29 May 2008

A Meme for Youyou


  • Answer at least three of the questions. Yes, I know a few look time-consuming and there are several of them. That's why I only ask for three. See? I'm nice!
  • Post them and the rules on your blog, and please link back to me here. Pretty please?
  • Comment here telling me and the rest of our little party where you're at and link to yourself. That's all!
  • Oh yeah, don't forget to tag others!
What's the last book you read that you thought was really super, inspiring, you'd recommend it to most anyone?
I'm not sure if this is a cheat or not, since I have had it out from the library twice now and haven't finished it yet, but my answer is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. If it has to be one I have finished all the way, I would pick Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. And yes, I only read books with titles comprised of three words, separated by commas (not really, but it kind of looks that way, doesn't it?)

What food totally grosses you out, you'd never be able to touch it? Ew. Gag. *hurl*
Pretty much anything that comes in the handy little bag 'o parts that comes inside the turkey cavity (or any of said parts from any other critter). Oh, and frogs' legs. I was brave and tried them and they do mostly taste like chicken, but, dude: Kermit!

Did you ever watch a scary movie that frightened you so much you were afraid of the dark afterward? I mean like you're lying in bed trying to sleep, but you have to pee, but you're scared to get up. It doesn't have to be recently; could be when you were a kid. So what movie was it?
Pretty much anything scary will do that to me, so I mostly avoid scary movies. I have always had an over-active imagination and can be kept up at night after reading a scary book, though I am getting better.

Is there a song that makes you dance every time you hear it? Would you tap you feet and sing along to it in public?
Pretty much anything in the '80s alternative/punk/new wave genre. Radar Love (Golden Earring), I Want Candy (Bow Wow Wow), Tainted Love (Soft Cell), Pop Muzik (M), Goody Two Shoes (Adam Ant), I Know What Boys Like (The Waitresses), I Want To Be Sedated (The Ramones), Sheena is a Punk Rocker (The Ramones), Add It Up (Violent Femmes), Blister In the Sun (Violent Femmes). And also I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor) and It's Raining Men (The Weather Girls).

Yeah, pretty much I'm an easy target for dancing, tapping my feet, and singing in public.

Tattoos: yes or no? Do you have any? Tell us! Do you think they're gross? TELL US!
Definitely pro-tattoo, but don't have one. I have thought about it, but haven't found the right thing. (Yeah, mom, I know, but you threatening to disown me if I get a tattoo just doesn't carry the same weight as it used to.)

When's the last time you laughed so hard your ribs ached and/or you nearly peed yourself? What made you do it?
Probably Last Saturday Knitting. Crazy ladies...all of 'em!

Draw or doodle a picture of your pet(s) and post it if possible. Nothing fancy, don't be shy!
Since I don't draw much, I commissioned art from the local talent. First, Mollie Dog (left) and Kitty Chai (right) as seen by Bug:

Next, the other wild life, captured by Bean (from left to right: Jack*, Bean, Bug, Beeb):

*Jack is Bean's brother. I'm thinking that I don't have to worry about using his real name on the blog. He's invisible, so it isn't like a perv could approach him, right?

Go through a stack or box of your old music. Stuff that you may not have heard in years. Pick one and tell us about it. Is it as good (or as bad) as you remember?
I have always had eclectic enough taste that there always something to be embarrassed about, as well as some really good stuff. Since I don't have a physical stack that I can get to, I'll pick a couple that jump to mind. In the category of "Oh, for the love of wool, did I really listen to that": Michael Jackson (Thriller era), everything Air Supply (dude, they totally spoke to me in my teenage years, *gag*, *barf*, pardon me while I Clorox my ears and brain).

Do you still sleep with a stuffed animal? We won't laugh!
Nope, I quit sleeping with blue bunny and my afghan when we got Mollie in 2001. (Not voluntarily. Oh! The carnage!) Now I sleep with anywhere between one and five warm fuzzies snuggled in. Beeb always, Bean, Bug, Mollie, and/or Chai if they wander in during the night. Kitty Daddy is in bed too, but he doesn't snuggle, except with Mollie.

Let's see, whom to tag? Whom to tag? How about Marianne, Deb, and anyone else who wants to play!

27 May 2008

You gotta read this book!

I found this book at the library last week, and, while I usually reserve our reading adventures for the other blog, I HAD to share this one with my fibery friends! The book is The Surprise by Sylvia Van Ommen. It is beautifully illustrated and has sheep, fleece, spinning, knitting, and other good stuff! It doesn't have any actual text, so Bean (who has been a little jealous of Bug's fledgling reading skills) has been "reading" (describing the pictures of) this one to me every night.

In my last post, I completely forgot our other big Memorial Day event! On Friday night, we made our second annual trip to the World's Largest Brat Fest. We did our part in helping to set a new record of 191,712 brats consumed. Okay, technically brats, hot dogs, and Boca brats (you veggie-sauruses can breathe easy. It wasn't all animal parts). Bug and Kitty Daddy also took a ride on the huge ferris wheel. Dismally overpriced, but Bug thought it was like flying and thought it was very cool to be able to see practically the whole state of Wisconsin (well, technically just a chunk of the Madison area, but do you want to be the one to burst his bubble?).

Oh, and my grand trauma from the holiday weekend. I was on my way to a hang-out-in-the-backyard-with-[ADULT!!!!]-friends-and-cook-out and noticed that there weren't any cars parked in the lot by our neighborhood Caribou Coffee. While most businesses are closed for Memorial Day, it seemed a bit odd that a coffee shop or restaurant would be closed. So I swung through the parking lot out of curiosity and there was a sign proclaiming that it was "Permanently Closed." My 'Bou! Gone forever! I was just there knitting and sipping coffee a week ago on Mother's Day. Very sad day!

26 May 2008


I have been spinning like crazy! I have been mostly working on the Corriedale fiber on my homemade spindle, but the chocolate alpaca has been calling my name in a manner most unbecoming a ball of fluff! Since my Ashford spindle had been sitting idle, I pulled it out and answered the alpaca's siren call. The picture barely does it justice, but it is just the color of cocoa or a really creamy chocolate bar. I have to resist the urge to lick it when I'm spinning.

After seeing someone using a top whorl spindle, I decided to give it a whirl (tee-hee, whirl...get it??? *snerk*) and something just clicked with it. I finally figured out how to spin it off my leg so it goes really fast and I don't have to keep stopping to get it spinning again. I still occasionally have trouble coordinating spin speed with drafting speed, which results in the drop spindle being very aptly named, but I am spinning about twice as fast as I had been and working through the fiber a lot faster. It also transferred to the bottom whorl homemade spindle, so that is moving along quite nicely, too! I still haven't felt brave enough to go back to the dreaded viscose, but eventually...

We have had a relatively quiet Memorial Day weekend, but on Saturday, we went to Blue Mounds State Park. We had a nice hike on one of the trails and then spent some time hanging out. The kids (Bug, Bean, and Kitty Daddy) tried to fly their kites, with not a whole lot of success, but they had fun trying. The day was beautiful, the scenery was breathtaking:

the wildflowers were amazing (by all means, embiggen them all!):

and the hikers were intrepid (though some had trouble keeping her pants up):

The trail we hiked was Indian Marker Trail. This is the marker:

It is a white oak that, as a young sapling, was bent into place with leather straps to point toward a significant site. The one points to the place on the horizon where the sun rises on the first day of summer. When it died in 2003, it was about 150-170 years old.

23 May 2008

Loving Spring

We have been having marvelous spring weather this week. Sunny and pleasant (but not hot!), blue skies, trees flowering, eyes watering, sneezing, and lots of outdoor time!

Fortunately, our springtime realm is being well protected by the bravest of knights. He has been battling bad knights, fiery dragons, and any other threats atop his bold steed Tinso.

Most of our adventures have been in the backyard this week as I have been feeling particularly productive. We have a bench with storage under the seat that was retrieved from Kitty Daddy's mom's basement. The wood had broken where the seat hinge attaches to the bench. So far I have cut a new piece of wood to size, cut out the existing wood so the new piece fits, and gotten it fastened in. Now I need to find some wood putty to fill in a few gaps, and then it will be ready to be repainted.

I also primed and painted an unfinished secretary/desk. The kids would have preferred the zoo, but I didn't want to drag the whole painting mess out over and over, so I kept painting.

We spent yesterday afternoon with "Library Karen" at her house. We had a good romp at the park across the street, then hung out in her back yard playing and Bug and Bean helped her plant three tomato plants. Beeb and I blissed out smelling the lilacs (at least until a neighbor started baking something Extremely Chocolate, then I mostly resisted going into hunter/gatherer mode) and sniffing herb leaves. Love the green!

I have also managed to sneak in some knitting and spinning. Laminaria (take 2) continues. I have finished the star chart repeats and am working on the transition chart heading toward the blossoms. I am still loving my Corriedale spinning and I am still avoiding the viscose.

Anyhoo, it's Friday and the library beckons...

21 May 2008

We are SOOOOO in trouble

He doesn't look at all pleased with himself, does he?

20 May 2008


Woof. If I have to do one more stinkin' load of bedding, I may start screaming and never stop. I realize that with one in diapers and one still not reliable overnight, I can expect accidents. However, we have rubberized sheeting over the fitted sheet that catches 90% of the oops and it and whatever blankets got wet go in a single load. On Saturday night, a wee Beeb managed to get his leaky butt off of the rubberized sheeting, so Sunday started with the (king-sized) waterproof mattress pad, the fitted sheet, several pillowcases and various and assorted blankets in the wash (two loads). Everything was dry and the bed was reassembled as we were putting our PJs on. However, someone (ahem) was overtired and forgot to put the rubberized sheeting over the fitted sheet. So Monday, morning repeat two loads of bedding. As we were getting ready for bed last night, I again reassembled the bed, being careful to make sure the rubberized sheeting was in place. Overnight, neither of the damp ones had any leaks, so things were looking up. At least until Bug came into the room and barfed all.over.the.foot.of.the.bed. Whee. Three more loads of bedding.

Fortunately, Bug seems to be fine. However, while wondering what is going to happen tonight, I have developed a nasty twitch over my left eye.

19 May 2008

FO: Little Ducky


Yarn: Odds and Ends from box of yarn received from one of Kitty Daddy's coworkers
Needles: KnitPicks Nickel-plated circulars, size 3
Pattern: Easter Peeps
Mods: I played a little fast and loose on the face, but otherwise none
Verdict: A fun, cute, quick knit.

We had a fun weekend. On Saturday, we went to Fitchburg Days and spent some time looking in the Irish cultural tent and Kitty Daddy had the folks at the genealogy look up info of some of his mom's Irish relatives. We also spent some time in the Kid's tent, where Bug and Bean made rocket ships out of drinking straws, colored a few pictures, and played a few games. We ended at the playground with a bag of kettle corn and a bag of cheese curd (not as good as Farmers' Market curd!).

On Sunday, we drove down to Stoughton for the Syttende Mai celebration. We were a bit late and most of the activities were winding down as we got there. We walked through the arts and crafts stalls, saw a little bit of the parade and had yummy fried cheese curd and cream puffs from the local FFA alumni. They are a regular concession that we have visited before and there is a reason the line goes about halfway down the block. YUM!!!

18 May 2008

FO: Savannah Stole

Although this stole has been finished since March, I am finally getting around to blogging it! We can pretend that I was waiting until it reached it's new home, but the truth is that I am just hopelessly behind on FO posts. This was the Secret of the Stole II knitalong. Not only was the knitalong great fun, but the finished object is gorgeous. I really like DK's lace designs and wish I had known about the first SOTS early enough to participate in the first one!

Yarn: KnitPicks Bare Laceweight
Needles: KnitPicks Nickel-plated circulars, size 3
Pattern: Savannah (Secret of the Stole II)
Mods: I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but I knit it exactly as written.
Verdict: Love, love, love!!! A fun knit and a beautiful end product! Doing it as part of a group knit-along? Even more fun!

When my parents were here visiting, the stole went home with them as a gift for my grandma. At 93, she is known to get chilly even in warm weather, so I'm glad that it can keep her cozy. Plus, this is a lady that knows how to wrap others with the love of handmade. Each of her five grandchildren, six (plus one on the way) great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild have a crocheted ripple baby afghan. Plus plenty of other afghans for her boys, adult grandkids, and various and assorted spouses. My ripple afghan was my "lovey" for many years and the afghan I got for my high school graduation is still one of my most precious possessions. I'll have to take some pics and blog the story of that afghan some day...

15 May 2008


Today marked the third week of our local farmers' market, but the first time we have made it this season. Tonight we had our favorite squeaky cheese from Farmer John and some chocolate milk from Farmer Nick. Dude, that milk was still in the cows and the cheese curd was still milk this morning. We also got our healthy living rebate from our insurance company for joining a CSA today! We start getting CSA boxes in June. We only did a half share since this is our first year, after deciding that it would be better to supplement with Farmers' Market veggies as necessary rather than drowning in vegetable and end up wasting some. I don't think a full share would technically be more vegetables than we can eat, but we'll probably be preparing veggies that we haven't tried before and looking for new ways of preparing other veggies and it may just get overwhelming to face that every week...every other week feels more manageable. Then next year, armed with new veggie prowess, we'll be able to say, "Bring it on, bay-bee!"

Before going to Farmers' Market, we spent an hour or so at a park that we hadn't really spent any time at before. It was in amongst the trees and we were almost the only ones there (we were the only ones at the playground). Bug and Bean ran around and played and picked dandelion bouquets, while I entertained Beeb on a quilt under a tree or spun when Beeb was happy to entertain himself looking around. He's still new to the grass concept. It was cute...he freaked out a little every time he managed to crawl off the quilt. At the park, I also discovered that he sprouted tooth number five (top right), recently.

13 May 2008

A Tragedy in Lace

We had a lovely visit with Grandma and Grandpa and sent them back toward home last Friday. In honor of their visit, Beeb continued the cute army crawl but gained considerable speed, sprouted two new teeth on the top, and started pulling himself up to his feet, but only on low objects where he can support the weight of his upper body while getting the feetsies under. We had lots of other fun as well...visits to the Geology Museum, the Physics Museum, the zoo, a hike at a park, the library, and so on. We even made a mass trip (Grandpa, Grandma, Bug, Bean, Beeb, and I) to Knit Night at the Sow's Ear. After showing off my favorite LYS and introducing some of the crazy knitter-folk, Bug and Bean settled down with hot chocolate, markers, tablets, and Grandpa, while Beeb flirted from Grandma's lap and I got a little knitting done. We didn't stay very late, but I was surprised how long we did make it!

Moving on to the minor lace disaster...my Laminaria was percolating along nicely. I had finished the set-up chart, six repeats of the star chart, the transition chart, and was almost through my first repeat of the blossom chart. I had found a few moments of quiet Beebness before the Harlot event and was knitting along merrily when Beeb decided to rear backwards in the sling and ended up giving a yank on the circular cord. About a dozen or so stitches had fallen off the left needle. Between the Beeb wiggles and the adrenaline rush, I just put everything into my bag for later.

When I had a quiet moment and calmer nerves, I worked on picking up the dropped stitches and managed to get them back on, but wound up one stitch short. After a LONG search, I couldn't figure out what had happened so I did an acceptable job fudging to get the stitch count back to where it needed to be. I finished the rest of the (RS) row. I was especially careful purling back on the next row so I could double check that there were enough stitches and yo's in the right places. I made it past the dropped stitches and started to breathe a sigh of relief, when I ran into another spot with mistakes in it. Since everything had been going fine prior to the distracted knitting at the bookstore, I decided to tink back the purl row and the problem knit row. Fine. Great solution, except that the Malabrigo was really grabby tinking back and I managed to drop more stitches. I found all the dropped stitches, picked them up on stitch markers and tinked back another row. After tinking back three or four rows total, I was almost through a row where everything was right, when I managed to snap the yarn. The fuzzies were making thing very tight in stretches and it was almost impossible to move the stitches on the needle at times. *Le sigh*

I would have had to tink back a whole bunch more stitches to get enough yarn loose to splice the yarn. At this point, I put the shawl into a short time out. After some consideration, I finally decided to cut my losses and just start the thing over, since I could fix a couple of things that were minor irritants on the way. I went up one size on the needles, which should help with both knitting and tinking struggles I was having and I modified the second repeat of the charts so the start section would be symmetrical. I am much happier with the symmetry and the larger needle size, so I'm glad that I started over. Of course, with two repeats of the star chart still left, I have had just about enough of the stinkin' stars!

I also had a lovely Mother's Day over the weekend (well, except the part where Bean barfed all over me on Saturday evening and again in the wee hours of Sunday morning). Pretty low key, but enjoyable. Bug wrapped up the Mother's Day card that my parents had sent me and, well, regifted it. It was cute. If he's still doing it in another few years, not so cute anymore! I took my knitting and went to the coffee shop for a bit in the afternoon. I might have stayed longer, but all the little college kids were studying for finals and the stress level was starting to get to me!

01 May 2008

Getting ready for company

Well, my parents took to the road on Sunday and should be rolling in to Wisconsin sometime today. The kids are just too excited to see Grandma and Grandpa. Bug and Bean each put together a book for Grandma and Grandpa (I can spill it now since it is unlikely they will be checking the internet before arriving!). I cut a bunch of plain white paper in half and the kids have been creating art on the pages for the last couple of weeks and then yesterday, they each picked a piece of cardstock (Blue for Bug, Pink for Bean) that I cut in half for the covers. Three-hole-punch and some yarn to tie things together (white cotton for Bean, pink acrylic for Bug) and they are ready to go.

We have also been getting the house spiffied up for them. This morning I scrubbed the kitchen floor with three little helpers...yes, even Beeb had a (dry) sponge that he was pounding on the floor with. As the Harlot said on Monday (paraphrased): It's not technically child labor sweat shop if they are enjoying it. Of course, we also must ignore the fact of how much extra cleaning it took to reverse all the "help"!

On Tuesday, we went for a "hike" at the local botanical garden. Although it was a bit windy and chilly, it was wonderful seeing all the spring flowers in bloom and burning some kid energy.

Yesterday, we decided to go completely green. We needed groceries and not only did we remember to take the reusable bags, but we walked and pulled our little red wagon. Bug pushed Beeb in the umbrella stroller and Bean "helped" me with the wagon. We stopped at "close park" to play for a little and enjoy the sun. All I can say is, boy did the kids go down easy last night!

I have been "spinning my spindle"...not as much as in January and February and I completely fell off the wagon with updating progress. The viscose was kind of sucking the joy out of spinning for a while there. I'd spin and spin and spin and maybe add a gram. Plus it is so sticky that it's like fighting with it instead of being relaxing. So I pulled out my corriedale roving and started it. Then I got sidetracked making my own spindle since both of my spindles are fairly heavy (the Ashford is 82 g and the turkish is 51 g) and I wanted a lighter spindle on the cheap.

Weighing in at a sleek and slender 23 g, it has made spinning fine singles so much easier. Not so great in the balance and momentum category, but, hey, you get what you pay for. So without further ado, my Spin My Spindle updates:

Spin My Spindle
March 2008

Activity: SpinningSpinning
Fiber: CorriedaleViscose
Spindle: Ashford Turkish
Amount: 2 grams
4 grams

Spin My Spindle
April 2008

Activity: Spinning
Fiber: Corriedale
Spindle: Homemade
Amount: 8 grams

I think that I will probably go to monthly spinning updates, rather than weekly, as 2 grams of spinning is just not that impressive! I haven't given up on the viscose...there is only an ounce and I'm over halfway through. When ever I have a strong need for self-flagellation, I'll pull it out and spin a couple of grams. Meanwhile the Corriedale should go great guns...it's bouncy and crimpy and spins nicely. And with the little homemade spindle, it fits in my sock bag and I got a little spinning done at the botanical garden and the park this week!