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.

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 des!

We do not discriminate against the other needle arts.
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.

"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.)
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:


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.