New post, new blog Friday, Jul 24 2009 

New post up over on the brand new blog:

Check it out and update your bookmarks!

Thankful Thursday 7/9/09 Thursday, Jul 9 2009 

I really needed to sit down and think about this today, and I’m glad that  I have!

I am thankful for:

* Amazing friends, and so many of them that there is almost always someone to email or hang out with.

* Books! Wonderful books borrowed from a friend to indulge my passion for information.

* The fact that even if I don’t know quite what to do with my life, it is because I am blessed to have so many paths open to me.

* That summer is winding down and heading towards fall; between Midsummer and Samhain is my  favorite time of year and I revel in it.’

* That it’s almost Friday, and soon I will finally get a quiet weekend.

FO: Bulky Calbed Cardigan Monday, Jul 6 2009 

Another finished object! Actually, this one was mostly finished a few weeks ago, but I still needed to find buttons. I finally managed to find some buttons–they look like bunches of grapes!–just in time to add buttons before heading to the 4th of July.

FO: Bulky Cable Cardigan

(Those of you in warm climates are probably wondering what on earth I needed with a warm sweater in July. We watched fireworks at the Berkeley Marina, and I had the sweater on, plus a leather jacket, plus a borrowed scarf and I was still freezing. Next year, blankets and gloves for me!)

The pattern is Glampyre’s Bulky Green Cables, and the yarn is Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Emerald. Overall, I really like how it turned out. I didn’t get gauge, so I faked it by knitting a larger size and it worked out fairly well. It seems a little snug, but that is likely more to do with me thinking I’m smaller than I am.

I also noticed that the bulky Wool of the Andes seems softer than the worsted. I would never be able to wear the worsted next to my skin, but the bulky isn’t too bad. It’s a little itchy, but I find that to be true of pretty much any wool outside of pure cashemere, so I wouldn’t use me as a reliable source on itchiness.  As for the pattern, it manages to be cute and fitted and not add too much weight, even though it’s knit from such bulky yarn. I can definitely see this one becoming a staple.

Not much knitting Thursday, Jul 2 2009 

I feel like I should have some great progress to update, but really, I haven’t got much of anything done.

Lately, my evenings go like this. Come home. Put in DVD/turn on any halfway decent summer TV. Pick up Princess Buttercup and knit a row, quickly. Knit a second row, somewhat more slowly. Knit a third row, barely finishing. Put down kniting. Turn down volume on TV. Lie down, just for a minute…Wake up at 11, drag myself off to bed for actual sleep.

I have no idea why I’m so tired.

Plus, I’m still kind of in a haze. I worked all of last week, got up early to get on a plane, crammed a bunch of site-seeing into two hours that night and two hours the next morning, went to the Current NYC meetup which was fun, but also work, then got on a plane the next day and flew back, getting home just in time to try to apologize profusely to the kittens, crash, and then get up and go to work. Which has been crazy.

Twitch. Twitch, twitch. I’d be looking forward to a relaxing three day weekend, but I have ritual Friday night, a party (fun! but not hibernating!) on Saturday night, and a CAYA meeting on Sunday. I should have some time to get some introvert time in, and hopefully some cleaning. I have some ideas hibernating in my mind, but they require me having a clean apartment. Meh.

Maybe I should start doing yoga again. Maybe that will help…

Leavin’ on a jet plane Sunday, Jun 28 2009 

Amazingly enough, I made it through the flight to New York relatively calmly. I think I just might be getting better at flying–which would be awesome, since there are a great deal of places I’d like to visit that would require flying. (More specifically, many of them would require taking flights over larger bodies of water, which is possibly more terrifying than flying over land. Or possibly not, I’m still debating that one.)

Anyway, once I landed I had to get to my hotel. I’d had good experiences with Super Shuttle in San Francisco and Oakland, so I went with them–big mistake. It took me about 2 1/2 hours to get from JFK to my hotel. Which, really, is just ridiculous, and included the driver taking the long way around to play tour guide to a couple of overly chatty passengers and the van overheating enough that we spent 10 minutes sitting on the side of the street in Times Square while it cooled down. Then, they guy insisted that the confirmation that the desk printed out for me wasn’t enough proof that I had paid, so I had to pay cash, despite having put it on my credit card.

I managed to get customer service to refund the c redit card charge (probably because I sounded like any objection would result in me screaming, which it would have) and needless to say, I cancelled my return trip. I’ll cough up the cash for a cab, thanks.

Once I got in, I headed to the East Village to visit Enchantments. It was a great store–I wanted to get a lot of their oils, but unfortunately I couldn’t, since TSA rules limit how much liquid I can have on the plane. I did get some Aphrodite oil and Aphrodite bath. Because she follows me everywhere, now, apparently.

Vegan Mac & Cheese and shake!

After Enchantments, I headed to Curly’s Vegetarian Lunch. One thing I have yet to find in Berkeley and San Francisco, surprisingly, is vegan diner food. There’s vegan food, yes, but it tends to either be fine dining type food, or super healthy five-grain-wheatgrass whatever. This? This was delicious. A vegan milkshake and vegan mac and chesese. My favorite dairy-filled dishes with none of the side effects. So very, very good.

Today, I headed out early to hit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is, hands down, my favorite place in New York City. I kind of ran through this time–there were a lot of pictures I wanted to take, particularly in the Egyptian and Greek and Roman wings. They’re on my camera, not my phone though, so I can’t upload them until I get home. After that, I headed up to the Current meetup–but more on that later (again, with pictures).

I did see some interesting things on the way.

Scientology Celebrity Center. No, seriously.

The Scientology Celebrity Center. (No, I’m not joking, that’s what it was, at least according to the awning. I didn’t dare risk going inside.)

Random lion on 82nd St

A random, cool lion.

Random male statue on 82nd St

Random female statue on 82nd St

A pair of random, Greek-looking statues outside a building.

Aphrodite Statue

One from the Museum. A statue of Aphrodite (sadly, missing her head) that was probably one of the most moving pieces I saw. But that whole part of the saga deserves a post all to itself.

Vegan cupcake. Flavor? Gay Pride Malibu Barbie

Finally, after we dispersed, I made a trip down to Babycakes and got a vegan cupcake. In honor of Gay Pride, they had Malibu Barbie cupcakes. It was good…but I have to say, the ones I make are just as good (or maybe even better). Is that bad to say? Oh well, it’s true, and makes me feel a little better about being unable to buy vegan cupcakes at home.

Now, off to get some sleep since I fly back tomorrow!

MIA Friday, Jun 26 2009 

I’ve definitely been MIA this week–from blogging and from kniting. It’s been kind of a crazy week. Lots of busy, and maybe it’s just me, but highly depressing. From the Iranian elections and the Neda video, to the less-serious but still sad trifecta of pop culture deaths with Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson.

I admit, I’m not as affected by those as some–I’m just a tad bit too young for them to really be iconic in my mind (Michael Jackson, while I know his music, is still mainly associated in my mind as the creepy guy with Neverland Ranch more than Thriller, but it’s still sad.

Aside from that, I’ve just had one of those weeks where I feel I’m running just as fast as I can to stay in the same place. At the same time, it seems like the world is cracking and shifting apart around me. I don’t know why things are happening; I can’t divine the perceptions or reasons for things that are happening and I wind up both confused and concerned.

As much as I realize control is an illusion, I gotta say, it’s one I’m kind of a fan of.

Aside from all of that, I’m heading to New York for a whirlwind trip this weekend. I’m nervous–I am not what you’d call a good flyer–but excited. There will be a lot of fun to be had, and I’m hoping to get to hit some of my favorite spots (namely, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I could camp out for days and be as happy as  clam) as well as some new places (like Purl SoHo) if I get the chance. Oh, and of course, the actua work stuff that I’m there for!

If nothing else, at least a 5 hour plane ride should give me plenty of time to knit..right?

Dionysus Lurks in the Aisles of Goodwill Friday, Jun 19 2009 

If you’d asked me a year ago what deities I’d see myself working with, I probably would have told you the Celtic pantheon. Cerridwen, Arianrhod, Brigid. The Morrigan.

I would not have mentioned the Greeks, really, and I certainly wouldn’t have mentioned Dionysus or Aphrodite.

Funny how the Universe likes to pull little tricks on you like that.

Dionysus began showing up in my life around Beltane. I resisted him and his party-God ways (for some reason, he always looks kind of like a horned frat boy in my head) but eventually decided to make nice and let him. (He is the God of theater after all, and I am a screenwriting type.) With rules of course, and an understanding that Gods like him and girls like me didn’t really seem like a good idea.

He didn’t mention he’d be bringing friends, but that’s really a story for another time.

So, I set up my Dionysus altar.

Dionysus Altar

It’s pretty simple, in my kitchen, with some wine and bread and a candle. The silver pitcher is one that I got at a Finding Your Diety workshop at Pantheacon…which I totally dismissed because why on earth would I work with Dionysus? Haha, universe. Haha.

I’ve also been working with Athena as a Goddess of wisdom and inspiration. As part of my CAYA training, I have to work with a deity associated with each element, and Athena is my air Goddess, so she gets a little altar of her own.

Athena Altar

The owl is one that belonged to my grandmother; she collected them and I really love this little guy. I’m trying to help set a writing routine of lighting the candle and burning some orange blossom incense, but I’ve gotten a little out of practice and need to catch up.

So those are more of my altars. Sometimes, I find myself wondering if I’m really meant to work with certain deities. How do I know? How can I be sure?

Yesterday, the Universe conveniently handed me a sign that I think Dionysus might be sticking around. I suddenly found msyelf with a bunch of phone/IM messages from people–turns out Dionysus must have been lurking in the aisles of Goodwill yesterday, because Thora found the most awesome set of Dionysus dishes that she snagged for me!

Dionysus Dishes

Dionysus Dishes close-up

They are so pretty! I love that the ivy and grape motif is there, but subtle. And it works out perfectly because I’ve been meaning to get new dishes for a while but haven’t found anything I liked. I LOVE these, and I’m pretty sure Dionysus does too! I’m so grateful to have this confirm what I’m doing, and even more grateful to have such amazingly awesome friends.

Knitting away Thursday, Jun 18 2009 

Since I’m having one of those spurts of knitting productivity, I’ve been trying to take advantage of it and plow through some projects. While I was waiting for a verdict on extra yarn for the Origami Wrap Sweater, I had cast on for Glampyre’s Bulky Cabled Cardigan and began making quite a bit of progress.

Bulky Cabled Cardigan in progress

Unfortunately, I ran out of yarn there too–less surprisingly, though, since I had planned on making the smallest size. Due to some gauge issues, however, I am making the next size up. Luckily, I was able to order more yarn, and though the dyelots don’t match, it looks like a pretty good match visually.

Princess Buttercup in progress

In the meantime, I cast on for Princess Buttercup–aka, Kira K.’s Eyelet Twist sweater in Malabrigo organic cotton. I’m loving the yarn and pattern for this, and I think it’s going to make a great sweater that can be worn nearly year round and layered over tank tops or long sleeves.

Buttercup has been zipping along, but I’ve set her aside since my yarn just arrived in the mail. All that’s left of the Bulky cardigan is part of one cuff and the button bands. Then I’ll have to be off on a button-buying expedition for it (and for one of my secret projects). I’m thinking possibly wooden buttons, but who knows what I’ll find?

Midsummer Altar Wednesday, Jun 17 2009 

It’s almost Midsummer (HOW did that get here again? No, seriously, how?) which means it was time to straighten up and redecorate my altar. It feels very sunny and cheerful, which is kind of a contrast to the grey fog we’ve been seeing.

Litha Altar

I’ve been into yellow lately. It’s a tricky color; too much of it is overwhelming, and I’m always wary of knitting with it. The wrong shade just makes you look jaundiced and sickly. But I find myself fondling yellow yarns more and more…so we shall see. And, at least it helps with my dream to have a rainbow of handknit sweaters in all styles to wear. :)

But back to Midsummer–I had a tough time with this one. I coulfn’t think of  a lot of easy symbolism to add (I mainly think of, well, the sun, which you can’t exactly perch on the table like a sheaf of wheat) so I stuck with yellow and orange fabric and bright flowers. Simple, but I like it!

FO: Origami Wrap Cardigan Tuesday, Jun 16 2009 

I actually finished something! After running out of yarn, I ripped out the one long sleeve and turned it in to two short sleeves to complete my Origami Wrap Cardigan.

Origami Wrap cardigan

It’s very pink, goes perfectly with an antique rose pin that I had, and I finished it on a Friday. If that doesn’t have Aphrodite’s fingerprints all over it, I don’t know what does.

Origami wrap cardigan (back)

Overall, I really do like it. It fits well, is comfortably stretchy, and I can see myself wearing it quite a bit during the spring/summer months.

Vital Stats;

Pattern: Origami Wrap Sweater from Kira K. Designs
Yarn: Artfibers Phyz
Needles: US9 and US7

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