Thursday, May 25, 2006

kenmore mini ultra: you suck it. sears: you rock it.

So I finally summoned the strength to call it quits with my adorable but dysfunctional Kenmore Mini Ultra. I took it back to Sears, who took it back with no receipt (because the purchase was in their computer anyway) and got me a slightly better model. I brought it home and couldn't bring myself to open the box. In the wake of all that frustration, I didn't want to risk more heartbreak... so I procrastinated a while. But when I eventually decided it was time, I plugged that puppy in, wound me a bobbin, threaded the needle, and it sewed a beautiful, perfect straight seam that actually functions as a seam (i.e. the stitches are real stitches, they don't just appear to be stitches until you get to the end of the seam and pick it up and the two pieces of fabric fall apart and you realize it was all a facade). I am so delighted. I'm not going to bed until I finish my first skirt. Yay!

ETA: One a.m. and the skirt is finished! Yeah! Except that I measured wrong and it's like four inches too big. I'm just going to overlap it. It won't show much. That's the beauty of a circle skirt. Damn, I'm totally knitting something to match. I'm thinking a Loop d Loop ballet top in Blue Sky Cotton (held doubled)?

clap your hands say yeah!

I finished Clapotis! Well, finished the knitting anyway. I have like ten skeins' worth of ends to weave in, and then I'll probably have a block party next week after I've finished Kate's Skully sweater. You know, the sweater that was supposed to be her Christmas present? Like, Christmas 2005. The one that already happened. That one, yeah. So as an extra-special "sorry I'm a spaz" gift, and since she can't exactly wear Skully for several months now, I'm knitting her a Headline News newsboy cap. She liked my non-cabled one, so I didn't cable hers. Instead I gave it an eyelet pattern, both for visual interest and for ventilation, since she wants it to be a hat for all seasons. Blogger is freaking out right now, so I'm going to post a pic and call it a day. Sorry about the weird lighting situation. I was racing the sun--bind-off vs. twilight--and the sun won, so the hedge around my porch is in shadow but the sidewalk is still bright.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

speaking of proportion

Proportion is a correspondence among the measures of the members of an entire work, and of the whole to a certain part selected as standard. From this result the principles of symmetry. Without symmetry and proportion there can be no principles in the design of any temple; that is, if there is no precise relation between its members as in the case of those of a well shaped man. -- Vitruvius, The Ten Books of Architecture (III, Ch. 1)

I got a new tattoo today. It's this:
I'll post real pics eventually, but it's very angry right now and not so pretty. In case you're wondering what the heck it means, it's a graphic representation of the Golden Section (golden mean, divine proportion, etc.) which you can read about here, here, or here, or if you don't feel like clicking around I can tell you that it's a visually pleasing mathematical ratio found in many natural forms as well as in art and architecture. The Pythagoreans discovered it and ye olde Greek architects as well as Renaissance types like da Vinci (Vitruvian Man for example) were fond of it. When I mentioned this tattoo idea to my sister Katie she said, "like the Pythagoreans, the secret mystical math society? That's awesome! I want one too!" which, if our mother found out and was angry about it, we could always point out is in her honor, since she is a mathematician and exposed us to way too much Donald in Mathmagicland.

Speaking of my mother finding out, my friend Amy said of my last post, "So, I was going to post the following to your blog, but wasn't sure if your parents read it: Don't worry, I'm sure you'll make it to the Beard and Moustache Riding Championships." So do my parents read my blog? Let's find out, shall we? Hey Mom! I've got three tattoos now and my friends make dirty jokes! And I love it that you, like Pythagoras, believe that numbers constitute the true nature of things, so much that I tattooed it on my arm! Holla if you hear me!

Friday, May 19, 2006


Good things about today:
1. I wore my newly-handpainted homage-to-exploding dog shoes today. White fake Vans from Target + fabric paint + a Sharpie = happy feet. (The color of the kitchen floor is awfully green in this pic--it's actually plain ol' off-white--but the color of the shoes is right on.)

2. I got a notice that I had a package waiting for me in the management office of my building, which must be my package from knitpicks with another skein of Andean Silk so that I can finally finish my Clapotis!

3. I tried several new furniture configurations in the living room to accommodate my new pink microsuede butterfly chair! (Aka the Jane Jetson chair)

4. The cat I rescued (and promptly handed off to my animal-loving rescue-expert friend Shamsi, who deserves megaprops for swooping in with her humane trap when my coworkers were talking about poisoning it) is doing better in terms of socialization, appears still to be a kitten, and may be able to be adopted out sooner rather than later. S/he let Shamsi pet him/her today. Sorry to compete with Carole in the please-take-my-kitty Olympics, but isn't he/she cute? We call him/her Chester, but you could rename. (Okay, we really have to find out its sex if only so my grammar is more clear.)

5. I finally got to watch my Grey's Anatomy season finale tape. Um, three times. Had to catch all the nuance, ya know.

Bad things about today:
1. I found out about the New York City Beard and Mustache Championships too late. (I live too far away to go anyway. Maybe someday.)

2. There was no package waiting for me in the management office! I don't know why I got that notice. I'm going to lie in wait for the mailman tomorrow and pounce. I was so disappointed. I wanted to finish my pretty clappy.

3. I didn't find a furniture constellation that actually worked, and worse, the only reason I have the Jane Jetson chair is because Bev gave it to me because she moved back to Connecticut BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

4. While checking my email this morning, I shook my Nouriche without firmly screwing on the cap and sprayed the stuff all over the place--face, hair, silk pajamas (three cheers for Tarzhay!), and (gasp) computer. I managed to wipe off the monitor pretty well but had to buy a new keyboard. (One more for the "good things column--I got to break it in with an extended instant message Grey's rehash with Amy, whose visit last weekend was awesome but too short.) One of the keyboards was "spill-resistant" so naturally I gravitated toward it but Office Depot guy said, "well, if you pour coffee on it, it's going to be ruined anyway." I resisted the urge to say, "actually it was liquid yogurt," and went with the cheaper one.

Now off to watch more taped season finales with animal-rescuer and general rock star Shamsi.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

living in a whirl of gaiety

...that being a quote from one of the greatest books ever! The Ingalls' whirl of gaiety dominated the winter after the Long Winter, when everybody in town enjoyed the Literary Society meetings with such zest that Laura didn't get much studying done and feared she would never qualify as a teacher and Mary might have to leave the college for the blind. Not that I've memorized it or anything. My own personal whirl of gaiety (hee! dirty!) is dominating May: I just got back from a weekend at home in Pennsylvania, and this weekend Amy's coming to visit! (Another noteworthy event that I'm not looking forward to is Bev's going-away party. BOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Not thinking about it, except to ponder what to cook. Artichoke dip, anyone?) And to put the icing on the cake (or perhaps the frosting, since after taking that "How Dixie are you?" internet quiz and thinking way too much about it I no longer know which I naturally say), I'm almost finished with Clapotis! Yay! I'm on the last repeat before the decreases, a little panicky about running out of yarn and the fact that my clappy looks kinda short, compared to the lovely larger-than-life (literally, it's longer than she is tall) version done by Noelle, but hoping that fudging and blocking will cure those things. And frankly not caring all that much since it's pretty. Yay for soft dove gray.
And now for the traditional crappy-camera-phone pics: my nephew Ian discovers dirt roads really are made of dirt. Except when they're made of rocks. Fascinating, huh?

Aaaaaaand... supercool rockstars or giggly dorks embarrasing their mom in a department store? You be the judge.

p.s. if finishing the clap and the fact that my Grey's Anatomy season 1 DVD arrived from Netflix while I was gone is, in fact, a whirl of gaiety in my life, then "rock star" is probably not the option you want to go with when you're tested on this information later. Although Amy's visit should be pretty rockin'.

p.p.s. in case you're wondering, I'm not Dixie at all. I scored "pure Yankee." Damn right.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

guess where I'm going!

...home to PA for a whirlwind weekend! I just got home from work. I am not packed, I have not eaten since breakfast, and I really need a shower. And what am I doing?

Reading blogs.

I'm bringing Clapotis and another newsboy cap on the plane with me. I don't even have a book, because I plan to either sleep or knit the whole way (right now, it's looking like sleep). Anyway. To the shower now.