Archive for September, 2006

Dearest Target,

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Tonight I graft the first toe and rally down the cuff. I have a long train ride home, the boyfriend’s out at a meeting and I plan on killing you by Wednesday morning… to arrive in MN by Friday.

I realize I may die trying, but I wanted to thank you for being my first target. Assassination is more fun than I thought it would be.

Your Killer

Sock Wars 1.1 and Vicious Watchdog

Sunday, September 24th, 2006

First pair, first sock. Gotta go finish it so I can start #2.

Janie Sparkles would kill for that sock.

Don’t want to be killed without first killing.

The battle has begun

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

I’ve just turned the heel and started the gusset on my first killer sock for Sock Wars. Didn’t get yarn until this afternoon. I even swatched a few inches to be sure I got gauge on 5s. My target’s socks should be in the mail by Tuesday at the latest. I wonder how my killer is doing.

On Friday, my only knitting accomplishment was writing about it. I spent the morning and early afternoon struggling with my work computer, the VPN and trying to map the network so I could clean out my inbox. Alas.

Photos to follow of killer sock progress, Betsy’s sleeves and the massive stash of yarn she gave me to finish the sweater, the remaining clog. If my hands start hurting, If you’re lucky, I’ll try to get a pic or two from Folsom.

A day off

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

…means a day of knitting?

Two years later and I’m still in love with the sticks and the strings and the sticthes. It’s what I look forward to doing whenever I have a moment. If I had the money, I’d buy tickets for long international plane flights, just so I could have uninterrupted hours of fiber joy.

Two stitches or two hours, it’s all good. For the first time, I’ve found something that is about the process, or the journey, not the finished product. Obviously, there’s some enjoyment derived from training for my athletic stuff, but usually, it’s about the competition or the bragging afterwards. I’m not a natural athlete. I’m quite content sitting on the couch, never running a step, pushing a pedal, swimming a lap, moving through poses, bending deeper, or lifting a heavy object. Ballet, skateboarding, acting, academics, art and such have come and gone. Knitting is something I crave. The passion is deeply rooted in my heart. I wouldn’t want to try to earn money by the act of knitting, but I’d love to dedicate all my hours at work to it.

Today, I’m finally taking a Friday off. We have an 80 hours in 9 days schedule at work that allows you to take a three-day weekend every other week. I’ve been working throught them lately. Although I brought my laptop home, I don’t NEED to do any work this weekend. I will sort through archived email, but that’s not going to be the focus of my weekend. Between swim practice, getting my car checked out, researching a new car (hybrid or biodiesel?), working at Folsom Street Fair (leather-clad flesh behind that link), and working the Massive Attack/DJ Shadow show tonight, I plan on some hardcore knitting time.

Although the Trek-a-long was a bust blog-wise (though I love the resulting socks), I’m giving it another go with Sock Wars. Let’s hope that I figure out a means to post more photos. As I’m awaiting the pattern (to be sent today), I could use my time off to shoot last weekend’s knitting bonanza. Stay tuned…

Return to the scene

Monday, September 18th, 2006

We went back to Walzwerk tonight. It’s hard to keep a good man down, right? Actually, I wasn’t in the mood to cook dinner, having survived a day of BART and my bike. When I got home after 8:40, all I wanted was their Special Spaetzle (salmon, cheese, spinach in with the buttery and oniony goodness which only appears on the menu every so now and then). Last night, the only food offerings were sausages grilled outside (not my thing since 1991) and a variety of salads and slaws.

Tonight was the last night for my favorite Spaetzle, as the menus change on Tuesdays. Comfort food would do me good. Alas, there was not enough noodle as a table ahead of us ordered the last plate. Knowing the owner was frazzled from the party and just wanting something yummy, I suggested dumplings and the mushroom Jaeger sauce. She returned from the kitchen with more bad news: only one dumpling left. Finally, I orderd some house-cured salmon and beet salad to accompany the starchy yumminess.

When our dinner arrived, she surprised me with a half order of the spaetzle to go along with the lox and the dumpling. Carbo-feast made it all better. Although it was a stressful day, and it sucks that my car may no longer be, I can celebrate the fact that we weren’t in the car when it was hit, no one close to me was injured, and in the end, only a material object was damaged. Thank you for kind comments. Despite the aggrevating end to the weekend, there was a lot of knitting accomplished: a second sleeve for my variation on Durrow and a 44-stitch wide swatch to test out a chart for a future Janie sweater. IOU photos.

Hit and run

Sunday, September 17th, 2006

While attending the 7th anniversary of our favorite restaurant, Walzwerk, my car was the victim of pretty serious hit-and-run. What I thought was a simple broken tail light turned out to be a major impact that bent the frame of the trunk, misaligning the hatchback door and bending the axel. The tow truck guys said it’s mostly likely totalled.

Once I paid it off, I reduced my insurance coverage. Therefore, no claim can be made; I’m just without a car. It would be great if I could get some money for it, but I’m thinking the best case scenario is going to be a big fat donation to KQED or SF MoMA. Too bad you can’t drive your dog to work in a tax write-off. More time for knitting on BART.

Five years later

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Back before I was a knitter, I was writing to myself online, often on much more personal topics. In honor of what happened in NYC, Pennsylvania and DC five years ago, I wanted to re-post something written two days after the attacks. Coincedentally, September 11, 2000 is the day I started my current job/career, so it holds a positive significance as well its place in history.

6:57 p.m. 2001-09-13

Up until Monday, I was feeling guilty for not getting back to write. So much had happened that was significant: running for three days in New Mexico and deciding I was bad-ass, discussing moving in with C and finding an apartment, wanting to come clean about the past two years with C to my X, and my first year anniversary at work. Big things.

Then something bigger happened. I got to watch it unfold on TV. They've named it "America Under Attack," complete with exploding WTC graphics. I call it sad. And frightening.

I guess I'm lucky, living on the West Coast, far away from it all. All my friends in NYC and DC have been accounted for, thank goodness. I've even spoken to most of them. I've got blessings.

The most significant loss in my world is a friend of my roommate was the rugby player that called his mom from the flight that went down in PA. Roomie sent me an email Mark had written just a week ago that sums up everything I feel about queers and athletics. I'm going to keep that with me forever. Will the networks paint a complete portrait of this guy? Those have been my only tears.

I'm frightened of how this will change everything. Not just flying, but my taking everything for granted. I've never had to tally my friends before.

I'm scared of my "fellow" Americans, when I hear jingo-istic war cries on TV or in the office. The hatred and intolerance that will come out of this won't go away easily. Sure, we'll all remember the tragedy, I just hope we find a way to move past the anger and work on healing.

Gosh, that sounds so Californian.

Tragedy reminds me of how easily life can be stolen, how much I rely on others, and how important it is to overcome and heal. And that includes not thinking in "us" and "them" terms.

Perhaps it's too soon for mainstream America to hear such Kum Ba Yah sentiments. They're not being broadcast on TV or scribed in the papers. People are just beating the drum, rallying the masses.

I'll just keep humming to myself softly.

Halfdome

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

No offense, Jesse/Yarnboy, but at first, I didn’t appreciate the beauty and simplicity of Halfdome. Now, with two under my belt, I’d like to thank you for a great-looking, speedy and soft addition to my repertoire. Heck, I want to shave my own head just to enjoy one myself!

Intitally, I thought I didn’t need anyone’s pattern for a hat. Hats are simple enough, especially a stockinette roll-edge cap. That said, I did pause to glance at the pattern, as I always want to support my knitting bretheren—and a local one at that! Seeing that it was knit on 5′s, I moved it below the many other items on my to-be knitted list after I finished all the other works in progress, as well as knit through my entire stash.

That said, a friend’s break-up inspired me to take another look at Halfdome. At least once a week, my manfriend and I eat at Walzwerk, a kitchy and tasty East German restaurant, just a few blocks from our place. Our favorite waiter—yes, bald—was lamenting the end of his long-distance relationship with a fellow in Atlanta. I felt compelled to give him the literal warmth that Halfdome can provide.

Earlier that day, I read Jesse’s post about Sean/Woolgatherer’s trial and error of knitting Halfdome in the round. I revisited Knitty and started thinking about the yarn… I’d never knit with a cashmere blend before. You can see where this is going, right?

So, on Saturday, it was off to Urban Knitting Studio after swim practice. With gift certificate in hand, I bought four balls of Rowan’s version of a merino/microfiber/cashmere blend and cast on that afternoon. Sunday night, the last stitches were knit and ends woven in at breakfast Monday AM. It was so enjoyable that while still in-progress, instead of wisely knitting through the skeins upon skeins of to-be-knit yarn, I bopped over to ImagiKnit to grab some of the recommended yarn… because I didn’t have enough color choice in the Rowan.

halfdomesOne week later, the manfriend has a simple black and silver on. The waiter, who has been in Atlanta on a previously scheduled visit, has yet to receive his blue and charcoal. And, I’m trying to stop from knitting one for myself, say, orange and charcoal with a pinstripe of blue and silver?

trekk’ed along

Monday, September 4th, 2006
Trekking XXL socks

Finally, I’ve gotten ’round to uploading photos of my shades of gray Trekking XXL socks. These guys were started back in June and finished by the end of July.

Sadly, I missed the outdoorsy point of this knitalong – trekking outside whilst knitting. Most of the trekking done while knitting these wasn’t traditional hiking—it was mostly the urban variety. They did do a fair amount of traveling, from following me camping at Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee to being finished in downtown Chicago while swimming at the Gay Games.

Based off of Cat Bordhi’s simple sock pattern in Socks Soar on Two Needles, I knit them on a single needle. Instead of a fabulous braid, I went with a simple x-o cable, since I’d never knit one. There will be other socks in the future. As I posted previously, my experience with the magic loop wasn’t the greatest. I blame that on the joins of the needles.

It was great meeting a new yarn, as well as cementing my interest in the simple round-and-round meditation of socks. I’m almost finished another pair (orange split-toe Mega Boots Stretch). And, just in time for the fall, I’ve already bought another ball of Trekking XXL, in the rather woodsy greens and brown of color #69. Not to worry, I also bought a new #1 Addi-Turbo, too.