Thursday, April 30, 2009

Two Days to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and the Air Conditioning Is STILL Not On!

There has not a wisp of cold air that has come out of the air conditioning vent so far! I called the apartment office and learned that there was a "little problem" yesterday with turning on the air conditioning, and that they were still working on it.

Fortunately, the temperature outside is a bit below 60 degrees with rain, so my windows are open (still), and the fan is blowing in high levels of oak pollen.

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I talked to Lynn on the phone, and she was just pulling into the driveway at the dentist's office. I wish her the best of luck with that.

She plans to come down here tomorrow. I said I thought she'd arrive around late afternoon or early evening, and she said she hoped that she'd arrive earlier than that.

I can't wait!

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The way I'm feeling, I don't know how well I'm going to get around the Sheep and Wool Festival, but I really want to try. I'm really starting to get excited!

I have a lot to do before the fest, so you probably won't hear anything else from me before late Sunday.

Have a great weekend!

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Addition:

There will be three episodes of Eureka tonight on the SciFi Channel this evening. It starts at 7 pm here, so you might want to check your local listings early. Oh, and later on (actually tomorrow morning), the Doctor Who episode will be The Fires of Pompeii.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm Going to the Sheep and Wool Fest!

Like The Little Engine that Could, I keep saying that to myself over and over again. And I'm hoping desperately that it's true. 

Last night, the temperature outside started to go down. It went into the sixties outside (according to the weather people), and by 8 or 9 last night, it was at about 70, where it hovered until midnight or so. So, after an evening, all night, and most of the day (which has been cloudy, cool and rainy), the temp in my apartment is down to 80 degrees, and I've started to feel like I'm not being cooked. The air conditioning should be coming on at any minute now.

After the past five days, 80 degrees feels cool. The rain has washed some of the pollen out of the air, which is a good thing. The cars outside were all yellow because they were so covered in pollen, but they're all different colors now.

And I'm finally starting to feel like I might make it.

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I was reading the Yarn Harlot's blog today, and she mentioned a bag she had her yarn in. The site that bag link is to appears to be down at the moment, but the link should work when it's back up again. She also mentioned that she had one of their knitting bags, and it looks like dynamite! Same caveat on the link. I'm hoping that somebody has them for sale at the MSWF!

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I don't really have a lot to talk about at the moment. All I've been doing for most of the last week is lying on my back reading and melting.

Right now, I'm on the last Twilight Series book, Breaking Dawn, and really enjoying it. It's about teenage love, so it's full of hormones and "I'd rather die than...," vampires, and werewolves, but it's a quick, easy, fun read. I'm enjoying it. 

The books are also so big that they'd make great doorstops, so I got the first two books of The Princess Diaries out of the library so that I'd have something to take to the MSWF that I was willing to actually carry. The writing in these is very fun and alive. I'm sure I'm going to love them.

I'm going to go and recuperate from the heat.

Have a great evening! Remember, the work week is half over!

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Addition:

Check out the first annual KNIFTAS, which is the Knitting in Film and Television Awards! I loved the knitting scenes on Pushing Daisies!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Help!

It's been around 90 degrees in my apartment since Friday. I spend around $100 per month on non-prescription medicine and nutrition to keep me in good health. The temperature in my apartment melted that medication! It's a gooey, disgusting mess! The stuff that escaped is now living in my refrigerator, and I wish I could join it.

They'll be turning on the air conditioning tomorrow. That means that they'll spend the day turning it on (they tell me it takes eight hours), so it'll go on Wednesday evening, but it won't cool down until sometime on Thursday (if I'm lucky), but more likely Friday. That means I'll have been in 90 degree temperatures for 5 (probably 6, possibly 7) days. If someone did that to a dog, they'd be prosecuted by animal rights activists. 

In the past, this has gone on for a week or two in Spring, and in Fall.

I live in government subsidized housing for low income seniors. The maximum you're allowed to make and still live here (and be considered low income) is more than three times my income.

When I looked up heat exhaustion on the internet, it told me to do what my landlady said to do: go somewhere else. In other words, they're telling me that this place is not fit for human habitation. Another thing they said to do was to spray water on yourself. I went to do that last night, and discovered that my skin was red all over. I looked like I had the beginning of a bad sunburn.

One of the things that the landlady said to do is keep my windows open.  I've tried that, and it doesn't cool the place off. Last night, I had the windows open and was blowing 70 degree air into the apartment, and it stayed at 90 degrees. The building itself is so hot that putting cool air into it is not cooling it off.

What the open windows will do is give me a good dose of tree and grass pollen, plus mold spores. My eyelids feel like they're a quarter of an inch thick. I can hardly open them. And my system is so full of histamine that I can hardly keep awake.

When I used to be allergic to tree pollen and ragweed, I had time during the summer to recover from the tree pollen before I had to contend with the ragweed. But, back around 1998, I developed an allergy to grass pollen, thereby converting three whole seasons into a nightmare of illness. These allergies, combined with the extra big dose of pollen in the Spring and Fall that I've gotten here the past two years are truly disabling.

I'm hoping I can find someone in the Northern Virginia or DC area that has a stand-alone (portable) air conditioner that they no longer need or want that they would either donate or sell at a low price. It won't help me now, but it will in the Fall, and next Spring it might give me a chance to spend a reasonably healthy year.

I am not allowed to use a window mounted air conditioner, but I can use a portable one. They're hard to find, though, so the chances of finding a low priced one are correspondingly low. Feel free to send a contribution through the button in the sidebar. Any help will be gratefully accepted.

I'd like to say something witty and fun, or at least interesting, but I just don't have the energy.

Keep cool!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Maryland Sheep and Wool Is Saturday!

The first Sheep and Wool Festival I went to was in 1990, and I haven't missed one since, except for the time when I got a good dose of pollen in the car on the way up and nearly collapsed before I got to walk around much. But I was actually there, even though I didn't get to see much. That's almost 20 years!

Normally, I would be very excited about the MSWF, but it's almost 90 degrees in my apartment and has been that way since Friday. I started to suffer from all the symptoms of heat exhaustion around the end of Saturday. 

My windows have been open most of the weekend and Friday (actually most of the winter), so now I'm suffering from exposure to tree and grass pollen plus mold spores in addition to the heat exhaustion. The administrator for the building keeps telling me to open my windows (and consequently let in all the allergens). I've realized that the back room that I don't use stays cooler than the rest of the place because the window, drapes and door are usually closed. I've adopted the policy that once it's warmer outside than inside, I'm closing the windows. I'm praying for a thunderstorm.

The management of my apartment place put up a notice that the air conditioning will be started on Wednesday. That means that it will actually come on at the end of the work day, and should actually cool the building sometime around Thursday morning.

The notice says that the last frost was last week. The weather people say that the last frost here was on the 25th of March. The weather people were predicting Summer weather for the next ten days starting last Friday. They turned off the heat on Friday, and they could've turned on the air conditioning at the same time, but they elected to wait. The notice said that some people might find it "a little warm."

I don't anticipate being able to recover sufficiently to go to the festival.

I am so bummed I can't tell you. And exhausted from too much histamine and heat.

I hope you're feeling better than I am.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Warehouse 13 Is Coming!

There's a new show coming up soon on SciFi (which will become SyFy [Siffy] on the date of it's premier) which I've heard a little about. It's called Warehouse 13, and it has a lot of potential.

The same channel (with the weird new name) will be bringing Eureka back this summer! I'm very happy about that!

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I intended to post yesterday, but I've been overcome by heat. I talked to the person who runs the building I live in, and she claimed that last night was the first night it didn't freeze here. Whatever the temperature was last nigh, it took the whole night to get it down to 80 degrees in here from the high of 90 yesterday. The outside temperature went up to 80 yesterday.

Today and tomorrow it's supposed to get up to about 95, so I'm expecting temperatures of over 100 in here by later today.

She said it takes a whole day to start the air conditioning, and they've only just turned off the heat. Well, it changed from early Spring to Summer temperatures temperatures over night.

She told me to open the windows (which I've already done). She said that a lot of people complain about the heat, but she visited their apartments, and it's a little warm, but not uncomfortable.

I'm already starting to have a reaction to all the tree and grass pollen, which means that even when the AC comes on, I'll have gotten a good head start on being seriously sick by the end of tree pollen season. And since I've become allergic to grass pollen, even with air conditioning, I won't be able to recover by ragweed season, which will make me even more seriously sick by the end. If I'm lucky, I may be able to recover over the winter.

I plan to submit a list of temperatures and times in my apartment on Monday. I can't deal with it. I have a serious chance at heat exhaustion by the end of the weekend.

Stay cool and have a good weekend!

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Addition:

For a mockumercial for utilikilts (utility kilts) check here. Mockumercials are commercials for products put out by the users of the product, and are usually intended to be funny. If you're a Firefly fan, click on the Serenity option for a take-off on the fruity-oaty bar commercials.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Day-After-Earthday (and a contest)

Nothing special is happening today. The most memorable thing about today (so far) is that Earth Day was yesterday. Therefore, I had no snappy title for today's post.

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Vicki Howell is running another contest for one of her new books! Get on over there and enter! She's also got some interesting projects pictured from the book. I Googled the answer, but you don't have to. All of the people who answered so far are right, so read the first one, and you'll know the correct answer. Read down a bit and you'll find the reason for the answer.

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I intended to have all the lace yarn wound into balls today and have a photo to show you, but decided that I should really vacuum, dust mop, and wet mop all the hard floors in the apartment, so I wanted to do that early, while I still had some energy. I'll recuperate in a bit and go on to wind the yarn. At about a mile of yarn, it'll be time-consuming, if nothing else. I'm really glad I have a ball winder! Otherwise, I'd go crazy. I want to get it all wound first because it's kind of a big chore, and I don't want to have to stop knitting to wind another ball of yarn. I expect to finish this later in the day, and have a photo tomorrow.

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There's a brand new Supernatural on tonight!

It's not brand new, but the SciFi Channel will be rerunning four episodes of Eureka tonight and next week, starting at 7:00 pm here. There are a lot of episodes that will be rerun by them in the near future, so keep an eye out for them. I'm hoping that it portends a new year of episodes starting soon.

Oh, and don't forget that there will be another Doctor Who episode on late tonight (early tomorrow morning). This week, it's Partners in Crime, the first episode of the fourth season!

Have a great evening!

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Addition:

I found an interesting website that teaches how to do Nalbinding. The instructions are confusing to me, but then I've always been confused by  Nalbinding, even though I've made several stabs at doing it.

For those of you who are interested in fiberarts by the Vikings or in the Middle Ages, this could be a good site to learn a new fiber craft.

Good luck!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

Vicki Howell has a great post up on her blog today about recycling for Earth Day.

I found a very entertaining post from Franklin on his blog today, too. It's not about Earth Day, but it is about lace, which I'm about to begin.

Here's a photo of the lace yarn that I got yesterday, along with the beads that I plan to use with it.


This is Knit Picks Gloss lace yarn in Pinot, It's actually a little darker and a slightly warmer color than it appears here. As you can see, my first task will be to  wind all of this into balls so it's useable rather than a big tangle. There's a total of 1,760 yards there, so just winding it all will be time consuming. That's nearly a yard, folks!

It's going to be pretty, though. Or it will be frogged and reknit.

Not being the kind that looks ahead too much, I've discovered that I need to get a very small container that will sit steadily on a flat surface, and that I can put a lid on. In other words, I should have bought some of those screw-together containers at the craft store while I was there. Those long tubes of beads are fine until you need to set the open tube somewhere so that the beads will be available to scoop one up when you get to the point in the knitting that needs it.

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It's Wednesday, which means a new episode of Lost will be on tonight! It will be preceded by a brand new Better Off Ted.

Have a great evening, and check out this link that my sister sent me to reminisce about the '60s! It's worth it for the music alone.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day Is Tomorrow!

Earth Day will be celebrated tomorrow, and I thought you might want to know about it ahead of time so that you could pull together some way of celebrating it, even in a very small way.

Here's a picture of the Earth Day flag. You can find out lots more at the above link.


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I haven't been ignoring you. The weather has been changing around here, and it has consequently been very warm in my apartment. It cooled off Friday night, so it was a reasonable temperature here on Saturday morning, but when I got home on Saturday, it was over 90 degrees and rising.

And I've been neglecting to take enough medicine, so I've been feeling bad enough that between the heat and the discomfort, and the tree pollen that comes in the windows because I have them open to try to cool off, I haven't been sleeping well.

The medicine is very long-acting. I can back off quite a bit and not feel the effects for a couple of months, so it's easy to lose track.

Tree pollen doesn't usually cause allergic symptoms for me (unless I do something to irritate my eyes), but I am allergic to it, and what happens is that I build up lots of histamine in my system. Which makes me sleepy. Histamine is a big cause of tiredness and sleepiness. A healthy person usually has some histamine circulating in their system. It assists in wound healing (which is why a scratch or cut itches during part of the healing process). That's why people love caffeine so much. It's a histamine blocker, and wakes you up in with your morning coffee.

I found out about the heat in this place. It turns out that during the construction of the building, they ran water pipes through the cement, and the place is heated by a boiler that pumps hot water throughout the building. So, even with the heat turned off, the heat is still turned on in the building. The floor in the kitchen was quite warm yesterday and it's not warm today, so maybe they've decided to turn off the heat today. I'm told it takes about 8 hours to turn it on or off, so it's not something they want to do on a daily basis. I can't wait until they turn the air conditioning on!

So, I haven't been doing much. Anything that I can do makes me feel warmer and more uncomfortable. So, there hasn't been much to write about.

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One big thing that I did yesterday was to do some more art for John. I put together a poster for the Steve Canyon series of DVDs. I did a smaller one for him to take to the Reel Stuff Film Festival, and he said it was very popular and there was spirited bidding on it. I'll let you know when it's available.

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On Saturday, Holly and I went to Occoquan and walked around a bit. We went mainly to see Off the Beading Path, which is a wonderful store full of beads there. I bought some number beads to make a counting device for knitting, a beautiful goldstone bead that's black with lavender sparkles, and another pewter charm, the latter two for stitch markers.

Holly bought me a tiny pewter "pocket piece" that says "Wishes Come True" on one side and "A Wish for Success" on the other side.


I'm really tickled with it.

Later Saturday, before the heat got to me really badly, I pulled some fingering weight yarn out of my stash and did a practice piece for the shawl I plan to knit. This will look much more open in the lace yarn I plan to use.

This is my own design, not the design from Knit.1 magazine, so I want to test it first. I knitted more than this, but didn't take a photo of it, and it's already been unraveled (to scavenge the beads).


The shawl in the magazine had two panels, and I thought that it wouldn't have a straight edge across the wide side if done that way. As you can see from my sample, two panels produce a slight point in the long edge. I know that they relied on blocking to make it straight, but I thought I might like three panels better.

When I got this far, I realized that the long edge would be close enough to straight that it could be blocked straight without much of a problem. But then, when I went to unravel it, I like the handkerchief hem it'll have with three panels.

So the design process favored three panels, then I changed my mind to two panels, then back to three.

I learned several things from the sample: I will have to run a lifeline every so often, I have to do another sample of the stitch I invented for the border, and I want to design an edging for the bottom, which will need another sample. So, there's still a batch of work on this before I even start knitting. I think I also want to cast on more stitches to start and graft the long edge border together.

The yarn for this is probably sitting downstairs waiting for me. I didn't check mail yesterday. I was too busy (or unbusy)  trying to cool off (and doing the poster). The first batch of yarn was shipped on a Wednesday and arrived on the Monday of last week. This batch shipped on Wednesday, and so I think that there's a good chance that it arrived yesterday, or maybe today. I have to pull myself together and go check.

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While trying to cool off, the "activity" I've found that generates the least heat is lying down reading, so I've been doing lots of that.

I'm currently reading New Moon, the second book in the Twilight series. I got mixed up. I don't know if it was Amazon or me, but I thought it was the third book, so I've already read Twilight and Eclipse (which is the third book), and now I'm back to the second. I have Breaking Dawn requested at the library. I was number 30 on the list to get it when I requested it on Sunday, and number 24 yesterday and I'm 23 on the list today. Even though that sounds like a long wait, they have 35 copies of the book, so it will not take too long.

I finished Turn Coat, and loved it. It's a typical Dresden Files story, so how could I not love it? If I say anything else, I'll start into a description of the plot and dump a lot of spoilers on you.

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There's a new Reaper and Fringe on tonight!

I have to get going and do something to cool down.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm OK

I haven't forgotten you!

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Maryland Faerie Festival

I'm still here.

I just got distracted by a lot of things yesterday, and then today I went over the new, super-duper JoAnn Fabrics to look at beads. I ordered the wool/silk laceweight yarn from Knit Picks earlier this week, and it shipped on Wednesday, so it will be here soon. I chose the one with some silk so that it would be more likely to have a bit of shine. 

I can't wait.

I did buy some beads while I was at JoAnn. I first decided to get the ones with the silver lining in lavender. Well, kind of a soft, warm lavender.

But then I walked around a bit looking at other things and when I went back to look at the ones I'd chosen, I changed my mind and went with some beads that are overall lavender, but also have a lot of blue, green and even yellow in them. They're called "rainbow" beads, and I think this will work better. 

If I choose the solid lavender ones and they don't match the yarn, it could look bad. But these are guaranteed to not match the yarn, although they'll look very good with it, I think.

I also got some jump rings, a size 12 steel crochet hook (to apply the beads), and a copy of the new Vogue Knitting.

I should mention here, that although it's after midnight, it's still really  Friday for me. So everything I'm going to write will be with the perspective that it's Friday.

Except for one thing. Two weeks from Saturday is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival! It's really sneaking up on me. Lynn will be coming down from New Jersey and staying with me, and that'll really be fun. Maybe not as much fun for her as she was hoping , though. Thursday, she has an appointment with the dentist to have a tooth pulled. When that happens to me, I'm not really happy about it even two days later.

Back to Friday. It went up over sixty degrees here, and was the first day it really looked like Spring around here. We've had a string of chilly. wet, rainy, overcast days.

I know, I know. Downtown, in DC, the Cherry Blossom festival is in full swing. But that's downtown. The cherry blossoms are just starting to come out around here, and there are trees smothered in white, pink and deep pink flowers. And the magnolias have started to come out. I saw dozens of magnolia trees from the window of the bus today.

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I found out about a new festival that I didn't even know about. It's the Maryland Faerie Festival, and it was recommended by Dancing Pig Pottery as the best festival ever! It will be happening on the 16th and 17th of May. Should I put it on my calendar? Yes! I should!

Putting it on my calendar doesn't mean that I'll actually get there, but it's possible.

I've got to go. It's after midnight here.

Have a great weekend!

Tax Day

Happy Tax Day. 

If that's not an oxymoron.

I went through tax day yesterday. 

Back in January, the IRS sent me a copy of form 1040 with an instruction booklet to help me fill it out. I quickly read through the part that said that I have a small enough income that I don't need to file taxes, and put the envelope aside.

Then the IRS sent me a certified letter. A certified letter from the IRS is something that's enough to make me certifiable. It said that they had discovered that I owe them taxes from 2002, and they've assessed interest and penalties, and therefore doubled the amount I owe. They wanted about a thousand dollars instantly.

Since this is more than my income for a month, I didn't have it.

Since I didn't have it, I am now saddled with an agreement to pay them some money every month and file a return and pay taxes owed every year. So, now, suddenly, at the last minute, I find that I need to file taxes.

I spent the whole day yesterday filling out 1040EZ, finding out I owed $79 (which I don't have), then reading it again and finding out I'm not allowed to fill out that form, tracking down the correct forms and information online (because I didn't keep track of forms I knew I didn't need), doing more arithmetic than a math lesson, and finally finishing up last night with the discovery that I actually don't owe anything, and getting the whole mess in the mail.

I still have more stuff to fix with them, but it doesn't have today for a deadline.

I hope it was a better experience for you than it was for me.

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I ground my teeth, bit the bullet and sent another order to Knit Picks to replace the yarn that I have to return to them. Not that I can afford that, either. I chose the (I hope dark) purple shade of Gloss Lace called Pinot. This would work even if I'd already bought the beads.

I've been repeating to myself over and over all month "I'm saving money for the Sheep and Wool Festival." It hasn't helped me save any money so far, though.

In the meantime, I'm knitting socks from the yarn I bought at AC Moore almost a month ago now, and have almost finished the first pair. There's enough yarn for another pair.

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I got a comment from somebody at ReaperDMV yesterday thanking me for my mention of Reaper and asking me to fight for a third season. If you're a Reaper fan, get on over there and join the fight! Even if you're not a Reaper fan, get over there and click on the link to save a whole list of other shows (including Dollhouse), and there's also a lost cause category for shows that are not just in danger of cancellation, but that have already gotten the ax. The catch is that you can't vote for ChuckReaper, Dollhouse and Life. I wanted to vote for all of them, but you can only pick one. It will ask for your email address and password, but you don't have to be a member to vote, just fill in your name and the little box with the word they give you.

Lost is on again tonight! A new one, following Better Off Ted.

Have a great Wednesday! Remember, if it's Wednesday, we're half-way to the weekend!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Disappointment

I ordered three things over the Internet and two of them arrived yesterday and were both wonderful and disappointing.

The first was a corded headset for my G1 phone. It came, and it had a USB plug (as promised), but I discovered that there are a lot of different USB plugs on the market, and if I want to use this, I'll need an adapter. It has the original USB plug on it, and my phone uses a different one, I think mini B. See this explanation, and scroll down to "Types of USB connector." So I can't use it yet.

The other order was from Knit Picks, and it's the first time that everything wasn't superlative about my order.

I bought some of their stitch markers, the flexible ones and the ones that look like little safety pins, and they're both wonderful. The stitch markers look like dark purple in the catalog and online, but the ones that look like white are really a pretty shade of grayed-out lavendar. I got a set of their double ended crochet hooks, and they're great, too.

The problem came with the black lace weight yarn that I ordered. It looked black in the catalog, and black on the screen on their site, but when it arrived, although it was very dark, it was green!

Green really wasn't what I had in mind.

I have to return it.

So, I don't have yarn to start knitting the shawl I wanted to knit.

I'm bummed about that.

The quickest thing would be to return the yarn for a refund, and place a whole new order. But that requires more money. And time.

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I watched Arabian Nights on SciFi today for the first two hours. It's recorded on my DVR, so I'll get a chance to see it later. The SciFi Channel is having movies on all week during the day.

Fringe is back tonight with a new episode!

Also new tonight is Reaper. And there's also a rerun of The Mentalist.

I have lots of stuff to do today, so I'm going to cut this short.

Have a great evening!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Monday

I meant to get on the computer yesterday and wish everyone a happy Easter, but due to the press of events, didn't. I do hope that you have a wonderful holiday, even if it wasn't Easter.

But happy Easter Monday!

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For all you TV aficionados, there is a survey going on that you'll want to get a word in edgewise on. Vote for your favorite shows, vote against the shows you hate, and speak your mind here!

Don't forget to tell them you want Middleman back, and add whatever shows you want to save.

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I finished all the knitting on the Christmas stockings along with weaving in the ends and sewing up the back seam and sewing down the top edge hem. Now they only need blocking and adding the pom poms/hanging loop. So, they should be done later today, and ready for pick up tomorrow.

So, it's back to the socks I was knitting before the stockings. They're from the Kroy sock yarn that I bought at AC Moore earlier (last month?). I like this yarn, but it has very little yardage.

I have to go. I have lots to do.

Have a great day!

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Addition:

I probably shouldn't do this on Easter Monday, but I can't resist.

Thanks to Holly, who alerted me to the Flying Spaghetti Monster (pastafarianism), I have found a whole new vista of faith.

Although I like the Flying Spaghetti Monster, he's always referred to as "his noodliness" and after looking around, I found a corresponding feminine deity, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, also known as "She that Raptures Socks." I'm not too enthused about the pinkness, but considering that I've been knitting socks for the last three weeks, I can't dispute that particular doctrine (the part about the socks). She also appears to be big on pizza, and how can anyone have a problem with that (although ham and pineapple is not my very favorite pizza)?

Please note that this is an appeal to thinking people, not a jab at anyone's religion.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Space Time Anomaly

Do you remember on Soap where Burt Campbell thought that nobody could see him at certain times?

We've all had this happen. 

People look directly at you and then walk deliberately into you, and then seem very surprised that you actually exist. People, driving, stopped at a cross street, carefully look right at your car and then pull out immediately in front of you. Sometimes they sit there, looking right at you until you get close enough that you'll have a hard time stopping to pull out.

I had someone at a McDonalds one time, who took orders from everyone in my vicinity, even people who showed up after I did, and after all that was surprised when I tried to order food, almost as if I had just appeared out of thin air. No joke!

Well, I have apparently ceased to exist and failed to notice it.

On Thursday, I had a doctor appointment. The apartment place where I live has a doctor who makes house calls once a month. You sign up on the list, and she comes by to see how you are.

Except, of course, that I signed up, and still haven't seen her. 

I didn't think too much of it at the time.

But Holly and I were supposed to go do something today, and I haven't seen or heard from her all day.

If I were her and got up this morning and looked out the window, I wouldn't have gone out today, either. It was gray, chilly, and rainy earlier, and I really didn't want to go out to the library, but I really wanted to pick up the book they're holding for me (and I have an item that's about to be overdue), so I went over. The rain had pretty much stopped by then, but it was still grey and chilly, and miserable. 

And they were closed!

They didn't even bother to wait to not-see me coming. This was a preemptive closing on their part. The sign on the door said that they were taking Saturday off because Sunday is Easter.

At least Safeway was open when I went there.

And now that it's too late to really go anywhere on the bus, the sun has come out, and it's beautiful!

Have a happy Easter weekend!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Happy Good Friday to all those of you out there who are celebrating it.

I really intended to post yesterday, and never got around to it.

One of the things I wanted to say then was that Vicki Howell is having another contest! So get on over there and enter to get one of her books. I already have!

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I finished the leg on the second Christmas stocking, and also the first of two socks from the yarn that I bought at AC Moore. I have been using it as a carry-around project while I was working on the Christmas stocking, which is not something I want to try to knit on the bus. I need to cast on for the other sock so that I'll still have a carry-around project.

The stocking, by the way, still needs a couple of ends darned in and then it's switch to knitting in the round, when it will be a mindless project like the sock. In fact, that part of it is exactly like the sock.

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I'm starting to get excited about the Sparkly Shawl (see Wednesday's post). The yarn is in the mail, and I think the new crochet hook I ordered from Etsy is probably on its way by now, too. Now all I need is the beads. There's always tomorrow for that. 

Holly was sick last week. Her voice sounded bad over the phone. But she's feeling much better now, and we plan to go do something tomorrow. I'm hoping to get beads. She sounded pretty outraged that I would want to drive all the way to Tyson's Corner, which is where Beadazzled is, so I guess we might go to the new bead store in Occoquan. If not, we'll probably stop at JoAnn Fabrics. I'm pretty sure I remember seeing all the beads in the store that I have been thinking about and/or considering for the shawl.

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I hope that any Moonlight fans out there got to catch it on the SciFi Channel last night. If you missed it, there is another one on tonight.

There's also a new Dollhouse and a new Ghost Whisperer.

Usually, around Easter time there are some Biblical movies on, but there's nothing this year before Sunday, and you'll have to look to find them.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm Sad

There's no reason in the world for me to be sad, but I am. I haven't a clue why.

Yesterday, I stopped at JoAnn Fabrics and got some fun stuff, which I thought would cheer me up, and it did, for an hour or two.

I bought a copy of Knit.1 Magazine. It has a lace shawl that I've been thinking about ever since I saw it in February when the new store opened. It's called the Sparkly Shawl, and they did it in light blue, which is always something to get my attention. It has clear glass beads with a silver lining, and the way the beads are done is interesting. Because the beads are strung as you go along (with a crochet hook), and because of the looser nature of lace knitting, I suspect that the beads show equally on either side, making it a bit more reversible.

I really liked the Shipwreck Shawl from Knitty, but the urge to knit lace has been building up for a while, but I think the sparkly shawl will teach me enough to branch out in new directions in lace design. It will certainly give me the chance to practice some new techniques.

So, I ordered the yarn from Knit Picks today, plus a small crochet hook from Etsy to pick up the beads. You'd think that if yesterday didn't cheer me up, that this would. There's more cheerful stuff about yesterday, by the way.

I'm going to do the shawl in black with blue/purple rainbow beads, so it will look very different from the photo in the book. I'm also thinking about doing three panels rather than two, which would give it a better shape. I haven't ordered the beads yet, and I'm thinking of trying to persuade Holly to go to either a new bead shop in Occoquan or to Beadazzled. JoAnn has some beads I like, too, but I'd rather look a bit before I settle for something when there may be something better out there. I've already looked at the Fire Mountain Gems website, and they probably have everything available, so I've probably already seen it all.

Anyway, back to yesterday and my swag.

I bought a tiny latch hook tool which I had hoped would fit through the hole in the size 6 seed beads. No dice. The latch hook is very small, though. A latch hook is always handy for knitters, so it's still a good buy, and has a very nice, ergonomic handle. If you want something like this, look in the section with the sewing tools. It's made by Dritz and has a pink (ugg) handle with rubbery soft fuchsia inserts to make it easy to hold. It would work well with sock or lace weight yarn for picking up stitches. It's a good tool for any lace knitter.

Here's a photo of the shawl from the magazine and the neat latch hook.


I've gotten hooked on latch hook tools lately. They're really good for fixing knitting problems, rather than having to rip back to fix it.

You can find a larger tool here and a slightly smaller one  here. It looks like the first one would be a good size for worsted and bulky yarns, and the second one for thinner yarns. Even better yet, I bought a few seed stitch tools last year, and I love them. It's a double-ended latch hook that you can use for latching up mistakes in both knit and purl stitches.

You'd think that all this would cheer me up, but it really hasn't.

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The other cheerful stuff I bought was at Borders.

The newest Dresden Files book is out, and it's called Turn Coat, and I bought a copy. The only problem with that is that I have a book out of the Library, and another one to pick up and read, and all of them have to be back soon, so I have to read them first or wait for them to come up in the lists for another go at them.

But I read a bit of the beginning of it on the way home on the bus, and it's dynamite so far!

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There's a new Lost on ABC tonight, followed by the premier of The Unusuals. Right before that, there's also a new episode of Better off Ted, which is a really quirky new science fiction/office drama/comedy.

Have a great evening!

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Addition:

I found a really neat stitch marker shown here. She has instructions for making a similar device here (scroll down for the row counter). She just makes tags with shrinky dink material with whatever markings are appropriate, and slips the lower ring each time. The tag on the top tells her what she's doing each round.

Holly was doing something similar to this a couple of weeks ago while she was knitting a circular blanket. She put "YO" on one side of an index card and "K" on the other. Each time she finished a row, she'd flip it over to remind her whether she was supposed in increase with a yarn over at each stitch marker or just knit around.

I like both of these ideas.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Donna Noble Sweater

I'm having a day where I'm really bummed out for no good reason.

Well, I have been doing my income tax, which always makes me feel bad. It probably wouldn't if there was any chance I'd get some money back. I did work a little last January, and I will have a refund of a whole two dollars to help me pay the nearly thousand I owe the IRS.

I can't imagine why that would be depressing.

And I was thinking of not posting today. There's that old saying "If you can't say anything good, don't say anything at all."

But then I saw this on Spoiler TV!

This was taken on the 4th of April, along with lots of other photos. Go and see the photos on the original site. I feel guilty, like I'm stealing this photo, so I'm trying to make this like an ad for the site.

The photos are interesting, but I was a little surprised and happy to see Catherine Tate back on Doctor Who. I love her and her character, Donna Noble, but she isn't supposed to know about the doctor on pain of having her head explode or something.

But even better than Donna, is the sweater she's wearing.


Is there something wrong with me that I get fashion tips from science fiction shows?

Regardless, the colors she's wearing are beautiful, and the combination of sweaters (or is that a tee?) looks smart and wearable.

Is it really weird that I can manage to post a photo that's science fiction and knitting news?

I hope you're having a happier day than I am.

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Oh, I nearly forgot, there was a really neat post on Fiber Fool's blog. She wrote a neat pattern for ruffles to wear at your wrist, and she's making it available free for a limited time. They're really pretty! It's a beautiful pattern, and a great way to use up leftover sock yarn. Check it out!

The actual pattern is here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Score One for Stupidity!

In a spectacular display of stupidity, Texas has decided to make sure it's school age residents are unaware of the age of the universe.

Read more about it here.

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I was looking at some of my blog posts from earlier in the week, and realized that I had said I would post a photo of the finished mobius hood.

Then I finished it, took a photo, and posted it on my Ravelry projects page and the page for FOs on the Harry Potter House Cup page.

And I completely forgot to post it here.

So, for those of you who are waiting with baited breath, here it is (finally).


I'm thinking I still have to do a little bit of tweaking before I'm really happy with it. I like it, but not a lot. I'm not overjoyed about the photo, either.

I have decided to give myself a day off on the Christmas stockings.

The first one is completely knitted, sewn up, and woven in. It still needs an overall blocking (looks like a crumpled piece of paper at the moment) and pom poms plus a hanging loop added.

I'm going to wait until I block the leg on the second one, which is easier to do before I start knitting in the round. That way, I can block that part of it flat. That way, I can put off having to make pom poms.

I have finished the name and year on the second one, and am almost to the icicles between the "snow" on  the top and the actual red part of the ankle with the tree and Santa on it.

I may get back to it later today if I finish the poncho I'm making with the yarn that matches the hood, above. The yarn looks very plain, and like a solid color in the photo, but it's really a "printed" yarn in off white with blue dots of varying intensity (along with some tan ones) on it. It looks tweedy in the ball, and I thought it would look that way knitted up, too, but no, it's visually a light blue, even though you can't see it in the photo. I liked this yarn when I bought it, but I like it even more now.

Anyway, it's almost finished, and the kind of weather I wanted to wear it in is suddenly here, so I thought I'd finish it and have it to wear. I'll probably finish it this evening and get back to the stocking.

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There will be new episodes of: Chuck, Heroes, Medium, and Castle on Monday evening!

Well, it's probably over 80 degrees in my apartment again, and almost like a sauna in here, so I'm going to sit (or maybe lie down) and read a book.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Torchwood!

Torchwood is back on BBC in America! It's in reruns, starting with the first episode, starting today.

The very first episode ever, Everything Changes, with be shown at 8:00 pm here, and then again at 11. As always, you should check your local schedule. Catch it today, or miss it!

They're also rerunning Doctor Who episodes. This week, they're showing Planet of the Ood. As always, check your schedules!

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I just finished the toe of the first of two Christmas stockings. There's still the back to seam, and the border at the top to sew down, ends to darn in, and either stars or pom poms to go with the loop for hanging to go. Photos soon!

It's a quiet, but very windy Saturday here. It makes me want to stay inside.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Hi! It's Friday!

I have lots to do today, so this will be a short post.

First of all, before I forget, here's the post from Vicki Howell about another contest she's having on her blog. If you're a crocheter, get on over there and enter!

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Here's where I am on the first of two Christmas stockings I'm knitting on a commission.


I'm about to switch to knitting in the round for the foot. It will eventually (when I've finished the foot) need a seam up the back of the leg.

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I have to go over to Comcast to pay my bill and yell at them once again. I yelled last month, but I started keeping a journal of stuff that's been messed up on TV because of them, and I've got two pages almost completely filled already. I plan to make an "I Hate Comcast" sandwich board to wear over there. They drive me crazy!

This is going to keep me pretty busy for the rest of the day, considering that I have to take two buses to get there, so it's a three or four hour round trip. I'm considering stopping at JoAnn Fabrics as a reward on the way back.

I also need to pay a flurry of other bills before I leave to do that.

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I watched a bit of the British version (the original) of Life on Mars before I watched the US version. I was less impressed with the original than most people seemed to be, but persevered through the first four or five US episodes. I'd read where some people were annoyed that the US version was so different, but the main difference I found in the first few episodes was that they called Sam's phone a "wireless" in the original, and a "cell" in the US versions. I didn't really see much difference between the two. They even had the woman policeman (Annie) in a knock-off of a British police uniform which is something I've never seen on a US cop anywhere.

After the first few episodes, I gave up on it, lost interest. But then I heard rumors that Sam kills himself in order to get back to 2008 in the original, and when the season finale came up last week, I watched it.

Wow! It was good. And Sam didn't kill himself. The ending was neat, though. I won't say any more except watch the reruns (if they ever show the series again).

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Tru Calling is on the SciFi daytime rotation today.

Tonight, we have a new episode of Dollhouse, and a rerun of Ghost Whisperer

On SciFi, a rerun of last week's Ark of Truth followed by the premier of Continuum this evening in the Stargate universe. If you have a problem watching Dollhouse and Continuum, the latter will be rerun next Friday.

I have to get running if I hope to do all I need to do today.

Have a great weekend!


Oh, and since it's a bill-paying day, I thought you would enjoy this:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy April Fools Day!

Happy April Fools Day!

And

Happy Birthday, Malaia!

It just wouldn't be April Fools Day without you!


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Addition:

In case you want to see how Neil Gaiman spent Arpil Fools Day, check this out.

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