Tuesday, October 31, 2006

dusty chandeliers

Okay, four more rows on Skully and then I can turn my attention to NaNoWriMo. Thank you to those who gave their thoughts about using previous characters.

My understanding is it is okay to use stuff you have already thought of just not stuff you have written. That said I can finally figure out who is this mysterious Fish in a short I have begun.

Have I mentioned my fondenss for the absurd and surreal?***CV

Monday, October 30, 2006

chivalrous shark

Only 24 more repeats to go. But, when one starts purling the knits and knitting the purls it's time to take a break. Blocking will likely be tomorrow. Which is just as well as Dia de los Muertos is Wednesday and Thursday.
I couldn't figure out why I was feeling so sore today and then I remembered; Donkey kicks! Oh now I understand. One way of doing handstands without a wall assist is to practice jumping(hands on the floor) with two legs together at once. I've spent a majority of handstand practice in class doing that. Today I actually felt a shift in balance :)
There's this great song called the Ballad of the Chivalrous Shark. It's a bit grisly and highly ironic. Just how chivalrous is a shrk who will not eat women and children but does eat men? The tune is similar to That Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze.***CV

Sunday, October 29, 2006

los calavera

Five and one half repeats done - and is my wrist sore.(The picture is the original swatch created by the designer: it is not my work)

I was concerned after the first two repeats that the shawl/scarf would be on the short side, but when I see it now ... I guess lace expands as you make it. One of the instructors commented today that it reminded her of papel picado (the cut paper often displayed on Dia de los Muertos of skeletons having a good time).
NaNoWriMo starts in three days and I have not the least idea of what to write. Well I do. But it uses somethng I have already written which is forbidden according to the rules. I wonder if characters can simply move into another story?
*** CV

Saturday, October 28, 2006

gyre and gimbel

There may be a slight change in costuming. I'm not sure yet. As I was working on my fourth repeat and feeling the sensations of a three hour sit in a wooden chair and considering whether I really appreciated the Cult blasting along with espressos or not, it occurred to me that I could be an historical person anytime but only on Hallowe'en could I represent what All Hallows is about.
STR club stuff arrived today. I would like to say that this is the first skein where I honestly feel I could do something with it. The others are pretty but they represent a side of the colour wheel that I am least attracted to. Winter and Autumnal (which this skein is not) colours I can work with. Pastels not so much.
Scariness overheard while walking to Trader Joe's:

1st 20 something:(with no irony) "I've got the best costume!"
Her friend: "What?"
1st 20 something: "I'm going to be Strawberry Shortcake!"

Ok that decides it. I'm being a creature of the night! Now where's that scythe?***CV

Friday, October 27, 2006

dribs and drabs

So I just checked out the BMF site to see the new colours: when did it become so expensive?! I remember being shocked (shocked! I tell you) when Simply Socks was charging close to $19 for a skein of Opal Rainforest at a time when I could buy the exact same thing for $14.95 at my local shop.
Today was another full early morning class: ahhhh :) After which I wound another skein of Rubyslippers as I am starting my third repeat. I figure I have enough yarn for six repeats, though I would prefer eight .... Any one have blocking tips? I have never blocked lace before.
At the library I found two books about Granuaile O'Malley so I checked them out. Research doncha know ;)
AS of the last chapters read in the Halloween Tree we had gargoyles running towrds Notre Dame after a serious exposition on religions toppling other religions. Propagandinst, me? Though as I read this tale I seriously recognise the foundations of some of my core beliefs resurfacing****CV

Thursday, October 26, 2006

when the child is ready.....

Today one of the children came to me, first thing and asked,"Miss- will you teach me to knit today?" What is so worthy of remark? Could it be because this child, who is now a second year, all last year; whether friends or I offered; refused to have anything to do with fiber work? Could it be that fiber work has always been rather put aside in favor of other more academis subjects by parents and colleagues? Or could it be that this child, who is a covert perfectionist, when determined upon something will let nothing get in his way and an agreement is an agreement?

Yesterday I taught him to cast on, which meant that afternoon he wanted to take needle and yarn home to practice, which I couldn't do (they were DPNs) so his mom bought him a pair of needles that night and this morning he brought in a needle filled with cast on. (I didn't count but it looked to be 100 loops)

So this afternoon we were all set - as per our appointment, when he had to fulfill a previous commitment. He did, sighing heavily, but when he returned oh my! My co guide just mouthed, 'He wants to knit: NOW!' Too funny.

Yes he did successfully knit two stitches before the afternoon was out***CV

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

bits and bobs

The creator of skully responded to my email :) She says the chart is correct but the written pattern may be off, so, for the last ten or so rows I've been following the chart. This works fairly well until a row is supposed to end mirror wise (a reflection of the start) in which case I have to *ouch* use my brain. This is how I learned to follow crochet charts and I love those so I figure this reading of a knit chart is good for me.
The class finches have been laying eggs, in a tilted nest, so the eggs have rolled: out; but, I lifted the nest, so maybe an egg will stay in: now.
We're reading the Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury for read aloud: SO MUCH FUN. We just left England with the god Samhain smiting everyone (well, the sinners) with his scythe and turning them into minature creepy crawlies.
I've been rereading Sunshine *squee!* Such a good story :)***CV

Sunday, October 22, 2006

good grief

"AAAAAAAAugh! I can't stand it....."

Well, I feel better.

I knit ten rows on Skully before class, ran into an issue on row 11 but put it aside as class was starting. Came back out and started to work on it again: for 1 and a 1/2 hours. Ended up ripping back 12 rows.

Went and sat in a cafe and have completed 55 of 56 rows. I am so putting in a lifeline after row 56.*****CV

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ramachandra ki Jai!

Today is a celebration of Rama; of Lakshmi; of Durga and of Kali (depending upon which part of India you choose to represent). Many many years ago my class told the story of Rama's victory, with Hanuman's aid, over the Demon lord Ravana. If you have never read the Ramayana I highly recommend it. There are several versions available which are not the full epic. I started with William Buck's version and am now reading volume four of the series as represented by Ahsok Banker.

Rama, like Krishna, is an avatar of Vishnu - just to give the dear reader some context :)
This afternoon I finished writing my version of the skully pattern as per the chart. I have also knit 30 of 56 rows, but, I have a row to unknit in order to fix a situation in row 29 which resulted in 73 rather than 75 stitches.

Friday on my way to work I left the envelope with all my pattern notations at the bus stop. I called the studio as soon as I realized what I had done. When I went back after work it had not been found. So I reprinted the patern and started redoing all my notations yesterday.

It does look like lace now :)
Last night was Kareoke night again. I had a Spainish Coffee and it was the prettiest thing to watch it being made. Sparklers and flambe and all. Very Cinnamony ;)Made up for the lack of cider. I WILL find a place that serves cider though. I am determined.
Above is a picture of a pose which is becoming a favorite of mine. (NB while referred to as crow in classes it is actually crane posture.) Corvae and Cranes happen to be two of my favorite animals :) ******CV

Monday, October 16, 2006


Nancy Bush was fun. Such a reassuringly normal presence. It felt like a gathering of realy mellow knitters. I highly recommend attending one of her classes if you have the opportunity. I left early due to a concert so I did miss out on the last two hours.

Setting out to attend the class was quite fun though. I took the train out to an area of Portland I had never been to before - very suburban, and then promptly transferred to the wrong bus. Fortunately I thought to check with the driver if he was going where I wanted to go and it turned out to be in the opposite direction. So he let me off and I walked back to the train station. Did I mention it was raining? That I was wearing my very open toed sandals? No? I was. Anyway, after much crossing and recrossing to various bus islands I finally found the one I was supposed to be at.

Then chatty boy, "I'm gonna hit on this girl till she goes on a date with me" showed up tailgating a girl he must have set upon on the train. (Poor girl). So he starts making all sorts of side commentary, to impress her with his sociability I guess.(Um dude? It's like not even nine in the morning what is up with the bar speak?) Then he started acting all chummy with the older gentleman waiting in the bus shelter, asking him "What's up old dude?! You a fisherman? You got money? Where you keep it Old dude?"

Then chatty boy decided it was too mellow in the shelter so he started wandering away. When he left the older gentleman said, "About time. He's got way too much energy". Then the bus came. Chatty boy rejoined us and promptly started chatting up the bus survey taker.

Krishna Das: "It's all stuff. When you got stuff, you're happy. And when you don't have stuff you're unhappy. Then when you have stuff you're unhappy and you're happy when the stuff goes away. But really, it's all just stuff."

Wise man he.

Oh. I frogged skully this afternoon. I did recast on. This time? I'm just gonna read the chart. *****CV

Saturday, October 14, 2006

oh skully my skully

riiiiiip! That is the sound of a sixth skully being frogged.

*rustle*rustle* "What the - !" *grumble *scrich*scrich* "Who the h...!" And this is the sound of written directions being compared to a chart.

With a cast on of 75 stitiches (not 57) and careful comparing of chart with writings I have had to cast on an additonal two stiches on the third row due to a missed K1 needed to psso of the preceding two slipped 2tog . Further I have had to mark for myself just what are the repeats to be repeated out of four lines of directions. Doing this I have so far knit 11 rows today and matched the instructions. At this rate it wil not be done in time.

Someone reassure me that it gets easier in the full repeats once you have done one 56 row set.

On the positive side I have met an Englishman who learned to knit from his mum, possibly persuaded a reluctant ex knitter to help me knit halloween pumpkins and I have met all sorts of knitters by simply KIPing this project.
Tomorrow I go to the Nancy Bush class and then on to Krishna Das.
Today a man in a red dress, red and black stockings, sporting a red football helmet was searching NW 23rd for a pink bunny in a red dress. I wonder if they found each other?
Who put the 'de' in de Balzac? Well it wasn't dear papa despite protestations that it was present on Honore's birth certificate:

"In this ungracious world of ours, unfortunately, matter-of-fact documents have an odious habit of displaying inquisitive hostility to the most flourishing of legends invented by poets;..."
Stefan Zweig, Balzac


Friday, October 13, 2006

a reward

"However dificult it may be to knit into one piece the demi-god who gave birth to a world and the fat man who revelled in childish puns, the effort must be made."
Andre Maurois, Prometheus The Life of Balzac

I got 2, count'em two! Balzac biographies for less than ten dollars :)

Of course I needed both of them! What are you implying? I don't think I like you shaking your head that way. Yes I can handle all the books I have so far. It's like I only have ..... excuse me a moment.

(looooong pause)

....well it's my choice, so there!***CV

Thursday, October 12, 2006

and along came Skully

The gift of one and a half sox is a marvellous thing :) Well, it is when some of your classs works on it before gifting you and then promises to have the pair all finished before next week.

So the gift was given and retrieved for finalising. Yes the children did help, either in sewing the toes closed or in knitting some or in gift wrapping. One child even played secret agent by getting the acompanying card signed by all the other members of our community.
Tomorrow there will be no mad dash for the bus as it is a day of teachers working but no children. So I will actually be able to attend a full class including: savasana. Wow!
I have been soooo good this week. I heard about three books that sounded fabulous (The Siva Puranas; Salon Fantastique; and the Blue God) but have I visited the book temple? Have I browsed the aisles of libro-ation? No.

I think I deserve a reward :)

Oh and what is this Marie Antoinette film I keep reading about?****CV

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

beating the clock

As a once famous cat said: "Aaaaak!" I have died. But I took someone with me so that's alright then.
Moving right along I have put skully on hold because yesterday I found out today was a coworkers b-day. Not much tme to make sonething eh? So I halved the SOD and finished one today (thank goodness she was out). So maybe I can finish the other tonight.
Excitment and public transport. I left class later than usual due to a slow clock and just caught one bus in time to reach my next stop, and after running just miss my connection. However, the driver behind the bus I needed remembered me from a previous trip so she told e to jump on and we'd catch up. We chased my connection and he kept pulling out just as we reached the stop, or another bus would pull in front of us and slow us down.

For some reason my driver kept calling the way my connecting bus would appear to come to a stop but really be slowing and not picking up passengers a "California Stop". Well I think all us SF'ers can heave a mighty Amen in the direction of MUNI for inspiring such a statement.

So at the last possible joint stop, afer a ten block chase, with my driver honking away (BTW the trimet buses have no rear windows) she pulls in behind my connection with me in the stairwell just waitng for the doors to open...and...they're...OFF!

Pardon me! Pardon me, oh disembarking one but: I MUST CATCH THIS Bus NOW!

So, yeah, I made it to work on time ;)***CV

Monday, October 09, 2006

yo ho ho

In the Secret Agent one of the characters has supposedly blown himself up outside the Greenwhich observatory while another character is in search of the perfect detonator and ... didn't I say this story set in late 18 - early 1900's is amazingly contemporary. Well either that or things don't change.
I finished Bloody Jack: In the Belly of the Bloodhound on Sunday and if you enjoy plucky heroines sailing on the high seas, singing in taverns while attending posh boarding schools you might want to check it out. I have to say though I preferred the first two books in the series more.

I also stated Pinnochio in Venice last night. It's odd. I'll have to read a little further before saying anything more.
So row 20 of skully matched the pattern specs perfectly, unlike eighteen of the preceding rows. I just reprinted the pattern so I most likely will rerip and start again. Since I'm using BMF sockweight on #6 needles this really isn't as bad as it sounds.

Thank you Inky for researching helpsites for me :) Those stockings by Severina are fabulous!***CV

Sunday, October 08, 2006

the island

Well Secret Agent is certainly an interesting read. It is by the same Conrad as wrote Heart of Darkness but I haven't read that so I don't know how similar or dissimilar the two stories are. So far there has been much physical description of the characters, vague discussions about making the public more aware of security threats by staging an incident and ... hmmm this turn of the 20th c. book appears more and more modern as I read.

Moving right along I have ripped out Skully five times so far. For some reason the repeats are never complete and always end in the middle of one of the parenthetical pattern bits. Has anyone else knit this pattern? If so could you explain what is going on? I found the pattern as a link on the Knit like a Pirate site.****CV

Saturday, October 07, 2006


So did Monty Python ever make up a song for books the way they did for Spam? Wouldn't that be great for all us literary types?

The local library had a used book sale today and I couldn't find a thing! Not to buy that is :) Kidding. There really wasn't all that much which I knew I would read and lots of stuff that looked good because it was inexpensive. I did find a copy of Uncle Pons (Balzac), a collection of Saki stories, a Malraux, and Germinal by Zola. At $.50 each I think I got a deal. Then I found all thse great writing books. Simple ones like Punctuation and Spelling dictionaries. And a fabulously simple primer on types of poetry according to metrics :)

Of course I didn't want the book emporium to be sad and feel ignored (oh you know you have bookitis bad when you start assigning senticence to shops) so I stopped at Powell's. No Plot? No Problem! was in stock -finally. And while browsing for Victor Hugo I found Pinnochio in Venice by Coover. It's about Pinnochio during his later years when he is grown up and returning to his original wooden state.

I also found a story by Conrad called Secret Agent.

Skull shawl is so not happening with the BMF club skeins. None of the colours were right and the one I liked? It has splits every few feet or so. I'm glad I swatched.

I will be using BMF but it will be from my stash: Sand and Ruby Slippers. Now if only I can get the pattern straight without having to rip out each new row. ***CV

Thursday, October 05, 2006

the blue salon

I returned the Saint-Simon book. Waaaay too much detail. It was like asking someone what outfit they were wearing anad then being told all the types of warp and woof threads and the origin of each microfiber. Fascinating on one level but I am far away from that level and want to peruse the elevator buttons first thank you very much before making a decision *whew*

So now I have The Age of Conversation about the origin of all those fabulous salons in early 17th to 18th century France. It even mentions Madame Sevigne :) and some de Balzac character who is not Honore...well then who IS he?!

As to the skull shawl I'm busy playing with the colour scheme. Any one who has been receiving the BMF skeins as part of the club will know what I'm working with. I have not used any of the skeins for socks. And I'm thinking that these colours are going to be mighty interesting together but I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not. 'Course it could be the Cedar Creek colour way which is making me itch. Blue green and gold brown are so not my colours of choice.

I think I'll undo all those keyring bits and swatch them to see how they do or do not get along.

I saw the coolest posable furry spider in a store today! Verrry creepy***CV

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

only the rich get in debt

It would seem that Parisian society of Balzac's time was not that different from the society of Louis the (insert your favorite roman numeral). I started reading a book about Saint-Simone and so far I have learned that if you wanted to be among the higher ups you needed to spend money and dress snazzy and go into serious debt.

Hmmm but maybe that is what we do today?
Bloody Jack: In the Belly of the Bloodhound is in my hot little hands :) As are many other uncounted books and perhaps I shouldn't mention the library sale happening this weekend where I might find many Balzacs I otherwise wouldn't own .......

Sockwars: my target is down, my assassin is finished and mailing: it is a race now. However since I joined the Day of the Dead KAL I will be working on my skull shawl in festive shades of BMF. Yes all skeins received so far from the Rockin' Socks club shall be used :)***CV

Monday, October 02, 2006

language arts pet

True English Nerd
You scored 81 erudition!
Not only do you know your subjects from your objects and your definite from your indefinite articles, but you've got quite a handle on the literature and the history of the language as well. Huzzah, and well done! The English snobs of Boston salute you.

there were some items on this test that seemed out of place: but it is a lovely painting :)***CV

Sunday, October 01, 2006

on hold

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

NaNoWri Mo is almost ready for sign ups, but, not, quite, yet. *sigh*. So I will flip through my new library books, delight in my newly purchased Krisna Das ticket :) and ponder exactly how would Grace O'Malley dress for Halloween?***CV