Thursday, April 29, 2004

City of Heroes

I just played this game for about 5 minutes and its awesome, so I thought I'd share the info for those of you who area also into playing games. On the off chance that others of you do play that game, let me know here! I'm The Green Rex on that game.

And, for those of you who aren't afraid to play WeBoggle with me (like Anne and Mike are), I play that as nik.

266,723, Level 18

That is my new high score on Bookworm. I'm so proud.

Anyway, I've got this green yarn that I'm planning to make into a wrap or shawl. You know, because I don't have enough wraps and shawls already. I'm a little hesitant to settle on a pattern just yet. Originally, I was thinking a fairly simple triangular shawl, but I really don't wear triangular shawls as shawls -- I wear them as elaborate scaves. I could always use my fall back (most favorite pattern ever) -- a variation of the feather and fan stitch pattern, but I have so many of those I don't know if I really NEED another one. Even if it is my favorite. I did up little swatches (gasp!) using a bobble stitch, a trinity stitch, a lily of the valley panel and some lacuna shells, but I decided that I didn't really like those either. Frankly, I shouldn't even be working on this for myself until I have at least completed the blanket for Dana.

As far as tonight's knitting goes, I'm really looking forward to the Mongolian Peanut Chicken Salad and a tall glass of coconut italian soda. And, maybe -- just maybe, I might get some knitting done. :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

This may be controversial, but...

I was browsing through the Knitter's Review Messageboard, and I began reading the Knitting Celebs, Movies, Jokes, etc. forum. I found a post in regard to the movie Lost in Translation, and more specifically, in regard to whether or not Scarlett Johansson's character in the movie is a serious knitter or not.

You know, as if it truly matters.

Anyway, I started reading the replies, and I came across this:


"...She obviously wasn't a committed knitter. If she had been, she would have been knitting on the train, in the lobby, shopping for yarn, etc..."


I guess the only way that you can be considered a committed knitter is if you let knitting and every aspect of it consume your entire life. I guess "committed knitters" are simply people who are not well rounded in any way, shape or form; nor do they show interest in anything that does not involve knitting. Moreover, committed knitters must use every single opportunity of "down time" to knit something -- anything, otherwise they clearly are not committed. How dare a knitter simply sit in peace and just be when they could be knitting something? Committed knitters must live, breath, and think about knitting, stitches, yarn and techniques AT ALL TIMES otherwise they are simply casual knitters who do not take the craft seriously. And, when I say craft, I mean "way of life," because knitting is a way of life for committed knitters and anyone who considers it a craft or a hobby is just a casual here and there knitter.

Come on now. You're kidding me, right? Why do people have to get so out of hand about things like this?

It should go like this: Knitting? Oh, cool.
Not like this: OH MY GOD! KNITTING! AWESOME! I JUST DON'T FEEL LIKE MYSELF UNLESS I HAVE TWO NEEDLES IN MY HANDS AT ALL TIMES!!! TO HELL WITH EVERYTHING ELSE IN MY LIFE -- I MUST KNIT!!!

...

On a side note, I'm going to go see A Perfect Circle on Saturday, and I'm pretty excited about that. I also started a purple poncho (I'm SOOO gonna look like Barney in this thing, but I don't care), and I'm looking forward to perhaps finishing it in time for the concert.



Thursday, April 22, 2004

Thursday Update.

Its SnB night, and of course, I don't know what to bring with me. I had been bringing along the baby blanket for a while now, but that's done... I *should* bring the other baby blanket I'm working on, but I don't wanna work on that right now... I *could* bring the prayer shawl I'm making, but wouldn't that defeat the whole purpose of the prayer shawl? Like, aren't you supposed to pray with every stitch... or something like that? I'm not too sure gabbing about peanut butter silk pie counts as praying. I *could* work on the Felineal Angel blanket, but I haven't even graphed out what I'm going to do yet, so that would just be assinine. There's that baby sweater that I haven't started yet. There's also MY sweater (gee, I really SHOULD update those pictures), but I'd prefer not to work on that amongst a group of people. There's that mindless poncho that has been sitting on needles for a few months now. Hmmmm... Decisions, decisions. I *could* just bring my cone of cotton and make little washcloths for myself. Or, I *could* start the shawl for my stepsister, Steph, but she didn't decide on a color and I could never finish it in time to give it to her tomorrow anyway. Maybe I'll just bring everything I can fit into my super-sized bag and go from there.

Oh, and if I show up wearing flip flops, someone needs to smack me. I've got no business wearing these things because I'm a dangerous enough walker as it is wearing sneakers. Wearing flip flops, I'm bound to injure large groups of people -- not just myself.

So anyway, on a non-knitting note, I've decided that I will boycott the entire month of April for now on. Seriously. At this point, I'm just glad that they say bad things come in threes. I've already got my three... Time to move on.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Uh oh, you guys!

I've become totally addicted to PopCap's Bookworm for the GBA since I got it for Easter. I even put down my needles last night to play this instead. I am such a word game junkie. I should go sign up over at word game junkie anonymous. I've actually only played three Bookworm games total on the GBA since Easter, which in my opinion is really great, and I'm currently trying to beat my high score of 195k+... I can't remember the exact number. My biggest fear is that I will lose my game in the middle of a "play" because I haven't charged my GBA in FOREVER. I think Mike got me Bookworm on purpose so he wouldn't be forced to hear, "click.. click. click, click." while he's watching tv or something. He won't even play against me anymore in WeBoggle. Anne claims that she won't either because it angers her to play against me, but I don't believe her. I think I'll be able to rope her back in for at least another five games before she totally quits on me. What was really funny was at the shower on Sunday, they decided to play this word game where you choose two names, and then are given a few minutes to come up with as many words as possible from the letters in those names. Of course, I won. By something like twelve names. I even got a prize -- some Cotton Blossom lotion from Bath and Body works! When I told Mike about the game and how I won, he just groaned and said that he should have warned them and they shouldn't have let me play that game because no one else would have been able to stand a chance. He then reminded me of the King of the Hill episode where Peggy is in the Boggle Championship. Right now, I am going to admit something I should probably not admit. I went home and looked up "boggle championships" online, and came up with no results outside of that one episode. Thanks, King of the Hill, for getting my geeky hopes up!

So, anyway, I'm a big geek who loves word games and won't let other people win at them. I'll have to design myself an item that incorporates word games into the stitches or something. :)

Monday, April 19, 2004

Ta-da!

Okay, I'm still using the dreaded laptop, so again, there will be NO LINKS to pictures in this entry. I really need to start using the PC to update this blog because these entries are really just way to boring now.

The Gift Package is not only completed, but has already been given as a gift! So, since the recipient already received it, I can talk about it here, FINALLY. The blanket came out beautifully, and I received so many compliments on it from the shower guests. Everyone wanted to know how long I worked on it. Forty plus hours. Not including the time I took when I frogged the entire (completed) backside of the piece and reknit it, done over the course of three days (Wednesday thru Saturday), and re-completed just in time for the shower on Sunday. The blanket is cushy, beautiful, warm, thick, and the perfect weight for baby Lauren to use in the autumn/winter months, as well as for her to use as a cushy "mat" for her to lay on the floor with when she is playing. I am really excited about it and although I took about 20 pictures of the finished product, I don't have any online yet.

I also had two of my tattoos put up on the KniTattoos site (see sidebar for link), so I'm pretty excited about that. I realize that I was VERY late in submitting pictures to that, but better late than never, I say. I also put up a few more pictures of some of my tattoos on my Yahoo Photos Page (see sidebar for link) because I figured that Yahoo Photos was a good place to store pictures that I didn't want to lose. Imagine that!

Over the weekend, Mike and I did tons of good deeds. First, on Friday, we donated three stuffed garbage bags full of clothes (and shoes) to goodwill. We have tons more to donate, but those things weren't in garbage bags yet, so by the time we are done donating our clothes, we will have given them roughly 20 bags of clothing. Cool, right? Then, on Saturday, as we were leaving Wal-mart to return this horrible baby gate that we bought, I noticed that there was a huge package of diapers left laying the parking lot, so I put those aside so the person who dropped the bags could find them. Diapers are expensive, and that would have been a crappy waste of money! (No pun intended). People had been looking at the bags and walking past, and stepping over, and DRIVING AROUND the bags but weren't doing anything about it. Idiots. Saturday night, as we were on the last leg of running our errands and were pulling out of the gas station around 8:15 PM, we noticed that there was this little old lady with a desperate look on her face, standing next to an old (1979 Honda Accord) car with the hood up. She was blocking the entrance to the gas station/Quik Check combo and people were passing her by without giving her a second glance. Mind you, this was at a major intersection. Mike and I pulled off to the side and assisted her with her car. Eventually, two other older men tried helping too, but ended up leaving shortly after. We stayed with Bea while she called AAA on Mike's cell phone and we waited with her for about 35-45 minutes after she called. She was so grateful that we, two youngsters, took the time out of our lives to help her out that she insisted on buying us coffee. Bea introduced my newfound obsession with Smores Coffee from Quik Check, where all cup sizes are 99 cents -- so it pays to get a gallon of coffee at a time! We made sure that the people who were working knew that Bea was expecting AAA to arrive and we made sure she was OK before we left. I took down her name and number so I could call and check on her today to make sure everything turned out alright. Mike and I drove home, dropped stuff off, and then drove back to check to see if Bea was still waiting there. It took all of fifteen to twenty minutes for us to do that, and when we went back, both Bea and her trusty '79 Accord were no longer there. AAA must have been hot on our heels as we were pulling out of the parking lot. I plan on making Bea a scarf to match her seafoam green outfit that she was wearing just to show her that people do care. Then, Sunday happened, and although the baby shower does not qualify as a good deed, I did get to feel the baby kicking, so that made my day.

Well, happy knitting to everyone and I'll be adding a project or two to the WIPs list shortly.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Thank you.

I just wanted to thank everyone who left me messages in comments and in email. I really appreciate the kind words, and it makes me hopeful that people who were previously unaware of the disease may now at least know that it exists. I have set up a page for information on Corny and FIP at http://thebuddy.blogspot.com, with links to different sites on the internet that have information on the disease. I've really been rather "down" lately, and I feel as though everything I do is starting to reflect that, so I'm doing my best to get through this while trying to smile. I believe that all things happen for a reason, not to sound cliche. I am grateful that I got to have someone so special in my life, even if it was only for a few short years. I learned many things, about myself, about life. Sounds silly, doesn't it? That's okay. I don't mind.

This entry will have little or no links to pictures because I am working on the dreaded laptop again. Sorry to disappoint.

I nearly completed one of the gift packages yesterday, however I was displeased with the finished product. As I am not a stranger to the frog pond, I ended up joyfully frogging the half that I deemed "not worthy" and started that half over again late yesterday afternoon around 4 PM. Twelve inches down, fourteen inches to go. Not bad since its not even 24 hours later, right? The original half that I frogged to start over wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good enough to be immortalized in the same piece that had such "greatness". Well, in my opinion anyway. I proved my case to Mike and even convinced him that it really is about time that I get a good blocking board. I feel as though if I had the board to use in the first place, I wouldn't have needed to visit the frog pond on half of this piece. I really don't know if that is true or not, but for now, I'm happy to believe that I stink at measuring instead of believing that I stink at counting. Is there really a difference? Um, probably not, but ignorance is bliss these days. Anyway, I'm really pleased with the way the re-knit portion is coming out so I'm happy I chose to frog the piece I was less happy with.

This morning, driving home, I took a detour to the new Wal-mart on 22. I had twenty dollars in my pocket, and I felt as though I needed to get some alone-time-retail-therapy under my belt. I walked out with ten dollars worth of yarn. To my defense, only two of those skeins were for me -- the color was on clearance, and since I had two already at home, I felt that it was best to try to purchase as many in that color as possible, so I took the last two they had. All the other skeins, which were mostly discounted, are for gifts for other people, so I think my purchase is justified. I felt so great about spending that measley bit of money on supplies for other people that I even treated myself to a #2 at McDonalds! In the words of my father, I'm "going to turn into a McDonalds," but I'm okay with that. For now anyway. I'm pretty sure I'll regret eating junk next week. *sigh*

Today was the first day that I decided to start religiously slathering SPF45 on myself before I leave the house. One of my biggest fears is having a leather face like those women who opt to coat themselves in grease and bake themselves in the sun -- like chickens roasting in olive oil, so I figured that today was a good day to start a new regimen. I'm not saying that I've never done the greasy chicken roast thing myself, however I'm quite sure I value healthy skin more than I value what some consider a healthy glow. I can get that bronze glow from a bottle these days anyway.

Over the weekend (Sunday? Monday? I dunno...) I got to pick up quite a few skeins of yarn in order to make a very special blanket for the house, but I don't plan on starting that for at least another month, so I'm not going to even include that in my little WIP list yet. I'm really excited about it though. I want it to be my prized piece, and even if it comes out really crappy, it will end up being my prized piece anyway.

Speaking of WIPs, I will be updating the progress charts momentarily after I publish this post. Exciting, isn't it?

And, speaking of "WTF????'s", I just caught an episode of Extreme Makeover last night and I can honestly say that I was HORRIFIED. At everything about the show really. The scary looking people (and teeth!!!) that were getting made over, the fact that people were totally unrecognizable after their extreme plastic surgeries, and the fact that these two people "FOUND LOVE" during their makeover. I'm sorry, but yeah. The more I saw, the more horrified I was and I couldn't figure out what emotion I should have been feeling other than horror. Sure, I'll admit, sometimes I laughed, but that makes me cruel, and I'm really not that much of a cruel person. The previews for the next episode horrified me even more and I literally turned to Mike and said, "I can no longer whine about the fact that I have a grey streak in my hair anymore," and he just nodded and agreed.

I also caught an episode of the Bachelor with Jesse Palmer. Hello? Jesse Palmer? Why are you on the Bachelor? Shouldn't you be PRACTICING? I mean, seriously, its not like the Giants are any good at this point, but at least give your team's loyal fans the illusion that you are trying to change that, okay? I can honestly say that I've never watched any episode of this program before and thought it was pretty funny. In fact, I got really excited when I found out that there was a spy, and began exclaiming things like "ooooh! that would be the perfect job for me!" etc, etc. But that novelty wore off when less than half way through the episode, they showed everyone who the spy was. Lame. It was cooler when we all sat there guessing, right? I think so. I also decided that if Mr. Quarterback trusts his friend there enough that he would want her assistance in choosing a mate, then he should have just ended up with her, said "screw you" to the producers of the show, and should go back to PRACTICING. He's no Joe Montana, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, usually, on Thursday afternoons, I post about how I'll be attending a SnB tonight, however I'm not going to be at the one this week. Its just been a really rough week for me, I'm really exhausted, I don't feel like putting on a happy face for all the gals, and I *really* don't feel up to driving there and back tonight. I'm going to miss not seeing everyone tonight, but I'll be there as usual next week, etc. Hopefully, someone will eat some of that peanut butter silk pie in my honor or something. :)

Monday, April 12, 2004

Corny, 1998-2004.

This weekend was an extremely difficult one for me. It seemed like it was going to be just like any other one, but it quickly took a turn for the worst. On Friday evening, Mike and I fed Corny as we usually did, however we noticed that he had not eaten his food from the night before and his breathing appeared to be labored. We watched him carefully for about ten minutes, as it was not unusal for Corny to act quirky, however it became clear that this was not one of those instances. As Mike went downstairs to call the emergency vet, I remained with Corny at the top of our stairs, and I became visibly emotional. Corny looked at me with very wide eyes, rolled for me, then put his head forward to mine and began purring. I took his gestures to me as a sign that everything was going to be alright.

By 9:30 PM, after driving forty minutes, we arrived at the nearest emergency vet. They immediately examined Corny and believed that his labored breathing was not so severe and that perhaps it might be caused by asthma or nerves. We happily took this explanation, as Corny was indeed a nervous cat, and we sat in the waiting room and waiting nearly two hours for the full examination. The Vet ER was VERY busy that night -- lots of dogs coming in and needing immediate medical attention because they were bleeding and required stitches. While we were waiting, I read some of the "thank you" cards that were posted on one wall. I was a bit confused as to why so many cards were received, but I didn't pay it very much attention.

At 11:30 PM, we entered an exam room where both the doctor on site and the nurses could examine Corny more thoroughly. By this time, his breathing became a little more labored, yet still nothing to be alarmed about. The nurse took him and put him on oxygen to help calm his nerves. The doctor revealed to us that she would need to do some x-rays in order to determine the cause of his breathing problems.

After about an hour, which seemed like an eternity, the doctor came back with two sets of x-rays. First, she showed us the x-rays of a "normal" cat's lungs. Then, she showed us Corny's. His lungs had become so filled with fluid of some sort that the x-rays did not even show his heart. The doctor ran through a vast list of all the things that Corny could potentially have -- none of which could be considered "good". We hoped, at best, that he had feline leukemia, and believed that at worst, he had a cardiac disease. No one would know for sure until blood work and the examination of the fluid from his lungs was done. We agreed to leave him there overnight and to be back at 7 AM so the doctor could remove the fluid from his lungs and perform tests on him so we could have a better idea of what course of action we would need to take come morning. The nurse brought Corny back to us in the exam room, and I hugged him and told him that I loved him and that I would see him in the morning. He put his head on my wrist and just sat still. He seemed very weak, but he did his best to keep that brave face on. The doctors and nurses were shocked when they saw the x-rays because Corny's outward personality and appearance was no indication of how bad he was on the inside. As the doctor held him to take him to do tests, I told her that he gives hugs, and her faced warmed with a smile. She said that it is very special that he hugs because not many cats do. I knew he was in good hands.

When Mike and I arrived back home around a quarter after 2 in the morning, we called the vet to check on Corny. The nurse sounded like she was in good spirits and said that he was doing just fine. We confirmed that we would be back there at 7 AM, and decided that we needed to get some rest since we knew it was going to be a VERY long weekend.

At 5:45 AM, we received a phone call from the vet. She indicated that he was not doing so good and that after she removed the fluid from his lungs, he was difficulty breathing on his own. She asked permission to euthanize him because she was not sure that he would make it. We told her that we would be there in 40 minutes and not to do anything to him until we got there. She asked our permission to give him pain killers, and we agreed to that. She stated that she did not believe he would last for us to see him before he passed on.

We got to the ER Vet by 6:30 in the morning on Saturday, and we were immediately brought into an exam room. A minute later, they brought Corny to us, wrapped in a blue thermal blanket. The doctor explained that as soon as we got there, his breathing stopped, however his heart was still beathing so he could hear, see and feel us. I kissed his head several times and kept petting him and telling him that we loved him very much and I saw him looking at me. Then, I moved out of the way and pushed Mike into Corny's view. Mike did the same, and we pet corny until he died a few minutes later.

The doctor and nurses were very warm to us, and the doctor even hugged me. She explained that he was a very strong cat and that he waited over forty minutes for us to get there before we began to pass. She then explained to us what happened. Corny had a disease called FIP. The fluid in his lungs were white blood cells, which were trying to fight the disease that had taken over his lungs. FIP is very rare, is virtually undetectible until it is too late, and nothing can be done to prevent it. Cats who have FIP die, and there is no treatment for it. FIP comes on just as suddenly as we saw it, and there are often no signs that lead up to the full blow out. We did the best we could to try to help him, however it was his time to go, even if it was so soon.

Although I had only known Corny for three of the six years he was alive, I became VERY close to him. He and I shared a lot of quirks and I felt as though we had a lot in common, even if he was a cat. The loss of Corny in my life is a major one, and I don't feel quite like I used to anymore. I feel like I've lost my oldest soulmate. I do have two other cats, and although I love all three of them equally, the loss of Corny is virtually devastating for me because I felt the closest to him.

I am just now realizing over the past few days how much he was a part of my life, in everything I did. Its difficult to use the computer because that's where he would be. Its difficult to get ready in the guest bathroom where all my makeup and hair care products are, because we would "talk" to each other while I was in there. Its difficult to just be in the house by myself during the day because he was such a constant companion for me.

Words can't express how much I love him, and words can't express how much I'm already missing him.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Stitch 'n Bitch Tonight!

And you know what? I'm excited about it. There is going to be between 7 and 9 people there -- depending on the two that RSVP'ed "maybe". That's a big improvement over the 3 to 4 that were showing up in the past... I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that the location changed.

In knitting news, I began working on the green cardie for the third time. Third time's a charm, right? Right. And do you know why? Because I love it. I am about 4.5 inches in and, seriously, I don't plan on frogging it this time. I actually plan on bringing it to the knit-together tonight as an alternative to working on the things I should be working on.

Speaking of the things I should be working on, I'm really running out of time. I think I just hit a really selfish knitting phase and I hope that if I make something significant for myself this time, instead of for someone else, that I will be satisfied to knit for other people without bitching and complaining to you poor folks who read this.

And, talking about time again, I ran out of it today. Its just about 4 PM at the time that I am typing this and I spent literally all day working on a website. Not this one, but a different one. I was working so hard on it that I actually forgot to eat. When I was much younger, I used to think adults who said that they forgot to eat had some sort of freaky eating disorder, but now I'm starting to understand exactly where they were coming from. I think forgetting to eat while working is directly related to the consumption of coffee. Just sayin'.

You want to know what's really bugging me lately? The weather. I know. Its very lame to talk about the weather, but if you live in or around Jersey, then you know what I'm talking about. Every other day, its warm, sunny, and beautiful. Every other day, its cold. I think our local weather forgot to take its meds this week and its schizophrenia is taking over. Well, either that, or I've entered some warp zone that only me and my yarn know about.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Weekend Update, on a Tuesday.

A lot went on over the weekend, and although all of it isn't knitting related, I'm going to write about it here. I mean, this is a knitting blog, however its about my life too, since my life does not solely revolve around knitting. I'm so NOT a one dimensional person! The one thing this entry is going to lack is links. The reason? I'm working on a laptop, and the less I have to go from window to window, the better!

Remember the green cardie that I talked about frogging my progess on last Wednesday or Thursday? Well, as Kate pointed out at the knit-together, I didn't frog it. I just couldn't stand to frog it until I had version two started. Sure, I had about three rows of version two started on Thursday, but I didn't really do any work on the project until Saturday night. Between Saturday night and Monday evening, I managed to knock out six inches of the back. *sigh* But, leave it to me, I don't actually like the way the seed stitch border looks with the body pattern. Figures, right? I started it, yet again, and this time I'm using K2P2 ribbing that will flow quite nicely into the pattern stitch of the body. I don't plan on frogging it this time around. And, the more that I do work on this sweater (all in all, with the amount of time I have spent working up the stitches, I would have completed about half of the project if I didn't keep frogging it), the more I realize that I am actually almost following one of the patterns that inspired me to knit this project to a T (The Oscar de la Renta "Dream Weaver" from Vogue Knitting Winter 2003/2004). So, this time around, I am actually going to just follow the pattern in the magazine for the back and sleeves, and then just modify the front and the turtleneck for a cardigan. The pattern that I wrote up for myself using the stitch pattern used in the Dream Weaver and the style that was featured on a Victoria's Secret Sweater and a Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed Sweater as inspiration on the form almost exactly mimics the Dream Weaver pattern as far as shaping goes -- which is the bulk of any pre-written pattern in my opinion. I don't know if that fact is a sign that I should have just used the pre-written pattern from the magazine from the beginning, or if my pattern writing skills are so freakin' awesome that they are comparable to pre-written patterns that are featured in magazines like Vogue Knitting. Interesting, huh? Anyway, I started casting on for this cardigan for the third time last night and just gave up because I was too tired. I plan on starting it (again) sometime today.

I also just realized that I have to have some things finished within the next two weeks, so I plan on actually knitting double time at this week's knit-together. Hopefully, I won't accidentally poke someone with a needle in the process. Mike has witnessed my double time knitting in person and has made fun of the faces I make and the fact that I kind of look like I'm beating someone up. He claims that it looks like I am in pain when I knit this way. Perhaps it will give everyone there a laugh.

I keep eyeballing the sale at webs, too, which is really, REALLY bad. I don't need any more yarn. Really. I'd love to have more yarn, but I just don't need it. I ran out of room to store yarn a LONG time ago, and part of this weekend was spent coming up with logical solutions to the dilemma that rings out loud and clear in this house. Although, it would be really nice to be able to grope alpaca. Oh well.

Oh, here's something sort of funny. Last night, after I decided that I was too tired to cast on 126 sts for the third time, I began playing around with some of my acrylic yarn and started making a sock. I have feet that could freeze hell and I am always wearing these insanely made socks OVER my regular socks when I am at home. After staring at these socks for about five minutes last night, I realized that IF these socks were actually knit by hand (they are clearly machine knitted, but whatever) they would have been knit on straight needles, starting at the top front, working their way down to the toe -- not using any decreases for shaping but by using smaller needles, then working their way back on the sole of the foot to the heel where shaping takes place by using smaller needles, and then would be knit straight back up to the top of the sock. Then, the piece would be seamed up both sides and a sock would be born. I'm testing out my theory now, and if my theory is correct, then everyone is getting a pair of these foot warming socks for Christmas. End of story.

The rest of this entry generally does not have anything to do with knitting, so if you aren't interested in anything that goes on in my life outside of what I have on needles, then you can stop reading here. Its okay. I don't mind if you stop reading. I take no offense by either action you take. :)

I mentioned earlier in this entry that there is an ongoing dilemma that takes place in my house. It came to a head over the weekend. Both Mike and I have these hobbies that we love doing. And, in order to have these hobbies, we have to collect things that compliment our hobbies so we can continue doing them. In my case, its knitting and yarn and needles and fashion magazines and shoes and coats and accessories. In Mike's case, its DVDs and games and action figures and most recently, gameboy advances. All of these things take up space, and its REALLY starting to show. Yarn turns up in every nook and cranny. Fashion magazines and loose leaf pages with notes and ideas are creeping out between the side of the couch and the side of the media shelves that contain SOME of Mike's DVDs. There are DVDs hanging out in front of the TV, and on the kitchen counter. There are handbags sitting next to the staircase in the foyer. There is a double doored closet in the second bedroom that is filled from the floor almost to the ceiling with action figures. The big closet in the master bedroom is exploding with clothes I want to keep "just in case" I'm ever a size 0 again, and shoes. Ideally, Mike and I would LOVE to have our house look like, oh, say, my parent's house for example. You walk in to it, and its like walking into a museum. Everything is perfectly in its place, and not only that -- but you could even perform surgery in the deepest, darkest corner of the house because there is no clutter anywhere. Unfortuantely, Mike and I are realistic people. We know that our home could never be like my parent's home. The reason is because we have hobbies, and my parents really don't. I confirmed this theory this morning when I asked my dad what his hobby is and Pat's hobby is, and he couldn't come up with an answer. People who don't have hobbies don't keep things that clutter up their homes. And, if the hobby is something artistically related, then all bets are off. There is a reason why artistic people don't have the most clutter free homes.

(enter a dreamlike state here)
In the next house, we plan on building the place from scratch and equipping it with a room devoted to entertainment/electronics so that our living room doesn't have to be graced with a wide flat screen tv, and 6 point surround sound and so that our "loft/library" doesn't have to be graced with a computer that ALSO has 6 point surround sound. We also want to build a room devoted to our hobbies -- sort of like a craft room, where I can keep all of my knitting and craft paraphernalia and with room to actually practice these crafts (and where Mike can keep all of his action figures and whatnot) so those things don't creep out to the rest of the house. We also are planning to have recessed shelving built into several of the rooms also.
(end the dreamlike state)

Well, we aren't in the next house. In fact, we don't plan to be for at least a few years because we don't want to settle on a location or on the floorplans of the house. Right now, we are in a townhouse that doesn't have an entertainment room, a craft room, or recessed shelving. We are actually right smack next to a gaggle of english blokes who enjoy revving the engines to their ATV's on Sunday mornings at 10 AM. We are confined to the space that the builder has given us (thank god we bought new construction) and cannot put additions onto our unit. We just are not utilizing this space the way we should be, and this weekend, we decided to put an end to that. I mean, I really can't complain too much. The place is HUGE, has cathedral ceilings in both the living room and the master bedroom, has two full baths and one half bath, has a kitchen that is not only big but functional, and has a fireplace, a deck, and an attached two car garage. So, its sort of wrong to want more. Especially when so many people have so much less. So, here I sit, mapping out ways to store things differently (everything from spare silverware to clothes that I am keeping for sentimental value only to the buttload of magazines from the 20+ magazine subscriptions that we get). Wish me luck!

The other thing that came to a head was my issue with weight. Now, by no means would I consider myself a woman of size at this current time. But, I'm not the size 0 that I once used to be. Psychologically, this has had an adverse effect on me. Especially because I understand now that there is no way on God's green earth that I will *ever* -- or should have ever been -- a size 0. So, of course, about once a month, I have what Mike likes to refer to as a "fashion crisis". During a fashion crisis, I somehow find ways to try on practically every article of clothing that is in my wardrobe only to discover that nothing fits! All this just to run out to get breakfast! Well, Mike and I uncovered the catalyst of this "I don't have anything to wear" statement. In my generously sized walk in closet, more than 75% of the articles of clothing that were in there were in the size 1 to 3 range. More than 10% of the remaining articles of clothing are 1 to 2 sizes smaller than the size I wear now. That leaves roughly 5% of the clothing I own in a size that fits me -- which makes sence really. Those are the clothes that I have purchased recently! We are working on getting rid of all the "bad" clothes, and now my closet looks barren and sad. :(

On a side note to this story, as we were going through all my teeny tiny clothes, I started flip flopping back to "well, I think I *should* keep this for when I am small again," although I knew full well I would never be that small again. Of course, this lead not to a fashion crisis, but an "OH MY GOD I'm SO FAT" crisis that included statements such as "I *need* to be smaller for when we get married!" and "my hair is too short". Yeah. Don't ask how the hair ended up being part of this, but it was. Mike probably thought this was hysterical, and began saying things like, "Well, give me a timeframe for when you will be comfortable with your weight, etc" so that way he knows when we will be able to get engaged. Yeah. That stopped me right in my tracks too. I said, with a stern amount of confidence, that I would be ready in July. Hello? Am I smoking crack? Needless to say, I have to stick with the July deadline now, so I really have to get crackin' on losing some of my extra baggage.

If only I could find a way to knit while I was on the elliptical runner....

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Project Update.

I've decided to clean up the sidebar of my blog a little bit. Is it really necessary to list (almost) every project and UFO that I have hanging around the house? Probably not. I'm not completely sure anyone really cares about those things. In the clean up, I've removed the Liv/Kyoto sweater, mainly because now that I have my green cardie to work on. Chances are, I'll never actually finish that thing, but I'll keep it up in my pictures (click on the link that says "WIPs and FOs") just in case. Another project that I have removed from the sidebar is the crocheted JS shawl. I think we all know that I'd never wear the damn thing. Alas, I'm keeping it up in the pictures anyway. The Along Came Polly (but not really) shawls said "buh bye" as well as the Teal Feather and Fan wrap, the Original Turkish Stitch Shawl, and the Spring/60s Wrap. Again, these all can still be found in my pictures, but they have no business being on the page of my blog. Finally, the sage sweater, which has been on hold for SEVERAL MONTHS at this point, is no longer in the sidebar either.

When I finally do resurrect these items, they will appear over there once again. But, for now, you can find pictures of those (plus other things) by following the "WIPs and FOs" link over in the sidebar.

Friday, April 02, 2004

The Knitter's Geek Code, v1.1

Now, assuming I did this correctly, this is where I stand in the world of knitting geeks.

K$ER(C)L>++ EXP+ SPM+++ BAM++@ Syn++@ Cot++ STASH++ SCALE+++ FIN+ ENT FI++ INT TEX+++ LACE+++ FELT FLAT++ CIRC+ DPN--- ML+++ Swatch- KIP++ BLOG++ SNB+++ FO+++ WIP+++ GaugeWSF+++B+ ALTCrSw



Now, Mike will be able to make fun of me and then point his friends in this direction so they can make fun of me too.

An update that actually has something to do with knitting!

Last night I had SO MUCH FUN. Seriously. I got almost no knitting done (as usual), but this time, I mean it. Can you say two rows? We all spent the entire night talking, laughing, sharing stories, etc. Anne even had the honor of telling everyone how much it sucks to have me watch your seat at a bar. The food was AWESOME and so was the atmosphere. We were practically the only people there the entire night. There was smoke, sure, but it was like a fraction of what we normally witness at the other place -- we could see the back wall! None of us really got any knitting done because we took the opportunity to talk and eat instead. It was so much fun. Eventually, we broke down and knit a couple of rows, but still. Have I mentioned that it was so much fun?

Anyway, I've decided that I am just going to suck it up and work on the plain stockinette pieces that I need to work on, regardless of how much I hate doing plain stockinette. I'm just going to use this as a learning experience for the next time I start a project that I think would look cute knit in st st.

I've also decided that I need to do something about my yarn. It has taken over the living room, the upstairs foyer, the downstairs foyer, and is slowly creeping into my bedroom. I would take pictures of this, but I just can't stand to have photographic proof of this disaster. I'm really running out of ways to store my yarn and still have it be easily accessible and usable. I've got it in super industrial large tupperware containers (plastic bins), and I've got it stored in beautiful oak and maple chests. That's not the problem. The problem is that I enjoy working on so many projects at once that I like to have everything where I can get to it easily. That means, I don't like having to open up and dig through bins of knitting. I'd much rather have it within an arms reach instead. What can I say? I'm a bit lazy when it comes to my craft. Ideally, I need a craft room, one which is designated for my supplies and where I can labor away without disrupting the rest of the house. Unfortunately, the town house association won't let me build on another room so I can accomplish this, so the craft room is being graphed out on the floorplans of our next home. I understand that most people enjoy working on one, two, perhaps three projects at once, and therefore are able to work -- no problem -- storing their yarn in these 'hide away' types of places. I'm not that kind of person though. Frankly, if I've got three or less projects on my plate, I'm not happy. The more, the merrier I say!

That said, I'm devoting this day to my knitting, not to knit, per say, but to devise a plan on how I can prevent this craft from taking over the entire house. Any knitting that is done today will only be done if I determine that it will help the clean up efforts that are being taken. :)

Thursday, April 01, 2004

See that little picture in the upper right-hand corner?

That is what happens when you have entirely too much time on your hands.

Carry on, fellow knitters!

Back to my old ways.

Remember the post a few days ago about how I knit a sweater just to finish something? I frogged it! And, now I'm knitting it over again. Somehow, I've found great comfort in this -- I didn't turn into an end product knitter overnight!

Speaking of frogging things, I think that I want to frog the green cardie that I had been working on. Somewhere along the line (perhaps between The O'Reilly Factor and South Park), I goofed on a row or two. And yes, its noticeable. The cable crosses look more like they are dancing than crossing. Its rather cute, but it just wasn't what I was going for. I also think I would like to work this sweater in a more seamless manner. Why in the world did I believe that it would be a good idea to attach the wide hem of the sweater LATER, rather than begin with the hem and work it up from there? Or, perhaps I could have started from the collar and worked my way down. But, no. I practically started from the middle. Okay, it was three inches from the bottom. But still. Do I knit pieces the way I paint rooms -- from the middle out? Let's hope not. "Everyone" knows its better if you start from the top (or bottom, or corner).

The big question now is should I or shouldn't I? Such dilemmas I run into.