Thursday, December 20, 2007

Good idea. Bad idea.

Good idea: Preparing for the holidays and getting all your shopping or knitting or creating done by October, at the latest.
Bad idea: Waiting until the last minute to do any of the above stated things thus causing you to want to do nothing more than lie flat on your back, mouth open, under the spigot of a box of wine until you either choke or become drunk enough that it doesn't matter.

Good idea: Preparing to move by packing boxes and giving away all the stuff you don't want anymore at least two weeks in advance of the move.
Bad idea: Procrastinating and waiting until the week before you move to do any packing or eliminating of stuff thus causing you to want to do nothing more than eat some big slices of Xanax pie in order to help you pretend that the house will pack itself and purge any items it knows you no longer want or need.

Good idea: Being 100% certain that Google maps is lying to you when it shows you an aerial, satellite view of your soon to be new residence and, according to the map, says you are moving into a beautiful, three-bedroom shrub with a view of the water.
Bad idea: Trusting that Google maps is 100% incorrect when it shows you that your soon to be new residence is a lovely, three-bedroom shrub with a view of the water and celebrating the move into a larger domicile that is NOT a shrub by imbibing many vodka-based drinks.

Good idea: If you are, in fact, moving into a cozy, three-bedroom shrub, you begin to learn about topiary in order to maximize privacy during showering and sleepy time.
Bad idea: Insisting that Google maps is wrong and you are not, therefore, moving into a shrub so it is completely unnecessary to learn about topiary and it is also unnecessary to trouble yourself with things like pest control, the water table, or anything else that may befall your new shrub/home.

Good idea: Having more boxes than you need to pack up all the stuff that you have in your house.
Bad idea: Not having nearly enough boxes or packing material to pack up all the stuff you have in your house thus causing you to create unorthodox packing materials such as tablecloths, dishtowels, plastic grocery bags, tumbleweeds of carefully collected cat hair, etc.

Good idea: Packing your books into several small to medium sized boxes, no matter how many it takes, so that you can lift the boxes into the moving truck.
Bad idea: Loading as many books as you can into a 30 gallon, blue Rubbermaid tub that requires a forklift and at least a team of six strong oxen to move, let alone get it into the moving truck.

Good idea: Having a big, black permanent marker to clearly mark all your boxes so that your friends, moving buddies, moving men, what have you, plainly see what it is you have packed in those boxes, thus preventing possible disaster when well meaning friends stack a 350lb, blue Rubbermaid 30 gallon tub full of fiction books on top of your wine glasses.
Bad idea: Using whatever writing utensil is handy to scrawl the contents of the box in several inconspicuous places on the boxes in handwriting that drunk four year olds would chastise.

If any of you have any other good idea/bad idea things to add, please feel free. I'm hopefully making light of my current situation. I am 100% certain that I would be getting a lot more unorthodox packing done (as opposed to orthodox packing which, I'm sure, is done in the presence of a clergy member) if I decided not to blog but then what fun would that be for y'all?? You couldn't laugh with me or demonstrate to me that history repeats itself when we do this again next year. After all, our lease date for our new shrub starts on January 1 so, if we decide after living in the shrub for a year that it is not to our liking, we will be making another move at the exact same time. I hope your holiday preparations have been going well, my dear bloglings and blogettes. I'm going back in to the fray, armed with a box of wine and some Xanax pie smothered in a vodka-based sauce for good measure. Wish me luck!
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Gnome of Demotivation...

...has struck me today with a fury and vengeance unrivaled by even the Unicorn of Doom. That is some serious business, I tell ya'. I'm supposed to be writing articles, proofreading a book, knitting up Christmas presents and packing up the house (we're moving. SURPRISE!) but instead of doing the important stuff, I've been knitting dishcloths (10+) and reading blogs. I've plum run out of my usual blogs to read with the exception of Boing Boing. It takes me about ten hours to get through 200 of their blog efforts so I'm putting them off for another day in the near future when I'm trying to avoid working. I thought maybe blogging about a whole lotta nothing would motivate me to do something else but, thus far, no dice. I could thrill you with the details of this excellent juice I'm drinking or wow you with the minutiae of the grilled cheese sandwich I had for lunch (with Thai sweet spicy chips. Oh, so delicious!) but that would be setting a precedent for action on my blog that I'm just not up to snuff for doing. I've noticed a trend on blogs lately that make all of these great suggestions for what to give your loved ones for Christmas. Not being one to hop on ye olde bandwagon, I won't be doing that in this post (or any other post for that matter) so if you were hoping for FancyPants' guide to gift giving, I'm sorry to disappoint. Oh, the ennui! Well, since I've clearly got nothing interesting to blog about other than my dangerous encounter with the mighty Gnome of Demotivation, I'm going to send you off vaguely dissatisfied and hopefully unharmed. That Gnome is a wily one, he is.
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Saturday, December 08, 2007

On a random note...

I, for just one second, had this really great, really funny plan for a blog post but it has escaped me. Now, all I have to say is that I cleaned out the "storage room" of our house and discovered, much to my dismay, that one of our cats (I'm not going to mention names here because I don't want to point fingers just in case I'm wrong) has taken to micturating in the back region of the storage room. After wiping up copious amounts of dried cat pee and throwing out anything that couldn't be saved (including yarn! YARN!! I threw out yarn!!), I have now come to the conclusion that either the entire house or I smell like cat pee. Either way, it's not pretty or, um, good smelling. I liberally sprayed canned air freshener around the house but now I smell cat pee+air freshener. What a combo. Now I have to go soak some yarn that I'm unwilling to throw out (it was a limited colorway and the first and potentially only ball of yarn that Travis ever labored over to make it into a tidy ball. Now, I ask you, how could I dispose of that?? I have photographic evidence of Travis untangling the skein of this yarn and carefully winding into a ball. It's way too much of a Hallmark moment for me to just toss it into the trash. Seriously.) and hope that I can get the cat pee odor out of it. Oh, I just remembered what I was initially going to say! I was going to tell you how, for the most part, metal DPNs are better than bamboo DPNs if, for no other reason than metal DPNs don't absorb cat pee. Ask me how I know this (And yes, now that I've read that, I realize it was neither funny nor indicative of my status as a luminary, in any sense of the word). I think I need to go wash my hands for the umpteenth time since cleaning out the storage room and make myself an alcoholic libation of some sort. I think I need some Scotch to get over this or, at least, give me the intestinal fortitude for cleaning yarn that smells of cat pee. Oh, did I mention the cat pee?
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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Late night post...

So I found my camera and, much to my surprise and delight, I did not leave it at my mama's house. Fortuitously, I found it in my car and now I'm able to share some photos of FO's with you. This will be a short-ish post, especially since I am a couple of mixed drinks into my evening and it's late in the evening (thus I'm asking you to forgive any spelling errors and typos that may occur as a result).

  • Here is the Grey Ghost: The Grey Ghost 4 As I mentioned in my previous post, it was created from following a UK pattern, which caused me some difficulties that have since been resolved. The pattern called for a worsted weight yarn but I was sent a DK weight yarn (it was knit on commission) so I bravely soldiered on and did the best I could do. Read my previous post for the pitfalls of translating a UK pattern into the bastardized form of English known as American English. I went down two needles sizes all around (size US 8 to size US 6 for the body and size US 6 to size US 4 for the ribbing and banding). If I knit this sweater again (which I may) I will knit the banding in one solid piece, starting at the bottom left edge and working right on through to the end of the right edge for a seamless piece. In the above photo, the banding is worked in two pieces and seamed together at the back of the neck, resulting in a seam at the back of the neck. In retrospect, I should have grafted these to pieces together but live and learn, as they say.Overall, I was pleased with the result but there were many things I would have changed (including knitting it in one piece up to the armholes and thus eliminating a lot of seaming). I won't get into the icky details about this sweater because I feel as if I should take the high road on this....and that's all I'm saying about it.
  • My mother was an unknowing model for the silk Jellyfish and here is the proof: Mama and the Jellyfish 1Mama and the Jellyfish 2Mama and the Jellyfish 3 She had no idea that these photos would be posted on my blog but there she is, in all her beautiful and ageless glory. If you look closely, you can see my oma relaxing on the sofa in the background. I knit the Jellyfish in a size small (in Fiesta La Luz. see my previous post for details about how much I love this yarn) and it fit my mother who is broader of shoulder and larger of tatas than me. Since the pattern called for a worsted weight yarn and I used a DK weight yarn, I went with the recommended needle size (US 8) for a DK weight yarn and used size US 6 for the edging. Clearly, it turned out just fine and both my mother and my oma requested one for Christmas. They are about to be cast on so, needless to say, it was a fun and easy pattern to knit. I'll keep you updated on the progress of those two.
  • I started and have made some headway on the Print O' the Waves Stole I started for my mother for Christmas. I went with Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace in the Pewter colorway for this and I am quite pleased with the result thus far. The pattern, while not easily memorizable, is easy to fall into a rhythm with. I am six pattern repeats into the main part of the stole and I can do it without devoting all my concentration to it, at least for now. I'll take some photos of the progress tomorrow and give you an update.
  • I'm still chugging away on dishcloths for stocking stuffers and I still love doing them for some mindless knitting.
  • I'm about to start my sister's big Christmas gift and I'm looking forward to it. I'll try to give you little glimpses of it to prevent it from being too secretive and provide y'all with some eye candy.
  • On a side note, I'll be seaming up Heath tomorrow and sending it out on Monday (hopefully) after photos. It's turning out really lovely.
Alright y'all, I'm going to go back to imbibing blueberry pomegranate juice and decent vodka (delicious) and knitting gauge swatches. More photos will be forthcoming and I hope y'all are doing well, staying warm, and not thinking about the extra padding you will obtain as a result of all the delicious holiday yumminess. Besides, there will be plenty of time to work it off next year, right? Much love to my loyal readers and all the people who take the time to comment. I really do appreciate it.
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