I'm Laura. I am a gamer, a bookworm, a knitter, a spinner, a tatter, a seamstress, pierced, tattooed, musical, vehemently geeky and occasionally ineptly artistic. She/her.


Keep track of new posts!

View all icons
FO: Snowflakes in Cedarwoods

Posted at 12 Oct 2010 07:00:23 PM

It's hard to know how to start blog posts like these.


We'll go with "Done", then, and see where it gets us.

Pattern: Snowflakes in Cedarwoods by Anne Hanson
Yarn: Baruffa Cashwool, 3000 yards
Needles: Circular US #3 for the body, Circular US #2 + US #2 DPN for the edging

( Click for the rest )

I've some more photos from the same shoot, different project - but those will have to wait another couple of weeks to see the light of day. Stay tuned!

View all icons
So I built myself a lightbox.

Posted at 02 Jul 2010 12:55:18 PM

So I built myself a lightbox.

I have to crop things a bit oddly still, since what I'm using as a posterboard backdrop is about an inch and a half less wide than the box is- so if I'm not careful you can see cardboard in the background.

That can be rectified the next time I go to Hobby Lobby or Michael's, though.

I think I like it!

I put in some work on the sleeve of my Twist Cardigan, too. (You thought I'd forgotten about it, didn't you? Nice try!)

There's a mistake in there. I know where it is. No need to tell me.

In other news, the Tour de Fleece starts on Saturday. We won't be here, as there's a family reunion that day, but I'm not too worried. My goal is to suck less at the suri alpaca mentioned a few posts down, and since I want a worsted or aran 3-ply I think I'll be able to spin it up in a month. I did some training with a 2-ply mini skein just to see how it would behave after washing and thwacking; it fluffs up some, but not too badly. It's doable (as long as I don't get distracted by the Blue Morpho batt... ;) )

In other-other news, I'm still wrassling (technical term) with the comments system. I don't know why it's flagging perfectly good comments as spam, and I apologize to anyone it's kicked out! I have some more logging in now, so hopefully we can get to the bottom of this.

View all icons
Spring is here! Pass the apples.

Posted at 26 Jun 2010 10:50:55 AM

Why, hello there.

How are you today?

I think we can safely say that spring has finally arrived.

Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade are in town this evening for their 11 1/2th Anniversary Celebration (don't ask, I don't know either). Bella's working on a CTS-Sackboy, and me.... well...

The Littlest Fruit Fucker
Pattern: Not much of one
Yarn: Berroco Lustra, same as I'm using for my cardigan, and of which I hope to still have enough. Oops.
Hook size: The peach-colored one. (I am the world's worst crocheter.)

View all icons
I'm sure that I could be a movie star...

Posted at 26 Jun 2010 10:49:44 AM

The paperwork is now signed, so it's official: I have a new job. No, I won't post the details here but suffice to say there won't be a gap between when my current contract ends and the new one begins.

Nevermind that I might like to have a bit of a gap, considering my extracurricular work load.

Of rather more immediate note, however: CoffeeMate's Hazlenut creamer is delicious.


My brother and I took a trip last weekend to Kansas City, for the specific purpose of taking in the Billy Joel/Elton John Face2Face concert being held at the Sprint Center. As anticipated it was amazing and not an experience that I would ever regret having. It's the second time we've seen Billy, and the first for Elton, and both were just in fantastic form.

I couldn't help but notice some professional cameramen stationed at the edge of the state, and it makes me wonder whether it would be possible to obtain a recorded copy of the concert... note to self: look into this.

Emotionally speaking, I held it together for Italian Restaurant and Norma Jean, and then lost it completely at Piano Man. It wasn't unexpected... that song has always held particular significance for us.

As I said, I'm grateful for the experience.

My Olympic project had its debut that same night, and I'm ridiculously happy with it:

Yarn: Kid Seta mohair, 3 25g balls
Needles: US #8 (5mm)
Pattern: My own, if it can be called a pattern, but I'm happy to share it if someone would like. ETA: Pattern link is in the sidebar!

Knitwise, I'm beginning to feel buried. This evening begins the Franklin Habit whirlwind, which hopefully I can get to in time owing to an unexpected mandatory drug test for the abovementioned new job. Tomorrow will be a slightly elongated Lace class, and then the Photography class, about both of which I am unreasonably excited.

I seem to have started a pair of Leyburns with the Fiber Optic sock yarn I'd bought from TLE a bit ago. It's a screamingly bright purple mixed with black and while it looked neat in plain stockinette, I decided after the cuff & a few inches that I really wasn't happy with it. The Leyburn pattern came to mind, and it seemed to me that it would help with the blotchiness.

Thus far, I'm pleased with it:

Snowflakes is on Chart J (there is no spoon Chart I). I made a bit of a goof in chart H wherein I merrily knitted along the top of some trees without noticing that I was simultaneously supposed to be starting the bottoms of some others. Rather than frog it or rework all thirty some repeats, I decided that the next set of trees would just be a bit short and non-overlapping. It's not a bug; it's a feature.

Evenstar is on a bit of a hiatus. The pattern is lovely but I didn't really like how the reeled silk was knitting up, to be honest. It's not particularly hard to work with; it just knits up like a ribbon yarn and ends up feeling coarse and inflexible. I just don't see the point in continuing only to get something which I don't really like. It's in time out for the time being, and when I start again I'm going to knit the silk along with a strand of black Baruffa Cashwool. Either the wool will tame the silk, or the silk will corrupt the wool - only time will tell. But I AM dreading starting this shawl for the fourth time...center-out beginnings drive me straight up the wall.

I've chosen a pattern to make for my nieces as a part of the New Baby package that I'll be giving their parents (no link to preserve the surprise (and also in case I end up disliking it)), and also a pattern for my parents for Christmas (ditto). I picked up some Cascade Elite Premiere on sale at the yarn shop in KC which I plan to make into a collared shrug. The yarn for my surprise gift as well as the Christmas gift is on order, and I think that both of them will be lovely even as I'm starting to panic about the number of things to which I'm "committed" in 2010.

( Click for the rest )

View all icons
Rare finds

Posted at 26 Jun 2010 10:49:19 AM

I never did get around to sharing what I found at Kirkwood Knittery a week or two ago:

And as if that wasn't exciting enough...!


I don't know whether I'll be able to knit from them in the near future; my queue is pretty loaded (how awkward is that? It's only February, and I'm booked until Christmas). Still, a girl can dream.

View all icons
Google Chrome

Posted at 26 Jun 2010 10:49:31 AM

Now that this browser is finally workable - for me at least - I thought that I'd start with a mini-review of it.

Chrome is fast. You already know that; it's been Google's main plug for the browser since the beginning. We'll take its speed as read.

Although it's taking some time to break the Firefox-induced habit of making a new tab and immediately hitting Ctrl+K to get to a search bar, I think I'm going to like Chrome's multi-use location/search/bookmarking bar. It's certainly handy to be able to create a new tab and immediately start typing search terms without having to worry about which input box has focus.

I think it's interesting how new browsers just hitting the landscape have to not be as good as their predecessors, but better. Most of us won't look at a new browser unless it encompasses all functions for which we depend on our existing browser of choice AND offers us something more. Just good browsing isn't enough; it's got to have a truly enormous variety of extensions before we're even remotely interested.

For instance: I wouldn't touch Chrome (much less use it as a daily browser) until it had a viable mouse gestures plugin. I checked back regularly for progress on Google's own version of the plugin; it consistently failed to work, so I kept passing on the browser. And apparently, I sat on that particular high horse just a bit too long; Google's own plugin is still rocky*, yes, but Smooth Gestures is up and doing its thing reasonably well. It's not perfect, mind you - the comments regarding issues with https pages and occasional extension crashes are accurate - but it's good enough.

*And by "rocky" I mean "back and forward work, everything else is a complete wash-out."

There are several viable AdBlock extensions now. I don't use any of them except FlashBlock, but I know that this was a deal-breaker for some of you.

Beautify Facebook is nifty, if purely cosmetic.

I'm using Google Wave Notifier to save me from having to have my iGoogle page and gWave pages open all the time. There's a similar gadget for your gMail account, but I prefer the toys and widgets of my complete iGoogle page.

There's a
Del.icio.us plugin, which works as expected.

Send from Gmail (no button) is still untried, but if it saves me from having an Outlook mail window pop up every time I click on a mailto: link, it'll be worth it.

Since I see that Chrome is available for Linux now as well (tiny cheer!), I'll be updating my computers at home and seeing how many of these extensions are cross-platform. (Hint: they'd better all be).

View all icons
Marking the occasion

Posted at 26 Jun 2010 10:48:30 AM

I am posting this, mostly, to mark the occasion. Also if the world collapses in on itself you will know the cause and who to blame.

Last night while at Michaels, "quickly - just to get something framed and then get out*", I did it.


I bought a crochet book. (No!) (Yes!!)

In my defense it's amigurimi, not afghans, and it had cute little Mario mushrooms on it. How am I supposed to resist the opportunity to make Mario mushrooms?! (They may also restore 243 health over 18 seconds when eaten... stay tuned.)

You may have noticed that the book cover also promises a pattern for a Fruit Fucker, although I am sure that the writers did not intend their alien-robot thing to be interpreted in such a manner. Or maybe they did, and they're just trying to give children an early and well-rounded introduction to gaming culture? Regardless, I fully intend to make a pair and send them to Gabe and Tycho.

In other Michaels-related news, I have finally located a large-sized wicker basket with a lid** -- O frabjous day! -- and it now resides under the end table next the couch. Said end table no longer looks like a wool factory threw up on it, and my living room is consequently neater. I do so enjoy encapsulation!

Also, I have Christmas cards. With luck and a break in the space-time continuum, they will actually be sent out prior to Christmas.

* Letting me go into a craft store unescorted is the first sign of trouble.

** You would be surprised at how rare these are. I would have thought that more of the crafting community had cats, but surely their sales figures know best.

View all icons
Catching up

Posted at 10 Nov 2009 01:31:22 PM

The gang's all here - we got my brother moved into an apartment a couple of hours south of St Louis last week. I use "we" loosely -- our part consisted mostly of spare furniture transport.

While Mom was here the four of us took a trip down to Lambert's Cafe in Sikeston (yes, home of the throwed rolls). The rolls were as airborne as advertised, and absolutely delicious. I don't know why they bother having you order sides with your meal; waiters come around every couple of minutes with pots filled with various other sides that the chefs apparently just felt like making, so we got a taste of everything!
Final review: A+, would definitely go again.

I was taking a vague look at Penguicon this coming year; it both looks like something I'd be interested in and something that may not be worth the trip. Halp D:

The project that the Ravelry Heirloom Knitting group has been working on - have I mentioned this before? - is nearing completion. "Nearing" is a sort of relative word, as large parts of it remain to be done, but it's at least at a point where those not spending all their time trying to chart the border corner can cast on for the middle section.

So I have. 271 stitch provisional cast on in laceweight and gossamer: hear me roar!

This officially means that I have two giant lace shawls in the works, and one thankfully not at all complicated sweater. It's amazing; the gossamer that I'm using for Queen Susan is so fine that when I switch back to the laceweight cashwool for Snowflakes in Cedarwoods it feels like I'm knitting sock yarn... >_> Trouble with these shawls is that both are of the type which require concentration and long spans of time in which to work on them, or I get something like half a row done which doesn't feel at all productive.

And what with Dragon Age Origins*, and Torchlight**, and Real Life***, I don't really HAVE long spans of time to work on anything. Aaagh.

Contemplating a trip to the Maryland Sheep & Wool festival next year. I could probably stay with some family in the area, and there are highly tentative plans from said HK group to have a mini meet up at the festival. I think it would be fun :D

And maybe next year I could actually go to Rhinebeck!

* Excellent game.
** VERY Excellent game. Nowhere near as srs bzns as DAO, and quite a bit more addictive.
*** Always excellent :-)

View all icons
Oh sweet gods

Posted at 26 Jun 2010 10:47:49 AM

What have I gotten myself into?

Regardless, here's the official "Before" picture. Tune in about this time next year, I hope*, for the "After".

*And depending rather heavily on an early 2010 pattern release date, which is still no more than my wishful thinking. It could be December 2010 for all I know.

View all icons
An appropriate icon; someone nominate me for a prize.

Posted at 09 Jun 2009 10:55:21 PM

Ugh. Here's the thing of it:

Last Wednesday, I was persuaded to see a doctor for the problematic fingers-becoming-numb, dropping things, hands hurting problem. On Friday, I actually got in to see said doctor, who (to sum up) said that I have carpal tunnel syndrome, of the moderate variety, and handed me a prescription for twice-daily NSAIDs and wrist braces "to be worn at night without fail, and at other times during the day when convenient." Which it really isn't, ever, but I got myself into this mess.

Friday night things cheered right up when poppins17 and I went to see RENT at the Fox, with Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, live and in person, strike me dead if I'm lying. In some ways it was beyond awesome, and in other ways ... well, I think they may have been doing this show a bit too long. It's fresher, somehow, with the kids who haven't been doing it for the better part of a decade. With Adam especially he seemed like he was doing it by rote rather than with enthusiasm... but I think it was noticeable more in the times between songs. He certainly pulled out a kickass One Song Glory. Angel, Mimi, Moreen, Collins and the rest of the cast were their usual stellar selves. (There was NOT, thank goodness, a repeat of the Angel Issues incident at Proctor's from quite a few years ago.)

I really wanted to nick the RENT poster from outside the Schnucks here, but I didn't get to it soon enough. Curses.

Caught a nasty cold, probably at the doctor's office. Saturday I was unsure, Sunday I was death on toast, and Monday was slightly better. Today is slightly better still, although I still have an inexplicable sore throat and stuffy nose.

Also today, that would be Tuesday, I bombed an interview. I'm really not sure exactly what part of anything the interviewer objected to, but after two hours I was informed that I was not a good fit. To quote, I was "damn insightful" and "if [he] had a developer position open, he'd hire me in a heartbeat." Of which I don't believe a word: he'd subject me to exactly as much scrutiny for a dev job as he would for this tech support one, and I know perfectly well that I don't possess the language skills that they use in that shop. But I digress. I'm trying not to be insulted by the notion that I'm more suited to dev than to work on the other end of computer support, but rather look at it as if he was able to tell something about me that I can't see myself. Maybe he's right... I really don't know.

Anyhow, in disappointment I came home, ate White Castle for lunch, knitted on my Sabine until my fingers started to go numb, took a 15 minute break and then went to tonight's raid. (I know, I know, I'm stupid.) They're still tingling, and I ought to go put my braces on, but I'm being stupid and stubborn. I will once I finish typing this. And finish my dailies.


Laura Helton Designs

Patterns for Knitting