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I’m out of the house! With an internet connection! Wahooooooo!

Sorry. I love my house, but I’m so very happy to be somewhere else than there right now. Because I didn’t have a choice but to be there for the past two days. I was going a bit mental.

Okay, so that’s kind of a lie. Like in most of the Midwest, it snowed here on Tuesday. About…5 inches? I don’t know. But I decided to stay home and work that day. I live about 12 miles outside of town, between two state forests. It does get a bit icky on our rural gravel roads sometimes, and my car doesn’t have all-wheel drive. (The blub’s does.) Besides, I had a bunch of computer work to do, and it was supposed to sleet in the afternoon. That meant I might have problems getting home. So I stayed put. Made some tea. Put my feet up.

It was cozy, that first day. I did get a couple pretty good shots of Izzy (for you, Huan-Hua).

IzzersMore Izzers

He looks all sweet an innocent in that picture. Do not be fooled. That was right after this.

I also saw a furry creature that was quite unexpected. While sitting on the couch a bit earlier, I happened to look up just in time to see a big fluffy tail disappear into the woods in the front yard. I didn’t get a very good look–it was either a fox or a coyote. Seeing a coyote during the day would have been really weird–they’re nocturnal. In fact, I’ve only ever seen one in the five years I’ve lived out there. But I’ve never seen a fox by our house either. So I was perplexed.

But after another 20 minutes or so, I had my answer. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a bright orange thing jump down into the creek that runs under our front porch. I sprinted for my camera. And this is what I got.

this is how far away I was

Sorry for the total crap shot. That was from inside the house, obviously. I blew it up, but it’s a bit out of focus (he was moving pretty darn fast).

running foxy

I managed to get one other shot, equally as crappy.

Foxy

That’s the enlarged shot. Here’s the original.

Then I opened the front door reallllllllllllly slowly, but the fox heard me. And man! All I saw was an orange streak, up and over the ridge. Gone. Pretty cool though, huh?

The rest of the day passed uneventfully. I shoveled the porch, which didn’t take me too long. I finished my work. I knitted a bit. And I went to bed, actually looking forward to going to work the next day.

Hah!

I got woken up at 5:30 the next morning by the ringing of the telephone. It was the front of the house manager at the restaurant where the blub works. Was Nels coming to pick her up? Well, how the bloody hell should I know? Would I call him and ask him? Listen lady, I was *&$@^ asleep before you called, even though you have been told NOT TO CALL THE HOUSE LOOKING FOR HIM. Here’s his damn cell number. YOU call him. Oh, okay, she says. And I hang up. ARRRUGH!

And of course I can’t fall asleep again. So when the phone rang a second time, thirty minutes later, I wasn’t too pissed. It was the blub.

“Uh, sweetie? Stay home today.”

“What? Why? I don’t have anymore work to do. I have to go in.”

“No. Stay home.”

He then told me that it took him 50 minutes to make the 20 minute drive into town. And he said he didn’t want to drive in those conditions again. Ever. And this guy is a professional driver–he used to drive semis for a living. He also told me that they weren’t opening the restaurant today, but he wasn’t coming home. He was essentially stuck in town.

I hung up the phone. Lay there for about 5 minutes. Then I got up. I drank tea and listened to NPR until the sun came up. And then I realized how much snow we actually had. I would like to point out that the local news guy on the radio said total accumulation was, and I quote, “Anywhere from four to seven inches.”

this much snow

My ass.

Apparently, it was so bad out there that Indiana University actually canceled classes. The last time they did this? 1978. So I was stuck. At home. For the second day in a row.

I didn’t even try to work. I had finished about all I could do without a high-speed internet connection anyway. (I have dial-up.) The worst thing was that I kept picking up on my neighbor’s wireless signal, which surprised me since he’s a fair bit down the road. But I couldn’t get in because it’s password protected. Bastard.

I started a new sock.

cheery yellow sock

They’re called the Lakehouse socks. And yes, I’m actually knitting something yellow. (It kind of looked like hell had frozen over anyway.) No, I’m not finished with the Sweater of Doom yet. I couldn’t take it anymore! I’m at the point where I keep thinking I need to knit only one more inch. Then I try it on again. And it needs another inch! So I gave up on it for the day. But here’s how far I am.

the never ending sweaterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Please forgive crap picture. It was dark outside.

I also did a bit of swatching.

swatching

Heh heh heh. Anyone care to guess what that’s for?

After a bit, I put on my coat and went outside. I shoveled the porch again, which took a lot longer than the day before.

really snowy

Compare with foxy picture above. That’s a lot of snow.

I took a bit of a walk. I found the trail that Izzy had made earlier that morning.

trial of the Izzers

He had come in completely coated in snow, which he proceeded to shake off all over the front room. But I could hardly get pissed. He does love to play in the snow.

The road, which actually got plowed at about 10 am.

snowy woods

That red thing is my neighbor’s garbage can. How picturesque.

hummingbird feeder

Maybe it’s time to take the hummingbird feeders down for the winter?

Then I decided to shovel the walk beside the garage. I got as far as the driveway, then stopped. I stood there a bit, gazing at the 14 inches of snow covering the expanse of gravel. Because I had just realized that if I didn’t remove all that snow, I wasn’t going anywhere the next day.

Shit.

So I got started. I dug and dug for about an hour. Then gave up and went inside. Has some more tea. Gazed longingly at the toe of my new sock. Then put my coat on and went back out.

Fortunately, the blub came home when I was about half done. And he helped me finish. Also fortunately, he showed up before I got to that bit where the plow and pushed the snow to the side of the road. Because it was about up to my waist. And partially ice.

Then we (yay!) went inside. Within moments of cracking a beer, Nels was out.

the blub is wiped

The poor blub had spent most of his morning shoveling snow from the sidewalk/parking lot/road outside the restaurant. Then he came home and helped me shovel some more. Plus two hair-raising road trips. He was a bit tired. We had pancakes for dinner and went to bed at 8:30.

snow on snow

Today, I hurt. And the roads are still a mess. Parking this morning was a joke. (Only the bottom half of each parking spot was plowed. Um.) But I’m at work, so I guess I better get to it. Because it’s supposed to snow again tonight, and tomorrow I might be stuck at home again. With my knitting. And no work to do.

God forbid. :)

Hey, remember those nifty green socks that I test knit for my friend Kalani a little while back? The pattern is on sale!

green forked sock twisty column

It’s $5.50 during the month of December! (It’s normally $5.95.) So if you’re interested in the pattern, or just a new type of heel turn, go get it while the getting’s good. Here.

In other news, guess what I finished! Super squee! Now I’m just trying to keep myself from starting two more Christmas presents.

Someone stop me, okay?

It’s not often that I’ll put YouTube videos up here, but I couldn’t resist this one.

Oh gawd, my ovaries. They’re going to explode.

Here is my standing-in-line-waiting-to-vote sock before I went in my polling place:

before

And here it is after:

after

Yeah, it didn’t even leave my purse. No line! At all! It was in and out in approximately six minutes. (And not even a cigarette after.) From what they’ve been saying on the radio, you’d think that anarchy was about to descend on the greater Bloomington area. I did go a little bit later, at about 9:30. But sheesh! Way to make a big deal out of nothing.

Campus is a bit crazy, though.

enthusiasm

There are balloons and chalked messages on about every flat surface and people everywhere with clipboards and buttons and maps to the local polling places. The lower set up of festivity up there bonked me on the head as I walked past. They’re so enthusiastic, those young voters! Supposedly there’s a guy around from MSNBC too, interviewing people on campus. Indiana’s not usually important as far as elections go, but this year it might actually go blue. That hasn’t happened since something like 1964, apparently.

But if one more person asks me if I voted yet, I swear I’m gonna go buckwheat. Read the sticker, for Pete’s sake!

The title originally read “Yarn overload,” but then I realized that such a thing did not exist. But buckle your chinstraps, folks. The Wild Yarn Ride begins…now.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was in Palo Alto this past weekend. I had gone for a conference, but I had a lot of time Friday morning, so guess who graciously took me on a yarn crawl? Carrie!

First we went for brunch, because I was really effing hungry. (They don’t feed you on planes anymore. And I had to get up at 2:30 am, which makes my tummy unhappy. Bleah.) Then we went to this adorable little shop called Bobbin’s Nest Studio. So many cute things there. It took much going back and forth, but I finally decided on some really cool buttons (that I forgot to take a picture of), some fabric (which I didn’t take a picture of, since it’s a sussie for my mom), and some yarn.

Oh dear, some lovely lovey yarn. Because Bobbin’s Nest is one of the few places that carries Hazel Knits Artisan sock.

hazelknits sock 3

The color I finally decided on is called Pacific. I did carry this one around with me for a bit. And I also loved this one and this one and especially this one. In fact, I might go back for that last one. But Pacific’s simplistic beauty won out in the end.

hazelknits sock

On to the next store! The infamous Purlescence. Which infamously carries Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Which infamously makes up 99.999999999% of Carrie’s stash. (Okay, that’s an exaggeration. It’s probably only about 97%.) After much deliberating, this is what I walked out with.

STR heavyweight lovers leap

STR heavyweight, in Lover’s Leap, which isn’t on the website any more. So now I’m doubly glad that I got it. I’m leaping with love. Carrie seemed to like it, too.

Carrie loving my yarn

In fact, I had to watch her pretty closely to make sure she didn’t pocket my yarn. (Just kidding. Sort of.) All she bought at both of those places was a pattern. That’s it. Can you believe her restraint? She also gave some yarn away. To me. This.

STR mediumweight from Carrie

STR mediumweight. Which I just happened to be out of. And it’s a mill end too, so it’s unique! I heart it. And look what else!

sheep bag!

A sheepie bag! It zips at the top! It’s so cute! I can’t stop using exclamation points!

Isn’t she the sweetest? Thank you so much, Carrie! I had a fabulous time, and I hope I can come back soon. Despite your being a graduate of a far inferior school. :)

So all this happened Friday morning. This was shortly after I had called the blub, who told me I had received a box back at home. From the UK.

“From someone named Charlotte,” he said. “Do you want me to open it?”

“NO!” I yelled.

It was my knitty Halloween SP box! From the UK! I knew right away it was from LittleMy. And when I got home Sunday night, I tore right into that sucker. I didn’t even take my shoes off first. Everything was wrapped up in orange and green paper, just like a pumpkin. This was the first thing I unwrapped.

jitterbug

Colinette Jitterbug, in forest. In the new, larger skein. And if I find any knots, I swear I’m keeping my mouth shut.

After I squeezed that for awhile, I dove back in. This is what I found next.

rowan chunky

A skein of that new Rowan yarn, Kaffe Fassett Colourscape Chunky. I think it’s color #436, but I’m not sure. I am sure, though, that it’s the same exact color I picked up at Purlescence and said “Ooo! Pretty!” to Carrie. Hee.

But wait, there was more! (Can you believe it?) And this next one is my favorite.

kauni

A skein of Kauni 8/2. In beautiful, beautiful blue-greens.

kauni inside

Just look at that beautiful, stripy promise that is the middle. I want to cast on with this yarn. Right. Now. I carried it around with me for awhile that night, like a kid with a teddy bear. I love it. I swear, the second I finish up my Christmas knits I am casting on for a sweater with this. I don’t care that I have a half-finished one on the needles. I want to make something like this, but with the Venezia pattern on the body. Would that not be freaking awesome? I’m thinking maybe a rich brown for the contrasting color. I wonder how much I would need?

Oh hell, I’m getting carried away. There were other things in the package too, like a little sheepie pouch that made me squeal long and loud, some really really yummy ginger and rhubarb cookies that are almost gone already, some fabulous soap and hand cream that smells wonderful, and vibrating bat thing that freaks the blub out (yay!), some really really dark chocolate (my favorite), some squirting jelly skull things which kind of scare me and some other cute candy. Oh yes, and this beautiful card.

rabbit card

I love it! I’m totally framing it and hanging it on the wall.

Thank you so much, LittleMy! Wow. Just wow. At the risk of understating, you rock. Most egregiously.

So is everybody drooling now? My brain isn’t quite working anymore in the midst of all that yarny goodness. I’ve been saying “agagagagagag,” and walking in circles a lot. Hang on, though. Because I have to announce the winner of the poop shawl!

It’s Denise, aka dlotter, contestant number eight. Come on down!

(By which I mean email me with your address so I can pop the shawl in the mail.)

There were a lot of good poo jokes, though. You guys certainly are anally fixated. Freud would have a field day.

And speaking of fields, I can’t end without one more picture, taken from my back yard. Carrie, this one’s for you.

Zack's barn in autumn

Happy Autumn.

(And I do mean I’m going east, by the way. Not that I’m standing next to a prostitute.)

Here is the last blog post that I will write from my little room in Orange.

Tomorrow, darlings! The blub and I will journey forth back towards home, towards that glittering rural jewel we call…Indiana.

No really, I am so so so glad to be going home. But I’m not really going home yet. I’m going back to Indiana yes, but only for a matter of hours. I have to get on a plane and go back to DC. Then I’m going to visit my big bro for a bit (and new baby!). Then I get to go home. So it’s still a bit over a week till home for me. But I’m getting there. I’m getting there.

(The blub’s slumbering sweetly on my bed as I write this. I realized that with the time change and his crazy very early morning schedule, he actually got up before I went to bed last night. Poor blub. He’s tired.)

So I’m outta here, two months to the day after I arrived. I’ve had some adventures. I’ve met some nice people (Hi, Anaheim Hills knit night!). I’ve written 25 stories for the paper this summer. And I’ve learned so so so so much at my internship.

Really. It was actually kind of hard for me to say goodbye today. I got teary as I left the newsroom. I really liked what I was doing. Even with the hard edits, even with the ‘write this whole thing over’s, even with the insane people calling me on the phone (my phone number was posted at the bottom of every. single. story.), I really enjoyed that my job was to write. And I think I actually got better at it. Well, that’s what my editors told me, anyway.

Did I mention how glad I am to have done this? It was hard to be away from home, to be away from el blubbo, yes. But when I think about how much I learned and the things I accomplished, well (as we say in my family) it was worf it.

I’m sort of excited about what the future holds for me. I think I can actually do this for a living, which freaks me out and makes me very very happy, both at the same time. Can I actually…do what I love? And get paid for it? Wow. That would rock.

So off I go now, into my future. Can a person romantically drive off into the sunset? If so, that’s me. Motoring away into red and ambers and ochers.

See ya in the Midwest. :)

Anyone out there speak French? I took Spanish as a wee high school student, so my French is unfortunately limited to telling Pierre I’m a small cabbage. I’m in desperate need because I have a sudden, powerful, and inconsolable urge to knit this.

And the pattern’s in French. Darn you, Phildar!

Anyone willing to help with a translation? I’ll make you cookies! Yummy cookies.

Happy, orata? I hope so. It was hell to get away from those kidnappers.

Here’s dem rules:

Out of the top 50 yarns on Ravelry (by number of projects):
Bold the ones you’ve used and would use again,
Cross out the ones you’ve used and would not use again,
and italicize the ones you’ve never tried, but would like to.
Add comments as desired, and then pass the meme along to 5 knitters/crocheters.
Link back to this post and to the person who tagged you.

(By the way, I copied this verbatim from orata’s blog. The number of projects have surely changed since then, but I’m too lazy to update.)

1, Cascade 220 Wool, 11967 projects–I know I’ve used this, but I can’t remember what for. Huh.
2, Patons Classic Wool Merino, 10445 projects–swat team kitties! Felts nicely.
3, Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted, 8421 projects–malabrigo. Say no more.
4, Noro Kureyon, 7947 projects–I do actually have some of this in my stash. Just haven’t gotten around to knitting it yet.
5, Caron Simply Soft, 7914 projects–have felt this in the skein, and I never ever ever want to use it. Feels like plastic to me. Ick.
6, Lily Sugar’n Cream Solid, 6864 projects–dishcloths, baby bolero. Solid, upstanding citizen. Um yarn.
7, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted, 6619 projects–Attack of the evil itchy fuzzy things! Can’t knit with it.
8, Red Heart Ltd. Super Saver Solids, 6176 projects-No.
9, Lion Brand Wool-Ease Solid, 5554 projects–Makes my hands sweat.
10, Noro Silk Garden, 5410 projects–Sadness abounds. It contains mohair.
11, Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM), 5094 projects–Again, I have some. I have some wound in happy little yarncakes even.
12, Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, 5071 projects–scarves for brothers. A bit itchy, so maybe that was a bad choice.
13, Lion Brand Homespun, 4296 projects–Blarg.
14, Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, 4157 projects–I have some. I know I’ve at least swatched with it. But have I knit anything with it?
15, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi, 4086 projects–I’ve knitted with the solid, but not the multi. At least, not the multi in sock weight. Gracious, how specific this is.
16, Manos del Uruguay 100% Wool, 3989 projects–so pretty, so nice
17, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky , 3927 projects-see note for worsted weight, above
18, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, 3751 projects
19, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock – Lightweight, 3723 projects-have more
20, Plymouth Encore Worsted, 3573 projects–I don’t really like this, but I have more so I know I’ll use it again. For kid toys.
21, Cascade 220 Heathers, 3422 projects
22, Lily Sugar’n Cream Ombres & Prints, 3384 projects-not used this, but it doesn’t speak to me. Don’t think I ever will
23, Zitron Trekking (XXL), 3348 projects–I have a beautiful purple skein of this sitting in my stash. I’m saving it for something special.
24, Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes), 3243 projects–Can we say hairy? And itchy. And weirdly almost unspun. Pretty, but don’t like knitting with it.
25, Rowan Kidsilk Haze, 3203 projects–It’s mohair. Sniff.
26, Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, 2917 projects-I made Elijah out of this. Love it.
27, Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing Co., Inc Peaches & Creme Ombres, 2658 projects–I don’t know what the hell this is.
28, Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, 2512 projects–Love! We’ll be announcing out engagement any day now
29, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock – Mediumweight, 2503 projects-squarshy and delicious
30, Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, 2489 projects-I’m so glad I didn’t blog when I knit that poncho. And it had Fun Fur trim! *shudder*
31, Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing Co., Inc Peaches & Creme Solids, 2476 projects
32, Cascade 220 Superwash, 2323 projects-this waits on my wall to become a dolly
33, Berroco Ultra Alpaca, 2286 projects–
34, Knit Picks Swish Superwash, 2226 projects–Made the log cabin for Baby J out of this. Loved it.
35, Knit Picks Essential, 2149 projects-can’t really go wrong, here. I wish they had better colors, though.
36, Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Solid, 2142 projects-NO!
37, Colinette Jitterbug, 2090 projects–I’m not even going to go there.
39, Knit Picks Shine Sport, 1976 projects-I have a bag of this in purple. I like the yarn, but if I made myself a garment out of it, I think my resemblance to a certain dinosaur would be too close for comfort.
40, Dale of Norway/Dalegarn Baby Ull, 1885 projects–heart!
41, Lion Brand Microspun, 1871 projects
42, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino, 1863 projects
43, Knit Picks Palette, 1765 projects-again, can’t remember what I made out of this
44, South West Trading Company TOFUtsies, 1762 projects-hurt my hands
45, Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, 1756 projects
46, Mission Falls 1824 Wool, 1725 projects–nice colors
47, Rowan RYC Cashsoft DK, 1718 projects-beauty, thy name is Rowan
48, Red Heart Ltd. Super Saver Multis/Ombres, 1664 projects-NOOOO!!!!
49, Rowan Felted Tweed, 1646 projects–see above
50, Rowan Calmer, 1571 projects–I don’t know knitting ten rows of Shedir counts as having used this yarn, but I do love it. And I do hope to finish that &^##&()%#@% hat

I’m not tagging anyone. Except Hapagirl. Did you ever do it? Well I don’t care, DO IT AGAIN! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

This one I was tagged for long ago by Annie, and even longer ago by Que Sarah. Sorry, guys! I wasn’t ignoring you, I swear. What I was doing was hoping you’d forget. Did you? Probably.

Rules: Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player than tags 4 or 5 people to also do the meme.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

Just about to move to Bloomington. I must have been apartment hunting…

2. Five Things on my to-do list today. (this is for Friday, since I don’t tend to keep lists for weekends)

Call guy about primate study
Email guy about primate study
Try not to kill guy because he won’t get back to me about primate study
Finally get a hold of guy about primate study
Write piece on primate study

3. Three snacks I enjoy.

Barbara’s Bakery cinnamon puffins (yum!)
fresh sugar snap peas
chocolate

4. Three things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Add on to my house
Pay off my house
Hire someone to take care of my house (at least the cleaning and weeding and crap like that)

5. Three of my bad habits

Spending too much time on my perfect and fabulously unflawed body
Not answering my gobs and gobs of email from adoring fans and admirers
Compulsive lying

6. Five places I have lived.

Chicago, IL
Bloomington, IN
Berkeley, CA
Genalguacil, Spain
a lime green Volkswagen beetle

7. Five jobs I have had.

sushi waitress
money counter (in a bank vault)
camp counselor
preparator (Art Institute, textiles)
lab monkey

aaaaaand I’m going to break the rules and not tag anyone. Ha! Authority, I flaunt you!

Holy schnikes! Kind of out of the blue, my mum decided to come visit me this weekend! Well, she’s trying to, anyway. Mumsie works for United Airlines (no snide comments, please–she’s very loyal to her company, even though they suck) (Um, Dad, don’t tell her I said that, k?), so she’ll be flying standby. That means she may or may not get on the plane. So she may or may not actually be coming to visit me. But she’s supposed to be here tomorrow night, and then we’re going to San Diego. Yay! So please send some mumsie-get-on-the-plane vibes, yes? Oh, and also mumsie-get-here-safely vibes as well. Those are more important.

ETA: Not enough vibes, people! She didn’t get on the plane. And the flights tomorrow are even worse, so she’s not coming. :( I think I’m going to hit the beach this weekend though, so I’ll leave things set as they are. Over and out.

So since I’ll be buggering off this weekend, I’ve decided to catch up on some memes that I’ve been tagged with lately. (Holy crap, has the world gone topsy? Answer: yes.) I’ll do one today, then set up the others to go up over the weekend. So that’s what’s coming from me. May I take this moment to remind you, both bloglines and google reader have this fabulous “mark as read” option. You may want to employ that for the next few days regarding this space.

To start: the mosiac meme that I actually haven’t been tagged for, but I think it’s cool so I’ll do it anyway. I first saw it on Nell’s blog, but it’s been a few other places, too. Here’s my contribution.

mosiac 2

1. Leigh, 2. Cottage cheese pancakes, 3. my school, 4. purple and green, 5. James McAvoy*, 6. lemonade, 7. Orkney Islands, 8. strawberries and cream, 9. writer, 10. blub blub blub, 11. quirky, 12. chemgrrl

The rules:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Oh and as long as I’m doing the flickr thing. To my favorite dad. Named Glenn.

*I would highly recommend checking out this photographer’s photostream, especially if you like Alan Rickman.

Contact me

thechemgrrl AT gmail DOT com (you know what to do with the extras)
June 2021
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