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September 27, 2006

Playing the race card

Dang, this can't be right!





You Are 60% Evil



You are evil, but you haven't yet mastered the dark side.

Fear not though - you are on your way to world domination.


I have set out on a campaign to prove I am more than 60% evil. Friends and family...beware!


And here is an interesting twist to the above:


You are 60% white and nerdy.
How White and Nerdy Are You?




Coincidence? I think not!


Oh, and on a side note, I'm so nerdy that the grammar in the quiz bothered me AND there was a problem with the code they provided so I had to work that out. Nerdy!

September 26, 2006

Very Important Day

Happy Birthday to my sweet baboo Argus! He turns 13 years old today!


sweet napping baboo


Argus came to live with me 6 years ago when Animal Control picked him up on this very day. He was tied to a freeway overpass in Los Angeles (where I was living at the time) at one of the busiest freeway exits in the country (for people in the LA area, it was the Rosemead exit off the 10). He was quite underweight and bald from flea dermatitis. They felt like he should be put to sleep but the greyhound rescue group in the area wanted to get a look at him and 3 weeks later he was at home with me.


This is a difficult picture to look at but keep in mind it was a week after he had been picked up and he was already making a remarkable recovery. I don't mean to dwell on a difficult period of Argus' life but he has overcome a lot and it is worth noting today.


early argus


He is spoiled rotten now but don't bother saying how lucky he is to have me because it is entirely the other way around.


We are going to go have a little vanilla ice cream as a birthday treat and many naps and scratches.


Happy 13th boobalah!

Knitting Content

A little flurry of activity for work as the semester begins. I'm doing contract work for a local university for their online program and all of the instructors waited until the last minute to give us their information to get online. I had to laugh as one particularly late instructor had handouts for her students about time management and planning ahead. Typical. Even as a student I saw the clear double standard when instructors would be rigid about deadlines but hand back your graded work weeks after their deadline.


Ah, venting done.


I have been doing quite a bit of knitting. My hand work always picks up when I do more technical computer work. So, I'm stuck online all day building web pages hence I need a significant amount of time in the evening to do non-technical work. Shall we take a peek at what has come off the needles?


I forgot to share this little pretty. A lace hairband/headband. After the crushing disappointment of Sonnet I could only tackle little projects. So when I saw this pattern on the Interweave Knits website (subscriber area) I thought it would be great to try it in my left over Elann Esprit which is really elastic.


headband


I omitted one pattern repeat because I thought it would be too long and I wanted the headband to stretch a little. I think it is still a little long and it probably would be better with another repeat eliminated. It also is quite wide so it just bunches up in may hair and you can't see the pretty lace. But it does hold the hair back! And it was kind of fun to make.


I also finished this little project which was really fun to do!


navy cardigan


Knitting purists, brace yourself. The pattern is off the Lion Brand site and the yarn is a Lion Brand yarn. It is called Cashmere Blend and it is comparable to Debbie Bliss' Cashmerino.


Now I love Cashmerino with a white hot passion but this cashmere blend comes pretty darn close. It is almost as soft and is really lovely to knit with. However, I am very disappointed in the limited colors.


I am hearing from other people around the country that the Cashmere Blend actually costs a little more than Cashmerino but in my neck of the woods it is about $1 less (note that in the two links I provide above the Cashmerino is a wee bit less.). I have to give props to Lion Brand for contending with such a fine fiber!


So I enjoyed the fiber (in a blue black that really is beautiful and kind of hard to see while knitting!) and the pattern was really cool. All in one piece and you start with the collar! I love not having to pick up stitches for the band and collar. I'll do this pattern again because it was a lot of fun. It isn't one of Lion Brand's free patterns though.


We need to take a moment to bask in my fabulous seams. I am always sharing my failures but I actually do things right sometimes.


fab seams


You can barely see them! Once in a while I rock.


Another small victory to share is my completion and mailing of my Sock War socks. Fueled by a bizarre diet of sushi and hot fudge sundaes, I knit my fingers to little nubs Sunday and Monday so that I could put off my demise as long as possible.


first sock war socks


I was being a bit lax about it this weekend and then I checked the blog of my assassin. To my horror (and delight because she is making me a pair of socks) I found her to be an accomplished and talented knitter. One of those who crank out the pieces that make the rest of us say, "oooo, I want to do that" and ends with us weeping on the floor clutching the knitting to our chests in despair. And then resorting to knitting headbands.


She is in an entirely different league than me.


My socks were a bit of a challenge for me because I have never knit socks with size 5 needles nor with sock yarn as big as this. But I felt like I scored when I found this Cleckheaton at the beach this weekend. I thought the colors were lovely and neutral enough that they should appeal to most everyone (in case my target was a fella). See, I'm a considerate assassin.


I was so paranoid about sticking to the rules. My sock yarn called for a size 6 needle but I knit it with a 5 and I even though I got gauge I felt like I was cheating the whole time. And I worried that the socks were going to be ugly, etc. Obviously, I can't take this kind of pressure.


Plus, do you see those two wee balls of yarn next to the socks? Those were the end of the skeins when I finished. If my target had my size 10s then I would have been scrambling!


So I'm very sorry to have eliminated my target, but I hope she enjoys the socks!

September 19, 2006

Cheap trick to cover my lazy-no-posting streak


My Personality

Neuroticism
36
Extraversion
20
Openness To Experience
81
Agreeableness
68
Conscientiousness
40
Test Yourself Compare Yourself View Full Report
Find your soulmate / pysch twin

MySpace Quizzes, MySpace Codes and MySpace Layouts by Pulseware Survey Software


You are introverted, reserved, and quiet with a preference for solitude and solitary activities. Your socializing tends to be restricted to a few close friends. Stressful and frustrating situations can sometimes be upsetting to you, but you are often able to get over these feelings and cope with these situations. Novelty, variety, and change spice up your life and make you a curious, imaginative, and creative person. You have a strong interest in others' needs and well-being. You are pleasant, sympathetic, and cooperative. You are reasonably reliable, organized, and self-controlled.

September 11, 2006

I may be easy but I'm not cheap

I am supposed to be knitting a sweater in the round. I'm signed up for a class, I bought the yarn and I cast on and knit about three inches.


Then I succumbed to a different, sexier project. Not sexy in any kind of interesting way. It is only sexy because everyone seems to be making this in every yarn shop I go into. I saw some samples last weekend and haven't been able to stop thinking about what MY version would look like.


I was sunk the minute I remembered some gorgeous Cash Iroha I have in my stash waiting for a worthy project (all hail my true love, Noro. Does anyone know if he is married? Does he have eligible sons? Because I'm willing to be a mail-order bride into that family.). This stuff was too good for the scarf as I had originally planned.


Cash Iroha


With those precious three skeins in mind I did a quick check of what would match in the yarn store and quickly found a color palette I can't live another day without. Really, I can't.


Beach quilt and sandy


Meet the beach quilt (named for the denim/grey blues, tans and browns and because calling it "Laurie is knitting, yet again, another friggin blue and brown item" would not have the same charming ring to it). Sandy is our lovely model for today. She looks happy about it, doesn't she?


I cast on for the first square and haven't been able to stop. The pattern is fun enough but this project really appeals to the knitting ADDer in me. Just when I'm about done with one yarn I get to pick out a new one and revel in that for a little while. Folks, I may not actually like to knit. It may be all about the yarn for me.


The first panel is a simple lace. Isn't it charming in that sand color? The next skein is heartbreakingly beautiful and it took me a while to complete because I kept placing it on the table in front of me and admiring it. I can't tell you anything about it because I was so excited to start knitting with it that I ripped off the band and never looked back.


I can't decide what is next, tidepool blue Iroha or rich chocolate brown alpaca. Maybe even the chocolate Pastaza with silver hairs shooting through it.


Stay tuned. I'm sure the suspense will keell you!


Sweater in the round? what sweater in the round?

September 08, 2006

Recovery

I've been playing hooky from being a grown up and was at the beach. Hey, I earned a vacation and just because I am screwing up the vacation plan by being unemployed in the middle of the year doesn't mean I don't get to slip away and not think about work stuff.


So I'm back and I'm being responsible. I've started doing some contract work for a local university and while it SO isn't what I like to do, it is income. For a few months anyway.


The interesting part is that I'll be working from home. I'm not all that sure that it is a good idea since I get distracted easily (Have you seen my knitting habits? You think those are any different than how I am with all things?) I might have to set up some kind of routine where I leave the house everyday like I'm going to an office and work that way, I can go hang out in the lobby of the university.


The Yarn Harlot was here the other day and I was really looking forward to seeing her and getting my book signed but I had a last-minute meeting with the university which messed up my schedule (Can't leave dogs without potty opportunity at certain times of the day. They are very used to our schedule.) and then when it took me forever to get home from the meeting my plans to have knitterly fun were ruined.


Rats.


So I'm pouting a little about that and am trying to console myself with knitting victories.


After much heartbreak, tears, screaming at the gods, and a little help from a fabulous knitting goddess at Coastal Yarns, I have finally finished the ballet wrap sweater for my Aunt. It cheered me a little that my knitting goddess had to read the pattern outloud about 6 times herself to fully grasp what should be done. With her help I was able to chart the pieces which had given me grief.


Here is the back and the two wicked fronts that nearly drove me to drinking.


ballet wrap awaiting finishing


The pattern was from Interweave Knits and you can clearly see my mangled copy. That is what happens when you clutch something and cry into it. You can also see the book of soduku puzzles that I distracted myself with when the knitting got to be too much. Let it be noted that I have graduated to the expert level puzzles. These were less frustrating than knitting the fronts on the sweater.


The yarn I used was something I picked up on sale when Knit Picks was clearing out their yarn inventory to make room for their own lines. It is Reynolds Andean Alpaca Regal, an alpaca/wool blend in a lovely heathery grey. It holds up too. I ripped out one front and reknit 5 or 6 times and it did great. It started to untwist a little but not much more.


The sleeves are blocking. I don't think the curl will be eliminated much and may just go ahead and finish the sweater without blocking. Does that shock anyone? Has lightening struck anyone when they didn't block? Seriously, will it make the sweater look worse if I don't block it?


More pictures since I haven't posted in eons.


A little stash enhancement. I mean it is rude to go into a yarn store and not buy something, right? A few skeins of Socks That Rock. One skein for me and two candy-colored (I believe they are called Sherbert) skeins that will make some cute child's sweater. Hey, it is washable so I think sock yarn makes fantastic kid projects.


str love


And then, just because we can't go too long without a doggie picture, this is Sandy.


Sandy


I am dogsitting Sandy for my Mom. She is a lot of fun to have around the house because she is more doggy-like than my beloved greyhounds. She wags her tail and barks hello. And she has the best muzzlepuff of any pookie I know. If you don't frequent Cute Overload then you don't know that muzzlepuffs are the soft cheeks around the mouth. Sandy's are soft, whiskery and getting grey. And she likes to softly run them over my face.


We loves Sandy.


And then, because I was feeling frisky with the camera (I had just put in new batteries) I took a quick shot of my kid-yarn-impending-project stash. It isn't the only source but it is the bulk of yarn for these kinds of projects. I'm starting to email people I worked with 5 years ago that had a baby a year ago to see if they will let me knit for their kids.


baby yarn stash


I'm starting to sound pathetic.


Someone give me a job to stop this madness!