Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Click now for JiffNotes

This weekend I am going on a knitting retreat, thanks to my DF Jill. I'd seen the advertisement, but didn't really think I wanted to go by myself. I kind of forgot about this retreat when I made my rash decision a few weeks ago. I'm not quite sure what to expect. I've been to "countless" needlework retreats and classes, and the materials are almost always included in the class price. Not so for this one. I had a sneaking suspicion that would be the case when the retreat information said something like "as many classes as you want to take".

This brings me back around to not buying any stash. For classes where materials are not provided. Hmmmm... If this were a needlework class, I'd be set. But I have relatively little yarn (I did say relatively). And most of what I have that is not already designated for a project is sock yarn. No sock classes....
  • Intarsia - need 2 contrasting colors worsted weight yarn

  • Herringbone Block Pattern with Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton - need 2-3 balls Noro Silk Garden Lite

  • Nicky Epstein's Medallion Capelet - need ~420 yards of bulky worsted weight yarn

  • Sunday morning class with Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton - need yarn appropriate to size 10 needles: "enough to knit with for two hours"

So I dug in the stash. As a result, I'll soon have the entire thing up in Ravelry. But look at how crafty I am...

Intarsia (a small purse): Leftovers from the clog sock

Herringbone Block Pattern (a scarf or a vest): Noro Kureyon bought "'cause it was on sale"

I am now scared about this yarn, though. Silk Garden Lite is a DK yarn, and Kureyon is a worsted. I was told by the shop owner "any worsted will do". So, I knit the homework:

It is wide. It is, in my opinion, too wide for a scarf (it's like 12 inches...0.33 m). Also, it seems a little scratchy for a scarf. And I'm not sure I'll have enough for a vest. I may end up frogging it all.

Sunday morning class (a purse...knit and pass yarn to your neighbor): Leftovers from cable purse

This is a little large for size 10 needles, but I think we'll all cope.

The sticky wicket was the Medallion Capelet. I considered using the cable purse leftover yarn for the class, then frogging the whole thing for Sunday. But I got a dispensation and purchased this yarn: Valley Yarns Berkshire in Blue Ming (you gotta scroll down)...I can't wait to see what color it actually is, but being blue, I'm sure I'll like it. I'm also hoping it shows up tomorrow!

Go go gadget Priority Mail!!

Or, I did well avoiding buying more yarn for the retreat I'm going on this weekend, but I didn't escape totally unscathed. Still, 3 out of 4 ain't bad.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blog Thaw

Click now for JiffNotes

Look at this thing. Is it the coolest thing you've ever seen or what? Yes: yes, it is.

In case you're thinking, "Um, Heather, what exactly am I seeing?"'re looking at me standing in the middle of the kitchen, wirelessly looking at my blog on a hand-held computer running Vista. It's got a 40 GB hard drive. It's got a gig of RAM. And it only weighs 1.5 pounds. It's called a UMPC (ultra-mobile PC). This particular brand is a Samsung Q1. Those of you who know me IRL may know that I have been obsessively price-checking these things for well over a year now. Before we moved into our new place, I was trying to figure out the most important question: How would the network be set up? (This is what the geeky girls worry about. Not what color the walls should be or what kind of bedroom furniture to get. No, we worry about how we're going to get on the Interwebz at any time of day.) Anyway, this ilttle gizmo was the solution to surfing on any one of three floors while the server lived on the ground floor. However, I could never justify spending the $900 for the Q1.

Recently, they announced new Q1 models, so we expected a price drop on the older models. Friday night we decided to do a search to see when we could expect a drop, and Michael the wonder husband found this blog entry. Of course, stores were closed by that point, so I said a little extra prayer before going to bed. To make a long story a little less long, we had to go to three Best Buys before finding one that had a unit we could actually purchase. The first one had none, but did have a very helpful employee who gave us locations still showing a floor model and their phone numbers. There were three stores with four units amongst them in all of the ATL!! We headed for the store that showed a boxed unit in stock, but that unit had been sent back and the floor model was returned. I could see it sitting in the Geek Squad area, but they couldn't sell it to me because no one knew why it had been returned and there was no documentation. The second store no longer had the floor model. I called the next store and spoke to someone who said he would hold their floor model for me. We zipped over. It's a good thing I called, because another girl was fingering the floor model when I arrived! I still had to deal with the floor manager. She did not want to honor the $386 price that was showing up in the system, even after the store manager approved it! It took about half an hour for her to agree with the store manager. I should have gotten another 10% off since it was the floor model (I was getting no box, no documentation, no disks, and only the power cable), but I was afraid to press my luck, since that was the last one in Atlanta at that point!

It's totally touchscreen. It can even read my handwriting! *swoon!*

And, as a bonus, while the Geek Squad was removing the BB software, we "had" to stroll around and found a cofee table we actually liked...and it was on clearance! Not at Best Buy. At a store named Area, replete with flaming design types, though not with the gaudy accessories I have come to expect in these boutique furniture stores. Everything was modern, but not spartan, and had very nice sensibility to it.

Glad I said that prayer!

Space heater or kewl new gadget? Please. What do you think?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Unexpected gift

Click now for JiffNotes

Friday the mail man brought a package for me, and I recognized my mom's handwriting on the label. Mom and Dad are in Hawaii right now, and she had been emailing me about a lace scarf she was knitting. I kept asking to see progress pictures, but she didn't have the right cable to hook her camera to the computer. Imagine my surprise when I opened the package and found the scarf with a nice note inside thanking me for taking care of things at the house while they are gone! Isn't it beautiful?

It's knit from a yummy alpaca/silk blend. It'll be perfect for wearing in my office if I get cold (I do that a lot, you may have noticed!) I want to block it, because right now it kind of pulls back together and you can't see the pretty lace so well. I've never blocked lace before, though, so I'm not sure what I'm doing. I guess I'll have to use pins. Wires look like the way to go, but I don't have wires, so....

Oh, and my mom sent me the pattern in case you're interested:

Lacey Scarf

Size 6 needles. (7 sts/inch)

Cast On 38 sts.
Row 1 - Knit (this is the right side)
Row 2 - Purl.
Row 3 - K1, (*K2tog.) 3 times, (yo, K1) 6 times, (K2tog.) 3 times;
Repeat from * to last stitch, K1.
Row 4 - Purl.

Repeat Rows 1-4 until length required. Bind Off.

Wish my mom could have sent some Hawaii sunshine with the scarf...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Click now for JiffNotes

It's too cold to blog.

You see, the computer is on the ground floor, and the thermostat is on the second floor. This may not sound that bad, but the computer is next to the garage in a room which, some day, shall be worthy of its official Lottloft designation: The Craft Cabana. For now, it's more like Interest Icebox. The garage door has no threshold, so cold air wafts in uninhibited, rendering the downstairs an arctic tundra. If you leave the door to the CC open, then the entire downstairs (CC and stairwell) are cold. If you keep the door to the CC closed, the CC itself is chilly and the stairwell is a reasonable facsimile of standing outside. My last post? Yeah, my fingers were stiff after finishing. So the choice: cold or colder? I choose to stay upstairs, where I can keep an eye on the thermometer I have stuck in the vent and continually complain about how the heat pump is not performing optimally.

The past few days it has been getting down to 17 or 19 F at night (about -8 C). In the daytime, it's around freezing. I mean, the point at which water freezes. For me personally, "freezing" usually means anything below about 60 F (15 C). Last Wednesday, it snowed. It was beautiful. Michael and I did not leave work soon enough to beat the traffic rush. Everyone in Atlanta leaves work at the same time as soon as they see flakes falling. If you haven't left by the time the front crosses the border into Georgia, you're screwed. Anyway, instead of languishing in traffic, we went to dinner. We had a lovely meal and a lovely view of the fluffy white flakes falling through the window, despite one of the servers snickering when we asked for a table by the window. "It's no big deal," I heard him snort as we went past. Well, actually, it is. It's gorgeous, it's fun to catch snowflakes on your tongue, and it makes you slow down a bit. If you're from somewhere where snow does not feel special when it happens, then I feel a little sorry for you. Because it's not special, but also because that probably means you're somewhere where it is freezing a lot of the time (by anyone's definition of the word).

Saturday, it snowed again. It was very cold again. On the way to my niece's wedding shower, I saw a penguin on the side of the road instead of the standard road-kill. Michael said it was another animal covered in snow, but I know what I saw. It was a fabulous trip, because my niece lives up in North Bumble (i.e., almost to Tennessee), and the shower was in a house with huge picture windows overlooking the woods. With the birds flitting in and out of the bird feeder in front of a vast panorama of snow-covered trees and white ground, it know...nearly like a picture print by Currier & Ives. I got a great picture of my niece, my sister and me in front of the scene. We ran out onto the covered porch briefly to get the shot...this was only possible because I was encased in boots and a warm sweater.

I'd like to show you that beautiful picture. I'd also like to show you the one of our deck with snow falling on it. Or the pictures of Michael and I wallpapering our bedroom. In fact, I have the rest of the pictures from the Disney trip sorted, and I'm ready to finally finish the saga in one fell swoop. But, you know...those pictures are all on the computer. And, of course...

It's too cold to blog.


...and don't Google Map "North Bumble"...that's not a real place.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Oughta be in pictures

Click now for JiffNotes
Saw this on Terri's blog. How cool!! I picked pix that were illustrative of the answers, but that's not necessary.

Answer the questions and type your answer into Google images search. Post a photo from the FIRST results page. (this can be tough!!)

Age you will be on your next birthday?

Place you would like to visit?

One of your favorite places?

Your favorite object?

Your favorite food?

Your favorite animal?

Your favorite color?

Name of a past pet?

Where you live?

First grade teacher’s last name?

Middle name?

A bad habit of yours?

Favorite flower?

Favorite Holiday?

Looks a lot like Heather...

Friday, January 18, 2008

What jury duty is good for

Click now for JiffNotes

Aparently, finishing about half a foot of a sock.

I didn't get selected for a jury, by the way. I didn't even get put on a panel of potential jurors, and my county has a "One Day, One Trial" policy, so I didn't have to go back the next day. The only kind of sad thing was that I missed the first day in my company's brand-new offices (jury duty was Dec. 10...why, yes, I am behind! And, yes, I did just graft the toe.). Oh, well. Everyone was just as confused the second day in the office!!

Civic duty = sock

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Search Check

Click now for JiffNotes

Here's an update on what random visitors to my blog have been looking for lately:
  • needlepoint pattern geek

    Dude, no idea what you were looking for, but while searching I found this: Top 10 Geekiest Yarn Creations. OMG! Scroll bar scarf! Space Invaders socks! Which will I make first??

  • Knit Bracelets

    Yeah, I know, I've looked for them, too. The only decent ones I've seen (that aren't wire knitted) are at knitty here and here.

  • determinism versus Harry potter and the deathly hallows

    Whoah, nellie. I'm no philosopher. We have a lot more fun than that.

  • fly by the seat of your pants example

    I get this one rather a lot because of this post. And that's not a great example; it was just a catchy title. Here's what you want:

  • yarn "shop hop" atlanta...and variants

    The shop hop is a distant memory now, but the stash lives on.

  • the golden flower movie, needle work

    This is amazing, since this search hit from me just mentioning in passing that we watched the movie.

  • game ceiling animal fruit arcade play elevator (blob OR slime) -snes -nes -flash -"play free" -tire -nail

    Dude. I have no idea what you were searching for, but I'd really like to.

  • berrocco+patterns

    Really, now. What are you doing using a search engine? Their site has a TON!

  • the bourne {identity, supremacy, ultimatum} cliff notes...and variants

    This kind of fascinates me. Because, now that I've read Identity and Supremacy and am starting Ultimatum, I can tell you that the plots of the books are wildly different than the movie plots. Identity starts with Bourne being hauled into a fishing boat, and he does go to a bank in Switzerland, but from there the plot takes off in a different direction. Sure, there is a Marie St. Jacques (although her character is completely different) and a Conklin and Abbott, but, for instance, Conklin survives the book! No Nikki at all, which is kind of why I started reading the books. I was fascinated by her enigmatic, "You really don't remember, do you?" in the Ultimatum movie.

  • misti alpaca scarf pattern

    This really is the best scarf pattern ever. It's easy, fast, and creates a pretty, soft, very warm scarf from only one skein of yarn.

  • bumper cars whiffle ball and

    trigger mechanism dunk booth
    Whirly Ball!!!!

  • "the magic that is heather"

    *blush* OK, who was it?? 'Fess up!!

  • passions unbridled by morality and religion...and variants

    I get a lot of these. Here's the more complete quote.

  • i make one b on my report card and my parents get mad

    I feel you, dog. (Sorry...AI starts tonight. I can't help it.) I went through something similar, although just on my dad's end.

  • i hate earthlink

    I do, too.

  • nice looking legs...and variants

    I get this a lot, too, all because of one "cleverly" named post. I'm just surprised so many people click on it....

  • how you gain 5 star in gamertag

    You play on XBox Live. You make some people "preferred gamers". And you're not such a jerk that everyone "avoids" you.

Also, Julia asked a while ago where I got a sweater I had on at church. It's from LaRedoute.

Julia, the sweater is from LaRedoute.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I enjoy...being a geek! Er, girl!

Click now for JiffNotes

Teresa guessed it is, indeed, the Catherine Theron piece (Quaker Sewing Case, to be precise). It's still not done. The thing is requiring a Herculean effort to finish, and my continual mistakes are not helping. Things should be smooth now that I've reached the point of yesterday's picture, but when you're clumsy like me, you can never tell.

Today, however, I do have a finish! I finished another Ribs and Ruffles (I always want to say, "Ruffles and Ridges") scarf like the ones I did for my nieces, only this one is for myself. I wore that fluffy pink sweater to church this morning with a sparkly embellished skirt. Someone actually told me I looked like a fairy! *blush* Or, at least, was dressed like one. ;) After all this girliness, what did I come home and do?

Why, I fixed the can opener, what else??

Michael took it apart yesterday, because he was convinced its state of only working intermittently was caused by a mechanical problem. When I say, "intermittently," I mean that 1 in 20 button presses results in actual motion and an open can, rather than fruitless clicking or brief whirring. After looking at it and manipulating the internal button, it turns out I was closer to the truth when I said it was a short. It wasn't actually a was even better. Let me show you the crazy:

Now, let's leave aside the stupid way that that tiny black button gets pushed. That tiny black button presses down on the tiny black spring, which causes contact 1 contact with contact 2, thus completing the circuit and making the canopener "go". Wanna see the spring/contact 1 piece from the top? Too bad, here's a shot, anyway:

If you're thinking it's kind of rinky-dink, you're thinking like me. I tried bending contact 1 to make it hit contact 2 better, but that wasn't really the problem. The problem was that half the time when they did make contact, there was a spark!!
That is not inherently a problem, but it had aparently sparked so many times that there was carbon built up on both contacts. So, chick that I am, I grabbed a metal nail file (and yes, it is pink, too, but I really don't own that much pink stuff, I promise!!) and made the contacts all shiny again.

And now it works like a charm. ;)

I can bring home the bacon...wire up an electric frypan....

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Moving Day

Click now for JiffNotes

To answer questions from my previous Disney post, yes, it did "snow" during the Osborne family Christmas light show. I felt very clean afterwards. =) (In case you didn't know, most fake "snow" is really mild soap suds.) The zepplin is from the original "Journey to Imagination" ride in the Imagination! pavilion. I can't believe nobody got that one! Teresa was close, but she didn't seem to remember the ride...that's where Figment was introduced. Sing with me now..."Eeee-mag-i-nay-shun, ee-mag-i-nay-shun...a dream can be a dream come true, with just that me and you...."

Back to your regularly scheduled recap...Tuesday of our Disney vacation, we had to change hotels, because there was no one hotel with space available for our entire stay. Luckily, Disney has a service that will transfer your luggage for you...we were envisioning spending a couple hours of the day lugging suitcases onto and off of various buses. As it was, we grabbed a couple cups of tea and headed off to play miniature golf:

We started off at the course nearest us, Winter Summerland, near Blizzard Beach.
The story goes that it was the perfect vacation spot for the North Pole gang, since the freak blizzard that dumped snow in Florida (the backstory of Blizzard Beach) created a comfortable environment for the elves, while Santa got his tan on at the beach (*shudder* that's a scary mental picture). As a result, half of the course is beach-themed...

...and half is snow-themed...

...and most all of it is Christmas-themed. This picture is just as I'm making a most disturbing putt landing the ball stuck on the tracks of the train that was traveling around the base of the tree. Several failed bank shots later and my near-course-record score had gone the way of dense and plaster-like fruitcake. When I say, "half the course," I mean, obviously, 18 holes.

After doing the 36 holes, we went to lunch at Beaches 'n' Cream, which was way smaller than I remember, but still had great hamburgers. As a bonus, we got to see a family order the "Kitchen Sink". It is, as the menu says, "scoops of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coffee and mint chocolate chip, smothered in every topping we have" (emphasis mine). A red flashing light goes off as the creation is escorted to the table. I jumped up and took a picture of the family with the pile-o-fatty-goodness, since the cast members seemed to harried to suggest such a thing. Michael and I shook our heads sadly as we looked over later to see the amount of ice cream left over. If only they'd invited us to share, we could've saved all that waste...oh, the starving kids in China! (Or wherever they are currently. That's where my folks always said they were when I couldn't choke down my salmon patties.)

After lunch we walked to The Dolphin and checked in, then we had a pleasant stroll to Fantasia Gardens for another 18 holes of mini-gold to round out our day. Sadly, I have no pictures of this fantastic course...since we've played it so many times, it didn't seem "novel" enough to photograph. But if you're only going to do one course at Disney, I recommend this one. The holes are much more challenging than Winter Summerland, but the fantastic themeing is so worth it.

This might sound like a lot of miniature golf, but by my count, our record of 108 holes in 48 hours in Gatlinburg remains unchallenged.

That night, we went to the luau at The Polynesian. I was disappointed to learn that there was no poi on the menu, but the food was fabulous! Our server (who was adorable and reminded me of Hazel) brought us extra pineapple, which we devoured. The ribs were awesome! Take a look at the spread:

Michael decided to order a drink...he really couldn't help himself...
Pele's Fire Punch
The Volcano Goddess' (sic) blend of Light Rum, Dark Rum, Banana Liquor, Blackberry Brandy, Pineapple Juice, and Grenadine served in an authentic souvenir hand-carved Monkey Coconut.

I mean, come on. Coconut monkey??? How can you resist that?

I'm not sure if my favorite part of the coconut monkey was that it was stamped "HAVE FUN", had a label telling you it was also a bank and you should "TAKE ME HOME!", or that it was "hand carved" in the great Polynesian locale of China.

What a ham.

Mini golf and coconut that's a vacation.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I'm sotally tober, why do you ashk, osifer?

Click now for JiffNotes

This is a picture taken outside our office building. Sadly, I did not see it in person.

Yes, that is a pedestrian bridge. Yes, that is a car. Yes, the driver was intoxicated, why do you ask?? I'm wondering how she managed to not go in the drink (so to speak), and why it did not occur to her she might be driving somewhere she shouldn't when 1) she drove down some stairs (click to make the picture bigger and look through the tree branches), 2) she was driving across a wooden bridge in a Metro Atlanta office park or 3) the "siderails" on the bridge were mere inches from the sides of her car. Aparently she got the clue when she realized she'd need to drive up some stairs to continue. And by "got the clue," I mean, "passed out in her car to be found by a security guard the next morning."

Turn down the stupid. Please.

Monday, January 7, 2008


Click now for JiffNotes

There are posts in the queue, but before it's no longer "the new year", I felt the need to say this. I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but I'm not going to buy any stash this year.

Pick yourself up off the floor.

I made this decision after attending (and heavily participating in) a 25% off sale at The Whole Nine Yarns.

Suddenly, all my Christmas money was gone. I had plans for that money. These weren't the plans I had. But how could I resist the Vogue Knitting mag containing that awesome Norah Gaughan sweater that I thought was sold out everywhere, or the new Norah book with that awesome shawl (and many other awesome things as well), or the yarn to make said shawl, or the cotton denim yarn that's been on my list forever to make this, or yet again the Koigu I fell in love with when I was going to knit those sachets for my nieces, or even the "just one skein" (evil store display) that will make these? Well, clearly the answer is "not very stinkin' well"!

Then, I came home and thought of what I wanted to start first, and realized that was a list of about 10 things...and that's just in the yarn category. Forget about the needlework stash and the beading stash.... So I decided: Any time I feel the need to shop, I'll just start something new! Yeah, this should work fine.

Immediately after I made the decision, I found out about this. Oh. my. gosh. I already have the Lady Scarlett box (which I have not done!), and, you know, I love the bees. Maybe I can get a special dispensation from Michael for my birthday....

Wish me luck as I try to stay on the wagon....

Old Geek-outs