Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Going Mad

School has started and I feel like I'll never be able to knit again. Haven't written since the weekend of the BBB. It was time to get a little party in before the grind of school started. What did I do? Hmm, went to Sacramento on Thursday, caught the Flying Owls at the last downtown Friday Night Concert in the Park (I'm actually surprised I even know who was playing. Usually when that question comes up about who is playing me and everyone I know responds,"I don't know, it's all about the beer, not the band.), and started knitting a scarf for my Dad's birthday which was the 21st.

Um, I showed him the scarf and didn't actually give it to him because I started it on Friday and didn't get it finished by Sunday. Why wasn't I more diligent in completing a gift for a very important dude in my life you might find yourself asking. Well, I'm queen procrastinator. Now, now...I know you probably think, "No WAY is she the queen of procrastination! I am the queen." Well whatever! As Frank Sinatra once said, "If drinking (procrastination) were an Olympic sport, Dean Martin ( I ) would be the coach." I would also like to add that I'd give Dean a run for his money on the drinking too!

Anyways, no pictures as of yet. Sacramento was too fun and I was too drunk to be trusted with responsibility of an expensive digital camera that weekend.

Pics of scarf and the now finished scallop/lace scarf/hat combo that I gifted to my mother are coming soon.

And now... homework, homework, homework.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Buddy Brown Blues Festival 2005

Yesterday was great fun! I packed my backpack with all the day-long-festival necessities: Blanket, water, smokes, phone, lip gloss, camera, and of course, a couple of in-the-works knitting projects!

The Buddy Brown Blues (BBB) Festival, put on by the Humboldt Folklife Society, honors a local Humboldt bluesman who died shortly after headlining the first blues festival at Blue Lake. They memorialized him by changing the name to the BBB. Wish I could have heard him play; must have played some pretty mean blues to have a whole festival named after him. So I got to the festival around 12:05 this unfortunately means I arrived a little late and missed the first act (Eric Park) but you can read about him here. I'm certain he was great!

Second in the line-up was Earl Thomas. Definitely check out the link to his website, you can hear him singing! After all was said and done, Earl was definitely my favorite act of the day. He's performed with people like Etta James, Ike Turner (wife beater), BB King, and Dr. John. It was just him in a chair and a guitarist up on stage. I could hear them as I was walking from my car to the park. The sound those two made almost made me feel like I was going to church. It was stirring. Earl said, "This is great. It feels like I'm in the backyard at a friend's house."

At 1pm was a band by the name of Shinbone. They were a fun, upbeat type of group. I'm trying to think back to how they sounded. If I had to put an era on their sound I might say 50's. They had alot of energy and helped wake me up.

Next up was the Clint Warner Band. These guys sounded polished and I really liked how they coordinated their outfits. It was a very warm day at Perigot Park, they must have been sweating up there in all black. Musically, they were pretty tight. Clint went slightly astray on one song most of us recognize when we hear Stevie Ray Vaughn sing it. Perhaps it was the wind blowing the sound of the band away from the monitor and he just couldn't hear the chord. Yeah, that must have been it. Anyways, this group was enjoyable and you can here clips of their music at their website.

Then came Dr. Squid. Not sure where they got their name but they sounded pretty darn good. The only issue I had with this group is: 1. Their singer. and 2. They didn't play but two blues tunes. What's up with that? I mean, the BBB is a blues festival. Hello. They call it a blues festival, it's named after a bluesman. Whatever. They did play one song that made me very happy, it's that one Doobie Brothers song that I can't remember the name of. Could be Michael McDonald, but I'm pretty sure I remember it from the Doobie Brothers 8-track.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important thing. And, the second most important thing. In between the Clint Warner Band and Dr. Squid I went and got a beer. It was from the Steelhead Brewery (I think it is in Blue Lake Casino. But who knows if they really brew the stuff there or not. I went for the Pale Ale. Pretty good as microbrews go. Of course, it might have just tasted that way because I was in such a good mood. How often does that happen? Don't answer that. And, secondly, I got the scalloped hat done but not finished. I have to stitch it up and sew in the ends. Look at me, listening to the blues, drinking beer, and knitting. Who the hell was that jerko who said I couldn't multi-task.

Just as a tangent, I am currently up at 4am writing in my blog. I keep getting woken up by the damn animals. I could just kill them, except I can't because that is why I got them from the shelter in the first place, was so that they wouldn't be killed. Grrrr. My mother is also up at this hour regularly. Another sick example that I'm turning into my mother. Not that that is a bad thing. She is a peach and I love her.

Okay, so back on track.

Mojo Daddy plays west coast blues. A style I happen to like quite alot. It's right up there with swamp/river blues. This was my second favorite performance of the day. I wish there was more to say about this group but by the time they were up I'd had about 4 beers and had stopped taking notes (I'd also pretty much stopped knitting by now too). Sadly, Mojo Daddy didn't have a website. I will definitely be on the lookout to see where they are playing next! Wait a minute, now I remember. Mojo Daddy had the dude playing the harp, and the young guitarist. The guitarist was decent and may want to consider using less notes. As my former band director Ike Pagett used to say, "Don't dazzle me son. Just play the song." This was definitely a case of less would have been more. But like I said, overall, great group.

While at the BBB, I found another knitter! Who knew. Geraldine was working a "top down" sweater. I was impressed. She's been knitting and sewing for years. Her husband told me she's a great talent and should put that to good economic use. Geraldine says she prefers gifting her work to family and friends. She said she'd kill me for posting this picture of her when her hair wasn't "just so" but I will post it anyways because I hope when I'm her age I will look as graceful. OOO, I almost forgot. Geraldine mentioned this cool computer program for knitting call the Knitting Wizard. She wanted to talk with someone else who uses the program. I have her email so if you'd like to get in contact with her about this send me a comment and I'll give her your email.

Lastly was Buddy Reed. He wasn't bad. He's played with some folks we've all heard of but, I guess I was ready to leave the BBB at this point because I didn't feel very impressed. Maybe he was headlining because the festival is a namesake. Whatever.

The festival was over at 6pm. I was starved because I didn't eat any of the Blackberry BBQ they had there (and it smelled sooooooo good). So I made my first batch ever of shrimp cocktail. Not bad for a rookie.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Avenue Of The Giants, Shish Kebobs, and Lazy Cat

Yesterday morning after dropping of my boyfriend at work, I took Lupine to Muddy Paws. It is one of those do-it-yourself sort of dog wash places. Needless to say, Lupine's day was not off to a good start. No pictures of the dog bath due to unfriendly picture taking conditons (very wet dog and only slightly less wet me).

To make it up to her we went on a drive down south a little ways and checked out the Avenue Of The Giants. This is where some of the biggest trees in the world are. The redwoods are truly a magnificent spectacle. The only problem I have with the Avenue is that it runs parallel to Highway 101 and so you can hear big truck noise and all that other crap.

After the redwoods we came home to find Lily cat doing the only trick she knows. I call this trick "lazy cat".

Left Lupine at the house with Lily and went out for groceries. But before I stopped at the grocery store I went to this hobby/craft shop I saw when I was driving down Central Ave. I couldn't believe what I had found. The ugly yarn for the cable scarf and hat combo that I had been having trouble finding. Whee! Now I can move on to other more important worries.

I came home and made mad shish kebobs and when Quentin came home he bbq'ed the bobs and we feasted. They were damn good.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Would You Walk A Mile For A Camel?

It is really quite amazing to me that since December, I have become a knitting nut. I might go as far as to say fiend (well, maybe).

It all started when my cousin Bekka said she had to do a senior project. She decided on crochet since her Aunt Carla (my mother) could teach her how. Once I saw her doing it I got all jazzed about making a scarf because most of the scarves in stores are too expensive, not long enough (I like to wear my scarves in the "loop" fashion), not cute. So I bought some yarn and a hook and started crocheting.

After all was said and done I finished the scarf and gave it away. It was pretty, but I guess it wasn't exactly what I wanted. I made a couple of other scarves and tried hats but they just seemed too hard in crochet. And, due to tendinitis or carpal tunnel or whatever the heck is wrong with my stupid wrist, I decided maybe it was time to learn to knit. Now that I've been knitting, I can't stop.

I am was working on this scarf using Jo-Ann's Angel Hair yarn. I thought one skein would do it and then I'd have one left over for a hat. No such luck. So yesterday, I drive 14 miles from where I live to Eureka Just to get a skein of yarn. I walk into the store and make a b-line for the yarn. I see the Angel Hair display but no fuscia. Crap. They have the yarn in these decorative "harvest" buckets, whatever! It just makes it hard to find what you want. Finally after looking through every single stinking bucket, I find the last fuscia. Man, I was really frantic for a minute there.

Back to the how far I went for yarn. 14 miles, one way. That means 28 miles round trip which is about the mileage on my car. Gas is pretty friggin expensive here on the North Coast, $2.81/gallon as of yesterday. So, the one skein of yarn cost me $5.99 plus tax plus $2.81 for gas. That to me, is dedication.

Anyways, when I finish the hat I'll post a pic of the hat and scarf set. It's sort of a scallop pattern (click on the link in the word "scarf" above). And, if you haven't read my previous post, I cannot deal with having to buy a gazillion needles in every single size(ie. double pointed, circular, straight) so, I'll be working out another straight needle hat pattern.

Stay tuned!

And just in case my post today was boring for you here is a picture of my doggie Lupine and kitty cat Lily....

Friday, August 05, 2005

Where Are The Fashion Police When You Need Them?

Ugh! A month ago, I found this hat pattern by Jessica Minier Mabe that I was pretty excited about. It was my second knitting project. The first was Martha's "Coming Home" poncho (picture to come later, like after I wash the damn thing and try to shrink it since I thought it would be okay to make it with needles the next size up. I mean really, how much of a difference could 1mm in diameter make? HA!). Anyways, I was so excited about this hat that when I went to get yarn for the Hippest Beenie Ever I just grabbed the first skein of Lion Brand Homespun yarn that I could get my hands on.

That being said, by the time I realized I hated the color, I had already invested about 4 hours of time into this hat (remember, it was only my second project). I wasn't about to tear it out. So, I finished the hat, and started a scarf with the left over yarn. Now, the new problem is, I don't have enough yarn with which to finish the scarf. Woe is me, ugly yarn....

Reach Out And Touch Karl Rove

According to Yahoo!, Karl Rove can be reached at his Texas home. If you would like to let him know how you feel about his actions with regard to the Valerie Plame scandal click here.

Republicans are such whiners. Always complaining about how maligned they are. PLEASE. Either they are in fact dirty scoundrels or they are simply not as good at hiding it as the Democrats.

You can check out a funny comic by Gregorius Alexandrensis at his site Hail Dubyus!

Newest Hat Project

The new hat I just completed is called the Amelia Earhart Aviator Cap. The designer is Flor and I found it at the Head Huggers website. The hat looked cute in the website pictures. I actually checked my gauge before I started this one and it seemed to match. Though, if it isn't apparent by the pics, I'm here to tell you it is a little big. I don't think it is too much of a worry though since I used cotton worsted weight yarn(ie. It'll shrink in the washer).

After finishing two hats that ended up slightly larger than expected, I think it is safe to say I need to use smaller needles or something. I used Boyle aluminum needles. They were fast but too slick with the lightweight cotton. My stitches kept slipping off and it was REALLY hard to bindoff.
Overall, the hat is pretty and was easy to knit. Like the author of the pattern says, it looks complicated, but it isn't so. It took me yesterday and part of today to complete it.

I'm not sure if I feel like flying around the world in this hat. It actually makes me feel Amish.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Hippest Beenie is BORN!

My boyfriend Quentin was saying he wanted a beenie. So, me, being the new knitter that I am, I decided to check for patterns online. I looked and looked for a mans beenie. Finally I settled on one that had a folded brim by Terri Lee Royea. Only problem was that Quentin didn't want a brim. So, I figured I'd make the pattern shorter. After completing the beenie, I tried it on and the bottom didn't reach my ears (my fault, I got lazy and didn't want to keep knitting with those tiny, eensy, weensy, needles) and, it was too wide around the bottom. It fit like a huge yamukah. Oh, and the top had 15 stitches at the end and when I cinched it tight like the pattern said to, it was all gathered at the top and looked pretty lame.

After coming to the realization that the beenie I had just spent hours working on was a complete wash, I thought about trying out the same pattern again. But as I went along I got braver and braver and decided to go out on a limb and make my own pattern. So I did.
Oh, the other thing that drives me nuts about all the patterns I found online is that they require circular needles and you knit on the round. However, doing this requires purchasing double pointed needles. Now, I have made two hats and buying needles, especially when you don't use that size very often, is irritating to say the least. That in mind, this pattern only requires one set of straight needles and a darning needle (hurray!)

US Size 6 (4.00mm) straight needles
1 darning needle
Lion Suede 1 skein

Yeah, whatever, I just barely got started counting, do you really think I know guages? This beenie fits but could probably go down a few stitches. I casted 100 but if I make it again will probably cut off 8-12 stitches. Use some number of stitches that is divisible by 4.

After you cast on your preferred number of stitches,
start doing a twisted rib stitch (this is just knit 1 purl 1 but instead of knitting through the front of the loop
you go into the back of the loop to knit like the picture) for about 6 to 6 1/2 inches.

Once you have the main body of the hat completed, it's time for decreases.

  • Bind Off (BO) one every 25 stitches starting with the first stitch. (96 st remain)

Remainder of the hat will be worked in 4 separate sections (I left all the stitches on the straight needle but considered movin the 72 I wouldn't be using to start out with onto stitch holders).

  • BO 1. Twisted Rib (TR) across. (23 st remain)
  • Repeat previous until 20 stitches remain.
  • BO 1. P2 tog (perl 2 together), K2 tog (knit 2 together in back of loop dont forget the twist), repeat to end of row.
  • TR across remaining 10 stitches for 3 rows.
  • SSK (slip, slip, knit) (5 st remain)
  • SSK next 4 st, knit last st (3 st remain)
  • SSK, P (2 st remain)
  • SSK, Pull yarn all the way through st and cinch. Leave strin long for sewing up beenie.

Repeat this on each subsequent set of 24 stitches. When you finish it will look like this:

Sew up seams such that all the points are in the middle. Weave in ends and voila! The Hippest Beenie is born.

Quentin was really excited about his. See him at the top of this blog doing the cheese grin in the mirror.

Copyright © 2005 by Anastacia Ciau. All Rights Reserved. Images and text belong to the author. This pattern is intended for your own personal use and may be distributed FREELY as long as proper attribution is made.