Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I wish everyone a

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Finished Objects 2008 Part One

I noticed that some other people are posting year-end photos of what they've accomplished knittin-wise during the past year, and it seemed like a good way to make myself feel better, even if nobody else cares.

So, here's the beginning of what I did this year, not necessarily in chronological order.


Multicolored watch cap.


Cotton towel for Towel Day.


Dickie. This was actually finished around the beginning of the year, possibly last year in December, so it might be cheating.

Feather and Fan Socks. I made four pair of these.

Tour de Fleece spinning.

Ravelympics wimple.

Wool Shawl.

More tomorrow!

**********************

Tin Man will be on the SciFi Channel tonight. There won't be much science fiction competition for it.

Tomorrow, the SciFi Channel will be showing Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King starting at 8:00 am (here). It's the story of Sigfried and Brunhilde, it's a classic, and this version is very well done. Worth watching if you haven't seen it, and maybe even if you have.

There will also be a new Eli Stone and a new Leverage. Check your listings!

Have a great Monday! I have a dentist's appointment tomorrow, so you may not get a post then.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Holly!

Today is Holly's birthday, and I missed her phone call this morning. I also missed calling her this morning.



And Sara, I know today's not your birthday, but I know you're already celebrating, so

Happy Birthday, Sara!

There are lots of birthdays this month!


I missed singing Holly the Birthday Dirge this morning. So, for her, and for all of you having birthdays this month, here it is:


THE BIRTHDAY DIRGE
tune: "Volga Boatmen"

Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!
1. Now you've aged another year
Now you know that Death is near
Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!

1a. So you've aged another year
Now you know that Death is near

2. Children dying far and near
They say that cancer's caused by bheer

2a. Children dying everywhere
Women crying in despair

3. Death, destruction, and despair
People dying everywhere

3a. Doom and gloom and dark despair
People dying everywhere!

3b. Doom, destruction, and despair
Grief and sorrow fill the air

3c. Doom, destruction, and despair
People dying everywhere

3d. Death and gloom and black despair
People dying everywhere

3e. Pain destruction and despair
People dying everywhere

4. Typhoid, plague and polio
Coffins lined up in a row

5. Now that you're the age you are
Your demise cannot be far

5a. Now you are the age you are
Your demise cannot be far

5b. When you've reached the age you are
Your demise cannot be far

Other Common Verses:

6. Black Death has just struck your town
You yourself feel quite run-down

6a. Pestilence has struck your town
You yourself feel quite run-down

7. Birthdays come but once a year
Marking time as Death draws near

8. Long ago your hair turned grey
Now it's falling out, they say

8a. Soon your hair will all turn grey
Then fall out (or so they say)

The Viking/Barbarian Verses:

9. Burn the castle and storm the keep
Kill the women, but save the sheep

9a. Hear the women wail and weep
Kill them all, but spare the sheep

9b. May the women wail and weep
kill them all, but save the sheep

10. Burn, then rape by firelight
Add _romance_ to life tonight

11. Indigestion's what you get
From the enemies you 'et

12. May the candles on your cake
Burn like cities in your wake.

12a. May the cities in your wake
Burn like candles on your cake,

13. May the children in the street
Be your barbequeing meat

13a. We love children, yes we do
Baked or broiled or in a stew

14. May your deeds with sheep and yaks
Equal those with sword and axe

14a. May your deeds with sword and axe
Equal those with sheep and yaks

15. They stole your sword, your gold, your house
Took your sheep but not your spouse

16. This one lesson you must learn
First you pillage, then you burn

17. While you eat your birthday stew
We will loot the town for you,

The SCA Verses:

18. We brought linen, white as cloud
Now we'll sit and sew your shroud

19. You're a period cook, its true
Ask the beetles in the stew

20. Your servants steal, your wife's untrue
Your children plot to murder you

Other Verses:

21. Fear and gloom and darkness but
No one found out you-know-what

21a. Just be glad the friends you've got
Haven't found out you-know-what

22. I'm a leper, can't you see
Have a birthday kiss from me

23. It's your birthday never fear
You'll be dead this time next year

24. Now another year has passed
Don't look now they're gaining fast!

24a. So far Death you have bypassed
Don't look back, he's gaining fast

25. Now you've lived another year
Age to you is like stale beer

26. Now your jail-bait days are done
Let's go out and have some fun

27. See the wrinkles on your face
Like the pattern of fine lace

28. Were I sitting in your shoes
I'd go out and sing the blues

29. So you're 29 again
Don't tell lies to your good friend

29a. Tho you're turning 29
Age to you is like fine wine

30. You must marry very soon
Baby's due the next full moon

31. When you've reached this age you know
That the mind is first to go


Happy birthday to everyone with a birthday this month!

**************************

For all you Firefly fans, the SciFi Channel will be having Serenity on next Saturday! Check local listings.

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

We Had a Merry Christmas!

Holly and I went to Maryland to see Malaia and John for Christmas.

We arrived just in time for dinner and enjoyed it thoroughly, along with the good company.

They had the ultimate tree for anyone with allergies, a child or a dog. The tree was painted on the window, and could not be knocked over by children or pets.

It's also not susceptible to fire like the one shown here.

You can see the tree and presents.


Here's a photo of my granddaughter, Malaia.


And here is a series of photos of Holly opening presents.




We started out with everybody politely opening presents and disposing of the paper properly, and it soon degraded to the point where there were drifts of wrapping paper in the living room.

It didn't take long for Malaia to wad up a piece of discarded wrapping paper and throw it at Johnny, who, of course, grabbed some paper and retaliated. You can probably see where this is going. There was a lot of paper throwing, running around, and screaming. Most of it happened too quickly to see it all, but it ended with John trying to fish wrapping paper out of his shirt.

We fished the copy of Invader out of Everett's package and watched it along with other movies on DVD. I hadn't watched it in a while, and I was surprised at how it took me back to making it. 

Holly and I came back yesterday early in the afternoon. It was a really fun trip!

I hope you all had as much fun as I did!

Oh, and I got a small folding pocket knife (with a bottle opener included), and a gift card to Michaels. Holly is getting me a really neat gift, but she ordered it online (she couldn't find it anyplace else) and it hasn't arrived yet. There will be photos when it arrives.

Have a great Saturday!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

If you haven't seen the two posts from yesterday, go back and look at them.

********************

PS--BBC in America will be running all the Doctor Who Christmas Specials this afternoon!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

There's a version here for knitters, and one for science fiction fans.


KNITTERS CHRISTMAS EVE

'twas the night before Christmas and all around me
Was unfinished knitting not under the tree.
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care
'Cause the heels and toes had not a stitch there
The children were nestled all snug in their beds.
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep; he was no help at all,
And the sweater for him was six inches too small,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I put down my needles to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tripped over my yarn and fell down with a crash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how much I still had to go.
Out on my lawn I heard such a noise,
I thought it would wake both Dad and the boys.
And though I was tired, my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
But what I heard then left me perplex‑ed,
For not a name I heard was what I expected,

"Move, Ashford! Move, Lopi! Move, Addi and Clover!
Move, Reynolds! Move Starmore! Move Froelich ‑‑move over
Paton, don't circle 'round; stand in the line.
Come now, you sheep will work out just fine!
I know this is hard; it's just your first year,
I'd hate to go back to eight tiny reindeer."
I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing,

Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a‑grazing.
And then, in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa's feet coming across the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet,
And as I turned 'round St Nick I did meet.
He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe,
And his clothes were handknit from above to below.
A bright Fairisle sweater he wore on his back,
And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran knit sack.
His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf 'round his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
The back of his mittens bore an intricate cable.

And suddenly on one I espied a small label,
"S.C." was duplicate stitched on the cuff,
And I asked, "Hey, Nick, did you knit all this stuff?"
He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to knit when I was a kid."
He was chubby and plump, a quite well‑dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I'd thought up a plan.
I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair,

He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap
Where I'd laid my needles and yarn for a cap.
He quickly began knitting, first one cap then two,
For the first time I thought I might really get through.
He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks.
While I sat back drinking scotch on the rocks.
So quickly like magic his needles they flew
That he was all finished by quarter to two.
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me,
And I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year start your knitting sometimes around June!"


The following is sung to Joy to the World

Joy to the world, the sweater's done.
The vest is also knit.
And socks and hats and mittens
As warm and soft as kittens
Are underneath the tree
Are underneath the tree
All knit, all knit, all knit by me

**********************************

The UFO Incident Before Christmas
by Dave Walsh


'Twas the night before Christmas, and out in deep space,
Not a creature was stirring on SHADO Moonbase;
The spacesuits were hung in the lockers, so cute
In case they'd be needed for a jump in the chute.
The pilots were nestled all snug in their cots,
While visions of UFO's spun in their thoughts.

And Paul in his Nehru, and Gay in her skirt
Were sitting on watch, and starting to flirt
When from SID's connection there came such a clamor
Like the sound of a bell sharply struck by a hammer!
Away to the monitor they flew like a flash,
(Hoping the girls weren't writing more slash!)

The lights of the monitor gave off a glow
Just as an Intruder had started to show
Before they could ask about its speed rate,
SID had announced, "Velocity, SOL 8".
When suddenly all of their thoughts gave a glimmer
To the same notion, "It must be a Spinner!"
With a driver so vile, wearing a red suit
To kidnap some humans, the evil galoot!

More rapid than light, his agents they came,
And he telepathically called them by name:
"Now Croxley, now Collins, now Turner, now Craig and
On Roper, on Turner, on Fraser and Regan!
To the Dalotek base, then flashing by SID,
Get us to Earth, and truly well-hid!"

As a bat out of hell, his UFO flew,
While out of their crater the Interceptors spew;
They took their positions, their missiles they fired,
Each one had missed, (They must have been tired!),
The UFO sailed on straight to the Earth,
While the Interceptors returned, without proving their worth.

SHADO Command called Sky 1 in flight
And told Captain Carlin to set everything right.
He lined up the UFO for a well-placed shot,
But he also missed (He was as drunk as a sot!),
So out came the Mobiles, the minivan-tanks,
But the UFO just sailed over their ranks!

In Straker's back yard the UFO landed,
(It was a bad grounding, they just might be stranded!)
When out of the craft, just who should appear,
But an alien in red, covered with silver gear!
He entered the house, his intent still unknown,
But when he searched it, no one was home;
So he waited for Straker to return to his place
(In order to grab him and take him to space?)

When Straker returned to his home, which was locked,
He had Alec Freeman with him (Who was crocked!);
Also accompanying was Virginia Lake
Who saw the UFO and cried, "It's a fake!"
But Straker knew at once it was real,
And realized 'twas he that they'd come to steal;
So drawing his pistol, and kicking the door,
(Poor Colonel Freeman passed out on the floor!)
Ed leapt through the door and fired a shot--
But did he hit him? (I'm afraid not!)
The alien had in his hands a small gift
Just to give Straker's poor spirits a lift;
An alien fruitcake, their highest reward;
(Which here on Earth is largely deplored!)
But Ed was not in a gift-giving mood,
(Especially with such a God-awful food!)
So he shot him again,right straight in the chest,
Sending the alien to his final rest.
Ed's final words to the green fluid-sucker?
He shouted out, "Merry Christmas, Mother******!"
(So Straker's words don't cause any friction,
He just watched a video of the film "Pulp Fiction"!)

A SHADO cleanup crew was hastily called,
and back to the base the ET was hauled;
His space craft was strapped tightly down to a truck,
But before they could leave, it dissolved into muck;
But hung-over Alec, still full of good cheer,
Mumbled, "Happy Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year!"

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve!

I'm not going to be home tomorrow, so I'll wish you a merry Christmas right now.

I have piles of stuff to do that I put off from earlier, so this post will be short.

For those of you who would like to hear yet another Christmas carol, check this out. And for those who'd rather have something a little different, here's another one.

John sent me this yesterday.


And I found this on the internet:
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Three Days 'Till Christmas!

First of all, I hope you had a happy Winter Solstice on  Sunday. I should've mentioned it then, but lost track of the time. All this means two things: every day for the next six months will be getting longer. That's a cheery thing. And it means that Christmas is almost here.

I finished the first stocking and started the second. Here are photos of the first stocking.



One of the things I love about the internet is that you can make friends all over the world. My friend, Jane, lives in London, and sent me this:



I was amazed at the packaging. All the postal stuff looks so different than it would if it was mailed in the US. She even had to make a declaration for customs! This was such a hassle for her, and I just love it! Thank you, Jane!


I am absolutely tickled pink!

***************************

Well, we've gotten to the point where everything on TV is not on it's normal schedule in preparation for Christmas. There are also a lot of Christmas movies on. I happen to like Christmas movies, so that's OK for me, but there are all the regular shows that should be on that aren't, and I'm kind of disappointed in that.

Good luck with your Christmas viewing!

Happy last minute shopping!

Have a great day!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Shopping Adventure

Friday morning I woke up and it looked like this out my window.


Friday evening, I had gotten this far on the first Christmas stocking. More about that later.



Saturday, Holly and I went out shopping for Christmas presents.

We stopped in at AC Moore in Manassas. I was looking for some pretty bags to put presents in rather than wrapping them. I found a couple of bags, and that's it. I did find an afghan with a starry border around the bottom, and bought it for an amazingly low price. Here you see it under my very small Christmas tree over the table that is holding the tree at the right height for the window. I think it looks very Christmassy, and fits in with the blue and white theme in my living room. It goes with all the other stuff in my living room that also has stars, too.



We went to Best Buy, which is next door, and Holly got a couple of Christmas presents. Next stop was WalMart, where Holly got some more Christmas presents, but kept seeing things that she wanted for herself.

We were both disappointed with not finding things at the Manassas WalMart. They had no 2 liter bottles of Coke, sold out by a lot of shoppers in the store. I had some lights that I wanted to hang in the window this year, but needed an extension cord to run from the top of the window down to the outlet, and they didn't have any. Holly found some boots that she fell in love with, but they didn't have her size.

But there were some things we wanted that they just plain don't carry anymore. Their yarn section has shrunk to a small fraction of what it used to be. Almost all they had was Red Heart Super Saver, a cheap, scratchy, awful yarn. I've noticed that the Super Saver section in every WalMart store is always nice and neat and full, and I suspect that it's because nobody ever buys it.

We went across the street and had dinner at Ruby Tuesday, and had a lot of fun talking about so many different subjects. We discussed Christmas presents, and both decided that we wanted to go to a WalMart that is usually stocked in hopes of finding the things we didn't find at the one in Manassas.

So we went out to the car in the brightly lit parking lot, and drove out into the brightly lit street.

It wasn't until we got out onto Prince William Parkway, and away from the lights that we were aware of the problem we had.

There were no headlights on in the car.

Holly pulled off the road into a little, dark side road, and we tried to figure out what the problems was. We discovered that by holding the steering column control for the high brights, we could get them to come on. But the control had to be held continuously to keep the lights on. Nothing else worked.

We drove to an auto parts store, and everybody there insisted we needed new bulbs for the headlights. This seemed improbable to me, since I've never had TWO headlights burn out simultaneously. Holly bought new headlights and the guy from the store helped install them. 

Surprise! It made no difference at all.

So we looked at the fuses, and the guy from the store got a fuse tester and we tested all of them. All of them were working fine.

So we went to Pep Boys, and they said that it was almost closing time, and they couldn't help us.

So, the rest of the Christmas shopping was cancelled, and Holly took me home and drove home holding the control for the high brights the whole way. She sent me a text message to let me know she got home safely.

Here's a soothing photo of my Christmas tree to help mend your jangled nerves.


After I got home last night, I started feeling really bad. I ached all over and felt too hot and too cold at the same time. I've been sick and felt too hot and then too cold, but never at the same time before. I would have thought it was impossible. Apparently not.  I was also really tired, so finally gave up and went to sleep early, which was probably a good idea because I woke up today feeling much better except for my hand.

It didn't seem like I felt all that cold last night during all the time we spent standing outside the car trying to fix it. Actually Holly and the guy from the store did the fixing and I held the light. It was cold out there, but I didn't feel cold except for my fingertips after a while. 

But my hand hurt a lot last night. I've been doing everything I can think of to help, but I haven't knitted at all so far today. I don't know what suddenly happened to it unless it was the cold. 

I'm going to have another round of nutrients that are good for joints (MSM, etc.), take an Aleve, and put a warm pack on my hand before trying to do any more knitting.

I have to get my Christmas cards printed and sent out, too.

For all of you out there who are suffering from pre-Christmas stress, here's something to help. It's a Christmas tree made of acrobatic Teddy bears. Run your mouse over them to see what happens.

I hope you had a great weekend, and happy Monday!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Santa Hat


This Santa hat pattern is slated to go in the knitting book I'm writing, so it will be up here free for a limited time only.

Stuff you'll need:

About 210 yards of worsted weight yarn in the color of your choice (Santa hats don't have to be red in my opinion). I used one skein of Caron's Simply Soft Eco.

About 130 yards of eyelash yarn. I used Lion Brand Fun Fur.

Size 8 circular needle in a 24 inch length. According to your knitting style, you may also want a 16 inch one.

Size 8 circular needle in a 47 inch length OR a set of DP needles

Size 6 circular needle in a 24 inch length

Scissors

Stitch markers

Tapestry needle

Gauge

With size 8 needles and worsted yarn, you should have 17 stitches per 4 inches.

Fur Cuff

Cast on 20 stitches with Fun Fur on size 8 needle and work even in garter stitch for about 21 inches. Bind off and whip stitch the two short ends together.

Body of the Hat

This is knit inside out. You'll wind up with the purl side of the fabric showing on the outside.

With the size 6 needle, pick up one stitch in each knot along the edge of one side of the fur cuff. That means you'll be picking up one stitch for every other row in the band. You won't be able to see the stitches in the band clearly, just pick up stitches in what looks like the right place, and don't worry about it. We're going to fix it in the next round. Place a marker at the beginning/end of the round.

Count the stitches you picked up. You should have something in the vicinity of 88 stitches, but probably not. The first time I did this, I was 4 stitches short. As long as you wind up with something between about 84 and 92 stitches, it's OK.

Purl one row around adding or subtracting stitches to make a total of 88.

Work even in K2 P2 ribbing for 2.5 or 3 inches.

Switch to size 8 circulars in the 24 inch length (or 47 for the magic loop method). Work even, knitting every round until 6 inches from where you picked up the stitches from the cuff. Somewhere along the way while you're knitting even, place markers after 22, 44, and 66 stitches. Your markers will divide the hat into quarters, and you should have 4 markers placed. This is easier if the one at the beginning of the round is different so that you know when you complete a round.

Decrease Row

*K2tog, Knit to next marker* 4 times.

Repeat this decrease round every third row until 4 stitches remain. Cut yarn, leaving a long tail and thread through remaining stitches . You're going to sew the furry blob at the end on with this, so leave enough.

Switch to 16 inch needle/DPs or 47 inch needle for the magic loop method when there are too few stitches on the needle.

Furry Blob

With the size 6 needle and Fun Fur, cast on 24 stitches. Work even in garter stitch for 16 rows. You'll have a hard time seeing what you're doing and keeping track of the rows. Don't worry. The idea is to knit until the length is about 1/3 of the width. OR knit even back and forth until about 1-1/4 inch from the beginning.

Next row: K 15, K2 tog, turn.

Next row: K 7, K2 tog, turn.

Repeat that last row until there are 8 stitches left on the needle. It's kind of like turning the heel on a sock, if you've ever done that.

What you're knitting is a little cube, and you've knitted three sides, and then connected them with a fourth side. You still need to knit two more sides and connect them to the first four.

At this point, there are two ways you can proceed. Method one: This is easiest to describe. Just continue even in garter stitch for about 2-1/2 inches, bind off and sew down the sides and end of the flap to the 5 sides to make a cube.

Method two: K 8 sts. Pick up one stitch on the side next to the place you stopped. Turn. Next row: K2 tog, K to end (7 more sts), pick out one stitch on the side next to the place you stopped.

Repeat that last row until you are at a point where you've picked up stitches along all the sides except for that 8 stitches at the beginning. Stuff the tail from the original cast-on inside the cube. Bind off and sew the end to the beginning. Use the tapestry needle to bury the end inside the cube.

You should have constructed a little cube.

It's really hard to see what you're doing while you're doing this. My work was very sloppy, and I'm an experienced knitter. But nobody will be able to see the mess.

Before I made this, I couldn't figure out what to use to stuff the cube, but I finally decided to just knit it and worry about it later. This turned out to be a good plan, because with furry yarn, it fills up the center all by itself.

Finishing

Use the end from the point at the top of the hat to sew the furry cube to the hat with the purl side of the hat out. You probably won't need to block it. Darn in ends, turn up the cuff, and you're done.

Now you can keep your head warm and show your Christmas spirit at the same time!

Merry Christmas!

My Work Is on the Internet!

Here's another article about the latest Steve Canyon release, featuring the art by Milt Caniff that I colorized!

I'm excited!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Can't Believe It's Only Eight Days Until Christmas!

At this point, Christmas preparations are all I'm thinking about.

I went down to check my mail a while ago, and there were no packages. Then, after I came back all disappointed, there was a knock at the door, and two packages were there. I yelled "Ooooh, I hit the jackpot!" and there was a giggle from the UPS man around the corner where he was waiting for the elevator.

This was a big relief. I said I thought I'd have two stockings done by Christmas, but that presupposed that there would be yarn to do it with. Since it hadn't arrived yet, I was starting to think I might have been rash to promise that, but the package with the yarn was one of the two that arrived.

I also got the paper punch for tags. Once I have the printer completely figured out, I will be able to print and cut the most wonderful tags for knitted goods!

The pom pom maker arrived, too, and it looks like it will be easy to make some beautiful pom poms for the stockings. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but it looks easy enough. 

I probably shouldn't say that. When you say things like that, it usually seems to make things go wrong.

And the glitter glue arrived! Which has inspired me to tackle printing two sided on my new printer. I went through a nightmare of settings, but it worked the first time. I printed a sample on plain paper and saw some things I want to change a bit. Just minor adjustments.

Back to the knitting!

I hope you've been having a great Wednesday!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Heather!

It's my daughter's sister's birthday today.

Happy birthday, Heather!

****************

There's so much to do for Christmas, and I don't want to post photos here, so you'll have to wait for them until after people get their gifts.

I'm still waiting for the rest of the yarn and the needles I need to do the stockings,  along with a batch of other things to make Christmas presents and cards with.

I hope to have a wonderful, quick Christmas pattern up on my blog in the next day of two.

******************

I've installed some new software, and I'm hoping it will help me print from System 9 on my computer. I'm excited to get Christmas Cards out this year (if I can print them). My new printer is a Kodak 5500, and it appears to be a marvelous printer. The hardware is so lovable! I haven't tried everything on it yet, but I can already tell you that they don't include a operator's manual, and the online documentation leaves a lot to be desired. Like operating instructions.

Some of it is intuitive. There's a "copy" button, a "scan" button, a "fax" button (although I haven't got it plugged into a phone line), a few other self-explanatory buttons and a "start" button. Some of the things I want to print are pattern booklets and I'd like to be able to print two-sided (which it advertises it will do). The sum total of the instructions are to use the booklet setting, and it claims it will print a booklet ready to saddle stitch.

Oh, and I found a cheap saddle stitcher online, so next month (when I have another influx of money) I'll get it. Providing, of course, that I can get the "booklet" feature up and running.

***************

The SciFi Channel's schedule has been fixed and is now back up on the site, just in time to let us know about some great stuff on the daytime rotation this week. 

Today, Haunted is on. This was a very short-lived show on SciFi about a year ago, and apparently created in 2002. It stars Mathew Fox, and was obviously pre-Lost. I noticed that throughout Haunted, he has part of the tattoo we've all grown to know and love from Lost. What you can see is the 5 and stars, with a dirty smudge above it, so I suspect that Mr. Fox may actually have that tattoo.

Appropriately, it's followed by Lost itself at 2:00 (here). They've moved it up in it's time slot today so they can show some movies this evening.

The daytime this week will include: Tuesday, a Doctor Who episode (The Runaway Bride), followed by the Sarah Jane Adventures; Wednesday, The Outer Limits; Thursday, Friday the 13th; and Friday, an assortment of movies followed by reruns of Sanctuary in the evening.

Legend of the Seeker moved in it's time slot on Saturday, and they showed the first episode at it's new time. Sorry if you missed it, I had no idea that they were going to show the first one.

**************

It's sunny once again today. We had such a long, unbroken stretch of overcast weather that I've really wanted to get out these past few days because of the sun. I have to get out and do some stuff today because the weather forecast says it'll be rainy all the rest of the week, starting with possible showers this afternoon.

Have a great day!

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Sunny!

The sun is out for what seems like the first time in the last 30 days. It hasn't actually been that long. It just feels like it.

I have so much to do that would work so much better with sun involved.

New post tomorrow!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oooops!

Leverage will not be on again until next Tuesday. If you missed it so far, you missed the first two episodes.

I'm sorry I made a mistake, and I'm regret being the bearer of bad tidings.

But watch it anyway. You'll love it!

Over on the Steve Canyon blog, you can see some more of my art, in connection with Milton Caniff. He did the drawing in black and white, and since they wanted it in color and he's not around anymore, they asked me to add the color. It was a beautiful piece of art to start with, and I think my contribution was a plus. I'm happy with the way it turned out.

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

You Have to See This!

I'm going to be putting up short posts most of December due to having bitten off more than I could chew with this commissioned project and trying to finish all the Christmas presents I'm making.

But I saw this on the internet, and for fans of the Doctor Who episode Blink, you have to see this! Even if you are not interested in costume making, scroll down to the bottom for her funny story about what happened to her at the con. It involves someone you may know. You will love this!

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For those of you who missed the new Librarian movie, TNT will be showing it about a dozen more times this week, along with all three movies, in order, on Sunday. If you like Indiana Jones, you'll love this!

And for those of you who missed Leverage, TNT will also be showing that about a dozen times this week.

Leverage may or may not be science fiction, but it's really good, and should appeal to everyone in this economy (unless you own several billion dollars and got it by taking advantage of others). Their tag line is "Get ready to get even."

I say it may or may not be SF because it includes some very cutting-edge tech which may or may not exist as yet.

This is a bunch of thieves and criminals run by one honest man. They were taken advantage of in the pilot, and set out to get revenge on the their persecutor. They wound up with (each) so much money that one of the characters said "This is retire and buy an island money." So, they're out to get even for others who have been victimized. 

A wise person told me one time that the way to judge a person is-- how do you feel after you've been around them for a while? Well, when you watch this show, you wind up wanting to laugh from pure delight! It's a do-not-miss show!

Check your local listings for reruns of these shows this week! 

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While I was writing this, there was a knock on my door, and the Christmas Card Paper arrived! Now I know why they charged me so much for regular shipping (more than the cost of the paper). It arrived almost instantly!

Now I don't have any excuse to wait to put together my cards and print them. 

Well, except that I plan to make something tiny to go in each of them, and I haven't done that yet, so I want to make at least one so that I'm sure it'll be as nice as I'm hoping before I write a poem about it and include it on the inside of the card.

I feel like I'm drowning in Christmas stuff-to-do!

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Quick Post! (again)

I was really busy yesterday, and I have lots to do today, so this will be quick.

I finally got the rest of the yarn for the stockings ordered. I tried over the weekend, but the JoAnn Fabrics website was malfunctioning and wouldn't let me actually pay for the order and place it. I had better luck on the phone today. I also got the order for the DP needles for the heel part ordered from Knit Picks.

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I've been darning in ends and finishing a pile of projects that just needed ends woven in but were otherwise finished. Some of those projects will need blocking, too, but I'm saving those up to do in one batch. 

I now have a dedicated box that is collecting finished Christmas presents that are ready to wrap and give. Once I finish all the projects that are almost done, it will be a lot more full.

I also ordered the stuff I need to make Christmas cards. Now that I have a working printer, I ordered the card stock, envelopes and some glitter glue. I seriously never thought I'd be putting glitter glue on anything, but the art I'm using for the cards almost screams out for it. I suspect that the little wreath I got for my apartment door will look really smashing with it, too. The glue I ordered is clear with glitter that is also clear, but iridescent. I saw some commercial wreaths that had something similar to this last year, and they were beautiful.

I also plan to make some nifty Christmas ornaments to include with the cards.

Oh, and I ordered a punch to use to make hang tags from for stuff I've knitted. I plan to update my logo, and these should make really neat tags with the logo.

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For knitters/crocheters/craftspeopls/fans of Firefly, Buffy, etc., Joss Whedon gave an interview about crochet, knit, and crafts in general at crochetme.com. You can see a transcript of the interview here. He even discusses Jayne's hat.

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The Librarian trilogy on TNT yesterday was wonderful! If you missed the new one, Curse of the Judas Chalise, it will be on later in the week, along with Leverage, which is the best pilot I've seen in a long while. Check your local listings for Tuesday evening for precise times.

Tuesday evening, the pilot for Leverage will be on again, followed by the second episode. The second one will be on at the same time as Fringe and The Mentalist, but if you want to see all three, Leverage will be repeated later in the evening.

Tonight, we'll be having the usual four new episodes of Lost on SciFi, plus new Chuck, Heroes, and My Own Worst Enemy on NBC.

I need to go and get stuff done!

Have a great evening!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fun Saturday

Holly and I went out together yesterday, and I, for one, had a wonderful time!

First stop was Borders, where I got my own personal copy of Beedle the Bard. I brought along coupons for both of us, and we each got a bargain.

Holly bought a collectors edition of Beedle through my Amazon store, and it arrived this past week. I wanted to see it, but she said it's so big that she didn't want to bring it along.

We stopped in Michaels to get the rest of the yarn for the stockings. I found the beige yarn for Santa's face, but they had none of the red yarn that I started using for the main color of the stockings. I tried to order it from JoAnn Fabrics over the internet this morning, but their website (although it will accept the order), will not let me pay for it and finish the sale. I've bought from them over the internet before, so I don't know what was wrong. I tried to call them, but they won't be open for phone orders until tomorrow. There will be more stocking info later in the post.

We went to the WalMart that actually has things for sale so I could get what the local WalMart didn't have. My sister who works at a different WalMart says I should complain to them, and once I figure out how to do that, I will. I keep hoping that they'll fix the problem on their own, but that really isn't happening.

The other WalMart has Caron Simply Soft Eco, and I got some for a scarf/mitts/hat for someone (who shall remain nameless at this point) for Christmas. They had several beautiful colors to choose from, and this is what I got:


That the start of the Just Enough Ruffles scarf, which you can see if you belong to Ravelry.

A while ago, I completed the cuff for another Santa hat, and just hadn't taken a photo, so here it is:



I am liking my Santa hat so much (even though I haven't made the pom pom at the top yet) that I thought a friend of mine might like one, too, to show his Christmas spirit. So, this will be made in his favorite color.

Then there are the whole pile of projects that are knitted, but need some Kitchner stitch and ends darned in and they'll be finished (except for the few that need blocking).

I plan to spend the daylight hours finishing these and then getting back to the Christmas stocking.

Here's the hood for John M, finished except for kitchnering the top of the hood, darning ends and blocking. It's so close to done, it's a shame not to finish it today.


I've been meaning to buy a light so that I have adequate light to knit by for the last two years, and at some point I'll get around to it (translation: have the money to get one or two). In the meantime, I'm reduced to waiting for daylight to finish projects that need light to see for finishing details.

And now, back to the first stocking. 

I found some gold metallic yarn for the star on the top of the Christmas tree, even though you can't see it here. I'm about to start on the furry part of Santa's hat. The intarsia (multicolored knitting on the top of the stocking) is the slowest part. Once I'm past that, the foot will go quickly. 

At this point, it's accumulated so many loose ends on the back that it's difficult and time consuming to handle, so some of the ends I'll be working on today will be on the back of the leg of the stocking. You can see a very small amount of the ends at the bottom of the photo. I've added a hem to the top of the stocking so that it will have a lot less tendency to roll.


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While I'm sitting and knitting this afternoon and this evening, I'll be watching all three of the Librarian movies on TNT (Quest for the Spear, Return to King Solomon's Mines, and the new one, Curse of the Judas Chalice), followed by Leverage, which sounds like it will be good.

For those of you not so inclined, I hope you're getting to see the Harry Potter movies on ABC Family. They will be showing Goblet of Fire this evening. and working up to them with earlier movies all day.

I hope you're having as much fun this weekend as I am!

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PS  When I was leaving yesterday, there were a whole batch of people arriving to decorate a Christmas tree on my floor of the apartment building. When I got home, there was a bag of candy and Christmas greetings on my door. This is an amazing place to live!

The Librarian just started. Got to go!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Twenty Days Until Christmas!

But if you celebrate Twelfth Night, you get an extra dozen!

On that cheery note, here is a photo of my progress so far on the first Christmas stocking I'm knitting as a commission.


That's the sample stocking on the left, some of the yarn bought for the stockings, and the small amount I've gotten done so far. For nonknitters, you should understand that stockinet stitch (which is what this is) tends to roll until it's blocked. That's why the bottom is rolling up over the date. I'm actually about to start the icicles at the bottom of the white section at the top. This seems like slow progress, but since I haven't yet found the yarn for the Santa face on the other side, it's just as well. The upper left hand ball of yarn is the fuzzy stuff for Santa's beard and the fur on his hat. I thought I'd have trouble finding something good in the store, but it was almost the first thing I found. Instead, it's the skin-tone yarn I'm still looking for.

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While I was out yesterday, I got some rechargeable batteries for my camera. I had planned to get some of the new, ecologically superior hybrid ones from Amazon, but saw these in the store and snapped them up.

The fine print on the package was very fine, and I didn't discover until I got home that their claim to ecological superiority depended on the fact that they used slightly less packaging materials (thus saving a bit on landfil) and the fact that (like all the other rechargeable batteries)... they're rechargeable! So you don't keep using and tossing non-rechargeable batteries.

Bring your glasses and read the fine print when you're shopping.



Now that they're home, I'll keep them, because I really do need batteries, but I'll get the better ones from Amazon in the next month or two.

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Tonight, we have the usual, but all new episodes of Ghost Whisperer, Stargate Atlantis
(along with a rerun from last week in case you missed it) and Sanctuary.

The SciFi Channel is doing a dragon theme on Saturday, and they're rerunning Dragon Sword along with the rest. For you fans of really, exceptionally bad movies, you'll want to tune in to Grendel. It's truly horrible. I couldn't stand to watch much of it, but several other bloggers did, and wrote glowing reports of it's total hideousness.

On Sunday, they'll be running Tin Man again, and later, a movie called Tristan and Isolde. I haven't seen the later movie, but I love really old stories, so I can't wait to watch.

Of course, don't forget The Legend of the Seeker on the CW on Saturday evening, Harry Potter all weekend on ABC Family, and The Librarian movies (afternoon and evening) and Leverage on TNT on Sunday. As usual, check your local listings.

I came across some really neat SF stuff on the internet, too.

There's more about The Librarian series on io9 here.

There's some Doctor Who fanfic (?) from the BBC site at Planet Galifrey. I haven't read all of it yet, but the little I did read looks interesting.

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I played around with my camera the other night (the first night that there was no cloud cover) and snapped this photo of the moon.


One thing I discovered was that even though it's got an anti-shake scheme, you still need a tripod to photograph something this far away. But I like it. That's the full frame, nothing cropped. I love this camera!

I know I keep saying this, but I really have to get the apartment reorganized and set up for Christmas.

Today!

Well, at least started today.

I hope you have a great Friday, and a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

No Dental Pain!

I had a long talk with John last night. It was about the power of positive thinking, basically, although a much more complicated and believable theory.

He said I should be confident that there would be no dental pain, and it would be a pleasant visit to the dentist (if that's not an oxymoron).

So, I did.

This morning, I got up between six and seven hours earlier than usual, took the antibiotic I'm supposed to take, plus a healthy dose of Valium, and got over to the bus stop, and arrived at my appointment 15 minutes early.

They weren't there.

I tried calling their number (which is a cell phone, so I figured it would get through wherever they were). No information. So I hopped on the next bus (45 minutes later) and went over to the old place. They were closed, too. I did get to talk to the dentist. He said they turned off the cell phone days ago, and I should call back next Tuesday or Wednesday to make an appointment. He also promised that my next dental visit would be fun!

The move they'd been planning got pushed back and nobody bothered to let me know.

So, I got back on the bus one more time and rode three stops further and did my shopping at WalMart.

I attempted to do my entire shopping for the month all in one trip. I walked out of there carrying a lot of very heavy stuff!

By the time I got home (late in the afternoon. nearly 5 pm), my back hurt, and I was so tired from having gotten up so early. I laid down on the bed to let my back unkink for a bit, and (you guessed it) fell asleep almost instantly. Woke up at about 7 pm, put some dinner in the microwave and sat down to watch TV and knit.

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I got in a good start on the first stocking. There's a name and date, and I'm happy with it so far. The white yarn I found really looks like snow. There will be a photo tomorrow, when there's some natural light to take a good picture.

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I nearly forgot to mention that the first three Harry Potter movies will be on ABC Family this weekend, starting on Friday evening.

I have a sort of a antibiotic/Valium/lack-of-sleep hangover, and am really not at my best.

Have a great day tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We Have (some) Yarn!

I spent a lot of today shopping for yarn for the Christmas stockings I'm knitting for a customer.

After examining the sample stocking, I realized that the person who did the originals did it to a larger gauge than specified in the instructions, which say it should be knit at seven stitches per inch on size 3 needles. The sample stocking was knit at eight stitches per inch, and I found that I could do that with Wool Ease on size 4 needles. I pulled some yarn from stash and knit a gauge swatch last night after getting the sample stocking.

This means that I don't have to order a bunch of new needles in size 3, I can use my Options needle set to provide the size 4 I need. I'm going to get a set of double point needles in 4, though, because I like DP needles for the heel part of regular socks when I knit them, and I don't have any size 4 DPs.

So today, I hopped on the bus and went to JoAnn Fabrics and shopped for yarn. I thought the Wool Ease red (Ranch Red) would be too orange and too bright, but it turns out that the sample is even more orange and brighter. Ranch Red is probably as close as I'm going to get to the color. Unfortunately, the store only had one ball. I did get the two balls of dark green, which I think will be enough. I also found a white for the top and the toe that looks like snow. It's a bright white, and has a bit of subtle sparkle, just like snow. I grabbed three balls of that. 

Then, I surprised myself by finding a fuzzy white yarn that looks like it's going to work beautifully for the fur and Santa's beard. This is a softer white than the stuff for the "snow" at the top of the sock.

I didn't find a good color for Santa's face, though. And I still need more of the red. One skein is not going to make five stockings.

But I have enough to make a start on the first one.

Walking around JoAnn was an eye opener. Large sections of the shelves were empty, and I started to get a bad feeling, the more empty shelves I saw. Then I found a sign apologizing for the lack of stock due to the store closing. It turns out, though, that they're just moving to a location that the bus doesn't go to, and I can't get there without a lot of walking.

I'm bummed.

It's better than if they were going away entirely, though.

I should have a photo or two on Friday of the yarn and what little I'll have done by then.

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No post tomorrow due to extensive dental work starting early, and probably making me feel bad for the rest of the day.

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Apparently, Leverage will be premiering on Sunday, not Saturday as I mistakenly thought. Sorry. The trailers look good, though.

The Librarian movies (Quest for the Spear and Return to King Solomon's Mines) will be back this weekend on TNT, and there will be a new one. The first two are excellent (some of my favorite movies), so with any luck the new one will be, too.

I need to get some sleep so I can get up early to go to the dentist tomorrow.

Have a great day!




Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Love Etsy!

I made my first sale on Etsy today! I was beginning to think that actually selling things on Etsy was a myth. Anyway, one of my wimple and hood patterns was ordered.

I'll be meeting the woman who is commissioning me to knit Christmas stockings for her tonight. She'll have a sample stocking, pattern(s) and money. I can't wait to get started so I can finish and have some extra money for Christmas (if I can finish it all by then).

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In knitting news, I've gotten up to the neck on John M's hood, and am about to start the face opening. Not much to see, there, just a little longer than it was yesterday. It'll start looking different tomorrow.

I have lots of ends to darn in on various projects, so, hopefully, I'll get a lot of that finished today.

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The project for today is moving my computer and a table, etc., and getting my new printer a place to live and getting everything all hooked up successfully.

I need to get off the computer so I can start disconnecting things and moving them. I just moved, and my back wasn't happy with it. Maybe not today. I'll try for it, though.

The rest of the week will be busy. Tomorrow, I have some heavy-duty shopping to do. My once-a-month-stock-up-for-the-whole-month trip to WalMart. It should be fun but exhausting.

On Thursday, I have a dental appointment. He's going to do everything on the left side of my mouth (while ignoring the most pressing work, which he plans to do last). He'll be removing a number of fillings and replacing them with "composite material." He won't be replacing all the amalgam, but that side of my mouth should look less like a silver mine. It may, ultimately, help with some of my health problems, too. At least I'll have less mercury leaking into my mouth all the time.

I'm never happy about going to the dentist, but he'll be working in the spot that other dentists haven't been able to get numb, so there's a high probability that he'll be drilling on my teeth with no anaesthetic. That's what happened before and it was so much fun!

So, the rest of the day may be spent in bed sleeping it off.

There are so many things I want to do on Friday that I just can't decide at this point, but unless I feel a lot worse than I expect (from the dentist visit), I'll be busy then, too. Unless I ask Holly to come do something with me and do it all on Friday instead. Then again, I may do stuff on Friday and ask Holly for help.

I pointed out that she could do some Christmas shopping while we were out, and she said she's doing all her Christmas shopping on line and having stuff shipped directly to the people she's getting them for. 

What a simple approach to Christmas shopping!

And why didn't I think of that?

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Holly said my Christmas presents that she sent to Kyle had arrived. She described on the phone the conversation she had with Kyle when it arrived. Kyle didn't think the green and black scarf was anything special. Holly told her to put it on and look down, and it blew her mind when she could see the dark mark! She got all excited, and started yelling for Bob to come and see it! It's always nice when you can amaze your granddaughter.

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We have a new Fringe tonight and a new The Mentalist, followed by a new Eli Stone.

I stumbled across a show I've never heard of before on Saturday, and it will be on again this Saturday. The episode I saw was good, but it remains to be seen if it will be one of the great ones. It's sword and sorcery, and seems good for that genre. It's called Legend of the Seeker, and is on at 7:30 on the CW (here). Check local listings and check it out.

TNT is having a new show on, Leverage, starting Saturday. It's sort of a modern-day, high tech Robin Hood story. The trailers look good. Check listings.

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Yesterday was one of the few days we've had in a long while that was sunny and beautiful. I got a chance to walk around for a while, and went over to MacDonalds to redeem one of the coupons they sent me. I got a "Southern Chicken Sandwich" and a senior Coke for 37 cents!

It was fun walking around in the sun for a change.

Here's a pretty photo of the area I was walking in for you.



This was taken on an overcast day last week, but it's still a pretty area to walk in.

Have a great Tuesday!

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