Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A new trick

From Knitty.com
Malabrigo Worsted: Marine and Apricot
Fairisle is Fun!

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Two-Story Morning

Today I bring you "How today was almost really bad" and "A tale of two shopping trips".

First "How today was almst really bad."

I was on my way to work, groovin' to some Bob Dylan, dreading Monday but enjoying my new outfit (see the next story), and cruising down PCH past the new mall here in El Segundo. A glint of light caught my eye off to the right of the road about 200 yards down. Instantly I knew what it was: a cop and his lazer. A slight alarm rose in my chest as I looked down at the speedometer and see that I was in fact speeding. My foot lifted off the gas and began tapping lightly on the break. I didn't want to slam my foot down for fear that the sudden decceleration with call attention to me. As I began to slow the car beside me went wooshing by, not at aggressive-teenage-boy speeds, but still faster than myself. We reached the driveway where the cop was waiting. I watched as the car in front of my went by. The cop didn't pull out. Would I soon regret buying a red car? I went by at the posted speed limit without looking over at the cop. In my rearview mirror I saw my fears coming true. The cop whipped out of the driveway and pulled into my lane. "No, no, not me," I said outloud, trying to maintain my lawful driving. He followed me for a few dreadful seconds and then miraculously, he went out and around me and threw on his lights for the car in front. Phew.

With my heart in my throat I drove the rest of the way to work. And it wasn't until I got here that I realized what could have been so so much worse. I forgot my purse at home. No driver's license.

And now "A tale of two shopping trips."

With the change in the weather and the pressure of what to wear for Easter looming, I ventured out shopping with my mom and grandma on Friday afternoon. I was still sporting a fuzzy champage buzz from a little brunch we'd had that morning. We were headed for Nordstrom's to shop with their money, cha-ching!! I was even happy with the underwear I was wearing (boys, it makes a difference, I can't explain). It was going to be a good day.

But it wasn't. Nordstrom's sucked!! I don't know who their target market was, but everything looked like dental scrubs-- and I would know. The colors were washed out and weird, the patterns were just bizarre, and the quality was on par with Old Navy but with Nordstrom's prices. It was the suck. I knew it was the clothes and not me, but as the buzz wore off and the afternoon hangover set in, it was impossible to avoid getting down on myself for the lack of fit and flatter going on. I went home with three new things but a seriously bad attitude. By 6:30 I was so down that I sent myself to bed. When Senor got home at 7:30, I did my best to ressurect myself because we were going out to see his co-worker's band. Whatever, I was so over it all.

Saturday, I still needed something to wear for Easter, and I was sure I could do better than I had the day before. I went instead to Macy's and had a much better experience. I got myself a dress and three tops. And there were a few things I left at the store that were pretty good too.

I wore my dress to Easter, and when we got home from brunch, we took a little nap, and then went through our closets. You would have been so proud-- I was RUTHLESS!! Everything I don't wear: gone. Everything that needs ironing: hung out in plain view to be taken care of. All yucky wire hangers: replaced with plastic.

I feel a bit more like a grown-up. Which I could certainly use more of these days.

And those are my two stories.

How were your weekends?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

That's Only Half?!

Yep. I only have about half of what I've planned. But who can resist playing with the layout of so many colorful squares?

In the top photo, I think I was trying to put the squares next to another square that shared a color splash in common without putting any two like squares beside each other... Not sure.

The photo below was an attempt to go from lightest to darkest starting in the upper left corner and moving to the lower right corner. I think I like this better.

But then I tried to organize them into blocks of four squares with matching ones on opposite corners. I like this too, but forgot to take photos...

... and then of course, there are going to be twice as many and in new and exciting colors... so the sky is the limit.

How would you do it?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A little stretch

The squares march on.
However, the fingers and mind needed a little stretch.
I have started a swingy little jacket for Maddie, who just turned one and to whom I owe a present.
The brilliant thing about having a friends in Australia is that just when it looks like wool will never be appropriate in Southern California again, there is a little family of knit-needers heading into the long Aussie winter.
Photos and details to come.

A small big project.

To take a little break from a big small project.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

When Vacations Attack 2: Sorority Girls

Guess where my yarn was... My neighbor's mailbox. Guess where my neighbor was...


My yarn was being held hostage in her mail until the mailman finally couldn't fit anything else in there... then he asked the building manager to take her stuff for her... and that's when I got my yarn. The building manager liberated it. Phew! Claudia's Handpainted in Marigold. Just what I needed.

Of course, while waiting and getting frustrated, wondering where my Claudia's was, I made two orders on-line. The 3 skeins of Lorna's from eBay and 2 skeins of hand-dyed yarn from Etsy. All of my orders made it safely through the mail (or out of the mail)...

...Just in time for me to find them in front of my door as I arrived home from one of my LYS with a skein of Lorna's in the Gold Hill Colorway. I had to have SOMETHING to take with me in the long car ride. I didn't know the others were going to make it in time. I had given up hope. It was the last minute, and if it weren't for the last minute, the Fuertes would get no yarn, none at all!

So, if you're doing the math, that means I took 7 skeins of yarn with me on our getaway to Vegas. (You never know which color will call to you next) But see, none of this is my fault. I blame SPRING BREAK WOOHOOO!!! If the sorority girls hadn't left town, I'd have had one polite, thrifty little skein. But NNNOOOOOOO-oooooo.

Oh Gluttony, you are a seductive mistress!

Since Friday I have 3 finished squares, one on the needles, and a finished Roza's sock. Photos to come.

(What I'm not telling you is that I bought a skein in Vegas... What happens in Vegas...)

I'm too busy rolling in all the yarn to care about taking photos!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Attempted Detox

Attempted... indicating a failure.

Yesterday I finished square #25. As of leaving work I needed only to bind off, which meant that upon arriving home and finding one or more packages of yarn waiting for me, I could rabidly tear open and get some new fiber on me.

There were no such packages. I began to sweat. No new yarn? No Claudia's Handpaint in Marigold? No River, Pioneer, or Watercolor? Surely there had been a mistake. I checked the empty mailbox again. Nothing. I checked in front of my neighbor's door, in case of a miss-delivery. Just a carpet cleaning flyer. I went back and stood in the middle of my living room. No new yarn. I'd have to use some of my old stuff, to which I am building a tolerance and have a difficult time getting enough to feel it anymore. A little shiver went up my back. The yarn stores are closed. I'd have to do something else.

Rather than rocking or pounding my temple into the wall while scratching invisible bug bites, I decided to do what I could... I bound off #25. I blocked 21-25. I counted my squares. 25. I counted my squares again. 25. I restacked my squares and counted. 25. So I picked up a project that's been rattling around the apartment since November. Twist. Muttering to myself cables, cables, cables, cables I sat and tried to focus on something new. I turned on this week's episode of Biggest Loser, which I hadn't watched Tuesday because I was so happy that Senor was finally home. And I knit. I knit 8 rows of the back of Twist and then I looked down... and I looked at the pattern... and I looked at the knitting... and something was different.

I blame the blanket.

I had to drop both cable panels down all 8 rows that I had knit (I refused to frog altogether). I spent the rest of the evening recabling what had taken me no more than a half an hour to do incorrectly in the first place. Shoulda frogged.

I blame the blanket. And the US Postal Service.

All I'm saying is there had better be some yarn when I get home today. I need a stash to take with me to Vegas. If I don't have stash from home when I arrive in Sin City, I could have a real problem on my hands, as I've heard there are two lovely yarn shops near the strip... I'll bet Vegas wool is harder stuff. Forget these local blends, perhaps I should just plan to get some uncut stuff there...

I blame the blanket.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


My addiction has claimed its first victim.

Let us hope it will be the last.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

"Senora has agreed to make a documentary about addiction...

...She does not know that she will soon face an INTERVENTION..."

My name is Senora. S-E-N-O-R-A.

My knitting has begun to take on a life of its own. It is making demands, and I am powerless to deny it. I've seen it happen before to others-- Cara's experience was well-documented from the beginning... or nearly the beginning. Pure obsession and madness of the best kind (in my opinion), and I enjoyed every last post about that mad blanket. But I never thought it would happen to me.

Now I have a mad blanket of my own, and it is time to let you all in on the madness.

It began with a knitalong last January (07) for Larissa Brown's new book, aptly called Knitalong. I knit a square for her Barn Raising Quilt. For some dumb reason, possibly having something to do with my trying to knit the square in the car on the way home from Las Vegas, I had a lot of trouble with that first square. Turns out, the pattern is totally easy when you aren't exhausted, broke, and hungover, and so I made another couple of squares way back when for what I thought could possibly someday turn into a quilt of my own...

WATCH OUT! I think this pattern is a viral infection, a lovely viral infection that delights and soothes while taking over all of your thoughts and senses. Over the course of 2007, I worked my way slowly but surely up to about 16 squares. I blocked them about 2 weeks ago...

... and then the sickness took hold. Knitting Smack. In the last two weeks I have knit 8 squares, one right after another. The last 4 were knit in the last 3 days (one thing good about alone time). I can't stop. Last night I stayed up until midnight because I was just so close to finishing square #24.

At first this quilt was to be made solely out of honest-to-goodness leftovers from actual pairs of socks. It led to the recent 3-pair-of-monkeys-in-three-weeks epidemic, which sadly didn't get much blog time (too busy knitting monkeys, duh!). But now, the sickness' demand for more sock yarn and more colors has escalated.

DANGER. I have now traded Cascade 220 for sock yarn on Ravelry. I have bought a skein of Lorna's Laces at two out of three of my LYS, one in Red Rover and one in Black Purl. Yesterday I hit eBay. You want it? You got it. My dealer. Thanks to "emtnestr" (that's her street name), I am now expecting a delivery of three skeins of Shepherd Sock in Pioneer, Watercolor, and River.

One can only imagine the carnage that will ensue when that package arrives...

Consider yourself warned. I am no longer in charge of my faculties. There will be an intervention eventually. I'm pretending not to know it's coming. Family and Friends, you will ALL have to read your "I love you this much, but you need help" letters to get me to stop!!!

Square #24
Socks that Rock- Mediumweight
Colorway: Farmhouse
Courtesy of: Krissy

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Dear Me,

You are miserable at being alone, you know that? I'll tell you why: The plans. The fantasy that you are going to revolutionize your life and your space in a single weekend while Senor is away... This fantasy is going to drive you crazy. Take it from someone who knows you. You didn't clear out your closet this weekend, and I know you are disappointed about that, but guess what: Most people didn't. In fact, probably hardly anyone cleaned out their closet this weekend. Nor did any significant portion of the population reorganize the garage, build kitchen cabinets, write a novel, or get their carpets shampooed. They all feel fine about this. Why don't you? Oh Me, you and your New Leaf Fantasies. When will you learn?

And besides that, Me, you DID do a lot of the things on your list. You vacuumed, you did the dishes (several times), you got through all of the laundry, you changed the sheets, you knit 3 squares for your quilt, you finished reading The Other Boleyn Girl (fantastic!), and you went for a three mile run. Those are all things to be proud of, and yet, the bigger, less realistic tasks that you didn't do are bumming you out. Now here it is, Sunday evening, and Senor will not be home for another two days... and you're STILL thinking you are going to do not only one, but ALL of those epic projects! You're a fool, Me.

Instead of worrying that you aren't doing those things, why don't you do some other things that you want to do?

I know, I hear you. You can't think of anything you want to do.

And that's because you are alone, and nothing is as fun for you when you are alone as it is when Senor is here... Oh Me, I know how you feel. I miss him too...


PS. I know you are now thinking how much alike the words quilt and guilt are... yes, they are, but guilt won't keep you as warm, though it might keep you as occupied.