Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Land of the Living

I am alive. Thanks to all of you who sent me concerned e-mails this past week, wondering where my blog updates were! People actually read this?!? How fabulous. For me, of course.

Taking a page out of my girl Pioneer Woman's book, I am going to Keep It Real and tell and show you what was ailing me this week.

It started out as a small bug bite (we think) on my left eyelid. It turned into this.

Ok, let's just get the obvious over with, shall we? This is the worst picture of me ever taken. Hands down. I took it myself. I hadn't showered in over 24 hours, I wasn't wearing makeup (duh) and my eye looks like...well, like THAT. So just so we're all on the same page, I realize that I look like a friggin train wreck in this picture.

Anyway back to feeling sorry for me. After several trips to various doctors, and several prescriptions for numerous antibiotics, it's been determined that what that nasty ass growth on my eye is is a STAPH INFECTION. Go ahead and vomit now. I won't judge. That is some nasty stuff, and I don't know how I got it, let alone how it got on my eyelid, but there you have it. My eye got progressively puffier, redder and harder (more hard?) as the week went on. I finally had to have that sumbitch cut opened and drained, and since then, it's been getting better.

Now, the bad news about having a staph infection in your eyelid (actually, there are a lot of bad newses about it, but the obvious one, as it pertains to me) is that I couldn't knit. Dear God. Of all the minor injuries that I could have gotten that would have rendered me unable to work, I had to get one that made it impossible to knit also. I mean, I couldn't drive, I couldn't read, I couldn't knit. I could barely walk around without bumping into stuff. My depth perception was all messed up! And I was knitting the Sunday Market Shawl, and I didn't want to mess that beauty up.

The good news is that my eye was so much better today, that I was finally able to get some knitting done AND I finished the shawl! All is not lost.

Details: Sunday Market Shawl (pattern here) Knit with 2 balls of Lang Silk Dream (50% merino, 50% silk) color #32 (or is that the dye lot? I can't tell really). Anyway it's a nice rust color. And this yarn was really nice to work with. Size 10 needles.

Verdict: This was a really easy knit. A bit boring, even. Very suitable for a beginner. It was a bit tedious undoing all those ladders at the end, but once I got into it, it was OK. Here are some before and after pictures.

After it was all finished being knit, but before I cast off and started unraveling.

And after I finished unraveling all the little ladders. Here's a close up.

I love the way it looks! I still need to block it, and I am hoping it will stretch out a bit when I do, because it's a wee bit small for a shawl. Word on the Rav is that this thing stretches out a lot during blocking, so that's good.

So that's what's been new with me, and I have about, oh, 4 or 5 blogs in my head that I need to get down here. So, tomorrow I am back to the Land of the Living. Check back for another update about what I did last weekend. Oh, and for the record, I am giving myself a one week break from the Christmas knitting deadline, due to aforementioned injury.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Finally Friday


That's all.

More later.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

In which she gets excited about a box of knitting stuff


In the spirit of the Great Christmas Knitting Marathon that has begun for me, I ordered myself some green & red yarns, a felting tool, a new book, and some sock blockers - all from Knit Picks. (as far as the yarn goes, I would have just gotten Cascade from my LYS, but I needed like $3 more in order to qualify for free shipping, so I thought, what the hey-doodle.)

And it arrived yesterday!! Nothing makes me happier than a box full of knitty goods, let me tell you.

(that's a lie, I can think of a few other things that make me happier, but this is right up there in the top 10)

And a true Christmas Miracle occured!! The Purple Socks of Death, which had been dead to me for weeks, if not months, have been revived! The sock blockers arrived and performed sock CPR on them and brought them back. I did the heel flap AND turned the heel last night (on sock #2). I still don't think I have enough yarn to finished the sock, but I was just so darn excited about my new blockers, that I didn't even care.

A note to all my friends and family: these socks were made with pure, unfiltered, 100% grade A hatred. Well, the first one wasn't 100%. Maybe more like 36%. But calcetine numero dos....nothing but hate for it. So, what I'm trying to say is, come Christmas, if you open up a gift from me and find these lovely dusty purple acrylic socks in your know how I feel about you. I'm just sayin' is all. But look how pretty it looks on the blocker!!

I've also been doing good keeping up with my goal of One Knitted Christmas Gift Per Week. This is week two, and the first week I managed to get TWO gifts done, so I am working on a new little sumpin' for me. What? I'm allowed to do that. I am ahead of the game. Anyway I obviously can't display the finished gifts here, but I will show you what I'm making for myself.

This is the Sunday Market Shawl, made with my yummy Lang brand Silk/Merino blend. I found something to make with it! And I think I have enough for 2, so it looks like someone is getting one of these for Christmas, assuming I like the way it turns out. It's a very simple pattern, if not a bit boring, just row after row of stockinette. But the cool part is that on the very first row, you do a bunch of yarn overs, and then on the very last row, you drop all those stitches, and it creates all these little cool ladders in your piece. Or so I've been told, and have seen by the pictures. I can't wait to see that happen with my piece.

Don't worry, though. I can still whip out another Christmas gift this week and keep on track. A pair of slippers perhaps, or a 3,486,923rd Garter Stitch scarf, or maybe I can even count the PSoD as a Christmas gift. Sorry ahead of time to whoever gets those. You are on the naughty list.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fun with Photos

I love the innernets. The online. The dotcoms. I mean, really. Is there anything you can't do/find/learn/watch on there? Let's all take a moment and thank Al Gore for inventing them.

I wasn't planning on blogging today, but then I was looking around on the interwebs and found this fun website. You upload a picture and then you can do all sorts of fun things with it. Here is what I did.

You can have your own fun by clicking here. Just remember to thank Al when you're done.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Send Aloe

I spent my weekend doing this. It was great. But I am paying the price for it. I am red, sore and a little bit grumpy. Can anyone tell me why my face (in particular, my forehead) gets all swollen and puffy when I get a sunburn? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? No, I'm serious, I really want to know and I'm too lazy to look it up myself and it hurts to type. It hurts to breathe. It hurts to lay.

In other news, I did some thinking this weekend. It looked a little something like this.

"Hmmmm. I think I might need a boat. Yes, yes. Definitely a boat. Must. Have. Boat."

I was meant to have a boat. I feel it in my bones and in my sunburned shoulders. And in light of the suburn that is taking over my body and the whole "hurts to type" thing, I am going to wrap this up now. I leave you with this.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

J'aime chaussures

I went to France the summer before my senior year of high school (so, in '95). I didn't take French in high school. I took Spanish. I didn't know any French upon my arrival. I learned enough phrases to get by while there, but only a handful of them have stuck with me. Among them:

Je n'aime pas le poisson - I don't like fish. This came in handy. I really can't stand fish, and fish was all over the place in France. Man oh man them Frenchies can eat them some poisson.

Je n'aime pas les moules - I don't like mussels. Pretty much in the same catergory as the fish thing, but this one only came in handy once.

Je n'aime pas les chauves-souris - I don't like bats. Anyone else seeing a pattern here? Boy I bet the French just loved me. I guess I was one of those "stupid Americans" that come over there and complain about everything. Guilty as charged. But this one is of particular importance to my blog today because the French word for bats, chauves-souris, is very similar to the French word for shoes, chaussures.

To the non-French speaking community (like myself), I know these two words look very different, but they are pronounced very similarly. And believe me, I do not hate shoes. Quite the opposite. I love shoes. So I learned how to convey this sentiment in French, "J'aime chaussures". But see, I had to be careful when pronouncing shoes and bats. I mean, I figure the French already hated me, but I didn't want them to think I was some sort of crazy Bat-Loving (or worse, Shoe-Hating) American.

And maybe you're thinking to youself "But why would she need to talk about her great dislike for bats in France?" And the answer is because on our first night there, we were enjoying a lovely meal (of fish, but nevermind) on the terrace of the home of our friends, Guy and Annick, and all of the sudden about a billion kadrillion bats start flying out of the trees all over the yard. It was dusk. The bats were coming out. I thought they were birds until the Frenchies started talking about the "chauves-souris" and when clarification was offered, I learned that they were bats.

Bats stink. Just an aside. A little FYI.

Anyway I got way off subject here. The reason for my post today is because J'aime chaussures.

I got new shoes!!!!!

And do you know what is even better than new shoes? I will tell you. It's new shoes that were 80% off!!!!!!!! These puppies were originally $54.99, marked down to $10.99.

New 80% off shoes make me want to dance. Thank you France!

(France didn't really have anything to do with my bargain shoes, but it rhymes with dance. See what I did there? I made a little rhyme.)

Here's another.

New shoes are a treat. Just ask my happy feet.

I know you all wish you had my wicked third grade poetry writing skillz.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cupcakes Anonymous

Hi. I'm Caps, and I'm a cupcake-aholic. (HI CAPS). It's a serious disease. I'm seeking treatment for it. I was 29 days sober on the cupcakes, and then today my friend Marlene brought me this.

Pardon the poor picture quality. It's from my cell phone.

Also, 29 days might be stretching it a bit. But it had been at least 3 weeks since my last cupcake.

And then I fell off the wagon.

And then I found this:

And ohmygod how can I not make that? Maybe making that will be cathartic for me and I can stop eating cupcakes.

Probably not. But maybe.

Because, Lord, something has got to stop me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Plan B

I went to visit My Backup Plan last night. Otherwise known as Baby Stinky Pants, otherwise known as Haley. Hot Dog this kid is cute!! I took about a billion pictures of her. I am only posting a sampling. I realize people have jobs. Not me, per se, but other, regular people.

Oh. My. Guhness. Look at her wittle bitty baby legs and feet. Here I imagine she's saying to herself, "Woman, if you don't stop taking pictures of me I am going to crush you with these fingers. Do you see my baby fingers? They are fingers of death and I will crush your skull."

Ok, ok, ok. But here is one more. This is BSP modeling the blanket I knit for her. Soft and warm and fuzzy.

And clearly flashing some sort of Baby Gang Sign. Big Ups Baby Backup Plan Stinky Pants.


Monday, July 14, 2008

My Buddy

This is my cousin, Matthew.

Many people have asked me where the nickname Caps/Cappy/Cappydoodles came from.

It came from this guy. The story: when he was little, he couldn't say "Cathie" (which is what my family still calls me, despite my protests), so he called me Cousin Cappy. My friends Marcie and The J picked up on this, and shortened it to Caps. Which eventually led to a whole host of other nicknames, none of which we need to get into right now, but I'll just say that it ended with them calling me (to this day) The Chip.

Back to Matthew. He is 12 years old, which makes me feel ancient, because he was born durring the last few weeks of my senior year of high school. Ah, those were sweet, sweet times. I seriously remember them like they were yesterday. And they weren't. They were 12 years ago. Have I mentioned that?

Back to Matthew. He was such a cute little love snuggle muffin baby. If I had been a more prepared blogger, I would have scanned a picture of him as a baby and posted it right here for everyone to see. But I'm lazy and felt like knitting last night. I was tired after having made 2 lasagnas from scratch. Cut me some slack.

Back to Matthew. I used to call him My Buddy when he was little. Or just buddy. I think I still call him that. Or at least I do in my head. I haven't seen him in over a year, and I miss the crap out of him. I speak to him occasionally on the phone, which is always a hoot. But you know how kids can grow like weeds between the ages of 10 & 14, and I bet he's all sorts of tall.

The Cowboy and I are driving up to Michigan for Christmas this year, we recently decided. It's long overdue, and it's (sadly) way cheaper to drive than for both of us to fly. My car gets really good gas mileage, so we did the math, and we're hitting the road. I'm really looking forwad to it. One of the first things on my agenda is squeezing this kid. I don't care if he's at that age where it's not cool to get hugs any more. Especially from distant cousins who moved to Texas and you hardly ever see. This kid is getting a big fat hug.

Man alive I love this kid.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Stash Busting

I visited the LYS yesterday to pick up some more Cotton Rope yarn to finish off my kerchy kerchief (more on that later), and Suna was there. We were talking about knitting (duh) and yarn (double duh) and she happened to mention that she had 123 balls of sock yarn. I know that not everyone who reads this blog is a knitter, so for you non knitters, let me clarify that that is a lot of fricking yarn. But I think you knew that anyway. 123 balls. And that's just the sock yarn! She probably has a lot more than that, all kind of yarn together.

Well anyway it got me to thinking about my own stash and how I've been adding to it lately with reckless abandon. And it's nowhere near 123 balls. I am so ashamed. And I call myself a knitter. It''s.....56. I have 56 balls/skeins/hanks of yarn. And this is only the yarn that hasn't been knit off yet. So these are 56 complete balls of yarn. I've probably got about 20 more that are scraps, half knit mini balls, or leftovers. Here is a picture of my stash (all zip locked, of course!)
I organized it this morning. It had gotten a little bit out of control. After I took this picture, I literally planted myself face first into my little mountain of yarn. I gave it a big hug. I told it I loved it. I am not making this up. You can ask the Cowboy. He gave me a strange look. Whatever. If he could hug his precious guitar wood, he would. (and why can't he?)
Here it is, all organized and happy in its home. Funny story about this wonderful trunk. The Cowboy gave it to me for my birthday and I love it. Aside from the fact that, as you can see, I cannot fit any more yarn in it (well maybe one or two more skeins, and I can always move my books out of there if push comes to shove), it was a wonderful, thoughtful gift and it looks so snazzy in the living room. Oh, hi. I'm old. I say things like "snazzy". Well anyway it was also a very necessary gift because my stash had outgrown its former home in about a week.

Look at that tee tiny box. I bought it at Michaels, back when I only had about 6 balls of yarn in my stash, and before yarn buying mania had fully set it. A week later, I got my Knit Picks sock yarn and promptly outgrew that little basket. So my yarn lived in bags for about a month, until the Cowboy brought the Great Trunk home. The End.
Fairy Tales are real. Me and my trunk are proof.

Moving on (which is just another way of saying "In other news"), I have also been a knitting fool these past few days. In the spirit of my great declaration of Christmas knitting, I have decided to put a deadline on myself. One knitted Christmas gift a week. I just decided this this morning, though. So in the meantime, I knit myself up a few little treats.
This is Crazy Aunt Purl's "Magic Scarf", made with yummy Manos del Uruguay Handcrafted Kettle Dyed Pure Wool. In other words: made with love. That is what this yarn is. Love. The scarf itself turned out OK, the rows are a little lopsides and funky, and it's not very long, but I am going to block it, and hope that that will take care of those problems. This bad boy is for ME, even though I seldom wear red and don't have a coat to match. Guess I'll have to get myself a new coat this winter.
This is the Hipster Kerchief Pattern (Kris Percival) made with Rowan Cotton Rope yarn (and the reason for my trip to Bluebonnet). Sometimes I don't like to follow patterns. Sometimes I don't have the size needles required to make a pattern, so I use a bigger size. As a result, not only do I run out of yarn, but I also end up with a kerchief that is a wee bit big for my head. And that is saying something because peeps, I have a big melon. I would have taken a picture of myself in this, but it was 8:30 in the morning when I did all my picture taking and I wasn't about to let you see what I look like first thing in the morning. It ain't pretty. In any case, I'm not sure I will be wearing this. I suppose I could try shrinking it. It is cotton. Hmmm, something to ponder.

So after I finished that, what I should have done next was work on these:

I call these The Purple Socks of Death. Because I feel like dying when I am knitting them, and I'm sure that I won't ever finish them before I die, and because if I ever see Vanna White, I am going to kill her. These are made with Vanna's Choice yarn. It's acrylic. While I'm not a yarn snob by any means, I do not particularly enjoy this yarn. At least not for socks. What the hell was I thinking? Hey Vanna, I'd like to buy a vowel because "Oh my God this yarn sucks". And you know what else sucks? I'm not even sure I will have enough to finish out sock #2, and if that's the case then you'd better all watch out because I am going to go postal. (Oh, and I was only joking about killing Vanna White. Please don't come after me.)

Instead of working on the PSoD, I started a new project. It's in keeping with my 1 Christmas Gift a Week deadline.

Aaaaaaand it's a garter stitch scarf. Seriously what the hell is the matter with me? I am a sick individual. But in my defense: I am lazy. And this yarn is really cool (and it's also acrylic, so see? I'm a not a total acrylic yarn snob, but Vanna didn't make this yarn), and it does all the work for you, so garter stitching is the easiest thing to do, and it looks cool. It's Bernat Soft Boucle.

And also, when did "I am lazy" become a good defense strategy? Just wondering.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!! More pictures of Baby Stinky Pants coming next week.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Christmas in July

I've been planning and preparing for my Christmas knitting to begin. I think I've got a good idea of what I will need to do. Feeling pretty good about it. You! You right there. You are getting knitty goodness for Christmas.

So in the spirit of Christmas, today I have a little treat for you. You can thank me later. But whatever you do, if you never ever listen to another word I say, please, please, please watch this video. I promise you're not going to get a virus, and I'm not Rick Rolling you if you click on the link. It's Christmassy.

I leave you with that. Have a great weekend. I hope your ears stop bleeding.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Secret Asian Man

When I was a wee child, no more than 5 years of age, I used to have a crush. I already had my husband all picked out. I was going to marry this man.

Johnny Reeeevers.

You know Johnny Reeeevers. The Secret Asian Man.
What? That's not the name of the song? Coulda fooled me. Next time you hear that song on the radio, have a listen.
What? They don't play that song on the radio anymore? Ah, that's sad. I'm sorry Johnny Reeeevers. Here, follow this link to the youtube video. Listen and tell me it doesn't sound like he's saying "Secret Asian Man". And furthermore, isn't my future husband a total fox?

What? You don't think he's a fox? Johnny Reeeevers? I don't know why not.

Legend has it that as a child, there was a commerical that used to come on TV for Johnny Rivers' Greatest Hits Album (what? he had more than one great hit?). And I used to stand in front of the telly and dance and sing and tell my mother and father that when I got older I was going to marry Johnny Reeeevers. And I said it just like that. Reeeevers. And whenever that commercial came on, I would squeal like a pig and say "Look Mommy!! Johnny REEEEEVERS is on TV! I love Johnny REEEEVERS!"

25 years later and I'm still single. No ring on this finger. Not that anybody is keeping track or anything. But if they were keeping track.....yep. No ring. Just looked.

So, Secret Asian Man. Call me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

In Other News

I have been neglectful and lazy. Guilty. So here is 5 days worth of blogging all rolled into one jam packed blogalicious blog. Blog. Bloggy blog blog. It's fun.

Happy Belated 4th of July! I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe time celebrating our nation's independence. The Cowboy and I had a pretty low key day. We hung out with some friends for a little while, did a little shopping, and then climbed on the roof to watch the fireworks on the golf course behind our house. No big deal right? Wrong. I was terrified to my very core. I was close to tears at one point, clinging to the edge of the ladder and Cowboy's shoulder with my white knuckled death grip. I almost crapped my pants.

This is not an exaggeration. I don't know when this happened, but evidently I'm scared of heights. It's a new one to add to the list. Spiders, sexual assault, geese, snakes AAAAAAAAAAAAAAND heights. Hello, fears. Eat my shit.

Anyway it was worth it. The fireworks were great (if a little far away for us to really fully appreciate). As I sat there and clung to the shingles and prayed to the Virgin Mother that a strong gust of wind wouldn't blow me right off the roof, Blain managed to take pictures.

I like this one. It looks like a flower.

Fireworks pictures aren't very exciting, are they?
Ah, one more for the hell of it and because the Cowboy was really proud of these pictures, and they do look cool a little bigger and it was neat to see them. And then as soon as that last firework went off, I climbed my happy ass off that roof (death grip, again) and went right to bed.

In other news:
Our friends Johnny & Tiffany's little girl Syndey turns 1 today (Happy Birthday Syd!) and her party was this past Saturday. Sydney spent much of the day doing this:

Being cute.
It's what she does best.

Hey! That's the same way I celebrated my birthday! Soul Sisters!

I also got to see Ava, daughter of our other friends Jason & Belinda. She was born in March. The little cutie!

In other news: YARN PORN! YARN PORN! May not be appropriate for children under the age of 18. YARN PORN.

I have been knitting, even though I haven't been blogging about knitting. I have also been buying ridiculous amounts of yarn. It's out of control. BUT! I'm thinking of Christmas gifts and all that hand knitty goodness that people will unwrap on December 25th and how much money I will save come Christmas shopping time because I bought all my yarn in June & July. I have enough yarn to last me for a very, very long time. Here are some of my newest acquisitions.

This bad boy was less than $30, but more than $28. That's all I will tell you. Get out your calculators and figure it out. But, it was on sale. 25% off. So I splurged. It's still more than I am usually willing to spend on yarn, but it hasn't kept me up at night with worry, so I figure it was worth it.

This is SILK. SIIIIIILK. It's so soft and shiny and look at that beautiful rust color! AND check out the label (I know, my picture is sideways again, I don't know why), it was like it was taunting me with that label so I had to take it home. No idea what I will make with it. Don't even care. Just like to take it out of the bag, smell it and then rub it on my face. Hey, I told you this wouldn't be appropriate for children.

The picture doesn't do this yarn justice. It's 100% wool, kettle dyed, and beautiful, deep, rich variegated red. It's also thick in some spots and thin in others. It's heavenly. I am working with it right now (making a scarf) and it's wonderful. I love the way the colors and textures keep changing.
With most of the new yarns I buy, I think about what a beautiful scarf it would make. I know I need to break out of my evil scarf knitting ways. This is what 5 years of knitting nothing but garter stitch scarves will do to you. I know there are so many more wonderful things to make with all this beautiful (read: expensive) yarn. I will prevail! Garter scarf no more!
In other news: I like saying In other news.

Damn stupid sideways pictures. Probably I need to resize them so they will appear correctly. Probably I'm too lazy to figure out how to do that.

So I was sick last week and I knit this up for my friend Marlene. She saw my soap satchel from Mystery Knit Nite and wanted one for her "feminine products". Hey, I aim to please. People need a place to put their tampons so that not everyone knows that you are carrying tampons, unless of course your friend announces it to the whole internets.

I also knit these slippers up the other night. What a quick knit. What an ugly pair of slippers. I love them. They are funky and homemade looking and wonderful. They are quite comfortable. I will be making more, and I bought the yarn yesterday to do so (told you, problem).

I leave you now with another fireworks picture. Because I don't know how else to wrap this up. I call this one: 'Fireworks'. It's copyrighted. Don't try to steal it.
Seacrest Out.