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July 2007

Knitters - Yarn Storage Questions

I just bought three humongo flat plastic storage bins (we won't go into how something that size can't hold a teeny weeny stash, much less three of them - I'm just assuming they don't make them the way they used to - outside of mass & matter) and my big question is:

If I take the yarn out of the ziplock bags, will it be okay? If I do, I can fit more into the bins but then again, a moth infestation could be deadly.


Caffeine. Not Enough In the World

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Ha. I must've lied on that quiz. I love getting up early, and on occasion, I like staying up late. I DO NOT like however, combining the two. I feel like a zombie. Up until midnight two days in a row and wide awake at 5:30 am? I'm one of those people who need something like 8-9 hours of sleep a night.

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Today’s question - mine! So cool. Thanks, Deb!

What’s the most desperate thing you’ve read because it was the only available reading material?

Other than fishing/car magazines? The backs of cleaning products in my [insert blood relatives name here] because there was nothing else to read in her house. What the - - ? Related to me? This is what hell is going to be like.

If it was longer than a cereal box or an advertisement, did it turn out to be worth your while?

Well, yes, actually. I'm not sure I've ever really read the instructions or ingredients on your basic cleaning supplies before. Who knew?

And a knitting update: Blog_pix_439 The helmet! (Or De Helmutt) As modeled by Leo with his faithful sidekick, Wolf. I picked up the wolf mask at a Ren Faire eons ago, along with my ever popular reversible red on one side/black on the other cape.

De Helmutt took approximately 3 balls of chunky 100% wool yarn and is basically a giant heel turn with a flared edge. After fooling with him for a lot longer than it should've taken, I think I've got a pretty good feeling for the smoke ring/wimple that's up *next. (* Next being relative.)

Blog_pix_445_2 Here's my Jaywalker's "progress". In my defense, it's my Knit At Stoplights/carry around project (there's a great picture of me on it at knitting at the 40th Anniversary party last weekend) and it's being alternated with the Beaded Sock(s).

And lastly, Golden Gate!Blog_pix_440_edited  Knit and seamed at the shoulders, all the ends woven in - I'm going to try Barbara G Walker's knit from the top down sewn in sleeves and see how that works.......please, please, PLEASE! do not point out that the border appears to be hella wonky ......I actually attached the d--- thing, saw that it was off center by about 9 stitches, frogged it, re-centered it, reattached it, sewed the one side and was attaching the other when I realized that I ------ didn't do the garter stitch edging on the cast off end. It said "repeat rows 5-28" and I did. I did not bother with the "knit the 9 rows of garter stitch you did at the begining, stupid, to make the border symmetrical."

This is the cheese that I am in love with. I am so in love with it I would marry it (if there weren't human/cheese laws against it.) White Cheddar from Ireland. Yum. Blog_pix_432_edited (Thanks to Kristi aka the Fiber Fool for some photo pointers. And yes, this is the best one. Yes, I'm sure it's my camera. No, it can't be the photographer.)

Check out the Happy Haunted Turtle's haikus!

I think I've posted this pic of Hez before. I keep trying to get one with her pointing her paw but the camera is too freaking slow. Blog_pix_289

Tonight I'm off to two free events! Music in the Park at 6pm and then Beach Reads for the Thinking Guy/Gal at the Lafayette Library at 7:30. However the Lafayette Library is across the street from the Yarn Boutique.....so I might have to pick up some 8 st gauge sock yarn for Kristi's Mashup Madness socks.


Whew. The Longest Day of the Year is Behind Us

Blog_pix_430 Look what mrspao sent me! All I did was admire her stitchmarkers.......and she sent me stitchmarkers (that she made) not to mention a necklace (that she made), matching earrings (!) (that she made) - wowza! I was complimented on the necklace and earring set so many times yesterday, it was lovely. It was also a bit unnerving. Do I never dress up at all?

Check out the cute duck! and the coffee and the chocolate (which mysteriously has vanished), the lollypop, the pen and the lovely wool yarn. Isn't the name on the chocolate perfect? me me me.

Newonce The Once Upon A Time challenge has ended. I loved the quest, the idea, and I sort of fulfilled my quest. (I'm sure many many knights reported to the King "I was so close! and were richly rewarded.) Well, I was richly rewarded in the reading at any rate.;)

The Quest was: Quest Three: Read at least one book from each of the four genres of story (Mythology, Folklore, Fairytale, and Fantasy) and finish up the challenge with a June reading of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

I managed to read two books that covered all four of the categories, Emerald Isle edited by Andrew S Greeley that was short stories and Pride of Kings by Judith Tarr. Pride of Kings was about Richard I and John Lackland, sons of Eleanor of Aquitaine (not coincidentally one of my favorite historical women) and their struggle for the throne. As it turns out, they're both crowned, at the same time. One is King of Britain, one King of England. And yes, both quite different countries or should I say realms?

I could have gone without the romantic entanglements of Arslan, the Turkish boy that's the protagonist of the story. For one thing, they kept calling him a child and yet married him off. For another, his wife had the stupidest fight with him - well no. She had it all by herself. It ruined the book a bit, wanting to slap her upside the head.

So I didn't manage to read four books and the play. I managed two books and the play. And I barely squeezed in A Midsummer's Night's Dream - I listened to it on audiotape yesterday. Shakespeare sounds so incredibly lilting when spoken. For once, an audiobook truly enhanced the experience. Also? fairies are mean and people are fools. But entertaining.

Shamelessly stealing this list of questions from Katrina at Callapidder Days (with permission)

What was the best book you read this spring challenge ?

Pride of Kings by Judith Tarr

What book could you have done without?

Of the three? Clearly none. I enjoyed both books, if not all the characters and the short stories.

Did you try out a new author this spring? If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again?

I do have Orson Scott Card's Magic Street waiting for me. Unbelievably, I've never read a book of his. There were authors in Emerald Isle I hadn't read before, but for the most part, I was familiar with all of them. Judith Tarr wrote a time travel historical novel with Harry Turtledove called Household Gods that I particularly liked when I read it a few years back.

If there were books you didn't finish, tell us why. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren't worth it? Did you come across a book or two on other participants' lists that you're planning to add to your own to-be-read pile? Which ones?

I ran out of time, but other than Madwoman in the Attic (references fairy tales and myths), I hadn't started any other book for the Once Upon A Time Challenge. And I always come across books on the other participants lists!

What did you learn -- about anything -- through this challenge? What was the best part of the Spring Reading Thing  challenge? Would you be interested in participating in another reading challenge this fall?

I learned that I always bite off more than I can chew! But it's worth it to try. I think the best part of this challenge - and all the others, is reading everyone else's reviews and insights and stretching my reading habits a bit.

Interested in another challenge? I'm interested. I'm always interested. But I'm going to try to just keep to the ones I'm in now. (Chunkster Challenge to end at the end of the month, The Non Fiction Five Challenge, TBR Challenge, Reading Through the Decades.)

Blog_pix_389_edited What're you looking at? I'm not the one who brought knitting, books, and lunch in a Powell's bookbag and managed to leave my purse at home.....also a helmet? Basically a giant heel turn? Is it taking me a week to finish? It is not.

Feed me. The good tuno. No, wait. Some fresh salmon would be nice.......


Summer Solstice

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This week's Booking Through Thursday question:

Since school is out for the summer (in most places, at least), here’s a school-themed question for the week:

1. Do you have any old school books? Did you keep yours from college? Old textbooks from garage sales? Old workbooks from classes gone by?

I've kept my old anatomy and physio books because it's amazing how handy they've been. I rescued a few of my parents college English textbooks because they're wonderful. They actually teach. With examples and everything. (Caveat: I'm certain that none of my sentence structure is condoned in any way. Y'know? lol) I don't think I had an English textbook in school, after gradeschool.

2. How about your old notes, exams, papers? Do you save them? Or have they long since gone to the great Locker-in-the-sky?

Long gone.

Today is the last day of Carl's Once Upon a Time challenge! At midnight, when hopefully I will have fulfilled the terms of my quest. Newonce_2

There will possibly be knitting updates. Someday. If I ever finish anything. Maybe I'll drag out my old UFO's and pretend I just started them. See if you can tell the ancient from the new!

Watch the final episode of Stargate SG1 tomorrow at 8pm on the Sci Fi Channel, if only to confound them for cancelling it. Although, please. The O'ri? B'oring.

Happy Summer Solstice! Spring is sprung.


Magic!

Magic - the theme of my Knitflix swap package from Phoebe at Knit Happened - check it out! Jalapeno popcorn, The Illusionist, Mmip_481_edited_2 Ann Pratchett's The Magician's Assistant, a set of Magic 8-Ball stitchmarkers, a small notebook called My Favorite Books, handpainted yarn named Hawaiian Sunset - doesn't it look like a sunset? Well, really it looks like a Tequila Sunrise, but close enough. ;)  And some Magic Paul Prudhomme seasonings. Mmip_488_edited_3

An extreme close up of the Magic 8 Ball stitchmarkers on the helmet-in-progress. It'd be an FO by now too, if I hadn't frogged the darn thing four times. It's not as if it's going to a beauty pageant but when the decrease lines jump a stitch or halfway down a lonely dropped stitch is hanging off a cliff waving like a semaphore, it's gotta be repaired.

Mmip_485_edited_2 I have an FO! It probably qualifies as a UFO Resurrection, it was abandoned sometime over the winter.

Topi from Knitty, hanging out in the tomatos. (The watermelon was store bought, I'm sad to report. And there's nary a tomato on the vine because tomatos are SLOW! SLOW! Er, ahem. )

My plan is to finish it tonight while continuing to watch the Stargate SG1 marathon until the final [sob!] episode on Friday. You know, now that The Closer marathon yesterday is over. Anyone else catch the season premiere? That Gabriel is going places.

My plan is also to finish up GG and maybe do a row or two on Mary Tudor and possibly, possibly finish one of the Jaywalker and/or beaded socks, but you know where good intentions will get you.

Wildly casting on for a new project(s). Mmip_489_edited_3

This was what was slowing the traffic on the street - not even the freeway (although it's right by a freeway on ramp) on my way home tonight - drive safely out there! 

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight......

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Look closely at that picture (you'll probably have to click on it to get it big enough.) Sweet, eh? She can't just lay out with me in the backyard. She's got to hide in the bushes. The bluejay might make fun of her. 

My other plan is to read Midsummer's Night's Dream on the summer solstice for the finale of Carl's Once Upon A Time Reading Challenge.


Thankless Thursday

Your Life is 46% Off Track
Right now, you're taking things one day at a time.
Some things are going well, but you can't help but wonder if you're getting the most out of life.
It's time for you to slow down and reflect a little. You can change your life - but it's up to you!

Well, that's depressing if you're a half empty kind of person, which? Yes. Also a Worst Case Scenario expert. Think of something, anything, and I can tell you in under a minute why you will be in mortal danger or at the very least, up a creek without a paddle if you do it. OTOH, if I'm proven wrong, all the better! Narrowly averted catastrophe! If I'm right? Both prepared and......well, I was right. 

Booking Through Thursday: Btt2

Last weeks question:

Almost everyone can name at least one author that you would love just ONE more book from. Either because they’re dead, not being published any more, not writing more, not producing new work for whatever reason . . . or they’ve aged and aren’t writing to their old standards any more . . . For whatever reason, there just hasn’t been anything new (or worth reading) of theirs and isn’t likely to be.

If you could have just ONE more book from an author you love . . . a book that would be as good any of their best (while we’re dreaming) . . . something that would round out a series, or finish their last work, or just be something NEW . . . Who would the author be, and why? Jane Austen? Shakespeare? Laurie Colwin? Kurt Vonnegut?

I'd love to read another Sarah Caudwell mystery. Thus Was Adonis Murdered, Shortest Way to Hades, The Sirens Sang of Murder, The Sybil In Her Grave. Just well crafted mysteries. The why would be she just didn't write enough of them to suit me. More is better.

And this week:
  1. Do you cheat and peek ahead at the end of your books? Or do you resolutely read in sequence, as the author intended?
  2. And, if you don’t peek, do you ever feel tempted?

Cheat? Cheat? It's my book! I can read it any way I want. That said, sure, I cheat. If I'm really bored with the book, I'll skip to the last section and see if it picks up, or if I'm tied up with suspense (I hate that), I'll read the last few pages to see how it all turns out.

Blog_pix_073 Hez is very happy. It was 105 Farenheit/42 celcius at 4 in the afternoon yesterday (and pretty much the same today).

I think that's roughly the temperature of Hades. She thinks it's Heaven. Cats. (Please do not look at the deck. A certain someone decided to use indoor paint on outdoor redwood.)


Blog_pix_421_edited_2I'm a theater going maven lately! Saw Richard III Thursday night at the Cal Shakes outdoor theater. It was good, but honestly, if the first play is good, they always produce a sequel.........but once they release the third.....Shakespeare was just milking the franchise. Bada-boom! Yes, folks, I'll be here all week. Blog_pix_420_edited

*I'll blame it on the play I saw yesterday. A "double feature", A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine. The first was basically a series of musical skits with the Grauman theater and its ushers as the background singers/dancers - we (the audience) even got to do a sing-along to Over the Rainbow. One skit portrayed how Bob Hope's signature song, Thanks for the Memories was sung as a duet with Shirley Ross first in the 30's, as a long divorced couple meeting on a cruise ship for the first time in decades.

A Night in the Ukraine was a take off on the Marx Bros. Gah. I'm not a fan of the Marx Bros, the Three Stooges and slapstick in general. The first ten minutes confirmed my fears - but then Serge B Samovar, A Moscow Lawyer (aka Groucho) started letting those one liners fly - it just cracked me up. He even had a K1 P2 laugh! Even the Harpo character was pretty good.

Did I mention that Richard III was in an outdoor theater? Yes. COLD.

But yay! I wore my Uggs and at intermission, put on my nice long Log Cabin wool socks too, to the envy of a couple of people around me. I had toasty toes, at least.

I pretty much dropped all knitting to knit up a helmet (Knitters 2003, Fall, I think) after freezing by the end of the show. Sadly I didn't have quite enough yarn to finish it yesterday, so I ordered some more. Even more sadly, it looks like.....well, predigested food. Why do I knit with variegated colors/thickness when I know perfectly well I only like the way they look in the skein or knit in stockinette?

Even more sadly (Yes! more sadly than the last more sadly!) going through the blog pix I ran across a pic of piles of balls of yarn from my frogged shawl collar jacket....

  • 100% Wool.
  • Plenty of yarn for the helmet and matching convertible mittens.
  • ALREADY IN MY STASH.
  • One solid color and gray at that. [sigh].

Now I just need a size 8 circ that's 16 inches long. The pattern calls for a 24 inch circ but at 4 sts an inch and 72 stitches to cast on, I come up with 18 inches. It is VERY hard to circularly knit 18 inches on a 24 inch needle. (I faked it with the first one. I could probably fake it with the second, but clearly I need a size 8 16 inch circ.)

Still reading Paul Murray Kendall's Richard III, although I'm almost done. The play was such a contrast! Well, naturally, Shakespeare did write it in the realm of Richard III's usurper's granddaughter. But it was jarring at first. Let me just say, there is no way that a man who was in as many wars as Richard was, and successfully at that, was a hunchbacked cripple. He might have done away with his two nephews (the Princes in the Tower) but it's just as likely that Henry VII did, or even the Duke of Buckingham.

Blog_pix_424 Isn't that cool looking? Can you see the giant ball of twine in the tree? (all the pictures click bigger.) There was another one suspended over the pathway but it came out too blurry.

And now for the obligatory cat cheesecakeBlog_pix_140

* I'll blame it on the play, but really, I shamelessly stole the joke from my brother. Hi Bryan! Thanks! ;)


Never Wordless. Even If I Ought To Be.

I'm trying to power through the Richard the Third biography before I see the play tomorrow night....it'll be close but definitely not enough time to reread the Shakespeare play too. Alas, I'll just have to go into it with only a slightly confused jumble of who's who. Historical royal figures need to be identified by, I don't know, bar codes? It can't be more confusing. I'm much better at the Tudor period than the War of Roses.

In the meantime, I've discovered David Rosenfelt's Andy Carpenter's mysteries, through Bookfool. Broke my reading slump. What's not to love about a man who saved both a dog and a man from Death Row? And just happens to be wildly wealthy. I read Open & Shut Saturday night (because my life is wild), went to the library on Sunday to pick up First Degree, the 2nd in the series (yes, my library is open for four hours on Sunday! Love my library!) finished it, but then halted the rapid progression to read the bio. I did however.....Blog_pix_416_edited

...stop at the library yesterday. Never mind that I have library books at home, a book I'm not even halfway through and overflowing TBR shelves......

Hezekiah is appalled. Okay, possibly Hezekiah isn't the slightest bit interested.  Blog_pix_399_edited

In knitting news, I can see why the Jaywalkers have been so dang popular! They're such a fun easy knit, for the other two people who have never knit the pattern.

Blog_pix_401_edited I love the way the Irving Park colorway is knitting up. The beaded socks are a little behind:Blog_pix_414_4

It turns out I should have probably had more of a plan. Do I knit the beads every other row? Every few rows? I was pretty much planning on making them slightly taller than ankle socks. I think I'll just wing it and see how it looks. There's always frogging. I am ridiculously in love with the Lantern Moon dpns.

Here's the Horcrux: Blog_pix_412_edited

Both them. Done! All the other WIP's? Marinating. I am soclose to finishing GG but I just can't bring myself to pick her up. The cellphone cover continues to be a complete PITA. I don't want to give up either design detail but it's not working out. And w/o the one design, it's not even worth knitting.

Oh, and good TV news! It looks like Jericho just might get revived as a mid season replacement. Cast & crew need to sign on, but cross your fingers for me! I'd hate to give up TV right when The Closer, The Dead Zone, Eureka, Psych and Monk are all starting their new seasons.