Sunday, January 29, 2006

Stashalong Update

Also, meant to add to my last, I have been doing some Stashalong knitting. Is it possible to stash a whole project? That's pretty much what I did with the Greek Key Afghan (which is noted in my sidebar), but I have been working on that a little bit lately. It's also a little FIFO knitting (that's first-in, first-out, for people who weren't forced to get an MBA...) -- I believe the yarn I'm using to make it is my oldest stash yarn, which I always intended to be this afghan. See...I don't really have a stash! Just a very long queue...

Random Assortment

I have no theme to hold an entire post together today, so instead I will present a random assortment of stuff.

For Scale

To give a better idea of how large it turned out, here is a picture of the Flower Basket Shawl post-blocking on my couch. I still haven't managed to get a picture of it in action with my grandma yet. I also gave my mom her birthday scarf (black Mountain Colors 100% cashmere, feather and fan pattern, yes, knit from stash yarn) without even taking a picture of it (oops), so I have yet to get a picture of that as well. I also have two skeins of that same cashmere (also in black) to make myself a scarf with, though I don't know when I'll do so. It is beautiful and unimaginably soft, but I don't know if I feel like making the same scarf twice in a row!

Amber's Knitted Babe

A few of the Needlepoint Joint knitting crew are enamored with those Knitted Babes. This is a picture of Amber's version. I love the purple hair.

My New Dining Room Set

It took months, but last weekend I finally received the last piece of my new dining room set. Shortly after I moved into my new apartment, I got the dining room table, six chairs, and china cabinet (which is actually two pieces stacked). The hutch of the china cabinet and one of the chairs were both damaged, and after more than two months, a new shipment arrived at the store and they switched out the damaged pieces. Well, first they delivered me two more damaged pieces, but returned with undamaged ones later in the day. Third time is the charm?


The sideboard (or buffet, or whatever you'd like to call it) was a special order piece that the store didn't normally stock, and it was a special ordeal piece as well. When I ordered it, along with the rest of the furniture, I was told to pay a certain percentage of the purchase price as a downpayment before they would special order it. Which I did, along with my cash-in-full payment for the rest of the furniture. It was to take four to six weeks to arrive. I called periodically to check on it. Finally, after more like 8 to 12 weeks, I learned that my downpayment was supposed to have been on the total purchase price plus tax (which no one had told me when I paid), and because the downpayment was $8 short, the buyer had never placed the order, and also never informed me or my sales associate that the order was not placed. And for some reason (incompetence?), my sales associate never figured this out either. I was fairly livid considering the HUGE amount of cash I'd given them for all this furniture - I don't care if you are the Utah Furniture Giant, there is no excuse for such poor customer service. A visit to the store manager resulted in my special order being placed while I waited, and finally all the furniture is here.

The hassle was all worth it in the end, though. It is probably unreasonable, and possibly immoral, to love furniture as much as I love this stuff. I want to polish it with a soft cloth and sit quietly staring at it...

Just a shot to show the rich cherry color and the inlay. It's not quite this red in person, at least looking at my computer monitor/TV at home. Also, there appears to be a flaw in the inlay in this picture, but that's just a trick of the flash.

Finally, I was tagged by Kim for this meme, so here it is:

4 Jobs You Have Had in Your Life
**contract specialist (current job)
**cost/price analyst
**retirement benefits accountant
**math tutor
(Sigh. I am such a bureaucrat!)

4 Movies You Could Watch Over and Over
**Love Actually
**Pride & Prejudice (the A&E mini-series, AKA Wet T-shirt Mr. Darcy version)
**Persuasion (1995 Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds BBC version -- best adaptation of Jane Austen that I've seen)
**Enchanted April
**Dirty Dancing (I know, this is five. But if I ever turn the TV on anywhere and this is on, I am powerless to resist. I once stayed up until 2AM on a business trip watching this silly movie, even though I'd seen it 20 times before. Those were some fun meetings the next day.)

4 Places You Have Lived
**Utah (Plain City, Roy, Salt Lake, Pleasant View, Ogden...)
**Oregon (Portland)
**Germany (Munich)
**California (Santa Barbara)

4 TV Shows You Love to Watch
**The Office
**Dancing With the Stars
**In Justice

4 Places You Have Been on Vacation
**The Netherlands
(Wish I were at any of these places now...)

4 Websites You Visit Daily

4 of Your Favorite Foods

4 Places You Would Rather Be Right Now
**on a six-month European vacation
**visiting friends in the Pacific Northwest

4 Bloggers You Are Tagging
Homie don't play that. If you'd like to be tagged, knock yourself out.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Needlepoint Joint Christmas Party

Here are a few belated photos of the Needlepoint Joint Thursday Knitters' Christmas party, which we held during our regular Thursday night knit-together before Christmas. The couple hours that we get together on Thursdays are always some of the best hours of my week (everyone else in my life has come to accept them as sacred, not-to-be-supplanted hours), so of course you can imagine that a Christmas party with this bunch would be a good one. And indeed it was.

At last, purple is the new black!
Karyn, Hilary, Angela, & Amber

This is a group in which you know if you say the word "potluck," everyone is going to bring something fabulous and delicious and your only regret will be that you don't have an extra stomach to enjoy it all even more, rather than those dreaded potlucks where you know you may somehow end up with three bags of dinner rolls, four bags of chips, and seven two-liter bottles of Diet Cherry Coke. So, naturally, there was fabulous food and drink.

Yes, there were presents

The group also had a Christmas party last year, but this year we improved upon it by taking Krista's most excellent suggestion of instituting a white elephant gift exchange. However, in keeping with the usual style and grace of our bunch, the premise of the gift exchange was not that of your standard white elephant exchange - rather, everyone was to bring a gift up to a certain dollar value, and it was to be something that you would actually like to receive yourself. So the ensuing gift stealing wasn't to rid oneself of unwanted nosehair clippers and Pez dispensers, but rather to try to get some of the good stuff! I can honestly say that all of the gifts were "the good stuff," and I would have been happy to receive any one of them! Which I think is the mark of a really great group of people, because I don't know if I've ever seen the equivalent at any other Christmas party. I ended up stealing in order to get a bottle of wine, a box of locally hand-dipped chocolates, and a Lush bath bomb (all of which Kristi had brought) -- fantastic! The wine and chocolates are long gone, and the bath bomb will be perfect in the big garden tub in my new apartment.

For a slideshow of all of the pictures I took that evening, click here. Well, all but one of the pictures, since my webpage limits the number I can upload per album page to a mysterious 48. I left out one that was very similar to one of the others, but in which y'all were making some very funny faces. Warning to those of you on dial-up: this WILL take a long time to load - it's 48 pictures after all. Go get yourself a cup of coffee or something and then come back.

As you can see, things got a little wild

What a great evening, done just right. I can say without hesitation that it was one of the best Christmas parties I've ever had the pleasure of attending. I feel truly blessed to have such amazing knitters and friends in my life.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

FBS Woman

Anybody remember the horrid jingle from those old FDS ads? I tell you, you don't know a good time until you spend a good 30 or 45 minutes crawling around on your office floor, wielding well over 100 T-pins, singing to yourself, "What a woman....FBS Woman....FBS clean and confident!" Marketing! It is insidious! Do you have any idea how much of my brain must be occupied by old advertising jingles from childhood? To which I can still sing all the words? It freaks me out.

Flower Basket Shawl a'blocking

Okay, I finally blocked the Easter Basket Shawl. Never mind that I said I was going to block it back on *mumblemumble*...ahem. I really was going to block it sooner, but I couldn't find my T-pins, so now I am the owner of many, many T-pins, whenever the old ones turn up to join the new that I purchased this week.

You want detail? I'm getting my detail on right here, pally:

Come Closer...

Yup. They are twee little flower baskets. See?

No, I Said Closer...

Monday, January 02, 2006

Fan Club of One

That Makes One of You

A while ago, I received this iCard from someone I've never met before. I host my knitting gallery on my homepage, and if you visit there and go through a slideshow, there is an option to send me an e-mail message that will make one of my own photos into an e-card to me, like the one you see above.

I think I'll save a lot of commentary here, except to say that I would probably have picked this as one of the worst pictures of my feet in socks, but perhaps my judgment is clouded by the rememberance of taking that picture, so I know that I was wearing ratty old pajama bottoms because I was home from work, feeling very sick indeed.

Also, this raised my curiosity, since I love knitting socks, so I flipped through the gallery and blog and, well, there are a LOT of pictures of my socked feet (maybe 15?) Which would seem to open up a new and unexpected readership demographic. So, uh, hello socked feet fetishists. Thanks for stopping by, but I'd prefer it if you remain respectful lurkers. (And to everyone who got here via a google search for "Hooter's Girls" or "Extreme Hooters" or "Hooter's girls in nylons" or whatever else floats your boat, I direct you to the August 2005 archive, but you will be sadly disappointed, as it's just me knitting amidst a couple of not-very-well-endowed Hooter's girls...)

So, knitters, ask yourselves this: how many pictures of your socked feet are in your blogs and online photo albums?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Silly Dancing for You and Yours

I realized over the past year that one of my favorite things ever is silly dancing. It makes me almost unreasonably happy. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered this link over at Rachel's blog. You can read about the band OK Go here. I am an instant fan.

May 2006 bring as much silly dancing to you and yours as your hearts can hold.