Tuesday, August 31, 2004

take THAT, mattress stitch!

I've always hated mattress stitch.

And why is it sometimes called mattress stitch and sometimes called kitchener stitch? And why is another stitch used in making Aran sweaters sometimes called blackberry stitch and sometimes called trinity? Why is it sometimes called seed and sometimes called moss? Why can't we all just get along?

But I digress.

I usually seam with backstitch. I feel like I'm in an inner circle of knowledge by foregoing mattress stitch for backstitch when I finish an object. I call it mattress stitch because I like kitchens, and mattress stitch makes it sound like a cheap two-bit floozy somehow, rolling about on a dingy, unwashed mattress with no sheets, as if I'm so much better than she is. I don't have seaming parties. I toss unfinished garments into pretty little boxes purchased specifically for that purpose at The Container Store and place information about them in my sidebar with a percentage of, say, 92% complete, even though I began said objects in, say, 1999, and all that needs to happen here is a little bit of mattressing and picking up the edges for the neck and buttonholes.

That said, when I got to the end of Zillah, it became patently obvious to my cat, whom we refer to as Beans, even though that's not his real name, and The Man Who Lives in the House that mattress stitch was the only way to go in finishing her. Why? Because Jane Ellison's design determined that the same number of stitches lined up to the same number of stitches.

I hate that. The Man Who Lives in the House hates that. Beans really hates that.

Despite the necessity of waking up The Floozy, I smacked her around and I kept her in line. Pictures to come later. Pictures which will knock your socks off. I totally rock at mattress stitch. I might just pick up that Filatura di Crosa cardigan and finish it yet.

Monday, August 30, 2004

why, leonard, why?

I feel the need to post this image in response to Janice's comment.
My initial thought: "What was Leonard thinking?"
The Man Who Lives in the House's initial thought: "That's AWESOME!"

*I normally make sure I don't hotlink images, lest I steal bandwidth. But here I have no compunction about hotlinking an image to Amazon.com. I figure Jeff Bezos can afford the measly amount of additional bandwidth that my one hotlink to the Spock album adds.


Yesterday Rabbitch posted a scanned image of the Lustige Schweitzer Swiss Yodel Party album from her personal record collection. I feel the need to counteract with a record of my own. I would have randomly chosen from my collection but this was actually the record at the top of the pile.
In case you can't read the text, that is indeed the Guckenheimer Sour Kraut Band with their quintessential album, Music for Non Thinkers. Some liner notes from the back:
On Stars and Stripes Forever--"Whose heart will not beat high at this classic approach to John Phillip Sousa's timeless music? We must all admit the inspiring tone of this great march has been enhanced by the machine-like precision of my band. Also, I like the all-too-little-known vocal in the recording, because the good German words add immeasurably to the stature of Sousa's work. I sing the vocal."
On Come Vere the Band Ist Playing--"This is one of my favorites. For those carping cynics who will accuse me of conductor's prejudice, I have only this scathing rebuttal: 'Just because I write the lyrics and music, and lent my vocal talents to the recording, you are all jealous! This only shows you are incapable of recognizing good music!"
And, my favorite portion of the record, meant with absolutely no irony whatsoever:
Important Notice: This is a "New Orthophonic" High Fidelity recording, designed for the phonograph of today or tomorrow. Played on your present machine, it gives you the finest quality of reproduction. Played on a "Stereophonic" machine, it gives even more brilliant true-to-life fidelity. You can buy, without fear of obsolescence in the future.
I ran into Janice at Cast on Cottage on Saturday; just goes to show you what a small knitting world Atlanta has!

I know I said I'd be finished with Zillah but I am literally on my Very Last Row, and I will finish her on MARTA this afternoon and take pictures tonight. I had to gather and get out candy for the Candy Along, I sent out three RAOKs (and if anyone was wondering, I chose them at random), I was working on the pudding website and music for my quartet, and was at Dunwoody Yarn on Friday afternoon and Saturday, and I had to go to the Chanel counter at Dillard's, and have sushi for dinner on Saturday night, and watch some Aqua Teen Hunger Force reruns....Priorities, people!

Friday, August 27, 2004

redheaded stepchild

Before anyone asks, and because right now you can only see a wee little picture of me in the profile, my hair is currently fire engine red, with some black and maybe some platinum blond in random places for fun. My natural hair color is a deep auburn, my hair naturally curls in a wavy state when it's long, such that 99% of the population would be envious, and I tend to detest it, and therefore chop it all off and keep it disgustingly short.
For fun, and for drama, and because I don't want to admit that I turned 30 a few weeks ago, I brighten the color. It's always some variation on red, although once, last February, it was platinum blond with fuschia in it, but even that can be considered red in some circles. However, I am not wholly unique in my redheadedness. Other people in the city, state, country and world have my hairstyle.

Why is it, then, wherever I go, that someone on the street looks at me, points, and says, "You're that girl from that show!"?

This phenomenon only occurs in Atlanta. The show in question is American Idol. In each of the past three seasons, there has been a single contestant who has had bright reddish or pinkish hair. In one case, the contestant was from Atlanta, which made everyone think I was she, or she was me, even though she would be on the show, live in Los Angeles, the night before people saw me on the street.

These strangers can never be dissuaded from their mission, which seems to be to get me to admit that I am, indeed, "that girl from that show" (despite the fact that until this year, I believe, there was an age limit of 25 on auditions anyway, I am usually wearing a work ID which identifies me as someone other than "that girl," and I just don't look like any of the three in question, anyway). They try to get me to sing for them. Now, I do sing, and I am in a chorus and a quartet. I used to be a semi-professional musical actress. I used to do nightclub / lounge acts. I used to sing in an industrial metal band (although I somehow don't think they want to hear that). So my singing to them will prove nothing. Do they want me to sing badly?
Because I can sing badly. It takes a trained voice to be able to sing very badly. Do they want me to sing well? What exactly do they want me to sing? Shall I break into song right there in the food court at Underground Atlanta? Shall I grab the nearest lightpost and imitate Gene Kelly? What should I do or say? I am at a loss.

Dunwoody Yarn today after work, and tomorrow! Yay! Plus, Zillah will be done tonight, and the gloves will be picked up again. No, really, they will be. Koigu is screaming out.

Thursday, August 26, 2004


Thanks, everyone, for the comments about the new colors, and on old musicals! It's nice to know I'm not alone in my zaniness...

I have nothing to show on Zillah today. I am on the final two rows of the front Silk Garden portion, and then I switch back to the Cash Iroha for the neck. I figured taking pictures of this was boring and useless.

KnitSteph gave me an awesome RAOK (check out my sidebar Random Act of Kindness button for more info) of a gift certificate for Adagio Teas! I am so into tea, and there's an entire section on rooibos there. I used my gift to get a blend of rooibos I had never tried before. I can't wait!

Check out the country girl's progress on her first sock--she's almost at the point of turning her first heel! Go country girl!

One last note: my awesome librarian link du jour. Don't you hate when you go to a site like Google News and there's a news story you really want to read but it's subscription only and you don't want to give your personal information out to login to East Podunk Newspaper just to read the story? Go to http://bugmenot.com and get an already set up login to the site! It works!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Esther Williams

Soooo aggrevating, I created a post and then whammo! Our network goes down. The post disappears. Let's try this again.

Am I the only one who likes Esther Williams? Her movies are great for knitting! I fell into them through Gene Kelly. The first one I saw was Take Me Out to the Ballgame when I was in my summer of "Let's Watch Everything Made By Gene Kelly and/or Frank Sinatra" (I believe it was the summer of 1987, and I was 13 years old). Then I became obsessed with Van Johnson and that was the end of that.

Last night we were discussing starting a Movie Night at Dunwoody Yarn--isn't that a great idea?!? I'll post more as soon as I get details--and I mentioned Esther and one woman nodded that she liked her. Then I went home and turned on the first second of Olympic coverage I have watched since the opening ceremonies to see the equestrian events on Bravo (an event in which I once competed, albeit not on the Olympic level) and they were intermingling coverage with women's synchronized swimming, and it all started up again. And Esther sells bathing suits at her website! How much does that rock?

Then I watched a dreadful Dan Dailey movie, The Girl Next Door. Blech. What was Dan thinking? And why was there a cartoon about Noah's Ark at the end of the movie? And the songs weren't even good. Very disappointing. Any recommendations for good movies to watch while knitting?

On the knitting front (literally), the front of Zillah should be finished by tonight.

I finally got around to changing the blog template colors. I would have done it before but I was, well, lazy. (Laziness is also the reason I never started a blog before now, and the reason I am not hosting one on my own web server running Linux using Moveable Type.) If my two loyal readers want to comment, feel free. I am always open to hate mail on my web design. I've gotten enough of it over the years.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

another day, more yogurt

You'd never think that yogurt could create such fuss in our household. I think it's over now, luckily. No more arguing over soured milk. But heavens to Murgatroid! Such a fuss!

Anyway, I thought I'd post a picture of the bamboo that she who rocks gave me.

parroty bamboo!
Isn't it right purty? I added one skein that I had, and I think I might actually have one more. I'm thinking of making a long, open duster-style jacket that goes all the way down to my ankles with this.

Here's my update so far on Zillah, the sleeveless top from Simply Noro, made in Cash Iroha and Silk Garden.

Here's a closeup showing a truer representation of the colors:
Can you tell I am going to have way too much yarn leftover? Do designers do this so as not to piss off people who knit too loosely? I'd think if you knit loosely and you know it you need to learn to buy extra yarn. I am so sick of having two or more extra balls/hanks/skeins of yarns leftover after a project. The leftover Noro on this one project will have cost me $30. And the yarn only cost $50 total!

One last picture: the knitted Elvis wig.

Made in time to see Kingsized for the Elvis' Death Day show. It looks terrible on me, but looked great on the poor sucker great sport who wore it at the show.

Glove count for my brother's girlfriend's upcoming fashion show: 1/2
Gloves I will work on tonight: 0
Future delays to gloves: pudding, mother's birthday

Monday, August 23, 2004

of coffee and yogurt

Family Fun Day! was....not so bad. Our friends Derrick and Brenda came and we got to see their newborn Evan. Evan is the baby for whom I'm knitting the Zoe Mellor fish cardigan from Double Knits (it's the sweater on the cover of the book). I was going to have it done for Brenda's baby shower in April. Then I was going to have it done for the birth at the end of May. Then I discovered something really important about myself:

I Hate Intarsia.

I don't think it's just the average, "Oh, Intarsia, what a pain" kind of hatred. It's the kind of deep-seated hatred that comes from some past-life trauma that only regressive hypnosis can cure. My fish are puckered so much that it's going to take The Man Who Lives in the House (an engineer who hates knitting) to cut my stranded fish and tie the strands into little unravelable (a new word!) knots around the perimeter of each fish. It's so deep-seated that I can't finish a stupid baby sweater.

There were tours of the cubicles and Derrick had more pictures of The Man than of his wife and son. Granted, they were pictures taken underwater but Brenda and I thought that was highly amusing and needled Derrick and The Man mercilessly for the rest of the day. There was a bungee-run that we watched The Man go on, strap himself into a harness and proceed to tumble backwards into, injure himself on, and bleed on the entire drive home. That, too, was highly amusing, and Derrick wished out loud that he had brought his camera.

On the way home, however, we made a detour so I could meet Jane who gave me eight whole skeins of bamboo yarn in parrot, my favorite colorway! She had gone to Dunwoody Yarn earlier in the day. I had stopped in around 11 AM, and it was packed with people, but I wasn't able to stay, and it closes at 4 PM on Saturdays, so it sounds like words is getting out. I'm working on a class / workshop schedule for Christine (per her request) and a description of what classes I can offer. The most popular seems to be a basic Intro to Knitting, a short workshop on casting on, knitting, and binding off. More fluffy novelty scarves, here we come!

I worked more on the sleeveless Noro top. I should be done in a few days. I'm drinking tons of coffee because I argued heavily with The Man this morning over yogurt. Yogurt! Why are men so obnoxious in the mornings? Why don't they actually listen to you when you ask them a direct question? Example:

Me (sing-songedly, at 5:30 AM, of course): Honey, did you notice you're putting my yogurts in your lunch box? Are you out of your yogurts?
Him (grouchy, grumpy): Huh? Uh, yeah, whatever.
Me: I'm sorry, sweetheart, I'll go grocery shopping tonight after my chorus meets, you stay here while I'm at chorus, of course.
Him: Okay.

So I get to work and he had put his yogurts in my lunchbox, and mine in his. When I called him to tell him this, he said, "Oh, yuck! I hate your yogurts!" When I said I had pointed this out to him this morning as he was putting them in his lunchbox, he claims he was "just agreeing with me but he didn't know what I was saying at the time." This of course started a tremendously huge argument, although you'd think I'd know better because he's a man, but come on! Don't just say yes to something without knowing what it is! Am I the only one who has to deal with this?

Gloves made for brother's girlfriend: 1/2
Gospel (aka "Jesus") songs learned for tonight's secular chorus since my voice part was changed last week: 0
My religion: Jewish

Friday, August 20, 2004

so I'm bored at work....

and I'm staring at my Noro Cash Iroha. You'd think I could be bothered to actually work right now but I work too many hours so I have to take three hour lunches every day, but I never leave the building and it's about 90 degrees in Atlanta today and the homeless people are urinating all over the sidewalks in front of the building, and the rats, which a few weeks ago were about the size of my 15 pound cat, are now twice that size so I can't go outside. If I sit at my desk and knit or read I will be interrupted by someone who will snidely comment about how sorry they are to interrupt me while I am "hard at work."

I finished the back of the sleeveless turtleneck shell (which will be hot as hell when I'm done and still not warm enough for work) last night while watching four episodes of Detective Conan last night and I cast on for the front this morning on the way into work, in the carpool, in the dark, thereby miscounting fifteen times, never getting the same number of stitches twice, so I finally had to hand it to one of my employees and ask him to count it for me because clearly 6 AM is not the time for me to be counting stitches.

Tomorrow The Man Who Lives in the House is dragging me to Family Fun Day! at BellSouth. This is where all of the people bring their screaming brats in to see their Dilbert-esque cubicles filled with Dilbert cartoons and proprietary, confidential work products which should have been shredded years ago and have not been because nobody has instructed the employees or contractors on proper records management practices since I was "outsourced" (laid off) from BellSouth. The screaming brats will throw all of these proprietary documents around, and nobody will avail themselves of the handy-dandy locked bins clearly marked with the sign "DO NOT USE FOR DEAD ANIMAL STORAGE" which were so thoughtfully purchased for records destruction. Isn't it clear that records go in those bins?

Of course, Family Fun Day! means no Dunwoody Yarn haunting.

Glove count for my brother's girlfriend's upcoming fashion show: 1/2
Promised number of gloves: 10 (or 5 pairs)
Future delays to gloves: possible website devoted to pudding