Monday, March 31, 2008

Unintentional radio silence

Sorry folks. This has been a crazy week. I know you love the lunacy (why else would you be here?), so:

Monday (3/24): My partner in crime at work is scheduled to go to the UK on 3/25. Picking up extra work was done. Go home, clean for six hours for Tuesday’s event.

Tuesday (3/25): Sign off on the closing papers on the condo. Work, work, work. Chaos started at 8AM. Purlescence Booth Bunny dinner at the house. (This was a raving success. Chloe’s husband barbequed, there was much in the way of good food, good wine, superior company. Andrew was shocked that the house was as tidy after they left as it was when they arrived.)

Wednesday (3/26): Migraine. Slept all day, went to Purlescence for a chair massage at 7.

Thursday (3/27): Condo closes, officially. Crazy work stuff. Coffee with an old friend from HS. Knit night at Purlescence. Partying in the parking lot. Get home about 10:30PM.

Friday (3/28): Doggie playdate. WFH. Dexter marathon. Food, coffee, donuts. Dinner at Forbes Mill with Tika to celebrate the closing of the house. Small world experience after dinner:

We were stopping at the Apple Store in Los Gatos so that Tika could get a case for her nano. The sales clerk helping us looked suspiciously like my First Crush Ever- and I know that FCE has two younger brothers.

So, I said, “Are you FCE’s, younger brother, D?”

He was, understandably, confused and a little worried. I explained that our moms had worked on volunteer stuff together, and we got caught up. It doesn’t feel small worldy when you live in the town you grew up in, but I know that FCE is married and living in Oregon now.

Saturday (3/29): Oversleeping. Exchanging the intermittently ringing phone for a new one. Plying at Purlescence. Niece’s 13th bday party. Twister. Candid speech:

Ok, as my readers, you will appreciate this. Or, I hope you will.

I have four sets of in-laws, and two sets were at the bday party. The kids range from almost 16 down to 8 years old. The older girls were baiting the youngest, who flounced over to me and asked, very clearly:

“What is a virgin?”

“A what?” I thought I had heard her incorrectly.

“A VIRGIN. What is it?” Nope, I heard that right.

“It’s someone who hasn’t had sex yet. Why?” I answer honestly, and then follow her back to where the girls are sitting, discussing the very interesting topic of sex and virginity.

The conversation goes a few places, and one of the SIL’s is there, and we’re answering their questions. Halfway through this Q&A session, I realize that my other SIL (#2) is going to murder me for being honest with her kids.

Oh well. I’m of the opinion that children should get their information early so that it has maximum impact on them. Be honest, clear, answer their questions, and hopefully they won’t become parents before they intend to (or contract any nasty diseases).

My SIL2, on the other hand (the not-present one), is of the opinion that not talking to her kids about sex will keep it off of their radar. So, I quietly told her kids that they should ask their parents about these things, and if they still had questions, they could come and ask me. Kids should have someone who is going to be honest with them about the important stuff.

Sunday (3/30): Pedicure at Le Spa, Campbell. Relaxation. Reading. Pretty toes. Spinning and laundry at home. Helping Humanity charity ball at the Decathalon Club- with the in-laws. Terrible food, good music. The “sex talk” comes up in conversation. I prepare for a swift and terrible death.

The SIL (who was the other adult participant in the sex talk) and I start telling SIL2 about the previous night’s discussion. SIL1 paid me the highest compliment by telling SIL2 that I answered the kids’ questions “very anatomically and academically”. Score one for me!

We left the ball a little early, watched Superbad, folded laundry, and spent a couple of hours of necessary prep-work.

I'm hoping to get back on the blogging-more-regularly-about-good-stuff wagon. Stay tuned!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hallelujah! It's all over!

As of yesterday morning, the condo has been SOLD! It is OVER!

The new house is neat as a pin (in the public areas), and we're going out for a nice dinner date tonight. Champagne all around!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


One of my favorite things about Sam is the ridiculous kinds of fun we have together. He went through that [unavoidable] unpleasantness known as adolescence, and it appears that he’s come out the other side as a nice man.

Anyway- part of the fun we have together is that we have a similar sense of humor. Take me, and make my sense of humor a million times drier, and you have Sam.

This is the conversation we had Friday:

Sam: You know what’s a great word? Hubris.

Me: Totally. But it’s should be pronounced “ooobris”.

Sam: Haha.

Me: Or we could do an even more pretentious pronunciation. “ooobreee”.

Sam: That’s both pretentious and perfect.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Per your request

Jocelyn requested details on how I spun the Creatively Dyed Yarn I reviewed last Thursday.

I spun it on my Schacht Matchless, Lancelot. (He likes to dance, a lot.) I spun the yarn on the Fast Speed whorl (on the 13:1 ratio whorl), and plied it on the Medium Speed whorl (on the 11:1 ratio whorl).

The individual strands were (more or less) abut 40 WPI- I held them up against my VIP fibers card, and I’m too lazy to count more than that. This is a roving that lends itself very well to fine spinning, but I’ve been working on thickening up my spinning.

(I spun some silk earlier this year at over 65 WPI and decided that counting very fine WPI is not my idea of a good time.)

I spun it worsted, with an “S” twist, and plied it “Z”. I let the singles sit on the bobbins overnight (at least), and once it was plied, I let the yarn sit on the bobbins overnight before winding up the skeins.

I set my yarn by filling my sink with warm water, a few drops of Soak, and I let it sit in that for about fifteen minutes. I squeeze the excess water out of the yarn, and then hang it to dry in my kitchen.

Once that’s done, I make a little label noting what the yarn is, what the yardage is, and what the color is. Then the finished yarn goes into the Bag O’Handspun.

A little OCD? Perhaps. Knitting OCD is a virtue, right?

Stolen from Nathania

What Jasmin Means

You are fair, honest, and logical. You are a natural leader, and people respect you.

You never give up, and you will succeed... even if it takes you a hundred tries.

You are rational enough to see every part of a problem. You are great at giving other people advice.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.

You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.

You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.

You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want.

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

Ok, seriously. Whomever is doing this needs to stop following me around.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Creatively Dyed Yarn Review Part One

One of the booths that I got caught in was the Creatively Dyed Yarn booth. I didn't actually buy any yarn from her, I bought some of her roving.

Product: SW Merino Tencel 4 oz

Product Description: 50% SW Merino / 50% Tencel. Color RMT9

Bought from: Creatively Dyed Yarns, at Stitches West 2008

Price: $15


Creative roving


Creative CU

Comments: I love her colors. I am a big fan of handpaints that are a little more impulsive looking, and the roving I bought was intended for socks- so having to match more than one bump was not a concern of mine. If you want perfectly even and uniformly dyed bumps, go elsewhere. Hers are for the free of spirit.

They spin with the best qualities of silk (or tencel, really) without any of the hassle. She uses a really excellent base roving- it's equivalent in quality to the Crown Mountain Superwash base roving, which I love.

She uses some unusual colors to accent the main colors, but it works out beautifully. (So, for those of you who rip out colors you don't like out of roving, don't. You'll be sorry.)

The first color I chose to spin didn't have any bleeding issues- but the bump was predominantly white. When I spin one of the others, we'll see how they compare.

The price point is in the right range, and she makes sure that each bump is at LEAST 4 oz by adding a chunk of roving into the braid. Though it's not totally uniform (which is fine), she makes sure not to short her customers, which is awesome.

Any questions? I'll be happy to answer them.

Part two of the review will come once the socks are knit and washed. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Margaritas are the new Prozac

I’d like to thank everyone who offered me emotional support the last few days. Rachel pinged me yesterday and determined that margaritas were a necessity, so on my way home, Andrew dropped me off at Chevy’s to meet her.

We ended up there during happy hour (woo! $3 margaritas!), and it was a very happy hour. We drank, discussed gender politics in the workplace, and ate pub grub.

After one margarita, I felt better. After the second, I felt AWESOME. I went home, sat at the spinning wheel for a while, and slept like a rock.

Today is looking much better. Thanks for sharing the love.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

An addendum

After I posted yesterday, I blew a tire out on the freeway during rush hour, and then proceeded to super-glue the palm of my hand to the previously damaged headphones.

Andrew, though he did not greet me with a stiff drink (and I only noticed Rachel's invitation for sangria this morning), he did make me dinner while I detached myself.


If you find yourself adhered with superglue to something, run warm water over the affected area, and put SLIGHT tension on the object you are adhered to.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Mama said there’d be days like this

I’ve had a rough couple of weeks. Not unmanageable, but I’m starting to get burned out, and a little crazy. Example:

I had an appointment set for March 7th, but Dr. B was sick. I rescheduled for (I thought) the following week. The 21st. On the 14th, I arrived in my FIERCE shoes. I stand in the check-in line, only to realize that I am a week early.

Fortunately, when brains fail me, I have my looks to fall back on. I called Andrew as I walked back to my car.

J: Tell me I am unusually beautiful today.

A: Of course you are.

J: I have to be having a pretty day.

A: Not so smart today?

J: Nope.

A: Okay. Have fun at knitting.

When I arrived at Purlescence, I sat down to cast on my newest lace shawl, and had to do it twice. Obviously, counting to 67 was too much for me. I completed the first repeat successfully, and went home before I caused any additional havoc.

Fast forward to this morning.

I came into work to find my cube in a state of disarray. I keep my cube pretty tidy, and I like my things set up a certain way. When I get set up to boot up my machine, I find my lamps unplugged, my dock not connected, and my stereo headphones broken with a note.

I’m normally a pretty cool cucumber. I call telecom (as I was instructed to on the note), and explain that these were not cheap, company issue headphones, they were my spendy personal ones- and they would need to be replaced, stat.

While I’m waiting for them to think up a solution, I start plugging in my lamps. I clipped my finger on a piece of metal, and don’t realize that I’m bleeding everywhere- until I looked down. I get everything cleaned up and connected.

I have a bulb burned out. Great. No big, we have more bulbs at home.

My headphones have been discontinued, so I’m going to have to find some “equivalent” ones. Ok, I have the internets at my disposal.

I hope Andrew meets me at the door with something strong.

Friday, March 14, 2008

What I did for love


The Black and Tan Sock Project

Have you ever been part of a “love test”? Rewind. Let’s define a “love test”.

You’re in a bar. Your girlfriend is slighted by a Look from a guy who is twice your size and all muscle.

“If you love me, you’ll punch him in the face,” says your girlfriend.

You have two choices: One, punch the giant guy and risk imminent pain, or Two, show through your actions that you love the original state of your face more than the girlfriend. That’s a love test.

Love tests don’t require the “if you love me” at the beginning. They’re very tricky, and the unspoken “if you love me” sometimes hangs menacingly over your head.

When Andrew and I started dating, I told him that under no circumstances would I knit him black socks. (I had a friend that was so desperate to knit for her husband that when he said he wanted plain, black-black socks, knit on 00 needles, she did.)

Andrew has terrific color sense, so for the first six-ish years of our relationship, he chose gorgeous gemtones. Once he started working in a more formal environment (slacks, dress shirts, dress shoes), the brighter socks didn’t work quite as well with the corporate culture.

Very sweetly, Andrew asked for black-ish socks. Not black-black socks, just … predominantly blackish socks.

I was torn. On one hand, I could just tell him that he’s no longer getting handknit socks if he wants black ones. On the other hand, I could continue to knit him the bright socks that he already picked out, but he would wear them on the weekends. When it’s cold out. On the third hand, I could come to a middle ground and knit some black-ish socks.

When it comes to knitting for men, what I have noticed is that if you knit what they want, the way they want it, they will wear it. If you ask them what they want, and it’s a fingering weight black sweater, and you knit them a bulky, bright purple sweater, you can’t complain that they don’t wear it. You can’t complain that they’re not a gracious gift recipient if you knit the opposite of what they want.

I found some yarn that was both “black enough” and not too boring to knit, and five pairs of black-ish socks later, Andrew made another request.

Tan socks. Tan-ish socks. To match the other sets of slacks.

My lack of enthusiasm was palpable until last night- when I saw that Purlescence had Casbah in a lovely… tan. While I haven’t worked with the Casbah yet, I can’t give you a fair and balanced review of it, but I am positively chomping at the bit to cast on.

Black and tan socks. My love test. I pass, right?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Twenty-one years ago, around 7:30 AM, my little brother was born. Sam’s birth was quick, and a little traumatic, but I think (by now) he’s overcome the hurdle of birth.


When Sam was born, I was 4 ½ years old. My parents wanted to do sibling-attended childbirth, so I had attending all the birthing classes, and I was in the car on the way to the alternative birth center. When we pulled up to the building, I was told firmly to stay put and not move and my father would be back in less than one minute.

Sure enough, maybe thirty seconds later, Dad reappeared, grabbed me, and we went inside. Sam had been born.

Evidently, if you’re a woman in labor and you say, “The head is in my pants” , you’re just a hysterical woman in labor.

(I would like to state at this point that the problem with labor is not that the uterus is floating around making the woman crazy – the way hysteria is defined- but rather that the uterus is EXPELLING A PERSON.)

When my father and I entered the room, it looked like there had been a massacre. Sam’s umbilical cord had torn when they de-pants-ed my mother, and Sam hit the ground. One of the nurses said that she caught him, but Mom is fairly certain that Sam hit the ground. Catching a slippery baby is not easy.

Things calmed down, and Sam was successfully born.

Since then, Sam has been my partner in crime, my sidekick, and my co-star. Whether it was a distract-and-drop scheme at the grocery store, preparing arrangements for a song, or growing closer through shared suffering, it’s always been me and Sam.

Sam’s likes include martial arts, liberal politics, and musical theater. My influence there is obvious, I would hope. If he runs for office, I’m supposed to be his head advisor. A wise choice, right?

Today Mom and I called him (at 8:30 AM) to wish him a happy birthday. He’s a college student, so this was pretty cruel and unusual, but we had to beat the rush of birthday wishes.

Happy Birthday, Sam. Drink as much water as you do booze, take an Advil and call me in the morning.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cabaret- a review

I would like to start this review by saying that we have season tickets to American Musical Theater of San Jose. We have been season ticket holders since the day before we got married (January 8th, 2005), and it is something special that Andrew and I do together that we both enjoy. We're both musical theater geeks.

Being a season ticket holder means being exposed to shows that we wouldn't necessarily have bought single tickets to- but we've enjoyed immensely. Some shows are real stinkers (ahem, Lord of the Dance), but we've had the pleasure of seeing some incredibly good local performances as well as some really good touring shows.

I've seen Cabaret three times (including Saturday night). The two previous performances were the minimalist, dark version that Alan Cummings starred in. Last night's was a different interpretation.

Let's start with the colors- everything on stage was RED. Blinding, bleeding, red. I was suffering from a horrendous migraine, and the red annoyed me. Even if I hadn't had a migraine, I think it would have annoyed me. The previous versions we've seen had a lot of black, dirty white underwear, and very white skin. Lots of very white skin.

The singing was good and there was a lovely a cappella version of "Tomorrow Belongs to Me", but the most troubling thing- in my eyes- was how obvious and in-your-face they made everything. From the beginning, the audience knows that Cliff is smuggling for the Nazis, where in the other version, the audience finds out when Cliff finds out. Leave a little mystery, people!

I felt like they had dumbed down the whole show to make everything totally clear. Herr Schultz being Jewish is made so incredibly obvious from the beginning (to leave no doubt as to why he can't marry Frauline Schnieder), where in previous versions, it's more subtle.

In this cast, the Kit Kat Club girls were real-sized women. Politically speaking, I love this. Realistically speaking, the Kit Kat Club was not a high-class establishment. It's a sex club / whorehouse.

The girls should look like they have to work hard for the monay, so hard for the monay. Curvier, well-fed girls aren't realistic in post WW1 Germany. I also noticed that this cast wore expensive, matching lingerie, where in the previous versions they wore dirty, ripped stockings and regular underwear. It's a totally different socio-political statement, dig?

Another weird change was that they changed the keys of all the songs in the first act from Minor keys to Major keys. I suppose it was to make everything sounds less dark, but Cabaret is a show about Nazis. This isn't Springtime for Hitler.

I felt that this version of Cabaret was heavily sanitized- one could easily bring a small child to this production and not have to worry about explaining sex, prostitution, Nazis, or abortion. Even the Emcee had a distinctly Mr. Rogers-esque quality.

But, what can you expect from a show that recycles costumes? Sally's fabulous fur coat was a recycled prop from Gypsy. Yeah, Sally Bowles was wearing Mama Rose's coat. If that coat had any fur on it, I'll eat my hat.

The show isn't all bad; the performers were good, and there was a favorite of mine in the cast. Noel Anthony played Ernst Ludwig, and as always, he was terrific. (We've seen him in Jane Eyre, Guys and Dolls, and Little Shop of Horrors, among other things.) I'd like to see him in more productions, and since he seems to be a local actor, that's pretty likely.

In short, if you've never seen Cabaret before, and you have delicate sensibilities, this is the show for you! I hate to pan a show, but this interpretation smacked of family values wholesomeness.

When the world is falling apart, and despair is the word, it's not appropriate to have June Cleaver serving milk and cookies.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Juno Regina pictures and Shetland Triangle progress

As previously promised, some pictures of the completed (and blocked!) Juno Regina shawl:

Juno Regina 1

Juno Regina 2

Juno Regina 3
(Ravelry details here)

Pretty, isn't it? While we were [up too late] blocking Juno, Andrew announced that it was his favorite lace shawl so far. (He says this, very sincerely, about every lace shawl while it's being blocked. Sweet, isn't he?) I really liked knitting her. Maybe I'll host a Juno party, where we all knit on Juno Regina and watch Juno. Just an idea.

The Shetland Triangle is almost done. Really. All I have left to knit is the edging, bind off, and block. I think I'm definitely going to do a little beading on the edge. It adds the slightest bit of weight, a little shimmer, and a "fidget". (I like to feel the beads on the edging of my Lily of the Valley.)

For your enjoyment, here's an artsy shot of the Shetland Triangle. It's an artsy shot because shooting dark yarn and unblocked lace is incredibly hard, and frankly, this is the best shot (out of the fifteen I took before giving up):

Shetland triangle
(Ravelry details here)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Kill me, but make me beautiful

Saturday night, after Knit Knights (Knights who say “knit”?) I cast on the Shetland Triangle from Wrap Style. I’m using the Dream in Color Baby, which seems to be (thus far) just as nice to work with as the Smooshy is. I’ll do a fair and balanced review once the shawl is done and blocked.

Back to the shawl. I’m not a big fan of triangular shawls (or any non-rectangular shawls, really), but this one looked cute and contemporary. I cast it on, and despite the slight weirdness at the beginning (it’s a structural thing, and written clearly, it’s just counter-intuitive), I was on FIRE!

I knit three and a half repeats of the main body chart on Saturday night. I didn’t get to bed until close to 1 AM (or 2 AM, if you remembered to turn your clocks forward, which we didn’t). By Sunday night I was through five and a half repeats. Out of eight, plus the edging.

The one change I made (five repeats in, of course) is the double decrease that the designer has chosen. I think the way she suggests it looks a little messy, so I’ve replaced the S2KP to a S2KP2. I’ll save you a searching step:

  • S2KP2: Slip 2 sts as if you were going to K2tog. K 1 st, pass 2 slipped sts over.

It makes a beautiful, centered double decrease, which follows the lines of the lace. It is one of my favorite decreases because of how tidy it is.

Other than that, I’ve cast Muir on, and it’s a little unwieldy for travel knitting, so I’m going to be working on a Jane Sowerby shawl (with a repeating and simple motif) as my public lace knitting. It’s not that Muir is all that involved, it’s just that the chart is a little large, and I could shrink it down, but then I wouldn’t be able to see it, and squinting is SO not my look for this season.

I know I’m suffering from knitting bravado, but I think if I buckle down, I can finish the knitting on the Shetland Triangle by the weekend, and have the shawl dried and blocked by Monday.

I’m also insanely compelled to add beads to the edging, despite the fact that adding beads increases the finishing time by a factor of one million. Or ten. But still, it takes a disproportionate amount of time.

There’s a saying in Farsi, “Kill me, but make me beautiful.”

That's about right.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Why "Better Than Yarn"?

After (roughly) three years of blogging, I figured I should tell the story.

Time: Fall, 2001,

I was reading the KnitList, and someone (name removed to protect the innocent) posted the following story:

"This is one for the how do you know you're addicted files....

Some of you may know this and some may not but I'm a newlywed (since March
of this year). So last night, in bed, after a wonderful romantic interlude
with my new hubby, relaxing together in the post-lovemaking glow, and just
before I was falling asleep I said, "Honey, that was better than yarn!"

To which my DH immediately replied, "Well, I sure hope so!"


Who is lucky that her husband finds knitting so endearing and understands
that better than yarn is a compliment of the highest order!"

While I found this to be a huge case of TMI, I *may* have sent it to everyone I know. Partly because I was horrified, partly because I thought it was HILARIOUS.

Andrew, being who he is, would ask if EVERYTHING was "better than yarn". This chocolate? The movie we just watched? The shoes I just bought? The latte?

(If you know Andrew in real life, I'm sure you can see very clearly. For those readers who haven't met him, well... Andrew is an experience.)

For my birthday that November, he gave me a license plate frame that reads "Better Than Yarn". Evidently, a compliment of the highest order.

It seemed an appropriate name for a knitting blog, and I still think it's a great story. Ick factor and all.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Juno Regina, c'est fini

Last night, I finished Juno Regina.

I've said it before; I'll say it again. Miriam Felton is a genius. The pattern is smart, beautiful, and fun to knit.

Despite how well the pattern is written, I am the "better idiot". As I began the series of leafy decreases, I neglected to see the BOLD outline around the repeat. In my own defense, the printer was a gray scale printer, I was watching "Taken", and my blood sugar was low. And, I only had to undo about 20 sts.

I finished the knitting around 8:45 PM, and was up until 10:30 blocking the piece. Andrew did half of the blocking, so it went fairly quickly. I will post pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Knitting for babies

Knitting for babies can be futile. If timed (and sized) poorly, the sweater gets tossed in a box and forgotten.

I've found that there's a delicate balance between when the baby is born and the sizing of the sweater. Make the sweater too soon, and the baby doesn't get maximum wear out of it. Make the sweater too big, and you risk the child having opinions about wardrobe selection.

Here's my formula:

[Months until winter]-[Baby Birth month]+ [a little room for growth] = Perfect sized sweater

I totally over think this stuff.

I am also uber-paranoid about babies/children pulling the awesome buttons off of the sweaters and choking on them. I usually have Mom secure them, but I know at least one child who was super-motivated to separate the buttons from the cardigans so that she could play with them. (I pick really fun, cute buttons for my kids' garments. A good set of buttons really make a sweater.)

I also am big on making cardigans- I've wrestled dogs into harnesses, and I can imagine that dressing a wiggly baby can't be much easier. Cardigans avoid the over-the-giant-head issue.

I've tried to keep baby stuff on hand for those occasions where I don't have the time (or the inspiration) to knit for babies. I've got a whole bag of sock yarn that I think I'm going to repurpose into baby sweaters. We'll see how that goes. So far, I want to start a Baby Surprise jacket to see how I like them.

Garter stitch is my Kryptonite, so I'll likely go back to my default- the top-down raglan baby cardigan. There's comfort in routine, and these look great in variegated yarns. I have a weakness for variegated yarns.

Also, despite the fact that I own all the books that the BSJ appears in, they're horrible for making photocopies [for personal use only]. I'll be looking through my back issues of Knitter's magazine for a more photocopy-friendly format. I just can't justify paying more for a leaflet of a pattern that I already own. In triplicate, it seems.

[For the copyright nazis out there, I agree with you 100%. Stealing is bad. So is destroying books that I've bought by hauling them all around this green earth. I will repeat: FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. Thank you.]

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Of jazz and France

When I was in college, my friend Stephanie enlisted me to be her Wingman- which, in Girl, translates to the Big Fat Friend (as defined by Stephen Lynch). The BFF’s purpose is to keep her friend from going home with the Wrong Guy.

I accepted. (Lyrics HERE, or click play below. There is a little language and a lot of blatant sexuality.)

We went to Bruno’s, which is a jazz club in San Francisco, to see her Trumpet Player performing. I kept a close eye, and we started chatting with another Mills grad student. He already knew Stephanie, and when introductions were made, the interaction went like this:

Stephanie: French Guy, this is Jasmin. She goes to Mills, too.

J: Nice to meet you.

FG: Zoh, you goh to Meells, too?

J: Yeah. So you’re a Music major?

FG: Yes. What eez your majohr?

J: (Pause) English Literature with a minor in Journalism.

FG: Zat is a stoopeed majohr. Useless! Would you lahk a ceegarette? No! Of course naht! You are frahm California. (Huffs off to smoke outside.)

(I swear, I couldn’t make this up if I tried.)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Coffee house knitting

Friday night, I was invited by Gretchen to go and see Prezent Tense (sorry, no link) at Mission City Coffee. I’m always looking to expand my horizons- especially if I can knit while I do it.

I packed Henry and the Manifesto, and headed over. Mission City has a little area that they curtain off for (I assume) events with a cover charge. Fine, cool.

Then they turned the lights down. For “ambiance”. We had exactly enough light to sort of see what we were doing- but Gretch was working on a lace shawl, and Henry, as I’ve mentioned before, is a little fussy to knit.

Couple the bad lighting with a little fatigue, and we have an episode of When Knitting Attacks.

I’ve been keeping a page of tick marks to keep track of what row I’m on. Somehow, during all this, 5 + 5 + 3 = 8. Which made the pattern seem… off. Four rows into knitting in the dark, I realize my folly. Couple that with aching hands (because I can’t throw in the dark), it was the time to put my knitting away.

The music was great, very groovy, and the band dealt beautifully with a crackhead fan sitting in the front row.

After the show, Gretch and I were chitchatting by my car, and got to witness the police try to convince the crackhead to get off of a counter at the dry cleaner’s next door. Two very young cops against a wizened crackhead. It was comedy at it’s finest.

So, to summarize, we’ve learned not to assume decent lighting at any sort of coffee house performance, and when in doubt, ask your knitting friends what 5 + 5 + 3 equals.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

More goals

I think having goals is awesome. When I have a good idea, I write it down. More than that, Jasmin 2008 loves achieving goals.

I was listening to Brenda Dayne's most recent episode of Cast On, and she has set a goal for herself to knit her whole stash in 2008. Wow. Jasmin 2008 is all about less-is-more habits, but Brenda 2008 is hardcore.

While I was listening, I though, "I should knit all my luxury fibres this year." I have a good collection of really excellent yarns, and if I were to get hit by a bus tomorrow, would I really want to have let it sit in the stash instead of having worked with it?

Not a chance. Jasmin 2008 knits with luxury fibers!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Lust in my heart

That’s right. I have lust in my heart. It’s for the Sunrise Circle jacket, and after seeing it on Patricia, I must knit one. I’m hoping that an interesting construction will trump my sleeve issues.

It’s easily done out of stash yarn- I’m debating between Malacrack- I mean, Malabrigo, or one of the colors of Cascade 220 that I’ve been hoarding. Decisions, decisions.

Patricia promises me that it’s a quick knit- a week, two tops, she says. Be still my heart, I love fast knits. It’s my inner floozy. Ok, maybe not inner floozy. In my magic shoes, I’m overtly floozy-esque. But I digress.

The lust. It is strong.