Auntie Ann Knits

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Dark Little Secret

I am going to let you all in on a dark little secret. That i-cord machine? It's a terrible yarn snob! It does not like dishcloth cotton at all.

However, as you can see from this:
icord blue
the machine has seen the light. Sort of.

My eye pillow that I made looks as though it is in bondage, no? It is doing duty as a sandbag of sorts. The weighted clip that comes with the i-cord machine isn't hefty enough to make the machine behave nicely with the dishcloth cotton. Hence, the additional weight. It wasn't quite enough, and each stitch required a firm tug yank on the cord coming out from the bottom. That would make the loop on the right pop over the top of the hook when it should, and the loop on the left pop down below the latch when it should. Trust me, I have spent a lot of time watching this happen.

Was this worth it? It was nearly as much trouble as knitting it with DPN's, but still faster. And the result is much smoother and more even than I could ever create, especially with this twine yarn. See?
icord closeup

So instead of the traditional Mason-Dixon bib straps that button, I decided to make i-cord ties for this:
heart bib

Isn't this pattern cute? Thanks, Nicole, for the cute pattern! Hmm, Nicole must have steamed hers or something before her photo shoot. Must try that after the ties are sewn on. I'm kind of allergic to irons, but maybe I can make an exception in this case.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

It's a Mashup!

I am knitting a mashup combining this:
(pattern found here)

and the famous "baby bib o' love" from masondixonthis book by the Mason-Dixon ladies.

It's for my internist, who is becoming a grandmother for the first time this summer. I was going to knit booties, but I thought a bib might have more lasting usefulness. One size fits all, and all that. I still haven't decided if I will do the traditional "Mason-Dixon" style button closure or crank out some i-cord ties (if I can force that dishcloth cotton through the machine). I sense another living-on-the-edge experiment coming on.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Free tips on being a juror

1. Before you go, search your bags for those things you can't take on an airplane (although you don't have to worry about gels and such). I remembered not to bring scissors, but imagine how silly I felt having to check my knife (which is all of about 1-1/2" long) and return a couple of days later to retrieve it. Yes, I'm so-o dangerous and bad, I carry a knife.

2. Sad to say, after my experience I have to recommend that you leave your knitting at home. Bring books, magazines, iPod, snacks and water, but not your knitting. Say, maybe you can crochet in the jury assembly room! But do not read, crochet or listen to your iPod during court. It makes the judge cranky.

3. Do not bang your head on the desk, no matter how boring the proceedings become. Nor should you offer advice to the judge, counsel or witnesses on when they should just shut up. Perfect example of when to just shut up helpfully provided by defense counsel: "There is no evidence that my client did not pay his taxes." Why on earth did he want to get us thinking about the odds (slim to none, in my view) that his client did in fact pay his taxes?

4. You might as well go ahead and volunteer to be the foreperson if no one else does. The sooner you select someone and get on with deliberating, the sooner you will be done. And you get to get up and say, "Yes, Your Honor, we have reached a verdict." Eventually.

5. When you realize you are down to one holdout juror, do not say, "What in the world are you thinking?". Try, "Perhaps you'd like to share your thoughts on that with us."

6. When you are done, go home and celebrate the fact that you don't have to do this again for 12 whole months!!! I recommend red wine. But then, I always recommend red wine.

These tips have been provided to you free of charge as a public service announcement. You can thank me later.

Friday, March 16, 2007

New Toy!

I still am not knitting more than about an hour a week (and how pathetic is that?), but boy can I crank out icord.

However, apparently I cannot take a proper photograph.
icord maker
(Arty appearance actually due to original photo being about 8 degrees off vertical. I have no clue how I managed that one.)

I saw one of these on someone's website (sorry, I have forgotten whose), and I went here immediately and bought one. It is called an "Embellish Knit!" (yes, the exclamation point is apparently part of the trademark), and when it arrived I immediately turned the sample yarn that came with it into that pink icord you see in the first photo. I think it took 5 minutes, max, maybe 10 because I had to figure it out for the first time. And promptly had to do it all over again, just because apparently I'm very easily amused.

And the red yarn in the second photo? I am living dangerously, living on the edge, really out there, baby. I am using worsted weight yarn in the machine, when it clearly says not to. It is meant for lighter weight yarn (supposedly sport weight, max), and I have to say that with the worsted more care is definitely required to make sure the set-up round begins properly and that the stitches keep forming properly (but it's kind of hypnotic to watch, anyway).

This is made by a company called "Bond" and retails for about $15. I have plans to make a felted tote (using traditional quilt motifs) that calls for miles and miles of icord to make two braided handles (which I would want even longer than they say, so that it could be a shoulder tote) and I had already copped out and bought suede handles at a yarn store my SnB met at in January, but now I may go back to the braid icord handles. In worsted weight yarn, because I am, you know, living on the edge.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Movie Meme

I saw this on Liz's blog and figured this would beat working. But do go see Liz's beautiful Venezia.

"It’s been alleged that if you’ve seen over 85 movies you have no life. Mark the ones you’ve seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list, go to your own blog, paste it in and put x’s by the ones that you have seen. Add them up, figure out whether you’ve got a life or not, and post it."

(X) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(X) Grease
(X) Pirates of the Caribbean
( ) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
( ) Fight Club (turned it off in the middle -- zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)
( ) Starsky and Hutch
(X) Neverending Story
(X) Blazing Saddles
(X) Airplane
(X) The Princess Bride
( ) AnchorMan
( ) Napoleon Dynamite
( ) Labyrinth
( ) Saw
( ) Saw II
( ) White Noise
( ) White Oleander
(X) Anger Management
( ) 50 First Dates
(X) The Princess Diaries
(X) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
( ) Scream
( ) Scream 2
( ) Scream 3
( ) Scary Movie
( ) Scary Movie 2
( ) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
(X) American Pie
( ) American Pie 2
( ) American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp
(X) Harry Potter 1
(X) Harry Potter 2
(X) Harry Potter 3
(X) Harry Potter 4
( ) Resident Evil 1
( ) Resident Evil 2
(X) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
( ) The Village
(X) Lilo & Stitch
( ) Finding Nemo
( ) Finding Neverland
( ) Signs
(X) The Grinch
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
( ) White Chicks
( ) Butterfly Effect
( )13 Going on 30
( ) I, Robot
(X) Robots
( ) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
( ) Universal Soldier
(X) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
( ) Along Came Polly
(X) Deep Impact
( ) KingPin
( ) Never Been Kissed
(X) Meet The Parents
(X) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
( ) Joe Dirt
(X) King Kong (probably not the one you saw, Liz)
(X) A Cinderella Story
(X) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
( ) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
( ) Halloween
( ) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving Christmas
(X) Flubber
( ) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
( ) Practical Magic
(X) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
( ) From Hell
( ) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
( ) I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards
(X) The Day After Tomorrow
( ) Child’s Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
( ) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
( ) Gothika
( ) Nightmare on Elm Street
(X) Sixteen Candles
(X) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
( ) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
( ) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number SlevIn
(X) Ocean’s Eleven
(X) Ocean’s Twelve
(X) Bourne Identity
( ) Bourne Supremecy
(X) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled
( ) Predator I
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog
( ) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
(X) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
( ) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
(X) E.T.
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
( ) Maid in Manhattan
(X) War of the Worlds
(X) Rush Hour
( ) Rush Hour 2
( ) Best Bet
( ) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
( ) She’s All That
(X) Calendar Girls
(X) Sideways
( ) Mars Attacks
( ) Event Horizon
(X) Ever After
(X) Wizard of Oz
(X) Forrest Gump
( ) Big Trouble in Little China
(X)The Terminator
(X) The Terminator 2
(X) The Terminator 3
( ) X-Men
( ) X-2
( ) X3
( ) Spider-Man
( ) Spider-Man 2
(X) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
(X) Catch Me If You Can
(X) The Little Mermaid
(X) Freaky Friday
( ) Reign of Fire
( ) The Skulls
(X) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(X) Shrek
(X) Shrek 2
( ) Swimfan
(X) Miracle on 34th street
( ) Old School
( ) The Notebook
(X) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf’s Tribe
( ) A Walk to Remember
(X) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
(X) The 40-year-old Virgin
(X) Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
( ) Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
( ) Lord of the Rings: Return Of the King
(X) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(X) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(X) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
( ) Base-ketball
( ) Hostel
( ) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
(X) Elf
( ) Highlander
( ) Mothman Prophecies
( ) American History X
( ) Three
( ) The Jacket
( ) Kung Fu Hustle
( ) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
(X) Monsters Inc.
(X) Titanic
( ) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
( ) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
( ) Hulk
( ) Dawn Of the Dead
(X) Hook
( ) Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
( ) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
( ) Waterworld
( ) Kill Bill Vol. 1
( ) Kill Bill Vol. 2
( ) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
( ) Army of Darkness
(X) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(X) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(X) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(X) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(X) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(X) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks: Caravan Of Courage
( ) Ewoks: The Battle For Endor
(X) The Matrix
( ) The Matrix: Reloaded
( ) The Matrix: Revolutions
( ) Animatrix
( ) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
( ) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
(X) Silence of the Lambs
( ) Hannibal

I make it to be 74. In theory, this means I have a life. However, I can assure you that I have seen many, many more movies than are on this list. If I had seen just two movies a year, every year -- that alone would be more than 85.

Coming soon -- new knitting toys!

Monday, March 05, 2007

What Weekend?! Now with picture

ETA: My brother sent me this photo of the float. That's him, second from the left, with his DH on the far left.

Alas, the photo doesn't really convey how beautiful the float was -- the globe was lit from within and showed beautifully against the night, even with all of the lights trained on the parade. On the back it said, "Love without Boundaries". The two of them are wearing traditional Chinese groom's outfits. It was their third wedding anniversary last month (yes, I am choosing to ignore the decision of the California Supreme Court voiding their marriage -- your point is?). Happy Anniversary!! Happy New Year!!

Original post:
It was the kind of weekend I need to go back to work to recover from. No, I didn't party all weekend. Not that kind of lost weekend.

Friday night -- knit night. This month was pattern, magazine and book swap (last month was yarn swap). We seem to have limitless yarn we're willing to swap, a bit less so with the patterns, etc. We did swap a bit more yarn for those who missed the last one. I destashed a pair of socks' worth of self-striping, self-patterning sock yarn, which I've gotten a little tired of. And yet, I only parted with one pair of socks' worth. But it was enthusiastically received by someone in our group who knows how to turn it into a pair of socks.

Saturday afternoon -- took the GS troop to First Aid training. Now they are all supposed to be able to Heimlich me if I choke. Lucky me.

Saturday night -- Chinese New Year parade in SF. No pix -- I was so busy screaming and trying to get my brother's attention when his float went by that I failed to get any pix of the float. It was the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance float, and this year was themed, "Love Around the World", with a big illuminated globe with a string of hearts around the equator. He and his husband, along with a number of other couples, were on the float smiling and waving.

Sunday -- up early to pick up a van's worth of GS cookies. Then the sorting and packing off for each girl to deliver. Then sorting and packing DD's cookies, and delivering to some of the neighbors. The bending and lifting -- I am rather sore today. Too much desk work and not enough exercise in my life.

A radio story this morning about GS cookies annoyed me. GS cookies have reduced trans-fat this year. Less than 1/2 gram per serving, like so many grocery store foods, and accordingly they are allowed to be labeled "0g Transfats". Now, a food purist like myself knows darn well that this is different from "Transfat-free". Normally I avoid foods labeled "0g Transfats", because I know that they still have transfats. I make an exception in my life for GS cookies. In my (admittedly biased) opinion, there is nothing misleading about the labeling or the publicity, at least no more so than so many other food products. And did this story applaud GS for reducing the transfats? Oh, no.

Oh, well.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

It's a Dog's Life

ETA -- Great news! Ginger's lump was deemed a "1", the lowest in terms of aggressiveness. No further treatments needed!

Early on, when she began to feel well enough to go up the slope in our yard, it still hurt her to come down. She would run down, whimpering as she ran, as if to say, "ow! ow! ow!" But would she give up going up the hill? Of course not.

Original post:
Let sleeping dogs lie, they say.

Normally I can't get pix of Ginger sleeping. The sounds of the camera whirring to life wake her up and make her just nervous enough that she usually leaves the room.

So how come I can take pix of her sleeping this time? And why is she wearing a t-shirt?

Poor thing, we had this done to her:

She had a couple of lumps that they took off because one was, as they delicately put it, "not benign". As in, "cancerous". Fortunately, they think they got it all. Now we are waiting for the test results to see if it was the fast-spreading kind or the slow-spreading kind. If fast, more tests may be needed to see if it did spread.

The good news is that since Monday, when I took those pix, she has gotten over a lot of the initial discomfort and is mostly back to her old activity level. As for the other news, we're still waiting.