Sunday, March 26, 2006

Knitting Again

i've grabbed my needles and am back in the woolen saddle again (sorry for the corny metaphor). i guess that complaining about not having time to knit actually did help get me motivated.

several months ago while i was finishing up my sweater i decided that my next project would be a pair of socks. my first pair of socks came out well but were knit with wool that was a bit itchy.

i found a nice pattern in "Knit Socks!" by Betsy Lee McCarthy.
Best Foot Forward from Knit Socks!

the pattern called for 9 stitches to the inch. that meant that i had to find thin yarn and small diameter needles. i found really nice gray merino yarn by Gems Pear, appropriately named "pewter", while i was at Yarn! in Alameda getting help on my orange sweater. it's fingering weight which means i'm knitting with practically string-thin yarn. i knit my gauge swatch on size 1.5 needles. now for those of you who aren't knitters imagine knitting with needles that look like the think skewers that you use for shish kebobs.

the gauge came out a little off. if i were to follow the pattern exactly i would need to actually use a smaller needle. you may be wondering what size is smaller than #1.5? i would have thought #1. but it turns out that the american needle measurements are not exactly precise at the small range. this was a lesson i learned the hard way. i went to article pract sans my #1.5 needles thinking that i would just pick up a set of #1s. the only short double point needles that the shop had were marked in millimeters. we double checked the metric measurements on a set of longer #1s and the metric sizes matched.

i think you know where i'm going with this story, right?

the needles i had at home were the exact same metric size, 2.5 mm. so back to article pract i went.

it was not an entirely wasted trip though. i had a few tasks to complete in going to the shop the first time around:
  1. show off my finished sweater
  2. buy the smaller double point needles
  3. exchange some unused yarn for store credit or new supplies

before i left the house on first trip i dug up my receipts and separated the ones i needed from the ones that could be tossed in the garbage.

if you're a knitter you know that you can't walk into a yarn store without checking out the wears. i've already admitted that i'm a monogamous knitter but there is no harm in thinking ahead to the next project (at least that's what we knitting obsessed tell ourselves). so while i was perusing the worsted-weight yarn bins i found orange and red skeins that would be perfect for the sweater i want toknit trixie's.

here's a picture of the sweater from "Stitch 'n Bitch Nation".
Casey's Coat from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation

i was so excited. i felt like i struck oil. so up to the counter i went to purchase the goods, took out my unused yarn and receipts, and guess what? yup, you're correct again. i grabbed the wrong receipts from the dining room table.

thus the reason for the 2nd trip to the store with my revised list.
  1. Show off my finished sweater
  2. Buy the smaller double point needles [CORRECTION: Buy #0 double point needles]*
  3. Exchange unused yarn for store credit or new supplies [CLARIFICATION: new supplies = #0 needle and 4 skeins of red and orange brown sheep yarn]

**** fast forward a few weeks ****

i started the first sock using the #0 needles for the cuff and the #1.5 needles for the leg. the main reason was because i have the skinniest ankles known to man and wanted to be sure that the socks don't fall down. plus i just couldn't imagine that i would be able to fit my foot through the sock if i continued knitting the sock using the #0 needles. i think my decision was good based on what i've completed so far.

Best Foot Forward from Knit Socks!

they're knitting up quicker than i thought. but they will probably take a while to complete since i'm still spending a lot of hours at work.

* can you believe that there are #0 size needles? if you're interested the metric size is 2.0 mm.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Baby Breakthrough

david hit a milestone this weekend. seneca, lisa, david and i visited cathy, jim and their 4-month old baby theo this weekend.

that wasn't the milestone.

but this was ...

David Feeding Theo

david has had a slight irrational fear of holding an infant. so not only did he confront his fear, he even stretched outside his comfort zone and fed theo.

we have contemplated adoption several times over the years. we're not sure if it will ever happen but seeing david holding and feeding a baby for the first time immediately brought tears to my eyes.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Cops Suck

on one of those really bad days in february david, jessica, lisel and i went to dinner at one of our favorite italian restaurants, pizzaiolo. i mean what better way to shrug off a bad day (well maybe week) by going out for good food with good company.

if you live in the SF bay area, then you should really check out pizzaiolo. and for those of you in SF it's worth a trip to oakland. the chef, charlie, used to be the pizza chef at chez panisse. the food is just as good as what you would get at chez panisse. the atmosphere is very casual and the prices are reasonable. be prepared to wait though. they don't take reservations.

anyway... the dinner, conversations and laughs were great; we ate like kings and queens. the best was a brick-oven-backed pizza with salted cod. words can not describe how yummy it was!

so we left sated and in good moods.

on the drive home through piedmont we approached an intersection that was marked a few yards before the light by a "don't block zone". for some reason the lines created a weird illusion that the actual intersection was closer. so i proceeded to go through the yellow light.

notice that i said illusion.

by the time that i actually passed through the intersection the light had already turned red. and guess who was parked in the parking lot at that exact same spot? you're right fucking asshole snotty piedmont officer "M".

bye, bye good mood and hello panic!

mind you this was the first time since i've been driving that i've been stopped by a cop for a traffic violation. i was nervous as hell. officer "M" asked the question i've heard asked on tv shows and movies, "do you know why i've stopped you?" being the honest person i am i said something like, "yes. i misjudged the distance between the cross-walk and the yellow light and ran the red light." officer "M" in a true asshole unforgiving cop reaction said, "that wasn't a cross-walk." i didn't want to argue that i was nervous and meant to say a don't block zone. with the luck that i was having he would have asked me to get out the car and who knows what...

then he asked for my license and registration. i asked david to get the registration from the glove compartment. officer "M" ever so slightly moved his hand to his pistol. i'm sure they are trained to do that but that made me even more nervous. i was literally on the verge of tears.

he went back to his car, i guess checked my record and wrote out the ticket. he handed me the ticket, told me that signing the ticket was not admitting that i was guilty. i asked him what the next steps were since i had never gotten a ticket before. i really thought that maybe he would have given me a break since i had a good driving record and never been "guilty" of any traffic violoations. but no, he was a typical arrogant asshole cop. so he went on to explain that i would get an official summons in the mail in a few weeks and that i might be eligible to go to traffic school to avoid points.

the date that i am supposed to appear in court is 4/1. as of yesterday morning i didn't receive anything in the mail. so i went online to see if the citation was entered into the system. i had a glimmer of hope that maybe officer "M" had a change of heart and decided to tear up my ticket.

um, yeah right. wishful thinking.

i had to pay $380 and need to go to traffic school. i know that i can take the course online but it's still a big hassle.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

When Squeezing Isn't Enough

sometimes it takes a little help to know when fruit* is ready to eat.

david and i were food shopping this weekend and as we passed through the produce section he decided he wanted an avocado. the pile was quite high, as usual, with a lot of hard fruit*. he kept squeezing and handing one to me asking, "is this one ripe?" "how about this one?" then finally he hit gold:

I wonder if it's ripe?

thank goodness for labels ;-)

*avocados are fruit contrary to what many believe.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Vampiric Activity

i haven't been wanting to use my blog as a place to complain, but i feel that i need some outlet.

i especially didn't want to mix work with blogging mostly because the small audience i have consists of several colleagues. but at the risk of revealing my feelings to my co-workers i'm going to just put it out there that work has been really rough. i feel as though the last several months that an invisible vampire has been visiting me and slowly draining my energy. the projects that i'm working on are pretty high-profile requiring an extra ordinary amount of attention. i've been working 50+ hour weeks. my last thoughts before i finally drift off to sleep and my first thoughts when i wake are about work.

i simply have no creative drive. i haven't been knitting or blogging -- this pisses me off.

thankfully i have been given the green light to hire a producer to help with the workload. i am keeping my fingers crossed that i will find someone soon!

hopefully i'll achieve some cathartic release by regurgitating my frustration out into the vast world wide web.


maybe all i need to do is wear a necklace of garlic, carry a cross (are jews allowed to do this), or run to sunnydale and ask buffy to save me. oh wait, sunnydale got swallowed up by the hellmouth. now what?

Sunday, March 05, 2006


i know that many of you have been anxiously awaiting to see how my orange sweater looked on. and now with no further adieu here it is.

(drum roll sfx)

Me Wearing the Orange Sweater

and in the spirit of completed projects here's a picture of david wearing the scarf i just finished. he's also holding the godzilla he had been painting that i wrote about in an earlier entry.

David wearing his new scarf and painted Godzilla

here's another photo of david wearing the scarf in a more of a swanky pose.

David wearing his new scarf

kinda groovy, no?

btw, the backdrop of the photos is the palms trees and australian flax that are in front of our house. they are getting quite full and tall.

Friday, March 03, 2006

So Cute

it has always amazed me how tightly a dog can curl up when they sleep.

A Ball of Trixie

trixie had her nose tucked in a little nook in her bent arm. i just wanted to jump in her basket and give her a big squeeze.