Monday, October 31, 2005

Winners and Losers

Thank you to everyone who entered my wheel-naming contest. I have decided to call my wheel Cecilia. (Everyone: Ce-ceeeeel-ya, you're breakin my heart/You're shaking my confidence lately/Oh Ce-ceeeeeel-ya, I'm down on my knees/I'm begging you please to come home...)

Now, no one suggested Cecilia, but I chose that name after having two songs stuck in my head for the week. First off (and winner number one), Meg got Sweet Caroline stuck in my head. And then, Christine's vote for Sweet Pea had the squeaky voice of Tommy Roe ricocheting through my brain, and earned her pressie numero dos. Ladies, send me your snail mail addies at the following email: kali -at- bgb -dot- cc .

All of the names were fantastic and I loved reading about the different divinities and myths that folks so kindly sent my way.

If you didn't before, check these great links out:
Shakti, the female divine force (from Lara)
Arachne, a weaver from Greek mythology (from Margene)
Isiri, inspiration in Yoruba (from Denise). I looked this one up on my own, because it sounded intriguing.

Now, the only losers in this post are the chumps who tried to keep my Sarah M CD from me (you know, the recording companies who think they don't get enough of my money already). I got a few concerned emails and some good suggestions (Tortuga posted some great links for ripping music, but the program never showed up in the add/remove panel for me to uninstall... It was a tricksy hidden driver) after my pissy post.

I did solve the problem Friday evening, and was able to get the CD tracks into my iTunes before Criminal Intent was over. I didn't have to pay any money, and I didn't expose my computer to any unnecessary threats. Here's how I did it:

1. To get rid of the questionable software, I followed the steps here (scroll down past the rant). Don't let this happen to you! Before you click "OK" to an End-User Agreement, know what you are downloading.

2. Then, I followed the steps here (instruction "B") to get the music tracks off of the CD and onto my hard drive.

A couple of notes about step two... I had to download CDex to rip the tracks to my computer. This is software I have used before, and it seems to be reliable and safe. (As always, your mileage may vary.) I could have skipped my first step and just burned a CD, but that seemed like a lot of work--after all, I already had a CD. Lastly, once I got the tracks into iTunes, they had no ID3 tags, so I had to manually type in the album, artist, and trackname for each song.

All in all, the process (including download time for CDex and ripping time from the disk to iTunes) took about 45 minutes. I did not have to sit at my computer that whole time.

By the way: I will not be returning the CD. And there will be no temper-tantrums thrown at Target (today). I paid for the music, and since I can now listen to it the way I want to, I will be keeping it. I do not in any way endorse, recommend, or condone using the above instructions to steal music.

Friday, October 28, 2005

WIPs and Chains

I really didn't want to feel obligated to knit a bunch of stuff for xmas... But somehow it has happened. I need:
  • Sweater for oldest nephew

  • Furry black scarf for mom

  • Kittyville hat for sis

  • Baby blanket for buddy

  • Chenille scarf for friend's son

  • Something for friend's wife

I am sure there's more, but my brain is addled by the list so far. Eek!

So let's look at what I am working on instead of all of the above. I am so going to need 1.877.SOS.KNIT (have you called it yet?)

In Knitting:

Lauren's punchy bolero pattern in LB "Suede".

Basic sock in Moda Dea Sassy Stripe.

In Spinning (yeah, baby!):

Beautiful blend (including rambouillet, but I can't find the receipt, so I don't know what else). This is my second try at this one.

Gaw-jus Merino-Tencel blend from Sheep Shed.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Travel Slides Revisited!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

My trip to Phoenix to see the family last month:
There were Adorable Nephew-Babies!

(So. Freakin. Cute.)

Cutey-Pie Older-Brother Nephews!

(A bit of a ham, maybe? My mom thinks the sticker-thing is cute... I said, just wait, you're conditioning him to want tattoos all over his arms. Now she is terribly conflicted.)

My lil sis and I... Knitting! [Awww.]

(I don't know what I am saying, but it is probably bossy.)

AND, in the Just Because You Can... category:

(um. Knit shoes? WTF is Steve thinkin'??)

In other news:
You can all breathe a sigh of relief. The TV arrived, safe and sound, and with the addition of some crazy cables and a cheap antennae, my pals at Law and Order were able to drop by last night.


A techno-rant. (Norma, look away now.) I just bought a new CD. It looked good, and while there was some fine print about "some PCs" not being able to access "all" of the digital media contained therein, I saw no reason to believe that the damn thing wouldn't play for me.

WELL! I was wrong. Turns out there is a new kind of CD, where the tracks are "Protected WMA" format... You can only play these CDs if you allow the disk to install a special player on your computer. They cannot be placed into iTunes, or played on an iPod. You can save a copy of the disk to your harddrive, and then play the tracks with Windows Media Player. But by then the insidious little proprietary 'player' (I don't believe it isn't spyware) is on your computer.

Now I am going to have to make a scene at Tar-jay, so I can get my money back. I mean, I am the anti-iPod, but I like iTunes alright. And ANYWAY, Tar-jay sells iPods! Why would they also try to pass off creepy spy-CDs as regular old CDs, when they won't play on their own merchandise?? And to add insult to injury, I can buy the damn album online in mp3 format! I don't get it! And it makes me mad! Here's one more exclamation point to show you all how pissed I am: !

The moral of the story, gentle readers, is to stay the f**k away from releases that include little bits on the jewel case about only being compatible with Windows Media Player. Anyone know how to get this sh*tty software off of my machine now?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

All-request Wednesday

Ann has suggested, subtly (as is her way) that I get back to the business of knitting-related content, you know, on my Knit Blog. (I will refrain from any obvious pot and kettle comments, only because it is a good idea.)

So for today, I will skip the moping and travel slides and talk about socks.

My very favorite sock pattern (and the one I almost always use no matter who's pattern I am knitting) can be found here:

This book is great. It has an easy-to-follow basic pattern for both a toe-up and a cuff-down sock (on 4 or 5 needles) and then has sections on more fancy stuff like cables and colorwork. She also has a handy little chart a la Ann Budd that gives the key numbers for child small through men's large socks at 5 - 10 st/in.

The "key number" feature allows me to knit short-row toes and heels sans pattern. Lara and Sarah can attest to my ability to pull together a very passable toe at 4 in the morning on the NJ Turnpike. And later, Lara saw me finish the heel while watching The Ring.

In all honesty, I haven't used the rest of the book... There are just too many great patterns out there and PGR's shortrow toe and heel work for all of them.

Here are a couple of free sources with variations:
  • Wendy has an easy-to-follow pattern (she wraps the short-row stitches) as well as a picture-rich article in Knitty

  • Kim Salazar has written up a pattern in four sizes that starts with a figure-8 cast-on (I want to try one of these sometime)

  • If you are freaked out by (or just don't like) the short-row look, Judy Gibson has a toe-up pattern with a flap-heel

On the subject of socks... Here is a bit more Rhinebeck schwag:

The socks are knit with the above mentioned pattern from Patricia Gibson-Roberts, and Lion Brand's Magic Stripes in Denim. Also notice the cute sheepy mug from the Sheep Shed, and a little sheepy ornament from the guy who sold Ann his last maple spinning stool. The last one. And he doesn't ship (who doesn't ship??). Not that I am bitter.*

*(I really wouldn't have bought one anyway, Lara's car was already so full. But don't tell Ann.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

my apologies

My last post and some of the comments that it inspired ended up being hurtful to my ex. That was not my intention, and certainly, hurtful is the last thing I want to be right now. I have taken it down.

Monday, October 24, 2005

First things first

I would like to thank my most fabulous knitting pals for keeping me occupied with fun stuff all of this very long and distressing weekend (also known as his last weekend in the apartment). I have so far been successful at keeping the sad lonely music to a minimum. However, I have been toying with the idea of getting a hundred cats. Overall, I am just tottery and floaty feeling.

Midway through longest weekend ever (typoed 'lonest' first... scuse me, my Freudian slip is showing), Lara brought me this fantastic little gem:

That's right: "It's called a breakup because it's broken." So far it is sassy enough to keep me distracted and on track. (There is a whole chapter on avoiding "drunk dialing".) I would highly recommend it to any woman you know who has just ended a relationship, either of her own volition or of his.

As I was saying, this weekend, Sarah took me out dancing (so much fun, but next time I wear comfier shoes); Amy spent Saturday shopping with me (need to go shopping? Amy is the one to take. Not once did she say anything like "Are you sure you need that?"); and then Lara (in addition to the fabby book previously mentioned) kept me up late watching scary movies on my first night home alone.

How much does that rock? I'll tell you: it rocks mightily.

I have a lot of catching up to do... The last two months have been spent travelling, visiting old friends and family. I have lots of pics. What does this mean for you, gentle readers? No pics of the Rhinebeck booty til everything else is caught up.

OK, OK, maybe one pic of booty:

She is a darling Lendrum double-treadle. She does not yet have a name... You know what that means?


Leave me a comment between now and Friday (Oct. 28) with a name suggestion. If I use your suggestion (or it inspires me to think of one I love even more), I will send you a lil' sum-sump'n. In the event that I am still stumped for a name at the end of the week, I will just draw a w-iener from all entries.

Also, here are two crappy pics of a couple of recent FOs...

The Everyday Cardi in Periwinkle Peace Fleece.

It is a bit short in the body, and the collar is a little strangulation-al, but I still dig it. The scratchy 'Fleece softened up after a rough bath and the weight is nice and snuggly. The buttons are brushed silver-toned metal.

The Flower Basket Shawl in Schaefer's Laurel (Billie Holliday colorway).

The Good: Laurel is the shiniest cotton ever. So slickery; so sparkly and drapey!
The Bad: Cotton has no memory: the blocking, she is not so "crisp."

Next up: a trip to Charlottesville without seeing a single sweaty half-naked man; and fun in the excruciating Phoenix sun with some fam-dam-ly.

Monday, October 17, 2005


...everything is still too hectic around here for blogging.

But, I did go to RHINE.BECK. And I took a few pics of all of the festivities. You can see them here. I would love to write a long post all about the fun, sun, and my NEW WHEEL. But, later.