Monday, December 31, 2007


My thumb is still messed up. Boo hoo. In the mean time, I'm trying to keep myself busy. For fun today, I'm going to do the thank you cards from the wedding and shower. This is the first day since the wedding that I'm sitting around with no other excuses or distraction, so I'd better.

I have a question to the coffee lovers out there. Our coffee maker produces pretty sour tasting coffee. At least, I think it's the machine and not the coffee itself. Is there any fix for this?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Yesterday was knitting, today is ice

Yesterday I worked on this. The socks are just plain old stockinette in STR lightweight. Aren't they making stripes?
Gah! The result is knitting injury. Yesterday I knitted and knitted on the manly socks, and now I have pain. It seems to be a sore tendon attached to my thumb. I'm out of commission for knitting for some unknown period of time.

I have learned an important lesson from this incident. It is not that I should knit in moderation. No way. What I have learned is that I no longer know how to watch TV without knitting. What ever shall I do?

Thursday, December 27, 2007


I know you've been checking here to find out what's going on. I have become a housewife and celebrated Christmas with my family. Both have involved string and happiness.

I don't mean anything bad about that. I'm voluntarily not working outside of the home while I build our little nest out of this bachelor pad. It takes a lot of work! Holy cow. So far I'm spending 8 hours a day at housework. Well, housework and knitting. I'm sure the ratio will change over time to mostly knitting. When that happens, I will go back to work.

As for Christmas, E and I went to Chicago and spent it with my family. We couldn't stay for Christmas day, but we did get to have Christmas Eve with my mother and sisters. It was fun! Really fun. This was the first year in a long time that I can remember the Christmas holiday being enjoyable and relaxing with my family (and not filled with conflict and unhappiness). Thanks, guys!

Along with the general good cheer, we had two new people. Actually, they were two new men, and men are an unusual sight at my family's gatherings. The Amazing E was there, but my sister Eileen's boyfriend also flew in from the UK (Great job, Eileen! He's very cool.)

So what does this all have to do with knitting? Well, let me tell you. First, I've had time to knit. Second, I got YARN for gifts this year. Becca gave me some nice felting wool and a slipper pattern, and Eileen (bless her heart) got me more alpaca to horde. Take a look at the latest knitting:

Clapotis is on the decreases
I have made more progress on the +3 Red Sock of Doom
And finally, it's not a new bra. It's manly socks.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Back in Chicago

Wasn't I just here? Well, I'm here again.

I'm here for lots of reasons. The real reason is that I have to go to class tonight; I have to do this three more times in the next month. The happy reason is to meet the child of Becca and Jason. The fun reason I'm here is for the Tinley knitting group's gift exchange; that was last night and I got Becca's gift of pretty green feltable yarn. The pain in the ass reason is to tie up loose ends at my house; I don't know how I'll get all of them tied, but I'll try. The humbug reason is for Christmas; we're leaving for DC again on Christmas morning.

Drove in alone yesterday. It took exactly 12 hours. That's 12 hours of sitting and staring, and not knitting at all. I'm still tired and dead. Blah.

Perhaps you'd like to know about knitting. There are many things on my needles. So many things that things are sharing needles.

I was going to post more, but I am tired. Back to the bed. Better luck with posting next time.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Safe and sound

The Amazing E and I made it to Maryland in the big truck yesterday. It was a long and stressful drive, with snow and ice storms the whole way. But we made it here yesterday. I am unpacking now and making this little bachelor pad into our home. Lots of stuff to do today. Let's see.
  1. Clean up the book shelves
  2. Unpack the books and put them on the shelves
  3. After finding the cook books, make 5 dozen cookies for E's holiday party using the new Kitchen Aid mixer (yay)
  4. Rest
  5. Find the hangers, clothes, and closets and allow them to become acquainted
  6. Dishes. Ugh
  7. Wind the new skein of yarn into a double pull ball and start on that holiday gift
  8. Figure out how to use this fancy wedding gift camera
  9. Take nice yarn pictures and put them on here
  10. Buy toilet paper
I'll let you know what I manage to finish. BTW, the stash got unpacked and put away last night.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mary Bridget and Elijah Weisberg - December 1, 2007

I really can't recall a time in my life when I was happier than I've been since meeting Elijah this past spring. I'd say it feels like a dream, but it's much better than that because it's real life. We were married just a few days ago at the Westing on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Everything about the wedding and party were better than I could have asked. Here are some of our favorite pictures (taken by Jason and Dad E).

First, it took three women and a cheering section to get me trussed into that dress. Can you believe Becca is on the floor there?
And my handsome groom was looking his best. This picture makes me cry. He looks amazing.

The happy couple.But enough of mug shots. Let's see the action. This is Elijah getting his ring. It was a beautiful ceremony with our loved ones gathered around the chuppah. Mellisa officiated for us, and did a great job. I never felt so loved in my life.Then E put his foot down...And on to the party. Here are my sisters Peggy and Kadie with my grandpa. Look at that view!
Everyone sat at one table. Perfect.Finally, some gremlins got into our room so it would be ready when we got there.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

For E...

Looks like the guys had fun.

What a party!

I don't have much to say right now. We just arrived in my new home and unwrapped the gifts you all sent.

It was the most beautiful day of my life. Wow. Thank you everyone who came. Jason took a lot of pictures you can see now on flickr. I'll pick a few to post here tomorrow. In the mean time, look for Jason Froebe.

Friday, November 30, 2007


I'm marrying Elijah tomorrow. Buzz buzz buzz. I have too much energy. Almost packed. Almost ready to go. Almost almost almost.

I've been knitting. Furiously. The Monkeys were finished the other day, and it's too risky to work on the Starmore in this state, so I took out that emergency skein of Bearfoot Mountain Colors and cast it on for Cookie A's Hedera sock. This much is done so far today.
What else, what else. I have a list here. Oh. These are my Monkeys.
Hmmm. Hmmm... I don't know what else. I'll get back to you later.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Good days

I've been so busy the last couple of days that I haven't knit much.

Yesterday, Tzurriz and her mom threw me a bridal shower. It was great. I'm so touched. A bunch of the knitting buddies came, as well as my mother, Tzurriz's sister, and some ladies who have been my friends for, oh, 15-25 years. Pictures can be seen here.

I got some great loot. Lots of stuff from the registries that we need, and some very thoughtful and creative gifts. The hostesses also came up with some fun games, and there was super food. For the record, I broke one ribbon. I'm sure E will be happy to hear that.

Today was a good and busy day. It started with going downtown to the spa to take advantage of E's birthday gift. I got a massage, facial, and a no polish manicure. It was all great. I feel very relaxed, if sore from the massage. Thanks, E. After the spa, I met with the catering manager, talked to the florist, picked up my dress and ketubah, and finished up with the backer. It was a long day. Sigh. I'm glad I'm home. The programs are written and ready to print, too.

Now I'll get back to knitting.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The bird is the word

This is my last "visit" to Maryland. After this, I will be living here and visiting Chicago. Elijah and I (yes, that's the Amazing E's name) had Thanksgiving together yesterday. I have to say, it was a nice way to spend our last time together until we are married next weekend.

This is E himself doing his best GQ pose while sneaking more leftovers tonight.

I cooked. E helped. He did! Don't tell him, but he did most of the scut work like peeling things. However, he did make one of the dishes, and it was fabulous. On the menu was an Empire Kosher turkey breast, mashed potatoes (a la E), sweet potatoes, green beans, potato rolls, and home made apple pie.

Let me stop here to thank Elijah. When I make mashed potatoes, they are a shame on my Irish heritage. Mashed potatoes produced by my hand turn into glue and are truly revolting. E's were light and fluffy and totally awesome. Congratulations, E.

The turkey was not so nice. It was juicy and perfectly done. However, the meat had been freezer burned, so it had a funny taste and was a little spongy. Shame shame.

I want to give you to recipes. Well, actually two cooking guidelines. I cook by taste, and don't really measure things. When I took over cooking for my family on holidays a few years ago, I made it my mission to replace a couple of recipes. Those being the gravy (which had for years come from a foil pouch) and the sweet potatoes. I hated both gravy and sweet potatoes most of my life. The gravy was just weird and the sweet potatoes too sweet, like candy. I beg the forgiveness of my family for saying this, and don't ever wish to besmirch the memory of my grandmother, but I didn't like her gravy or sweet potatoes. After trying some other recipes, I've settled on two replacements. Port Gravy and Pecan Sweet Potatoes.

For the gravy:

Pan drippings
1 (or so) cups of water or turkey stock. Use chicken broth if you must, but use canned and not the godawful cube. You can make a weak stock from the neck if you have a free burner.
1 tsp-ish taragon
a little thyme
1/4 cup (or more) of port wine. Tawny is best.
1/4 cup whipping cream. This is not a Kosher recipe.
Salt and pepper to taste

Take the bird from the pan, draining any juices into the pan. Put the pan on the burner over medium heat, adding a little of the additional stock or water. Deglaze the pan well, scraping the brown bits with a spatula. Allow it all to simmer for a moment.

Pour the liquid, any veggies in the pan, and the turkey schmutz through a mesh strainer into a Pyrex cup or fat separator. Smash the solid things a little to release any good liquid hiding there. Discard the solids. Remove as much fat as you can from the broth. pour the broth into a 1 or 2 quart saucepan and add more liquid to make up two cups. Add the seasonings to taste. Turn on the heat and bring the stuff to a simmer.

Add 1/4 cup (or a little less) of the port. A little really goes a long way here, so you may want to add half, taste it, and add more. Drink any leftovers, if you're a mind. Don't waste good port; it will enhance your appetite for the meal ahead.

Mix a flour and cold water thickening mixture in a separate cup, making sure to break up any lumps. Over low heat, add a little at a time while whisking until the gravy is thick enough. The alcohol from the wine should be gone now. Remove from heat and whisk in the cream.

Serve over your favorite Thanksgiving vittles. Whew, this is rich stuff.

For the sweet potatoes:

3 pounds of sweet potaotes, peeled and cubed
8 ounces pecan halves
1 egg white
1/4 cup plus a little more brown sugar
a couple pats of butter
a sprinkle of cinnamon
a sprinkle of cumin
a sprinkle of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Place the sweet potatoes in a saucepan big enough to hold them, and put them on over medium-low heat. Add the butter 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, and a little salt and pepper. Cover the pot and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the biggest pieces are tender. Stir occasionally during the cooking to keep the bottom from burning and to slightly mash the potatoes. At the end of cooking, you want some whole pieces and some mashed. While cooking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Take the pot off the heat and spread the potatoes in a small baking pan. Mix the nuts, a tablespoon or so of brown sugar, salt, pepper, cumin, cayanne, and the egg white in another bowl until everything is well coated. Spread the nuts over the potatoes and bake for 15 minutes until the nuts are crunchy.

Makes a nice sweet and savory dish.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Laid up

My condo is packed up. The Realtor is coming tomorrow. Mind you, it is not clean here, just packed. Flowers are ordered. Hair-doing is arranged. Dress is ready to be picked up. Cake is tasted. Menu is set. Musicians are hired. Wedding rings are purchased. Almost done. I'm in the home stretch just in time for a really bad flare up of the insidious stomach problem. I'd intended to go to knitting tonight, but I can't seem to get away from the necessary room for more than a half hour.

So I'm knitting from my little sack of unpacked yarn.This is the yarn that will stay with me through the move. Mostly it's the yarn for the Starmore along with the clapotis, my nearly done monkey socks, and an emergency skein of Bearfoot Mountain Colors sock yarn. You never know when you'll need that, and I intend to be prepared. I know you know.

I'm not the only one laid up.

I've had a sick kitty. It's Duncan. He's not been feeling well, and has been to the vet a lot. Poor guy. He's getting nervous kitty pills and some steroids for his problem. I hope he feels better soon.

Something in the water?


It seems like a lot of familial happiness is going on near me lately. Tzurriz is about to have her baby. I've gotten engaged and will be married in short order. And my friend Ginger just announced that she is pregnant with her and Tim's second child. So much happiness going around. It's wonderful.

And I'd like to put some talk to rest. I am not pregnant, even if I've gained a little weight. Getting married very soon after the engagement has to do with our priorities. And the weight has to do with recovering from my stomach ailment earlier this year.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Any one heard the weather predictions this weekend for hell?

On Friday I dug into my packed stash box a pulled out a monster hank of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Geisha in "Metamorphic". It's 995 yards of fingering weight mohair and silk and I got it for a steal at The Fold. ($28!) I wound that sucker by hand for two hours using my knees as a swift. I sure am glad I'm getting married. I'll have someone else's hands to use for that purpose....


I cast this on. Scott TC has been kind enough to model it for us.
What is it? Try this view.

Anyone seen the weather channel?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Somebody loves me

These are the prettiest chocolates I've ever seen.You see, tomorrow is my 31st birthday. I don't mind saying it. I'm wearing my thirty-dom as a badge of honor. The Amazing E's parents sent me these chocolates as a gift. According to the card, they believe that I need endorphins right now. They might be right.

I've eaten some of them. A few. Not too many. Really. I expect that the two dozen chocolates will at least last until Sunday. They're in great flavors as well. The Black Pepper was especially yummy, and the Chipotle was unexpectedly hot and exciting. Thanks Mom E and Dad E!

The Amazing E's gift came a week ago. He's sending me to a spa for half a day the week before the wedding.

And as promised, these are the finished Bribery socks. I guess the bribe worked.


Haaaahhhhh. Oh my.

I believe I've been sleep deprived for the better part of a year. In reality, I have been getting only 5-6 hours of sleep most nights since January, falling into a trap of trying to get enough done "today" so there might be a chance of rest "tomorrow." But as the saying goes, tomorrow never comes. For the last week, I've been getting 8-10 hours of sleep. If this keeps up, I may turn into a human. I might even resemble myself.

With my reduced wakefulness, I've managed a lot of knitting, to finish the wedding plans, and to finish yet another class towards my master's degree. I have four classes left. Two will be taken out east and transfer back. For the remaining two, I must fly back to Chicago for six Thursdays in each case. I will receive my master's in nonprofit management later than planned, but I will received it in about a year's time.

If my camera decides to work, I will show you knitting progress after I've had my coffee.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Just in time for the wedding

Lots of things are happening.

First of all, I just finished two knitting projects. E's Bribery socks are done. I also knitted him a yarmulke, and that is done as well. Yay. The Starmore will not be done. No way. But I will work on it in our honeymoon little cabin in the woods.

Second, the boxes of gifts have started to arrive at E's workplace. We don't know who they're coming from because we'll not open them until after the wedding. But thank you, whoever you are.

Tonight is the meeting with the wedding planner guy to taste the food.

My home is mostly packed up.

Everything is arranged but my hair. Darn, I need to call that lady.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The registries are not under

Merry Gentlemen or Amazing E. But they are at Target and Crate and Barrel. We also have a little and neglected one on Amazon.

Fancy yarn is also welcomed...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Closer and closer

The wedding and the move are almost here.

I quit my job yesterday. (Well technically, I gave two weeks notice almost two weeks ago.) Working was just not leaving with the and energy to do the important things I need to do right now. I'd been trying to impress them, hoping to arrange remote work after I left. You know, to smooth over the transition financially. But that didn't seem to be working out, and I was running myself ragged. (So ragged that my stomach problems have returned). I became certain that I'd get to the wedding day sick, tired, frazzled, and not ready. Now I have time to get things done, and the energy to enjoy this time in my life. I think they're pissed off, but dude, I was a temp and they knew from the start I would leave. I'm trying not to feel too bad about it. I'm almost there.

So I can breathe again! I have three weeks to dedicate to packing, getting wedding plans finalized, taking care of my health, and saying good bye to my friends. Yay!

Sunday, November 04, 2007


All alone. No kitties. Kitties are both with the vet tonight. One kitty seems to have a problem that needs an overnight stay. Other kitty is spending the night with him.

Merry Gentelmen is alone. No kitties. No Amazing E.; he is in his home. I guess a night all alone isn't as nice as I thought.


You see, I'm moving in a month

Well, I'm leaving Chicago four weeks from today. We'll stop for a week in the mountains for a honeymoon and then on to Maryland. I started packing last weekend.: I'd like to have so some more time for packing, but first I have to buy some boxes. I suppose I'll do that today.

Over all, this is a good thing. I'm very happy that I'm going to Maryland. I'm thrilled to be marrying such a fantastic man. I'm excited about the wedding. We did move the date and location, but I think it's for the better. The event is basically planned. In these last few weeks, we have to hire the musician and sign the flower contract. And I have two guests I have to call and invite. But that's it.

What stresses me out is the moving. I should have quit my job, I think. Instead, I'm working until 11 days before the wedding. Our wedding budget is small, but I wanted to make sure we didn't have to go into debt for it. Additionally, we'll have to pay my mortgage, such that it is, until the condo sells. I wish I could rent it out month to month. So I decided to work a little r before the move. I thought the money I earn would help, threfore I'm trying to work out a deal in which I continue working for the bastion of capitalism, even on a part time after I leave. It would help, I think, to have something to do during the first couple of months until I find work. And of course a little extra money will help. So I'm trying to prove my worth and commitment to them for the final two weeks.

But packing seems like an enormous job. I'm only taking less than half of my things, but I have to get rid of a lot of stuff. Some of it can be thrown away. It's junk. But other stuff is still good. I'd like to make sure it goes to use. Today I'm putting lots of thing on ebay for sale cheap. And leaving here makes me a little sad. I own my home. I bought it when I was 25, and have lived here for over 5 years. It's my first place I've lived that was my own, and also the place where I've lived longest. At least since I was 9. Leaving is a little sad.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween part 2

I know you missed it. "It" being the saga of Jeremy Clark-Erskine. It's scary.

I still get hits every week from all over the United States and Canada generated by web searches for this guy. There is news about him.

He's filed a writ of habeas corpus in Indiana. He's in jail there, but it seems like he's not been charged with escape or another crime. I have to ask law enforcement (because I know I'm getting hits from government agencies about him):

What the fuck?

I'm serious. What the fuck? Why is this guy not being charged? I've filed complaints against him for several crimes. Is Illinois or Cook County or even the City of Countryside doing anything? No. I was told by the arresting officer that Jeremy was arrested with the property I reported stolen a month before. But none of my local officials wants to claim jurisdiction. Hey, if Indiana can't seem to charge him, why not file charges here? Bring him here for trail and put him in jail in Cook County with the gang bangers.

And as for Indiana, come on guys! If nothing else, he was in your jail and according to your officials he walked away without authorization. Walked away! First of all, how do you let someone walk away from jail? Secondly, isn’t walking away from jail a crime? When are you going to do something about that? You also know that he left the state. Have you checked out how? I bet he did some bad stuff that you could punish him for. I bet you could find out what. He used credit cards in his name the whole way. Did you look into that?

And Wisconsin, what are you doing? Jeremy Erskine was arrested with one of your driver’s licenses. It’s in the Jasper, AB arrest record. If I could get that record, so can you. I bet you could find out where he got the identification. Could it have been your Kenosha facility? Maybe? And how would he have gotten that? He would have had to use a document proving that he lived in Wisconsin. Since he didn’t live in Wisconsin, could it have been a real document?

Finally, can the Federal government step in? Certainly there’s something here for you to look into. In fact, when Cook County gave me the runaround about Mr. Clark-Erskine charged for what I think he did to me, they told me that that particular thing should be handled by the FBI. The FBI referred me to the Secret Service. The Secret Service told to go back to Cook County. When will someone take responsibility for seeing that this man doesn’t hurt more people?

Based on the number of people who have contacted me through this blog, and the number of hits related to his name I get, I have an idea of how many people are concerned about this man’s existence and potential freedom. I also have an idea of the number of people who believe they have been his victims in the last year and a half. And we are not getting justice. We’ve found the resources to find each other. Why can’t law enforcement and the courts find the resources to investigate what we’re telling you and keep him in jail!

Happy Halloween part 1

First of all, I am not among the dead. Just very busy.

Wedding plans have been switched. The January 20 plan in Flossmoor has been ditched. Instead, we are going to married one month from tomorrow at a hotel on Michigan Avenue. Less stress.

How? About 1/4 the guest list and a professional planner and venue. The only things I really have to do at this point is finish signing contracts and take my dress to have it taken up. There were also some practical and financial reasons for wanting to move sooner.

So that's what's up. Not too scary.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bad knitting day

Seriously, WTF? I mean I'm used to bad hair days. A little too dry, and I get frizzy stuck-my-finger-in-a-light-socket hair. A little too humid, and I become Rosanne Roseannadanna with a Chicago accent. But bad knitting day? What's up with that.

All day today I've been trying to get something done on the Rheingold Wrap. My quota is 10 rows per day. Some days there are more, and some days less. But today was 4 rows. Nearly every time I got to the end of the chart, which is repeated five times per row, I'd find I'd miss counted and I had to tink back nearly to the start of the chart and redo it. AAAAnd...Usually I made the same mistake every time I came to the same point. Oy. Oy vey.

Now there is no getting discouraged. Tomorrow is another (SnB, not SNL) day.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Weekly wrap up

I thought I'd get a lot done on the Rheingold wrap this weekend. After all, I came to Maryland with the intention of not doing nothing. All weekend. To me, not doing nothing usually involves intensive knitting, and that sounds good to me right now. I'm 2.25 chart repeats into the wrap, and trying to maintain a serious case of finish-it-up-itis until it's done. I thought I could do one entire repeat this weekend, but it turns out that I'm really doing nothing. Not even knitting.

The Amazing E tells me that the wrap is beautiful. However, he read the blog the other night and had to call me.

You bought more yarn!

Yes, I needed yarn for the wrap. It came all the way from Scotland. Besides, I have to have something nice to keep we warm on our wedding day.

But it's a lot more yarn. Look 1, 2, 3, ... 7, 8, 9.

Yes, it's a lot of yarn. And I've already taken 7 other skeins out of that box.

How big is this thing going to be?!
24 " by 56"

How much did you spend? $200?

No. Not even close.

You spent $400 on the yarn!
No. I spent much less than that. But it was in Pounds.

How much?
Less than the first number, when you convert it into dollars.

You've like...doubled... your stash. Out of the wedding budget!
No. Okay. First of all, this is not stash. That would require the intention of stashing it. As you can see, it is cast on. Not stashed. Second of all you clearly do not have a grasp of the size of my stash. Last, yarn always comes out of the yarn budget....

I think he finally realized he's marrying a knitter, and not just some lady who knits. It's a hard realization, but this conversation had to happen some time.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Ok. This is a big project.

The Rheingold Wrap is consists of 12 pattern repeats of 38 rows each. That's 456 rows. 80,712 stitches. Wew. Wow. Oy.

I've completed now 48 rows, so I'm more than 10% done. That's in only 4 days. But I've been on track and motivated. I'm trying to think of this as a labor of love rather than just labor.

48 rows down. 95 days to go.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Last Wednesday, my kit for Jade Staremore's Rheingold Wrap came in the mail, and I unwrapped it with the Tinley Park girls. The kit came with the pattern and a box full of the Starmore 2-ply Hebridean. The yarn itself is very lofty and somewhat soft. It's only a little crunchy. The colors themselves are slightly variegated, making them beautiful.
I cast the project on Friday, and have since completed one 38 row pattern repeat. The wrap is knit in the round, 177 stitches per row. I'm doing it on a size 3 Addi Turbo. There will be a steek to make it flat. Only 11 more repeats to go my January 20th! I'm afraid I'm going to have to figure out how to knit in my sleep.In the non-knitting world of pretties, the orchid plant I bought in Hawaii is blooming.
Lastly, congratulations Tzurriz. We all love you.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Its official

The Amazing E and I will be married in Flossmoor, Illinois on January 20th.

I'll post more interesting stuff tomorrow. The Staremore will be a little bigger by then.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Not lazy

Really, it hasn't been laziness keeping me away. I've been playing on Ravelry and knitting a lot and working on the wedding plans. If fact I'm in Maryland now. You can see for yourself what I've been up to on Ravelry. I've gotten through some of my stash. (At least the sock yarn box and the bag o' crap box. )

One Maimuţă is finished. It's Gypsy Girl in in the Winter Solstice colorway and made on Knitpicks size 1 1/2 needles. This sock only took 8 days, and I've got the second cast on already. I should be able to get more knitting done in the near future, as I'll be working in downtown Chicago at a great bastion of capitalism until I move to Maryland in January. And therefore will be taking the train to and from work.

Wedding plans are creeping along. We've tentatively picked a date and a place to have the shindig. We've inquired about the band. I even got Amazing E to come to the store and try registering. This was not an altogether successful endeavor, but it was a start. E also has an engagement ring. Aww. It's made of Tungsten Carbide, and is therefore very cool (to a geeky engineer such as the one I'm marrying).
Yesterday we went to Delaware to order my dress. There's a store there that carries last season's designs for dresses, and happen to have the one I will wear. The great thing is that these dresses are half off. The bad thing is the drive to Delaware. It's a couple of hours. Well, I suppose it's not that bad. I got to see more of the state I'll be living in soon. But we drove there so I could do the measuring and ordering while E stayed in the car. After that, we drove around and went to the beach and then home.

Pretty soon all other projects will be put away in favor of wedding knitting...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

This should be no surprise

I am a yarn snob.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Purist. You are an accomplished knitter producing beautiful pieces with a classic feel. You sometimes lament losing half of your local yarn shop to garish novelty yarns. Perhaps you consider fun fur scarves the bane of knitting society and prefer to steer new knitters towards the wool and cotton blends. Some might call you a bit of an elitist but you know that you've been doing this craft long enough to respect the history behind it and honor it with beautiful piece that can last a lifetime.
Take this quiz!

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Monday, October 01, 2007

What shall I do about my name?

Most of you know, the name of this blog is a homophone for my real name. In a few short months, my name will be changing. Well, it's not really so passive as that. Fortunately in this day and age, I have a choice. We considered not changing my name, thought about him taking my last name (because it's hilarious), and about me changing my name. I have chosen to change both my first and last name. I've been procrastinating on changing my first name for about 10 years. I want to, but I haven't wanted to go through the paperwork.

My given first name is ridiculously Irish and Catholic for a Jewish woman to have. There is a good reason for this. My father's family hails from such Irish places as the Dingle Peninsula and County Mayo (G-d help us!). However, my married name will be Miryam insertridiculouslyjewishlastnamehere.

So what will I do about the name of this blog? Can I change the name and switch over all the content?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Show and tell

The Amazing E was in town this weekend, and a lot of progress toward the wedding plans. We have a tentative date, we have a reset engagement ring, we have some ceremony details worked out, and we have a ketubah picked out.

My pretty has been reset. It's a size three! I want to thank a special friend for helping us out with the jeweler. Thanks, special friend!
I did start working on those monkeys on Wednesday. Scott wants to show you the progress.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More 4x4 fun: Mauna Kea

After getting the yummy curry, we got onto the real business of the day. We were driving up to the top of Mauna Kea. This is a nearly 14,000 ft volcano with some of the best telescopes in the world on top. To sum up now, we were at sea level at noon in the Waipi'o Valley, and were going to be at over 13,000 feet by sundown. Let the challenge begin!

This adventure started with driving the Saddle Road, and narrow and shitty road that runs between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in the interior of the island that crests at over 6,000 feet above sea level. Most rental car companies specifically forbid taking their cars on this road, but the Jeep was allowed.

We wanted to see the sunset from up there and then attend the nightly astronomy program at the visitors' center back down at 9,000 feet. I get goofy at high altitudes, so my Amazing E did the driving. It's a good thing too, because I did get goofy. (Stop, I can hear the giggles of "How do you know the difference. Believe me, there is one.) Here's me goofy at the top of Mauna Kea.

And E was a champ up there.And this is that sunset we wanted to see, from above the clouds.

Then I said "Uncle" and we drove down. Like I said, I get goofy up there. In fact, we went all the way down to sea level to make me happy. I couldn't stay up there for the show.

Monday, September 24, 2007

My hope, my disappointment


The yarn on the left is my new hope. It is the Gypsy Girl yarn. I will make with it my Monkeys. It now holds my hopes.

Because they have been dashed by the yarn on the right. It's the Trekking. The Trekking is very pretty, but it really sucks. It has no stretchiness of any kind. I just frogged almost an entire sock that I'd knitted of it. Say goodbye to it before it meets its fate. This is a first, a skein of yarn wearing an orange prison jumpsuit. I guess sometimes even little guys like this have to be tried as grown up projects.As for other socks, E's second bribery sock is nearly done and the 100 stitch socks are still coming along one row at a time (although I'm ready to frog them as well).

Hawaii: the 4x4 challenge

We got some training for driving the Jeep on that trip out to the beach, and put it to the test on day 6.

That day, we left Hilo and traveled north along the coast toward the Waipi'o Valley. It's a beautiful, old, and huge valley in the northern part of the island. This is a part of the island that would probably look like the other Hawaiian islands than most of what you've seen so far. There's been a lot of time for erosion up there.

Waipi'o is very secluded. I've visited the overlooks on other trips, but have never been able to go into the valley because the only road down there is a steep, one-lane, nasty thing that requires four wheel drive. But we drove down!And we went to the beach. It was a very nice beach with good sized waves and powdery soft black sand. Then we drove back up that road. Take a look at the horizon in this picture.
Next, we got back on the road and stopped for Thai food in Waimea. Yes! I can eat Thai food again!

A decision

I have made one. How about that.It's the Rheingold Wrap. I want a warm cuddly for this winter.

Bag of crap

Well, I did it. I ordered that bag of crap from Cherry Tree Hill. And guess what I got... yeah, it was crap.There are two large hanks of crazy fringed ribbon. One even has glitter. Also, a large hank of baby mohair loop. HOT PINK! chenille fluff, and a nice little hank of fingering weight alpaca. The alpaca is the only thing I like. I'm sure I can make that into a pretty lace cap for a gift or something. Also, I got a pair of needles, a color card for some crappy yarn, and three lousy patterns.

Yeah, at least I got one thing I like. And the needles are good. I am very disappointed again, however. I mean, why two hanks of lousy fringe? My biggest outrage is that they did so much advertising about a horde of Supersock, and didn't give any. If I'd gotten one skein of that instead of one of the fringes, I would be happy. But NNNOOO. Fringe galore.

In conclusion, the Cherry Tree Hill Orphan sale used to be good. But now it surely sucks. I'll not be ordering it again.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hawaii day five: MB, Amazing E, and Pu'u O'o

Day five greeted us with a beautiful sunrise. We got up early on the east side of the island and walked over to the shore to see the sun come up, and we were not disappointed. This is a sunrise double rainbow over Mauna Kea. Aww. Very romantic.
Then we headed to Volcanoes National Park for real. First we stopped by the rim of Helemaumau, Kiluaea's from the 1800's up until the 1960's. Mark Twain was here, and saw this thing seething with lava. Smoke and steam still come out of the floor, and they let you walk around down there. We stopped for a while to let E get some rest.
The day's delay in going to the park allowed us to collect some intelligence about chances of seeing lava. You see, for most of my lifetime lava has been erupting out of the Pu'u O'o vent. The eruption is building a smoking cone that can be seen for miles. BTW, the name of the vent sounds like Poo-ooh Oh-oh. The opening of the vent faces toward the sea, and lava tends to flow down that way and into the water. It's quite a sight to see, and E and I had planned on hiking to wherever that would be visible.

However, sometime this summer a new vent formed on the other side of Pu'u O'o from which lava is flowing inland. You can't get to the lava right now. However, we heard that there was a chance of seeing it from a hill in the middle of the lava field that was formed back in the 1980's. That was only a short hike, so we decided to do it. Boy was it worth it. With the help of some binoculars I picked up on clearance right before we left, we were able to see lava coming out of the new vent. Now, this was not lava flowing on the ground. This was lava spraying out of the earth into the air. Fireworks for the new year! From left to right, that's me, E, and Pu'u O'o.

Next we drove down to see the sea. That's a natural arch of lava.
Lastly, this is the recent area of lava flow going down to the sea. I am presenting it to you with my best Vanna White pose.