Thursday, August 20, 2009


I just discovered the fabulosity that is the ability to design your own Chuck Taylors!  I just spent the last few minutes making my perfect pair. Now, if I only needed new shoes…

Click the pic for a bigger, even more awesome view
chucks Chucks!

Design your own, and show me! I’d love to see everyone’s unique creations!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The subtleties of language

Residing on my desk is a lovely daily calendar of knitterly wit from none other than Stephanie, The Yarn Harlot. It is a lovely daily treat, and hard not to jump ahead and read the entire year in one fell swoop. Sometimes, a day’s saying, quote, or funny anecdote will move me, and I save them on a little wall here in my cube at the office.

Mondays will be joining this army of wisdom. Here’s a picture, and I’ll quote it for you, as it can be difficult to read in the photo:
toomuch The subtleties of language

There is a huge difference between nonknitters and knitters. Take language, for instance. I keep hearing this phrase that nonknitters use, and I’ve been trying to understand the substance of it. They say this phrase and then I turn the words around in my mind, trying to grasp what they are talking about. I’ve seen other knitters struggle to grasp the meaning of it too, so I know it’s a nonknitter vs. knitter thing, and not just my own stupidity. Still, try as I might, I just have no idea what nonknitters mean when they say, “You have too much yarn.”
Does anyone understand this phrase? Please enlighten this knitter, I, like the Yarn Harlot, don’t speak nonknitter-ese!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Free Knitting Pattern - Square Tea Cozy

teainuse Free Knitting Pattern   Square Tea Cozy

Meanbean’s Easy Peasy 2 Hour Tea Cosy for a small teapot

Materials Needed:
  • Size 13 US needles
  • approx. 1/3 skein of Malabrigo Worsted
  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle
  • Optional- crochet hook

  • Holding yarn doubled, Cast on 20 stitches.
  • Knit in SS until desired length. Mine was made for a 2 cup teapot, so I knit until it was about 20 inches long.
  • Bind off.
  • Fold in half, so cast on and bind off edges meet. Sew together using your favorite method. For me, I decided to single crochet it together. I left the bottom, large opening, and crocheted the short side and the top.
  • I also then did a round of single crochet around the edge of the opening to help it lie more nicely. This, for the record, didn’t work, but a light blocking did. Then, as you can see in the above picture, blocking was just silly, because it kind of collapses down onto itself anyway.

The handy thing about this cosy, aside from being thick and keeping your pot warm for nearly an hour, is that it works well as a mitt when the handle of your tea pot is too hot to touch, from being under your awesome new cozy See?
teamitt Free Knitting Pattern   Square Tea Cozy

Enjoy, and may all your teas be delicious and hot!

If you make this pattern, I’d love to see a photo! Leave a comment with a link, we’ll make a tea cosy gallery!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

6 Things That Make Me Happy

I was tagged by the lovely Kenia over at Diarios de Filosofia  for this fun little item:

6 Things That Make Me Happy

  1. Family- My family is my stronghold, my safe place, and my happy place. With game nights, get togethers, impromptu activities, and just relaxing around the house, family brings peace to my life.
  2. Friends- probably a cliche that family and friends are top two on my list, but it’s true! My friends are such wonderful loving people (see miss E over at notAnotherPrincess if you don’t believe me), I’ve recently made some wonderful new friends at my local knitting group, still get to see friends from childhood, and various avenues of life. It’s amazing to me how different friends fill different spaces of your life. It’s like those childrens’ toys that have various shaped holes, and only the pegs shaped like that will fit. This is how the puzzle of my life feels to me when I think of the friends I have, and their greatly varied personalities, backgrounds, and interests.
  3. Yarn- Now, this may come as a surprise to you…but yarn does make me happy. I don’t have to own it for it to do so, either. The experience of yarn is incredible to me. The feel of it, the weight of it, the colors! OH MAN THE COLORS…and the smell. The wooly smell of sheep combined with the smell of the dye or the vinegar that sets the dye…oh man. Then, you have the various fibers - alpaca smells heavenly itself…bison…silk. Have you ever smelled silk!? It SMELLS luxurious. Yarn makes me happy.
  4. Being alone - I know this contradicts the whole “Friends and family” thing up there…but I need time to myself on a regular, if not daily, basis. With 5 of us in one house, a girl who loves to try everything, and a very social husband, I don’t get this as often as I would like. But when I do, I savor it.
  5. Books - Books have always been a part of my life, I have ALWAYS loved to read, and when I open a book, I’m sucked in. I’m emotionally involved in the character’s lives, thier choices, and though sometimes I can predict what will happen, I often hope against hope that it won’t. I love books, especially ones with unexpected twists, turns, or life choices by characters that up until that point, have continuously let me down. Books are filled with imagination and possibility, and that will never change.
  6. Fresh sheets - this might sound odd, but the feel and smell (I think smell is a big thing for me..I always notice it!) of freshly laundered sheets is just so relaxing, so cozy, so yummy. I LOVE it, and when we change the sheets on Saturdays, I can’t WAIT to snuggle down into it and take a deep breath of the clean smell!
So, what about YOU dear reader? What makes you happy? If you post, please leave a comment with a link, we’d love to see it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Here’s how it is

So, as I mentioned in a previous post, things have been turned upside down in much of my life. I’ve decided to share some of this. After all, I share all kinds of fun, positive stuff with you, my readers! Sometimes that has to be balanced out. As much as I’d love the life of Meanbean to be sunshine, rainbows and bunnies, alas, this is not to be.

Over the last few months, a LOT has happened. A few months ago, I received a call around lunchtime from a very close person in my life, telling me she was in the hospital. At that moment, I’m 99% certain the world dropped out from under me, and I fell for hours. She has been going through some incredibly difficult emotions, journeys, and self exploration over the last 6 months, after 10 years of something she had to get away from. The hospital stay was a cumulative effect of it all, was what she needed then, and has made her an even stronger person for it. I have not had something so major happen in my life, and after that phone call, I couldn’t breathe, the room spun around me, my heart felt like it was vibrating out of my chest, and I was afraid to move. This was my first panic attack, and a harbinger of things to come.  Several days of visits to the hospital, and she was back home, things were moving toward more positive again.

Fast forward a few weeks. I am now suffering greatly with various everyday life things that should not cause major issues. I spoke to a few friends about it, and started doing a little reading. I’ve known for a while something is very wrong, and various life events made things manifest even worse.

Now, two weeks ago yesterday, I receive yet ANOTHER call. Another very close person in my life, in the hospital, same issue, everything. At this point, I can’t handle this, and head home to wait for visiting hours to start. Daily visits after work, lots of support from family and friends. All good things…except now Meanbean has NO time to herself. I have always been someone who needs alone time. Ever since I was little! My mom used to worry about me, but realized I do much better if I’m NOT forced to socialize all the time. Perhaps this is why blogging draws me? I can put this stuff out there without being in the center of a group. At any rate…things went rapidly downhill.

I made a doctor’s appointment, was officially diagnosed last Thursday, and am on my way to making things tolerable again. There’s no quick fix, I have to work, pills won’t magically cure it, but I’m being given tools. I’m still accepting that this is who I am, and I think it will be a while before I can fully accept that it’s a part of me. At the same time, I’m so thankful that I am “official” and wasn’t making myself think something was wrong from all the reading I was doing.

Four days ago, I went to Sock Summit with my girl E of NotAnotherPrincess, and had one of the best, most fun, bad-ass days of my life in recent times. It was wonderful, and I just want to say ‘thank you” again to her for coming with me and spending 8 hours walking around, getting high on yarn fumes. You’re one of my best friends! There’s not many people that would have done that.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Writer’s Block

I’m afraid that the Wall has been hit. With various personal issues flying out of nowhere to hit me in the stomach like a ton of bricks, everything in my life has pretty much come to a screeching halt. Meanbean will not be producing anything new for a little bit, I haven’t been writing, it’s nearly impossible to read (one of my great loves!). The only thing that hasn’t halted is my knitting. Perhaps because it is so portable? It’s helping keep me calm, focused, etc, while still able to go out and about. Perhaps later I will elaborate with some of the things going on, we’ll see. Right now, I just want to apologize for the lack of blogging, which will probably continue indefinitely, and shop updates. I hope to be back soon!