Tuesday, July 31

Thou shalt not use a giant knife.

I am dumb.

I went home for lunch today and thought, "Oh, a fried egg sandwich might be nice. Especially one with some cheddar cheese chunks." And so I took the cheese out of the fridge and saw that it was, shall we say, less than perfect.

No problem! Lots of good cheese left! Opens drawer, taking out whichever knife is on top. "Now I'll just cut this way, and maybe a little more here and — swoosh — um, why am I suddenly bleeding?"

That's right. I cut my thumb while cutting the cheese. Two lessons here. Lesson 1: Don't try to save the cheese. Just throw it out. Lesson 2: If slicing cheese, do not use the biggest knife you own.

Four stitches, $15, and a whole lot of that weird stretchy tape stuff, and I'm back at work.

This will definitely cut into my knitting time. Pun not intended.

Oh, and I finished the crochet border on Spiralen this morning on the way to work. Before injuring myself. So that's good, at least. I hope to block it tonight, depending on how late I'm at work.

Monday, July 30

Mmm ... entrelac

When we last left our fearless knitblogger, she was not knitting. Luckily for her and her varied and many (okay, two) readers, she has embarked upon two Exciting Knitting Projects.

First up, Spiralen. It's lace, rather doily-like, and quite easy to knit in the space of about two movies. I have probably 15 minutes more work to finish the crochet edging, and then it must be blocked. By the by, crocheting with the yarn in the left hand is pretty much essential if you don't want to go crazy.

Why do I know this? Well, in order to start the crochet border on the 128 stitches, I had to wrangle a hook, the yarn, and a needle. I had been "throwing" the yarn (knitting with it in my right hand) and I thought it would be too much hassle to switch to the left. It turns out that wasn't such a great idea. Tension goes kaput, stitches somehow become itty bitty, and I then have to magically figure out how to transition between the first and second rounds of the crochet border.

But it's okay. I've got it covered.

I also decided to start using some of that Lamb's Pride Worsted that I'd received for my final SP8 package. My initial plan was to use it on a French Market bag. Well, I've expanded on the idea. I have been wanting to knit more entrelac, so I thought, "What's stopping me from making this bag entrelac? Nothing!" And so I doodled out the color scheme and everything. I'm going for a rainbowy sort of feel: magenta, cranberry, turquoise and navy, in that order. I started the base with the cranberry; the first tier of blocks will be cranberry, the next turquoise, then navy ... you can see where I'm going.

And then, when I'm done, I will felt the lot.

Oh yes — I forgot to say that I finished The Dark is Rising series yesterday. Excellent conclusion. However, from rumors I hear, the movie won't hold up at all to the books' standards. Pity, that.

Wednesday, July 25

Bring your long, heavy zucchinis!

It may be that I have a dirty mind, but this excerpt from a letter to the editor sounds just dreadful.

The Farmers Market would like to invite all those gardeners out there to enter our first-ever Biggest Zucchini Contest. We will have two classes — heaviest and longest.

It is open to the public and simple to enter. Bring your giant zucchinis to the market by 9 a.m. on Saturday. The entry fee is $1 per zucchini.

Only $1 each? Hell. Bring your zucchinis, kids! We'll have a grand time!

Meanwhile, I have not been knitting. I have been squeezing every ounce I can muster of the county fair out of my brain. And I've been reading the Dark is Rising sequence. I'm set to start The Dark is Rising today after work, having finished Over Sea, Under Stone this morning. I really love this series, even though it's young adult. Hooray for young adult fiction!

That's really all. I need to wash dishes and do laundry something terrible.

Monday, July 23

I open at the close

I'm bugging my eyes out, trying to make them look all protuberant and Luna-like; Kas went with the classic Blue Steel.

I got all crafty yesterday morning.

Look, it's the symbol of Grindelwald!

I really loved the book. It's my new favorite. I read it in two marathon sessions, six hours long each. I'm not quite ready to read it again.

But oh, was it good.

Friday, July 20

Seven is heaven? and other such tales

I realized yesterday at some point that I forgot to tell you all about the dream I had Wednesday night.
I was with a group of people in a cozy room set up with a number of small dining tables. People were being served pieces of meat that rather looked like bits of pork. While everyone was being served, Sam Neill (Jurassic Park Sam Neill, no less) was walking around, acting as the host. He was talking about how fantastic this society of people was, and how lucky the newest members were to be joining.

It was around this point I became aware that the society was in fact a group of high-class, civilized cannibals, and that the pork-like meat that was being served to everyone was actually human flesh. I don't recall being terribly revolted by the thought, either, which scares me a little. One woman, however, seemed to be having second thoughts. She told Sam Neill that she wasn't so sure she could actually go through with eating people (and I'm sure she was one of the new inductees.) Well, Sam Neill told her that that wouldn't fly, and that she had to partake. She was the one scheduled to host the next meeting; had she declined, she would have attended as a rather more cooked version of her present self.


Gwiffen is back from the vet again. She now has a dashing plastic collar adorning her neck, and glowers at me from wherever I'm sitting. She also has new sutures — heavy-duty ones this time — so that she can continue the healing process.

And, after a day or two of putting it off, I finished the Boobholder this morning. I opted for ties instead of buttons, so the two buttonholes I made can just hang out and act cool. The ties were knitted in garter and are 7 stitches wide and 7 inches long each. (Had to throw in a little book 7 symbolism.)

I have my bag of fun ready for the book launch, sans the socks in progress. I even managed to do a little last-minute extra costuming: plastic 3-D glasses became Spectrespecs, a small handful of Turkish currency became wizarding money, and an odd assortment of items became a charm bracelet. I think I'm ready.

Thursday, July 19

I can has satellite cat

Gwiffen has already licked all of her stitches out. This did not bode well for the now-gaping hole in her abdomen, so I took her back to the vet this morning. He was surprised that she'd been so industriously disposing of her stitches. He is re-stitchifying her today, and when she gets home she will look like a satellite dish, as she will be the proud owner of her very own dorky cone collar.

Meanwhile, I decided to add another inch to the bottom of my Boobholder, just for a little more stability. Right now I'm still waffling between having buttons or having ties, so we'll see what happens.

As for the socks, they will be my let's knit at the bookstore while waiting for Deathly Hallows.

Here is a tutorial for a very cute keychain. It's made of felt, embroidery floss, and a little bit of ribbon. I might make one or two. (That blog, by the way, is filled with very cute, very crafty things. I'm rather smitten at the moment.)

As someone's apparently leaked a little of the DH out, I'm going to avoid most of the internets until Monday. Because I'll be very done by then.

Wednesday, July 18

"We had a mess."

Not exactly the words you expect to hear when you go to the vet to pick up your cat.

The mess wasn't a pregnancy, either, though Gwiffen certainly looked at least a little pregnant to me. It turns out that her abdomen was rounded due to some sort of bloody mass in her uterus. I didn't think to ask what caused it until I was on my way to work later, mostly because I just wanted to get her home and comfortable. The vet said he'd only seen it two other times in his years of practice. To judge by his age, I'd guess he's had a practice for a good long while.

But she will be fine, now that everything is gone. It would have killed her eventually, he thinks, so I'm glad I got her spayed when I did.

Tuesday, July 17


Not Knitting
Back from the Bulbous Nose — had a fantastic time. Of course, who wouldn't when you're playing on a Catholic school's playground and taking dorky pictures on plastic mountains and stacking people up on slides? That's not all we did; there was also some drunken croquet and a couple rounds of Circle of Death, which is pretty much the funnest drinking game ever. (Although if I figured out how to make cribbage a drinking game, I'm pretty sure that would be even more fun.)

Let's see. I've given away three of the seven kittens. All I have left for people are two peach / cream males. (So hurry up and get your cat-friendly apartment so you can have Bellini, Timmy! And I get full credit for that name. I swear, everything is not about alcohol.)

In exchange for the first kitten I gave away, I got a starter for Amish Friendship Bread. I got a wild hair and turned on the oven last night to bake up a batch, after separating the other starters. I had a little bit about five minutes after it had come out of the oven and boy is it delicious. I was going to bring it to work today, because I had something else on the agenda this morning: kitten abortion.

Really, I'm just having Gwiffen spayed, but I'm pretty sure she's pregnant. I don't think she's far along at all, so I don't mind continuing with the spaying. I really don't want to bring more kittens into the world that may or may not have homes. I find that it's a waste of space. I live by Bob Barker's philosophy: "Help control the pet population. Have your pet spayed or neutered." I'm pretty sure Gwiffen's temperament will be better, as well.

On the way to the Bulbous Nose, I worked on my Boobholder. I got the sleeves finished per the pattern, but decided not to work on them at BAS' house. On the whole, it fits pretty well, but I'm adding a garter stitch short row section at the bottom of each sleeve, just for a little extra room. I've done one sleeve so far, and will probably do the other either tonight or tomorrow night.

I have to decide if I need a little more length on the front, as far as fastening goes. I might just knit some garter strips and knot them, despite the buttonhole that I've already done. (It was only a two-stitch buttonhole anyway.) On the whole, I think it's turning out pretty well. I still don't have pictures of it for you, because I'm a jerk like that. I think I can finish the Boobholder by Friday. There's not that much left to be done, really. A few ends to weave in, finish the sleeves, and figure out how to fasten it, and I'm done!

On the way back from the Bulbous Nose, I worked on my Eagle's Flight socks. I've now got the heel turned on both, and done about one row of the leg. I don't want to do much more until I can try them on, and I just haven't had time. They probably won't be finished by the Friday party, since I've got photos to take at the county fair this week.

I've been spending time on Ravelry a lot, joining groups and chatting in the forums. I've been talking a lot of Harry Potter theory in one of the groups. It's quite a lot of fun.

Anyway, back to work!

Wednesday, July 11

I suspect Nargles

Eagle's Flight meets Joan Jett
Hello, friends!

Harry Potter!
My brother and I hit Order of the Phoenix last night. I was late leaving work, and we got to the theater at about 11:05. I went up to the counter to get tickets, and the checker said, "We sold out three hours ago." (Meanwhile, she'd seen my dork-ass self coming to the counter wearing my Trust Snape shirt, a string of corks around my neck and some weird looking radish-like earrings, and she didn't even give me that "oh, I'm so sorry but I'm going to tell you something you don't want to hear" look.) So off we went to a theater on the other side of town, which had plenty of tickets and seats to spare. They were much more prepared, and much more cheerful. Good for them. (Good for them. Hee hee.)

The movie itself? I don't know how I feel. I don't hate it, but I don't necessarily love it. My favorite character was Luna (of course, since I kind of dressed as her). Evanna Lynch captured the "air of distinct dottiness" that the books describe Luna to have. So that I loved. That and the running joke about Nargles throughout.

I've been working on the Eagle's Flight socks fairly steadily — I worked on them quite a bit Saturday morning at Sister Berte's apartment before everyone woke up, Saturday evening while waiting for Joan Jett to take the stage, and last night while standing in line for the movie. By the by, the photo above is (Harlot-style) one of the socks in front of the stage at the casino. Too bad I couldn't catch the Joan Jett and the Blackhearts sign better in the background!

Between Saturday and yesterday, though, I got very distracted by the Boobholder. I'm working it out of cheap-ass yarn: two skeins of navy TLC Lustre and one of bronze for $1.99 each. Well, and I had to buy another set of needles, so $6 more for that. $12 for a project? I'll take that. By the by, I have no Boobholder pictures, as it pretty much looks like a shapeless blob on the needles.

I worked on the Boobholder Sunday night, doing a lot of the raglan shaping, and then again on Monday night, when I noticed that my increases were off on one side of one sleeve. I dropped some stitches at the mistake and picked them up. It either fixed what I'd messed up or fudged it enough that you can't tell (I think it's the latter, personally, but who's to know now? Oh yeah ... all y'all who read this). I have a few more raglan increases to make before the edges of the sleeves will join around my arms.

Otherwise, I've been spending a lot of my time on Ravelry, where I've joined a multitude of groups. So with that, I'm going to Ravel a little more.

Saturday, July 7

Tradition, tradition!

Today is 7-7-07, as you might well know. It's Kas' quarter-century birthday, and we're celebrating by going to a free Joan Jett concert. Free Joan Jett? you're thinking to yourself. Didn't they see Joan Jett for free LAST summer? Indeed we did, dear friends. This seems to be a new tradition we're starting. I told Kas and Sister Berte if it happens again next year, I'll be worried. (Except I said "wearied," which was funnier.)

Anyway, more Monday after I've had all this 7-07 fun, which has thus far consisted of knitting, singing *gag* country karaoke, and tearing up a Bridge to Terabithia. Though I did write a check to Papa John's for lunch today and the check number was — oddly enough — 707, so it's been an interesting day already, even without Joan Jett.

Friday, July 6

Now with massive linkage!

Aside from Ravelry, I've been watching a bunch of other fun sites. They're not the knitting kind of fun, but they're good, quality humor. I created a folder on my feed reader called "mental-tainment," which was the best description I could come up with yesterday. Here's what's in that folder ...

If you're not all distracted by my eight billion links by now, I'd like to tell you that I cast on for the second Eagle's Flight sock. Not that I finished the first, but I wanted to do them at roughly the same time. Unfortunately, I lost one of my sock-length US 2 dpns and only have four for the set. I remedied this by using those four plus one US 1 needle. I read somewhere (Knittyboard, maybe) that you can do that and it won't make that much of a difference in the long run. I'm thinking that 2.25 mm and 2.75 mm are close enough that it will even out. And it's a sock, so it doesn't so much matter. Anyway, I think I have about two inches of foot done on each, not including the toe. Good progress!

I thought, since I was doing so well, I might make a Minisweater / Boobholder, since they're not entirely unflattering despite my, er, fluff.

Oh, and I got through all of the goals on Super Mario World, which switched the theme to what can only be described as "Halloween world." I only have two levels now where I need to find the Yoshi coins, and it'll be officially done.

Wednesday, July 4

Woo! Ravelry!

I got a surprise when I checked my email this morning ... I got invited to Ravelry! I'm pretty excited, except for one thing: I don't have internets at my house, so cataloging stuff is going to be a bit difficult.

Also, I did a bad thing. I ordered some books on the Amazon yesterday. The whole Dark is Rising sequence. And not just because there's a movie coming out, I promise. It's just that lately I've been on a kick reading series from my days in young adult literature. I love burying my nose in familiar books. (Just ask me how many times I read The Hot Zone in high school ... though it's far from being a young adult read, it's probably one of my all-time favorites.) Anyway, I at least managed to save $12 on shipping and some other random bonus, so that's good.

*pause for long break*

I've just spent a lot of time adding stuff to Ravelry. I'll have to make a spreadsheet and print it out to catalogue what I have at home. Darn. Going through yarn.

Monday, July 2

Just another manic Monday

(Now with pictures!)

Right now, my life is all Super Mario World, thanks to a Dorian we had during high school week. I saw her playing SMW on a Game Boy Advance (in a non-restricted area, of course) and was pretty much floored. So I went to Kmart this weekend and found a copy of my own for $20. I've been happily playing it since, off and on. (Although I'm stuck on the Special world "Tubular" ... those stupid football guys keep jumping at me and killing me!)

I got a new chair, a rocking recliner with a separate ottoman, yesterday at Pam & Ida's. It was on clearance for $40, which was such a good price that my mom got one as well. (She put it in sewing land in her basement and promptly napped in front of HGTV down there.) I'm still surprised that most of the furniture in my living room has come from Pam & Ida's. I usually think of it as more ghetto than Kmart ... which I was at on Saturday. (I actually managed to hit the Big Box Trifecta of Big K, Wally World and Chez Target all in the space of a week, so I really shouldn't be that surprised that most of furniture is from their younger sibling.)

I've been reading The Time Traveler's Wife, after finally picking it back up. (I'd gotten distracted by a load of other books and set it aside.) It's quite good, actually, and I'm reading a bit every night before I pass out. I'm also reading Chuck Palahniuk's Lullaby, which is about a reporter doing a story on SIDS and finding an African culling song along the way. It's strange, as his novels are (I've read Fight Club and Survivor, which I'd like to read again), but I quite like it.

I've been doing some knitting as well. (Gasp!) I'm about 2 inches past the brim on Chapeau Marnier; I'm in the endless stockinette portion. I have about 4 1/2 more inches, I think, before I can start the crown decreases.

Marnier, anyone?

I've also started a(nother) pair of socks. I'm using the lace from the Eagle's Flight pattern I found a while ago, except I'm knitting them toe up (and just doing the lace repeat backward). Thus far I'm past the toe and through one 6-row lace repeat. The yarn I'm using is a Regia yarn in "Spirit Color," which is sort of blues and greys. It's very Ravenclaw-y, and since the pattern is called Eagle's Flight, I figured that would be fitting. So far it looks quite nice.

Toe up! Toe up!

If I'm a very good knitter and don't get too distracted by Mario and Yoshi, I can probably finish them in a couple of weeks.

Your final thought for today: one scoop, please.

This kitten, for some strange reason, likes to nap in the poo scoop.