Insatiable an appetite

I've been holding out on you. While studying for the GREs, I decided I needed a little treat. You know, a little something just for me since I'd been working so hard all the time. I visited the Blue Moon website and decided to treat myself to a skein of Socks that Rock. Well, there are just so many to choose from. How does one possibly pick from all of those gorgeous colorways? So I figured it would be ok to order two or three. Or maybe just five. Everyone's gotta have socks, right? Check these babies out:

Class Roster (left to right): Puck's Mischief, Nodding Violet, Terra Firma, Chapman Springs, and Love-in-Idleness

Despite this splurge, I've been doing really well at keeping them well hidden from view so I won't be tempted to stray from my holiday gift knitting. It's been about two or three weeks and I haven't taken them out yet, but boy is it tempting! Just a few more things on my list to finish up, and then I'll dive right in. Can't wait!

In other news, some thoughtful person sent me a magazine subscription. Was it you?

So the only thing is, I'm not sure who it's from. I think if it was a friend or a family member, they probably would have asked for delivery to start after the holidays, but it could be. I keep forgetting to ask people when I see them. I'm also thinking it could be from a secret pal. So if it was you, please let me know so I can properly thank you. For know, just know I'm very excited to get a new magazine!

Previous Post: Weird Al Yankovic, "White and Nerdy" - Sorry! It just fit so well!


The pens in my pocket, I must protect 'em

You'll have to forgive me while I go out and buy a pocket protector, because I think I just put the geek in computer geek.

Translation: I kicked some ETS ass this morning, and Harvard will be lucky to get me. Oh, did I not mention that the school, yes THE SCHOOL, as in THE ONLY SCHOOL, that I'm applying to is Harvard. Why this seemed like a smart idea I can't really even begin to explain, but it seems dreams just might come true.

It seems to be a perfect day. Not only did I ace the GREs, but when I went to my favorite deli for lunch, the owner gave me a free whoopie pie, just because that's the kind of guy he is. Then I got home only to find out there is a brand-spanking new Knitty just waiting to be poured over. Oh yeah, and that JDate guy that I haven't told you about yet, yeah, he sent me another e-mail.

Le sigh . . .

Previous title: The Ramones, "I Wanna Be Sedated"


Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go I wanna be sedated

Wish me luck tomorrow!

Previous title: The Monkees, "Theme from the Monkees"


People say we monkey around

When Heatherly first posted about the Monkees hat contest for her SP9 group, I thought it was a little silly. With all this gift knitting I'm trying to get through, why would I spend time making a monkey hat? Then I realized I already had made one, and number two was in the works. At any rate and without further ado, I give you the monkey hats:

Pattern: Velvet Touch Edge Cap, a free pattern from my LYS
Needles: US 6 DPNs
Yarn: Koigu Kersti in K200 (pink) and K400 (blue and red)
Pattern Notes: Easy peasy. And fun too! That is, all but the pom pom part. I really hate making pom poms. In fact, I think pom poms are kind of an oxymoron. They look so cute and cheery, and even the name "pom pom" sounds like fun, but making them is really anything but. But the hats, now that was fun.

So, two quick knits knocked off the gift list. Now if I could only get through those pairs of socks . . .

Previous Title: The Doobie Brothers, "Black Water"
- To Yarn Coffee: For a long time I thought it was "I'd like to hear that dixie leopard" and I always wondered what a dixie leopard was. Makes a little more sense as "dixieland," but I still have a hard time singing the right lyrics.


Old black water, keep on rollin'

It seems like I should be studying ALL THE TIME, and it usually feels that way, but there has also been some knitting in my world lately. Mostly gifts, but some other stuff just for me. Since my knitting time has been drastically reduced, that amounts to just a row here and a row there. I managed to get some i-cording and some felting done over the weekend, so that entrelac sleeping bag that Henry the Navigator enjoyed is finally finished up. Here goes:

Pattern: Entrelac Suki Bag
Needles: US 7 circular
Yarn: Noro Kureyon in color 156
Pattern Notes: I'm not so impressed with this pattern. I took notes while I knitted, and I actually plan on rewriting the pattern as part of a secret pal gift, so if you have any interest, leave me a comment and I'll be happy to pass it along when I get to it. The issue with the pattern is that when you get to the first rectangle of each round, you have to make some fairly major modifications. If I hadn't done entrelac before, I probably would have given up early on. I do like the finished product for the most part, although I might rethink the round bottom and the i-cord handles. This is a gift, and I just know the person who's going to get it will love it, so I'm not so concerned about these issues for now.

Oh yeah, today's title. This colorway of Noro reminded me of this song every time I picked up the bag to work on it. I think it's because of the way the blue diagonal rectangles look a little like waves. It's less obvious now that it's felted, but the waviness is still there.

Can you tell I've been studying too much? I feel like I can barely put together a sentence. I think I need a real break now, one that doesn't involve reading and writing. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Previous Title: Rolling Stones, "You Can't Always Get What You Want" - Notice the shift to classic rock lately?


If you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need

Sorry for the lame-o depressing post yesterday. Here's a little pick-me-up. Just to clarify, this is a pick-ME-up; you might care less about it, but it makes me VERY much happier than I was yesterday.

I'm going to apply to that program I was talking about! No special favors or anything like that, instead just a high stress level. I just registered to take the GRE on December 8th. Yes, that's right. Just over three weeks from today. So you might hear from me even less than you usually do. Just warning you in advance.

More yarn-y goodness tomorrow . . . maybe. I might be studying instead. Wait and see. But please don't hold your breath.

Previous title: Lou Reed, "Take a Walk on the Wild Side"


Then I guess she had to crash; valium would have helped that bash

I had a minor meltdown this afternoon after my last post. See, my exciting mysterious thing was that I found this great master's degree program and I was really really excited about it. I've had this idea in my head for a long time of where I want my career to go, and it felt like I finally had found a program that could get me there. After posting, I took a closer look at the application and decided to start in on it.

I discovered that it doesn't look like it's going to work out after all. I guess I know better than to jinx something like that by posting about it before it happens, but here I go doing it again anyway. For various reasons, I'm going to have to ask for some special favors in order to even apply to the program, and the chances of that being ok are pretty much slim to none if I had to guess. Tomorrow I'll call someone in admissions to find out what they think. I'll keep you posted, but I'd be pretty much shocked if anything were to work out. I'll continue to look for other ways to get where I want to be, but this one just seemed so right. I've calmed down a lot now, but it's just disappointing, you know?

Previous title: David Bowie, "Changes"

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes; turn and face the strange

Lately I've been thinking about making some changes in my life. I can't really say too much here, because nothing's really settled yet, and we all know about the dangers of telling all out in blogland. But I will say that I'm pretty excited about an opportunity that may present itself this winter.

Change is hard though, you know? It would be so easy to just keep on going the way things have been going, because nothing's really wrong. It's just that I don't think this is the direction I want my life to continue along. I'm a little afraid to get all excited about this new thing because if it doesn't happen, then I'd be really disappointed. On the other hand, if it does happen, that's a little scary too, only because I'd be leaving behind the safety and security of how things are now.

Was that cryptic enough for you?

In lighter news, I've been knitting an awful lot lately. I'll tell you about it someday, but for now my mind's in a million other places. However, here's a sneak peek:

Previous Title: Britney Spears, "Hit Me Baby One More Time" - I know, I'm still a little embarrassed about that one.


Hit me baby one more time

I know. I'm sorry about the title. Once it got stuck in my head I couldn't get it out.

It does fit very nicely, though. See, today I came home to another knitting package. Talk about good karma!

My secret pal hit the nail on the head with just one try. Check out this colorway - it's Lorna's Laces Pioneer:

The colors are actually pretty true in this photo, but it's so much prettier in person. It's so ridiculously me that I had to double-check that I don't already have it. I am so in love with these colors I can't even tell you. If I could marry sock yarn, I would be spending my weekend shopping for a white dress. Beautiful! Thanks Monkey Monkey, you're the best!

Previous title: John Lennon, "Instant Karma"


Instant karma's gonna get you

Warning: VERY photo heavy, but still lots of fun, so please wait while it loads.

After being patient for so long on a few swaps that have been going on, it seems it's finally my turn. First my KSKS bag arrives, and now Henry the Navigator has made his appearance.

Henry brought some terrific goodies from Rhonda. Take a peek!

From left to right, that's a cute sock notepad, A Good Yarn (which I have not read yet), "The Famous Salem Frog Spell" (details coming soon), a sock change purse that came with a piece of Dalmation Jasper, a needle/gauge checker thingy, and some tasty treats.

Oh yeah, and there was yarn. That's some Meilenweit Cotton in a fun orangy blue/brown/cream color - it's direct from Holland! And there's also some VIva CIta, just for fun! What's kinda funny is that I just picked up some of this sock yarn in a different colorway - great minds, you know?

But wait! Wasn't there something sticking out of that book? Oh yeah, check it out! A cutie-pie little sock bookmark guy! Wicked cute!

Thanks Rhonda!

I thought about taking Henry on a tour of Boston, but it turns out he's been here before. So, rather than tour the city AGAIN, I figured we'd just relax a little. Henry seemed quite pleased with this idea after his long journey all the way from Salem. To be fair, he has been all over, from Louisianna to Minnesota to Washington state to the UK, and many stops in between.

We sat out on the balcony (despite the slight chill in the air) and shared a bottle of red. We had some lovely chats about politics, given that today is election day after all.

It seems Henry may have had too much to drink.

Eventually, Henry decided he'd had enough, and laid down for a rest on the couch. It turns out that the Noro entrelac bag I've been working on as part of Norovember is the perfect sleeping bag for my new friend.

A good night was had by all. Henry will resume his journey tomorrow. Will he be sending his good karma to you?

Previous title: Ce Ce Peniston, "Finally"


Finally it has happened to me

Two posts in one day! Can you stand the excitement? Just don't get too used to it, 'mkay?

Last night I met up with Vicki, my KSKS angel, for a little gifting and knitting. We had a blast! Check out the goods:

Isn't that just the cutest bag you ever did see? And don't miss those stitch markers hooked onto the front! But wait, what's inside?

Some yummy yummy Mountain Colors hand-painted yarn in Lodge Grass. I have gifted this yarn before, but I've never been lucky enough to have some of my very own. I can't wait to start knitting it up!

But wait, there's still more!

These are definately a few of my favorite things. From left to right, we have a package of these great little leathery guys that keep your dpns together (never even seen 'em before!), then we have a delicious warm vanilla sugar hand cream from Bath and Body Works, some delicious Truffles from Lindt (how did she know how much I love these?), Cadbury's chocolate, and Skittles. Seriously, I feel so completely and utterly spoiled. Thanks Vicki; you're the best!

Previous title: Men without Hats, "Safety Dance"

You can dance if you want to

It's my October socks, all finished up! It's also my first homemade Hannukah present of the year; well, at least the first one that will actually be gifted. After all, that multidirectional diagonal scarf was supposed to be a gift, but clearly I am keeping it.

These socks are for my college roommate, Lisa, who loves the song mentioned in this title. It might be the only song that she knows the real words to. Usually, she just makes up her own lyrics as she goes along (like the Beastie Boys classic "No Sleep Till Sunday," instead of "No Sleep Till Brooklyn"). There are other classics in Lisa's repertoire of invented lyrics, but that's all I can come up with for now. I hope she likes her dancing socks!

Pattern: Elfine Socks from Amelia Raitte (click on "Fashion for Free")
Needles: US 1
Yarn: Lorna's Laces in Periwinkle
Pattern Notes: I had a blast knitting these guys. They're just so delicate and sweet that I found myself wanting my own pair. The lace pattern is easy to follow but doesn't get repetitive, plus it has that nice in-between row where you just knit straight through - always a bonus. I tried this pattern once before and found it too hard, so maybe it's a little more on the intermediate side? It definately helps to knit it on circular needles. I think it would be way too confusing to try and break up the lace pattern to use dpns.

I tried to take a close up of the pattern, but here's the best I came up with:

Previous title: Guns n' Roses, "Patience" - a very favorite of mine


Just a little patience

After waiting WAY TOO LONG, I have finally sent along a special thank you to Elizabeth, my SP8. Want to see what she got?

Pattern: Another Cleo Clutch
Needles: US 10
Yarn: Cascade 220 in color 8339
Pattern Notes: This pattern is really simple, but somehow the first cleo clutch I made has a cable that changes directions part of the way through, so watch for that. It's a great first cable project if you're looking for one.

Along the theme of patience, I've heard word from the very helpful Bev about my KSKS kit. I was ditched by my first sock kit pal, story unknown. Medical difficulties have made my angel bow out, but my thoughts are with her all the way. Whoever you may be (because it's still a secret to me), I'm sending healthy thoughts your way, Angel Number One. Now I'm on to Angel Number Two. Thanks for stepping in Vicki! As a return of the favor, I thought I'd let you all know that Vicki is collecting yarn for a blanket. Check out her blog to see if you can help.

I'll leave you with a picture of my weekend happenings.

You guessed it, another wedding! This one was the last of the season for me; now I'm off of wedding duty until March. Finally! Not that I don't enjoy them, but really people, enough is enough! If y'all could just hold off on the wedding plans for a short while so I can catch my breath, that would be just great! Thanks a bunch!

Previous Title: Grateful Dead, "Box of Rain"


Maybe you'll find direction around some corner where it's been waiting to meet you

Lookee lookee! An FO!

Pattern: Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf
Needles: US 8
Yarn: Diaketo Diamusee in color 39
Pattern Notes: Easy as pie! Where does that expression come from anyway? I don't think baking a pie is particularly easy . . . At any rate, this pattern is clear and easy to follow. I think maybe I've made one before. Oh no, just remembered I frogged it because I didn't like the yarn combination with the pattern. That yarn is now a lovely booga bag. Hey, at least I reused it.

This scarf was supposed to be my very first holiday gift knitting, but forget that, I'm keeping it. It was moderately chilly here in Boston on Sunday night, so on my way to my first Knitsmiths visit (fun fun!), I decided that I needed to wear the scarf. Now I can't part with it!

I've been holding out on you with another FO, but it's for Elizabeth as a thank you for being my secret pal in round 8. She, and the rest of you, will just have to hold your breath waiting with anticipation to see it. No, actually please don't. I'd rather not be responsible for that mishap.

Previous Title: Pink Floyd, "Wish You Were Here"


How I wish, how I wish you were here

My very best friend in the world, Kelly, lives in New York. It's hard not living near her, but it was harder today than ever before. She lives in the building that was hit by a plane today. Everyone is fine and noone was in the apartment at the time, but it just makes you stop and think. There's really nothing you can do to avoid an accident like that or to plan for it, obviously, but it really puts life in perspective and makes you realize how much every day counts. I don't think I spend enough time telling people what they mean to me, and I think I spend too much time worrying about things that aren't important. And then things like this happen and it really makes you just take a minute away from it all.

Love you Kelly! And Nick, and Grace, and Carter, and (of course) Van Buren.

Previous Title: The Who, "Who Are You"

Note: I'll be back to knitting content soon, I just couldn't do it today.


Tell me, who are you? 'Cause I really wanna know

It's fun getting to know new secret pals. I just got my match-up today from Heatherly , who I had the honor of spoiling last round. I can't wait to get started on a new pal! Her blog already has me cracking up, so this should be a blast! I've also already heard from my spoiler, who seems to be a monkey fan too. Should be a great round!

Heatherly has a little contest going to get to know pals. Just answer these five questions , and you're entered. So, here goes!

1. Where is your favorite knitting spot?
My couch, right in front of the tv. I'd take a picture if my apartment wasn't such a wreck right now. There is cleaning scheduled in for this weekend, so maybe I'll add a picture a little later.

2. If you suddenly could never knit again (shudder) - what would you do instead?
The horrors! I don't think I could cope! I guess I would maybe take up spinning, or just fondle yarn and try not to get any drool on it.

3. If you could travel anywhere in the world - where would you go and why?
Paris. It's by far my favorite city. Culture, fashion, art, food, wine, and on and on . . . I've been twice, but the first time I was eight, so that doesn't really count. The second time I was only there for one day, and it rained AND the metro was on strike, so I didn't get to do much. That was almost better though, because nothing beats a leisurely day strolling the streets of Paris.

4. When you were little - What did you want to do "when you grew up?" Are you doing it?
I never really knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. I think I ended up teaching by default. I just couldn't quite figure out what I wanted to do after college, so grad school was the logical choice. Having said that, I do come from a long line of teachers (mom, grandmom, grandfather, great aunt, and those are just the ones I know about) and I did used to make all of my friends play school when they came over. Can you imagine that? Playing school on the weekend?!? Of course, I always got to be the teacher! I'm still not really sure what I want to do when I "grow up." Lately I've been thinking about a career change, but I haven't settled on anything yet.

5. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
J.P. Lick's has the most amazing coffee oreo ice cream I've ever tasted! If you've never had it and you're in the Boston area, I command you to go and give it a try. Really, it is the best.

Previous title: Ren and Stimpy, "Happy Happy Joy Joy"


Happy happy joy joy

Secret Pal 9 is gearing up and ready to go! Can't wait! Here are my answers, oh pal of mine: (If you read that in a Stimpy voice, all nasal-like and with excitement, it kinda sounds like him.)

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I like yarn. Pretty much all yarn. Not a big fan of ACKrylic though. Softer is generally better. While I do knit things besides socks, if you're thinking sock yarn I really love Lorna's Laces, Cherry Tree Hill, and I'm dying for some Socks that Rock.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I made a little needle case, but it's not the greatest.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I guess I've been knitting for around four or five years maybe? I'm definately intermediate at least, and maybe moving on to advanced. The only things I don't do much of are entrelac and fair isle.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yup. Check on the sidebar. I update it pretty often, or at least often enough that it's current.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
I'm not really a smelly kind of person. Scents just don't do it for me.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Ooo, you got me there. Candy is always welcome in my house. I like milk chocolate, but it doesn't mail so well because it does melt sometimes. I also like Skittles, Sprees, and most other sweet things.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
If it's a craft, I do it. Or at least have done it. Current favorites include cardmaking, crocheting, and sewing. I don't spin, but I wouldn't mind learning.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Hmm. Do you really want me to answer that? Basically, take a look at my titles. I like Top 40s and alternative usually.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I generally prefer rich dark colors, like burdandy, maroon, deep purple, navy, dark orange, etc. I'm not really much of a pastel or brights person, but there are always exceptions.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Just me so far. Keep your eyes peeled though, there may one day be a kitty or a puppy in the picture.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I wear scarves all the time and hats sometimes. Not really a poncho person. I don't wear mittens, but only because I don't have any. A pair of mittens would certainly be welcome in my home. Basically, it's Boston and it's going to be cold very very soon.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Lately it's socks, but I'm also really into sweaters. I like knitting things with cables or lacey patterns mostly - keeps life interesting. I'm a huge Debbie Bliss pattern fan these days.

13. What are you knitting right now?
Elfine socks, a multidirectional diagonal scarf, and a few other items . . . I'm getting ready to start on a few booga bags (as gifts) and a Feona sweater (Debbie Bliss alpaca silk book).

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Are there people out there who would say no to this question?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I like circulars the best, especially addi turbos. Given the cost of turbos, I often go for bamboo instead.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
No, but I really would like to. Maybe one day, sigh . . .

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Hmm. Two years or so maybe?

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving hands down. It's all about family and food - two of my favorite things. I also like Christmas, but mostly because I'm Jewish and my parents have a great big dinner party with friends and family, so it ends up being a lot like Thanksgiving.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Not so much.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I like the stuff over at Zephyr Style (patterns and stitch markers). I subscribe to Interweave Knits. Any books are over on the wish list. I don't have a chibi, but I would like one (blue maybe?).

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'd like to figure out the whole fair-isle thing. Magic loop would be helpful too.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
But of course! My foot is 9 and 3/4 inches from heel to toe - size 11! Around the ball of my foot is 8 inches (I wear a narrow), but I don't usually have a problem fitting into the average size from a pattern width-wise.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) March 31. Mark your calendars; it's my thirtieth!

Previous Title: Guns 'n Roses, "Civil War"


What's so civil about war anyway?

Sorry, been busy lately. Nope, I didn't fall off the face of the Earth, but I did get killed. And so, without further ado, my obit:

Stashmonkey, 29. Brookline, MA. Stashmonkey was found murdered in a local Starbucks after an evening spent with Stariel (pictured above with sock gun in hand) and friends. She is survived by one sock and the beginning of its mate. At this point, both socks have been completed and are on their way to meeting their feet in Chicago. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to your local yarn store.

Stashmonkey will be buried in her new, rather comfy, socks of doom.

Previous Title: Nirvana, "Come As You Are"


I swear that I don't have a gun

None needed for this war. However, the arsenal is ready and waiting:

Countdown: Two days.

Needles? Check.
Yarn? Check.
The famous "Stashmonkey Half-Swatch?" Check.

Locked and loaded, awaiting pattern.

Are you ready to rumble?

Previous Title: The Beatles, "Drive My Car"


Yes I'm gonna be a star

Check out these buttons!

And of course, the sweater they are attached to. Oh my! It's an FO!

Pattern: Cabled Coat with Hood from Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, with many modifications
Needles: US 5 circulars
Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly, 4 skeins
Pattern Notes: It felt like I kind of ripped the pattern apart and put it back together, but really it's not that much different from the original. I chose a much different yarn, mostly because it was so much cheaper this way (the whole thing, buttons included, cost around $20). As an added bonus, I was able to follow the pattern for size 3-6 months and end up with a sweater that's more of a 6-12 month size (probably 9-12 to be more exact). I also shortened the whole thing by about 4 inches in length. I really like the original version, but I just can't see a baby hanging out in this really long coat of a sweater. So, even more than the original, I love my version. If you want to make one and you need more specifics about what I changed, leave me a comment and I'm happy to help you out.

Previous title: Tabitha's Secret, "Dear Joan"


I've wanted more from this than anything I've ever known

Boys may not suck completely, but I'm getting so tired of the whole scene. The Boy called on Saturday, still clueless about when the game was by the way, and we went out Sunday night.

I don't know.

I should like him. He's all of the things I said I wanted: smart, sarcastic and witty, kind, cute but not so cute he knows it, a little chivalrous but not to the point that it's annoying, easy to relate to, . . . but something's just not right these days. Maybe I'm losing interest since it takes so long between dates for us to find a time when we can get together. I can't figure out why I'm not more excited about the whole situation, but it's just not working for me right now. I'll keep trying and he certainly gets a few more chances, but at this point I'm not swooning or jumping up and down ecstatically when he calls. I really wanted this one to last a little longer, for it to be right (at least for a while), but I don't think it's going to.

Thanks for all the kind words and support with my issues last week, by the way.

In other news, here's a wedding picture. No, it's not the happy couple. I don't have a great one of the two of them together, actually. Instead, here's my brother and I dancing together:

Previous Title: Ani DiFranco, "Untouchable Face"


Who am I, that I should be vying for your touch?

Boys suck.

Don't you think that if you're into someone, you let them know? I'm not saying shouting out how you feel for all the world to hear, and I'm not even saying love because I'm far from there still, but you show them by being interested, by making plans, by remembering the little things that are going on in that person's life?

I'm trying not to be pissed. It's probably just a silly mistake that will blow over by the weekend, but I can't hold back either. The Boy and I made plans to go to a baseball game Saturday night. The first conversation (about two weeks ago) regarding said game went a little like this:

Boy: I haven't been to Fenway in a long time.

Me: Oh! I have tickets for two weekends from now. We should go!

Boy: Sounds like fun. Let's go!

And then the last time we went out, about one week ago, we had this conversation:

Me: So, are we still on for that game next weekend? It's next Saturday night, the ninth, and it's a night game. I think it starts around 7. (Knowing he can get flaky and not wanting to get ditched.)

Boy: Yeah, of course. Didn't we already decide we were going to go to that?

Me: OK, just checking.

And then last night on the phone there was this conversation:

Boy: So how was your weekend?

Me: Great. My brother's wedding went really well (wondering if he remembered that's where I was).

Boy: Glad to hear that. (Discusses other details about wedding with me.) I talked to my brother yesterday and he's decided to come visit for the weekend. I can't wait for him to come! He hasn't been to Boston in a really long time, like years.

Me: Oh. That sounds like fun.

Boy: Yeah, it should be a blast.

Me: I guess we're not going to the game then.

Boy: That was this coming weekend! Oh I feel so bad! I didn't even realize! Are you mad? Can you find someone else to go with you?

Me: (puzzling over what the right answer is) Well, I guess I have to.

And the conversation went on from there, with a noticable chill coming from my end. The thing is, this is not the first time he's been flaky like this, and we've only been on four (or five?) dates now. I'm just thinking, if you're into someone, would you really go forgetting that you had plans like that? I don't want to be the bitch, at least not just yet, but I am upset that it would just slip his mind like that when I've been thinking about it all week. So I tried to play nice and not be too upset on the phone, but now I can't deal. He knows I'm pissed and he feels badly, but come on. We're supposed to go out on Sunday night instead now. I think I'll just let him call and if he forgets or doesn't call for whatever reason, then it's time to move on. I'm done putting in the effort to make fun plans and then have him screw it up.

Maybe today's title should have been "Who are YOU, that I should be vying for your touch," but she didn't write the song that way. Also, while it feels good to say it that way, I'm not sure I'm quite feeling that confident yet.

Wedding pictures and details might be in the next post. I can't deal with looking at happy married couples just now.

Previous title: The Cure, "High"


Smitten as a cat, yeah as kitten as that

A great end to a great summer. I'm just saying is all . . .

Yesterday I had date #4 with The Boy. I know I haven't shared much about him, but I don't want to jinx anything and I don't want to get too excited about it yet, but things are going well. Plans are in the works for date #5. Yeah, and I'm pretty sure he likes me too, so that's a nice bonus. Yay me!

I also got my last package from my secret pal. I'm very excited about it, but this has been so much fun that it's sad for it to end. Elizabeth has been a great pal, and I love all the stuff she sent me. When things calm down a little around here again, she should watch the mail. I'm just saying is all. Yikes! Just realized I reused the box she sent the goodies in. Elizabeth, want to e-mail me your address? Pretty please? Thanks a bunch! Here's what I got from the best pal around:

Cute packaging, don't you think? And inside those packages:

A neat little blue glass doo-dad (well what would you call it?) with a sheep printed on it, some yummy Trekking yarn, some yummy Cascade Fixation for some fun ankle socks, point protecters in all different sizes for my needles (how did she know I needed these?), and of course some delicious treats! There was chocolate, Skittles, chocolate, maple sugar candies, and did I mention chocolate? Thanks Elizabeth! You're the best!

And that FO I promised you, here goes (sorry, not the best photo - an experiment with the self-timer):

You thought it was going to be something different, didn't you? An Eyelet Chemise or a Baby Hoodie? Nope, fooled you all - hah!

Pattern: Shrug from Debbie Bliss Pure Silk, size 32-34
Needles: US 3 and US 6, both circulars
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Pure Silk, color #10
Pattern Notes: The pattern is very Debbie Bliss, meaning it's a puzzle. It was a fun challenge that I really enjoyed. There's something about the way she writes patterns that infuriates some people, but personally I love it. I'm not sure if it's the added excitement about interpretting what she has written or the fact that it makes me feel like I've really accomplished something when it's done, but I love her patterns all the same. One thing that really helped was putting a small sticky note on each of the stitch patterns. See, she gives these two different stitch pattern repeats and they have different numbers of rows. It's a little confusing, but with the sticky-note-system I was able to just move the sticky notes as I went along. There was just no way I would be able to keep track by using row counters since I'd have to remember which row counter went with which stitch pattern. Did that make any sense at all?

The only thing about this shrug is that apparently my gauge was really tight so it's a drop small. I'm hoping it will grow a little the more I wear it. On the plus side of that trauma, I managed to complete it using 5 skeins instead of 6. More yarn store credit! Am I good or what? Below you can see what was left over from 5 skeins. A close call there!

Well, this weekend is my brother's wedding, so I've got to go finish packing now. Details after it's all over.

Previous title: The Clash, "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"


This indecision's bugging me

It has occurred to me that if I worked on one project at a time, things would get done a lot faster. However, in true stashmonkey fashion, I can't possibly make that kind of commitment. In my defense, I have limited it to two projects rather than the overwhelming list of 14 over there in the UFO list. Go ahead, count. You know you want to. Take your time, I'll wait . . .

So here are the two I've chosen to devote my time to this week. First, there's the Debbie Bliss Cabled Coat with Hood from the Baby Cashmerino book.

As you can see, this little number has gotten the majority of my attention these days. I've finished the back twice now. Yes, twice. Shut up. And both front pieces are done too. Maybe it'll just be a vest, then I can do some finishing and call it done. Not really, but the cables that were once intriguing are now more annoying than anything else. On the plus side, I should have lots of leftover yarn to return since I decided to chop a good four and a half inches off the length. You can see the original version here. Wicked cute, no? But the thing is, while that baby looks adorable, can you really see a kid in a cardigan that long? Me neither.

I've also realized I better get a move on on the IK Eyelet Chemise. Fall is coming fast and I'd like to actually be able to wear this baby. Also, I've got lots of leftovers on this one too and I can only make a return if it's before the end of the month. I think it's pretty safe to say that those two balls you see hanging out above the sweater are going back. In case you can't tell, that's one finished giant main piece (front and back knit together), one finished sleeve (all curled up on the left), and one just-started sleeve.

Next question: What should I get at the yarn store with all of my store credits? Apparently I've been smoking crack while deciding how much yarn to buy. I'll try to kick the habit before I go back.

Previous title: Pearl Jam, "Elderly Woman behind the Counter in a Small Town"


Hello! My god it's been so long, never dreamed you'd return

What a fun weekend! My college roommate Lisa was in town all weekend and we had a blast together!

She's one of those people that, even though I haven't talked to her in almost a year, we can pick up right where we left off. It's oddly comforting to know there are people in your life who, no matter what, will always understand you. Every so often I wonder if that's it and we've finally moved on and outgrown a friendship that, at times, seemed like it could outlast anything. And then I spend some time with her and I know again that the world will keep on turning and we really will be friends forever. Ok, too cheesy. I'll stop now.

We did many of the traditional Boston things, like walking Newbury Street and eating in the North End, not to mention Mike's Pastries - yum! So all in all, a good time was had. Because of this good time, I have no new knitting to show you. But I will soon. And maybe even something finished by the end of the week? Not so sure about that one. No promises, okay?

Previous Title: Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Aeroplane"


Music is my aeroplane

Clearly you've noticed by now that music is important to me. I don't play any instruments, and those who know me would run in fear if I threatened to sing. Yet somehow music has crept into my life anyway. I'm really a lyrics kind of person. Sure, there's the occassional instrumental song that'll do it for me (lately it's Medeski, Martin, and Wood's "End of the World Party" for those curious), but generally it's the lyrics that hit home. Thus, the titles on this blog. I spend a good portion of my day listening to music.

With this in mind, you can see why I was devastated today when this happened:

Here you can see my iPod. It is on and playing a song. What's wrong with this picture? Ah, yes, the screen is blank! Here's the deal: it plays music just fine, but the screen is consistently blank. So, basically I'm just guessing when I try to play what I want to listen to. It was kind of a fun challenge at first and maybe slightly interesting to try and figure out how to get to certain playlists or artists, but now it has definately lost the appeal.

I tried going to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store today, but it turns out those geniuses are in high demand! I have to log on to Apple's website at midnight tonight to make an appointment for tomorrow. Some geniuses! You'd think they could figure out that people prefer convenience to this weirdass system. In the meantime, I can't decide what I want the geniuses to tell me. If my iPod can be fixed for a reasonable price, obviously I'll do that and save some cash. However, if it can't, then it would be a great excuse to buy a new one . . .

Oh yeah. For those of you early birds who missed it, I added a few notes to the last post. Go see! Maybe I left one for you!

Previous Title: Jimi Hendrix, "Stone Free"


Tear me loose baby

"Stone free, do what [we] please!"

Check it out! I was working on my Debbie Bliss silk shrug, but I got to the point where I need to switch to smaller needles. Of course, the smaller needles were already occupied with the IK Eyelet Chemise. I put in some quality time on this baby and managed to get the main piece off the needles. Above are all that remains; well, except for the finished piece, which is below.

So, what would you do next? FInish off the eyelet chemise or the silk shrug (below)?

Faced with this dilemma and cursed with the inability to make a decision, I did what any good knitter would do. That's right, I cast on for something new.

At least it's a somewhat small project . It's a baby sweater for a little one who is due on October. I'll get back to the others soon, but for now I'm enjoying a much needed break from the girlie colors. While starting a new project is definately not going to help cut down my UFO list, I'm working out an incentive for myself. I have a new list on my sidebar (or will in a few minutes) of all of my works in progress. This way I can see everything I'm working on, and erase them as they get done. I think when the list gets down to just two or three, or maybe four, there should be some kind of prize. I haven't figured out yet what it will be, but if you have any suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them.

Edited to add a few quick notes:
- Thanks Secret Pal for the postcard! I hope you enjoyed your vacation!
- Joanne - The baby sweater is the "Cabled Coat with Hood" from the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino book. I'm making some modifications and I'm using Sirdar's Snuggly yarn, because it was less than half the price. I'm happy to give you more details if you want them.
- Colleen (my pal) got her KSKS kit and loved it, although it seems some Oompa Loompas snuck in and ate all of the candy. Heehee! Glad she enjoyed it!
- Andrea asked about the booga bag, so here are some quick details on both that one and the Cleo Clutch. For the booga bag I followed the pattern exactly and used Noro Kureyon in color 90. I think it took a little over two skeins. For the Cleo Clutch I used Lamb's Pride Worsted in Rust. Both were from the stash. See, I can do something right! Even if I don't seem to finish projects, at least I used up some stash yarn!

Previous title: Fall Out Boy, "Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year"


It's just a matter of time before we're all found out

Secret swaps are coming close to an end - isn't it exciting?

Today I finished off and packed up my knit sock kit for She Who Must Not Be Named (well, it is still a secret!). It's all packed up and ready to go out. Here's a sneak peak:

She's getting a booga bag as her "official" sock bag, but I also included the cleo clutch, because she likes to put her socks in whatever bigger bag she's carrying. I figured the clutch could easily slide inside of a bigger bag. I added a metal snap to the inside of the bag, but it's kind of hard to open and close. I'm thinking it'll loosen up as she uses it. There's some delicious candy; the Amelia Raitte sock patterns, and some homemade stitch markers. The stitch markers are in this cute little metal tin that I found at the Container Store. It's decorated on top with a picture that goes along with her blog, but I tried my best to make it blurry so she won't figure out that it's for her if she reads this. Hopefully, that'll all go ok.

I had so much fun wrapping everything up, but then I forgot to take a picture of the final product. Trust me, it was very cute.

Previous Title: Paul Simon, "Call Me Al"


Got a short little span of attention

For Shelby, because she asked for it, I present the gallery of unfinished objects.

In all fairness, I should warn you that it took quite some time to dig up these bad boys. I feel a little like those oddballs on "Clean Sweep" who can't seem to stop themselves from purchasing weird little knick-knacks until they finally find themselves exposed to the world by the wonder that is TLC. This is a little embarrassing, but here I go. Please be kind.

We begin innocently enough, with just a basic update on that Debbie Bliss Silk Shrug I am so fond of these days.

It's really coming along, don't you think?

Also residing in a place of honor (meaning it hasn't yet been relegated to the "drawer of doom"), is the IK Eyelet Chemise. I got pretty far before abandoning this baby for greener, or hot-pink-ier, pastures. I'll pick it up again someday. Promise.

Hiding in the Drawer of Doom, I discovered Mariah.

I have no excuses here. I think I just got tired of looking at this one. Every so often I think about picking it up again, but I just can't bring myself to. Especially not when there are brightly colored fun yarns that are so much nicer and softer than Paton's Classic Wool.

In keeping with the sweater-style items, we have the IK Union Square Pullover.

This was my first foray into a sweater on size 3 needles, and not the last, I might add. It's done, I guess. All the pieces have been knit. Ignore the fact that it hasn't been sewn together or properly blocked. It's done. Really. It is. Shh. Stop it.

And here is what became of the leftovers:

Ok, so I had to buy the purple to coordinate nicely. This is a knitting needle case that I decided to create. It was more of an excuse to try out this funky stitch pattern from Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book. I like it a lot, but I don't really want to have to line it, and I think that's unavoidable. Unless, of course, I just move on to the next project. Heehee.

I also tried to create a tank top pattern. It was coming along well, when, oh I don't know. I just moved on DAMNIT!

And finally, the piece d'resistance, socks . . . and a mitten.

We have, from left to right:
- Cut Your Teeth Socks in Koigu
- Tropicana Socks in Sunshine Yarns
- IK Rib and Cable socks in Pearl Gems
- Jaywalker Socks in Lorna's Laces
- Plain old stockinette socks in Koigu
- IK Embossed Leaves socks in Cherry Tree Hill - I ran out of yarn
And above, one sad and lonely mitten. It's for the Mitten Challenge 2006.

I'm going to go cry now. Or knit up a storm. Haven't decided which yet.

Previous title: Moody Blues, "Running Out of Love"


Some days you're gonna put me on a pedestal up high

Miss me?

Sorry it took so long. You thought I was kidding when I said it was hard to get up off the couch! Anyways, here are my new Baudelaire socks. They are so pretty you could put them up on a pedestal. (Ok, so the title's a stretch, but read on and you'll understand. Maybe.)

Pattern: Baudelaire from Knitty
Needles: US 2
Yarn: one skein of Cherry Tree Hill yarn in "Moody Blues," hence today's title (I had to search long and hard for it as I don't really listen to the Moody Blues)
Pattern Notes: This one was really fun to knit. The pattern is really well written and easy to follow. I taught myself how to knit on two circulars for this one, plus they are toe-up, which is also new for me. I love the construction of the heel, which is a rounded short row heel with a flap. I also had fun with the sewn bind-off, which I'll definately use again. My only complaint, which is not a pattern complaint, is that I have little or no talent in photographing my own feet. Must work on this one.

And just so you won't think that I really have spent all of the time since my last post just sitting on the couch, check out this next project:

I picked out these great coordinating dishcloths . . .

to be a new home for this mess of needles.

Voila! Here is my new needle case closed:

And here it is open:

Betcha didn't know I could sew! It was really easy, but next time I'll probably head to Joanne's Fabrics rather than use dishcloths. It was a little difficult to work with fabric of this thickness on the sewing machine.

And, what you've all been waiting for, the date update:
- Date number 1 never happened because the loser never called (cross that guy off the list).
- Date number 2 was great: good chemistry, easy to talk to, but I'm not sure I'm attracted to him. Still, he gets another chance.
- Date number 3 was wicked uncomfortable. I may not be the best conversationalist, but he had no ability to hold up his end. I'd ask him questions and he'd constantly answer with one or two words only. There were other weirdnesses that I can't even go into, but trust me, it was not good. Want to hear the strangest thing? The next day he sent me an e-mail saying that he had a lot of fun and I was really easy to talk to. Was he at the same date or what?
- Date number 4 was my favorite. I'm definately attracted to him and I find him really interesting. The only shortcoming is that we don't have THAT much in common, so it was a little hard to keep the conversation flowing. It got better as the evening went on, and I think he'll call.
- Boy number 5 seems to have fallen off the face of the earth, but it's ok because I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with men as it is. Plus, two new guys have begun e-mailing me on JDate. I'm feeling uber-popular these days. Kinda funny how I've been in a dry spell for what feels like forever, and suddenly it's all turned around.

Previous Title: Geri Halliwell, "It's Raining Men"