Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday Sampler: 'Round the Virtual Neighborhood

Yep, I'm still here. In our condo. Or, what was our condo. Move is now scheduled for Tuesday. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime: Random Stuff from the Internet!

A collapsible craft table from Martha Stewart: perfect if you have limited space.

Quick guide to Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock.

 Chocolate cherry cake bites--yes please!

Love Tanis' new Adhara Shawl.

Knit Picks has some gorgeous new yarn, a single ply worsted!

And Namaste has a fun new knitting bag, Harlow, available in August!

Dory will probably be too busy cowering in a closet to post on Tuesday, but we'll both definitely return to the blog as soon as possible.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On being homeless--thanks Alcova Mortgage!

Today is the day we were supposed to close on our new house.


For the last several weeks, we've been repeatedly assured by our real estate agent and loan officer that everything was on track for settlement. No problems. All systems go. Etc.

So yesterday, we sold our condo as scheduled. The plan was then to rent the condo back for a couple of days, settle on our new house today, move in on Thursday, and be happy, happy homeowners who lived happily ever after.

And then we got a call.

The underwriters, those wily minxes, are behind on the paperwork.

We can't close today.

So, just to recap, we sold the place we live in, and, because of a paperwork screw up among the lobotomized monkeys underwriting loans for Alcova Mortgage, who have had TWO MONTHS to get this mess together, we cannot yet purchase the home we are to move into.

We're homeless.

We're not living under a bridge yet, fortunately. Thankfully, the gentleman who purchased our condo isn't planning to move in until June 28, and he has been kind enough to offer to let us continue to rent the condo until then.

But technically, we're homeless.

And if they don't get this mess fixed by the 28th, we will be looking for a cushy spot under an overpass.

Our buying agent is on vacation. As such, the agent who sold our condo, who I can only assume CP found by throwing darts at the phone book, is acting as our buying agent as well. She keeps saying incredibly reassuring things.

Things like, "I hear you, it's a tough situation." (Really? "Tough situation"? We have no home.)
"Don't stress. Let me stress for you." (Um, YOU'RE NOT HOMELESS!)
"This really hardly ever happens." (I do not CARE how often it does or doesn't happen. It's happening RIGHT NOW. TO ME.)

Sure, worse things could happen. I could contract ebola, or Knit Picks could go under.

But as far as moving goes in general, this is a pretty crap situation.

We have everything arranged to move tomorrow:

Movers scheduled--we'd have to reschedule and hope they're available.
Condo building freight elevator reserved--we can't move without it, and it's usually reserved weeks in advance.
Utilities cancelled/transferred--I guess we'll be sitting around a dark, hot condo with no tv. Did I mention today's high is 98?
Everything packed: 99% of our possessions are in boxes; we have on hand only what we needed for a couple days.
Food: we don't have any, because you don't buy groceries when you're going to move in 2 days.

And we're in complete limbo. No one can tell us when we might close. We can't cancel anything, we can't reschedule anything, we can't make arrangements of any kind. Should we unpack things? Buy food? We don't know. It is now 11:30am on the day we were supposed to close, and we have zero to go on.

But wait--the mortgage company has offered to cover any additional costs we might incur because of this delay. Well thank goodness! Because money fixes everything! Just throw money at the problem and it will resolve itself!

Thanks Alcova Mortgage!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesdays with Dory

Packing really tires me out.

Dear Dory,

My cat talks a lot, and I just don't know what she's saying. Can you help me out?

Perplexed in Pasadena

Dear Perplexed,

Excellent question! Here's a quick breakdown of some more common kitteh noises.

Meoow-ow-ow: Pay attention to me! Or not! I can't decide.

Meooooooooooow: I'm bored! Play with me! Oops, nap attack.

Mrehhhhhhh: You're annoying me. Wait, come back!

MEOW: Food! Now! Fooooooooooood, I'm practically starving.

Mew mew mew: I'm so cute, aren't I? Now go away.

MEW MEW: I want to scare you into thinking something's wrong even though I'm perfectly fine.

Purrrrrrrrrrrrrr: I love napping so much.

Hope that helps!

Have a purrrrrrfect day!


Monday, June 18, 2012

On catching up

First and foremost, Dory would like to extend her sincere apologies on missing her regular post last Tuesday. In my absence, she wasn't able to turn the computer on, so no kitteh kolumn. She'll be around tomorrow with her usual helpful advice, so don't worry!

Last week I was busy being very business-like in Costa Rica:


This is the view from the balcony outside our meeting room--pretty nice! What isn't evident in this photo is that it rained about 80% of the time we were there. Since we were supposed to be doing work, the rain didn't matter too much, but it was a bit depressing.

Also, I'm sick of beans and rice.

Well, kinda.

I really do love gallo pinto.

Before we left for CR, we participated in the Baltimore Take Steps, Be Heard walk for Crohn's and Colitis awareness:


Team Mary Kate ultimately raised $1,170, and you guys were a big chunk of that, so THANK YOU!

And I didn't get a chance to brag that I actually did finish the Stage 1 Tour de Sock socks on time--in fact, 2 days early!


I'm finding the lacy toe a little airy for my taste, but loving the color of the yarn.


Sadly, I'm so far behind on the Stage 2 sock, they'll be starting Stage 3 before I even get to the heel. Not only was my knitting time limited with the meeting, colorwork just . . . isn't my thing. I like the way it looks, but I don't like doing it. So it's slow.

I think I might have to count myself out of the race.

Especially since Thursday is MOVING DAY!

So much to do, so little time.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saturday Sampler: 'Round the Virtual Neighborhood

Before I share my list of random stuff from the Internet for the week, I just wanted to say thank you again to the many generous donors who contributed to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America! Tonight is the walk and your donations helped Team Mary Kate raise over $1000!

While my fundraising raffle is over, if you're still interested in donating, you can do so right here.

And now, Random Stuff from the Internet!

 Apparently you can "bake" bread in the slow cooker!

I can't get over how darling this baby Christmas knit is!

I love growing basil, and these tips are quite useful.

Big Bang + Harry Potter!

I LOVE crab rangoon, and this looks a bit healthier.

This sewing kit in a jar could easily be adapted for knitters. I especially love the pincushion on top.

I hope you're all out enjoying World Wide Knit in Public Day / Weekend/ Week!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On even more Learner's Per-knit and MediaPeruana Designs!

If you're like me, you find it hard to keep up with everything that's going on in the knitting world--blogs, Twitter, Ravelry, designers, yarn companies, pattern releases . . . there's a lot going on.

One thing that helps me keep up is subscribing to newsletters--that way, the information comes directly to my inbox, and I don't have to go out looking for it, or wrack my brain trying to remember what that website was with the . . . thing about the . . . stuff that was . . . yarn? A pattern? What am I looking for again??

Tricksy Knitter, for example, has a great newsletter. KnitBot and BrooklynTweed also have them.

So, in the spirit of moving Learner's Per-knit and MediaPeruana designs forward, I offer you . . . a newsletter!

What will it contain?

Good question.


About knitting.

Ok, more specifically, the newsletter will provide occasional updates on MediaPeruana Designs pattern releases, new tutorials or special features on Learner's Per-knit that you might want to know about, and exclusive giveaways and special offers, like pattern discounts.

It will not contain me blathering on and on about gauge issues or knitting disasters, advice from Dory about random nonsense, or complaints about my mother-in-law.

That's what the blog is for.

So, how can you get this coveted newsletter? Sign up right here. You might also see the shiny new subscription box in the right sidebar. Either one works.

I solemnly swear not to spam you or pester you incessantly--once or twice a month at most. Let's face it, I don't have that much going on here. And of course, you can unsubscribe at any time.

But that would make Nelly sad:


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesdays with Dory

I love this new jungle gym Kristen put in for me.

Dear Dory,

I keep knitting blankets and beds for my cat, but she won't use them. What can I do??


Ignored in Iowa

Dear Ignored,

The secret to knitting things for your cat is to make sure she understands that what you're knitting absolutely, positively ISN'T for her. Definitely don't call it a "bed" or "blanket." Try "sweater" or "expensive shawl."

Then she'll love it.

See, here I am, sleeping on what Kristen tells me is a sweater for her dad, but which I'm pretty certain is a bed for me:


Otherwise, why would it have that convenient little pillow??

And here's Nelly laying on it too, that little sneak:


You can make extra certain your cat will like her gift by using only the very best yarn, and then complaining about how she's turned something made with your very best yarn into a fur covered floor mat.

Reverse psychology is the secret to kittehs. And possibly small children.

Have a purrrrrrfect day!


Hmmm, not one of Dory's more helpful posts in my opinion. Maybe next week.

In other news, you might have noticed that Learner's Per-knit is now part of the BlogHer network! I love perusing their site and finding random new blogs to read--sometimes not even knitting ones!

And I'm also happy to announce that after years of mis-typing my own blog address into the address bar, I'm now the proud owner of type that in and you'll be transported directly to Learner's Per-knit! (Of course, if you've mastered typing the Blogspot address, it will continue to work the same as always--no need to learn anything new!)

Monday, June 4, 2012

On Tour de Sock, Stage 1

The Tour-de Sock madness has started!

The pattern was released on June 1 at 11:30am (EDT), and the certifiably insane sock knitters immediately got to work, some finishing the pair within 24 hours.

Let me repeat that.

A PAIR of socks.


I am clearly not cut out for this level of competition.

But I stumble along anyway.

The pattern is Saint Michel Socks by Debbie O'Neill, which is exclusive to the TdS now, but will be available for purchase sometime later this year (or so I'm lead to believe).

And I certainly didn't knit a pair in 24 hours, but I did finish the first sock in 48 hours, which I think is still an accomplishment/sign of a mental disorder:


I'm using some Wool Therapy Tranquil BFL that I picked up at Fibre Space. The sock definitely needs some blocking, but the yarn has been lovely to work with. It's on the thinner side, and not as soft as some sock yarns (cough, Skinny Bugga!, cough), but sturdy, like Tosh Sock.

Also, I love dark green.

Just saying.

The second sock, predictably, is going sloooooower, because I JUST KNIT the exact same thing and don't want to do it again. I am seriously considering trying to learn 2-at-a-time socks before the next stage.

Stage 2 starts on Saturday morning, and I leave for Costa Rica on Monday, so how I will fare is anyone's guess. Since CP heads to Costa Rica the day before me, I'm traveling alone (boo!) and planning to bring lots of plane knitting. I always get nervous about losing my needles in security (even though I haven't lost a pair yet, knock on wood), so I just ordered some Knit Picks bamboo DPNs, just to be on the safe side--non-metal seems a lot more likely to make it through security, and DPNs might look like nothing more than a pencil on the Xrays.

Or so I'm telling myself.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

On celebrating!

I made it, my fifth blogiversary!

First, let's get to the good stuff--prizes!

You'll recall, I had a bag of yarn:


And promised to divide it up among 3 commenters.

I had 27 commenters total, so I listed their names in an Excel spreadsheet, like so:


And then used to pick 3 random numbers: 14, 3 and 6.

So our winners are . . .


And what have they won? Let's take a closer look at the contents of the bag o' yarn, shall we?

It's quite a mix of yarns! Most of it is still labeled, though a few skeins are not and I'll try to answer any questions about mystery yarn. Off the top of my head  I can tell you that there's some Spud & Chloe, Blue Sky Alpacas, Berroco, Malabrigo and Knit Picks in there. So, winners, please send me an email ASAP at mediaperuana at gmail dot com with your mailing address, and I'll get your yarn out during the coming week!

Now, philosophizing.

Five years of blogging. I haven't always had something interesting to say--maybe I've never had anything interesting to say, I don't know--but my blog has provided a wonderful outlet for me, and I greatly appreciate all of your support through the years. I hope you'll continue to visit Learner's Per-knit as I work to expand it and add additional content (tutorials, reviews, and giveaways), as well as expand my pattern collection.

So again, thanks so much for reading, and I hope you'll stick around!