Musings on machine knitting, the art of knitting, and the mechanics of knitting. Maybe once in awhile I'll talk about my kids, but I'll warn you first, so that you can skip that part.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Weekend

I am very excited....I had a meeting with my boss on Friday, and he wants me to take the lead in writing all of the grants and some business development for our department. This is a great opportunity for me, and if it works out, then I will just scratch my moving to China plans.

Plus, I demo-ed my sock machine on Saturday to a wonderful and excited crowd, and even had three people ask if I would knit socks for them! And one of them was a lady with only 1 leg, so she said she only needed one sock! Unfortunately, I had to turn them all down because I am so busy...... The other neat thing is that I was asked by the San Diego machine knitting guild to demo my sock machine during their monthly meeting......I said yes, of course......

I was so nervous to do the demo, because I am basically a newbie to sock knitting, but Helen at Newtons said I would be fine, so I showed up. The women for the first session were so excited, because apparently they all have sock machines but don't know how to use them. I gave them my caveat: I only started knitting in November and I don't know how to use the ribber yet (which was fine, since I forgot to bring it anyway), but I would take them through the process of knitting a mock rib hemtop sock. I was dripping sweat, but the women were so encouraging. They knew I was new and they just wanted to see someone actually using a sock machine. Thank goodness there were two wonderful and experienced sock machine knitters there, and they helped answer questions and helped me when I had problems.

Anyway, I showed them how to set-up and how to pick up dropped stitches (there were a lot of opportunities for that!), how to shortrow the heel and toe, etc. I showed them all the different parts of the machines and my tools. I also told them how lucky I was that the woman I bought my machine from was so generous and included everything I needed to start knitting, from extra needles to the buckle and weights to the stitch picker upper to the mesh bag that most women use to start knitting (I prefer the set-up bonnet now) to a video that showed me how to set up my machine to lots of different instructions and patterns for knitting a sock. The only thing I have bought for my machine was the yarn carrier thingee, but not because anything was wrong with the one that I received with my machine. I bought the new one a few weeks ago because I saw it on Laurie's (the lady I bought my machine from) machine and it has a slot on the top which allows one to take the yarn out. I really like it. Anyway, I also got to hear disaster stories about CSMs bought on the web, and how some machines didn't come with this or made me realize how lucky I am! Thanks, Laurie!!!!! Laurie and I have become friends and still keep in touch, and now she's become a flatbed machine knitter, too!

Anyway, the women were so great...they were oohing and aaahing over my pathetic demo and basically, they made me feel great, despite the many dropped stitches and holes in the sock...they said they just wanted to see how a sock was made and didn't care about all my mistakes........What an ego booster!

And finally, last night my closest friends took me out to dinner for my birthday and it was fiasco. I picked a Filipino restaurant and took the liberty of choosing the food, since I was early and I know Filipino food. Well, how was I to know that Liz is allergic to seafood, Robin doesn't eat pork, Marny is a vegetarian, and Janet doesn't eat garlic or onions? I ordered this HUGE platter of meat (which my sister in law recommended) that had tons of pork, chicken and beef marinated in a garlic sauce, lumpia (egg rolls) which was made of pork and shrimp, pancit (the noodles) with the seafood and pork taken out, but which was cooked with a lot of garlic, and garlic-fried rice. We ordered catfish for Marny but she didn't like it, Janet made a big scene about there not being any salad (lettuce is not one of the Filipino food crops, although there was a mango/tomato/onion/salted egg salad) and all the grilled fish being cooked with tons of garlic, but finally she found a garlic-free grilled tilapia she liked....the whole dinner was a disaster......but Robin and Liz liked the food, and I got to take home tons of meat, fried rice, and noodles.......

Monday, March 17, 2008

All about my first first date in 6 years

My last first date was with Robert, who passed away almost two years ago. This is an excerpt from a note I wrote to a friend who wanted to know how my date went.

It was with my son's ex-boss from an internship he had last summer. We met in October and he's been calling and emailing me ever since, on and off, but the number and intensity of his calls have increased over the last few weeks (I got 10 emails from him yesterday alone at one of my accounts, so just double that for my two active work and personal accounts and that is 20!) . I finally agreed to meet him today for lunch and I just thank God it was in the middle of the day at a very busy restaurant and I drove my own car.

I had called all my girlfriends and we compiled a list of questions I wanted to ask him because he had somehow avoided talking about his personal life, but 20 minutes into the date, I decided I didn't like him enough to care to know the answers. I was bored to death the first hour (he told me all about the different ways we can use household vinegar to clean the house and fruit, and destroy bacteria on our bodies). But here's a clue to his personal life: he over-ordered the food (it was dimsum), and told me it was all for me to take home. When I demurred, he insisted. When I insisted right back that there was only one of me at home and I was still living off of the leftovers from last week when I took my dad to dinner twice, he said, well, it's kind of awkward because I am living with a roommate temporarily (believe me, he DOES NOT look like the roommate type!) because I am in the process of getting a divorce. I let that concept roll around in my head for a bit and decided to let it pass, because after all, I really had no intention of ever seeing him again. In other words, the creep is MARRIED!!!!

When he finally went to pay the check, he must have taken a viagra or something because when he came back, I could tell he was incredibly turned on. He wanted me to pull my chair closer to him. I declined. He wanted to hold my hand. I asked why, and after he asked again, I stuck my hand out in a give me five fashion (as opposed to putting my hand in his like a sweet little thing). He rubbed the palm of my hand for a bit, then when I asked him he was going to read my palm, he stopped.

Then he started complimenting my shoes and saying my shoes were sexy (which they are!) and I had good taste in shoes. Whatever! All of a sudden, he extended his legs under the table and started rubbing his legs against mine. I must have jumped about 5 feet up in the air. I said what are you DOING? I do not even know what he said or how else I responded, I was so shocked. He sat back and said, oh Joy, you are so shy and you are making me so shy, too! (WTF??? Him? Shy?) Then he looked at me again and said in what he must have thought was a sexy voice: (think sexy growl): let's get out of here....let's go for a walk....I was so afraid he was going to drag me to a hotel and rape me!

I straightened up in my chair and in my best little girl's voice I said, I really have to study today. I have a paper due on Wednesday (I don't, but WHATEVER!) and have to download articles (my best friend Robin thought that was the weakest excuse ever!, on the level of I have to wash my hair). He looked at my sincere looking face and said, okay, let me walk you to your car. So we walked, and he let me walk a little ahead of him and I knew he was checking out my big fat butt and my short fat legs and then he started trying again to talk me into going for a walk with him. I started getting nervous because I saw that with the way my car was parked against a wall, he could block off any escape for me and essentially, do whatever he wanted. We got to my car and instead of walking towards my car door, I turned and stuck my hand out and said thank you for the lunch, I had a great time. I leaned in to do one of those cheek to cheek kisses, and we did, then he grabbed my neck and pulled me even closer and tried to kiss me on the lips. YUUUUUCK, I stuck my hand in front of his face and said in a very firm voice: NO! (just like those date rape psa ads...just say no!). I turned my cheek and let him kiss my other cheek. I got in my car and prayed that I wouldn't see him again. However, when I turned out of the parking lot, he was waiting on the street. He motioned for me to stop, so I did and he leaned into my window and said, when you email something to me, be careful, because it is a public server and everyone can read what comes in. AS IF!!!!!!! Oh my God, the man was delusional! So I said okay, will do, bye. And drove like a bat out of hell.

So I drove all the way to the Valley to give the mountain of food he made me take home with me to my nephew because I did not want any memories of this horrible afternoon. While driving there, I was telling my best friend Robin about the lunch, and he called me. I said, Robin, he's on the other line! What do I do???? She said, answer him, find out what he wants, and call me right back!!!!! I took the call and he said that I made him so shy (OH. MY. GOD. The man does not have a shy cell in his fucking body!) that he forgot to give me two presents he had bought for me, and he wanted to get together so he could give it to me personally. I said oh, no you don't have to......he insisted, so to get off the phone, I said all right. Now, if I EVER, and I mean EVER, say I am going to meet this guy again, I want you to tie me to a tree and sit on me until the feeling passes or the people from UCLA's NPI come and get me and put me in for a 72 hour lockup. PROMISE ME THIS!!!!!

There is so much more...but these are the highlights (or lowlights, as the case may be). I can't stop thinking about what happened and after I post this am going to take a nice hot shower and scrub down. I feel filthy, although nothing physical happened. I also feel incredibly grossed out. He was just soooo disrespectful!

Monday, January 28, 2008

No Photos Again! and other rambling confessional thoughts.....

Sorry, but I keep forgetting to take photos to post on here. I'll try to remember to do it this weekend, but no promises!

My son and my ex-husband are back and they are staying with me in my tiny little place. The good news is, my ex was so appalled at my living conditions that he totally cleaned up the place.....he even cleaned out the refrigerator and straightened up my bedroom!!!! The bad news is, now that he's fixed my place to his liking, it looks like he's going to stay awhile.....and so is my son....

About my son.....that old saying that distance makes the heart grow fonder must be true, because when he was in the Philippines or when he was at Carnegie Mellon for college, I really missed him. But right now I can't stand him because he's a disrespectful brat.....and I can't wait for him to go back to the Philippines and come back to Los Angeles only when he has grown up and out of the terrible 22's.
I mean it, he really is a brat.....why else would I be at my office at 11:52 on a Monday night.......

I've knit a lot of socks and scarves since I last posted...sorry, I keep forgetting to take pictures.....and last night I finally started on my dress for the debutante's ball. I knit the back, and when I was finished, I held it up to me and wouldn't you know it, but it is too small! I need to add some ease to the pattern. So that means back to the drawing board! I am going to try to do the calculations if I go on jury duty sometime this week....otherwise, I'll try to do it Friday night so I can knit it on Sunday.

I am using Designer 727 yarn (black, of course!) and my Brother 864 standard gauge machine. It took a LONG while for me to get used to knitting garments again! My yarn kept skipping needles until I figured that I needed to put weights on. AFter I did that, then it was smooth sailing all the wwhat it is SUPPOSED to look like versus what it will end up looking like. I have aay. Also, I took the pattern from an old vintage Knitking magazine--I think it was in the 1970's, which could explain the difference in size!!!!!--but unfortunately, I can't find the magazine so I could just scan the photo and post it here so you could see xerox copy of the pattern, but that won't help you in visualizing the dress.

I joined a new gym in Pasadena and have started taking kickboxing classes. They are difficult yet I get a great cardio and strength training workout. I am going to try to go to 4 - 5 classes a week at 5:30 every day. I can't go on Wednesdays because I have class.

Speaking of class, I am getting pretty nervous about starting my dissertation. The stats and research methods teacher is, I have heard, pretty tough. I don't want to do it anymore!!!!!!! I'm scared!!!! and just plain lazy!!!!! I don't want to read boring articles and books and try to come up with an original idea about leadership, higher education, and globalization! Why? Because I really really don't care about any of that stuff!!!!!! I don't want to go to China in May!!! There's too much pollution there!!!! I saw it in the New York Times!!!!! I don't want to go the the Philippines in May either because all the women there are skinny and I feel like a bull in a china shop when I'm there!!!! Even when I was a size 6 and 8, my American shoulders and hips were broader than theirs!!!! Not fair because I'm Filipino, too, and it's not my fault that the quality of food is better in America and so I'm just....well, BIGGER......height wise and width wise and weight wise than everyone else over there!!!!!!! waaaaasaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

Well, okay, while I'm on this rant, I wish I could talk about other things, like my new/old crush, but this is a knitting blog and I'm supposed to stick to knitting stuff......waaaaahhhhhhhhhhh.......

I know! I will open another blog for my deepest darkest secrets....hehehe......

Monday, January 14, 2008

Look What I Bought This Weekend!

I went to Newtons this weekend to hear a presentation and I ended up buying a cone winder! Woo Hoo!!!!! And lots of yarn..... Not so great, but I did end up making the scarf for a dean at Barnard who helped my daughter tremendously. Okay, so it is 4 years late, but better late than never, I say!

I also bought some yarn for my niece's wedding gift....yes, the wedding that was 2 years ago......Once I decide on a pattern, I'll knit it!

I"m still avoiding charting the dress I'm supposed to knit for the debutante's ball on February 9th. Don't know why I am avoiding it.......maybe because I'm praying I will lose weight before the big night?????

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I made something other than socks!

I'm so excited! I knit two scarves this morning! One for my daughter with trendsetter yarn that was really expensive, and one for my brother with black wool/silk zephyr yarn I bought from Sarah's Yarns. It's a bigger deal than it sounds, because I had to put together my brother 260 ribber without an instruction manual. Anyway, it all turned out great and A was very happy with her rainbow scarf and so was my brother. I will ask her to take a photo and send it to me so I can post it.

What a difference a working computer makes! I had such problems with my Studio 155 bulky and I am soooooo glad I was able to trade it in, though at a serious loss. The Brother 260 and the ribber worked together so well....I am now thinking about putting up the ribber on my standard gauge, as well.

Right now I have three machines set up: the bulky with ribber, the standard gauge, and my sock machine. While I was knitting A's scarf, I had all these fantasies about buying a fine-gauge machine to complete my collection. If I had that one machine, I would be so happy. The only other thing I would really like is an electric cone-winder. And maybe another room to store all the yarn I would like to buy.

I am so burned out from work and school. The semester starts this week, I think, and I really don't feel like going back to school. It was so difficult to get over being sick and still work on the papers that I turned in soooo late. All I want to do is nest in my tiny place surrounded by all my machines and yarn and knit, knit, knit all day long. I wish our holiday break could have been longer.....a month would have been nice....three months would be even nicer......

I spent all day yesterday looking at my knitting magazines trying to find a pattern to knit for a dress I would like to wear to a friend's daughter's debutante ball in early February. I am thinking of knitting something with either a very low V-neck with a fitted waist, or a ballerina-type neckline with long sleeves. When I find the pattern, I will post!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Happy New Year! I wish you all Peace, Joy, Love, and Prosperity in 2008!

Here are my 2008 Resolutions, in no particular order (Yes, I know, they are 2007's resolutions recycled, but they still are good!):

Be fearless. Take risks. Be positive. Be confident. At the age of 46, you’ve earned it!
o Try to do one new thing a month.
o Take the metro somewhere…..anywhere…….
o Go out to dinner alone. Continue to go to the summer concerts.
o Go out more. Although I love love love being alone and nesting and knitting at home, I do need to go out more.
o Take ballroom and latin dancing lessons
o Take Chinese language lessons
• Be kinder to everyone.
• Try to be more of a friend to my children.
• Take medicine EVERY DAY.

o No excuses for forgetting to take it for a month. That’s when you get scary mammogram results!!!!
• Try to blog at least once a week, even if it is off-topic and/or very short.
• Try to give more of yourself to others. Be kinder to those in need.

o Do not complain or sigh when volunteering at cancer support center. Knit something for charity at least once a month (it could be a hat or a sock or a blanket).
Smile more. Try not to be so aloof, especially with strangers, especially with HANDSOME strangers.
• Health and personal appearance.

o Try to be the best person I can be; this includes being more watchful of some things (like weight and exercise and diet) and indulging myself more (massages, foot massages)
o Lose weight (25 - 40 pounds)
o Eat healthy foods
o Exercise at least three times a week.
o Put moisturizer on 2x per day
o Pay attention to clothes.
o Since I’ve re-discovered the bargains in Downtown L.A., spend more money on nice shoes.
• Knitting.
o Do not buy any yarn this year unless it is meant for a suit that will be knit within the next two months.
o The only knitting things I am allowed to buy are knitting magazines and DAK.
o Knit 1 item to wear a month.
o Try to knit at least 2 hours a week.
• Money
o Save A LOT of money this year.
o Do not go out to eat every week.
o Bring lunch/dinner to work.
o Put money in bank every paycheck.
o Live within means/stay on budget.
o Decide what to do with all the different 401Ks I have from all my other jobs.
o Either move them, consolidate them, or re-allocate them. (Especially the two money market ones that are just sitting around doing nothing!!!!!)
o Pay off all debts except for student loan debts.
Try to manage money so that I’m not scraping by the end of the month. In other words, have some money in the checking account at the end of the month.
• Work
o Be on time for work. Work starts at 8:30 a.m., NOT 9:10 a.m.
o Start cleaning out office and putting things in the right place.
o Look for a new job in student affairs before the end of the year.
• Procrastination.
o Do not procrastinate.
o Open mail and DEAL WITH IT RIGHT THEN AND THERE!!!!! No procrastination or denial
o Don’t let unwashed dishes stay in sink for longer than 24 hours (well, okay, maybe 36). My record was 3 weeks (the dishes were rinsed, though. I was BUSY writing my papers! And, I eat out a lot).
o Keep office clean and files up to date.
o TRY to make bed, even if it means only pulling up the covers.
• Household
o Very similar to the procrastination category, but oh well…..
o Keep clutter to a minimum
o Hang up clothes every night.
o Keep home desk kind of neat
o Try to put everything away. A place for everything and everything in its place.
• Flirt more. I need the practice.

Monday, December 24, 2007

I've Been Busy

Thanks to my CSM, I haven't had to make any decisions about Christmas presents. Everyone gets socks. Period. Except for my daughter in El Salvador who sent me a list of First World items she wanted....stuff like a portable dvd player and face wash and chocolates and gifts for her friends in the small town she is staying. My older daughter left on the 20th to spend 11 days with her sister. The other person I am buying a non-sock present for is my sister-in-law, who pays a lot of money for a certain kind of alkaline water because she says it's healthier, so I told her I'd get her a small account at the local water store. Oh, and for my older daughter, the one who went to visit El Salvador....she (gasp!) didn't want socks; she wanted her car windows tinted, so I said okay.

Anyway, here's a photo of what I've been up to these last few days:

I bought soooo much yarn... it makes this the most expensive recent Christmas season! Since I bought my sock machine, I think I've spent about $700 in yarn. That's it. No More. I have a huge stash now and more on the way from Sarah's Yarns.

AFter I give the socks I made to my relatives and my co-workers, I am going to focus on using my other knitting machines. I want to make some sweaters and skirts to wear to work. Also, I will try to knit 2 pairs of socks a week. I am pretty good at it only takes me an hour and a half to 2 hours to make a pair of adult socks. Sooooo, on Thursday and/or Sunday nights, while I am watching my TV programs, I can make 2 pairs of socks. EASY!

While I was knitting yesterday and today, I was listening to the television news and felt sad that we still have young soldiers in Iraq. Many of them are my son's age (23) or younger and I can imagine how sad they are to be so far away from their families at this time of year. And earlier this week, I watched a program that said that so many of our young soldiers are coming home with drug addictions. Some are physically maimed, some are psychologically maimed. This war has spared no one. Anyway, I think I will start knitting some socks or beanies to send to those young men. I also have a huge stash, and it is cold now (though, admittedly, not anywhere near as cold as other parts of our country! For Angelenos, cold is was about 65 degrees--yup that's cold for us--and tonight will probably be 35 degrees), so I think I might make some caps for kids in the the homeless shelters. Also, I might practice making mittens.

I had my face lasered on Friday and the top layer of skin looks all discolored, so I have to skip out on a family Christmas party tonight. :( Hopefully, the skin will peel off by tomorrow morning so I can go to the family brunch.

I miss my kids.....this is my first Christmas in almost 26 years without at least 1 of my kids in town......I'd better stop writing....I'm beginning to feel a bit melancholy......