Sunday, June 1, 2008

June 2008 (BC)


Apparently, I've lapsed back into my 'once-a-week-posting' mode. Sorry, I'll try not to do that.

What have I been up to?

1) Started the Printed Silk Cardigan

It's from the Spring 2008 Interweave Knits out of Lyndon Hill by Bristol Yarn Gallery. For the knitters reading the blog, yup, Lyndon Hill is a fingering weight yarn, and yup, the pattern calls for dk weight. But I'm making it work.

2) I also finished the socks.

3) Placed my 5th order with The Loopy Ewe .

First, we have Merino Silk roving from The Sanguine Gryphon in Walden.

And some Shibui Sock in Earth for Jenny from the Blog.

4) Placed my 6th order with The Loopy Ewe .

I loved the Walden roving so much, I had to have more. Jenny from the Blog found more Shibui to love. But the real importance of this order is - I'm now a Loopy Groupie!!! (Trust me, that's a good thing)

5) Other miscellany

We turned on the AC Friday evening, since summer has decided to be here. The actual spring weather for more than two weeks was a nice change though, and much appreciated. I will miss it.

I found some books to read, "This Is Not Chick Lit", edited by Elizabeth Merrick and "The Oxford Book of Modern Women's Stories", edited by Patricia Craig. I have no patience for much of popular fiction, and was searching for something with a bit of sense to it. I'm a couple stories into Chick Lit Not, and I realize that much like my movie tastes, if it doesn't have ghosts, vampires, or aliens, I really don't care. The stories I have read don't really have anything wrong with them, it's just stuff I don't care to read. Both stories involved women getting into relationships, and then finding out it wasn't what they wanted, but not in the fluffy way that most fiction aimed at women does. Still, I'm not enriched or moved by reading it. One could argue that reading about ghosts, vampires, and aliens won't enrich a person either. True, but at least it's an entertaining ride. Maybe I should take them back and get some Stephen King.

And now, I will leave you with a cat picture. Tugger has the right idea.

Conspiracy theories

There's a conspiracy afoot. At least one, maybe more. Either 1) the super-big-run-everyone-else-out-of-business store (you know the one) is out to get all our monies, or 2) there's a government conspiracy to make us all fat. Actually, I could see the two of them being in cahoots.

Saturday, we made a trip to the super-big-run-everyone-else-out-of-business store, which, interestingly, does not carry everything yet, ensuring the survival of a couple of stores for a few more months. After giving them a large chunk of money for very few bags, we made our way back home only to discover we were missing a bag, the bag with all my yogurt. I called the store, and after they checked with the cashier (who probably handed our bag to the next person, so somebody had a good yogurt day), they told me to just bring my receipt in, and I could get what I purchased. Had I not missed my yogurt, and no chance of that happening, they would have made an easy $6.00 off of me. Which wouldn't have mattered to them, since someone else probably got it instead.

Due to the high cost of gas, we weren't heading back over there just to get yogurt. So, today Ramblin and I went there after work. We picked up a few more items in addition to the replacement yogurt. After getting the yogurt debacle cleared through the customer serivce, we headed to the checkout lanes. While the cashier was checking us out, I noticed my grapes rang up twice. I asked the clerk about it, sure enough, it had. Aha! I would have had to make another trip back. She punches in a few numbers, says "Ok, it's voided, let me ring it up again."

Yup, you can see where this is going. After I paid, I looked at my receipt. No voided entries, but three separate entries for grapes of $4.99, $5.01, and $5.03. Back to the service desk we go. After standing in line for a while, we were assisted by a different person, which didn't make us seem like people with chronic issues. She was mostly at a loss as to why it would ring up different weights all three times. To her credit, she gave them to me at the $4.99 and refunded the more expensive two.

So, about an hour after all of this began, we finally got to leave. Notice that the only items we had issue with were healthy items. Did we have problems with the light bulbs (Ragged, we bought the good kind)? No. Pillow? No. See, they don't want you to buy stuff that's good for you, so they make it have problems, or just flat out don't give it to you.

Three trips, two of them problematic. Too bad buying produce online isn't feasible.


'A visitor' left this comment on 4 Jun 08
I got someone else's cauliflower, red onion, and bag of mixed fresh veggies last week...sorry, no yogurt. I'm with on on the conspiracy theory.

I are a Loopy Groupie!!!!!!


Pictured above is the infamous red tote; a Loopy Groupie sock pattern, Lacy Pillars designed by Debbie O'Neill; Chameleon Colorworks Bambino in Eggplant; a Loopy Ewe heart keyring; Loopy Kisses and funfetti. Big bunches of thanks to Sheri and the elves for being so wonderful!

Wanna see what brought about all that loveliness?

Order #6 consisted of a Dream in Color adult Tulip Sweater pattern (gee, does this mean I'll be ordering Dream in Color to make it? Signs Say Yes.), more Walden roving from The Sanguine Gryphon (love it!) and Shibui Sock in Rappongi for Jenny from the Blog. I didn't want to completely unwrap it, so she could have the honor, but I really wanted to see it. Would you like a closer look?

And let's see Walden again.

I tried a pic of it in different light, so you can get the idea of the lovely sheen it has. 35% silk tends to do that.

Speaking of Jenny from the Blog, since she can't announce this on her blog BECAUSE SHE NEVER POSTS ANYMORE, it will soon be her birthday, and my present to her is knitting her some socks out of the yarn she bought.

It has some interesting pooling going on, but I think because I chose a simple pattern, it will turn out neat.

Digging for Roots

A few months back, I was trying to research my grandmother's side of the family. I had hit a roadblock, seeming to either have to travel a distance (3 hours) to look up the stuff myself, or pay $12.95 a month to get the info. Last night, after finding a Croatian group on Ravelry, I started looking around the 'net again, and found a place that will allow you to request a document on two names for no charge. It's part of our state's database, and I'm so thankful I found it. I'm hoping to get the 1910 federal census info on both of my great-grandparents.

I'm off to play with yarn. Be back soon.


'A visitor' left this comment on 4 Jun 08
Oh, no. Not another one.

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink

Other than what I bought at the Dollar General Store, that is.

Because despite my best promises to keep the blog updated, which I have not done, some of you out there in blogland may not be aware that the water is a little high in our county. We are not in danger of any of the flooding reaching our house, but it's still managing to affect us.

Yesterday, I made it to work in the morning, only to learn half an hour later that my usual route had just been shut down due to a levee failure. Phooey, I thought, I really don't like going the other way around.

Today, Ramblin calls me at work to see if we had been listening to the news. A major water main had broken in the town that we get our water from. The break is somewhere under the flood water. This situation could last for days. Eeee. I trek out at break in search of water, because Ramblin informed me the Wally-world near him was completely out of water. I scored six gallons and a case of bottle water from DG. I really had no idea how much to buy. Of course, there's going to be an initial shortage, then things should settle out.

Thank goodness we have power. That would be miserable.

What's been up on the knitting front?

Jenny from the Blog's Shibui socks.

PSC cardi back.

Off to Jenny's for showering facilities. She's a life-saver.


'A visitor' left this comment on 12 Jun 08
Two things you should never be without, water and internet.
'A visitor' left this comment on 11 Jun 08
Just hoping the flood waters don't make it down here to us! Be careful.

How High?

This is the exit I usually take to work. Below is the road I would travel into Vincennes. On the right is the Dodge dealership, which got all of its vehicles out before the levee broke.

No cows were harmed in the making of this blog.

I don't think they'll need the irrigation systems, do you?

That's a park building along the river. Now it's in the river.

For half my drive to and from work, this is all I see. Those are supposed to be fields.

Lawrenceville Illinois flooding 2008

Most of the pictures above were taken by me, but the photo of Westport, IL and the park building were sent by coworkers.

The good news is we have water somewhat back, under boil order, of course. The water has been tested and found safe for bathing, so Jenny from the Blog won't have refugees on her doorstep anymore.

Coming soon: shameless adoration of the yarn that is Spunky Electic Tough Socks.


'A visitor' left this comment on 13 Jun 08
Thanks for the photos. I've been trying to get a sense of how bad it is, but hadn't seen any really proportionate shots.
'A visitor' left this comment on 13 Jun 08
Yikes! Looks like what we drove home in from Indy last weekend. I am hoping this all doesn't head south to us.
'A visitor' left this comment on 12 Jun 08
That's unbelievable.

Home is where the TiVO is

Water - still there.

We're still under a boil order, but there is clean water running from our tap, which is much better than the brown trickle that was coming out of it the day the water main broke. We're still living on the water I got last Wednesday, so we're fine.

In other big news, we went to see a movie today. In a theater. This is big news, because the last time we went to a theater was 2003, for X2: X-Men United. (Before that was early 2002 for Black Hawk Down. We swore never again.) We were out of town, nothing better to do, why not? We quickly found out why not and hadn't been to another one in five years. Then Ramblin received tickets to a nearby movie theater for x-mas, and today was the day we decided to use them.

What prompted us out of our comfortable living room was The Happening (Cynical - Shyamalan!). The movie - okay, not as good as his Signs or The Village, but very watchable. The theater experience? Pass.

Granted, no one was acting like animals (unlike the X2 experience), but where's the comforts of home? Give me my recliner, home-popped popcorn, and the power to say, "What was that?" and instantly rewatch it. Also, the 'menu' button allows you to skip the fifteen minutes of previews, plus the commercials before the previews.

And loud. Good heavens, it was LOUD. We have surround sound, but we don't have to make the windows rattle three streets away.

We then returned home, cooked steaks, ate and napped. We really lead far too exciting of lives. I don't think most people could handle it, best leave it to the pros.

*Spunky Adoration Alert* Okay, I promised some gushing, and gush I will. But first, a visual aid.

That, my friends, is socky-goodness. Spunky Eclectic Tough Sock in Blue Moon, using the River Rapids sock pattern by Sock Bug , more or less (No, the original isn't toe-up. And it uses less stitches. But other than that, it's exactly like it). When I was winding the yarn, I could already feel the sproingy-ness of it. I kept having a coworker squish it, because it is so very squishable. Then I started knitting with it. Oh wow. Now, of course, I wish I would have bought more of it from Lisa at One City Market . Ragged, that lucky girl, has quite a nice selection of it.

Which brings me to another thing to gush over - Ravelry. If you're a knitter and haven't signed up, go now. I was winding the yarn on break, becoming more and more enamored with it, when I thought to myself, "I wonder if Ragged got this kind, or another?" We both stocked up on the stuff while in Springfield, MO and I knew she bought all of the same kind, I just didn't remember which kind she bought. Enter Ravelry, the place that lets you virtually root through your friends' stashes, without the pesky Breaking and Entering charges. Sure enough, she had got The Good Stuff. (Keep in mind, I haven't yet knitted with the other kind I bought, Skinny Sock. No doubt in a month I'll be lamenting that Ragged didn't get any of it.)

Let's have a closer look at those socks, shall we?

Oh yes, it's loverly, make no mistake about that. In the wak of all this loverliness, the PSC has gone wanting.

Well, who can blame a girl, it's stockinette on plain yarn. And there's purling.

Other doings of the weekend have included a free Starz/Showtime weekend, which makes us leaving the house all the more miraculous. Movies viewed:

The World's Fastest Indian - very good and *spoiler alert* Anthony Hopkins doesn't die at the end. You know the movie studios have it in for old men and dogs. Really pleased he made it out alive.

Black Snake Moan - didn't know what to expect from this one, but not a bad movie at all. I've definitely watched worse. The Notebook - I'm looking at you. That's what happens when a group of women pick a movie for a retreat. Yes, I am a woman, but I don't like those movies. Alien vs. Predator anyone?

The Golden Compass - okay, this one was our Netflix movie, but I'll still review it here. I was hoping for more from it. When it premiered and the organized religions were up in arms about it, I thought, "Great! I have to see this!" Hey, you have your litmus tests, I have mine. It was an okay movie, but I was definitely prepared for more 'in your face' atheism. Of course, being an independent when it comes to religion probably leaves me unaware of much of the themes and insinuations. (Ex. In a conversation once with Farmwife, she mentioned something about Protestant. I asked, "Oh, is that what you are?" Her response, "Honey, pretty much everyone in Christianity that isn't Catholic is." Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, I remember hearing that.) So, I guess if you're Christian, you might find something repulsive about the movie. Maybe. I don't know. Regardless, the young actress in the movie did a very good job.

Other movies TiVO'ed for perusal - Powder, (haven't seen it in years, remember it being a neat movie) and Lucky Number Slevin (I don't remember anything about what this movie is about - what the hey, it's free). There may be more, but I can't remember right now.

But you can be sure I will be enjoying them in my recliner with my 'non-$10-coronary-in-a-bag' popcorn.


'A visitor' left this comment on 22 Jun 08
Glad you like the Spunky :) Even more glad you're drying out, this spring has not been an easy one in terms of weather, glad you're safe.
'A visitor' left this comment on 16 Jun 08
Knew I liked you. Though, I will admit to liking chick flicks as much as action movies. I'm not as into the blood/gore/fright flicks. I must agree with you on the Golden Compass, why was it protested?

Oh, and I do love blue, so feel free to show the springy blue happiness any time.

'A visitor' left this comment on 16 Jun 08
Ooooooh, pretty. I must did mine out and start it. Must do it. I will be lamenting as well.

Nothing to see here

There may not be any pictures on the blog for a while. I'm working on a house-warming project for Ragged and Cynical, and it's going to be a surprise. I'm wanting to get it done as quickly as possible, so that means not working on any other projects until it's done. So, I'll just have to entertain you with my wit. Oh geez.

All reports indicate our water situation is back to normal. The car wash is no longer blocked off, the restaurants in the county are open once again, and our faucets aren't spewing murky water. The backwaters themselves are slowly dropping out, which unfortunately means all of the vegetation is becoming exposed. And anyone who has experienced that will know what I'm going to say next - it stinks. Bad. A scent I like to call Death's Outhouse. The only thing you can do is hope it dries up quickly.

We got our lovely, wonderful coffee today from the Mudhouse in Springfield, MO. Oh my goodness, it is so delightful. We are such coffee junkies.

I guess that's about all going on. If all goes well, I will be finishing the super top-secret project (she already knows it's this rug and general colors, but everything else is totally a surprise) sometime this weekend.


'A visitor' left this comment on 19 Jun 08
Wooo hooo for clean water and surprises (and hopes that the stench soon ends.)
'A visitor' left this comment on 19 Jun 08
Glad you are drying out! Hope the smell passes soon. Just grab some wool, wet it and sniff!

Ends won't be the end of me

Rug is knitted. Ends are not worked in. Urk.

Instead of working in ends like a good girl, I have been knitting a tiny bit on the PSC and in general, avoiding working in the ends. I must just hunker down and get this accomplished. Ragged needs her rug.

Today, I forced myself to get out of our building and get Choco Cremes from Lic's. I had the notion of them in my mind, and knew I would get no peace until I had them. The trick was getting through the construction that plagues that area, which is also the route I take home. Basically, they have four lanes choked off to two, routed on the same side. To get to Lic's, I had to navigate the plethora of barrels that now barricade the two defunct lanes, and fortunately had a very kind person let me back in once I had completed Choco Creme Acquisition.

Ramblin and I have made short work of them, and the verdict is . . . . I think I built them up in my head to more than what they are. I got the mixed variety, and I had remembered them as being all sorts of flavors, but I think there is only vanilla, chocolate, cherry, and butter pecan. Can some expert confirm or deny this?

The result is, I may just stick with the local ice cream shops version - Choco Dees, from The Dairy Dee. If you don't know what the Dairy Dee is, be sad, because you're missing out. They have what I think is strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla. Don't get me wrong, I like butter pecan, but not enough to brave road construction.

I also borrowed a book from the 'communal book pile' at work. Girl with a Pearl Earring. I'm on page 37, so I don't know much about it yet, but it's first-person, which I love reading. I just finished When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris, borrowed from Jenny from the Blog.

I think that's all worth writing about for now. If I get all the ends worked in, look for knitting pictures to resume soon. However, if you would like to see some of my spinning in action, see Chris's entry here . I literally have no idea what that fiber was, but I know when I had it spun up, I thought of Chris. She got it as a thank you for scrounging all the purple Koigu from Stitches 2006(?) since I couldn't get there until later.

And of course, I will post a pic of the rug once Ragged receives it.


'A visitor' left this comment on 24 Jun 08
Our last batch had coffe flavored in it also.
'A visitor' left this comment on 23 Jun 08
You are correct on the flavors. For me, I just like the vanilla ones.

I used to bike to a DQ on what used to be Division at Weinbach. They had the best Choco Milkshakes. Their ice cream base was different from other DQs, not sure why. More icy, which is how I love my ice cream. But then they built the Lloyd and my DQ was gone!

I knew it

Yesterday, we had been eating supper, when as Ramblin was going to the kitchen, the cats and I felt something. My thoughts were, "Hmmm, that felt like an earthquake," and the cats' thoughts were more like, "We're all going to die!!!" Ramblin hadn't felt it, and suggested it might be a sonic boom or maybe some of our town's finest morons with loud mufflers, stereos, etc. The USGS website didn't show anything, so it seemed it must have been one of those, or something done blowed up.

Later on, once the earthquake guys at USGS updated their site, sure enough, we had a 2.9 at about 5:20 pm.

The cats have recovered and are doing well.


'A visitor' left this comment on 5 Jul 08's not often a knitblog has really earth-shaking news. Glad to hear you aren't too rattled by it. :)
'A visitor' left this comment on 26 Jun 08
I am waiting for it to hit big and be felt here. Hoping it doesn't happen though.
'A visitor' left this comment on 25 Jun 08
Dem damn diggity dang earthquakes. I'm a declarin' a moratorium on natural deesasters. Ya hear?

First rule of Sock Club, tell everyone you can about Sock Club

The rug is done! The rug is done! Of course, you can't see it until the recipient gets it, but rest easy in knowing that it is done.

Ramblin's family is up visiting to celebrate the birthday boys. Soon, Ramblin will have caught up with his 'older woman'.

Since I haven't done much in the way of knitting I can show you, I'll show you what I have discovered in the meantime.

This is the first installment of the White Sock Sampler Club from Wool2Dye4. Four times a year, they will be sending me sockie goodness. This is their BFL Ultra. Would you like a closer look?

Who wouldn't love that?

"Well, it's not nearly as soft as my belly."

How DOES his spine do that?!

Happy Birthday Sweetheart


'A visitor' left this comment on 30 Jun 08
Happy Birthday to the Man!

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