Tuesday, October 31

Monster Mash

The loudspeakers aound my town square were playing Monster Mash!

I was working in the lab late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise

He did the mash
He did the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
He did the mash
It caught on in a flash
He did the mash
He did the monster mash


Argh ... I be piratin' the seas o' news. Off to Tortuga!

Oh, and in order to be avoiding Fyberduck's stern frown ... I started a pair of Knucks with my leftover Artyarns Ultramerino 4. I commenced knitting them in the extra hour of knitting that was provided via daylight-saving time.

And my mom is dressed as "static" today, with socks and dryer sheets pinned to her clothing at random. She's too funny.

Monday, October 30

Monday is for mommies

Our very preggo cat is preggo no more, as of about 5:30 this morning. She elected to have her kittens in the middle of the upstairs bed (read: the one that's not mine). By 8 a.m. she was eating the placenta (ew), after delivering five kittens. Three appear to be calico and thus female. One of the others is orange and white, and one is black and white. I want to adopt the calico that's mostly white.

I bought a new pair of shoes yesterday. The one on the left is the best.

I spent Saturday in Des Moines wearing a fair chunk of my pirate garb (okay, I wore the hair, the bandana and the hat. I had ditched the bootcovers after a brief stint). Our first stop was a beauty school (where I did not end up getting my hairs cut after all), at which many of the students and even a couple of teachers (one of whom was pretty fabulous) thought my hair was real. At Goodwill, I was told my dreads were "tight" and was asked if they was actually attached to my hair. I then revealed the edge of the meshy hat the dreads are attached to. Argh! Captain Jack Brownsheep be a darn convincin' pirate, mates!

And finally, evidence of Thuja and I spending some quality time together.

Mmm ... socks.

Friday, October 27

It's Friday

... so this may not make a whole lot of sense.

Just now I thought, "Ooh! I'll put up a few photos of me and Thuja today!" and then I checked for my camera. Yep, it's at home, so you'll just have to wait.

Speaking of brushing teeth, (okay, that was Fyberduck) I have to share the pimped-out-ness that is the Colgate 360°. It makes my mouth feel so clean I can hardlly stand it (that is, until I eat a Caribou Coffee chocolate mocha granola bar thing). I swear, my teeth have never been so excited about a toothbrush. (Interesting thing I've noticed is that I've nearly always used that brand of toothbrush, but the other "C" brand of toothpaste. Odd.)

And a moment of vanity: I'll be getting my hairs trimmed tomorrow. I think I may dye my hair tonight, as I found an old-ish box of the stuff. We shall see. I'm in the process of growing out my hair (shock! awe! disaster!), but I need a bit of a trim. Growing the hair out could lead to some interesting results.

I think I'd like to start on some Thuja-matching Knucks this afternoon. If we don't take a field trip to Goodwill. That, of course, depends on the internet installer and when s/he shows up.

Also, today is my aunt's birthday. Timmy's x-mas twin. Woo!

Thursday, October 26


(I have been working on this post since Tuesday, and hadn't managed to finish it until today. C'est la vie.) I had a very delightful and delicious piece of lemon pound cake for breakfast yesterday. One of our circulation workers brought in the cake, having baked it and not wishing it to go to waste. I don't have a whole lot to say, other than that Thuja and I are enjoying our time together so much, we haven't taken photos. So instead, here are some things to amuse you ...

Toy Boy, Guinness, and Cross Dresser from Very Funny Ads.

My friend JS recently posted the following on her Facebook, and I thought I'd share it with you, as you're all concerned citizens.
Top Ten Reasons to Make Gay Marriage Illegal

  1. Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

  2. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

  3. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

  4. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all like many of the principles on which this great country was founded; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

  5. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of marriages like Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

  6. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

  7. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

  8. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

  9. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

  10. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

Also, I wanted to share my favorite StoryPeople story: Cultural Fable.
Once upon a time there was a pig who spoke eight languages & did sculpture with pieces of wood & rusted metal he found on his travels. One day he was out in the woods working on a new installation piece & he met a family from a small town in Tennessee. They had been walking for days. The dad saw the pig & said what are you doing, little piggie? They were all quite surprised when the pig said working with counterbalanced forces using found objects. They all stood around & looked at the piece for a long time. No one said anything. Finally, the dad shrugged & turned to the mom & said I don't know much about art but I know what I like & then they killed the pig & ate him.

Really, that's all I had today. I may wander around Des Moines this weekend dressed as a pirate, but who knows?

Oh, I forgot an ad: Dad-Girlfriend. And this one, Outed, which made me think of Biddy Love.

Monday, October 23

An illicit affair

I'm not going to mince words here: I've been cheating on someone.

I've had this relationship for two, three weeks now, and it has been really slow. It's not that we're not cooperating or anything ... we're just not speaking at the moment. I didn't mean to put the relationship on the back burner, but with this weekly newspaper thing and the Festival, well, I've been preoccupied. I just haven't been able to devote the time and concentration necessary to keep the relationship going hot and strong.

And then I saw it. The perfect relationship. Not only is this one moving faster — we've been together since Thursday last and already we're much farther than my other, terribly pitiful ... thing.

So ... do you want to see photos of my new love? Of course you do.

I told you it was going faster than the other relationship. Snicket and I haven't parted ways, of course, but we have barely glanced at one another in more than a week. I'm sorry, dear Snicket. I just really needed a fling. Thuja was just the answer.

Thuja and I are gettin' jiggy with it in Artyarns Ultramerino 4 and US 6 Boye Balene II dpns. There may be enough of the merino left for Knucks to get in on the action, too.

Wednesday, October 18

Gratuitous yarn and cat photos

Four skeins!

A True Cat I know you've been dying for more photos of my cat. Don't lie. Here's another, and one of Gus Gus, too. See? Demetrios knows quality fiber when he sees it. (Well, that and he was in a particularly grabby mood this morning when I snapped that photo.)

So above you see the yummy alpaca yarn that I obtained this weekend. There you can see the swatch of the brown, seed stitch with a random cable thrown in, just to see how it felt worked up. You know the answer, if you've knit with alpaca yarns before. Yum.

The heathered grey and black seem to be at about worsted weight. The grey has more texture than the others, which are soft as, well alpacas. The cream is not plied, and the brown is 2-ply. I just want to cuddle them all.

Remember that time I joined Socktoberfest? Yeah, me too. I haven't had a whole lot of time to knit, as the Festival was this weekend. (You try knitting with ice cubes for fingers and sticky, inky children clamoring for attention.) Hence, the Snicket socks are looking nearly the same as they did last Wednesday, when I took a picture.

Snicket on 2 circs

I didn't notice that zig-zaggy path the grey seems to be making through the lower sock until just now. It's interesting. I wonder if it will continue through the cables ...

But now it's time to go home. Project Runway's finale airs tonight, you know. I even had a dream about it. Who do I really want to win? Now I'm not so sure. I might be rooting for Jeffrey, or Preggo, or Michael, or Uli. I don't think I would mind particularly which of them win. (Not like last season when they picked my last choice to win.)

Y'all should listen to Mistake by Christopher Dallman from his album Race the Light.

if i'm going to make a mistake
it's going to be big
why sip it when i can drink it down
why hold it if i can pass it around and around...

Tuesday, October 17

Light stuff

Two quiz things. The first? Four things, from none other than Fyberduck.

Four jobs I have had:
1. Museum "curator" (okay, I just had keys)
2. Coppy editer
3. Office manager
4. Knitter (who doesn't take a commission now and then?)

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. The Princess Bride
2. Rocky Horror Picture Show
3. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
4. Clue

Four places I have lived:
1. Des Moines, Iowa
2. Winterset, Iowa
3. Decorah, Iowa
4. Omaha, Neb.

Four television shows I love to watch:
1. Project Runway ("I didn't steal the bitch's dye!")
2. Mythbusters
3. The X-Files (old school)
4. Supernatural

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. McAllen, Texas
2. Rainbow Point Lodge, Canada
3. Athens, Greece
4. Istanbul, Turkey

Four of my favorite dishes foods:
1. Dolmades
2. Parmesean chicken with cheesey carrots
3. Dad's turkey roll concoction
4. Sharp cheddar, wheat crackers and a crisp apple

Four websites I visit daily:
1. Craftster
2. Bloglines
3. Gmail
4. interesting links from Bloglines

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Visiting friends in the South
2. Athens, Greece
3. Selçuk, Turkey
4. Hanging out with knitters / spinners

Four bloggers I am tagging:
1. You.
2. Know
3. Who
4. You are.

The second? How psychic am I really?

take the psi-q psychic test yourself

'Bout that much. Spied at Sachi's place.

Also, Knitty's surprises are up. How about Housefrau?

Bridge Fest digest

More photos? Flick it.
Want your own? Mosaic Maker.

The Covered Bridge Festival was great fun. I got to visit with a bunch of interesting people, despite being stuck at the paper's booth during most of both days.

I met a local alpaca farmer on Sunday. She and her husband have 11 alpacas; they brought six of them to the festival. Saturday they were showing two males. Sunday they had two mothers and their babies. One alpaca (third one down on the left, above) was four years old with a five-week-old baby (so darling!). The other mother (second picture on the bottom row) is three years old and has a 13-week-old baby. I couldn't stop snapping photos with the paper's camera (Canon EOS Rebel ... yummy).

I wandered away from the alpacas for a while, as the owner, who had wanted to talk to me as we had talked sometime early this summer. Next to the alpacas, there was a tent with two spinners and a tatter (as in, someone who was at that moment tatting, as opposed to a small, torn piece of cloth). We chatted for quite some time, the tatter showing me just how simple tatting is, and one of the spinners showing me how to purl continental-style. Boy, is it entirely helpful to watch someone do it instead of the usual internet tutorial. I wish I could have stuck around longer, they were so nice.

A few meters away, I met Dann the Ropesmith, who has a son attending Luther. Talk about small world! I took a few photos of him, as well (top center). I also bought some wild cherry jam, which I'm excited to try.

I went back to the alpacas and finally got a chance to talk with the owner. When we spoke this summer, I'd mentioned that I was going to learn how to spin (having recieved the fabulous spindle from Fyberduck). After all this time, she remembered me, and offered to give me alpaca fibers. Give, as in not paying. I was surprised, to say the least. But the fiber, you see, was uncarded. As I have no carding equipment (and even less space to store a huge bag of fiber where it would be safe from both the elements and the animals), I had to decline her oh-so-enticing offer.

But then. Then she pulled out a plastic grocery bag and started plucking skeins of yarn from her basket, which were labeled $10 each. She gave me four luscious skeins, each about 200 yards, and each different shade. I was doing the happy fiber dance in my head, let me tell you. I started to protest (as it was polite), but she just said, "Do your thing." She doesn't knit or crochet, it turns out, and just loves the animals.

I swatched some of the bulky-weight brown and let me tell you, that's going to be one yummy scarf.

The saddest part about working during the Festival was the fact that one of my college friends (an original member of the Cribbage Crew!) had her wedding in Minnesota on Sunday. I really wish I could have been there, even giving up free fiber, but it didn't work out. Congratulations, D and J! I hope your day was beyond wonderful. Lots of love to you both.

Tuesday, October 10


This is where I work.
This is where I live.
This is where my parents live.

Note the not-so-far distance between the three. Turn on "hybrid". That dot on the street by the last one? That's probably my dad's car. Sing with me now: It's a small world after all ...

So I was working on my Snicket socks again last night. This time I even managed to watch all of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. After the movie was over, I flicked around on the channels until I came across a very interesting specimen: the pilot episode of The X-Files. And that one takes place in Oregon. (I'd forgotten that, Fyberduck! How ironic.) And in true X-Files + knitting form, I actually made progress. I'm finally done with the 20-row cuff. (Sing with me: Ce-le-brate good times, come on!)

In all actuality, I knit 40 rows of cuff, as I'm doing the 2S2C method again. But boy ... two-stitch cables on US 2 needles? It's a little bit slippery going. I'm using a wooden 5-inch DPN as a cable needle, but I'm starting to think that even that is too long. Really, I feel like I'm fumbling when I try to cable these socks. I've tried Grumperina's cabling without a cable needle trick and, while that's nice for six-stitch cables, it's not really doing it for my two-stitch mini-cables. Maybe I just need a little more practice ... and patience.

In other randomness, I'd like to see The Science of Sleep. I hear there are good knitting scenes.

Edited: That's what I get for not checking my links. Thanks, Dustro.

Monday, October 9

Oh Fyberduck. Why do you always find these funny gadgets?

How to make xamonster
1 part competetiveness
5 parts brilliance
1 part instinct
Combine in a tall glass half filled with crushed ice. Top it off with a sprinkle of lovability and enjoy!

Back from L-town

Lincoln was a lot of fun. Let me count the ways!
  1. I started a scarf when we left home Thursday and finished it Friday morning. It's loosely based on the Child's Rainbow Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, except I cast on fewer stitches and used different materials. I used two skeins of Patons SWS, one Natural Navy and the other Natural Earth, and US 15 rosewood straights (which I recently purchased at Hobby Lobby). Photos whenever I find my camera.

  2. I attended a two-year-old's birthday, and essentially got paid for it. (I didn't work on Friday, but got paid for the time.) He got the newest version of Tickle Me Elmo, which turned out to be much funnier for the adults than for him.

  3. I got to meet nearly every member of my roommate's family: one brother and his girlfriend, one sister and her husband, the other sister and her husband and two sons, her parents, her mom's friend from St. Louis, her mom's parents, and assorted uncles and cousins.

  4. I went to three bars in one night: a karaoke bar, a cowboy bar, and a gay bar. I just want to say that it is beyond wonderful that Nebraska has voted for no more smoking in bars. It was incredibly pleasant to come home not smelling like an ashtray for a change.

  5. I attended my first Catholic mass. Wow.

As for knitting, I made some progress, but not much, on the Snicket socks. I haven't yet finished the cuff. What's interesting is that the Lemony Snicket movie is on our VOD (video on demand) service right now. I started watching it last night but only managed about 15 minutes before falling asleep. (I took some help-you-sleep meds before I saw that it was on.) I'll probably watch it tonight. Or maybe during my lunch hour. The goal? Watch Snicket while knitting Snicket. Simple enough, right?

I got a few new clothing items at an interesting store in Lincoln called Steve & Barry's. Every item in the store cost $6.98. Not even kidding. I got a couple of heavy cotton sweaters and a T-shirt. The shirt has a picture of the Tootsie Pop owl and reads "How many licks?". (The "to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop" is implied.) Ha ha. I love it. I wore it yesterday. My mom laughed.

Speaking of my mom, she's gotten most of my brother, the Mayor of Whoville's costume done for Seussical. He has a top hat covered in lime green and black fur, and a grey suit coat with fur trimmings. (My mom modeled it for me when I went to visit last night, as my brother was nowhere to be found.) I can't wait to see how she makes the cape (for the other brother) look like wings. I will have to share photos.

Oh, and in random news, my aunt, whom we visited on the way home from Lincoln, has planned her Halloween costume already. She works at Goodwill (she's the almost-manager of the store), so she's gathered all of the items from there. Her intention? Scarlet O'Hara a la Carol Burnett. I'm excited to see how it turns out. She's picked out some chair slipcovers that will be perfect, she says, and that look so nice she won't ruin them, as she wants to use them in her dining room. (What a riot!)

Thursday, October 5

Circles, again

Unlike Fyberduck, I have not yet finished a pair of socks for Socktoberfest. In my defense, however, I just cast on a pair last night. I'm going with Snicket from September 06's MagKnits, mostly because I wanted to work with my new US 2 circs. They're not turning out to be my favorite needles ever — Susan Bates — because the cable is not terribly flexible. Perhaps if I hold them over boiling water a moment, they'll soften up. (I read that trick somewhere.)

I'm off to Lincoln this weekend with one of the roommates. Hopefully I'll have some socks to show for it! (It's a three-hour drive, after all.)

Pax vobiscum!

Wednesday, October 4


A Socktoberfest questionnaire:

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class? I started Knitty's Broadripple about a year ago. I never finished them, but that's when I started.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time? I finished my very first pair just last week, so I think they're holding up well.

What would you have done differently? No stripes ... fewer ends to weave in. (Or figure out how to knit the ends in as I go without losing tension.)

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed? I have enjoyed the Regia I've used. Paton's Lucette was fun and fluffy. I have some Opal and some Trekking that I'm itching to try, as well as a little handspun cotton.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method? I knit on 5 DPNs, usually. I recently was successful in the 2 socks on 2 circulars (2s2c) method, which I now love.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?) Short row, please.

How many pairs have you made? Including my first pair, one. And another one sock, plus two half-socks.

My dad got a wild streak this weekend and dyed his greying, dark brown hair a shiny shade of black. And Tuesday morning, he shaved off his beard. He still has the 'stache, but he looks sort of strange. I'm trying to think what character he reminds me of, but I can't place it.

Our water man came in a moment ago and said, "Your mom's got a younger man, now!" and made me laugh. Taking the grey out did make him look younger. It's just a little surprising yet.

Tuesday, October 3

Look at mii, look at meme!

Oh, how I love 10 Things I Hate About You! (Ahh, Julia Stiles, you make me laugh so much, with your dry-as-dirt sense of humor.)

Inspired by HoJo, I decided to make a Mii, a character usable on some of Nintendo's upcoming Nintendo Wii ("we") games.

Tagged by Fyberduck.

Quirk: noun 1. a peculiarity of action, behavior, or personality; mannerism (from dictionary.com)

6 of mine:
1. I have never hated the smell of mothballs; I associate it with my great-grandmother.
2. Sometimes I have a small relapse into my Christian upbringing, though I'm pretty much pagan now.
3. I read myself to sleep frequently.
4. When I go CD shopping I rarely remember to look for anyone other than Tori Amos, and I can't explain it.
5. Usually I have all of my thoughts organized, but things always come out as verbal diarrhea.
6. Though I subscribe to lots (and lots) of blogs on Bloglines, I rarely read them all. Mostly, it's for the knitting pictures; if something catches my eye I'll read it, but if not, I usually bypass.

Tag, you're it.

Also, I have realized that any book that includes Tracey Ullman and knitting (Knit 2 Together) must be mine. She was on Martha yesterday, did you know? Fabulous.

"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" --Ernest Gaines

Monday, October 2

Happy Yom Kippur! (I only wish we were all together to celebrate Yum Kippotluck again...)

Demetrios is recuperating well from his snip-snip. He's stopped trying to pull off the collar we put on him (one of the roommates thought it would be cute). It's purple with little rhinestones. It makes me think of Prince a la "Purple Rain".

It's crunch time for the Festival: we're going to town on the flyer today. More later, I hope. I had something more to say, but all this stuff going on at work has eclipsed it.

Oh yes! The courthouse clock has finally been fixed, and it played the tune just like at Luther. (Earlier it was stuck on a patriotic tune. Drove me nuts for a whole five minutes.)