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.