Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Don't count on me to answer Sports questions if you're my Trivial Pursuit partner.

I went to my first Redhawks game last week. Actually, it was the first baseball game I've ever attended. I'm not much of a sports fan, as a player or spectator. In high school, I was the girl reading Kafka at the pep rallies, rolling my eyes at anyone who dared to look like they were having a good time. This lack of sports enthusiasm was probably made evident last week when, at the end of the seventh inning, I stood up and said, "Well, that was a good game." At which point it was explained to me that there are nine innings in a baseball game. Whoops!

I surprised myself by having a great time. When you take the time to learn the rules, baseball actually seems like an interesting and complex game. I couldn't keep up with a lot of it. Every couple minutes, someone would say, "Did you see what the first baseman just did?" No! I was looking at the pitcher! Or maybe I was watching the man in the ostrich suit who was throwing hot dogs at people. Like I said. It's an interesting game, this baseball. And guess what?

The stadium not only sells terrific funnel cakes...

It has its very own Jackson Pollock-inspired bison!
Dude. We got some serious culture going on here in Oklahoma City. Seriously.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


It's time for drastic measures.

It's been a busy week. Too busy for things like, oh I don't know...how about haircuts? Yup. It was definitely too busy for haircuts. And also...it's been raining. These conditions, when paired with my hair's naturally frizzy tendency, create a condition meteorologists commonly call Frizzy Eight Inch Tall White Afro.

Good God, I need a haircut. Fortunately, I came up with a way to disguise my hair for this Self-Portrait Sunday and show off my newest WIP, the Razor Cami.
Looking for a little encouragement, I asked Rick if he would post on the Internet a picture of himself wearing a half-knitted object over his head. Instead of validating me, he responded, "No, I wouldn't. But I'm not a knitter. And it seems like knitters sometimes do some weird things."

Yup. That about sums us up.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


I'm doing the Internet a favor...

by not posting a self-portrait today. Trust me, it's not pretty.

Instead, I bring you a picture inspired by Kay's post last week, in which she DOUBLE DOG DARED her readers to post pics of their stashes. My stash has changed little since I photographed it several months ago, which makes it less than inspiring at the moment. Instead, I decided to fish out all my knitting books from their hiding places (a couple on bookshelves, one by my bed, one in the car...ya'll know) and place them together in one spot.

We'll see how long this lasts.

Friday, August 18, 2006


If only Chili's was open at 6 am.

When I first started working the night shift, I tried to act so tough. People would ask if it was hard sleeping during the day. "Oh, no," I'd say, "You get used to it. I get eight hours of sleep just like everyone else."

*This is a blatant lie.

Or when they'd ask, "Have you gained weight working on the night shift? My sister's metabolism completely changed on nights," I'd respond with something like, "Actually, I started losing weight because I walk an average of five miles a day while working."

*This is technically true, but omits the rest of the story--after losing ten pounds the first month of work, I packed on twenty the next.

Now when people ask how I liked working nights, I respond honestly. "It's hell," I tell them. Then I repeat it for emphasis. "HELL."

One of the really weird parts about the graveyard shift is how it changes your appetite. At first, you wake up at five pm not very hungry or maybe wanting an egg for breakast, but it's five pm and everyone else is having dinner food. Soon you get used to the idea that you will have to eat dinner for breakfast if you don't want to eat alone every night.

Since I quit working nights two weeks ago, my sleep schedule is already pretty much back to normal. But unfortunately, my appetite is not readjusting so easily. I've awakened every morning this week with a craving for a burger, fries, and a chocolate shake.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Aren't all conversations about food and knitting?

Did y'all know that the debate about straight needles vs. circular needles doesn't just apply to knitting? It's true. I know because I sent Rick in to Dunkin Donuts Sunday morning for breakfast.

"Do you want a round donut or a rectangular one?" Rick asked.

I sighed. "It always comes back to straight vs. circular, doesn't it?" I thought it out for a moment.

"Oh, all right, give me a circular."

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Another lazy self-portrait.

Here's another recent "self" portrait courtesy of the Nanda:
Either I am trying to shield myself from the camera or showing off my hip hop dance skillz. You decide.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Presto Change-o!

Rick and I recently turned this:

into THIS!

And now that we're done, I suspect that Sirdar Snuggly might have actually been a center-pull ball as it was packaged. Whoops!

I mean, Wow! This Ball-Winder RAWKS! I'm going to wind balls all day long! *giggle giggle*

Seriously, though. I know I've resisted the whole new-fangled ball-winding technology. Many a knitter has stared at me blankly when I told them that I actually enjoy winding center-pull balls by hand. Now I know why.

And if you are wondering why it takes two adults to operate a simple ball-winder, there are two reasons. Number one is that I'm too cheap to buy a swift to accompany it. This way I get to hold yarn while Rick winds his balls. *giggle giggle* The second reason is that I'm not really an adult at all (see giggles from last sentence).

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


There will always be a soft spot in my heart for garage band wizard rock.

Last night, I got to see Harry and the Potters at the Sooner Theater in Norman. I had planned to take lots of high-resolution photos that made me look like a good photographer (ooh! Action concert pics!), except that I left the freakin' camera at home.

I know. I know. Without visual proof, you have no reason to believe me when I tell you how much they rocked. So let me just substantiate my claim with this: I now own three, count 'em, THREE...Harry and the Potters T-shirts.

Oh, yeah. You're right. That only proves that I'm a big nerd.

P.S. Draco and the Malfoys kicked ass, too.

Monday, August 07, 2006


The Scarf That Must Not Be Named

...is finally done! That's right. All 48,300 stitches of it!

Hogwarts scarf, by Laura Kent
atypically knit
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun, in Bordeaux and Sunburst
Needles: US size 5, 12 inch circular
Comments: This is the first time I have ever used exactly the same yarn and colors that a pattern called for. The Nature Spun is a basic wool yarn, but it's very soft and I would definitely use it again. The needles, however, were a nightmare. I've used 16-inch circs with no problem, but there just wasn't enough give in the 12-inch to allow me to knit at an angle I'm used to. Early on, I knew that something was going on, because my stitches were even more wonky (wonkier?) than usual. I attributed it to user error and kept going, hoping that blocking would help work those stitches out a little. By the time I realized that it was my needles and not me, I was about halfway through. A more self-respecting knitter would have ripped back at that point, but not me! The next time I knit this pattern, I think I'll try to magic loop it.

On this project, I learned how to do a jogless jog (which sometimes worked well for me and sometimes not so much) and to trust my gut reactions more (especially if the phrase "wonky stitches" keeps repeating itself).

The finished Gryffindor scarf is a double-thick, 7 inch by 88 inch scarf. The 48,300 stitches of mindless stockinette can wear on your soul a bit (think Chinese water torture), but the end product is worth it. Rick loves the scarf and says it's the perfect length. He doesn't even seem to mind the wonky stitches (though personally, I've just decided to pretend that this scarf was knit by a certain house-elf drunk on butterbeer).

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Self-Portrait Sunday at the Lake

Saturday was my nephew's fourth birthday party. We celebrated lakeside, at my sister-in-law's boat dock. I've refrained from saying this before now, because it's true just about everywhere in the United States, but damn, it's hot outside. August birthdays are for the birds.

Except it felt really good once I was in the water. And my SIL's veggie burgers were fantastic. And my nephew is so dang cute, I can't really fault him for having 100+ degree birthdays every year.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day. All but one are courtesy of Nanda. I only took about five pictures the entire day (bad Aunt Katie!), but in my defense, I was so hot it took all the strength I had just to complain about the heat.

Friday, August 04, 2006


I'm feeling chatty.

So here's another long-winded post with no pictures. Yeehaw!

And since I've already said yeehaw, let me present today's topic: I love Oklahoma.

This morning I pulled into the grocery store next to a lady who was just getting out of her Toyota Prius. I told her I loved her car and that I was planning on buying a hybrid car soon. She told me how much she loves her Prius. Before I knew it we had walked into the store, selected shopping carts and gone through the produce section together. By the time we separated, she had wished me luck in my new career in home health and I'd welcomed her to Knitting Guild meetings (Does this mean I can no longer be the Anti-Missionary Knitter? Because damn, that would have been a HOT blog name.).

Things like this happen all the time in Oklahoma. About a year ago, Rick and I were waiting for a table at a popular breakfast joint here in OKC. Another girl in scrubs was waiting in line and we got to talking. It turned out that I worked with one of her best friends. When a table became available, Rick and I asked her and her boyfriend if they would have breakfast with us. It was great.

Now, not to diss on Boise, Idaho, where I lived for three years in my early twenties, but this just doesn't happen there. My first day in Boise, I tried to chat up a lady in front of me at the grocery store. At first she looked confused, like "Do I know this person?" When she realized the answer was no, she smiled awkwardly but didn't say a word. She was not the last resident of that town to ponder the strangeness of talkative Okies! Honestly, I don't know why I didn't get more positive reactions from comments such as "Wow! Look at this wine selection. At the GROCERY STORE! You gotta love a state that has entire aisles of wine at the grocery store!" I love Boise, Idaho, and I miss parts of it terribly (shoutout to the Greenbelt!), but damn, those folks take their chatting seriously and it is not to be done with strangers.

Not here. In Oklahoma, we'll chat with anybody at any time. We may look like idiots anytime we're featured on the national news (i.e., "that there far near burnt up the double-wide"), and we may have a ridiculous tendency to vote for officials that deny the existence of global warming, but Shit Fire! We're friendly!

Except for maybe when we're driving (but that's another story).

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


The Anti-Missionary Knitter

A couple nights ago, I had an experience right out of the Yarn Harlot's speech last week, in which, I (the knitting enthusiast) tried to explain my passion to my coworkers (the normal people). I always take my knitting to work with me, on the off chance that we'll actually be staffed well (damn nursing shortage!) and I'll be able to take a break and get in some knitting time. This particular night, my patients were doing well, my charting was done, and I got in two hours of work on the Scarf That Must Not Be Named.

One of the other nurses hung out with me in the nurses' station while I knitted. She asked me how I learned to knit, and then inquired as to how I could stand to sit still so long--I neglected to point out that she'd just been sitting with me for an hour and hadn't accomplished a single thing while I was actually making something. At one point, I pulled my new Yarn Harlot book out of my knitting bag so I could reach my scissors. The nurse grabbed it and asked, "Is this a pattern book?"

"Not really. There are some patterns in it but mostly it's about knitting. I actually got to meet the author last week at a book-signing, and she signed it for me."

She flipped to the front of the book. "It says 'To the Prairie Knitter'"?

Me (blushing): "Yeah. That's my blog name. I have a knitting blog."


While I continued knitting, my co-worker flipped through the book. Suddenly she asked me, "So...straight or circular?"

I had to laugh, because in the book, Stephanie suggests asking this question in a yarn shop to watch some heated debates between knitters. I quickly launched into a speech about the pros and cons of both circular and straight needles. The nurse's eyes glazed over as she realized what she'd gotten herself into.

And that's when I pulled out all the stops. So help me God, that's when I said, "But straights and circulars are both a piece of cake compared to DPN's."

The nurse looked up and said, "DPN's?"

"Double-pointed needles. They're used for knitting small tubes like socks or sweater arms. You have to use FIVE NEEDLES AT THE SAME TIME."

This got her attention. "Oh my God, that sounds hard! Have you ever used them?"

"Oh, yeah," I say. "But it really is hard. I don't use them very often."

Apparently, I am the opposite of the Yarn Harlot's "Missionary Knitter", whose goal is to spread the Good News about knitting to all she meets. Instead, it is my mission to make knitting look difficult, thereby making myself look talented and smart, and most importantly, ensuring that new knitters don't get all the good yarn.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


More Shiva (because I just can't help myself)

I'm sure every new mother/pet owner feels this way about their own, but sometimes I think Shiva is a pretty smart cat. She may not know that pointing a finger at something means to look at it. And sure, she's been living with us for five months now and hasn't picked up a bit of English.

But damn, is this girl good at manipulating humans for food. She knows all the sounds of food. If I open the fridge, she comes running. If she hears the microwave humming, she comes running. If a coke can is popped open, she comes running.

Not that I actually give her anything from the fridge, microwave, or coke can. She knows she's not getting those goodies. But if she sits there with her eyes all big and pouty, speaking in that made up language of hers, "Mew," "Mew," and rubs my leg with her head over and over, I just might remember that she likes little treats, too.

This "I'm so cute, don't you want to feed me?" trick gets me every time.

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