Thursday, March 31, 2011

The End of An Era

The time I spent as a student at Biola University from Fall 1998 to Spring 2002 had a profound impact on my life.  Decisions were made both good and bad, times were had both fun and challenging, relationships were built both lasting and temporary.  There were many things that helped define those years for me but if I had to make a top ten list of what occupied much of my "free" time while I was a Biola student, BUBBS would probably be somewhere in the top four.

BUBBS, or Biola University Bulletin Board Service, was a pre-My Space, pre-Facebook online community.  Long before I ever heard the term "social network," I was introduced to BUBBS.  It was such a novel thing (heck, the internet itself was still a pretty novel thing to me "back then")- you could send/receive emails, "chat" with people you had never met in person, voice your opinions on a variety of topics ranging from movies to theology, and read what others had to say about this or that.  Oh, and did I mention it was a great way to waste time when you were putting off writing all those papers till the last minute.  I managed to rack up a grand total of 4 weeks, 5 days, 17 hours, 43 minutes, as shown by my final "Account Statistics" window.

This nifty window would kindly show you how much of your life you had just wasted after each BUBBS session.  Just over a month may seem like an alarming amount of time to spend on an online bulletin board service but it doesn't even touch the impressive numbers of the die hard BUBBS crowd.  We were limited to three hours a day as students (which I often maxed out) but moderators were alloted more time (I think it was five hours a day).  That gave everyone ample opportunity to kill lots of time.

Aside from the time vortex phenomenon, one of the most intriguing aspects of BUBBS for me, was the BUBBS Resume.  I'm not really sure why it was called a "resume."  It was really more of a profile where you could type whatever you wanted the entire BUBBS community to be able to read.  It was also a way to "stalk" people on campus.  I don't know how many times I went directly to BUBBS when I wanted to find out more about some boy on which I had a "crush from afar."  All you needed was their name and you could look them up in the system and view their resume.  Sometimes the BUBBS resume was helpful, sometimes it was disappointing, and sometimes the person just didn't have one- what?!  A space to freely express yourself and you're just wasting it?!  Never mind, you're obviously not my type.

There were also some little resume tricks that the astute BUBBS stalker knew all about.  For instance, the resume window worked pretty much like a Word document so one could leave the top of their page blank requiring you to scroll way way way down in order to read whatever they may have so cleverly written.  There was also the very inventive "hidden text" tactic which was simply white text that was only visible when highlighted.  I actually discovered that one by accident- I had the background colors of my computer's windows set to blue hues so white text showed up just like everything else.

Sadly, the days of BUBBS are over.  As of 4:30 p.m. yesterday, the server that powered the system was shut down forever.  I honestly hadn't used the system in years but there was something comforting about knowing it was still out there, storing all my old emails.  I managed to log on one more time and make a copy of my infamous BUBBS resume.  This resume took all of my four years at Biola to build; however, I did apparently manage to log on in August of 2006 to update it so that I didn't get any stalker Freshmen trying to ask me out on a GYRAD (Get Your Roommate A Date).

Reading through my resume yesterday was a strange, nostalgic experience.  There were a few things that made me chuckle, and a few things I forgot were even there but the whole time I couldn't help but think I must have been on a constant caffeine high in college and it seems I had a deep desire for everyone to view me as quirky and unique- not much has changed I guess but I hope I've gotten a little less obnoxious.

I don't expect anyone to read the whole thing but, just for fun, and to preserve it forever on the "interwebs," I present to you, in its colorful ridiculous entirety, my BUBBS resume.  They may take our BUBBS but they'll never take our freedom of expression...

* * *

Updated for your convenience on 8/10/2006

Disclaimer:  This resume only reflects the silly, superficial, side of me.  I'm much deeper than this- well, not much deeper but whatever.  The fact that I even have to say that is dumb and it probably proves that I'm insecure and self conscious... anyway, take it for what it's worth.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT....(or at least just a little out of the ordinary.....well, okay, actually it's pretty much the same kind of stuff people always put on these kinds of things but I've found that when I'm trying to stalk someone over bubbs I get incredibly frustrated when they don't just come right out and say certain things like their favorite color or what they got for their 11th birthday or whether they have ever milked a cow)

"I must remember to keep all of my wits about me."
              -Adam West (as Batman)

"Don't be a fool, stay in school."
              -Mr. T

My real name is Katherine Elizabeth Cunningham but that's just my secret identity.  My superhero name is Katarina the Kourageous - or just Katie for short - it's easier to say and takes less time to write down. 
Update--- I recently traded Cunningham for Kenfield when I married Joshua Kenfield on October 23, 2004.

I am originally from Bloomington, CA but up until very recently I lived in Soledad (it's a creepy little town up North near Salinas (which is the lettuce capital of the world!) but there's a huge prison there so that makes it exciting.

During my days at Biola I was mostly a Sigma girl but I lived in The Grove (Double Wide Paradise) my last year there.  It really wasn't as bad as it could have been.  I officially graduated (finally) in December of '03.  After living with my parents for about a year, I have finally found a job in Southern California (I am of the opinion that California should be two separate states- "Southern California" and "Northern California" but I don't want to get into that right now) so I get to move back down to my roots.

As of May 30, 2004 I am engaged to be married to Joshua Kenfield.  The complete story, told in his words, can be found at the bottom of this resume, along with my "very witty" response to the whole thing.  The wedding (was) in October.

I have one brother.  He is a Senior at Biola next year- you may have heard of him his name is Josh Pardy (no, I'm not joking- we are actually related).  He's the bestest "little" brother anyone could want.
UPDATE - My bro is now an Admissions Counselor at Biola- how crazy is that?!

The furthest (or is it farthest?? I don't know) from Southern California I've ever been is Minnesota.  It snowed 5 inches while I was there and I got to go snowmobiling on a frozen lake at high speeds....

I also got to see the official SPAM Museum in Austin, MN.  It was like a dream come true!  I even bought a T-Shirt to commemorate the event.  I would love to go back for the annual SPAM Jam in June.

I fed emus (those giant birds that are almost like ostriches but not) at Ostrichland (yes it's a real place).  I would describe the experience as surreal.  I also touched stingrays, sea cucumbers, and sea stars- all in one weekend!

I've been held up and robbed.  It's turned out to be a really cool story so come find me sometime and ask me about it, I'm currently perfecting my stand-up comedy routine about the whole thing.

I used to work for the Serials and Periodicals Department of the old Biola Library. It was an action packed job, well, not really but sometimes they let me drive one of those golf carts around campus- which was fun but not when the battery died and I had to push it all the way back from the warehouse. 

 I also used to work in the Biola Production Center Equipment Room.   It was a cool job and I've met lots of really great people because of it.  I also did some stuff for Biola Productions- I was often seen at major Biola events holding a video camera, wearing headphones and keeping a very serious "I know what I'm doing" kind of look on my face.

German is my second language, sort of (Ja, ich kann ein bischen Deutsch sprechen.)  I took four glorious years of it in high school (which seems like a really long time ago now).  Also in high school, I was on the swim team for three years (SWIM OR DIE BABY!). 

Supposedly I have nice elbows but the one who tells me this is biased.

Some people consider me to be the queen of Cheesiness (and I have no problem with that).  I am also a self proclaimed GEEK!

I rarely ever pay full price for anything at Old Navyand am literally obsessed with checking my mail (and e-mail). 

Places where I have thrown up include Disneyland, the movies, Paramount's Great America, Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, the hall of my elementary school in first grade, and my own car while I was driving it. 

I drink coffee through a straw, and used to carry around a metal kazoo and a harmonica in my backpack (you know, in case of emergencies). 

There is something strangely hilarious about BLUE JELLO

I've decided that one of my most favorite things to do in the whole world was to sit in the caf and drink glass after glass of Dr. Pepper in the presence of some of my favorite people.

I think my greatest strength and flaw is being able to laugh at almost anything- I use this during job interviews and it intrigues people.

I can solve the Rubik's cube in under five minutes (which isn't that fast compared to some of the Rubik's cube fanatics I know of but hey, I can still solve it and that's enough for me). 

I own almost the entire set of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure trading cards (I'm convinced they'll be worth something someday- if you know where I can still buy any let me know). 

I actually like the taste of TUMS (mmmmmmm, chalky), and I absolutely love the smell of fresh paint

I'm a "dog person" but I loved my cat (may he rest in peace- burried in my aunt and uncle's front yard- I'm not kidding). 

It's my secret dream to quit my job and pursue stand up comedy full time. 

Lately I've been chewing Bazooka Joe bubble gum like a fiend (I think there may be nicotine in it- or maybe crack, I haven't decided yet). 

Randal Cunningham is my uncle (okay, okay, not really but ask me about those people on Happy Days some time).

I play the piano (sort of) and played the snare drum in my high school's marching band for a year (good times, good times- if you happen to like going to band competitions, call me and I'll go to one with you.  I know that's probably the nerdiest thing anyone has ever put in a bubbs resume but hey, that's life).  UPDATE - I'm now a member of the 42nd Highlanders Regemental Pipes and Drums band.  I play a side (snare) drum and wear a kilt - it's wonderful.  Watch for me in a parade coming to a town near you.

I have never dyed my hair but if I was a rock-star I would consider it. 

I love my Brown 1982 Ford Fairmont and I wouldn't trade for any other car in the world.  I saw the movie E.T. the other day (for the first time in a really long time) and my car was in it!!!  I was so excited that I almost peed my pants- well not quite that excited but I did say out loud in the theater, "Hey, that's my car!"  It had the same government logos on the doors and everything!  The car is now over twenty years old, almost a classic!  Unfortunately my big brown beauty is currently out of commission.  Apparently wiring can catch on fire when it's over twenty years old.  The damage wasn't that bad though, the fire was isolated just seconds before reaching the fuel line- that would have been tragic.  I still plan on restoring the Fairmont to it's original glory and showing it at car shows someday- anyone who has seen my car should be laughing out loud right now (hahahaha)).  I am pretty handy though.  One time I successfully replaced both fuel filters all by myself.  This was a first for me- it made me feel very powerful to be using tools to work on a car. UPDATE - the Mont, now appropriately named Gertrude, is back in So Cal!  We were able to get it running long enough for it to make the 300 mile trip down here from Soledad.  I actually get to drive it once a week when they do street sweeping on my block (I only drive it across the street- but it's thrilling none the less).  Okay, sorry, enough about my car. 

I enjoy watching movies and music videos (especially really cheesy ones).  My current movie-related mission is to find a copy of "The Terror of Tiny Town".  It's a musical western with an all midget cast.  I've never seen it but something tells me I would love it. UPDATE - I have now watched this movie in its entirety and lived to tell about it.  Wow, awful!

I used to collect yellow lollipops from the Caf, thrift store shopping is cool, whistling, humming, or making annoying noises is fun (it drives some people crazy). 

I love to laugh out loud hysterically and  I really enjoy being with people who get my jokes. 

SPAM is my favorite "novelty meat".  None of the nasty rumors about it are true!  I know, I've been to the museum.  (See above).

Popcorn flavored Dum Dum suckers are e-vil, as in the fru-its of the de-vil.

 I want to meet David Letterman (who I suspect may be my real father) sometime before I die (learning how to speak Latin and ride a motorcycle are high on my list too). 

I consume mass quantities of Dr. Pepper!!!!!!!! ( I absolutely love my gigantic X-treme gulp cup from 7 Eleven.  It holds 52 oz. and keeps drinks cold for up to 6 hours! It's possibly one of the greatest material objects invented by man- truly a miracle of science)

Occasionally I go cow tipping

(just kidding about the last one).

If you're stalking me and/or want to know more, keep reading.  If you're bored, do yourself a favor and just doesn't get much better....or does it?

Bible Verse:  Romans 12:12 "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."  Actually, the whole book of Romans is awesome- well, of course it is, it's the word of God- anyway, it's one of my favorite parts of the Bible I've also taken a sudden interest in the book Ecclesiastes (did I spell that right?)
 Book of the Bible:  Judges- I think this may be due to a minor obcession with violence that I have.
Color: blue (oh wait, I mean blue)
Smells:  paint, the lumber section of Home Depot, crayons, scotch tape, fresh copies (you know, when the paper is still warm from the copy machine), stationary stores, fire, wet dirt, shoe stores, rain, the way my cat used to smell when he came back from getting "de-flead"
Bands:  They Might Be Giants (Birdhouse in Your Soul is my favorite- that's why it's mine and my husband's "song"), Bob Seger, Fleetwood Mac, Hall and Oates, Queen, Caedmon's Call, The Electrics, Thee Spivies, Barenaked Ladies (who are neither barenaked, or ladies), Counting Crows, The Waiting, Switchfoot, Third Day, Plumb, U2 (the greatest rock group ever), Ash Mundae (the list goes on and on) and as far as I'm concerned, Rich Mullens was and always will be a musical genius  
Movies: I'm currently working on a "Top 100 Favorite Movies of All Time" list but for now these will have to suffice....  Princes Bride ("Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya...."), Batman the Movie (the original 1966 version, starring Adam West- cheesey but cool- see the above quote or pick up the DVD- it rocks!) Star Wars ("But I wanted to go into Tashi Station to pick up some power converters"), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ("I am the invincible sword goddess!"),  Moulon Rouge ("Love lift us up where we belong!"), Gladiator ("Strength and Honor!"), Superstar ("Superstar!")  Newsies ("Look at me, I'm the king of New York!") Riverdance (clack a ta, clack a ta, clip, clip, clop), Citizen Kane ("Rosebud"), A Christmas Story ("You'll shoot your eye out!"), Bridget Jones' Diary ("I like you, just the way you are."), Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure ("Be excellent to eachother, and party on dudes!")  The Avengers ("How now brown cow?"), Loaded Weapon 1 ("I know what you're thinkin', did he fire 473 shots or 474..."), The Sandlot ("You're killin' me Smalls!") Jurassic Park ("They're moving in herds, they do move in herds!") Napolean Dynamite ("I like your sleeves, they're real big.")
TV Shows:  I think the Simpsons and Malcolm in the Middle are the second and third greatest television shows in the history of the universe. 24 is the first! (Well was anyway).  I am now officially hooked on, and obcessed with, this show.  I have also recently become obcessed with and hooked on American Dreams, Ed (I know that's cheesey), and Everwood (and that's even cheesier).  More recently, I have taken a fancy to Carnivale (thank you HBO).
Anime: Trigun!!!
Comic Strip: The Far Side (I know it's not in newspapers any more but it's still cool and Gary Larson is a genius- and his work is one of the reasons I like cows so much)
Animals: dogs and cows
Foods: pizza, goldfish crackers, ice cream, SPAM (it hasn't killed me yet), corndogs, almost anything made by Hostess (the Cupcakes are my favorite because they combine three very important things- frosting, cake, and cream filling- into one magical symphony of harmonious snack food glory)
DrinkS:  Dr. Pepper!!!!!!, I also love TANG (anything that's good enough for astronaughts is good enough for me)
Candy:  Peanut MnMs, Reece's Pieces (ET phone home!), sour Jelly Belly jelly beans, Milky Way midnight candy bars, Snickers, PEZ (especially when it's from a Star Wars PEZ dispenser "Help me Obi-Wahn Kenobi, you're my only hope.")
Pattern:  PLAID ("They may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!") I just joined a Scottish pipe band in hopes of becomming skilled in the ways of Scottish drumming.  I'm looking forward to buying a kilt!

Other Stuff:
Hair: blond (well kind of blondish-brown ((someone recently challenged me on this and said that I didn't have any blond in my hair.  But I do- so to clarify, right now my hair is more brown than blond)) and besides, blond is a state of mind not just a hair color) Eyes: blue Height: 5' 7" maybe 5' 8" (I'm really not sure) Weight:  my estimate would be around 125 Birthday: March 19, 1980 Major:RTF, Television and Video Production Graduated: December 2003 Married: October 23, 2004

God is Awesome!!!
Mr. Potato Head is cool! 
You have a surprisingly long attention span if you read this entire resume!  Thanks!  You deserve a cookie.

(Thats German for "see you later")

PS Here's the proposal story of the century:
Okay, so, here is the email that josh sent out to everyone he knows, I thought you might like to read his side of things.  My reply that I sent to all of those people follows.  Enjoy!

Katie C: (<-----soon to be K:)


Hey Everyone!
I have some very exciting news! As of Sunday May 30, Katherine Elizabeth Cunningham and I are engaged!!!!  For those you who don't want to read a long detailed email (mainly the guys) she said "YES."  For those of you who want to know all the details please enjoy the following.  Even though I was and am still sick with a cold, I, with the help of my roommates, was able to pull off a series of events that lead up to my proposal to Katie.

Last Monday I asked Katie's parents for permission to marry their daughter.  As soon as they said "YES" I began to work on my plan for proposing to Katie on the following Sunday.  It had to be done then because she was only going to be in town with me from 12:00pm till Monday morning.   Katie was doing volunteer camera work at a Spirit West Coast concert in Del Mar, which lasted from Thursday night through Sunday.
I started to get very sick on Saturday with a cold so I slept as much as I could that day and that evening.  I unfortunately missed the early service on Sunday morning but I got up at a about 10:00 and forced myself to get every last detail ready for the evenings activities.

Katie showed up around 12:30 and started to get ready for our date.  I told her earlier that I was going to take her out to a restaurant when she got back.  We started our evening with a late lunch /  early dinner at the Rain Forest Cafe, which was a lot of fun.  Following that I took her the Production Center on the Biola Campus.  This is where Katie and I first met.  I told her that I had something cool that I wanted to show her inside.  I opened the door to reveal a bunch of lit candles that formed a trail through the Production Center.  Following our glowing path I gave her a tour of different parts of the studio where we had made steps in developing our relationship.  Such as, the edit bay where we first met or the Equipment Room where she worked.  Each location was decorated with various hand made signs and images that only she and I would understand.
Following the tour I took her to the Presentation Room.  Before we entered I told her that I was originally going to take her to the Silent Movie Theater (our first and favorite date) but it was not open this weekend.  So instead I brought the Theater to her.  On the door to the presentation room I hung a sign that was decorated to look like the the Silent Movie Theater.  Inside I had decorated the walls with pictures of silent movie actors and films.  The room has theater like seating, a projection screen in the front, and a nice speaker system. Just below the screen is a long desk which I draped with a large white curtain.  Across the top of the desk I lined up about 30 candles to act as old theater lights below the screen.  As we entered I had some nice 1930's jazz music playing.  The film we watched was the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.  This silent German expressionist classic was a film she and I watched together on the night I asked her to be my girlfriend.  The film is only an hour long so it didn't take to up to much time in the evening.

Once the film was done I took my very happy but slightly confused girlfriend to another mysterious location.  All I told her is that I was taking her somewhere for dessert.  We pulled up to a small park that is located on the corner of State College and Bastenchury (I don't know how to spell that street).  This nice little park has very good view of the Brea valley and everything that surrounds it.  On really clear days you get a great view of the mountains.  This park is one of the first places Katie and went to after we had just started going out.  This is also the place where Katie wanted me to give her our first kiss.  But I never did it!  I decided it was time to make-up for that Big Time.  After we parked I pulled out of the car a gift that I had kept hidden.  We strolled through the park to a location where a table had been setup for us.  This setup included 2 chairs, a lit hurricane candle, a rose in a glass vase, 2 plates, 2 glasses, 2 forks, a chocolate cake (that I made), and a old fashion bottle of milk.  The chocolate cake comes from an inside joke, where Katie came up with illustrations of how she loves different people based on different desserts.  I'm at the level of chocolate cake which is the highest.  So on the cake I created a heart and wrote the words "I Love You Like This" out of frosting.  Katie, by the way, has been constantly laughing at all of this for almost the entire evening.  Now, you need to understand that one of the main reasons I made this elaborate plan is for revenge.  Katie has pulled off so many crazy and fun surprises on me that I if I ever wanted to pull one off on her it had to be big.
After our little meal I started to reflect with her on our relationship, and how everything we had done this night was a celebration of that.  Then told her that I wanted to give her something that would be the perfect symbol of all that we had accomplished and what our next step should be.  I then presented her the gift.  She opened it to reveal a can of SPAM.  I'm sure that some of you are very confused by this and some of you are a laughing at it.  SPAM plays a very funny role in many parts of our relationship. It would take me too long to explain all of it to you, all you need to know is that Katie found it very funny. This was also my last chance to throw off her suspicions, and it worked.  But then I told her that there is more then meets the eye here.  I opened the can to reveal red tissue paper inside.  I pulled it out and unwrapped the paper to reveal a small white box.  Trembling I got down beside her on one knee and said some kind of small speech that I don't even remember now but I know it must have been good because Katie was crying.  I then proposed to her and revealed the ring.  This ring was my inheritance from my Great Grandmother.  It's absolutely beautiful and over a hundred years old!  Her response was "Yes! Of course!"

Following all of this we went to another more private park that had a beautiful view of some hills and the sun setting behind them.  There we spent the rest of our time reflecting on all that had happened.

Well there ya go!

I would really like to say thanks to some very important people who helped to make this evening possible.  Thank you to Chuck and Sue Pardy for allowing me to propose to their daughter.  Thank you to Gerald Fisher for allowing me access to the Production Center.  And big huge thanks to my wonderful roommates James Harrington and Matt Herchenroeder who worked like madmen in getting everything setup and taking everything down in the Production Center and the park!   Thank you to all of you reading this for your love, prayers, and support for our relationship.


Josh Kenfield

(562) 686-3762


Greetings Everybody!

Now that everything has had a chance to sink in and I've collected my thoughts, I've decided to put in my two cents....

I had told Josh a long time ago that if and when he ever asked me to marry him, it had better be a grand event.  I always wanted a fantastic story to tell people.  I was thinking fireworks, dancing girls, trained animals- you know, the usual.  Well, although Josh didn't include "the circus" in his proposal, I was not disappointed.  He did a wonderful job making the whole event very special and, as you all have hopefully already read, it makes for a fabulous story.  Sunday was truly a celebration of our relationship and I enjoyed every minute of it.  

We will be sure to let you all know when we decide on a wedding date.  Until then, we are going to enjoy this new season of our lives.  We already love calling eachother "my fiance" instead of "boyfriend" or "girlfriend."  I am excited to have taken this step, I can't imagine having taken it with anyone else.  I am honored to be Josh's future wife and overjoyed to have him as my future husband.  I am very much looking forward to what lies ahead and I hope that all of you will continue to be a part of our lives.  We love you all and appreciate all of your encouragement and friendship.

Katie C: (<------soon to be K:)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Completed Kilt Hose!

The previously mentioned kilt hose, are finally finished!  Hooray, dance of joy, dance of joy!  I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Natural Heather.  The pattern can be found here.

Front View

Side View

Sassy Side View

Back View
I am really happy with how these turned out.  The back seams look a lot better than I expected them to once I put them on.  Also, I couldn't believe how "legit" they looked when I put them on with my kilt, flashes, and sgian dubh (for more information on those items see this previous post).  They actually look like kilt hose!  The one problem is they are waaaaay too thick for me to wear with any shoes I have so, next time I make kilt hose I think I'll use actual sock yarn and fiddle with the pattern to make it work.  These would make awesome winter slippers (good thing I finished them just in time for the dreadful heat of Southern California summer!) and I am actually considering getting some of these to stitch to the soles.  

I am so glad to check these off my list of things to do.  They were the inspiration for my Lenten discipline of giving up starting any new projects until all the unfinished ones are done.  My "Works in Progress" pile looks so much smaller now!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Extreme Knitting

It may be old news to some but I stumbled upon this by accident during an internet search and decided it was worth sharing.

Since this is probably the largest gauge knitting I've ever seen, I thought it would also be fun to contrast it with this...

And since I'm on the topic of "extreme knitting," here is a list of fun and interesting knitting world records.  I'm particularly intrigued by the "Speed Knitting" and the "Longest Scarf Knitted Whilst Running a Marathon."  The "Largest Knitted Sculpture" is pretty amazing but honestly creeps me out a little.

Monday, March 28, 2011

KnitPicks Delivers (To Your Doorstep)

Sometime back in late January or early February I was commissioned by a friend to make a pair of socks.  Not just any socks, these socks, but more on those later...when they're done (thankfully, there is no time rush on this project- I do plan on completing it soon though and there will be pictures of my completed work then, I promise).  

The yarn I ordered for this project is actually what I wanted to showcase today.  This is the first time I have ordered anything from KnitPicks so I wasn't sure what to expect but when the yarn arrived (in a very timely fashion) I was pleasantly surprised at the "yumminess" of this 75% Superwash Merino Wool/25% Nylon sock yarn.  

I've always been leery of ordering yarn online because I like to be able to hold it in my hands before I commit to buying it.  I will admit that my willingness to try online yarn ordering this time around was driven mostly by the amazing prices I found at KnitPicks.  The yarn pictured above was $3.69/ball- that's cheaper than JoAnn's with a coupon!  I was also lured in by their amazing selection of colors.  They had the specific color combo I was trying to find for this project that I wouldn't have been able to find at my usual yarn haunts.  I will admit that the colors of the actual yarn are a bit different than the pictures on the website but not shockingly so.  Overall, I am very pleased with my purchase and plan on becoming a repeat KnitPicks customer.

I realize "cheaper" is not always better so I am curious if anyone out there has any experience with KnitPicks (or similar) yarn vs. expensive hand-spun/dyed yarn.  Is there a difference in the way it holds up?  Does it wear differently?  I would love to hear what anyone thinks about this.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Evolution of Ponytail Holders

I've been on a quest for the perfect ponytail holder for pretty much as long as I can remember.  Not like a "take over my entire existence, all consuming" kind of quest but countless shopping trips have included a walk down the hair accessory aisle just to see if there have been any recent breakthroughs in hair holding technology.

Recently, I ran across these...

Apparently ponytail holders have "evolved."  Upon examining these thoroughly, I observed that they are made of some kind of stretchy silicone, or plastic, or magic material that seemed like a good idea but I've been tricked by gimmicks before so, although I was intrigued, my skepticism got the better of me and I decided against purchasing the gummy wonders, opting instead for the same old elastics I've gotten lots and lots of times even though they continue to disappoint me...

My experience with these "same old elastics" always seems to end in frustration but at least I know what to expect, so I keep going back.  Here's the biggest problem with these, this is how they look when they are new...

but after two or three uses, they end up looking like this...

I've had the same problem with these ...
I've also tried these ...
...and since they don't have any seams, they work a little better but they aren't really strong enough to hold my slightly thicker than average hair and usually end up too stretched out to be effective in any way.

Finally, after one of the "same old elastics" completely snapped, forcing me to wear it for the rest of the day like this... mind went back to the hair accessory aisle of Target and I decided it was time to "evolve."  I figured just about anything would be better than what I had been dealing with.

I am happy to report that after several uses, the Scunci Evolution hair elastics are working very well.  I'm impressed by the way they are maintaining their original shape and size.  I'm also impressed by the way they don't slip out.  Unfortunately the same technology that gives them that "no slip grip" also seems to prevent them from being completely "gentle to the hair."  I haven't noticed them actually damaging my hair but I've had to learn to be more careful when undoing my ponytail because these elastics do tend to pull on hairs here and there.  It's taken some practice but I think I'm getting the hang of it so I don't consider the "grippyness" a deal breaker, merely part of the learning curve.

Overall, I think these are pretty amazing.  Even though these seem a little too trivial to put in my "Miracles of Science" category, I would more than recommend them to anyone who has medium to thick hair and has problems keeping it in a simple ponytail.  Also, the price point seems fair.  I paid $3.49 for a pack of 14 so, if they continue to last like it looks like they will, I shouldn't have to buy more for quite a while.

Have you tried these or something else that works better?  I would love to hear about it.