four more pills

February 28, 2011

that’s how much ibuprofen i just took.

why you ask?

because i’ve strained my right shoulder,
and sprained my left index finger.

how you ask?

let’s see.
what actions in my rather sedentary life
could cause such an injury?

changing the channels too quickly?
shaking it too hard on the dance floor?

no my bitches,
none of those.

i injured myself,
to the point where my finger was literally purple,
spinning yarn.

who would have thought that the combination of not spinning for months, then spinning for twelve hours in a twenty four hour period,
would give one a repetitive stress injury.

my time of the month

February 24, 2011

i’ve been on my man period pretty hard lately.
i don’t know if there is any science backing up the theory that men do in fact have periods. since we don’t bleed out once a month, i’m sure there’s been little interest. however,
at least speaking for myself,
i have one.

i remember my mom had really bad pms when i was a lad,
the “batten down the hatches” kind of pms.
my dad and i would brace ourselves,
make ourselves scarce,
and clean something.

this is apparently yet another trait i seem to have inherited from mom. (i’ll forgive her since she also gave me my killer good looks)

my man period usually involves the following:

insane emotions and mood swings
fear the world sees these crazy emotions
analysis of my complicated love life (such as it is)
insomnia and seclusion in my room
a desire to cast on many new projects
consuming unhealthy amounts of red meat
an increase in booty calls/sexting (sorry mom)*
a mad desire to start smoking again (sorry mom)
and the inevitable hunt for the ever illusive xanax bottle.

for christ’s sake i ate peanut butter and loved it!
(ok so only my parents can understand just how not “me” that is,
but trust me, that is some twilight zone shit!)

today was the first day in about ten
when i woke up pretty much even-keeled.
but instead of my brain being back in balance,
i think it’s world that has just changed to fit my mood.

you see, tonight, a few friends are coming over to celebrate my birth.

i was born in december.

veronica feels that,
even though i had a whirlwind trip to nyc to commemorate my birth,
it was necessary to have a celebration in pittsburgh.
so a few peeps who missed out are coming over,
and veronica is making me a butter pecan cake.

i wonder if there will be presents?
i’ve gotten some good ones this year.

a skein of handspun from tina
a skein of handspun from tammy
a lovely skein and pattern from kim
some lovely body butter for my ashy skin from cheryl
socks from lisa b
socks from weirdypants jenn
a hat/needle organizer from the lovely yvonne
a lovely batt from my boss
(i really think she’s just trying to tempt me into buying a wheel)
two, count ’em two stephen west stripy neck accessories from anna
and the emotional support i need, whenever i need it,
from my sister/aunt kelli.

i got groped on my birthday by a hot stranger in new york,
and smooches from a guy i like before we even got there.

and now,
my roomie,
the closest thing i have to a sister,
is having a party in honor of my birthday
in the middle of february.
not too shabby

i’d say a(n extreme) chemical imbalance in my system once a month
is totally worth it for this life i’m living.

speaking of presents,
the february package for my secret pal is in the mail,
and am enjoying the book my secret pal sent me last month.what do you think? does mo need a balaclava?

* just to clarify, i don’t do the booty calling. it happens to me. i’m a lady. (sorry mom)

am i just a creepo?

February 17, 2011

as a rule,
i don’t really believe in knitting prayer shawls.
i’m not sure why, exactly. perhaps it’s simply my inner cynic.
but, with all the many tragedies occurring in my periphery,
none has ever compelled me to knit a damn thing.

for me, knitting is about happiness,
the joy of beautiful yarn,
the mediation of repetitive motion,
the focus required to execute a high degree of difficulty.

simply put,
knitting is a selfish act.
at least for me.

and while i do give most of what i knit away to other people,
i’m only looking for that smile on their face.
it’s the best drug.

recently, though, i read a blog post that literally brought tears to my eyes. and, for whatever reason, i finally felt that need to comfort through knitting. three days later, a boneyard was born.
i decided to use the handspun tina gave me for my birthday.
she made me promise i wouldn’t treasure it;
i had to knit something with it.
this felt appropriate.

we all know that, with handspun, you have to be extremely careful.
if i ran out, i couldn’t just call tina and be like,
“whip up some more of this yarn please!
i’m making a shawl and need to bind off.”

believe me when i say i cut it close.
i was weighing that ball after repeat.
and following a sewn bind off that took me three hours to finish,
i had this much yarn left:
it’s roughly a yard and a half.
not bad, right?

the shawl went out in today’s mail,
and should arrive by saturday.

but now i’m all worried.

we’re not exactly real friends.
yes we tweet back and forth,
and occasionally comment on each other’s blog.
it’s . . . . a ravelry friendship i guess you’d say.
two people brought together in cyberspace because of our mutual love of all things knitterly.

but there’s a fine line between doing something touching, and plain old-fashioned stalking. and that line is always drawn by the other person.

is it weird to just send a knitter i’ve never met a prayer shawl?
am i just a creepo?

dear robin,

i’m just writing to thank you ever so much for your article on shagging in the latest issue of “knitting traditions” magazine. never before have i read something about a knitting technique, and been so thoroughly inspired to get out there and do it.

every paragraph is gem,
filled with the most detailed instructions on shagging.
below are some of my favorite quotes from your article:

“they could be used for driving horses but not for putting on the bridle”

“pull the knit apart widthwise just enough to be able to see the crack”

“turn the mitten inside out and darn in all tails before shagging the inside. make the second mitten before shagging the first, lest you lose heart or forget the measurements.”

“shagging changes the the size of the mitten slightly, making them a little wider and longer.”

the list goes on, but suffice it to say,
i loved this article. your shagging how-to should be in everyone’s life.
and i love knowing that, not only will shagging help keep you warm,
it’s not a very time consuming process:

“although i though the shagging would take a long time, when i checked the clock, it took an average of 15 minutes per rib.”

of course, not being the professional shagger that you are,
when i shag, it tends to take significantly longer.
perhaps in time, we’ll all be that speedy.

i encourage anyone interested in shagging to go out to their local yarn store, and purchase the new “knitting traditions” magazine.
you won’t be disappointed.

sincerely yours,


p.s. please tell me you and your editor knew how hilarious this article would be! this just couldn’t have been an accident!

a pretty thing

February 14, 2011

over here.
i made a pretty thing.
just in case you wondered if i’m still into the whole knitting business.

(this knit is mo approved)


February 10, 2011

that’s what i was last thursday; the mothah fucking bomb.

ok maybe i’m being a little dramatic.
i did do an excellent job, though.
and i’m very proud of myself.

this is how things went down:
i drove through the mountains of pennsylvania,
passing through state college, and ending up in historic boalsburg, pa.
(don’t ask me where that is or anything about it. i have no. idea.)

i sat down to lunch with the lovely krystn madrine,
the knitter responsible for booking this gig,
and went over the evening’s progression.

i took some notes,
wrote down some names,
headed over to the venue,
and continued to silently shit my pants.
this left me with one hour to prep;
writing out how i wanted to open,
giving my first impression.

with ten minutes till doors,
i headed to my dressing room to change.
(i really wanted to bring a star to tape to the door)

i took a turn about the room, and was pretty surprised;
even though this was an event about knitting,
the organizers had invited a bunch of other guilds.

there were embroiderers,
bobbin lacers (any one got the noun for that one?),
raisers of alpaca,
and a yogi.

i was thoroughly impressed.

i found a seat and knitted a few rows before i had to get things going,
you know,
find my center,
open my chakras,
ohm shanti and all that.
and a girl from state college asked if she could interview me.
(she was writing a paper for her event planning class)
when she asked where i came from, it was her turn to shit her pants.
she couldn’t believe someone would drive all the was from pittsburgh
for a knitting event.

after blowing the mind of america’s youth,
it was time to get to work.

of course,
there was no microphone.
i had to use my big mouth to get people’s attention.
no problem.

based on the sign in sheet,
i was standing in front of just over a hundred people.
and now that i had their attention, i had to do something with it.
i’m looking at a couple hundred eyes, but i don’t care,
because i know exactly what i’m gonna do with the scene.
and of course everything happens, my god, the emotion comes up, i chase it away, i bring it back,
it’s rich,
it’s full,
it’s subtle.*

people laughed when i wanted them to,
paid attention when i wanted them to.
that room was mine!

for about five minutes.

then other people took over with the talking and such.
my job for the rest of the night was to be pleasant to the people who came up to talk to me, make the raffle interesting, and make sure people got the fuck out by nine.

i happily posed for the obligatory photos.
that’s kate, the guild president.
and krystn, the knotty girl who roped me into this.

but my favorite part of the night was meeting a reader.
this is tammy. she was a little disappointed that i didn’t wear my hotpants, especially since she spent a good chunk of her time at maryland standing in line at the fold staring at my ass.

sorry tammy. krystn wouldn’t let me wear them.

notice i’m clutching a skein of yarn in my hand in that photo?
tammy is spinning 52 skeins in 52 weeks.
i’m holding skein #4.
it’s beautiful.
i told her so.
and she gave it to me.
just fucking gave it to me!
can you believe that?!

i had an emotion.
(you can see it here)

overall, i had a blast.
everyone was really friendly, and cheerful.
totally worth driving across the commonwealth and back.

i didn’t even need a xanax.

*mad points for who ever knows where i stole this little bit of text from.

project ten: take six

February 8, 2011

someone who inspires me to be greater,
a force of nature, a woman among men among women,
is the magnificent rupaul.
on his amazing show dragrace,
rupaul is looking for four qualities in her queens:


i have taken these words as my mantra,
not only for my own way of being in the world,
but also in what i’m looking for in the people i surround myself with.

of course, any person i interview must have these qualities as well,
and my next guest has them in spades.

“I learned to knit as a young girl from my hilarious Nana. Years later, I used a copy of the venerable Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book to try to recreate Kurt Cobain’s signature cardigan. I never finished it. Debbie Stoller’s Stitch ‘N Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook came out when I was in college and reawakened my dormant knitting skills; the desire to design came soon after.”

and so my lovelies, i present to you,
miss cirilia rose!


did you survive the blizzard?

If by survive you mean “burrow into wool blankets and only emerge for snacks,” then yes, I survived brilliantly!

ready to get started?

SO ready!

alrighty then, let’s spin the wheel!

ten questions for cirilia rose.

1 – ok cirilia. there’s only one right answer to this question. if you get it wrong, we might as well quit right now; english or continental?

HA! Well, this might sound dodgy, but it’s true—I knit both ways! I taught myself to knit Continental about 5 years ago, but I still revert to throwing, especially when I’m doing something fiddly like lace or cables. But I adore picking for long stretches of stockinette.

2 – such a diplomat. the question that i want to ask most is how exactly did you get your job at berocco? i’ve stalked the previous incarnations of your blog (both blogger and wordpress) and there’s just not enough info. i need more details!

Sure! It was a bit crazy, I was modeling at a Webs photo shoot and I got a phone call from Norah [Gaughan]. She invited me to apply for the job and how could I say no? We’d met at Webs and Stitches events and gotten along well, laughing over the Red Sox and various nerdy interests. I think I was really struck by how down to earth she was. At the interview she told me she’d read an interview in Knitscene where I said my dream job was to be a magazine editor. She thought that would be a good match for the job since one of my duties is writing KnitBits, our weekly e-newsletter.

3 – when did you know that this is it? that designing would be your life?

To be honest, that is a decision I have to make everyday. I never planned this for myself, and it has happened quite accidently. It took a few years to even be comfortable with the title, and now I’m feeling like, “okay, I have the interest and some natural talent, all that is missing is the skills set.” I never considered going to school for fashion design or textiles and while I have learned a lot on the fly, a big part of me longs for an academic do-over.

Then again, the things I DID study (consumer culture, cultural studies, aesthetics) certainly play into my designing now. I love to think about material culture and the role of costume in constructing identity.

4 – as a knitter, i find that i am constantly getting jealous of other people’s f.o.’s. do you ever get jealous of other people’s designs?

Oh HECK YES!! It is currently blizzarding in Northeast for what feels like the billionth time this winter, and I was feeling sorry for myself because I have no hand knit gloves, and have been wearing the same sad looking hats for many seasons. It TOTALLY bums me out that I can’t knit more for friends and family and that I can’t drop everything and knit through the massive stash I’ve acquired. I have daydreams where I knit things to sell at Craftland, my local crafty wares emporium.

As for design jealousy, sure, there are times when I think, “I wish I had thought of that!” but for the most part, we’re all making pretty different stuff, so I just “Ooooh, ahhhh, queue!” like everyone else.

5 – you have created so many successful designs; your gallery jacket, shibuya, and paz are three of my favorites.

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but i wonder, have you ever designed something, knitted it up, and then realized it was a dud?

Oh, only all the time!! There are very few designs that I’m actually happy with, to be honest. Which is part Virgonean perfectionism, part newbie designerness. The duds are usually the ones that are forced or rushed. When a project is fighting with me at every stage, I develop a bit of animosity towards it that doesn’t bode well for its future. If I have the time, I will rip and rip and rip. If you’re thinking for a second “maybe I should rip this…” do it. I have never regretted it, and re-knitting those lost inches always seems to go quickly.

6 – of course, you don’t “just” design for berocco, you blog for them as well. can you talk a little bit about what the blogging process is like for you?

…well…I’ll be honest, it is pretty hard for us to blog these days, we’re so busy! I am putting much more effort into our Twitter account, which feels so manageable. I can Tweet from photo shoots, from the mall, from my bed where I’m knitting. Putting together a blog post can feel cumbersome by comparison, so we’re saving it for special occasions.

7 – as a blogger, i am always on the lookout for other knitting blogs that are unique, inspirational, and perhaps most importantly, post on a regular basis. do you have any favorite blogs that you follow, either knitting or non?

In addition to not blogging much, I’m also reading fewer blogs than I used to! But when I do get a minute to check in, I really love reading Wikstenmade’s blog. She is a gorgeous Brooklyn based clothing designer who has this wonderful blend of urban minimalism and rustic Scandinavian style. I’m also a bit smitten with ReadyMade magazine’s team of bloggers. Concise, interesting posts that compel me to DO rather than buy…much appreciated!

8 – you may remember, readers, it was stephanie dosen (a.k.a. tiny owl knits) who nominated miss cirilia rose for this interview. stephanie wanted to ask, “what she feeds the pixie army in her head to create her gorgeous arsenal of fantastic designs?” well, what do you feed them cirilia?

That was definitely one of the best things ever written about me, and it was SO flattering coming from Stephanie because I am a huge, huge fan of hers!! Fantasy Cirilia has knit all of her garments and is wearing a Fawncho right now, with a pair of Meow Mitts!

As for my pixie army, I feed them German sour gummis and microbrews. Also, lots and lots of movies. I am obsessed with cinema. I can indulge my love for history and costume and like a toddler, return to my favorites again and again. A recent favorite is a Japanese film called Wool 100%. I would marry Netflix if I could.

9 – there are so many awesome designs and designers right now that it can be a little overwhelming we mere mortals to sift through them all. ignoring yourself obviously, who do you think is the designer of the moment? that “it” girl or boy that we shouldn’t ignore?

I will choose one of each! Selfishly, I love Amy Christoffers (SavoryKnitting on Ravelry), and even managed to knit her Acer cardigan last year. She is such a great example of how beautiful restraint can be. She doesn’t throw in every technique in her arsenal, and many of her garments are partially seamless, but not TOTALLY seamless, which is a hybrid approach I really love.

My favorite boy is the adorable Stephen West! He travels, he casts amazing models, he isn’t afraid of color and he is a joyful person, which shows in his knitwear. I think he is well positioned to hop over to London and join the ranks of Fassett and Mably.

10 – way to own that question. i adore selfishness! which brings us nicely to your final question; if you could interview one person for project 10, who would it be and what would you ask them?

I just took a class with Josh Bennett, a hot ticket who is currently at FIT studying menswear. I am ecstatic that more men are designing, because it makes the knitting landscape that much more interesting and because personally I love to borrow from the boys when designing and dressing myself. I would love to know how Josh is translating his cut-and-sew curriculum into new knitwear.

well cirilia, thanks so much for being here. you gave some real pageant realness!

It was a pleasure! A curtsy and Vaselined smile for you!

*cirilia rose (28) lives in providence, rhode island, a little city whose idiosyncratic details prove to be the perfect place to inspire a young designer. you can find her working along side norah gaughan at the amazing new england based yarn company, berroco. you can find her designs on ravelry, follow her blog for berroco and on twitter @berrocodesign .

pass the xanax

February 2, 2011

so i probably should have blogged this earlier,
but i’ve landed my first ever knitting-related speaking thingy.

to be more precise,
i’m the mc for the centre county knitting guild’s “i heart knitting” event. i even made it in the local paper.
it’s free, and if i have any readers in the area,
stop by 113 east pine street, boalsburg, pa 16827
and say “hey bitch!”

this is a little surreal for me since, apparently, i’m their “star power”.
(their words. not mine. i don’t think of myself like that.)

i’ve also been told the people coming are a bit conservative,
and i should leave the hotpants at home.
this has made me even more nervous.
i mean, have they read my blog?
i’m kinda inappropriate.

i like to think i’m the kathy griffin of the knitting blogosphere,
telling it like it is, staying true to my inner extra vulgar knitter.
(and more recently, i’ve felt the need to channel johnny weir).
i fear i’m doomed to stand up at the podium or whatever,
and just blurt out something like “dicks taste yummy.”

i was actually raised with superior manners.
you know, asking to be excused from the table,
and knowing which fork to use and when.
i tend to ignore that particular skill set,
but it’s time to dust if off i guess.

i will go.
i will be properly attired.
i will refrain from using words like “fuck” and “blowjob”.
everyone will have a lovely time, and leave thinking well of me.

i can do this.
(why the fuck did i quit smoking?!)

in sweater news. . . .
it is done. it is in the mail.
my model had a prior engagement,
so all you get are some tabletop shots;

while a bit stressful,
it was totally worth knitting.
and of course the yarn was a dream to work with.
the only alteration i made to the pattern was in the collar length.
it said to knit until the collar measured 7″, but after trying it on veronica,
that would have been crazy. the directions also read, “or desired depth” so i took a little license. the gauge was a little tricky too since it was given over a stretched rib. i mean, how far is one supposed to stretch it?
but using the recommended needle size,
it fit veronica (sample size),
if a little snugly.

i now await tina’s judgement.
just one more reason i feel like puking.

mmm. . .

February 1, 2011