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July 2005

June 2005

Proud in St. Louis Too

The Harlot posted some pics from Pride in Toronto. St. Louis held their Pride Festival last weekend as well! I include a pic of our own Chief of Police handing out plastic badges during the parade. Way to go, Joe! Anyway, the big post about Pride can be found at my main blog, including my favorite pic of a boy-in-briefs, so check it out!

P.S. In St. Louis, it is TOO HOT TO KNIT!

My Secret Pal Rocks

Last Friday (yes, it took me a week to get the pics off my camera) I got the greatest box. It was addressed to me and the return label was covered with a little sticker that said "Secret Pal Do Not Remove!" or something like that, so I didn't. Inside was the greatest treasure trove of stuff that I've seen since Christmas when I was 5. And the attention to detail! And the thoughtfulness! Wow. I'm stunned.

In random order: Beads! Pretty brown glass beads and wire! For stitchmarkers!!! And then there was the notepaper that she made herself! With Mucha Lucha characters! Does she realize that my local WB station isn't showing Mucha Lucha anymore and I'm in withdrawal? What a fantastic fix! AAAAANNNDD, she wrapped up two books with paper that she somehow got the same image on in a faint sillouette...I have no idea how she did that but I noticed it and it was very cool! And, have I ever mentioned anywhere on the internet that I love Shrimp Crackers? That I'm in various local Asian grocery stores weekly, and can't resist getting a bag of these crunch goodies? No, I never have mentioned it, but she knows! Yum!

Not in random order because these were so fu&$ing cool - these amazing books on how to make beaded jewelry...IN JAPANESE! Yowza! I swear to god I think I actually jumped up and down when I saw them. They are beautiful and awesome and I have no idea where she found them but I flip through them all time now. I'm thinking of taking them to work with me so a girl I work with who makes jewelry can see them, but not yet - I'm hoarding them. They are my precious and are not going to be lent out - EVER!

Suffice to say, my Secret Pal is the greatest and I can't wait to find out who she is because she must be a really amazing person to be so thoughtful.

I blame Theraflu

I spent sooooo much money on yarn. I can only blame the cold medicine, because no one needs to spend that much money on 13 balls of Queensland Cotolino for the Sunset Wrap in Knitters Magazine. But I just love this color. When all the Dulaan stuff is finished I'm going to make this my next uninterruped project, like Clapotis was. One project and one project only from start to finish. Yep, I'm serious. I've done it before and I can do it again. I hope I have the nerve to wear something I made in public. I'll at least wear it the knitting group.

1 Sick Day = 1 Buttonhole Bag

I took a sick day a week ago and whipped up the Buttonhole Bag (pattern on from start to finish. I even took it to the laundromat and felted it. I was so sick! I needed clean clothes too! Anyway, I made it with the Bartlett Yarns Fisherman Yarn that was left over from Haiku, and a blue skein of same. The results were not great. It really didn't felt at all. It just got...fuzzy. Really, really, fuzzy.

This is probably attributed to the following reasons:

1. Laundromats don't have hot enough water.

2. Laundromat machines don't let you control the fill level, and I only have 3 pair of jeans to throw in, so there wasn't enough friction/agitation.

3. The two colors felt at different rates.

4. This yarn may not felt well at all anyway.

Anyway, it is tight enough to carry knitting projects around in, but I wouldn't put in anything very heavy. I still have 2 more skeins of this yellow yarn left, though, that I'm not finding to be suitable for anything. Any suggestions?

Pinwheel Blanket for GTBG

One of the blogs I enjoy is "Good to Be Girl" (see links) and she had a birthday recently. I really loved the pinwheel blanket that she's working on (and coveting her Mini too, but that's not knitting related..) and couldn't get it out of my mind. There was no choice but to start one. I'm going to donate it to the charity of her choice in honor of her birthday.

"Normal" People

A couple weekends ago I went to a colonial-era re-enactment kinda thing with my parents, sister and brother-in-law. We go for the shopping, mind you, not for the camping out in tents and cooking over fires and wearing of buckskin. Drive down, pick up some dried gourds, some hand-made herbal hand lotion, maybe a piece of pottery or two, then we're outta there and discussing where to have lunch. I personally am interested in only two booths (lotion and pottery) so the rest of the time I'm pretty much sweltering in the humid June heat and waiting around for my other family members. This time I brought a sock. I stood, waiting, knitting on the sock. I rode in the car while they discussed...whatever they discuss....and I knitted. They looked at me like I was insane. Poor spinster sister, so not involved with life that she has to knit a sock while we stand here in the sun agonizing over which dried gourd would look perfect in our Martha-like kitchens, or on our Martha-like wreaths, being as WASPish as midwestern italian/german-americans can try to be. Silly spinster looks so stupid knitting on her sock while we do what we enjoy. Granted, it did take every shred of willpower I had not to actually knit at the dinner table in the restaurant (because reading wasn't allowed when I was a child I assume knitting is also not kosher) but the thing is, I like spending time with them as people, but I'm just not interested in what they want to do. Or what they're talking about. Sometimes I throw something into the conversation just for fun, just to remind them that there is more to life than HGTV. They'll be discussing family gossip or lawn work or a scone recipe, and I'll bring up the movie I just saw about a pilgrimage in India where 70 million people showed up and that the next one is in 2013 and maybe I'll..... There's silence for a little while, then someone goes back to scones or fencing or housepaint.

When I get home I go online and read knitting blogs - where people understand me, where knitting a sock in the middle of a field next to a 200 year old fort, surrounded by women in Laura Ingalls dresses (holding cell phones, mind you) makes perfect sense. Where people understand that knitting can keep you from grabbing family members by the shoulders to shake them and shout into their saucer-shaped eyes "THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN THE WREATH ON YOUR DOOR!" Where you can write all about what is wrong with the people who you love the most and they will never find it because they don't "need" internet for anything other than eBay. Knitting is for those of us who need something to do with our hands in order to still our minds - and isn't that all of us, really?

Anyway, thank you to all of you who have knitting blogs and help me to feel normal. You're the best. I hope to meet you at a sheep festival real soon. :)


I've been so tired lately. For the last couple of weeks work has been extremely stressful and when I get home I just don't feel like doing anything. Not even knitting. And I have so much to finish! I did manage to do the second 2-needle sock on Saturday, so the weekend wasn't a total loss. I went to the chiropractor last night for my regular appt, and he commented that I wasn't knitting. I'm ALWAYS knitting in the waiting room, so this really surprised him. Long story short, he did some accupuncture on me too. I felt a little more energized last night, enough to do a few rows on the Homespun Hoodie, but I'm not sure if it was the needle sticks or that I know my deadline is coming up and I'd just better get on with it no matter how I feel.

My secret pal asked how I got involved with so much charity knitting. Well, a lot of it has to do with a job change in February. I didn't switch employers, they just reorganized our IT department and now I'm a Project Manager instead of a Developer. When I did development work I would just come in and do what I was supposed to do and go home and not think about it. Now I'm responsible for so much that is out of my hands because I'm relying on other people to do what they are supposed to do. And my work before fell into what I considered "right livelihood" as part of my practice, and now I just feel like I'm making money for the man. You know? It's all business, all the time. So I feel like I have to continue to contribute to humanity in some way, and this is the way I'm doing it right now. I'm so lucky and fortunate, and there are so many people who are not. What I can do isn't much, but it's something. There will be a sweater on a child who might not have one if I didn't make one, a child someone loves very much, or maybe a child who has no one to love them. But this winter they will be warm.

I saw a movie last week called "Shortcut to Nirvana." While I was watching this movie, a few things about my life took on a pattern. I'm still thinking about it though, so I'll post my thoughts on it on my main blog later.

Yikes! 2 weeks left!

I have one front piece left on Turquoise JSSB, a sleeve and the front left on the Boatneck Sweater, one 2-Needle sock left to do, and I haven't started on the Hoodie yet. I have 2 weeks to get all this done. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. I probably really have 3 weeks, but I don't want to send it at the last minute and risk it not arriving on time. If anyone local would like to toss toys or winter clothes into the box that I'm mailing off, just let me know in the comments and we'll hook up. I'll be much more prepared for this next year and will have lots more to send and I hope everyone out there keeps this very worthy cause in the back of their minds too.

Once this box is mailed off I get to start charity knitting for the Holiday Boutique that benefits Womens Support here in St. Louis. The Urban Knitters participated last year and raised more money than any other booth because 100% of the proceeds were donated to charity. I've started a Branching Out scarf for it because I wanted to try the pattern but it's not something I would probably wear. I'm not sure what else I'll do for it, but am certain that I'll be in the same situation with lots of started projects and very little time when it rolls around in December.

Secret Pal 5 - Initial Contacts

I've heard from my secret pal and have contacted the one I was assigned. So far so good! The woman that I'm the secret pal for and I have so much in common it's almost creepy. Really. And I told her so in my first e-mail and now I think I probably creeped her out. Did I gush too much? Did I sound like a total geek? Don't you hate communicating with someone that you've never met and not knowing if they get your sense of humor or if they are put off by something that you thought was completely innocent? Not that I did any of that, but there's always the anxiety of doing so. I'm not an actively social creature for these reasons, even though if the world were the way I want it I would have cocktail parties with waiters carrying trays and bartenders in red jackets every weekend, and invite all kinds of interesting people to mingle and discuss fascinating topics and look at the amazing original paintings on the walls when they couldn't think of something to say; all of this taking place in my fabulous Manhattan apartment on the 30th floor with a view of the park. Sigh. As it is I hardly let anybody come over. The Monk said that my home is like my cave and I guard the entrance. Yeah...what's your point? So, things like Secret Pal that allow me to interact with people that I've never met and would probably really like is a wonderful thing. And, I love giving people gifts and don't get to nearly enough so this is perfect for me. She loves pink and brown and I immediately thought of some Handpainted Yarn that I saw a while back, so I searched their website and eBay for it, to no avail. Then I was reading her blog and there it was - she already has some. Oh, well. Lots of time.