Me, me, me.

As some of you know, I finally got myself moved over to this new blog space, and now I find myself locked out on my home computer because I can’t download Firefox 2 (or do about 20 other things I want/need to do). I haven’t had time to load the machine up and take it to the Apple store yet, so for now I have to rely on My Old Man’s MacBook. Which means borrowing it in the early morning hours or late at night, when he doesn’t need it. And I just haven’t had that time available lately. Till today, when I planned to finally show you the birthday party craftiness for my sons’ 4th birthday party. Only I suddenly realized there was one picture I hadn’t yet taken. Argh.

But I’m tired of my blog silence, so I’m going to write anyway. Hi! How are you?

Here I am, with loads of backed up craft content (seriously, from, like MARCH). But today I’m just taking the easy route and doing my first Meme in a very long time. I had a birthday last week! So it’s okay to be a bit self-indulgent, right? In that case, let’s make it two memes, all right?

First this photo meme, “the game,” the one that’s going around on flickr.

The Game
The concept:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker).

The Questions:

1. What is your first name? (Stacey)
2. What is your favorite food? (smoothies, for now)
3. What high school did you go to? (Shaw)
4. What is your favorite color? (green)
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (John Krasinski)
6. Favorite drink? (Maker’s Mark bourbon, neat)
7. Dream vacation? (Tuscany again, this time with My Old Man)
8. Favorite dessert? (chocolate lava cake)
9. What you want to be when you grow up? (a writer)
10. What do you love most in life? (family)
11. One Word to describe you. (passionate)
12. Your flickr name (earthchick)

Secondly, I was tagged by Angie (a Rav friend) for this other meme. I’m going to decline to tag people this time, but please help yourself to either meme – and let me know if you do it, ‘kay?

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
10 years ago, I had just turned 27, was single, living alone in a trailer (!!) in southwest Georgia. In about two months, I would be moving to a 4-bedroom house on 1.5 acres. In other words, way bigger than anything I could afford here in Ann Arbor. I didn’t realize it, but I had already met my future husband.

2. 5 things on my to-do list today?
– clean-up day at the boys’ Co-op preschool
– go to work
– return some DVDs
– miss David Sedaris at Borders b/c of a work meeting
– work on the boys’ birthday quilts (yeah, they’re not done yet)

3. Snacks I enjoy:
– fruit
– sweet and salty combinations (like buttered popcorn with chocolate candy)
– any kind of nuts

4. Places I’ve lived:
Kansas, North Carolina, Georgia (3 different times, 4 different places), Virginia, South Carolina, Michigan. And summers in Bolivia and Washington state.

5. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
– pay off debt
– fully fund my children’s college education
– buy a house that had enough room for two growing boys
– travel
– philanthropy

So, that’s enough about me for a long time, I reckon. I hope to be back soon with actual craft-related content!

Random Spackle

I know you think that everyone in the blogosphere has already done the 7 Random Things meme. But I haven’t. In fact, I didn’t even realize I’d been tagged last month until last week (hi, KB!). And even though I suppose this particular meme is so last month, I’m doing it anyway. I only like to do trends when they’re not trendy anymore anyway. Besides, I feel the need to blog even though I’m behind with picture-taking (meaning I can’t currently blog my most bloggable stuff). So you might as well just have to read more random stuff about me. Because 100 things last summer wasn’t enough, right?

You know the “rules.” Post 7 random things about yourself and then tag 7 more people to do the same. Funny thing is, nearly every one of these memes I’ve read, the blogger has declined to tag anyone else (which has made me wonder how this meme has made it around at all). Not me, man. I’ll be tagging folks for sure. You know, gotta buck the trend. 😉

Without further ado:

  1. When I was five, my mother taught me how to say the alphabet backwards. I always found this a very clever trick, and have been known to show it off at parties. Because there is nothing cooler at a party than a sober chick saying her alphabet backwards.
  2. Since a very young age, I have been extraordinarily interested in dreams. In 8th grade, I did an independent study project on dreams. It was during my research that I discovered some books in the library by a guy named Freud (which I first thought was pronounced “Frood.”) As a part of my project presentation, I enlisted three students to act out the id, ego, and super-ego, so as to demonstrate to the class Freud’s theory about the subconscious. The teacher was duly impressed. (If only I had also said my alphabet backwards for her!) I still like to analyze and sometimes record my dreams, and they sometimes help me figure out important stuff going on in my psyche. I have occasionally dreamed of things happening before they actually did.
  3. I am a little bit addicted to reading about true crime, especially of the unsolved and/or serial killer variety. I recently found a first-rate true crime blog that is stoking the addiction.
  4. I only have 27 teeth; this is not the result of having had any adult teeth pulled. I have never had lateral incisors (the ones on either side of the top front teeth), one of my 12 year molars, or any wisdom teeth. According to x-rays, I will never get wisdom teeth in (they are not in my head). This makes me highly evolved, right?
  5. I own all 10 seasons of Friends on DVD. And I’m not as embarrassed as I should be about that.
  6. I ran cross country and track (my event was the 2-mile) in high school, but then stopped running after a knee injury my first year in college (side-tackled by a guy in a “friendly” game of Capture the Flag). After an 18-year hiatus (that’s half my life now!), I just took up running again last week (thank you, Couch to 5K). I have been enjoying it far more than I remembered – actually finding myself smiling as I run. It has also provided me with some major flashes of deja vu – the way the wind feels, the way my shadow looks, the way the air smells early in the morning. It just brings it all back. I half expect to end the run by meeting up with my trackstar boyfriend and my galpal running partner to spend an afternoon eating chips, listening to the Pet Shop Boys, and watching Evil Dead 2 on video.
  7. In college, I briefly sang and played guitar in a band called Random Spackle. The other singer/guitarist and I named the group by putting together our two favorite words. Mine was random and his was spackle. Hence the title not only of our band, but this post.

So many things you never knew you didn’t know about me and now probably wish you still didn’t. Now it’s time to hear seven more from seven more. I’m going to tag dickie and Amber first, in hopes of luring them back into posting. Miss you! I was going to do the same with Becky, but she started posting again without the lure. Still, Becky, you’re tagged! Next I’m tagging a couple of other MDC Knitters Sarah and Melinda. And to round things out, a couple of non-knitters (or, in my optimism I will call them not-yet-knitters), and people I actually know in real life: Sarah and CJ. CJ has just dipped her toe into blogworld with a biking blog, so stop by and give her a little shout-out. Of course she’s at the beach right now, lucky thing, but stop by and say hey anyway.

ETA: I’m a total dork. Melinda did this meme just a few weeks ago; I just forgot. So I’m hitting someone else with this meme – someone I meant to include in the first place but, again, I forgot. I guess I’m getting old. Anyway, I’m tagging Lauren, another blogger I know in real life.

One last random thing, because I’m on a roll now. And because it will set up my next post. My favorite form of humor is repetition. A perfect example of that is my favorite knock-knock joke as a kid:
Who’s there?
Banana who?
Who’s there
Banana who?
Who’s there?
Banana who?
Who’s there?
Orange who?…..

Stay tuned for the answer to this and other pressing questions….

Weird stuff. And pie.

But first I want to say something about gauge and speed. As I edited to add Tuesday, Melinda’s question really prompted me to think about my technique. Even though I knit continental, I guess it slows me down that I am relying on my left hand to do the main work of knitting (given the fact that I am not left-handed). My style is pretty quirky, I admit, and now I guess I have to decide: stick with what feels good and right (no matter how technically “wrong” – though I agree with EZ, Annie Modesitt, and others that there is no wrong way to knit), or try to retrain myself to use my right hand more and get faster.

The fact is, I really like my rhythm, even if it isn’t as fast as I could possibly go. It feels good, and meditative, and relaxing. I really like what Dave had to say on the subject: Re speed: I liken it to a rocking chair. Yes, I can rock faster if I really want to, but there’s that one mid-ground rhythym that’s so relaxing — I go for the zone. Excellent thought, Dave, and I concur. That will be my new metaphor whenever I get aggravated that I’m not cranking through my queue more quickly.

And one more thing on the subject. As I’ve reflected, I’ve realized that part of the reason I am “Miss Approximate” is that I have always preferred to get things done fast more than to get them done right. I realize this is a character flaw, or can be. I mean, there are times when fast is better than accurate. But maybe my knitting is teaching me that sometimes accurate is worth the time. When it comes to knitting, it definitely is.

Okay. On to weird stuff. You’ve seen the ubiquitous meme. You’ve probably posted it yourself. I decided not to play along, believing that you had already read enough weird stuff about me in my 100 Things. But alas. I cannot resist the siren call of yet another meme. I have so enjoyed every single one of the weird things I have read on other people’s blogs. So. Here are six weird things about me. I know you’ve been anxious to know.

  1. It really depresses me to have blinds closed during the day, to the point that I can hardly stand being in someone’s house or office if they had the blinds down during daylight. In my own house, it’s the first thing I do in the morning after bathroom/brush teeth/make coffee. I like the blinds closed at night, of course, but not until the sun has completely set – I don’t want to miss one second of the sunlight.
  2. At night, every door in my bedroom, especially the closet doors, must be shut when I go to bed. I cannot go to sleep if a closet door is open, even a crack. Daytime = all blinds open. Nighttime = all bedroom doors shut. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
  3. My side of the bed is whichever one is furthest from the main door. This was not a conscious decision. I didn’t even realize I did this until My Old Man pointed it out. Whenever we are in a hotel or someone else’s home, I automatically choose the side of the bed that is furthest from the door. When we bought the house we live in now, I immediately picked the right side of the bed (furthest from the door) even though for the previous two years of our marriage, I had been sleeping on the left. Fortunately, My Old Man doesn’t mind switching sides whenever we travel. Or move.
  4. I slept with a teddy bear until I was 23. Then I got a Rottweiler, and there wasn’t enough room for her and the bear in the bed; the Rottie won. I still have the bear, though. His name is Teddy, and I got him for my first Christmas.
  5. I do not step on cracks. This is not because of any fears for my mother’s wellbeing. It just bothers me to step on them, and I avoid it.
  6. I have an aversion to tasting things I’ve cooked before I actually serve them. Which means I sometimes put things on the table that are not adequately seasoned, or are not hot enough. I don’t know what my problem is, though I think it has to do with not wanting to taste something out of the pot/pan/dish that everyone else will be served out of (though I know I don’t have to put the spoon back in after I taste it). I think it also has to do with a fear of burning my mouth. After a few too many dishes ended up on the table without enough salt or heat, My Old Man asked me to start tasting things before calling everyone to the table. I still couldn’t bring myself to do it. So now he is my taster.*

Speaking of tasting, did you know that Tuesday was National Pie Day? Thanks to Ashley, I found out in time to make some pie-baking plans. Yes, I know, I am highly suggestible. A marketer’s dream, really. But I love to bake, and My Old Man loves pie, so it wasn’t too hard of a sell.

Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

Not a great picture, but it was a great pie, and I prefer a so-so picture in a blog post to no pic at all, so there ya go. I have to say, I love epicurious. Some of my favorite recipes are ones I have found there, and that includes a new favorite, which I made for dinner the night we had this pie: Turkey Sausage-Spinach Lasagna with Spicy Tomato Sauce. It is crazy good – believe the four fork rating. Usually, I am at least a little disappointed with most things I cook (just as with knitting – the process is always more fulfilling than the product). But with this lasagna, man, as soon as I tasted it, I thought, “This is the best thing I’ve ever made.” Okay, I’ll admit, I’m prone to hyperbole. But it was really good. If you like rich stuff, and you’ve got few hours to put into a great dinner, try it. You won’t be sorry.

*Technically, the rules of the Six Weird Things Meme stipulate that you are to tag 6 other people with this Meme. But the funny thing is, every one that I’ve read has declined to tag 6 people, and instead has said do it if you want to. So, I’ll be lemming-like one more time and say the same thing. Consider yourselves tagged.

2006: A Knitty Review

I know we are well into the new year now, but I haven’t had time till right about this moment to step back and take a little stock of the year that just passed. So. A review. This meme is from A Mingled Yarn

Year’s End Knit-analysis

1. What is your absolute favorite project you’ve ever knit (one that fulfilled both process and product)?
Probably Cozy. I loved knitting it – the pattern was just enough of a challenge to keep me engaged. I just never got tired of it, even though it was the same eight rows, over and over again. Also, I loved the feel (and the smell!) of the yarn, so it was always a joy to pick up. And I was perfectly thrilled with how it came out.

2. Which of your handknits do you wear the most often?
It’s a tie, actually, between three things. The first is Cozy, which I put on almost every morning as soon as I get up. The other two are the two pairs of socks I’ve made for myself – Simply Lovely Lace Socks, and my Toe-Up Tuscaknit Socks, both of which I wear to bed rather frequently. The funny thing is, with all three of these, even though I wear them quite often, I almost never wear them out in public. I prefer plain black socks or black-and-grey tights for work, and I don’t typically have a reason to wear a shawl out (I wore it once to church and once to a wedding rehearsal).

3. Which of your handknits are you most proud of?
I suppose it would be repetitive for me to say Cozy again. So I’ll mix things up and say this baby layette, which I knit for My Old Man’s new grandson, born this past July. I love squishy cotton baby knits, and I felt such a sense of accomplishment at completing this sweet little set.

4. What was your favorite gift to knit?
Hmmm, maybe these felted clogs, because they were so fun and quick. I also really enjoyed making My Old Man a sweater, and I get all warm inside every time I see him wearing it.

5. Which of your handknits are gathering dust your closet?
To Dye For
single brown child’s sock
single ugly orange child’s sock
London Beanie
the too-big, too-little hat
the boys’ felted clogs
and the never-before-seen Anthropologie-Inspired Disaster
I put it down halfway into the project, and when I picked it back up, I forgot how I was doing the selvage. More than once. So there are multiple mistakes in the edging, and it turns out the way I chose to do the selvage originally (a chain selvage) ended up making the edge roll.

6. Which of your handknits have you gotten rid of?
None. Though I do intend to frog the capelet (above) and my first scarf in order to re-use the yarn (the lovely but discontinued Rowan Polar, in both cases)

7. If you’ve knit socks, what is your favorite pattern?
I LOVE Simply Lovely Lace Socks from IK Spring 2006

8. What would you like to make in 2007?
My list already is ridiculously long:
CJ’s voodoo wristwarmers
Men’s Zippered Raglan for My Old Man
several more pairs of felted clogs (for recipients who will actually wear them!)
glampyre’s easy v-neck raglan for me
Tubey for me
socks, socks, and socks
a couple of Tomtens for the boys
Bea Ellis hat for me
a ribbed watchcap for me
knit-and-tonic’s dreamswatch headband in bamboo
a couple of log cabin blankets for the boys
another lace shawl for me (you know, because I have so many places to wear a shawl)
and so on, and so on, and so on
[yeah, I know there’s a lot of stuff on there just for me. I’m like that.]

9. What have you learned about your craft in 2006?
A whole lot. This year I did my first sweater, my first socks, my first lace, my first baby layette, and there were a whole lot of other firsts in there, I’m sure.

10. What events/sites have you particularly enjoyed in the blogosphere in 2006?
I really enjoyed The Amazing Lace, the event that got me knitting Cozy, which as you can see from this meme, was a pretty major knit in my life this year.

Wow. I can’t believe how long it took me to compile this list. It was fun, though, to go back and look at old posts and see things I’ve knit over the last year. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. Here’s to more in 2007!