Aug 30, 2005

I've always had a thing for pirates...

...and weird science.

Check out this post from SweetBasil (the second graphic).

No, I don't read Korean so no, I have no clue what she's talking about (how's the interviewing going and please speak up about this when you get a chance!).

Anyone know what this means?!

birds are entangled by your feet

Yes, I speak Chinese and no, I have no clue what this fortune could possibly mean (even if I dig waaaay back into my classical Chinese studies). It was in my fortune cookie tonight after a long, tiring, grump-inducing, hungover day of flying back to eastern PA, sans Rock Star and Barley. Thank goodness I have Teak here at home to ignore me.

My good thoughts remain with my friends in the south who are cleaning up after Katrina.

Air Kong

Am I the only one with a dirty mind?

Air Kong

Aug 28, 2005

good signs

Yesterday I saw Rock Star's new office for the first time and it had one of those old-school relief maps in it. Here's my study area:


See that rumply area at the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau? That's where I work.

In another auspicious sign, I saw this at the local farmer's market:

Amanda Orange

I didn't even know there was a tomato with my name, and an heirloom variety to boot!

Aug 27, 2005

Dog Heaven

To those of you not into the beasts of the furry kind:
I apologize (but not too much) for all the Teak and Barley fanfare lately.

A couple of days ago we took Barley to the dog beach for the first time:

Dog Beach

Yesterday, we didn't do much but wait for FedEx and nurse my head cold. I'm making something new and exciting with this Periwinkle Lamb's Pride Bulky:

Lamb's Pride Bulky

Hint: It's going to be felted....

Now to wait for the yarn store to open for the day. I'm tingling with new-town-new-yarnstore anticipation.

Aug 25, 2005

Cocktail Monkey Bag = another FO

Monkey Bag

I just finished this for a friend in Chicago - one of my best friends that also loves tiki bars, especially Hala-Kahiki. The Cocktail Monkey Bag was really fun to make up. Instead of using a pre-made trim, I made a couple of 7-stitch iCords from Fun Fur to match the lining. The hemp was from Hemp Sisters. Here's a detail:

Monkey Bag 2

In general, I like how it came out. I washed it before blocking per the instructions - which I agree was critical. But now it's a little more floppy than I'd like it to be. I think if I made it again, I would iron some heavy-duty fusible interfacing to the lining before sewing it in to give the whole piece a little more body.

Back to sitting on the hard floor and remembering the days of big sofas and comfy beds...

Sweet Home

Today was our first full day in our new apartment. Yuck Mouth got a new bone...

new home, new bone

... and we went for a long walk along the lakefront. We really deserved it after so many days in the car (cumulative this summer, not just this relatively short trip).

Lake Michigan

There's even a *giant* dog beach, but we didn't have a pass yet, so poor Yuck Mouth had to wonder why he didn't get to go in:

Dog beach!

Aug 22, 2005

In transit

We're off on Phase I of the move. I tried to talk Teak into coming along, but he would have no part of it:


We left the Christmas City at 9:45 and headed to western NY via State College to pick up some Very Important Samples. We checked out the first place that Rock Star and I shared together (I really think it looked nicer when *we* lived there...) and grabbed some BBQ at Clem's, outside Port Matilda, on our way out of town:


We're resting one day, then back on the road, with the Notorious D.O.G. in tow.

Aug 18, 2005

Finished! LSS


I photographed it last evening and I really like how it came out in the natural light. Soon after, I started cutting out pieces for a couple of Amy Butler projects. If Teak isn't actually lying on the fabric I'm trying to cut, he's rolling in the cast-offs:


(can you tell I'm in love with my cat?)

Aug 17, 2005

and by the way....

1930 isn't really designed for girls with butts. Just so you know. I knitted my little fingers off before I realized that it was in vain.

has it been 9 days already?!

Things in the queue:
1) Leaf-stitch stole (oh wait, I finished that last night during 'Tommy Lee Goes to College'). I'll post photos tomorrow.
2) Cocktail Monkey bag. I just finished a little Fun Fur i-cord to trim it, so I should just get it over with tonight.
3) Another Amy Butler tote and a surprise Amy Butler something for someone who reads my blog.
4) Looking for ribbon to finally finish my red mon petit chou.
5) One bootie for afghans for Afghans so that I can send them 2 pair, not 1.5 pair.
6) Move Rock Star to Chicago.
7) Finish dissertation.
8) Find meaningful, financially rewarding work.

And, because I have no attention span and really like visuals in my favorite blogs, here's a photo of me looking more healthy and wholesome than I probably deserve to, taken by the dear SweetBasil:


Aug 8, 2005

Guerrilla Stitcher (self-promotion)

Image hosted by

In an effort to 1) teach myself html, 2) share patterns I've developed, and 3) support my textile habit, I have started a new online business, Guerrilla Stitcher.

I don't plan to clog up this blog too much talking about it, but since it's a recent project and I'm really excited about it, mentions to it may creep in from time to time. If you're reading this blog, I'm interested in getting your feedback about the site.

Obviously, I need some content! - I've just had time to get the framework of the site together. I'm writing my first pattern now, which will be for the intermediate knitter. I hope to post it within the next week or two. Although I will be charging a small fee for this one, I am planning some free patterns, too. As the icon may suggest, things I'll offer will be a little bit punk, a little bit rock-n-roll.

I've opened a CafePress store, so if you like the icon you can buy it on a number of goods.

&thanks in advance for your constructive criticism.

Image hosted by

Amy Butler Chelsea Bag, I'm grumpy

So I just made my first Amy Butler project, the Chelsea Bag, and have a few comments about it. First of all, here's the finished project:

Image hosted by

I used her Charm fabric in 'Zest.' I'm relatively happy with the outcome, and the things I don't like are mostly related to my sewing machine, Stitch, who is screaming for a tune-up, and my impatience for ironing on the fusible interfacing.

First, I have to say that her stuff is beautiful. I've been sewing since the age of 7 and always dreamed of fabrics like hers.

However. I have some comments for you if you decide to use this pattern.

* Don't mark on the right side of your fabric - do it on the wrong side. I have no clue why she has the home sewer do that. Let's face it, you're not going to wash it right after completing the project. If you want to wash the chemicals out of the fabric, do it before you even start the project.

* I'm annoyed that the patterns are printed on opaque paper. Tissue paper is used by pattern manufacturers for a reason, namely that it is flexible and you can see the fabric pattern below it. That really helps when you want to match patterns or be sure that the fabric is correctly aligned.

* I found the instructions a little too chatty. Maybe it's good if this is a first project for you, but it was hard for me to quickly distill what exactly I needed to do next.

Despite my irritation, I will continue to use her patterns and of course buy her fabrics, for the aforementioned Yum Factor.

Next up on Stitch? Her Madison Bag.


Anyone know how to delete specific comments on Blogspot?
Someone commented on my last post with spam, and I am pissed.

Aug 3, 2005


You are Cashmere.
You are Cashmere.

Hmmm. I don't know about that. There were a couple of questions that I was split between two answers, so when I retook it I was dishcloth cotton.

Aug 2, 2005

impending doom

Yuck Mouth refuses to talk to us during our preparations to move to Chicago. As a result, he's been dispatched to western NY until we can drive by and pick up his grumpy ass later this month.


leaf-stitch stole update

Sorry for the lack on knitting content lately... It has just been so hot that it seems crazy to pile any sort of textile on myself. Instead I just come home and lie on the rug like a beached whale.

I am, however, trying to finish the emergency knit project that I started in Boston - a leaf-stitch stole in JoAnn Sensations Angel Hair, which is super-soft and will be fantastic to have around this fall. The choice was between this color and a brighter, springy green. Even though I really loved the bright green, I found myself still strangely drawn to this.

After knitting up a couple of rows, I asked Rock Star, 'does this look familiar to you at all?'

Turns out I must've really been missing Teak that weekend:


I'm essentially making a Teak pelt. Even my housemates have mistaken the in-progresss lump for a sleeping cat. More photos later, when I figure out how to best show off the eyelets.

Stalking Camp Cory

So sorry for the recent blog neglect, but I was in the Finger Lakes for my parents' anniversary. We ate lots of food and even kayaked a little.

Something like 25 years ago, Rock Star went to camp on Keuka Lake. After an unfortunate game of kickball and staff censorship of letters home, he ended up getting a root canal upon his return to his home in western NY. So imagine our surprise that the house we rented was less than a 1/2 mile from Camp Cory! In a clandestine mission, we paddled over to the beach, took stock of what has changed since he was there, tried to find the sailboat that he learned to sail on, and yelled at the kids to watch their teeth.

We just hope that other kid still has a dent in his head.