Saturday, February 28, 2009

Post 195-Sitting Around

I always thought I did my best work sitting down, it's one activity I do well. It so happens I've been doing a lot of sitting lately, house sitting and store sitting that is. First the jewelry lady I do work for went on her first trunk show cruise at the same time her husband was on a business trip so I was asked to house sit. I hope she did well and made lots of money on the trip because that's the only way cleaning up parrot poop is worth it. She lives in the huge queen anne house in a historic area in Chicago, her house is a mostly beige and not very homey. On the upside besides of watching her two dogs and birds is her cable, I watched my hearts content of cable tv of the last week. Currently I'm store sitting at a local yarn store for the owner who just had a baby. There's a coffee shop next door and a radiator at my back, so I'm warm, cozy and surrounded by yarn, not a bad way to spend the afternoon eh?

I was trolling the net and found this test, I'm a Chicagoan so it wasn't too much of a surprise.

You are a

Social Liberal
(65% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(20% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Democrat

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Post 194-Variations of a Theme

I received my very first knitting magazine subscription in the mail last week. Grandma did me right this year at Festivus and gave a year of Interweave Knits to enjoy. Yes everyone, I am not ashamed to admit it but until last week I was a knitting magazine subscription virgin. I know it's less expensive to get it in the mail, but you have to understand a couple of things, mail service in Chicago usually sucks and I would go postal on the post office if my precious magazine that I so carefully archive where to arrive in my mailbox wet from rain or suffer damaged by being shoved in a box to small to contain it properly. Plus, I rather enjoy buying it from my LYS (or upon occasion the bookstore), waiting to get home to crack it open and slowly peruse its contents several times in complete bliss, it's a ritual. But I will not look a gift horse in the mouth and am ever so thankful that I have it, I am much happier with IK than I was with Simply Knitting that Grandma tried to give me several years ago.
I've looked it over once the other day and tomorrow I will scrutinize it again for fun but already a couple of interesting things have popped up. This first thing was brought to my attention via a lively Ravelry discussion.
How much would you pay to make this dress:

Overall the dress design is cute, I think the use of variegated yarn a travesty and takes a cute possibility and places it in the hall of fugly. Interweave Knits did a Vogue on us and published a dress design that they tried to sell us as actually knitable and wearable (versus Haute Couture or a wedding dress pattern which clearly is not) and put a price tag of....$440 on it, ouch. Of course they don't tell you to make that pattern with the exact yarn used and a decent enough knitter would know to switch out the recommended yarn and use one they liked and could afford, the problem is, and any knit shop owner could tell you, that a large percentage of knitters out there never vary from the yarn/color used in any given pattern published. What the hell? IK, if you want to dazzle us with a really expensive project that makes us knitters daydream about making it with exquisite yet expensive yarn, make it really REALLY stunning, not walking Barney vomit. If I had an unlimited budget and if the dress where in a solid color, any color, I wouldn't think twice about it.

Next up, Eunny Jang, I'm ashamed of you. I'm proud to say I caught this one myself.

They may not be identical twins but certainly fraternal. The colors used, the shapes, makes you wonder...

I wouldn't have caught this coincidence if I hadn't just seen the movie Penelope on my watch instant Netflix, but shame shame. This stuck in my head because not only did I see the movie but I am questioning the publishing of a pattern I'm working that is a variation on a theme from someone else's pattern. What to do? So the other day I made this quick hat from a free pattern. It's cute, very simple, almost basic knitting here. I changed a finishing detail and instead of using an over sized button as written I made a two-tone knit and crocheted flower with button center. Because I have 1 1/2 skeins of the yarn left over I must make something to match because I love a good accessories set. I've decided to play around with making some matching glove covers, the kind that you wear over the cheap stretchy gloves, has a hole for your thumb, comes up to your knuckles and goes half way up your arms. If I take one tiny detail, change it, make it my own and add it to a completely different type of garment, is it my own design and can I put my name on it?
Pictures and examples to follow as soon as the items in question are finished and pattern written up.

Sorry if this post was snarky, I must be feeling more myself now.

OMG!! How did I not know until just now that seasons 1-3 of American Chopper were on Netflix Watch Instant????? I love that show and was so happy that they started to air it occasionally on regular free TV.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Post 193-A Case of Indigo

God I love Chicago. So what if the politicians are corrupt, so what you get a boot after 2 measly parking tickets, you got the blues to soothe you. I never understood why we don't have a radio station that plays the good ole blues and jazz stuff, in the city you're lucky to pick up one of the suburban community colleges that play it. I understand the many shades of blue and how they relate to your feelings, and I've had a case of indigo. Not old fashion blue jean indigo, but deep dark stuff. When I was working at the Saudi museum I was cataloguing the costumes and came across these facemasks that some women would wear that only covered the face from the middle of the nose on up. Those masks were pounded with indigo and the color was so dark it looked shiny black, I get it now and I embrace it.

A new website I've been playing with, it's all the rage now.

The pale green Cash Iroha Hourglass Sweater is coming along, I'm almost finished with the decreasing at the bottom and am working my way up. I like the feeling of the new fabric I'm making with the smaller needles and even though I'm not the largest size I did cast on for it and I was going to add a couple more decreases to make it fit my waist, but I have this nagging feeling it might be too big. It's hard to say, I do have an hourglass shape with curvy hips and with the recent weightloss my waist is back, I just don't know. I'll give it a couple more inches but if I have to rip it out a third time, it might get frogged and put on the shelf for awhile in the "wrong time to knit this pile, stop now or you will really fuck it up".

Friday, February 06, 2009

Post 192-A Mournful Little Troll

The more I de-clutter my room the more I don't want to leave it, it has become my special cave. The more job searching I do the more I do not want to leave my bed. I feel like I'm in a holding pattern with 2-3 more weeks of agitation to go.
I have become a troll.

How do you mourn someone who was your godmother and great-aunt but only saw at weddings and funerals in a faraway mythical land called Texas? I feel so bad, not about her death because she lived a happy life to the age of 90, but because I didn't honestly know she was still alive. Lacking notification and funds I won't be able to go to the funeral. After a little cyber-sleuthing I found her memorial page set up by the funeral home in small town USA, boy was I surprised by how modern and high-tech they are, I signed the guest book and did my part.
I wonder which is worst to go to, a high school reunion or family reunion taking place at a funeral?

How effing depressing eh?

I need some serious knitting therapy, and perhaps a good walk with the dog.

P.S.-Fixed the laundry machine myself. I picked up a new belt, unplugged the unit, took off the front access panel, played around a bit and presto-chango, it was done. I wonder if I can or should deduct my labor cost from my rent check?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Post 191-The Gentle Warmth of Heat and Solving Lifes Little Dilemas

I am warm again, thank-you HVAC man, the bringer of heat. Being warm means I'm clean! Let me tell you, it is impossible to shower when your house is 50 degrees and I dared not bring a space heater into the bathroom (this would spell disaster and I don't want my burned fat ass on tv). I'm thinking that while it may seem silly, a heated toilet seat is not a stupid idea at all. In the midst of a really cold effing winter, try sitting on an ice cube while trying to take care of business and you'll agree. Come to think of it, when/if I ever win the lottery I will have not only a heated toilet seat, but heated floors and a small fireplace in the bathroom, just in case...

I have correctly diagnosed the problem with the laundry machine, yea me (FYI-until the repair is actually made and machine back in working order, the diagnoses is not 100% guaranteed). I partially opened the front just enough to see a broken belt, me smart cookie. Hopefully this too will be fixed soon. I have high hopes landlord will get new belt to match the model number I gave him and soon so I can try my hand at the repair, it doesn't look too hard according to help I found on-line. If I fix it do you think I can bill my landlord for the time?? I'm in desperate need of the laundry machine so I can shrink my jeans some more because they are getting way too baggy for my arse.

Turns out, Rachael should have been named Mary at birth, as in Typhoid Mary. After a very animated conversation at SnB tonight regarding my recently bought of stomach flu, the definition of what the stomach flu really is and who I knew that knew others that suffered the same afflication, I discovered the culprit, um carrier, Rachael! Sorry to tell you the bad news, but it's true. According to Wikipedia (the ultimate bringer of knowledge) "Typhoid Mary is a generic term for a carrier of a dangerous disease who is a danger to the public because of refusal to take appropriate precautions". No, my friend is not a carrier of a dangerous disease or danger to public health. Like me she loves the smell of bleach in the kitchen and the taste of overcooked meat (except for sushi and good steak, but close enough).

Not much knitting has been getting down, cold hands don't knit fast when they are praying to the porcelain goddess and as much as I love watching it, the fireplace DVD I have doesn't seem to generate any heat.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Post 190-They Come In Threes

First-The heater in my apartment went out on Friday. My landlord was contacted prompted which was easy since he lives upstairs from me. HVAC guy came out, fiddled a bit and then declared a new motor was needed and being that the time was near evening on the Saturday before the Superbowl, the likely hood of getting one before Monday was impossible. No problem, landlord gave roomie and I a couple of space heaters and all is well. Not so, Monday has come and gone and no heater guy, nope, not until tomorrow. This is a minor inconvenience and in the grand schemes not the end of the world, I have a fuzzy cat, hot little dog and uber warm down comforter to keep my cozy during this order except....

Second- Hours after coming home from Valerie's house warming party I come down with the stomach flu. It's been a good two years I think, though I can't really remember, since I was last sick, including catching a cold. I've had the flu and the stomach flu which really isn't the flu, but every time I try to forget the unnatural things your body has to go through, it's just wrong! I really think it was the stomach flu because I didn't have a fever or lingering chills, mine were just from the lack of warmth in the house. So either I got sick from someone or something at the party (and it was the most socializing I've done with the largest group of people I didn't know in a long time), or me being a good girl and eating healthy backfired and the spinach salad I shared with Karen at Knit1 while I was helping her out last week backfired. I'll call her tomorrow and ask if she felt OK this weekend.

Third-In my drawn out attempt at cleaning and purging the excess in my room, I have discovered tonight that my laundry machine no longer wishes to cooperate and has denied me it's agitation and spin cycle. Thankfully all the undies and jeans are clean and all I really needed to do next were some sweaters which I guess can do the old fashion soak and air dry way.

See, these things do come in threes.

Mia keeping warm in the burrow she made in my down duvet just as I was writing this post, ahhhh.