Friday, December 28, 2007

Sweater Girl Goes Extreme

I'm generally a sweater knitter, but with Christmas I turned to the extremities. Socks, mittens, hats, they all go faster than a sweater. That meant knitting a couple of little things for friends and family and, since I had to knit those by a deadline, knitting small things for myself as well during my selfish moments.

First I crocheted this hat for a book review I wrote over at Black Purl Magazine. It's the Soon Come hat from Get Your Crochet On! made in Encore and some leftover Patons SWS.

I knit these gloves for my friend Angel in Korea. They are the Convertible Mittens from the fall issue of Knit.1 . I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca in a very subtly heathered teal tweed. Check the errata on Knit.1's site!

I had been wondering why all mittens weren't made with a flap so your fingers could do their work. I discovered why as soon as I tried one on. Duh, the flap lets cold air in. So I added a button to try to keep the flap closed as much as possible. If I was good at adding zippers that probably would have been the best at keeping out the cold, though I bet the metal would have conducted the cold to the hand all too well, too.

I also lengthened the flap (even more than the corrected version on the errata page has) and lengthened the thumb. Hope she likes them. The yarn makes a great feeling fabric. I wish all the time I didn't find alpaca itchy. I can knit with it no problem, but wearing it gives me the itchies.

Also for a coworker whose b-day it was just a few days before Christmas, I made the Robin's Egg Blue Hat in chocolate in Patons Shetland Chunky. Very quick knit.

The button was one I had leftover from a headband I had been intending to make forever. I wanted a headband that I could wear with my afro puff and also one that buttoned so I wouldn't have to pull it off and on. So I made a simple ribbed band using Nashua Cilantro, which I absolutely love (the yarn, I mean).

Do you all think this pattern is worth writing up? Someone showed a lot of interest in it at knit night. I thought I wouldn't bother at first because it's so simple, but she was a beginning knitter and couldn't see how to make it. But I'm not sure how worthwhile it is for people who don't have afro puffs. Maybe I will write it up anyway.

Also I finally finished the socks I was knitting for my stepfather. Wow. Those socks took a long time. A looooong time. But he really liked the socks I made him last year, so hopefully he'll like these, too. Like? I take that back. He better LOVE these socks, as long as it took me to make them. I started these socks in . . . late July, I think. They took forever.

No, no, "love" is too mild a word for the depth of gratitude I expect for these giganto socks. It had better be passion. Lust. I'm talking Thinking Of Having an Affair With These Socks type love. I mean, Planning to Cheat on My Mother type love. For real, it should be a Mother Walks In The Room and Finds Stepfather And Socks In Bed kind of thing. I mean Got My Mother Checking The Cell Phone Bill's Call List For Suspicious Calls type emotion. Even to Planning on Running Away With The Socks and Growing Old And Gray Together type passion. Folks In Divorce Court, Socks Called To the Witness Stand, Family Members Blaming Me For Breaking Up A 20-Year Marriage type love. Only when it has reached this point will I say, "I guess he sufficiently appreciates the work I put in on these socks."

So now that I'm done with xmas knitting (almost; daddy's sweater didn't get finished in time), time to get back to my own stuff.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I'm in Magknits!

This is so exciting, I'm in December 2007's Magknits for my pattern Excuses! I've made a lot of excuses during my life, but this is by far the best one (haha, I have been waiting months to say that line!) Scroll down past the pictures to read how to adjust the pattern.

I'd like to be able to say that I won't forget you all now that I've become an international superstar, but I'd just be raising false hopes. Just kidding, just kidding. I will happily sign a printout of the pattern for each and every one of you, with the certainty that you will lay it next to your pillows at night. Okay, let me stop. Hahaha, I promise I haven't been drinking (but that doesn't mean I won't start soon). :)

Okay, seriously, I'm really excited. It's my first time. No, no, don't speak, just hold me. (What is going on with me today? I think I haven't had enough to eat. Yeah, that's it.) My first time having a pattern published, that is. Oh, no, that's a lie, I do have a fingerless glove pattern in the Pattern a Day knitting calender for 2008. But this is a little different. I didn't even know that it would be in this month's issue, but got a congratulatory email on Ravelry (btw, y'all, I'm on Ravelry as "mwedzi". Please find me!).

Some additional shots:

It took me forever to get this shot, even though it's dark, so somebody's going to see it!:

And so you can see the shape flat:

Another shot that was hard to get. It is surprisingly difficult to get action shots of knits.

Oh, and a couple more notes about sizing that got edited out of the final copy.

For bigger busts (C and up):
The pattern has severe decreases to go from bust to underbust, so it is designed to cup your breasts. I designed this pattern specifically because I was tired of knits only doing side waste shaping and ignoring booby shaping. But if you are larger on top, choose the size that corresponds to your bust size and knit that size to the point of the bust decreases. If your arms don't get as big (relatively) as your breasts, stop the decreases for the arms when you reach the number of stitches for the sleeves of the next smallest size. Then start the bust decreases 1/2" earlier than called for in the pattern and do enough decreases to get to the number required for the next smallest size. Continue the pattern as written for the next smallest size.

If you don't want as much negative ease:
Simply choose the next size up. The pattern has 3" of negative bust ease. Notice, (clever me), that the sizes are also done in 3" increments. So if you want a sweater that simply skims your body, just go up to the next size (so that you knit your actual bust measurement, not the "to fit" measurement).

Okay, I have to go eat now, or give myself a tranquilizer, or something.

Friday, November 23, 2007

One Project, Two Projects, Three Projects, Four

Too many projects, don't cast on any more! So, I was wondering why I haven't finished anything in a while. Was there anything lying around that I could finish quickly? I mean, I felt like I had been knitting, why didn't I have an FO? Oh, yeah. Right. Because of this:

Crocheted Hat from Get Your Crochet On! and Mesh Lace Cardigan from VK's 25th anniversary issue in the Tess's Designer Yarns Ivory and Silk yarn I got at Maryland Sheep and Wool and Kidzilk Night.

Sweater of my own design in the Cascade Superwash I got on sale for 70% off:

We got the ones on dpns, all but the toe done of the 2nd sock for my stepfather's socks (ran out of yarn!) in Wildfoote, 1 broadstreet mitten done up to the fingers (you know, the hard part) in Colinette Jitterbug, and the cuff of the 2nd Jaywalker whose mate I finished some months ago in Yarn Pirate merino/tencel blend:

There's the knit and crochet stuff for my voluminous hair both my own designs, the crocheted in Elann's Alpaca Silk and the knit one in Nashua's Cilantro:

The Foliage Hat from the most recent Knitty in handspun I bought in Cape Town and sweater from my own design using the super pricey and ultra precious Alchemy Sanctuary and Kidsilk Haze that I got for V-Day:

Under the white is French Girl Knits' Marguax in Filatura di Crosa Super Soft that i got for a steal on Webs.

Yeah, so that's why. When you work only 10 rows of a project and then put it down to work on another, well, yes, they will all eventually get done, but maybe not for a long time. What happened in some cases, I think, was that I would hit the part of the project that required counting and shifting stitches and concentration and I haven't wanted that much lately so I'd cast on for another project that started simply and then, you know, rinse and repeat. Can you imagine what life would be like if we did that for everything?:

*Here's that term paper, Professor. I only wrote the introduction and listed the data. I didn't do the analysis cuz, you know, that's the hard part. However I did start another paper and have the intro and data for that, too, so I'm turning that in as well.

*Well, yeah, see, the actual brushing of the teeth I find to be kind of annoying, so I just put the toothpaste on the toothbrush and left it.

*Okay, so I filled the sink up with soapy water and the dishes are in there. But who wants to actually wash them? I'll just use some more dishes and then put those in there when I'm done, too. Maybe if I don't look at them for long enough, they will have magically cleaned themselves.

*Yes, but, Doctor, getting pregnant was the fun part. I don't really have the energy to push right now. Um, how about you go away and come back later and we'll see how I feel then?

But hey, that's why we knit, right? It's a hobby and so we can do whatever the (edited for PG-13 rating) we want. We don't have to knit for our job, or our hygiene, or to rid ourselves of an invasion by a nutrient-sucking foreign body (aka "giving birth"). So I take plenty liberties with the knitting. But keeping it honest, what you see above is just downright ridiculous. And this holiday weekend I was going to start my Daddy's sweater for xmas, too. So no more casting on!

But wait! Somewhere in there there's an FO. Looking, looking, looking, found it! It's the Foliage hat:

And look, I have a third nipple! To make me extra special, it's on top of my head. See, this is why I usually crochet hats. Knit hats almost always give you an extra nipple. But I'm sure there's someone out there who likes it.

And speaking of strange fetishes, I saw a comment on my Flickr photo album for the knit bracelet I made recently. It said that I had lovely wrists and that my wrist would look so nice in a gold-tone Bulova watch. "Hmm," I thought, that's a special comment. So I went to the person's Flickr page and, while they didn't have any photos of their own, they did have many favorites, of which my knit bracelet was one. Many favorites. 28 pages of favorites. And all of them were of women's hands, wrists and forearms. Did you hear me? TWENTY-EIGHT PAGES OF WOMEN'S WRISTS!!! And the comments were all, "I love the freckles on your forearm," or "this woman has lovely wrists." Occasionally there'd be one of just a watch and the comment would be "this watch would look lovely on a woman's beautiful wrist." Unfortunately you can't see all the favorited photos now, since he seems to have deleted himself (or changed his name). Must have found out we were on to him. But wow, of all the things to fetishize.

Okay, 'til next time, Folks.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I was on TV!

Y'all, I was on TV. TV! Me! I modeled some clothing on CBS Chicago news for an interview they were doing of Iris Schreier for her book Lacy Little Knits. For a brief moment in time, I lived the glamorous life of a model. Minus the glamor part, that is. No hair dresser, no make-up artist, no money, not even an autographed copy of the book. Not even a cookie. You know how when you're braggin' about something you've done and there's always some smart ass who says something like "what do you want? a cookie?" I'm like, yes! Yes I do want a cookie. Where's my damn cookie? I prefer macademia cranberry, thank you very much. I didn't get doodly squat. I got a styrofoam cup of water. It was probably tap.

Okay, why front? I loved it. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. It was fun. I played dress up in pretty clothes and I was on TV. Here's the link to the story and video! I don't know how long they'll keep it up. But y'all saw how the newscasters were jocking my 'fit, right? It was a gorgeous skirt, drapey luscious silk. But everyone agrees, it's the booty. Which is why I told y'all before, quit hating on the booty. As soon as I've done a few projects in my queue, this skirt is mine!

But in case the video link doesn't stay up long, an internet friend got a screen capture for me. It's kinda blurry, so I'm working on getting real photos from the other models who were smart enough to actually take them.

Go ahead, guess which one is me. Haha. The 'fro was banging that day, too!

Now for my own knits, I worked up this sweater right quick. You know how you get a hankering for a quick knit? Okay, normally a sweater isn't what you go for in such situations, but I promise this one was fast. I love it. But tell me why it is that the most boring things to knit are the things you most want to wear?

10 balls, size 10 needles, 3.5 sts/inch. The pattern is available at Webs, the cropped v-neck pullover, for pretty cheap and it can be emailed to you. I had to make it 3/4 sleeves because I didn't have enough for long sleeves, but I like 3/4 sleeves anyway.

This is my second time working with Karabella Aurora yarn. This one was bulky. The Drops Fair Isle sweater was in Aurora 8. Do y'all know of any others like it? The spin and plying, I love it. It's squishy, it's merino, it's machine washable. It's official, I'm in love with this yarn. Don't tell my parents that. They worry enough about my (nearly non-existent) dating life without knowing that I've fallen pretty hard for a ball of sheep hair.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My First Wire Knit, My First Gray

Okay, so I lied about the next post being my own design. That design just got picked up so you'll see it soon. But I do have something really new, my first wire knit! It's from the Twist and Loop book by Annie Modesitt. This book has so many beautiful designs, and since I had been wanting to work with beads anyway, I decided I'd give it a go. The one that really caught my eye was this one:

Gorgeous, huh? I needed all these supplies to start that I didn't have, and wire can be kinda pricey. But over the course of a couple of weeks I picked stuff up here and there and in fact to do this particular project all I needed were the beads, the wire, and one of those round nose plier type tools. In truth for that last I could have just used scissors but the tool was a 3-in-1 and it was only $5 at Walmart. I know, Walmart, it's evil, but I was in Calgary with a couple hours to kill before my flight back so I stopped there because it wasn't too far from the airport. (I went to Banff National Park for a few days, absolutely beautiful, pics at the bottom of this post). I also got the beads at Walmart. They didn't have velvet ribbon, but fortunately I had some fancy ribbon in the right color from a project I never began. Walmart didn't have wire in the right gauge, but I got some at Boca Loca Beads in Indianapolis when I went to pick my bunny up from the bunnysitters. I needed much less than the pattern called for. It called for 50 yards of wire, but I didn't even use 2/3 of a 40 yard spool. And since my yo eyelets didn't come out as big as in the book, I couldn't make a wide ribbon lie flat like in the picture, so I made it wave up and down. Anyway, the final result doesn't look a whole lot like the book's, but I like it.

From the front:

From the back:

Not another headless knitting photo:

While working with the beads I kept thinking of my grandmother's house. You know, this color scheme and the simple fact that they're beads looks very 70's-ish and her house always looked/looks 70s-ish. I think the plastic furniture covers are the same ones from when I was kid. You know the ones I'm talking about, you sit on them and your thighs get all sweaty and stick to the plastic. The ones that act as dual protection against food spills and incontinence. Yeah, those. All the same, I think it's beautiful, even if my wire knitting is not very neat.

In other news, I've found my first two gray hairs. Well, the first two on my head at any rate, but we won't go there to protect the tender minds of the kiddies. It was a sad day when I saw the first. It was a young one, just coming in, only about 2 inches long. I thought it was lint at first, but it wouldn't come out! And can you believe the very next day I found another, also very young, just about 2 inches away. Dang, y'all, dang. Just when me and my hair were getting on good terms, it has to go and pull this bs on me. Damn, the betrayal! I know, Readers, that you are thinking that it's not the hair's fault but has something to do with me getting older and is just another symptom of this, like my raging uterus. That's just like you, always taking their side. Fine, be that way. But next time you want a free pattern ask my hair to write it for you! Mm hmm, now everybody's my friend. (I swear I'm not drunk. But for real, been wearing a wash and go recently and I'm able to do it w/o my hair becoming a matted tangled mass because of the braided roots technique, so email me if you want more details).

And finally, the promised pics of Banff National Park. It was gorgeous. Lakes in valleys surrounded by pine forests surrounded by glacier-capped mountains. I even saw a bear on the side of the road. Ate all fancy at Eden at the Rimrock Resort (5 courses and wine pairing for each course!), rode horses, it was fantastic.

Driving on the Ice Fields Parkway

Riding horses on mountain trail near Lake Louise.

Peyto Lake and Glacier:

Peyto Lake

View from hotel

Standing on rapidly receding glacier. In another 30-50 years, there won't be any here.

Til next time, Y'all.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Split Neck Tee from Fitted Knits

Wow, who would have thought this would take me so long. It's in Elsebeth Lavold's cotton frappe. Really, I don't who comes up with the gauge on this labels. I knit it at 6 stitches to the inch on size 4 needles and really, it could be tighter. I like the yarn cuz, even though it's cotton, it has some stretch because it is a cabled construction (or is it chain?). And I love the color. When I saw it I had to get it. Navy blue with silver nylon parts running through it. The color is called "night", very fitting. For the trim I held together a strand of "dk weight" (again, totally false weight info) silk from Colourmart which is U.K. based (150 grams, aroudn 1200 yards for $16)and a strand of some pure sparkle hard stuff from Pinoguin that I got while in South Africa. It's really hard and scratchy, so a bit irritating on the neck, but it matched in color and I didn't want to order more yarn just for the trim so I used what I had.

The patten is not so fitting, despite coming from a book titled Fitted Knits. I added a little bit of waist shaping, but it's still mostly a rectangle. I think from now on I'm going to always include back darts as well as bust and waist shaping. I think decreasing in the back is more necessary than the front because at least in the front we have boobs (or in my case, booblets) to take up some of the volume, but in the back it's just a bunch of loose fabric with nothing to fill the void. Not flattering.

I had to adjust the gauge since I used a much finer yarn, so that I just knit according to the numbers for the 4th size. So I got a taste of what it's like to have to knit larger sizes. More stitches! And since it was knit in the round, all those tiny stockinette stitches just seemed to go on forever. I added the waist shaping in part just to break up the monotony. But actually, I like it. It's a cute design.

Oh, and for the clasp I got two little separate pieces and then linked them together with a ring. Got them at Walmart in Calgary on my recent trip to Banff National Park (I'll show pictures next post). Hmm, this top is pretty international.

Okay, enough info, here are the pics:

And that's it until next time, when I'll have another sweater of my own design to show. Til later, People!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Late Summer Special - Curves

Just in time for the end of summer (Chicago's summer is soo short), here's a pattern that I've been working on. It's already written up and will be available is now available over at the fantastic Swanky Knits! Trying to decide what to do with the neckline nearly drove me insane. I knew I didn't want it to be plain. I pretty much stumbled onto this shape and liked it, so I kept it. The sections of ribbing follow your curves, hence the name. I chose SWTC bamboo and it is a pleasure to knit with and wear. You must knit it tighter than the ball band or you're going to get lace, but a little goes a long way. This took less than 2 full balls for the 32" bust size. The largest sizes will not take more than 4. And the finished fabric is so slinky and feels so good against the skin.

Sexy! Ribbing lines start with a little fullness at the hips, decreases for the waist, and increase to maximum fullness for the bust. In fact this shaping simply follows the actual decreases and increases of the top, with a bit extra for more visual effect.

So I'm happy to have this off the needles and I've already worn it twice. The folks at work really like it. :-) So do I.

In other news I'm proud to report that I have been slowing down on the yarn buying. I'm not sure how much of this is due to simply being incredibly poor and how much has to do with having another burgeoning interest (the natural hair thing). I think the poverty has kept me from buying but the hair thing has kept me from being too upset about it.

However, I did get a gift certificate for Jimmy Beans Wool. I worked their booth at Stitches Midwest for a few hours. This Stitches was so different from my first. I had the last shift, so I got there 2 hours before the whole thing was over and helped them pack up. I didn't go around the market at all. I planned to at least look around, but in true Chicago fashion, the el had problems / was under construction, etc. (how many times did I take the subway in Seoul? Tons. How many times did it have problems? None.) so I was 5 minutes late instead of 30 minutes early and didn't have time to do anything but work. And I was starved, too, and was working off a couple handfuls of cashews and the lemon bars someone's mother brought for us. But still, Stitches was a good thing. My LYS, Loopy Yarns, had a party the Friday before and I met folk from out of town and there was cheese and wine, and y'all know how I love free alcohol. Don't they all look so happy?

And for my work at JBW's booth, with the gift certificate they gave me, I got these goodies. Like I said, I've cut back on yarn, so all I got yarn-wise was a couple balls of sock yarn from the new Kaffe Fasset Line, the Landscape line in Fog. Doesn't the yarn look absolutely nothing like the pic in the link above? I'm really hoping it magically turns into the pic.

I also got a French Girl Margaux, a pattern for a cape. We'll see if I can knit this for Halloween.

But coolest of all is this bag from Lantern Moon. I love their baskets and bags, and this is pretty cute in person, too.

I'm off to California tomorrow to visit the family and I'll take along my Split Neckline tee from Fitted Knits and a sock project. I'll bring the socks and a book in this bag.

Til later, Folks!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Beaded Pillow

Shhhh. It's a sekwet. This is for my first homestay family in South Africa. The son is the only one who knows my blog address, hopefully he's not reading this right now. It's a beaded pillow.

The yarn is Plymouth Encore in a cream color and a beige color. It was worked on size 7 needles. This makes the beige-ish beads hard to see in the photos, but they look very nice in real life. I prestrung the beads using dental floss threader. This works really well, so that I was able to get something like size 8 or 6 beads onto worsted weight with no problem. The pillow is a 14" form.

The back is a simple fair isle pattern I got in 200 Knitted Squares, which is where I also got the leaf pattern, and the edging is a crochet picot-type edging.

Closeup of pillow and beads

Whole pillow

Pillow back

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Letter to My Uterus

Now you know I don't like to post without knitting content, but I'd decided to separate my post topics out a bit more. So tomorrow I'll post the pillow, which has actually been done for about a week now. For today, I have a letter.

Continuing the fine tradition of writing letters to body parts (see here and here), today I have a letter for my uterus.

Dear Uterus,

F%$#@! you!

Hmm, will all of my letters start this way? Okay, once more.

Dear Uterus,

Okay, I get it. For many years I didn't pay attention. I thought you and me were just chillin. Sure, you had to cramp all up like a MF'er every month but thank heavens for modern medicine because bc calmed that down significantly. But over the years your tiny little sweet girly voice has slowly turned into a loud and, dare I say, obnoxious roar. Now I don't think it would be an understatement to say that you are damn near yelling at me for not giving you what you want. And yeah, I know what you want. A baby.

Never mind the fact that I don't actually like babies. Never mind that I am always the one holding a poopy smelling baby at arm's length running around in a panic like "what do I do with this?" And never mind the fact that any child left with me for more than a couple of hours only has a 50% chance of survival. It's not that I'm trying to kill them, it's that kids are stupid and will kill themselves if you don't watch out. Really, I think babies would just walk straight off a cliff if you didn't watch them. And I won't watch them. I'll forget about them for a second. And then it'll be all "hmm, oh shoot!, was I not supposed to leave Jr. in the bathtub with the hot water running?", or "dang, did I leave all the plastic bags from the grocery store on the floor where little Nene was crawling?" or "maybe I shouldn't have painted all the electrical sockets with clown faces" (okay, that last was a joke. But really, People, you do not want me watching your babies.)

But no, you don't care about any of this. You have no foresight at all. You don't care that, should I have a child, I'd inevitably be forced to listen to the same joke (and trust, it will not be a funny joke because it will be a simple-minded thing from a kindergartener) 20 times because kids think the same joke is unendingly funny. What, you don't remember this exchange:

Kid: And then he did it like this!!! hahahahaha
Me: Wow, that's funny.
Kid: And then he did it like this!!! hahahahaha
Me: Yeah, I know, it was kinda funny.
Kid: And then he did it like this!!! hahahahaha
Me: Um . . .

Nope, none of this is important to you. You just want a baby on you, and you have no qualms about letting me know. I see cute little knit baby things, and you yell "Make baby now!" and I'm like "I don't have a husband" and you yell "go make baby now!" and I remind you that I don't even have a boyfriend and you yell even louder "me want baby, baby in me now, make baby, baby!" (um, did I tell you all my uterus sounds like a caveman?)

Really, it's starting to get embarrassing. I'm afraid others can hear you, since you are doing it out in public now. I used to not really notice most men. Seriously, unless he was damn fine I didn't even pay attention. Now whenever a halfway decent looking one walks by, you growl at them! Got me out here faking like I didn't hear it, looking nonchalantly up in the sky when they turn around wondering what nearby animal was growling at them. I still remember the first time it happened, shocked me to death. There I was, walking down the street all innocent like, and a well-groomed fairly good-looking guy passed by and you yelled "sex!" Hmm, don't mince words, do you? Now your goals are more clear, and you sometimes bypass me altogether and yell commands directly at them: "You can make baby, yes?! You make baby in me now!"

So look, I'm just saying I understand where you're coming from. Next birthday marks three decades here and you're getting tired of waiting. I know you got all these hormones and what not, and societal pressures, and worries about the expiration date on the eggs (yeah, don't act like you and the ovaries aren't in this together; I know). But you're going to have to give me just a bit more time and maybe one day . . .

Until next time,

The Body You're In

Friday, August 03, 2007

And the Winners Are . . .

Okay, I don't usually have good ideas. In fact, my ideas are usually just plain bad. You know that person who's like, "yeah, I suppose we could just walk down the side of the mountain, but wouldn't it be better to go cascading off this waterfall? In a barrel? It's a barrel, so we wouldn't get hurt, see?" That's totally me. But this contest? This was a good idea. I got so many music suggestions. Thank you all so much! I have been able to add several new songs onto my Shuffle. Next music contest will be so you all can recommend some get crunk type music. Sometimes you just wanna break somebody off hard gangsta style, and you can't do that to no ultra mellow neo-soul. As it is, every time I hear some song and think "that beat is hard", almost before I can finish my thought somebody yells "ho" at me. I mean, I can take a little, but I have a 2 ho limit.

So I listened to all your suggestions, or at least tried to. Y'all were supposed to give me specific songs, not just artists. So if you didn't I just listened to the first song or two I came upon or ones whose titles I liked. Not all of them were the type of music I usually like, but actually I think they were all good. Like Jason Mraz. Not the music I like, but I had to find out what disintegrates Ms. Pixie's panties, and indeed, his voice is pretty damn appealing. Same thing for Chad Perron. He ain't no Johnny Gill, though. :) Van Hunt, too. He definitely has some panty melting powers. He had been recommended to me before, so I was glad to get some specific songs to listen to. Same for Lily Allen, though I had heard a song or two from her before. And Soko? Again, not my style, but that song is funny for real. Actually, there were lots of great songs that I couldn't make winners because I already knew them, like Chrisette Michelle's hit and also Corrine Bailey Rae's stuff, Robin Thick, Vivian Green too, among others. Hmm, what was I complaining about, I already had good music!

Anyway, with no further ado, the winners. Choosing between first and second place was hard, but first place has to go to:

Harlem Purl for Teedra Moses's - Rescue Me. I am really feeling this woman's music. All your music suggestions were great.

Second place goes to:

EmunaMoriah7 for Raheem DeVaughn - Believe. This dude's stuff, not just this song, is hot. In fact, while I was listening to it, I felt a breeze in my nether regions and looked down to discover that, in fact, I was no longer wearing panties. Looking around the room, it was obvious that my panties had simply exploded, the floor being littered with panty shrapnel. Even poor Enif the bunny got hit:

(You know he's going to get punked on the bunny playground for this picture. That crumb is a piece of cereal, the only way he'd let me take this photo)

There's something that reminds me a bit of D'Angelo with him. Emuna, I loved all your suggestions, too.

Third place goes to:

Aruni for Amel Larrieux - Beyond . This song was great, and it got me onto some of her other stuff, which is also great. Thank you.

And to mix it up a bit, fourth place goes to:

Ms. Pixie Riot for Jamie Cullum - "earlier stuff". That was real not specific, girlfriend. Even less specific than Melissa Knits "bonus tracks off the Japanese only CD". So since I didn't know what I was looking for, I just went to You Tube and typed in his name. The stuff that came up wasn't Japanese (sorry Melissa), but I kinda liked it. Different than what I would normally go for, but I did kinda like "Get Your Way".

Okay, winners, please email me so we can arrange your prizes. To everyone else, thank you so much for the suggestions, and conciliatory cookies will be making their way to your houses. I'm just joking, you're not going to get a cookie. :-( But I really do appreciate it.

So, back to knitting. My knitting has been dragging since I discovered this site for nappy-haired folk like myself. I love this site, so much info, and I have gotten over my hair rage. For now. I highly recommend this site to nappy folk, especially those struggling with their hair (you know who I'm talking to, and email me for the low-down if you want to know more). I even made a hair photo album. So yeah, knitting has been slow. But I am nearing completion on a pillow I'm making for my first homestay family in South Africa. I really wanted to knit stuff for each member of the family, but that will have to wait until next year, and that's if I start now.

The squares are for 200 Knitted Blocks or some such book. You know, the ones where they say they have 200 designs but really it's like 50 designs, each in 4 different color combos? Hello! Changing the color is not changing the design. So misleading. Anyway, it was my first time knitting with beads. Check out the results of my deflowering:

Isn't it pretty? Okay, I know you can't see the beads that well. They're a really light color, in the stockinette portions surrounded by the reverse stockinette. I pre-strung the beads using dental floss threader. I actually have no idea how you use dental floss threader when flossing your teeth, but they work really well for getting beads onto yarn. I did 4 squares like this for the front, and the back is a simple fair isle pattern that I did most of in the airport DFW while my plane was being delayed. People stare! They act like they've never seen a twentysomething with a fro knitting fair isle before.

The yarn is Plymouth Encore. I can't remember the brand or size of the beads. They are probably 8/0 or 6/0. I was really amazed they fit on worsted weight. Yay, dental floss threader!

Okay, time to wrap up. In my next post:
*the conclusion of the pillow
*a new top design and pattern
*a letter to my uterus

Thanks for reading, People!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Contest! Make It Like It Was

The way it used to be . . . Do y'all know that song? Regina Belle. I don't know what got this song in my head. I think it was a box of Fruity Pebbles.

I saw Fruity Pebbles on sale at the supermarket. I know I liked this cereal as a kid. $2 a box on sale, can't pass that up. I went home, poured that stuff into a bowl with milk and started to eat it. It tastes terrible! It tasted like sugary pieces of cardboard, and the edges were all hard and jagged. And what's worse, they had the nerve to put this on the front of the box!

What the hell did it taste like before? And so Fruity Pebbles joined the ever-growing list of stuff that I could have sworn tasted good when I was a kid but now I realize is the lowest quality foodstuff available. This list now includes, among other things: Spaghetti-O's, Whoppers (the "chocolate"-covered malted milk balls), those giant red lips made of chewable and edible wax, and anything from Red Lobster.

Was stuff really getting worse, or were my tastebuds getting more refined? I didn't know, but it made me a little nostalgic. And that's probably what got me to thinking of that Regina Belle song. Which got me to thinking about music.

I could swear the music I hear on the radio is getting worse. I don't listen to the radio much anymore, but I should since I'd probably still like a song every now and then. As it is now, I live in a music vacuum. So I started downloading songs I used to like to see if they'd be as good or, if like the mushy flour rings with watery tomato juice on them that dares have the word "spaghetti" in its name, they had lost their charm. And the good news is, they hadn't!

Now, I'm not going to pretend that as a kid (or even now) I had sophisticated tastes in music. But I found myself still loving After 7 "Kickin' It", BBD "When Will I See You Smile Again?", Aaliyah "Age Ain't Nothin But A Number" (I try not to think what R. Kelly was doing to her 14 yo self that prompted that song), Troop "All I Do Is Think of You", Guy "Let's Chill", Tone Tony Toni "Whatever You Want", New Edition "Boys to Men", and Vesta "Congratulations" among many great others. The only real difference I noticed is a new sensation in the, um, loinal area when listening to Johnny Gill. He leads on "Boys to Men", and I also got "There You Go" by him from the Boomerang soundtrack. I don't think I felt this when I was 10. Well, not from Johnny singing. But now, yeah, it's pretty distinct. I think Johnny could just have his way with me (should he want it). Yeah, if he started singing to me like that, it wouldn't so much be a matter of me taking my panties off, so much as my panties simply disintegrating in nanoseconds. If you've ever wondered what it would look like for someone's panties to just evaporate off their body, find Johnny Gill and have him sing "There You Go" to me. It would be over. Resistance would be futile. This blog would no longer be rated PG-13.

But man, people can't have stopped making music I like. I'm just, for various reasons, not surrounded by as great a variety of the type of music I like as I used to be. So I turn to you, People. Help me find some good new music! Some more like the ones above, or D'Angelo, or Floetry. Gimme something good. And I'll give you something good (don't go there, PG-13, People!)

My first contest!

The rules are simple. Turn me on to a relatively current (say, released this decade) song I haven't heard before, even better an artist I haven't heard before, of a type I'd like as suggested by the groups and songs above. Give the artist and the song title. Each individual can give up to 3 songs. I'll chose the winner based on my favorite new songs.

And the prizes? What else, but yarn? Understand, I would not give you crap. It's just stuff that my tastes have changed from. First place winner gets their choice of these, the second place winner gets second choice and so on.

4 65 gram, 110 yard balls of self-striping single ply wool in black white and gray. It would make a cute felted purse.

One ball of Jaegger 50% wool 50% silk lace weight, 2 oz, 630 yards in a cranberry color. It is enough to make a lace scarf like this.

If you liked the socks I made in this post, you can make your own with this Elann house brand yarn. I originally bought 3 balls thinking I might make knee-highs. Since I only made anklets, I used just 1 ball and less than 1/5 of a second. The remainder could get you at least 3" cuff socks, or just go for some anklets like me.

Finally 2 balls of Elann Super Tweed, each 50 grams and 104 yards. I was going to make a hat or gloves with these, before I decided that I wasn't a big fan of coral colored yarns.

The contest will run until August 1st. Help me out, folks, and win some yarn!

Oh yeah, you know I dislike posting without knitting content. Here's the Lorelei I told you I was working on, being modeled by me at work with a crazy fake-looking smile.

Also a shot from the back, the loneliest photoshoot in the world.

'Til later, People