Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm currently sitting under a hairdryer as I type this. Yes, under. I'm one the floor in my living room, planted under the home version of the bonnet hair dryers you see at beauty shops. I'm not sure why my mom still even owns this thing, or how she was able to put up with this once a week.

Why am I sitting here under something that looks like a bizarre popcorn maker? Mostly, because I'm a sucker for a good theme party.

Tonight is Elena's You-So-Nasty Pajama Party. When she and I went shopping for suitable attire last weekend, I found an awesome red corset at Charlotte Russe (aka "the cheap whore store" ) and voila, an outfit idea was born.

I decided to go a bit retro, with loads of pearls (yes, I did just spell it purls and have to change it) and victory rolls in my hair. Then I got the nutty idea that, since I was in dire need of a dye job, I'd go ahead and tackle that while I was at it. And maybe I could kill two birds with one stone (straightening, then recurling the ends) by simply putting it on rollers and sitting under this contraption.

I had forgotten what a pain in the ass it is to put rollers in one's hair. I'm getting much quicker at dyeing my hair though. It always seems to take a while because I never just dye it one color (it looks like doll hair when I do.)

After this, all that's left to do is put on my attire and find that damn black slip, the one that I have been tripping over until I decided I needed it.

I thought about year-in-review posting, but thought better of it. Maybe tomorrow, when the only thing on my to-do list is taking down the christmas tree.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lovely. Some has apparently pissed off the neighborhood skunk. AGAIN.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I've gotten quite a bit of baking done today. First there were the brownies, then the blondies:
Blondes and Brunettes

Then it was almond creme cake. I realized I didn't have toothpicks to check doneness, so I had to improvise:

Sometimes you have to improvise.

I put in the last of the molasses cookies a couple of hours ago. I noticed notmartha's recipe the other day and, since I happened to have all of the ingredients (and was not leaving my house for anything at all,) decided to make them this year. They make me think of Carmen, who made the best ones I've ever had:
Molasses cookies sans sparkle

I also held up my family tradition of eating pizza and watching movies. Since it's been too snowy to even think about calling for pizza, I made a few pizzas here-- the best ones I've made yet-- and we all (me, E, CJ and Alicia) watched "Santa with Muscles," a mid-90s Hulk Hogan vehicle made back when Hulk Hogan was still trying to prove two things:

a) that he was a serious actor
b) that he still had hair

Seriously, that shit was hilarious. It might have to go in the repetoire of "so bad it's funny" Christmas movies.

Now all that's left is to wrap a couple of presents for Eric, then go to bed before Santa shows up.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Word Vomit

this week
hit by truck/stranded on the highway/18 hours to get home/car is probably totalled/bumps and bruises and broken glass that I was still picking out of my hair the next day/thank god we're both okay/did the truck that hit us have insurance? We're still not sure

it's been snowing a lot/nobody up here knows how to drive in the snow/I grew up in Hawaii and even I know how to drive in the snow/The truck is sandbagged and I don't give a shit how mcuh you tailgate me I'm not fucking speeding up

We've been sick since we got home from vacation/my brother sneezed in my face and made me ill/the dog is sick too/he's been rather smelly and kind of miserable/and had an accident on Monday/Eric almost puked/I'm glad he didn't-there would have been two messes

Wednesday was my birthday/the dog was still sick/there's nothing like cleaning up semi-liquid dog poo at 6:30 in the morning on your birthday/the highlight was the nap I took that evening

Still cold/still snowy/Closing the shop early/after the big scary boss stopped by and hung out for a bit/atleast the other people got out early/I had to stay and do paperwork/this is not supposed to be my job today/I know it's my bad mood but they can pretty much suck it/ but first my tooth chipped/woohoo time to schedule dentist appointment and get my teeth pulled or drilled or canaled or whatever the hell it is they do/the chipped spot feels huge and I can't stop messing with it/

today i came home and cried and ruined two loaves of bread

I'm tired of things getting broken and sick and screwed up/I think if the truck slides one more time in the snow I'm going to drive it into the side of a building/ i just want my dog to get better/and me to get better/and life to get better/i kind of don't give a shit that christmas is a week away/cause i really just feel like crap inside and out

really, i just want to hibernate until this month is over.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's finally, thankfully here.

As a million other blogs have already mentioned, today is election day and so it all begins.

I've been away from the internets for a little while now, as I've been avoiding most media ever since I sealed my ballot a few days ago. I didn't have a chance to turn it in until yesterday (where, to my suprise, I got an "I Voted" sticker! I totally wasn't expecting that!) but once it was in its envelope I was officially done-- with the constant shitty political ads, the constant debate, the constant white noise of "us against them" that has permeated our lives for far too long.

As today loomed closer, people both here and abroad became more and more crazy. We all started to resemble dogs, biting at eachother out of so many fears. Fear of the unkown and uncertain future. Fear of having to confront our own prejudices, both racial and otherwise. Fear of people in distant towns who seem to be against everything we stand for. Fear that the person standing in front of us in the grocery store might make a decision that could potentially take away our rights, our money, the very way of life we've become accustomed to. Fear of the oh-so-ominous "THEM" --the real americans, the city elitists, the republicans, the democrats, the millions of people that don't know us but probably hate us anyway.

Mostly though, I think the thing this country has feared the most is change. Don't get me wrong, we're craving it, wanting it so bad we can taste it. But deep down, most of us know that change in any form is a difficult, painful process. And, unfortunately, "change" is an incredibly ambiguous and open-ended word.

I'm not sure if it's cynicism or optimism, but ultimately I'm not afraid of the future. No matter who's elected, some things are going to change, but frankly, I think quite a few things are going to stay the same, in both a good and bad way. And after surviving one of the worst presidents this country has ever seen, not even John McCain and Sarah Palin can scare me, so tomorrow will not be the day to start moving to Canada, regardless of the outcome.

I keep remembering an old episode of Sports Night that centered around Napoleon's Battleplan. (Think Waterloo, not Dynamite.)

According to Aaron Sorkin, it consisted of this:
First, we show up.
Then, we see what happens.

I am not one of the super-passionate, one of the fervent and almost obssessive supporters this election seems to be spawning on both sides. I am simply someone who believes one candidate is more qualified and a better choice than the other. I have made that better choice. I have, in effect, shown up. now all we can do is see what happens.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I got muy knitting mojo back, but not before I made the uber-cool printed t-shirt corset from Alabama Stitch Book.

I still plan to sew a whole lot, but not before I finish the Buttony Sweater. All that's left is button bands, and although they intimidate me I plan to KICK THEIR ASS!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I think this is just about the longest I've gone without knitting a stitch in years. Eight days and counting. I'm growing rather concerned.

I have, however, been obsessively deconstructing t-shirts and messing with fabrics, so maybe there's hope for me yet.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I'll save most of the Sarah Palin rants for the people who write them better than I do, but my disgust first kicked in when I heard some Republican analyst explain that part of the reason they chose her was to pull in some of the women that would have voted for Hillary.

...'cause us womenfolk are so simple-minded, we'll vote for anyone just as long as they have a vagina.

I did however contemplate writing a letter, if I only knew the address---

Dear GOP,

You and your pro-torture, anti-choice, anti-humanity asses can feel free to kiss mine.

Love, Jilly

I don't claim to believe that Obama is the messiah everyone seems to think he is. Frankly, I find myself to be distrustful of anyone who makes it as a viable presidential candidate, because given the state of American politics, they had to sell a little bit of their soul to get there. Luckily, I don't have to think that he can walk on water in order to vote for him.

On a side note, tonight's Daily Show made me adore Brian Williams, if only because he made a gay innuendo and talked about John Stewart being all up in his grill.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Don't be silly, turn on Billie. She's singing us to sleep so we can dream our lives away....

Overheard on the Daily Show just now--

"Do you feel that we might have a lifestyle civil war? Obviously, the red's would win-- they have guns. But you throw a nice hot latte in someone's face, that's not gonna feel good..."

I don't know why, but that cracks me up.

I have not accomplished nearly as much as I've wanted to the last week and a half. While Eric was gone, I originally had a plan to finish touching up the eggplant bathroom, start testing colors for our bedroom, and finish both Grocery Bag #2 and the magenta sweater. Instead I have:

-spent hours on Ravelry
-worked some crazy hours and commuted to different stores
-become obsessed with Dr. Horrible, iTunes, Studio 60 (again), and The Pierces album, Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge
-watched The Dark Knight (HOLY SHIT Heath Ledger as a spectacular Joker OMG Harvey Dent)
-locked myself out of my house (twice)
-watched some Golden Girls with Rob, both in tribute to the recent passing of Estelle Getty, and because it's a good show. Although I keep finding more and more friends who like the show, the fact is Golden Girls will always be synonymous with Carly.
-slept through my favorite part of Kung Fu Hustle

Thursday will be the day to take care of these things I've been meaning to do, including finishing the first sleeve and starting the second of the pink sweater.

For now, I'm gonna go watch yet another episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, then go to bed to start another early morning.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Funny how knowing that I'm being ridiculous about something doesn't seem to make me any less so. I've been feeling really petty and snarky today, overly irritated by the rather innocuous and, in and of themselves, inoffensive actions of others.

In my defense, some of this has been building, brought on by a lot of other shitty actions by the same people that I have been letting slide by.

I should feel bad about getting (inwardly) pissy because everyone I know managed to inconvenience me today, but I don't. As I told Steph earlier, sometimes you just shouldn't have to swallow things. Or more accurately, "we can't be big people all the time."

Monday, July 07, 2008

I had something of any epiphany the other day, brought on by my recently-finished Lace Skirt. Since I currently don't have pictures of the finished garment, I will substitute it with my favorite place in my house:

And my favorite dog doing something that makes him happy:

But I digress.

It occurred to me, as I was flouncing around in my new skirt on the 4th of July, that I could finally put into words the feeling I've always felt when I put on a garment I made myself.

It is this perfect marriage of three things-- the perceived luxury and decadence of owning and wearing custom-made clothing, the self-satisfaction that comes from being able to make something with little more than sticks and string, and the singular feeling of uniqueness in a mass-marketed world. Yes, alteast a few hundred other people have made the same skirt I did, but once you factor in yarn, color, size, and all those tiny modifications that we do to garments, my little faded pink skirt with it's white ribbon trim is like none other.

When we live in a time where everything is made cheaply and shipped from somewhere else, and until recently the idea of making things yourself or choosing handmade over store-bought was considered fringe thinking or something only available to the very wealthy, the notion that simply doing something our predeccesors did out of necessity is forward thinking and just now entering into the mainstream boggles my mind.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The little things are awesome.

In keeping with my "I'm having a great couple of days" theme-- 4th of July weekend has historically always been a great time, full of friends and barbecue and things to laugh about.

Currently though, now that all the friends who came over for Eric's Birthday Barbecue have gone home, after the super awesome fajitas we made have all been consumed and Gus has played so hard with our friends' dog Otis that he was falling asleep against his will, the things that are making me happiest are

-warm weather
-pandora radio

There's nothing like updating your blog from a comfortable chair on your back patio, with the night breeze flowing over you, the train whistle blowing in the distance, and Fiest playing softly in the background.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

It seems that a holiday isn't a holiday until I hurt myself.

I fell and broke a flower pot with my face last night. Three things:

a)it wasn 't on purpose.
b)the flower pot was this wierd compostable plastic stuff that is designed to break apart anyway.
c)There's a reason that I am known as Jilly, the pitifully uncoordinated.

I wasn't always this way. In fact, I think that the first fall into my bathtub, along with giving me a concussion, permenantly screwed up my equilibrium, because I have fallen more in the last three years than I have in my entire life. And I always manage to take the impact on the left side of my forehead.

Other than that, this has been so far an incredibly enjoyable long weekend.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lessons I should have already learned by now.

1. Don't try to type when you've just painted your nails.
2. Don't paint your nails in the first place. You're just going to chew all that polish off anyway.

Friday, June 20, 2008

It seems after nearly a year on Ravelry I'm finally starting to stick my toe into the discussion boards. I'm only about 30 posts in over the last month or two ,but so far my favorite discussions have been from the group for the Lazy, Stupid and Godless. Until now, I never knew the word "twatweasel" could be used so many times in one conversation.

At the moment, though, I think I'm going to tear myself away from message boards and actually knit something instead. I'm one handle away from finishing one project, and if I apply myself, I might even be able to get all the ends weaved (woven? Neither one ever sounds right) in on the Lace Skirt. And just maybe if there's a slow day at work tomorrow, I just might be able to fix the bind off and add straps to my Vixen cami. That would be three FO's in one weekend, an unheard of accomplishment here at the House of Chaos!

For now, to the Bat Cave!

Monday, June 16, 2008

For I am truly lazy.

Don't feel like posting a full entry, so I'll simply give myself some bulletpoints for later (or possibly not.) To sum up:

  • The Lacey Skirt is all done but for weaving in ends and adding ribbon.
  • I have been make some rocking meals lately. Mahi mahi, anyone?
  • Working 52 hours in a week, mostly by yourself, is potentially bad for one's health, but definetely good for one's wallet.
  • I finally knit something with some of the handspun I've been stockpiling!
  • The Rose Cardigan has suffered due to my dalliances with handspuns and skirtiness.
  • Trader Joe's Artichoke and Lemon Pesto = new favorite thing ever. You know, behind potato bread.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The sound of our voices made us forget everything that had ever hurt our feelings.

Finally seamed the sides of the Rambling Rose Cardigan last night, after a self-pep talk and a glass of wine. I've been avoiding it because not only do I hate seaming, I've never sewn a seam in reverse stockinette and therefore must completely suck at it.

Suprisingly, it turned out better than most of my seams do! Isn't it great to find out you can do something you thought you couldn't? I'm so stoked, I'm even ready to tackle the short rows on top. I'm trying like hell to get this thing knocked out soon, because I don't really want to have the guilt that comes with another six-month sweater like the No-Name Cardigan. I've set a deadline of June 25th, three months after I started it. Somehow I'm hoping to get my skirt done in the same time, but I think that might just be wishful thinking. Either way, one of these things will be getting worn to various weddings in August.

Subsequently, this means that I've unfortunately hit the age where summer = wedding season.*

I've also been putting my new planter boxes to good use, and have even added another hanging basket. I'm determined to get as much use out of what little space I have, lack of sunlight be damned. The emphasis so far has been basil and mint. Three (maybe four) varieties of basil, with an additional lime basil in the tiny seed greenhouse I started last week, and another three of mint. Two are just for smell, as I'm not sure what use I really have for chocolate or ginger mint, but the "mint julep" plant will definetely be put to work this summer.

As small as these little things are, I find that minor things like filling my tiny patio with plants and making myself a kickass dinner like the grilled mahi mahi I had last night are really my bread and butter, morale-wise. It means that no matter how evil and frustrating and downright fucking annoying the outside world is, I can come home to a place where we do what we like and like what we do.

*Don't get me wrong, I like weddings. I'm just not too fond of having to ready myself for the barrage of questions and criticism about mine and Eric's unmarried and unengaged status.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Sometimes I wish I walked around with a tiny music player (think boom box more than mp3) that could play some sort of victory song for those small, rather insignificant accomplishments one has every day. You know, those moments when you have exact change at the store, or nab the perfect parking spot, or get through an interaction with the world's worst customer without saying anything snarky? How awesome would it be if at that moment "We are the Champions" suddenly started playing?

I don't know about you, but it would certainly make my day atleast 17% more kick-ass.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Eric is definetely one bad ass shut-yo-mouth. Our back patio had these pitiful looking horizontal slat divider things between ours and our neighbors and we've never been terribly fond of them. One side has this chicken-wire sort of mesh woven into it, presumably so someone (not us) could attempt to grow climbing plants. Either way we've been tired of looking at it, so we got the bright idea to basically put a fence on top of the fence. It's definetely got some bonuses--
a)sound deadening privacy wall
b)LOTS more space to hang stuff
c) lovely cedar smell
and now... planter boxes!

Keep talkin' that smack, don't be suprised when you wake up on the ground....

There seems to be a bit of trouble and tension brewing around Chez Dog Hair. Not between me and Eric, mind you-- other than E's impending departure on Sunday for Bumfuck, Egypt things are pretty cool within our little abode. Out in the world, though, things feel hostile and uncomfortable. I have a slightly sinking feeling that some of it might be due to one very small (but very key) misunderstanding. Nonetheless it seems like everyone, E included, has ramped it up to Defcon 5 or something.

The whole thing makes me want to move out to Double Ditch Road* and put a big "Trespassers will be shot on sight" sign at the foot of my driveway, despite my dislike of guns. There are just few things that bother me more than coming home to a hostile environment, especially a passive-aggressive one.

Then again, who am I to talk when I'm sitting here pouring my frustration onto the internets instead of discussing it with the other parties. Hey kettle, pot here. I think we already know what color you are.

*There actually is a Double Ditch Road within Whatcom County. Sometimes living within Bellingham makes me forget that the rest of the area is pretty fucking rural. The road's name is accurate however-- there is indeed two big-ass ditches running the 5-mile length of it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I don't envy you, but don't worry-- I've got plenty of other deadly sins to work with.

It's becoming almost redundant, but I am very grateful for a renewal of the spirit, though I find my feelings even harder to explain than usual. All I can say is that I get pretty in love with my life sometimes. It's probably not the best in the world, but I love it all the same.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Spin to win!

I made my first balanced 2-ply yarn last night. No really, this shit is awesome. (and will soon be followed by pictures.)
In other words, my spinning class has rocked and I have rocked it right back. Compared to my fellow students, I kind of felt like I was cheating. In fact, when it came time to discuss our experience spinning at home and do our show-and-tell, I wanted to crawl under my chair.
Having spent the last year occasionally playing with a drop spindle, I already had a lot of practice at the drafting part (ie, the kind of tricky part.) So I had a bit less trouble with some of the basics and got to use the class to adapt my skills to a wheel. Consequently, I tiny bit more to show for my work. And if there's one thing I don't like, it's a show-off. Luckily, the ladies in the class were very sweet and wanted to see what I'd come up with.

Because we had to postpone the second session, I've had two extra weeks to play with the shop wheel I was using and spent my time doing experiments. I spun some merino and merino/silk blends to test out the difference between different fibers, tried to my first attempt at plying the merino and silk blend (it failed miserably), and made the Noro Knockoff pictured earlier.
Now I get to test out the Ashford Kiwi for another week or so, which is awesome since I was looking at buying one. However, I just found a gorgeous Majacraft that I might actually be able to afford!
For now, it's all about plaing with a double treadle. I plan to spin more silk.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The meteorologists were finally right for a change. By the time I left work, it was sunny and warm and actually felt like May. As I drove home, I got all nostalgic, remembering how, starting right about this time of year, we'd have "porch parties" when it got too warm and too nice to stay inside, but going somewhere else felt like such a chore. So Eric and Shannon and Myra and I, along with a revolving cast of characters in the form of various friends, would hang out on the stoop in front of the apartment, drinking blender drinks and watching the day fade.

I no longer have a porch, or even much of a stoop, or quite frankly anything that resembles a good sitting spot,* but the impromptu barbecue tonight felt like one of those times. Nothing renews the spirit after a shitty couple of days (more on this later) like raspberry dacquiris, fresh grilled corn on the cob, and sitting around the table telling funny stories. Thank God spring/summer is finally here.

*We have been known to use the parking lot a time or two. Meh, atleast I have a really pretty welcome mat.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

No stashing for Jilly.

I am kicking myself for not budgeting for NW Handspun Yarns Mother's Day Sale. 20% off everything? Why oh why does it have to be this weekend? So instead, I've been focusing on the great things about the last few days.

Some favorite things of today:
  • Potato Bread Rolls from BreadFarm. I made it to the farmer's market too late to get a loaf yesterday, but the rolls are just the perfect portion of potato bread-y goodness.

  • The new yarn I spun Friday night. I had picked up four or so coordinating colors of New Zealand wool last time I was at NW Handspun, so I divided each color in half (so that I can possibly get two skeins that are similar in pattern) and spun each color in succession, throwing some reddish orange I already had in for smooth transitions. I'm calling it my Noro KnockOff.

  • The sun is, if not shining, atleast making an effort. That's about all one can ask for in Northwest Washington, especially after last night's torrential downpour.

  • Basil plants, ready for the repotting.
  • Yarn from the lovely girls at Spin Cycle. I picked up a hank of Rusted Rainbow to test out gauge. The bad news: It's not going to work for Knitty's Cathode, like I'd been deluding myself into. I probably should have read the patter first. The good news: I love it so much I'm definetely going to be making a sweater out of it anyway.
  • The Manos del Uruguay hat I managed to make in one slow day at work. A bit big, since I just cast on and went to town, but it should felt down a tiny bit and be perfect for this cold spring that won't seem to end.
  • Listening to a ska album from about five years ago that I loved, but had since forgotten about. (for those interested, it's Catch 22--Keasbey Nights.)
  • Getting to spend Mother's Day with my mommy. We're going to dinner tonight for prime rib and giant hunks of chocolate cake. She won't be getting her present until tomorrow though, because I haven't had time to pick it up. She asked for a candy thermometer, a specific one that she found at Target, and I haven't had the time and sanity required to brave the mall. So she'll be getting it tomorrow.

Man, I am one lucky girl if I have that many things to be happy about!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mantra time.

It took some serious self control, but I managed to come home without stopping to buy yarn for the Lace Skirt with Bows that I SO don't need to be knitting right now. I can only chalk it partway up to will power, though. Truth be told, I skipped lunch earlier today and was far too hungry to bother trekking across town for anything that wasn't food.

Instead, I'm just going to continue my spinning practice while repeating to myself "you must finish your projects" over and over. I might intersperse round of "no new yarn" in there as well.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Happy Wednesday.

The only pictures I can ever seem to get of Gus are when I'm holding a treat in my hand, which is why they always feature him sitting, trying to look his most obedient and sweet. Otherwise, they all either come out with him looking the other way at something, or (90% of the time) as a giant blur because he's hyperactive and can't sit still for more than two and a half seconds.

I was just trying to capture the post-bath cuteness. He tends to get all fluffy.

I'm thinking of getting him a tiny blue t-shirt and making him the unofficial mascot of Eric's softball team, the UltraSonics. (By the way, the name has absolutely nothing to do with the soon-to-be-not-in-Seattle Sonics, and everything to do with the company he works for. They do ultrasonic testing, go figure.) I scoped out the first game tonight, and it looks like dogs are totally cool to come to games.

As for tonight's game, it was pretty fun despite the fact that they got their butts handed to them. After a while, I lost track of the final score, but that's probably for the best. Fact is, it wasn't pretty. In the UltraSonics defense, everybody on the team is currently on 60-hour work schedules and full team practices have been impossible to come by. Nonetheless, I have hope for next week.

The only real drawback, other than watching the team get stomped? Bellingham's experiencing a pretty cold spring, one that has even included snow, as documented by Steph. By the end of the game, even with three layers, my fingers and toes were still pretty numb.

Although IT SHOULDN'T BE THIS FUCKING COLD, I knew exactly what to do. Which is why, despite my resolution to finish some projects before I start any new ones, I'm halfway through the first in a pair of new armwarmers. Pretty simple-- 2x2 rib cuff, stockinette for about an inch and a half, and for slightly added warmth at the pulse point, with maybe a bit of visual interest given Noro's color changes, a two-row combo:
Row 1: sl1, k1
Row 2: k1, sl1
Herringbone without the double stranding. Next Wednesday's game is gonna be sweet. You know, assuming we fix our issues at first base and start hitting towards the gap.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

We won't stop until somebody calls the cops

The borrowed spinning wheel is looming, staring at me, waiting for me to finish my spinning homework. I think I know what I'm going to be doing with atleast part of my Sunday. I've still got a bit to get done before my next class on Monday. Thusfar I've really enjoyed spinning, but hanging out with friends I haven't seen much trumped sitting in my room. It's almost embarrasing to realize you've barely talked to people that live less than 30 yards away from you.

Yesterday pretty productive, as far as days off go. I got pictures taken of last weekends dyeing experiments. I'm pretty happy with most of those-- I tested out frosting colors in earnest (the first time was kind of half-assed and didn't go well at all) and "overdyed" some less-than-spectacular Kool Aid yarn. I also found that I LOVE Ashford's purple dye, despite it not really being purple. I'm hoping I have enough left to dye up a sweater's worth of yarn. I'm thinking it might lend itself to a Wicked sweater, or atleast something wicked-esque.

I also got the front of Baby's First Tattoo pinned up and set aside, and the back is about done with just a few decreases left before it gets set aside for sleeves. With any luck, this thing might be done while Wyatt is still small enough to wear it! (Then again, I cheated and started knitting the 1 year old size for my five month old brother.)

Now if I can just fortify myself long enough to finish Rambling Rose, I'll be set!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spin me right round, baby. Or alternately, UFO diet.

I gave up. We bought a new battery charger tonight. Which means I will probably find the old one tomorrow. Meh.

Either way, I've been itching to document some recent stuff, including the finished Pomatomus socks that will be en route to Hawaii as soon as they are photographed. My Aunt Tena is terribly excited. Heck, she doesn't know that she's getting a ginormous jar of her favorite fireweed honey (which isn't available on the island) with her socks. One would think that since my mom sends her honey on a semi-regular basis, her socks would be a suprise instead of the other way around, but that's what happens when my mom offers to have me make things for people before informing me about it.

Also on the list is my first spinning wheel yarn! I went to the first night of my two-Monday class last night, and although I was about 20 minutes late (I thought I was coming in early for my 5:30 class, not late for a 5:00), things went pretty smoothly after that. Since I've done a bit of drop spindling before taking the class, the drafting part came rather quickly. Now I'm just working out the tricky bit with the foot pedal. I've got about 8 ounces of homework before I go back next week and do the scary part--- plying.

With the addition of spinning homework and a glut of recently started projects, I find myself having to go back on my new project embargo. I can sort of justify the Robin's Egg Blue Hat, and Anticraft's Flowers on a Grave hat, as they both went pretty quickly. But now I've also started Vixen from Sensual Knits (which on size 4's is going to take a while), and the yoke-less Rambling Rose peices are starting to give me dirty looks.

I do have to wipe one currently languishing project off the slate, though. Now that the weather's trying to get better, I decided to go back to the Orbit Lace project I set down last fall. I knew I was going to have to rip back a bit after messing up the lace pattern, but then I saw it-- a discolored spot about the shape of a silver dollar. Suddenly, it all came flooding back, and I was hit with the horrible memory of sitting in coffee shop and having someone spill their coffee onto the table in front of me. Apparently, it hadn't just spilled onto the front of my knitting bag like I thought. No, it spill inside, onto my long-suffering, half finished bamboo lace t-shirt-like-thingy that was nestled right on top.

Secretly, I'm a little glad to be given the excuse to rip back and fix a couple of things I wasn't entirely wild about, but right now I still kind of hate other people a little bit.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How did I get by before the technology age?

Dear magical stuff-hiding house elves,

I would greatly like to be able to find my battery charger now. The "no featured photo"s on my ravelry are really starting to bug the crap out of me. Also, how am I supposed to take more unnecessary pictures of Gus if I have no camera?

If said battery charger could be returned to the last place I saw it, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Signed, me.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Focus, Jilly, focus!

I had to take a break and refortify myself before I could get myself to face that second scallop cuff on the Rambling Rose Cardigan, but managed to get it done while watching The Tudors with the awesome Stephanie and her awesome mom. There was, however, much cursing and untangling involved.

I've been having lots of false starts lately. I started a Rutabaga bag from Knitscene, then ripped it out when I a)messed up the mesh pattern and b) decided I didn't particularly like that pattern anyway. A quick glance through a stitch dictionary should fix both problems, maybe even in time for the next trip to the farmer's market. I won't be a moment too soon-- that giant jar of honey I bought last time was a looking a bit awkward shoved into my purse.

Shortly therafter I knit one of the fronts for "Baby's First Tattoo" (from SnB Nation), but lost interest after the first eighteen hours. I will probably be going back to that one, as I managed to get a fair amount done in that short day and a half-- one front is already finished, with the motif intarsia-ed (so not a word, although it really should be) instead of the duplicate stitch called for, and I've started the decreases on the second front with only a little to go. Plus, I deliberately started making it according to the pattern in order to force myself to have some seaming practice, so I can't really back out now. I decided to be realistic though-- I'm making the 1-year-old size for my 4-month-old brother.

But now I find myself eyeballing other patterns, buying buttons for the Robin's Egg Blue Hat, thinking long and hard about whether I am a beret person, and working out the math for converting Knitty's Azure socks into a pair of armwarmers.

Is there some sort of medication I should be taking for this?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

It wasn't until about three seconds after I dropped the yarn in the pot of dye that I remembered Samurai Knitter's experience with purples. It seems I am now left with something that looks somewhere between magenta and violet, though I'll probably have a better idea once it's dry. At the moment though, the only word I can think to describe it is "ultraviolet".

Thankfully, it was only a small hank of some of my handspun that I was using for an experiment (do two different colors of undyed fiber come out the same color?) , but I think the addition of a dye that is notorious for breaking down and making crazy colors might just affect my results. Ah well.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

So that's what my carpet looks like!

We have this little problem, the boy and I. I own quite a lot of clothes and my closets have a slight tendency to explode (especially when I'm having trouble deciding what to wear), and although I am stellar at getting organized, I always find it challenging to stay that way. In my defense, our old apartment had so little storage that Eric and I shared a closet about the size of a doorway and, despite our exhaustive efforts to defy the laws of physics, there was only so much room to use before things went all 'splody. But in our current house, with its Wall O' Closet, there really is no excuse for this.

To add to that, Eric has a slight habit of dumping out laundry onto the nearest flat surface when he needs a basket or simply pulling what he currently needs straight out of the laundry instead of putting it all away.

Together, we are an incredibly dangerous combination.

It took a few hours, a load or two of laundry, lots of folding, and an embarrasing amount of vacuuming (I still have yet to understand how the dog manages to shed twice his weight in fur) but our bedroom is finally starting to feel like somewhere I wouldn't mind spending more time in. In the process, I managed to cull about a garbage bag-full of clothes I no longer need. Now I'll always be able to find that one item of clothing that disappears right when I want to wear it, and my kinda ugly but ultra comfy chair that I like to sit and read in? I can actually sit and read in it!

Hell, we can even hang out in here with the dog when we're not all sleeping, something we couldn't do before. (I also have a habit of not always emptying my pockets before I take my pants off, and Gus ALWAYS manages to find that one stray bit of change that falls out. It's really not fun to have to pry coins out of your dogs mouth.)

Woohoo! I have a bedroom I like again!

Now to tackle the office.......tomorrow.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Seriously, tequila lime salsa is the best thing ever. I've spent the last four days eaten meals based around it. It's just that good.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Apparently it still exists.

I woke up yesterday, my day off, looked out the window, and saw the sunshine. I then rolled over and went back to sleep for another hour. In a place that gets very little sun for most of the year, it felt like true decadence.

Once I was up and moving about I had a rather good day, although only marginally productive. I got a bill or two paid, then decided I was done with responsibility until tomorrow. So we went for a drive.

Stephanie and I visited a cashmere goat farm that sits just outside of town. I drive by their sign, a cut-out of a goat with a handpainted sign and an arrow underneath it, about once a week or so and decided that yesterday was the day to finally venture out and find it. We chatted with the man that has the farm, and I came to realize that I am not a good enough spinner yet to afford $18-ounce fiber, but we will definetely be returning at a later date.

After that, we wandered aimlessly around the county, enjoying the weather. I even found a yarn shop I didn't know existed, alongside a county road between Bellingham and the next town over. I managed to get out of their with only one skein, a test subject for dyeing. After that it was down to NW Handspun Yarns to wind up the rest of my yarn for the Rambling Rose Cardigan, followed by some knitting and movies. I'm guessing tonight may be a repeat of that last part-- we rented Sweeney Todd.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Would it be considered cheating that I used my laptop (only on battery backup) during Earth Hour?

So much past inside my present....

Pomatomus detailIt took a few hours, but I think my stomach has finally started speaking to me again after all the awful things I did to it yesterday.

Our dear friend Ryan is leaving The Black Drop and, in the not-so-distant future, Bellingham and 'round these parts nobody goes anywhere without a proper send-off. So we had the (second) Deep Fry Party*, where everyone brings anything they're brave enough to batter up and dip in oil. There were too many items to list everything, but some of the notable mentions included the customary cheese wiz-filled corn dogs, shrimp and bacon won tons, Snickers (my contribution), Oreos, Nutella and peanut butter sandwiches, and a concoction Arianne came up with-- macaroni and cheese encased in garlic cheese biscuit dough**. The best however, occurred after we left in the form of deep-fried Tums.

As is also customary, there were also quite a few shenanigans, including the wearing of unitards. Poor Eric, who had been at home sleeping and was only there to ferry me home, got a little caught in the middle of all of it, though he never had to actually wear the unitard. He was a damn good sport about the whole thing, however.

On the knitting front, I've made some decisions. After a slight color change, I've decided that the Rambling Rose Cardigan is the next sweater project, in part due to the fact that I could get the yarn for that one soonest***. I'm also testing out another yarn for my brother's Baby's First Tattoo cardigan. I'm trying out bamboo, but I fear it's going to be too.... the best word I can come up with is "slinky."

I'm kind of grabbing at straws with that one, as nothing I've seen in fingering weight has been able to meet all of the requirements. I wouldn't think it would be that hard to find something in solid, non-wierd colors that doesn't require massive jumping through hoops to care for, and yet here I am testing out a bamboo yarn that will make my baby brother look like he's wearing a satin smoking jacket or something.

* -- There's good stories behind why we've all done this to ourselves not once but twice. I prefer to live inthe now, though.
** --These eventually became known as "Cheese Fists" and were incredibly yummy.
*** --Is that even a word?

Friday, March 28, 2008

No linking for me!

So far in the last two days I have made two swatches for Fitted Knits' Textured Tunic and figured out what color and yarn I want, knitted part of a left from for Interweave Knit's Rambling Rose Cardigan (minus the bottom scallop, not sure I like it), am rethinking a yarn idea for FK's Carie Cropped Cardigan, and am about two seconds away from starting a swatch for Dominitrix's Little Red Riding Hoodie.

Think I might be ready for another sweater, now that my Nameless Cardigan is nearly finished?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

So I have this tiny little idea, but I'm keeping it to myself for now because, after doing a bit of online searching, it doesn't look like anyone else has done it, atleast in the way I want to. This could be for one of three reasons:

Either a) it's a ridiculous and stupid idea or
b) people have tried it and found it to be more hassle than it's worth or
c) I have an awesome brain.

Either way, some experimenting is in order, but it may have to wait until I have space for my sewing machine in my still-in-progress office/craft room. It's currently residing under a stack of airplane models the boyfriend bought and hasn't looked at since.

I suppose instead of sitting here searching my way through the intarweb, I should be getting back to tackling things on my always overstuffed "Day Off To-Do List." It includes things like putting the second coat of paint on my bathroom and doing about six loads of laundry, and all before Knit Night.... or possibly after.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Another one bites the dust...

Mom's tea cozy is finally done, though I'm pretty embarrased that it took me this long. All the darn thing needed was a drawstring. So a little Plymouth Happy Feet and two feet of i-cord later, it now resides in its rightful place on my mom's little teapot (it's only a three or four cupper.)

....which makes me think a progress check is in order. To revisit the previous list, I had:

-one finished sock with no match make that three socks needing matches

-one knee sock that's pretty much only a legwarmer at the moment I've decided I wasn't too fond of my wierd attempt at calf shaping, and wouldn't be able to recreate it for the second sock even if I liked it, so this one's being ripped out. It took seeing it on a list for me to finally bite the bullet and admit defeat.

-a cardigan that's missing a sleeve and buttons-- I got about halfway through the second sleeve last night, so this one could be ready for blocking soon.

-a pullover that actually has two sleeves but still needs to be sewn up

-tea cozy without the drawstring required to cozy it up Done!

-a mitten without a thumb

-a blanket that's currently about the size of two place mats and

-a scarf that is about 5 feet too short--- Still about four and a half feet to go

Looking at it like that, I actually start to feel like I might have accomplished something. However, is it enough to justify the fact that I'm swatching for yet another new project?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Idiosyncrasies and compulsive behavior

A quick Ravelry search has revealed that most people aren't nearly as bothered by the fact that the pattern in Pomatomus goes the same direction for both socks as I am.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pick your heart up off the ground, I'm sure it weighs a ton. You're no better and no worse than any mother's son

Progress check:

I finished one exterior side of the Hoop Purse-- which wasn't actually on the list I made yesterday, but still counts in my mind since I started it before the Grand Proclamation was made. Only three more sides like it (one outside, two linings) before I can throw the whole thing in the wash. I also got another pattern repeat on the argyle scarf knocked out on my lunch, so that brings the remaining length down to four feet, 10 inches.

Tonight we go to see a really good local band for their last show. Sometimes I think local music is dying around here, though I don't usually voice it because it tends to start arguments. Venues are shutting down for various reasons, bands are breaking up or moving out of town, and there are becoming fewer and fewer reasons to bother leaving the house at night. Hell, it's gotten to the point where the bar that seems like someone's basement is the one of the best (and only) places left to see a band.

Then again, maybe I'm just getting old and longing for the "good old days". You know, the ones that were really only so-so, but are really, really great in your memory. Cause really, one of the inherent traits of a college town is bands that come and go, and although there really is a dirth of good venues around town these days, something new will eventually pop up. Things ebb and flow around here, and we're probably just experiencing the latest downswing. If anything, I'm learning to appreciate how good we really had it.

It's shaping up to be a nice weekend after two weeks of downpour, so I might break out the barbecue and dye some more yarn. I want to test out the icing colors I bought, and maybe do an experiment with some hibiscus tea. It should produce a nice rosey color, but I want to see how deep a color I can make.

For now though, it's back to my purse. I'm hoping to get the first lining cast on and a bit knit before we go out tonight.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Knitting ADD.

I'm starting to develop a problem. I have far too many unfinished projects, all at various progress levels.

The current tally:
-one finished sock with no match
-one knee sock that's pretty much only a legwarmer at the moment
-a cardigan that's missing a sleeve and buttons
-a pullover that actually has two sleeves but still needs to be sewn up
-tea cozy without the drawstring required to cozy it up
-a mitten without a thumb
-a blanket that's currently about the size of two place mats and
-a scarf that is about 5 feet too short

...and now I've started a purse. Really, what the hell is wrong with me? I'm almost ashamed, which would explain why one or two of those aren't listed in my Ravelry notebook. One can only handle a certain number of little squares staring at you with that "wip" icon in the corner.

So I hereby officially anounce (it sounds more important that way) that from here on out, I will not start another project until I've finished atleast three on that list. (I'd say the entire list, but let's face it-- that simply will not happen.) I will also not be buying any new knitting books for a little while, as I think this is part of what is contributing to my lack of attention span. The super-short scarf began with the purchase of Son of Stitch and Bitch, and the new purse happened when I picked up Felt Forward. So, for the time being anyway, I need to cut off my dealer-- the book store.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

But still I'd be lying if I said it wasn't easy....I am trying to break your heart

In the interest of full disclosure, I never did start that second sock.

I did however go back to a sock I started, like, months ago. It was an expirement involving a knee sock with calf shaping that doesn't involve changing needles. I'm almost to the bottom of the calf decreasing, and I'm still not sure if the whole thing's going to work, or if I even put the extra stitches where they really need to go. It will be so completely awesome if it works, though useless as a pattern, since everybody's calves are shaped differently.

(Nevermind the fact that it's been so long since I worked on this sock that all my notes about the shaping have disappeared. It has nothing to do with that at all.)

I had made a plan to get some stuff done after I got off work today (including some top-secret Valentine stuff) but I have been pretty much immobile since I started getting stomache aches last night. I barely made it through work, then came home and immediately put on my pajamas, with little intention of leaving the house again until tomorrow. Though I've always had a stomach of steel, I think I may have finally pushed it past the limit with all the random things I ate in a rather short time* yesterday. We seem to have come to a truce for now, as I no longer feel the urge to vomit (sorry), but like any peace talk it's tentative at best, so I'm staying put and (maybe) attempting to eat some of my spinach lasagna later. It's good enough to risk another tummyache.

Heck, I might even finish something tonight. I only have about 11 active works-in-progress right now, having started yet another one last night. For now though, a short nap is in order.

*noodle bowl + blood orange + super rich chocolate cake + blackened catfish + collard greens + mashed potatoes, in that order, and all in less than five hours. How dumb am I?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Letting the world go by....

There's nothing better to come home to than a dog who loves you and good salsa.

Due to a slight mishap involving me and a sidewalk curb that took out one of my tires, I had the opportunity to navigate Bellingham's bus system for the first time in quite a while. I used to bus and bike all the time, back when I lived a car-free downtown existence. Since then, routes, times, and my own destinations have changed. They have this crazy color-coded system where two digits mean one thing and three digits mean another. I was a little nervous I was going to have the same mishap I did back in high school, the one that resulted in an hour long round trip to and from somewhere I didn't want to go. (And still don't come to think of it. Lynden's not a very nice place.) I think I've got it sorted out now, though, so it should be a lot less walking tomorrow. As it is, Eric got home from work shortly before I did, so he swung down the road and picked me up.

As much as I like the independence and thinking time driving from place to place affords me, as well as the oh-so-important opportunity to sing along to the radio, it was kind of nice to sit in the back corner and read my book until I was where I needed to be. I brought some knitting with me, but didn't feel like breaking that out since I had to look out every once in a while for my stop. Tomorrow, however, I will be bringing the second Diagonal Cross-Rib Sock, the one I plan on casting on for tonight. After finishing the first, I'm not so sure that a multi-colored colorway was really the absolute best way to go, but I still like them nonetheless. Now if only I could stop dropping stitches when I do that little twisty thing!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Last night I dreamt that I was taking a tour of a garden on the inside of a house. It was a community garden and the room was divided into tiny plots only one or two feed wide and three or four feet deep. I overheard someone say, "yep, that's standard California size." I walked around looking at the plants that had sprung up from their tiny beds, then eventually walked another garden that stretched almost as far as I could see. I looked down to see a perfect red bell pepper hanging from a vine, so I pulled it off and bit into it like an apple.

....which is why I'm currently reasearching how to sign up for one of Bellingham's three community gardens.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Yay for weekends!

I think I may have a post-football hangover tomorrow. Not from the beer consumed, but the fact that my favorite sport is finished until next fall. Then again, I'm going to be able to get some good mileage out of gloating for the next few days, so I may be able to stay away from the end-of-season blues for a little while longer.

It's been a very nice weekend around here. This was the first weekend of my new schedule (ie, the first weekend I've had off that I didn't have to pull teeth and call in favors to get), and I think I can get used to this.

We spent Friday night in Seattle visiting my friend Jen, who's been feeling a bit homesick since moving down there recently. Other than forgetting my wallet down there and locking myself out of the building, it was a splendid evening. I've really missed having her around since she left, and this was the first time we've gotten the opportunity to just hang out without a whole lot of other things going on. We'll probably be doing it again sometime next month, if not sooner.

I also got to do a bit of knitting on the way down. The garter stitch, sort-of log cabin blanket I started has been my go-to knitting lately. I'm about 10 panels in, and I keep wanting to work on it, if only because I'm not sure whether it's going to be this awesome blanket, or a giant garter stitch mess, and I'm anxious to find out. Plus, it's all garter-stitch, so I can even knit it in a dark car on the way to Seattle!

We came home and vegged out, then went into uber-cleaning mode in preparation for Super Bowl festivities on Sunday.

Sunday was, of course, all about the Superbowl. Around this house, it's practically a holiday, complete with lots of food and a few friends. In keeping with family tradition, I made meatball subs, and some buddies brought pizza. We stuffed ourselves silly while occasionally yelling at the TV. The game ended the way I wanted it to, and now I'm enjoying my clean, quiet house with a beer and Arrested Development. Not a bad way to end a weekend.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

There's been knitting lately, I swear. But mostly there's been working, with a little bit of reading thrown in. I just finished Full Frontal Feminism, and although it was slightly disheartening (I thought I knew how under attack women's rights were, but even then some of it was still suprising), it renewed my enthusiasm for feminism as a whole. It gives me the warm fuzzies to know that I live in an time full of badass women.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Yay, I'm almost near the end!

Oh Seahawks, this game made me sad. So much snow, so little defense.

Game's only been over for fourty five minutes, and there's already talk of whether or not Mike Holmgren will come back next year. I really, really hope he does.

I have yet to post a year-end or new year post, but I don't think I'm going to do that just yet. Heck, I can't even write the correct date consistently yet, so I think there's still a bit of time.

In other news, I'm very nearly done with the body of my no-name cardigan! There's about and inch of ribbing and a buttonhole left before I can start on the sleeves. I've already said it before, but I'm really loving top-down raglan sweaters. I already know this sweater will fit me exactly the way I want it to, which makes me want to finish it even more.

I've also been working on Mikey's scarf (the Uncle Argyle scarf from Son of Stitch and Bitch) and another slightly secret project (a Christmas gift that is not yet finished-- I know, it's kind of embarrasing.)

The argyle scarf has been awesome, and I've come to the point where I can work the chart from memory, but the lack of contrast between the two colors has been vexing me. Don't get me wrong, I chose dark purple and black on purpose, because Mikey is a dark color sort of guy, who isn't big on lots of contrast or flashy patterns. And so far the scarf looks beautiful in this wonderfully subtle way, but it makes it hard to see the difference in certain lights.

...which brings me to my mini-review of Knit Lites. I bought them because they were on clearance and I needed that particular size, but every once in a while I turn them on, if only to see if they make things a bit easier. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If anything, having those lights under my stitches puts them in silhouette and makes them more difficult to see, not less. Maybe they'd be good on one-color projects, but for now I just leave them off and look around for a lamp to turn on.

I had a lot more to write about, but I'm currently too enthralled with the playoffs and finishing my cardigan to keep any real train of thought. Maybe after the Jacksonville/New England game is over, though if the Patriots win I'll probably be too irritated to write.