Thursday, June 29, 2006


Somehow, it always comes back to me.

I haven’t mentioned this before, but one of the major things occurring in this house right now is that my husband is going to climb Mt. McKinley (or Denali, as it is rightly called in Alaska) next year. You know, the highest mountain in ALL OF NORTH AMERICA. He’s been climbing mountains for years, and has even done a couple glaciated mountains, but Denali is in a class of its own. Or if not of its own, its still pretty high up there (according to Wikipedia, it actually has a larger bulk and rise than Everest). It takes approximately three weeks to climb. You not only carry a 70-pound backpack, you pull a sled with 100 pounds of stuff behind you as well. There are thousand-foot deep crevasses that you cross over with ladders while wearing shoes with spikes on them so you can spike into the ice and not slide off the freakin’ mountain.

Okay. That’s the part where I can no longer talk about this climb without heart palpitations. But I can say that I’m really proud of my husband for his commitment and dedication to this. Rick has worked toward this goal for many years, and now that it’s getting closer and closer, he’s working harder and harder. He runs, he bicycles, he works out at the gym two hours a day several days a week. By the time he’s ready, he’ll be doing the Stairmaster for an hour with a seventy-pound pack on his back. He’s already in the best shape of his life.

But enough about Rick and his cool self. Let’s talk about how this upcoming endeavor affected me this week. (Also, let’s change the subject before I start lamenting about what kind of shape I’m in). You see, we decided that since Rick’s going on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, he needed something better than our pre-millennium digital camera to document it.

He needed, maybe, something LIKE THIS:

Yep, we copycatted Nanda and bought a Nikon D50. After all, when you’re already carrying two hundred pounds, what’s an extra five or so?

How does this affect me, you ask? It's in the way I am totally going to co-opt this thing when he’s not looking so I can take knitting pictures. If I can figure out how to operate it, that is. Here are the operator guides (note plural usage) the camera came with:

Yikes. My technophobe heart just let out a long, plaintive sigh.

Monday, June 26, 2006


More knitty kitty

Here's a bit more info about Kate, because I still haven't had enough of her!

Pattern: Kate, by Jess Hutchison
Pattern Source:
Yarn: Good question. Unfortunately, I bought this yarn years ago, before I had even taught myself to knit, and had no idea that I might someday want the information on the ball bands. I can tell you that it is 100% acrylic. And that it's worsted. That's all I know.
Needles: US6 DPN's. This was my first project knit completely on DPN's. And while I am still not so good at the DPN's (you should see the ladder on the back of this kitty. Actually you shouldn't. That's why I didn't photograph it.), I feel like maybe I'm ready to try knitting a sock again. Does anyone remember that I started a sock in January or February of this year? Yeah, well, that sock is STILL only one inch long.
Comments: Rick has requested a kitty. My mom has requested a kitty. And I would like a kitty. I will definitely be making this pattern again.

And here's a bit more about Maya's sweater:
Pattern: Child's Easy Rolled-Edge Sweater and Hat, by Florence Blum
Pattern Source: Simple Knits for Sophisticated Living
Yarn: See above.
Needles: Heck if I remember. I knit this sweater almost a year ago, at which point I concluded that though the pattern was for an "infant" and I actually made gauge, this sweater was way too big for a one-year old Maya. I'm still not sure it will fit the two-and-a-half-year-old Maya this winter.
Comments: With this pattern, I learned how to pick up stitches around a neckband and how to do a three-needle bindoff. I made a lot of mistakes, but I thought it turned out pretty good for my first sweater.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Self-Portrait with my shadow.

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike.

I absolutely love the little basket on the front of my bike. This morning I rode to the grocery store for cat food and Captain Crunch. It's a good Sunday already.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I don't know about you, but my digital camera will be fully charged on July 25.

A couple days ago, I mentioned the OKC Knitter's Guild in passing. The Guild has been around for about nine months, but I attended my first meeting last Sunday. I have wanted to check them out for a long time, but my crazy work schedule, which involves way too many weekends, hasn't allowed for it.

It was a lot of fun, and I hope I can attend again soon. Knitting is a pretty solitary experience for me, so it was really neat to see so many folks who love knitting (and to see their projects! Yay!). And when I say "so many folks", I mean it. President Susan estimated that there were about thirty ladies present. And to me, thirty is a lot. A couple years ago, I joined a Harry Potter Meet-up Group, because, believe it or's kinda hard to just happen upon adults who are obsessed about children's books. Only three of the members were obsessed enough to actually go to meetings. And I probably don't even need to mention the Kids for Saving Earth club I started when I was eleven years old, the club where not one invited person showed up to the first (and consequently only) meeting?

Ahem! Thirty knitters in my hometown is AWESOME!

But thirty knitters is NOTHING compared to the gathering that will amass on July 25 at the Village Public Library, when THE YARN HARLOT HERSELF will grace us with a talk followed by book signings at Gourmet Yarn. Word travels fast and I'm sure y'all probably know about this by now, but can I just say: OMG! OMG! A real life knitting celebrity here in my hometown! I think I might faint. If I stop doing the cabbage patch long enough, that is.

When I was eighteen, the actor Ethan Hawke (as opposed to some other Ethan Hawke, I guess?) was in OKC for a book signing to promote his first novel. I went to the signing, even though I was dirt poor and had choices to make like: Hmm. I have two dollars. I could buy some donuts and ramen noodles which could last me a few days or an entire pack of cigarettes which could last me a few days. Those donuts look mighty tasty...but cigarettes are an appetite suppressant. Tough call.

I couldn't afford to buy any books, let alone one I wasn't all that interested in anyway. So I went to the signing with a friend who bought the book. And my entire experience, my one experience EVER with a real life celebrity, consisted of me following my friend up to the signing table, sweating profusely, blushing the color of one of Rick's red wines, and saying "Hi" to Ethan Hawke before quickly walking away.

What a charmer, huh? Well, this book signing is going to different! For starters, I'm actually going to buy Stephanie's book (there's a discount at Gourmet Yarn for those of us that order it before hand!). And then, when I hand my book to the Harlot, I will work up the courage to say, "Um. Could you please sign it To the Prairie Knitter...please?"

Before quickly walking away.

I'm excited to be in the presence of the Yarn Harlot, of course. But it's also exciting to think of how many midwestern knitters will come out to share in the experience. In-towners, out of towners, bloggers...oh my!

Thank you in advance for coming to Oklahoma City, Stephanie!

Monday, June 19, 2006


Now if I would only start working on those New Year's Resolutions...

My goals for the weekend (relaxing and knitting) have been fully realized. I spent Friday and Saturday on a new knitting project for Nanda, and I finished it Saturday night. Nanda has given me permission to post pictures of it here before she actually receives it, which is terribly kind of her. I think I would cry if I had to post any more pictures of vest knitting!

It's Kate from Knitty! I knit it in leftovers from this project...

...which is a sweater for Nanda's daughter, Maya. So it's only fitting that this goes to her mother, right? Yeah, I know it's a little backward. A sweater for the kid and a toy for the mom. But hey, I'm a little backwards sometimes.

Like backwards in how I thought it would be cute to make the kitty pink, because, well, y'all now know about me and pink. Except that now that I'm finished and the ears are attached, I think my pink kitty looks a little like a pink pig. Rick and a couple people from the Guild meeting yesterday confirmed this suspicion, but I'm not too worried about it. This is an existential stuffed toy, to spark long and meaningful conversations that last deep into the night. Is it a pig? Is it a cat? What is a pig, and what is a cat? What does it mean to be a pig or a cat?

Here, Kate. This book might help you out. And if you understand it, you explaining it to Katie.

Whatever this toy is, it had a good time watching Rick bowl with the church league last night. It also had fun exploring the front flower bed. And also maybe playing at the jungle gym by my house.

Yes, I know. I'm a dork. And now, all my neighbors know too! I wish I could capture the colors better, but I'm still working with my cheap old camera, so just imagine that Kate's head, hands, and feet are a cute baby pink.

Nanda, meet Kate. We hope to see you soon!

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Self-Portrait Sunday! Now with more pink!

The other day, as I was dressing in my new hot pink scrubs, Rick expressed his amazement at how differently I dress now than when we first met. Obviously, one major difference is that I never used to wear scrubs, and honestly, I wouldn't now if it weren't a requirement. To me, scrubs look like pajamas. Sometimes I hear nurses trashing other nurses' uniforms, stating that they don't look professional. But really, how "professional" do any of us look walking around in brightly colored pajamas?

Um. Anyway. The point that Rick was trying to make (before I so rudely interrupted him) was not about scrubs. It was about color. When Rick and I met, I was still a moody, self-absorbed, depressed teenager. I dressed primarily in grays and black. And most importantly, I would not have been caught dead in pink.

Flash forward ten years. Here's a sampling of my wardrobe. Notice it's sheer...pinkness.

I don't know what happened, but suddenly I love pink. Baby pink, salmony pink, violet pink--it doesn't matter. I love it all. I even have a pink wallet and pink fingernail polish. At age twenty-eight, I've become...a little girl!

Another difference in my wardrobe is that I now wear skirts. I only had one skirt when Rick and I met. I wore it on our first date, possibly misleading him into thinking I was actually a girly girl. After that he only saw me in baggy jeans and Adidas for oh, about, six years. But now, I suddenly have enough skirts for every day of the week. Wearing skirts is one of the things I love about the summer. They are so comfortable.

So for Self Portrait Sunday, here I am today, continuing to surprise Rick with my unpredictable (or maybe lack of) fashion sense, indulging myself by wearing both a pink shirt and a skirt.

As of yet, I don't have any pink skirts. But it's probably just a matter of time.

Friday, June 16, 2006


It's good to have goals.

The good thing about working nights is that since you've already been awake for fourteen hours or so, it's okay to start drinking at 7 in the morning. I used to work the night shift in Boise, Idaho, at a semiconductor plant that employed about 15% of the city's population. There were so many night shifters in that town that there was a bar that opened at 7 am for us. Aah, that was nice. It was also interesting to talk to customers that weren't Micron employees. "Wow! You get started early, huh?"

Oklahoma City is way too bible-belt for a bar to be swingin' at 7 a.m., so I'll be drinking it up at home alone this morning. I just finished day seven of a seventy hour work week, so I'm ready to kick off the weekend right. Woohoo!

(Y'all should know that by "drinking it up" and "kicking off the weekend right", what I really mean is "falling asleep after two drinks because I totally can't handle my liquor").

My main goal this weekend ('cause y'all know, I have to have goals/plans/LISTS in order to do anything) is to relax and spend some time on "me" stuff (translate: let the anger go and stop cleaning already). Also translate that as: get some freaking knitting done. And while knitting: try not to think about what it means to have RELAXATION as an item on a to-do list.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Thank you for your support.

Rick's out of town right now, taking a long weekend to visit a friend. When we talked on the phone last night, he got to hear all about my bad week. He was sympathetic in all the right places until I described how, in a fit of anger over my job, I poured my energy into cleaning the house until 2 a.m. I was so mad I even windexed each individual pane of glass on the french doors.

At that point, Rick replied that I ought to get mad more often.

Friday, June 09, 2006


Flowers. Not as cute as cats, but still they make me happy.

No knitting news from the prairie, I'm afraid. It's been a dreadful week. And maybe I'm not so excited about working on the vest. See? I even refer to it as working. Anyhow, a little something happened to cheer me up today.

My grandmother gave me this rose bush about a month ago, and the first bud has finally opened, revealing such a pretty and fragrant flower. I've actually had to work a bit at keeping this rose bush alive, unlike the other gardening victories I claim as my own but really occur through natural selection (those plants fit enough to survive my care return the next year!). I've been watering and picking off the yellow and black spotted leaves...and did I mention watering? Apparently, that watering bit works. There are six more buds about to open!

(And yes, this week has been bad enough that the words, "There are six more buds about to open" deserve an exclamation point.)

Happy weekend, folks. Remember: There are six more buds about to open!

Friday, June 02, 2006


knitting a scarf sounds so appealing right now

Is anyone wondering why I haven't shown pictures of a finished Preppy Eighties Vest yet? Oh good, I'm so glad you asked. That means I have permission to start my bitch fest! The reason why is that I STILL HAVEN'T FINISHED IT!

I happily knitted along on one side of the front, changing colors and decreasing in all the designated areas, when it occurred to me that this was looking awfully long and there were still many decrease rows to go. Instead of continuing in stripes, I just finished it out with one color. Obviously my subconscious knew what I didn't want to openly acknowledge: it was going to be too long. I didn't want to cut my leftover yarn on stripes that would have to be ripped anyway, so I just kept going in brown. The pattern says to decrease until 8 stitches are left, then knit until the armhole measures 9.25 inches. Sure enough, I did knit until 8 stitches were left, but it came out to 10 inches! I tried the damn thing on and it is at least two inches too long! I don't think it's a problem with the pattern, which really is written exceptionally well. I just don't have a 9.25 inch armhole!

Here's a close-up. See? Ten inches!

This brings about some interesting (read: I'm tearing my hair out over here!!) challenges:

1. I need the armhole to measure approximately eight inches.
2. I need to decrease to 8 stitches within this measurement.
3. I don't know what to do to accomplish this.
4. My head hurts and I'd like a drink.

I think there are several ways I could remedy the situation, and since all of them involve a lot of ripping, I haven't actually tried any of them. I could continue to start the V-neck at the designated spot in the pattern, but do the decrease rows differently in order to decrease to the correct number of stitches by, say, eight inches instead of ten. The pattern calls for a K2tog on each right side row until 8 stitches are left. Could I instead knit three together on each right side row or could I K2tog on the right side rows and P2tog on the wrong side rows? What kind of slope would these techniques create and would they be a slope that would work on a V-neck vest? If one of these ideas doesn't work, maybe I could rip back some of the bodice and start the V-neck before the armholes, so that I'll still have ten inches of V-neck and only eight inches of armhole. I'm nervous that this will create a very weird looking vest, however. Like some 70's disco guy wearing his shirt unbuttoned three buttons too far. On the other hand, this is supposed to be a body-hugging vest. It might look good to have a deeper V-neck clinging to the girls.

My current plan of action is to knit up a couple swatches with my ideas from above (a K3 tog and a K2tog/P2tog) to see what the hell that would even look like. If those don't work...well, let's not think about that right now. Tomorrow's another day, Scarlett!

What advice do y'all knitters have for me? Note to self: stick to scarves.

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