Friday, March 31, 2006

More bad behavior, of course

Today I:
  • had a bagel for breakfast. Finally.
  • remembered to bring a packet of instant chai tea, but not lunch
  • am having a Vending Machine Lunch
  • have my consumption priorities all messed up

There used to be a time, a long, long time ago, when I cared about lunch so much that everyone in my studio knew when I was having it. There was a time when breakfast was the same way. That was about a year ago. What has happened since then to change the way I think about food at work? Other than a ten pound weight gain and longer walk? Wait... I think that may be it. I'm lazy and out of shape. I'm sure this cup of noodles I'm eating instead of going outside to fetch food will really help. That and this chai.

I did take a vitamin.


Excuse my French, but according to all accounts, this is some good shit. I should know, since a lot of it is passing through my hands lately. (Can you say, "Six skeins?!?") But the sad truth is I don't know. It has really been just passing through. Last night I decided enough was enough and bought some to keep for me, me! Normally I would not think I am a purple person. (A person who likes purple. Not literally purple.) But of the few colorways left at the LYS after my pillaging lately I like this one. (I almost went for something in new leaf green and pink. But then I thought better - I have no shoes to wear with that.)

There will be some underwear making soon. Witness this fingering weight cotton yarn. This is not all I need for my intended project, but I thought I'd start it first and then see if I totally poop out and end up abbreviating it. Dangerous, I know, but there wasn't exactly a queue behind me for this yarn so I think it'll be okay.Relatively soon I'll be posting at length about the Lingerie-Along we North Enders are going to have this spring/summer, but first I have to make the button. I have two ideas, and they are burning holes through my skull in their desire to be seen. So it won't be long, despite what you may know of my procrastination abilities via this blog. Really. I mean it.

Last night, I:

  • bought yarn. Yippee!
  • had mushroom and artichoke pizza for dinner with a beer
  • knit some on the IK Winter 2005 ballet wrap cardigan

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Berroco FO

Today I:

  • had no breakfast. *whine*
  • thought it was Friday
  • am getting a jump on the blogging

Berroco Reinterpreted FO!

It isn't so bad. I could be better, but it isn't so bad. (Sorry about the lowsy pictures. You should have seen them before I Photoshopped them.) Front View
Back View

Pattern: Berroco "Maple"

Size: Small (34" bust)

Yarn: Sirdar Breeze (60% acrylic/30% cotton) in "Stone"

Gauge: Um... SEE: Modifications


  1. I substituted Sirdar Breeze for Berroco Zen, obviously.
  2. As a result, the pattern went down from 1 repeat = 1 1/2" to about 1" on an H hook (5 mm), so I crocheted it up following the instructions for medium. Where actual measurements were given in the instructions, i.e. continue until armhole measures such and such inches, I used the smaller dimensions.
  3. By the time I got to the left front, which is a mirror of the right, I stopped reading the directions and just did what looked right, which may not be technically a mirror. But who will know unless I tell them?
  4. The ruffled edging was supposed have another row worked on it, but I thought that would be too much and just left it out. Also, instead of working the dc into the chains for the ruffle, I worked them around the chains, which seriously sped up the process and didn't make a big aesthetic difference.

What I would do differently if I made this again:

  1. Use a different yarn. I know I said I love this yarn (and I do!) but I think I would prefer it if the wrap had a more airy feel to it. Maybe I'd use a sport or fingering weight yarn with correspondingly larger gauge hooks.
  2. The sleeve caps seem large to me. I would increase only 1/2 of the pattern repeat instead of the full 1 pattern repeat that the instructions call for.

That said, I was shocked how chunky the thing made me look. These were the most flattering photos I could get of my figure in it. I think this is because I am not some tall bombshell with dangerous curves. The difference between my waist, bust, and hips is under 5". When I was in good shape, the difference was still under 8". I'm not saying I'm fat, just that my figure is very... subtle. This cardigan might look better on someone who can fill it out, Barbie style.

You Are a Soy Latte

At your best, you are: free spirited, down to earth, and relaxed

At your worst, you are: dogmatic and picky

You drink coffee when: you need a pick me up, and green tea isn't cutting it

Your caffeine addiction level: medium

Who didn't see that coming?

Last night, I:

  • had a mozzarella and pesto panini with a soy latte for dinner at S'nB
  • drank half a beer
  • ate some more Sicilian olives (mmm...fattening!)
  • read some more of The Plague
Today I:

  • had no breakfast. I really need to do something about that alarm.
  • am having a seafood salad sandwich and small bag of Kettle Chips for lunch
  • am drinking coffee with sugar and cream (very bad behavior)
  • am not nearly as flighty as you may think

The IK ballet wrap cardigan is coming along. I completed the back at Jeanette's this weekend, then got a bit burnt out on the sleeve and started that Berroco wrap the next day.

The ribbing in this pattern is done on three different needle sizes, but I'm only using two sizes(US #11 and US #10). I had to buy some US #11 dpns just to start this cardigan since I only have the US #10's and some US #10 3/4's in my very fancy needle receptacle, a pasta jar. But of course I forgot to bring the US #11's. I brought everything but the kitchen sink, and those needles. So I had to borrow Jeanette's circular US #11's and make do. Luckily, I wasn't very far into my Comso so I had sense enough to start a sleeve, rather than one of the front pieces. I'm not particular about needle brand or composition - I'll pretty much use anything, provided it's straight. So you can imagine the scene.

Drinking. Cat gently snoring. Spring 2006 VK going around. Me, circular pressed to my gut, hoping it doesn't break, cursing. More drinking.

You can see why I started the Berroco wrap now, can't you?

Which, by the way, with about a half hour of crocheting and finishing will be done, finis. I was working away at it last night like a maniac. I'm the sort to face my fears. Or, as an old friend of mine said, I have the killer instinct. But in a good way. I cut right to the chase, no dilly dallying.

So now I know it is not a complete disaster. I tried it on late last night and the boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot liked it, said it was elegant.

Now we know: camouflage netting - Berroco Zen + Sirdar Breeze = Elegant

I can cancel my escape now.

Last night, I:

  • had ziti with pasta sauce and fake meatballs for dinner
  • drank a beer (1/2 beer + 1/2 beer = 1 beer, right? Maybe we shouldn't think about my methods...)
  • ate a handful of green olives
  • watched Music From Another Room

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I hope this wasn't a bad idea

Today I:
  • had no breakfast. Nada. None. Blame the alarm.
  • am drinking coffee
  • am having instant potatoes and stir-fired broccolini and mushrooms for lunch with a bag of Fritos
  • wonder if I'll ever get the hang of my job

There comes a point in any project when the question of whether it should have been started at all is raised. Perhaps there are unforseen - or worse- foreseen difficulties. Maybe the yarn or the color is not quite on. Or you were drinking when you picked it out.

The current project that is flying so feverishly off the hook has been stuck in that territory from the get go. That hasn't stopped me, but I did almost kind of casually forget to mention it on the blog at all until it was finished and a success, if you know what I mean. Why? Well, for starters, it's a Berroco pattern, which is almost enough in its own right. I am making something from a company notorious for fug. (My boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot, upon seeing a black and white print out of the pattern, likened it to the camouflage netting used by the military. Then he quickly buggered off because he was making me mis-count.)

Why am I making this Thing? Well, maybe I've had a few too many soy White Russians lately or something, but I think Berroco may just be misunderstood, and with some shrewd calculating and righteous yarn choices, something nice can be made from one of their patterns. It may be several incarnations removed from the pattern, and be the subject a major redesign, but it just might be possible.Behold! My interpretation in progress. The most obvious problem with the pattern was the yarn. That had to go. Not that it was evil or anything, but it just wasn't where it belonged. I'm substituting "Stone" Sirdar Breeze, a DK weight 60% acrylic cotton blend. I'm hoping this adds a bit of class, a bit of refinement. I don't know what the opinion at large is on this yarn, but I am more than a little concerned that I like it so much that I can't see what a dog the project is.

I'm also experiencing a little stress about this substitution. The gauge is different, so I'm crocheting in the middle size, not the smallest. And I'm using an arbitrary hook. But anyway. Nice yarn.

I'm doomed.

Cat Cross-Over

I went to Jeanette's for cocktails this weekend (after all, the knitters who drink together, tink together...) and snapped this photo of Isis. This is Isis in action. I think most of the afternoon she was on the couch next to Jeanette, snoring. Jamieson could learn a couple things from Isis. He does sleep...
...but he spends every waking moment performing crazy cat antics.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Excuse me, I must rant now

I read Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan this weekend, and it has me thoroughly agitated.

I don't think the author meant to agitate me, at least, not in this manner. I did expect a different kind of book when I bought it - something between The Life and Loves of a She-Devil and light women's fiction - I like humor, and I like reading about characters reworking their lives after unexpected upheaval. I especially like strong women in stories, women who stand up to injustice in their lives and put it right, even if I disagree with their methods.

What I got was more like Anne River Siddons.

I've only read one of her books -Up Island - and I've browsed the through her others enough to know that she writes for a particular demographic, the 40+ woman. Her novels are generally about middle to upper class women of the same age range who are experiencing that upheaval and change I was talking about, very engrossing. I liked Up Island, especially since the romantic interest was a cancer patient who was missing a leg, but overall it was played very safe. This book would not shock my grandmother, nor would she have difficulty understanding the values and options it deliberated upon.

Elizabeth Buchan did a fine job of rounding out her characters in Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman. It was possible to sympathize with just about every character, even while thinking they were unethical, selfish, and deserving of a good smack to the head at the end. The novel made me weepy more often than I like, and it dragged at points, but I was invested enough in the main character to stick it out to the end so that I could see her emerge from her cocoon and deliver that much needed revenge.

Well, have you ever watched a movie whose plot centered around righting a wrong that was committed against the hero(ine) or someone they care about, and the hero(ine) goes through all this drama to reach a final confrontation with The Wrongdoer, only to tell them that the punishment is that they, The Wrongdoer, will have to live with themselves and what they have done? Egh. Imagine that really, really watered down. And, oh yeah, she's not even seeking revenge to begin with, just trying to live her life. The revenge was simply the consequence of The Wrongdoers actions, come home, ie, bad karma.

It's been my experience that in real life the Good Guys don't always defeat the Bad Guys, nor does anybody have clear idea of what that embodies at any given point, with any given person. When this happens in fiction it's considered more realistic. But I ask you: How often do you see karma really get someone? Do people who do bad things always have bad things happen to them? Or do they sometimes ride off into the sunset, completely unrepentant? A story that relies on karma isn't very realistic in my book, either.

But that wasn't even what got me really agitated. What bothers me to no end is what happened with the daughter in the end. She goes on a trip to India with her boyfriend, they get caught up in the moment, get married, then come back to England to set up a home. Hippy, long haired, bead-wearing, anti-capitalist boyfriend turns into a Suit, advising clients to take their production overseas. He expects dinner ready when he gets home. And when the girl complains about this sudden change in her beau's personality and her new wifey-wifey role, she is basically told to grow up and take it.

If when my boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot and I decided to commit to each other and got our own place, he cut his hair, got a power suit, and expected me to become Betty Crocker, he would have been out on his ass faster than you can say NAFTA. That's not what I signed up for, and I don't think that's what the daughter signed up for, either. Maybe she was naive to think that India could last forever, but one does expect to go home with the same person. She was gypped and everybody was happy about it but me.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Hi! I have no yarn standards

Today I:

  • had an onion bagel with veggie cream cheese for breakfast (Friday bagel club)
  • am having a Vending Machine Lunch
  • am drinking coffee in moderation
  • am noticing a predilection on my part to cheap yarn

I am riding on such a high from how fast and easy that shrug was that I have started another project using Wool Ease Chunky. I love the project, it's something I really need - a warm, dark gray cardigan to match all those gray slacks I wear - and I even had the pattern laying around, because I don't just hoard yarn, I hoard ideas, too - but Wool Ease? True, the colors are great, it's stretchy and fluffy and... well, not exactly the stuff of yarn snobs.Maybe I should just fess up and admit that I am not a yarn snob. I do, after all, have two Homespun hats that I sometimes wear. Okay, maybe I wear one or the other of them every day. So we know that I am not above that. But even though I can sidle up to a bin of acrylic discounts with an eye to purchase doesn't mean that I don't know good yarn. I know good yarn. I just can't always afford it.

Also, I have this knitterly conceit going on that a good knitter, a determined knitter, a knitter who doesn't know the meaning of the phrase, "Maybe that's too hard, since you've already tinked it five times", can use any yarn to create something that's at least passable. Something true yarn snobs maybe won't know for what it is right off the bat.

This is not a challenge to send me icky yarn, by the way. I'm not saying perseverance and stubbornness and calculation always works. Dumb luck and blindness to my own faults are key ingredients to my knitting style, I think. That's right, I may be knitting the tackiest shit anyone has ever seen and be completely ignorant of it. But I don't think so. I think it's going alright. I mean, look at the above progress shot. Isn't that a nice gray? Isn't that ribbing showing up well? This is going to be a nice cardigan. I'm a little itty bitty person, so the chunkiness around the waist in the design probably won't be a problem. And because it's Wool Ease, if I suddenly realized at the end of a charrette that I'd been using it as a napkin all day, it wouldn't be the end of the world. Just gross.

Not that that's the plan. But you know, these things happen. To other people, of course.

Last night, I:

  • had tofu cheese ravioli with tomato sauce and mushrooms for dinner
  • drank a soy White Russian
  • finished reading The Bride Wore Black

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Let's do lunch

Today I:

  • missed breakfast - both of them!
  • didn't bring lunch to work
  • refuse to go outside for anything less than love, money... or going home
  • am having breakfast for lunch

Today's lunch is deserving of some photographs. Not because it's exciting, but because it is probably to most blase lunch I have had all year that didn't come entirely from a vending machine. I am so impressed by this that I must share it, just in case you don't believe me.

The peanuts are pure Vending Machine, but the sour dough bagel with cream cheese is something I scored from the OKC about a half hour ago. (Sorry about the bite, I felt like I was starving to death all morning.) The O'Soy is Second Breakfast. First Breakfast is this:

Savory Vegetarian Bread Pudding from Lulu's.

Yes, I finally caved and got something besides coffee there. The problem, I've realized, with getting my coffee every morning from a bakery is that the place is full of sweets. What makes this rather obvious fact a problem is probably the opposite of what you'd expect in this situation. I'm not on diet. At least not for sweets. My fat intake nemesis is cheese, and my sugar usually comes through coffee. It takes very little willpower for me to resist cupcakes. Which means, until this morning, there was nothing at Lulu's for me to eat.

Last night, I:
  • had a mozzarella and pesto panini with a soy latte for dinner at S'nB
  • started the heel flap on the Wavy Socks
  • wrote plot outlines
  • drank a beer

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Yarn visualization

Today I:

  • had a bowl of cereal with soy milk for breakfast
  • drank a cup of coffee from Lulu's
  • had a bag of Fritos for Second Breakfast
  • am having two bean and rice burritos for lunch
  • can't seem to load pictures

I was going to parade stash yarn today to distract everyone from my lack of knitting progress, but Blogger won't load photos for some reason. So instead imagine some really nice, kind of lavendery-green merino wool, reminiscent of a field of heather, and a couple balls of black and off-white cotton sock yarn. (Go ahead, I know you can do it.) Now picture the merino as gloves, and the sock yarn as ankle-high lace socks. Mmmm. Wasn't that good?

Well, maybe I'll try to post the pictures tomorrow.

Last night, I:

  • had a mozzarella and pesto panini with soy latte for dinner
  • looked into doing non-profit architecture work
  • drank a very good beer
  • read some more from The Bride Wore Black

Who knew that all I needed to do to get these pictures up was to publish this post? Certainly not me.This the cotton sock yarn. I wasn't certain if I'd like it, but there was this big basket full of it and, well, I'm a yarn junkie. I opened one and a like the feel. I hope they make nice, cushy socks.

This ball of yarn (and it's twin, not pictured) is the source of much guilt. The day before the Knitting Olympics I was feeling a bit edgy, so I went to the LYS closest to my apartment and bought about $70 worth of yarn. (Nerves are dangerous when they have access to a debit card.) This ball was about $10. I am going to make the perfect gloves from it. Even if it kills me. The rest of the $70? Well, do the words Neapolitan Ice Cream Flower Afghan mean much to you?

Yeah, the day before a two week knitting marathon, I planned an afghan. Did I mention nerves?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Hide and Seek

Today I:
  • had a bowl of cereal with soy milk for breakfast
  • drank a cup of coffee
  • had a banana for Second Breakfast (Really, I am becoming far too predictable)
  • am eating two burritos and a bag of Fritos for lunch (surprise, surprise!)
No real knitting to report today, I'm afraid. I am pathetically behind on my FLAK sweater, and I've apparently chucked any schedule I had developed for myself. I've all but forgotten most of the knitting I was going to do for my numerous relations. I am becoming a hedonistic knitter, only doing what is enjoyable. The Wavy Sock isn't so bad, so my mom is definitely getting one sock for her birthday. (Well, the week of her birthday, that is.) I think I might finish the second one around Mother's Day. Everyone else can just go ahead and look forward to next year, if you know what I mean.

Hide and Seek

I suck at blogging. I don't mean about consistent posting or photos or whatnot - I think I'm treading water there - but I am just not techno-savvy, nor do I have an overwhelming desire to be so. My techno-desire is sporadic, at best. There are so many kinks in this blog, it should be x-rated.

For instance, the Read more! Maybe. Some of you may have noticed this at the end of each post. A while back I posted some creative writing and gave it a span-cut so that I wouldn't have to see it and cringe all the time. But the span-cut doesn't work properly, even though I followed directions. Even if there is no cut hiding more text or photos, the tag to read more appears at the end of a post. And only at the end, not even where I made the cut. What to do?

Well, this is what I'm doing: I am trying to work it for what it's worth. Which is why I added "Maybe." Sometimes I will be adding behind the cut, and sometimes I won't. I've already started doing this. What I add may or may not be relevant, because I'm like that. I'm going to be playing Find-the-Post with you all. Because goodness knows I need the entertainment.

Last night, I:

Are you tired of photos of Jamieson yet? Because he doesn't seem to mind.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bad Book! BAD!

Today I:

  • had a cup of soy yogurt for breakfast
  • am having a veggie microwavable fake meatloaf for lunch
  • scored a bottle of grapefruit juice from the OKC

I made the mistake of reading a pretty godawful romance novel yesterday, Husband Wanted by Charlotte Hughes. (Sorry Charlotte. Just trying to make a living, right?) I think reading so much Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels may have distorted my perception of what is acceptable reading. All those harsh reviews of romance novels should have warned me, don't you think? Well, I remembered too late that romance novels are not literature, but porn for women. Often, bad porn.

I'm not saying the sex wasn't hot. I suspect it was. But I skipped over it for the most part because I hated the hero, the arrogant, insensitive bastard. If the heroine hadn't been ridiculously, carnally infatuated with him, she probably would have been able to file a sexual harassment suit and won. That is, if she had the spine to stand up for herself. This girl was a formula for martyrdom - got pregnant when she lost her virginity, gave the child up for adoption so it could have better life, spent 15 years selfless devoted to caring for her dying mother. When we meet her in the story, she is going to be reunited with her long lost child and is working as a waitress at a dinette with taking night classes. And get this: she never had sex again after the pregnancy. Until she meets the sexual harasser. Obviously, a callous philanderer is the perfect candidate for a foray into sex again, right?

I haven't been this annoyed with a heroine since reading Bad Heir Day. I just wanted to smack both of them.

And the worst thing is... I've read worse.

Last night, I:

  • read the before mentioned book
  • had stir-fried seitan with kim chee on a toasted bagette with mayo and lettuce (doesn't everyone?)
  • had a cup of rice milk chai
  • could not get to sleep for the life of me because of that chai

PS: The shrug/capelet sizing is based upon the circumference of your upper arm. You just increase until it fits. It worked out fine for me, but I do wonder how that'd come out for other sizes.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Quickie FO

"Anthropologie Inspired Capelet"
Actually, I think this more of a shrug. It fits comfortably enough, although I must say that the shortness feels very weird, having never worn a shrug before.

I don't generally photograph very well, so this was the best we could do. Note the Wavy Sock in the bottom right hand corner? Bonus feature.

Pattern: Anthropologie Inspired Capelet

Size: 10-1/2" circumference upper arm

Yarn: One ball Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky (Grass 130)

Gauge: 12s = 4"/10 cm on Us #11 dpns ( I should have used straights on everything but the sleeves)

I like this pattern. I started it Saturday evening while watching some videos and finished it this morning. It doesn't show in the picture, but this color of Wool-Ease is actually kind of heathered. I wasn't sure how much would be needed, so I bought two balls. Any suggestions for what I should do with the remaining ball?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Sibling #7

Today I:
  • had half a blueberry scone and soy latte for breakfast
  • thifted my senses away
  • had a cafe au lait and a chocolate mouse thing for lunch
  • ate tater tots for dinner
  • mailed Sibling #7 some fantasy books

A while back I made a deal with Sibling #7 that if she gave me a picture for my blog of her wearing the scarf I knit her I'd give her her name back. I was beginning to think it would never happen, but here she is:

Introducing Natalie. Natalie is named after our mother's oldest sister, Natasha. Natasha doesn't like her name, but Natalie is a derivative, so there you go. Indirectly, this makes her named after my mom's great aunt Nina, who went by the stage name of Natalie. She was some kind of contortionist. My mom was named after her. So who is Natalie really named after? Aunt Natasha, Great Aunt Nina, or mom?

Natalie has a photobucket album that already has several pictures of her and Sibling #5 on it, so I don't feel weird posting her without barring her face. She's already been seen. Isn't she cute? She's been talking singing lessons - from what? The age of five?- and she plays the guitar and draws darn good for her age. She's also got taste: she likes Terry Pratchett.

Note: Perverts, forget about it. Not only is she way under age, she's got three overprotective adult brothers and me, possibly the most dangerous of all: I hang out with lawyers.

Last night, I:
  • had tater tots for dinner (What can I say? They're good!)
  • had two soy White Russians
  • read Howl's Moving Castle
  • tried to write some
  • ate a lot of goldfish crackers, marinated mushrooms and olives along with half a Murphy's at a party at work
  • pawned off the other half of my Murphy's on Kasumi

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Coffee and waves

Today I:
  • had cereal with rice milk for breakfast
  • got coffee at Lulu's again
  • don't have any idea what I am having for lunch


This bakery did such a soft opening that I didn't even know it was happening until it was open a couple days... and I live two doors down from it. I think it may have been helped along by the fact that it's a hole in the wall with no street level signage. I only spotted it because of the decor. Can it really get any cuter than this without using a lot of pink? I've been getting my morning coffee there every morning on the way to work because of this decor. The coffee is priced like at a coffeehouse ($1.40 for a small drip coffee) but it seems to actually be that grade, rather than Coffee-Like (A sub-species of coffee that has so little in common with quality, fresh-brewed coffee that it falls into an altogether different classification system. It can be found at convenience stores, gas stations, and many workplaces.)

It is also high in caffeine. How do I know this? Well, my coffee intake has dropped from three or four a day to one, for starters. And my boyfriend/ whatnot/ partner got a coffee there the other morning and was spinning out of control until about 10pm. He's pretty sensitive to caffeine- goes through an entire personality change- so he won't be going back there any time soon. Of course, he says it's because the place is too "bright" and that they looked at him funny (He says this about everyone. Hell, I looked at him funny when we met.) but I think the truth is that that coffee whooped his butt.

Wavy socks

I'm still making 'em. I'm a couple rows from starting the heel, and unless I can think of a way to make it wave symmetrically as it comes onto t he foot (fat chance) that's where the waving is going to stop. Which means if you're going to follow my lead on this wavy sock business and don't want to adapt it yourself you really only need the leg and can use whatever kind of heel or toe you want. You could even use this toe-up, it's just a pattern repeat.

I cast on 60s using a ribbed cast on, which is just a cast on where some of the stitches look knit and some are purls. No big deal. You don't need to do it. I chose 60s because the wavy pattern is 6s wide.

Because this pattern is knit in the round, you will sometimes experience a jog of one purl stitch to the left or right when you make shift at the beginning of a row, i.e. you will only p2 or p4 between k stitches instead of p3. My sock is 28s = 4"/10 cm, and at that gauge it isn't remotely noticeable.

At the right is a chart I whipped up on Illustrator for those of you who are graphics savvy. Need I say more?

For those of you who have not embraced The Chart, I've got some line-by-line instructions for you.

Cast on a multiple of 6s using your preferred method.

1: *k3, p3, repeat from * until end of row

2 & 3: knit or purl as set

4: p1, *k3, p3, repeat from* until last 2s of row, p2

5 & 6: knit or purl as set

7: p2, *k3, p3, repeat from * until last 1s of row, p1

8 & 9: knit or purl as set

10: p3, *ks, p3, repeat from * until last 3s of row, k3

11 & 12: knit or purl as set

13: p2, *k3, p3, repeat from * until last 1s of row, p1

14 & 15: knit or purl as set

16: p1, *k3, p3, repeat from * until last 2s of row, p2

17 & 18: knit or purl as set

Repeat rows 1 through 18 until piece measures desired length.

Last night, I:

  • had a mozzarella and pesto panini with a soy latte at S'nB
  • drank a beer
  • bemoaned my slow writing progress

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Massive sock progress

Today I:

  • had a bowl of cereal with rice milk for breakfast
  • ate a banana for Second Breakfast
  • am having a Vending Machine Lunch again (Don't look at me like that. It's cold outside!)
  • am rediscovering through email with my sisters that there really are three sides to one story through two people... if you know what I mean. Ah, family!

Well, maybe massive is overstating the case, but I have gotten some knitting done. You can see the wave better now.

As per Lissy's request, I will post the pattern for this sock when I'm done with it. I'm not certain whether I should take the abbreviated chart approach or the detailed by line ad nauseum approach to the instructions. I tend to prefer looking at charts and thinking about it but I know a lot of people are accustomed to reading lines of literal instructions, and both have their pros and cons.

In other knitting news

Last night I had a good Vietnamese dinner with the North End knitters and Knitzalot. I try not to pass up opportunities to prove how much of pig I can be when I eat, and last night was no exception. I made it pretty clear how I feel about squid, I think. I could go for some more right now, even. Too bad I've only got this cup of noodles.

My knit gifts for Sibling #1 and her children are officially lost in the mail. This is due to an address change that I did not know about, which then led to the emails between me, her, and Sibling #7 that I mentioned in my opening list. Maybe I should email Sibling #5 and see what she has to say, since she was there, too. I'm going to make an effort to not to feel that this has anything to do with me living 2000 miles away. Nobody told me anything when I lived in California, either.

Sibling #8 still hasn't gotten back to me about what she wants for her birthday (last week) and I know my inquiry should have reached her in time so I am not going to bother feeling bad about it. If she wants free stuff from me, she knows where to find me. So there!

Last night, I:

  • had fried noodles with squid, scallops, and shrimp along with a Vietnamese beer
  • dug into The Plague, yay!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Today I:

  • had a bowl of cereal for breakfast
  • imbibed some seriously strong coffee
  • am having a Vending Machine Lunch
  • have already been scolded twice for it, so save your breath, I am incorrigible
  • am going out to dinner with the North End Knitters and one San Diego knitter

I need to get LEED Accredited. I know this is sudden, but that's how it is. I haven't read all the details of the process yet, but it shouldn't be impossibly difficult.

Keep in mind, I will nevertheless whine a lot, of course.

I've been doing a fair amount of thinking about that whole career path thing lately and I think the LEED tests are the first step. I need to make myself desirable to a green firm based on something more than my past as a portrait artist or my obsessive way of constructing models. True, I used to install passive solar water heating systems for swimming pools, but I just don't think that's enough. Besides, that was over three years ago, and I never did the pump work.


I got a book this weekend that I'm wildly excited about: Bogs, Baths & Basins - The Story of Domestic Sanitation. (I know, I'm really living on the edge here. I knit, I have a cat, I read about toilets. I'm am spiraling into a pit of decadence. Really. Any minute now.) I'm almost as excited about this book as I was about The Comforts of Home: The American House and the Evolution of Modern Convenience.

This proclivity on my part is what drives me to post pictures of dirty old sinks on the internet. So don't be surprised if I show you old toilets or something, too. I'll try to soften the blow by having a half-finished sock on top of it or something, don't you worry.

In the area of fiction, I'm supposed to be reading The Life of Pi. It shouldn't be too hard, since I've been reading everything from contemporary Japanese fiction to lesbian erotica these days, but I just can't seem to get into it. I don't know why. I was rifling through my bookshelf today looking for an adequate substitute (okay, so maybe I was looking for my camera chord) and I found a cop of Camus' The Plague that I had picked up somewhere. Two paragraphs in and I was hooked. Which is completely bizarre. Esp. since last night I started reading A Princess of Mars. What do these books all have in common?

Me, I guess.

Last night, I:

  • finished reading Lunch while doing laundry
  • had tater tots for dinner
  • drank half a bottle of water
  • ate half a carton of Ben & Jerry's Dublin Mudslide

Monday, March 13, 2006

Drive-By Posting

Today I:

  • didn't have breakfast
  • had some super strong coffee
  • am having rice and bean burritos for lunch
  • can't find my damn camera chord again. Grrr!
  • am not feeling particularly chatty because I'm caught up in product research
  • swear I will post longer tomorrow

Friday, March 10, 2006

Drinkin' 'n Schemin'

Today I:

  • had cereal and soy milk for breakfast. (Yay. Need more variety.)
  • am having Amy's Chili & Cornbread for lunch
  • wouldn't shake a stick at it
  • forgot my camera chord at home again

But all is not lost! I have Illustrator and Photoshop. Given enough time, I could entertain you for weeks with these programs.

I've settled on the layout for the Fair Isle hat for my dad. I did a search for Fair Isle images and found a color scheme (scroll down page to Fair Isle) that was close enough to what I had in mind for me to totally rip it off. (Can't say I'm not honest about this.)

I did not realize until yesterday how nicely a tree motif works up into a hat crown. I saw this hat yesterday and thought, "Well, duh!"

Thank goodness for search engines. I probably wouldn't have thought about that until I was about to knit it. And I'd be tipsy, to boot.

Which brings up...

Knit 'n Sip

I went boozing with the ladies from the North End S'nB meeting last night at an Irish pub. This is our second time, and I think it's going to be a regular, once a month thing. The lighting isn't bad in the bar we chose, tho' it was a bit difficult to get anybody's attention to make orders. I must say, one of the things I like about these sessions is that the fried food counterbalances the vodka tonics and fancy, spiked whipped-cream topped concoctions I tend to drink so that I am miraculously hangover free the next morning.

Or maybe it's that I couldn't manage to order more than two drinks in three hours?

We may never know.

Until possibly next time.

Last night, I:

  • had fish and chips with fries and coleslaw
  • drank... well, you know what I drank
  • finished reading The Lost World, which redeemed itself by showing that Gladys is a total putz

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Another pair of socks begun

Today I:
  • had a bowl of cereal with soy milk for breakfast
  • had half a pesto-mozzarella sub for lunch
  • also having veggie meatloaf for lunch (What? I'm hungry!)
  • am imbibing copious amounts of coffee

Wavy Socks

Last night at S'nB I began the second pair of socks for my mom. They're going to be a pair of Frankenstein socks - some of this, some of that, stitched together (and I don't mean entrelac!). Wavy scarf from Knitty meets Knitting Vintage Socks, basically.

I got this far before I called it a night.

Gratuitous cat photo

Yesterday, I:

  • tabulated how many times macho words are used in The Lost World to describe the main characters (virile-2, virility-1, masterful-3, commanding-2. This book is so gay, it doesn't even know it.)
  • had a bowl of mushroom bisque with croutons at the coffeehouse with a soy latte
  • ate half a pesto-mozzarella sub and a bag of chips at a lunch lecture on sustainable surface drainage
  • thoroughly enjoyed it, I'm just that kind of girl
  • liked the sub, too
  • fell asleep way too early

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Wild Inaccuracies in Classic Fiction

Today I:
  • had a bowl of cereal with soy milk for breakfast
  • made myself a cafe au lait at work
  • am scarfing down a bag of Fritos for Second Breakfast

I was reading The Lost World last night (because I still haven't gotten myself a copy of The Life of Pi for Knit the Classics) when I stumbled across something that gave me pause. I'm not talking about the implicit (and sometimes explicit) racism and ethnocentrism, or how repulsive I find Gladys' mentality. It's difficult to find a pre-Civil Rights novel that, when touching upon other than mainstream WASP races/creeds/ethnicities/lifestyles, doesn't say something to make a liberal-minded 21st Century reader twitch. I expected that. I've read a lot of nineteenth century fiction and have developed coping mechanisms to deal with the things I don't like about them so that I can enjoy the things I do like.

But this. This thing I read last night. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was no botanist. He had redwoods growing along the Amazon. Redwoods. You know, the world's largest trees. The trees that only grow in coastal Northern California.

This reminds me of when I was reading Around the World in 80 Days a couple years ago. The problem - which, I must say, stopped me cold - was that Jules Verne was describing snowfall less than an hour by train outside of San Francisco. An hour by train in the Victorian Era is not very far, maybe 1/3 into the valley. Snow is very uncommon in San Francisco. Sacramento lies smack between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe (where I used to go skiing. There's snow there. they even make it.), and is well over an hour into the valley, but snow doesn't occur much there, either.

Interestingly enough, the longer I am away from California, the more Californian I become, even as I shove someone out of my way on the sidewalk. I can endure a lot of things - snow, brownfields, the word "wicked" - but not inaccuracies about Northern California.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Today I:

  • had a bowl of cereal with soy milk for breakfast
  • ate a banana for Second Breakfast
  • gave my laundry to my boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot so that he can drop it at a laundromat for me
  • forgot my lunch at home
  • remembered the camera attatchment

Priorities, eh?

Knitting Diet

Resting my wrists is turning out to be virtually impossible, largely because I use them all day at work. I suspect that is why it is taking so long for them to feel normal again. What irks me most, I must say, is that this is not really the Knitting Olympics' fault. I was only feeling a little tightness across the back of my hands in the last couple days of working on Lara. But I am organizing construction documents at work... endless piles of construction documents... about fifty pounds a day of construction documents that I am punching holes in, then systematically sorting into binders in an attempt to reign in the chaos. I admit this was my idea. And it's looking like a good idea. But it's rapid, repetitive wrist and arm motion. All day. And the next. For breaks, I work on the computer.

You see where this is going.

Kitty Teapot

Doesn't everyone need one?

This verges on cute to the point of nausea. I'm not usually a cute advocate - being a petite blond most of my childhood, I fought it ruthlessly - but I do approve of it for medicinal purposes. That my boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot saw this in a free box in the foyer of our building and brought it home - along with two shot glasses with drunken, pink elephants on them - is truly bizarre. That he washed it and seems to like it is even weirder. (This is a guy who thinks khaki pants are effeminate.)

Other finds

Very bright, very busy 100% lambswool sweater vest I scored at Goodwill this weekend for something around $4. I know I've often said that I can't really wear pullover sweaters or vests because of my need to adapt to my microenvironment, but I'm changing my mind. Most of the sweaters I want to make right now are colorwork pullover vests, and I do own a pullover sweater. I like it a lot. But then, it's just a boxy, red tweed stockinette v-neck sweater. Simple.

Attempts at creativity
I bought yarn to make my dad a Fair Isle hat whatever holiday I finish it around.

This photographs much better than it looks in person. Or maybe it just looks like hell at home because I live in a dungeon. I don't know. I got five colors (dark gray, light gray, dark mossy green, light green, yellow-green), which may have been a mistake. I probably should have bought four or six so that I wouldn't be confused about what color to repeat with the 5th color. The only section I really like so far is V-pattern in yellow-green and dark gray on the bottom. I wanted a tree motif because my dad lives in redwood country and used to be a logger, but now I'm considering just making the entire hat out of small abstract patterns. I'm also not happy with the dark gray and light gray backgrounds abutting each other.

What do you think? I haven't done fair Isle in about five years, so opinions are welcome.

Oh, and I doodled this square bird and some... I don't know what they are. My boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot says they look like rabbits.


Monday, March 06, 2006

The Weekend In Brief

Friday, I:

  • went out to dinner in Chinatown and had the "meat" and taro with brown rice
  • decided I need to rest my wrists for the weekend
  • didn't do laundry
Saturday, I:

  • had a bagel with cream cheese and a coffee with soy milk for breakfast at the coffeehouse
  • scored a wild knit vest at Goodwill
  • had something or other for dinner, I'm pretty sure...
  • drank three beers with whatever I was eating... probably pizza
  • agonized over not knitting
  • watched About Schmidt and Elizabethtown
  • started reading The Lost Word by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • bought some real Shetland wool for a Fair Isle hat
  • didn't do laundry

Sunday, I:

  • had a bagel with cream cheese and lox with coffee at the South Street Diner before going to the MFA
  • had a bag of chips and a soy latte while planning a Fair Isle pattern
  • doodled a square bird
  • made corn chowder
  • was given a cat teapot and shot glasses with pink elephants that my B/P/W found in a free box
  • watched Broken Flowers
  • had Chinese food for dinner
  • ate half a pint of chocolate-fudge Ben & Jerry's
  • didn't do laundry

Today I:

  • had a cup of soy yogurt for breakfast
  • took pictures of the square bird, the cat teapot and a Fair Isle pattern swatch
  • had corn chowder and a banana for lunch
  • am drinking too much coffee
  • forgot the download attatchment to my camera at home
  • have to do laundry

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Yo! Mystery Swap Buddy!

I'm participating in the Mystery Book Swap at Knit the Classics. This is my first swap, and must say I've already hit the yarn store to fulfill my receivee's wildest dreams.

(Here's a sneak peak. Are your dreams hazy?)

With that in mind, below is a list of what my wildest dreams do and do not consist of.


  • I like wool. I even like rough wool. I can take it.
  • I like cotton, too.
  • Oh, and bamboo is neat, I want to try that some day!
  • I bet silk is nice, even in blends.
  • I do use Lion Brand Homespun. I'm only a little ashamed. But it's not along term goal or anything.
  • I collect sock yarn. Someday I'll use it.
  • Eyelash yarn makes me twitch.
  • Alpaca is often involved in my more explicit fantasies.
  • I have no favorite color, because, technically speaking, black isn't a color, it's all colors mixed together. Or the absence of color. Or whatever. Green is nice.

Knitting Accessories

  • I'll only use circulars if I really, really have no choice. I'm a belt knitter.
  • I am a needle slut. I buy the cheapest thing there is, and you know what? I'm still happy.
  • Stitch markers make me insane. They are the enemy.
  • I use a cat-chewed sewing tape measure to measure everything. Sometimes. Paper is usually 8.5 x 11 and if you fold it in half it's almost 4", right?
  • How does one get a tam frame out of the tam? I really want to know.

Book Preferences

  • I am a mystery hound. I have read everything by Sir Conan Doyle, Sr., Agatha Christie, Martha Grimes, Elizabeth George, Anne Perry, and most the Brother Cadfael and the Inspector Morse series. Oh, yeah, and the Lord Peter Whimsey stuff. Been there.
  • I haven't read everything by Ellery Queen, ghost writer or not. But I am willing.
  • I like humor.
  • I like things set in Britain.
  • I don't like mysteries that are too contemporary. For instance, Florida PI investigates murder of socialite that turns into a connection to Cuban gangs selling crack or whatnot: not interested!
  • I like the '20's and '30's in particular.
  • I like Noir. But I've read everything by Dashiell Hammett. I'm prepared to give Raymond Chandler a spin.
  • Used books are okay by me.


  • I have the same view on cocoa content that I have on alcohol: the higher the proof, the better.
  • I am only allergic to cigarette smoke and bees. Be sure not to include them in the package.
  • No beef, chicken, or pork, either, but somehow I suspect that won't be a problem.
  • I only like coconut in soup. Or under a tree.
  • I don't like things too, too sweet, funny enough. (See the first line of this section.)


  • I like postcards. After all, I have ton of siblings to write.
  • I am not affiliated with any religion at the moment, Christian or anything else. Although I have been considering the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Thank you.

Just a book would be nice, too, come to think of it.

Last Minute Gifts

Today I:

  • had cereal and white tea with soy milk for breakfast
  • am having an instant cup of noodles with Fritos and a banana for lunch
  • am swilling the coffee, of course

I got a Yahoo! warning this morning that Sibling #8 is having a birthday next Thursday. Sibling #8, you may or may not recall, is the one who I was going to make the Broad Street Mittens from Knitty for. You know, as a X-mas present. Those mittens I never could figure out the sizing to? Yeah, I suddenly remember those, too.

I never made them, and Sibling #8 didn't get so much as a card from me for X-mas. But it's not my fault. I asked her to measure her hands, even drew her a diagram, and she never did. Maybe I could have made her some fingerless mittens or Voodoos or something, but I had a lot of other relatives to tackle and somehow I forgot to get around to it. Shucks, Sibling #6 didn't get her present until Feb. practically, and Sibling #8 should know it, because she lives with her.

Am I going to throw together a hurry-up present? Finally make those mittens?

Uh, no. Not with how my wrist has been feeling lately. (I've been resorting to crocheting rather than knitting lately for the change in hand motion. See Above) Even if I didn't have to mail it 2000 miles, a week would be pushing it. This is where the comic book addiction comes in handy. Genetics are an interesting thing, and amongst the nine siblings I have there are three lefties and three artists. (This makes sense, since Mom is a leftie and both my parents are artistic.) Sibling #8 is one of those artists. Over the past year I have been running a campaign to corrupt her with Sandman comics and acrylic paint. (Really, somebody's got to do it. It's what I would have wanted at thirteen.) She's taken to it like, well, a skater-goth girl to Neil Gaiman. I didn't even have to give her a hard sell. I'll just call her tonight and ask her which Sandman graphic novel I haven't bought her, and presto! My gift problem will be solved.

Yesterday, I:
  • had cereal and white tea with soy milk for breakfast
  • had half a tuna salad sub, a bag of pretzels, and a cola at a free lunch lecture
  • ate a cheese and veggie panini with coffee at the S'nB meeting
  • graciously gave the bag of Fritos and banana I would have had for Second Breakfast to my feverish boyfriend/ partner /whatnot
  • drank some kind of weird "vanilla cream" tea