Wednesday, March 29, 2006

stuck in a coffee shop

i'm stuck in a coffee shop. when i left my house this morning, it was mildly cloudy but definitely not raining. therefore, i decided against the rain jacket in favor of the warmer (but hoodless) fleece. clearly i haven't learned much in my nearly five years of san francisco living. because now it's pouring. and i'm wearing flip flops and don't have a hood. so i'm stuck.

today is my first day off after nine consecutive days of work. to be fair, i didn't work full days on each and every one of those nine days, but since some of them were more than full days (i.e., 11a to 11p on Sunday), i think it averages out. needless to say, i'm kinda pooped. which makes the fact that my global warming article is due tomorrow even more distressing. because instead of spending the day snuggled up on my couch snoozing, and maybe knitting a little, i'm spending the day writing, re-writing, banging my head against the wall, re-re-writing, and wishing i had never committed to writing this article. sounds fun, no?

to make it all that much better, i'm in the midst of an emotional breakdown of the worst kind - the kind where you know it's kinda (mostly) your fault that you're at the point you're at, and that just makes you even more upset over something you would be upset at regardless. do you ever get to the end of something, the end of a relationship, and you look back and you don't understand how you got to where you are? i mean, you look back at all the little steps you took, the little lies you told yourself, the little justifications you made for someone else's behavior, the excuses you made ... and you wonder how you could - why you would - do that to yourself? when someone is so clearly not looking out for your best interests, shouldn't it become even more your responsibility to protect yourself, instead of enabling the other person in his efforts to treat you like sh-t? and even when everything is over and done and you've beat yourself up for being so stupid and you've cried and your eyes are swollen and it's time to move on with life ... do you wonder why you're still so sad?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

can i have a "P"?

that "P" would be for procrastination, something i am oh, so good at it.

currently, i am procrastinating from:

1. writing my global warming article

2. dealing with the chunky booties

3. answering work emails that i should have answered before i left work

4. doing the dishes (i have a serious hatred for dirty dishes. i mean, i generate plenty of 'em. but i hate hate hate making them clean again.)

so in the spirit of aiding and abetting myself, i have some pictures from the hilarious italian dinner i told you about a few days ago:

ARGHH ... the pictures won't upload! they're apparently the wrong file extension or some such thing? even though they're .jpg just like all my other pictures! double argh!

well that certainly adds to the frustration of the day. in other frustrating news, i started carissa's booties for the fourth time ... and ripped them out. i've finally figured out the right number of stitches to cast on (24) and i have a vague sense of how i want to make them (bastardized sock pattern) ... but they keep turning out like crap. i'm doing the cuff in a 2x2 rib, and i keep getting the dreaded "ladder" in the transition between my knit and my purl stitches. why, why does this happen to me? it's driving me crazy.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

bungled booties

the weather in san francisco has finally turned a corner. the past two days have been gloriously sun-filled and almost even warm. three cheers for sunny weather! (i might be weirdly weather obsessed).

the past couple days have been hectic, hilarious and super fun. my friend moira flew into town from d.c. this past wednesday ... i haven't seen her in almost a year, since crunk 2005 (don't ask). unfortunately, i wasn't a huge amount of fun for her time in the city, since i was juggling work, an article, and an ever-growing stress level. but things started to turn around on friday when my other friend carissa (i mean, i have more than two friends ... but moira and carissa were the only two who feature prominently in the past few days) drove up from santa cruz. we went out and pretended to be irish (moira didn't have to pretend), had a few beers, saw another friend ... then on saturday, we drove down to santa cruz. even though santa cruz is only an hour plus away, it always feels like going on vacation when i go there. we had a totally fun time, cruised around downtown, i bought a pair of green vans that carissa and moira made me wear out of the store.

the hilarious part of the evening started at dinner ... i'm not sure exactly how to describe dinner except that it involved an italian restaurant run by a crazy owner/chef man who may or not be permanently on acid, a crazycrazy 15-woman bachelorette party, a crazycrazy 10-person italian exchange student party, a disco ball, three bottles of wine, lotsa pasta, side pony tails, and belting janis joplin at the top of our lungs using plastic forks as microphones.

the knitting part of the weekend involved attempting to make booties for carissa. she originally requested these about a week or so ago, with no instruction other than that they be teal. i was thinking felted wool. good thing i checked with carissa because she was thinking anything but.

we stopped at imagiknit before leaving the city on saturday and the first thing she said when we walked into the store was "i don't like wool."

well that certainly stopped me in my tracks. not liking wool? in carissa's defense, i don't think that she HATES hates wool ... she just wasn't thinking wool for her booties. so i readjusted, we moved over to the cotton/etc. room and carissa found a yarn she loves:

it's big baby by muench yarns. the colors are really pretty tealy, purply. it's really soft and seems fairly easy to knit with.

the problem, of course, is that the only patterns i've ever read for booties have been for felted booties. i mean, there must be a way to kind of smush these around so that they work for non-feltable microfiber acrylic, right? well, after three failed attempts last night, i'm feeling a little discouraged.

i'm trying to knit them in the round, using two circs, in a sort of abbreviated sock way. but the yarn is pretty chunky, and it just wasn't working for me. (my knitting also looked like crap, but that's a whole separate issue.). so i ripped out all three attempts. needless to say, i'm feeling a little frustrated. any suggestions?

ps - this might be the longest post ever. whoops.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

rainy sunday

i don't know how many of you compulsively check the weather - or how many of you are in the bay area, and are therefore experiencing the same weather as i am. but the weather in san francisco is MISERABLE right now. i know that i've become a little bit of a weather wimp in the five years that i've lived out here. once i was able to endure new england winters with barely a whimper. now the temperature drops below 50, and i run for hat, scarf, gloves, and winter jacket.

all that aside ... it is officially freezing here. okay, okay maybe not officially freezing, but it's pretty damn cold. in fact, there was snow just north of the golden gate bridge on friday. yes, that's right: snow. um, i live in california for a reason. actually, i live here for a lot reasons, but one of them is definitely to avoid snow.

you'd think with all this cold weather, i'd be wrapping myself in wool and knitting like a maniac, right? well, there again, we have a little bit of a problem. i'm currently working on my first-ever piece of freelance writing ... and i'm starting to feel a wee bit overwhelmed. in over my head, maybe? like i have no freaking clue what i'm doing and i have no idea why my friend amanda thought she should take a chance on me?

so instead of knitting, i've been immersing myself in background reading on global warming and climate change and all the horrible things we people do to the environment and the lack of good things that the government is doing to correct for all the previously mentioned bad things ... and as i'm reading all this (and attempting to write something about it), i look out the window at the horrible weather and i read about the snow, SNOW, in california and i hear that it's practically balmy back on the east coast ... and it all slowly comes together (not the article, mind you, just the global warming bits).

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

That's me and my mom. It's her birthday today and she may want to kill me for posting a photo of her in her pajamas but I like it and everyone needs a little embarrassment on their birthday, right? So there she is.
My mom is great for alot of things - I have decided to list a couple (there's a knitting theme, here).

1. I can call her pretty much any time of the day with a knitting question and she has the answer. And if she doesn't have the answer she responds with "well, it just doesn't matter" or "why not just knit something else?". Both good answers.

2. Once I called her from a knitting shop in need of a pattern for a cardigan. I had my computer and a nearby coffee shop with wireless. What'd she do? Scan the pattern and email it to me so I could buy the yarn - RIGHT THEN AND THERE. She understands.

3. She has given me support by telling me over and over that socks aren't that hard and that it's easy to turn a heel.

4. She waited patiently when I started getting back into knitting. I started off by crocheting, she mentioned a couple of times how much better knitting was but calmly waited until I made the realization.

5. She is willing to pick up unfinished sweaters from 1983 and finish them.

6. She keeps unfinished sweaters for 23 years.

7. She taught me the importance of a stash. That's what I learned on - her leftover yarn that I would knit into squares of garter stitch. Along with a stash she also taught me the importance of attics and closets...the perfect homes for the stash.

8. She is always willing to push herself and learn new things..Latvian Mittens? No problem. Vintage Socks? No big deal. Last year she had a ten year old computer and no camera. Now? She blogs her digital photos onto her computer over wireless. Did I mention the marathon?

9. Her clicking needles really are the sound that we all find calming.

10. She's my mom.

Happy Birthday SuperBon!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

bad days lead to good things

my life has been a little underwhelming lately. yes, i do mean under, not over. don't get me wrong - i'm totally overwhelmed, but by some very underwhelming things. my job? not that exciting, but totally overwhelming. still having a christmas tree in my living room on the fifth day of march? bo-ring. but somehow overwhelming at the same time. row 44 of the body of rogue? same ole, same ole. but overwhelming enough that i haven't been able to make myself pick it up in over a week.

that's right, i said. i'm find rogue both boring and overwhelming. at the same time. how is that possible, you ask? well, the bulk of the sweater is plain, old stockinette. (that would be the boring part) however, since there are cable panels running up each side of the sweater, i am completely, totally tied to my chart and can't finish a single round without consulting it. (that, my friends, would be the overwhelming part)

so i've been in a little bit of a stalemate with my knitting over the past week or two. i didn't want to knit rogue, but felt horribly guilty picking up anything else. so i knit NOTHING.

enter friday, march 3. otherwise known as "the worst day of my life." (yes, i've always been this melodramatic, just ask my parents). okay, okay, it probably wasn't the worst day of my life, but it ranked right up there. (i would also like to acknowledge that even if it were the worst day of my life, i'm pretty damn lucky if that's what counts as the worst (do you think i could use more parentheticals in this posting?(does anyone know if you're supposed to put the punctuation on the inside or the outside of the parenthetical?))).

anyway, back to worst day ever. so i survived the day, obviously, but come saturday afternoon i was still feeling kinda sad. i thought to myself, if you could do anything to make yourself feel better, what would it be? and then it hit me - go to imagiknit, obviously!

i took myself to imagiknit posthaste, indulged in a little yarn and pattern book therapy, and came away with the following therapeutic aids:

ryc classic beach - "Shot on location along the shingle coastline of Kent in England, this collection features designs for summer days relaxing & playing by the sea, beach barbeques, fish & chips in the rain, skimming stones, and walks along the beach." doesn't that sound dreamy? the patterns aren't bad either.

sensational knitted socks by charlene schurch. this book is AMAZING. i've been wanting to dive into sock knitting for awhile but have been totally intimidated by the small needles, the number of needles, the small yarn ... this book breaks it down step by step. it also gives directions for using the two circular method of knitting in the round.

which is why i bought some trekking xxl and two circular needles. i'm about two inches in on my first sock. i'm obsessed. and i'm feeling much better.