Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sale temptations

My girl crush the Stitch Diva has some awesome sales going on for some gorgeous yarn! TREAT YOURSELF. This has been your exercise in trying to resist temptation for the day. :) ETA: If it encourages you at all, I gave into my own temptation. 10 skeins of Washington Silk. We'll talk more about that later though....

Monday, October 31, 2011


I've had a finished object on deck that's been a long time coming (not a penguin sweater--they quickly announced they've gotten all they needed). Ravelry tells me that I started this project on January 1, 2011.

I guess it could be worse. I've been working on Mystery Wedding Project since 2010, and Mystery Wedding is long since over.

The copilot and some of our friends and I have a tradition of going to see a ski movie that 'tours' around the country for one night only showings. We made our annual pilgrimage last week, and as the lights went down and the first shot of overlapping ski tracks on pristine powder appeared, I shook the copilot breathlessly whispering, "It's just like my socks!"

Ski tracks - the namesake of the Powder 8s

Sidenote: I totally got shushed at the same ski movie last year. A little background: it's the type of movie where there's an MC, giveaways, and group participation like cheering is encouraged. Shushing someone would be like asking someone at a screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show to tone it down. So of course we were pointing out what gear we thought was cool, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at impressive jumps and tricks, etc. A grumpy looking couple was sitting in front of our group, and at one point the girl turned around and asked me, "Are you going to talk through the entire movie?" I may have imbibed a few adult beverages by this point, and I asked, "Are you having trouble following the plot? They're skiing." There was no shushing this year, but one of my friends did periodically ask each person in our group if they were going to talk through the entire movie.

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the sock knit up after I put my mind to it to work on it. With that in mind, I started another one. I had purchased some Socks That Rock on a visit to Seattle entirely too long ago with every intention of making some man socks. Shades of gray, natch, since all men are colorblind (right?). I didn't even pick a pattern, just cast on a reasonable amount of stitches and started up--men are also patternblind.

Here's the thing, though. I don't think there's a huge market in the way of men knitters (sorry, dudes) and men tend to have big feet. And you know what they say about men with big feet....they need big socks.

Are you seeing what's wrong with this picture?

That's right.

My biggest nightmare. 80% of the time, if I wake up in a cold sweat, this is what I was dreaming about (the other 20% is when you realize that you have to take a final exam, but have forgotten to go to any of the classes--isn't that the worst?).

So what else could I do? I unraveled the top of cuff and attached it to the toe. It's now like a snake eating it's tail.

An ouroboros of sock (or suck).

I've done this once before and it worked fine, but knitting isn't always exactly the same unraveling from the top as it is from the bottom (actually, it usually isn't). If there's only one type of stitch, fine, but even the ribbing of the cuff is too complex to come apart easily. This....may take awhile.

Can we talk Indian Summer for a moment (Native American Summer if you want to be PC about it). Just two weeks ago, this was WI.

Note the shorts, and the lack of frost on the ground.

Now most of the leaves have changed, and the handknits are out. I might be rethinking all of my bitching about summer....no, I take that back. I'd just like a longer fall!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My entire life up until now has been preparation for this

One of my friends pointed out the subject of today's post.  I thought I'd be updating you on the crap I've been making, or my latest kerfuffle one of the local weirdos, but we have more important things to talk about today.

Penguins. New Zealand. Knitting. BOOM! I'm ON IT.

I've heard of this before--the sweaters keep them from swallowing the oil when they try to preen their feathers. And seriously, is anything more adorable?

Me and Murray on the NZ shore....stay out of the water!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

ZOMG Adorable

I'm not usually one for internet acronyms but 'zomg' just seems to convey the appropriate amount of extreme excitement for my new stitch markers. I couldn't resist when Stephcuddles showed off her newest stitch marker creations, 'Afternoon Tea'.

I should have put a scale marker on the image, because these things are petite. The tiny detail is beautiful and impressive.  You can check out her Etsy shop here if you're interested.  

Full disclosure: I'm not entirely sure what my tea time treats there in the background are.  I think maybe I requested cookies? Oh crap, cookies are called biscuits in the UK. So what are UK cookies? Thoughts? 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Powder 8 socks return

I wasn't entirely sure what to pick up after finishing the sweater. As you can see from my Ravelry progress bars, I could of course work on Mystery Wedding Project but...you know. It's boring. I do have a couple of projects languishing, one of them being my experimental socks that I dubbed the 'Powder 8' pattern (because it looks like it has little ski tracks running down the sides. Yeah, I like to make stuff up). I re-did one of the socks after I modified the pattern for the second one--and then had a knitting tragedy the finished second sock jumped out onto the floor of a commuter jet, unbeknown to me until I had transferred to another flight. After a brief mourning period, I ordered yarn of a 'complementary color shade' since the color I originally had was discontinued. I was glad to get anything close to the original color in the same type of yarn, because in fact the entire line of 'possum-merino' blended sock-yarns had been discontinued.

After all of this drama, I realized that I was freaking sick of the pattern, and the yarn, and socks in general and I took no joy in working on it. Back in the pile. Then I got this message about a month ago.

The only reason I hadn't made the pattern available is that I never had a full pair finished at once (although when I'm done with this one I'll have knitted a total of four socks) to take pictures with. I didn't start on it right away, but it stuck in my mind that I should get to work since one human being was interested. After the sweater, though, it was the logical choice. It was already about 1/4 done, and socks are the best knitting projects to travel with. I've made some progress...

I'm hoping to make some more progress on my flights home today. I had forgotten how small the Idaho Falls airport was. I arrived an hour early to find no one manning the Delta counter (a sign read 'Ring Bell for Service') and the security area completely deserted.

There was another sign reading "Security Area may not open until 45 minutes before your scheduled flight". I'll be damned. I haven't seen anything like this since flying to out of the Rockford, IL airport (which I would highly recommend--free parking) where the two people who checked me in also acted as the TSA and then the gate agents (but not the pilots, thankfully). Idaho Falls has a slightly bigger operation: 3 gates, instead of two.

Can we talk pitas for a second? More specifically, pita packaging. The lab I worked in the past couple of weeks didn't have a cafeteria, and in money-saving fashion (what my coworker colorfully refers to as 'dirt-balling it') instead of going out to eat every day I went to the grocery and picked up a bunch of snacky lunch type items to nosh on over the week. One of the items I grabbed was pitas.

Doesn't it seem weird to gear your food towards a particular gender? I've never considered different types of food to be manly/girly. I can see my husband picking this up at the grocery and thinking, "Hmm, this appears to be for women. Must have some chick hormone in it or something, better not get it." Isn't it bad business practice to alienate half of your potential customers? Just struck me as an odd strategy.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Well, Yellow there!

I know I occasionally complain about it, but by and large I love that my job gets me out and about traveling. That being said, I was not looking forward to a trip to Idaho Falls to do some work at Idaho National Lab (INL). I had been there twice before--once as an extremely green graduate student, and once when it was on fire.

The first time, my advisor sent me an email out of the blue, "Hey, I can't attend this meeting, can you present something for me?" I honestly don't even remember the point of the meeting--maybe a nuclear fuels consortium? It doesn't matter. I said sure, and made up a poster highlighting my one and only (and in retrospect, very bad) result of my research. Believe it or not, it's common practice for scientists to print up posters showing off their research, and conferences and meetings will have a 'poster session' where you can walk around and look at everyone's posters and chat with the person presenting it. I was there for four days: I knew one person at the meeting, and exactly one person talked to me and asked about my poster (they were the same person).

The second time was actually also poster related, now that I think about it. I had won a poster contest (yep, such a thing also really exists, usually to encourage students like me) and there was a cash prize as well as an 'opportunity to visit INL to tour the labs and present the current state of your research'. As I was checking into my hotel, I got a call saying that the tour of the lab was canceled...because it was on fire. Wildfires had been threatening the area for several days before I arrived, and they had finally knocked the power out and hence shut down the lab. With a day to kill and four students on his hands, my advisor drove us around the desert in a rental Hummer. We gawked at the fire, visited the first town to ever run on nuclear power (pop. approx. 14), and somehow ended up at a dive called 'Pickle's Place'.

Rather than presenting to the materials science department of the lab, we ended up presenting in an auxiliary conference building to about 4 people since everyone had the day off after the lab shut down. Good times.

Rock bottom expectations make it easy to be impressed, but I'm having a fairly sweet time so far. No fires, the work is going well, but the gigantic cherry on top has been a weekend road trip. My office-mate (and friend, I don't want to pigeonhole you as merely a coworker) came out the week before I did and highly recommended a trip to Yellowstone National Park. I didn't really know that they were that close, but look:

It's only a two hour jaunt to the west entrance of the park! At first, it seems like your typical national park: beautiful mountains, lots of pine trees, picturesque lakes. But tucked into this are all of these crazy geothermal features that make you feel like you're on another planet. Brightly colored pools of boiling water....

My shadow is making a cameo in this shot.

Mud bubbling like a cauldron....

This mud is actively bubbling! Glop, glop.

Steam and water blasting up out of the earth....

The people living here hundreds of years ago must have been very religious, because how else would you explain this stuff without vast scientific knowledge? The most logical conclusion at the time would have been that GOD IS POWERFUL AND POSSIBLY PISSED OFF.

A build-up of minerals and heat-loving bacteria make the beautiful colors and terraces around the pools.

Many of the geothermal pools are readily accessible by terraces near the road. I decided that I wanted to do a little hiking and get away from the crowds. I pulled over at a trailhead that said 'Fairy Falls, 1.0 mi'. So two miles round trip, I could easily see the falls in 45 min. So I walked.

And walked, and walked, and walked. I kept thinking, 'OK, the falls must just be over that bend'. Since I do a lot of walking with puppy-boy, I figured I'd already gone two miles when I got to a sign, 'Fairy Falls, 1.6 mi'. Aaaah!! I turned around in defeat. I soon passed a couple of European guys who asked, 'Where are the falls??". I told them about my discovery, and they made irritated noises and started walking back with me. They passed the news on to another couple, who made some disgusted noises and turned back as well.  We hiked for about a half-an-hour, these guys staring us down from the distance:

Heh heh BOOBS!

Geographical breasts being the most interesting thing I'd seen on my hike, I felt obligated to go see Old Faithful. Unfortunately, I got there just as the spout was winding down. To kill some time, I checked out the Old Faithful Inn and got some ice cream. Not a bad deal, it's an amazing old lodge (and ice cream is always welcome, natch). I hope to someday own a home someday with 100 ft ceilings and vast beams made of wood.

Ninety minutes later, here we were. Hundreds of people, all starting at a hole in the ground. I started to feel a little silly.

Is it your ass, or a hole in the ground?

It was actually worth the wait....

OK, so it's pretty cool.

Here's the only shot that contains me. One of the disadvantages of solo adventuring: no one to take pictures of you in front of picturesque spots, or pretending to pick a statue's nose, or standing on your head in front of a geyser to make it look like it's coming out of your rear end (the other disadvantage: no one to be your lookout when you need to take a leak in the woods).

Proving I was there...not that the sunburn doesn't do the trick. Ow.

My friend had advised me that it was quite cold, and that I needed a jacket. I hadn't brought much in the way of winter clothes, so I layered up before I left. About 30 seconds after stepping out of the car into the park, I stripped down to my long-sleeve t-shirt, and five minutes later I was down to a tank top. I hadn't brought sunscreen since I thought I would be wearing lots of clothes the whole day.

In eight hours I only saw a small fraction of the park, and I find myself trying to figure out some more work that needs to be done in Idaho Falls....

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bits and pieces: part deux

Just one more mental dump. Bear with me, as the weather cools, I'll start to compose more frequent and possibly even coherent posts.


I've heard quite a few people within the past few years assert something to the effect of, "I never go to the movie theater anymore." The reason most commonly cited is cost, but I've also heard laments about sticky floors, noisy kids, obnoxious old people (apparently we just take free license to do whatever we want at both ends of the age spectrum) crappy projectors, the list goes on. Despite my propensity for crotchety-old-ladyism, I'll be the first to admit that I LOVE the moviegoing experience despite the pitfalls. There's something strangely charming about the ritual of sitting in a dark room with thirty or so strangers, feet sticking to the floor, trying desperately to hold in your urine for two hours while simultaneously chugging a giant pop--all while enjoying anything from a subtitled art film to the latest Micheal Bay 'splosion fest. Seriously, how could it get any better?

 Well worth the 30 min drive.

Answer: the drive-in movie theater, my addiction of the summer. You still get a bit of the communal experience of watching a movie with fellow cinephiles, without the chance of a sitting behind a group of obnoxious kids or next to the guy who keeps texting. And always a double feature! AND I don't have to worry that I'm annoying people with the click-click of my needles. I took Mystery Wedding Project (now officially a year since the wedding, and counting) to every movie this summer and made a respectable bit of progress.

There's even a retro snack bar--with real mid-western food like cheese curds and pork tenderloins. Especially fun were movies that were a little scary, being outside in the dark added to the suspense. I was glum when Labor Day rolled around...closed for the season.


I often feel a little guilty because we don't have a have a yard for our highly active husky-shepherd to run around in, since we live in a condo. In a way though, it ends up being a pretty sweet deal for him--he tends to get two or three long walks a day.

One morning a couple of weeks ago, we were sauntering through the park when a the sound of a fire truck stopped Sammy in his tracks. He's always fascinated with sirens--when he hears one, he'll drop whatever shoe he's chewing on and listen, tilting his head back and forth in the way that all dogs do. In this case, he plopped his butt down and refused to go any further.

The fire truck appeared in our view and made it's way slowly down the street while Sammy tracked it, totally captivated. After a few seconds, he raised his head to the sky and howled in tune with the siren. I was so surprised that I melodramatically clapped my hand over my mouth. Never has he made a sound like that, as far as I know.

In that moment I saw him as something wild--despite looking quite a bit like a wolf, he's never acted like one before in the least. I saw him running through the woods, hunting prey with his pack, and howling at the moon. Then he looked back at me with his big doggy grin and the illusion was gone. Just sweet Sammy, tongue hanging out of his mouth like the goofball he is.

How is that even comfortable?


Finally. FINALLY. The sweater is done....and I love it! Check it:

I currently don't have anyone to take pictures of me actually inside of it, so this'll have to suffice for now. I went though about four iterations of sleeves since we last spoke and you verified my suspicions that the sleeves were too tight. The next iteration was a total overcorrection, kind of like what they tell you never to do if you're driving on the highway and you go off the road and onto the berm--I twisted the steering wheel too far the the left and ended up in the oncoming traffic of a huge-ass sleeve. After settling somewhere in the middle, I tried the cap sleeve that we agreed should look nice, but I didn't like it for two reasons.

1) The fabric is actually quite a bit heavier than I thought it would be, and I foresee wearing it in cold weather. Not having the top half of your arm covered really makes a difference in how warm a sweater makes you. (Rational reason)

2) I hate my upper arms. Always have. (Irrational reason)

So instead of seeing a therapist to work through those issues, I made it a little longer. I also continued the pattern on the sleeves wherever it had happened to intersect the armhole--so there's a bit of the pattern on the sleeve, but it's not as dense as on the body. I seem to be a little obsessed with transitions like that, so it satisfied my OCD tendencies.

When I cast-off the first sleeve, I didn't like how loose and floppy it still was. But the other sleeve was still on the circular needles, and the stitches on that sleeve kind of gathered together when I tried it on. I loved the look! Ah, serendipity. I ended up with something I like to call "poofy sleeves" (not to be confused with the Seinfeld poofy shirt).

Booties are also done, they still need to be sent to their recipients. I'm hoping the babes' feet aren't growing freakishly fast. I also got some news that I have cause to make another set, but I can say no more for now (in case this isn't obvious--it's not for me).


I traveled to Richland, WA to do some work at the lab there for what I thought might be the last time before I graduate. It was a little bittersweet at the time (I kept thinking, "This could be the last time I dine at Dr. Bill's Bistro", ""This could be the last time I check into my mildly dumpy motel", stuff like that) but I've since convinced myself that I need just one teensy more visit to get a little more data.

However, it was my last time visiting their LYS--or rather, I found that my previous visit had been my last. I made the trip without all the knitting supplied I needed (Sammy has successfully chewed up all of my darning needles) but was confident that I could get what I needed at the Richland Knitty Gritty.

I went down to my favorite shopping area ("Maybe for the last time!") and went up to what I thought was the yarn shop. An arcade? Hmm, must have gone to the wrong store. I walked around the entire area twice, then looked closer at the arcade--the layout of the front room appeared to be the same as the ol' LYS.

Using my amazing powers of deduction, I sensed that something was amiss. I asked around at a couple of the other stores, but no one seemed to know what happened. When I searched for their website to try to get some info, all I got was this. What a bummer. The last thing I bought there was this skein:

They even wound it for me! I'm easily impressed.
I took the photo on my iTouch the day I got it and deemed it non-blog quality, but now it seems fitting. I feel like I need to make something extra special with this one.


I feel a little bit lost without the sweater to work on......

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bits and pieces

I've had an almost intangible block on posting recently. If I had to guess, I think I felt I needed to finish the sweater I've been working on before I could update the like, four of you who read this. I suppose I wanted something to show you, some kind of accomplishment. This is not to say that the sweater's done--I've finished the body and one sleeve--but that much broke the sweater-trance of being unable to post. We'll get to the details of that later. (SPOILER ALERT: Because I hate the sleeve and need a sanity check. Hate, hate, hate it. OK, that's a little strong. Just hate hate.) For now, a mental dump of thoughts and happenings from the last three weeks.


I never quite understood why knitting was so strongly associated with babies and baby items before. What's the appeal? I always figured that it was because having a baby was all special and stuff, so worthy of commemoration by a hand-knit object. And they don't complain about your style and workmanship, simple shapes and colors are cosmopolitan enough (also, they can't speak English). But one pair of booties and I am totally riding the baby knits train.

These little darlings took me all of two hours to whip out. I've never felt so productive. Did I mention I was done with them in two hours? Other than sewing up the seams, as you can see from the photo. Turns out that the resident chewing machine has destroyed every single one of my darning needles.


The co-pilot and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary earlier this month. A year ago, we decided to try out a rental cabin for the occasion about an hour and a half north of Madison at a place called Little Pond Lodge.

The cabin was sweet. Which was good, since we spent most of the weekend hiding inside it in an attempt to avoid the army of mosquitoes waiting outside to devour our supple young flesh. Layers upon layers of deep woods bug spray didn't faze them in the least. The icing on the cake was when I got a call from one of my friends, coming home from vacation. I had been watering his plants. 'So, I'll swing by your place and pick up the key to my apartment?' 'You gave me your only key???' The upshot: I drove the 3 hour round trip as the co-pilot grilled our dinner, vainly trying to preserve some of his blood for, you know, living.

For whatever reason, we decided to give it another shot in the winter (probably off-season rates--never underestimate the power of a good deal to a cheap-ass). And...

Relaxing on the porch

Playing some ball

Stomping through the woods

...it was pretty great. Cross-country skiing, a warm fireplace, and a nice dinner on Valentine's Day (which was a coincidence, I swear! We're a couple of those killjoys that love to bitch that V-day is a corporation-y holiday, possibly in part to avoid having to buy gifts), you couldn't ask for much more.

So we gave it another shot for the summer, and we only needed about two coats of deep woods bug spray this time around. Also, Sammy knew how to swim this time and spent as much time as he could in Little Pond.

Not 100% on the retrieving though, which is why we usually throw sticks.


The sweater has mostly gotten down to finishing and detail work, which is where my anal retentive-osity kicks in and progress really slows down. I've been thinking for about a week now that I'm going to finish it up, then I backtrack some more, then something takes way longer than expected, repeat. I watched Blade Runner on TV in the time that it took me to pick up all the stitches for the neckline. That's with commercials. Did you know that movie came out almost 30 years ago? It's set in a 'far-off dystopian future' of something like 2015 (LA could potentially look like that five years from now, I guess). This fact astonished me because a) the special effects really look fabulous and b) that makes me feel old. In Back to the Future II, I think they also go to 2015. Where in the hell are our flying cars?


OK, back to that sleeve. I made it according to the directions, correcting for the fact that the pattern wasn't written to be seamless (i.e. short rows instead of bind-offs). I'll show it to you without comment:

I asked the opinions of some (non-knitting) friends and their assessment was:

a) It looks weird that the branch pattern doesn't continue on the sleeve.

b) The sleeve fabric looks thicker than the body.

c) Fabric is bunching up under the armpit.

It was observation c) that was the crux of my distaste--I cannot stand a top that bunches around the armpit. The rest of their observations just increases my neuroses. The potential solution for the bunching is to make a cap sleeve, but what do you think about keeping the sleeve in pattern? Since I would be doing the sleeve upside-down relative to the way the body was made, the branch pattern would go backwards. Would that be dumb? Or should I try to rework the branch pattern so that it's sort of not upside-down? Or screw the pattern? Sanity check requested.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer rolls on

Thanks for the advice in baby-making, it was very enlightening. I mean, in making stuff for babies. The other way would be weird. I got as far as yarn:

Acrylic, natch (though some people claim that acrylic is a bad choice for babies because it melts in a fire--but my feeling is that if your baby is on fire, you probably have bigger problems than that). As you might have noticed, Sammy has already 'tested' the durability of the yellow yarn. He couldn't even leave me in peace to take a picture of it.

This yarn was really freaking cheap, and momentarily made me question my dedication to yarn snobbery. I might have to mix acrylic into my repertoire. I found myself really drawn to this neon purple shade, but fortunately was talking to my mother on the phone at the time whose assessment of "For a baby??? Come on." made me realize that perhaps it wasn't an appropriate choice for a baby. I hate pastels, though, so I think this was a good compromise. Next up, actually making something.

Here's the thing--I keep putting off writing, because I want to be able to actually show you something that I've made. The new and exciting sweater that I started in, oh let's see, the beginning of JUNE is becoming a never ending chore. And I'm starting to realize I'm such a slow knitter because I keep doing crap like this...

So I realized that I had read part of the (poorly written) pattern wrong, and had run part of the branch pattern right up next to the selvage edge where it wasn't supposed to be:

The whole problem area was about three times the length of what you see in the picture. I internally debated for a while--it would probably look better the correct way, but it didn't really matter, right? My inner perfectionist won that round, but what she didn't seem to remember was that whenever you do lace type stuffs, i.e. use yarn overs and decreases that functionally create new stitches, the column of stitches truncates when you get down where it was created. Stops. Does not go down any further. Which I figured out about here:

Which was a hot mess already and only was about a third of the way down to the start of the problem. Why do I do shit like this? When I realized exactly how many stitches I'd have to drop down (around 30) to actually get everything undone, I begrudgingly started bringing it all back up. Here's about halfway:

And two episodes of Top Gear later, we were back to where we started.

I DON'T KNOW HOW TO STOP DOING THIS KIND OF CRAZY. This is why things never get done.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Your professional opinions kindly requested

Ah, summer. You drift by like a hazy dream, wherein keeping the internet world up to date with my craft and occasionally non-craft related activities seems like an insurmountable task. I want to throw out an 'I'm still here', Joaquin Phoenix style (though my facial hair isn't nearly as impressive).

This is where I'd usually commence in bitching, probably in ALL CAPS, about how [insert string of expletives here] hot it was due to the freak heat wave striking the heartland of the US. Ironically, I was dreading a work trip to Knoxville, TN this week--their summers are miserably hot and humid--but at temps in the high 80s, it was practically winter coat weather compared to WI. I don't want to gloat, so I'll just say I enjoyed staying in a hotel next to the 1982 World's Fair Sunsphere:

Knoxville's local wigshop warehouse. It's in much better shape than The Simpsons led me to believe.

And I've been steadily working on my cotton sweater, though dog knows when I'll get to wear it. I'm just about done with the body; there's been no shaping, so if I stopped right now it would be a (very loose) tube top.

It's laid out on a bench at the airport: not really sure why it looks like it's a floating ghostly apparition.  Maybe it's tired of being a sweater and is trying to go into the light.

But onto a pressing matter: two of my cousins have recently gotten themselves knocked up. Buns in the respective ovens. Riding the baby train. Their lives are over (JOKING...one of them already has a child so her life was over a while ago). But seriously, they are both lovely ladies expanding their families and I want to mark the occasion with some hand knitting. We're not super close due to the the long distance we live apart--so I'm not thinking a huge project, but I think that a couple of babe hats would be a nice gesture.

Here's the rub: I know absolutely nothing about human spawn. I might as well be another species. Until a few years ago, none of my extended family was of the right age range to have young children--the first time I held a baby was maybe three years ago (I did the thing where you awkwardly hold it straight-armed out in front of you, natch). So I'm all ears for advice...they're both due in the fall, so the wee ones will be 2-4 months-ish during the wintertime. What size are babies heads at that age? Are knitting patterns for babies sized by age? Any suggestions for patterns that you've liked?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

To all of my American readers, I hope you're having a fun 4th of July! Celebrate your country's independence in the traditional way: by blowing up a small piece of it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Kickass new design and jumping on the bandwagon

First off, I'd like to draw your attention to my kickass new site design, courtesy of my brilliant copilot. For an engineer, my computer coding skills are woefully inadequate (we materials engineers tend to use FORTRAN for our coding needs--if you know anything about programming, you just snorted in derisive laughter) and I had no clue how to achieve what I wanted. I came to him like a bossy client with vague and flimsy ideas of a vision, but he managed to bring the magic--such as every time you come to the site or refresh, you get a random banner. MAGIC.

I also decided to start using Bloglovin', which is an awesome little organizer for the blogs that you read, but I'm sure that this isn't news to you. I'm not an early adopter. My copilot managed to convince me to let go of my VHS tape player just last year. But if you're a fuddy like me, check it out and follow my blog with Bloglovin. Now I can actually keep up to date with my internet buddies and I don't have to shamefully comment on your posts weeks after the fact.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Double dog dare

There is an excuse for the lack of accomplishment that's been plaguing the AC residence as of late. I have looked into the face of evil, and it looks like this:

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh nooooooooooo!

Evil is pretty cute, apparently. That's why the sexy devil costume is always popular for Halloween. We've been dog-sitting for my parents while they were off gallivanting on a cross-country tour of the western US. If you don't think that caring for a tiny terrier could possibly be that difficult, well, you've got poop for brains. To be fair, there were times like this:

And even this:

But also a lot of this:

I have actually have been doing a little bit of knitting, when the yarn wasn't being chewed on and in between refereeing dogfights. I've had this kick-ass cotton yarn sitting in my pile for about a year now, languishing because no project seemed worthy.

Which is a really dumb philosophy if you think about it, and it's a trap I fall into all too often. Yarn is for creating fabric, and it's a waste to not use it. I set out with a parameters for a garment in mind (DK weight yarn, short-sleeved shirt, pattern downloadable) and used Ravelry's nifty pattern searching picture. Only one pattern matched, which made it pretty easy.

Perfect!  I stand in front of the ocean with my hand on my hat and my hip cocked all the time.

#10 Tunis, rock on.