Monday, February 27, 2006

pink is for girls

So I'm making the reindeer on my fair isle hat light pink, as per the suggestions (thanks guys!), and it just occurred to me that someone once told me, or I read somewhere, that Santa's reindeer must all be female because they have antlers in winter. Males must lose theirs in winter... which seems odd, because why wouldn't the females also lose theirs?

Well, I googled it: the urban legend is true. Santa's reindeers must all be female, because males lose their antlers in late fall and females retain theirs til spring. Although this is pretty irrelevant because pink was always part of the plan anyway. In any case, I'm doing light pink reindeer with white hooves and antlers. I've done just one row of fair isle so far--32 white blobs for 32 little hooves. I'll post a pic when it gets more interesting.

In other knitting news, I am almost. Almost. Almost. to the yoke separation for my hourglass sweater.

don't call me junior!

So I wanted to put this in the sidebar where the JFK thing is, but it's not html, it's a link, so I can't change the table width and it throws everything off. But I am pretty proud of it. Except the fortune-hunting part. He wasn't looking for fortune. He was looking for artifacts. Which belong in a museum.

I did not finish my Olympic knitting. I didn't come into this Games expecting to medal, though. "An upstart kid with a whole lotta spunk, who's got a lot of years of knitting before her," that's what Scott Hamilton called me; Dick Button snorted and said, "well, people should have a certain level of talent and perhaps drive before they're allowed to participate in such a grueling event. She's knitting a plain stockinette-stitch sweater and she just barely got to the armpit region. That's as unattractive as going into a death spiral in a sitting position." Then that woman said, "Her knitting may not be at the gold medal level, Dick, but she came here to show the world just what she's capable of. She danced with the morning sun in this competition, and if anyone could knit moonbeams with peppermint-stick needles, it would be her." (It also didn't help that right before I got to the final waist-shaping increase, I tweaked a method and dropped some stitches.) I was just so caught up in the excitement. This Games has inspired me, however, and I will persevere. My sweater and I will see you at the Arctic Challenge!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

overheard in MY office

Warehouse guy: You shouldn't have turned the lights on, it was nice with just the skylights.
Me: Yeah, but the sun's going down soon. It'll be too dark to work.
WG: Who cares? When the sun goes down, we go down!
Me: Is that why you're quitting?

WIP roll call

I am working on two birthday presents, the recipients of both of which read this blog, so I can't post pics, not even if I warn them not to look, because they'll totally look. Won't you, Katie and Amy? Yeah, I thought so. So instead, here's my soon-to-be Fair Isle hat. The picture's a bit blurry because my hands are shaky this morning. (I need another cup of coffee or six.)

So I'm going to have cheesy retro reindeer marching around my head. The question is, on a dark green hat, should they be dark pink reindeer with white hooves and antlers? Light pink reindeer with dark pink hooves and antlers? White reindeer? Pretty much any combination appeals to me, so I need help. Opinions, anyone?
p.s. the chart comes from my beloved 1000 Great Knitting Motifs. Fantastic if you're interested in colorwork.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

adding to the wish list

Last night at SNB (on break from work! Take that, corporate overlords!) I leafed through Ramona's Vogue Knitting and borrowed Beverly's Handknit Holidays and have pretty much decided I need them both. I want to make the HH Evergreen Shawl for my mom, who has requested a "leafy, lacy shawl," and after the miles of stockinette required for the Hourglass Sweater I am going to want to work on something more interesting.

No finished Jays photo yet, but check out the ones on Ramona's and Scout's blogs. Nine pairs of Jaywalkers on nine freezing cold women! Good times!

Monday, February 20, 2006

i love everything about this picture.

Via threadbared.

I finished my Jaywalkers last night! Pictures soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

our country, divided

I grew up in an olive green county and went to college in a dark blue one, amidst much bickering, so this map means a lot to me.

I got to the toe of my second Jaywalker last night! I'll do the toe at work today (on break, that is. I swear!) and hopefully have an FO photo to show off tonight.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

saturday = meme day

Via the lovely Bev:
Top 50 books from - copy it, bold what you've read, italicize what you plan to read. And if I haven't marked something that you think is a great read, let me know!

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee *First read when I was 10; at least once a year since then. Love the movie too. Cartoon hearts and flowers surround me when I think of Gregory Peck.
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling *I am anti-Harry Potter, now and forever*
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen *Total sucker for Austen.
1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling *Yeah.
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut *I read Cat's Cradle for a philosophy class. I've never rolled my eyes quite so often.
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk *Most kickass author ever. Sent my friend, who is a huge fan, a beaded necklace that spelled her name.
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving *see above, "Kurt Vonnegut"
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides *I loved The Virgin Suicides
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway *Hate. Hate. Hate. Hemingway. The Old Misogynist and the Sea is what it should be called. Oh yeah, and A Farewell to Adjectives.
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

So this list makes me out to be not such a big reader. It's partly because I have such strong opinions on several of the authors, and partly because I hate, loathe, despise, and abominate sci-fi/fantasy. (What's that? Our hero is in a predicament? Ah, but he has his magical and/or super-technologically advanced Predicament Eliminator! Ta-da!: problem solved.) Anyway, some favorites who didn't get a mention are Margaret Drabble, Anne Tyler, E. M. Forster, Patrick O'Brien (more hearts and flowers: Russell Crowe!), Tracy Chevalier, and Julia Alvarez. And Elizabeth Peters and Elizabeth George for my good ol' brain-candy, mysteries. Further favorites posted as they occur to me.

Friday, February 17, 2006

change is good

I love, love, love my days off. Today is devoted to hair cutting and knitting. As soon as I got home from the haircut, I took some pics to send to family and far-away friends, and naturally couldn't help photoshopping it up a little bit, because... well, why not?
I think in the purple picture I kind of look like I'm telling the principal I will never, no, never do that again. Really.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

non-stop snark coverage

  • Regarding knit blog snark--I was once talking to someone about how I don't see the point of gambling. It's not just that casinos are loud and have too many blinking lights and ringing, jangling noises, but no windows nor clocks, it's that it just seems like throwing money away. (My mom is a mathematician so I've been lectured and dosed endlessly on probability--did you know that every time C-3PO mentions "the odds" he says the ratio backwards of the way he means it?--until gambling seems almost sinfully stupid.) And then it was pointed out to me that I have a lot of expensive hobbies that other people don't see the point of--knitting, snowboarding, road trips, reading (no libraries for me, I buy books because I don't like to give them back), and of course, my superspendy, superfast internet connection. And my reaction wasn't, "yes, but those are my stupid hobbies!" It was more like, "Ahhh, so they're enjoying it. Now I understand." So you don't enjoy blogging or blog reading? Don't do it. I don't gamble.
  • Ah, so now that snowboarding is bringing in gold medals by the truckload, suddenly we're no longer baggy-pantsed hoodlums scraping all the snow off the mountain? Well, it's still not typically Olympic. Patronize much? I just watched mega-tool Bob Costas interview Seth Wescott, and the mega-tool asked if Seth thought his medal and the media attention would increase the popularity of boardercross. (At the Olympics it's called snowboardcross because boardercross is a registered trademark. Whatevs.) Clearly I speak only for myself, but I don't think increasing popularity is necessarily a priority of the sport. Any sport. Progression within the sport, yes; getting on TV, no. (Or at least, not necessarily--pros have to make a living somehow.) I don't think any of the sidelined sports, the ones you see on TV only during the Olympics, would benefit from becoming the New Football. Once you're in it for the money, the love of the game recedes, and I have a lot more respect for athletes in less-popular sports whose "pointless" pursuit of improvement brings them neither (much) money nor (much) fame.
  • Imagine if you were in the sport of knitting for the money and the fame. Oh yeah!

To sum up--I think whether something has a point or whether it offers some measurable gain are irrelevant to its worth, when that something is enjoyable. Do things you enjoy & leave other people alone.

Oh, and some knitting notes--I'm still on the gusset decreases on my second Jaywalker, and I am 12 inches (a whole foot baby!) into my Hourglass Sweater.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I call it "VD" because it's funnier that way

Happy Valentine's Day! I got the ever-annoying question at work today: "You don't have a boyfriend? How is that possible?" Um, thanks, it's great to know I'm so fan-freakin'-tastic that there's got to be something wrong with me being single. I think it's fine, thanks--I've been lonely for a particular person before, but I've never felt the urge simply not to be alone. I know people wouldn't ask that if I were hideous-looking or a nasty person, and that the question is meant to be either comforting, flattering, or flirtatious, but it always tempts me to answer sarcastically, like, "I don't know! Is it the smell?" or "nobody wants to date a girl who's in the process of becoming a man. But wait'll you see me post-surgery!" or "well, I have this temper, you see, and if another dead man shows up in the dumpster behind my building, people are going to start asking questions." Like the time I went to the doctor, and the nurse who admitted me asked what I was using for birth control (as they do, even if you're sitting there holding out your severed toe in a baggie of ice and bleeding on the carpet), and I replied, "If my face doesn't work, my personality will!" and she actually took me seriously and said, "Oh, sweetie! Don't say that, you're lovely!" which made me feel pretty bad, actually, because if it's not patently obvious that I was joking then I must really be repellent, right? In this mood I went to blogthings and saw the quiz, "What do people think of your face?" which I thought would be funnier than it is. In any case, it's in the sidebar now.

In any case, I got a delicious heart-shaped lollipop from Amy at Stitch n Bitch, an email from my other friend Amy directing me here, and I-love-yous from my parents and sister, who are the ones who really count. In fact, I have a package waiting for me at my building's management office, which just may be the traditional chocolates from good ol' Dad. Score!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

and also?

...Watching speed skating on fast forward is frickin' hilarious.

tv is scary

Look at it. I tried to take a pic of my Knitting Olympics WIP by the TV a la Carole, but instead of Mason Aguirre in the halfpipe, it's like a glowing portal to the next dimension. If you put your ear really close to your speaker right now, you can hear it whisper. I don't recommend that, because it may entrap you in some kind of "The Ring"-like death pact.

My day was ruined about 5 minutes after I got up, as I was sipping my coffee and checking my email. I got an email with the subject line "Shaun White wins gold!" which totally blew my plans of taping the men's halfpipe (broadcast during my work hours), avoiding all media all day long, and being amazed and delighted when my favorite, super-styley Danny Kass, won. Well, whatever, I'll still enjoy watching the tape, and seeing Danny get... silver. Again.

And by the way, I have NEVER heard anyone but ESPN reporters (i.e. middle-aged dorks looking for a gimmick) refer to the Almighty Hype Machine that is Shaun White as "the Flying Tomato." So it's not what "the kids" call him. It's what "the media" calls him.

Friday, February 10, 2006

top 10 moments of the opening ceremonies

10. Bob Costas referring to the "Slovakians" just a few minutes after snidely saying "most Americans" wouldn't know where Torino is. It's Slovaks, dumbass. Join the moron club.
9. the spinning Ferrari. Like whoa.
8. the speech by the mayor of Torino. "Benvenutti! Benvenutti a tutti!" Is there any language more charming than Italian? (Note: I totally don't know if what I just quoted is right, but that's what it sounded like. So if I'm wrong, I join the moron club too.)
7. seeing Sophia Lauren looking fabulous at age 71. If I had style, she would be my style icon.
6. catching glimpses of Danny Kass, my favorite for the men's halfpipe, among all the (excessive, IMO) coverage of Shaun White and Bode Miller; and of Hannah Teter, my favorite for the women's halfpipe, among all the excessive coverage of the men
5. the totally weird 70s and 80s American pop playing during the parade of nations, or whatever it's called when all the athletes come in, and wishing I were an Olympic athlete so I could parade in doing the Hustle
4. secretly rooting for all the nations that only sent one athlete. Way to go, dude!
3. those heat packs that stick to your back. Okay, not technically Olympics-related, but the heat felt good after a day of snowboarding and I wasn't tethered to the wall with a heating-pad cord. Thanks, skin-friendly glue industry!
2. getting to the waist decreases in my hourglass sweater, NOT twisted this time. Score!
1. Pavarotti. Turandot. WOW.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

blonde ambition

...okay, I'm not really blonde anymore, but I am when I get enough sun. So I was planning on making the Hourglass sweater my Knitting Olympics project, and then got to thinking about how long it's going to take and whether I can finish it in two weeks, or whether I should scrap that for now and start something smaller (since after all I am still working on my jaywalkers). My ambitious tendencies are insisting that I stride forth and conquer the sweater, while my more-reasonable side is reminding me how little time I have during most of the week; how last time I cast on for this project, which is knit in the round, I joined it twisted and didn't realize until I was ten rows in; and how easily frustrated I am. (Are you now getting why this blog is called "implosion explosion," gentle reader? Because "Sybil" was already taken.) The war inside my head was settled by my stubbornness: having already started it once, I must finish it. The Hourglass Sweater will not defeat me! I will defeat it and wear its hide! (Or just wear it.) So maybe I will cast on tonight, do two or three rows to establish the project, and then put it away and forget about it until opening ceremonies tomorrow night. Cheating, you say? Well, I can't promise I won't be using any performance-enhancing drugs, either. Or any performance-inhibiting drugs, for that matter. So what are you gonna do about it?

p.s. finally made it to VW to get my metal dpns for my jaywalkers. Oh, SO much better! Was also tempted to buy another skein of sock yarn to start a second pair, but managed to control myself.

creativity knows no bounds

Crazy Aunt Purl linked to this site a few days ago, but in case anyone missed it, I have to share. My favorite is the last one, the unicorn and the teddy bear. Do you think if I made it for my nephew (age 5) or my best friend's daughter (almost-2), that could be construed as some kind of child endangerment or corruption of a minor? Really? Well, maybe just the rowing monkey then?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

flying star i hardly knew ye...

So glad to be able at least to stop by ABQ Stitch n Bitch tonight! Next week hopefully I'll be able to stay awhile. I got absolutely no knitting done today, alas. I'm about 4 inches into the second sock and am seriously frustrated with my bamboo dpns. Maybe they're not meant to be squashed into one's various purses of differing shapes and sizes, to be taken everywhere one goes, but come on, we modern on-the-go knitters do it wherever we get the chance! If I can motivate myself tomorrow morning, I'll stop by VW to pick up some metal ones before work. (That's a big "if" since I start work at noon and generally get out of bed around 11:15 or so.) Since I have no jaywalker progress to share, but feel the urge to post a picture of some kind, here's my nephew in the sweater I made him for Christmas, playing Top Gun. The day before, we had a snowball fight with some trees. (It was pretty much a draw. The trees fought hard, but at the eleventh hour we declared peace with honor and went in for dinner.)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

i'm farsighted I can read and knit at the same time, as long as the pattern is fairly simple and the yarn is fairly thick. I put the book on the floor and hold it open with my feet--I can even turn pages with my toes--and put my knees on my elbows and knit, and the text is the exactly right distance from my face. (If I read at a table, for example, I usually end up either squinting, wearing my reading glasses which actually don't help much, or tilting my head back and looking down my nose like my dad looking through his bifocals, except without, um, wearing bifocals, so it looks kind of weird, especially since I tend to make this weird old-person grimace at the same time.) Of course, sock yarn being so thin, I can't read while I work on my second jaywalker (yet--give me time, I will prevail!). If I could, I'd be reading Spinsters Abroad: Victorian Lady Explorers by Dea Birkett, who, according to her book-jacket bio, once got a Winston Churchill travel grant to join an Italian circus. I want to join an Italian circus. Almost as much as I want to knit a jaywalker on the back of an elephant circa 1892. This book is making me seriously restless. I highly recommend it.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

okay, so I'm new at this

I didn't realize I had my comments set to be "moderated", so I was all, "Man, I've got no comments! I'm so unpopular!" Duh. I will be checking on that in the future.

EDIT: I also finally figured out how to add links in the sidebar, so if you'd like to be included and you're not, let me know!

jaywalker numero uno--complete-o!

Finally! I finished my first Jaywalker.

After some minor heartbreak at the toe--I tried to three-needle bind-off from a stitch-holder, the other side of which got in the way and caused me to drop four stitches, at which point I almost burst into tears, which made me realize how tired I was (note to self, if you're too tired to fix a mistake then you're too tired to knit) and had to pick up the stitches any old way and go to bed and put off the fixing for another day--I finally got my shizz together today and bound it off. I'm going to keep it in my knitting bag so that if I get discouraged or bored while working on the second, I can pull it out and admire it and re-invigorate my socks drive. (I'm SO the first person to make that joke, I know.) I also think I may jump on the metal-needle train like some of my fellow Albuquerque Stitch n Bitchers (go on, MAKE me stop saying it!), since the bamboo ones shed a few splinters into my yarn, which I did not appreciate. I cast on for the second one already and hope to get at least the ribbing done today before I switch to working on the cabled purse I'm making my friend Amy for her birthday (which was, um, last weekend. Oops). Or maybe, you know, leave the house and be with other people. Whatevs.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

almost there

I am finishing my first Jaywalker tonight, dammit! After going like gangbusters on the ankle portion, the rest has dragged a bit. But I will persevere. I must. A finished sock will be posted TOMORROW.

I'm thinking before I cast on for my next Jaywalker, I'll cast on for the Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts so I have a big project to work on at home for when I'm sick of working on my nice portable sock.

I completely lost my voice at work today. After I drank some orange juice and rested my throat for a while, I was able to tell my coworker about the time I had a cold and was hoarse from the coughing, and a guy said to me, "Whoa, your voice sounds really sexy today," and I replied, "Well, if you like this, you should hear me cough up phlegm." Woo! That never stops being funny to me.