Wow. Life got boring when I got a real job

Seriously – Go to work. Come home. Knit a little. Play computer games. Go to bed. That’s pretty much been my life.

I’m sad to report I won’t be selling at art crawl this weekend. I just couldn’t get enough things made in the month or so since Tina invited me. I could have maybe done it, but the 2 – yes only 2 hats I finished both gave me fits and I only finished the 2nd one last night. As per usual I don’t have photos of them to post, but I’ll get to it. The second hat in particular is super cute.

I stopped working on my scarf of dreams to knit for art crawl, so I’m still in the second round. I’ll have a picture of that too.

Job – Meh. It’s way better than revenue, but I’m definitely a cog in a very big machine. The one friend I made is on an “indefinite leave for personnel reasons,” which probably means she was let go for doing something. It’s probably for the best, because I found out that what was making her fun and interesting was actually connected to her being kind of crazy – and not the good crazy. So yes, as per usual, I hook up with the batshit person out of a sea of normal people. I think it must be because I gravitate to people I find interesting only to learn that what I find interesting in others has a dark side. I know I’m crazy too, but it’s a fun crazy. I’m sure there are people reading this that may not agree with this assessment. Feel free to reveal yourselves and call me out. It would make the comments interesting at least.

Computer games – I have 2 games I regularly play – The Sims 3 and Lord of the Rings Online. I was way into my Sims for a couple of months, but the need to kill orcs, wargs and goblins overtook me so I’ve been back in LOTRO. I know I’m really too old for this shit, but I have a theory about how one’s maturity remains elusive if you don’t have kids yourself.

I think part of what draws me to video games is the artwork and my amazement of at what it takes to create games. Say what you like, but these things are beautiful to look at and interacting with and effecting the environment from the other side of a screen is just mind blowing for me. Add to that benchmarks to check progress in skills and abilities, meeting people, crafting objects in the game and playing house (a house you don’t have to clean, mind you) one can find themselves entertained for a good while.

Published in: on October 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm  Comments (4)  

Art Crawl

My friend Texas Tina has invited me to once again ply my wares at her studio during the Fall Art Crawl. I really had a great time and even made some money last time. Given the income shrinkage I’ve experienced, anything is a cause for celebration.

The bigger cause for celebration is getting to spend time with Tina. She was our neighbor when we lived in the artist co-op. We don’t see each other very much but when we do it’s like no time has passed.

Hooray for friends!

So I must go into production mode and make some stuff. Hats seemed to be the best seller last time, which is great because they knit up so fast. It will also be a great way to use up my stash. I’m always looking for ways to do that.

I’m hoping to do the state fair on Tuesday night. Steely Dan is playing at the grandstand and even though I’m too cheap to pay to sit inside to sort of see them waaaaaaay out there, we can find a place to sit and steal music the old fashioned way.

Published in: on August 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Knitting Teaser

I started my yarn port scarf. As you may recall, I posted the cover of Rowan 48. If you don’t remember, let me refresh your memory:Knitting Porn

OK, this may or may not have worked.  If I borked the image, I’ll fix it when I get home or something. The interwebs at this here Caribou is cranky and I can’t preview. ANYWAY. The scarf this impossibly beautiful model is wearing is currently on my needles. I am not making this up. The amazing thing is that I would have to rate the pattern as tricky, but not out of my league, not even a little. Stockinette in the round – how easy is that? I’ve done some amount of tinking, but generally the hardest challenge is to keep the yarn from getting all tangled when dealing with 3 colors. Mr bought a new toy this week – an adroid phone – so I’ll take a photo of the thing and post it when I get home. This will accomplish 2 things: 1. It will prove that I am indeed making this scarf (Kate keeps referring to it as “My masterpiece.” I like that a lot) and 2. It will further prove that it’s not all that hard to produce.

I’m still working on wretched socks for Barb from Cabaret. I don’t think I’ll be doing another afterthought heel any time soon. It’s not a difficult knit, but the damn things have become my albatross. I want the Knitting Fairy to come along while I sleep and finish them for me.

I’m also making yet another Mason/Dixon baby kimono for a co-worker. There’s going to be a baby shower for her and since it’s such a simple knit-up I figured it would win me big points with my new cube farm residents.

Speaking of the cube farm, the new job is fine. Definitely not my Barbie Dream Job, but I’ve got a retirement account happening once again. Even though it’s a data entry gig it’s not even close to the hell of Revenue. The people are definitely friendlier and the work is more varied. I’m also back in downtown St. Paul within spitting distance of at least 3 coffee shops, my eye doctor, my massage therapist, and last but not least a yarn shop. It’s nice to know there’s an emergency yarn therapy outlet close at hand.

Published in: on June 12, 2011 at 10:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Life is no longer a Cabaret

The show had to close two days earlier than scheduled, due to the rapidly rising Mississippi River. I was told that by the time they mustered out on Saturday afternoon the water was only two inches from submerging the dock. An inauspicious end to some of the most satisfiying work I’ve done in ages. There might be a concert benefit performance to raise money for the theater that was lost due to the cancellation. I immediately wrote the stage manager back and said I’d be available with bells on.

One of the sadder things about the abrupt ending was that I wasn’t able to say goodbye to my new little friend, Renee the bassoonist. Such a great kid – smart, talented and a smart-ass. Who could ask for more? I hope to get her email address from my music director so I can at least wish her good luck in the future.

I also got an order for a pair of socks from one of the cast members. I’m making her a pair of grey and short repeat blues happy feet yarn (hardly) fair isles.  I’m really liking them, but not enough that I’m sad that they’re going to someone else. I’m also very happy that they’re going to a good home – another knitter. She’s not a sock maker, but she certainly understands what goes into making a pair and has owned handknit socks in the past.

Knitting in the green room is the new smoking in the green room. It used to be all stage people smoked, but since that’s fallen so far out of favor knitting seems to be the number one replacement. I can think of at least 6 or 7 people in the cast that knit. One woman was particularily good. She was always wearing some Kaffe Fasset-like creation she conjured up while looking at her scraps, or a norwegian-style hat. I tried to recruit a couple of folks for our Saturday morning group, but alas found no takers. One person lives in downtown St. Paul, so there’s a chance she might come into the coffee house where we meet and be swept up in the cameraderie.

Published in: on March 28, 2011 at 7:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Death by Boredom

Now I know why they call it work.

Working at the DOR is the first soul-sucking job I’ve ever had. I go in. I sit down in a cube (my first time in a cube farm). I turn on the computer. I look at a tax return the system rejected. I fix the address. I go on to the next one. Wash, rinse repeat for 8 hours. Time is very important to these people so I have to be uber careful to arrive, take my morning break, my lunch break, and my afternoon break at their appointed times.

The only 2 things that make this bearable is that I accidentally found this great geek podcast that I can listen to all day, and that I get to play music professionally four days a week.  If it weren’t for these things, I’d a shot myself by now. Enough of the horror.

Cabaret just finished its third and penultimate week. All in all it’s gone very well. I feel that I rose to the challenge and even though I’m not in top form, I’m rapidly approaching it. I never knew how much I missed playing and now I want to keep going. My friend and music director Mike said I am now on his go-to list. I hope he’s means it because this is pretty much his doing.

There are a couple of high school students playing in the pit. They all attend Saint Paul Conservatory of the Arts, or the School of the Misfit Toys as I call it. Every story they tell me about their classmates or teachers is just this side of keeping child protective services at bay. They’re really good kids and they’re not bad players either. Renee the basson player decided that I’m like a cool crazy aunt, so I’ve got that going for me.

My adventures in felting continue. I sent The Rug through the washer a couple more times and things have evened out somewhat. I spent a lot of time tugging and pulling on it tonight and now it’s drying. I’ll still need to trim it up a bit and then whipstitch the border.

I finished my slippers and they felted down way too small for me, which is quite a feat since I wear kid’s size shoes. I snipped the opening a little so I could get them on to fit, but they’re definitely more like little felted footies as opposed to slippers. They may go into the etsy pile. I may go back to Bev Galeska’s Fiber Trend Clogs.

Published in: on March 20, 2011 at 8:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Of Musicals and Knitting

First the knitting. I finished phase one of The Rug. Here it is in it’s unfelted and unsteeked state


THE rug, in all its unfelted glory.

It’s so pretty and vibrant, I’m afraid to take the next step. Maybe tomorrow.

So as I’ve mentioned, I’m playing clarinet and sax in a production of Cabaret. It’s going OK. I’m not as pick-it-up and not miss a beat brilliant as I was in my fantasy about all of this as I’d like to be but I don’t completely suck either. The thing I’ve found the hardest is counting rests and coming in properly, oh and catching key changes because the keys for singers are gawd-awful for players. No one in the real world plays in B major, seriously. And really do you have to change key a hundred times in one piece? Isn’t the smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the audience excitement enough that you have to keep changing keys all the damn time? It’s annoying. Anyway I’ve always played a bit by ear so it takes me a couple of times to hear when I’m supposed to come in because I don’t trust my counting or keeping track of 8-bar phrases. Poor Mike. I told him it wasn’t going to be pretty. I’m getting a lot of “gee, you sound great,” and “we’re so happy to have you doing this,” that I think they all protest too much. The piano player, who’s done the show a million times and knows the book inside and out is very patient with me and when he says something nice it doesn’t feel quite so like someone cheering on a runner at the Special Olympics.

One thing that amazed/amused me about doing this musical is that the choreographer asked Mike if he thought she could get me for a production of Fiddler that she’s doing at the arts high school. I will do it if she asks. I mean, I pulled the horn out from it’s case so I might as well take the opportunities presented to me. The universe is funny.

No word from the Craft Council yet. I has a sad about that. I want that job. I mean if I have to have a job, that’s where I want to work.

Published in: on February 28, 2011 at 3:19 pm  Comments (3)  

Back on the Dole

My gig ended last week, so I’m back to being a housewife. I can prove it too, because I washed out the fridge yesterday. I did have an interview/test yesterday for the Dept. of Revenue for a seasonal customer service job. There were at least 150 people at the recruitment event for 30 positions. We’ll see what happens. I have to admit to liking this temp thing. Work a couple of weeks, get some time off so I can work for my friends at the school.

My dirty secret about not working – I play computer games. Lord of the Rings Online to be exact. Essentially I run around and kill things. I also craft. No knitting alas, but I do have a tailor. It’s a lot of fun and it totally keeps me from spending money in the real world. I know it’s really not what you’re supposed to spend your leisure time doing – as a 50 year-old woman, but suck it.

Knitting content: I’m still working on multiple projects: a sweater for my Mr., some left-over yarn leg warmers, a pair of slippers, a pair of socks (of course) and The Rug. I was hoping I would get a photo of young Simon in his monkey hat to post, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 11:57 am  Leave a Comment  

And still no photos. I really have to get on that

I finished my monkey hat and it’s damned cute. One of my co-workers has even asked me to make one for one of her daughters and a panda for the other. I’m not sure how much I should charge her. I had to buy one skein of plymouth encore and was able to use some stash yarn, so the actual dollar output was about $6. It took me about, say 3 hours to make (if I subtract the learning curb frogging – that was about an hour extra). I’m thinking $20. I would probably charge less but there was some amount of sewing involved and I hate sewing.

So my rug is moving along again, and I started a pair of slippers since my Fiber Trends felted clogs are worn completely through on the heels. I thought I could find a photo from the book, but alas it’s not to be. Seriously, I will try to spice things up here with photos soon.

There is some very sad news in my knitting world this week – My DH was being helpful and dumped a bunch of my clothes in the laundry with his and I had some sock casualties. My beautiful pair of Jo Sharp cartridge rib socks are now felted. I shrugged it off pretty well though – even washing them in delicate in the wussy bag did a number on the stitch definition, so I had already mourned their loss.

Published in: on January 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

DBNY can kiss my shiny metal a**

I’ve now received 2 emails from them about their great deals and NOTHING about skimping my order. I am quite sad about this because I did want to continue to do business with them, but I guess it’s just not meant to be.

Today is Mrs. Crazypants last day. I’m a little sad because it’s going to make for a boring 2 weeks without her. I told her that since today was her last day, she had to tell us any other wonderful secrets she had. Turns out she also has done roller derby, semi-pro rugby and powerlifting. I have led a very small life.

I had to shelf my Kiki Mariko rug. I was invited to a gentlemen’s first birthday party and I’m working on his gift. The party is monkey-themed, so I’m making him the Monkey Hat from 60 Quick Knits, aka the Cascade 220 Book. I was going to post a photo of the hat, but I couldn’t find one from the book (I only looked on Rav and didn’t find one and was too lazy to search elsewhere), so I’ll get a picture of it when I finish it.

Published in: on January 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm  Comments (2)  

Curse you, DBNY

Discount Brand Name Yarns is an evil, evil entity. I think I’ve gotten something from them every day this week, its siren song of cheap yarn tempting me closer and closer to the rocks. Usually I just delete the emails without looking at it, but they got me this week with a 75% off a box of Lamb’s Pride schwag – $100 of merch for $25. How could I pass it up? I didn’t.
So since I took the bait, they’re now sending me something every day. The obviously know about my alpaca problem, because they keep telling about all the lovely stuff they have for me. NO! MUST. NOT. BUY. MUST. NOT. EVEN. LOOK.

I’m still at the college, and even got an extension of my gig here. I suppose it’s nice, but I miss being lazy at home, making a latte and staring contentedly out at the winter scene before me. It’s a pretty easy gig and it even allows me time to surf the web and do some knitting. So far I finished a pair of Happy Feet socks, and cast on then frogged 2 socks for Mister. For some reason I just can’t get the size right for his Flintstone feet!

The women I’m spending my days with are all charming and very different from one another. OK, maybe there’s one who’s not charming, but hey, it wouldn’t be my life without a certified whacko in the vacinity. The lady is a professional victim who always seems to be on the verge of having a complete meltdown. To be fair she’s had a couple of things happen that she’s trying to work through, including an emergency trip to Spain because her mother had a stroke. But even before she left for Spain she had the look of a trapped animal in her eyes.

To illustrate the oddness: I was texting my pal Kate about a very important knitting question involving a steek. I’m sure everyone here can acknowledge that any discussion of cutting one’s knitting is serious business, right? OK so I’m texting Kate and my phone makes a little beep on every keystroke. Nobody dies, no wars start, it just a little beep. All of a sudden Mrs. Crazypants shouts, “What is that beeping? ARE YOU TEXTING?”

“Yes, I am. I’ll be done in 30 seconds.”


“I don’t know how I’m sorry. I’m almost done.” – said meekly.

At this point she had a huff and flounced out of the room. I’ve also heard her yell at students, hang up on them, and she frequently has no idea what she’s doing and she’ll either look desparately at the rest of us, or she’ll just make something up. Yesterday she was eating some sort of powder substance (looked like jello mix) off a knife. I have not poked the crazy once.

Back to the subject of steeking. Kate and I have started our own little knit along. We’re both doing “the rug.” This rug being the Kiki Mariko felted rug in the 2nd Mason Dixon book. Exhibit A someone else’s rug:

photo of awesome rug
My first Faire Isle. So scary, but once I cast on and started up I found out it’s not bad at all. It’s a pretty easy pattern – a perfect place to start. And at the end you have a georgeous rug. So georgeous in fact that if my baby turns out well, I’m going to finally have a piece to approach my friend Jennifer who runs an artist shop with and ask her if she’d like to take it or any like it for sale. I’ve wanted to do this for a long, long time, but I really haven’t had anything to offer her that would be different from what she already has.
Here is my next Faire Isle project:
Knitting Porn
Sorry I can’t embiggen it. It’s really for your own good because if it was bigger you’d probably fall over from the beauty.
Published in: on January 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm  Comments (3)