Monday, July 31

Harlot in Church

Last Saturday, I saw Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee read at the Congess Avenue Baptist Church. This is a bit of an in-joke for Austinites, because there have always been hookers on south Congess Ave. WOW! There were about 200 knitters there, all shapes and sizes, predominately middle class, middle-aged and white. I mean really white, these gals either shun the sun or they're sporting SPF 60+. Sweater Project was there in a kilt--and god only knows how many other bloggers, because we all had digital cameras.
The reading was great and Stephanie is just as funny in person as she is in her books. It was a bit like stand-up comedy for knitters but not as manic. Afterwards, we hung out waiting to have our books signed. This was fun because you could see what everyone was else was working on. I was most impressed by the lace knitters who could stand and knit lace without a chart. When my turn came, I introduced myself as 'Team Cuba,' which was my Knitting Olympics team, and thought that only in these circumstances does this even make sense. She signed my book with 'Obsession is normal.' What was really impressive was that her writing was still legible after signing nine jillion books. STILL legible, people. AND she was in a good mood. Probably thinking about that ice cold Shiner Bock they were handing out!

It's so dang hot that I'm barely knitting, just a little bit on my Dubai stretch holey sock and I started a pullover with Habu silk stainless steel and silk yarn. I'm knitting up the Habu on size 8 needles and it has this sleek post-industrial grey vibe going on. Think 'nuclear winter.'


If I can't knit, at least I can look at the new fall issues of Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits. There wasn't a high swoon factor in either mag, which was a huge disappointment because the fall issue is the usually the biggest. I still have happy memories of Vogue Knitting's 20th anniversary issue, fall 2002.

Here's what I'm talking about...Interweave Knits, big needle Colinette mohair pullover, reverse stockinette border. Just what I need, a 5-inch border highlighting the widest part of my body. The funnel neckline on top of a raglan yoke would hide the one thin part I've got left--my neck. Is it me or has Interweave been using the same models forever? Maybe they a got 2-for-1 special; two years' modelling for the cost of one, who knows? There's an Annie Modesitt skirt that's cute in theory, but tough in practice. Knitted skirts have always vexed me. It calls for 12 skeins of Tilli Tomas silk yarns and I ain't shelling out $$$ to park my butt on hand-knitted silk. Beware: there are 2 Norah Gaughan patterns from Knitting Nature which means doublecheck IK and publisher's corrections pages before starting.Why do kids get the fun sweaters?

Let's move on to Vogue...well, the good news is that editorial finally remembered who their readership was, as in people who have voted in the last 5 elections. The bad news is that this hasn't prevented some truly alarming trends and godawful blurbs. 'HoboChic' is particularly cringing--a 70's nightmare of a spread. Here's Vogue's redhead in.....a Be Sweet mohair pullover--deep border, cowl neck. Gee, what's this? interview with Norah Gaughan. Lots of socks, oh joy! "Fall Trends" predicts a return to oversized and belted sweaters--be afraid, very afraid. On page 106, there is a model in a long tunic sweater with leggings.

I did like the cables in "Gray's Anatomy," although the one on the left did remind me a bit of this little black number from Rebecca #25 and uses a similar technique. I was positive there would be the Oscar de la Renta sweater, but no such luck. And here's the winner for the flat-out fugliest pattern in either mag:


Just Who the heck IS Twinkle?

I see this and think "Raggedy Ann Run Amok.'

I'll console myself with a shot of Alain Delon as the murderous Tom Ripley in "Plein Soleil/Purple Noon," now showing at BAM in Ft. Greene. Jude Law was cute in "The Talented Mr. Ripley," but Alain Delon deats the dookies out of Matt Damon on this one. trivia: Patricia Highsmith was born in Ft. Worth, TX--my hometown. Thank God, she escaped!

Wednesday, July 26

It's either hot and sticky or hot and sweaty which makes it tough to knit. The boys and Mr. Mary were gone last week, so I got to amuse myself with some primetime TV. The quality viewing was the Tour de France in the mornings--wow! what a race! "Hell's Kitchen"---pass, I'd rather watch Nigella Lawson 'bung it all into a pot' than some Gordon Ramsey/Jamie Oliver testosterone-driven foodfest. Let's see... reality show with stressed out cooks in a hot knife fight, DUH.

"So You Think Can Dance"--I get Nigel, I like Nigel. He looks like the Eric Idle of ballroom dancing. Who are those other goombah judges? The two girls look like they're wasted on Bacardi mojitos and the other judge reeks of Grecian Formula. "Supernova"--Ok, at least here we can see the band openly drinking.

knitting in Knitting in the tabac in "Amelie."
I did have a French doubleheader from Blockbuster: "Amelie" which is a wonderful love letter to an idealized Paris, and "The Swimming Pool." I love Charlotte Rampling and here she is paired with a very saucy Lodovine Sagnier with extra-juicy creepy results. You can't beat a topless murder in the French countryside for cinema verite. The house plays an excellent supporting role.
Commercials--Altoid's Sours--good. Geico ad with Little Richard--still funny after a couple of times. Burger King with short/little people---huh? VW Rabbit ad--look for the b&w one at the beginning, very cute.
I did get at least one thing finished: the Giotto shrug with Anny Blatt 'Libertine' crochet edge.

Also, here's a Noro sweater vest for Anneke's shop. And a few goodies I picked up a couple of weeks ago--Noro Tidiori.Darth Vader and Noro VestDarth Vader and Noro VestNoro Tidiori, col. 7So, I've got my hands full with two restless boys and a pile of t-shirts that need name labels for camp. I need something cool to knit, so I'm back to Lovlund with the Hana Silk, my Dubai cotton stretch sock and another WIP for Anneke's shop. And maybe a little something Habu...or cold soba noodles for lunch...Jim-Jim's Water Ice...Barton Springs...Monster House in 3-D in a cool, dark theater.

Saturday, July 22

Neko's Big Feet-24 Toes

OK, by popular demand here are a couple of shots of Neko's toes. Talk about catcher's mitts! Every time he's on his back legs I think of the Monty Python episode where the Siamese cat is marching through London calling "Dimsdale? Dimsdale?" Those details may be sketchy but I remember that image.

Catcher's Mitt
Six Toes

Look into my eyes...come to the Dark Side.

6666-Toed Kitten
Stay tuned for the new summer blockbuster
"The Cats from Brazil"

I will return to regularly scheduled knit blogging after the Tour de France.

Wednesday, July 19

So You Think You Can Knit

To paraphrase Kirsty MacColl:(This is what you must have on your i-Pod when it's 100 degrees) "Not in this heat, honey."

Here are a couple of items from the Miami trip. I was so overwhelmed by Anneke's new space that I forgot to take pictures of her shop. I am a shameless shill for her, especially since I get to goof off at TNNA in San Diego with her, I turn her onto new yarns and I still get my employee discount. This feisty little red confection is Tilli Tomas 'Disco Lights' in Ruby Wine. I also got some Lang Opal Color in #64 to go with it for my Candy Barr tank top--we Texan gals can get away with boots and sequins. There's also a couple of skeins of Lang Jawoll Cotton Superwash sock yarn, #52, and , um, a bunch of Noro Tidori, color #7. I think I went into a coma or something as I even bought a couple of needlepoint canvasses. So, I kept circling around some really yummy wool/cotton yarn when Fraulein Anneke mentioned to me that not only was she working with it, she was making a crochet throw...and it was EASY. Now, to understand our history here you have to realize that we're Knitters with a capital K and it was with great relief that she hired someone who could crochet and handle all of 'those people.' So, when Anneke says she can crochet a throw that's throwing down the gauntlet bigtime. Here's the yarn:

It's Colinette's Prism, 100gms=120m, sno-cone colors. I bought the pattern book(there's a throw for Giotto, yay!) and this is what I've been doing while watching the Tour de France: The world's biggest Granny Square. Let me warn you that this little beginner project ain't cheap. Even I raised my eyebrows at the price of the 'Flapjack Throw' kit after my discount. Please, don't ask. The price would make me cringe if I didn't love it so much and it's perfect with the quilt I made for Bandit last year. I'm shopping the stash to make one to match the Lone Star quilt I made for Tex. I have also been busy finishing up some samples pieces for Anneke(talk about residual guilt) while watching the Tour de France in the mornings. I'm involved with a TdeF KAL on the Knitty boards and this is the first year that we haven't actually seen a stage or the finish in France. I took a gamble at the beginning of the race and committed to Caisse d'Epargne and, by gum, they're winning! My condolences to Floyd Landis, Phonak and the Discovery team but I really thought Alejandro Valverde was a sure thing until he crashed and broke his collar bone. Now Pereiro is in the yellow jersey--this is a shocker, even with a Tour full of them.

The DH is in NYC and the kiddoes are in Miami--Just wait until I tell you all about the bad TV I've been watching! Just who is Brooke Burke? And recipes for melon coolers and melon gazpacho. And I'm blocking the Giotto shrug. And I'm almost done with the Dubai sock #1. Oh, and did I mention it's 100 effing degrees outside?

Tuesday, July 11


NEKO! The kitten's name is Neko which is Japanese for cat. Yeah, I know it has nothing to do with with Siam/Thailand but, then again, if we were being really specific the cat's name would be BUBBA.

I've been in Miami for the past couple of days depositing Tex and Bandit into the everloving arms of my in-laws. I hated living in Miami but visiting is a lot of fun. $1 for a Cuban cortadito that makes Starbucks taste like Sanka, ripe mangoes, the always amusing fashion parade AND a visit to my friend's(and former employer's) needlepoint/yarn shop....Anneke's Needleworks. She's moved into a bigger space which means MORE YARN!!! And more canvasses, if you've not completely forgotten how to needlepoint. Sooooo....yours truly, aka the Stash Queen of Travis County, is now the proud owner of a canvas that reads 'Have Needles, Will Travel.' As for the yarn, stay tuned for CSI:Miami---"Shopgirl Runs AMOK in LYS"

Wednesday, July 5

My Birthday Present

For the girl who has everything, a cheeky little polydactyl Siamese mix kitten. I thought it was a girl, but medical professionals have determined that he is indeed a boy. These same professionals also determined that the dog was accidentally not neutered over Christmas. We're mulling over names right now. I will try to restrain myself from posting cute kitty pix ad nauseum.... really....I mean it.... Honest!