Friday, October 27, 2006

Five Weird Things

About a month ago Denise tagged me with this meme:

The rules of the tag are: List 5 weird things about yourself or your pets. Tag 5 friends and list them. Then, those people need to write on their blogs about 5 weird things, and state the rules, and tag 5 more people.

Me first:

1. I sucked my thumb until I was in kindergarten, and I still have tooth marks on my thumb. I finally stopped when my mom put a band-aid on my thumb, and at the time I remember falling asleep with my thumb pressed up against my mouth. About a year ago I realized that the reason why I tend to fall asleep with my hand or the blanket pressed to my lips might hearken back to my thumb-sucking days.

2. I have inherited a spill gene. After years of watching my mom and my mom's mom spill things, my dad coined the term "The Family Spill Gene." Ben has now claimed it as his own, and everytime I spill something he chimes in with "The Family Spill Gene strikes again!"

3. I have had several strange allergic reactions in college. During my first semester, my tongue swelled up and I couldn't talk for about a day until I saw a doctor and was put on some steroids. One fall semester I had a really bad case of hives that kept returning until I moved to a different room the next semester.

4. I love running even though I'm not very good at it. In high school I ran cross-country for four years, but was always the worst or second worst runner on the team. Runners are in general a nice group of people (like knitters), so my teammates were always very encouraging.

5. Growing up, my family and I moved around quite a bit, which resulted in me attending two preschools, two elementary schools, two junior highs and two high schools.

Now on to my favorite mutt, because he's a very strange (yet lovable) dog:

1. Picasso has a thing about penis. He pees on the tires of all of the cars that park in our driveway. He also peed once on our neighbor's dog (a Bichon) and once on our neighbor's boots. One of his nicknames is Tweedle-Dee watch me pee.

2. You know how a lot of dog treats come in four flavors, pink for beef, yellow for chicken, white for rice and green for vegetables? Well Picasso won't eat the green treats.

3. When my mom bought a new doormat that is like a plastic shag carpet, Picasso started jumping over the doormat so that his paws wouldn't touch the plastic spikes. Mom worried that jumping fifty times a day wouldn't be good for his joints, so she had to move the doormat over so Picasso could walk around it.

4. In the middle of winter when everyone is freezing Picasso lies with his back up against the crack at the bottom of the front door to cool off. And remember that this is in Duluth, MN.

5. The beer bottle trick, which I've already documented.

6. Picasso was almost killed by his brother while in the car. My family used to have a Saab 9000 with the window controls on a console between the driver's and front passenger's seats. So one day we were driving home from the vet, and when Mom pulled on to our street (which is a dead-end street) she opened up the back window all the way so Picasso could stick his head out. Darkstar, meanwhile, who is always a bit more nervous about riding in a car, put his paws up on the console to get close to Mom and I. Darkstar put his paw on the controller for the window that Picasso was sticking his head out, and the window went up and strangled Picasso. He started squealing, and Mom and I freaked out. Mom stopped the car, I rolled down the window and we ran back to check on Picasso. He was fine, but it gave Mom and I a big shock. The next week Mom bought harnesses for the dogs so that they stay strapped in every time they ride in a car.

I'm tagging Elisha, Lynne, Jennie and Kim in the order of who needs to update their blog the most.

As long as I'm revealing things about myself, here's a picture of my newly organized stash:

Clockwise from the bottom left corner: red, orange and yellow yarns, green, purple and pink yarns, blue yarns, circular needles and notions, neutral colored yarns, miscellaneous fabrics and UFOs, my dpn holder, my spindle and fiber, current projects and my straight needle holder, and finally in the center is the multi-colored yarn. Ben was a bit horrified when he saw everything together, but it's not really that much. From reading other knitting blogs I know that there are many knitters out there with much larger stashes. So I don't feel so bad. If anything it needs to be bulked up a bit, don't you think? :)

There are two things I want to point out from my stash. First, this really cool needle holder:

This needle holder was my mom's when she was a girl, and it was passed down to me with her Barbies. I used it to hold Barbie things as a kid. I rediscovered it a couple of Christmases ago, and have used it to store my dpns (it's too short to hold the longer straight needles). Speaking of straight needles, I found a clever use for some aluminum needles that I never use:

It's a ghetto lazy kate that I constructed from a cardboard box, the needles and empty toilet paper holders. I will demonstrate how well it works in another post.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Trips Out West and the Yarn Harlot

In September Ben and I had two fabulous trips to Seattle and San Francisco. Over Labor Day weekend we had a relaxing visit with Ben's grandparents in Seattle. Bad Penny did indeed make her debut, but I forgot to take a picture. So instead a lovely Seattle scenery, you get our spare closet:
After returning home we had less than a week before heading off to San Francisco so Ben could attend the American Chemical Society's National Conference. I just tagged along to be a tourist. We stayed in a great hotel in the Union Square neighborhood, and in between visiting with our University of Michigan friends, seeing a great white shark at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, meeting Ben's uncle and aunt, catching-up with an old college friend, eating dinner with my uncle and sightseeing, I wandered over to a fibery oasis in the middle of the city:
The store was amazing. For muggles and those of you who haven't been there, the store is unique because all of the yarns at Artfibers are produced exclusively for them. And if you purchase yarn there, they will help you create a pattern for the yarn using a patternmaking software. After circling through the store a couple of times I selected a few yarns from their sample skeins and "tasted" the yarn in their yarn lounge. It was so relaxing to knit after walking through the city. There were several yarns that I loved, but I decided to take this chance to design a shrug to wear with my wedding dress. Because my dress has such a unique skirt, I wanted a very simple yet elegant shrug. I love the I Do pattern, but I think it would look too busy with my dress. I selected the Hana silk yarn due to its sheen and smoothness and the store clerk helped me design a capped-sleeve, cropped shrug with an all-over tulip lace pattern and picot-edges. It was so great to say I want this, this and this, here are my measurements and bam - here's a custom pattern for you. I would highly recommend this store to anyone headed to San Francisco. I did leave the store with a headache, which isn't a good record for me.

In between our trips I saw the Yarn Harlot in SLC, and here's the undefinitive proof:

That's really me in the upper right corner. Stephanie was hilarious and it was great to be in a room again filled with knitters. I told Ben that I was seeing a knitting celebrity, and then to my embarrassment he proceeded to tell everyone in SF that I go see knitting celebrities. Just wait until he gets his first pair of socks. Then he will understand.