28 June 2008

Manicure mania

Today was the first day of the Twin Cities GLBT Pride Festival. My church has a booth on the festival grounds this year (yay!).To encourage people to stop and check us out, we offered free "Pride Manicures" - varying applications of rainbow-y colors. I sat in front of the tent painting nails from 10am to 6pm, with about 30 minutes total of no one in the chair.Kicking myself now for not keeping a running tally...

And, silly Meema that I am, I thought I'd have some down time to knit. HA! I had a festive square for The Promise Blanket in my bag, but it never saw the light of day. Maybe tomorrow.

Free your mind!

26 June 2008

Got milk?

I had opportunity to knit the shop swatch for one of The Yarnery's new yarns: Rowan Milk Cotton DK. Made of 70% cotton, 30% milk protein, it's dairy goodness you can knit. Yeah, I'm not sure how they do it, but there it is.

Here are shots of the swatch, pre- and post-blocking:

It responded well to getting wet; a little color in the sink, but rinse water ran clear. The stitches evened out nicely, and it shaped easily without pinning.

Like most cotton yarn, it splits (silent scream here - I likes me wools). But unlike most cotton, the milk protein keeps the fabric quite light and really soft.

In other news, Kidlet and I went to the MOA yesterday. I usually do a very strategic run-in-run-out surgical shopping attack, but we loitered and explored

Camp Snoopy
The Park at MOA
Nickelodeon Sugar Crazed Mania
"Camp Dora."

Oy. When did I get so centrifugally wimpy that a merry-go-round can make my head swim? Pathetique.

24 June 2008

Hit me with a cute gadget
(or Sanity on the Horizon)

You might recall last February when frustration with my wireless carrier grew to a shrieking climax (and not the good kind. Mmm, the good kind... sorry, I distracted myself). Well, T-Miserable no more: I have seen the Horizon, and it's been good to me for the last two weeks. Here's the new little chunk of technology living in my bag.

I know several people who may say, "But it's not an iPhone."

Nope, it's not.

He's cute, and he does what I need him to, and then some. Good qualities in a cell phone or a houseboy, for that matter. The best part? I've got bars (signal, not singles) all over the damned place! Something not experienced with They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

Ahh, sweet relief!

23 June 2008

Well, bust my stash

... and call me Meema.

Just look at all that yarn! It's probably a lot of acrylic, but very impressive. And what does one do with a flag that large when the festival goes away? I want to know all the crazy details (yardage used, who has to take it home, etc.), so if you read anything about it, let me know.

On a sadder note, George Carlin died yesterday. He's one of the comedians my dad really likes and draws from often; in a strange way George was my sense of humor's great-uncle-in-law, or something. I dunno. The followng is an excerpt from one of Carlin's "social commentary" monologues:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life, not life to years.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

21 June 2008

Knit with pride

Can you imagine knitting a flag 90 feet long? Certainly not by hand (insert carpal tunnel diagnosis here).

Read this article about a team of machine knitters embarking on this very project today in Providence, RI. Eight colors, ninety feet long - how many yards do you suppose they will use?Take pride in who you are, what you do, and how you live your life.


19 June 2008

Ascot 2008

Our friends the Brits are a never-ending source of entertainment... Click here to see a gallery of Ladies' Day at Ascot finery...

... and this is how my own mum showed off her refined taste in millinery a few years back.

The 'rents clean up rather nicely, don't they?

I [heart] Franklin

If you're like most knitters, there is someone you've met or someone you know or someone you're bonded to by blood [sigh] who doesn't understand The Knitting Thing. You can try to explain it 'til you're blue in the face, or gift them a work of beauty from your needles, but they still deem the enterprise "trivial" or "quaint" or "cute".

Franklin Habit has written a marvelous essay on knitting and its place in our society, so I'm going back to my knitting which has amazing integrity AND IS SO WORTH MY TIME, and you may read Franklin's prose.

Have a fiber-rich day!

painting: Girl from Dalecarlia Knitting. Cabbage Margit (1901) by Anders Zorn (1860-1920), Swedish painter and printmaker

18 June 2008

Daily dose of cute, Part II

The LYS is now carrying the Hiya Hiya needle line with DPNs in stainless steel, and circulars in stainless and bamboo. One of the features of this brand (hello, sock knitters!) is the 9" circulars. Yup, nine inches total length in US sizes 0, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, and 3. Even in bamboo.This pair came home with me, partly out of curiousity and partly freakish cuteness. And these aren't the small ones; these are 1.5's.
I haven't tried knitting on them yet, but I forsee some drastic technique changes. Report later.

Daily dose of cute

This little guy and four other siblings live next to the LYS. Scale reference: the pipe in the background is only 1.5" diameter. Teeny widdle bunny wabbit!

17 June 2008

What'd he say?

From the "Just Say No" department...


Spread the word.

16 June 2008

Think pink

Kidlet's go-to shoes for warmer months are her little pink Crocs. I picked these up last year, and we're miraculously getting one more season out of them. Since it was discovered that they were waterproof (in a big way), they have been known as the Puddle Shoes; another benefit is the easy-on and -off factor, which is a definite plus in an I-want-to-do-it-myself world.

This is one of my favorite photos from this spring, temporarily rechristening them Petal Shoes.(Whew - I have been trying to load this photo for at least a week now, and only just succeeded in getting it to upload horizontally.)

Celebrate the small victories!


15 June 2008

Start dialing

If you live in (or can get to) the Twin Cities, pick up your phone tomorrow morning and call The Guthrie Theater's box office to check ticket availability for their last seven performances of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Seriously. It was that good.All elements of the production were thoroughly integrated and masterfully delivered, from the singing and dancing to the flying and, yes, even the acting; performers portrayed serious confrontation and vaudevillian humor with ease and finesse. The performance of the play-within-a-play was absolutely hysterical - my face hurt, my eyes were tearing, and luckily I wasn't the only one shrieking and clapping with laughter for nearly the entire scene. I haven't laughed that intensely in a looong time.

An added thrill was watching a (graduated) voice student of mine portray one of the young Athenian lovers. Ah, yes, I knew her when...

Go. Call. Enjoy.

Dads of note

Jacob

Howard Cunningham

Charles Ingalls

Papa (with an ├╝ber-fresh Kidlet)

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there in Blog-landia.
I love you, Dad!

14 June 2008

Sol-sol-la-sol-do-ti

(... and it rhymes with Stephanie.)

Happy 40th to our favorite Harlot!

Calorie-free vegan cake - what's not to love?

World Wide Knit In Public Day is upon us, people - get thee out there and make knitters of nations! And when you do, come back and post a message to tell us where you were and with how many other knitters.

ADDENDUM: As I rule this roost, my WWKIPDay story goes on the front page:

Kidlet and I had a beautiful Saturday to do with as we wished, so it was off to the park with lunch (and plenty of sunscreen ‘cuz we needed it!). Much playing on the stuff.We then spied some uniformed men getting ready to start a baseball game in yon adjacent ballpark, so we sauntered over and found a seat to take in a few innings. Methinks this was Kidlet’s first real game as “part of the audience,” according to her. Love it.So this was the site of my personal WWKIPDay observance, with about twenty other “audience” members. And however many people were on each team. And the umps. Coolest moment? Noticing the dedication of the field as we were leaving. You go, girl.

13 June 2008

This election won't be the same

Tim Russert (1950-2008)
I will miss his whiteboard most of all in November.

Friday the 13th

It's been quiet on the Meema front, I know. I could blame the many details I needed to wrap up as students headed out for the summer, but I choose to blame my frustration with uploading photos on Blogger. But that's a gripe for another day. We need to have a chat about today...

Friday the 13th - how did that day and date combination become foreboding? Many historians connect it to the Last Supper (13 men, a betrayal and the Good Friday crucifixion - can't get much worse). Another theory rests on the downfall of the Knights Templar (hundreds of religious knights executed in France on Friday, Oct. 13, 1307).

Superstitions are defined as a set of irrational beliefs in the supernatural that are based in the fear of the unknown, born from ignorance or exist due to contrary proof (dictionaries don't mince words). While some are sourced in paganism and witchcraft, many superstitions are drawn from Christianity, folklore and mythology. Some believe "knock on wood" (yup, my own previous post) comes from knocking on a wooden cross.

The number 13 itself has its own particular "bad juju". It's not just those with triskaidekaphobia who accept the fact that it's best to be without a floor numbered 13. Global differences abound; some Asian cultures fear the number four, and Italians don't like 17.

Pet a black cat, fold up your ladders when you're done, and have a good day!

09 June 2008

[knock on wood]

Psssst. Over here.
Hello, reader, it's me. Sorry for the whispering, but I don't want to jinx things. Just lean in and listen read really, really close:

Daytime diapers are a thing of Kidlet's past.

For those of you without tots, you won't get the full impact of the statement, but this is the shit of which parents' dreams are made.

Woo-hoo!

Recycle me!

(click picture for more info)

08 June 2008

End Times, and other things

from the editor: I'm a bad LYS employee. I've really done scant knitting this week, and thusly another fiberless post. Le sigh.

This is the last week of school for my studio singers. I know, everyone else under the sun is done but us. Graduation is on Friday (the 13th - don't think the irony is lost on some of these "adults"). And although most teachers spend the next three months travelling on vacation improving themselves at workshops, I teach a summer studio. As an independent contractor, if I want to be paid, lessons are taught.

I've never really been a get-the-heck-outta-Dodge vacationer - nor have my people - but this summer is proving to be different. The third week of July will be a Genuine Road Trip Vacation, the likes of which haven't been experienced by my family for over 20 years (ahem).

Destination: The Big Apple :-D
Motivation: seeing the MN Twins play at Yankee Stadium before they tear it down
Participation: mom, dad, sis, and moi

Driving halfway across the country.
In July.
Watching outdoor baseball (here's the view from our slice of Yankee heaven):No me gusta the potential heat/sweat/humidity factor with this itinerary, but I will shut my yap and deal with it.

OK, one question: I am certainly not the most sportly-minded lesbian to walk the face of the earth (though I have been known to cheer on a championship whatever in a social context), but shouldn't it be illegal or unethical or something to tear down Yankee Freakin' Stadium? It's like the Mecca of baseball, isn't it? Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and all? (Heh, I didn't even google those names. Pretty impressed right about now, aren't you?)

side note: On this day in 1969 the Yankees retired Mickey Mantle's number, 7. Ironical. (This factoid was looked up after I wrote his name above, thus the ironicalness. And yes, I know it's not a real word.)

Lay it on me, readers. What should I petition the fam to see whilst in Nueva York? Leave me a comment with your favorite tourist-y spot, off-the-beaten-path eatery, or whatever. You're going to be listening to me blog about it, so the sights might as well be something we'll all enjoy.

06 June 2008

D-Day

On 6 June 1944 the Allied invasion of Europe took place on the beaches of Normandy, France; 400,000 American, British and Canadian troops were involved.

Ironically enough, on the same day 'way back in 1813, the US invasion (?!?) of Canada was halted at Stoney Creek, Ontario.

Props to the Canadians for not holding a grudge.

05 June 2008

It starts with an O

If you weren't in a cave, on a submarine, or orbiting in a space station, you probably saw and/or heard the events of Tuesday evening in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Mary Lou (of Yarnery fame) has blogged her account of the scene downtown that historic night. Click and read.

Hope.
Unity.
Change.

We can do it.

You've got to give a little...

As summer rears its sweltery head, knitting often goes by the wayside. True, who wants a 6-skein pile of wool-afghan-in-progress on their lap when the mercury is rising? There are little things one can work on, however - hats, mittens, gloves, and socks are time-tested small projects that are compact, portable, and aid in avoiding the aforementioned heat rash on your lap (not to mention getting a jump on the holiday knitting).

Not sure where to start? Go check out The Yarnery Blog for a great charity knitting opportunity using superwash fingering/sock yarn. Knit up a square (or two or three) for The Promise Blanket and drop off or mail by July 15th. Full details can be found here. Get your generous on!

(photo by Sheep In the City)

03 June 2008

***Blog Alert***

*This is a Blog Alert Early Warning Announcement:

I made mention in February that audition songs in my voice studio have the ability to affect my mental state in a lasting and not-so-good way.

Please take all blogging by Meema in September 2008 with large grains of salt; the Other School will be casting their own production of Disney's High School Musical with
three.
weekends.
of.
performances.

Oh, the humanity.

(And the unfortunate side effect of programming lucrative pop schlock versus music with substance? Talented students, especially seniors, will be choosing not to audition for their yearly musical solely because it's HSM.)

*This now concludes the Blog Alert Early Warning Announcement.

02 June 2008

The road to Hell

... was paved by these three gentlemen:The world is a funny place if you squint just right.

Happy Monday!

Clean sweep

New growth on Bonsai Tree was forcing last year's fruits from their branches last week. When I arrived at school on Wednesday, a flock of cedar waxwings crowded the sidewalk, ground and tree, picking up and pulling off the old crabapples. I hadn't yet seen any of these this year, and was able to observe them at quite close range; they really are lovely birds.

Four hours later I left the building, and every crabapple - and waxwing - was gone.

photo by Eric D Carr

01 June 2008

Maternally motivated

Another set of stitch markers gifted today (so I can finally blog them), this time for my mom: Pearls and silver from Bobby Bead in Minneapolis.

Butchly beaded

Before you ask, it's not the OOTM (Oxymoron of the Month); the above description befits Going40's contest prize. He asked for something different for his stitch markers (help me with how exactly you phrased it, Scott), but I think these fit the bill. Supplies were garnered from The Bead Monkey (there needed to be orange in them thar markers) and Frattalone's Ace Hardware (love the lamp parts), both located on St. Paul's Grand Avenue shopping district. I need to do more thinking creating outside of the box.

Enjoy a lovely Sunday, all!