« December 2005 | Main | February 2006 »

January 31, 2006

down the rabbit hole

I'm falling in love...down, down, down I go through the rabbit hole. Sure feels like it. Normally I'd define myself as a serious skeptic and unbelieving in human change. But hey you grow up and figure out that you really know nothing about life even though you know so much more than you did. Am I making any sort of sense? I'll stop philosophizing and get to the point. I always hated stuffed animals. But right now I'm so enamored with knit and handmade toys I want to eat them. I'm just not myself anymore. I can hear the caterpillar saying "who are YOU?" Meander through these links and then let me know if you've been able to resists a few "awe" and "oh"s escaping your lips!

knit-robot.jpg

jess hutchinson - So far in my research, I deem her the mistress of the most adorable and creative knit toys. I really want to get my hands on her patterns. I'm so sad that her book is sold out, wah.

molly_chicken.jpg

molly chicken's blog — these japanese handicrafts make me grin - adorable!

colobockle.jpg

Colobockle — these illustrations are super inspirationsal and sweet, yummy. they remind me a bit of Eric Carl, a childhood favorite of mine.

sigh. I would love to be living in my art barn right now. Fireplace roaring, lovely tunes floating through the air, hot pot of tea by my side and all the time in the world to create all the lovely things in my minds eye. dreaming...

January 30, 2006

love sparks

sparkly_max.jpg

I had a small epiphany yesterday. I said small, since I know epiphanies are probably by definition huge. During a seemingly long breakfast I was holding my hung over head with one hand and securing Max on my lap with the other, I noticed that Max was holding relatively still and not fussing. He was calmly hanging out with us while my wonderful chef husband made breakfast — we were for the first time doing pretty much nothing. Max doesn't normally hold still, at all really and he usually complains in that wah fussy fussy cry more than I like or than I think is acceptable. I started to wonder how long this chill out would last. Pretty long actually, all morning and through the afternoon, very nice. I wondered what was going on. Clearly the only change between this morning and all the others was my pathetic irresponsible after effect. Perhaps I should be permanently hung over, ha ha ha just skating the edge of a perfect excuse. But really, apparently my condition made me relax and therefore relaxes those imprinting off me. Huh. Not rocket science you’re thinking? But it is deceptively deep in its simplicity. I took it a little farther and realized I've been subscribing to some of my generation's mommy madness by thinking Max needs my constant activity and attention. I've had a running and crazy making voice in my head constantly pressuring me to do more. More of what exactly is the big abstract annoyance. I've even been subscribing to the hellish over produced mom agenda and freaking out about future schooling issues rather than enjoying the fact that we’re not there yet. This freakish anxiety of mine is why I need a tortured musings category on my blog.

My fabulous little sister (permanent title I might add) sent me an excerpt from Judith Warner's New York Times blog Domestic Disturbances (part of Times Select which I don't subscribe therefore I can't read it daily without forking over dough so no linky linky — However I found the quote on the real eve blog). Within normal, healthy limits, what we do, how we feed, how we sleep, how we talk, whether we read to our kids for a half-hour each day or for six (as I, craziest of all the crazies, sometimes did), doesn't really matter very much in the long term, I'm starting to think--so long as we do what we do with kindness and with love. Nice. I hear the Beatles singing "all you need is love, la la la." 'tis true. I found a few more mom blogs I'd like to share: the new mom, half changed world, corporate mommy, dot moms, and then here's a little tasty gossip to break up the mommy centricity annie in motion.

January 29, 2006

time to twine

twine.jpg

It's tough to find helpful info on shibori knitting/felting on the web. Best I've found is here and here. Both of these show the wrapping a rubber band around a marble or other object process which I did last time. Rather than making another bumpy shibori scarf I'm going out on a limb and doing my own wrapping idea. The scarf was machine knit in stockinet stitch with Blue Sky 100% alpaca in a natural milky beige color. I'd been warned not to choose a yarn that has been bleached since bleached yarns don't felt well. It's about 8 inches wide and 125 inches long. The recommended needle for this yarn is a no. 3 —no. 5. I believe the machine needle was the equivalent of a no.8. The stitches are really wide and loose at 4 per inch, which is what you want when felting. To get a good felting result you want the hot water and agitation to be able to get between the stitches and shrink 'em. So what I've decided to do is tightly wrap in 4 inch stripes down the length of the scarf with nylon twine. I'm hoping it will create a strange curly ruffle effect. Worst case it's gets deemed a Dr. Suess costume accessory. Wrapping takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R so get ready for some boring bitching and moaning entries.

January 28, 2006

olympic supplies

bunny_supplies.jpg

I'm getting ready for the knitting olympics (feeling like such a geek, but I'm in good company since the list of participants is overwhelmingly long!). I must admit I'm a bit thrilled to challenge myself and to participate in the online collective. Turns out my local yarn store is having an opening ceremony knit-along to celebrate as well. Glove teacher, Maria, has offered to give me her leftover polyester fiberfill stuffing since she has no need for it. How sweet! I'm using ArtFibers Kyoto yarn made of silk, kid mohair and extra fine wool, spun in Japan it says — wow an import. It's super soft, shiny and gorgeous. What a fancy bunny she shall be. I've already swatched (yes this was allowed since it's considered practice) and I've decided to knit two strands together and use a size 9 needle so my gauge matches the pattern exactly. I figure the double strand will also help hid any stuffing show through since the fabric will be stretched. I swatched both single and double strand with a no. 8 and couldn't quite get to 4 stitches per inch (16 over 4"). I went to Britex last week and picked up some coral pink and chocolate brown embroidery thread for the mouth and eyes.
On your mark...get set...13 days to go.

January 26, 2006

kaja—koigu

kajakoigu.jpg

That's a blast from the past thought. Making pretty good progress on my gloves even with the ripping out and starting over trauma. I was hoping to have finished both to the point where tonight's class picks up but don't you know it, I fell asleep at 9:30 on the couch AGAIN. Sad but true. I'm really looking forward to learning to knit the digits.

January 25, 2006

dead animal rags

animal_couture.jpg

Here's the perfect dichotomy to last Wednesday's vegan blah blah blog — taxidermy animal couture by Christian Schneider courtesy of Paxton Gate. Here you have it folks, wacko San Francisco shopping just as you imagined it. Taxidermy is a bit creepy eh? And treading on the unethical I might add. Of course this San Francisco store has a “rebuttals” link supposedly addressing any concerns you might have. They consider taxidermy an extension of the natural sciences. Hmmm freeze dried vertebrae. I agree that for studying purposes it should be considered the natural sciences. But when you sell multiples to the freaky collector or for the dumb asses’ practical joke then I'm thinking it's not so much about natural science but just bad taste. When I searched for explanations there wasn’t anything saying that these animals were killed, saved and non-toxically embalmed in some politically correct way. Though they do state that they receive complaints. I can't believe that taxidermy is so "in" right now that Paxton Gate can pay their rent? Really? But hell, what do I know? Here's how I think the future of taxidermy should look: Rogue Taxidermy. Now isn't that truly fabulous?!

I assume there isn't a huge market for taxidermy fashion but apparently there is a rather large growing market for pet couture. The new rage for the über rich or Paris Hilton wannabes is to outfit their pups in stylish suits. Really people?! Did you know that 8 out of 10 pet owners give their pets Christmas, birthday, Easter and other various holiday gifts? Hello people, your pet doesn't know what day it is — EVER! Uh hem, there are human beings who do know what day it is that you could give gifts, food, aid and more for the same price as that fancy dog perignon champagne $13 squeak toy or that $99 couture leather coat! Urgh I'm ranting, but it just seems that American pet owners have really gone too far. How obnoxious and decadent can we get?

January 24, 2006

baby care babble

Utamaro.jpg

Once you become a mother pretty much all you'll talk about are the intricate details of the mundane routine of caring for your baby. You'll be asked and somehow find yourself asking, even against your better judgment, all sorts of really banal questions to all your mommy friends and acquaintances. I just got off the phone with a pretty good mommy friend and it seems no matter what the daily circumstances are, we can't help launching into endless details of last nights sleeping pattern as compared to the night before and last weeks as well. And of course we have to re-cover the unending naptime difficulties, how little our babes are eating, and the general resistance their new found independence is bringing. It's kind of interesting,... well really it's not that interesting. I think it's just that we need so much more support than we are getting that we keep going over and over our common minutia. It's a bit sad really, but I find myself entangled in the same uneventful thought patterns too.

So in my typical fashion, I started searching around the web looking for some interesting mommy sites. Is anybody else feeling this way? Duh, of course someone is! * Reminder: This is a big bad ass world and the internet has all the geeked out crazy bloggers served up fresh every damn second. Besides obviously I'm doing it too. Anyway, so first I came across the literary mama site. My first thought was who has time to really read a book let alone write one? I guess they read and write rather than knit and blog— right, that makes sense. I like the tone and realism of the column mothershock. She's got a blog too. From there I linked to mothers talk only to find it says "coming soon". Don't you hate that? I was intrigued 'cause I think it said it's based in San Francisco. Ok, here's the motherload of blog links: mimi smartypants, midlife mama, this woman's work, mothered up beyond all recognition (has a great mama blog list), and mom brain. That's enough to keep me overloaded.

January 22, 2006

backassward cast on

backward_loop_cast-on.jpg

I was knitting, knitting, knitting 'round and 'round quickly because I was so excited to see my first gusset fully formed. I finally got to the last increase row and saved my thumb stitches off onto my waste cotton yarn, tah dah. Then it was time to cast on four stitches using the backward loop cast on. So I tried. And then I tried again. Then I even referenced the above photo I took of my teacher Maria doing it, (so that's not my glove) but she's putting the stitch on the wrong needle. You wouldn't think that would matter, but it really screwed me up. Many tires later, nope, nada, still not working for me. What's going through my head? Maria's voice saying, "This is the cast on they teach children. It's so easy they probably don't even mention it in Vogue Knitting." And she's right, they don't. Thankfully she put two other cast on options in her pattern — cable and knit on. So I looked those up and chose the knit on. I actually did successfully teach myself to knit on the four stitches using the Vogue book. Phew, I can still learn something. I was starting to wonder if I'd really truly lost my mind. So you thought this was a happy ending? Not so fast. I continued knitting only to realize that my first knit into the cast on stitch wasn't tight enough and left a pretty big hole. Note to all, make that first stitch damn tight. Then I found a crappy accidental yarn over right on the outside seam and it was below the "on hold" thumb stitches. At least I didn't start irrationally crying. I knew it would have to be ripped out, and I knew in my frame of mind I shouldn't do it myself. I had to take an emergency trip to the knitting store and find Maria. Thankfully she was working on Sunday and she easily recognized and solved the problem. She even showed me a frogging trick. Using the needle you poke it through and under the left stitch of each "v" in the stockinet pattern all the way across the row. Then when you rip, it ends with that row on the needle ready to knit. It was cool. Hopefully I can repeat it?! I'll be knitting it all over again this evening, stay tuned.

I really look forward to the day I can read my knitting and fix errors without panicking.

January 18, 2006

otsu goose

otsu_goose.jpg

Swan. goose, duck, turns out they are all related. You knew that of course. I suppose a vegan only boutique would choose animals as their mascots, that makes sense right? Especially herbivores eh? Otsu is a quirky little shop and epitomizes the new mission district shopping experience. Every time I walk by I wonder how the hell they stay in business. But around here there's something for everyone and apparently plenty of it. For the record, I love meat— except parts like liver, brain and tongue and I wouldn't want to live without lovely leather shoes and soles. And I certainly couldn't give up all animal products including the ones that don't even kill the animals like milk, eggs and down pillows! So clearly I don't qualify as vegan. Good thing they don't check your membership card when you enter the shop. I do care about vegan concerns such as my health, animal welfare, and the environment which is why I pay twice as much for all my certified "happy before we were slaughtered" meat and "we promise we don't give our cows hormones or antibiotics" milk products. Not the same? Ok I tried. I still want the slow cooked pot roast waiting in my fridge. Anyway, Otsu does have darling locally made dyi products and I especially love their little Otsu paper products done by various talented designers and artists.

January 17, 2006

just wacked enough

knit_bunny.jpg

Ok, I be certifiable. I'm going to join the knitting olympics. Yes, the yarn harlot has come up with a knit-a-long that takes place from the lighting of the olympic flame until they extinguish it. It's 16 days February 10 through the 26. The rules are simple, just cast on at the lighting ceremony and finish by the closing. You can choose any project that suits your level but challenges you. As I peruse her list of contestants I just get so overwhelmed at the amount of people on the planet, and all these ladies knit and have websites?! Most of them knit so well and succeed at such complicated patterns - whoa - it's overwhelming. So back to my first thought, yes I'm crazy, 'cause I'm going to enter! Clearly I fit her description of "just whacked enough to play along."

The big question is what to knit. I could do the woody sweater for Max. It would be super challenging just to finish that much knitting in time, let alone figure out the confusing pattern directions. I might have better success doing a glove project in so far as I might actually finish it. Hmmm. But re-reading the bliss book I'm thinking the Nell pattern is a better fit for my junior level and my lack of access to any help. Ok yep, that's the one. Still doing it for Max of course so I won't be choosing lavendar. Signing up, yikes.

Lookie what I found. Ok how fun is this site?! Love this. Devoted entirely to bunny creation! Fabulous. I've been itching to make a knitted animal. Jess Hutchison has a free pattern I could try. I'll give this olympic project an over night sleep and decide tomorrow. night night.

January 16, 2006

marvelous master max

master_max.jpg

Max truly is marvelous. I know every mother thinks so, and that's as it should be. I just feel compelled to say so and to make an entry to capture all the marvelous and monumental milestones Max keeps mastering. At fourteen and a half months he's finally crawling! Ah, ha ha ha. No, really, he is finally crawling but he walked at ten months so it's pretty humorous that he's finally started to crawl. It's quite a clunky and slow maneuver, making it all the more hilarious to watch. He's also really into rolling all over the floor and lying on his tummy. That's a feat since all those tummy time sessions when he was an infant were a complete bust. What's actually getting really fun is all the communicating he's doing.

Here is a list of the words Max signs: cat; bird; baby; milk; more; bunny; aunt; fish (a sign hubby made up); coffee; frog; flower; all done; music (his own sign where he raises his arm up and shakes it like he's riding a bull)

He says: agua (first word); mama; dada; up (pronounced as “bup”); cat (sounds like dat); toothbrush toothpaste (the paste part is a slight variation in sound from toothbrush with a lot of pointing at the toddler paste tube which I'm pretty sure is loaded with sugar and that Max is now addicted to); hot (which he says in threes cause he copies my exaggeration— as in it's really hot hot hot! so don't touch); apple; banana; noodle; mas (Spanish for “more”); ball; cracker & cookie are interchangeable (sounds like a crazy version of cookidico); crocodile; papa; bicycle (sounds like oglico. Now that may not seem like bicycle to you, but if you knew just how adamant he was about it you'd believe); cheese; lights are “dough dough”; shoes; Alma (his nanny’s name); nose; and of course the whooper of all repetitive words “NO, NO, NO!” almost always said with his fore finger out wagging at whatever he’s not supposed to be doing. He probably says more Spanish words than we are aware of but his father and I will never know ‘cause neither of us took Spanish even though we grew up in California. Doh!

When he sees a picture or live animal he makes the sounds for: cow "moo"; dog "woof, woof"; cat "meow" (sounds like chairman Mao); owl "whoo, whoo"; bird "tweet, tweet"; horse "nay, nay"; sheep "bahhh"; , car "vroom"; duck “quack quack” (sounds like back back); rooster “cockidoodledo”;

And just over the last two days he’s trying to say our cats names, Madeline and Miro as well as the sound a ball makes “boing”. All these attempts are so adorable and keep us endlessly entertained.

January 15, 2006

hand warming homework

glove_progress1.jpg

I'm so into the custom glove project. I can't stop thinking about it, though I can't keep knitting because I've already knit both hands up to the point where I'm supposed to stop and wait for next instructions. I've got one hand on the needles and the other on the waste yarn, just waiting.

For the record, I knit the 2x2 ribbing for 2 inches and then started the stockinet for three quarters of an inch. The pattern only calls for a half inch of stockinet before the increases start, but I decided I want my gloves just a wee bit longer in the wrist. The next step is to start the increases for the thumb gusset. That's where Thursday's class starts up, stay tuned...

January 14, 2006

pretty paper

wrappingpaper.jpg

While shopping for baby gifts at the ultra luxurious and pricey Lavish on Hayes I couldn't help falling in love with their wall of wrapping paper sheets. Simple beauty and yummy yummy. I need to start designing my own. If only I could start wagging my fingers at myself or better yet I need penalties for lack of performance!

January 13, 2006

kristi goes koigu

glove_cuff.jpg

I took the first of three thursday night 7-9 p.m. glove classes last night. I got pretty far along on my first glove seeing that I learned a new knitting in the round method called magic loop. What's cool about magic loop is you don't get the laddering effect that happens where you change needles when you knit with double points and you don't need two sets of circular needles so you save a little money. With magic loop you simply just split the stitches in half leaving the stitches you are knitting on the front needle and the on hold stitches on the cable behind. The working yarn always comes up through the center. Our teacher Maria, also showed us an easy joining method for joining the first round. You simply cast on one additional stitch at the very end, then pass it to the other needle (toward the next stitch you would knit) and then knit two together. It works beautifully.

For this glove project I'm going all the way and knitting the fingers. I figure if I don't like 'em I can always frog it back to the fingerless point and bind off. At least this way I'll learn how to do fingers. For this project I chose Koigu Kerstie 100% merino wool in a variable olive green hue that is approx 5.5 stitches to the inch. They recommend using a number 6 needle, but Maria said for gloves it's better to have it a bit tighter so I went with No. 5 addi turbos 'cause the cable is more flexible that the plastic cords on the Clover bamboo needles. We are using Maria's custom glove pattern which is great because you can easily change the pattern to accommodate any size hand by just plugging the measurements into her formula. My hand is a 7.5 inch circumference and my big thumb knuckle is 3.5 inches. My gauge is 6.25 inches. So you multiply the the hand circumference by the stitch gauge and that’s your cast on number. I needed to round down for a number divisible by 4 (I decided to do 2x2 ribbing on the cuff) so I cast on 44 stitches. Then you're ready to begin. I’m doing a 2 inch cuff which is about as far as I got last night. You can see my progress above and a fellow class mate, Alison.

January 11, 2006

wet alarm

fire_alarm.jpg

I saw this art alarm along my way to work wednesday patrol. I'm one of those types who reads a little too much into signs believing that the world is always secretly trying to tell me something profound. I know, I know, it's really just me projecting my issues on anything and anyone. Good grief. Freudian theory is tedious.

One day in retrospect the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.
—Sigmund Freud

January 10, 2006

no solution or consensus

homeless.jpg

Last Friday we had this homeless guy cause a big dramatic scene on our little neighborhood street. I keep thinking about it and how unfortunate the ending was for us all. I also keep thinking about what a few people have said to me regarding the incident. "The homeless are like pigeons, if you keep feeding the birds they'll keep coming back" . . .

This is a ridiculously long posting so I’m putting the bulk of it in the extended entry, click through if you're interested. . .

So what happened? It started a few weeks ago on my walk home. I noticed a street guy hosing down my neighbor's driveway using their fancy garden hose (yes, I envy their groovy coiled design). I said, "Excuse me what are you doing?" He replied in a strange skittish and stuttering speech pattern that he was hired by the lady with baby to clean her driveway. Of course that sounded super suspect, but there's not much I can do other than call him out and hope to have made the point that I can recognize his face and have an eye on him. I went inside and he was gone within a half hour. I meant to ask my neighbor about it, but of course I forgot. Last Friday I drove up to my house and the same guy was in the street with a broom. I assumed he was about to start sweeping. A few days earlier there had been a car break-in and the street directly in front of my place was filled with broken glass from the windows. I had half a mind to sweep the glass up myself since I didn't want my tires rolling over the shards, but of course I was too preoccupied to get around to it. I parked my car up on the sidewalk and he immediately came over to my car window. He started going on and on about saving the neighborhood, and all the do-gooding he'd been helping with. He introduced himself as Terry and added in some personal details about being a Vietnam vet and having a daughter. His speech was very irratic and he didn't always make sense let alone stay on topic. Clearly he's pretty messed up, either high or off his medication. He asked about Max who I was taking out of the back seat, which creeped me out. Anyway he says he'll sweep the street with the broom the neighbor lent him (making me think again that he had some sort of neighbor reference) if I'd give him a little compensation. Seemed reasonable since I wanted the glass swept anyway so I said yes and asked him how much. He said fifteen hundred dollars and my car. Huh, funny guy eh. I figured I go in the house and call my neighbor to see what arrangements she had made with him. As I took my things out of the car he spied the Tupperware container filled with left over fruit from the playgroup I had just gotten home from and asked for some. Sure I thought, I can spare a little fruit. Ooopsie, that's where the feeding the birds part came in. I then go inside and call my neighbor. It turns out she did pay him $2 to clean her driveway and she had lent him her broom. But she then confessed that he'd been really getting weird and impossible to shake and that her husband was disapproving of her having gotten involved with him and wanted him gone. While we were on the phone we're both watching him out our front windows. He'd started freaking out in the middle of street. He was lying down grabbing his legs, swinging the broom through the air (not sweeping at all!), flopping over and over from back to belly, screaming to himself, and trespassing on other neighbors property. Then he started looking really spastic and as though he was in serious pain. It kept looking worse and worse. Finally we agreed that we should call the police. Luckily my neighbor said she'd do it, though she was fearing retaliation by Terry. Another 10-15 minutes of freaking in the street transpired and finally the police and medic team arrived. Of course as she feared the police go right up and knock on her door showing Terry exactly who called the police, swell. So they then assess Terry by asking him questions and determine that although he clearly is on drugs and has serious psychiatric issues he doesn't meet their criteria for taking him in for an evaluation. I'm learning that here in San Francisco you have to be dying or waving a gun to get any real "help". They shoo Terry off (yes he takes the broom but leaves other random personal effects) and then the police leave. Not even ten minutes later he’s back and in the middle of our street screaming again, great eh?! The police were really helpful and effective and we feel soooo much safer now? My neighbor and I get on the phone again and now we're actually freaking out not knowing what to do and realizing we have no recourse. We’re still watching him out our window and comparing notes. He started to sweep up the glass, but most of the time he was just being a total maniac and it was obvious that he was pissed. Unfortunately I still needed to go out front to put my car in the garage because I had left it on the sidewalk this whole time since I was operating under the false assumption that Terry was going to sweep the street and all would be well. I summoned up the courage to go outside and face him. Interestingly enough another neighbor, a guy, was loitering on his steps surveying the situation. I have to confess that it felt safer with his eyes on the scene. Terry came toward me and starting complaining about someone having called the cops. I asked him if he was ok and said that he looked as though he didn’t seem well. He said he was fine just having trouble with pain management. Of course I wasn’t about to prolong this experience by engaging in any unnecessary conversation, so I just ignored all his continued utterances and said thank you for sweeping and handed him $3. I then jumped in my car and quickly parked it in the garage. When I got out of the car and started to go up my front steps he got in my face and started complaining about the money. He said it wasn’t enough, and that he needed new boots, and that he’d done a great job sweeping stating that it was such a difficult job and really he deserved more. Holy shit I thought this guy’s really off his rocker and potentially a real problem I may not be able to shake. Have I mentioned that my husband was out of town too? I'm home alone with a baby and a lunatic homeless man on my front steps and the police say there's nothing they can do - well until he actaully harms me or commits a crime. What a potentially scary Catch 22. Not really knowing what to do I just flipped into my hard ass mode, since my soft helping side had gotten me into this disaster, and said in a really harsh tone looking straight into his eyes said “we’re done” and then walked inside. Luckily about another 15 minutes later he gave up and left. I saw him on the next block about a half hour later on my way to dinner but I haven’t seen him since. I keep thinking about how sad it was that that by trying to help I had just created more problems for myself and my neighborhood. And even more sadly I wasn’t really helping Terry at all. Scenarios like this one are happening all over San Francisco everyday and there appears to be no solution, solid consensus or enough money to fix the problems. Fucking hell.

January 9, 2006

woody by bliss

woodysweater.jpg

I found myself having to spend a minimum of $30 at Borders Books (King Street location) in order to get free parking in the their "validated" lot. Nice eh? A fucking $30 minimum, I think that's outrageous! So I'm now officially boycotting Borders. The gift I was buying was $25, so what, should I try to buy a $5 latte to make up the difference? I was already strung out on caffeine that a.m. and I had to pee, so more coffee was out. of course I decided to head toward the craft section knowing damn well I'd spend more than $5. I did so much page flipping searching for something I liked I was starting to run late. I struggled to find any knitting books that were worthy of a minimum purchase. There's such a dearth of interesting, inspiring, and stylish knitting books. I can't stand all the chunky, shapeless sweaters, knitted chair covers, hideous tea cozies, and endlessly ridiculous fuzzy pda and felted cell phone covers. Who knits these let alone wears them? I was hoping to find the one book I really want which is Teva Durham's Loop d Loop, but they didn't have it. The reviews for this book are you either love it or hate it. Some critics say the models look too stoned (and that matters because?), the designs are too edgy, and the patterns run too small. Others say the designs are radically inspired and cutting edge. Either way it's the most passionate knitting design discussion I've read. So I did finally came across a book I could settle in with since it had three sweater designs I liked for boys sizes 3 to 10 years old. Seeing that Max is only 14 months old, I’ll have plenty of time to knit them. The book is by Debbie Bliss, titled Junior Knits. I’m considering starting the beginner pattern Woody (see today’s image). I’ll probably stick with the grey merino aran No.301 which it calls for, since the only other color I like is the deep watery blue No.203. I’ll see what Imagiknit has in stock before deciding. I gave the patterns a deeper read through last night and I’m not sure I like her writing style. It’s not terribly detailed...or I really still don't know what I'm doing? I’m going to have to jot down the confusing directions and find an experienced knitter to guide me. Maybe I can sneak a question or two in at the end of the glove class I’m starting on Thursday.

January 5, 2006

highstrung?!@#$%^&*(!

highstrung.jpg

Bad trippin' on my stucksies career already and it's only five days into the new year. Just yesterday I was flying high on happy happy zen nothings. Now I think I need to bury my head deep in the sand for a long long while so I can figure out what to do with my life. Here's the rub, I spent the morning surfing around looking at photography, art, design and fashion all by local SFers and now I'm going crazy thinking why bother when there's already so many fabulous people making such genius work? I just want to hire them to do stuff for me. Huh, I guess that's an angle I can consider...typing out loud here. Bet you probably want to know where I was surfing...do ya? Ok but first you must look at this gorgeous photography rental space, I want to move in immediately. So first I moused over to Winni Wintermeyer's site. Don't you just love that name? The only draw back is it sounds like he's a girl. Yep Winni is a guy. Makes me think of a boy named Sue Anyway his site is filled with stunning commercial photography and design. From there I headed to Receiver Studio which has lots of cute design and quirky art shows. Next was Katherine Worel's installation art (and her buddy Luther's designs), then Amanda Hughen's works which is where I got the top half of today's picture. Then to Stephen Gill's über cool photographs especially the hackney flowers series. And then lastly, this where I decided to stop surfing and just leave the building, I visited Rachel d. Pearson, artist and adorable eco- friendly fashion designer's site. Argh, apparently she also gets accused of being too nice. What?!@! Kill me now.

January 4, 2006

mutant goat or rhino relative?

candystore_window.jpg

Seems each wednesday I'm searching for a topic I get sucked into the store windows along 16th Street. Yep, I'm a shopper. Candystore is a quirky retro-esque girlie shop geared toward the teen to twenty something scene. I'm feeling so old that this time period seems forever ago. I can hardly remember what it felt like to sit around and preen in front of my bathroom mirror for hours. You know, I just don't miss that. What caught my eye in this vanity set up was the kitchy unicorn ceramic. What is the deal with the mythical unicorn and why are they constantly associated with teenage girls? Well as I read on in Wikopedia (my new favorite source for immediate information), I learn that there is a lovely christian connection declaring that the unicorn represents chaste love and faithful marriage. Well there you have it folks, unicorns (nice horn) are only attracted (and then tamable and of course captured) by female virgins. Ah, the parable of true christian love (which leads to marriage of course). Hence the teen chick thing. Aren't you glad I cleared that up for ya?

January 3, 2006

resolving issues

defeure_swan_detail.jpg

Okay fine, I'll bore myself (and you) with an entry of resolutions. How original. At least I'll be able to look back at the end of '06 and see if I am in the same state of mind. It will probably depress me to read this in January '07, so cheers to that. I'm renaming it a "resolution slash wish" list.

No. 1: I hate to pressure myself more than I already do, but number one must be to find a new job. Damn this is a hard one, ouch. So caveat is, if I don't have a new job by J '07 I'd better have a business plan and some sketches completed.
No 2: Start those damn sketches for any of the business ideas that are floating around in my head Re: resolution No. 1 (I wish there was a super exclamation punctuation) :: insert here ::
No. 3: Stop torturing myself about money. Got enough to eat so chill. But it's still a good idea to save more and pay attention to investments, so I'll allow a little worry in those categories. (Just couldn't help myself could I?!)
No. 4: Knit more. Take more classes, and be challenged. Practice knitting math. Make at least one garment from a pattern I alter to my measurements.
No. 5: Cook. Sounds easy but really, living with a gourmet chef (who's super controlling in the kitchen), why bother? Well I need to bother, not just for nourishment but so I can feel in control too. Besides there are even some ingredients that I don't know. Some of those squashes are too strange to have previously encountered.
No. 6: Take more pictures. Real pictures with real film. None of this crappy digital stuff that stays in some folder on a disc never to be seen again ( I prefer the art of the photo album which I then lose in my basement). I want to continue to document Max's life, but also take shots just for fun and inspiration. Maybe I can even find my way back to art...which leads me to
No. 7: Find my brushes, use my colored pencils, start the sewing machine etc. Find time to practice and play. Where's my stuff?
No. 8: Commit to weekend yoga. Just the Sunday class, once a week or maybe even 2-3 Sundays a month. Just enough to feel stretched out and a little peaceful.
No. 9: Declare date night and start getting out and enjoying each other and the city again.
No. 10: Just be. "Drink wine. This is life eternal...be happy for this moment. This moment is your life." Now I'm not saying I endorse all that's on this wacky site, but a lot of the quotes are inspiring. Any quote that starts with drink wine is good for me.