Saturday, December 30, 2006

I am getting a SPINNING WHEEL for my birthday! Which was today! Oh. My. God! My mom (owner of the Wheel of Shame) has said that she would like to buy me one of my own. And I have offered to send her home with various samples of rovings so as to put the Wheel of Shame back into use. I may get her using it again regularly, who knows. Wouldn't that be great? Then it would be the Wheel of Fun and very happy.

I have no idea which kind I want. SO all y'all spinners out there, what're your favorites? What do you like and dislike about the various models? How'd you go about picking one? What were your criteria? I have to educate myself here. I plan to spend much time over at A Mano playing on the Louet Traveler they've got as a floor model. not sure that's the one I want, but it's a cute little wheel. I must confess that my attempts today were rather pathetic and hilarity did, in fact, ensue, but I will get it eventually.

There was much stash enhancement, a skein of Lisa Souza laceweight in Jonquil, some Socks that Rock, Lorna's Laces shepherd sock, a set of rosewood #2 dpns, a bunch of different rovings, a set of knitters hand repair soaps and the aforementioned SPINNING WHEEL. I had to do a little bit of rearrangement due to stash containment issues, but that's been sorted and yarn diet has been averted.

Tiki is glad the holidays are almost OVER because around here Chez Yarnpirate, a holiday just isn't a holiday unless we put stuff on the dog.
Tiki hat

Yep. Nothing sez festive like a dog in a paper chapeau.

Also, OMG. Spinning wheel!!!

Friday, December 29, 2006

I've located all the missing knitting over the past few days, hidden under bits and bobs and boxes of holiday detritus. Yay! My scarf is neverending and we are in the Bermuda Scarf Triangle, but I am SO HAPPY to be knitting on it!

I'm also SO HAPPY because the youngest spontaneously asked me if I'd "show her to knit again."

family time

She stopped knitting after our DIY taping last year, when she had so much trouble with the circular hat. So this time I set her up with the fat needles, some soft Bernat stash yarn and a plain garter stitch scarf and she picked it right back up. Her little fingers remember exactly what to do and she loves the yarn and the fabric she's getting. I am walking into the kitchen to cheer every so often, but not letting her see how pleased I am that she's knitting. She's seriously getting into the prickly part of puberty lately, so I hope she keeps it up and maybe it'll be a bridge for us.

The Yarn Harlot once wrote about her children asking her for yarn and she said, looking at her stash, "I'll buy you some." because she did not want to SHARE.

I know exactly how she feels. I had to go to the bottommost bin and the neglected bag of yarn I never plan to knit (it's still nice yarn, it's just not meaningful yarn) before I could find a skein I was willing to part with.

I have become a yarn miser. But I did pony up something and also some needles and look, she's got a whole two inches of fabric on those needles! Yay!

We do not mention the dog who is just smug and insufferable and way too relaxed. But then, I suppose she needed to recover from this:

tiki antlers

Thursday, December 28, 2006

My dad got the girls ACLU memberships for Xmas. Not sure why Dad thought 2 teenage girls would like ACLU memberships for Xmas. Girls, unsure as well, but then, Dad is somewhat notorious for his somewhat disconnected gift ideas. Hi dad! I love my CD! It's really cool!

Their cards and decals came yesterday.

"Put this card in your wallet." I told Em yesterday. "When you get arrested at peace rallies, it will infuriate the police and Republicans. Also, look, relevant government numbers!" and showed her the back. "Oh and look! You get a decal! It says card carrying member of the ACLU! That's as good as liberal leftie pinko commie scumbag! Put that on your school binder."

"Why?" she asked. Well, not so much asked as said "why" to indicate "I really do not give a shit." but I answered anyway because I was trying to get her engaged.

"SO everyone knows you're socially conscious."

"I AM socially conscious."

"Great!" She was, after all, wearing a "No War" shirt and had just come home from an afternoon spent painting nails and gossiping with the teenage daughter of a notable local peace activist. I could see her progressive leanings! It was exciting! The new generation was being enga....

"I know that Cory Blahblahblah from my school just broke up with Tanya Whosiwhats."

o.O the new generation just brought my brain to a grinding halt. "Um. I was actually referring to a slightly different sort of social consciousness."

"Oh. Well I don't have a wallet anyway. And I don't go to peace rallies. The police and Republicans will just have to go on without me." I didn't point out that she actually does have a wallet made by underprivileged Indian women who work in a collective and whose crafts are sold to provide them with a better life that I bought her LAST christmas because we were being, erhm, socially... oh. hell. What's the point?

"Um. Ok. I'll just. Um. I'll put the decal on the car, shall I?"

"Whatever."

Monday, December 25, 2006

Santa brought me a whopping case of food poisoning for Christmas. So I am confined in the bedroom trying to keep gatorade down, while the rest of the fam digs into traditional Greek roast lamb, potatos, a huge salad, spanakopitas and tiropitakia (homemade by my mother and are teh bomb) and cake. All I can say is that the universe has a pretty messed up sense of what is funny. After the last month of holiday retail, don't you think I coulda had Christmas, Santa dear? I didn't really want salmonella, just sayin. Yarn would have been okay.

Christmas morning was pretty much ruined by me dashing from the room every 5 seconds, but I *did* get to see the kids open their stockings and I got to see Tiki open HER stocking and the cats had THEIR stockings and that was jolly fun. And then I just gave up and retreated.

So here's a round of Pollyanna's Glad Game for ya.

1. I am glad nobody else got sick.
2. I am glad mom is here to make food for my family so they still have a nice holiday meal.
3. I'm glad I haven't been sick in a few hours and have kept fluids down, because that means that mom the nurse will probably not shove me into the car and to the ER for iv fluids.
4. There was sock yarn in my stocking. :-)
5. I unearthed the christmas knitting!

Ok, so, Universe. Here's the thing. My birthday is in FIVE DAYS. I would like for it not to suck. I would like for it not to be horrible or anyone get sick. I'm not gonna toss down the knucks and say "or else" but I will say, pretty please? It's a kinda lousy way to spend the season, otherwise. I'd appreciate some slack, here.

Everyone else, peace, merry, happy and wonderful. I hope it was good.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas knitting, still no esta aqui. Bugger.

In retail news, today the carolers launched an all out devastating attack. They stood outside the store and "ho ho ho'ed" Carmina Burana at me in four part harmony.

Ho ho ho ho.

Ho ho ho ho.

Ho ho ho hooooo ho ho hoooooooo.

HO HO HO HO

HO HO HO HO

HO HO HO HOOOOO HO HOHOHOOOOOOO.


I concede the battle. The carolers win with superior numbers, cunning and one of my favorite pieces of music turned neatly on it's ear. Et bravo and all that.

ho ho ho ho.... ho ho ho ho... ho ho ho HOOOO HOOO HO HO....

Friday, December 22, 2006

death? or death?

"Happy freakin holidays," sez Puff. "I know when you are sleeping."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

First off, I have lost my Christmas knitting. Seriously. I can't find it. It's missing. Seein' as how it's only a few more days till Christmas, I'm a LEETLE BIT STRESSED BY THEES, OKAY????? Hello! if you find two skeins of TiltAWhirl El Dorado and a half worked Column of Leaves Scarf, a So Called Scarf in Manos and a baby sweater, please leave me a comment. Thank you.

It's freaking cold in Southern California and I am not pleased. Or amused. Just sayin.

Miss Em is sick and I'm missing work tomorrow in order to stay home with her. Fortunately I won't miss HOURS or pay because I swapped a shift with a coworker. I'd officially like the season of unwellness to stoppit now. Finding it difficult to reconcile work obligations with mothering obligations when things like fevers suddenly spring up. Otoh, it's a day to rest my back. I'm not complaining too hard.

Holiday retail continues to amuse. Yesterday it was the customer who could not decide what gift set she wanted and changed her mind 6 freaking times, even AFTER I'd rung stuff in and was about to swipe her credit card. I think the rule should be that if your VISA card is in my hand, you no longer get to change your mind. My hands are so dry from wrapping gifts and this cold air that the fingerprint reader no longer recognizes my print about 2/3 of the time. Hilarity ensues at this point generally because the cash register shuts down and must be rebooted any time the fingerprint or passcode fails. This is fun when you have a long line.

I got tagged for this meme. So the way I think this should work is, if you want to do the meme, totally do it. I'm interested in 6 weird things about all of you. If you haven't got time or would rather not? Don't. All good, yo.

1. I have to drink my coffee every morning out of my blue mug which has a moth on it. If I am forced to use another mug, I am very crabby. I'm a little OCD about the morning coffee ritual.

2. I do not eat bready things in bites off the actual bready thing. I break them up into pieces and eat the pieces with my fingers. It bugs me to eat them straight up. Please no bite taken off the actual croissant or muffin, let me pull off a piece and eat that.

3. I chew my fingers to nubbins when I am stressed. It's one reason why I picked up knitting, so as to not have bloody stumps attached at the wrists.

4. I do not sleep naked if I can help it. I absolutely must have on clothing. Preferably flannel pjs with long sleeves.

5. I never wear earrings that match. This is mostly because I leave them lying around everywhere and so can usually only find one of any given pair at any given time.

6. I put aged balsamic vinegar on my ice cream.

And last but not least, I got some absolutely cool fimo stitch markers from Mousie Masala and you should all go buy some. I got flat sheep. They rock my knitting. Or at least, they would, if I could find it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I really wish that the holidays had come a few weeks later or that I'd injured my back a few weeks earlier. I wish I'd had a few more weeks of physical therapy before we hit the crazy time. I hurt, all the time. I get through my workday with my back brace holding me up, on pure cussed stubbornness and the wonders of boning and velcro. My back brace holds me up because otherwise I can't even stand up straight for an entire shift on my own. By the end of my 8 I am curled in on myself like a shrimp. I limp to my car and I cry on the way home and fall into bed on top of an ice pack and then I get up and I do it again the next day. I am NOT going to call in sick. I am NOT going to go home early. I am GOING to make it through my shift. That's my mantra. Every day. I can do it. I can do it. Every hour I last is an hour that I didn't give up. Every night I promise myself that I can call in sick if I really need to in the morning or that I can leave my shift early if it hurts. Every morning I make myself get up and every shift I make myself finish. I am discovering some reserves and depths in myself that I didn't realize I had and that is maybe not such a bad thing.

I have gift wrapped SO many items and put together SO many pretty baskets and SO many fancy food boxes in the last 5 shifts that I think my lifetime quota has been met. I don't know as we'll be having wrapped gifts under our tree this year. I don't even know if we have wrapping paper. Do you think the kids will mind tin foil? I have not put up a single winter decoration. We have not bought a tree. Tonight, after I came home from work (long after sundown) they woke me up from where I'd fallen asleep over the laptop and we lit the menorah and I yawned through the prayers.

I'm shuffling through the days like a sleep depped injury fogged zombie and not in a "Oh rar, hottie zombie apocalypse girl!" kind of way either. I'm so tired, I didn't even get grumpy when all the carolers showed up today. I mean, who cares? Carolers. Rah. Whatev. Do you want that gift wrapped? No, we do it for free. Gold paper? A big red bow? Great! Here's your bag, have a WONDERFUL holiday, come back and see us soon, g'bye now! HI! Do you want that gift wrapped? No, it's free. Red or blue ribbon? Here's your bag, have a WONDERFUL holi..... *twitch*

Thank god my mother is coming to visit next Thursday. She will pull us all into the holidays, kick our asses to buy a tree, hang the stockings and make sure there is a modicum of holiday cheer going on Chez YP. I've already told her I'm a zombie. She said not to worry about it, she had it all under control. There will be cheer, ornaments will be hung, food will be made and I can just survive retail and not worry. Yay mom.

I wonder if she gift wraps?

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's... and... I... it's... oh. Crap.

Yep.

It's Hannukah. Again. Surprise!

This caused a panic, but I had candles left over from last year, I bought gelt a month ago and we finally found the menorah about two hours after sundown so now things are cool.

Have a happy, y'all!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

You would not think that someone would buy, pay for and then request that 100 bottles of olive oil to be gift wrapped RIGHT NOW but you would be so wrong. And that was maybe the mellow part of my day.

On the other hand...
knitty gritty 005

Me and my fellow Knitsters (we are KNIT STARS baby) on the set, before filming commenced. I did not get a piccie with Cookie A or with the divine Ms. Howell, but at least I got this. I am distressed that my hair is doing that weird frizz/flip on one side, and will probably follow me around for the rest of my life via reruns. One can only imagine what it did while the cameras were actually rolling. Thanks to my knitster pal for sending me the picture! We had a good time. It got darn chatty back there on the big blue couch! Also, just because someone asked, no that is not a chalk outline of a body under the table, it's just a squiggle design on the carpet. Paging Dr. Rorschach!
Time to knit? What time to knit? Holiday retail means that maybe I can get a round in on a sock while standing in line at Starbucks at the mall for my umpteenth venti triple shot latte. Time to knit... *snort*

Must admit that I spent a few minutes giggling at the kids who were peering in the windows of Santa's Gingerbread House last night, they were all dressed up with slicked back hair and mary janes because, of course, PHOTO OP! and they were kinda cute and I felt my little icicle heart begin to melt. So I guess even Grinchy MacHolidayRetailerson can be a little affected by the season. Ask me again on the 27th, though.

I am reminded that most folks are pretty darn good. Take, for example, my pal Cam over at Knit Along Little Doggie (too tired to do html here but you can access her blog via my blogroll on the right) who is taking up a collection for a family of a GI who just shipped out to Iraq. New baby and lots of bills means a sparse Christmas, so even though my friend Cam is a new mama with challenges of her own, she's working hard to insure that this family gets some nice stuff for Christmas.

My friend Nic did the same thing, just asked folks to please buy something for her Salvation Army adopt a family, instead of buying her a gift this year. She does this every year and every year she manages to wipe out an entire family of 4's whole list including appliances, clothing, toys and food. People really step up.

These are my big damn holiday heroes this year. I haven't managed to adopt any families, but I'm grateful for my friends who do and then graciously give other folks the opportunity to join in the fun. They make it better for everyone. Thanks, you guys.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

NOTE: To the person spamming my blog with hideous racial epithets in comments. Stop it. We are not amused.

Back to your regularly scheduled blog post. Retail stories!

The dressed up, Victorian looking, strolling carolers who are working the mall really do make me want to bite. They were singing "fa la la la la" at me while I was trying to eat my sandwich in some peace and quiet on my lunch break. Then, later, I caught myself singing "Feliz Navidad" along to the canned Muzak outside and... *shudder* that's some kind of warped caroler mojo right there. They put the HOODOO on me.

Also. SANTA'S HOUSE. Scary place. Have I mentioned?

The hols are funny. On one hand I feel more compelled to help out my fellow man, spoil the people I care about, and connect with my family. Every once in a while I'll see some little kid and they just have MAGIC in their eyes, all the holiday magic, and carolers are the most wonderful thing and they know that the teddy bear is waving right at them. That, right there, that's the point. I love that part. That part gets me smiling at least once every day.

On the other hand, I just want to be nowhere near the parking lots or the crowds. I have a shorter people tolerance right now, slightly less patience and I'm dealing with so many customers every day that I just get peopled out really quickly. The mall music is a never ending circle of the same carols, over and over and over, piped in, and sometimes the songs get stuck in my head for hours. It really is a form of auditory pollution. I adore singing and hearing carols! But not in this context.

It amuses me to think of the carolers lurking around dark corners waiting to pounce and lay their fa la la la mojo on you when maybe you've been on your feet for 6 hours and just want to eat your sandwich in peace and quiet before you have to jump back in to retail land. That mental image makes me giggle. But in reality, I know their job is just hard and they too will have no lives until Dec. 27, and they have to do it in bonnets, corsets and way too many layers of clothing when the weather has been 90 something degrees.

14 more days. Maybe don't be shocked to hear a FAUX news report that some crazy lady has taken up residence on the roof of Santa's Gingerbread House and is lobbing balls of Red Heart at hapless people singing in 4 part harmony.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I survived the Knitty Gritty shoot! Over an hour late for my call time, horrendous traffic and a fender bender to get there, but I made it! What a crazy day. More details later, but now I have a date with some spinach artichoke dip and an episode of Battlestar Galactica.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Today is the Knitty Gritty shoot, and you know, as excited as I've been about it, I'm just not there with it today. I kinda wish it had been yesterday when I was in a better place. But today it is, so I'll try to put on my happy face and rise to the occasion.

Some days are hard. This is one of them. Some situations are difficult beyond belief. A little house and a few too many cats is looking more and more and more like the inevitable reality. I guess as life goals go, gentile crackpot cat lady is an acceptable one, and at least I'd be in good company, right? It's a fine, time honored tradition.

I didn't get the pair of socks done for the shoot, but the producer said that was fine. So there's some relief anyway. Here's hoping that I have a good hair day, that they approve my outfit and that I get through the shoot without being too lame.

This too will pass.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Show us ze PEEEKTURES! you might be saying. Okay well I don't have any. But I'll try to take some this weekend. The problem is that I can't take any of my Knitty Gritty project, so you can't all ooh and ah over it with me. And I've done a few more repeats of the column of leaves scarf, but that's not really at the 'visually interesting' stage yet. What this means is that my blog is not visually interesting again today. Sorry. :-(

The KG sock for DIY is coming along swimmingly and I am just done knitting the gusset for the first heel and have commenced to turn. It is not a tangled wad of yarn vomit any longer and I was not, in fact, having difficulties because I was on drugs. The producer sent me the wrong chart. Erhm. Once I got the right chart, things began going along swimmingly. It's a really fun, fast knit. I must say that I adore this designer very much. I'm not nutty about gusset/flappy heels, I prefer a short row heel and generally adapt all patterns to that. Seeing as hows I'm doing this for television, I figgered I'd do it as written. But it has really cemented my adoration of the short row heel and if I ever knit these sockies again, which I think I will cos it's a FAB pattern, I'll be adapting the heel.

I think I've pretty much decided that I'd rather not have the back stuff be totally 'gone' and deal with the tummy aches from Motrin than take that blasted Ultram anymore. Running around in a perpetual fog, unable to drive and really function is not my preferred state of being. I hate prescription painkillers. They're always fun on the first day and then by the second and third I start to get irritated and by about the fourth, I say "f*ck it, I'd rather hurt." and go back to Motrin. Because you know, I have stuff to do, charts to knit, children to feed. I start PT on Monday. Work should be interesting on the weekend, I have 2 8 hour shifts on my feet. I predict that by Monday I will be pretty damn gimpy.

Have a great weekend, y'all. Be excellent to each other.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

stupid knitter tricks, again?

Charted knitting + painkillers = teh funneh.

When the nice folks at DIY ask me how it went, I shall be the Knitster laughing hysterically and clutching the sad, shabby, much frogged wad of yarn vomit. I'm sure y'all will want to TIVO that.

Yet again, flat... flat on my arse. Woe.

Results of dr. visit today: 12 weeks of PT up to 3x a week, depending on what the PT person says I need. My deductible sucks, this is going to be expensive. But doc was v. behind the long term idea of PT and then Pilates and maybe yoga. He was very happy I asked for it and he didn't have to talk me into it. I guess most folks want pills, not exercise.

Ultram daily and muscle relaxers at night, in the short term. I've never taken Ultram before. I'm very floaty, sleepy and stoned feeling after my first dose. He said it'd take a day or two for me to get used to the effects, but that I shouldn't have trouble working, driving or functioning on it. Frankly, I dunno, I'm not sure I like it. Because I sure as hell wouldn't get behind a wheel of a car right now, I am officially stoned. I hate this. I hate drugs. I hate taking drugs. I'm so glad the long term solution is physical therapy AND NOT DRUGS.

No lifting more than 10 lbs for 2 weeks. I have to take it super easy and it's going to take time and he says to suck it up about being bored and not being able to do what I want to do. There will be much time spent flat on my arse with a bag of frozen peas jammed up my shirt. He thinks we can make it "bulletproof" so that I don't do this again, given enough time to heal, proper PT and the proper application of body mechanics on my part in future.

I hobbled to the LYS for the dpns that I needed on the way home. Man oh man was I ever tempted by the Lantern Moon dpns in rosewood - SO pretty - but they were $24 and the Brittany dpns were $8. So. Yeah. No. Brittany it was. I subsequently rewarded myself for self control with two balls of Rowan felted tweed - I want a pair of Knucks.

I guess I should really roll up the yarn and then cast on my DIY sock now that I've got the dpns. It's time to get that sorted. And hey, woo! It's a charted pattern. Yay! I SHALL KNIT IT ON DRUGS. FOR TELEVISION.

Ultram. I'm in ur brains messin with ur knittin.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I am a little stir crazy after spending most of the day flat on my ass in bed, with the laptop and a stack of DVDs. I torqued my back at work last week and it's progressively gotten worse over the last few days. After my shift on Saturday, I found myself barely able to limp back to my car and by bedtime I couldn't even walk at all. Nothing like having to crawl to the loo at 3am, y'all. So today I regretfully phoned in broken and took a day off. Bedrest and alternating hot and ice packs have helped a lot today and I'm able to walk though it's damn sore. I'm not sure what I've done to myself. I am off to the doctor tomorrow and we will come up with A Cunning Plan to fix this up and then manage it so it doesn't happen again. I'm planning to enroll in a Pilates class when I'm clear for exercise, and really do some core strengthening.

I did manage to get about 5 more repeats in on Brooke's Column of Leaves scarf, which was happy, simple knitting. The lace repeat is easy enough that I managed to do it while completely floppy because of muscle relaxers. This El Dorado yarn from Lisa Souza is the most luxurious stuff ever. I just love it. This one is a gift, natch. The best yarns always end up going to someone special.

I'm also waiting for some yarn that I got at close out rock bottom prices from the fiber underground. I got at least 2500 yards of silk noile laceweight, about 2150+ yards of bamboo sock weight, 13 oz of corriedale, and 1/2 KG of mohair top. For a lot less than I'd have paid otherwise, thank you veddy much. I'd sworn myself onto a yarn diet a while ago, but this was just too beautiful to pass up. And SO CHEAP. Seriously a kick ass sale. They're going out of business and so getting rid of stock here. I don't know what they have left, it was going fast, but they had some interesting fibers and a lot of bamboo needles and the like. Don't know as I'll be keeping the mohair, I have a spinning friend who loves mohair and wants to try her hand at dying fiber - this might just be the perfect Yule gift. I may keep some to blend with other fibers. We'll see!

Speaking of bamboo needles... Confession: I haven't cast on for my Knitty Gritty socks yet and I have about 10 days to get 'em sorted. I need a set of dpns (the ONE size I lack) and wouldn't ya know it, flat on my arse like I've been, I can't exactly go pick some up now can I? No pressure there. Nope. NONE.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tis The Season.

I really can't describe the last couple of days, but I can try to sum them up for you.

"Santa's Bowling Alley."

That being what they built about 20 feet from the front door of the shop where I work, last weekend. I'm not sure if it's a permanent structure or not, I think it was only for the weekend's mall festivities. I'm HOPING. I will find out today. Santa's Bowling Alley was staffed by "elves" who were really blond models in microshorts, tank tops and pink knit hats. It was made of wood and thus very loud when the balls would roll down the ramp and clatter into pins (all day long, over and over, outside my front door) and it was decorated with hot pink and white striped candy canes and blinged out giant jingle bells.

Really I've just been coming home from work and sort of drooling at the wall. I haven't picked up knitting in a couple of days, though I've discovered that spinning is fairly reasonable and I can do that without counting or really thinking too hard. I got called in to work on Black Friday which means that yesterday was my only day off this week (aside from Thanksgiving Day where I am actually cooking so not really much of a day "off" is it?) and probably I will continue to not have much of any interest to write about (fiberwise) in this blog.

But I will share lots of fun LA Retail Stories with you if I have any good ones. And I did some research (yes, on CRACK! sez Mr. YP when I ran this by him a minute ago) about the whole meaning and symbolism behind Santa's Bowling Alley.

Long ago in the Dark Ages, before the coming of Christmas, ancient peoples would line up wooden animals that they'd carved, like wolves and lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) and then chuck things at them very hard - symbolically defeating them and demonstrating man's ascendency over the beasts. This was important in the longest darkest part of the year because you couldn't get out much and probably were a little stir crazy. Later on, when the Church co-opted everything else, this tradition became known as Santa's Bowling Alley and now good children can roll balls down loud wooden ramps at clattering pins and scream very loud when the pins fall down. The wolves and lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) were turned into bunnies and ducklings and reserved for use later on in the year, for the Festival of Chocolate which we will get into later.

No, I'm not actually smoking crack. But I do work retail and it IS the holiday season. The results are probably similar at the end of the day. Stay tuned for more thrilling Christmas symbolism, as today they are opening up Santa's Gingerbread House. I thought the gingerbread house myth was about a witch and a really big oven and a couple of kids with breadcrumbs, but now we know the truth. It was really Santa. I am really fighting the urge to walk past the lines of parents and children patiently waiting their turn and yell really loud, "No! Wait! IT'S A COOKBOOK!"

Friday, November 17, 2006

The problem with taking muscle relaxers is that you can't then have a glass of red wine with your dinner - the results are often laughable and involve drooling on the tablecloth. "Why, dear Yarnpirate, are you hitting the muscle relaxants?" you might ask. Well. See, it's like this:

11/06 take two terminix guy

This would be the entire contents of my kitchen cupboards, in boxes, on the living room sofa. The Le Creuset, all the rest of the cookware, the vases, and small appliances like blender, bread machine, etc., are not pictured, but trust me, they're not in the kitchen either. We had a visit from the terminix guy again and so for the last 3 days I've done nothing but totally clean my kitchen, pack my kitchen, move my kitchen, then move my kitchen back, unpack it and then thoroughly reclean it. In the process of doing this, I did something really bad to my spine, hence the need to perhaps toss something relaxing back and wash it down with a cup of tea (not red wine, alas.) Everyone mysteriously had plans, was working or elsewhere.

"But we would have helped you!" they are all protesting. Um. Yeah. When, exactly? No no, it's ok. Really. I'll just sit here on the sofa with my ice pack, unable to drink red wine. I'm not riding the great wave of Jewish guilt at all, no, not milking the guilt cow for as long as it lasts. Really, it's amazing the results that a well timed whimper or grimace of pain will produce. Offers of tea, ice cream, the television remote... :-P

Suffice it to say, there's not been a great deal of knitting time in all of that, but I did manage some more rows on the handspun shawl. It's coming along great! Oh, and I found sari silk yarn today on Melrose Blvd., 225 yards for $10 a ball. They have tons. It's a few blocks east of La Brea, on Melrose, I don't know the same of the store but it's on the corner near Westside Rentals, across the street from Necromance (we will not go into the fabulosity that this shop contains) and they also sell a lot of glass pipes. Look for bright Indian styled clothing on racks outside. Go in. To the right, there is yarn. Cheap! You can get around 100 yds in a skein for $4.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A THRILL A MINUTE. I just cast on my own handspun 2 ply fingering weight yarn (woohoo!) and started knitting this shawl (yes, I know the yarn weights are totally different, that's fine, gauge is irrelevant, it's a shawl) and it is knitting up very prettily. I may end up doing a garter stitch lace pattern on the border a la the peddler's shawl from Folk Shawls, or I may not, we'll see. I have to ply up more singles and then SPIN more. This will truly be a long term process. I'm so excited though. My own handspun. Shiny.

Sock pattern and yarn for Knitty Gritty shoot is en route from DIY, so I get to cast that on too.

I have way too many things on needles or spindles. I'm pretty ADD about my knitting but even I'm beginning to feel like enough is enough. I think maybe I'll have to get a little more disciplined about rotating shit around, cos... yeah. My sidebar is so not accurate. Mostly because of the shame.

Handspun shawl, just started
Icarus shawl, 1.5 body repeats left, then lace can begin
Pomotamus socks, started, ripped out, recast on larger needles, about 5 rows in.
Riley's, Carl's, Insert Baby Name Here's rosebud cardi, about 1/2 done (final name to be determined by who gives birth when I finish it. At this rate, it might be a future grandchild, after one of the girls finishes grad school.)
Brooke's Column of Leaves scarf, 1/4 done
My So Called Scarf, 1/4 done
Serrano, we don't talk about Serrano
DIY socks for Knitty Gritty (must be done by Dec. 7)

Plus I've got about 5 different batches of rovings I'm spinning up on 3 spindles, in turns.

And SO MANY patterns that I'm dying to start.

Ok, so my goal is to not cast on anything new until the end of the year. If I can finish the scarves and the baby cardi, as well as get 1/2way thru Serrano, and make even a little appreciable progress on the rest of it, I'll count it a successful year.

Seduced by shiny, much?

Monday, November 13, 2006

It should be noted that perhaps "Grumpy MacGrumpypants" is not exactly the mode of address guaranteed to insure marital harmony on a Monday morning and "darling" is a better option. Or "honey" or even "hey you" probably works better. YAY HARMONY!!! I tell ya, actually, I'm Miss Grumperetta MacGrumpypants III this morning and a grande almond nonfat no whip mocha is not taking the edge off.

Things started way too damn early today. The youngest had a disgustingly early dental appt this morning to see if she fractured a tooth (or two) last week when somebody's awful offspring shoved her down in PE. She didn't. Toofs are just bruised, so we have to keep an eye on it for a while and hope they don't die. She's never had a cavity, I'd hate for her to start her dental experiences with a root canal, y'know?

Don't get me started on how I feel about someone's precious little menace shoving my kid in PE. Unsure if this is the same girl who was throwing soccer balls at Em's head two weeks ago, kicking at her in soccer, and spreading rumors that she's a lesbian, in the locker room. Em did not see who pushed her, as it happened from behind and there were several kids nearby. I'm concerned about the rumors and gossip about sexual preference. In that context, it's abusive. Honestly, it's sexual harrassment. THAT is ILLEGAL as hell and therefore legally actionable if the school allows it to continue. Even if Em isn't the queer kid in this case, SOME kid in the same class is and they're seeing this and it creates a lot of stress and fear. It creates an unsafe environment for everyone. The high school has a good Tolerance club and a Gay/Straight Alliance, but the middle school does not and the kids hurl epithets about preference like they were weapons. I know it's "normal" but it shouldn't be. Couple that with physical violence against her, I start to get worried. The PE coaches, of course, are oblivious (aren't they always?) however I've bitched to both the school psychologist AND the vice principal, so we'll see if that helps. Middle school is one of those levels of Hell that Dante was afraid to write about.

I did get some more spinning done this weekend. Took a tube full of laceweight merino singles that I'd done a while back and plied them up to something resembling fingering weight. There are some thick/thin areas and it is not the world's most consistent yarn, but it's not horribly so. It's obviously novice yarn. However, given that I am still a spinning novice, I think it's pretty damn good and I will proudly knit it up into a lovely shawl.

cow and merino
Moo. Don't know what the hell happened with the color in this one, but it is wildly wrong. I just like this shot, don't ask why the cow.

penny for scale
Penny for scale. This is much closer to the actual color which is white overall with grey, blue and pink running through in a heathery fashion.

How can so much work yield so little yarn?
more scale

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Well Mr. Yarnpirate MacGrumpypants decided that he needed beer with the boys this evening (beer and pool are both very good things), both the girls were off at a sleepover and I did not feel like sitting home alone with Dr. Who on a Friday night (don't get me wrong, David Tennant, phwoar!) so I asked a few of ze girls over for an impromptu girls night. We had red wine, we had hard cider, we had POTS OF TEA, we had a 13x9 pan of brownies made with two sticks of real butter, we had spanakopita and tiny quiches (hello! Trader Joes! I love you! Your freezer section makes me so happy and solves my hostess dilemmas!)

Tiki provides moral support while Em frogs her colorworked sock.
Em/Tiki/yarnvomit

I'm serious. That is some yarn vomit there. Whole colorworked sock. Gone.
yarn vomit
She spun that yarn, btw, and dyed the grey herself. Color me in awe. I'm glad I bought all that red wine because I think I need one after watching all that frogging. Traumatized.

scarf of doom
This is the scarf that never ends, it just goes on and on my friends, some knitter started knitting it a long long time ago and she is still here knitting it and on and on it goes this is the scarf that never ends.... sari silk is, I am told, a pain in the ass. Please, here, have some of this fruity red. It pairs nicely with garter stitch.

kawaii!
Kawaii des!

We do not discriminate against the other needle arts.
P1010009
That's completely handstitched, that dragon. Faaabulous.

Also, we have spanakopita. Tiki is providing moral support to the spanakopita because it is gothic and sad and about to be eaten. There were some terrified mini quiches on that plate, but they got what was coming to them. No mercy.
P1010014

puff
"Cake or death?"

Also, I learned to Andean ply and spun up some of September's Spunky Club roving for the lesson (with the help of a nice pinot noir.)
P1010017
Heavy worsted/aran singles plied into a 2 ply chunky weight. Love the color changes and think this will make a nifty scarf. Too scratchy for much else. It wants for a bath to set the twist, then a good shake and a hanging. Then we'll see.

I had so much fun. This is definitely going to be a regular event.

I'm also smug about the elections, even if Der Governator did win, he's better than the other guy. Ahnold is pretty much what you see is what you get. I can deal with him for another term, even if I'm not super neato keen on all his policies. And how about those Dems? House AND the Senate! Go voters!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I don't care for who.

I don't care how.

If you live in the US and are registered? GO AND VOTE.

If for some reason you are not on the roster? Cast a provisional ballot. They have to let you. If the computers are down? Cast a provisional ballot. You have the right to cast a vote - technology, human error, shenanigans or arse marmotry cannot stop you.

If you're not registered? If you are registered and choose not to vote anyway? What are you THINKING? I revoke your bitching privileges for the next 2 years.

And thank a pollworker on your way out the door. It's a long hard day for them.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I am having kiln issues and thus am frustrated and slow about getting my pottery up onto Etsy. Bother. Lacking that, I've been busily making stitch markers:

EVIL EYE

This is actually an old picture, but the markers look the same. Lampworked glass beads with blue glass accent beads, silver wrapped wire, sized to fit up to #10/6.5mm needles. Set of 5 for $15 includes tax and postage. When I list 'em on Etsy, I think the shipping will not be included in that. I've got two sets left for sale but am making more. Hopefully the Etsy thing will be up and running soonish, with teapots and trivet, kiln gods willing and the creek don't rise.

We do not say the word "Serrano" in this house. What is this "Serrano" of which you speak? Oh... you mean the sleeve that I still haven't ripped back because I want to cry every time I look at it? That sleeve? Yeah, in the knitting bag, I'll deal with it after the Christmas knitting. I know, I'm the world's most ADD knitter. Sue me. 7 repeats into Brooke's Column Of Leaves scarf, loving the pattern. Working it in Lisa Souza's El Dorado in "wild thing" and I must say if you have NOT checked out Lisa Souza's site, you really should. This is kid mohair and silk 2-ply yarn, 264 yards for $22 a skein.

....

Yes. You read that right. $22 a skein, 264 yards, kid mohair and silk handpainted yarn.

Y'all, why are you even still here? Make with the clicky already! You know you want some.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Every year, despite the fact that I'm not part of any culture who traditionally does this, I set up a Dia De Los Muertos altar in our home. I know some folks get their knickers all up in a wad when they thing you are co-opting someone else's culture, but y'all, here in America we are all each other's culture. What makes us stronger is when we share. We are a culture comprised of a lot of multi-colored, multi-religious, multi-opinioned pieces that actually fit very well together when people aren't being total fuckwits about it. So yeah, sure, cherish and celebrate your own, absolutely. But cherish those of other folks too and celebrate them if it speaks to you. Let it be one thing we share rather than something that sets us farther apart. This has become a really meaningful tradition in our family each year and I'm glad it was there for us to learn from.

I was just going to let it pass by this year because of time and feeling a little disconnected, but as the day approached, I really felt like I needed to do it. I went digging for all my Dia De Los Muertos stuff and then spent a happy morning making fimo skullies and tiny roses for glueing into miniature altars made out of cardboard ring boxes, glitter, paint and loteria cards. I accidentally burned the fimo and made Uber Goth Dead Roses, which pleased me no end.

So here it is, in the beginning stages.
ddlm1

ddlm2

ddlm3

ddlm4

I need to get some pan de muertos, some mums and flowers and a bunch more candles, I need to make some food offerings which I'll do tomorrow, and then I think it's done. One of these years I want to do the whole big installation with a door and lots of room, but we are space challenged and this is about the best I can come up with and not disrupt the traffic flow around the house. Also, I know I'm a Jew and that's a skelly Virgin of Guadalupe but I found it irresistable. I'll grab a pic of the whole thing when it's lit up and the flowers and bread and offerings are out tomorrow night.

it's a good way to remember folks who I loved who want for remembrance.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I write about food a lot in this blog. I can't help it, I love to eat. So now the holiday goodies are starting to trickle in at the shop and I'm finding it harder and harder to resist them. A sampling of some of the stuff we're now carrying over the holiday season:

cranberries cooked in Pays D'oc wine (yum, so good!)
fig and balsamic confit (spread on brie, wrap in pastry crust, bake, yum! or just put on ice cream! or foie gras! or, um. eat with a spoon!)
shallot confit (caramelized shallots, y'all!)
chestnuts from France
are already in the store! And these are coming soon!
apple, pear, butterscotch jam
lavender or rosemary honey from Provence
honey drops (hard honey "shell" outside, soft honey center)
sea salt caramels
herb and fruit tisanes
and SO MUCH MORE.

Every time I get to work there's more good stuff that we didn't have before. Plus we got all these fabulous new olive oils. It is INSANE. So. Much. Good. Food. And me, with an employee discount. I'm never gonna keep my girlish figure at this rate.

It's the weekend, so I'm mostly working and not knitting. Yarn later. Food porn now. Don't forget, we fall back an hour tonight. Set your clocks!

Friday, October 27, 2006

simple pleasures

The first Yunnan tea and pumpkin pie pairing of the season has come and gone. Truly I think this is one of my favorite food/tea combos, with the rich maple/earth/molasses qualities of the Yunnan blending so beautifully with the pumpkin and spices of the pie. I try to put this off until November every year but this year I was a few days early. We had pie last night after our roast chicken and steamed green beans. Delicious. Perfect.

There are also a few Honey Crisp apples in the fruit bin, small red apples bursting with sticky juice and so honey sweet, only available for a few weeks every fall. I heard about these apples for years before I found them, they finally made their way West and they are worth every penny. So now I am hanging out and sipping a cup of rich Yunnan well sweetened with turbinado sugar. I think happily of pumpkin pie and apple slices, and dream of crisp fall leaves, while hoping that the Santa Anas calm down enough for the weather to merit actual long sleeves one day soon.

I am tinking back about 4 rows of Serrano - yet another Stupid Knitter Trick - I read the wrong line of the direction and bound off for size small, not size large. D'oh! Caught it 4 rows later when my count wasn't right. Ah well, live and learn. I'm shaping the sleeve cap at the moment. I think when I get that sorted and on waste yarn, I'll knit the body and then the second sleeve last. Stupid Knitter Tricks aside, it's going so beautifully.

Nothing like finding yet another mistake and realizing you have to tink AGAIN, to make you think of all manner of blistering invective that you can't actually say because you're sitting at the mechanics in a waiting room with a very nice elderly gentleman who looks as if he might keel over if you let loose.

I got one of my teapots back from the kiln today! It's STUNNING. Pics soon. They're having overglaze problems with Duncan, so the other teapot is not done. Both teapots are spoken for/sold, at this point, as far as I know. At least, I think one of them is spoken for and I KNOW the other one is sold. I'm getting a little antsy as I have presents and commissions to get done and am about to hit my retail holiday hell (and also it's NaNoWriMo!) and I have NO pottery made to sell and the kiln is being... vague... about when this will be sorted out. I do, however, have my Etsy storefront registered, and soon there will be actual content. And a banner, courtesy of Miss Knotty Mouse, a la Mousie Masala. So. Very. Shiny.

http://rainware.etsy.com

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Serrano... powered by too much Halloween candy

serranosleeve

Houston, we have one sleeve, about halfway done. Another 6 inches or so and I get to shape the sleeve cap.

Increases: I did this wrong I think? Not sure. But it seems like a wrong that will end up working out ok. It's an m1 on each side, every 7 rows, for a total of 8 increases (on the size I'm knitting). Rather than work the stitches into the pattern and end up with an unbalanced pattern, and because the st st portion will end up seamed on the bottom, I felt okay keeping the lace pattern centered and the increases on the outside of my pattern markers. This will not work on the waist increases/decreases and other shaping in other areas, but for the sleeve it was fine. You won't be able to see the area where the lace becomes st st once it's seamed and on. Now I'm at a point where I can fit another entire repeat on each side so that is going to be a little less "obvious" as I go.

This sweater as a whole is absolutely a little bit outside my current skillset. The finishing process and putting the pieces together in particular are going to be really challenging. Knitting the sleeve first was a good idea, I'm making a lot of mistakes where it's easy to rip or even tink back a row or two and I don't lose too much work. When I get to shaping the body, it will not be as difficult as it seemed the first time 'round. I'm glad I'm sticking with it and I'm having a thoroughly good time with this one. As I've said repeatedly, it is just so clever and well designed.

The only other comment I have to say is that the "miracle of blocking" had better work on this puppy because it looks *extremely* small. The pattern says this will be the case. I now understand why one checks gauge on both unblocked AND blocked swatches. I did not check the blocked swatch, so must knit on and wonder if it is going to fit me in the end and block to pattern specs. It should be ok, it feels like it will block well and I was spot on with unblocked gauge. I reassure myself that if it is too small for me it will most assuredly fit one of the children and my work will not be in vain - but after all this? It had damn well better fit ME.

There is $20 worth of Halloween candy sitting in the snack bin. The children talked me into it and I, because I am STILL having PMS from hell (PMS + Santa Ana conditions = I'm about to go all Raymond Chandler on someone's ass) I did not resist the siren call of Nestle caramel minicrisps, or Kit Kat snack size bars or any of the other "good" candy we got. See, I buy "good" (read: chocolate, brand name) candy. My husband, Mr. Yarnpirate, buys "crap" (read: 50 gallon drum of no name crap that is not even chocolate that hello! no trick or treater in their right mind would want!) candy.

Invariably, if I buy the candy, we end up having to buy more just before Halloween. I am not sure why. I AM sure that the new Dove milk chocolate and caramel squares are quite possibly filled also with crack. That must be why I can't leave them alone.

Friday, October 20, 2006

kts2

Thank you Jaime! Talk about booty! My KTS2 swap came today! Oh my gosh! There's honey (made from bees local to my pal!) and sugar sticks and a caramel cube, some nifty stitch markers, two skeins of koigu in one of my favorite colorways (how did you KNOW???) and a skein of Lambs Pride that is just begging to be a winter cap. And then some teas! There's a tin of mystery tea, it looks kind of like black tea with cornflower and chamomile, but I'm not sure. And then .5 oz each of City Harvest Blend and Spiced Ginger Mint. Yum!!! Those came from The Tea Trove. Also there's a bag of sticky fingers scone mix! My favorite!

Today I had Adventures With Fast Food and Adventures At The Grocery Store. The first, not so much fun. Mental note, no matter HOW hungry you are, no matter HOW yummy you think you remember fast food being, it is NOT yummy and you will feel ill after eating it. Just drive home and make a sandwich. That's right, I ate my first fast food in... well it's been so long that I don't remember how long. I tell ya, I think I'd have been safer having bacon wrapped mystery meat on Hollywood Blvd from an unlicensed street vendor at 2am than eating that Western Bacon Smells Like Death Chicken Sandwich.

At the grocery store, my basket contained a HUGE london broil, two heads of fresh broccoli, fresh bread, shallots, two romance novels and two quarts of Brownie Batter ice cream. I might as well have been carrying a big old sign over my head in neon, screaming, "HEY! I HAVE PMS! ALSO! HI! IT IS THE GRUMPY WEEK OF THE MONTH! FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY, GET OUT OF MY WAY!" because nothing says hormonally challenged like red meat, chocolate ice cream and trashy romance novels. I may be the only person in the world who craves green veggies at this time of the month, but I assure you, they really do help.

Knitting? I ripped out my sock again. But the sleeve is growing nicely, thank you. I'm in the "continue until sleeve measures 8.5" portion of the pattern and I think we're good until the increases start....

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The week in knitting in review: Heavy yarn vomit with a high chance of tequila.

yep, that's right, I had to frog Serrano AGAIN. But. I am tenacious. I cast back on, I put on my thinking cap, I knit both cuff halves together on one circ and I think, I daresay, I have prevailed. THIS TIME, it is going smoothly!

serranosleeve
Two cuff halves, joined!

sleeve up close
Close up.

So far, so good. *fingers crossed* The picture doesn't show it well but the stitch count is working out fine and the repeats all line up where they should be and I think I may actually have a SLEEVE starting to form on the needles! WOOO!

Next hurdle: increases. See Rainy rely heavily on her lifeline!

Otherwise, I've been having adventures with tech supports, blinky lights and working lots. Yay!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Serrano continues to give me fits, but I cast back on a sleeve and after going back through the KAL comments and questions, I think I figured the thing I was having issues with, out. Huzzah. Jeeeeez. Maybe I'm not up to a 'piquant' pattern after all. I will persevere, though, just watch me. I am GLAD I started the KAL because at least other people are making (and solving) the same mistakes as me. This pattern is not easy. But I love it.

I started the new socks yesterday while I was riding the bus and I really liked the pattern I picked but now not so much 3" later. It's a little tight. I may frog and redo something different.

What is it with the frogging? Everything this week, frogged.

Enjoying the fun over at KTS2. Loving the posts and seeing what people are getting from their swap pals. The pictures and descriptions are awesome. I've heard from my most excellent spoiler (and am very anticipatory!) and got my spoilee package off last week - I am told it has arrived, so YAY! I think half the fun is the anticipation of waiting to see what someone thought of your box, you know? This was fun, I'll do it again next time if they have another round, and given that I'm a little broke right now going into the holidays, it's probably good that I'm not doing a full 3 rounds of SP!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Stupid. Knitter. Tricks.

Hey look, I've been working on Serrano!

serranofrogged

Yes, that IS a bottle of Patron tequila and a Cthulu shot glass thank you very much. Sometimes strong medicine is required when frogging hours of work.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

str purple rain
I need a swift and ball winder. I think I'm asking for one for Xmas for sure. I gave in to temptation a few weeks ago and acquired a skein of Socks that Rock in "Purple Rain" because, well, it had my name in it and it was gorgeous, and I wanted it. So now I am winding it. Since the mom socks got finished, I really do need a sock project to carry around with me.

str pr close
Seriously, these colors. SO gorgeous.

serrano 2nd repeat
slow but definite progress on Serrano. I'm really happy with the way this is coming along, even if I am maybe having to wing it with the waist decreases because I might have sort of done it wrong but it looks fine and the count is ok, so that's what really matters, right? Not a lot of knitting time, but I'm making it work.

I've been a stay home mama for about 10 years now and this fall I went back to work selling the premium olive oil to the masses, as I've mentioned before. This morning I have been running around getting some laundry done and tidying up the place, finishing putting the kitchen back into order, and keeping one eye on the clock because I have a closing shift today. Tomorrow is going to be the same and the day after that I work an opener until 5:30. So I'm taking things out of the freezer, planning some meals for the week in advance, making sure kids have their keys, all the while cleaning, doing laundry, making sure I eat and am medicated, all the things I've done as a stay home mom for years - but now it's in fast forward and there is no sense of being able to do it all in *my* own time - rather, I have to do it in the time I have. I stood there with the fridge door open, holding my little package of frozen chicken and the thought flashed through my mind, "Yes, well this is what most of the world does. So get used to it." and that was a good thought. Like it's not so special or novel, it's just what people have to do and I can do it too. I am just like everybody else.

There are solutions to all my problems. Not easy fixes, not happy fixes, but solutions that make it work. Whatever happens, I can make it work. The dominoes of self-crippling ideas that I've accumulated over the years are all tumbling down in my head and there is this pattern which they are forming, looks a lot like letters and they are spelling out C-A-P-A-B-L-E and I really like how it feels.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ok I am pondering uses for white truffle infused olive oil seeing as how I now have 8.5 oz of it sitting in my cupboard. 30% off, even. I love my job.

So lay your food pr0n on me, what's your favorite use for truffle oil goodness?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Today has been all about Stupid Knitter Tricks. Like, putting the waist decreases for Serrano in the entirely wrong place. So had to tink back, unknit, ladder down three rows, pick up stitches and then put the decreases into the *right* place which took most of an hour. Oh how I love to waste time. Though there's certainly something to be said for figuring out how to fix stuff without having to frog the hell out of everything. I think I really must be the world's slowest knitter, but it's coming along anyway. I'm beginning to have faith that there is actually a sweater on those needles.

Monday, October 02, 2006

serrano repeat 1

Serrano -first repeat and hem. Have I mentioned what a cunning hem this is? Cleverly fashioned. Ditto the facings for the hook/eye closures. Slipped stitch every other row insures that it will fold neatly when the time comes to sew it down. This is a well thought out pattern. I can already tell that the details are neatly designed to make the finishing look sharp and professional. It's hard to photograph black yarn, but you can get an idea of the stitch pattern anyway and it'll look great when it's blocked. Ah the miracle of lace, right? This is a GREAT knit. It's the perfect weight for LA and has a great feel and nice stitch definition.

You know that you want to join our knit along! C'mon, all the cool kids are doing it!

I'm afraid Icarus has been languishing in the knitting bag while I've been obsessing over busy with Serrano, but I've been carrying My So Called Scarf around everywhere since it is a fairly simple pattern to do while you're busy doing other things. That's growing nicely and I am about to wind up and start on the second skein. Hopefully that'll be done and off the needles by the end of the month.

I'm afraid I've gone and gotten myself hooked on that new NBC show Heroes which has lots of things I like and which I think everyone should check out. They're streaming it over at NBC.com if you missed the first few eps. Go, go, it's actually must-see TV!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Serrano is proving to be a really exhilarating knit. Seriously. It's one of those edge of your seat knits, for me at least. I'm doing things I've never done before and adding to my bag of knitterly tricks, which I always find exciting. I had a few false starts and had to frog, but now I'm about halfway through the first repeat of the lace chart and I think I've found my groove. The lace pattern is easy to remember and works up really quickly. I'm thrilled with the Knitpicks Gloss, it's knitting up beautifully. With any luck, I'll have pictures sometime in the next day or so, when I've finished a few of the pattern repeats and it is a little more interesting to look at.

Visited the Hair God after a loooooong absence. He fixed my hair, which was sad and broken after such a long separation. I bit the bullet and cut about 6+ inches off - maybe more - it skims my shoulders now. I loved my long curly locks so much, and I miss them. A little sad, to be truthful. But. It is CERTAINLY much more manageable than it was, will be a lot easier to handle now that I am working and that is why I decided to cut it off. He does such a good job, it's a super flattering cut and the length still works for me. Change is good. And there are always dreadfalls for those times when I get a yen for long locks. I'm back to my preferred black/violet too and it makes me look gothic and sad. Except, in a really not "sad" way. Like, I hope people don't look at my hair and say "oh, sad." you know? More of a stylistic thing. GothicAndSad(tm)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Got gauge? I swatched and I got gauge! So I can start knitting Serrano, except, I need to go find a 2.5mm circ in order to work the hem. So not quite ready to leap in.

gotgauge

My youngest is having issues with a girl at school who is being somewhat verbally abusive at lunch and passing periods. Mean girls stuff, normal, not horrible, but every day it's something new and she's a little frustrated by the behavior.

"Do you want me to visit her right after school and have a little 'chat'?" my oldest asked her tonight at the table. Keep in mind, my oldest has a green and black mohawk (it's an old picture), wears spikes and tatters and visually is quite intimidating to those of a mainstream mindset. She's as gentle a kid as you'd want to meet, but she LOOKS something fierce.

Sorchacolors

"Oh yeah. And could you do that thing where you get all ARTICULATE?" the youngest answered enthusiastically.

Not "Yes, please, kick her ass." or "break her nose." or any sentiment that implies ill will - no. Simply, "GET ARTICULATE."

My kids? Yeah. They're GREAT. I love them. I enjoy them so much. I love that the oldest will be articulate and fierce on her little sister's behalf and that the little one appreciates it and knows she is safe and protected by her family. I love that violence is not the first thing on their mind, but that they fall back on the power of words and reason.

Be articulate. Weapon of choice.

Smart people rule.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Well the excitement is almost too much to bear over at the Knitters Tea Swap, as stashes are flashing and people are being matched up and getting contacted. Fun! I'm looking forward to it. So I thought that as long as I was flashing my stash to a lot of strangers, I'd flash it here, too.

tea stash flash
I'm out of a lot of my favorite teas. I didn't realize how much the stash had shrunk. Out of most of my favorites! ACK! I almost feel as if I am crawling through the desert, gasping, "Teaaaaaaa...." except, well, er. Not. Because ya know, that's still a lot of tea on the table. So I should really suck it up, ya know?

pot stash flash
Flashing my pot stash, teapot stash, that is. Except this isn't the whole stash, there's a whole bunch more that're packed away in cartons in the closet because we have no room and I'm afraid someone will break them. So these are the 'everyday' pots. Please note the OZ pot there in the lower right corner, it is the latest addition to the collection and a gift from a very dear friend. Matching cups arrived the other day. I am drinking tea in one right now, as a matter of fact. I also tend to collect cow shaped milk pitchers and the one pictured is my favorite. We've got a rather wee elephant, too, but he seems to be missing. :-(

I loves me some tea.

I AM ALMOST DONE with mom's birthday sock and will be finished by tonight. Thank the gods, above and below. Man, longest sock knit EVAR. My yarn for Serrano still has not arrived so no swatching action to show yet, but the Knit Along is kicking up and people are actually joining! How exciting is that, my first knit along!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Okay well I don't know if there is some special etiquette to setting up a knit along (such as getting permission from the designer or what have you) and if there is, I have just botched it. Oops. I googled around and it appears nobody is doing a Serrano Knit Along and I want one, so I'm starting one.

http://serranokal.blogspot.com/

Join, y'all. Knit with me. And spread the word!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Food porn du jour...

Wild Japanese scallops, baby asparagus (chopped into 1" sections), grape tomatoes (halved) and crimini mushrooms (stemmed and sliced) sauteed in O&Co Mantinea & Avia olive oil until the veggies give up their liquid (start with the veggies, then add the scallops about halfway through). Add 1/2 jar Trader Joe's yellow Thai curry sauce. Cover and simmer.

Meanwhile, boil and drain a sufficient quantity of rice noodles (I used somen from Mitsuwa but alas, do not know the brand as it was written in Japanese). Add to curry mixture (the sauce and liquid will have made a broth) and stir well. Serve in bowls.

Edamame on the side, drizzled with O&Co lemon olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt, tossed and then chilled.

It is for to drool.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Well the yarn for Serrano is now winging its way to me, as is yarn for the Adamas shawl. I opted to do Serrano in KnitPicks Gloss (black, natch) and am doing Adamas in Lisa Souza's garnet wool laceweight. I just sold the yarn I'd originally bought to knit Rogue with - it is looking more and more like I'll order some KP's Main Line for that one - can't beat the price and it's the right weight and fiber for where I live.

The Tilli Tomas controversy over price fixing that is going on with Sarah's Yarns (they are not being allowed to discount the yarn and the company has stopped supplying them) has really cooled my ardor for this yarn, though I realize that quite a few yarn companies engage in this practice. I don't mind so much if the prices are reasonable, but for what Tilli Tomas is asking for, one would think it had been spun by vestal virgins under a full moon in a flower strewn meadow. Or something. So the Sexy Knitted Bodice is on hold until I figure out a good substitute yarn. I'd considered KP's Andean Treasure, but it's a plied yarn and the Tilli Tomas is a single. I am contemplating soy or bamboo from Southwest Trading Co instead. Something will pop, I'm sure. Anyone come up with a fabulous sub for this one?

I have to finish the following projects and I'm gonna try to have them off the needles by the end of the month:
Mom's birthday socks
Icarus
Carl's baby sweater (before Carl outgrows it)
My So Called Scarf

I'm planning to cast on for:
Victorian Knitted Tank from IK (need to get the yarn for this)
Serrano (yarn is coming)
Adamas shawl (yarn is coming)
Swallowtail shawl (using stashed yarn in Lisa Souza's Sock! in red)
Sizzle (using stashed cotton yarn for this, need to buy the pattern.)
Sexy Knitted Bodice (looking for a sub for Tilli Tomas, need to buy the pattern.)
and of course, miscellaneous socks.

Which means, I've got most of the yarn and all the patterns I need for all but two of the projects. So I suppose I'd best stop messing around and get knitting. I am NOT knitting any Christmas presents this year. I am a working girl now. I don't have time. I am going to knit for ME. With the exceptions, of course, of Carl's sweater (it probably will not fit me) and MSCS, which I cast on intending to use as a gift for a certain Handsome Painter with whom I am acquainted.

Speaking of working, I closed the shop for the first time yesterday and boy was THAT a comedy of errors. Also, my co-worker went for lunch and never came back, which means my manager had to come in on her day off so that I could have dinner. I am hoping that I am still employed once all my paperwork, math and closing procedure is reviewed. *sigh* It really was just, farcical, yesterday.

Friday, September 15, 2006

No, really, I am the OCD Fairy

Move OVER, Crazy Aunt Purl because the OCD Fairy has descended upon the LA Basin. I have got to be the most OCD, anal retentive person I've ever met ever in the history of, well... ever. Actually, I find it really reassuring that there are other knitters out there who get all excited about crazy things. It makes me feel less like a sideshow freak and more like I'm just part of a very select group.

I just spent the day with everything all over the living room floor, organizing, ziploc bagging and um... cataloging my yarn and roving stash. I am now the proud owner of a small, neatly organized index card catalog for my yarn. Except in part of my brain, I'm thinking, "SHIT. I didn't really alphabetize it. OH NOES." and this fact is stressing me out so I may have to redo it with some slight stylistic changes. We'll see.

I actually blame Dave of Criminy Jickets for this, because he had a blog post the other day about index cards for his new cast on projects and in the OCD recesses of my mind, a voice said, "DUDE. Writing stuff on CARDS! That is SO TEH COOLEST IDEA EVAR." and I remembered that I too had an unused card cataloger box thinger, new purple ink pens and some colored cards still wrapped in plastic. I too get to be one of the Cool Kids. Shiny.

The catalog, it is color coded and organized by yarn weight (this is so that when new yarn comes, one can simply enter it on the proper card found under 'worsted' or 'DK' or 'sock'). The yarns in the actual bins are now also mostly separated by color and weight, in their individual bags. It's a very precise method here, Chez Yarnpirate. Because, you know, god forbid purple merino should touch the olive corriedale and please do NOT to be putting coral Egyptian cotton next to the blue silk. Yes, the Debbie Bliss cashmerino may touch the all seasons cotton. Also not to be putting the eyelash yarn in the same bin as the Socks That Rock. That makes my left eyelid twitch.

I am SO blissfully happy. Deeply satisfied. I want a damn cigarette it was that good. It's really ridiculous how much I love organizing things. Keeping them that way, not so much, but organizing? Please yes, may I have another? I keep looking at the bins of tidily ziplocked yarn and smiling a morning after smile.

See I have this idea, this crazy idea about stashbusting (right after I place this one last Knitpicks order) and I am quite SURE that the card catalog will enable me to stashbust more easily and actually use up yarn I have rather than buying more. Except for sock yarn. Sock yarn is exempt from the stashbusting rule because it is a small indulgence. Socks is socks and random sock yarn eventually gets knit up, so you can get the odd skein here or there and is Not A Waste Of Money.

My children and Mr. Yarnpirate are all mocking me, so I suppose I should go threaten them with some pointy sticks or perhaps make dinner so they might find something constructive to do with their yaps. This concludes the Yarnpirate Is Odd portion of your day.

Why are you smiling and backing away like that? Wait. Come back. Really!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

FINALLY. I'm on repeat #4 of Icarus. Still chart 1, but we're making progress. I'm not taking pictures until I get to the lace, kthx, because st st/yarnovers all pretty much looks the same whether you're on repeat 1 or repeat 5. It is sticky and vacation scented. I have to say that I love this project, but I will think twice next time before taking on something with lots of st st and looong purl rows. It's hard to keep knitting at it. I am a slow purl girl. I am not fast. It is becoming tedious. It is only the siren call of chart #2 that is keeping me knitting, well that and I want to finish SOMETHING this year that isn't a baby sweater or pair of socks.

I signed up for the Knitters Tea Swap last week because it sounded shiny. It seems to be a nice thing, since I'm not doing SP this next round, wot with the hols coming up. I get the fun of doing a secret pal type swap, but it's just one shot. And tea themed. What's not to love?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I thought this was funny... those whacky French. Should be worksafe for most environments, it's got a hint of nudity, but not really nudity. And I know just how she feels, this seems like what happens to me when I'm in a yarn store. The yarn just sneaks up on me.



Am firmly in the Bermuda Sock Triangle with the birthday sock. Have had NO time to knit anything. Yet I am considering buying more yarn from Knitpicks. Someone, tell me why this is? They have fingering weight in a silk blend now. I am so there.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

So, things just keep getting more and more exciting Chez Yarn pirate. Yesterday, late afternoon ish, we got a call. On her way back from the Grand Canyon, the car carrying the youngest pirate was in an accident. The car flipped over, rolled and ended up off the road in a wad of crumpled mess due to a tire detreading. Everyone walked away from the accident because they were wearing their seatbelts. Bruises. Bumps. No breaks, no death. So okay. This is important. Please listen. Wear your gorram seatbelt whenever you're in the car, ok? I cannot stress this one too much. It saved my child's life yesterday. She has interesting bruises where the seatbelts were, missed the first day of school, hurts and feels like, well, she was in a major auto accident, and is out of PE for a week, but is otherwise unscathed (sez the doctor) by the adventure.

She's got a great bear story to tell her friends and her father and I have a few more grey hairs, not to mention a new nervous tic or three. The 6 hours between the phone call and when she was back in our arms felt like years, but she is home safe. I am frankly on the edge of tears everytime I look at her and the what ifs are too horrible to contemplate - but the bottom line is, we got her back and she is safe and in a week the bruises will be gone. She will still be here. For which we are grateful.

In other news:
saint anne bonney
This is Saint Anne Bonney at the prow of the HMS Yarrrrrrnbowl. She was in my reveal box from my SP8! Now she has pride of place along with First Mate Totoro.

sp8 reveal
This is the other stuff in the box, of which I have taken a very crappy picture. I'd stacked it all on Charlie a la Stuff On My Cat, but he had other ideas. That's some corriedale roving in Bird Of Paradise from Lisa Souza - omg, SO beautiful. And pirate bandaids, a fiber mag, animal shaped rubber bands, a nail file, creamy facial goodness, and a skein of Karabella yarn wot will make something one skeinishly cool. THANK YOU SECRET PAL. It's been fun!!

Buckle up out there.

Monday, September 04, 2006

I have not been a particularly posty Yarnpirate of late. There's just been a lot going on. For one thing, I started my new job and have been training and learning about the company and I really like it. It is great fun, I appreciate the product we're selling as it goes with my whole 'small agriculture' philosophy, the food porn is fanastic and I get to memorize a lot of meaningless (outside of work) food trivia and spout it at people all day. You never knew there was so much to learn about olive oil, but believe you me, olive oil is a complex subject. It keeps my brain somewhat busy.

We spent the last 3 days aboard the HMS Crushing Boredom Monarch Of The Seas, having a cruise vacation to Baja with my entire family by marriage. Except the littlest pirate, who could not come due to visa issues. She went to the Grand Canyon instead and we missed her terribly. This was to celebrate the inlaws 50th wedding anniversary. It was terrifically generous of them to take the family and we are appreciative. The 'rental inlaws were happy, we celebrated with great celebration, we had pictures made, it was nice to get the family together and I enjoyed my nephews, as well as blowing off the tours and walking into Ensenada for the day on Saturday. I found two nifty art galleries - one with v. cool Dia De Los Muertos skelly swag amidst all the tourist crap.

This cruise, which was fairly cool the last time we did it, has sadly turned into a beer bongtastic, rum swilling singles revel. Do not to be getting the pirate wrong, we are all about the rum and the swilling of the rum and also why is the rum gone? However. We have limits. And 500+ singles on the lido deck with Vanilla Ice blasting at all hours? Not. My. Thing. I could not find anyplace peaceful or quiet to knit due to the disco that was blaring in every corner of the ship. Some asshat with a Tidy Bowl margarita slopped some onto Icarus, so now Icarus smells like... well... blue curacao, tequila, eau de la party and I'm not sure what else. Yarn and morons truly don't mix. Off with his head. Also, we all had to wear happy matching tee shirts. There was a customs clusterf*ck because one of the aforementioned beery singles tried to smuggle a bunch of drugs in from Mexico, in his luggage. So 4 extra hours on board and because we were disembarking, the rum was truly gone and all the partygoers were cranky and hung over and trapped on board. Thanks for that, Mr. Dumbass. Enjoy jail. And that is all we'll say about that.

Um, knitting? What knitting. Oh, you mean the sock I almost finished and then had to rip back to the heel because I made a huge glaring error (I was in pain due to some steel drummer mangling Erasure while I was knitting that part)? Or Icarus wot reeks of Tidy Bowl strong drink? Not a lot of knitting. I returned the heel on the sock. I gotta get this thing done by Thursday for my mom's birthday.

I did come home to my final reveal package of SP8 and found out that my pal was Mei Flower I love it! There is all manner of cool swagness but my favorite is the Anne Bonney action Figure which is now standing in pride of place on the knitting shelf. I promise a picture and details tomorrow when I can get the camera rolling. Thank you Secret Pal Mei Flower!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

When I got home, my roving of the month club selection was sitting in the mailbox. I gotta say, for $15 a month, this is a GREAT deal. For fifteen bucks, I got 4 oz. of THIS:

spunky cool rain on spindle

It's South African Fine, which is supposedly similar to merino. I like it, I think. I am finding it interesting to spin and a little more finicky than merino or BFL. I've got about half a pound of Corriedale in the stash that wants for spinning but I haven't gotten to it yet so not sure how it compares. The roving was a teeny bit felted during the dye process, so I am predrafting a lot. It's... "stickier" than the merino and BFL that I've spun before, in that the fibers are really wanting to stick together instead of draft smoothly. It seems to want to be a heavier yarn. Fortunately, I emptied the Bosworth midi a few days ago! The colorway is called "cool rain" and when spun up has this wonderful pastel cotton candy quality.

Worked a bit on the laceweight merino and had a nice full copp. Things were getting wobbly so I wound it off.

merino thistle lace
My hope is that this will eventually be laceweight 2 ply. It may end up being more like fingering weight once I ply it out. We'll have to see.

I feel like I'm so close to hacking another level of spinning. There're so many things I'd like to improve like not overspinning the hell out of things and being perfectly even. It's a process, I know. I'm trying to spin a little every day. Maybe I'll figure it out. I should probably take a few classes. :-P

My So Called Scarf from Sheep In The City:
P1010002_1
Fabulous.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I think I'm gonna not participate in Secret Pal 9. A break will be good. This round was more difficult than I expected it to be - I was spoiling my SP8 and also I was an angel for someone from SP7 so doing both simultaneously and trying really hard to do nice things for both of them. I wanted to do so much more and a really good job. I just worry that I didn't. I also feel kinda bad because I don't think I was the best spoilee this round, either - I feel like I could have been way more chatty and visibly thankful and excited. I just, dropped the ball. There was so much going on. All the travel, the family drama, but that's really no excuse to be rude, you know?

For the record? I LOVED my Secret Pal, she had great taste and spoiled me and it was wonderful and I'm so thankful. Thank you SP8. You were awesome. I'm sorry I was a big flaky thing.

I'll join back up for 10, hopefully and will be back to normal. When something you normally really enjoy becomes stressful because of life circumstances, it's really a wise idea to step back and take a break from it until it's no longer stressful and can be a joy again. And I do think that giving or receiving, people deserve my best.

I started turning the heel of the #2 mom sock today. I think I'll have another FO by the end of the week. Yay!

Oh, and, another little thing. I am now back in the ranks of the gainfully employed. I've been keeping it under my hat for the most part, not wanting to jinx things, but I have been looking for work for a while now. I got offered a job yesterday and I start next week. High end food porn retail, a good re-entry into the working world after so many years of being a stay home mom, and I like the shop and the people I will be working with. The pay is great and I'll be right next to the Farmer's Market, working in the Grove. Which mean, I can eat puerco pibil at Loteria! every day if I want it.

We're going on a cruise to Mexico with my inlaws for their 50th wedding anniversary next weekend. They are taking the whole family. Because of some legal issues with my youngest's custody arrangement, she can't go and we're just heartbroken. She'll be staying behind while we go on the cruise. We arranged for her to join some friends on a trip to the Grand Canyon and she's quite excited, but it's been a real issue as far as the rest of the family is concerned. That's part of what was taking my attention away from the rest of my life for so long in addition to all the family draaaama and health stuff. I've been trying to track down someone who doesn't really want to be found, work around the state dept's requirements for passports for a minor and failing miserably at both. Anyone know a crackerjack private investigator who will work for knitted things?

Truly, it is up and it is down and then it is up and then back down. One must simply try to balance.
It's Knitimation.

The Knitties (actually its' the Stabilisers) in Do The Brane

Yarn stop action animation. Shiny.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Hubris is.... thinking that one can learn to spin singles suitable for 2 ply laceweight using a brand new spindle and silk/cashmere roving. AHAHAHAHAHAHA. What one ends up with is flyaway bits of fluff sticking everywhere, a dent in the rug where the spindle keeps falling, very uneven singles, laughing children, scandalized cats and a husband who silently but obviously puts out the bad word jar where you can see it as if to say, "Those words you keep saying. They are naughty. You owe the jar a lot of money."

How do you know it's hubris? When you wind it off and put the fancy roving away, then try the merino that was previously putting the "drop" back in drop spindle and giving you fits. And find it to be easy by comparison.

We'll try the fancy stuff another time.
I'm thinking that I might re-think the "thistle" merino roving I've got. I had spun up a 3 ply DK weight which I haven't been too happy with. It wasn't the right yarn for the roving. I'd initially thought I'd make a little cardi with it, but as I've been spinning, I've been thinking "No." and so the roving got set aside until I figured out what I wanted to do. But now... after my chat with Morgaine yesterday at the show... and looking at my new Bossie... my brain is going "Hmmmmmmm". There were some handspun/handknit shawls on display yesterday which were positively inspiring. I got home and the new IK was in the mail box and lo and behold, the Swallowtail Shawl is only about 475 yards of laceweight.... I could manage that much on a spindle, given enough time.

Yep. I think it's official. The thistle is being repurposed. It wants to be a shawl. It wants to be laceweight. It will be so much happier that way. Doesn't this look like it wants to be a delicate swallowtail shawl knit out of laceweight 2 ply?
thistle roving

There's something really exciting about contemplating a big pile of roving and seeing not only the yarn but having a clear vision of what you are going to turn that yarn into. Knowing it's not going to be a pile of miniskeins that you never knit up. Also? I have 2 pounds of the thistle which means I can work at laceweight, singles and 2 plying, I can mess some up and have it turn out like crap until I get the hang of it, and still have enough for a shawl. So it's really a fortuitous thing.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Santa Monica Fabulous Fiber Fest was FAAAABULOUS. I was good. I got exactly what I went in to get. One Bosworth featherweight spindle in purpleheart and a small sample of luxury fiber (cashmere/tussah silk) to spin with it. I was very good and did not give in to any other temptation and believe me, I'd like a medal. I walked past tencel, bamboo, soy silk, bombyx and suri alpaca. All manner of shiny. Damn skippy. Go me.

spindleroving
The new spindle, and roving. It has the most amazing sheen, from the silk, and is SO soft.

cashere singles
I'm getting a very fine single, though (here against the quarter for size comparison) so I'm thinking I can still get something approximating lace weight 2 ply. We'll see how the yardage comes out once it's all done and then I'll know what I can make.

Morgaine at Carolina Homespun showed me how to make an improvised lazy kate with two knitting needles, toilet roll tubes and a cardboard box. So two plying should be a little less fraught. Between that and my pvc niddy noddy from Moze, I feel very DIY. It just struck me today as I was showing J my spun miniskeins today - HOLY COW, I am making YARN. Real yarn. Some of it may be imperfectly plied or spun, I do get the occasional slub or slight variation in thickness, but... YARN. You can knit with it! I cannot, btw, speak highly enough of Morgaine and the folks over at Carolina Homespun. Not only do they have a fabulous selection of *everything*, but they're really accessible and happy to show you anything you want to know, answer questions, etc. They have my very loyal business every year and when I go to buy a wheel, I know who I am getting it from.

I met Marnie MacLean at the show. She is tiny and looks like a Victorian fairy. I don't know why I was expecting her to be eight feet tall and wrapped in spangles that screamed "FABULOUS KNITWEAR DESIGNER HERE" but maybe that's what happens when you really like someone's work. They get to be larger than life in your brain. I imagine the Yarn Harlot is just a regular sized knitter too. I guess I'll find out when she does her next signing in LA, right?

IF you're not to busy tonight, get on over to Synergy Cafe in Culver City. Bellydancers will be there. So will I.
4455 Overland Ave., Culver City CA lots of parking on Farragut Ave and behind the cafe.

Also, The Strand is playing at Bar Sinister up in Hollywood later on tonight. I might show up there too. If I'm not too wrung out from bellydancer wrangling (akin to cat herding, but jinglier.)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Azalia's Yarn Store in Culver City on Washington is having a 50% off all yarn in the store sale. Which, as I was out running errands, caused me to nearly wreck the Toyota. I saw the big 50% OFF ALL YARN IN THE STORE sign and careened to a screeching halt and thank goodness I had the presence of mind to pull over as I did so. Sadly, they were all sold out of Rio De La Plata which was what I'd hoped to find (half off is significant and I've been wanting to buy some) and they have no sock yarn at all. Don't carry it. Thank the freakin gods. So I did not have a yarn frenzy at all. Not even a tiny one. The store carries a lot of those 'designer' Italian yarns as well as a lot of stuff from Bernat and Berocco. It's an interesting mix of stock. A lot of blends, heavy on the synthetic fibers and novelty yarns with sparklies and bins of eyelash stuff. It isn't really a shop for the fiber snob or a more traditional knitter who likes basic yarns in natural fibers. Which would be me. The store closes August 26th and is moving to a new location up on Palms Blvd. I will probably continue to do the bulk of my yarn whoring a la A Mano Yarn Center, but Azalias is always worth checking out just in case and in this case, 50% off, kids.

Speaking of A Mano Yarn Center? I was just in there today. They have in a whole new fabulous shipment of Socks That Rock. Danger, Will Robinson. Danger. It looks like Shannita and crew are going gangbusters with the business and I'm so happy to see it. It's a really comfortable place and everyone is so friendly and helpful, just awesome about helping you if you have questions. They've got an amazing collection of yarns for sale, rovings, spindles, novelties.... And did I mention, STR? Yeah. You know you want some. Go get some. Just not all of it please, I want some too.