Sunday, December 16, 2007

I like Foamy!

I don't even know who Foamy is but my friend WoolGatherer posted this little guy and I had to spread the cheer! It's great with all the nonsensical talk these days about taking Jesus out of Christmas so more people can celebrate the season!

Last week I attended a Holiday party thrown by a jew. He had a Multicultural tree and served a ham with challah bread. I'm not even trying to figure that out - and thanks to Foamy I don't have to. Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Blogger wouldn't let me upload the video but cut and paste. Worth the laugh. It's all good fun. Happy Thanksgiving! Joe

Monday, October 22, 2007

Embrace Yourself

Today I made three purchases and I can't tell you which one I prefer the most. Of course, first chance I had I headed over to Idle Hours and picked up the new Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts edition.

Jared, of Brooklyn Tweed fame has an amazing cabled hat pattern in it. I've never knit a cabled project and I think this hat is the perfect way to start. What does one do with a cabled hat in Florida though? Play your cards right and it could be yours! The hat is modelled by a woman in the mag but I think a man could wear it, do you? Check it out here on Jared's blog.

After the dry cleaner and bank, I headed over to Lowe's to pick up this puppy and boy have I embraced my guy side.

This baby has 2.5 horsepower but man can it suck up glass. It's amazing -- I was tempted to bust the other sliding glass door just to keep using the damn thing. They ought to make vacuum cleaners with this kind of power. You could vacuum the whole house in 5 minutes. I shop vac'd until there was no more glass and like all good things, I wanted a cigarette afterwards, it was that good!

Perusing the bins at Barnes and Noble, I came across this on the bargain table.

How could I resist it? Three professional jugging balls and a beautifully photographed instruction booklet. Everyone wants to learn to juggle as a kid. And as an overly-serious adult in recent years, I've discovered it's time to embrace the silly side of life. I'm not juggling responsibilities anymore, I'm juggling balls!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

One Good Deed Deserve Another - NOT!

So I spent the last 2 days taking care of a friend recovering from elective surgery. I hauled my butt to St. Petersburg, drove her to the hospital, changed surgical drains, bloody gauze, cooked and woke up every 2 hours to express icky gunk from science fiction tubes popping out of a human body. I know, enough, but when you love someone you do what you have to do.

So I drove home, went to work and on the way home, got rear ended (a little damage and yes, I'm okay - only shaky) to come home to a shattered glass door. No reason, nothing fell on it but it cracked into a million pieces and waited for me to arrive home for its crescendo finish to the floor.

I've always said and now I believe it even more that all things that can be fixed with time and/or money mean nothing! So I'll call the insurance company tomorrow and sweep up the mess. The mess, perhaps symbolic of my life could have got me down. Instead, I believe that striving forward, moving towards my personal center will always have a few bumps in the road.

Happy Wednesday! - the new joe

Monday, October 8, 2007

Salvation - Day 7 and the Weekend

Yes, Day 7 came and went with little fanfare so I'll make my own.

DRUMROLL PLEASE....I lost 5 lbs.! I hoped for more but definitely feel better, even though the weekend involved tortolini and an amazing brownie. I really don't have any weight to lose but I always like lower numbers on the scale but I'll save that for my therapist. The detox definitely worked. My skin was wacked out, my tongue was all kinds of funky and no matter what I did, I was tired most of the week. Outcome: I recommend it. Lose a few pounds, clean out your system and prove to yourself (if you need to) that you've got the will power to do whatever you want.

What could be next?

P.S. Never watch the film Brokeback Mountain if you're feeling down---5 times. Ooops.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Rounding the Corner

Day 5 and 6 come to a close and not soon enough. This detox/diet continues to be easy, after all, you get to eat plenty of food. The problem is there's simply no variety. It's just plain boring! Who wants to eat the same stuff every day, no matter what it is? I've learned, anything 24/7 stinks - foodwise. I've had steak two days in a row and for me that sounded like a real treat on Day 4, but now, I won't have one for months and months. Tonight, that juicy filet could have been sour cream and I'd have been happier.

I cheated today with a cup of coffee and I'll probably do it again in the morning. It was so good and let me tell you, it was guilt free. Oddly enough, I'm not craving any of my favorites, instead sour cream (obviously), pasta sauce and cashews are constantly on my mind. My "go to" is sweets and I haven't craved them at all except on Day 3 when I walked by the pastry kitchen at work and kind of passed out on my feet for a second. Come Sunday though, all bets are off. There's definitely a crab cake with my name on it and after that, I'll play it by ear. Hmmmm, ear, that sounds good!

Say goodnight Dr. Lecter. Good night Dr. Lecter.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Day 4 and Going Strong

This detox/diet is rocking and going really well! Today was the weirdest day so far. Skim milk (what's detox-y about milk?), bananaas (up to 8 of them) and all the cabbage soup you desire. I have to say, the soup is getting a little tedious but manageable. Tomorrow is Day 5 and steak, tomoatoes and soup are on the menu. I've cooked an amazing sirloin to perfection, halfed and then quartered it for 4 small meals. But I cheated, I wanted A-1 but I settled for 2 tablesspoons of rice wine vinegar for the tomatoes. They needed a little something, salt and pepper gets lonely.

Otherwise, I wasn't the most clear headed at work, decisions came a little hard and everyone kept asking me if I was paying attention. This is not a diet for a surgeon but it's just fine for a spa director with his last 10 lbs to lose! Stay posted for full results on Day 7.

On other fronts, I'm not impressed with the new Bionic Woman television show. I loved it as a kid and would often "act bionic" with my friends (making that ou, ou, ou sound and running in slow motion)! This new bionic woman is kind of rude, she said douche in prime time. Is that even aloud?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Day 3 ... a Duck, a Dream and a Donut

Day 3 begins to comfortably wind down with a little knitting on the afghan and the "Astronaut Farmer", another questionable Blockbuster choice starring Billy Bob Thornton.

I remember starting this blanket, the excitement of one of my first (at the time) major projects. It was for us and now there is no us, so now it's for me. I still love the coloration but I'd forgotten what it's like to use size 17 needles, Turbos of course.

Today the Cabbage Soup Detox Diet got a little easier with some fruit in the mix. We've already had, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes and a peach. Tomorrow is all about bananas - 8 of them and as much skim milk as you'd like. It's a kooky mix but seems to be working. It's incredible how the mind works, how an afternoon nap can turn into a rhapsody of donuts -- dancing, taunting me with their glaze, sprinkles and other accoutrements but I'm resolve in my decision. If I get through Day 4, Day 5 and 6 are all about red meat, steak, and I've purchased some fine cuts to indulge in along with some spectacular tomatoes. Enough food talk, Giada's on!
I took a walk down to the pond early this morning and visited with my colorful friend here. He was completely un-amused by me but I was relentless in getting my shot. If you click on him, you'll see he's staring me down. Isn't he amazing? What should we name him?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Whoever Smelt It, Dealt It

Day Two of the Cabbage Soup Detox Diet! And I'm not even crabby yet, WooHoo! Tomorrow I get to have fruit again and then on Day 4 I can eat bananas and somewhere towards the end of Hell Week, I get to have lots of steak! I assume that this mix of preposterous food groups has some metabolic effect on the body to help you lose weight. 10 lbs and I'll be the same weight I was when I graduated from college and that was a lifetime, many, several, a few years ago. It's amazing what happens when you stop exercising, even for a short time. After I hurt my knee and had to take a rest from my new running and swimming regime, factor in a free cafeteria at work (with ice cream and fries EVERYDAY) and you get the Cabbage Soup Detox Diet.

On the knitting front, I picked up the needles today. I've decided that there's some psychology to finishing unfinished projects from Los Angeles. I'm currently working on the most simple afghan (which I started about 6 years ago). A basket weave design, mindless 8 row repeat of only knit and purl. It was complex at the time but now simple, uncomplicated and easy. It's symbolic of the way I live my life these days. It's great therapy and something to take my mind off The Princess Diaries 2 and Hannibal Rising, two very bad Blockbuster choices! Fine, I admit it, the Princess Diaries had its moments. Anne Hathway's so cute and all those suitor guys, even cuter! Until Day 3!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Jeez Leweez & Weekend Photos Too!

Jeez Leweez ... no, not exasperated, it's a yarn store review . Actually, 3 reviews in one. I'v made the rounds and seen the shops. This weekend, on my weekly sojourn to Captiva, I visited Jeez Leweez, a lovely little shop on Sanibel Island. It's primarily a needlepoint shop so I was a bit disappointed. The owner couldn't be nicer, as friendly as they come the moment I walked in. Unfortunately, they don't do finishing or really have much of a yarn selection but if you're in need of a canvas or other stitchery, Jeez Leweez is the Miss Congeniality of knitting shops in southwest Florida.

I also visited Idle Hours. This shop is practically around the corner from home and has a nice selection of yarns - a lot of cotton blends but it is Florida after all! Again, the owner was really friendly but I definitely got that "why is this man in my store vibe". Once we started chatting though, she told me about their special events, best times to come and their secret knitting night when the locals gather after hours! I'm sure this will become my shop of choice based just on its geography. If you live in the area, I'm sure this is a great place to learn to knit.

The last shop was in Naples, Knitting with Nancy and definitely had the widest array of yarn. This place was jam packed with stash options. One of the owners, who never really seemed to get over the "why is this man in my store vibe" was extremely knowledgeable about knitting. This was not someone who jumped on the bandwagon as knitting got popular but someone whose been knitting a lifetime. She will be my finisher for sure but her shop is just too far away for weekly/everyday "drop in" knitting. I'd also highly recommend this shop to anyone looking to learn to knit or advance their skills.

It's funny, Knitting with Nancy is run by two or three women and reminded me of a knitting shop in Chatsworth, CA run by two elderly sisters who fought like cats and dogs and spoke to each other like Liz and Dick in Who's afraid of Virginia Wolfe? It was always a hoot stopping there. I heard through the grapevine they recently closed (and had a huge sale). I'm sad they closed and even more sad that I missed the sale!

Otherwise, the rest of the weekend was spent in the sun and working on my photography skills. I'm appreciating foliage, those that know me in L.A., are roaring!

P.S. Saw the new Viggo Mortenson film, could have been great but missed its mark. In one scene, Viggo's naked in a Haman and gets into a "to the death" kind of fight with 2 other thugs and all I can say is they edited it very carefully cause I was looking and I didn't see a thing. What's that about?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hot Dogs & Sunshine!

The Jets & Sharks! Venus & Mars! East Coast & West! You can't beat an east coast mentality – enter Joey and his Snack Boat!

Here on Captiva Beach you catch some rays, watch the dolphins, take a walk on the beach and you belly up to the boat? This weekend I met Joey of Joey's Snack Boat! Here's a guy who drives his pontoon boat around to local beaches selling char-broiled hot dogs, ice cream, and candy bars. And they're pretty good -- Joey doesn't do turkey, veggie or chicken anything either. You're lucky if he puts what you like on it and you like whatever he puts on it. He's selling up the real deal and you're expected to spill some mustard on yourself and wash up in the Gulf. Napkin, Shmapkin! No frills, nothing fancy.

In L.A., I tried to find Joey's-style anything but rarely hit the mark. Oceanside eateries sometimes seemed less about the sashimi they're serving up and more about being seen a la Paris Hilton. These days I'm digging my east coast roots and my vote's for Joey. After all, us Joey's have to stick together and every now and then, everyone but Paris apparently, needs something that sticks to their ribs! There's a reason Joey Chestnut is famous in Coney Island and not Catalina!

On the knitting front, I've sent the current WIP off for finishing and I'll be starting something new (that's code for posting about knitting), just for me as soon as my Knitpicks order arrives!

P.S. Today was "Talk Like a Pirate Day", no shit! Have a great tomorrow, matey!

Peace, this Joey, knitguyla

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore....

As a sat watching pre-Emmy coverage on E, the Emergency Broadcast System chimed in with the infamous, "This is not a test". What! "NOT a Test" They said there was an emminent alert for a tornado touching down in Lee County and to go into an interior room and put your head down immediately.

What the hell! This only happens in the movies.

Cape Coral is only minutes away but the storm itself headed north and left us with only lightening -- a full sky, electric assault. Incredible!

Moments later, there on the news, there was damage, worry for friends in the area and every emergency vehicle going in one direction.

I thought the beauty of Florida was that there were warnings as hurricanes approached unlike L.A. where earthquakes just happened!

As I sat knitting my socks on the bathroom floor trying to distract myself I realized that knitting has a place in any circumstance.

Tomorrow I'll spend the day at the LYS but until then I'll safely head off to bed -- knitting close at hand. Joe

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Bird, A Turtle and Sunset oh my....

Yes, knitting has been slow going in these parts but I'm still exploring my new surroundings. Today, I share with you "Sunset on Sanibel Island" and my "Day at the Beach"

I have to say that I'm really digging the beach these days. I never really got its appeal but I'm learning more with every visit. First off, you can swim in the Gulf waters because they're so wonderfully warm! I saw a jellyfish and screamed like a girl but other than that, it was uneventful.

There are turtles just hanging out everywhere, holding up traffic on the road and wandering any place they want -- gotta love a protected species who's not afraid to use it.

And the clouds, they bring an entirely amazing dimension to the sky. They move with lightening speed and do amazing things to the sunsets. I was never very fond of the sunset in California because the sky is so empty but not the case today!

Yes, the perpetually urban guy, who "hates" the outdoors is loving the beach - even if I don't particularly like taking my shirt off -- YET! But that's another post coming soon!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Discover this....

I can't put my finger on it but .....

he's single
he lives in San Francisco
he's a professional opera singer
he's is a former host of QVC where he sold simulated diamonds

and he's 6 feet tall. He's got future ex lover written all over him, no?

I don't think the fact that he's regularly covered in poop really fits into my equation but it's my blog right?

If you haven't seen Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel, the show's a hoot and one of those pleasures that no one is willing to admit they love! Mike Rowe's the host and as charming and self-depricating as they come.

Somehow I don't think the mud we use at the spa is going to qualify for an episode! Drats.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Yes, that's how many people are ahead of me on Ravelry. I don't know about you, but I'm not holding my breath for that invite. I know I've been busy with life but how out of touch can I be? Was I the only one who didn't know there was a waiting list? From what I hear, it's worth the wait so I guess I'll let you know. I just hope it's before my 80th b-day!

So life in Florida continues to amaze. This week I went to the dog races. I didn't even think they still had dog races. It's kind of like the horse track but without the jockeys and class - dare I say the horse track has class but at least they have a restaurant where you can get a steak! The dog races have a concession stand and the only nice thing I can say about it is I didn't get sick or need hospitalization. Even the ice cream looked dirty, how does ice cream look dirty? Horrible, depressed, dirty people with yellow fingernails from too many Camels everywhere you looked. One woman was there with her granddaughter, it was frightening! But I smiled and cheered for #3!

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Further, since all zero of you responded to my query about knitguyLA vs. knitguyFL, for the time being I'm sticking with LA. After all, if you've got an Italian name and convert to Judaism you don't change your name to Schwartz, right? It's still up for grabs as I registered the FL version.

Hurricane Dean is making his way through the Caribbean and is not on the path to hit FL but I bought a case of Spring water anyway - $3.99 for a 24-pack. Can you believe that price? It's the local brand water and sells by the bottle for a buck so I couldn't pass up this deal. I'm in 'retirement central' for 6 weeks and I'm already psyched by a sale. I still say the dog races were scarier!

Some post scripts to my Drive Across America

In Junction, Texas if you stop at the only place in the entire town, a 7-11 style place, they serve "Bellarico's New York Style Pizza" and there's signage for it out on the interstate. They serve this gastronomical delight out of a rotating heat unit. The crust is about 4 inches thick and doesn't resemble NY pizza in any way but in Junction, Texas, the clerk claimed it was the real thing (insert heavy Southern Drawl here)! I had a Hostess style cup cake and a Mountain Dew instead - I was trying to blend. They still kill gay people there, you can never be too careful and how often do you get to each a cup cake and do the Dew in public!

Oh, that same day, somewhere near Houston, a DJ on the radio said "tard" and not one person called in to give him hell! Welcome to the proud home state of our Prez, GWB!

And apparently, Texans are very serious about not being on the median. They must have a $10 million budget for the "keep off the median" signs - after all, it's a big state and what's on the median anyway that we're so desperately trying to keep everyone off of? I mean really, there's one of these signs every 1/4 mile! What's that about?

I know it may appear that I'm picking on Texas but it's a big state and took up a big portion of the trip AND I am! Goodnite everyone.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

How HOT is it?

As promised, I've got a little to tell you about my “drive across America”. I begin in L.A. driving away from my crappy apartment on Corteen Place watching my partner of 9 years get smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror. Inside an hour, all my thoughts of loneliness, fear and regret were overshadowed by the fact I was lost (50 miles from home) and in desperate need of a bathroom. For those who know me well, you will see the irony in this knowing that this phenomenon is not a 'regular' occurrence for me. I quickly figured out where I went wrong and took evasive action – first stopping at the dirtiest McDonald's somewhere near Rancho Cucamonga – a place that is much more fun to say than visit. For your references, the 210 does not connect directly to the 10, you need to take the 57 for a short jaunt. Who knew? Shame on you AAA!

Well I got back on track and headed for Palm Springs, appropriately listening to a soundtrack to an old New York off off-Broadway show called Naked Boys Singing. How perfect is that? Stopping in Palm Springs was tempting but it seemed too close to home and I decided to head on knowing that once I was out of California I'd be in better emotional shape.

And before I could say Arizona here I come, the boredom and the heat came with avengeance (is that a word?). It was really, really fucking hot in Arizona. Arizona has without a doubt the most horrible “rest” stations in the country. There's no shade and no where to rest. I ask you how am I supposed to rest in 100 degree heat, no shade and no air conditioning? I did what I could. I had this great product called Swimming Pool in a Can, which is nothing more than a can of water compressed with air. It doesn't really feel like a swimming pool (quelle suprise!) but it makes you wet and then the 100 degree breeze feels like 99 degrees. Yahoo!!!! Arizona seemed to go on forever and just like that I was in New Mexico. It cooled a bit and I decided to take it easy on myself and wander around some back roads, possibly stop for the night and hope I didn't meet anyone from the cast of Deliverance. I also decided to use as much air conditioning as I wanted to and if the car couldn't take it/overheated or spontaneously combusted, I'd leave it where ever I might be and get myself a new one. I had some fried dough thingy from a stand on the side of the road from a 700 year old couple fried by sun like raisins and decided to go to sleep for the night in Las Cruces, NM. Now as a grown man, I'm a little embarrassed to say this but I was a little scared in the hotel. I felt very alone in Las Cruces, NM that night so I stacked some shit in front of the door and remembered that I could do anything. I dreamed of my future, stared out the window and finally fell asleep alone in a strange bed in a strange place without one tear for the first time in a month.

Random Observations: Do you think it matters that I'm KnitguyLA but I don't live in LA? Stuff like that usually bugs me but I'm contemplating KnitguyFL. Am I overthinking it?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Days of our Lives

Well I'm back and haven't got a clue where to start. Should I begin with my partner and I of 9 years breaking up or my new job or my new job that happens to be in Florida or my drive alone across country? Yes, it's all true. It's been a turbulent time in my life (which is why I haven't posted obviously) and although I have no new knitting I can assure you there's plenty to report.

Yes, my partner and I separated after 9 years and it's been an extraordinarily frightening and sad time but one that has been filled with self-healing and discovery. We decided to make our breakup as amicable as possible and respect the years we spent together by not making the end angry and bitter. All this began back in May and to our credit we made it happen. Within ten days of his announcement, he moved out and I came home to our crappy North Hollywood apartment looking even crappier and contemplated my life. I came to the conclusion that the only reason I was in Los Angeles was for him and his career. My career never really flourished there and after 6 years I never really adjusted. What I discovered somewhere across Texas is that there's nothing wrong with L.A. In fact, there are many really nice things about it. Believe it or not, I think L.A. is like NYC in one very important way. I love NYC, it will always be my home but to live there you have to be very young or very rich and I think L.A. has that same quality. I'm going to respect my ex's privacy and my dignity and save whatever else I may say about our relationship/breakup for another day and post.. Until then, I thank my family and friends who have been so supportive during this horrible time. I couldn't have done it without you and thank you all more than you'll ever know.

The journey begins with my new job and it came to me just when I needed it most. It's as far from Los Angeles as you can get in southwest Florida with a former employer and 15 minutes from my parents' winter home in Ft. Myers. It all happened so fast. I sent an on-line application and 5 days later I was negotiating a final deal – all 2 weeks after my breakup! Can you say freaking out? I thought I'd lost my mind! Sane people don't really make change in their lives when everything is turning upside down on it own, do they? But in reality, this job allows for more security, money and a future with a global company that could take me almost anywhere in the world. By accepting the job, I knew I couldn't hold up in my apartment in North Hollywood and hide under the covers eating chocolates expecting things to right themselves with my partner. Instead, I hid under the covers for a few days, ate some chocolates and then made a conscious decision to start the healing process. I questioned my decision ten thousand times, packed half a life into boxes and drove across country in the next 6 weeks.

In the coming days and weeks, I'm going share some highlights of my drive across country by myself -- which is something everyone should do in their lifetime. I'd done it twice before but never alone. It's a contemplative time that helped me find a part of me that had been lost for some time. He's making his way back and this time I get to hold fast to the parts of him who are truly the best facets of Joe. I'm not healed, I don't know if I ever will be but with the help of amazing people and a dramatic turn of events, I've started the process. On my drive across America as I called it, I discovered a couple of things. The first is that being alone and being lonely are very different states of being. One lifts you up and let's you see who you are & how great you can be and the other drives you straight to the donut aisle and/or the cigarette machine! I'm happy to report that somewhere across New Mexico, I decided I wouldn't let that happen. Crazy Aunt Purl got divorced, gained 20 lbs and got a book deal in the end. I'm happy to report I've lost 20 lbs. and for the first time in my life I'm on my way to becoming an athlete -- "Ex fat kid turns Expert Fitness Author", hmmm?! If a book deal comes I won't complain ... are you listening Rand McNally? In the meantime, I'll watch the lightening storms, listen to the rain and bask in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico! Happy Knitting! Love, Joe

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

No Knitting....

no posting - it's an easy equation! Yeah, that's right, there's not much to post to one's knitting blog when you haven't been knitting. I came off the high of the Vagina Blanket and just didn't want to get into anything new. I've got the baby hoodie on the needles and all that's left is the hood itself but I'm bored to tears with it and can't even muster the energy to cast-on. If someone will come over and cast-on for me, I'm sure I'd work on it.

Otherwise, I've been, don't say it, cover your ears, crocheting! Yes, I've crossed over to the dark side and embraced the anti-christ (as I often refer to the hook). It's actually quite easy and in no time, you've got something, albeit a potholder. Who knew? I sure didn't, why hadn't anyone shared this with me. And ever since I started the crochet learning process, I can't walk out of the house or get on the internet without a flood of granny squares all up in my face so I figured I better learn how to make one. And I did, my prototype is only one color so not really worth posting a photo. As this new skill slowly improves, I'll share.

Otherwise, I went to The Grove last Thursday to shop for my my birthday and maybe stop by Stitch 'n Bitch. I had the day off so I decided to go congratulate Laurie on her book as well as go to to meet Ellen and Frank, I love all their blogs! I really wanted to meet Ellen because she loves L.A. so much and I need some of that. But when I got there, always my luck, I didn't see any of them. Now I'm sure everyone who was there was great but I didn't want to be all, "Oh Laurie, Ellen and Frank aren't here, that's why I really came but I'll just sit and knit awhile with whoever you guys are!" Of course, that's not how I would have felt but knowing me, it's how it would have somehow sounded. So I headed home with my purchases -- a new keychain from Coach and this amazing magnetic braclet (that was totally making my hand feel better) that I have already lost. It was inevitable, it stuck to anything metal but 4 days is even a record for me.

C'est la vie and Happy Freakin' Birthday to me!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Vagina Chronicles II

Camera skills improving or just the gift of natural light? Of course there's light but not all that much, it's cloudy today! Los Angeles, Southern California, the land of perpetual sun and today it's cloudy. Guess how many truly cloudy days we get here - about 3, there's today and probably another in about 100 days or so. But look anyway....

And look here....

Vagina Chronicles

So shoot me, the blanket's done, how many more chances will I get to use vagina in a post title? Yes, the blanket is completed and the baby arrived yesterday - timing is everything as they say. It will soon be mailed and gone forever. In all honesty, I have very little, well no use for a baby blanket yet I'm already having separation anxiety. This project makes me feel like a real knitter and I can't wait to take more pictures of it tomorrow but I couldn't resist getting at least one shot of it up tonight.

Of course, I am still disappointed with my complete and total lack of photography skills but at least I can enjoy it in person for a day or so more.

Last thing, my obsessive compulsive side is working overtime on this one. Do I simply wrap it beautifully in the box or do I ensure its safety from some unknowing postal worker's morning coffee (and lose some drama upon delivery) and safely tuck it inside a ziploc for travel? Am I being paranoid? Let me know, post your recommendations in the comments! You may think ... blatant ploy for comments or true paranoia? Feel free to post about that as well, if you must. knitguy.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Baby Everything!

It's Baby Central at Casa Knitguy. It seems every relative has been busy in the baby making department and this little number is going to be a sweater for a new guy arriving this May. It doesn't look like much yet but I love the color combination (can you tell, they're very similiar to my blog colors), no?

Speaking of my blog...I know, smooth, huh. Last night I played with my blog template till the wee hours. All that time and all I really successfully did was make the template wider. Then I changed the color combination about 147 times to end up with yes, you guessed it, the same damn colors I started with. But it's wider, did I mention it's wider.

Back to the sweater, the body is done as you can see, as is one sleeve. The other sleeve is on the needles and the hood is all that remains. It's such a lovely little project and perfect for mindless knitting while watching television. It will definitely be completed this weekend since I have yet another 3 day weekend at my disposal. Sometimes, when you get lemons as they say. I cut my hand pretty badly (being an idiot...ooh, ooh, let's cut this big thick wire with this very old razor blade and point it right in the direction of my other hand, WooWho). Needless to say, the razor won and bad cuts and massage therapy do not go together, hence my 3-day weekend.

What's really made this project so enjoyable is I can REALLY see it. I purchased the Knit Lite and this knitting needle with it's illuminated end is amazing. I need tons of light to knit, read or simply do anything really since about the 1st grade so these nifty little guys are really making a difference. If you have any occular (a word, yes?) deficiencies, I encourage you to get a set of these! They're amazing and the invention of my very own local yarn store owners at La Knitterie Parisienne.

Happy 3-day Weekend Everyone! Don't hate me.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Save the Planet - Take Action!

No, not through knitting (although that would be fun) but through political action. Please support Mr. Gore by signing the petition. Mr. Gore will speak before Congress on the 21st so there's not much time so please show your support now. It literally takes 30 seconds. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I know I haven't posted in some time but I've been busy and since I just accepted a 1/2 hour long guilt trip from my Mom about not calling, I'm relinquishing myself of any and all blog guilt.

No photos today but an update. The Vagina Blanket is taking painfully long at the finisher. Trust me, I'm getting impatient. In the meantime, I've taught myself to crochet over the past 2 weeks and what I once considered the anti-christ is now a new friend. I'm perfecting my granny squares, no circles and once they are fully perfected, I'll share a sample or two. The process of learning crochet has been so different than knitting. I wanted to learn to knit but I've been so take it or leave it regarding crochet, I'm enjoying the detective work involved in figuring out stitches and the "art" of reading a crochet pattern.

Yet another baby is on the way as well and this time I've decided no blanket but instead this great little hoodie. It's a great little sweater and all garter stitch. I matched the colors exactly with Debbie Bliss Stella which is wonderfully soft and a silk, rayon and cotton blend.
Perfect for baby and washing and washing and washing. I hear they're very messy. The pattern is from Lion Brand and I love their patterns but their yarn is not my cup of tea nor have I found/heard it to stand up to wear and washing. Here's a picture of it except I've chosen chocolate, blue and tan which is how it's depicted in the printed catalog. This is the website shot with the free pattern. I like my color combination much better though.

Other than that, the beaded scarf is now about 12 rows long and every row is a challenge. The challenge is having to stop every 3 stitches to push a bead up to the working needle and then YO to secure the bead in place. It's taking shape and a photo should be in order shortly once the pattern truly reveals itself.

In the news, I could go on about Ann Coulter but others are more eloquently giving us genuinly astute opinions about how the use of the word faggot is not okay to use or appropriate in any setting and akin to all the other slurs we are only allowed to refer to by letter -- as in the "N" word or "C" word so I'll take a different approach and get into it with Ann on her level. You're ugly! Nighty nite!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Gift or Gift Wrap?

Yes, it's true, I finished a project. When I decided to change the yarn for the Vagina Blanket border (which is still at the finisher), I refused to have another skein of yarn collect dust in the stash. So I decided to start yet another project without officially finishing one. I opted for something small and what I think will make great packaging for a gift of socks - a kind of 2 for one! It was so simple, but so adorable I just couldn't resist it. Of course, it didn't use nearly as much yarn as I expected so, yes, there's a half of skein of yarn in the stash. Oy!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Beads have been a Jumpin'

Yes, I had the pleasure of meeting Leah today - Hooked on the Needle's new resident expert. She introduced me to the beadspinner and I was immediately hooked. This little machine strung about 800 of the 1000 beads in about 1/2 hour. It seems that when the beadspinner gets low on beads though, they tend to jump around. If I had been at home, I would have gone for it but in a busy coffee shop with a multi-colored floor, I needed to be conservative with how many beads were lost. This little gimzo is a real timesaver and a worthy investment to anyone who uses beads.

Speaking of those who use beads, Leah is not only an amazing person, but an equally talented knitter and crocheter. I will shamelessly gush over the amazing beaded crochet necklace she made to hold her yarn cutter. It was magnificent and perhaps she will share the "know-how" on how to make one of these for ourselves. It is artwork.

Actually, all of the women I met this morning were amazing, seasoned knitters. Unfortunately, I can't remember all of their names but there must have been at least 300 years of knitting experience at that table. Some of the projects were extremely difficult. I suspect they will become a great resource for me as my own project difficulty increases!

Thank you again Leah and if you'd like to be a guest speaker on your beaded crochet chain, just give me a holler and I'll come a jumpin'. I apologize, I couldn't resist.

Sorry there aren't any pictures but being the newbie, requesting a favor and feeling a little like I was crashing a party (only at first), I thought it best not be appear the total geek -- pulling out my camera to document my virgin, bead experience for my blog!

I'm in love!

Welcome the newest addition to our family! This little baby joined our family a few days ago and I've been somewhat obsessed with all it can do. Our old camera took a picture with a flash, had an antiquated zoom feature (little and a little bigger) and a timer that I never bothered to learn. Now I shoot in black and white, sepia, portrait, outdoor, indoor, fireworks, underwater and the list goes on and on. We joke that the camera is smarter than us but I swear it told me to stop reading the instruction manual the other night and go to bed.

Speaking of we/us, the real love of my life, Mr. T (not that guy, silly), my partner, Tony -- 9 years in April, once again as he has for the past 8 years made me a hand-made Valentine. Every year, he painstakingly chooses amazing artisan papers and mixes them together in extraordinary ways. This year when I opened it there was a J and a T on either side, J=Joe, T=Tony and when I opened it further the message was "adore" - get it Je T'ADORE. I didn't get it immediately, at first, until I was told -- fine! I was just overwhelmed, yeah, that's it, overwhelmed. This kind of attention makes a relationship that is statistically at a point when some couples start to take each other for granted (7+ years), we find ourselves still in love!

On the knitting front, I've got a little simplicity brewing on the side while I finish up the Vagina Blanket border - anyone know what it is? For my hoards of avid readers, it shouldn't require too much gray matter.

P.S. The photos in this post are officially the last from the old camera. It took a while to figure out how to get the photos taken with the new camera on the computer but that is officially solved as of this evening!


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

JUMP! I Command Thee to Jump!

No, this is not an 80's flashback, it's a wish, a dream, a fantasy because I know I'm not going to get any help with this one! Does anyone know a Mexican Jumping BEADS chant -- to make beads jump onto string? I bought this little beaded scarf kit, I swear I'm such a sucker for a sample. I see something that's already been knit and I'm all, oh, look, it's so cute -- I should make that!

Which explains the 5 projects I have going right now. The socks are on hold, the recipient made a negative comment about the colors so, they're off to the back burner. The vagina blanket border is of course very high on the list (and 50% done) but the recipient of the blanket's not even here yet so there's time for something else. Then there's the secret project but that's just stockinette and a night or two or knitting and don't forget the afghan that I've used for most of the Winter with needles still in it. I just lay it on my lap like I'm going to knit it but I don't, I just let it keep me warm. Don't judge me, we get so little cold in Los Angeles. By the time I finish the darn thing, we'll have 10 more months of Summer.


Okay, I'm breathing deeply now and feeling much better. Tomorrow I'll buy a bead spinner -- there ain't no way I'm stringing 1,000 beads, that's just stupid.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Side-tracked or Just Plain Bored

I know the Vagine blanket border needs to get done but the Lana Grossa, Italian stripes combined with the new 5" Bryspun double-pointed needles (that didn't seem to get very good reviews on the net, but I like a lot) combined with the fact that the border is boring me to tears, I just couldn't resist. Okay, okay, the border was fun the first 14 repeats but now it's getting tedious. What can I tell ya?

I consider these my first real socks. The first pair were knit with worsted weight yarn on a 4 or 5 needle. These are knit with sock yarn on a #2 needle -- the real deal. I'm going to use one of Charlene Schurch's patterns from Sensational Knitted Socks and try not to get too complicated.

Unfortunately, they are not for me - purple and pink are so not my colors. Can't say who, shhhh!, it's a surprise!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Border Patrol Never Looked So Good!

Not that kind silly, this kind

The border is underway for the Vagina Blanket and I couldn't be more pleased. After a few false starts with the wrong yarn, we're moving along nicely. The pattern knits up quickly in 18 row increments. I can see the light!

And the best part is .... I've decided not to finish it! Oh those pesky little squares are going to be a blanket but I decided to have it professionally put together. Now before you post en mass (all 3 of you), I tried and I tried again. I just suck at it and it looked like crap. Well, not crap, but not great! Yes, I know it's going to have throw-up and snot all over it on a regular basis but that doesn't mean it can't look like Neal Lane bling on the Red Carpet when it's opened. Speaking of wrapping it (which will be an entirely separate post), I'm thinking hand-woven box. Any suggestions?

So I'm at work today and following transpires:

Colleague: Hey, Joe, wow the blanket looks great! You changed the border again and you what, you're having it professionally put together -- all those squares and buying a hand-made woven box to wrap it? WOW, so how much is this blanket going to cost when all is said and done?

Joe: oh, I don't know, a week's salary ... oh, you'd be surprised, knitting's not that expensive!

I tell ya, straight to Hell, straight to Hell, Express ... do not pass go, do not collect $200!!!

On a separate note, has anyone (all 3 of you reading my blog) ever knit the little pouch on the cover of Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. It's on the cover, don't you think giving someone socks in it would be really nice?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

24 of 24 - Heaven!

I may have to play 2424 in the California lottery tomorrow because I HAVE 24 COMPLETED SQUARES of the Vagina Blanket. Now the dilemma begins...I started the scalloped border in a soft pink but it doesn't seem to go. I don't have enough of the white, main, yarn color so I'm sort of stumped. I'd love to find this Carina yarn in pink with the same iridescent quality but I can't find out anything about this yarn on the net since the entire label is in a foreign language. It's such a pain how stuff like that can get in the way of good knitting.

I know there's a solution out there and one I'm not going to figure out tonight. So instead, I'm going to have sweet dreams in increments of 24 - 24 ice cream cones, 24 lbs lost, 24 years old, okay, that's just fantasy so I'll stick with my 24 COMPLETED SQUARES!

Monday, January 22, 2007

P2tog My AS... ... that's hard

Well, I decided to not chicken out and went out today and found the Cebelia 30 yarn, no, not yarn, THREAD. This pitiful little picture is the work of 4 cast-ons and 45 minutes worth of work on a size 1 needle. P2tog after a yo at the top of a row, with yarn, thinner than thread that I sew buttons on shirts, I don't think so. Don't let the picture fool you, this stuff is thread, skinny, skinny .... little thread. How did our grandmother's even see the stitches, never-the-less create amazing works of art?

Well, I managed to sort of master knitting with it, so purling will commence .... another day. And just in case you're thinking that this is just a little teaser and tomorrow I'm going to post an amazing, fully blocked handkerchief edging, I'm not, really!!

As for right now, I'm going back to my Vagina Blanket - 23 is on the needle!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Channeling Little Old Ladies

So I found this wonderful book The Lacy Knitting of Mary Schiffmann by Nancy Nehring and have fallen in love with woman, born March 12, 1908 in Kobe Japan. For those of you who know me, there isn't one thing right with that sentence. Regardless, it's true.

The book is terrific. There are so many patterns, I wanted to knit all of them at once. There are beautiful edgings for pillow cases (imaging them in guestrooms I don't even have), intricate doilies from a time gone by that the partner would never let me put under found artifacts about the apartment and an amazing assortment of lace patterns found throughout the 20th century by Ms. Schiffmann. So I decided to knit the seemingly, easiest project in the book which is a lace edging that can be sewn to a woman's handkerchief. I thought it would be a really sweet gift for Mom.

Off to the LYS to buy the recommended yarn DMC Cebelia 30 and a size 1 needle. When I found the yarn, I thought there must be a mistake. This isn't yarn, maybe dental floss, maybe angel hair pasta with anorexia, perhaps piano wire on meth but certainly not yarn. It's the skinnest piece of string imaginable and I'm supposed to knit with this odd cotton yarn replica into a stunning, delicate lace worthy of Mom's schnozz -- I was not hopeful. Now the #1 needle should have been a giveaway but in my state of new project euphoria, it never crossed my mind.

Fortunately, I was unable to find the recommended color - white (go figure) and put it on the back burner for another day!

On the Vagina Blanket front, we are officially at 21 squares, 22 on the needle!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Very Bitter Knitguyla

I'm bitter, more than usual. I have either lost a square between the LYS and home or I'm so daft that I can't count to 19. Just finished another square and laid them out to admire my handywork and counted only 19. Last time I checked 20 came after 19. And yes, I checked everywhere. On top of that, it snowed in Malibu today; which hasn't happened since 1962. Between the snow and the square, I swear it's the Apocalypse!

Deep Breath/Postive Spin on the Day: I wanted to tell everyone who may not know about this ">book I happened upon at the library -- A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker. There aren't any finished garment patterns in it but seemingly 1000s of pattern combinations for the imagination to simply go wild! It's copyright 1998 so I'm probably way behind but it's such a great book I had to make mention of it somewhere -- here.

Friday, January 12, 2007

1, 2, 3....19th Square!

Yes, we are officially on the 19th of 24 squares. It's only taken a year but who's counting. The blanket has officially been named, "The Vagina Blanket" for its obvious Georgia O'Keefe imagery. Everyone is just casually asking, "So, how's the vagina blanket coming along?" Me: "Oh fine, another square done." But who's really listening in the lobby at work, right?

I do really like this Carina yarn. It has a wonderfully soft, iridescent quality that does not show up well in the photo with our 100 year old camera - being replaced very soon. Once the squares are done, there's about 1000 hours of burying ends and a lovely border to knit as well. I try not to crocket as much as possible. There's just too much knitting yet to learn!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Simplicity - Straight Up, No Ice

Sometimes you just want things to be simple, like my first pair of socks. They were simple, just stockinette but my first foray into double-pointed needles! Let me tell you a little bit about my socks. They're both the same length, they both have matching heels and they both have matching toes. This, I'm told is the prescribed practice. Oh, and the most important thing, there are two of them. They're a little on the short side and there are plenty of imperfect stitches, but they're mine and there are two of them (did I say that already)!

In fact, I'm wearing them right now and may not take them off for some time. I was so excited, I decided to jump right into my next pair, something perhaps, a little more challenging. I chose a Charlene Schurch pattern, based on Franklin's blog. Franklin seems to always be knitting one of her patterns and I think he's an amazing knitter so, it just seemed logical. Then I reviewed the pattern and although I can and will knit this new pattern someday, I just won't knit them today. Sometimes, you just want to knit something simple and sometimes you don't. This is so one of those simple days. So I'm going to keep working on the baby blanket and maybe work on something tried and true like a lovely, simple, Fan and Feather dishcloth. Today, simplicity rules and socks wait!

Friday, January 5, 2007

Resolution Crap!

Personally, I don't like to make resolutions at New Year's as I inevitably lose the list (purposely or not) forget the list even exists by February 1st (purposely or not) or simply don't accomplish what's on the list (purposely or not). So in terms of knitting, I've decided to not make any resolutions for 2007. Now the numerous half knit projects laying about the apartment may indicate to the untrained eye that resolutions are just the ticket here and those half finished projects are absolutely indicative of my inability to see certain things to fruition (purposely or not). I'll leave that to overly-opinionated family members and Freud, instead, let's just poke fun at celebrities, purposely! Happy 2007!