Tuesday, August 28

Free kittens for sale. Price: free!

After a phone call and a whirlwind cleaning spree on Friday, I managed to send a kitten home with a member of a certain Republican's* local campaign office. All of the people who work in the office were reportedly "very excited" about the prospects of an office cat.

And then Saturday rolled around. I decided to take my chances at the Farmer's Market on the square. I packed up the remaining three kittens, three separate baggies of food, a little cash, and my winning smile and paraded around the market for about an hour. Just after I had purchased a delightful jar of raspberry creamed honey from a local honey farmer, I was stopped by an older woman. "Free kittens? Let me see," she demanded. We extracted the grey kitten from the carrier, and a moment later she was holding a baggie of food and heading toward her car. Score!

At any rate, I'm down to two kittens. I think I'm just going to boot them outside and see what happens. They can hang around, but outside should be fine. (I feel a little guilty saying that, because we've had a rash of thunderstorms in the area recently, but I should think they'd be capable of handling themselves.)

My mom and I visited my brother at Iowa State Saturday afternoon. He seems to be doing well, despite some stupid people (or maybe just one stupid person). The problem seems to be severe enough that they're holding an all-dorm meeting. Hopefully this will curtail the bad behavior. Despite the drama, he's taking 19.5 credits in his first semester. Not wishy-washy ones, either — he's taking trig, calculus, chemistry, English, and philosophy.

Anyhow, I've failed at knitting lately. I haven't worked on the Entrelac Market Bag because I'm worried about running out of yarn before I finish the first tier of blocks (I'm halfway around). I haven't worked on socks because I'm lazy. I haven't re-done the bind off on the Eagle's Flight socks because I didn't have scissors with me Sunday. I started a string bag, but the base was too small, so I stopped working on it. I'll probably just rip it and use a different yarn or different needles. Or both.

*I won't name names, but I will say that the last name rhymes with shoe-crispani. (Because that's a common pair of words.)

Wednesday, August 15

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Since random drivel didn't seem to be the right thing for today, I'm replacing my previous post. This is what I see on my way to work every day: John Wayne's likeness.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 13

God bless you. (I never say, "Bless you." I'm not the lord, I can't do that.)

Last night a giant storm moved through. We watched the storm front roll in, and then got soaked as we tried to roll up a stuck car window (which was actually more fun than it sounded, believe it or not).

The weekend was excellent. It was nice to see BAS and suckybowler again after so short a time.

Kas and Sister Berte joined us for the Ellis concert Thursday, which was excellent. She played some old favorites, as well as some new songs from an upcoming album. She even played an instrumental piece; I didn't know she liked to write guitar-only music. We had a lot of fun. Afterward, we all went to Kas' apartment, where we played a little Quelf and ate some tasty garlic-sauce-smothered pizza.

After a leisurely Friday morning, we went to the state fair. We saw sheep, ate sheep, and walked around and got all sweaty. We ate Dippin' Dots (even though BAS didn't get the flavor she asked for and suffered through strawberry), cooled off with a delightful apple slushie, and got more lambburgers for dinner. We saw the Harry Potter sculpted of butter, posed next to the Butter Cow (which was wearing Harry's glasses). We sampled what I like to call "Egg-sicles" — hard-boiled eggs with weird seasoning and a popsicle stick shoved inappropriately up the backside. We enjoyed sweet potato fries, which were sold at a stand alongside po-boys. (It sounds like we ate our way around the fair, but I promise we didn't. Food's only coming to mind because it's lunchtime, and I'm a bit hungry.)

I really enjoyed having BAS and suckybowler come to visit. I hope they'll be able to come back for the Covered Bridge Festival in October. (The carpet may even be shampooed by then ...)

Oh, the title? We watched a little Dane Cook whilst eating our garlic-sauce-smothered pizza.

Also, I just saw the coolest sofabed ever. I would be afraid to sleep on it, but it's very cool nevertheless.

Wednesday, August 8

the quiet breathing of our persian we call cajun on a wednesday

The view of the local courthouse on the way home last night.

Ah, for once I come through with photos! Below, you can see the detail of the end of the lariat, including the moon charm with its extra little beads. The best part about that charm is that I found it somewhere on the ground. I knew I could do something with it eventually, so I just stashed it. The lariat measures about 5.5 feet in total, but since it's doubled before looping around the neck, that's really not terribly long at all.

The lariat is done!

I also have a picture of my most recent progress with Spiralen Part Deux: Worsted. I think I'm about halfway through the pattern at this point.

Spiralen 1 in blue hemp and Spiralen 2 (in progress) in orange acrylic.

I quite like the way the k2tog decreases create the spiral ridges around. I see that a lot on my hat decreases, but I never really took the time to make it a design feature. Yummy.

Alas, it's time to head out and clean house before my guesties arrive. I have a rather large list of things to tackle (mostly cleaning), so I had best be off. I ought to be back in blogland by Monday. Oh, and I can have my thumb stitches taken out Friday. Huzzah!

Tuesday, August 7

Work, work, work all the time

Apart from taking a brief break from work to watch the dark storm clouds pass to the east, it's been nothing but work, work, work all the time.

Oh, and for you Harry Potter knitties, I discovered an excellent bag on Ravelry today: the HP House Fair Isle Pouch bag. There are charts for every house, which delights me to no end. (Don't believe me? Read the dorky comment I left dear Rosemary.)

I finished the Skull Lariat, sans skulls. (And sans pictures right now, too, but when is that a surprise?) It's mostly lime green, with fun splashes of aqua and a little moon charm at one end. (Again, when is that a surprise?)

I also worked out the changes I'm making to the French Market bag to enable ease of entrelac. My plans are to reduce the total number of base stitches from 200 to 192, which is evenly divisible by eight and six. Eight and six are to be my magic numbers for the bag.

There will be 24 blocks around. When I get to the part where I bind off some stitches and leave some for the handles, I intend to bind off three squares (well, I suppose they'll be top triangles at that point), continue three for a handle, and repeat this around for each quadrant. Then for every handle, I'll do a tier of two blocks, then a top triangle block, then a few rows of garter stitch for handle stability. (I made a little sketch on Sunday; I'll try to photograph that tomorrow and prove that all this blather makes sense.) I'm very excited — I think the math works!

I'm getting a visit from BAS and some of the menagerie at the end of this week. We're going to see Ellis Thursday night at the Ritual Cafe and hit the Iowa State Fair Friday. I'm pretty excited for that, barring any sunscreen amnesia.

PS: Look what I bought! Beautiful superwash merino sock yarn. Who could pass up a colorway called Moonlight Sonata?

Thursday, August 2

Skull Lariat, anyone?

I'm sending the above necklace to a friend on the eastern side of the state. I think she'll appreciate it.

I've been working on knitting up the homespun from BAS, which you cannot tell from the photo below. I thought that, since my giant headphones were right there next to the ball, begging to be put on, they ought to get their wish.

The Lughnasadh Anticraft is up, by the by, for those of you that follow it. I really like the Skull Lariat. I've never owned a lariat, and I don't have any skull beads at the moment, but I certainly have a lot of other random beads that could coordinate. I think I may have to get my bead on. The End of Days Kit, for zombie survival, is definitely hilarious, though I don't know that I'm particularly prone to zombie attacks here in south central Iowa. (I may be eating my words later for having said this.)

Off to see Hairspray tonight with the fiends. But first, I think I'll go home and devour a little cheese.

Wednesday, August 1

Circles and circles, again

spiralen3 sideways

Spiralen is pinned to a towel in my bathroom, blocking. I don't have any high-tech blocking equipment, like those famed T-pins and blocking boards everyone's so keen on. Towels and push pins seem to do the trick enough for me. If I want it to be perfect, though, I'll have to find the pins I got some months ago and start over, since I could only find seven straight pins this morning.

The spirals are really quite pleasing, and I think I'd like to do a larger, maybe blanket sized Spiralen in a worsted weight yarn. Probably something inexpensive, because I'm cheap. Maybe even something from the acrylic stash, since I ought to be getting rid of that beast. I think I'll use size 10 needles. Or maybe size 9. Whichever I'm not using for the entrelac bag.

Speaking of size 10 needles, I'm going to bust out the 14-inch straights that Fyberduck gifted me ages ago, and make a little something with the handspun yarn BAS gave me for my birthday. Something easy, perhaps, with a 1-row repeat. But that's all I'll say about that project for now.

spiralen2 detail

Oh, and my mom bought me an obscene amount of cheese and a cheese slicer today, still poking fun at me for my cut thumb. I told her I felt as though I was a cut above the rest of the people here at work ...