I hope everyone is having happy holidays. So far we have consumed massive amounts of sugar, ripped pretty paper off of boxes, and exchanged some sweet gifts. Then we snuggled on the couch and watched movies. To quote Monkey: "This is the best christmas EVERRRRR!"
This is our official holiday photo for 2007. No, it is not photoshopped! I physically coerced the felines into sitting nicely in front of the tree... magic...
It took several photos to get this one. You can see the out takes in the Picasa photo album.
But christmas is not over! Tomorrow we are abandoning the furballs for some holiday cheer in Cincinnati.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I hope everyone is having happy holidays. So far we have consumed massive amounts of sugar, ripped pretty paper off of boxes, and exchanged some sweet gifts. Then we snuggled on the couch and watched movies. To quote Monkey: "This is the best christmas EVERRRRR!"
Friday, December 14, 2007
I know this is a little late to be posting since I am celebrating christmas with my mom and dad this weekend.... but I thought it would be fun to post my wishlist.
- needle holders for straight, circ, and dpn knitting needles. I like these ones: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/accessories_notions_list/32
- patagonia jacket - I have been wanting one of these for a long time, but have been too poor.
I like the following
W's Free Box Jacket in Spiderline:Poppy Fields size Medium
W's Retro-X Jacket in Pale Blossom size Medium
W's Synchilla Windzone Jacket in Teakwood size Medium I like this one the best!
- juicer/citrus reamer
- ice cream ball: it's a ball that you roll around and make ice cream in
- headphones: Bose like these or something else that's nice... maybe the kind that go around the back of the ear to stay secure
- a better radio and/or cd player for my kitchen (I currently have an alarm clock that was $4.99 at Target)
- dust buster: not a crappy one... I just threw that one out
- bigger computer monitor
I also have an Amazon Wishlist - click here
I would also love contributions for the following items:
- external hard drive
- tv (we already bought this and are paying it off)
These are good too:
- Target gift card
- Best Buy gift card (probably where I would buy a hard drive and/or monitor)
Okay now it's time to wrap the gifts I bought for OTHER PEOPLE including parents, sibling (because I only have one - who will be 20 yrs old on Monday - sister), and other loved ones, and pack my clothes so we can hit the road!!!
Posted by sarah b. at 8:06 AM
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
(I'm using homey as an adjective here...)
The holidays are in full swing around here with decorations, shopping, christmas parties, and lots of knitting of course! This is the time of year when daunting deadlines prevent sleep and I could practically start a fire from the friction of my needles.... why metal needles are often a good option. I feel like I have a pretty good handle on things, and since our family events are spread out I'm not freaking out.... yet....
Since this is our first christmas at home, and since we have a faux fireplace, I'm making our stockings. Here are the first two. The red one is Steve's and the green is mine. I'm pretty happy with how they are turning out. I'm just using basic sock style proportions and I've charted out my colorwork designs. Originally they were all going to be the same design, but (with some prompting from Steve) I decided to make them unique. It's more fun that way, right? I still have to design two smaller stockings - one for each cat. And I may have to make a third one in case we have someone visiting for christmas. This year it may be Steve's mom.
Still have to do the loops.... I'm thinking i-cord but I will welcome other suggestions.
We took a big road trip for the Thanksgiving weekend making stops in Covington KY, Cincinnati, and Toledo. Visiting relatives is always fun.... so is the food! Here are my four uncles with my dad and Granny.
She also helped me rearrange the furniture and finish the couch cover - a 2+ year project!!! finally accomplished. If you can recall, it used to be a nauseating red country plaid.... and it looked horrible underneath Steve's large orange toned piece (my fave). So now it's a nice almondy-wheat color and the fabric is a microsanded duck canvas... very soft and durable. However, when the couch was by the windows the room seemed a bit too creamy, but this arrangement breaks up the plain areas with the orange chairs, and now the couch is across from the fireplace. Plus, everyone likes to see a tree lit up in the window, right? You will also notice our new TV!!!! - an early christmas present from ourselves and Steve's dad. It's AWESOME!!!! click on the photo to see more.
Last, but certainly not least, our tree! We only have about ten ornaments but I know we will accumulate them over the years. I also won a set of tree toppers on ebay, which should be arriving soon. We bought the tree from the guy in the lot on Sheridan Rd. We walked in a he sold us this one. I was a little skeptical to take the first tree he showed us. It looked nice but I wasn't so sure that many people used spruces for christmas trees. It's been dropping needles like crazy even though I've been making sure it has plenty of water.... next year I'm going with a frasier fir.... But I still think this one is pretty despite that there are needles everywhere. One of the cats will walk by and you will notice about fifteen tree needles littering the fur on their back... evidence? Well at least so far none of the presents have been chewed on.
Posted by sarah b. at 6:03 AM
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Someone in my SnB called our attention to this article... very interesting!
(by Amy Goetzman - minnpost.com)
Overheard at a knitters gathering in Minneapolis: "The library catalog said the books were checked in, but they were not on the shelf. And I know how to use the Dewey Decimal system! Maybe the librarians are hiding them.
Confessions of a knitting librarian: "Well, actually, we were."
At some Hennepin County library locations, you'll have to talk to a librarian to get your hands on the latest knitting books. Why are they holding these tomes hostage when knitting is enjoying such a rebirth of cool?
Apparently the pattern books need protection from a wool-minded slasher.90-something books vandalized
Last fall, librarians at the St. Louis Park, Ridgedale and Golden Valley branches noticed dozens of knitting books coming back with pages missing. One of the St. Louis Park librarians also worked at the Burnhaven library in Dakota County, and observed the same phenomenon at that library system. An estimated 90 books were vandalized, and an investigation was launched.
Vandals and fools should never underestimate the intelligence of people who work surrounded by books, and it wasn't long before librarians tracked down "an older gentleman" who was checking out massive numbers of knitting books and magazines from a far-flung array of libraries. He was often the first patron to check out a brand-new volume, making it easy to eliminate other suspects.
Once the avenging librarians pinpointed their suspect, they wielded their most shaming weapon: a massive load of library fines. The Dakota and Hennepin systems each levied approximately $400 in fines against the man and his wife, and banned the couple from the library for a year.
And that's when the stranger side of human nature presented itself. The man first denied the charges, blaming other patrons. Then he blamed librarians for the damaged brand-new books. And then he blamed his wife. He finally petitioned Hennepin County library commissioner Gail Dorfman for mercy.
Accused vandal needles librarians
"Oh, they felt very wronged," said Dorfman. "I worked with them, because they are regular users of the library and longstanding good citizens. We removed the fines (Dakota County did not), and perhaps the mystery of the knitting needle caper has been solved. It hasn't happened again.
"This was the biggest issue that we had, before the library merger," said Dorfman, laughing. "In this business of public service, things come up that you couldn't anticipate in your wildest dreams."
Vandalism of library material isn't uncommon, but when someone has a special interest, it catches the attention of librarians. "A few years ago, a person hit all the MELSA (Metropolitan Library Service Agency) libraries, and stole a huge number of materials," said Roseanne Bryne, deputy director of the Dakota County libraries. "He was particularly interested in fish and aquariums. Librarians noticed the theme, and they began comparing notes with other libraries. The authorities raided his home, and found boxes and boxes of materials."
Byrne says "99 percent" of patrons use the library responsibly. "People do love and appreciate their libraries, and this is extremely rare behavior. And most knitters are refined, gentle people who wouldn't do anything like this."
Posted by sarah b. at 12:23 PM
Monday, November 19, 2007
Posted by sarah b. at 8:35 PM
Sunday, November 18, 2007
This weekend I went to a yarn shop that I had never been to before - Nina, in Wicker Park. It is a beautiful little boutique with luxurious yarns in almost a gallery type setting. Great atmosphere. Not too small. Helpful staff.
They were having their 3rd birthday sale - 20% all yarn. (and it's still going on today!) Due to the sale, however, there is no ball winding taking place today.... which I didn't quite get, since someone, whom I think was a staff member, was sitting on the couch knitting the entire time. Anyway, it wasn't a huge disadvantage. (I'll just make Steve hold some yarn while I wind.)
We purchased some wonderful yarn and saved $15. I bought 4 hanks of Malibrigo, and 3 balls of Aurora8..... all for projects I have in mind. The line was quite long, as we stood there for 20 minutes in our winter coats, but I don't think they are used to that sort of volume. There were cookies and tea. I had to remove my coat because I was getting warm, and by the time the woman in front of me had her turn at the register she almost fainted! Not sure why, but it gave everyone quite a scare and I think she was a bit embarrassed. But I hope she is alright!!!! Still a little worried about her, even though I don't know her.
In other news this week, I RECEIVED MY INVITATION TO RAVELRY!!!!!! Equivalent to myspace for knitters/crocheters! This site is awesome. I know it going to suck up large amounts of my time, but it's very cool, so I don't care. You should definitely put your name on the waiting list. There is still a lot of testing going on, that's why you have to be on a waiting list. It took a couple of weeks to get my invite.
If anyone wants to find me on ravelry my screen name is sarahsuemagoo.........
Posted by sarah b. at 7:35 AM
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
(this is a continuation of a previous post)
The woman who is sitting next to me continues to wait for her name to be called. She's huffing and puffing and checking her watch. She approaches the receptionist saying, "I just need to see the doctor for a moment. I have to go pick up my kids by 6pm or the day care charges me extra." I'm thinking that she's in a much worse situation than me, so I'm not too upset when they call her in before me.... even though I know my appointment was higher in the queue.
I can hear the conversation going on behind the desk. The woman is saying that her bottom lip is totally numb, and the nurse is telling her that she is having a terrible allergic reaction and should have gone to the ER.
Finally they call my name and I'm a taken into an exam room where the nurse takes my vitals.
It's only about 5 minutes before the doctor comes in.
DR: Tell me what has been going on.
SBE: Well I've been wheezing and coughing an awful lot. It seems like it's been going on for weeks.
DR: (listens to my chest with her stethoscope) Yes, you are wheezing, you have bronchitis. Do you have any family history of bronchitis or asthma?
SBE: No, but do you think it could be caused by allergies? Because it seems like it only happens when I'm at home. Do you think it could be my cats? (I've been doing my own internet research. We poor folk often have to self diagnose if we can't afford to go to the doctor)
DR: Yes, it could be your cats. You should get rid of them.
OBVIOUSLY this woman does not have any pets and if she does, I feel sorry for the poor little creatures. If anyone knows me they know how INSANE-in-love I am with my cats and they would never even THINK of suggesting this. It is equivalent to someone saying a mother should put her children up for adoption. At this point I'm ready to burst into tears. I didn't want to cry in front of everyone so I managed to keep some sort of composure until I got home.
She writes three Rx's - amoxicillin, and two different inhalers. And as she's doing so, she's asking me if I will come back to this clinic after I get my insurance (I had briefly mentioned getting new job, etc). It makes sense that when people who have good insurance go to a clinic like this, it helps their patients who don't have insurance. I understand that. But do I really want to screw around with this sort of thing???? This is my health and my body we are talking about here. Not to mention the emotional stress of visiting the clinic.
I feel for those people, I really do. I feel like I have been one of them. It hasn't been as hard for me because I don't have kids to deal with, and Steve and I know that if we ever have any kind of real huge problem, our parents are stable enough to back us up. A lot of people don't have that kind of insurance. They have nothing.
But I feel like I deserve the right to go to a doctor's office that is clean and private, where medical professionals aren't too stressed to be compassionate. The doc says she wants to see me again in one week. "Okay," I say. I hope I never set foot in the clinic again, unless it's to donate money to them (if I were THAT well off....)
As I'm writing my check for the doctor's fee the paramedics are there picking up the swollen lip lady. "What else was on the pizza?" they're asking her as they wheel her out on a stretcher.
Now I have my inhalers that will hopefully get me by until I can see my new Dr.... who will hopefully refer me to an allergist, and never suggest giving my children up for adoption. I already feel much better after one day. It's a whole different world when you can finally breathe.
Posted by sarah b. at 8:25 PM
Last night I went to the poor people's health clinic. My insurance doesn't kick in until December 1st and I have been coughing and wheezing for WEEKS possibly months... so I decided I couldn't wait any longer. I made an appointment, which lead to one of the most depressing evenings I've had in a long time.
I had planned my entire day around this appointment. I drove to work, got there early, left work early... and arrived at the clinic about 5 mins before my appointment. I had been there before.
I ended up waiting 1.25 hours just to get into the exam room. Someone in the office had really bad B.O. There were several small children from various families running around making noise. I couldn't get any knitting done... no concentration. (I wished I had my headphones..... would that have been rude?) It was like an extended El ride, only people kept getting on. Hardly anyone walked out the door the whole time I was in the waiting room. No one had any sense of personal volume.
A middle aged mother and her daughter, who was about my age, walked into the clinic when I was parking. They were waiting just as long as myself. The daughter went up to the receptionist several times (who was constantly on the phone - not making personal calls, I'm sure, but was very busy) to explain her situation. Apparently the mother did not speak English and the daughter had to be there with her to translate, or maybe also as her transportation. All they wanted was the mother's mammogram results but the daughter had to be in class at 5pm... they were there well after 5. I thought, "Oh God, how terrible to receive your mammogram results in a place like this.... especially if it was bad news...."
Another family came in through the door - a mother, father, and son who was about 9 or 10. None of them spoke English.... I couldn't believe that the son didn't know any. It seems like even if he went to a school where Spanish was the main language (not surprising for Chicago) they would at least have English as a subject.... who knows. Anyway, there was only one nurse who spoke Spanish. She spoke with the father for a moment just behind the counter. I think they were trying to find out how much something cost.... not sure. (Maybe I should brush up on my one year of HS Spanish :) The father came out and spoke with the mother. (At least the child was well behaved in this family. He wasn't maniacally bouncing off the walls like the others.) Then he had to consult the nurse again. He waltzed off behind reception and knocked on the exam room where the nurse was in with a patient!!! I saw all of this going on through the glass window of the reception desk. I saw him turn the handle of the door! There is NO privacy in this place! It's insane!
At this point I'm very close to just walking out the door and cutting my losses.
An obviously teenage girl comes through the front door with her freakin' 5 month old baby! The baby was very cute but this was ABSURD. This girl was probably 16.... I was disgusted - not necessarily at her, but at the situation.
Another woman comes through the door. She has an appointment, but she's after me in the queue.... she sits down... and waits....
Posted by sarah b. at 6:27 AM
Thursday, November 8, 2007
The first half of fall I spent lots of my knitting time working on a couple different cardigans. This is my first Baby Surprise Jacket and I LOVED the pattern! It's so awesome. For this one I used 2 different colors of sublime. I call this one Tavis's first cashmere sweater. It's for my cousin's baby due in about a week. I wanted him to have something fancy-shmancy.
I gave it to Zach & Niph recently and they liked it a lot. Of course it won't fit Tavis until he's almost a year or so.... maybe 9 months. But that's okay. It's nice to have something to grow into - especially cashmere! Now, it's not totally cashmere - it's blended with merino. Still I know it isn't practical, but it's not meant to be a practical gift.
I took these photos on a very nice October day in someone else's garden - tee hee!
Now, the third sweater is one that I made up myself, for myself. I really like it. There are a lot of things that just "happened" while I was making it. I didn't have a ton of expectations. A majority of the sweater is made by picking up stitches. I'm not completely happy with it so I want to play around with the pattern a little bit more. So maybe in a year I'll have another version...
Posted by sarah b. at 10:11 PM
Monday, November 5, 2007
This photo represents a part of my first day at work. Is this:
a.) Me, yawning, exhausted from the time change.
b.) Me performing an operetta as an expression of my joy and gratitude for this new job.
c.) Singer with a Glove by Degas
d.) Me expressing my frustrations to the woman in HR... and maybe, just maybe, I'm making that gesture where my hand comes out backwards from under my chin. (Is that an Italian thing?)
e.) All of the above
So yeah, the first day was "no big whoop". Maybe I did feel a little bit like ant in an ant farm. Maybe I liked the feeling. Except I didn't like the part where I came home in the dark. That was no fun. But I DID like the part where I waited for Steve and we rode two trains and a bus home together! AND he changed his schedule so that we start and stop at the same time everyday so we ALWAYS ride two trains and bus together.... isn't that sweet???? He told his supervisor that he didn't want me to come home and have to start cooking dinner without him every day. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!
I had a fantastic four day weekend. George and Mary came to visit us, mostly to take the motorcycle back to Cinci for some work, but they also agreed to spend some time with us. But only if we played Wii, they said!
In addition to all the Wii, we had a fake Thanksgiving potluck for Julie's bday! YUM. We were all in pain for the rest of the evening. That's how good it was. Everything was delicious. I should have photo'd the 10 lb chocolate pie.
George and I set up a website for him to post all kinds of family history info and details of their trip to Greece (who knows, maybe we'll actually get to go someday!) http://www.nyktas.com/ Nothing is really on there yet....
And on Sunday, Steve and I walked in the park. How nice.Picasa web album.
Posted by sarah b. at 8:37 PM
Friday, November 2, 2007
Yesterday I had the day off. It's part of my long weekend before I have to go to a REAL job.
The night before was slightly chaotic. I hosted Stich n Bitch and consumed large quantities of spicy indian food, brie, goat cheese, cookies, and beer. If that isn't a recipe for disaster in my stomach, I don't know what is!
On top of that I noticed the basement had flooded just before my guests arrived.
Sleeping that night was restless. I couldn't stop thinking about the basement and my soaking wet storage space, my new job, knitting projects, etc.... I threw up the concoction I had ingested for dinner. Phew.... I needed a relaxing day.
Enter Brittany - my former neighbor and currently-unemployed, good friend. We spent the morning and afternoon by taking a walk along the lakefront with the sunshine floating down through colorful leaves, having tea, going to the hardware store, and the running store - we even went to the MALL and ate lunch at Ruby Tuesdays - ha! Normally I wouldn't be caught dead at Ruby Tuesdays but it was all part of the mall experience. Anyway it was a great time. I needed girlfriend time.
By the time I was home the hot water was turned back on.... oh yeah, did I mention we were without hot water for almost 24 hours??...... hence the flood.
I was able to clean out my storage space and not much was ruined. My luggage was dry, thank god. I re-packed everything and put it up on cinder blocks this time. So if it ever happens again - I'M READY!
After dinner Steve and I did some more studio/guest room cleaning so his dad will have a place to sleep this weekend. In short, I had a fun day AND I was productive! Whoa!
Tonight I'm being taken to see Phantom of the Opera, as it just opened this week in Chicago for a short run. Courtesy of my other friend and former neighbor, Sumi. Wow I DO have good friends. I'm so thankful for that.
Posted by sarah b. at 8:11 AM
Thursday, November 1, 2007
On Wednesday I hosted a "Halloween" Stitch n Bitch at my house... or shall we call it Stitch and WITCH??? Anyway, it was fun. I didn't get much knitting done, just a lot of eating. Plus I helped Erin with her costume for a chunk of the evening.
Is it too early to be thinking about christmas??????
Maybe it's because we aren't travelling on Christmas or Christmas Eve, or maybe it's because we are spending our first christmas at home together with Monkey and Elvis, but I'm REALLY excited for christmas this year!
I went to Hancock Fabrics to get cheap yarn to make stockings for the four us (and possibly one for turtle.) I got really chunky yarn so hopefully they will knit up fast. And if I start now, I can stagger them in with other projects.
Just hear those sleigh bells jinglin' ring ting tinglin' too....
Posted by sarah b. at 2:33 PM
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Today is Halloween, so first of all, happy spooky fun and safe Halloween to you and yours. On Sunday we started watching all of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. One per day. Elvis was inspired to dress as Freddy Krueger today. Monkey decided she didn't need a costume since she is already a black cat, so here there are, all ready for trick or treating.
Another big event: today was my last day as an underpaid artist's assistant! Woo hoo! I'm taking a long weekend and then I get to start my new grown-up job with decent pay and benefits. I think I have waited long enough for this. All those months of not being able to do all of the things that normal people should be entitled to.... it has really made me appreciate everything. And all of the help we received from our parents when things went wrong - we definitely would not have made it without that. Plus now that I know how to live on a tight budget it's SAVE SAVE SAVE for a house or a wedding or a trip or pay off student loans... something to that effect.
In honor of Halloween AND my last day at Judy Lichtenstein Designs we had a FEAST. We ordered falafel from Cafe Orchid. Laura, who is awesome and is taking over my job, made these lovely cupcakes (see below), and I made SNICKERDOODLES!
You may also have noticed some changes to my blog. In the beginning I thought I would have two blogs: one for the day to day, and one for knitting. But then I realized that knitting is day to day for me... plus everyone else has co-mingled their general blog entries with knitting blog entries so why can't I? Sarah Sue Magoo, will remain a knit only blog, but you will see Knit-Talk on the beeline blog as well... just a head's up...
I found this photo online. This isn't Rosie but this what I think Rosie should be for Halloween. SOOO CUTE!
Posted by sarah b. at 1:20 PM
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Gone are the days like these - of open windows in our apartment. It finally feels like fall. All of the leaves are turning and falling. The past few days have been really pleasant with highs around 60, but some of the nights are downright chilly - especially before the heat came on last weekend.
I've been doing a lot of cooking, too. I've made apple crumble, turkey meatloaf, mashed sweet potatoes, Steve cooked a pork loin (not all in the same day, though) and tonight we had spaghetti squash with pesto and sundried tomatoes. Tomorrow I'm going to make snickerdoodles!!!
I'm still able to get in some bike riding these days. This is the milk crate I snagged as a boot to put all of my things in.... except it's important to make sure that the knitting needles are pointing toward the back, so they don't poke me in the rear whilst riding.... has happened a couple of times.
Almost every weekend has some home improvement time involved. This is just one of our new ikea shelves, i.e. cat cubicles. No really - it now houses my records and my yarn and knitting supplies.
Posted by sarah b. at 7:21 PM
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I think Kristen said it best when she posted her entry, so I'm just going to be lazy and quote her:
She's got the biggest, balls of them all!
...to quote a fabulous old AC/DC song....oh, am I dating myself???
The MCA (Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art) hosts a Stitch N Bitch "party" (as they call it, not us) once a month free every 3rd Tuesday. Tonight Sarah & I met there and hung out for about an hour or so knitting with some new peeps and having a beer.
There was a local artist, Pate Conaway, who knits with gigantic needles and gigantic cotton "yarn"...it was pretty entertaining to see....very cool. We were total dorks and took our picture with him to post on our knitting blog...
Wow, as Sarah put it, "we're knitting groupies"....I could just die....
check out the eyeball wallpaper.... that s***t creeps me out, man.
Posted by sarah b. at 7:36 AM
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Our final trip in August took us to Colorado Springs where my dear friend Annie Miller (now Easterling) was married and asked me to be a part of the ceremony.
We had a fabulous time and it's always great to catch up with the Miller family, who were my second family in high school.... even though Pam and I chat regularly online! We're knitting buddies, of course.
I'm so happy for Annie and Josh. They are a perfect pair: best friends and partners in life. Everytime I look at the photos I find myself tearing up again.
These are just some of the highlights, but the rest can be seen by clicking here.
Posted by sarah b. at 7:25 AM
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Here is Tulip snuggling in her bed.
We also attended Dawn and Dave's wedding.
This is Dawn in her wedding gown. Click here to see more Minneapolis photos
I had a lot of free knitting time that weekend so this is the progress I made on my cardigan. This is one of the first things I've designed myself from complete scratch. It's not based on any type of pattern, just my own measurements. A lot of the time I will take a pattern, and change the yarn completely (requiring a lot of math) and add some other embellishments. I just hate making something that looks exactly like the photo in the pattern.
Well, the cardigan is finished, and I had Steve photograph me wearing it yesterday so more on that soon!
Posted by sarah b. at 8:17 AM