Saturday, October 24, 2009

May God have mercy.

Tomorrow, I'm making tiny ghost-shaped cakes.

Get ready for THAT blog post.

I'm also making an apple pie, but that shouldn't be traumatic at all. The ghost cakes that I felt compelled to make, on the other hand, should be truly horrific, if my past baking/cake experience is any indication. But once I get an idea in my head, I can't let it go, and thus, my agony becomes your entertainment. I'll get the camera ready; we're in for a ride.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My day has been wonderful.

And it's all thanks to you, gloves.

I made these in about 24 hours. I finished my Baana scarf and felt compelled to make fingerless gloves. I used the brand-new Buxom Sock Yarn my friend Erica dyes up. Definitely check out her etsy shop, Bigmouth Yarns. I'm not normally one for fingerless gloves or mitts, not really seeing a point to them, besides looking like a Hot Topic-style wannabe goth, but after I felt ridiculous wearing mittens for recess duty in October, I decided that fingerless gloves would be warm but still look seasonably appropriate. I winged these things out so fast. I just used the basic glove pattern from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, and for once, had no problems - usually I end up with 3 stitches by the time I get to the last finger or holes or some other bizarre problem. That's my fault, not the patterns. Really, I can't praise that book enough. But the gloves came out great and they're nice and warm. I got to work the past two days, so I wore them for recess duty. You ever have something on and you like it so much that it just boosts your mood? Yeah, that's how I've been with the gloves. A very good knit.

Today was wonderful. I had a great time with the girls I worked with, had a great lunch with a coworker, had nice weather for my recess duty, and even got a ride home after running into a nice man who brought me home last week. I needed to run an errand to the post office, and I decided that since it was so lovely out, and I'm wearing two shirts, a jacket was unnecessary. But I still needed something. GLOVES! So I've got my iPod on, listening to the best album I've ever heard, Electric Six's new release, Kill, wearing my happy gloves. Seriously, I cannot pimp this album enough. Every song on it is just incredible - catchy, up-tempo, fun. I was a little concerned, because their last album took a long time to grow on me, but this one was on repeat immediately. If you check out my recent charts on, it's all Kill. I'm addicted to it.

It was a wonderful day for a walk (of course it was, since I got a ride home), so when I finished up at the post office, I decided to walk a few extra feet and go to the grocery store. I bought myself some sushi! I've been really interested in it lately. I gave myself a budget, so I was staring intently at the packages of $6.49/12 rolls, eschewing the higher priced ones. Eventually, the sweet man who makes the sushi came over to ask if I needed help. I ooze "clueless noob." He assured me that I could still eat it tomorrow, and I came home with some avocado/cream cheese/smoked salmon rolls. And they're even ninja-approved!

Oh, Maine. So culturally sensitive.

As far as I know, the guy that made them didn't throw down a smoke bomb and vanish, but I was kind of busy listening to Kanye West, and he's pretty good at distracting you.

On the way home, I pass a Dunkin' Donuts, and they had sent some coupons recently. I decided to live dangerously and order a latte. I know, my life is completely fascinating. If you couldn't tell from the sushi, I'm a very bland/picky eater, so I'm trying to expand my horizons. I also picked up some donuts (of course) for my grandmother. Thanks, coupon, for making me a hero.

So the walk home was excellent - I felt fantastic in my gloves, great songs in my ears, drinking coffee. It was actually good, too. Usually I find coffee vile. I guess I'm so used to my grandmother's Taster's Choice swill that I stereotype all of it as being nasty. Except the Dunkachino, of course. That's exceptional.

So... that knitting crap. After I finished the gloves, I hammered out a washcloth. Sometimes I want to knit and not think. HOORAY WASHCLOTH. It was supposed to be a "reverse mitred square," so that you could just knit it until you're bored/out of yarn and it'll be a square when you bind off.

Bullshit, it's a mantra ray.

I eventually persuaded myself to start a sweater. It was supposed to be a "lightweight Summer cardigan." It's October. I have failed. So I finally wound up some yarn for it. I could not be less enthused. Maybe because I don't have a pattern for it. Maybe because the "sport weight" yarn looked horrible until I put it on TWOS. Maybe it's because I provisionally cast on 288 stitches, because I like to make things as complicated as possible (as you learned from the cupcakes story. Incidentally, my grandmother INHALED those things.) and I'm doing a hem. It'll involve k2toging (it's a verb) the working stitches with the provisional ones. OH GOD I CAN'T WAIT. It bears repeating, I don't have a pattern, so this is something I'm choosing to bring upon myself. It'll be followed up by an eyelet design, and then the rest will be stockinette. I'm basing the shaping loosely off Dulce de Leche, but mine will be a cardigan. I think I'll do it Coraline style and just have a few buttons near the top. Maybe just two big ones instead of a million itty bitty ones. And holes instead of button loops, which are something akin to torture to make/keep attached to the sweater.

Or, I'll just say to hell with it and make an Ishbel with my Neptun Wollmeise. Equally likely.

Destash my life 10/23: one picture frame, box of tea bags, lots of papers and junk mail that I hang on to until I can get to the recycling station

Monday, October 19, 2009

I may be wearing a men's polo shirt.

Which wouldn't explain the fact that at 5'2" and 118 pounds, I still needed a large. Anyone know if that's the reason some Aeropostale shirts have a heart insignia and some say A87? I prefer the A87. I held larges up to each other in both styles and they seem to have the same shape. I could have probably done a medium but it didn't look quite right. Large looks a little big. I need a medium-large, honestly. Meanwhile, I have a polo shirt from the same store I bought a few years ago. It's an extra small. It fits fine. This is why women's clothing makes NO sense and you should never care about what size the label says.

Went to the mall with my mom today for some bonding. I bought a new zip-up hoodie - black and blue zebra stripe - and a new plaid flannel shirt, which isn't as ugly as it sounds - it's capped sleeves and very feminine. If anyone can rock it, I can. But now I'll have to get rid of more stuff. I have a thin sweatshirt this one can easily replace. At least I mentally surveyed my closet to decide if this would be useful to me. I decided yes, since it's heavier than the other jackets I put on when the house gets too cold, but not the oppressive heaviness of a full hooded sweatshirt. But I chose not to make certain purchases today (like shoes or towels) because I knew I already had plenty of other options already. So I did add a little stuff to my life, but I think the lifestyle switch was very apparent.

When I finish two bottles of body lotion, the next one I'd like to get is Bath and Body's new vanilla/pear lotion. I love vanilla smells. My family is notorious for buying out Bath and Body Works at Christmastime and giving each other lots of their stuff. I really try to not default to it for gift ideas every year because it just seems like I'm not putting any effort in anymore. My family tells me they always like to get it, but it just seems like I'm running on autopilot when I buy it. Much like how it's become expected that I buy certain gifts, because I always have. we get a little too wrapped up in "it's tradition!" and don't tend to think about if it's a tradition we really enjoy.

Baana scarf is HUGE and awesome. Well, huge in the sense that it feels big and unyieldy in my lap, but I don't think it's actually gotten too much larger since my last photograph. I'm only on my third row today, since I was out all day. I feel like I could call it good here, but I do have an awful lot of yarn left. Pus, i'd really hate for something to be less than perfect just because I was bored with it - the reason all my first scarves are a little too short. I can just as easily put it aside and start a new hat project if I'm really dying from an overabundance of linen stitch. But I think I'll power through. No reason not to - I'm not someone that does well with a lot of WIPs.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hello, Big 6

Destash my life 10/18/09:
  • A jigsaw puzzle that as much as I'd like to, I am never going to finish, because even the pieces that are supposed to fit together don't fit together right
  • 3 large balls of scrap sock yarn - that's tough for me since there's enough to really do something with, but I'm bored with the colors
  • A DVD of 5 Family Guy episodes
  • 2 VHSes of Trading Spaces episodes I recorded when I was in love with Vern Yip
  • Finished a bag of Caesar salad mix
  • Finished a half gallon of apple cider
  • Threw away three jars of jam that had been around long enough to be questionable, or at least to be reasonably sure I'm never going to eat from them.
Home alone for a few hours today, and that always pushes my desire to clean. Today I was craving the scrap sock yarn bin, and then it occurred to me to check out the cabinet my TV is on. This means that with the exception of the puzzle, you can't see a difference thanks to my cleaning, since everything was already "out of sight, out of mind," but at least now I have a little more storage space for decent stuff.

I encountered more scrap cotton than I expected in the stash bin. I think if I get bored after the Baana scarf, I'll make another washcloth. I really enjoy my knitted ones. Garter stitch ridges are great exfoliators. (Exfoliaters? Neither seems right.) It's also been good to have an excuse to get rid of my old washcloths, which had been made with sparkly thread. I would never turn my nose up at anything sparkly, but time and Proactiv's "heal your skin by burning it off with acid" formula have worn down the soft towel part and left just a mess of painful, scratchy silver. Needless to say, dishcloth cotton is a vast improvement.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

This shit is baananas.

Destash my life 10/17/09:
* 3 books
* 1 pair of sandals
* bead/twine bracelet
* candy that had been gifted to me... a disturbingly long time ago
* a silicone brownie pan that's supposed to make brownies that look like Hershey bars. Cute idea, used it once, couldn't get them out. Made brownies that looked like crumbs.

The more I get bitched at for things like not caring when dinner is or being called to substitute, the more things I want to purge, in the hopes of someday being able to get up and go. I can only imagine the difficulty of the people on Hoarders... I know from my experiences last year that there's nothing more frustrating than realizing how much stuff you own and how that inhibits you from doing what you want to do. I can imagine living in a house like that and being too depressed to even get started. I never want to be at point. I know I have a tendency to mindlessly acquire things, particularly clothing and yarn, and I want so badly to stop that. I could never be a minimalist, but I just want to stop gaining so much ballast in my life.

The Baana Scarf grows. In fact, it's dangerously close to actually being a scarf. Look. It's wearable.

I'm also rocking a children's Halloween shirt.

I've got the needle tips poked into the scarf itself to hold it on, so it needs to be a bit longer, but I stand a good chance of finishing this thing this week, as long as I don't put it down and forget about it for a few days, and especially if I don't sub as much as I did this week. It's looking pretty hot. I'm glad I was persuaded to persevere through the boredom rather than start the hat project I'm thinking of. It's exciting watching my Wollmeise cake shrink down, too. I'd love to have this scarf finished before my 4 skeins of Grab Bag yarn arrive, too - it would help me justify their presence. To my credit, I didn't even consider staying up for the Thursday night stalk. Good thing, too, since I ended up getting called to work at the elementary school on Friday. For once, no one thought I was one of the students.

As an aside, The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and their shitty name choke harder than David Carradine alone in a closet.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I would not survive Hell's Kitchen.

I love Gordon Ramsay. I will watch anything that involves him yelling at people. I love the horrific conditions on the US version of Kitchen Nightmares. I love when he throws shit on Hell's Kitchen. I love his constant need to show nipple on UK Kitchen Nightmares. I am a glutton for his insanity. And he's kind of old guy hot, too:

I'd wreck that shit.

As my best friend puts it, everything with Ramsay is to an extreme. It's either THE GREATEST MEAT THAT HE HAS EVER SEEN COOKED IN ALL OF HIS YEARS OF FOOD CONSUMPTION, or A DISGUSTING PIECE OF EXCREMENT, YOU DONKEY! And I can totally get into that - I'm all about a person with passion, no matter what direction it goes in. People that are on a monotonous, even keel just grate on me. Get excited! Show you care! Live your life with a little zest!

So, needless to say, I follow Hell's Kitchen with zeal. I used to run to work on Wednesday mornings full of glee because I could talk to one of my students about last night's episode. I was always amazed by how absolutely terrible everyone seemed to be, a stark contrast to my former favorite chef show, Top Chef, a show I discovered during my morning medication ritual when I had mono. I was thrilled that the newest season of HK started so soon after the last one ended. Of course, it had the audacity to conflict with baseball, so I ended up watching every episode on Hulu. This gave me something extra to look forward to, and let me sit at the computer with simple knitting and engross myself in the show. Then I could finally talk about it with a friend who had DVR'ed it, for a reason I also prefer Hulu, skipping the commercials and the insane amount of time that's devoted to what will happen after the break/what happened just before the break.

Tuesday night was the season finale. Goddamn. I finally decided to set aside the two hours to watch it today, after I got home from subbing. I also felt compelled to make cookies. I managed to get a ride home today, so I was back much earlier than expected. I made use of the time by taking out the butter to soften.

Butter in front of the heater. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

This softened it up a tiny bit. I still had to microwave it. Damn. I was hoping this would be a moment of sheer brilliance. Oh, no, that was still to come. Tenfold.

I'm looking at my cookie recipe, and I'm suddenly overcome with a desire to make cupcakes. OH MY GOD I HAVE A MINI CUPCAKE PAN YES YES THAT'S WHAT I'M GONNA DO. I look in the drawer under the oven and don't see the pan. Well, that makes sense. I've used this thing maybe once ever. I have a vague recollection of it being in the cabinet over the fridge. Which I can't reach by any means. So I unfold the step stool. Push aside the Bailey's, the cookie press, the Taster's Choice jar I covered in paper mache at my babysitters' in fourth grade that my grandmother will not let go of, all that random shit that ends up on top of a fridge or in a cabinet you will never put the effort into getting at. No cupcake pan.

Motherfucker. This means I need to go into the shed. This would be less horrific if the shed wasn't padlocked and an obstacle course of shit. I get the key, undo two locks, move a random 2x4, and open it up. There's two glue traps in the middle of the only floor space I could put my feet on, because my grandmother is obsessed with the notion that there may be chipmunks running amongst our fake Christmas tree and beach chairs. I can only imagine the reaction should she actually find one stuck there. Now, I'm forced to unstack a vast degree of shit that we threw in there a year ago, will never use, but cannot part with. First, a big plastic bag with pots, pans, silverware, and an iron. Some of my old college supplies. In theory, I will one day be on my own again and need to iron. I will continue to hate doing it. Next, a massive plastic storage bin with more crap. Gotta figure out somewhere to put that, as, like I said, there's no space inside the shed. A beach chair falls on me. AWESOME. And the damn pan isn't in my storage bin. So now I have to move that. An awkward giant bin full of cookware. That's fun. The bin below it is just sentimental stuff, like my gavels from debate team, or porcelain statues of Piglet. Shut up. But that's the end of my packed stuff. Which means.

1. The pan isn't in the shed.
2. I moved all this shit for nothing.
3. Now I have to put it all back.
4. My foot may be stuck to a glue trap.
5. If the pan isn't in the shed...

I think we know how this story ends. Yeah, it was in the drawer. I didn't look well enough.

In the process of putting everything back in the shed, I managed to get a crappy old doormat stuck to the glue trap. Then I had the pleasure of separating the two. And then the only reasonable thing, getting my hand stuck to it. I'd be the worst chipmunk ever. Thank God, it wasn't the full palm or anything and I managed to pull it off.

Jesus Christ, we're 20 minutes into this adventure and I finally get to start the damn recipe. I have a fool proof chocolate cupcake recipe. No issue here. I had all the ingredients I needed, plenty of butter, used up the last of my almost-empty jar of cocoa powder. All is right in the world. I had also brought my laptop into the kitchen so I could watch the finale of Hell's Kitchen on Hulu. It was a very nice time.


My batter is all mixed up and tastes GREAT. But it needs something. I wish I had some peppermint extract. I remember there were Andes mints leftover from my rocky road cupcakes. I take out my tiny cutting board and chop them up in the small amount of available counter space, eyes on my laptop. I mix the shards into the batter and grease the pan with non-stick spray. This will be important later. There's roughly 700 cups on the mini muffin pan (or maybe not), so it takes me goddamn forever to fill. I finally have a good idea and use a tablespoon-sized measuring spoon to pour out batter evenly. Glorious! Get your ass in the oven, muffins!

I'm hanging out in the kitchen, watching the episode. Awesome, the final two is going to be the two guys I've liked all season. Test the cupcakes, not ready yet. Make some tea. Test the cakes. Drink some tea. Everything's great. Decide the cupcakes are ready to come out. Rock.

Go figure, I only have one mini muffin pan, so I can't do the whole "get another tray ready while the first is cooking, then into the oven right away" thing. It also bears mentioning that I have no patience and am fanatical about electricity usage. So I'm getting more and more agitated waiting for them to cool while the oven is running at 350. I move them over in front of the window. The window is closed; I don't know what the fuck I was trying to achieve. I end up putting them in the fridge. COOL OFF JESUS CHRIST I HATE YOU.

Okay. Fuck it. They're coming out of the pan.

Oh. No they're not. They're stuck to the pan.




Remember that part about how I used non-stick spray? FUCK YOU, PAM. YOU'RE A LIAR. Although honestly, there was no damn way I would have greased every cup with butter even if I'd known this was going to crit-fail on me.

Okay. Maybe if they cool longer. Back in the fridge.

No. Still stuck.

Okay. I'll cut between the sides and the cake with a knife and coax 'em out.

Well. That doesn't change the fact that the bottom is stuck.

This is where I hit the point of self-satisfaction and fall in love with my own "genius" enough to start IMing people about what a brilliant mind I am. The top of the cupcake looks fine, but the bottom is all garbled and doesn't sit flat. SO TURN THEM UPSIDE DOWN. TA FUCKING DA. I even came up with a name for this miracle of cookery: "chocolate top hats." Jesus Christ, it hurts to be such an intellectual. I'll frost the crappy broken parts so that you won't even be able to see that something's wrong. Suck on that, Kerry Vincent, bitchy cake show judge. They'll look like little frosting bullets. It'll be great. I win. I'm a genius. I am the ace of cakes.

And then my laptop battery dies JUST before the dramatic moment in Hell's Kitchen. Of course. It takes me an amazingly long time to figure out that this is the issue, after I spend several minutes swearing and pressing the escape key, trying to figure out what the problem is that's preventing the sleep screen from going away. It's the fact that your computer isn't even on, dumbass. So now I have to carry it out to the living room and get it plugged in. I am, of course, covered in chocolate. Then it keeps giving me some bullshit about "plugged in, not charging." WELL WHY THE FUCK NOT?! I have no idea how to remedy this. I opt to go with my usual method of dealing with this things, avoidance. Eventually, it seems to be charging. See, I was right.

It takes forever to get the cupcakes all out of the pan, and my "how much money is this costing me" vein is throbbing knowing that the oven is still on. I get out a small bowl and scrape all the stuff that stuck to the pan, but is still perfectly edible, into it. I figure I'll put a big ol' dollop of frosting on it and call it a disassembled cupcake. I scrape out enough remaining batter to fill 10 or so mini cups and stick it back in. I didn't even do a thorough job getting all the extra crumbs out. Whatever. Why clean twice. I'm also reaching the point where I want this OVER.

I've brought the laptop back into the kitchen because I figure it's charged up enough that I can finish out the episode. It isn't. Battery goes just as Chef Ramsey is about to announce the winner. Because that's how things roll for me right now.

I get the second batch out of the oven and directly into the fridge (I'm not fucking around now) and start planning out my frosting. I could use a recipe, or I could just throw shit at random into the mixer. You know me, you know what I chose. But I've made this recipe so many times that my arrogance is actually deserved. I felt, briefly, like a real pastry chef, tasting the frosting and deciding what it needed more of, that it wasn't "rich" enough, etc. I got it totally 100% perfect, and then decided I didn't have enough. I had to add more powdered sugar and milk, and couldn't get the ratio perfectly enough to keep it as good as it was before. It was still pretty good, though. Now, to frost.

I don't own a pastry bag. So, how should I deal with this?

1. Cut a corner off a ziploc bag
2. Use a butter knife to spread it on
3. Awkwardly cram as much frosting as possible into a turkey baster


So, how did I get the frosting into the turkey baster in the first place? Why, I globbed it over the hole with a spatula, of course! So I covered myself and the baster in frosting and got none in. This should have been my first sign that this was not going to end well. But no, when I get an idea, I commit to it. I see it through to completion, no matter how much agony and aggravation it's going to cause me and no matter how strong the odds are that it'll end in trichotillomania.

I succeed in squeezing out about a gram of frosting.

Now I have a turkey baster full of chocolate frosting and a big problem. Maybe the reason it isn't moving is that there's not enough in there to push on it. So I'll jam more frosting in!

Now I have more frosting that's stuck in a turkey baster.

And this is when shit just starts getting ridiculous. I end up taking the bulb off the baster and blowing as hard as my weak, pathetic lungs will allow, trying to force the frosting out. Of course, this happened over the counter, not the cupcakes, so my efforts were for naught.

Fuck it. I end up just grabbing fingerfulls of frosting and rubbing them onto the cupcakes. Don't ever eat anything I bake. And I'm not going to have enough. You know, since half my frosting is stuck inside a goddamn turkey baster. Chances are, you've never wondered how to get chocolate buttercream out of a turkey baster. Thank God you found this blog, or googled that phrase to get here. The answer, of course, is to take off the bulb and jam the handle of a wooden spoon as far down as you can. Bonus if the spoon is also burnt because your mother once managed to set it on fire. This will get out more frosting than simply blowing, but only once. You gotta keep ramming it up and down, in a horrifically obscene display. It'll also spill frosting out of the wrong hole. I hope someone also googles that to get here. So now my hand is covered in giant globs of frosting. Note that my goal is to get the frosting out of the baster. Obviously, I took those escaped globs and put them back in, so I may continue wooden-spoon-fucking them out of the tip.

Remember the big bowl of cupcake chunks? Remember how when I get an idea I commit to it? Well, that bowl was sitting there with no frosting on it, once I ran out of buttercream. Unable to let things go/deal with it, I felt the need to make more frosting. I throw in some powdered sugar and milk. Apparently way too much milk. Okay, more powdered sugar. Oh hey chocolate chips! Those are fun! Half the bag falls in. Hmm. No. I start pulling handfuls of chocolate chips out of the bowl. Mixer goes on. Frosting is totally liquid. Well, that's just great. More powdered sugar. WHOA TOO MUCH. Obviously, having the greatest respect for keeping a sanitary kitchen, I just start pulling out handfuls and shoving them back in the bag. Since powdered sugar is really easy to do that with and won't totally go everywhere. Yeah, still pretty much a liquid. TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT. I pour it on anyways. There. There's your fucking frosting. Shut up and like it.

6 hours later, it has just occurred to me that this batch had such a poor consistency because there was no butter in it. As buttercream tends to require.

So, finally, may God have mercy, I'm done. I don't even want to sample this. I've been snacking on leftover batter and frosting all afternoon, anyways. Of course, this means one thing - I have to clean up. Oh God. My kitchen looks like it was hit with some sort of cupcake birdshot. It's not good. Not at all. And this is the point where I just start breaking down. Like I said, I do not have the composure necessary to be yelled at by Gordon Ramsay. I enjoy watching him do it, but if any of that was directed at me, I'd just break down into tears and set my hand on fire. So with all these setbacks, all the cleaning I have to do, and the fact that I got my period that morning, I'd hit my last straw and was totally overwhelmed. This results in me being alone in my kitchen screaming obscenities at a mini muffin pan. Granted, that would be a typical Thursday afternoon, anyways. I just keep cleaning and scraping - it may never end. Hell's Kitchen was over, I was in a daze, and it was time to blast some Electric Six. Nothing fixes a crisis like Gay Bar. Really, I wish I had taken "during" pictures. Between the wooden spoon and the state of the muffin pan, it was just the embodiment of a kitchen's night terror. But I'd already covered my kitchen, the milk, my computer, my left boob, and my phone in chocolate. Adding the camera to that just seemed excessive. So I was in the kitchen, furiously scrubbing away, pondering laying on the fetal position crying, and having completely lost interest in ever eating any of these cupcakes. Somehow, I managed to return my house to a state of cleanliness. It was like I had never tried to make this shit. The next turkey might taste a little sweet, though.

So, the end result, after THREE HOURS (silly me thinking I'd start it at 3:30 and have a nice little afternoon snack)?

I can't frost for shit.

The big bowl of crumbs. With "buttercream."

I think I'm all set on baking for a little while.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

One step closer to being a meth addict


I managed to magically acquire this ridiculous cold the second the Red Sox lost Game 3. It's like my immune system knew I no longer had to go to Boston the next day and totally crapped out. Over the past few days, I've fueled myself with Sudafed and Theraflu thin strips. I will not suffer congestion. No way. Not when I can sign my life and personal info away to get some tiny, birth control sized pills with just enough pseudoephedrine in them that I might be able to make a penny's worth of meth from one package (and 15 other ingredients). Not that I used to work in a pharmacy and I'm still bitter about all the time it took to sell PSE products or anything.

Fitting, there's an episode of King of the Hill on right now with characters making meth. Awesome.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Destash my life, 10/12

* Remainder of a box of blackberries consumed - none wasted
* Finished a sample of Imperial Acai Blueberry tea
* Threw away some Neosporin that had expired in 2007

Restash my life, 10/12:
* Bought 9 skeins of yarn.


Yarn shopping, illness

First off, I love that people are actually reading this blog. My real life friends, strangers on the internet, people that otherwise aren't into knitting. I feel sort of famous, sort of fabulous. I turned on "Webmaster Tools" to see how people are getting to my blog. Apparently I attract the suicidal and people with blister fetishes. Good God, I love the internet. This just fuels me to blog more, since I want to see what other crazy keywords are bringing people to me.

I've been watching home shopping for almost 3 hours. My grandmother had it on when I got home because Quacker Factory was on. It's this insane collection of bedazzled bullshit created by a woman with what appears to be a toilet seat on her head. I guess it's a headband or something. I swear, her stuff used to be even weirder, but The Soup made fun of her a lot and it got toned down. Damn. It's worth watching for mockery purposes. We ended up just leaving the channel on and watching how everything got progressively worse with each new show. (So this is life after baseball season)

I went shopping today. 4 of us from knitting group went on a yarn crawl and to Friendly's. This would have been better had I not come down with a horrible death cold yesterday afternoon. I was so embarrassed, sneezing in the yarn store. Fortunately, the second store we hit also sells tea, so I tried to Earl Grey this shit out of me. I also hopped up on Sudafed and Theraflu thin strips. I don't like medications, but I have no tolerance for this bullshit.

I bought 4 new yarns today. I got some Malabrigo Sock in Abril and a red Zauberball at Purl Diva. At The Knitting Experience, after my tea, I bought 2 Mini Mochis in purple/blue/green and a blob of Cascade Magnum in blue. I've been cuddling it like it was a teddy bear. I may not actually knit it, just love on it for a while. I had originally intended to do socks with the Mochi, but I think it might be pretty kickass as a sweater. Obviously not with just two of them, but I'll collect a few more. Just as soon as I had cleared some space on my sweater yarn shelves.

Oh. Yeah. I also bought Wollmeise.


I rolled out of bed earlier than I might have, since I was, after all, very awake thanks to shitty sleep from my cold, and because I thought hey, I could refresh Wollmeise until my ride gets here. I took a very long shower and brushed my teeth forever, then turned my computer on. I went right to the in stock list to get ready to start refreshing, but the grab bags were already there. I stuck to my plan of buying just 2-packs instead of 5-packs, and bought a kunterbunt (could be anything) 2 pack and a gemischt (could also be anything, but the colors coordinate) 2 pack. I'm living dangerously! And if they suck, I can always trade. A friend actually sold me my favorite color recently for just $30. She could have gotten much more for it - I'm very grateful for her kindness. It's going to be a long 2 weeks waiting for surprise yarn to come in.

My Baana scarf is progressing, sort of. I don't know if I'm just distractable or what, but I'm only getting a few rows done a day. But I finally settled on a needle size. I'm now up to NINES to get the right hand. This is so ridiculous. I was feeling bold using FOURS on this SOCK YARN. Linen stitch is so weird.

I have to work tomorrow. Hopefully, the cold will have gotten better. And even if it hasn't, high school ed tech subbing is pretty low key. It's when I'm at the middle school on Wednesday that I'm always running all over the place. Hopefully, I'll get at least one more day of work in the week.

Almost time for dinner. Hopefully, I'll actually taste it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Argyle Purl Scarf 2: Step Up Your Game

Like any moderately successful movie, a moderately successful pattern earns a sequel. Get ready, because I've decided there needs to be a colorwork version of that scarf. But wouldn't the back be fug as hell? And don't I don't wanna mess with intarsia. So...


I'm thinking navy blue, white, acid green.

And I'm totally going to give it that long and ridiculous title.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Destashing my life

I have too damn much of everything. Yarn, tea, clothes, lotion, makeup, books. Everything. And should I ever want to move out, there's no way I can just fill up my theoretical car and go. I moved a year ago and got rid of so much then, so it scares me just how much I somehow still have. I've also got a real conundrum with the yarn, since it's not like I need more sweaters/socks/hats/scarves, either. So here's a list of what I cleaned out today:

Easter candy (I bought a bunch when I worked at the pharmacy and had been rationing it out. I kind of forgot about it.)
10 books
14 shirts/sweaters
A large pair of men's shorts I used to wear to work but have many suitable replacements for
Denim shorts I haven't worn in years
2 pairs of underwear
1 bra
the box a bracelet came in
a gift bag
2 transaction registers for checks
Some papers
5 tea bags to be sent to someone else in a package with yarn I will never use, but she will
An extra lab coat from when I was a pharmacy technician - I'd keep it but it has the name of the store on it and that just rises the bile for me.

I live like a hoarder. But I cleaned out my trunk so well that not only does everything fit in, I don't have any junk on top of it, so I can easily get into it when I get dressed. This means I'll be much more likely to wear the stuff in it rather than get what's easiest. And the yearly "fill a bag for a dollar" book sale and new store with a million different pieces of clothing and lots of cheap stuff (like t-shirts for $3 and jeans for $12.50) were probably the worst thing to ever happen to me.

I still have infinitely more clothes than I need, and more than I'm comfortable with, but I don't have to do it all at once. After the winter, I'll reassess again and see what I didn't wear. I like the way I set up my drawers - I have one drawer with polo shirts, camisole tops, and long sleeve shirts - it's my layering drawer. I managed to get everything in well, without squishing things too badly.

I finally got a tea strainer today. I'm not mad about it - as soon as I stuck it in the water, a bunch of tiny tea pieces immediately shot out of it. I still really want the ball-on-a-chain style (like the assassin in the movie version of Angels and Demons had) but this will suffice for now. And it looks like I have a giant safety pin sticking out of my mug. Right now I'm enjoying some Teavana Chocolate Mint tea. I'm working on destashing tea and food, as well. I love grocery shopping, so I tend to buy more than I really need or will use. Then I end up throwing out good stuff that I forgot about or lost interest in and has now spoiled. Raspberries are the absolute worst. I get home with them and they're already a day away from going bad - and if I wait more than a few days to finish them, they're moldy. Always end up wasting money on them. So I'm considering it a victory to finish up a box of tea or blackberries.

Tonight, a friend and I are going to see Zombieland and go to a Chinese/Japanese restaurant. I've been craving Chinese SO bad. I'm also thinking about maybe getting some sushi. Here's the menu. I have no idea what I'm going to eat - it all looks good.

Friday, October 09, 2009

I've been neglectful.

Okay, trying to sneak in a quick post during some down time at work. It's not so much that I've been busy as I have been either too lazy or too focused on knitting. The Toni sweater is almost done, just needs a finished sleeve and to be sewn up. I dread this. I ran out of yarn, though, and I'm not having any luck finding it online. My yarn store says they have two in stock, but they can't find them. Crap.

I'm subbing today. I've been getting around 3 days a week lately, and I'm so glad for it. It's nice to have some sense of purpose. Getting up at 6:30 is hard, but I'd rather be doing that than waking up at noon because I have nothing to do with my life. It's been all special ed stuff, but I should be doing some regular ed subbing later in the month when teachers go out to grade writing prompts. Last year, I taught a day of first grade and a day of third. It was truly horrific and I don't know why I wish to repeat it, but I'm one of those people that does things just for the sake of the stories it'll generate.

I never actually blogged about the fair. I owned that competition. 8 white ribbons, 3 red, and 5 blue. I'm tempted to keep the ribbons on the garments and just wear them as accessories. The baby hat I designed came in first. I shamelessly added that info to the pattern description on Ravelry. You never know, maybe it'll convince someone else to make it. I like to check my designs and see if they're actually popular. I'd love to design something that really catches on. Maybe it'll happen with some socks. I just have a hard time writing up sock patterns because I just tend to make things up as I go once I get to the ankle, and it's hard to replicate that or put it in words. Or I'm just following the basic sock chart for those steps and I don't feel like I deserve to call that "my" pattern. Which is why I put everything up for free.

I'll put up some pics of the ribbons eventually. I took some pictures of some of the items with the ribbons on them, but the people at the fair stapled the ribbon directly to the tags this year. I have to be careful to take out the staples, lest I ruin the ribbon, but since the tag is on the front instead of the back, I wouldn't know what it's for. But I can't take pics of the ribbons that way because my home address is right on the front.

I also need to take pictures of my new Wollmeise, Campari Orange and Frosch. I will probably trade the Frosch, but I'm not sure what for. I've had offers for Limone and Fruhling, but I'm not sure. It's not like I'm going to use it right away. If I can convince someone that they totally want to part with a Libelle for it, though, that'd be a different story. I didn't stay up for the stalk last night, since I had to get up for work today, and there was a lot of good stuff there. But that's okay - I also went shopping and bought a bunch of new shirts at the mall. That's my frivolous spending for the week.

Speaking of frivolous spending, I figured out today that I can go yarn shopping with my friends on Columbus Day after all. I thought that was the day I was going to a Red Sox game, but no, I'm going on Sunday. I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't realize that. I guess I had remembered saying "good, then I won't even have to get up for work the next day because it's Columbus day" as "good, it's Columbus day." And I do have work on Tuesday and Wednesday so far. But this means my week is Boston-shopping-work-work! Awesome! It's not that I need to do any shopping, nor do I want to, but I want to go out to lunch with my friends and I was sad at the prospect of missing out on it.

I'm using my first hank of Wollmeise. I started a Baana scarf, which is a linen stitch triangle scarf. Ew, linen stitch. I've gotten the hang of it, but it's kind of slow going. I'm using Lowenzahn, a variegated green/yellow. It's cheerful. I'm actually up to size 7 needles because of the tightness of the stitch. I could go even bigger but that's okay. I wanted it to be light and flowing, but it's fingering weight yarn, so I was thinking I would still get that with 4s. Nope. It was rigid, like a bib. It's not a pattern I could easily bring to knitting group with me, since it's a 4 row repeat with increases every other row, and it's hard to keep track of if they're left or right leaning - yes, I'm actually bothering to check this time. Usually I just pretend it doesn't matter. For Wollmeise, I put in the extra effort.