Saturday, March 31, 2007

The servers in Seattle are bossy

I have concluded that space in restaurants in Seattle's U district must be a precious commodity, and this makes the servers, not the customers, the ones with the power. This was apparent Friday evening, when my Seattle roomie and I decided to take a break from the Asian restaurants that are highly prevalent, and try some Italian. We walked over to Mama Melina's and after the server discovered that we did not have a reservation, he informed us that it would be a 15 minute wait, which was no big deal to us, and that we would only have the table for an hour, which shocked the both of us. Neither of us had ever been given a time limit on our stay before! Perhaps this is customary in many locations and we are but hicks. We were imagining a big clock ticking at our table. While the food--gnocchi di ricotta--was delicious, the memory that stood out was the fact that we only rated an hour at the place.

Even funnier was our lunchtime encounter. We were wandering up the Ave, wondering what to pick. I expressed an interest in noodle soup, so we picked a pho place. The moment we walked in, both of our glasses fogged up and we couldn't see a thing. Before we could even recover our vision, we were directed straight to a table. Now not only could we not see properly, but there were people already sitting at the table. Our confusion and reluctance only made the server yell louder, so we sat at the table. Neither of us can read without our glasses, and both of us were still fogged up. So while the menu was right in front of us, we could not decipher it. That didn't matter. Server #2 was ready to take our order. I asked him about vegetarian pho, and he told me I was having bowl A. Then he demanded what my friend wanted. When she expressed an interest in actually seeing the menu (still fogged), he demanded, "beef or chicken?" She said, "Uhm, beef?" and he said, "You get this one" and rushed off. He didn't even give me a chance to ask for spring rolls, and it took several attempts just to get a server to stop long enough to request those. Once our glasses cleared, we saw on the menu that the place served boba. I finally got a server's attention, and asked for boba, and she growled, "Not today" and rushed off. They came to clear our plates before we were even finished, and were wiping the table off before we could even get up to pay.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Better living through cheap furniture and plastic

Not much knitting to report. Last week, with the new quarter breathing down my neck, i actually applied myself with great industry to the Cleaning Of The House. I awoke Saturday morning insanely determined to have a clean room, and lay in bed envisioning ways to make the bedroom a better place. This all finally resulted in, not just a 2-day-marathon decluttering odyssey, but also a trip to a chain department store for a cheap bookshelf and several big ol plastic storage tubs. The cheap bookshelf went downstairs, alongside several other cheap shelves while the rather nice but small bookshelf downstairs went up to our newly decluttered bedroom. Now there's a bookshelf in our bedroom, with little knitted babes hanging out on top of it. I also got an under-the-bed storage monstrosity to hide all the stray yarn discoveries from the bedroom.

These are what I work on during the week. The stripey Regia cotton surf is my mindless knitting that I work on during my 30 minute walk every day at work. The other pair gets knitted on in stray moments at home. Mountain Colors donated several miniskeins to Socks for Soldiers and I was the lucky recipient of a handful of skeins. They actually go farther than I thought and I may be able to get two pairs of socks. I've never knit with MC yarn before and I am in loooooooove. I can't even express how dreamy this yarn is.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pop Princess

I have had a couple knitted babes sitting half-finished for quite a while, and this weekend I attended to both of them. (Aaaaaand started two more.) This morning, after spending an hour making a hair piece for the bald dolly, we dressed her up in borrowed clothes and contemplated leaving her as a bald pop princess. Funny, my #1Man and I wanted to call her "Sinead" while the kidlets wanted to call her "Brittany."

However, my daughter was rather attached to the hair-piece we'd been working on all morning, so I got busy and attached it to her head after all. I may yet make a bald dolly, but she'll have to wait for a few more that are in the works. I haven't made her clothes yet, so she's borrowing from the resident Groovy Girls. We're still waiting to discover this girl's personality and her name, when we do I'll post her over at knitted babes.

love that cat...

Quick note to cat and dog owners. There's a recall of wet pet food, and it includes a zillion brands. Please see Menu Foods for the details. We fed a packet of the suspect stuff to our cat just yesterday, but I checked all the dates on the packets in the house and the food I have is just outside of the range of the recall.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Roxxy Roller

Meet Roxxy!

Roxxy is a junior in high school. She's also a poet, and can often be seen at poetry slams around the community, sharing and baring her soul. She's a barrista at The Coffee Hole, working there on weekends and on the morning shift, because she has first period free at school. She's been listening to Dead can Dance and the Cocteau Twins on her mp3 player a lot lately, and the last show she went to see was Evanescence. The message on her cell phone says, "Sorry I'm not home right now I'm walking in the spiderwebs so leave a message and I'll call you back." When her mom asks her why she wears skulls, she says "It shows that no matter how you cover up, everybody's the same underneath. It's a symbol of human unity, Mom!" She didn't get her mom's permission for the eyebrow piercing or the lip piercing and was grounded for a month. The only subjects at school she really cares about are English and Art. She's going to have a show at the Coffee Hole next month of her collages and sculptures.

Construction Notes

yarn: Knit Picks Palette in white
stuffing: natural wool stuffing
needles: Size 2 Addi Turbo
technique: Knitted top-down, in the round, face sewed on next, stuffed with the doll still on the needles, then kitchenered shut along her bottom. Next came the limbs, knitted by picking up stitches in the appropriate spots and knitting i-cord. Last came the hair.
pattern: Knitted Babes by Clare Garland, of course

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Stash Diving

When my daughter asked me to make her a pair of mittens, I was excited because this meant I could knit something out of Favorite Mittens but not have to decide which wonderful pattern to knit first. I was surprised by her choice: she did not pick one of the many two-or-more-coloured patterns, but rather she selected the double-rolled mittens, because she was attracted to the shaggy cuff. Then I asked her what colour she wanted her mittens, and you know I was thinking, "Yay! An iron-clad excuse to go yarn shopping!" But she surprised me again and said, "Show me what you have." I took her on a tour of what stash yarns were mitten-appropriate, and she picked out a skein of Peace Fleece that's been waiting a project for more than 3 years. I even had thrums from Spinderella (purchased those back in the days when I didn't work full time and wasn't in graduate school, and was toying with spindling...), and contrasting Peace Fleece yarn waiting for the shag. No yarn shopping for me!

One of my confusions about this pattern was her insistence that it requires smaller-than-you-would-think needles. I tried that, and got all the way to the spot where you put the thumb stitches on waste yarn, and decided it was totally bogus and ripped it out. I stepped up to a size 7 needle. Still smaller than I would think. With all that lining and shag, wouldn't it make sense to use larger-than-normal needles? Because the lining and shag would make it warm. With this gauge, I'm knitting using the stitch numbers for a size 2, and the measurements for a size 8.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Weekends are for Finishing Up

WOOOOOHOOOOOO! I am DONE with school! I have a 2 week quarter break in which to knit and read. Oh yeah, and clean house.

Yesterday I finished my columbine socks. These were knit from Wildfoote Columbine, which I picked up quite accidentally one day while shopping for the Knit Mitt Kit Swap. It was one of those yarn purchases where the yarn leaped into my hands and before I knew it, I was out of the store wondering how it was I just purchased new sock yarn? They are knit on size 2 addi turbos, with a short-row toe and heel, knit toe-up. I was planning to knit on up the leg until I ran out of yarn, but I got to the point where I either needed to add increases or cuff and end. It looked like if I added increases, the socks would wind up being an awkward length, so I just stopped where I was. I used the yarn-over cable from Sensational Knitted Socks.

And then there's the dresses. It all started a week ago, when I wound up going to the fabric store with my coworkers at lunch time. It was a huge mistake. It's like taking an ex-alcoholic into a bar. I was short of breath. My heart started to race. I was shaking like a leaf! I managed to get out of there without buying anything, well, except for a candy bar to help settle my nerves. But then--just like an addict, eh?--I went back later alone and bought some green embroidered interlock. That wasn't all, the next day I went back and bought some green ribbing to go with the interlock, and then some blue embroidered interlock, a matching plain interlock, and ribbing.

And that wasn't the only danger. My coworker was asking about sergers. We had a day off work coming up so I told her to come on over and try it out. I did warn her: I told her she'd have to buy one if she tried one. We spent the day looking at patterns, cutting out, and sewing. That night I finished my first dress out of a really cool organic hemp/cotton jersey, straight out of my stash. (yes, I have a fabric stash, it is astonishing to behold.) The very next day she went out and bought a serger. By the end of the weekend I'd sewn two and a half dresses, with a nightie all cut out. However, I had to stop for the week, working as usual plus I had to finish up the quarter.

Anyway, this morning I was able to finish up the third dress. These were made after my #1Girl was cruising through a mail-order catalogue and spotted dresses that she absolutely had to have. Now she has three of them... but I'm off the wagon. It's difficult to know whether to knit, sew, read a book, or what?

Three weeks, second sock

Well, it may have taken just one week to knit the first sock, but it took 3 for the second. A lot of that was on frogging and redo-ing. First of all, I forgot to start on size 3 needles, and had a good 3 inches done on size 2 needles before I noticed it was considerably smaller than the first. I also turned the heel not once, not twice, but three times. Once I got past the heel, it cruised along.

Knit with fearless fibers, I used a size 3 needle on the leg, then switched to a size 2 needle to finish up. The braid at the cuff comes from Nancy Bush's Folk Solks.

Yay, new socks!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Knitting Dreams

Last night I dreamt about knitting with alpaca yarn. How very vivid, my dreams! When my kids ask me what dreams mean, I tell them it's like your brain flushing. All the things that are rushing about in your head get swirled together on their way out. And that's what my dreams usually are. Something familiar, something totally unexpected but unsurprising in the dream context, all mixed up with weirdness, that I just find strange when I wake up. But lately I've been having very unstrange knitting dreams. Where I wake up wondering when I'll get to knit that! In my alpaca dreams, I could feel how soft the yarn was. The yarn was all natural, undyed, and the only strange part was that I accepted the forest green yarn as coming from a green alpaca without questioning that. I have one gorgeous skein of alpaca yarn that I got in the Mitt Swap from Beth at The Spinning Loft. I haven't yet decided how I'm going to use it. But I must knit alpaca soon! My dreams said so!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

You're so weird

Me: Man, I was awake at 6:45 this morning.
Kid: I slept in til 9!
Me: At least I didn't get out of bed until 7:30. I just lay there thinking about socks the whole time.
Kid: Did you /really/?
Me: Yes, I really did.
Kid: Mom, you're /so/ /weird./
Me: But I thought about some socks I might like to make you...
Kid: Oh! Cool!