Archive for August, 2008

28
Aug
08

Wonderwall

Well, we’ve got a little Gallagher running around in here —

IM has lately been saying “I’m going to break this whole [noun]!” Usually it’s “house”, the other day it was “Hobee’s”, but today was the worst: “I’m going to break this whole *watermelon*” and he did!

When is school starting again?

25
Aug
08

Colours

Well, here it is. After 2 days of a lot of driving (and I went back and forth to San Jose on Friday so I’m done driving for awhile!), I have my finished flats from my Machine Knitting to Dye For class! It was so fun – if you are able to get to Northern California (make it a vacation!), I highly recommend Nancy’s class. And even though I wasn’t able to shop, Nancy’s studio is a few blocks from a yarn store, so you can shop too!

We learned about color and how to mix the dyes to make the gradations we were interested in. My first flat (I followed Nancy’s pattern for her Venitas bag, but didn’t make matching flats because I probably won’t end up with a bag – I probably should have done two of the same for more yarn that matches, but oh well, I’ll have to take the class again 😉 ) Here are my swatches and two flats:

flats

The swatches were done to teach three different knitting and dyeing techniques: stripes, tucks and gauge changes (I think) on the knitting machine, and color gradations with one color, two contrasting colors and two matching colors. On my flats I made stripes of black, grey, red, and pink. That turned out better than I expected. The second one was three different reds with a lighter version of each red in between. My only problem was the limited time I had to stay and let the dye set. (BR was watching the kids both days, sick, and not happy with me gone so long.) I came home and microwaved my yarn again many times (don’t tell Nancy 😉 ) as I’ve done with Kool-Ade dyeing but it still had lots of dye running out at the end. I finally gave up and let it dry. I hope I didn’t ruin them, but they at least probably aren’t as dark as they could have been. I’m happy with them, though, and I ran out to Target and bought some supplies for my own yarn dyeing hopefully after the kids go to school next week. I already have the dyes from a Yarn Coop purchase at least a year ago.

Now I have to figure out a nice pattern for each of the two! (Plus the swatches.)

23
Aug
08

The Man Machine

knit

I had a great time at day one of my Machine Knitting to Dye For class!  One classmate actually flew from Massachusetts across the country to take the class!  Today we worked with the knitting machines to create “blanks” for one project.  We got some great knitting machine tips and I dare say I know what I want for Christmas!  Tomorrow we’re going to dye our “blanks” to get ready to make into a different project.  I chose the felted bag, which I probably won’t felt because I’m not a felting fan, but because I’ve got too much sock yarn already.  Speaking of which, these are the socks I finished last week:

socks

It’s not my favorite Regia colorway (kind of weird) and it only took 1 skein of sock yarn so I still have another one, but at least I have a F.O. and am down 1 skein of yarn. Of course this makes up for it, right, my Webs order?

red yarn

5 skeins of City Lights yarn.

new wool

4 skeins of New Wool yarn, including one that Nancy wound into a cone for me. I had hoped to machine knit this too today but I didn’t get a chance.

I’ve also been doing a lot of knitting lately. Once I finished my last socks, I started another pair which saved me during a 1/2 hour wait for an appt. yesterday:

regia

This is the Regia I ordered from Jimmy Beans Wool because I liked the color. Now that I’m knitting with it it seems more rust colored, which I’m not too fond of. But stashbusting is stashbusting, right?

And because we went to the movies this week (the last week of the Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse – “Arthur and the Invisibles” which I only saw the beginning of and didn’t miss much.) I brought out my old project from June which is supposed to be a tank made out of the 5 balls of the Cathay (?) that I have. I’m on my 3rd ball and I don’t think it’ll take all 5.

cathay

All I need to do is the top part and I’m done. Wow, I really am on fire this summer, aren’t I?

20
Aug
08

Kill Your Television

Well, it had to happen.  The summer “filler” season on TV is almost over and it’s almost time to go to the “real” programming in the Fall.  Well, I had a great summer of fun shows, found a lot more I liked, and then I read the Fall programming list.  I was very, very disappointed.  The only shows I am looking forward to are (in order): Dexter, The Shield, The Office, Life, ER, House, Numb3rs.  Pitiful.

This summer I got some great TV watching in, as well as way too many movies.  We have HBO, Showtime, and I just discovered we have Encore somehow, so I’ve been taping movies with abandon.  This summer I watched:

Breaking Bad: I’ve only finished the first episode, but I’ve got a couple waiting for me on my TiVo and I can’t wait. What an interesting idea for a show: a high school chemistry teacher learns he’s dying fast and decides to mix Crystal Meth to be able to support his son after he’s gone.

Burn Notice:  I didn’t really watch this last year, but I’m definitely hooked now.  I can’t believe Gabrielle Anwar is the same girl from “The Secret of My Success” with Michael J. Fox in the 1980s.  She looks all “Hollywood-ed” out now: buff and sickly thin.  But a great character, nonetheless.

The Closer: I’m still into Brenda and Fritz and their sometimes helping each other solve crimes.  It’s a fun show, not only because the Captain from “Police Academy” is in it.

In Plain Sight: I love this show.  The last two episodes were so interesting.  It’s a show about a female U.S. Marshall for the Witness Protection program.  I’m not a huge fan of the actor who played the FBI agent (who was also Courteney Cox’s brother on “Dirt”) but he does have a point – how can someone with such a felonous family get into the Marshall program anyway?  The sister and mom are frustrating – how can two people be so self-absorbed, why would Brandi, who is very attractive be with Chuck, who is not, anyway?  And I do not want her to end up with Mary’s boyfriend, Raph.  Next year is too far away!

Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List:  Good season, but I was annoyed by the recent announcement that Kathy’s assistant Jessica just quit.  I don’t find her compelling, and this show made her – so now all of a sudden she’s too good to work for Kathy?  The few episodes with Kathy’s former “boyfriend” Steve Wozniak were also interesting.

Law and Order: Criminal Intent:  Well, I’m done.  After Alicia Witt and her overacting last year, the lame partner coming back this year and Chris Noth being replaced by Jeff Goldblum?  Move along…nothing to see here.  And I’m done with Law and Order too – I don’t like Anthony Anderson as an actor and I think he was the worst replacement for Ed Green (and a really, really stupid way to write the character off as well).  I guess my disinterest with Law and Order was a long time coming, but it’s here.

My Boys:  This season was nowhere near as good as last season.  Andy having an affair with his “work wife” and while his wife was pregnant, Stephanie being more of a main character and writing a best-seller, Bobby coming to Italy with P.J. and not knowing she wanted it to be romantic, then having some hot and heavy relationship that lead to an engagement, yet we never saw the two together, THEN P.J. organizes his wedding (isn’t it usually the bride’s role?)  and finally he almost decides to be with P.J. but sees her with his brother?  Lame.

Saving Grace:  To be honest, I’ve only seen one episode of this show so far, but I enjoyed it well enough, plus “Lem” from The Shield is a main character, so I’m all for it.  Holly Hunter scares me more than Gabrielle Anwar, though – seriously, lay off the steroids and don’t pump up quite so much. It’s gross.

How did this end up being the “filler” season, when there are so many good shows, many of them better than their Fall counterparts?

And while I was watching TV I was knitting! Believe it or not I finished a pair of socks this week, and just cast on for another.  I also just recieved my Webs order and you’ll be happy to hear that even after they cancelled two of the yarns because they were out of them, I’m going to return at least 3 sets because they weren’t what I expected.  It’s hard to send them back because they’re all under $2.50 per skein, but I just don’t have any use for them.  Pictures to follow, my camera is AWOL this week.

P.S.  In case I don’t get back until Monday, up this weekend is a very exciting class! I’ll report more then!

17
Aug
08

My Year in Lists

I saw this over at Minky’s blog and decided it had to be a new Meme!  So here’s my list … anyone else want to join?  Consider yourself tagged…

California

ArtFibers, San Francisco

Article Pract, Oakland

Atelier, San Francisco

Ball & Skein, Cambria

Bella Yarns, Sonoma

CommuKnity, San Jose

Cottage Yarns, South San Francisco

Creative Hands, Belmont

Fengari, Half Moon Bay

Full Thread Ahead, Los Altos

The Golden Fleece, Santa Cruz

Imagiknit, San Francisco

La Knitterie Parisienne, Studio City

Knitter’s Studio, Menlo Park

Knitting Arts, Saratoga

Knitting Basket, Oakland

Knitting By the Sea, Carmel

Knitting Room, San Jose

Muse Yarns & Arts, St. Helena

Nine Rubies Knitting, San Mateo

Rug and Yarn Hut, Campbell

Stash, Berkeley

Uncommon Threads, Los Altos

Vanessa’s Needlepoint and Knitting, San Mateo

Yarn, Paper Scissors, Burlingame

Yarns on First, Napa

Maryland

All About Yarn, Columbia

Eleganza, Frederick

Fiberworks, Ashton

A Good Yarn, Baltimore

Knit + Stitch=Bliss, Bethesda

Woolwinders, Rockville

New York

The Point, NYC

Oregon

Abundant Yarn, Portland

Knit Knot Studio, Portland

Knit/Purl, Portland

Lint, Portland

Twisted, Portland

Yarn Garden, Portland

Virginia

Knit Happens, Alexandria

Washington

So Much Yarn, Seattle

11
Aug
08

I Buy the Drugs

So, how much have you spent at one time at Jo-Ann or Michael’s?  My new record is $62.  Honestly, I don’t know how it added up to that much, but I got quite a haul.  They were having a sale on Moda Dea Cartwheel which is 100% wool, and a nice grey color, so I bought the lot:

Recently I’ve started two curtain projects – I need curtains for my kitchen and bathroom (which will end up being 4 total, I think).  Whenever I get a Michael’s coupon I buy Bernat Cottontots, my favorite cotton yarn.  Here’s curtain number one, for the bathroom, so far:

So while I was at Jo-Ann I noticed they were having a big sale on Sugar and Cream, which I usually hate to knit with, but DL is addicted to camoflauge and Army- or military themes (I never thought I’d be happy he has epilepsy but it should keep him from enlisting/being drafted when he’s old enough and since I have 3 boys I think about that a lot.) and I found this Sugar and Cream I think he’ll like being made into new curtains for his room:

And just to satisfy those yarn-elitists out there, you know knitting at a LYS is a bad idea, right? Well last month Yarn, Paper, Scissors was having a sale on cotton yarn, so I picked up this really interesting looking Tahki Jeans:

and some gorgeous green Blue Sky Alpaca Dyed Cotton:

And now I feel guilty, because I had been so good stashbusting lately! I mailed my friend 14 hats total, and I have one more to decide what to do with. Here’s one of my Sideways Hat masterpieces:

And a great hat from Knit Hats! (I think?!) which again ended up being WAY too big for a baby under 1, right?:

You have to tack the picot edge over at the end, but it is pretty, and such a good use of many, many taupe, ecru, tan, whatever yarn leftovers.

P.S.  Don’t tell the Yarn Police – I also made a huge Webs order this week – shhhhh….

P.P.S.  The good news is that so far I’ve received 2 emails from Webs that some of the yarn I ordered is out of stock, so my order gets smaller every day …

07
Aug
08

Been Caught Stealing

I read this on Boing Boing and thought it was so interesting! My favorite is #8 with the “air quotes”!  Oh how I wish I was knitting while reading this, but I’m busy working.

Stealing things according to the “If value, then right” theory

By Cory Doctorow on Funny

Siva Vaidhyanathan’s book The Anarchist in the Library identifies a theory implicit in much of the copyright wars called, “If value, then right.” It holds that if something has some value, then the person who made it has a right to be compensated for using that value.

For example, your DVDs have value as discs you put in a player, which you pay for when you buy them at a store. But when you rip the disc and put it on a portable player, then you realize some new value. According to “if value, then right,” the studio that made the DVD has the right to be compensated for that new value. Otherwise, you’re stealing.

Exploring this idea, David “Everything is Miscellaneous” Weinberger has compiled a list of “20 things I’ve stolen” according to the “If value, then right” theory.

1. I took an extra napkin from a Taco Bell for unspecified use “later.”
2. I sat on a bench on a hot day, enjoying the breeze as the man next to me fanned himself.
3. I read the headlines of a newspaper that was for sale in a kiosk box.
4. I divided a single-serving DingDong in two, and had it for dessert on two consecutive days.
5. I listened all the way through to a Metallica song emanating from my neighbor’s radio, but closed my window when the commercial came on.
6. I remembered the movie times in my newspaper from the day before so I wouldn’t have to buy a copy of the paper today.
7. When a friend’s cat chose my lap to sit in, I petted it, precisely to discourage it from moving to the lap of its rightful owner.
8. I said “What a long, strange trip it’s been” without air quotes.
9. On the Amtrak “quiet car,” I listened to a man in the seat ahead of me explaining to the bored woman next to him how he gets such a great shine on his shoes. I have since used his technique, successfully.
10. I have stared carefully at reproductions of great paintings.




Elspeth

is a knitter, librarian and pop culture enthusiast in the San Francisco Peninsula. Email me at emmckee@rocketmail

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