Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Starting anew

With socks down, Picovoli is up.

I'm using a cotton silk blend and so far, so good. I, of course, had to make a mistake when I started (cast on long tail instead of provisional because I didn't pay attention to the instructions). Fortunately I discovered my error as soon as I joined and was able to back up with almost no time lost. I'm looking forward to this knit.

Given the short post today I thought I'd leave you with a photo taken at sunset tonight. Unfortunately the pic doesn't capture the gold colors of the sun, but at least you can see the fantastic clouds.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Beautiful sights

Yesterday was a day to behold beauty.

First up... beautiful nature.

I've shared this before, I love snow... from a distance.

We had a great day yesterday, temps in the high 70s, low 80s, a view of snow on the mountains. I snapped these on my morning walk. [As a side note, I've crossed my 2/3rds mark on my 100 miles by April 1st trip... Yeah!]

Yes, I love Southern California.

And later in the day, what is that we see?

Could it be... yes, a vision of a completed pair of socks!

Yes, I have now knit a pair of socks! I'm really pleased with how these came out, even as my first try. The color runs match up pretty well so, while they aren't identical, they are a pretty close match.

The fit is good and I definitely learned some lessons with this knit.

[S calls this pic the wicked witch of the west photo. Just imagine a house sitting over the top of my legs.]

The sock is a basic broken rib pattern which was probably a good choice for this yarn; the colors are so busy that the pattern almost gets lost.

So all and all, I would rate sock knitting a "yes." In fact, I purchased more sock yarn yesterday so I could start another pair!

So now I have two planned projects: another pair of socks and Picovoli (for which I have now swatched twice and purchased yarn and needles).

Life is good.

Garter Rib Socks
from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks
(pattern as recommended except K2P2 used over foot, garter stitch border of heel flap doubled in width)
Moda Dea Sassy Stripes, color 6946, lot 3232 (100% acrylic; less than two balls for pair)
US size 1 (2.25 mm) metal dpn needles
first sock started January 1, 2007, finished January 20, 2007
second sock started ~January 21, 2007, finished February 24, 2007

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A funny thing happened....

So a funny thing happened the other night at dinner. S wore his new black scarf out (not for the first time either; it's good too see him enjoying it). In the house getting ready, and on the drive over, he kept making "comments" about how long the scarf was and about how it was good that I didn't knit it any longer.

As we left the restaurant he started saying the same things again and I said, "it's only 6 foot long, how could it be too long?" He mumbled a few contrite things and I said "hold that scarf up" (thinking to myself, we'll use the 6 foot tall S as a measuring stick).

Darn if that black scarf hasn't already stretched to 8 foot long after its bath! It's the miracle of wool I guess.

With other news on the knitting front, I have selected my next new project. I'm going to start my first sweater! I've decided to do a sleeveless, summer sweater as my first. I think it's best if I start with something not too complicated. Picovoli is the pattern by Grumparina. I purchased a bit of yarn at the SnB earlier this week and am in the process of swatching.

This is a cotton, silk blend and while I was a good knitter and actually swatched in the round to get true gauge, you can see my stitch definition leaves something to be desired. (That lovely line where I transitioned from one needle to another is quite attractive isn't it?) This first swatch has been washed and I'm going to go up one needles size to see if I can get a bit closer to gauge. If that works, then back to the store for the purchase!

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Last night was one of our SnB meetings. I was a irresponsible student and skipped my Spanish class (bad me) so I could go hang with the knitters.

Bad me, good knitting!

Erin graciously agreed to give a workshop on sock knitting... complete with the obligitory foot measurement demonstration of course!

Erin is an excellent foot measurement demonstrator! (sorry the pic is blurry... I *had* to post it nevertheless)

Jenean and Lydia cast on their swatches to get their gauge and next time we meet at Knitwitz we'll all be casting on the sock together. Erin is going to show us how to do the socks toe-up and I'm excited to try this approach as well.

Speaking of socks... my second sock is coming along quite well. A few more dedicated hours and we should be wearable! Keep you posted!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The long black scarf

I'm pleased to report that S decided that his one row scarf did not need to be 8 foot long! I'm even more pleased to announce that it is now complete.

We made the decision to stop at about 6 foot knowing that it will probably stretch out a bit under its own weight with time. S was going to model for me but is a bit down and out with the flu. We decided that may not be the best time for a modeling stint.

One row scarf
from the Yarn Harlot
Manos del Uruguay Handcrafted Kettle Dyed Pure Wool
Black (Color 08) approximately 2 1/2 skeins
US size 7 (4.5 mm) metal needles
another version of this scarf started January 4, 2007
this version started about January 21, 2007
finished February 17, 2007

With this project down, I need to start plotting for my next project. My second sock is nearing completion and I'm not yet of the mindset to go back to swallowtail. Hmmmm... what will it be? I need a project to inspire me.

Speaking of inspiring... friends were so generous as to send great gifts cross country this week. Look at this little bit of fab.

It fits in perfectly with our craftsman style home and I L O V E it!

Other friends sent us the cutest card of their son too.

Babies... cuteness aren't they?

And my last little bit of beauty for today... on my morning walk today I saw a peacock. I know it sounds crazy, but someone in my neighborhood must have a peacock as a pet. It was out walking around on a front porch this morning. Amazing!

Friday, February 16, 2007


Hey the newest volume of Yarnival! is up and (celebrations!) my post on My first sock! (or is it?) made it onto the list. Many thanks to Hannah at the Purloined Letter for her work in putting this edition together.

Be sure to check out all the selections. My favorite is Is it the book or the knitting? posted by Kirsten at Through the Loops! It's great fun!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Playing hookey

Moments after typing the phrase "I don't think [S's scarf] will be done by Vday (unless I run home now and knit constantly until tomorrow night)" in my last blog entry, I started thinking to myself "maybe I should go home and knit."


Now I believe I've mentioned that work has been pretty busy lately. Things have not slowed down... I still have a bucket load of work to do. But I couldn't get this idea out of my mind. Sooooo... I did leave work about an hour and a half early on Tuesday and came home to knit.

Turns out it was one of the best mental health decisions I've made in a long time. As I drove home it started to rain (a pretty monumental event here in LA). First it was sweet little raindrops and misty rain. After I got home though the heavens opened up and, gasp, we even had a true thunderstorm... thunder and all. Sterling, our dog, despite having grown up in Oklahoma where thunder is almost a weekly occurrence, is completely scared of the noise. Apparently our two little California adoptees, Issac and Dylan, share the same fear. So we all crawled up on the couch together in the living room. I knit and the animals snoozed, and startled, through out the storm.

Even better, it was such a relaxing time that I played hookey from my spanish class and watched a movie instead. This kind of relaxation is just a must every once in awhile!

So not only did my evening end with good feelings, but I also made great progress on S's one row scarf.

Doesn't it look looooong?

It's about 4 1/2 foot long at this point and I'm sure will stretch out longer as it's worn. Better news, I'm almost through the second skein of yarn so I'm at least 60% done. The best news, when S saw it Tuesday night, he expressed that might not need it to be 8 foot after all! I am now believing that it might be finished in time for his Chicago trip (and omg... have you seen the weather in Chicago... brutal again yesterday!).

So the scarf still wasn't done for Vday but good progress was made. Now just to carve out a bit more time....

p.s. I've added myself to the queue for

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Knitting with friends

This morning we had a beautiful sunrise. I watched it as I walked with the dog. I hurried back to the house to get the camera so I'd have a picture to share, but [sigh], dead batteries.

My week is already zipping along. I did take time out last night to go to my local SnB. Erin, Jenean, and I knitted up a storm. I'm pleased to say that I think I'm almost to the half way point on S's scarf. This is not a small accomplishment given that it's going to be about 8 foot long when finished!

I don't think it will be done by Vday (unless I run home now and knit constantly until tomorrow night) but hopefully will be finished before his trip to Chicago later this month. I hear it's beastly cold there and he'll need to wooly goodness.

Hope the week is going well for all.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Art and good food

This weekend was the 100th 2nd Saturday Art Walk in the Pomona Arts Colony. S and I try to do the art crawl pretty regularly, but not every month.

Last night was a great event. All the galleries were open, including a number that aren't usually showing art. A number of bands were also playing on the streets. We managed to see lots of art and have a good meal close-by to boot. Good fun was had by all.

One of the highlights of the evening was seeing the art of Joseph Todorovitch. He lives downtown and opened up his space to display some of his work. You should take a look at some of the pictures at the gallery showing his paintings. S and I are very curious about the cost of his work, but since it shows in Laguna Beach, we assume it's probably out of our range. Too bad.. it's beautiful.

Other happy news, I've hit the half way point on my 100 miles by April 1st goal.

And finally, the gusset on my sock is coming along swimmingly! Yeah for the possibility of wearing my first pair of handknit socks soon.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The week continues

It's hard to believe that the week is almost half over... time flies when you're busy and exhaused I suppose.

Things at work have finally toned down to simmer and my class met for the first time on Monday. I'm pleased to say that I managed to organize everything before class time and we are off to a good start!

The bad news is that my body is retaliating for all the stress I've given it over the past two weeks... yep... I've managed to come down with some kind of bug. Unfortunately it means I can't keep up the pace and get more work done; fortunately I'm not so sick that I have to stay in bed all day. Maybe if I promise to be better, get more rest, and stay out of the way of the train wrecks....

On the knitting front, I've caught a few moments here and there to get in some quality time with the sticks. My first pair of socks is coming along nicely. Here's the second sock, heel flap and heel turn completed. I've picked up stiches and am ready to start the gusset decreases. Yeah!

What... you're suspicious that this might just be my first sock, pawned off as the second. Fear not friends, I provide evidence of the pair!

I'm pretty pleased that I managed to get the color run on the two socks pretty similar. I stopped trying for the heel though and haven't decided if I'm going to try to find the start of the color run to make the foot match. Ok, who am I kidding. I'll try. I'm just not sure that it's going to work. Wish me luck though!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Brigid in Cyberspace Silent Poetry Reading Day

In the spirit of day, I'd like to post some words that are poetry to my ears.

We live in a world in crisis -- a world governed by politics of domination, one in which the belief in a notion of superior and inferior, and its concomitant ideology -- that the superior should rule over the inferior -- effects the lives of all people everywhere, whether poor or privileged, literate of illiterate. Systematic dehumanization, worldwide famine, ecological devastation, industrial contamination, and the possibility of nuclear destruction are realities which remind us daily that we are in crisis.
bell hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black, 1989

Feminism is a struggle to end sexist oppression. Therefore, it is necessarily a struggle to eradicate the ideology of domination that permeates Western culture on various levels as well as a commitment to reorganizing society so that the self-development of people can take precedence over imperialism, economic expansion, and material desires. …[Feminism’s] aim is not to benefit solely any specific group of women, or any particular race or class of women. It does not privilege women over men. It has the power to transform in a meaningful way all our lives.
bell hooks Feminist theory: From margin to center, 1984

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

You must be the change you want to see in the world.
Mahatma Gandhi

Thanks to Cara and Stephanie for the heads up on the Second Annual Brigid in Cyberspace Silent poetry reading Day.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes

Greetings all!

Well, work has not slowed down much after the pure chaos of last week. We've started to make decisions, which is good, but the amount of work has gotten crazy. Did I mention that classes start monday as well. Geez... I'm not sure how I'm going to get everything done!

On the knitting front, I ordered more Manos del Uruguay so I can finish S's scaft. The lovely people at Knitter's Studio just dropped it in the mail and it arrived right at my doorstep. I love that little store. I only wish I lived closer to it!

Now for the important part of the post... I want to recommend a documentary to you. It will be airing on PBS this month (can you believe it's Feb?!) on the 20th (be sure to check for local airing times) and is called Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes (see this web page also, and a review here). The film was made by Byron Hurt, a former football player, who does sexual violence prevention programming for young men. You can see a clip on YouTube.

Some friends and I went to a screening in LA this week and were lucky enough to get to hear Hurt and others talk about the film in a panel discussion after the screening. I doubt I've mentioned it here, but prevention of sexual violence and understanding how we can help individuals after assaults do occur is part of my professional work. Right now, I'm most interested in how cultural values impact men's willingness to perpetrate sexual assault. I think cutural values get communicated in lots of ways, from friends, from family, through the media, through religion, through education... lots of ways. Given this, I was really interested in Hurt's film.

The film does a great job at looking at how corporate media has selected and promoted only one type of hip hop music (a part that glorifies violence, the denigration of women, and promotes homophobia). Hurt also does a great job of showing how women think that songs calling women ho's and b*tches don't impact or apply to them (the "oh advertising doesn't impact me" phenomenon), when men are explictly translating those lyrics to them. The problem of homophobia in some lyrics and how that is tied toward ideas of masculinity are also taken head on. He also gets at one of what I think is one of the core issues here which is that predominantly white corporate america is packaging violence by and towards black men for the consumption of primarily white male america. Who loses there and can we say white privilege?

Hunt is an African American man with good connections to the hip hop community and comes to this film with a love for hip hop. In a film full of music, he takes on a number of difficult issues about how we define masculinity in our culture, and in hip hop, and the negative impact this can have on all of us, men and women alike. I also like the fact that the film has a positive message which is that there are many different types of hip hop out there, we can choose the type of hip hop we support, and that while we scapegoat hip hop and rap artists, maybe there are broader blame and solutions to go around. This is a message that really resonates with me.

I'd encourage you to look for this film and to have your kids watch as well.