Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Knittiest Place on Earth

I have had some busy times this last week, from wakey-wakey to sleepy-bye. No blogging. No email. No kidding.
Dateline: July 20 DISNEYLAND
I drove a truckload of teenagers the hour and a half north (plus extra for missing the turn-off but I wasn't going to mention that) to Disneyland, which means--of course--I was driving the truck. Boo. Nice truck, don't get me wrong but in my book, the smaller the car, the happier I am. Nuff said.
They abandoned me at the gate--I guess I could have scampered off to find yarn stores, but the $69 entrance fee was probably less than the $$$ exit fee at a yarn store. Anyway, it's "the happiest place on Earth," so I had to go in! Anyway, I brought some friends. Meet my Sweet Little Kumquat Sock. The pattern is Girl's Best Friend from Knit Picks. This is the only pic I could get inside the haunted mansion from my doom buggy. Kumquat also posed outside and around the corner at the pet cemetary. As it was a hot day (July in Anaheim, you may recall), I found myself looking for cool places to sit and knit. Pirates of the Caribbean is nice (but very dark), Indiana Jones is heavily air-conditioned (but the single-rider line is way too fast*), I feel like I should be ordering something in the restaurants, but then I found... Ta-da! The arrivals gate at Star Tours. They have two benches, one well-lit! And they let me sit for as long as I wanted. How did they know I wasn't waiting for someone stuck in a two-hour line? I even left and came back through the exit. No problem.
We stayed in the park until 10:30. The kids would have happily stayed until midnight, but the driver preferred to stay awake while driving. (Just a little bete noir of mine.)
Dateline: July 21(Sleeping)
Dateline: July 22-26 COMIC CON San Diego
I worked the Art Show at Comic Con. This involves long hours with no pay and all the geekiness I can absorb. This convention is the largest grouping of overall fun and interesting people that I've ever attended. Oh, I had such fun! (Tiny loved it too.)
I worked on this cuff, finishing it during a screening of The Vampire Diaries. The best thing I can say about the show is that... um... I met somebody who really liked it. Yay. Good for her. Seems a little too soap-opera-y for me and I'm a bit vampired out.
The Chuck panel opened with Jeffster! They really warmed up the crowd. I found a video of it from someone much closer to the action. If it's your thing, click and enjoy.
I was so excited that my fingers just flew and I made a lot of progress on the leg of Kumquat. I was in the same room with Adam Baldwin (squee!).And the Heroes panel was so thrilling--I was 20' from David Lawrence XVII--I over-knitted and had to rip back 5 rows! This is a very bad pic of Milo Ventimiglia.But here's Kumquat in her natural state, folded over to show her pretty cuff. I think she liked her adventures this week!

*Oh, yeah, I can just hear you: "Poor baby, line's too fast for her. Awwwww..."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Puttin' On the Dog

...or rather, taking it off!

I was given a bag of fabric by a friend. Cute fabric. Horsey fabric. But this friend not only likes horses: she likes dogs. And there was dog hair all over that fabric! So I zigzagged the edges and threw it in the wash. And the dryer. (Fingers crossed.) And I took it out and found--you guessed it, dog hair and plenty of it. Was I going to have to give this away and hope that someone who loved dogs would find a use for it? No! Lint roller to the rescue! I've had a masking tape style one for years and this was just the ticket.(Kind of like this one.) It took a lot of tape to rescue the fabric, but I was successful in the end. Yay!

But wait, there's more! I have another tip for you today: remember learning Roman numerals and wondering what in the world you were ever going to use that knowledge for? Turns out it was for quilting! Thanks to Marianne via AppleCheeks for this:

When a quilter needs to keep her blocks in numerical order, she can use her pins:

Straight pin means I

Flower pin means V

Safety pin means X

See the examples below:












Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Your Opinion Wanted

In the spirit of reduce-->reuse-->recycle, I have decided not to throw out this purse simply because the handle has gone all ratty and is no longer presentable in public. I took off the handles with the aid of my trusty seam ripper and scissors and then went through the stash. As I have nothing that really matches the apricot fabric in the bag itself, I found three fabrics that coordinate well. However, I am having trouble deciding. Should I use this one? We'll call it Swirly-whirly. Or this one? We'll call it Tan Toychest. Or this one? We'll call it Rose Posey.
Further details: the fabric isn't pieced: it's all one banded fabric. The cross-hatching is quilting. The zippers are very dark green. It's French, but I bought it at the mall. (half-price, less than $20, I think.)And there's news of the Prideful and Prejudiced socks: I worked about 5 rows of the toe and had to rip out. Somehow, I decided to go my own way for finishing the toe instead of, oh, reading the instructions. I dislike frogging. It's somehow sad to take out work. Although I have heard it said that frogging is simply part of knitting, expected and meditational in its own way. Pfff.
But I got to it and finished the pair! The toes do indeed match although there's a teensy mistake. But I won't tell if you don't.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sock it to Me!

Prideful and Prejudiced received some attention last night. The Man of the Place got a French movie with subtitles, A Secret. (If you'd like to see a French take on the holocaust, this is pretty interesting, but as my man said, "I guess there aren't any really happy holocaust movies.") Seeing as how I had to look at the screen almost constantly if I wanted to understand the conversations, I needed a sock in which the pattern would read:
*k, repeat from *
In other words, just knit. So I did. I'm not far off from my green toe now.Socks for Cutting Hair are moving right along. I finished reading Mansfield Park, and knit a lot on these socks during the reading. By the way, the whole book is slow until the last 50 pages. Then it picks up. I've now just started Emma: my goal of reading all six of Miss Austen's published novels this year is half done! And the Beach Dwarves are about to turn the second heel (a little further along than the picture shows). They require a bit more attention than the other two at this point. Non-investment, older TV works very well. Back in 1970, they still used a lot of verbal exposition, so I've been "watching" Alias Smith and Jones on Hulu to keep me company while I work on 'em.
I know. It's weird. All my socks are at about the same point.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Desperately Seeking Stupid

I have been knitting like a machine on the colorwork portion of this sock. This is the second sock, by the way. There's a reason for this machine-like dedication: every knitting project I've got involves something that I'm usually good at, but sometimes like to avoid:
That's one of the things I like about certain knitting projects: they're brainless. Sure, when I was a novice knitter, it took attention and patience. But now the simple stockinette (just one knit stitch, over and over and over again) holds no challenge. It's like smoking, I think. It gives me something to do with my hands and calms my mind. I can do that while standing in line or watching tv or chatting with a local scientist. This one will get to the brainless part pretty soon, but not soon enough for my taste!
Speaking of progress, I like to keep track of my socks by percentage. I think I was doing it before I found Ravelry, but their personal project pages encourage the practice. This is how I break it down:
  • 10% Cuff (often brainless)
  • 10% Leg (if it's just a sockie with no leg, this is a freebie!)
  • 10% Heel and gusset (where the sock skinnies down)
  • 10% Foot (often brainless)
  • 10% Toe and weaving in ends
  • 50% repeat for other sock

So you Ravelry folk, how do you break it down? I'm curious.Also, I've been helping Tiny with a costume for Comic Con. This pic is really not helpful, but we're calling the style SteamGoth. Maybe she'll let me get more pictures as the project goes along.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Proof of Intelligence

Tiny made marshmallows. "Made 'em?" you ask. "You mean roasted 'em, right?" Wrong. Absolutely, wonderfully, scrumptiously wrong. She made 'em. From scratch.
"How do they taste?" you ask. Oh, have I got the answer for you. Imagine marshmallows are a fruit. You've only ever had the marshmallows from the produce section, the ones they picked before they were ripe so they could be piled in a refrigerated truck and driven 500 miles to a packing plant where they were handled, graded, sorted, and boxed. Then driven again to your grocery store, unpacked, and displayed. Now imagine you're in a marshmallow grove. You reach up to choose a marshmallow that is perfectly ripe, untouched, and fresh as the morning. You bite. That's what they taste like.
Want the recipe? Here's the link. I suggest you memorize it. That way, you can, by reproducing these gems of fluffy joy, prove to the aliens that abduct you that humans should be regarded as a superior intelligence and not destroyed for making films like Superbad. (apologies if you liked Superbad--no, really, if you liked Superbad, I'm soooo sorry. But being able to make marshmallows should make up for that.)
And, oh, yeah, I finished the first Prideful and Prejudiced sock. It fits great. I didn't realize the toe was gonna be green!