Thursday, September 29, 2005

I promise that I will never set down a piece of knitting in the middle of a lace row and walk away and then leave it for hours and forget which row I was on, ever, ever, ever again.
Did I mention, fire?
fyyyyyyy

addd

Taken by if_only_memory on Livejournal and reposted with permission.

Thinking a lot of thoughts for the folks who are out there in this trying to keep lives and property safe.
It is wickedly awful in Southern California today. It's hot, to start. Oppressive. You walk outside and the heat whallops you hard and tries to suck all your breath away. Here in the Basin, the skies are blue and clear but there is a faint haze in the air if you look. It's so hot the air ripples up from the pavement and that is the only movement. No wind. The air is sluggish and like pudding. Every so often a slow current of air will carry the scent of faraway smoke past and I am minded of Lapsang Souchong tea. There is a solid wall of greyish smoke rising in the hills. No ash flakes floating on the air this time, not like it was a few years back when we had the really bad fires on both sides. The air isn't thick and choking and the sky hasn't turned a hazy blood red like it did. I hope it doesn't.

Feeling concerned for the folks who live out near Chatsworth, Agoura, Topanga.... though it looks like they're evacuating what needs evacuating and getting livestock and people out in plenty of time. Not taking any chances. We've got friends out there and the boy's family lives near West Hills, so I am watching the news a little obsessively. Not so worried about them getting burned out of their homes, but a bit concerned for their health and well being. The smoke can be awfully hard on the system. I ended up on an inhaler for a month last time and we were nowhere near the fires then either. It was much worse for folks closer in. My friend A has two very small kids and they just moved into their new house out near Agoura a few weeks ago. I'm sure she's very worried.

Welcome, Fire Season. Feels like it's going to be another long one.

Honestly, it's a bit hot to be knitting, the dog is obsessively snuggling (very aggressively too, for some reason) and so I have not been doing very much with yarn today. I am most of the way through Comfort Me With Apples by Ruth Reichl, which I am enjoying a lot. I picked up that and Tender to The Bone yesterday at the library. This woman writes about food the way that I think about food. The husband calls me a "live to eat" girl and he is right. Whereas, he eats to live. I do live to eat. I love food. I love eating food, I love preparing food, thinking about food. I am passionate about food. Also? Food is love. Over the years, we've discovered that I cook and it means "I love you." So now he eats and knows what I meant. He knows it is a love letter, only I that wrote it in Brandywine tomatos, goat cheese and good aged balsamic instead of on a card with ink. He's not so there with the reciprocal foodage - generally he cooks and it means "I"m hungry" - but there are occasions when he makes me a cup of chicken noodle soup or brings me tea and I know that I am quite passionately adored indeed. Generally, however, the boy expresses it in other ways and over the years, I've learned to read his love letters too. It is these differences that make a marriage interesting and fun, non?

It is impossible to read Reichl's books and then find what is in your fridge at all entertaining or interesting. I try though. For lunch I took very thin slivers of some very fine aged Parmesan (from the cheese man at the Farmers Market) and had it with slices of Honey Crisp apple. I think it tasted really good. I'll have to try the combination again when my taste buds are not obscured with all the goo in my head.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

SAVED! from forking over $80 for a laptop adapter because my friend's laptop recently died a horrible death from drowning and she had the power cable which was fine. And? An almost new ibook battery. And? They drove it to my house, so I didn't have to haul my sick arse outside.

Yay really nice friends!!!

For them? A little lot of gratitude.
It is bronchitis! fun! And two ears infected and the sinuses too. Also? The laptop power cable broke, so until I am healthy enough and can drag my sorry arse to Santa Monica and buy a new $80 power cable, I'm offline.

Probably a day or so. Maybe the weekend.

If you need me, call me. If you can't call me, you don't need me :-)

Be good while I'm gone you guys!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Houston, we have bronchitis. We also have a doctor's appt at an ungodly hour tomorrow morning wherein we will be hopefully plied with the very best antibiotic medicine that my insurance will refuse to pay for.

Knitting is vexing today. Not sure why. Have decided to declare a moratorium on lace until there is more oxygen flowing to the brain. Obviously, the decreased respiratory capacity is affecting my ability to count yarnovers. Woe.

Monday, September 26, 2005

I made dumplings to go with my chicken soup. My question is, why can I make perfectly light and fluffy scratch dumplings every single time, yet my matzoh balls always fall to the bottom like lead shot? Lead shot, I tell you. I know there's a trick to it? But my grandma never taught me before she died and my mom doesn't know her secret for that OR for Turkey Ring. Go figure.

Generations of Meyerowitz and Hoffenberg women spin, no doubt, at my persistent inability to make light fluffy matzoh balls to go in my soup. At any rate, garlicky, lemony, fresh chicken soup is a sure cure for the ick. Jewish Penicillin, indeed. At least I got that part right.

Atla: Re lace pattern. Most emphatically yes!!! I would love it. I haven't got a printer though - is it possible to get an email copy or a hard copy? If that's too much of a pain in the arse, no worries. It was incredibly generous of you to offer and I would be delighted to accept. I've got some KSH that I was wanting to use up in something scarfy, so this looks ideal. Thank you!

rainwood at gmail dot com if you want to drop me an email :-)

If you ever go back to it, I do recommend her stuff in general for the novice lace knitter as the construction makes logical sense and the directions are better than some of the charted only patterns I've seen. I can NOT knit from a chart yet. It makes me cry. So I personally really like that she's got both charts and abbreviations written out. Have you ever read any of Girl From Auntie's stuff or seen her patterns? I hear those are really good too just, generally in terms of being extremely well written.
Everybody here Chez Yarnpirate has a nasty cold, so there is a mystical concoction bubbling away on the stove. Soon it will be stock and then it will be transmuted into chicken soup. Truly, something commonplace into gold. Who needs a Philosopher's Stone when you have a stock pot?

Mom got her Branching Out in the mail finally and called me. She loves it. I'm so pleased. She says she tried it on with all her jackets and coats and outfits and loves it. It makes me happy that she likes it. It was really hard not to say "Oh if you like that, wait'll you see what I've got going for your ChristmaHannuKwanzamas present!" A labor of love and time well spent and I'm just tickled that she likes it. She opened it a week early, citing an inability to wait till her birthday. Totally cool, I'd rather she have more time to spend enjoying it than looking at a box wrapped in paper. She loved the yarn, too, and the colorway. I'm just so happy she liked it.

The ChristmaHannuKwanzaamas Present continues to grow. I am on repeat #3 of 6 and two rows from embarking on repeat #4. Very exciting to see this coming together and I'm so pleased with my yarn choice. It's growing so fast! If I haven't mentioned it, Sivia Harding's patterns are awfully well written, easy to follow and have good explanations. I'm not afraid of lace at all anymore and I'm learning so much from doing this pattern - it's very logical in construction.

Yesterday was a very exciting adventure at the Abbott Kinney Festival down in Venice Beach. Harissa Bellydance had a bit of a mis-adventure in that we were rescheduled to a third "secret stage" apart from the two main stages, that nobody working the festival knew about. One bad fall during the hike to the mystery stage, resulting in a slightly puffy ankle (mine) and another bad fall on that same hike resulting in a completely torn up arm and lots of bleeding (not mine). Two of the troupe never even found the right stage, got fed up and went home, so there went our opening dance number. The show, did, however, go on and my puffy ankle was not a problem as I don't actually *dance* with this troupe. I herd ferrets stage manage. I must say, that I am not thrilled with the city of Venice Beach and logistics. Something similar happened to us at the Venice Beach Carnevale this year, when they put us on the tiny side stage at the last minute and rescheduled The Mutaytor to play in the same time slot on the main stage.

My SP returned to the web, sent me an email and updated her blog, so all's well in SP land. The person whose SP6 I am sent me an animated hot fudge sundae the other night after the Serenity snafu. Have I mentioned that this person rocks? I am burning with curiosity and there are SO many knit bloggers out there, it is just completely pointless to speculate. One must just sit back and enjoy the mystery till the big reveal. Which, I think, is the whole entire point.

So I go, do laundry, finish repeat #3 on the Diamond Fantasy and make soup.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

How about, "No, I am not a media whore."

I'm sorry Mr. Whedon. You know I love your body of work. I miss my dead gay shows. I miss Angel, I miss Buffy The Vampire Slayer and I miss Firefly. I cannot WAIT to see Serenity. Missing the premiere was heartbreaking. But for all of that, I will not whore out this space for the media company publicizing Serenity.

The nice folks at Grace Hill Media have offered a number of spots to bloggers at a series of press screenings for the film over the next few days, before the official release of the film. I signed up for the screening in Burbank, fully expecting to go and then review the film here in my blog (no spoilers, of course). Imagine my surprise when I received an email from Grace Hill Media yesterday that said the following:

"Congratulations! You are one of the lucky bloggers to be chosen and confirmed for the screening of SERENITY for the time, date and the number of guests that you have requested. Please note, this confirmation DOES NOT guarantee you a seat at the screening.

To significantly increase your chances of getting into the screening, you MUST do the following:

You MUST include the film’s synopsis on your blog (synopsis below) and you MUST link your blog to the SERENITY website (which has the trailer and production notes) http://www.serenitymovie.com and featured artwork. After you have screened the film, please discuss it on your blog. Please provide us the links to all of your blog posts on SERENITY at serenity@gracehillmedia.com"


And then there was some logistical stuff about where to go and wait and what to do, etc., There was also a blurb, written by Universal's marketing dept. to be included in my blog and a handy link to studio provided artwork to put up. And then they want ME to take the time to mail all this to THEM. I'm sorry, but are there not trained studio gibbons to surf the web all day and make sure the little bloggers are behaving?

How about... NO! Fei hua.

The show was cancelled because some idiots at FOX got all worried about marketing and ratings and couldn't get their heads out of their asses long enough to keep it on the air and take a risk. It was independent media, bloggers and the fans who created enough buzz about the series for TWO YEARS which got this movie picked up by Universal and made. It was not because some suit in a marketing office was telling us what to write. I'd rather gen houzi bi diushi than put up a studio approved blurb here.

Do not dictate to me what I put up here in this space. Especially don't dictate that and then tell me that I might not get into the movie after I went to all the trouble to be a good little patsy, and sat for an hour in rush hour traffic to get to Burbank on a school night. No. See, and also? No.

This whole show, the series and movie is about independence and about thinking for yourself in the face of a larger whole that would like you to not think at all. Like Mal Reynolds, I aim to misbehave. I also do not kid myself for one second that it makes no nevermind, that it matters one whit or that anyone even cares. But I care.

So Grace Hill Media, ben tiansheng de yi dui rou, you take this here shiny, her name's Vera and shove her up your Gucci clad pigu, dong ma? I won't be participating in the press screening. Joss, honey, fang xin, I'll still be at the 10am matinee on Friday. And I'll probably even see the movie twice, even if I am matinee girl. All about supporting you in your endeavors.
Mermaid! I love this jacket! Wow! Remember I was talking about wanting to make something a little fitted but simple and not too fussy? This. This is exactly what I was talking about.

I like the general "look" of #7, but instead of the purples, I'd rather use blacks and greys. Maybe a touch of scarlet somewhere as an accent. What I don't like about the jackets shown that do use black, is that the accents are all brighter than the body. Like this one. Can you say Hufflepuff? I knew ya could. It screams "I've got school spirit!" The flares at the hip? brighter than the main body. What I *like* about #7 is that the darker accents don't stand out quite as much, they're a little more subtle. I like subtle. She's got some nifty stuff on her site (and some things that make me say NO! but so do most designers) but they are all kits and so, my color preferences would be moot. I hate buying kits. I dislike being forced into someone else's vision. No kits. But her site is definitely giving me Ideas and this is a good thing. It really is a pity that the black jacket versions of Mermaid are so fugly. Cos I'd actually be tempted to buy the pattern if I weren't also forced to buy the yarn in colors I hate.

I am so picky.

It is something to think about though, how the color insets there really do give the appearance of extra shaping and work so nicely with the actual shaping of the jacket. I should swatch around and play with that. Maybe keep it in mind for when I do find a pattern I like. A pattern that doesn't FORCE ME TO KNIT WITH HUFFLEPUFF YARN!!

In other news, Em is now knitting up some baby cotton in garter stitch on a pair of #8 bamboo circs and not hating it. This pleases me immensely.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Fair Trade conundrum over at Green LA Girl, whose blog I look forward to reading EVERY DAY. And I look forward to seeing how this one plays out as the information is gathered and shared. Yay passionate people who take action!

So, Serenity. In a nutshell. I'd been offered my ticket to the premiere/after party by a friend whose bf had been called out of town unexpectedly on business. I accepted. He came home a day early. I offered the ticket back. They went. I'm glad they went together. Plus, I got myself on a list to go see a press screening on Monday with MY boy, so even more fun, if no cast party after. We'll see how that one pans out. *sigh* I can just see myself showing up at Will Call and they have no record of my name. Cos that shit just happens to me.

Pollyana time. I'm glad that staying home in jammies meant I got hot fudge sundaes (yes that was ME in the Venice Ralphs last night, wearing ratty pajamas, a ratty sweatshirt and ratty sneakers with all the hair flying everywhere, putting Haagen Daz, hot fudge and a lot of ice cream related crap in the basket and trying to get home before the CSI premiere started). I also got another full on repeat of Chart B done on my mom's Xmas present. SO I'm feeling rather accomplished.

Also, I finished.... this.
distaff full
It's a distaff to keep the roving from flopping into my spindle when I spin. I got the tutorial off the web. I have not yet mastered the knack of using it but, it certainly jingles nicely. See the pretty beads? All of them were found, inherited or something I had on hand and the yarn was a leftover ball from a hat I made So-chan last year. Phwoar. My DIY fu amazes, truly.
distaff detail
Next up, I'm gonna jerryrig a niddy noddy skein maker thingamajigger out sealing wax and string.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I knew it was TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.

That whole, going to the premiere of Serenity and to the after party? Yeah. Not so much with that. Cos the movie starts in 4 minutes and I'm sitting HERE on my ass in WLA wearing my pajamas instead of up at Universal wearing something fabulous and hobnobbing with the stars.

I don't want to talk about it right now. I'm too upset. The Universe has a mean streak. I'll talk about it later. Right now, I'm thinking there's a mug of cocoa and perhaps a hot fudge sundae in my immediate future because dammit, I deserve one.

I might even put a stiff slug of hooch in that cocoa.

Boy howdy has it ever been a DAY.
full view

Rows 1-55... note strategically placed lifeline and stitch markers. Oh yeah. We learns, precious.

detail

stitch detail.

Phwoar.
I'm so glad I found this because I'll need it for the Serenity premiere tonight. *grin* And hey, I took a semester of Mandarin, so I can *laugh* sorta *ahahahahha!* approximate *bwaaaahhh!* the tonality *coughs* correctly *splutters* okay actually the tonal stuff is why I only took one semester of Mandarin, because I blew at it, really hard.

Some things I am learning from making the Diamond Fantasy scarf.

1. Stitch markers are your friend but she doesn't mean "after every twelve stitches" she means "when there's an asterisk, pm, then pm at the next asterisk. With every repeat, just pm at the end of that." because that makes it much easier.

2. No, really, you DO want to be moving that lifeline up about every 5 rows. I dont' care if it's not "a logical repeat", just DO IT.

3. Yes, you had to frog it 4 times. It's your own damn fault you were watching Bon Jovi on Oprah, trying to knit when the kids had things to tell you about, and when your blood sugar was crashing so hard you almost fell over in a blur last night. Do these stupid things more and you'll frog more. Do them less, you'll frog less.


Also, I should mention that I have a ticket to the Serenity after party where Joss and the cast will be going after the premiere.

Cathy asked in comments about spinning fire - here are some shiny pictures from the gals who my husband takes classes from. Check out their quicktime reels!! I'm interested in poi and in fire fans/fingers and will probably start taking classes in that myself, this winter. I'm also kinda interested in fire hooping. He prefers staff work and just started working with a troupe. I'm more interested in working fire in with bellydance whereas he's more into the swinging burning missiles around his head rapidly. Like, you can see some pics from his class here or here or even here which is not to say there aren't some nice shots here.

Alta was talking about variegation and I don't know if you got my reply to your comment - but I wanted to say that your point was well taken and I actually do agree with what you said about the variegated yarn sometimes detracting from lace patterns. I think it just depends on the yarn/pattern and swatching is your friend so you're not committed by the time you realize you hate the yarn/pattern combo.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

diamond fantasy i

here is the start of the Diamond Fantasy scarf, pinned out a bit. Perfect for a pirate's mother, yarrrrr! Loving the way the very subtle variegation is working with this lace and don't think it will detract from the pattern one bit.

Today is the 9th wedding anniversary of the Yarnpirate and that fire spinning, long haired, kilt wearing Scotsman. A decade ago, we met, 9 years ago, we married and it's been interesting (yes in the Chinese sense at times) and wonderful and growthful ever since. In the years since we said our vows, we've figured out what those vows really meant, like *really*. Not in theory, but really. We've learned that "till death do us part" sometimes really does mean "Even though right now in this moment I am very sulky and I think YOU SUCK, I will not leave, even though leaving would be easier, because I made a promise and even though in this moment you're making me nuts, I love you enough to keep it." and we're still here and this pirate is very, very glad of it. And grateful because she could not imagine a better partner, or a better father to those two kids that he took on as part of the bargain.

Now if only I could get him to figure out that spinning fire in a great kilt often equates to setting the back of the kilt on fire, we'd be all good. Though it must be said that you haven't lived until you've seen a 6'4" guy in 9 yards of plaid squeal like a little girl and sit down suddenly and start bouncing up and down to get the fire out, because his bits just got toasty.

I digress.

Tonight's anniversary dinner is the 2 for 1 special over at Hurry Curry, and we're bringing the kids. We started this thing as a family and that's how we like to celebrate it!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The recent arrival of the Zingerman's catalogue prompted a run to Surfas today. Because, when confronted with a catalogue filled with gourmet treats... one has no choice.

I am smug, because I found pomegranate molasses. No, not the chichi kind in the Zingerman's catalogue, but it's quite good and it was affordable as hell. They're evil at Surfas, as they've completely switched around their offerings and the chocolate aisle is deadly. A Naga Bar leaped into my basket but I successfully beat back the Oaxaca Bar by whispering "manana, little chocolatecito, manana..." because I truly do believe that pleasure delayed a while can be very gratifying. They have an entire shelf of Scharffenberger and one level down, a shelf filled with Vosges chocolates. Bastards. Though in fairness, it must be pointed out that it is cheaper to buy the Vosges crack from Surfas than off the website. Substantially. So they're really doing me a favor by carrying it. I tried to fend it off, but then I was assaulted by loose Assam tea and then just as quickly, attacked by a pound of Monkey and Son's Velvet Hammer coffee NINJA COFFEE, which jumped on my head and then nestled into the basket next to the Naga Bar.

It was awful.

Things were a little better at the Farmer's market. I found brandywine tomatos, Humboldt Fog goat cheese, all manner of delicacies like fresh green beans, tender asparagus stalks, delicious baby taters and well, just amazing stuff. For next to NOTHING, I tell you. Though I do think it is spectacularly UNFAIR that my Farmers Market now boasts a cheese man, a hottie selling artisan vinegars, a Greek olive seller, local honey vendor and TWO artisan bread stands. Also? The vingear man has baby corn snakes for sale. Not that I want a corn snake, but, still, that's sorta shiny in a weird thing to find at the Farmer's Market kind of way.

I have food in the house, tons of grocery money left in the budget and I can THROW AWAY the Zingerman's catalogue (I am going to try making my own chocolate figs with local dried figs and perhaps some Scharffenberger) because my need for cheese, pomegranate molasses and other delicacies was assuaged. Locally. Under budget. Phwoar. I rock and the power of my gourmet fu is truly stunning.
It must be said that my SP6 is teh awesome. *squee* I can't wait for the reveal. It's kind of like.... I don't know, meeting Zorro or something. Whoooooo is that maaaaaasked knitter???

It also must be said that the person whose SP6 I am is starting to worry me, because zie has not updated zir blog or replied to the seeekrut pal email I sent. Because this person probably has a life, unlike me, and cannot hang around on the intarweb all day. A rich and fulfilling life, filled with time well spent doing things Otherly. So I caught myself compulsively checking the blog today and sniffling a little when it was STILL not updated since the last time I checked two hours ago, and then hitting the "refresh" key a few times in case I missed something.

If I still have not heard back from zir by the end of this week, I am emailing my hostess and verifying all the contact info. Which I'm sure is correct but I'm OCD like that. I'd just hate to think that she might think I'm a flake or that she's not going to have a fun SP6. I do have all sorts of eeeevil plans.

Monday, September 19, 2005

In which, we open with this interpretive dance.

yesterday was plain awful.

You can say that again!

yesterday was plain AWFUL!

But that's. not now. that's then!

Yes I *am* singing show tunes and yes they ARE from Annie. It's my favorite bad day song and it always cheers me up.

So what do you do when you've come to the end of your rope and had a really crappy day?

Cast on a complicated lace shawl.

Actually, it's not so complicated and it's technically a scarf - Sivia Harding's Diamond Fantasy scarf to be exact - and I'm doing it in a deliciously soft, handpainted wool/mohair blend for my mom (for ChristmaHannukwanzaamas) because spoiling her with lace and knitted stuff is fun. She used to knit, so she totally appreciates it. She's also on SSI/disability, so can't afford really fab things herself anymore so when I can spoil her a little? It makes me happy. Have I mentioned, my mom is my favorite holiday? This pattern is wonderful. It's taking me some time to get the hang of the charts and I keep hearing that charted knitting is easier? I'm not thinking so, but it's new, so I'll give it time. I'm actually really glad I'm doing *this* one right now, because it is not only charted, it is written out, so I can check myself as I go. As I've often said, I think it is the process of constantly getting to master something new that keeps me so enthralled with sticks and string. The yarn, btw, is Mountain Colors wool/mohair and it is deeeelicious.

I'd show you a picture, but the digital camera has disappeared into So-chan's bedroom. Upon entering to investigate, the Yarnpirate's delicate sensibilities were assaulted by a pungent top note of Closed Window, quickly ripening into a fuller, richer tang that was redolent of Dirty Sock, with a noticeable base of Old Gym Clothes. When the Yarnpirate saw the empty apple pie tin (I'd wondered what had become of HALF A PIE seemingly overnight) and a fork, plus a few other dirty dishes, she shuddered and beat a hasty retreat.

Pictures later. It's not worth risking life and limb over.

It is that time of year, kids. Zingermans is sending out the monthly pre-holiday catalogues. There's nothing for it. I have resolved that I must go to their storefront in Michigan and taste everything in their deli, myself. Actually, it's more that I want to pick the goodies up, look, smell, feel, THEN taste, than it is wanting to order a whole cake or loaf of bread. I want to go into ferret shock over it all in person, have throes of exploration, samples, and then painstakingly choose JUST THE RIGHT THING and carry it home for my tea in a little paper box. I do the same thing with yarn. Catalogs are nice? I wanna get tactile.

Also. One final word. There are these weird opaque grey things hanging in the sky over LA, odd noises and flashes of light have been alternating most of the night and now WATER IS FALLING DOWN. Reporters are flocking to beachfront communities and the news is showing endless loops of the WATER FALLING DOWN interspersed with graphic and horrifying imagery of those opaque grey things and the water striking pavement in various intersections.

It might be the end of the world. I'll keep you posted.
Good enviromental stuff happening Chez Yarnpirate this weekend as well.

Picked up a pound of Trader Joe's Five Country Espresso blend - fair trade and organic. Not bad. Want to compare with the Monkey and Sons as that is organic, fair trade AND roasted locally. In 9 out of 10 tests, local wins. I could drink the TJ's 5 Country blend on a daily basis or rotate it with something else and be pretty happy long term.

Swapped out conventional soap in kitchen for Trader Joe's "Next to Godliness" soap and really loving it. Nice bubbles, gets the dishes clean, smells great. We're sold. Swapped out laundry soap (we ran out of TIDE) for the Eco brand at Trader's. Have not yet tried it, so we'll see. If I don't like this one, I"ll try out the TJ's house brand and then 7th Gen.

Renewed our commitment to only buy/eat organic, free range, grain fed meats. Bought some. Yum.

And that's the way it is.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

This is me, squealing like a fangirl because I have been invited to the red carpet premiere of Serenity. No power in the 'verse could stop me from being there. This is so shiny, that I do not even mind that my gracious hostess has pronounced me a Big Damn Knitter and said NO KNITTING at the premiere or after party. The Yarnpirate has negotiated knitting on the train to the premiere, so that will be ok. Cos honestly, dropped stitches all over the place once the shinies start or I might accidentally stab someone while leaping around and squealing.

Speakin' of shinies, the new Patternworks catalog is here and wow, FILLED with shinies. I'm looking at a lot of the patterns and trying to get a feel for what I might like to knit in the near future - sweaterwise, anyway. I know I'm making Skully first - but I'd been thinking about perhaps something fitted next. The problem is, I'm just not loving all the stuff that ends right there at the hips. Why, why with the sweaters that end JUST where your tummy pooches out or your bottom is widest, and why with the broad band of colorwork or big wide cable right there? This, I do not need!!

The cabled cardigan pattern on p. 53 is a very definite possibility. I like the shaping and the design of the cables on the back. I'd make it in black though. Natch. But I'm not sure about yarn, and I'd want to really play with that. I prefer a drapy fabric, not something stiff. Not sure that'd work with those cables. It requires more thought. I like the elements on some where the cables at least run up and down. I like the neckline of Evelyn a lot on p. 22, but again with cable butt. Why cable butt? Just say no to cable butt. I think it'd look nicer with a plain bottom on some women. Like, oh, me. Same thing the Edwardian jacket and the shawl collared jacket towards the front - both are a little too short to look good on me and a little too fussy overall the way they were executed for the catalog, though I like the general idea of them.

I know my friends who sew/design clothing spend a lot of time thinking about fit, ease and design elements to suit their individual bodies. Consequently, they end up with great looking clothes. Knit stuff can be great looking too, when it's well thought out at every stage of execution. I don't want to waste a lot of time knitting something that plays up everything I *don't* like and hides everything I *do*. I think in the case of something like this, it'd really be worth the time to swatch and swatch and swatch some more, try different yarns out and just really think it through.

Also? Talk like a pirate day. YARRRRRRRRRRR.

Dog park knitter.
knitting at dog park?

The power of cute compels you.
throw the ball daddy!
the Yarnpirate first would like to state for the record that Hooters is overrated and the food isn't that great and the booty isn't all that either. However. The sock played pool and the beer was good.
000xtg60

Then, the Yarnpirate awoke extra early and officiated at a wedding. Before coffee.

Mawwiage.... is what bwings us, together, today.
mawwiage. is what bwings us...

With this ring...
with this ring

I now pronounce you man and wife.
man and wife.

And wuv. TWU wuv, will follow you fowevah, and evaaaahhhhh....
I pronounce you husband and wife.

buddha, dharma, altar

What's a wedding without a sock?
bride and sock

or a tiger?
tiger tail

Will play with food.
bread heart

Cake or death? Ooooh, you're lucky we're CoE!
cake or death!

9 years ago, and I'd do it all over again. Weddings are good to remind you of that.
hey, I love you

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Yarnpirate is going to Hooters. Yarrrrrrrr.

The Yarnpirate has never been to Hooters before and thus is a tad concerned about what she will see there however, is assured there is food that pirates like to eat. Also, she is told that there will be booty. And everyone knows, pirates are all about the booty. The pirate would like to state that when she started this journal, the kind of booty she had in mind was natural fiber in the skein, and not UCLA students wearing orange polyester short shorts. Full report on Hooters, forthcoming, when the pirate returns. Also, perhaps pictures, and there might be some shots of the sock, playing pool. Or perhaps getting in on the booty and posing with waitresses. Because the sock is also going to Hooters and then to the pool hall. There might even be Shirley Temples happening if things get really wild.

Because it is an evening of debauchery, the yarnpirate is wearing an ankle length retro 30's dress from the thrift bin, demure striped stockings, hefty combat boots and charming little death's head grosgrain hairbows. The power of the cute compels you. So-chan complained that "that dress makes you look like a mom. A goth mom, but a mom." however, the pirate should like to point out that she is a mom and she's a 36 year old mom and if she's going to Hooters, she's not gonna even try to compete in the short skirt department.

Honestly. Is this the kind of face you'd expect to see out, having a wild evening of piratical debauchery? I think not. DOWN!
WIPS

I am languishing in stuff I need to finish. See, I've got this jolly elf hat in Lambs Pride bulky going for a friend's daughter's Xmas gift. I've got to find my 10.5 dpns to finish it. I use them for hairsticks, see, and put them down in Places Other Than The Knitting Jar and then can never find a full set when I want one. The blue Aran shawl is in Cascade Quatro, it's gorgeous, it was my Mom's Xmas gift, and I'm just stalled. It weathered a really bad trip to New Hampshire, a long plane ride each way, some serious heartbreak and I just have no desire to pick it back up. I might frog and rethink the project entirely. Mom deserves a joyful present, not one imbued with a lot of tears. Literally, in this case, tears shed in teh skies from Detroit to Denver, ya know? I just realized, after that trip? I didn't update this blog for 2 months. That's how heartbroken I was feeling. I was MOPING AND BEING GOTH, okay? Drooping on a chaise lounge. Artistically mourning. Also, spending a lot of time on the dance floor getting some Industrial Therapy. Point is, mom gets something else.

However, loving the striation I'm getting from the sari silk by alternating skeins. That? That can stay. I'll work on it tonight when I go to shoot pool.

handspun

Handspun BFL, imperfectly plied as it is, the texture is rather reminiscent of the yarn from the H20 hat from Chicknits (pattern page now defunct). Fortunately, I remember the basics, so that's what I'm knitting up. Was going to be a Jayne Cobb Hat (just in different colors) for my favorite East Coast hottie illustrator evar, but wants to be something else. At this point, said hottie is not getting his hat for the premiere but he just might get one for Xmas in koolaid dyed BFL if I can get my singles to a decent weight.

Once I get those done? I've got Knitting Plans.
This kittyvile yarn is going to be the Kittyville hat from SnB. I'm gonna alternate it with some black superwash merino in chunky stripes. The rocking thing is? I got it for 50% off at A Mano's huge sale a while back. Art yarns superwash merino. Phwoar! Did I mention, 50% off? I paid like, four bucks a skein for this stuff.
momshawl this wants to be a shawl for my mom for Xmas. Fortunately, my mom does not read my blog. At least, I think she doesn't. Mom, if you're reading this, just stick your fingers in your ears and shout lalalalalala! okay? I'm thinking Sivia Harding's shawl, the one you can knit out of a skein of sock yarn? It's perfect for her.
branching out This is cashmere. This is mine. This is going to be a Branching Out that is going to stay at my house and round my neck in the cold winter months. Though I probably won't get to it till January.
After my post about greening up LA, I've been thinking overnight about what we try do personally.

*We turn off our water when we brush, and we have low flush toilets and low water shower heads. this is totally ruined by the fact that we have to run the water for like, five minutes to get hot water in the kitchen.
*we buy locally grown, organic produce.
*we buy organic, free range eggs.
*we buy organic diary.
*fair trade teas (mostly) and coffee (always) are served at our house
*we faithfully recycle glass and cans.
*our cosmetics are cruelty free

I think I'd like to add the following to that list over the next mon
*recycle paper - we could recycle paper too. And plastics. I could also contribute less to landfill and start composting again. Worms. I'm thinking worms.
*If I'm gonna eat it, I could stand to only buy organic, free range meat (except those Apple Pan burgers)
*I can do some research to figure out if I can "green" our washer and dryer setup in the apartment building as a whole. For everyone. I can also look into rigging up a clothesline, but I'm not sure that is viable in our neighborhood.
*I can look into cruelty laundry and household soaps and products. There's gotta be one out there that works as well as Tide for stain busting.

The most important?
I can keep thinking.

Friday, September 16, 2005

My new friend via the blogosphere, Green LA Girl, has turned me onto City Hippy. It is, dare I say it? The awesome. Also, the green.

It's a constant struggle living in an urban area, because you pretty much are not contributing much of anything back to the planet. The water you drink, the food you eat, it's all raised elsewhere, trucked in, piped in, and you just consume, consume, consume. My kingdom for a little garden plot, ya know? It's helpful when people start putting information out about how you can at least be a more conscious, ethical consumer. You know, I will probably never be an entirely green, vegan, off the grid consumer. I don't really aim to be. For one thing, so not giving up cheeseburgers a la Apple Pan and leather boots. Stompy leather boots, especially. We pause for a moment, and bow our heads and ponder all that is wonderful and holy about shoes. And cheeseburgers. Um. I'm off on a tangent here, aren't I?

Right then. Like I was saying. In my own way, I'm trying to live a greener life and I found this website to be helpful.

I'd like to start crafting community along hte lines of LA Ecovillage and creating a more sustainable lifestyle here, in this city I love, for myself and my neighbors. I think we can survive the end of cheap oil, we can feed ourselves, we can maintain a vital and thriving urban culture. I think we can usher in some really important changes in our society as we evolve past the cheap oil era, but I think it takes every single person doing what they can to make that happen. We all don't have to make every single change and become vegan, green, off the grid people. I don't advocate that. I think diversity is good. And cheeseburgers. But we *do* have to consider what shifts we're willing to make in our own habits. If we just, each did ONE thing, recycled, ate less meat, advocated fair trade, whatever.... it'd make a huge difference overall.

Anyway. City Hippy. Interesting stuff, yo.

The other thing I am thinking about lately is string. See, if you go to the Kabbalah Centre and sign up, you get a red string. It has been mentioned that perhaps ferret shock and string envy should not be the basis for conversion. It has also been mentioned that I could just, order a red string off Ebay and save myself the trip uptown to the center. It has also been suggested that perhaps I'm a trendwhore. It was then suggested, by me, that a #15 knitting needle be inserted into the orifice of the speaker's choice, and the interaction went down hill from there. Thankfully, reason and the fact that my mama raised me to be a questioning child are the cure for ferret shock. Jury is out on the string.
Hobbes. 1990-2005

Hobbes was a rickety old cat who had been with us for many years. He lived with my dad. He was my cat when I was a young adult before I had kids and he was there for So-chan's birth, lived on the commune in Oregon and eventually moved back to northern CA when I did. He had to stay there temporarily when I left again, and temporary turned into permanently Here in LA, our cats are inside animals. But Hobbes? He'd been a farm cat. He was happiest being outside and having adventures far afield. My dad had a large yard with an overgrown garden (until The Tan Bark Incident) and there were some woods near the house for Hobbes to roam. So I ultimately left Hobbes up north, knowing he'd be happier there than way down south in the city. Plus, they kept each other company.

My dad always pretended to be rather gruff with Hobbes. Hobbes scratched furniture, so he had to live outside, but then one winter my dad built him a two story cat condo with shag carpeting, fish wallpaper and a thermostat controlled heater. Dad also kept the raccoons out of the cat condo by pegging them in the ass with a pellet (three pumps, enough to sting, not damage) if they tried to get in at night. I have this mental image of my dad in a cowboy hat, hiding sniper style up in the eaves of the house, patiently waiting for the raccoons to show up. Maybe taking out a slug while he was at it. The raccoons learned to back off the cat condo pretty fast. When Dad would go out of town, he'd take Hobbes to the Kosy Kat Cottages. Each cat got a private glassed in room with good ventilation, private litterbox, fun climby thing, tasty food, and a person would come love them up for a while each day. The best part was, there was flatscreen bird tv on all day long. I'm really sure that Hobbes liked going to the Kosy Kat Cottages.

Hobbes now rests in the yard in his favorite napping spot. Apparently he had a few, but Dad selected just the best one.

Thanks Dad for taking such good care of him. I'm sorry that you lost a friend.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Obligatory SP6 post.... SQUEEEEEE!

I have my pal and zir blog is most edifying. I do so look forward to 3 months of spoilage and making somebody quiver with joy upon the postman's arrival. And the person whose SP I am has contacted me and there is much quivering with joy over an already delightful correspondence.

I've set up a super seeeeekrut identity with which to communicate with my pal and I must say, I'm grinning from ear to ear about it.

Destashed a little more today. Alas, not much I feel would be worth listing on ebay, if only that I'm not sure how much "single" skeins of one thing or another really get people excited. But it was worthy to go thru the stash, at any rate and I've now reorganized so that it's all by weight in the bins. Bulky to worsted in one bin, DK to lace in the other. Will be easier to go find stuff depending on what project I want to start.

Ripped out and re-cast on the sari silk garter stitch scarf. Sari silk, not as annoying as KSH to frog, but vexing all the same. I'm working from two skeins and just alternating stripes of two, carrying the other yarn up the side of the stripe. The variations of color in the two skeins are so extreme that a definite stripe pattern is visible and I'm really liking the results I am now getting. Xmas present. Not for me. Will delight somebody, I am sure.

The handpainted I'm donating for Give A Little arrived, it's GORGEOUS and I'm really excited about the fact that someone is going to win it. The Azul Bonitas is just... wow. Saturated. Stunning. also, reeking of vinegar. Yay mordant!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

BO shadow

obligatory shadow shot. Very proud. Huge error, visible, but still, it's pretty.

cat/BO

Obligatory cat shot. Blocked. Meeting with the approval of the furry staff.

EVIL EYE

Rainware custom stitch markers! Protect your knitting from the evil eye! $1.25 each or 5 for $5.75. Coming soon in laceweight size, in sets of 10. Shiiiiiny.... you know you want one! Tell your friends! Great Xmas gifts, non?
Having strep throat means you spend a lot of time in bed doing nothing but Xmas knitting (which will surely be okay by Xmas and not streppy). Simple garter stitch scarf in sari silk is about my speed today, but that's ok.

So here's a meme to entertain.
TEN YEARS AGO: Ten years ago, I was a single mum with two young kids and I'd just met this really awesome guy at Ren Faire and we were writing back and forth and having this utterly sparky correspondence (he lived in LA, I lived in NoCal). I knew we were doomed destined to get married. A year later, we were.

FIVE YEARS AGO: Not a whole heck of a lot. Brownies. Soccer. Trapped in a suburban mom station wagon hell.

ONE YEAR AGO: A year ago was complicated. It involved Aussies, librarians, painful life changes and some really interesting camping trips. One year ago, I had no clue that I'd be looking at the reality I'm looking at today. One year ago was very different.
YESTERDAY: In bed with strep throat! Broke! Cranky!

FIVE SNACKS: Pudding pops. Crusty bread with butter. Fruit of just about any kind. Milano cookies. Bacon.

FIVE SONGS I KNOW ALL THE WORDS TO: "What Happens Tomorrow", Duran Duran. Actually, any song by Duran Duran. "Let It Go" Great Big Sea, "Boston and St. John's" Great Big Sea, a number of faire songs, irish ballads, bawdy tavern songs and sea shanties. "Panzermensch" And One (don't know what hte words mean but I can sing along). Ya know, most songs I pick up pretty quickly.

FIVE THINGS I WOULD DO WITH $100 MILLION: Pay my debts. Buy myself a house with a large lot so I can urban homestead. Buy my mom a house and put money in a bank for her so she wouldn't ever worry again for anything. Buy a lot more yarn and books. Put my kids thru college. Buy my husband a sailboat. Otherwise? Nothing would really change.

FIVE PLACES TO RUN AWAY TO: Mendocino, Humboldt County, San Francisco, Brattleboro, Boston.

FIVE THINGS I WOULD NEVER WEAR: Mom jeans. NEVER AGAIN THE MOM JEANS. See, I'm a goth/industrial stompy girl so there's a LOT of stuff out there that just makes me go "eeeuw." but if I were naked and you offered me clothing, I'd wear it. Though spandex is dubious. And Mom jeans. Did I mention not so much with the mom jeans?

FIVE FAVORITE TV SHOWS: ER, House, CSI: Vegas, Bones, Medium

FIVE BIGGEST JOYS: Family. Pets. Yarn. The beach. Good food.

FIVE FAVORITE TOYS: Laptop. Spindles. Yarn and needles. Beads. Paper.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

so I was watching Oprah today (yeah, I know, but it was all about living debt free and these people all had MORE DEBT than ME so I had Moral Superiority plus there were Handy Tips, so I watched Oprah. Moving on.) and there was a blurb on the news about Bush "taking responsibility" for the massive cluster f*ck that post-Katrina relief efforts became under the watchful eye of his pal Brownie. Thanks but no. See, you can't just say, "Well I take responsibility for that." and have that be okay, you can't just say those words and get off the hook, out of jail free. Because people are dead, like 400+ people. With yet more discovered daily. When it's your fault that someone died and you're held responsible for that?? Usually that involves jail time, an orange jumpsuit, and a well oiled love machine named Bubba who..... er. Right. I digress. Anyway.

I don't buy it. And I hope the American people don't let him off the hook that easy. It would be a shame.

So I got to thinking about yarn and my stash and how much of my stash I'm not knitting up because I bought it when I was deep in the throes of "OOH SHINY!" and not planning, not buying enough for a project, not caring about dye lots, etc. Plus not caring much about my budget. And I'm thinking that a lot of the yarn I bought was a huge freakin' waste of money. I'm wondering if I can sell it on Ebay and recoup my losses. Don't get me wrong, it's nice yarn, but it is unlikely I'll use it anytime soon. So why not Ebay it? Make some room? There's yarn I'd like to buy for projects I am committed to making, but I am not buying yarn until my stash is reduced because Yet More Yarn At The Cost Of Yet More Money is kind of silly.

Planning ahead though, and buying yarn more mindfully, that appeals to me on a few levels, the primary one being, I'd like to be a more conscious consumer and THINK before the OH SHINY YARN LUST overwhelms me and I whip out my pocket book. Because it is seriously SCARY how many filled up stamp cards for A Mano Yarn Center I have yet to redeem and I have very little to show for it except some bins of yarn I'm not planning to use for anything specific.

Yep. Ebay. It's worth a shot.

Also, I have strep throat. It is official. We love this. Did I mention, I'm performing a wedding* on Sunday? My very first wedding evar and I've got strep throat. Yep. Minister Rainy with No Voice is gonna be up there pantomiming at the happy couple while they try to speak their vows. LOVE. IT. Two thumbs way up for that. The universe is a kicky place.

*please note Minister Rainy does not believe that she is a spiritual authority with the power to call anyone "married". Minister Rainy believes that the authority to marry comes from only the people being married. It's their decision to call themselves "married", and she is just here to facilitate this joyful union by conferring some sense of legality, signing some papers and helping them light some joss to the ancestors in an organized fashion. That is Minister Rainy's take on performing weddings and we LOVE the Universal Life Church for making this possible. We'd love some antibiotic medicine so that this will happen as planned.

Monday, September 12, 2005

I really was upset when I read this article about what a few misguided elite souls from New Orleans are contemplating, as regards rebuilding the Big Easy. Um. How about, no. How about, Dear Neo-con, Elite Nitwit, You Suck. No Love, Me. *sigh*

Moving on.

Branching Out blocked up beautifully and is awaiting wrapping in tissue paper and mailing to my mom. I don't think I've managed to get her birthday present off to her in time in like, five years. Cos yeah, I kinda suck like that. THIS year, however, it's not only on time, but it is handmade and lace and shall make up for all the other years of lameness. Phwoar. I used the last of the yarn to make a little lace capelet for my daughter's American Girl doll. I'd take a picture but the awesome power of my bed is sucking me down and making it impossible to reach the camera. Sorry.

Someone explain to me what is up with the whole "penis waving" of stash comparison? I mean, my stash is pretty big by some standards, pretty small by others, but it's just, a couple a bins of yarn, ok? I don't take it out and count it or roll around on it naked (for one thing, it's hot here, and ya get kinda sweaty, I prefer natural fibers and so rolling around naked and sweaty would most likely lead to, um, felting? Possibly increased hits on my site if I got a web cam. But only until my in laws found out. Either way, it'd only end in tragedy.) and so perhaps the point of huge stash pictures is lost on me. Perhaps I am missing some vitally fun part of being a part of the knitting community. I don't get it.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

branching out blocking

Finished Branching Out! I did a few less repeats because my mom drives Belgians and the last thing she needs with reins and horses on a cold afternoon is to have dangly, flapping scarf ends to worry about. But it's perfect. Even though I blocked it and found a HUGE honkin' error in the middle repeat. FFS.

detail

I'm so proud.

A bit of a tea manifesto, regarding Fair Trade

This has nothing to do with yarn.

I'm a tea lover. I'm also a coffee lover. I express my hot dirty caffeinated love kinda differently though, for these two demon brews. And because it came up in comments, I'm gonna talk about why I don't focus on Fair Trade as the main criteria for my tea purchases.

Lets start with coffee. I buy a pound at a time. I buy ONE pound, then I drink it, then I buy another pound. Unless I've gotten extra as a gift, it is highly unlikely for me to have multiple types of coffee in my home. Therefore, buying fair trade all the time is pretty easy. As long as I find it appealing, tasty and I can afford it (and there is always affordable, tasty Fair Trade coffee somewhere) I'm all about that little label. About the only time I'll buy multiple pounds of coffee is if my mom is coming to visit cos that woman can suck down about a pound of java beans in two days, I swear to god. I've never met anyone who drinks coffee like she does. I don't think she has blood, I think she just has coffee grounds in her veins by now. Must make it hell on her phlebotomist.

Extra points for the use of "phlebotomist" as that's like, a 96 point Scrabble word if you play it right.

Tea? Tea is a different story. Tea is a lot like wine, a very complex critter. I do not buy it by the pound, one type at a time. The kinds of tea I drink, I can't afford a whole pound. Maybe a 4 oz tin if I'm lucky. My tea cupboard is crammed full of Assams, Nilgiri, Ceylons, Yunnans, greens, blends, broken leaf, whole leaf, bagged and loose. I buy tea from a bunch of different vendors who buy from a bunch of different gardens and what type of tea I ultimately buy is primarily based on what I thought of samples though I have friends who can get me to buy a pound of tea based on their word alone, they're that good at tasting.

Tea gardens or plantations are similar to wineries in that lots vary from year to year. Conditions vary. What was spectacular from Garden A one year will suck the next if the weather was bad, while Garden B's mediocre offering has blossomed into something amazing. It's a fluid standard for me, that varies from year to year. Garden A may be labeled FT but if their tea sucks and I know Garden B treats workers well and the tea is good, I'll buy it happily. Some tea gardens treat their workers very well, with nice living conditions, schooling and training for their kids, fair wages and benefits. Families work in tea gardens for generations and there is a real effort going on in the tea world to improve their conditions. Some plantations and gardens are even *owned* by the workers and hey, that's even better. The FT label isn't always gonna be there to indicate what's going on at the garden, though it would be nice if more and more people got certified. More and more vendors are paying attention to this issue. The Harneys, for example, over at Harney and Sons travel to gardens every year, tasting and talking and paying attention. Somehow, I can't see them buying from someone whose workers are suffering.

Organic tea is available from Special Teas and it looks like they've currently got three FT darjeelings available. This is an awesome vendor with good quality teas. But even if it's not labelled organic or FT, their other offerings often come from gardens that pay fair wages and don't poison the workers.

I love Taylor Maid Farms for their organic goodness.

Silk Road Teas - organic and biodynamically grown teas from China, fairly paid for. Call them, they haven't got a website, the teas vary from season to season but they do mail order and the tea is always top notch. They're happy to talk about what they're doing in the tea world. 415.488.9017 PO Box 287, Lagunitas CA 94938 or stop by their Marin Farmers Market stand.

And yeah, definitely check out TransFair dot com or these folks for more information about Fair Trade in general.

It's out there.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

FEMA knew what to do in the event of a massive hurricane hitting NOLA. Because last July, they did a whole test run and then posted what they'd need to do and what would happen in the event of a hurricane. Posted the results ON THEIR WEBSITE. And what they cited was scary, including masses of dead bodies, nasty water, broken levees, starving people dropping dead of dehydration and the need for aid. So when they tell you via FOX News, "Well gosh, we just didn't know." now you'll know better.

This is not much of a knitting blog lately, is it? I'm sorry. It's just that I'm really pissed off.

Here, I will assuage your ire with yarn AND a puppy.
Tiki plies BFS

Extra dark BFL plied with a creamy natural BFL extra fine both from Copper Moose (my favorite fiber vendor and still in business despite the really sad loss of their wife and mommy this last month). I need to work on my plying. I'm still not sure when it's overplied v. underplied and it's not the greatest, but it's really delicious despite me and I think this is gonna knit up into a fab chunky winter cap for someone. Right now I'm just focusing on making decent singles and learning to ply - perfection is a long way off.

The Upton Tea Quarterly arrived today. I have yearning. I'm running low on a lot of tea (there's been yarn to buy) and so many pleasurable moments have been spent perusing the catalog. I've narrowed it down to about 4 choices plus about twenty samples. Since I'm in a very "you can have this OR this but not both" place financially, I have to narrow the tea choices down to two tins and only ten samples. Difficulties abound. Woe. I lay my hand across my forehead and droop onto the chaise lounge, gathering Goth Points as I mope.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sometimes I just look around me and think to myself, "Please no more, the stupid burns so bad." I can't give any examples because there's just so many right now. But I'm gonna speak my mind and there's more than a bad word or two therein so I give you the official disclaimer and warning. If you don't like what I have to say, I don't want to hear about it. This is my opinion. This is not about you. Please not to be making it so.



I have this thing, that when my kids are grown (my oldest wants to shed her material possessions and go live on a beach in Thailand with "crust punks" and the youngest wants to raise horses and puppies but not kids, so I'm not anticipating grandbabies) and my husband dies before me (because they usually do in my family) I'm gonna chill out in a house somewhere with a bunch of cats, a sawed off 12 gauge and some rock salt. So whenever someone (not the Thai or curry delivery boy though) approaches my front porch.... BOOM. Picking rock salt out of the butt-ocks. It's a little scary, how all about the cat lady I get some days. And hey, if I get senile dementia (which also runs in my family), I will be able to hide my own Easter eggs and won't THAT be fun with all those cats?

But I digress.

Sometimes I change my mind. Like, when I see what some people are doing just because it's the right thing to do. Then I think maybe it's not such a bad idea to hang out with the rest of the human race. And sometimes, the stupid just burns and I start to think longingly of that rock salt again. It gets very conflicted in my brain some days.

Took a huge pile of clothing over to the local SA yesterday. The guy was shoving stuff onto the truck and he said, "This is nice stuff." in surprise. See, I think giving people your raggedy old nasty cast offs is just rude. So no holes, no rips, no horribly worn thin spots. I make no rules abut fugly because there is never any accounting for taste and one girl's fug is another's Valentino. But nothing raggedy. Raggedy goes into the scrap bag for quilts or into the trash where it belongs.

The guy told me I'd be horrified at some of the crap they get. The local SA's monthly garbage bill is >$40,000 a MONTH. Okay that's forty g that's not going to the poor, the needy, that's not housing, helping or doing jack for anyone. And that pisses me off. You add that up over one year? That is a horrifying amount of dollars that is not being used to help in my local community. Imagine that nationwide.

I used to be a welfare mom. Two kids. AFDC. Food stamps. We shopped at the SA. We still do sometimes but now that's by choice and don't I know it. Do you think I wanted to dress my kids or myself in raggedy, nasty, twenty years out of date crap when I couldn't afford new? No. Here's the thing. It kinda dehumanizes people when you expect gratitude for your garbage. Do not get me wrong, I've always been grateful for everything anyone has ever done for us - but I am not going to kiss someone's ass for it and I'm not going to fawn over something with the arse worn half out, like I'm completely thrilled to get it, ok? I'm not gonna magnanimously haul my garbage down there and expect them to say thank you and sort through it and throw half of it away because I was too half-arsed to do it myself and feel like they're lucky for the experience because that'd really blow ropy goat chunks. Throw the trash out. If you wouldn't be seen in it, don't inflict it on someone else.

I got rid of about half my wardrobe this week. One of the lessons for me in all of this has been, I could still live a lot lower on the food chain. I could still consume less. I could stand to have less and not suffer for it. This does not apply to yarn, fiber or knitting paraphernalia. I stood in front of my closet and realized I only wear about 7 outfits of all the clothes I have on a daily basis. I don't need all the black baby doll tees. I don't need three plaid schoolgirl skirts. I don't need two pairs of fugly yet serviceable mom jeans. It all went out. Someone'll like it, I'm sure. And there's suddenly room to breathe and I've got way less stuff to feel sad about losing if I ever do.

I still have way too much stuff. It seems to multiply when I am not looking.

So I'd like to liberally pepper the people fobbing trash off on the SA with rock salt. And the head of FEMA. And a lotta neocon fuckwits, and a few other people to boot. But see, I haven't got any rock salt, nor a shot gun and anyway, most people who need salting don't come near close enough to my front porch anyway to quote a friend of mine. Which is a damn shame.

In the absence of those things, I did a little spinning.


Did you know if you enter "spinning + los angeles" into Google, you get a bunch of advertisements for gym memberships?

People have too much stuff. More stuff than sense. And the stupid just burns and burns.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Siel asked: "But I don't get this knitting slump thing -- I mean, knitting's my fallback procrastination tool. If all else fails, I knit. Explain thyself, Will Pillage for Yarn --"

Knitting is how I express myself creatively right now. There's a lot of stuff that I do, like paint, pottery, beading, paper media, etc., but knitting has been my big thing for the last year. Putting together stitches and yarn and color and texture, it's like painting but in multiple dimensions. It's not so much a procrastination thing or a bored thing (though it can be that too!) as it is, a form of self and artistic expression.

I realized that right now, I am following patterns meekly, obediently and without a lot of courage or adventurousness in my heart. When I diverge from the pattern, I get stuck, make mistakes and cannot find my way out. Usually, I look at the pattern, nod, smile and then throw myself in and start changing, experimenting and altering. I so rarely make anything according to the pattern (with the exception of lace) there is always a twist, and when I run into a block, normally I just leap over it. I cook the same way as I knit. I *LIVE* the same way. Except, right now? I'm not.

Right now, the ability to twist, to create alchemy, to take something, leap and transmute it into something else with a spark, that's missing.

I'm quite sure it's the medication working out of my brain and I know it'll come back. I hope so anyway. I'm scared to think it won't. So when I say I'm in a slump, that's what I mean. I am meekly putting rounds in on a sock, repeating patterns on a scarf and the fire is not so much with the sparkiness these days.

I have to go read some Kay Jamieson. She's done some excellent work on the connections between the artistic temperament and manic depression and how to balance the two so that your art doesn't die when your meds are working and you don't sacrifice mental stability for your art... because as much as I love sanity and stability, the divine madness also has something to offer. Not being able to access the spark is unacceptable.

quiz thinger for SP6

We have to come up with $130 for So-chan's photography class this week. I didn't realize it was *SO* expensive and she needs all these supplies and things. She's kind of freaking out and offering to transfer into a "free" class, but I told her no, we'd find the money. She shouldn't have to worry about it. She's a good photographer. I want her to enjoy the class.

Money is the root of all evil. I want enough of it to have options and the choice to do what I want some of the time, to get my family out of LA if I have to, to weather a period of unemployment, but beyond that, I really don't care about stuff or status or money or being rich. I just want the *choices* that come with having a certain amount of money. The choice to pay for my kid's photography class and not worry about blowing off the phone bill. I want that so that my kid won't feel bad about taking a class. No kid should feel guilty for having something nice. Ever.

At the same time, it could be so much worse. We have food, a roof, a home, extras. We are incredibly lucky. We do have more options and choices than so many people. It's just all relative, I guess. Embrace relativity. Absolutes are a pain in the ass.

I am absolutely in a knitting slump, though. And I absolutely hate spiders. One just crawled near me. Ick.

******************************

This is a quiz thinger I'm supposed to fill out for SP6. So I'm filling it out and realizing what an utterly spoiled brat I am, really.

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you? I am *such* a yarn snob, at least in that I'm all, like, natural fiber girl. I am ALL ABOUT cheap natural fiber yarn though. As long as it feels good. Like, Knit Picks? OMG. Manna for yarn snobs on a budget.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?I spin, yes. On a drop spindle, mostly I've spun a whole lot of Blue Faced Leicester, some merino and corriedale. I LOVED spinning the merino. I'd like to try some silk blends sometime and maybe dying my own top.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.) Nut allergies. Severe ones. And, I hate the smell of cigarette smoke and I hate a lot of perfumes in general. I'm kinda into BPAL, but not conventional scents.

4. How long have you been knitting? Since last October/November. I taught myself.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yep. But more in the sense of "hey go find this on half.com" as far as Amazon goes.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) I'm a LUSH whore. I love the Avobath bombs.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
I'm laughing as I take this quiz. I'm so picky. Yes I have a sweet tooth but I only indulge in non ivory coast, fair trade, organic chocolate. Like, Scharffen Berger or Dagoba bars. So expensive. So only sold at Whole Foods. So not something I buy too often.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? crazy quilting, stamping, paper arts, mosaic, pottery, beading... I'm kinda nutty with the crafts like that. I have huge bins of Craft Crap that I shlep whenever we move. It always comes in handy at some point, so I don't throw that stuff out. You never know when you might need it.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Goth, industrial, bluegrass, celtic. I have very eclectic tastes.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?I like blues. Any blues, all blues, combinations of blues, reds, russet, purples. I like rich, dark, saturated colors. Like, Lorna's Laces "Mixed Berries" or "Irving Park". I think "rich" and "saturated" are the best words to describe my color preferences.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Puff and Bear, two elderly male cats, and Tiki, one energetic greyhound/jack russell mix puppy. All pound rescues.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know) To be a decent, compassionate person, to not be an asshole, to make the world a little better where I can and maybe also graduate from college with a master's degree in Library Science in my lifetime. Which, seeing as how I'm still in junior college, going part time, and am already 36, I am pushing it on the "in my lifetime" thing.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? Hands down, Lorna's Laces yarns. I adore them.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?acrylic. I really dislike acrylic yarns. I don't like how they feel in my hands.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? Lace (though I've been doing a lot of it in worsted on larger needles instead of with fiddly lace yarns) and socks (okay, those I prefer fiddly sock yarn and teensy needles). I'm actually in a bit of a knitting slump. Lotta WIPs, no inspiration to create anything new and fabulous.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Socks. Hands down, I love knitting socks. I have a sortof "master pattern" that I've adapted from various things on the web. Usually I'll take a stitch pattern and adapt it so that my basic sock style will still work rather than knit 100% according to someone's exact pattern.

17. What are you knitting right now?one pair of swap socks in Lorna's Laces, baby socks in Cascade Fixation, a lace scarf in Lorna's Laces and a hat in Lamb's Pride Bulky.

18. What do you think about ponchos? Just say no. Friends don't let friends wear ponchos. Friends don't KNIT friends ponchos.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?That depends on the project entirely. I use both.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?God, here I go again with the snob. I only use bamboo or wood. I hate plastic and metal. Wood or bamboo feels better. I have ONE pair of #9 Lantern Moon straights and adore them, they were a gift from my mommy.

21. Are you a sock knitter?See #15-17

22. How did you learn to knit?Self taught out of books and the internet and lurking on lists and in communities.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?Last December I started an Aran shawl. It weathered a trip across the country and a bad breakup. It's been languishing ever since.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?Totoro, foxes, kitsune.

25. What is your favorite holiday?Thanksgiving, actually. It's the one I spend with my mom. My mom is my favorite holiday.

26. Is there anything that you collect?Hmmm. Blue Willow ware. "Love and Kisses" or "Blue Toast and Marmalade" from Emma Bridgeware pottery. Mostly, though, I want to keep the *stuff* to a minimum. I have some cherished pieces, just a few.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?None. I love Interweave Knits and Spin Off, but not every issue flips my wagon, so I only buy the ones I like at my LYS.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?Dying? No. I've got so many free patterns bookmarked and books I haven't knit out of yet, already? I mean, there's books on my wishlist that I'd love to have, but I'm okay that I don't have them. I would not give up a latte, etc.

29. Any patterns you have been coveting, but haven't bought for one reason or another??Not really. Well, the Ribbi Cardi from Chicknits I sorta covet, have been known to hop over to that URL and fog up the glass and get prints on the window so to speak. It is teh cute, non?

Monday, September 05, 2005

$54,911.15

That's the tally over at Give A Little.

rock.
WHAT a completely bizarre study in contrasts this world can be.

Tonight I worked a bar mitzvah that took over the entire 3rd floor of a very chi chi LA hotel. I mean, folks, we're talking some serious bling. Lets see, there was me, there was the guy doing custom airbrush work, the sushi chef, the djs, bellydancer, the rappers - OMG, I swear, I KID YOU NOT, there was a performer whose schtick seemed to be rapping in Hebrew and clutching his yarmulke while flashing gang sign. Dj. Jazzy. Schlomo. Btw, don't get on me for not being PC. I am a Jew, I love Jews, they are my people and given all that, yeah. He came in yelling "Yo. Yo. Yo. Rabbi. In. Da. House." I about did a spit take. It was so terribly, terribly wrong. Like, Vanilla Ice wrong. Chicken McWrong.

The outlay to create this party boggles the mind. Hundreds of people there. I've seen weddings with less fuss. The children were dressed in designer clothing in the very latest style. I saw one thirteen year old girl wearing about sixty thousand dollars worth of real vintage diamonds and Tiffany pearls. My first husband was a goldsmith, so I know from jewelry and this was some serious JEWELRY.

There's a certain attitude that people of a particular financial echelon seem to have about "the help" and at this party I was "the help". I can't really explain it except that you are kind of a non person. You are there to competently provide a service, keep things running smoothly and handle problems so that nothing impinges on the party. You are the help. You are invisible, except when you are not. I don't mind being the help, but I find it amusing when they look right over me like I'm not there, WHILE I am providing my service to them. I did my gig, did some great henna and then got the heck out when my gig was up. I'll take any work that comes my way, but working a bar mitzvah is officially so not my favorite gig of all time.

I don't much care about the kind of party though. I just want to buy some groceries, get out of debt, pay our bills and maybe splurge on some yarn without HORRIBLE crushing guilt, sometime again when things are not really super tight.

When I got home, I found this in my email:
I am from New Orleans, but have lived in LA for 5 years. 80% of family lived in New Orleans. Several are still missing. I don't have the means to provide for all of them. Right now, I have a 70 year old aunt in need of a place. She is also diabetic, she cannot stay in a shelter for a long time. She also walks with cane. I have a brother with a wife a two toddlers that need a place. My best friend, his wife and two children need a place also. I have only been able to locate a fraction of my family. Anything you can do....

It's a funny old world that has such extremes in it.

We are going to be trying to help these people. I know some folks from LA read my blog, do you know of anyone with space, with a rental property, or who has a spare bedroom? Email me in comments. Lets try to get these folks a place to stay, ok?

If you live somewhere else in the country, please consider taking in a family or a person or a dog or a cat or someone.

Please.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Big schmancy party tonight, hourly guaranteed rate plus tips, LOVE those. We could use the money. It's not a regular thing yet and I wish it were. If I had just one good party a week it'd be a huge help to us. As it is, it's about one good party a month. Still better than nothing. I suck at self promotion. I am hoping that maybe I can talk Amaya into booking me into the parties she won't take (she charges more than me) for a cut off the top. Like, a henna subcontractor.

Car is packed. Chairs, brass table, all the goodies. Henna kit is next to the door and so are the books. Sari is clean and choli is hung, baubles are selected. I swear, it's like theatre and yeah, it's fun to wear that hat. I've got my hands liberally henna'ed as well which means I can't knit. It's always such a conundrum. Yarn or beauty?

I've got this terrible feeling that I'm forgetting something really important but i cannot for the life of me think of what it might be. I bloody *hate* the feeling of impending doom, of knowing you're going to get to the party and go "Oh SHIT." and have to send someone back. Fortunately the boi is coming along to keep me company, I hope he won't be bored off his skull in there. It's a Bar Mitzvah, so we won't get fed, very fancy, VERY formal, very clear distinction between paid help and guests. I always like the laid back parties in someone's home a lot better - usually they feed you and you can chat up the guests and the bar is open....

Remember the first commandment, Thou Shalt Not Get Yarn Near Henna Paste? I'm amending it. Thou Shalt Not Get Yarn Anywhere Near Henna Paste Or Jack Russell Terriers. I can't find a skein of yarn to match the one he ate anywhere and I really need it. Blast.
$40,745.75

The number keeps on rising over at Give A Little (see icon in sidebar and click for details).

That's just SO awesome, ya'll.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

This just in. Dogs really DO steal yarn. Who knew?

What do you get when you're at the dog park and you combine one skein of Plymouth Encore, 5 dpns, a project hanging on those dpns, and a Jack Russell Terrier named Tabby?

You get stolen yarn, that's what you get.

You also get to spend the next HOUR running around the dog park (BIG CITY BLOCK SIZED DOG PARK) after Tabby, frantically begging him to drop the knitting, trying not to pee yourself laughing, along with every other dog owner who is chasing Tabby to help you.

Tabby is very nimble. Tabby's eyes are sparkling. Tabby's tail is wagging. Tabby can leap single benches in a single bound and evade being tackled, grabbed or restrained without working up a sweat.

If you're lucky, someone grabs the back of Tabby's harness and you manage to get the dpns before he gets loose.

Eventually, the yarn ends up in the poo bin after someone wrestles it away from Tabby. And I do mean wrestle. The dog was hanging on to the yarn and being hung up 3 feet from the ground and would. not. let. go. It took two sticks and a frisbee to get the dog to let go of the yarn and even then someone almost got bit.

If you're really lucky, Tabby will not then go over to where you were sitting and try to steal your felted Booga bag because it too is made of yarn, and Tabby has a previously undiscovered yarn fetish.

if you're lucky.

That's what a skein of Plymouth Encore, Tabby, a couple of dpns and the Westminster dog park add up to on a Saturday afternoon.

Dad, I'm sorry. A dog ate your Christmas present. No, really. A dog. ate. your. christmas. present. Good thing it's August and not like, Christmas Eve, because that would suck.
$31,220.00
That's the tally of what the knitting community has raised for the Red Cross thanks to the Give A Little fundraiser.

The Convention Center in NOLA has been evacuated. Finally. Thank god.

News choppers have begun dropping food and water when they see people trapped in their homes by the flooding waters. God bless them.

Refugees are starting to find shelter. Every city in America is taking people in, and you can help out. Over 17,000 beds have been volunteered.

You can foster a NOLA animal in desperate need until it can be reunited with family.

When this is said and done folks, the federal government needs to be held accountable, FEMA needs to be held accountable, and we'd better not shut up about it.

FEMA won't let the Red Cross in

the US Forest Service offered water tanker aircraft and other aid to put out fires, but FEMA couldn't get their shit together and authorize it.

Utah offered to take a thousand refugees but FEMA won't give them permission.

Arizona sent search and rescue crews and other aid but FEMA kept them out.

Virginia relief team was mobilized and told not to come.

This group of doctors was ready to go, and FEMA told them to go to the Red Cross who in turn told 'em to go ask FEMA who in turn told them to go to the Red Cross who..... yeah. They're still at home, and not in NOLA.

The active military can't get in there without a request from FEMA. and FEMA hasn't asked them... why?

Bush says "hour by hour the situation on the ground is improving." and all I have to say is, not because of anything you've done, Mr. President. Shame. No I will not shut up. YOU, Mr. President, you shut up and do your job, ok?
No, I'm not shutting up on this one. Sorry.

The Red Cross has released a press statement. They are not being allowed into the city to provide aid.

YES IT IS BETTER TO DONATE MONEY THAN STUFF, but ya know what? If the ARC can't get in because Homeland Security isn't letting them in, then other people rightfully have to move in to take up the slack.

There are some camps and centers being set up now, and they are taking STUFF. Here's some info, via CODE Pink:

Drop Much Needed Relief Supplies To:

CAMP CASEY III, in Covington, LA - Veterans and other Camp Casey Alumni have set up a relief station at Reverend Peter Atkins Park in Covington. Corner of 28th and Tyler in Covington, Louisiana.

ALSO: Mail or Drop Much Needed Supplies To:
Houston CODEPINK activist Madeleine Crozat-Williams
4819 Blossom St, Durham TX 77007, (between Wachington Ave and Memorial Dr. one mile south of I10 inside loop 610)
Today she is doing a clothing drive, the clothes will go to the Astrodome. Call for drop off 713-802-2530 or use UPS to send. Supplies will be driven to Covington.

WATER
Baby supplies (diapers, formula, ointments)
Canned peanut butter and non-perishable food
Low fat powdered milk
Fresh fruit
Energy bars
Shelter, camping tents, shade tents
Flashlights
Portable toilets
First aid kits
Gasoline
Generators
Clothing and shoes
Toiletries, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo etc.

Via Fox News, people are not being allowed to walk out of and leave the city, the convention center, the mess. The National Guard, our government, state officials are FORCING THEM TO STAY when there is food, water and shelter across the river. Write your congressperson and ask them WHY? Don't believe me? Hey, even FOX news is carrying this one. First time in my life I've agreed with Geraldo Rivera.

Sorry guys. There's just no knitting content today.

Friday, September 02, 2005

It has been 5 days. Today, they started getting food and water through. Also, coincidentally, they had a lot of photo ops of hthe Prez on tour, and my did he look concerned. Nice bit about Trent Lott's front porch there, btw. That was, um, well that was just sensitivity in action, that's what it was. Because the people who are dropping DEAD FROM DEHYDRATION really care that Trent Lott's house will be rebuilt* or that N'awlins will be a party town again. Don't much care about that right now. Care more about water and bussing people out, kthxbye.

They've had camera crews in there for days. Where is the water? If the news crews could get in, why couldn't the WATER? Yeah, I'm a bit hung up on the "no food or water for 5 days" issue. I keep imagining my husband and children in that convention center and breaking down. If it were my family down there dying, I'd be "locating" bottles of water at Rite Aid too. Whatever it took to keep them alive. I'm sorry, but I would be. I am horrified at the mess my government has made of this.

Speaking of camera crews, a very nice lady from the news called my house and asked if she could interview me today. I don't know that I'm comfortable getting interviewed for helping. I mean, we should just all help. But yeah, I guess spokespeople are good and getting the word out is good. So I sent her URLs about the knitter's fundraiser and the goth community coming together. Maybe there'll be someone witty and smart who will give good press and who is better at it than me. I hope so.

Keep on helping, y'all.

*what do you want to bet it'll be rebuilt long before most of the displaced have homes and businesses to go back to? Oh never mind me. I'm discouraged today and the President's tour of the area, instead of giving me hope, just made me feel more sad for those people. We can't clean this one up with fancy speeches and I hope that our politicians and the leaders down there put the good of the community before their own personal, creature comforts.
Two words. Stash Aid. In a few months, when the lights are on and the waters have pulled back, when people are rebuilding and the totality of their losses keep adding up, it'll be really all the more devastating. I remember about 11 years ago when we had a *small* flood in our house, I lost a few books of photos. It wasn't until months later that I began to remember exactly which pictures were in those albums and I was pretty sad. I know that there's gonna be a lot of that for months and years to come, long after the immediate crisis has passed.

We can help by donating some of our GREAT STASH YARN and needles and supplies. No we can't replace everyone's stuff, but we can put needles and yarn back into some knitty hands and I bet you anything they'll really need the comfort.

Knitting is great therapy. Lets keep this one on the back burner.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

So, it's a mess down there. We're all watching and it's just terrible and the thing that is the hardest for me is that I don't feel like there's much at all that I can do to help except give information and donate a little money to the relief efforts.

Zeneedle and a whole BUNCH of knit bloggers are doing a fund raiser over at Give A Little and they've set up a blog for it. Instead of giving my lovely laceweight yarn away here, I think it would be more effective to send my readers THERE and donate the yarn as a prize for their efforts instead of giving it away here like I'd planned originally. So go read. If you gave, let 'em know what you did - they're putting together one hell of a relief effort and some nice giveaways for people.

Here's some stuff you can do:

FEMA explains how to donate effectively:
http://www.fema.gov/rrr/help2.shtm
and similarly, "What is the best way to help?

Offer to house survivors and the evacuated.

Stitches from the Heart in Santa Monica is collecting their usual
items to help babies in the hurricane aftermath area, as well as some
hurricane-specific items, which will be distributed via a church in
the Gulf region:

--NEW clothing for children, babies or anyone -- many people had to
escape in a hurry in their P.J's or just could use a fresh change of
clothes. Please note they are not collecting used or gently used
clothing, just new and unused. Underwear probably is a good idea too,
hey?

--Soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, travel hairbrush --
especially travel sized or free-from-the-hotel size or stuff from the
dollar store. Personal hygiene items that would help a displaced
person who has NOTHING. Especially soaps, they said. (We'll throw in
a few handknit washcloths!!)

--CASH -- Stitches spends more than $2,000 per month shipping hand
knit baby items to hospitals across the country. This month will
bring a hefty postage bill with the additional shipping, and with
shipping much heavier items (like soap). Even if you can't knit, you
can still help knitters helping others with a tax-deductible cash
donation to Stitches.

--Baby hats - they always need. Lots of babies are still in hospitals
with chilly A/C.

--Baby blankets - they appear to have a slight shortage now.
Hopefully Knitzilla's scrubbie blanket initiative will help a little.

Stitches From the Heart
3306 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Email: stitchfromheart@aol.com
Phone: (310)452-5151

They are an IRS approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contact
them if you would like to have a receipt for your charitable donation.

Round up your Petco bill when you buy catfood.

http://www.yarn.com is donating 10% of all their sales from now till 9/10 to hurricane relief, via the Red Cross.

http://www.truthlaidbear.com/katrinacharities.php

http://www.rainbowfund.org/donate/ this group is sortof like, a queer Red Cross - and not just helping the GLBT community.

http://www.livejournal.com/users/simplykimberly/341368.html - Quilts. Consider donating a square or two, some batting, etc. Our Em is sewing some patchwork squares to help with this one.

Organizations helping people:
http://gbgm-umc.org/umcor/emergency/hurricanes/2005/#katrina
http://www.er-d.org/
http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/
http://www.bnaibrith.org
http://www.ujc.org
http://www.urj.org/relief
http://www.redcross.org

Organizations helping animals:
http://www.hsus.org/
http://www.livejournal.com/users/ijk/580836.html
http://www.noahswish.com/
http://www.nsalamerica.org/
http://www.hsnwla.org/
http://www.la-spca.org/