Stupid germs...

Sorry for the delay in post - don't worry, I haven't disappeared again. I woke up Friday with the Mother of All Colds (henceforth abbreviated as MOAC). Rather than go to work and be generally germy to everyone, I stayed in and did nothing. Not even a wee bit of blogging. On the bright side, the blanket has been progressing beautifully. The only problem with this is that every time I take a picture, by the time I go to upload it, it's outdated. Yes, people, I knit TOO FAST FOR PHOTOBUCKET.

Ahem. Anyway.

So Saturday, I got out of my sick bed to go with my dear friend Jeanne to see the best Comedy/Vaudeville team ever: MooNiE and BrooN. Fellow Ren Faire devotees will know who I'm talking about. The rest of you poor Broonless people must check out their website. They do a mix of stand-up, silly songs, and fantastically impressive juggling tricks. By the time we were halfway through the show, my mascara was running because I laughed so hard I cried. Luckily, I managed to clean it off at intermission, because...

I got selected to go up on stage with them! Now, this is a wee bit of a dodgy prospect, because at the last show I went to, the volunteer got to sit VERY VERY still as they juggled flaming torches around his head. Also, have I mentioned that I get profoundly nervous on stage, and the show was sold out? Well. Turns out what they had in mind was a "whipped cream eating contest." I put that in quotes because I'm a little unclear on what the contest was (MooNiE said something about whoever had the biggest mountain was the loser). They just wanted me to shoot whipped cream in their mouths at the same time (poor bastards - they managed to pick the most poorly coordinated person in the whole audience). Anyway, by the time I was done, there was whipped cream EVERYWHERE. Poor MooNiE had it behind his ears.

Luckily, they didn't seem to mind, and I got my picture taken with BrooN:

Two things of note: BrooN is actually about 6'5", and was almost on his knees to be in frame, and somehow I have managed to have my picture taken while wearing not one single hand-knit item. I hang my head in shame.

Sunday, I returned to my proud schedule of doing nothing and feeling vaguely nauseous. Hence, no interesting blogging. I blame the MOAC.

I will do my best to bring you guys some Actual Knitting Progress tomorrow, presuming the MOAC lets me get anything done. Also, stories about a newt. And work. Soon, I promise.


"I'm only knitting to keep warm"

Well... it's cold. This is not news to you, I know. But for someone who is perpetually cold, except in crazy states like Florida where it is 8 million degrees out with 3000% humidity (I may be exaggerating there... but only slightly), this weather has been torture. At home it's not so bad - I can just attach myself to the wall heater along with my cats. Work is another story entirely.

Case in point: Today I'm wearing a blouse, a zip up jacket, a coat, wool slacks, knee socks, and fleece lined shoes. I have my beloved knit blanket over my lap.

I am still cold. It doesn't help that I work in a cinderblock building - great during the summer months, but hell in the winter. So I've devised a plan. It's a very simple plan: obviously I have to knit my Log Cabin Blanket at work. The knitting is keeping me warm. No boss would argue with that, right?

Right guys?

One administrative note: When I switched to the new blogger, somehow a lovely post inviting me to join the Clemes & Clemes yahoo group got erased before I could jot down the group address. If whoever sent that could just give me a head's up, I'd love to join in.

And yes, it is a pictureless post today. I forgot to hook up my camera before leaving for work, so you, dear reader, must needs imagine the glory of the Log Cabin. Pictures tomorrow, I swear.

Coming soon: Bring your newt to work day


Tango til They're Sore

Oh my lord, New Orleans.

Really, if it weren't for some big ol strings attaching me to California, this blog would be coming at you from the French Quarter. We only had 4 days in NO, but what a glorious four days they were.

I ate breakfast almost every morning at Cafe Beignet, which provides those of us missing our beloved cats with travel substitutes:

The cat in the above photo looks almost exactly like a bigger version of Eris, who I was missing quite badly towards the end of vacation.

The neat thing about the quarter (where I spent the majority of my time - the garden district is gorgeous, but just not as fun) is that almost all the buildings have these fascinating hidden courtyards in the back. This next picture was taken behind an antique shop.

The antique shops, by the way, are like going into a museum where everything is for sale. Needless to say, I couldn't afford anything in them ("Honey, get me that $24,000 chandelier for my birthday?"), but the wares were just stunning.

Like any good tourist, I did the requisite cemetery tour. We visited St. Louis #1 and saw the infamous tomb of Marie Laveau. It's really sad how people have vandalized the tomb - urban legend has it that drawing 3 "x"s on the tomb will get your wish granted. The Laveau family, naturally, sees it differently.

While the tour was interesting, and I do recommend going the first time with a guide who can explain a lot of the burial trivia, I decided to do the rest of my cemetery visiting solo. I made it to Lafayette cemetery number one (in the Garden District) on a cold, foggy day and spent several hours wandering with Tom Waits on the iPod. I have loads of pictures, but I don't know if any of the blog-readers would be interested. Let me know if you want to see them.

Speaking of Tom Waits, there is NO better city to listen to him in than New Orleans. It's funny, but music seems to have places where it is more "right" (for lack of a better word) than others. Certain albums I have are distinctly seasonal - Tori Amos' "Scarlet's Walk" works better for me when it's freezing cold outside, Hagalaz' Runedance's "Volven" is my early autumn music. I don't know if this is just a crazy "me" thing, or if it's true for other people. Let me know in comments?

As for current, non-vacation knitting, I'm back to the Log Cabin blanket that has been so neglected:

Log cabin-ing is such a strange phenomenon with me. It will absolutely obsess my every waking moment for about a week, and then I put it down and don't think about it for 2 months. Luckily, I've got a lot of left-overs from the Christmas Socks (done in Cascade Pastaza), so I have a lot to add to this blanket.

One final note:

Beware the roving Chickens of New Orleans. They will try to eat your hands.

Coming soon: Must... Log... Cabin...


Travel knitting

Boy, there's a lot to tell. I'll try and catch up on travel stories and hopefully get some pictures of the prezzies I knitted people (stupid me, didn't take pictures Christmas morning). In the meantime, here's the stuff I can actually show you!

Mr. Grad Student Boy's Mom rocked the presents this year with several skeins of grey/white Malabrigo. I'd never had Malabrigo before, but now I believe Lime & Violet: Malabrigo could TOTALLY cure eczema. It is the softest wool I've ever touched, and I firmly believe there's some sort of deal with the devil going on, because wool is just NOT THIS SOFT. Luckily, my darling man had gotten me pretty much the complete set of Elizabeth Zimmermann books, so I've embarked on my first truly patternless sweater:

It's a top-up raglan pullover, very basic, but soooo soft. Have I mentioned I lust for Malabrigo? I have? Okay, moving on then. Speaking of Christmas goodies, the sweater is on Denise Interchangeables (another gift from Grad Student Boy's mom - does this woman get knitters or what?), and right next to a very yummy set of Lantern Moon needles also from the Boy. I was one spoiled knitter this Christmas. I also got some Lorna's Shepard Worsted, and some Lion Brand Homespun, but those are still in Florida as I didn't have room in my suitcase. They'll be shipped out to me soon. :)

The sharp eyed among you will notice a familiar pink lacy object in the background. Yes, it is the Rose of England shawl. Last time you guys saw it it looked like this:

I have made progress:

Admittedly, it's not a heck of a lot of progress, but it turns out it's REALLY hard to knit lace when surrounded by a Large Italian Family. For some reason, they want to socialize. Weirdos. ;)

Of course, PURELY in the interest of research and selfless devotion to any readers I might have left, I did check out the LYS in West Palm Beach, "Great Balls of Yarn." Yarn selection there was pretty good, and I picked up some Plymouth Sockotta yarn (which is not only sock yarn BUT vacation yarn, so it doubly doesn't count as adding to the stash - in fact, I believe it actually means I've subtracted from the stash).

The store was one that was organized by colour, which is a big pet peeve of mine, but the lady working there was fantastic! Very friendly, and was offering to order me yarn before I sadly explained that I was a Knitter on Vacation. Excellent service, and I do recommend the store for sock yarn devotees - they even have the new Colinette sock yarn. Needle selection was pretty much ONLY Bamboo and Denises, so if you're a metal devotee, you're going to have to get your needles elsewhere.

The obligatory travel photo:

I didn't take many pictures of Florida, because pretty much it all looks like this. Palm trees, and an obscene amount of greenery. Everything is alive in Florida. I recommend listening to Dave Barry's advice, and striding briskly to prevent mold growing on your skin. It is THAT verdant in that state. It's also quite possibly the flatest place I've ever been.

One very weird thing for this little Bay Arean is that, in Palm Beach at least, EVERYTHING is in a strip mall. It feels like the entire state is made of up strip malls (excepting Key West, and I'm pretty sure due to the amount of liquor imbibed while in Key West, I don't actually REMEMBER what it looks like there). I'd love to tell you what the Atlantic looks like while on the back of a Waverunner, but between having salt in my contacts and keeping my eyes tightly shut as Mr. Grad Student Boy suicidally sped towards waves, I don't think I actually saw any of it. It's a warm ocean though (I know this because Mr. Boy managed to flip our Waverunner TWICE).

Meanwhile, back in California it is FREEZING. I nearly killed myself on the walkway this morning because it had Iced. Over. The last time I was this cold it was the dead of winter in Salt. Lake. CITY. Seriously. I would like some warmth please.

Coming soon: Return of the Log Cabin, and some pictures of New Orleans.


Back in black (and red. and blue. and pink. and whatever else was on sale this week)

I know, I'm the world's Worst Blogger. Christmas knitting and constant gym going, plus a two week jaunt across the country with Mr. Grad Student Boy meant no blogging for me. Watch this space, as I'll be updating with loads of pictures and travel rants soon.

I promise.

Just after I shop this sale.