Monday, December 28, 2009

Damson No Longer in Distress

Damson Shawl
Originally uploaded by craftytails
The holidays are finally over and the car remains in poor condition. The result? A lot of knitting time at home.

Officially, I decided to go shawl-crazy. There are dozens of skeins in my stash, begging to be used on projects other than socks. Most of the yarn has been dyed in short color repeats and may not adequately show off stitch-definition. This calls for a lot of experimentation.

The reason for the new craze is the completion of the gorgeously simple Damson shawl. Instead of using the bamboo blend initially earmarked for the project, I decided to start over with superwash merino. The change in game plan was a good one, indeed. When I used the right yarn, the problems focusing on the pattern quickly went away. It's funny what a little enthusiasm will do.

As penance for my selfish knitting, I am now working on a long-promised scarf for my aunt. She requested off white wool and this is absolute torture for someone like me, who prefers vibrant colors. I settled on the Midwest Moonlight scarf in Cascade 220. Due to the difference in gauge, I cast on 33 stitches instead of the recommended 49. If I have enough yarn left over, I will also make her a hat as an apology for being delinquent.

Another project in the works this week is the mass purging of books and miscellaneous craft supplies. In order to simplify my life, many items need to be either sold or donated to make my home less overwhelming. Perhaps if I make enough money, the car repairs can be expedited. If the financial compensation ends up being low, at least I can feel a little more sane in my own environment.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Caught, Bagged and Tagged

After being trapped in my home for an entire week during the holidays, I decided to organize my craft supplies. This meant embarking on a project I have had in the back of my mind for quite some time.

Several huge sales a few years ago prompted me to purchase enough yarn to make a bunch of sweaters. The fiber was dropped into the recesses of deep stash, never to resurface. Needing to simplify my life, I went through everything last May and got rid of any materials that would never realistically be used. This purge was intended only for the acrylic yarn gifted by well-meaning friends and family. Recently, I turned a critical eye on the rest.

First, I located the boxes of 1 and 2.5 gallon Ziploc storage bags from the last stash overhaul. The smaller bags were designated for tiny projects like scarves, hats, toys and gloves. Larger bags held a sweater’s-worth of yarn. This was the primary focus. I managed to assign patterns to almost every big batch of fiber from the same dye lot. I wrote project information on large note cards. Each card had the name of the project, approximate number of skeins needed, intended size, gauge, list of notions/tools and miscellaneous notes. (Will I need to download errata? Have other bloggers complained about the garment stretching after blocking? Does the designer typically write clear instructions?) We know the drill.

When I managed to track down all of the patterns and transcribe the necessary information, the note cards were placed in bags with the yarn. All of these bags were then put in their own clear plastic storage tub, away from the other tubs containing unassigned skeins. The photo was taken partially through the process and doesn’t show the end result. My yarn collection is quite scary and I am not entirely sure it’s a good idea to expose the entire mess to the world.

When I had a roommate last year, yarn was sneaked into the house surreptitiously at odd hours when she was not present. Even though I didn’t go overboard with purchasing, the addition of any new materials would have sparked a discussion where she would be confused but accepting and I would simply be ashamed. Assigning projects will help me work my way through the rest of the stash and prevent potential yarn binges. If I feel like making a sweater, there are at least a dozen options waiting for me. An accessory? Right there in the tub containing single skeins of yarn. Love the new system so far and hope it continues to work the way I intended.

My knitting life has been revitalized as well. Searching through boxes, I have located most of my UFOs and can finally work on finishing everything. Single socks are bagged with their needles and sweater pieces have been located and stored in the same place. Huzzah!

Speaking of knitting, the Damson shawl has been ripped back and re-knit, only to discover a huge mistake about ten rows back. I will have to frog hundreds of stitches to correct the error and hopefully I will be able to find the patience. The pattern is extremely well written and the screw-up occurred as a result of my own lack of attention to detail. I may write about this later in detail when I can correct the problem and continue the pattern. Keeping this project with me during social visits was a huge failure. Apparently, I can only do mindless garter stitch while talking to people. There are plenty of charity blankets to work on, so looks like they will be my next go-to items.

Finally, a dear friend sent me this wonderful link on CNN about urban knitting. Some of the items I knew about- others I didn’t.

Edit: Blogger has once again rejected HTML tags, so here is the link:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hopefully, Not a Wool Allergy

Sockhead Hat
Originally uploaded by craftytails
In the days following the convention, I have managed to contract another sinus infection. Never have illnesses appeared back-to-back before and the need for an allergist has become more urgent. After the Thanksgiving holiday, a number of calls will be made. I am desperate to get an appointment before the end of the year when my insurance provider hikes up the co-pay for specialists. It's quite ludicrous what we are expected to fork over when certain specialists are absolutely necessary. Is skipping my yearly female examination suddenly an option? What a lovely present to receive right before the holidays. The only worse surprise would be finding out I have a severe allergy to wool and bunnies (thanks Ally!).

The convention itself was fairly quiet but nice. Attendees were very sweet and had interesting and thoughtful questions. All in all, I had a good time catching up with old friends and knitting on every panel and autograph session. Some progress was made on the hat (pictured) and more has been completed since the photo was taken. It should be ready for the decreases very soon, if not for one snag. This is really embarrassing to admit... but I never knew there were two different size 2 needles. I truly deserve this slap in the face for not learning my metric sizes. As it turns out, I own the 3.00mm 16" circular, but not the double pointed needles. All of my DPNs are 2.75mm, necessitating an order from Knit Picks. No LYS in my area ever has the sizes I need. This is part of the reason why I miss Yarns Ewenique so much. Their "wall of needles" was unrivaled (at least for my purposes).

Like everyone else I know, my mailbox fills itself with bills every month. To my delight, some publications arrived in time to amuse me during the quarantine. After a few months of mild disappointment, Interweave Knits once again has me excited about patterns. For example, Nora’s Sweater has three of my favorite elements, combining a cardigan with a tailored fit and lovely use of negative space. It probably helps that the model is wearing my favorite color for a sweater (eggplant) and fiber (alpaca). The Alpaca Pleats Jacket is equally tempting in its sheer cuteness and lovely drape. And yes, also because it’s purple.

The entire exercise of pattern-stalking on my part is quite ridiculous. After grousing endlessly about the number of UFOs laying about the house, I need to actually finish something. But in the interim, I will use my sickness as an excuse. *cough*

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just Sock It

Sockhead Hat
Originally uploaded by craftytails
Happily, the chevron scarf is finally finished and moved out of WIP status in my Ravelry queue. Poor impulse control, however, has caused me to relapse into start-itis. There is a convention in Fort Worth this weekend and I need a mindless project to keep my hands occupied during panels. No one can tell me if they think it's rude to knit while speaking in public. Perhaps it's because the idea that someone would bring yarn and needles onto an anime-related panel is fairly farfetched. Whatever the case, I will accept this reality until someone has a compelling and valid reason why knitting shouldn't be allowed. And for the record, it better be convincing.

This brings me to the pictured project. After languishing in the stash since my last birthday, Dee's stunning Iris colorway is finally getting a new lease on life in the form of a Sockhead Hat. After staring longingly at the skein for quite some time, I decided it was far too beautiful to knit into a pair of socks. Some yarns deserve to be showcased in more public forum. Everyone should know the dyeing expertise inherent in Blue Hands Fibers.

Speaking of talented ladies in my stalking social circle, Zabet Stewart is personally handling a "going out of print" sale on books at the AntiCraft website. There are only 115 copies left at this writing and these projects belong in any interesting crafter's collection. They even have a cephalopod menstrual cup cozy! Seriously, people. If this isn't your cup of tea, then check out the other projects that are not knitting-related. Cross-stitch, sewing, crochet and others represent, yo. And where else can you purchase a discount book that Zabet “may” have snogged? Hotness.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I have completely altered my appearance. Apparently so drastically that various bartenders, the TSA (almost got rejected from airline travel to Oni-Con) and acquaintances (at NYAF) no longer recognize me. After looking at old photos and realizing I looked like a tomboy, this is a good change. New ID pictures will have to be taken, but I am pleased to look somewhat more feminine. Best to let suckers figure out the true nature through personality. Predators in the wild are typically spotted by their colorful plumage or colors. Guess losing 35 pounds and growing my hair out makes this coral snake less poisonous, at least to the casual observer.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

End of the Hiatus

After finally getting over my fall knitting slump, projects have been progressing at a rapid pace. Since the last post, I have made another beret out of my latest soulmate, Malabrigo yarn. Once my next appointment comes up, the gorgeous recipient (my hairdresser) will be photographed. The trend of making her a hat every year was born from her deep, abiding love for beanies. How could any knitter resist such a captive audience?

Next up, I am finishing my chevron scarf. There is very little yarn left and the project needs to finally come off the needles. For some odd reason, most items get about 80% completed before I lose interest. This definitely needs to change and my first order of business will be tackling some old UFOs. My needles have been held captive for far too long. Often, the urge to cast on new projects makes me lose focus.

Speaking of which, the hoochie cozies are quite the temptation. What a great way to use up a lot of excess worsted-weight scraps!

Many ladies I know are having babies these days, so stalking more free patterns became a necessity. Them Apples and Autumn Leaves are begging to be made from stash yarn.

For those of you who want something for yourselves, there is a lovely online magazine containing unconventional patterns. They are on an indefinite break, but pledged to keep their archives available. I would love to hear more information on fit and pattern quality if anyone out there has tried knitting up some of these creations. Although checking Ravelry is nice and addictive, it's even nicer to start a dialogue with fellow knitters. After all, one can only lurk for so long.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mega Cardigan vs. Giant Distraction

Featherweight Cardigan
Originally uploaded by craftytails
(Because, quite honestly, seeing Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus tonight cannot fail to make an impression. The clip that sold all of us prompted a quick addition to the Netflix queue.)

The Featherweight Cardigan made an appearance by continuous knitting throughout the movie. I am nearly halfway through the second sleeve and dread picking up stitches for the collar. Unsurprisingly, I failed at picking up the two stitches under the arms when making the sleeves. There are huge holes that need to be fixed during the finishing process. Since I have decided I love this designer and wish to eventually make the Gooseberry Cardigan, I need to find a solid resource that clearly explains picking up stitches and garment construction. So far, all of the books I own don't seem to adequately cover the topic. When I began knitting, I had no idea how many techniques would remain unexplained. It's almost as if it is assumed that people will figure out certain technical aspects without proper training.

A freak storm knocked out most of the electricity in the neighborhood. I will continue to knit until I actually lose power and have to light candles. The thunder this evening was deafening.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Under Lock and Key

Striped Scarf
Originally uploaded by craftytails
Finally, my exhaustion this week is explained. This morning, I was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection. Thankful it isn't the flu! As a result, my doctor has recommended that I stay home from work. There is a lot to do and my body has decidedly inconvenient timing. Perhaps it's better that I am taking sick time because my brain feels fuzzy and the featherweight cardigan is mindless enough to allow me to indulge in some knitting. Surely no one at work wants my sneezing, corpse-like body passing out germs like candy (despite being in the true spirit of Halloween).

Guess my own brand of self-help will be a blitz of new hats that I will rarely ever wear in the Texas heat! I am dying to go into serious production with a few of the patterns in my queue: 1 Across, Piper, Hurricane, Cairn, Phoncible, Noro Spiral One-Skein, Fake Isle, Zinnia Dahlia and Slacker.

For the time being, I will continue the cardigan and perhaps the laziest scarf in all creation (pictured). I have no idea why this is taking me so long to finish, but motivation is lacking. For some reason, I will only work on this while watching recorded episodes of Warehouse 13. Interesting premise, but it really made me crave episodes of the Friday the 13th television series. Incidentally, this is now available for purchase, albeit at a prohibitive price point. Guess this Christmas will be full of requests for Amazon gift certificates so I can buy all of the crappy TV-on-DVD sets my tasteless heart and mind desire.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Getting Back on the Wagon

The title exists for several reasons. All of which are obviously referential to an addiction of some sort. The most important (to me at least) is the breaking of the yarn diet. Some may consider this falling off the wagon, but I feel differently. Honestly, I have not knitted in a while. The needles have felt foreign in my hands and the fiber has been lifeless. This is cyclical and seems to happen at least once a year, but never this long. After taking a trip to NYC and visiting School Products and managing to buy nothing, I feared the worst. Is my favorite hobby dead? Will I no longer feel joy stalking Ravelry patterns and groping strange yarn in small shops? How will I feel without my friends alternating mocking my "weird" hobby with asking for handmade gifts?

Consider my personal myth officially debunked! It all started with a guilty, nagging feeling. My ex-roommate wanted a beret and I was determined to make one for her. After miserably failing one attempt at the Gretel Beret, her hat has been in "time out" for the past year. Thanks to an email newsletter regarding a new shipment of Malabrigo at my LYS, an idea was hatched. I would knit her the Star Crossed Slouchy Beret (Ravelry link only). Never having worked with Malabrigo before, I wasn't sure what to expect.

It was far better than I imagined. The soft merino slid like butter in my hands and the hat was completed within two days. The picture here is the FO (un-blocked) in the Saphire Green colorway and this will surely look stunning on the redhead.

Oh, but did I stop the purchase with just her yarn? Nope! Two skeins of the Velvet Grapes colorway are sitting in a bag on my kitchen table, dying to be handled soon. I am not going to fret too much about what to knit with them because there is a sure feeling in my gut that Malabrigo and I are going to have quite the long-term relationship.

The sewing is progressing in a slow but confident fashion. I haven't been able to meet up with my friend very often and we finally started working on my owl skirt a few weeks ago. Perhaps in two weeks I can finish what I started. Char showed me how to construct flat darts and she continues to challenge me with techniques. Not expected, but definitely appreciated as a newbie. There is no end to my excitement about this owl skirt, guaranteed to beat up lesser, more boring skirts.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Better, Stronger, Faster

Adding to a laundry list of ill-conceived ideas, I intend to make myself a more efficient animal. My professional life has successfully drained most of my energy and intelligence, only to leave a desolate husk I refer to as "brain". Left with only a bare minimum of functionality, "brain" has decided to devote itself to planning offensive tea towel embroidery. This came as quite a shock when compounded with insomnia and the requisite twitchiness from nicotine withdrawal. Once again, "brain" has proved to be a hindrance to both my knitting and sewing. Surprisingly, I was able to make some progress on the Featherweight Cardigan earlier this week. One day, I may even take photos of the purple wonder in all its wonky glory. There has been a bit of fuss with casting on stitches in the middle of a row and joining the front panel with the back. "Brain" has, predictably, been fairly lax in providing assistance. Bah!

The financial devastation caused by a confluence of unfortunate situations has prevented yet another trip to Dragon*Con this year. Instead, I plan to visit the bad man at AnimeFest. Since knitting is the portable option, I plan to bring my cardigan with me. The Tea Towels of the Damned™ will have to languish until next weekend.

And maybe, just maybe, I will finally stop pining over the book that contained these quotes.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Due to an excessive drain on the free hotel wifi this weekend, I was not able to get as much work done as planned. Tonight was spent catching up on a few things until I realized there is something terribly wrong with the laptop. Guess it's going back to the hospital.

Thanks to the armadillo household, the craft nest has a nearly full box of nicotine gum. I think the recommended dosage is way too high, so I plan to use it only when absolutely necessary. Cold turkey may create far too much drama. The feeling of taking such a big plunge is really liberating! I am gnawing on piece number two, hoping it doesn't cause me to have yet another bout with insomnia. The fitful sleeping during the past month is taking a toll on my addled brain. I want to drink a glass of wine to help me feel drowsy, but that's just another trigger I need to avoid.

The need for cheer has never been more urgent, so here are two links that make me smile:

A lovely, classy friend of mine posted a link to the next purse I need to buy.

Bringing together two great loves, the open source embroidery project is nothing short of fabulous.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Patternless Skirt
Originally uploaded by craftytails
(This blog entry was cobbled together from several lesser drafts sitting in my folder. Instead of posting separately like a rational person, I am dumping the entire lot here. Commence the disjointed rambling!)

My newest friend has taught me how to sew! (Or at the very least, how to use a sewing machine without trepidation or abject terror.) A confession needs to be made at this time about my collecting habits. The yarn stash finally appears gargantuan compared to my fabric stash. For many years, I scoured thrift stores, Ebay sellers, estate sales and clearance bins with the sole purpose of obtaining fabulous/original/quirky fabric. This has been a sideline addiction, going unnoticed and unchecked for over a decade. My closet is bursting at the seams with plastic bins full of bolts and remnants that I always "intend to do something with". The time has finally arrived for me to stop procrastinating and begin clearing out old materials and making room for new things. At the very least, I want to make my closet manageable for the first time in my adult life.

I continue to be plagued with low-light conditions in my apartment, so recent photos are not the greatest quality until I can purchase adequate lighting and a better camera (image stabilization is NOT overrated). The project pictured here is actually far more vibrant in real life and I love it, flaws and all. This is a gathered skirt with a wide waistband, trimmed with grosgrain ribbon and rickrack. I have not figured out which shirt to wear with it, but there is sure to be something appropriate out there.

The weekend at San Japan was wonderful! I met new friends and spent time with old ones. For me, the entire four days went off without a real hitch. I can attribute this to the hardworking staff who made it possible for the convention to run so smoothly. My flight immediately followed the charity auction today, making it impossible for me to get a final total. Once the Austin Browncoats finish working their magic, the auction will be finalized. Their tireless efforts truly made the difference this weekend.

Surprisingly, I am still awake. My "sleeping in a strange bed insomnia" mixed with my current "stress-related insomnia", creating an obnoxious cocktail which has wreaked hate on my body.

After sweating straight through six outfits this weekend, I am waiting for laundry to finish drying. Thanks to the scary flea infestation, my sheets are also being washed again to alleviate any lingering paranoia. The stupid life cycle of the pests has finally been broken and it's only a matter of time before my home returns to normalcy. I can't wait to stop vacuuming on a daily basis. The bruising caused by excessive housecleaning had to be explained far too many times this weekend.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Small Yarn, Big Smile

Chevron Scarf
Originally uploaded by craftytails
The aftershocks of the move continue to plague me, so I have turned to crafty pursuits to bury my woes.

Leah loved the finished chevron scarf so much that I decided to cast on for another (pictured)... and promptly lost the project in the vortex of boxes within my apartment. This was the icing on the bad-week cake, so I decided to cast on for the Featherweight Cardigan in order to keep my brain occupied. I bought a few skeins of Knit Picks Shadow in the Vineyard Heather colorway a while back with no specific project in mind. Eyeing the lace-weight fiber in my stash caused consternation a few months ago when I came to the realization that the yarn was too dark to show stitch definition and probably not an ideal choice for lace. This may end well, as I have been trying to figure out how to make a sweater in record-high temperatures. A pullover and a cardigan continue to lurk in the UFO pile until the heat subsides enough for me to bear working with heavy wool. The cardigan pattern will not only help me use the yarn, but is simple and light enough to carry with me when temperatures go well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Perhaps making a cardigan out of lace-weight yarn is a bit masochistic. Perhaps I am subconsciously preparing my brain to work on the Abotanicity sweater, which may be a relief in comparison. Checking the gauge, however, tells me otherwise.

Given a choice, I love lightweight sweaters that hug curves. I often find that chunky or bulky tops make me look like a pig in a blanket. Oddly enough, it makes no difference how much or how little I weigh. Thick clothing tends to overpower my features and looks either like a hand-me-down from an older sibling or an oddly-chosen costume. Neither option is particularly attractive to me.

These facts have not diminished my passion for the Buttony Sweater. Some bulky yarn was purchased during a sale with specific intentions on making this cardigan. Sadly, new garments will have to wait until I attack the increasing number of UFOs with full, systematic eradication.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Good Lighting? Never!

I found a drawback to my new home. The windows are positioned in manner that is not conducive to natural light. This means I have to actually do some research and become more skilled with photography. The horrible pictures I have taken of knitting projects lately are not to be tolerated. Thus, another portion of my laziness comes to an end. Damn you, apartment, for attempting to increase my skill set.

The chevron scarf for my darling friend is going to come to a bitter sweet end this evening. Sweet because it will finally be finished and bitter because I knit yet another scarf. I fully believe many people can sympathize with my scarf dilemma. Although they are wonderfully practical items, the actual process is slightly more interesting than watching paint dry. The pattern choice really doesn't matter because this is a series of repeats that simply feel like they go on and on... for eternity. I appreciate the simple pattern and gorgeous product. The inherent problem lies with my easily distracted brain, often drawn to late-night phone calls and accounts at these newfangled places like Twitter or Netflix. Those young whippersnappers are truly on to something.

Now, to the obligatory Cthulhian portion of this post. I must confess a deep, unabated obsession with all-things-Lovecraft. My stalking of Zabet will take a new and hideous turn after seeing a Cthulhu cross stitch pattern posted on the website. Cross stitch and I had a tumultuous relationship, resulting in a several beautiful children. Nonetheless, this is not my preferred technique and yet I have found myself yearning to pick up the embroidery hoop and needle again. Be warned.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Good, The Bad and the Annoying

Betsey Johnson Shoes
Originally uploaded by craftytails
Some progress has been made since I last posted, namely in the form of wifi and gas. The exhaust vent for the dryer is still not installed and I noticed the disposal and dishwasher are not in proper working order. Go team!

In the interest of documenting the entire horror, I am sorry to report that a letter from my electric company arrived on Thursday. Elated at the prospect of receiving notice of a service credit, I was crestfallen to see they saw fit to serve me with a disconnection notice if I did not pay a $400 deposit! Odd because I am an existing customer and my account is in good standing. Odd because my credit score would not warrant such a high deposit. Odd because random charges are apparently an acceptable way to do business. I am switching as soon as this billing cycle is over. Mark my furious words, this will be done.

Tired of grousing about the move, a decision was made to talk about my hot new shoes. After losing a lot of weight, buying clothing has become a necessity. Hours of searching in discount clothing stores turned up a cheap pair of Betsey Johnson heels. They typically range from $100 - $250. Total. Score.

After all, let's face it. Any bright spot of cheer is more than welcome at this point.

The chevron scarf for Leah is moving along quite nicely. She absolutely loves the colors and thinks the piece is beautiful. As far as mindless knitting projects are concerned, I can't believe I never made the connection before. This is a memorable four-row repeating pattern that is infinitely portable. When I was a beginning sock-knitter, I bought a lot of 100% wool yarn that wasn't superwash treated. This is a perfect project to pretend my ignorant mistake was done on purpose. The best part? The pattern breaks up the colors in such a way that excessive pooling and flashing doesn't occur. How cool is that?

Friday, June 19, 2009

And Then Some

Five days after my move-in date and I still do not have gas, a dryer or a wireless internet connection! According to my landlord, the water heater is located in another tenant's apartment and she has to unlock the door for the service technician. This would have been valuable information to have before I moved in. The earliest they can arrive is on Monday and I sincerely hope she will respond to the call. If not, then I have more cold showers looming ahead in the near future.

The internet issue is an interesting one. The cable company showed up and did not install everything the way I planned. For one, I was promised a special on the premium channel tier. Apparently, the person I spoke to over the phone lied because no such special exists. This is not a dire situation, but the lack of wireless connectivity poses an issue. The technician was unable to install wifi (despite evidence pointing to the contrary) and the modem doesn't even work. I am calling in my personal tech support (i.e. drinking buddies) to help me solve the problem.

On a happier note, I sold some stash yarn to someone on Craigslist. When perusing my bins to see what I could add to sweeten the pot, I found a colorway that a non-knitting friend of mine adores. Since I have moved closer to her, I believe a gift is in order.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This is the Move that Never Ends

Foliage Hat
Originally uploaded by craftytails
This week has been the roughest I have experienced in quite a long time. Plagued with incompetent utility providers, bad luck and more bad luck, I feel the need to chronicle the debacle for review at a later point in time. The picture of the last knitting project completed before the move is the only craft-related portion of this post (and the only cheerful part).

Friday, June 12th - Water and electricity were due to be turned on at the new home.

Sunday, June 14th - Showed up to sign my lease as scheduled and the landlord completely forgot my current roommate and I were moving in. She eventually showed up without my gate opener and told me I should have reminded her that I still want the washer and dryer from my roommate's apartment. This prompted me to reiterate that I not only need them, but she also needs to pick up the refrigerator because I have my own to move in.

When I entered my apartment, neither the electricity nor the water was working. This prompted several calls to both companies. The water department said, "Oh, oops. We'll take care of it." And they did so before the close of business. Electricity was a different matter. At 11:00AM, I called my carrier to ask why my power was still off. The customer service representative stated that the provider (Oncor) was still dealing with outages from the storm last week and would get to the request as soon as possible. Shortly after, he recanted and said Oncor never received the service order. He assured me he would reissue the order and and stated he would call me back. He did not. I called again and reached someone else who also said the issue was with Oncor service outages and that my electricity would be turned on "whenever". It was 97 degrees outside, so one could imagine how miserable I became when I moved in my fragile items.

To compound matters, the previous tenant left the place filthy! I rented it over a month ago and was promised it would be clean when I moved in.

A bittersweet moment occurred when I met a friendly neighbor who helped me when the biggest spider I have ever seen leaped out from a crack under the front door and ran toward me. I killed him with a phone directory and my neighbor removed the remains. The image of the creature continues to haunt me.

Monday, June 15th - Still no power, so I called again. The rep told me my power would be activated by 2:00PM. If it was not, I should call them back. It indeed was not. When I tried to contact them again, two people hung up on me before I finished politely explaining the situation. Another attempt yielded a person saying they never sent the order to Oncor and that the rep I spoke to in the morning just made something up. After spending an hour on the phone, she said a technician would be onsite the next day. I notified her I was scheduled to work from home and they cost me time and money. Will I get a service credit for their shoddy treatment? Probably not.

But no, the trouble didn't stop there.

The gas company showed up to turn on the water heater and it was nowhere to be found.

The bathroom tower I purchased is too large and I can't find the receipt. Hopefully, the store will take it back and issue a credit.

My roommate moved into her apartment on this day to find that she didn't have electricity or water either. When the movers brought the washer and dryer from her apartment to mine, they noticed that an exhaust vent was never installed. Washer connections yes, dryer connections, not so much.

To make matters even worse, I locked myself out of the apartment and had to wait for my friend to come home in order to unlock the back gate. I proceeded to hoist myself up and enter through a window. Thankfully, the lack of electricity forced me to leave windows open!

Tuesday, June 16th - The movers showed up and started to load boxes and furniture. They estimated about 2-3 hours total for the move, but it took two hours alone to get my stuff out of the house. Although they complimented my packing skills, there were simply too many items to move quickly.

When driving to the new apartment to prepare for the movers, a car ran a stop sign and nearly T-boned me at an intersection. He came within one foot of slamming into the driver's side door and caused me to hit the brakes with full force. I heard them crunch and give, so this will be another expense to worry about in the near future.

Still no electricity, so the move went much slower than anticipated. Not only did they have to reassemble my bed in the dark, but they had to disassemble my refrigerator to get it into the kitchen. Thankfully, my huge fridge actually fit into the cubbyhole. Just barely.

All total, the move took twice as long as we originally thought it would and I paid double the amount. The lack of air-conditioning and light had a huge role in this.

In the middle of the afternoon, my power came on. Blessed air-conditioned relief! I scrubbed out the filthy tub only to discover that I left my shampoo and soap at the old house. Filthy, overheated and thirsty, I was rescued by my man. He brought water and went out to buy bathroom items so I could take a shower.

I then called my landlord to speak to her about the whereabouts of the water heater, gate key and exhaust vent for the dryer. I only got a chance to ask about the exhaust vent when she rushed me off the phone and hung up. She said the vent was never installed, but she didn't tell me this before I moved in the dryer. Generally a nice person, but a little forgetful, I think.

When the cable company called, I had to reschedule my appointment for the next day since the place was still a mess. Again, thanks to the lack of electricity putting me behind schedule.

Wednesday, June 17th - After much deliberation, I am getting rid of the dresser I have always stored in my craft room. There isn't enough space and I wish I never moved it over. Since the local Goodwill donation centers do not pick up items, I think the Salvation Army will get it. We will see what they say tomorrow.

I picked up the key to my post office box (finally), so that ordeal is over. Apparently, there is only one person in that location who can issue boxes and he only works from 8-11 in the mornings. This was not made clear when I paid for the box online and has never been the case with my past post office experiences.

Making a trip back to the old house, I grabbed my bathroom items and decided to move some boxes to the curb. To my dismay, the sanitation department failed to take the garbage bags sitting next to the bin. The first bag went in nicely, but the second one burst, spewing ant-infested trash everywhere. I finally cleaned everything up and decided to go to my boyfriend's home to do laundry, shower and complete all of my change-of-address forms. When I attempted to update the address on my driver's license, the online form kicked back an error message stating I could not do this because I have updated my information online once before. I guess it is out of the realm of possibility that someone may move two years in a row! I called their customer service line six times, only to reach a busy signal. When I finally got through, their office was closed.

Tomorrow, I may actually get a chance to work remotely. I am sure my inbox is full and the schedules are in dire need of attention. There is a nice coffee shop with free wifi and despite my personal woes, the world of anime still needs me.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Counting Down

Diagonal Blanket
Originally uploaded by craftytails
It is now one week before the lease is signed for the new apartment and I have so much to get straightened out. Several items have been posted to Craigslist for sale and more items have been donated. The yard sale last night was quite a success! I managed to get rid of a large number of items and got good deals on bamboo wallpaper and an antique punchbowl set with twenty four glasses. A donation was made to a friend's hospital bill and in exchange, I was given a bunny and cabbage teapot and some assorted sewing patterns. The items I did not sell will be donated to various charities or put up for consignment. It's high time I began eliminating clutter from my life.

Knitting has been progressing steadily and the lazy blanket is now complete. I haven't taken measurements, but it is a nice size for a throw. Somewhere in the midst of my weighing, I miscalculated the amount of yarn before starting the decreases. This caused me to run out of yarn before finishing the last corner. The decision was ultimately made to call this "character" or 'charm", rather than a "screw-up". Despite my usual elitism against acrylic fiber, the blanket is quite soft and comfortable. Do I regret the impulse purchase? No. Will I do something this silly again? Probably not.

Since the UFOs are packed in boxes, I am working on the Foliage Hat in a burnt orange cashmerino aran weight yarn. Typically, I enjoy following charts but found myself knitting according to the written directions instead. It's a nice change of pace and the hat (so far) is looking quite lovely.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Movin' On Up

Somehow my search for the perfect home has come to an end. Well, it's not quite perfect. The drive to work will be a bit longer and I cannot go jogging in the neighborhood. But... I have found something gorgeous. Nestled next to a stunning historic district, the place is minutes away from my favorite haunts. Tall ceilings, crown molding, hardwood floors, custom cabinetry (with a built-in wine rack!), gated parking and most importantly, an extra room which will be dedicated to craft-related pursuits. I fell in love with the charm of the place and the residents I saw looked artistic and friendly. Best of all, the property owner has a warm personality and gave me a flexible move-in date. This way, I can have some extra time before my current lease expires.

I have been silent on my favorite websites due to the nightmare I encountered trying to pack. Before actually starting to put my worldly possessions into boxes, some decisions had to be made. Being a lifelong pack rat definitely has its disadvantages. My first order of business was to completely clean out my closet and mercilessly judge every article of clothing. This was a lot of work and the end result? A full two thirds was donated to charity. I thought I would feel a sense of loss, but this quickly became sheer relief. The next phase was the craft room. This has been home to every scrap of paper and item that I thought I couldn't part with. This was a bigger task than I could take on, so I gathered up everything that was obviously unnecessary and will be selling things at a yard sale next month.

After I finished going through both rooms, the actual packing began. After a few weeks, I think I am finally starting to win! The new apartment has very little closet space and I think having fewer things will help me in the long run. The game plan is to avoid making frivolous purchases and focus on big ticket items, like shelves and a sofa. Wall art is also a priority since I want to completely reinvent my living space. Decals are an attractive option, but I can't reuse them when I move. I found a knitting decal, but I can't get over the creep-factor of having giant hands on my wall. I found a few tips on making DIY stickers with contact paper, but they may not look professional enough with my poor cutting skills. Perhaps I need to bribe some of my more dexterous and creative friends to help.

Due to the chaos of the move and endless days of rain, I have been unable to take photos of new knitting projects. In reality, I am only working on the lap blanket. It is a completely mindless endeavor and I may reach my goal of finishing before I settle into the new home. It's quite exciting to de-stash 1,600 yards of an impulse purchase. Especially since I am vowing to not indulge such egregious behavior in the future.

[EDIT: I drafted the beginning of this entry on May 3rd, but I am actually posting on May 24th. Odd, no?]

Friday, May 1, 2009

Doing Grown-Up Things

Aside from searching for a new home, I have decided to start a few minor self-improvement projects. Today, I purchased a new pair of black plastic glasses and, more frighteningly, contact lenses. This gives me a couple of options instead of the boring day-to-day look. Since I have never worn contacts before with any success, my eyes need to be "trained" to handle them. This results in a week of keeping the lenses in for a little longer each day. After three hours this afternoon, my vision began to blur and the scratchiness began. I hope this clears up when I have finally acclimated to handle having foreign objects in my eyes. To make matters even more surreal, the new prescription is very different and much stronger than the last. If it looks like I am zoning out for the next few days, it's because I am trying to focus.

The next items on the list are the bleaching strips I bought for my teeth. Years of drinking dark things are starting to show in a manner I find most unseemly.

Finally, working out and eating healthy food is definitely paying off. If my scale is to be believed, I have lost 25 pounds. I have a few more to go before a personal trainer needs to be hired to help give me *gasp* muscle tone. Huzzah!

In preparation for the move, I de-stashed some of my yarn by sending a few skeins to a good home. She said she loves everything, so I can sleep well knowing my babies have a new mommy who will knit them into something lovely. Other de-stashing is coming to fruition as well. The lazy lap blanket has eaten up at least 580 yards of soft, worsted-weight acrylic and I have two more balls of similar size to attack. If this keeps up, the blanket will be large enough to snuggle with on the couch while watching Dollhouse, my latest television obsession.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Confession Time

Despite financial woes, I broke down and purchased more yarn from the annual sale at Webs. I didn't spend a lot of money but I feel slightly guilty, nonetheless. In the long run, I think I will be very happy with my soon-to-be $25 sweater. Now, to finish the two sweaters currently on the needles so my current obsession, Owls, can see the light of day (or night).

Nothing much is going on other than self-inflicted trouble. I managed to knock off my driver-side rearview mirror by not paying attention to distance of the garage door. The dealership told me this would cost $250 to replace and suggested duct tape instead. I agree with their assessment and will raise them some super glue.

Since the rotten fence in our back yard decided to fall down and play dead after the last storm, we have put in a call to fix the damage. I hoped we would make it a few more months until the move, but the house has decided to conspire against us.

This weekend, I plan to continue working on my lazy lap blanket so I can eat up the 1,500 yards of worsted weight acrylic in my stash. I have a feeling this will take quite a long time to complete.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Mass Exodus

Child's Rainbow Scarf
Originally uploaded by craftytails
Today, the clearing-out-of-the-closet began. This is a task I have avoided for many years. Most of my clothing only fit me at my smallest size and I do not want to be that weight again. I cannot believe I used to think I was "too big". The folly of youth! The size issue, however, is only one piece of the puzzle. I used to be a club kid and the majority of my wardrobe was geared toward evenings out. Lots of velvet, plaid and vinyl, with an occasional skull-print. I feel it's time to let go and get rid of many items I will never wear again. Some of the clothing will stay, but my style has changed so radically that I prefer to replace these items with more mod-themed wardrobe pieces. As the aging process continues, I realize some things are just not appropriate anymore. This makes me sad on one level, but I feel stagnant and can't imagine failing to make some progress. Instead of purchasing cheap pieces of clothing, I want to invest in nicer things. I may pay more money in the short term, but a slew of small purchases adds up. Some of the tanks and skirts which ended up in the "discard" pile were frighteningly skimpy and some body parts, quite frankly, should no longer be on display.

P.S. I posted this scarf to make the armadillo feel better about the hot Buku action.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My So-Called Blog Entry

My So-Called Scarf
Originally uploaded by craftytails
This post is completely disjointed because I have a lot of random bits of news from the past few weeks.

After long deliberation and a spark of laziness, I decided to finally knit My So-Called Scarf. I went on another amazing trip to Minnesota for Anime Detour and decided a two-row stitch pattern would be easy enough to remember and knit up during panels. I wasn't incorrect in this assumption. Plus, there were two skeins of Manos del Uruguay lingering in my stash, forlorn and unused. I have racked up copious amounts of UFOs recently and this is one of the quick and mindless projects perfect for convention-knitting. This is my excuse and I am sticking to it.

The convention was as much fun as the previous two years I attended. Staff and attendees did not disappoint and I am firmly convinced they are the most generous people I have been lucky enough to work with. The charity auction raised over $20,000, which is greatly shocking for a convention with only 4,000 people. If I am not mistaken, this is the highest total to date and the responsibility lies with our auctioneers, Carrie and Chris, and the staff. Although other conventions have done a spectacular job, Anime Detour has completely blown my expectations. So, basically spoiling it for everyone else. Be forewarned...

And how could I forget the lovely and hard-working Detour Jello Squad and Guest Relations staff? I need to think of some inappropriate surprises to send them... and something appropriate for a friend who drove out to see me during the auction. She is beautifully pregnant and I am kicking myself for packing the yarn I want to use for her baby blanket.

Back to the term inappropriate, I am disappointed that my work schedule has hindered my relentless stalking habits. There is an entire issue of The AntiCraft devoted to merkins! This term pops up with alarming regularity during the course of my routine life and a craft-related 'zine spotlighting their existence is an unexpected piece of pure joy.

I am afflicted with a horrible sinus infection and the drugs are making me feel punchy. Although I rarely post links to funny articles or news, my partner-in-crime showed me the best piece of tongue-in-cheek political journalism that I have seen in ages. This is my favorite intentional faux pas derived from the current presidency, even above the accidental slip from earlier this year.

Totally unrelated to everything else, but visiting my doctor to beg for antibiotics yielded unexpected results. We have a routine. They check my weight and blood pressure before allowing me to see a physician. As everyone knows, the scale at the doctor's office always clocks a higher weight than the scale at home. This time? Happiness! I have officially lost 20 pounds. This is not my usual point of discussion in a public forum, but I feel the need to say that the daily compliments on my lifestyle-change and appearance have done wonders for my self esteem.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Commence the Great House Hunt

After the fear and trepidation of moving in with a roommate last summer, I am ready to strike out on my own again. The decision was made by both parties. Mostly, we despise the house we are living in. Hot water comes at a premium and the bathroom situation is generally abysmal. We get along wonderfully and I truly wish I lived with someone like her when I was younger. Perhaps I would not have ended up being so incredibly cynical if this had been the case. Nevertheless, I am once again hunting for a place to rent that is affordable and charming enough to stay in for a while. We threw a couple of wild parties in the house which has satiated my need to entertain. My credit, while not unblemished, is still in fairly good condition and my rental history is flawless. Chalk that up to an obsessive-compulsive need for perfection.

Now, the stress settles in. The money I planned to use for the move has been completely wiped out by car repairs. This is regular wear-and-tear, but I found out I need to spend triple the obscene amount I originally expected. My luck is ridiculous like this sometimes, so it shouldn't have come as a shock. I just hope my luck in other areas proves its worth. After searching a number of different websites, I found "the perfect place". Although I am not moving soon enough to jump on this deal, it gives me hope. No apartments or similar sketchy situations will be good enough. I want a home that is beautiful and above all, safe. Part of my moving expenses include a large gun, which is within the realm of possibility where I live. This annoys me because it reduces the amount of money I can spend on yarn.

This brings up another financial sticky point. I am fully committed to going back to Yarn School this fall. Thankfully, I can pay in installments. I have deemed this trip necessary to my sanity and plan to stay the course. If all goes well, I will travel there with two wonderful friends to drool over the love of my life, the Kromski Symphony spinning wheel. I have actually dreamed of the Symphony wheel in a mahogany finish, perched in all its beautiful glory in my living room next to a stunning basket full of hand-dyed fiber. My yarn addiction, apparently, has no boundaries. I just wish my bank account would follow suit.

The boyfriend sweater is on brief hiatus while I regroup and go through my worldly belongings, deciding what stays and what goes. In the meantime, I am working on projects long-promised to other friends. I am very close to finishing a special surprise for a very special person.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Theodore Horstmann Would Be Proud

Originally uploaded by craftytails
Last weekend was packed with field trips for nerdy adults. On Saturday, we converged on the 15th Annual Antique Science & Retro-Tech Show & Swap Meet. Although the convention itself was very small, everyone managed to find something they wanted. I bought the Forbes Handy Accident Reporting Kit, which was a set of rubber stamps depicting various vehicles, stop lights and people. According to the vendor, police used to use the stamps to recreate accidents on their reports. I could not turn up any information online except for a few Ebay sellers who said similar things. Not sure how long ago these kits were used, but it's a nice, slightly bothersome conversation piece. A old speculum was also on sale and after purchasing, I chased my friends around making duck-quacking noises. Apparently, I take any possible opportunity to behave like a juvenile.

Sunday was spent strolling around Gunter's Greenhouse viewing their shockingly large selection of orchids and hybrids. I created a photo set to show off just a few of the lovely flowers we saw. None have proper names attached because the handwritten labels on the plants were nearly illegible. I know the one pictured in this entry is a variant of a lady slipper because Michael took it home. I would have teased him for having a weak moment, if I wasn't seething with undisguised envy.

Knitting has taken a backseat to work responsibilities and will resume sometime this weekend. I have a wedding to attend and afterward, large blue male private parts to view.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Insomnia Much?

For the past two weeks, I have suffered an extreme case of insomnia due to a variety of reasons. Nothing has really helped, which is why I am wide awake at 3:00 AM, despite having worked all day. I am idiotically excited about attending my first Antique Science & Retro-Tech Show tomorrow and yet, sleep does not come. Missing the slide rule competition is not an option. To further fan the flames of nerdiness, a coworker organized a pie day. She brought in a breakfast pie filled with ham, egg and broccoli, covered in cheese. I cheated on my diet partially due to the amazing Pi Dish she used. It was also quite lovely to walk into the office and discover mathematical charts you would normally see in schools taped to people's doors. As if what we actually do for a living is not nerdy enough!

I have been absolutely dying to take photos of new projects, but sunlight has continued to be elusive. The temperature decided to drop exponentially and the rain continues to pelt my dead lawn. The one bit of cheer is the happiness that comes from stretching the knitted winter wardrobe out a little longer this year. Men in the office have commented on my fetching gloves and several have asked for a pair. This makes me giggle endlessly. I think I will secretly switch some of the presents to the dashing version in order for them to avoid mockery. Or maybe I won't.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

For No Particular Reason

Last Day
Originally uploaded by craftytails
Since I am feeling all craptacular and stressy-like, I decided to turn to the blanket of doom for solace. After knitting a few more lumpy, misshapen "circles", I stepped back and felt slightly mollified when I realized this project is supposed to be very handmade-looking. And ultimately, what do I care? The throw is going to lurk on top of my bed, far away from prying, judgmental eyes. The Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride I have decided to sacrifice to the blankie gods better have at least six circles per skein. If the yarn ends up being a cheap date and only yields five circles, I will have to add another color. This is a good thing for clearing out yarn stash, but not optimal for my chosen palette. Maybe I instinctively chose brighter colors to satiate my need for some cheer. Or maybe, perhaps more accurately, it's simply bad taste.

Part of my dark mood is due to the obscene amount of money I am about to hand over to a service center for repairs on my car. Many months of pushing cash into my savings account are going to be undone in one transaction. The worst of it will not be over even then, because I also need new tires, shocks and an alignment. This car has been extremely reliable and I plan to keep it that way. I truly despise being an adult sometimes.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Few Firsts

Hand-Dyed Lace Weight
Originally uploaded by craftytails
The yarn I have decided to post is my first experience in dyeing. It's not as wonderful or half as creative as that foxy minx Dee, but it was quite enjoyable. This occurred in the dye lab at yarn school (scroll down to see the picture of the angora bunny sticking out it's tongue!) and I have no idea if this was a success. I forgot to spray down part of the yarn before squirting the dye on top, so there are uneven patches and general oddness in this skein. One day, I will be brave enough to actually make something out of it to see what type of mistakes I made.

In my grand tradition of shutting out bad things by trying to replace with good, I have procrastinated horribly in my personal life. I sincerely apologize for the long wait for those people who want finished objects from me. Instead of completing the increasing queue of FOs, I decided to stash-bust by starting my first adult-sized blanket. Am I an idiot? Why yes. I believe I am. Friends and family are still patiently awaiting scarves, hats and socks. There is even a sweater involved! And what do I decide to do in my faltering attempt at wisdom? Knit a silly blanket that is full of child-like colors and heavy construction. After three and a half years, I still find myself telling others that the yarn tells me what to do. Of all the traits I have been accused of over the years, being submissive is not one of them. This is completely embarrassing.

Tomorrow, (I know what time I am writing this and it's not considered "tomorrow" until I wake up. At least, to me.) I will take photos of actual knitting projects to post at a later date. Of course, everything usually goes on Ravelry, but there is a scant amount of time that allows me to take photos to post each week. Usually, I am out for the weekend and this is the only time I have natural light available. If only the day job didn't interfere with my knitting...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Disasters in Knitting

ReBelle Hand-Dyed
Originally uploaded by craftytails
After knitting almost daily for several years, I have become cocky and overconfident. The most recent trials have successfully put me in my place! Not only is the Durrow sweater giving me a run for my money, but my roommate's Gretel beret is now no more. I foolishly screwed up the sizing and tried to "fix" this by felting slightly. Huge mistake! I have done this in the past, but luck was truly not on my side. This pattern will be worked in a different yarn and gauge. Sometimes, the yarn is simply cursed and throwing the project in the trash is incredibly liberating.

Speaking of cursed yarn, I have a bad report on Plymouth Boku. I received this yarn as part of my birthday present and was determined to immediately de-stash it by making a simple scarf. The colors are absolutely gorgeous and the silk gives the yarn a more rustic look. I have often picked up a skein in the store, wondering if it would look similar to the love of my life, Noro Silk Garden. The Noro yarn has a much higher silk content, which gives the yarn some strength. Unfortunately, Boku is very weak and cannot withstand the normal wear and tear that comes with knitting. The yarn has broken seven times in 50 yards and I found four knots in one of the skeins. I have had trouble with other yarns in the past, but never to this extent. I know single-ply yarns are generally weaker, because they have very little twist. This project has been unusually trying on my patience and I am happy to say that my exercise in gingerly knitting is almost at an end. The scarf looks beautiful and I can call this near-disaster a triumph in the end.

In order to de-stash my ridiculous amount of single-skeins, I have decided to start working on the Poffertjes blanket. The process knitter inside of me is yearning to play with color and the lazy knitter in me wants a mindless project to occupy time while watching Lost. I have wanted a colorful blanket for my bedroom for quite some time and this pattern looks perfect! I can knit individual pieces to my heart's content and lay them out later to create just the right visual effect. It may end up looking like poop in the end, but that's half the fun.

What's better than anything? Receiving yarn from someone I love to stalk! The yarn pictured in this blog entry will make a killer set of fingerless gloves.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Exceeding the Life Expectancy

Robert Kidd
Originally uploaded by craftytails
After the initial jolt from the yarn influx last month, my boyfriend found a huge sale at a local fabric store near his home. Since he is a craft-friendly sort, he walked out with a bag of ten skeins of Plymouth Suri Alpaca. There are five balls of two different shades of gray which cost less than $20. Despite my ridiculous need to not accrue any more fiber, I asked him to go back to see if there was anything nice left over. He found a slew of bamboo needles and ten more skeins of Plymouth Royal Llama Silk in mauve. I am quite set for many years to come and hope I can actually begin to de-stash some of the newcomers (and old standbys) lurking in my closet.

The fiber pictured here is some loveliness that Del and Andy brought on my birthday. There is no gauge, suggested needle size or yardage. Online searches drew a blank, so my best bet is to visit the LYS where it was purchased and ask probing questions. Oh, and attempt to refrain from buying more yarn.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yarny Days!

Baker's Dozen
Originally uploaded by craftytails
My birthday this year was more than a little shocking. For the first time, my friends decided to give me copious amounts of yarn. Part of me is giddy and the other part is, well, horrified. I probably have close to 8,000 more yards of yarn to knit up. See the conundrum? My birthday yielded a batch of new pretties that will serve to confound me over the coming years. The next few posts will contain photos of more delicious acquisitions since I usually only put up one picture at a time. My non-knitting friends did so well with their choices that I suspect devilry is afoot.

Dee shocked me with a baker's dozen of her beautifully hand-dyed yarn. The woman is gifted and she is mine! I officially marked my territory and everything, so all others (except Amy) can back off. I dimly recall flashbulbs going off when I opened the doughnut box and saw the fiber it contained. I believe a tear came to my eye, but only the camera knows for sure. The other yarn will be posted here within the next month, with equal respect. Thank you all for doing this because it was completely unexpected and I was just happy to spend time with you. Now I am going to roll around in the fibery goodness and maybe, just maybe, knit something with it.