Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sometimes it just works out that way-

Two days ago, I wandered over to Trish's blog and read about the Red Scarf project. I don't participate in many formal charity things, because I do a lot of little things throughout the year. The Red Scarf project struck a chord with me; they make prezzies for kids who age out of foster care. I aged out of foster care.

Yesterday, I received a package from Daryl-I'd helped her locate some black Katrina on sale. She sent me the Katrina in white (and pink) we'd agreed to swap, and-a beautiful red scarf and some red mohair yarn. Interesting that I got a red scarf.

I can take a hint. I'll look for the right stitch pattern today.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The incredible lightness of being.....done!

Mystery project Two, part A and B are DONE, their photos taken, the patterns written. I have 20 more swatch rows, one more photo and a little photo editing, then my designs will be winging their way to judgement. Wish me luck.

To celebrate, I goofed off a little, and surfed for some info on a perfume. I got a little sidetracked and two clicks over, I found these knitted gems featured in
HOARD Magazine, by artist Ryan Burghard. When I was a little girl, creations like these would have earned a serious spanking for fucking around in Mom's sewing gear AND the laundry basket. (That is DEFINITELY one of my father's socks on that lady's face. Now it's art. Go figure...)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Channelling Archie Bunker...

My mystery project I. is doing fine, thanks, except for a try-on moment where I pulled on my excellent fitting garment, looked in the mirror, and saw BRAAAH! Lots of it-the lacework is really open, even though the multi-colored yarn hides a lot. I was soooo disappointed, because M.P. I. is slated to go to DMIL's. I picked a color she would like, I've tried to get the fit right for her, and I was really jazzed that she could wear it. In its present state, DH and my BILs will string me up and beat me like a pinata for making Mom such a trampy garment....and my DMIL will just shake her head and laugh. I must find a suitable beige tank for her to wear underneath.

Mystery project II, parts A and B are also fine. A is done, I just need to gear up and finish part B. Thanks for asking.

I still don't have knitting I can actually SHOW, which IS getting a little old, because I have to hunt up other things to talk about. I got Berroco KnitBits #150 today. The garments are FINE, but the copy bit my butt. Our crew neck pullover can be transformed into an ethnic costume with a touch of the "Eurasian Peasant." Hmmm. Ethnic, schmethnic...if they meant Turkish or Tibetan, they should have said so (but I think it looks Hungarian). I am Eurasian, and I think I qualify as a Peasant, which means I've been outed- I'm not properly dressed!! I've practiced the slack-jawed expression, and I think I've got that mastered, but must I wrap toilet paper around my head too?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Lost Worlds is pissing me off....

If I am home (knitting) and my DH is not, I'll watch Project Runway, John Edwards, BBC's What Not to Wear. When DH is home, he claims the remote, so I also watch a lot of Law & Order, John Wayne movies, and the History Channel. I'll live. The History Channel is starting to irritate the crap out of me, because they leave out the REALLY interesting stuff.

Last week, I HAD to stay up late and watch Lost Worlds: Hitler's Supercity. I was really excited, because I wanted to see Albert Speer's intended Berlin layout. I have stayed at Templehof Airport, which I think is the world's creepiest building. (I had NO problem imagining slick, polished officer's boots stepping out of the elevator, and I was afraid to be in the stairwell at night.) The airport was designed to form the wings of the German Eagle. The eagle holds a wreath (a traffic circle) and you can get an idea of what it was supposed to look like in this picture from Wright-Patterson AFB (home of the Air Force museum). Very 1930s, but also very cool. They used to build Messerschmidt engines in the basement of the building; it is massive. I hoped the show would tell me more. I stayed up to watch the show. Zilch. Nothing about Templehof, nothing about the layout glorifying the regime, just a bunch of prattling about stuff that DIDN'T get built and Speer's engineering tests. GRRR.

Last night, we watched Lost Worlds: Jesus' Jerusalem. They detailed the construction of Jerusalem's Temple Mount; the place was MASSIVE. It had quarried stones as big as elephants. Under construction for over 85 years, it was absolutely amazing. So what happened to this fabulous building? "The Romans destroyed it."

HOW did they DO that???? DH said that even as a little kid, he used to wonder how an army could level something like that. It was the largest building in the world, and the conquerers had no bombs, no hydraulics, just a bunch of guys milling around with horses.

"Poof! There you are folks, a bunch of rubble."

I need to smack the crap out of the show's writers.

Ssshhh-obligatory secret knitting

I have a secret knitting obligation. SEE. I have 400 yards left, that's all I can say.

My internet pirate came by today. She bought a mocha. I left the server plugged in.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dangerously cheesy.....

My grandfather was born near Cheddar, in Somerset UK. Why should I be surprised that my cheesy roots follow me wherever I go? I am bewildered, and a little bit sad.

Yesterday started with my internet pirate-a woman pulled up in front of the store, and sat, air conditioner blasting, sucking up bandwidth for three days this week. I let her get started on her download, then I pull the server cable. Yesterday, she arrived at 8:45, sat in her truck for 15 minutes, applying make-up and looking for a signal that wasn't there. I guess a variable reward really DOES strengthen motiviation, but I'll bet she has no problem crabbing about my "lousy" internet connection. Mind you, a bottle of water is 80 cents, but she'd rather "steal" the bandwidth and use an equivalent amount of gas. Cheesy!

Later, I perused this week's local paper, and noticed something REALLY familiar in an article about an upcoming festival. I went looking in the on-line archives, and there it was. Last year's festival article-same opening paragraph, same everything, except the dates and a few other salient facts had been changed or shuffled. Sarah and I each read paragraphs in turn-she from last year, I read from this year's article. REALLY CHEESY! I sent the author an email, telling him that the article was so MEMORABLY BAD last year that I noticed his "reprint" this year, and that he should stick to what he does best-photography.

Sadly, my chemo cap entry is DANGEROUSLY CHEESY. It's finished. The pattern is written. However, I am missing one IMPORTANT contest element-an attractive hat. It is, in a word, the cheesiest. So I am starting over...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pinch a nickel and knit!

My DD used to think I was NUTS-she had a fresh new baby girl, and I was sending mega-boxes of kid's clothing 3 and 4 sizes too big. Five minutes later, after the kid grew 2 sizes, and DD was scrambling to find something to put on the darling, my shopping genius (and I am a bargain goddess) made sense-the baby had all these wonderful clothes, and she didn't spend a cent!

But there's a steady rumbling in the back of my brain...it dawned on me this afternoon when I was obsessing about the size of my stash (are we like men in that respect…whose is bigger?LOL) when the truth reared its ugly head. Like during the Depression, and thru the war years, suddenly it is cheaper to make clothes than it is to buy them. SERIOUSLY cheaper. It’s not that the yarn is inexpensive, or that we expect to bill .45 per hour for our time (we sit on our butts and watch TV anyhow)... it’s the added cost that's outrageous.

Case in point-a little girl’s sweater; here’s
one from a popular store. It’s a middle of the road store, not a discounter, but not Saks either. It is NOT on sale. (I could theoretically by something from this store at full price.) This darling sweater is an acrylic cotton blend and costs 34.00. Plus, and this is the kicker, GAS. The nearest Gap is 30 miles away, one way. The national average for a gallon of gas is 2.99 a gallon, 4.04 is the top price (in Hawaii) and 2.28 in Greenville SC (is that a typo on MSN or do I need to move?) I would have to add my transportation cost in to the price of the sweater (plus lunch, or parking, depending on which mall I visted.) Yowza!

Better to knit it and quit obsessing about the size of my stash. Yarn, needles, USM/ISM/Bond and skill will save me a lot of money at Christmas. Pinch a nickel til the buffalo farts; suddenly, knitting is economical!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Crush Story and my roving eye!

In the early 90's, a band called Too Much Joy had a song called Crush Story which described the anticipation and excitement of a new love. In part, the lyrics are "I am useless, I am a mess.......this is much better than love, babe, this is a crush story." To me, new projects are exciting because of the same possibilities.

I am 1 hour away from finishing the front of my Sublime mohair sweater, and doing my best to see it through. If I can get the front knitted, the neckband and side seams will eventually just happen. It's a v-neck on 10s, so it should decrease quickly. It's a good thing, because I have a crush on my next project.

My roving eye is on the sweater I keep buying yarn for, over and over. I've been fascinated with the concept of a Fair Isle done with Noro yarn for YEARS, and I think it's time to start. My Silk Garden came in this week, and my inner yarn-ho has been standing on the corner screeching for DAYS now. Just to shut her up, I dragged out my box of Elann's Bag-Wool and played matchy-poo. But I think matchy-poo just sucks; why really waste GOOD colors on a garment when so-so colors will make it SING? It's something I learned in quilting, and is related to the drinking with girlfriends concept; mediocre looks GORGEOUS when surrounded by fug. (No judgements please, we've all seen homely people with gorgeous babies.)

Here is the start of my bag-wool/Silk Garden top down cardi, with FI ins
piration from Kolstad and Takel, shown on my soon to be finished Sublime front. Off white, icky rose, and brilliantly dark Silk Garden should make a great combo!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Disorderly shopping conduct-

It's been a big shopping week. Yesterday, I jostled my way thru an embarrassingly large amount of Paton's Katrina at Elann. There'd been so much press, I was sure it was gonna be a five minute sell-out. I am anxiously awaiting a lovely white box.

While I was waiting for my yarn to come up, I aimlessly wandered over to the Body Shop. Juba----lation-my discontinued perfume oil is back in stock. I
can quit hoarding a little bottle I bought on clearance in 1998. By the time I figured out it was fabulous, it was gone!

I've spent the better part of the past two days trying to order a birthday gift for DSD #2. Dooney and Bourke can kiss my butt. I called the Dallas store and checked to see what was on sale. "You'll have to come in, we won't ship sale items." When I explained that that wasn't a quick jaunt for me, she "relented", but she wasn't all that helpful. She wasn't gonna really give me any idea of what was on sale, besides "summer colors". The conversation ended with her saying "Call me back when you know what you want." I KNEW what I wanted, I just wanted to find something on sale. So no joy there. Then, I called James Avery Jewelers, to get the alternative gift, a charm bracelet. They had what I wanted, everything was peachy...."It will take 2 weeks to get that (ONE!) charm soldered on." Never mind, I could drive to the store and get it done on the spot.

By this time, I was starting to get a little pissy-I had 100.00 that no one was interested in! I realize it's not the WORLD, but it's more than a key-ring. I ACCIDENTALLY found
CharmN Jewelry which turned out to be lucky. They had a Maltese cross charm AND the ASL sign for "I love you"!!! And it was cheaper. And they will ship Monday. WHEW!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My mama always said I didn't have a lick of sense...

I have nothing new to report on the knitting front-I am still working on a mystery project (on size 2 needles, thanks for asking), my mohair sweater, and chemo caps. I'm about to get trampy and cheat on my projects, tho-when the mail came in yesterday, I had my own private yarn fest....Webs had Silk Garden on sale, and I broke down and bought a little. Today, I bounced out of bed, and my first two thoughts were "Dang, did I lose some weight?" and "Today is Katrina Day" at Elann! Unfortunately, the weight thing was just a sleepy illusion.
So I looked at my blog today, and didn't have @#$@ to show....so I wandered over to Cate's. She posted one of those blog surveys, so I followed the link and wasted 20 minutes playing. I found one that I thought was pretty funny.

Your IQ Is 120

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional

Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

There ya go, it's scientifically proven that I am a quart low on logic. The math assessment is a complete and total lie.

Guess I'll go work the mohair sweater. The sleeves are almost done...and I can play on the front.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

"My problem is....."

MY problem is that when someone says that to me, they are usually lying. How about this one-

"My wife died; I have a dispensation to grow my hair and fingernails because I'm Orthodox. I used to be a nurse, but got out of it when she died of cancer. I went to France for three years to work under this chef who yelled at me a lot. I used to be a master chef, but I quit that when my mom had a stroke. I used to own a really profitable steak house between Midland and Odessa-my potatoes were flown in from Idaho, I used farm fresh vegetables... I'm enrolling in school next door to get some refresher nursing classes....." Deep breath. I am 46 years old, and know a BS story when I hear one. My biggest clue-

" I want to try this experiment-I want to filet a whole salmon, and put it on a cedar plank with lemons, tarragon, maybe some dill, and grill it. Then I wanna make a sauce out of some really nice smoked salmon with cream, maybe a little dill..so it's thinner than a mousse, but still thick, and put it on top...."

"Horseradish too?" I ask helpfully. "Yes maybe a little."

Sigh....now I am not the smartest woman in the world, but I am pretty sure a master chef doesn't have to EXPERIMENT with cedar planked salmon. And I have a little experience with smoked salmon (my house smelled like a campfire for weeks when I made it, but my wedding guests enjoyed it.)

All in all, cedar planked salmon with a smoked salmon mousse sounds like......a waste of salmon. Or a regurgitation of every Food Network salmon show ever produced(Bobby Flay meets Iron Chef?). And the Nursing School next door doesn't teach refresher courses, only entry level classes to prep people for the state LVN exam.

I am SHOCKED that someone bothers to choreograph such an elaborate production for ME.