Thursday, June 28, 2007

Where has she been?

I've been here. Really. I keep thinking about you all, and how I've been remiss in my writing. But I am here. Life is still moving forward, but sort of like a tornado in a trailer park. So I thought I'd at least publish a list of what's going on. Not that it will be witty or inspiring. I have no energy for that right now. Just to let my friends know what's up.

  • I have been doing some knitting. No new projects are on the needles, but all the current ones are trudging along slowly. Perhaps I will have Jaywalkers by the end of the weekend.
  • I got a haircut last week, taking off about 6 inches. What's left is quite the shoulder length Jewfro, but I'm liking it.
  • Things with E are still wonderful, and a real bright spot in life. (Except for the time he inflicted his Golem voice on me this weekend. It was eerily accurate and quite disturbing.)
  • Some real serious and un-fun stuff is going on at the very important government job. I'll tell you more about it once it's public.
  • I'm sick. Very sick. And it's making everything else very hard to deal with. This is the biggest reason why I'm not blogging. I'm just too tired and too uninspired to write.
  • Tonight I will finish up another class in my Masters program and will be officially half done.

So that's what's up.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Just awesome. The weekend with E was awesome. It was three days of happiness and relaxation. I'm sure we're quite disgusting.

Is anyone else having problems with uploading photos to blogger? When I try to, the window gets shut down. What's up with that? If I could upload photos, I'd post pics of the Oriel Lace Blouse. Apparently, my public threats toward the knit worked. It is now behaving nicely, and is finished up to the arm pits. In other knitting news, that second traif jaywalker is nearly done. I'm getting sick of that sock.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Weekend edition

This weekend edition is coming to you from Silver Spring, Maryland, the home of Amazing E. I am not knitting much, but I am relaxing. And I need to.

We're about to leave to spend a fun afternoon in Harper's Ferry. And I am aware that I'm a giant nerd for saying that it will be fun.

That is all.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Don't know much

I know. I've been bad. I haven't been posting much, and I haven't been knitting much. A lot has been going on.

First of all, last week I had a lively trip to the emergency room when insidious acted up pretty badly. Luckily, the Froebe Fibers ladies came swooped in to save me. Never fear, it was "only" dehydration and I was all fixed up in a few hours. Then there was a really shitty incident at work. I've been tired and having a hard time concentrating. So no blogging.

In knitting news, I have competed three pattern repeats on the front of the Oriel Lace Blouse. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get pictures uploaded now, so you'll not see it.

Lastly, I am trying very hard to put myself into a harmonious frame of mind. The very important government job has been very stupid and stressful this week, and I was already totally not in the mood for stupidity. I have to get chilled out, because I will be landing in DC to visit the Amazing E in 26 hours. Please send good weather thoughts toward the big busy airport for the next 24 hours or so. It's supposed to storm, and I really want to get out on time.

Monday, June 18, 2007

These socks are haggis throwing socks

Finally I am bringing you the report on the specialty Scottish-ish socks and their mission. These socks were knitted from Socks That Rock mediumwieght in the Scottish Highlands colorway. I used Knitpicks size 1 circular needles and knitted them both at the same time. They were cast on using a Figure 8 cast on and knitted toe up. The heel was the one as described in the Summer '07 issue of Interweave knits. I did increases in the calf as necessary to accommodate my anatomy. The Thistle cable pattern at the top is from Vogue Stitchionary Volume 2, and the ribbing as tassels were done according to Eunnie Jang's instructions for finishing the Entrelac Socks in the Spring '07 issue of Interweave Knits.

On Saturday, June 16th I attended the St. Andrew's Society Highland Games with La Petite Tricoteuse and The Captain. Long story short, we listened to odd music, ate strange foods, and watched extraordinarily large men hurl heavy objects. The highlight of the athletic competitions was as always the caber toss, an event in which men toss a telephone pole. The Wikipedia article gives a good description and photos of how it's done. Basically, a man leans a 20 foot long 115 pound wooden pole on end against his shoulder. He them picks it up into his cupped hands and tries to heave it end over end. Here is a shot of the caber landing on its end. Remember, the end in the air had just been in the man's hands.
Later in the afternoon was the big event: The ladies' Haggis Hurling competition. This event was the occasion for the socks, and I used them as my athletic intimidation factor. Most of the other women demanded that I remove the specially knitted socks, as they were clearly unfair advantage. Bah! So I made sure to do a sock showing-off dance atop the barrel when I mounted it to hurl the dinner. In case you have no idea, haggis is a Scottish dish. It's basically a savory pudding of sheep innards and oatmeal boiled in the stomach. I find it quite revolting for the eating, and rather disgusting to touch. Throwing a haggis from atop that barrel is probably the best use for it I can think of. Here is a picture of my throw. The Captain did a fine job of capturing the action. My throw was about 39'. Not bad, nor good. But I did get a participant ribbon. I'll have to post that another time.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Just in time

Scottish-ish socks are done just in time for the Highland Games. I will post a photo later of me wearing them at said festivities. They come up to my upper calves. Seeing as how it will be in excess of 90 degrees today (fine Scottish weather to be sure), I will only put them on for the actually throwing of the haggis. Sort of a good luck charm.

Remember I went through all the difficulty of winding and re-winding the STR into a precisely equal double pull ball so I could get every inch out of that skein? Well, here is what was left over:

So this morning I am working on fueling myself for the athletics, having a breakfast fit for a (Jewish) warrior. Cinnamon rugelach and coffee compliments of the Amazing E. Apparently my recent unwanted weight loss coupled with the fact I've never been to New York City inspired him to send me a basket of specialties from Zabar's. Yum.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I will be the master of my knits!

This is the last time that I'm casting this f*cker on!

This is the third time I cast the Oriel Lace Blouse on today. The yarn is no-name pink alpaca horde. I cannot say anything else about this knit except that it better behave, or its no even going to jail. It will be executed at dawn, going into the annals of totally failed projects.

I am not the Zen master of yarns that the Yarn Harlot or even Knitterary is, but I am the kung-fu master of my knits. I fight and conquer rather than achieving some state of consciousness higher than yarns are capable of. To prove I am still worth of my title, here is a photo of Entrelac socks at only 5 days old. It's mate is the same size.

(Cat noises and waving of karate chop hands)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ow. Ow. Ow

It's a love/hate relationship. I think these Entrelac socks are beautiful, and I am determined to wear them when they're done. Many thanks to Knifty Red for helping me pick the colors.

But I hate them. They are bad, and are doomed to being a two month sock project that moves in and out of jail the whole time. As you can see, I've figured out how to do the blocks. But this is mercerized cotton on size 1's. In other words, these socks hurt me. They're hard on the hands. And progress is slow, slow, slow.

Speaking of hurting, Insidious seems to be healing. I know I've said it before in the last couple of months, and had a relapse. This time I'm hopeful that with the nasty drugs they've given me, it will go into remission for the rest of the year. The good news is that I'm feeling better, and that I've had therapy that may lead to remission. The bad news is that I've lost a lot of weight and am pretty week. Training for the 3-Day has stopped completely, and I don't think I'm going to be able to catch back up without exhausting myself. So, it's unlikely that I can take part. My doctor thinks I ought not to. Thank you to the people who donated to Komen for the Cure. Your contribution will make a difference in finding a cure for breast cancer.

Lastly, I have to work late tonight and cannot drive down for SnB. I did join the SNBWB girls earlier this week. Before you get all up in the air about the stress and how I ought not inflict more on myself, it's a charity softball game to benefit the after school program where I work. I will be "playing" softball from 4-7pm. Little do my teammates know, I may be sporty but I can't catch a cold.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Summer Knitty is here!

Well, it is.

Dreaming about knitting

Last night I dreamed of knitting. Actually, it was a very strange dream that had knitting as one of the two main themes. In the dream I was knitting gloves out of tiny lace yarn with tiny needles. The texture was clearly moss stitch. At some point I tried them on, and they were very cute, but I was also wondering what practical purpose they would serve. They were clearly neither warm nor durable. I also could not remember when I'd cast then on or why I was making them anyway. I'm sure that this part of the dream was sparked by Jessica's gloves.

In the dream, I was also walking in Millennium Park. Eventually, I came upon a group of men who where reciting the Shema, getting it wrong, and then arguing about it.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Socks, Socks, Socks

I did feel a bit guilty about buying more sock yarn. I've bought quite a lot lately. However, when I got home I pulled out the sock yarn non-stash box to see how much I have:
That's only enough for half a dozen pairs, and one was cast on today. I've been doing lots of sock knitting lately.

To update, the second Tofutsies Jaywalker is chugging along, turning 'round the heel this morning.

Yesterday was exciting. Knitting on Scottish-ish socks was completed during the WWKIP day. Looky-looky. I can't finish them off because there seems to be a rash of tapestry needle disappearances in the area, and mine have been the latest victims. Tomorrow I'll buy a new one and finish the tassels. This is the thistle. Cute, huh?

Lastly, the greatest excitement. This morning I cast on the Entrelac Socks. I did not do the recommended toe. It just seemed complicated. Instead, I did a figure-8 cast for twelve stitches and knitted the toes with a standard every other row increase scheme. I've gotten as far as the foundation triangles, and gave a try to the first square of the contrasting color. This is going to take some doing and bad words because this is my first entrelac project, and I don't quite know how to get started. But I'll figure it out.


3 skeins of Mandarin Petit Cotton in a lime green color

2 skeins of Mandarin Petit Cotton in a muti-color thing

These are being knitted both together on two Knitpicks 24" size one circulars. I fully intend to knit them to my knees.

Oh a completely other note, I spent some time talking with Amazing E today. The topic got to a personality test I had to take as an undergrad that I thought gave me a very accurate assessment. According to the test, my personality type is INTJ. The Mastermind. E decided to take the test online and came up with... INTJ. Scary. This personality type is very uncommon and is characterized as rational introverts with strong inclinations to practicality. We're very good strategic planners. Famous INTJ's include Colin Powell, Katie Couric, Lance Armstrong, and Peter Jennings. Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Jefferson also were probably INTJ's. Most interesting is that the fictional character Hannibal Lecter is an INTJ.

I can just picture planning dates in the future with E.

"What do you want to do tonight, E?" To which he answers, "The same thing we do every night, Merry. Try to take over the world."

This relationship certainly promises to be interesting.

World Wide Knit in Public Day 2007

I'm trying to rest, but an opportunity to socialize came up this weekend, and I took it. The SNBWB kids joined almost 60 other knitters yesterday in Chicago's Millennium Park for an afternoon of knitting for all to see. I'm told that about 60 knitters showed up for the event, including seven ladies from SNBWB and and good ole Knifty Red. It was good. There were several SnB groups there, as well as some independent knitters. Socks were a very popular project, of course. I spent my time granting the Scottish-ish socks their identity. More on that will be in the next post.

Here's a snap of the group by Miss Luscious Luka. Gotta love Nadia's hat. And for the record, I did see Miss Luscious in the sun.

The reactions of passersby was hilarious. Several people stopped to ask what on earth good be going on, as they'd never seen so many people knitting at once. There was one man whose intention was clearly to flirt, and he asked all kinds of questions about what we were doing and pretended to be interested. Then there was the incredulous woman. She was hilarious. She stopped to ask what on earth was going on, and seemed almost offended to see women knitting in public. This telling doesn't do it justice, but Melissa's reaction after the woman walked off was, "Stitch this, bitch!" It was so good it needs to me memorialized here.

After the stitching in the sun, the groups went to Loopy Yarns on south State for a little stash expansion. I bought this:

It's Crystal Palace Yarn's Panda Cotton in the Fall Herbs colorway. I'd not seen this yarn before. It's made of bamboo, cotton, and elastic so would presumably make very nice summer socks. It'll be cast on as soon as I finish the second traif Jaywalker.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Out of gas

I knew it was coming. You probably knew it was coming. I am officially and completely out of gas. I've been looking back at my posts for the last month, and it's all there. The very stupid government job is keeping me awake at night worrying over things that I am both responsible for and cannot control. Insidious has had me without sleep or energy for weeks. My professor at school makes me very uncomfortable. Amazing E has me very happy, but emotionally taxed. And I'm not knitting enough. I ran out of gas today. There's nothing left in the tank. I need several days of seclusion and sleep.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Release the prisoner!

The petition for parole of Scottish-ish socks will be considered today, since they will be needed for the throwing of the haggis in only a week and a half. The prisoner, still in its jumpsuit and cell, will be taken to face the SnB tribunal in Tinley Park today to determine if it has reformed. If the panel agrees that the offender is no longer a menace, it will be released and granted its Scottish identity. If not, the orange bag of doom will be waiting for it.

As for the other prisoner, Jeremy Erskine is being held without bail pending his extradition to the State of Indiana. Yay!

Monday, June 04, 2007

One more thing...

There's another thing I really need to bitch about. It's my shower/bath tub. The cartridge in the faucet is busted and I can't get it out. I'm a pretty powerful woman, but I have to admit defeat. I can't get that sucker out of there. So I can't take a shower or bath at home. And it's been at least two weeks. I'm sick of taking a bath in the kitchen sink, and I'm at an impasse.


A decided lack of b*tching

As I've not really been to SnB that much in the last several weeks, there is some bitching built up inside of me and I need to take care of it right here. This is not the whining that I was doing last week over my tiredness and tummy aches. That is a shameful phenomenon that comes directly out of feeling sorry for myself. What I'm talking about is a full on kvetch. For the record, I consider the kvetch to be a positive mental health exercise. It can be accomplished while maintaining a good mood, and comes from some deep seated urge in my Jewish soul.

For one, those freakin undead tree sucking bugs are putting me right out of my head. They're loud. Real loud. Like "I-believe-it-when-the-news-says-they-make-a-100-decibel-sound" loud. Yesterday there was one in the tree that I wanted to hunt down and blow up. It was in my tree; the tree that grows outside my window that I consider my own personal friend. That creature was in there disturbing me and my friend making a sound like a banshee crossed with a fighting cat. And it was right there outside my window doing it.

I say to these creatures, "Dude, I know you only get laid every seventeen years. I know how you feel. But this amount of carrying on is nuts."

Oh, and those Scottish-ish socks are bitches.

That is all.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Knitting (and other) news

I've been doing quite a bit less knitting than average the last couple of weeks. I've been...distracted. But I have been working on three projects.
The second traif Tofutsies Jaywalker is almost down to the heel flap. The work is redundant of work I did earlier on the other sock, so I won't bore you with the details. I'm also working on the second sleeve and the front of the Green Tea Raglan. That, too, is boring and redundant.

The most dramatic news for today is the updates on two jailbirds -
The Scottish-ish socks were sentenced today without trial. They're only about 3" from being done, and not Scottish yet (being without their thistles and tassels). But they did something awful last night and were incarcerated this morning. Take a look at why: Look close. That's a purl row in the middle of the sock. Something went wrong while redistributing the stitches 90 degrees so I could work on the thistle motif. The socks will remain in jail until the judge gets the guts to rip that row out and properly split up the stitches.

As for the other jailbird, I am still receiving calls and emails from law enforcement and the press all confirming that The Scoundrel was indeed arrested while crossing the boarder back into the US. Those of us interested in the case still would like to hear about the arrest. For those of you not directly involved, there are droves of people involved in the case who are reading this blog. In fact, that's where most of my readership is coming from right now. Two of the women are even knitters.

Lastly, for better or worse I have that "I've got to finish something" fever right now. I'm speeding along trying to get something done, and rather dissatisfied with the lack of a done project. In my need to create something and at the suggestion of a certain very important government employee, I made homemade chicken soup today. Yummy. I like this photo because you can see the steam dramatically rising from the bowl.