Friday, September 29, 2006

Houston? We have a problem...

Can you guess what the problem is from this picture?

[Here's a hint: I have two more knit rows AND a bind off left in the pattern]

D'you think I have enough yarn? Yeah. It doens't look good.

So, please help me oh mighty, mighty knitters... Do I:

A. Finish in the multi-colored yarn. You are so close and your mom will still love you.

B. Pick out the cast ON, pull back a row so they are BOTH narrower, then use the extra to finish the bind off. (Has anyone ever tried something like this?)


When bemoaning the state of affairs to BBE, he suggested I finish a lil sumpn sumpn that has been hanging around. He was totally right: I felt much better with two FOs in hand...

These are ingenious little crocheted potholders that will be gifted to BBE's stepmom. She had one from WAY back and it was beginning to fray. I couldn't figure out how it seemed to be double-thick with no discernible seams... And thought I would have to actually figure it out. But with internet access all things are possible! I found the pattern here. Make some, they are fast, satisfying, and (I have on very good authority) perfect when dealing with hot pans.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

This post will contain no pictures of Quentin Tarantino...

I only finished one lousy row on the scarf, so to distract you, here are some recent super fun events I have attended.

FIRST... ACL Fest, baby! Three days of excruciating sun and heat and over 130 bands. This one separates the men from the boys so to speak. I mean, last year the temperature got to 108! Do you wanna see [insert band here] that bad?

Well this year it wasn't that hot. Friday was pretty toasty...

BBE (and also CBE) is sporting the head apparel of choice at ACL...

So shiny... and hot... must rest.

This poor woman forgot sunglasses, and so resorted to using her lacey bra for eye protection.

The clouds were promising, but on Friday, they never provided more than an occassional breeze. Notice the lovely Austin skyline in the background!

On Saturday afternoon (we woke up late, ok?) there was a nice overcast sky. The temps were about 5-10 degrees cooler--high 80s--but still humid. Here is Jack White on the mini-tron, singing with his Raconteurs. They were great!

The crowd for Van Morrison started to collect 3 hours early. We did not stay for that madness. (Bonus question, how many cowboy hats can you see in this picture... Sweet, shady cowboy hats.)

On Sunday it rained in the morning (not that we were up to see it), so the temps were still under 100 but the humidity was crazy high. Above you can see the boys from Ween. BBE knows them through a degree of separation, so we got to hang out in their air-conditioned trailer for a bit (and use their flush toilet!!) I did meet most of the band, and they were very nice guys.

Ben Harper on the mini-tron. I love my camera's zoom!

My boy, G. Love! Bustin' it with Ben as the sun sets majestically behind the 'tron... I only caught the last couple of songs from his solo set, but thankfully one of them was Cold Beverages. WOO!

Other sets (0r partial sets) I caught over the weekend:
Deadboy and the Elephantmen
Iron & Wine
Aimee Mann
New Pornographers
Gnarls Barkley
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
The Shins
Thievery Corporation
Ray LaMontagne
Massive Attack

Some of these sets were super kick ass, some were just ok. But all in all, I think it was $100 well spent.


THEN... Last weekend I got to see a private showing of the Japanese version of Kill Bill, hosted by the movie's desperado director, Quentin Tarantino. He's in town filming his half of a double-feature, and a good friend of mine from highschool is working some visual effects magic on the other half.

The Japanese version is different from the US version in the following ways: The two volumes are presented as one film with an intermission (this is the only movie I can imagine could keep me up and on the edge of my seat for 4.5 hours); the scene in the house of blue leaves -- where the bride battles the crazy 88s? -- is shown in full color; there are French subtitles; and the credits seem to run for about 13 years (or at least it feels that way when one is a guest of the director and won't leave before the credits are complete out of courtesy).

Yes, he did give a little chat to the audience beforehand (which is how I learned about most of the differences between the two versions). No, I did not meet him (or take his picture).

The best part? Hanging out with one of my very best friends from highschool for an evening, definitely. (He is a regular lurker, everyone say "Hi" to Michael.)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I almost forgot the really COOL news

But first, a knitting update.

I finished three more rows on Mom's scarf (only 7 to go). Here are some pics:

All 350+ stitches...

And a close up of the Koigu:

The colors are pretty true on my monitor, maybe a bit deeper in person.

Now for the OTHER news... With pictures!

In honor of finishing my first triathlon, I really wanted to get flames painted on my car. I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to, but apparently, this is not free. So instead, I decided to memorialize my tri success more personally... Well, let me tell you in pictures.

My beat up legs did a lot this summer. They look it!

JonZig gets to business...

Half-way point... And oh yes, I am doing fine!

I have stars upon thars!

Since these pics were taken, the tatts have healed up nicely, and look GREAT. This will give the newbies next year something to look at while I ZOOM past....

[Many thanks to BBE for capturing the process on film.]

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The lack of regular posting...

...Is probably not going to end any time soon. What's that all about? I do have more things going on, but there are other WAY more busy knitters out there who manage to find the time.

I take so long to post, that I end up with this GINORMOUS post all about the last MONTH, and I mean, come on, its not like I was on safari or anything.

So, in lieu of the GIANT post, I will try (TRY) to post a few leetle ones. This one will have startlingly few pictures. And none of them will be mine. (It's about baby steps...)

After the Jack's Generic Tri of the last post, I took a scant six days off and then did this:

Click image for larger size
I am *so* not smiling here

I had no cheering section at this race, I was overtired from the last tri and a failure to RECOVER beforehand, and had an all around crummy time. Thank gawd it was the last tri of the season!

But, does that mean I am going to get all fat and lazy over the winter? NO! I have already started half-marathon training. Because I am crazy. And also, kind of digging this whole athlete thing. Also, because I am hoping that running will MAYBE just a LITTLE get me to looking more like an athlete. I am getting tired of the surprised-eyebrows I get when I tell people that I finished three triathlons this summer. "Really? YOU did?" or "Huh. I thought they were really HARD?" (I always want to say something like, 'Do you think they AREN'T hard now or something?')

Anyway. Running. It is slow going (I jog for 3 mins, walk for 1), but I did 4 miles last weekend and have 5 this weekend. I am going to be adding in some much needed strength training this week.

As far as knitting goes... There has been some, really! But also, sadly some frogging. As I alluded to in pictures last week, my top down raglan...

[As an aside: This is a hotlink... How do folks feel about hotlinks from commercial sites? Still stealing, or driving traffic their way?]

...was frogged. The armscyes were too huge. There was so much room in the arm area, in fact, it would have been a great sweater for my favorite religious icon. Although, really, would cotton be the right complement to a necklace of severed heads? Maybe not. I like how a top down allows you to check fit as you go in theory. But perhaps I don't really get how it is supposed to work. Next time I will do more research beforehand.

Meanwhile, I am cruising along on two projects, and they are both nearing the finish line.

First, my suede bolero. I think in a previous post I gave the wrong impression about the pattern. It has several "at the same time"s in the directions and I maybe sounded like I don't like those. While they aren't my favorite (and if your pattern has a row gauge, they should be avoidable) they usually indicate that I am knitting a super shapely piece of fabric, which I dig. What I am less a fan of (and I know that publishers often inflict this one on designers who try to do better by their readers) is the "complete left side as right side, reversing shaping." Then I gotta get out graph paper and chocolate and figure out if I want the left slants to be lumpy psso decreases or joggy sl2/k2togs... etc. I am in the middle of that now. Up until this point, the pattern has been easy to follow and has produced some GREAT looking pieces. The left front is my last piece.

Second is a LONG overdue gift for my mom. It is this pattern (that used to be available free, thank gawd I printed a copy!) I am using two colors of Koigu KPPPM. Pics to follow. I have about 10 rows to go... They are long rows, but I only have one more "complex" one and the rest should fly by.

OK. In the next post, I will maybe tell you about the superfuntimes I had at ACL fest two weekends ago. And possibly about the movie I saw with a good friend and around 30 strangers (why is this noteworthy? 'cause one of the strangers was the director).

And hopefully, I will get some pictures up.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The weekend, in pictures

Friday night, BBE and I went to see a friend's band:

It was (as always) fantastic. (Hint: If you go to their myspace page you can hear a few tracks... They have a unique and also tasty sound.)

Saturday, I ran some errands, and had one last practice workout.

On Sunday, sadly, this:

Became this:

(more on this later)

And also my helpers help me pack:

For Monday. BBE and I woke up at 4:30 am and drove 30 miles so I could do this:

(500m swim, 14.8mi bike, 5k walk/jog -- Here I have finished the bike and am about to head out for the run. I think I beat my Danskin time by about 15 mins, more on this later, too)

And who was the Best Ever all morning, being calm and supportive in the face of seemingly millions of mini-disasters?

Best. Ever.

Lastly, after a nap and a most delicious Southern Fried Chicken dinner (the best part of the tri? Maybe) BBE and I dragged ourselves out to meet some friends for one more show, complete with entertaining dancing performed by others (I was too tired and also too intimidated).