Thursday, July 29, 2004

Firestar! Cocker Caper! 

If it wasn't a jerky, pain in the ass thing to do, {and I had permission) I'd put Joe Cocker's "With A Little Help From My Friends" linked to play on this girl's picture.

I originally posted her story and what needs to be done, then deleted it, because it's admittedly a little shady. The quickest way to get this girl to a reputable vet and a loving home, is to have a doppelganger dog go to its own vet and get a health check. The neglected dog could then be chauffered to the US with that health check in hand. The Border personnel check the animals and insist on the health check paperwork. If she comes across as an owned dog who just went down for a day trip, she gets a pass and a new, healthier life. Technically, it wouldn't be her health check, but she'll go straight from Tecate to her new vet and new home in San Diego.

Mi madrasta first met this dog when she started doing relief work for her church down in Tecate, and became curious. My father, a retired peace officer and now a private investigator, traced this dog to a family in L.A. Apparently, she'd been stolen about three and a half years ago, but they've already moved on and wanted nothing to do with her. And while the family she's living with now does feed her, they don't really care for her, and she's a purebred cocker who needs a consistent diet, medication for her eyes, and well...love and attention. Something I view as a basic right of a dog, but I know I'm lucky to have the luxury of that viewpoint.

There's a local cocker rescue I will contact, but I thought I'd give the informal and cozy world of fiber blogging a shot first. There are a surprising number of San Diego bloggers who've wandered through...

Here's a bobbin of Firestar...

After I got used to it, it actually became very easy to spin, but I wouldn't call it a pleasure. Not soft, just shiny. And definitely meant to be a component of a yarn, not the thing itself, unless you're a masochist into unbreathing fabrics with plasticy drape.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Urgent Help Needed 

Please take a look at this cocker spaniel. If you live in the San Diego area, and know a tan and white cocker spaniel that would be willing to help save the life of this cocker spaniel who currently lives near Tecate, Baja California, Mexico, please e-mail me [torta_de_tortugaAThotmailDOTcom] and let me know.

Knitting content? I figured out the Firestar, and have almost filled a four ounce bobbin with laceweight to fingering glittery green nylon goodness. Pics tomorrow, still decided how to utilise it in the plying process. Part of a cabled yarn? Core or binder of bouclé? Just plain ply?


Monday, July 26, 2004

Yesterday, I dyed a little inside... 

And it didn't turn out as superfabulous as I'd hoped. I painted two skeins of the yarn previously slated as Rogue fodder with blue, green, and random drops of yellow, then wrapped them in plastic wrap and steamed them. In some parts, the blue spread a bit through but didn't meet up with the green sufficiently nor achieve the level of colour saturation one might desire, with the end reult that some bits of the yarn looked a bit moldy compared to the rest of the skein.

I popped them in a kettle with a bit more dye to ensure more uniform coverage and am very happy with the results, but the camera is being a picky bitch today and washing it out in all light, so finished and dried pics will have to wait.

I love green.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Gone Fishin' 

Man, I hate those cutesy signs with the little cartoon fishermen. Here's a version that might command some respect, or at least a little revulsion:

picture courtesy of martinezlake.com

Those monsters were apparently pulled from Lake Martinez on the CA/AZ border. You wouldn't believe the cost of real estate there, even more out of control than San Diego.

In knitting, I actually went to a knitting Meetup yesterday, and it was fun. I may even start going out to knit more often. Whoever suggested Claire de Lune in North Park rocks; it is way roomier and quieter than the Living Room. There were only four of us too, which made it very cozy. I worked on the Map of the World Afghan. Somewhere along the line, Mexico lost some stitch width and it surfaced in the Gulf, but I compare the chart with the knitting and don't see where it all went horribly wrong. Bermuda triangle? Damn! There's a missed opportunity! I could have knit a swirling vortex...
As if I don't have enough trouble just sticking to the pattern.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004


The heat can make you do silly things, like tying a rag on your dog's head like a peasant's headkerchief while singing the "Matchmaker" song from "Fiddler on the Roof."

In knitting, I've only done a couple Map of the World Afghan rows, and am still knitting Florida, AKA, "America's wang."


Monday, July 19, 2004


This made my m*therf*ckin' day!


Sunday, July 18, 2004

Instead of Chem... 

I searched high and low for plastic bottles like transluscent versions of diner ketchup and mustard containers appropriate for mixing and painting with dye. 
Much time wasted, I settled on these kiddie-size water bottles.  I didn't want to use a sports-top water bottle originally because 1) these containers are meant for one use only and can crack or leak through rpeated use 2) in my experience, the snapping of the top usually spatters liquid.

But since these have a smooth twist-close action, which obviates complaint #2, I figured I could just try to be gentle.
Then I opened the lid to the dyepot.  Which I admit had been soaking for at least 72 hours.  I was afraid that the vinegar-slight acidity might eat the fiber, but I should have remembered the example of the human mouth and been more concerned about funky stuff growing.  I washed the locks gently, but the funk was clingy, and I didn't want to break up the locks, so I just dipped them in a new vinegar water solution and started splashing on the dye, wrapping the locks in plastic wrap and putting them in the steaming rack of my dye pot.  Today, when they'd cooled to room temp, I washed them and laid them out to dry:

I went for the ROYGBIV spectrum, but you can see that the colours aren't really true to representive, the indigo and violet particularly, and the orange is a little reddish, but  they're purty enough to me.
I realised I lied when I said I hadn't really done any fiber stuff last week, I forgot I'd ripped the knitting project I'd taken to Mexico back to the balls one night:

It was just a sweatshirt I was making up as I went along, and I ripped it (I'm a little embarrassed to admit this) because I was watching Blow Out and saw one of the "hair designers" wearing a fairly open knit mohair sweatshirt and it caught my fancy, so I decided to rip this fairly tightly knit thing and go for a more open look. 
'Course, soon as I pulled it off the needles and pulled it around I realised it was perfect and that I was right at the dividing for armholes stage, which to me, is almost home.  I think it will look better more open though, and on bigger needles, I'll get to that point again in no time.  When I cast on.  I haven't touched it since I ripped it.
We've been dogsitting for the downstairs Dalmation:

He's "hella clingy."  The first time we dogsat, he was constantly pacing and fidgeting, but he's been able to relax over time.
As for the whippets, they're playing dead, and not having any problems relaxing in this muggy heat:


Whippets aren't known as wet-mouthed dogs, so it's funny to wake up next to something like this, look around and see that everybody in bed is going to need a tissue for the side of their face.  Like the dogs really care.


Friday, July 16, 2004

Spoiled Rotten 

Here's what I received from Nick for my birthday:

 Usually, I honestly don't want anything for my birthday, but for some reason the selfish spirit of a shitload of music in the palm of my hand filled me...
And it is rockin'.  
We had 12 hours of music on the hard drive from burning mix CDs, and I have a collection of about 250 CDs on the shelves...I can't wait to listen to them electronically randomised.  ;P
[No, really, I just love it when Tom Waits sings "Downtown Train" and the Gypsy Kings sing "Volare" and Don Walser sings "Rolling Stone From Texas" and Shakira sings "Underneath Your Clothes" one after another, I love that Blondie can be next to Slim Whitman, and Tom Petty can come to the party with Tim McGraw (although TIMmay! only gets to stay long enough to sing "I'm Just Talking 'bout Tonight," fascist-first amendment-hating-chauvinist pig that he is) and Yma Sumac can pop up to back up Dar Williams and here comes Lucinda Williams for enough femme-rock-power to make the fundie-right version of baby Jesus cry...]
Of course when I entered "ipod" into Google for choosing an image, I came across two interesting things:
For the CSI fans:
Death by iPod
and a consumer alert:
iPod's Dirty Little Secret 

And if we want to get nit-picky I ended up having some trouble installing the software on my PC because the iTunes version I had was a later one than the provided disc version, and with the disruption in the setup it ended up not installing properly.  I ended up having to remove the later iTunes, re-installing the iPod CD (re-registering and all that), then re-downloading the latest iTunes so I could play the music in My Library that had been imported with the newer version that wouldn't play on the outdated install disc version and downloading updated iPod software from the apple website because that was apparently out of date and out of sync too.  If I was on dial-up, I would have been really pissed.
Also Fry's sold Nick a refurbished iPod with a scratched face for the price of a new one after carefully repackaging it so we wouldn't see the refurbished notice and damage until I'd unwrapped it...when he returned it, they offered it to him for 10% off the MSRP.  Ummm...gee, that's nice of you guys after he spent an hour in traffic driving all the way back to return a misrepresented product--how does Fry's afford to be so generous? 
He got his money back and went to Best Buy.  
As far as knitting goes, I think if I typed a paragraph describing what fiber stuff I've done this week, I'd be spending more time than I have doing said fiber stuff.  Which is to say, a couple rows of progress all around and some thumbing through the new IK. 
I've been soaking the locks I bought in Solvang for rainbow dyeing by steam set, but it's harder to find empty plastic bottles appropriate for dye painting than I thought.
It's really hot here, and when I'm not at school, we're at the beach or hiding somewhere air-conditioned with a good book.  Or a chem book.  blah.  At least I have 1.2 days of music (so far)in portable form to amuse me.

Dance, dork! Dance!


Friday, July 09, 2004

Stuff and stuff... 

Stuff always gets in the way, y'know? Sometimes with blogging, I feel the temptation to post every day, with some little amusing news tidbit, [although I don't] other times, I'll go a week or so with absolutely nothing worthwhile to contribute to the blogger discussion flow...

Anyway, you wanna see my progress on the peace shawl?

What, you say? It's too small and dark and blurry to see the lace and all you can see is the pattern and bare needles and a center-pull ball...and oh...

That's because I ended up ripping back to the ball even after smugly setting in a safety line. I'd made a mistake and had ripped back and put it back on the needles, but somewhere along the line I must have dropped a stitch even below the safety line, or f_cked up putting it back on, or threading the safety line, [hey, this blog doesn't harp on the spaaz thing fer nuthin'] and when it started pulling out I said, "Heck, let's see what happens," and let it pull all the way down through the pattern. After all, I was only around row 40, and I'm a big one for rippin' out and starting all over. But I've put it aside for the time being, as I've got chemistry studying and good books and more mindless projects to work on:

The first is part of a critter knitter blanket (on top of the finished 36" square) that will have some knit paw prints tracking across, and be trimmed by knit strips. It may end up to be 36" square, but we'll see.

The second is the minimal progress on the Map of the World afghan, up to the level of Oaxaca and Chiapas, and the little splotch of red is supposed to be Jamaica I guess, though it's charted the same colour as Cuba. The proportions and geography aren't that accurate in this pattern, but until I try to convert my own map of the world to a knit chart for aran weight yarn, I can't really complain.

Beside chemistry, here's what I've just finished reading this week:


I love Jane Smiley, I loved
Moo, but I just kept waiting for this book to really start, to really go somewhere, to make a plot goal and stick with it. It felt like a writing experiment that hadn't been subjected to much focusing, much editing. Like Duplicate Keys, it felt like an experiment in genre, and kind of "meh" at that. But, I did finish it, and if I really don't like a book, I don't read it--if it's not for a class, anyway.

I highly recommend The Curious Incident... though, ostensibly about a fifteen year old autistic boy who solves the murder of a neighbourhood dog, but may be more about human frailty and coping mechanisms.

I downloaded from audible.com and have been trying to listen to it, but between the narrator's insufferable voice and the author's insufferable style, it's been ...meh...insufferable. I'm going to give it another shot though, because this [literature, feminism, the interaction thereof] really floats my boat.

Hey, since I started this post, I've almost made it to Florida on the Map of the World Afghan! Woo-hoo! Almost 600 kms, the fastest knitter on my block!


Sunday, July 04, 2004

Feliz Fourth! 

Here's all the progress on the peace shawl, all glorious 27 rows of it:

Granted, I've ripped it out quite a bit, and now take the time to thread a "safety line" through the knit row, moving it up every four or so rows. That always happens with me and lace, and I always forget about it until I start a new lace project. Until I get the feel again, and a sense of the pattern, I spaaz a lot. That's me, Lady Spaazalot. (I watched "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" the other knight. Night.)

I have to say I'm not digging the Nandia any more now that I'm working with it. But I like the lace project, it keeps things a little interesting, and I like that the Fiber Trends pattern gives me the option of following a chart, or written instructions.

4th stuff
In my family, the Fourth is pretty much bigger than Christmas. The one year I've missed it, I watched the fireworks going off over the San Francisco Bay from my Oakland Hills apartment deck and felt like an excommunicated Catholic watching a big, noisy, sparkly communion.

It's tradition for the family to get together the week of the Fourth and spend the time doing beach stuff: barbecues, bonfires, swimming and surfing. Gradually though, as my cousins have grown older, more and more of their friends and their parents have started showing up. Fine, except the kids run and scream and break things, and the parents just roll their eyes and act as if they never spawned them and aren't responsible for their behaviour as guests in my grandmother's house. Last night, they broke a couch. No consequences.

This year, it seems that half of their upscale housing development in Scottsdale has descended, and the noise is just out of control. Think Lord of the Flies on the suburban island of Coronado just off the coast of San Diego, and if they start killing each other, it'll be a sweet relief.

Because of the chaos factor, if I bring any knitting to the Coronado golf course fireworks show tonight, it'll probably be the critterknitter blanket.
Simple, simple. And relatively relaxing. No pun intended.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

free hit counter
eXTReMe Tracker