I should be knitting

Holy shit. Christmas is less than two months away. It comes at the same time every year, but it still somehow manages to sneak up on me. The holiday goodies are already in at Lush*, but my fingers aren't dancing around any crimbo presents. After last year, I seriously considered giving all my ungrateful people gift certificates to Target (I know that Waldemart would be more degrading, but my resolve to never shop there is strong!). That may still happen for a few of them.
I am trying to be a bit more reasonable this year in my knitting list:
*three pairs of socks (one in sport weight)
*a scarf
*two pairs of slippers
*two pairs of armwarmers

I don't know who I am fooling with those three pairs of socks! I knit fast, but I have to sleep sometime! I actually got to knit a bit of my own project today at work, which was a luxury. Usually, I am too busy with other things, but I whipped out Juliet and stitched away while we had a visit from one of our yarn reps. I've finished three repeats of the lace pattern, but I think that I have three or four more to go.

The windows in my car have decided that they do not want to roll down. I suppose that's better than refusing to go up, but still damned inconvenient. What if I want to go to a drive-up? I wonder if there is some secret child lock that I accidentally tripped or simply a short in the electrical system. See, again, I fool myself--there's nothing simple about a short!

I discovered this little problem while making a mad dash to Lush with Zoe after work. I'm not sure why we wanted to roll down the windows in fifty degree weather, but there it is. We got there in just the nick of time to sniff all of the holiday goodies. I was surprised by my likes and dislikes this year. Twinkle, as last year, is on the top of my list. Love that American Cream scent! I also bought a Holiday Slice, which seems to be Ruby Slippers with a new name. I was disappointed by the other holiday bath bombs. Green Party smelled kind of medicinal and I hate cleaning up all of those little streamers. I was surprised to like one of the holiday jellies, Gold, Frankincense, and Beer. The name says it all, really. It has a wonderful, warm scent similar to the base note of my much beloved bottle of Egoiste.

Off to the needles.....


True or False: Knitting lace while you are sick is a good idea.
Now, I thought that statement was true today, though clearly it is false. The end result? A couple of hours spent with a crochet hook fixing my mistakes followed by a few minutes of frogging. Really, I'm not that upset about it. In fact, I think it's kind of funny that I even tried knitting lace while my brain was stuck in second gear. Fortunately, I am feeling better this evening and am wise enough to put aside that project for another day.
Was anyone else excited to hear that Dumbledore is gay? It doesn't matter at all in the course of the HP story, but that's why I like it. Zoe is of a similar opinion. We've decided to make Dumbledore amigurumis to celebrate. At the rate I am moving, that doll might be done in time for Pride next year. As for the people who are upset about this revelation-- there are far more serious things happening in the world. Are they really willing to overlook "witchcraft" and Christ-like figures but unwilling to accept a friend of Dorothy at Hogwarts? I think it's fabulous. Alert readers may also recall that Dumbledore is a knitter, too. I hope that doesn't offend anyone's delicate sensibilities!


What is that mournful sound I hear? A lone oboe or the plaintive wail of a bassoon? No, that is the sad trumpeting of my nose. I am as sick as a dog with a head cold and totally miserable. Since my breathing is less than genteel, I decided to skip the London Symphony Orchestra concert tonight. I bought the ticket ages ago and am fairly sad about missing their all Beethoven program. Let's hope that things work out better for the Haydn Trumpet Concerto, because my track record this season isn't promising.

I selfishly went to work today, like some kind of Typhoid Mary. I honestly believed that after a couple of good doses of Sudafed, it would be manageable. That was not the case. Instead, I went through about a half a box of Kleenex and couldn't keep up with the usual witty banter. I think that I will take tomorrow off, to lie in bed with the New Yorker and breathe as heavily and noisily as I please!

I've made a fair bit of progress on my Juliet sweater. I did a bit of finagling with the pattern (I believe the technical term is *alterations*), to keep it from being so gappy in the front. I knew this would cause some problems when I reached the lace pattern, but the alterations were close enough to the pattern's stitch count that I do not foresee problems. My Juliet is going to be the one with the lower waist, because the high-high waist is unflattering for anyone with breasts. I still want a bit of an empire waist, so I probably won't follow the "long" instructions to a tee.


For your consideration:

Zoe showed me this clip at work. Because all knitters love Harry Potter.

Not much going on at the moment. Inspired by the French Cafe compilation that keeps spinning in my car stereo, I bought Mathieu Boogaerts' latest album. It's finally available on itunes here in the states! It's really great, but difficult to describe. There are some very interesting things coming out of France these days.

I am also geekily excited about a recent Lush purchase. They just released this year's Charity Pot lotion. Love, love, love. It smells kind of like roses, which is curious since it doesn't contain any. Maybe that's the combination of the ylang-ylang, gardenia, and tagette's oil. My favorite part is the dry finish. It's not drying, like Potion, but dries to a powder finish while still providing moisture to the skin below. This is very important to someone who handles fiber all day and can't have lotion-y hands.

Other geeky excitement: Those with a gimlet eye might spot me in one of the Yarn Con pictures on The Panopticon. I'm the lady wearing a red shirt and an orange hat. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I got a lot of compliments on it, and now I can see why so many would take notice. That is a bold color combination.



I have a lot going on these days. A lot to do and a lot weighing on me. This may require a long soak in the tub and a good cry. For starters, the weather has been pretty blah the last couple of days. I was happy on the first cool day when I could bring out one of my heavy sweaters, but all these grey days are really doing a number on my morale. Fortunately, I'm knitting a lot of bright projects.

My grandmother is in the hospital again. I don't want to go into a lot of details, but I'm pretty emotional about it. It's really hard for me this time because I have some sort of bug and am afraid of giving it to her if I go to visit. Sigh. This definitely calls for a bubble bath.

I went to Yarn Con this weekend. It was the first year, and I think a few kinks still need to be worked out. Overall, it was pretty great. I met some really cool artists, like Jenny the Potter. She makes amazing ceramic buttons and fiber-themed crockery. I bought a skein of really awesome, squishy handspun from Biggie. I think I will make a hat out of it. You can never have too many hats when you live in a cold climate like Chicago!

I finally found suitable sock yarn for the Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. That shouldn't have been such a struggle, given my place of employment, but it really helped me to see a group of yarns dyed by one dyer together. I finally decided to use a couple of handpaints from My Small Wonders. One is primarily green, with beautiful veins of lavender through it, and the other tone-on-tone purples. The dyer even asked me to email her a picture of the finished product to put on her etsy page. Very cool.

So many projects, so little time... If only I were coordinated enough to knit in the tub and not end up swimming with wool!


Anyone have a black light? Hendrix poster optional

I returned to the rarefied air at the symphony today, but it was anything but relaxing. I had somehow forgotten that the concert was the same day as the marathon. It was impossible to drive downtown (which I did because the sunday train schedule sucks) and my car nearly overheated from all of that bumper to bumper traffic. I was cranky, and really hot because I had to turn the heat on to cool off my engine. Argh.

The performance itself was quite nice. I heard the piece that I really wanted to hear, the William Tell Overture, and left at intermission. My ulterior motive in attending the concert was to see Riccardo Chailly conduct, as he is rumored to be on the CSO shortlist. Naturally, my seat was behind someone with a giant Charlie Brown head and I had to crane my neck all over the place to see the podium. The performance was as I expected. They played William Tell in an Italian fashion: a bit faster tempo, and a lot more vivace than one might hear from an American company. It was really amazing to hear it in concert.

The party we've been working so hard on at work has come and gone. A good time was had by all. I even fell under the spell of a yarn that I walk past dozens of times a day: Artyarns Silk Rhapsody Glitter. It's silk and can send a knitter into a rhapsodic state. Until now, I've avoided the call of the Clapotis. Maybe now that I want to make one, it's officially over. If you aren't familiar with Kate Gilbert's Clapotis pattern from Knitty, you probably aren't a knitter. It had a success fou a few years back. In that contrary way that I'm sure all of my friends love, I refused to give in to something so popular. Then I tried on the store sample. It looked so French, chic, sophisticated. I felt like I should be drinking a solitary cup of cafe au lait on a rainy night at Cafe de Flore. So, now I'm going to make one. If I like it, I'll make a less dressy one (kind of like Elton John's storied special occasion and everyday tiaras). I'm pretty sure I will like it.

I also succumbed to the lure of sale yarn at Peace Fleece. Even though it's hot as hell right now, soon it will be cold, very cold for months on end. I want to be prepared. I was idly surfing their website when I saw that they're offering $3 skeins of Worsted Georgia Rose. That is a veritable bargain! However, it is marked down because a family of chipmunks tried to nest in it. At least, I assume it was a family and that they didn't meet through craigslist. I guess that the yarn was gnawed on a bit, so I ordered a couple of extra skeins, planning to have to cut out some weak spots. When I told my mom about this, she fanned the flames of my doubt. She suggested that the yarn might contain (ahem) organic materials and told me that I can check the skeins for chipmunk pee with a black light. Since it's not 1975, I don't have one. Maybe this is a bit naive, but I don't think that the wonderful hippies who run Peace Fleece would sell me yarn full of *organic chipmunk materials*. They've been really awesome in the past, so I choose to remain optimistic. We'll see if my cat attacks the box when it arrives in a few days. He's already established a strong dislike for wet alpaca, so I can't imagine that he'd allow eau de chipmunk to go unsniffed.

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