The sweater is half knitted... I would say that it was at 50% completion, but I know that I'll get bogged down in finishing. And, since it's sleeveless, I don't really care if it marinates for a while.
The quick and easy project that I'd hoped would serve as a sorbet between halves of the sweater has turned out to be a big pain in the ass. I'm making a chenille hat for a friend, and have had all sorts of gauge problems, probably due to the fact that I was using circular needles that were a wee bit too long for the project.The first stab at it had so many loose chains of stitches that it looked like a game of chutes and ladders! And, as I quickly learned, chenille does not endure tearing out.
It's not as though I don't have plenty of other things to occupy my time. I read Ghost Light practically in one sitting today. It's a compelling memoir about a young boy falling in love with the theatre. Apparently, it was a doomed affair, as he is now the chief critic for the NYTimes.
I've also some finishing work to do, phone calls to make, and the oft-delayed trip to the post office to make. Well, tomorrow is another day.


I had quite a laugh while watching c-span last night. There was a woman speaking about her dedication to the pro-life movement while standing on the mall in DC wearing a fur coat. Apparently, the sanctity of life doesn't apply to mink! What a bunch of hypocrites....
My sweater is coming along nicely, though not progressing at the speed with which I started the project. I hope that the yarn will soften up after a few washings. The sweater is a bit abrasive now, which is not desirable. I'm almost to the armholes now.


I think that I may resume my long-term boycott of Nestle products. My mom -- and by extension, I-- boycotted them during the eighties. In fact, I don't think that I had any nestle products until I went off to college. So, why do I want to add them to my shit list? This item that I read online this morning: The Guardian (London) reported in December that multinational food giant Nestle continues relentlessly to demand about $6 million from dirt-poor Ethiopia as payment for that government's having nationalized a Nestle subsidiary 27 years ago. (According to the Oxfam humanitarian group, $6 million would feed a million people for a month.)
My long-awaited mountain spinnery yarn purchased off of ebay finally arrived today. It was not skeined, as I had expected. Two of the five skeins were skeined, and the rest of the lot in balls of various sizes. There's no way (except an extremely tedious one) to tell if the seller shorted me or not, which makes me unhappy. I've already swatched it and plan to use it (perhaps with the oameal mountain mohair I snapped up at their factory outlet) to make a Ucan2can shell, from the chicknits pattern. The auctioned yarn is pink, for lack of a better word. I think that it was described as cranberry heather on the tag, a sort of muted mauve.
I accomplished many things yesterday, a rare thing for a long weekend. I cajoled my mother into helping me reconfigure my call book. We cut all of the pages in half, so that only one page of script appeared, then pasted them onto a larger piece of paper, in order to leave room for notes and cues in the margin. I'd picked up a package of two "supreme" glue sticks for 99 cents (how come computers don't have a cent key? my ancient typewriter does). Well, it's a good thing I didn't settle for mundane sticks; pasting 77 pages of script managed to use up both of them.
I also knit up a very fuzzy mohair hat for a female relative with an approaching birthday. Due to the stranding in the yarn, it is self striping, which looks fancier than it is. I made a pair of fairisle socks with a similar sleight of hand. Yarn manufacturers are doing clever things these days! My two felted bags are stalled at about the same level of completion. I hate making I-cord, so they'll probably linger there for a few more days.


Last night, I made a trip to the local yarn store for further supplies. My mother had neglected to get sufficient yardage for her current project, a hooded sweater. The trip was very lucrative for the yarn store. My mother quickly located what she needed, but lingered, hoping to find a yarn that would compliment my new coat. My old coat is charcoal grey, and kind of tweedy, so I could and did wear all sorts of crazy colored scarves with it. Not so the new, camel colored coat. It needs something classy and understated. The saleswoman was very helpful and attentive, leading me to select a viscose ribbon in shades of brown, gold, and eggplant. Would we like it wound? she asked innocently. Oh yes, I replied and she pulled a swift off the shelf and wound the skeins into donuty balls for me. It was an excellent product demonstration. The swift turned, well, swiftly, with the many colors and sheens of the yarn spinning like an old kinetoscope. Marvellous! The swift came home with us. So, I'm working on a hole in one scarf similar to the one that I gave my grandmother for xmas, with a re-engineered hole. It's too cold in Chicago to wear an open collared coat without a scarf.
I've started on a round of presents to be given for valentine's day, and I've also to consider upcoming birthdays of assorted relatives. Which reminds me, I still have an xmas present sitting on my couch. The star treky scarf is finished; I think I'll wear it to rehearsal tonight. I've got an artistic image to maintain! I've forgotten the pattern to a large gauge lace scarf in the middle of the project. The pattern is nowhere to be found, so I'll have to return to the store (not the one visited last night, alas) for further instruction.
The new dvd player is causing further upset... my mom was taping some asinine show that I didn't want to watch. So, I attempted to change the channel. Ha! After a close study of the users manual in two languages, I decided to call the manufacturer, which I won't name. I have many of their products and have dealt with their tech support people before. Their rep informed me that I need to purchase a splitter to install in the cable line in order to watch another channel while using the vcr. I informed him that I could not believe that their product was so poorly engineered, and that it was unacceptable that further accessories were required. Despite the fact that I'd just told him that I'm an a/v professional, he calming explained to me how a switcher works, as though talking to an 8 year old. When I told my grandmother this, she said he probably didn't know what a/v means. A letter of complaint is in the works. This dvd deck has been one damn thing after another.


Over the weekend, I had my first rehearsal for my new project. The space is practically in Evanston, which meant that I had to set my alarm for 620 am, an unusually early hour for me. Since I left my alarm clock in Pittsfield, I had to use my handspring visor as an alarm. Oh, how I hate that alarm tone! It’s just too cheerful for that time of day.
The upshot of being out and about on Saturday is that I had time for a knitting expedition after rehearsal was over. My first stop was Arcadia, where I had one big question regarding the felted bag I knit last week—how to close the bottom. My mom was correct, I should just sew it shut, when I get around to it. In the meantime, it has been relegated to the big wicker basket.
Then I proceeded to another yarn shop, which I won’t name, that I had never visited. I doubt that I will return. The proprietor was crazy, in a grating, loud way, rather than an amusing way. Still, I finally got a skein of lavender burly spun, which I’ve wanted for months, as well as a skein of eros. Inspired by the free pattern on chicknits, I decided to make my own jewelry-type scarf. Since it is knit on big old #13s, I assumed that it would just fly off of my needles. Ha! Eros is a really spangly yarn, but it’s pretty tricky to work with. Half the time, I’m knitting through the middle of the strand. So, I'm slowly working it around my retro metallic aqua needles--they match my tripod--because I can't really knit it while watching tv. So much for instant gratification knitting.
One project that has flown off my needles was the lamb’s pride and Schaefer hand-dye hat that I made as a gift to match a recently completed scarf. Now, I have only to pack it up and ship it off to Canada. There was enough yarn left over that I think I may make a second one as a valentine’s day gift for my grandmother (the yarn is a sophisticated palette of pinks).
I woke up this morning and decided to play with my digital camera, which was conveniently near my pillow. A few impromptu self-portraits later, I remembered all of the drawbacks of the device. The flash would eclipse the sun! And since I have no way to upload the images to my laptop, the session was pure photo zen. I’ve been drooling over a sony cybershot with 4.13 megapixels, but I just don’t have the money. Theatre isn’t the most lucrative profession. I wish that I could sort this out, so that I could add images of my projects to this site, which is a bit bland without them. I’ve a lot of ideas about what I would like to do with my blog. Whether or not I will be able to realize them is another matter entirely.
On a lighter note, I got the dvd of Hedwig and the Angry Itch yesterday. It features an excellent documentary about the development of the piece and its evolution into a film.


My mother and I took a field trip to Best Buy last night. She got a DVD player for xmas, but it wasn’t compatible with our other equipment. Since I’m the resident A/V nerd, I had to help sort this out. She bought a combined dvd/vcr deck and a co-ax adapter. She also bought a case for my minidisc player, which has gotten scratched up sharing a pocket with my keys. Coincidentally, it matches the minidisc case (24 discs!) that my thoughtful cousin Chris gave me.
I set the dvd player up today, in about ten minutes. It was so, so simple! Of course, I had to rent a couple of dvds to test it out. So, I rented Finding Forrester, which turned out to be much better than I had expected. There’s a big difference between watching dvds on my computer and on tv. I’m used to sitting much closer than I ever get to the television.
I’m doing some pre-production work on my latest project. I am stage managing a play in one of the many tiny studio theaters in Chicago. Yes, I said t-h-e-a-t-e-r, not t-h-e-a-t-r-e. Email me if you’d like to have that argument.
The unknown delivery date of my CTH yarn had me increasingly impatient. Instantaneous delivery was not expected, but timely arrival is greatly appreciated. The UPS man brought me a package this afternoon from Handpaint Heaven, just as I’d sighed and decided that he wasn’t coming today. The yarns inside were quite a mélange: five skeins of green mohair with gold streaks through it (shades of my high school colors), totaling 500 meters, one big fat skein of Melange, a rayon/cotton/flax blend, in the Martha’s Vineyard colorway, and an odd little skein that seems to have been thrown in just to bring the lot up to weight. I guess that I’ll make some sort of shell out of the mohair, though it isn’t calling my name. The novelty yarn clearly wants to be a wide, long scarf with lots of fringe for a friend. Or perhaps for me.


Today is a red letter day. When I opened the front door to bring in the mail, threepadded envelopes fell in on me, all of them yarn that I'd sent away for! I'm trying to stave off a bad case of startitis, but the giant red ball of Brown Sheep burly spun is irresistable. Maybe I'll take it to stitchnbitch tomorrow. So, my mailman brought me in his little bag: big, bulky wool, gorgeous hand-dyed shaefer yarn, and a skein of cherry tree hill green mountain madness. I'm a sucker for blues and greens, and the name reminded me of the People's Republic of Vermont, of which I am oddly fond. So, I'll be working my wrist and elbow into a twinge winding all of my new acquisitions into balls. Why don't the manufacturers package the yarn in a ready-to-use fashion? Sometimes it's nice to wind the ball so that you can see all of the color variations in a skein, like Kureyon, but I'm not too interested in seeing 123 yds of uniform color. Just a wee complaint.


I've been on a bit of a yarn binge lately. It can safely be said that I might not go into a LYS for the rest of the year and be well supplied. I bought some yarn from ebay, which can be hit or miss, as past experiences have proven. The last time I did that, the lovely chestnut rowan yarn turned out to be 1970s burnt orange. A really big cone of it that collected dust on my dresser until my mom decided that she could make a shawl out of it. I'll reserve the right to make comment on that until the garment is actually made. Right-- so I purchased a skein of Shaefer hand-dyed wool, which I have used before, as well as a skein of Cherry Tree Hill supersock. Of course, people tried to outbid me at the last minute and drove the price up after it had been at a nice, low level for days. Oh well. It was still below retail. Yesterday, my mother and I went to the LYS in Orland Park, where four skeins of Araucania nature wool joined my collection. It's a hand-dyed wool made in Chile, with lovely natural color variations within the generous skeins. I'm thinking of making a New Wave Scarf (a ChicKnits pattern available for purchase from that website) for a distant friend.
I am currently working on a pair of socks in Bartlett wool, a very hardy yarn made with the last mule spinner in North America. The socks will be very warm when they are finished, but that may be a few days. I decided to do a color block for the heel and ended up with many, many tails to weave in. Alas, I must repeat that mistake for the second sock. Outsmarted myself again.
I went through my WIP basket and found projects that I knew I had no intention of finishing. So I made a big, big step and threw them away. When I came back from my aunt's house, I found that my mom had pulled these rejects out of the trash and unravelled the yarn. She pulled out the scratchiest of the lot, of course. Laughter is the best response to this type of behavior.
In other news, I've finally got my printer up and working, in time for resume season. Now is the time that all of the summer theatres advertise their positions, so my little Epson will get a good workout in the next few months. I just can't wait to start wasting paper!

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