Friday, April 30, 2004

Made some progress on Neckdown Summer Cardi over the last few days:

I love the eyelets formed by yarnovers along the raglan lines -- very pretty. I'm also liking this Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece -- the 20% merino wool makes the cotton a little less offensive to knit with :-)

I bought my first issue of INKnitters the other day. Although this magazine has some terrific articles on technique, the patterns have always left me cold. But I found a very cute little cardi in this issue that I might make up in cotton rather than wool:

Our Budding Segovia
RockStar has his first classical guitar recital this Sunday. It will be held in a rehearsal hall/classroom on the University of California San Diego campus, and is a joint production of RockStar's guitar teacher and his wife, a voice teacher. There'll be about 16 students (half guitar, half voice) performing. If our video camera performs properly (don't ask about the time the battery died in the courtyard of the Louvre, right at the start of our tour of Paris), then I should have some pictures on Monday. RockStar will be performing an original piece he wrote himself. I wish his paternal grandfather was still alive to see this. The man was a high school band director and composing musician, and would be thrilled to see RockStar composing and performing his own original music.

Watch What You Throw Away!
Or it may end up at this place. I've always been fascinated by the detritus of people's lives -- the things they discard, leave behind, give up. Apparently, someone else is, too! Found Magazine is an amazing online collection of stuff discarded by people. Link courtesy of Jenny.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Mea Culpa, Peeps!
I feel bad because I feel I've been sort of "phoning in" my blog entries over the last week or so. There really isn't much going on in my life right now, ergo, nothing to blog about. Ho-hum! I did start swatching for my mother's birthday present: a Knitting Pure & Simple Neckdown Summer Cardigan, in Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece, Teddy Bear shade:

I started the swatch on 7s as called for, but *thought* I wasn't getting gauge. So I knit a few rows on 8s, and remeasured. Turns out 7s were the right needle in the first place. Classic case of operator error. This looks like it'll be a fast and fun knit, and I think my mom will really like it. Her birthday's on July 5th, so if I get crackin' I should have no trouble getting it done.

It's That Time of Year!
The Gunne Sax dress. The Farrah Fawcett hair. The wrist corsage. Your date's tux with the velvet-trimmed lapels and color-coordinated ruffled shirt. Ahh, prom memories. Lest you forget, check out this this link. Be sure to check out the gallery. Link courtesy of The Obscure Store.

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Yeow, another Monday! How do they sneak up so fast?

Made some progress on Big Cotton Cardie:

And made a few inches of progress on the Shades of Roses crocheted scarf. Sorry, the shot's a bit blurry:

Is Your Real Estate Agent a Celebrity?
Gawd, I hope so. If yours isn't, then perhaps you need one of these guys. Link courtesy of Sharpeworld, via Mr. Pants.

Keeping it short 'n sweet, 'cuz it's Monday. Get through it any way you can, babies. See ya Wednesday.

Friday, April 23, 2004

I'd like to go fly past mountains
See mama frog at her fountain
Ambrosia, Mama Frog

(frog graphic pulled for bandwidth)

Yes, my children, it's off to the frog pond we go! To commemorate my occasional dunks among the cattails, I whipped up Mama Frog in Adobe Illustrator awhile back.

Both Big Cotton Cardie and Shades of Roses Painted Scarf got dunked in the pond over the past few days. Big Cotton was frogged back a dozen or so rows 'cuz I messed up the short rowing around the wrists. I reacquainted myself with short rows with Bonne Marie's excellent tutorial, and reknit the rows. Pictures on Monday. The Roses Scarf also needed some minor frogging (about 3 rows), but it really hurt to unravel them, since they represented about 3 hours of work! Pictures of Roses on Monday, too.

Apropos of Nothing -- 10 Songs of the Sea
Well, actually I'm prompted by the memory of my maternal grandfather teaching Sea Shanties to my little brother (not always the "clean" ones, either!). My brother has been in the Navy for 13 years, now. I'm very proud of him.

  • Beyond the Sea, Bobby Darin

  • Brandy (You're a Fine Girl), Looking Glass

  • Captain of Her Heart, Double

  • Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude, Jimmy Buffett

  • If I Had a Boat, Lyle Lovett

  • I'm Your Captain, Grand Funk Railroad

  • Southern Cross, Crosby, Stills & Nash

  • Sailing, Christopher Cross

  • Sea of Love, The Honeydrippers

  • Son of a Son of a Sailor, Jimmy Buffett

  • Happy Friday, everyone!

    Wednesday, April 21, 2004

    And in the night you'll hear the voices calling down and they will stay
    But only time will tell the answer you've been blinded from today.
    Queensryche, Blinded

    I haven't done any knitting worth speaking of, but I did start the crocheted Shades of Roses Painted Scarf last night. OMG, that thread is tiny. I'm working with three strands held together and it's still tiny! Here's a shot of the 8 shades of Madeira 30wt Rayon Machine Embroidery Thread I chose for the ombre shading. The thread colors range from dark rose red to white (Madeira colors 1281, 1186, 1110, 1117, 1116, 1108, 1013, 1001). Check out the "cheater" glasses I picked up at the drugstore to help see this darn thread:

    I finished 2-1/2 rows last night before calling it quits. The cheater glasses are 1.25 power; I'm thinking of getting a pair of 2.5 or 3.0s for this project. Here's my progress thus far. Note the quarter in the picture to get an idea of scale. The finished scarf is 6-1/8" wide.

    Bonding With Your Surly Teenager
    RockStar and I have a ritual we perform 3x per week. We Tivo episodes of Metal Mania that air on the VH1 Classic channel on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. We watch them together when I get home from work. RockStar is allowed to be somewhat profane in his criticism of the endless procession of hair bands from the '80s that air with nauseating regularity on each episode. He forces me to endure the first 30 seconds of all Warrant videos, specifically because I think lead singer Jani Lane looks like an ugly, wet-eyed puppy. It's RockStar's way of harmlessly getting in some licks at the maternal parental unit. When parenting a surly teenager raging with hormones and insecurities, you take your victories where you can. Three times a week, RockStar and I get along. I'll take that.

    Happy Wednesday, everyone.

    Monday, April 19, 2004

    Knitting Updates
    None. See topic below for the reason!

    Why Is This Man Smiling?

    Because he just competed in, and finished, the 2004 Desert International Triathlon in La Quinta, CA (south of Palm Springs) this weekend!

    Here's a shot of his fellow teammates. Mind you, they're all in their 20s and 30s. They welcomed Tom (51yo) into their group, and helped him train for this event. One of them was even the Brazilian Junior Triathlon Champion in his teens. He was the most supportive and inspirational person to Tom. Overall, a very cool bunch of young people.

    Here's Tom rounding the last bouy toward shore in the swim portion. The swim was held in a manmade reservior in La Quinta.

    Here's a very happy Tom minutes after crossing the finish line!

    I'm so proud of Tom. He's been an inspiration to me from the day we met, and continues to surprise and inspire me to this day.

    Happy Monday, everyone.

    Friday, April 16, 2004

    She's so mean but I don't care
    I love her eyes and her wild wild hair
    dance to the beat that we love best
    heading for the nineties
    living in the wild wild west
    the wild wild west
    Escape Club, Wild, Wild West

    Before I left for Portland, I bought 6 skeins of Berroco Suede to make this:

    Ride 'em, Cowgirl! Berroco "Oakley" Shawl

    Suede is so yummy. And Berroco is right -- it does feel like the real thing. My LYS didn't have the book containing the pattern, but I remembered scanning it at another store and that Oakley took 5 skeins. Being the semi-paranoid, afraid-of-running-out-of-yarn kinda gal that I am, I bought 6 skeins. I ended up finding the book at the Yarn Garden in Portland. When I opened it up to doublecheck the amount of Suede needed, a slip of paper fell out. It was an Errata page, informing the buyer that Oakley took 6 skeins. I feel ever so … psychic. Sy-kik. Sigh. Kick. OK, I'll stop now.

    Freaky Friday Frivolity
    Swiped from Nancy, who swiped it from Gidget, who swiped it from Iris, who swiped it from Monica (sounds like a "begets" lesson from the Bible :-)

    A - Age: 42
    B - Band listening to right now: The Cult, "Sonic Temple"
    C - Career future: Fine Jewelry Designer (fingers crossed)
    D - Dad's name: Mike
    E - Easiest person to talk to: my husband Tom
    F - Favorite song (right now): "Love Removal Machine" by The Cult
    G - Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms: Neither (yuck)
    H - Hometown: Portland, OR
    I - Instruments: None
    J - Job: Graphic Designer
    K - Kids: RockStar, 15
    L - Longest car ride ever: Driving from Portland, OR to Palm Springs, CA in 2 days (don't recommend it)
    M - Mom's name: Judith
    N - Number of people you slept with: None of your beeswax!
    O - Observation: Kids these days have an overdeveloped and undeserved sense of entitlement. That scares me.
    P - Phobia[s]: Having anything around my neck (scarf, turtleneck). I think I must have been strangled in a previous life …
    Q - Quote: "She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot. --Mark Twain
    R - Reason to smile: I found my soulmate. And married him.
    S - Song you sang last: "Hey Mama," Black Eyed Peas
    T - Time you wake up: 5:30
    U - Unknown fact about me: I am a heavy metal music fan. Ozzy loves ya, man.
    V - Vegetable you hate: Brussels Sprouts
    W - Worst habit: Procrastinating
    X - X-rays you've had: Teeth, esophagus & stomach.
    Y - Yummy food: Chocolate. Chocolate. Did I say chocolate?
    Z - Zodiac sign: Pisces. We're so melllllow. But don't piss us off. Or you're out of the Circle of Trust.

    This'll Fill That Aching Void … or Spot on the Wall (Whichever Applies)
    Bet you're missing this in your life. I know I am. Link courtesy of Gwen.

    Happy Friday, everyone!

    Wednesday, April 14, 2004

    Don't you want to be me? I know I do."
    Arthur Bach, "Arthur" (1981)

    I'm back! It was a great trip -- ate too much, Portland had gorgeous weather while I was there -- but like many things in life, you gotta take the bitter with the sweet. I already miss my mom and sister like crazy! But it was good to see them, along with the rest of my family; just hard to say goodbye at the end of the visit. But I feel extremely blessed to have love waiting for me at home (The Handsome Prince!) Oh, and like the total dork that I am, I forgot my camera. So no Portland Pix :-(

    I managed to knit maybe twice while I was gone. The Big Cotton Cardie is cardie-ing along on big honkin' size 10 needles and this crazy Araucania Nature Cotton that feels dry and dusty -- that feeling you get digging potatoes out of the garden when the ground is dry and crumbly. I much prefer the sproingy feel of wool. This sweater pattern is super easy, but I truly think it was translated from another language (German maybe? Who makes OnLine yarn? It's their pattern.) If I weren't a seasoned knitter, I would have gotten lost long ago in this pattern's colloquial take on English. The back and sleeves are combined, so we gotta lot of stitches crammed on the needles:

    Back and Right Sleeve, Stretched Out

    Closeup of Yarn. Looks like a Rag Mop, huh?

    Managed to slip in a quick trip to the Yarn Garden in Portland. Also managed to not buy any yarn(!), but did indulge in 2 cute Sirdar patterns:

    I lusted after the new 1000 Sweaters book, but managed to get a grip on myself.

    Oh! Crochet Buddy Bron is thinking about starting a crochet blog. I feel a much-needed crochet renaissance is about to hit the blog world. I recently snuck a crochet blog in at the bottom of my Daily Reads List -- did anyone notice?

    I also subscribed to this magazine, solely to get this pattern:

    Shades of Roses Painted Scarf

    I've ordered the Size 14 steel crochet hook (tiny! tiny!) and am searching for the rayon machine embroidery thread used (3 strands held together, 8 shades ranging from deep red to white!). Say it loud and say it proud! I Love Crochet!

    It feels good to be back. Happy Wednesday, everyone.

    Tuesday, April 06, 2004

    April 6, 1992: A Palm Springs Fairy Tale
    Twelve years ago, a young(ish) woman set out alone, to the desert kingdom of Palm Springs. She was recently detached from a Horrible Man, and pluckily piloted her old-but-trusty VW Camper Van southward from the rainy forests of Oregon, to start a new life in the warmth of the desert. She started a fine little business to support herself, made friends, and even dated a little. For a time, life was good for this Oregon Girl.

    But after several months, Oregon Girl realized she had a business problem. A problem involving numbers -- numbers that would not add up, would not total, would not make sense. Unfortunately, Oregon Girl had a long and troubled history of getting her numbers to add up correctly. A deadline requiring these numbers was quickly drawing nigh. A Certain Date in April. A date that could not be broken.

    But Oregon Girl was wise beyond her years, and knew when to seek the help of Professionals. She quizzed acquaintances, "Who can make sense of these numbers? Who totals your bottom line and comes up with the correct number, allowing payment to be rendered unto Caesar?" She received an answer: "Miserable & Associates, Certified Public Accountants, right down the street." Oregon Girl called M&A and spoke to a friendly woman who made her an immediate appointment for April 6th. "Hmm," thought Oregon Girl, "What a nice person to get me an appointment so quickly! She truly understands the math problem I'm experiencing!"

    But mystical, magical forces were in play that Oregon Girl wasn't privy to. The friendly voice at M&A was in cahoots with another nice person at the firm. These poorly paid but good-hearted wage slaves had a plan. For at this firm, run by a mean Ogre (Mr. Miserable, CPA), was a tall, dark, handsome, young(ish) Prince from Ohio, recently detached from a Horrible Woman and currently in exile in the desert kingdom of Palm Springs. The good-hearted wage slaves' plan was simple: fix up the Handsome Prince with every available woman client that called at the firm until they found a perfect match! Oregon Girl was the first woman to be snared in their plan.

    The fateful appointment day of April 6th dawned. Oregon Girl gathered her papers with their confusing numbers and paid a call at M&A. There she met Elaine, the nice voice on the other end of the phone. She and her fellow wage slave, Aimee, welcomed Oregon Girl to the firm's waiting area. They informed the Handsome Prince that his 3:30pm appointment had arrived. The Prince peeked around the corner to see whom it was the wage slaves had made such a fuss over. His initial reaction as recorded in his appointment book, which he has kept to this day, was but a single word: "Wow."

    But the Prince was all business. Despite the wage slaves' good-hearted scheming, the Prince was an Ethical Man. He did not date his clients, unlike some (quote-unquote) Professionals. He escorted Oregon Girl into the M&A conference room, and asked Pointed and Proper Questions Pertaining to The Problem. But the attraction between The Prince and Oregon Girl was immediate and undeniable. They concluded their business and made an appointment for Oregon Girl to pick up her papers the following week. The Prince watched as Oregon Girl drove her trusty VW Camper Van off into the desert.

    The second meeting of The Prince and Oregon Girl was as electrically charged as the first. The Prince handed Oregon Girl her correctly totaled papers. "You had a math error. You're actually getting money back," he said. "Lovely!" said Oregon Girl, and wrote M&A a check. Their business concluded, the Prince and Oregon Girl spoke of many things during the second half of their meeting; strange and magical things such as past hockey injuries suffered by The Prince. Oregon Girl was charmed by this handsome Prince from the Midwest, who was as honest as the day was long and played no Games. This was quite unlike the other Would-Be Princes of this desert kingdom that Oregon Girl had dated, with their Leased Mercedes and Smooth Facades that hid their true shark-like natures.

    Their Business officially concluded, the Prince did something very Out of Character that continues to surprise him to this very day: he asked Oregon Girl out on a date. She accepted, but only after verifying that indeed, the Prince had never, ever dated his clients. But Oregon Girl was no longer a client! Their business had been concluded, and the Prince recommended another accounting firm. He would no longer total Oregon Girl's mangled numbers.

    Or would he?

    Twelve years after that Fateful Meeting on April 6, 1992, the Prince and Oregon Girl behave as though they're still dating. They married nearly 11 years ago in another magical desert kingdom, Las Vegas. The wage slaves' goodhearted plan succeeded admirably: Oregon Girl was the first woman client to be snared in their scheme, and obviously fated to be The Prince's One True Love. They recently welcomed a new addition to their family: RockStar, aka The Prince of Wails.

    So it continues, to this day. The Prince and Oregon Girl live happily ever after, although Oregon Girl's numbers are still mangled and rarely total correctly.

    --Dedicated with Love to my Handsome Prince of Palm Springs, Keeper of My Bottom Line

    And now, my Faithful Readers, I bid you adieu for a week while I take a much-needed vacation. Love and good things to all of you :-)

    Monday, April 05, 2004

    Morning, y'all. I'm still sleepy, so I'll keep this short! Made some more progress on Cabled Hoodie:

    Left & Right Fronts -- Armhole decreases started

    Monday Morning Mischief
    Courtesy of GirlReaction, an Anagram Generator. Plugging in my first and last names generated such gems as "Madame Ye," "Medea Amy," and lots of other nonsense. My full name (using Amelia) generated "LimeAde Mae." Yup, that'll be my new nickname. LimeAde Mae.

    Happy Monday, everyone.

    Friday, April 02, 2004

    Lend me some sugar!
    I am your neighbor!
    OutKast, "Hey Ya!"

    It's Friday, I'm going on vacation to Portland next week, and life is good. Wanna come to our weekly department Breakfast Meeting later this morning? Doughnuts and knitting are on the menu. The doughnuts are from Tasty Doughnuts, one of the many Asian-owned doughnut businesses in San Diego. Of all the Asian Doughnut shops I've tried, Tasty beats 'em crullers-down. I've got my eye on the Apple Fritter (slap!) Hey! Hands off my fritter!


    That big 'ol ball of cotton is Araucania Nature Cotton from Elann. The new Clover size 10 wooden needles are for the airplane next Wednesday. The doughnuts serve no purpose other than to induce a carb-stupor from 9-11am this morning. Again, life is good.

    They Did Not Go Softly Into the Night …
    San Diego has an upcoming Health and Beauty Expo, sponsored by Rite Aid Drugstores and to be held over 2 days at the San Diego Convention Center. There's heavy print and radio advertising touting this upcoming event, billed as a "Weekend of Health & Beauty Advice and FREE Entertainment!" A quick scan of the web site reveals "entertainment" activities such as FREE Photo and Fingerprint ID for Your Child, a NASCAR simulator, and FREE Hairstyling (their capitalization on FREE, not mine). Maybe you can get your hair styled while in the NASCAR simulator. Now that would be entertaining, wouldn't it?

    The radio ads are pretty funny. The announcer is practically breathless with excitement, listing the (quote-unquote) celebrities that will be attending this life changing event! They're all what I would characterize as either "second-tier" and/or faded celebrities: Josie Bissett (actress from Melrose Place), Billy Blanks (Tai Bo creator), Jackie Zeman (actress on General Hospital). And the funniest part is at the end of the radio ad, there's the vocal equivalent of fine print when the announcer quickly says, "Celebrities subject to change without notice!" Hey! If I'm coming to see Josie Bissett, damn it, I want to see Josie Bissett! Not that chick from Baywatch Nights whose name I can't remember!

    Happy Friday, everyone!

    P.S. Spring Knitty is here! More yummy goodness, and no calories!