Friday, June 30, 2006

four down...

Two to go. Things here are a bit fraught with family drama. Today we are busting Grandpa out of the house to take him to Dennys. Visited with Auntie last night, haven't seen her in about 3 years. Tomorrow, Bay Area friends. Sunday, home. I can't wait. I miss my guys so much I could scream, want to pet the cats, want to sleep in my own bed, am just really over travel.

Have spun up about 2.5 oz of the Spunky roving. It's SO beautiful. I'd originally planned to do a 2 ply yarn, that was a disaster, it is a skillset I lack, so I navajo plied it and have this marvelous 3 ply chunky yarn with distinct color changes. I believe it will be mostly self striping. I have some pics, just can't unload my camera till I get home.

Kids in the court have been blowing things up because fireworks are readily available. Last night it was a gas powered mower. I guess this is what happens when cousins marry. I have decided to simply consider it natural selection in action. I do wish they'd stop though. It is freaking out the dog, who is already freaked out by wind, rosebushes, the yard, the a/c, the birds, trains, etc. Dog is shedding so much in anxiety, she'll be bald by Sunday I'm sure.

Home Sunday, as soon as I can get there.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I'm heading up into the Central Valley today for a few days at my mom's, so will probably be far from a computer. I am taking the new roving I got from Spunky Eclectic's roving o' the month club and my spindle, so that I can sit near her spinning wheel and SIGH LOUDLY and say, "Oh, this spindle is taking so long, I'll never get all this roving spun up." and look at the spinning wheel sadly and hopefully she will finally relent and let me have her wheel. Which deserves to be more than just, decor. Have you heard about the Spunky Club yet? Great deal. $15 per month and you get mystery roving once a month in the mail. This month's selection is gorgeous and I'm really excited to spin it up into something. I know I said no more roving, but c'mon, that's a GREAT deal. And I'm still slowly but surely spinning up the 2 whole lbs of thistle merino.

It's been a crazy busy couple of days Chez Yarnpirate. Dungeon re-opened this week, moved to the Knitting Factory in Hollywood. I miss the old location, but I enjoyed dancing and the DJ's were good. Not so crazed about the shows going on near the dance floor because that meant less room for dancing, but otherwise, I had a good time. I haven't gotten out and stomped in a good long while. I've just been running hard. Browncoat shindig on Friday, big party on Saturday, Dungeon on Sunday, yesterday I got to hang out with my Evil Twin Skippy all day long, and now Modesto. This month long respite from children is going swimmingly.

The children, btw, are fine. We've gotten letters from camp. No one is eaten by bears. This last week they celebrated Pirates, Ninjas and Cowboys day, apparently, or at least that's what I'm gleaning from the pictures.

Emily left her favorite rabbit at home, citing the fact that she is "too old for silly stuffed rabbits." and this was a BAD idea because when Em is away, Bunny will play....

Bunny gets dressed up for Dungeon...

Bunny makes himself sick on cake...

Bunny plays tank commander...

Bunny wants a cupcake...

bunny goes out for burritos...

and so on. There's more, with people, being silly, but I can't put htem on the internet w/o permission. When Em comes home, there'll be a little spiralbound book that is titled "What I Did On Your Summer Vacation" and all of Bunny's adventures will be chronicled. The last picture will be Bunny cuddled up in her bed, waiting for her to return.

Too old for stuffed rabbits, my arse. I'm having a perfectly swell time with the stuffed rabbit and look how old I am!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Can't Stop The Yarnwhores, or, My Big Damn Trip to Pasadena

This weekend was the big damn Equality Now/Serenity Now screening, where a lot of Browncoats all over the country descended on movie theatres and raised a lot of money for Joss Whedon's favorite charity. The So-Cal Browncoats raised over $4K and there were 47 screenings total worldwide, so I'm excited to see what the total is going to be.

I am big damn fangirl. Hear me roar.

Yes, I did spend the whole day dressed up like Kaylee, what of it? :-P

I knit in line and during the show, too! Saw a lot of handmade Jayne Cobb hats. One gal was doing crochet. Truly, we are everywhere.

I meant to write about this earlier in the week but I have just been running like mad and not a lot of time to blog about it. On Thursday I went into Pasadena via the Metro bus and Gold line and visited Skein which I have been wanting to do for quite a while. I was really happy to see a lot of Jaeger yarns (I like Jaeger a lot) and they had many different fibers available. Silk, linen, bamboo and cotton were all in plentiful supply which is nice for this climate, and they even had a bunch of Habu yarns which were fun to fondle. I did think it was a wee bit overpriced, unfortunately. For example, I can get a lot of the Jaeger yarns for an average of $3 cheaper per ball/skein online, and most of the other yarns were priced $2-$3 higher than I normally pay. It's a quandary. I want to support my LYS owners over internet ventures, but I cannot afford to throw away money and that's a huge price difference for me. Especially if it is a large project.

The only complaint I really had about Skein was that the owner was really giving me a hard sell and would not just let me browse. Everytime I'd pick up a ball of yarn, she'd shove a pattern book in my face or start talking about the yarn. I think it was because we were the first customers of the day and the only ones in the store at the time. I am a browser, not a chatty customer. I like to walk around, look, take my time. I do not like to feel pushed. I usually have a clear idea of what I want. I probably would have purchased yarn had she left me alone, but with all the distractions I never had time to really bond with any yarn and talk myself into it. Ah well. It's a nice little shop and not every knitter is as broke as me, so that extra few bucks a skein might not matter quite so much.

We also hit Vromans to see if they had any signed copies of Bourdain's latest book left, alas, all sold out. The sock and I were very sad. Woe.

Misanthropic evil bitch goes to tea, sporks tea room hostess in cake fueled rampage. News at 11.
We had tea at the Scarlet Tea Room in Pasadena this week and folks, let me tell you, it was a trip and a half. Dear sweet fluffy god in heaven. I am not a pinkies up kind of girl. I wear combat boots to tea. I'll put it this way, it's a ruttin' miracle that I didn't stab anyone in the hand with my fork. Food and tea were great. Based on that, two thumbs up. But the ambience was so twee that you felt like you had to ram a broomstick up your arse just to maintain appropriate posture, the women would NOT leave us alone to drink tea in peace, they kept yammering at us and the cake is served in bloody "ladylike" proportions which, I have GOT to say, not a selling point for me. Thank you. Just give me my tea, shut up, go away and leave me alone. By the end of the tea I was growly and also snarky and my inside voice was not being nice and I was just happy to get OUT of there so I could collapse on the streetcorner and laugh. I like pretty china and I like atmosphere, but there's a point where it becomes a parody of itself, where it becomes farce, and that's where I draw the line.

I think that I perhaps am better off swilling my tea elsewhere in future unless I want to take someone special like my mom out for a fancy tea or maybe a baby shower for a friend, when that kind of precious atmosphere would actually be a benefit.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006



That's it for the mehndi test stuff for now. Part of what I'm trying to sort out for myself is how certain design elements translate onto a two dimensional surface. Normally, obviously, I do this stuff on parts of the body. Hands, feet, shoulders, arms, etc. It is different there. Planning it is different there, how one would place or orient a design. Like the tile on top, that's based on an Indian bridal henna I did. It would be a whole hand piece. It's completely different when set on a 2d square surface. A shift in perspective. Indian bridal henna can be BUSY. How to apply that to this surface and yet not have it be too busy? Probably set into frames or borders rather than covering the whole piece. It's what I'm figuring out. It's a process.

In the meantime, I'm also honing some mad henna skillz, yo, and cannot wait to apply it to skin. Party, party, please universe, give me a party!

Next up, some Tuareg inspired pieces, a couple of el dia de los muertos inspired pieces and I'll have a kiln load for firing. Once that's sorted, I'll skip merrily into production and get the Etsy storefront up and running, as well as cobble together a booth set up and submit some photos for a few juried shows in my area. August 1st is my hoped for launch date for both physical shows and the Etsy thing. I'll be taking commissions, but I haven't even begun to sort out a scale for that yet.

I actually *am* getting stuff done with yarn, it's just not much of interest. A few more rounds on the BP sock, almost done with the ribbing on #1. A few more rows of Icarus. It grows.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Yarnpirate and the Handsome Cabin Boy are taking a stab at foodblogging. Like there aren't enough food blogs about Los Angeles already, ya know? Like LA needs two more idiots talking about food and taking pictures in restaurants. Well, we eat out a lot, that Cabin Boy and I, and we love food, we love Los Angeles and we love talking about the food we eat in LA, so we're gonna do it anyway. If we ever can come up with a catchy name for our embryonic food blog, that is. Food Whore is taken, alas. But we're working on it and if you have any ideas for a funny, naughty foodie kind of blog name, drop me a comment. Two skeins of Lorna's Laces sock yarn are YOURS if we decide to use your name! In "Mixed Berries" of course, since, well, food. Right then.

Alas, I did not get to meet Anthony Bourdain this weekend or attend either of the TWO signings he did on Sunday in the Los Angeles area. So sad. We had to have the kids on a bus to camp at 6 am on Sunday morning and really, after that, the only thing on my mind yesterday was taking a nap. Which is exactly what me and My Sexxeh Fire Eater ended up doing, after a lavish breakfast chez Laurent. There was also a trip to the dog park in there. Then I got to have dinner out with my Cabin Boy. It's a rough life. So while I am sad to have missed my fantasy hottie love monkay, a day spent with my REAL hottie love monkays in turn, sans kids, with no pressing agenda, more than made up for it. I'll have to catch the Bourdain on the next trip around.

Btw, My Handsome Cabin Boy is officially the bomb, as this managed to come back in his suitcase from Australia:
aussie socks

I call this "Striped Knee Socks in the Raw", yo.

I must confess that one or two little tears were dabbed away with the Black Purl sock as the camp busses pulled out yesterday morning. A month is a long time and I miss my two noisy weasels already. The house is very quiet and I am not enjoying the time to sit and knit in peace and quiet as much as I thought I would. Icarus is coming along, but I'm finding it hard to concentrate in the crushing SILENCE.

test tile two
I continue to play around with test tiles for the ceramics biz, proportion, motifs, ideas. I hope they work out after firing!

Friday, June 16, 2006

A Twofer

Icarus. Which is at a rather "ho hum" phase, being not much else than a few columns of yarnovers and some stockinette. I'm nearly done with the first repeat of chart A, and then I've got to do about 5 more repeats of rows 19-42. And then, I am told, there is interest in the form of a new chart. I am a slow knitter. It's kinda, a few rows here, a few rows there... but it's coming along and I'm pleased with the fabric. Blocking it is going to be miraculous.

Black Purl sock with the yarn the Jersey Knitter sent me a while back. Just a plain st st sock. It lives in my purse. It might meet Mr. Bourdain on Sunday if it is very, very well behaved and he's in an expansive mood.

test tile/unfired

I haven't been flashing it around much but Rainware is back in business and I'll be opening an Etsy shop soon for one of a kind ceramic goodness. Feels kinda shiny to be doing the art thing again.
Well when faced with a choice between park knitting and meeting my hottie fantasy boyfriend and love monkey Anthony Bourdain, I gotta go with the nasty bits. Cos he's doing a local signing.

SO I won't be knitting in the park on Sunday after all. I guess we'll start next month.

Me, I'll be, um, prettily asking Anthony to take me back into the stockroom for some hot and nasty celebrity chef action any way he wants it to pose with the sock for a picture. If I don't fall over twitching and squealing like a dipshit fangirl, that is. Or drool on myself. Or otherwise look completely spastic.





Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Blogger keeps telling me that my browser's cookie functionality is disabled. Au contraire, mon frere, I tell it. Then Blogger tells me again how my cookie functionality is disabled. Usually, I win the disagreement, but we have to go a few rounds. I would like to meet the guy who coded this aspect of the Blogger machine, because if he really wants some cookies I have a bakers dozen to shove up the orifice of his choice. And speaking of choice? I have some choice words to say to that guy, too. For chrissake. We keep having this argument, me and Blogger. It's getting really old.


It's too nice to sit inside and knit. I went to the farmer's market instead. Now I have all this gorgeous food. Aren't those apricots perfect and luscious? Don't you wish you had some? And look at that stinky round of goat cheese goodness. Worth giving up a few hours of yarn time, if you ask me.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I blame the Happy Hooker for this one. Sundays In The Park With Sticks

Knit in Public day was so fun and I enjoyed everyone's company so much, I'd like to do it regularly.

Third Sunday of every month, we'll hook up at Douglas Park in Santa Monica, for the purposes of knitting. This'll be nice for those who can't make evening stitch and bitches (like me) due to classes, kids or other considerations. I'm thinking maybe we can rotate parks, meet at other parks, or other public places, but for now, I"ll start with Douglas until things start rolling.

Third Sunday, noon till four. Now I just gotta publicize this so that folks'll be there!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Some KIP pics that a few folks were kind enough to share!




I know there's more, that's just what I've gotten so far. I can't believe I left my camera at home.

Doesn't it look relaxed and nice and don't you wish you'd been there?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

WWKIP Day was fab! I had a great time and I met some really nice local knitters. We had a modest but really nice turnout at Douglas Park today and I couldn't have asked for better weather. There's something really great about sitting around with a bunch of women and knitting together, no matter where you congregate. I donated a couple of skeins of Lorna's Laces from my stash as a sort of "door prize", plus a Lantern Moon keychain tchotchke thinger, so if you didn't come, you missed out on a chance for free yarn!

I was a total dork and left my camera at home, so if anyone has pictures, let me know!

I met Teresa and Ellen and quite a few other folks who may have blogs, but I didn't get them! One gal even drove down from Bakersfield to join our little gathering! It was quite the shiny.

I'm thinking about trying to start some kind of monthly Knit In The Park thing, this was so nice. Same park, same spot, random Saturday of the month.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The sock, the Em and I all converged upon the Autry Museum today for a little American history. We enjoyed the exhibits (there was a yarn winder in one a them thar cases) very much, in particular the items that had the most to do with day to day life. I love looking at the old clothing and artifacts of regular life. Women's history, in that context, really fascinates me.

The one thing that bugs me about the Autry is that it really glosses over the destruction of Native American culture and focuses on westward expansion in an entirely positive light. Not shocking, it's a cowboy museum, but still. A little more objectivity in my history, kplsthxbye. There was minimal attention given to Mexican culture as pertains to the West and also Chinese culture in the West. I wanted more of those things. All in all, I did enjoy it, it's not horribly expensive and is a good way to kill an afternoon. I could have done without the LAUSD school tours and the traffic on the 5, but otherwise, good day.

I came home and there was a package from my SP8 waiting for me! Thanks Secret Pal! What a wonderful thing, I love it all! That's two beautiful skeins of Lorna's Laces shepherd sport, the Nancy Bush book I've been wanting SO bad, a tub of hand cream, a magnet and some Rosie the Riveter kleenex! That part made me laugh because....

Rosie is a fixture in my kitchen!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Blogger: "You can't update today."

Me: "Please?"

Blogger: "Nope."

Me: "Please?"

Blogger: "Well. Okay."

Me: "Yay!"

Blogger: "Psych."

Me: %##$@!@$#

Repeat ad nauseum. I can't leave comments, I can't write entries, I can't fix my template... and judging from the lack of activity on my Bloglines account, neither can anyone else. I'm vexed. Let's hope this goes through.

I blame Inky for this one.

Yep that's a really crappy picture of the first 19 rows of Icarus. I found a ginormous amount of Misti Alpaca laceweight in my stash, like, enough to knit FOUR of these shawls, because when I was a new knitter I did not understand things like yardage or buying "enough" yarn. I either bought "way too much" or "one pointless skein". This is a yarn that I bought "way too much" of, then thought it was really slippy and annoying and it made me crazy. Except it is perfect in this pattern and it is lovely on the bamboo needles I dug up and recast it onto after a disastrous first attempt and I am loving the fabric and it is fabulousness. It should be noted that...

Alpaca laceweight + addi turbos = hilarity ensuing

Monday, June 05, 2006

Blogger: "Your browser's cookie function has been disabled. Nyah."

Me: "Is not!"

Blogger: "Is so!"

Me: "Is NOT."

Blogger: "Is too."

Me: "Nuh UH."

Blogger: "Yeah huh."

repeat, ad nauseum.

What do you get with 200+ liters of Diet Coke and a couple of packs of Mentos? big heap fun! [msnvideo embedded link]

Friday, June 02, 2006

We are in the final weeks of school, getting the girls ready for camp and my Dad has been visiting for the latter part of the week. Consequently, the knitting is going slowly.

Worked a few more rounds of Mom's birthday sock and got to the heel turning portion of the program.

Worked a few decrease rows of Carl's cardi front.

Cast on for a toe up sock for me in the LL's Black Purl I got from my SP6, The Jersey Knitter, SUCH fabulous pretty yarn, I am loving it. She sent two skeins but I'm thinking instead of one pair of regular socks with both skeins, I'll make myself two pairs of lace anklets. Summer is pretty warm in LA and I always run out of anklets to wear with my chucks.

Got through the garter stitch/bead border of the Hanging Vines stole, fubared the first row, frogged. Now have to restring beads and start over. Only this time, I'm gonna start on #4's instead of the #3's specified by the pattern, I think I'd like a lacier fabric. This will ultimately be a Christmas gift for my dad's ex-wife who is the only 'family' member that I have not knit something for yet.

Spun some yarn.

Bought bins and organized my stash.

Really, aside from a few mini skeins (that's the thing about spindling, the skeins are small!) and stuffing some yarn in bins, I have accomplished f*ck all with yarn that is really worth mentioning. If that's even worth it at all.

Tomorrow I am going to as many westside yarn stores as I can manage in one afternoon, with all of my WWKIP Day fliers. I made half page copies and cut them today, so maybe can talk LYS owners into giving them to customers as well as hanging a full sized flyer in their shops. I used Franklin's flyer design and dropped in the LA info so Dolores is gonna be all over LA by tomorrow. It will be a lot of traffic and a lot of bother but hopefully we'll have a good turnout come June 10.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

You can not imagine my dismay when I received an email this morning, a communique from the Handsome Cabin Boy who was just in sheep country in Australia and did not buy yarn because no yarn was available that was free of alpaca.


no ya.... in... sheep country and did not buy yarn....


The haste with which I opened an email to assure him that indeed, alpaca is fine, nay, alpaca is MORE than fine, was somewhat amusing. I got a little frantic, even.

Mental note. Specifying "Merino" to traveling friends is good. Telling them things such as, "Sock yarn, lace weight, etc." is also good. Perhaps next time, also add: Cashmere, alpaca, silk, vicuna and other luxury natural fibers in any blend are acceptable, encouraged and even guaranteed to be a popular choice.