Sunday, October 12, 2008

Crafty Time

I am finally getting enough settled around here that I have time for a few fun things like crafts. I saw a wreath in a magazine (out of more expensive materials) and decided to improvise my own for Halloween:

I think it turned out ok for less than 8 bucks in materials and I've fixed the odd lump on the side of the wreath.

We went to the Farmer's Market here for the first time yesterday; it was the Harvest Festival weekend so everything was gloriously fall-ish and beautiful. I got some mini-pumpkins and gourds to put this on my front porch:

I'll post more pictures soon of the market! There were sheep (and sheepdogs herding!) as well as a petting zoo with a llama and a psychotic camel, among other animals. The displays of pumpkins and mums were absolutely beautiful and I have some great shots to share. In the meantime here is Jack and I in front of one of the displays.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Different city and state, same pissy Emmy. Good to know some things don't change.

It's been awhile but we have made the move, complete with 3 unhappy felines and the moving company from HELL. Boxes were crushed, items were shattered, movers were rude bastards that refused to do anything the contract stipulated. This included putting back together the furniture they dismantled for no real reason other than it had thousands of fiddly pieces of hardware to keep up with (they didn't, btw). It's been a slow process but we're getting closer to fine and I simply love the house. The link below has various pics of the house, furniture and neurotic cats if you're interested.

Most of my knitting time has been in the car running here and there to spend money on things for the house. I haven't really gotten into a consistent routine yet and it's sort of bugging me. I 'did' finish one of the Forest Canopy Shawls I'm knitting and blocked it yesterday. I think it's beautiful! Now to finish the one in fingering weight with beads. THEN..if I'm really feeling insane I want to start another in a sport weight for a special knitting friend/mentor of mine for Christmas. We'll see. In the meantime, here's a couple of shots of the shawl in the lovely sunshine in our backyard!

I'm also trying to run an online KAL for The Great American Afghan on a group, ILoveKandCAlongs. I'm working on square 1 (not my favorite of the bunch) and like everything else here, it's slow but sure. Krista at Loopy was wonderful about helping me choose colors, I'm sure I drove her insane! This is what we finally settled on:

I'm a little discouraged about the KAL and the group in general, honestly - there are like 4 people that post and the rest of the members either aren't reading or don't care to participate. Neither of those options is a good thing to me but I don't know how to change it! At first I thought it was the season, summer is a slow knitting time but summer is long past. I can't make people read or post or knit for that matter but it is a little discouraging.

All of that said, I'm liking it here so far. We live on a nice cul de sac with friendly neighbors and it's so wonderful to be running around in shorts in October! I'm working on Halloween crafts for the house in between unpacking (and cooking!). I'm looking forward to a Halloween where there are actually children coming to the door! It's been years since I experienced that living in Chicago.

Ok, I've probably killed enough time for now. Off to keep trying to organize my craft/knitting stuff in the spare bedroom so it's reasonable!

Monday, August 25, 2008


This is what it looks like around here.

well, actually Emmy always looks that pissy

boxes in the kitchen

what used to be our vintage living room

more boxes

I haven't blogged for a few reasons, all the boxes you see being the primary. Also, I've discovered (much to my surprise) how very intertwined my being has become with Jack's. She has been working in Memphis for several weeks and drives home each Friday to spend Saturday with me (it makes me want to cry) and every Sunday morning she gets back in the Jeep and drives back to Memphis to go to work on Monday. I function here...I mean, things are getting done and I'm knitting and spending time on my beloved beach but it's not "right" without her and when she's here and it is "right", time is too brief to waste it on typing out a post.

I've gotten in the habit of heading for Loopy on Sunday afternoons after Jack leaves and it's been so wonderful. I piddle at knitting this crazy cabled sock that has no business being knit with distractions at all and talk to the people there without haste or urgency (another thing that surprises me in that I never realized I've "always" been in a hurry while there). This means I spend alot of time with the ends of my dpn's either waving in the air or pressed into my lower lip depending on whether or not I'm running my mouth.

I also started The Great American Afghan (as in swatching) in the hopes that I could reduce the size of the WIP box that I currently guard against movers as "must go with Lisa in the Jeep". It seemed (in the moment) that squares out of a yarn that is readily available anywhere was a good idea for a transitional project.

The WIP box is freaking ridiculous in size, not as WIP's but as things I refuse to let out of my grubby little paws to be loaded into a moving van. I mean, why would I entrust nearly THREE THOUSAND yards of Emerald Laceweight from Sarah's Yarns to moving people? (never mind why I have that much of that color of 'that' yarn from there to begin with, if you needed that information you'd be Jack and you aren't)

I've been told it could be 3 days before they appear with our belongings. They can't have my Ott light.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Well, I knew it was a possibility..I knew Jack was applying for various promotions in cities we had discussed as 'ok' as potential new locations but I'm not sure I expected it to happen. It did.

Jack will be moving to Memphis, TN on August 3rd to begin her new position with Home Depot. I'm staying here for a few weeks more in order to pack up the house and finalize things in Chicago. It's exciting and sad for me. I've been here a long time and Chicago is truly a city that I love. Like many Chicagoans, I am now bemoaning the things I never got around to doing...the Architectural Tour via the river, Randolph Street well as the things I know to be so fine about this city; Italian Beef sandwiches with lots of juice and hot peppers, My Pi deep dish pizza, Jimmy's Hot Dogs, our nearly new apartment right on the beach on beautiful Lake Michigan..our friends Nancy and Chris and Debera..

Loopy Yarns..(sigh)

It is truly exciting though! The economy in Memphis is much more forgiving - it's possible that Jack and I can finally buy a home and there it means a home with a little land (think garden and maybe a few animals) and if we're really careful I can stay home to take care of all that and of course knit.

I haven't touched myChicknits Twist sweater in several weeks but have not lost my love for it. I've just been enamoured of quicker projects that don't require quite so much attention to charts and rows. We've been doing a KAL on a Yahoo Group, ILoveKandCAlongs of a free pattern from LionBrand called Lacy Stole. It's lovely and lends itself well to a variety of yarns and needle sizes which made it a great stash buster for the members. I finished it yesterday and got it blocked (Noro Silk Garden discontinued color 264-US 10.5) and I adore it. I'm mad that it's in the 90's and I can't reasonably WEAR it. The edges on my work still look sloppy to me, not sure what I do wrong at the end (or beginning!) of a row but I crocheted a border around this stole to tidy it up and I'm glad I did. (Sorry the pictures suck - somehow my digital camera was mysteriously 'not' among my belongings when I picked them up from my former employer)

Hanging in my dining room window in the breeze....

A closer shot of some of the detail...

Next, I plan to start the Forest Canopy Shawl in Koigu. I swatched last night but my needles were too small. (US 5) I'll try today with a 7 and see if I like what I get.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bad Blogger!

So, I’m a lousy blogger, I admit it. Lots has been going on, I had a stint in the hospital, fundraising for the Avon Walk, a car wreck on the way to see the Yarn Harlot (in a brand new rental car – don’t go there)

The good news is that I’ve been knitting quite a bit! I’m working on my first sweater, Twist by Bonnemarie Burns at Chic Knits and it’s going wonderfully so far! I have the back finished and am working on the left front section and it’s going pretty quickly.

I’m also working on a free KAL pattern for the ILoveKandCAlongs Yahoo Group with some other knitters – it’s the Lacy Stole pattern from Lionbrand. I like it because it’s leafy-lacey and because it lends itself really well to like stash yarn. Doesn’t matter what gauge or yarn or needle size really – it’s a pretty pattern. Everyone in the group seems to be using different yarn and needle sizes and loves it

My cats are getting a little out of control with my yarn. I have one of those rolling totes that Joann’s sells for yarn and I keep it next to my living room table so I can dig in it at will if I’m looking for inspiration or a WIP I’ve abandoned (did I actually SAY that?)

The other morning I got up and saw a skein of my beloved Sulka that had clearly been dragged out of the middle layer of the tote, played with wildly, wildly enough to untwist it totally. It was linty and cat-hairy from being skidded all around my hardwood floors – this made me especially happy since it’s a deep burgundy color, designed to show lint and cat hair clearly. Now I have to keep the tote zipped all the time. I wonder if it’s the silk content that drew them to it. Anyone else experience this?

Ok, that’s enough for now..I’ll try to be better about this blogging stuff, especially since I have cool knitting things to share.

Oh yeah! World Wide Knit in Public Day is June 14th! We are doing cool stuff here in Chicagoland at Millennium Park – Yarn Swap, Meet/Greet table, charity afghan assembly and a fiber/tools collection for Interim House and their knitting program – hope to see some of you there!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Horrible luck!

I was all psyched last Friday..I had 2 tickets to see the Harlot and my partner who has zero, zilch, no, none interest in knitting put in for 2 so I could take 3 knitty friends for an afternoon/evening of knitting delight. I contacted my corporate rental car place, got a great car, the weather was rockin in the 70's which was summer for Chicagoland..

Traffic was stop//go//stop//go//

The truck ahead of me stop//d//

I go'd// bam
into his huge, black, rubber bumper of a thing that would have repelled godzilla.

I watched in horror as the front end of my beautiful rental car crumpled like a thin tin can under a grinder and then started the process

{to the LYS where my ladies were meeting for me to pick them up}

Hi, hi there's Lisa. This really sucks but I've just rearended someone and my rental car is trashed..if you think our friends want the tickets I'm at the North Ave. exit....

(tickets are floating in the 70 degree day breeze and the officer in charge is coughing loudly because he doesn't get the signifigance of fiber)

I'm quietly weeping because I want nothing more in life than to have Stephanie Pearl-McPhee sign a book for my knitting mentor Natalya as a surprise for either her bday, US citizen anniversary or Christmas holiday, whichever comes first. The policeman doesn't understand the weeping and clearly contemplates testing me somehow for substance abuse. Unfortunately for him I'm making perfect sense and am just honestly sad.

LYS ladies (and now really my friends even though I was afraid to lay claim)
I'm so lucky to know you* All of you*

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Promised pictures!

My stitch markers from Cat
(very difficult to force them to all look at the camera at once!)

Marking the important boxes...
My new drill/screwdriver thingee!

See how small? former living room

My beautiful wheel
(had to sneak that in again)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


That's what I have in my life right now. Job insanity, house insanity,


I kid you not. We move in 10 days (that until recently was like 20 days and suddenly things change) I am in full blown "throw it away" mode, only bother to Freecycle stuff I really know is of value that someone might want and leaving the rest in our alley neatly exposed for the time honored Chicago tradition of Alley Shopping (aka dumpster diving).

My house is an utter, total wreck. Our 3 cats have become schiztoid alien monsters darting around our ankles, entangling us dangerously every time we begin to move with a box. They're freaked out because they've done this before. They know there's a whole new house coming for them to inspect (secretly fear) , a new (GASP) cat bathroom spot (which is almost the worst fate EVER for a cat) and the absolute WORST fate, a C-A-R-R-I-D-E-I-N-T-H-E-F-R-I-G-G-I-N-C-A-R-R-I-E-R (aka Alcatraz, Prison, Nylon Death Sentence)

I want to kill everyone here except the Pleco in the fishtank. I feel sorry for him, I think he's slowly starving while the grotesque black moor greedily grabs his algae tabs. He and I could cohabit happily right now, I think. (he is formally known as a Rubber Lipped Plecostomus and I'm prolly spelling the P word wrong, so what)

I've had a little job stress recently that expands my feelings of murderous lack of patience to an explosive level. I can only applaud my partner, Jack. She is acquiring the patience of a saint in dealing with me these days. Working all day and packing all night makes Lis a cranky monkey.

I have pictures to post but of course now that I have a new computer I can't find most of the software for my stuff, like my camera. I took the pics tonight (including the yet neglected cat stitch markers from my friend) and will upload all of them tomorrow without fail with very little dialogue.

Good news in my world is that I have tickets to hear the Yarn Harlot speak in Oak Lawn, IL in late April, actually the night before the Margaret Cho concert that Jack and I are going to. We also have tickets to Cyndi Lauper (hmmmmm) who has the B52's (squee!) opening for her in June and a Chicago Philharmonic event in May.

May? WAIT..that's my Avon Breast Cancer Walk.

I need to start training to knit simple socks while walking. I will kill the women I walk with if I cannot occupy my hands for 39 miles. In addition I have Lorna's Lace's breast cancer donation colorway here to use! I would love to be able to memorize one of the ribbon sock patterns I've seen to do during this walk but that might be stretching it..k2, p2 ribbing might be best.

Good news again..Jack bought me an early Easter prezzie. I've been grumbling about disassembling furniture here and I have a brand new, very cool electric screwdriver sort of thingee. It has many many lil bits that fit into it's hex drill bittie thingee, it reverses to unscrew with the touch of a finger and it's so totally comfortable in the hand. So much so that I performed weird and uncomfortable machinations to photograph this for you. Something to look forward to tomorrow. (All of you butch women laughing at me for my description of the hex drill opening can kiss my arse-ask my butch, I'm so anal about my tools it makes her look careless AND she works for Home Freakin Depot!)

So far I'm at 27% of my goal for my breast cancer walk which I guess is not so bad with 2 months to go! I worry a little since I had to sign to guarantee 1800 bucks on Walk day whether or not I'd fundraised it but I think there's time. We'll see..

Until next time!

Oh wait, that's tomorrow with the pics..nearly forgot, getting old, yanno.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Wheel!

Ok, folks..some of you know I've been lusting after a wheel for freaking ever. I've been putting lil bits of money into a jar at my house, haunting Craigslist on a daily basis and generally believing that 'the right' wheel would present itself at the right time, keeping all that universal karma copacetic, yada yada yada.

Sure enough, it did and I did and now we have what appears to be a homemade, handmade spinning wheel here at the house along with a set of carders and a box of horribly deteriorated quilts with a lot of perfectly useable wool batting in between the layers. It needs some fixing up and I'm scheduling with my LYS's spinning instructor to go over it and figure out how to make it go but it looks damn good as is..someone loved this wheel and now I do too.

Look at how carefully someone repaired this split in the wheel...

The carders are interesting also..they have "M Ward" imprinted faintly on the back and appear to be in reasonable shape although I'll have to let Meg be the judge of that..

Better still yet, my new 'face to face' knitting buddy Cat sent me a surprise today from an Etsy vendor..a beautiful set of glass lamp bead cat stitch markers with a cool pin of a big orange cat (much like our beloved Em) with a red, white and blue sweatband on her cranky looking head! Too cute! The stitch markers will surely help with the Icelandic shawl as it is trying to kick my butt. Thanks Cat! Meeting you was awesome, calling you my friend is even better! I'll post pics of the markers tomorrow when I get my camera into the office!

Saturday, February 9, 2008


I've come to the conclusion that obsessive and knitter go hand in hand. If this isn't true, I don't really want to know!

I've been obsessively swatching for my first sweater and was AMAZED last night at my LYS when Zoe said "I don't want to bust your bubble but you should swatch again" and I didn't lose it..I didn't get upset, I said "ok, if that's what you think" and here I am swatching again with new needles that I actually intend to USE to knit this sweater.

Never mind the new obsession with Lantern Moon needles and my firm conviction that I must have one of EVERY size possible in Ebony or Blond wood like yesterday.

On a different note, I'm very excited to be travelling to Raleigh, NC next week and an opportunity to meet Cat, the owner of a group I help moderate, I Love KandCAlongs!

Just a short update...I'd do pics but my home computer no longer 'see's' my digital camera so it's a pain..We have new laptops on the way so soon it will be better!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bizzaro Meds!

I can't tell you how wierd it is to me that meds prescribed can have such an affect on folks, well specifically me! I was a really healthy gal all my life, never a prescription other than an antibiotic round here and there and then the 40's set in.

Christ on a crutch.

I take high blood pressure meds, fluid problem meds and anti anxiety stuff (cuz I cannot for the life of me ride in a car anymore without freaking out) I also have really ugly sinus issues and a friend acquired an herbal cleanse round from HER dr. that supposedly was the bomb.

Last night I came home from work only I don't remember so well getting home. My partner tells me I couldn't really find the right key for the back gate so I stood out there for a bit and finally called for help to get inside. The wierdness is that I have almost zero memory of this even though it was only 6 pm or so! She dragged my ass to the Dr this morning obscenely early and he was a little shocked as well. They did a bunch of tests and it seems to NOT be neurological but we took tons of blood and we're now looking at thyroids.

To top it all off, I felt queasy from wake up today. I coughed a bunch in his office, went and threw up cuz my tummy was so aggrieved then we went to Target. Coughed there and felt my tummy revolt and horribly enough threw up in the laundry fabric softner aisle when I couldn't make it to the restroom. Icky as it sounds, I'd had NO food, no drink other than a little soda so it was relatively non-horrific.

I think I just want to sleep a bit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Great Hat!

I know I’ve been MIA but it’s because I’ve been knitting, knitting, knitting, gotta love it! Below is my latest which is to me the cleverest hat ever:
With it’s buttons: (which are not sewn on ONLY because I left my needle home like a MORON)

AND!! the cleverest bit of all – an opening for my ever present and very bulky ponytail! I love this hat! It’s Hannah’s Hat by Blake Ehrilch and it was a very quick knit. I wanted to use Noro Silver Thaw so I held two strands throughout and it came out perfectly size wise.

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season!