Wednesday, October 31, 2007


At the last minute, a friend invited me to help give out candy at her house. So we carved a couple of pumpkins this afternoon at work, then ran to her place to roast the seeds (mmm... salty) and start dishing out candy.

I think they both turned out great. I haven't carved a pumpkin in years. It was a lot of fun, even if it did take some intense scrubbing to get all the guts off my arms.
Mine was the first - the one that (hopefully) looks like Jack from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Most of my Hallowe'ens since I've been on my own haven't involved much festivity at all, so this was a fun break from lack-of-tradition.

Happy Hallowe'en!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Novacaine is Our Friend

I have lousy teeth.

This is something with which I have somewhat come to terms. Growing up, I cursed my brother for his whole and hardy teeth. It was (and continues to be) completely unfair that he rarely brushed, never flossed, and often indulged in sweets and yet never had a cavity. I, on the other hand, brushed frequently, often used fluoride rinses, and continuously looked for better and more effective brushes, in vain hopes of finding that the angled bristles, or the harder bristles, or the softer bristles, or the angled handle would be the magic that would make me cavity-free. All this resulted in one or more cavities found just about every year.

This has continued into my adulthood, much to my sorrow.

To add to the situation, I have somehow developed a horror of needles in my mouth. I am not bothered by needles elsewhere - even those big stinkin' horse needles they use for blood donation don't bug. But in my mouth... *shudder*.

I've had some dentists who become impatient and condescending when I ask for a moment to prepare myself - one even patted me on the forehead between drill attacks. If I hadn't been lying at an awkward angle and had several sharp implements balanced amongst my teeth, I might have brained him with an instrument tray.

I've also had dentists who are patient and understanding. Fortunately, my current dentist is one of these.

This is doubly fortunate, because in the brief time since I became her patient early this year, she's replaced two cracked fillings, filled one new cavity, and is scheduled to fill one more next week. My assessment told me that I have at least one filling in every molar. My teeth are probably close to 60% filling material.

My last visit before today was to replace a cracked filling. While she was drilling deeply into a tooth near my canine, I felt the feeling start to creep back into the tooth. She noticed my subtle lurch in the chair, and stopped immediately to give me another shot. Shortly after we began again, I started feeling again. I refused another shot, and just hoped she'd be quick. She was.

The time before that, the dentist had to give me three shots, and warned me to take some Advil well before the freezing wore off, because "there was a lot of bleeding in there", and she thought I'd likely experience some pain later that night. I took two Advil while I was still in the parking lot. I take no chances.

This time, though, was a one-shot deal. I had that shot over four hours ago. Right now, the feeling is ever-so-slowly returning to my lower right lip in little, popping bubbles of sensation.

I am comforting myself with the appropriate soft foods (macaroni with cut up hotdogs) and mindless knitting (hat in chunky yarn). Next week should be my last visit for the next several months. I may crack a wine bottle.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Coupling Accompli!

That's... kind of dirty-sounding. Anyway.

One Christmas present down, many to go. But now is the time to revel in an FO!

Here are the Coupling socks, knit for my friend Jen.

I'm really pleased with these. As usual, they had a few false starts. I initially was going to make a pair of Widdershins, but I thought they were turning out with a boxy shape that I didn't care for. However, I did love the look of the toe.

So when I chose to cast on Coupling, I used that same toe, which uses Judy's Magic Cast On. This gives a really neat, clean, well-shaped toe.

The other change I made was to knit these on dpns - the pattern gives instructions for knitting on two circulars. I do not have two circulars in the necessary size, and so it was basically laziness that caused me to go with my trusty dpns. I used a suspended bind-off on the first sock, to try something new. I wasn't happy with it; it was pretty tight, and if they were my socks, they'd be uncomfortable. Jen has a slimmer calf, so they should be just fine on her. But for the second sock, I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn cast-off. I've used it in the past, and it really does give a nice, stretchy finish.

Yarn: This is superwash merino from SunnysideEllen on Etsy, colour cranberry. It's lovely, smooshy yarn, and the socks should be comfy to wear.

These socks also helped me during my last work trip. I sat in a window seat, with a rather corpulent seat mate. My own somewhat generous proportions contributed to almost uncomfortably tight quarters. I pulled out my sock, on its many needles, and got to it. The seatmate suddenly decided he'd really rather have a window seat of his own and left me plenty of elbow space.

I love knitting.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is:

A long drive home, past fields and forests in warm and blazing colours.

Too much food and gourds that seem to exist just to be interesting.
Turkey. Sorry, guys.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


It's about time for a goofy, half-done sock picture, I think.

This is my second Christmas knitting project. This is the first sock of Coupling, from Knitty. Sorry for the horrid flash-shot, but it was night time and I was lazy.

I'm knitting this in Cranberry sock yarn from Sunnyside Ellen's Etsy shop. I like the feel of this yarn - nice and soft and kind of smooshy. It's a semi-solid, and I'm not quite sure yet how I feel about the bits and wisps of white that come through here and there. I'm reserving judgement until I see the whole sock, and whether the white bits disrupt the look.

This is a toe-up pattern, written to be knitted on two circulars. I don't have the right size circs, and am too frightened of another minor spending spree to go shopping for them. So I am adapting the pattern to knit it on my trusty dpns. I've never done this kind of thing before, but all seems to be going well so far. I started out making Widdershins at first, but didn't like the chunky look of it, and so ripped back. But I did really like the toe of the Widdershins pattern, so I stuck to that when I restarted using the Coupling pattern. For me, this is wild and uncharted territory. Using different pattern pieces here and there, all willy nilly - bedlam!

My first Christmas project is one for my brother - I'm making the Dark Mark Scarf, from Storm Moon Knits. This is my first illusion knitting project. It's rather addictive - I just want to keep knitting so that I can see the Dark Mark emerge. I was a little concerned that I hadn't used a bright enough green colour, but I asked my brother what he thought (yeah, I suck at keeping some things a secret) and he liked the stealth of it.

The knitting has stalled a bit now that I'm on the middle stretch, which involves no stealth, mystery, or illusion whatsoever. Thank goodness for socks.