Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monkey Days and Candlelit Nights

Do you want to block my monkey?

Blocking is magic. Why have I been so resistant to blocking? I only do it when I absolutley have to, but it's always such a thrill to see a wad of knitting go all smooth and competent.§

The Monkey Pack has this keen design element, kinda like racing stripes designed by Garanimals.

[SUMMARY: You say potayto, I say potahto.]

It has a lining. With frogs.#

Monkey Pack
Punk Rock Backpack pattern from Stitch 'n' Bitch (Debbie Stoller)
Elann Superwash Worsted in 3 moss green (wasn't quite enough), 1 each ivory, russet, rich chestnut and deep rose (which was more than enough -- I'm making mousies with the leftovers)
Size 4 needles (the yarn called for size 6, the pattern called for size 5, the fabric was just better tighter. And it was kind of an accident.)
Lined with frogs, which was a pain in the ass. The lining... not the frogs.
Zippered, which was scary. I've never done a zipper before. It's not so bad.
Serious modification: I knit for size, rather than stitch count, so I cast on 65 rather than 45 to get the right size.
Another modification: I didn't knit straps. I thought they would be too stretchy. So I went to my local Ross (dress for less!) store and bought a very small, very cheap backpack and cut the straps off of it.

Due to unforeseen sewing machine circumstances,†† I was more than an hour late and missed dinner.

I did not, however, miss cake.

[SUMMARY: Not rain nor snow nor vagaries of sewing machine...]

Or singing Happy Birthday. I like singing.

Throughout the construction of this backpack, I was worried it was too small. The finished size was supposed to be 9.5"‡‡ across, and when I stretched out the little snake sweaters, it was going to be right to scale, but it looked way small.

Dr. Doom pulled it out of the gift bag and the first thing he said?

"It's HUGE!"

[SUMMARY: Yeah, buddy... that's what she said.]

Turns out in all its lumpy, bumpy, dorky glory, it's perfectly Dr. Doom-sized.

And that's all I ever really wanted.§§

FOOTNOTE (crossed): You couldn't have told me this earlier? I spent an hour and a half blocking the monkey. You could have saved me a lot of time.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Like when the Monkey Pack looks like a garter snake cosy and I have to explain to someone for the fifteenth time, while holding various resistant edgepoints out with my fingers, that it's really 10.5" and will make a fine small-person backpack.

(When I said 10.5", did anyone else get a little chill?)

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Despite its procedural pain in the assedness.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): We will continue to refer to it as a "design element" through all the nagging little voices in our heads trying to remind us we ran out of green yarn with *that* much left to go on the gusset.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): And many hidden treasures in the form of jungles of thread loops where I didn't have the bobbin threaded correctly. Then I had the tension set wrong. Then I found out the bobbin winder isn't working and I had to wind all my bobbins by hand, just like they did in the old days. All this, buried between the wrong side of the knitting and the back side of the lining, lurking, waiting to pop forth and expose me for the hot mess I am.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Well, and issues of thinking I have superpowers and can line a backpack and set a zipper, even never having done these things before, in a couple of hours. See Hat Attack for delusional thought process.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): There's that chill again. Did anybody feel that?

§§FOOTNOTE (turnaroun): Well, that and a pony. And a Brasilian houseboy with very little chest hair and a knack with a refreshing rum beverage.


Every time Tommy goes up on the blog, the hit counter whirls around like the dollars on display at the pump on a tank of premium gas for an 18-wheeler.

Note the topicality.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Signifying Nothing


You Are An ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.

You are also unconventional, irreverent, and unimpressed by authority and rules.

Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.

You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!

In love, you are quite the charmer. And you are definitely willing to risk your heart.

You often don't follow through with your flirting or professed feelings. And you do break a lot of hearts.

At work, you are driven but not a workaholic. You just always seem to enjoy what you do.

You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

How you see yourself: compassionate, unselfish, and understanding

When other people don't get you, they see you as: gushy, emotional, and unfocused

What's Your Personality Type?

Thanks to Robin for allowing me not to think on this sunny Friday.

Except to ponder that:
  1. Should be amended to read: "Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives unless it's a boy who has romantic possibilities, particularly if he has not realised the door to that sexual identity closet opens."
  2. That heartbreaker thing? Feh. I don't think I've ever broken a heart in my life.
  3. My job acumen? Marin for President, 2012! Oh, hey, wait... saint isn't on the list...
  4. How I see myself? They forgot fuzzy.
  5. How others see me? They forgot breezy.

Shout out to my Avalanche. "Were you hoping they'd buy you breakfast?" to my Rockies.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Old Friends

I'm in a sentimental place today.

I'm not sure that's even the best word, since there are negative connotations to "sentimental" I've never had any truck with.

But last night, watching the slideshow presentation on 100 years of St. Mary Land & Exploration, I was taken by surprise at the depth of feeling I have for this industry.

While I know when I tell people I'm in the oil & gas business, I frequently fall to someplace between tapeworm and lawyer on the acceptability scale, I will hold out to the end that not every company runs an oil tanker onto a reef in Prince William Sound and not every oil company cheats its employees and the world in general out of stock benefits.

Not every oil company rapes the earth and bilks little old ladies out of their rightful royalties.

In fact, most don't.

And there are companies like St. Mary that are so conscious, so smart and so close to their family-owned roots§ that I take pride in my long association with them.

Part of what I love about my career is most of what I love about this industry: history. No matter what your overall temperature on drilling and mining, you can't deny the enormous impact they've had on our history. The interstate highway system, fast food and California can all be argued to be inextricably linked to landman activity.%

I like being a part of history. I like that I helped put in the largest pipeline system in Wyoming. I like that my dad did landwork on the Alaska pipeline. I like that St. Mary had Russian drilling permit number 001 after the fall of the Soviet Union.

We're all a part of history, of course, but there are days I feel exactly *where* my place in history might be.

[SUMMARY: Why say in ten words what you can say in ten hundred words?]

Anyway, I'm kinda sentimental today.

So when I was puttering through my blogreading and found Yvette's Excellent Kissing Adventure, I thought to myself, "Self, everybody should take a moment and inventory the truly amazing kisses in their lives.


Go do it.

You might be surprised at the number and/or quality of kisses you remember. You may be astonished at the details you can dredge up surrounding that one perfect liplock.

However it hits you, you can't help having a happy, dopey little moment.

It's good blogfodder, too, if you're inclined to share. Now, I'm not meme-ing you# or tasking you,†† I'm just sayin'... in a totally Blogging Without Obligation‡‡ frame of mind, it could make a cool post, and one that might make you grin in that goofy way you do.§§

[SUMMARY: I love blogs for sentimental reasons...]

I also got an email from one¶¶ of my oldest friends## today. It goes like this:

I knew only you would appreciate this. I generally like the format on Jack 105FM, play anything and everything. However, this week they have had 2 of the worst segues ever.

1. Ironman by Black Sabbath to Summer of 69 Bryan Adams - actually stopped me cold

2. Cherry Pie by Warant to Vacation by the GoGos - from Hair Metal to what ever the hell the GoGo's were.

Do you think they off shored their programming and somebody in India is picking song that they they think go together?

Apu - "Cherry Pie is something you eat on Vacation, so this is wonderful telephonic conversion"

The sentimental connection?

As I was reading the two examples, my immediate thought was, "They've outsourced our radio to India."

Some people, I don't know why I even consider them friends. Others? There's no way we wouldn't be friends.

[SUMMARY: It's a day of absolutes.]

That's my rose-coloured sentimental journey.

I may have to beat a small child to balance my chi after all that.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): I'm not a sap. Am *not*!

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): You will note I'm not saying which is more acceptable, tapeworm or lawyer, just that I may fall between.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Philosophically. Literally, St. Mary went public in 1966 or so.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Not job. Career.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Of course, hairy palms and going blind might also be linked to landman activity, but that's not our focus of study.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Stacey.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): All grammar issues aside, if you do blog it, would you please let me know?

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Thus:

§§FOOTNOTE (twisting like the perfect kiss): Oh, I may not *know* you know you, but I know you have a goofy grin you trot out for special occasions.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (March of the penguins. April of the penguins, maybe -- oh, yes it is. It's snowing outside again. 80 yesterday, snow today.): Actually, two. Marky B wrote me from London to say absolutely nothing noteworthy has happened since the last time we corresponded, though he will be in Florida soon and I should drop by if I get a chance.

##FOOTNOTE (pounded like the heavy hand of a bad joke): Well, not old, per se, but I have been bestest friends with him since high school. For a kid who attended five elementary schools, it's pretty awe-inspiring to have a friend for 26 years.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today, I wear shoes that are shiny.

Today, I wear underwear that is flossy.



In conjunction with the
100TH Anniversary

Tony Best, CEO and President of


cordially invites you and a guest to join him for a night of celebration on

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008 ▪ 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Brown Palace Hotel-Grand Ballroom
321 17th Street, Denver, Colorado 80202

Business Attire

Hor [sic] d’oeuvres and Cocktails will be served.


Today's pig-licking in particulates was brought to you by:

St. Mary Land & Exploration,

The Brown Palace,

The letter U


The number 4.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): And by "you," they mean, "Marin."

Fashion Forward?

Do they do this so it will look just as good on the bedroom floor as it does on the girl?

Spoken Word

A slightly incredulous smile gave way to a big grin, clearly for someone behind me.

A whip-thin boy with dark hair, a labret piercing and a black t-shirt commemorating some death/thrash/goth/industrial band I've never heard of walked up to our table.

"Joey C!" said The Spelling Bee Champ. They indulged in that urban handshake ritual that may never end: the clasp, the twist, the link, the pound... what if someone forgot and added an angel wing?


Introductions were made and Joey C and The Champ talked music for a moment. Then Joey C excused himself to another flurry of hand spasms.

I looked at The Champ, one eyebrow cocked.

AntiM: Look at you! You say you don't know street, but then you're all with the urban handshake.

The Spelling Bee Champ: That's how I roll.

AM: It's pretty hot.

SBC: Not as hot as knitting.

Touch My Monkey

Go on... you know you want to.

In other intarsia news, I am frogging Brother's Father's Day Arrrgyles. Not all the way... not even back to dick warmer. Just enough to get rid of the colourwork I've already done.

While I stand fast to the idea that you can do unstranded colourwork in the round, I am conceding you probably shouldn't.

After my test Arrrgyle and after the operative part of the Monkey Pack, I believe it will go a LOT faster if I just work the picture portion flat.

I'm still debating with myself as to whether to try to do it completely flat, sew it into a tube, then graft it onto the sock part... or just start working back and forth on the existing sock, sewing up the back when I'm done.

[SUMMARY: Too many options, too little experience.]

And the red silk thing is holding steady at 5", no matter how hard I knit on it.§

[SUMMARY: Still a knitblog!]

Let's just be twelve today and not think of silly things like objects in the mirror that aren't as large as they appear and taxes and werk...

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Note to Brother: That's the "rip it, rip it" thing.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): That would be the monkey.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): So many opportunities for Brainless Twelvehood, I hardly know where to start...

In Which I Find Religion

"God, I have to admit, I've really felt alone a lot. I've felt like you didn't exist. I just didn't believe in you for awhile."

She said, "Do you remember that day you were walking on the beach?"

I said, "Yeah."

"Well, I was there."

"But there was just one set of footprints."

She said, "I was on your back."

"I thought I felt heavy that day. I thought it was water retention."

"No," she said, "Know that when you are bloated, I am there."

--Ellen Degeneres
the funny thing is...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Un Petite Pictorial Pig-Licking


2) This was on Jaxon's blog. It's some sort of naked mole, but most people in her comments identified it as a dick with teeth.†

My first thought was, "Pocket walrus!"

Do I have to relinquish my Brainless Twelvehood card?

3) Awwww...

Still a knitblog!

FOOTNOTE (crossed): And isn't THAT a horrifying thought. Vagina dentata my ass. Well, not my ass, literally... you know what I mean. But it was a good round of visuals, wasn't it?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bobmas Morning

You know when you toddle out of bed and there's a party hat and a lei on the stairs and the cat is chasing a magic wand, it was a good party.

The Bobmas revelers Ravelers started trickling in early.

Mary Kay brought all the fixings for party hats. I have revamped my list of people a woman should have in her life to include former pre-school teachers.

She gave me a magic wand. I've always wanted a magic wand.

I used it to try to make the red silk cami reach its tenth inch of 4x1 rib...§

...but I may have used up all the mojo trying to turn a knitter into a sheep.

We had a small Bobmas celebrant.%

KariBeri left her twelve week old son home with her husband for the first time# to join us.

Vanessa tells a hell of a story. And forever endeared herself to me by telling me she hates me for my four-socks-at-once adventure. I consider that high praise.

The Downtown Denver SnB chicas†† made the field trip.

Zoomiejr is between that girl I turned into a sheep and Kari -- she's also a denizen of the DDSnB. And her little dog, Tyler, too.

I counted once, and based on the comings and goings, I'd guess we had fourteen people most of the time, with gusts of up to twenty and a total of twenty-five individuals.

Despite the prevalence of beer glasses, some knitting was done.

I'm very pleased. It was a great bunch with much laughter.

♪♪I'm dreaming of the next Bobmas...♪

'Specially since now I have to go do my taxes.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): A mechanic you can trust, a plumber who can make the flood stop, a good gynecologist...

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Um, yeah. It's currently at about 5 inches.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): I'm tired of ribbing. What genius thought it was a pleasure?

%FOOTNOTE (percented, because the paragraph thing isn't working): Skyler. Or Schuyler. Or some other version. I've never seen Skchuyler's name in print, so all apologies to the little lady herself and her mom, the inimitable Steph.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Brave woman. It all turned out OK, though, so... yay, Kari!

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Well, that's Mary Kay on the left, but then aemcdraw, moxieknits and koolkat62 (Ravel-wise) from left to right.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wandering in Circles

I worry that these sorts of circular references will eventually cause a whirlpool in the space-time continuum and create a black hole right here at my feet, but I'm willing to risk it because this is so fucking brilliant.

Go read.

I'm Twelve


No, really.

Ever since I found out I have a date on Saturday, I've been cropping new zits with alarming and redoubling frequency.

That's *so* twelve.

Know what? It's not Murphy's Law. It's not stress. It's the fact that I've been scrubbing and buffing and exfoliating and masquing and moisturising and night-creaming and... my face is in rebellion.

I imagine it saying, "Bleagh!" and spitting out another screaming zit every time I come near it with a washcloth.

[SUMMARY: I'm twelve and I have a talking zit.]

I've also had a lot of health food in my life this week... and no caffeine. And no sweets. And no soda of any kind.

Only *one* Bobmas beer.

People who push detox diets or juice fasts or the like often say your skin may break out and you may have horrible digestive issues for a few days.

"That's the toxins escaping!"% they say, cheerfully.

Know what? All this attention to detail, all this unseemly purity, all aimed at the flattest stomach possible@ and I woke up this morning with serious premenstrual bloat.

I feel like someone inflated a raft in my pants. And not in a good way.

[SUMMARY: God is an iron.]

I redded my hair.

Oh, it's reddish all on its own, but every year around the end of March, I look up and the stuff right by my head is the dull, darkish brown of winter, while the ends are the glittery, damaged gold of late summer.§

So I decide to indulge in a little semi-permanent dalliance with the middle ground, my natural colour. It brightens the winter and enrichens the summer and I feel like my old hair again.

I did this about a week ago.

Then with the impending date, I decided it wasn't enough. I thought to myself, "Self, if Spiced Tea, the light auburn you believe youself to be, is too light, perhaps you should try Cinaberry, the medium auburn brown."

So I did.

And when I look in the mirror, I see the flat charm of a redwood picnic bench. It's too dark. It's too red. It's too... one colour.

I tried so hard for just a little boost!

I striped a little around the roots and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Then I combed those puny little stripes down into the mangled meadow of the ends. Yet, I ended up with a solid, blocky red.

OK, nobody in the office has noticed.

None of the knitters noticed.#

But it's making me neurotic.††

If anybody sees me at Walgreens in the Clairol Natural Instincts aisle, knock me over the head and drag me out.

You don't want the responsibility of colour-on-colour-on-colour on your head.

Or mine.

[SUMMARY: I can't remember the last time I thought this much about my hair.]

AND... I'm in full-on "what will I wear?" mode.

Only it's a lot more panicky.

Like this: "WHAT will I *wear*?!!?!?"

I never realised lunch was a much harder date to dress for than dinner.

How much cleavage can you show before 4:00?

Two words that strike fear in the lumpy and bumpy: Day. Light.

I did get a sort of cute top last weekend‡‡:

But is it date-cute or wine-with-my-friends-cute?+

[SUMMARY: I'm not weird. This is a totally classic female dilemna.§§]

I shaved my legs Wednesday. For the first time in...


And I've been slathering my body in lotion every morning and vaseline every night. I am *soft*.

I have madly prepped, pre-boudoir.$

Yet, I may like this guy -- I *think* I like this guy -- well enough *not* to sleep with him.

I'm sure he'd be thrilled to know that.

Which brings me to the philosophic musing that should balance all the angst and whining:

A wise woman I know -- and to whom I attribute preternatural powers of reason -- had a date. She said they decided they liked each other enough to take it slow. I nodded emphatically at the screen,^ then thought, "Huh?"

In my callow age,¶¶ I held to the principle that I know within five minutes whether I *would* sleep with a guy, and within about a half-hour if I *should* sleep with a guy,## so why play all the games?

As I've matured, I've relegated my immediate and rampant sexuality to guys I don't see any future with.

Not even next week.

Not even breakfast tomorrow.

Oh, I won't sleep with anyone I don't like, or who doesn't make me laugh, but there's boyfriend material and there's guiltless romp material. And never the twain shall meet.

A guy I respect has to wait long enough to give us a chance to find we may never sleep together. Because if we sleep together too soon, we may not get a chance to find what we could have emotionally.

It's a weird little web of romance and sex that is so interdependent it becomes fragile. One little snap of one silken thread can set the whole thing to unravelling.

I guess that's what makes it so amazing if it stays together. And why we indulge in this reverse logic when it comes to dating and mating. And why we frantically spit-splice when it starts to come apart.†††

[SUMMARY: How deep, Mr. Wizard.]

Oh, hell. Now I have to decide whether to shave my legs again or not.

Holy fucking cats... when did I become such a girl?

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Which reminds me of a story: I was once telling my mother of a zit -- one of those deep, sore, rock-hard things that make you feel like you may have the mumps -- and she looked at it and said, "Ooooh... that looks angry."

"It's more than angry, Mom. It's downright pissed off."

%FOOTNOTE (percented): I'd like to point out all the handy exit routes to the toxins: you DON'T have to take my skin with you. Feel free to leave by my nose, quietly, as I sleep.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): I am shallow. I admit it. Did I mention date on Saturday afternoon?

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): I insist the DMV puts "light auburn" on my driver's license.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): It's possible I should get my hair cut more often, but that opens a whole can of worms I'll save for my next bad haircut.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): OK, it's mostly Hans, and... y'know... Hans boy, boy no notice hair, but other than that, it's mostly women.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Of course, it was kinda dark.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Stop laughing. I know I can't blame my hair.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Keeping in mind that I have more boobs and less collarbones than the model in the picture.

+FOOTNOTE (plussed. non-plussed. possibly pissed.): I would totally wear this with dark wash or black jeans. By the way.

§§FOOTNOTE (at least my hair is still curly...): Damnit! Dilemma. Maybe I can just charm him with bad spelling all day and he won't even notice my lack of fashion sense and patio furniture hair.

$FOOTNOTE (moneyed): Oh, yes I did!

^FOOTNOTE (careted): This was an email. I don't want you to think we were chatting over tea and I was nodding at the TiVi.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (now I'm seeing tears flowing from black eyes. Footnote symbology as Rorschach test): Up 'til last Tuesday.

##FOOTNOTE (pounding like the heart of an insecure woman): Though I've never, apparently, figured out how to tell if a guy is gay before I sleep with him. But that's another story for another day.

†††FOOTNOTE (left? no, right? no... left. no...): Lookie! Knitting reference! Still a knitblog!

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Bobmas

Bobmas Eve was a rousing success.

There will be pictures.

Probably tonight.


Bob bless us, everyone!

*the role of Bob in this morning's post will be played by Pancho the Boston Terrier. The contents of this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Bob, Ravelry or Bobmas revelers. 2.8% APR WAC. Void where prohibited. All incentives will remain the property of the dealer.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I Could Just Dye!

This book...

...has a recipe for dyeing yarn with a faux ikat technique to make it look like clouds when knitted up.

Now, the way Ms. LaBelle does it, she gets two skeins of yarn: one she dyes solid blue, the other she reskeins into a giant loop and wraps plastic wrap around bits of it at random intervals, tying either side of each piece of plastic wrap with lengths of acrylic yarn to seal off the ends. When you dye that skein, you get white bits where the plastic wrap was.

In her world, you then knit two rows with the solid skein and three rows with the ikatted skein. Theoretically, this gives you that cloud pattern.

In her world, you also use kool-aid.

In her world, you also knit mittens.

Welcome to Marin's world.

I figured§ with the very cool peg board dyeing rack Father made me, I could forego the separate skeins and just set it up so I would, in effect, knit two blue rounds and three whited rounds.

I also figured I'd knit socks... for Father, to show him the good use his gift was going to.

I also wanted to make sure the toes and heel were solid,# so I dyed some tiny little blue skeins separately so I could be sure to get that effect.

I also used Jacquard Acid Dyes. No pussy kool-aid shit for this dangermouse.

I wound the nude skeins of yarn†† into balls so I could work with them easier, with less entanglement.‡‡

So, anyway... I knitted a little more than a toe to gauge a couple of things:
  1. How much total yarn does a toe take? (so I can dye some solid-coloured toe and heel yarn)
  2. How much yarn in one round? (so I can determine how to get three rounds then two rounds to mimic the pattern put forth in the book)
  3. Also? Gauge. I gauged my gauge.
[SUMMARY: A couple should be two, and I should be able to count to two. Life is full of disappointment.]

Having determined a round was approximately 32", I proceeded to wind three 32" diameter bits, followed by two 32" diameter bits. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Only now that I type that, I think I should have wound 16" diameter bits. Now I'm questioning my methods in a big, bad way.

Did I measure a round or a row?

Should I *ever* be allowed to do my own math?


So, anyway... I wound them up...

...then I put the plastic wrap resist on the appropriate portion...

Cat for Scale helped.§§

I tossed the yarn in to soak...¶¶

...and mixed some dye. The directions say a teaspoon of powder dyes four ounces of fibre a nice, deep colour. I assumed I had 50 or 100 grams of fibre. I had no idea how that translated,## so I decided a teaspoon of dye powder was the way to go.

I thought I purchased a sky blue dye, but it turns out I just had blue. Like crayon blue. So I used about 3/4 tsp of blue and 1/4 tsp of yellow.

Then I dipped a napkin in to get an idea of how it would look on the yarn.

"Keep in mind," said the book, "your yarn will be darker..."

So I decided to use only about half the dye, since I was going for sky-at-10:00-am rather than sky-at-10:00-pm.

Can I just tell you how magic it is when the dye exhausts? I've read and heard dozens of casually tossed "when the dye exhausts..." or "my dye didn't exhaust this time..." and it all seemed so blasé, so take-it-for-granted.

It's not. It's pure magic.

You have this big ol' pot of blue kool-aid lookin' stuff and your yarn is getting just a little blue††† when you toss in a glug of vinegar. Within minutes, the water is clearing to a pale, swimming pool blue. Then *poof!* No colour. You have blueblueblue yarn swimming in crystal clear water.

Magic, I tell you.

Then I found there were some white areas in the yarn, so I decided to add a bit of dye and a bit of vinegar, which worked really well, only I dumped the dye over on the kitchen counter. Turns out Barkeeper's Friend scrubs the dye right off.

So, anyway... I let the yarn sit overnight and rinsed it in the morning.

Then I hung it up in the unused mystery bathroom to dry.

See the ikat resist?

Because I wound it in twos and three around two pegs, it was still a pain in the ass to wind up, though not full yarn barf.

Here are my blue balls§§§:

And here is the beginnings of the Sky Sox. I actually thought of a really clever name for them as I was drifting off to sleep last night, only I can't... WAIT! Mare's Tail¶¶¶ Socks! That's what I thought of.

So, anyway... here are the beginnings of the Mare's Tail socks. The little pagoda toes are because I did a round before beginning my increases accidentally. If you put them on your feet, they smooth out fine and look like normal socks.###

Close up so you can see the tiny, wispy bits of cloud.

Next time:

Next time, I will only do one big wind, not the twos and threes.

Next time, I will go for more white.

Next time, I will do very few white bits shorter than two inches, because I'm developing an inordinate number of single-stitch clouds as the socks progress.

Next time, I will be wind the ikat plastic looser, because it doesn't have to be airtight and you### can accidentally cut your yarn while trying to remove skin-tight Saran Wrap†††† with scissors.

[SUMMARY: How educational, AntiM.]

So, yes, I believe there will be a next time.


Tomorrow night is Bobmas Eve, the celebration of the anniversary of Ravelry. We will be drinking celebrating from 6:00ish to 9:00ish (pm) at Patrick Carroll's, 3963 Tennyson Street, across from the inimitable Posh, a Yarn Boutique. It is rumoured Sylvia might be moving Thursday night Stitch Therapy across to the bar in observance of the holiday.

Join us!

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Theoretically.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Or food colouring, maybe.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): No good ever comes of me figuring.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): I'm so torn in the naming: Sky Sox or Tiny Fluffy Clouds? Both have the benefit of being obscure references. Maybe Sky Sox for Dad's and make myself or Brother a pair under the "Little Fluffy Clouds" banner.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): I love that look -- like the stockings hung by the chimney with care in every holiday colouring book I had when I was a kid.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): You think I'm going to say something saucy about "nude," don't you? Nope. Just here to tell you it's a superwash merino silk bamboo blend that's really lovely and soft and 100% machine washable AND dryable. How often does that happen? About as often as you find a man who's the perfect mixture of gentleman and pervert, that's how often.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Less entanglement. Heh. You'd think that'd be my watchword, both in yarn and in life. That's pretty deep for a footnote.

§§FOOTNOTE (wind the yarn over and over and over...): This picture is a stunningly accurate representation of what happened. I turned my back for a moment as he was delicately pawing the yarn on the floor. When I turned back, he was scarfing down yarn as fast as he could stuff it in his mouth. He has never eaten yarn in the entire time I've known him, but it was clear he knew he shouldn't be and was going for maximum broke before I would turn around and stop him.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (like pegs on a pegboard): Note the seemingly excessive number of yarns. I used red bits for the ikat thing, and used orange to keep the skeins orderly. Lots of orange. I've heard too many horror stories about cheerfully dyed yarn that came out yarn barf.

##FOOTNOTE (pounded like the pavement): Hell, I had a 100% margin of error on how much I was dyeing. It's a lead pipe cinch I wasn't paying that close of attention to my numbers.

†††FOOTNOTE (there's that hill I can never say right): Aw, it's OK, little yarn. Spring is here. The flowers will be up soon.

‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (surgery!): Which I'm not sure you have to do with superwash. My impression is that you don't want to shock or felt your yarn by changing temperatures drastically, and there wouldn't be a worry of that with the superwash. But I followed directions like a good girl anyway.

§§§FOOTNOTE (...and over and over and over): If you didn't snicker at that, please turn in your Brainless Twelvehood card at the door.

¶¶¶FOOTNOTE (three socks? Why?): Mare's tails are wispy little clouds that look like horse tails blowing in the breeze. My dad told me many years ago they signal good flying weather. As the girl who is storing "Darjeeling means land of the thunderbolt" as her death-bed statement, I retained that. One day last summer, we were taking a break from landscaping his yard and I looked up and said, "Mare's tails. Good day for flying." Dad looked at me in wonderment.

"You *do* listen when I talk."

"Sometimes!" I replied, cheerfully, and went back to looking at the clouds.

###FOOTNOTE (poundpoundpound): And by, "you," I mean, "I."

††††FOOTNOTE (how many crosses does one blog need?): There! I said it! Damn the tyranny of the brand name two-step! Saran Wrap! SARAN WRAP! Ahahahahahahahahah!

The World is Listening

From: "Michael Malice" michaelmalice@gmail.com
To: Marin
Subject: your email
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2008 13:36:12 +0000

Hey Marin--That email you posted was totally cute, so I ran it on my funny emails site. If you've got other stuff, please fwd it my way.


Michael Malice
Editor, WorstEmailEver.com



Not sure how to take this.

Do you suppose the highlighted portions have been deemed grammatically incorrect?

Maybe Michael Malice heard about my elementary reading level rating...


From: "Michael Malice" michaelmalice@gmail.com
To: Marin
Subject: comment
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2008 15:32:27 +0000

Hey--Not making fun of you--the highlighted lines are just things I find noteworthy. In this case, they were cute! (with other emails, it's more of a judgment) ;-)


Michael Malice
Editor, WorstEmailEver.com


My co-workers will be so glad. They were getting tired of me coming into their offices and saying, "Look at this. I used 'different' right, right? It's not an adverb... I know what I'm doing, right?"

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Almost Forgot




I'm in the Wrong Business

People get paid for this?

And here I am, having my heart attack for free...

The Score

Y'know what? Sometimes you check and it turns out there *isn't* a dial tone% and it's not just him blowing you off.


The first thing The Spelling Bee Champ said to me when he called last night was, "How's your spelling today?"[8] five for calling, three for teasing.

He thanked me for my email.§ [5] two for polite, three for sincere.

He explained he wanted to call me the next day but couldn't find my card. [2] one for taking the time to explain, one for worrying about me.

At one point he said, "Is this an awkward pause? It's not, right? Just a normal pause," which was contextually charming. [2] one for candid, one for charming

He told me he mentioned to Sarah -- before I even got 'hold of Sue -- he wanted to get 'hold of me. [2] one for thinking of me at all in the interim, one for at least trying to find me.

He thinks bar spelling bees would be an excellent pastime, and thinks we should form teams. Those who couldn't spell could still enjoy the fun by forming Fantasy Spelling Bee Leagues. [5] funny, funny, funny

He seemed refreshingly... candid. [1] refreshing!

He allowed me to teach him a little street slang,# and is now all over "hot mess."†† [2] nearly as white and goofy as me.

He was happy to keep telling me knitting is hot, and has been heard to elaborate by saying, "so hot" and using the phrase, "hot knitter." This became a sort of running joke. [6] three for sucking up to the primary hobby, one for continued use of the word "hot" in my presence and about my person, two for ongoing hilarity.

He wants to see me, spend time with me, and made a date with me for lunch on Saturday. [5] instant gratification! immediate ego boost! that's worth five points!

He told me I have nice skin, but allowed that it was dark, so... [3] two for the compliment, one for the tease.

He has at least one step-sister and many female cousins. [2] training.

He said he remembered kissing my ear. I said, "Neck too." "I kissed your neck?" "Oh, yeah." "That's hot." "Yes, it was." [1] hot... again

I said something racy and told him I was just trying to make him blush. He said he was. [2] sucking up

He is dog-sitting for friends for a week. [4] loyalty, kindness

The dogs arrived while I was on the phone with him. He said he'd call back. He did. [5] follow-through

He lives in the neighbourhood. [4] proximity

He noted my British orthography,^ heard the tale and correctly identified it as "pretentious." [3] one for noticing, one for teasing and one for just getting it.

Did I mention the kissing? [8] kissing!

He's very, very easy to talk to and he does it well, using good words and grammar. [12] two for low maintenance, two for ease of use, five for intelligence, three for articulation

He asked a lot of good questions, remembered a lot of key things and also just talked, like a conversation rather than just an interview/rake-over-the-coals. [6] four for attentiveness, two for versatility

He's an insomniac. [2] one for consanguinity,‡‡ one for potential for late night activity

He was the perfect mix of gentelman and pervert. [8] how often do you find that?

Now, he doesn't know who Mike Krzyzewski is, which means he's not a sports guy, which is unfortunate, but not a deal-breaker. And since I'm currently a card-carrying member of The Spelling Bee Champ Fan Club,§§ I'm not going to dock him any points.

Seriously? One thing I'm enjoying immensely is that I'm not all spun on this, but I am rather delighted. I think giddy, dizzy Marin isn't necessarily the best thing, the best omen, but I'm delighted to be delighted.

[SUMMARY: By my reckoning, The Champ has 98 points and is well on his way to cashing in for a lovely toaster, or any of hundreds of other prizes in the Rickety Blog Kharmic Green Stamp program.]

Thank you to the voters... all three of you. Yes, I realise there may have been more if I'd *told* you there was a poll in the sidebar.

Tomorrow: Blue Dye

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Figuratively speaking, I mean. At least in this case.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Note how subtly I slipped that in. Yes! He called!

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Dontcha love a guy who knows the fine art of dishing shit? It's so much friendlier when nobody's too delicate for a little joshing.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Like, sincerely. More than once.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Woke up hung over and thought he needed to call and maybe apologise because he was too forward. Dug in his pocket to find a business card from a psychologist at CU. Thought, "I must have been a real dick last night. She thinks I need help," and then, "either that or I'm going to end up being the dick who doesn't call her."

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Yeah, that's twice as funny as it sounds. The pasty leading the white.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): How proud are you right now, Stacey?

^FOOTNOTE (careted): Take that, elementary readers!

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): I can spell "consanguinity," and also use it properly in a sentence.

§§FOOTNOTE (turn, turn, turn): He also gets a pass since, y'know, Duke lost three months ago. Let us not speak of it again.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Whaddya Want?

I have two blogposts in the pipe for tomorrow.

One is about dyeing a batch of yarn, complete with pictures.

The other is about The Spelling Bee Champ.

I'll check after lunch on Tuesday and see which one I'll spiff up and post today. The other will be posted tomorrow, so don't feel you're making some blog version of Sophie's choice.

Like Getting My Yarbles Slammed in a Car Door

From: Marin
To: The Spelling Bee Champ
Subject: Hey, Spelling Bee Champ
Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2008 00:02:39 +0000

Hi, Champ!

It's me, Marin!

Perhaps I should misspell something so I can be sure you know who I am.

Ever since I got your email address from Sarah, I've been rolling a bunch of cute and coy stuff around in my head with an eye to enticing you to get in touch with me.

Oh! And clever -- can't believe I forgot clever. I do clever pretty well.

Anyway, after a few weird attempts, I've decided on straight and (relatively) to the point:

I really enjoyed your company spelling bee night. I think you're cute, smart, funny -- y'know, all those sweet things the Playboy centrefolds are always looking for in a guy. You also laid some memorable kisses on me and... wow.

I'd like to spend more time with you and see if the chemistry bears out (and maybe get another kiss or twelve if it seems the right thing to do). You may feel the same. Then again, you may have been drunk on Jager shots or the giddy triumph of your spelling bee win and felt different in the sober light of day.

Either way, thanks for the good company and the great kisses.

You have my email address. My home phone is [some seven-digit number]. If you'd like to make a date, please do get in touch. If not, could you please take a minute to tell me "no" so I don't waste any time checking to see if my phone has a dial tone?

Yours in spelling accuracy (so long as it's not French),


That's the subject line of a spammail on my Yahoo account. It made me laugh, but I'm thinking it might be a good subject line for my email to The Spelling Bee Champ.

But Does He Like-Like Me?

From: Marin
To: Sue
Subject: Sue! It's Marin!

Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2008 18:38:12 +0000

OK... first, Friday night, just touching base and saying, "Yeah, I'm still there." I'll hit the Coral around 9:30 and we'll go when you're ready.

Second, totally junior high shit: Spelling-Champ-who-kissed-me (and beat me in the spelling bee, but that's not NEARLY as important)... well, I thought he kinda was into me, but the phone never rang. I'm probably delusional, but we had an odd moment at the end of the night that may have been a miscommunication. SO... if it's appropriate, could you just get Sarah to nudge him? Of course, he may be very deliberately not calling, but I'd hate to think he thought I said something vaguely mean and that's why he didn't call. I really enjoyed his company and would like more of it if he's interested.

(do you like me? check yes or no)

Enough girly stupidity.
See you soon,


From: Sarah
To: Marin
Subject: Re: Sue! It's Marin!

Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2008 18:01:54 +0000

hey marin,

i had noticed some sparks flying around you and the champ (you geeks with your big spelling skills!) and asked him what was up recently... he said he thought he'd gotten your phone number but couldn't find it the next morning. and i believe that's actually the case :-)

i could give him your # again if you like, or you could email him.

good luck!!


So, um... off to compose a witty, sweet, slightly sexy email to The Spelling Bee Champ to remind him why he kissed me in the first place.

Maybe I should just reiterate how I can't spell "boudoir."

To Quote a Famous Person I Know

As the blizzard continues here in downtown Denver, I am reminded of the words of a wise man:

"How are we supposed to watch the parking lot when we can't even see the parking lot?"


Look! It's a Kilt... It's a Plane...

...a brooch... a pterodactyl...

I have a handful of pictures I took off the camera last night, and I can't tell you how proud I am of myself.

Not just 'cause of the photo thing, either.

I had brunch with the Breakfast Club yesterday, then actually ran some errands, filled CLCWWW's tank and went home to tidy up, do laundry and -- yes -- offload the pictures from my camera.

None of this may seem particularly noteworthy to you, but you have to understand:

  1. I got up for breakfast. I even drove, which means I put in that extra effort AND my front seat was empty enough to carry another person.§
  2. I ran errands instead of reverting to my natural ass-on-chair state.
  3. I filled the car instead of talking myself into waiting until today, when the indicator would have been flashing red lights and probably screaming at me and I might have even whined my way out of doing it on the way to work then I would have been sweating the couple of miles to the gas station after work and it would have been stressful.
  4. I repeat: I do not clean unless I have a good reason. "It's dirty" really isn't sufficient motivation for me.
  5. I love doing laundry, but it does require some time commitment, however ass-on-couch that commitment may be. Also? I did clothes AND sheets yesterday, where I usually do one on Sunday and one on Monday. Or Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or next week... I can wear my prom dress to work, right?
  6. I don't know how other people do it, but I have to power up the Olympus software, transfer the photos from the camera to albums therein, copy the ones I want to a folder called "blogstuff" on my desktop, run them through Corel Photo to make them smaller than 42" wide and sharpen them up for the Innernets, then upload them to Blogger. It takes a long time.
So I'm feeling particularly saintly# and particularly flush†† this morning.

Also oddly chipper for a Monday.‡‡

Also? I packed my breakfast AND my lunch.

[SUMMARY: Sometimes it's the little things...]

I will be approaching this week's blogfodder in a somewhat logical manner.§§

[SUMMARY: Saintly, flush and clever!]

For today's offering, we will have a brief recap of what happened Out My Office Window last week.

Uncharacteristically, there will be no cranes.

The copy place up the street apparently got a bunch of new copiers.

And celebrated by painting new four square courts in the alley...

...and indulging in a company-wide four square tournament.

Friday, there was a man with a kilt.¶¶

There was also the customary home-opener fly-over% by some branch of the military with really sleek, fast jets that made my chair vibrate in a most pleasant way, but I was too busy watching## to take a picture.

[SUMMARY: Use your imagination.]

And isn't that what life's all about? Enjoying instead of documenting?†††

Says the blogger who just told you all about her laundry habits.

Remember: there will be knitting, if you stick around long enough. And that will make it all better.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): You know them as Bag Lady Kathryn and Angel-eek.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Premium! Ouch!

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Hey, single contractor people living alone don't have cars, they have rolling file cabinets. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): I frequently run my gas tank to white-knuckle level; always have. The fact that I've almost never run out of gas on the freeway made that one time I did shocking in the extreme. Oh, look at me not learning my lesson.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Sarah? Are you still keeping score?

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): 'Cause, y'all know -- full gas tank, full fridge, full complement of clean clothes, tidy living room, healthy and cheap food for the day... I'm rich!

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): I'm blaming it on barometric pressure.

§§FOOTNOTE (hey, is this room spinning or is it just me?): Mostly driven by the fact that, while I cleaned off my camera, there is a whole set of photos I haven't Corel'd yet. I'm going to pretend to do this in sort of chronological order while buying myself time to use the time I would have used on laundry tonight on Corelling my photos so I can show you some knitting later this week. And dyeing!

¶¶FOOTNOTE (ball clubs): I'm sure he was heading for Coors Field for some sort of opening day festivities, but I like to close my eyes and fantasise that he was just this guy... in a kilt... on a workday... in downtown Denver.

##FOOTNOTE (pounded like jado juice): And vibrating!

%FOOTNOTE (percented): In case I didn't feel like mentioning it, the Rox lost the home opener 8 to 1 and proceeded to get swept. I don't want to talk about it. Could we talk about how they won the season opener in St. Louis instead?

†††FOOTNOTE (triple dip! wait, what did you call me?): A coat of shiny self-help shellac on the fact that I completely forgot to grab my camera when Hans said, "Look out your window! The fly-over is coming!"