Monday, March 31, 2008

What a day!

1. Things I never, ever, EVER thought I would say:

Target sucks...where the hell is Wal-Mart?

2. Things I learned today:

Always read the pattern through before you begin knitting. ESPECIALLY when you think there must be something wrong with the pattern because it's probably YOU.

3. Things I laughed at today:

Crazy Aunt Purl's photo - I laughed for hours. God I miss California.

4. Things I'd put on a tee shirt today:

If my eyes are open, I'd rather be knitting.

5. Things I made today (for a coworker) that might make me die of cuteness:

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

I must be losing my mind.

Three years, one month and 25 days ago it all started here. Somehow in the midst of moving cross country I completely spaced and forgot to celebrate my third Blogiversary. Thanks to all of you who read and comment! Here's to another year!


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Geocaching Saturday

Despite the fact that it's not quite warm enough yet here, it is officially spring, and Wes and I decided to celebrate that fact by exploring Kansas City a little and geocaching today. We headed out to try and find a number of caches in the Olathe Park series. In general the parks in Olathe were different than the park caches that we did in LA. I think it's for a couple of reasons. First, I knew a lot of LA. But when we would go out on caches, sometimes I would find places I never knew existed. Here everything is new, so it was less like finding a hidden treasure in my own city. Second, some of the parks here weren't very park-ish. Several butted right up against high schools, and many of these had baseball or soccer fields right next to the fence. Anyhow, we had a fun day despite the cold, and the one cache that we couldn't find but apparently missed somehow. We also found possibly the best hiding job we've seen since the great phone booth debacle a few years ago. Enjoy a few pictures!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Little red knit.

Hot off the needles, and fiery for the last days of March for Project Spectrum, I give you my new red cardigan, Ariann. This was a fun knit and I love the yarn. I especially love the color - it's such a deep, true red, without being orange-y or fire engine-ish.

The Specs:

The Pattern: Ariann by Chic Knits

The Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in Ruby, 4.5 skeins

The Needles: 5's for the ribbing, 7's for the body


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The newest candidate for the Darwin Awards

I heard this on the radio today and could not believe it. The DJ got it from, but I found the original article here.

Deepwater Man Fatally Shoots Wife While Installing Satellite TV

DEEPWATER, Mo. -- Officials were trying Tuesday to decide whether to file charges against a Missouri man who fatally shot his wife while trying to install a satellite TV system in the bedroom of their home.

Patsy Long, 34, of Deepwater, died after being shot in the chest with a .22-caliber handgun on Saturday. Her husband, Ronald Long, fired the shot from the inside of their home after several unsuccessful efforts to punch a hole through the exterior wall using other means.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

PHAT Carpentry Skillz

When Wes got home Friday night, after a beautiful 60+ degree day, he suggested that maybe we should head down to his mom's this weekend, work on some more furniture and maybe even bring home his motorcycle. Unfortunately today it was in the 40's and flurrying so no bike, but we did have a good woodworking weekend.

We got in sort of late Friday night and went to bed ready for an early morning of errands and woodworking. Yesterday we managed to cut the 2x6's and router them to get them ready to be framed. I learned a new skill yesterday (as you can see) - the router.

After we had routered the edges, we set about building the frames. Since we only had a few sets of clamps we had to build and glue the frames one at a time. That pretty much took us the rest of the day (there are 4 frames). We managed to get into town to get Wes' car serviced and to get some yummy Thai food at our favorite place and chilled at home for a while last evening.

This morning Wes got up bright and early (and let me sleep a bit!) and we cut shelves (we're building bookcases) and cut grooves in the frames to hold the shelves. Now the next time we go back we just have to sand, stain and glue them together! Of course, Wes also wanted to test out more or the features of his new router. Here's his efforts with it - I think it's better than his real penmanship! (Just kidding - I love you honey!)

In addition to honing my carpentry skills, this weekend I worked on some knitting. This time around I was working on a sample for a yarn shop here in Kansas City. The pattern was a Berroco pattern that the yarn shop owner wanted modified. The yarn was divine - it's Cascade Venezia, a silk and wool blend, and that it's so soft and luxuriously squishy. This was a fun little knit and I really like how it turned out. It's a little preppy for me, but I just might give it a try for myself one of these days. The specs are below:

Pattern: Berroco's Banesha. (However, I modded the pattern a bit - instead of the skirt I added an extra inch or two at the hem of the sweater, and then did a 1x1 rib on smaller needles to match the neckline.)

The Yarn: Cascade Venezia. Warm cocoa (2 skeins for the XS size)

The Needles: 7's for the body, 5's for the 1x1 ribbing at hem and neckline.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008


So I was on the highway yesterday and I look at the semi next to me and it is a truck FULL of pigs. And my first thought isn't "my aren't they cute?" (They aren't.) Nor is it "oh geez I wonder if where they're going!" (I don't want to know.) My first thought was actually, "Holy S&^*! I don't think I've ever seen a real live pig before!" I mean sure, I've seen them on TV and the like, but I don't think I've ever actually been that close to one. I am SO a city girl.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Data entry is my middle name.

Today I went down to the Plaza to temp for a lending institution. It turned out that I got quite the education today, as my data entry project was in the collections department. Now in the past I haven't had a great opinion of collections agencies or practices. I certainly heard some interesting things today, but I also saw the other side; where the agents at the bank tried to work out payment plans with people who got behind on their payments based on what they could afford. The office highlight today, for them anyway, was when they repossessed a client's car. (Before you feel too bad, the client had financed in full last year and hadn't paid a dime back on the loan yet).

Anyhow so that was my day job. Today's lesson from the Midwest, is that things in Kansas start earlier than most places. In Los Angeles the earliest I was ever at work was 8:30am, and most jobs didn't start until 9 or 10. Here if the job starts at 8am, that's late. Most of the people were already there when I got there at quarter to 8 today. This does mean we get out of work earlier, but it also means that we drive to work in the dark - see my GPS was on NIGHT mode as I drove to work today. ICK.

The one real perk today is that the lending institution is about 2 blocks from a knitting store so I got to walk there and fondle the yarn at lunch. Tonight was also Wednesday knit night, so there was lots of fiber goodness there too!

Speaking of fiber goodness, tomorrow is Wear a Sweater Day in honor of what would have been Mr. Rodgers' 80th birthday. I know I'm going to wear my handknits! You should too! And won't you be my neighbor?

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Knitter See, Knitter Do

A few days ago as I was perusing my blog feeds, I came across a little post from Lime & Violet. They declared this dress the must have prom dress for this year. Now I love a sock monkey just as much as the next person, but.... SERIOUSLY?


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Work in Progress

Today's post is all about works in progress. Right now I have quite a few going, and I don't know how soon too many of them will be done, so in my antsy state, I photographed what I'm working on.

First of all, I have again joined Project Spectrum. Project Spectrum is the brainchild of Lolly, an inspiring knitter and photographer who suggested that we knitters celebrate the whole color spectrum by spending a month or two devoted to each color. In past years she has grouped the colors in different ways, but this year she (and the PS group) decided to make the theme Elements. This means that for the months of February and March we are working on the Element of Fire: colors including red, pink and orange. Although I'm not always so good on picking projects that coincide with Project Spectrum, I do happen to be knitting a few fiery knits right now.

The first is a lacy cardigan called Ariann, designed by ChicKnits. It's a cute little sweater, and knitting up quite easily. I've already done a chunk of the body and I'm currently doing the sleeves (two at a time via the magic loop!) to be attached to the body and worked raglan style. I'm using Cascade 220 Superwash (gotta have it be washable!) in a great colorway - Ruby. I got the yarn at A Mano and I'm loving working with it. I can't wait for the sweater to be finished.

The second fiery project I'm working on is my first real lace project - the Shoalwater Shawl. I saw someone working on this shawl in A Mano and KNEW I wanted to do it. I selected a yummy yarn - Malabrigo Laceweight - kettle-dyed merino wool that's so soft it's amazing. I chose the Pagoda color way which is a cross between pink and orange. It's beautiful and the photo doesn't do it justice. This is going to be a long knit as I'm learning the challenge of knitting detailed lace work over hundreds of stitches - I can only do about 10 rows at a time before my concentration is shot. But I'm loving it anyway!

The final project I have in progress is not a fiery project (it sort of belongs in the Water category which isn't for a few more months!). When I arrived in KC and found a great little knitting store, MisKnits, I discovered Dream in Color Smooshy. This has been all the rage lately and I can see why. It's a beautiful hand-dyed semi-solid merino sock yarn. I couldn't resist buying a skein in the Blue Lagoon colorway and to my delight, it was perfect for trying Cookie A's Pomatomus from Knitty. The pattern has been a bit of a challenge, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the yarn, the variegation and how the socks are turning out.

So that's what I'm up to. I have a few more samples waiting in the wings, and a couple other projects I'm excited to knit. I'd like to start on a few tank tops so that I'll have some swanky summer knitted items once it gets steamy here in KC. I also found out that I have some great yarns in the stash that will work well for patterns I've found. Gotta love Ravelry!


Thursday, March 13, 2008


I've noticed of late that I haven't been posting as much. I attribute this to a few factors. First of all, I'm not as blessed with internet access as I once was. I'm learning in this world of temping that internet access is definitely not standard, though phones and filing definitely are.

Second, I find that I have a lot less to tell you. When I'm not working I'm busy hanging out at MisKnits with the owner Amber and knitting to my heart's content. When I am working, I don't talk to my "co-workers" that much so I have very little office fodder to share.

This week has been a little varied. Tuesday I temped for a University of Phoenix location here in Kansas City. I was filling in for the receptionist who was ill, and when I showed up the enrollment counselor who was answering the phones said "I hope you brought a book with you!" Yippee! I got to read magazines, knit and answer the phone occasionally. No great shakes, but a nice quiet day.

The only blog fodder I picked up was this:

Enrollment Counselor: You should consider getting more education.

Me: Oh I think I'm done with education.

Her: Well a bachelors degree is great, but a masters degree is better.

Me: Mmmmhmmm.

Her: Would you think about getting them?

Me: Well I already have both, so I think I'm set.

Her: Oh. *sort of shocked look*

Today I worked for a construction company. Mostly I was gathering bids and estimates for some big projects in and around KC, so it wasn't too bad, save that I spent the WHOLE day on the phone. As a big plus, the office I got put in had a nice big window and AN EASY BUTTON. I don't know what that says about me that THAT was the plus for me.

The knitting continues, but not much in a state to take pictures. I'll share more soon.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

And there goes another weekend.

We didn't really have anything planned for this weekend save a Saturday night BBQ date and exploring KC. Late Friday, my in-laws to say that they were delivering a load near here (they're truckers) and that they could lock up the truck and head home (about 2 hours the other direction from here) if we would come and get them and take them home. Since we didn't have tons planned, we figured we'd take them home and get started on part II of the entertainment center. As it turned out we pretty much got nothing done, but we had an ok time, save the HUGE amount of time in the car. However, since I don't have to work tomorrow (that's a topic for another post) I guess I don't get to complain too much - poor Wes has to go back to work. And I did get lots of knitting done!

Wes also got to bring his kayak back to KC with us. Here's a sight I bet you never thought you'd see - my kayak-laden little car!

Which brings me to my most recent accomplishment: Lianne. I have to say this is one of my favorite knits so far and I wish I could keep the final product, only she's not mine to keep! I found this pattern in Handknit Skirts that A Mano just started carrying. At first I wondered if the skirt would be ill-fitting or heavy, but it turned out great. The design is a simple A-line. You start with large needles, and rather than decreasing stitches you just keep moving to smaller and smaller needle sizes. A little elastic in the waistband and you're done! It's easy and a quick knit - I can't wait to knit this again for me.

The Specs:

The Pattern: Lianne from Handknit Skirts from Tricoter

The Yarn: Mango Moon Bali Sky (recycled sarong yarn, 4.5 skeins), Mango Moon Capelli (2 skeins)

The Needles: 15, 10, 9, 8, and 7

Now I'm getting to work on a cardigan for me, and finishing up a special birthday surprise for the l'il sis. More pics to follow.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Thank you.

I want to thank all of you for your kind comments and thoughtful words about my grandfather's passing. In truth, while it wasn't expected this very week, it was a long time coming. He has been ill for the last several years, and we were all prepared to let him go. That said, I know my family appreciates your thoughts.

For me, the hardest part of yesterday was the flood of memories of times spent with both my grandparents. As I said, my grandfather was not an easy man to know and my grandmother was the complete opposite. I have such wonderful memories of all my time spent with her, and I miss her even more intensely as the years go by. I was lucky to get to know her for as long as I did, but I can't help but be greedy and wish she were still here today.

I spent a lot of time thinking about this last night, and I would like to post the words I wrote for her memorial service almost 8 years ago. While part of my blogging experience is to write to entertain my readers, part of it is an archival process for me, and I would like to add my words about her to my journal for posterity. If this is a little too heavy for you, please join me tomorrow when I'll be back for my regular programming (finished knits and strange stories).


Ruth Sidney Wolf
January 5, 1923 - July 14, 2000

Probably one of my earliest memories of my grandmother was walking along the Ventura State Beach early in the morning and collecting seashells. What we did with those smelly seashells I'll never remember (though I have a sneaking suspicion that either she or my parents disposed of them later). But when I think of the ways in which I most connected with my grandmother, they always seem to be close to the arts. Perhaps the best way that I can think of to describe her is as an artist. Whether she was painting, knitting, listening to the opera, cooking, or instructing us, she filled most of my memories with her artistic skills.

When I was young we walked the beach and collected seashells and we drew with crayons. We told each other stories - hers were filled with colorful pictures of her youth, or the antics of my dad and uncle, or even the antics of her beloved Tiffany. As I grew older we spent hours in the kitchen cooking applesauce, freshly baked bread or fruit soup; and in the evenings we would sit in front of the T.V. practicing knitting pattens. And when I got old enough, I brought my own projects - my scarves and sweaters - to her for advice and ideas.

Probably one of my last real memories of her involves a difficult sweater pattern I attempted roughly 3 years ago. I struggled all night with the pattern, but my patience gave out and I gave up. By the next morning the needles lay ready for me, cast on and ready to go. Even with her arthritis she was still helping me, sitting next to me and encouraging me.

I have so many wonderful memories from her: jewelry store and makeup, recipes and patterns, and long conversations... too many to be counted. I feel lucky to have known her. When I think about the things that she taught me and how she influenced my life, I can best summarize it like this: She taught me to have patience with myself; that you can still be creative even while using a pattern or a recipe; that every pattern, every stitch, they always work out in the end; and that you're never too old to drive a little red sports car.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

In Memoriam

Howard Irwin Wolf
July 18, 1918 - March 5, 2008

You were a difficult man to know. You were very, very smart, but very, very quiet. You liked your solitude, which was very hard with two little granddaughters running around the house and a Grandma who liked to do every activity under the sun. Often you sat in your armchair reading newspapers, teasing us that we couldn't have peanuts from your Planter's jar, and watching the stock market on the silent t.v. But you loved our grandmother, and we know you loved us. The way you took care of her until the very end, and the way you always set up whatever we needed to cook, to knit, to do art projects; even the stepstools you built us for the kitchen so even when we were young we were tall enough to "help" - we knew you loved us. I know you haven't been yourself these last few years, and that has been hard for all of us to watch. But I'm happy that you're at peace now and that your health problems are over. And I'll always remember you, Papa Howie.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008


In my new domestic role, I'm responsible for cleaning the house. I hate cleaning. I live for the day when I make enough to hire someone to come clean my house once a week.

That's why I was so glad to find this little helper.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Why I don't sleep at night.

Last night I woke up to this:

That's right, I opened my eyes and Wes's fist was on my pillow about 3 inches from my face. I was disturbed.

Never mind that he elbowed me in the head later that night.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Lazy Saturday

Today Wes and I took it easy. I slept in a bit this morning and then got up and ran a few errands. I hit the post office and then dropped off "Darla" at the local yarn shop and picked up a few balls of yarn as compensation for my efforts. I now have some fun new sock yarn to try, including the new Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn.

I came home and we chilled while watching some t.v., then got our stuff together to go out shopping for a bit. We stopped at Home Depot for some utility shelving, at Bed, Bath & Beyond for some miscellaneous kitchen items, at Borders so we could spend a gift certificate, and then at Macy's so I could pick up a crock pot that I have been coveting (yes I now have domestic urges... sometimes).

Then we headed down to a big shopping center for our last shopping stop and some BBQ at Famous Dave's - a local favorite. We were headed for Cabela's, an outdoor and sporting mecca of sorts. Now Wes drags brings me into outdoor stores all the time and usually I'm fairly bored. He loves kayaking and camping and I prefer day trips to nature followed by a hot shower and a good night's sleep in a warm bed.

Nonetheless, I have to say, Cabela's was pretty awesome. It was kind of like Disneyland for outdoorists. In front of the lodge-like structure is this huge bronze statue of elk - please excuse the picture, all I had with me was my camera phone. What you can't see is that behind the elk is a man-made "waterfront" where you can take the boat you want to buy for a test drive.

Then you head inside and there's a man-made stream inside (with live fish and ducks!) and a whole mountain sculpture with stuffed animals of all kinds. It's kind of a like a trip to the zoo, except that the animals have all seen the taxidermist. There's a gun section, an archery section, a fishing section, a camping section, a clothing section, and of course the water-related areas. There was also a yummy looking grocery section to be used for both camping, and home cooking. And there was a fudge counter in there with 20+ different kinds of fudge! After resisting going for so long, I felt kind of silly. I'd totally go back and browse, and I don't even like the outdoors. (Why yes, that is a grizzly bear staring down at the fish in the stream - too bad he's dead and the aren't!)

Anyhow, after Cabela's and a BBQ dinner at Dave's we're now sitting at home hanging out. I'm icing my toe which I delicately slammed into a curb outside, and knitting a bit. And it's the perfect lazy Saturday (well minus the toe-slamming).

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