Monday, September 29, 2008

Seeing Red.

Each year the Orphan Foundation of America puts out a call to knitters during their annual Red Scarf Project. On Valentine's Day, the OFA sends care packages to college-age orphans, individuals who due to their age have left the system, but still have no family to send them care packages. OFA asks knitters to knit unisex red scarves to be included with these package.

At the last meeting of the Sunflower Knitters Guild a group of members decided to contribute. It's been almost a year since I did any charity knitting, and I've missed it. That there is something I can do within a hobby I love for someone else who needs it is rewarding. My goal is to get 3 scarves out the door. I have a feeling I'll have to settle for two. So far I have one.

The Pattern: Drop Stitch Scarf

The Yarn: Caron Simply Soft, Autumn Red

The Needles: US 7's

The Verdict: Warm, snuggly, washable!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Doing the Hulu.

My temp work has been a little spotty of late, so I've been home the better part of this week. Looking for entertainment, and finding none on live television, I have checked out I have to say that I'm loving it.

The first few days I caught up on recent episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Then I caught the infamous Tina Fey/Amy Pohler Palin/Clinton SNL skit. I also managed to grab the Heroes season opener - which frankly I thought was a little boring.

Then I fell headlong into Dirty Sexy Money, an irresistibly horrible angst-filled drama with Donald Sutherland and Peter Krause. I managed to watch all 10 episodes from the first season, so that I'm now ready for this season to begin!

When that was done I trolled the rest of the archives and settled on Lipstick Jungle. Though I don't think I'll be catching this in Prime Time, I loved it too!

So now I have a new source of fun. You should check it out - if you miss an episode, couldn't start a series, whatever!

P.S. I have an interview tomorrow.... wish me luck and maybe I won't need Hulu QUITE so much in the near future.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Awash in squash.

Fall is upon us (officially today!) and squash is in season. For the past few weeks we have been receiving generous portions of squash in our CSA basket. So Wes and I have been trolling recipes and experimenting. We made this one last night and it was TASTY!

Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash
courtesy of

1 butternut squash (cut in half)
1/2 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage
3 slices of bread, cubed
1 egg, well beaten
1 small onion
1/8 to 1/4 cup parsley.

Place squash cut side down in greased shallow baking dish. Bake at 350 for 40-60 minutes until squash is tender.

Meanwhile, remove sausage from casing and fry until brown and crumbly. Add onion and garclic and saute until onions are soft. Stir in egg, parsley and bread. Remove from heat.

Scoop seeds from squash. Remove squash meat and add to sausage mixture.

Spoon mixture back into shell. Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes until top is golden brown.

P.S. In full disclosure, I sidelined myself last night early in the game with the knife, so Wes did the actual cooking. DELISH!

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

The knife set is out to get me.

Just sliced finger with the wedding knife set AGAIN. I think it hates me.


The Apocalypse is here my friends.

My husband woke me up at 8am to go running. AND I WENT.

That is all.


A wonderful Saturday.

Yesterday was an absolutely fabulous day. It started early. We got up around 8:30 to get ready for a day at the Renaissance Faire. With a few errands and a bit of breakfast we arrived a little after 10:30am to the huge Faire grounds in Bonner Springs. We'd bought our tickets the night before so we sailed on through the gates and started exploring. For the next few hours we wandered and saw lots of things.

There was the petting zoo for children. They had goats and pigs, and even a few alpaca!

We wandered through various shops of leather, glass, jewelry, clothing and more. We saw a variety of faces.

We watched the jousting tournament while enjoying good food and beautiful weather. We saw the king and the queen.

And we even indulged in a little fibery goodness - hand-dyed merino!

Around 4pm we packed it in and headed out north of the city. A former boss of mine was in town visiting his in-laws and there was a big party out on the farm. He invited us to join in promising great food and a band. He didn't lie.

The estate was beautiful - over 600 acres of forest, soybean planted farmland and a beautiful lake. We enjoyed catching up with him and his wife, and meeting new people.

We took a hayride in a tractor.

And enjoyed a sunset.

And oh the food - several different kinds of smoked meat (smoked all day next to the lake - smelled wonderful!), and salads and sides, and dessert.

All in all a pretty spectacular day.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

The deadliest read.

A while ago a friend of mine hooked me up with LibraryThing, a site for avid readers and bibliophiles. Aside from great book reviews, and being able to list your collection of books, the site hosts an Early Reviewers feature. Each month LibraryThing receives a few hundred early review advance copies of books, and you can request books. A lottery system determines if you win or not. So far I have been requesting books for a little under a year, and I've won twice.

Which brings me to today's book review, Time Bandit. This is the story of brothers Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand and their Bering sea crabbing boat the Time Bandit. You may think these names sound familiar - that's because they're one of five crews who are also part of the Discovery Channel's The Deadliest Catch.

Crabbing, according to the brothers, is like the most extreme of extreme sports. This may explain why I'm not always tuned in to the series, and why I didn't have super high expectations for the book. (Those of you who know me know that I'm not into anything with the word extreme in it, unless it relates to knitting!)

I was, however, pleasantly surprised. The book is really gripping and chilling, and was an enjoyable read the way Into Thin Air was; if you put aside your horror at what these people are doing, they are truly amazing individuals, much, much different from you and I. I learned a lot about fishing and crabbing, as well as a lot about Alaska (although I don't think it improved my diplomatic relations with Russia, unlike some people....).

I would heartily recommend this book!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Knitting Crisis

I know you're thinking I'm being overdramatic here, but here goes.

You remember the other day when I mentioned that I had a ball of yarn that could not, WOULD not become a pair of socks? Well I've been sailing right through the scarf I'm making with it, except it's only about half done and I have only a small amount of the ball left. Ruh-Roh.

So late last week I started looking into where I might find more yarn to match mine. The original ball was purchased at MisKnits and the store is sold out of this colorway. I checked another local spot, The Studio and found a ball of yarn but, to my dismay, it is no where near the same dye lot and looks very different. I then turned to my old pal Ravelry to see if I could find one there. What do you know? There's a ball that LOOKS like mine and is even for sale! Except that I emailed the woman about it and I haven't heard back and it's been several days already. And I MIGHT be getting a little panicky. See if I don't find another ball the same color my options are:

1. leave it ridiculously short
2. start with the new color and have the two halves look completely different
3. rip out what I have done and start again, alternating yarn every few rows

As you can guess, I'm not pleased with these options. Enter The Loopy Ewe. Last night PlazaJen suggested I email Sheri and try to purchase a skein similar to mine in coloring. When I got home last night, around 9pm I did just that. And she replied IMMEDIATELY. By 9:15 she had already pulled out her stock, let me know what she had and told me I could purchase one and return it if it wasn't what I needed! How's that for service?!? I slept on it overnight and decided to give it a try today. And I may have just bought a few little goodies for me. And I definitely just found my new favorite online yarn source!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Two Cuties

Two of my favorite men... Wes and our nephew Evyn.


Off the Needles.

This weekend was fairly quiet. It threatened to rain most of it, so we opted to stay indoors for the most part. We did a fair amount of cleaning, managing to make several trips to the dumpster and fill my car up with stuff for Goodwill. We also managed to clear a lot of the wedding clutter into the newly cleaned closets, hang some pictures and generally make our place more presentable.

Sunday I went knitting for a bit with the girls and then hubby and I watched some good TV/DVDs. We just started The Tudors, Season 1, which I've rented through Netflix. So far, we like it quite a bit. We also watched the re-airing of Fringe on Sunday night. The first showing we came in about halfway through the episode, and I have to say it made a lot more sense this time around. I'm LOVING this new show - it's a few parts X-Files and a little bit CSI-ish. I really like Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv.

Finally, I finished up a knit that has been on the needles for a while.

The Pattern: Roped Shell from Interweave Knits, Summer 2008

The Needles: US 4's

The Yarn: Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette, 3 balls blue, 2 balls brown

The Verdict: This is a great looking top. I found the finishing work to be a little tedious (the i-cord edging at the sleeves, and the cabling at the neck) but I'm very pleased with the result. The yarn is wonderful to knit with: a blend of alpaca, merino and silk that is so very soft. I think I would probably make one of these for myself! This one is going to A Mano for display.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

A different way of looking at things.

I was just completely bowled over by this post from one of my favorite knitters/bloggers. It's so simple and yet the world is such an infinitely interesting place through someone else's eyes!

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Busy today.

Worrying about people in Ike's path and building ark after rain in Kansas for 12 days straight.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

My next career?

You too can be a Jedi Knight.


Knitterly Observations

  • Normally I'm a very level-headed person. Sure I have a touch of OCD, but typically I'm pretty restrained. However, get me around yarn (my current kryptonite is Wollmeise) and all bets are off.
  • I HATE purling. Whenever possible I knit backwards. It can't be faster than purling, but damn I hate purling.
  • I used to be a project monogamist. I'd knit large afghans and nothing else. Now? It's like I have knitter's ADD. Right now I have 4 or 5 projects on the needles.
  • I have no knitterly logic. Oooo you're having a baby? I'm going to knit a BLANKET. Never mind that I could knit a cute little baby sweater or a hat and booties in a fraction of the time ... let's do a BIG project!
  • When knitters say they don't have the yarn they need (despite having trunkfuls stashed at home) it's not at all like looking at your full closet and saying "I haven't a thing to wear!" What they mean is that they don't have the right fiber, color or enough of anything to complete the project. Shopping trips are a necessity. After all, you wouldn't wear pants that are 6 inches too short to an interview. And I can't knit a sweater if I'm 400 yards too short or at the wrong gauge.
  • Knitters (and crocheters!) are the nicest people! They are constantly sending each other care packages. A knitter will rescue you if you run out of yarn and can't find the same dye lot. They will tell you where the best knitting stores are so that you are never without a fiber fix, no matter whether you're travelling or at home. They will adopt you when you move new places and welcome you to their folds. They will help you if you're having trouble mastering a stitch, or need help choosing a color palette.
  • Knitters are EVERYWHERE. You find them where you work, standing in line at the post office, in airports, libraries, parks, restaurants...
  • If your yarn does not want to be a certain pattern it won't be. For instance, I have been trying to make socks for a friend of mine out of a beautiful skein of Trekking. A few pattern (and frogs!) in, the skein has told me it WILL not be socks. Apparently it is much happier as a scarf.
  • Sometimes knitting is naughty (knotty?) and needs to be put in a time out. You, as the "parent", need to take a deep breath and control your anger before you deal with that rascally rapscallion.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Late to the party.

Back when the Harry Potter books first came out, everyone was all atwitter and engrossed in the adventures. I saw the movies and thought they were entertaining. I even picked up books 1-4 on sale and sat down to try and read them. But I got stuck in the juvenalia of books 1 and 2, and just couldn't get into them enough to enjoy them.

Fast forward to the last month or two. I decided that since they were on my shelf, I either needed to read them or ditch them. (What's the point of keeping books if you don't think you'll ever read them?) In my current temp job, I'm allowed to read during the day, so I packed up the Harry Potter volumes and brought them with me.

And lo and behold, I was sucked in. In the last week and a half I've devoured all 4 books and now I'm looking at the remaining stack of unread books on my shelf (the one's I should also be reading), and wistfully thinking about buying books 5-7 instead so I can keep going. I actually think I'm going to be sorry when I finish book 7 and there just isn't any more!

So yeah, I'm a little late to the party, but apparently I have arrived.

P.S. I tried the House Sorter apps online and apparently I'd be a Ravenclaw. I guess I need a scarf... with a patch!


Monday, September 08, 2008

A little art of my own.

After yesterday's trip to the art museum, I was eager to finish a little creation of my own.

The Pattern: Loosely inspired by the Giotto pattern, GREATLY inspired by Sugaroni.

The Yarn: Two Windows Dye Company, Knitty Bits

The Needles: US 0's

The Verdict: I LOVE LOVE LOVE these socks. I don't know whether it's the simple picot edge and yarn over rows, or the beautiful yarn. The picture doesn't even do the yarn justice. Deb of Two Windows is an indie dyer here in Kansas and her work is AMAZING. (Yes I might have another skein or two lurking somewhere around here!)


Sunday, September 07, 2008

James, get the hacksaw.***

This has been a relaxing weekend. Yesterday Wes and I lazed around for part of the day, then ran some errands and caught a showing of The Mummy 3. It was decent entertainment - nothing to rave about, but we enjoyed it.

Today we decided to explore Kansas City more, and spent the afternoon at the Nelson-Atkins Museum. Wes and I aren't HUGE museum people, but we spent the whole afternoon wandering the beautiful halls of art. We opted to skip the contemporary wing for today, and just hit the pre-1900's art. We're saving modern and the sculpture garden and grounds for another visit. The best part is that the museum has free admission, and inexpensive parking. So it was a fun, free day!

The highlight of the day for me, and possibly the museums most well known piece, was this:

Yep, that's right. They have a few Monet pieces, but I sat and stared at the Water Lilies for a bit. I love impressionism.

It was also interesting for me to see what Wes and I gravitated towards today. While he was more apt to go study the furniture pieces or the sculpture, I was the one to wander to the paintings first. We honed in on our own favorite pieces, and spent most of the day in contemplative silence, together but in our worlds. Occasionally we called each other over to point out some detail to the other.

The morning we mostly spent with European artists. Midday we arrived at the Tuscan inspired cafe, and decided to have a snack. They had delicious sandwiches, soups and chili and we got to sit peacefully enjoying this courtyard.

The afternoon was more Asian-inspired. There were plenty of awe-inspiring pieces, including a huge wood and lacquer Buddha, but I liked this carving the best.

As the afternoon drew to a close we headed back to the car, but not without a quick stop at the gift shop. No new magnets for the collection, but we did spot these guys - who were awfully cute!

***The title has no relation to the post... but you figured that out!

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Friday, September 05, 2008

We interrupt...

your regularly scheduled knitting news to bring you this important announcement.

Oh sweet Jeebdus I hope this is true.

Found courtesy of Jamie.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

The only way I'd vote Republican....



Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Like a Train Wreck

Being back at a temp job means that I once again have time to surf the web. However, it is my wonderful friend PlazaJen who brought this little gem to my attention. In the market for a lovely piece of real estate? Check out the Lovely Listings!


Monday, September 01, 2008

My life in Bullets.

Let's try this update in bullets, since I'm probably a bit scatter-brained as it is.

  • Operation "Find a Job" is in full swing. Unfortunately the mission isn't even close to accomplished yet. Actually I forgot how depressing it is to look for work, especially in a city without my full professional and personal network behind me.
  • Labor Day weekend has been a weekend without labor. My thank you notes are completely done, most of the presents are put away, and I even managed a little cleaning. I also managed some meals out with the girls, quality time with hubby and lots of knitting.
  • I have a HUSBAND! (that's still new!)
  • Knitting progress. I seem to have a parade of knitting in progress as I'm currently rotating 4 projects (and I've got more to go!) From top to bottom: a lush Cozy Cable Scarf in Angora for The Studio, the Roped Shell from Interweave for A Mano, and some socks out of yummy hand-painted for me!
  • My new temp job as a receptionist starts tomorrow. Let's hope the internet isn't blocked cause nothing but phones for 2+ weeks will be a challenge.
  • Packrat on Facebook is an addiction. I can stop any time I want... NOT.
  • As Jon Stewart would say: Clusterfuck to the White House 2008 is in full swing. I was totally inspired by Obama's speech at the DNC. I was totally uninspired by McCain's choice of Veep - apparently Palin's family values include her 17-year-old daughter getting knocked up and married.

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