Do you want to make the Outlander cowl?

Have you read Outlander?  I have. But I haven't seen any of the television program.  Why?  Simple.  I don't have that channel. I'm hoping it ends up on amazon prime, netflix, or perhaps hulu. As I've got all those fricking things and STILL CAN'T SEE OUTLANDER YET!

Who doesn't want this cowl?  Nobody! That's who!
Anywho, all of my fellow fiber obsessors were talking about the gorgeous knit items in the program. To which I said, screw that, I'm a hooker.  After drooling over the photos of many of the shows gorgeously knit outerwear, I just had to drop everything and make something today.  

I think any artist, but especially a knitter or hooker, knows the siren call of the right materials.  I simply had to get my hands on some yarn and whip something up.  Come hell or high water.   Actually if either hell or high water showed up, I would indeed stop.  

Here is the culmination of my afternoon:

It's like being born out of a yarn vagina.  

You have no idea how amazing this is to wrap yourself in.  But you will know, because you are going to make it too!

Yummy, autumn, yarn, fiber, warm, cozy, arrraaggggghghghghgh...

All in all, if you are an experienced hooker you should be able to make this in an afternoon.  The biggest pain will be working with a large hook and/or bulky yarn if you aren't used to it or don't like to mess with such oversized materials.  I'm not that thrilled with it if I'm honest it.  It makes my hands ache and when you get near the end, the actual item is so heavy it's difficult to maneuver. 

But oh, is it worth it...

Snuggle it.  You know you want to.

So, here's the pattern folks...


Size Q hook (yes, you read that right.  It's insane.)
Super Bulky Yarn (photos are of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Sequoia- I assure you the photos do not do the beauty of this yarn justice.)  I used approximately 2 1/2 skeins.
Tapestry needle to weave in ends.

Gauge: 5 stitches = approximately 6".  Yes, you read that right too!

The only skill you need to make this cowl is knowing how to single crochet in the back loop only.  That gives you the ribbing as well as the stretchy give to wear in a cool way over your shoulders.  

  • Chain 35.
  • Single crochet in each chain to end. (35 SC)
  • Turn and SC in back loop only to end. (35 SC in back loop)
  • Repeat back and forth until cowl is desired width.  To get one as wide and roomy as mine, complete 44 rows of SC in the back loop only! 
  • You will now have a nice rectangle. Crochet the short sides together with SC to form a tube. Don't worry about the seam as it will simply look like another rib.
  • Weave in ends.

You are done dude.  Now, snuggle up with your cowl!

Hello, my name is Diane and I am a pumpkin addict...

I am not here to trivialize real addictions.  I am here to inform the public at large about this new, insidious substance, whose addiction levels are bordering on epidemic.  Pumpkin. 

On the streets it goes by many names.  Pumpkin butter.  Pumpkin bread.  Pumpkin granola.  Pumpkin latte...

You cannot get away from it.

Just like crystal meth ravaged middle aged soccer moms in the 90s, pumpkin is the current fad drug of choice. Last week at the mall I saw a few ladies snorting pumpkin spice tea right out of the bags in the corner of J Crew.  

It has gotten that bad.

The effects of this epidemic are real.  Besides typical drug side effects like weight gain (taking too much pumpkin), weight loss (surviving on the scent of autumn harvest Yankee Candles instead of eating), irritability (why is Target always out of my FUCKING PUMPKIN POP TARTS), anxiety (oh my god, what am I going to do in December when they stop selling this shit), there are obvious physical changes the body goes through.

My normal calm, philosophical, lovely self.


It's like being the Incredible Hulk except orange instead of green.  And instead of becoming big and strong during your transformation... well, I can only describe it as a carb/sugar coma combined with an orgasm wrapped around a pumpkin patch full of Chris Pratt dipped in cinnamon sugar emptying the dishwasher.  

And the bad news is that unlike other drugs of yesteryear like the slime on the back of toads, pumpkin is extremely easy to procure.  It's in every corner market.  It's at every Starbucks.  It grows right out of the fricking ground people! The laws are so far behind this thing, you can plant pumpkins all over your goddamn lawn and not even get arrested for it.  

My Trader Joe's haul this morning.

I got all that shit you see above at the store today.  I didn't have to call a dealer. I didn't have to speak to anyone in code.  I didn't even have to hand over that much money.  All I needed to do was bring my own bags so the cashier wouldn't look me in the eye and see through to my very pumpkin stained soul.  Did I feel guilty?  A bit.  But that ended once I got into the car and rubbed pumpkin butter all over my nipples. 

So when you go to sleep at night, know this. There's a good chance you are sleeping next to a pumpkin addict.  And make no mistake, if you try to wrestle that pumpkin bagel away from us, we will cut you like the little bitch you are.

Local woman has decided she no longer gives a f*ck

SPRINGFIELD, NJ--  Society was appalled and outraged this morning when local woman Diane Lupton decided she simply no longer gives a fuck.  

See that pile of give a fuck? It's not mine.
"Oh yeah, I used to give a fuck.  Like really give a fuck.  You know whales, politics, solar flares... the whole enchilada. But I realized lately that it makes no difference and only takes away from my Real Housewives viewing time. So I say, fuck it."

Rebukes were swift from area activists and professional angsters.  "How could she?  Doesn't she see all the problems we have," said the President of the Fed Up Constantly Klub.  Members of the City Council added, "well just add her to the long list of people who already give so little of a fuck, they don't mind that we constantly raise their taxes and our salaries...muwahahahahaha!"

When we spoke to her neighbors they all said Diane was a friendly woman who kept to herself and this was out of character.  Choking back tears, the nosey guy down the street said, "I track her every move and usually half her morning was spent reading news sites and becoming enraged. She cared so damn much. It almost inspired me to be a better man. And I'm a nosey, degenerate weirdo."

Diane later said that she may start caring again in the future, but it would probably take a War on Otters or perhaps a new ribbon color for some cause she might not completely despise. 

Ann Coulter loves her cuntry.

As my husband reminded me of a quote from Family Guy this morning- "isn't there an O in country?"  


Not in this case honey.  Not in this case.

For full disclosure I will share two things here:

1) I'm a soccer fan.  I love it.  I have for years.  I liked it before you did.  I liked it before it was cool.  I liked it before it became big.  When it comes to soccer, I am the biggest fucking hipster you will ever know.

2) I was an Ann Coulter fan many moons ago.  No, not because I agreed with her on everything.  I appreciated that there was at least one (at the time) young, attractive woman representing conservatives.  While the wiki entry under "republicans" basically showed the two old guys from the Muppets, it was refreshing to see someone who didn't meet every GOP stereotype get some air time.  

Alas... we come to this.  Ann's "column" (in quotes because it's like calling the crap I took this morning a column) about soccer.

I am 99% positive Ann is taking the piss on this one.  I am not sure I should call it that though as taking the piss is grounded in humor, which I personally find absent in this dirge.  It's like making fun of someone for believing in gravity.

Then again, I don't want to believe she's so ignorant that what she says could possibly be based in what she really thinks. Surely it must just be to gain a few clicks and a few mentions in the media by throwing herself in front of the soccer bandwagon.  Cause for Annie, success is spelled "ignorant contrarian". 

Still, for the sake of allowing me to call her a fuckface publicly, I'm going to assume she was serious.  I'm going to assume the words she arranged into a pile of shit are simply because she's an ignorant, gaping arsehole.

Because really that's not so much of a stretch, right?

Let's take some of the greatest hits from her vomitous ode:

Individual achievement is not a big factor in soccer.

Is she some kind of psycho hose beast?  Has she not heard of Pele?  Beckham?  Ronaldo?  Why do we know these names?  Oh right... BECAUSE OF INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT.  Surely she must know this.  She can't be serious right?  I know it's difficult to see past the end of her nose (literally) but come on.  You can do better than this Annie.  I know it.

Even in football, by which I mean football, there are very few scoreless ties — and it's a lot harder to score when a half-dozen 300-pound bruisers are trying to crush you.

Two points here- does she know that the reason we call American football, uh, football, is because of its relation to um, soccer? There is a sport called rugby played in many other places and by some Americans. It's like American football without pads or incessant commercial breaks.  Those 300-pound bruisers come at you and you don't have some helmet to protect your fried blonde mane. Wanna play Annie?  

Anywho, rugby's full name is "rugby football".  Soccer was referred to as "association football" to separate it from rugby.  Association became abbreviated to "soc" and then morphed into "soccer".  American football has its name thanks to soccer.  Put that in your bowl of dust and eat it, Annie.

Secondly, the last time I checked American football players use their feet about the same amount of time soccer players use their hands.  So maybe we can come up with another name for American football that's more accurate... how about "roided, bloated, criminal, concussed ball"?

The prospect of either personal humiliation or major injury is required to count as a sport. 

While I find this point more akin to gladiator worship than sport, when was the last time someone was majorly injured in golf? Maybe Tiger's ex-wife kicked him in the balls especially hard, but does that count? Not to mention that in soccer referees and players being beaten and sometimes killed is unfortunately much more prevalent than the NFL.  In American football they just beat their wives and girlfriends.

Yes, I suppose it would make sense that Coulter can only take interest in sport that requires murder and mayhem. She's the queen of bomb throwing. Okay, they're not bombs, more like flaming handfuls of cow dung.

But that's why soccer is so perfect for her. The amount of nonsensical bullshit is a glove fitted to her claw.  I mean, um, hand.

In soccer, even the crowd gets injured.

Eric Cantona, aka god, kicking a spectator.

Players sometimes try to bite each other!

Suarez biting Ivanovic.

Come on Annie!  Get involved!  With your gnashers you could probably rise to the highest heights of individual achievement in soccer!  And if the rest of us are lucky, you'll suffer a major injury!

This next comment you're really going to love.  Honestly, it's sublime.

It's foreign. In fact, that's the precise reason the Times is constantly hectoring Americans to love soccer. One group of sports fans with whom soccer is not "catching on" at all, is African-Americans. They remain distinctly unimpressed by the fact that the French like it.

Hmm... right.  Okay.  So, Ann... my sweet Annie.  Are we using what African-Americans are interested in as some kind of barometer for the validity of an organized group trying to gain supporters/fans?  Oh goodie. Well then, I guess that's your Republican party fucked.

And her last point I'll highlight, which is definitely my absolute favorite of her fuckwittery...

If more "Americans" are watching soccer today, it's only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy's 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time.

Yes, you read that right.  She basically just said "yo' mama" err, or "yo' great-grandfather" to a couple of generations of Americans.

I can appreciate her taking a swing at Teddy Kennedy.  We probably have all wanted to at some point.  But I find it hilarious that she is slamming soccer fandom for only being a product of heritage, when basically all the sports the US supposedly cares about are the exact. same. thing.  When was the last time you heard your Portuguese friend talking about the Cowboys game? Or how about that lady from Ghana you met?  Was she talking about Derek Jeter's retirement?  

I can't say for certain whether my heritage has influenced my love for the sport.  I'd like to brag and think I just looked outside my neighborhood to see if there was anything better out there and found soccer.  Yes, I'd like to think it's just because I'm so awesome that I turned off the tv on Sunday afternoons when NFL ruled the airwaves and looked for something different.

But perhaps it is because my great-grandfathers from Italy, who died before I was ever born, have been guiding me.  Yes they are shouting "FORZA AZZURRI" at me from beyond the grave.  That's it Ann.  It's only because my relatives who never had the opportunity to show me soccer at all, since it wasn't on tv, and wasn't on the radio, and wasn't even discussed in our news, influenced me so.  

How did you get interested in the NFL Annie?  Was it because your great-grandfather was a roided, concussed criminal?  Is that why you watch?  To reminisce about your heritage?  I feel you.  

It's just that my heritage is full of historically significant art, music, food, wine... and calcio (soccer/football).

You've got jock itch and busty cheerleaders.

Well done,  Annie.  Well done.

Three Simple Ways to Organize Your Desk

My desk is always a mess.  I'm what many people would refer to as, well, a slob.  But I took an organizing class and it turns out I'm not a slob at all.  I'm just someone who organizes everything in tangled, dusty, coffee stained sculptural filing systems. I'm not kidding.  There's someone whose job it was to say that my way of "organizing" is in fact nothing to be ashamed of.  So piss off.   

But as you all know I constantly strive to better myself.  Because the true sign of superiority is to acknowledge that you're not quite superior enough.  And I'm here to better you too.  Because the true sign of my awesomeness is being surrounded by the awesomest people on the internet.  Let's get our shit together, err, together.

Here's what a fucking mess my shipping area is:

Yeah, no filter is making this shit look any better.

I know you're looking at that photo and thinking, my god, what is that thing?  But I assure you it's all perfectly legal and if I need something on that desk, I know exactly where it is.  Cause I can still find the desk and I know there's probably something on there I need (pay no attention to the expensive camera teetering on the edge- that's exactly where I want it).

How to organize this mess?  I have three simple, quick and foolproof ways:

1) Cover it up.  

Mess?  What mess?

As you can see, organizing is as simple as taking some old towels and throwing them over the whole desk.  If you want to go a step further, maybe take some duct tape and make a hipster design on one or all of the towels. It gives it a trendy pop of metallic and the chevron design will have all your friends clamoring to ask you, 'where the... what the fuck?'

If you are out of old towels, sheets, target bags, etc, then perhaps this next suggestion is more your speed.

2) Make one pile of all your shit in the corner.  

If possible, only let guests look at the desk through a blurred edge filter on your iPhone.

Your desk used to have all tiny, little, shitty piles.  Now it has one massive mound of matter.  I'd call that fucking efficient!  Am I right?  My extra tip for this strategy is to take one unique architectural element and place it in the void left behind.  I chose a model of the Battlestar Galactica.  This item is your focal point.  It balances out the massive pile behind it.  And it's cool cause you just found it under all your shit you moved, and were like, "I totally fucking forgot I had this... but I have nowhere to put it so I'll just leave it here in this new empty space I have to fill up."

And finally, if you're really in a bind and neither blood stained pillowcases to cover the desk are available, nor the strength to push everything over to one side, here is my top tip for desk organization.

3) Shut the fucking door.

My hands look so old in photos.

1) Find the handle on your office door.
2) Grab it with your hand and pull the door to the point where it meets the wall.  You should hear a clicking sound.
3) Add a sign.  Handmade is cool if you have time.  Smiley face is recommended but not required.

Remember folks, cleanliness is next to godliness.  But when it comes to cleaning, I'm a fucking atheist.  

Summer Is Coming. And I ain't raising no Joffreys.

Summer is coming.

Yeah, I can see why Game of Thrones used winter.  Cold. Frozen. Hard. Unforgiving. The imminent arrival of summer doesn't inspire the same level of dread- what with its sunshine and breezes. Unless... You're a parent.

With your kids getting out of school, use of the phrase "summer is coming" is like saying the wildlings are headed toward the wall.  In this case though, one is a horde of violent, impulsive, verging on cannibalistic, devoid of civility, bribe taking mercenaries... And the other is the wildlings.  The wall is your house- especially any room or chair you want to be in. The children may not be sophisticated, but like the wildlings, they outnumber you and smell weird.

While the real estate agent neglected to tell you that your home didn't come equipped with a giant scythe, she did say it's illegal in your state to lock your kids out and pray for reinforcements. I think arrows and hot oil are also no no's, but check with your local municipality to be sure. 

Oh, I'm being slightly unfair.  My children would never actually eat other people.  But if I went away for a month, and no one was cooking for them, I think the cats should be nervous.

This is where my daughter keeps the severed heads of her victims... to snack on later.

Still, with summer on its way I figured I'd share my tips for surviving the season.  Note, I do not guarantee these are all legal.  Or helpful.  Just... tips.  

  • Make your children do chores.  Yup.  You read that right.  Get them up.  Get them out of bed. Make them work.  Just because it's summer doesn't mean they should be on vacation. When the hell do you get a vacation from their runny noses and farts? NEVER!  Have them garden.  Have them sweep. Have them clean the privy.  Make them churn the butter.  I don't care what century you're living in.  Kids are just small humans.  And humans were made to do shit.  Literally and figuratively.  Give them a list each day and a time within which it must be completed.  You'll never get to be the dictator of a third world country. But by gosh you are the despot of the third world shithole you have a mortgage on.  Use your power.
  • Start drinking.  I am not advising anyone to become an alcoholic.  I just advise you to kick back. Have a cocktail a couple of nights a week.  Make them fancy if you want.  Pretend you're in Mad Men if it helps. Adults need adult beverages.  Throw the children one juice box and make them fight over it while you laugh. 

Dark N Stormy- a portion of dark rum topped off with ginger beer (like ginger ale but oof strength).  Try one.  Trust me.

  • Kick the kids out of the house.  Really.  Now of course this might depend on their ages as if they're too young, you could end up with a mugshot (though that would be sort of badass).  Use your own best judgment on this one.  Oh, our kids spend so much time on their computers and phones and kindles and blah, blah, blah, blah, FUCKING BLAH!  WHY DO YOU THINK THEY DO THAT? HUH? BECAUSE WE FUCKING LET THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!  Remember, you are Saddam Hussein* and your house is Iraq.  No bitches be frontin unless you allow that shit to go down.  Send the kids outside.  Give them some supplies.  Maybe sidewalk chalk. Or a ball.  Or some water guns.  Or real guns.** And let it be all Falllujah in the yard while you lounge in your presidential palace.  *Note this should not end with you being hanged.  But keep all rope and gallows away from your children as a precautionary measure. **Don't give the kids real guns you moron.  

Can you see the fear in his eyes?  I got this.

These tips might sound like common sense.  But all too often I see parents complaining about their children and what they do or don't do.  I'm no saint.  My kids aren't perfect.  But for fuck's sake I'll be damned before I let some midgets who share my DNA act turn into adult fuckheads.  We have enough of those already.

Being a parent is a big responsibility.  And during the summer we can't count on the government to ruin our children like they do the rest of the year.  When school is out we are on our own against the Joffreys we've sired (not the incest bit). They are just waiting in their little rooms with their little crowns and little crossbows. And since you don't have any poison, you need other weapons in this battle. Stand fast my friends. Summer is coming.  

I hope you didn't just eat...

And if you did, I REALLY hope it wasn't a plate full of brussels sprouts.  Side note, did you know they were called 'brusselS sprouts' and not 'brussel sprouts'? I just discovered this the other day.

But who fucking cares really cause they are the work OF THE DEVIL!!!!!!!!!

Seriously I consider myself a laid back eater.  I eat just about everything normal.  And my standard of normal is anything below that baby chicken still in the egg that they eat somewhere.  Sorry, that's not normal.  I know it's normal in the part of the world where they eat it but clearly they don't have pop tarts there.

Regardless, I have never liked brusselS sprouts.  I like cabbage.  I like all the vegetables that smell like farts when you're cooking.  But I could never get behind the lowly sprout.  It was sort of like biting into a bitter, rotting marshmallow with some leaves stuck to it.  Blech. I just gave myself a chill even imagining it.

I did recently however find this recipe and it made a believer out of me.  I could eat brusselS sprouts this way every single day and be quite happy. It's loaded with cream and lemon and is just deluscious. It's like someone took brusselS sprouts and turned them into a chocolate dipped pepperoni pizza, deep friend and rolled in buttered popcorn.  You know you want some.

Find the recipe here:

Totally does not taste like rotting flesh brussels sprout recipe.

Don't these look good?  THEY ARE!!!

Alas, I knew a good thing couldn't last forever.

This past weekend my husband and I were at the grocery store and discovered the horrifying truth.  Look away now if you don't want to barf up your breakfast...


Dear god what is that thing???

Yes folks, this is how brusselS sprouts actually grow.  On some sort of phallic stalk thingie.  And they are just budding off of it like some nasty, alien, pustules.  Just waiting to be popped.  Essentially they are the genital warts of the vegetable world.

In fact if the brusselS sprouts growers of the world need a tagline, and need to combine both the one good recipe and the fact that they look like a disease you get while in port, I suggest:

BRUSSELs SPROUTS- Hey, there's cream for that now!

And now I'm going to be sick.

Cat and dogs in the hat

Yeah it doesn't have the same ring to it when you put the dog in there.

A great customer of mine told me that she sent a cozy to her brother as a gift.  Said brother assumed the cozy was a hat... for his cat.

Now before you think he must be a total mentalist, I should share that often when I am making cozies in public people assume I'm making baby hats.  It never ceases to amaze me that everyone always guesses the same thing... and that I must have about 85 infants sat at home with freezing heads.

So it's not that much of a stretch to think it could be a cat hat if you receive one as a gift and don't have a baby.

But I digress.  I decided to try them on my own pets to see how it might work.

First, my Westie named Chutney:

Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

Next, my mutt Peanut:

About to go full on Walking Dead and eat my face off.

And finally my orange cat, Mama:

"Of course I look good in this.  I look good in everyfuckingthing. 

Note, I have another cat but amidst the photography of the previous three animals, she realized what a fashion tragedy was ensuing and strangled herself with an Hermes scarf. Not really. I don't even own a Hermes scarf. I'm not sure I'm even spelling Hermes correctly. She is just hiding somewhere I can't find.  And even if I did find her she can evade capture better than Osama.  Before he was caught obviously.

When all is said and done though I think we can agree- cozies aren't just for mugs.  They're for pissed off pets too!

Err, what?

This is a real exchange between my husband and I:

Me: What's that gladiator film with Russell Crowe in it called?
Him:  Uh, you mean Gladiator?

And my friends this is why I am lucky to be married to this man.  Because if I'm honest I wouldn't tolerate such idiocy in my own partner.  Thank god he's more tolerant.  Or maybe me being a moron feeds into his ego? Who knows.  Who cares?  Not me.  Well obviously I do as it's my marriage.  But I don't care about why we're married.  I care that we are married.  Cause if we weren't I wouldn't get an anniversary present.

What was that movie called with Steven Martin where he's the father of the bride?

Yeah, that didn't just happen.  

It's just a shame that as we age our memory fades.  Well, for most things.  

Example where it's sad that our memory fades: I can't remember all the friends I was with at my first concert. 

Example where it's good that our memory fades: it was a Michael Bolton concert.  I don't remember a note.

I'm of the opinion that we forget things because our brains are filling up with info as we get older and eventually it starts overflowing like a pair of Depends on an incontinent race horse.  I don't know if there's any scientific evidence to support that.  But when was the last time I needed evidence to know I'm right?  

Umm... is anyone surprised I don't remember the answer to that question?

So to sum up.  

  • Russell is in a film about gladiators named Gladiator.  Ooh, Hollywood, you're always SO CLEVER!
  • My husband is a saint.
  • They don't actually sell incontinence diapers for horses but I bet they'd need to be prohibitively large.
  • My brain used to be a tall glass of water but now, like an overflowing toilet, it's just full of shit.