Wednesday, December 20, 2006


HappyMerryJoyeux Chrismahannukwanzawalisolstice!

Admittedly, I've been pretty much completely ignoring my blog. I have felt bad. I'm trying hard not to cop out and say "I've been really busy". But I have.

Since I last posted, I became single, moved to a new apartment, got laser vision correction, bought a new car, got a new part-time job, traveled to Colorado and back, went to my cousin Dave's college graduation and many other things that are escaping my tired brain. I couldn't even blog at work, because we've been training two brand-new employees in the last two months!

I've been doing a lot of knitting, of course! I'll be posting pictures after I give the gifts, since most of them are secrets.

I'll be going to my dad's house this weekend for a quiet christmas-eve-eve celebration, just the two of us, to maintain as much tradition as we can this year. Christmas Eve day we'll be heading up to Superior to celebrate, eat and drink beer. Christmas morning breakfast at my aunt and uncle's house and then back to dad's to recover.

Our big family "official" Christmas is happening over New Year's weekend, as it was just easier to get more people together at that time. I am volunteering to make pies, and if i can manage to call forth the help of my mother and grandmother, i might just pull off some fantastic pies. i'm going to practice before the big push. Shawn and some co-workers will benefit from the trials, if they're fit to leave the house.

In all seriousness, this has been a strange holiday season. Things continue to be just plain "weird". I have tried to take things as they come, letting myself feel sad or happy or whatever. This is the first holiday season since my mom died, and she was always the main planner and I've had to remind myself that I have to take some initiative.

While I have been relatively quiet in my emails, phone calls and especially blogging, I am thinking of my dear family and friends and hoping you all are having some wonderful, serene moments in this crazy time. I'm hoping the weather prediction for the next few days really does come true, because I would like a white christmas.

I wish you all peace, love, friendship and comfort at this marvellous time of the year!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

my (admittedly short) sock making history

in honor of Socktoberfest, here is my sock history:

When did you start making socks?
on september 20, 2006. the start of sock wars was fast approaching, and i decided my first official start-of-sock should be for myself.

Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative?
i mostly did it myself, although by the time i got to the turning the heel bit, i got myself all confused, until Lisa reminded me of the concept of "short rows" and my brain turned back on.

What was your first pair?
fun to make! see my sock war entry below ...

How have they "held up" over time?
good, i hope, since they now live in arkansas.

What would you have done differently?
nothing except not build a long retaining wall on the same weekend i was trying to knit a pair of socks as fast as i possibly could!!

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
i made the sock war pair out of Norwegian Spirit Smart in rainbow variagated ... pooled really well and i want to make a pair for myself. my jaywaylkers are being made out of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock, and i'm loving that too.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
i don't crochet (yet), and i don't mind DPNs but i think i'm going to like magic loop the best. come back to me later, and i'll tell you.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
umm.. i don't know yet. come back to me on this one, too.

How many pairs have you made?
1.45 (one pair for sock wars and i'm almost to the toe on jaywalker #1).

p.s. my long term goal for sock making (and knitting in general): be able to give a (very entertaining) public speech to a group of strangers, complete with notes, and all the while, knit away on a lovely sock. inspired by the Yarn Harlot, to whose ability i bow down. perhaps when i've been knitting that long, i'll be able to do that, too. till then, i'll keep a close eye on my stitches. slippery little suckers.

Monday, October 02, 2006

a quickie

i'm sure we all know this person ...

just had to share the funny!

WIPing and KIPing right along

progress on the jaywalker: (so loving this pattern!!)

and i started pinwheel sweater #1 (pictures to come) last night, this is going to be so cute!

i worked all weekend (missing most of the gorgeous weather). last night had dinner with shawn and janine, KIPing right along at old chicago. the poor, overworked waitress was very interested in our knitting, as she is a new knitter ("just scarves so far").

on saturday night, shawn and i went to see cake which i won tickets for by singing the first verse of "short skirt/long jacket" on the radio friday morning! then met some of shawn's frat boys for several beverages. fun night. shawn kicked the boys' asses at darts. soundly.

sorry, i'm not feeling really creative in my writing this morning, although i did manage to take pictures on saturday morning for a semi-top secret project to come.

i am looking forward to the new furnace and air conditioner being installed today! and checking out 1 or 2 new knitting groups this week.

i think i need coffee .........

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

all this and a pair of socks

so in addition to madly knitting away at a pair of socks this weekend, i helped build this retaining wall!

i wish i had the ability to merge these pictures into one continuous ... but i don't have that here.

shawn and i went up to joe's resort and in exchange for a lovely weekend up north, we put sweat and love into this wall. poor joe had built it a few years ago when he bought the place, but didn't know about putting that landscaping felt behind the rocks so your lovely black dirt doesn't start running down the hill. so we dug out the rocks, dug back into the hill a bit to widen the road, laid down the felt and put the rocks back up. joe had also had some washouts recently of the gravel road, so one of his neighbors came over in his bobcat to move some new gravel around. looks pretty good, eh?

you can see the beginnings of a second tier of the wall for us to do next spring. we ran out of time and rocks, but i threw down a boatload of grass seed, so i'm hoping that will come up a bit this fall and help hold some of that dirt back. the big overall plan is to have a third tier as well, so that the parking space for the cabin will have a better base.

joe has a fantastic resort, and i highly recommend going up there. this was my 5th trip (6th?) and i have enjoyed every one of them. i promise joe won't make you do heavy lifting. we volunteered :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


well, after a very tumultuous start, the darling Yarn Monkey did manage to get us started. i finished my socks yesterday morning, and sent them off last night, after finally getting my target's address!!

this was really fun - my goal was to get mine done and mailed before i got taken out, and now whatever else happens is a bonus. would you believe this is my FIRST pair of completed socks?

a pair of socks in 3 days AND helped build a retaining wall. more on that later.

i learned a lot from this Sock Wars experience: mother nature always wins. and socks aren't as hard as i thought they'd be.

Friday, September 22, 2006

progress ... and delays ...

i'm making progress on my jaywalker ... the bright color is helping combat the dreary, icky, awful day outside. i know we need the rain, but still ...

it's also a good thing because Sock Wars is delayed ... i was totally geeking out about today being the day to start, maniacally checking my email for my target, and checking the forum for updates. when delays started hitting, people were posting conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and so on ... and then someone mentioned a "storm" in Belfast (where the Yarn Monkey lives). i googled and found this! It seems the start of Sock Wars is delayed by Hurricane Gordon. a HURRICANE! so much for there being a "storm". so i've resolved to be patient to get my pattern and target. *sigh*

Yarn Monkey, i hope you and yours are okay.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

new WIP!

in the interest of making a small (okay, teensy) dent in my stash and to-do list, i've started my very first sock!

it's the very top of a Jaywalker which is being made out of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in the Winterberry colorway. I had wanted to use a different one for my first sock, but for the life of me, I couldn't find my size 1's last night, just 2's.

my other reason for starting a sock officially last night, was that Sock Wars starts tomorrow, and I just want my "official" first sock to be for me. although I know my Sock Wars socks will be done first ... I know, it's a little weird.

but I'm excited about this, and actually I think they'll knit up pretty fast.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


yes! another finished object. this is a gift for my aunt kim. well, the knitting is a gift. she bought the yarn, and i made it! she just needs a zipper and she's all set!

it's the "Bulky Neckdown Cardigan for Women" by Knitting Pure and Simple. the yarn is Shaefer's Elaine in the Kermie colorway.

this is my favorite part of the sweater, and why i love this yarn so much:

i had made myself the same sweater, same yarn, out of the Bette Davis colorway (hence the sweater's name is Bette):

and i got the same effect:

it's so cozy!!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

a new hole

i got a new piercing today, my right tragus. (that's the little bit that kind of sticks out into your ear from the side of your head, if that makes any sense)

my more recent piercings have been done on significant dates (like my 30th birthday, or other things i care to remember), and this is no exception.

today would have been my mom's 63rd birthday.

i miss her.

i wanted to mark it in some way, and since i can't afford a new tattoo yet, this seems like the next best thing. i got a little silver hoop with a bright green bead, one of her favorite colors.

i didn't want to go to work today, but it was a nice distraction. i'm feeling a lot of weight on my heart and mostly i'm just trying to do "normal" things. one of these days i'm just simply going to break down. i just keep reminding myself that there is no "normal" when you lose a parent and that whatever i feel, i just need to let myself feel it and deal with it.

i had some time between my piercing and work, so i spent about 20 minutes at the walker sculpture garden, kind of meditating, kind of just sitting and thinking. it was a nice, sunny, breezy day.

this is my mom, me, and my dad in Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico in January.

i miss her so much.

Friday, September 15, 2006

honey-do list for myself

sometimes i feel like part of the reason my stash has grown considerably is that i lose track of what i thought i was going to make when i got so excited about a pattern. i'm hoping that making this list more-or-less public will help me focus.

just for the record, i'm not anti-stash, i'm anti-having-the-FO's-i-wanted-to-make.

so here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Glampyre's Easy V-Neck Raglan in Rowan Summer Tweed (actually i made this once already, but it came out too big and i want to re-do it because i love it but it's gigantic on me)
  2. Elann's Pinwheel Sweater in something cute. This will be for a very adorable little girl i know, maybe for christmas.
  3. KnitScene's Central Park Hoodie, not sure of the yarn yet. see KAL over there -->
  4. Eunny Jang's Print O The Wave Stole in one of the many lovely laceweights i'm stashing.
  5. Rogue which i already gushed over a couple of posts ago. not sure of yarn yet.
  6. Ariadne's One-Thread Jacket by Debbie New in the Summer 06 issue of Spin Off. I don't know what yarn I'd use, but I love the way this is constructed. The bright yellow in the pictures doesn't do it justice.
  7. Total Maze Cardigan probably in Lana Grossa Cool Wool Big. I have black and white already, and I thought I might throw in a little color for fun.
  8. a huge variety of thing from Knitty including Cambio, Cinzia, Jardin Anglais, Samus, and more
  9. socks. i have a lot of sock yarns with good intentions, but haven't made any yet. after sock wars, we'll see how i feel.
  10. lace. i also have a lot of laceweight and lots of patterns, but haven't made those either. i did make one lace shawl for Mandy's mom, but that's it.

okay, this is getting depressing. 10 things is enough, though i could go on.

happy friday!

it's not really raw, it's cured

it's funny, the kinds of reactions you get when you announce you want sushi. it's kind of like knitting, you either are one or not. you either like sushi or you hate it. (or you haven't tried it)

i am craving sushi today and thankfully, i will have a partner in crime, as Shawn has agreed to indulge with me.

i found this website talking about sushi and how it's prepared. kind of cool little videos, too.

we'll be at Ichiban today for the happy hour... yum!

speaking of sushi, i also love these places:

Midori's Floating World Cafe

i haven't been, but want to try these:



Tuesday, September 12, 2006

i need to heed good advice

so i didn't follow Stephanie's advice from sunday night. i was telling two of my co-workers this morning, on our way to get coffee, about meeting one of my "knitting heroes". now, i should know better anyway, but i should have followed the Harlot's advice about talking about knitting in public with non-knitters. they really don't understand. one co-worker in particular, Michelle, lives to make fun of me. deep down, i do know it's out of love (truly!), but she isn't a knitter and the first question out of her mouth was, "There are knitting heroes?"


i should have given up right there, but i just couldn't, i felt like i needed to explain so they would understand the wonder of it all.

it was kind of a similar feeling of trying to explain to Mandy about why it was cool to be deemed sockworthy. this time i did take Stephanie's advice, and related it to sports. that kind of worked. the part that was easier about explaining to Mandy was that i've actually read some of the Harlot to her, and she actually laughed. i'll pretend she was laughing with me.

in other news, it's definitely fall here in minnesota. the air feels different, and it's cooler. the only reason i'm glad for it is that i can finally wear my sweaters without sweating to death. the day i'd finished my Sunrise was the first day it was over 70 degrees this spring, and i haven't been able to wear it since, except to show it off.

and i started back at the cafe last night. it was kind of a slow night, but it was nice to be back and i got to see Amy and her lovely Misti Suri sweater. can't wait to see that finished!

Monday, September 11, 2006

THE. YARN. HARLOT. (so fantastic)

a huge thanks to Yellow Dog Knitting in Eau Claire. they hosted a fantastic event with the very loopy, but very charming Yarn Harlot last night.

here she is ... taking the obligatory sock & crowd photo

(oh, by the way, welcome to my very first blog entry. i've had this thing for several months, but never used it. i'm sick of the blogging capability of my myspace and truthfully, almost none of my knitter people use it. so any talk of knitting there is wasted. except for the Knitta Krew!)

now, back to the Harlot. the day i read on Stephanie's calendar that she would be within driving distance of me, i knew i had to go. i immediately emailed my knitters and said, "sign up now, let's carpool" or perhaps something more like "OH MY GAWD YOU GUYS, THE YARN HARLOT IS COMING, LET'S GO!!!!!"

finally the day arrived, and after Shawn ran his very first organized 5K (congrats again, honey) in the rain, and of course after lunch, we headed out. we easily found the shop and Lisa and Janine were alread there - knee deep in yarn, of course. i immediately started fondling yummy new yarns i hadn't seen before (like that great noro braided stuff i can't recall the name of). i made my way over to the sock yarn, where Lisa was trying to help Shawn find yarn for Sock Wars, when lo and behold, the magic of yarn overtook me - i found Schaeffer Anne in my exact Bette Davis color for my hoodie:

(insert great photo here when i get one)

i immediately put the thing around my neck to claim it as my own. it felt good to have yarn around my neck again, as i haven't worked at the cafe in a month. (i start back tonight, but that's another story)

so now i'll have the perfect socks to go with my awesome Bette hoodie. maybe i'll try jaywalkers? i don't know yet.

anyway, i bought a book and the new vogue knitting and knit.1 and got a present from YDK. a cool bag. we made our way over to the masonic lodge to meet the Harlot. i have to admit i was completely geeking out. i wanted to get right up front. 3rd row would have to suffice and we pulled out our knitting, i showed off my Anne again, helped the woman behind me with a half-dropped stitch and thought the impromptu sock circle photo session was great. then the magical moment came! Stephanie came out and took our pictures with the sock (and help from a little knitter)

she asked, "are you a boy or girl?" and the child said "i'm a baby!"

she is even funnier in person than her books - although now i'll be able to read in her voice, complete with the proper amount of "aboot". i love the idea of the knitter's handshake (feeling the shoulder of the garment a stranger's wearing while saying "this is wonderful, what yarn did you use?") and the idea that you can't frog a husband. it wasn't until near the end of her talk that someone asked about her sock, that she held up the sock and i realized she'd been knitting on the sock the entire time. this completely blew me away. i now have a new aspiration in knitting. not only to not have to look at your knitting, but to give a talk to 100 + people, complete with notes, and knit a sock on DPNs. amazing.

we made our way back to the shop for the book signing and while we were waiting in line outside, two younger males walked by and asked what we were doing, and the entire bit of Stephanie's talk about the "uncoolness" of knitting came back. so we all kind of looked at each other and giggled a little and said "book signing", and giggled harder when one said "Oh, what author?"

in line we met a woman who teaches drop-spindle at YDK (Jennie) and Shawn and I both decided we'd go back for the class. i saw a gorgeous sweater i am adding to my to-do list, Rogue. now that i look at the site, i had seen the sweater before, but not in person, and not in such lovely colors. this woman had just finished it that morning out of cascade 220 quattro, it was gorgeous!!

we slowly made our way up to the front and there she was. now i was really geeking out. i was happy to see that she'd been introduced to my favorite beer, Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss.

i got my book signed and gave her my gift. wine called "The Harlot". i was deemed sockworthy (and stash-weasel worthy!) and she took my picture!!

i'm sockworthy! i'm sockworthy!

then she agreed to pose with me while Shawn took our picture.

there must be something about Stephanie and blurry photos... oh well!

she asked me if i was a blogger, and i said this would be my first blog entry. (how am i doing, Stephanie?)

i bought a "Knitters without Borders" pin and went into the main part of the shop to high-5 Shawn for being sockworthy. YES!

we waited for Lisa and Janine to make their way through, while i also resisted buying anything else. Shawn bought Latvian Dreams, and the author was there and graciously signed it for him (she was just so adorable!). the 4 of us agreed to meet in Menominee for Green Mill and off we went. lucky us, andrew was indeed working, so we got the added bonus of seeing him.

all in all, a trip which i initially figured would take about 6 hours, lasted 10 1/2. i got home at 12:30 this morning. lucky me, i don't have to work today. and lucky you, i have time to type this up right away. Stephanie promised she wouldn't link to me till i was ready, and now i'll be ready.