Monday, April 30, 2007

Recent Reads


I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, by Nora Ephron. I'm a little too young to be reading (listening to) this book, but it's quite amusing nonetheless. Nora Ephron wrote the screenplays -- Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry met Sally, You've Got Mail -- and this book is a collection of essays on being woman and aging. She puts things in perspective, such as, when you neck gets old and wrinkled, there isn't much you can do about it. I didn't know you are supposed to have a winter and a summer purse. But I do know the time consuming task of upkeep and the now ever so popular three hours every six weeks hair torture.

Dean and Me, by Jerry Lewis. It's one of those times that I discover someone I swoon over, and turns out the man is dead. I'm listening to lots of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra these days, along with Andrea Bocelli (alive and well) and Michael Crawford (alive and well).

The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell. They only had abridged version for audio book, so one day I might have to check out the full version and read it. Like Freakonomics, it's another social study book written for the lay man. Some interesting points.

On Deck:

Dubliners by James Joyce. San Jose library is hanging onto the audio version of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (our next book club read) for dear life, so I'm working on a different Joyce book instead.

The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier. I can't believe I'll be reading yet another Oprah book club book. If great minds think alike, what does that tell me?

I'm studying the 50 states with Henry. It's taking me a great deal of effort to remember all the state capitals.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Uptown Coat Left Front Stalled

This is how far I got with the Uptown Coat. Body is finished to armhole divide. Left front armhole decrease is done and started the V-neck decrease. With all these decreases somewhere along the line I think I've lost track of the stitch pattern. I'm usually pretty good at reading my knitting and figure out where I am on the stitch pattern. This time the stitches just don't feel right.

This is the left front.

And the is the bottom front. Can you tell the stitch pattern has changed?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Pagode Cast On

This was bought exactly a year ago. One of the front panels was cast on over the weekend, all 386 stitches, had to count five times to get it right.

Lovely yarn on size 3 needles. I see some long and lovely knitting time in the future.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Things to worry about, or not

My mom called this morning, to tell me that she saw a nice wig. "It looks just like real hair, and pretty easy to take care of too. My friends all wear wigs." "Well, that's nice, if you have time to fool around with it." Not sure what friends she's talking about, cause the ones I saw definitely didn't wear wigs, unless they are very bad ones. "Oh no, not for me. I was thinking you can use it ... you know, to cover your gray hair. Don't have to use chemicals and all that ...." My gray hair is fine, thank you. SonShapes got back to me on the size 10 needle that they cannot produce, after I hand delivered it to their house on Sunday: "Order number 070305-00136 made on 2/24/2007 has been cancelled per your request. Since you paid using Credit Card, we have credited the entire amount of the sale which is detailed below: Type: Custom Order Subtotal: $25.85 Sales Tax: $2.13 S&H: " $7.95 shipping on two wooden sticks and a plastic wire. I didn't see silver ribbon on the envelop, the mailman must be paid really well. But I'm not going to sweat the small stuff. I'm deeply disturbed by the Virginia Tech shooting. I'm a mother. I send my son to strangers every day, not hear from him or his care giver most of the time till the end of the day. Even more so as he gets older. One day he will travel with other kids to places I've never been to. A short ten years from now he will live in a college dorm, maybe far away from home. Like every mother I want so much to protect my child, and like every sane person I know there is very little I can do other than keeping him in a bubble, then I'd worry that he might suffocate. I was all ready to sign up Henry for Summer Camp, but now I'm worrying. It's a religous institution that had been attacked in other parts of the country. It also has brand new facilities, incredible teaching staff, and very close to home. The camp director knows Henry from last year, and Henry loves the place. Decisions decisions decisions.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pug in Jail

Color Blocks

From this:
To this:
Last year my mom gave me this basket of hand-me-down tapestry yarn that she inherited from some friends of hers, who inherited from some relative of theirs. Very old, small skeins of thick wool, in horrendously sharp migraine inducing colors, yet with a surprisingly soft texture. She couldn't figure out what to do with them.
The skeins told me they wanted to be a warm blanket, in simple stockinet stitch so as to maximize the coverage and minimize the bulk.
After a few months of winding, car knitting, and marathon blocking, now we have a mass of colorful blocks in all different sizes. Henry helped me with the color arrangement.

Mom's Latest Charity Knitting

Mostly for CIC, some for local charities.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In a Slump

I worked till 12:30am on Saturday (ok, technically Easter Sunday morning), for this. And did I mention that it's the second Saturday in a row? All comes down to this. My knitting is in a bit of a slump as well. My mom is visiting and I gave her all the wool yarn I've collected for her in the last few months. She's on fiber high. Evidently that included my car project (a charity blanket that I just started). So now I'm car-project-less. I have to find something absolutely mindless so my fingers can be on auto pilot while I keep my mind and eyes on the road. There is three-hour car trip tomorrow, I need a mindless project. Has to be mindless cause if I look down I'd get carsick. As a one-project-at-a-time girl, my main project, the Uptown Coat, is in a slump as well. I'm up at the arm holes, separate the front and decreased for the left front. It's not looking quite as well as I've hoped. The body was knitted in one piece and I only had a 29 inch needle, mighty hard to squeeze all the stitches together. At Stitches I ordered a 36 inch wooden needle from SonShapes for $35. That's a lot of money for a circular needle. For the next month I chugged along on my trusty little Clover, dreaming of the nice smooth surface of hard wood needle with the extra long extension cable. Finally the needle showed up (it's custom made, ought to take some time), one size too big. So I had a nice conversation with the SonShapes people and they were going to replace it, yada yada yada. Last week they called me again, they don't know if they can make the needle one size smaller. They don't know what size is a standard US size 10 needle. They don't know how to use a needle gauge. They have never heard of Clover. They wanted me to mail the needle back to get a refund. Did I mention they are five miles from my house? Tonight, I'm gonna put the coat on the back burner, and figure out what I really want to knit.