Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Things Which Make Me Happy... 

  • Finally f*cking finishing something.

    Although technically this shouldn't count as it's a hat I knit for donation to AfghansforAfghans but never got around to doing the stabilising single crochet around the edges until last week. I made up the pattern as I went and as a way to learn intarsia and fair isle in the round and I'm still kind of proud that it doesn't look too funked up and the star is almost worthy of a sneech belly --yeah, okay, not even close, but you can't mention stars without sneeches and bellies and stars upon thars...

    Here's the finished sweater for an IG puppy of a lady at work. This was total knit-list-itis on my part. I don't even know this lady's name (but the dog's is Oreo) but I had this ball in the stash and I thought I'd give it a shot.

    It's all ribbed and with a split towards the belly section so that it can grow with her, at least for a little while.

    Here it is looking more doglike.

  • Watching hot air balloons inflated on Saturday evenings in Del Mar, not too far from work. They look luminous,


    delicate, but dangerous like technicolour man-eating jellyfish,

    and so postcard "wish you were here"ish

  • Dyeing on a cloudy day. (lacewight handspun I'll be trying to make a bouclĂ© with)

  • The beautiful colours of the seashells the ocean gives us at dog beach in Coronado.

  • When I'm so enthralled with the audiobook I'm listening to that I forget to pay attention to the fiber I'm winding onto a bobbin (adding twist)...yes, this is definitely an unbalanced bobbin on Audrey.

  • Reading and listening to fun books.

    The audio books of The Time Traveler's Wife and Across the Nightingale Floor of the Otori Trilogy are amazingly good. If you have high speed internet, audible.com is a revolution. And I don't mean one of these crappy "back to where we started just with some other corrupt megalomaniac in charge" kind of revolutions.

    I downloaded the audio of Middlesex and read the book. I wasn't as impressed as all the things I'd heard led me to believe but it's a great concept. It felt like a writing exercise meets expanded short story meets badly edited trilogy condensed to single volume. I will still read his Virgin Suicides though.

    My Mom gave me Pullman's Dark Matter trilogy, which is apparently a children's series, but I'm loving it.

  • NPR, despite pledge week.

  • Dar Williams and Robert Earl Keen--despite his newest album--and

  • how easy music shopping has become in this internet age.

  • Bored Nerds, with a shout out again to the vituperationblog.

  • And these love weasels:

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    Thursday, October 21, 2004

    Things Which Annoy Me 

  • Fund raising candy with ambiguous grammar sold to benefit a local school:

    Is it the idiotic error of a plural written as a possessive...or is this a cutesy contraction ("Fund Raisings")? It bugs me, I tell you. It also bothers me that the child I purchased this from looked overwhemingly like the photos of my husband at the same age and it was very hard for me to refrain from telling him he would grow up to be a hottie. As it would be highly inappropriate thing for a twenty-six year old woman to say to a ten year old boy.

    And yes, it does bother me when older men tell little girls they will grow up to be "heart-breakers," yes.

  • Missing a knit meet-up I've been looking forward to all month because it'd been a long day and I didn't feel like driving in the rain...esp. since Heidi reports that it was a lot of fun with a lot of new people.

    Then again, it was nice to snuggle with Nick on the couch and eat curry and apple pie and listen to the rain.

  • Knitting with super-fuzzy yarn, because when you try to back up or read your knitting it all goes to hell pretty fast...although it is incredibly soft and spongey.

    This is the neck ribbing of a sweater for an Italian Greyhound puppy from Le Fibre Nobili Geisha. Like I said, it's supersoft, but knitting with it can be as obnoxious as its name.

  • And Photobucket, since trying to manipulate the picture of the ribbing is yielding ridiculous results. I'd rather be knitting it, then, thank you.

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    Saturday, October 16, 2004


    The Fall Festival at the Cuyamaca Water Gardens was fun. One of the best things is I saw people I haven't seen in quite a while, and saw new friends too. And of course, the booty. It was a grey day, but not cold, hence perfect for walking around the winding paths of aloes and wool.

    First I was distracted by a sheep to shawl competition:

    You can't really get the mesmerising activity of the competition from this pic, but there were twelve wheels in the small area, along with two looms, and assorted knitters, whirling, clacking, working away. I stopped and watched for a little while before going up and embarrassing myself in the education arena for a bit; Margaret Tyler helped me out and I was able to spin for a little bit without dropping the damn spindle, and even showed someone else how to do it, though she remained unconverted. Then I toddled off to browse the stands.

    From some of the buzz, I have to admit I expected more vendors, but those who were there had fabulous stuff. I bought this cute little son of a gun from Susan (?) of The Grove at Juniper & 30th.

    She also had a cute lined basket from Lantern Moon which I resisted, but they are really filling the artful knitters supplies niche very well with their beautiful needles, baskets, and kitschy tape measures.

    I also snagged 10.4 ounces of incredibly soft camel coloured roving from a two year old alpaca named Peaches from A Simpler Time, and some Moorit Merino/Angora rabbit blend from Flying Colors Ranch of Valley Center, some spinning oil, Eucalan, and lovely dyed Lincoln locks from Loraine Powell of Ramona.

    Another neat thing about going to these fiber shows is that you get to meet vendors that don't operate on-line, and some of the amazing things they do. You get to look at stuff, feel fibers, and talk to the people who raised the animals or hand-turned the spindles.

    And the setting was pretty nifty, I really love succulents.

    For all that, I didn't stay too long, I grabbed my loot and scurried home to snuggle in with Nick and the whippets, and everybody had to shove a nose (wet or not) in the bags and inhale deeply...aaah...the smell of a good day.


    Wednesday, October 13, 2004

    Late notice/reminder... 

    ...I know, but if there's anyone in the San Diego County area interested in attending the Fiber Festival at the Cuayamaca Water Gardens, it's this Saturday, the 16th. A description of the FF, as posted by the marvelous Laura Noll:

    Here is an event that should appeal to lots of people!!! It's at the Water
    Conservation Garden out in El Cajon (near Cuyamaca College, in Rancho San Diego)
    and is a lovely place to spend the day! For directions, please go to

    The Fiber Festival people are offering vendors of fibers, yarns, equipment,and
    more. We will also have a Sheep to Shawl style competition, spinning and other
    contests, and education opportunities! And prizes will be donated by the

    The Education Corral starts at 10am with Spinning, 11am with Knitting,
    12noon with Crocheting, 1pm with Weaving and 2pm with Kumihimo Braiding.
    Each session is for the entire hour. We need volunteers to help teach these
    crafts. Also, if you know anyone who wants to learn one of these crafts, please
    send them on down! Please contact Laura Noll to sign up as a volunteer. No
    registration is needed to participate as a student!

    Also, the Garden folks are offering plant sales, book sales, docent tours and

    I'm volunteering somewhere in there. Because you know me and volunteering; I just can't help myself.

    If you need directions to the garden, here's their site.

    Failing any knitting/spinning pictures but for seven more inches of stockinette, 250yds more undyed thick and thin BFL, and still too excited about the new wheel to not be dull about it, I close with my most recent favourite photo of family, my brother and his dog, Sheila Doog.

    Why, yes ladies, the man in the purple shirt and faded red trousers is single, but he's definitely a package deal.


    Saturday, October 09, 2004


    My wheel came. I love it. I've had such a hectic-feeling week (but one of those that you look back and say, "Well, wait. What did I do?") that I'm really just in the mood for a short entry.

    I went to the library to return two books (maximum fine due), and at the La Mesa library during the hours it is open you must walk them inside and they just happen to have a shelf of donated books for sale by the door. I found six National Geographics, Middlesex, The Da Vinci Code, an herbal remedies encyclopedia, and Grass For his Pillow, all for a whopping eleven bucks. Which, since I've been gasping to read Middlesex, had The Da Vinci Code on my "to check out" list and the Otori Trilogy on my buy or checkout list and I am a spaaz about returning books on time (see above) I came out very happy.

    Especially since one of the National Geographics was the May 1988 issue, with "Wool: Fabric of History" as its cover article.

    And may I stop here and say: I grew up on National Geographic. It's such an institution, and was such a familiar feature in my life that I don't italicise it.

    A subscription was a gift I got every Christmas growing up and I looked forward to it every month.

    Somewhere amidst the whole growing up thing that subscription lapsed and wasn't renewed until I did it last year.

    And is it just me? Has NG become more fluffy, less substance, shorter features, fewer maps, and with an embarassing dependence on the internet, especially with links to "learn the rest of the story at..."?

    Even more parenthetically, is anyone else with me to revolutionise English grammar to make it acceptable to place incongruous punctuation outside of quotation marks?

    Anyway, these six I got are like wonderful time capsules (another article in the May 1988 edition is titled: "The Persian Gulf: Living in Harm's Way," so some things don't change) but the Wool feature written by Nina Hyde is just f&cking amazing. Production, breeds, people, hobbies, histories...and this picture.

    Taken by Cary Wolinsky, my husband pointed it out to me and we laughed at it ("Look! This woman knit herself some friends!") until I read the caption:

    The cat's alive, but the rest of Noeline Black's knitting friends are stuffed. Created by Black and other members of the Fabric Art Company in Wellington, New Zealand, they reflect the humor and ironies of domestic life. Taking yarn from her own leg, the woman at far right is unraveling herself to make the baby she has always wanted.

    The knitted faces of this tableau may be grotesquely caricaturistic but it is real, and it resonates. Chez Miscarriage aside, we all know people destroying themselves for the idea of something they want to obtain/become.

    Although, as knitters we also know that ripping can equal a rebirth; so, this unraveling of self funneling into creation of another being or idea is not necessarily a destruction, but a transformation?

    Anyway, this piece makes me think, and feel, and examine my thinking more in depth than shit in a can.
    And it was just a silly picture in an old magazine bought for a quarter. Imagine the revelations I'll glean from my $450 spinning wheel ;)

    So much for a short entry. Here's a great non-worksafe non-dial-up friendly [sh*t, what is, these days?] link for a Dutch advertisement for English lessons:
    "I want to..."


    Tuesday, October 05, 2004


    According to UPS tracking, my new wheel is in Hodgkins, IL and should be here Friday!
    Happy dance!


    Monday, October 04, 2004

    And we have a weiner! 

    Randomly selected from the huge pool of six entrants, Eklectika won the September 1st contest and chose the mug.

    Woo-hoo! Thanks to everybody who entered, and I promise I'll be more organised next time and put the contest on a separate page and have a button or something. And maybe make it less, er, let's say, Kennedy-esque, since we're in presidential campaign frotherbother here. And I don't mean Kennedy-esque in the chasing tail way, just the whole spirit of volunteerism way.


    Sunday, October 03, 2004

    Thank you. 

    Thank you, dark green Ford Mustang which turned right on Fletcher Parkway as I waited to turn left, for your personal plate, BRN WNR made my night.

    If only because I am a perverted moron who saw it as "brown weiner" instead of the "born winner" (I hope) you intended.


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