25 October 2006

oh blogger, i have not forsaken thee

One of my secret pals (how many swaps am I in these days anyway) jolted me into realizing my little blogling is neglected. October is a historically busy month in our family. Multitudes of birthday, combined with one of the busiest months of the year at the Sprout's school.

One of those events that took up a large junk of our time was the carnival. Over the weekend Sprout's elementary school had their annual carnival. She and I ran one of the games for the first portion of the evening (basketball throw). Then we bought some game tickets, $5 worth of basket raffle tickets (each grade donated items along certain themes to raffle off) and had some carnival snacks. We put in for our raffles and Sprout wheeled off with some friends to win herself some prize tickets.

And win she did. Sprout came back to me heavily laden with prize tickets. In the library she exchanged them for a disco light- much like this one, only not exactly. Hers is a tad flashier. Its just the super gaudy thing an eleven year old girl needs for her bedroom.

This morning while dropping her off at school, it seems that our $5 investment paid off. We won the "movie night" basket.
Our booty includes:
  • a lovely 15" wide hexagon shaped wicker basket (I am thinking perfect container to store puppy toys)
  • a small wooden snack/ popcorn bowl
  • two fall themed mugs
  • one box of swiss miss hot cocoa mix
  • one pound of sour skittles
  • movie theatre sized boxes of:
    • Milk duds
    • twizzler twists
    • nerds
    • dots
    • mike n' ikes
    • skittles
  • nine packages of microwave popcorn
  • and ten dvds:
    • chicken run
    • because of winn-dixie
    • the adventures of milo and otis
    • the princess diaries
    • jumanji
    • annie
    • alvin & the chipmunks "trick or treason"
    • matilda
    • my little pony: the princess promenade (which we will be gifting to the neighbor's 4yr old daughter).
  • A DVD player
I felt justified in spending the $5 on the raffle. Even if we didn't win anything, the money was going to a good cause. As it is, my investment (I'll even go so far as to say our entire $15 carnival expenditure + the 2 hours of my life I lost shagging basketballs and annoying my back) were totally worth our win. We have a fresh crop of DVDs to add to our small pile of them (we're still largely a VHS family) for roadtrips. Like the one we have in two weeks- back to Minnesota to see the Shriners.

I promise a follow up post is in the very near future with some knitting bits. Because let's face it, any of my "free" moments have involved me knitting furiously in an effort to finish up some birthday gift items or working with Bosley on his puppy school progress.

18 October 2006

heck freakin' yeah!!!

061502 dvd/cd

Seattle, Washington: The Showbox. June 15, 2002. Botch's final live performance. Possibly the tightest, hottest, sweetest show ever. All your favorite jams (fourteen in all); all those unstoppable riffs, all that blood, sweat and fear. See it for the first time all over again, under the white-hot blaze of the worklights, complete with pant-pissing bonus commentary and an audio CD of the complete performance. Plus a video for "St. Matthew Returns to the Womb." Plus a bunch of other cool shit that you'll have to discover for yourself.

out 12.05.06 on Hydrahead

08 October 2006


Chubbz, my wee dumbo ratty, died this morning.

She was nearly four, which is exceptionally old for a ratty. She lived a long, happy, chubby little rat life.

She will be missed.

06 October 2006

the daily 'scope

Try not to make more of this than there really is. It's very easy to get caught up in a 'The sky is falling!' mentality, but that doesn't help anything in the end. Feel the panic, let it pass, then get down to business.

fitting as usual.

05 October 2006

questionaires, KALS and stupid needle sizing

I cast on for my Soctoberfest project today. I'll hopefully post a pic tomorrow, and I'll toss in some more details about what it is exactly that I've got cooking. I've been knitting a bit lately in my downtime. I'm lacking FOs though due to pesky things like.. 'finishing'.

I've also been pawing through things looking for the 'perfect' sock pattern for the yarn I elected to use for Soctoberfest (a gorgeous bearfoote colourway that I picked up in Montana last August). I think I've found the pattern of my soctoberfest dreams, but I may need to make some adjustments needlewise.

I have three different sets of size two DPNs, and each one has its own size in metric. Guess I'm a fool for thinking that a size two.. was a size two. How did I get three sizes of size twos. dangit.

I'm sure I'm not the only one- a whole lot of these things are kicking off at once it seems.
However, it feels pretty silly to be posting so many swap questionaires with mostly the same data on all of them. I think I'm good for at least a wee bit for now though.

Next order of business will be checking up to make sure I'm on top of all of my incoming and outgoing swap related email.

Secret Pal 9 Questionaire

What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

Targhee! (that’s Montana pride right there), alpaca, wool, merino. Rowan, mountain colors, trekking and Lisa Souza. I'm also beginning to be a big fan of KnitPicks.

What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Anything scratchy and unflexible. I am not cute when I am itching.

  1. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I keep my needles in an old oatmeal container.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

Two years knitting and spinning. Crocheting for three years continuously- but my Grammy taught me to crochet decades ago. I just took a break from it and started coming back to craftiness a few years ago. I’d call myself intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I have two! An Amazon Wishlist, and one of yarn/knitting stuffs.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)

I love spicy and sweet scents. "Light floral" isn't really my speed. Burts Bees Milk and Honey lotion is about the most divine smell in skin care. Warm vanilla sugar. Yum. This time of year is the best to find things that are “fall” smelling.. apple cider, pumpkin spice candles.. rawr.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

sour! I love sour things... like lemon and any of those "sour" candies. And, I feel chocolate is only useful when wrapped around peanut butter or caramel. Mmm caramel.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I spin on a drop spindle, and have dyed my own rovings. I like to make hand bound books and block prints.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s?

I listen to music. A lot. Hardcore, Indie, largely non- mainstream. I think Steve Albini is a god among mortals. Big Black and Shellac are definitely high on my list. Pleasure Forever and Queens of the Stoneage. Afghan Whigs, Mark Lanegan. I tend to tell people I like “dirty, hedonistic death rock” and “psycho stalker love songs”. I don’t care much for country, unless it pre-mid 70s. I also enjoy learning/ experiencing new music.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

Pinks, oranges, Blues, purples, cranberry reds, jewel tones? I can see even the most obnoxious colours as fun accent/ accessories. Ex- I mainly wear black, grey and denim. BUT bright pumpkin orange and hot pink are two of my favorite accent colours. However, yellow and I do not agree with each other on much.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Me and the Sprout! Pets, lots! One rat, three cats and a pup!

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I wear super long >7’ scarves and hats in winter. I’m more of a glove girl than a mitten girl, and I don’t wear ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Lately it seems all I am making are knucks and socks.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Presently I have one pair of knucks on needles (and two pair awaiting “finishing”) a stripey cashmere/alpaca scarf, a dishcloth, and I just cast on Cascading Leaves for my Soctoberfest project.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

I should hope so! I make them for friends and family all the time!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Yes! I think each of them can be useful in their own right. My favorites are my Birch Brittany-s. Depending on the stickiness of yarn I’m using, I go back and forth between them and metal. My glass namaste’s were the best at cotton. As for dircs vs. straights, it depends on the project, mostly straights since that’s what I have. I tell myself I’m going to learn magic loop on circs, but I havn’t quite gotten there yet.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I own neither a winder nor swift.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Four months.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Halloween, yom kippur and rosh hashana

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Godzilla! Garden gnomes! (I have thirteen) Smooshed pennies! Cavaleras (Mexican day of the dead skulls/ skeletons). Bats. (of the mammal variety) and rocks. I love funky, native rocks and bring them home from every place I travel.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I don’t have any subscriptions, but I tend to pick up vogue knitting. As for the rest, I have a whole slew of them, and I’ve got books on the Amazon list, and yarn/needles and patterns on my crafty bit list.(as seen in item #4)

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I want to learn the two socks at a time via double knitting. Magic loop and two at a time toe up are also on my agenda. You know, when I can get around to it.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I had my trial by fire this summer in socks. My blog follows my progression. I went from swearing I’d never make a sock “I could buy one cheaper- It would take too long- No patience- tiny needles” I had every excuse. Then, I got roped into the trek-along-knit along by a friend and spent three months creating a toe up, thigh high socks as my very first pair. Now, I’m mildly sock obsessed.

Because this information is potentially traumatic, I’m going to preface it with. I’m sorry. I’m 6’2” tall. My feets, are not wee. *takes deep breath* My shoe size is. *ahem* 11.5 (us) I bet you can now see why I *heart* toe ups. If ya really want to know, I’ll take a measurement and get back to you. (I have no idea where my tape is at the moment)

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

March 20. Yep, Pisces/ Aries cusp, Gemini moon, Gemini rising. I’m pretty sure that all means that I can’t help but be half-crazy ;)

02 October 2006

dish cloth woot.

I'm taking part in the DishCloth Knit Along.. So far, I've manged to knit up two in a fairly basic pattern. In August there were a couple of handknit dish cloths in the kitchen at the cabin. Mom had made a comment about how I should be knitting "some of these". Little did she know I had already been acquiring the yarn to make some for her. I made note of the cloths at the cabin, not realizing they are apparently the most common pattern out there. (I just thought they looked easy) No surprise there, found all over the place as "Grandma's Favorite" or some variation of those words, its also in the Idiot's Guide to Knitting..

So here are my first two dish cloths.. the idiot cloth.. as seen in a lime and yellow sugar 'n cream yarn and a pink and lavender hand dyed cotton.

wanna play catch (up)?

Between being sick (can I say "sick" if its a pain thing, as opposed to a volatile illness thing? who cares. I'm gonna.) and having eighteen shades of camera woes these past few weeks, I've been mighty crappy about posting. How could my life get in the way of me documenting... my life?

Anyway, I digress. Also, I blame any incoherence on the fact that I'm still under medication and whatnot... and will be for the forseeable future.

A couple of weeks ago, my Sprout, embarked on an overnight camping trip for school. The students went out to a 4-H camp to experience ecology in action. It was rainy, but there were s'mores and campfires. It all came out in the wash.

Sprout and Bosley the wee pup, getting ready to leave for the camping trip.

Please note in the above image, both Sprout and Pup were in need of a trim. About a week ago, Bosley went in for baby's first hair cut. We went from super scruffy, to super sleek.

However, the wee pup is not the only one who got a trim, Sprout's bangs were out of control and she was long overdue for a trim. We had an appointment set for Friday afternoon. Thursday night there was a bit on the news regarding a local 7yr old girl who is battling her 3rd bout with cancer. Sprout had asked me a few questions about why the little girl was bald, the scars on her head, and why her mommy was crying. Being as graceful as possible, yet not sugar coating it, I gave the kid an overview.

Sprout has had two major haircuts in her life. When she started kindergarten we took her mid-back hair and cut it into a chin length bob. Her hair grew back and in the third grade, we cut her waist-length hair to about her shoulder blades. On both occasions we donated her hair to Locks of Love. I reminded her of this while discussing the bald headed girl on tv.

One of her day camp teachers has spent the last few years battling cancer. Her hair is growing back now, and she's cancer-free. Mary is a survivor. I know that right now, there is a lot of Breast Cancer awareness in the media. A couple of years ago, I helped one of my best friends, as best I could, as she cared for her father when he was diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer in April and dead by August. This past year, a dear friend's husband battled a brain tumor, he is winning. Last week, the same friend's aunt died from one. Words like "cancer" and "tumor" are ones the Sprout has heard a lot. Its a tough world and she knows it. Her problems aren't fatal, but she isn't new to hospitals or medically fragile kiddos.

Over the summer we'd been kicking around the idea of cutting her hair back again. Did I mention we have unnaturally thick hair? It has grown back with a vengeance, and she could sit on it when it was unfurled. Braided up, it was still ridiculously long.

The 'before' shot

She kept backing down at the last minute, saying she wasn't ready. Friday morning her mind had changed. No longer was she going in for a bang trimming. She decided to lop it off. Eighteen inches later, with her hair en route to the folks at Locks of Love, she's still adorable, and loves saying "watch me!" as she shakes her hair like she's in a Breck commercial.

The "after"