Monday, April 30, 2007

Magic Numbers & Cow Udders

Hi Flan,
Again, I hope everything is going well with the impending crazy. We had a very productive, if not very restful, weekend. Saturday morning, as my crazy garbled message said, we were at the Mobile Public Library's Annual Book Sale. That's where I found THE book. One of the knitting world's holy grails- for $0.50. That's right, fifty cents. I looked up the book when we got home and people sell it $200-$400. After I found it the world got a little wobbly, but I couldn't let anyone know what I had found, so I tried to act nonchalant, but was completely paranoid, so probably came across as a nutcase. I have the receipt, just in case the public library gets mad that they could have made $199.50 more if they had noticed the incredible find, and I can prove that they didn't want it and even stamped "discard" on the front.

I pulled out all the UFOs and I think there are 6. I decided that I am going to try and focus on two at a time, one that's straight, solid, unending knitting (it is the year of the sweater) and one with a pattern. So far The Hubby's Sweater has 10 inches of the body completed. That's 2/3 of the total body length. I'm so excited.

Clapotis is coming along. I decided to go for broke and try to make it as long as possible instead of trying to have enough left over for a second project. I'm completely loving how it's coming out.

The Hubby met with his advisor last week. She has been working tirelessly to get him finished and has been negotiating about how much the current University will accept from his transfer credit. After Field Camp he only has FIVE classes to go! Two in the summer and three in the fall! I almost cried.
The Field Camp List is having things slowly crossed off. I'm so tired of buying stuff and spending money. We don't have everything, so there will have to be some more buying and there's $900 due tomorrow. We bought a cot so that he can be as comfortable as possible whilst camping in the desert. It was the only extra long in the store and the regulars are too short. The stupid thing is too long to fit in the blessed tent! Now we either have to borrow a bigger tent or take back the cot. Oy.

Now, the "Cow Udder" part of the title. Last night The Hubby and I were watching our usual geek tv fare- Antiques Roadshow, followed by Nature (it was all about dogs and actually very interesting) and then IT came on. Completely unannounced. And IT was amazing. The PBS website describes IT as such:
"...step inside the colorful and competitive world of "Show Cattle" and follow the trials and tribulations of competitive cows in pursuit of the ultimate honor - "Supreme Champion" - at one of the most prestigious cattle shows on the East Coast, the Fryeburg Fair. See inside the little-known world of bovine makeovers, where pride and determination, not to mention steel-capped boots, transform a barnyard cow into a regional celebrity."

Oh yes. Competitive Cow Showing. Complete with nearly pornographic udder shots and in depth descriptions. The phrase "mammary system" has a whole new meaning. There were even allegations of sabotage. Never has there ever been such a thing on TV and everyone should have to watch it. It was fantastic.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Rambling Random Friday

Hi Flan,
Here's a whole bunch of random:
1. I got 11 1/2 hours of sleep last night. Please don't throw things at the screen, it wasn't my fault, honest. I was reading after dinner and, next thing I knew, it was two hours later and The Hubby was waking me up to ask if I wanted to stay in the guest bed or move to our room. Sleep is the best facial a girl ever had. This morning my skin looks great. Or maybe my eyes rested. Whatever it was it worked.

2. I decided E&H need to have a little girl. Firstly, it would be fun to see E raising a little girl and secondly, I had a "stash rememberance" and recalled that I have 2 skeins of lavendar Artyarn that would look fantastic in EZ's February Sweater. Plus they live in Michigan, so the child-to-be can't have too many sweaters, right? We should email H and let her know she needs to order up a girl because I don't think they want a purple sweater for their little boy.

3. Today is Buy The List Day. Technically, the list is comprised of 12 separate lists. Yes, that's right, TWELVE. There was the big professor issued list and it had to be broken down into the stuff we have, the stuff we can borrow and then stuff to be purchased, separated by store. All in all that's 12. Then we "get" to label every single little thing with his name. Thankfully, it's short.

4. We found the connecty-bit from the camera to the computer. It was next to the computer the entire time. The Hubby is no longer in charge of looking for things. There was a successful transfer of photos to computer A, then computer A to USB drive. I successfully ejected USB drive and put it into computer B- and then everything went south. Computer B no longer thinks the USB drive is formatted- ACK! So I unplugged it from computer B and called The Hubby. He said to try to plug it into computer A. So I did. Computer A (instigator of the whole problem) now thinks the USB drive is not formatted. Don't worry- the photos of The Harlot are still in the camera and computer A so even if the USB drive has gone kaput we still have the photos. I have successfully used this USB drive in both of these computers before, so I think they need to sit in the corner and think about their actions and then apologize to both the USB drive and to me.

5. Mistislav Rostropovich passed away last night. He was 80 and had intestinal cancer, but it's sad. He was an incredible cellist and maestro. I remember being in master classes and watching videos of him. He had the most incredible hands and his expertise was both humbling and inspiring.

Hope things are at a manageable amount of crazy. Remember to deep breathe and that we all love you and that Wednesday will be over soon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Hey Flan,
I hope things are less harried than they were yesterday. It's Finals time down here, so that's fun. Lab final for the Hubby tomorrow and a class final next week, though he's not sure exactly when. Oy.

In addition to trying to get him ready for Field Camp (a losing battle by the way) there has been knitting. I found the needles I had been using for The Dad's Sweater. They had been needed for a different project but whatever that was is now done. Sunday I found the needles and put the project back on them. It seems happy.

Clapotis is trucking along. There was some progress last night while waiting for The Boys to grill kebabs. Kebabs are seriously the fastest things to grill, 5 minutes total if you're slow and the fire is too. They managed to take a very long time, so I knitted.

The Hubby's sweater is actually coming along nicely. I have not only flipped the hem, but am about an inch and a half past that point. It's now the project I work on during my lunch hour. So much faster than The Garter St blanket on 3s. The LYS owner seemed kind of confused about why there is a different color for the hem/ lining part. Brooklyn Tweed's was done that way and it looked fantastic, so I'm doing it that way too. I'm such a follower.

I'm thinking about frogging The Mommy's Socks. I don't wanna knit socks. I don't like knitting socks. I realize I will be taken to a remote location and severely poked with sharp sticks for that last sentence, but some of us just don't knit socks. Every other knitter (all of whom knit socks like there's no tomorrow) on the planet needs to take a deep breath and accept it. The yarn, which The Mommy says looks like a box of crayons, would be good in a kid's sweater, or really anything other than a pair of socks. I just don't wanna.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Happy Blogiversary (slightly late)

It's hard to believe that its been a year (and a day, but who is counting?)

I've been trying to write a post in my few free minutes this week, and so far its been a total failure, so I'll do a short version now, that I can hopefully fill in over the weekend.

Since I last posted, I have started two new projects, one of which is about to get ripped as I need to come up with a new plan for it. The weather has decided to be spring (complete with predicted severe storms this weekend).

Work is busy busy busy, as you know.

More later in the weekend, and congratulations to us on a full year of blogging!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Happy Blogiversary!

Hi Flan,
Happy Blogiversary to us! It was one year ago today when you were sitting on the only remaining chair in the apartment as The Hubby and I were madly packing and we decided to launch The Blog. Why a blog? Because I am not so good at responding to emails (though I am trying to be better) and you don't like to answer your phone. It seems The Blog has been a good compromise.

No one has ever asked about the name, but seeing as it's our blogiversary I feel like reminiscing. Flan had been so kind as to come over and assist with the nightmare that was packing. The Hubby and I were leaving MN to move to AL, hence a lot of packing needed to happen. Flan had brought over dinner from Panera and I had mixed cosmos (this was way back when Flan was still drinking). However, in my enthusiasm- or desire to try and use up the Sam's Club sized Vodka- I had sort of gotten the proportion of vodka to cosmo mix 'slightly' off and "Emphatic" cosmos were born. They had an amazing amount of power- one that sort of explains the randomness of what was packed with what that night. Yes, we named The Blog after the strength of our drinks that night.

Congrats to us! We made it one year and tonight I will have a drink in honor of our blogiversary.

P.S. Thanks to Flan I learned that the first anniversary gift is paper, but since this is a digital age in which we live I'm choosing to ignore that. And I couldn't make the post it note thingy work properly.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Curl Up & Dye

Hey Flan,
I hope the nutty is going at a livable pace.

This weekend we were hit by a truly astonishing multi-hour rain storm. We discovered that my car really does have a leak, though unlike The Hubby's car, the water in mine comes in on the driver's side floorboard, not through the sunroof.

What to do whilst it is pouring outside (during the less intense downpours the boys were swimming in the pool)? Dye some yarn. I had collected a bunch of Kool-aid and some jars. Gracie also had some Kool-aid in the cupboard. Yes, there are pictures, no, we have not yet found the connect-y bit. We had approximately 6 different shades of red/pink. My inexperience with Kool-aid made me believe the different flavors would be different colors. I used all the different colors of reds and pinks, separately and in conjunction. Almost ALL the yarn came out red. Really really red. There is a small bit of difference between the 4 different dye pots of red, but not enough to suggest there are 6 different colors involved. I now have 2 skeins, each dyed into (theoretically) 3 different colors. There is a lot of red and one part of dark purple and one part of lighter purple.

What to do with 500 yards of worsted weight in reds and purples? So far I'm thinking of doing a Clapotis, using both balls, switching every 2 rows so the different balls will work together to make a nice (?) combo. I suggested making felted tea cozies and The Hubby looked at me like the Kool-aid fumes had gone to my head.

On happy knitting news, my finger no longer hurts! I did something to the back of my right hand between the first and second fingers, making the index finger hurt when curled. The index finger and only the index finger. There had not been any knitting for 4 days and everyone was getting on edge. I'm happy to report that it's doing much better and the Clapotis and I are trundling right along.

Friday, April 13, 2007

"Is that handpainted merino?"

Hey Flan,
I hope your week improved as it has gone on. Mine certainly has. My meeting yesterday was surprisingly not horrible and my meeting scheduled for today has been moved. Pretty good way to start a Friday.

The Hubby and I had one of those moments the other day. The moment when he says something knitting related or asks a knitting related question that makes me think he really does pay attention when I blather on and on about The Yarn or The Knitting. I was happily going on and on (and on) about how much I was loving The Clapotis. In a "No wonder everyone else on the planet has made one already" type of manner. I found some Artyarn I had purchased at LYS and hadn't known what to do with. I pulled it out and showed it to him as a Clapotis contender for either The Mommy or The Best Man's Mom (who loves the color but does live in AL- so not much opportunity to wear merino, especially if you are at the "power surge" stage of life). And then it happened. He was looking at this fabulous yarn and said, "Is that handpainted merino?"

I almost fell over. This man, the man I married and pledged to love forever in front of lots of people, the man who loves rocks above almost all other things had, apparently, come out of the rock loving haze long enough for some of the knitting chatter to sink in and asked a beautiful, insightful knitting question. And got a great big kiss.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Hey Flan- or whomever might be reading this.

This is just to let you know that Flannery has been excused from regular blogging. In every life there are seasons and, so far as I can tell, there are two ultra crazy ones in "The Life of Flan". The first season she goes into hiding is around the elections. Elections are what she does- not all of us understand, but we're usually happy that someone gets elected and that Flan helped make it happen. The second is the month or so before the first Wed. in May. The org to which Flan gives her time, effort and energy has a humongous event. Flan is the "go to/do" person. The Event is less than 30 days away, so Flan is currently hunkered down. We hope to see her again around Mother's Day or so. Fingers crossed.

So for now, y'all are pretty much stuck with me until Flan re-emerges.

In knitting news...
I have completed the increases in Clapotis and am starting my way through the straight rows. There was not much progress last night as we had The Best Man and His Mom over for her birthday dinner. Dinner turned out well; pork tenderloin with a maple glaze, cheese grits, salad with toasted walnuts, dried cherries and avocado. Dessert of chocolate strawberry shortcake was good too. After dinner the boys did the dishes (I almost took photos) and His Mom and looked at all my recently organized yarn and current projects. She knits a little and crochets some, however her obsession hasn't reached the level that mine has and I think she was a bit taken aback. At one point she said, "do you do anything but knit?" She looked through my library and found some nice patterns for the upcoming baby boom occurring at her work. It was a nice night.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Freakin' Fabulous

Hi Flan,
Can you believe we made it on the blog?? She, and the freakin' fabulous talk she gave, are still making me happy. I know, I know, I sadly do not have any photos up- yet. The Hubby was gracious enough to offer to help and then couldn't find the part that connects the camera to the computer. Since I was unloading the dishwasher, finishing laundry, talking to The Mommy and cleaning at the time, all with the tv turned to his program, I was not much help. Fingers crossed that today we pry the things out of the camera for the world to see.

I hope you had a happy Easter. The cheese blintzes were completed and actually came out pretty well. Also, people had fun decorating egg shaped cookies with mounds of colored frosting. We agreed it was more fun than decorating actual eggs.

Last night, while trying to work through the piles that had exploded from the many suitcases, I realized there was a lot of yarn to be put in the wardrobe. Then I realized the drawers were in sad disarray. We watched "Antiques Roadshow" and I organized the heck out of my yarn. It's so pretty. As long as the neurotic OCD applies only to myself it's alright- right?

And then there was casting on. Under quasi-instructions from Stephanie, I decided that I too needed a Clapotis. Since apparently every other knitter on the planet seems to have one (according to the Harlot Gospel) I was feeling left out. Gracie had gifted me with a beautiful ginormous skein of handpainted yarn, so I knew I had something in the stash that would work. So far I'm completely smitten- and the blue that had dyed my fingers last night is mostly gone. I was so struck by the fun it's being (at a whole 20 rows in) I have scoured the internet looking for possible yarns for which to make something for The SIL and The Sister for Xmas. So far I'm besotted with Artyarns' Regal Silk. It's pretty and it's varigated and it's silk. All good things for gifts. I know I know, apparently I think I'm going to win the Lotto, but it's nice to dream.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Harlot.

She came. She talked. We were stunned.

There is more but we are overwhelmed (but not too overwhelmed to eat cake and buy yarn).


Helloooo from MN!
The minute I landed the snow started. Sort of a cruel "up yours" from good ol' Mother Nature right there. There is now snow on the ground (which is fine) and a really really cold wind (which is not fine). I took photos and thought wistfully of the sunny, 80s that The Hubby is having right now. Sadly, Flan has to go to work today. I'm trying to convince her that she needs to get a "crushing headache" and not be able to go to work today. Her darn work (and a big meeting tomorrow) have her chained to the desk. It's sad.

Flan and I went to SNB at Borealis last night. I love that store. It's happy and there's a coffee shop connected by an archway so the knitters don't even have to get cold in pursuit of the caffeine high. Yarn was purchased. It took 2 hours to decide on what to get. There was the initial craze of running around like the true nutter that I am, grabbing everything in sight, but then there was serious contemplation and sorting. After a final edit I have some fantastic things. Even the morning after they look good (even better than I do).

On the plane I knit on a sock. After turning the heel I realized that there were 4 extra stitches. Well, not really extra, they were supposed to be there, just not on the heel flap. They were supposed to be waaaaay back there on the instep. We went on time out for the remainder of the flight while I read a trashy mystery. Last night, in the presence of truly talented knitters I took a deep breath and ripped. The flap looks better now.

Today's agenda (in chronological order): Shopping, meeting with a professor, and.... The HARLOT. I hope she likes the coffee from Carpe. I thought about bringing yarn but decided that caffeine is never a bad idea. Now I just have to find some warmer clothes....

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Lists

Hey Flan,
Here's a paniky post in addition to the nutty email I just sent.
At 7:43am the day before departure (btw: in 23 hours I should be landing in Atlanta- oh Lawd).
The Lists:
List A:Remind The Hubby to do whilst I'm gone and how to fake it so I won't know he hasn't done them upon my return- 4 items.
List B: Food to pick up whilst in MN- 4 items at spice store, 3 at grocery store- remember to write down list off white board in kitchen.
List C: Stuff to pack- have realized I won't be gone for a month and can bring fewer than 1 pair of shoes per day. Am trying to remember that shoe space could be better used by yarn.- items undetermined.
List D: stuff to remember to put in carry-on (also, remember carry-on)- items also undertemined, though pile is large.
List E: wish list of yarn to purchse- constantly growing (seriously, they could derive mathematical formulae from the life cycle of this thing)
List F: where to go in MN- so far 3 or 4 yarn stores, 2 malls, 1 jewelry store, 2 cooking stores.
List G (G for Gracie): Gracie's List- book, (got to remember to have her book signed), stuff for baby- approx 5 items.
List H: places to eat in MN- 3 items so far.
List I: stuff to remember to do before I leave- this is also changing and it's the one that's currently freaking me out.
List J: what on earth am I going to knit on the plane??- 2 items so far with stuff for third.

Ironically, now that I have listed my 10 lists I feel much better. Whew. Only 70 minutes until my meeting where I can write all the itemized lists down. Will try to remember to only drink decaf.

28.5 hours to go until I land!