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 USPS.com. 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.

Monday, June 13, 2005

so hard to stick to limits

So I started a spreadsheet for the gifts that I've bought for my Secret Pal. So many things that I want to send... and $50 turns out to be not very much stuff. Must. Be. Frugal. I have $13 left from the original goal of $50... that would barely cover shipping. Maybe some stash stuff? I feel bad sending old acrylic that I don't want though, even if she *is* a new knitter. Its supposed to be fun, but now I'm feeling like I've overspent early on and that the pile of gifts isn't very satisfying. Maybe after the knitpicks stuff arrives it won't seem so heavy on the reading material. Any ideas?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

wow, that's a lot of yarn

Yesterday I went on a Cotton-Ease hunt. No luck at Michaels, but Tuesday Morning in Skokie had 3 bags of yellow cotton-ease (9 balls total = 900grams) left that I scooped up for less than $20. woohoo! On my way home I spotted a Hancock Fabrics and pulled in, just to find that they *also* had Cotton-Ease. I got 3 balls of Cherry Red, 2 balls of Bubblegum and 2 balls of Licorice, all of each color was from the same dyelot at Hancock, I checked. No idea about dyelot on the stuff from Tuesday Morning, I forgot to look. I seem to be developing quite a stash. I'm thinking about making a yellow version of Sitcom Chic, but gifting some to my secret pal has occurred to me as well. I'm sure that she's been reading all about the C-E discontinuation drama on livejournal. If you have any suggestions about what to do with it all, or what kind of plus-size pattern I could send along with part of it to my secret pal down in Alabama on a cattle farm, leave a comment. I'm thinking that this might be the perfect yarn to try out the "Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns" on, since I have a bunch and no real plan for it. (my friend Charlie suggested a Charlie Brown shirt, with the zig zag stripe... anyone know how to do that??)

Edited To Add: I just checked, the Pineapple yarn is all the same dyelot, lucky me!

Thursday, June 9, 2005

Abusive Stamps - New Styles!

Abusive Stamps: "Caution: This product may cause offense and could result in instant dismissal for which Wishingfish.com takes no responsibility."

all i can say is, go take a look Mr. Boevers.


"Beginner's Lightweight Sock #216" and Beginner Mid Weight sock #242 are the two patterns that I have bought. I made the midweight sock, but I bought the lightweight pattern about two years before I ever knit a sock. I had just learned to knit a few months before, and DPNs were too much for me, as was the fingering weight yarn. Soon though, I will make those darn socks!

I think that next up will be baby socks for either Charlotte (Rick and Rachel's baby who is about to be born) or Baby Chetlin (Andrea's baby who will be born in July), depending on my mood. These socks will be made of the leftovers from my first pair of socks, a Regia with blue and purple stripes and the b&w jacquard stripes.

Then next, it will be the really really really bright rainbow colored socks, perhaps in the suggested Broadripple pattern from Knitty or just the plain socks pattern that I bought the yarn for.

Australian Creative Knitting magazine - Spring'04

Australian Afghan:
"You have heard of the Great American Afghan - well we now have the Australian Afghan.
Knit a square for a cushion, incorporate one into a project, or knit the whole afghan. This lovely book was compiled by the members of the Ku-ring-gai branch of the Knitters Guild NSW Australia. Each member who took part was given some yarn and asked to make a 25cm (9�') square with an Australian Theme. The book is beautifully laid out with a note about each knitter and the theme of their square. For a touch of Australiana this is not to be missed!"

I'd like to make at least part of this for my sister's study abroad.

Wednesday, June 8, 2005


I just placed my first knitpicks order!

For me, I got:
  • Coilless Safety Pins
  • Yarn for Baby Tart (even though its sport weight, I'm willing to take my chances, the colors seem nice and the price is right)
    • 2 in Orchid
    • 1 in Sand
  • Yarn for a bag for my mom, the pattern (lunchbag carryall) is in Knit One, Felt Too
    • 7 in Cherry Blossom (I'm going to hold two worsted strands together to get bulky weight)
    • 1 in Hyacinth
For my Secret Pal, I got:
  • cotton/wool/nylon/elastic Sock Yarn in the color "Ballet"... its pink and purple
  • a pair of 40" long, US #2 Addi Turbo circular needles, so now she'll have the yarn and needles for that sock class she's saved for
  • I also might send her some of the safety pins, but we'll see
In my WIP pile...
  • a handful of 100% wool swatches to wash/felt this weekend.
  • a pink and orange (very Tequila Sunrise) beverage cozy, also waiting for felting. This started out as the pattern for a wine bottle holder in K1, Felt Too, but i have no use for a wine bag. But a beverage cozy is fun, so I just stopped short and will probably run it extra in the washer to make it fit a can.
I need to figure out what to start next, its looking like it'll be something sock-y until the knitpicks order comes and the felting happens. Or maybe some more coasters. The cotton ones I made over the weekend work surprisingly well, and dry quite quickly. If anyone out there has a suggestion or a request, leave a comment.

clean desk

Cleaning off my desk really does make work easier, its amazing... now to get some stuff for my Secret Pal soon... She's a new knitter, and interested in socks... I'm still thinking about it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Grocery Store Wars

Grocery Store Wars | Join the Organic Rebellion David already linked to this, and Peg probably will shortly, but I must say, this is fantastic. Those guys at Free Range Studios are very skilled and great with the puns. Go check it out.

Monday, June 6, 2005


I thought that I had made it through the (fairly involved) intake process to get a new psychiatrist today. I even left work early (which means I get to stay late to make up the hours the other 4 days this week) and paid huge amounts for parking, all to be told that they have no record of my existence. No appointment, no paper trail from intake, nothing on the doc's personal calendar, nothing. So I made an appointment for *next* Monday at 3pm, while they wait for the intake lady to come to work tomorrow to straighten this all out. I even called the insurance to confirm that they would pay for this visit to this doctor at this practice.

Oh, and I made a Froogle wishlist (its pretty much all knitting stuff, for the perusal of my SP5 secret pal)... catch the link on the sidebar

Sunday, June 5, 2005


BIG CREEK PRODUCTIONS - Play The Field: "Mix culture with cocktails! This is a great way to explore the Field Museum and experience some of the nation's best live bands inside the city's most unique venue, the magnificent Stanley Field Hall."

Tickets are $15 in advance and include your first drink. Anyone out there want to join me?

Saturday, June 4, 2005

SP5: Some more questions

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with a roommate (who rocks! and knits!). My parents live in Minnesota (Deephaven, for those who care), my sister is 19 and goes to the University of Denver. No boyfriend. no girlfriend. no small children. No pets (mom and dad have a golden retriever, named Baxter, and a black cat named Magic).
12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
Life dreams? Are you kidding me? =)
I'd someday like to live near all my friends instead of being all spread across the country.
I want to own my home. Be a good aunt. Fall in love. Excel at my profession. What more can anyone ask for, really?
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Soft! Not too much splitting. Things that make observers say, "hey, what're you making?" slash "what are you knitting with?"
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Ribbon yarn. I know that isn't a *fiber* technically, but I still find it irritating to knit with.
15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Hmm... I am in the process of swatching for felted projects. And I recently tried socks. Which I look forward to making again. And the mother bear project bears are fun. Using up my stash is really my current knitting obsession. Unfortunately, I have a lot of Lion Brand Homespun, which is awful stuff. I keep putting that off to the side though.
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I like making gifts. And small, instant gratification things. I have yet to make a real garment, though it is on my list.
17. What are you knitting right now?
Hmmm... the WIPs...
  • I have a short-rowed purse/bag for my 6yo cousin in pink and green that looks like a starburst mint that still needs some finishing work done on it.
  • A cat blanket (nee baby blanket) made of the wretched Homespun in darker colors (which apparently aren't good baby blanket colors)
  • recycling some sweaters from the thrift stores
  • swatching for felting projects
Coming soon:
  • lunch bag from Knit One, Felt Too using yarn recycled from thrift store sweaters
  • socks in a very bright, rainbow-y colorway on size 2 needles
  • felted slippers
  • Baby Tart from knitty (still need to get a "crust" colored yarn)

18. What do you think about ponchos?
YUCK! I think that they look ugly and are terribly impractical. Don't blame me for voicing that opinion, you asked. =)
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
I prefer needles that are the right length. I have a Denise set (grandma's case, tips and buttons, new cords) that I've been trying out and i really like them, but I'm not totally sold on circular needles yet.
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Plastic or wood, whatever is available and less expensive. not aluminum. They are way too slippery. So I suspect that I wouldn't like Addi Turbos either. My grandma's needles (the other grandma) are almost all aluminums, except for the ones that are plastic. I love the plastic ones, but have been slowly replacing the metal ones with bamboo and when I can, I use the Denise ones. The Denise tips are so pointy, its great!
21. Are you a sock knitter?
Yes. But I am definitely a newbie. And I have no interest in knitting with yarn that needs to go smaller than a size 2 needle. While I'd love to try the Lorna's Laces yarn, I'd have to go with the sport or worsted weights, because fingering is just too tough to deal with.
22. How did you learn to knit?
a class at the lys near where my parents live. It was fun, and the Coldwater Collaborative is still my favorite yarn store by far. They are nice, helpful, well-stocked and supportive of charity knitting.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
I tend to frog stuff if it isn't going well. The cat blanket has been on the needles since January though. no sign of it getting finished anytime soon.
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
My favorite animal is a cat. Animated character: Bucky the cat from Get Fuzzy.
25. What is your favorite holiday?
26. Is there anything that you collect?
27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I just started an Interweave Knits subscription (haven't gotten one yet) and the Elann.com knittable samples subscription (just got my first one, so fun!)
28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?

Last Minute Knitted Gifts is full of fun things. There are sock books out there that I have various levels of interest in. I'd like to have a stich dictionary for things to practice on the Mother Bears' sweaters.
That's the end of the questionaire. Knowing that my secret pal is reading makes me at least inspired to keep updating. Soon, a froogle wishlist will be added. And eventually, pictures!

In the spirit of the old diaryland diary,

Keep Smiling! =)

Friday, June 3, 2005

SP5 Questionaire... the first 10

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

I am a moderate yarn snob. While I don't want to use Red Heart's scratchy, yucky
acrylic, I have no problems with acrylic-natural blends. And I *love* anything
that is very soft... merino, microfiber, good acrylic, fancy cotton. I dislike
scratchy, rough wool as much as acrylic. And I have a TON of LB Homespun, and
would rather never see the stuff again.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

I would love to learn how to spin (drop
spindle) and needle-felt, but I don't do either of those things right
now. I did just get a Lili la
"Make your own felted beads" kit from the Sampler Shop, and the soft fluffy
roving makes me want to do things beyond roll felted beads.

Crochet was what I did before I learned to knit. I thought that it
would be easier because it would only have one pointy object (the hook), but
once I learned to knit there was no turning back. Knits look nicer and its
much easier to lose your place and direction with crochet.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

Strong smells -- esp. smoke, moth-repellents, wet dog -- are gross.
But no direct allergies.

4. How long have you been knitting?

I learned to knit about two and a half years ago, but I've only been really into
it (besides the occasional scarf) since I finished school in December and needed
something to focus my evening energies on.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Nope, should I? I tend to keep one at KnitPicks, but only as a friendly
reminder to myself.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Unscented? Is that an option? Or lavender. I like lavender
recently. Not vanilla, for sure.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Yes, yes I do! Chocolate and gummies, especially.
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

I like to do glass etching, needlepoint, embroidery on dish towels.
9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

My computer can play MP3s. I don't have a tape player at all.
Someday soon I might have an iPod. My preference of formats is regular old
audio CD, it will play in the car.

Stylistically, girls with guitars (hard rock, bluegrass, folk, punk, emo...
anything if its a female voice and a guitar). And cheesy girl pop (like
80s Madonna and Avril). And solo men with guitars and backing bands
(Clapton, James Taylor). Really, its all about the guitars and voices and
lyrics. But not Belle and Sebastian. They put me to sleep. Literally.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color
family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love Blue. Process Blue, Royal Blue, Sky Blue. Anything in
Red-Purple-Blue family pleases me. I like bright colors. And
colors. And for myself, I really don't like orange. Cooler
shades of the
warm colors are good though.

To my Secret Pal: anything would probably please me. And more answers to follow, though I have stolen enough time now.

Thursday, June 2, 2005

SP5 Questionnaire

I will fill this out later on today/tonight/tomorrow. But I wanted to put it where I would find it again. Soon I will have someone to spoil too! And if you are out there and want to explain to me how to post pictures, please, please, please, leave a comment!
Secret Pal 5: "Questionnaire
This is the Secret Pal questionnaire that has been used in past events.

You can fill out this set of questions, post it to your blog so that your SP buddy can know what you're all about and get helpful ideas to spoil you. Feel free to add questions - anything your pal might need to know about you!

Please wait until the end of May to post this on your blog. That way your buddy will see it and not have to go searching through archives.


1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

4. How long have you been knitting?

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

17. What are you knitting right now?

18. What do you think about ponchos?

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

21. Are you a sock knitter?

22. How did you learn to knit?

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

25. What is your favorite holiday?

26. Is there anything that you collect?

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?