August 12, 2014

Good Grief!

Posted by Ryan at 11:49 AM | Comments (6)

Occasionally I dip a toe into my family’s genealogy but it’s not a regular hobby. I’ll be online, get the urge, click around a bit, learn something interesting, and two minutes later the urge sputters out. But this week I learned that even those two minutes can lead to rocks that are better left unturned. In short…I have an ancestor named Nimrod.

A couple of nights ago, I researched an ancestress on my mother’s side of the family (the Frys) named Marcia Lucia Ave Maria Van Pelt Buckingham. I found information about a Marcia Lucia Buckingham in Ohio whose mother's birth surname was Van Pelt—all spot on. Then I learned that her father was Arthur Buckingham. And then I learned that his brother was named Nimrod. How hoomiliatin’. Good ol’ Uncle Nimrod.

Along these same lines, while researching the origin of the surname on my father’s side of the family (the Morrisseys), I, of course, stumbled across those sites that tout specious family histories, coats of arms, and mottoes. Morrissey motto? “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Sounds noble but still…yuck? But when I looked at the general “images for” page, quite a few of the sites were somewhat consistent in the coat of arms they displayed so maybe there's something to it. However, in keeping with the theme of genealogical humiliation, apparently I am related to Charlie Brown.



August 09, 2014


Posted by Ryan at 11:28 PM | Comments (3)

For years now I’ve made my own beaded stitch markers. When I make them, I slip into The Zone (you know, that same one that has you knitting until the wee hours of the morning even though you know you'll have a hellacious knitting hangover the next day) and end up churning out so many I beg friends to take them off my hands. I pile the markers in the center of a table and say “Have at” and they delicately and politely take…one. When I urge them to take, take, taaaake, they delicately and politely take…one more. Oy. Then it hit me that if I just slapped on earring findings instead of a jump ring, I would have earrings—things I would actually use and keep! But I might have gone a little over the top with that, too:


July 26, 2014

Come and Get It!

Posted by Ryan at 10:25 PM | Comments (6)

Since it’s been a few years, I went on a blogroll-updating binge, removing inactive ones, updating URLs and adding new ones. If you have any other knitting blogs to recommend, I’m always open to suggestion, bonus if they can make me snort coffee out of my nose.


The thing about the moths is there’re still plenty of the li’l fuckers flying around and I have no idea what the grubs are noshing on, since the disemboweled camel has been regretfully round-filed and since, when the first moth flitted through my peripheral vision, I did a panicked inventory of the yarn and knitted items in the house and most things passed muster storage-wise. The one thing that was vulnerable—this sweater which I finished in 2009 and which just hangs out on the sweater shelves with its more plebeian brethren—I immediately and frantically shoved into a zippered bag...


...which, in retrospect, was so overkill because I will never—and I mean never—wear it. I knit it when I weighed what seems like a whole human being less plus, now, thanks to the torture that is chemically induced hot flashes, I’d shoot myself before I wore something that was (a) tightly knit from my friend and yours, 100% wool Cascade 220 and (b) has a turtleneck. Ironically, if I were wearing this when a hot flash rumbled through, I would lie spread-eagle on the floor and beg the moths to chew it off. Or take a shortcut and hack it off with scissors. (You young ‘uns are probably gasping in horror at the thought; you women of a certain age are probably nodding sagely in agreement because You Know How It Is.)

July 24, 2014

Yarn is Cheaper

Posted by Ryan at 06:49 PM | Comments (4)

Threw some money at the lampshade problem because, seriously, life is too damn short.


The drawback (because there always is one): Between the original lamps, hot-glue gun, extra hot-glue sticks, six rolls of sisal and new lampshades (not to mention the agita and fried nose hairs), I coulda bought the original lamps that I wanted. But I’m happy with this. It's sufficiently cozy coastal/nautical/Cape Cod/Nantucket for my needs.

July 19, 2014

Nom nom nom.

Posted by Ryan at 10:42 PM | Comments (5)

Nine comments? For a blog that hadn’t been updated in six months?! You are the best readers a blogess could hope for.

Reflections on questions/suggestions in the comments:

Anj: How are the kittehs doing?

Well-ish. Joon had to have two teeth removed and something funky is going on with one of Benny’s kidneys; will retest in October. For now, Not Thinking About It. That being said, they are sassier and friendlier than ever, certainly poster children for adopting from a shelter. And since comments about the kittehs are often a veiled request for a photo ( :-) ), here they are, staring at a fly on the ceiling:


Diana and kmkat: How about knitting new covers for the lamp shades?

Problem is, either way I have to buy new lampshades because it’s impossible to “un-sisal” the one lampshade I did do. That hot-glue-gun glue is some industrial-strength sh___. What do you think of these? (I don't care what the salespeople think; I'm giving any potential lampshades a good long sniff before I buy them.)

SquareMary: LOVE the story about trying to make lampshades out of slides. I’ve seen that done on a craft show and am intrigued by the result but the effort required—holy Jebus. Dozens of slides, and four hole punches and four jump rings per slide? I could knit a pair of socks in the time that would take! Although I can see it being a fun event for a group, a “lampshade bee,” if you will.

JanzKnitz: Put the lampshades in the sun…

I did this recently with a hand-knit cotton washcloth that had developed a funky, moldy smell. Even better, I completely forgot about it and so it went through days and days of getting fried and sterilized in the sun and, you’re right, it worked remarkably well. But I don't think the smell of the sisal can be "fried" out of it; I think it's too much a part of it.

Kris: Did the sisal block out the light?

Actually, no. It really made a pleasant filtered light through the gaps in the sisal. I was surprised.

Diana: Love the lamps! Would you be insulted or flattered if I copied them?

I copied the idea so knock yerself out! There are lots more examples on Pinterest, or just on the interwebs in general, if you want more inspiration. Despite the end result, it was fun and easy.


I’m only human. Like most people, I think, “[Such-and-such] only happens to other people.” Oopsie—hello, depression; hello, breast cancer. Unfortunately, I've also made the mistake of thinking this: “Moth infestations only happen to other people.” Oopsie—hello, moth infestation. Not only a moth infestation, but an infestation of moth-epicures. Before I realized they were in the house, they had gone on a laser-beam-guided hunt for the best of the best which, by moth definition, is the least processed, closest-to-the-source wool. And what can be less processed and closer to the source than felted Mongolian camel fur which even still smells like camel? Yes, they found the Mongolian camel from Cousin Tom, Mongol LEE. (Dulaaners may remember the name.)





They disemboweled the poor thing. It made me sad for so many reasons. Trouble is, I can’t kill the moths. It’s a Thing with me. So if they want to eat their way through all the wool in the house, they’re welcome to it. That being said, other than the camel, everything was and has been well-protected so I’m hoping this will be the worst of the damage. And that being said, I don’t prevent Benny and Joon from killing the moths but they don’t. I can’t say I blame them. Who wants a mouthful of moth?

[Update: Joon did catch one last night. Caught it near the bed while I was lying in bed and crunched it right in my ear. Euw. So euw.]