Thursday, March 31, 2005

Collective Histories

Kris gifted me with A Knitter’s Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann for my day of birth. I read it in 24 hours. Loved it. Don’t know why, guess it just struck a cord. Here was my favorite part:

“…I very much doubt if anything is really new when one works in the prehistoric medium of wool with needles. The products of science and techonology may be new, and some of them are quite horrible, but knitting? In knitting there are ancient possibilities; the earth is enriched with the dust of the millions of knitters who have held wool and needles since the beginning of sheep…One likes to believe that there is memory in the fingers; memory undeveloped, but still alive.”

I adore this passage. It applies to all things, not just knitting. I come from a family of immigrants. Relatively recent…I’m the third generation born in the States. My family was poor and they came here seeking a new life. Italian on one side, German/British on the other. I most clearly identify with my Italian side. This was the family that was most prominent in my life, the most stereotypical and most loving.

They all worked hard. And today, they have generations of successful offspring that speak to their memory. I can’t help but be moved at the power we all have to honor their memory. Some are easier to honor than others. As with most families there are closests full of dust and grim and yuck. However, I feel many of them in my everyday life. But I feel none of them as strong as I do when I’m knitting or cooking. Am I crazy, or is there really some memory speaking to me? I truly feel as though it’s the later.

Another woman in my knitting group, Barbara, gifted me with the book, Mindful Knitting. She had taken up a dishcloth project described in the book. She was knitting with her grandmother’s needles and was careful to honor her grandmother's memory during the process. How cool.

I have a sock darner thingy and some crochet hooks (49 cents a piece the impression on them tells me.) I guess I’ll go darn some socks – man, stupid ancestors and their inability to save cool things!
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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Three little Chicks

It seems you all are inspired by some tissues. The lotion (lo) and no lotion (no-lo) debate is fierce. I personally am a no-lo. This is for practical reasons. I wear glasses and have you ever tried to clean your glasses with a tissue that has lotion? Bad news. I refuse to keep them in the house. My tissue was actually a roll of toilet paper from Costcocococ. Cheap, cheap, only .03 a blow.

Fun has been at a minimum here at The Bookish Girl. There is no fun when you’re sick. Uninspired by TCM(I have to say, Rock Hudson is the current fav in the Bookish Girl Wall of Fame), the books your reading, or the myriad of knitting projects that bask in your shadow.

Never fear, fun was found in strange places. I picked up these little chicks at a local discount store. They were also cheap-o (like the toilet paper, this house is filled with cheap-os and we’re damn proud.) Let the Easter Celebrations begin...

As I was photographing them one guy tipped over.

Frankly, I identified strongly with the little feller. However, it cracked me up so much I left him there. Go at it Freud.

And we have...

...part of a sock, the first sock. Did you know you can shave your legs in Photoshippers? Beats the hell out of the shower. The retro rib is taking me a long ass time to knit. Alison is kicking my butt all over the place. She’s on to her second pair! I won't even google the rest of the bloggers kicking retro rib arse. It'll be too much for my broken stomach chicks soul.

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Monday, March 28, 2005

Ode to the Tissue

Oh dear tissue, how I find comfort in your fluffy white goodness.
You never tear in the wrong places.
You always stand true and firm against everything that blows your way.
You are proud in spite of your tendency to aggravate raw faces.
Dear tissue, you are almost never in the right place and the right time but
Oh! how can I not help but adore you.

Ahhh- Chew. (I'm reading the House of Mirth, can you tell?)

I'm alive and well. Thank you all for your words of healing. I hope that I made it to each of you to personally respond. If not, I'll be there soon!

I made it through and am finally feeling better. I was back at work extra full time (who really works a 40 hour week anyway?!) last week. Somehow my social calendar is starting to resemble Jackie's. How is it that I moved to this city three years ago with not a friend to be named and now I'm little Miss Social Bug? The blog I tell you, the blog. To catch you up, I'll introduce the parade of bloggers...

- I met a bunch of new friends: Miss Kim (who does have great hair) and Miss Maryse (who doesn't really have man hands and will kick your butt if you get all up in her mini's face.) Both of these ladies were a pleasure to meet. Maryse wouldn't let me sign her chest with my sharpie. ;)

- I said good-bye to a new friend that I only had the pleasure of meeting. Mr. Aki is a hoot. He works with me and has been a constant source of happy feelings.

- I got into bed with a married lesbian couple, a married gay couple, and my husband. Take that George Bush! As saucy as that sounds, it wasn't so much. My friend Laure's had a surprise party at her house this past weekend. What's the most logical place to hide in anticipation of the surprise? The bed of course! We all giggled until we couldn't breathe and yes, there are pictures.

- I finished a flower wash cloth from Weekend Knitting. No picture. This was a gift for Laure's birthday. It was damn cute - pink petals, yellow middle and pink center. I blocked in my office on Friday. It was kind of fun. A little bit risqué, soaking it in the bathroom, running down the hall and carefully arranging it on the towel I brought from home. Whew, what a thrill. I blush at the remembrance of it.

- My husband and I made the trip to the Mecca of Ikea. His first experience. It's a neat place and I don't care if Ed Norton and Brad Pitt place it at the center of their angst.

- I cleaned my house. Did you know that two weeks ago, while I was on my death bed, I had yogurt and granola for breakfast? Yah, well...I had forgotten until we found the bowl this weekend while digging out the couch. Disssssssssssssssssssssssgusting. I was sick, cut me some slack.

More soon...

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Monday, March 21, 2005

One Sick Bunny

I'm in Day 9 of the worst sickness ever.

Flu, Flu, Flu.

I'm slowly getting better. It takes me about 8 times longer than normal to get anything done and I've gotten sick of lying on my couch?! I know, sick of the couch - unheard of. I have, unfortunately, been too fatigued to knit. This adds insult to injury. I get spurts of energy which drives me to start a project. Half way through (if I'm lucky) I basically fall over. There are lots of half finished projects sitting around the house. Poor Rob had to nail some holes for me in the midst of one of my falling down episodes. However, I'm on the mend and will be back to my regularly scheduled posting and emailing soon. (*cross fingers*)
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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Bookish Girl for the Styrofoam Head Guy*

* Get it?! Queer eye for the Straight Guy - Bookish Girl for the Styrofoam Head Guy? Not to worry, no plans to quit my day job.

Meet Heady.

**This is his head-shot.**

Likes: All things involving head. Eh, hem. For example: head-cheese, getting a-head, talking heads, being a-head of the game.

Dislikes: Phantom of the Opera. He believes that it trivializes the discontent of life with a mask and fails to highlight the positive impacts. Most important positive impact: being able to masquerade as a superhero.

Age: Old enough to know better but not old enough to degrade in a landfill.

Most embarrassing moment: Forgetting that he didn't have arms, or a body for that matter, and falling on his face.

Heady came to Bookish Girl looking for a way to emphasize his good looks and minimize the fact that:
a) his head was made of Styrofoam
b) he had a paper mache mask permanently affixed to his face.

Bookish Girl had the perfect solution.

The El Hatto Negro hat from Julia at Mind of Winter. Ahh Aurora 8 was a dream to knit with and the double layer of this hat adds depth and cushioning to this head's appearance. Great pattern Julia and look at the difference it makes to Heady.

Something is missing. It seems to the Bookish Girl that this head needs a bit of a balance on the lower end.

What could be more perfect than a spirally scarf? While it's a bit feminine this doesn't worry Heady - he's in touch with his feminine side. Maybe he's a-head of his time (*ha, does it ever stop?)

This was a free pattern with the purchase of the yarn (Jo Sharp Infusion Kid Mohair.) The pattern was an easy one. Knit on size 13's with less than 2 skeins of yarn. Johanna helped me out with this purchase and she was right, an evening knit.

Now for the fun part. I knit both of these between Friday and Monday. I have a wicked ass cold and this was my prescription (I got a fever and the prescription is more cow bell.) The hat will go off to a young boy in the hospital. I don't know a thing about him except he's been there a few months and his head is bald. Reason enough to send him a bit of hand made love. The scarf will go off to a friend as a birthday gift.

This concludes this episode of Bookish Girl for the Head Guy, thanks for tuning in.
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Thursday, March 10, 2005

tiny bits of joy

My new job is dangerously close to a drugstore. You know what this means? Cadbury Creme Eggs. Easily accessible Cadbury Creme eggs. I was wondering how many calories these tiny bits of joy have. Google to the rescue.

They have 175 calories, exactly the amount of calories I burned on the treadmill this morning.

Umpf. What to do?

Fun Facts about Cadbury Creme Eggs (via Cadbury themselves)

Did you know?

* If all the Creme Eggs made by us in one year were stacked one on top of each other they would stretch from the Bournville factory in Birmingham all the way to Australia - that's around 12,000 miles.

* Over 300 million eggs are produced each year - five for every person in the UK

* The Cadbury Creme Egg plant at Bournville can 'lay' 66,000 Creme Eggs every hour - more than 1.5 million eggs a day.

* We produce eggs all the year round in order to meet the demand - even though they are only sold between January and Easter.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Full Human Form

Okay, so we have a tempory fix in the form of Hello (blogger's free photo hosting service.) It's a pain in the arse to get stuff uploaded!

Let's work backwards shall we? I'm reading the Time Travelers Wife. It somehow seems appropriate to play around a bit with time and space.

The baby sweater was gifted on Sunday...

Could I be a more horrible photographer?

Moving back to Saturday morning. Arriving at the Sew-Up Bee thrown by Mothy yet stunning Julia FC and hosted by the lovely ladies of the Morrill Place Inn, I was greeted by this:

This package of goodies had whisked its way to us from Ann "down south". Now, I must say that woman has got her finger on the pulse of southern life. The package included: cheese in a can, saltines, bloody mary mix (with ALL the fixin's), and tang. All we were missin' were some grits and a twang.

Now, I will admit here in public that I was way disappointed not to partake in the tomatoey goodness. I wasn't sure if I'd like the blood of the mary. And frankly, I didn't even know these people and I WASN'T going to be the first to dig in. Let's ignore the logic that I don't know ANY of you and I'm free and willing, without a qualm, to fess up. And that many of you were there in full human form at that said time. As Kay said when she first walked into the group, "I feel like I should go into the other room and email you all to communicate."

Julia armed us with the beautiful needle art. Fully functional I might add. I left mine at the Inn...blech. Alas, it will live on in my memory....

Kay armed us with squares of goodness.

And we were off...

A finished afghan (not one that our group seemed up. Amy did spend some time finishing a knitted border.)

Notice the offspring of Kay...the boy could not be stopped. Bendetta's beautiful girl was in attendance as well. She sure likes chocolate!

Thank you Ann and Kay for all of the hard work and thank you Julia for gathering us all together!
Please see Julia's site for the full round-up of those in attendance!

Coming soon, more time travel...the birthday highlights....

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The Clap is Up

I've uploaded pictures for The Clap Entry...go crazy kids.
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Living Without the Dork Underwear.

Pictures may be hit or miss for awhile. It seems that the servers "heart-beat" is dying. I'm not entirely sure what that means but it sounds horrible. We'll have to offer it a bit of forgiveness. I may be switching if things don't get fixed up (open heart surgery?) until then, bear with me plueeze.

In the meantime, I've resurrecting my Hello service to share this with you:

Jess, wearing the fuzzy scarf I made for her. She emailed me this picture the other day to let me know she was enjoying her scarf and wondering if this was the proper way to wear it. She's a card that one.

In other news. Kris, of knitting at Village Books Fame, is now a blogger. We had a great time brain storming blog names. She settled on, Shine On! Go check her out and let her know that her project list is a lot shorter than yours.

Finally, Lolly girl tagged me for this game.

What was the last book you read or are reading?
I am currently reading, Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. In spite of what my sidebar will try to convince you. I'm reading this for my real-life bookclub (as opposed to K1R2.) It's a great read that is getting me out of my reading funk. I have to be finished by the 16th. If I read 50 pages a day I should get there just fine.

I just read the Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman, a b-day gift from the above mentioned Kris (look how fun it is to link to you now!) Great book...I'll talk more about it in a later post.

Where did it come from (library, bookstore, gift, etc.)?
Local Independent Bookstore, Village Books. I try to do all my shopping at the mom and pops of the area. Fortunately our neighborhood is filled to the brim. It's not always possible but I do give it my best shop!

How many books do you read per year?
Compared to Lolly (73?!), not that many. I would say at the very least I get to 1.5 per month. Maybe more, it really just depends. I get into cycles where I'll read non-stop. I read 5 books on our honeymoon. And yes, I had a good time!

What is your favorite genre?
The novel and short stories. I like authors that f*ck with my head. Henry James to name one. I enjoy being manipulated by an author. I'm not sure what this says about me. I haven't read too many short stories lately. I would have to say that Lorrie Moore is still my favorite short story author.

Who will you tag now?
I haven't tagged in awhile. How about Kris and Jackie!

I have lots of pictures to share. Hopefully I'll find some time this week to update the previous post (about the Clap) and get to all of the fun I had this past week!! In the meantime you'll just have to live without your daily glimpse of the dork underwear. I know, I know - a tradegy that cannot be avoided.

Lunch hour is OVER!

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

The face-less Clap **Updated**

We have a trifecta!

1 - I am in front of the computer
2 - The computer will connect to the internet
3 - My server is up and loading my pictures

I have big plans to take advantage of this unique opportunity.

First and foremost....many, many thanks to all of you who left me good wishes here, in my email inbox, or in person. My birthday kicked butt. I had a fabulous week in no small part because of you all. Your generosity and well wishes carried me far. They are still carrying me! I am slowly working my way to each of you to thank you more formally. Until I get there please know how much I appreciate your kind thoughts and actions. This was my first "public birthday". I have to admit it was a bit strange, definitely out of my comfort zone. However, it was worth the journey.

I will soon post about some of the yummy stuff that came my way and the fun that I had. In addition to the big week, I had a big weekend. I will dig out my pictures and post about this adventure sometime this week. In the meantime....

I give you the story of THE CLAP - A shawl for my grandmother.

Ms Jean was kind enough to write up a nice easy lace pattern for me. The idea was that I could whip it out in a few weeks. Just in time for the gma's 80th birthday. Eh, hem. Delusions of Grandeur anyone? I suck at lace. I can't pay attention. Even a six stitch lace pattern drives me batty. I used stitch markers, I prayed to the lace gods, I tried everything. It's just not for me. Jean, thank you for taking the time!

Stockinette here I come. The Clap here I come. Sweet relief.

Here she is finished lying about...

unblocked clap...

This is a very utilitarian version. I used Nature Spun on size 9 needles(?, I think that was the size.) It took a bit over 2 cost couldn't have been more than $20. I omitted a few rounds of the center section. Otherwise everything was done to pattern. It was a very easy knit that comes out looking pretty damn impressive. Gma will love it. She's in the hospital right now, I'm hoping this will get to her in time to keep her warm for a bit!

Clap soaks it up:

Umm, yes I cleaned the bathroom before I took the picture.

And she's finished:

In homage to Cathi, who is so going to call me out for being a secret knitter:

The face-less clap, hidi-o-sis.

**Update: Apparently the trifecta has past. Server is down again. No pictures. Of course...this happens when about 8 million people are linking here from other sites. Blech.**
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Thursday, March 03, 2005

You say it's your Birthday

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Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Still no pictures over here at Chez Bookish. It looks like the big bad server that holds my pictures is down. Alas, gift pictures will have to wait.

In the meantime, Birthday week continues here. My hubster picked me up from work AGAIN last night. You would be surprised how happy and giddy this makes me. It's damn cold out and not having to wait for a bus, then a train, then a bus is pretty damn great. I also got a fun surprise last night. Rumor around the house is that there is another one coming tonight. Yippy!

Yesterday I found an email from A* in my inbox. What? It seems someone sent me a gift certificate! There is no name attached to the ecard (which played Happy Birthday to meeee.) Now, if this was from one of you - Thank you! It truly made my month! I had no idea that you could do such a thing. (I know, what rock have I been under?!) Because I can't thank you directly and, because I'd like to pass on the incredible feeling getting it gave me, I will be passing forward such a gift to some other birthday blogger soul in the future.

In the meantime...I'll be over at A-zon figuring out what to get. Yippy!!!

Sock update: I turned the heel successfully and have picked up the stitches for the gusset. What is intriguing me is the engineering behind this sock. What is driving me crazy are the holes left where I picked up the stitches. I’m going to continue and see how it looks when I’m done. Or should I try something different?

The thing is, when I first knit something I like to follow the directions to the letter. This way I can understand the construction and shape. It’s only after I do it once that I’ll go back and fix it. I’ve decided socks are the perfect commuting project. This means that plenty of socks will be in my future. Knowing that there will be more makes me think I should just leave this as it is and do something different on the next one. Any thoughts?

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