Friday, December 29

Out with the old

I am heading to O!town tomorrow and will be away from the blog until Monday.

Hopefully, my car will not catch fire on the way to or from the shindig. (This is actually a slightly probable even — my dad suggested bringing a fire extinguisher along for the ride.)

Hope you find a fun way to celebrate the new year!

Thursday, December 28

Suddenly it's 9:40 and I don't want to go to work

I forgot to mention last night that I got a new toy which, unlike Kas' new Digital Elph, takes crap photos. Of course, it's a keychain camera and $15 one at that, so I wasn't expecting works of art. I got it on a lark, and thought I'd share some of the least bad photos. (I really do like the little thing. It's funny.)

Slartibartfast, the baby.

Captain Jack Sparrow, in my very own room.

Demetrios, as his usual "Hey, I was sleeping here" self.

You see now why I need a Kitty Pi? Demetrios spends roughly 99.999% of the day napping. Okay, not quite so much. But seriously. I know that cats tend to sleep a lot, but I may have to get him checked out for narcolepsy. He will pass out anywhere.

And yes, Sister Berthe, we really did get a chinchilla. Brown and white and named Chi Chi! Curious that neither of us, with our new toys, have been able to catch him at play ...

Kitty Pi-rate! and other such nonsense

On Monday my family received a visit from the Christmas Pirate, who had a large bag of booty slung over her shoulder. Okay, fine. That was me. I thought it would be fitting to break out theDepp-wear again, since I knew I'd be getting some piratey gifts — giant cardboard Johnny Depp (Be jealous. Be very very jealous.), my very own copy of POTC2 and a Davey Jones' key keychain. There were pictures that were taken, by the by, but of course they're on my mom's camera, so it will be a while before they see daylight again.

I managed to finish almost all of my holiday knitting; the only thing I didn't finish was the pair of glittens for my dad, but I knew they wouldn't be finished. I'm not that quick a knitter. I did promise my brother a new Jayne hat, though, since he got theoversized monstrosity. We'll just give the huge one to their friend, my honorary third brother. (He's at my family's house so often that my mom's begun referring to him as her third son.)

Speaking of knitting (as if I'm ever not speaking of knitting), I decided earlier this evening that my cats need a cat bed. I started on Wendy's Kitty Pi cat bed tonight with some left over Lopi, in a variegated brown and a cream. I hope the cream color decides to felt, though if it doesn't, it will just act as edging.

In bloggy news, both of my roommates decided to start blogs. I Work In A Cube is Kas' blog (whose alias I mispelled last week, sorry). Tarnished Border Collies is Sister Berthe's.

Time to call it a night. I've got a new book to read — Seven Touches of Music by Zoran Zivkovic. I'm through four of the stories thus far.

Whoa. I just watched Alton Brown make sushi. He is a god.

Sunday, December 24

'Twas the Knit Before GIftmas

I was reading through my Bloglines subscriptions this morning and came upon two or three versions of "The Night Before Christmas", knitta style. My favorite, though, was the original by Purl Needlemeyer of Knit and Plenty. I'd like to share it with you.
The Knit Before Christmas

Twas the Knit before Christmas and all over the room,
unfinished projects were everywhere, strewn.
The stockings weren't hung; they didn't have toes,
and the wrap in my lap needed sixty more rows.

The children's new mittens would never been done.
They looked more like wristwarmers sporting thumbs.

Dad's fisherman's knit had a large gaping hole.
My sister's striped ski hat could fit a large bowl.

I forgot to put fringe on my mother's new shawl.
And my husband's socks lay in a magic loop ball.
The backpack I felted would have to be sewn,
since it shrunk in the wash and might fit my phone.

I started to panic, but then I decided,
"I'll just give them cash, they'll all be delighted."

But then I remembered I had not a cent.
I'd spent it on yarn, leaving not even rent.

Tears welled in my eyes as I put down my needle
and curled on my side in a position quite fetal.

Then, out on the lawn, I heard such commotion
that I ran with my scissors and dropped every notion.

Away to the window I flew in a flash,
knocked over my basket and tripped on my stash.

The moon on the snow gave me a start,
caused it looked like a pompom that had fallen apart.

When what did I see that made me feel loco,
but a little old man with a beard of Berroco.

He was dressed all in mohair, or maybe a blend,
with a stockinette scarf that just wouldn't end.

His sweater was Fair Isle, he looked like a rogue.
The pattern so detailed - it must be from Vogue.

He spoke not a word but went straight for a stocking.
Then he grabbed for the purses that all needed blocking.

More rapid then Addi's the projects they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name.

Now Capelet - Now Afghan - Now Leggings - Now Rug.
On Poncho, On Dickie, on Earmuffs - on Shrug.

To the top of a crewneck, he added a cowl.
From a lightweight chenille, he knitted a towel.

I watched in amazement as he dropped and yarned-over
to crank out a coat and some booties for Rover.

From a fingerweight silk he knitted a glove.
As he purled all around me, I thought it was love.

He fixed every stitch without one single rip.
In the wink of an eye, there was nary a WIP.

I thanked him profusely. He kindly accepted.
My last minute elf was hardly expected.

As he started to leave, I grabbed for a skein.
And he turned back around and he said, "You're insane."

"But my projects are finished, you made them all better,"
I replied, with a wink, "I'll just start a sweater."

He ran from my sight, on his sleigh off he flew.

Now, Merry Christmas to All. I've got to knitting to do.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some WIPs to turn into FOs. (Also, I didn't get past yesterday's six degrees experiment due to an emergency shopping trip with my mom. Today I'm watching both Wonka movies, first the Gene Wilder classic, which is almost done, and then Johnny and Deep Roy.)

Saturday, December 23

Six degrees of separation

In my push to finish up the holiday knits before going down the street to visit with the family, I seem to be playing a game with the DVD player.

It all started with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Martin Freeman playing the dorky-yet-loveable Arthur Dent. Martin then hopped movies to play John, the porn star in Love Actually. Also, Alan Rickman played Marvin the manically depressed robot in Hitchhiker and was married to Emma Thompson in Love Actually. I'm thinking that I have two routes of travel from here.

I can follow Emma Thompson to the title role in Nanny McPhee and jump to the Harry Potter movies from there, beginning with Azkaban. That would occupy the rest of the night.

Or I can track Keira Knightley to Pirates of the Caribbean, but only the first as I haven't opened my presents yet. (Had I been able to do so, I could go with Bill Nighy and "I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes, Christmas is all around us, and so the feeling goes" to POTC2 and Davy Jones.) That of course takes me directly to Johnny Depp (do not pass go, do not collect $200) and Captain Jack Sparrow.

Obviously this is the route I'm leaning towards.

Johnny will then lead me to either Corpse Bride or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where I can catch Helena Bonham Carter in either. I can go from either of those to Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith with Christopher Lee, then watch the other two episodes of that.

I can't really think any harder than that. I was trying to find ways to connect to either Catherine O'Hara or Jennifer Coolidge, because they're funny gals, but I don't really care to think that hard at this moment.

Actually, I think I'll go the Nanny McPhee route. I like that movie. Maybe I'll jump to Lemony Snicket, if it's still On Demand. Then I can catch the aforementioned funny gals.


Friday, December 22

Little Shop of Knitties

Looks like we made it through to beta-land. I think everything looks okay-ish, so I'll go with this until I hate it.

I've managed to finish one of the Jayne hats — it is officially ginormous. So much so that I am thinking of stuffing it and sewing it shut to use as an odd throw pillow. Really, it's that big. If I pull the top all the way down to the top of my head, I look like that one guy from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. Seriously.

I started another Calorimetry, this time in Lion Wool Prints. I don't know what colorway it is because the cat is sleeping on it. It's going to have mini-cables, too.

And now that I've confessed my love of Rick Moranis in Little Shop of Horrors in the Knittyboard Chat, I ought to hit the hay. (Oh, it just started raining again.)

Thursday, December 21

Happy Solstice!

Morning Fog

That was the view outside my bedroom window at about 9 this morning. The fog has since cleared off, and the sun is shining. For a while there was a very big system moving through (the same one that caused all the chaos in the northwest part of the country, I think) and we thought we'd be up to our elbows in white stuff. All it deposited, though, was rain. Lots of misty rain. And the better news is this: the days get longer from here on out. It may get colder, of course, as winter is just beginning (according to the calendar, not the weather), but the days know the truth. The light is on its way back.

This reminds me of a recent post the Harlot made, The Return Of The Light, wherein she encouraged those who are able to give to Doctors Without Borders. She's trying to double her last total that Knitters Without Borders, her brainchild, raised. $120,000 then. She's at $211,000 of $240,000. (By the way, she made that post on December 15. Look at all the giving that has happened since then!) If you have a little extra money, I encourage you to give, too.

Spoils for Fyberduck More warm fuzzies
Fyberduck received her Chhannukkkahh package a few days ago, so I'm posting a photo, as promised. From the top left: a cross-stitch sheep ornament, a sheepy tchotchke, ducky stickers, ducky buttons, a crocheted flower, a piratey shot glass, ducky bells, and a Calorimetry. Here is the button on the Calorimetry.

And now, to celebrate the Solstice, I'm going to attempt to move my blog to beta. Keep your fingers crossed. It's for real this time.

Monday, December 18

Birthday brouhaha

I'm pretty sure that, were The Police ever to get back together and need a backup guitarist, I could fill in. Thanks to Guitar Hero II, I can rock "Message in a Bottle" so hard you'd think The Police were right in the room. I'm absolutely certain they'd be astonished at my prowess and would sign me up immediately, after watching my lightning fast reflexes on the easy level. *click-a click-a click-a* I'll send an SOS to the world ...


Saturday was spent celebrating a certain roommate's birthday, which falls, as it does every December, on the 24th. (Henceforth this certain roommate will be referred to as Sister Berte; we'll call the other roommate Cass.)

Sister Berthe and Cass first caught a play and later were wined and dined to their heart's content. We met afterward went to the Ritual Cafe for a little chai tea and pre-bar chillin'.

Sister Berthe decided that she needed to get pissed* and so we began our evening at The Garden. We met one of the roommate's coworkers and her gf there and spent the next hour or so chatting and making jokes and, of course, drinking. It was at this point when I made the first of my new friends: The Couple, who were very nice and down-to-earth, and Big Hair Boi.

Now BHB had been chatting it up with The Couple (though as one later confessed, BHB had randomly started talking to them only just before we arrived, and they never heard his real name. We just know he's a regular) and heard that we were celebrating Sister Berte's birthday. He decided to gift the table with a pitcher and, when I said that I don't drink beer, got me a drink too. I never did figure out what exactly was in it, though from the berry red color and the slight pine tree aftertaste, I'd say gin and cranberry juice.

After a while, the upstairs dance floor was open, so we chose a central table at which to continue our debauchery. A few coworkers and birthday shots later, we were all feeling pretty good; Cass was even enjoying herself, though she was our FDD (fabulous designated driver) for the evening. At one point, even more coworkers showed up: Mr. Amish Beard and Mr. I Don't Know What's In The Shot I Bought You. We were still waiting for a couple yet; Jelton,** the sponsor of Sister Berthe's and Cass' evening, finally arrived with a friend of his, who (owns? manages?) the restaurant where they had dinner.

Not long after Jelton and Friends arrived, we decided to leave and hit the Saddle instead. The Saddle is mostly a male-oriented bar; the three of us may have been the only gals in the joint. Cass, Jelton and Mr. Amish Beard shot a little pool. The rest of us were just chillaxin'. (And can I just say that I love that the Saddle is so much quieter than The Garden? None of that throbbing techno beat, which kind of has a tendency to drill into my brain after I've had a few, making me feel far more drunk than I am.)

The remaining seven of us (The Couple had long since bid adieu) decided to end the evening with appropriate fanfare at IHOP. It was mostly blather about work, though Jelton's friend, who happens to be a female impersonator, tole me that I have beautiful lips.*** And when it comes from a queen, you know it's true.

* As in, Brit slang for drunk, rather than the common American connotation.
** Jelton: his name begins with J and he looks and acts remarkably like Elton John.
*** "You and I have the same lips," he said. "Mine are prettier, but ..." Also, when I told him my name, "Oh, I had an assistant named Crimson once. She did a lot of crank."

In knitting fabulosity, I decided I needed to whip up a couple of Red Heart Jayne Cobb hats (of Joss Whedon's Firefly fame) as Festivus presents for my brothers. I think a label reading "big damn hero" will be good wrapping, don't you?

Oh, and the delivery of Rainbow to her new owner went off without a hitch, except when she hid under the driver's seat and we spent 20 or 30 minutes trying to coax her out. It was pretty funny.

Friday, December 15

Bye bye, Rainbow!

There was a moment yesterday when I might've had to choose another kitten name, as the potential owner wasn't sure which her five-year-old son would like better. We sent photos, and he chose the girl, who would have been named Trillian had he chosen Slartibartfast. Slarti's on the left in this photo. I don't know how we got them to pose like that, but they're adorable (adorable flujo, even).

That said, I finished my projects for Fyberduck and will send the package out after work. (And let me just say that one hank of the alpaca I got during the Covered Bridge Festival was actually wool, perhaps a blend. I hadn't noticed before, but the fibers are kinky and not so alpaca-like. But it still looks good knitted up.) I'll post pictures probably a week or so after she gets the package.

After that, I'm grabbing Rainbow, the kitten that looks most like her mother, and taking her to DSM. She's the first to leave the house; I wonder how Sarah will feel, having only four kittens to look after.

I have more Festivus knitting to get done, including mittens, a scarf, and some hats. Time to look through my wool stash!

Wednesday, December 13

Wednesdays are for blather

We took the kittens to the vet yesterday for their very first round of shots. Here you can see Demetrios on top of the crate. I think he was relieved to be on the outside this time.

Now, if you look inside the crate at the kitten on the left, all you will see is a bunch of white. He's actually white and grey ("blue"). And he's mine. I decided that Demetrios needs a rasslin' buddy. The new kittten's name? Not Gunther, as the roomies have been calling him (he appears to be a bit cross-eyed). Slartibartfast. It's practically perfect in every way.

But enough about cats (or "fur babies", as I've heard them called).

I've started listening to two new (to me) knitting podcasts. Today. One, Sticks & String, is on the other side of the world. The other, Lime & Violet, is actually in Iowa, just down the interstate to the west. (I didn't know this until I looked at their Frappr map; I figured they must be nearby if they keep talking about Nebraska.) I've listened to all seven episodes of S&S, and three of L&V's twenty. Have a listen, if you're knitterly and podcastily inclined.

Inspired by Fyberduck's small rant on the the upcoming movie 300, I intend to watch Clash of the Titans when I go home. It ought to be good to knit to.

Oh, and as for the hair (re: The RHD's comment) ... I'm growing it out right now. Maybe I'll dye it soon. But it's getting longer, and I have no intentions to hinder that.

Note: For a moment, I hallucinated that the courthouse chimes were playing the theme to Futurama. Must schedule more sleep.

Monday, December 11

X-FOs and other chilly projects

Mom, Me, Dog Here's a wintery photo to pay homage to the non-wintery weather we're having. It's been around 45 degrees today, which I don't find particularly terrible, though it is rather damp out. The photo dates to around 1986, I suspect. My mom and I were out enjoying the weather, and I brought long-legged Snoopy along for the fun.

I finally found batteries for my camera, and I fully intend to have a photoshoot before I come to work tomorrow.

Back to the grindstone for now to finish up the remainder of work. I hear there's an X-Files marathon tonight and I've plenty of knitting to work on.

Friday, December 8

Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

Looks like it's time to send the blog into the unknown land of beta. Hopefully it will work, and I'll catch y'all on the flip side. Okay, Blogger lied. They said it was ready, but it's not.

Instead, I'll amuse myself with the new Knitty, which was live this morning. Things that amuse me to no end:

Also, I'm enjoying both Theresa's Color Stranding and Frankenknits' Shibori Felting. Stranded knitting has always left me a bit, er, stranded, and I end up in tangles. Shibori has recently started to fascinate me, so I want to investigate it further.

So what am I doing here? I have to go knit. Peace out, yo!

Monday, December 4

Weekend rehash

What a weekend! The most exciting thing I got to do was meet shiarah at The Village Knit Wit, which has a fun lounge section right near the door to a coffee shop. We chillaxed there for a couple of hours, knitting — she on a scarf inspired by Trellis and I on a dishcloth and mohair scarf — chatting, laughing about an out-of-town knitter who called the shop repeatedly for directions, and purchasing yarns. It is so nice to meet up with local Knitties, and to explore a new (to me) LYS. I hope we can get together again soon.

My dad requested mittens, so I thing I'm going to try Urban Necessity in the Lamb's Pride I got yesterday. I think he'd enjoy "glittens" instead. Speaking of MagKnits, the new issue is up. I got some Jaeger Matchmaker for Cinnabar, and I want to try Counterpoint as well. I'm thinking about Malagaiter, too. And the new Knitty is supposed to come out soon ... as if I need to start any more projects!

Aaaaand ... work!

Friday, December 1

World AIDS Day, and such

To start off on a solemn note, please don't forget that today is World AIDS Day. Show all the support you can. Click below to see how.

Support World AIDS Day

I feel about 900 percent better than I was feeling at about 2 a.m. Tuesday. Felt good yesterday, too. Now I just have to deal with mucus drainage. (ew)

Some weeks ago our courthouse clock was repaired; new chimes were installed to toll the hour and half-hour. This morning, as I unlocked the door to the office, the 10 a.m. bell greeted me with a chime version of "Santa Clause is Coming to Town". It lasted about five minutes, which is much longer than the standard hour chime. I wonder what they'll play at 11?

Since I have finally gotten over the plauge, I decided to start a new project: a top hat. It's from the latest issue of knit.1, which came in the mail sometime last week. I don't particularly like many of their patterns — I have every issue since its inception, so I've seen them all — but there were actually two projects in the "love" issue that jumped right out at me: the seed-stitch top hat, which I'm knitting in a lovely avocado green, and an anotomical heart "pillow", which would be a hilarious accompaniment to the wombs. (At the rate I'm going, I will have an entire body by next year! (I've seen the knitted digestive system over on Craftster, and have thought about making one.)

No photos from the weekend yet because, although my mom has managed to print a couple out, she still hasn't emailed them to me. I'll have to take matters into my own hands.

But since today is Fyberduck's birthday, I thought I'd include this festive little gem ...

Hodie Fyberduck nata est!

Hope you have a happy birthday! (Sorry that my first email got to you mysteriously blank — the cyber elves must've gotten to it.)