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.


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.


"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.

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
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!