Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Guess Where We're Going?

Yup. Tuscany 2008. Wanna join us?

And am I a total knerd to have already found out there's a yarn store in the nearby town?

Monday, January 29, 2007

That's My Girl!!!

This is my neice Jordan (well, the back of her), scoring her first three-point shot in JV basketball. She's also hit an in-the-park-grand-slam on her softball team. She totally rocks.

She might be my sister's daughter, but she's my girl. :) HAAY, Jordan! We miss you!!!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Stealing a pic from my SP9 Spoilee...

The Hedgie has found a good home...


That's what it's all about. :)

Friday, January 26, 2007

HAAAY to my SP9 Spoilee!

Hello there, Lara - it's been such fun spoiling you! I hope you have enjoyed it. According to Fedex, you should be getting your #3 package by Saturday (and in that package is the big reveal), so...well...here I am!

It's been so fun and inspiring reading your blog - you have done such wonderful things - and with four kids! It's amazing you're sane, much less churning out such beautiful work!

To answer an earlier question that I didn't mention before - yes, that's your Lady Eleanor on the CD - I snagged the photo from your blog and enlarged it for the CD cover. The colors you chose are simply gorgeous. I don't know if you've taken a listen to the CD yet, but I hope you like it. The only thing the songs have in common is a sense of peace or calm - if not in words, then in music. Of course, if your sense of peace and my sense of peace are completely different, you can just use it as a coaster and not tell me about it! ;)

Thanks for being so nice and responsive in your emails - I cannot stress how much fun this has been. The Inca cotton, the stitchmarkers, the felted pumpkin, and the yarn in your final package were all purchased at the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival. If you ever feel the need to travel East and indulge in your yarn habit, you are welcome - we live only about an hour away from the fairgrounds. And my husband makes killer margaritas!

Thanks to your inspiration - I have now started my first sweater! The picture doesn't do the colors justice - the "purple" is more of a winey maroon, and the orange is filled with streaks of that same wine color. I also got this at the Fest, from a lady who raises sheep in Maine. It's a very simple tunic pattern, but I figured I'd best start simple and just get that first sweater under my belt, so to speak. Nevermind the turquoise stitch-markers...

Anyhow, thanks again for being so wonderful. I look forward to reading more about your accomplishments in the future!

Caught in the Act...

This is our beloved Coz, with his favorite pasttime, the water fountain. We keep it on one of those timers to only be running at certain times of the day. Otherwise, there would be a puddle to clean up every night.

Yes, our Water Kitty likes to stick his WHOLE ARM in the water stream then lick it off.

This is the cat who likes bathtub faucets, stealing socks from drawers, and drools when his tummy is rubbed.

Freakin' psycho...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

But Dewd!

I figured that if 100 degrees was good, then 500 would be better!

Fffffffftttttt....yeah, that's what I call a house fire...


'S'bout Dang Time...

I don't know about you, but if I was three years old and refused to do something my parents told me to do...? I'd have been hit on the head with a shoe, had my mouth washed out with soap, then been duct-taped into the damn seat.

Yes, I know, the rules are different nowadays. But Daayumm.

"The father said his family would never fly AirTran again." Thank you AirTran - you have my business for life.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

MUCH better...

Made with Cascade 220 and Fun Fur.

You know, some folks are kind of snooty about novelty yarns, but I just can't help but feel giggly and happy when I make one of these. They're quick, fun, and if you fill them enough with the poly-fill, they bounce really well. How can you not love that?

Joe's bottling up the beer today, and I'm finishing up my SP9 final package. Have a lovely rest of YOUR weekend!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Bad Hedgie...BAD!...

...or, why I'm going straight to Achhe-Eee-Double-Hockey-Sticks...

You see, I had this grand plan of making a Hedgie for my SP9 pal. Done in a favorite color, maybe holding toothpicks-as-knitting-needles...something homemade and fun. And because hedgies are one-size-fits-all, I figured this would be a good idea. After all, I'd made about a half dozen, right?

Well, you live, and you learn.

It seems that even though I have experienced many different felting happenings, I haven't lived them all. I'd been using Fun Fur for every hedgie thus far, with 100% success. I ASSUMED (yes, I know what it makes out of you and me, you freak) that the Bernat Disco, since it had similar wash/care instructions, would be just as good. And sparkly, even.

Well, somewhere between now-I-have-a-non-agitating-washer-so-it-takes-longer and sparkly-things-don't-do-well-with-hot-water, I discovered a problem.

I'm not sure if you can see the problem, so I'll give you a close-up...

The sparklies are okay, I guess, but there's a lot of matted darkness going on. Like dreads gone horribly wrong. After the hedgie dried, I immediately thought of two things: Damien from South Park and Quato from Total Recall. You simply cannot understand how gross this fur looks in person. So there was only one thing to do - Make the Hedgie from Hell...

(cue Carmina Burana O Fortuna)

Heh. Heh-heh. Bwahahahahahahahahahaha......

Beer and Stash

Having grown up in a town where I had to drive 10 minutes to get to my friends' homes, living in a small village still tickles the hell out of me. One of our favorite haunts (within stumbling distance, of course), is Copperfield's - a great little pub that offers many beers, good food (even some veggie-friendly-non-bar-stuff), and great people. Well, mostly great people. Just don't go on a weekend when all the yuppie drinkers descend on our little town and the overflow from the martini bar down the street gets annoying...

Last night was no different. Tim, the Irish-whiskey-expert barkeep, took good care of us while we babbled with friends and the local building inspector. Copperfield's is where Joe and I go when we want the Best Buffalo Chicken Finger Wrap Ever, a few beers, and usually some venting about jobs and/or people. Last night, I just didn't feel like cooking, and I couldn't get to the store because IT'S SNOWING (though not much), and people in NY are just as crazy about bread-and-milk shopping as people everywhere else when it snows. So I don't shop on snow days. Crazy freakin' people.

Anyhow, one of our many tipsy conversations was about stash. Joe had been reading our Snarky friend's post about the "movement" in 2007 to knit from stash. "Why wouldn't you knit from your stash?" he asked. I explained it to him in terms he would understand:

"In your shop, you have planks of lumber in the rafters. You have black walnut and cherry for special pieces yet to be determined. You have several tons of maple curing in the shed. You have plywood, leftover mahogony porch flooring, and siding up the wazoo. And yet, you're putting in an order with Ferris for more blocks of wood to build chair seats. If you came across a good deal for some tiger maple, you'd grab it in a heartbeat. You're either buying these for projects now or in the future. But you're not making furniture or repairs out of what you have in your shop NOW."

{long pause}


And with that, we called Tim over for another round of beers.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I'm weak, I admit it...

I had to run a few errands at lunch today - go to the bank, go by Michael's and pick up more stuffing for...er...a final SP9 surprise...that rhymes with ledgedog...when lo-and-behold I find myself in front of the skimpy-yet-sometimes-interesting Michael's book selection. And what do you think flung itself at me and begged me to provide it with a loving home?

Yup. And I didn't even have my gift certificate with me, so it was totally frivolous spending. But I have to explain:

- I only have one other pattern book (Big Girl Knits), besides any SnB or Yarn Harlot items

- I have many one-skeins that need a purpose

- As much as I loooove me some sock knitting, I really need to work on other skills as well, and some of the items in this book would make lovely gifts

See? SEE? I don't have a problem. I have REASONS.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Heeeeeere's Joe!

I guess my hubby got a little tired of me writing an "us" blog from a "me" point of view. That, and all the knitting. So he finally got around to making his own. I'm lovin' the logo. Yay, Joe!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Joe's Making a Chair!

I'm sorry ladies, but I'm married to the handsomest, funniest, coolest man there is. Joe's Christmas present was a 6-day class in making Windsor chairs from a local couple we met at the Rhinebeck Crafts Fair.

He's making the chair you see in the background. On Saturday and Sunday he worked on the back, some spindles, and this is the seat.

After the course he brings home...a chair!

Yup - my husband is da bomb.

Sorry no knitting posts - what is currently on the needles is kind of a surprise and almost done. More on that later.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


OOOOOH! Today was a day filled with errands - go get cat food, take recyclables in, and pick up a package at the post office. We had been expecting something that we had ordered, so I just assumed...WRONG! Lookee-lookee!!!

Clockwise, starting from noonish:
- 2 bags of WW candies - in my FAVORITE flavors! My SP9 spoiler was very thoughtful in not giving me really tempting terrible things. I'm not a strong person when it comes to food, and she really paid attention to my blog, so THANK YOU!
- A copy of Knitting Under the Influence by Claire LaZebnik. I had seen this on Amazon, and it looks right up my alley. Another winner!
- A set of Knit Klips to help with seaming up my first sweater. How. Cool. I didn't know these existed (tells you how much I know), and I'm so glad these are now in my grubby little hands. They will definitely go to good use.
- An absolutely STUNNING set of ebony and sterling silver earrings from Berit Designs. They are simply exquisite - exactly the kind of thing I would want to treat myself with.
- 2 skeins of Lane Cervinia Forever Jacquard in beautiful jewel tones of reds, greens, and blues. These socks will be MINE! And machine washable!
- 2 skeins of Regia Jacquard in the most calming natural tans, grays, and blues. Again, socks for me. I ain't wastin' this on NOBODY else (said with a snap and a head tilt). :) Also machine washable!
- The blue velvety looking thing is a Turbo Pouch! For storing my circulars! Oh-boy-oh-boy how I need that! I have straight needle storage a-plenty, but my circulars are all over the place. Yay!
- A yummy giant candycane...and...
- Stitchmarkers. Gorgeous stitchmarkers. Lovely, yummy stitchmarkers...


Edited to add: I totally omitted one great gift that she sent, because by then end of this post I was kind of on a yarn high. But I'm also getting a subscription to Interweave Knits! I have always wanted that holy-grail-of-knitting-magazines. I hear so many wonderful things about it, and I can't wait! Yay!!!

Thank you SOOO much, my dear Secret Pal. You definitely hit a homerun, and I'm very happy to know you. I know your holidays were more eventful than you'd like, but I hope 2007 brings you much peace, happiness, and....quiet time for knitting.

Again, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


It's hard to believe that these numbers even come close to our age anymore. It seems like just yesterday you and Justin were announcing the impending arrival of your sweet little boy. You had just purchased a mini-van, and we were on the hill near Jane and Steven's house, all of us terribly suspicious during a drive to the lake when you finally made it known.

I had the honor of your standing up with me on a very special day that not only included the man of my dreams but margaritas and a hottie bartender named Raoul. Or Rafael. Or Raymundo.

I will forever treasure the times that we threw caution, directions, and limited-knowledge-of-manual-transmissions to the wind and found ourselves on the paradise that is Sapelo. Drunken bike rides, rum-induced confessions, and an infamous-and-lasting hookup were all just gravy on those amazing trips.

You even talked a younger and stupider version of myself into a very public performance that scared the beejeesus out of me.

How did we stay sane during these times? Oh, yeah. That's right. We giggled a lot.

Sometimes we didn't giggle. But we always had fun. Or at least we had music, and of course making fun of others.

It's overwhelming to think that all of this started thirty-ish years ago when all I remember is a tricycle with red wheels, digging to China, and a cute blond boy named Mitch.

Happy Birthday, Pam - even though this might not be your happiest of days this year, please know that you are wrapped in my love and admiration and respect. No one could have predicted that we would be close friends this long, but I certainly predict that when you're twice this age that I'll still be embarrassing you with old pictures. :)

(Pam on back right, me directly to her left, and our dearest Amy in the stunning red dress)

Much love and many obnoxious hugs to my dear friend on her special day.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Dear Idiot: We Hate You

Actually, I don't think hate is strong enough. Loathe. Abhor. Despise. Wish you nothing but pain and suffering for eternity. Of course, there's only one poor excuse for a human who would elicit such strong feelings: Cracolici - the turdface previous owner of our home.

Earlier this week, I noticed that some of our kitchen cabinets were leaning forward a bit. So we thought this would be a good weekend to see what's going on and correct the problem.

This is how our morning began. We took down one of the cabinets and found that the screws Mr. Bunghole used to install the cabinets were about an inch too short.

Between the drywall and the laths (slats that plaster is put on), 3 inch screws aren't long enough to sink into the studs. After 6 years of holding heavy plates and bowls, the cabinets started pulling away from the wall. Joe went into his shop, got some 4 inch screws, and went to work. The plan was to just replace all old screws with longer ones. Strange thing, though - we put the longer screws into this one cabinet, and it still wasn't holding. Meaning - THE SCREWS WEREN'T ANYWHERE CLOSE TO THE STUDS. The only thing to do, then, is take down all the cabinets, find the studs, and put them back up properly.

Here was a fun find - this glob is dried construction adhesive. Mr. Assmunch realized he had some problems, and he "fixed" it by filling some of the gaps with glue.

Here's a good look at what Joe has been doing today. Note the hole in the wall (was the stove vent) and the misc items we've had to take out of the cabinets.

And this is what my dining room looks like now. Boxes and piles of glasses, plates - some even overflowed into the living room. My house looks like a yard sale.

This is the way you find studs in an older home (studfinders generally don't work due to the extra crap in the walls): you cut a strip out of the wallboard, brush away the plaster crumblings, and you find your studs. I've marked in yellow where the studs are. The red circles are where the screws were. One out of every 6 or so screws was in line with a stud, but due to the short screws even THOSE weren't effective. Bad aim, or just not giving a shit? You be the judge.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason for this new level of hatred.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy New Year...ish

Yup - been a non-blogging kinda folk recently. Must have something to do with going back to work. Spent most of NY Day recovering from NY Eve with the Connors. Drank some beer, had lasagna, drank some wine, played some games, drank some wine, watched E pull out his tooth, drank some wine, watched Love, Actually, watched the ball drop, and drank some bubbly. Good times, good times.

I must say I've been pretty much on track since I returned to REALITY - only gained 2.2 over the past two-and-a-half weeks. So I'm back on track and working hard to stick to a schedule so I can (a) prepare healthy meals and (b) exercise. I won't be giving WW bloggy updates unless there's something universally celebratory, which I hope will happen more frequently now that I've got my chit back together.

And so, I leave you with this, another stolen blog subject from my Snarky friend...

5 Random ipod Shuffles:
Mr. Roboto - Styx
Dance Panels, ballet: Introduction - Moderato (Tempo di Valzer) Espressivo un poco rubato - Aaron Copeland
New Lace Sleeves - Elvis Costello
FM - Steely Dan
What I Be - Michael Franti & Spearhead

This could mean several things:
1) I'm neurotic
2) I really need to make playlists
3) I should never admit I put Styx on my ipod
4) All of the above