Monday, October 30, 2006

My Fifteen Minutes are up...

Well, my week as "Blog of the Week" over at Zeeppo's has come to an end. I've been replaced by Stephieface. Long may she reign...well, at least 'til next week anyway.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Lone Knitter No More

OK, so I'm finally posting about my first ever goes...

On Wednesday, October 25th, I ventured out after a very long work day with my faithful Bippie filled with knitting projects - both done and in progress. I set out to meet AmpuT and her SnB friends at a local Cafe.

Nervous and excited, I made my way to the Cafe. I knew they would all be nice (I have yet to meet a knitter I didn't like) and that I would have a good time. Still, I'm shy by nature (yeah I am. Really. I am.) and hoped that I wouldn't dork out and whatnot.

When I got to the Cafe, there were about 6 or so knitters there already. I didn't spot AmpuT, she wasn't there yet. I introduced myself and sat down, pulled out my knitting and relaxed. Got a pot of peppermint tea and settled in. The conversations ran the gamut. From WIPs to spinning wheels, to local gallery exhibits, to quilts, to trips to Italy, to different types of yarn.

As the night wore on a few knitters came and went. AmpuT came her Hallowig. Up til this point, no one else had a wig on - mine was in Bippie. I finally pulled mine out and put it on - roots and all. ha ha. One knitter was still working on her wig - it was a nice light purple. Another had made hers out of yarn she had spun herself. One more knitter arrived in her Hallowig. We sat and knit with our wigs on - then it was time for photos.

L to R: Beanmama, me and AmpuT (Edit: links updated).

I should really have leaned forward a bit to show my roots. You can't really see them in the pictures.

Me and AmpuT in our Kittyville Hats

Afterwards more knitting - well, watching and listening on my part. I seem to have a problem talking and knitting at the same time. I put up my "Something" and just hung out. It was great to see the different styles of knitting, the different projects (one was a gorgeous quilt - simply gorgeous), the tiny knitting needles. Size 0s and 1s. I knit with some 0s once and don't know if I'll ever do it again. Doesn't look like I'll be knitting socks any time soon...

Would have loved to touch all the yarn and all - check out all the projects up close - but I am sensitive to wools and animal fibers in general. Bummer. I was doing ok for most of the evening, but towards the end could feel the allergies kick in. Dammit. Guess I'll have to go to more group knitting events - maybe I'll work up some resistance to the wool. Eventually.

Overall, I had a great time sharing in something we all love to do. AmpuT was fun and really is as beautiful in person as she is in the photos. The whole group was welcoming and warm and treated me like I've been coming forever. I wish I had Wednesdays free so I could go every week.

One thing has stuck with me for the last few days. AmpuT asked why, after all the years I've been knitting, is this the first time I've ever group knit? Good question. I've been thinking about it for a few days now and think I've finally come up with an answer, but I'll write about that in another post when I've figured out how to organize my thoughts.

In the meantime, here's a picture of my new book "Sock Monkey Dreams".

See that afghan in the background? My Grandma L (who, along with my Mom, taught me to knit, crochet, and sew when I was 6) made that for me when I was 17 and going off to college. I still have it, still use it, still love it. Made out of lime green and lemon yellow stripes, trimmed all around in beige.

Well, it's late, and I've got to relax a bit and hit the sack. Tomorrow is a big day. We are going to the Corn Maze with Antonella and Todd and maybe Gary too if he doesn't have to work.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Yarn Hangover

Worked way too late. Went to first SnB ever. Met some really great knitters and a quilter. Met the wonderful AmpuT. Knit on the beaded "Something" and drank Peppermint tea. Got home late. Suffering now from a wee bit of wool exposure (and I didn't even touch any of it dammit!) and too much work.

More later, including pictures of 3 of us in Hallowigs and of course AmpuT and me in our Kittyville hats.

Knitter overstimulated. Knitter overworked. Need more sleep.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

About to Bust

Yeah, I'm excited. The 'big' day is finally here!

Tonight, I meet AmpuT at her regular SnB gathering. I've made my 'green not teal' Hallowig, added some corny embellishments, and I'm ready to go.

Being stressed out with work and an extra 12-yr old for a few days, I've been forgetting things. Little things. However, I did manage to remember to charge up the batteries for my camera and pack some knitting projects. Priorities, you know. Every so often I check to make sure I've got pants on or my shoes match, or my shirt is right side get the picture.

I am ready to escape tonight into the world of yarn, needles, and meeting new folks. Hope I don't dork out too much. If so, I'm sure I'll have photographic proof later.

Now if I could only remember where I parked my car...

Hee Hee - I actually do remember...psych!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Zeeppo brings good luck?

Ever since I found out I won Zeeppo's sweepstakes (yes I'm excited - I don't usually win contests), things have started looking up.

  • I didn't miss the train after work, therefore I was not late to pick up the kids.
  • The boys didn't stink out my car. (Three 12 yr olds sweaty from Karate - this is usually a reality.)
  • The last of the Super Glue has been banished from my sink.
  • And a few other things that shall remain untyped.

Nice. It's the little things. The less chaos, the better. Hmmm...I think I'll buy some lotto tix this week.

Update the morning after... I should have known better - I put the luck out there and it left me. Things are now back to the chaotic reality that is my life. Crrrrap. Well, it was good while it lasted, those few precious hours. Sigh...

FOs and WIPs

Off the needles, my 'project' for this Wednesday. You'll see it later this week. Here's a wee peek... I swear it's a dark 'foresty' type green and not teal.


Cigar - I get in a few rows every now and then

Something - I've added beads and they look great with the yarn. I was right to take a chance on buying these beads. On Friday, 'Something' was 3 inches of garter, then the beading started on Sunday afternoon - 3 more inches. Why bead this? Why not. Goodness knows I've got enough beads. This section is about 200 beads and there isn't even a dent in the bag...

And the plain knitting continued - by Sunday night it was up to almost 12 inches.

The RYS II is hiding again. I think it's afraid I might frog it. Poor thing. And I suppose it has a good reason to be. I keep looking at it with a crazed look in my eye. Must. Frog. Something. Time to buy a thrift store sweater...

Still haven't cast on the Wine Cozy. Guess I'll wait a bit on that.

I'm still thinking something is missing from my 'green not teal' project for Wed night. I'll have to go hunting in my stashes (sewing and knitting) to see what I come up with...

OOOh! Almost forgot. Antonella surprised me with a book today (Thanks A! You rock!). About Sock Monkeys. Love it. If I remember, I'll post a photo.

I won something!

Hey! Maybe this means my luck is changing for the better. Sure hope so because last night I looked for a white flag to know, the whole 'I surrender' thing from Friday?

OK OK I'll tell you what I won already...

I won the Lance Lawson Comics Sweepstakes over at Zeeppo's blog. I got a mention in his blog today, and my Blog is linked on his sidebar for the week. He's a clown who knits - how cool is that?!? I found him thru Stephieface, who I found thru SweaterProject who I found thru YarnHarlot.

I've got lots to post (sorry not today, too busy with real life). But here's a preview for this week:

  • Proof of my black thumb - maybe I should save that for Halloween, it's scary.
  • FO's
  • WIPs
  • Knitting with beads - yes, I'm finally using my flea market bag o' beads and they are gorgeous! Gorgeous I tell you - soon, I'll show you too.
  • Meeting blog friends - that one's for later this week as it happens on Wednesday.

Of course, I must state that this can and probably will change, 'cause I do that sometimes, 'cause I can and change is good don't you know.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Please tell me that yes, it is indeed Friday...

I am so ready for the weekend.

This past week and a half has been rough. I have the sudden urge to throw up my arms and scream "I surrender!" .

Work has been rough, personal life has been rough (does anyone know how to remove Super Glue from a metal sink?), but thank God the knitting continues - and I've gotten a new high score on my Poke-me-mon Pinball. Remember when I was packing for San Jose and said I had the high score of 5 billion? I was dillusional it seems. In reality, it was 2.4 billion. Now the high score is 2.5 billion - and those are still my initials next to that high score. Nyah!

On the needles:
  • RYS II - I still haven't knit any on it. With this last week, it's better that way.
  • Cigar - I've backed off a bit on this one, you'll see why in a bit
  • My 'other project' for next week - I'm making it in dark green, but I'm thinking now that is too conservative. I've still got a bit left to go, so maybe I'll make stripes or 'roots' or add some other sort of embellishment. You'll see it next week. Nyuk Nyuk.
  • New Project - this one is a definite 'stress knitter' project. I took the last ball of recycled yarn (approx 400 yds of the same stuff I'm using on the RYS II) and I started 'something'. Size 13 needles, 81 stitches, knit every row. Knit Donna knit. See Donna knit. Donna likes to knit. Knit Donna knit.

See Donna de-stress. Ahhhh.

All stress and no knit, freaks Donna out.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Yes, I know the way to San Jose...

Here it is, the long awaited (by me anyway - I've been wanting to write this up for a week now) post about the conference.

Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2006
All Public Transit, All Day...hey, I was working the APTA Conference (American Public Transit Association), how could I not?

Contra Costa County Transit to BART. BART to a short stopover at work (until 3pm or so), MUNI to Caltrain, Caltrain to San Jose, DASH shuttle to the San Jose Convention Center.

What a trip. Loved it. The best part of it? The CalTrain ride. Yes, folks, I'm a sucker for trains - the rolling on the track with the big engine pulling them kind. :-) Was just about jumping out of my skin waiting to board up. Once on, I spotted the upper level - all empty seats up there, so I went for it. Perched up above the world with a great view - and the setting sun. Damm it was hot! No wonder all the seats were empty. D'oh! I slinked back down to the lower level and found a pair of empty seats for us - on the other side of the train - in the shade. Sock Monkey grabbed the window seat and readied his ticket for the conductor (yes a conductor - how cool is that?!?)...

Pretty soon, we were sharing the seat and staring out the window like a couple of kids on their first train ride...

I saw lots of familiar sites alongside the tracks. I recognized many landmarks from when I did the AVON 3-day Breast Cancer Walk-a-thon back in 2001 and 2002. You walk from San Jose to San Francisco (yes you read right) on a route up the Peninsula. Ah, the memories that brought back. On the first night (both years), we camped out in the center of the Bay Meadows race track...

It was cool to wake up at 5am (did I really type that?) and see the jockeys and horses already on the track exercising. The horse breaths puffing out like smoke in the cold morning air. Awesome.

No, I didn't work on or read anything that I had packed up. I tried, but just couldn't. Not only was the ride a rough one (like a true train rolling the rails should be), but I just couldn't stop staring out the window.

We arrived at the San Jose Station and waited for the DASH Shuttle (free) to the Convention Center. All the Local Bus lines had this flashing on their destination signs...Hey! That's where I'm going!

A few minutes later we arrived at the Marriott and Antonella's room. What a luxurious hotel. I thought it was anyway - one of the fanciest places I've ever stayed in...

and what a view...

Sock Monkey made himself comfortable...

... spotted the free wine...and that's the last we heard from him. Lush.

He missed out on dinner at Gordon Biersch with 2 hot chicks...

and an in-room movie...

That's him passed out on Antonella's bed. Those are her feet, and that's the movie menu on the TV.

OK, for those of you with gutter minds, stop it. We watched Pirates of the Caribean: Dead Man's Chest. Jeez.

The next day we worked the Internet Cafe at the conference. At times fun, at times slow, at times interesting. I liked meeting all the people from all over. By Wednesday, Antonella was tired of it (she'd been there since Sunday), but being that I'd never done anything like that before (they don't usually let me out of the office - let alone let me meet customers), and I only had to do it one day, I thought it was cool. No train ride home (bummer) as we carpooled it home with our Co-worker.

The best part of the Conference? Getting out of town - if only for a little - if only a few miles away. Spending it with a friend doing something different (it was the first conference ever for both of us), and this Transit Pass...

I rode BART for free (yes free - I love free) on Thursday and Friday. That saved me about $21. Booyah! Did I mention I love free?!?

It took Sock Monkey a few days of sleeping it off - apparently he can't handle his vino - to get back to normal. He's back to hanging out on the cubicle wall, watching everyone. Silly Monkey.

Now for some knitterly content...

Currently on the needles:

  • RYS II - yes, I'm still working this one - shut up.
  • Cigar - for my cigar smoking friend Gary
  • Something else - I'll spill details next week - it has something to do with AmpuT, but you have to wait until next week.
About to be on the needles:

Both friends know they are getting stuff, so that's the only reason I'm listing them. Otherwise it would be hush-hush 'mystery gift' again. Since it can be difficult for me to knit something for a guy and be assured he'll like it and more importantly want to use it, I asked them if they wanted them and what color they wanted them in...and voila! More knitting projects. And we all like knitting projects, don't we? There's a ton of patterns from knitty that I want to try - I just need to find the right family/friend-to-pattern match. I'm getting there.

I think I might do some charity knitting again as well. Rabbitch is collecting hats for the homeless in her hometown, there are several sites collecting hats for military members serving in Iraq, etc, and AmpuT might be starting up something for military amputees. I'll have to raid the stash and see what I've got. I know I have tons (2 drawer fulls) of acrylic left over from previous years of charity and other knitting. This will be a good use for it all. Time to do something for someone else, feel good doing it, and make room for more stash. All these small projects will be great for commuting too! It's a win-win situation and I need some feel-good feelings right now.

Knitter Unblocked

No Ex-lax needed - hahahahahahaha.

I tell you AmpuT is a genius. Not only is she designing and knitting her own stump cozy/short thingy (check out it's coolness here) but she casually mentioned something I could be knitting. Brilliant!

Knitter's block is gone - I've picked up the needles again my friends. Giddy up!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Knitter's block

Well, I'm back from the conference in San Jose, Sock Monkey is still hungover (more - with pictures - on that in another post) and I haven't knitted a stitch (that hasn't been ripped out) since last Friday night.

I tried knitting on the train. The ride was too rough - and OK OK, I was too excited about riding the train. No, I don't get out enough. I settled for playing Pokemon Pinball on the GameBoy - which was hard with the rough ride. I finally gave up everything - there was no way I was going to try and read - and just looked out the window. More on that in another post too.

I'm just posting today to say that I'm still here and I haven't been able to knit. Anything. All this week. I can't stand it. The only project I have on the needles is the RYS II and I haven't been able to convince myself to work on it anymore. I may just have to end it all with this ball. But I will still have 400 yds of the yarn left. WTF am I supposed to do with that when I'm tired of knitting it?!? I'll try again this weekend and see what I can get done. I am so blocked right now it's making me wacko - just ask my co-workers. I've been blaming it on sugar, but it's really the evil knitting - or lack thereof. Whatever. I'm going nuts. I've started and restarted and restarted and started again on several projects. And I've got nothing. Time to step away from the needles.

Time to step back and relax before I go absolutely wacko and pants somebody.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Knitting, Decompressing, and An Adventure Begins Part II

At the end of Part I, we were dressing up and heading out...

Can't tell you how many times I heard, "Are you Horny, my dear?" "Nice horns!" My favorite comment? "You're Ramtastic Dahling...baaaaaa!" People stopped us to take our picture - a lot. With all the other fantastic costumes, I didn't think anyone would notice us. We just wanted to save money...hee hee.

There was art...



Interactive Art...

Lots and lots of fake fur....

And drums (made out of anything that made noise when you hit it). Everywhere. Loved it.

Live bands, DJs, lots of dancing (I guess you could call that dancing), kilts (booyah!), stilts (how do they dance on those things?!?), some people completely covered. Others, not covered enough (dude, you shouldn't be naked). Speaking of naked: Naked Yoga - although he was wearing a chain around his waist that more or less 'framed' his man parts, so I don't think that would be considered naked, do you? FREE HUGS. Madd Maxx the FREE HUG Dude was hot. Got me some of that, but no picture. Too busy hugging...yeah, hugging, that's right.


Well, now that I'm done telling you about the Street Party, it's time to move on.

Today I've learned that...
  1. Blogger will never cooperate when I've got a shitload of other stuff I could be doing right now (but then I already knew that - it was just reinforced - in a big way).
  2. I can make thumbnails out of my Photobucket pix (take that Blogger).
  3. Editing HTML is fun.

Now that I can get back to work full-time without watching every so often to see if Blogger is done anymore, I am happy.

I will have just enough time to finish up what I need to do here and head out to San Jose. I look forward to the train ride down. I don't think I have enough stuff to keep me busy...ha!

HEY - who's that in my bag?!?!

Looks like someone wants to come along. Yes, Sock Monkey my friend, we all want to get away every once in a while...ROAD TRIP!

Knitting, Decompressing, and An Adventure Begins Part I

Hi Everyone! (Yes, other people - besides me - do read this - regulary - and that still freaks me out...I'll get over it.)

I've been busy with life and work and being lazy (that takes up the most time), so it's been a while since my last post.

First, with the knitty progress:

Friday night was the only night I managed to pick up the needles.

Here's the Fuzzy Harlot S.E.X. scarf as it was after the commute:

And Finished. Modeled by the lovely Sammie - who proceeded to claim it's lushious fuzziness as her own. I have since taken it back, de-furred it, and it sits in the 'gifting drawer'.

The Kittyville Hat...

And now modeled by yours truly. Meow.

Two FO's as predicted. The RYS II has come out of hiding, but I did not knit on it or anything else. Today that will change. This afternoon, I hop on a train to San Jose (all together now - Do you know the way to San Jose...) for a Transit Conference. Bippie holds the RYS II, yarn to start a new shawl, Spencer's old GameBoy (I've got the high score on Pokemon Pinball - over 5 billion baby!), and a manga book - .HACK. Spencer says I'll like it. I'm game, what the heck.

Saturday, I saw The Illusionist with my friend Gary. I had no idea what the movie was about going in, but I liked it. Especially the ending. I should have known, but I was still surprised. I like when a movie surprises me. Afterwards, we went to another friend's house for dinner and the craziest karaoke ever. Still need to make sure those photos are deleted. Todd, you need to get rid of those, seriously. ;)

Sunday, I ended up at the Burning Man Decompression Street Party with Spencer and some friends. I swear, Bay Area Folks will use any excuse to dress up (or down - waaaay down) . So we dressed up and headed out. If you were in costume, you got in for half admission. I'll buy that.