Monday, October 29, 2007

Bird on Fire Escape, in Silhouette


I don't want to peek through the shade, and possibly scare it off, but it's probably a pigeon. Hanging out and grooming itself.

Which I guess is pretty much how I'm expected to be spending this week. HA and I finished the seating chart last night. I have to do the little cards that tell people what table they're at. There's a few more things like that on the Martha Stewart Project Plan.

But since I was so hyper and took care of things as early as possible, a lot of my To Dos this weeks are things like:
-Give self Facial
-Get nails done
-use pore strip on nose

There are a lot of non-primping activities on the list, but since we're spending a lot on the photographer and, as everyone keeps reminding me, wedding pictures are forever, it is of Critical Importance that I look as good as I possibly can. Getting a mani pedi this week is such an Urgent Matter that I can't possibly just file them myself and put it off for another week or two. Which is usually a perfectly viable option for me.

I mean, I probably had a Very Important Manicure before the prom and I can remember getting my nails painted red before an occasion in my 20s, but for me, the nail salon is where I go because it's sandal season and I don't want my feet to look hideous.

So, staying home and preening--new experience for me.

When I was job hunting at the beginning of this year, I made it clear to recruiters that I would need the week after the wedding off for the honeymoon and half the week before to do all the last minute preparations. And if that meant not getting paid for those days because I was new and hadn't earned enough vacation days, well, that was OK. Well, the third-party recruiter who got me the job that I ended up taking insisted that I needed the entire week before the wedding off and it turned out that I would earn enough vacation days to do it, so I found myself looking at 2 whole weeks off. In a row.

The last time I was off for 2 whole weeks in a row, it was time off between jobs after getting laid off during the dot com crash. I got laid off on a Monday, had several interviews and meetings with recruiters by Friday and had a job offer by the following Tuesday. But my 30th birthday was looming and I decided that I wanted some time off--to enjoy it, wrap my mind around the idea. So I lived off my severance for a couple of weeks and relaxed.

Real, actual 2 week long vacations to South America, or wherever, is for big, fancy executives who get 5 weeks time off a year. At my last job, most of us got 3 and a half weeks off per year. Hardly any of the worker bees scheduled more than a week at a time. Why that might be is for another rambling babble.

So here I am in my 2 weeks, but with all the pre-wedding activities and cleaning the apartment before the housesitters arrive, Week #1 isn't expected to be especially relaxing.

Well, the pre-wedding activities and the job hunting.

um, yeah.

Did you catch that clumsy foreshadowing back there? Yeah, I got laid off last Thursday.

9 days before the wedding.

I knew all the stress and excitement would really get ramped up once the countdown got to single digits. But Sweet Flying Spaghetti Monster!

Let's recap the major events/stressors of this year, shall we?
1. moved
2. started new job
3. planning wedding/getting married
4. losing job
5. starting new job #2 (hopefully this year)

Not looking to vent or go into details. Just needed to share the absurdity of the situation. And yes, I have to do some job hunting this week so that I can stop my mind racing about it and focus on the wedding. You'd think that after 5 years of doing yoga, I'd be able to put things out of my mind at will. Not so much.

To Do
-get nails done
-apply for unemployment
-use pore strip
-call recruiters

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I Came, I Saw, I Re-Knitted

Just over a month ago, my friend Alison sent a plea for help:
The sleeves on one of my favorite sweaters are just too damn long. I brought it around to the tailors in my neighborhood and none of them would touch it. It was like they were pissed or something. Weird. But one kindly lady told me that I needed to find a knitter to help me shorten the sleeves.

Maniac that I am, I volunteered. My exact words:
This sweater can be rebuilt! We have the technology!

What I didn't realize was that a major time crunch is just a natural part of this pre-wedding stuff. Getting home late because of dance lessons = less knitting time. Etc. Plus, I wasn't going to touch it if there was food anywhere in the immediate area, or I was feeling too overwhelmed with everything else (and was therefore at risk of doing something stupid).

The short version of what I did: I unraveled the sleeves to just short of the desired length and re-knitted the cuffs.

The long version of what I did:
Step 1. Measure cuff. 1.25 inches. Wow, this is going to be fast.

Step 2. Map out cuff. I even drew a little picture. 2 rows reverse stockinette, 4 rows of 4x2 ribbing, 2 rows reverse stockinette, bind off. Yeah, this is really easy and straightforward.

Step 3. Decide where to rip back to. Alison had placed scotch tape at the desired length and I knew I needed to unravel back to 1.25 inches above that. I identified the row, and placed stitch markers in several stitches in that row.

Step 4. Measure how much is being removed. 5 cable twists were going to go--7.5 inches total. Wow. That is entirely too
much sleeve.

Step 5. Measure gauge. Both the reverse stockinette stitch and the ribbing had 7 stitches = 2 inches.

Step 6. Snip the yarn at the seam and pick out the bind off edge. Also pick out the seam up to the chosen row.

Step 7. Unravel. Um, hey. This isn't unraveling easily. What the? It seems that the yarn is twisted through the stitch below every time the pattern switches from knit to purl, which is a lot because this is ribbing. I've never seen this before. Maybe it's a machine knitting thing. After mentioning this to my mom, she uses the phrase, "locking stitch". She isn't a knitter, but she used to sew and crochet, and "locking stitch" sounds about right, so okay. The evil things are locking stitches.

Step 8. After about 3 hours of unraveling, regret not steeking (machine sewing a row of stitches, cutting the sleeve below those stitches (which will only unravel as far as the row of machine stitches), pick up new stitches).

Step 9. Realize that steeking is still an option. There's still plenty of fabric between the unraveled edge and the chosen row. What the hey! Steeking it is!

Step 10. Realize that I've never steeked before and now isn't the time to start.

Step 11. Back to the unraveling. (Note unraveling = unraveling up to a locking stitch, stretching out the locking stitch until it's big enough to slip through the small ball of yarn that's forming, continue until small ball is too big and cut yarn.) Many, many hours passed in this manner (not all in a row).

Step 12. Realize that continuing this way is going to end up with really big loops on the chosen row, caused by stretching out the locking stitch. This goal will not be achieved without scissors and a lifeline.

Step 13. Put in a lifeline. I slipped some embroidery thread through each stitch so that the thread would keep the row stitches from unraveling below that row. Like this:

Step 14. Get stitches on the needles. Holy crap! I never thought I'd live to see the day. This is over a week since I started.

Step 14. Measure the WPI (wraps per inch) of the yarn. I get 8 WPI, so it's aran weight.

Step 15. Determine needle size. Sizes 7, 8 or 9.

Step 16. Try size 9 because it feels right. Knit a few rows and measure gauge. I'm getting 8 stitches = 2 inches, which is too tight. Plus, it looks too tight.

Step 17. Tink back stitch by stitch because the thought of ripping back and then having to get the stitches back on the needle again gives me the vapors.

Step 18. Try size 10 needles. This time, the gauge is 7.5 stitches = 2 inches. Still too tight.

Step 19. Tink back again. It's OK. Sleeves don't have too any stitches in each row.

Step 20. Try a size 10.5 needle. This gets 7.25 stitches = 2 inches which is going to have to be close enough. Size 11s are too much bigger than 10.5s to be right. (These easy needle changes brought to you by Denise Interchangeable needles. The stitches stayed on the cord and I just changed the tips.)

Step Twenty-Freaking-One. Hey, that first row of reverse stockinette stitch isn't really popping. I wonder why that is. Oh hey! The evil designer who put in all those locking stitches did a row of stockinette stitch before the reverse stockinette so that all the stitches would stand out against the previous row. Without that, it kinds of blurs into the ribbing row above. Boy that evil designer is clever.

Step 22. Devise plan of attack. Since only one row of knitting remains to be done, I'll just drop stitches down to the first row I didn't unravel and then fix all the stitches with a crochet hook. That way I can make that last row all stockinette stitch. I can totally do this!

Step 23. Drop the first column of stitches and realize that I can't turn a purl stitch into a knit because of the freaking locking stitch thing.

Step 24. Sigh

Step 25. Put lifeline back in.

Step 26. Pray

Step 27. Decide that tinking back 7 rows is safer than relying on the lifeline.

Step 28. Tink back. Discover that the lifeline was 1 row too low this time, so tinking = good call. Feel smart.

Step 29. Realize that step 29 took 1 hour, aka one episode of Cast-On, with Brenda Dayne.

Step 30. Sigh.

Step 31. Start over, adding a row of stickinette stitch before starting the rest of the cuff.

Step 32. Bind off loosely.

Step 33. Realize that Steps 31 & 32 took 40 minutes. It took less time to knit than to tink back.

Step 34. Sigh.

Step 35. Hold the seam together and confirm that it's possible to fit a human hand through the hole.

Step 36. Sew up seam, weave in ends.


The re-done sleeve is the narrower one. Right about where the sleeve started to get too long, it also started to flare out so that it would be too wide as well.

Step 37. Snip seam of Sleeve #2 and pick out seam.

Step 38. Check notes about where to stop and place lifeline.

Step 39. Take out scissors and cut the fabric away a few rows below the lifeline.

Step 40. Unravel the last couple of rows.

Step 41. Put stitches on needles, remove the lifeline.

Step 42. Knit the cuff (repeat step 32) using unravelled yarn from sleeve #1

Step 43. Bind off loosely, sew seam weave in ends.

Step 44. Look smugly at the 7.5 inch chunk of sleeve that I cut off. You will not be able to torture me with your locking stitches, o chunk of sleeve!

So.

Sleeve #1--36 steps. Sleeve #2--8 steps.

Step 45. Marvel at how much smarter I am now and how no weeping and very little wine was involved.

Alison has received the sweater and reports that:
It looks — and fits — great.

Whew!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Re-use-apalooza

Last weekend, HA and I went to visit Dame Wendy to drop off some of the multitide of packing materials that we've received along with our wedding gifts. We had 5 shopping bags of styrofoam peanuts and 3 shopping bags of paper. And we already have almost that much again already.

I could show you a picture of the piles of bags, but then you'd see what a mess my apartment is, and that ain't happening.

I'm a firm believer in Reduce - Re-use - Recycle. In that order. It takes less energy to re-use something than to recycle it and so on. Since I'm not going to be able to convince Macy's to start using cardboard boxes that aren't so much bigger than the gift boxes insides, reducing is out of the question. You can't recycle the styrofoam and the stuff takes something like 1,000 to decompose, so re-using it is. I have too much to worry about with the upcoming wedding to wring my hands over how mch styrofoam we'd be throwing into a landfill. And this is the sort of thing I fret about regularly.

(We also have loads of cardboard boxes, and we could Freecycle them, but it was such a hassle to Freecycle our moving boxes, that we're just tossing them in the recycling this time. Though HA has to do it because I can't be trusted not to hide them all in the back of a closet for possible future re-use.)

So Wendy has taken a big load off of my mind along with the oodles of packing materials. And really? I think everyone should be finding someone to re-use their styrofoam peanuts, etc. If you know someone with a home business, or who sells on etsy.com or eBay--offer them your old packing materials. That stuff ain't cheap. Just drop it off at a Mailboxes, etc. when you get a chance. Civilizations will rise and fall and future archaeologists will have to sift through tons of styrofoam to find stuff to study. Hell, they'll probably study the styrofoam itself, trying to deduce what was so important about the stuff that we had to have so much of it.

Plus, Wendy was nice enough to give me some of her wonderful tarts and my apartment, though cluttered and messy, smells awesome. Seriously--go buy candles. The holidays are coming and she's rocking some pretty creative scents.

And speaking of re-use, while we were in Wedny's neck o fthe woods, we past 2 thrift shops. Where I scored 5, count 'em 5 sweaters that I'm going to unravel and knit into new sweaters for me, me, me!




I've made a few sweaters and none of them are in regular rotation--a couple are a little too big, one is made with itchy yarn so I have to handwash it in shampoo and conditioner, and so on. What I need is more experience knitting sweaters. Doing that without spending $50 or more on the yarn for each sweater would help me feel like I wasn't wasting money while I'm learning (though I have high hopes for the 2 sweaters I'm working on now).

I spent $40 total on the 5 sweaters pictured above. That's $8 a sweater.

I've done this before and have a sweater that I wear in the office all the time. It started life as a Ralph Lauren sweater, so you know the yarn is decent quality. It cost me $4. It's a bit shlumpy, but it does the job and if I make myself a new office sweater and just toss this one into storage, I won't mind. It was a quick knit and cost me 4 freaking dollars.

If you want to stretch your yarn buying dollars, here's the tutorial that I learned from.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fetch!


Pattern: Fetching from Knitty.com
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Ocean
Started: 9/16/07
Finished: 10/14/07
Mods: I did what Purl Diva did. Scroll down to March 19. I'm very happy that I was a big copycat. I liked the mods a lot.
Needles: whatever size Purl Diva used. Size 5, I believe. I used DPNs from Comfort Zone Needles. These DPNs are fantastic. Nice and bendy/whippy. They have a little drag to keep your stitches from falling off. Very easy on the hands.
Notes: I would've finished them sooner, but the bind off on the right one was too tight and I had to re-do it. Twice. After the 2nd binding off, I had to set it aside until I could face picking out the bind off. Again.

I wore them yesterday morning on the way to work because my wrists were just the teensiest bit chilly. They're very comfy and I can see why the pattern is so popular.

Oh, and this was my first cabling project. I used a size 4 DPN as a cable needle and found the whole thing so easy and straightforward that I couldn't believe I'd been such a wuss. Of course, after this baby blankie with the traveling stitches, in nice, slippery cotton, of course cabling was a piece of cake.




HA hasn't yet developed the yarn photography skills of HWWV, but he's learning. Or maybe HA is just caught up in the pre-newlywed thing--that first picture is a good one of ME, even if it doesn't show the gloves too well.

You don't really need to see clear close-ups of Fetching anyway. 1,547 people on Ravelry have made or are making this project, so you can better pictures on their blogs. Go google if you really care.

I feel like I should be funnier, but I'm wiped. I'm just going to go hit the couch and do some of that knitting stuff so I have more stuff to blog about.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I Won! I Won!


I received my prize package this weekend from Marsha's blog contest.

I feel very honored that her little girl randomly picked my name out of the bowl.

Blogger doesn't want to let me upload a picture (Update: Fixed now, sort of!), so you'll have to go on and have a look at the prizes on Marsha's blog. Until I can get the picture uploaded, you'll also have to imagine a lovely notecard that contained a lovely note.

I now have all the things I'll need to survive on a desert island. I have a little book (which I've been wanting to get since she mentioned it), some shea butter soap (which I'm just itching to use), an optimism ball (which is going right on the keychain), green tea (which is going to the office), Icelandic chocolate (which I'm resisting for the moment due to my Jabba the bride fears. If I find myself on Saturday with some WW Points to spare, that candy bar will not stand a chance.).

The package also contains a tube of lip balm, which would do me a world of good on a desert island. Except that it contains honey, which I'm allergic to. And I can't give it to HA because if he put it on and then kissed me, I'd have to go for the Benedryl anyway!

(What a lame allergy I have. I'm on 2 kinds of allergy medicine for my hay fever and I can still get difficulty breathing from freaking Teddy Grahams, or just feel kinda yucky all day after drinking a chai latte. Plus, it's not one of the big allergens, so I feel like an idiot every time I ask in a restaurant if something contains honey. Think they'd always mention it? We once went to a restaurant where they gave us bread and honey butter. HA had some first, so it was OK, but why would they even think to mention it? Who's allergic to honey?! Although, really, honey is made by bees, who hang out with pollen, so...it kinda makes sense. One of my cousins is allergic to black pepper. So she wins on the lame allergy contest. Wow, that's a whole lotta babbling. I must be sleepy.)

But my allergy is your gain! This super natural lip balm is going into a prize package of my own! After the wedding, I'll have a contest of some sort and the prize will include lip balm, and probably some cool stuff I pick up in Paris on the honeymoon. Maybe I'll do a travel theme--pick up some Toblerone at the airport, that sort of thing.

Watch this space!

And thanks for the awesome presents Marsha!!!

Updated to add link to my entry in the contest.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Trial

Last week, I underwent the ritual pre-wedding hair & makeup trial.
There was an extra layer of tension involved because it was also my
first haircut in 4 1/2 months. Last time, my hairdresser suggested we
try something and my hair rejected the new style like a donated organ.

But, as I predicted, my hair had grown out enough for me to get my old
hair style back. Hair was cut. Bridal headband was placed. Hair was
quickly styled as it will be for the wedding. Bride was pleased.

And then it was time for the makeup portion of the evening.

Now, when I first called to make the appointment, I was told that J is
the only one who can do wedding makeup. There was another makeup
artist who's only good for touch-ups. J is booked for a large chunk of
time on my wedding day (presumably another wedding party), but we
scheduled around it. It would mean having my makeup done before my
hair, but it was a risk I could live with.

When I called back for something, I was told that actually, M would be
doing my makeup. I was told that M was a 3rd person entirely who isn't
always there, but will be there after all and J said it was okay if M
did my makeup.

My bullshit alarm went off, but okay.

When I was having my hair done, M came over, thinking that I was
scheduled for a manicure. I was concerned about this, but maybe she
was misinformed. Whatever. I didn't want to get myself in a state of
mind to pitch a fit, so I reserved judgment, even after seeing the odd
look on her face when I told I was there was a makeup trial for my
wedding.

But okay, maybe she was just concerned about how long it would take
and wanted to go home.

And then, with my hair all pretty, headband still in place, I was
handed over to M.

First, she had me lie down on a treatment table (like for when you're
getting your legs or eyebrows waxed). I expressed concern for my
hair, but she said it would be fine. There was a big pillow that would
go under my neck and keep my hair from touching the bed. And if my
hair got messed up, it was only a trial.

Then, she was confused about why I was there. First, she thought I was
attenting someone else's wedding that evening. I tried to clarify and
she thought I was getting married that night. Then she thought that
since I wasn't getting married that night, that she should do my
makeup lighter than for the wedding.

I still kept my temper. "Do my makeup exactly like you're going to do
it for the wedding," I said, slowly and clearly.

I said that I had brought my makeup bag with me so she could see what
colors I usually use. I gave it to her and she used my own makeup for
the entire thing. This striked me as odd and unprofessional since I couldn't possibly own better makeup than what a makeup artist has in their case, but maybe it was an endorsement of my usual color palette.

She applied foundation on most of my face and neck with a sponge. I
was concerned, but did not find this cause for panic.

She brushed something on my cheeks. Initially, I thought it was my
face powder, but when she failed to brush this something on any other
part of my face, I began to suspect that it had been blush, even
though it was covering a much larger area than one usually covers with
blush.

She applied my eyeliner to my top lid. Not where I usually wear it,
but could be attractive. She seemed to be putting on quite a lot of
it, but it is for a wedding.

Then came the eyeshadow. It didn't feel like anything to worry about
was going on there, so okay.

She then took a lipstick brush and applied some of my lipstick OUTSIDE
of my lip line. On both lips. My lips are full enough, thank you, but
it's a small thing that we can discuss when we're done.

She then applied lipstick to the rest of my lips directly from the
tube, even though my lipstick is a little broken and you have to be
careful with it, or the whole thing will just break off.

Then she hands me a mirror and asks me what I think.

Now, less than 10 minutes have passed, so the Enough Is Enough alarm
is starting to go off.

I took at look at myself while still lying down. The shock was, shall
we say, substantial, increased by how much rounder and fuller and
fatter one's face can look when one is lying on their back.

So I sat up.

My face looked thinner, but that was about all the improvement I was
going to get.

My cheeks were covered in a swath of color. You know how you put blush
on the apple of the cheek, or the hollow of the cheek, depending on
the effect you're going for? Well, there was blush on the apples, the
hollows and beyond of my cheeks. You know how a 6 year old gets into
her mommy's makeup bag and takes a brush and rubs it all over her
cheeks? Like that.

My lips were not entirely covered in lipstick. Some parts had too
much, some parts had none. I have never seen my own lipstick looking
that bad on me. I can't even come up with the words to describe it.
The lipliner wasn't even consistent--sometimes outside of my lip line
and sometimes not. My lips did not look like they were shaped like
lips.

My eyes, well, the eyeshadow didn't really register with me because
all I could see was the glob of eyeliner. As in, a three dimensional,
glob of eyeliner that had broken off from the eyeliner pencil, adhered
to my eyelid, which she had left there.

And since she had skipped the concealer, I was rocking the undereye
circles like nobody's business.

Even then, I attempted to work within the situation. I told her that
this was not okay. She looked at me in blank surprise. I removed the
glob of eyeliner. She asked what was wrong. I decided to begin with
the lack of concealer. I started to apply it myself to demonstrate and
she took over. In the process, she managed to get concealer on my
eyelashes. My thick, dark eyelashes that have never needed mascara,
disappeared under the ministrations of M.

Then I brought up the subject of the blush and how one usually doesn't
cover quite so much acreage with it. More blank surprise from M.
Exasperated, I got up, grabbed a role of toilet paper and started
wiping off some of the blush to show her the desired coverage area.

At this point, she started telling me how for weddings you want to
wear more makeup than usual. I realized then that this was not a
person who would be able to do my make up in a way that was not
freakish, let alone attractive. My patience went outside to take a
cigarette break and I asked to see the manager.

I showed the manager the cheek that I hadn't wiped anything off of,
and she repeated the line about wearing more makeup then usual for a
wedding. I explained, not hysterically, but not calmly either, that
for a wedding, the bride wears more WELL APPLIED makeup than usual. I
went on to explain that I looked like a kewpie doll who was trying to
look like a prostitute.

The manager continued telling me that the makeup just wasn't to my
taste and M could do something more natural. I countered that no one
in their right mind would even venture outdoors looking like that.

I don't even have the energy for the blow by blow anymore. Blatant
insults to my intelligence wear me out. I put my foot down and refused
to pay for that evening's makeup session, cancelled the makeup
appointment for my wedding day and asked for something to wipe the
hideousness from my face. They gave me a damp terrycloth towel. No
soap. No cold cream. I had to rub my face raw to make myself
presentable.

My hairdresser intervened with the manager and they may be getting in
someone else entirely to do my makeup. I'm waiting to hear back from
them, but I'm also thinking about backups.

Now I know why everyone told me I needed to take off the entire week
before the wedding. It's so I can wander around Midtown East, going
from salon to salon auditioning makeup artists.

I was too traumatized to think to take a picture to share, which is just as well. It took me a couple of days to recover from the shock of that sight. I wouldn't want to put anyone else through that.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Shower

Our wedding shower was last weekend and it was just so great. It wasn't a surprise because the womenfolk in my family are terrible liars. For the bridal shower of one aunt, they waited until all the guests were in the house before coming up with an excuse to get her to come over. The best they could do? A friend of someone was over there selling blouses and she should come over and see if she wanted to buy some.

I mean, honestly people. It takes me 2 hours to get from my house to my parents' house and I wasn't going to make the trip for whatever tragic reason they came up with this time. I mean, what if someone really was selling blouses and it cost me a 4-hour round trip on the subway to find out? That's some quality knitting time right there, but still.

Maybe it's presumptuous to assume that there's going to be a shower, but I know that my aunts would insist on having an opportunity to watch us unwrap housewares, while embarssing the hell out of us, if at all possible, so there's no point in pretending.

Speaking of the rock and the hard place--the same rules of ettiquette that has me answering our friends' questions by saying that we're registered here and there, but they're not obligated to get us anything let alone something from the registry (which is true), also has me checking the registry daily to make sure that there's still enough variety of available gifts in different price ranges.

So I shouldn't want or expect gifts, but I also have to stay on top of people giving us gifts. Plus, I was worried while we were registering that people would think badly of us for registering for 1 or 2 pricey items (even though I'd be totally happy with just scoring the discount they give you when you buy up stuff to close out your registry).

Seriously? I had opened 2 or 3 packages at the shower before it sank in that we were going to get to take all this stuff home and it was OK to get excited about it.

Double seriously? It would have been enough for people to just come to the wedding and have a good time and keep the complaining to a minimum.

Triple seriously? We're really psyched and grateful for all the gifts and really will think of the givers when we use them (except for the bath towels, because it's kinda creepy to think of anyone when drying off your nethers).

Quadruple seriously? That waffle iron will be getting some use this weekend if HA knows what's good for him.

Now, the shower was co-ed at my request. I had hoped that the presence of uncles and he-cousins sitting out in the sunroom watching sports would keep the girly-ness and ritual humilation of the bride to a minimum. I don't know if it was that, or my repeated death threats aimed at my mother, but there was no bow hat (i.e. a paper plate with gift bows stuck to it that I would then be expected to place on my head for a photo op) and no one tried to wrap me in a toilet paper wedding dress.

I was, however, presented with a Victoria's Secret box. (Background: the women in my family insist that the mother-of-the-bride must buy her daughter a penoir set to wear on the wedding night/for the morning after breakfast in bed photo. Which, what??? and ewww! and no, really, just, don't.)

So I smiled and laughed and figured it couldn't possibly be too bad. Hell, I know how to return merchandise as well as the next gal. And my mom had promised. My aunts couldn't possibly have peer pressured her into breaking that promise, right? They do have me outnumbered, but still...right?

I braced myself and opened the box...


which contained 2 dozen pairs of stripey socks.

They got me. They got me good. They got me so good that later on, I decided to make an impromptu bow hat. A pillbox bow hat, if you will.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Losing My Mind

Apparently, this is perfectly normal so close to the wedding. All my married friends nod knowingly whenever I mention how my brain is broken, so I guess it's nothign out of the ordinary.

For several weeks now, I've felt a little manic-depressive--either happily blissed out or filled with rage over somthing stupid (like when His Awesomeness hard boiled an egg incorrectly (i.e. not the way I would do it)).

His continuing willingness to marry me is proof of His Awesomeness' Awesomeness.

But wait, there's more!

The night before last I had a dream where the photographer was setting up a picture of me & HA, lying down, with our heads on pillows. And 2 large bugs or small critters were supposed to run into the shot from opposite sides and meet right over our heads and kiss each other. Apparently, I had some very serious logistical concern about this, started talking in my sleep and woke HA up (still in my sleep) to ask him about it. I finally woke up enough to realize I was babbling and told him nevermind.

So when I saw a link the sanity test on Adrienne Martini's blog, I thought it might be a good idea to take the test. You know, just to see how far gone I actually am.

On a scale of 0 to 288, I scored a 42. According to the site:
Based upon your answers, you appear to be in good mental health. Congratulations!

Good to know.

Although, why they would choose to tell someone their BMI when the person could have food or body image issues is beyond me. In their words:

Your body mass index suggests you may also be dealing with obesity as an ongoing life issue.

Oh, really? Thanks so much for telling me, Sanity Test People. I hadn't noticed that what with all the losing and re-losing weight I've been doing since I was about 6. So good of you to enlighten me.

I know I still haven't managed to re-lose those 20 pounds I wanted to and will need someone to photoshop my double chin out of the wedding pictures so I don't look like Jabba the Bride. Now go away, Sanity Test People, before I start taking out some of my pre-marital stress on your ass.

I mean, honestly, people! Just go poke an irritated grizzly bear while you're at it.

But, as I noticed while taking the test, there are many problems out there that I don't have, so there is that.

Maybe I'll retake the test post-nuptually and see how much better I do on the anxiety score.

Sigh.

I need a cookie.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Random Babbling

Just a little prattling to tide us over until I can come up with something more substantial. I have a couple of big posts planned, but I need to actually do some things and take pictures of them before I can write the posts.

The Green Tea Raglan has yet to seam itself (as far as I know--I've only managed to glance at the pieces or the bags containing them). Once that's done, I'll have some showing off to do, plus the details on how I changed the neckline.

I'll also be shortening the sleeves on a sweater a friend of mine bought on sale. I'll be documenting the surgery as soon as I can get to it.

It's never a good idea to do any sweater finishing, or unraveling and re-knitting, when distracted, stressed out, and similar. And the wedding is in less than a month, so that's where I'm at most of the time. I'm hoping to get to it all this weekend.

I'm actually looking forward to sitting down, taking a deep breath and tackling those sleeves. I know what I have to do to get decent results and it'll be good for me to focus on somethign besides how stressed I am.

The Green Tea seaming, not so much with the looking forward to it. I suspect that I'll be ripping out several rows at the bottom because of my blatant disregard for the differences in row gauge I was getting. I can handle this, but not without time for a lie down and a nice glass of wine during the process. It'll be easy to do, but I've had enough do-overs with this one.

Plus, I totally would've used the suggested yarn from the pattern if I could've found it. I couldn't find it online and I'm wasn't about to start calling LYSs to see if they carry it. Though now that I think about it, one call to Seaport Yarns probably would've done the trick.

But still! It's not my fault I didn't use the suggested yarn. It's not fair for me to have to think about row gauge!

See? This is why I'll need a drink and possibly some chocolate as well. I've been betrayed by string. The human mind should not have to deal with this sort of thing.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I'm Denises!


What kind of knitting needles are you?





You are interchangeable.Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every eventuality covered and every opportunity just has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and every day is a new beginning. You are good at so many things, it's amazing, but you can easily lose your place and forget to show up. They have row counters for people like you!
Take this quiz!








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On the one hand, since I own and use Denise interchangeable needles for almost every project, I'm kinda psyched that those are the needles I would be, if I were needles. On the other hand, I am not needles, and so I'm finding this quiz weirder than most. Or maybe I just need to get some sleep.

In wedding news, the silver shoes have arrived and fit so well that they don't even need stretching. I kept making mistakes in dance class tonight because I couldn't stop looking at my shiny, shiny shoes in the mirror.

Saved by William Shatner


I don't think anyone will be shocked to hear that I've been a bit stressed lately. But I quadruple dare anyone to listen to William Shatner's album Has Been without cheering up. You don't even need the whole album--just listen to "Common People".

We're DJing the wedding ourselves via mix CDs (no iPod hookup at the restaurant) and Common People is in there. We were listening to the mix the other night to test it out and when that song came on, I found myself completely unable to continue doing dishes. The power of the Shatner compelled me to turn off the water, dry my hands, and dance/flail around the kitchen until I was out of breath.

We're going to have to follow that one up with a slow song so people don't pass out.

In knitting news, I finished the Left Fetching last night even though the temperature had started rising again because I'm just weird like that. I started the Right one as well and we'll see if I feel like working on it in the next few days.

The problem with small projects (or anything with cables) is that you have to pay attention. And my brains cells are a bit occupied at the moment. With a sweater, I only need to keep track of the next increase or decrease row. I can ktog and ssk without thinking about it now. I guess cabling will get that way with practice.

And speaking of sweaters, I finished the first sleeve of Slanted Neck Pullover on Monday night. I was super-impressed with myself after modifying the sleeve cap shaping on the fly to compensate for my row gauge. Hopefully, I'll still be impressed with it when the whole thing is finished.

Green Tea Raglan has not managed to seam itself. Maybe it would help if I put all the pieces in the same room.

In blog reading news, I managed to read all my unread bloglines and now I have less than 20 new posts to read. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and edgy having so many unread. And now I'm feeling edgy because I'm afraid I'll run out of blog posts to read. I really hope to regain my sanity after the wedding.