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the booty

(FYI: the "many things" post will be tomorrow...)

I managed to escape from Rhinebeck* with very little in the way of stuff. Right now, I have enough projects either on the back-burner or in progress that I find it very easy not to accumulate more.  Besides, I don't have that many places where I could put it.

I did finally get something that I've been eyeballing online for months: a mug from Jennie the Potter.


In the mug is the fiber that I couldn't resist:


It's 100 percent silk from Oak Grove Studio in Desert Sand. The beads seem to have fallen in there, too, somehow, because they would look great on the edges of the scarf that I intend to make.

I also picked up Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders and a box of fudge that has rewritten all that I thought I knew about fudge. Did you know that Pumpkin Pie fudge is the crack of the fudge universe? There's only one piece left. Things could get ugly.

I toyed with picking up a print from Conni Togel but couldn't commit. I also toyed with sweater kits from Swift River Farm and the always fabulous Yarns Internations but, seriously, I have enough to do.

I believe that's the sum total of the haul. Sad, eh? Still, I could not be more satisfied.


 * Not to be confused with the little known** movie of the same name.

** Alright. "Escape from Rhinebeck" exists only in my own mind. But if you saw the parking lot at 5 p.m. on Saturday, you could easily see how it'd be a fine action film.

back from the 'beck

I appear to have suffered from camesia this weekend. My hope is that the wonderful women that I was with (who I've known for almost 20 (!) years) managed to do a better job than I did. The few pixs I did take seem to be of animals (both of the mystical and actual sort), inanimate objects and babies.

Like this baby, whose cuteness floored me:


She's the granddaughter of the woman who was holding down the Briar Rose Fibers' booth, whose yarns, etc, are just as fabulous (in a different way) than this clearly loved nina's hat.

Speaking of awesome baby hats, I'm going to have to make one of these octopus hats for Cory and Maddy and maybe even Scott and I. I spotted it in the wild on the head of another fabulously cute baby but that mama was less inclined to let me snap a picture. Given that this was Sunday, just as we were leaving and I had to look like a weary, woolly crazy lady, I don't blame her.

I couldn't let the weekend pass without flirting with an alpaca.


He's all like, "how you doin'?"


"Give us a kiss, sweetie."


We also watched Australian Shepherds do their job with joy and reckless abandon. It should be noted that the sheep do not like that chute at all. Not even a little bit.


There were also artfully carved punkins, some of which were later flung in the air by large devices.


There were also gnomes, which appear to have defied my best attempts to get them in focus.


And by the end of the weekend, we felt like this puppy, very tired and very content.


There were purchases, of course, but they will have to wait for another day.

qotd, harlot edition

"...I am not known for my tenderness. Empathy, yes. Cleverness, sometimes. Wit, most days. Tenderness? No. I am simply not that sort of mother. I am the sort of mother who finds maternal sentiment vaguely nauseating, and I have never cut the crusts off anyone's sandwich. I am the sort of mother who never has a bandage, forgets the extra diapers, and makes up games like 'how long can we go without talking?' or ' let's pretend we're rocks!' just to get a moment's peace. When other mothers gushes about their feelings about their babies and the fulfillment they found in wiping noses and bottoms, I used to have to fake it a little to not get expelled from playgroup."

-- Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Free-Range Knitter, who I hope to catch up with at Rhinebeck this weekend, for which I've spent the week Getting Ahead On Things so that I can go and relax. With yarn, of course, and old college pals.

And speaking of this weekend, go tell Heidi to walk on with her bad self as she and team Blister Sisters leg it for 3-Days to raise money for breast cancer research.

in which a smell is discovered

So I've spent the last week or so playing "what's that smell?" up in our bedroom. It was definitely an organic odor. That much I knew. But the part that was making me nuts was that I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. While the smell was strong (and getting worse), its source was elusive.

When it started to waft downstairs as well, it finally dawned on me to go sniff the heating vent. Which turned out to be both a stroke of genius and an assault to the senses.

You really don't want a description. Let's just say that Death Himself had to be lingering in our ductwork with an over cooked bowl of broccoli.

Scott, bless him, took matters into his hands and discovered that our heater has some magnetic pull on the local mousies. Another pointed stick was fashioned, the ex-rodent was removed and Barney, like Mooch before him, sat around looking innocent. I swear to you that I caught him whistling tunelessly and looking at his watch.

It's nice to know that our late, great mouser was not alone in this particular behavior of slapping mice down the heating vents. And it is also nice to know that the new cat can also get the job done, if not with as much horrifying  panache as the previous cat. What would be even nicer is if the mice would take the hint and go elsewhere. Or, at least, stop using the furnace as their own personal pyre.

can you guess who picked out this outfit?

The Diva has been all about dressing herself lately. This was last Monday's outfit. How can you not love it? Plus, when she ran, it made people watching dizzy.


Fall is busting out all over, which is making it increasingly difficult to work, even though the work keeps increasing. This is the view from my office window.


We did dig out the Halloween stuff this weekend. The monster wreath is still with us...


... as are the felted pumpkins and thematically appropriate cross stitch.


No word yet on what the Diva will be for Halloween. If she could commit to just one idea for longer than 30 seconds, I'd be appreciative.

many things make a post

A many things post, a day early, simply because the links were stacking up and I have nothing more pressing for show-and-tell:

* David Sedaris on the Stadium Pal.

* Vote Silly in 2008: Michael Palin for President.

* For other children of the 1970s, how many of you remember reading lots of books about economic hard times? I also remember reading a gazillion books about broken families and families of choice. Which poses the larger question - maybe children's literature is the best way to figure out what is going on in any given culture at any given time?

* Even though I should know better, I can't resist The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Yes, I am ashamed.

* An inspired use for soiled disposable diapers.

* Athletes and Celiac Disease, from the NYT.

* Sock My Punks. This just seems like a project the knitting community ought to jump on.

* The Palin button I need. (NSFW if your workplace frowns on adult language.)

* This is really for my Dad (and anyone else, really, who likes sharp writing): Christopher Hitchens on America the Banana Republic

* Why it's always easily to blame the uterus and not the society, no matter what the data might tell you.

* This dress is made of awesome.

* Why did I not know about Strange Maps? Now that I do, thanks to Justine L., I feel all swoony. Here's two examples -- one involves sweet tea** and one involves words for fizzy drinks*** -- that will tell you why I swoon.


** I had no idea such a thing existed until we moved to Texas and were offered a choice between sweet and non by our good friends from Alabama. It was also from them that I learned what a biscuit should taste like. A revelation, really. 

*** Every semester I talk about slang/jargon with my Comm students and use the mid-South's tendency to call all sodas a "Coke" as an example. I then explain that you're then asked what kind of Coke you want, which could be a Sprite or  Dr. Pepper or RC. My students never believe me. Now I have proof!

qotd, politics edition

"You may not personally remember Vietnam or Watergate, but it's a good bet you remember 'No new taxes" and 'Out of the Loop' and 'No direct knowledge of any impropriety at this time' and 'Did not inhale' and "Did not have sex with that Ms. Lewinsky' and etc. etc. It's painful to believe that the would-be 'public servants' you're forced to choose between are all phonies whose only real concern in their own care and feeding and who will lie so outrageously and with such a straight face that you know they've just got to believe you're an idiot. So who wouldn't yawn and turn away, trade apathy and cynicism for the hurt of getting treated with contempt? And who wouldn't fall all over themselves for a top politician who actually seemed to talk to you like you were a person, an intelligent adult worthy of respect? ... Even in AD 2000, who among us is so cynical that he doesn't have some good old corny American hope way down deep in his heart, lying dormant like a spinster's ardor, not dead but just waiting for the right guy to give it to?"

-- David Foster Wallace, McCain's Promise: Aboard the Straight Talk Express with John McCain  and a Whole Bunch of Actual Reporters, Thinking About Hope. This essay has appeared in a couple of forms and is about McCain's 2000 run for the White House, not the most recent one. I wish DFW were still alive for a number of reasons -- but chief among them is to get an equally trenchant analysis of McCain's most current jog. Dammit.

this and that

Today marks the the first day of my two-day break from classes. And, because the glamour never stops around here, I plan to spend it transcribing interviews (loathe this), doing laundry and playing "what's that smell?" in our bedroom. I also have a ferocious headache. Woot.

(For those who want to follow along at home, "what's that smell?" is second only to "what's under the couch?" when it comes to games that frequently end in disgust and/or despair. My current theory on the smell in the bedroom is that some small critter died/was killed under the floor or in the ceiling. I could be wrong on this. Barney keeps staring at a spot near my closet but I can't find anything there that smells. The hope is that whatever it is will decompose completely without drippage or be found and disposed of. Again, the glamour never stops.)


Some pixs:

The Autumnal cross-stitch is done. See if you can spot the chowder-headed mistake I made:


Said mistake has now been fixed and it is all off to the framer.

Barney's opinion of my work:


I've started something new and is *gasp* knitted:


Yes, I do seem to be fixated on squirrels right now.

The first bit:


Here's the problem - I'm using a yarn that is just a skosh heavier than that which is called for and I'm starting to think that the result is going to be too big for standard-issue size human hands.  (In the below picture, keep in mind that I have very bony wrists and very, very long fingers. My hands are not standard-issue size but the hands of the recipient of these mittens are.)


Should I rip and start again with the right yarn? Should I merry knit along and hop for the best (or felt it ever so slightly when I'm done)? Thoughts?