Saturday, July 28, 2007


The TV stand from Ikea is together. There is a TV (no cable, haven't had it in years), VCR (does anyone use them anymore?), Wii, 360, and DVD player on it. The DVD player is a bit redundant considering the 360 will also play DVDs. Of course, the 360 runs the risk of randomly deciding to scratch the discs inserted into it, so I suppose the DVD player does ultimately serve a purpose.

There is a record player. There's a four-story cat condo. My grandpa's walnut table. There are also lamps. My favorite:

The owl. He and a twin were procured at an antique mall for $2.00. His twin, however, was irreparably broken, so now this silly owl flies solo. His lampshade was on clearance at Lowe's, score. The olive green seems to be awesomely tacky enough that it makes him perfect.

We also put up some curtains today. My personal favorite:

How deliciously tacky! In the spare room, a homemade Hello Kitty valance with neon pink sheers we found (meant for little kids, I'm sure) at Meijer. They might even be level!

It's not just any Hello Kitty, it's geisha Hello Kitty! These are in the spare room, which we're not really sure what to do with. It's probably going to be an office/crafting type room. I will probably be setting up my sewing machine up there. We shall see. I had not imagined what a drag hanging curtains can be. We don't own a power drill, so attaching things to the walls has become a lot more difficult and annoying than it would be otherwise.

It's starting to take shape, except for the small fact that there are still SO MANY BOXES that are begging for attention constantly. They're calling to me now, but I'm not listening at the moment.

There has also been progress on the knitting front; I found my Kitty Pi, which I am making oversized. Unfortunately, I may end up needing a sixth skein of Lamb's Pride to finish it up with! Sheesh! Should have just made it normal-sized.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Two little FOs, safe arrival?

I think the move went smoothly. At any rate, I got out of a lot of the heavy lifting when we realized that someone needed to pick up the keys to the place by 4:00. This was at 2:30, and we were approximately 1 1/2 hours away. Yeah. I got to drive (with the kittens) like a bat out of hell, after frantically calling the leasing office and telling them I'd be there RIGHT AT 4:00. I made it at 3:45. I rule.

We used to rely on roommates for a lot of random things that we never thought about. Pots and pans, knives, vacuums, lamps, and the list goes on. The last couple of days have been frantic trips to Lowe's, Target, Meijer, and Ikea. (The Ikea expedition and subsequent assembly woes could be its own entry.) Consequently, Steve and I have been whittling away our savings on all sort of exciting townhouse-stuff. Yes, you read that right: townhouse. Cheaper than the old two-bedroom, this time with central air and cats.

I'm not sure where I packed my Kitty Pi WIP. I know where Mariah is, but there has just been so much other stuff to do, that I haven't knit since Tuesday. I think I'm going to explode. I have to find Kitty Pi tonight, because those rats NEED a place to lay down!

The only real knitting progress in the past week are a couple of dishcloths that were inspired by my Sugar 'n' Cream shopping spree.

This is the ubiquitous Ballband Dishcloth. I've made a bunch of these before, but this one is a bit more rectangular (read: shorter) than others. I basically went in pattern until I was out of the pink ombre, which was a small ball in the stash.

This is a Three and One Checkered Cloth out of chocolate brown sugar 'n' cream and beige/white sugar 'n' cream twists. The pattern was easily memorized, and makes for an interesting texture. I was getting sick of Ballband cloths, as those have been my standard for two-color dishcloths. This pattern worked out well enough that I might try to make a couple of more... until I get sick of this pattern also. Anyone have any other two-color dishcloth patterns? I may just make one up, or adapt a garterlac or something.

Anyhow, I need to get back to work making things look like home around here. The pile of boxes is slowly shrinking, and soon our front room WILL be usable... Much to the chagrin of the kittens, I'm sure, who think it is their personal playground.

I may talk about the Ikea expedition tomorrow. It made for a really entertaining waste of a day...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

This is for Rose...

Orangecat and Blackcat at eight weeks. They're like... hmmm... six months now. They belonged to a co-worker of Steve's who developed an allergy to them, and has been living with sinus issues for too long. To make matters worse, the co-worker's job is being moved to Florida, and he didn't want to move the kittens that far... thus, we get them. They're sweethearts.

See you Thursday. Our internet gets turned on somewhere between noon and 3:00...


I get my Ravelry invite the day before I'm supposed to move. I should be packing. I should be cleaning. I should be organizing... (My username is amelie, by the way.)

I will do all that, trust me.

This is my idea of productivity:

Working on a Kitty Pi for the kittens we're getting tomorrow, in addition to the move. Wish me luck, the strength to carry all my shit, and the willpower to pack the rest of my life up.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Something happy

Some days, you just need a pick-me-up. I decided to go shopping today, and the photo below shows all of my lovely acquisitions.

I went to Michael's in search of one of those giant balls of Sugar 'n' Cream, but the only color they had left was my grandmother's favorite, tan with pink and blue specks. Yuck. Luckily the normal-sized balls were 4 for $5, so I picked up some nice ones: hot pink, hot green, tan tweed and chocolate brown to go with it. I was crazy-inspired by Dave's dishcloth deluge, and want to get back into the delicious practical knitting.

I didn't stop there, though. I went into Joann with a gift card looking for fall fabric, and was disappointed that summer is still in full swing. Instead I found 5" clover DPNs in sizes 1 and 2... hopefully this will make my sock knitting a little less bulky! I've been looking for these guys everywhere.

Lastly, it was off to GameStop. I was really, really curious about the newest Pokemon installment, and it's been ages since I've bought a DS game. I came home with Pokemon Pearl. Two hours in, and it's really quite amusing. I haven't lost a battle yet!

But, honestly, I HAVE been knitting lately.

I finished one sleeve to Mariah, and have started the second. I actually have to give props to the designer, Jodi, who sent me a nice two-page errata document when I asked about the existence of an errata page. It's supposed to give a better fit through the yoke and shoulders, and make the hood better. I'll hopefully report back to you all when I see how well it actually turns out. So far, on the sleeves, there have only been a few "WTF?" moments where I had to study the instructions. I just attribute it to the pattern having so much going on at once. As far as the yarn goes, I'm just using good old WoolEase. I mean, let's face it, I wear my sweater cardigans a ton, and I'm not about to use yarn that Steve might ruin by accidentally throwing in the washing machine.

A pair of socks has suffered this way. Steve said he would knit me new ones. He doesn't really know how to knit. I told him I would accept a gift of sock yarn instead. I'm thinking I'd really enjoy some Wollmeise, but alas, no ordering anything until we've settled in to our new address!

I really do apologize for the negativity yesterday. It's a stressful time. I'd rather play video games than pack, and I'm 295th on the Ravelry list. I'm not finishing much of anything.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Excuse me...

I know I'm not supposed to publicly say anything negative about the Secret Pal swaps. But somehow this absurd rule, while meant well, prevents the knitting community at large from understanding some of the problems that happen here. All you see surfing blog to blog, are happy-warm-fuzzy posts about getting packages full of wonderful stuff. This is why I signed on to SP9 and SP10. I want yummy things, and I wanted to shop for yummy things for someone I with whom I share a common interest.

The problem is, though, that the swaps can go sour, and we're not allowed to address it. They tell us to go to the hostesses. But what happens when they don't answer e-mails?

For SP9, I was sending lovely things to Carmen. If you scroll down a bit and behold that lovely silk garden scarf? I sent her that silk garden. Oooh, makes me proud! The person spoiling me dropped out about a month in, and I was rescued by an angel. My angel (and original, still anonymous spoiler) each sent me one lovely package. (Thank you to Unfurnished Brooklyn, who made me quite happy.) It seemed pretty nice, really, ignoring the fact that life had gotten very complicated for the first person assigned to me. The hostesses were into it, and my old hostess even sent me a prize for winning a contest! How fun! I had new blogs to read, Bowie DVDs, and heaps of pink yarn and Swedish Fish.

So, what the heck happened to SP10? It's been "done" for a month, and I never, ever got a package. I sent three to Jill, and had fun doing it, but the point is that it's supposed to be a swap. The hostesses are suspiciously absent. I have to look at my original e-mail telling me to spoil Jill in the first place to remember her e-mail address. No contests this time, rare updates, sparse e-mails, some of which were somewhat harsh. Sorry, but mass-sending out the message of "YOU WILL BE BANNED IF YOU DON'T SEND A PACKAGE!!" to EVERYONE doesn't help; why aren't the problem people isolated and contacted in private to see what's going on rather than using scare tactics on all participants?

It's frustrating. It's exciting to shop for someone else (especially when going in with a two-for-you one-for-me mentality), but the biggest excitement in these swaps is supposed to be the part where you get a package filled with goodies tailored to your interests. I've sent a couple of e-mails to the hostess asking about it, and still nothing. Last I heard there was going to be an angel package, but, um, I'm moving in five days. I didn't think that a June 30th (my birthday!) deadline would run into my late-July moving day.

If this post gets me banned from all future SP events, so be it. I have no intentions to participate again anyway. I thought the SP9 angel-necessity was a fluke, but apparently knitters are flakier than I had wanted to believe after getting blown off in SP10. Maybe the SP dynasty is too old, and the hostesses' hearts aren't in it anymore? It's hard to say. I know it's a lot of work to organize it all, but it's too easy to let participants slip through the cracks when there are hundreds and hundreds of them. If I want to swap stuff, I'll have to find my fix through smaller events. (Any suggestions?)

*ETA* 7/21/07
I have since heard from my hostess, who has had computer issues throughout this round of SP-ing. All should be resolved soon. I shouldn't doubt these ladies.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I'm going to get my Ravelry invite soon. I know, because they now let you check to see where you are if you're feeling antsy. Well, I'm *this close* to the top of the list. And here's the thing. I have two days left at my job, and the few days before I move (next Wednesday, aaah!) are supposed to be set aside for going away parties, trips to the laundromat, and the last of the packing.

What bad timing for a ravelry invite? Many fellow bloggers have been talking about how their invite consumed their life. I don't start law school for a LITTLE while. I guess as long as I can get it out of my system before then, I'm safe, right?

Friday, July 13, 2007

An open letter to Eunny Jang

Dearest Eunny,

You are quite possibly the most talented knitwear designer I have ever encountered. I am exceedingly jealous of your eye for design, for color, and your extensive knowledge of knitting, spinning, and apparently also cooking. I immediately want to make my own version of everything you make.

You have also taught me a lot. You dared me to try colorwork in the round. Twice. First with the Argyle Vest fiasco, and second with the Anemoi Mittens. You've taught me that I'm pretty pathetic at keeping floats loose, even when I am making a conscious effort to do exactly that. You've taught me that gauge swatches are essential, even if I still blatantly refuse to do them.

But most of all, you have taught me my limits. When I reach a point in one of your patterns that asks me to cut into my knitting, or perhaps "turn mitten inside out and join sts with a three-needle bind off," I learned that I should probably not listen. Every fiber of my being tells me not to turn a mitten inside out that has two long DPNs sticking out of it... and yet I listen, and while trying to recover dropped stitches on size 1 needles, I am reminded of how much better than me you are at everything.

Best of luck with Interweave.