Thursday, June 29, 2006

It's not Friday? Are you sure?

Oh, this looks promising: Migraine Ray Gun. Of course they're roughly $500,000 at this point, but that's sure to come down. Undoubtedly it'll lead to somebody asking me if I've tried magnets for my migraines - notice how the man pictured is not only trussed up but is getting an electrical jolt? Magnets alone are not going to do it. Thank you, but go away, Well Meaning Person. And no, Advil won't do it either. Geez. I've given myself injections before the advent of Max-Alt MLT, a melt in your mouth pill. Love Max-Alt MLT. Would I do that if I could clutch a magnet or take an Advil? (Geez, I hope no one would. Eww.)
And because I actually have nothing to say and no pictures to show:

Your Band Name is:

The Pink Geishas

Well that's better. The Bad Mutha Pickles? I don't think so. All I had to do was drop the capitals. What's with the quizzes lately? They're either 147 pages of 25 questions a page or one word. Happy medium, guys. (Uh, I suppose since I have no idea of the work that goes into it, I shouldn't complain. Yeah, right.)

No progress on any knitting. Didn't even pick it up yesterday. In fact, the only thing I did yesterday was manage to bash the heck out of my thumb pulling the hall closet shut. Sure, the thing sticks like crazy while I'm trying to close it but goes like greased lightening once my thumb and the wall were in close proximity. It looks a bit like a blood blister. With any luck, it'll start to look as horrid as it feels and then I'll post a pic.

Read Book #7 Children of the Company by Kage Baker (300 pages) (HB/TBR) Another installment of the company! I think the 5th 6th in the series. It was a good quick entertaining read, but I'd rather have read about Mendoza. She was barely mentioned, other than a tidbit or two. The back story on Lewis was interesting, and having part of the story set in San Francisco at the time of the 1906 earthquake was perfect. I enjoyed the introduction of various characters and their stories and the set up of the characters of the rival factions of the immortals is promising, but what I'd like to read next is the final showdown of the Cyborgs & The Company, aka, Dr. Zeus. Not that I'm ready to be done with them all, but I'm more than ready to find out just what the heck is going on. The one truly annoying aspect of sci fi. Serials are forever.

What? You don't consider that a book review? C'mon. Cyborgs. Dr. Zeus. Rival factions. Okay, okay. The books began telling the story of Mendoza, a young girl taken from the era of the Spanish Inquisition, her mentor, Joseph and her terrible love life. They're in the employ of Dr Zeus, a secret cabal also known as The Company who have discovered time travel, and use it to collect both priceless artifacts & children that fall into certain parameters and can be made into immortal cyborgs to do the scut work. Well, maybe scut work. I personally would love to collect Shakespeare's original works, etc. Well, maybe immortal. It's a given that history can't be changed but there's no information after the year......uh 2355? Some where around there. Whoo hoo! I actually got the date right, if not the series number. CHistory can't be changed, or is it that just recorded history can't be changed? Check here for a less disjointed review.

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Edited to fix all sorts of glaring spelling, grammatical and date errors.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Monday B

Geez, I hope that blocks out. I'm sure it will. Just remind me, I'm a yarn snob for a reason. I'm just better at knitting with natural fibers. I don't know why, but there it is. Why couldn't I be one of those people who knit up something glorious out of anything? Besides, it's basically a learning swatch for the Log Cabins and it's perfectly acceptable for a shelter - washable, long wearing, and evidently a fabulous scratching post. [oh darn! the pic didn't come out. Hez loooooves to claw rugs. I'm trying to get her to claw up the couch I hate but no go.)

So. I sewed up exactly one shoulder seam of The Shell. Worked a bit on the Norwegian Second sock (to the foot gusset!) (I still don't like it much, but I'm blaming that on the Wool-ease). (It's the exact same yarn as the Big Critter Blanket, so I thought I'd get in some knitting in where there was some discernible movement.) Did a few more logs on the Critter Blanket Log Cabin and am inches away from finishing the Big Critter Blanket thanks mostly to spending yesterday in a Quantum Leap marathon viewing. Yay for the Sci Fi channel. Man, I'd forgotten how much I loved that show.

You know what the problem with taking Monday off of work is? Tuesday becomes Monday, only you have less time to do the work in. Bah. I suppose eating two cinnamon rolls for breakfast, after a dinner of popcorn and brownies wasn't the best idea either.

For the Summer Reading Program & Summer Reading Challenge I curled up and finished The Uncrowned Kings of England: The Black History of the Dudley's and the Tudor Throne by Derek Wilson. (HB/TBR, 405 pages).

Very interesting. I hadn't realized that the family name was originally Sutton, or that Robert Dudley's grandfather served her grandfather, Henry the Seventh. After a lifetime of implementing Henry the Seventh's will (basically taking from everyone and giving to Henry as a lower level clerk & tax collector) he was beheaded for his pains after the King's death, more as a show of "out with the old and in with the new" when Henry the Eighth ascended the throne.

John Dudley, his son, also served in the court, but with much more royal favor coming his way. He even managed to keep that favor when Edward ascended since he was named one of Edward's three regents. He was also the father of Guilford Dudley, the spouse of poor Lady Jane Grey, and if Derek Wilson's historical reseach and interpretion is correct, he put his son & Lady Jane on the throne to carry out Edward's wishes (to maintain the new Protestant faith). There was no mention in the book of Jane Grey being beaten into submitting to her parents choice of spouse, as I'd always heard.

In any event, John Dudley's reign as regent or courtier came to an end when Mary became Queen and it was up to his son "Sweet Robin" to carry on the Dudley family tradition which he did as Elizabeth's unofficial co-regent and the closest thing she had to a husband. Elizabeth played havoc with his life.

The book was a fascinating look at the Dudley family and painted them in a very positive light for the most part. Derek Wilson makes the point that the Tudor and the Dudley family had a symbiotic relationship, as ivy to an oak tree, except that the Tudor's were the ivy and the Dudley's the oak and the case he makes for that rings true.

Goats in the last remaing horse stable on what used to be a quiet country road.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Gauge Matters & Other Amazing News

Notice how warped the Log Cabin Critter Blanket is? It turns out that if you vary your tension to see how much the fabric will soften up, it'll change size. Isn't that amazing? It's almost the basis of the whole gauge thing! Who knew? Gah. Evidently I knit at a different gauge sitting at a table reading too.

Other fascinating lessons learned: It's infinitely easier to pick up stitches American style (yarn in my right hand). No matter how simple a stitch pattern, it takes me an eternity to knit anything. If a stitch is really, really, really hard to pick up, it's just possible it's because it isn't necessary to pick up a stitch there. (I kept picking up stitches at the very corners of the Log Cabin. Uh, don't. Another reason for the warping.) Garter stitch is a pain to fix. (I dropped my obligatory stitch at the beginning of a log and couldn't quite squeeze it back in and in pattern. So there's a short row stockinette stitch "fix" running up the back of it.

I'm already planning out the next Log Cabin (addictive comes to mind) - I think out of the leftover primary color baby yarn....... If nothing else, it'll match the auto baby booties that are knit but not sewn up. I'm going to sew up The Shell at some point today too. I'm estimating it'll take me maybe an hour or two to sew it up and pick up and knit on the I-cord edging around the neckline. So I'm off by........2 or 3 hours? 2-10 days? Weeks?

Hezekiah, pretending she wants to come in and bond with me, but really only wants what she didn't eat earlier for breakfast.

The real reason to have a garden. They're the super huge beefsteak tomatos and I have a feeling they're going to take a super huge amount of time to gestate.

You Are The Hermit

You posses a great deal of wisdom and the ability to see people for who they are.

You are always looking ahead at the future, developing visions.

A loner, you tend to travel by yourself through life, seeking your own truth.

You don't crave material things or fancy titles. You have no baggage.

Your fortune:

It's possible that there is a unknown guiding figure in your life, ready to help you.

All you have to do is find this person and seek their advice.

It's also possible that you need to start seeking the meaning of your own life.

Either way, there's some deep thinking you need to undertake, and it needs to be done soon.

The only reason I post that "quiz" is because of the result. I like The Hermit. I think of myself as an Outgoing Hermit. The rest of it? Ha. No baggage? Deep thinking? Argh. Backed up one too many spaces & took out the whole result? Edited to say: Ha. Found it again.

Oh, speaking of deep thinking, The 4400 is on tonight! And The Dead Zone after it. 9 &10pm USA. Of course, Miss Marple is on at 9 & 10pm on PBS and I'm kind of fond of the old lady, even if I prefer Margaret Rutherford's Miss Marple to this one. At least there's knitting going on. The Closer tomorrow night at 9pm on TNT. Having Brenda's mom show up is much more fun than I expected it to be.

Friday, June 23, 2006

So. Guess what my mother is up to in the suburbs?
Yup. Oregano. Really. Just when I thought my mother was going wild in her old age. Wild with herbs. She's dried them for the last few years. It's the fresh basil that I love though.

Pretty puppy, Sophie! These pix are all taken the same night so far. That puppy is such a wiggle worm! And the stupid digital cameras have taken picture taking back to the beginnings. Pose! Hold that Pose! Hold.....Hold....Hold....Keep Holding......FLASH!!! And........ugh. Try again. Wait, the camera has something, who knows what. Hate that delay. Rinse & repeat.

The Red Heart Critter Blanket. Not really a Log Cabin, but I have a ton of that turqoise and not that much black. I was beginning to feel badly for the poor critter that got that blanket - it feels like a welcome mat - until Hezekiah co-opted my knitting on it last night by sleeping on it.

Now I want to make a real log cabin. Check out Monika's latest.

A statue on 4th Street in Berkeley by Spenger's, where I have to say, we had horrible service. A member of our party asked for another roll and after ignoring him initially, the waiter informed him he didn't "have time for that now"and finally came back & explained that if Lonnie got a roll it would cause a chain reaction and we'd all want rolls. Seriously. Of course, he might have been right because at that point I was dying for a 2nd roll, not that I could have eaten one.

Myteriously, Lonnie was also the last to be served. Granted, that's happened in every group banquet I've been too (the late, wrong or missing meal), but the particulars seemed suspicious. Too bad, because Spenger's used to be great. New owners, new day, I guess.

Just a window display on 4th Street that I liked

Nothing much on TV. I've got Off The Map and The Weather Man from Netlix waiting for me on DVD, not to mention season one of CSI NY that I suddenly became obsesed with. More time to finish up The Uncrowned Kings of England and Wuthering Heights. I can't believe Wuthering Heights has come down the years with the reputation of being a love story. What a miserable group of people. I'm going to have to rent the movie once I slog though the book & see if Laurence Olivier lied to me. Excpet that I do know that I read it in High School. Maybe I've always had this jaundiced view of romance. And here I thought it was all those bad marriages.

Letting sleeping cats lie.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Completely Boring Post in Which I Rant About 24 Freaking Hours of Daylight

Well, maybe 16 hours of freaking daylight but still. Way too much sunshine. Especially when I'm tired and want to go to bed and not have to take extraordinary measures to sleep.... (Eyeshades. Check. Blinds drawn. Check. Earplugs. Check.) Not to mention the idiot voice in the back of my head that's warning me I'm burning daylight and I could get so much more done if I just...........

No. Turn it off! What's with the I Must Accomplish Something Dictum, anyway? Why do I care, and what exactly do I want to get done? Other than lounging around reading, knitting and watching TV. Which, come to think of it, is pretty much all I've "accomplished" lately anyway. Sort of. More mindless viewing of E's 25 Hottest Celebrities! or VH1 - The 80's! than anything else. And what turned out to be a soft porn version of Fanny Hill that really bummed me out when Oliver Reed (why I rented it in the first place) appeared a half hour into it talking like Mickey Mouse with an English accent. I can't wait for Off the Map to show up [Netflix], courtesy of a recommendation from KSD. Sam Elliott and J K Simmons?

Look! A puppy! To distract you.

And look! A blocking Shell. And a disdainful Hezekiah, but that's neither here nor there.

Howevah! I have officially cast on Elizabeth I and worked the first.......uh, four rows, but she is now an official WIP.

Continuing to work on the Big Critter Blanket but miles and miles of stockinette stitch in Wool-Ease makes me want to strangle myself with the circ after an inch or two. You can't see how awful the tension is, or the odd yo's and skipped stitches in this pic, but it's the best I could get. Look at the size of the thing! That was evidently the back of ........something. A sweater, I'm guessing [it had arm decreases]. For who, I couldn't guess. Do I know the Jolly Green Giant? Well enough to brave the Boyfriend Curse?

So. To spare myself strangulation, and to cater to my latest obsession of Log Cabin knitting while still being both charitable & productive, the latest WIP is a Log Cabin Square for the Critter Charity drive out of Red Heart turquoise yarn (I have 5 skeins of the stuff) and some unidentified black yarn.

You know what's a truly wonderful thing? Work with Red Heart yarn for awhile and then pick up Elsabeth Lavold's Silky Wool. OMG. It is positively rapturous to knit with.

Not that I care that the former is acrylic or whatever and the lattter isn't - my snobbishness tends to run to 1) Does it itch? It'll be great for the shelter. It'd be great for a new kitchen throw rug too, I keep thinking, except my kitchen runs towards pink and blonde wood and the Red Heart is pretty clearly TURQUOISE. I can't imagine what I was going to make out of it. Five skeins?

Books read for the Summer Reading Challenge & Summer Reading Program, a book I actually had on my list! Wait. I'm not done with The Uncrowned Kings of England. I meant Not A Creature Was Stirring by Jane Haddam (*L) (287 pages) A Gregor Demarkian mystery that Bron recommended awhile back. Pretty good. The murderer was who I thought and for the reasons I figured, but I was never entirely sure and besides, I really wanted the murderer to be the annoying guy. The book is the launch of a retired, widowed Armenian FBI agent who specialized in serial killers and is enticed back into law enforcement by a former protegee to solve the murder in a wealthy businessman's family. Well, Gregor was invited to dinner the night of the murder and......geez. Enough spoilers. It was a nice fast sweet read, particularly after slogging through the End Note King.

*L = Library book. I decided to keep track of whether it's a library book, a book on my TBR shelf or if I just bought it.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Completely Boring Post In Which I Rant About Footnotes

Who on earth decided to put footnotes at the back of a book? (this is an entirely rhetorical rant, btw. I don't like it and therefore it's wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, squared to infinity.)

Not only is it a PITA to flip back and forth but there should also be a separate numbering system for citations and for interesting sidenotes. Do I care that that the information about the aging Henry VIII's stuff came from David Starkey's inventory? (And that must have been a fun job, 500 years later.) Or that the fact cited came from letters & papers from the Spanish Ambassador? (Okay, I care slightly. It's interesting! But not enough to keep flipping back and forth to find out that it's a citation.) The footnotes I like tend to be more informative and or gossipy. And they belong on the bottom of the page.

Loads of footnotes in Robert Hutchinson's The Last Days of Henry VIII: Conpiracies, Treason and Heresy at the Court of the Dying Tyrant. (L) (368 pages according to Amazon, but I'm betting that includes the appendices, index and his "cast of characters".) I found the book interesting but confusing as hell. Either I can't remember who anyone in the court is (and the habit of a family name and a heraldic title could not be more mystifying - how did that happen? The title came with the land?) or Hutchinson hopscotching around in time threw me off. One minute he's writing about Cromwell's beheading and the next he's in a Privy Council meeting.

The chapters address different areas of Henry's final years, so some overlap is to be expected to explain the circumstances of the next subject but combined with the miserable footnotes at the back of the book and not at the bottom of the page (where they belong) it was a hard read. He did have more minutiae that sparked the book up. I'd actually recommend it, particularly if you're fairly familiar with the Tudor Court. Lots of behind the scenes detail.

No knitting news. I wove in some ends on The Shell to block it, but haven't blocked it yet, continue to carry around Elizabeth I but haven't even cast on, still working on the Critter Blanket but 36" by 36" is going to take longer than I thought. Granted, I found the thing when there was already 24 inches done, so it's only a foot and a half of stockinette stitch on size 10's but doesn't that sound like it would go really, really fast? Not really. (But should be done in plenty of time for Basil & Abner's Charity Drive. )

But then again, I woke up with a migraine and spent the afternoon sleeping it off, so I didn't get much done today at all anyway. Great way to spend a Saturday.

Oh, and I cannot find Peaches & Creme yarn anywhere around here. The LYS don't carry it, which I can kind of understand, but Beverly's? Michaels? K-Mart? Do I have to drive to Pittsburg to go to Wal-Mart? I wish I'd realized that when I was in Oakland the other day. Wait, that's a K-Mart. Bah. Oh, and Alameda Co. doesn't have a record of my birth certificate so they had to send off to California State for it. Good thing I started trying to get my passport now for the late Fall. Maybe my dad wasn't lying when he said I was hatched.

To continue the ranting, bah on the wasteland that's summer TV. There's nothing on! A CSI NY rerun tonight that I've already seen. Tomorrow The 4400 is on and The Dead Zone premieres at 10pm, and The Closer on Monday at 9pm that I want to watch if only for J K Simmons. Okay, there are a couple of things on. I should watch the movies I've had from Netlix for ages, I suppose.

A statue at the Orinda Shakespeare Festival theater

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Random Wednesday (because I'm a copycat)

Okay, first things first. A pic of the baby penguin Photo Quilt soon to be on its way to Leti for her June 8th birthday. Think it will get there in time? That post office.

The yarn is Rowan's Wool Cotton in Rich. So pretty. I haven't cast on for Eliz yet, although I am lugging it and its entourage around in my purse and I did find the German Twisted Cast On Stephanie suggested. I think that's what I used on the swatch, oddly enough.

The shell continues to be unblocked and unfinished. The critter blanket is growing slowly. Dad's vest continues to be unfinished even though I should be madly working on it for Father's Day. It was only what? Supposed to be a Christmas present? At least it was only last Christmas. So far.

And I'm so ashamed. After all that nagging about KIP'ing on the KIP Day, I didn't knit so much as a stitch in public. I had a project with me though. (The Moll Shawl. I love that Misti Alpaca yarn and by gum, I'm going to finish that shawl.)

I did finish reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Wells (304 pp). I really liked it. It was an unflinching yet loving look at what was at best neglectful parenting and at worst, downright dangerous, but Jeannette describes her childhood with her brother and sisters and her parents with such cheerful humor that I walked away from the book feeling that she knew her family foibles quite well and loved them anyway while still not excusing them. Argh. Maybe I'll get better at describing books over the summer? With any luck? Or practice? It was a good book.

There's nothing on this week. Nothing! Not even reruns of CSI:NY tonight. The Dead Zone does premiere on Sunday at 10pm after The 4400 at 9pm. The 4400 wasn't as bad as I thought it might be, Isabelle was okay. What'shisname from Deadwood was a complete jerk - slapping her? I guess he wanted to establish authority early and decisively since she can kick his butt with her mind, but still. Not cool. And I was a little bit bummed about Lily.

The oleanders in the back are clearly dwarf ones. Bah. I like the geraniums though. Hardy cheerful little plants.

And because no post is complete without a quiz (I love quizzes)....

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View? (updated)

Huh. The things you learn about yourself. Not religious? What am I doing in church on Sundays? Other than singing off key and surreptiously knitting in the pew.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

My Yarn Came!

Well, not that way. Finally got it in the mail Saturday and I still haven't cast on Eliz I, even though....

....I basically ripped the swatch off the needles so I wouldn't have to look for another pair the same size (or waste time binding off) and then.....I dithered about the cast on I should use. (I'm thinking long-tail). It's here! It's here! I can barely believe it.

At the Live Oak Festival in Berkley yesterday, I picked up this darling baby penguin postcard/picture (yeah, I need a picture of it here) that Sheri Rice made. Oddly enough, her business is called Paper Quilts. I'm pointing out the log cabin looking pictures to my Sheri (My BFF! And Ra & Sophie's Mommy) before I realize the various quilt patterns are not accidental. Yeah, my grasp of the obvious is........well, never mind.

A few long distance shots of the Festival. They had some amazing crafts there. No knitting in public, come to think of it. Not even the woman selling the knitware - not that I did more than finger a few scarves in her booth. There was a weaving loom in the booth next to her. I would love to learn to weave on a loom.

I did manage to finish back and front of the shell, which should be merrily blocking away but instead I seamed the shoulders (a 3 needle bind off looks dumb on garter stitch - is there any way I can just look at a project and just know that without trying it? Any way? Other than experience, I mean. It's sitting there while I debate seaming the whole thing together for the final I-cord edging and figuring out the blocking later, or block it while it's still reasonably flat. Yeah, Critter Blanket tonight during - Whoops! Must go! The 4400 at 9 on USA. (The Closer w/Kyra Sedgewick premieres tomorrow at 9pm on TNT. I can't quite decide whether I like the show or not).

I'll probably be compulsively reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, during it anyway. That girl had one messed up interesting upbringing.

The view from the million dollar houses they've been building in my neck of the woods. Yup, right next to a rock quarry. I was actually trying to get a shot of the full moon but....

Finished reading Dies the Fire by S. M. Stirling (483 pages). It's an apocalyptic tale that follows the fates of a Wiccan and her coven; a lapsed Lutheran pilot and his small plane passengers; the Willamette Valley and Portland area after 6:15 March 15th when something causes all electricity to fail and changes the properties of gunpowder etc.

A sort of a cross between 1066 and Star Date whatever, it was an entertaining, fairly plausible look at what the world turns into when, well, if not the clock - the capabilities turn back in time. The only thing I wish (other than the "love" scenes being rewritten because they were soooo dopey) was that a couple of the characters had shown up at the end. And that somebody knew how to knit and spin and they mentioned it. Crops, swordfighting, horsetraining, cattle, archers, yes. But c'mon, no spinners? No knitters? Phhht.

Friday, June 09, 2006

First off, I hate it when Blogger is down. Even the comments? The horror! The nerve! And my email server went down too. It was awful. I had no choice but to work (and to leave early and go to Border to use my 30% off coupon to soothe my shattered nerves. )

Isnt't this fabulous? It's the Red Dress washcloth from Becky I mentioned earlier, that she gave to me to give to my Mom. Her pic came out so much better than mine too, so go to her site and check it out. It's the May 23rd post. Thank you so much, Becky.

And here's my progress on the shell, almost done! With the front. Then I get to seam it, and knit on I-cord around the neckline and armhole edges. Joy, oh joy. Not to mention it's a twinset, so the jacket still needs to be done. But later. After the critter blanket ( my *U2FO came out looking quite nice in photographs, unlike this damn shell. It's possible that there's an 8 row cable amid the 6 row cables, but it doesn't look that wonky IRL) and after Eliz I.

Tonight! Season finale of Doctor Who and the last ep with Christopher Eccleston.

Sunday: The actual season premiere of The 4400, 9-11pm USA. I was so very annoyed to discover the "new" show last Sunday was a "new" show of clips. Sorry about that, guys.

Kat With A K is hosting a Summer Reading Program, which goes really well with Amanda's Summer Reading Challenge 2006. So far I've read Freddy & Fredericka by Mark Helprin (reviewed in an earlier post). Out of the 553 pages of the book, I read about half of them after the 1st. (Kat's program is tracking the pages. Amanda's isn't).

I'm still reading Jane Hirschfield's essays in her Nine Gates: Entering the World of Poetry. It's just fascinating. I'm trying to read it slowly. One essay dwells on poetry's using music, intellect and image to be truly effective, and the representation of the camel, the lion and the child (to be delved into during a later post).

Mason Dixon Knitting by Kay Gardiner & Ann Meador Shayne (160 pages). I picked this up at Borders yesterday because it's impossible not to have heard of it and discovered that it had Log Cabin knitting! I'm a Log Cabin freak enthusiast. I've got Log Cabin Quilt books, a million log cabin quilt squares littering the craft room , tons of Log Cabin quilt plans (no actual FO's but that's not too unusual for me) so I was practically forced to purchase it. Now unlike Nancie Wiseman's Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques that I also picked up and flipped through, (which will hopefully be invaluable when I pick up and knit on the I-cord) I read, cover to cover, Mason-Dixon Knitting, because as the Knitting World knows, they're both pretty darn funny and so very readable. Lovely patterns, a revolutionary idea of actually using your knitting and not say, displaying it in a museum case (which I've been tempted to do) (or hide it). I'm sure everyone already knows that the patterns are both pretty, practical and easy to read (we'll see if they're idiot proof when I actually attempt to knit one).

And now I must go out and knit washcloths.

Thanks to Heather's contest, I took her prize of a gift certificate to Amazon and applied it towards Symmetries of Culture by Donald W Crowe & Dorothy Washburn, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (I couldn't find it in a used bookstore around here, how weird is that?) and an anthology of poetry by Marina Tsvetaeva. I'm not too fond of this particular translation though.

Baby pictures in the park this morning:

Big ball o' fluffy feathers:

Big ball o' fluffy fur

*U2FO = Un-identified Un-Finished Object

Saturday - Knit In Public Day! Where are you going to knit, and what?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

*Accept Your Probable Mediocrity...

I found..........some knitted item yesterday hidden in a closet. I have no idea what it was supposed to be. A blanket? A sweater? Since it's 36 inches wide, and apparently the back piece, not even Santa Claus, the Jolly Green Giant, for the love of Mike, would ever be able to wear it. So, with some modifications (like fixing some of the most egregious errors - dropped stitches mostly - apparently I've always dropped stitches with wild abandon - nowadays I notice) and a sewn on backing (let's just say that the size 13 needles - plastic, mind you - is not what the yarn calls for), it's going to become a dog bed for Basil & Abner's Critter Charity Drive.

The shell of the twinset continues its slow progress. (Notice how it's become the shell's fault.) Maybe if I hadn't spent the vast majority of the day yesterday laying in the back yard trying to identify the wind whistling through specific trees - the eucaplyptus? the pines? the palms seem to be the only one that don't stand out - but I felt that it was the best use of my time. Also? Fabulous. Now I want to go lay on the beach and listen to the ocean.

The Rowan Wool Cotton continues to Not Arrive. (I did check & its on its way. Yup, the yarn is in the mail. I've heard something like that before. Where? Where?)

Here are a couple more pix from the North Berkeley Solano Ave Chalk & Chocolate Festival last month:

And, just to show off the glads (ignore the geraniums, the cactus; the onions in the foreground) in the back yard - last year I don't think a single one bloomed:

Becky of Moonlight Frogger sent me the Red Dress Washcloth - (pic to come) there's a purled heart over the heart on the dress! for my mother, who loved it. My mother lost both her parents to heart disease in their early 50's and has heart troubles herself. (Sadly, this last statement has sent my whacked out brain into an 80's loop of bad love songs. Someone stop it. Please!)

Oh! If you're in California, make sure you go and vote YES on Prop 81 today. Whether or not you patronize libraries (and why don't you?), they need a fighting chance to survive in this increasingly wired age.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Meet Sophia! Isn't she adorable? Look at that little Alfalfa hairdo she's got going there. This is about the clearest photo of the girl yet (an 11 week old cockapoo) - she is one friendly little whirlwind.

Check out the Vacation Swap package that Amy Artisan sent me! Those stitchmarkers were custom ordered & designed, not to mention the envelope purse Amy knit me (which I put to use for maps etc. in the car as she suggested) , the balls of pink variegated yarn for me to knit up, the notebook, the shortbread cookies (all mysteriously gone by the way), candied cherries, a pink striped pen, Aveen sunblock chapstick - and all this while the girl herself is gone more often than not! A big thanks to Amy for the fabulous Swap Package and a big thank you to Jennifer for putting the swap together.

I don't know if you can click this to make it larger (I'm trying out Adobe Photoshop) but what's in the tree over Sheri's deck is a teensy little hummingbird nest with a teensy little hummingbird sitting in it! I've never seen a hummingbird nest, or for that matter, a hummingbird sit that still for that long in my life.

And last, and least, the progress so far on the twinset shell - the cable looks better, and I'm almost to the arm decrease, but what is TRULY important is that the tomato plants its posing on look healthy and ready to deliver bushels of tomatos. Can't. Wait. We got a single yucko tomato out of 6 plants last year! Clearly we did something wrong. I can eat tomatos as if they're apples. Yum, yum, yum. And tomatos out of the garden are the only way to go. Even Farmer's Market tomatos don't come close.

Tonight: The 4400 returns. I think last season is running on USA today as a mini-marathon until the 10pm Season Premiere tonight.

Dr. Who's season finale is this Friday at 9pm. Yeah, nothing much else is on TV. The stray History/PBS/Discovery Channel show. I did however, finish Freddy & Fredericka by Mark Helprin as my first book in the Summer Reading Challenge. I liked it, it was a quirky fantastical retelling of the Prince Charles and Princess Diana story, if Merlin had sent Prince Charles on a quest w/Princess Diana as his only companion to conquer the colonies (the US) and find his Inner King.

Currently reading Jane Hirshfields essays in Nine Gates, Entering the Mind of Poetry. It's perfect for a summer day like today, to slow down, read and inhabit poetry fragments with her to guide me through them. Not just read closely and mindfully, but also to feel the pulse of the poetry.

Next Saturday, June 10th, is Knit In Public Day. Franklin's Panopticon Shop has T-Shirts with all sorts of cities represented. Not to mention, Dolores.