Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hello Secret Funky Friend!

Just wanted to let you know I did try to email you a couple of times but I guess they didn't get to you. If you didn't get them (or even if you did) let me know and we'll figure a way around zee problem.

And to everyone else, pictures of my scarves in progress will be posted soon :-)


Thursday, August 24, 2006

a duh

I was playing around with my settings and apparently set my comments so that I had to review them before they were posted. But, I didn't put in an email to be notified at so I didn't realize I had any messages until today when I went to post a message and it told me that the site admin. had to verify it. Moral of the story; don't click on stuff unless you know what it is.

***Also, added the missing bird photo's as promised***

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Knitting, the thing that keeps me from getting stuff done

First off, came home last night from knitting group and look what was waiting for me! I've been eyeing both of these books for some time now and leafing through them in every store I see them in. Finally I decided to treat myself, blaming the Funky Scarf Swap for needing Scarf Style (but really, I just wanted it. Shhh, don't tell anyone). I also plan to re-do my green sweater, hence the second book. I feel ok about both purchases because I got them through and they rock for getting a deal.

Why am I showing you my hands and feet? Because only knitters can understand my thinking on what's going on here. My feeling is, if I have time to sit for a few minutes and do my nails and let them dry them I might as well be knitting. So I've taken to painting my toenails and saying "frig it" to my fingers and then I can knit as my toes dry. I vow this week to do something with my fingernails though. It seems sad to neglect them so much. Maybe tonight, maybe.

Lastly, the scarf exchange. I'm having so much trouble deciding what to do. I've been playing around with different yarns and patterns but nothing is making me happy. Either it's too boring (missing the point of being funky) or it's not soft enough, or it's not colors that my pal will really enjoy. Jana, has been a real help forwarding me some great patterns and ideas; things I plan to use in the future even if not for this project. I need some heavy duty inspiration right quick. I'm running out of yarn stores to rip through! I know once I'm 90% finished with whatever I pick I'll come across the most perfect yarn and/or pattern ever. Ain't that always the way?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Birds,bugs & blood oh my!

This weekend was dedicated to all things bird related. If you read my little "about me" blurb in my description or you've ever called my house, you know that I have 5, yes 5, cockatiels. Below the pictures is the story of how that came to be if you're interested to know***.

Basically though, it was time for a major cleaning of the cage this weekend. I clean it once a week but this weekend the cage got a major scrubbing and a fresh coat of paint on the walls (since they've managed to make the walls look disgusting with their birdy blood from minor injuries over the last few years that turn into major messes). I fear that someone will call bird dyfus on me if they see this post but really, I am a good mommy!

Below you can see the before and after shots for yourself. Please note in the group shot that there is a little dot of blood on the wall already! I don't know which bird has the night terrors but someone was causing a major ruckus the other night and managed to pull a feather out and mess up the new paint job. The birds are fine, really. I know this probably sounds like the worst house ever with all of the bleeding that goes on but it really does just comes with the territory when you have 5 crazy toddler-like birds under one roof.

Before (sans their toys and perches)

Birds on the porch enjoying the sunshine

Knitting my mid-August dish cloth on the porch enjoying the sunshine and watching the birds listen intently to all of the sounds of nature


The whole famn damily! Idgy, Amelia, the Nameless Duo and Cosmo. The Nameless Duo have no real names because they were supposed to find new homes three years ago when they were babies. I didn't name them so that I wouldn't become attached. Now I can't think of anything that truly seems to fit them. These are some of the names I do call them:
Spazerella & Mootsies Tooties (she the only one who uses her foot like a hand. Few cockatiels do that)
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dumb of course
Eleanor & Hillary (my friend JJ calls them that after her 2 favorite 1st ladies)
Mary Kate & Ashley (I had to rush one to the vet who forced me to give a name and Mary Kate popped out of my mouth - I don't know why)

Idgy & his Papa (Cosmo)

Later in the day I was walking around the yard and saw a few doves hanging out. As I went to get a shot of the dove on the garage roof....

...something stopped me just before I walked face first into this hanging off the clothes line

Can you see it? It's a big ol' spider web blowing in the breeze. My whole yard is crawling with all sorts of crazy-ass spiders right now. Every where you walk is a new adventure. Here's one of the two living in the flowers on the front porch.

***Birdies, birdies everywhere and not a drop to drink!Six years ago my neighbor (and my friend's Mom) saw from her kitchen window a cockatiel in her backyard. She went outside, extended her hand and the little bird jumped right up on her finger and asked to be taken inside (ok, she doesn't talk but she does make a lot of cute faces). Having had 5 cats at the time she called me, the animal lover/sucker to see if I could hold on to the bird until we could find the owners. Of course I can. But of course, no owner ever surfaced and so Amelia (named for Ms. Earhart who was also lost in flight) became a part of the family. I would not have ever described myself as a bird person, but as I said I'm a sucker for all things cute, and especially the under-dogs. And so we became fast friends. She spent very little time in her cage because she was good about coming to me (even when I didn't really want her sitting on my shoulder while wearing a new shirt) and she would often nap on my hip while I watched TV or sit on my shoulder preening my hair while I tried to nap. She even laid an egg on my chest one evening while we watched TV. She also took over a dollhouse I used to have (used to because it became a giant chew toy for her, but I digress...)

Ok, ok, this is getting way too long. Anyway, my younger brother, loving Amelia and having a recently deceased parakeet, asked for his own cockatiel. This is how Cosmo came to join the family. Cosmo's a little slow and whacky but a good hearted bird even if one toe does face in the wrong direction. Cosmo though, immediately became enamored with Amelia and cried for her constantly. Amelia could not stand Cosmo. But, he cried and cried and begged and pleaded and was eventually permitted to move in with her. He then proceeded to spend all day and night wooing her while she spent that time trying to avoid him at all costs. But, finally, out of boredom or shear exhaustion from saying "not tonight, I've got a headache", Amelia finally gave in to Cosmo's advances. And eventually a family of baby birds hatched in my bedroom.

Yes, I had 4 baby birds (one found a new home, the rest are still here) hatch in a birds nest perched on a shelf next to the TV! It was so much fun to watch these odd little squeaky mini-dinosaurs blossom into birds. But then I had six birds, practically overnight.

(see how fast they grow in just a day or two?)

AHHH, this is way long, frig it, if you're still reading great, if not, just enjoy the pictures.

So there I was with all of these babies and on the last hatch day (one hatches every other day and EVERY single egg hatched!) little Idgy was born. Being the youngest and therefore smallest, he took a bit of a beating and got knocked around inside the nesting box as his older siblings blindly hunted around for mom or dad to feed them. During all of the commotion Idgy suffered a nasty injury to his leg causing it to stick straight out to one side. Being the busted up runt didn't bode well for little Idgy and mom and dad stopped feeding him. The vet said he'd never make it and that he could dispose of him for me. I thanked him, scoped up the sad little bird and headed home. Thus becoming his new mommy.
Every few hours he had to be hand feed with a syringe by me or one of my very loving, very patient family members. I would feed him with Amelia sitting on the table watching me so that she wouldn't reject him from the nest and eventually she did resume her Mommying duties. Oh, and because of the bum leg, he also had to wear a split that the vet made for him (we saw the vet an awful lot back then). Mom and Pop bird did not like that thing on their kid in the least, and proceeded to rip it off every night. My Dad made him a newer (and better) rip proof splint but Idgy hated it (of course) and flapped like a loon inside the nest until his wings were cut and bleeding. And so he is now permanently disabled. And yet not. He can even get up and down the ladder like a pro using his mouth and swinging his bum leg up to the next rung.

With the new rapidly growing family we had to quickly upgrade the cage for two to a master condo that my father was kind enough to build for them - including a handicap ramp for Idgy. He also built all the nests they've used over the years. Thank God my Dad has lots of tools, skills and imagination because I really can't imagine how I would have pulled off making them a proper home from a cardboard box and duct tape.
And so there they have all lived for the past 3 years. These little critters have found some very interesting and creative ways to injure themselves over the years and never fail to surprise me with a new mess in what should be a fool proof home. Let me tell you though, birdy blood is not easy to clean. I get the birds cleaned up ok but the walls of the cage look like the set for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It was just too much. So once again Dad came to the rescue and repainted them for me this weekend while the birds and I sat on the front porch enjoying the sunshine and knitting.

Next weekend, nails & wings are getting clipped and then everyone gets a bath! Most of them like bath time even though it is a big wet mess (for me) that leaves them smelling like a mild version of wet dog. Geez, it sounds terrible to have birds now that I re-read this but really they are quite a lot of fun to have around. How boring my house would be without someone randomly whistling "shave & a hair cut" or cat calling me while I'm trying to get dressed in the morning. You can't put a price on that kind of amusement :-)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Cyber Farm Addict

So over the past month or so I have developed a nasty blog-reading habit thanks to
Farmgirl Fare's Blog. Although it's not knitting related I found it through a knitters blog so that should count for something, right?
Anyway, as many of you know I am much more of a country mouse than a city mouse so, being stuck in the suburbs, on the fence between the two worlds, it's refreshing for me to be able to get a quick dose of country without all the actual horseshit every day.
Yesterday Farmgirl sent out an SOS to help save some Big Cats who are in desperate need and she asked that we spread the word if we can. So that's what I'm doing. Because I can. Hopefully you'll enjoy her post enough to help these beautiful creatures and possibly develop a taste for a touch of country as well. If nothing else, I'm sure you'll enjoy all of her gorgeous daily pictures. I may just have to steal this idea if I ever move somewhere so beautiful every day must be captured on film (digital memory card.)

Also, in honor of Cary I will post a picture of my bird Idgy soon, he's got a busted leg courtesy of Mom just like Cary and I too became surrogate Mommy. I think you'll all be able to appreciate the 90 degree angled leg that he still manages to use to get up the ladder. If nothing else, he's cute in a busted up, wraggly sort of way!


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

It just ain't right

Can't beleive I missed left handers day!

A Hand for the Lefties
By Vera HC Chan
Sat, August 12, 2006, 9:00 pm PDT

50 CentIt's Left-Handers Day and Buzz is here to celebrate. Left-handedness has been traced back to pre-tool days, but sinistrality was considered an bad omen, a predilecton towards Satanism, and just plain gauche. Parents and teachers concocted all sorts of behavior modification devices to get lefties onto the right path.

Southpaws are left to their own devices nowadays, although academics still can't resist seeking neuro-correlations between left-hand inclinations and a myriad of other leanings. Just this week, a study showed left-handed men were better earners than their right-handed counterparts. We raise a glass (no handles) to Left-Handers Day and toast the top 20 lefties in Search...

50 Cent
Nicole Kidman
Oprah Winfrey
Kate Hudson
Angelina Jolie
Scarlett Johansson
Tom Cruise
Dane Cook
George Michael
Katharine McPhee
Denise Richards
Bob Dylan
Keanu Reeves
Goldie Hawn
Julia Roberts
Paul McCartney
Will Ferrell

Monday, August 14, 2006

Funky Scarf Q&A

1.Are you allergic to any fibers?
That wonderful 100% alpaca yarn seems to make me red and itchy - - and therefore sad. I can handle plain old wool or blends.

2.Do you prefer any fibers over others?
For a scarf, pretty much anything that's soft and/or warm. Nothing too itchy. I'm not anti-acrylic but of course who doesn't enjoy the fancy stuff?

3.Thinking back to Scout’s post about what funky means to you, post an image of something that you think is funky!
Posting a "funky" imagine will take a little brainstorming on my part. Basically, to me, funky is anything off the beaten path. It doesn't have to be as extreme as say Betsey Johnson's wardrobe, it just needs to be unique in some way. Something with a little kitsch or edge to it. Something fun, youthful (in the mind not body), original.

4.Would you prefer funky yarn or a funky pattern?
Oh let it be a surprise! Go with whatever moves you :-)

5.What are your favorite colors?
Earth tones or jeweled colors (deep reds, blues, purples).

6.What is your favorite piece of art?
Hmmm, not sure about this one, I'll have to get back to you

7.What colors would you never have up close to your pretty face?
Yellows and oranges are not so great for me, I'm fairly pale with medium/dark brown hair

8.Would you prefer an actual scarf or a cowl?
Scarf. I don't own a cowl but I think it's because I'd never use it; long hair plus static, it's just too high maintenance

9.When you wear a scarf do you prefer a wider/shorter scarf or a thin/long scarf?
Doesn't matter, I like to mix it up. If it's an every day, keep me warm in the winter scarf I usually go for something on the wider side that's not too long. Basically something that won't be too bulky under my coat. If it's a just for fun scarf then it doesn't matter.

10.What is the climate like where you live?
I'm in Jersey, so I get every kind of weather possible (the scarf will never be too warm)

11.Would you prefer a functional scarf (to keep you warm) or one just to funk-up your wardrobe?
Either's fine with me

12.What else would you like your partner to know about you?
I'm not into big bobbles, eyelash yarn, crazy extra's. A small amount of metallic yarn, some small beads, little decorations are more my style. I like the yarns fun colors or interesting pattern be the thing that stands out.
Oh, and coats! I usually wear either a lime green or darkish red coat in the fall and a black one in the winter. Can't promise I won't buy any other's but thought it may help to know. (don't worry about having to match any of that, just thought I'd share in case it may help you).


Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Uhhh, oops, forgot to post the pictures of our knitting group getting to see Kevin Smith in our local park. We had a great time, Kevin is always quite funny with his Q&A sessions and then as a grand finale (courtesy of Netflicks) we got to see the original Clerks just miles away from the location it was shot in! I love Jersey, I love knitting, I love getting to watch movies in the park with my knitting gal pals!Fanfriggintabulous is all I can say :-)

Once again, Blogger says no to adding extra pictures. Blogger, seriously, what's up yo?!?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It was just a matter of time...

"Enjoy knitting anywhere, anytime…day and night.
Illuminates knitting with black, dark and fuzzy yarns."
(Knit Lite by Clover)
Yup, that would be light up needles right there. I just don't know what to say about that. Is it the best thing ever or just totally scary?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sweet Home New Jersey

I always love being a Jersey girl, but especially on days like today. This was the view outside my office window today...

Why might you ask, are there people lined up from one end of the block to the other (and wrapped around the firehouse and spilling into the parking lot) since about 9:30 this morning? Because Kevin Smith came back to town today to do a signing at none other than his old home away from home Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash.
Tomorrow, if all goes well and the crowds aren't too crazy, we'll be knitting in the park and seeing him as a group - I'll share more pictures & details tomorrow.

Anyway, point of the story is I love NJ because people from NJ, who get NJ love NJ and will always be proud to tell you so. And Kevin Smith, besides being a really funny and seemingly nice guy, loves NJ and that my friends is bad-ass. While most people would be annoyed by a hundred + people standing on the sidewalk outside of there office all day, I wasn't. I found it endering and will miss seeing them there tomorrow.

Oh, and in knititng news, the dishcloth is done! It turned out to be a lighthouse which is pretty darn cool. I guessed what it was a few days ago but decided to bite my tongue on saying it out loud. Lucky I did because apparently there was major drama in the KAL group because some people were giving very obvious hints and ruining the fun for the rest of the group. I am so glad I'm not the one to ruin the ending!

Friday, August 04, 2006

I Knit What?!?

Some sad news on the knitting front, no more You Knit What?, or at least not as we know it today. Knitty Kitty and & Punk Rock Knitter are throwing in the towel. They have opened the floor up to anyone who wants to take the reins but it's a gamble on how well that goes. I imagine it is a very time consuming project that few have the energy for. (It's the reason the ladies are giving up the page in the first place.)

So in keeping with the theme of bad knitting (I was actually already going to blog about it but what a great set-up) I present to you my own personal yarn travesty, AKA my first and only sweater. You may remember from the begining of the year that I had completed the sweater only to find out something went terribly wrong in the V-neck area of the pattern. For some reason the neck opening is WAY too wide, and while I could kinda fudge it I hesitated because well, because the yarn wasn't cheap! So it's now been sitting all neatly folded up at the bottom of my UFO bag just waiting for a master plan to take shape. Now, over the anger, frustration and hesitation I think I may have a plan.

At first I thought I would just take the front panel apart and re-do it but now, here's where the crazy comes in, I'm thinking of frogging the entire thing! Is this the worst or best plan ever? As long as the yarn can handle the abuse I really do think it's a good plan for a couple of reasons
  1. I am now a better, more confident knitter
  2. I really do think the pattern is partly to blame since the mistake is mirrored on both sides, and if that's the case, re-using the same pattern is only going to lead to the same results
  3. There are a couple of minor things I would change about it anyway so since I have 4 balls left over I can play around

So basically knitting world I ask you, can Mission Falls 1824 cotton take the beating?

Finally, just in case you don't believe me on how badly this turned out, here's a picture of my very brave mother who allowed me to use her as a model...

Mom agreed that my sweater is a bit too revealing. Although (to cheer me up I suppose) she informed me that it would have been quite stylish in the 60's with a turtleneck under it.
(There's another shot of her but since the sweater has a habbit of falling off the shoulders I thought I would not share that one since it really is a bit too much.)

This is me in it, unaware that I left the camera set to "macro" from photographing the dishcloth last night. We don't ever need to see a macro version of me especailly at 8:30 in the morning.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Ummm, yeah, so I joined a dishcloth knit a long last night. I don't know what possessed me since I have yet to make one, but I've watched the ladies in my group make them for some time now, and my former SP mentioned on her blog that she had joined and then I saw a few balls of Sugar n Cream sitting on the top of my stash pile and well, I joined.

I like the idea of this one because what you're knitting is a secret until you're done. Maybe that's the way all knit a longs are but I don't think so. Ahh, what do I know. All I know is it's day 3 (easy enough to catch up to) and there's 12 more days to go until I have a summer-themed yellow dishcloth to call my very own!

UPDATE: So I did my 3 days worth of knitting and I'm just about half way through the towel (each pattern only runs for about a week). I can see a "picture" taking shape but what is it? A flower, bumble bee, ant, butterfly, sunshine?

And which way is up?

or this?

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