Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Letter to My Hair. And Socks.

So some time ago I sent a telegram to Mother Nature asking her to hurry up already and make it spring. In typical Chicago fashion, she listened to me, made it spring for about 3 weeks, then made it summer. Also recently I read this letter from a black man to his average sized penis. These combined to inspire me to write more letters to things that couldn't ever respond back. Perhaps I will make it a series. Next in line is a note to the bunny about who ate the last Frosted Mini-Wheat. I know it wasn't me, and there are only 2 of us in the house. Fourth will definitely be to my uterus. Okay, wanna hear it? Here it go.

Dear Hair,

%$!~$% you!

Let's start that again, shall we? Must keep my PG-13 rating over here.

Dear Hair,

damn, Damn, DAMN! So what's up, really? Do you think this is cute? You think it's funny? Cuz the joke is getting real old real fast.

I'm not sure what I did to deserve this, except to be born black. The drama I have had with you is pretty much unbelievable and unforgivable. Even from the time when I was a little girl getting burned with the pressing comb and having my scalp fried with the straightening perm chemicals, you have been out torment me. Remember Comb-aloo, that little yellow comb that was obviously meant for the finest of Euro hair that Daddy used to chase me/us around the house with? Ah those were good times. *sigh*, times. I think the last time we got along was around this time:

(Why am I red? The best I can guess is, everything in the 70s was sepia. Just as everything in the future will be chrome.)

And now I wear you natural and really, though it's gotten cheaper and slightly more convenient to deal with you since I don't have to go anywhere to get my hair done, you still offer me a never-ending stream of pain. You, you are the sole cause of all those headless knitting FO photos I took. Don't try to blame the face, slap some lotion on the face and a bit of lip gloss, the face is ready to go. No, it was all you.

I even started a Natural Hair Meetup Group to try to learn to deal with you. I did research for handouts at the meetings. Motown Girl dot com became my buddy. I found out about the no-poo method. I tried it, you laughed in my face. Mocked me. "You think these triflin' schemes you have will make even the slightest impression upon me?! Ha! I laugh in your face! I mock you!" See how you actually said those words, "laugh in your face" and "mock you"? That hurt, Hair, that really hurt. And what hurts the most is that I actually like you, but you are intent on causing me grief. 짝사랑 (jak sarang), as the Koreans would call it, one-sided love.

According to my parents, you aren't doing me any favors in the dating world, either. I'm already a shy girl, which doesn't help, and apparently, so the story goes, the 7 black men left who are single, educated, and still interested in dating black women don't want to look at naps like mine all day long. On the plus side, white people tend to think my hair is cool (you know, it's all exotic and stuff), so maybe they'll be some luck there.

Hmm, maybe it was me tormenting you all this time? Hmm, guess I'll have to give this a little more thought. In the meantime, you, me, and the credit card have a date over at Miss Jessie's, and I hope something over here will satisfy you though I have to say quite bluntly, most of these pics look like folks who have somewhat fewer of the straight-from-Sub-Saharan-African traits than I do.

Until Later,

The Body You're Attached To

Now that that's out of my system, you know I don't post without knitting content. I needed a quickie, project I mean (PG-13, People!), and I've been wanting some anklets for summer, so I whipped these up, worked on size 2 needles. Started Friday, finished today. Just 48 stitches! The tiniest bit over 1 ball. Really, if you have size 7 feet or smaller I think you'd only need 1 ball of Elann's Esprit cotton and elastic yarn in color Licorice Allsorts. Don't they look cute with my black heels with the pink sole?

Not that I'll ever wear them like this. I don't wear socks in heels or sandals like this, maybe if I'm in a funky-friendly place, maybe, but in general, this is a big fashion no-no for me.

And don't you love that round toe? I am through with square toe socks forever.

Well, until next time, People.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dancing Gangsters WIPed into shape

Okay, first thanks to everyone for the nice comments about the shrug. The people at JBW were also very nice about my loserness. You make a loser feel so much better about her loserly ways in this moment of loserissitude. Extra loser points for that last faux-word.

Okay, I want to be a dancing gangster. Oops, I mean a gangsta. Don't laugh, this is serious, I'm quitting my day job (which is barely enough to pay my rent, anyway), quitting this non-successful grad school thing, and start working nights in underground dance battles where I may, or may not, depending on how the mood strikes me, get into violent fights after said battles. Now I know you're wondering what has inspired this, and to this I'd like to pose the question, "why does anything have to inspire it?" Hmm? Why can't a person just wake up one day and realize that they've gotten their calling, and it is dancing hard gangsta style, no matter how internally contradictory such a thing seems? Well, why can't they?

Okay, you caught me out. I was inspired, and it was by the movie Stomp the Yard. Now you just never mind that IMDB rating of 2.7 stars, those people are crazy. This is an 11 star movie, and I'll tell you why. First, 4 stars straight out of the gate for having dancing gangsters. Oops, I mean gangstas. I mean, since West Side Story or MJ's Bad, when have you seen dancing gangstas? (and You Got Served doesn't count cuz I haven't seen it. Yet.) Yeah, Boy, I'm bad, watch these twinkle toes! Second, homedude who was the star had some beautiful retro slang gems, including "That dude is straight up whack" (I was a bit disappointed that the "whack" was not preceded by "wiggity"), and "I already schooled you once today, homeboy, how many lessons you wanna learn?" C'mon, you know that line was hard. Those added 2 more stars right there. But for real, that dude could dance like nobody's business, he was killing people on the dance floor, and the stepping was entertaining, too. So anyway, yeah, 17 stars.

Now, on to knitting. No FO's this time around. Actually, I have one, but I can't show it right now. So we just got the WIPs. And even one of those is a secret for a little while, too.

I think I'm about 1/2way done with Lorelei, which is from Yarn Play. I saw someone else's over on Knitty, you can see it here. Though I already had this book, it wasn't until I saw an FO from it that I was overcome with desire to knit from it. You knit the bottom as a strip then sew it up to form a tube, then pick up stitches along the edges and knit the straps. Also the pattern lets me put random holes in where I want them. I'm more than 2/3 of the way through the tube and not even through my 2nd ball of yarn, so I suspect that for the second size it will take no more than 4 50 gram balls. In "Cornflower" blue in Cascade Pima Tencel. I don't usually go for this kind of blue as I usually find it a boring color, but I kinda like this one.

Speaking of which, I went to WWKIP day celebration in Chicago's Millenium Park where I met lots of great knitters, and at least one really bold one. The first sentence out of her mouth was that she liked my Tomato sweater. Why, thank you. *smiles* The second sentence was that she hated us skinny bitches. What?! Can I introduce you to the nuanced meaning of "familiar"? Cuz that was way too familiar way too fast. Okay, okay, it's all good, I wasn't really that offended. But let me just say the complaining about sizes was way exaggerated. Yeah, I knit the smallest size, took 3 100 gram hanks and 1 week. But unless your bust size size is 132", or unless knitting math operates in some dimension where normal math rules don't apply, you do not have to CO 3 times as many stitches as I did, nor, assuming a similar speed of knitting, is it going to take you 2 months to make. A size 50" bust is just about 1 1/2 times my bust circumference, so you can use 5 hanks and finish in 11 days, sheesh, so don't give me all this "woe is me big girls have to spend 700 years knitting a top" stuff, okay?

Where was I? Oh yeah, WIPs. Another one I'm working on is the Jaywalker pattern which everyone and their mother has done.

I'm just turning the heel on the first sock. This is kinda low priority, though, so who knows when it will be done. It's in Yarn Pirate merino/tencel colorway "Loopy Blues". I didn't realize how popular this yarn was when I bought it. People are crazy for it and every time the Loopy Ewe (where I got it from) gets restocked in it, it sells out within a day. Sock knitters are fascinating creatures, I tell you what.

Okay, that's all for now. I have another natural hair meetup tonight. Tonight's topic is Conditioning!

One more thing, you all have to go over and check out Rose-Kim's series Thursdays Are For What The Hell Is This? Those big ass knits are too much. Which brings me to one final point. Why is it that nowadays everything that stinks smells like ass? "This smells like ass", and "that smells like ass." People, I'm beginning to think you don't know what ass smells like. Really, it's very distinctive.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Shrug Springs Eternal

This pattern is now at Ravelry!
Something for the crocheters! I know y'all were feeling neglected, with countless knitters telling you that you make nothing but doilies and olive and burnt orange granny square afghans (btw, I admit to loving those colors).

This is how the story goes. I made this a couple months ago, and I found out about the Jimmy Beans Wool pattern contest the day before the deadline. I was just finishing this one up, so decided to submit it. It got slammed by a baby sweater, but they said they liked it and asked if it could be included in next month's contest, which I agreed to, where it got slammed again by yet another baby sweater. That's cool, it's not the most original thing in the world. So I'm releasing it to you all, for those of you who want something for yourselves or who have no babies (like me).

Crocheted in one piece from the top down in standard raglan fashion. Except that it doesn't seem so standard for crochet, which makes no sense because it's actually even easier to try on a top-down raglan in crochet because you don't have to take anything off the needles. Also in my current favorite crochet stitch. I don't particularly like the look of regular single or double crochet over and over again, but I like the look of this stitch which is a simple 2-stitch repeat and sub it in wherever I can. Don't worry that it's in fingering weight yarn. You don't have to get it too far past your boobs and, after all, it's crochet so it goes pretty fast. And check out those cute little puff sleeves. Huh, huh?

Okay, enough blab. With no further ado, the item (thanks to my boss for the name suggestion, which everyone preferred to his earlier suggestion of "Green Semi-Multi-Vest". yeah.) Um, it was done back in Spring, so the name made a lot of sense then. Patten is a pdf attachment, but you are forced to scroll through all of my trite pictures before you can access it. Mwahahaha!

Shrug Springs Eternal

Okay, and now the goods: Shrug Springs Eternal