S.E.X. with UM and labrat

S.E.X. = stash enhancement excursion. Let’s clarify that right up front, esp to the significant others of UM and labrat. They very generously accompanied me to the Purl warehouse for the yarn pictured first. I’m going up to the Bay Area to visit my sick daddy (in a nutshell, diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, need to stabilize his diabetes meds, and new pacemaker — more on this another day). I want to knit him a pair of warm and fuzzy Felted Clogs (Fiber Trends pattern from One Fine Yarn) out of Cascade 220 in red and black. Gotta get the second clog for my daughter off the needles first — should be easy to finish it early on this trip.

I also bought enough Cascade Bulky Alpaca for this wonderful tee from Fitted Knits. I wanted a fairly quick knit, so I went for bulky even though I usually like finer yarns. What’s not to love about knitting alpaca in any weight?

The master enabler, knitting labrat, found me some Alchemy Synchronicity (wool and silk) for half price in a typical “me” color. It will be some kind of a summer top — I need to match gauge and amount of yarn with an appropriate pattern.

My partners-in-crime shared fish tacos with me at Catalina Fish Kitchen, a great hole-in-the-wall that shows nonstop surf videos, and I’m sure they’ll post about their great finds shortly.

OK, off to finish packing for my trip up north …. Buying comfort yarn goes a long way to making me feel better about the circumstances of this visit.
Have a great rest of your week!

P.S. On Friday the Purl warehouse is moving to a new location on Red Hill near Edinger in Tustin (15431 Red Hill Ave #D, Tustin CA 92780). A little further away, but also near a new and huge JoAnn’s.

Rites of Passage

As you can see from this photo shot straight into the sun, my family was on the hot and icky side of the stadium for my dd’s high school graduation ceremony (about 550 grads) last week. Happily, though, we had a great view of her since she was seated on the side nearest to us and was singing on stage on that side as well. The second shot, taken by a friend with a monduhuge lens from the opposite stands, is of one of the Senior Singers’ three songs. She’s the prettiest girl looking straight at the camera. 🙂

The final shot is one of those beautiful youth shots of an amazing, smart, talented girl and her amazing, smart (Air Force Academy-bound), talented boyfriend at the end of one chapter of their lives and about to embark on the next.

Another rite of passage: failing parental health… This may be my last blog post for about a week because I’m going to visit my parents and my internet access will be spotty. My already-frail, over-80 dad was admitted to the hospital for observation of a breathing problem and we’re in the process of scrambling for the home health care we’ve talked about arranging for months. I’m really grateful it’s summer and I’m done teaching and now have the flexibility to be with him and my mom.

Knitting content: I’m on the last few stripes of my Log Cabin Bath Mat and have about 4 more inches on my Top-Down Raglan. I plan to bring yarn for Felted Clogs to make for my dad. He should be home by then and able to pad around the house in new warm and fuzzy clogs.

 Talk to you soon — hug your loved ones…

7 Things About Me

Sigh. I was flying under the radar on this meme for a nice, long time, but Crafty Canadienne tagged me explicitly. I’m torn between wanting to play (I LOVE reading other people’s memes) and wanting to preserve some anonymity. One can never tell when a detail in an innocent post can come back to bite one in the butt, especially if one is a high school teacher…. I was going to wait until after finals, but Sally inspired me to post now. If she can take a break from preparing for her freaking orals, I can stop grading papers for a few minutes.

OK some fairly innocuous things about me:

1. I was a schizo girl in my high school activities: I was on varsity for both gymnastics (floor ex mostly) and field hockey (our IM team was the MuckPucks — we loved to get down and dirty). I was considered a X-class geek (accelerated classes — I was also #6 in my class) and a drama kid (mostly a “gypsy,” or perpetual chorus member). I also took ballet and kung fu lessons at the same time, the former as an adjunct to gymnastics, the latter because I was obsessed with Bruce Lee at the time (Enter the Dragon is still one of my all-time favorite films).

2. I had LASIK surgery about 8 years ago. Before that I’d worn glasses/contacts since 3rd grade. We’re talking serious Coke-bottle-bottoms, little red oval indentations on the bridge of my nose, the works.

3. I was in a some kind of a play or musical production for every calendar year from 9th grade through law school, including the two years I taught high school before going to law school. My favorites were anything involving dancing, especially tap. One was Sugar, the musical version of Some Like It Hot, which starred Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon set at the Hotel Del Coronado (supposed to be Florida). The two guys had witnessed the Valentine’s Day Massacre and were hiding out as members of an all-girl band. I was in the band and played the trombone and wore a blond wig.

4. I had abnormally high arches in my feet. It made for lovely pointed toes in dance. But after two pregnancies and lots of living, they’re flattened out to a normal size and expanded almost 2 sizes. One advantage — handknit socks are now easier to fit.

5. One of my favorite expressions to minimize mistakes is “It’s okay — there’s no blood involved.” Of course it only applies if it’s true, which is one reason I stopped being a pre-med. Doctoring is a high-risk, high-blood-flow profession and I already obsess enough about making mistakes that if there WERE blood involved, I develop ulcers right quick….

6. My husband’s family (consequently mine, too) is huge. He’s #2 of 15 kids. All but two siblings are married and all the married ones have at least one kid. I THINK the total is up to 30 grandkids ages 19 and under, but I’m not positive. Yes, he’s Roman Catholic and no, there are no twins. So my sainted MIL was in the STATE of pregnancy for 12 YEARS.

7. I have one of the finest video collections of Jane Austen inspired films anywhere, including 6 versions of Pride and Prejudice (one being the delightfully anachronistic version with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson), Clueless (based on Emma), the underrated Persuasion with Ciaran Hinds, and of course the shamelessly derivative Bridget Jones’ Diary. I love teaching Brit Lit, which gives me an excuse to show Sense and Sensibility to “set the stage” (i.e. to ogle Alan Rickman) for studying either P&P or Emma.

That was fun! Now for the tagging part.  Please — if you have not been explicitly tagged, go do this and let me know when it’s posted!  OK, back to the grind….


I Won Something!

Guess what came in the mail for me today?! I won this book in a contest at the CraftLit blog for entering a knitting nightmare. I’ll post it, but after I figure out what Heather wants to do with it — I think she’s going to play it on the podcast or link to the Odeo file or something. In a nutshell, it’s a story of my silent shame, the traumatic process of knitting Blaze, my first real sweater that I actually completed. I think I have pix in a past post (see the Archives).

I’ve just browsed through the book, but my first impression is I’m really enjoying the light but informative tone as well as the great knitting instruction and tips for dealing with problems.

My time has been ultra crunched lately, a combination of dealing with this stupid health issue and the end-of the-year craziness. My students just wrote their final essays today, final exams are finished next Thursday, and grades are due the following Monday. I plan to check out Friday, though. What a hectic time….  At least I got some much needed KIP time last night with the usual suspects plus Mr. and Mrs. Twisted Knitster, who were visiting.  Knitting Labrat had some amazing cashmere to share and, after fondling it, I couldn’t bear to “cleanse my palate” and pick up my cotton Log Cabin bathmat, so I worked on my Top Down Raglan in DB Cashmerino Aran, kinda like eating tenderized calamari after tasting abalone….

Have a great weekend!

SSK Website as Graph

SSK Website as Graph
OK so I don’t know exactly how this was created other than by Sala via a Java applet, but it’s a graph of my website. Pretty, isn’t it? 🙂 I love the way math can make “sense” of patterns, however unconscious.

In Flickr, check out this tag to see a ton of other images. I got this link from a new (to me) blog called The Name Inspector, which comments on product names. It’s way more interesting than that sounds.

Happy Sunday,


A New Dimension

Thus far most of my adventures in the online world have been visual: blogging, reading websites, watching viral videos, reading and responding to e-mails and participating in group lists. Well, last week I took my first teeny toe-dip into another dimension: audio! I sent an audio e-mail to Heather, the host of the podcast CraftLit via the “Odeo” button on her blog. I have a built-in mic on my PowerBook, but used a way kewl Sennheiser headset mic I bought a few months ago with the intent to participate in some Skype conversations, but I never did. Here’s a link to her Episode 57 in which she plays my Odeo message. It was my first message sent and her first received, so we were each other’s firsts! 🙂

After you check out my message (it’s about 60 seconds), give the podcast a listen. We’re deeply into Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, but you can get a good taste of the structure and tone of the podcast. Heather comments on life, then on the literary selection, then plays a free Librivox audio of the selection read by various Librivox volunteers. I’m so jazzed by this idea I’ve begun exploring how to record for them. I started with a couple of British poems (only stuff in the public domain is accepted) but I have yet to figure out how to upload them.

Knitting content: here’s my Monica top finished! I still have to make the skirt for the recipient, but who knows when that will happen, so I gave her the top sans bottom. Also, I’ve been spending a little time uploading projects to Ravelry. The photos will take a little more time, but the process is fairly straightforward if one has a Flickr account.



I finally got my invite to be a beta tester! I feel like I’ve arrived! Read this if you haven’t heard of it and be PATIENT if you sign up. The waiting list is a gazillion people long but they seem to be working really hard to be inclusive yet relatively bug-free.

 I think what I’m expecting to use the most are the tools for inventorying stash and projects and tools etc. as well as the discussions and sharing of pix and projects.


What Finger Are You?

You Are a Ring Finger

You are romantic, expressive, and hopeful. You see the best in everything.
You are very artistic, and you see the world as your canvas. You are also drawn to the written word.Inventive and unique, you are often away in your own inner world.You get along well with: The PinkyStay away from: The Index Finger

What Finger Are You?

Thanks, gals,, for the link and the idea…