Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

This cute little owl made it all the way here from New Zealand, courtesy of Lee, to celebrate Halloween with me! He is so adorable, and the stitching is beautiful, especially his little bullion knot feet! He even brought a little pouch along with him.

This weekend's festivities are going to have to comprise their own posts...Saturday we went to tea at my sister's, which was typically wonderful, and Sunday...we bought a car. =)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

War of WIPs Call to Arms #15

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Thank you for all the comments on my Squirrel! You all had some great name suggestions...I love all the adjective combinations. But I feel like this guy is a simple squirrel, so he needs a simpler name. I'm going to go with "Herr Skutt," suggested by Jenny. I'm squirreling away the other names for future residents of the Lottloft, though. *groan* =)

The next battle looming on the horizon is Astrid, which requires 13 large circles, 14 medium circles and 26 small circles (or something like that). I got two small circles done this week (I may pass out from this extreme speed). And here's what I have:
Yeah, a little ways to go. And some MAJOR blocking to get them all the correct size. Anyone have any tips on blocking 1" circles to 1.5" circles?? Speaking of which, can you tell which one of these things is not like the others? (Hint: It's not the one without the tail.) I seem to have knit the top right one "upside down" so the cast-on edge is on the front. I nearly discarded it, but then I the whole thing's sewn up, who's going to be able to tell that from the back of a running horse at midnight?

Which, of course, is exactly how I'll wear it.

Don't forget about my Fall Giveaway! (yarn edition and needlework edition)

Join the battle with us! Visit Revelations of a Delusional Knitter to enlist!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WIP Wednesday (Finally, yarn!)

Finally, a WIP with some yarn! Yes, Chocolat is done (still haven't managed to iron it, though, so no picture), so I have cast on for Helena for a friend's (very, very) little girl.
Craptastic picture. There's just no light here either in the morning or at night. Impossible to get good pictures! So far I'm loving the Knit Picks Swish DK yarn. I was worried it wouldn't be soft, since it's a superwash (but what the heck do I know, anyway??) It's nummy and squishy, though. Very nice to work with. Now if I can just get past all the booooooring stockinette....

I've also done a little on Random Thoughts (I was kind of giddy to work on it after so much Chocolat), but, hmmm...somehow it didn't even occur to me to take a picture! Maybe next week. Although I do need to start on the prework for my next class, and considering that it's completely, 100% basting, there probably won't be any pictures of that, either!!

Hey, I've got a Giveaway going on right now, so please visit that post to enter!

For more effectively photographed WIP Wednesday eye candy goodness, head over to Tami's Amis!

October TUSAL

(What's a TUSAL?)
My, that's a lot of brown. Well, there was a lot of stitching on Chocolat (still sadly unironed). Also a few intriguing bits of lovely cranberry yarn...check back tomorrow for their origin. =)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fuzzy Felted Fall Giveaway

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Want to win a cool interchangeable needle holder and some fuzzy yarny goodness?
This is dellaQ's Que-i double interchangeable needle set. I didn't realize how big it was when I got it, and as most of my interchangeable needles are stuck in WIPs right now, it was woefully underpopulated, so I got a smaller one and I'm passing this one on. It's very nice; it's even padded, unlike some of their other needle holders. It has US numbers for the needles, pockets that hold your cables, and a zippered pocket that holds all the connector accouterments. Included with it are some nice fluffy novelty yarns and Bags: A Knitter's Dozen (which for some reason means "twenty-one").

So how do you enter? Simple; you get one chance each if you...
  • Leave a comment on this post by November 11th at 11:59pm, EST. Tell me your favorite Fall dish (or even better...recipe). No need to be a follower, because you will get an extra chance if you happen to...
  • Be a follower!
  • Post about this contest on your blog. Feel free to use/link to the picture of the goodies. Please put a link to your post in a comment...I thank you. =)

Giveaway is now closed! I'll be announcing the winner soon!

Who can't use some nice fluffy yarn??

Fall into Winter Giveaway

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Would you like to win some Fall and Winter stitching goodies??
Included in the package are two stumpwork kits for a scissors protector and thimble nest, Permin 28-ct. linen, various Fall-colored threads to try (linen, tweed, bamboo...!), Mill Hill buttons, Just Cross Stitch Nov/Dec (I think!) 2010, 3 skeins Dinky Dyes "Bush Christmas" silk floss, and some Madeira metallic to try out.

So how do you enter? Simple; you get one chance each if you...
  • Leave a comment on this post by November 11th at 11:59pm, EST. Tell me your favorite Fall dish (or even better...recipe). No need to be a follower, because you will get an extra chance if you happen to...
  • Be a follower!
  • Post about this contest on your blog. Feel free to use/link to the picture of the goodies. Please put a link to your post in a comment...I thank you. =)
I was going to make this a shorter contest, but I'll be at The Attic in Mesa, AZ for a Jackie du Plessis class ( may have seen me mention it once or twice...or fifteen times) and I'll be doing well to get the package off on the 12th! I want to get it to you in time to use the Fall threads while it's still Fall! =) Hopefully you'll have time to stitch up something nice for Thanksgiving. Well...unless you've already celebrated Thanksgiving. (I'm looking at you, Canada =) In that case, you'll have a spiffing start on next year.

Giveaway is now closed! I'll be announcing the winner soon!

Surely giving stuff away will make me feel better about cold temperatures coming my way!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Geekend That Was, 10/23

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Remember last weekend, when practically no protein invaded my weekend? This weekend was practically the opposite. Friday night, Michael's company got us tickets to the preview party for Taste of Atlanta, which was a limited entry, limited-menu version of the full event. The good news: all you can eat/drink. I'd looked at Taste of Atlanta before, but admission ($25 in advance) only gets you 10 tickets, and most "entrees" cost 3 tickets; desserts are 1-2. There are over 100 restaurants participating! You can buy extra tickets for a buck each, but I don't want to have to go through that kind of decision process!! That's not my idea of fun. Being let loose in a corral where I can sample whatever I want, however, is just my thing. Bonus: We saw some friends we hadn't seen for *years*! And one of them has me almost convinced to try aerial silks. The food was awesome (especially the pork belly taco from JCT Kitchen...ONE OF THE BEST THINGS I'VE PUT IN MY MOUTH), but there weren't that many (i.e., NO) sides. The only disappointing thing, really, was that they ran out of cupcakes before we got to that tent. =( However, we were able to sample four different ice creams from High Road. This stuff is SERIOUSLY good. We had three pints in the freezer already (they sell locally at Whole Foods) and Michael went all fanboy on them, so they gave us a branded ice cream scoop. Too cool. It turns out they do factory tours on Saturdays; we are so going to do that one weekend.

Saturday was not too egregious in the protein department, but Sunday we went to the Park Tavern because I had bought a TravelZoo voucher for a Salt Block Experience.
Since our "VIP cabana" (and those are air quotes due to the extremely LOUD group replete with stone-throwing children that bled over into our cabana) was outdoors, and I figured nice, warmish days were going to be really few and far between from here on out, we booked it for 1pm.

I was overdressed (unusual for me)...though this is a "nice" restaurant, it's right by Piedmont Park, so there were dog-walkers and joggers eating alongside us. Whatever; fashion never apologizes, right? ;) After edamame and a green salad (yummy), the hot (800 F) salt block and a swath of roll-making ingredients arrived at the table.
Salmon, tuna, butterfish, wagyu beef, sticky rice, and nori wraps formed the basis of the rolls, but you were left to experiment with the additional ingredients of avocado, cucumber, jalepenos, cilantro, crispy garlic, sesame seeds, ponzu sauce, mustard sauce (NOM), wasabi, and pickled ginger (double NOM)!!!

So fun to hear the meat sizzle on the stone, though the (slight) smoke from the spicy marinade made me cough a bit at first. Figure out the prevailing breeze before you sit, LOL!
All in all it was a very fun experience. I told Michael I was glad it worked out, because I did absolutely no research whatsoever; it just sounded fun and unique. He said it was both, and that maybe he was going to give up planning from now on. Noooooooo!!! =)


Sunday, October 23, 2011

KEEP CALM (and cast on)

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(Oh, yeah, and I finished the prework on Chocolat, which obviously wasn't nearly as exciting as opening the box, since there is no picture of my HAPPY DANCE, which does not even happen very often around here but although very exciting OH LOOK, YARN!)
Yarn, there is a picture of.

Actually, my excuse is that I was going to iron Chocolat before its glamour shot, because, you know, I finished it Friday night, so obviously it'd be no problem to have it ironed by the end of the weekend. And yet here we are. And there it is, unironed.


So, yarn! The four skeins are for a sweater for the adorable Lydia. I have cast on! See, I am really normal! Yarn came, I cast it on! Normal, yes?? (Really, call off the nice men in their clean, white coats.) The Dishie is for a couple dishcloths (The angels have the TARDIS and a mosaic squirrel one I was gifted by Jean). The Felici came to live with me because I agonized over this yarn when Knit Picks had it two years ago, and then they ran out of those colorways, and I always regretted not buying them. They brought back some favorites, so this time I snatched them up! Also, there is some unpictured yarn for a seekrit project.

I reorganized a closet (well, two square feet of it, anyway...LET'S NOT GET CRAZY) and told Michael that I need to learn to knit a lot faster. He was skeptical that that would actually decrease my stash volume.

I mean, of course it would...right? I'm not crazy, am I?

Don't answer that.

Situation normal. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WIP Wednesday (Sooo close)

It was a dark and stormy night.
Well, at least a dark and stormy morning. Therefore, a flashtastic picture of being so very close to finishing the class prework for Chocolat. Just need to do those last two lace wheels and some Smyrna stitches and then two more "wrapper" bits (with their lace wheels and Smyrnas).

I really want this's how much: There is a BOX from KnitPicks, that arrived Monday, and I have not opened it. That's right, folks...beautiful unseen yarn resides en mi casa, and I am ignoring it because I know that the pretty preciousssss colors and haze of yarn fumes that will be released will be a HUGE distraction and I just want this thing done.

I promise there will be pictures of actual! yarn! here next week.

Oh, and did I mention that the 2nd class I'm taking in November...after Chocolat...I just found out that has prework, too?? *sob*

For more WIP Wednesday eye candy goodness, head over to Tami's Amis!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Geekend That Was, 10/16

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I have just completed what was probably the most unhealthy 48 hours (eating-wise) in history. Saturday was technically a day of prayer and fasting for our church. Now, I really cannot completely fast; my blood sugar drops to nothing and I pretty much go comatose. But I did try to eat less; this translated into a granola bar and a cup of Greek yogurt...after working out. Have I mentioned I am completely out of shape after three weeks of almost-getting-a-sinus-infection (i.e., sitting around being pitiful)? I was not doing well by 6pm (end of fast), but the bison burger from Yeah! Burger did a lot to cure me. At least all that organic locally-grown stuff was healthy, even if a giant burger doesn't necessarily scream, "Good eating choices!!" But it's OK, I HAD LETTUCE ON IT!

Sunday my company sponsored a day at Six Flags over Georgia for us. I have mixed feelings about Six Flags. It's got great roller coasters, and the park's setting is beautiful, with all the trees,'s dirty. Run-down. Cheaply constructed. The staff really doesn't care. Rides load inefficiently. I want to be loyal because it's my hometown park, but I really spend the whole time wishing I were at Disney World. We left right after church, and with our FREE! refillable soda bottle (ironically called a "sports bottle"), I proceeded to consume:
  • half a cup of Coke
  • half a bag of popcorn
  • half a cup of strawberry soda
  • finally, at 3:00, "picnic" food: barbecue pork, baked beans and a cookie
  • another half cup of strawberry soda (because: FREE. STRAWBERRY. SODA. Have I mentioned that if I were an animal, I'd be a hummingbird?
  • half a cup of artificial-flavored-and-sweetened fizzy water
  • a couple sips of Powerade (because: sports bottle. Now it all makes sense!)

When we got home at 10pm, I ate an egg, some dried fruit and nuts and some string cheese (because 7 hours without protein is a long time for me). Second healthiest meal of the weekend.

I am only moderately sore today from the roller-coaster punishment I put my body through. My crazy friends convinced me to ride in the front of most of the coasters (it's amazing how peer pressure, even at my age, can override my fear of heights). I screamed like a banshee the ENTIRE ride. Every time. I found it a great way to release my TERROR at hurtling through space without the comfort of other seats in front of me. (I really do love roller coasters, but not feeling like I'm going to die by being flung out into space.) I have my cheerleading training to thank for not having laryngitis today, I surmise.

Has anyone seen a vegetable? I've forgotten what they look like.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Teeny Tiny Heroine

Be courageous; no matter your size!

Via Berroco's newsletter

Talk about extreme crafting.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


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Remember these pieces?
That got nice and felted?
They have become a real squirrel!!!
Sadly, this is the best picture I could get with the dark and rainy weather we've been having. This is the "rainy" version.

And here's the "dark" version.

This is probably the best picture to see his mouth, which is black on the dark brown, but actually shows up pretty well in "real life".
I like this "Halloween glamour shot" where it looks like he's scurrying away from the menacing bird whose shadow you can see in the background.

I did something weird and sewed the white details onto his eyes before I sewed them onto his head.
It didn't turn out too badly, but I'd sew the eyes on first next time. I was frustrated from fighting with the fleece I used in lieu of felt. I would not use the fleece again; I'd use felt. But the problem was that I couldn't find felt that was a nice, pale pink rather than electric Pepto-Bismol pink.

And here's a side view, where you can see his puffy tail.
More puffy than "bushy", but still cute, I think!

I'm very pleased to declare victory!!

Edited to add: My squirrel needs a name!! Please share your suggestions in the comments. =)

Edited again to add: I'm also linking this to Finished Object Friday at Tami's Amis. Go there for more finished things!

Join the battle with us! Visit Revelations of a Delusional Knitter to enlist!

Also visit Tami's Amis for more Finished Objects!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shake Well

I won some really fun blog candy from Vanessa at Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts. (Doncha just love that blog name?? Go visit; her header graphic is perfect and priceless.) Take a look at the awesome randomosity:
Three beaded rings traveled along in a padded envelope with all this whimsy that spilled out when I opened it. I may have squeed a little.

The funny thing is, I thought that "SHAKE WELL" tag was attached to a ray gun. Later I realized I was just looking at the ice skate upside-down. But for some reason it amuses me more if it's a ray gun. Shake, aim, and FIRE! *pew pew pew!!*

WIP Wednesday (still Chocolat)

Four more motifs done!
Four to go! I may actually get this prework done before the class! Sorry for the dark/blurry picture, but it's all grey and rainy here again. We're supposed to see some sun peeking through this afternoon, but so far it's still cloudy.

I ordered yarn last night for Helena, which will be my first sweater for a little person. I may or may not have ordered a couple skeins for myself as well.... If, hypothetically, I did, I'll be sure to (hypothetically) share pictures of any yarn that (hypothetically) shows up.

For more WIP Wednesday eye candy goodness, head over to Tami's Amis!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thanks Overdue

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I have been very remiss in thanking two fellow bloggers for graciously giving me a couple awards...right before I lapsed and didn't blog for a couple weeks! Not cause and effect, I promise!

First, pinkundine gave me the Liebster award. This is extremely first exotic foreign award! LOL!!

The Liebster award ("Liebster" is the German word for dear, sweet, darling, beloved) originated in Germany.

The aim of the award is to bring more attention to blogs with fewer than 200 followers, that people think deserve some additional attention.

How cool!! So here are the "rules" of the award:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them. (Thank you thank you thank you, pinkundine!
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.

Ooookay...picking just 5! I follow about 300 blogs! 300! Yikes!! I gotta admit that this post has been moldering for a while longer because this prospect was too daunting. Maybe you'll forgive me if I totally wimp out and don't pick at this time?? I reserve the right to bestow the award later, though. If you're looking for something good to read, take a gander over to the right at my blog list. It shows the most recently updated, so you'll get something different every time you visit.

I was also given the Versatile Blogger by RugbyMad!

After accepting the Versatile Blogger Award, the blogger must:

Thank the person who gave the award and link back to them in your post.
Share 7 things about yourself.
Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs.

Fifteen!!!!!1!!one!!eleventyone!!! *faints* OK, that's even worse. But I will share seven things...some of these you probably already know if you've been hanging out here for a while, or know me in real life, but the award didn't specify that the things be "unknown" or even "interesting". =)

  1. The hubby and I met when we were cast together in a musical the summer before my senior year of college.
    He'd been doing theater most of his college career, whereas I'd been doing Chorale (classical to Cole Porter). Some theater types had shown up at our summer Chorale rehearsal to recruit singers, since most of their singers were out for the summer. We were both dating other people at the time...but that's another story. =)
  2. I have three older, way older.
    My youngest sister is twelve years older than me; my oldest sister is seventeen years older than me. I took my first steps when she came home for Thanksgiving her freshman year of college. It was like being an only child most of the time. I feel like I didn't really "meet" my sisters until I was an adult myself.
  3. I have trouble answering, "Where are you from?"
    I was born in Michigan to parents from Pennsylvania, who had also dropped kids in Florida and Texas. When I was three, we moved to Atlanta, then five years later we moved to Oxford, Mississippi. After my junior year in high school, my dad got transferred back to Atlanta, but he commuted for a year so I could finish high school (thanks, Dad!!)
  4. I was a cheerleader in high school for three years.
    Depending on what context you met me in, you either find this incredibly easy or nearly impossible to believe.
  5. My favorite vacation was to Japan, but our cruise in Europe and last summer's trip to France, Belgium and Germany run as very close seconds. I think have been to sixteen countries, but I may have been to an extra one in the Caribbean (it's kind of hard to keep track when you're on a cruise!)
  6. I have a Master's degree in Computer Science, but my undergraduate degree is in Electrical Engineering. Therefore, I can "legally" sing all the original lyrics to "(I'm a) Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech".
  7. I am NOT a morning person.

Lots of good blogs to read!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Geekend That Was

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I meant to write all sorts of posts this weekend, but that didn't happen.

Friday after some minor dermatological surgery, I headed to a mall to kill an hour or so before I met up with Teresa, in town for work, and Jean (and unexpected bonus Ann!) I scored some major bargains at Macy's...including a skirt where they botched the security tag (two halves of different types put together). Originally $80; I got it for $8.50. The security tag's still on...their machine wouldn't take it off. I figure with a hammer, and maybe a hack saw, I can liberate it. We'll see.

After lovely butternut squash ravioli (I'm helpless to resist), we headed to Teresa's palatial hotel suite to stitch. Well, I stitched on Chocolat while poor Teresa finished work and Jean attempted to assimilate me to The Beekeeper's Quilt. I remain puff-free...for now.

Saturday Michael and I had a lunch on the deck, enjoying the lovely weather and the bees buzzing among the basil and mint. I have no idea where these bees come from! One guy had so much pollen it looked like he was carrying little yellow buckets on his legs...I'd never seen that live and in person before. After some Dance Central to combat my two weeks of complete lack of exercise due to sickness, we rounded out the day by driving out to visit Michael's parents who are about to go out of the country again (two vacations in three weeks...that's the life!)

Sunday we picked up the first installment of Michael's Cupcake of the Month Club. This month was Pumpkin Pie. These cupcakes are very yummy; they are 70% organic and so not "super sugary" (not that there's anything wrong with that) and very lightweight (though still not "lite", I am sure). Afterwards we finally saw The Help. Fantastic movie, and I immediately downloaded the book and started it this morning.

And there was stitching! I'm now on row 6 out of 7 of Chocolat.

See The Help. Macy's has killer sales right now. Bees have pollen buckets; who knew? The only good thing best thing about Fall: pumpkin-flavored things.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

WIP Wednesday (Chocolat only)

No knitting this week; I'm starting to panic about getting the prestitching done for my class at The Attic the beginning of November.
I'm almost halfway done, so I'm feeling pretty good about it, but I won't be calm 'til it's done! I do need to get started on a baby sweater for a friend (the sweet little girl arrived yesterday, so now I have no excuse!) I've never knit a baby sweater, and I'm terrified of lots of little seams, so any suggestions are welcome! I want something lacy and relatively seamless and not in fingering! I'm thinking of Helena. Has anyone knit this one? Comments on Ravelry seem to be that the details are a little fussy but worth it, and it's in DK weight. I think I can handle that.

For more WIP Wednesday eye candy goodness, head over to Tami's Amis!

Old Geek-outs