Saturday, May 19, 2007

Baby needs a new

digital camera.

I've broken my old digital camera, and it's high time for a new one. Oh, it still works, but the battery door is being held closed with duct tape, which comes apart every time I put the camera away. We're going to Disney in less than 3 weeks, and I'd love to be able to get a new camera in time for the trip - I don't want to miss anything with my daughter's first trip, and every time I take the camera out, it resets itself and I lose precious time resetting the time, date, etc. before I can even use the camera.

So, I'm beggin' ya! I'm destashing a lot of fiber and yarn between the Destash blog and my Etsy shop (where all batts are now $5 or less, and there are 4 new handspun yarns and 2 handdyed rovings). I'm not saying buy stuff, unless you see something you like, but please, let your friends know, I'm getting rid of some pretty nice stuff! THANKS!!!

Here's a preview:



Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Shake it off

Ok, I'm going to attempt to shake off the pity party blues and answer Colleen's meme.

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs the 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog. Here are my facts:

1. I have a photographic memory when it comes to spatial things. For example, I aced every exam in my high school history classes because I could picture a page's layout in my head, and remember a photo on the page, and a nearby paragraph - I could almost "read" the paragraph in my head. Unfortunately for me, it didn't extend to things like organic chemistry.

2. I started out in college as a marine bio major, but had to seriously struggle with math and chem, so I ended up switching my major to English after taking a Lit class and cruising through it.

3. After graduating from college, I was accepted to Villanova's master's program in English. I got a job nannying for a family on the Main Line, and lived in their 24 room mansion with them for the summer until I realized that grad school (or maybe, really, nannying) wasn't for me.

4. I can really only learn things by having someone show me - manual stuff like knitting and spinning. Thank goodness Colleen was at that meetup the fateful night I went, or I'd still be trying to figure out how to make a slip knot out of Knitting for Dummies!

5. I have been treated for depression in the past (and, based on the way I've been feeling lately, I should probably get back into therapy). I was put on Paxil, but weaned myself off when I wanted to get pregnant. It was what I imagine coming down from a drug addiction would be like - I was dizzy, distracted, light-headed, sweaty, would get flash fevers that would go away in a couple of hours and then come back. I was paranoid, nauseous, got headaches, and shakes. Took me 4 days to feel normal again. Paxil is something I'll never go back to.

6. I really want to go back to school and learn something else - I've considered becoming a lactation consultant, but I can't afford to do it right now (plus, more chemistry!)

7. My favorite movie ever is The Princess Bride. I had a friend who also loved it, and we'd watch it together and quote every single line. I'm a dork.

Ok, I don't think I even have 7 bloggy friends, but I tag Kat, Faun, Natasha, Lori, Farm-Witch, and Briana. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Wow. Well, first I want to thank my loyal reader(s) for their positive job vibes on, um, yesterday (why is it I'm losing days now? I mean, seriously, folks, I'm retarded). But, basically, as I told Colleen, well, I'm going to just quote exactly what I told Colleen, because I'm tired and even though it's only 9:34 by my clock, I wanna go to bed (yes, I may be 30, but it's an old 30. Like, 50. Gimme my tapioca, bee-atch!)

The job interview was pretty much how I expected it to go. The "interview" was basically to make sure I didn't have a third eye in the middle of my forehead or something like that - much in the way a retail interview goes ("She's breathing, she's hired."). Right now, until fall, they can only offer me 7.5 hours a week. That's right. SEVEN AND A HALF. Mondays 6-8:30 PM, Fridays 10A-3P. Woo hoo. At a whopping $7.50 an hour. Not even $60 a week, $225 a month (BEFORE taxes). I'd be a front desk monkey, taking people's cards, signing people up, giving people info, things like that. Wow, now we can afford the house! Hell, we can't even afford to charge the digital camera I want. If I want it, I can start when we get back from Disney. I might take it just to see how many hours I get once fall comes around, when the college kids go back to school. If I can get 20 hours a week at that price, I can at least make $600 a month. And in a year, I can get a raise. Oooooh, $7.75 an hour? Sheesh. Can you tell I'm thrilled?

There it is. The email to Colleen. I'm a lazy bastard, huh? So I'm thinking I'm going to take it, because even a little money is better than, um, NO money, which is what this financial drain on the family, aka, the SAHM, makes now. I know there are studies that show moms who stay home for even a short time lose money in the workplace (because, you know, we women aren't getting fucked enough by the patriarchy making less money and working more hours than men, on top of having our reproductive abilities count AGAINST us, despite the fact that we FURTHER THE SPECIES [well, some of us]), but SEVEN FIFTY AN HOUR?!?! How insulting that I'd be making only a dollar more an hour than I did working at Borders FIVE YEARS AGO. But I'm not bitter. I guess I'll take it, because I'm not in a position to fall back on pride or the fact that, once upon a time, I made decent money (ok, decent money for an editor - which is basically only slightly better than decent money for a secretary - which I could have been if I'd not wasted my time going to college and amassing huge debt that will haunt me for the rest of my viable life, not to mention all that time I could have been working and SAVING). Geez. Ok, I admit it, you twisted my arm, I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO bitter. It doesn't help that today Hurricane and I spent the afternoon at the in-laws house (Hubster was at a Phillies game) and my daughter has SO much fun outside it's not even funny. And I can't provide that for her. We have a postage stamp yard that is basically a toilet for the 95-pound moron dog from hell, so no place for the kid to really play. And she just adores being outside, running around in the sun and the grass and the wind. And I hate the fact that, to get out of here and into even a decent house (because the market here, despite the downturn almost everywhere else, is still high - great for selling, shitty for buying) I'd have to work full-time. But if I go back full-time to afford a house, I'd have to leave kid #2 (and there WILL be a kid #2 - not right now, but soon) as an infant to go back to work. I didn't do that with Hurricane, and I'm loathe to do it with another child. And not having another kid isn't an option - hubster and I both really want one (not to mention the fact that Hurricane would make a great older sister). So there you have it - another pity party from yours truly. I've just been full of sunshine and happiness lately, huh?

Lookit the sheep. Cute little sheep.

Oh, yeah, and Col? I'll do the meme tomorrow!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Need your mojo!

I wasn't going to blog about this, because I'm afraid to jinx myself, but I need some good thoughts sent my way! I FINALLY have a job interview! Monday morning, 10 AM, send good hiring thoughts my way! I'm going to interview for a part-time job at the local Y, which is within walking distance, would give me a membership so I can afford to get Hurricane in some group situations, and would give us enough money (hopefully!) to buy a house and get away from Psychoneighbor! So, please, 10 AM Monday morning, cross your fingers and send "don't-screw-this-up" vibes my way!

Here's a cute alpaca pic from MDSW, just cuz! Everyone say it with me "Awwwwww!"

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Buried in Fiber at MDSW

This is fiber that I have literally coveted since LAST year's MDSW. It's from Brush Creek Farm, and it's merino in a gorgeous colorway - Rocky Coast (I believe). I went past it easily 4 times, until Colleen agreed to split the 1.5 lb. wad of it - and the $40 pricetag!

This is fiber I'm splitting with Kat, who couldn't make it (but go congratulate her, she bought a house instead!) There's 2 oz. of white border leicester locks, mohair fiber and alpaca in jeweltones from Shadeyside Farms (love them!), and some Finn locks and mohair locks that were dyed in the same colorway. Fun fun!

Here's 4 oz. of Finn and a felting mix (I'm going to use it for carding) from the same vendor as the Finn/mohair lock blend. I love their yarn - I bought the yarn for Hurricane's baby surprise sweater last year there.

Here was an impulse buy, in that it was at the counter at the Misty Mountain Farm booth, and I was up there, and next thing I knew, the little slut threw herself at me! Just kidding - but I was in the market for a laceweight spindle, and while I was coveting the Tsunami spindle from Golding, but it was $40, and I was reluctant just in case I hated spinning laceweight with a spindle. So this one is a Schact, and I love my heavier Schact, so at $16, I couldn't pass it up! And what's on it? Some fiber from Cacao, which I carded into a batt for Colleen (and snitched some to try out myself. Oh. My. God. This fiber ROCKS! I am THRILLED with the way it came out, and very proud that I washed it, carded it, and am spinning it - and that Colleen is going to spin socks for her hubby out of it!)

This mix is SOOOO much fun! One of the vendors had 6 biiiiiig baskets out front, and each one was full of a different colorway - wacky fibers, lots of angelina and texture, and it was one of those "fill a bag" kinda deals, where you could stuff a bag full for $34 a pound. So Col and I split it. We were each able to grab what colors we liked best - a brilliant idea!

Sock yarn, the top from Misty Mountain Farm, the bottom 2 from Tess - I would have bought A LOT more Tess yarn (GORGEOUS colorways!) but I was trying to exercise self-control, since this was only the second stop. In fact, I only had 1 skein in my hands, but the line was FOREVER, and I felt that I needed to spend more to justify standing there for so long - not to mention, the sock yarns were sitting RIGHT THERE taunting me (or maybe that was the eleventy million skeins in Colleen's arms!)

More first purchase at the top from Ozark Carding Mill, a Targhee blend in a beautiful ocean colorway, and some dark brown Targhee, full of VM, but only $1 an oz., and perfect for carding. I bought this while Col was drooling on all the Golding spindles. Then there's merino in the Cassis colorway (and in the Thistle colorway on the other end), a 2 oz. Corriedale "garlic bulb" (c'mon, it totally looks like that!) which is exactly what I needed to ply with another yarn I'm spinning, and some silk noil in various colors - pick your own again, I love it!

Mystery wool with sari silk snippets - spins up tweedy! Mmmmm, tweedy!

Painfully blurry Wensleydale locks - love these colors!

This is GREAT!

And it feels so good!

I have very little self-control. I only have control imposed by budget. That is all.

Oh, and the gates of hell are in South Jersey. HAHA!

(There will be more - I will blog about animals, and bloggers I walked past but was too afraid to speak to, and other stuff and nonsense. Later, my precious.)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

So. Tired.

Back from MDSW. STOP. I may have been attacked by some fiber. STOP. More tomorrow. STOP.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Nupp. Nupp. Nupp. Or, Why Lace is the Devil

I didn't blog about this particular project because I was afraid to challenge the knit goddess. In fact, I found myself getting cocky once getting through the body of the project, and the knit goddess smacked me down like the bitch I apparently am. Ouch. But it's done, my first "real" lace pattern, and I didn't fuck it up too badly! Victory dance! I'd have spiked it in the end zone, but knitting doesn't spike too well!

I have learned something about myself in knitting this "simple" lace pattern - I am not a process knitter. There are those of you out there who knit like the journey is the thing, not the destination. I have a confession - I'm a destination knitter (man, I wish that meant someone paid me lots of money to knit in exotic locales, but alas, no one pays me anything for anything!) I knit to have an FO I can wear, or my daughter can wear, or my hubby can wear. Yes, I like learning things as I knit, and I'm amazed to go back and look at a project from the beginning of my "career" and realize how far I've come and how that project wouldn't be as great a challenge now as then, but mostly, give me pretty knits and give them to me now! But this project went faster than I thought it would...


It's Swallowtail Shawl from IK. Up there it's fresh off the needles. I knit it using just over 3 balls of Elann's Baby Cashmere yarn in Starlight Blue (don't bother, they're sold out), which is 70% baby alpaca, 20% merino, 10% cashmere. I started it on US4 Addi Naturas because I read on someone's blog (don't remember who) that Naturas were great for lace. This wasn't laceweight yarn, but I can't imagine knitting lace on these needles - the join is terrible for lace, and the points aren't pointy enough. Then I switched to US4 Inox, which were great for the body of the shawl - slippery, but still grippy enough to give this novice knitter some confidence. I switched to my Knitpicks Options when I started the nuppy sections. I started Swallowtail about 2 weeks ago (I don't remember exactly) and after frogging the first few rows several, SEVERAL times (even the stupid cast-on was giving me fits!), I was on a roll.

(ignore the crochet hook there, I realized what I thought was just an f-d up YO was actually a dropped stitch! I don't know how it hung in there so long, but it did, and it was fixed once blocking was done. I blocked using Eunny's excellent tutorial).

There were many tinked rows as I realized I should be counting my stitches more often, and when I got cocky - just after finishing the budding lace section and starting the first of the nupp charts I got all proud of myself, figuring I was in the home stretch...and the knitting goddess promptly disabused me of that notion, and I had to frog 8 nuppy rows, after spending half a day trying to tink and figure out where the extra stitches I had were coming from. Ever try to tink a nupp? Don't try it. Ever try to reconstruct a nupp that's been tinked incorrectly and fell apart? Save yourself the time, trouble, and yes, tears (I was frustrated, ok?) and just RIIIIIIP. Much easier. Luckily, that chart starts with 2 rows that are basically plain knit or purl, so I was able to use them as my point to frog back to. Oh, and nupps? Well, when you fudge them, too, they're not so much of a headache. Before finding this, no matter how loosely I knit, I could not P5tog, even using a US1 Crystal Palace DPN to try to draw the stitches out. So they're time-consuming, but not terribly so when you cheat!


After that, there were a few moments where I fudged as I knit because a nupp wasn't landing where it was supposed to, and I just decreased or increased to fit the nupp where it belonged, but I'm not proud of that. Well, at that point, I JUST. WANTED. IT. TO. END! Hmm...I just typed "Ene" there instead of "end" - maybe I should knit the Ene scarf next. I have a weird addiction to laceweight yarns, and have an entire basket of them, so I should start something else to use that yarn up. I could knit lace from my stash all year (don't get your hopes up!)


No pics of me wearing it, because my ass is huge and I'm feeling all fat cow-y today, but if you're at MDSW tomorrow, you can see it in person! All in all, I am very proud of my first "real" lace pattern, and the next time I feel like banging my head against a wall, I'll knit more. One day, I'd like to knit this or this!

And I needed some simple knitting now, and am bored with the kneesock I'm knitting, so I'm knitting the oh-so-creatively named "Bag" from Debbie Bliss' Noro Collection book in some Noro Kochoran destashed from Colleen ages ago (am I right, Col? Is it Kochoran? I lost the labels! It's the yarn I knit the Urban Rustic gloves out of - remember?) Nice, simple knitting - and not a nupp to be found!
Spin Sisters
<< | # | ? |>>