Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Couches of years past...

We are getting a couch tomorrow! It will be deliverd between 12PM and 2PM. My guy will be here to supervise the delivery. This is a huge milestone for us: our first ever brand-new couch! We have a futon right now. In the past, we have accumulated a couch or so per state we lived in. We bought a slightly worn blue and white striped one in Colorado from one of those furniture rental places. I bought an old "vintage" couch at a thrift store for $50 with the goal of refinishing and then re-upholstering. We moved it out to North Carolina and one of the cats peed on it and then we put it outside for large item pick up day and I watched our crazy neighbors (who almost had as many cats as I did) pull the couch from the side of the road straight into their home. I guess they weren't too particular about smells.

In North Carolina, we got another used couch, the couch of all couches, absolutely free from the owner of a home that he was refinishing. They also gave him our living room tv, it was the largest-screen tv we ever got and free, too! You could say these people were loaded. The couch was a three piece sectional in a deep dark winey red courduroy. Me, my guy and 5 cats could all stretch out and co-exist peacefully together on this thing. It was great but took up pretty much the entire room.

Then we moved to Pennsylvania and decided our new rental could not accomodate it the sectional, so my guy gave it to his bachelor friends who probably destroyed it rather quickly. The futon, we've had since Colorado as well. It's been good to us and travels well. No more moves are in our future now though. It was time.

I had to talk my guy into it. For MONTHS we have been looking for a couch and a dining table and chairs. I can't take it any more. The furniture stores are like car lots, you can't make eye contact with anyone or you are followed all over the store. I finally had to say, what are you holding out for? We've seen the same things in every store for months, we need to either made a decision here or you need to tell me what would be the right couch. He couldn't tell me so...we made a decision. I'll post a pic tomorrow, I can't wait for my new knitting spot to arrive!
Oh, the futon? It's going upstairs to my knitorium. With the women's prison foot locker thing...don't ask. I'll tell ya some other day!

Now go watch the Three Little Dwarfs HERE to put yourself in the holiday mood!! I'm Hardrock, I'm Coco, I'm Joe!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Elvish Glee

It's been a while and I've been busy!

So I am almost finished with Secret Project Numero Uno, Part A. There will also be a part B. I designed it myself and am very excited about it! I wish I could show it to you but you will also have to wait until after the holidays.

Unfortunately, my request to knit while at work has been denied. We have a clinical consultation once a month and the group leader mentioned she would not mind if I knit during the meetings. She used to knit herself and we were talking of holidays and stress and she mentioned it would be no problem. I then talked to my supervisor and then emailed our director. The answer was no, I could not need during consultation. Oh well, doesn't hurt to try...

Last night I made some yummy choco chip/oatmeal/coconut/walnut cookies that also happen to be vegan. I need to buy some cookie cutters, when we moved up here from the coast, I threw out my old metal ones b/c they had rusted. The coast leads to corrosion--of cars, of cookie cutters alike. I did manage to buy some new VEGAN and CRUELTY FREE vegetable based food coloring for my baking by India Tree. It was expensive but I figure it will last for several holiday baking seasons.

Tonight is Laundry Night. YUCK! I do have to say, it's MUCH improved from last week though. You see, after washing one large load and then putting another in, the dryer stopped working. My guy went at it for a couple hours and tore it apart to discover the belt had broken. He even tried to refasten the belt with some duct tape but this did not work past three turns. I had the pleasure of hanging my dripping laundry all about the house, off of door and window frames, as well as ceiling fans once the small drying rack was filled up. My knitted sweater and shrug were left to dry on a towel on the floor and my cats had a field day lying on them for the two days it took them to fully dry! DRYER = DOMESTIC BLISS!!!

I also got a wonderful birthday gift! My birthday has officially not yet arrived but it was gifted to me by my lovely guy to help me get through the endless baking I have to do. It's a TV/DVD/CD/radio combo that fits right under my kitchen cabinets! Now I don't miss any of my important television or movie or music opportunities. It's also great when you are in the kitchen at halftime and don't have to miss any commentary...the best part by far though is the remote. It's got a magnet that makes it stick on your fridge.

Speaking of FOOTBALL, hello STEELERS! They rocked the house last Thursday. Me and my guy took the bus downtown and headed to Primanti Brothers for some libation and sustenance. Some weird lady sat down next to me at the bar and asked, amid a sea of black and gold, "Is there a game tonight or something?" I explained indeed there was. She talked of being a stranded traveler (the snow + rush hour + football game = gridlock) who had pulled over for a drink before heading out. I figured she was from somewhere in eastern PA as she seemed oblivious about the Steelers...however, she revealed she was from IRWIN! Maybe 30-45 minutes from the city. She then revealed a ton of other personal info, from her diet, to her child's name and disability and gave me a 30 minute lecture on how I should never take a job in the prison system, which I don't believe I had any inkling of doing lately. My guy then chewed through my arm to release me from her clutches and we walked over the bridge to Heinz Field. Not many folks were tailgating, we thought due to the cold. We got to the stadium and sat down in the endzone, where the open wind came straight at us. We were really high up there too, only 4 rows from the very last row. Then we froze. Our beer froze in our cups. Beer-cicles and not very good. The game was fabulous and more and more people, held up in the gridlock, kept pouring into the stadium. The fans did not let the team down, even in freezing temperatures! What a night for Willie! Ben and Charlie were fantastic! Everything clicked and Hines could be seen, cheering on his teammates, right on the sideline. After the game, we had to walk to the T station and then had to walk about 2 miles from the T station. My toes finally warmed up during the walk, but my butt was so cold, it was like an icecube! I love this city!

One parting picture:

A crocheted elf my mother's good friend, Ona, made for me (and two like it for my sisters)when we were wee ones. It had Life Savers roll candy in the arms and legs. She lived across the street and always made us such nice things. I remember the cake that looked like a bunny for Easter with coconut frosting. Her husband, Mike, made candles and my mother still has a set of nativity candles he made for her. The paint has peeled off them in places but they are still beautiful. They were such good people and I feel so lucky to have had a chance to share some space for a time on this lovely earth with them. This little elf always makes my holidays complete! He wishes you some holiday cheer too.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Let it snow...

First thing's first, way to go STEELERS!! Can't wait for the game this Thursday! Except it's awful cold around here suddenly. My thoughts are, if it's gotta be cold at least there should be snow.

I need to get working on my knitting! I've been so preoccupied of late, I yearn for a nice day by the Yule tree and fireplace with vegan hot chocolate, some pistachios and some knitting. So that's it--I've taken off Thursday, will spend my day knitting without feeling any guilt whatsoever about not moving from the couch and spending the night at the football game. My cats will be so happy!

Lately I've been all sorts of not right. I am super stressed out about my job and having weird dreams and sleep that is not restful. Please think some kind thoughts my way!

OK, on to some Super-Incognito Holiday Gifts 2006 Knitting. And why are you reading this anyway, you should be getting to work on yours, too!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Finished beret, as promised. Here is a pic of our tree so you can see her a little better:

Finally, here is a pic of a stocking my guy actually requested I knit up for him. He doesn't wear sweaters, scarves or mittens so I usually don't make anything for him. He shocked me when he saw this pattern last summer and mentioned he would really like it if I made him the stocking.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Answer... the movie trivia question from previous postage is "Urban Cowboy." You remember, when Bud's new cowboy-infatuated rich lil' daddy's girl girlfriend Pam goes to Bud's aunt and uncle's house for dinner?

ANYWAYS...good news from Kay yesterday. Her cancer is retreating! The proteins they measured have decreased, the thing in her lung is smaller. She's gonna kick it's ass good for the second and final time.

I also finished my beret. It's been stretched over a dinner plate for blocking, I hope it will be dry tomorrow so I can post some finished pictures. I stayed up late last night to finish it while watching really bad TV and I feel a little tired but I may still start the Holiday Craft-Tacular. This will be hard because I won't be able to talk so much about it all due to a certain snoopy sister (you know who you are).

Also got some Steelers tickets for the Browns game on the 7th. Know what else is 7? Big Ben's number!!! This is a sure sign they will win. I spent yesterday trying to forget the recent massacre in Baltimore, it was painful to watch that game but I know the Steelers will come out fighting this week.

Here is the house:

Here is the tree:

We are now Holiday-ready! We are the only house on the block with lights up yet. Our neighbor across the street has a Frosty inflatable AND a Frosty-in-a-blowing-snowglobe in addition to their year-round electric waterfall. But no lights, so in my mind we still win!!! Also, despite my cats' best efforts, the tree remains upright AND decorated. Sure, the tree skirt is a little askew and the angelfish ornament is lying on the floor beneath, but it is mostly intact. Progress!

Off to craft some holiday cheer...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

"MMM...this pie's good"

Anyone who recognises the above quote is a movie superstar! Behold my punkin' pie:

Recipe ala Sarah Kramer, How it All Vegan. Her cookbooks have seriously made vegan life tasteful. My whole house smells so yummy! I know, it's not yet Thanksgiving. I will be making a vegan cherry pie to take the the family spread, along with other tasty vegan fare. Kay will be making her own punkin' pie which will not be vegan. I decided I did need some punkin' pie this season after all, will freeze some of it and take it to the feast along with the cherry that everyone will eat. Bill is scared of my vegan punkin' but I hope to change his mind.

Now, behold my beret, modeled by the Bar Lamp:

If you look closely, you will see why the lamp is called a bar lamp. It's great it is identified as such, so that I do not get confused and assume it's just a regular lamp. The bottom has a Scotsman in a kilt hanging onto the lamppost. Probably a distant relative of mine. My beret is still coming along slowly. This will be the one and only time I ever knit with a size one needle!!!

My guy came home at 7:00 AM. He worked until 12 AM in the garden state, then drove the van filled with coworkers back to Pittsburgh. He came in, dropped his stuff on the floor, and promptly lowered the thermostat from a comfy 66 degrees F to a bone-chilling, draft-inducing 62.5 degrees F. Then he went to bed, where I still was sleeping. I did not find any of this out until 2 hours later. Thus begins the Heat Meiser Winter Warlock Battle of 2006-2007. It is waged yearly, for those not in the know.

Lastly, HOW BOUT THEM STILLERS???!!!??? What a fantastic game!!! I was on the edge of my seat, biting my nails until the last 3-second play. Hines and Ben, what troopers you are to sustain injuries and keep playing! Favorite comment by the announcer following Troy Polumalo leveling a Brownie and flipping him head-over-heels by the sideline:

"Those of you who work in cubicles would be calling in sick for two days following that!" I will be laughing in my cube all day tomorrow!

Off to knit up a beret and try to turn up the thermostat undetected...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

When the Cat's Away...

...the mice want to buy some yarn. My guy is out of town and for some reason, this makes it even more compelling to go shopping. I bought myself some new shoes (and scored some compliments on them too) but have resisted the yarn shoppage. Thus far. Don't know how much longer I can hold out though.

If you can read this baby, you better get your cute self back here quick!

Oh, but let me add this on: the yarn would not be for me but for a knitted up gift for someone else. Buying it would therefore almost promote me to martyr status. This is making it even harder for someone to disuade me...

Beret news: going VERY slowly. May not be done by Thanksgiving at this rate.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Another weekend bites the dust!

WOOHOO STEELERS!!! Way to kick the assage of the saints. I knew you guys would come through!

I have not made much progress on my beret. Things keep getting in my way.

Like the Steelers game. Too exciting to keep looking way, had to pay attention to the TV.

On final complaint: last minute handmade gift requests. Happens every year right around Thanksgiving. Relatives and friends suddenly announce they want for you to make them something. Which itself is fine; just know these things take time and 5 weeks is not enough time to make things for everyone. Especially large, complicated things. The days before the holidays get really crazy for me and I usually make my deadline but it's always a struggle and there is never enough sleep. Never!

So I got that off my chest; drop hints about 6 months in advance for me, just to be safer. I may not finish your gift in time and then we will all be very sad indeed.

So the eternal struggle: finish my beret first, or sidetrack it for some holiday gift-craftage? If only I were an insomniac!!! Maybe in my next lifetime...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Trick or Treat Quotes...

Honorable mention from last night:
"Your house smells SO GOOD! Like fried chicken!"
Little did he know...I was making Jay-Lo's Fried "Chicken" with the faux chicken recipe from La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer. Which is a Seitan (pronounced like Satan) recipe. Had me laughing for hours!!

First Prize:
"I hate ______ (insert the area of Pittsburgh I live in)!!! It has too many stairs...but the people are nice."--hungry boy child who wants the candy but doesn't want to work for it.

Trick or treating was nuts, we ran out of candy and hid in our dark house for a bit as the little goblins ran all over the streets. Watched Night of the Living Dead (filmed here in Pittsburgh, kids). No knitting again.

Tonight: some Laguna Beach and finishing my swatch-ity-swatch for my hatty-hat-hat.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Samhain!

Samhain is the name for the pagan holiday that has now morphed into Halloween. Traditionally, you honored your ancesters who had departed this realm for the other realm as the threshold or veil between these realms was the thinnest on this evening. I plan to light some candles and set a place at the table for my grandmother, Clara. I wear two bracelets, one she left in her jewerly box for me when she passed on with bracelets for my sisters that our grandfather, Clyde, had reportedly made from melted silverware. The other my mom recently gave to me. This one has grandma's name inscribed on it. I wear them every day and if I leave the house without them, especially the braided one I've worn for years, I feel a little off. Maybe it's just the feel of them on my arm that I'm missing. I don't know. Remember your dearly departed this evening and not just those you knew personally; remember all the family you have ever heard about and those you did not and honor them. Say something simple, light a candle, talk about them fondly with family. It will feel good, I promise.

So my knitting, it's kinda slow. I am now swatching for the beret featurned in an issue of Interweave Knits of bygone days. The needles I have had for some time, bought in a ziplock with a bunch of other needles (crochet and knitting) but haven't used. They are all teeny tiny sizes but it's weird, the sizes don't match up to our current needle sizes. The needles I'm using are equivalent to size 1 today but the package says they are knitting PINS, size 12. Anyone out there know what's up with this? The crochet hooks are incredibly tiny and fragile-looking, what would they have been used to make? I ponder this as I poke along on my swatch.

My gauge will also be off so I think I will try and adjust the pattern accordingly. Wish me luck!

My party this weekend turned out well. My guy and I were John Lennon and Yoko Ono. It was fine unless I wasn't right next to him, then you really couldn't tell I was Yoko. She's hard to capture on her own. A few beers later and I didn't really worry about it much.

I wish I had some vegan candy right about now...or maybe I'll just go make me some dinner and wait for the lil' goblins in the neighborhood to come by for their treats. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Look what followed me home...

They always know I can't say no. They sit and look at me, all sad and fluffy and bam, they are here living with me. Eating me out of house and home, they are!

That's 6 skeins of Habu linen, 2 skeins of 3 colors. The colors aren't named but numbered so I will now name them myself because I find numbers irritating: meet sand dollar, twig and celery. Maybe a pillow or curtain with these, not quite sure yet. $8.75 a skein but 30% off as they were in the orphan bin. They feel a bit like paper to me.

Behind them is some Tatamy Tweed, a cotton/acrylic blend that looks to me like wool but without all the suffering and pain for sheep involved. Three skeins in Navy colorway at $5.45 a pop. Hoping to have enough for a beret and some mitts to match a certain peacoat. Soft and machine washable-yippee!

So they will join the minions upstairs and patiently wait to be fashioned into something fabulous. It's all they aspire to be: something other than what they are.

If you are here in the burgh, check out knitone, the fine supplier of the aforementioned fibers. If you aren't here in the burgh, either come on out for a visit or find yourself a local yarn shop to hang out in where you are.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Falling Snow

Here are the S.C.O.T.S. magnets:

Here are Madison Penelope and Chloe Jean fighting over the new Vogue Knitting issue:

If confused, please see the previous post. If too lazy to check back one post, just know this: blogger sux.

Tonight: ran to the store after work, found two small doorknobs at Anthropologie for our laundry chute doors. If I were wealthy, I think I would shop here more often. As it be, I only purchase things on sale or tiny things here but it is my favorite store. Got some ideas for a new sweater design too! Then I purchased some cheap fake flowers, some black Krylon spray paint, some Halloween confetti and two spools black ribbon for party decorating at Michaels while avoiding purchasing any more yarn. Hit the 1/2 price book store and bought some used CD's to pimp up our party music--like the G. Love & Special Sauce Hustler, Beastie Boys Hello Nasty and Weezer Make Believe selections, also scored a super-cheap Chieftains Celtic Wedding. Hit the Giant Eagle for some soy candles in Fresh Fallen Snow frangrace for party ambience, can't wait to decorate this old haunted house!!! By the way, there was snow falling here in the 'burgh today, I was kind of excited about it all. Came home and my guy turned on the ole gas fireplace, was really nice. Then the stupid Cowboys vs. Giants game came on and the magick was lost...maybe tomorrow there will be a nice blanket of snow outside. A girl can dream...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Much Ado About Non-Knitting...

In my last post I informed my guy's parents were coming for a visit. They did not in fact come due to a family emergency (and no it was not fire-related). My guy and I did purchase a smoke alarm/carbon monoxide detector which currently is resting against our television set in our living room ready to be hung. Now we will be ready.

In the past week, I managed to see the Southern Culture on the Skids, or S.C.O.T.S. show AND the Carbon Leaf show, both at the Rex. Which also meant knitting has been to a minimum. Here is a picture of my fine new S.C.O.T.S. magnet set, which graces my fridge: Blogger will not allow me to post more than one picture this evening, so I chose the knitting picture. Will post once blogger allows!
This show was FANTASTIC and I had a great time. The Carbon Leaf show, not so much. For one thing, they were opening for Matt Nathanson (???), whoever that is (not impressed with him either). This meant they did not play much. The other problem is they are going in a "new direction" as described to me by the bass player. No stand-up bass, no mandolin. They sound like everyone else on the radio right now, sadly. They were big-pimpin' their new CD which I purchased in hopes there were maybe one or two good songs that harkened back to the old ways, but no. I think I might email them to discuss my sadness. I now have an opening for Favorite Band and I am auditioning for replacements...any contenders out there?

Since the knitting continues to be slow, I will show you this:
Me with my Steelers Fan Fingerless Gloves, designed by Me. I am also showing off my vegan brownies from Sarah Kramer's book, The Garden of Vegan. They are her Decadent Brownies with her Chocolate Mint Icing, sans minty-flavor. I made the brownies last week, the gloves last year. Photographer is my guy.

So this week is countdown to my Halloween Party and I still don't have a costume. Keep tuning in to see what I eventually manage to come up with! I have not yet begun the Craft Challenge as posed by my sister, but will inform you of this event once it begins.

Oh, and here is Madison Penelope enjoying our new issue of Vogue Knitting with her sister Chloe Jean. Sharing is hard. Once again, Blogger will not allow me to post more than one picture this evening, so I chose the knitting picture. Will post once blogger allows!

Yesterday I served as tour guide of the beautiful city of Pittsburgh for my mom and aunt, who ALSO KNITS. We had a good time though I am not the best guide. We took on Phipps Conservatory (now I want to grow orchids, mums and bonsai trees), rode the incline, had dinner and then a drink in the very bar I met Ben. Sadly, he could not meet us as planned as he was in Atlanta. He missed some good conversation about the indispensible, seam-saving 3-needle bind-off, too.

Oh, and Ben, I'm sorry for the loss today and for the injury, there SHOULD have been a flag for a helmet-to-helmet hit. Charlie, stand-up job filling in last-minute, you always come through for us. Nate, don't be too hard on yourself, that was a bad call at the end of the 4th and Jeff would've scored. Good job guys and we'll get the Raiders next week!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


So I am just recovering from the Steelers vs. Chargers game. What a sad evening Sunday turned out to be after all. Ben, if you're out there, I'm sorry. You too Troy, Alan, Joey, Hines and Casey. We'll get em' this week!

I am also sick to death of hearing about Ms. Sienna Miller and her burgh-bashing, she truly is not a very polite guest. I bet she hates it even more at this time, with the whole city ready to scream at her. Maybe she can get a flight back to London soon. Oh, and thanks for all the skinny jeans and leggings this fall, too. Thanks for all of it.

So I went back to the Hive for knitting on Monday. After planting 50 bulbs and raking leaves all day Sunday and then watching the Steelers lose, I needed a day off. And Columbus was right there to help me out! I spent the morning doing laundry, then caught a lil' Knitty Gritty and Uncommon Threads, then went to the Gap with my gift card in tow. I bought a brown t-shirt for the CRAFT CHALLENGE my sister has posed. I will unfold that little gem later in the week--cause I need to keep you coming back, that's why!

Anywho, after my lovely day off, my guy came home from work, we caught up a little (not much had transpired since Sunday) and then I left to get to the Bead Mine and knit with old pals. The Bead Mine was closed so I ended up arriving a little early at the Hive but no worries, some of the group were already there. The flamingo still was wearing his scarf although it was bit on the warm side. Two of the original members did not come by though, missed them. I did not get too much accomplished on my "chair pad" and frogged it this evening. It was a tad bit tiny. So sadly no pics again. I need to get some inspiration here. I get paid this week, maybe a new skein or two will do the trick.

In other random, unrelated news, my guy's parents are coming to town this weekend and I am afraid. Why? His dad is a retired fire inspector for the city of NY. AND we bought our house about two months ago now and STILL don't have a smoke detector or fire extinguisher in sight. AND I'm sure he will notice and drag us by the ears to Home Depot and make a huge deal of installing them ASAP. AND I still do not have any spare keys for my car and he always yells that I will lock them in there, even though I have not yet in the history of me ever done this. I know, but we SHOULD have these things to increase our safety, blah blah blah. It's just sometimes you need to do things when you think you can tackle them and not when someone makes you do them. And it may take years until you are ready to do it but it just fits better on YOU time then on THEM time. But it's hard to explain this to my guy's father, it just won't be enough in his eyes and then you just look idiotic and impractical. Maybe I can distract him with Tour of Pittsburgh Part Deux this weekend, you know, get him so tired he won't even notice. Him and Sienna both. I'll send my invite over to the Omni tomorrow...goodnight, all you crafty Pittsburghers!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

No yarn for you!

Not much to blog about. I've been sidelined by a nasty cold virus and have been in a sad non-knitty funk. I tried to get to the yarn shoppe on Sunday but alas, arrived just as the doors were closing. Maybe I'll get back there this weekend, though I really don't need any more yarn. I think I might start my own shoppe up and base it's hours to fit conveniently past the competitor's for those ill-planned, flying-by-the-seats-of-their-plaid-pants types who blow about town running their errands in a whimsical way without a watch to be seen. Just like me.

After work I managed to buy a lovely VEGAN cake at Whole Foods for work tomorrow. We celebrate b-days and each month, about 4 of use are assigned to bring in a cake, so once a year in October I have to do my duty. It's chocolate raspberry and I hope I get a taste. I also managed to secure my No Miss vegan base coat nail polish I paid for on Sunday after the yarn store let-down to soothe my psyche but left behind on the lovely conveyor belt once my practical items (tofu, soymilk, bell pepper, tomato, mushrooms and bread) were all safely bagged up. They really are nice folk over there, and they don't seem to judge a girl either. What a great city I live in--I really and truly love it here! Oh and two of my most favorite bands are coming to town to the Rex on the Southside this month only a mere 5 days apart--can't wait! I'll fill you in on that fun later--I need to get my stuffy head to bed!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I'm back...from outer space...

No, it's not Gloria, it's me--I have survived!

We closed on our house the day I returned from the beach in August and my life has been a little crazy since! We cleaned our house, packed, moved, cleaned the apartment we had been renting and began the lovely process of home repairs. We had a toilet in our yard for a few weeks after my guy took out the old one and replaced it with our new one. Thankfully, the toilet was taken by the lovely garbage men on large item pick up day. I have about a million tulip and daffodil bulbs to plant and have cleared out the flower beds and trimmed the hedges and tried to make the yard look a bit more civilized.

Steeler Season also started. This too has proved a bit crazy with two losses thus far. I'm glad we have a bye this week, don't know if I can take another loss quite yet.

I've changed my address with every company known to man. We finally got our phone and email and cable situations straight--another nightmare! My sister came for a visit, our first out-of-town houseguest. Just before her arrival I started the fun job of painstakenly peeling posey-printed wallpaper off the bathroom wall, then using a putty knife and spray bottle to scrape off every bit of paper backing left behind. My guy then had to mud over the walls, which were just drywall, then sand the walls even. Finally, we primed the walls and painted the ceiling and walls. My guy still has to make us some shelves but for the most part it's finito. Finally!!

So now that I have a moment to rest, a co-worker, who shall remain nameless, has given me a sickness of unknown name or proportion. First came the sore throat, then fever, achey-ness and general malaise. My voice sounds very manly and I'm starting to cough. My eyes are quite red and teary too--all in all, a very pretty picture.

Knitting has been on the back burner but I do say, now that I am officially a home owner, my creativity has shifted from wearable pieces to home decor. I am making a chair pad with leftovers from my stash. I am also thinking of making a curtain for our front door, which has lots of panes of glass you can see right through. Tomorrow may entail a yarn shop jaunt after work, will post again this weekend and let you know how it all turns out...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

VaCaTiOn all I ever wanted...

So I'm on the cusp of my departure for the Outer Banks, my old stompin' ground. I'll be back early next week and will post something again by mid-week. I finished the body of my summer tank and completed the upper back, I should be able to finish the front in the next couple of days and will post a picture. I should be closing on the house next week too so I plan to get lots of R&R before the big move. I know, not much sympathy for me as I'm heading off to the beach...but think of it this way, I will probably end up with a nice red painful sunburn despite careful application of vegan SPF 30--does this help?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Closing Time...

No, it's not "one last call for alcohol." I'm talking about my house!! We are going to be closing this Friday, August 11th! I can't believe it, finally, we will own a house! This day was great--my guy came home (was visiting his relatives for a great big Old Homes Day extravaganza) AND we got the word from the bank. I am also heading into a nice vacation this Friday--woo hoo!!

Not much new in knitting, I've been busy sorting and packing and cleaning our current place since my landlord is now bringing new potential renters by. Two couples came back-to-back this past Saturday and she told the first couple she had put the wrong ad in the paper, that the rent would be more money than advertised as she had confused us with the peeps next door. I figure neither of the two couples were interested after that. Four hours of cleaning and getting the place perfect for nothing!!

I did make some pillows last night, I will post a picure tomorrow. I worked well into the evening while catching the bluegrass show on WYEP. Anyone out there in Pittsburgh who doesn't listen to this station should check it out--it's the best! (They don't play bluegrass only if that's not your thing).

I also am getting an itch to research who owned the house back when it was built in 1921. Maybe a flapper? Probably a steel worker, but a flapper sounds so much more jazzy, doesn't it? Current read= Flapper by Joshua Zeitz. Chapter 5 is calling...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

PiCk uP sTiX

SO I did manage to pick up the stix this week a bit, and made some progress on my knitting, but it is very boring progress indeed (straight stockinette up the body now since I finished my decreases--knit in the round for that matter so I do not even need to complete a dreaded purl, just monotonous knit stitches, one after the other). One place I did knit was in the CAR on the way to our REALTOR's office. We made it through the home inspection--all systems are go!

This weekend we went to Home Depot to scope out some stuff we need/want for the house (pending everything continuing as planned and we close...). I have never looked at toilets in my life before but did so with great zest and zeal recently. This home ownership thing may have me becoming an adult after all.

My lost rune also came home to me in the mail this week--check out Molly sent my Ehwaz, which was missing at the time I purchased the set. They are handmade glass runes in the loveliest green shades. If you go back a few posts, you can also see her earrings and yes, stitchmarkers as modeled by my lovely assistant, Sittin' Grampa. You can also see my current project in the background.

My only other news is sort of sad. A whole day smearing henna into the old mop and no one even noticed! Henna is a nightmare, kids. It's the consistancy and color of goose poop (not exaggerating here either), it is hard to coat every strand of hari, you must sit in it for hours with your head wrapped in plastic, and it leaves your hair smelling of hay for days. Plus, in order to help cover the gray, I added some vinegar and fresh brewed coffe to the henna. Just imagine the smell of that one! When you rinse it out, millions and billions of fine leaf particles hit the shower head and spray over the shower walls, floor, shower curtains and shampoo bottles, necessitating an intense and thorough cleaning to prevent perma-stain. Your hands if unprotected also turn a fine shade of pea green. My guy told me my hair looked very shiney that evening though. Shiney is not worth the trouble though! So back to gray for me, seems to be where I belong.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I am most certainly not dead...

...but I am pretty hot right now. Now I know TONS of people flock to this site daily to see what exciting knitting adventures I am embarking on and all of you must be sick with worry about me. It's been a while. Let me explain. I am BUYING MY FIRST HOUSE!

After months of searching we are on the cusp of home ownership. The inspection takes place tomorrow AM, I am excited and scared and anxious and relieved all at once. We got as far as this once with another house in March but the inspection revealed about 5 areas of structural damage. Please keep your fingers crossed and think a positive thought for me tomorrow AM!

Needless to say, I've not been knitting. It's so hot here and I sit lifeless and dream up what I plan to do with my house. You're right, I could still dream away as I knit but I'm just in a weird slump. I did finish beading the CD cabinet my guy made for me. It was half-beaded for months and this week I finally completed it. Maybe it was the waning moon. Maybe it was the thought of how cute it would be finished in our new place. It's hard to say. The important thing is, it's done. You can also see the kitty condo my guy made in the background. That's a very wilty Quandary helping out as usual, holding the condo down for us.

I also purchased the book, Generation T, 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt, by Megan Nicolay. I turned my classic John Lennon in New York t-shirt from a frumpy too-big shirt that I never wore into a sleek-fitting tee that also has yet to be worn. It has some cute ideas though, I have been pulling out my old t-shirts from the bottoms of drawers and have grand designs for all of them...

I have also given in on the hair. I will be dyeing my hair with henna this weekend. After we signed our contract for the house, my guy and I stopped into our local watering hole to celebrate. The female bartender asked for ID, then stated mine was not required but my guy looked very young. I am exactly 9 months older than him. That did it, I give in, American advertisers, I will dye my hair.

Hopefully I will have some knitterly goodness to blog about soon! Maybe a new Knitting Room in my new place?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Love that July!

I am so in love with July. It's smack dab in the middle of my fave season, summer. Cherries and peaches and strawberries are in full force, not to mention the blackberries. Kay's birthday, lightning bugs and Independence Day. And my favorite crafty festival, the one, the only, Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival, set in the lovely Twin Lakes State Park. I spent Sunday the 2nd out there with Kay and my sister and even dodged the storm that blew through in the late afternoon. I managed to find myself some presents--behold:

The blue stitch markers, set of 5, are on the left and a pair of earrings with red oak leaves are on the right. These were made by M. Sotherden. I also bought a beautiful set of runes from her as well, blogger will not let me post any more pics right now so I will post more pics later. The stitch markers and earrings are being modeled by my smoker, Sitting Grandpa. You insert an incense cone in his body and the smoke comes out his mouth. I have wanted one of these for a while and happened to find him a few months ago at a discount store for $7. They retail for around $50 at Krys Krindelmardt around the holidays.

I love to purchase things created by someone else. I love to pick up the item and touch it and imagine what the person was thinking, where they were when they made it, how long it took. I really needed these things in the end to help soothe my spirit a bit as a woman by the llama exhibit asked if my sister was my daughter. I am exactly 13 months older than her. OUCH!! My ego is still feeling bruised four days later but I will not relent and dye my hair--it's staying the way it is. Take that, evil beauty industry! This is one chica who will not be swayed by your pressure to conform! It also frees up some more cash for yarn stash...

I managed to catch the fireworks at the point, my first time ever. They were FANTASTIC, the best I have ever seen! Even better than the last four summers on the beach. I can't wait to do it all again next year!

So finally, my recent project. This one has not been coming along easily for me, I had to frog it twice already (1st time too big, 2nd time I somehow twisted the cast on edge when I joined the round). It will be a sleeveless sweater, knit in the round to the armholes. I will then seperate front and back and finish her off. It really shouldn't take too long but then again I can be a pokey knitter.
Here's a picture with Madison Penelope inspecting it for errors. Her full report will be posted once it is completed. She likes to keep a running tab on it all.
Now get out there and enjoy yourself some summer, cause it's going way too fast

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Stash Embellishment...

Last week was crazy, between my job and family stuff. Kay had outpatient surgery and I drove out to be there with her. Once we got home, she went to sleep and I left Bill to look after her for an hour while I snuck out to Kathy's Kreations in Ligonier. I love this shop, it used to be half for yarn and half for vacuums and vacuum repair, however, in the past couple years the yarn fully took over all the space (sorry vacuums, you are so unexciting next to piles of beautiful fibre). Anyway, Kathy is regularly seen in Interweave Knits and can cable like no one I know. She wasn't there (she is not in the shop on Wednesdays, I believe her husband was manning the counter, pun not intended) but I did manage to find some things I could not apparently live without. Here's a photo:The cream was on sale for $2.95, a nice cotton from Rowan, colorway of Ecru. Maybe a pretty chemo cap for Kay. The multicolored skeins (7 total)are Imagine from Classic Elite in cotton and rayon, asking price $6.25 a pop. Maybe a shrug or cropped sweater? The purple was a lone skein left, I wanted to get a couple but decided I could not leave this lonely skein sit there by herself, she is just too lovely to behold. She is some Mercerized Egyptian cotton named Provence from Classic Elite Yarns, asking price of $12.95. Maybe she would make a nice one-skein wonder ala Glampyre? Hmmm...

Kay's doing really great and is such a trooper, she even spent Saturday outside for a cookout in the yard. We were celebrating Father's Day a day early and much fun was had by all. Bill cooked a wonderful meal on an open pit fire, being careful not to mix up the vegan fare and utensils with the carnivore stuff. I brought some vegan potato salad, it was quite delicious if I don't say so myself. Kay even asked if I had a cookie with me (I LOVE LOVE LOVE the vegan oatmeal choco chip ones they bake fresh at Whole Foods and have been carrying them around with me for desert) but I did not. I love it that they will at least try the vegan stuff I eat.

So my knitting adventures have been a bit lacking of late. Take yesterday. I decided to weave in some waste yarn on my current project, a sweater, and try it on for size. My suspicions were right: WAY TOO BIG!

So I frogged it, wound up the three balls of yarn I'd already knit into the sweater, and tried not to be too upset. After all, at the rate I was using the yarn, I would have been running back to Knit One in panic mode, with the mantra, "please let them have one more ball, please let them have one more ball" escaping my lips as I entered the door. I am taking the positive approach tonight--now I should have enough yarn to finish. I refigured my math (my gauge had changed considerably from swatch to sweater), re-wrote the first part of the pattern and cast on again. I again did not make it to the Bee Hive for knitting. That's two Mondays in a row. Hopefully they will still remember me next week!

I did manage to make a necklace for my sister yesterday. Here's a pic: It's made of hemp twine and has three beads. It was my first attempt at knotwork or macrame or whatever you want to call it. The cats, who love knitting, also seemed to enjoy this craft as well. I plan to send it with some other goodies, hopefully it will get into the mail tomorrow!

Here is a crazy pic of my Izzie (Isabella Maria).
She was sleeping with her tonque out and I tried to get a pic and she woke up but still left her tongue out there.

Have a happy Summer Solstice tomorrow and get out there and enjoy nature and celebrate the day!!! Blessed be!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Weekend's over...enter Monday...

Well, kids, it's over. Why does the weekend go so quickly? Here we are in Monday mode again. I go into work a little late today due to a 6:30 PM meeting. This means I will either be late or altogether miss knitting at the Hive tonight. Oh well, at least I got a public knitting fix in on Sat. for World Knit in Public Day!

A great time was had by all, thanks to Keana's efforts. You can visit her at Several of the Hive Knitters also made appearances, it was fun to see them outside in the light of day and out of the Bat Cave. Sock knitters outnumbered all other projects. I now have more respect for the humble sock and may even try knitting a pair. The only sock I ever knit was a very large Christmas stocking for my guy. It was exciting turning the heel, such a mysterious and well-planned execution in a pattern. The stocking was the only thing my guy has ever requested I knit for him. Which, selfishly enough, I am excited about as this leaves more knitting projects for me. I am kinda shy about knitting for others, I usually only knit for family members because they appreciate the time and effort it takes. Other peeps don't seem to understand and I go out and buy mass-produced crap for them. I feel safe saying that because not many people read this blog and I'm sure no one who does not knit themselves would happen upon it anyway.

Sunday I went to the Art Festival with Kay (aka mom). We took the T down, it was a nice day but unseasonably cold again. I found a pair of earrings for me and for someone else. Well, I need to iron my clothes and jet out the door and make the big bucks to support my knitting. Trust me, big bucks is said VERY tonque-in-cheek-like. I work in the human services field, for goodness sake!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hair-Ball Weather

Today was a very blah sort of day. I worked until very late AGAIN. I ate some boring food for dinner. One of the kitten-heads had left a nice-sized hairball on the bed, on my side to boot. The bedding is now in the wash and this means no getting into bed early to catch up on my sleep.

Last night I had a very off night with my knitting group. I got there late due to work and never got into the good knitting. I stayed stuck in some bad knitting juju. I purled half of a row where I should have knit. I then had to unknit all of this and in two rows, managed to make the same mistake again! I have no real photo update with progress on my sweater because there has not been much progress.

Maybe you can tell me which of the kittens was sending me hate mail? Here are your choices:

Madison Penelope

Quandary Bartholomew

Isabella Maria

Chloe Jean

Lulu Bea

Sunday, June 04, 2006


I thought I was dreaming this happened until I checked my camera this morning and there was the proof, it was real! Karmic too, I met him in the same spot of the same bar I watched the Steelers win the superbowl. I was pretty star-struck and did not say much, he was very nice about taking the picture with me. I have been walking on cloud nine all day!

Not much knitting going on today, I was pretty tired from this weekend. I went to a friend's wedding yesterday, she was gorgeous, it was a great day. After the reception, my guy and I met some of the guests at a bar. We were out pretty late so today was pretty much all about some R&R. I caught up on some sleep with my five cats. I watched a repeat of Knitty Gritty and some Stylicious. I think Vickie Howell is actually Molly Ringwald. I have yet to see them together so my theory holds for now. I made some howemade veggie soup and a salad and served it with some Italian bread, then made some raspberry cobbler for desert. My guy got some prints of my photo for me and suprised me with a new frame for the 8x10 and a vegan chocolate bar, what a sweetie! Tomorrow I have a busy workday ahead of me, then plan to meet the Hive Knitters at the Bee Hive for some knittery fun.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Good Eats, Bad Facecloth

Can I just say that I had a great meal tonight? My guy and I pondered where to eat dinner for hours, and then it hit us: Mad Mex. No place serves the vegan (me) and carnivore (him) diner at the same time in such a fabulous way! Had the vegetarian burrito, veganized with vegan soy cheese and vegan sour cream, with some guacomole on the side. I could only eat half and got the other half packaged, but alas, left the take-out package on the table when I left (I seem to do this often, I'm a bit scattered at times).

So here is a pic of my new project:

It will be a sleeveless tanks, methinks. The yarn is some bamboo fibre, supplied by the illustrious Knit One on Murray in Squirrel Hill. Love that store! I bought it some time ago and cast on for the sweater but for some reason (aka The Sweater) it hibernated in the bottom of my knitting bag. Maybe I'll take a pic of that bag some day so you all will get how it could actually hibernate there. I admit, it's a scary place most days.

There was also a project I started in between and frogged no less than 3 times. What on earth, you ask, could make me frog at such a frantic frenetic rate? A rather complicated garment? Involving cables? Lace? Intarsia?

I am ashamed to admit it was a freakin' FACECLOTH. A square with which to wash one's face. In a very pale shade of pink. Now, there are some pink girls out there but I am not a pink girl and do not own many pink clothes, unless they are hot pink in a retro-punk kind of way. I was using some leftover yarn from a gifted baby sweater and thought, I can make a pink facecloth because the bathroom of the apartment I rent is light pink and black. I'm not kidding, I'd take a photo of the bath but it's due for a good cleaning and I would be ashamed if my mum happened upon this site and caught a glimpse of the loo looking less than spotless. So yes, a square of knitting fabric was my downfall this week. My idea was to knit on the bias with increases at each side and include a YO on the sides, then decreasing again once I got the width right. Once finished, I'd have a diamond-shaped cloth with holes to weave a chic black ribbon through. It didn't quite work out as I imagined and I made some blunders with the YO's, then ended up somehow dropping a stitch (?????) and it was frogged for the final time after that. So maybe one day I will get back to it...but hopefully I will own a home of my own by then and my bathroom will no longer be pink and black and I will have no need to knit any more facecloths.

This has all seriously made me doubt my knitting capabilities. I was all kinds of ready to start submitting an original sweater pattern to some magazines/books but now I am thinking I am not really that skilled. I will continue to ponder this over the evening hours. Good night and good knitting to all!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Prediction: CORRECT


So I'm bloggin' because The Office is a re-run. I'm still half-watching it while I type. It's a sickness and I don't know how I will survive until the new season starts.

So anyhow, my sweater IS in fact completed!!! I stayed up until 1AM last night finishing it up. It turned out pretty well. Here's some pics:

The Back:

The Front:


I don't think The Sweater is looking good with The Skirt. There is something amiss. I can't quite put my finger on it. So I now have a new skirt and new sweater without anything to wear either one with. I also have new shoes I don't think I'll be wearing anywhere either. You all know what this means--tomorrow I am fighting the mean fight on the streets, looking for The Dress. And problably The Shoes. Maybe even The Jacket. More money down the drain, just what I need right now!

So I am a great fortune teller, at least. Too bad over the weekend I couldn't see a bunch of yuck heading right for me. I attended a bachelorette party Saturday and had a great time. Sunday looked a little different. My boyfriend's parents were staying with us and I was hurting. They all went shopping and I stayed home to let the Bayer do its job. It took quite a while but I felt better towards evening and even managed to eat some dinner. Then I realized I had lost my wallet!

I ended up getting the wallet back. The cab driver had it in his cab, but I had to cancel my ATM card as well as my credit card and order new ones just in case. Which have not arrived even though I was promised they would be here by now (take that National City and Chase)!

So then I go back to work and my boyfriend's parents leave and the world returns to normal. Went knitting at the Bee Hive too and had a good time and made good progress on The Sweater. Enter Tuesday. Enter the phone call from Kay. She's my mom. I usually call her Kay. Kay and I are talking and I am in a bit of a grouchy mood and am not being especially nice to Kay. Then she lets me know her cancer is back. She's been in remission for about 12 years now, fought and won the fight over breast cancer. Kay is one tough lady but no one should have cancer twice. They don't know yet if it's breast cancer come back or lung cancer yet so she needs to have a biopsy. I'm still reeling over this as I type it out here. I keep bursting into tears at odd moments. I was ironing a shirt for work yesterday and thought about how much she wants grandchildren and doesn't have any yet, and maybe I need to hurry up and get pregnant just in case, for her. That's pretty wrong, don't you think? To have a child for your parent?

So Kay and Bill (my dad) are coming Saturday and then I will drive them to the wedding. So tomorrow is all about cleaning the house, going to Whole Foods and Giant Eagle, shopping for a dress/shoes/jacket, getting a money holder for the lucky couple and finding time to cast on something new. My fingers are feeling that itch, the "I just finished the project I was focusing all energy on and now I have nothing to do" itch. I'll let you know where that takes the mean time, hope you all have good health and good knitting.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Fortune Teller

I can see into the future. It's no lie. I see me searching last minute for something specific. Trailing all over town, looking in all the local stores as desperation sets in. I start considering the purchase of items I normally would pass on by. I can narrow this down even more to an exact date! What other soothseer or sage could do this? It will occur on the eve of the 27th of the merry month of May, mark my words. How do I do this? Crystal ball? Tarot cards? Tea leaves, a rubric system, scrying?

By KNITTING, my friends, by knitting. You see, I am doing what no knitter should ever attempt to do---create a sweater to wear to an important event that is less than a month away. It all started in a bookstore, which I won't name here to avoid any litigation for slander. So I'm in this large bookstore in front of the knitting books and I'm browsing. There is a group of women off to my right on some couches and such knitting who basically ignore me even though I'm purusing KNITTING books (which I thought was very rude of them). So I'm looking through all sorts of books--books on cabling, books on baby-wear, books on knitting items for the home. I then stumble on a book I had considered purchasing a while back. Alterknits by Leigh Radford.

I flip through the book again, looking to see if there is any of the initial magik, that rosy glow of loveliness about the pages that made me consider it long ago. And there it was, my source of inspiration, my muse. The Sweater.

I had just bought a $20 skirt in Target. To wear to two weddings. I originally planned to buy a proper dress, the kind that would make heads turn and people sigh as I walked, no floated, past them. The kind of dress you put on and feel happy in, just cause you're in it and know it's cute and it makes your butt look good. I tried on some dresses but none were The Dress. Some were ok, some were awful, and some did not even fit. The Dress was proving to be elusive.

Then came The Skirt. As I checked out some pants in Target, I spied a light grayish blue frock, 100% cotton and light as air. Thoughts of floating resurfaced. I tried it on and thoughts of dresses drifted I left with the skirt (and the pants and some cute underwear).

So now I am in Giant Mega Bookstore Land and I decide I will make up my own pattern for the corset-style tank sweater from Alterknits. The Sweater. I study the picture, close the book and head to Michael's two stores away for yarn. I leave with 6 skeins of white Lion brand Microspun, my head swimming with visions of my wedding wear.

Not a whole lot of hope is left. Time is running out. Can this dream be saved? Has anyone else out there ever done this? Will The Sweater be completed in time? Or am I the best fortune teller this side of the Mississippi? Tune in to find out!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Beginning

Welcome to my new blog!
I am finally catching up with the large segment of society who share their lives with complete strangers. I guess this calls for a bit of an introduction. I moved to the Pittsburgh area almost a year ago from the Outer Banks in North Carolina, specifically, the town of Kill Devil Hills. Now, the Outer Banks is a much different setting than the city I currently live in and I must say, I think I have adapted well to city life. Prior to NC, I lived in Colorado but I hail from Pennsylvania originally.

This past year has been fantastic. I have gone to Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates games, enjoyed the Carnegie Museum of Natural Science, watched the St. Patrick's Day parade and rang in the New Year with Brett Michaels in Station Square (no he was not my date, he was the entertainment). I saw Gaelic Storm at Irish Fest and some lesser known but musically gifted bands in the bars along the South Side. I have gotten lost and then found my way back to some known street or landmark. I have sat at the Point and closed my eyes and imagined all who have been there before me, the native Americans, French and British soldiers, deer and bear and racoon and owl, as two rivers joined to make a third. I have ridden the T and smiled at the colorful Pittsburgh accent of fellow passengers. I survived a winter of sliding down unplowed city streets in my car on my way to work. I have done OK in this crazy city and I think I love it more each day.

I also joined a knitting group and have started (and sometimes even finished) several projects. I hope to document my creative side in this blog. Feel free to comment on my words and my works, however, note I can be quite sensitive at times so please keep the criticism constructive. Thanks for visiting and I'll be back soon!