all work and no play

March 27, 2011

hey there bitches!
how’re things with you?
good?
good.

how am i doing?
well i’m feeling a little . . . odd tonight.
i think it’s this house sitting gig i’ve got.
all this alone time in a big old house,
no one to talk to but some cats,
and the tivo,
my god! the tivo!

i think it’s making me a little stir crazy.
i feel the cabin fever descending.

since all i’m working on is some super secret knitting,
i have nothing at all fibery to share with you all tonight.
but i still feel the need to keep you entertained.

let’s go to the bathroom shall we?
a photo shoot in the shower is just the ticket.

let’s have some fun with facial hair!

beard
chops
goateehandlebarporno stash

i can’t show the last pic.
a naked-face pic is just going to far,
even for me.

i’m a lady.

more roman numerals

March 24, 2011

so in my frenzy to make my life into a list,
i forgot a couple of things that i wanted to write.
that and day two of my class should be enough for a post, right?
so let the randomness continue!

x. on friday, when i was still pretty bummed out, kristen, a.k.a. @carcosa, tweeted at me: My #FF crown this week is awarded too… @Faiche_Stiabhna for his unique combination of humor, fiber knowlege, and fierce glasses. that totally made my day. (are my glasses really fierce?)

xi. i apparently inspired one of my most loyal commenters and internet friends, miss sally of rivendale farms. or maybe more accurately, this photo of mo did. after seeing it, she went on a cowl binge. she wrote about it here.

xii. another besty from the internet, kim, is a nice person. she wants to help the people in japan. she asked me to spread the word, so do me a favor, and click here to read her post. go ahead. do the right thing. i dare you.

xiii. in my last post, i mentioned that i felt that, when you meet a knitting celebrity, maybe you should keep your cool and not act like you’re old friends reunited. this is how i try to operate. (don’t ask me about my success rate). PrincessFee left me the following comment:

You don’t know me, but I do feel as though I know you. Thank you for your humour, wit, & frankness. If we ever get to meet, I will act as though I don’t know you.

first of all, that is sweet. second, i’m so far from being a knitting celebrity that the sentiment is almost laughable. third, if you do read this blog with any kind of regularity, i imagine you’ve a certain amount of shamelessness in you. i would never expect you to show such restraint if you see me out in the real world. just don’t be disappointed if the dude you run into is actually pretty shy.

xiv. however, i find it ironic that i spent all of day one quietly sitting next to the lovely natatlie who, as it turns out, reads my blog. small world, eh? of course, she didn’t say anything until day two (class act, right?). we spent the first day like any other kids on the first day of school, making idle chit chat and nervous eye contact. but i’m totally glad she told me. it was great way to start what turn out to be a really hard day of class.

xv. i think that, while she doesn’t say it, stephanie doesn’t like to have her photo taken. i think this because almost every single photo i took of her is kinda terrible. she’s making a face in or blinking or possibly about to sneeze. somehow, i think this is done on purpose as a way of fucking with our heads. luckily, i snapped this one.yeah she’s a little blurry in this photo, but at least she doesn’t look like she’s in the middle of a seizure.

xvi. day one of “knitting for speed and efficiency” with stephanie pearl-mcphee was all about learning a brief history of knitting, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of english and continental knitting, and learning ways to improve our own personal styles of knitting. the most interesting concept for me was the idea that we get too comfortable with our own styles, and try to apply them to every type of knitting when altering our personal style, or using another method might make it easier for a given project. according to stephanie, we as knitters seem to resist using all the tools at our disposal to make it easier on ourselves. for instance, if you’re an english knitter (like me) why wouldn’t you use continental knitting to knit miles of stockinette in the round when it is so clearly the superior technique for that particular project? or if you’re a continental knitter, and have a project with lots of texture and decorative purl stitches why wouldn’t you use the method best suited to purling (english knitting)? it’s a good point. why not expand our personal abilities to improve ourselves as knitters? unless of course excellence doesn’t matter to you.

day two was dedicated to learning “lever knitting” (sometimes called irish cottage knitting) which is the method used by the people who knitted for their livelihood. it also happens to be the style the harlot learned from her bitch of a grandmother. rather than go into a long description of the method, here’s a video. because we all have a certain amount of knitting knowledge burned into our minds, changing our techniques is kinda hard. everyone’s hands were freaking out, fingers moving of their own accord as if our brains no longer had anything to say about what they did. natalie’s pinky finger kept trying to get involved to the point where stephanie had to immobilize itwhen stephanie asked how i was doing, i told her i sucked. the moment that followed involved a joke about my “sucking”. it must have pretty embarrassing since i can’t for the life of me remember the details (if you do, feel free to leave it in the comments. i’d like to remember that one) but whenever my face stopped being pink, i eventually got the hang of it.

even though i posted a link to the video, i wouldn’t recommend copying her technique from it; you really need to have it explained in person. it’s just too easy to think you’re doing it correctly when in fact you’re doing it very very wrong. i mean, we had an expert in the room, and each of us found a way to fuck it up to some degree. sometimes, you just need someone to hold your pinky.

i had an emotion

March 20, 2011

we’ve a lot of ground to cover,
and not a lot of time in which to do it.

i. i’ve had a really rough couple days. very personal life stuff that’s not appropriate to go into. i will, however, give you an idea of the “level” of roughness i’m talking about. i warn you now this is most likely an overshare; i’ve probably consumed that same amount of calories in the past 72 hours that i usually do in 24. i have no urge to knit. i have the sex drive of a 95 year old man. (told ya. overshare). and, after a very long time not smoking, i smoked three cigarettes at my parents’ house. sometimes, emotions suck.

ii. i am much better know, and want absolutely no comments about item i. on this blog, i am god. i will delete all comments on item i.

iii. today was day one of “knitting for speed and efficiency” with stephanie pearl-mcphee. setting aside my feelings for her as a fan, i have to say she’s pretty fucking sweet in the classroom. it’s a totally pressure free environment, and she has this was of blowing your mind with the simplest statement. she’s also really patient when you get frustrated (which we all are at one point or another). her knitting proficiency and comedic timing may be the qualities that she’s known for, but it’s those moments of kindness with a discouraged student that i’ll hang on to.

iv. that was sappy, and i don’t care. item v. will be sappy too.

v. i met someone cool in class today. she’s one of those people who you meet, and you can immediately sense that they’re special. i can count on one hand the times that’s happened to me. i know of her from the blogosphere, and you probably do too. it’s weird how, because you’ve read about someone on the internet, you think you know them; it’s like that false sense of intimacy you can have with a character in a novel. we get excited to see fiber celebrities, and feel the need to accost them, introducing ourselves like some friend we haven’t seen in a while. people seem to forget that, while you know details about their life, they know nothing about you.

so, when i meet a fiber-famous person in an intimate setting like a class or a retreat, i try (keyword) to just behave as i do when i meet any new person, basing our interaction whatever happens organically instead of the facts i know about them from online. i also try to let them make the first move. luckily, i am inherently shy so that part is easy. i talk a lot of trash, but it takes a lot to overcome my inner awkward and talk to new people. (evidence: i sat alone at lunch. there were open chairs with knitters at the restaurant, but i didn’t have the courage to invite myself). of course at a fiber festival, or if i’ve been drinking at all, this method goes right out the fucking window. today, though, i was fairly well behaved.

luckily for me, i picked a seat at the right table in the classroom, and denny introduced herself right away. it’s hard to put into words what she’s actually like. she has mad energy about her, she radiates it. she’s obviously mischievous, but in a completely unmalicious was. she is quick to smile and as soon as she does, you want to smile too.
it was exactly the type of energy i needed after no sleep, an hour and a half drive, and only the bad coffee shitty bagel combo to fuel me.

vii. in the interest of full disclosure, i must admit that i saw denny before class at the coffee shop across the street and i totally kinneared her. i have no shame.

viii. thanks to everyone who commented in support of keeping my super secret project super secret. i love you guys.

ix. i have to be up in less that five hours. perhaps it’s time to post this bitch and hit the hay.

this post began as an e-mail to stephanie pearl-mcphee.
like many of you, i stalk her blog and on twitter.
like many of you, i’ve even met her a few times.
but somehow, this time, i realized i was being . . . really fucking crazy,
and sending a relative stranger my knitting worries is, well, insane.

instead, i’m writing this blog post
and asking you even more strange readers
for your advice as knitters.

to those few who are close to me, poke no fun,
for i know where you sleep.

the other day,
against all my better judgement,
and with much anxiety in my soul,
i cast on a . . . . project.

this is an important project to me,
and like so many others, is meant as a gift and surprise.
the clincher is of course that this project is . . . well i can’t tell you.
let’s just call it an item, one that has to fit the intended person,
or else i will die inside.

as knitters, we all know that “surprise” and “a item that fits” is a scary combination of concepts. yet somehow, i found it impossible to resist the temptation. i deluded myself with phrases like,

“i’m a good knitter!”
“i’ve knit this item before!”
“the area this item needs to cover is similar in shape and size to that same area on myself so if it’s slightly snug on me, it’ll fit perfectly!”

i even stole a comparable item from the intended person’s repository of things which is really the only hope any knitter has of ever pulling something this off.

but while the gift giver in me says,
“work for the surprise! it’ll be so worth it.”

the knitter in me is saying, “suck it up!
take some good measurements,
and it’ll still be a surprise.
just a less dramatic, exciting, and fulfilling one.”

so i ask you,
what should i do?

i really am extremely confident that this item will fit.
but should i do the smart thing?
the right thing?

i’m generally a rule follower when it comes to knitting.
i knit my swatch, and check my gauge.
i wash my swatch, and recheck my gauge.
i always make sure my contrasting color is in my left had for colorwork.
i buy much more yarn than the pattern requires,
and always in the same dye lot.

can i risk it this once? hoping beyond sense that i have enough good karma to say that maybe, this once, EZ owes me one?

or continue my orthodox ways, recognizing the knitting goddess as the hateful bitch we all know her to be? (praise be to her)

please,
someone,
tell me what i want!
(and no. it’s not for you.)

you may remember that,
a few months ago,
i test knit the
xeriscape.

my initial test knit used yarn that,
in my humble opinion, looked like shit.
i wasn’t at all happy with how it turned out.
so i begged tina to send me something prettier
and she came through hardcore.

i recently unearthed it from my f.o. bin,
and found it to be completely charming!
it’s been sent to my secret pal,
and she loves it.

sometimes you just need a little distance from a f.o.

i sent my clockwork away to see america.
i couldn’t stand the stripy sight of it any longer,
and thought this trip would do us both a world of good.

but when adrian told me it was headed to australia,
i did get just a tad nervous at the idea of it traveling so far.
it is one of my creations after all, and momma worries.

i mean,

australia might as well be the magical world of make believe!
what with it being not one, but two hemispheres away.

apparently,
mail takes a while to cross such a distance,
and every once in a while,
i’d ask adrian if she had any news.
patience was her answer.
internet stalking a certain australian spinner was mine.

to no avail unfortunately.

you see,
the clockwork arrived safely a while ago,
but i just found out the other day.
twitter lines got crossed somehow,
and since it’s summertime down there,
a scarfy photo shoot wasn’t exactly the most appealing idea.
every time there was an update on david’s blog that was unrelated to my now beloved clockwork,
i died a little inside.

i’m an only child.
we’re self centered that way.

luckily, all is well.
david (of southern cross fibre) has been taking good care of the clockwork, and took it to sydney to see what there is to see.
(hopefully it included a lifeguard in those little red-orange shorts)
don’t they look happy?

word has it that one of his fibre club members will get it in their next shipment, the lucky duck.

everyone should go buy david’s fiber to thank him for babysitting the clockwork so far from home. and if you can’t,
at least leave a comment on his blog.

i plan on doing both.

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