Thursday, May 31, 2007

It's my birthday!

It's my birthday! I'm 29 today. I started out the day happy, but have gotten sadder and sadder as the day has gone on. Please wish me happy feelings!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Sweater that Hurt Me

If only it could be more like the sweater (or super hot spy) that loved me. The word for today is "pabo". That's Korean for "fool", and that's what I am for trying to knit a sweater in 4 days. Oh, I did do it, speeding away on some Addi Turbos, all top down in the round raglan. It was only after I finished. Several hours after I finished, actually, that my hand began to kill me! Painful throbbing, much worse than I'd ever had before. So I've been taking it easy. Took a few days off, then did a little crochet, no more than 15 minutes at a time with long breaks. Wow, that was stupid.

Anyway, here it is. Inspired by Tomato. I made the neck a scoop neck instead of a square neck, did a different color/texture pattern across the chest (I made it up!), and did a tiny bit of color detail on the neck, sleeves, and waist. I considered doing all those in corrugated ribbing, but ultimately decided against it as overwhelming. Anyway, 5 balls of Valley Yarns Colrain (merino/tencel) and a little bit of some Cascade Pima Tencel in white I had around, size 7 needles, done from Friday morning to Tuesday morning. Do you think this pattern is interesting enough to warrant being written up?

I've been noticing that other people's Tomatos have come out a lot more form fitting. Other people's tops in general. Like look at this lovely one. What is up with the tops I make? They never are that closely fitted. It's as though I need to do twice as many decreases after the bust (going top down). Is this because I have too small a waist? Cuz that's what I want to think. Yes, that's it, too small a waist.

In other news, I've been thinking about men lately. The trail of thought was brought about identity theft guy. Oh, didn't I tell you about him? I was walking home one night and some dude flagged me down, which happens, but he was wearing a suit and tie. So I thought I was about to be proselytized to. But he asked me to have dinner with him and his coworkers. Right then. No thank you, I just bought dinner. Also, that's weird. Well, he just wanted to tell me how sharp I was looking, blah blah blah, can he have my phone number, blah blah blah. And then he asks, "what do you know about identity theft?" skrrrrrreeech! That's the sound of the needle scratching across the same old record. Excuse me? He wondered if I knew that the previous week, thousands of Chicagoland teachers had their identity stolen. Um, nooo, I didn't know that, nor did I know flirtation nowadays was being mixed with infomercials. And then he handed me a DVD on indentity theft. I still haven't watched it, as I'm sure one of two things must be true: (1) it's like that video in The Ring that curses everyone to die within a week of watching it unless you make a copy and show it to someone else, or (2) There are just like 100 naked, variously posed pictures of himself on it.

And this got me to thinking of various men encounters I've had. This one was pretty mild and harmless. But there was the shouting match between me and about 6 dudes in Zimbabwe as they surrounded the telephone booth I was in and pounded on the glass. When they finally left and I made my international phone call to my Daddy, I burst into tears, not so much from fear, but from anger and frustration. I wanted to kill. I was 17.

There was the crazy dude in Korea who grabbed my ass, ran to the end of the block, and then started jumping up and down and pointing and laughing at me (this was the clue that gave me a hint that he might be crazy). I chased that dude for a full on 10 minutes. It was almost comical. We got tired, and the chase just turned into a fast walk. Then when we regained our breath, the running was on again. Across the street, through the park. Finally I did manage to catch him, tell him off in the most broken Korean ever, and hit him. At least I turned that one into a funny story, which won me "inki sang" (popularity prize) in a Korean speaking competition.
Here's my class cheering me own. Signs say "Go, Nikki!" and "We love you, Nikki!" Awww.

Then there was the group of drunk men in South Africa who wouldn't let me pass one evening as I was bringing home dinner. Really, one just kept stepping in front of me so I couldn't pass. So I hit him, and he let me go. Though I was always speaking English, they continued to talk to me in Zulu. I don't think they realized I wasn't Zulu.

And just this week some little kid hit on me. He looked about 18, but he showed me his ID that said he was 20. He had earlier lied to say he was 22. If you have to lie to be at 22, you're too young for me (my 29th b-day is Thursday). He invited me over for food, I told him I had my own food, he was like, "oh you got a Link card? Good, I'm tired of eating McDonald's." Oh, Kiddie got jokes? Then he touched my hair (!) and asked if I needed it braided. I was like, "look little boy, if you touch my hair again, I'm going to have to spank you." Come to think of it, maybe he would have liked it. Hmm, and I thought I left that whole strangers-touching-my-hair thing in Korea.

The point is . . . . wait, was there a point? Oh yeah, you know, girls aren't ever running up on me and grabbing my ass and touching my hair and shouting profanity at me. Or handing me possibly cursed and/or pornographic "identity theft" dvds. What is up, dudes? Why is this world so full of men hurting or harrassing women? Y'all need to chill on that, for real. I guess I should look at the bright side, since in both the Zimbabwe and South Africa cases, other men took the offenders away. Maybe I should focus on those men.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Roll wit' it, Tomato!

So I made Tomato from No Sheep For You, which is a cool book and a cool pattern. Very easy, took me a week to make. I raised the neckline a bit cuz it would have been slightly scandalous otherwise. I definitely plan on making more, or at least more top down tops.

But this yarn. I used Blue Sky Alpacas cotton. Now, I distinctly remember liking this yarn and enjoying knitting with it earlier in my knitting history. Then again, I also remember having no problem working with 100% acrylic and that certainly isn't the case anymore. Okay, so a tiny bit of it is my fault, as usual. I did swatch, but not in the round, so my gauge tightened up a bit when I ended up making this in the round. I was already going for the smallest size, which was already 2 1/2" smaller than my actual bust size. But in reality, this top came out about 4" smaller than my actual bust. Don't worry, it still fits (knits stretch nicely, people, even in cotton), but it's a bit stiff. Actually, it's a lot stiff. Almost like I'm wearing cardboard. In the previous post, though I complained about the bleeding of Jaeggerspun Zephyr, I did note that it has exceptional drape, even when knitted at a tight gauge. This yarn, not so much.

And do you know what a stiff cardboard-y top does? I bet you can't guess. See, it remembers my rolls. Now, when I stand up, I'm a pretty slim girl, comparatively speaking, but I'm not going to lie, some rolls do appear when sitting. Well, I discovered to my great dismay, that my rolls leave an impression in the top! Yeah, I know it's funny. To you. I stood up the first day I wore this and lo and behold, what Koreans would call sam-kyup-sal (3 layers of flesh) was imprinted into the very fabric of this shirt. Just hanging away from my torso, still showing the fat rolls of a minute ago. Thanks a lot, BSA cotton. You're the best.

Plus, knitting this stuff hurt my hand like a mofo. I'm talking pains shooting up my right wrist for real. Owie. So I think I'm sticking to blends from now on.

In other news, I went to Maryland Sheep and Wool festival the weekend before last. Everyone I know thinks I'm insane, and with good reason, admittedly. Yep, my broke ass bought a ticket to the east coast, rented a car, got a motel room, and went to a festival OF SHEEP!

Wait, 2 quick diversions. The first, there was something freaky going on in the room next to mine. We've all stayed in one of those no-tell motels before, we know how it goes. But this was unlike anything I had ever heard before. It was screaming. And I mean just that, screaming. Screaming. "AHHHHHHHHHHHH!! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!! AAAHH, AAHHHHHH!" Not moaning, groaning, talking, just screaming. Don't know how many hours, cuz I lost track. So if ever you're thinking of offing someone, know that you can do it in a Red Roof motel without fear of anyone calling the police.

Second diversion, have you all seen this trailer for Black Sheep. Whoa.

Okay, back to MDSW. I took a drop spindle class and haven't touched my roving since. I suck. And I kept thinking I shouldn't suck, because sheep hair is a lot like my hair. I kept wondering, would I get any better at this if I first took my pick to it and sprayed it down with some afro sheen? I considered braiding it, or perhaps adding it as some sort of psychotic extensions to my own hair. Then I just accepted that I suck and moved on. But I did manage to spin this:

Um, since Ipod Cozies are all the rage amongst knitters (I don't want to ever hear a knitter who made one of these look me in my eye and tell me crocheters make a bunch of useless trivial stuff (like doilies)), what about an Ipod Shuffle Cozy? Those things are only about an 1 1/2". A coin purse, that can hold one coin? Huh? Huh?

But outside of the yarn, the festival was cool. I'll show you festival goodies on another post. So for now . ..