A Good Yarn

Friday, November 26, 2004

No shopping for me

Probably the only day in the year when I fight my shopping sickness is today. I hate crowds. Despite my own struggle with materialism, I hate the idea of this day and the materialism of Christmas that it represents. So, I make a decision to stay away from all retail establishments. Well, not all retail establishments - I had to pick up my mocha at Caribou this morning. And I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some baking supplies. This weekend starts the great month of baking.

Thanksgiving was a good day all around. As I mentioned, my niece, Jessica, was staying with me. She slept in late, so I was able to read my email and some blogs and get a little cleaning done. I always clean in the same manner - I make a circle around my house. I start in the kitchen, then do the dining room, then the living room, then the bathroom and then my bedroom last. So, my kitchen stays relatively clean and my bedroom not so much. Of course, I spend very little time in the bedroom, so it probably doesn't need cleaning as frequently. It had been a while since I cleaned the bathroom, though and I'm unbelievably happy with how great it looks. it's kind of embarrassing, but at least it brings me great joy.

I watched a bit of football and did a little knitting on the GAAA square, and then Jess and I went to see this flick:

It was ok. A light, entertaining movie with some good laughs. Probably a good choice for Thanksgiving afternoon. In the evening, we went over to a friend's house for turkey and stuffing, etc. I ate WAY too much. It was so yummy though! I'm so glad that I was able to go over there and enjoy a nice evening, though.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Day. I am staying in town this year. One of my friends is getting married tomorrow at the zoo, so I really wanted to attend the ceremony. Plus there's a Vikings game on Sunday. I offered to let my niece stay with me so that my brother and nephew could go to Sioux Falls. She had to work last night and tomorrow, so she had to stick around town. So, she and I will probably take in a movie (a Thanksgiving tradition for me) and then a very kind friend invited us over to her house tonight. Which reminds me, I forgot to pick up a bottle of wine to bring with. DAMN!

I've been trying to clean up the house since it was so out of control, so I haven't gotten all that much knitting done. I did finish the second sleeve for Florentine Flattery. I had to rip out down to where the armhole decreases begin - so there's quite a bit of the back still left. I can't bear the thought of re-knitting it all, so i just joined the new yarn and knit one row. There will be a clear line between the old yarn and the new, but at this point I don't care. I'm hoping I'll forget all about it since I won't be able to see it while wearing it. yeah, right.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Short Week

Yeah, this is a short week! I love short work weeks. Unfortunately, it means I need to be fairly productive on the other 3 days, so this will be a short post. I've got a hearing that promises to be highly contentious, so I gotta get going. But, I wanted to post a photo of my newest WIP.

It's the Henry Rollins doll from SNB Nation. Besides my great need to show off my pattern to all my friends, I had to buy this copy so I could start these dolls. I intend to give them to my brother for Christmas and also make a Billie Joe Armstrong doll for my niece. I realize Henry has no head - I'm not done yet. It's very futzy knitting with lots of little pieces you need to sew together, but I think it'll be worth it. Henry is resting on a square from the Great American Aran Afghan.

I received the yarn for the Scarf Exchange on the RAOK list. It's two skeins - one is a nice soft wool and the other is a mohair. I went through Scarf Style last night to see if one of those scarves might work and I'm thinking I'll do the Debbie Bliss one with chevron stripes.

Monday, November 22, 2004


I always think if I only were independently wealthy, I could get so much done. But I think the opposite is true. This weekend was really busy, but I got more done around the house than I did last weekend. I think when I know I'm short on time, I'm more motivated to do something besides knit. I noticed the same thing the one time I didn't have a job. I decided to try to get by on my student loan money alone and not work for a semester in college. I didn't get any more studying done than I did when I was working.

Most of yesterday was taken up by the Vikings game. Ugly, ugly win. I almost left at half-time, but I'm not the "leave at halftime" type of gal and I guess it paid off with a 4th quarter come back. I'm hoping it was so close only because it's a divisional opponent and those games tend to be closer than others. We'll see this Sunday when Jax comes to town.

After the game, I went out to dinner at Figlio with a friend, then we saw this movie:

Very interesting movie. I liked it, but I admired it more. Documentaries are my favorite movies, so I'm coming from that starting point. This one is directed by a guy whose mother (Renee, by coincidence) has schizophrenia. It's his life story told through many photos and video clips throughout the years. He was into filmmaking early in life and made little videotaped vignettes and just videotaped his family all the time. He put this movie together on his own home computer using video editing software that came with the computer. So, I really admire how he was able to do that. It's amazing to see these videotapes and see his beautiful mother go from a child-model into just a crazy world-weary old woman at the end. Most of the story is told through flashing photos and film clips with titles placed over them. For instance, there'd be pictures of Renee as a child and then something like "Renee was discovered by a famous photographer". The director also tells the story in third person. Especially when telling stories about his childhood, there's a lot going on and I think it was meant to communicate visually the chaos in his childhood. It was very disconcerting. I think if he had told a regular, straight documentary-style with his voiceover, I would have connected more to him and his story. However, this is probably a better style. A lot of the cases I have obviously get into the court system due to some sort of mental illness. Most of the parents aren't as severe as Renee was, but when you have to deal with it, crazy is crazy. So that was very interesting to me. The director questions whether his mother's illness was caused by shock treatments she was given at age 12. She fell out of a window and was paralyzed for a while and her parents began to believe her paralysis was all in her head, so they had her undergo electro shock therapy. So, was the mental illness already there and genetic, or did the EST at that stage of her development change her brain? It's hard to say. The director himself suffered from mental illness, but early in his life, he was in foster care while his mother was hospitalized and was severely abused in foster care. So was his mental illness inherited from his mother or a symptom of the trauma? He later lived with his maternal grandparents. His mother claims that when she was a child they beat her and locked her in a closet. Did that really happen or is she just paranoid? The director never says that they abused him, but he never says they didn't either. There are many interesting questions that you are left to ponder and discuss afterward, which I love.

Sunday, November 21, 2004


Busy weekends go way too fast! Yesterday was our monthly AK Get together. We met at a Perkins since the bookstores seem to be pretty busy on Saturdays during the fall/winter. I think that worked out well. I've decided to work on the Great American Aran Afghan some more, so I cast on and started another square. I have 16 squares done and 8 squares left. Then of course I have to piece it all together and put on the edging. The piecing will be difficult because they are not all the same size. They're supposed to be the same size, but mine aren't.

In the evening, I went to my favorite pizza place, Punch, for dinner and then we saw this:

Good movie. Johnny Depp, as usual, was outstanding. It's amazing to think that he can play someone totally outrageous like the pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean and then a quiet, somewhat dreamy and outrageous in a different way man like J.M. Barrie and be totally believable in both. And of course, he's amazingly attractive. The little boy who played Peter was also really, really good. I'm usually not that excited about children being nominated for Academy Awards, but I wouldn't mind if he was nominated as best supporting actor.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Yarn Therapy

The other day I got an email with the subject line: Yarn. When I opened the email, it was spam for Xanax, Viagra and Valium. Apparently the spammers figured out that when I am looking for an aid to calm me down or get me really excited, I turn to yarn. And they're trying to suggest something a little less expensive. How thoughtful of them.

Fortunately for the wool producers of the world, I'm sticking with the tried and true. I checked out a yarn store I hadn't been to before. I had heard of Zandy's Yarn for a few years now, but it's in Burnsville, so I had never been there. At the Stitch to Win event, I picked up a flier for Zandy's and they had a map on it - I realized it is just off of County Road 42 and 35E. This is an intersection I am whenever I'm traveling between my house and the SMSC rez. How dangerous! So, I finally checked it out.

The ladies working were very nice. They have a very nice selection of yarns and a lot of needlework materials as well. It'll be a good resource if I want to pop in on my way home from a hearing or a home visit or something and need to pick up something for a project. I like to support any yarn store I visit if they are nice to me and have stuff I like and Zandy's definitely fit the bill. I bought some Lorna's Laces Bullfrogs and Butterflies:

I just loved that colorway! It's kind of hard to see in that picture, but the dark color is a lovely purple. I'm thinking maybe a felted bag, but we'll see. If I made the Booga Bag, I'd need to supplement with a little more yarn - perhaps a nice lime green :-) I also picked up a couple of skeins of Mountain Colors Mountain Goat:

I had seen and admired this yarn in a couple of other yarn stores over the last couple of months. I decided to take the plunge and buy some. I loved this colorway - it reminded me of a scarf my friend Alissa knit and had on last weekend when we went to brunch. She had purchased that yarn at the Minnesota Fiber Fair a few years ago and finally finished knitting it up into a beautiful garter stitch scarf. I think I'll probably make this into a scarf as well, but I'm not sure if I'll use garter stitch or something more complicated.

I also picked up a skein of Cascade 220 in a beautiful red, just because I loved the color. They only had one skein, so that's all I bought - maybe something felted with it? Some mittens? I'm not posting a picture because I couldn't get the color right either indoors or outdoors.

Last night Bill and I went out for dinner and then saw this:

We both enjoyed it. Bill has just been hired as a "volunteer" firefighter for his community. (It's called volunteer because you don't have set hours of coverage, you just have to respond to a certain percentage of the calls. They do get paid, though). So, it was interesting for me to watch it knowing that these may be situations he would be in in the future. Luckily, there are no really tall buildings in his community, so the chances of a building collapse are pretty minimal.

After the movie we went over to a sports bar to have a drink and chat a bit. I have a few very male characteristics along with some very girly girl characteristics. One of my male characteristics is that I cannot take my eyes off of a tv if there's one in my eyesight. Especially if there is sports on the tv. So, while I'm talking to Bill I'm also halfway watching a basketball game and this breaks out:

It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen at a sporting event. Players were pushing and shoving each other, which isn't that weird. Then a fan throws a plastic cup full of beer at a player, hitting him on the face. He then charges into the fans and then all hell broke loose. It was bizarre.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Long Time, No Post

It's been a very busy week - I can hardly believe it's already Thursday night. The weekend went quickly because I was out and about a lot. I like pretty much all breakfast foods, so I love going out for brunch/breakfast and I went out to great places this weekend.

On Saturday I went to Cafe Barbette with a friend and then we saw this movie:

Loved it, Loved it, Loved it! My favorite movie of the year so far. It was really funny, but also really sad and real.

The Vikings game was a late game, so I went out for breakfast on Sunday with another friend. We went to my favorite place for Sunday brunch, 128 Cafe. They have a delicious crepes with strawberries and yummy crispy bacon. Afterward I went to The Yarnery to pick up a couple of colors of Tahki Cotton Classic to make the Punk Rock Dolls from SNB Nation. It's one of my favorite yarns so I already had most of the yarn in my stash. The Yarnery was PACKED. Knitting is obviously really popular right now. Wow. I'm used to being the only one in a yarn store.

I also knit up the Velvet Oblivion with the yellow Touch Me I got from my Secret Pal.

THANKS SECRET PAL!!! This is one of my all time favorite yarns and I fell in love with it again when making the Velvet Oblivion. A lot of people don't like knitting with chenille because there is no give, but it really doesn't bother me - probably because I knit loosely. I was able to knit 3 masks from one skein of Touch Me, and I had more left, so I might have been able to knit a 4th. I used only a small portion of the skein of Boa.

Stephannie suggests washing the mask in the washer as recommended by Sally Melville. I've knit 3 other things with Touch Me and never washed them, so I tried it with a bit of trepidation. It worked pretty well, though. As Stephannie describes, you get a nice, crushed velvet look. It is intended to stop any worming of the chenille. The purse I made in Touch Me wormed like crazy. However, I made a scarf for the friend I saw on Saturday and she was wearing it and I didn't see any worms. I also made myself a sweater and don't have any worms, so I think the key is to knit at a tight gauge. However, the washing definitely does felt the binder thread - you can see the one I washed, which is in the middle, is smaller than the other two.

The angle of the photo gives it a false look though - the top and bottom mask are both the same size. Even at the smaller size, the mask covers both of my eyes, but the larger size probably would keep out more light. I'm trying to decide whether to wash the other two.

I know some people don't like pet photos on blogs, but I'm part of the Puppy Ring, so doggie snaps are part of the requirements. Plus, I love to see dog photos on other blogs and love my dogs, so I'm gonna post dog photos. Most nights when I'm at home knitting, I'm sitting in my recliner, watching tv or a movie. Fiona usually hides away in my bedroom, but occasionally she'll be in a corner of the room. Finbar usually lays on the floor next to my feet, in front of the door, or on the couch, next to my chair. Then he sits and looks at me knitting:

Eventually he gets bored and falls asleep:

Friday, November 12, 2004

Maybe the future is in good hands...

Earlier this week I posted about my concerns about young people not voting and my hope that cultural icons of the younger generation would help activate and educate their audience. This letter in the Minneapolis Star Tribune demonstrates that at least some young people are very thoughtful and articulate about this election:

Why George W. Bush appeals

I have attempted to figure out what attracts people to this president, and perhaps I'll never succeed. How can a state like Ohio, which lost over 270,000 jobs in the last four years, and with two-thirds of the population voting that the economy is "not good," give its 20 electoral votes to the administration responsible? Ralph Nader is not alone in recognizing George W. Bush as "the most impeachable president in American history," as he has made countless errors regarding the war thus far. How could anyone have watched the three debates and rationally called them close? What makes this president so appealing?

Perhaps what attracted voters to Bush is the fact that "moral values" was the No. 1 issue in this election, over "the economy" and "terrorism." However, the "moral values" utilized in this election are not the moral values I have grown up with. Personal morals of mine include tolerance, acceptance, compassion, empathy and equality. In my opinion, the fact that 50 percent of Bush voters believe that gay couples should get no recognition, as opposed to supporting civil unions with couple benefits, is morally wrong. As far as abortions, the fact that fewer abortions occurred during the Clinton administration than George W. Bush's administration proves irrelevancy. How can a group of people (religious affiliations) declare ownership of "values"? Aren't diversity and freedom the features that make this country celebrated?

George W. Bush has appealed to many different elements, including fear and simplicity. He undeniably oversimplified John Kerry's Senate record to appeal to simple-minded voters. He indisputably played into voters' fears, as every speech has been extremely intimidating, as if we're constantly under bombardment of terrorist attacks. Ironically, the states that were under bombardment from the 9/11 attacks (New York and Pennsylvania) voted dominantly for Kerry (as he swept over 80 percent of the New York votes). Unfortunately, as weak an argument as one may make, their vote happens to count the same.

I am extremely lucky to have grown up in a community that prepares me for college-level learning and a well-paying job. Not all Americans share my privileges. I also recognize that I am especially lucky to be able to outspokenly protest our administration in power. I am exceptionally proud to be a Minnesotan in this election, as we are among New York, California, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and other liberal and progressive states that supported Kerry in his endeavor.

Liz Gunderson, high school senior, New Prague, Minn.


Finished up another project last night, the beaded cuffs for Matt's mom.

I hope he's in the office today so I can give them to him. Now I'm just working on one project - Florentine Flattery. Don't worry, I'll be starting some new stuff this weekend. Isn't it exciting?

Speaking of beaded cuffs, I broke down and bought SNB Nation yesterday. I was dying to see the book and see my pattern and once I had it in my grubby little hands, I didn't want to let go. I decided I wanted to support the book and support the store by buying the book. I told my stepmom about the pattern and she said she wants to buy the book, even though she doesn't even knit. Maybe I'll send this copy to her instead. I really like the book a lot. There are some super cool patterns and I enjoy reading the little blurbs about the patterns and about the knitters. There's another knitter from the Twin Cities with a pattern in there and hers has a skull and crossbones option too - what a coincidence! I probably will be starting the punk rocker dolls this weekend - they'll be a Christmas present for my brother.

I'll leave you with a few puppy prints. My computer is set up on the dining room table in my very small house, so Finbar usually sits right beside me when I'm at the computer. I was eating, so Fiona joined him:

Fiona WAS in that patch of floor next to Finbar, but as soon as I picked up the camera, she walked away, as you can see. She doesn't like having her picture taken. I did manage to snap one of her while I was taking a picture of the cuffs.

Don't be fooled by the bright sun, it's cold out!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Happy Veterans Day

Thank you to all veterans who have served our country. My thanks especially go to my sister, Kerry, you served for a year in Iraq.

I'm happy to report that I finished my thrummed mittens finally:

I may be the last person in the knit-along to finish them. I don't think of myself as a really slow knitter, but it seems apparent that I am, since it takes me so long to finish things. I like how the second mitten turned out much better than the first:

I had exactly the right amount of fleece. I had a little tuft left, but after I tried them both on, I realized I had made the second thumb much shorter than the first one and it looked really stubby. So, I ripped down to the start of the decreases and knit a few more rows and used up the rest of the fleece. It's starting to get really cold here, so I may have call to wear these mittens soon.

I didn't do any knitting last night because I took my niece and one of her friends to see this band:

Awesome show! Green Day is not one of my favorite bands, in the way that U2, Pearl Jam, REM, etc. are. However, they are just fantastic live. I've seen them a couple of times now, and they always kick my ass. The album above is a great album with a real political message. Billie Joe also referenced the election and politics in the concert - at one time telling the audience, "Don't let old fucking white men make decisions for you". There was so much energy from the crowd. I wish a band like Green Day would have joined the Vote for Change tour. It's great to have bands like Bruce Springsteed, REM and Pearl Jam, but people my age already vote if they're going to vote. Perhaps if a really popular band like Green Day was active, more young people will vote. Perhaps just making the music is enough, though. Maybe those kids will really think about the statements and their cheering and do something about it and not become American Idiots.

Most of the show was songs from the new album, all very good. Most of the concerts I go to are aimed at my age (REM, Pearl Jam, etc.) or slightly older (Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac). The kids seem to want a little more than just a drummer and a couple of guitar players standing on stage. There were a ton of pyrotechnics - every time this loud "boom" went off, I jumped. The band played their old hits from "Dookie" as well. They played a couple of covers such as "Shout" by the Isley Brothers and "We Are the Champions" by Queen. Both were really effective. In the encore, they dropped a huge load of confetti and the last song was Billie Joe alone at the end of the stage, playing guitar and singing "Good Riddance (Time of your Life)" in a spot light with the confetti swirling around in the air. Perfect.

I felt ancient. I've been to other concerts where I felt pretty old - Bush back in the 90s, Counting Crows where the headliner was John Mayer. As I get older though, it really becomes more of a difference. Back in the mid-90s when Green Day first became popular, a lot of people my age and slightly younger liked them, but the vast majority of this crowd was 14-20 years old. I'm not sure why the original fans aren't going to this show. One big benefit though - absolutely no line at the cocktail bar.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


I did end up getting quite a bit of knitting done on Sunday, but not as much cleaning as I would have liked. The kitchen is mostly clean, and I got a couple of loads of laundry done. I'm trying to unpack my winter clothes as I go along too. I keep them in the basement (where the washer and dryer is as well as most of the stash), so if I have a free arm when I'm doing laundry, I bring another box up or back down with summer clothes inside. I'm always in denial about winter until it starts to snow, so my wardrobe change is more gradual in the fall than in the spring.

I worked on Florentine Flattery on Sunday. I was going to take a picture, but I decided not to. Too much stress getting the pieces outside to photograph. I tore the back apart and release the first skein, which I think is only about a half skein. I was chanting, "It's the process, not the product" as I was ripping apart all that lovely seed stitch and the cute little cables. Fortunately, I do really like knitting this pattern and I always have great motivation to reknit yarn that has been frogged. I knit up that partial skein, but wasn't even close to finishing the sleeve, so I decided to just knit directly from the back so I don't end up taking out more rows than I need to. So the sleeve is attached to the back with a strand of very kinky yarn.

I went to The Yarnery yesterday to pick up a couple more skeins of the pink cotton I had settled on for a replacement and found a yarn that matches even better:

This is a pretty close match on the color. However, as the name says, it's bamboo, not cotton. Plus, it's a chain construction and pretty loose. Not a tightly spun Egyptian cotton. So, despite the fact that this might look better, I think the texture will counteract the color and look worse. I'm sticking with the slightly lighter cotton. I contemplated just re-knitting the entire back so that the back would be all the same color, but at this point I can't make that kind of commitment. We'll see how much of the back I have to rip out to knit the sleeve.

While at The Yarnery, I also picked up this:

Last winter I knit a sweater for my sister out of a gray alpaca. After I finished, I tried it on (yes, it's very tight on me since my sister is about 100 pounds lighter than me) and it's pretty scratchy. So, I'm going to knit the cowl neck in something that will feel better against the face and neck. So I've been collecting very soft gray yarns for her to pick one out and this is about the softest there is.

I also couldn't resist this:

It's Noro's new "Transitions" yarn. As the color changes, so does the fiber. Very cool. They have a cabled sweater out of this yarn that is gorgeous, but would be unbelievably expensive to knit. I think I'm going to steal Wendy's idea and knit the multi-directional scarf with mine too.

When I got into the office, there were 3 boxes sitting on my desk! Yeah!! One was from Overstock - Junior Knits by Debbie Bliss and Knit Wit. I'm hoping to knit some stuff for my nieces and nephew from these books. I also had a package of more pink Dale Kolibri. This didn't match my Florentine Flattery, but I still love that yarn and since it's discontinued, I'm buying up what I can at a cheap price. The final package I saved for last because it was from Seattle - my Secret Pal!! Yeah!!! I love presents.

I told her I'd be interested in getting something that is uniquely Seattle-ish, so I can pretend I've been on vacation. She sent me some yummies! I can't wait to taste these:

I'm not exactly sure why, but I just love the packaging on the Salmon. I almost don't want to eat it so I can keep the can, but of course I love smoked Salmon so I most definitely will be eating it. The back of the can says, "This can contains another fish caught by Pete Knutson". How cool is that? She also sent a big bag of dry roasted Hazelnuts. However, I brought those over to my brother's last night and shared with him and left the bag in the car. I'm too lazy to go to the car to get it because I had to park it down the block on the cross street - they're sweeping the streets here today.

I also found out that pictures from Stitch n Bitch Nation are now on the website, so I got to see a picture of one of my cuffs. It's a cool picture with a cute guy wearing my knitting, so that's very exciting. Chele posted on her blog that she got the book at Bound to be Read already, so I'm somewhat annoyed that our copies haven't been mailed yet. They didn't have it at The Yarnery yet yesterday either. I'm tempted to go buy a copy so I can have it and then gifting my copy to my Secret Pal.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

The Best Laid Plans...

Well, this isn't turning out to be the relaxing or productive weekend I had hoped. As faithful readers know, the last few weeks have been extremely busy and I kept saying, "after the election, after the election." Well, it's finally after the election and I didn't have much planned, so I thought I might be able to veg out, watch tv and knit and also get a little housework done. I have a pile of laundry that is completely embarrasing.

Friday night I managed to wash a few dishes and do a little laundry. I also worked on the beaded cuffs. I came across a knot when I was knitting with Kerry and Susan on Wednesday - the plies were knotted together, so it was an "internal" knot. I tried to work it out for about 25 minutes on Wednesday, but I eventually broke the yarn. I got all the beads re-strung and started up again. I'm not quite done yet, though.

Yesterday I was scheduled to do apheresis at the Red Cross. My dad always gave blood, so I've always thought it was an important thing to do. I have a very high iron level in my blood, so last year the Red Cross asked me to switch from whole blood donation to apheresis. My sister was just on her way to Iraq, which seemed like a huge sacrifice, which she really had no choice about making. I decided this would be a good way for me to give back, too. It usually takes about 2 hours or so.

Unfortunately, my dad not only passed along the desire to give blood, but tiny veins that make it difficult to do so, depending on who's doing the poking. They had trouble getting into my vein on the first arm and eventually gave up and tried the other one. Not a problem, but the whole process ended up being almost 3 hours. Plus I have big bruises on both arms, now - I look like a junky. No heavy exercise, so I decided bagging up the leaves would have to wait.

I always read during my donation - other than during travel, it's the only time I can really set aside a big block of time to just read. I was able to get a lot done on my new book club selection. I'm an incredibly slow reader, so it can be a struggle to get a book done for book club. For long ones, like this one, I figure out how much I need to read each week in order to be done in time for book club. I'm right on track, now. So far I'm liking the book pretty well. My friend, Florence, doesn't really like it - the language is too flowery and it's too melodramatic for her tastes. I'm sort of getting into the plot, but it is fairly slow moving.

Red and Bill are going to Disneyworld on Monday, so I headed over to Target to put together a little package of snacks and activities for Red to take on the plane. I can never get out of Target quickly (or cheaply), so that chewed up most of the rest of the afternoon. I also went to Border's to get some books for him and checked out the new Interweave Knits. There wasn't much in there I liked, so I'm going to pass on that issue.

Since I won't see them for another week, I invited Red and Bill to a movie. This is what we saw:

It wasn't as good as I was hoping, but the animation was really good. Red really liked it, especially the boy who could run fast.

The Vikes don't play until Monday night, so hopefully today I'll be able to watch some of the other games, get some knitting done and squeeze in some housework. I'm really pathetic - good thing I don't entertain and live alone. The dogs don't seem to mind the dust bunnies. Tonight my favorite show returns.

Friday, November 05, 2004


This week did go incredibly fast, despite the disappointment of most of the week - starting with the Vikings' humiliating defeat on Sunday and my own losses in fantasy football. Wednesday I went into the office and got a bit done in the morning, then I went over to my friend Kerry's house and ate a lovely lunch and knit with her and Susan. Check out Susan's blog for some pictures of the afternoon. I finished the first sleeve for Florentine Flattery and have about 1/3 of a skein left. I swear there must be more of this yarn around somewhere because I had a whole bag full when I bought it. I don't know where it could possibly be, so I guess I just used it up faster than I thought. Anyway, here's the sleeve:

I finally found Brennan's Knit Shop and checked out the "Cotton Room", but no luck. There was one cotton yarn that was similar, but the pink was all wrong. I was all set to buy something else to support this store, but I was really put off by it. When I arrived, no one was in the store for the first 6 or 7 minutes. I guess I could have taken off with a load of yarn, but that's not really my style. The whole store really smelled damp and musty. When Mrs. Brennan (I assume) did finally emerge from the back room or something, she seemed very antsy to have me leave. So, I didn't buy anything.

I picked up the pink cotton I ordered from Depth of Field, but I decided that the first pink yarn I bought from The Yarnery matched better, so I'm going with that. I came up with the brainstorm to frog some of the back and knit the second sleeve with that yarn and then use the off color for the back. I can't see the back, so it will bother me less than having one sleeve a different color than the other. It's annoying that I'll have to re-do all that work, but not as annoying as not finishing this project or not wearing it because I'm constantly bothered by the different colored sleeves.

I made a little trip to Needlework Unlimited to check out their cotton too, although I was pretty sure I had already checked there, but since I was sort of in the neighborhood.... No luck on the cotton, but I did find a number of Heartstrings beaded sock patterns that I've had my eye on for a while. I figured since I didn't have to pay for shipping, I might as well buy the patterns now. And I couldn't resist this Lorna's Laces sock yarn - it's my two favorite colors, purple and lime green!

On Wednesday night I went out for dinner with my brother. We got sushi at Katsu Sushi and then saw David Sedaris at the Fitzgerald Theater. It was a great evening. It's always a pleasure to spend time with Greg and Mr. Sedaris was hilarious. If you haven't read his books, I highly recommend them. It was also really nice to be in the company of a large group of fellow liberals. There's something comforting about not feeling so alone.

The hardest part of the post-election days has been the emails I've received thanking me for my hard work and support from places like Election Protection, Move On, the Kerry-Edwards campaign, Wellstone Action and the DFL Party. It's so depressing to think of how hard everyone worked and still we're stuck with a man who's already talking about privatizing Social Security. It's been really great to read my regular knitblogs, though, and again not feel so alone. I must just gravitate towards people like me, because it seems like most every blog I read includes feelings of disappointment over the election and real caring for the people who will be effected, along with the beautiful knitting. When you see those huge expanses of RED on the map, you start to feel out of step, but when you're at an event like the David Sedaris show or reading the blogs I've been reading or talking to friends, you realize there's lots and lots of us out there.

Life gets back to normal with yarn to knit up and football to watch. I sent out a couple of RAOKs today. And of course, played with my pups. We were all in the back yard and they had a lot of fun running around. I'll leave you with a couple of action shots:

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


Yes, feeling a bit blah today. I just can't believe that after he suppressed voting and stole the election in Florida 4 years ago, they would vote for him again. And Ohio. I'm so disappointed in Ohio.

The Election Protection thing went well. I was assigned as Legal Lead in a precinct in south Minneapolis. We had no real problems. There were a few questions about same day registration and the election judge asked us to help a few people find out where their precinct was when they were in the wrong place, but otherwise a very quiet, smooth day. There were no lines at our polling place, just a steady stream of voters throughout the day. I was a bit worried about that since I expected a high voter turnout. I guess it was just everywhere else, as there was a high turnout and Kerry won Minnesota. At least I have that.

We did have one bit of excitement. There were 2 representatives from the DFL Party there - one would be inside the polling place as a "challenger" and the other sat outside 100' away from the door of the polling place (where we were), basically doing what we were doing. They didn't know we would already be there. A GOP lawyer showed up and challenged their right to be in the building. Since they weren't electioneering, the election judge said they could stay and the guy took off. Actually, I sort of wished they did have to leave, because it was very difficult not to talk to them when they were sitting 5 feet away. Since EP is non-partisan, we were asked not to associate with anyone from the parties at all. One of the challengers was knitting, so I couldn't help myself from chatting about that!

I did knit a bit myself. I was working on my "car knitting", which is a tennis sock from "Socks, Socks, Socks". I got the heel flap done and the heel turned. I didn't knit at all when I watched the returns after I got home in the evening - I spent some time going through the email that had accumulated during the day and some time talking, ranting and raving with my brother. It's still a shock.

Before I went to bed I started our next book for Book Club:

Monday, November 01, 2004

ONE more day!!

I thought it was going to be another incredibly busy weekend, but it ended up being more doable than last weekend.

I spent a few hours working on the Get Out The Vote (GOTV) effort on Saturday. The precinct I was calling is solidly Democratic, so I'm sure Betty will have no trouble being re-elected and the woman running for State House apparently usually wins about 90% of the vote, but if Kerry does take Minnesota, I'll feel at least a little bit a part of that victory.

After I left the HQ, I checked out the last weekend of the catalog sale. Not too much of interest the first time I went and nothing that exciting this weekend, either. I bought a few small things. Then I headed into the office and took care of a few things I needed to get done.

Saturday night I had dinner with a friend at Singapore. I had my favorite, chicken curry. It was absolutely delicious, along with some very, very yummy bread. I had the leftovers last night and enjoyed them again. I highly recommend this place. After dinner we went over to Barnes & Noble and knit for a bit in the Starbucks cafe. When I walked in the door, I saw a guy with blood running down his cheek and freaked out for a second before I remembered it was Halloween weekend and it was just a costume.

Sunday my brother and I decided to try out Hell's Kitchen for breakfast before the game, but it was packed, so we went over to The Local instead - even better, a bloody mary!! Turns out I should have had a few more, because the game was excruciating. I think after the 41-0 embarrassment that was the NFC Championship game in early 2001, Daunte gets too jacked up and tries too hard against the Giants. It was against the Giants that he was benched in 2002. It was after the loss against the Giants in 2003 that Red McCombs chastised the team, calling it "humiliating". Well, this game was even more humiliating. We ended up leaving the game at the beginning of the 4th quarter. And I RARELY leave the game early. Since I got home early, I managed to rake a few leaves and get some housework done before the trick or treaters started arriving.

There was an awesome scene on Desperate Housewives last night. Carlos' mother arrived to help him find out if Gabrielle is having an affair. Mama and Gabrielle are sitting in the living room, with Mama knitting. She tells Gabrielle a story about how she was young when she met her husband and he was abusive. Once he beat Carlos and after that, he disappeared. A mama's gotta do what a mama's gotta do. Throughout this story, her knitting gets faster and more menacing. Gabrielle keeps looking at those sharp needles, moving back and forth. By the end, they sounds like knives clanging against each other. Very menacing!!

I leave you with the most important message - VOTE!!!!!!!