Thursday, September 30, 2004

Random Access Mammaries... 

We watched the debate, and played the drinking game(thanks La!) and now, we're a little slosssshed, so I apologise in advance for any "messed mixages."

I just thought I'd pop in to say that Shaun of the Dead is the funniest movie I have seen in a long time. If you're a fan of BBC's comedy Thursdays, you'll definitely like it, really, short of a stick in the ass, anybody will get at least more enjoyment out of it than a Star Wars prequel. Okay, see, that's not much of an endorsement, I guess I've been listening to too much snide doublespeak, but really, at one point I laughed so hard I snorted. And I am not a snorter. Is it a coincidence that Dawn from "The Office" plays a clone-drone crocheted-hat wearing flatmate? [Shaun/Dawn of the Dead] Weird. Anyway, if you're not convinced by me, or NPR, Frecklegirl and Jen also saw it and had nice things to say. Honestly, it's the best entertainment I've seen in a while.

Before I forget: someone recently reached my blog by googling "silk brick." If you're still hangin' about, you might want to check out the newest Spin-Off because the cover article is rockin' in that hizzy. It's also just a really great issue with the different projects, uses, and interpretations of various fibres.

I feel strange without a pic in the entry, but if I show you cardigan progress, it's just more stockinette. So in honour of "Shaun of the Dead" I show you one of the amazing treasures from Tomb 7 (from Monte Álban) that we saw in Oaxaca City.


Monday, September 27, 2004

Yes, yes, I am most definitely going to hell... 

because I found this hilarious. It's the "I [heart] Abortion" baby bib that I find the topper, really...It's all about being the only child? Thanks to crazy links for the St. Clinton link, there are some really great stickers there.

(I am a recovering sticker addict. The only thing that keeps me from expressing myself truly upon the backend of my vehicle is...well, San Diego is a town with some real redneck @ssholes, and I like my paintjob the way it is)

Oh yeah, knitting:

The fresh start of the Meringue Yoke Cardi, with a too southwestern tint to the blue of the yarn...it is darker. Less Caribe, more Pacific. And there are yarn-over holes amidst that garter stitch, so it is almost lacey.

And I've just started listening to Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I've heard wonderful things of the book, wonderful things of this narrator, and it certainly has a great start to support these. Transgender, hermaphroditism, these things are very interesting to me. I am enjoying the audio experience of the book but I think I am not alone in wishing that you could pull up the text of an audiobook occasionally on a listening device. Just sometimes, you wish to see how a thing is written.

I ended up not enjoying On A Pale Horse so much, ultimately, because after awhile, I tired of Piers Anthony's "suddenly, Zane realised..." style. I suppose I am a fan of "show, not tell" writing, and I don't enjoy interminably obtuse main characters.


Friday, September 24, 2004

Fighting back 

I spent a bit of hot-sticky time hanging skeins on the wall of our spare room. Four nails were hammered in semi-equi-distantly, double-stranded hemp (spun myself, smelled like duckpoop!) was tied to the first nail, strung tight and wrapped around the second and third and tied on the fourth, then short lengths of yarn I don't care about were used to tie the skeins to the twine, attempting some sort of ROYGBIV sequence.

Of course, I felt like I was knitting wool ponchos for Florida hurricane victims when I realised this still lurked in the living room:

Yes, a whole huge plastic tub of balls of yarn, and some unfinished projects. And there are more unfinished projects and their wound up balls lurking in baskets around here.

And a bag of donegal tweed skeins for the Map of the World Afghan, and 16 or so skeins of Reynolds Gypsy cotton yarn (summer sweater? In San Diego? Okay, maybe for a night bonfire at the beach...wait, yeah, I'll just grab my sweatshirt and get around to it later).

But I will find ceiling studs and screw utility hooks in and hang those IKEA kid toy organizer thingies from the ceiling for my balls, and for my baskets, and maybe nail some unfinished projects to the wall as reminders...why yes... yes I do rent...oh, don't worry about those little nails and big honking utility hooks. Won't be nothing some toothpaste and chalk can't fix later.

Just kidding.
I'm sure I'll fill the bigger holes with Elmer's glue before I smear toothpaste and chalk on...

No, really, just kidding, I am sort of an adult now.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Death and resurrection 

So, I'm up to working the body of the previously-ripped-and-to-be-modified-Meringue-Yoke-cardigan, and I tried to give drop spindling another shot after seeing the amazing work of Stephanie at the meetup, the women at the S/MFFF, and the speedy spinners of Chiapas. My bit of knitting and spinning don't look like much, and Bélu horned in on the picture. I placed the items for the photo shoot on the dog bed in the spare bedroom because it is one of the few places in our house not covered in dog hair or little bits of paper and she decided to help.

I asked her to go away (because her movements where threatening to pull stitches off the needles) so don't believe that sullen "just get the pictures over with" look on her face.

Speaking of strange facial expressions, has anyone seen the new
Patternworks catalogue? What is up with the models? Are they having a mortician do the make-up? Very creepy faces of pancake death make-up in shades of gray and brown, or the few faces which don't look like they belong to propped up corpses either have the sullen/annoyed Bélu face going, or in one case, appear to be caught mid-bowel movement. There's even a baby who looks a little taxidermied, with his blond hair spit-smeared down on his liitle head. Not exactly the look I'd be aiming for in selling knitstuff, but I'm always behind the marketing curve.

Coincidentally, I picked up this great book yesterday:

It's very funny, and interesting, and contains this great bit from a chapter on "resurrectionists" [those who made money stealing corpses from graves to supply anatomists for dissection purposes]:
So similar in their treatment were the dead to ordinary items of commerce that every now and then boxes would be mixed up in transit. James Moores Ball, author of The Sack-'Em-Up Men, tells the tale of the flummoxed anatomist who opened a crate delivered to his lab expecting a cadaver but found instead "a very fine ham, a large cheese, a basket of eggs, and a huge ball of yarn." One can only imagine the surprise and very special disappointment of the party expecting a very fine ham, cheese, eggs, or a huge ball of yarn, who found instead a well-packed but quite dead Englishman. [p.47]

So maybe that's where Patternworks is going, branching out a bit in their mail-order business.


Saturday, September 18, 2004

Welcome to KAOS 

Knitters Against Organised Spaces, that is. At least, it would appear that I have joined (or fallen victim of) an evil international conspiracy to live among squalorous piles of laundry, coffee cups, and little bits of paper.

Yes, I could be fighting back right now, but it's really hot. So, meh.

What I have been doing: a little bit of spinning and dyeing, a fair bit of working at HWAC, some school, and a lot of itching. One of the dogs at work must have had poison oak oil in their fur, because I got poison oak all over my lower legs, and before I realised that the itching was poison oak and not just itch from the heat and hard work in the sun, I'd spread it to my eyes, my ears, and my wrists...so I am slowly going insane. And bathing in Tecnu.

The right-hand yarn is spun from the Homeless Clown Hair roving, a very bright orange with generally subtle shadings to red, yellowy orange, and construction cone. The other was spun, then dyed, sort of a brick red. Dusty Clown Nose, I suppose. These are for Mandy, if she wants them. And I spun and dyed them before I got poison oak, even though they are kind of poison oak colours, so no worries about nasty surprises after knitting up.

School is school, two Spanish classes, love one and hate the other.

I did go to a knitting meetup on Wednesday, and had again, a really good time. It was a really great mix of people and projects:

The woman next to me was spinning up an incredible yarn in superwash; she showed me a ball of it plied double and it was very cool, looking right off the shelf of a hip yarn store.

Another woman was beading a butterfly [with seed beads, in that dark café light!] on to a really neat scrumble style crocheted bag, with dyed panels (of silk?). Gorgeous and funky. Then, there was knitting, lots of different projects, lots of pretty yarns, gloves, sweaters, socks, and scarves.

I brought my wheel along because Heidi of AbsintheKnits mentioned she was interested in learning how to spin, but ended up giving quick demos to a few people. (five?)

Almost everybody said they were afraid of breaking the wheel, but nobody even came close. I was really impressed with the yarn people were able to spin, right off the bat, in just a few minutes and with only basic instruction.

I wish I'd had my Lendrum for that because it looks sturdy and operates more smoothly with the double treadle, but it's on back-order and I don't know when it will actually arrive and really be my Lendrum.

I also wish I'd gotten off my ass and started showing people earlier in the evening so they'd have time to get comfy with it and be able to spin up a length to take home and play with. Next time, I guess.

Aw, crap! I itch!


Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Heavy sigh. 

I was going to post a pic of the cardigan I've been knitting, but finally got honest with myself about gauge and the important difference between the 7sts=2" it was and the 8sts in 2" I was fooling myself it was. I didn't want to spend anymore time knitting a cardigan ten inches wider than I am.

Lately, I have spent so much time in traffic. And never for such a cool reason as this little webmovie would propose:
405:The Movie


Friday, September 10, 2004

Mod Squad Knits? 

So ja, I'll bet all you schmarty-pantses already know that the new Knitty is out.

There are quite a few patterns to love and be inspired by, but I wouldn't be a dork if this didn't just leap out and smack me playfully on the @ss. Talk about helmet hair; I love it.

Well, I better go. I have to wake up at four tomorrow, and believe it or not, I'm thrilled.

Just a couple things before I go, though. I have actually been knitting a row here and there on a cardigan that's an amalgamation of two patterns from IK(see May 16th entry to look at the yarn and two patterns) and I'm not sure I'm keen on the way the colours are coming out. But I think this yarn was almost meant to be this cardigan and it's too scratchy to be a scarf or other close to the skin smaller item which might show the colours pooling better.

Second thing, don't forget the first spaazlicious blog contest. I'll put up a button or something in a little while, but remember: despite its hamhanded Catholici-ness, it's really just kind of a reminder. Check out the local volunteer opportunities in your area, you'd be surprised. You can edit/update websites. Use your digital camera to take pictures of shelter dogs and post them, knit hats for chemo patients or preemies, stuff envelopes, or visit people at a convalescent hospital, making small talk. You know those coin canisters and food donation bins you see at convenience and grocery stores? Sometimes they need people to drive those things from point A to point B. The nice thing about being a volunteer is that you decide what you want to do and when, and how much.

See, there I went all preachy and stuff again, but back to the point, just take a few minutes to look around and see if you have some spare time and a skill to give. Maybe you can't do it now, but just think about it. And send your entry with "contest" or "blog contest" in the subject to TORTA_DE_TORTUGAathotmailpuntocom.

And, because I have to redeem myself, I give you (a non-worksafe!!!) link:

a site for wool sweater/clothing/yarn fetishists

You don't have to join (unless you want to look at galleries or fullsize photos) but it's a bit offputting to look down and see the "last upload" photos scrolling with pictures of a man jerking off, his penis poking out of a cowl neck sweater he is most definitely wearing the wrong way and look up to the "random" pics and see a ribbed fingerless glove which looks an awful lot like the ones you knit from an old winter IK. The woolfreaks link is thanks to this thread in the knitting Livejournal community. When I first checked it out, there were pictures scrolling of what appeared to be someone sticking their thumb through a centerpull ball of mohair. After I joined (yes, well, it was free, wasn't it?) I could enlarge and see that it was a sadly under-endowed and apparently very frustrated man's genitals.


Monday, September 06, 2004

I love dyeing... 

...maybe because I have such low expectations that anything that doesn't come out felted is a resounding success for me. And actually, I haven't felted anything yet, which might endanger my spaaz union membership except for the sheer ineptness I demonstrate in other areas of my life.

I forgot to mention this came in the mail the other day; it's a crochet/double point needle case from Amy Boogie's room-cleaning sale endeavor. Certainly can't beat the price,uniqueness, and utility of her stuff.

Perhaps inspired by this, and inspired by my trade agreement with Mandy from Yarnageddon I dyed this:

It's camo yarn! I don't know if I dig it or hate it. I spun the white wool with Mandy in mind, dyed it wanting something green but remembering Mandy hates blue but purple is okay...and this is what came out. I think amongst some other greens and colours it can really make it, alone, well, it looks like jungle camo yarn. I guess if Mandy doesn't want it I can knit it into baklavas for the Zapatistas. I love this trade thing though, we have a very loosely defined agreement which has really set some ideas bubbling.

Also thinking of Mandy, I dyed some clown hair roving...maybe 5 ounces of the blue-faced leicester that I was going to do the Rogue in that started this whole blog thing...it might be more, I guess I should get a scale (I need one anyway to weigh the kids' food if I'm ever going to move past the pre-packaged raw diet stuff).

The pic isn't that great, but I'm looking forward to spinning it. It really is more fun to spin coloured roving...so I dyed the two ounces of soysilk-cashmere blend I bought at The Black Sheep in Escondido.
As an aside, that was an expensive trip. It isn't that far from work, and I only bought three little half-ounce Jaquard Acid dye bottles and the impulse soysilk-cashmere fiber, but I ended up parking in front of a yoga stuff store and spent two hundred bucks on an incredible mat, bag, pants, and magazine. It's yoga-stashing, and it ain't pretty, folks.

Anyway, because I'm in a green phase, here's the soysilk-cashmere roving:

Some bits of it are still a little damp, and obviously, it needs a little fluffing before spinning.


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

S/MFabFibFest Part Deux 

So here's a photo-heavy blog entry of what I scored at the FiberFest, leading with the Carolina Homespun booty:

Left to right it's (I believe called) silk brick, 2 oz. of merino/bombyx silk blend, and a bit of blue Firestar. I never would have believed that I'd buy more Firestar, but once I got the hang of it it practically spun itself and I couldn't resist their gorgeous hand-dyed colours. Ooops, and I forgot to take a pic of the silk caps I bought from them all in one, but here it is below:

And here's the cashmere soft 100% organic cotton I bought from New World Textiles, the sample they had spun and knit, plus the sheer luxurious softness of it makes me think that this cotton is the underappreciated luxury fiber.

And here is the belle of the ball, the most luxurious and decadant thing I bought, the 2 oz. of bombyx silk dyed by Chasing Rainbows, and in the center, a wee bit of dyed kid locks:

And here's what arrived today from Carolina Homespun:

An Anarchist Knitter t-shirt! Yay! But the wrong size. Oh. So, not my Anarchist Knitter shirt. I bought one way back at the first and only Stitches West market I went to (2002?) so I asked about the availability of them at the FiberFest and Lanny said that they had only two left and no more coming, a small and an extra large. I am a small, so I asked for that one...hopefully they still have the small somewhere, as my other anarchistknitter shirt is a bit knackered and I'd like a new one.
I'll either return or gift this one.
Perhaps a blog contest is in order.

And since it is the first, it would be a good time to start a contest. But what kind of blog contest? The other, better knitting, cat-loving Wendy just has people send an e-mail. Which is just like a reward for reading the blog. Not neccessary for her blog, but if you've stuck this far with me, you probably deserve a reward. But still, my stingy Scottish self recoils.

Howsabout you do this: investigate local charity volunteer opportunities (not affiliated with political parties, must benefit actual human/animal beings in your community) and take a close look at your schedule and see whether here or there, you might be able to squeeze in an hour or two of community service. For people like Jen of JenLa who work really random schedules, this can be difficult. But promise me you'll take a look, then send me an e-mail at TORTA_DE_TORTUGAathotmaildotcom, and I'll assign numbers, put numbers into a hat, whatever. You don't have to say what charity, or anything, so theoretically you could just send me an e-mail without evaluating your humanitarian potential first, but that would be unbefitting the stodgy, didactic, kinda preachy principle of the thing.

And if you don't want an XL anarchist knitter t-shirt, you could choose this instead:

Not used of course, not my own coffee mug of which I originally posted (I'm not THAT Scottish) but a brand spankin' new one in a box.

I guess I should say entries are due by the stroke of midnight of the dawning of October. (What is that, like 11:59/2359 of the 30th?..uh, yeah, sure)


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