Ahhh… Friday.

Wendy has started giving away books after she reads them – if you send her an email before noon EDT, April 1, you could be selected to receive her copy of Past Reason Hated by Peter Robinson.

Lorette is celebrating her third blogiversary! Leave a comment about your favorite knitting trick or gadget and you could win some sock yarn. Comments must be left by midnight, April 1.

Reading Update
Innocent in Death by J.D. Robb. The latest Eve Dallas/Roarke (mmm…. Roarke…) mystery is good, but pretty standard fare. I swear, didn’t Born in Death just come out?!!
The Return of Jonah Gray by Heather Cochran. I was expecting this chicklit tale of Sasha, an IRS auditor, to be pretty standard fare, too. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it had a bit more substance than I expected.

Life Update
Some things I’m looking forward to over the next few days – as part of their World Tour of the US, Peeve and Mr Peeve are coming to Minneapolis tomorrow and they’re staying at Casa de Chaos y Mayhem! Now, if I can just remember to bring along my camera… 😉 Hopefully the flood watch we have going through Saturday night remains just a watch…

Also, next Wednesday, the Yarn Harlot will be speaking in St Paul and signing copies of her new book. Rumor has it that there are 400 knitters who’ve reserved spots, with a waiting list. Should be very crazy indeed!

I’ve had a rough week at work and things will continue on in that fashion at least through the early part of next week. So imagine how finding this in my mailbox yesterday afternoon cheered me up:

“I don’t remember being in the mailbox, but I know I always cheer Mom up!” -M

*snort* “Yeah, that’s what she meant, May… not.” -C

Hmm. I didn’t mean for you to have to imagine quite that much. Let’s try again, shall we?

*sniff sniff* “I will allow you to accept this gift.” -C

Gee, thanks, Chaos. Anyway, Imbrium and I exchanged mix cds – the mix she sent me arrived yesterday, along with two gorgeous skeins of Interlacements Tiny Toes sock yarn in Midnight Blues! (Yes, there’s purple in there – it just didn’t photograph well.) Thank you so much, Imbrium!! Hey, I can’t get to your blog… 🙁

Have a great weekend, everyone!

How many RPMs can Lola run?

I finished binding off my STR Titania RPM socks last night as the credits rolled for Run Lola Run – a perfect finish for March FiberFlix! Plus, this pair of socks is my last project for February-March Project Spectrum.

Check out how much yarn I had left – that’s approximately 7 inches. Yeah, that definitely added to the excitement. To maximize my yarn usage, I knit each sock toe-up from the opposite ends of the ball.

The sock on the right was knit using the RPM pattern as written. For the sock on the left, I reversed the pattern, so the spirals go in opposite directions. The stitch pattern definitely “pops” more on the sock on the right – is it because the spiral goes the same direction as I was knitting? Or??

“Well, since Mom’s done knitting, I’m sure she won’t mind if I steal this little bit of yarn…” -M

“Eating yarn is very dangerous, Mayhem – don’t do it!” -me

This definitely isn’t my favorite STR colorway (it was a sock club selection last year). I’m not sure that teal, burgundy, olive, orange, rust, lavender, and light blue really work together. Interestingly, the yarn in the miniskein keychain that came with this skein is slightly darker and the colors work much better. (Um, yes, I might’ve been trying to calculate how much yarn I could get out of the miniskein, just in case…)

“Hmph. Meanie. You didn’t need to take away that yarn. I shall sulk.” -M

RIP SRM (This post may not be suitable for those sensitive to sparkly mouse carnage)

Elspeth is having a contest for “WIP It Out” on March 31st. There will be a prize for identifying the movie quote, and another lucky participant will receive one of E’s frogged WIPs.

Cindy is having a contest – leave a comment about any Greek affiliations you may have had in college (or just leave a comment if you were independent and unaffiliated). Comment by 11 pm CDT March 29 and you could win some sock yarn. Although I wasn’t in a sorority, I was in Xi Sigma Pi, the National Forestry Honor Society…

Sallee the Knitnana is having a contest to celebrate a comment milestone. Leave a comment about the Meezer by midnight EDT March 30 and you could win a Nana Sadie Rose sock bag (a new design)!

So perhaps you are wondering about the post title… I think a picture will speak a thousand words.

Yes, that is the skin and skeleton of Chaos’ beloved SRM. If I hadn’t witnessed Chaos demolishing SRM, I would’ve blamed Mayhem, known to be very hard on her toys… Compare the picture above to this picture of SRM, taken in January of 2006:

When asked why he would treat his beloved toy in such a fashion, Chaos didn’t have much to say for himself.

I guess we’re left to find our own answers about this senseless loss of sparkly mouse….

In which I show off some yarn and goodies

KnittyMama is having a contest to celebrate moving her blog and that everyone in her family has birthdays over the next few weeks. Leave a comment with a birthday story or just wish the KnittyFamily happy birthday by midnight CDT, April 15, and you could win DPN rolls or yarn!

Ages and ages ago, KnitNZu sent me a little thank you package with a cute little bag she made (very handy for carrying knitting miscellania), as well as some black and purple cotton yarn and an amusing card. Thank you, KnitNZu!

“That card is so right. Big kitty and I will have to get that Dealing with Difficult Owners book.” -M

Blogless Jan decided I needed some cheering up and she sure knows how to manage that!

“Mayhem! Bring back Feathers McGraw!” -me

*mumble* -M

Please note that no penguins were hurt in the previous escapade – Feathers McGraw was rescued before coming to harm. Jan also sent some lovely pictures of her cat Merry, a gluten-free brownie mix (yum!), and a very cute little sheep purse. Thank you, Jan – you definitely brought a smile to my face!

I’ve also picked up some yarn recently… (I’n sure Marina’s saying “I knew it!”) Hmm, maybe this isn’t the best picture of my acquisitions…

“Stand back, May. This is work for an experienced yarn sniffer.” -C

“Whatever, big kitty.” -M

I guess this picture is a little better… From the top left, a skein of Seacoast Merino Sock, Coal and Fire, from Yarn4Socks. May’s head is mostly obstructing a lovely skein of purple superwash bluefaced leicester from Maeve at Knitting Musings (Maeve has a much better picture, with no feline obstructions – Cricket must be slacking off!). On the bottom, Regia Crazy Colors in Passion and Regia Nation Colors in Fun Nation (both from Yarn4Socks). (Yes, yes, I know I’ve already knit a pair of socks from Fun Nation. What can I say? I’m a sucker for those wide stripes…)

“Ha – I can sniff yarn just as well as the big kitty. In fact, I’m sure I do it with more panache and definitely with more tail!” -M

Another Project Spectrum FO

Lyssa is having a caption contest – caption the picture she took of a Japanese subway ad and you could win some random goodies from Japan.

I’m a little in shock about how warm it’s been. It’s nice, but weird, if that makes any sense. Put it this way – my SIL laid down the law to my brother today: No turning on the air conditioning in March or April because hello! this is Minnesota. 🙂

Reading Update
Silenced by Syrah by Michelle Scott. The Nikki Sands mysteries aren’t particularly well written, but I keep reading them anyway… Nikki works and lives on a vineyard in the Napa Valley and has a slightly complicated love life.
Stately Pursuits by Katie Fforde. This rather predictable romance was a quick and pleasant read. Broken-hearted Hetty takes care of her uncle’s dilapitated country house while her uncle recuperates from an operation. The novel features plenty of cozy British village life. This was one of my alternates for the TBR Challenge.
Out of the Deep I Cry, To Darkness and To Death, and All Mortal Flesh by Julia Spencer-Fleming. The most recent three Reverend Clare Fergusson and Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne novels were as well-written and suspenseful as the first two, and the sexual tension remained thick enough to cut. *fans self* I hope Ms. Spencer-Fleming is writing the next book… *taps toe impatiently*

Knitting Update
The Mata Hari Meilenweits are done! Although I usually love knitting with Meilenweit, I think this was a very old skein (of course, I have no idea when or where I purchased it…). The yarn was thinner than usual for Meilenweit and it was kind of hairy – strange white hairs sticking out of the yarn. Not the most pleasant stuff to work with, but the socks are fine – and very Project Spectrum, no?

*yawn* “More socks?” -M

I modified the pattern to be slightly less lacy (and therefore warmer). My pattern notes are cryptic, but I did cast on 72 stitches. The pattern row was *yo, k2tog, k7*, moving over one stitch with each pattern row. I think I knit five plain rows between every pattern row. Fortunately, the hairiness doesn’t show up in the pictures!

In that first picture, May was on her way to the window to conduct important Mayhem business.

*chitter chitter chitter* “Birds!! Birds!!” -M

“I could’ve had that one!” -M

Knitted gardens

You guys are the greatest! Thank you all so much for the cheering words. It was reassuring to know that I’m not alone in the seasonal doldrums. Yesterday was mostly sunny, and after work I took my friends’ baby for a walk. She’s a happy girl, so I sang silly songs and made faces at her and enjoyed the sunlight and exercise. By the time we were done, I felt “right as rain.” 🙂

Oh, and this song just came on my ipod: “The sun is coming to the cold places – now I can feel. The sun is coming.” (Matt Wilson, “Sun Is Coming” from Burnt, White and Blue.)

In the interest of finding some greenery during this decidedly non-green time of year in Minnesota, I turned to Jan Messent’s book Knitted Gardens. You do all realize that I have no intention of ever knitting anything from one of Messent’s books, right?! I just love to look at them and marvel at the intricacy. I mean, can you imagine having a knitted garden bedspread? (All of these pictures are clickable and totally worth it.)

Or knitting wee cabbages, sunflowers, and a tiny little fountain?

How about a crowd of gardeners?

Or a little basket of vegetables?

Gardening friars, anyone?

Complete with tiny beehives and miniscule bees, of course…

*burp* “That was tasty! What kitten?!” -C

Melancholy

I’ve definitely been feeling down for the past several days. The grey, dreary weather? The grey, dreary landscape? Low iron? Hormones? The stress of work? The cumulative effects of the DST change? Lack of exercise? Dreary knitting projects? Time for a medication change? I don’t know exactly what brought it on, but there it is. I actually have things to post about, but I just feel too blah.

The forecast is for a bit more sun and some warmer weather over the next few days – hopefully that helps cheer me up. I hope everyone is feeling livelier than I am!

“Oh no!! I thought I would be safe under here!” -M
“Bwah-ha-ha!” -C

Contests! Contests! Get your contests here!

Stickchicky is giving away a copy of The Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting (and maybe some other goodies, too). Leave a comment before 11 pm EDT on March 22 and you could win.

Limedragon is celebrating her blogiversary. Leave a comment by midnight CDT, March 23, and you could win a skein of Socks That Rock.

Shirley is celebrating her blogiversary. Leave her a comment or send her an email stating that you’re entering the contest and how you found her blog, and you could win some Finnish chocolate.

Kat moved her blog – leave a comment at Super Guppy (formerly For My Next Project…) by March 27 and you could win a fibery prize.

Domesticat is attempting to revive the lost art of writing letters. If you miss receiving letters in the mail and think you could write two letters in the next month, let her know before March 30.

Jennie is organizing a mix cd swap, possibly with yarn involved. Let her know if you’re interested in participating. Y’all know that I am so in, right?

Good grief, that’s a lot going on, isn’t it?! I was going to actually post something, but I think I’ll save it for Thursday or Friday now.

Oh, and I’m told that Chaos and May are taking a blog vacation day. Sorry.

And the winners are…

Meg is having a “name that band” contest – based on the clues presented here and here, see if you can guess the name of the band and win a yarny prize. The contest deadline has been extended to midnight CDT on 3/23.

Amy is having a Buffy the Vampire Slayer related contest for her blogiversary celebration. Check out the details and leave a comment by Saturday, March 24, to have a chance to win Victorian Knitting Today, Addi lace knitting needles, and Buffy goodies.

Thanks to everyone who left a story for my contest – I never imagined that I would get to read so many wonderful tales! I’m definitely thinking that I need to include more personal history moments on my blog – and I hope to read more on yours. Without further ado, as selected by the random number generator, here are the five winners:

Oh, yes, Chaos would like a word with some of you.

“I can’t believe some of you thought I would actually eat that kitten! She’s all furry – ewwwww! And I’m not sure how I would attach the can opener to her, since she’s really wiggly. I am so disappointed in you.” -C

Hang on for the ride!

If linear’s your thing today, better move along. Here? Not so much. You have been warned!

Don’t forget to leave your comment for the SoC “But since I wasn’t blogging then…” contest before 5 pm CDT today!!

Reading Update
In the Bleak Midwinter and A Fountain Filled with Blood by Julia Spencer-Fleming. These are the first two Claire Fergusson (Episcopalian priest) and Russ Van Alstyne (police chief in Millers Kill, upstate New York). The books are well-written and suspenseful and I already have the next few on reserve at the library.
A Deeper Sleep by Dana Stabenow. The latest Kate Shugak novel – these extremely well-written and suspenseful mysteries are set in remotest Alaska. You definitely want to read them in order!
24 Declassified: Trojan Horse by Marc Cerasini. Really, what can I say? 🙂

Of course, I didn’t drink any green beer on Saturday, but I did accompany my SIL to a midday bowling tournament and took a few pictures…

Something I don’t write about very much, strangely, is how much I love music. Ye gads, I don’t even have a music category on this blog! But I happily listen to my ipod at work all day, listen to my beloved 89.3 The Current in the car to and from work and while knitting at home, and listen to all sorts of interesting things via my favorite music blogs: Largehearted Boy, Cable & Tweed, An Aquarium Drunkard, Chromewaves, and the MPR Current Song of the Day.

So yesterday, when MamaTulip tagged me with a music meme, I decided to play along, even though I usually don’t do memes. (Although I have put a few music memes on a separate page, for the morbidly curious.) Basically, list seven songs that you are into right now or seven songs that you can listen to over and over. My list will be a mixture – and I might have more than seven…

Chaos isn’t much for music…

“I am so hungry. Diets suck. Hmm. I wonder if that kitten would be tasty?” -C

“I think it’s best if I hide under here for a while, don’t you?!” -M