Sunday, April 06, 2008


I'm back at last from a wonderful week with my family, a weekend of insanity and joy and, well, marriage, and a five-day cruise to Mexico and back. You can see three pictures so far that Christine/BigPinkCookie/PointySticks has released to the world.

I was typing up a post on the Ravelry wedding planning board about everything that went wrong and everything that was unusual and everything that went really well, when I realized that my blog was probably a better place for this nearly full-length novel than the Ravelry forums. So if you are completely uninterested in wedding stuff you should probably skip to the next blog on your feed reader, because there aren't even any pictures here. Well, except this one of the queso fountain.

It's something you actually can pull off if you're serving TexMex at your wedding, it turns out. I think my caterer may be the first one to think of it, so you saw it first here. Any standard chocolate fountain can be converted to a queso fountain, but hint: puree the rotel.

Ok, here's the scoop:

First piece of advice: make up a schedule for all the wedding events and a map with all the relevant locations. Out of our rather large wedding party, only three people were even remotely familiar with the town where we held the wedding. I sent a schedule to the bridesmaids in an overly wordy email. Not so easy to print out and carry around. And I sent it to Dave so he could consider sending something similar to his guys, but he never took the time to read it.

Second piece of advice: if you ask someone, say an FSIL, to be a bridesmaid so you can get to know her better, make an effort to actually include her with the bridesmaids activities during the weekend. Do not forget about her in favor of more talkative people you know better. This is something I'm really upset with myself for doing. Somehow she didn't even find out where the bridesmaids were getting ready and was completely left out of that. If I could go back in time I don't think I would have asked her at all. I think she would have enjoyed herself more as the best man's date than as one of the bridesmaids. But I really should have worked harder to include her.

First triumph: our amazing friends, along with some amazing relatives and some amazing friends of my parents, managed to set everything up at our reception site in less than two hours and everything was completely stunning. I hope you are all lucky enough to have willing and able friends like ours.

First hiccup: not having anybody call FSIL to tell her where the bridesmaids were getting ready, but we covered that already

Second hiccup: forgetting the beautiful heirloom handkerchief that MIL gave me, which had once been Dave's christening bonnet.

Third and biggest hiccup, with some advice: forgetting to get everything set on the ipods (one for ceremony, one for reception) before I even left home a week before the wedding. One of the ipods didn't have any of the wedding music on it at all, so I spent a lot of extra time on the day of my wedding trying to get the d*mn ipod synced so we'd have music at the reception. Then, when we got to the church, it turned out I didn't actually have all my ceremony music.

Let me just say a word about my ceremony music. My father is a musician, and he wrote a song for me when my mom was pregnant, and named it Elizabeth Jeanne (just like me). This was to be my processional. There are two recordings of this song, one very casual which he did for a cd he sells at his gigs, and one more elegant version he recorded just for my wedding. Guess what wasn't on the ipod? The second one. The other was there because it was on the reception playlist, so we made do with the other and nobody knew the difference. Dad was a little upset because he'd put so much effort into the pretty version, but he got many compliments on the song and I think that helped. (I had, of course, put a very sweet summary of the song in the program to make sure everybody else was crying too)

But if you decide to self-dj, make sure you have all the music right!

Second triumph: we wanted to do our pictures before the ceremony, but we got started a bit late. Our church doesn't have any good ways of entering or exiting without everybody seeing. So just about the whole wedding party, plus a good chunk of family, was at the church before I even got there, and Christine the WonderPhotographer had to convince everybody to leave the marginally comfortable seats of the air conditioned church to go outside. We did this so that when Dave and I saw each other for the first time, it would just be us and the photographer and not fifty other chattering people. But it meant that pretty much the whole world saw me outside the church before I got to go in. Still, our quiet time in the church was very nice.

Then we let everybody else in so we could take pictures, and pretty much everybody came in. Including all the guests, pretty much. And there I was, not cloistered away like brides are supposed to be, but up in front of everybody. I wound up seeing some old friends who'd traveled for the wedding and went to go mingle. I know not every bride would be willing to skip the big reveal, but I am SO glad I got to talk to people before the ceremony. There were quite a few guests I wouldn't have been able to spend any time with at all had I not been out there in front of everybody.

Fourth hiccup: We got married. It was awesome. We went outside. It started to rain. It rained for a half an hour--the entire time needed for everybody to move from the ceremony to the reception. Thanks, weather, that was super brilliant. Also: if you're going to dye your shoes to be your something blue, SCOTCH GUARD. I didn't think of it till today, but it would have saved the dye from running. My shoes look pretty awful now.

Third and biggest triumph: Ninja Attack! Because there was only food and no dancing, pretty much everybody split after cake. By the time Dave and I were ready to go, only the wedding party was left to shower us with flower petals or whatever, or to catch the garter and bouquet. We decided to just go ahead and leave, and handed out our special showering apparati: Ninja Attack!

We'd only gotten enough for the wedding party but since that was pretty much everybody who was still there, they all got 'em. I think those pictures are going to come out really well. And after Dave and I had run the gauntlet, he turned around and threw my garter, secretly removed so they wouldn't suspect anything, at the group of guys. Surprise!

Well, in my list the hiccups outnumber the triumphs but really the triumphs far overshadow any problems we had. The food was great, and I think everybody had a great time. Plus Dave and I couldn't be happier together. So, yay!

If you ask nicely maybe I'll pick out some good honeymoon pictures to post.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

I made yarn!

Because I SO need a new hobby right now, with the wedding going on and the dissertation and all.

I took a class through the local Parks board, which was run at the LYS. There was only one other student in the class, and we had a pretty good time. I'm still getting the hang of things, but my yarn so far does not look too hideous. I think I've settled at a mostly-consistent heavy worsted weight, but that's just me eyeballing it.

(Isn't my spindle pretty?)

Dave's afghan is moving shockingly fast. I cast on for the fourth block today. Here's Section C, a neat scale-like motif.

And to continue the "things Liz has made out of natural-colored wool" motif, this week I finally attached my veil to the comb. I had my hair trial yesterday (where we tested out my desired hairdo) and here's how the two look together:

24 days till I get to wear all that stuff again!

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Friday, February 29, 2008


As you may or may not have noticed, it's been a long time since I updated. I've been really busy, and my rechargeable batteries gave up the ghost so I couldn't post pictures anymore. So here's what's going on with me.

1) The wedding is a month away! I have a long to-do list but most everything is minor. It's been coming together very well and I'm really looking forward to the big day and being MARRIED! And I got a really cute bathing suit for the honeymoon cruise, so that's taken care of.

2) School stuff is coming along slowly but surely. Nothing interesting to say on that subject, though.

3) Dave is, by far, the best roommate I've ever had. And I've had a lot of roommates, some very good and some very bad. And he's definitely the cutest.

4) The Ivy League Vest is very nearly done. I mean, I am very very close to being done. But it's been in the 80s here, so I'm unmotivated again. I hear there's a cold front coming in this weekend, though, so maybe I'll try to finish it.

Here's what it looked like just before steeking:

I'll have modeled FO shots soon.

5) Because I am a madwoman, I decided to knit little purses for my five bridesmaids. I have the knitting done on 4.5, but haven't done any finishing at all. Well, that's not true, I think I wove in 2 ends. Here are the bags. They're all done in the same linen yarn.

6) Because there's only so much blue linen a girl can stand, I made a pink burp cloth for a friend's baby. I am calling this project "good enough to puke on."

7) In anticipation of finally being done with the bags, I cast on for an afghan for Dave. This is the Sampler Afghan from Cables Untangled, and you knit 26 patches of different sizes, sew them all up, and then knit on a border. This is a marathon project, but I'm loving it so far. I'm using Knitpicks Bare Superwash Merino worsted weight, so it's white and soft and cuddly.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Been so busy!

I hope everybody had a very merry Christmas and a great New Year. And I hope that your new year continues to be great.

As the post title says, I have been sooooo busy. My grad school career has gotten to the point where all I really need to do is write my dissertation, and I don't really need to show up on campus every day. So Dave and I have upgraded from a medium distance relationship (1.5 hour drive each way) and we moved in together. In just three months we'll be married, and we wanted to get all the crazy moving stuff out of the way before the crazy wedding stuff happened.

So, how about a tour? You walk in the front door and the living room is on your left. There you see the couch that gives our apartment its name, Orange Couch Land.

On your right is the dining room and the closet that I guess is supposed to be a kitchen. I mean, there's a fridge and a range and a sink in there, but not much else. Some freshly baked cookies are cooling on the table. That's Dave's doing. The man can really bake!

As we go down the hall we pass the 1.5 baths. I didn't take any pictures of the bathrooms, but it's kind of a funny layout. The first bathroom is a tiny sink and toilet, with a door to the second bathroom which has a tiny sink, a toilet, a tiny cabinet over the toilet, and a shower. Having them connected has been pretty convenient, though. It means you can put the extra toilet paper in just one bathroom and you don't have to go running across the apartment to get it for the other bathroom. It also means that if the shower has steamed up one mirror you can use the other bathroom to do your hair and makeup.

Anyway, here's the bedroom.

And, my favorite, the "study." Dave is hard at work, but most of the books in here are mine.

Here's the other side of the study. More of my books (all the knitting ones are on the bottom shelf) and a futon for overnight guests.

Back in the living room, this shot contains some of our favorite things in the new apartment. There's Banjo, my wooden drawing figure; a really sweet lamp that I've had for ages but could never find the right size lightbulbs for; and Dave's new rapier. Some friends and I got him that for Christmas. It's very nice, but I don't think Banjo likes it much.

I have an FO to show you but I think I'll wait until I've presented it to the recipient. Here are my works in progress.

A Coriolis Sock from New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I love the way this thing looks, but I'm gonna have to frog it I think. It's too small for my feet, and I don't know anybody with smaller feet that I'd want to give such cool socks to.

And here's a swatch for my new Fair Isle. These are six natural Shetland sheep colors. I've always wanted to knit FI using only natural colors because I think they're just gorgeous. To think that there are sheep running around in so many beautiful colors! These will become a very subtle, earthy version of the Ivy League Vest from IK Winter 2007. Yum.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

So many socks and sweaters

My little ornaments are getting popular! Several people on Ravelry have posted projects. Wild Tomato made a bunch and had the funniest blog post about them. And yesterday I made it onto Lime and Violet's Daily Chum!

I've been making so many, and they'll soon start leaving, so last week I took some time and made a Flickr gallery. With the exception of two stripey socks, all of these are plain stockinette with no fancy techniques. Imagine what you could do with a little color work or cables. I'll have to try it next year.

I am hard at work on the socks for Dave's mom. I took pictures on Thursday and I was this far along:

By the time I went to bed Friday I'd gotten over half of the second foot done, but I wasn't able to work on them at all over the weekend. I need to get these done tonight so I can mail them off tomorrow, and I think it's perfectly doable.

I love the way the star toe looks, but I don't know if it'll be as comfortable because the purls make a ridge on the inside. Anybody have any experience wearing these socks?

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

The state of my Christmas

Christmas is coming. Are you ready? I... might be.

I've got my tree up now, and I seem to have just the right number of tiny socks and sweaters for the two sides that face the room. I'd like to cover the rest of the tree if I can, but I'm happy with the state of things so far.

Many thanks to my mom and Noricum for donating sock yarn scraps. I think I am set. Noricum sent me yarn all the way from Canada! In return, I'll be sending some her way that she can use in her beautiful sock yarn blanket. There are quite a few balls of varying sizes, but the smallest one was also my favorite. And just enough for a sock.

Any idea what this one is? It's so pretty!

Last year I wrapped garland around the balcony rail, but it didn't seem worth the effort this year. On December 26 Dave and I are moving into a new apartment together. I have gotten to the point in my academic career where I do not need to be on campus more than once a week, so I'm moving to his town an hour and a half away. It's been two and a half years since we lived in the same town, and I am really looking forward to seeing him every day.

But anyway, it didn't seem like I should put forth all the effort to put garland up outside, but I didn't want to just keep it in the box, so I got out one piece and draped it over my bookshelf. Festive, no?

I've helpfully labeled each section over on the flickr page, if you want any insight into my library.

As for gifts? I have two completed pairs of socks to give away. But the gifts I most wanted to finish are giving me fits.

I was going to make Dave an afghan. Over Thanksgiving he decided he wanted color work, so we picked out a second color and... it is backordered. Until December 21. Gonna have to think of something else.

I've been working on Tom's Comet Gauntlets on and off. Over Thanksgiving I got the hand done and knit the first finger, then stopped so Tom would have something to try on. The danged thing is way, way too small in the wrist. Still. Even after I frogged like halfway down the arm and reknit it, leaving out the final six decreases. This thing is going to need major surgery, and I am Not In The Mood. Any ideas what to get a seventeen year old boy who really would've liked a pair of knit gloves for Christmas?

With the failure of these two projects, I decided to go ahead and make a pair of socks for Dave's mom. This project had been on the back burner because I really wanted to do the other two, but since I was not destined to make either of those boys anything I decided to turn my attentions to something I already knew how to do and already had the yarn for. And I'd use a real pattern instead of writing one, because I have had enough of designing for a little while.

These are the Embossed Leaves socks from Favorite Socks, and I love them so. The pattern is relatively easy and the yarn is soft and lovely. I am so much happier knitting these than I was struggling with the gauntlets. The gauntlets will happen, for Tom's August birthday at the latest, but for now I am content to relax and let somebody else do the thinking for me.

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