Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Dear Blogger

Oh, go read Kelle's letter. It's perfect.

I think I'm going to migrate over to here. Let me know what you think of it.

Happy Birthday, Jillian!

Eureka is on tonight. And The Closer was on last night. I almost completely forget. Season ends next Monday (for The Closer) after an all day marathon.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday, Monday

Happy Birthday, Carie!

Is that not an adorable puppy, or what? And one of these days I'm going to figure out how to print out the pictures and give them to her mom. (Even though she's told me how, at least twice.)

See those seven stitches on the dpn? What idiot reads the directions and adds two stitches in the middle of those seven? Even if "pick up two stitches at the underside of the thumb" is too hard, you would think that, I don't know, glancing at my thumb would have told me the underside of your thumb is on the topside. Opposable, and all that.

In my defense. Mittens. Who wears them? We've had snow here, twice, in the last forty years and I bet you couldn't scrape a decent snowball from both of those snowstorms. And I'm an idiot. Give me lace.

But a pair! And they're almost the same size and everything! Woot! Woot!

The Summer Reading Challenge is coming to an end this Thursday. (As is Kat's Summer Reading Program.) Amanda, who hosted the Challenge, asks about it on her Sunday Book Talk post.

Read Falls the Shadow by Sharon Kay Penman this weekend (Edit: Argh! (580 pages). Marji sent it to me in the beginning of the summer. What a great book! It's a little before and after my period (it features Eleanor of Aquitaine's granddaughter, Nell, Eleanor of Aquitaine being one of my favorite historical women) and her husband, Simon de Montfort, the Earl of Leicester, pre-dating (by a few hundred years) my favorite Earl of Leicester, Robert Dudley. No relation between the two, just the title, but it was a fascinating look into a period of history I'm not that familiar with.

Weak kings, brutal battles between relatives, treachery, honor, love, family. I can't wait to read The Reckoning, part three in this trilogy. I can't believe I've never read Sharon Kay Penman's books before, she's much more historically accurate than most of the historical novels I've read, and furthermore, she explained at the end where she took poetic license and why.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Saturday at Last

Well. No pictures from Blogger today either. Harumph.


Happy Birthday to Theresa(who was my August Swap Buddy - I hope she got her box! I sent it on Wed express & they promised me it would be there yesterday), and Meg and to Elizabeth and to Mindy!

Friday, August 25, 2006


"We're going out, Mom? Cool!"

(Oh! I just heard the most hysterical song based on Love Potion #9. The ending lyric was something like:
"and if you think size doesn't matter
ask ex planet number niiiiine."

"Hello! Going! Ooooooouuuuuuttttt, Mmmmmmooooommmmmm. No I will not look at Aunt Carrie" (she did, but it was blurry).

Birdsong asked about my progress on Eliz I from Tudor Roses.......ahhhh......there is no progress. Other than the two rows I've knit since the last picture.

I kept getting sidetracked, and it was hot.

Hot in the way that made me believe that not only is global warming very, very real, but it would never again dip below 102F/39c in these parts again. Well, the first part may be true, but it did cool off.

And then I fell in love with Garterlac Dishcloths. I've made three. So far. And Log Cabins (I've made progress). I'm supposed to knit 6 pairs of mittens by October 1st and so far I've knit a thumbless beginner mitten. Hey. It's hot here. And apparently I don't know the underside of my thumb is at the top of the thumb opening so when the instructions read "cast on two stitches at the underside of the thumb" despite the fact that I had 7 stitches on hold and a join above that, I cast on two stitches in the middle of the 7 stitches.

Oddly enough, there was big hole at the thumb.

I totally would have taken a picture to commemorate my idiocy but I ripped it out before I thought of it.

I have almost finished one sleeve of Its Jacket.

My big decision is what to take with me on my vacation in two weeks. It can't take up much space. I have HOURS in airports. I'm flying in and out of Canada & into DC. I'm thinking the Moll Shawl because it would be perfect in size and complexity, but there's also Eliz I, Its Jacket (if I don't finish it before then.) (two weeks? hahahahahaha), mittens (except dpn's? do they care?)

Happy Birthday, Sandy!

What is up with Blogger now? Gah.

Read Plague Maker by Tim Downs (L) (390 pages). It was a pretty good action thriller about a decades old plan of one man to unleash a genetically engineered strain of the Black Plague on present day New York. The characters weren't completely one dimensional but were a bit thin. They did get off some nice one liners though. I'm a sucker for snark. It said something about war and the casualties of war but I'm not certain what that was.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thankful Thursday

Although I've heard it called other things.

No reason, not my pic, but c'mon. Cute baby pandas in a row. What's not to love?

Happy Birthday, Amanda!

The Summer Reading Challenge/Program is almost over. It doesn't look like I'm going to meet my challenge of 26 books but I did read mostly library books and I think I even managed a few from my TBR stack. I was surprised to find out how slowly I read non fiction, and really, how much "other" reading I do. Magazines. The newspaper. The net.

Ooooh. I've got a kitty on my lap. She's doing that hanging-off-my-leg-from-her shoulder-and-flexing-and-pointing-her-paw bit. It's so cute. And so odd to finally have a lap cat. Oh. She's also shedding like crazy. When is summer going to be over?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Random Wednesday

"No! No, no, no, no, no. NO pictures. Darn paparazzi." [But I do love my kitty condo.]

Ta Da! A Garterlac Dishcloth from Dave of Criminy Jickets. The first of many, I'm sure. I've already picked up yarn that goes better with the kitchen. Thank you, Dave! For a great pattern and a new word. I've been saying "Criminy" like nobody's business.

In very, very sad news, Stargate SG1 has been cancelled after 10 years on the air. It outlasted The X Files ,which is probably why they didn't cancel it last year. Hate their new Big Bad.

Happy Birthday, Lisa!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tuesday Might be My Good News Day

Happy Birthday Jennifer at Full of Stitches and Eva of Pappardele!

Where did the title header come from? An old Barbara Streisand song? More Manic Monday of the Bangles? I've got it stuck in my head and that's the only line I can remember.

Did anyone catch The Closer last night? I always like the show even when I think they're going somewhere I don't like (that pregnancy test a few episodes back almost made me skip the show, but they actually handled it surprisingly well).

Tonight is my new fave, Eureka on the Sci Fi channel, preceded by new favorite cancelled find, Dead Like Me. Wow. A show that was on Showtime (or HBO or whatever) that doesn't rely on profanity and nudity for its plots. It's a pretty quirky clever show. Cancelled, mind you. But cleverish none the less. I've even atarted watching Criminal Minds last week for Mandy Patinkin.

Anyone watch Vanish on Fox yesterday? It looked intriguing, but another serial arc series doesn't appeal to me. Not to mention, they usually play out as if only the actual premise had any thought given to it. Playing that premise out over a season or more? Not so easy.

I think I've made it through one season of 24 all the way (too much tension and anticipation tend to turn me off completely) and Lost was a debacle last season. Not that I watched much past the boring episodes on the boring raft. I did tune into the finale - Clancy Brown! But otherwise? Meh. Is that Clancy Brown in the Home Depot commercials? As The Voice?

The Failed Prototype has failed. Really, I gave up on it. Not enough time and it needed a frame to really do it well. Possibly boning would work, but nothing I had around the house. I thought it would be cute (and it would have!) to make a sock bag look like an old fashioned medical bag. But alas, her birthday is Saturday and mailing it today is cutting it a wee bit close much less Friday night when I finally got the bag right.

Instead I worked a bit on Liz and a bit on Its Jacket and tried to organize my fabric closet. I think I have two plain fabrics, the rest are prints. Which is great, if you're making dresses or blouses but tanks if a nice calm Log Cabin is what you had in mind. Oh! Wooly Thoughts are selling their Mathematical Quilts on Ebay again.

I really have to download some new pics. That's a statue in Carmel Valley.

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"You are just a little bit of a show off and like to prove just what you can do. Every time someone double-dog-dared you, you proved that not only could you do it, but you could do it with style."

From Anne. Darn. I wanted to be a Sunflower like her. I like sunflowers. The little description isn't embedded in the "copy and paste" either.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Manic Monday

At least it promises to be a manic Monday, if I actually do everything I'm planning. I spent the better part of yesterday on the phone. Thankfully, because I got farther on my prototype and made an egregious error. I might just do it Twig's way and just say that I was going to make her Failing Prototype but didn't have the time and if only I had it would have been perfect. You know, in my imagination.

Speaking of perfect, check out Monika's sweater.

Happy Birthday, TK and Laura!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sunday is My Fun day

Well, not really, but I just heard that old Bangles "Manic Monday" song. It's supposed to possibly hit triple digits this week. Gah. I'd like it to hit single digits and I don't mean celcius.

Happy Birthday, Leanne of HappyFroggieKnits!

Yesterday was lovely. A lot of reading, knitting and sewing, with the occasional time wasting foray onto the computer. I'm still horrible at Make a Word. I have to break Apprentice! A lot of time fooling with the prototype for my August Birthday Swap partner - finally it looks like what it's supposed to which is good, because I pretty much have to get it into the mail by tomorrow. Why can't I be one of those people who conceive a cute idea, sit down and whip it out in fibery goodness? And have the first finished project look at least familiar with what I'm trying to do. Alas.

Oh, did anyone catch the 200th episode of Stargate SG1? It was pretty funny. A love letter to fans that mostly was. A bit too much Gary Jones but the skits were hysterical. Star Trek, Farscape, Wizard of Oz, Team America.

The 4400
is on tonight - the season is almost over - hopefully Jordan Collier will kill off Isabelle or banish her. An omnipotent two year old trapped in a Bridezilla body is not that entertaining, at least to me.

I'm trying to watch Restoration from Netflix with Robert Downey Jr & Sam O'Neill but so far it's pretty boring.

Jenni moved to Typepad, something I'm thinking of doing. Check out her quilt! And her bunny, Gretchen.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Saturday at Last

Happy Birthday, Diane!

It's a DeVille! (Click on it to make the pic bigger) I didn't check to see if it had Dalmation seat covers, darn it. I hope I'm not invading privacy or anything, it was just too clever not to snap. Does this count for Kat?

Summer Reading Program/Challenge:

Language Visible: Unraveling the Mystery of the Alphabet From A to Z by David Sacks (375 pages)(L). This was a great book. I highly recommend it for anyone. Everyone. It has linguistics (that "an" before the FO is an "n" acting as a euphonic buffer) trivia, rhymes, history, wit and truly bad puns: "we all know what happened when the cow tried to jump over the barbed-wire fence: udder disaster." Can you guess what letter that's under? (The book is arranged with each letter as a chapter.) T!

The English alphabet has only been 26 letters for less than a couple of hundred years. Shakespeare didn't have this many letters! It was a big fight. I realize language is fluid but it's a little disconcerting to see just how fluid. Sacks tells the background history of where the letters come from, (the British/Canadian "Zed" for "Z" is more in line with the ancient/medieval nomenclature), what the letters have looked like down the ages, (the right to left reading vs left to right flipped a lot of letters so that we use the mirror image), oh, just all sorts of cool stuff. Did you know that M from Ian Fleming's James Bond real name is Sir Miles Messervey? And that the letter M was more or less a pictograph of water? (He tells Q's real name too.)

Highly entertaining and educational. I bought a hardback copy for my library.

The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie (that Hugh Laurie) (339 pages) (L). Speaking of James Bond, this is Hugh Laurie's contribution to the genre. His hero, Tom Lang, sounds remarkably similar to a tough Wooster, but that could just be me. Tom manages quite a credible American accent at times, if he does say so himself. He also says "As ye sew, so shall ye knit" which, yes. Love. (Okay, once, but once is enough sometimes). It's a pretty good spy thriller, lots of self effacing Brit humor, derring do, covert action, a pretty freaky plot if you believe in conspiracy theories. (As in, timely. And it freaked me out to think of it).

This is Hezekiah's plan for the day:

Mine is to knit and sew and clean and FINISH SOMETHING! I'm dying to do Liz (not that way) now that I've seen all the lovely Liz's at Tudor Roses. Not to mention all the other Tudors. I'm only to the sleeve shaping on the first sleeve of Its Jacket. Think I can finish it today? Tomorow?

Oh, and check out the gorgeous knitting of The Rainey Sisters.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sheepish, Sheep and sheesh

Hallejah. Blogger is posting pictures again. Let's see if my blogline updates. I mght have to move to Typepad.

Yes, yes, I love my new scratching post. Go away. I'm admiring it from a distance.

The cutest teeny sheep in the world. Next to Ann's.

Side view. Aren't those bobbles for curls cute? BFF found her in Virginia City and had to get her for me because - sheep. And a knitted sheep at that. Possibly well on her way to becoming a Delores.

I got my Fishie Entrelac Mitten pattern from Laurie today! So cute. She's having a song naming contest right now too.

Oh no! I left off a birthday, and one that falls on the Future InterNational Holiday. Happy (Belated) Birthday, Susan!

Your Life Path Number is 1

Your purpose in life is to lead others. (Follow me! Did I mention my real name is Wile E. Coyote?)

You have great drive and determination. Nothing is going to stand in your way. (hahahahahahaha)

You seek out challenges and the spotlight. You'll take all the work - and all the glory. (Take all the work? Are they mad? And oh, the glory.)

Status and success are important to you. You demand the best from everyone and everything. (As long as I don't have to live up to these exacting standards.)

In love, you tend to take a protective role. You enjoy being the provider in relationships. (Wha'? )

You expect others to be like you, and as a result, you are often disappointed. (Now this is too, too sadly true. So, so upsetting that you are all not as fabulous, perfect and wonderful as I am. Did I mention modest and humble? Self effacing?)

A little selfish and vain, you always put yourself first. ouch.

Remember, everyone already knows you're great - you don't need to remind them!


Julia at Knitting History had an interesting link today about knitting in public and how it was perceived as being standoffish, morally righteous and dismissive of the people around the knitter. Really? Morally righteous? Because I'm "producing" or "multitasking"? Criminey.

I knit because I'm so fidgety that if I don't knit, I'm probably jiggling my feet on someone's chair, whispering, or daydreaming. It helps me focus in meetings and classes (but it does have to be mindless, and it does depend on the forum). In coffeehouses, libraries, lines; lapsed knitters, lots of kids, and the curious tend to ask me questions. Have any of you had any trouble with anyone while you're knitting?

November 17th was a busy, busy night

Happy Birthday Teabird,
Ruth,Hilary and Aurora! Lots of August 17th birthdays. I'd break out the Birthday Book Cake but Blogger is being recalcitrant. It did let me post the quiz I found at Teabirds.

You Are a Visionary Soul

You are a curious person, always in a state of awareness.

Connected to all things spiritual, you are very connected to your soul.

You are wise and bright: able to reason and be reasonable.

Occasionally, you get quite depressed and have dark feelings.

You have great vision and can be very insightful.

In fact, you are often profound in a way that surprises yourself.

Visionary souls like you can be the best type of friend.

You are intuitive, understanding, sympathetic, and a good healer.

Souls you are most compatible with: Old Soul and Peacemaker Soul

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Happy Birthday, Jenn! Her birthday is Wednesday the 16th, and her husband's is Thursday! That's so cute.

My parents birthdays are Jan 11 and 22, same year, same hospital, but they didn't meet until college.

No knitting news, no books finished, I had a lovely birthday, thank you for all the birthday wishes!!

oh! BFF gave me the cutest teeny sheep ever.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Or, As I Like To Refer to it: Future National Holiday

Happy Birthday to you (and meee)
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday dear Abigail and meeeeeee
Happy Birthday to us.

"I know you've been dying to tear out this deck, I'm just helping! I would never, ever do this to furniture. [aside] That wasn't ugly."

Look! Actual progress on Its Jacket's sleeve between being feted at brunches and dinners and whatnot. Its Jacket doesn't have pretty stitchmarkers because I keep knitting on the deck and I dropped one between the slats, never to be seen again. Unless I do actually tear out that deck, or it collapses.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Cleo Might Not Be A Leo

Cleo might not be a Leo but she's 24 years old! I found out where she lives and her real name. Cleo. That's actually a perfect name for her, I wish I'd thought of it. I told Hezekiah she's just going to have to suck it up, once you hit 24 you get to go wherever you want.

Speaking of going wherever you want, that's Laci's Museum of Lace and Textiles in Berkeley. I love that place. Nooks, books, patterns, ribbon, thread, not to mention old wedding gowns, fabric.....it is amazing. It's not even all that big.

They've got the knight and his fair lady flanking the door as you walk in. (You might have to click on the picture to see the knight riding the horse clearly. His Lady is across from him and not in the picture. )

Score at Skein Lane. The sale's only been going on since July 27th and already the place looks terribly empty. But all Rowan 50% off? Yowza. I bought chunky yarn destined to be mittens, and in the bowl, yarn for an oversized pullover out of the Knitter's Magazine issue #72. The single colored yarn is a light gray. Like the sky outside this morning. Fog! Yay, fog.

We're all agreed. It's A finished object, an FO (initials) and a foe. Once upon a time I knew the rules behind that. I'm reading, Language Visible by David Sacks that tells the history behind our alphabet. It was a column, so each letter gets its own chapter. It's pretty amazing, partly because I'd never gave it much thought. The Greeks picked it up from the Phoenicians, or was that the Etruscans? Either way, not a similar language at all, and yet the alphabet was able to adapt.

Oh! I got the idea for the Panzanella Salad from a pic and a description from Aurora, so she should have the actual recipe. I'd never heard of it either. It's so good though.

Y'know, it's much too early for my coffee to be playing horrible tricks on me. First, I overfill the coffee grounds so the water overflows and spills coffee all over the coffee maker and the counter. Then the lid isn't snapped on the coffee pot securely so it throws itself into the sink, spilling coffee all over the counter and my hand. And then it's not even that hot, which is good news for my hand, but lukewarm coffee? Bah.

Need more coffee to cope with this.

Happy Birthday JustJoan,
Tabitha and Mary Jo!

Edited to add: The Princess of Quite a Lot is two today! (Jennifer of Craftylily's daughter).

Think it's too early to call Mary Jo and sing Happy Birthday to her? After *cough*choke*sputter* years (since Kindergarden)..........she'll probably let the answering machine take the call.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Happy Birthday, Karen! (the 12th)

Aurora had a pic of a Panzanella Salad on her blog that I immediately went home and recreated with:

Yummy. I'm perfecting the recipe. (Meaning I'm going to have it every night until I get bored with it, and considering I had a peanut butter & honey sandwich from the 1st through the 12th grades and would get distraught if my mother snuck in say, a ham sandwich, I'm thinking it'll be about the time I don't have any garden tomatos.) We grew garlic so it's drizzled with garlic oil. (My cousin has an olive grove but sadly, the olive oil isn't from her). (Homegrown garlic and store bought garlic is pretty similar, however onions? Are amazingly good from a garden. I mean, onions? Who knew?)

Well, no peppers in the Panzanella. Those are going in the Pasta Primavera and scrambled eggs....... the tomatos are being eaten like apples. They're so red through & through! Every year it amazes me.

What? You want this ball of yarn back? But....but.....come and get it! If you can.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hey! An FO in a Day

First things first. Is it "an" FO or "a" FO? Driving me crazy.

I finally decided to stop commenting everywhere how much I wanted to knit a dishcloth and just knit a dischloth. Other than mucking up the ball band pattern (slipping with yarn in front or back or whatever is the wrong way a couple of times) ta da! Done. In a couple of hours. I hope it shrinks up. But cotton. It has to shrink.

And this is my progress on Its Jacket. Despite claiming on the pattern specs and repeating it to susoolu when she asked, I said I'd used a size 3 needle on The Shell. Hmmm. That's a size 5 needle I'm using on Its Jacket and the gauge is tighter than The Shell. Maybe I didn't use a 3. Maybe I used a 6. Maybe I should write this stuff down in the knitting notebook I keep.

At any rate, adorable monsters doing adorable and monstrous things to yarn:

Cuddling adorably with her security yarn. Can you see that huge tuft of fur from her ears?

Bad Sophie! This is the same ball of yarn she took off with in Carmel. I was winding it back up after delivering peanut butter cookies to my BFF (I baked today too) and that little scamp snagged it again. I'm not sure how much of a lesson was learned with me saying things like "Oh cute! Wait, wait, let me get a picture first!"

I hope everyone at Stitches Midwest is having fun, learning lots, and enchancing their stashes.

Happy Birthday to Liz
and Jo in Boston! Both Thursday, August 10th.

Edited to add: and Jen of Jenla. One of the very first blogs I ever found.

Chrissy's birthday is Friday the 11th. Happy Birthday, Chrissy!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Birthdays & Birthday Presents. Or just Presents.

A belated Happy Birthday to JennyRaye whose birthday was last Friday, August 4th. Sorry, JennyRaye! Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Keohinani and Carole! Today, the 8th.

And look what Stephanie sent me! She says it was because she had that book already and what's a package without a ball of yarn, but I'm taking it as an early birthday present. Any way you look at it, awesome. I don't have that book and see the three-fold pattern on the left? It's a notecard! Isn't that clever? She did not, however, send me that measuring tape. Whoops. Thought I'd cleared the "photo shoot area" better. I haven't brewed up the mint tea yet but I'm looking forward to curling up with the book and the tea soon.

Blogger is being really uncooperative with pictures today. At least it let me get a couple in. So no cute pic of Hezekiah cuddling with the orange ball of yarn of Its Jacket last night or my progess so far on it. (Think tiny gauge swatch.)

Eureka is on tonight, 9pm Sci Fi channel. I can't decide if I like his house, S.A.R.A.H or not. It was pretty funny when it locked him out and made him apologize for missing dinner but I can see it getting pretty twee. OTOH, the show has a nice balance of quirky, serious, science and characterization. So far. Maybe my summer standards are lower but I'm enjoying the series.

Monday, August 07, 2006

August 7th Babies!

Happy Birthday, Thorny and Crafting Jen! (formerly FolkCat)Edited to add: Happy belated birthday to Jay of Jay's Craft Room.

In knitting news, I can't get the curved cable to work out the way I want it on Its Jacket. (The gauge is really different for the Silky Tweed than the Silky Wool - surely I knew that when I started? I did swatch, right? (hahahahahahaha). The problem being, I don't particularly want a jacket that's lighter than its shell, so I think I'm going to adjust the gauge a bit tighter (the yarn likes the tighter gauge, it drapes and feels better, is that odd or what?) and adjust the pattern. Since it's basically garter stitch and a 3/3 cable, it's not going to take much thought.

Pattern: Two Blue by Lily Chin from Knitter's Magazine Spring 1997
(The Shell. Its Jacket is In Progress. Sort of. Okay, I cast on the first 3 rows of I-cord, hopefully I won't be ripping these out. I think I've got the specs down.)
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. I love this yarn. Love, love, love. It's dream to knit with. I like that the dark brown yarn also has flecks of red, orange and blue.
Needles: Size 3 circular, Addi Turbos.
Modifications: None, conciously. The pattern is fairly simple, garter stitch interrupted by a 3/3 cable so it's nice and portable, reasonably mindless but not mind numbing. The knit on I-cord was surprisingly easy to do. (I hadn't done it before. Easy!) The only bit I would change is I wouldn't bother to invisibly cast on the I-cord cable side edges, that was a bit of a pain to sew up and needless aggravation.

Read Making History by Stephen Fry (of Jeeves & Wooster, A Little Fry & Laurie, etc) (380 pages) (L). After a slow start (the book concerns itself with Hitler and his legacy and I'm a bit burnt out on Hitler, World War II, current events in the Mid East etc) but once the plot unfolds (it involves time travel somewhat) it picks up and addresses the question, what would the world be like if Hitler was never born? The answers are pretty imaginative and surprising.

Finished A Pasage To India by E M Forster (372 pages) (Book Club). My, my. Speaking of class warfare and ingrained prejudices. (Jennifer had an interesting posting about this the other day.) No one was immune to it, no one fully overcame it, no one seemed to know anyone at all. A bit depressing, beautifully written, the best use of "He said/She said" I've read to date.