Friday, December 29, 2006

Yule be so glad...

... when the holidays are actually ACTUALLY over. Besides all of the eating and drinking being finished (like I need encouragement to overdo it!), I'll be back at work and the blogging will recommence with a finished object! No, it's not a sock for Senor Fuerte. It's a capelet from Wrap Style!! A one week affair that is currently blocking on my bedroom floor. I am in love! I just hope that it stays cold long enough to wear it in public a few times. It was knit with Cascade 220 in a really bitchin' grey/mauve/sage heather. It doesn't sound like my kind of color, being one who is naturally attracted to acid greens and bright reds and turquoises, but this bizarre and fascinating grey caught my eye during my many holiday knitting shopping trips, so I finally got 3 skeins. Then I bought myself Wrap Style with a gift card I received many many moons ago, and the rest, as they say, is history. I am finished. This project had a kind of momentum that I haven't felt in a while... and it is my first outerwear garment for myself: an adult. I am very pleased and am considering wearing it for New Years Eve. Here is the photo from the book:

Oh, nevermind... I can't find a photo of it on-line. You'll just have to wait for a photo of mine!

PS. Good news on the flawed Jaywalkers. My mom LOVES THEM!! She wore them around the house for almost three days straight, and she has showed them off to everyone. I guess "Mommy, Look What I Made!" finally got it right!! She has been telling me how everyone tells her jealously that THEY don't have any handknit socks... WoohOO!! I couldn't be happier, and I couldn't forgive the poor color match of the yarn to my monitor more! She thinks the colors are beautiful. Go figure.

Also, the new blue Odessa went to my G-ma, who looked adorable in it and loved the color because she is a San Diego Chargers fan. I must have had some kind of lucky premonition that she would need that hat.

Also, Michelle if you're reading this, thank you SOOOOO much for the pretty gift!! I looked at my LYS for Malabrigo yarn and they didn't have it. I was so bummed, but now I have it!!! I'm looking forward to trying out the light up needles too!

Okay, that's it for now. I'll do a big photo spread on Tuesday.

Happy New Year, everyone!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I feel SICK!

My health is not the problem.

There was one last knitting gift I was trying to crank out on the Q.T... and I knit it for three days straight... at work, on lunch hours... Only to discover as I felt I was nearing the end and went to check it's mate (hint hint), and they didn't match. THEY DIDN'T MATCH?! Different stitches, different sizes, what on EARTH did I do?! How could that have happened?!

I'm sorry, Senor, the super secret gift will either be not ready for Christmas OR no longer a secret.

Which do you prefer?

I feel light headed from all of the ripping of the knitting.

Fine. That's Fine. Screw you guys, I'm going home.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


For better or worse, in success and failure, here is the Jaywalker Quirk Contest.

Correctly identify 2 (only 2) pattern deviations between Sock 1 (correct) and Sock 2 (incorrect).

There is also a mistake. If you can spot it, it'll help in case of multiple correct answers.

If more than one person gets the 2 pattern deviations AND the mistake, then I will have Senor choose a name out of a hat.

The prize will be an as yet undecided ball or two of yarn from my stash. Very glamorous.

Here are the photos:





Much Business

Yes my friends, another odessa, this one made with Misti Baby Alpaca in a wonderful lavendar blue. This one has someone's name on it. Who do you think it might be? Is it you?

And a felted purse. My first. It is made with Cascade 220 in a cool blue/green/purple heather. 24 hours and done! Perhaps a gift... Not sure yet. I have a few of you in mind...

Here's the before (in front of me in my work clothes):

Here is during (in front of me in my pjs... yes, I did sleep in my Costco cashmere sweater, so cozy!):

And here is the best after shot:

It is the size I intended, just right for a wallet, a phone, some keys and a lip gloss. Felting magic. I must felt more.

I have also been tagged with a "Meme", which I put in quotation marks because it is the first that I will have done on this blog, but in case you don't know the activity by this name, you will recognize it when you see it...

“THE RULES:Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.”

1) I like to make notes in my cookbooks about when I made each recipe and what I changed about it and who I fed and whether we liked it. I do the same in my knitting recipe books.

2) I used to have a South African penpal. We wrote a few times. She was so sweet. She sent me a photo of herself. I sent her a package of stuff that I like, a tape, some pictures, I don't remember what else... and I never heard from her again. I hope the package reached her. I hope she is okay.

3) I cut and color my own hair (my dad says "often").

4) I lived in England for a year. At the University of Kent in Canterbury.

5) Starting in England, I smoked for 5 years. I have stopped now, and haven't had one in 2 years and 7 months.

6) I used to pretend to run away by hiding in my closet. I wanted to see how long it would take someone to go looking for me. I always got bored before that and came out.

I will tag some people later this afternoon, can't think of it right now... too busy with 10 year reunion planning business (yipes, it's Saturday).

And then, the Jaywalker contest. Coming today. I promise!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Oh Hanukkah!

How sweet and demure you are! Like a lovely debutante in her blue glimmering dress chatting decorously with the women in their silver frocks and the men in their waistcoats (Just go with me here)... The beauty whom the men quietly admire and solemnly ask to dance at every ball for 8 nights in a row. A truly graceful creature of a holiday.

AND THEN THERE'S CHRISTMAS-- Who let that sassy, overbearing, indecent hussy into our fine soiree?! She's off in the corner with her rouged cleavage and hooker lipstick and her high-cut red and green mini skirt trimmed with curly ribbon, singing along with the 4-piece chamber ensemble that was hired for the dancing. She's cutting in on the other women; she's talking too much about inappropriate things at the top of her lungs, when everyone else would just love to be pretty and quiet and grown-up...

Yes, I celebrate Christmas. It's not that I hate Christmas; I do believe that I could really truly love Christmas, but I just heard "Santa Baby" twice in one hour, and I will never forgive the person who did that to my once lovely and decent Christmas.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Final Orders

Is this the last? The last of the orders that need to be completed before Christmas? I keep thinking back to all of the people I talked to at the two sales, and YES, in fact, this does appear to be the last one. A hat for a snowboarder. And I finished it last night. I knit all through "StandOff" and "House". I knit through "Diagnosis: Unknown" (she was being poisoned by her husband). I knit through my planned workout time (boo!)... but it's finished! Now back to Jaywalker... Awwwww... Soon, my friends, soon the Jaywalker will be finished and there will be contest mayhem. Or maybe just a little contest hubbub...

It does feel good to be finished with other peoples' whims so that I can get back to my own.

I think I look at bit aprehensive instead of whimsical... Something will have to be done about that!

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Jaywalker Scorned

Or "The Pattern that Fought Back"...

No photos today, but when jaywalker #2 is finished, there will be a CONTEST: to correctly identify all of the mistakes (or as I like to call them quirks) in the second sock. I knit on because I am unhappy with the colors and just want to be finished so that I can move on... But I've learned my lesson... Just because I think I remember how it goes from the first sock doesn't mean scanning the pattern casually is a good idea. Hubris strikes fiercely! If I were knitting in ancient Greece I'd be punished with a never-ending ball of yucky acrylic yarn to knit eternally... the ball would be supplied by some hubristic spinner who is being punished with eternal spinning of yucky acrylic fiber...

The prize will be yarn from my stash... as promised, I am paying it forward. It might be yucky acrylic... but probably not... or maybe a little of both.

Non-knitters, if you would like to participate, you can. I'll think of an appropriate prize should you win.

"Logs on the fire...

... fill me with desire." Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my least favorite lyrics from a Christmas song ever...

I entitle these photos: "Projects on the tree, filling me with glee"

These were orders from the latest sale... the pink one turned out looking a lot like a Meathead, but I promise, it was pure coincidence!!

We made Christmas!!

Raise a glass of Nogg to our first Christmas tree... it isn't perfect, but trees in glass houses, you know...

See my new red scarf? Yay, garter stitch!

Senor did a GREAT job with the lights!

By the time we had the lights on we still liked each other:

We bought our tree at the Scout House down the street and carried it home in our bare hands! Of course, this photo makes it look like we bought our tree in Lilliput.

Didn't it turn out cute?! Not a traditional Christmas color to be found...

I can tell you one thing for sure... there wasn't just egg in that nogg!

I wonder if that was my second or third nogg...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

That's all, folks.

Last night. Garter stitch scarf. White Lion Brand Homespun. It is but humble. Someone is paying $15 for it. Though it be but humble, it is worthwhile.

Today: multicolored garter stitch scarf. It is but humble. The colors are wonderful. I will photograph it when it is finished.

That's all folks. Must clear some needles!

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Anniversary Party

29 years later, and none the worse for wear, here are my parents on their anniversary. We went to see "The Light in the Piazza" at the Ahmanson Theater yesterday. It was a wonderful show!! The soundtrack does not do it justice, so I found myself delighted and relieved. It featured one of the idols of my youth, Laura Griffith, who was the most talented person I actually knew in high school. Remember this name. She is going to be HUGE!! She was great in a great play. Not bad, huh? I actually know her... well, knew her. We used to ride in a crappy white van together once a week to sing at convalescent homes with the "Rainbow Connection"; you've come a long way baby!

But she wasn't the point of the day. My lovely parents were the point. I am so happy to have been there for almost all of their married life (it's kosher, I counted), and I hope that there are many many more wonderful years in their future.

Senor and I have made it 7 months already. This photo is NOT a good representative. But it's so bad I had to share. We are doing much better than we look, and our short marriage has not worn us out this much. Love it bad, folks!

We went out to dinner at a hiply romantic restaurant called Noe. Tasty food. Tasty wine. Tasty company.

And these are my men at intermission. I just think it's a cool photo!

There was no time for making things. I was too busy making memories. Here's to another great day!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I SEW haven't quit knitting!

But I have been sewing a bit more than usual (it's just so quick!)... Last night I took some photos of the Cabin Kitsch pillow, or Girly Pillow as I have dubbed it. Here is the front, photo taken without a flash, which makes it a bit fuzzy, but captures the warmth of it better:

Here are some close ups of the ladies:

And below is the back, in case you have to be a little more... ummm, prim, you can just flip it around and hide it from disapproving guests:

The beauty of that fabric with the girls on it is this: There are 3 or 4 other great girls to choose from. Expect more Girly Pillows in the near future.


And for the kids, I whipped up a little something different. I am considering this a prototype due to some unfortunate stretching and warping of the pinstriped material, which much to my frustration was just a little stretchier than the white. I still like it though... And I will make others.

Changes that need to be made, in addition to avoiding stretch at ALL costs are as follows:

1. Shallower crayon pockets. I had to run a seam across the pocket panel halfway down because I know that little fingers wouldn't be able to find a crayon once it had gone down in. Mothers, I've got your interest at heart; I know you don't want to be digging crayons out of your kids apron pockets all day.

2. More colorful! This one looks like a crayon apron for a mental ward or something. Boring.

3. Number of crayon slots should match the number of crayons that come in the standard crayon box. Anyone found a box of 9 crayons out there? I also could make some for the boxes with more colors, like the 24 box for the sophisticated child artist.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My "slimming" pantyhose are cutting me in half!

Here's a bulldog eating my head:

Sometimes bumps and lumps are better than feeling like a sausage...

I made another pillow last night, one that I like even better but neglected to photograph. Let me just say, though, it is Cabin Kitschy and it is fantastic!!

I also have about 1 inch of a vivid blue Odessa... maybe this one I will keep for myself... or maybe not.

And I finally picked back up the second Jaywalker and turned the heel. It was in the front of my mind on the plane on the way to New York, but for some reason when I came home I lost my steam. Now that the heel is turned and the decreases begun, perhaps I'll be able to maintain some momentum through to the end.

There's also a holiday boutique on Saturday that I'm supposed to be attending with my wares, random and picked over as they are, and I'd love to be a powerhouse and whip up a bunch of stuff... I just don't know what to whip on... or when, for that matter.

We'll see.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Okay, yeah, I made this...

I made it last night. Here's the front:
Here's the back:

But that's not what's on my mind; it's just what I did.

Here's what's on my mind: Changing a man. Adjusting his behavior. They tell us we can't do it, and we shouldn't want to. Some women try. They say or think things like, "He's so hot, if only I could control his schedule, his libido, his language, his laundry". Other women, like me, try their best not to try to change anything.

I like my man the way he is, all football and racecars, all beer and meat, all these things that men are that women might sometimes want to change. I don't. I never did. I like those things about him (and all of the other things he is which help to make him whole). So tell me how am I supposed to feel when I find that he has adjusted anyway in the natural course of our life together?

Another woman might be thrilled that she's managed to prevent her man from hanging out with his friends watching football for almost a month straight (or possibly more?). I feel lousy. True, my plan came up first and it involves my family members and an anniversary, and I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a considerate man like mine would accept these plans with grace and even enthusiasm. But when the football invitation comes up just ONE DAY TOO LATE, how can I feel good about his having to tell his friends, "Sorry guys, I'm going to a musical with my in-laws"?

I want to climb to the nearest rooftop and scream, "I DIDN'T DO IT ON PURPOSE!!!!" I don't want to be that woman, nor do I want to be mistaken for her.

It's not that he's changed in essence. The football is still there. But in order to prevent my man from adjusting any more than necessary, I'm going to have to put a moratorium on Sunday plans for a while. Mom. Dad. No more family dinners on Sundays. For now.

Am I the first woman to marry a man and feel the need to prevent changing him? Love is a big responsibility, and I fear I have wielded mine carelessly. Senor, next Sunday, no girly stuff. Only football and racecars, only beer and meat.

I'm sorry.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Technical Difficulties

These photos were supposed to be at the END of the photoessay below... but I couldn't get it to work... so now the end of the wedding is before the preparations. Fanchapstick... If you have the wherewithall, scroll down to the post below and read it first. It will have a better flow.

Best. Cake. Ever.

Mr. and Mrs. Gr-Strong. Don't ask.

Senor Fuerte bought me a rose while picking up the bridal bouquet. What a guy!!

They were there. So was she. And there were firecrackers and bathingsuits. Long Story. And here is how it ended. With a wedding. Many many years later. Mercifully, all the gentlemen were in a different kind of suit this time.

He was still there. Lookin' all warm and cozy.

She was there, too. In her new hat. Courtesy of me. Better than the first. Much better.

We looked at photos and went to dinner. And they were married. And we had fish (except for me, I had steak)

In the end, we went home tired and satisfied. It was a big weekend. Next time, we're coming to hang out on the couch and not move. And swim in the pool. Or the jacuzzi.

Congratulations, Monte and Barbara! Well done, and do well!

Another Strong Wedding: A photo essay...

(they held their hands up at the same time without prompting)

THE NEW DOG-IN-LAW: Trepper (short for Intrepid)
He loved me inappropriately, and I had to break his heart.

AT THE UNOFFICIAL REHEARSAL DINNER: The Maid of Honor and her Big Beer

GETTING READY: Senor, the Bartender

THE BOUQUET: You know, the thing the bride carries.

THE SAND CEREMONY: Symbolizing the mixing of lives. 'Cause no one should have to try to separate blue and black sand once it's been mixed.

More to come...

Print O' the Waves-- Photographic Proof

I believe this is 5+ repeats into Print O' the Waves... I'm having a pretty good time. My Addi Turbos work much better than either of the others, so I'm doing more knitting and less adjusting for the needles. I have had a bit of trouble with stitches appearing and disappearing, and try as I might, I cannot figure it out. This repeat through I am paying extra attention to which row I am working when the extras appear (if they appear). And while I have REALLY HONESTLY tried to identify the mistakes in order to fix them (I really really did), I cannot find them, and that is why my left RS edge looks a bit wonky:

So, as slightly disappointing as it is, I'm going to have to chalk it up to beginner's bad luck and keep on truckin'. I hope that after blocking and the addition of the borders, I won't be able to tell. And if I can't tell, no one else will be able to tell... right?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Meet a New Friend of Mine

This is "Dorothy's Revenge", a new design by "Not an Artist" at

Named by


I know, it's nerdy, but I feel like a B-List knitting celebrity right now (that's a good thing)... I'm not sure whether or not to be concerned that I am nearly as proud of this achievement as I was about garnering a college degree. Perhaps luck is more thrilling than years of hard work... that's kinda sad, but USC never sent me yarn in the mail, so maybe that has something to do with it...

Look forward to seeing my own version of Dorothy's Revenge as soon as this pattern is published. Thank you so much, N.A. Artist!!!!

Print o' the Wave: State of the Union

2 repeats in. There are three extra mystery stitches on the end of the right side rows. I don't know how they got there, but they started as two and then grew to three but have not increased in about 7 or 8 rows... I'm hoping that means that it was just a mistake or two and not a chronic misreading of the pattern.

I also have not made peace with my needles. I cast on with some interchangeables (not Denise, I forget the brand, it's the one they sell at Michael's), but the joint where the needles attach has such a ridge that my teeny tiny laceweight yarn wouldn't slide over it. I spent more time moving stitches than knitting. Not cool. I have since switched to some long aluminum straights, but they are so heavy that I fear a landslide will bring me down... perhaps a trip to the knit shop is in order to pick up some circulars with a nice smooth transition... I think once the combination is right I'll be moving right along.

Also, I'm a bit disturbed by how very blue the yarn seems to be now that it's knitting up. In the ball is seemed very mild. I'll be sad if the only thing I can wear my fancy shawl with is jeans...

Picked up a set of circular Addi Turbos at the yarn shop. They seem nice and smooth, and it seems to me that many of my favorite bloggers sing their praise. They weren't free nor in the neighborhood of free... but I have signed up for a big undertaking with this shawl and the only way to get to the end is with sticks that don't fight me! I will let you know tomorrow how the Addi's and I get along.