Sunday, September 24, 2006

Doncha Just Love Getting Packages In The Mail?

I do! I got this in the mail the other day (yes, I have been trying to get this posted for three days now! I changed my browser or whatever it's called to Firefox and finally ended up getting the pictures uploaded. Sheesh.) Isn't it interesting looking? Of course, I knew immediately what it was. You see, I had bought some 5" Brittany dpns a couple weeks ago (remember?) and immediately broke one upon returning home. I wrote the company less than two weeks later, got a really nice email and the above package containing this:

No, those are NOT toothpicks! They are not one, but count 'em 4 replacement needles! I am as of now a devoted Brittany fan. Love 'em. I thought that was true excellent customer service. Now all I need to do is cast on that second sock ...

In other interesting tidbits in the life of Laura, I got a postcard in the mail today. That is actually an invitation to my 30th high school reunion.

30th. Dang that's old. Anyway, the girl who is in the second row, second from the right? That was my best friend, Deliese. We met sophomore year and pretty much became inseparable from that point. There was another girl, Victoria, and the three of us hung out, talked about boys and went to rock concerts, smoked cigarettes, went to parties, you know. We weren't part of the coveted "inner circle" and we felt safer hanging together. What would I have done without them? We hung out constantly. And when we weren't together, we were on the phone. That was in the days before cellphones, or even cordless phones. Or even long cords. You were stuck in one spot. Couldn't even clean your room, the cord was so short. It was a huge deal to even HAVE a phone in your room. I can remember being able to see myself in the dresser mirror while I was talking on the phone and I'd talk for hours and watch myself talking. I think a couple of times we even fell asleep while we were talking on the phone.

I also remember getting in a HUGE fight with my mom because she refused to let me drive over the Golden Gate Bridge with my two friends to celebrate New Year's Eve when I was sixteen. I couldn't believe she was so strict! Well, all I can say is this: Thanks, Mom! Sorry to have put you through that! I thought you were so clueless and hopelessly square and so uncool back then. Now I see you were WISE!

Anyway, as soon as I got that postcard, I called up Deliese. She lives in NY now and we must have talked for over an hour. We had a lot to catch up on since I haven't talked to her in 4 or 5 years and haven't seen her in 10. I told her I'd go if she does. It's next month, the 21st. Anyone besides me think that's awfully short notice for a 30th reunion? But it's typical. We had such an apathetic class. Sort of ironic, being the "class of '76," bicentenniel and all. I think most of us were just stoned then. I have no idea what our excuse is now. Inertia, I guess.

Here's What My Daughter Got ...

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Cashmere.You are sophisticated and luxe. You can often be found in high-end boutiques and hobnobbing with the upper crust. You are one of the beautiful people and you don't let anyone forget it!
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

"You are Cashmere.You are sophisticated and luxe. You can often be found in high-end boutiques and hobnobbing with the upper crust. You are one of the beautiful people and you don't let anyone forget it!"

You Guys. She's seven. I know. It's distressing. But that really does describe her. She's been like that since the moment she was born. The sad part is that she has a mom who is a cross between dishcloth cotton and mohair. Luckily, she gravitates to her kind like a little moth attracted to light. When she was two she went into my girlfriend's room and came clunking out in these black high heels, eyes wide, exclaiming, "Mommy, you should SEE all of Auntie S' pretty underpants!" Until then, she probably didn't even know that they came in anything other than plain cotton, poor deprived child! She has had her finger and toe nails almost perpetually painted since she was three, and not by me, mind you, I bite my nails! She always seems to find a teenage girl or a mom with boys who wants to play pampering with her. She just loves it. Oh yea, and she has more shoes than anyone I know her age, including lavendar UGGs and flip-flops numbering in the double digits. Just so you know -- I hardly ever (have to) buy her clothes. Everyone just seems to know and she gets given things all the time. That moth attracted to light thing at work again, I guess. I imagine that there are grown-up "cashmere" types sympathetically clucking their tongues in pity at my poor daughter having such a clueless dishcloth cotton mom, so they buy her things. She'll probably do the same for some other deprived cashmere child once she has grown up. And so the cashmere baton gets nurtured, passed and carried on.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Little FO

OK, so I snuck a little project in there before getting to that second sock. It's coming, it''s coming, don't worry. This is a beret pattern from Greetings from Knit Cafe and the yarn is Blue Skies Alpaca Silk, in "Sapphire". I don't know why they called the color "sapphire." It is so not sapphire. It's lighter and has more green than you see in the picture. This is my first beret and I like the way it came out. Very cute. I can hardly wait to see how it looks on the person I made it for. And I just may have to make one for my daughter because it looks adorable on her. I would have had her model it, but she was already in bed asleep. I briefly considered putting it on her and taking a picture while she was sleeping, but something about that just seemed so, well, perverse. Maybe I should get one of those styrofoam heads to model the hats on. Until then, this little guy will have to do.

I have a problem with making things for my kids. The problem is they hardly ever wear what I make. Anyone else have that problem? If you make something for someone and you don't live with them, then you don't see how much they aren't wearing it. Ignorance really is bliss when it comes to handknits, I suppose. But when they live with you and you have to fight with them to wear it, well that just gets old after a while. Probably the worst one was this fabulous hooded sweatshirt, a Wonderful Wallabee that I made for Kai in this beautiful shade of blue Cotton Fleece. The name of the color was "Emperor's Robe" and it was this beautiful, vibrant deep blue. Then there's the cute, colorful, funky knee socks I knit for Emi. She fell in love with the yarn at the store. Now she tells me "the colors are too weird." And there's all number of hats, slippers and scarves and they are all either gathering dust or tucked in the back of a drawer.

Still, the sight of my daughter in that beret was too precious. And they have that Alpaca Silk in the sweetest shade of light pink. I guess it's like Charlie Brown with Lucy and the football. I just keep thinking maybe it'll be different this time. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 16, 2006

This is for Rosie

...because most of you bloggers out there have seen this. But I like it because I love yarn. And quizzes. And it's always fun to retake. Sometimes I get dishcloth cotton. Once I got acrylic. But I'm always happy to get this:

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Mohair.You are a warm and fuzzy type who works well with others, doing your share without being too weighty. You can be stubborn and absolutely refuse to change your position once it is set, but that's okay since you are good at covering up your mistakes.
Take this quiz!


Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code

Argh! I have been trying to post this for three days! And I can't get it to work. There is supposed to be writing under the picture that describes the personality of the yarn. It's supposed to say this: "You are Mohair.You are a warm and fuzzy type who works well with others, doing your share without being too weighty. You can be stubborn and absolutely refuse to change your position once it is set, but that's okay since you are good at covering up your mistakes." If you can't see it, try highlighting it (click and drag over where you think writing should be.) On my monitor, it comes up dark blue when you do that. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the text darker. And it would not center the print either. Pooey, I'm done with that.

On to other things, you may remember the "mystery commenter" whom I guessed (incorrectly) to be my niece Rosie. Well I found out who it was. Of course, it was very wrong of me to think it was Rosie. Rosie after all, knows the correct usage of the word "you're." And would have capitalized the words "Guess Who?" Let's just say the mystery poster got a little hasty and leave it at that. I won't reveal any names, but I just couldn't resist a little poke in the ribs.

Second Sock Gets Shoved Aside

Posted by Picasa For now. I have been meaning to make a cat blanket/bed for Figgy for a long time. This is made from Paton's Rumor, which is 84% Acrylic, 15% Alpaca and 1% Polyester. You can't see it from the picture, but it has a little alpaca halo to it. I purposely folded it over so you could see the double-knittedness of it. I have revised
this pattern for my purposes. It is 16" across and I plan to make it roughly square. I think I'll need three balls. I am using size 8 needles, which translates to size 10 for most of you knitters out there. Yes, I admit it, I am a very loose knitter. I purposely chose a "camo" like color since Figgy and her brother Tommy are so dirty. I think it is because of their feral-ness (ferality?) but contrary to what I have heard about cats, these guys are pretty dirty. Not that Figgy doesn't try. She is always washing herself. But they like to lay in the dirt and are usually covered in foxtails and burrs, which I pick out of their fur, day in and day out. I plan to put the finished blanket on my porch swing, which they like to lounge on. Who knows, if they use it, maybe I'll make another. And after I'm done, I promise I'll finish that second sock. No, really. I mean it.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

One Down, One To Go

 I finished my sock, now I just need to muster up the oomph to start sock number two. I ended up doing a "waffle rib" for the cuff, which is k2,p2 for three rows and purl the fourth. I did a russian cast-off, which is nice and stretchy.

I'm very tired. It's been many years since I worked a full-time job. It's all starting to come back to me. The "new job" stress-adjustment-thing, where you come home hardly able to speak you are so tired from all the newness. New people to meet, new names to remember, new routines, new things to learn, new office politics to navigate around. You know. Even things like finding out where to eat your lunch and who you should be talking to and who you should be avoiding take up energy. So it begins on Monday and by Friday, you are ready for Saturday. You barely get a chance to catch up and then it is Monday again. Oh yea, that. The Rat Race. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Fun At The LYS

Here is a picture of me and my buddy Kamila at the "preview" of Knit and Pearl last Sunday. Kamila is from the Czech Republic and besides being an incredible knitter (you should see the sweater she made for a friend out of black Baby Cashmerino), is intelligent, witty, and very fun to be around.

Last night was knit night and Julie graciously allowed us to use the cute, comfy cozy "living room" in the back of the store. The library knit group has officially been moved to Knit and Pearl. Poor Julie looked a little glazed over from all the excitement of the day, which means she had a good day!

I bought a pair of 5" Brittany dpns, which I loved, then promptly snapped one of them (don't bother asking me what I was doing, because I have decided that I will not admit to trying to squeeze the semi-finished sock over my foot and ankle to see if it would fit.) I am sincerely hoping that Brittany will replace it. I wrote them an email last night. It's kind of weird, like asking them to replace a rather long toothpick. Like the kind you use to hold a sandwich together. And I am trying to forget that I paid $8.00 for 5 longish toothpicks, one of which broke within the first two hours of owning them! So don't remind me. But anyway, I do really like them because the wood feels so nice and smooth and because face it, short needles are the way to go on socks. Which means I have to replace all my "skewers" for "toothpicks." Guess it's just the price we pay in pursuit of perfection.

Monday, September 11, 2006

swatch away

Here is my swatch for the Bubbly curtain for my little cubical at work. That's right, my new job entails sitting on my already sizable behind for up to 8 hours a day in a 4 x 6 cubical, henceforth referred to as "The Cubie." I thought it would be nice to hang a nice little knitted curtain on my window that looks out into a really depressing view of the back of a baseball field. You see a wall and the name of the team in cut-out letters, only backward. There is a breezeway of sorts that separates the back of the field from our trailer. Yes, that's right, "The Cubie" is located in a trailer. Anyway, there is litter in the breezeway and an electric golf cart. I initially thought a Bubbly curtain would be just the thing, but after measuring the space I am not so sure. Turns out my little window is 45" x 35". Kind of a stretch when you are knitting. Then there is the problem of figuring out how much yarn I am going to need. With my initial calculations, I figured 7 balls at 250 yds. per ball. I suppose that's about a sweater. But it's an awfully expensive curtain at $15. per ball! My cubie has another wall, a faux-cubie wall that has a little window on it that is more like 25 x 20. Maybe that is going to be the on that gets the handmade curtain.

I know, I haven't talked much about my new job and with the little tidbits I've given you, you can see why, can't you? I am relying on lots of prayer and a true sense of assignment to walk through this new phase of my life. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Stash Enhancement: A Cure For All That Ails

I did a little stash enhancing this afternoon! Julie had a little preview for the people who have helped her get the shop together! It was breathtaking. You have GOT to stop by when you are in the area and check out this store! 5 East Figueroa Street in downtown Santa Barbara. The official opening is Tuesday, September 12, at 11:00 am. Gorgeous. Fabulous. Exquisite. I could go on and on.

On the left is some sock yarn, Trekking XXL I have been wanting to try. In the middle we have a skein of Blue Sky Alpaca and Silk. The color has more of a green to it than you see in the pic. I have it earmarked for a little surprise for someone who reads this blog, so I will not divulge that secret yet. And on the right is a skein of Bamboo yarn I am trying out. I was thinking I'd like to make the Bubbly curtain from Mason-Dixon. Im going to have to tweak it a little, first to fit the dimensions of my cubie-window at work, and second to see if the pattern works with the yarn. I am hoping so, because I really like the color.

Before I can start on any of those I have to finish the scarf for the shop. Tonight, hopefully so it can be up for the Grand Opening. I'm itching to take that Bamboo out for a spin! Must. Be. Disciplined. Posted by Picasa

A Sock in the Grass

So after taking 50 gazillion photos of my sock-in-progress, I finally got a decent shot. And I mean that in a relative way. Why is the grass clearer than the sock? I am not kidding, I must have taken 50 pictures of the thing and this is the best one! Pathetic, really. It appears that about 50% of my photo-taking lameness could be blamed on a dirty lens. That is what I get for borrowing a camera from an 11 year-old. The other factor is lighting. It looks a lot better from outside.

This is a run-of-the-mill toe-up sock. I used the figure 8 cast-on and I tried out a stockinette stitch short-wrap heel (I usually do garter). Now I just need to decide on the stitch for the cuff. I hope I won't be so boring as to assign it a 2x2 ribbing! Oh yeah, and the yarn is Artyarns Ultramerino4 in "Peach." Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Slowly But Surely

I don't know why, but my many attempts to upload this photo from Blogger have not worked. It looks as if it is loading....then all that comes up is a blank. I finally went to Picasa and hit the button that says "Blog This!" Apparently, it works. This blurry picture is a picture of the scarf from Mason-Dixon Knitting that I am making for Knit and Pearl, our newest Santa Barbara knit shop. (Note to self: get a better camera and learn how to use it.) Anyway, the scarf is made from Colinette Giotto and Douceur et Soir. I am having a hard time finishing it since I just made one for Rosie for her birthday. I better just bite the bullet and finish it though. The store is set to open THIS WEEK! Hooray! Hallelujah!

On other knitting news, I decided to start a new sock, mindless knitting to take with me since I had the perfect opportunity to knit-in-public today. I had to attend a 3-1/2 hour class today. I got a good start on it and am in the process of turning the heel.

So, this class. Apparently, if you are getting divorced (or legally separated as in my case), the Court mandates that you take and pay ($50) for a class that wrenches your heart out called Children in the Middle. There were a lot of PO'd people, mad that the government would force them to take a class concerning a topic they feel perfectly capable of handling themselves. And they were pretty vocal about it. I don't know. I kept thinking about all neglected kids out there and the parents who totally aren't thinking about their kids or are using the kids as a way to get back at their former spouse. It's hard not to do, when you're angry in the moment, even when you know it's wrong.

Even though I had a hard time putting aside a whole afternoon for something like that PLUS shovel out hard-earned money to do it, in the end I didn't see it as an afternoon wasted. Except for the part about listening to a few self-righteous, arrogant self-absorbed blow-hards who have to keep raising their hands to let everyone know that THEY have it all together and 'besides, the kids are going to be okay because *everyone* these days is getting a divorce anyway.' I say if *everyone* had to get their left toe cut off it wouldn't make it any less painful. Families don't come with serrated fold-and-tear edges. No, they just kind of get ripped apart. There's not much of a way around the pain. And if I can get something out of it that can help ease my children's suffering, or if someone else hears something and it helps them help their kids, well then it's worth it. Posted by Picasa

K-Soaps Rule!

Here's one of the pics I was trying to post last night. It is a picture of the stars of Winter Sonata, the K-soap I am currently watching. I know, the picture looks corny and contrived, but I'm hooked. With all the plot twists and turns, it is enough to draw you in and keep you watching. My sister-in-law ended up watching the whole series back-to-back for 2 days straight!

Still can't seem to get my knitting posted -- Maybe if I try it on a separate entry it will work.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Believe Me, I Tried To Get You A Picture!

Last night I was so pleased to come home from work and see a post from Anonymous who writes: I know your busy but your interfering with my addiction to your posts! What's going on? I like your blog better than Korean Soaps. guess who? So I wrote this great reply and I got all set to publish it and for some dad-blasted reason hit the "back" button instead of the "publish" button and lost the whole thing. I was so frustrated and depressed that I just went to bed.

Anyway, I have only this to say about the comment: K-Soaps rock! I have received the ultimate compliment! If you've never seen them, you really must. They are very similar to Lays Potato chips: You can't watch just one. And they have absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. If K-Soaps were food, they'd be full of transfats. Korean Soap Operas are mini-series that have aired on Korean television and there seem to be a neverending stream of them. Many of them are tear-jerkers and the stories just suck you in. I like the fact that they are G or PG-rated, (much more so than the stuff you see on American TV) and they are fluffy, not stuffy. I'd say if you are a fan of the movie The Notebook, you'd probably be a good candidate for the K-soaps. If you hated The Notebook and thought it was really corny, you might want to steer clear. And if you want to see them, let me know and I'll hook you up with my Dad. He has the biggest library of K-Soaps known to mankind, I think. Anyway, I'm just kidding about that. Not about the size of the K-soap library, but that he would lend them out to you. He guards those things like they were gold. And if you borrow them and don't return them he cuts you out of the lending loop. 'Nuff said.

OK, and of course I have to just take a guess at who wrote that sly, MISCHIEVOUS comment: Does your name start with an "R?" Are you crazy about penguins? Thought so! Yes, I'm putting my money on the post coming from my niece - a charming, funny, cute and extremely talented 15 year-old. She is an accomplished artist, musician, athlete AND gets straight As! I know by now if you haven't met her you're thinking I'm biased, but really I'm not! Oh yeah and get this: SHE KNITS! And despite all her talents, gifts and abilities, she is still completely down-to-earth and likable (although who knows if anyone will be able to live with her after reading this post!)

And you can't say I didn't try: I have been trying to upload a photo of my latest knitting progress for the past hour and Blogger won't let me. Well, actually, it did once, but I messed it up and accidentally erased it (only this time I had saved a draft!) but now it won't let me upload the pic again! I guess it'll have to wait until tomorrow. And who knows, by then maybe I can get a picture that ISN'T blurry.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Anybody Know Who Mike Shinoda Is?

I found this to be completely entertaining though not entirely accurate. I suppose with a 64% resemblance I shouldn't be expecting to see my long-lost twin. But I thought it was really funny to see that this guy Mike Shinoda (who is he anyway?) could pass for my brother (or perhaps more accurately, son). In the picture his eyes look almost exactly like mine! Look for yourself by covering up the bottom portion of our faces. See? And then when I entered another picture, Eva Longoria came up again! (Of course, so did this old Japanese guy, whom I didn't include in my top 5, even though the resemblance was registered at 60%, the same as Tia Carrere.) Anyway, I got a kick out it.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Landscape Progress

This is a shawl that I've been working on for a few weeks now. It is the Landscape Shawl by Evelyn Clark. I like it because it is mindless, comfort knitting. It is made from a sportweight alpaca that I got from Village Spinning and Weaving in Solvang. Great stuff at a very reasonable price, something like $22.00 for 600 yards. This is my second shawl from the yarn. The first was a rectangular shawl in a color they call "Nutmeg," a grayish-brown. So my sister came out again to help with the cleaning. Since I have been working diligently the past few days, we really are making a dent in it. I actually took some pictures of my progress. It has really been a great motivator, imagining all the billions and billions of people who might possibly drop in and take a peek at the breadth and depth of my ability to accumulate crap. But I haven't quite had the guts to post it. Like Chauntel says, what if my mom happened to drop in on the blog?
Anyway, I am so thankful for the help of my sister. Since I am clueless when it comes to record keeping and how long to hold on to things, I just hold on to everything indefinitely. It was nice to have her there telling me what to save and what to toss. It feels so good to get rid of stuff, but you should see the bags of stuff that are piling up out at the trash bins! I feel like I've lost a gazillion pounds. I haven't had much time for knitting these days, but I think I will go now and work on that Mermaid Sock. I'll include a picture of it soon when there is a little more progress. I have had to frog it no less than three times since I first posted about it! First, I got about three inches on it, then made some sort of mistake that I just couldn't seem to correct. Then I frogged it, got to about the same place before I realized that I had read the pattern wrong and that there needed to be a bigger cuff at the top. So now I am just about at the three inch point again! It's a good thing I'm not sitting here thinking about how I'd have around 9 inches of sock by now if I didn't mess it up three times. Because that would make me really frustrated. Good thing. Yea. Posted by Picasa