Friday, December 24, 2010


Twas the night before Christmas
My knitting's not done!
Why do I do this?
It's not very fun!
I'm knitting and purling
with the greatest of speed.
I'm in such a hurry,
now where is that bead?!
The stockings are finished,
the pillows are stuffed.
I hope that these presents
will be enough!
The carols are playing
so they might inspire.
I pray that these needles
don't catch on fire!
Never again
will I wait so long.
But every year
I sing the same song!
I'm almost finished.
The end is near!
I'm so relieved,
I might shed a tear!

Merry Christmas to all and to all happy crafting!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

That wonderful chill is in the air!

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. It always has been. I miss fall. Southern California doesn't really so much have "seasons" per se, which is sad because fall is so wonderful. (Any SoCal resident will now try to tell you that they have Hot, Hotter, Fire and Mudslide seasons, just smile at them)

It has been unseasonably fall like here a lot lately and I have absolutely been soaking it up for all I can get.  I made my friend Tammy go out and play in the leaves with me. We walked to get a pumpkin latte afterward. Apparently that is how Southern Californians note the change in season - new flavors of coffee at Starbucks.  (Not that the pumpkin latte wasn't delicious and the perfect ending to our fall festivities.)

I always thought it was strange that I enjoy Fall so much because growing up in East Central Illinois, Fall was the week between average temps in the 90s and average temps in the 30s.  It wasn't very long.  And I HATE cold weather.  Well, I did when I lived there. Maybe that's why I liked Fall so much.  It didn't overstay it's welcome (I'm lookin' at you winter).  Fall kept you on your toes.  It meant seeing your breath as you waited for the school bus in the morning.  Wearing layers to school because you knew it would be hot by lunch.  Fall was the only time you ran the heat in the car on the way to work, the air conditioner at lunch and heat again on the way home!

Fall also meant the start of football season.  Even before my current obsession with Ed Hochuli's biceps, I loved watching football.  I grew up watching Cowboys games with my Dad and watching the Fighting Illini lose was a great family tradition (also applies to basketball, but that's for winter).

Fall is the time for looking back on your year and realizing all the things you have to be thankful for. All the blessings you have in your life. I'm not sure why, but that always seemed so much better to me than Spring. Yes, everything is green, shiny and new and you have so much to be hopeful for in the Spring. I guess that is just my practical nature to enjoy the things you have more than the things you wish you will do.

Fall is also home to my favorite holiday - Halloween!  It was always so much fun getting dressed up and going trick-or-treating.  My Great-Great Aunt Betty made the best popcorn balls and pumpkin cookies.  My Mom was always pretty creative with costumes. I remember my sister and I wearing cardboard boxes covered in white tissue paper with black spots and we were a pair of dice. I also have vague memories of a sweatsuit, a lot of balloons and being a bunch of grapes. Then there was this awesome clown costume that was enormous enough that even I didn't outgrow it in a week. And that's saying something. To this day I go crazy at the first sign of Halloween decorations. I have enough Halloween stuff to decorate a mansion covering every surface of our cozy little home. I also get a little angry about the way the Christmas has totally eaten Thanksgiving and is making its move on Halloween. Labor day had better keep an eye out. Was the entire month of December really not enough for you Christmas? Seriously!

I seriously hope the next place I live has Fall. I want brisk air and crunchy leaves. I want a chance to wear scarves and mittens and beautiful knitted hats. So Fall, if you are listening, I will enjoy our chance encounter here in SoCal but mark my words - you and I will be spending some quality time together in the not so distant future my friend.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So totally not back on the tracks

But that's ok.  They are fun diversions, like my mom, sister and niece coming to visit for a few days.  Then there are not fun diversions like my guy needing an epic 3 part root canal.

As I was sitting in the waiting room at the endodontist today I had the sudden realization that I am a true child of the computer age.  I design my charts for knitting patterns using...

...not graph paper (but I do love me a green engineering pad and some crayons)

...not even Microsoft Paint

wait for it...

Excel.  That's right kids!  I use spreadsheet software to design my charts.  It's like graph paper but changes are instantaneous and way less effort.  The intarsia blanket I am designing has gone through 3 complete overhauls all via Excel.  It's so easy to set the column widths to make the cells squares instead of rectangles then you click the little paint bucket and have at it.  You can even set certain rows/columns to have thicker borders every 5 rows to make counting boxes on your charts a breeze!  Seriously.  Stop laughing and try it.

Anyway, so I think I have just about figured out the design for this intarsia blanket I have floating around in my head.  I wanted to call it the "Harlequin blanket" because it has green, purple and black diamonds on it.  I would have even settled for the "Joker blanket" but Chris has started calling it the "Halo blanket" which seems to have stuck.  Why the "Halo blanket"?  Because he asked me to pick colors to make his armor on his Halo character and I told him purple and green.  They are kinda my default colors.  Thus the color of this blog in spite of it being kinda hard to read.  But there you have it, the "Halo blanket" it is.  Someday when it jumps out of its spreadsheet and into real life I will show you a picture.

Speaking of someday.... someday I will restart that silly Super Bowl Scarf.  I think I have that bad boy figured out too, no excel needed. I'm just not quite ready to take it out of time out.  I don't think it has shown adequate remorse over its behavior.

Monday, September 20, 2010

And back to our regularly scheduled programming

I know I haven't mentioned my knitting on here in forever, or really even written one of these in like a month.  I've had some health trouble (beyond those stupid midwest germs!) which means my knitting has been either fast and furious or not at all.  And blogging didn't make the list of things that absolutely had to get done, so it didn't.

I finished the traveling woman shawl except for blocking, but lets be honest, that's not going to happen for awhile.  I just can't seem to take a decent picture of it :

I also finished a baby kimono for my friend Tammy that is expecting a little girl in November:

The yarn is Plymouth Yarn Dreambaby DK Prints in color 203. I used a kumihimo loom to make the ties and it worked out super cute!

Now I am working on a top for myself!  I started out using a pattern, but in my typical fashion started winging it about 1/4th of the way in.  I'm using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport Multi in Happy Valley.  I absolutely love it!  This yarn is incredible and the colors are gorgeous!!  If I have enough left over I am going to make a matching headband/headscarf to go with it.  I LOVE IT!

I'm sorry the pictures are weird.  Technology is not cooperating.  Speaking of not cooperating...

I am knitting a scarf for the 2012 Super Bowl and I have torn it out and started it 5 times!  Sheesh.  I just can't quite get the pattern that is in my head to work out in the yarn.  Hopefully eventually!  So now I think we are all caught up on my knitting and hopefully we have this train back on the tracks!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Go ninja go ninja go!

That's right kids, we kick it old school around here.  Yesterday I went to Jack's 5th show concert at Verizon Wireless in Irvine.  AWESOME!  The day started with 2 different cover bands playing 80s music on the side stage down by the concessions.  The Spazmatics played 80s pop hits and Metal Shop rocked out to some classic hair metal....notably missing was Motley Crue.  What kind of hair metal cover band plays 2 Bon Jovi songs and 0 Motley Crue songs?!  Anyway...

The main stage kicked off with Sweet and they definitely got the crowd going with "Little Willy", "Fox on the Run" and "Ballroom Blitz".  Then Modern English took the stage and rocked their "I Melt With You".  Skid Row (minus Sebastian Bach) stormed the stage next and rocked out to some of their hits and some new music.  We saw them play at the Galaxy a couple of years ago and they were able to rock the large outdoor stage just about as well as the small club in Santa Ana.  Impressive! Then Young MC took the stage for 2 songs, 1 new one and the party staple "Bust A Move".  Dude can rock a space/track suit like nobody's business.  Next up was The Fixx.  I wasn't familiar with most of their music, but did sing along to "One Thing Leads To Another".

Next up was the highlight of my night, my month, let's be honest...probably my year.  VANILLA ICE!  That's right, the man himself.  In the flesh.  50 yards in front of me.  AWESOME!  He comes out with an intro song claiming he is from the Dirty South.  Not sure Miami counts as Dirty South.  Then he says that he is going to take us back and kick it old school.  The crowd goes wild expecting "Ice, Ice Baby" but no... he says "Go ninja, go ninja go!" The crowd erupts into response with "Go ninja, go ninja go!"  OH MY GOD!  So excited!  I got to see Vanilla Ice perform the song from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.  You bet I "rocked out" to that one.  Then the showstopper... "Ice, Ice Baby"  I sang every word at the top of my lungs.  I lost my voice.  I croaked like a frog, but I kept singing.  I embarrassed the pants off of Chris.  He was hiding in shame.  I did not stop singing!  The Ice man finished off his set with a catchy new song from his new album.  INSANE!

Next up was Night Ranger and they played some of their hits as well as Damn Yankees hits.  It was a pretty incredible set capped off with a much anticipated "Sister Christian".  Then came The Cult.  I only recognized a couple of their songs.  "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Fire Woman".  I was a little disappointed that they didn't play "Painted On My Heart" but whatever, I enjoyed their set.  The final act was the Steve Miller Band.  They played a few hits, a few covers, a few B sides and a few new songs.  Steve Miller also sponsors a rock school for kids and had one of the kids come out and play guitar with him.  Pretty awesome.  He also had Vanilla Ice come out and sing with him and Vanilla Ice knew every word to every Steve Miller song.

All in all an awesome night.  I have to say my soul needed it.  There is something so soothing about live music.   It seems to rejuvenate me and shake me out of my weekly grind.

As a completely unrelated side note: Ed Hochuli is freakin' ripped.  I'm watching the Patriots/Jets game as I write this and holy cannoli!  Everytime he makes a call it's a gun show.  That's all.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Seriously kids.  What a rough couple of weeks!  But lets not dwell on that.  TGIF!  TG I'm Cutting Out Of Work Early To Avoid Traffic! Traffic is a way of life in SoCal and avoiding traffic is an art form. I don't know if everyone is trying to cram everything into the last bit of summer remaining or what, because traffic has been noticeably horrendous this week. Which is sayin' somethin'.  If you read Crazy Aunt Purl, you have visual evidence of what traffic in Southern California is like.  10 lane freeways resemble mall parking lots. This week was so bad (How bad was it?!) It was so bad that Chris took the toll road home every day of his own free will.  Now, that is some traffic people. It incites obscure references to 40 year old game shows and mental images of Gene Rayburn and Brett Somers.

Also, Thank God for our Hi-Time Wine of the Month club membership. I couldn't have survived the last few months without you...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Me minus coffee = grouchy

I'm a scientist. I experiment. Occasionally on myself. Like today, I woke up and had the brilliant idea to skip the coffee. I decided to go without coffee for several reasons. First being laziness. Another being that I have had trouble falling asleep. I lay there worrying about work stuff, which is definitely worse than working. I have also been having really colorful strange dreams. Many of them involving airports.... go figure. So I decided than rather than the obvious cause (WORK!) that going without coffee would make me less grouchy/twitchy/cranky and help me get to sleep faster. As it turns out, it made me uber grouchy, crazy twitchy and OH LAWDY ME the cranky! I have been a twitchy emo mess all day. I feel like all of my nerve endings are spazzing out. Very unpleasant side effects. Conclusion: MAKE THE STUPID COFFEE.

On a related note: I'm bottling the rest of my harrowing airport adventures way down deep inside where they can't manifest themselves as Technicolor dreams for me all night. Airport nightmares are supposed to stay in the literal world and not become ACTUAL nightmares. They are therefore relegated to daylight hours only.

As you could no doubt guess, coffee is kinda important around here. I have a fancy schmancy coffee pot that you set a timer and wake up to coffee first thing in the morning. This is brilliant! Unfortunately, we are not so good at setting the coffee before bed on the weekends. Thus, no coffee awaiting me before work this morning, it being Saturday and all. If you are interested: This is my home coffee pot.  This is my work coffee pot, except mine is white. I signed up to get the pods from Amazon with their Subscribe and save option. As important as coffee is, I have trouble remembering that I need to buy work coffee. Home coffee is already delivered to my door from a coffee company. I now place my caffeine deprived self in the hands of others to make sure I never run out. Now I have someone else to blame! I almost feel sorry for them...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Me & the airport, sitting in a tree..


I do travel a fair amount - see, living 2000 miles from family means I spend a fair number of hours in various airports to go see the fam twice a year. Also, I travel a bit for work. Nothing crazy. Once or twice a year. I'm not the super savvy "I fly 5 days a week and twice on Sundays" traveler, but I do know my way around an airport. However, the airport and I are not so much on speaking terms. I have a fair number of horror stories I could tell you, and probably will at some point. But lets start with the most recent excursion to HOME.

Leave house at 5 am and head to the "airport". Chris and I packed light, i.e. carry-on only. THANK THE LORD! Our flight was at 6:45 am, the first flight of the day. Security, no problem. We are at the gate an hour before our scheduled flight. 10 minutes before our scheduled departure they tell us that the plane that has been sitting there ALL NIGHT just waiting to be checked over has a broken hydraulic pump. So we are going to be delayed. But they are getting one in from LA and it should be there in an hour. We groan. Unless they are flying a hydraulic pump here, there is no way they are going to make it in an hour. Whatever. They say that because Houston was having nasty storms and was delayed everyone would probably make their connections and if they saw someone was going to miss their flight they would call us up individually to re-book on another flight.

We chill in the airport bar and watch the World Cup game. No biggie. 2 hours later there is still no hydraulic pump and they have no idea how much longer it will be before it gets here and how long it will take to replace the old pump with the new one. So would all 300 of you please line up to get re-booked. YAY! So Chris and I take our places in line where it takes the 1 poor woman working the counter 45 minutes per person to rebook them on another flight. Multiplied by 300 people means that we were going to get out of that airport approximately the 12th of NEVER.

Jump ahead several hours and skip many angry phone calls to the airline 800 number and we finally got someone on the phone who could help. And help she did. She was awesome! It took a long time (~45 minutes) for her to get approval and get us booked on another airline but she stayed with us until we got on the new flight. At noon. A full 5 hours and 15 minutes later than when we were supposed to leave. Double Yay! There was also a minor skirmish with the lady at the new airline about whether we had checked bags (NO!) and she finally decided that she wasn't holding up HER flight and making it late to mess with us anymore and let us on the plane. Why would we lie about luggage? We would be the ones missing luggage...

So we get to Denver (new layover spot) and we have 4 whole hours to kill before our flight leaves. At this point we haven't eaten - it's hard to eat when you are waiting in line and trying to talk sense into people on the phone. So between the lack of food and the turbulence getting into Denver we are not in great shape. We found the first available table which happened to be at a little cantina on the 2nd level. We ate some chips, shared a soda and started to almost feel like human beings again. Human beings with another 3 hours and 30 minutes to sit in an airport. 3 hours and 10 minutes of thumb twiddling later - we are delayed because there is a wheelchair marathon in Denver on the 4th of July weekend and there are several people in need of wheelchairs on the plane that we need to get on that can't get off....because the airport was OUT OF WHEELCHAIRS! I'm sorry, what?!?! How does an airport run out of wheelchairs?!?!

Eventually wheelchairs were found, we boarded and made it safely to our destination. At 1 am. Yay airports! Since this is officially approaching novel status, I'll save the details of our trip and the return flight (more fun!) for later. Sheesh....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Plague

Ok, seriously folks....I think I have the plague. I have been sick for over a month! A MONTH! That's enough to drive anyone mad. I thought I had a cold for about a week. Then I revised my theory to the flu during the 2nd week. Diagnosed with a sinus infection that was spreading into my ears in the 3rd week. I resorted to the "From whence you came!" hypothesis for the 4th week. More on the 5th week below. Now I'm at the resigned acceptance stage. Maybe I'll change my name to Typhoid Mary. (except I'm the one that's sick and I don't think I've infected anyone). ((Yay for antibacterial wet wipes and anti-viral kleenex!!))

The "From whence you came!" Hypothesis:
Take the germy suckers back where they came from! The only place that will still welcome you in spite of your level of germy-ness! That's right kids, I went HOME! It was my niece's first birthday and you only turn 1 once. I wasn't about to miss it, plague and all. Being home and eating Mom's cooking and lots of naps on the couch and I felt sooo much better. Good enough to deem the experiment successful.

THEN! My follow-up appointment at the doctor revealed that I actually am still sick. To quote the medical professional: "Normally when someone has this much infection in their sinuses they can barely crawl in my door. I don't know how you are upright!" To which I adamantly stated, "But I feel better!" She responded, "I can see that. You look like you feel better. You're not." She won that round. Another 2 weeks of antibiotics. Antibiotics make me feel awful. Tired and achy and sleepy and HUNGRY! So miserable.

More on my adorable niece and her fantastic-ness when I feel a little more like a human being. For now, here's a picture:

Seriously the cutest thing I've ever seen! The stud in the back isn't bad either ;-)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

So Purdy!

I know I mentioned before that I was making a shawl, but I was in a heavily medicated state. The pattern is the Traveling Woman by Liz Abinante and the yarn is Malabrigo Silky Merino in Nocturnal that I purchased from Knit Schtick. I love this yarn and I love the shawl. Of course I didn't leave well enough alone and added beads! Yay beads! So pretty!

And speaking of pretty, my gardenia now has not 1, not 2 but 3 whole blooms! 3 blooms! Ah ah ah (ala the Count from Sesame Street)! YAY for good patio feng shui!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I survived "The Death"...I hope....

That's right mother (whom I love dearly) gave me "The Death". I have been seriously ill for over a week. I have blown through (haha, get it, "blown" through) an ENTIRE box of Anti-Viral Kleenex in 2 days! That's 112 tissues in 2 days people. I was sick enough that I haven't touched my shawl and trust me, that's really sick because I am super stoked about this shawl. The yarn is beautiful and I love the pattern. I haven't gotten to the actual lace part yet, but here's a picture.

I am NOT the world's best photographer and trying to get it all stretched out nice on the circular needles in my current Dayquil-ed state wasn't going to happen. Same with finding a light source that made the colors show up accurately. But trust me, this thing is going to be awesome.

I am adding my own "special" touch to the pattern...I know, I know! I can't just leave a fantastic pattern alone. But BEADS! I wanted to add beads to this beautiful creation. I don't know why, but I felt like beads. So before I caught "The Death" I went to Michaels to get some beads. But I couldn't decide on a color or style, so I bought 3 packages and decided when the time came that one would speak to me. It turns out it did because only 1 of the beads actually fits on the yarn. The other 2 are for super fine lace yarns or making jewelry because they are tiiiiiny. But they will get used for some other project at some point. Now I just need to decide where exactly to put the beads. I added them to the chart in a way that I think will look right and didn't require me to entirely re-chart the whole thing. But I am in a pretty constant state of befuddled Dayquil-ness so who knows. Cross your fingers and I will keep you posted with the results!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Midwest Germs

My family came to visit and I love them dearly, I do. But they brought their germs. Icky Midwest Germs! Mom and I spent the last 4 days of her trip coughing and carrying on. It's the untold story of travel. They come here and bring their midwest germs so everyone here gets sick and they get exposed to California germs and they get sick. THEN they take California germs back to Illinois and everyone back home gets sick. It happens all the time. The silver lining: Chris and I should be immune to Midwest germs when we go Home for the 4th of July/Lily's 1st birthday. Fingers crossed! AAAAAACCCCHHOOOOOOO!

Now for happier family came to visit! My Aunt Carissa, cousin Jessica and my mom all came to visit. They came in on the 11th and we went to Balboa Pennisula and Jess and Carissa played in the water. Mom and I knew better, that water was COLD! Then we went to Huntington Beach and ate dinner and watched the surfers. Saturday we went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park all day. Sunday we went back to the beach and we all got crispy-fried. It turns out that we aren't very good at applying sunscreen evenly. It led to strange patterns of sunburns for everyone involved. Then MONDAY WAS DISNEYLAND! I love Disneyland. It was so much fun! Tuesday Carissa and Jess headed back home and Mom stayed until Saturday afternoon. But we didn't do much else. Just coughed. A lot. And found a new yarn shop that I really liked called Knit Schtick. We met the owner, Lauren, and she was awesome. I bought some really nice Malabrigo Silky Merino in Nocturnal. I think I'm going to make a shawl. So exciting. But first I have to finish up a couple of projects that I have on the needles. Makes me feel less guilty about my startitis. I'll add pictures of the trip as soon as Mom uploads them for me to use. Of course I forgot to bring a camera anywhere we went.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bad patio feng shui

Have you ever had one of those periods of time where work seems to suck your soul from your very being. Let's just say, I've been there.

Then today my gardenia blooms. I have owned this plant for.... years..... over 2 years.... and never a blossom. Tons of buds that would turn brown and fall off. But never one flower!

Here it is shortly after purchase and repotting:

Then here it is 1 year later:

I know, it looks dead. BUT here it is a year and 4 months later:

A bloom! A true flower! A beautiful flower!
I had tried reading on gardening blogs and websites and tried some strange grounds in my gardenia, it was a dark and scary time people... Then one of them had a joke about how finicky gardenias were and only liking light when it was northern light from a southerly direction or some nonsense like that. And I thought, what if my gardenia is suffering from bad patio feng shui? I moved it. That's it! Moved it about 5 feet to the left. AND IT'S BLOOMING!

Sometimes it's the small victories.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Blue Sock Redemption

I'm not going to lie, I was pretty ready to write off socks after the last two adventures. Then in rides Cheryl with her Knitting UFOs project. Of course, I have to finish the mate to the sock that was my first sock. Cheryl taught me how to knit a sock on double pointed needles about a year ago. I finished that sock and for some unknown reason never did the second one. I remember Chris asking for a pair of socks, so I made him the same type of socks from 'Cheryl's Favorite Sock pattern' in Paton's Stretch Socks in Mineral. Then I knit myself a pair of Halloween socks using the Jacquard & Stripes sock pattern with Patons Kroy Socks Stripes in Burnished Sierra Stripes. Then it all gets kind of fuzzy. I have no idea what happened. But that poor little orphan sock stayed buried in the back of a drawer. It would have stayed there until the end of time if not for Cheryl and her UFOs. So I sucked it up and knit the other sock. It's a ankle sock, with worsted weight yarn on size 5 dpns so it went really quickly. I used Ella Rae Amity Print 103 and the colors were me. I really liked this yarn. Darn you Cheryl and you restoring my faith in my ability to knit a sock with no drama.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I think maybe I just wasn't meant to knit socks. Maybe it's just another curse of the big feet. In the homestretch of yet another pair of socks when disaster strikes again. I flat out ran out of yarn. None left. Not an inch!

Unless Cinderella's step-sister wants a new pair of stockings, these are destined to be frogged. They are completely salvageable. I just have to tear them out to the entrelac, take out 2 tiers and redo the foot. No biggie. Just don't have it in my soul to tear it out right now. Or they make a nice pair of flip-flop socks... Note to self: from now on knit all your socks toe-up.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Thank ya kindly!

I'm nearing the end of my first Sweater Girls knit-a-long project - the Annetrelac Socks by Sandy Beadle. Nearing the end meaning I'm 4 inches from done and I've hit the wall. The worst part of having gigantic feet is that it takes FOREVER to knit yourself a sock. Seriously, knitting stockinette stitch for 8 inches to finish a sock sucks. At least when you are doing the leg you have a pattern to keep it interesting and turning the heel is always an adventure. I digress....

I came to the realization that I learned how to knit a year and a half ago. That's it! And here I am knitting entrelac! I've taught myself double knitting for the space invaders scarf, intarsia for the tea towel set, and how to knit socks two at a time on 1 circular needle for the infamous ravelympic socks. All in 18 months!

Thank you #1 is a huge thank you to my mom. She showed me how to knit when I was home visiting and it has become a hobby we can share despite the distance. She is always there when I call and say, "HELP! I've screwed it up!" and more recently when I say, "I'm not sure what pattern to use with this fantastic yarn." or "Shrugs take a deceptive number of yards!". (Seriously, look at a pattern for a shrug. I bet you it's about 1000 yards. For a tiny little almost sweater.) So thank you Mom!

Thank you #2 is to Cheryl and the ladies of the Fiber Closet Thursday knitting group. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the group from 2000 miles away. Thank you for asking my mom how I'm doing and what I'm knitting. Thank you for allowing her to brag when someone decides to write an article about a student group I co-founded. Thank you for sending your unwanted stash to a poor grad student with extreme yarn lust and the budget of a, well, a grad student (Thanks Barbara!). Thank you to each and every one of you.

I knit these socks in Ty-Dy Socks by Knit One Crochet Too in Blue Pansy. I have really enjoyed knitting with this yarn. The colors are right up my alley. It wasn't prone to splitting, which I think is critical for knitting entrelac, especially for someone teaching them-self entrelac as they go. I will edit this post to add in the all finished modeling pix!

So a ginormous thank you to everyone and Happy knitting to all!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gather your party and venture forth

Where does time go? I feel like the days just fly by! I've been working on a tea towel set to give to my significant other's mom for her birthday later this month. I finished it up and added some coasters in to match. It's super cute! As always there are a couple of things that I wish I had tweaked in the pattern, but it was too late to do anything about it by the time I figured it out. Luckily, she is not a knitter and he says she will never notice because he can't figure out what I'm talking about.

Things seem to be crazy busy right now for everyone you talk to- regardless of age, rank or station. It kinda makes you wonder if it's something in the air. Or maybe everyone wants to get everything done before summer fun-time starts. Whatever the reason, I have spent more time running from this meeting to that meeting over the last few weeks. It's hard to keep my head on straight, let alone get any actual thesis research done. Thank heavens for portable hobbies. I have an entrelac sock in my purse for those few minutes between meetings when I need to take a deep breath and knititate for awhile.

Those of you with keen eyesight will notice my bag of emergency chocolate in the top right corner. Caramel filled milk chocolate Ghirardelli Squares. YUMMY! I like it when the good chocolate is on sale.

For now it's back to knitting and chocolate and forgetting for a few minutes that I have more meetings tomorrow....and a lecture to write for Wednesday....and.......sigh [opens another chocolate square].

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I've sold out!

That's right kids, A Neuro Knitter has gone commercial. If there is an item you see in my blog that you would like to own or a pattern that you would like to purchase and diy, now you can! The etsy store Cozy Hearth Creations is now carrying items that I make and patterns that I design.

Selling out...yes....But I am a grad student and I have loans. I also have hobbies that could bring in some small trickle of cash. Therefore, this seems like a perfect solution.

So if you see anything that would would like to make and I don't have the pattern or item for sale at Cozy Hearth Creations please let me know. I will be glad to post it there. It might take me awhile but theses don't write themselves you know.

This is all new and strange, so I welcome any suggestions that you might have for this new business endeavor.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Am I leaking?

I thought I'd try making my own buttons tonight. I'd been toying with the idea for awhile. I don't recommend it for perfectionists. I even had special tools and it's just impossible to get the holes in the same spot and the same size within the same button, let alone between buttons.

Tonight's title quote comes from....drumroll please.... a video game! But this time a character in the game actually said it, not one of the guys. At least this game has funny little robots that say amusing things.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Blarg of Ravelympic Proportions!

It was my day. My warm-up had gone perfectly. I was flying down the mountain, the wind in my hair, the snow on my face. I was invincible. I was rounding the last purl, my ends were woven in. All I had to do was pose for the victory photo as I crossed the line. I could smell the podium, taste the gold! I pull the first sock on.....SNAP! Disaster strikes. The bind off was too tight and the yarn broke in 3 different places and was unraveling before my eyes. My Ravelympic hopes lay dashed beside me amongst the little tufts of broken yarn.

I called my coach, hoping for some advice before I had to complete the second run. She had spent too much time at the "Mitchell Mansion" soaking up the rockstar status given to Ravelympic medalists. I utter a small prayer that no incriminating photos surface tomorrow forcing her to be sent home early and retake the seminar on how to behave like an ambassador for Mitchell Nation.

I was on my own.

I open my Knitting Answer Book to find a looser bind off that is sturdy enough for socks. It recommends the yarn over bind off. I undo the bind off from the intact sock and meticulously slide the loops back onto my needles. I complete the new bind off. I carefully test the stretchitude- it seems sound. I cautiously slide the sock onto my foot....Success! It fits perfectly and no breakage!

My spirits lift. I can do this. I can pick myself up and come back from this fall. I can complete the Ravelympic dream!

I carefully look over the damaged sock. Only 1 of the breaks occurred in the bind off, the other 2 were in the ribbing. I painstakingly remove the bind off from the break around to the first break in the ribbing, sliding the stitches onto my needles as I go. I reach the first break. As gingerly as if I was disarming a bomb, I slowly release the broken thread and wind a new piece through. I gently use my crochet hook to bring this new thread up vertically to the top.

Whew, 1 down, 1 to go.

Again, I work my away around to the next break undoing the bind off and slipping the stitches onto my needles. I reach the second break. Warily, I remove the broken yarn and replace it with fresh piece making sure to secure the loose ends. Up to the top I go and I'm home free! I use the yarn over bind off and it's time for the moment of truth!

Nervously, I remove the store-bought monstrosity currently adorning my foot. I slide the repaired sock over my toes. I am rapidly approaching the site of my previous fall from grace. With a deep breath I crest the heel and VICTORY! I have lived the true Ravelympic story, overcoming massive odds to snatch glory and another medal for the Mitchell Nation.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Recorded from an earlier broadcast

It's Olympics time! I love the Olympics. It's one of my favorite things. I love it when they show the people who don't get a medal, they are just so stoked to be there and do their best that they can barely contain themselves. How many times in our lives are we that happy to have just made it through even though we only get the experience as a reward? Incredible.

I have to say I absolutely hate that NBC is running the coverage of the 2010 games from Vancouver, BC, Canada on tape delay. I know, their goal is to make money and running the games delayed to primetime means more advertising dollars. But I hate getting a breaking news email from CNN that Lindsey Vonn won gold in Women's Downhill. I hate having an iGoogle page news posting spoil Shawn White's victory in half-pipe. It's happening live, in my time zone, and I have to stay up until 2am to watch. Nevermind that I'm watching it all on my dvr because I'm lame and in bed by 9pm most nights.

Ok, rant over. My mom and I are participating in Ravelympics2010. I have 2 projects in WIPs Dancing and 1 in 'platter lift' (home decor). I finished a shawl that just needed the fringe added but was sitting neglected for almost a year.

It won a medal and I got a nice participation award as well:

I have to say I have been supremely impressed with the level of detail they have been able to put into this event while keeping track of 8963 unique participants and 20383 individual projects. If you are a member of Ravelry, I highly recommend participating. If you aren't a member of Ravelry, you should be! I'll post more pictures of my other projects in another post. It's so much fun to see everyone's projects and use it as an excuse to finish up some things lying around. I didn't put the space invaders scarf in so it is hanging out in my knitting drawer until the games are over or I finish all my Ravelympics projects whichever comes first!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Swans are known for their maneuverability

I should open this by saying, I am a nerd and I study Neurobiology. This blog will be about the nerdy things I knit and the nerdy comments made while I'm knitting them. I tend to knit in the living room while the nerds I live with play Xbox.

I am currently knitting a Space Invaders scarf.

This project is double knit, so the back side is actually the inverse of the front. Pretty cool.
The boys are currently playing through Lego Batman. Therein lies the title of trying to drive a swan. It's part of the game. It also leads to such gems as "You are probably immune to fire." Welcome to my life.
Anyway, I hope this blog is a little bit helpful, a whole lot nerdy and even more fun!