Friday, December 29, 2006


Today, lunch is from Wendy's at Division and Ashland. The fries and chicken nuggets are subpar, and quite unpleasant. But then, the sweet, thick goodness of the Frosty makes me forget all that.

They are evil. It is the Frosty that keeps me coming back and buying the icky stuff.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Freeze! Keep your hands off the Mouse... my continued love affair with the big G

Because the world is a good and decent place, my friend Charlie, who I met during orientation my freshman year at CMU, is currently in town visiting. C used to live in Chicago, but now he works for Google in Mountain View. He makes servers work, I think. I'm sure that there is more to his job than that, but that's the gist of it. He moved out there a year ago, and I have missed him quite a lot, especially when I want to go out to dinner or see a movie, as he is good company for both of those activities. Tonight, I was on the schedule.

We met up, wandered around the vicinity of N. Michigan Avenue and then decided to retrieve my car from the parking lot it was in from my appointment, drove up to my place and had dinner at Thai Pastry. Afterwards, he came over to hang out, and as usually happens, showed me some new tricks that my computer can do, which, also as usual, involved seeing the clever new things that Google is up to, since I had mentioned that I couldn't figure out where they were hiding Reader, and I wanted to give it a try.

Here are the clever new things:
-Keystrokes are now enabled in my Gmail... way faster, its like using Pine or an old-school library computer card catalog system, but with a way better look and, sadly, no cheat sheet row at the bottom telling me all the choices.
-Google Reader, which is where I intend to read all bloggish things, in an attempt to increase productivity by not clicking through my entire list of things I read multiple times everyday, hoping for an update. Also, provided that I update it based on my link list at work, I won't have any more regularly read things that I can only check from one computer or the other because I don't actually know the web address.
-Personalized Google homepage is another thing that I have known existed, but never really explored in any depth, since the last time I had something like that, it was when the MyAndrew thing (is that what it was called? I just know that the SquirrelMail changed) at CMU was launched and it was a mess, so now I was wary of that sort of thing.
-Google Apps for Your Domain makes me want to go and get a domain, just so that I can use this product. In fact, I just might. Does anyone want to get in on a domain for something? I just want to try out the service and such. It comes with private label email...

Clearly, I am a Google fangirl, and there is not much that can be done about it. Someday, maybe, if I am lucky, I will find a job at Google that this theater major is qualified for and maybe I'll even get it. Suggestions? Let me know. Also, go and try out these new toys! Switch to keystrokes. Keep your hands off the mouse!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

"Its like I'm eating warm, stale popcorn" -my roommate, this evening

For Christmas, I received a stovetop popcorn maker from Baxter and Magic (the dog and cat), which came with cute popcorn boxes and packets of "movie theater" popcorn to make, with the oil and kernels separated. And its gross. I have made a fair bit of very very good stovetop popcorn in the last few years, which I think is way better than movie theater popcorn that you get these days, since all that stuff is pre-popped and artificially flavored (not that i don't eat it, but I'm just saying... mine is better).

As I was dumping the divided pouch into the hand-crank popcorn popper, I thought to myself, "why is that oil so yellow?". Then, I noticed that there was a yellow powder that had been in with the kernels that all sort of clumped in the pan. So, apparently, it came with its own movie theater popcorn artificial flavoring. And it tastes like movie theater popcorn. The real stuff. In all of its staleness and fakeness.

I will report back when I try the popper with regular oil and popcorn kernels. If anyone actually likes this stuff (it is compelling to eat about 2 cups of it, then you think about it and wonder why you did), I will be happy to pay the shipping to send it out to you. Just drop a line and it'll be on its way.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thank you Babs!

Originally uploaded by babelbabebts.
Ms. BabelBabe sent me two Christopher Radko ornaments that were her mothers, and this is one of them. It is huge, has its own storage box and I love it in all of its hand painted, glittery, Santa, Polish glass glory. The other one is the wishing well.

I am a very lucky girl to have such a nice blog friend. Thanks BB!

Monday, December 18, 2006

and Dingo was his name, oh

and Dingo was his name, oh
Originally uploaded by tdgirl.
Here is a photo of the most well-groomed dog that we saw in all of Australia. Also, I'm testing the blogging to beta in Flickr! (and yes, I know that they lost the exclamation point when yahoo! bought them... too bad, I think its kicky)

Sunday, December 17, 2006


I went beta, as I'm sure you can tell.

So far, all I did was pick a new template, and email with Sarah Louise about it. I am knitting a new thing (finally!.... though it isn't the hat-for-dad that is due next Monday morning, for Xmas and all... its the one thing that he asked for, and I'm being a slacker!)

If anyone has tips for how to get buttons and my Flickr! badge back into my sidebar, I'd appreciate it, otherwise, I'll sort it out this week.

Questions I'm wondering about:
  • What am I supposed to talk to the psychiatrist/therapist about?
  • Does Blue Moon have a higher alcohol content than other beers?
  • What is an "emergent" church? Is that code for liberal? Or is there a doctrinal difference?
  • When is the best time to bring the gifts for my boss' grandkids to work for him to take home? Tomorrow? next Friday? Sometime in between? Drop them off at the house?
  • I have an awesome pair of yellow plastic vintage needles that were my grandma's... how do I get another pair, in different sizes? I love the tips.
  • Will my mittens come this week?
that is all.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Jesus Goes Shopping

Look, its Jesus in Chicago!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Open Letters

Dear Staples,
I figured out where all of your Large Binder Clips are. You can stop looking. They are all at the Office Depot.

Love, the girl who doesn't think that 1 1/4" binder clips are big enough

P.S. No, I don't want you to order them. If I wanted to order them, I wouldn't have come to the store in the first place.


Dear Joann Fabrics,
I do not like your decor section. Everything is very small, and thus useless for commercial decoration. But you suck me in with the hope that the large decoration section will somehow include large decorations. Alas, all you have are small decorations that I want to buy and put up on my own tree, but I do not have time to dilly dally with personal purchases when I need decor or props NOW.
Yours truly, a young project manager


Dear Decorators,
Those clips you have that go into the concession stand to hold decorations are really cool. Where did they come from?
Sincerely yours, me


Dear Apartment,
Why are you so inconsistent in temperature? Some nights, the radiators are blasting and its almost too hot. And then, you go for a few days where it is barely warm enough to be legal. I would just like you to find a middle ground and stay there, all winter, October through April. Is that too much to ask? Apparently it is.
From, the girl on the East side of Apartment 2


Its the little things that are big...

48 table clips: $6

1 roll of red plastic table cloth: $12.99

4 dozen 2" binder clips: $12 (and 3 office supply superstores)

2 dozen 6" glitter snowflakes: $18

4 dozen 11" glitter snowflakes: $150

Finding snowflakes at two party stores of the same chain, the night before the preview party, that match what you bought from the wholesaler in October exactly, (except that they are retail priced and packaged individually) so that you don't have to take down the ones the crew put up this afternoon, nor do you have to explain to the designer that it really does look better with a mix of different types of snowflakes: Priceless!

Sunday, December 3, 2006

I'll be meme for Christmas

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Egg nog is foul, so I'll go for Hot Chocolate, but in truth, my preference is for Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate or hot apple cider.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Um, what are you talking about? Santa doesn't wrap or put them under the tree. The stockings are by the fireplace, in the family room, where the gifts are stacked and the stockings stuffed. The regular, given by real, non-mythical gift-givers, are in the living room, wrapped, under the tree. My mother would never add wrapping to her list

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
I grew up with multi lights, and I like them, but white for the house and a pre-lit tree, multi on the tree if you are getting strands.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

5. When do you put up your decorations?
At some point between Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas.

6. What is your favorite Christmas meal include?
Scrambled eggs, kringla, mimosas, banana goop, Christmas cookies, Christmas chocolates

7. Favorite Holiday Christmas memory as a child?
In Chicago, any of them that was just the nuclear family in the morning, with visiting neighbors in the afternoon. (You can read that as involving no paternal extended relatives)

In Minnesota, I was never really a child in the part of my life that I can remember, but our first Christmas there was nice, because there was some super-extended family and everyone was healthy.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
The truth? If I don't continue to profess belief, there will be no more Santa. So as far as I'm concerned, Santa is real, assisted by my mother with the logistics.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yes. One, from my parents. My sister and I both receive pajamas and they are usually such that we make a coordinated pair. When we were very small, they were the same. Now, they are the same style, different patterns. Christmas is the one day of the year that I am gauranteed to wear matching pjs. (this pleases my family greatly) When we were small, there was sometimes more gift opening, but willpower increases as you grow up, and the one who most wants to open the gifts is my dad. He loses 3-1.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
If I get a tree, this will be my first year with a tree that has ornaments that are actually *mine* that I have saved from previous years and will add to in the future. If I find a pre-lit, fake tree that I like, I will set it up and show you all.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Snow is lovely. I love snow. Snow is a necessary part of the winter environment, it insulates the ground, provides water in the springtime and looks nice until it looks like dirty slush. I prefer to not drive in a blizzard, but I can and do manage even that just fine.

12. Can you ice skate?
yes, of course.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I can't remember my favorite gift to receive. However, my dad's crazy sister gave me a gray Columbia fleece jacket a few years ago that I wear pretty much continually. That is the best gift that I have ever received from her. I now own the blue fleece vest that my sister got that year and never wore, she finally cleaned out her closet and my mom gave it to me to love.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays Christmas for you?
Being home with my family for all the festivities.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Christmas Dessert?
COOKIES!!!. of any and all sort, except for gingerbread. Gingersnaps are ok. and my Aunt's ginger cookies. Just not that thick, chewy gingerbread stuff. There is a reason people don't eat the gingerbread houses.

16. What is your favorite Holiday Christmas tradition?
Cathedral Shelter Christmas Baskets and other Adopt-a-Family-type activities.

17. What tops your tree?
Nothing at my house (see above) and nothing at my mom's house since the glass-ball Santa from her childhood finally gave up years ago. I covet one of the Radko toppers, but that will wait until I have a real household set-up.

18. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
All of them, even the 12 days of Christmas, but not before Thanksgiving.
In Church, my favorite Christmas Eve song is Joy to the World. In the Christmas Season of church, I like Go Tell it On the Mountain. On the radio, my favorite is Grandma got run over by a reindeer, as it reminds me of my very first snow day ever. (it was playing on the radio when I was told there would be no school in kindergarten... we had just moved to Chicago from San Francisco) Oh, and my mother's frustration with how funny I find it as she is sad for the squashed grandma that no one found until the morning. Cruel, but hilarious.

Another unexpected advert...

this time, in my most recent copy of The Economist, I found a large, surprising ad. With white text on a black background (and a freaking HUGE logo), is an ad for Al Jazeera in English, as a worldwide media outlet "uniquely positioned to reverse the global information flow, reporting from South to North...". For some reason, I never really thought about Al Jazeera as being a worldwide media source, or particularly mainstream outside of the Middle East, but I am obviously out of the loop. Do any of you with fancy TV service get Al Jazeera? I want to know what it is like. What kind of an accent do the anchors have? How do the politics swing? Does it look like a regular Western media outlet on screen, or more like a SNL spoof set?

Other things I learned since this ad sent me out of bed and onto the internet:
New things that I wonder about:
  • what is the history of the flags of Qatar and Bahrain that they are so similar?
  • Will these bullet points show up as bullets? They used to, and recently I noticed that my template seems to have lost them. I am sad, and my posts look weirdly unformatted.
  • Am I a nerd more because I love Ben's photos of rigging cable or because I would be very happy if I had a fresh copy of the World FactBook every year?
  • What is a Thessalonian? Where is Thessalonia?
And now, it is time for sleeping, again.

I love google ads next to my email...

They just lead me to the oddest websites, which then make me wonder what the computer is "thinking" as it spools up that ad to go along with my email.

Today's discovery?, which is exactly what you expect it to be. I've never thought much about burlap, but especially not about all of the niche markets and companies there are out in the world. Go take a look and be amazed at the wide variety of burlap products available to you.

Newest Friend of P

I am about a week late in mentioning this over here at the Mixer, but I now have learn-to-spin handspindle kits for sale over at Piddleloop. Each kit has a Babe handspindle (with the leader already attached), 2 ounces of Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) fiber, two (2) 1 oz. nests of "fluff" as Jennifer calls fiber for spinning, high quality instructional brochures from Interweave Press and all of it is in a handy canvas drawstring bag.

I chose the Babe spindle because it was (1) available for me to purchase in quantity at a reasonable price, to keep the kit price low, (2) adjustable for weight and (3) adjustable for whorl location in relation to the hook, so you can spin high or low whorl, even Balkan mid-whorl if you really want. As well, you can use two discs to make the spindle heavier for thicker yarn and/or plying and one disc for thinner yarn or just because. I have set up all the spindles with two whorls and a leader so that its ready to spin right out of the bag.

Jennifer has a lovely write-up about the kits on her blog about why these kits are good. I will be dying up more wool for kits, as her site statistics show that people click on the colored kits more than the ones with assorted types of fiber. Easter can't come soon enough, since I use Easter egg dyes as my primary acid dye. It doesn't have any smell (like kool aid) and there are more colors available. On a spin list I was given the hint to try to find packages that sound like they have two or three packs of color inside, since the factories are very inaccurate about only putting one packet in at a time. It totally works, and I got a few boxes last year that had extra colors.

So, if you have any interest in learning to make yarn, or you know someone who would like to learn, this kit is a very good value and has everything you need to make enough yarn for a hat.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Triple Dork

Mr. Ben Peoples, originally of Louisville, Kentucky and currently maintaining residence in Alameda, California with his lovely wife Sarah Deutsch, founder of Pinkleberry Services, would like to announce that he is officially a Triple Dork. Not only is Mr. Peoples a Rigging Dork and a Photo Dork, but he is also a Triple Dork as he wishes to promote his business, Ben Peoples Photography, via the 21st century medium known as blogging. Mr. Peoples invites all interested parties to visit his website, found at Quilters are encouraged to enquire within about his quilt photo shoots at reasonable rates.

A link will be added shortly to the side bar to the Ben Peoples Photography webpage.

Geek Alert

Elevator cables
Originally uploaded by blp1979.

Ben humored my desire to see pictures of the re-roping of his office building's elevators, and this one is a double geek picture... he's got high photographer lighting geek thing and the rigging geek thing both going on full strength here.

Thanks for putting these up on flickr! for me! And yes, I don't care if flickr! lost the ! when yahoo! bought them. I still prefer it as flickr! and yahoo. So there. I am the queen of my bloggity blog.

Whoa! Knitting Content!

The new MagKnits is up, and here are some thoughts:
  • I am in love with Cinnabar! I am not much for things that I have to pay close attention to, which is why the girl that I am an Angel for in the One Skein Secret Pal Swap still doesn't have her gauntlets (they are so neat, but fiddly, and I had to rework the pattern to fit the yarn), but I absolutely need to knit this scarf. Does anyone want one on a no-way-will-I-have-a-deadline sort of way? I might make it for me, but I really like wearing my Yale Drama Scarf, and I can't be trusted with more than one scarf out of the closet at a time, so I'm not very inclined to make a wardrobe of scarves. Someday, I might have a coat rack, and then I could have more than one scarf.
  • I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was not anything by a particular designer that I am not fond of, and then, when I went back through the archives to find things of her's to show you that I am not fond of, I see that she hasn't had anything for more than a year. So I was wrong, and that is probably the third time today that I have had to folly of backbiting pointed out to me by the universe. I thank God for reminding me to be a better person, even if it is a struggle every day. And this has not been gentle reminders. More like, slap me upside the head, shake me around and say, "Think Before You Speak! If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all! What goes around comes around! It is not your place to criticize! You might be right, but you are probably wrong, Check Your Facts!" I have had some lessons in humility today, that is all.
  • The Party Lace Scarf is a nice idea, but it could use a firmer blocking and I think that the placement of the crystals is uninspired. But if someone wanted one, I might knit it, the pattern is pretty easy, even if the yarn is tricky.
  • The world does not need anymore ruffled scarves. And that dog absolutely does not want to wear one.
  • The Easygoing Potholders are a lovely idea, and if I made them, it would be with superwash wool, instead of cotton, or maybe felted wool. Mostly because wool is a better insulator, and also because it looks like a lined dishcloth right now. Probably because the designer used dishcloth yarn. The suggestion to make a matching apron is genius, and wonderful. I would not turn down an apron that matched my potholder.
  • The Malagaiter has been done, but I still like it. The designer is from Minnesota, and I lover her comment in the pattern notes about men wearing a bow on the top of their heads. Go check it out. I just re-read the pattern, and this item might be the answer to my OSSP Swap Angel blues, it will use the same skein of yellow yarn, and I don't have to do anything fiddly. Oh, and there is a brioche option. I <3>
  • The Counterpoint Scarf is one of the first illusion knit scarves that has made me think that illusion knitting is anything beyond novel knitting. It uses the need to look at the scarf from the edge in a way that is logical. Also, if you have a music enthusiast in your life, they could wear this scarf without everyone saying, "Hey, great piano scarf you've got there." I probably won't make it, but if I ever need a scarf that looks like a piano but doesn't look like a piano scarf, I will know that the pattern is out there.
  • K-Chan is by yet another Minnesota knitter (in a British magazine too!), and I think that I might print it out for my SP9 pal, along with getting her a certain other one-skein Kureyon pattern, to go along with a skein that I bought at Coldwater over Thanksgiving.
  • I won't leave out the Hourglass Socks in my mention, but sock patterns don't really draw me in. I think that knitting socks is a great idea, but as patterns, they still look like socks. I'm sure that it is a well-written pattern, but I don't really care about more sock patterns. I don't knit socks very often, I just can't get gauge.
That is what I have to say about the new MagKnits. There should also be a new Knitty coming out soon, which will be fun. This weekend will be all about knitting, dying balls of roving and finishing my Christmas Basket.

Keep Smiling! =)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

slacking, questioning, ellipses

I have a new officemate... he is not the new Rentals Manager... my approach to running rentals can best be described as being similar to Slovenia holding the EU presidency... it supposed to snow tonight... i'll believe it when I see it... the landlord has supposedly fixed the bathtub... why does a lightbulb burning out throw the circuit breaker every time??? the TANBI clan is in my thoughts and prayers... did I get enough stuff for my Xmas basket family??? what is the point of seeing the psychiatrist or therapist every week??? why is it so hard to get everything on the truck the first time??? I should go to the grocery store... on-site sheets amuse me, they probably shouldn't... there are spindle kits at Piddleloop, go buy them for your fiber-addicted friends (but not me, I made them)... why isn't there a subscription to The Economist on offer from Chicago Public Radio this year for a donation??? how does a doctor run out of prescription pads??? why is the health care delivery system in Chicago so backwards compared to Minneapolis??? at least Pittsburgh has Walgreens now... I totally failed at NaBloPoMo... Lacey bought a car... What color is it??? the new Rose Brand snowflakes are awesome, I don't care if no one believes me that they will survive being on the truck... feel free to answer the questions I have... my freezer should regenerate the cookies after I eat them...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Eats Shoots and Leaves

No, its not a book review, just an example of how punctuation (and spaces) can make a huge difference in meaning:

To Do:
-buy pan ties

Multiple times today, I saw that as "buy panties"... which made me wonder why a purchase of undergarments was on my to-do list at work. Someone once bought a bunch of lingerie for a job, but in my case, I should have written zip ties, or cable ties, or just about anything else that wouldn't have distracted me throughout the day.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Things we do do around here

On a more positive note than the previous list meme, here we have:

Things we do do, even if there is something wrong with them:
  • ice cream for breakfast
  • water, all the time
  • water, sparkling (but never flavored)
  • water down the cherry limeade
  • church (there are 3 links there)
  • Christmas Baskets
  • recycle cans
  • lakes
  • mountains
  • Books!
  • wool
  • grilled cheese
  • pop tarts (no more than 4 boxes per year, only on sale)
  • Thai food
  • computer games
  • use the wash, dry, fold service at the Laundromat
  • choose a bank because its in the grocery store
  • take Dad's investment advice
  • call Mom
  • fake Xmas trees
  • pizza
  • vote

Sarah Louise and McCellania and blackbird have all done this one!


Well, it turns out that I can't upgrade to Blogger Beta. They are taking it slow (which is good), so there isn't a link on my dashboard page to even give me the option. The random decider of who gets the link must have known that I am not the type to switch just because its there. But now that I'm starting to see the new, fancy, upgraded blogs, and I hear about how much easier the navigation is (even if the commenting on non-beta blogs is less easy) I was starting to warm to the idea.

Oh well, its not going to happen today. Maybe after car show season, but before bonus time.

*edited to add*
There sure are a lot of different kinds of plywood around here. Some things never cease to amaze. No wonder it doesn't always get racked... its like a freakin' lumber yard in the land of commercial scenery.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Badger's Inadvertent Meme

Things we just don't do over here, not that there's anything wrong with them

  • scrapbooking
  • camping
  • cross-stitch
  • pick-up trucks
  • acrylic yarn
  • filing cabinets
  • non-down comforters
  • store-bought quilts
  • bake the store-bought Toll House cookie dough
  • coffee
  • biscotti
  • beef
  • non-fish seafood
  • Survivor
  • 8am church
  • very tall socks
  • knick knacks
  • pork
  • wine
  • sweet potatos
  • jogging/running
  • mayo
Go check out blackbird and Joke's lists!

There sure are a lot of food type-things on the list, but then again, I don't have kiddos who might cause me to add things like scouts, action figures, gaming systems, and attachment parenting.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Canticle of the Turning

There was a great song as the Offertory Hymn today at church, Canticle of the Turning. I will write more later folks.

Here is a link where you can hear the first 60 seconds.
Scroll down a ways on this page to see all the words.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

pre-yarn activities

I am, so far, failing at NoBloPoMo, but maybe I'll make it up as the month goes on. The new tires are still great, the visit to Michigan was nice, Nicole's set was well-done at the Boarshead. I would have stayed to see the play, but we were headed to the movies when we stopped by, not having eaten yet, and there is no popcorn at the theatre. My stomach voted and we went to see "Man of the Year". It was very good, I highly recommend it. While it was very funny, it was also a reflection of current politics that may have even hit too close to home.

This weekend, I am going to NW Indiana to visit Jennifer and Erin and folks while helping out as the "money lady" at the SELF School Christmas Craft Fair. I'm not exactly sure what its called, but its in Valporaiso, IN. If you are interested in more details, visit Piddleloop or leave a comment here. Piddleloop Sewing Team, Mustache Factory and Friends will have two tables. On the "and Friends" table, I will have some spindle kits to sell. They will have a Babe Spindle, instructions from Interweave Press (and hopefully my own instructions for tying on the leader and blending two colors without handcards), leader strings, 2 oz of natural colored BFL wool and 2 oz of dyed BFL, all in a handy canvas bag. I will have up to a dozen with me, as that's how many bags I bought.

Tonight I have been dying up wool, using Easter egg tablets and Kool-Aid, in 1 oz lengths to put with the kits. I think that I will have a basket with all the little bits in nest-balls and when someone buys a kit, they can choose two nest-balls. That way all the color options are there from the get-go, I don't have to decide how they are going in the kits and I don't have to repack them all. Easter Egg tablets are far superior to Kool-Aid in both color range (something besides red, green and blue) and the lack of a smell. However, before embarking on using 24 tablets, you should make sure that your vinegar is in good supply. I ran out tonight, which is why I switched to drink mix at the end.

I think that in the basket of 1oz wool nest-balls I will have some other types of wool as well, and a little sign explaining what they are. I have Shetland (moorit), Wensleydale (ecru), Domestic Wool (white), superwash Merino (white) and maybe something else as well. If I put out 2 oz of each, that might be a good way to mix it up and I might not have to dye up the rest of the nests that I didn't have vinegar for tonight, and still have sufficient wool for all the kits that I bring. Jennifer will be putting any kits that don't sell up in the Piddleloop store, and if you want one directly, you can email me and we'll work something out.

Monday, November 6, 2006


I am sick with a cold.

Right now, I am taking Sudafed PE because that's what Anne had when I found that there was no Sudafed in my house. Normally, I would take the 12-hour tablets, because there is no reason to only take the stuff for 4-6 hours at a time. But I am clearly out of them.

Has anyone used both original pseudoephedrine and the new PE stuff for the same cold? How do they compare? I think that the real, original stuff probably works better, but its hard to tell with 4-hour doses.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

The Michelin Man

Today was drive to Michigan, get new tires, see Nicole, Mandy and Jay Day. And I'm going to tell you about the new tires.

WOW! What a difference 4 new tires, an alignment and balance makes. I went for the quite good, step above mid-range tires, that are good for, supposedly, 80,0000 miles. I'm intending to have my car until it totally bites it, and is of no value to anything except Mr. Scrap Metal. Its fully paid for, all I have to worry about is maintenance, gas and insurance. I think that eight more years is reasonable. I've had it since 2002, its got 65,000 miles on it and is 7 years old.

The old tires, Pirellis, were new when I got the car from Poquet Motors in Minneapolis, 40,000 miles ago. They weren't totally shot, but weren't going to make it through the winter and the right front wheel/tire was out of balance. Once it got fixed, I would need a new tire, and then, well, may as well do it all at once.

The gentleman at Sears was helpful, a good salesman and the fancy-schmancy tires I picked were dramatically on sale. Nicole's grandpa (he knows cars!) was helpful on the phone on deciding that since the car still had 80,000 miles on it, and the 40,000 mile tires were more than half the cost of the 80,000 ones, I should get the 80,000 ones. So I did. And it made a noticeable difference (no more mystery vibrations or rattles!) on the drive back from the Sears.

I will be driving down to Mandy's tonight. Just to try out the new tires.

Does anyone know anything/have an opinion on the fuel system flush/cleaning services offered? It is supposed to make your gas mileage better, and clean sounds better than dirty, but it also seems like it might just be an upsell thing. Please let me know.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Its a post, and not a blogthing

Today was the first day of muddling through Rentals, and I survived. My head doesn't even hurt right now. Its not a mess, and as of today, I haven't screwed up any orders. *knock wood*

I finally beat level 10 of Big Money over at Pop Cap Games. I think that I can stop playing this game now. There are more levels, but I am not confident of passing them, ever. I had a screenshot for you, and then it was just a beige box when I put it into blogger.

Its really cold in here. Why is the radiator not warm? It is going to be 18 degrees Farenheit tonight.

I'm going to Michigan this weekend to see Nicole, but I'll try not to fail at NaBloPoMo. Anyone need anything from Threadbear?

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

So long farewell, auf weidersehen good-bye --So Long, Farewell from The Sound of Music

Today was the official last day for Debra Miller at Chicago Scenic. She has been with the company for 15 years, starting in soft goods. Today she leaves two positions open at the company, Rentals Manager and Soft Goods Department Head, as well as the other desk in my office.

Deb is leaving us to pusue her career, that she has had at the same time as working full time+ at CSSI as a "part-time" employee, as an actress. She is Mary Todd Lincoln (aka Crazy Mrs. Lincoln) in a show that tours to schools and other educational venues. You may also have seen her on TLC as the "crazy cat lady" or in Flanagan's Wake in St. Charles, produced by Noble Fool. If you would like to hire Debra for voiceover, camera or live performance work, she is represented by Karen Stavins.

I'll miss you Debbie! Don't think that I won't call you to come in every now and then to help with rentals until Ken hires someone new.

And that is the first post at The Inconsistent Mixer for NaBloPoMo. We'll see how I do.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

All Saints Episcopal Church

All Saints Episcopal Church: I Used To Drink Tea

By The Rev. Bonnie A. Perry
September 10, 2006"

If you have a few minutes, go and read it. The All Saints' website has actually, finally, been updated, and I'm cruising around. This is good stuff, and I wish that I had made it to church that Sunday to hear it. Instead, I was dealing with the death of a co-worker and heading to the south suburbs for a visitation. I should have made it to church, too. Oh well, at least I was able to read the sermon, which I didn't even know was an option.

This is about church

I'm not going to write about my whole history with The Church and church-going and stuff. That could be a book. A book at the bottom of the sales list, a book that no one but my mother would read, but a book-length thing anyway. Maybe if I ever decide to do NaNoWriMo I could base it on that. But it would be boring to make fictional... so moving on.

I attend All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood. It is a lovely church, with a wonderful old building and some nice stained glass and a very open and welcoming spirit backed up be incredibly inclusive service language for the Eucharist. The rector, Rev. Bonnie Perry, and the curate, Rev. Kevin Goodman, are both great speakers and the sermons and even the announcements are a joy to hear.

"Two weeks from today, Sunday, November 12, 2006, the Rt. Rev., soon to be Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Episcopal church's new Presiding Bishop (the most senior Episcopal bishop in the USA) will be preaching at All Saints at the 11:00am worship service. This will be her first parish visit after her elevation. Bishop Jefferts Schori is the first woman to head a province of the Anglican Communion. This is a historic event. Come early as we are likely to host an overflow crowd."

The previous paragraph is pretty much taken right out of the announcements of the service booklet from today's service. If anyone wishes to attend the service and needs more information or a ride or something, please let me know. I wouldn't want to tell you about it and then not be of help in getting you to see the newest Presiding Bishop. That would be mean.

P.S. My mom is jealous of this.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

this started as Administrivia

I have rearranged the sidebar a bit, as I found a clever little sidebar thing (the Word Match) over at Purls and Tails when I was following a link from my SP9 Hostess' blog in the comments. It is available over at The Free Dictionary. I have no idea about their website, and I don't know if the words will change tomorrow, but mine are different from those over at Anne's blog. Give it a try. If it breaks the website when you view it, please let me know right away.

I also moved the archives down the sidebar a bit, as I have been writing over here for more than 2 years and that means that there are 25 archive links. Its a lot to keep up towards the top when there are other more fun things to put on a sidebar.

Does anyone know if Blogger Beta has a 3-bar option? I might switch if I could get the three columns going without ditching this blog entirely. Until then, I'm holding out. It worked well for me on Windows ME, I went straight from Windows 98 to XP and never felt like I was missing anything in between. I am definitely not an early-adopter when it comes to software.

My SP9 downstream pal has received her first gift, a purchased pattern that was emailed to her by Susan over at I'm Knitting As Fast As I Can. Susan was very helpful and invoiced me through PayPal and sent the pattern on to my pal so that everything stayed a secret and I didn't handle the copyrighted pattern in between, when I wasn't buying it for myself. If for some reason you want some knitting pattern copyright angst, go check out Annie Modesitt's post about it. I find that stuff interesting to read about, but I am a knitter and a dork. So take it with a grain of salt.

While exploring Annie's site I found that she has a Cafe Press shop with some good stuff. I want something from this collection, the Knit for Brains set of stuff. If you were actually shopping for me, I would like the long-sleeve tee, canvas tote bag, sweatshirt, or sticker (for my water bottle).

Keep Smiling! =)

Googlebomb attempt

--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl

--AZ-01: Rick Renzi

--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth

--CA-04: John Doolittle

--CA-11: Richard Pombo

--CA-50: Brian Bilbray

--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave

--CO-05: Doug Lamborn

--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell

--CT-04: Christopher Shays

--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan

--FL-16: Joe Negron

--FL-22: Clay Shaw

--ID-01: Bill Sali

--IL-06: Peter Roskam

--IL-10: Mark Kirk

--IL-14: Dennis Hastert

--IN-02: Chris Chocola

--IN-08: John Hostettler

--IA-01: Mike Whalen

--KS-02: Jim Ryun

--KY-03: Anne Northup

--KY-04: Geoff Davis

--MD-Sen: Michael Steele

--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht

--MN-06: Michele Bachmann

--MO-Sen: Jim Talent

--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns

--NV-03: Jon Porter

--NH-02: Charlie Bass

--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson

--NM-01: Heather Wilson

--NY-03: Peter King

--NY-20: John Sweeney

--NY-26: Tom Reynolds

--NY-29: Randy Kuhl

--NC-08: Robin Hayes

--NC-11: Charles Taylor

--OH-01: Steve Chabot

--OH-02: Jean Schmidt

--OH-15: Deborah Pryce

--OH-18: Joy Padgett

--PA-04: Melissa Hart

--PA-07: Curt Weldon

--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick

--PA-10: Don Sherwood

--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee

--TN-Sen: Bob Corker

--VA-Sen: George Allen

--VA-10: Frank Wolf

--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick

--WA-08: Dave Reichert

The article about this campaign season's googlebombs in the NYTimes. If you want to login without all the hassle, go here to get a BugMeNot login.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

An Early Package

An Early Package
Originally uploaded by tdgirl.

Look what I got! There isn't much more to say except that you should click through to flickr! to see what was in those lovely packages.

Thanks pal!

Statistical Anomaly
LogoThere is:
person with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

This has been going around the blogosphere for a bit of time now (I followed the link from Beth's LJ), and there is something that I am wondering, now that I've done it myself. If it comes up with zero people having your name, does that mean that you don't have your name? Or is there yet another one of me out there? I also found that there was also 1 person for my full given name. Now, am I counted twice? Or is it all statistics? Does anyone know?

My SP9 pal sent me an early package for Halloween... I will post about it in full when the camera recovers its power

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Recipe Help

I made this "Cheesy Chicken" Supper Bake tonight, in my two 8" round cake pans as I don't own such a large pan as a 9x13 baking dish. This baffled my mom when I called to ask what I should use instead. The fact that I didn't have even one. I'm sure that she has 3.

I split the contents of the box into two pans, followed the directions (with a fully preheated oven) and came up with some quite reasonable dinner. The problem is that it is very salty and tastes processed. So now I am looking for a way to make the sauce, seasoning and crumb topping parts (the other parts are butter, hot water, egg noodles and chicken breast) in a way that is low on the difficulty and salt scales while high on the yummy scale.

Please send me links or entire recipes or suggestions on how to make this dish, well, better. But remember, I don't even have a 9x13 baking dish. In general, I don't cook. But I'm pretty sure that I could do this better than Campbells.

Keep Smiling! =)

Monday, October 16, 2006


So, SP9's rules say that I have to update regularly over here, and now, Badger
has signed on for National Blog Writing Month, for those of us who are not going to be writing novels, which are totally going to kill portions of the blogosphere for November. The deal is, you have to post something, anything, everyday in November. Even if its insipid. or pointless. Which this blog usually is, as I started this online writing thing for my own selfish reasons long ago on diaryland, and my habits have not really changed. But I'm going to do it. Soon, there will be a button on the sidebar. I might even try reading Fussy sometimes. But my blog-reading list is very long and takes up a lot of knitting time, so probably not. If only the computer could read my mind for the scrolling and clicking, keeping my hands free.

Who wants to do this along with me? Even if you've already announced it, tell me here too.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Best Finished Object

The Bag
Originally uploaded by tdgirl.

For SP9, my hostess, Lorinda is having a contest for us to show off our best finished objects and then she'll use an RNG to choose a winner.

This is my best finished object because, well, I actually finished it. I sent it off to my OSSP, Becky, in August. I knit it with less than one skein of Lorna's Laces Fisherman Wool in the color Irving Park, to give it a Chicago tie-in. There is short row shaping, fancy i-cord for the handles, decreasing I had to pay attention to and then I added some woven flowers, an inside pocket and a magnetic clasp.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

So sorry

Back in early September, I was surfing the KnitPicks website, where I came upon what can only be described as an elbow warmer. There was no further description, at the time, of the purpose of this particular garment. I then went on to write a blog post about the ridiculousness of such an item, here.

In the most recent catalog, all is made clear. For my teasing, I apologize, as the people who need such elbow warmers should not be made fun of. You see, the "elbow warmer" is actually a sleeve to cover up a PICC line and make it less visible. While I'm not sure that the PICC sleeve actually keeps attention away from the medical situation, for those who want to wear them, we shouldn't make fun of elbow warmers.


SP9 Participants

I just went to check up on the Participants list for SP9, and I know that its in alphabetical order, but I am still very honored that The Heathen Housewife is right next to The Inconsistent Mixer. I am a dork and a blogstalker. I'm sorry Shelly.

SP9 questionnaire

I have signed up for SP9, my hostess with the mostess has sent the matches, I will be sending to Dana, and now this questionnaire must be filled out

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love knitting with soft, plied, wool and wool-blend yarns, fingering to heavy worsted weight. The best ones are yarns that knit up on US size 5-8 needles. I am a very loose knitter, even though I am improving in how I hold the yarn to tighten up my socks, but I like the way that I knit naturally better, without any finger looping. It may be loose, but its easy to pick up and put down.

I find much less pleasure in knitting with majority cotton or majority acrylic yarns. I don't have any interest in them, as I live in a cold place and sheep make wool without petrochemicals. Also, I find that cotton yarns seem to make my hands hurt over time.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
My Denise needles have a case (an original, red case, as I inherited an incomplete set from my paternal grandmother). The DPNs go in a Piddleloop pencil pouch (that Jennifer made just for me!). Straight needles are theoretically contained in my grandmother's ancient needle case (when I learned how to knit, my aunt gave me the knitting things from my maternal grandmother that had been in storage for more than 10 years), but they tend to just pop out of the woodwork, probably because I never use them and they seem to want attention. I have fabric for making needle cases, but I have yet to actually deal with the sewing machine to do it.
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I learned to knit at a free Saturday morning class at Coldwater Collaborative in Excelsior, MN, December 2002 when I was home from school on Xmas vacation. My grandmother (paternal) tried to teach me when I was a child, but she got frustrated that I was messing up her knitting project, and I didn't want to learn that way. Or something. It didn't end well and there was a knitting truce.

I consider myself an intermediate knitter. I have yet to make a sweater, but there isn't anything that I've tried that has totally daunted me. The only thing that scares me about knitting projects is that I have the attention span of a fruit fly.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I might, but its terribly out of date. If you really want me to put something together, I could.
5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
I like mint and other "wake up" smells, but for the most part, candles and bath products are wasted on me. I use Dove bar soap. I have unscented antibacterial hand soap. Candles are just asking for me to start the 21st century Chicago Fire. Also, if I were to light candles, they would be unscented tapers on the dinner table, either white or color coordinated with the centerpiece/dishes/linens/room, in basic glass or heirloom silver candle holders. I do like chapstick though. =) That isn't very exciting.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I have a serious sweet tooth. I like dark chocolate and milk chocolate. I think that Hershey's is too waxy. Dove Promises (those little foil wrapped ones) are a staple item in my coworker's desk (where I put them so that there is some shame if I eat 374329 of them in one day). I also love good gummies. Take 5 bars are really, strangely, good. If you are in Australia (or maybe Cost Plus World Market), they have Starburst Gummy Babies, TimTams and Picnic candy bars. All of which are really quite tasty.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I spin, mainly on my Lendrum wheel, and I teach a class in basic drop spindle technique at Arcadia Knitting. I like handspun yarn and I find it to be magical when wool turns into yarn.

I also dabble in embroidery on dish towels. This is mainly because my mother loves dishtowels and seems to be fairly ambivalent towards handknits. I aim to please and have my creations appreciated.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like non-traditional, lyrics driven, upbeat, rock-and-roll bands and singer-songwriters, I think. Here are some artists that I like, maybe you know how they fit together: Down the Line, Barenaked Ladies, Indigo Girls, Cowboy Mouth. My computer can play MP3s
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love blue. Blue goes best with: red, purple, black, gray, green, cream, white
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with a non-knitting roommate. I have a mom, dad and a younger sister. They are super. Mom's a nurse, Dad's in sales and my sister is studying biology with a second major in globe trotting and a minor in chemistry. She is going to be a doctor, and then probably do relief work in an effort to see every corner of the globe. I love my sister and wish that I had been more adventurous and less focused in school. My parents have a golden retriever named Baxter, and my sister's cat named Magic lives there too. She tries to hiss at the dog and adores my mom, when my sister isn't home.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I wear scarves and mittens. Someday I will make a hat that I like, but until then, I have some handy dandy ear warmers that do the job. Ponchos are difficult to wear and look ridiculous.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I like to knit small things with forgiving relationships with gauge; baby booties, wrist warmers, scarves, hats for my sister (her head is so large, it is virtually impossible to be too big), pot holders, bags, mittens (but only after the matching hat/gauge swatch has been made)
13. What are you knitting right now?
Right now, I am typing. Currently in the queue and on the needles are a mitered square blankie, a mitered square pillow for the knitting guild brown bag exchange, the Brioche Bodice from IK Summer 2006, a gauge disaster Baby Surprise Sweater, some small-child socks, a shawl from Helen's Lace... there is probably more if I dug in the tower-of-yarn.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I like bamboo and plastic, dpns and circulars.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I've got both, thanks.
17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Going off of that list above, from the summer. I started a baby/cat blanket in January 2005 out of LB Homespun. It is more than half-way done and it is very likely that it will never be completed. I might call it done, bind off, and give it to the cat though.
18. What is your favorite holiday?
When I was in school, it was Casimir Pulaski day. Now, it is the Thanksgiving to New Year's season that I love, with Christmas as the high point.
19. Is there anything that you collect?
Besides yarn and wool? I collect state quarters, pressed pennies, Christmas ornaments and embroidered patches from places I visit
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I foresee some experimental entrelac in my future. I have bought the patterns for Lanai and the Fiber Fish Mittens. They both have good entrelac instructions in them. I consistently buy Interweave Knits at the store, because they always get mangled in my mailbox. My old roommate gives me Vogue Knitting sometimes, but I wouldn't purchase that one.

I covet those neat metal tubes that you can slide your in-progress sock knitting into. Most of my dpns are in the 7" range.
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'd like to find some more in-depth mitered knitting information, mostly for the purposes of the blanket and pillow projects.
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I have tried to knit socks. I buy sock yarn. I would not call myself a sock knitter. My foot measurements are: 9" around the ball of my foot, 9" around my ankle, 9.5" toe to heel.
23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
April 4
So there it is, just in the nick of time to meet the deadline.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Beta Version

no, I'm not switching to Blogger Beta... but I have uploaded all 312 pictures that I took in Australia to my York Photo account, for my mother to get prints. I intend to get them up on Flickr! this weekend, and then write up the narratives on the blog next week. If you want to see the beta version of the photos, then leave a comment or send me an email. I will need your email address to invite you to see the album.

And be warned, I take a lot of pictures of random things "so that I can tell the story later" and also that I am known for not taking great photographs. Decent snapshots, but I don't have much in the way of technical photography skillz, especially on the unculled photos. So the beta version is really, well, whatever comes before Beta. At least the filenames tell where I was (Sydney, Zoo, Brisbane, Noosa, Coast Drive).

I'll stop rambling now and go get some sleep.

Keep Smiling! =)

Thanks Melinda!

My secret pal from the Spinning Roving Swap is great! She sent my package to my house and its lovely.
Here is a picture:
Over at Flickr! There are two other pictures with notes over there. Inside the package is:
  • A nice card made by my pal
  • Merino-Silk roving in a very nice multi-blended colorway (4 oz.)
  • sock shaped point protectors (a set of red and a set of green)
  • the Susan Bates sock needle set (yay!)
  • a pattern for ruffled leg warmers (with options to make it not-ruffley) made with hand-painted yarn. Handpainted yarn patterns are good for handspun yarn, so this is a good choice.
  • ETA: A printout of the Dragon Scale Gauntlet Pattern from Chartreuse Knits by Annemarie Pearson. This pattern was in such a neat stack (stapled separately) that I didn't notice it until I was cleaning up for my roommate's family to come over this morning. (10-15). However, I think that I might knit it up in yellow Cascade 220 for Kathryn, who I am being a One Skein Secret Pal Angel for, and I still haven't done the FO part of the swap for her.
  • And the whole thing was covered in small squares of Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate, made in my pal's town.
Thanks Mel! I really enjoyed receiving this package and participating in this quick little swap.

***edited to add:
Woohoo! I got sock needles! I am still excited by this to the extent that I am still awake and typing it at midnight.

Geez, I'm a dork.

end edit***

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Back in North America

I'm back home in Chicago, and this week I will be posting about my trip. I intended to blog as I went, but, well, that didn't happen.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

14 hours isn't so long

Qantas flight 12 wasn't so bad at all. I thought that 14 hours would be torture, but on the overnight it wasn't bad. And even though there was no knitting, there was in-flight entertainment on the little video screen on the back of the seat in front of me, and it included video games, so I was set. I even got some decent sleep. We crossed both the international date line and the equator, arriving in Sydney at about 6am Monday morning.

On the Way Down Under

Note: These Australia posts will improve when I get the pictures into the laptop and the laptop onto an internet connection. For now, its a quick text-only from the internet cafe.

In Andersonville:
Finish laundry, finish packing, go to the bank, pick up prescriptions, eat lunch, go to the airport.
almost miss the turn to Terminal 3 drop-off, wait in a very, very long line at American Airlines for International Check-in, make line-friends (like school-friends) with a FermiLab scientist going to India (which he does often). He had an accent that made me think he was German, but I didn't ask. Behind me was a couple from Huntsville, Alabama who were also on their way to India. He is retired Navy and worked on nuclear-powered submarines. Very Cool. They have been all over the world, including to Australia. Good tips from them.
There was no knitting allowed on the flight from LAX to Sydney, and the bag gets checked all the way through, so there was no knitting from ORD to LAX. I downloaded knitting podcasts in the hope that would make it better. I was wrong. These podcasts are meant to be listened to while you are knitting. But Cast On is quite good.
Thing I discovered on Saturday: It is a really, really long plane ride to LA. 4 hours 15 minutes long. I had no idea. Its approx. 3 hours to San Fran (if I remember correctly from my childhood) and just a couple of hours to NYC/Boston. But Los Angeles? Really really far. Also, all the buildings are very short. There was also a big, dark area next to the expressway as the plane made its approach. I would think it was a river, but I don't know if they have a river in LA. Anyone know? And you would be correct, I've never been to LA. Well, I have, but only as a small child, about 20 years ago.
Sunday will get is own post.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


I am backdating this post to keep the "send me your address if you want a postcard" announcement up top.

Thanks to Shelly and her awesome knitalong (KAL), I have actually had new visitors. And thanks to Ms. Blackbird I now have a sitemeter. So not only are people (should I really presume that plurality?) coming to visit, but soon I will know where the heck they came from.

I am totally behind the times with the technology of blog administration. But I'm excited. Expect posts from OZ as I can.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Who wants mail?

I will be leaving for the land Down Under tomorrow, on a very long plane flight upon which no knitting, crochet or needlework of any sort are allowed. This is going to be a problem, I suspect. But the knitting can go in my checked luggage. I will try not to cry.

If anyone would like a postcard, please leave a comment with your address or mosey on over to my profile, find the email link and send it to me. I will do my best to follow through on this offer.

Keep Smiling! =)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

These little things are addicting

I have been following The Heathen Housewife's mitered square blanket project for awhile now. She started it, and then asked The Yarn Harlot to ask the knitblogosphere to send her more sock yarn scraps. I sent her some scraps of Regia self-striping, and eventually got the idea to use my Koigu and CTH yarns for a blanket. Well, last night, I started my first block. I am now on my third. I've started to get the hang of the cast-on, using my cotton rug warp weaving yarn aka blue string aka leader yarn, for the provisional cast-on over a size 5 needle.

So far I've figured out that I want my blanket to be the same size as my khaki and red plaid couch blanket, so I need 15 blocks with a 31 stitch cast-on as the base line. There will need to be 20 rows of blocks. I am planning to use fingering weight, handpaint, merino wool yarns, preferably 2-ply. I'm not sure how many squares I will get out of the almost-50 grams I have of each of the two Koigus, but if it is one row, then I will get 2 rows of my Koigu (one of each color) and 4 rows of CTH (100 gram balls = twice as many rows). 6 rows does not equal 20 rows. I also have 100 gram sets of striping Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock from the studio sale to the WCKG in the spring. There are 3 colors there (red-orange, green-blue and charcoal-purple), so that would give me 6 more rows of colors so I'd be up to 12. I would also need to work out the textural difference between the 3-ply, wool-nylon LLSS and the 2-ply, 100% superwash merino, CTH and Koigu.

All of this knit-rambling makes me think that I should knit my first ball of yarn up into as many squares as I can to see how far it goes. If I get 20 squares, then I'll knit the blanket that way, if I don't even get to 15 squares, then I'll refigure the numbers. If I get to 20 squares, then I'll only need 150 more grams of yarn to make a whole blanket. I'm guessing that I will find some yarn on sale or hiding in a stash by then that fits the situation.

Here is an idea for a stripe sequence:
Koigu 1
LL 1
LL 2
LL 3
LL 2
LL 1
Koigu 2

I think that this will accent the textural differences in the two yarns in an interesting way. Or maybe I should just use this as an excuse to buy lots of single skeins of hand dyed koigu-esque sock yarn. Well, I've got at least 90 squares before I have to get more koigu-esque if I decide to nix the Lorna's.

I'm going to stop rambling now, so that I can have some sleep in me before work tomorrow. This week is going to be the end of me, I think.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

My Secret Pal wants more

My Spinning Roving Swap partner wants to know more about me, so here are the answers. When I get ready for SP9, I think that I will be digging through the archives and making an entry that links to all these surveys. This one has a few new questions though... typical outfit, purse, favorite thing in nature.

1) Favorite book/movie/TV shows?
How about authors? Tom Robbins, Jane Austen. For knitting, I love Elizabeth Zimmerman and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.
Movies: Pride & Prejudice, Monsters, Inc, Breakfast at Tiffany's
TV Shows: Gray's Anatomy, Gilmore Girls, Mythbusters, Law&Order (esp. SVU), Alias
2) Describe a typical outfit you might wear.
blue Eddie Bauer Jeans, red long sleeve t-shirt, gray polar fleece vest, sneakers, hair in a ponytail.
3) What kind of purse are you using right now?
I got it at Target in Feb 2005 when I was buying clothes to start my new job. It is kind of springlike, with a woven texture and lots of colors. For the most part it is very subtle colors though. It has a brown "leather" handle and base. It does the job, I don't love it.
4) What is your favorite item in nature?
My favorite item in nature? Hmm... flowers! Tulips, daffodils, lilies.
5) What do you do for a living?
I wrangle clients and scenery construction. Officially, I work at here as a project manager. I am directly using my degree in my first job out of school. I can't complain about that, but its still work.
6) What is your favorite flavor when it comes to sweets (chocolate, lemon, raspberry, orange, marzipan, etc)?
Chocolate! Dark Chocolate (but not ridiculous 97% dark or anything) is best, white chocolate isn't even chocolate. Ritter Sport bars with the cookie inside milk chocolate are one of my favorites in Cost Plus World Market chocolate, Dove Dark is my favorite grocery store chocolate and Take 5 is one of my favorites for check-out line candy (but I also like lots of other candy too)

I also love cookies and gummies. I am not very picky about either except that they should not be stale. I have a sweet tooth that will keep my dentist in business until I'm on my deathbed, I imagine. It will be a personal tragedy if I ever develop diabetes.
7) Do you have a type of fiber you've always wanted to spin, but haven't gotten around to it yet?
Not really, I love wool yarn, and wool fiber and my stash reflects that. I'd like to try a bit of something with sparkle in it, but in general, I'm not a sparkle girl with my yarn.
8) Why do you enjoy spinning?
Spinning is MAGIC! I am making yarn from wool. Its not difficult to do, but you can always get better at it. When I spin I am doing something that people have been doing for millenia, but has experienced a very modern resurgence of interest. I love making yarn.
9) What types of fiber do you already have waiting in the wings to be spun?
Oh my! I have Lorna's Laces wool top, a merino-silk blend from Ashland Bay, silver alpaca, carded batts I bought from someone on Spin-Sales, Day's End roving from Abi at High Prairie Fibers, a collection of roving to make neapolitan ice cream yarn, kool-aid dyed superwash merino braids and some plying. That is just in the "we are colorful, spin us now" stash cubes. Deeper in the stash I have BFL, superwash merino, Wensleydale, moorit Shetland, cotton, some Jacob (which I don't like, too coarse... I don't care if they are Bibical sheep) and some other random cream colored, carded, with a bit of VM wool-that-isn't-merino.
10) When knitting, do you prefer using straight needles, circulars or DPNs? Do you have a lot of needles? What sizes?
I prefer to use my Denise Interchangeable set whenever possible. When that doesn't work I try to use DPNs or Magic Loop, depending on the project. I have no interest in aluminum needles. Except that I want to get a Susan Bates sock set, as my gauge is still looser than I'd like for socknitting. I have plenty of needles, because I have piles of unsorted, inherited needles. But a girl can never have too many dpns.
Well, pal, I hope that this helps! And now that I've answered, I think that I will pass the questions on to the person that I am sending gifts to. Sorry that it took so long.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Australian Randomness

I am looking for Australian Knitbloggers to get recommendations from, and in the process I found someone who recently climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Check out Flavia's post here:
Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge Done

My mom has emailed me back about the Bridge Climb. She says no way, no how. Maybe Dad will go for it. Or they could get their own activity for half a day and I'll go climb a bridge anyway.

Oh, and the exchange rate is currently 75 cents American for every 1 dollar Australian. Sweet. Of course, the prices are higher too. Sadness.

I found the Sydney Stich'n'Bitch blog and the local yarn store (which looks gigantic and isn't just knitting), Tapestry Craft. If anyone knows of yarn stores in Sydney, Brisbane or Noosa, please let me know. Yarn and such things are great souveniers.

************Edited to Add*****************
I went to Woolworks to look for Australian Yarn stores. Here is what I found:

In Queensland (home of Brisbane and Noosa):
There is Threads & More in Brisbane


Keep Smiling! =)

I can't help but agree

Canada: Living the American dream... - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

This is a new tee from threadless that I just might have to get. I've never actually bought their t-shirts, but a lot of mine are getting ratty. It just might be time to upgrade during the next $10 sale.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Going Down Under

Does anyone have any suggestions for must-dos and can't-miss activities in Sydney, Brisbane, Noosa and the general Southern Queensland region of Australia? On the list of possibilities so far:
  • Sydney Opera House tour(s)
  • Bell Shakespeare Company show, The Tempest
  • Droog Design exhibit at Sydney Opera House
  • The beach in Noosa
  • Baha'i House of Worship
  • something called the Woolshed? Woolfarm? Its some sort of museum to wool and sheep.
  • Koala Sanctuary place in Brisbane
  • Australian Zoo
  • day trip to Fraser Island
  • Sydney Harbor tour (if Mom and I get the courage to go on a boat)
  • There are some other places in Queensland with ridiculously funny names that I want to see just so that I can say that I've been to Joohoogooleefaaland (no, that isn't a real place, I made it up)
  • there is a National Park with colored sands. I like colored sands. And sand usually=beach or desert, and I like both of those things.
  • eat Tim Tams
  • exercise to work off all the Tim Tams I anticipate eating
Now, I'm off to meet up with Lavina. Leave suggestions! Mom is booking the hotels, I have to find us stuff to do.

How much is too much?

If you are talking about milk on Life Cereal, and your answer was anything smaller than "until it overflows your largest bowl" you would be wrong. I continue to be amazed by the absorption properties of these little pre-sugared whole grain oat squares. I put a reasonable amount in the bowl, pour so much milk on that you can barely tell there is cereal down there, start eating, and somehow, there is a dry bowl at the end, and I was skimping on the milk in those last few bites.

Of course, the cereal squares themselves had practically quadrupled in size. That might be an overstatement, but not by much. Get yourself some cereal and milk and try it out.

In fact, I'm pretty sure that it is impossible to put too much milk on this cereal.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Help needed

Item the first:
I may be an inconsistent blogger, but I do like it. However, I am not-so-very skillful in the template adjusting department, and I feel like I need to learn how to read all the plain text junk in the template so that I can play with it more intelligently, or I need to find a blog engine that allows me to use some sort of a WYSIWYG page designer so that I can move stuff around/change things, see how it looks, have it generate the code and then let me go back in and tinker with the code if its not quite right.

Item the first and a half:
I think that the blue blog is looking dated, but I finally got some stuff in the sidebar. Is it just a matter of cut-and-paste to move it into a new template?

Item the second:
My TV has stopped working. That is the short problem. In reality, the television, antenna, and TiVo are not working together. Antenna to TV works when they are directly connected. TiVo to TV works, in the sense that all of the TiVo information shows up on the screen, and there is no blue TiVo screen of death (the one that it gets when there is no signal going through). However, Antenna to TiVo to TV does not create viewable television programming. If the antenna doesn't go to the TiVo, then the TiVo can't record.

This problem happened about a month ago, we lived without the TiVo for a while, and then I got a new Coax cable, (but only one, because the connection between antenna and TV was clearly fine), and some more of the composite AV cables (with white, yellow and red connectors) to make sure that the TiVo, DVD/VCR, TV and switcher box were all sufficiently connected. This solved the problem for a while, but now we are back where we started.

Do we have to get cable? In 13 months with Anne we never had this problem (we had cable), and its the same exact TiVo box. The television itself is not very fancy. Is this the problem? Please, if you have a lick of sense about fixing the TV, I'll be eternally grateful and I'll make you cupcakes or yarn or dinner or take you out for drinks or make you warm with knitted things for winter.

Item the third:
Take a look at the sidebar, I made WeatherPixies for my sister in Brisbane and me in Chicago. Now I can look and see what time of day it is there. I'm guessing that no one else cares, but there it is.

Now, I'm hungry and I need to get going on this day that is almost over.

Keep Smiling! =)

Friday, September 8, 2006

Who knits this?

Okay folks, I'm asking seriously, who knits this?

More importantly, have you ever had cold elbows, but had the rest of your arm be warm? In such a way that instead of putting on a "traditional" garment (i.e. a sweater or sweatshirt) you thought to yourself, "Self, wouldn't it be great if my wrist warmer was wider, so that I could put it on my elbow?" Or maybe "Gee, wouldn't my wardrobe be improved if my gauntlet wider and without a thumb opening?"

No, of course not. Maybe in California. But I even doubt that.

I have an image of a knitter who doesn't like big projects making a hat, scarf, shrug, camisole, these elbow warmers and wrist warmers. When she could have made a hoodie and not looked ridiculous! Also, no one would have to blog about the ridiculousness of that wardrobe malfunction.

Please, if you can think of a situation when only your elbow has been cold, or why you would want to knit these, leave a comment and enlighten me.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Spinning Roving Swap Questionnaire

1) How long have you been spinning?
I've been spinning almost an entire year now. I took a class in September of 2005 on using the handspindle at knit1 to learn how to use some little one ounce balls of merino roving I had bought from a co-worker of my roommate because otherwise she was going to return them. I bought my Lendrum ST wheel at The Fold on Halloween weekend last year.
2) Are you a beginner, novice, or experienced spinner?
I consider myself to be an intermediate spinner. I am definitely not experienced or expert, but I know what I'm doing and can spin some nice yarn that isn't 3 wpi. In fact, I'm even teaching a drop spindle class at Arcadia Knitting in October. I probably should buy that mediocre kit so that I can practice with what the students will be using.
3) Do you spin on a drop spindle or wheel, or both?

I am capable of using a drop spindle, and I can teach newbies how to use it, but I greatly prefer my wheel for its speed and sitting-down-ness. And it is way more magical for spectators.
4) What types and weights of drop spindles (or what type of spinning wheel(s) ) do you currently own?

I currently own a CD spindle, and two Ashford spindles, a large and a small. I also have a Lendrum ST wheel with only the regular flyer head. I am borrowing a Bosworth Attache Charkha from my friend Joy, who was the teacher at the first spinning class I ever took.

5) What type of fibers have you spun with before?

I have spun wool of various types/breeds (merino, BFL, targhee, corriedale, finn, jacob, superwash, regular, combed top, batts, roving, fake rolags), alpaca raw and as combed top, mystery breed Lorna's Lace's Wool Top, cotton, recycled denim, decor snow blanket blended with tinsel from Winter WonderFest

6) What fibers do you prefer to spin with?

I prefer to spin with fibers that are VM (vegetable matter) free, in a combed preparation. Wool is the most forgiving, and is my favorite thing to knit with. Alpaca is a close second.
7) What fibers do you dislike?

I dislike fiber that is from "naturally colored" sheep (aka BROWN). I clearly am not into this spinning stuff to do it "all natural" or any of that. I am doing it because I like yarn in all of its forms, included pre-yarn. It wasn't very much fun to spin the decor stuff, except as an exercise in souvenir making.
8) Do you prefer natural colored fibers, or handpainted/dyed fiber?

I prefer to spin fiber that is a dyed color, but it doesn't have to be handpainted. Its mostly just that white gets boring, and I'm not a big fan of dyeing.
9) Would you prefer all one type of roving or smaller amounts of different types to sample?

I would prefer all one type of roving, or different colors of similar fibers, so that I could use them together in a project.
10) What are you favorite colors?
My favorite colors are blue, red and purple. Recently, I've also been into the green-brown-blue portion of the clothing spectrum.
11) What colors do you dislike?
Naturally colored sheep=brown, gray and other icky, boring colors.
12) What would you like to do with your handspun yarn, or what do you plan to do with it? (pattern clarification here)

so far I have knit potholders, a ridiculous ill-fitting hat, a hat and mitten set for my sister, a hat for my aunt Steph, and some swatches. I aspire to knit a hat that a person with a regular size head (i.e. not my sister) can wear and not look ridiculous in. I suspect that swatching would help.

I generally knit hats from the center out, thinking that I'll be able to measure the gauge and figure out how many stitches I need, but it never seems to work out that way and the hats are gigantic. I'm trying to avoid swatching, but really, I shouldn't.

I have all those little balls of merino wool spun up into hanks of 2-ply in bright jewel tones, with some coordinating cream colored yarn. I'm planning to design, knit, steek and finish a throw pillow with a fair isle design on it using all that early handspun.

13) What spinning projects are you currently working on?

I'm trying to get back on the spinning horse, as it were. I'm not spinning
for anything in particular.
14) Do you have a wishlist?
15) What are your other favorite hobbies?

I read and knit and read blogs and knit and read The Economist and knit and
read books and knit.

16) Do you have any allergies (pet, smoke, food, fiber,etc...)?

No allergies, per se, but I would appreciate if the package didn't come smelling
of smoke or filled with the brushings from your lovely pet Fluffy embedded in
17) What is your preferred shipping method (USPS, UPS, FedEx)?

My home mailing address prefers USPS, but I can get any of them at work.