Monday, December 03, 2007

Pay It Forward and Knitting Updates!

Happy December, everyone!

First off - I signed up for a Pay it Forward handmade exchange on Craftylilly's blog last week. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Well, I know I don't have too many blog readers, but I'm hoping I've got at least three who want to sign up for something like this! Here's the deal:

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don't know what the gift will be yet, and you may not receive it soon, but you will receive it within 365 days - I promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward - make the same promise on your blog.

Come on! Just for fun - and you've got a WHOLE YEAR to pay it forward, too. Even I can manage a deadline like that. And seriously, how much of the stuff you make can you actually keep in your house?

And....actual knitting updates!

I've finished a second Foliage Hat - this one in blue. It might turn out to be a gift... I'm not sure yet. This pattern is so much fun, though. It's easy enough and I get to practice my lace before trying with lace weight yarn!

Second, I'm actually working on my Central Park Hoodie (in Peace Fleece Wool colorway Zarya Fog). I'm only a bit up the back piece, but it feels good to be working on an enjoyable project! My Tangled Yoke Cardigan is a bit stalled (dk weight yarn is not fast....).
I am also working on a cotton pullover out of Elann Sonata... that one is a bit stalled! I'm not feeling excited about it anymore...

Is anyone else feeling the pressure of upcoming holidays?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Post-Thanksgiving Blahs.

I want to thank everyone for your supportive comments on both our cat endeavors and my psychological issues with baby showers! Thank you so much.

The baby shower went really well, in fact, and I'm actually very excited about having a niece! I'm sure she's going to be wonderful and adorable. Some other things happened over that weekend that I might tell you about at some point...but I'm not ready yet to talk about it. A bit distracting, but nothing too horrible, really!

And I took a shot (perhaps our only one) of the Orange Guy who fathered the two little kittens in the background of the shot...aren't they adorable??? Those two guys are from separate litters, but just love each other. Oh, and our neighbors were able to get some money to get some of these guys fixed, too! Yay!

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Times they are a Changin'

Yep. Not for me, mind you - for my brother and his wife. Tomorrow I'm off to a baby shower (actually I can't believe that I'm driving 100 miles for a shower)! I suspect they are trying to avoid the holiday season by having the shower now, more than 2 months before her due-date. I honestly wasn't expecting to be dealing with a shower this early. But, I thought ahead and bought these:

These are from the Soho Boutique on Etsy, and I think they're adorable! In fact, I thought I might be able to keep them longer, even. Not that I have anything to do with them. I tried putting them on the cats, but the cats are just too smart for me.

I think when I bought them, I was trying to convince myself that I'm okay with my brother having children when both my sister and I haven't been able to. Certainly it isn't an option to not be happy for them - I mean, I am, really. But, you'll also notice the lack of baby knits. I think when I'm knitting, and I don't want to wallow in any self pity! Which, surely, I would. This year has been difficult for various reasons....but I'm sure it will pass. I am hoping that the baby shower will not be difficult for me or my sister. Good thing I have PMS. Indeed.

On to the knitting. I have been procrastinating on all sweater projects! It's too hot here (although only mid-80's today!) to not be depressed by knitting wool sweaters. Seriously. I wonder if it will ever get cold! Although I purport to be working on the Tangled Yoke Cardigan from the Fall 2007 Interweave Knits.... I have only just finished my (second) swatch. Same with my Central Park Hoodie. But, both are now ready to cast on! And I'm exciting about beginning soon - must distract myself from wanting to buy more yarn. I have just finished the body for another Fibonacci Bag:
Hopefully I will full it soon. These bags really are so fun and fast to knit and very cute. If you wanted to make it a bit bigger, you might need a third ball of yarn (if using the Nashua Creative Focus Chunky), because it really takes up most of the two balls. And that's without a swatch (since I figured, why swatch? it's a bag.).

Next up: back to the sweaters? Or perhaps the cute hoodie baby blanket from magknits...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

There's a zoo in my backyard!

And there are a few of the cats and kittens who visit our yard checking out the cage we set to catch them. This is what I've been occupied with for the past few weeks - attempting to catch, neuter/spay, and release. Thus far, we have caught two females. And it's exhausting! The last one we caught is only 2 months old, and her mother was (is) quite irritated with us. The little kitten kept crying for hours after we brought her home from the vet last night, but we have to wait until today to release her! We were lucky to find a program that would pay for five cats to be spayed or neutered- but, as you can see - we have more than five! In fact, we have more than ten....

I have been knitting a little, but as blogger is refusing more photos...that will have to wait til next time...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I'm just going to leave you with the Blue Man.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Something in the Air

Yes. I wish it were fall. I do. But it's 95 degrees here... No, I think it's ragweed, unfortunately. Anyone else feeling it? We've got stuffy noses, runny eyes, and headaches all around here! Luckily, I'm on some lovely allergy medication.

Something lovely came to my door a week ago:

It's Malabrigo Lace in "Verdes." And I love it! I'm not sure if you can even see how vibrant the greens are in this. It's the only lace yarn in my stash, and I'm planning on practicing with the "Easy Flame Lace Scarf" on Knit and Tonic. I'm almost afraid to touch it!

I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but I've swatched for the Central Park Hoodie using Peace Fleece wool, which is a bit scratchy. I haven't washed the swatch yet, so we'll see what happens when I do. I really want to like this yarn!
I have actually finished my Tangled Yoke swatch, too.... and I'm loving Rowan Felted Tweed. I keep stopping just to look at my knitting! Hopefully I'll actually get that project to a point where it looks like something photograph worthy soon.

Have a good weekend! I'm off to make some Pumpkin Pie and pretend it's fall!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Thing That Should Not Be.

This is me (notice the abnormally long tongue...sorry about that). The hat is Santa Cruz in sport weight Knit Picks Andean Treasure (which is really lovely, by the way). The crown has been ripped as this is the Smallest Hat Ever. Perhaps a gauge issue? Perhaps I have a huge head? Well, I enjoyed doing battle. Hat 2. Me 0. But I did get a good laugh out of it.

I think it might be punishment for not working on my sweater projects...

Bonus if you know who's song the title of this post is without googling it. ;)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Temptation Waits

I keep singing the song "Tangled Up in Blue" in my head. Did you know that women are more likely than men to get earworms? I almost always have one. Last week, I kept hearing the line "what a long, strange trip it's been" from the Grateful Dead song "Truckin." Just over and over. And really, it *has* been a long, strange trip. So I went browsing through the songs on this computer to find a title for this post. There are some great song titles on here that I can't wait to have a reason to use!

Okay, so a week and a half ago, I said I was going to go work on the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. You know, swatch and stuff, maybe cast on, even. Right. But then I remembered I wanted to knit the Foliage Hat from Knitty. And I had some crazy colored Malabrigo yarn. I was tempted. Especially since I really wanted a quick knit!

Pattern: Foliage by Emilee Mooney
Size: Version 2 (worsted weight)
Yarn: Malabrigo Seleccion Privada

The yarn was somewhat felted in the hank and was, thus, a PAIN to wind. Even with my handy winder. It's very soft, though, and I'm looking forward to using Malabrigo wool again. These colors...uh...not so much.

The pattern is interesting (so they tell me- this is my first hat) because it's top down, rather than bottom up. I found it a bit finicky to cast on - when I finished the crown I noticed there was a bit of a "nipple" on the top. It bothered me. A lot. I kept picking at it while I was knitting my way down to the bottom! So when I finished, I managed to sew it down a bit. The lace pattern is very simple, but I kept forgetting to pass the slipped stitch over - especially when chatting or watching important baseball games (with playoff implications, as Fox put it). No matter! Really, with crazy yarn like that I can't see where I made the mistakes (ok, not easily - I know exactly where they are).

So, on to Tangled Yoke? Um. Yeah. I just cast on for Santa Cruz (yes! another hat!). My excuse is that I really wanted to try the traditional bottom-up method for making hats, more lace patterns (working my way to something with lace-weight yarn, even), and I have some Knit Picks Andean Treasure (100% Alpaca) that seems super soft and I want to try. So, there you have it. I was tempted by hats...and I really must get back to Santa Cruz because it's already one-third finished.

Friday, September 21, 2007

have inexplicably gained hips overnight.

Ok, sometimes I think I'm Bridget Jones. When crazy things happen, such as, say, gaining mass in my hips, stomach, and thighs when I am doing more yoga and eating less fatty/sugary stuff... I am prone to speaking in Bridget Jones-like sentence structure (in my head, mainly). Right. Calories: 2534. Jelly bellies do not count as are expired and thus probably lose calories through time. Also beer and wine - no info on label must mean completely free of evil fattening calories. Ok, not really. Must go back and re-read Bridget Jones in order to write properly.

Um, right. So, I am going to need more jeans this winter as all jeans bought last year are now too tight. Either that, or do seventy-zillion curl-ups a day for the next few months. The internets might be making me fat.

Back to more interesting news from the month of August. I finally got my Haiku bag!! I'd forgotten that I'd ordered it (back in April). I must say, I really do love this bag. It was a bit more expensive than I'd normally pay for something like this....
I love the blue and the brown together, lots of pockets, nice vegan leather-like stuff (that yes, I've gotten wet in the rain and it's fine), and washable interior. It's sold by several retailers as a diaper bag, even. I think the strap could use a bit more cushioning (ok, any cushioning), but perhaps I shouldn't put such heavy stuff in it. You want one. You know you do! Go on over to Scout's and get one - there are some great new designs, too.

Also in August, I won a contest over at Romi's blog! She sent me this lovely shawl pin:
I absolutely *love* her designs! I'm so excited to own one (and this simple one happens to be my favorite)! BUT.... I haven't yet knit a shawl or stole to use it on. Any ideas? Since I'm a lace beginner, I'm not sure I'm ready for Rosemary's Muir. Although, yes, it's lovely! I also like the Hanami Stole. Isn't it amazing? What do you guys think? I want the color to go well with the copper color of the pin, too.

I think I'm going to cast on for the Tangled Yoke Cardigan this weekend! Oh, after swatching, of course...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Where have I been?

Well, I've been trying to get things back on track in my life. Yep. And there was still very slow knitting going on. But, see here?

It's a completed Jaywalker! And, believe it or not...I've actually started on the second one!

And here!

A completed Blue Tomato! I know the neck is a bit wonky. Somehow I managed to pick up a different number of stitches on one side. And the yellow in the stranded design pulls in under the blue, so you see odd little patches. But, I'm still proud of finishing my first sweater!!

I just finished it Sunday, after putting off the collar and sleeves for a couple of weeks. Picking up stitches around the neck irritated me a bit. I think it's because I really didn't want to rip anything out. Gosh, I'm lazier than I thought.

There are other things afoot in my life, also... we visited my in-laws in Florida a couple of weeks ago. I survived. In a teeny pre-fab house (with seams, I tell you, *seams* in the plastic walls). I probably shouldn't get into the issues with my husband's parents here. I mean, really, who doesn't have issues? Especially if you're an only child (as my husband is). But, in early August, we were told that my mother-in-law has cancer. The day before her surgery. There is a long tradition here of keeping relatives and friends in the dark about medical issues. I'm not clear on the reasoning behind it, but I'm thankful that we were at least told *before* the surgery! My FIL did not want to tell my husband at all. ?!?! They didn't tell her sister, even, who lives TWO DOORS away. Okay, thanks for the short vent.

Anyhow - I have more to tell you about. I have acquired some cool stuff within the past month that I'll take photos of soon...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Delay in el Tour Jaywalkers...

Yes, I really do need to get a move-on here! I was hoping to finish at least ONE Jaywalker before the end of le Tour. On Sunday. See that picture in the last post? I'm not any further yet! I'm distracted by how close I am to finishing the Blue Tomato. And I'm already thinking about knitting up a tank or cami before the end of summer. Who am I kidding? Summer should be here until November - that's plenty of time!

And I'm sure I won't get anything else finished, because I gave in today and bought this book. You know which one! The one everyone read last weekend. Yes, I'm a huge fan (despite the snickers I get at work). So...unless I can read and knit - guess which I'll have finished by Monday! Yeah, not the Jaywalker.

Oh, have you seen the Interweave Knits preview?

Isn't this gorgeous? It's the Tangled Yoke Cardigan by Eunny Jang. I wonder if I'm up to it? I was so overzealous, though, that I've already got the yarn (shhhh!!!).

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Recovering Procrastinator?

I appear to have been absent from blogging this past week! Well, I was actually *trying* to get some real work done. I've had a lot to do, and I'm a huge procrastinator. I'm hoping to soon turn the corner on my procrastination and become an EX-procrastinator, or recovering procrastinator or something like that. I am forever wondering how I've wasted my time, how I've managed to put all these things I need to do from my mind completely... it's a skill I must've learned as a young procrastinator. I once heard a quote that went something like - those who are good at making excuses are seldom good for anything else. I am VERY good at making excuses. And people rarely call me on it. Seriously. I'm not trying to boast (really, is that something to boast about?).

So, on Tomato - the body is still not finished, but I'm getting really close! I can feel it! Well, really, you can see it, too:And, on the Jaywalkers (or jaywalker, as the case may be) - I have started the heel flap. Then I got distracted with how close I was on Tomato. And then I jammed that partially finished sock on my ankle and barely got it off. That's a bit disheartening - I've checked my gauge and it seems to be on, too. I just must have a large foot/ankle/calf. But I'm not going to rip it yet - I want to actually try the whole sock before starting over (if I decide to - really, I know plenty of people with smaller feet than me).

Friday, July 13, 2007

Ravelry could be addicting...

Have you been there yet? I've heard talk of how interesting it is...I really wasn't sure what to expect. I love it! Wow. I can now keep track of all those projects that I want to do and ones that I'm still working on...and pictures of the stash (I haven't managed to take photos of those yet - hate to reveal all of my hiding places while my husband is home!). So, that's where I've been lately! I'm so disorganized with all my knitting stuff (who am I kidding? all my stuff is disorganized) and I'm hoping for a miracle with Ravelry!

In le tour de France project updates... my Jaywalker is moving along slowly but surely!

It's exciting to see the pattern emerging. Honestly, I have yet to form an opinion on the colors - this is Opal somethingorother in Doktorfisch colorway. I think. I was reading on the tour KAL site that some knitters have turned heels already, finished entire pairs of socks, etc! Wow. And I continue to knit slowly along. Perhaps things will speed up soon.

And no, I haven't gotten back to my Tomato yet. I'm afraid I might have a minor sock addiction. Will definitely work on the Tomato this weekend....if only I can put the sock down! Thanks everyone for all the comments on my little knitting projects! I really appreciate the encouragement. And I'm amused that Romi revealed that she doesn't even like to knit socks (thank goodness, in case I decide otherwise at least I'll have company) - but go check out her gorgeous Mystery Stole 3!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Sock knitting is for crazy people.

Yep, that's right. Especially with that teeny sock yarn. And teeny needles. Starting out, I'm feeling all thumbs! I'm not saying I'm giving up or anything - no way! What would I do with all of my sock yarn? Give it away? HAH! That's how I got most of it, actually - people giving it away. Hmm.
For the tour de france knit along I'm attempting to make my first pair of socks! Or one sock. Or half a sock. Okay, well, here is what I've got so far. Don't laugh! I know its hardly anything!Yes, it's about half an inch. Someday it might be a Jaywalker! Perhaps. So, you know, I started with some lovely Addi Turbo circular needles - I couldn't figure up from down, in from out, and those needles kept smacking me as I turned the thing about trying to figure out how to join. And so I got irritated (might've been the heat that made me so irritable, though), and ripped out the cast on stitches. And pulled out some bamboo dpns. Maybe next time I'll try the two circular thing.

Here's how "tomato" is coming:About waist deep or so. I can see the mistakes from here. I got sick of dropping the blue, picking up the yellow during the fair isle portion and attempted to hold one yarn with one hand and the other with the other hand. And I don't know how to knit continental, mind. It worked, and I was pleased with how fast it went.... but, uh, I kind of lost some of the stitches on that third houndstooth stripe. Oh well! I still feel like I learned something, and I really really really don't feel like ripping back. I'm too lazy. :)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Eye Candy Friday!

Cactus flowers, Mount Lemmon, Tucson. They really were this bright!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

SP 10 Package!

Ok, I'll admit these photos are not the best! That first one is handspun by Kate! Wow. It's beautiful. I'm not sure the deep reds come out so well in the photo, but it was the best I could do - I was fighting with a tripod and waning light. The other photo shows most (but not all, oops) of the other goodies: green apple mints, a mini crochet hook, some Noro silk garden lite, a lovely yellow stone bracelet, gummy bears (sadly, I have already eaten these...yes, I have a problem), and cat toys! Not pictured is the super yummy Sistercraft soap (that photo just did not turn out) and three little notebooks with a sheep guy stamped on the front. I really wanted to eat the soap - sandalwood with a bit of vanilla scent!

And this is how hot it is:

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Warning....Slow Knitting Ahead...

Yes, that's right - this blob of knitted fabric is supposed to be something someday! I'm hoping it will be the top in the background - "Tomato" in "No Sheep For You." It seems like a simple enough pattern for someone who's never made anything sized before (just bags, dishcloths, and scarves so far!). I'm using CottonEase in "lake" rather than the Blue Sky Dyed Cotton that is called for in the pattern. I've heard both good and bad things about the Blue Sky Cotton - and I'll be happy to try it out someday.... but I really wanted to try the CottonEase on something.

My gauge was on with size 9 needles (the pattern calls for size 7 and others have gotten gauge with this size....I must be a tight knitter). But, I thought, I like the way the fabric looks with the size 7 needles. So I cast on with size 8 (happy medium?) and tried to make one size larger than I need. Then, I realized about an inch or two in that I'm knitting much looser than I did on my gauge swatch. Oops! So I switched back to size 7's. I can't wait to see how badly I've screwed up the sizing on this one. But hey, if I don't keep going I won't learn anything, right?

I'm a little bored right now - each row of stockinette takes forever. I knitted half the blob while watching "Raiders of the Lost Ark" the last two nights. And Jennifer is right - it does hold up really well over time! There's a bit of silliness here and there where you can see the age of the movie, but overall, I'm glad I own this one. On another note - no, archaeologists really don't like the view this gives of archaeology (you know, the treasure-hunting aspect...). I mean, most archaeologists would be loathe to remove those objects from their contexts without proper mapping. hehe. Sorry. That's my inner archaeologist coming out. But really, it's about being dirty and finding hardly anything for hours or days or weeks at a time!

Yes, that's me in the middle holding the sign board that you can't read. 1998. I miss digging.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Indecent [cat] Exposure

Chris posted Mayhem's belly.... I've got lots of cat bellies! These aren't the best shots of these guys, either... but cat tummies make me laugh - and don't we all need to laugh a bit every day?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

BELATED thanks to my SP!

A couple weeks ago, my lovely SP signed me up for Knitters Anonymous! The stuff they have is hilarious - see the pink pad? "While you were knitting." I'm not sure I qualify yet for "extreme knitter" - and I don't think I've ever knit in traffic (I walk to work - lucky me, but no knitting happens while walking!). There was also a "knitwit" magnet that I'd already left at work (oops). I think it would be disastrous if I knit while drunk - uh...I've never been drunk, actually. But a bit tipsy or tired and ripping is required!

On the cat front... Chester has now been an indoor cat for a full year! AMAZING. Not sure how we got through the first few weeks, either. Here's one of the last shots of him outside - note the lack of collar and if you look really closely - you'll see the injury on his back paw that required us to bring him in. He had to have a bone extracted (the same one you'd extract if you were declawing a cat - something I think is inhumane...but in this case, he had a bone infection). It's been tough, but he has his sweet moments (and he's super cuddly).

Friday, May 11, 2007

Bookmarks and Postcards

Look what I found! Vintage 1981. It's the first bookmark I remember having.
Next, are two I made sometime within the last year or so. I know, not knitting... but still something I made!

And here, I used stamps to make a couple haphazard post cards. It was a technique I found in a book that looked like it was right up my alley - I like throwing things together quickly. Actually, it takes a while to get the stamps, ink, cleaner, paper, embossing powder, and all that out. I used to make stationery (not that I write to anyone...usually I just sent it off to people in swaps), and always underestimated how long it would take me to finish. A set of ten sheets took an hour or two! But looking at these makes me want to do some this weekend...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Totes are Fun!

Isn't this an adoreable little tote? I know, I know - I have a minor addiction. I got it at Superbuzzy - they have great Japanese stuff! This bag doesn't hold too much stuff - it's a short tote - but it would probably hold socks! I shoved my entire green, blue, and grey pre-tote-form into this (just barely fits).

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Where to Find Patterns for Felted Bags

The Fibonacci Felted Bag was created by Brynne Sutton, and is available on her website, All This By Hand. It's a fairly small bag made out of Nashua Creative Focus Chunky (only two balls are needed). I've currently got a washcloth project in it, and I'm enjoying finally using one of my own creations for something useful! My bag measures about 10.5 inches wide by 7.0 inches tall, and is about 3 inches deep at the base.

The other felted bag is the Slouch Bag, available at The Knitting Zone. There are quite a few fun felted bag patterns there, too!

I'm hoping to make a bag with flowers - yikes, intarsia.... but I'm imagining a really beautiful brown bag with blues, purples, pinks, and greens....haha.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Yikes....been a while!

So, it's been two weeks since my last post. Obviously I'm slacking. Probably due to the lack of readership? Perhaps. I'm finally going to post some FO's! First up - the tote that I received from a blogless Martha. That purple is really an eggplant color. The handles are super long and I can put this across my body... after sending off my own tote (that I absolutely love), I'm thinking that I might want to felt this some more (ok, I know it's actually fulling, not really felting...but whatever).

I finished up my "fibonacci tote" - the pattern and yarn was sent to me in a swap in December (and the colors are rather vintage Christmas).

This photo was taken pre-handle attachment. This was a fast knit, and the pattern directions are simple - it was my first try at knitting in the round. And the felting doesn't show the poor job weaving in ends, etc.

The last recent project is my tote for the Tote Exchange:

I used 2 skeins of Cascade 220 in a purple heather (must check the ball band to get the colorway), and 2 skeins of Noro Kureyon to get that fun stripey effect. I love the roundness of the sides, and the firm feel of the bag. The bag took 5 or 6 runs through the machine (but I suspect I was setting it back at random intervals). I'm really going to have to knit one of these for myself - I like the length of the handles (they are i-cord, knit to 24 inches before felting). I'm out of these colors, so I'll have to use something else...grey maybe? I doubt I'd like it as much without all those great greens and blues in the stripes.

So, what next? I'm busy putting together a package for my Secret Pal 10 partner - I've got some good stuff planned for her! I'm trying not to buy too much for myself - random expenses keep popping up... But I'd really like to get some good cotton yarn for a new sweater project...should've bought that stuff on ebay a while back...*sigh*

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Movie Stuff!

Why? Because I saw this on several blogs, and I've been thinking about movies lately!

1) Name a movie you've seen more than 10 times. Really? Ten times? Maybe Harry and the Hendersons (against my will – one of my sisters loved this movie when she was little). And probably You’ve Got Mail. By choice.

2) Name a movie you've seen multiple times in the theater. Whoa. Just had a blank-out. Oh, yeah – Braveheart.

3) Name an actor who would make you more inclined to see a movie. I’d have to agree with others on this one – Johnny Depp! Brad Pitt, too.

4) Name an actor who would make you less likely to see a movie. Oh, geez – Kevin Costner for one. Will Ferrell (sorry, you’re hilarious, but I can only take a few minutes).

5) Name a movie you can and do quote from. French Kiss (You people make my ass twitch! – Honestly, isn’t that a great line??) But I usually quote tv shows – Seinfeld, Friends, Sex and the City.

6) Name a movie musical to which you know all the lyrics. Um. None!

7) Name a movie you've been known to sing along with. Um, also none!

8) Name a movie you would recommend everyone see. Star Wars (the original) – because it’s still awesome!

9) Name a movie you own. Is it weird? I own it. Ok, not really! The Usual Suspects is the last one I got, though.

10) Name an actor who launched his/her career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops. Mark Wahlberg. Who I still refer to as Marky Mark! He’s hilarious in I heart Huckabees, great in Boogie Nights – who knew?

11) Have you ever seen a movie at a drive-in? If so what? Gosh, no, never!

12) Ever made out at a movie? Ew. After paying so much to get in? Are you nuts??

13) Name a movie you've been meaning to see but just haven't gotten around to yet. Casablanca. I’ve got it at home now!

14) Ever walked out of a movie? Not in a theatre – but I turned off Old School after a few minutes, gave up on Waterworld, Snatch, and almost Ocean’s Eleven….oh, and Last Tango in Paris is EVIL and DISGUSTING. Don’t watch it. Believe me.

15) Name a movie that made you cry in the theater. I’m not sure I have, actually.

16) Popcorn? If I have enough money!

17) How often do you go to the movie theater? Rarely – once a year, if that.

18) What's the last movie you saw in the theater? Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Yep. 2005.

19) What's your favorite/preferred genre? Weird. Is that a category? I avoid many comedies and most “chick-flicks.”

20) What's the first movie you remember seeing in the theater? It was either Snow White or E.T. (which I hated)

21) What movie do you wish you had never seen? Oh, I already answered that! Last Tango in Paris. Hands down. Ok, Child’s Play was a waste of time, as was Dolls, but really, I can’t even look at butter anymore. And occasionally my husband says “get the butter” to gross me out. You don’t want to know.

22) What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed? How weird? Mulholland Drive is pretty weird – I also own that.

23) What's the scariest movie you've ever seen? Um. Pulse? But, I was little – all sorts of things are scary when you’re little!

24) What's the funniest movie you've ever seen? Gosh, I don’t know. Comedies aren’t my thing!

Movies I've seen lately:
The Squid and The Whale - I actually found this to be quite an amusing little movie. Weird, too. And a bit gross now and again. My friend hated it. Oh well!

The Prestige - I didn't think I was going to like this! But I really enjoyed it. Also weird. And by the director of Memento (which I own). I love things that play with memory - like Memento, this one is circular - it begins and ends with the same scenes.

Chinatown - Wow. Some serious Noir here! I don't remember why I wanted to see this, but it's definitely good!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Pink, Yellow, and Green...

are the project spectrum colors for the next two months... Not that I did very well in the last two! Ok, well - here's a project I haven't managed to finish yet - it's supposed to be a felted tote bag. So far it's a huge piece of knitted fabric!

So this was supposed to be for last month...but there is green in it too. It's taken months for me to get through that much stockinette. Ok, well, moving on! Unfortunately, pink is not one of my favorite colors - although I do enjoy it on flowers.

And I know some of you would prefer no yellow flowers - but the flowers on my prickley pear out front are yellow (and will be blooming soon - I see the buds already).

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Thing About Street Fairs...

Twice a year, the street fair comes to 4th Avenue here in Tucson. When I first moved into a little Craftsman bungalow (built in 1917 - I love old houses!), I had no idea about what happens during this festival - I'm not even sure I knew about it. The first year, both of our cars were broken into while they were parked in front of the house. Granted, this could happen at any time, but there are so many people around for the street fair... Also during the fair, people drive like morons. Last year, a car crashed into the front yard of a condo across the street. Luckily, the woman only ran over a "for rent" sign - no pedestrians or houses were damaged. I heard plenty of honking this weekend...and saw some atrocious driving - people speeding out of alleys, driving in the center "suicide lane" - where we have a trolley running, too, so even more dangerous... And, since I have to park on the street in front of my house, I can't leave during the fair - or if I do, I have to return after 6 pm.

Despite all this, it's fun to people-watch. I spent a couple hours on my porch yesterday critiquing everyone! We have a huge number of freaks per capita here in Tucson.... I might have to post about some of my favorites someday... Also fun to watch as people comment on my house - we have ocotillo fencing around the yard. The previous tenants put it up to prevent the homeless from sleeping on the porch. I know, I'm painting quite a picture, aren't I? You all want to move here now, right? ;)

So what is the *thing* about street fairs? Well, everyone seems to enjoy them - but, honestly, it's all the same CRAP every year (ok, twice a year). I wouldn't have thought this before 2005, probably, because I collect as much as the next guy. I used to consider myself a "packrat." However, since July 1, 2005, my house has become a lot cleaner, I collect a lot less stuff.

Although I was warned, I went to help a friend pack up her stuff - my co-worker indicated that it might be traumatic. Honestly, I thought I could handle it! I'm messy, I collect stuff...right? Um, no. OCD "Hoarding" disorder....I'm sure my friend does not believe she's OCD, but her house says otherwise. And I went over to help her *after the moving truck had already gone.* Her husband had already moved, a moving van full of stuff had already moved.... and the house was a MESS. I went through her laundry room (took a full day). She had boxes full of broken sunglasses (probably a total of 30+ pairs), "super-glue projects" was in another box, the little cardboard squares from boxes of weigh-paper (taken from work), the plastic cover pieces ripped off of who knows what - doll boxes? - you know the plastic sheets I mean... One of the symptoms is keeping piles and piles of printed matter (newspapers, magazines...) - most of this had already been dealt with. OCD people think their stuff is worth as much to others as it is to them (her garage sale items were quite overpriced). Let me tell you something - if you ever bring lunch somewhere and find BUGS in it - you have a serious problem. I'm not kidding. Hoarders are the least likely to get help (they think it's just you're typical "packrat" thing...). When my husband got home that day at 5:15pm - I was drinking a beer. Not my typical behavior. And the next day, when I threw out boxes and boxes of articles from grad school, he knew something was wrong! But I guess I'm better off now... if only I could deal with my serious procrastination problem...
And here: what the heck? Who would cut off my hose to steal it??? Just odd, don't you think?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday Flowers!

It's feeling like spring in the desert... and these here flowers could be making me sneeze. I just noticed these in my front yard on Friday - ok, I knew the plant was there, I just noticed that it's blooming!

Ok, it's beginning to feel like summer, even. It's getting hot - could be 90's this week!

I am feeling much better than I was on Friday. Although, I'm still finding it a bit hard to believe that we're down to the last possible job this year. If my husband wants to try again, the next round will start again in September or October. But, there is that last chance... And I've no idea when we might hear from them (if at all).

In the meantime... I'll be posting some flower pictures - to remind us all to stop and smell the roses (or whatever flowers you've got) - even if they make you sneeze!

Friday, March 09, 2007

I tried not to get attached...

but I did. I really wanted this job for my husband. The interview went well. He seemed to really like it there - the people, the setting, even the weather. They tried to really sell it to him - made him feel like he had it locked up. Honestly, I thought it'd be perfect for him. We went through a lot to get him to and from that interview - I lost practically a week of work for it, bought two new flights on my credit card to get him home. A two day interview took five days, plus recovery time! And they offered it to someone else. Maybe it's perfect for her, too. I'm sure she's thrilled. I'm not handling it well. I'm trying to. But I'm devastated.

I know I'll get over it. Probably by tomorrow. Can't dwell on things that never were, right? There's some sidewalk graffiti at a park that I often walk by. It says: "Life could be worse." Of course it's true.

I don't know that my husband will continue in the field he's in. This might be it. After that interview, I doubt he'll apply for a job again. And I really just want to tell the search committee chair what I think of him being a *tease.* I see that I am in the "anger" phase of grief. My husband went on another interview, and if he's offered that life is going to get infinitely more complicated. I'm not even sure he wants that one.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Secret Pal 10 Questionnaire!

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

So far I enjoy knitting with wool and wool/alpaca blends – especially really soft ones! Cotton and acrylics do not seem to be as fun – cotton because it isn’t soft or stretchy like wool, and acrylic just doesn’t feel very nice.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I have knitpicks options with a case and a fabric needle roll to store straights.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I have been knitting for about 6 months; I’m probably an advanced beginner (or, I’d like to think so!).

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes, I have an amazon list.

5. What's your favorite scent?

I like jasmine, gardenia, and sandalwood. I like stuff with amber, musk, vanilla – sort of in the oriental range.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Oh, I’ve overdone it lately. I like dark chocolate and Haribo gummy bears (yum!) – oh, not together, though!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I haven’t tried spinning yet, but I’d definitely be interested in trying.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I have the ability to play mp3s – we have tons of music though – I (ok, my husband, really) already own most all Led Zeppelin, including bootlegs, a huge amount of Bob Dylan stuff, nearly all of the Grateful Dead albums and concert recordings…

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I love red, teal, dark greens, brown, grey, purples, blues; Not fond of yellow, pink, neons, pastels. I can deal with pastels, yellows, and pinks if they are in with other dark colors in a fun variegated yarn (I haven’t seen a manos del Uruguay colorway that I don’t like).

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I have four cats and a husband – no kids anywhere in my family (including extended!)

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Hahahaha! It’s 80 degrees here already. I’ve already made myself two scarves, so I’m good there. Not sure what I’d do with a poncho. Hats are useful for a couple months a year, though, and my hands are always cold. Of course, full mittens would be difficult to work in.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

So far, tote bags are fun, scarves are fun...and small clutches and bags give instant gratification. But I haven’t yet tried socks. Or sweaters. Is there something that isn't fun to knit? (Besides miles of stockinette in one color)

13. What are you knitting right now?

A tote bag.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Yes! Um…unless they smell musty or moldy.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I’ve just started using circulars – knit picks options. Although I do like my bamboo straights. And I’d love some of those beautiful rosewood ones with carvings on the end, but they’re rather expensive!

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

No – I haven’t been able to justify the expense yet. And I knit really slowly so it'll be a long time before I can even buy more yarn (and justify that to my husband..)

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Two months (I’ve only been knitting for six!)

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Any day off work. Um, probably Christmas despite all the expectations and expenses...Hmm. I might want to make up my own holiday tradition for some other holiday to make it more fun.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Fun little (wooden, tin, stone, antique…) boxes. And bags.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I subscribe to Interweave knits. So many yarns that I haven’t yet tried! I’m always up for a classy tote pattern – I currently have the Noni adventure pattern that I haven’t gotten up the nerve to actually knit (that’s my only purchased tote pattern).

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Fair-isle, intarsia…maybe lace, too.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I have yet to knit my first pair of socks…and I have five skeins of sock yarn.

23. When is your birthday?

November 21st.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Tyger the amazing burrowing cat!

Tyger decided he'd get under the couch cushion the other day. He loves to get underneath stuff - couch cushions, rugs, clothes... I love how the side angle shows off his amber eyes. See the black specks on his nose? He also has a few black whiskers (hard to see here, though).

As you can see, Anya wasn't quite sure what was going on! Yes, I realize the couch is covered in fur - we actually picked this couch up in the alley behind our house when someone moved. Pre-cat-scratched, too! Free crappy furniture! Don't have to take it with me when I move... just put it back where I found it. Sometimes it's convenient to live in a student ghetto.