Gin. Knitting. Monkeys. What more could you ask for?!

28 February 2006

Yay me.

I don't really deserve this. Or maybe I do; according to the Yarn Harlot, "Finally, for my chosen knitters, those who did not finish... My deepest thanks and greatest satisfaction in the knitting olympics comes from you. Without trying there is no improvement or learning, without difficulty there is no striving." Dayumm. She makes even a loser feel good about herself!!!

But I'm gonna give it to me anyway. Because it's just too purty not to (yuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. . . bright, purty, shiny objects!!!)

27 February 2006

Knitting Olympics Update

As we all know by now, the Olympics officially ended sometime last nite. Which in turn means that the Knitting Olympics also drew to a close. I am sad to report that Old MonkeyGurrl did not win, place, or even show at these Olympics. Sigh. It prolly didn't help that the wee MonkeyGurl was needing some extry attention last nite, during the home stretch.

But I guess that really depends on how you view it. On the one hand, I did spend (16?) days knitting an item FOR ME. I did not let myself be interrupted by knitting for others, or with some new gorgeous pattern I found on Knitting Pattern Central. I made a choice and stuck with it. That's hard for me, you know; I'm the original Ms. Oscillator (betcha didn't know that, didja?!)

The pattern, Somewhat Cowl, was well-written and well constructed. I think Wendy is a brilliant designer (one who recognizes that simplicity and clean lines are beautiful). Unfortunately, I didn't take into account her ability to knock out a full-blown adult-sized sweater in a day or two. I swear, she must knit 150 spm (that's stitches per minute, for you uninitiated). My second mistake was not allowing myself additional time to knit. If I've never completed anything on that scale before, and I don't add in extra knitting time, then how can I expect to complete it now? Just because I put extra pressure on myself? Duhhhhhhh.

A view from the front - please forgive the crappy camera phone picture, yadda, yadda. Oh, and the pillows subbing in for my lumpy bod.

The yarn, Red Heart's TLC Cotton Plus in Spruce, picked because of its affordability and durability. I can't see me wearing anything alpaca in SoCal, and at $2.95/skein, it was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay cheaper than the Blue Sky ($11.95/skein). Plus, the color reminds me of a particular boy... but I digress.

A view from the back (yes, that is a monkey butt on the pillow!), in case you thought I was exaggerating about the fifty gazillion stitches involved. . .

This would have been a perfect choice of yarn *except* that I decided, a few inches into the ribbing, that I wanted the ribbing smaller. Not less ribbing, but the actual ribbing a smaller gauge, so I switched to 2's. Aurgh. Same problem I've had before with the repetitive stress injury (same yarn, same needles - DUHHHHHH!!!) Oh, and never one to leave a swell enough pattern alone, I decided what the sweater needed was MORE COWBELL. . . er, I mean, more ribbing. About 10", rather than the 3" spec'd by the WOMAN WHO WROTE THE PATTERN AND KNOWS FAR MORE ABOUT KNITTING THAT I EVER WILL.

When fifteen gazillion rows of 2xrib won't do. . . ADD SEVENTY-FIVE BAZILLION MORE!

On a needle note, for the first section (v-neck), I used my Denise 5's. They were HEAVEN. I love my Denises, I do, I DO! But when it became time to knit in the round, I noticed a considerable drag at the joint. Now I know why Denises only go to 5 - anything smaller, and the joint (join?) would be a bear to navigate. So I switched to some addi turbo 4's, which were great, until my BRILLIANT mind decided to switch to 2's. The addis I had were too short (24"), so I purchased some 29" Susan Bates Quicksilver circs. I had some difficulty with the join at first, but soon settled into a rhythm. For the price, these are some pretty nice needles.

So, if I had *intended* a Somewhat Deep-V Vest With Bare Midrift and Unfinished Edges, I would have won the gold. But in all honesty, I'm one of those pathetic folks that never get any airtime. S'alright, tho, b/c I'm pretty sure I'm gonna keep going on this until it is complete, and not let it sit around my WIPs pile. I may even actually wear it, but only to the WeHo SnB, where I will be lauded for my diligence (if not expertise). :) Gotta love those gals.

25 February 2006

I'm a Four

Again, frighteningly accurate, given the lack of data on which the test is based. They only thing I find fault with is the parenting skills section. It would seem they give me way more credit than I deserve in that category.


the Romantic
Test finished!
you chose BY - your Enneagram type is FOUR.

"I am unique"

Romantics have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me

  • Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.
  • Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.
  • Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.
  • Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.
  • Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being a Four

  • my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level
  • my ability to establish warm connections with people
  • admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life
  • my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor
  • being unique and being seen as unique by others
  • having aesthetic sensibilities
  • being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What's Hard About Being a Four

  • experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair
  • feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved
  • feeling guilty when I disappoint people
  • feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me
  • expecting too much from myself and life
  • fearing being abandoned
  • obsessing over resentments
  • longing for what I don't have

Fours as Children Often

  • have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original game s
  • are very sensitive
  • feel that they don't fit in
  • believe they are missing something that other people have
  • attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.
  • become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood
  • feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Fours as Parents

  • help their children become who they really are
  • support their children's creativity and originality
  • are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings
  • are sometimes overly critical or overly protective
  • are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele

The Enneagram Made Easy
Discover the 9 Types of People
HarperSanFrancisco, 1994, 161 pages

You liked the test? so please RATE it :-)

You are not completely happy with the result?!
You chose BY

Would you rather have chosen:

  • AY (EIGHT)
  • CY (SIX)
  • BX (NINE)
  • BZ (FIVE)

  • My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

    free online datingfree online dating
    You scored higher than 27% on ABC

    free online datingfree online dating
    You scored higher than 52% on XYZ
    Link: The Quick and Painless ENNEAGRAM Test written by felk on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

    22 February 2006

    I Heart Flowahz

    Back in the day, long ago, when I was young, cute and single, I didn't care much for cut flowers. They seemed a waste of time, money, and beauty. I mean, they always died, didn't they? Of course, that's when I was getting a bouquet or arrangement every month or two, mostly from people I did not care for and would never date, so I could afford to be idealistic and dismissive.

    Now that I'm older and wiser, I really love flowers. I love getting them. I don't care from whom. Rhuemy-eyed old geezer in the elevator that stands just a little too close? I'll take those roses. Sweaty, grimey troll in the grease-covered overalls, smelling strongly of garlic? Thanks for the daisies!!! Unfortunately, no one gets me flowers anymore.


    EXCEPT. . .

    On my birthday.

    Thank you Unca Douggles.

    And a surprise visit, on VD.

    (Excuse the crappy cell phone shot - Yes, that is quite a vase. Yes, that is quite a mess on my shelf. You should see my desk. And yes, that is a crappy, wilted rose given to every staff person from FatCatLawFirm. Pretty cheezy, no?!)

    I heart flowers. Even if they are wasteful. That's my dirty little secret.

    17 February 2006

    Temptation is EVERYWHERE

    This is what I see when I come up from our parking garage at work.

    This is what I have to deal with if I actually go into the store.

    It's tough being a MonkeyGurrl when Curious George (tm) is being released. Sigh.


    16 February 2006


    And this - so *ON POINT* it's scary:

    MonkeyGurrl --


    A hermit living in the big city

    Thanks to Miss K for the links.

    14 February 2006


    As I mentioned in a previous post (or three), one of my friends runs a big doggie rescue. She is the one that provided the pup, Cairo, to play with the Koza, the lion cub. Here are some pix of a recent visit to the zoo.
    The handsome man is Richard, Andrea's hubby. The even MORE handsome man is Steven, her son.

    The wee Monkey in the middle is the legendary Baby O.

    Cats just always have to be a part of it. . .

    And like the babies they are, they just have to make a mess!!!

    You can read more about Andrea's work here. Please be sure to read about Cairo's grandfather, Chopper. Chopper was rescued from the Katrina waters near death (due to previous neglect), and has racked up quite a tidy sum in vet bills. If you are in a position (or knows someone who is) to contribute to Chopper's health fund, I know any amount would be greatly appreciated.


    13 February 2006

    Is It Too Soon To "Pull A Kwan"?

    Because (1) I want to coin that phrase; and (b) What the HELL was I thinking?! A full sweater in 16 days?! With no additional time to devote to knitting?! And the wee Monkeygurl's "Opening Day" with softball?! Really? What *was* I thinking?!


    08 February 2006

    Ugly Cat Bed

    So, I've finished another WIP. Yay me! It actually turned out quite lovely. Okay, that's pushing it - but I'm not embarrassed to have it on my living room floor (then again, you should see my LR floor!) Now all I have to do is get the Bucket to use it.

    Here is Knitting Buddy Monkey doing his best Vanna White impression.

    Here he is, pretending to be an Ugly Cat.

    Since I couldn't get any other living being to utilize said UCB, the always eager-to-please Jaggers willingly used it as a pillow.

    My beautiful girl. How can you not love a face like that?!

    On the fingerless mitts note - did I say US4's?! What I meant was US2's! Actually, I did 6" of K2P2 ribbing, and finished the glovey part, but I decided I didn't like it. It was too loose around the palm. So I FROGGED the whole thing. :) And started alllllll over again. But it's okay, because I don't feel pressured to finish NUTTIN, since I'm done with the UCB.

    Oh, and for all the millions that sent me Happy Birfday thoughtvibes (because I sure didn't see your comments!), thanks a big bunch. You guys rock. And if you didn't sent me HB TVs, then watch out. When you least expect it, expect it.


    Epsteins's Mother.

    06 February 2006

    In homage to Miss K's 31 Jan 06 entry in which she bares her soul (but alas, not her bodacious boobages), and bearing in mind Auntie Purl's horoscopic enlightenment, I've decided to try my hand at expressing my karmic turmoil in a poem:

    Happy Birfday to me
    I sit in a tree
    I ponder my belly button
    Whatta silly Monkey!

    (no, I won't be giving up my day job anytime soon.)

    Happy Moanday

    Well, not too bad of a weekend. I was quite productive, actually. Made it to Michaels - I decided to get some stuffing for Ugly Cat Bed to make it more comfy. Actually, despite being knit in various barf-like colors of LB Homespun, it turned out looking quite nice. Go figger. And the funny thing about it is, I put it on the floor for Bucket to get used to. He sneered at me from Jaggers' big, comfy bed, and said, "yeah, as IF." Since she had really no where else to go, Jaggers rested on the UCB (well, she got her head and one paw on it, anyway), as if to say, "Look, Bucket. It's really nice!" When I snuck downstairs for a midnight snack, guess who was sitting on the UCB? BUCKET!!! Of course, he was more "perched" on it than curled up in it, but it's a start.

    Let's see. . . What else? Oh, I went to a fahncee yarn store last week. What is it about a (potentially) snooty environ that frightens me so? I can go to the middle of compton (unarmed) and not think twice. I can get into fights (always defending, never instigating) at gas stations with multiple assailants. I can walk alone down deserted streets at 2am, and not even bat an eye, but as soon as I am thinking about loitering with ladies who lunch, my breath gets shallow, my heart palpitates and I change my mind at least 15 bazillion times. But I finally screwed up my courage by reminding myself I had purposely changed in to my "real purse" (as opposed to a happy bunny backpack or hello kitty messenger bag) in order to feel less ill at ease with the pilates@lunch bunch. Of course, said purse was from WalMart on Crenshaw, but they wouldn't know that.

    It wasn't *too* bad. A few novice knitters and one well-known (at least by me) blogger were hanging out in the lounge area, stitching and bitching. The woman that worked there was very helpful and patient with my self-deprecating observations. I even scored some nice "plum" yarn. But at $11.25 per 140 yd skein, I won't be making a sweater out of this any time soon. Still, it took all I had not to fondle it and play with it immediately (had to finish the UCB first!) I'm hoping there's enough for some fingerless mitts, but I'm using US 4s in a double ribbed pattern, so I'm kinda getting worried.

    But it doesn't matter because I won't be done before friday, and this Friday is the opening ceremonies!!! Go to Stephanie's site to see the update. Pretty amazing bunch, those wacky knitters are!

    Since I will put aside ALL OTHER KNITTING (can I do it?!?!), the mitts will have to wait. And finishing the xmas stocking will have to wait. And a few other WIPs that have been gathering dust and lawd knows what else will have to wait until I complete my event!! I don't know if I can do it. Honestly. I'm really good at starting projects, its the finishing of them that gives me difficulties. I think I get bored past a certain point (and with these US4s, it took about 5 rows for me to reach that point), and don't care about the old project anymore. I can actually empathize with those curious old bastards that have a newer, younger girlfriend every 2 years. I'm not saying it's right, just that I can kinda understand. . .

    Oh, and WHO JINXED ME? Miss K, was it you? After all, you've been in a car accident, your S.O. was in a motorcycle accident, and you fell down the stairs, all within a matter of weeks. On Friday, someone set our apartment building on fire!!! Now, I'm the first to admit, I'm not in love with our CLA (crappy little apartment), but please, try not to set the roof on fire, especially during the day when the doggies are home but no one else is. Really. Actually, we were very fortunate that the LAPD airship noticed the smoke (I take back all the foul things I said in my head at 2 in the morning when the airship was buzzing the tower), and the firefighters got there relatively quickly. UNfortunately, I didn't get there in time to see said firefighters. Fortunately, most of the damage is limited to two apartments (ironically, the most damaged apartment is being let by a person who works for FEMA!!! How funny is that?!) UNfortunately, the property management company president is being a DICK about everything - he says the company is under no obligation to provide housing for the displaced renters, and they still have to pay rent, even tho the place is not habitable. Fortunately, one of the lessees has renters insurance (something I may invest in - TODAY), and they cover everything, including hotel, etc. UNfortunately, the one without renters insurance is a single mom and the unit that suffered the most damage. Fortunately, the Red Cross may help her out with temporary lodging. How does this affect me? Other than the unsettling feeling of narrowly avoiding disaster and the karmic offensiveness of the prop mgmt co pres? Well, since the Jman is the resident manager, he has to deal with all the bureaucratic nonsense that necessarily follows such an event. And if he has to so much as take two extra steps in a day, I'm hearing about that (with accompanying whines, groans and complaints) for the next two years. That's how it affects me. All of a sudden, it becomes his raison d'etre; or rather, his reason to do nothing.

    But bless the wee MonkeyGurl's heart - she wanted to take some of her toys to the 4 y/o that was displaced! I'm so proud of her (but I suggested she wait until he has a place to put them).

    02 February 2006


    Doing all I can to prepare for next week's festivities. Didja see my new button?! Purty dang cool, arg! In light of the upcoming Knitlympics, I have actually accomplished many things.

    First, I finished off some fingerless gloves/mitts/armwarmers (courtesy of AlterKnits) to go with a hat (courtesy of my inability to do simple math and fudging everthing!) I knit for OGButtergurl. The hat was promised in OCTOBER. The gloves she only hinted about at xmas. I was very happy to get them all done. Model courtesy of Ford Models - one Wee Monkeygurl. Photo courtesy of the Jman, who still doesn't realize he's getting paid to shoot the KNITTING, not the model. Oy.

    Next, I finished some convertible mitts for said Week Monkeygurl that she'd been hounding me for. Actually, it's only been a couple of weeks, so I guess it wasn't *that* bad. And since I wasn't really using one pattern (guessed on the cuffs, used the previous mitts for the thumb gussets, fudged around for the covers), I had to frog a few times before getting the right size. Gauge? Pattern?! We don't need no stinkin' pattern!!!!

    And since I was using all oddball yarn, they (unintentionally) came out looking like neapolitan ice cream! Allz I need is a cherry on top. But that would be TOO dang cutesy, even for me!

    Found the perfect buttons for Olivia's Haiku

    One of these days I'll get a picture of the hat. Its just too friggin funny.

    Finished the rufflescarf (fudging of several designs) and matching bear scarf

    Oh, and finished the re-re-intarsia part of the xmas stocking. I also have the stocking part done, so I guess I just need to meld the two together. Vulcan knit meld. Hmmm.

    SO. I'm working on a crappy little pet bed (kitty pi, without the felting, since I have no washing machine in our crappy little apartment) for Bucket, since he always steals Jag's bed.

    What's that Jag? You can't hear me? That's cuz you gotta Bucket on your BUTT!!!!

    Anyway, it should be done by tonite or tomorrow, which gives me a week to decide on a yarn, actually purchase said yarn, and go through the pattern. (she says, jumping and shaking like an olympic athlete preparing to compete.) I think I can, I think I can!

    Oh, and speaking of why this event is such a challenge for me - I got word that TWO of the teachers aids for wee Monkeygurl are pregnant and getting a surprise (joint) baby shower. Normally, I'd be all, like, "Oh, I gotta knit a blankie for one and a sweater and cap for the other!" Which would mean the project I'm doing FOR ME (once again) gets pushed aside. It was the hardest thing to say (to myself), "Self, you are already committed to the sweater for the Olympics. You cannot change events right before the competition!" Well, maybe I can, but don't tell me that. Afterward, if there is time (since neither are due until after March!), I will knit them a little sumpin. Or NOT! hehehehehehehe. . .