Friday, July 29, 2005

Spoke Too Soon

You know how I was freaking out about the not-job having in DC.


Spoke to soon.


In a public library, which I haven't worked in before. I'm excited.


Oooo! Picture! and a funny? story

See me in my new hat? Sexy, no?

Also, you can see the beginnings of Chocolate Decadance, there in my hands!

Thanks to Kim for the photo, who took it for me at Knit-In. Yay!

I'm thinking of dying my hair a darker shade of brown.

Me=in need of a job. I'm starting to freak out. Just a little bit.

But here's a funny (?) story for you.

So, I'm housesitting in a real live house. Not an apartment. HOUSE.

I decide the order myself a birthday present on Amazon. I send it to me at the house.

Me, being the person I am, track my pacakge compulsively, because, man, I couldn't wait to hear the Acoustic Brazil CD. So, imagine my suprise when the tracking this says they tried to deliver it but no one was home and so they left a mesage... now, of course no one was home. They tried to deliver it at 3.21, and me? with the day job having? was at work.

Anywho... the surprising bit was that there was no message left at all. And besides? When did the post office stop just leaving boxes between the screen and storm doors? Because, me temporarily living in a real house? TOTALLY WOULD HAVE FIT.

So, I go down to the post office, to get my box. I'm slightly worried as my ID shows I have no claim to packages sent to that address, but I have the print out saying that the post office has my package. I have the print out from Amazon saying that I told them to mail the package to the new address, but that my credit card is still billed to the old address. The old address, being, of course, the one on my ID.

But of course, to do this means I have to leave work early, because the post office closes at 5. So I get there and the lady can't find my package. She says its because my name wasn't on the mailbox is why I didn't get the notice.

Excuse me?? IT'S A HOUSE. No one's name is on the mailbox. NO ONE'S. The only thing on the mailbox is... nothing! It's a mailbox! WTF?

So I get to hang out and talk to her manager who tells me that they probably send the package back because I "didn't tell anyone" I was living there. Since when does the POST OFFICE care?! I'm there for like, 2 weeks. And that I should put my name on the mailbox.

I once again stated the fact that NO ONE'S NAME IS ON THE STUPID MAILBOX BECAUSE IT'S A HOUSE not an apartment building with a row of metal boxes!!!! And that I was only there on an extrememly temporary basis. She then said that everything then should be sent c/o guy whose house it is.

Gah. But she found my box in the "to be sent back pile"

Am I completely off base that this is totally whack? I mean, what if I had a kid with a different last name? Do I need to notify the post office of such things or will all presents be returned to Grandma?

Does this make sense to anyone else? Is your name on your mailbox?

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Yesterday was my birthday.

New resolutions abounded. My new years resolutions are all very practical.

1. Read 52 books
2. Make 20 non-fiction
3. Lose 20 lbs
4. Start retirement saving
5. Be nicer.

My birthday resolutions are more, um, whimsical?

1. (Blatently stolen from Keely) If I'm going to look like I live in a catalog, at least make it Anthropologie, and not the one I actually look like.
2. Write in my journal every day.
3. Think about religion some more.
4. Publish more designs on the website.
5. Be better at sewing, because I can't afford clothes from Anthropologie.
6. Redesign the website.

To facilitate this, I bought a new hat and a new journal.

I love the new hat. (But of course, it looks much better on me than the model. Trust me.)

In the land of knitting, I finished the waist decreases on the Chocolate Decadance sweater...

And in other random blathering about myself...

This is what I am currently


Listening to

Lusting after

Also, KARYS yarn sale! This weekend! Yarn fun!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


So, I apologize for lack of photos, but I don't really have internets at home and my work computer doesn't have the software to download pictures off my camera.

Ohhh... maybe I should bring all that to knitting tonight. I bet Sweetwaters has interweb access!

Anyway, guess how productive I was last night?

Only in the knitting front, the gerbils still need their cage cleaned but!

Colinette vest=almost done. All the knitting's done, now it's just weaving in all those #@%$%&%#@ ends and knitting the button band and arm bands.

I'm suprised by 2 things:
1. How quickly this actually knit up when it wasn't on time out for being the wrong gauge and therefore way too big
2. How much yarn I have left despite the fact this is 8" bigger than the biggest size listed.

The Chocolate Decadence Sweater:

1. Redid some maths
2. Bought new needle
3. Knit the hem piece. Am now ready to switch to larger needle for body fun!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Actual Knitting Content!

So... for those who don't know, I am currently between houses.

We have moved out of our Ann Arbor apartment and into the one in Silver Spring, except that I'm still in A2 for a few weeks, living with a friend (who is currently in Europe) out of a suitcase.

So, I brought limited yarn, but I thought I'd fill you in:

1. Dishcloth yarn. Have one on the needles, but ready to do some bigger projects again.

2. Dan's socks. Broke the damn tip off the needle! Also, really small needles and my hands are jiving right now. Also, store out of that size.

3. Chocolate Decadance sweater: swatched, and mathed-out for the pattern, but need a smaller needle to cast on and do the bottom with. Will purchase tonight.

4. Colinette Vest: has been taken off of time-out! And is now being worked on. Did almost the entire back after the arm-hole split last night. Hope to finish this up this weekend. I'm afraid I'll run out of Isis as I've wasted a bit and want to do all the trim in it, but I think I'll just break down and buy another skein.

Friday, July 22, 2005

An Open Letter

Dear Art Fair,

Or as snotty Ann Arborites insist we call it, Art Fairs, because god forbid they merge into one and only shut down one large portion of town instead of lots of little bits of it.


Dear Art Fairs,

I hate you.

Most of your stuff is crap and I can't believe you make a living selling something like that.

I hate the fact you double my commute time.

I hate the fact you take all my parking at work.

I hate the fact that you bring in lots of people from out of town who don't realize that 4 way stops and 1 way streets work the same way in Ann Arbor as they do in your stupid city.

I hate the fact that I can't do anything whe you're here.

I hate the fact that for an entire week, I have to plan my life around you.

It's not Art, and it's not Fair.

Dear Art Fair,

Please die.

Thank you,

OIY. And I couldn't go to knitting on Tuesday because I drove around for 15 minutes trying to find a parking spot for under $10. I normally don't pay for parking on knitting nights. Or, if I do, it costs me aorund $3. And I could have parked further away and walked a bit, normally not an issue but I couldn't get to further away because of all the hordes of idiots that had taken over downtown and Art Fair hadn't even started yet. Grrrrr. So I went home in a huff.

I did do some group knitting last night with people from the shop.

I snapped off the point of my Brittany size 1.


Wednesday, July 20, 2005


See, this is not really a post.

This is a post of excuses on why I'm not posting.

This is what has happened since my last post:

1. Flew to DC in back in a day for a job interview that was for a different job than the one I thought I was interviewing for. This happens when you apply for multiple jobs with the same people.
2. Lots of work.
4. Massive power outages
5. My dad coming to help me pack
6. Dan coming home to finish packing
7. The movers coming to take all my stuff to DC
8. Dan going to the airport, changing flights, coming home from the airport and going back the next day.
9. Moving into my friend's house while he's in Europe
10. Figuring out where all the light switches are. And the garbage can. And the pizza cutter. And the corkscrew.

See, I barely have time for knitting, let along blogging about it!

Plus, I have rhumatoid arthritis and in the past few years, it's gotten steadily worse in my hands. Knitting, I think, helps my joints. The thing with arthritis is that if you don't use your joints, you'll lose them, so I try to get all my joints going. It's a delicate balance to know when to stop though, because your joints will never be able to do everything that other people's can and if push them too far, you'll cause damage. But all that wrapping of dishes this weekend and taping boxes and packing and blah over exerted my hands, so I really haven't been knitting because it just plain really hurts. I think my hands will be back up to par in a few days, but until then...

Did I mention Harry Potter?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

That BOOM is my head exploding


My London cohort has been accounted for an are alive and well and some are even coming to visit in September. Hot diggidy damn.

This weekend was a mad family reunion and only the back of my neck got sunburned... hmmmm

Lots and lots of packing.

Enjoying the few days Dan was here.

Lots and lots of packing.

Not so much knitting.

I did, however, work on a dishcloth yesterday while at the opthamalogist. Another patient was knitting, too! I can also knit while my eyes are fully dialated. This impressed the doctor.

The next week is going to be lots and lots of packing and craziness and interviews (!!!) so, the blog might be a bit sporadic. I aplogize in advance.

And as to Beth's comments on my last post...

I agree that the government's "run for your life" attitude is because of the public's "run for your life" attitude but I believe that the government should take a role in shaping the public opinion. I think it serves them politically to have us living in fear. The problem is that living in fear only hurts us. We have to live prepared. Not prepared to run for our lives, but prepared to stay calm and evacuate in an orderly fashion.

There are a few other factors in the British reaction to the bombings. One is the sterotypical stiff upper lip that England, most notably London, is known for. You go on with your life and don't really let emotion show through that much excpet to the ones you're closest to. The other one, and this (in my humble opinion) played a HUGE role in the success of evacuation and the search and rescue operations last Thursday is that London is prepared to deal with mass transit disasters. There have been some awful accidents on the tube before and the more I reflect on what happened, the more I realize that if, god forbid, I should ever be involved in a subway disaster, I would hope it would be in London. I haven't taken the tube that many times, but even I know what to do in case of an emergency. That, and London just has more terrorist experience. This is a different brand of terrorism than the IRA or the devastation of the Blitz, true, but they just have more experience.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

How long, how long must we sing this song?

This morning has been a flurry of communication between my friends across the country, reporting on our friends across the sea.

Friends that are luckily lazy and overslept and missed trains they should have been on.

Friends that got to work early and watched buses explode from their offices down the street.

Friends who have very long walks home tonight.

And the friends we're still waiting for word on.

What can you do?

But on NPR this morning, I heard an official say:

Well, we always knew it was a matter of when, not if. The terrorists only have to get lucky once, you know, and we have to be lucky all the time. The British public understands this.

Which an American official would never tell us. Never be so frank as to say that all we can do is be prepared to deal with fallout. Have a plan for when it happens to reduce casualties. A better plan than screaming "run for your lives" when a plane violates the no-fly zone over the capitol.

Oh London. London. London. London.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Secret Knitting

So my friend Kate came over tonight and fixed my bike! And all I had to do was let her raid my patten library so she can knit her boy a sweater.

Not only is my friend Kate awesome at fixing bikes, but she's wicked smart in other ways. Like the Econ way. She used to work for the Fed, but now she's a PhD student here in A2. Her boy? Also wicked smart. As in he's a theoretical physisict. So, obviously, he's also CRAZY. Ha ha ha. Just kidding. He does have a really long beard though.

Also, Kate and I learned how to knit in the same class, making her my oldest knit-buddy.

Also, my most awesomest secret pal sent me a PACKAGE!

That package has 3 skeins of yarn (2 Peace Fleece!) some buttons, a cool cross stitch kit that's a postage stamp, a change of address kit AND the latest issue of InKnitters, which isn't in the photo, because it was on the coffee table, because I was reading it. She sent it because it has an article on beaded knitting, which is convienent, because remember my secret knitting? Remember that Japanese book I'm lusting after that you can buy me here?

Well, check it out!

Weird things about this. I would swear those are my sister's hands, except, she's not in this STATE (but will be tomorrow! YAY!) But I don't think I've ever really thought about her hands, but when I saw these pictures, I just thought, those aren't my hands! They're Abbey's!

Also, I was making a coy-looking-off-into-the-distance face when Kate took these, even though I new my face wouldn't be in them!!!

Also, I've been knitting more discloths for Project Scrubbie:

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Interweave Knits Review!

So... as promised, my review!

I'm not going to skip most of the intro articles as there are a lot of them, and I like them. I tend to like Interweave a lot.

Anyway, patterns...

Greek Tunic Pullover Sharon Shoji Love love love. Want want want. Simple, yet lovely. I've been scoping out possible sales on Kid Classic. Because, you know, that's what I need, MORE YARN.
Chenille Cutaway Jacket Teva Durham Interesting shaping, but not a good look if you have any hint of a stomach. Unless, you're pregnant. This might actually work for maternity wear, but I'm not sure. It depends on where it hits.
Cable Cascade Pullover Jennifer Appleby A bulky cable and lace pullover that makes it look like you have no shoulders or bust, but big hips.
Fur-Trimmed Wrap Pam Allen A wrap top that would be really nice if it wasn't fur-trimmed and if it didn't have dolman sleeves. Yes. Dolman sleeves. Ew.
Essential Indulgence Leslie Scanlon This could be a nice, simple sweater. A bit boring to knit, but nice line, if the exposed seams didn't run down the top of the arm.
Union Square Market Pullover Kate Gilbert This is the cover design. If it had a decent neckline, it could be OK. The problem, is the little fold-y over bit is created by excess fabric that is then folded and buttoned over. This could look alright, IF YOU NEVER MOVE.

I will pause here to give a shout out to the really cool article on Shibori.

Drop-Stitch Cardigan Amy King A bulky, basic cardigan that everyone needs, except that, instead of ribbed, the stiches are dropped and um, why?
Weekend Getaway Satchel Marta McCall I'm torn on this. On one hand, I have to respect the work and talent that went into it. But on the other hand, just because you can, doesn't mean you should... maybe if the colors were more muted. Or maybe if you were a British nanny.
Veste Everest Veronik Avery A nice, basic, cabled vest. Nothing overly special, but I like it.
Felted Floral Capelet Nicky Epstein Why is this shown on an adult? Why is this not a children's pattern?
Textured Coat Mari Lynn Patrick This makes the model look extremely hippy. The rest of us are doomed.
Blissful Jacket Debbie Bliss Misses the mark. I think it could be good if she weaved her ends in instead of leaving them out as a "design element"
Vintage-Inspired Jacket Deborah Newton Meh. Nice article documenting the design process, though. But seriously? The cable that goes up the side and down the underarm... what's with that?
Fair Isle Hoodie and Cardigan Annie Modesitt Generally I really like Annie's stuff, so this is hard, so I'll be brief. Why Annie? Why? With the gaping closures and the the colors and the cables and just why?! Maybe with more muted colors? I just don't think the fair isle and cables mix in this setting.
Bulky Brioche Raglan Ann Budd Um... This looks like a really comfy sweater, but the bulky means it won't look good on anyone and shouldn't be worn out of the house.
Cabled Shrug Shirley Pade I'm not big on shrugs, so this was doomed from the start, but seriously, Shirley? TAPER YOUR SLEEVES. Wearing this would be a disaster waiting to happen. I do like the cable pattern though. I might use it in something else.
Fair Isle Skirt Mary Jane Mucklestone Interesting. I'm wary of knit skirts, as I fear bubble-butt. Also there's something weird about how the increases look. They mess up the line a bit.
Braided Blues Norah Gaughan A basic, but nice men's sweater.
Suede Vest Margie Stanton The straps are too thin for a vest, so it looks like a tank top. A bulky tank top.
Poncho Loco Lots of ponchos for the staff project. Wee. Ponchos. Oooo. I will however, give props to the Hip to be Square Poncho Sandi Wiseheart as it's something new...
Canteen Bag Rachel Battaglia Nissen Simple, but nice.
Brioche Helmet Hat Kelly Bridges Basic, cute, kids hat.
Rib and Cable Socksm Nancy Bush Nice socks.
Laptop Cases Leigh Radford Not sure how practicle this is. I do like the design, but seriously, turning things on their side to make the stripes vertical? Not rocket science.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Slow Saturday at the Yarn Store! Lots of Reviews! Woo!

First off, just as a public service announcement-- 25 days until I'm 25. Woo!

Every Saturday at the Yarn Store starts with someone making a run over to the Kroger next door. The Kroger has a Starbucks. Us knitters need our caffiene!

And look! Ingrid and her Mum came in!

And how do they like that sale bin! (I mean, whom amongst us does not love a Sale Bin?!)

But we got this new book in! And we looked at it and OH.MY.GOD.

This book is amazing.

The photography is amazing. They have all these awesome photos of knit fabric melding with nature. There is an amazing one of a rocky shoreline and when you look closely, most of the smaller rocks are actually knitting. It's just, wow. And one of a fire and when you look closely, the charcoal? Knit. Oh my.

Most of the technique in here is written for the machine knitter, but the information on fibers is universal, and the vast majority of charts work for both. AND most of the techniques that don't explicitly transfer, an advanced knitter should be able to play around with and figure out. If nothing else, this book is filled with inspiration and beauty.


Which, sadly, I can't say for the Fall issue of Family Circle Easy Knitting.

First off, in the "Check This" section, they give credence to the Clan Aran website! ARGH! Why does this taunt me so. Tomorrow, I'm writing a complaint letter. WHY O WHY O WHY.

The magazine goes down from there.

I do say that I want this though:

Of course, when I went to the website to look at this shirt, their online store isn't ready yet and the site is well, I could design that site and I'm not even halfway through my online "Intro to Web Design" class. Um.

But man, I do want that shirt. I like that shirt. I like it even better in the pink that was in the magazine photo.

There is a photo spread of hats knit by kids (14 and under) for kids in need. Those young knitters had some fun and I have to say, they're pretty cool. Nothing I would wear, but um, I would wear if I were 8.

Interview with Louisa Harding that puts most of the focus on the Miss Bea series of books and barely anything about her brand new line of yarn and designs, because, you know, that's not what she would want to be plugging or anything.

An article about how knitting bridges generations.

An article about the bonds kids make when they knit together.

An article on how to knit ruffles on a knitting machine.

On to the designs! This works best if you sit down with your copy, too.

1. A soft shrug. Nice, if you like shrugs.
2. A ruffle-y surplice sweater. Could be nice if, you know, it didn't hit about the bellybutton. Because that's a good end line for all worsted weight mohair sweaters.
3. A pull over with some weird lace that is just ick. I mean, it could be better, but you know, it misses the mark by a wide margin.
4. oooo. a surplice that doesn't go down to a point, it goes up and down to a point and then BUTTONS! Wow. Ugly on a whole new level.
5. Chunky ribbed legwarmers. Meh.
6. Chunky arm warmers. Meh.
7. Chunky ribbed hat that doesn't cover the ears because you know, that's practical.
8. Uninspired thick and thin sweater. I'm sorry, isn't this yarn very 2002? Aren't we over it yet?
9 and 10 are ruffled collars you can add to shirts and stuff. BECAUSE THE RUFF, AFTER BEING OUT OF STYLE SINCE ELIZABETH 1, IS APPARENTLY BACK.
11. Men's sweater. Not overly ugly, but ugh.
12. Men's hoodie. Eh.
13. Ugly Yarn! Ugly Sweater! Ugly! Ugly!
14. Men's cabled button vest. Misses the mark a bit, but overall, ok.
15. Men's striped raglan v-neck. Could be ok, if the color choice didn't burn my eyes.
16. Men's crochet hat and scarf. Kinda funky, if you have a man that doesn't mind ear flaps.

I'm going to take 17-22 together, as it's a spread by designer Melissa Matthay.


Ok, so first off, I hate the way it paints Madison as provincial. Yeah, it's not New York, and you know what? It doesn't want to be. I'd also like to point out that Madison, despite Matthay's claims, is not a small town. It's a small city. I mean, the University alone is bigger than most small towns. 454,000 people is a small city. It's a hell of a lot bigger than Ann Arbor. About 1/2 the size of Detroit.

Anyway... if her designs are what is Manhattan, then THANK GOD THERE ARE PROVINCAL PLACES.

Did I mention the visual pain?

Let's see.
17. Is descriped as a "loose fitting cropped cardigan" knit in bulky yarns. Because, that's a style flattering for um, NO ONE.
18. Shiney, dropped stitch long tunic vest. VISUAL PAIN
19 and 20 are Novelty Yarn scarves, because, people apparently still need patterns for these things.
21. Dropped stitch poncho with Point 5. This just explemplifies the ick factor of this entire spread.


22. Side to side sweater with dropped stitches. Ewwwww.
23-26 are mittens. There's a really nice article on how to knit mittens and these designs are different variations using the basic pattern (stripes, argyle, color blocks). Basic, but a really good article for those who haven't knit mittens before.
28. Kid's sweater. Meh.
29. House scarf and hat for kids. SO CUTE! SO CUTE! SO CUTE!
30. Kid's sweater with an argyle chest. Nice.
31. OH MY GOD. This kid's sweater has a sock monkey face!!!! I knida want to upsize this and knit it for me, but I don't think I'd wear it, but cute for kids and the hipsters in your life. SOCK MONKEY!
32. Crochet fish pillows for baby. Nice (for a baby)
33. Mobile of crocheted animals. Cute.
34. Basic easy baby sweater in garter.
35. Hot water bottle cover. Nice.
36-39 Pillows with animals on them. I think my great-aunt might like one.

And that's that. Painful all around.

To ease our pain, my review of Interweave is coming soon. Promise.