Knit Picky: May 2007

"properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit...
 and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either."
~elizabeth zimmerman

Tuesday, May 29, 2007
A Diatribe

For those of you not interested in political ranting, please feel free to scan through this blog. There are some cute critter pictures scattered throughout.

For the rest of you who are either sympathetic to--or willing to put up with--a liberal/progressive/Democratic opinion, here goes.

I don’t claim to be an international relations expert. I don’t even claim to have had a great political science education (thank you, public school). And yet, I know enough to be livid right now at the Democrats in Congress.

How could they capitulate and give the president a blank check to keep the troops in Iraq with no plan, no way out, no benchmarks, no responsibilities?! I am so disappointed. I really thought that when they took over after last year’s elections that they would be making drastic changes. And in those first 100 hours, they really looked like they were going to do it.

But now I am losing confidence. I don’t want to, of course, but when the president gets the opportunity to do a press conference where he claims that they all worked together and compromised (meaning he got everything he wanted, and the ones who will ultimately pay are the troops), well, my heart sinks a bit more.

Evil Tovah
Picture #1

This weekend The Boy and I watched the entire Band of Brothers series. If you haven’t seen this, please do. It is an amazing portrayal of what WWII troops went through in combat. I know that in some ways combat today is better, in others worse (the pros and cons of technology and field medical advancements), but I don’t imagine that the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are any lessened.

And while watching this heart-wrenching series, the message that kept coming home to me was that at least the brave men of WWII knew what they were fighting for. They had a purpose and a genuine enemy. They were not responsible for attacking a sovereign nation that had done nothing to them. They were not being forced to serve in the middle of a civil war. They were often greeted as heroes and liberators. Not as bait.

Watching BofB made me even more angry about the unjustified and illegal war that we are ensnared in right now. While you can argue the appropriateness of war at all (I am generally a pacifist, myself), I don't think you can argue that the Nazi party should have been stopped. When Easy Company discovered a concentration camp, I lost it. I sobbed and cried for (what my high school English teachers liked to call) "man’s inhumanity to man." The concentration camp was the catalyst that broke the dam, and I cried for all of the soldiers lost; I cried because I cannot believe that the lessons of WWII and Vietnam and Korea, etc., have not penetrated the minds of so many Americans.

A few years ago I went to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. I walked away from that experience further baffled that anyone could treat another human being as less than equal. How could you see the evidence of what was done to the men and women whose only crime was being an artist, being gay, being Jewish--and not be changed? I was fortunate enough to be raised by parents that instilled in me from birth the equality of all human beings regardless of color, religion, or any other arbitrary differentiator.

Tovah's cute butt
Picture #2

So how do we today justify the wholesale slaughter of innocent Iraqis as though they are worth less than we are? How do we condone a war that is predicated on the belief that we and our governmental systems are better than theirs (particularly when many of our leaders never bothered to learn the history or historical politics of the region)? How do we take sides in what has become a civil and religious war? Day after day we hear that our soldiers are stuck in the middle between Shiite vs. Suni factions.

And the Democratic majority decided to let it go on instead of fighting for what they know is right.


Ugh. Then today I hear that Congress is talking about pulling troops out in September after General Petraeus gives his official report. Because they already know it will be bad and that the surge has failed. The surge that failed before it ever began.

Inari in bed3
Picture #3

"By September, when Gen. Petraeus is to make a report, I think most of the people in Congress believe, unless something extraordinary occurs, that we should be on a move to draw those surge numbers down," said Republican Senator, Jeff Sessions, longtime Bush and war supporter.

So, Democrats, I fear we can kiss goodbye any hope of retaking the White House in '08 unless things change, or 'unless something extraordinary occurs.' Because now the Republicans and the White House will get to be the good guys who bring our troops home following the monumental failure in Iraq. All because the Congressional Democratic leadership decided to allow Bush and his 28% approval rating to prevail, instead of supporting the vast majority of Americans’ opinions and digging in, taking a principled stand and being willing to die for the cause (metaphorically; while the soldiers do so literally).

I am so mad right now; I am just beside myself.

Now...for those of you who stuck with me through my diatribe, or those who skimmed through for critter pictures, here's two more--a cat after my own heart:

Max Sniffs Yarn
Max Sniffs Yarn

And one more, 'cause he's cute:

On his own mountain
The Little Prince


Photograph #1: Please disregard the evil-looking red eyes. I'm no photographer. She's actually quite sweet. This is the work rabbit--we all rescued her (she was probably 'set free' on the campus). She lives clandestinely in a large cage in our office and comes out to visit everyone in the afternoons when we close our door for 'meetings.'
Photograph #2: Cute bunny butt!
Photograph #3: Inari hanging out in her new bed.
Photograph #4: Max stuffs his head in my sock knitting bag. It holds alpaca; his favorite.
Photograph #5: Max climbed up on top of the pile of throw pillows. There seems to be very little point in organizing the throw pillows on the couches. Our house is ruled by the cats, and they would rather that we build them caves with them. So we do. He is perched on top of just such a cave.

posted by Stephanie at 2:55 PM

Friday, May 25, 2007
Freaky Fridays

This week's Freaky Friday incident will comprise the second half of this message. But, first, I have some well overdue updates.

I finally got my act together and got a picture of my Hogwart's Sock Swap partner's sock in time for today's show and tell (yay me!).

[Oh yeah, check out the awesome new Gryffindor House button! It's also in the right sidebar area.]

Gryffindor Button

My Ravenclaw Pal's sock:

Ravenclaw kitty

As usual, modeled by the lovely and talented (and oh-so-enthusiastic) Inari.

Fortunately my partner has nearly the same size feet as I do (only 3/4" bigger), so I can model them for you here.

All but the toes
Ravenclaw sock and bag

This one probably shows the colors to best advantage.

Yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Glitter Alpaca in Moody Blues. I am so in love with this yarn. It's nice to work with, knits up really well, is a bit luxurious on the feet, but not so much that you'd be afraid to wear it. And it has glitter in it! The strands are periodically intertwined with little bits of coppery/silvery glitter that makes the whole thing sparkle (That's so Ravenclaw*).

I'm not doing much in the way of a pattern. I started several times with different ones, but they were not showing off the yarn enough. So I went with a 1-1/2" ribbed cuff and stockinette. And I'm so glad I did. It showcases the gorgeous color changes and the glitter so well. I've just to kitchener the toe on here and cast on immediately for the second sock. Truthfully this has been my fastest sock ever. 1 week to knit, it's only finishing the toe that is holding me up from being half done.


The Disneyland Incident

I live to serve, and I received a couple of comments asking to know about my humiliating Disneyland experience for this week's installment of Freaky Fridays. Ask and you shall receive, dear reader.

Last year The Boy and I bought our first Annual Passes to the Mouse House. In the beginning we wanted to get our money's worth, and were there all.the.time. On this particular sunny southern California day, I was thrilled to go to Disneyland. I was wearing new khakis from Old Navy, it was a nice day, I was with The Boy. What could go wrong?

Fate laughs at me.

We had been there for only a short time when The Boy suggested we check out Soaring Over California at California Adventure. If you haven't been on this ride, it's quite a fun experience. You are seated on these 'benches' that lift up into this soundstage sort of area, and you are virtually transported all up and down the California coast. I'm not doing it justice; it's very nice. Well.

To get onto the 'bench' you have to hop up a little bit because it is a little bit high. As I lifted a leg to half-hop, I heard 'RRRRRIIIIIPPPPPP'. I didn't believe it. I reached behind me, and sure enough, my brand-new khakis had ripped--and not on a seam.

Needless to say, I did not enjoy the ride this time around as I spent the whole time wondering what I was going to do when it ended. The rip was extensive; at least 6-7" long, right down the middle of the right cheek. Incidentally, The Boy was laughing so hard, that he was of very little use to me at this point. I grabbed my backpack and carried it right behind me--at cheek level--all the way out of the ride, with The Boy walking inches behind me. I nabbed the first bench we came to and demanded that The Boy go get my sweatshirt out of the lockers to tie around my waist. I felt like a teenager the first time Aunt Flo comes to visit.

I also was not thrilled at spending several more hours with my flowery panties on display. Fortunately The Boy had sobered up and was a little more helpful at this point. He took me to Main Street in Disneyland and we looked for some new pants that I could wear for the rest of the day. And that's how I came to own what I call my 'Disneyland Pants'. Navy sweat-suit material, track-suit style pants that absolutely will not rip without application of extreme force. At least, not so far.


I'm thinking next week might be the story of the truly creative and unique way I sprained my left wrist. The doctor was quite surprised. I was his first with this particular story. I usually am.

*Wow, that's an embarrassing kind of reference. I'm oddly proud of myself, whilst simultaneously apalled. For the record, I know of this show because of my little sisters. I'm not that pathetic! Ahem.

posted by Stephanie at 1:44 PM

Friday, May 18, 2007
Freaky Fridays

Hey peeps, thanks for the comments! That was just 7 random things about me, too. Imagine if I'd done 7 (or 70) weird things or something. That would have given you some real entertainment. And don't think I couldn't do it, either. I am all kinds of weird.

So, I was thinking about something that I could post somewhat regularly to keep my loyal readers entertained. Y'all deserve something for sticking with me through (and despite) my erratic posting and constant whinging. And my Fridays, while still outrageously overpacked with work, are somewhat more predictable schedule-wise since my major client is off every Friday.

So here's what I'm thinking: I'm kind of a freak sometimes. If there's a new and bizarre way to injur yourself, I'll find it. If there's an unusual way to embarrass yourself in public, I've probably done it. If one in a brazilian people will have an automobile manufacturing error...well, you get the idea.

(For a prime example, see: my dental dramas of the last few months. The oral surgeon had never even heard of --let alone seen-- anyone having the extreme cases of dry socket that I did, requiring gum surgery and multiple bone extractions. Lovely.)

This is all a ridiculously long intro to tell you about my idea to use Fridays to relate to you some of the really dumb or weird things that I've done or experienced. Either I am extremely cursed, or I exist merely to entertain everyone I work with (and now you!). This is also proof that I have absolutely no sense of shame, since I'm willingly going to tell you a lot of really stupid things about me.

I will start with the most recent. Last week I was taping some pictures to the backside of a matte so that they wouldn't slip out of place in the frame. I couldn't find the scotch tape, so I got out the tape gun. Not a good idea. Really. Not good.

I set the tape gun on the couch beside me while I finished my work. Then The Boy brought me dinner on a tray (yes, we do eat on trays in front of the TV because we are pathetic, and also 9 years old). So I moved the tape gun. Onto the floor by the couch. Where I promptly forgot about it.

After dinner I pulled out my knitting and got down to some serious TV watching. Then I moved my leg to recross my legs, and somehow--heaven only knows how--I managed to slice my big toe open on the 'teeth' of the tape gun. Commence the weeping and gnashing of teeth. Oh, and not to be too graphic, but copious amounts of blood.

Logically I know that it looked much worse than it was because our extremities bleed the most. But, dudes! I was instantly 5 years old and freaking out about the blood and the pain and how the hell did I do this to myself???

The Boy, being an RN was all calm and collected with the foot washing, and iodine application (I screamed. I have a reputation as biggest wimp in the world to protect, you know). Then I was Neosporined to within an inch of my life. And, do you know how difficult it is to bandage the tip of your flipping big toe? Well, I am here to tell you that they need special band-aids for people like me.

Explaining the big ol' band-aids at work the next day was fun--yet [perhaps not so] surprisingly, my co-workers just shook their heads. There are only so many times people will believe your explanation of "bar-brawl" for your injuries before they begin to look at you like an accident-prone lunatic.

So there you go. Now you know a little more about me. What would you like to hear about next? How I sprained my wrist? How I sprained my ankle twice within one month? The first time I got on a bike in 20 years and proceeded to make a complete arse of myself? The Disneyland incident? Oh, I've got enough to keep you people going for some time. If you have a particular story you'd like to hear from the above list, let me know. Otherwise, I will ruminate on my most recent or memorable disasters for next Friday.

posted by Stephanie at 1:27 PM

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I was tagged for a meme! Is it pathetic how excited this makes me? I'm like that totally uncool kid in high school who is excited just to have her existense acknowledged by the in-crowd.

Susan at Knitter's Delight tagged me.

Here's the rules: Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged need to write on their own blog those 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.

So here are my facts:

1. I met my husband on I wasn't even looking for someone; I just registered for the free account so I could read the profiles for fun. They would frequently send me matches that I would scan and delete. Until the day I got his. We were a 96% match. I emailed my sister and told her 'this is the guy I'm going to marry' before I ever chatted with him. And four years later, I did.

2. I have lots of food texture issues. There are many things I won't eat because of their texture--like jicama. And I won't eat lettuce on or in anything other than salads.

3. I'm the oldest of five girls. My oldest little sister is 28. Then they go 11, 10, and 7.

4. I am pretty sure I'm one of the slowest knitters in the world. It takes me ages to do anything, and I do almost exclusively small projects for that reason. The sad thing is, I knit ALL THE TIME, too.

5. Twice in my life I've met people who I just knew I was destined to be friends with. The first was several years ago at another friend's party, and that woman was my maid of honor at my wedding last June. The second was last year, and I can see us being friends forever, raising our (future) kids together.

6. I am a huge fan of books. The smell, the tacticle experience, and especially the stories (though I can't knit at the same time as I read, leading me to have to make tough choices sometimes between the two). Lately I've become a fan of what many might consider odd or macabre books on forensics. It all started with Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Right now I'm reading Death's Acre, by Bill Bass, creator of the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee. I have amassed quite a long list in this genre. I think that people may be looking at me askance when they see me reading this stuff, waiting for me to snap.

7. I cry when I read stories of anything bad happening to children or pets. I just can't handle those stories. Naturally I get upset about things that happen to adults, but it's the little ones and the animals that really get to me.

Okay, so I'm tagging:
Rebekah at Knit-Knack
Madalyn at Unravel Me
Christine at Knitting Virgin
Julie at Fickleknitter
Mindy at Swim Mom Knits
Eva at From Sheep to Shawls and Socks
Shannon at Stitchy Fingers

And Kristie at Guilty Pleasures --you were only saved by the fact that you recently did almost the exact same meme on your blog! :)

posted by Stephanie at 9:27 AM

Wednesday, May 02, 2007
If A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words, Y'all, This Is My Freakin' Novel

How the heck has it been almost a month?? It's not like I live a wild, jet-setting life (I just typed 'jest' instead of 'jet', which is much closer to the truth). try to catch me/you up on things, here is my life in pictures for the last couple of months.

casual koigu socks

Finished Bigfoot Socks! And how do you not show your appreciation?

don't make her mad

By taunting an evil beastie. Know why?

Here's a hint:


Yeah, she caught a loop right on her sharp little teeth. Not the koigu!! Sob.

Stitches Goodies

Goodies from Stitches West. Clicky through to Flickr for details on the yarns (all sock yarns, natch).

I also got this awesome sock pattern at Lisa Souza's booth. It looks like entrelac, but it's created in a totally different way.

awesome pattern

I survived the Yarn Focus Challenge for 2007, but only just! Here's a sneak peek at the goodies I sent to my pal at KniTV.

Lookee inside

That's Inca Alpaca. Her favorite colors are red and black, so all the goodies are those colors (except the yarn, because the shop I was at didn't have it in those shades). The rest of the package is full of chocolate and coffee-scented and -flavored yumminess.

And not to be vain, but I was really proud of these:

Stitch Markers_red2

I also got my package from my super-generous YFC pal, Mindy at SwimMomKnits.


Peeps, that's Trekking in the front. Check out those colors! Behind that is a skein of Cascade 220--which I've been really wanting to check out since everyone raves about it. And behind that is a yarn I'd never heard of before--Dream in Color. 100% Australian merino, and it is just luscious. The color is a semi-solid, which you can really see here:

yummy yarn & markers_close

The colors are amazing! And look at those unbelievably beautiful stitch markers. Oooh.

And--yeah, there's still more...


Yeah, it's a terrible picture. 100% cotton, GGH Molina. Geez, I was so spoiled by Mindy!! And I've been such a loser, not posting this sooner.

Other sock yarns that I've acquired and not shown off yet.

other sock yarns

Click thru for the details on each.

Cat pictures!

cat in a box

She let herself into the DVD cabinet behind the TV. This is right after we moved, before all the electronics were set up.

And playing with the trapped kitty...

jail kitty

Give it

She knocked over a basket of cotton yarn--on purpose, I think.

cotton cat2

I got this white flat thing at IKEA. It has a tail. I call it Flat Cat. She must destroy Flat Cat, it seems!

eat the flat cat


My cousin popped and this gorgeous little boy was the result. ;)

I am in love. This is baby B at 1-1/2 weeks old.

Baby B

hello everyone

Tap fists, dude!


tuckered out

Jess & B

Mama and B

i am a football

got milk_outfit

I couldn't resist this little outfit for B

Can you tell I'm a proud Auntie?? Technically I think B is my second cousin (his mother is my first cousin), but she and I decided that since I've got 31 years on him, I am practically his aunt. I am so smitten. I have plastered my cube in pictures of little B and have queued up an insane amount of knitting for him.

Baby B & Auntie S_smile

Me & B

And, possibly the best baby picture ever! He looks drunk. Hee hee. Drunk baby.

drunken baby2

So, there you go. You're caught up. Well, almost. There are a few new skeins of yarn (I know--I've gone nuts), and I just finished my ISE4 pal's scarf last night. It just needs steaming and blocking. I ordered the sock yarn yesterday for my Hogwart's sock swap pal. I've been reading like a maniac, so I haven't gotten tons of knitting done lately.

I'll try to be a better blogger. When I get behind with pictures, though, I tend to feel like I have to be interesting and post everything I have taken photos of for weeks. And that takes time that I usually just don't have.

This post has been in progress for days, in between work projects and on breaks. More blogging to come...

posted by Stephanie at 3:52 PM