Monday, September 29, 2008

More Admin.

This morning I noticed that my category links were gone, and I couldn't fix the code, so I broke down and updated my template. I also have a bit of work to do updating labels on old posts. And why is there "knitting" and "older knitting"? Because the next page code was broken, so all the knitting stuff wouldn't show up, and I didn't want the old stuff to be lost.

Let me know if anything is wonky, please.

A question - if I answer comments in the comments do you read them? I tend to answer there rather than email back so everyone can see the answers. But with moderated comments, there might be a delay. If you are like me you might not remember to go back and check comments you made on other people's blogs. Don't want my few loyal readers to think I am ignoring them. So, what do your prefer?

I'm going to go through and take links to my kid's blog out. But I will email it to friends, family, and regulars.

And finally, lurkers, say "hi" sometimes, okay? Even if it is just "hi". I would like to check out your blog, too.

Everybody's Doing It...

..posting their keyword searches, that is. So, in lieu of knitting photos, photos of my kid, or other ramblings here you have it:

These are the top searches leading people to this blog:
  1. 18.72% giraffe costume
  2. 13.62% how to make a giraffe costume
  3. 6.38% giraffe costume pattern
  4. 4.68% viking stuff
  5. 2.98% how to make giraffe costume
  6. 2.55% baby giraffe costume
  7. 2.55% viking princess
  8. 2.55% make a giraffe costume
  9. 2.13% making a giraffe costume
  10. 1.70% viking princess costume
If all goes well, next Halloween people will find my blog by searching "zoo keeper costume". And for all those who didn't see it, here is the giraffe costume in question.

Here are some other search terms used:
  • wheat weaving
  • interweave heart sachet
  • martin luther bobble head
  • senior picture 1987 (gorgeous, isn't it?)
  • princess's grammar (not as clean as it you would think just by reading this blog)
  • big viking costume (bite me)
  • correct grammar hung up the phone
  • woman, bart, attack (I would love to know why they were looking for this)
  • norwegian bunader pattern
  • luther burbank roses
  • craigslist's grammar mistakes
  • lacroix fallecker
  • sunnmørebunaden
  • daughters of norway idaho
  • viking princess tattoos (you'll never know)
Okay, I lied earlier, here's a picture of my kid. The expression embodies how he will feel at age 13 when he discovers I allowed him to be seen in public with his baby doll. It's a boy, doll, people. And he threw it on the ground and stomped on it ten minutes after this photo was taken.

Back to search words. My other blog's Top Ten:
  1. 21.57% apartment names
  2. 13.73% sunset style
  3. 7.84% francis scott key elementary
  4. 5.88% names of apartments
  5. 5.88% sunset video
  6. 3.92% windsor terrace lawton san francisco
  7. 3.92% hello panda
  8. 3.92% polly ann's ice cream san francisco lassiter
  9. 1.96% thom ross little big horn
  10. 1.96% parkway apartments inner sunset
Other searches:
  • a myth why the sunset has many colors
  • cool apartment names
  • san francisco sunset district garage doors (I think I couldlove you)
  • 44th ave
  • lawton steps artist san francisco tile (thanks for reminding me about these)
  • 70's light fixtures
  • setting out tile on a staircase
  • tile from the 1970's
  • popular brown tiles from the 70's (by popular you mean ugly, right?)
All in all, nothing weird. But then again I keep my language and topics pretty clean on here, as opposed to real life where I don't do so well. I really thought there would be some kinky sock searchers, judging by mail I have received through my Flickr account.

And finally, I received junk email with this subject: "make he happy with your bigger stick". Yes, it said "he".

Sunday, September 28, 2008

San Francisco Evening

Let me tell you about some bloggers I met on Thursday via some photos I took.

It was a warm evening, and there was a golden glow as I walked out to catch the streetcar. Who says the Sunset is always foggy? Tom Prete wouldn't. He grew up out here, and it was nice to not have to explain what my other blog is about. I had a good chat with Jamie who blogs about his neighborhood, Rincon Hill.

Here's the train that took me downtown to the blogger party. Speaking of MUNI, at the party I talked to Greg of the N-Judah Chronicles. I also met Fog City Notes Rachel, and Fog City Mommy Rachel. I said "hi" to one of the Muni Ladies of Muni Manners.

This is the Southern Pacific Building, where my father worked for many years.

I ran through the Vaillancourt fountain many times as a child.

The Ferry Building. There were a bunch of bloggers from Oakland in attendance. I noticed a person on the "F" wearing a transit shirt. Turns out it was "Transbay" Eric. Marc, foodie of MentalMasala and The Ethicurean, is from the other side of the bay, Berkeley, to be exact. I also talked about Berkeley with the Rookie Moms. They have a book!

These clouds were really unusual. I wasn't the only one who thought so. A taxi driver stopped to take a picture, as did a couple other people walking up to the party. I met CBS 5's weather caster, Roberta Gonzales at the party. She is very charming, and was wearing killer shoes. I also met a camera man and a sportscaster. I can't remember their names, and when I look at the sports folks on Channel 5's page, I don't see the guy I met. He assures me it is true that Lance is really coming back to the Tour de France, though.

And last, but by no means least (I just didn't have photo to use as a lead-in) I met the very gracious hostess, Brittney Gilbert of Eye on Blogs.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yak Yak Yak

I just got home from a blogger mixer hosted by CBS 5 and Brittney Gilbert of Eye on Blogs. I had a lot of fun. I didn't meet any of the bloggers I intended to, but did talk to quite a few others whose blogs I look forward to reading.

The party was downtown, and I walked back to Market St. on Battery, ending up in front of the skyscraper I used to work in. It was very strange to be there again and to think of the hundreds of times I came up from the subway, went to the office, and went back down in the subway 8 hours later. I went for walks at lunch, but it was all so hum-drum.

I was surprised by how many people were out at 9:30 on a Thursday evening. Some of them were leaving bars and restaurants, a few were leaving their offices. A woman was trying to hail a taxi. One passed by and I could see a woman in the back laughing and sitting on someone's lap. The taxi-hailer and I watched it pass wistfully, for different reasons.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall is Here

Fall means the fog will begin to abate and we will have more clear days like today. It is also time to see how many of my summer knitting goals I met. Here are my knitting and spinning goals for this summer, which I posted on June 13th:
  • Finish Pomotamus socks - done
  • Finish Fana cardigan - not done (but I finally got the buttons & trim)
  • Finish undisclosed UFO - done (this was yesterday's blue kitty button sweater)
  • Design and knit cabled "licorice" socks - done
  • Spin enough pink yarn to make a tank or something similar - not done, but I did make handspun items, see below
  • Spin and knit a pair of stranded mittens - not done, too ambitious
  • Spin a two-ply sock yarn and make short socks - not done, too ambitious
And these are things I thought I might work on, getting in the way of the above items:
  • Make a felted bag with beautiful yarn I got for Christmas - done
  • Design socks for Think Outside the Sox contest - still thinking
  • Make some korknisse for secret project - made some but not for the project
  • Make something from Viking Patterns for Knitting - not yet
  • Make a Bohus sweater - ordered and received kit
Finally, things I did that weren't on the list:
  • Knit handspun mittens - done
  • Knit handspun hat - done
  • Made a few handspun korknisser - done
  • Spun color sampler yarn - done
  • Knit pair of baby booties - done
  • Started spindling for a sweater - done (12 oz spun and sweater cast-on)
  • Process first fleece - started (I washed a batch but carding didn't go well)
  • Made"little sky" socks - done

All in all it was quite productive. The main thing I wanted to achieve, finishing the Fana sweater didn't happen. I ended up ripping the sleeves out twice, and still have cold feet about the finishing. I need someone to take the little one out for a few hours so I can have the iron and sewing machine out.

I am happy about how my spinning is progressing and the fact I improvised and made up some of my knitting. I want to continue learning how to do things the "right" way, while being more creative. I think they go hand in hand.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Full of F.O.'s

I've got a parade of F.O.'s today. First off, these mittens were made with my handspun. The white is Jacob, and I'm not sure what the pink is. I spun one batt and it was fluffy and beautiful, so I bought more. But the second one was kind of greasy, and the third was so greasy that the yarn was clumpy, not at all like the first skein. So I decided I would make something I could felt. Well, technically, full. Get it? "Full" of F.O.'s?

The pattern is Cinchy Chunky Mittens, which I found on Ravelry. I made them a couple stitches bigger and taller then called for. The color blocking is because I didn't have enough pink to make them match, I think, I don't exactly remember.

Pre-felting photo. Notice the one on the right is a little taller than the other. Well, after fulling it was way taller than the other. I guess the white yarn shrank more than the pink.

So I felted just that one again with my next felting project. They match a little better, but the one with the white cuff is a bit short in the thumb and cuff and the other is too long in the fingers. Not a masterpiece project, but they are warm, and I learned a few things.

Next we have a shoulder bag I am very happy with and really needed.

I made this specifically to use the Musique multicolored yarn. I had tried to make a hat, but didn’t like the way it worked up. Then I noticed a lot of projects used the yarn for felting. So I designed this bag around the yarn. I used techniques from a pattern I used previously from ”Two Old Bags”, and was inspired by one I saw in “Spin to Knit”. I also got a lot of input from fellow Purl Jam knitters on Tuesday nights.

I swatched first because I wanted to see how the yarns would interact. I was also concerned about getting the shoulder strap the right length. I even made I-cord swatches, though ended up using a different strap.

I started at the bottom, about 110 stitches in the round. I alternated the green and purple, ending with green. A couple rows before the top I kfb’d 6 times on each side for the handles, putting each 6 on a holder. I cast off a little less than half the stitches in I-cord for the front edge (leaving a few for room for the handles on the sides), then changed to Musique for the flap. It doesn’t felt as much as the Cascade 220 so I decreased about 12 stitches total during the first half. For interest I did part of the flap in garter stitch. I picked up the handle stitches, increasing by one. I ran out of green, so I cast on the other side in purple, and grafted in the middle. I sewed up the bottom and the handle, wove in ends, and fulled it in the washer with a pair of heavy pants.

I’m really happy with the way it turned out, just as I envisioned it. My only regret is that the flap is a couple inches too tall, and still flares out a bit. But when the bag has stuff in it a little more of the purple stripe shows.

Here are before and after fulling photos for scale. I've tried to size the photos so the rulers are the same size. As TeeKay told me, Cascade 220 loses a lot more in height than width. I experienced that with my previous bag, which is why I swatched so carefully.

Finally, here is a sweater four plus years in the making. It is from the first Stitch 'N Bitch book. I was still learning a lot about knitting back then and sweater was pretty ambitious. I did swatch, and yet the sweater is way bigger than I was in 2004. I probably didn't read the measurements, just decided I was a size large.

I actually knit all the parts back then, got stalled due to big life changes, and then got it out and blocked the pieces last year, I think. But it could have been as early as 2006. Then it sat in the the UFO pile. I pinned it together a couple months and ago and didn't like it at all for a lot of reasons. But I didn't want to frog it after all the dang knitting. It was almost like an instant project, if I could just finish it up. So I pulled out the book and learned how to assemble a sweater. It was kind of amazing watching the side seams go together so nicely. The sleeves were way to long so I cut a couple inches off the bottoms and re-cast off. I crocheted the edges and ran out of yarn, so the button plackets are not done quite to pattern.

Overall, I'm not thrilled. The fabric is too loose, I should have used smaller needles. It is too short in the back, which is weird. The finishing is a bit crappy, especially at the shoulder seams. The sleeves are still a bit too long and too wide. But it has grown on me in the past couple months. I really like the color, and it looks okay on. This picture is not the greatest, and the shirt underneath not the best. It will get worn, in large part because of the buttons. If it wasn't for these cuties, the sweater would still be a U.F.O.

Well, that and my summer knitting goals. I'm going to try to do my check-in on those tomorrow.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Deep Thoughts about the City

I have so many things swirling in my mind that I could post about on any given day, but I just don't get the quiet time to actually write a cohesive essay about a topic. Well, that's not true, I could type away during nap time, but that's for spinning and knitting. It's when thoughts fly around freely here and there, and I enjoy that.

Anyhow, first thing is I don't usually buy magazines at the market, but I did pick up Shambhala Sun this afternoon. It's a Buddhist magazine, and I'm far from being a Buddhist, not even a wannabe, but I like reading about it. When I start getting down about the world and wonder if humans are all just out for themselves at all costs, it's nice to know that there are people who are self-aware and want to practice compassion.

Part of the reason that I'm down on humanity is this city. If you read local blogs and the comments in articles in the paper you come to realize that a lot of San Franciscans hate kids and parents. I know that there are tons of transplants here, and they are young. I have almost given up making good friends because I have had so many move away. San Francisco was just a stop in their lives, not a real home.

What's really got me ticked off is people complaining about kids on the bus. They seem to think that MUNI is only for young hipsters and if you are a little slow or take up too much room you don't deserve to ride the bus. Why is it okay to complain about moms and kids? Why not complain about the times the bus has to stop and lower the front steps to let a wheelchair on? Or complain that the front seats are given to the elderly?

One blogger suggested that people bring extra pacifiers on the bus because she doesn't want to hear babies cry. What a clueless, and no doubt childless, person! Number one - I don't want to hear my kid cry anymore than you do. Number two - you are probably yakking away on your cell phone about what you are going to wear out partying tonight. I don't want to hear that crap, keep your voice down. Ditto your ipod that you have turned up too loud. Number three - pacifier, really? Do you think it is that easy? I wish I could be there to see you struggle with your first baby who just cries all the time, about who knows what, and you can't get him to stop. I wonder if you will feel bad about what I child-hater you were, and wish you could ask one of those moms you dissed for advice.

Actually I don't wish that on anyone. I just don't know how to explain to you people that the world doesn't revolve around you, and actually people aren't trying to inconvenience you on MUNI, they are just trying to live their lives.

And I'm not a goo-goo gaa-gaa person at all. When I'm out without my kid I avoid other kids. I understand that some people don't like kids. I'm not saying everything should be geared toward kids. I'm just sick of people who complain about moms going about their daily life. I don't like getting rammed in the back of the foot with a stroller. I don't like screaming babies in movie theaters. And I don't think ill-behaved kids belong in fancy restaurants late at night. But how are kids going to learn how to behave in public if they aren't exposed to diners or the bus or the museum?

I don't know, are there really places in the U.S. that are nicer to families? Or is that just a myth? I know that some malls have parking places for expectant mothers. And restaurants have kids menus and crayons.

I was born and grew up here, and I know a few other natives. Was the city always so anti-child, or has it gotten worse? I never noticed when I was a kid, I had fun and don't recall any bad experiences. I went to a high school that is consistently one of the best in they country, so there must be some level of understanding that children are part of life. I think part of it is that I grew up in the Sunset which is full of families. But their are families in other parts of town, and not all young single people are anti-child, I know. Maybe it is just that young single people have more time to be on the internet complaining, while people with families are busy.

I would love to hear from some other San Franciscans about this.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Today was a typical Thursday with a trip to the zoo.

I'm sure the toy hawk enjoyed his tour, especially of the prairie dog and meerkat enclosures.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Look what came in the mail yesterday: 101 Desingner One-skein Wonders.

I won it in a contest at Kathleen Taylor's Dakota Dreams blog. She is one of the book's designers. She's also an author, spinner, knitter, two name a few talents. I read her blog every day. Go check it out, there is something for everyone: yarn, paperdolls, recipes. This week she did major surgery on a stranded sweater, reducing it in size by about one-third.

The book has come at a perfect time since I'm doing a lot of spinning of different fibers, often yielding single skeins. All the photos are in the front, in sections determined by yarn weight. There are are scarves, baby sweaters, felted items, hats and much more. Now, if I could just get my summer knitting goals completed!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Back Home

We got back at 12:45 this afternoon and I had to clean up and run out for the Daughters of Norway meeting. It was great to resume after the summer and see people I haven't for quite a while. We learned about the Norse gods.


Well, the camping trip got worse yesterday afternoon. We went back to the fair and K. did have some fun checking out farm implements:

And on carnival rides (The safety belts were rope. Nice).

It took a lot of coxing to get his shoes and socks off, but once in the "corn box", he had fun.

I spent an hour back at the Wool Festival, talked to a couple people and bought a few things, but I didn't really see any demonstrations, and hadn't signed up for classes. It worked out well for my wallet, I guess, but wasn't the fun I had hoped for.

We left and K. turned into a total beast and had the worst meltdown ever when we were having an early dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Fortunately we were outside and by ourselves. He refused to eat and banged his head on the benches and the ground. I wanted to just get food and take it back to the campground but the beast's father insisted we sit at the restaurant, and then when things turned bad he just sat there eating slowly, instead of clearing out. I was so ticked. Beyond belief. You know the days when you just want some time to yourself and sit alone and think or enjoy nature or quiet? Well that was how I felt but I was forced instead to spend my time with these two alien creatures who just love making tons of noise.

We did have an okay evening and campfire, and this morning was okay. K. found a couple little girls to play with. We packed up slowly and cleared out by 10:00.

So the camping trip was pretty bad, but I think the next one will go better now that everyone knows what to expect. And that was the problem, expectations. I knew this trip wouldn't be like those in the past. No leisurely coffee, long hikes, or staying up talking around the fire. But I did hope that getting out of town for a couple days would break up the monotony of constantly monitoring another person. A person who doesn't listen to me half the time, is noisy, and complains a lot. But I ended up working just as hard as I do at home. This weekend was even less relaxing than ones spent at home.

And we did talk about going back to the fair next year. This trip was really just to see how K. would react to camping and to check out the Wool Festival for the future. I will definitely sign up for a class and send the guys off on their own next time. And do a double-check for K.'s sleeping bag which I got specifically for this trip to get him exited about sleeping alone. Three people was a bit tight in our two bags zipped together. Especially when one is fed up with the other two.

Saturday, September 13, 2008



And Otherwise:

Here's what I was thinking Saturday while we were riding around to give the kid a nap. I may have been crying. (posting on Monday per BLOG 365 rules):
This camping trip is the stupidest thing I have ever done. Why did I think bringing a two-year-old and a flakey husband camping would be a fun weekend? I haven't relaxed one bit since we got here yesterday. No gazing at the fire, no enjoying my coffee this morning. The minute we got here yesterday K. started rolling in the dirt. And when he wasn't doing that he was either throwing camping gear into the dirt or running away. I basically set camp up by myself while someone sat and drank beer. And the fair? The kid didn't care about the animals or anything. He's won't eat and is whining like crazy. I went to the California Wool Festival building right when it opened to check out the vendors. Even that didn't cheer me up, I don't feel like buying anything.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Caved

So I caved and started knitting my "spindle for a sweater" project. It started out as just swatching on Tuesday night, but it looked so yummy and soft and pink I couldn't resist and cast on the neckband Wednesday.

We're heading out in an hour to Mendocino for the county fair & wool festival. I don't really need to buy anything, but I'm sure there will be irresistible items and some of my favorite vendors will be there.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I will never forget September 11, 2001. The details are etched in my brain. I was working for the Veteran's Administration of all places, and my co-worker called me to turn on the t.v. She was afraid to drive in over the Golden Gate Bridge, so I told her of course, stay home, and I went in. I was the only one in the office who lived in town. My former mother-in-law was afraid for me, but I doubted that the V.A. hospital was a major target.

As I drove in someone in the parking lot complained that I didn't pull my car in far enough, going on and on. My car was still in motion, I was pulling in slowly. I was thinking "how can you be so rude and petty, after what has happened"? As she walked away I realized that she hadn't heard the news yet. I was working in the Media department and was able to watch all the major news stations at once. People drifted in and out all day in shock.

What is amazing now that it was seven years ago. Time has marched on. I don't know why it is so weird to me, but my father died earlier that year. It just seems to put another big distance between us to think that he didn't experience that major event.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


We've got two new words, "no" and "backhoe". I know most parents dread hearing "no", but it is nice to have communication in the form of speech instead of whines. And for now it isn't a loud "NO!!!", but a sweet little "noo". I'm sure I'll be sick of it soon, probably by tomorrow night. And backhoe? Well that just goes along with brick, glue, dowel, and other useful words in his arsenal.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Back With the Living

I'm finally out from under the crud, and the heat wave is over. Thanks for the comments, emails, and calls. I did some reading, but not much knitting, just hurt my head too much. I did some spinning today.

We went to a really neat art installation on the beach yesterday. There are photos on my other blog. If you're local, you might want to check it out it runs through next weekend.

K. was much more interested in the fire truck and engine that parked at the beach. He got to explore the ladder truck and engine extensively, as only a little boy can.

Did I mention our visit to the fire department museum Thursday? I was so groggy and it was so hot I couldn't bear to take the regular zoo trip so we looked at old fire engines including one of the originals in the City from 1849. There's a fire station next door and we got to watch the ladder truck back in, and then a fire fighter came in, talked to us and carried K. around a bit.

I'm getting us ready for a camping trip this weekend. We're going to the California Wool & Fiber Festival which is part of the Mendocino County Fair.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Bright Spot

I'm still fighting this bug which has moved to my lungs. The funny thing is I feel good when I go outside and get fresh air. Must be negative ions or something. I ran some errands this afternoon, met my hubby for a beer and did some spinning while he watched a ball game. No-one batted an eye.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I'm trying not to make "nothing" posts in an effort to BLOG365. But I've got a sinus infection and trying to take care of that and a kid was too much today.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Hot Town

We've been having some warm weather the past few days. I took the streetcar home from knitting and noticed the noises are different. Now I'm sitting here in the dark with some of the windows open. The neighborhood just sounds different. Part of is that everyone else has their windows open, too, so different sounds are wafting in than just the traffic. But people are up later, too, enjoying the cool and doing things when normally they would be settling down for bed. I think partly of it is natural acoustics, though. When it is foggy the sound gets absorbed, and muted, but it is clear tonight so the sounds just shoot through air.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day

I can't believe September is already here. I barely got my 4 oz. spun for the August sweater challenge, but here it is.