Knit Picks asks "What's your superhero power?"

I have too many friends who've had mothers or mothers-in-law who have had too much power and influence in the wedding decisions. I can't stand by and watch in silence any more!!!! I am The Wedding Defender!

My super-power is to make the mother's of brides and grooms cry---it's not their wedding, damn it!!! Beneath my every-day clothing lurks the most awesome matron-of-honor gown, "automagically" appropriate to the wedding I'm about to attend next. With my powers, I cow the mothers whose demands reduce my friends to tears. Instead, I turn those tears back on the mothers, enabling sons and daughters to have the wedding of their dreams and thus ending the vicious cycle of Wedding Stealing!!!

If I had a "signal in the sky" it would be that tradtional image of two bells side-by-side, topped by a ribbon, which sends most females into "wedding frenzy". Shine my symbol in the sky and I'll come running! Mothers of the bride, beware of...

The Wedding Defender!!! (echo: er-er-er-er-er)

General site announcement

For any of you who love to browse through my past posts, there may be some oddness in the coming days. I'm trying to get all the images I've stored on my server uploaded to my Flickr photostream. This means re-linking every image I've posted. Which in turn means I need to be careful of what pictures I delete and when.

If you encounter a problem, I would appreciate a comment. You can leave it on any post with an error and I'll get a message pointing me to the right place. Thanks for being patient during this changeover.

KYS "Rub My Lamp" Genie Swap...

This post needs a little introduction. If you read here often (or as often as I write here these days...), you probably already know I'm addicted to Ravelry. I have about 95% of my stash photographed and listed in Ravelry. Since I already have my entire book collection entered on LibraryThing, it was relatively easy for me to put my entire library on Ravelry---I just have to remember to put any new books in both places. I browse for patterns, drool over yarns, destash and buy, swap and trade. I read a lot of posts and write a fair number myself.

One group I'm a member of is the Karma Yarn Swap. I love this group. To me, it's a microcosm of what Ravelry as a whole is: crafters taking care of each other and helping each other out. Most threads in this group are started by someone offering something they have they no longer want. The OP (original poster) might mention how (s)he wants the thread to be limited, if at all. There's a Purple thread, a Lace thread, a Dishcloth-cotton thread... And, when someone has the time and interest, there's a "Kick-Ass" thread which lasts for just an evening or an afternoon. Things swap *fast* during a KA thread; it's best to have a couple items you're willing to destash which could be considered KA and have the postings for them (with all the links and etc. ready to go), so you can just copy/paste and beat the clock.

But there's a newer thread which has caught my attention: the Rub My Lamp Swap. This one started differently. The OP "found" a genie lamp and rubbed it. She made three wishes and waited to see if someone out there could/would be her genie. (There's always fine print, but you can look at the top of the thread for those details.) Whoever said "I'll be your genie" then put their 3 wishes up...and so it went.

What does Mal say in Firefly's pilot? "The wheel never stops turning, Badger." And it came flying back to me in the form of a gifted genie lamp from Mysteri1229. I wracked my brains for three wishes---my birthday just came and went and I got the needles I'd really been hoping for... Oh! I forgot about my Wists. So, I sorted through there and made sure that the items I selected were all within guidelines. But, to be fair, I also made sure they weren't too restrictive. (At least, I hoped not.) DigitalDurga jumped in and said she wanted to be my genie. Well actually, she said:

Wow… Umm.. I can be your genie.

Seriously. I never expected that. But I think I have some things you would love. I kept wondering why that box showed up on my doorstep saying “do not open until annekaelber”, it’s all starting to make sense to me now!

Even with life stepping in and slowing things down on her end, my package arrived safe and sound today...and just blew my socks off! I was able to compromise with my camera and get some fairly decent shots of all that came in the box.

One of my wishes was for buttons for the sweater I want to make Randy. The pattern calls for 10 3/4" buttons. She sent me five groups of ten! Wow!!!! I haven't started on the sweater yet, so I don't know which of these I'll use.

I mentioned I'm just learning to really crochet. So I asked for some really cool freebie patterns that were favorites of my genie. She sent me three rosewood crochet hooks and a 2GB Cruzer with patterns on it! My favorite two patterns so far are the (crochet) Asian Dragon and the (knit) Vernal Equinox Shawl Surprise. The Asian Dragon is a purchased pattern which can be purchased on Ravelry or at Skyfirearts Creations.

I also asked for some SpindleCat Studios stitch markers. I listed a couple single markers that I like because I know I am picky. I bought a whole bunch of stitch markers a couple years ago and have been giving away or selling them, because they aren't a style I like. If someone might be spending their hard-earned money on a wish for me, I wanted them to have a chance to please me. *grin* Well, my genie went overboard. She got three different kinds of markers. Two were of the styles I requested---and one of those there's 4 of! And the third style? A hook-style for crochet! That's my first crochet stitch marker!

So, I'm sending out a huge thank you to Mysteri1229 for RAKing me with the Lamp. And another huge thank you out to DigitalDurga for her amazing package of goodies! I am honored to know such generous people. Crafters rock!

Lace is addictive...

I thought I'd break my long (unintentional) silence with a post about lace. I've probably said it all before though... My husband may soon commit me to some twelve-step program for lace addicts 'cause I love the lace.

And yet... it drives me kinda insane.

To be fair, some of the problem is being a Sinister knitter. I never know exactly when I should follow the directions and trust it to all work out, like my "nephew" Soren's baby sweater:

Those who know the Baby Kimono pattern, mine came out backwards. I followed the directions...and that means left becomes right and right becomes left for me.

For lace, there's just a whole plethora of questions, which I found myself asking over in the GoddessKnits group. As always, Renee was quick to pop in with clarifying examples and others chimed in with suggestions of how to handle the charts.

As you can see over on the right, I'm currently working on Renee's pattern, Dracula's Bride. It's going to be absolutely *stunning* when it's done...and I'm going to have earned every single blasted "oooh" and "aaah" I get! *snort*

I should try to take it out and get some decent pictures of it...but have you ever heard what unblocked lace looks like? I think the term "yarn barf" is close, despite that term being frequently ascribed to the part of the skein that comes out when you're trying to find the inside end.

For other Sinister knitters who wish to try their hand at lace, let me save you lots of trouble: read the charts LEFT to RIGHT on the right-side rows and vice-versa on the wrong-side rows. So far, I haven't needed to change any specific stitches, just the order to read them in. I've been meaning to go in to Tempe Yarn and Fiber and sit down with Terry and see what, if any changes a Sinister knitter needs to make for slanting increases and decreases that are not symmetrical.

Oh...and for this shawl, I once again ordered from They were incredibly speedy in getting my order out, even though I didn't put a rush on it... (You know how it is when you're jonesing to start a new project and waiting for supplies...)

Speaking of shawls and lace... I've been back to work on the Trinity Wedding Shawl/Stole for my mother. The pattern itself is less unwieldy now---I managed to streamline it down to "only" twelve pages...from 27! So, hopefully, I can stared alternating work between the Trinity shawl and Dracula's Bride. And maybe take some pictures of both!

Snail Central!

Today is a big day here in our 120 gallon aquarium. I managed to catch one of the snails "in the act"----laying her clutch of eggs. She was kind enough to place this clutch at the front of the aquarium, where I was able to take the cover off and photograph her activities. I took over 70 pictures and uploaded the best ones to my flickr "aquaria" set. Here's one of the best of the best:

While all this was going on, a little farther back in the tank (where my camera cannot go!), our third clutch was hatching! The back left corner of the aquarium is now covered with little tiny, light-colored snails. Does this mean I've got some ivories finally? Only time will tell!

Stay tuned for more exciting news. *wink*

Clutch count rising

My 120 gallon aquarium is now up to a total of eight clutches, with two already hatched. The third clutch is due to hatch real soon, based on the color of the clutch.

I read over on that water changes (and the accompanying drop in temperature) usually precipitates egg laying. Now that the ammonia and pH levels are in good places, I think the babies from these clutches should be gorgeous! I won't be able to sell (and maybe not trade) the grown snails which are the parents, due to their shell damage.

I bought two ivory snails the other day, hoping to add some variation to the results. I'm still learning about snail genetics. So far, I understand that two blues have a 25% chance of ivory offspring, with the remaining 75% being blues. Two ivories have a 100% chance of ivory offspring. "Ivory" is the lack of shell color and the lack of body color. Hmm. I wonder if this is "albino" for snails?

I've got a few who keep burying themselves down in the gravel and that worried me for a while, but I guess it's common in fine gravel or sand aquariums. I guess everything is going well, now that I've got the chemistry balanced again. All I need to do is find homes for all these babies!

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