Random Thursday: Ninja Banjos, Mispronunciations, and Serious Roughage

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

It’s been brought to my attention that true “Random” Thursdays probably wouldn’t have related elements.



Seems Legit

Baby Wombat

One out of one Sunny Ninjas agree, in case you were wondering.

Sunny Ninja

My husband texted me this picture, with the caption,
“Nobody better take her stuff.”

My reply:
“No one can find her stuff in that room.”

His reply:
“Ninja Stuff!”

Fair enough.



If you haven’t subscribed to Anglophenia, yet, be warned:
I have no intention of letting up until you do.

Siobhan Thomson explores the idiosyncrasies of Britain,
while occasionally poking fun at Americans
in a way that makes us totally agree with her.

It’s a gift.


For those who really want to know:

You’re welcome.


Knittin’ Broccoli

Broccoli knits

Click for the pattern! It’s on Ravelry! What a shocker!

I think we’ve probably established by now that I enjoy the thought of knitting things
more than I ever actually take the time to prove
that I’ve enjoyed having knitted them.
And I don’t like I-cord.

But I feel an intense need to knit up a head of these
and perhaps give them out for Christmas.

Try to act surprised.


Poor Wandering Banjos and a Smug Pianist

Since Boston in smothered in snow,

have two Smothers Brothers and the Boston Pops.

(Hang on until 2:46.  You will be rewarded.)

If you’re wondering if you missed the banjos, you did.
Because they’re NINJAS.


Random Thursday: Purple Skies, Baby Owls, and Lady Chatterly’s Leprechaun

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

Got felled with one of my blinding (and I mean that literally) migraines yesterday, and so spent the day in a nice quiet room sleeping off my meds and sipping nice, hot mugs of caffeine.

Possibly at the same time.  I don’t really remember.

But I’m feeling better today—a little dizzy, but that’s nothing new—and also very thankful for friends who have sent me so much stuff this month that I already had this post pretty much pre-assembled by the time I could bear to look at a screen again.

Thanks, guys!



Remember my Purple Elephant rant from a couple years ago?

Looks like I may have to break out the %&#$ double-pointed needles again.


This (these?) are Boo.

Boo’s pattern is on sale at the Mochimochi Land shop.

I don’t want to wrestle with a handful of small sticks for three hours
just trying to cast on, no matter how adoraboo
he/she/they is/are.

Maybe I should send the pattern to my friend Grace instead,
as a sort of self-serving holiday gift?

Gold Box

(Don’t tell her, Cha—let it be a surprise!)


A Short Physics Poem

Roses are red.
Chromaticity’s wavy.
That’s why the sky isn’t purple:
It’s gravy.



This is a good visual metaphor for how I’m piecemeal writing my Nanonovel this week . . .


 . . . except with plot elements and werewolves and swanmanes instead of kitties.

And some of the blocks would be hissing at each other and/or pointing guns.

Or threatening to take each other’s P.I. licenses away.

Or scent marking the lower levels.

Never mind.

(Thanks again, caitlin!)


Because Baby Owl

To misquote Robert A. Heinlein,

“Baby owls, like butterflies, need no excuse.”

Baby Owl

He actually said “little girls” instead of owls,
but in my experience, little girls seem to need a lot of excuses,
and tend to deliver them even before you’ve asked.

(Stolen from Paula’s FB feed—thanks, Paula!)


Troll of the D’urbervilles

My friend Siobhan sent me the link to this video, with the subject heading:

“Guess I can’t give you any more crap about the wereduck thing.”

No, Vannie. No, you can’t.

Random Thursday: Turtle Cozies and Current Rhapsodies

This is going to be a quickie—we have houseguests and instead of going through my files for today’s post, I made my SIL watch the first episode of BBC Sherlock.  Since this meant I could watch the first ep again, I refuse to think of this as a waste of time, ’cause it wasn’t.

And it does say Random Thursday on the label, so . . . 


 I’m starting a new knitting project—cover me!

No, nothing so elaborate, just a scarf . . .  But if it goes well, a turtle-cozy would clearly be the next logical step.

And that pom-pom on the tank’s gun barrel is simply adorable.*


Why I don’t use my own drawings to illustrate these posts:


Nikola Tesla:  half the reason science is as cool as it is

In 1891, Nikola Tesla, who can’t possibly be awarded enough credit for all the amazing stuff he did, invented a resonant circuit-thingie** that can produce high voltage, high frequency, low, alternating current electricity.

If you hook up two or three of these guys—and why wouldn’t you?—you get a Tesla coil.

Tesla coils used to be used in wireless radio telegraph transmissions, electrotherapy, and other various uses until  technology marched on and they ended up as special effects props, historical footnotes, and the tools of MIT pranksters.

They can also make music.

The Hungarian Rhapsody one of my favorite pieces, but for those of you who might prefer something a bit more tech-appropriate:


*Don’t worry, Mom, your instead-of-socks birthday present hasn’t been forgotten, but I had to return the book to the library and someone snagged it. I’ve put it on hold again, and once it comes back, I’ll start on your lime green armadillo . . . (ugh)

**Yes, thingie is a proper scientific term when used by someone who might understand circuits in a Mr-Wizard-Explained-It-Best kind of way, but prefers to think of electricity as barely tamed magic that makes things go if you ask it nicely.

Knitting the Purple Elephant

Hello, my name is Sarah, and I am a knitter with an extremely low boredom threshold.

This makes sweaters and even scarves of any useful length problematic, and downshifting into smaller projects doesn’t seem to work. I have, for example, an extensive collection of single socks, and when I took classes to learn to knit two socks at once, I became bored halfway through and after almost a year, I’ve yet to finish the cuffs.*

My friend and co-worker Grace** knows this all too well, so when a knitting book featuring even smaller projects crossed her desk, she put it on hold for me. I took it home and let the kids look at it.

(click the cover for Anna Hrachovec’s wonderful website)

They immediately demanded a teeny-tiny menagerie, and I was willing to oblige, except . . . all of these projects are done with double-pointed needles. I don’t consider myself to have anywhere near the physical coordination or mental health required to knit with a handful of oversized toothpicks.***

But for something this small—the first cast on for most of these little guys is 6 stitches or fewer—I thought I might give ‘em another try.

It was like thumb wrestling a small wooden octopus. And losing every stinking time.

So this past week, I took Grace to lunch, not only because it was her birthday and that’s just the kind of person I am, but also to corner her into showing me how to use double-pointed needles, which she valiantly tried to do before her salad arrived, even though the yarn I’d brought to the restaurant was a little too thick for the needles I had (rookie mistake).

I went home, found some purple sock yarn^ and tried, tried again. And again. And again and thank heavens the kids were in bed so they didn’t hear me say exactly how much I loathed these stupid wooden pieces of. . . Oh, wait. That worked.

I managed one round of increasing stitches without it falling apart, set it down very gently, and took a break with a nice stiff drink. This might be the perfect time to mention that I picked up knitting to relax.^^

But I came back well fortified, brought up Would I Lie to You ^^^ on the laptop, and got to work. One and a half episodes later, I had accomplished one-fourth of a tiny purple elephant butt, after which it went a little faster:


And an episode or two after that, I had a purple grape on a stick:

I called it a day, did the trunk the next morning, and finished the rest after work.  Elephants have far too many feet, by the way, especially when rendered in I-cord, and it was very slow going until my MIL took pity on me and offered her smallest crochet hook so I could pick up stitches without risk of rupturing that pulsing vein in my forehead.°

But in the end, I got the hang of it.

May I present Brumple, the Tiny Purple Elephant Who Does NOT Look Like a Pig with a Nasal Condition, Thank You So Very Much:

And, yes, I repaired that little, tiny hole I only noticed after I’d uploaded the image and delivered him to his new owner.

To give you a better idea of how small Brumple really  is, here’s a celebrity shot with George Washington:

Sunny’s requested a monkey next—with a banana.

I think I might rest up a few days first . . .



*Mom, if you’re reading this, I swear (again) that they’ll be done by your birthday (again), though this time I’m not going to specify which one.

** Who actually learned to knit because she was tired of waiting for me to start the pair of socks I said, in a fit of self-delusional optimism, that I’d make for her—said, not promised, by the way. She’s a much better knitter than I am now, so my procrastination is good for something, see?

*** When knitting small things in the round, like socks, I use a pair of circular needles. Like so many of my methods, this can be a bit clunky, but it works.

^Which was enough to make baby socks for Sunny at the time I bought it but isn’t quite enough now that she’s almost, um, four and three-fourths . . .

^^That sound you hear is Grace snerking. My yarn tension is so tight that my scarves need to be persuaded to bend. In fact, she suggested I cast on over two needles so I had half a chance of making those increases without snapping a needle in half. I’m a little surprised she didn’t suggest three.

^^^Another one of my new-to-me British comedy panel show finds.

° Probably more for the sake of the kids, who were pressing dangerously close and asking me every ten seconds if I was done yet.

I Found It! Sorry, Mom . . .

Nineteen days ago, I made several pre-resolutions.  They’ve gone pretty well so far, with one exception:  the socks I’ve been knitting for my mother—and by knitting I clearly mean ignoring—since May. And then I misplaced them put them in a place so safe,* I couldn’t find them.

For those of you who doubted their existence—and you know who you are—I finally discovered them in the basket on top of the bookcase where I had lovingly stuffed stored them in their ziplock bag:

And here they are:

Aren’t they beautiful?**  And you know . . . short.  Like three rows past the heel short.

Odds are they won’t get much longer before Christmas.  Or even New Year’s.

So, Mom—Merry Christmas and I’m sorry.   Your other gift is on the way, but the special one is going to take a while. 

Expect a very nice Valentine’s Day  Presidents’ Day  Easter Mother’s Day gift!


*Because Sunny likes to help me knit—and by help, I mean pull the needles out and run to give them to me:  “Here, Mommy!  I found dem for you!”

** Hush—they’re fraternal socks.  It’s a feature of the yarn.  And, yeah, I’m experimenting with doing two at once, because once the first sock is done, I tend to lose interest in doing the second.  And no, the irony isn’t lost on me.