Friday, June 30, 2006

Cutting room floor

I did it! I submitted my first pattern to knitty! I feel proud of myself and at the same time embarrassed that I am publicly admitting that I actually think I could actually have a pattern published there. I'm not good enough. O mine ego, you are a complicated beast.

Now I can't yet share exactly what it's all about in case it does get picked (one must hope, mustn't one?) but here is a sneak peek at one of the MANY mistakes I made while writing the pattern. I've shared other mistakes here and here. I clearly have no shame. Please note that the completed project is not simply a cute washcloth, okay? That said, I thought a cabled washcloth would be cute. I am talking about a washcloth that needs to be blocked. Here it is, being blocked now. I ask you, what use is a washcloth that needs to be blocked? Nevermind the unpleasantness of working cables into cotton yarn. I'm not even going to mention that.

Obviously, It didn't make the cut. Anyone want THAT pattern!?

Le Spin de Tour

NOTE: EDITED, UPDATED AND ONGOING! - for 2007 Tour de Fleece - click HERE.

The Tour de France is coming! It begins on Saturday, July 1st and I've been trying to find a way to participate. I considered knitting cycling themed items. (I am still waiting to come up with one of those) And then it hit me: They spin, we spin. Thus begins...The first annual Tour de Fleece! Let's all spin along!

Post your progress in the comments here. Feel free to link to photos or your blog if you have one. We now have a Flickr pool here. Show off your homespun in the pool! Be sure to check out the Craftster board as well. Here is the Craftster board for completed objects. Yes, there are 2 boards on Craftster.

Guidelines (NOT RULES):
1. Spin every day the Tour rides. Saturday July 1st through Sunday July 23rd. Days of rest: Monday, July 10th, Monday July 17th. (Just like the actual tour)
2. Spin something challenging on Tuesday July 18th (Gap to L'Alpe DE d'HUEZ)
3. Take a button if you want one. Then we can use the button on our blogs in show of solidarity. Link button to:
4. Wear yellow on Sunday July 23rd to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful?
5. Other colors if desired: Green (sprinter - think FAST), Polka-dot (climber - as in uphill), and white (rookie)
6. In the event I am the ONLY person doing this, no public mocking. Even Lance had to start somewhere.

Known participants:
star (aka knitwit) (aka ME)
ewe spinster
Soprano Spinner

Trying not to think about the Tour de France fiasco

This is what I do when I'm trying not to think about devastating news, like what is happening to the Tour. I try to find something positive. And then something positive happened! I got good news from UPS today when my scale finally showed up! I've been waiting for it so I can start selling my homespun yarn and hand dyed fiber.

I offered the driver, Joe, some water. (You can see it tucked in his arm) He was so happy he let me take his photo. It is scorching hot out there and his truck doesn't seem to have a door.

The day was starting to turn around... And then I discovered the part where it says "Battery not included." RATS!

No, no, no. This can't be happening! - OLY/TDF2006 - Contenders Ullrich, Basso barred from Tour de France

STRASBOURG, France -- The Tour de France was stripped of three of its biggest names on Friday after Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso and Francisco Mancebo were named in a doping investigation in Spain. Obviously Lance Armstrong won the Tour last year. But Basso finished second, Ullrich was third and Mancebo fourth, making them all frontrunners to win the Tour this year.

My whole world is crashing at my feet. I feel like I've been punched in the stomach. I can't even editorialize yet. Just take in the news and try to process it.

The Tour starts TOMORROW people!

Fiber Friday 6/30


Not a lot of spinning this week because of other knitting deadlines and the vague fear of fiber getting into my post Lasik eyes as previously mentioned. (I also previously mentioned that I knew this was a crazy thought.) That said, this is a two-ply worsted to bulky weight measuring 132 yards! This is more of that soft blend that I spun first, then dyed the yarn. I tried for a summer peach kind of thing with the dyes. I used Buttercup Yellow, Copper, and a little Strawberry Kool-aid. I also added a small amount of Juniper green to the whole mess to tone down the brightness that Kool-aid brings to the mix. Overall I like the results and I'm sure I'll be doing a lot more of this kind of thing during the Spin de Tour.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

How does she do it?

I got this amazing package today - three more pounds of merino, targhee and ramboulet blend. It SO soft and I've talked about it before. It's from Lucky Llama Lover. I'll need this for the spin-a-long. But now to the point. How on earth did she cram three pounds into that flat rate box? It practically exploded when I opened it!

Almost there

Today is really the last day to finish up the secret knitting project (it won't be secret for long, seriously) because the spin-a-long starts on Saturday. That plus the deadline for submission is tomorrow (the REAL reason I have to finish today). I have been making all kinds of glorious errors knitting this stuff. The project involves lettering, which I keep doing upside down. I have made this mistake three times now. THREE times. I should be able to spend part of the afternoon taking pictures of all this knitting in the sun. The hot, humid, miserable sun.

I haven't been spinning much this week because of the upcoming spinning overload I'm sure to endure. That plus I am paranoid about getting little wisps of fiber in my post-surgery eyes. I know that sounds crazy. Perhaps we haven't met.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The great spin-a-long starts Saturday!

Le Spin de Tour is official. It's going to happen. I found some friends on the Craftster spinning board to play along! The vote is in and we're going to use the yellow button. Now I just need to figure out what it is for and where it goes...Just kidding.

In the meantime, I must frantically finish the secret knitting project by Friday and I'm now wondering when I'm going to sleep. The real athletes have lengthy massages in their legs after each race. I just have eye drops and chocolate.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Astonishing eating and buying MORE yarn

Yesterday I got to eat brunch at the Sagebrush Cantina in Calabasas. We sort of had a contest who could put together the strangest plate of food and then eat it. I had pizza, enchiladas and chocolate covered strawberries at the same time. Others were far worse. There was the waffles-oysters-orange juice and the bacon-crablegs-watermelon vodka combos. There was a hotdog in there somewhere too. How unfortunate!

It was quite hot out there and we sat outside in the thick of it. At some point these misters came on which turned out to make everything much, much worse. There was intense humidity all around and leaky drippy bits that would drop a pint-sized stream onto your head randomly. There was condensation on my purse. All our faces were glistening with sweat and my hair was two stories high. This enhanced the astonishing eating contest significantly. That plus me putting eye drops in my post-Lasik healing eyes every 15 minutes.

The best part of yesterday by far was asking 2 non-knitting guys to swing by the LYS (local yarn store) on the way home so I can get more yarn to finish the secret project. How often do I get to the valley? I couldn't pass it up. I didn't have the guts to ask them to stop at a second yarn shop to buy those LED needles. Sigh.

SIDENOTE: There should be a word for something you think is going to be fantastic which turns out to be a disaster. (Misters on a hot day)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

How to knit when it's hot out

I have been hard at work on a secret pattern which is a lot of fun to do and I can't wait to share it with anyone who will listen. This will happen sometime after July 1st, probably here. The best part is that I am knitting with 100% cotton yarn. This time of year I can't bear anything wooly, warm, fuzzy and snuggly. I always get into cotton (or silk, or bamboo!) and wonder why I am not knitting with it all year round.

And then on that first crisp day in autumn when you get a sweater out from the bottom of your closet and walk outside along the leaves and take in that sensation that someone somewhere has a fire going you want to knit wool like your life depends on it. Cotton suddenly feels dead in your fingers, lifeless and cold. The bright colors are garish and embarrassing. Bring on the tweeds, browns, greys, pumpkins, garnets, and all the fall colors in the spectrum. Put that gross, cheap cotton away forever. Or as it happens, until that first hot day in spring.

And then when it's hot outside and you can't get enough cold tea to endure a walk except in the wee small hours, you feel like knitting something clean, cool and lightweight. Something fun and cheerful and bright. And while I can be a total yarn snob, I find myself returning to Sugar n' Cream, Lion cotton, and Peaches and creme every June. I make small projects that stay off the lap and they are usually useful household things, like mesh bags, dishcloths, placemats and rugs. And I wonder why I am not knitting with it all year round.

It's too hot to eat

Knit Maki
Originally uploaded by Automatt.

...but this looks about right. Look closer. All of this lovely sushi is knitted. I like the idea of knitting that stays off the lap on a hot day. Thanks to flickr and the creative commons license I am able to share a photo from a guy I don't even know. Actually he has tons on really great photos. Thanks Automatt!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

What is a cat nutritionist?

I am ripping this off from Craigslist but I feel compelled to share it with you. It's an ad for a room for rent. Please note I DID NOT WRITE THIS:

(Begin ad)
I am a cat nutritionist offering a room in an apartment with a GREAT location (73rd and 3rd) for a very cheap price. $400/month for june, july, august. I am an extreme cat lover and have a total of 17 cats in a small apartment. I am not going to lie, you must be an extreme cat lover if you want to rent this place for the summer.

The room I am offering up for rent is a room for my cats. I am not going to lie, there is cat litter and droppings all over the room as I have not cleaned it since the middle of January. There is a twin bed on it which about 5 cats sleep in. You are welcome to share it with them, but you must NOT disturb them, as it is their place before yours. You are welcome to clean up some of the droppings, but you must leave most of the cat litter in place in the room, as there will not be much more room in the house for the cats to do their business otherwise. I am not going to lie, sometimes I wake up and have cat litter all over my body, but studies show that it is extremely sterile and will not cause you any sickness if you bathe daily and keep clean.

If interested, please send me an email explaining your situation, and writing a short blurb (essay, history, poem, whatever) about your love of cats. I reserve the right to revoke your room (with a refund) at any time if I feel that my cats are more depressed or are not enjoying your company.
(End ad)

At least she doesn't "lie."

I want these needles so very much

Edith Eig Has a large celebrity clientele who shop at her store La Knitterie Parisienne in Los Angeles. Actually the store is in the valley and I am wondering if it's possible to get there and back anytime in between now and when it cools off in November. Now we are already in the dog days of summer and the valley is like a large lake of fire just north of LA. If you watched Entourage last week you'll understand.

Anyway, the story of the Knit Lite™ needles is this: Monica Dremann, the wife of Michael Rosenberg (President of Imagine Entertainment) was talking to Edith Eig about how hard it is to knit in the movie theater once the lights go down. Perhaps only a knitter will understand this, but it is indeed a HUGE problem.

Edith mentioned this problem to her husband, Merrill (a retired engineer) and he developed a needle with glowing L.E.D. tips. Clover has picked up the distribution and I am only now hearing about this! I suppose I have to pack the car with water and make the trek!

The facts:
The Knit Lite™ needles are distributed by Clover Needlecraft, Inc.
Available NOW at La Knitterie Parisienne,
and this summer at knitting and craft stores nationwide.

Friday, June 23, 2006

76 Days until the LA County Fair

I know a lot more about fiber this year than I did last year so I am especially looking forward to seeing all the animals. They usually have a giant hall where people show off their quilts and knit and crochet items. I think there's even some homespun on display but I don't see anything about any of this on the website yet. I suppose with 76 days to go I have plenty of time to update this thread. If there's a way to submit homespun to be displayed I will try my hardest to figure out how to do that.

This fair is where I had my first (and last) deep fried twinkie. It's HUGE! (The fair, not the twinkie) I was lonesome for this kind of thing since I used to enjoy the Puyallup fair so very much. That's where they had this famous hypnotist who used to make people dance like Michael Jackson and then before he had them wake up he would plant subliminal messages of self confidence into them. It was entertaining and touching at the same time.

Fiber Friday 6/23

I was able to get some spinning and dying done this week before the eye surgery and here is some homespun. It's a blend of merino, targhee and ramboulet and is really soft. These are both small skeins because I was experimenting with coils. This top one I was calling Frankenstein wanders among the fall leaves when it was in roving form. I don't know what to call it now!

Frankenstein's friend here was spun white and plied with some coils. I then dyed the yarn after. I think I like dying roving better these days. They look like friends to me, just sitting there on the fence together. I guess I'll call it boo-berry. Is it too early to be thinking about halloween? I think both yarns belong in the same project since they were spun in the same manner and are about the same thickness. I have some time to contemplate this because until July 1st I am single-minded about knitting the top-secret project.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Lasik was a success!

Here are other places to go while I recover:



Where to eat in Southern California

I have more and better links but looking at the computer screen feels like staring into the sun.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My glasses, R.I.P.

I never thought I'd say this but I think I might miss wearing glasses a little. I've had them since I was 16. Well not these very glasses. But still. Goodbye contacts. Goodbye glasses. I'm going to get Lasik today. Maybe I can convince Alex we have time to swing by Joann's to pick up more yarn on the way? Eye surgery or not, I'm still under deadline.

PS - notice my unusual toothpaste? It's flavored with green tea.

Further adventures in pattern writing

I got through the first part late last night! So far so good. I cast on for the second part and knit a while before going to bed and guess what? I MADE THE SAME MISTAKE. I forgot to cast on extra stitches for the border again. You think the making that mistake once was terrible enough I would never do it again, much less immediately again.

Also, I have a new pain in the area just below the thumb. That's not going to be a problem is it? I'm not going to tell anyone about it; I have a lot of knitting to do.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Adventures in pattern writing

I'm writing some new patterns today and I feel compelled to share the dirty truth about what has happened thus far.

1. This morning I came up with a "brilliant" idea, and needed specific yarn for it. I thought I would be clever and go to a different store than I usually go to. There I was met with terrible choices and funny colors in the ONE kind of yarn I needed. There wasn't enough to finish this project. I bought it anyway.

2. Cast on! This is going to be great. I'll start with a different cast on method than what I usually use so the finished piece with have more stretch.

3. After knitting a while, I see the cast on edge is lumpy and scrappy. I hate it and pull the whole thing out to start over. No biggie. This is part of designing.

4. I go back to the trusty long-tail cast on and knit one row. Now I'm getting there. I do the first two edge stitches in garter and start the lace pattern. I get to the end of the row and I am two stitches short. I realize I have cast on two extra stitches for the garter border instead of two extra stitches on BOTH sides. I pull it out and start over.

5. I finally cast on the right number of stitches. I knit the two repeat sections of lace (18 rows). Knit the center panel (24 rows). I take a good look at my progress. Hmmm, there's something off here. It's the gauge. It's not going to be tight enough for the duplicate stitches. What size needles am I using anyway? 8? That's weird. I'm supposed to be using 7's.

6. Pull the whole thing out. Do I have it in me to start over again? Did I mention I'm trying to get it done in time to submit it for consideration for the fall knitty? The deadline is in 10 days. And I have eye surgery tomorrow.

Dyed in the wool

Remember the pound of undyed mill end roving (unknown wool but not superwash) in a natural color? Here is a "before" picture to jog the memory. I dyed almost half of it and here are some of the results below!

Top to bottom: tropical punch kool-aid, orange kool-aid, lemonade kool-aid, juniper green wilton's icing gel, delphinium blue wilton's icing gel. The green and blue are by far my favorite. I love the effect when the dyes split and you get a depth of color. I like wilton's better than kool-aid for dying. Now I'm wondering what they look like spun up...

Monday, June 19, 2006

What I'm knitting now

You know when you go to Costco for just one thing like a case of water and you end up spending $100 on who knows what? Imagine my surprise when I saw a new and fantastic book about knitting and blogging there among the atlas' and Thomas the Tank Treasuries.

The project? Ballband dishcloths! Perfect for a hot day since they're made out of cotton. Plus, they're a small project so they won't heat up your lap. Also, these will be a good post-Lasik project since the pattern is easy. I'm a new convert to Mason Dixon Knitting but I sure am glad I saw the light.

Bazaar Bizarre!

The Bazaar Bizarre is coming. This is very premature of me to post this because the actual event is in December but it's also very timely because I am (hopefully) going to participate this year! The applications are due really soon so that is my job today (then wait for acceptance). My other job today is to take enough pictures so that I can post after my eye surgery as easily as possible. At the bazaar I plan to sell original hand-dyed roving, one-of-a-kind homespun yarn, felted art, cute stitchmarkers, handmade knitting supplies, crafty tee-shirts, fun how-to felting kits and more.

Last year it was a madhouse. There was a line around the block and so many fantastic crafty businesses.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Cliff's mom's chocolate chip cookie recipe

1 pound butter
3 cups brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1.5 tsp salt
3.5 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1.5 cups chocolate chips (The good kind)
Preheat oven to 375*
Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar together. Add vanilla and eggs. In a different bowl mix together dry ingredients and add to the wet mix. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop 2 to 3 TBS sized lumps onto either double aluminum baking sheet or regular baking sheet with parchment paper. (I use paper) Bake 9 minutes or so. NOTE: These have a lot of butter in them so they spread out a lot. Don't put them too close together on the sheet.

There are a lot of good chocolate chip cookies in the world and these are my favorite to bake. And these are the ones that Cliff grew up on, so it's nice all around.

Dying more roving today!

This picture is of a pound of undyed mill end roving (unknown wool but not superwash) in a natural color. The dye has a nice subdued effect over natural wool - pic to come this week! I am enjoying the results so far and will start selling hand painted roving soon. I am trying to get comfortable with the idea of selling my homespun and hand dyed.

I need to dye in the first hours of morning because my microwave shares an outlet with my air conditioner and I can only use one at a time...Oh the injustice. I really want to try the method where you mix everything up and put the dyepot in the trunk of your car and park it in the sun for a couple of hours. Solar dying. An eco-friendly choice? I'm not being lazy, I'm saving the planet.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Fleur De Lys Part 2

WARNING: The tone shifts in this posting! When I wrote about the necklace there was something else I wanted to say but I stopped myself because I felt it was inappropriate. The fleur de lys is also a tattoo my old pal Cliff had on his calf. And when I see the symbol I think of him.

This is Cliff's story. This is not his whole story and this is not the only telling of it. The only tangible object that I know of that exists in which he is remembered by is a brass plaque up in the studio of the radio station where we used to work together in San Francisco. It reads, “Cliff (last name), 1968-1993.” There is no grave or marker, but I'll get to that in a minute.

Cliff was 25 years old when he passed. I was close to him when I first started college during 1989, 1990 or so. He had a serious addiction to cocaine during the era I hung with him but a lot of us friends ignored it/downplayed it/denied it. I heard he was using heroin after he moved to Los Angeles in ’91, but this news hit my detached being like something insignificant. It was bad but I became quickly distracted. What could I do? We had a falling out previously and lost touch. I had decided to start making healthier choices. I couldn'’t keep up with his all-nighters and self-loathing. I moved to Olympia, Washington to live in a house, to garden, knit, and shop at the co-op. He moved to Los Angeles to party and have anonymous sex.

One damp morning in 1993 I got the call in my little wonderland of Washington State. Did I hear already about Cliff? He overdosed...but only his mother thinks it was an accident. The rest of us know it wasn't. I returned to San Francisco immediately for his service and was haunted by his memory everywhere I went. There was the corner where a tampon fell out of my purse and he picked it up and handed it to me saying "oops," and I wanted to die. We took that bus there to Chinatown for trinkets to give out on Christmas.

His service was at the beach. We gathered around a pre-determined spot in a circle and held hands and told stories. Some of the stories were about what a difficult person he could be and how much we were going to miss the bastard. Cliff had a lot of friends. In the center of the circle was a Pillsbury Doughboy cookie jar I tried not to look at and prayed was not what I thought it was. This was his box, and he was inside it.

Cliff’s mom told a story last. I wanted to meet her since I tasted her chocolate chip cookies some years back. She sent Cliff a care package and the cookies were so good I made him call her so I could get the recipe that I still use to this day. That memorial weekend she had just gotten a replica tattoo of one Cliff had so she could feel closer to him. Cliff'’s was a jagged fleur de lys that took up his whole calf and his mom’s was smaller and more feminine. Should I tell her he got that tattoo while drunk, stoned and on ecstasy? That he had the hots for the tattoo artist with the perineum piercing? After she spoke we all stumbled to the shiny jar like zombies and grabbed handfuls of ash and bone that used to be Cliff and took them to the sea. This was illegal and we knew it and we did it anyway. I walked into the icy waves in my shoes and socks and pants like everyone else because how could we care while being so numb with loss. As I dropped my handfuls in, the water flooded back in the wrong direction. “Go back!” I heard someone yell. It was happening to all of us.

I still can’t wrap my brain around how his life became a story because of how it ended. He was gay. Even his cat was gay. His whole building was like that. There was no question of this fact yet he never accepted it. He was angry at how sexuality got doled out. He wanted to be straight, as if he would have fitted in then. As if the mainstream culture wouldn'’t have found another way to alienate his sensitive soul. His being overwhelmed with his identity evolved into his being overwhelmed with addiction. And we couldn'’t stop that either. He had to make his own choices. Some of his friends were angry at how clueless his mom was. She is the only person who didn’t know he was gay. I wonder if now, 13 years later, she's not too overwhelmed by the meaninglessness of her son’s tragically premature passing to accept that he was gay. It has been said that None of us are free until we are all free.

It's the 25th anniversary of AIDS by the way. It's been underreported. Read this article to learn about it.

The comedy of spell check

It's like madlibs! It's like a new cockney blog talk that we can use to tell secrets in code. Here is what I write. (What Blogger's spell check suggests)

Blog. (Bloc)
Blogger. (blocker)
Lasik. (Lashes)
Frankenstein. (frankincense)
soysilk (socialize)
superwash (superego)
Fleur de lys (fleer de lays)
kool aid (kola aid)
Wilton's dyes (wilting dyes)
pic (pig) - my fave. (five) I take pigs all the time.

Blogger's spell check doesn't recognize "blogger!" Ha ha ha ha ha.

Ps (psi) - wish me luck on my upcoming lashes surgery.

Frankenstein wanders among the fall leaves

Sneak peek time! Remember the roving I dyed this week? I spun it and plied it! It's got mad coils and it's somewhere in between fingering and sport weight. The colors are crazy. Lots of rusty orange and bits of alien-like green. It was unintentional and I sort of love it and hate it at the same time. I know you can't see much in this pic but that's why it's called a sneak peek! I'll show it off next week.

Speaking of next week, I'm preparing for Lasik eye surgery on Wednesday. I may not write much after it for a short while. When we get closer I'll post links to other blogs to check out. Maybe NOT the ones you already check out all the time either!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Fleur De Lys

This artist makes fantastic ceramic jewelry. I bought this necklace at the Los Feliz village street fair. She is also a painter and a talented one at that!

(Paraphrasing from Wikipedia:) ...The fleur-de-lys is an unofficial symbol of France (along with the bees and the Napoleonic eagle). It is also a popular symbol of New Orleans art and architecture, as well as being on the city's official flag... What's that about the bees and the Napoleonic eagle? I may not know what I'm talking about anymore. Better stop writing.

Fiber Friday 6/16

I love fiber friday. I get to see what everybody else is working on this week and share mine too. I love how different the yarns are that people make and I get ideas about texture and color. I love how brand new spinners take part along with experienced spinners and that all of our yarn is equally appreciated. Spinners are a funny group. We look at pictures of yarn like it's porn.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sneak peek

Tomorrow is fiber friday. Here is what I will be showing: This one is an 84 yard bulky weight double ply homespun. It is made up of mill ends/unknown/grab bag fiber I got here. This is a GREAT secret source for inexpensive fiber!

The bright one is an 88-yard really soft blend I bought off eBay from this seller. I dyed it with kool-aid and Wilton's gel dyes. I spun it thin-thick and it's a single. I want to improve my single balancing, if that makes sense. I think there must be a joke in there somewhere concerning unbalanced singles but it's too hot out for me to think of what it is.

My first merchandise?

I opened a cafepress store! I know it's barely begun but it will grow. And look out because I am opening an etsy shop too!

What is Etsy? It's your "place to buy and sell all things handmade". Next time you need a gift, go there first. Trust me. You'll find fantastic crafty goodness of all sorts. You can browse by description of course, but you can also browse by color! Imagine item after item where the only thing they have in common is that they are all orange? (Or your favorite color of the day) A good way to start is to browse recent items listed. Also, there are a LOT of fiber artists there selling their homespun. Cool!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

And you thought your apartment was small?

Alex poached this from the NY Times and shared it with me. Now I share it with you.

It's the page of a photographer named Michael Wolf who took pictures of residents in their 10' X 10' apartments. I'm telling you, if you think your place is small, try living in a 10-foot box. How would you decorate it? Where would you put the treadmill? WHERE WOULD YOU PUT YOUR SPINNING WHEEL AND YARN/FIBER STASH? (I don't see any of this stuff in the pictures, do you? Actually, the guy in #14 has a sewing machine.)

Highlights: Everyone has a bunk bed, a TV and a fan. Where they go from there... It appears the more cluttered the space, the more they look like a lifetime of despair has conspired against them. (I was going to say the more they look like they want to blow their brains out but I think that's just an awful thing to say, so I didn't say it.) The couple in #25 turned their space into TWO rooms! They must really hate eachother. #36 should be ashamed of herself. And if you ever find yourself caught in #27, hopefully he's the type that just kills his victims quickly,instead of draining your blood drop by drop first.

BOY did this get dark! I promise you'll find yourself commenting (judging) on each one too.

The building is Hong Kong's oldest public housing estate, and each person rocks it a little bit differently. It's really cool!

Hand painted roving

Man this roving is soft. I bought it off eBay from this seller. It's a blend of merino, targhee and ramboulet and takes dye really well.

I dyed it with kool aid (Lemon Lime & Arctic Green Apple) and Wilton's icing gel dye (Copper) using the tutorials found on Knitty and Craftster. I also spun some plain white to be dyed as yarn. I'm going to see what I like better, dyed in the roving or dyed in the yarn.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

8 Days until Lasik

I get to have Lasik eye surgery in one week from tomorrow. I'm both excited and terrified!

What's shocking to me is the fact that I can knit and spin up until the appointment (which is at the end of the day) and then again when I wake up the next morning (theoretically). Barring unforeseen mishaps like blindness, this shouldn't be a problem. I don't think the lace scarf will see much action for a while though. I am happy to make excuses to not work on the lace. What's a good knitting or crochet project for eye surgery? Something bulky? Something without a pattern? Hmm....

What I'm knitting now

I'm not afraid of small needles! I'm not afraid of thread-like yarn! I AM afraid of spinning lace! I AM afraid of knitting that looks like dog business! I know it will look better when finished and blocked. I have to believe this.

Marnie's Scarf is a lovely pattern I found and it suits me because I wanted to jump into lace but didn't want anything too flowery. (See how nice it looks when blocked?) I'm knitting it in Alpaca Cloud from Knitpicks. It's lace weight baby alpaca, in the color is "Iris." I wound it into a center pull ball while watching TV. I held the yarn around my feet as I wound it around a giant marker. I don't know if it's a summer thing but lace is very popular right now, right? Maybe it's the fact that some folks have been knitting a while and want a challenge. Either way, there are a lot of lace patterns out there. Give it a try! (Misery loves company)

Monday, June 12, 2006


I knitted an I-cord for my I-Pod headphone sleeves thanks to Craftster (where I got the idea...I'm not that clever!) I used sock yarn and made I-cord on size 2 needles around the length of the wire that connects the earbuds to the Ipod. The thing is, you can't remove it without cutting or frogging it out. I wasn't exactly prepared for this type of commitment. Also, the yarn I used doesn't match the Ipod cozy I crocheted for it. But I do feel like a genius anyway. There aren't a lot of us out there with knitted earbud sleeve cozies.

The good news is I listened to a great podcast and walked through my neighborhood first thing this morning and really cleared my head. My lesson for today is: No matter how tired you are, you'll feel better if you walk.

18 days until the Tour de France!

With the Dauphine Libere over (Congrats to Levi Leipheimer for winning!) and the Tour de Suisse nearly over, there are no more pro cycling events until the big one. The Tour de France. Who will win now that Lance Armstrong has left the building? It's almost MORE exciting now if that's possible. It's anybody's race. If you want to watch cycling go here

Now I need to come up with a way to knit something tour related...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Los Feliz Village Street Fair

That's what we're doing today. And then hopefully walking through Griffith Park. The event website doesn't seem to be working but here is a link to some info:

Los Feliz Village Street Fair

Here's hoping Planet Cookies are there!

EDIT 6/12/06 - This was much smaller than I thought it would be but still fun. I ate Indian food and Alex ate a giant sandwich. I bought a great ceramic necklace and I'll post details and pictures later!

I miss my chair

This post is about the chair in the photo. The chair? Yes. It is one of a pair I used to own.

The yarn is easy. It is some homespun done on a drop spindle around valentine's day. I made it red but with black and white mohair skunk stripes. That is the story of the yarn.

The chair... Where to start? I used to take pictures of finished objects on this white wooden chair with chips on it. It was meant to be refinished but I never did that. I got the chairs when I moved into my little sunny studio in Silverlake. I miss that too. I bought them from the girl who lived there before. I had a lot of potential when I first moved into that studio. I was in a community now. When people asked what I did I could say "I'm an artist" and that was an acceptable answer. There was a brown stain on one of the chairs from hair dye. This hair dye I turned out to be allergic to. I was up all night rubbing cortisone into my scalp. Now it is "one of my things" searching for hair dye that doesn't contain PPD. (It's in ALL of them!) This chair helped me change lightbulbs. Anyway, I moved to West Hollywood and the chairs came with me but they didn't fit in here. They stuck out. Too bohemian. I had to cut them loose. I sold them at a garage sale and I wonder about the person who bought them and if they did something with them. I was complaining yesterday about taking bad pictures of yarn. Those chairs made taking pictures easier. Oh chair. I miss you today.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Fiber Friday!

I know it's Saturday. But here is my Fiber Friday homespun. I originally posted this on It's a single made up of corriedale, merino, recycled sari silk, cotswold, coopsworth, mohair, superwash, and maybe more. I was experimenting with this kind of thing. I hope this is the last of the bad photography! (It's really quite vibrant in person) Did I mention it's 344 yards?

My First Entry

Keep on knitting in the free world is alive!