Tuesday, October 13, 2009

inventory time!

Fall Knitting Inventory!

1) Campus Scarf in O-Wool Classic for my buddyfriend
3) Cabled cowl in frog tree alpaca worsted
4) Boneyard scarf for the little brotherface. I am picturing him biking all around town in it, keepin' warm.
5) Ozark Opulent hat and scarflet set for Miss KT.

Also I still need to sew the buttons onto my Owly sweater, in O-Wool Bulky (love [10000]).

All this gift knitting and none of it is Christmas presents. It's all just-because. I probably should have thought ahead.

FACT: If you barely knit anything at all for a whole year, your wrist will get better. It's Hooray! I can knit again. And I am, like a madwoman.

I haven't been blogging because 1) I haven't been knitting and 2) I have been writing other things. I've been putting my writing energy into my writing group, making stories. But things are looking up and I'm starting to think I've got enough juice to knit and blog and do stories too.

I'm still designing patterns too, working on new stuff that I'm excited about. Plus running WonderKnit and waitressing on the weekends...it really sounds like a lot when you put it on paper. I guess it is a lot, and I'm tired a lot, but mainly, I'm happy. :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

babies get blankets

This baby blanket is going to be really hard. I’m trying to make it look like an undersea wonderland! I got this yarn, it’s blue and green. Not, like, baby blue and baby green, but royal blue and bright lime green. The first row is a purl row, it’s a green row. I’m going to do another green row next, and then some blue rows. It’s going to be skinny green stripes and fat blue stripes. But the tricky part is, I’d like it to be kind of wavy, like scalloped all the way through. But if I did that, then the fish would to be really hard to knit. These imaginary fish are a dusty, mustard yellow color. I’m going to have to sacrifice either the fish or the waves, I think.

The blanket is for my friend. He isn’t born yet. I’m pretty sure he’s a he. His mom got those crazy high resolution ultrasounds, and you can tell the baby has his dad’s nose. You can tell it from INSIDE her stomach. That’s nutty. In one of the pictures, he has his foot in his mouth. That baby is in there, eatin’ feet. So I am making him a wool blanket, even though he’s going to be born in July. It will keep til winter.

Babies are nuts. I want one pretty bad, but they’re also kind of horrifying. When this one gets born, I’m going to watch his parents very closely and see how it affects their lives. They’re my kind of people, so maybe I can do it too. I’m knitting for their baby because he’s new, and because I love them, but also because babies should have stuff made by hand, just for them, while they’re incubating. This baby doesn’t even need blankets, his great grandmother made him some before he was even dreamed of, before his mom met his dad, before she died. And isn’t that wonderful? So he has blankets, but it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t have a fishy blanket. Yet!

I cast on 160 stitches. This will make the blanket about 50 inches wide. I don’t even know if that’s the right size for a baby blanket. I know literally nothing about babies. A couple weeks ago these people asked my friend to baby-sit their baby in a pinch. She brought the baby to my shop, and we sat there looking at it and talking to it like it was an adult, and just handing it things to keep it amused. We gave him some crochet swatches, and a lip gloss, and a ball of yarn. We tried to let him crawl around on the floor but he kept trying to go outside. We were comically inept with the baby. We just kept looking at him like, man. What do we do with this? Maybe we should hand him something. Here, baby.

Once, when she tried to change his diaper, he was really squirmy, and he hit his head on the floor and cried, and then it was like, OH NO we probably killed the baby. He recovered pretty quickly, though. Babies are tough.

The little dude that’s on his way will be tough. His mom and dad are seriously tough.
His mom has this badass tattoo of a unicorn and a rainbow. It’s giant, and the unicorn looks like it would kick your ass in a second. A few weeks ago his dad got punched in the face by a fat girl at 3 AM in the Cluck U chicken. He texted me and said “I think I’m in love.” These are his parents. This baby is going to be a rad baby. I’ve got 4 weeks to make him a rad blanket. With fishes on it. I'll post the results! If it ends up nice, I'll write up a pattern for you guys.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


If you ever wonder how your waitress feels when she gets off work at the end of the night, take a look at my groceries from Friday night circa 1 AM.

Yeah, that's a by-God mozzarella log. And an US Weekly. What? I grabbed that salad for balance. It's fine.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Mostly-reclamation scarf. Artyarns worsted! I've been looking at this beautiful yellow yarn for, literally, YEARS. Finally made something with it! It's pretty! I LOVE this scarf.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

green stuff

I'm, like, really into these things right now.

I'm going through 2 boxes a week. I'm eatin' them right now. As we speak. As I blog. DAMN PITA CHIPS YOU LOOKIN GOOD.

Reclamation Scarf. Artyarns supermerino. 2 balls. Shoot, I'll wear it.

This weekend I went home to the farm for a few days to celebrate a couple things. One was my cousin Frank's 18th birthday. He was recently named Prom King, and he's about to graduate. We're pretty proud of him!

I also wanted to spend Mother's Day with my mom. And I needed to get away for a couple days, anyway. So we went to see A Little Night Music, which was just fantastic. I'd never seen it. Most of the time was spent just hanging out on the farm though. Here is spring on the farm, in photos.

Max and Phil. When you've got cookies, Max (the black one) does a sweet Stevie Wonder impression.

These guys want carrots like I want pita chips.

The Guinea Foul: Vinnie and Minnie. If they get separated for any reason they FREAK OUT.






Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You know what the goat means...

Ok, so listen to this shit.

I've been sick this week. I've got that stupid cold that's going around. Cough, cough, cough. It sucks. So I didn't go out Monday night, and I rested all day Tuesday, and by the time Tuesday evening rolled around I was going stir crazy. Still coughing, still sick, but stir crazy. Matt was out tearing up the town with Mr. Cabbage, so I was home alone, watching Rachel Maddow and knitting. It actually sounds like a nice night, under normal circumstances. But I was bored. So I called up KT and she said she'd come over and have a glass of wine and entertain me. Then the Science Pirate turned up! So I was rich in buddies.

We sat on the porch chatting. The Science Pirate left, Matt turned up, and so it was KT, Matt, and I having a leisurely time on the porch. Between 4 of us, we killed a single bottle of wine. Sober Sallies. We were on a pretty solid gossip train when a COP CAR rolled up on the corner.

You heard me.

We stared, bemused, from one another to the cop car. The cop just sat in the car for about 5 minutes, looking at his clipboard and talking on his radio, so that we thought he was maybe just doing some paperwork. Finally, though, he got out of the car, walked hesitantly across my lawn, and said, in a rather embarassed tone, "hey, um, we got a call...about noise. Was there anyone else on your street outside making noise tonight?"

We told him no. He continued, "Ok, well, someone said there were people yelling and screaming and laughing loud and stuff out here...so I guess just...try and keep it down?"

We were like, um, ok. And then he left.

The cop spent 5 minutes in his car making sure he was at the right place. Because, you know, where's the wild party? He was actually embarassed to tell us to shut up because we were 3 people talking at normal volume before 1 AM. But here is the kicker, for me: whoever called the cops on us involved the authorities before speaking to us. Which is, where I come from, way, way WAAAAAAAAAAY ruder than hanging out on your porch.

This is the second time this has happened. The first time was the very night we moved in. I think a few things about this.

1. I think the childish, rude asshole who has called the police on me twice, without doing me the courtesy of speaking to me to my face, lives two doors down. I think he is the same guy who is the only one on the block who doesn't say hi. The one who has only ever spoken to me to say, "you can't park there." The one who's wife is really, really friendly. Professor Umbridge friendly. Right after the first noise complaint, she said to me with a saccharine smile "We have to get up really early, so it's nice that it's such a quiet neighborhood. Isn't this a lovely neighborhood? It's always JUST. LIKE. THIS." These people are, just coincidentally, the only people over 35 on the block.

2. I think it might be personal. Because it is not AT ALL unusual for people to be talking and laughing on their porches late into the night. Unless we're all getting the cops called on us all the time, I find it odd that it's happened to me twice now.

3. I think this nefarious douchebag uses the police as a warning. Like, I think that he called the cops the first night we moved in to show us, hey new neighbors, I'm the boss of the neighborhood. I think that he called them last night to remind us, as we enter porch season, that he's still a dick so we'd better stay in line.

4. OH MY GOD it is SO RUDE to call the police on someone without personally speaking to them first. Also, he should get cited for wasting police time. Also, if you're going to live in the city AT ALL, much less less than 2 miles from campus in a neighborhood full of young people, you should maybe learn to live with conversation level noise. Also, WTF?

So anyway, as soon as I get home tonight I'm going around and knocking on all my neighbors' doors to ask them if they called the cops. I am pretty sure I know who it was, but I'd like to individually bitch to everyone on the block about the tyranny of this single dick.

My nearest and dearest are rolling their eyes right now, having seen me riled up like this before.

In these situations, Matt usually says "let me do the talking," because he's Mr. Lawyer, while I tend to get all trailer park on people. But I literally CANNOT RESTRAIN MYSELF. Like the time back in DC when, due to a laundry-room disagreement, I stood outside our neighbor's door banging on it and yelling "I KNOW YOU ARE IN THERE I CAN HEAR YOUR TV NOW COME OUT HERE AND TALK TO ME LIKE A GODDAMN ADULT!!!" While Matt stood behind me with his face in his hands. Heh.

Or the time our roof was leaking in DC and I left a voice mail for our landlord that said something like "CRAIG, this is LIBBY and our roof is LEAKING AND YOU NEED TO BE MORE ACCESSABLE THIS IS AN EMERGENCY AND I WILL MARCH DOWN TO THE ESCROW OFFICE RIGHT NOW you are a LAWYER you know PERFECTLY WELL what your RESPONSIBILITIES ARE as a LANDLORD...." and I kept going until Matt took the phone away from me.

But I know that is probably not the best way to be, especially since these people just LOVE to call the police, so tonight I'll try and bite my tongue and let Matt lawyer them up.

But really. Gets my goat.


Friday, May 1, 2009

May day!

Today, a list.

1) I have always hated brushing my teeth because toothpaste is gross. Blech. When I moved out of the sticks and into the city at age 18, I discovered natural toothpaste from the hippie store, and it kind of changed my life. Tom's of Maine! It isn't sweet. No chemicals. When I have to use, like, Crest or something it is always completely overwhelming to my palate.

So it is with no great chagrin that I present to you my new favorite lip gloss, Cover Girl Wetslicks Amazemint. It's made in cooperation with Crest. It sort of smells and tastes like toothpaste.

Yeah, that's a blurry picture of my lip gloss reclining on some crochet swatches. What?

I now have at least 4 colors of it. It's like 6 bucks at the drug store. My favorite is the purpley one. Purple was the big lip gloss color for Summer 2007. I don't know what the big lip gloss color is for Spring 2009 is...I've sort of refused to let purple die. But this ice blue one is cool...it's not blue on, just shiny and frosty.

2) I've had a kind of crummy week. Nothing awful has happened, I'm just kind of tired and burned out. I've been working really hard and I think I need a break. The early part of the week was just a series of irritations, essentially. I'm sorry to everyone I yelled at (cringe). The wife's a little high strung. On Wednesday I sort of flipped out for a minute and cried, which is really, like, not my thing.

After my little crying jag, I was g-chatting up my buddy Mr. Hix back in the District, and happened to mention my bad mood. About an hour later, I was sitting on the couch in the shop, knitting away on a trendy, hip triangular scarf (knitted hipster bandana. All the cool kids are making them). I saw a young man coming up the street with a lovely vase of flowers, and I thought, in a rather lackluster way, "He got his girlfriend flowers. How nice." (Sometimes the Princess Sunshine part of my personality gets tired, but I still try and go through the motions.)

Then I saw how he was heading towards the shop and I thought, "huh, maybe he is the delivery guy. Maybe he's about to deliver those flowers to me! Chuh. Yeah, right. Hmph. I'm sure that's going to fucking happen. Any fucking second now." (Look, I know my Aunt Jean reads this and everything so I should watch my mouth, but I am duty bound to write honestly. I dropped the F bomb in that moment. Mentally. Don't be mad, Aunt Jean.)

Anyway...But then.......

!! The flower man came on in and said kind of hesitantly "I'm supposed to deliver these to....the WonderKnit Gals." They were from Mr. Hix! He sent me flowers because I told him I was sad. Well, they're really for all of us. He addressed them to "the Wonderknit gals and their rad customers." So they're not just for me. But they really cheered me up! Thery're on the table here in the shop, brightenin' up the joint.

Then my mom and Matt both did really nice things to cheer me up too, and I went to bed early, readin' a nice book and thinkin' contentedly of how lucky I am. I still need a vacation, but if I've got this kind of support network, I can handle it. Lucky Duck.

3) Hey, if your number is in my phone, there's a pretty good chance you've gotten a text from me, after midnight, that says something like, "Psidobmaly Karaoke. Matbe tomorrow eat Lunch but hasnnome boyss right noaw. Kt and Brax are stupd." So anyway, here's this website. It's my favorite right now. You can send them your drunk texts and they'll post them.

4) http://doihavepigflu.com/ hahahahaha!

5) My shop's fulla boys eatin' cookies.

6) I guess that's about all I got.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Hahaha, I Am So Classy.

So yesterday was my day off. It's been a beautiful week in Columbus, but of course on my day off it rained all day. At least it wasn't cold!

I had a real nice day off. I slept in and read my book and had coffee with my baby, and then we went to lunch. After lunch I was like, PAJAMAS. We watched, like, half of Krull. Remember Krull? It's not as good now as it was in the 80's, trust me. Sometimes nostalgia can save a movie. Once I forced Matt to watch Little Monsters. He hadn't seen it as a child (WHAT? Seriously, what kid in the 80's didn't see Little Monsters?) and apparently if you didn't love it during your childhood, it is awful. Nostalgia totally makes Little Monsters awesome to me. Not so, Krull.

So dinnertime rolls around, and I am officially amazing. I decided I wanted to make hot browns. I don't know if hot browns are a real thing or if they're just something my mom made up. It's like an open-face sandwich, and then you cover it with cheese sauce and some shredded cheddar and put it under the broiler 'til it's brown on top. OH MAN. I put mushrooms and onions and spinach and avocado on those suckers, and whipped me up a little cheesey saucey, and they were GOOD.

However, before I could create this sammytown excellence, I had to get all those things. Spinach, and avocado, and mushrooms, and onions, and bread, and also milk for the cheese sauce. I don't know if you know this about me, but I really hate the grocery store and sometimes I don't go there until there's nothin in the pantry but dried beans. But! That's what husbands are for. Matt went out in the rain for the groceries and I stayed home and wove in ends on my Owl Sweater (just needs eyeballs and it's donezo!)

So there I was, on the couch, weavin' ends, when Matt popped back in the door all angry.

He had just gone through a nightmare of not being able to pay for groceries. The debit card wouldn't work. And, readers, something is definitely wrong with the card because I had just put money in that account and checked the balance that very morning. Frustration station! They wouldn't let him write a check because to write checks at the grocery store you have to register, apparently, and it takes a couple weeks or something. So he's all embarassed and angry, and he pops in the door to say that the groceries are at the customer service desk at the Giant Eagle, and can I give him cash for them? I didn't have enough cash! I gave him my debit card, but he was concerned that they wouldn't let him use it because it was obviously not his card and he was already a suspicious character who couldn't pay his bill. So.

So I went to the grocery store.

I went to the grocery store in my red PJ pants and a dirty old T shirt and no bra. I threw a cardigan on. I had, earlier in the evening, grabbed my hair in a handful and threw a rubber band around it, so it was in a lumpy, off-center approximation of a ponytail. (My hair is very short, so my ponytail sticks straight out from the back of my head. It's cute.) I went, in this handsome state, to pay for groceries for which my husband was famously unable to pay. This was one of the more publicly white trash moments of my life...but it gets better!

I paid for the groceries, went home, looked in the mirror, and realized that I had a GIGANTIC hickey on my neck.


-at grocery store.
-can't pay bill.
-sweat pants.
-t shirt, no bra.
-stained cardigan.
-sloppy, lumpy ponytail.

This is the path my mother told me to avoid. My mom is a laid back lady, but she was always pretty adamant about the trashyness of hickeys, and I have to say, I agree with her. Furthermore, I am one of those girls at Ross High that I swore I would never become. No! I was better than all that, and I was gonna shake off the dust of this crummy town and see the world! Be a classy sophisticate, and no one would ever dream that I came from such beginnings. So don't tell 10-years-ago Libby about yesterday. All I was missing was a pack of dirty children and a looney tunes t shirt.

Later that night, after grooming myself, I went to karaoke. I forgot all about the hickey in my rush to leave the house, didn't put makeup on it or anything, and, of course, wasn't wearing a scarf or a cowl for the first time in, like, 6 months. I literally was not two steps inside the bar when my friend the karaoke DJ came up to me, put his arm around me, and without so much as a "hello," said "Did a bird fly into your neck?"

If anyone needs me, I'll be getting my navel pierced or cooking meth or something.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

little bites

Holy Monkeys. I've had a pretty serious fortnight.

If you made it to the book release party, thanks, thank you, thank you, thanks! I've got my humble and grateful pants on, and my luckyduck hat.

Last week I had some personal drama. I don't want to detail it on the internet. But it was shitty, rest assured. It went on for a solid seven days. I dropped pretty much every ball I was juggling. I sucked. Things got sorted out, eventually, and hopefully for the better, but a thing like that has aftermath.

I gave up a bank serving shift, and in doing so lost a pretty significant part of my budget for the week. I did not return calls or e mails. I left most of the book party stuff to the very last minute. Fortunately most of the planning had been done earlier, it just needed some follow-through, and I had lots of people who were happy to help it come together. Of course, I also lost all control over home and hearth, and so had no groceries or clean clothes. I went to Waffle House and, I think, used up all my text messages. Even though my plan is unlimited, surely there is a rule against the massive amount of irresponsible texting I did last Thursday night.

Everything was all wrong, and then it got right again. But I'm still shaky. Put on your boots, Bruce, you can't stop now. I picked up my balls and started juggling again. Got everything done, and was happy. Saw Karida and my family! Had a party! Got to wear high heels and drink wine! I even got two (two!) different bouquets of flowers, in one night, which made 3 for the week, which is certainly a record.

So I had a terrible week followed by a week of tremendous excitement. And now I'm on the couch. Old friend! I have to work at the restaurant tonight, but I have the afternoon to rest, which is lovely. I think I'm coming down with something, and it's really just been a gigantic huge roller-coaster two weeks. I feel kind of how I felt when I got married...like I need to stop and absorb everything, a little at a time, so I can understand it all and it won't overwhelm me. The quiet of this afternoon is perfection. Just the cats and me, and the couch. Pajamas. I think maybe a bath, in a minute here. Being still, eating up this whole mess of feelings and experiences one tiny bite at a time.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Book Release!

Promo photo! I specifically made sure they gave me a PBR. They were like, here, you girls each get a drink, and we were like, noooo, give us like 40 drinks. Put them here, on the table. And they did.

Pints and Purls is finally, officially, DONEZO--written, knitted, edited, photographed, and released. Now it's even distributed!

I'm really excited and proud, and I hope you guys like it.

Those of you in Ohio will be able to come celebrate with me and Karida this Thursday, at the P&P midwest release party! Details here! I really hope you can make it.

And thanks for reading.



Me and Brax's Owlies are coming right along...but I started my sleeves, so I'm winning!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spend Some Time Between Dodridge and Lane


Hey, Columbus! It's really, really bumming me out the way the city is driving half of North-of-Campus out of business with the High Street construction. I'm hearing rumblings of lots of closings, and it's no good. It's really annoying to go anywhere between Dodridge and Lane. I know all about it. Do it anyway. This construction isn't gonna be done for another YEAR, and all those little local shops are suffering, even institutions like the Dube. It would make you sad if these places closed.

Reasons to Take Your Ass to the Construction Zone

I'm already sad because I heard a rumor that Black Market is going under. Guys! Kelly Martin is our local fashion hero! Why aren't we buying all her dresses? She was just on freaking Project Runway! Go to her shop. Go there. Buy dresses. She's a cool girl and it's a cool shop.

There's that new little restaurant, Sage, which is really good! And Clintonville needs restaurants. But they're going to die if we don't brave the construction and eat there.

Did you know Taj Mahal has a bar in it? It's open til 1. Here's my review of Taj Mahal: Food: pretty good. Patio: excellent. Weird, unexpected lounge: RAD. You don't think about going there. It doesn't occur to you. But you should. I think no one is going there, so maybe you and your friends should. We went there Sunday night (Sunday is karaoke and ladies night in the Taj Mahal lounge. The ladies night drink specials are nuts--I got both KT and myself DRUNK for 12 bucks, girls. THEY'RE CRAZY FOR LOW PRICES. Take your titties in there and get some cheap drinks.) It's cool in there. It feels kind of like Inarra's whorin' shuttle on Firefly. I'm sort of obsessed with Firefly right now, though, so maybe it's just me. But it's all red and there's couches and stuff. It's like you're having drink in someone's really cool living room. We parked on Oakland. It was easy!

You can go to our local hardware store, Schriener Hardware, where once the man who worked there gave me a huge discount on a knife because I told him I wanted to carry it for self defense. (Then this partially reformed Mexican gangbanger that I used to know (Where did you go, Isaac? Hope you're ok.) taught me all these knife tricks.)

You can rent, like, any movie at North Campus Video, and yes, that old man with the pierced cheeks will be mean to you, but isn't that part of the charm? He's been being mean to me since I was 18. It's sort of comforting at this point.

And Smoker's Haven! It smells so good in there, and even though I don't smoke I spent something like 20 minutes looking at cool pipes and smelling tobacco and talking to the nice man who worked there. He told me that it is cheaper to smoke a pipe than a cigarrette, and it's not addictive because you don't inhale on a pipe. Maybe I should smoke a pipe.

I don't need to remind you about the Dube, right?

Dick's Den. Why Not?

Cazuela's! It's open AFTER THE BARS CLOSE on the weekends. You can go there for fourthmeal.

A lot of places down there have parking lots. It's not so bad, it's just unpleasant on High. You can handle it. You do unpleasant things every day. Come on!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Owly Pally

Me and Brax and Cabbage are makin' some Owl Sweaters.

Mine is out of O-Wool Legacy Bulky. It's organic! And lovely. Can I talk for a sec about O-Wool? The yarns--all of them--are gorgeous. They are also tough little workhorses. Organic workhorses.

That's my sweater. You know what it is? It's chewy. Chewy. Laugh it up, fuzzball. I just want to scrunch it.

Brax's is out of Cascade 128 (also very nice). I forget what Cabbage's is out of, but she is adjusting gauge for a smaller yarn. Smaller yarn? Not me! Brax and Cabbage are both doing theirs as cardigans, but I love me a pullover. So that's what's shakin' here at Wine Lips. I've been pouring hours and hours of time and yards and yards of yarn into this twisted rib sweater, which is supposed to become a pattern that I can sell or give away or publish in some capacity. It's beautiful. If the bust and shoulders work out how I want them to, it's going to be a pretty rad sweater. I've been working on it for a while, though, and I'm a little bored with it, and also I'm kind of at an impasse with the bust shaping. So it's pretty nice to follow someone else's instructions and work on a US 10.5 and have inches of sweater just--POOF!--materialize on your needles.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy 75th, Glo!

Thanks for spending a lifetime fighting your heart out so Brax and I could do stuff like open our own yarn shop and not get beat by our men. Thanks for teaching us to fight too. Thanks for writing Revolution From Within because it taught me how radical and revolutionary it is to love yourself. Your work has tangibly affected my life and the life of every woman in the US and beyond. My generation of women grew up assuming an endless universe of options, and that's because your generation of women tore down every wall you could.

Thanks. Happy birthday.

Some things:

1. I found my keys! But not before I managed the throw out the sad story to enough people to get several drinks bought for me Monday night. They were in a bowl on the kitchen table. Under some apples. Sigh.

2. It's raining today. I was trying to think of the last time it precipitated in a not-frozen way. It was a while ago. This feels like a spring rain, and it's nice. It's a good day to sit in the yarn shop and drink coffee and listen to jazz, which is exactly what I'm doing.

3. Fibre Co. Organik feather-and-fan cowl. This yarn is pricey, and for good reason. It's 70% organic merino wool, 15% baby alpaca, and 15% silk. It's certainly one of the loveliest yarns I've ever knit with. I've been just eyeballing this yarn for months now, and finally, the day I lost my keys (AKA the day of self-indulgence) I decided to work out a one-skein project with the stuff.

That scratch on my cheek is where Chester pretended to be loving me but then scratched my face. Kittens suck.

I Had a Bad Day, I Deserve Luxury Yarn Cowl

Yarn: Fibre Co. Organik, 1 skein. Color shown: Jungle
Needles: US 9 16" circular
Gauge: something like 4-5 sts/inch in st st. Gauge is not critical in self-indulgent bad-day projects.
Size: adult medium. (To adjust sizing, add or subtract multiples of 18 sts.)

CO 108 Sts. Join for working in round, being careful not to twist. PM for join. Work Feather and Fan lace as follows.

Rnd 1: Knit
Rnd 2: Knit
Rnd 3: *(K2tog) 3 times, (YO, K1) 6 times, (K2tog) 3 times* Repeat from * around.
Rnd 4: Purl

Repeat rounds 1-4 seven times. Cowl will measure about 4" long. BO all sts (try and BO on row 4). Weave in ends. Voila!

I finished this in an evening, and I had exactly 24" of yarn left over.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Everything is hard.


I am addressing this to you because it is a straight up rant, and I know you will understand when I tell you about my day. Goat: got.

I can't find my keys. They're nowhere.

I will retrace my steps for you: Last night, Matt and I walked up to our local hippie grocery store to buy fake meat products and organic cream because I wanted to make cream of carrot soup. I took only my keys and my phone, which I stuck in the canvas shopping bag. On the way back, I fished out my phone because I am literally physically addicted to it. So there my keys were, under our hippie groceries. We got home. We tried to go in the back door, but then I remembered I'd locked the screen door from the inside for reasons that made sense, at the time. So we went around to the front. Matt unlocked the door. We went straight to the kitchen and started dinner. Matt unpacked the groceries. He remembers seeing my keys in the grocery bag and removing them, but not what he did with them. Logically, he would have handed them to me or sat them somewhere like the kitchen table.

The keys are nowhere. Here are the places I looked, in the order I looked in them:

1. Kitchen table
2. Under the kitchen table
3. Kitchen Counter
4. Grocery bag, purse
5. Behind the coffee maker and all the flour-sugar-coffee canister things
6. Stove area
7. Coffee table
8. End tables
9. Mantle
10. Couch
11. Chair
12. Dining room table
13. Bookshelves
14. Nightstand
15. floor around nightstand
16. in the bed
17. In the laundry pile
18. Husband's desk, chair
19. bathroom window sill, shelf
20. medicine cabinet
21. pockets of my coat, Matt's coat
22. Kitchen window sill (I even opened the window to make sure the keys were not in between the screen and the glass.)
23. refrigerator, freezer, including the drawers and underneath frozen pizza
24. kitchen bookshelf, including behind the cookbook I used last night.
25. dishwasher
26. all kitchen drawers
27. under all cushions in living room
28. under all living room furniture
29. in purses which have not been carried in weeks.
30. inside washing machine.
31. inside dryer
32. underwear drawer
33. dishwasher
34. under apples in fruit bowl.
35. inside TV cabinet
36. mailbox
37. pockets of husband's pants
38. knitting bags
39. pile of clothes on bedroom floor
40. under bed
41. garbage can
42. dumpster. Yes. I went through the damn trash in the dumpster.
43. all of these places again and again. except the dumpster, I only did that one once.

When things like this happen, the lost object is always, always somewhere completely stupid, like underneath a hat you tossed down on the bed. But I didn't toss any hats on the bed. Where are my keys? Where? The kitten is too small to bat my big, heavy keyring very far, and I think I would have heard any key batting. Plus I looked under most things. Oh, balls.

So when I couldn't find the keys, I started calling Matt because I knew he was the last person to see the keys alive. But his phone does this THING. There is a button on the outside of the phone which turns off the ringer, and he puts the phone in his pocket and the button gets hit somehow, and his ringer is off. It always happens when I, like, really need to talk to him. Last time it happened I was supposed to be calling him when I got off work at the restaurant, so he could come get me. I was calling and calling and calling and calling, and he was just sitting at home watching TV, blissfully unaware. Meanwhile I'm sitting at the bar at work, after a long night, with no ride home, and all the boys at work (whom I adore. usually.) are saying things like "MAAAAAAAAAN, Matt is in the DOGHOUSE tonight!!!" and "Hey, Bruce, you gonna tear him up when you get home?" With a little bit of glee, because they love it when someone besides them is in trouble with their lady. I finally called Topher to get dressed and come get me.

So naturally, his phone was doing that thing this morning, when I was running around half hysterical and terribly late. I left him some excellent voice mails. (Eventually I did get ahold of him and he was very helpful.)

Anyway. So I'm making do with borrowed keys today, but I cannot drive anywhere, so don't ask me to. When I get home tonight I'm going to tear the house apart, but I cannot imagine where the keys could be that I haven't already looked. Probably in hiding with my white full slip, which went missing right about the time it got warm enough to wear dresses.

OH YEAH! Speaking of clothes, here is the other thing that happened to me this week. I got home from work at the restaurant on Friday night, and I undressed and found that I had a rash on my knees, ankles, elbows, armpits, and around my waist. I was pretty horrified. The next day I talked to my mom and she suggested that it was a detergent allergy, and when I thought about it I realized that the rash was all in places where my clothes were tight against my skin. Turns out I'm allergic to 7th generation liquid detergent. Sorry, environment, I'm going back to Tide. The rash is already mostly healed.

I guess that is enough bitching for today. Things have turned around. KT and the Science Pirate came to see me and brought me mexican food and a rice crispy treat, and now we're getting some lottery tickets so if we win, drinks are on me!


P.S. readers, Brax and Cabbage and I are doing an Owl Sweater Knit-Along. Exciting! Excited! Don't be grumpy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Knitty

I haven't liked an issue of Knitty this much for a long time. Very nice. Although, as Micah has pointed out, there's not much in this one for the boys.

Anyway, this is adorable. I know a certain bun in the oven who will be getting one, if I happen to get my druthers before the timer goes off.

Spring knitting! Not bad!

ETA: Hate weaving in ends? checkit out...Russian Join. (Sometimes I think we should rename this blog "let's all avoid finishing."


sometimes I want to talk about fashion.

A brief aside:

The fall '09 runway shows started a few weeks ago, and I've been watching, eagerly, hoping for somebody to blow my mind. I enjoy being a fashion spectator, and I want what's on the runway to be obviously unaffordable, impractical, inaccessible, a little bit scary, and completely fabulous. I want to have to look to find the wearable elements. I would like, please, for your models to look like aliens. I want your chief stylist to be a homeless conceptual artist from Prauge. YES. Please.

So I've been pretty disappointed so far. I don't know if you guys pay attention to this stuff, but you can view most of the collections here. Meh, mostly. BUT. Then. Finally, Alexander McQueen came along and saved the day. Look! Here is a summary. And here is the whole collection.

Prayers: answered.

Beautiful, distinctive designs. GENIUS styling. Alien models, scary makeup, weird things stuck on the models' heads. YES, PLEASE. I'm pretty much 100% behind everything he sent down the runway.

OK, back to your regularly scheduled knitting blog...


Friday, February 27, 2009

February Flowers!

No, not those crappy potted tulips in the grocery store that mess with my head every year. (I love tulips. They're my favorite flower. Love them. I wanted to name my imaginary future daughter Tulip but Matt pretty much straight-up vetoed that. Yellow tulips are the best ones, but I also really love those dark blood-red ones. So every year February hits and the grocery store has a bunch of them in little pots, and I get all excited! But they are pitiful tulips, as flowers from the grocery store always are, and they die die die. It's no good!)

No, knitted flowers. Accompanied by some pretty interesting discussion. It's a research project! Check it out.

In other news, February is almost over, which means you will soon stop wanting to set your winter coat on fire and run out of the house in your underwear, screaming. Is that just me? I'm at that point, where I'm just miserable about day after day of jeans-sweater-boots-coat-hat-scarf, and tomorrow too, and the next day. Every day I go to get dressed and I look at all the pretty clothes in my wardrobe and then I turn away from them, and put on jeans-sweater-boots-coat-hat-scarf. Oh, February, just die already!

Oh yeah! Also, guys, look...

Book book book book. Pints and Purls! Me and Karida's names, right there on the cover. Wow! You can preorder it on Amazon! And you can even preorder it from Target, which I guess means we've got some mainstream appeal. Which is unexpected, but cool. The day I got my advance copy in the mail, I took it to karaoke with me, to show off. It was getting kind of handed around the bar, and this guy I know walked up to me, pointed at the back of the book, and said "ISBN NUMBER. It has an ISBN number. It's totally a real book!"

Yeah! It is. Neato!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

WOAH finishing tip

I just got my mind blown on Ravelry. They're having a conversation over there about "Tips that make you go "d'oh." Guess what I learned? This is so cool, you guys. And it actually kind of made me go "d'oh!" because it was a little obvious when I thought about it. This is why I love knitting. You think you know it, and then it turns out there is something so basic, like binding off, that you don't know crap about.

So anyway, did you know that you don't have to thread the tail through the last stitch when you bind off? You don't have to make that little knot. You can just BO to the final stitch, thusly.

Then you pull on your final loop, like you are loosening it up in order to thread the tail through it, like a sucker.


You keep pulling. Pull it right the hell out. I know that you are thinking that if you don't tie it off, it will all unravel. But man, trust me, I just tested this out, and it works.

BAM. Finished edge, nice, pretty corner, no wonky, nubby bump where you threaded through your tail.

How cool is that?

I luv you, Ravelry!


Friday, February 6, 2009

Oh my god, oh my god, eww, eww, eww

OH MY GOD THREE GUESSES WHAT THIS FELTED OBJECT IS. One, two, three, I know you didn't get it.

It's a UTERUS. WITH A FETUS IN IT. But it's not, like, anyone's womb, my womb, or your womb, it's not the general womb.

It is Bella's womb, you guys. With the bloodsucking demon fetus in it. That's a tiny bloodsucking demon fetus, lovingly rendered in wool, by a fan.

I love books, and I love crafting, and I love it when crafting and literature come together, especially in a wacky way. But no. No, no, no, this is not right.

While we're on the topic, I read the Twilight series with ravenous interest, I loved it, I couldn't put it down, I'll probably read it again, and me and all my girlfriends did, in fact, go to the midnight showing of the film, where we all squealed along with the 12 year olds when Edward walked on screen.

Spoilers ahead, nerds. Although if you haven't read it yet, where you been?

On the other hand, while I was still reading the books, I spent hours on writerly tirades about how Stephanie Meyer is kind of an awful writer, and hours more on feminist tirades with Cabbage and Brax about how the series is, in many ways, actually horrifyingly sexist and messed up. If I were a mom I'd have to have a very serious conversation with my daughter before I let her read these books, which enthusiastically reinforce unhealthy and actually insane ideas about love and romance. Like, for example, the boy you like when you're 17 is your soul mate for whom you would die, and he is your whole world and it's all so romantic, and you're soul mates just like Romeo and Juliet! (teenage suicide=true love.) Or Cathy and Heathcliff! (more obsessive "love," soul mate/ownership crap. Note to Meyer and other women who buy this crazy line--Bronte was not trying to paint a portrait of true love with Wuthering Heights. Oh my God, no. You people are messed up if you're looking for a Heathcliff-Cathy dynamic in your love life, Holy Monkeys you are SO MESSED UP, get therapy, please.) It all gets even better when he miraculously rescues you from a stranger gang rape in an alley! And when he breaks up with you your life ends and you jump off cliffs and stuff, for fun, but oh good, he came back so everything's fine again, whoopee, let's all be vampires! Because, at 17, you are totally positive that you will love this person not only for the rest of your life, but for the rest of eternity.

However. Meyer is surely doing something right, because despite all that (and more) I am still, totally, a fan. I am genuinely completely confused about why I loved these books so much. I kind of turned into a dumbass teenager while I was reading them, all giggly with the knowledge that Edward could show up at any second. Even though I knew that Jacob was totally a better choice, I was still in love with Edward, imaginary Edward, because if a real Edward showed up in my life I'd be all "co-dependent! red-flags!! RUN AWAY!!!"

Anyway. So that felted womb is pretty crazy, huh?


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cascade Rustic...

...is completely gorgeous. I'm actually softening my hardline stance on linen, purely because of Cascade Rustic. I'm having trouble capturing the beauty in a photo, you'll just have to trust me.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

beer, california, cougars, hope, change,

Here is your RDA for cute! Now you're set for the day.

Last night I got off work at midnight and headed to the bar to drink some beer and watch a band play. KT and I headed to my place at last call (passing through WHITE CASTLE on the way for a sack o' sides), where, champions we, we made it happen til 5:30 AM.

This did not seem so brilliant when my alarm went off. I got up at 10:15 AM and took a half assed shower without getting my hair wet because that would mean having to do this whole style/blowdry routine. I instead opted for a sloppy flat iron to give the illusion of grooming. I got dressed in an outfit comprised by maybe 80% of things I'd worn to the bar the night before, had half a cup of coffee, and left the house. Grubby, hungover, no sleep Bruce. I had to stop by the Science Pirate's place on the way to the shop because he had my shop key (because he is now not only my friend but my employee and I could fire him or dock his pay (haha, pay) if I wanted). So I walk into his house and he comes downstairs and he looks at me and says, "Hi. You look nice."

Now that will make a girl feel good. It's awfully pleasant to be told you look nice by someone you see every day, on a day when you didn't really sleep and you didn't really groom and you are pretty much feeling like a mangy old hooker. Feeling like Pabst is coming out of your pores.

Anyway. So that was a nice start to my day. I look nice! Excellent, so that's done.

I went to TNNA a couple weeks ago, were I met some nice people and talked to them about my book, and was also called a Cougar by a passing young man. Here's me and Karida and Stefanie moments before the incident:

Yes, seconds later a man walked by us and yelled, at us, "RAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! Cougars!" Lookit them cougars. Look, don't ask me, I don't know.

San Diego was straight up awesome. When Matt dropped me off at the airport, it was -10 in Columbus. San Diego? 76 degrees. Karida and I checked into the hotel and headed straight for sushi and the bay. Here we are, at this restaurant with wonderful sushi and terrible service. We were absolutely giddy at the warmth. We just kept saying things like "We are outside. We are outside. I can't believe we're outside. I wish I wasn't wearing socks."

These are pretty much the only pictures I have from San Diego that don't involve Karida sitting behind a 28 oz. margarita. I took, like, no pictures at TNNA because my camera was dying and is now dead. Where is my charger? Where? Where? Why?

I arrived back in the deep-freeze of Ohio at 10:30 PM on Sunday January 18. The next morning Matty and Topher and I hopped in the car and headed to DC, where , I don't know If you've heard about this, but they were having this swearing in ceremony thing for the new president. It's actually kind of a big deal. He's the first black president, they say.

We were lucky. We hit no traffic to speak of, and we were able to stay with our friend. (If you are a friend of ours in DC and we didn't call you while we were there, please don't be mad. We were in town for less than 48 hours and we just didn't have time to visit with people. We're doing a real visit in May, we'll hang then.) We pretty much showed up, went to the inaug, and left. My camera, as I say, was dead, but Topher took lots of pictures, which you can look at here. We were about as far from Obama as you could get and still be on the Mall, but man. Just being there, in that city, in that crowd, at that moment...I'm just really glad I was there.

It was a pretty exhausting 5 days, from San Diego to Ohio to DC and back to Ohio again. Totally, totally worth it, though.

So things are going pretty good here, except for the whole deep freeze thing. I'm pretty ready for spring now. February starts tomorrow. Be strong, folks.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Remember how hot it was in July?

This was the scene on my street last night. Look at my sad little face!

Holy crap!
It's, like, -400 degrees outside. Yesterday was a little mini blizzard. When I woke up I was pleasantly surprised by the buckets of snow falling from the sky. Pretty! Fun! But then it kept it up for 12 hours. Cancellations! Accidents! No karaoke tonight, kids. Let's all hole up and play games.

Other cozy winter activities:

Kitten Naps!

Bakin' savory pies!

Irish hiking scarf!
Baby Alpaca Chunky! It's for dad.


I thought I'd throw together a little raglan cardigan using Cascade Jewel. Jewel is a Manos knock off, and it is really nice. The colors are chewy and full, it is easy to work with, and it knits up beautifully. It also felts real nice, if that's your thing. For my cardi, I didn't really swatch or make a plan or anything. I just sort of assumed I'd get about 4 sts to the inch. I'm only about 5 rows in, so we'll see where we end up. That's what I call "Designing."


KT bought this wine because she is allergic to sulfites. She says that most people are allergic to sulfites and that's why they get bad hangovers from red wine. She says that I am probably not allergic to sulfites because red wine is like mother's milk to me, and I have never gotten those monster red-wine-hangovers I've always heard about. See how KT going to culinary school improved all our lives? Now we know about certain kinds of hangovers.

Clean out the pantry!

Snowstorms are the best time to clean out your pantry. Look how happy he is, happy about his clean, clean pantry fulla food! He's a little OCD, though, so don't be disappointed if you clean your pantry out and do not experience this kind of radiant joy. He also gets that look on his face when you show him an Extreme Weiner.

Emerald Isla Yarns!

We're pretty excited cause Esmeralda is dyeing up a batch of this kind of beautiful thing for the shop. It's gorgeous, and I love that she is a super cool lady who lives right here in Clintonville.

That's all for now. Stay warm, my pretties, and stay tuned for stories from San Diego! I'll be at TNNA with Karida, hanging out in North Light's booth, doing promotion stuff for Pints and Purls.
You know, that book we wrote.