[crafts] Tie One On

I think I'll try out this monthly Apron Club. I want to sew (and can probably get my sister to lend me her sewing machine forever because she never uses it) and aprons might be just the thing.

June's theme was "Home on the Range" and look at what one woman did. I think she got the hat and star patterns from here.

Isn't all this crafty stuff cool? Knit, embroider, sew and make all kinds of neat shit. It's all very satisfying.


[knitting] Thong tha-thong

The thong is done. I haven't got a picture of it yet, but I'll post one soon. I'll also see if I can get a picture of the guy actually wearing it. Perhaps at the Slip-n-Slide?

Having completed that, what should I knit next? Yeah, I haven't finished the Stripey Bag or Flower-Power Shrug yet, but I will. Eventually. I also need to mend/repair a sweater that Ken gave me a while ago. At any rate, I think my next project will either me a faroese shawl or an hourglass sweater.


[uvScene] Train Ride

I woke up Saturday morning at 8:00 am (after getting home and into bed at 4:00 am) to go ride a train. Read about it at the uvScene...

[knitting] I love presents

I got a package in the mail on Friday...

Thank you, Secret Pal! I was quite tickled to see Knit One, Kill Two. I started reading it right away but haven't gotten too far because it was such a busy weekend. Also, Bee Season was a pleasant surprise because I've wanted it since it came out and since they're making it into a movie later this year, I am very pleased to get the original book before they change the cover to have the movie characters on it. The home-made bookmarker is great because I'm tired of using receipts/napkins to hold my place. And the bookholder is cool but I'm not sure I should knit and read at the same time, as my Secret Pal suggested on the post card. I have to be looking at what I'm knitting, or else I'll drop stitches, spear the yarn, etc. But the book holder does hold my favorite cookbook nicely!


[cats] Not a winner

SHIT. Whatever, I know that Gatsu is the cutest. And everyone's just lucky I didn't enter Griffith- The entire internet would have imploded from his cuteness.

Now I'm going to go home and beat Gatsu.


[amy] It's all downhill from here...

Yesterday was the Summer Solstice and I celebrated by drinking waaaay too much wine. I wanted to have a nice dinner at my place but for reasons that made sense, I went over to Ken and Ram's for a cook-out. I have this psycho mentality: "But I'M the hostess! I want everyone to come over here and eat. … Shit." So when Ken left me a message, saying that for a bunch of valid reasons it might be better to have the dinner over there, I cried a single tear. Sniff. I'm the hostess with the mostess French Toastess. I don't want to boastess but I get my roastess from the Ivory Coastess.

Which reminds me: I cut my thumb last night while slicing grapes. I can't seem to cook anything without seriously injuring myself. First I sliced the tip of my knuckle off when using my mandolin, now I've cut the pad of my thumb. There was a lot of blood. I almost fainted. Or, I pretended to almost faint. I couldn't tell Ken, who was tending to my finger, that the sight of all the blood makes me feel gleeful. Shhh… It's a secret.

I'm staying in tonight and probably tomorrow night, conserving my energy for the upcoming weekend which is shaping to be action-packed. Friday night is 4thafreqs (which I think is pronounced "For the Freaks", not "For the Frecks" like I've been saying in my head) in Nashua, NH. Saturday, possibly a train ride, Masque of the Golden Bowl at Saint-Gaudens and another Nice-Up at the India Queen. Sunday: Hike in the morning, and then a Pirate-themed Birthday Party. … Or, I may do none of that. Who knows.


[amy] I'm back

I'm back from Minneapolis. The conference was interesting and fun. It's nice to get away and travel.

I started and finished the hat that I said I might do. It's a simple stockinette hat with a rolled brim (brim = orange, rest of hat = dark, heathered gray) and everyone seems pretty impressed by it. But that's because they don't understand knitting. I've made a lattice stole, lace scarves and shrugs, a sweater, etc, but a stupid stockinette hat makes people go "Oooo, ahhh, wow, that's so amazing." Whatever.

As for the thong... well... I started it but I think it looks a little weird. And why wouldn't it, really. It's a knit thong for a man. Of course it looks weird. I'll try to finish it but I'm not too inspired. And when people see it, they'll say, "Wow, that looks... uncomfortable".

Gatsu won his heat but now it's on for the semi-finals. PLEASE VOTE FOR HIM!

I also finished watching Season 3 of Six Feet Under, which I think was by far the best season ever. Now I understand what critics mean when they say character development and aren't being pretentious. Everything going on with the characters (losing love, struggling to keep love, breaking up, reunions) is so impressive in the way that the show is executed. Season 4 comes out in August. I've been trying to get Season 5 of the Sopranos since it came out but the waiting list keeps screwing me over. I think I've got The L Word on it's way next...


[knitting] 2 New Projects

I'm leaving for Minneapolis (and will presumably be spending all my non-sleeping hours here) today and want to post some things before I go. I might be blogging a little from there (the rooms have complimentary high-speed internet access, which is nice because I hate the places that make you pay $25/24hrs) but I may be too inebriated to type anything coherent. Gwark minaplis is hfunn and having grate time. Prepare yourselves for more of the like.

In knitting news, I've got some pictures of my Flower Power shrug progress...

The yarn is staining the friggin' needles. I guess this is a disadvantage to using bamboo needles rather than metal, but what the hell?

Regarding new knitting projects I lined up, I got a couple requests after holding an impromptu dinner party this past Sunday night. One dude requested a hat (sure) and another dude requested a thong (uh...). I have all these spare balls of yarn and the dude who requested the thong picked out some baby alpaca. A baby alpaca knit thong. Initially, I didn't really want to do it but then I started thinking about it more logically: Well, I should probably use a sock yarn because it has some elastic in it. How would I shape it? I wonder if there are patterns online...


[knitting] And Travel

I'm going to Minneapolis tomorrow and I'm trying to figure out whether or not I can take my knitting onto the plane with me. Thankfully, there's a whole page concerning the transportation of knitting needles and needlepoint at the TSA website. It is permitted but if the TSA screener is a total jerk and doesn't like the way I'm holding my needles (or that fact that they're covered with blood), he could deny me. Further:

1. Circular knitting needles are recommended to be less than 31 inches in total length.

Not a problem.

2. We recommend that the needles be made of bamboo or plastic (Not Metal)

Fine. I only like bamboo anyway.

3. Scissors must have blunt points

I'm not even going to try bring scissors. Maybe some nail clippers in case I need to snip a length of yarn.

4. In case the screener does not allow your knitting tools through security it is recommended that you carry a self addressed envelope so that you can mail your tools back to yourself as opposed to surrendering them at the security check point.

"Surrender them at the security check point"? I don't think so. I'll never surrender my knitting!

5. As a precautionary measure it is recommended that you carry a crochet hook with yarn to save the work you have already done in case your knitting tools are surrendered at the checkpoint.

Okay, here's where it becomes clear to me that the person writing this proviso only had a cursory idea of what knitting might entail. A crochet hook with yarn to save my knitting? What?

And here's more on Transporting Special Items.


[crafts] Craftblogging

HobbyPrincess is a cool-ass website. Ulla-Maaria presented at Reboot: Craftblogging – A window into the Long Tail of Fashion?

"In Europe and Japan, the trend against mass-produced fashion is growing. An increasing number of people prefer to buy their apparel from a designer someone has recommended, or one that they personally know. This presentation is about craftblogging - producing hand-made fashion items and publishing them on weblogs. Examples of how people produce, tag and share self-made fashion items on-line provide an opportunity to understand the potential of the Long Tail of Fashion."

She had also drafted a "Craft Manifesto":

1. People get satisfaction for being able to create/craft things because they can see themselves in the objects they make. This is not possible in purchased products.

2. The things that people have made themselves have magic powers. They have hidden meanings that other people can’t see.

3. The things people make they usually want to keep and update. Crafting is not against consumption. It is against throwing things away.

4. People seek recognition for the things they have made. Primarily it comes from their friends and family. This manifests as an economy of gifts.

5. People who believe they are producing genuinely cool things seek broader exposure for their products. This creates opportunities for alternative publishing channels.

6. Work inspires work. Seeing what other people have made generates new ideas and designs.

7. Essential for crafting are tools, which are accessible, portable, and easy to learn.

8. Materials become important. Knowledge of what they are made of and where to get them becomes essential.

9. Recipes become important. The ability to create and distribute interesting recipes becomes valuable.

10. Learning techniques brings people together. This creates online and offline communities of practice.

11. Craft-oriented people seek opportunities to discover interesting things and meet their makers. This creates marketplaces.

12. At the bottom, crafting is a form of play.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's all true but I'd like to redirect your attention to #2. Magic powers? That's what I'm talking about. It's totally true, you just have to make it have magical powers. Like, knit a spell into it a sweater or add some of your own blood to food you're serving your guests or embroider a pentagram on the inside of your underwear. See? Magic made easy!

[books] The Penguin Classics Library Complete Collection

Get 1,802 books for a mere $8,000. What a great deal!

Who the hell does Amazon think is going to order this? Maybe a school or something but I have a sneaking suspicion libraries won't want paperbacks. So, it's for the "home or office"? Who sits around, saying, "I've got all kinds of money? What am I going to spend it on, what am I going to spend it on? ... How about 700 lbs of books?" I don't think so...


[uvBookClub] Drop City

We had our first discussion last night. It could have gone better, because...

Charlotte: Finished the book.
E!: Finished the book.

Tyler: Didn't finish.
Angela: Didn't finish.
Ken: Didn't finish.
Amy: Didn't even come close to finishing.

So when people started bring up Alaska and everything that went on up there, I had to smile and nod politely before excusing myself to check on supper. The whole uvBookClub is just a front for me to have people over and cook for them. What did I cook? Couscous stuffed peppers. Which came out great. And a tri-color bell pepper salad. The Baked Pork Spring Rolls weren't a big hit with me. The recipe called for "spring roll wrappers" and I got the clear ones that need to be soaked in water in order to become maliable. Well, that was a big mistake. I should have gotten the eggroll or wonton wrappers. These clear ones, once baked up, turned into plastic. And some of them ripped when I tried turning them over. When Ken arrived, I had him peek into the oven and after seeing a couple rolls that looked as though they had violently exploded, he quietly closed the oven door and said, "Okay that doesn't look too good." And then, get this, he asks me whether or not I should take them out and re-roll the little fuckers. I don't think so! Shit, you bitches are going to have to eat what I put on the goddamn table!

But the dinner went smoothly. I like having a full table of people sitting around, eating and talking. And, since all good meals lead to conversations about either death or sex, which do you think we ended up talking about?

In a very hap-hazard, random way, we chose "that new book" by Michael Cunningham as the next selection. Seriously, this is how we choose the book:

CHARLOTTE: I heard the guy who wrote The Hours has a new book out. It sounds pretty good.

E!: Should we just read that for our next discussion?


TYLER: Wait, what are we reading?

AMY: Apparently we don't know the title. But... everyone agrees, so...

And in the end, after everyone else had left, I had the following conversation with Ken-

KEN: I hope I can finish this book in time finish the next one.

AMY: What?

KEN: I want to finish Drop City.

AMY: ... AHH HAHAHAHA-What the fuck for? We had the discussion, Ken. You don't EVER have to finish the book now.

KEN: Don't say that!

AMY: Whatever. I'm not going to finish the book.

[movies] Who watches the Watchmen movie?

Answer: Nobody.

I'm calling "Bullshit!" on Paramount's internal politics.


[vermont] VT Blogger Collage

Bill @ Candleblog posts a collage. Can you find me? I wasn't able to follow his directions too well. He wanted an original picture and I sent him a couple old ones. Then I took a brand-new one but then he said he wanted some kind of Candleblog reference in the show. Or something. So I was all like, "Fuckit". At any rate, the picture he used of me is way better than the new one I took, in which I had just rolled out of bed and look like this.

[books] Screw required reading...

... the only thing I'm gonna read about is knitting.

The uvBookClub is meeting at my place tomorrow night and I've got to tell you, I know I won't be able to finish Drop City in time. I spent all my reading chips on Lamb. I just plan on cooking lots of food so that people will be too busy eating to notice that all my discussion questions are variations of "Did you like the book?"

Having said that, I just heard about these books:

The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomer. I like the premise (A Seattle knitting store brings together four very different women in this earnest tale about friendship and love) but it didn't get the best reviews (Unfortunately, Macomber doesn't get much below the surface of her characters, and, although they all have interesting back stories, the arc of each individual happy ending is too predictable).

Her other book only recently came out and is called A Good Yarn. The editorial review sums up: "Despite occasional draughts of treacle and a too-easy denouement, this should be another Macomber bestseller."

Hrm... I like reading and I like knitting but these books aren't sounding too hot. But wait! What's this?! Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton. "Kelly Flynn never picked up a pair of knitting needles she liked--until she strolled into House of Lambspun. Now, in the first in a brand-new series, she learns how to knit one, purl two, and untangle the mystery behind her aunt's murder." A book about knitting and murder? Aht- Aght- I can't- [coughSECRETPALcoughcough] Excuse me. Ahem. I got something caught in my throat.


[movies] Russell Crowe Arrested in Assault

Holy Shit! "Crowe... allegedly threw the phone at the Mercer Hotel employee, striking him in the face, during an argument at around 4:20 a.m."


[movies] Rambo IV

Rambo is coming out of retirement. Which is super. I often wonder what Stallone has been up to...

"Last week, it was announced that he would write and direct a biopic of the American writer Edgar Allan Poe. He is also due to shoot a film based on his own screenplay about the murders of rap stars Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G."

Poe? Tupac and Biggie? My my my, Sly really is a Renaissance Man.