Monday, April 30, 2007


I'm thinking about keeping this one for future Strongs...
Choosing buttons is difficult...

They are made of shell, and they have a nice glow about them... I didn't want them stealing focus OR genderizing. I really like them... of course, there were a lot of others I liked, too.

Happy Happy Happy Happy

Happy Anniversary!!! Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Anniversary!!!!

(Don't worry, we didn't go anywhere where the waiters sing this for your anniversary.)

It's been 1 year, my friends. One happy happy happy happy year since Senor made me his Senora... But it was 1 and a HALF years (or maybe more) since I began his sweater... I am only slightly sorry to report that it was not finished by Saturday, but it was devilishly close! You can't see it because I cleverly hid them inside the sweater, but none of the ends are woven in... and the roll neck still needs to be added, but look at the nice fit! And then of course there's the fact that I made a freakin' sweater out of once-straight yarn!! It's such an amazing feeling!!!!!!

Now I want one.

We forgot to have someone take our photo while we were out celebrating properly on Saturday night... but we went to our favorite restaurant for dinner, our other favorite restaurant for dessert, and our favorite Tavern for drinks and some karaoke. Yes, folks, for my husband I sang... I sang "Brass in Pocket" by the Pretenders... Senor said, "That was a hot one, Dog!" Me? I couldn't hear myself too well, and they played canned applause at the end, so there was no telling how the rest of the patrons felt about my performance... but the point is I sang it, and if you're really nice to me, maybe I'll sing it for you sometime. Senor rocked "Let's Get it On" and "Mack the Knife." I think they thought I'd be better based on his performances. Actually, I know they did. Flattering, but wrong.

Here are a few photos of the rest of our day. We started with sleeping in and eating the frozen top of our wedding cake, as tradition demands:

It was kinda yucky, but we did it for luck. Besides, can you really complain about any occasion that allows you to have cake for breakfast?! And the coffee made it better, of course.

Then I went to the yarn store while Senor ran some anniversary errands. Can you believe it? Cake for breakfast and then yarn shopping!!! What an incredible day!

There was a guerrilla-style nap midday (cake crash!) while I cast on for Debbie Bliss's Baby Bobble Jacket:

Senor gave me a beautiful blank book for our Paper Anniversary... which I neglected to take a photo of... (I suck at this sometimes!) I gave him his sweater-- I dubbed it our Lint Anniversary!

And then off we went into the cool El Segundo evening for all of our favorite things.

It was an amazing day celebrated just the way we like it: Our Way.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Me and the Pea

Well, I left my pattern for Senor's sweater at work yesterday, so when I got to the point where I wasn't sure how to proceed on sleeve #2, I picked up the Pea Pod jacket and decided to seam.

...And then there was some Learning.

It's a tough job.

I don't like to learn, it turns out. But I do like having learned.

The ends are yet to be woven in, and of course it still needs buttons... but you must admit: That looks like a real honest-to-goodness cardigan sweater!

The sleaving away continues...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mrs. Goodthumb

I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm broken of the habit, but I have found that I don't focus on my thumbs as I have been for years. They are looking good, and soon I'll have to go get a manicure (darn) because I don't trust myself to push back the now growing cuticles without going overboard. Photos to come later this week.

In the meantime, a Baby Down Under Update... Here she is in the wee "silver" sweater I knit for her before she was born. What a happy girl!
But what's this? Did I forget to weave in some ends in her right sleeve? Oh the shame!! And she lives too far away for me to fix it! I'm lame. But she doesn't seem to mind...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Grass Roots

Veering sharply away from knitting and toward another form of creative expression, I'd like to call your attention to the fact that I've written a few songs. Well, I've more precisely written lyrics to a few songs, which my lovely partner Steven then put wonderful music with to make some definitely above average songs.

And we need your help. Or we MIGHT need your help. See, Tuesday we submitted one of our songs to the American Idol Songwriting contest. (yay) The producers are now in the process of weeding the thousands of entries down to 20 and then those will be posted on the website for America to vote. Will you vote? Yes, you will. Will you vote for us? Only if you think we deserve it... and of course, only if we get into the top 20... Which seems like a long shot because it is, but it never hurt to believe in miracles, right?

So I will keep you posted, of course, and on May 2nd we will see if "Becoming" is cream or just milk. If it is cream, it's up to you to whip it, whip it good.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bad Drive, Good Movie

My sympathy for all of you L.A. commuters is renewed. I used to do it, too, when I was doing theater in The Valley (like, fersherrr!), but I have forgotten in the pleasant haze of 4 mile round trip commuting. Oh man! The 405 was horrible! The only thing that made it worse was that the AM station I usually listen to when I need a traffic update was discussing the damn Dodger lineup-- Will baseball ever end?!!

On the flip-side of this: HOW EXCELLENT WAS "HOT FUZZ"?!!!! Seriously, a bit of serious blood and guts, a bit of cursing, and a whole lot of delicious dark humor-- I loved it!!! We cheered, we laughed, we applauded when it was over. It's not for the feint of heart nor for the kiddies, but seriously, guys, this is the first movie in a long time I've walked out of thinking, "Wow! I'm so glad I didn't miss that one!" and "I'd have gotten my $10 worth... if I'd had to pay for it!" (Free screenings are cool.)

And I knit while we waited for the movie to start. Long drive erased.

I have one question for you: Have you ever fired two guns whilst jumping through the air?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Progress is Sweet

Oops, these thumbs are on the wrong sides, but look how much better already!! I find that I am still habitually touching those spots with my index fingers ALL DAY LONG, but I have become aware of when I'm doing it and have so far been able to resist digging in (though I really want to, I JUST NEED ONE MORE HIT!). The trouble with trying to let them heal is that while they are healing there is a nice thick, insensitive layer of callous there that would normally be exactly the trigger for starting anew. But I will persevere for this reason: I actually feel more like a grown-up. And I like it! Thank you all for your support and encouragement in the comments. It seems silly that I would need support to kick such a trivial habit, but it did help to know that I'm not the only one out there. And now I won't have to worry about a flesh eating bacteria landing on my thumb sores and causing me to have my arms amputated. You may laugh, but this thought has crossed my mind on more than one occasion.

The knitting continues. I have been very focused on Senor's sweater and it is progressing nicely. I start to fear that what looks like a future success may end up being a long build up to impending doom... There are so many pitfalls between here and finished sweater. The seaming (so scared of this!), the blocking (will it stretch 7 sizes?! Shoulda blocked/washed that damn swatch!), the fit (Oh, Senor, keep on running... or stop running altogether and eat those leftover cupcakes!)... The outcome has yet to be determined, and until we are definitely safe, I keep my eye on my needles. They glow blue when dropped stitches are near.

Oh yeah, the Pea Pod jacket is ready for seaming. I am going to use it as a test run for Senor's sweater. This is the cutest little sweater ever!!! Photos soon, I hope.

Going to see "Hot Fuzz" tonight, yay! It's an advanced screening up at Universal, where Senor is now making a cozy niche for himself in Film Music Licensing (how fancy does that sound?!). Which reminds me... gotta go unwrap my new Macy Gray freebie to try out on the drive up there this evening.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

But, Knitblogger, what big hangnails you have!

Today, I'd like to discuss the power of the blog.

-I have used the blog as knitting motivation to excellent effect. Nothing will get me to turn a heel or pick up collar stitches like the carrot of blogging my progress the next day.

-I have used the blog to rekindle my love of photo taking. My camera won't make art as some cameras can, but recording the world around me and my friends and my family is something I used to do in photos and in words as a girl and a teen. I loved to do it. I lost interest in my journals when my life started to be happy (not as fun when you've nothing to bitch about and no boys to pine over), but it just turned out I needed a new vehicle for my recordings.

-I have even used the blog to revive a tree and develop a love for green things. (For those interested, the tree is doing very well. The leaves are pretty big now.) This process was as much about motivation to me as it was about accountability. This blog helped me break a bad habit, that of feeling guilty about not watering the tree and yet still not watering it.

So I wonder... if the blog could help me make these life changes, what else could I use it for? And then I think about how badly my thumbs hurt right now... and I wonder what your tolerance would be for hangnail talk. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have a terrible habit. I used to bite my nails as a young person, and when I managed to stop doing that (without a blog, imagine!), I traded my habit for picking on my cuticles. It hurts, and it's ugly, and I hate that I do it, but hating it doesn't seem to have been enough for me to bother not doing it. So perhaps shame of showing my poor thumbs to you will help me remember to leave them alone. Thus, I take this opportunity, on the 3 Year Anniversary of the day I Quit Smoking, to pledge to quit making my thumbs bleed. This is what they look like today:

Right now, they are wrapped up safely in Bandaids where they will stay all day. The last time they looked nice was right after my wedding, because the acrylic nails weren't effective diggers. The wedding was nearly a year ago, and my thumbs have looked like this basically every day since the acrylics came off. Horrible!!

Thank you for your tolerance on this matter. I promise not too ever post a photo that looks worse than this. I am hoping that they will look much better in just a few days and then it will be a matter of maintaining long enough to stop the behavior altogether. Don't they say you can build a new habit in 28 days? What about breaking them?


For my latest knitting pledge, see my latest post on the Knit From Your Stash Blog

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter Updates

Hey hey hey, mah people!

Sorry I've been absent. I hooked my camera download cord up to the other computer here at work, and I don't know if the chee is different or what, but blogging isn't as fun over here... I'll move it back soon.

Now that the obligatory apology is out of the way, there has been a lot of activity in my knitting world... a few things finished and progress on just about everything else.

First of all, the toscana sock for Senor took a trip out to my cousin's baseball game in Pomona on Saturday. It was a double header, so I got a few inches completed. Because of the difference in tension between the ribs and stockinette, I'm having to do more heel decreases than I had planned, but whatever works, right? I'm enjoying the yarn a lot, so I don't care how it happens. Senor is being very patient, see?

I also did a bit of inventing for an Easter accessory:

This is my Easter Shrug. This is not the shirt I wore it with for Easter, but I forgot to take my camera out of my purse on Easter, so I'll have to see if someone else got a photo. (Also, you can see there were still ends hanging down in this photo) The yarn is Knit One, Crochet Too's Tartlette, and while it glimmers and feels great and was exactly the right color, it's a bit unpredictable in the stretch department. These two sleeves are the same length, though it doesn't appear that way in the photo. I found that I tugged on them a bit to keep them even while wearing it on Sunday, so perhaps the yarn wasn't quite right, but in general, I am very pleased with the design and would like to try it again. It's nothing very revolutionary. I've seen many things like it, but this was MY version, and I take great pride in having decided to try something and seen it through. It did get a lot of compliments from the grandmother and aunts, so I felt like a winner.
And finally...

Jaywalker 3.1 is finished! Look how excited Senor was (about something else) to hear the good news!

So pretty!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

In knitting news...

Adventures in colorwork... in the round. Can you spot the joins? Not my finest work, but the hat is for someone very special.
This hat, knit in GGH Boboli (love it!), was made especially for a friend's two year old grandson who was shaken and/or beaten so badly by his mother's boyfriend that he's now blind and had to have the top of his skull removed temporarily while the swelling in his brain went down... They kept his skull in his stomach cavity to protect it (never heard of this before). He had his "head" put back on Friday, and now he has a new hat to cover up his Owwies while the wounds heal and his hair grows back. Don't worry, the guy who did it is in jail.

I also worked on the Reading in bed shrug. Here it is blocking on the ironing board:

I was very excited to get to this point, but I had a suspicion that the cast off edge would be too tight for my lovable arms. I removed it from the ironing board and seamed it up and put it on. From the back it looked pretty good, I think:

(This back view includes the cast on edge on my left arm. It looks pretty, though from the side it cuts my lovableness right at the least flattering spot... ummm)

From the front, however, it is not something I feel I can wear out of the house, which despite the name of the pattern, I hope to be able to do.

You can also see here on my right arm (your left, in case you are left-right disabled like I am) how tight the bind off really is. Not nice. I have since then un-bound-off the right arm and re-bound-off more loosely. I really did try to make an outfit that would compliment the shrug. I wanted so much to wear it to see "Wicked" on Sunday... but there's just too little shrug showing from the front. I am going to re-un-bind-off the right arm and add a few pattern repeats so that the sleeves are longer.

This determination isn't really like me. I am one to toss a failed project in a pile in the corner, as I did with the skull and cross bones beanie I made for Senor... Not this time, friends. I can save this one!!!!!

Urban Safari

A picture show in three frames.
For best effect, scroll down quickly.

On Saturday, Senor and I took an Urban Safari on the Los Angeles Metro Rail system. We travelled the green, blue, and red lines on our way from El Segundo to Universal City, home of Senor's new job (Yay!). These photos are taken from one of the platforms located between the eastbound and westbound lanes of the 105 freeway. Cars on all sides. Of course, on Saturday there wasn't much in the way of traffic, so I was able to create this little montage. Magical.

From the train we saw the Watts Towers, which unfortunately went by too quickly for me to get a photo of them. We also rode one of those bendy Frankenbuses that can turn corners in two pieces. Freakish! We only found ourselves on the bus because they were working on the tracks, so they ferried everyone off the train and onto waiting buses that took us downstream two stops where we got back on the train again. Nothing like riding in faith to make a control freak worry. We got where we were supposed to go, no problem. Except for the cute toddler pulling the stop request cord on the bus.

We saw this skeleton tile in one of the metro stations...
(Draw your own conclusions on this. We did, but I'm too much of a lady to share.)

Why the hell did I wear my faux Burberry scarf to go tromping through deepest, poorest South Central?! I'm a pompous, inconsiderate ass, that's why.

We did learn one universal thing on our way to Universal City:
Irritating is irritating.
Race, age, gender, nationality... none of these have anything to do with ones ability to drive the people around them INSANE. I participated with my scarf and my constant being-in-someone's-way-ness. Others participated by discussing loudly the prices of their expensive cell phones while in the company of downcast people carrying bags of scavenged recyclables. Still others bad-mouthed their parents for trying to do a good job raising them. And then there were the plethora of rolling devices crashing into ankles... strollers, suitcases, collapsible shopping carts, etc. It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like or where you come from... You put enough people in a small space, irritation springs eternal. I am not exempt. We are all the same under our skin.

And in a way it's comforting.

Oh, also, every kid is cute in their way. And it's a good thing, too, because if they weren't, we'd kill them for irritating us.

Wow, as Senor would say, "You are the most bugged person on earth."

It's true. I can no longer deny it.

At least I bug in return.

Minimal knitting was accomplished while on the metro.


Look who moved in just downstairs from us...
This is not your average gravel-colored patio lizard like our last one, Pedro, who lived on the second stair from the bottom. This is Fruity, some kind of escaped pet or rain forest stowaway, who moved onto the seventh stair up. He's pretty big, about 4 or 5 inches long, I'd guess. And he certainly wasn't afraid of me... I had the camera on HIS stair, and all he did was look at me suspiciously with one eye. I hope he doesn't move away too soon. That stair gets good sun all day long.

And this was the friend we made up at my parents' house this weekend...

A massive grasshopper almost as big as Fruity!!! He scared the stuffin' outta me when he buzzed me walking down their driveway and thunked himself onto their car. I have to admit, I was a little afraid to approach with the camera. This guy would leave a bruise if he decided to thunk me.

I hope he's not the beginning of some kind of plague or anything...