So, Connie tagged me with the meme that's been going around about random things. I have to admit, it gave me a good chuckle, because what is this blog but a bunch of random things about me? Nevertheless, I will persevere.
1. Each player starts with 8 random facts about themselves.
2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their 8 random things and post the rules.
3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and post their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
Eight Random Things about Me:
1. I've lived in Minnesota all my life, except for 1 1/2 years spent living in Vermont. While in Vermont, I was a member of an a capella singing group. We'd sing on street corners on Friday nights in Burlington, collect change in a red hat, then take our earnings and go to Ben & Jerry's for ice cream. I had the lead vocal of Da Doo Run Run, and if I hadn't moved back to Minnesota when I did, I was going to get the lead vocals of My Boyfriend's Back. This was significant, as I'd replaced a singer who used to do that song, 8 months pregnant, in a black leather jacket ("My boyfriend's back, and you're gonna be in trouble...). It would have been fun to un-retire that song, but that's my random life.
2. I actually prefer rainy, cloudy, or snowy days to sunny nice days. Summer can be depressing. It's very demanding here in Minnesota. Give me bad weather any day.
3. I don't like sweet drinks. I don't drink pop, coffee drinks with sweet flavors, sweet wine, or the so-called girly cocktails.
4. I won the trophy for Miss Talent in the Miss Blackduck Pageant of 1977, when I was still in high school. Bet there aren't many of you who can say that. And yes, I had to ride on a float in a parade and do the queen-y wave thing. And I did use Vaseline on my teeth to smile better.
5. Perhaps not surprisingly, I don't view my high school years as the best of my life.
6. I'm a magazine junkie. I have a ridiculous number of subscriptions, and a favorite Sunday afternoon for me is to sit and read magazines. I love all kinds of magazines, from The New Yorker to O to Bon Appetit to Believer to Real Simple.
7. I had laser surgery on my eyes when it was still an FDA protocol here in the U.S. I had to go to Canada. It felt very secret agent, sneaking across the border for my not-yet-legal-in-the-U.S. surgery. But I went from being horrendously near-sighted to not needing glasses at all for more than 10 years. Now I'm back to glasses again, but so far, just for driving. When you don't have to have Coke bottle bottoms, your choices are much better for frames. Pre-surgery, I'd go to buy glasses and pick something cute, only to be told, "Oh, no, sorry, those won't support your prescription." To add insult to injury, I also had severe astigmatism and abnormally dry eyes, so there just wasn't a contact lens out there that I could tolerate for very long.
8. I'm usually a goody-two-shoes, but on occasion I like to be wild and crazy and break the rules. So: the rule above about tagging others? Nah. It's Friday. I'm lazy. Consider yourself tagged, if you like, but if you do, let me know so I can see your answers!
And now, in the spirit of randominity, I present a reason why I love bad weather. This is the view off my porch this morning:
Like life hasn't been good enough to me lately. When it rains, it pours.
I signed up for the Knitter's Coffee Swap, and my swap pal is blogless Aleta (everyone, all together now: ALETA, START A BLOG!). She may be blogless, but she is far from clueless.
A knitting pattern. A scone recipe. A friendly letter. And darling stitch markers from Sunneshine. And then...
Chocolate treats! Coffee with a fabulous scent! Tea for those occasional times I don't feel like coffee! And some truly scrumptious yarn--Life Style by Zitron. When Aleta asked about my color preferences, I noted that I like pink and purple but feel like I'm stuck in that color zone too much of the time. So she went the other way, and boy, am I excited to try this yarn. It's very soft and will go very well with the lovely sock pattern she included. This may very well be the next thing I cast on.
Yesterday was opening day of the Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival. I'd never been before, since the last couple of years I had previous commitments on Mother's Day weekend. But this year, I cleared the calendar, and Mother Nature was pleasantly cooperative with a beautiful day. My intention was to go by myself--what better Mother's Day treat than some time alone with wool and wool enthusiasts??--but Youngest Son lobbied to come along. I think his motive had a lot more to do with getting out of his Saturday karate class than any intense desire to spend time with me, but after a stern warning that I would tolerate no insolence, off we went. And what fun we had!
Youngest Son quickly discovered the Make It and Take It table and proceeded to make me a lovely Mother's Day gift:
I think he's very talented.
While he was busy with beads, I discovered this:
Persain, by Blackberry Hills: 1200 yards! For $24! The other cool thing was getting to meet the proprietor herself, who was very friendly. We had a nice chat about color. She has a lovely eye.
And of course we saw what my own mother likes to call "little woolies":
And big woolies, too:
Youngest Son became very enamored with llamas and kept pointing out the "llama for sale" signs to me. But you know, llamas are a tad bit big for a VW Bug.
Personally, I was smitten with the border collies in the stockdog demonstration:
He may look mean here, but trust me, he was a very happy dog.
And what Minnesota festival doesn't come complete with food that's bad for you?
Mmm....kettle corn and cheese curds. The first of the season.
Finally Youngest Son wore me down, and I bought a llama. Along with a pickle on a stick.
Then we gathered up our treasures and headed home.
All in all, a perfectly wonderful kickoff to Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day to all!
So today was a fun day in which I and my personal knitting slave friend Deb and I went yarn shopping. My goals were simple; yarn for my Knitter's Coffeeswap pal (hi, Aleta!! Got you something! But ha ha--won't post it here!) and--yes!--yarn for Christmas knitting. Having done no Christmas knitting last year, I thought maybe if I start early this year...and when better in Minnesota to start Christmas knitting than an 80-degree day in May?
I'm looking forward to this project, which is a worsted weight lace stole, because it will be fun, and because I broke way out of my normal color palette for this, and I think I'm really going to enjoy working with these brilliant Malabrigo colors:
Isn't that fun? I may have to rethink my general position on neons.
Deb and I found this treasure at the Yarn Garage. And since we were in the neighborhood--after all, anything within 30 miles of Rosemount must be in the neighborhood, right?--we stopped at Zandy's for the heck of it. And looky looky what I found there:
Opal COTTON sock yarn. Cotton/wool blend. Very, very soft. And artistic: these colorways coordinate with paintings that are reproduced on the labels:
Yum. How about that--gifts and selfish purchases, all in one day.
Thank you for all the good wishes! The foot is healing, not as quickly as I'd like, but at least the swelling is subsiding and the colors are fading from neon to pastel.
In the meantime, still inspired by Guinifer's shopping sprees, I purchased some more yarn of my own. This is a long-time wish yarn. Back when I first started knitting, I bought some Muench Touch Me yarn to make a chemo cap for a friend. It was not a good choice for a rank amateur. Especially since I chose to knit it on Addi Turbos. I nearly had a nervous breakdown. But I loved the yarn--it was like knitting with clouds--and just about as hard to control.
Later I got the Scarf Style book and greatly admired the Vintage Velvet scarf, made from Touch Me. A lot of Touch Me--five skeins. I still twitched when I thought about Touch Me, so it didn't seem like a good time to make that commitment. But months have passed, and I have conquered a few things. I'm by no means an expert, but I feel ready to try again.
So when Little Knits announced an online sale on Touch Me, I knew the time was right:
Sorry for the bad picture. I had trouble getting anything even close to the color. It's more plummy than this, very deep and nice.
This is how I mark my progress as a knitter. I'm taking on yarn that done near whipped my ass last time I tried it.
But since then, I have also leaned how to unknit, so...I'm ready. I can do this.
Believe it or not, it looks a whole lot better than it did *before* steroids.
Not exactly twins, are they?
Believe it or not, it's not infected. It started a few days ago with a mild itchiness. Then a few hives. Then some more hives. Then a lot of swelling and vivid colors. Then the itchiness turned into pain, and no matter how much Benadryl and hydrocortisone cream I used, it just kept getting worse. So I did go to the doctor yesterday, after Youngest Son's class play (Charlotte's Web, in which he had the small but pivotal role of Templeton the Rat). I was mighty scared at the play--it was held in a small auditorium full of other fifth-grade classes, all of whom came trampling frighteningly close to my toe on their way out. I was quite afraid someone would trounce on it and it would pop like a big blister. But that did not happen. And the doctor said, no infection, just some terrible allergic response, possibly to some kind of bug bite. She put me on steroids and prescription antihistamines. Things are getting better. Except for my ankles, which are sore from having to limp around in flip-flops.
The downside is, I've been pretty good on my quest for 100 miles by July 4, but this is going to set me back a few days.
The upside? It's raining. I need to stay off my feet. Thanks to lots of good advice, I have overcome the picking-up-stitches problem on the Buffy satchel. And I have two unwatched movies from Netflix.
There actually has been knitting going on at Knit Think. See:
The Opal sock is finally coming to an end. I think I have first sock syndrome. It takes me forever to do the first one, but I'm already itching to start the second.
This is a unique sock, however.
My sock is pierced. With an uber-cool purple plastic stitch marker. I don't think I'm going to cut it off. I kind of like it there. Now that it's there. Do you have any idea how many rows I knitted before I realized what I'd done? A lot.
And now, because Guinifer keeps tormenting us (she says she's on a yarn diet, but she ever-so-conveniently ordered a gazillion skeins of yarn prior to going on said diet, so she keeps getting all these nifty packages in the mail without actually breaking the diet), I thought I'd show my recent acquisitions. Read 'em and weep, Guinifer--these were purchased within the last week! Ha ha! While you're still 70+ days from the end of your yarn diet! Ha ha ha!
Mmmm....Spike's Revenge (yes, the Spike from Buffy). Just look at those scrumptious colors. Custom -dyed by Cashmere Dreams in honor of the upcoming Buffy Sing-Along. Cashmere Dreams is my hero.
And speaking of Buffy-themed yarn...check this out:
I'd love to show you all the progress I've made on my satchel for the Buffy KAL, but sadly, said satchel languishes in a state of severe frogdom. Hey, knitting experts--help me out here. This is a felted bag where you knit the bottom first, pick up stitches all around, and continue knitting in the round to the top, so there's no need for seaming. Lovely in theory--but it was a nightmare trying to pick up stitches. The pattern calls for a 24" circular needle. Would it make sense to start with a shorter circ until I've picked up the stitches and started up the side? Because with the 24", the stitches were on so tight that I could hardly move the needles to pick up stitches. Any great help would be appreciated.