Black and White

No, not about the alarming shade of my roots. Man, I need to get to the hairdresser AGAIN, but I am so cash poor and my husband is working double overtime shifts this week, so it ain’t happening anytime soon. Damn, damn, damn.

In an effort to be up and perky, I will post about project updates. I did a slight overhaul of the Etsy shop yesterday. I relisted some expired items, and put new photos of them up. I added some new items. I still have about three items to add and a few vintage jewelry finds, and I’ll be at over 30 items. Then, I’m taking a break. I think I have one more item that needs slight finishing and two on the needles/hook, but I have to put them on the backburner until the end of May. I figure, get the shop full, and sit back and see what happens. I wish I could say I was selling, but all I can do is TRY.

The Urban Warrior Scarf

The Urban Warrior Scarf


Made with one bag of R2 Rag, a silver kilt pin and two sizes of hardware store washers.

Made with one bag of R2 Rag, a silver kilt pin and two sizes of hardware store washers.


Yes, it is an easy dropstitch pattern, but it is also 90 inches long, like knitting a T-shirt, and I think it came out how I envisioned it. For the hipstress in all of us.

Yes, it is an easy dropstitch pattern, but it is also 90 inches long, like knitting a T-shirt, and I think it came out how I envisioned it. For the hipstress.


So that’s that. Let me tell you a little about how I have to get these photos done – and I still think they look crappy!

My camera is six years old. In the middle of some shots, it just freezes. Then, I have to get a knife and pry the batteries out to shut it off, because that’s the only way to UNFREEZE it. In order to get the best shot I can, I have to drape a white sheet over my bureau and mirror, which involves standing on the only chair I own and then kneeling on the wood of my bureau, and damned my knees hurt. Not that way, so get your minds out of the gutter. And the sheet keeps falling down. And the light keeps going. Wait, the camera just froze again. And why am I doing this again?

Oh wait, because I have NO JOB AND NO CAR.

Something else in black and white:
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This is after the ends have been woven in on ONE hexagon. Fun times.

This is after the ends have been woven in on ONE hexagon. Fun times.


If you were to go to my Ravelry projects page, you would see I was attempting to make the Koigu Modular Skirt from the Winter 2005 Vogue Knitting. It was to be in the black and white and put together/trimmed with the charcoal. Bottom line: I had finished eight of the hexagons. There was no way I was going to finish 19 more. Because a) I didn’t have enough Koigu, and b) I was not going to buy anymore. And I really felt this thing, which was a maxi I was turning into a mini, just wouldn’t look good on me.

Bottom line, I decided to join the hexagons on Sunday. I am weaving the ends in, but this is a project that requires a DVD commentary, not DVD viewing, you understand. Then, I will work three rows of garter around the joined hexagons, and possibly sew a felt backing on it. Voilá, a beautiful belt, I am thinking. To be featured in the shop at a much later date, or for the Rock the Stitch show in the fall.

So that’s it for now. Some black and white stuff. No black and white movies. Just watched Miss Pettigrew Lives for the Day this afternoon and reaffirmed my love of Lee Pace. Sorry honey! This week honey is working beaucoup hours, and I will miss him. We should be spending the day together on Saturday at a big concert event where I will be seeing people from my past who I really don’t want to see (and with black and white roots, to boot) but I suppose I must persevere. I will at least be in the VIP section. I have told honey he must get me an up close and personal meet and greet with David Cook for this to all be worthwhile, you understand.

Next week, we do Kings of Leon. So we’ll be getting our holy rollers on, I guess. I think I’ll wear some form of hat, to cover the rootage.

Imaginary shopping/Imaginary pie

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking the past week, and a lot of imaginary shopping. When you’re unemployed and cash poor, this is the thing to do.

Imaginary shopping is sort of like shopping from stash, but different. Shopping from stash is actually doable. For example. I am so going to make this, the cover piece from the Spring Vogue Knitting:
mdeallion
Yes, the Botanica Medallion Cardi does look a little, challenging, especially for ol’ lefty here, but I think I can handle it. And saints and glory be, I actually have the required quantity of Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton in my stash! In a soft pink, mais bien sur! It’s on like Donkey Kong. As soon as I finish my super secret project, grumble grumble grumble. And by the way, if you haven’t checked out the Vogue Knitting 360 part of their Web site, I highly recommend it. Yes, the music is elevator quality, and the model is a little slouchy and has no tits. But it DOES give you a good idea of how these garments hang, so something that might have looked great all styled up in print really doesn’t when you see it in the round.

Believe me, when I went to TNNA last year (the first and last time) I tried on some of the garments for the Fall 2008 issue in their booth. A more sorry, picked over bunch of stuff you have never seen in your life – and why wouldn’t they be? I didn’t WANT to try them on! Why on earth should I? But they urged me to! Hey, if you let Tits McGee stretch out, you suffer the consequences.

Moving on, after perusing my Kim Hargreaves Breeze, I find I am in trouble. Because the two things I want to make the most, the big boyfriend sweaters, require beuacoup yardage I simply don’t possess. It’s time for imaginary shopping!

Yes, Webs is great. But they don’t take Pay Pal, and I’m not using credit cards, oh, ever again. I like to haunt Kpixie for their 40% off sales, but those are reserved for my hat box of stash for the Etsy store (psst. No one is buying. Tear). And while I’ve recently discovered Little Knits, I’ve yet to take the plunge. It’s just imaginary shopping — i.e., putting it in the cart, adding it up and then walking away.

I think I’m going to have to eventually try Knit Picks, because they’re the cheapest for some DK cotton. Frankly, I’m not thrilled with their business practices, but I’m also not thrilled with my checking balance. No matter how bad I want to buy yarn now, it’s simply not going to happen for some time.

So, I will probably make this:
frankie1
Out of some Elsbeth Lavold Silk Wool I have in stash. Just enough! It won’t be needed until Fall, so this can be a slow, leisurely summer project.

Other than that, it’s been a quiet-ish week. After selling nothing, I sold two DVDs on half.com, one for substantial money. Huzzah! It was the Season 1 Pushing Daisies DVD, and though I will miss Lee Pace’s sweet, sweet face, I thank him for the cash. Confession: I bought the thing and horded it until just this week. I sat down yesterday and today and watched it all in one gulp. Now, I have a painful craving for pie that won’t be assuaged until I make one.
daisies
I did watch some of Season 2 last fall until it was cancelled, and have five episodes waiting to watch on TiVo. Who knows how long I will horde those? Probably until ABC deigns to show the final three episodes in May. I am waiting on tenterhooks. Oh, and I adore Kristin Chenoweth, too, just so you know, and wish to come back as her in my next life. I have her first CD of show tunes and adore it.
dais2
Used to play it in the store on rotation sometimes. You know, back when I had a job. It would calm the savage customers. And they were savages…

My husband has been very ill this week, and it has pained me to have to watch him struggle and trundle to work in spite of this. Although I did take him to the doctor on Wednesday. More and more I feel like such a burden as a non-worker, and I wish it could be any other way but this. To see your spouse put in double hours at work, and come home so spent and tired is a hard pill to swallow. I love him so much, and wish I could have prevented this.

On the plus side, I applied for a job today that I feel real confidence about. I pray I get a call for an interview. It is close to home, and if I were to actually get it, we could work around the no-car-for-me thing with ease. It’s not the greatest thing in the world, but I need to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING. Watching The Price is Right is not benefitting me or anyone else.

After three months, I have finally let go the pain and hurt I felt over what happened to me back in January. I know that losing my job was not my fault. I can come out and say now that when you work for someone who is erratic and bullying, you reap the consequences. I am proud of myself for trying to keep my integrity. It is hard to work so diligently for someone who has absolutely none, and who rewards your hard work and devotion with the immortal words, “get the fuck out.” So there. I’ve finally said it to the world, or rather, the five people who read this blog, and let it go.

I am a good person who didn’t belong there. I can say it and be free. And do all the imaginary shopping I want!

Some Hearts

I would like to tell you how much I spent on migraine drugs yesterday – $173.03. I usually get them through mail order, but since I’m waiting on those to arrive, I had an ace-in-the-hole prescription from Dr. #2, and cashed it in. Ugh. Now I’m seriously cash poor, but there was no way I could make it a week and half. To whit: I was fine all day but an hour ago, guess what came creeping up my forehead?

So anyway, here is a capelet I made out of four balls of S. Charles Collezione Baby Aiko. I bought about 9 balls of this a few years back because a) I am stoopid and b) I was going to make a pattern called Sweet Rose from Knitscene. I realized that it would be too bulky for me, and I was thinking of what to make for the Etsy shop. I am for all intent done with it, but don’t like these pictures — it is so hard to get good shots. Anyway, it’s called “Some Hearts,” for obvious and not-so obvs reasons.

Please tell me - is the organdy ribbon good, or should I buy the bullet and make an I-cord?

Please tell me - is the organdy ribbon good, or should I buy the bullet and make an I-cord?


Seriously, I really want to know: Ribbon, or I-cord?

Seriously, I really want to know: Ribbon, or I-cord?


Are you getting the whole hearts thing now?

Are you getting the whole hearts thing now?


Remember folks, ’round these parts, if’n it’s not pink, it’s crap.

I name all my (three so far? And one isn’t even written yet!) patterns after songs. Some I like, some I don’t. “Some Hearts” is a song I first heard on a Marshall Crenshaw album, Good Evening. Everyone knows I love the Cren, right? Why, I met my husband at his concert! And we both told him years later, Jon in an interview and me in person. What I DIDN’T realize at the time was that the song was penned by that execrable schlockmistress Dianne Warren, and that years later Carrie Underpants (Wood) would sing it and name HER album after it.

Whatever. I can’t stand her. But I will be watching Idol tonight, because a) I love torturing my husband, and this tortures him to no end, and b) it is disco night, and if someone doesn’t bring some Sylvester, I’m gonna be PISSED.

Lambs, I’m looking at you. Do you wanna funk?

Diversionary Tactics

My husband returns to work tomorrow after a few days off, and he will be working late the next week or so getting a big project online. I am going to miss our time together, because I think I am never so happy as when we are just together, chilling out.

We spent Friday going to the movies, something we have been doing a lot lately. He usually has Friday and Saturday off, but that will be changing soon. Although he is delighted to now have Saturday and Sunday off, what can I say: when you’re unemployed, ever day is Saturday and Sunday! And I like our Friday matinees. We went to I Love You, Man, as I previously reported, and Jon has decided he would like the “old man sweater” (as dubbed by EW) worn buy Jason Segel. I will see what I can do.

We all love a shawl collar, right?

We all love a shawl collar, right?

And I’m over the whole maudlin topic of my last post. I was really sad on Saturday about not being at the reunion, but then some kind soul posted pictures on Facebook, and at first I realized it was for the best I didn’t go (again with that!). But then I realized one of my oldest and dearest friends DID go, and I got so sad I started crying. So I did something proactive — I wrote her a letter. Whether or not I hear back from her is not in my hands, but I’m glad I took my mind off my troubles and reached out to someone.

I’ve been feeling under the weather otherwise, and have been trying to avoid the joys of my super-secret for pay project. Although I did tackle it, I’m almost at the point where I’ll have to start thinking and doing some MATH. Which means the diversionary projects will have to stop.

Diversionary projects are little doodads I keep making for the Etsy shop. Will they sell? Um, well, I don’t know. But I do like making small projects. I like turning my small yarn leftovers into interesting shapes. Will other people like them? You be the judge.

This is a neck ruff - front. Made from Muench Bolero and Classic Elite Premiere.

This is a neck ruff - front. Made from Muench Bolero and Classic Elite Premiere


This is the back view.

This is the back view.


This is me attempting to look sexy modeling it, and realizing my lipstick is on crooked.

This is me attempting to look sexy modeling it, and realizing my lipstick is on crooked.


This is a pashmina cuff made with the last of my pash (two kinds) and two vintage buttons my friend and former co-worker Nance gave me. Thanks, N.

This is a pashmina cuff made with the last of my pash (two kinds) and two vintage buttons my friend and former co-worker Nance gave me. Thanks, N.


So there you have it. This is what I do whilst watching The Price is Right and Rock of Love: The STD Years.

I also made a capelet in cashmere with a heart lace motif, but I’m not ready to photograph that yet. And my Kim Hargreaves book came today, so huzzah.

But I have a migraine right now and my honey needs to get on the computer, so I have to get off. The computer. Lates, mates.

Like swallowing too much seawater..

Jon and I went to a movie this afternoon (I Love You, Man), and afterward, I bought a bottle of Voss water at Whole Foods and chugged the entire thing, so now I feel like my gut is exploding and I’ve swallowed the Indian Ocean.

Which leads me to what I wanted to say today, this Friday the 17th. Today is my 20th year college reunion, and I really wanted to be there. In fact, since last year, I had planned on going. I had even told my former employer that I was going to take vacation in April 2009 for just that purpose. As we all know now, I no longer HAVE an employer, and the best laid of plans can explode in you face like a bottle of Voss water. Anyway.

I still could have gone. My husband has a few days off from his job, and it’s not that far a drive up to middle Georgia. I hemmed and hawed until the last minute, but my husband ultimately swayed me when he said, “I think things that are in the past should stay in the past.” At first, I thought that was a cynical response, but the more I ruminated, the more I decided we didn’t need to blow our money on the Turnpike fees, gas and lodging. So I am staying home.

The people I was closest to probably won’t be there. And frankly, my only reasons for going were a little shallow — I just wanted to be in the reunion class picture and show that I think I’m still damned cute, and I don’t wear Mom jeans. And I also wanted to show off my sweet honey. So for posterity’s sake, I offer you a then and now portrait, so you can be the judge of how time has treated moi.

Yeah, the Nancy Wilson hair gives away the year - 1987. The color is not natural, as I haven't seen my true color since I was 19.

Yeah, the Nancy Wilson hair gives away the year - 1987. The color is not natural, as I haven't seen my true color since I was 19.


My current Facebook profile shot. I was trying to get some modelling shots of the tiny hats.

My current Facebook profile shot. I was trying to get some modelling shots of the tiny hats.


There you have it. You be the judge, all five of you. My weight has gone up and down over the years, but it’s levelled off, and as long as it doesn’t get above a personal Mendoza line I’ve set, I’m okay. I’m still wearing size 8 jeans, so I have that going for me, which is nice.

But I guess I have to ask myself: What is it that I remember or want to remember from college life?

I remember my two boyfriends from those four years. Both guitar players in bands. One, through the magic of the Interwebs, I know is married with two kids and a heart bypass survivor. And even though I never want to see him again (because, through the magic of the Interwebs, I did during 2000, and my cat shit in his luggage, so you see how well THAT went), I feel good that he’s found true love and happiness. Because frankly, I never loved him.

The other, well, I have no idea what ether he’s floating around in, but again, I hope it’s a good one. Because I did love him, even though it was a scary and toxic love. And I wonder if he still has those Corona beer bottles he saved from when the Reid brothers from The Jesus and Mary Chain bought him a six pack in the Circle K. True story, yo.

I remember working for a professor who I really admired, because despite all the temptation that other profs succumbed to, he never slept with his female students, even though one in particular threw herself at him and frankly, he was in love with her. He told her he wouldn’t touch her until she graduated or he was no longer employed — and he kept his word. Bitch was awfully jealous of me, though, since I had close proximity. I helped him find another job, and he let me mimeograph hundreds of papers on the old-fashioned crank machines. Yes, I sniffed, and copiously. And he gave me a passing grade even though I should have failed his class — I like to think we had an “understanding.” Oh, and he let me grade his papers and give people I hated bad grades. Yes, the truth comes out!

All the profs I really cared about are dead now. Heck, one even died my sophomore year. He donated all his show tune albums to the college library, where I used to pass out on the couch in the attic and the Japanese exchange students would laugh and point until they finally woke me up at closing time. My senior year, I found the collection in the basement, sitting there collecting dust. I decided he would have wanted me to have some, so thanks Dr. B, I still have Ain’t Misbehavin. You know how I feel about Nell Carter.

I guess that’s it. There were good times and there were weird times. I witnessed a murder one time walking after midnight downtown. The son of a famous R and B star (deceased) and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame asked me to particapte in a threesome. I declined. Things rolled like that for me. They say you can’t go back, and if I did, I’d be faking the funk with a bunch of moms and Junior League members. In Mom jeans. I would stand out like a sore thumb, like I always did.

I’m not ashamed of who I am. I’m not embarrased that I’m unemployed — it’s happened to a lot of people, not just me. I don’t know what my next step is — am I going to go back to school? Settle for a wage slave job? Keep making tiny hats and watching Godard movies?

I don’t know tonight. I think that’s all I feel like remembering tonight.

Peace out, lead farmers.

Where are you going, where have you been

That is one of my favorite short stories, for what it’s worth. By Joyce Carol Oates. Depressing as all get out, but that’s the way I like my short stories. I have been around, in the velvet cage. Making some things, thinking some thoughts, looking for jobs.

There are so many things I would like to write, but somehow, when push comes to shove, I find this is not the forum. So instead I will say that I did a bad bad thing today and ordered the new Kim Hargreaves pattern book, Breeze. My partner in Web crime Gina will tell me I did a good thing. With patterns this divine, I could not stop myself.
daisy
LOVE. I’ll take the skirt, too, please.

What can I say except that even escape in the form of entertainment is proving to be a transient pleasure. As I await Band of Outsiders from Netflix, I still look back fondly on a weekend watching Tropic Thunder. I am a lead farmer motherfuckers, don’t ever forget it.
See, I mix it up. The Goddard with the blockbusters. Woman cannot live by French flicks and Masterpiece Theatre adaptations alone. Though I have tried.

I have become a bottom feeder, selling almost my entire DVD collection on half.com — though some things will never go. I’m looking at you, Rushmore and Days of Heaven. But buh-bye, L.A. Confidential and Dressed to Kill. You fetched a pretty penny this weekend.

Jon and I went to see Adventureland this weekend, and I fear I cannot get the movie out of my head. It’s not that it was the greatest movie put on film — it was good, don’t get me wrong. But it made me so nostalgic for 1987 I think it has put me in a bigger funk than I already was. As I told another friend, I am in such a funk I am reaching Bootsy Collins levels.
adventure
When I say nostalgia, I mean that ache for things that were and can never be again. For making mix tapes, for a time before e-mail and stupid, stupid Facebook and Twitter (even though, yes, I do both of those), before newspapers and record stores closed en masse.

Yes, I still have records. Yes, I still have a record player. After watching Adventureland, I came home and put one record on that had a song featured in the movie, and it hasn’t left my player since. No, not The Replacements or Hüsker Du — I was never a fan of either. Not even Crowded House (though I am a fan, and have seen them three times). I was a weird combination of a goth girl and a Brit pop fan. Go figure that one out.

There’s so much I want to say but can’t. Maybe I’ll say some things this weekend. This weekend is my 20-year college reunion and I’m not going. I wanted to, but circumstances have made it a not-so-good idea. If nothing else, it would have been nice to show off my husband, because he’s a bit of a prize.

No, I’ll just keep playing that record.

I don’t have many friends I can talk to,
No wear to run when I’m in trouble….

Answers from the Velvet Cage

I just got back from the comic store, the hair salon (where we got my man’s hair did), the Costco, where we walked out in frustration, and the Barnes and Noble. I see the darling Gina has tagged me in a meme, which no one EVEH does. And since I am on migraine meds, enjoy the fun. It’s like giving me truth serum.

Do you nap? Yes, but it often gives me a headache or weird dreams. Recently I dreamed I was on the Rock of STD Bus with Bret Michaels. My husband already knows.

What was the last thing you bought? The latest Knit Simple (had some cute tops featuring yarn I have in stash) and the graphic novel Fagin the Jew by Will Eisner. Because I like Will Eisner’s work, and want to know how “the dude” kept it kosher in Victoria.
graphic

What are you listening to right now? The sound of silence. But I am not Garfunkling.

What is your favourite weather? Cool and calm. But no wind, please. Messes the hair.

What’s on your bedside table? A doily my mother crocheted, a lamp from Pier 1, two books and a clock.

What are you currently reading? The Windflower by Sharon and Tom Curtis, b/c I’ve had it in my pile for years, and according to half.com, I can get upwards of $20 for it.

Name the things you can’t live without. Migraine meds, food, water, love and attention.

What would you like to have in your hands right now? A decent job, an explanation why and a big giant…Rock of Love Bus.

What is your favourite tea flavour? Rooibos – the Celestial Seasons one with the big lion on the box.

What would you like to get rid of? An extra 10 lbs. and my endless tape loop of questions on “why.”

What is your favorite scent of candle? The Yankee Candle Company’s Clean Linen.

What did you want to become as a child? A writer.

What’s your favorite brand of jeans? American Eagle Outfitters, I think? The kind marked “short,” for midgets like me.

Say something to the person/s who tagged you: Gina, you help get me through the days in my velvet cage. Thank you.

I’m tagging fellow curly girl Bonnie and my partner in crime Marce, if’n they’re interested. If not, carry on, ladies. I’m going to my folks for a dual birthday celebration (dad and husband) tomorrow. Fried chicken and chicken fried gravy = heaven.

Lost in Dickens

I’ve been spending my day working on projects to put in the Etsy store to fill it up so I can make a few sales while I work on my other project due at the end of April. After that, who knows, maybe its time to actually find a big-girl job. Mayhap they are hiring chimney sweeps?

Today, I watched my TiVoed Masterpiece Theatre Oliver Twist from February while waiting for part 2 of Masterpiece Theatre’s Bleak House circa 2005 with Gillian Anderson (the ONLY Lady Dedlock!) to arrive so that I could watch THAT, return it and watch my TiVoed Masterpiece Theatre Little Dorrit from this past Sunday. Are you following me?

Total disclosure and honest to God truth: if I ever conceive a child and become a mother, I have always planned on naming the child, who will of course be a GIRL, either Dorrit or Fagin. My husband is well aware of this rule.

Discuss.

Here’s what I finished: An upcycled hat I’m calling The Artful Dodgette, in honor of that bad boy scamp Jack Dawkins. La, he’s bad, but I loves him. So much more fun than that little moppet Oliver. I like a boy with some spark and flash! Details in the captions.

If you tell me this looks like the hat Frosty the Snowman wore in that abominable cartoon, I will slap you.

If you tell me this looks like the hat Frosty the Snowman wore in that abominable cartoon, I will slap you.


Here's a closeup: Hat is vintage (20 years old) Italian wool bucket/trilby combo. Cleaned and steam-blocked. Flower pin also upcycled.

Here's a closeup: Hat is vintage (20 years old) Italian wool bucket/trilby combo. Cleaned and steam-blocked. Flower pin also upcycled.


Yarn deets: One ball of Lana Grossa's new Linnea Pura Flora, a butter soft organic cotton DK weight. Gift from a sweet yarn rep I will never see again.

Yarn deets: One ball of Lana Grossa's new Linnea Pura Flora, a butter soft organic cotton DK weight. Gift from a sweet yarn rep I will never see again.


Front view of hat and band: Simple feather and fan is so comforting, and the hat is very moldable, as you can see.

Front view of hat and band: Simple feather and fan is so comforting, and the hat is very moldable, as you can see.


So there you have it, guv. This will be going in the shop over the weekend, but really, it needs to have someone modelling it. Someone like this Artful Dodger, see?

(And btw, you really should check out Oliver Twist, the 2007 version — I think I’ve seen every adaption of Twist possible, and I quite enjoyed this update, though it did take some plot liberties. Sophie Okenedo was a heartbreaking Nancy — one of my favorite characters in fiction.

Again, total disclosure true story: When I had my wisdom teeth taken out the summer after college, I sat, drugged, in the dentist’s chair, blood and cotton in my mouth, singing show tunes from the musical Oliver!, as the dental assistants brought in two women from the local correctional institute (in leg and arm chains) and their guards to laugh at the crazy girl with the swollen face who was singing like a fool. I can only hope I made those women’s stays in prison a leetle brighter.
twist