obsessed with bbq. I don't know what happened this last week. Lord help the pig I come across. In any case, to go along with this hog obsession, since the back is a mess and I've been sick, I've been watching "My Big Redneck Wedding." Yes, this is my favorite show on tv right now. The funny thing is, there are some good ideas on there. I wish the show was on before my wedding

Monday, January 7, 2008

Happy New Year!

New year, new outlook, new resolution..

Yes, I'm still here, somewhere! School sucks the fun out of life as well as the life out of me. This 5 week hiatus is doing me well. I even caught myself smiling and in a good mood this morning. Who is this person and what have you done to the real author of this blog? Been thinking about fiber a lot lately. Too much fleece, not enough time. Wish I could finish school this semester, but alas, I have three more semesters. At least I might get to graduate in Radio City Music Hall. That would be chaotic but cool.

So salsa is no mas because of serious foot trouble, and I refuse to go back until I know for sure that they can take the beating. It looks like adios for another few months. J and I soaped like madwomen for Christmas and made lots of cool stuff. One of my cousin's husbands ended up using a glitter bomb by accident and called us up wondering how to get the stuff off him. I wish I was a fly on the wall in the sanitation department when he went to work today! My internet has been wacky and won't work on my computer, so it's been sucky. I really need to get this problem fixed by the time school starts.

My resolution is to make weekly menu plans with my husband on sundays so that we can cook at home every night and have lunch for work the next day. So far it's week 2 and we're doing great. We had an awesome roast chicken dinner with stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes and string beans. Mmm-mm good. DH has been pretty supportive of my goal and has been very nice about the whole thing. I hope that it continues after school starts. He will be taking an EMT course on Sundays for the whole day, so maybe he will understand why I'm always stressed out during school. The good thing is a whole summer off from school-school. I get a total of 5 weeks off from work-school, so I'm looking forward to a restful time.

On Saturday, I found myself at Bally with a complimentary 8-week guest pass courtesy of the Discovery Channel in honor of the National Body Challenge. I'm sore and tired, and boy does it suck writing down everything you eat. I applaud all those who have gone through this countless times. 8 weeks doesn't seem that long, so, I think I can make some changes in the right direction. I even have a plan for long days when I'm in school. Last year, I just ate candy and junk food on those days until I got home.

National Pie Day is upon us (January 23rd) and I look forward to Pie festivities again this year. Last year was such a smashing success that I hope to make this year even better.

Everything is as good as it's been in a long time, so bye for now.

blog template by