Friday, April 25, 2008

RIP Needle

After several years of faithfully helping me churn out socks, one of my sock needles has given up the ghost. I've been impressed by the KnitPicks needles, but I have to say that these ones are just a little too short for my hand (it's the shortest length size 1). With the needles in my hands, the heel of my hand presses directly on the join. So, it really was a matter of time before one of them broke. Alas, now I must go purchase another one. And $45 of yarn so I can get free shipping.

And in other news, my summer is going to be way cooler than yours. Guess where I will be living for 3 months this summer? I'll give you a hint:

Yes, that is Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park! While I won't actually be living in a geyser, I will be just inside the West Entrance near West Yellowstone, Montana. While I am no longer part of the park service, I did marry into it, which is proving to be a good decision. I can't tell you how happy I will be to leave my current work circus, hike, explore, sleep, and read really long books. And of course my adventures will be chronicled here, so that you can live vicariously through me. Come visit!

Monday, April 14, 2008


Things are growing slowly but surely. Below, you can see the failed Jaywalker sock, and the crosswalker that it will soon become. I liked the look of the Jaywalker, but the darn thing would not go over my heel. Sorry dude. You're about to be ripped.

This is the first year I'm going to grow my own vegetables. I'm not sure how well this will work, with all the 100 degree temperatures and scorching sunshine and whatnot, but at least I know this Jalapeno plant will survive. This picture is totally misleading, since this pepper is only 1" long. But at least it's not dead.

In other news, I've recently started a second job. It's not really a "job," but just an opportunity for freelance editing. Unfortunately for you all, I signed a confidentiality agreement, so I can't post any horrendous writing here for us all to laugh at. It really is a pity, since I've definitely gotten my share of entertainment at other people's expense. Just know that if you submit your "book" that was based on "your own experiences," your editor will incessantly mock you to family, friends, and co-workers.
For all you readers out there, did you know that Anne Perry is a murderer? Very interesting.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Goals - 25%

In December, I wrote down a few goals I hope to accomplish this year. First among these was to read 50 books by the end of the year. I'm holding strong at 16 so far:

1. The Modigliani Scandal - Ken Follett
2. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Marina Lewycka
3. Blueberry Muffin Murder - Joanne Fluke
4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer
5. Holidays on Ice - David Sedaris
6. How I Live Now - Meg Rosoff
7. Lady Chatterly's Lover - D.H. Lawrence
8. Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
9. The Hound of the Baskervilles - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
10. The Plot Against America - Philip Roth
11. The Post-Birthday World - Lionel Shriver
12. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto - Michael Pollan
13. The Devil and Miss Prym - Paulo Coelho
14. Cavern - Jake Page
15. How Starbucks Saved My Life - Michael Gates Gill
16. Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life - Amy Krouse Rosenthal

The bold titles are those appearing on the "1001 Books to Read Before You Die" list. I didn't count 2 Poe short stories as books, but adding to that the 5 above, I've now read 56 of 1001 (a whopping 5.59%). I understand why the suggested time period for this is "before you die."

Out of the titles above, I'd have to say that Cavern was the worst. The only reason why I read it was that it takes place in the town where I live. Besides the plot being totally ridiculous (pre-historic bear that can hibernate for 50 years at a time and lives in a cave awakens and starts eating people), the writing was horrible. So, do bears have emotions? Page would have you think so - apparently when bears eat someone, they are "enraged" (not, say, hungry?)

Some of the highlights were Wide Sargasso Sea, a book about the life of "the madwoman in the attic" from Jane Eyre. The story was beautiful and haunting in all the right ways. Also particularly hilarious was Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. This isn't a novel, but rather a series of very short essays, alphabetized, focusing on random snippets of Krouse's life. I wish I had written it, since at times I was convinced it was actually about me.

I haven't gotten to the colorwork thing yet. This mostly has to do with not having appropriate yarn... if only I could just walk over to the yarn store and get some. But since there is no yarn store within a 150 mile radius, I have to think up enough stuff to order to get free shipping at KnitPicks.

The Modern Letter Project is currently on hiatus (their hiatus, not mine.) Frankly, I'm glad. Out of the 6 letters I was supposed to receive, I only got 2. I was very close to quitting, since writing letters and getting no reply was annoying. I guess it's back to friends. Do you want me to send you a letter? Say so in the comments!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I love hats

It's true. I love hats. I also love knitting hats: they're fairly quick, and the possibilities are endless. Also, they are (most of the time) knit in one piece, so that when they're done... they're done. Here's my latest hat, just in time for the beginning of our 7-month Southwest summer.

The pattern was a free Ravelry download: Just Like a Peasant Cap. There is also another similar pattern available on Ravelry, which is knit in the round rather than flat & seamed, but I liked the gathered look in the back. (Oh yeah... I used Berocco Comfort, which is an acrylic blend. It is very soft & I would definitely use it again.) I LOVE the double seed-stitch pattern, and will definitely be using it in other projects. I wish I had made the gathered part a tad bit smaller, since the hat is slightly back-heavy. Of course I always have one or two regrets every time I finish something... but that aside I LOVE this hat.

Even Kiska got in on the hat action (she is fond of chewing on the ties.)

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