Thursday, November 30, 2006

Now he's just showing off.... Officially

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Official Birthday Song of 2006.

Although actually, I think this is technically the Deputy Official Birthday Song, since it all began many years ago on December 8, making that the Official one. So this is the secondary one, which many feel has far surpassed the original. The Pepsi to my Coke, if you will.

Anyway, here it is!

Tonight I will be having dinner at the Official Birthday Restaurant, wearing the Official Birthday Sweater

and the celebration continues with tomorrow's repeat performance of the Official Birthday Blog of the Official Birthday Cat.

(hey, it's my birthday, I get to proclaim anything to be Official I want. It's in the Official Birthday Rules.)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Quick like bunnies!

Long story short, the computer died (rather, the power cord died, for the FOURTH time in fifteen months of owning this rather expensive paperweight * and while I'm waiting for Apple to ship me a new one, I'm only able to go online briefly while at my parents. However, I am done my Christmas shopping, so why are you slacking off reading blogs?)

In any event, you might remember this:


Or more recently this:

All of those now look like:

This is an unblocked shot of it, with ends obviously needing to be woven in, but it is done; two weeks and one day after starting it, not working on it anywhere close to every day. I'm tickled pink. Or purple. Whichever.

Those of you who knit the first stitches on it at the retreat remember me saying I hoped for a short sleeved sweater, but wasn't sure I had enough yarn, so was thinking of making it a vest if needed. That little tiny ball of yarn by the neck is all that I have left, but obviously it was enough. I did the sleeves as short, then took at look at the yarn I had left and ripped back and headed for long. The neckline is even much higher than I expected (I was thinking it might have to be borderline risque!) I'll use some of that left-over stuff to reinforce the armhole joins, since the yarn is so unbelievably elastic (it's almost like Cascade Fixation!) that the three needle bind off I did was really tricky.

But pretty, yes?

Anyway, I've finished that, the Starmore Durrow you saw in early November will be finished to wear at Christmas (cough. A gal can have goals, right?) and then comes my newly decided New Year's Resolution. Yes, I realize there's a month left. Who knows when that power cord will get to me, this may be my last chance for any valient proclamations.

See, we had Two-Thousand-Socks, and I was thinking I really like the idea of a theme. So I was thinking how nice it would be if I had some sweaters of my very own - a great lot of my knitting this year was for others. And what with the year ending in seven, and seven being a little bit more than a sweater every two months (which I've already unfortunately proven I can do without too much difficulty) I think 2007 will be 2007th Heaven for me.

So in the year of 2007, I will knit seven sweaters for myself. Some are patterns I've wanted to do for a while, most are designs that have been ruminating around in my mind, but all will be for me. And all will be knit from my current stash (sad to say in a shallow stash dive yesterday I discovered yarn for nine sweaters and then some. Needless to say, I'm also swearing off any purchases that don't involve gifts or work needs.) As soon as Durrow is done, I can begin, but not until then. And my first project will be a gorgeous cashmere beauty, because I believe in starting things off with a bang.

Hope to be back online soon (with pictures of the finished sweater, and maybe a finished Durrow, too, but until then, Knit On!

* don't worry, Catherine, the problem is one that has since been completely revamped since about thirty-four seconds after I bought my computer, which is why I can no longer get the powercord at any store near me, if I was compelled to pay the ninety bucks every three months, which I'm not. Your new computer should be fine.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

300 things about me

201. I have a "lucky" house - it makes me smile to drive past it, and has for over 25 years.
202. I am extremely selfish by nature.
203. I try to battle that every day and do something for someone else.
204. I believe strongly in karma
205. I try to swing the pendulum heavily towards the "deserves good" side of karma, and then some.
206. Audiences cheering in support make me cry.
207. I cry at horse movies without exception.
208. I cry at sports movies with almost no exceptions.
209. I don't like sports.
210. I can clap with one hand.
211. I get migraines.
212. I'm easily swept up in infomercials.
213. I don't like rollar coasters.
214. I do at least one online jigsaw puzzle everyday.
215. I hate laundry more than any other household chore.
216. I want to live in the country where I can't see or hear my neighbors.
217. I understand why people get divorced.
218. I didn't until after I got married.
219. I believe in fairies
220. I believe in the Loch Ness Monster
221. I'm not sure if it's that I really believe in those things or if I just really want them to be real.
222. I think it's important that there be mystery on the planet.
223. I'm afraid of heights.
224. Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite books.
225. I love sheep and goat cheeses.
226. I think the words "sheep cheese" sound gross.
227. I'm embarrassed to admit I like Velveeta.
228. I've gained 50 pounds in less than 3 years, thanks to my thyroid (and lack thereof).
229. I want Debra Messing's hair. Desparately.
230. I love cranberries in nearly any form - sauce, juice, dried or fresh.
231. I don't like cranberry juice cocktail, or blends.
232. I'm naturally an early bird, and have an easier time waking at 4 am than I do at 8 am.
233. I rarely sleep through the night without waking up once or twice.
234. I would rather be cold than hot.
235. I think 68 degrees is perfect weather.
236. I love slightly bohemian clothing.
237. I would wear long flowing skirts, boots, and belted tunics everyday, but they're impractical to my lifestyle (and current body).
238. I've never done any illegal drugs.
239. I've never smoked a cigarette.
240. I drink very rarely.
241. I've never finished a beer.
242. I rarely sit still - my toes are tapping, my hands are moving, something...
243. I don't like sweets much
244. There is a certain toxic personality type that I don't like at all, and it keeps finding me in varying circles
245. I think I'm supposed to learn something karmic from that personality type, but I don't seem to have figured it out.
246. I'm a bit obsessed with the idea of "six degrees of separation"
247. My favorite website is - I can go from one actor to another for hours.
248. I find I'm sincerely happy for celebrities when they win awards/have babies/get married, and sincerely sad when something bad happens.
249. I can't make myself a cup of coffee that I like.
250. The best cup of coffee is Dunkin Donuts Large Hot Light Caramel Creme Latte.
251. I have the memory of a goldfish. My short term memory is dreadful, and I often can't remember something I did four seconds earlier.
252. I do make a great cup of tea.
253. When playing computer solitaire, my kings have to line up black-red-black-red (or red-black-red-black) or I will quit.
254. I tell myself bedtime stories, and have since I was a very little girl.
255. This was my first acting experience, as I used to repeat phrases over and over (and over) until I got the inflection I wanted.
256. I love fairytales
257. I love sappy traditional Disney movies.
258. I am sincerely honored when cats choose to cuddle with me.
259. After seven years together, I didn't find out my husband could moonwalk until the reception at our wedding.
260. I can whistle, but I tell people I can't.
261. I do that because I can't whistle consistantly, and I'd rather just sing.
262. My all time favorite song is "Save the Last Dance for Me"
263. Nearly any version will do, but the absolute best is Ben E. King's, with Harry Connick Jr running in second.
264. The scariest sound in the world to me is footsteps.
265. I had a long time recurring nightmare of being chased through a very dark forest by something I could not see, but could hear.
266. The recurring nightmare began before I was five (I had it in my first bedroom) and continued regularly through middle school and high school, petering off in college.
267. I've always been an insomniac, and sleeping through the night is a rare thing for me.
268. I think if I was ever really well rested, I'd be dangerous.
269. As it is, I'm just an airhead.
270. The person who decided to stuff green olives with garlic cloves is my personal hero.
271. I believe strongly in anniversary celebrations.
272. I think the body and heart remember the season for emotional times, even when the mind cannot explain it.
273. I love the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
274. The Disney movie version is my favorite, but I see or read all other versions and enjoy them nearly as much.
275. I was once told that my vast knowledge of apples was extremely sexy.
276. Since I don't actually have a vast knowledge of apples, I'm pretty sure it was a line, but it was delivered so sincerely I married the guy anyway.
277. Sour Patch Kids make me happy. The real ones only - the other "sour" gummy candies are horrid.
278. A well-placed upwards modulation in music will bring me to tears.
279. I am an aural learner - I remember things better if I hear them.
280. I figured this out in college and learned to study by recording class notes onto a tape and listening to them.
281. I once learned all of my lines as lead in a play literally overnight by reading them into a tape and wearing headphones that played them back as I slept.
282. I am an empath - I relate to and feel what people (and animals) are feeling without them expressing these feelings to me.
283. For this reason, I am an introvert as well - having all those other emotions running through me is extremely exausting.
284. Animals are drawn to me, and I'm told very often that "s/he doesn't get that excited when anyone else comes to visit!"
285. I have a disorder called synesthesia and have almost no sense of smell. When I do smell things, often I can only describe the smell by color.
286. For a few months after my surgery last year this synesthesia was altered and I had a sense of smell. I hated it.
287. The AKC "Can I pet your dog?" commercial makes me cry.
288. I have a secret goal of walking in one of those massively long 3-day charity walks for something I believe in. (it's not a secret anymore, is it?)
289. I don't know that I will ever again be healthy enough to do so.
290. I love vegetarian Indian curries.
291. I had to delete one item about how bad my memory is because I had forgotten I'd already mentioned it.
292. I once had to sign an autograph at Walmart at 3 in the morning while buying cold medicine, wearing dirty sweatpants, unshowered, and with my pockets filled with used tissues. It wasn't nearly as much fun as it sounds.
293. I cried the days Gene Kelly and Gregory Hines died, and seeing them on film still gets me weepy.
294. I love westerns, both books and film, but not spaghetti westerns.
295. I am sincerely disappointed each and every time I look in the mirror. Vampires had a good thing going with that "no reflection" thing.
296. I don't get starstruck very often, and never have done so in front of the actual person, and I get extremely irritated at those who do.
297. I prefer small silverware. I will pick salad forks over dinner forks, or baby silverware over all others. I don't know why.
298. I love Mel Brooks movies.
299. I can (and often do) watch movies over and over, sometimes even back to back. You can double the viewings if there's a good commentary on the DVD.
300. I apparently really enjoy making lists about myself, though I honestly don't expect anyone to read them.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I'm pretty sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that I am a bad blogger. Not just bad, downright lousy.

I don't think my camera left my bag all weekend. And that's no excuse, because I don't mean my suitcase up the hill in my room, I mean the little tote that followed me everywhere, with the extra weight of a not-at-all small camera that never saw the light of day (or the blur of bad lamps).

In any event, nearly everyone else has written far better explanations of the weekend than I possibly could, so I give you: a brief and scatter-brained summary of a very few of the high points, and a proverbial shout-out to my phenomenal roommate, who was charming and funny and tolerant of my silly questions and loveable and just remedial enough in her towel use that I felt she could still be a real human. I also had one other roommate, who wasn't as good a conversationalist, but was very quiet, warm, and sat on my chest juuust right.

I spent Sunday night over as well, rather than drive home too late, and after leaving the door open for the nano-second it took for me to enter the room, Batman there darted in and got into my bed, and refused to leave until morning.

Which was fine with me, since four nights without a cat in your bed is four nights too long, right?

Making me even more glad that she came (like I needed the extra push), I think it was my first roommate who put up for grabs that which became my only stash-lounge acquisition - 30 balls of Classic Elite Mistral (cotton/alpaca) in the colors Bess would describe as a Thanksgiving table.

Beautiful, lovely stuff, and I'll enjoy picking out the fair isle pattern for that.

Suggestions are welcome.

The only other thing I grabbed from the stash lounge (aside from a Rebecca, but magazines don't count in stash, do they?) has a story behind it.

Now, Stitches East was 'round these parts last weekend. I couldn't go, but several friends did. When Coleen called to taunt me that she was on her way, I asked her to buy me something pretty, like a sheep. So she did.

But if Miss Caween thinks she's the only smartass in our group, she's got another think coming.

Before I left for the retreat, she told me to knit her something pretty. So I glanced around the stash lounge until I saw something that begged to be made into something pretty, and started this. All except the last four rounds of decreases were knit during Show-and-Tell Friday night, and the braid and tassel were made at breakfast with the assistance of Lesley's scissors and crochet hook. (the hat does fit a real head, it's folded there for photography's sake)

And like most of us who feel the weekend ended too soon, I've already started my preparations for next year. A new Sunday morning tradition is what we call the "New Beginnings Project". We start something new. It should be for ourselves, it should be something different and special, and if we choose, we can ask members of the retreat to knit a few stitches into the cast on row so that their energy is with us all year round.

It was decided that my purple haze handspun would go with me, and Sunday morning Luann knit the first two stitches, and around the room it went. By Sunday evening, I had finished one of the three 8-oz balls (the other two stayed at home) and had ten inches knit. I love how the color almost shimmers from dark to light with the touches of reds and yellows in there. It will be a short sleeved sweater, assuming I have enough (which since I'm more than 1/3 up and have 2/3 the yarn to go, I think I will), and I'm just tickled silly with it.

(side note: I went to take a photo of the sheep and couldn't find it. Until Trevor happened through the room with it in his mouth. In fact, my first attempt to take a photo of it looked more like this:)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Why Knit?

True story: I was on the phone with my mother, and commented to her that I was almost done the sweater. She replied that, after all, I had a family reputation to uphold. And I said "so I should stop knitting immediately?" I think she thought our rep was different than it actually is...

Anyway, the front is fixed and done. A method for fixing the back has been planned. The second sleeve is one-third done.

And Tuesday afternoon, as I sat down to slam out that second sleeve, planning on finishing it that day, then block everything overnight, then sew it up this morning, and knit the collar on tonight, I realized I just didn't want to be stressing over the sweater.

Most of the time I wasn't stressing, and I enjoyed the process of the front and the back immensely. I was able to laugh over all the mistakes (and there were a ridiculous amount of them - really, I'm a much better knitter than I've been these past two weeks) I think it's a beautiful sweater, and I chose it because it's one of the only designs I've ever seen that I wouldn't make a major change of my own to the pattern.

But I realized these last few hours I had other things I would rather have been doing. This sweater is for me. Unlike everything else I've knit since March, it's not going to earn me money, it's not getting my name out, it's not an obligation. So I'll be damned if I make it one. I want to love that sweater when it's done, and I will, next week, when I come home and get settled and finish that last sleeve and fix things to my satisfaction on my own timeline.

I could have finished the sweater, but I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. And I knit because I love it, not because I have to.

So I'm off to the Knitter's Review Retreat where I'll come home with two other projects started that I've been looking forward to for a while, and I've also got a super fun sock pattern that I'm going to be putting out by the end of the month, I hope.

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Farewell to Arms

Forget the second sleeve, I surrender.

Remember the finished back?

Anyone see the now glaring errors?

Here's a close up. Only this is the front, where I made the same error (in a slightly different location.) The colors are supposed to alternate.

I have decided that the sweater needs to go sit someplace and think about what it's done. Or rather, I need to take a breather from it and come back to it a little later to decide if I can tolerate this currently blatent sore thumb mistake, or if I need to fix it.

The good news is, this allows me a little bit of relaxation in preparing for the retreat, whereas before it was looking as though I would have very, very, little time. I still won't have a lot of time, but I'll get more important things done.

But still.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

It's a little blurry, but it's the best shot I've gotten of the cables yet, so your eyes are just going to have to adjust.

Back: Done (and on stitch holders)
Front: Started!
Sleeves: 1 down, I'll be working on the front, so the second sleeve is just going to have to knit itself.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Marriage is love.