Trouble with Trebles

This blog is to keep track of my knitting, other craft projects, and the weird bits of life that don't fit anywhere else.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Marital Bliss

As some of you know, my husband and I are living apart for a few weeks. He went back to the east coast to finish a research project, so we will be separated for a total of six weeks. Six very long weeks. After you've been with someone for a significant period of time (we've known each other almost seven years), there are things about yourself that you forget. Being apart, I've remembered several things about myself:

1. I have the worst sense of direction ever. I waste at least 15 minutes each day trying to remember where I parked the car. Don't even get me started regarding about how I'm finding my way around a new town. Let's just say that mapquest is my best friend.

2. I drink way too much coffee. When we're together I drink tea instead, but left to my own devices I worship the coffeepot as a god.

3. Whatever milk we consume when we're together is due almost entirely to me. This consumption is increased even more when I drink coffee (with milk, of course).

4. I eat very little meat. Who has room after drinking all that coffee and milk?

I really hope our separation ends soon, or I will end up anemic, wandering aimlessy around parking lots, carrying a full mug of coffee and milk. Not a pretty picture, is it?

Anyway, this weekend I finally finished the madras top I've been working for about 3 years. It wasn't hard to make really, I just didn't work on it very much. It's supposed to be a little peasant top, but I'm wearing it more like a little flyaway jacket. I'm worried that it might make me look a little chubby, but if I wear it over a fitted skirt and cami, I think it will be OK. I did some shopping this weekend, and I'm so excited that knit vests will be stylish for fall! I have one nearly done and would love to make another. I have a vogue knitting pattern for a cropped u-neck that I'm just itching to try. Sweater vests really speak to my inner nerd, and you gotta love that!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Every Day Can Be a Beauty Pageant

I met up with a wonderful group of crafters this week: The "All Things String" group that meets weekly in Orange. What a great bunch of people! They had lots of great info about local yarn shops, quilting stores, etc. There was a large contingent of knitters, which is fantastic. Even better, there were also some people doing crochet, embroidery, etc. It's so nice to find a group that doesn't discriminate. ;)I definitely plan to join them again next week.

Aside from a very busy week at work, I did make some progress in knitting (a few centimeters on the sleeve of the Schachenmayr sweater) and my living room curtains are coming along.I added the blue band at the bottom, so they actually reach the floor. I think they actually look better with the solid color at the bottom.

I find that having cable again after four and half years is quite an educational experience. On the style network, while working on one of sewing the last patches of the baby blankets, I discovered a show called "Instant Beauty Pageant". This is a reality TV show in which they ambush 6 women at the mall, give them $500 and 3 hours to prepare for a beauty pageant. They do the swimsuit, talent, and evening gown competition in front of an audience of mallgoers, family, and friends. Maybe this is a good lesson for life. I feel like now I should always leave the house prepared for a beauty pageant: Big smile, lots of makeup, musical number prepared. If you'll excuse me, I have to memorize all the words to the "Memory" from Cats.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Villain's Mistake

Lines from the movie The Incredibles (2004):

Lucius:[Bob and Lucius are sitting in a parked car, reminiscing] So now I'm in deep trouble. I mean, one more jolt of this death ray and I'm an epitaph. Somehow I manage to find cover and what does Baron von Ruthless do?

Bob: [laughing] He starts monologuing.

Lucius: He starts monologuing! He starts like, this prepared speech about how *feeble* I am compared to him, how *inevitable* my defeat is, how *the world* *will soon* *be his*, yadda yadda yadda.

Whenever the bad guy is about to kill the hero in a movie, the one mistake he or she always makes is to start monologuing. Why is that? I think this habit taps into our deepest need to tell others that we've succeeded. Just killing the hero would be a bummer. How would the villain revel in the glory, if she just defeated the guy and moved on with her day as if it were all just part of a normal day. You know, killed the hero, made a sandwich for lunch, went to the bank, stopped at Target for laundry detergent. That wouldn't make a good story at all.

Sometimes I feel that what's missing in our lives is the option to monologue at important moments. When I defended my dissertation successfully I was ecstatic. However, I would have been even happier if I'd had the chance to monologue a little, and yammer on about how *inevitable* my success was, how *the academic world* will soon *be mine*, yadda, yadda, yadda. Or at the very least, I would have liked a musical number. I would have chosen "I Will Survive" and worn sequins (naturally).

Here is what I worked on today:

This pile of fabric will soon be fabulous drapes for our living room (believe it or not). Stay tuned to see how they turn out. And, very likely, there will be some monologuing.

Monday, July 24, 2006

A Good Head Cleaning

My husband is normally a scientific, rational sort, except when in comes to our printer. He truly believes the printer has it in for him. Every time he attempts to print something the signal doesn't seem to get to the printer, or it's out of ink, or the nozzles are clogged. I sweep in, connect it to my ibook, replace the ink cartridge, or clean the heads so that he can use it. This only makes him more suspicious. He usually says, "so the printer only likes you, does it?", then refuses to use it unless it's an emergency. This weekend I spent $50 and several hours getting it to work once again. Maybe he's right, it does have it in for him. And now it doesn't like me either. Or perhaps like me it is having trouble adjusting to southern California weather?

My knitting is liking me better lately. Here is an update on my the sleeve for the Schachenmayr sweater (June 1st entry) I am working on for The Amazing Lace.
I know, it doesn't look like I've made any progress, but honestly I have. It's a good thing we don't actually have to have our projects done by Labor Day, or I would be in real trouble. This week I'll be meeting with a friendly crafting group here in Orange County, so hopefully they can motivate me to get more done on my sweaters. And, it will be nice to meet more new people here. Maybe they can help me exorcise the printer?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Killer Rabbit

I apologize to those who have tried to leave comments recently. Apparently when you stay up late playing around on your blog you occasionally make unintended changes to your settings (or so I've heard). Anyway, post away my friends!

You know that gas prices must be high when they bring back the Volkswagen Rabbit the same year that they downsize the Hummer. I love the Rabbit. My brother had three of them, and loved them all. You really need to buy them in threes, to make sure that you always have one that runs, and so you have spare parts. He had one that was grass green. What a thing of beauty. I also knew a guy in college who got a ticket for excessive use of power. For his Volkwagen Rabbit. He framed the ticket. This guy also had a loudspeaker in his car. You know, the type they use to announce stuff while driving around. He would never let me use it, even though I had this great idea for using it at the McDonald's drive-through. Rabbits are cool. Just sayin'

This blog has strayed a bit from knitting projects lately, since I am now faced with an apartment to decorate. Fear not, my knitting friends. I will return to those projects very soon. I have reached a non-brainless point in both projects. Unfortunately, I am feeling brainless. Thus, I have been working on non-knitting stuff. I admit it, I'm not a monogamous crafter. But with so many luscious crafts to do, how can I be faithful to just one? I am attempting to crochet a potholder from some sugar and cream yarn. Below is the world's ugliest potholder: Obviously, this pattern blows. It's supposed to have an aran pattern, which you can sort of see. However, there are different number of stitches on either end and that's how the pattern was written, it's not an error. Time to frog it and find a different pattern. Any suggestions?

Friday, July 21, 2006

A New Beginning

As my lovely friend Theresa at knitting underway would say, this NewCaliforniaLifeStyle requires some getting used to. Things I've learned about California:

1. Californians really like yoga. There are at least four yoga studios within a few blocks of my apartment. I like yoga too, and feel I should take it up again now that so many studios are within easy reach. If I get one free class at each studio I won't actually have to start paying for it for about six months.

2. It must take a lot of salon time to keep up the "California look." If there are four yoga studios there are at least twice as many salons and spas within a few blocks of my new apartment. This explains why everyone here looks so well groomed, and the fact that I have not visited any of these establishments probably explains why I don't.

Part of the reason I haven't spent a lot of time worrying about my appearance is that I plan to spend time decorating and refinishing things for the apartment. I find that sanding and priming really messes up a manicure.

Here is my proposed color scheme for the living room:
The navy stripe is the draperies to which I will add a dark navy border to the bottom (I need to add extra length to them, since they are about 10 inches too short). The flowered background is the rug, to which I am trying to coordinate everything. The cream square is the couch upholstery. The mustard/blue patterned swatch is one option for reupolstering my ball and claw foot chair. The current fabric is worn and a little hard to work with in it's current yellow and black color scheme (unless I decide to go with a "bumble bee" decorating scheme-see below).The light blue fabric is a faux suede which I am considering using to make an easy cover for another antique chair. I think it should also have a cute tailored skirt made of a coordinating patterned fabric. But, then again I also think I should live in old victorian and have a maid. We'll see what is actually possible. I start work on August 21st, after which very little is likely to get done.

Today, I also learned that some things are universal. If a guy is wearing a black trench coat in 100+ degree weather he is on some serious medication and will likely disrupt your quiet time with your iced coffee by pointing out an imaginary WWII airplane and asking to borrow your cell phone (to call the aliens flying the plane, I presume).

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

My friends appear to have an amazing ability to reproduce. This makes me happy in numerous ways, but I have to admit that my crafty side is especially tickled. Making baby gifts is lots of fun, and people really seem to appreciate handmade baby items. Also, those gifts really only need to pass the cuteness factor and don't really need to be practical (although that is a bonus). Finally, baby items are small, which means they take much less time.

In the spirit of always being prepared for the next baby, I am trying to maintain a consistent stock of baby gifts, much the way some people always have, say, creamed corn on hand. This has been useful, since I occasionally have been invited to meet up with an acquaintance who just happens to be 8 months pregnant. They are always touched by a gift of a wee hat. Anyway, here are my latest projects. They are an attempt to use up some fleece I purchased for a blanket I made specifically for some very good friends. They got the bedsize version of a ducky blanket. These are much smaller, but also very cute. The fleece patches are attached using a blanket stitch and coordinating embroidery floss. Once I attach all the patches, I add a satin blanket binding. This makes for a soft, silky, cozy, blanket that is machine washable and very durable. Beat that Martha Stewart!
Now I just need to knit and crochet some coordinating hats and I am completely prepared for the next round of babies!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The End is Near

Blogger was being evil this morning, so the post that I started was lost. Hopefully, I can remember everything. We left off on Day Three of the cross country move, in Conway, Arkansas.

Day 4 - Conway, AK to Tucumcari, New Mexico

What lies in between: Oklahoma and Texas. One thing we learned as we were driving through is that people in Texas take the "everything is bigger in Texas" thing very seriously. Our first clue was when we passed the largest freestanding cross in US. Having seen what looked to be a larger cross on the hills in Virginia, I was skeptical. But, that was not a frestanding cross, so I stand corrected. This testament to christianity and carpentry can be seen from highway 40.

Second, we stopped at a rest area. Despite really only having restrooms and picnic tables, this amazing structure embodied both the large and star themes of Texas:

Day 5 - Tucumcari, New Mexico to Williams, Arizona

We stopped for a couple hours in Albuquerque. Predictably, we took a few wrong turns (as they say in the Warner Bros. cartoons), but it was well worth it. Here are photos of my knitting at the Petroglyphs. An old art posing with an even older art:

Day 6 - Williams, Arizona to Barstow, CA

Williams in just outside Grand Canyon National Park. Taking advantage of our national parks pass, we spent the morning of day 6 in the park. It is breathtaking, and really not something that any photo could do justice. Here is the sleeve of the schachenmayr sweater with the canyon in the background:
Here is another photo, with my Knit.1 tank in the foreground:

That day we finally entered California. Yay! Our trek was coming to an end. After several hours of driving through the desert, we were pretty glad too. That night we stayed in Barstow and the next day we reach our destination, in sunny southern California.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Feeling Boxed In

What have I been doing that has kept me from blogland? Unfortunately, unpacking and settling into the new apartment, city, state, coast, and job has been very time consuming. That, and I got cable after over four years without. HGTV, where have you been all my life? As a crafting/decorating/DIY nut, the programming is currently consuming my life. A handy thing considering I need to adjust my decorating style to the west coast.

Anyway, back to knitting and the cross country trip. We started in Rhode Island and drove through eight states our first day. Yes, you read correctly, EIGHT: Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, & Virginia. Did I mention it was pouring rain most of the drive? Yeah, good times. I did get a alot of knitting done, though.

The Knit.1 ribbed tank really benefitted from all the time in the car. Aren't the stripes cheerful?

The second day we drove out of the run and into the sun. Yippee! (We would be begging for the rain back by the end of the trip.) We then drove from Virgina into Tennessee. And drove, and drove and drove. After going through eight states on the first day, it seemed strange to spend so much time in a single state the second day. The second night we also stayed in quite possibly the worst motel in Tennessee. I'm sure there are lovely places to stay in Tennessee. Unfortunately, we must have passed them. We did have a good dinner, though, and we loved the sweet tea. How could sugar ever really not improve something?

The third day we drove out of Tennessee. Here is a large silver pyramid I photographed in Memphis. Cool, huh?This structure is the Pyramid Arena, a 21,000 seat sports and entertainment facility that is home to the NBA Memphis Grizzlies and the University of Memphis Men's Basketball Program. We thought it looked wicked cool from the highway.

We stopped that night in Conway, Arkansas. We visited some friends in Conway and had a great time. What a lovely, friendly city. In Arkansas we started to first experience the heat of the south. Considering the dreary rain we left behind in New England (and all the flooding, eek!), the sun and heat was a welcome change.

Tomorrow I will continue with the lowdown on Days 4-7. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

We're a movin' on up the east side. To a deluxe apartment in the sky.... (I love The Jeffersons, don't you?)

well, actually our new "deluxe apartment" is on the first floor, and is in the downtown not the east side, but you get the idea. We have officially moved 3,100 miles. Yes, you read that correctly. The only way could have moved significantly farther is if we had gone from northern Maine to San Diego. Hence the lack of blogging. I apologize to the three people who check this blog regularly (hi, Mom). I promise that things will be better from now on.

Although many friends and family referred to our move as a "vacation" to California I feel it necessary to point out that whenever you are keeping tabs on a large yellow 26 foot moving truck which holds everything you own, it really takes the vacation feel out of a trip. We did see a lot of beautiful countryside, though, so I'll take the next few days to share the photos. I want to give a big thanks to my dad, who drove the monstrosity of a truck and managed to get it here with everything intact (yay, Dad!) and my mom who kept him company in the truck. Their feat was especially impressive considering that large diesel trucks are not designed for riding comfort. Who knew? The hubby and I had a much easier time in the car, and we are eternally grateful to my parents for helping us out.

My youngest brother and I have always been a bit competitive, so I guess he must have been feeling outdone by my impressive move. In order to provide adequate competition he decided on a vertical move at the same time as I was moving horizontally.

He actually moved his house up five feet. Now that's impressive!

I imagine a little knitting news is in order. I was able to do quite a bit on our lengthy road trip. I will post some photos once I convince my camera to talk to my computer (more sibling rivalry maybe?).