Thursday, January 29, 2009

Random 25 Things

So there's this thing going around on Facebook where you're supposed to write 25 random things about yourself and then tag 25 people to write random things about themselves and tag 25 other people... and so on. It's kind of like a pyramid scheme of randomness. I wrote my list but didn't tag anyone, because I am the type of person who laughs in the face of rules.


Okay, well, maybe I only laugh in the face of rules for memes that don't really make any difference to real life. Yeah, uh... that's it.

So here's my list of 25 random things that I just know you'll be thrilled to read. But YOU get a special prize at the end, unlike my Facebook buddies. You just have to read skim scroll to the end of this post for your prize. Enjoy!

1. My first recorded career choice (in kindergarten) was School Bus Driver.

2. When I was five, I took a week-long ballet class. After the first or second day, I decided I didn't like the teacher, so I spent the rest of the week sitting on the piano bench. This was very infuriating to my mother, who had spent good money for me to take the class. This story involves a bit about Nestle Crunch Bars, which I will share with you at a later date.

3. When I was a kid, my mom had to hide the band-aids because if I had access to them, I would use them even if I didn't have a reason. As an adult, I have cultivated a band-aid collection featuring nearly two dozen different kinds, including 101 Dalmatians, two different Jurassic Park movies, the 1996 Olympic games, crayon-shaped bandaids, pirates, Spiderman, and The Cat in the Hat, to name a few. My most recent addition to the collection are bandaids with little ambulances all over them. My favorites are the ones that come in the metal boxes. I like to use the ambulance band-aids whenever it's necessary to call the Waaaaaaah-mbulance. Yes, I pulled out the entire collection in order to report this accurately. This random fact has officially gotten out of control.

4. My brother and I had our own detective agency when we were kids. Mom would hide things and then give us clues leading to other clues which led to other clues which finally led us to the things she hid. The first thing we found for her was her hairbrush.

5. Someone gave my brother the nickname "Higgy Baby". I tried to become "Higgy Baby, Jr." but it never really caught on.

6. My mom and dad nicknamed me Gravy. One time when we were having breakfast for dinner, I asked for someone to pass the gravy instead of the syrup. Seriously, "Gravy" is not more catchy than "Higgy Baby, Jr."

7. The two things I miss the most from high school are marching band and youth group. I fought tooth and nail during 8th grade to get out of having to be in marching band. I'm glad my parents didn't give in on that one.

8. Six months after getting my driver's license, I totalled my dad's 1980 Chevy Luv Truck when I crashed into an Amish wagon. In my defense, it was dark outside, the wagon had no lights or reflectors, and it was stopped half-on and half-off of a country road because it had been clipped by another car a short while earlier. Amazingly, no one was injured.

9. When I was a junior and senior in high school, I worked in the children's department of the public library. It was my responsibility to take care of Dewey, the hamster. One Dewey died on my watch, after biting me while I was trying to clean out his cage. I don't think the biting and the dying are related.

10. I graduated from high school as one of ten valedictorians.

11. One of the things I miss most from college is being on the debate team. My first partner and I won first place in a novice tournament our first year. One of the most challenging things I've ever done is participate in Lincoln-Douglass style debate, where you are given the topic of the debate about an hour before the debate actually starts.

12. My very first car was a two-door, stick-shift Chevy Cavalier with a leaky moon roof. It was a hand-me-down from my brother for my sophomore year of college. Since then I've driven a Buick LeSabre(toothed-tiger), a Ford Tempo, a Saturn SL, and my current ride, a 2002 Ford Explorer Sport Trac, which I love.

13. It was during college (and because of the movie Home For The Holidays) that I discovered my inner Tyrannosaurus Rex. I was so dedicated to my inner dino that I hyper-extended my knee while stomping in the grass on the way to dinner one night.

14. I've been pulled over 8 times. For a while I had a trend going where on the odd times I'd only get a warning, and the even times I'd get a ticket. But then the 8th time I got pulled over, I got another warning. The ninth time? I'm gonna pay. The last time I got a ticket was eight and a half years ago. That's not too shabby.

15. I've had five different teaching jobs after college including a Christian school, an inner-city charter school, GED classes, Sylvan Learning Center, and training adults for the Girl Scouts.

16. I've had an number of non-teaching-related jobs since college, too, including writing online training (okay, that one is sort of teaching-related), admin for United Way, clerking and teaching knitting classes at a local yarn store (okay, okay... there's the "teaching" thing again), and my current job as a Parts & Inventory Control Assistant at a machine shop.

17. I was engaged for a little over five years. It, uh, didn't work out.

18. Two of my favorite vacations ever were with my friend Brenda. The first was when we house-sat for my brother & sister-in-law in their apartment in Los Angeles for a couple weeks. The second was when we went on a three day cruise to the Bahamas and got to spend time in Orlando, too.

19. The same Brenda taught me how to knit over her birthday weekend in January of 2002, when I started knitting a scarf for a co-worker. Shortly after, I found out I was going to be an aunt for the first time, and that was all the inspiration I needed to continue.

20. My niece Maggie (6 years old) has received a birthday sweater every year plus a 3-month sweater. My nephew Calvin (recently turned 3) has received a birthday sweater every year plus a newborn sweater. My new niece Hallie received a birth day sweater, and has many more birthday sweaters to look forward to. When Maggie turned five, she got to pick out the yarn and pattern for her birthday sweater. She gets to do that every year now, and Calvin, Hallie, and any other nieces and nephews I have will get to do the same thing once they turn five.

21. I knitted the sweater I'm wearing in my profile picture [on Facebook]. It took me ten months, but I had lots of other projects I worked on during that time, too. I think my favorite thing to knit is socks. However, I often have problems finishing the second one because by that time, I'm ready to move on to something new.

22. I am a published knitting designer. I've designed a hat, a baby sweater, and a set of costumes for a stuffed turtle.

23. I still work part time and teach at the knitting store. I run a sock club on Saturday mornings with a consistent attendance of a dozen or more participants. I am very proud to have been with the store since before they opened in the fall of 2005.

24. I can't decide if this is a list of 25 random things about me, or if it's a list of accomplishments, or if it's an annotated bullet list of my life. I thought it was going to be hard to come up with 25 whole things, and now I'm going to worry that I missed some really important ones. I need to stop over thinking things.

25. My most recent big accomplishment was earning my forklift operator's license at work during the first week of this year.

Ready for your prize? Here it is:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009



Sssssssssssssssssssssssssspace heater.




It's shaping up to be a ssssssssssssssssssssssssweet evening!

*More deets on the sock later... the second one is started. Don't worry, I'll keep you updated.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

An Open Letter

Dear Richard Dean Anderson,

I was a mere handful of days shy of nine years old when
MacGyver first aired on September 29, 1985. I can still remember sitting in the old gym at Shreve Elementary School with Diana Sparr during an indoor recess (it must have been raining hard that day!), discussing the relative merits of the show, and how creative and inventive you were to be able to solve so many of the world's problems with items you might find in a desk drawer or pocketbook.

I have been a die-hard fan ever since. When Brenda and I moved into the house in Southgate in 2002, and she had all those seasons' worth of Stargate SG-1, my love for you was renewed as those DVDs were our go-to entertainment for many a knit-filled evening and weekend. Your leadership, strength and wit keep me watching the syndicated episodes on the Sci-Fi channel even to this day.

One of
my very first blog posts was a tribute to you, and how you might have used knitting needles and accoutrements to solve even more social and world issues during MacGyver, if only your producer had had the vision.

I have told many a friend and family member about my great admiration for you and your work, and how I have been convinced for a very long time (23 years? Has it really been that long?) that some day you would come for me and take me away with you to live happily ever after. Sure, I have had a few little crushes here and there, but they never distracted me from my certain future with you.

I have been patient. I know the long wait will be worth it. But I feel I need to tell you something before it is too late.

You might want to hurry. You have competition.

Brooke T. Higgins


Burn Notice
All new episodes start tonight, January 22, at 10pm (EST) on USA Network.

Thank you, USA Network...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I'm posting this story because I think these pictures are absolutely adorable and I want to be able to find them always. Someone on Ravelry posted about a real live Shaun the Sheep, and I had to have a look. You can click here to read the whole story, but I'll paraphrase for the click-o-phobic among us.

Apparently this little sheep named Jack Frost was born on January 1 and abandoned by his mom. Because of the sub-zero temperatures, the farm where he lives had to find a way to keep him extra warm, so they found a knitted sweater for him to wear! Apparently he's a friendly little guy, and he's been growing so fast they're worried he might outgrow his sweater before the weather warms up.

Too cute!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January Socks

Crosshatch Lace Socks from
More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch

Yarn: Claudia's Handpainted, Cabin Fever colorway
Needles: US 2 dpns
Toe up (figure 8 cast on) with heel flap

For: Me! Who doesn't love new socks? I can't wait to wear them to sock club on Saturday. The second picture is the closest to actual colors. (Anybody else in Ohio miss taking pictures in actual sunlight?) This colorway vanished from the shelves quicker than a ninja on speed, so I'm really glad I snagged some before it was all gone. I chose a toe-up pattern to make sure I'd have enough yarn to finish, since Claudia's, while absolutely beautiful and soft and one of my favorite sock yarns of all time, doesn't have as much yardage as some other sock yarns. I think these turned out great.

I just wish somebody would tell me where my other sock blocker is. Hrmph.

Have you seen the new Cookie A. pattern in Knit.1 magazine? *swoon* I might have started it already. But no linky linky. They're a gift for someone who reads this blog, and if she wants to know what the pattern looks like, she's gonna have to do the research herself. Hehe. I'll post pictures when they're done, though. I might even find the other sock blocker by then.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy New Yarn!

Christmas Flat Feet
Gift from: Morgan (birthday gift)
400 yards, 80% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon
Purchased from: Great Yarns, Everett, WA

Malabrigo Sock, Cote D'Azure
Gift from: Morgan (birthday gift)
440 yards, Pure Superwash Merino
Purchased from: Great Yarns

Noro Silk Garden Sock, Color S252
Gift from: Lisa
300m, 40% Wool, 25% Silk, 25% Nylon, 10% Kid Mohair

Opal Sock, Dumbledore
Gift from: Karen
425m, 75% Superwash Wool, 25% Polyamid

Malabrigo Sock, Boticelli Red
Gift from: Mom
440 yards, Pure Superwash Merino
Purchased from: Great Yarns

Merino Mia, Mocha
Gift from: Mom
190 yards per skein, 100% Merino Wool
Purchased from: Great Yarns

Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine, Pea Soup Mix and Oceanic Mix
Gift from: Mom
433 yards each, 50% Peruvian Wool, 20% Super Fine Alpaca, 30% Nylon
Purchased from: Calla Lily Yarns, Wooster, OH

Misti Alpaca, Taos
Gift from: Mom
437 yards, 50% Alpaca, 30% Merino Wool, 10% Silk, 10% Nylon
Purchased from: Calla Lily Yarns

Lana Grossa Cool Wool, Color 438
Gift from: Aunt Karyl Lynn
160m, 100% Extrafine Merino Wool (7 balls)
Purchased from: Sew Krazy, Wooster, OH

Shibui Sock, Orchid
Gift from: Mom (for socks for a certain niece of mine)
191 yards, 100% Superwash Merino (one skein)
Purchased from: Sew Krazy

Merino Mia, Yosemie
Gift from: Mom (for socks for a certain nephew of mine)
190 yards, 100% Merino Wool
Purchased from: Sew Krazy


Whew! Thanks to all the birthday Santas and Christmas Santas who made this post possible. Fortunately, about 4,137 yards of the above 5,362 yards of yarn are sock weight, because I was just about out of sock yarn. WOO HOO!!!