Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fun Times and Rubber Duckies at the Mermaid

The Mermaid is a banquet hall/bar/restaurant/bowling alley/entertainment venue located in the 'burbs. I've never been there, but I think my brother and SIL met there. On New Year's Eve, many years ago? Am I completely off base here?

D and I went there Saturday night to celebrate a friend's birthday, and it was SO MUCH FUN! Yes, the capitalization is needed there.

When I was a kid, we did not have video games. No, not because I am so old that they didn't exist. Because our parents would not buy us an Atari or Nintendo or whatever else they could have bought. I played Lemonade Stand on an Apple IIC and I liked it!

My sister and I also never spent any time in arcades playing video games. Why? Because our parents wouldn't give us quarters.

So, Saturday night at the Maid was really my first experience at an "arcade", although I think they call it a game room. I was a little leery at first, and just wanted to head over to the bowling alley in the other side of the bar. Everyone else was getting $10 game cards though, so I went along.

I even added $10 more to my card, I was having so much fun shooting zombies, giant spiders, jumping rope electronically, and racing! My favorite was a game where you and a partner sit in a "jeep" and go on a journey through a jungle. Then, your guides are killed by giant spiders and you and your partner on on your own to protect yourselves! You fight off spiders, big worms, and a giant preying mantis. I actually worked up a sweat in that game!

At the end of each round, the game gives you and your partner a compatibility quotient. Turns out D and I are about 33% compatible. Oh well.

Those of you reading this may also realize that most arcades have games like Skee-Ball where you get tickets for the number of points you get. I've never played any of those games either. My parents* never took us to Chuck-e-Cheese.

With my tickets, I got some race car crayons for Nathan.

And these rubber duckies. Aren't they cute?

All in all, it was a fun evening and I got to act like I was in high school again, although doing things I never did in high school, and with beer and margaritas involved.

*I love my parents and think they did a great job raising me. Despite the lack of video games and such, I do not feel I was deprived at all.**

**Well, maybe a little bit.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Minutiae of Life

Definition: small or trifling matters

I came home last night and it smelled bad in the hallway, right outside my door. To be frank, it smelled like poo. Sorry if you happened to be eating lunch while you read that. My first thought was that Zoey had pooped all over the apartment.

Well, she didn't, but she did throw up in four separate spots, three of them on the rug. I have all hardwood floors in my apartment, but she always chooses to throw up on the rug, which only covers about 4'x5' of the floor. Well, except for the time she threw up in the little cubby of my coffee table.

Cleaning that up used up the last of my paper towels, which annoyed me. Sunday I was at Target with my Target-Shopping-Companion, and he bought a pack of 8 paper towels. At the time I thought, "Gee...I should give him a couple bucks and relieve him of some of his bounty of paper towels." Get it?! A BOUNTY of paper towels....hahaha...haha...ha...ha...heh...okay. It isn't very funny.

Anyway, I didn't ask. I did not realize how dangerously low I was on paper towels, and I wasn't expecting the cat to throw up that much.

So, I had to trek up to Snyder's in the cold. I chose my paper towels based solely on the patterns: 1 roll with cupcakes, 1 roll with cats and dogs. Then, to make myself feel better, I treated myself to a ginger cookie and orange cream soda from Cecil's.

And I finished these!

Pattern: Friday Harbor Socks from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silkie Socks that Rock Colorway: Lagoon

The picture does not do them justice. The yarn is some of the most beautiful I've ever seen and they are so soft and squishy. The pattern is very easy and knits up quick. I probably won't ever use it again, but I think it would be nice in a solid color, or maybe something that doesn't stripe.

So, back to Zoey. This is my last week with her. This weekend she goes to be with her family (and no, that is not a euphemism for anything!). Matt and Gretchen are going to come and take her to their new home, and I am more than a little sad about it. But not sad enough to keep her permanently. I think she will enjoy her new home. There will be lots of room to explore. Of course, I am sure she will miss sitting amongst my bras.


Monday, April 28, 2008

The St. Paul CraftstravaBRRRRanza

I call it that because it was SO COLD. Thank goodness I had fortified myself with this yummy breakfast beforehand!

Mom, Sister, and I headed over to the Fine Arts Building at the Mn State Fairgrounds Saturday afternoon. The building has no heat, and since it was cold outside, it was cold inside. The vendors were all wrapped in blankets, hats, mittens, scarves, puffy down coats. By the time we left, my feet were numb.

Other than that, it was a great craft show!

Sis and I bought matching bags from the Crabby Sister Club.


I will be adorning mine with my new "Dork" button. I also got an "I love St. Paul" button. Minneapolis is okay too. Some of the suburbs aren't so bad either.

I bought some funny cards for people having babies. Who do I know having a baby? Well, at the moment just my SIL, but I am in my mid-thirties (shudder as I write that), so I'm sure it's only a matter of time before someone else I know is knocked up. These are from zeichen press. I love that they are irreverent and a little snarky, without being rude.




















And the best of all, these lovely earrings. Aren't they beautiful? They are from Susan Jones Designs. Check out her Flowbots! Cute!


Among other fun things I saw, but did not buy: fun jewelry and whatnot made from recycled junk mail! Speaking of recycling, check out the Recycling Artist. She had some great bags and mats. Saving the planet while being crafty! Yay!

Of course, since last year's Craftstravaganza, I've been coveting something from Fiery Lion Designs...particularly this...she had it at the show in pink. Sigh. Unfortunately, I made a rash decision to buy two bottles of wine Friday night, and I just couldn't justify spending the last of my money on one necklace. Maybe next year.
I still have more exciting weekend adventures to talk about! Check back tomorrow for "Fun Times and Rubber Duckies at The Mermaid"!

Too Much To Talk About

I had an eventful weekend, despite the cold, snow, and rain. Yes, you read that right. It snowed Friday night. When I woke up there was a light dusting on the ground.

Over the next few days, I'll be posting about all of my adventures. These will include: The St. Paul CraftstravaBRRRRRza; Fun Times and Rubber Duckies at the Mermaid; Crafty Adventures with Kool-Aid; and of course the near completion of the Friday Harbor Sock.

I'll start with my Kool-Aid Adventure. A few weeks ago I posted about wanting to dye some yarn I had with Kool-Aid. It's a white mystery yarn. I bought it at a Farmer's Market in New York City several years ago, and it's sat in my stash ever since. It's very soft and squishy and I bought two skeins of it.

I was quite disappointed a few weeks ago when I went to Lunds and they do not sell the little packets of Kool-Aid. Only the stuff with the sugar already in it! My plan was on hold until Cathy came to the rescue and brought me some packets of lemonade flavored Kool-Aid from her vast supply (she has children, and I imagine Kool-Aid is kept in supply when one has children, similar to how I keep vodka in stock!).

So, I began. Here are all my supplies: 3 packets of Kool-Aid, a skein of yarn, and my instructions from Knitty.

I decided to use the microwave method because I am impatient. Here is my yarn about half-way through. I think it would go well with a marinara or Bolognese sauce.


I didn't think it looked very yellow, but the water was clear after 4 passes through the microwave.


And when I looked at it later, it definitely was yellow.

Unfortunately, I still haven't decided what I want to do with it! Maybe some mittens? And a hat?

What did I think of my first dying adventure? It was fun and very easy. I'd really like to try again, maybe with something a little more vibrant, and most likely with sock yarn. I'd like to try to make some self-striping yarn. I'll keep ya posted!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Brrrr....

It is cold and wet in the Twin Cities this morning. At least we had a couple nice days this week, and Wednesday night I was able to walk up to Brewberry's for some Superman ice cream. Hopefully, that memory can sustain me through the miserable weekend we are supposed to have.

Yesterday was our Knitter's Lunch for the crafty folk I work with. I thought I'd share some pictures of what some of my co-workers are working on (other than work).

Sandy made this lovely scarf and added some beads during a recent beading retreat.


Holly is just about done with this vest. The question of the day was plain brown zipper, with brown plastic zip, or brown zipper with brass zip. I'll let you know the results. She's also working on a felted bag.


Grace came down as well with a beautiful wrap she is working on, using some of the most luxurious yarn ever! She got it at the Three Kittens. OH...it was beautiful and so soft and squishy. I didn't get a picture, but I'll try for next time, and to get the name of the yarn.
I worked diligently on my second Friday Harbor Sock. I've got another pattern repeat before I begin the heel. Here's hoping I can at least get the heel done this weekend.

I say here's hoping because it's a big weekend! The St. Paul Craftstravaganza is this weekend! There will be many of the same vendors there as at the No-Coast Craft-o-Rama. You can review the fun things I bought there by heading back in time to this post.

Now that I am trying really hard to save money (Costa Rica, anyone?), I'm not sure how much I'll actually buy. But it will be fun to see all the goodies. I'll be sure to post about my favorite vendors and anything I buy!
Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Religious Tract For Knitters

Coming to you from the Lumpy Sweater. Friends and Family, I will be printing this and presenting it to all of you at our next get-together. There can never be too many converts to the religion of knitting. Enjoy!

The Sacraments of Knitting: A Simple Tract

As a side note, I really love her writing. I wish I had that much wit on a regular basis!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bagels are Just an Excuse to Eat Cream Cheese

My Knitpicks Harmony Wood size zero knitting needles arrived yesterday! I was pleasantly surprised since I just ordered them last Thursday and really didn't expect them for a few more days.

They seem so small and fragile! The wood is lovely though, and the cables are nice and flexible. I think I will like them very much. That's right...I resisted the urge to immediately cast on the third time for the Synesthesia socks. I wanted to make up for lost time on the Friday Harbor Socks (sorry, no progress pics today) AND I had grocery shopping to do.

I had a coupon for Lunds to get $15 off a total purchase of $50 or more. As I shopped, I added up the cost of all my items. I have to say, it does not take long to spend $50 at Lunds. I hadn't even made it around the perimeter of the store before I'd spent almost $50.

Then again, I did buy some things I don't normally buy, like bean sprouts and veggie burgers. Also, bagels and cream cheese. Because I love cream cheese. And I need something to put it on.

Monday, April 21, 2008

It's Springtime!

Nothing says "Spring" like the grilling of meat!


(Note the presence of veggies for you vegetarians as well)

Imagine my surprise when I stepped outside yesterday and it was WARM! Really, really warm. It was Sunday, my cold was finally starting to subside, and it was finally warm! Yay! It made me a little sad that up until that point I'd spent the day playing the Star Wars: Lego game on Xbox.

Did I get any knitting done over the weekend? Sadly, no. I spent a lot of Saturday sleeping, and then I was sucked in to the video game world on Sunday. Then some friends invited us over to grill and drink beer. I said "Thank You" by walking off with someone else's sunglasses. Woops.

Sunday night I sat down with my old friends, the Desperate Housewives, and the Friday Harbor Sock. I did about 4 rows, all the while lamenting that I was doing something wrong, because I kept coming up with the wrong number of stitches. And then I realized I was even more wrong than I had thought and had to undo it all. Sigh.

It's still a beautiful afternoon here. Someone said the sky is gray off to the west. Hopefully any bad weather can hold off until I am back from my grocery shopping and sunglasses returning trips. I'll let ya know tomorrow!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lucky Me!

I am lucky for many reasons. Just one of them is what was waiting for me when I got home from work on Friday!

This is a skein of Cinnamon's Dye Pot yarn (I left the label at home, so cannot give more details). The colors are beautiful, and it is so soft. Also included in the package was a pattern for some socks.

Who was so nice to send me wool in the mail? Knitea, who I know from Ravelry! A month or so ago she sent me a message asking if the Rowanspun Chunky I had was the "eggnog" color. Seems she was working on a Central Park Hoodie using this yarn, was a bit short, and it's been discontinued.

Sure enough, the two skeins I had were the color she needed. I told her there was no need to pay for them. If she needed them, I'd just give them to her and in the mail they want. I told her I believe in Knitting Karma, and eventually it would come back to me.

And it did! I can't wait to get started on some socks with this yarn. Just need to finish the other two pair I'm working on first.

:-)

Well, That's Wierd.

There's a guy that lives in my building that seems a little...strange. I see him around the neighborhood a lot. He just wanders around. I think he might work at the grocery store, but I've never actually seen him there. He's quiet, and I suppose harmless, but certainly not someone I want to invite over for coffee.

Saturday I came in from the grocery store and was checking my mail. He came up the stairs and said, "Hello Miss", which really surprised me. Then he asked me to loan him $5 until the next time he gets paid.

Ugh. I hate when people ask me for money, mostly because I am too nice to say no.

So, I gave him $5 and told him to just slide it under my door when he could. And then I was mad at myself, and a little embarrassed that I'm such a pushover, and I didn't tell anyone about it for three days.

Well, here's where the story gets weird. Tuesday I was walking home from the drugstore with a small pharmacy worth of cold medicines in my bag. I was heading east, and heading west towards me was Quiet Guy. We both turned on to our street, and he was maybe a half-block ahead of me.

This made me very uncomfortable. I didn't want to catch up to him, because I felt I'd have to acknowledge in some way that he owed me money. So, I ducked in to the coffee shop for some chamomile tea. When I came out, he hadn't gotten too far ahead of me. He was stopped at the light. By the time it changed, I was again less than a half-block behind him.

Abruptly, he turned left at the bank. This is about 2 blocks before our building. When I got up to the corner and looked, he had DISAPPEARED. My first thought was, "Wow...he's like some ghost man or something".

I kept walking, turned back at one point, and HE WAS HIDING BEHIND THE BANK! YES! The man was HIDING FROM ME! ME! Can you imagine?

For him to have gotten behind the bank in the time it took me to get to the corner, he would have had to turn the corner and RUN back there...or at least walk really, really fast. I find it rather comical actually. He was actually hiding from me.

He can keep the $5.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm Back!

I know. I've been sort of MIA for the last few days. Thing is, I've been fighting this cold for about two weeks now. For the first week, it was just a sore throat. Then that went away and I had a couple good days. Then it returned in full force over the weekend.

I think the whole thing would have been over sooner had I not kept doing things - going to basketball games, dinner and Wii with friends, attending a baptism, visiting my sister, shopping. Finally, Monday afternoon I said, "That's it. I need to go home and rest." So, Monday and Tuesday I stayed home, and lo and behold....look what I did.

Not only that, but I finished it!

Then I cast on for the second sock and have about half of the cuff done.

I ALSO started over on the Synesthesia Socks. I'm using my size 1 bamboo needles. Addi size 1s are actually a little bigger than other size 1 needles, so I thought I would give these a try.

We'll see if it is still too big. After using the Sox Stix on the Friday Harbor socks, I find the longer bamboo needles to be a big pain. Also, the tips are rather blunt, which has slowed me down. I got the toe and one pattern repeat done. I knit most of this while standing up since that helped with the congestion a bit. I also slept most of the last two nights in a somewhat seated position. Does anyone else find that staying upright helps with congestion? Or am I just weird?

Most of the rest of the day, I slept...much like Zoey. I think it's cute how her tail is curled up over her head.

Friday, April 11, 2008

This Makes Me Happy

This is my favorite picture of the little guy. He's older now, but just as cute. I actually started giggling when I looked at this hanging in my cube the other day. It always makes me smile.

A Cold...Snow...Sleet...Rain

Wow. Minnesota is just not the place to be right now. It's rainy, snowy, windy and cold. On top of it, my throat is sore, dry and scratchy.

One highlight of these miserable few days was the Yarn Harlot! Mom and I braved the weather and headed out to see her speak. She was wonderfully witty...just like her blog and books. We didn't wait in line to meet her. The weather was treacherous by that point and Mom had to drive back to the other side of the city, plus my throat was really bothering me. When I am feeling better, perhaps I'll write more about the experience. While there, I ran in to an high-school classmate! Small world! What makes it even smaller is that her mother-in-law was my sister's real estate agent. Crazy.

Sadly, none of my pictures turned out worth posting. I'm sure she'll have some photos on her blog in the next day.

Anyhoo...I plan to knit a lot this weekend and stay indoors. This was a busy week: Class Tuesday, Timberwolves game on Wednesday, and the Yarn Harlot yesterday. I'm looking forward to staying in tonight. My weekend is pretty activity-filled, so tonight will be time to fend off this cold!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tonight's the Night!

The Yarn Harlot is coming to St. Paul! Governor Tim Pawlenty may have vetoed every single St. Paul project from the state budget, but God bless her...the Yarn Harlot is coming to St. Paul!


I will be there with my mom and the Friday Harbor sock, although I really don't think I'm the kind of knitter that will be able to focus on the Yarn Harlot at the same time I am knitting.

I'll post all about the event tomorrow, and maybe have some pictures to show of the Yarn Harlot and my sock!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Scarf...A Sock...Cute AND Dangerous Animals

I finished up the Kid Slique scarf last night. I held it up and it was taller than me, so I figured that was as good a length as any. I took some photos in the bathroom mirror. I'm particularly enamored with how it looks with my orange t-shirt. Quite a striking contrast, no?

So, I've got about a half-skein left of this stuff. What to do with it? I'm toying with the idea of making some mittens and using a bit of the Kid Slique around the cuff, or maybe a hat with some Kid Slique on the brim. Who knows? I could also knit a scarf for my teddy-bear. This is the most likely option since I am lazy.

Having bundles of time left in my evening after I completed this, I decided to give the Friday Harbor socks another go. I got half-way through the cuff.

Not much to see so far. Those are my rosewood Sox Stix I am using...what is left of them anyway. I've still got 4, which is plenty for socks. How do I like them for socks (I've only used them so far for knitting back-and-forth on some tiny projects)? They are fabulous! I really like them. And I'm not just saying that because the person who gave them to me reads this blog.

I love the shorter length. It's nice not to have so much extra needle to contend with. They also seem to have the perfect ratio of slipperiness to stickiness. The yarn glides along nicely, but does not fall off the needle. Perfect! I think these will knit up in no time.

So...while surfing the Internet today in an attempt to find things in Ireland that can kill you (don't ask) I came across this!

The 6 Cutest Animals Than Can Still Destroy You (there is some profanity here...you have been warned!)

Quite funny, but still doesn't get me any closer to my search for deadly terrors in Ireland.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Little Children...Run Amok!

My grandma was in town this weekend, so there was small gathering at my mom’s house. Most of the evening was complete CHAOS! I loved it.

The three young boys, Micah, Marek, and Nathan found a fun game to play. It involved removing every single dishcloth, dish towel, and hot pad from the drawer and throwing them down the laundry chute. Of course, they laughed and ran about like...like toddlers! There are few sounds sweeter, in my opinion, than that of babies and toddlers laughing.


There was also some tower building that happened.

Nathan wanted to wear some pretty purple socks my mom had knit.

I did very little knitting this weekend, which is sad because I had two days off and should have some FOs to show for all that time. It just didn't happen. But, I had a cold, was playing with little kids, watching basketball (pro and college)...the list of excuses goes on and on.

The weather was lovely this weekend, so Zoey took advantage of the sun and an open window to stretch out on the windowsill. Doesn't she look happy? Soon she'll be back to live with her family, Gretchen, Matt, and Nathan. They move in to their new house this weekend and once they are settled, Zoey will leave me. I'm a little sad about that.

Won't miss the hairballs, though.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Scarf Progress

The Kid Slique Scarf is coming along nicely. Once I was able to wrap what I have so far around my neck, I realized it is quite pretty.

Here's a close-up of the stitch pattern. I still find the mohair a bear to work with (yes, I rhymed that on purpose). I want it to be longer, so I'll be on to the second skein of yarn.

My friend Heather stopped by my cube today, and I took a picture of her in the hat! Looks good, no?
Speaking of my cube, here is my messy desk. You can see a bit of the Wall-o-Nathan, the file cabinet covered in magnets, and a picture of Sebastian Telfair from the MN Timberwolves. Ever since he played all 48 minutes of that game against the Pacers, he's been my favorite Timberwolf. Him and Craig Smith...oh, and Corey Brewer too I guess...well, Marko Jaric is pretty good too. Oh my gosh! Can't forget Big Al Jefferson. Okay, they are all my favorite.


I've been reading the Lumpy Sweater as of late. She's a teen knitter, and I think her blog is a lot of fun and often has very good commentary about the knitterly world in general. I also like random observations, such as in today's post where she notes that many teen knitters have pink blogs. Who knew? Apparently the Lumpy Sweater did!

Anyhoo...a few days ago, she used the word "Kerfuffle", which has to be one of the greatest words out there. It just might replace "brewery" as my favorite word. It means a commotion. As used in a sentence, I might say, "A great kerfuffle arose in the car when my peckishness was not appeased with a stop at McDonald's."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Go Twins!

The Twins played an exciting game against the Angels last night. We've got a young team, but I think they show a lot of potential. I think our new CF, Carlos "Gogomez" Gomez is going to be very exciting to watch.

We didn't go to the game, but we created our own Metrodome at D's place. Here is our bratwurst condiment selection.

During the 4th inning, I made nachos just like they do at the dome: radioactive-orange cheese sauce and jalapenos. Yum!

I took some pictures of the TV during the game. Don't ask why. When you have a digital camera, sometimes you take pictures of crazy things.

Of course, I had to get a shot of my new, favorite Twin, Gogomez.

I think this is a shot of him in action. He had two hits, two stolen bases, and scored two runs. And, he had an exciting catch of a fly ball from Torii Hunter, who used to play CF for the Twins. Overall, a great MN start for him!

And our hometown boy, Joe Mauer.


We'll see how the rest of the series goes. I feel a cold coming on, but if I am feeling up for it I'm heading to the noon game on Thursday. I'll be in the cheap seats with a score-card, Dome Dog, and a beer.