Monday, October 30, 2006

Favorite Things Monday - Halloween

Little Man insisted on being '100% up in my grill' while I was sewing on Saturday, so I insisted that he help. See his cute little paw on the back-stitch knob?

See what I mean by 'up in my grill'? He shot this photo at very close range.

And here's what happened when he jumped on my back one too many times. Also his photo.

Ultimately, it was a huge success.

We dashed next door to meet his next-door-BF (aka Tinkerbell, also a Mafia creation) and traipsed through the neighborhood gathering candy.

I must confess -- I trained Little Man to grab the "orange squares" whenever possible. tee-hee...

Seasonal change

New profile picture
Made at Portrait Illustration Maker

Notes to myself:
avatar 40-40-0-27-2-0-0-0-8C8554-53CC88-FFFFFF

Friday, October 27, 2006

Crazytudinal Spectropic Mapsanity Life

Good friggin lord -- I love you people!! I am completely bowled over by the incredible comment love. You rock!

***** read on if you like TMI *****

I'm only 1/2 awake, so it's a list day:

- Planned a Saturday trip to see Cate and snuggle wool at the Fiber Twist.

- Found references to myself as a "fat bitch" and "dyke" and "tyrant" online and posted here and felt a little better, and then felt TONS better when the comments started flying in, and I discovered new-to-me bloggers.

- Finished TinkerBell costume for a Thurs ballet class. Burned gallons of midnight oil to finish it.

- Barely started Little Man's Peter Pan costume, deadline: T minus 6 days.

- Found out from Alison that our town scheduled Halloween on Sat. 10/28. Crap! deadline: T minus 3 days! Must sew faster. Must cancel trip to Cate.

- The mayor watched the forecast, and re-scheduled Halloween for Sun. 10/29. Yippee! I can still visit Cate, and have enough time to finish the costume. Phew! Read Cate's beautiful post and felt strong need to hug her asap.

- Scheduled closing for new house - Tuesday 10/31 10am. Yippee!

- Interviewed for a new job. Felt the chemistry, rocked the skills questions, and will know more in January. Yes, January.

- Got call from my Mom at 3pm - she's coming to visit for the weekend, and will arrive at 9pm. Huh?? She lives -6- hours away; I never expected a surprise visit.

- Cancelled plans with Cate (major grr!) and a former colleague who is now taunting me with really really juicy gossip that I can only hear if I come to Northampton. Damn her! This is seriously juicy, people. She's killin' me.

- Alerted Wifey to pending Mom visit. We both freaked about dirty house. Soothing occured. Soothing helped. Then I reminded Wifey that I'm going to the BSO with a former MIT colleague who now works at the BSO (i.e. free tickets!). I've never been. I want to go. I struggle. Mom says go. Wifey says go (with a little guilt thrown in for good measure).

- I see my girl; we eat Thai. We go to the BSO. We enter through the Stage Door. We share a bathroom with musicians. It's amazing and intense and scary and upper-class and beautiful and strange. They perform Schoenberg's Moses und Aron. I know nothing about the Bible, so I read and try to keep up, and my girl is fabulous with the lay explanation: "Now Mafia, Aron is Moses' PR guy. He's trying to make the Israelites understand this unseen god, but Moses is kinda hard-line about the whole thing/ ... \so they're having crazy orgies and drinkin' and smokin' pot and acting all crazy, and when Moses comes back from his spa trip in the mountains, he's horrified. They say, "well, you didn't tell us we couldn't have orgies." So Moses gives them the 10 Commandments so everyone has clear expectations...." Thank Dog she was there to enlighten the Heathen-Mafia. I've never read the Bible, and perhaps I should. It's like, kinda important, huh?

- I ride home, sleep on the late-late train, and walk into a clean house and NO guilt-attitude from Wifey. In fact, Mom and Wifey are chatting away, and Mom's drinking my favorite beer, that she bought it because she knows I like it. Wow. That's pretty cool. We talk until 1AM! 1AM! I'm tooooo old for this, because I'm hurtin' today. snoooooze. honk. shuuu.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


If you know my real name, please please please don't use it, in the comments here or anywhere else. There are many reasons I choose to write anonymously, the most emotional is because I've been stalked before.

But as of today, I have a new reason - I found a horrible evil bitchy post about me on a blog. It's 80% inaccurate and uses my real name and my picture. The post makes the author sound like an immature idiotic crybaby, and makes me sound like a responsible adult. Clearly she doesn't know me well. But it still hurts.

If you know my real name and feel the need to go hunting for this blog, please open a new browser window so it can't be tracked through SiteMeter or some other tracking tool. I'd hate to see her show up here. Ideally, I'd prefer that you ignore her little rant, and spend your hard-earned blog-time writing an emphathetic supportive glowing and virtual-hug comment to this post. I need a little boost today.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Favorite Things Monday - Fall

Favorite Things Monday has been in time-out these past few weeks. I apologize to the people who kindly told me they like FTMon, only to see it disappear. You know how it is -- you stop exercising and before you know it, you're five pounds heavier with a daily craving for cookies at 4pm on the dot, and you rationalize away your guilt by saying you never really liked walking anyway. Avoiding? No, not me.

So here I am, getting over the proverbial hump with a photo of my kid. Can you find my favorite thing?

In other weekend news, I saw two antique school desks on the side of the road, screeched to a halt and tossed this one into my wation-stagon. A little refinishing and she'll be perfect in Little Man's playroom in the new house. [new house? did I really just say that? who am I?]

In honor of my commitment to sew all of Little Man's Halloween costumes until he fires me, I'm cutting and cutting and freakin' cutting fleece for his Peter Pan costume. In a moment of pre-house generosity, I offered to make his next-door-best-friend's Tinkerbell costume too. But now Little Man is jealous and wants to be Tinkerbell too. Oy. I bought extra Tinkerbell supplies, so I hope to tame the gender-bending beast with a nice flowery headband. Who said that Peter Pan must wear a feather in his cap? Anyway, these piles represent many hours of my time, two costumes, and DULL scissors. Note to self, call the scissors guy asap.

I caught the Eris bug again this weekend and worked about 30 rows on the collar. I know it's not terribly exciting, but it's progress.

I've also been working away at my Sophie's Toes socks, and I LOVE the socks just as much as I love the yarn. Just to prove how spot-on Emily was in choosing the color, I've included my favorite tea mug, something I consider a fashion statement, not just a cup.

Wifey's been busy too. She's 6 months into the surrogacy that I can't (contractually) blog about (hrumpf). What a cute belly.

Everyone says this, but for sure, I know the best knitters in the whole world. First of all, my MIT SnB Katie placed an order at Patternworks and bought me a Knitter's Rule Junior! Ever since I saw Jess's, I've been wanting one, so I was completely surprised when Katie delivered it to my office. Thanks!! Finally, I'll be able to measure my gauge without my gauge ho. Yes!

Next up ... Kim. After exchanging emails for a few weeks prior to the Boston KnitOut, I bailed at the last minute. But Kim, giver of door prizes, saved my door prize and mailed it to me! Isn't that the sweetest, most thoughtful thing ever? Kim - what's this yarn? It's lovely! And big thanks for the chocolate. Cappacino chocolate, jealous? Yum!

Mafia, signing off

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Cardigan for Arwen KAL

Ever since I laid eyes on the Cardigan for Arwen, I've been smitten. Cables? Love 'em. Kate Gilbert? Love her. But there's also a slightly less knit-noble reason: Arwen is a strong sexy character and Liv Tyler is breath-takingly beautiful. I'd move to Rivendell for her. What's not to love??

Now, if only someone would design a sweater for Galadriel. Meow.

...hello, Mafia? get your mind out of the gutter and back to the knitting...

I've been obsessing about this sweater for the past few days, and whenever I see Beth on the train, we discuss little else. So clearly we should invite more people into this conversation, right? Well, we did.

Go see the brand spankin' new: A Cardigan for Arwen Knit-Along!

It's still a baby blog, but Beth's creating a button, and we're planning contests and prizes. For now, since the Interweave Knits Winter 2006 issue won't hit newstands until November 14th, we'll be discussing yarn options and hunting for sale prices.

To join us, drop an email to ACardiganForArwen AT gmail DOT com and we'll sign you up. Fun!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

MP3 hosting?

Can anyone recommend a good FREE service for hosting MP3s, so I can post them to the blog?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I woke to Little Man and Wifey engaged in a festival of stubborness. I arrived to clouds across Boston, and my office tea stash completely depleted. I'm sleepy, crampy, anxious about our pending real estate 'investment' and generally feeling mopey today.

So I called my little brother and sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY as loudly and dramatically as I could. He's 25 today, as well as cute, smart, single, 6+ feet tall with sparkling blue eyes and a joyous smile, able to fix a car, loves his crazy sister, mows the lawn for our Mom, speaks his mind, and enjoys a handknit gift:

Any takers? Hiring standards are rigorous. Merely adequate candidates need not apply.

Then I clicked through the Interweave Knits Winter '06 preview again. Must knit, in this order:
- A Cardigan for Arwen (as if my crush on Kate Gilbert needs any assistance),
- Refined Raglan,
- Old World Booties (adorable option for those small baby gifts),
- Venezia Pullover (watch out Sta*more, here comes Eunny),
- Pewter Coat (with a smaller collar), and
- Arctic Diamonds Stole.

I'm cheering up.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

From the Mouths of Babes

"Mom, you were on the train?"

"Yes honey, that's Mommy's purple train."

"Wow Mom! That's coooooool."

"I can paint your face if you want."

"OK, sure."

giggle.giggle.giggle. "Green on your nose?"


"That tickle you?"

"A little, but it's fine."

giggle.giggle.giggle. "Mommy, you a crazy boy."

Friday, October 13, 2006

Blueberry Pie socks

Lots of house stuff. Lots of negotiation. Lots of emotional roller-coastering.

But I have socks. little is left). And the yarn, oh how I love this yarn.

Aren't they purrr-dee? Look ma, no pooling.

However, there's one potential problem. I may have started the heel too late. Mind you, I'm not a knitting perfectionist, so I tend to leave mistakes in my knitting. But I'm worried about having a mistake that I'll be stepping on constantly. What do you think?

Heel pooch in its natural habitat

Heel pooch after a good bear tug

ETA: 24 Yes. 4 No. Now that's a majority.

I confess. I ripped it out on the train on Friday. The man sharing my 3-seater was staring at me like I was crazy. As if knitting isn't weird enough, apparently frogging is especially weird. Who knew?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


For all the parents out there, please be aware of recent events over at Little Birds. For the last couple years, Stephanie Barnes has been sharing photos of her crafts and her adorable kids. But she shut down her blog this weekend after learning that photos of her children were copied and used in inappropriate ways. She's not providing details, and doesn't wish to discuss the matter any further.

But we don't need any additional information; this is a warning bell. Our blogs are public. Truly public. I sometimes hear craft/knit/crochet/quilt/etc bloggers say that we're somehow safer because 'outsiders' aren't interested in our niche blogs. But ... we're also more likely to post family photos, so I believe, that makes us more vulnerable.

We live in a scary world. Be careful.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Chilly Friday

Alright, who's the a-hole who bought my Fall Mums and Froggy skeins? Damn it. Not that I'll have the cash to buy them, because ...

I'll probably* be a home-owner!

The inspection went well. After the inspection, Wifey and I flopped on the couch and contemplated the findings. We made this mental list (paper? why, that would be so organized):

Expensive + Expert
- Replace the waste pipe
- Fix leak in the chimney flashing on the roof
- Replace several clapboards near the back porch
- Fiddle with the wiring in the circuit box

Mafia + Trial&Error + Swearing
- Add an additional 6" of insulation in the attic
- Cement a hole in the hot water heater exhaust
- Apply cement to the basement section of the chimney
- Strengthen front porch handrail with big ass spikes
- Re-wire negatively polarized outlet in the kitchen
- Replace dead bolt on front door
- Install ankles and feet on downspouts
- Fill sink hole with stone and soil to keep water out of basement
- Rebuild the walk-in bulkhead/shed
- Install new sheet rock where strange holes appear
- Add several outlets to the 2nd floor

Our final negotiation strategy is this: get them to fix several items on the Expensive + Expert list, and learn how to do the rest. In addition, there's a laundry list of aesthetic issues, but those are window dressing. Well, except the lead paint. That's causing some anxiety dreams. And we're moving along...

I heard this beautiful poem called "Another Life" by Deborah Cummins on NPR yesterday, and it reminded me of the post about my Mom. Mom's leaving for Ireland today, and I'm incredibly thrilled that she's finally able to explore the world.

In honor of last night's dreamy temperatures, this is my cold weather dance, complete with head-to-toe wool. Bring on the wool!

*financing is still pending

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sophie's Toes Hand-Dyed Sock Yarn

For some reason, I never blogged about one of my favorite knitterly gifts of all time. Several months ago, Emily's computer had a stroke and I offered to have the MIT IT-folks take a look at it. To ensure proper Chicago-Cambridge shipping, the hard drive requested a nice soft pillow. So Emily tucked a skein of her new line of hand-dyed sock yarn, Sophie's Toes, into the envelope. The hard drive wasn't lonely and the Mafia was delighted. And when I say delighted, I don't mean that 'oh, it was so nice of so-and-so to send me this collection of vintage bottle caps, they're exactly what I wanted and I'll treasure them forever and toss them after posting the blog photo'. No, Emily took the time to look through my Finished Objects page, realized I like blue, and picked her favorite colorway for me. Her.favorite. That's love. And how do I repay such love? I forget to blog about it. Bad Mafia.

But, when faced with the recent Socks for Sanity need, I dove into the sock yarn stash, and made the difficult decision to temporarily ignore the Claudia's Handpainted (from my amazing Sockapaloooza pal, blogless Jean) and the beautiful Mountain Colors Bearfoot (won from Ashley) and a couple of recently-promised pairs. You'll probably understand once you look at this photo:

Because Emily's been dying fabric for her art quilts for many years, it was a natural evolution to yarn. And her experience shows. Don't ya think? I cast on last night, and I'm delighted. The timing is good too, because Emily just today added a batch of Sophie's Toes to her Etsy shop. Go look. And don't buy the Fall Mums or Froggy! I want those -- once I've paid off my mortgage.

Speaking of -- please expect a house-related panic attack later tonight. The home inspection is scheduled for 3pm, so I'll be a complete lunatic by 7pm. Joy.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cable Lust

With life rolling along such as it is, I should not be looking at new knitting projects. However, I got an email from Loop this morning with this photo in it.

Meow! ... pant, pant, pant ...

I LOVE that blanket. Love it! My first thought was "if my brother ever gets married, that will be his wedding gift." Then I thought, "hell, I could make that for myself!" I've been ogling the Great American Aran Afghan for a long time, especially because I have the privilege of fondling Alison's squares in person. Even though it feels like blasphemy, I think I like the Cables Untangled blanket better. We're talking serious lust here. I need this book. Bad.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Eire Lust, Stupid Vee & Holding Pattern

In celebration of her 50th birthday, my Mom booked a trip to Ireland. My tough as nails Mom -- who birthed me at the ripe old age of 18, kicked male-ass-wipe #1 to the curb, went to college as a single Mom, met another man and fell in love, married him, had another baby, went to graduate school, graduated with straight A's, renovated a few houses for the profits, kicked male-ass-face #2 to the curb when it became oh-so-necessary, bought her own house, renovated it, and bought another to flip it, all while working full-time -- has never traveled outside the U.S. and has been dreaming of this trip to Ireland for as long as I can remember. She's leaving on Friday, and I'm SO excited for her.

But I'm also selfishly delighted by the gift possibilities, and Mom invited me to submit a wish list. What should I list? A kelly green rugby jersey for Little Man? A jersey for me? 1600 yards (1460 meters) of dk or aran weight wool from Blarney Woolen Mills or any ol' farmer she meets along the way? A woven shawl, exactly like the one I bought for Mom at the Aran Sweater Market in Kilronan, which would match my most deeply adored scarf? Perhaps a kit to make a clan sweater in my mother's ancestral name? Help! I need ideas.

The LiuVee Vest (named after the parton saint of inexpensive Jo Sharp yarn, Christine) is finished, but I need to rip out the ribbed neckline and fix a stupid mistake in the Ve section. [why do I always make stupid mistakes?] Then ... blocking. However, I have a blocking problem. I have no space for it. Every square inch of our apartment is used. Must design an alternative. Once we're in the new house, we'll have plenty of unused/non-cat/closed door spaces. But for now, hrumpf and a wee argh.

Thanks to Rose-Kim Knits, via The Purloined Letter, I have a fancy new calculator to tell me exactly how little I've accomplished in my Icarus quest. I've completed 39% of it. 39%??!! How can this be? Granted, it's been sitting in the corner for a couple weeks, but before that, I was knitting and knitting and knitting on the damned thing. After picking it up again yesterday, I started repeat 5 of chart 1. This morning, as I was bearing down on that feathery lace section, I was feeling so accomplished. Even after considering if it needs another repeat for additional length, I still felt good about it. But now I'm feeling every bit of the 61% left to go! And let's not even discuss how much work I'd add with another repeat (69%!). Perhaps it needs to go back into the time-out corner.

Remember those Socks for Sanity? Yeah, it's time. The amazing sock yarn in my stash is calling to me.