Things Organized Neatly is a site I look at occasionally. These two photos had to be shared.
Things Organized Neatly is a site I look at occasionally. These two photos had to be shared.
Today's topic is a fun one: My Ten Favorite Non-Knitting Blogs.
There are a number of others whose headlines I skim daily -- Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Boingboing, The Oatmeal, The Daily What -- and others I read regularly -- Cute Overload, The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee, and The Big Picture that didn't quite make the top ten.
Whew. If you want to be really appalled, read Marianne's comment on that last post:
"jeeze louise, I hope you're feeling better! Bobby had an episode similar, ended up in ER with a kinked intestine, one of the interns dubbed him Tasmanian Devil (he sounded just like him, the cartoon character) he spent a couple of nights in hospital getting morphine shots to relax and unkink (which it did), he wasn't complaining :^)"
So, moving on...
Do you read The Bloggess? Cuz today's post is frickin' hilarious. And the comments on pretty much every one of her posts are as funny as the post itself. My favorite comment on the linked post:
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Hey, ya wanna see some knitting? Cuz I got some. I finally finished these socks while we were on last week's mini-vac.
Oh, you want to see the ENTIRE pair of socks? Well, all righty, then.
Yarn: Berrocco Vintage (50% acrylic/40% merino/10% nylon worsted weight) in 5182 Black Currant (red), 5187 Dungaree (faded denim blue)(no longer available at Webs), 5177 Douglas Fir (green), and 5192 Chana Dal (gold). I bought one skein of each from Webs plus one of 5185 Tide Pool (bright teal) with the idea to make several pairs of multi-colored socks until I used up the yarn. I was also curious about how an acrylic blend would wear and feel in socks. The first pair I made from this yarn demonstrated that it is not warm as the equivalent weight of wool (Duh) nor does it breathe quite as well (Duhx2), but it is still acceptable (Whew.).
Needles: US#2 from the toe to the ankle, then increasing one needle size every inch or so until I was using US#4.
Pattern: Wendy's Generic Toe-Up sock. I love this pattern.
Yes, there were a LOT of ends to weave in. Wanna see a few?
No, it was not the excessive number of ends that kept these OTN for six months. I ran out of the red and waited to order another skein until the next time I placed an order with Webs. But, silly me, I didn't double-check the color name and number and ordered Black Cherry instead of Black Currant. Black Cherry turned out to be a perfectly nice color and one that I will use eventually, but it was much darker than Black Currant and would not work in the socks. So I had to wait until the next Webs order.
This pair of socks, just like the first pair, were inspired by Kristin Nicholas's socks in Kristin Knits. I am enchanted by her colorful-ness. Such fun. I am also enchanted by the notion that knitting can be about playfulness and not just tastefulness and usefulness.
I did this a couple-three years ago and got a lot of responses. Let's do it again!
The rules are easy-peasy: put the image of your current wallpaper on your blog and put a link to it in the comments below.
I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours ;^)
My current wallpaper:
Don't remember where I found this photo. It is a composite of different photographs taken during a solar eclipse that occurred last summer; iirc, the total eclipse was visible only across a swath of the Pacific Ocean (but my memory is very vague on this last point).
Other recently used wallpapers, many of which you may have already seen here:
(photo taken and decorated by Heather of lectio.ca)
Maybe I'll make this into a contest...
Did you see the Clustrmap in my [unbelievably cluttered] sidebar? I spotted that little bugger on someone else's blog -- I think it was soxanne's (yeah, I have been stealing from here on a regular basis lately) -- and snapped it up for mine own. You should, too. It shows where in the world your readers are located.
But this? This totally amazed me.
There have been comments from South Africa and England -- and at least one other country besides the US and Canada and Australia that escapes my memory at the moment -- but Ghana? Lithuania? Romania? Afghanistan? Wowzers, I had no idea.
Okay, you international lurkers, time for you to speak up in the comments: who are you and did you get here? Kurious Kat™ wants to know.
Found via ikeahacker:
If you are a DIY-er this may interest you. If there is a DIY-er in your family who is pondering what to make/give you for Christmas, let me know and I will send that person this link anonymously ;^)
Query: Why is the Kauni Effektgarn yarn cake in the photo being wound back into a skein? Does anyone ever do this? I'm thinking it was done just for the photo op.
Found at MyLifeIsAverage.com, aka MLIA. Enjoy! I laughed until I cried at the first one and was pretty much limp on the floor by the last.
Today I had to take an AP biology test about safety. The question was List 3 types of behavior not acceptable in a laboratory. I listed: Kicking another person in the teeth; Re-enacting scenes from Walker Texas Ranger; and Pretending to be a cartoon character on speed. Full credit was given. MLIA.
Today, my drum line had a drum battle with another marching band's drum line. When the other school was done, they threw their drum sticks down, acting all hard core. My drum line stole their sticks and ran away. I'm pretty sure we won. MLIA
Today, I was grocery shopping and had several items for my cat, including litter, food, and a flea collar, in my cart. While exiting the pet aisle an older man stopped me and asked me if I had a cat; looking at him blankly, I informed him that this was for me. His face made grocery shopping enjoyable. MLIA
Today I was proofreading my little brother's story for English when I came across this interesting comparison. "The boat gracefully glided across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't." He's in sixth grade and I'm pretty sure he's the reincarnation of Shakespeare. MLIA [kmkat note: I think this is actually an opening line from a Bulwer-Lytton entry, but it's still good for a laugh.]
Today, I was rummaging through my drawer looking for a stapler when I found my old Pokémon stamp. My homework is now Pikachu certified. MLIA.
Last night, I looked out my window and noticed that the streetlight in front of my neighbors' house was out. This intrigued me, so I looked closer and saw that all the streetlights near their house were out. I don't know why Dumbledore was visiting my neighbors, but I'm going to start being a lot nicer to them. MLIA.
I went to Disneyland dressed as Waldo. All day long, whenever I saw someone take out a camera, I would freeze in the background of their photo. Best day ever spent. MLIA
Yesterday in biology, I got really excited and looked under my table. Taped under it was a bag of chips and a note for me. My lab partner looked extremely confused. Little does she know that my sister and I are secret agents and leave notes for each other around school. School has never been more exciting. MLIA
Today, I received a knock on the door from two teenage boys dressed in doctor suits with a giant needle. They asked me if I've seen somebody suspicious lurking around my property. At that exact moment another teenager in a straight jacket ran by and the two chased after him. I still can't stop laughing. MLIA
My cat and I were in the living room watching TV when I decided to watch "All Dogs Go to Heaven." As I pressed play, my cat looked at me, got up, and left the room. I sensed a note of hostility. MLIA
We were in class and for some reason our teacher wasn't showing up. Suddenly the principle of our school ran into the room, screaming, "THE BRITISH ARE COMING! THE BRITISH ARE COMING!" and ran out as fast as he could. Five minutes later our British substitute walked into the room. MLIA
Today, I realized that even if T-rexes have arms that are too short for hugging, they can still chest-bump each other. This made me feel a little better for them. MLIA
My friend showed me the late slip that he turned in. His excuse was that he had been "stuck at Platform 9 and 3/4". It was approved as a valid excuse. It made my day. MLIA.
The other day in church the sermon was on lasting relationships, so my preacher asked all the couples that had been together for 50 years to stand. He continued increasing the years until there was only one couple left standing. The congregation politely applauded, and the guy held up his hand for a high-five from his wife. She slapped his butt instead. I think God would have approved. MLIA.
And the very, very, very best one of all? The one that made me stop reading because nothing could ever top it?
Today after reading a MLIA about a purse that said G-unit on it I decided to look it up on Urban dictionary because I myself did not know what G unit meant. Third definition down was, "Super hardcore ghetto slang for, 'Gee, you knit?' " Forget anything about rapping. THIS is the definition I now choose to believe. MLIA
Amen to that. Have a great day!
#2 son introduced me to Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. This particular piece is one of the most unabashedly joyous pieces of music I have ever had the pleasure to listen to.
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ETA: thanks to IBOL guy for posting the GMH link on his blog.
Last week I got a belated birthday present from #1 son. He sent me 9 CD-Rs filled with music that he had acquired. About half is classical: Bach (Goldberg Variations), Beethoven, Brahms. Chopin, Debussy, Dvorak, Handel, Hayden, Holst, Mahler, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi; much of the rest is 20th century: Philip Glass (I love his music but don't have much), Shostakovich, Stravinsky; some minimalist: Steve Reich, Terry Riley; some I had not heard of: Gyorgy Ligeti, Anro Pärt, The Magnetic Fields; and Tom Waits (for someone with a weakness for gravelly voiced singers, I find it odd I had never gotten into his music).
It's gonna take a long time to synch my iPod...
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Bullwinkle is asking for our help to get to Antarctica. Go read her blog, then go vote for her if you want
The stealth knitting project has been received in its new home. Here it is in its new habitat:
Eleanor lives near the beach in Sydney, Australia. In January she built sandcastles for her blog friends; we got to tell her what kind of castles to build. I had no need for a castle, so look what she made for me instead:
I have not been to Australia (yet), but my name -- and my knitting -- have!
Sydney's winter is nothing like ours, but I thought that that was no reason for Eleanor not to have a soft wool scarf to ward off the 50℉ chill of a morning. So I knat her one.
A couple photos taken before the scarf went halfway around the world:
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug (superwash merino); 1.5 skeins, 480 yds. (The Loopy Ewe sells half skeins -- that's where I bought the yarn.) This stuff is absolutely, positively yummy to knit.
Pattern: Amy Singer's Montego Bay.
Needles: Knit Picks Options Harmony*, US#7.
The blocking shot:
I discovered some welding rods tucked away in our closet (don't ask) so I put them to good use as blocking wires . Welding rods and every single T-pin in the box. My blocking mats are children's play mats, a package of eight interlocking squares, $20 at Sam's.
Here's what I wrote about the project in Ravelry:
Although this is essentially a 2-row pattern (rows 1 & 3 are pattern, rows 2 & 4 are just purling) and even the pattern rows are just a k2tog and a yo, I still found it really, really, really difficult not to screw up. (This is why I don’t knit lace.) I knit and frogged the first inch or two AT LEAST a dozen times before I got it right enough to keep going.
What finally saved me was putting in markers every 10 stitches. Then at least I could narrow down the possible mistakes, although eventually I began to suspect that much of my frogging was due to inaccurate counting when checking rather than actual knitting errors.
The final product is very nice, and except for my poor blocking – which made the ends a little whacko – I am pleased with it. I hope Eleanor is, too.
Judging by the enthusiastic email I got from Eleanor and the smiles in the photos, I think she does. Wear it in good health and warmth, E!
* Check out how nicely my needles coordinated with the yarn:
Here is a game that my kids and I totally should have thought of back when we were fostering kittens every summer:
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Is anyone else having trouble using their TypeKey id when trying to submit a comment on a blogspot/blogger blog? I have been unable to do that since ::counts on fingers:: last Thursday. What is particularly galling is that when I try, I get a TypePad "Oops" screen asking me what I was doing when the error occurred; when I type in "trying to submit a comment on a blogspot/blogger blog using my TypeKey id" and click on "submit", I get the exact same screen back minus my typing. In other words, my error submission doesn't go anywhere. There is even a little box to check if you want a reply from TypePad. Needless to say, I have gotten no responses to those error submissions.
I finally went the the TypePad site and submitted the error on their generic "Contact us" screen. I did get a reply, but the person said she could not find any errors that had occurred. Well, duh, the error submission doesn't work.
I have replied to her with the facts I outlined about. What are the odds that TypePad will actually investigate the problem? and solve it?
In the meantime I have to submit comments using my Blogger id, which I suspect is why I am not getting many replies to my comments; I do not think it includes my email address. I have to do it this way because I am always logged in to Blogger because I am logged into Google Reader and Gmail.
So, all you people with blogspot/blogger blogs? (Deb, Jocelyn, Cindy, cursingmama, Ruth, Big Alice, Mel, I'm looking at you.) (I'm looking at a bunch of others, too, but I got tired of linking.) What does this look like from your end?
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Horror. Younger Son, the one who bikes five miles to work in downtown Minneapolis every day, just phoned. A bicyclist was crushed by a semi at 14th & Park this morning. The online bike forums are buzzing. Younger Son is extremely safety conscious in his riding, but still. Horror.
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As many of you know, Claudia raises money for MS research in the annual MS ride. Generous knitters made her the #1 fundraiser last year, and she is aiming to do something similar this year. Last year I was lucky enough to win the grand prize, a beautiful gray alpaca shawl donated by Angela.
After winning such a gorgeous prize last year I felt I needed to help out this year.
I bought this off eBay. Then I found my copy. Duh.
Then another package arrived in the mail. It seems I bought it TWICE on eBay. Double duh.
As good as this book is, I definitely do not need three copies. Two of them are going out as prizes in Claudia's MS fundraising raffle/ride.
So go! Donate! Win a prize! Besides my dumbass books, Grumperina has offered to knit a pair of socks for a winner, and there are other books and fun kits and gorgeous yarns waiting to be won. Let's help out MS research, since we all know what MS would do to a knitter.
I don't really have anything earth-shattering to say, but I had to share this video from my imaginary friend Jocelyn's blog. (Oh, Jocelyn is real, all right, but I have never met her and know her only through her blog. Hence, imaginary.)
Jocelyn lives in Duluth and teaches English (composition?) in a community college there. She regularly cracks me up. This particular effort had me in stitches.
Oh, and if you wanted to suggest some music for her iPod running playlist, that would be cool, too. Just tell her kmkat sent you.
New favorite: Fleet Foxes (the song, not the video).
#1 son turned me on to this group when he was home for Christmas; he copied over a bunch of music from his iTunes to mine. He has plenty to share:
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Hilarious. Hint: it involves Johnny Depp/Captain Jack Sparrow. While you are over there you might want to check out the rest of the newly-opened Women's Colony.
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Some recent chuckles. I sent this to the rest of the family:
#1 son sent me this in return:
And more with the lolcats:
One last chuckle. Remember Thursday, the day The Storm Of The Century occurred? In the afternoon I emailed #2 son that I wouldn't be coming to Minneapolis; we had planned to go out for dinner that night. Our subsequent email exchange:
#2: Tell me about it, I was biking out at the Guthrie around noon when mother nature decided to take a big white poop on me.
me: LOL! Poor baby, I shouldn't laugh, but "...mother nature decided to take a big white poop on me" cracked me up.
#2: Hehe, it's alright, I'm here to entertain.
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Mutterings on a Sunday:
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I just checked to see what I was doing a year ago -- blogging about the World's Fastest Knitter competition at the Knit- and Crochet-Out at the Mall of America. (A review of this year's event at Born a Girl and photos elsewhere, but I do not remember where.) This year it was not convenient for me to go to the KnitOut, but #2 son and gf went; I am still waiting to hear what they saw and if they scored any freebies. Before they went I was coaching them via telephone and internet through what yarn and needles for her to get to knit herself a pair of legwarmers. Yay, another knitter!
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Have you noticed that Blogger has gotten cute with its capchas in the past few months?
Instead of giving the commenter letter combinations like xlgug or sikeh, it gives combinations that are *almost* words.
Some of these capchas create their own definitions:
What should one do with a pint of lager?
Why, it, of course!
My kids always wanted a
for a pet.
Now that they have grown up and left home, they have instead.
I was always good at so I became an accountant.
One way to find blog fodder is to
le upon it.
And when I find something interesting, I on it.
Have you seen this photo*?
From the left: Wendy, me, Chris, and Susan. Virtually the same picture appeared over at The Rainey Sisters' blog yesterday. You will probably see it again on Sunday and/or Monday at a couple other blogs. Yes, we knitbloggers all handed our cameras over to an obliging fellow party-goer to memorialize us for The Blog(s).
Wendy came to Minneapolis for the opening of Radiant Knits: The Bohus Tradition at the American Swedish Institute and a long-time internet friend of hers had a party for her on Thursday night. I was thrilled to meet Wendy and am happy to report she is every bit as nice and friendly and entertaining in person as she in on her blog (as are Chris and Susan :-) ). It was a lovely party, complete with yummy food and drink, and held at the hostess's sophisticated loft in the warehouse district of Minneapolis.
The view of downtown through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Some of the non-knitting guests.
There was much chatting and laughing and munching and even some knitting. The hosts had a standard poodle who was perfectly groomed and perfectly behaved and perfectly charming. Meet Tasha!
They also had five (5!) ragdoll kitties, three of whom were too shy to join the party. But the other two got lots of petting and ear-scritches and seemed to enjoy themselves.
But don't tell Lucy.
Thank you, Catherine, for including me on your guest list, and thank you, Wendy, for coming to The Great Frozen North! Please come again!
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* What were we knitting? I know you want to know.
New puppies at the puppy cam site!
[Son] and [daughter-in-law] had a baby girl this morning, however, Son delivered the baby at their house! DIL started having labor pains about 3 a.m. and called the doctor about 5:30, and the doctor told her she still had several hours yet, but DIL was having intense labor pains and was waiting for Son to get 2-year-old Daughter ready. So then she went into the bathroom and started screaming at Son and Son had to leave 2-yo Daughter in the highchair, and the baby's head was coming out. So Son called 911 and they walked him through delivering the baby. What was scary for him was getting her to breathe, but she did and he tied off the cord, then the paramedics got there and they let him cut the cord since he did all the work. No name yet, they are both in shock still. She is 7 pounds 8 ounces (smaller then 2-yo daughter, she was 8 pounds 11 ounces), but she is nursing and DIL and the little girl are doing great. Son said he remembered in the Navy not to panic or things could get worse, so he decided, well, I guess I am going to deliver a baby this morning! He did great and so did DIL. I'll send the name later and some pictures. - Cousin G.
Maggie, #2 son's gf, was looking through my copy of Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard. She noted model after model dressed in a hand-knit sweater and underpants and nothing else, except for the one model who appeared to be wearing the obligatory hand-knit sweater and a strategically placed cereal bowl. "Put some pants on!" she kept telling the models. She even called #2 son into the room to look at one particularly egregious fashion disaster -- I believe it involved a tank top, hand-knit skirt, patterned tights, and patterned shoes. "Ewwwww," was their consensus.
And that is my review of THAT book.
If you have a natural Christmas tree, remember to water it:
I would like to point out that on this, the last weekend of Good Old 2008, I finally updated my 2008 FO folder (link in the sidebar). That felt so darned good that I updated my Ravelry projects page. And if I ever take the frickin' fotos, I will update my stash page, too. Warning: don't hold your breath.
I got another interesting couple of e-mails. Here is what they both looked like, except that the addressee -- which is not my e-mail address, btw -- was slightly different:
I immediately checked my PayPal account and was not surprised to see no such charge. I most assuredly did NOT click on the "Dispute Transaction" link near the bottom of the e-mail. If nothing else about the e-mail screams "Scam!" at you, at least look at the *math* in the middle. Sheesh.
I have had a tab open in Firefox all day long for Webs, debating about whether to order the Silky Wool for the Baby Cables & Big Ones, too (really stupid name for that pattern) sweater. I finally decided on a good neutral color (50) and the total $ turned out to be far less than I had previously estimated. (What was I thinking? Why did it take me so long to figure out their "discounts"?) But I had resolved not to buy any yarn this year, and I need to finish the kimono sweater OTN. The Lavold yarn is in my cart. Update: the yarn is ordered; frugality and common sense be damned.
BTW, did you know that when you are on a pattern page in Ravelry like the one I linked to, you can click on the "Yarns" tab at the top -- not the "Yarns" tab at the very top, instead the "Yarns" tab between "Details" and "nnn projects" -- and see all the different yarns that people have used for that particular pattern? Sweet feature!
This blog, Clusterfuck Nation by James Kunstler, is an interesting -- albeit depressing -- read. There is definitely a good deal of truth in what he says. I question his precise timing, but not his underlying thesis, which is that our present mode of life is unsustainable and will end sooner rather than later.
From today's (extremely long) post:
There are two realities "out there" now competing for verification
among those who think about national affairs and make things happen.
The dominant one (let's call it the Status Quo) is that our problems of
finance and economy will self-correct and allow the project of a
"consumer" economy to resume in "growth" mode. This view includes the
idea that technology will rescue us from our fossil fuel predicament --
through "innovation," through the discovery of new techno rescue remedy
fuels, and via "drill, baby, drill" policy. This view assumes an
orderly transition through the current "rough patch" into a vibrant
re-energized era of "green" Happy Motoring and resumed Blue Light
The minority reality (let's call it The Long Emergency) says that it is necessary to make radically new arrangements for daily life and rather soon. It says that a campaign to sustain the unsustainable will amount to a tragic squandering of our dwindling resources. It says that the "consumer" era of economics is over, that suburbia will lose its value, that the automobile will be a diminishing presence in daily life, that the major systems we've come to rely on will founder, and that the transition between where we are now and where we are going is apt to be tumultuous.
My own view is obviously the one called The Long Emergency.
...The dialectic between the two realities can't be sorted out between the stupid and the bright, or even the altruistic and the selfish. The various tech industries are full of MIT-certified, high-achiever Status Quo techno-triumphalists who are convinced that electric cars or diesel-flavored algae excreta will save suburbia, the three thousand mile Caesar salad, and the theme park vacation. The environmental movement, especially at the elite levels found in places like Aspen, is full of Harvard graduates who believe that all the drive-in espresso stations in America can be run on a combination of solar and wind power. I quarrel with these people incessantly. It seems especially tragic to me that some of the brightest people I meet are bent on mounting the tragic campaign to sustain the unsustainable in one way or another. But I have long maintained that life is essentially tragic in the sense that history won't care if we succeed or fail at carrying on the project of civilization.
Guess who has been having fun with TypePad's variety of fonts and colors today?
For those poor souls -- Cookie, Stacy, Carrie K., Abigail, Carrie, and anyone else who lives in the land of the warmth and the sun and the palm -- here are some snowy white Christmas-style images just for you.
Those sparkles? Some are on the snow, some are in the air -- tiny ice crystals floating on the breeze.
In the words of another blogger, merry whatever you've got!