Monday, January 31, 2005

Do This....It Is A "Good Thing"

There is a song I love...Sung by the incomparable Ms. Patty Larkin..And it goes a little like this:

"I know a good thing when I see it..."

This, The Dulaan Project, is a "Good Thing." Just Do It. Ryan, you again amaze me. You Rock, Chickie!

I have a verrrrry funny story to share with you, but that will wait till later. This was Important...Tune in tomorrow (or the next day) to hear how I became the Mother of A Superhero.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Back To Usual...

Thanks to Ms. Norma, yesterday was Sahara Knits busiest day ever....

Now that THAT is over...back to same old, same old I am sure.

8" into the sleeves of Ribby. Loving this already...I was worried about Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride being too bulky...but so far I like it! It just "feels good." No clue how the rest of the sweater will turn out...

Rogue: Untouched. Still have to find peace and quiet to study the issue of too many stitches at the top of Chart B. With children in the house, the distraction/interruption rate is too high for that kind of concentration.

Remember that yummy Cherry Tree Hill baby loop I got on Ebay awhile back? Soon as I got it, I thought "What the dickens am I gonna do with this?" I am not much of a shawl kinda gal. I think they are beautiful...but I would forever be trailing mine around in the dirt I suspect. Then, I was perusing White Lies Designs...and I am thinking her free shrug pattern might be just the ticket. Of course, being a fluffy woman, I have to wonder what this would look like on me...argh.

Numerous, and I do mean numerous scarves are on the needles. They are my distracted knitting...when I MUST knit but the distraction rate is just too high for anything else.

The whole "Must Have Cardi" thing really got me yesterday. Not the part about Norma not only joining but hosting a KAL...though that is strange and bizarre and well...just wrong...

It was going to the KAL site...looking at the sidebar and seeing that Nathania had posted "fluffy" increase directions. I thought, hey, just the ticket!


When I really looked at it, I realized the largest size would be too small.

This was a very, very unhappy moment....both because I lust after this sweater and because, was an unpleasant reality check. I do not enjoy being obese. It robs me of a lot of wise, clothing wise...unfortunately, people wise. Yeah, I know...people are supposed to like you for who you are..however, the reality is also that human beings (beans!) also have first impressions. I have done it myself, so no room to whine about it.

Nuff of that for now. Suffice to say...Some things are changing, starting when I got on the scales this a.m. for the first time in realize I am 11 pounds HEAVIER than the last time I checked, 3 months or so ago.

Things are Must-have cardi...I must indeed have you...for more reasons than I can say.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Damn it Norma!!

Creative title...don't you think?

I wasn't planning on posting this a.m....seeing as it is 4 a.m. where I live and I'm sitting here in my nightie eating cereal. I was gonna surf blogs while I ate...with peace.

But, no.

No, Norma had to go and link me first thing in her post, right in the text. Yes, it's a compliment, definitely.

And a little pressure. To be...witty...sparkling...engaging. Oh yeah...and some kind of knit goddess as well.

Yup...all of the above describe me soooooo weelllllll. Sitting 4 my cats-from-the-front-picture, cats-from-the-back picture nightie (that's at least 5 years old, and looks it) hair straggled...face puffy...when all I can think is "Oh shit. Norma's linked me."

Let's see what we can salvage here, shall we?

I am at least in with the latest (well, almost latest since SOME PEOPLE who swore that KALS ARE THE KISS OF DEATH but then ran off BEHIND MY BACK and started on ON THE SWEATER I LUST FOR but won't FIT ME...NORMA), trend...a Ribby Cardigan.

It should be noted, I am knitting two sleeves at once for the first time. Ahem, actually, ever as I have never finished a sweater and never even cast on for a sleeve...but I digress...Two sleeves at once, for those 'second anything syndrome' challenged as myself, is a good thing. I fear to say more that the sleeves will overhear this and commence to get all fucked up.

DAMN IT NORMA! Now I am swearing in a way I would not usually...but you swear all the time and all your chic urbane friends are coming over BECAUSE YOU LINKED ME and I feel I have to blend's all your fault.

At any rate...Rogue continues...with a little hitch. I am at the top of chart B and find myself with 4 more stitches than stated in the pattern...sort of. Norma, who is holding my hand through this..., said she thinks I might not actually be wrong, so don't rip quite yet...I'm waiting for a little peace and quiet in my tiny house of Drama Queens (16yo, 10 yo and 8 yo) to work on it.

Perhaps I'll do that now....if you'll excuse me....

damn it norma.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Two Posts In One Day...

Now, don't be too overwhelmed by my posting twice in one day...believe me, it won't happen often!

Just a little FYI for Donna at Random Knits (no time to link, I'll do it later, I promise!) I have purchased Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride in Sable and Medievil Red, as well as the Addi's required to cast on.....the Ribby Cardi!

What do you mean, what about my UFOs? Who said anything about that?

I don't want to talk about it. Spring fever is upon me most unseasonably...we've had a warm break and I, well, I just need to do something new. So there. I'll finish Rogue and, ahem, those other things...Faina? Faina who?....really I will. Tomorrow. Or the next day, 'kay?

Today's Little Ditty

To the tune of Brother John...

I am grumpy, I am grumpy, yes I am! Yes I Am!
Want a cup of coffee, want a cup of coffee,
and more yarn....and more yarn....

Starbucks fugged up my coffee this a.m. AGAIN. See...I went to the SB across town, on my way to dropping one of the Drama Queen's to school. This is not the first time my coffee was "not right." Now...yeah, I am a little picky, I'll admit. Actually, I'm extremely picky about my coffee.....but that is also one of the reasons I am willing once or twice a week to pay $3.65 for a 16 oz cup of coffee. Made me cranky, mostly because I didn't realize it wasn't right until we were out of the drive through and of course I didn't have time to go in and make them do it over. The Coca-Cola I am currently sipping is not cutting it. Just not.

The "more yarn" part? Well..I thought that was sort of self explanatory.....

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Adventures in Knitting.. a self-avowed craft 'ho, I tend to be pretty spread out in my art endeavors. Enter the phrase, "Jack of all trades, master of none." I've been aware for awhile that knitting has not gone stale (tho a project or two has!) the way other crafty/art forms have for me. I find myself wanting to develop my knitting more...Get past the "advanced beginner" stage and learn better skills.

The same is true for my dancing. Since returning to dance four years ago...I've gained weight, dabbled in improving my skills but worked harder on teaching others than improving my own dancing.

The answer to both is "doing it." Yeah, like Nike..."Just Do It." Sometimes, I spend more time thinking, daydreaming, or reading about a passion than *doing* it.

For dance, this would mean getting my butt into the gym on a regular basis, using the workshop videos I own to increase my inventory of steps, going to events to network with other dancers/troupes, and devoting more time to my own dancing than to my teaching.

Never said I didn't know what to do....I just haven't been doing it!

The knitting, however, has me stumped. Besides "doing it"...How do I increase my skills? My LYS has classes, but all are beginner oriented. There IS another LYS here, but I have sworn to never set foot in there again. It is not *just* that they are elitist snobs...There is an ethical issue for me. It's not my story to tell, so I will abbreviate it here. The elitist, self-absorbed owner has gone to the lengths to try to persuade vendors not to supply my favorite LYS with anything that HER store carries. I find this infuriating! I only know about this because I have built a friendship with the owner of the LYS I frequent and she confided in me. I know her well enough to know she has not spread this around and to this day will refer a customer to la snooty pants if she doesn't have something a customer needs. Since the day this was confided to me, I have not set foot in the other LYS. I refuse. They offer classes that could increase my skills...But it's not worth it to me.

So, I can't run down to my LYS and take classes. I do learn well from books...But sometimes get frustrated.

That's where you come in!

How about some suggestions, either practices or products or what have you, to increase my knitting proficiency? No contest or prizes...Frankly, I'm too disorganized for that! Just appreciation! ;)

Friday, January 21, 2005

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Some of you will "get" this. Some won't. Some will say "too much information, I just want to know what you're knitting!!" This is an excerpt of an email written to a friend trying to describe dealing with old stuff....old stuff that has refused to go away.

"The suggestion of "boxing" the past is well intentioned, I know. The problem is, it won't stay boxed. I liken it to packing a U-haul (I am a lesbian afer all...). You box up yer stuff. You label the box, tape it down really securely, and place it in the uhaul. You get to where you're going....and see the box labeled "old ways of thinking" or "childhood trauma". You think, "I do not have the time or energy to deal with you. I'll put you here in the attic while I take care of this other stuff." You go along, unpacking, getting your life in order. Sometimes, the box will mind its manners and stay just where you put it. More frequently, it will start to appear now and again in the oddest places. You pick it up and take it back to the attic. After awhile, it starts showing up much more frequently...and damn, if it doesn't seem to be getting bigger and heavier. The tape is starting to pop in tape it up better and maybe lock the attic door next time. But, to no avail. It WILL come out, it WILL make you unpack it...look at the ways of dealing with what it brings up. It may stay boxed nicely for 20 or 30 years even. But sometimes, it hangs around so much you get used to seems normal to have the box in your car everyday on the way to work. Normal to have the box under the kitchen table at dinner. Soon, the box sleeps with you and you think...well hey, I've always had this box. No big deal. That has gotten me to being diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I boxed my stuff, and chained it so securely, I didn't think it could get out. Wrong. Now it gets out in totally different WILL come out. "

If you or someone you love has PTSD, my hope is that in posting this, you might glimpse why we "can't just get over it" or "just stop thinking about it." Probably, we've been trying really hard to not think about it! in professionaly help, is out there. That's one of the things that keeps me going day in and day out. Hope.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Ulnar Nerve Injury

Well, it's not carpal tunnel's ulnar nerve stuff. Have to wear a brace for a week, warm soaks, ice if it helps, squeeze a tennis ball, blah blah blah.

I cast on for the Natayla mitts...using the Noro I've had calling me. I was going to try Blue Sky Alpaca...but I needed the color for my know? Something to pick me up...

Wanting to buy yarn...retail therapy...but I'm resisting.

More another day when I have some actual knitting content...

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Must-Have Cardi

This Paton's pattern has me definitely interested. At the moment, I seem to be a cable junkie. It's Bron's fault. Go blame her.

I am also thinking about the sweater on the cover of Interweave one with the two "waiter" guys? That sweater is pretty darn cool too.

Rogue? Well....we are progressing. I am doing the front cable at the throat...which I completely flubbed at one point. My nemesis, back-and-forth cables got me. The whole "purl on rs, knit on ws" kinda thing. The center of part of the cable appears to now be on the inside rather than the outside. Am I going to rip it? Heck no. My stress level has been on the roof...My coworker has been out ill all week and I have done the work of two AND tried to train someone at the same time. My left hand is bothering me...enough that I am going to make a doctor's appointment tomorrow. When you make your living don't want hand injuries. the costume. Still, again...geez. If I did not procrastinate so, I would not be in this position. Argh.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

How To Make A Belly Dance Costume

And What Does This Have To Do With Knitting, You Ask?

Nothing, but it's what I'm immersed in (and momentarily avoiding) so I thought I'd share.

First of all, what kind of belly dance costume do you want? Did you know there are many styles of belly dance? It's not just one genre, there are subgroups within subgroups. Each one favors its own costuming style(s).

For Example:
  • Cabaret Style - This is me, heart and soul. Give me beads, give me sequins, give me glitter. I'm a magpie at heart. A couple of examples of high-end costumes are here, here, and here.

You'll notice however, none of those example feature "fluffy" belly dancers. In fact, the one with the exotic poses, I have serious doubts she even dances. Her poses are more about showing off the costume than actual dance. Bra/Belt combos go up to size 40" bust, and 40" hips. Let's say that is a tiny bit smaller than what I need.

Then just to show another style of dance, there is Tribal. Tribal has it's own styles as well. One is American Tribal Style, most popularized by Fat Chance Belly Dance in the Bay Area. Here I've linked a local ATS troupe. Notice the difference in costuming? Big difference! More friendly to all sizes of women....but this is not the style I dance. I would be rather like a tap dancer wearing a tutu...both dance forms, but costuming wouldn't fit.

Okay. There are only two styles of belly dance...and there are MORE!

Another day, we will continue to explore making your own costume. Suffice to say...I need to go back to making MINE!

Three hours later....

Okay. Let's see what I have done, shall we? Figuratively, of course, because I still have not broken down and gotten a digital camera.

The belt: Hipwork in bellydance is what most people think of, secondary to belly rolls. Middle eastern-style dance showcases incredible hip moves, from sharp stacatto to flowing rounded earthy movement. A hip belt can be anything from a scarf tied round the hips to an elaborately beaded confection that weighs 25 pounds on its own. Our troupe belt is an inexpensive cross. 2" of the heaviest weight interfaceing I could find locally, Peltek, covered with a brownish gold satin. Which, by the way, is fraying like a bitch, if you'll pardon my french. Yes, I do know all about Fray Check...but don't happen to own any. Then, a 1 & 1/2" wide gold sequin trim is applied to the belt, sewn by hand because my sewing machine hates me.

Instead of incredibly time-consuming beaded fringe, or expensive pre-made fringe, we are going cheap, but beads. The strands don't break, beads don't fly everywhere, feet don't get cut. Cheapo after christmas and looks good on stage. What more can ya ask for???

Friday, January 14, 2005

Sleep Deprivation

More on the incredibly slow 100 things list:

3. I didn't start drinking coffee till I was 30. Before that, always loved the smell....But not the taste. Finally one day, good God, 10 years ago....How did that happen? Ten years...cripes.

Anyway, I was on a trip with a bunch of Church Ladies (past life...) and we stopped for coffee. Granitas were new here (Remember, I live in the boonies of Oregon) and the barista was offering free samples. Instant convert. I just needed vast amounts of sugar and cream to love coffee!

Now, I'm sort of a coffee snob, I admit. The only coffee drink I *really* enjoy from the 21,000,000 coffee places on earth is:

  • Starbucks (don't shoot me) Grande Non-Fat No Whip White Mocha
  • Starbucks Grande Cafe Vanilla Frapp

One hot coffee, one cold coffee.

At home....I am embarrassed to admit this, but I can't drink coffee without CoffeeMate French Vanilla creamer...And it HAS to be liquid, none of that crappy powder crap. Crap. That's what that is, just crap. Oh, and you know....Ahem....a little sugar.

"I need a little sugar in my bowl..." Comes to mind. ;-D

Have I mentioned I've been up since 3:15 a.m.?

4. My grandma taught me to crochet one summer when I was about 10 years old. I made a lot of .... um....Nothing. Actually, that's not true. I made enough of my own design of "lace" to trim 2 or three pillows she crocheted. I was never a big fan of crochet, preferred the look of knitted fabric even then, but, was told knitting "was too hard" and I could never learn to do it...Gee...Thanks grandma.

Again, back in my past life, I mentioned to a friend I would like to learn to knit. She jumped up, ran out of the room and returned with yarn and needles. Showed me the knit stitch. Said I picked it up faster than anyone she had ever shown before (HA grandma!). I was pregnant with Drama Queen #2 or 3 (gimme a break, it's been awhile) and I went out and bought a much too complicated layette pattern and made one pair of baby booties. That was the end of that.

Then in April 2003 I had a wee nervous breakdown. My world, my psyche, my heart, fell all to pieces. Wandering through Fred Meyer one day...Lackluster, numb, present only in body, I spotted a Lion Brand learn to knit kit. First thing that had caught and held my attention since I fell apart.

I took it home, relearned the knit stitch and taught myself to purl (the wrong way!) and made quite possibly the ugliest scarf and hat on earth. The hat was HUGE, and horrid. Really horrid. Blech horrid. Yes, that bad. But I was hooked. From there, I have checked out every knitting book in our library system on knitting at least once, and severely of them many, many times. I have begun my own well as acquired a pretty sizable stash.

Most importantly for me, I have built relationship with incredible women..Almost all on the internet, none of whom I have actually met, tho one of which I have had occasion to speak to on the phone....(hi Ryan!).

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

To Ribby Or Not To Ribby...

Reasons I should knit the Ribby Cardi:

  1. I have liked it immensely ever since I first saw it over at ChicKnits.
  2. It would be something new and different for me to knit.
  3. If I made it for my 16yo, it wouldn't take much time/yarn since she is quite slender.
  4. If I make it for myself I could have another sweater for work, which I can always use, what with the air conditioning being perpetually on....
  5. Elann is going to have new stock of the really fun colors of Highland wool tomorrow, and the price is really reasonable.

Reasons I should just look the other way....

  1. I would have to buy yarn for it.
  2. If I make it for Kayla, I break my "this year I am knitting only for myself" promise.
  3. If I make it for will take, ahem, quite a bit of yarn...
  4. It's knit flat and you know how I feel about THAT!
  5. I don't honestly know what it would look like on a short, "fluffy" woman.
  6. The rib part that I like so much...could actually bore me to tears, especially if knit flat.

Okay...I've convinced myself. No Ribby at this time. However, I am definitely in a cable frenzy...and have several patterns I could whip out...Hmmm.

Speaking of cables...I decided I would treat myself to a subscription to "Twists and Turns" the cable newsletter I have frequently looked at from the Knitty site. about fast service! I believe I subscribed Friday...and yesterday I got the Winter 2004 issue in the mail! Now that was quick!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Knitting On Hold

Rogue has been put on hold....

My troupe has a performance Jan 22. My costume is....Not. Not cut out. Not sewn. Not embellished.

Guess what I'll be doing for the next two weeks?

I'm sure there will be at least a bit of other knitting going on, but Rogue, well....Probably not. I am at the front and will need to be paying attention to charts and decreases and blah blah blah. ...

Belly dance is heating up for me. This performance the 22nd here in Bend at a "Showcase" of Central Oregon performers. March 18-20, Rakkasah in Richmond, California. April we will be in Portland for a festival style event. May 7, competition in The Dalles. June 4 we sponsor an incredible *male* dancer (yes, male!) here in Bend.

All this means a lot of dancing, a lot of choreographing, a lot of costuming, a lot of hitting the gym!

Back to posting about knitting this some form or another.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

All Is Well With My Rogue

I am enormously happy. At my afternoon break, I cast off the back of Rogue.

Wheeee....this is fun, so far anyway. We'll see how fun it is when I get to the sleeves...of which, you know, there should be two.....

#2 In The All About Me List:
Only two people in "3D" know about this blog. My partner, Em, and my dealer...I mean, LYS owner, Jasper. Actually, Jasper's sister Elizabeth probaly knows as well. However, I don't think they read me unless I send them a link to the blog. So really, it's only Em.

My children have no idea that I blog. My friends, the women in my dance classes....even my troupe! My oldest friend on earth...does not know. No relatives know. No one that I work with...although the IT guy here may...since I regularly post from work...but I don't want to think about that right now.

Nope...this is my little safety zone. Yup...y'all have wound your skeins so tight, you've landed in ...**insert Rod Serling's voice here**.....The Sahara Zone.....

Am I Stealing Bandwidth??

You know, I sit at a computer all day long....I type really fast....But I know squat about computers and the way they function. It's just magic to me, pure and simple.

I got to worrying....You know, like there is nothing else in the world to worry 'bout....That I am inadvertently stealing bandwidth when I link to something. I was surfing around the Knitblog Kingdom (great phrase, thanks to Chelsea), when I ran across this site about stealing bandwidth. I read the information...And frankly still don't get whether I am guilty or not. When I link, I use the "hyperlink" button on blogger. Does that tell you anything?? Anyone know anything?? At all?? About this issue????

Cripes...Like I need more guilt...

I'd rather be guilty for something fun, like buying more yarn......

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

I Am In Lust....

For this yarn

Do I need more yarn? Do I WANT this yarn with every "fiber" (har, aren't I funny?) of my being?? YES. I want ALL of it. EVERY color.

Yes, I took my medication today.....and I STILL want it ..... ALL of it....

Meanwhile, I have accomplished the armhole shaping for the back of Rogue. I was a bit nervous about the whole process. Then, when I couldn't sleep at 2:30 a.m.....and the house was really quiet...I did it. Know what? It wasn't scary at all. Frankly, it was a bit boring. This, however, is a good thing.

I'm going to try the "two sleeves at once" trick. We'll see. Hopefully it will solve my "second everything" syndrome.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Ah....School Resumes

Parents nationwide rejoiced with the beginning of school....they did, believe me, I was one of them.

Rogue has progressed to dividing for the arm holes! This is momentous because I have never gotten this far on a sweater! Therefore, I'm stalling. Not a lot, just a little. I want to be alone with plenty of peace and quiet and enough time to not feel rushed. This could be tomorrow...we'll see.

I purchased more Ebay yarn....what is wrong with me, I ask you? Most ebay purchases end up leaving me a little disappointed, with the exception of Noro or some other name brand.

I don't expect to be disappointed this time, tho, as I purchased Cascade 220! I am so in love with this yarn it's ridiculous. Don't know what I'll do with it...but I'll do something sooner or later! Well....truthfully, I am sort of considering a sweater from The Sweater Workshop. I would have enough for a striped sweater that I rather like...again, we'll just have to see.

Meanwhile, my last ebay purchase - 3 skeins of Noro Kureyon in incredible blues/purples, taunts me daily. "Whatcha gonna make with me???" it says....everytime I walk whispers...." know you want to cast on something with me...come on...put that silly Rogue away..." So far, I have resisted....Mostly because I can't make up my mind what to do with it.

That's it for now....