Ask Poops, Please

Putting my two cents in.

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Location: Belmont, New Hampshire, United States

Born and bred in a small New England town, I am convinced that I know something about everything, and that my opinion matters. If only to me. Well, you'll see what I mean. And I love to knit, so you'll see what kind of things I'm doing when I should be vacuuming the living room.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

Well, I was kind of wondering how one gets tagged with a meme, since it occurred to me that it might have actually happened to me and maybe I didn't know it and am guilty of some horrible breach of blogosphere etiquette.

Turns out I'm not. Never been tagged to my knowledge. Until today! Sweet Bezzie has tagged me, coincidentally too because it was her last post that made me wonder what that tagging was all about. And now I know!

So, Six Things That Piss Me Off, In No Particular Order

1. Bad spelling and grammar, even if it's done on purpose. I hate reading e-mails, board posts, and blog entries in which the author refuses to capitalize or use some sort of punctuation. My daughter's Brownie troop leader is the worst offender at the moment. I don't think she knows where the period is located on the keyboard. And have you ever read Rosie O'Donnell's blog? All lowercase, no punctuation. It's like haiku. And haiku is stupid. Except when it's supposed to be funny. Or when it's about Peeps.

2. People who know everything and won't hesitate to let you know that they know everything. It's annoying when they actually are expert in a particular area (like the choir member who is a music teacher and really does know his shit when it comes to music theory and doesn't miss an opportunity to tell us when we're doing something wrong), but it's worse when they don't have a clue, but are just making shit up as they go along.

3. It pisses me off to call a number for customer service--listen up Trend Micro!--only to be put on hold for 40 minutes. And when you do get through to Bangalore, you spend another hour and a half on the phone trying to explain that you already reinstalled the software and it didn't help the problem!

4. I hate the fact that no one can seem to help me make my updated virus scan software run as well as it did before I paid for an upgrade. See number three.

5. It pisses me off that I am the only person in this house that can open a box or bag without destroying it. (I should have taken a picture of the cereal box this morning. Unbelievable.) I can excuse the kids. They're little. But DH should know that if you just take five seconds you can carefully pry the glue loose on the top flap without tearing said flap in two or three pieces so they never close again. Or that there's a perforated section of garbage bag box that pops out neatly so that the bags dispense one by one. You don't have to rip the end of the box open and pull out the entire roll every time you want one. Or that there's a handy little device called a letter opener that will neatly slit an envelope open so that you might save said envelope to contain it's...well, contents for a later date. Hell, a butter knife will do in a pinch.

6. The people who live up the far end of the street piss me off. Not the people on the near end. Terry and her mom are lovely people. Terry owns a custom sewing business and does lovely heirloom work, and she teaches sewing lessons. Father Albert is a blessing and a Godsend and we love him ever so much. Then there's Sister and Baboo and Grandpa and Grammie--no complaints there. And Jack is quiet and keeps to himself. He's had a hard row to hoe since he lost his wife, but I think each day brings healing in its own way.

The folks across the street are borderline. I like the parents...they're good folks. And the older daughter is in college, so nothing to complain about there. But their son does the whole "drive fast, take chances, I'm a teenager" thing all the time. The corner coming onto our street is blind and he takes it too fast and like he owns it. He's going to cause an accident one of these days, you mark my words.

And if you head up the street past our house, it just goes from bad to worse. It's not bad in the winter because we have our doors and windows shut tight, but in the warm weather it seems we are all to be subjected to whatever merriment they feel like getting up to. Fireworks at any and all hours of the night, a kid practicing his electric guitar: the four chords he knows, that is. Loud music, louder cars and motorcycles. I'd like to put a fence up right behind our house on the property line.

That's all.

Now I think I'm supposed to tag someone else with this. How about the first one to respond to this that hasn't already done this one has to do it? Does that work?

Mail just came. No yarn yet. Rats.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Yarn Porn Tuesday!

Just got me an order in the mail from! Whee! New yarn! I haven't started knitting with any of it yet, but so far it feels nice and soft in the skein.
I wish I could say that I'm going to jump right up and dive in with a project, but the truth of the matter is that I'm just not excited about knitting these days. You see, 15 days ago I ordered some yarn from Lovely hand-dyed singles to make the girls new hats and mittens to match their new Christmas jackets. And because when you're a kid, you can never have too many hats and mittens. (Case in point: Bug left hers at school yesterday. And as it was -1F at the bus stop this morning, going without was not an option!)
But the order still hasn't come. And that set of hats and mittens is what I really want to be knitting. Everything else is just busy work, and my needles know it. On the bright side, I opted for the "cheap" shipping (parcel post) from Elann, knowing that it could be weeks before it arrives, and I got it in 8 days.
I think what I'll have to do is go organize my knitting baskets and make room for my new arrivals. I took the Christmas tree down yesterday (yeah, I know...) and now I need to put my chair back over by the front windows with all the nice, natural sunlight. Perfect knitting spot!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

More Mittens from The Mitten Queen

Some of the fingerless variety, this time. Apparently they're quite popular with the middle school set, or so I'm told. Or perhaps it's just around here that middle schoolers feel the need to wear incomplete mittens. I like to make them because they use up lots of odds and ends of yarn, and I don't have to worry about the thumbs being the same length, or as usually happens to me, too freaking short. I hate knitting thumbs. It's why I don't make gloves. Blech.
There is a lone pair of mittens in there that escaped my post from yesterday. I couldn't get that picture to load no matter what I did. And so far this is my second attempt at posting this.

**I just went to move the pictures around and accidentally deleted the mittens in question. Apparently they are shy and do not wish to be seen. I have decided to stop fighting it.**

And like yesterday's mittens, these are all for sale in my etsy shop, if you were thinking of enhancing my stash-building fund or anything like that.

It's a good day for mittens though, I'll tell you what. It was 10 degrees at the bus stop today, but the air is so crisp and cold and the sky is as blue as blue gets. If you can get past the fact that your nose has frozen solid, it's kind of nice.

I recently enhanced my own mittens. They're a fabulous mishmash of Fair Isle goodness in pink and purple and white and blue. Not bad for my second foray into stranded colorwork, if I do say so myself, but the ends didn't keep my fingertips all that warm. So I made them a lining that goes from the thumb gusset up and now they're just perfect. So perfect in fact that I got cocky and cleared the ice from my car like a madwoman. I was punching the ice to break it and then grabbing the edges and breaking the pieces off....and in all my excitement of having warm fingers, failed to notice that the sharp edge of the ice had CUT the yarn of my mitten causing a three stitch ladder on the left one!

Emergency surgery was required, and with a length of blue wool, a tapestry needle and a crochet hook, all was recovered and resecured. I have learned my lesson and will not wear my precious hand-knits--no matter how warm--to de-ice the car!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Waiting for Yarn

Is there anything harder? I don't get this anticipatory before Christmas, for God's sake!

I have an order in with Elann, but I opted for the cheap shipping so I don't expect that for awhile, but I do have an order with that should be in any day now. And I'm trying hard not to stare out the window waiting for the mailman!

I've been stashbusting this week, and I've got a pantload of mittens to show for it.

These bad boys are all for sale at my etsy shop if you're at all interested.

Now, there's a fourth pair, but I keep picking the wrong picture, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow when I show off the fingerless mittens I've finished.

The nice part about a combination stash-bust and etsy listing extravaganza is that I have usually already recouped the money for the yarn I used to make the mittens, having already sold something made from it. Usually. So this money is all gravy, baby!

It was very cold taking these pictures, BTW, only about 15 degrees out when I was photographing.

Fingerless mittens are fairly useless at that temperature. Don't tell my etsy customers!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Wailing like a Wounded Wookie

I can't find my memory card to the camera!

It's not in the camera. It's not in the card reader slot on the computer. I think I took it out when I was trying to resolve some of my virus scan issues, and if that's what I did, I put the card on the monitor shelf right beside the camera.

Only it's not there now.

I discovered it this morning when I tried to take a picture of the girls in their snow suits. Bobo looked so much like Randy in A Christmas Story that it was killing me. ("I can't put my arms down!") And I checked the camera for the card...not there! So I went to grab it out of the card reader...not there!

I'm panicking a little now. Just so you know.
But the lack of memory card will not keep me from sharing a couple more FO's from 2006 with you. The first picture is Miss Bug in her peach cotton sweater. The yarn used was Classic Elite "Premiere," 50% pima cotton, 50% tencel. Very soft, but being cotton has no give and was hard on my hands. The pattern was called "Denim" by Sirdar. It was a simple sweater and an easy knit, but I'm extra proud of it because of the fact that I actually followed the pattern as written! I can't help it, I'm a tweaker. The only adaptation I made was to add buttons to the collar because Bug has an enormous head and the ribbing of the collar just wasn't stretchy enough to go over her head. Perhaps in a stretchier yarn it would have worked. Who knows? But there are three pearl buttons at the shoulder that worked out perfectly.
The second FO is actually 15 FO's in one. I made some slippers for a lady in my choir in "Red Hat" colors of red and purple. She liked them so much she ordered some for all the ladies in her Red Hat group. It took me many months, but they are all different in some way, and they each have their own handstamped care tag on it as well.
I knit them out of Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in red and Merino Style in violet (I think that's the color name, but I haven't got a ball band handy to check it). Most knitters wouldn't do a job like that for all the tea in china, but then they don't know Miss Martha either. She's such a peach!
So I'm trying to get over this cold I kind of have. It's not a full-blown cold, just some stuffiness and sore throat and such. I barely had enough voice to get through Mass on Sunday. I was cracking all over the place, and coughing up wasn't pretty. But, whatever. With luck I won't have to cantor next weekend. I'm crossing my fingers that Laura shows up. Jeanne is going on vacation, and she's assuming that L. won't show for 8:00 mass and she wants me there just in case.
Cross your fingers that she shows, and say a novena to St. Anthony for me to find my memory card!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Customer Service, My Ass

If you hear that I’ve killed myself, it’s probably true. This computer drove me to it. This is the seventh time I’ve tried to post this. My virus scan sucks and it keeps causing errors in Internet Explorer. It worked fine until I purchased the 2007 at great expense to myself and now it doesn't work for shit. I can’t take much more of it. And my next computer will be a Mac, you mark my words. Bill Gates can kiss my ass.

(I've turned off the virus scan per the instructions of the nice Indian lady in the customer service center, and it seems to be working fine. I'm probably getting all sorts of viruses even as we speak. She gave me a case ID number to call back if the computer doesn't spit out any error messages. Did I mention that I spent about 40 minutes on hold just trying to talk to Bangalore in the first place? Sorry, I'm cranky, and I'll move on. I'm so looking forward to calling her back...)

So here are a few of the FO’s that I’m proudest of. See, Photobucket doesn’t do collages like Flickr, so I can’t show you bunches of stuff in a group. And as anyone who has spent any time with Blogger knows, it’s damn near useless as far as posting pictures in any volume.

But I digress. And if you’ve already seen these things, I apologize for the repeats.

First, I am inordinately proud of my Coffee Cozees and Sudz Soakerz. It’s what all the well-dressed beverage containers are wearing this season. They are easy to make, use up odds and ends of yarn, and make great gifts. I have also posted my pattern. Look over to the left and you’ll see the linky thing in the sidebar under “Free Patterns.”

I am also pretty proud of the girls matching poncho and sweater. They are made with yarn from and I love their stuff! I currently have an order in for wool to make them new hats and mittens to match their new jackets and snow pants. This picture was in our Christmas cards because of the stinking cuteness of it all.

Finally, although it’s not knit, I did make it and consider it an FO. This is Miss Buglette on Halloween in her Little Red Riding Hood ensemble. I made the pinafore and cape. Handsewn since my machine is on the fritz and I have no place to set it up anyway. Bug was especially pleased that she was the only LRRH at school. Yay for originality!

We had a bit of snow this morning. Not much to write home about, perhaps an inch or so, if that. It is funny that it was 25 degrees F at the bus stop this morning and we were remarking on how mild it is today. When 25 is mild, you know it’s been cold. Beats the hell out of the 0 degrees we had for the last two!

Today I am making mittens to list in my etsy shop. Kids mittens have sold really well for me, so it’s time for more. If you need some, please feel free to go over and browse.

I will publish this now before the computer goes tits up on me again. Bastard.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Here we go again!

This is my second attempt at posting this. My computer froze the first time. And since it's currently all of 2 degrees F out there, I'll cut it some slack. Heck, we're all freezing today.

So here's another ball of hanspun, my best yet! It is an unknown fiber (well, it's wool) and kind of scratchy. Think "lopi". But I love the maroon colorway--it varies from a dark dusty pink to an almost black blood-red. Very pretty all spun up. My issues with evenness are working themselves out gradually.

I have also realized that I would probably be really good at spinning on a wheel. And I know of a couple of yarn shops offering classes in the near future. I can afford the classes, but alas, I cannot afford a wheel at this time.
So, I spindle.

My plan for the new year was to do what a lot of knitbloggers did at the end of the old year and that was to post a gallery of their FO's of the last year. I was dreadfully behind on my posting and didn't jump on the bandwagon at the time. And now that I'd like to do it, I find out that Photobucket doesn't do galleries like Flickr. Rats. With Blogger, uploading the pics manually will be a hassle. So I don't know what I'm going to do just yet.

For now, please check out Miss Bug's winter hat. It is cabled all over, as are the mittens. After I took the pic, I realized that the hat was a bit short for her enormous noggin, so I picked up stitches around the brim and added a four inch ribbed brim to it that folds up or down as need be. I made it from Knitpicks WOTA in a purple whose name escapes me at the moment, and I can't seem to lay my hands on my swatch card either.

Of course as soon as I made her a purple hat with many, many cables, my sister gets her a pink coat and boots for Christmas. What color does Bobo get? Yep. PURPLE. Now, while I'm not above dressing a kid up in hats and mittens that don't match, it would be nice if they had a set that did.

So, I just ordered yarn from in a lovely colorway featuring pink and purple, and I'm a-goin' to make them the same so it doesn't matter whose hat is whose. How's that for thinking ahead?

In other news, we managed to escape the worst of that big ice storm that kicked everyone else's ass. Heck, on Tuesday we were one of the very few school districts not on a two-hour delay! I will say we have some good road crews in my town. Two thumbs up!

I have also started taking piano lessons. My choir director gave me one of her portable keyboards to practice on, and she's teaching me to play accompaniments using the chord method. It's kind of slow going, but fun. I'm working my way through the John Denver Songbook at the moment. (Mock me all you like, I like John Denver!) What's fun to do is to play a song through my (uber-awesome Bose) computer speakers from my iTunes files and play along with it on the piano. It's hard though. The computer doesn't stop when I mess up.

Between learning the piano and learning to spin I'll be lucky if my head doesn't explode.

Cantoring is going well. Since I live literally around the corner from the church I've become the go-to person to fill in on short notice. Which works out well since I don't have a chance to get nervous. Not that I get that nervous much anymore.

So today, since I am out of roving and will be unable to spin, I'm going to finish a pair of mittens I started two days ago and keep setting aside to play with my spindle.

Time to focus!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My New Year's Resolution

Well, for starters, I'm going to be better about blogging. I used to do it all the time and I got busy, and frequently pissed off at Blogger for glitches and such that made it take a long time to get the idea.

So, I'm back, after a hiatus, and I have lots of stuff to show you! Tomorrow morning, I promise!

Here's a teaser: my first handspun!

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