December 2008

A picture of sartorial elegance… not

The sartorial elegance bit? It ran through my head when I was taking out the trash yesterday, wearing my Ruby Sheep PJ bottoms, a black sweatshirt, and a dark red and black plaid wool coat. Hmm. Maybe I’ve been working at home too much… speaking of which, Monday and Tuesday were 17-hour days, so all you get for this post is a contest link, some of my wee book reviews, and a cat picture or two.

Shannah’s having a contest. Let her know what your favorite handcrafted gift was this year, and you could win some sock yarn and a surprise. Contest closes at midnight, January 6.


Reading Update
Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton. This was absolutely delightful. Recommended for knitters who enjoy a bit of fantastical romance. Plus it has a black cat on the cover. How could you go wrong?
Just Desserts by Barbara Bretton. Nothing paranormal or knitting related in this romance, but it was a decent read.
Hex Appeal by Linda Wisdom. The sequel to 50 Ways To Hex Your Lover is another enjoyable read, although there were a number of major inconsistencies that kept jolting me out of the story.
It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons by Franklin Habit. Delightful. This was a birthday present from Deb, but I’ve just been reading a cartoon here and there for the past five weeks, anticipating.
Dark Lover, Lover Eternal, Lover Awakened, Lover Revealed, and Lover Unbound (The Black Dagger Brotherhood, Books 1-5) by J.R. Ward. Very good vampire romance – I really am not able to put these down. Bits of it seemed reminiscent of the Dark-Hunters. Ward does this sort of cruel but effective bit where she starts gearing up the next book before the end of the current book. She ties up the current story, but you definitely know what the next book’s going to be about and are eager to get your hands on it. Much more effective than a complete cliffhanger, which drives me nuts. Oh, and some of the books (Lover Awakened, Lover Unbound) had me sobbing. Just so you know to have the tissues handy… Also please note that these are very, very steamy and a bit dark.
Sex and the Single Witch by Theresa Alan, Holly Chamberlain, and Carly Alexander. Very light’n’fluffy short stories that were actually a nice break from the intensity of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. However, not particularly recommended.
The Cursed One (The Wild Wulfs of London) by Ronda Thompson. One of the later books in this series about werewolves in England in the early 1800s. I enjoyed it, even though historicals tend not to be a favorite.
Wolf at the Door (The Others, Book 1) by Christine Warren. Can an Irish werewolf and a NYC foxwoman find happiness together? Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld might have been a bit of the inspiration behind this series, but this is much lighter and more chick lit feeling.


“Oh, for fur’s sake, the last thing she needs is more pink feathers.” -Chaos

“Silly big kitty. You can never have too many pink feathers!” -Mayhem

“Unhand my feathers, Mom! Mine! Mine! Mine!!” -Mayhem

Happy New Year! I may or may not post on Friday, January 2. It’ll be a surprise to all of us.

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Tuesday is apparently for obscured thank yous

D’oh! I can’t believe how far behind I’ve gotten on thank yous! Bad Chris. No biscuit.

Elspeth sent me cat’n’music’n’yarn goodness. Thank you, E! Look at all the adorable kitty swag from the Japanese store near E – isn’t that fan the best?! It’s obscuring a stack of mix cds, because E and I share a deep passion for making mixes. And May is obscuring some nifty plum and black sock yarn.

“Why do you need all this cat stuff when you have me and the big kitty, Mom?” -Mayhem

Shush, May. Silly question! ;) Jane sent me a very cool coffee towel, one of her gorgeous photo calendars for 2009, and a cute project bag she sewed (um, you have to sort of imagine the bag, since Chaos is obscuring it). Thank you, Jane!

“Hmph. All I like to do with coffee is stick my paw into it when you’re not looking, Mom.” -Chaos

Um, too much information there, Chaos. Ewww! The Paos sent Jeanne and I some lovely Christmas goodies. (They may or may not be regretting that as they work on the 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle we sent them). I received some fun stripey yarn, a purple notebook (made from recycled retail packaging), a Zip-It bag, and some of my beloved dark chocolate-covered rice cakes (tragically only available in the UK) (you have to imagine what they look like, because I’ve already eaten them). There’s also a book for Jeanne and I to share, which May is kindly obscuring (Notes on a Scandal). Thanks, Paos!

“This looks like it would be a fun toy.” -Mayhem

“Maaaaaaaaaaay. You’re obscuring my view! I can’t see the stuff!” -Chaos

I sent Susie that pair of Keen MaryJanes that just weren’t working for me, and she sent me a box of STR, black kitty book plates, Hello Kitty gum, Emily the Strange lip balm (Chaos is obscuring that), and hot pink feathery goodness for the kitties. Thanks, Susie!

“I wonder if I would like kitty gum?” -Chaos

“Hot. Pink. Feathers. Duuuuuuuuuude.” -Mayhem

May was so excited about the hot pink feathers that she stole the toy before I could even remove it from the packaging! Then she cried the entire time when I snatched it back and removed it from the packaging.

*hot pink feather fizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz* -May’s brain

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Artful

I hope everyone had a much healthier break than did I! I made it through our family Christmas Eve celebration, but then a very evil cold took me out for the next few days. We’ll see how long I make it at work today…

Anyway! Now that the top secret knitting has been gifted, I can finally post about it. I knitted the Lion Brand Artful Afghan for my brother and SIL’s cabin. (Please note that these pictures were taken before washing, when the ripply edges vanished.)

“Stripey!” -Mayhem

“What is this stuff?! This is my favorite yarn ever! I love this!” -Chaos

Yes, ’tis true – turns out Chaos’ favorite yarn is Wool-Ease. (Jeanne has suggested that I use the leftovers to knit an afghan for him.) Let’s just say that knitting an afghan with a stitch count of 748 for the last round is much more challenging when a 15-pound cat insists that he must be on your lap wrapped in the afghan as you knit.

“If I hide under it, you can’t see me and you’ll know it’s mine.” -Chaos

“Um, everything ok under there, big kitty?” -Mayhem

“Go away! Mine!” -Chaos

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May your spirits be happy and bright!

And stay warm and safe when you’re out in all that white! I’ll type at you all again next week.

“Fine. You can take our picture for your Christmas Eve post. But we’re not going to smile or acknowledge you’re there.” -Chaos

“Yeah! What the big kitty said!” -Mayhem

Those Cats

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Woe of the Toe

Let Eryka know whether or not you attend craft shows and you could win a $25 KnitPicks gift card on December 31.

Thanks (?!??) to Van for alerting me to these fugly holiday sweaters… Swallow all coffee and cereal and brace yourselves before you click, ok?

Office a little quiet before the holiday? Make an origami reindeer from a box to keep yourself entertained.

You can blame all shopping malls on Minnesota. Sorry ’bout that.

Ever wondered what happens to those socks that vanish in the washing machine? Wonder no longer.

Here’s a clever trick to keep that poor right index finger from getting maimed by sharp needle tips.

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books is having eight days of giveaways. The first giveaway (not romances!) will probably be over by the time you read this, but there are still seven more on the way.

Apparently “business is booming” at Minnesota’s public libraries due to the recession.

Reading Update
Ghost Moon (The Moon Series, Book 7) by Rebecca York. Enough with the excursions to the parallel universe, please. Thank you.
How To Knit a Wild Bikini by Christie Ridgway. This is the first book in a chick lit knitting series set in Malibu. I’m looking forward to reading the next book!
Backup: A Story of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Although published as a small hardcover, this is really a short story told by Thomas, not Harry.
“A Jaguar’s Kiss” by Lora Leigh, from Shifter. Yes, there were three other stories in this collection of paranormal romance, but I couldn’t get into them. Leigh’s story was ok, but definitely not one of her best.
Playing Easy To Get by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jaid Black, and Kresley Cole. Steamy. Very steamy. I liked the Kresley Cole vampire’n’Valkyrie story the best. The Sherrilyn Kenyon story wasn’t a Dark-Hunter story – it was from her B.A.D. series.
50 Ways To Hex Your Lover by Linda Wisdom. Vampires and witches and evil bunny slippers, oh my! This was a fun’n’fluffy paranormal romance – the next book is already in my to-read pile. (But please note – it’s really cheating to name a book based on a throwaway line in said book…)
I Want You To Want Me by Kathy Love. Apparently this is the most recent book in a series. Or it might just be the second book in a series. Not exactly easy to figure out. Anyway, this is a story about a sculptor and a lhampir (somehow derived from dhampir?!), set in New Orleans.


Still completely loving MaryLou’s sock pattern and am surviving my first top-down sock experience… mostly.

“But Mom, that’s my favorite bit because it matches me! I don’t understand why you’re cursing at it. And really, I’m not sure I’m old enough to hear language like that.” -Mayhem

And for a little color/preview of coming attractions… (I told May to watch out so MamaTulip doesn’t steal her toy!)  ;)

*my toy my toy my toy my toy MY toy MINE MINE MINE* -Mayhem

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