Sunday, October 30, 2005

Well it is not too late to get into the Nov/Dec farmer's market in my neighborhood, so I 'm seriously pondering getting a half booth there and putting out some baskets with the Spiral Noro hats and selling 'em for between $20-$30 (depending on whether I use Kureyon, Silk Garden or Iro) as knit hats certainly seem to be in style right about now and I've had a lot of interest in them. So we'll see. To that end, I've got one on needles and I'm gonna use up a bunch of my stashed Noro to make some more. I will either sell them or give them away as gifts over the holidays.
I've knit up two over the weekend, but those were for me, from yarn I bought for myself last year when I was knitting for everyone ELSE. SO I got these two skeins of yarn (Iro and Silk Garden) and swore I'd not give 'em away, but I'd make my own damn hats. Well it's a whole year later that I've made 'em, but hey, better late than never. They're made and they're mine. Last year, as soon as a hat came off the needles, SOMEONE would claim it. This year, I'm being a little more selfish, at least with these two. The one on the left is Iro, on the right is Silk Garden and then there's the Kureyon that I've got on the needle that is going into the "hat stash" of sale/gift hats. As you can see, I definitely favor black as a base when it comes to my own wardrobe.

I've got a ton of Noro Kureyon left over from the Pekoe Bags, but not enough of any one color to really make a large project. Perfect for hattage.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

If I start going on about the situation in the Middle East, then I'll have to start in about the whole mess in the White House and how annoyed I am that someone is taking the fall for Rove (because ya know? He's not gonna go down. They'll find another fall guy.) And I'd have to rant about how pissed I am about the continued lack of help for Katrina folks and the fact that the situation in Pakistan is an unholy mess with a bunch of people gonna freeze to death this winter because they can't even get tents to these people and....

ya know?

I'm gonna stick to yarn. Yarn almost never makes me yank at my hair, froth at the mouth and start spluttering very bad words that scare the cats.

Yay yarn.
So the gentleman whose blog I linked to yesterday replied - yay trackback I guess? Anyway. This is part of what he said...

"I too would like to see people just get along. However, I don't believe that can happen until the Palestinians, and muslims in general, stop these types of rants, these types of "sermons", and move to reconciliation. AND I don't think it will happen until they also condemn the very behavior that they ululate to in the streets."

First off, Todd, thanks for replying. I don't believe I said that you specifically said all Palestinians are bad or wrong in my post, nor was it my intent to imply that you said such a thing. Sorry if I came off that way, really. What I wanted to, meant to say there was, that I did feel your viewpoint was pretty harsh and while I didn't agree with what you said, I totally support your right to say it. It's just, the tone felt a little hateful to me. Perhaps I am confusing anger (and believe me, I am also pretty angry about what was said and a lot of stuff going on over there) with hatred. It is quite possible.

What you say in your comment about things not moving forward until this behavior stops, I agree with. However. I also believe that Israel needs to stop. I believe that there needs to be condemnation of the behavior of both sides from the global community and both sides need to get their collective heads out of their collective asses before anything will stop.

I believe that someone has to be brave enough to put the first rock down. And then? LEAVE THE ROCKS ALONE. For a good long while. Generations, maybe. Right now, there is a generation of Palestinian children and a corresponding generation of Israeli children and they are growing up watching the fighting, listening to the rhetoric, watching people die and as they grow, we all watch the hatred increase exponentially. There is no reason for them to want to put the rocks down. It seems like everytime a process of peace starts, both sides do exactly what is guaranteed to derail it. It is such an old fight and such a new one at the same time. The pot keeps getting stirred and it's not just the Muslim world that is stirring it. Everyone has a spoon in there. Too many cooks, yadda yadda.

I have hope. If the IRA can sit down with the British, anything is possible. But I think that became possible because over a period of time, people gradually began throwing fewer rocks and their kids grew up not hating as much and eventually, a dialogue became possible. Our interpersonal problems go back a little farther. Maybe it's gonna take a few more generations for us to get there. I just don't see us getting there any time soon.

It makes me incredibly sad.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Gratuitious Pictures

One Skein Noro Spiral Brim Hat
One Skein Spiral Brim Noro Hat in Kureyon

in progress, One Skein Noro hat
in Silk Garden, work in progress

Knitty Gritty Hat
Hat from Knitty Gritty show, on kid.

SP6 sheep
SP6 sheep, came with food and poo! <3 the sheep. Seriously. Love the sheep. Sheep has garnered praise from all members of family.

SP6 swagginess... Israeli "Kif Kef" bars, stitch markers, mojo box, incense, sheep, keyring, red strings, harissa, little Israeli flag, etc. I hung the house blessing up and it didn't make it into the pics, nor did postcards. But seriously shiny, non?

tiki and sadie, running i
gratuitous dog park shot

One Skein Noro On A Budget Spiral Rib Hat

I think maybe we all have some love for the Noro and if you're like me, you cannot really afford to fully indulge your love of this fab yarnage. I mean, I can get a skein, sure. But what can you make with a SKEIN? Well, a One Skein Wonder from Glampyre maybe (though with Noro, I'm thinkin possibly that'd take a skein and a half or so) and the obvious, a hat. I've seen a couple of Noro hat patterns floating around, all designed to take advantage of the One Skein Is All I Can Afford issue. Here's the one I sortof adapted for myself last winter....

One Skein Noro Spiral Brim Hat
In Kureyon

The One Skein Noro On A Budget Hat

1 skein Noro Kureyon or Silk Garden or Iro
1 16" #10 circular needle (#10.5 if you are using Iro, #9 if you are using Silk Garden)

My pattern gives you a nice loose fabric and there really is no gauge required, just preference. I live in LA. To paraphrase Crazy Aunt Purl, who is quite possibly the funniest knitter/writer/wine drinker/cat lady EVAR? When it gets cold here, the trendanistas put on 8' long skinny scarves over their tank tops and maybe shift to Ugg boots with their teensy skirts. Bwah! She slays me. Is also pathetically true.

You will want to use smaller needles with Silk Garden or it won't fit right. With Iro and Kureyon, there seems to be more elasticity and a slightly more snug fit.

If you live in a cold place and warmth is really an issue, consider using the Iro on a #10 needle. Otherwise, pass me a cold drink with an umbrella in it and my mittens, please.

cast approx 80 stitches give or take. You can adjust it up or down a little depending on desired fit. You'll be working a K2P2 rib. Basically, every 3 rows, just move the ribbing over one stitch and as the hat grows, you get a spiral ribbed hat. When you have approx. 6" of hat on the needles in spiral rib or however much you need for your noggin, go on and start your decreases.

K2tog after every 4 stitches around one row
Knit/Purl around 1 row
K2tog after every 3 stitches around one row
K/Purl in pattern around 1 row
K2tog after every 2 stitches around one row
Knit around 1 row
K2tog after every 1 stitch around one row
Knit around one row
K2tog around

break yarn with a tail, thread through remaining stitches, tie off or braid and you can have a little braided tasselly thing. I suppose if you wanted earflaps annd had extra yarn, you could pick up stitches on either side and make those but here in LA, who needs earflaps?

Iro (top) and Silk Garden (lower)

This is a great pattern for Noro yarn and the spiral ribbing shows off the self striping patterns beautifully. I've made a ginormous amount of these hats and they are always quickly snatched up by someone. Like, my teenager who has a stash of them in various colorways. When I give them as gifts, they are very well received. Plus? Noro. Who can afford a ton of Noro? I can't. This allows me to use wonderful yarn, enjoy the process and I get the joy of giving something utterly luxe, yet stay on a budget when gifting.

I don't like what this man is saying. And I don't like what the Palestinians he's quoting were saying. I don't like any of it. See, yeah, Jew. Totally. Family, at least of the far extended sort on the maternal side, living there. Have friends who have family there. Have a friend in the Israeli Army. Worry about their safety and their lives, all the time. Got it? NOT HAPPY WITH THE SITUATION IN ISRAEL.

I don't love that there are Muslim clerics (or clerics of any sort really or anyONE) who are preaching the destruction of the Jewish people.

I have not forgotten the Holocaust, I don't ever forget that we're a People who have been persecuted and driven out of our homes and murdered for thousands of years. I don't think someone can be a Jew and forget that.

I do not love that Palestinian suicide bombers feel the need to desecrate our holy places when we leave Gaza, blow up our busses and kill us. It makes me ill. They hated us enough to oppose the creation of Israel. They hated us enough to try to destroy Israel then and they are still trying. I don't know who the hell started it, way back, but suffice it to say, there's enough hatred and enough killing on either side that "who started it" seems moot to me. They throw a rock at us, we throw a rock at them, when the hell does it stop?

What makes me sad is that we, or at least some of the Jewish people, are meeting hatred with hatred. Granted, nobody I know has been blown up lately. I don't worry about a bomber in my Starbucks, on the bus, in the marketplace. I haven't lost anyone. I don't live in fear. Maybe that's the difference. I don't live in fear each day, my life is not steeped in anger. I should also point out that I don't live in a pathetic refugee city, nobody threw me out of my home when they created a new nation and the army hasn't bulldozed my house or sent rockets to blow up insurgents living next door. Not a lot of that going on in LA. So honestly, I probably really don't get it. I am an outsider.

I may be an outsider to this conflict, but I am a Jew and I will say that I do not think that the entire Palestinian people or for that matter, all Muslims, are bad. I do not think all Muslims are filled with hatred against Jews. I do not believe we can judge an entire people by the words of a few clerics and a few radicals and a few really pissed off terrorist type people. I live down the street from one of the largest mosques in Los Angeles. These people are my neighbors and they are good neighbors. They are active in my community and the spiritual leaders there reach out to the Jewish community all the time. We live and work together. When a small bunch of Jewish radicals plotted to bomb my neighbors place of worship shortly after 9/11, I was very upset. We live here. We must live together.

I think that "anti-Palestine" propaganda is just as damaging, hateful and destructive as "anti-Jew" propaganda. It is all hate and in my opinion, hate is never okay. Ever. Hatred leads to suffering and here we all are, smack dab on the Dark Side of the Force, lobbing rockets at each other.

Pot, meet Kettle. We're all pissed off.

Maybe this is gonna lose me my Jew card.

I firmly believe that we must learn to live together in peace, all people, and we all need to stop the hatred. It is not okay coming out of Jewish mouths, it is not okay coming out of Christian mouths, it is not okay coming out of Muslim mouths, it is not okay, PERIOD.

Do unto others. I believe that we are supposed to act in a way that we want other people to emulate. I believe we are supposed to set an example by being loving, compassionate and good to all people. I do not believe in an eye for an eye because eventually, you end up with a lot of blind people. A lot of dead bodies. A lot of hate and a lot of tears.

Like I said, maybe this makes me a bad Jew, maybe it is going to lose me friends, maybe I will piss people off by saying this. I am unapologetically not gonna perpetuate hatred of any people, no matter how sad and angry I am about the actions of some of them.

We gotta learn to live together and that means both sides need to stop it. Just, knock it the hell off.

I don't know that it is possible to get through centuries of rage, hatred and murder, enough for that to happen. And that makes me want to pull something over my head, rub my face with ashes and start keening. If we can't get past it, we are truly doomed.

I think G-d challenges us to love each other and not just the people who are easy to love. Maybe G-d wants us to love the person who is holding the gun that is holding the bullet with our name on it. Maybe G-d wants us to love the person who hates us, most of all. I dunno. I'll ask G-d when I get the chance. It's only my opinion.

""I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction."

You could replace "Jew" with just about anything. Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist... I think maybe what Shakespeare was trying to say was, maybe the whole revenge thing should be rethunk. Maybe, not so much with the revenge thing.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I wore black. Oh, c'mon, you knew I would. I totally jacked the gorgeous red Debbie Bliss cashmerino Branching Out that I made Dad's gf so I have to wash and reblock that before the hols. Either that or maybe I'll keep it and knit her something else. Maybe she might want something else. I have to decide. I could always keep the one I got dirty and knit another BO for her, right? Right. Whoah. Like, tangent. Anyway. I also wore my $5 uber cool leopard fuzzy creepers from the thrift store. I put on makeup and had good hair. Before noon. You have to understand, I homeschool. That means, I can wear pajamas until noon if I want unless we are going out somewhere. So the act of putting on makeup, doing my hair, finding clothing that is clean, unwrinkled and suitable for outside and then getting my arse into gear and getting to Burbank before 10am? That's nothing short of... well... it was a challenge. I had some help though. This morning when I got into the shower, a big ass SPIDER jumped on my naked ARM and it was like a scene out of Psycho really. The spider died. There was a whole, going down the drain, dead spider scene, with me standing OUTSIDE of the shower twitching anxiously until it was GONE.

I can assure you, after the spider, I was quite awake. As were the upstairs neighbors and most of the neighbors in all the adjacent buildings.

Anyway. The shoot was a ton of fun. We made a ski hat with earflaps and a HUGE pompom out of fabulous Lorna's Laces yarn. The crew was awesome, there were snacks, we had a great producer, everyone was super nice and we had a fun day. It was a very "family" themed show, with a mom and her two kids as the guest designer/knitters and then Em and I as the "Knitsters". I highly recommend it if you ever get a chance to do the show. Apparently they are currently showing season 3, my show will be in season 4, so not aired for a few months. I'll post here when it is and y'all can marvel at my thrifty shoes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Can I just add, as a possible solution to the Not Wearing Black Issue that I am having with Knitty Gritty right now, my only real solution is to add a brightly colored novelty scarf over a black tee shirt and pray that breaks it up enough to go on camera.

Which means, I'm gonna go on a KNITTING SHOW looking like LA Cliche Novelty Scarf Girl with my 8 foot long skinny scarf made out of Berocco fuzzy sparkle muppet fur that I knit back when I couldn't actually really knit anything. So all the knitters will point at me and say "God, what a dork, look at what she is wearing and OMIGOD, Novelty Scarf Girl."

Truly. I panic.

I suppose I could steal the Branching Out I made as my dad's girlfriend's Christmannukahkwanzamas present and wear that. Except, then she'd be getting a worn scarf. But I could wash it gently in Dreft and reblock and she'd never know, right? Right?

Did I mention, panic?
Well we got started on our projects for tomorrow's Knitty Gritty shoot. Actually, I had to get both projects started. It was complicated to get this thing sorted out on the needles and way over Em's skill level. So I got it to the point where she could knit it in the round - she has not mastered increases, cable cast ons or even purling really. Now she's knitting handily away. Knit stitch, no worries. Tomorrow should be fun.

A few problems.

1. No wear black. It looks bad on camera. Er. But see, I don't really own anything that isn't black. I can count the number of NOT black items I own on one hand. Really. I have... a lime green top, a red choli, a green wool sweater and a pink ripped up Vday shirt. I'd count my green Oscar the Grouch shirt but we're not allowed to wear anything with logos, so that's out. EVERYTHING ELSE IS BLACK.

2. No logos. Everything I own that is a tee shirt, just about, has logos or a snarky little cartoon character or someone's trademarked design on it.

3. Dress "conservatively" even though "this is not your grandmother's knitting show." Er. I don't OWN anything conservative. Not anymore. I threw all that crap out. It's all fun all the time, baby. If it aint' my grandma's knitting show, I should be allowed to wear UV reactive yarn dreads, knee high steel toed industrial boots and striped stockings. Period. Conservative. Hmph. I thought the point was, hipster DIY girl here.

I should be going to bed. Instead? I am frantically ripping my closet apart and trying on outfits. It's worse than going out to Dungeon for the night, swear to god.

So yeah. Please. Tune in, Tivo, and get prepared to laugh your ass off at whatever I manage to pull out of my ass as "conservative" and "not black".

Knitting? There's knitting content to this show? No, no, really, it is ALL ABOUT WHAT I AM WEARING ON TELEVISION.

At least they gave me free yarn. Which will compensate a little, when I get the TIVO of this thing after it airs, and I realize just how dorktastic I looked on national television that all my friends and family tuned in to see. Yeah. That'll help.
Several skeins of very luxe yarn arrived at my door via DHL courier this morning. That? That did not suck. I mean... FREE yarn.... came... to... my... house.... and I did not have to go out and hunt it down and gather it. Granted, it's for the Knitty Gritty shoot tomorrow, it isn't like I get to do what I WANT with it, but still.... yarn. Of the Lorna's variety. Yum. Being a knitster doesn't suck.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Oh of all the times for my digital camera to be fussy! See... a SP6 package arrived today and it came ALL THE WAY FROM ISRAEL!!! *poing* My mailman was very impressed. I was very impressed! I think I was probably more excited than the mailman, though, to be truthful. I think I may've even scared him a little when I squee'ed at him. The return mailing label? It is also written in Hebrew.

There is all manner of interesting stuff in there. I will take pictures when I get the camera working. There were red strings (real, actual ones)! Spice with the same name as my dance troupe! Postcards! A magic, handmade box with things in it of much shininess! And there was a funny sheep (the funny sheep came with funny sheep poo, actually, and a little roll of hay and also an Israeli flag...) and KitKat bars that have Hebrew writing on them! OMG. It is so very shiny. And allllll manner of Evil Eye and khamsa goodness which, anyone who knows me, knows I get very excited about.

Peektures soon! Thank you SEEKRUT PAL!!! You rock the socks, yo.

It seems to be somewhat symbolic, actually, the timing of this box. This week, my dad sent me the name and address of the Rabbi of my synagogue (the one that I grew up and went to shul at) and told me that she might be helpful about assuaging some of my Temple Anxiety and answer some of my questions so that I don't look like a total dork when I find a synagogue of my own here in LA to go to. A friend over on LJ was talking about wishing there were some kind of Ashkenazi For Dummies class that those of us who (for whatever reason) stopped practicing very young could go to, just to avoid this kind of agonizing not knowing. Not knowing the words, not knowing what people are doing, not knowing, period. And of course, my grandmother is dead so I can't bug her. Dad is being helpful though. And I'm sure the Rabbi will be even more so.

Maybe it's silly, but I have some red string tied around my wrist now and it feels like tying that one on kindof was symbolic of renewing ties to faith and the Jewish community. Like I said. The timing is just... uber cool.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Well it would be official. I'm gonna be a Knitster on the DIY Network's Knitty Gritty this week! Well, they're shooting the episode this week, but I have no actual clue when that episode will be aired - though of course, I'll be sure to post it here when I find out! Em'll be part of the shoot too, how cool is that? The producer who we talked to was really keen on the homeschooled kid thing and this project is perfect for her. What project is that? Well you'll just have to watch Knitty Gritty when it airs and find out, won't you?

It should be a fun gig. At the moment, I am less worried about a long day of being on a set with Em than I am about the fact that I'm awfully grey around the roots and haven't colored my hair in ages... maybe I'll have a little date with some Miss Clairol before Thursday.

tiki, rainy
I think that might be a good idea. Tiki seems to concur.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I have not been in much of a knitting mood this past week, however I've been a spinning fiend. Spun up the rest of the Mystery Batt and got 6 miniskeins of a nice variegated, heathery, 3 ply yarn which I think shall become a roll brim hat for the winter. Have started spinning up some of the cream colored BFL from Copper Moose - it seems happy to become fingering weight singles and I will probably either navajo ply or do a 2 ply yarn from it. I let some ply back on itself and it is a really soft, fluffery yarn.

Am probably going to experiment with Koolaid dying this after it is spun and I might take some of the unspun Corriedale roving I've got lying around and Koolaid dye that as well. I'm curious to see which method I like better. Fun!

Spinning. Who knew? It really is the new black.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

There comes a point in every person's life where they realize that they have to call the doctor (again) and ask if it is still reasonable that they are sick, sick sick, with *list of symptoms omitted* after a whole month and two rounds of very strong, broad spectrum antibiotics. If, like me, that person has also had their left front tire blow out and the cat rack up a $330 vet bill in the same week, they are perhaps... reluctant to go back to the doctor. Because as nice as he is, the deductible isn't met yet.

When it rains? It pours. And it has been pouring here in LA, though certainly not at all along the lines of what it has been doing in New Hampshire, New Jersey and what it might be doing down in Florida.

So yeah. There's me, sick and grouchy. There's the youngest child, who is grouchy and also feeling sick. The cat, limping and grouchy. And the weather. Grouchy. Plus we've got a houseguest visiting from back East, so despite illness and wanting to lounge about with tea in jammies, I am feeling somewhat compelled to show her a good time and take her places, except we haven't got a car because the cat's front tire blew out at the same time as the car's front tire and cat trumps car, so we're taking the wonderful LA Metro transit system everywhere and it is HARD to get around LA without a car. Not impossible. Difficult. Requires planning and time. Which, if you'd rather be lounging in jammies with a steaming mug of Theraflu, kinda blows ropy goat chunks.

Today we are off to a yarn shop and then to Olveras Street in search of some Dia De Los Muertos swagginess. And there is theoretically a trip to Perversion on the agenda for tonight, but I might just beg off that and let my houseguest go with my friend who is driving. Because I honestly don't see how I'm going to get better if I'm hanging about in stompy clubs with my germy old self. At least I am getting good hostess points.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

roving, single
Well you take some of this.... and you spin some nice, even, fingering weight singles and then....

you Navajo ply it....
navajo plied

and you get this wonderful sort of heavy worsted, variegated, heathered, yarny goodness.

I have reached a breakthrough in spinning and am now getting somewhat more even looking and very fabulous yarn. I've really felt for the longest time that I was wasting fiber in a way. Yes, getting something yarnlike, but nothing that I'd want to actually knit with for any kind of nice project. The stuff I'm turning out now? I'd knit with it and I'd give it away. It's not perfect, but it's definitely clicked up a level.

Still sick as a dog. I've managed a few trips out and about here and there, but nothing too taxing and when I come home, I invariably regret having gone out in the first place. I just want my damn life back, yanno?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Welcome to the suck. Still not King.

Opted to invest in the henna biz this month instead of in pottery or yarn. Bought myself an Alex Morgan tribal design book. There's three more I want to get in this series (Tribal II, and the two Origins books), and then I'd like to eventually invest in the Warriors and Celts books, but this is good building block material to start with. Tribal is not my forte. Booked a children's party for Dec and tribal style is always popular with people of all ages, men and women alike. Mental note: buy lumiere powder, hair glue and cosmetic grade glitter for practice of gilding techniques. Make children into canvases. Tap Dancing Lizard is the BEST DESIGN SOURCE EVAR for henna art and I'm trying to figure out how to fair isle some of these motifs.

Frogged the Trinity candle pattern scarf. Too busy. Recasting on with one less repeat, will work better. Rather than three full candle patterns every other row alternating with two half patterns and two full patterns, this will work out to a row of two full patterns alternating with a row of half, full, half, centering the middle pattern and creating a triangular motif. as it climbs up.
~ & & ~
~ & ~
~ & & ~

Or something like that, anyway.

Friday, October 14, 2005

yarn vomit + KSH + very tired, sick knitter + sweaty hands + dropped stitch = putting KSH into stash gulag at BOTTOM of lace weight bin, muttering very bad words and throwing the circular needles across the room, thus startling and offending the cat.

Dear KidSilkHaze.
F*ck you very much. I hate you. You have an utterly undeserved reputation for wonderfulness. You sit there in your ball and you look all fluffery and alluring but it is a LIE. I bought you in a frenzy of yarn-lust fueled excitement and like so many first dates gone horribly wrong, you have turned out to be nothing but drama under a pretty facade. That's right. Pretend all you want. I really know that you feel unappealingly crunchy, you stick together, you are fussy, high maintenance, and you MOCK MY PAIN.

Die in a fire.

No love,
The Yarnpirate

guaranteed to strike horror into the heart of any knitter.

Yarn vomit + Kid Silk Haze.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Okay, have I mentioned the suck factor? Because this sucks. Day #3, round #2, antibiotics supposedly working? I'll have to assume. My lungs are seriously doubting it. If anything, feeling worse.

Oxygen deprivation doesn't seem to be limiting my knit fu though. Finished the 2nd Branching Out in the Debbie Bliss, that is blocking and I cast on another lace scarf in my own design. Doing a 3 repeat Candle pattern in the other skeins of the same scarlet cashmerino with a garter border. Simple. Really gorgeous in this yarn and at this gauge. I have a circular shawl with a candle pattern border and it is the most exquisite thing ever. I love this particular lace pattern more than just about any other so I'm excited to have learned it. I feel encouraged and a real sense of having mastered a challenge. Blame it on the Shetland Lace Workshop list. It's helped. I've got an idea for another scarf brewing. I'd like to use something really lofty and soft, and do a garter stitch scarf, but with the outer leaves from Branching out on either side of the garter stitch. So I am trying to sort out how that would work, on paper. Once the candle pattern scarf is done, I will have to start swatching. I think that'd be just, cuddly and marvelous.

My children are attempting to make my homemade macaroni and cheese. I am too sick to get off the sofa (yay laptop! yay wireless!) and so I have written out the instructions. So-chan, Em and So-chan's boyfriend are all cooking together. They sound like they are having fun. I'm a little worried about letting them just go do it, but that's how one learns to cook so I guess I gotta untie the apron strings some time. As a condition for me "allowing" them to cook dinner, I told them they had to clean the kitchen, which they were just thrilled to do because apparently cooking dinner is very exciting and quite a privilege. Who knew? I'm sure they'll discover the truth eventually, but hey. Nice while it lasts. My kids are so great.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

We are on round #2 of antibiotics and other fun drugs for the lovely bronchitis, which the good Dr. termed "brilliant" and "a mess". So that's fun. And then? He put a mask on at me. Because apparently, I am dripping with plague. So that's even more fun. I felt like I should have a clapper or a bell to warn people that my phlegmtastic self is approaching. I have more drugs though. Did I mention the drugs? I really am just, flush with drugs. I have drugs to dry everything out, drugs to kill the nasty lung bugs, drugs to make me stop wheezing... yay drugs! I could really open my own pharmacy at this point. I am really hoping I'm well by the weekend which will be the Knit In over in Pasadena for Susan G. Komen's Foundation - breast cancer fundraiser - lots of local knitters, shops with booths, etc. I'm gonna hate to miss it but I've *got* to kick this thing.

Cast on a second Branching Out in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino - gorgeous scarlet color - this one is yet another gift, of course. It was for my aunt but I found out she's allergic to wool last night so I've gotta find another gift recipient. Think I have one in mind. Really trying to knit stuff out of fabulous luxe yarns for my Christmannukahkwanzaamas presents this year. No crap, kthxbye. Though I am amused at the Christmas Crap Along over at the Knitting Curmudgeon's blog and am pondering doing something in Fun Fur and Red Heart just for kicks. One thing I did notice immediately upon casting Branching Out on was that it was way easier this time around. I'm on repeat #8 now, no errors, no trouble, it's just whipping off my needles as easy as pie. I think maybe something about lace knitting is finally clicking. I'm a little worried because if I get to a point of thinking lace is pie, I might have to take on fair isle or sweaters next and that is truly daunting.

Okay a few months back, I mentioned trying to green up a little bit and for whatever reason, can't figure out how to link directly to the entry (I blame the drugs). But anyway. At last report, we'd decided to try Trader Joe's "Next To Godliness" dish soap and Eco brand laundry detergent. The Next To Godliness dish soap liquid is great. It works very well. It is a keeper, has a great citrus essential oil odor, foams up nicely, cuts grease and we think this stuff is just fab. The Eco laundry soap, however, BLEH. I hate it. This stuff does *not* get your clothes clean at all, not really. I had to wash some things like dishtowels and shirts that were heavily worn 2-3x to get odors/dirt out. Since we pay $1.50 per load for laundry and that's water use for each load, that's still bad for the environment. Two thumbs down. So today we picked up the Next To Godliness powder detergent (80 washings per box, better/cheaper than the liquid) and will see how that works on the clothing. I'd hate to go back to Tide.

I have NOT forgotten the Starbucks Challenge! I just can't taste anything. I know I could do it anyway, but if I'm gonna buy coffee I want to be able to taste it. Call me frugal like that. I promise I'll do it as soon as the ick goes away. Any of y'all gone and done it yet? If so, let me know, I'm curious!

And remember, if you can't get that french pressed cup or you don't like Cafe Estima (Starbucks FT blend), not to worry little buckaroos! There is Fair Trade and organic coffee all around you! Trader Joe's has Fair Trade and Organic coffees available by the pound, as do Kaladi Brothers, Raven's Brew, Monkey and Son and countless other small roasters. Maybe in your area, even! Delocate them now and support local business!

Monday, October 10, 2005

I think I might end up doing a stint on that DIY Network Knitty Gritty show as a "Knitster" how cool is that? They're looking for knitters to chill out and, er, well, knit. On TV. No money, but they have a Craft Services table. Which, you know, hey. If I can knit and they feed me? Rock. Have been discussing the possibilities therein with one of their producers. Would be teh shiny, yo.

Blocking IS a miracle. OMG. The Diamond Fantasy scarf is fab. Except I found one dropped stitch. Bugger and blast. It's not horribly obvious and it's on the set of yarnovers between the border and the lace portion of the shawl, so redeemable, I believe. Oh and one weird repeat of the pattern, but again, not totally visible to the naked eye.

blocked shawl

Really, I could be a perfectionist knitter. I aim for that. It's just, sometimes I miss things and don't find them till later and I'm not about to rip it out and start over at that point.

I have made a spazztastic set of yarn dreads. Behold their beauty.
dread falls Suffice it to say, my new yarn dreads are dready cool. Colinette pt. 5 (uv reactive, SQUEEE!), Noro Lotus and a base of Cascade Magnum for uber stompity goodness. I shall be so very rivet when next I dance. Phwoar. Probably though I shall have to dye my hair again before I wear them, so that there's not all this, er, grey. Because I don't wanna look like an Ur-Goth, ready to hobble off to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and die or anything.

Goth, v. 1.0

no RAM for upgrades, I'm afraid.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Finished Diamond Fantasy! Woot! I ran out of yarn (I think my skein was more'n a few yards short) and I don't know how to do the icord cast off thing and really didn't have enough yarn to do it anyway, so.... I kinda winged the top so that I'd be able to get it bound off. I'm not sure if it's making me happy. We'll have to see after blocking.

I really hope this thing blocks up bigger. It's TEENY. I mean, I knew it was going to be on the smallish size because I made the scarf size, but mine does not appear to be as large as the scarf size in the pattern photo. Everyone says blocking is a miracle thing. Lets hope, right? Unblocked it's large enough to toss over the shoulders. I know it'll be bigger post blocking but I'm a little worried. I think mentally I was thinking "shawl" even though I was knitting "scarf". It is very pretty though, and I'm sure it'll be wonderful and Mom will love it.

So what is the lesson we learned, little buckaroos? Always buy more yarn than you think you're going to need.

On to the next Christmas present.
Having one of those "I hate everything" weeks. Halfway done and stalled out hopelessly with repeat #6 of Diamond Fantasy. I think before I start my Pi shawl, I'm gonna have to teach myself to knit backwards. Because the endless. purl. rows. are kicking my arse. I don't really hate purling. I don't mind it terribly. It's just, there's so MUCH of it. Today my goal is to get my butt in gear and finish this scarf. I'd like to move on and cannot do so until it is done. We're going to a friend's place for a family potlucky sort of thing so maybe I'll curl up in a corner and work on it there. Don't really feel up to much else. The bronchitis is back with a spectacular vengeance today - thank you Mr. DJ, thank you for using your fancy smoke machine with such enthusiasm, THANK YOU asshats who smoke in clubs despite the prominently posted NO SMOKING warnings! I think we will be embarking upon round #2 of antibiotics this week. Perhaps the lack of oxygen and the copious amounts of TMIgreencrapTMI are partially to blame for my overwhelming sense of ennui and stabbiness.

Realized yesterday while waiting at Supercuts that I hate the basketweave sock. Now, I do not just dislike the basketweave sock. I hate it. I hate it with a white hot burning passion. The blazing heat of a thousand suns does not even start to compare to how much I abhor the basketweave sock. This was a marked switch, as previously I adored the basketweave sock. I do not know what it did to offend, perhaps I am just a fickle mistress and somewhat high maintenance. No matter. It is clear that I must frog the basketweave sock and relegate the Quatro to yarn gulag until something better comes along. I really have no excuse for not picking up the Venice Beach Ice Cream sock and working on that, except, I'm perilously close to the heel and that would mean turning the heel. I've turned lots of heels, really. I feel like that character in the Terry Pratchett book who has a 12' sock because she's terrified to turn the heel! Nothing I own is making me feel tingly and sparkly about my knitting today.

I have not taken the Starbucks Challenge yet, but I will. I meant to last week when I was out at the SM Farmers Mkt but it was so darn hot, the idea of a french pressed HOT cup of joe just made me wilt and I ended up with an iced tea instead. I'm going earlier in the morning this week so shall beg them for my Fair Trade. Don't know about this Starbucks Challenge? Check it out. Fresh activist fun for corporate zombies, courtesy of my friend the Green LA Girl and the folks at City Hippy.

Realized this weekend that the thought of going to synagogue is very daunting. I haven't been in one since I was 11 and Dad remarried. She was a perfectly nice lady, but being Not Jewish, obviously she wasn't into Temple and we stopped going and I'm not sure why, but we did. I don't know where to sit or say, where to go or what to do. Do Jews even have a welcome wagon for the clueless who show up on Saturday mornings?

I swear to god if I manage to get through the day without burying a spork in the fleshy part of someone's arm, it will be a bloody miracle.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Had a pretty good stomp on at Dungeon last night - which is NOT closed, no matter what some souls at Evil Club Empire would like us all to believe. Courtney is doing a fab job, DJ's were pretty good (a few abrupt mix shifts in the Goth Room) and they played just about every single song I love to dance to. I'd have stayed later, except the smoke machine was a little heavy on the Industrial floor and every time I'd really get a groove on, I'd start to hack and wheeze and turn blue. Because well, I still seem to be struggling with bronchitis, despite having taken my medicine like a very good Pirate. I'd like to go dancing more tonight, in fact, I have a VIP pass to HELL, but, it looks like the boy and I might take in a second showing of Serenity instead. Which, honestly, is probably more what my lungs would prefer anyway. Anyway, if you're in the LA area on a Friday night, check out Dungeon at the AD (the old Probe) on Highland. Still going on and ECE free. Better DJs. Good crowd. All my crush boys were there, just as lickable as ever. Same old overpriced drinks and crappy bartenders. Same old dance floor creeps like Buzzy Boy. Blah, blah, blah.

All the product and post-club hair caused a slight melt down this morning, and resulted in about 6" of hair being left on the floor of Supercuts after an I Hate My Hair snit. Still below the shoulders, go figure. I'm considering growing that 6" back out, keeping it trimmed and donating it to Locks of Love next year along with another 6" or so. I hated to just cut and not donate today, but it was so damaged that they wouldn't have wanted it anyway.

Took youngest child and one of her homeschooling pals over to the duck pond yesterday afternoon and had a few nice hours spinning up some of the heathered wool I got from an_sceal lo these many months ago and then spun up a bit more before the club last night. I'm getting a really nice fingering to DK weight single out of it and I plan to Navajo ply it.

The week has included fiber, yarn and stomping. It can stay.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Talk elsewhere about bubbles got me to thinking today, how grateful I am for a closeknit community of like minded folks to whom I do not have to explain myself. I'm a complex person. I'm like an ogre. An onion. I gots layers and I don't put 'em all out there for everyone to share in. So in light of that? How grateful I am for my little bubble of people who get all my pieces. They know me there. It nourishes me for when I have to go out and deal with people who look at me funny because of what I'm wearing, what my hair is doing, people who flip me off about the rainbow decal on my car, who judge my family structure, whatever. My bubble feeds me and keeps me sane while I navigate often unfriendly waters. My bubble is always growing and sometimes the people in it are not just like me, are surprising. You might not expect the people you find there.

What sparked this train of thought is this whole male knitter thing and people getting their knickers in a wad because some men want to start a magazine for men, by men, about knitting for men. Okay. Great! I fail to see why it is completely insulting to some people, maybe, I think, maybe move on. There's so much more to get upset about and this really isn't discriminatory if you ask me.

Male. Female. Gay knitters, straight knitters, polyamorous knitters, Jewish knitters, Christian knitters, Muslim knitters, knitters who love cats, knitters with gerbils, knitters with wool allergies, knitters who belong to PETA, knitters who prefer wool, kinky knitters, agnostic knitters, bisexual knitters, bipolypaganswitchknitterswithwheatallergies, whatever... we all need community with other knitters and sometimes we just wanna seal off a tiny corner of that knitverse and make it even more focused. We all need someplace where we can be with Family and feel like we aren't gonna have to explain ourselves. Cos sometimes we're tired and educating yet one more person is just... not where our heads are at.

There's a knitters with cats webring. There's a webring for knitters with dogs. I certainly would not feel excluded say, from the knitters with hamsters webring. Yes I'm a knitter but I lack that crucial hamster. So when it comes to men wanting male knit space? Well, yeah, I'm a knitter but I lack that crucial penis. So. Big. Whoop. There's plenty of central ground where we can meet and play and my lack of penis or ownership of a vagina is not a factor in those places. It does not have to constitute a barrier we must smash down.

Despite all the little communities and subcultures I'm aware of and the ones I belong to or don't belong to, it seems like we've all got lots of common ground as well. So lets focus on that, eh? If you think about it, the knitverse is just a microcosm of larger culture and society. Ain't nothing going on here that isn't mirroring what's going on out there. It all filters down. I've been spending inordinate amounts of time studying Judaism lately and asking myself what it means and what I want to do with it. The basic tenet really does seem to be that we're supposed to treat each other well, with respect and compassion, in the way we'd like to be treated ourselves. So I'm not going to worry so much about what someone looks like or believes or whether we're the same or not or whether I'm a member of their community or not. I'm just gonna shoot for respect and compassion and seek a deeper understanding of them in the ways that I can. That kind of includes letting folks have their space to do what they want as long as it's not hurting me or mine.

Men writing about men knitting? Tell me again how that hurts me or mine? I fail to see. Rock on, boys.
Well. It's been a real couple of days, hasn't it?

There's a very young puppy being held in gulag next door to my apartment building. Today was Day #3. Puppy is sick/injured, it is beastly hot outside and puppy is out there all day and night. Puppy did not have food or water yesterday or the day before. Today I begged someone to give it water, which they finally did, grudgingly. We've been tossing puppy chow over the fence for it. Ridiculous number of phone calls and emails to SPCA-LA and Animal Control and I still have not managed to get an officer to come out and inspect - however, perhaps there is hope because late this afternoon someone at Animal Control grudgingly agreed to come out. Yes, I can be a tenacious bitch when I have a bug up my nose about something and animal cruelty is worth a little tenacity. If tenacity fails and Animal Control doesn't show up, a neighbor and I are considering guerrilla action. It could involve lockpicks. Hilarity could ensue. If I don't post for a while, please send bail donations.

If you have an animal emergency in the city/county of Los Angeles for the next two weeks or month, do not bother calling the SPCA. All their animal investigators and volunteers are in New Orleans and hurricane ravaged areas. I'm glad they're helping? Don't get me wrong? But I wish they'd left one or two hardy souls here to man the defenses. As it is, one very nice but frazzled guy is answering all the phones and he's going a little nuts. Animal cruelty seems to go on in light of hurricanes elsewhere. Go figure.

Really, that's been eating up my brain as well as breaking my heart. Hard not to get focused on it entirely. There's not much else going on. Compiling a box for my SP6, trying to keep up with the laundry and doing endless rows of Diamond Fantasy. I'm a little pookie, really. There's mushroom barley pumpkin soup for dinner though, which is appealing. And yet more Diamond Fantasy.


This was really just a huge soul sucking depressing waste of bandwidth, wasn't it?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Exhaustion... there is so much in my brain.

Henna - learned to gild and do negative work today. WOo! No other artist in my area is doing this work. I think I have just found my selling point to set me apart from all the other gazillion henna artists out there.

Pottery - I think I may have a pottery show upcoming this December. I'd given up doing it but ya know, this woman called and said they miss me and they love me at her show. Apparently I've always been her best seller so... gonna work up some inventory for just this one show. Why not? It's not like I don't have all the bisque and paints already.

Yarn - made a huge whopping error in Diamond Fantasy and had to rip out most of repeat #5 which I have reknit and finished. One. More. Repeat. To. Go. And then it'll be done. I begin to wonder if I have the attention span to truly succeed at ginormous, circular, very large lace projects or if perhaps it would be wise to stick to smaller things like scarves. Truly, my inner ferret just wanders away after a while.

Watching a PBS special with Em this week on the Israelites. Fascinating. Well narrated, not too much with the religious stuff (though it IS about religion) but more from an objective historical viewpoint based on archeological findings and writings from the period. Fascinating. It's funny, I thought I'd have to pull teeth to get the kids to watch it but they're both quite interested. It also makes me realize just how much of our history that I know, that I don't even think about because it is what I was raised with, that they are totally missing. That? That makes me sad. I'm doing a lousy job as a Jewish mom as far as passing this on and teaching them. I need to be better about observing and passing this stuff on to them. No wonder there's worry that Judaism is dying. It's full of people like me who aren't religious particularly and who are full of questions, who are just confused and think Buddhism (or whatever) also has it's points and who don't necessarily agree with everything and want to argue. How do you balance that with religious observance? I really don't know. I'm struggling with it a lot lately. Some kind of religious mid life crisis I'm having here. Cos for all I was raised with? I don't really remember how to do it right. I don't remember much about Temple and I don't remember any Hebrew and my Yiddish sucks. I've been away a long time.

At any rate. I ate apples today.

L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem.

Monday, October 03, 2005

So, when I left the llama farmin', organic gardening commune back lo these many years ago, I kinda swore I was not going to eat commune food again. However... given what's going on with food prices in Southern CA, I'm super glad I honed my chops at creating cheap yet healthy eats. WOW are food prices starting to skyrocket. Tonight we feasted on fresly roasted pumpkin, brown rice and black beans. Confession: Underwhelming. The pumpkin, I mean. Beans and rice and cheese, always good, but, I need to work on my squash skills. The kids really liked it though. I'm loving the Farmers Markets here though. Organic, locally grown and at really good prices. I love that. I also love the diversity of the vendors, the amazing varieties of produce I find that's just not available in the regular markets. They have Honey Crisp apples, for instance! Much love there. I love my cheese man and the olive oil lady. The vinegar hottie (wow is he some serious eye candy). It's community. Walk the stands and everyone says hi, they know you there. It's one of those little things that I find to be quite precious. And now? Life-sustaining, because who can afford to shop at Ralphs???

I'm almost done with repeat #5 on the Diamond Fantasy scarf! SO excited!! Not gonna post any more pics till it's done and blocking, because, well... it's just the same as it was but a little bigger. One repeat left, then the corners and bind off. I'm really pleased with this project. I know my mom is going to love it, too. It's hard not to rush. I want it to be *done*! I know as lace shawls go, this isn't even technically a shawl, but wow. Endless. Purl. Rows. On. The. Back. And. They. Keep. Getting. Longer. *dies* I dunno though. I think I'll miss it when it's done.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The husband took me out for coffee this afternoon, as we found ourselves with an unexpectedly child-free couple of hours. Since I am feeling so decidedly bleh and hadn't really been out much this week, it seemed a nice low key thing to do. Took a huge bag of some nice hardcovers and trade paperbacks that I'd purged from our shelves down to Synergy on Overland for their lending library and the owner gave us free coffee!

While having latte, got about 12 rounds done on the basketweave sock. I'm just going to do a few rows of ribbing at the ankle, I think, instead of making it full length. I found 3 #0 dpns under the sofa today when I was cleaning, which means I don't have to go buy a new set, which means I can start working on Cam's Venice Beach Ice Cream Sock again. Thank goodness! I was beginning to panic about that one.

The whole point to this post was, Synergy serves Groundworks blends and beans and the owner and I had a long talk about Fair Trade. He's quite for it. He also likes Ric at Groundworks philosophies about beans, social consciousness and FT issues. I pointed him at Green LA Girl's blog for further musings on the FT scene and told him about Monkey and Sons.

Have y'all discovered Delocator yet? Go there. Enter your zip. It will find every Starbucks within 5 miles of you and then, every single independently owned, non corporate coffee house that is near those Starbucks, giving you the opportunity to support local coffee in your community. Great if you are traveling, too, as it has listings for coffeehouses all over the US and Canada. Good way to find good *local* coffee instead of being forced to rely on Starbucks for your jones.
It has become fairly obvious to me that my father really does not want hand knit socks for Christmas. Because every time I cast one on, there's a huge steenkin' problem. Let us recap. First, there was the infamous Tabby The Terror Of The Dog Park, or Why One Should Never Knit Near A Jack Russell Terrier incident. Following upon the heels fo Tabby, there was the Oh God This Plymouth Encore Is So Nasty I Can't Stand To Knit With It realization followed by the I Am So Frogging This And Throwing My DPNs At The Wall incident. Then? And this is the latest, we have the I Followed the Pattern At Wiseneedle Exactly Yet This Sock Fits Me And Is Not Man Sized incident. Yep. Looks like Dad has some anti-sock voodoo happening up there in NoCal and I'm just going to take a hint and make something else for him this holiday season. Someone else is gonna get a nice pair of wool socks in Cascade Quatro with a basketweave pattern though. Cos if I have to frog these, I'll cry.

I also cast on for a Shetland lace scarf in a sort of sampler pattern. It's coming along nicely though I confess to some worry that the Knit Police might descend en masse because as usual, I am winging it entirely, and it might not be quite right as far as the meta-construction/overal design. So it might not be a "real" Shetland scarf as far as construction goes. It might be a faux Shetland. I'm using Shetland yarn, though. We'll see. If I disappear suddenly, you'll know why. The Knit Police will have tossed me into Knitters Re-Education Gulag.

I still have bronchitis, my earache has not abated and the smoke from all the fires is not helping with that very much. I'm wondering very much if I need to have different antibiotics or start using an inhaler. It's getting a little wheezy around here.