Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Clap if you believe in ME!

Hello. I'm the tree killer. The tree corpse outside? I did that. I can't say that I'm proud. I can't say that I am remorseful either. I resent the tree for being outside but under the overhang of the second story. The rain yesterday did nothing for the tree. This is not natural. Of course, neither is watching a tree die from the warmth and safety of my desk.

I have been convicted of herbicide, and the only reason that I am seeking rehabilitation is because I don't want to get in trouble with the powers that be (i.e. Mom).

As part of my treatment, I am to provide water for the plant, which is now losing its leaves in spite of being an indestructible ficus. I have done so today.

I am also to take a weekly photo of the plant to show my progress in developing sympathy for the darn thing.

I never claimed to be a tree hugger, people. Don't hate. I was given custody of this tree against my will when I accepted this job here. I never planned to have trees. At least not until my 30s.

If you care about this tree, if you believe that I have the power to bring it back to life, please clap your hands the way you did for Tinkerbell. It is our only hope.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Presenting: The Evidence

Another Square for the Square-Along... This is the 3rd. One has been sent, but has not yet arrived chez Stitch Marker. One is not yet blocked, and this one, obviously, is not yet completed. My goal: To finish knitting this square, block it along with #2 and send them overnight tomorrow to arrive on the deadline. Can she do it? We have the tools.

Finally a photo of Claudia's scarf. It is knit in Schaeffer Yarns "Elaine" in the Pearl Buck colorway. Lovin' it!! You can't tell in this photo, because I am clever, that the ends are not yet woven in. I am doing that today and sending this out on my lunch break. Fortunately it stays cold in Arizona forEVER!! She'll still get plenty of wear out of it... if she likes it, that is.

DO NOT BE ALARMED! I will not wear my new Calorimetry headband with this matching capelet... that is too Too and I won't do it. I only put it on long enough to photograph it. (Can you tell I need to pluck my eyebrows? The shadow in the middle will soon form a unibrow the way trees make tunnels over a narrow road. Not okay.) I do like it a lot, though. I am going to make another narrower one that I can wear indoors. This one looks a bit like a hat on me because I have no ponytail to show out the back.

This is what a baby with a sick Papa looks like. The same as a baby with a healthy Papa... It's good to be a baby. She loved her new hat and had no idea why her extended family was gathered in the absence of a Christmas Tree or a wedding dress. She just had more people to perform for. She was a ray of light on a very grey day.
My uncle was doing better yesterday than Sunday, but worse than Saturday. I haven't heard about today. So on with the daily routine. There is always time for what's coming, good or bad, when it comes.

Monday, January 29, 2007


(New Blogger. I hate change, but I do like colored text...)

Okay. I forgot my camera at home, so I can't show you anything... so I'll just tell you about it quickly. I think I may be a knitting addict. Do they have interventions for that?

I knit another square for Stitch Marker's square-along.
I knit up to the armpits on the front of Senor's sweater (yay!!).
I knit a hat for my cousin, Jamie.
I knit a Calorimetry from

My parents and I drove up to San Fransisco this weekend to see my uncle in the hospital. He's not doing well, so we were there to entertain/distract/support my aunt. I got a lot of knitting done in the car and in the waiting room of the ICU.

I'll show you photos tomorrow. I'm most excited about Jamie's hat (wait until you see her in it!) and Senor's sweater... The stash-busting we at a premium this weekend.

The sadness was also at a premium... this sucks!! Don't any of you ever get sick, you hear me?! I will not allow it.

(But if you do, I'll knit in your waiting room too, even if I'm mad at you.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007


I started a fun fur hat Back In The Day , when all of my hats were knit flat and seamed up the back... And then I made the wise realization that I don't need a bright red fuzzy hat in my life. I already have bright red fuzzy hair. So I halted production on this lovely...

But then the Red Fuzzy was given new hope by a collection effort by Mini of Minestrone Soup ( for the children's cancer ward of her local hospital. They want fuzzy hats, and I want to give them one!!

So the Red Fuzzy came back out this morning, and after about 2 hours of cheerful knitting, the hat is done!

It's big (why do all of my hats come out SO BIG?!), but there are probably some kids with big heads. I am going to run some elastic around the edge to help hold it on, just in case.

I really like it, but don't worry, friends, I'll not be sporting a Fuzzy of my own any time soon. I have, in fact, outgrown my impulse to look insane... though I do have relapses once in a while.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Some Knitting Update Photos

Here is my proud first attempt at colorwork. I don't know if my technique is technically correct, because I didn't bother looking it up. I just used good old-fashioned reasoning, and what do you know... it worked!!

Of course I cast on too many stitches, so this hat is even to big for my giant melon, and it's meant for Senor, who's head is a little smaller than mine.

It's knit with a wool blend, so am going to try to shrink it or felt it. If that doesn't work, I'm going to take a seam up the back with my sewing machine. I can't allow this hat to sit unloved in the closet, and there isn't a head in the world, now that Andre the Giant is no longer with us, big enough to fill this bad boy.

I still love it.

This is my square for Stitch Marker's Square-along. Two problems, though... One, I knit 1 too many repeat so it's more like 8" instead of 7"... drag!! And it has a mistake in it. One that probably wouldn't get noticed by many, but one that might not make this square book-worthy. I am going to find someone collecting 8" squares and send it to them. I have already started a second one for Larissa, but I don't think I'll finish it by the deadline. Oh well. I'll finish and send it anyway for the charitable cause.

Here are two hats, one for a baby (no baby in particular, thank you for the speculation, though) and one for an adult. The adult hat is made with the leftovers of various nubby hats I have made with Colinette Point 5. Love that yarn!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Photos of the "Sahara"

This is our "room" at the Sahara. I think these are two twin beds... they might be doubles. We removed the "comforter" from the left bed and put our own chenille blanket and pillow cases on it. This is one way that driving is better than flying: you can bring your own linens.

This is why we didn't use the right side bed... a cigarette burn in the "comforter".

This is our "view". Nice.

And our bathroom... plastic cups. Very "classy".

Of course, we still managed to have a nice time out and about. Here we are on our epic walk down the Strip.

Monday, January 22, 2007


Didn't love the gambling. Next time I go to Vegas, I will buy THINGS with my money instead of spending it all on those plastic round flat discs that the men and women in tacky vests keep making me give back to them. You mean I don't get to keep these?! My luck was so bad that I could have bet you that the sun would come up the next day, and we would all have ended up in the dark.

It is better to gamble on a new lipstick color, yes?

Or I will gamble on show tickets, because "LOVE" was the living end, as they used to say. How beautiful to see the peculiar talents of the Cirque du Soleil performers used to make flying dances and moving paintings out of the familiar music of the Beatles... It wasn't about shock factor, as it often is for Cirque. This was about story telling and emotional expression and wacky fun (with a few flips and tricks for good measure)... LOVED LOVE!!!

Love the resurgence of the penny slot, also, though they didn't pay out any better than any of the others... Love the Munsters slot machines!!

Didn't love $24 each to see the Titanic artifacts... We didn't pay it. I gambled on the odds that it will come back to L.A. I'll probably lose, but at least if I lose that bet I get to keep the $24.

Loved THE Hotel... Stay there, not at the Sahara. At THE Hotel, you can eat in THE Coffee Shop, buy things in THE Shop, and even wipe your rear with THE t.p. Gotta love THE guy (or girl) who came up with THE concept!! So simple, yet so daring... It's THE Bee's Knees.

Loved walking the Strip. We walked all the way from the Sahara to the Tropicana and back. With detours, and trips around various casinos looking for the Munsters, we figure it was a total of about 8 miles. Loved sitting down with a glass of wine after that.

Overall, loved being out of town with Senor, even if I didn't get to swim in nickels at any point during our trip. We still love each other, in richer and in poorer, in luck and in poor-devilry.

I love being home.

Stash-Knitting Fool!!!

Wow, what I lost in nickels I made up for in knitting progress!! Now, let me preface my impending gloating by saying that I actually came out of this weekend with MORE stash than I went into it with, BUT I trade in my cheat day for January. Let me out of jail for free, please!!

I finished:
Pat's Skull and Crossbones Hat
Claudia's scarf
2 Premie hats
1 Baby Hat
1 Adult Hat
Gran's ankle socks

I almost finished:
Larissa's square... but I made a mistake that was too frustrating to fix in the car.

I used an estimated total of 760 yards of stash yarn. How can this be, you ask, with so many projects finished? Well, the adult hat and the baby hat were knitted with Super Fat yarn on size 17 needles. It just doesn't take that many yards to finish those... and the premie hats only use up about half-a-marble-worth of yarn.

Plus, these are just estimations; it's hard to know for sure when you can't weigh your yarn to see...

I purchased:
1 skein Colinette Point 5 (turned into baby hat and part of adult hat)
4 balls Cascade 220 Superwash in White to make Norah Gaughan's cabled bolero from Vogue Knitting (must order 3 more balls, I grossly underestimated)

Those purchases added a shocking 934 yards to my stash (not including the 3 balls to come). BUT, the Colinette already got used, and the Cascade Superwash is for a specific project... one of my goals has been to buy enough yarn to make ACTUAL garments now.

Senor aptly reminded me that I have 1800 yards of his sweater waiting at home... I reminded him that I've done 10 inches of 3x5 rib and that deserves a 6 month break. I swear. It really does. So here's the deal I'm striking with myself: I cannot even so much as squeeze a skein of the Cascade Superwash until I complete the back of Senor's sweater. That's the deal.

All in all, my stash didn't get smaller, but my WiP list did get shorter, and my stash became more useable. I am still counting yarn that I find all around my apartment like Easter Eggs... I will probably make a spreadsheet at some point this week to help me keep track of this ever changing, ever growing number.

Still. An excellent effort this weekend. Photos to come shortly.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I joined one of the many "Decrease Your Stash" situations out there in Blogland, and as I contemplate the moral ramifications of signing up for a gmail account when I have been so happy at hotmail for so long, I thought I should let you know my Stash Study findings.

According to the ball bands of my current in-tact skeins of yarn, I have 10,507 yds of unused unabused yarn... that I've counted so far. I do have a chest of about 8 large balls of acrylic orange fuzzy stuff and some fun fur stashed under the bed that I have not dug out yet. Expect my total to go WAY up when I do.

Of those 10K+ yards, 1800 are for Senor's sweater and 1200 are for Print O' the Wave; 430 of Lorna's Laces; 370 of Fly Supersport sock; 315 Jawoll Cotton sock yarn; 380 are Merino Bambino for a little sweater for Ashley's Bean; 672 are Lion Microspun that are designated for a tank from one of those knitting mags... these are the planned projects. These projects account for a total of 5167 yds of the whole balls. Not too bad. (The sock yarns are not designated to actual sock patterns yet, but they will be used for socks. It counts.)

Now. As for all of my millions of marble sized left-over balls of yarn, they came to an estimated total of 2995 yards. These I plan to use for scrap hats, charity knitting, maybe some more premie hats, wrist warmers, and general Whatnot. Several of the larger marbles are coming with me on our car trip to VEGAS, BABY! this weekend. I figure that with 2-4 hours of driving each way (Senor is laughing right now), I can knock out some serious yardage on premie hats and unfinished projects. Here is what I've packed:

- Finish Aunt Claudia's scarf. I did count this yardage in the total, so it gets subtracted when I'm finished. 300 yds of Schaefer Eileen in "Pearl Buck" colorway.

- Finish Senor's Skull and Crossbones running hat... yes, my friends, I am attempting colorwork for the first time. The hat is going to be enormous, but that is more the fault of casting on too many stitches. This project will leave some serious marbles of leftovers, but the yardage of the two skeins I am using total 260.

- Knit a square for Stitch Marker's Square Along. I have not yet added the yardage of the intended sock yarn leftovers to the Stash Study. I will estimate something at some point and add it... and then subtract it.

- Fun fur for a Chemo Cap... whose blog did I see that on? I forget. I printed it out with the pattern, though. There's a contest. It's a whole Thing.

- Premie Hat supplies. Size 5 dpns and yarn marbles that need to GO AWAY. The cutest hat goes to Ashley's Bean. The rest will be sent to Angie.

That's my plan... How many yards will I get to subtract after the road trip? I'm heading for the glass ceiling, or sun roof, if you will.

Expect tales of Nickel Woes and Stash Triumphs next week. VEGAS, BABY!!!

(Yes, I know Swingers is old news, but I can't help. It's just how I roll...)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


After celebrating his 32nd birthday at a karaoke bar in California's San Fernando Valley, this man, suspected to be El Segundo mob boss Patricio Fuerte, aka V. Veroski, was blinded in a tragic photo-editing accident. The perpetrator is alleged to be his wife and partner in crime, Senora Fuerte. If you see this man wandering aimlessly today, please take him into custody and hold him until his wife returns home, as she claims to be incredibly remorseful for both posting a horrible photo of him on her blog and for forgetting to wish him a happy birthday on the very day she blinded him. Both are armed (one with sharpened knitting needles and the other with a lethal iPod Nano) and considered to be, well, no threat whatsoever.

In other news, a package containing a dangerous hand-knit hat was screened at the Omaha, NE post office. It's target may be expecting the package, however the magnitude of her doom is indescribable. Here is a photo of the so-called "Hat of Doom" (do not look directly at the photo unless you are prepared to meet your own demise):

The creator of said hat is rumored to be the very same Senora Fuerte suspected in the blinding of her husband earlier today. The hat, knit in connection with Head Games, an underground knitting war that has taken hold across the United States, Canada, and parts of Europe, is said to be soft and extremely cozy. Proceed with caution when checking your mailbox if you live in the Omaha area.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Fun with Hair

Is it Danny Zucko? Is it Annette Benning from "American President"? Is it Lucille Ball? Who can say?

But here's what you can do with it when you're finished wondering...

"Oh man, that is rockin!"

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

What I Do Do

January is a time of reevaluation, rebirth, reorganization, reaffirming and renewing, and while I enjoy the momentum of this sudden urge to mend and move forward, I can’t help but feel the pressure to do things I've never done in an attempt to demonstrate that I am suddenly someone New, not just Renewed.

There are so many things that I wish I did more of or better at.
…I wish I gave gifts for no reason. I wish I wrapped my gifts with care and creativity.
…I wish the number of phone calls I make to my friends were more in proportion with the amount I care about them.
…I wish that the number of visits per year made to my grandparents’ house was in proportion with the gratitude and love I feel for them.
…I wish that I sent more cards and letters to the people who are far away.
…I wish I had taken the big family portrait at my wedding.
…I wish that the many many little things I do in my life could be combined into a coordinated effort toward a common end.
…I wish that the things I do do mattered as much to me as the things I don’t do.

These would be my New Year’s resolutions if I were brave enough to face letting myself down again. I'm tempted to think it is New Year's that makes me feel this way, and I am mostly fine with myself the rest of the year. Or maybe I am really just Less than I wish I was. I think, "Certainly I can’t be as busy as I am without doing some things that are worthwhile…" Or maybe I am not as busy as I think I am. Maybe I am so accustomed to being busy that even my downtime feels busy. What is a Renewed (but not New) person supposed to do with all of these feelings and impulses? The pressure to change everything is the only thing CERTAIN to make me change nothing at all.

Is what we do who we are?

And can the answer to this question really be “Blog”? I can tell you for certain that it is not my chosen answer. It is, however, a way to organize my thoughts and present some of them to you by way of explanation or apology or pledge to do more of or better at.

So here goes.
What I do do:

… I do knit, almost daily.

… I do dishes, almost daily… unless Senor does them.

… I do teach a dance class to the most enthusiastic, grateful, devoted dancers in the world.

… I do work out more than I want to… which is none.

… I do write. I like to, once I set the pen to paper, but I hate the effort it takes to get the pen out. There’s no good reason for that. I love pens.

… I do cut my own hair. And dye it.

… I do laundry, almost daily.

… I do dump the trash if it’s overflowing too badly.

… I do work for my dad and appreciate the job and care about the business.

… I do pay the bills on time. I do put money away in savings. I do look after the well-being of my family’s finances.

… I do wear Chapstick and facial moisturizer to bed almost every night… I do want to be beautiful as I age.

… I do floss every night (for 8 nights in a row).

… I do have a blog that I love.

… I do think about watering the tree here at work everyday. I watch it droop and yellow and wilt, and I know how to fix it. I never do.

… I do light up when my husband gets home from work.

… I do worry about someone breaking into our apartment every night. I do sleep with the bedroom door locked to keep my husband and myself safe.

… I do fear not seeing people ever again… This is an especially worrisome worry considering how rarely I make the time to see so many of you.

…I do think about that family portrait everyday with regret. I didn’t think about how important it was to everyone besides me, and I didn’t know it would become so important to me. I hope to someday think of something to make up for it.

…I do plan to try to be a more avid phone caller, but if it never happens, please know that it’s just that I don’t like the phone, not that I don’t like you. I don’t call anyone. It’s nothing personal, I promise.

…I do care about all of you distant friends and relatives. The things I “do do” distract me from the letters and cards and visits I mean to do. Having been a good student all my life, having read some very long books, having rehearsed and performed in many long-running plays, you may not realize that I have the attention span of a 6 year old… the kind of 6 year old that hasn’t quite outgrown its inner toddler. So please know that if I am doing dishes it’s because I thought about sending you a birthday card and passed a pile of pots and pans on my way to the stationary box. If I am folding laundry, it’s because I thought about calling you and tripped on a pair of dirty jeans on my way to the phone. If I am knitting a scarf for no one in particular, it’s because I went looking for yarn to knit something for you and came across some old cheap yucky yarn that I just had to use up so that I could see the friend-worthy stuff more clearly. The intention is there.

…Claudia, I actually AM knitting you a scarf, and Gran, I actually AM knitting a pair of socks for you (I’ve restarted 5 times in the search for something good enough). But I can’t finish either because I am so busy worrying about how I haven’t finished the other yet. I am not a machine; it seems I care just enough not to get anything done.

…Grandma and Grandpa, I’m coming down soon. I promise again and as always.

I’m so “Cats in the Cradle”. Why don’t I do what I wish I was doing? What do you do to keep yourselves on track? Are my expectations of myself unrealistic? Or are they too low? Am I exaggerating your expectations of me?

I’m not writing this to assuage my guilt. It could never accomplish that. I am writing in hopes of conveying to you how much I care just in case your card never comes.

How do you Renew without wishing you were someone New? Has anyone done it?

(Tomorrow I will lighten up again. I will tell you about how Danny-Zucko-meets-Lucille-Ball my hair looks today.)

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Next Logical Step

Witness: My new haircut and my "I dare you not to like it" face.

I can't seem to get a good shot of the back. I'll need to get some help for that. But yes, it is as short in the back as it looks. I feel great!

And here is a poor shot of my Red Scarf Project scarf. It is just garter stitch, but it was either that or not finish in time and lose interest. I did block it since this photo was taken. I wasn't a big fan of the curly tassels.

In person it is a lovely tobacco/olive green color. Very soft!! I hope it keeps a former foster child very warm.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

In My Long Absence

A lot of work was done!!

Voila! The newest finished objects:

The Chevron scarf from Joelle Hoverson's Last Minute Knitted Gifts. More like Last Minute of 2006 Knitted Gifts. I've been working on this one for ages. I finally decided that it was okay not to get to the end of the ball. It is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Seregenti. I didn't do two alternating colors as suggested in the book. Just the one lovely colorway. Here is a close-up.

And then there is my new love:

I have scarcely taken it off since it was completed. I'm sure Senor Fuerte is OVER IT but I am not yet. In fact, I want one in every color!! Too bad I resolved not to buy yarn in January. Booooo... I wonder if Patons Classic counts... it's not expensive, right? I guess it really does count. Oh well.

I did learn a very important lesson from this knit: When buying yarn for no particular reason, BUY ENOUGH TO MAKE SOMETHING AT LEAST THIS BIG!!! I have been rooting through my stash looking for something else to use for this patter or a subtle variation. No such thing. 'Cause I only buy one ball usually. I have two balls of Cascade 220 (which I used to knit this lovely) in an awesome mustardy yellow (I think it's technically called Straw), but I only bought two balls, and this capelet used up 2+ balls... Grrrrr... So, from now on, at least how many yards of a particular yarn? 500 yards? 600 yards? Then at least I can make some kind of wrap or something instead of just hats and little things.
New Year's Eve afternoon was spent knitting these precious premie hats for a hospital in Alabama. One of my fellow Head Games competitors is collecting them.

Senor tended bar on New Year's Eve, so I went to a friend's party stag (it was okay, no worries, I support my man!). Here we are before he left.

Once he was gone, I did a Yoga Buns video and then got ready for the party. Happily, the freeways were deserted and I had the pleasure of driving 75 on the 405 for the first time in... well, moons.

Senor and I spent New Years afternoon at the local pub having a burger and watching the Rose Bowl. I'm happy to say that USC spanked Michigan!! Fight on!!!!

I had the world's largest Diet Coke.

Senor had Stella.

And this is just a ridiculous photo of me in some really cute ear muffs... They were not a gift for me, but I still stole a photo of myself in them.

Happy New Year!