Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Life, etc.

It's rather difficult to keep this blogging thing up. I can't really talk about my job or CodeMonkey's work (just the nature of the positions), and that seems to be where we spend most of our time and mental energy. That leaves the knitting, reading, cooking, and shopping.

So, in that vein:

-I'm rehashing the 80's culture wars by reading Alan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind. It's thought provoking, even if I don't agree with everything in it. In odd moments, I'm working my way through The Principles of Knitting. Since I'm a self-taught knitter, it's been very helpful to have someone really explain the mechanics of different techniques, and I feel a lot more confident in my skills.

-CodeMonkey has very strange feet. He wears a size 8 5E, which is extremely difficult to find. His socks have started dying en masse, so I've decided to knit him a bunch of custom fitted pairs. I may go blind knitting black dress socks over the next year. We'll see. has free shipping through Friday, so I grabbed a bunch of their house brand black sock yarn for this madness project.

-After years of the crotches on my tights ripping out, I found a solution. Levante makes wool stockings, which are soft and warm and totally worth the aggravation of fasting a million (ok, eight), little garter buttons every morning. They're 25% off right now at

-I bought The Knitter's Handy Book of Top Down Sweater patterns. OMG, love. It teaches you how to knit sweaters in any size, and any gauge, in four different styles. This is possibly the best knitting book I've ever bought, because it has taught me how to modify designs for my unusual figure. I'm making a top-down sweater in thin dark red wool right now, and it's beautiful.

-I was sick of my fingers freezing every morning and evening during the 30-odd blocks I walk in my commute. I treated myself to a pair of cashmere-lined black leather gloves from Coach. These are possibly the nicest things I have ever owned. My coworkers tease me because I leave them on my desk, the better to pet them at work. The only problem is that when I was at the store, I fell in love with a purse. And a wallet. I never "got" the bag thing before (my "purse" is a Timbuk2 tote bag), but this could be dangerous.

-CodeMonkey worked on Thanksgiving, so I didn't cook a full dinner, but I did make pumpkin pies, and chicken noodle soup. The soup was fantastic, and there's enough stock left over for wonton soup for supper tonight. Yum.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Birthday, etc.

My parents have been buying us the sort of things we wouldn't buy for ourselves, which are the best kind of presents. Since we're in that sort of "setting up housekeeping", "newlywed new graduates stage," we've been spending spare cash on acquiring work-appropriate attire and basic furniture, rather than decorative objects. It's been lovely, as they really do add something to a room.

I mentioned in passing we'd seen a picture in IKEA that would match our living room perfectly. Lo, and behold, my parents gifted it to CodeMonkey for a surprise birthday present. We've decided that the living room needs a framed, vintage NYC subway map to go on the other wall.

My birthday was recently, and my mother made me a beautiful red and black pillow. The front is batik, and the back is red Chinese characters on a black field, a clever nod to CodeMonkey's dual Chinese and Malaysian heritage.

I spent Thanksgiving evening repairing my socks--making darns, removing pills, and sewing up holes. I own a little battery powered sweater shaver, but it can be a bit overenthusiastic, damaging the fabric while depilling. I find nothing works as nicely as a small pair of very sharp scissors, if you have the patience. I put the finishing touches on one sock and began another. At left, a year old pair, freshly depilled for another winter. At right, a new sock; it's twin is in progress.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


On our third date, I told CodeMonkey that I was chronically ill. So ill, in fact, that my doctor didn't think I'd ever be able to work a normal job.

I'm thankful for the modern medicine that means this never happened, that enabled me to resume a normal life.

I'm even more thankful that CodeMonkey was unfazed by this revelation and said he'd care for us both, if need be.

I'm thankful I had the good sense to realize then that he was a keeper.

I'm most thankful for him, his love, and his unfailing patience in the subsequent years. The years with him have been the happiest of my life. I'm thankful for my parents, and their sacrifices on my behalf. I'm thankful for my in-laws, and their love for me. I'm thankful I live in the most thrilling city in the world. I'm thankful I have everything I need and most of what I want. I consider myself the most blessed woman in the world.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wtf, Lands End?

See those two sweaters? Both of them are Lands End long sleeve cashmere cardigans, in a size medium. Both are from last year's line, bought on clearance plus 30% off (champagne taste, beer budget). I have owned the top one for about a month and I've been wearing it regularly. It's been carefully laundered, and has not been shrunk. The one below it is the same sweater, in a size medium petite. It's about 5 inches bigger in the torso, and has deeper armsceyes, longer sleeves, and a longer body. I am absolutely swimming in it. This is absurd, and it's going back. I don't care if I'm a size small, medium or large, but I'd like to know that if I buy the same garment from the same year in the same size, THEY WILL FIT THE SAME WAY.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Back in the Swing of Things

-I think I've finally adapted to my new job. Success!

-We were lucky enough to miss the brunt of Hurricane Sandy, thankfully.

-Since everyone needs a post-hurricane-we're-all-back-at-the-office treat, I'm making a large batch of bacon and cheddar scones for CodeMonkey and I to take to work tomorrow. (I omit the chives, swap whole milk for the cream, and use Dubliner cheese instead of Cheddar. Heavenly every time.)

-The return of cold weather means the return of the never ending hand wash only laundry. Between my sweaters (one long sleeve crew neck and one cardigan worn daily), CodeMonkey's sweaters, wool socks, wool stockings and various other sleepy garments, I'm doing hand washing daily. Buy stock in Eucalan. (That's the cheapest wool wash I've found. Buy it when it's 50% off with free shipping. One tablespoon to 5 gallons of warm water. A gallon lasts forever.)

-I'm watching Call the Midwife. I think it's the best show I've seen in years. PBS has all the episodes available for streaming right now. Go watch them.

-Since things have called down a bit on the work front, it's time to start goal setting again. This week:

-Lose one pound.
-Read one hour daily.
-Knit one hour daily.
-Crack 12,000 steps/day on the pedometer at least 4 times.
-Eat no more than 18 out of 42 meals out this week.