Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas Cards

I get almost all of my graphics at work from Eugene at Colorimage. He is nearby, does good work, tolerates my complicated projects with a smile, delivers proofs right away and is speedy when I need him to be.

Today, I got my first business Christmas card ever today, from Eugene. It was an exciting work world first. Definitely cooler than the Thank You card I got from the lubricant company, though that was funnier. Its nice to work with nice people. That's all.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005


Andrea has given me one of these, or maybe she meant all of the ones on the page, for nonspecific winter holiday.

In response, my friend Charlie gave me these. I love this game.

Thanks Babelbabe!

BB posted her Virtual Christmas Gifts to the blogosphere friends today.

She got me this swift and ball winder. I'm in love with it as a gift, even without ever getting a real one. I promised to explain how it all works in a thank you comment that isn't appearing just yet.

A swift is an item that holds your yarn skein while you wind it into a ball. The kind that BB got me is an umbrella swift that clamps to a table. There are other kinds of swifts, as well as ways to hold your yarn during ball winding. A frequent pseudo-swift is another person's arms (preferably someone who will get so sick of it that they buy you a swift) or a chair back.

The umbrella swift looks like a broken umbrella because it has a very similar mechanism that is essentially infinitely adjustable with in range of circumferences, depending on how far up you push the center. The skein is untwisted so that it is one big loop, and then put onto the swift around the Xes. The skein is then expanded so that the skein is held taut. The swift is a wonderful invention not only when considering how tired a human pseudo-swift's arms can become, but also because it spins.

The broken umbrella part of the swift is attached to a center post, around which it rotates. Good swifts have a bearing of some sort in there. This is an important part of being a swift because otherwise the person winding the ball must walk around and around the tightly held loop.

The center post goes into some sort of base. Most swifts clamp to a table or countertop, others have a weightier base that lets it sit wherever there is a surface.

Dragonfly Turnings makes some really super, simple, no-clamp swifts. You can check them out here. If I ever get a swift, instead of using my feet, I will probably get one of theirs. It is simple, attractive and I don't really have a dedicated work table to clamp it onto. I also think that it is more likely that I will get around to getting a swift long before I find a man willing to hold my yarn.

On to the ball winder. The one shown is a very standard issue, plastic ball winder. You hook the yarn onto the center core and turn the handle. The core moves in a strange pattern that creates a cylindrical, center-pull yarn ball. They are neat to have, but I hear that they wear out over time and sometimes can't handle the fussier yarns.

My preference, due to their relative cheapness and portability, is a nostepinde. It is pretty much a thick, tapered stick. Before my aunt bought me one for Christmas (but I got to take it home after Thanksgiving), I used the wisk handle and then one of the center posts for my niddy noddy (the one to make it one yard). I find that the balls made are very good both for knitting from and plying (instead of an Andean plying bracelet).

I hope that this all helps with the "what the heck is that?" reaction to seeing a swift. Post any questions in the comments and I'll edit the post.

How to Fluff

a Christmas tree. This is intended to be a primer for those who are unfamiliar with the concept of fluffing an artificial tree. Apparently, there are many people out there who don't know how to do it.
  1. Make sure that all of the branches are in their slots on the center post. There should be no big gaping spaces. This is a sign of missing or twisted branches.
  2. Untangle and straighten branches as needed.
  3. Start at the top row of branches on the tree. Each branch is made up of many tips.
  4. Grasp the branch close to the center post, and lift the tips off of the branch's core wire. This is essentially un-braiding.
  5. Working from center out, lift all of the tips off of the branch. They should form a radial sort of pattern, coming off in all directions. This should be quick moving and result in the branch taking up as much volume as possible on the tree.
  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for all branches on the tree. You should move quickly and touch every tip on the tree, not just the ones at the end of the branch.
  7. Step back from the tree and see if there are any major problems. This is the time to fuss with the tree, not when it is still crushed from storage.
  8. Decorate and light tree as desired.
Congratulations! Your artificial tree has been fluffed. There really should be a video that can be shown to low-wage, unskilled labor to save supervisors from repeatedly explaining how to do it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Its been a really long time

since I posted a blog entry. I have so much fun reading everyone else's blogs, I don't know why I'm such a slacker with my own. It does go in cycles, but so much has been going on in the last month or so, I don't know why I'm not keeping the world up-to-date.

Quick facts, in no particular order:
  1. I have too many people with conflicting interests who could be considered my boss.
  2. The spinning is going very well.
  3. I have a mountain of wool in my apartment, waiting to be spun. Probably more than a whole sheep.
  4. The new Knitty is up, and full of cool patterns.
  5. I have very little patience for people who can't imagine things being different from how they are presented.
  6. CMU got a CNC router. Check out David's blog for some entries. I love CNC routers, they have totally changed the way that designers and production folks look at scenery construction.
  7. Nicole, who needs to take up blogging, is coming to Chicago this weekend. I'm very excited, even if she has decided that Mike&Jackie are who she wants to stay with. *tear*
  8. It is really really really cold here right now. But it is a bit warmer by the lake, which I appreciate greatly. And the weekend is supposed to be back up into the high twenties, thirties and maybe even the forties.
  9. Things officially ended with the most recent boy on Friday. It has been dwindling for quite a while.
  10. I think that I would be well-suited to a fun-loving accountant who cooks. Does anyone know any single, 23-31 year-old, male accountants who cook? I'm a nice girl.
  11. I think that I might start going to church. I did a Christmas Basket through the local Episcopal Church and Cathedral Shelter Chicago. When I dropped it off, the woman who runs it was really nice. Young, single and friendly. She was very welcoming and encouraged me to try out the 11am service, which even I should be able to get to on time, if I make an effort.
  12. I don't have any idea what I'm going to wear to the Winter Wonder Fest preview party gala thing on Thursday night. Which is in two (2) days. Eeek.
  13. I read Under the Banner of Heaven over Thanksgiving weekend and into last week. It was really good, and made me curious about my father's family and childhood and why he dislikes Mormons/Mormonism with such passion. I wonder why I've always thought of Mormonism as just another sect of Christianity, when really its a whole other branch of the monotheistic Judeo-Christian-Muslim religion, the most recent prophet, if you can accept that it isn't just a crackpot religion. Ok, time to move on, this isn't a quick statement.
  14. My roommate and her boyfriend are getting on very well. I hope that she doesn't move out at the end of this lease though. Maybe at the end of his lease they could move in together.
  15. You can buy a 36" whisk at the restaurant supply store. I want a whole kitchen full of oversized utensils. Its not like I cook anyway.
Does anyone know where Valerie Light is or what she's up to? I miss her. She was one of my best friends in college and somehow I lost her.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Yarn Quiz

handspun merino
You are 100% wool hand-dyed MERINO.
You like all things natural and would prefer to do
it yourself. You are socially conscious and
aware of your surroundings. You are kind to all
living things.

What kind of yarn are you really??
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, November 11, 2005

200th Post!

I am setting up my etsy shop, which may someday be used solely to direct people to items that I may list in Jen's shop, but for now is my one and only internet selling presence (with no items to sell). To make it complete, I am looking to hire/barter/trade with someone to design a logo and then produce the graphics for a banner and an avatar.

The avatar needs to be 75 x 75 pixels in size.

The banner needs to be 536 pixels wide x 77 pixels tall.

Did I ever mention before that I have no graphic design skills?

Last night, I started to spin up the cream alpaca that I bought at the Windy City Spinning Guild in November. It was prepared as true roving, with all the fibers parallel for a worsted spinning technique. This stuff has the longest staple length, it must be 7+ inches, and its incredibly, unbelievably smooth and soft. I tried to spin up a medium-fine single to ply. The bag of roving is really heavy for its size, like a good cantalope.

Does mail really not get delivered on Veteran's Day? I was hoping for my locker hooking kit to arrive from Marr Haven today, and it didn't. If I'm lucky, tomorrow will be the day.

Yay Post Number 200! I will try to update more regularly now, so that it doesn't take another year to reach #300.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Last Call

I'm putting in my fiber order in the morning. I would love to have reason to buy some more of the multi-color merino, the best photos of which are at the Texas Fiber site that I linked to above. Leave a comment if you are interested. Tonight I was spinning and I went faster than the ounce/hour estimations that I made before. After spinning merino for so many nights, the Corriedale that I tried out tonight was very short stapled. The alpaca though... man-o-man was that stuff silky and smooth, like butter. And such long, long, long fibers. Incredible stuff.

Well, its getting cold in here, time for sleeping.

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

A firm offer

Ok, oh few readers, I have a proposition for you. I want to set up Bee-Ewe-Tee-Full Creations as an etsy shop to sell off the yarn addiction as I spin it up. I'm thinking of running all transactions through there, though they also take a percentage. =( But if I ever get business-serious about this, it will give me a web presence. However, I am not a designer. At all. And my graphic design application skills are rudimentary at best.

If someone speaks up by Friday morning, I will spin up a pound of any Ashland Bay wool into yarn in exchange for logo/shop design work. If you think that your skills, talent and time are worth more than that, I am open to negotiation. Send me the same information I asked for here.

Are you a pretty-picture-designer who knits and has a friend who is a kick-ass web designer who crochets? I'm open to teams as well. A pound per person seems fair, but payout will take longer, since it will be more to spin. I seem to be averaging an ounce an hour of singles and then another hour for plying. It definitely goes faster if I sit down to do it for a longer while, and if Anne is on the TiVo duty. So 2 pounds per month seems like it might be a reasonable pace to get the commissions/trades completed. The well-prepared roving spins like a dream on the wheel.

Let me know in the comments or email or AIM if you want to play, otherwise I'm buying my $200 of wholesale fiber as whatever I want, with no consideration for what someone else might want.

To David: I have not gone off the deep end, but I am addicted.

Tuesday, November 8, 2005


I just got my first handspun yarn comission! Thanks Andrea, and Andrea's mom for being a knitter who of course always needs yarn. I will be spinning up a pound of merino in the multi-color of English Garden. It should be very pretty. Now all I need to do is figure out the rest of my fiber order by Friday. Anyone else need a very special gift for the very special knitter/crocheter/weaver/yarn-petter in their life?

Jen has posted about her cool finds from the Trunk Show on Saturday. My yarn is the third picture down. I love making yarn, I can't believe that I didn't know how to do this just six weeks ago.

New Craft Alert: To deal with the very soft, but filled with little bits of vegetable matter, wool (Finn-Merino cross) that came with my wheel, I am thinking about learning to do locker hooking and making a rug. The trouble is, that then I will be adding yet another craft to my to-do list. Does anyone remember way back when I wanted to try cross-stitch? Yeah, I haven't touched that shit in ages. All of my crafts are pretty much focused on fiber arts. I like them the best because they tend to involve the least amount of water. I really dislike having wet and/or sticky hands. Painting, dyeing, wet felting, most paper crafts and a lot of glass-type stuff all involve water-based clean-up and/or glue at the very least. ick.

I went to see Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit tonight. It was very amusing, totally worth the $5 ticket that included a free small popcorn and parking at the theater. Discount Tuesday at AMC City North is a great deal, I should go more often. Has anyone seen Chicken Little? The previews make it look very funny and well-done, but I'm a little unsure about a Disney movie.

It is way past my bedtime. Over and out.

Monday, November 7, 2005

Fiber Overload

Over in the land of LiveJournal, there is a community called Spinning Fiber. It is full of very nice people. One of them is making an initial order to a fiber wholesaler (click the title link) that makes freaking amazing fibers. I'm quite certain that they are the source of some of the best stuff I have used (not like the yucky vegetable matter (vm) filled stuff I have in the bag o' sheep) that was purchased from stores. The only trouble now is deciding if I have $200 to spend on fiber. Its quite an investment in a stash, but I'm also spinning the stuff up pretty fast. The trouble is that in a range of $9-20/pound, on average, of the wools that I would purchase, that is 10-20 pounds of wool to ship to Chicago and also to find a place to store and to spin up.

I think that if I didn't already have the bag-o-sheep, I would be more easily swayed towards all this new wool. Maybe I should just save my money and buy a set of wool combs, then I could prep the bag of Finn-Merino cross wool and spin it. Or I could use that stuff to play around with woolen spinning and buy $200 of fiber and just try my darndest to find a place to put it all in the crammed-with-crafting-supplies apartment. If I got rid of the yarn that I have, there might be room, but I have plans for that yarn. Gah! I am addicted.

Maybe I could use this as an opportunity for extended experiments with different types of wool. There are lots of different types, Merino, Colonial, English, Blue-Faced Leicester, Jacob, Shetland, Corriedale, Wensleydale, and then all the different colors and blends and regular versus superwash. Don't forget about alpaca and angora and all the different kinds of silk. I'm in heaven, but my bank account is groaning loudly at the idea of all this excess.

We definitely need a yahoo-group for the Windy City Spinning Guild, so that I could ask the other spinners if they would be interested without waiting until December's meeting. I'm sure that some of the people there would be game for wool purchasing, co-op style.

This entry is rambling, but I'm just not sure what to do. If anyone reading this is interested in buying even just a few pounds of wool, let me know in the comments. Or, if you want to buy the wool and have me spin it in to yarn for you, that could be arranged as well.

To bed with me.

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Katy needs

Top 10 results from putting in my name with the word "needs" after it. Most recently seen at Jennifer's blog, Piddleloop.
  1. Katy needs to get home, and get home soon
  2. Katy needs will be taken care of
  3. Katy needs every ounce of her courage
  4. Katy needs fish money
  5. Katy needs dental assistant with dental experience
  6. Katy needs to know
  7. Katy needs to know that her outlook could negatively affect the...
  8. Katy needs checkups less frequently
  9. Katy needs to be part of the overall planning
  10. Katy needs to eat some sweets
This was strangely repetitive (I counted the top 10 unique answers to the search) and seems to be adversely affected by the existence of the town Katy, TX. Thinking of Texas though, got me thinking of Ms. Valerie Light (whose complete name I have put in with the hope that someday she will Google her own name, find this blog and write to me with her current contact information!) and how much I miss her now that she is far, far away in the Republic of Texas.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Good thing that I like yellow and blue

You Should Learn Swedish
Fantastisk! You're laid back about learning a language - and about life in general.Peaceful, beautiful Sweden is ideal for you... And you won't even have to speak perfect Swedish to get around!
href="What Language Should You Learn?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My 1920s name

Your 1920's Name is:
Eddie Jack

PDF Tear Sheets!

After looking and looking, I found a sheet with PDF tear sheets for architectural and theatrical lighting instruments. Score!

I just need to show a designer that he doesn't want a Par 56, and instead he wants a little MR16 Birdie light... Times Square Lighting (and Gary Heitz telling me to look there) to the rescue.

In the end, I might even buy them there, but to start with, I have to sell the idea.

Thursday, October 6, 2005


This stuff looks so yummy! And it is hand-dyed, and less than $2 per ounce, which is less expensive than the Lorna's Laces roving. I've heard that pencil roving is a bit boring to spin though, since there isn't much drafting to be done.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005


Creative Reuse Warehouse... has lots of donated stuff for $4 per grocery bag full. The intention is to sell it to school teachers, group leaders, artists and other community members. That is so awesome. There is a place like that in Minneapolis, but I had always just figured it was a liberal-crunchy-Minnesotan recycling thing.

Mostly this is being blogged about so that when I go, "hey, what's that place in town that you can get crafty stuff by the bagful?" it will be recorded somewhere searchable.

Back to the drafting board and my Avril/Madonna mix.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Jumping on the bandwagon

You are a

Social Liberal
(73% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(13% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Mulberry Creators File for Bankruptcy

Yay! I was never much of a fan of Mulberry, and it seems that the market economy has spoken.

Sorry not to have updated recently, I'll try to do that soon.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


You can thank Gapers Block for my recent interest in FermiLab's public programs.

This is the general information page for their Ask-A-Scientist program.

Fermilab World Year of Physics 2005 Symposium

The Fermilab out in Batavia has public events. On Saturday, October 8, is the World Year of Physics Symposium, but they also have a herd of buffalo, nature paths, tours and an art museum. The art museum currently has an origami exhibit. I need to get registered now!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Artists erect giant pink...

bunny on the mountain. It is supposed to last twenty years, and was knit by dozens of people with pink wool. I think that it would be totally worth seeing if I lived in Italy.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

I'm a total geek

The humble screw has changed little in 2,000 years, until a stubborn engineer at Illinois Tool Works came up with a fascinating new twist.

I have always been a hardware dork, even asked Cory Cope enough questions about screws during crew at one point that he went and did some research to answer my questions so that I would go away. I love the McMaster-Carr catalog. I look forward to trips to Clark & Barlow. I have favorite hardware that I like to work into projects as frequently as possible.

Hi, my name is Katy and I'm a hardware dork.

Did I mention that this company that the genius works for is in Illinois? I got a link to the article from Gaper's Block, a site about Chicago, IL. I haven't been updating much recently. Ken will be out again at work tomorrow, so maybe I'll blog a bit then. I've been reading and crafting and seeing movies and learning to eat new things, so there is lots to write about.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Its better than a Tomagotchi, and its got puppies! I want one, but not really. I got it for free in some manner, I would totally dig it, but I'm not interested in purchasing it just for some virtual puppy love. But either way, thanks to Daily Candy Everywhere, I found out about this adorable product idea.

I will update this entry later with a link to pictures of Baxter and his puppy, who was the last of the litter to be sold, and the only one that my family and the daddy dog got to meet. They are just oh-so-cute.

Oh man, watching the I <3 Puppy Cam! on the website while I type this makes me want one even more. Darn marketers. Must get to work.

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Crafters Help Hurricane Victims

Go shopping for handmade items, and all proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross's Hurricane Relief Fund. I will be donating *something* to the shop, probably under the website of the Crafty Ladies and my name. When I do, I will post it here too.

And the donation ticker:

Personal Katrina Update: Dr. Judith A. Kelsey, my aunt, is currently in Lafayette, Louisiana, in her home there, and is doing alright. The status of her house in Franklin, Louisiana, on the bayou, is still unknown. Franklin is 90 miles due west of New Orleans, and Lafayette is approximately 50 miles north of Franklin.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Roommate Reading

On Saturday, September 10th, my roommate, Ms. Anne Holub will be part of a poetry reading with theAround The Coyote Fall Arts Festival. Her literal 15 minutes of fame will be sometime between 6pm and 8pm at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave, Chicago, IL. I highly suggest that you take public transportation to get there, as Bucktown/Wicker Park is always tough to park in, and the festival will just make it worse. But you should go, because if I, poetry reading neophyte, am going to go out and support her reading, you should go to support my listening.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Knitting Talk

I finished my dad's Xmas scarf, its the Men's Cashmere Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, a few days ago. I've been looking for a local source of Koigu Premium Painter's Pallette Merino (KPPPM) yarn for the Lacy Chevron Scarf from the same book for my mom's Xmas scarf, but haven't found it yet, so I haven't started that project. I've heard such wonderful things about KPPPM, that I don't want to just substitute another handpainted fingering weight yarn, thought I think that Cherry Tree Hill SuperSock might do it. I know that my Secret Pal sent me a hank of it, and if I could just remember where I put it, I would be able to see if it would work for the pattern. My LYS carries Cherry Tree Hill but not Koigu, and the CTH comes in 4 oz. hanks (vs. 50 gram hanks), so it wouldn't require as many ends woven in (which, besides lining, is my least favorite part of knitting).


In the mean time, I have been trying to be motivated about using up my stash. Unfortunately, when I learned to crochet, I went on a yarn-buying binge at a big box store. So I have a lot of ridiculous, awful, acrylic yarn. Like Homespun and Chenille Thick & Quick. Another part of my stash is yarn from my grandmother, which is primarily acrylic from the 80s. It isn't a whole lot of yarn, and I'm not going to get rid of the better stuff, but there is a fair bit of Red Heart Super Saver, which I haven't found a way to make usable yet. I also went through a phase of thinking that wool was evil, so everything is a cotton blend or some other ridiculous synthetic. It all feels like shiny twine. What was I thinking?

Most of that stuff is just partial balls now, except for the seven balls that were purchased with the intentions of making the ribbed ribbon tank from Hip to Knit. I've checked gauge, taken measurements and restarted on that tank top, but its hard to get excited about form fitting, cotton-blend, beige tank top when you are pale, lumpy and not that into tanks. What was I thinking?

I have a few sweaters that have been unraveled, and some Cascade 220 that I intend(ed) to felt, until I discovered that felting required making my room smell like a wet sheep (which is similar to a wet dog and just as unpleasant), but mostly, just an uninspiring yarn stash. Its not even that big, so space isn't an issue, just the fear of waste. I guess that I can always make things for charity, but some of this stuff is just unpleasant. What was I thinking?


All of this lamenting about my bad yarn decisions makes me realize that I need to get out of the house. Time for a walk, maybe I'll take a book and go to the beach. Yes, that's what I'll do. Thanks for listening.

Monday, August 15, 2005

But Daddy...

I want a sheep! And now, he could get me one (at least for a year). All through our trip to England in 2003, we saw sheep in the countryside, and I kept asking my parents for one. In high school, my friend Liz loved sheep (but she didn't knit or spin or anything) and really wanted to have one and enter it into the Hennepin County Fair. Now, we could have sheep without having to take care of them.

I wonder if they will let you buy the adoption for a special event, but then pick out the sheep when its adoption time (whenever that is).

Hmmm... must investigate further and enlist my mother.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

so I don't save them up...

Your Ideal Relationship is Serious Dating

You're not ready to go walking down the aisle.
But you may be ready in a couple of years.
You prefer to date one on one, with a commitment.
And while chemistry is important, so is compatibility.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Llama Song

Flash » The Llama Song go and see, but be warned that there isn't a stop button, so you have to navigate away from the page.
10 years ago: I lived in Deerfield, was 13 years old and getting ready to start 8th grade. I finally had my braces off, still had glasses. Generally homely and unhappy.

5 years ago: I lived in Minnesota, was 18 years old and getting ready to go away to college at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. I was working as an aid to a special needs boy at a school age day care. Life was pretty good.

1 year ago: I was finished with my internship at the Yale Rep and the Yale School of Drama. About to move back to Pittsburgh and finish my last semester of school. Spent the summer working for my dad in his Sign-A-Rama franchise.

Yesterday: Cast on for my Ribbed Ribbon Tank from Hip to Knit, one of the first projects I ever planned on making. Finished a proposal for a project that we don't really have time for at work. Ordered lots of flooring and plastics.

Today: Mailed my second-to-last package to Christie, my secret pal. Got a new binder for knitting patterns. Talked to my dad. I might clean the apartment tonight.

Tomorrow: Do laundry, finish UFOs that are gifts for other people, make sure that the apartment is clean before the roomie gets home at dinner time.

5 snacks I enjoy: Plain potato chips (esp. Pringles low fat and Baked Lays), Keebler Fudge Shoppe cookies, raspberries, french fries, Town House crackers

5 bands/singers that I know the lyrics of MOST of their songs: umm... maybe the Indigo Girls, maybe Barenaked Ladies, but I can't think of any others.

Things I would do with $100,000,000: Finish the Purnell Center for the Arts. If there was anything left after making sure that the PTM program would continue on (and not as the redheaded stepchild), I would buy a nice condo or townhouse (I refuse to own grass), pay for my sister's school, and pay back my parents for *my school* bills. If there was anything left after that point (which I doubt that there would be), I would stash it away with a good investment banker for the future/special things, and then live off of my salary working at Crazy Bob's 24 hour House of Scenery. Maybe I would first stash away 5 or 10 million, pay off the school bills (a comparative drop in the bucket, even with Natalie going to med school someday) and buy a living situation, then finish off the PCA with the rest. That seems like a better order of operations, and then everything could get done, because any amount of money could be sunk into the CMU SOD.

5 locations I'd like to run away to: Maui, Ireland, Isla de Margarita in Venezuela, Big Island in Lake Minnetonka, an island in the Mediterranean (notice a theme there?)

5 bad habits I have: picking my nails, drinking coke, putting off laundry, leaving trash in the car, not pressing my clothes.

5 things I like doing: Knitting, reading, planning, spending time with J, checking up on blogs

5 things I would never wear: a poncho, gaudy jewelery, Bush/Cheney support propaganda, non-earlobe piercings, tattoos

5 TV shows I like: Gilmore Girls, Mythbusters, Alias, Judging Amy, Modern Marvels

5 movies I like: Bend it Like Beckham, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Good Will Hunting, Whale Rider, Monsters, Inc.

5 famous people I'd like to meet: Al Franken, Bill Sapsis, Tom Robbins, Jennifer Garner, Kristin Davis

5 biggest joys at the moment: hmmm... independent living, knitting, Anne, Natalie, Jeremy

5 favorite toys: Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles, IBM Thinkpad T42, the tool that pulls ribbon through tubes, TiVo, air conditioning

5 bloggers tagged (if they made it this far): David, Peg, Val aka BabelBabe, Christie aka SweetRattle, Elise (bc Andrea is just too darn busy with Avi and she's on school break right now)

Let's play!

From my super-duper SP5 Spoiler, Christine
(yes, she revealed early, since I had to turn off anonymous comments on my blog, but its cool, I've been curious, and its almost the end of the month anyway)

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth full sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around for the coolest book you can find. Use what's actually nearest to you.

Really it's been ten years, anyway.

A Thousand Acres
by Jane Smiley

Two other books were closer, but they didn't have 123 pages.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I'm a Knitting Geek!

But you already knew that...



KCR++ Exp+ !SPM Steel? Wood? Bam Pl+ Cas- AddiT? Den+++(+++) Boye? Syn- Nov- Cot Wool++ Lux+ Hemp? Stash Scale Fin Ent? FI? Int- Tex+>++ Lace>++? Felt Flat Circ+ DPN++ !ML Swatch+ KIP+ Blog++ SNB EZ FO+ WIP Gauge@ L>- F- S+ DK? W+++ B+++ ALT@ Cr Q-- X- Em+ Sw-


Wednesday, August 10, 2005


and no, not Williamstown Theatre Festival.

My blog just got spammed! Go to the comments here, its the last post that I put up just a little bit ago. who the heck spams a blog? I guess that with all the spam filters out there, the bad guys have to get through somehow, but really? spamming a blog comment section? That's just weird.

I'll delete them if they keep happening, but for now, I want the proof out there.


You're Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice by
Jane Austen!

Which Classic Female Literary Character Are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Less than retail AND on sale!

Lorna's Laces Angel for $13 regular price? Wow. Its $14.50 retail in Chicago (both Arcadia Knitting and Knitter's Niche) and then its on sale. And you can get ANY color, because its all special order. So you have to wait a long time. But oh boy! Besides, I can never get just the right color in town, so I'd have to wait for that anyway.

Yarn Sale!

Bo Peep's Wool Shop has all yarns on sale for 15% off, and Featured Items at 40% off. And needles and notions are on sale too. Rock on.

Monday, August 8, 2005

Ick ick ick ick

I have found my hero of the day! We have a guy in who saved me in the hallway today. He killed and disposed of the horrible cockroach that was blocking my way. Even walked across the lunchroom to deal with it. He is great. Wish I remembered to ask his name. Here's a picture of what we were up against:

Sunday, August 7, 2005


That is my new desk, if you follow the link, that I got for half the list price because it was on sale. I was concerned about taking up too much common area space, but its nice to be able to work on the computer without being on the couch. And now the printer has a place to live. The desk is just the right size for my apartment, and I think that it will double as a craft table nicely.

If you didn't follow the link, the desk has four legs (instead of particle board panels), a lower shelf and the top, and it is made of solid wood. The only not-so-sturdy parts are a few pieces of plastic in the hardware asssortment used to assemble it, and I don't think that they make or break the piece. It also matches my dresser, nightstand and bookshelf. I still would like the mirror, and someday when my room is larger, the bed with underbed boxes. If I ever have a dining room that needs a table, the line can take care of that as well. There is more matching furniture for the living room, but I don't want to wear out your link-clicking finger. Can you tell that I like my stuff to match? For some reason, there is no appeal to me in hunting through antique shops or garage sales for just the right piece to go in a room. And I'm not going to spend the kind of money that "real" furniture costs. As far as I can tell, department store-type furniture costs more because they have sales people and deliver it assembled. And you can't have it in your house the next day.

There you have it, Leksvik is my favorite IKEA furniture line. and Kosta Boda is my favorite art glass brand. If I ever get married, I will absolutely be registering for beautiful Kosta Boda serving platters and vases. I discovered my affinity for their products when my cousin Amy was getting married and I spent a lot of Saturday afternoons in the Marshall Field's housewares/china departments with my mom and aunts. I don't think that she asked for anything from KB, which is her loss, really.

Saturday, August 6, 2005

Short Hair

Kate has asked if short hair is really better. The answer is no.

I like being able to put my hair in a ponytail that doesn't look ridiculous. I don't have to blowdry it if I don't mind it being wet. I can make it be pretty in many different ways if I care that much. I look like a girl. I can braid it. I only have to get it cut when I feel like it, instead of every 4-6 weeks. It doesn't get in my eyes when it grows. No one calls me "sir" on the bus. If I wear it down, the shop guys tell me I look pretty (that's a double-edged sword, but a girl needs an ego boost sometimes).

Short hair took just as much or more work and was less attractive. That's all there is to say.

I'm a follower, but its fun!

From There are no bad ideas via SBR: Selectively Biased Rants

1. Reply with your name and I'll respond with something random about you.
2. I'll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.
3. I'll pick a flavor of jello to wrestle with you in.
4. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me (maybe/maybe not).
5. I'll tell you my first memory of you.
6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
7. I'll ask you something that I've always wondered about you.
8. If I do this for you, you must post this on your journal.

I think that I am going to change #6 to what I would hire you for at CSSI, if any job was available.

Here's what David has to say about me... (he switched animal for "picks a job for you from ArtSearch")

1. You're a paperwork machine.

uh, if you say so... which you do.

2. Green Eyed Lady

Brown Eyed Girl

3. Berry Blue

That's a Jell-O flavor? ick. why eats that?

4. Beware of Shiny Object Boy

I can only imagine that this refers to Mr. Train, but maybe not. He's the only Shiny Object Boy that I have to watch out for though.

5. I remember you critting your first year before I had you in class. Something about some huge group project for Basic Design.

Yes, that was the Grandfather Clock. We had to incorporate color theory into some form of sculpture or model. So we did ours based on the Norse mythology of Loki. The group was Val, Nick, Alex, Ellen, Holly and I. Just imagine that group. Think real hard. Now laugh. You can imagine how the dymanics there worked out.

Job posted on August 2, 2005

The nationally recognized Alley Theatre (LORT B and C) seeks qualified individual for year-round position of Assistant Technical Director. Major responsibilities include CAD drafting with AutoCAD 2005, ordering materials and supplies, working with motion control, and shop supervision. Computer skills necessary. The Alley produces a minimum of nine shows in two spaces over ten months, plus a two-show summer series. Ability to work with varied personalities and time tables a must. Salary commensurate with experience plus benefits package. Send resume and references to Kristin Fox Siegmund, Production Manager, ALLEY THEATRE, 615 Texas Ave., Houston, TX 77002. Fax: 713-228-0527. Email: No phone calls, please. EOE.

The Alley sure seems to be changing a fair bit of staff this year. For right now, I like my job, but that is the kind of job that I would want, so good picking.

7. Are you really a klutz?

I'm more messy than klutzy, and definitely not graceful by any definition. However, I seem to only get seriously hurt when I have too much on my mind or I'm angry or stressed. My solution to this is to stay away from dangerous things (like bunk beds and power tools) and to try to maintain calm and peace in my life.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

So many crafts, so little time

I craft on Monday evenings with a group of lovely girls in the Crafty Ladies. I mainly knit, because I like that, but they do all sorts of things, and as far as I know, everyone knows how to make things with sticks or hooks and string. Coming up in September is Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park, where the Ladies will have a booth/table to sell our wares. and then, in November, there is the DIY Trunk Show. This brings me to what I need ideas for. I need to make something to sell. Or somethings. And in the long run, I'd like to have my own business name because well, it seems like a good idea.

Here is my list of ideas for things to make:
  • Etched glassware (maybe numbered wine glasses? multilingual labels (wine - vino - vin - wein)? flowers on vases? candle holders?)
  • handknit cotton coasters in sets of 4 (organic is an option here)
  • Gocco-printed note cards - I'd have to come up with some clever ideas for things to put on them, but it would be a great excuse to buy a Gocco
  • handknit tampon/pad purses (also good for a wallet, phone and keys) I've made one for me and my roommate suggested that maybe I could make them for Renegade.
  • Sculpey buttons (using the translucent kind that picks up printed and colored pencil images)
  • Knitting notions/accessories--beaded stitch markers, bead bracelet row counters, point protectors (gotta check on the suitability of my idea first), large head blocking pins.
  • braided fabric/rag rugs/coasters/placemats
  • felt/embroidered sewing needle books
Now, I realize that I'm not going to make a ton of money at this, but the other girls seem to have a lot of fun with it, and the community of craftsters out there is pretty cool, so I want to find something that I at least won't *lose* money doing.

I can't do marble magnets, needle cases, felted bags, soap, felted flowers, shrines, buttons, cozies, or t-shirts because other girls do those things in the group. If you go to the webpage, you should know that Janine, Kat and Tabatha are no longer with us, having moved away, but I don't want to make any of those sorts of things anyway.

So, if you have any thoughts on products for me, then share away via comments or email. Coming soon: Ideas on business names and a contest!

So soft and tiny

Over the weekend, I finally justified buying Last Minute Knitted Gifts with the birth of Avi Samuel Chetlin (who really is quite adorable). I wanted to make the baby booties in it from Lorna's Laces Angel yarn, so of course I needed the get the pattern. The color in the picture isn't noticeably off, but in real life the stitches aren't as visible or defined. I used the colorway Lorikeet because in the skein it reminded me of all the stripes in his room, though the colors aren't the same. Knit up, they seem like just the right booties for Andrea's baby.

I checked the size with a coworker who also has a newborn, as they seemed ridiculously tiny to me, but he says that they will actually be too big for a newborn, but not for long. At least they won't be too small. For scale, I took a picture of them on my drafting table with an eraser. You can see the mayline in the corner. These things are tiny! In the picture above, they are sitting on top of the cubicle divider.

The booties were so easy and quick to make that now I am going to make at least two more pairs. One for Charlotte, Rick and Rachel's daughter, (in a pastel, but not pink, colorway) and one for Henry, the new son of a shop apprentice. There is tons of leftover yarn, but not enough for a whole second pair, in the 50 yard skeins. I wonder what to do with it. Angora and lambswood is not the most durable fiber mix, so a scarf is out, but I'm sure that I'll find something.

Monday, August 1, 2005

Family Tree

My last name is Kelsey, I have reddish-blond brown hair, freckles, pale skin and go by Katy. I have always been under the impression that my ancestry on my father's side was Danish. This is entirely based on a fourth grade genealogy project that required us to research a country that we were from and color in a paper doll-type shape with the folk costume of that country and a flag for the same country. I chose Germany. My mother was certain of this ancestry and the flag was easy to color. I did, however, call my paternal grandmother and ask. Her first real answer to "where is our family from?" was "Utah from Illinois" aka Mormon. The very first answer was "I don't know, why would you want to know?" These answers did not help with my school project. Eventually she gave me the tidbit of "from Denmark a long time ago" and that her maiden name was Metz. By that point in the phone call, I was frustrated by the lack of information and was settled on Germany for the project.

J is going to Ireland for 23 days, so we've been talking about Irish things a fair bit. He knows that part of his background is Irish and is not the first person to question my longheld assumption that I am German-English-Danish, with no mention of Irish ancestry.

My paternal grandfather's first name was Faro. Faro Kelsey. According to J, that is very Irish. I have no idea. But now I'm curious.

On my mom's side, we have an entire book dedicated to her paternal ancestry. My great-uncle Henry wrote and self-published a book called "Doerr Ways" in the late 1980s. Her mom's maiden name was Harris and my grandmother grew up in California, raised by a widower father and a housekeeper. Besides that Rex Harris was of English ancestry, I know nothing on that side.

So, how does one go about researching a part of the family that, as people, is of no interest to you, but as lines on a family tree is fascinating? I would really like to know all of the branches of my family tree to the point of entry in North America. I don't think that I will have to go back more than 150 years to do that, and think of the neat wall hanging that I could make. Like the Black family tapestry in HP6, but without the evil stuff. Another question is, with such a small number of people on that side, why hasn't anyone been keeping track of this stuff? Is there a family Bible out there?

I could ramble on about these questions for hours. Maybe in another post. For now, does anyone know where to even start? I guess that I have to talk to my parents and the crazy aunts and maybe make a chart to start filling in. Well, at least the chart making will be cool.

Geez, I'm such a dork.

A trip to the zoo

The boy that I've been seeing (you've probably read a post or two) and I had a super duper day on Saturday. It was totally worth getting up at the butt crack of dawn (though it wasn't really, since it was summer, 7:30 is more like the shoulderblades of dawn) to go to the Green City Market, the Lincoln Park Zoo, eat blueberries and crackers on the porch, play Set in the living room, cuddle/nap on the couch, eat dinner at the short tables at Kopi and hang out in my apartment. Yup, that's three (3) meals together in one day. Lunch didn't really happen, but there was much grazing throughout the day.

That picture up above is a Sichuan Takin. It is a smelly, funny looking creature, related to the musk ox. Both sexes have horns. And it was ridiculous looking, so Jeremy took a picture of it. I have cropped out the zoo enclosure portion of the photo for your up-close viewing of the creature.

I love flamingos. So we took more pictures near them. I was unaware that some flamingos are ugly. And some live in the mountains of Chile.

This is a picture of J and I. He is very tall, which leads to a very long wingspan, which equals arms long enough to hold the camera to take a picture of himself. Pretty good aim, if I do say so myself. He go both of us, fairly centered, and some flamingos too. Oh, how I love those ridiculous pink birds.

Did you know that there are commercially prepared flamingo food pellets? I didn't either.

Have a great day!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Don't shop at Bed, Bath & Beyond anymore!

NPR : Artists Take Up Fight Against China Knockoffs: "Some New England crafts artists are claiming their works have been copied in China and are being sold cheaply in nearby stores. They've filed suit against the Christmas Tree Shops, a New England houseware chain." which is owned by Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Go and listen to the broadcast (its not very long) for yourself. The gist of it is that Xmas Tree Shop's buyers went to Cape Cod artists' shops and found cool, handcrafted items, bought them and then sent them to China to be replicated EXACTLY. Now, they are sold in the stores, in the same towns as the artists being ripped-off, for less than the cost of materials to the original artist. The buyers never mentioned to the artist that the shop would like to replicate the item, nor were they presented with an option to sell that design for some amount of money to the Xmas Tree Shops. One (1) item was bought retail and now thousands are being sold for only a few dollars.

I could rant on about this for pages, but I won't because I have to figure out how much SteelDeck we need for a job. Maybe I will post again later. Tell all your friends, link back to the npr page and don't shop at BBB anymore, because this sort of business practice should not be rewarded.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

New Electronic Leash

Today we got new cell phones at work. This also means that Nate and I are in the system and are officially on the CSSI electronic leash. I have mixed feelings about this situation overall, and generally disapprove of the hardware chosen, but it is not within my control. Here is the phone itself:LG VX4700. We are using Verizon because there aren't dead zones between the shop and Bob's house. And I think that its less expensive than Nextel.

I'm still keeping my regular T-Mobile, Minneapolis phone number cell phone, mostly because my dad pays for it and its the number everyone has. Also, I'm not sure how personal usage works with a work mobile. I know that we have unlimited IN Calling on the Verizon plan, so that's easy. (The new boy and I can talk all we want! :] ) I'm pretty sure that Bob has no idea how much trouble/expense we could cause with the new phones. They didn't spring for the camera phones, since you can't get Push-To-Talk with a Camera phone, and apparently the PTT was more important to Traffic than Camera phones were to PMs and Job Leads. Or they just made a bigger fuss.


I actually just did a bit of research, and you can get PTT with Camera Phone, but it wouldn't be free. And it appears that our lot of 8349762 phones, since they are all the same, were free. Also, the person in accounting who was assigned to deal with the phones has never owned nor used a cell phone, so he had no idea what he was getting (hence no belt clips or head sets included, and Silent/Vibrate is not very intuitive) when they sold him the phones.


If you wish to have the new mobile number that I will be required/expected to have on my hip from 6:45am until I am home for the night, then leave a comment and I'll email it your way. David, if you send me an "update entry" thing from Plaxo, I'll even fix it there for you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Question #5

What was the thing you liked the most about what you did working for the sign shop and if you had a chance to run that business yourself would you - why or why not?
I'm going to work backwards on this question. There is no way that I
would ever run that particular business (my dad's sign shop in MN) myself.
Right now, my mom is running it because my dad got a job back in Corporate
America (he's working for Wells Fargo Private Client Services as a sales person,
but they have a better title for him than that) and she hates it. The
business is growing and doing well, but the situation is awful. My mom is
a nurse by training, personality, career choice and it is what she was meant to
do. A businesswoman she is not, nor does she desire to be.

I don't think that I would do much better than her, because while I have a
better understanding of production-type work, I have no interest in doing
outside sales. Working with customers once they are comitted to a project
is fine, but finding and comitting those same people is right up there with
having dental work done as things I like doing.

At the same time, I think that I would like having my own sign shop.
Part of the problem with working for my dad was just that. Working for my
dad. I couldn't get away from my boss. And at work, I had more sway
with him than the graphic designer because I was his daughter, but I also had to
deal with his way of doing things, which I found infuriatingly cluttered and
disorganized. If I was in charge and could do things my way, I think that
I could do it. However, that brings back the basic issue of my aversion to

The part about that job that I liked the best was when I saw my ideas come
to fruition and work out well. Primarily, this was related to shop and
office organization, but sometimes it came from jobs as well. Also, now I
know how to talk to the graphics people and where the rip-off opportunities
are. However, I can get that kind of job satisfaction without having to
set foot in the family sign shop ever again as an employee.

To answer an unasked question, the most two-faced good thing about working
there was when I went back to school/got a job and Dad and Bob would talk about
how much better things were when I was there. It seemed like they got lazy
about taking care of their own shit when I was there, due to my trusty assistant
nature of trying to anticipate needs and staying a step ahead. But then
when I came back and they were still putting things away and using the magazine
files for catalogs, that was good.

That was kind of a long answer. Oh well.

Question #2

If you had to pick one of the places you've lived to live out the rest of your life, where would you pick and why?

Here are the choices:

  1. Minneapolis, Minnesota and its western suburbs
  2. San Francisco, California/Walnut Creek, CA
  3. Deerfield, IL
  4. Chicago, IL
  5. Pittsburgh, PA
  6. Falmouth, MA
  7. Santa Fe, NM
  8. New Haven, CT

I absolutely would not choose to live out the rest of my life in Pittsburgh, Falmouth, New Haven or Deerfield. None of those places would be satisfactory for the complete adult life cycle.

Santa Fe was lovely, but is very remote and somewhat expensive. However, I liked the desert, its beautiful, and I could see myself settling into the community there and growing old.

San Francisco isn't remote, but its ridiculously expensive and, well, its California. None of my family lives there anymore. Some friends from school live in the area though. It is cosmopolitan and exciting and near open water, which are all selling points, but no to San Fran as well.

At this point, its down to Minneapolis or Chicago, and that's a really hard choice. If right now I had a job offer for Minneapolis, and was married with plans for a family, then I would go back in an instant. My family is there, the education and health care systems are better than Chicago/Illinois and its smaller yet still vibrant. Also, I think that the winter sucks less in Minneapolis.

But Chicago has to be the choice right now. I like my job, my apartment and I'm starting to make friends and settle into an adult life. I don't know what the future will bring, and I'm not sure that I even want to get married and start a family, and as a single girl for the forseeable (and perhaps forever) future, I think that I would be much happier in the big city of Chicago. But then again... if I got a job offer to move back to Minneapolis and it was good enough (and I wasn't stuck in Chicago due to some sort of blog question answer rule) then I would move even now. Though that won't happen, so its not an issue.

In short, the answer is Chicago, IL.

Monday, July 25, 2005

I <3 SP5

I got my July package from my Secret Pal today. It came in a fancy schmancy blue and green spotted bubble mailer. I will write the full list either towards the end of this post, or in a separate one.

I have had this post open for a while, so maybe a quick ellipses entry and then I'm turning it off.

It is soooo hot, I can barely believe it... I had two (2) very good dates with the new boy, I like him a lot... the boy is going to Ireland for 3 weeks in a week... my roommate wants us to do some serious cleaning this weekend... a Marriott show is much easier to deal with if you work on the project from the start... non-neon rope lighting is ugly... I can barely believe that the a/c is on... there is no food to speak of in the fridge for lunch... I have to leave by 6am tomorrow because of road resurfacing on my street... sooo hot, why didn't I change out of my jeans after work?... I am the luckiest girl ever (but many of you have heard that before) =]... I got my car washed today, I totally understand now how J can love the smell of automatic car washes (besides knowing the background to it)... they did a great job, even found the missing size 11 dpns that were apparently lost under a seat or something... I seem to have no attention span... today, Tom asked if David came into town this summer... I really like the boy... my SP rocks... and now, it is time to go.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

first date jitters

His name is Jeremy. We have been emailing a bunch for the last two weeks or so, and were planning on meeting up sometime before he leaves for Ireland (for 3 1/2 weeks) on August 2nd. Well, we were chatting and decided to go see the Neo-Futurists in Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. Tonight. I'm telling myself that its like taking a bandaid off, you just have to do it and get it over with. The meeting new people slash first date thing. We can both fret about it for a week or just do it now and see how it goes and then perhaps have an extra week to hang out. I didn't mention that last bit, but it would really suck to not meet until next weekend and have it go really well and then not be able to hang out again.

If you want to see how we compare, my screen name is TDGirl.

Time to brush my teeth and hair and hope for the best.

Did the days of old really stink?

The Straight Dope: Is good personal hygiene a recent invention?: "What makes me skeptical that hygiene was so awful is that I often read of someone being particularly malodorous; if everything already stank horrifically, then how could people tell that someone had BO? Who had grounds to nitpick anyone else's pungency? --Jonathan, via e-mail"

And no, the column is not about 33 from September 2000 to May 2001 (my freshman year aka the year of extremely smelly boys). I found it interesting, and thought that you might too. Go on, have a look.

Friday, July 22, 2005

In Case of Emergency

I got an email from the person who I am the Secret Pal to suggesting this...

In your mobile phone, put a phonebook entry called ICE for In Case of Emergency with the phone number of the person you would want to have called in an emergency. In theory, if you were in an accident, the emergency personnel could use that entry to contact your family. If enough people do this and it gets around, it could become an international standard, and you never know when it will come in handy for you.

I don't know if it will become a standard, but you may as well put in the entry. It can't hurt and your family will be very glad you did if you are in an accident and they are contacted because you had it well marked.

Interview Game from Babelbabe

1. You must take an 8-hour bus trip with three toddlers, or with a strange dog that you must care for, or with your worst ex-significant-other. Which do you pick, and why?
I pick the worst ex-significant other. Do I know who that actually is? No. But none of them have been abusive or particularly mean or anything that would really prevent me from surviving an 8 hour bus trip with them. I usually sleep on bus trips, due to a tendency towards motion sickness. And if I don't sleep, I can knit.

Toddlers were my choice before I thought about the ex-SO for a bit. And I remembered what a racket toddlers can make. And I wouldn't be able to sleep through their needs. But at the same time, toddlers belong in car seats, so they won't be able to run off, and with three of them there is hope that they would just do their toddler thing together. But I doubt it. I've never made a habit of taking toddlers anywhere that was unfamiliar to them, so I don't know how they react to such things.

A strange dog is never my first choice, nor is taking care of a dog. Especially not in a moving vehicle. Dogs are actually the most likely of those three to throw up. I like petting dogs and playing with them and giving them treats. But take one on a bus? You've got to be kidding me.
2.Cat person or dog person?
See above. Definitely a cat person, but I have a soft spot for dogs too.
3. You can have free plastic surgery to fix a part of your body you don't like but once it's fixed, you are required to keep it covered. (i.e. if it's a tummy tuck, no belly shirts)Do you still do it?
If I wasn't squeamish about plastic surgery, then yes, I would do it. An improved body part still looks better even if you can't show off the skin. And *I* would know that it was improved.
4. A friend asks you to house-sit for a month but neglects to mention until the night before that housesitting entails caring for and feeding her twelve-foot python. Do you still do it? And if no, how do you get out of it?
I'd still do it. I wouldn't be happy about it, and she'd owe me big time, but I'd do it. As long as I didn't have to take it out of its containment. Or touch it. But I'm pretty sure that I could handle the care and feeding of a python for a month.
5. You may eat only one type of fruit and one type of vegetable for the rest of your life. Which fruit and veg do you pick?
If I can be general, then berries and peas. If I have to be more specific, then raspberries and sugar snap peas.
If you want questions, leave a comment.

This just in from BabelBabe

I'll answer these in a bit, maybe even before David's, because they are easier and have fewer parts. But either way, its back to doing Bob's bidding. =)

1. You must take an 8-hour bus trip with three toddlers, or with a strange dog that you must care for, or with your worst ex-significant-other. Which do you pick, and why?

2.Cat person or dog person?

3. You can have free plastic surgery to fix a part of your body you don't like but once it's fixed, you are required to keep it covered. (i.e. if it's a tummy tuck, no belly shirts)Do you still do it?

4. A friend asks you to house-sit for a month but neglects to mention until the night before that housesitting entails caring for and feeding her twelve-foot python. Do you still do it? And if no, how do you get out of it?

5. You may eat only one type of fruit and one type of vegetable for the rest of your life. Which fruit and veg do you pick?

Question #1

If you could pick one thing to have changed about your college experience what would it be?

I would've stayed in campus housing for my sophomore year. I think that living alone in the carriage house during the fall of sophomore year really contributed to the depression that made its indelible mark on my entire college experience, and besides being fairly well-adjusted now, didn't do much in the positive column for me.

The Interview Game! Let's Play

The Interactive Internet Question Game

This is an Interactive Internet Question Game. I got it from There are no bad ideas. This is how it's played:
  1. If you want to play, leave a comment below saying so.
  2. I'll post five (5) unique questions to the comments section of this post.
  3. You answer them in your blog.
  4. In your post, you include this explanation and offer to interview others.
  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five (5) questions.

Here are the questions I got from David:

  1. If you could pick one thing to have changed about your college experience what would it be?
  2. If you had to pick one of the places you've lived to live out the rest of your life, where would you pick and why?
  3. If you had to pick someplace you haven't lived to live out the rest of your life where would you pick and why?
  4. Given a choice of becoming a full time employee of any teacher you've ever had who would you choose and why?
  5. What was the thing you liked the most about what you did working for the sign shop and if you had a chance to run that business yourself would you - why or why not?

As I am currently at work, I will answer these questions over the next day(s) in posts. But go ahead, play. I promise that I'll get back to asking the questions promptly.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

If You Knew Sushi

If You Knew Sushi This was David's link-of-the-day, but yum. I think that I might actually want to make a habit of eating sushi for dinner if it was really just fancy rice krispie treats and gummies and chocolate. Mmmmm... yum. I wonder if I could make them myself? I'm good at rice krispie treats, and not too bad at assembly, though maybe I should start with something more forgiving, like truffles, for my first candy-culinary experiments.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

we make money not art: Smart needles for distracted knitters

Smart needles for distracted knitters: "Rebecca Spender's KnitWit are smart needles that keep track of the number of stitches you've already done. Movement sensors in the ends record the movement of the needles. This data is streamed via RF to a remote base station which decodes the signal, looking for a specific series of movements which correlate to the formation of a stitch. When a 'stitch' is recognised, the LCD counter increments.

In a similar way the interaction between the two needles is used to determine when one row has been finished and another started and thus the rows counter increments too."

That is really cool. I wonder if they could make them as an attachment to put onto regular needles, like a row counter. That would make it be more marketable, otherwise you would always have to make the same gauge item.

Monday, July 18, 2005


You are just the lubricant and erection girl, aren't you?

The anti-gravity machine is more expensive than steel, just build it.

May and June were the lubricant months. July is all about erection.

I need to send these drawings to Canada tomorrow, the erection company wants to know what they're getting into.

Yes, I have a very juvenile sense of humor.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

I saw someone I know on TV!

Griffin Matthews (previously Matt Griffin) is in a Dr. Scholl's commercial. He dances and has a line or two. Watch for him. Yay for TiVo allowing me to rewind and pause to confirm that yes, I do know that person. And yay! for Sarah D. for remembering his name.

Also, Sarah says that she has seen Greg Treco in a Dr. Scholl's commercial too.

Its so crazy-weird-fun to see people that I know on television. Post your own CMU-ite sitings in the comments, please.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Bus firm takes car sharers to court

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Bus firm takes car sharers to court: "They might have been congratulated for their 'green' efforts in an area of heavy air pollution."

Go take a look at this article, its ridiculous, yet true. The Guardian doesn't lie.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

all beauty comes with a price... pain

I went to the Foster Avenue Beach today with my roommate and it was a lovely afternoon. The sky was perfectly clear and crayon box sky blue. The water was warm enough to swim in and cool enough to be refreshing. There was a breeze so it wasn't too hot, but not so much that the sand got in your face while you read. The Neat Sheet was just the right size for two people to lay on towels. Even though there were lots of people, it wasn't crowded. There was plenty of personal space and you didn't have to step on anyone's stuff to get to and from the water or the sidewalk. The people watching was superb. I want to go to the beach everyday in the summer, instead of CSSI.

I remembered to put on sunscreen (which I failed to do when I went to the Taste last Saturday) but still, burned! The backs of my legs hurt oh-so-much (see, the beach would be way better than my desk tomorrow =] ), and I missed a part of my back. My face and arms just have good color/monstrous freckles and the fronts of my legs are starting the freckle on the pasty white background. Oh, do my legs hurt. ow ow ow.

Still, depsite that last paragraph of whining, the beach was wonderful. This was the first time I'd ever gone to a Lake Michican beach in my "adult" life. It was much better than expected.

I forgot to rave about the water clarity. It was a sandy bottom beach with NO lakeweed (a relative of seaweed, usually pretty bad by now in MN lakes), though there was some floating plant matter. There are a few options... they chemically treat it to death, they mow it very regularly (yes, you can mow the lakeweed, its a special mower-boat), Lake Michigan isn't weedy (I highly doubt that), all the activity prevents it from growing, the lake is so polluted that it can't grow (also unlikely) (as far as I've observed in the land of 10,000 lakes, more pollution = more lakeweed) or the weed somehow doesn't grow in the shallow water area of the beach. Besides the lack of lakeweed, the water was just generally very clear. I felt more comfortable going under than I do in many parts of Lake Minnetonka, mostly because I could see the bottom.

also, no fish, dead or alive. I didn't expect live ones with so much activity, but no dead ones either was a pleasant thing. and no rocks (definitely a man-made beach).

Keep Smiling! =) (and an end to my overuse of parenthetical commentary)

Knitting Update

Recent knitting activities: (this was just going to be a list, then I started typing. pictures to come, someday.)

I finished the knitting part of the On the Moon bag from Knitty. Now it just needs 2 small buttons and a large button. I made it with popsicle (turquoise-blue) Cotton-Ease on size 7 needles. I haven't checked the gauge at all, but it holds tampons just fine, which is all that matters. I had to alter the pattern for the I-cord button loops. It says to use the backward loop cast-on to add two stitches, and I just couldn't get that to not be all loose and saggy and ugly, so I cast-on 34 stitches to begin with and went from there. It took me a few tries on the handle to think of that and get it correct-looking. I also added a purl bump row on the right side for where each of the pockets is folded in, mostly because I didn't have the pattern in front of me when I was working on it on the airplane (I didn't print it until a day or two later at my parents' house), and remembered that there were bumps for the fold, and thought it was for all three folding places. P.S. I <3 the cable cast-on.

This was my first experience with seaming that went well. I think its called the mattress stitch, but my Vogue Knitting Reference book (the little version of the bigger book) just called it an invisible vertical seam. It really was invisible once I got the hang of it. So cool.

Also with Cotton-Ease, I started a big ol' gauge swatch. I cast-on 20 stitches and am knitting 20 rows in stockinette, making a purl bump and then switching needle size. So far I have used US size 3 aluminum, size 4 Clover Bamboo (10" long), size 5 Clover bamboo (14" long), and size 6 aluminum needles. Next will be my favorite needles, size 7 yellow plastic. Next in line will be size 8 Denise, size 9 casein, and 10, 10.5 and on up will all be from the Denise set. The ball label calls for a gauge over 4" of 17st + 24 rows on size 8 needles (aka Aran weight). I saw this exercise written up somewhere to demonstrate how needle size, gauge and the resulting knitted fabric are all related. I figured that since I hoarded so much Cotton-Ease, I should see how it knits up over the whole range. When I finish, I will post a picture or two.

At the White Sox game on Friday with Charlie I cast-on (with 6" US size 2 dpns from Crystal Palace) for "Beginner's Lightweight Socks" from a Knitting Pure & Simple pattern. It was in fact the first pattern I ever bought individually, and I still haven't made anything from it. I am using the first sock yarn I ever bought as well. Its very gaudy, pink, orange, blue, green and yellow. I have no idea how it is going to stripe up, as I lost the ball bands ages ago and haven't made much progress on the socks.

I am into the ribbing right now (I told you I hadn't made much progress) and am trying out the Norwegian Purl. Its very loose, and I'm not sure how to tighten up my purls and still do them the magical Norwegian way. I love not having to move the yarn back to front and front to back all the time. Also, I hold/throw the yarn with my left thumb when I purl the "normal" way, and I hold/throw the yarn with my left index finger when I knit/have the yarn at the back of the work, so there is a lot of rearranging needed to do ribbing the "normal" way. And thusly, I hate ribbing.

On these socks I think that I am going to do more ribbing, to make up for its loosey-goosey nature and not go the whole 7" on the leg. My first pair of socks were just too tall at a 7" leg and 10 rounds of ribbing was insufficient. The size 2 needles are like toothpicks. A woman on the train going home asked if I was crocheting, and when told that I was knitting, she said that she didn't know you could knit with such small sticks.

Also in progress is the "Lunchbag Tote" from Knit One, Felt Too for my mom. I finished the main bag part and made a swatch. In that order. I don't care about gauge as much as checking the ratio of felted to unfelted size. Besides washing the test swatch, I need to go to the fabric store and get washable 9/16" seam binding. I have no idea what that is, but the pattern calls for it, and maybe all will be clear as mud in the instructions once I have it in hand.

That's it for the current WIPs (Works in Progress), I will post photos when there is something finished to show.

Peg, feel free to ask as many questions as you want about what I've written. Someday, you will learn how to purl. and then you will no longer be a baby knitter. Does the farm that you bought shares in have sheep/wool/yarn available? If they do, you might be able to take a class there, if you were interested. And you work in Manhattan, where there are many opportunities to learn how to purl.

Keep Smiling! =) especially if you made it this far.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

something witty

This is a picture of the needle case, stitch markers, sheep, safety pins and the edges of the booklets.

I got these two booklets, Magic Loop and Beginner Stitches. The Magic Loop is a way to make small circumference circular items using a very long circular needle. I will try it one of these days, when I'm feeling patient.

This is a closeup of the stitch markers, though a bit blurry. As I type this, I am remembering that I could've set the camera to MACRO mode to get a clear, close-up picture. Next time. I really like these stitch markers, they inspire me to want to make my own.

That's all for the pictures.

In other Knitting news... i have no idea what I was going to write here. The phone rang and I got distracted by work. Its time for bed. Leave comments, people!


I started a post that was oh-so-very excited about using Blogger Images to host pictures of my SP5 June package. But I have failed to actually post a picture, except for the test post of Katarina and the Bag. Isn't she cute? But still, no pictures via the Blogger Images of the package.
Here is an inventory for those who want to know:
  1. The Magic Loop booklet
  2. Beginner's Guide Knit Stitches and Easy Projects booklet
  3. blue-green-purple-white needle case (I am so excited! I have my grandmother's old needle case, but it is so ratty and doesn't hold all my needles. now I have a nice, new one)
  4. a small painted, wood sheep
  5. 3 sets of Beaded Stitch Markers
    1. 1 set of 4 that say "Knit" or "Purl" in those letter necklace beads
    2. 1 set of blue glass beaded ones
    3. 1 set of green sculpey/ceramic beaded ones
  6. a very nice card
  7. a package of coilless safety pins
Now its back to battling the picture hosting. Maybe ImageShack will work out better for me.

photo test post

This is a test post of the blogger picture hosting. This cat is Katarina, my roommate in New Haven, Amber's cat. Isn't she cute? She loved water and climbing legs. She made Amber crazy because she really liked to sleep on our faces and lick and bite our noses.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


no, i didn't get lucky... i'm just posting with some yay boo

blogger has integrated image hosting

i got my june package from my secret pal yesterday

my secret pal got her package yesterday too, finally

I spent 12 hours at work today

i'm going to sleep now

more tomorrow.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

doing better

just a quick update in cryptic language (sorry SP)...

Things are going better at work, which is good. Bidding jobs always seems to expose my gaps in knowledge the most of any activity.

We should be down to the blockhouse after the holiday weekend.

"Value Engineering" = the commercial world equivalent of a Ming Meeting w/ Ben.

I sure hope that I get a good database for HAS hour tracking when that moves over to me.

I have to frog 2 rows of the base of the bag I'm making for my mom. It's going to be felted, but I lost my place on stockinette (reading at the same time) and got a purl bump on the right side. Goes to show that reading, drinking beer, listening to music and knitting can't really all go together.

Back to work. Thanks for listening to the update. =)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


and not the fun kind.

I need to get a city sticker. I even got a ticket this morning (the city of chicago is short on cash) for not having one. I was going to order it online, but I don't know my license plate # off the top of my head, and once I go outside to look, I may as well go to the corner currency exchange to purchase it, since there will be a fee either way.

In other news, I still have nothing to wear to the wedding on Saturday. But I am getting my hair cut tomorrow evening. Yay! first time since January. I look like a rat right now.

I need to clean my room. I think that to do that, I need to organize my possessions better. Perhaps some shelves or a desk or something.

The printer is still in the car. Tonight I finally have an actual, critical reason to dig it out and set it up... I can't print the postage for the package for my secret pal at work, so I need to do it at home, and take it in to the box (which I left at the office) tomorrow so that it gets mailed. Well, at least its a reason.

I can't do anything right at work. Ken should yell at me or something for being lame. I even couldn't figure out rigging today. Granted, it was the Marriott, and non-standard rigging situations are not my strong point, but I still felt dumb because the worrywarts on the job wanted me to figure out the rigging instead of doing it or having drafting do it, since my hours are tracked to a lesser extent against the job.

Not sure how I feel about the new director of sales and marketing at work. She's nice, but maybe too nice. So, well, into it. She's totally down with all this meeting and talking and getting to know us and the company. But in the end, I don't have much to say to her except, "welcome, let me know if you need something that somehow I am the one to ask about, (which is highly unlikely to ever happen unless its SteelDeck)." She seems very interested in the stuff related to being a woman in a man's world, and to chat about "girly" things, but really, its like talking to my mom, but east-coast/southern, and outgoing, and well, in a commercial scene shop. I'm sure that she'll be great with customers. I look forward to her being done with training in the Zommer Unit, just so that things can be back to "normal".

We're going to be totally over on everything you can be over on for the job I am PMing. My only hope is that it doesn't make RFD too angy or that he is distracted by another job, headed up by the other young PM, that is going even worse and with less control on the downward spiral.

I'm not sure what I think about being a project manager. I hope that I get the hang of it eventually, or that I carve out a different niche in the company with something that I'm better at. I suspect that KZ is starting to think that maybe they should've stuck by their usual way of not hiring people right out of school... I've been here a bit over four months and don't feel like I've made much progress. But what I really dread is the 12-18 month mark. Apparently, that's when the shop just tears into new PMs and they either break or they get through it. Until then, they are giving you your chances to screw up and learn, and if you survive, well, then you survived. But in that period you are supposed to find your own self as a manager and take charge and assert yourself. any friends you had will suddenly disappear on the shop floor and upstairs will be unsupportive. or something. I hope that N makes it that far so that I can see it before I get there. But that's awful of me to wish on anyone, but I also want him to survive.

After I get the printer set-up, my next computer project is to get picture hosting worked out for this here blog.

In other news, the dead rat on the sidewalk in front of the shop was removed today. But I still refuse to use the downstairs bathrooms due to the unfortunate combination of a cockroach problem and Bob wanting the bathroom lights to be turned off when they aren't being used due to the high electricity bill.

Keep Smiling! =)

SP5 Update

I have gathered my gifts, decided what to send in this package, found a box, made layers (for more treasure hunt fun!) with tissue paper, brought the box to work, sealed it up, weighed it (2 lbs, 4 oz.) and now I can't seem to print the paid label for ARGH. I'll talk to the receptionist in a bit about that.

Here's what I'm sending:
  • a mesh lingerie bag (to wash the items to be made with what's inside)
  • inside of that is a pair of Addi Turbo needles, 40" long, size 2
  • 2 balls of Knit Picks' Dancing in color Ballet (pink and purple)
  • stickers for the kids
  • Spring/Summer Vogue Knitting 2005
  • a chick lit summer romance novel
  • I think something else, but now its sealed so I can't remember

I hope that she likes it. I am planning the next package to be all about being an organized knitter, with a binder, page protectors, patterns printed nicely from online, pencil pouch with necessary accesories, stuff like that. The third package is as-yet unknown. Maybe something with that Cotton-Ease?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

rambling stuff

I was checking the blogs list in my bookmarks sidebar when I remembered that I have a Secret Pal out there (hi!) who is checking my blog and being sad that I don't update. Or at least, that's how it happens when I check my pal's livejournal. So I'll try to be better about updating, but no promises.

I have been in a knitting slump recently. I knit like a madwoman to finish the gifts for Maddie's birthday, which I then didn't send because I didn't want anyone to see the lameness of them. (half the fun of knitting and crafts for my family is having everyone else say how nice they are and how clever I am... we do it for everyone's projects, not just mine) Then my roommate was crafting for the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, and I started thinking about what I was going to make for DIY Trunk Show and Renegade Chicago, which made me question my crafting skills and general coolness level, because I couldn't think of anything. I started making cotton knit coasters with eyelet edges, to see if they could go quickly and cheaply. Maybe, we'll see. Garter stitch squares are boring, but I *did* wash and dry one, and it held up well.

This weekend I've been kinda down (can't tell from the tone of this post, I'd bet) ;) and did some shopping. Joann's had Cotton-Ease on sale for $1.50 a skein and I went nuts... don't even ask how much I got, but I have a wide range of colors and have started bookmarking uses for all of it.

This is just rambling crap. Ignore it all please.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


New Wool Doesn't Itch or Shrink: "While the softer wool will likely appeal to designers in the fashion industry, it is also drawing the attention of an unlikely group -- the U.S. military. The military uses wool for blankets and berets, and would like to add underwear to that list. Currently, military issued undies are made from synthetic materials, which according to Cardamone, can burn and melt into wounds during combat situations."

Haven't they ever heard of cotton panties? I realize that it doesn't wick or keep you very warm, but it sure won't melt into your wound, which seems like it should be a much bigger concern than whatever the problem with cotton is.

Besides that, usually wool that is treated in traditional ways and with fewer chemicals is nicer to work with, though this sounds like a way of making superwash wool that won't wear out. Currently, machine wash and dryable wool (superwash wool) is made by coating the yarn with teflon to keep the scales flat. Eventually, with enough washing, that yarn will felt. The bio-polished sounds incapable of that. Pretty cool, if a bit creepy.