Sunday, April 30, 2006

Don't Drink and Sew

Happy end of April's Project Spectrum.

I'm not about to "power" through my socks. Carpal Tunnel is not one of my goals in life, after all. I don't know if I'll start my green project tomorrow either. I really do want to finish my socks :).

I'll have a picture later; my camera let me take exactly one picture before the batteries died and I haven't gone out to replace them as procrastination is running rampant at chez Tactless. The picture IS of 1/2 the desired aforementioned covers I was working on. LapMini is out of luck, I ran out of fabric. The printer is much bigger than it seems. Let me do some internet hunting to show you:
Here's the printer that I got "for free" from Apple. And I did! (Well, sort of, if we don't count the tax I paid on the purchase...) The check came and was cashed ASAP, not that I don't trust Apple or anything, I just needed the cash, you know, for such important things as going out to sushi.

Where was I? Oh yeah, my printer cover:

As I just finished telling Andy, the fabric was on sale at JoAnn's and kinda special. It's made by a company that puts money into Children's homes and programs...but I sewed up the actual name of the company and no I didn't write it down and as much as I love you all, I'm not ripping any seams to see what the name is. Maybe someone else has run across the same fabric???

So how does someone as anal as I run out of fabric? Extrinsic circumstances forced me to use more of the orange fabric to try making something else...and I think I've pretty much failed, for now...I'll try to fix it later. What was I making? Do you all remember those "lesportsac" bags? They were all the rage during the 80s in Westside LA (so if you've heard of them elsewhere, well, then I'm not alone). Anyhow, the company is still around and for a cajillion dollars you can still purchase their little purses and bags. I never did. I've mentioned in the past my mom was a janitor/maintenance person at my old private HS? Right, well, Lost & Found items ended up coming home with her after their 2 or 3 year stint in the box in the nurse's office. Most would go to my aunt (a nun) who sent them down to orphanages in Mexico, or to my family down in Michoacan (not orphans, just plain poor). Sometimes though, I'd go through and keep stuff that worked well as pencil cases and the like for school. Lemme tell ya, you never lack for school supplies when your parents work in the system.

Having been raised in the kind of household I was, I NEVER throw anything away. Well, until it's absolutely necessary. Just recently I got rid of the pencil bag my 1st grade teacher, Sr. Jose, gave us. Everyone had one, they were made from material she got from old suits or the samples upholstery shops used to give you. I know because when I was old enough and proved I could use her sewing machine, it's how I "paid off" my "Christian Service Hours", helping her make bag after bag for her newest set of 1st graders.

Tangent queen striking again, sorry. Anyhow, one of my more useful "Take Me Along" bags that "Lesportsac" no longer makes, is dying. Here's a link to the coin purse version of it. Yeah, that's right, $14.00 for a COIN PURSE made out of ripstop nylon. The things we do for fashion??

Well, I figured I had this extra fabric, and it's colorful, not hard to lose in a dark I started to make a replacement baggie. Right, you guessed it. Cotton is not ripstop nylon and to make it worth my while I've had to double and triple-line the bag so things don't "poke through." It's become an albatross and now I come to find that the zipper I bought is too long and the thought of shortening it is too much. I also don't own bias tape, but I do have the yellow matching fabric and it's a pain in the butt to work with in the width I'd need it to be. I've pretty much given up. I may try again if I can find a shorter zipper an some bright yellow bias tape. For now it's into my sewing bag and no LapMini dust cover.

I do have plenty of yellow fabric left over...I might do a yellow dust cover with bright scraps of "orange with colored poka-dots" fabric for accent. You know, kinda the opposite of the printer cover.

But not now. Now is cocktail time and I hope you'll all follow my title's advice, as alcohol and sewing machines DO NOT mix. Neither does measuring and drinking actually. I almost flubbed it bigtime trying to make the cover...tee hee...but we won't go there right now.

Friday, April 28, 2006

New Bag

So I got a hankerin' for a sewing project or seven. It's funny how having a working sewing machine again brings up all these things you just need to have. I really and truly need to make some covers for the new Lap-mini and printer (with no name as yet...printy???). This house is a bit dustier than North Lake Tahoe.

As I ponder what fabric to use, Project Spectrum seems to be guiding me, in the interrum though, I decided to make myself a new "going out" bag (not in April PS colors) for those times I don't need a backpack-sized satchel, so I came up with this:

It's not quite done. I need to hunt down a frog closure. I thought I'd use a black one or a couple white ones already in my possession, but that red stripe is leading me to maybe look for a red frog. Here are some inside pics:

Two little pockets for cell phone/wallet and of course implements of my profession, I mean the pens and pencils. There's also a key fob holder...or whatever you'd call that clippy thing that keeps my keys from wandering.

Here's the back pocket:

Big enough to stick in a little sock project or shove in the wallet and receipt when frantically trying to shove it all away somewhere once the grocery transaction is done. Is it just me or does that last bit, once you've paid and are waiting for your change or to sign the credit card slip, happen so quickly that you end up walking away from the register with your wallet in your hand and bags all over the place...I HATE that. I think it's the "little old lady" in me coming out...

Right, so I'm not gonna finish my PS socks before the end of the month...I'm just too slow a knitter...but that's okay. I'll post a progress picture at the end to show off just how close I came. My orange/yellow project will probably be those covers...and I've got such cute fabric for the job. I'll work on that today and post pics ASAP.

As I said to a friend who just moved up here, my days of free time seem limited as applications keep being processed and I might, you know, get HIRED (please please please) somewhere sometime soon :). So I guess I'm cramming as many projects in as I can.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

White Soxs 1, Mariners 5

Let's talk a little bit about baseball today. So I grew up about 15 minutes from Elysian know, where Dodger Stadium stands? Yup. Did I ever attend an actual live baseball game and root for my home team? Nope. Not once in 18 springs did my family trek in that direction to cheer on anyone in the blue and grey.

This is where being an adult rocks, really :).
I got to go to my very first professional baseball game, ever, last night, and root for my new "home" team. Shhh, don't tell my dad that the Dodgers aren't "my team" anymore. Really though, the last time I paid any attention in that direction was when Fernando Valenzuela was the big man on the pitch. Unless I was playing the sport myself, ummm watching it on the old 10" screen with the volume turned all the way down and the Spanish simulcast all the way up with my dad, we-e-e-ell, not too exciting for me. Maybe it was because he had beer to lubricate with, while the rest of us had cola???

Watching it live? I might have pulled out my knitting had it not been for the, umm, appertifs to um, warm us up, yeah, that's it, before we went out to our seats and watched the game. Yummy garlic fries mixed well with the hard lemonade and hit the spot too...and really, was I going to touch my precious socks with a ten foot needle while garlic and grease were all over my fingers? Hell NO!

Besides the lubrication, watching live with everyone really into the game, and their drinks if you looked really closely, was way fun. Only drunk people can "boogie it down" when the announcer tells everyone to stand up and dance for the camera. Except for the kids across the way in the bleachers, they were obviously over-sugared and highly caffeinated...they couldn't have been more than say 10 years old and figured out that taking off their shirts and waving them around like crazy people would bring the cameras over to them. They were right.

And the best bit? We won! Take that Space Coyote!

Odd Simpsons quotes aside, I had fun, way much. As I found white hair #2 yesterday, my spirits needed a little brightening.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Random Picture Wednesday: Lighthouse

Pt. Cabrillo Lighthouse
Doesn't this look like a "professional" job? The goal was to snap it as the light shown in our direction...ummm, yeah, that's when Andy found out his camera has this "delayed reaction time" thingy. Fun. It's been about 8 months since this picture was taken. I asked him to take it so I could send it off to a friend for his wife. She kinda collects lighthouse stuff. Umm, yeah, it's on the list of things to do, honest...the list is long, unfortunately.

My friends Lev and Lea Anne got married a bit to the left of this picture. I couldn't believe I actually got myself there in one piece :). I mean emotionally; I'm not making a dig on Andy's driving, honest ;).

I feel like I'm repeating myself here, just read last Wednesday's post :). I don't know how yesterday went...if I get the job I'll share an embarrassing story. If I don't I'll cry a little bit and finally mail off the next application. I keep humming my latest mantra: life goes on... (Oh bla dee oh bla da :))

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

My Brain Hurts

I got nothin' of substance to say today, if I try you'll probably wonder what is wrong with me...simple really:

My second interview for that library position is today...
The butterflies are in my head now.

I'm going to go upstairs and knit on my the heel flap! For the second time...yes, "tinking" was involved. I opted to not outright rip as I've had quite an adventure trying to get those US 1 needles to go in the way they're supposed to after ripping back one sock cuz I missed TWO WHOLE rows of the pattern three WHOLE inches away from noticing. How does that happen??? I was tempted to take that Persian or Arabic philosophy of leaving in the mistake as "only God is perfect" or whatever it is...but I already have a couple minor mess-ups on the pattern that my OCD is letting me live with. They fit the bill quite well, thankyouverymuch.

Nerves suck ass. They need to just give me the job and let it be done humble side is buried in the backyard, can you tell?

Happy Tuesday.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Yarn: Noro Kureyon Col No. 159 Lot No. A
Needles: US 5
Pattern: Panta from...wherever I got it online. Search for head is hurting too much to look for it right now, sorry.

So this Panta is for my friend Kay. It'll be in the mail as soon as it's dry. What did I modify? The yarn, actually. Kay really really really wanted a headband that would match her teal shirt. As she's such a wonderful person I searched and searched until I found some teal...and other colors that she wears often (the purple especially) from which I could make something that would be multi-useful for her. The red at the front? It's much more burgundy, so it's not as "xmasy" as it looks in the picture. And the green matches her new pair of gloves :). But there were colors that were not quite I kinda just well, cut them out. The Noro gods should be placated or something, I'll look into it.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Aren't Libraries the Coolest???

Okay, I'm mondo-biased, having been employed (and hopefully will be again after Tuesday's "2nd round"--yes I'm still in the game, fingers still crossed) in a Library or seven.

It's not quite as fun as getting the books delivered right to you cuz you just happen to be on shift that day, then it feels like someone's giving you an unexpected gift. I love presents. Thanks to the Seattle Public Library as well as the King County Libraries I'm finally able to peruse a book that has NOT been on-shelf at ANY of the bookstores I've been haunting: Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush.

I'm like the 80th on hold for: Knitting Vintage Socks, and Simple Socks Plain and Fancy...ummm notice a trend here?

Of course, knitting books aren't all I'm reading, really! I have two huge volumes of the selected short stories and novels of Eric Frank Russell to fulfill my sci-fi needs. This guy is great, left this world back in 1978 and his stories tend to fall into that "real" fiction that revolves around science and stuff. Sure, there are laser beams, hello, this is sci-fi, but it's of the Joseph Campbell era. Umm, yea, yet another name familiar to everyone, eh?

Joseph Campbell wrote the story "Who Goes There." This is only relevant to me because it was the basis for my Senior Thesis in College. I titled it something like: "It's Not Paranoia If They Really Are Out To Get You: Hysteria and Paranoia in Joseph Campbell's 'Who Goes There'." Only at UCSC could I get away with such shenanigans. I should know, as being a grad student at Stanford was rather sobering. I'd have gone mad if I'd not been able to play with my senior thesis the way Earl Jackson let me. It's no wonder to me when kids in more stuffy schools are driven to acts of extremity.

Woo Hoo! Tangent Queen strikes again!

Anyhow, I've got some reading to do. I've a finished object to show off, but it's dry/blocking right now, maybe a picture later this weekend.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Random Picture Wednesday: Iron Giant

Hmmm, commented on Crazy Aunt Purl about how you get rid of "stuff," and then I find this guy. Following the advice given by others, ummm bad cuz 1) do I need him? no 2) is he useful? no 3) Can he feed me? uh uh 4) Can he get me from point a to b? nope 5) Does he make me happy? Yes. And that's really all I need to justify keeping him. That and the fact that he's all of 4.5" tall. He doesn't take up much room, that's for sure :). (My friend Larry down in Moss Landing has my 2' tall Iron Giant that my wonderful friend Sammi got me one xmas...I do miss him lots.)

So the Iron Giant is out on DVD now. I know, I bought it. That's a rather rare thing for me, buying movies. But something like TIG, it's such a teacher thing cuz I know I can always wip out that or something by Hayao Miyazaki and just KNOW the kids have never seen it cuz it lacks hi-tech, a video game connection, or nudity, you know? Like the little guy above, I love the movie, it makes me happy. Have you ever seen it? If you were in my English as a Second Language class you have, I showed it every year. "I'm Superman!" Brought a tear to my eye every time. (sniff)

The buttons? For my military surplus Pea Coat. Nope, never in the navy, but what self-respecting sailor from Santa Cruz would NOT own a pea coat!!! Seattle is the perfect place to lug around that 20 lb coat. :) Well, 2 of the buttons fell off the coat a few years ago, but not lost(!), yet were separated from the coat until I got my mom's latest box. Two others were never on the coat, so I found replacements at a quilting shop in Truckee back before we moved. Yes, that's right, BEFORE I moved. Haven't gotten a "round tuit" for the coat buttoning project. Priorities and all, you know.

Speaking of which, I've a job application I've been putting off.
And the interview yesterday? I honestly don't know. I have my fingers and toes crossed though, I really do. I liked my interview panel. And they laughed at some of my jokes even :). Not that the position is for a library comedian or anything, but you know how hard it is to be put in a room with 6 strangers who're supposed to decide your fate...eep.

Happy Wednesday

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

"Wrong Way" Knitting

So, I was invited to go to a knitting group...I've pretty much decided I'm not ready for such an endeavor.

See, thing is? Too much pressure. I realized a while ago, and many times since (like, the last time someone else who knits saw me knitting), that I don't knit the way other people do.

My aunt, the one who reluctantly let me pick up the yarn and needles when she was teaching my older cousin? She shook her head in disgust the way I held my yarn, the way I stationed the of the many reasons I thought I could live without knitting. My aunts in Mexico? The ones who helped me refine my "technique?" They are pragmatic. Who cares how you hold anything, does the finished product look like what it's supposed to look like? Good, go with it.

I haven't run into many pragmatic knitters since then. More like I run into people who stare unabashedly at my twisted fingers and wonder how on earth knitted things come out of that mess. I'm not trying to dis anyone, really. I'd be dissing some of my good friends and aunts if I were out to harm or hurt. I can live with their remarks and opinions, I love them. But a knitting group? With people I don't know? With people who knit "a la textbook" methods? That sounds awfully stressful.

So, yeah, unless I can fake even holding the yarn the "correct" way, you know with the tension on the pinkie and all that??? And yes I know I know, I'm going to hear about the whole 'there is no wrong way' etc. etc., watch me knit and you'll get the same perplexed look my god mother had the last time I was at her house. She was so bothered by it she took the bootie I was working on away and worked a few rows just to calm herself. Seriously. Why can't I even do that? Long story. Here's the abridged version with the moral as the first sentence:

NEVER allow children to play "WWF"/Wrestling/etc. kind of games. My older brother really and truly wanted to be Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka or whatever his name was. What made this man famous? Getting on the top rope and "flying" at his opponents. Now, ahem...yeah, Brother = Jimmy, me = opponent.... Brother got up on the arm of the couch or his bed or a chair, whatever, and flew at me... or at least tried to. He got me really good, once. Trust me here, it only takes once. He pretty much landed knee first on my left shoulder, doing evil horrible things on the inside. Left arm? Pretty much useless for weeks. Did we tell my parents? HELL NO. So... did it heal correctly? Hell no. I was pretty much ambidextrous as a kid, like my dad and MOST of his side of the family. I could even write with either hand. "Miraculously," one day I gave up on my left hand for doing anything. You can tell if you look at my writing from the 2nd grade. It goes from pretty decent to horrible chicken scratch, not coming back to something legible until middle of 3rd grade.

Right. Wrestling? JUST SAY NO.

I generally keep this little tidbit of info. to myself. It doesn't come up in general conversation much. My high school gym teacher thought I was hopeless at basketball because I can ONLY dribble with my right hand. She was told why. She even did some strength testing and yup... damage. She just asked kindly for me NOT to try out for the basketball team. Sooo, yeah, I was pretty much resigned. Then the knitting fascination hit and now I'm, I don't know what I am, stuck?

Right. This doesn't stop me from knitting in public you know, just well, knitting around other knitters, I guess. Weird huh?

Phew, really needed to get that off my chest. Nothing like telling the world...

BTW, if anyone is reading this today...Tuesday I mean. I have an interview for a library position. Think good thoughts my way? Thanks.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

FO: Nano Nano

My age is showing....As I was trying to figure out what to name this Robin Williams as "Mork" popped into my head. (Nanu Nanu!)
So Andy was given an iPod nano.
When I got my iPod one of the first things I procured was a Hello Kitty case to carry it in. But, as I'm told often around here, I'm a girl, girls do things like that. Andy being a boy, just shoves his iPod into his pocket.

As such, I decided to do something about it, like a girl :).

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in camouflage

Needles: US 2 to cast on and do a row or two, then US 1s for the rest.

Pattern: From Snitty! (on her sidebar)

Modifications: Well, the nano is WAY smaller than the mini or the original size. I found this out as I first cast on and had knit an inch or two. The nano (I'd stolen it for the evening :)) was not gonna stay tucked in. So, I cast on about 32 instead. I also closed with a 3 needle bind off to give the bottom/seam a little more padding.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

FO: Lil' Greenie, & a Pattern

Lil' Greenie

Okay so, remember this post?? Sure it gave me a hat for the Cover Your Head KAL, but ummm, did nothing for my mailing it off to the two little guys in Wisconsin now did it??? No, I did not frog. Instead I cast on anew. Andy can do with another hat and has even worn this a few times, of course not when the camera is around, so no "action" shots. But I do have a family shot:
Of the hats, of course!
Project Details:
Yarn: Cascade 220 in 9413 & 9435
Needles: US 8 Circ and US 8 DPNs when the going got small
Pattern: Mine. (See Below!)

So now I have to go post on CYH to qualify for my first "hat trick" woo hoo!!!

Little Guy Hats "Pattern" (more like a guideline):
Cast on 85 in CC, knit until it's about pinkie length.
Switch to MC and knit until it's one row shorter than the CC stripe.
Fold under CC stripe and knit together to make the "hem."
Change to:
CC for 3 rows, then MC for 3 rows,
CC 2 rows, MC 3 rows,
CC 1 row, MC 3 rows,
CC 2 rows, MC 3 rows,
CC 3 rows MC one row and begin decreases.
I did this staggered to avoid the big line of holes so
R1: K2tog, *K17 SSK, K2tog*
R2: K7, SSK, K2tog, *K15, SSK, K2tog* until you get back to the end of the "row." I think you end up knitting 8 to get to the end of the row...that part is foggy now, sorry.
R3: K2tog, * row 1
R4: K5ish (look for where you decreased in row 2, that's what I did), row 2

So yeah you keep decreasing like that and switch to DPNs about row 4 or 5, and keep going until you get about 8 stitches (at 16 it becomes like a free-for-all K2tog, really at 32 is the last time you have enough stitches to follow the pattern nicely, but feel free to decrease the way you want.)

Give yourself a good 6 inches and break the yarn. Thread through your needle, then sew through your remaining stitches and weave in the zillion ends that stripes have :).

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


You all have seen this by now...I'm always a little slow on the uptake:

Go to Wikipedia, put in your birthdate, minus the year.
Pick out 3 Events, 3 Births, & 3 Deaths: (I feel this bit is like the "Telephone" game, I've seen that the actual numbers of things listed has changed from one end to the other...I'm sticking with the three...)

12th of March
1.1868 - Henry James O'Farrell attempts to assassinate Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. (So my older brother's name is Alfred...weird.)
2.1894 - Coca-Cola is sold in bottles for the first time. (I'm more a Pepper myself, you a Pepper too?)
3.2005 - New SAT is administered. (I absolutely abhorred this exam!)

1. 1923 - Mae Young, former professional wrestler (Go women wrestlers of the 30s!)
2. 1946 - Liza Minnelli, American singer and actress
3. 1953 - Carl Hiaasen, American journalist and author (woo hoo! I love him!)

Deaths: A bit morbid...
1. 1947 - Winston Churchill, American novelist (b. 1871)
2. 1955 - Charlie Parker, American jazz saxophonist (b. 1920)
3. 2001 - Morton Downey, Jr., American television talk show host (b. 1933) (Really? He died? Where have I been???)

Random Picture Wednesday: Crazy with the Swords!

I'm learning all about "dodge" and "burn" tools in Photoshop as I pull out and scan the old pictures. I think I've found a perfect one for my profile; we'll have to see how that goes ;).

Yes, that's me, hand on my hip, foil pointing down listening to the bout director, yes, smiling at the camera even! Not that you can see it with that silly ol' mask in the way. UCSC fencing at its, well, I wouldn't call it finest. They'd taken away our NCAA standing by this time. (We just weren't the big money makers.) We were but the UCSC Fencing "Club" by then. I wasn't even officially in the club anymore. I was a coach by then. I was also attending Stanford's Teacher Ed Program.

Fencing did, however, change me for the better. Yeah, I think it made me a little stronger (if not stranger), it taught me a whole bunch about discipline, the importance of teamwork, and how warm and cozy flannel and holey sweatpants are compared to the cold, but matching, warm-up suits the other schools sported. We did have much better things to spend our team money on, like oh, I dunno, sending our teammates off to the National Competitions EVERY year. Okay, fencing also taught me to be proud of my teammates.

You also had to really get over some major body issues. I mean, HELLO, you're wearing white knickers with a white jacket with white knee-high sports socks! Fashion police where are you? Of course you should also be wearing white fencing shoes, right. My coach could always spot me a gym-length away, I was the one with the black vans on.

So, I vividly remember emailing one of my friends in college about my very first fencing tournament. I got my ass whooped by the ladies from the Air Force Academy, ouch ouch, ouch, ouch. His response was something like: "If an Air Force cadet was coming after me with a yard-long piece of steel, I wouldn't just stand there and take it!" It prompted the Women's Foil Team to adopt a version of it: "UCSC Women's Foil Team, We Don't Just Stand There and Take it!" But the coach wouldn't put in on the t-shirts. He didn't even want us to have the school mascot on there (a banana slug). It wasn't aesthetically pleasing, or something. But he did stand there and take it with our team cheer, where we surrounded him, said something nonsensical that lead to "UCSC SLUGS!" and then fell on the floor and, you know, squirmed and stuff like a slug would.

I guess I have college on the brain.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I'm fighting off a throat thing...You know, the one that feels like the back of your throat is raw and burned??? You don't, oops, well, that's what I have, stay away :). It might just be my body's latest ploy to get me to drink more water. I've been downing pints and pints of it since yesterday morning. FUN!

That and sleeping. If not sleeping, knitting (of course!) I'm much more awake today so I may have to tackle "life" things (read as: GET A JOB YOU SLACKER) instead of just knitting things:
Aren't they cute? Please don't remind me they're not exactly the same. I'm focusing on the cute oranges and BRIGHT blues that pop out when you're least expecting them.

Here's a poorly taken close-up of the pattern:

See the orange? See the blue? You know, I think I realized this morning why that color combo cheers me so...they're the University of California colors! Well, UC Berkeley and UCSC (one of my alma matters). I think UCLA does some baby blue and bright yellow thing... or maybe I have them mixed up...

This tangent is brought to you by the color orange, and the number 10:

I received my first box from my mom's house. While there last I packed up four boxes full of my "personal" junk, as well as my bicycle. Now that I'm "settled, "my mom started shipping them off. (Yes, you CAN ship a bicycle, UPS is happy to take a WHOLE bunch of money to do so. Convenience won out over saving a buck, cuz a bicycle shop will also ship your bike for you, for 1/3 to 1/2 as much, especially if you've already packed it... bitter much?)

Where was I? I must be ill, anyway, the first box arrived yesterday. It's like a birthday present...I packed them so long ago I have NO IDEA what's inside! This one had my CDs, bike lock, pump, knick-knacky things, and (I suppose I shoved them in to keep things from rattling,) my UCSC and Stanford Pennants.

This morning, AFTER I'd already lost the light or there'd be a picture, I kicked aside the UCSC pennant to get to my computer so I could post the pics and blog. But the colors... they reminded me of my socks-in-progress. As insane as they were, I really really liked my college years. I guess I didn't realize how much and to what extent that experience has affected me 10 years later. Cuz yeah, this June will mark the decade since my graduation. Now, I go on and on about my preference for um, non-colors, so you know I didn't pick my universities because of their school colors. It's just a weird thing that they've stayed with me without me really knowing it, and stuff. Subliminal mind tricks...hmm, good name for a band.

Obviously my brain is not in the right place to be blogging, and my water bottle is empty, so I'll stop now. I did mention I was a bit ill? Yeah, next post won't be so batty, promise.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Too OCD for hand-painted socks?

Okay, so remember back when I was just visiting Seattle looking for a place to live and decided to buy myself yarn? I chose the color in honor of Project Spectrum. Right, right, I know, not exactly ALL orange or ALL yellow... kinda actually maybe about as little orange and no yellow as I usually wear. I come from too many years of all black, forgive me as I begin my adventures in color on the small scale :). Yup, this was sock yarn after all.

I've cast on for a new pair of socks, who knows, this time they might actually fit MY foot. If not, my mom's birthday is just around the corner :). I decided to do both at the same time for two very important reasons (to me and my anal-retentive borderline OCD ways). #1 that dreaded SSS I was having with my last pair, and #2 I wanted EXACTLY THE SAME SOCK as sock #1 in my last pair. This made knitting STRESSFUL and not the sanity therapy I've come to expect. This was bad bad bad bad. But if I begin both socks at the same time, this problem should be completely solved, yes?

Right. So I looked at these lovely hand-painted center-pull ready to go yarns and I freaked. It took me almost a week to cast on. THEY DIDN'T MATCH! (I know, I know, hand-painted is quirky that way, it's not gonna match, yadda yadda yadda. Others of you have already come to accept the whole "hand knit socks don't match" mantra... even Andy had to remind me these are hand-painted (rubbing off on others...oops :).) I had not.

I am still in the "pairs are pairs only if they match" world. I wore white ankle socks for 12 years of my school career. (And really, cuz I'm el cheap-o, I wore them until they were threadbare up to 6 years later than I needed to.) Each week my mother lovingly washed and paired 5 pairs of identical white socks, and when she gave them over I sat and re-paired them with their "correct" partner. This was every single week for 12 very long years. My mother and I even got into a screaming fight about "lost socks" and "singletons" that literally led to all the socks getting trashed and 5 new pairs of ankle socks bought to settle the issue.

Yes, I know, I've reread that bit a couple/few times now and I agree, I am one sick individual. I also hold a Master's Degree in Education from Stanford and have permission to teach in both Hawai'i and California (soon Washington), be afraid, be very very afraid :). I wake up screaming sometimes too.

Moving on; a week with the yarn all around me and trying to figure out a good starting point that would keep my nerves and OCD in check, success! They will be similar. If the eye twitching starts I might have to frog them and make similar hats instead. Yes, I have made hats using sock yarn. Yup, takes FOR-EV-ER to get a beanie out of it, uh huh, I'd do it again. I'm sick that way too.

Do note what I had to go through to keep the hives from appearing:One center-pull ready to go yarn had to be completely rewound to match the colors coming out of its partner. And the helpful arrows (orange in honor of Project Spectrum), point out the differing ends. While one end is about 3 inches long, the other is indeed almost 30. Well, 20 at least.

I hear they might have pills for people like me.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


This is why technology is great and having a mom who would rather change a diaper than turn on a computer is even better.

My first pair of "adult" socks are complete. There are flubs and over-tightening and a ladder here and there...but aren't any worse than any other homemade gift I've ever sent off to mom.

Poor mom, had to deal with so many "made for her" crafts from school...and she kept and hung up every last one! Remember those plaster/tempra hand prints we all did in kindergarten (plaster for the lucky kids, tempra for us poor neighborhood kids)? On purple cardboard and LAMINATED! I know, I've seen it as an adult, mom has 'em. And my little brother, only 14 I know, but he too has his collection of "drarings" from when he was what, three? ALL OVER THE HOUSE. He's embarrassed about a few of them, but they will not go away, mom won't let them. So without further adieu, I give you:
"Socks Only A Mother Could Love"

Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit "Fun & Stripes" Color:614, Lot: 46525
Needle Size: US 2 for the cast on and a couple rows of ribbing, then US 1 for the rest.

So they started out as "Classy Slip Up" from Knit Socks!, but I didn't like what the "self-striping" looked like with that pattern. I think I ended up describing it as "adding the yarn in the wrong row" or something, so I kept the ribbed top and their heel and toe, but make the rest simple stockingette.

I honestly don't know how long they took me...I remember starting the first one on my trip down to LA in, what, January? But that was when it was a "Classy Step Up." But I finished the first week of April. Hmm, 3 months to make a pair of socks? I must be getting faster :).

Okay, so these are my mom's mom-day gift. I've gone out and gathered the rest for the box (cuz socks are lonely in big boxes you know):

So there's the Ginger Peach Tea (for longevity), the See's Chocolates (to mess with her blood sugar--no she's not diabetic, I just could not make the gift all "good for you" stuff, now could I?), a neat card from Papyrus (yeah, I could have made one for less, but I don't do well with glue guns and glitter, why dabble in what others can do better at than me?) and the SOAMCLs.

Now I just have to wrap it, pack it, and ship it. Yes, this is only the 8th of April, I have a WHOLE month, what am I doing? I know myself too well. It will take me a week, if not two, to accomplish that last bit. Not for lack of trying, either, it's just, that's how I am. There's a stack of library materials I've been done with for a week...yeah, by the door even...yeah, I know me too well. Besides, I'm aiming for the 10th of May, Mexican Mom's day, and my 2nd un-anniversary! That part's the kicker, eh? Nothing like having clashing memories for the same day. Fun.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, April 07, 2006

"I've lost my mffwffle"

So I went on a Bart hunt yesterday. I thought I'd hit the obvious places first, you know to cross them off my list? So the grand boutiques of Target (Tar-jei) and Toyz R Us are taken care of. No Simpsonia in either place, though did you know Target sells Australian wine? Yeah, it's right next to their wine in a cube...No Bart though....This necessitated a trip to "THE MALL" and of course a bit of wandering like a dufuss in the city.

Being the new-kid-on-the-block and not having lived in a "big city" for 14 years, it was an interesting thing to have older folk whizzing by on either side of me. I felt as if I was on a slower RPM than everyone else. Kinda like some of those kitsch commercials or scenes in movies where the world is passing the main character by...

Given my "unique" POV, I was able to people watch and catch something rather interesting. Before I begin I should thank Ronald Reagan once again for giving me this form of entertainment. Had he NOT closed all those mental wards and hospitals, I'd have missed the following:

At the toy place, the big red dot, Macy's, and Gott-I always spell this store incorrectly, Gottschalks?, the same incident played itself out. I had to double check to make sure I wasn't seeing quadruple.

A, (as my dad would say, and you gotta stress the Mexican accent when you read it) "home lace" person (2 were definitely female, the others were that weird "could be either") comes up to a cashier/worker, "HEY, hey, I need, I've lost my mffwffle." (Seriously, it begins as a yell and then ends up a whisper that I could not decipher.)

Cashier/worker is barely 18 and this is a mall and why are these people in this store!?!? Smiles and says, "Let me get my manager."

The manager, what 21? (no, not true, the toy store manager did have some gray in his hair...but he'd also looked at me funny when I asked about Bart, so I want to be mean to him too), comes over and asks, "How can I help here."

"I NEED, I've lost my mffwffle."

The manager smiles and turns to cashier/worker and says, "Get/take them to Lost and Found."

I dunno what happened at the fancy big department stores after they lead them away to deal with lost and found, but at the other two places they got a chair to sit in and wait for the box or bag to be brought to them. The "home lace" then with a leisurely pace learned in the mental ward, looks through the box/bag until they slowly shake their heads and say, "NOPE, not here."

But did I see them pocket something? I dunno, I might be making that part up.

But I know I'm not making up the fact that I saw this repeated FOUR times as I meandered through the mall at a snail's pace, looking for that elusive plush Bart Simpson doll. (And mom said that a 12" one would fit the bill if I couldn't find anything bigger!!! Oh for a "Hot Topic" or a "Spencer's Gifts"--neither exist at Northgate Mall. I must expand the search radius.)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Random Picture Wednesday...My Wild Irish Rose

So remember when I posted that awful picture of my boat on land...I unpacked my old 3x5s and tested out my new printer/scanner...not bad, I think.

Here she is, in all her glory:
I'm drowning in Nostalgia...
It must be due to living so close to the sea shore again.

This was San Diego, November of 2001. My X and I had spiffed up the lass to get ready for what was to be a 18-ish month cruise of the Western Mexican Coastline, including a big chunk of Baja California, and all the way South to Zihuatanejo, or as my mother lovingly referred to the place, "Si, hay conejos!" (Yes, there are rabbits! Hey, it was easier for her to remember where I was that way, I'm not gonna argue.) Mine, (or half mine) until December of '04. But I never liked sailing anyway...or so I was told, yes, by X. What a crock.

This morning I found my first white hair. It looks white, not gray, so I'm still hoping I have my mom's dad's is a dingy gray, yes, I AM VAIN, sorry. So I'm officially old. Yes, at 32. Is it a wonder though that I feel like I've lived a big chunk of life already? I've been a teacher, a sailor, a "librarian" (I love small towns), and now...I dunno what I'm gonna do now. A couple someones have told me I need to start writing about it all and add author to the list, I'm going to assume they were joking. And I'd name names, only, umm, sorry, I forgot who they were...I know one someone was a real estate agent that came by to show my house while my boat was still sitting in the front yard, but he was a natural born salesman. He wanted to own the movie rights, iffin' you know what I mean :).
I found the camera, now, ask me where the batteries are??? The socks are finished, washed, and blocking in my closet...I made those super cool high-tech jetfighter sockblockers out of a couple old wire hangers, stylin'.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Crabby McCrabpants...

I am quite out of it, and I don't know why. It's enough to drive a person to drink! Especially as I've been waking up with splitting headaches after imbibing NO ALCOHOL...irk. It makes me feel like Terry Pratchett's God of Hangovers. The poor fellow's job was to suffer the hangovers of his believers. It didn't help one bit that the God of Wine and partying (can't really remember his real title) was a believer.

It's my happy go lucky sinuses. They're adjusting to a new land. Or so I'm trying desperately to convince myself as I search frantically for the too well-packed Sudafed. Ugg.

I'd hoped to have finished socks to show. I AM SO CLOSE!!! But I started feeling the crabby-I-don't-know-what's-wrong-with-me -why-is-my-eye-so-bloodshot- nobody-loves-me feeling yesterday, so knitting progress was slowed to a standstill. My goal was to have the socks finished before April. HI, it's the 4th? Yeah. See, they are definitely my mom's mom-day gift. Along with her favorite tea: Ginger Peach from the folks at The Republic of Tea. I know, mom's day isn't until May, but it is AMAZING how quickly time flies when there's a deadline involved with a knitting project. This would be why I don't join KALs that have definitive end dates, my tortoise like knitting speed would have my projects ready for NEXT year's offering...if that.

So, nobody tell my mom what she's getting okay? She actually SAW me knitting the socks the last time I was home. Yes, that's how long I've been working on them, shut up. As they are my first real socks (not baby-sized and booty-like) they really and truly are socks only a mother can love. That's my working title for them.

So, if I could find my camera...another "well-packed" item, I could give a progress picture. After a couple advil and the aforementioned sudafed I'm gonna try attacking them...I'm beginning the toe close...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

1,156 miles

Today I feel odd. Yes, that's odd, not old. I feel old every day. The best way to describe it is by quoting from one of my favorite books, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Ford was very kind - he gave the barman another five-pound note and told him to keep the change. The barman looked at it and then looked at Ford. He suddenly shivered: he experienced a momentary sensation that he didn't understand because no one on Earth had ever experienced it before. In moments of great stress, every life form that exists gives out a tiny subliminal signal. This signal simply communicates an exact and almost pathetic sense of how far that being is from the place of his birth. On Earth it is never possible to be further than sixteen thousand miles from your birthplace, which really isn't very far, so such signals are too minute to be noticed. Ford Prefect was at this moment under great stress, and he was born 600 light years away in the near vicinity of Betelgeuse.

The barman reeled for a moment, hit by a shocking, incomprehensible sense of distance. He didn't know what it meant, but he looked at Ford Prefect with a new sense of respect, almost awe.

I finally looked up, using Gmaps, just how far away I am from my parents' house. 1,156 miles. This really should be no big thing, I mean HI, I lived in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawai'i. Umm 2400+ miles if you draw a straight line. Seattle is less than half of that, and nowhere near 16,000. 1,156 is literally how many miles you cover driving door to why does it feel so much further away?

I think this is me wondering what oh what am I doing here. I am floating around with little to no purpose right now. Well, I do have one, given to me by my mom just tonight. Maybe someone out there can help?

I'm in search of a 21" Bart Simpson plush doll. Very important. There's a little 3 yr old that is in desperate need of her very own Bart. I keep finding 12" ones, but my mom's specifically said I'm lookin', but any help would be greatly appreciated.

Once that's done I can continue my floating :).