Friday, August 27, 2004

Why, yes! Yes, we are all going to hell! Have a nice day! 

I saw this while I was in Waldenbooks trying to kill the rest of a wedding gift certificate by buying porn.


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

"Don't tease me about my hobbies; I don't tease you about being an asshole." 

We saw Garden State yesterday, and the above line struck me as highly useful.

Because of Lendrum envy caused by Nancy's extremely sound "impulse buy," I have been preparing my own sweet Audrey for the auction block. I was trying to do a bit of pricing research and came across
"Kromski mazurak wanted ; Used. Money or have Angora rabbits willing to trade.
at the Spinner's and Weaver's Housecleaning Page and just thought that was funny. First, she doesn't take the time to proofread her ad, or doesn't know the name of what she wants. Second the image of fistfuls of rumpled cash OR fuzzy bunnies (unspecified amount of either so you have no gauge of whether or not this woman has realistic expectations). Third, she uses tripod to host her site of "business." So you know she's an idiot. That, and all the out-of-focus photos. I know angoras are fuzzy, but that doesn't mean the focus has to be.

Here's [scroll down to big pic] another example of bad salesmanship. That and the "crotched flowers." That face and "crotch" spell deal-breaker for me. Even if I wanted to wear a $45 self-watering planter on my head.

Speaking of "crotched flowers," I swung by The Grove at Juniper & 30th in South Park today and bought some Crystal Palace cotton chenille to make some flower washcloths for holiday presents. Let the madness begin.

While I was there I saw that she's stocking a line called Maggi's Knits. The mohair is supersoft, but the linen/cotton blend is incredible. Keep an eye out for it and you'll see what I mean.


Monday, August 23, 2004

Like. Wow. FFF vol. I 

I had a great time at the Fabulous Fiber Fest, although I wish I'd come more prepared to spend the day so I could have stayed longer. I just don't like show-vendor food, and next year, maybe Nick and I will get a dog-safe hotel room and go to the boardwalk after the show.

Joan Ruane is the main reason I had such a great time. If I hadn't brought my wheel and hadn't dabbled in the spinning contest I think my impression of the show might have been kind of on the "meh" side, as there weren't really too many fiber/yarn vendors. Which was kind of expected, because navigating the FFF site, you can see it's kind of quilt-heavy. And there were some amazing quilts. Funny monsters, handprints, rings, gorgeous colours...

Anyway, the spinning contest was really a great opportunity to try different fibers and different challenges. It lasted a little longer than expected ('though what did I expect? It was a spinning contest, not a speed drill) but even so I got to try some rough wool (really to warm up, the challenge was how much length you could produce in ten minutes, I produced a piddling eleven yards) some longer staple finer white wool with chunks/stripes of fine black in it which we spun for consistency while wearing latex gloves. I won a prize there, but honestly, only because I was the only wheel in that part.

Then we moved on to hemp, which Joan is quite passionate about, but broke for lunch five minutes in and the contest pretty much ended there. But I never would have tried hemp on my own (or at least not anytime soon) and I ended up spinning a new drive band for Audrey.

We were going to move on to cotton, and Joan mentioned when I came to pick up my wheel that they were going to spin soy silk later, which I really wanted to try, but I was afraid if I stayed in Santa Monica too long I'd be really tired driving home.

Anyway, before this gets too long (too late) here were my highlights, with some pics to follow soon:

  • Meeting Nancy of bird's nest knits
  • Joan Ruane's spinning contest
  • Carolina Homespun's incredible booth (I spun on a $1300 wheel!)
  • Chasing Rainbows Dyework's beautifully dyed yarn and silk fibers
  • Finding out that cotton can be a gorgeous luxury fiber too, from New World Textiles (and Joan, of course [NWT and Joan are separate entities, with similar passions])
  • Ogling (okay, and some poking) yarn at wildfibers

  • Anyway, back to spinning and fondling.


    Tuesday, August 17, 2004

    Gettin' my house in order... 

    I'm reading Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer right now, and that's a phrase that's tossed around a lot--the "[my/God's] house in order" bit, I mean, and has to do with the coming of a Mormon messiah, so of course, "over the years, more than twenty fundamentalists[...]have claimed to be the 'one mighty and strong' sent by God to[...]'set in order' the modern LDS church."

    Anyway, yesterday, I had a pretty productive day. Went to the bank, returned some library books, tried to check out another book but it wasn't there (have all the copies of Charlie Wilson's War been absconded with?) but settled for Jarhead instead (so far, I'm enjoying the macho-artsy-farstiness of it) finally got my hair cut, did a little trauma recovery shopping at Babette Schwartz next door, and joined a gym, an experience almost exactly like buying a new cellphone. Ends up costing twice as much as you expected, you spend almost an hour fighting off the upselling, and when you walk out, you're still not sure you made the right choices or got what you wanted.

    My favourite barber (Jeremy) wasn't in at Winn's in Hillcrest, so I walked next door to the slightly more expensive, much moodier (therefore way hipper and pretty much guaranteed your sideburns will be uneven) Ralph's and got my hair all club-kidded out (my usual cut, with a pantload of sticky stuff in it) with the gayboy flip in front. I think it's a requirement at Ralph's that short hair has to stick straight up at front when the client leaves, like a hairy phallic signature. I tried to take a picture of it (don't get me wrong with all this, I like it, but it's like my hair was on silly pills) but never until yesterday did I realise how intensely ugly I am in posed pictures. I thought that even our moron president and a chimp could model it better.

    Wallowing in silliness, I went next door to Babette's, the retail zone for silly kitsch, and bought a box of Nag Champa incense (I'm sorry, I just love the way it smells like the Hari Krishnas in Pacific Beach) a fridge magnet, and this fine wake-up java juice delivery system:

    If I was cool, I'd have an animated gif there so you could see the eyes vibrate, since they're set on springs in the sockets.

    As far as fibre stuff goes, I've been spinning the merino/possum fur that Mom brought back from New Zealand for me. Incredibly soft, but lots of linty lumps make it impossible to spin a consistently fine single for plying. It's so soft though, I can't stay annoyed for long. There's enough for a very snuggly sweater for Nick in there.

    I've pretty much decided on making a hoochie-top out of the Firestar, and calling it the "Ho Halter." Maybe I'll cast on tonight after our Greyhound Adoption Center training shift so I'll have some real knitting content to post soon.
    a wee further booknote
    If anybody out there is looking for a really fun read, I highly recommend Hiaasen's newest:
    Skinny Dip, his best since Sick Puppy.

    and one last thing...

    Happy Birthday Libélula!


    Saturday, August 14, 2004

    Happy, happy, joy, joy 

    A quickie, with not much knit content...

    I'm really happy with my new job; it's a lot of fun. There are a couple things I'd change if I were job god (create consistent Standard Operating Procedure for each job position, add an overnight dog care shift) but since all these dogs are "owned dogs," I can just leave and look forward to seeing them again. I don't have to worry that they're overweight, have health/behaviour problems, or too old...they're already adopted! A job I can just leave at the jobsite is a really nice change from previous work experiences.

    Audible.com offered a free Says You! monthly sub, so now I have that and Science news to listen to while I'm driving to work. I'm also listening to On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony (and enjoying it) and still have my month's book credit to spend at audible...welcoming suggestions...

    I'm also really excited about the Santa Monica Fiber Fest coming up. For myriad reasons, like seeing Jen again/meeting La of JenLa, embarrassing myself in the spinning contest, test-driving some other spinning wheels (not that I don't love my wheel, but I figure this is as close as I'll come to going to a swinger's party, I might as well get my fingers and feet into it) and seeing what kind of a hoe-down S/M can give the fiber world.

    As far as knitting, I've done as much knitting as OJ has done searching for the "real killers." Okay, I take that back. More than that, but not enough to show anything interesting.

    Bélu and I have the second session of our Head Start class tomorrow. I love it. It's like couples therapy for dog and owner, and it really is helping our relationship--how we relate to each other and listen, which sounds cheezy, but it's great and I feel so relaxed afterwards. And smug. Bélu is a border collie in a whippet body. The only trick is getting her to WANT to do what you want her to do. And since she's foodmotivated it's easy. We're taking the class with my Mom and Sheila Doog as well. Which is really fun and interesting for reasons that are only fun and interesting for me. So I'll skip it. If this goes well, my mom wants to start doing agility classes with Libélula, after Doog goes back home to Arizona, which is just how cool a dog grandma my mom is.

    [this part with pic deleted b/c the picture started to really creep me out (Stepford ho, anyone?) and the dress she's wearing looked a lot like the bedspread in my Grandparents' La Jolla guestroom...creepy, creepy. And since the other stuff spun out of it, I thought I'd shorten that too. Suffice to say that Amy Boogie rocks, but everyone knows that. I guess I could have edited out my oobedience school stuff too, but that's my journal kind of stuff I may want to read later]


    Monday, August 09, 2004

    Happy Dyes Are Here Again 

    I did some more dyeing of the "was to be Rogue" stash, and am pretty happy with what happened.

    I soaked the yarn in water-vinegar solution for a night or so (but not so long this time that ick started growing) laid out some Trader Joe's plastic wrap, squeezed most of the water from the skeins, and applied dye willy-nilly. First, the subtle blue-green number:

    Then I wrapped the skein up kind of like a sandwich, taking care that there wasn't any bunching and when I placed it in the steamer section of the pot the ends of the plastic package weren't elevated, because I think that's part of the reason I had void-y bits last time.

    I'm calling this colourway "Homeless Clown Hair" in honour of our down-and-out friend Ronnie of my last post:

    And I still love green, two skeins, the first a kind of a grassy green, another like the leaves of a tree as seen from below, some in shadow and dark green, others with streaks of sunlight dappling through:

    The colour of that last, the darker one, doesn't come out so great in the idividual shot, but the variation and true colours can be seen better in the group shot.

    It certainly is interesting how the modes of communication can change the way we think about our messages, our information, what we want to share. Just trying to drum up a silly title I was thinking of playing with dyeing/dying and the idea of the "little death," how the French would term an orgasm, and a wordplay used by Shakespeare on occasion. Then I got over myself. Well, sort of.

    Do you think Shakespeare would have blogged?

    Anyway dyeing is almost as fun and satisfying as an orgasm. Although with more prep, time, chemicals and vinegar smell than...never mind.


    Saturday, August 07, 2004

    "Time, time, time... 

    ...see what's become of me...hummmhummhum...la da da, da da dah...hazy shade of winter!"

    "...and it's time, time, time that you learned..."

    It's a schizophrenic state of mind when you have the Bangles' "Hazy Shade of Winter" and Tom Waits' "Time" duking it out in your head. All because I looked at my blog, looked at the date, and couldn't believe how fast this week is going by.

    On Tuesday I had a job interview, Wednesday I was hired, Thursday was my first day, and I like it. I am now getting paid to work for the semi-local animal rescue and care center that I've been volunteering at since February. I'm still doing my volunteer work with the Education department and Animeals on Tuesdays, but working in the boarding facility Thursday through Sundays. Monday and Wednesday are school days. I did keep August 21st free though, so I'll be able to go to the FabFiberFest and embarrass myself in the spinning contest.

    Anyway, more working time means less knitting time, and since I only found time to make the World's Ugliest Knitted iPod Case™ and I'm not so desperate to post knitting pics that I will share such hideous shame, I just thought I'd pop in to blather.

    Check out this supercool watch for rich dorks.

    I love thingeek.com.
    Last Christmas, I took care of all my Christmass[consumerism] shopping with two stops: thinkgeek and heifer.org. I have to say, heifer.org is a great place to get those gifts for people that you have to get something for, but you don't really know them, don't know what they want, or they already have so much crap they couldn't possibly need another scented candle and lame fridge magnet. It's really an amazing program, and has lots of giving options.

    Judging from this pic, all the Atkins' fever has really hit ol' McDonald's hard.


    Wednesday, August 04, 2004

    International mail 

    Well, technically, I guess not. But people on both sides of the state lines can usually agree that Texas is almost a whole 'nother country, and for awhile it even "technically" was...here's a bit of what showed up from the heart of Texas in today's mail:

    It's one of my many "fabooluss" prizes from KnitSteph's pooch-naming contest. There's a project bag, a knitted sock keyring, and stitch markers...I actually entered the contest because a) I love naming dogs, so much possibility, silliness, ceremony (I mean, think about it, this is a name you will be shouting out at the top of your voice in front of your friends and neighbours for the next [hopefully] fifteen years) and b) I am always losing my stitch markers, using random bits of yarn, and so I couldn't resist when I saw the little libélula markers.

    Further Cocker Update

    Here's Sunny (new name, new life) relaxing with a cup of joe at her new home:

    In case you can't read it, the cup is from the Baja Animal Sanctuary which was instrumental in getting the paperwork together and cutting through the the red tape so the border crossing was smooooooth as buddah. They are an awesome organisation, and I foresee a donation drive and a road trip in our future.


    Tuesday, August 03, 2004

    Cocker Update 

    Thank you everybody for your help and advice, I'll soon be seeing this little girl, clean and vet-checked, at my Dad's gate amongst the seven Shih Tzus, golden retriever, german shepherd, and terrier mix. We didn't even have to hire a pollo (strangely, I guess coyotes are also known as pollos now) to smuggle her over the mountainous border terrain.


    Monday, August 02, 2004

    Aw, flibbertigibbet. 

    I tried to burn some audio book cds (specifically, On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony) onto my iPod, but the tracks became rearranged by iTunes. So I decided to delete them all and when I re-imported I would take the time to re-name the tracks so they would play in the proper order, or if iTunes decided to rearrange them, it would be easier to fix. Deleting a whole group of tracks isn't intuitive in iTunes, so I followed the instructions of a person on the Apple Discussions forum and accidently deleted all of my iTunes files. Which teaches me to follow advice from a user named What Would Jesus Do?

    What Would Jesus Do?
    Probably not have material things like an iPod when people are starving in the world, but thank Yahweh, being a martyr is not my job (not even my calling...)

    In frustration with this wonderful little gizmo and its accompanying software's quirks, I spun up a sample of lace to fingering weight mohair-merino in Tahiti colourway from Paradise Fibers. Then plied some of it with the Firestar. But a very little, because I think the Tahiti stuff is gorgeous, but plied with Firestar it was ick and did less than nothing for me.

    Full bobbin of Firestar on left, plied stuff center, Tahiti mohair-merino on right:

    A slightly better, close-up, view of the plied stuff:

    Just kind of tacky.

    So it may become part of a cabled yarn, or something. I don't know that it is worthy to become part of my mother's afghan. I thought it'd be cool to have as a component, since the theme of the afghan is kind of "moods of the ocean"-y and it could be like a flash of sunlight off caribbean waves, or the flash of a fish, but I'm not feelin' it.

    The bulk of my frustration cessation and relaxation came from spinning up the Juneteenth artichoke dyeing experiment roving. I was pleasantly surprised with the subtle shadings of the results, because, frankly, the roving looked like the dog's breakfast.

    Not my kind of colourway really, but it was fun to spin up. It's very thick and thin, but probably would gauge out at DK. I'm tempted to swatch to see how the colours pool, but I have a lot of other projects which have priority. And I have no idea what will become of this yarn at all, Jen, before you ask ;P

    And if all else fails for entertainment, I browse the vituperation blog and find a site like zefrank's and enjoy educational videos of a man who really loves his cat, knows how to really shake it, and isn't afraid to show it.

    G-d bless the internet.


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