From the three books I finished in the last 12 hours:
"That relevance is instantiated both in terms of Sonic Youth's trajectory as a band and in light of Daydream Nation's permanent impact on the development of contemporary independent, avant-garde, and noise rock."
"Gluten is a viscoelastic network of proteins that becomes elongated by pulling and then partially reverts to its initial form when the tension is relaxed."
"You don't know what an egotistical control freak your taste can be until you try to turn traitor, as witness the slapstick contortions I've had to resort to just to get myself to listen to Céline Dion."
Altogether, I think these three books--about violent experimental rock music, the chemistry of cooking, and taste and its relation to pop culture--make a uniquely fitting prelude to an evening that will be spent watching Sweeney Todd and eating a luxe meal with friends.
So happy New Year, everyone, and see you on the other side.
Monday, December 31, 2007
From the three books I finished in the last 12 hours:
Posted by Ms. L at 5:39 PM
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
If I complete four more 33 1/3 books and one more non-33 1/3 book before year's end, then 33 1/3 books will have comprised 33 1/3% of my books read this year.
Yes, I'm a nerd. (See also: my love of this shirt.) I hope you hadn't missed that previously.
Merry Christmas, everyone! Coming soon, pictures of presents, including a Kusha Kusha scarf.
Posted by Ms. L at 9:29 PM
Monday, December 03, 2007
Let's say you were going to go to some sort of marathon event, one that would involve your being awake for upwards of 36 hours, much of which would be spent in the dark.
Say, like this event, which is happening tomorrow.
Now, I have a few holiday presents to work on during the wait to get inside. They're all either cables or lace, so once it gets dark, I'll need to put them away. I learned the hard way last year at a 24-hour B-movie fest: lace and darkness are not bestest friends. I sat outside for most of Krull picking out my mistakes. (This turned out to be lucky, as that movie was soul-suckingly bad, but this is beside the point.)
And yes, I do want to knit for most of the night, if I can--keeping my hands active keeps me awake and alert.
Here are my options:
-Union Square Market Pullover (it's the cover pattern). I have finished the bottom hem of this, and it's a circular pattern. There are increases and decreases, but nothing too hideous.
Apart... from the fact that I'm knitting this in a sport-weight yarn instead of a fingering-weight yarn, so my gauge is off and I'm converting everything. I'd need to finish the calculations before I go legally insane during my extended wakefulness.
-Greek Pullover (same link as above, first pattern listed): Still has shaping, but I'm on gauge for this project.
-Sorrel: Again, a yarn I have swatched. I want to do slightly different things with the hems, though. Things involving lace, so I'd need to finish that before 7 pm tomorrow. Also, I'd be converting the pattern to circular until it splits for the arms.
-Another pair of Campfire Socks. I'm slightly afraid the heel gussets would kill me, though.
So... should I just develop severe startitis and start all of these until they prove difficult? Just the Union Square Market Pullover? Should I be reasonable and not knit all night?
Posted by Ms. L at 1:52 PM
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I'd love to post about knitting, but (1) I haven't finished much of anything, and (2) I can't post about anything I'm working on, since I'm mostly working on gifts.
But I have been reading a great deal! Multiple two-hour flight delays really help one run through the books. I am now up to eight 33 1/3 books read this year (almost 1/3 of the total books I've read), the most recent being Scott Plagenhoef's about Belle & Sebastian's If You're Feeling Sinister. If you like Belle & Sebastian, this is worth picking up, even if you've read This is Just a Modern Rock Story (which I have); it's more a history of being a fan of Belle & Sebastian back in the early days, and how finding out about them is different than how people find out about bands these days. For an editor at Pitchfork, Plagenhoef's awfully down on the cycle of discovering music online.
I read David Lodge's The Art of Literature and Francine Prose's Reading Like a Writer concurrently, switching to a few sections of Lodge after finishing a chapter of Prose's book. They're both guides on writing that favor examining passages of famous works, with Prose a little more focused on close reading (chapters focus on words, sentences, and paragraphs, while Lodge's sections break into things like "irony" and "aporia"). I'm not yearning to become an author, but I love reading well-written how-to books, and books about how to write are more likely to be well-written than, say, books about transformations of random variables. Though if you know of a well-written book about those, I'd appreciate it if you could let me know.
Posted by Ms. L at 3:57 PM
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
...plus some thematically-similar food.
So, finished blocking the Tuscany shawl today.
Amy Singer's Tuscany Shawl, from No Sheep For You.
Made with a 150 skein of Sea Silk, in the Nova Scotia colorway, purchased from The Loopy Ewe.
Mods: I moved down to size 5 needles for the slightly lighter-weight yarn. This wasn't necessary, just a personal choice.
It's pretty, but... I'm not sure I'd ever wear it. (Insert "something something 'process knitter' something something" here.) So, maybe this will be grandma's Christmas gift. What do you think?
In other news, the party last weekend went well. I made focaccia, something roughly akin to Mario Batali's recipe from Molto Italy.
In other news, I'm heading off to SF for a long weekend soon. There will be much coffee, a trip to the pirate store, and maybe some yarn shopping. I'll see you after that.
Posted by Ms. L at 1:50 PM
Friday, October 19, 2007
Man, isn't it like this is a real knitting blog now? I'm sure all my non-knitting friends are thrilled. I promise I'll write about books, music, or the CTA soon.
First off: I met a knitting fellow at Intelligentsia yesterday, named the Fiddlin' Fool. He and his wife (whom I actually know from volunteering at the Old Town School! Chicago's a small town city) have a joint knitting blog, and he's written a charming account of how we started talking (it involves Knitpicks) here. Also, they work on KnitML, which was just mentioned on the Brenda Dayne podcast. Wonderful the folks you can meet when you knit in public, isn't it? (Also, my Ravelry name is bluetangle, if anyone wants to find me. Same as my knittyboard name.)
So I'm having a party tomorrow, which means this is the first time the apartment has been clean since we moved in back in August. As I've mentioned before, I'm in this apartment on an extremely part-time basis, spending most of my time over at Mr. Z's. Because of this, I agreed to take the smallest bedroom (less than half the size of the other two).
The condition on which I took the wee bedroom was that I got my own desk/craft space in the dining room. As of today, it is now somewhat organized, which is as organized as it'll ever be. Here's some pictures:
My desk. A bin full of knitting needles is below the sewing machine. Here's the YPF:
Yarn on hooks! I know I picked this up from another blog I've read (where it was on pegs), but I can't find it now.
These were part of a Knittyboard SP package from Froggy Dear. Thanks again!
So yeah. There are more pics over on Flickr, if you want to see my knitting area, but I'm glad it's all set up. Now, time for 35 people to come in and hang out there tomorrow!
Posted by Ms. L at 11:44 PM
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Okay, so I showed off Salina yesterday, but here's what I've been neglecting while I work on her.
Tuscany: Only sewing in ends and blocking remains.
I think I'm still a little disappointed that the colors are so contrast-y. I wanted semisolid, which this certainly is not.
Poor Venezia: Size 5s seem so large compared to 2.5s! But a little has been done:
I'm up to the waist, about to start doing increases. Here's a glimpse at the backside:
Pretty in its own right, I think.
Posted by Ms. L at 6:16 PM
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
One of the advantages of being a pale redhead is that I can pull off some really noxious shades of green. I am, for example, currently wearing a bright, almost-neon green V-neck from J. Crew.
Here's another example:
It's the hem detail on Salina, from the Rowan Vintage Knits book. It's the cover pattern in the version of the book I have, and it's made in the same yarn, same color. I think it'll suit me, though.
Look what I'm using, despite the fact that I almost never use wooden needles with wool anymore:
They're nice; they've only come loose once, and that was after they were jostling around in my bag for several days.
Speaking of my bag (yes, I'm going to be camera-crazy for awhile, since I just got my shiny new camera), Mr. Z got it for me while he was in Luxembourg, though the company is Swiss:
It's a huge bag. You could seriously fit a toddler in there. Not that I recommend that. I can carry two books, my knitting, my pattern book, my iPod and the massive headphones shown in the picture (a gift from my mum), several lip balms and lotions that fall to the bottom, and my wallet and keys (when I remember them) and still have room for sundry other things.
So yeah... WIP Tuesday for you all.
Posted by Ms. L at 5:31 PM
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Ah yes, the blog. This thing still exists, doesn't it?
Sorry about the lack of posting, but I have a few reasons:
-I am not at my old job anymore. This is a good thing, but I'm shuffling about, getting things in order. Speaking of which...
-I am about to officially, finally graduate. To those of you who might've thought I already graduated: oops! I gloss that over. Essentially, there's been a rules change that will allow me to graduate in March with no additional tests/classes. Love those rules changes!
-I have finished very little knitting. That's not quite true. The knitting portion of my Tuscanny shawl is done, but not blocked. I whipped out a Raspberry Beret for a Prince-themed party yesterday. But there's been very little going on with Venezia (what can I say? It was 90 a week ago. Who wants to knit Fair Isle when it's 90?). And finally:
-It was my birthday! Yay being old. It's not out until tomorrow, but I'm getting one of these for my birthday. Actual good knitting pics to follow!
Posted by Ms. L at 6:22 PM
Friday, September 28, 2007
Please insert the requisite "OMG, so long since my last post" comment here. Moving on.
I went to go see a movie about Helvetica yesterday. Yes, the font. It was good.
After a brief history of the genesis of the Helvetica font, the movie was more of an exploration of typeface design (and design in general) over the last 50 years, as filtered through the lens of Helvetica.
In brief: before Helvetica, things were ugly! Then there was Helvetica. It was great! Every company in the world used Helvetica! So Helvetica became the corporate typeface (and, as one designer stated, "the font of the Vietnam war")! So people started hating on Helvetica! Boo, Helvetica! Yay, weird fonts! Hooray, ugliness! Then the youngsters decided they could make Helvetica new again!
Also, there are a lot of designers with interesting eyeglass frames and gorgeous studio spaces. The soundtrack is also nifty (Sam Prekop and Battles were the two I could easily identify).
Fun times: after the movie, the woman in front of me stood up and said "So who here's a designer?". Everyone else raised their hands, and someone asked if there were any non-designers who would watch this. In a sotto voice, I said, "I thought it looked cool."
I've already prepurchased this on DVD. Helvetica party?
So yeah... if you get a chance to see the film, do so.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Reasons I never manage to do WIP Wednesday:
-I am very forgetful.
-I stay at my apartment two nights a week, max, and for the last month, it's been two nights total. Half of my projects are at my place, half at my boyfriend's place. This is especially a problem right now, since...
-My digital camera is broken, so I'm currently using the camera on my darling MacBook Pro. Hey, it's better than my cameraphone by a long shot.
That being said...
This is a v-neck, sleeveless lace pullover from the summer Vogue Knitting, in Blue Sky Alpaca Silk. It's really quite a fast knit, but cumbersome to carry around. For travel knitting, it's currently either the Socktopia mystery sock (at Mr. Z's; also, get well soon, Momma Monkey!) or this little number:
Toe-up Jaywalkers, with contrast toes and heels.
Here's my current challenge project:
Venezia Pullover from Interweave Winter '06. Oh, fair isle. We don't want to talk about how long it's taken me to do these few rows.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
More SP goodness:
Left to rightish, there's a mug with "I've got knitting needles and I'm not afraid to use them" (my new motto), which contains one of three skeins of Frog Tree Alpaca lace and fruity on-the-go antibacterial hand cleanser; stitch markers (in the baggy, hard to see, I swear, I'm getting a digital camera for my birthday in October and all the pics will be nicer), yummy chocolate, another type of hand cleanser, and yummy Duet Sock Yarn. I may have some guesses as to the identity of my SP, but I'll keep those to myself for now...
I took half a day off work today, because I had a nasty throatache. Much tea was consumed, much Seinfeld was watched, and much knitting was done (in particular, the Socktopia mystery sock and the oversized lace pullover from Vogue Spring/Summer). This evening, I also watched the first chapter of Ingmar Bergman's Scenes From a Marriage, a six-part miniseries about the breakdown of a couple. I'm amazingly undepressed for having watched an Bergman work. Maybe if I keep it to one hour a day, my soul won't be filled with despair.
I also keep staring at the furniture in the miniseries and marveling over how cute 70s Swedish design is. This is a slight problem, since I've missed some subtitles and had to go back.
But look at this couch!
(Sorry it's so tiny--it's the only pic I could find.)
Posted by Ms. L at 10:36 PM
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
One more thing finished!
Campfire Socks. Got the yarn in an exchange from Kelly Girls. Thanks, Jodi!
In other news, I love owls. Let's consult Etsy on this, okay?
That which I already own:
Owl spiral journal from Seamripper. I actually bought this at the new Renegade Handmade shop, which you should go to, if you live near Chicago. They like owls possibly more than I do.
That which I will have purchased by the time you read this:
Two varieties of owl greeting cards from Blackbird Letterpress. I adore a lot of this store's stuff; I'll certainly be getting some personalized pink and brown cards, and I'm giving a gift of thank you cards to a friend. (Does this mean she'll have to send me one of the thank you cards?)
That which I will buy at some point, once I figure out my apartment decorations:
Owl wall decal by Holly. I may actually get this in the faux wood finish. I will also probably be getting the "Knitting Geek" decal, too.
Posted by Ms. L at 9:22 PM
Sunday, August 12, 2007
(Please say the title of this post in that deep movie voiceover-guy voice that says "In a world gone mad..." and things like that)
Ravelry has made me aware that I have ELEVENTY BILLION unfinished knitting projects out there, so I've decided to knock some out. Final finishing on all of these happened today. Yes, all of them today. From the top:
-Ene's Scarf: I started this on August 1st. I worked on it for many hours a day. It is ready in time for Mr. Z to give it to his grandma on his trip to Poland (which is coming up soon). I'm getting the yarn for this (plus Victorian Lace Today) as a thanks for making this.
-Montego Bay Scarf: Mmmm, Sea Silk. Since Ene was knit from Voile de la Mer, I'm knitting with seacell a lot these days.
-Espresso Shawlette: It's the Clementine Shawlette from IK Spring '07, but in brown.
-Sahara: This is my gratuitous chest shot for the post. Enjoy!
Now... do I finish another project, or start something new?
In other knitting news, man, is Rowan 42 ugly. So many drop-shoulder sweaters. So similar to Rowan 20. I'm unhappy with this.
Posted by Ms. L at 7:47 PM
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
I got this package two weeks ago, but because of the move, I'm just putting up pics now. Sorry, my wonderful SP!
So yeah: DK sock yarn from Fearless (in a colorway I seriously was looking at the day before), tofutsies sock yarn, DPNs, a sock project bag, supercute knitting cards with my name on them (!!!), a sock project bag, and chocolate, which is not terribly visible in the picture. Thanks again!
In other news, I found out via Ravelry about the massive colorfastness issues of MCY yarn. Has anyone else bought this stuff on Etsy? I rinsed out a green skein I had several times over, and there was massive yarn bleeding every time. I have done this at least seven times. Every time, the water is dark green. And I have such a pretty blue skein of the stuff awaiting a good project. GRRR.
I already posted this at the Knittyboard, but I thought I'd share here, too.
I brought my knitting to Lolla this weekend, because (1) I'm just that dorky, (2) I have a project that needs to be finished ASAP, and (3) there was gonna be some sitting-around downtime, so why not utilize it?
So, this is the yarn I brought in. I had two skeins, unwound, and a partially-knit shawl, all in a baggie. In retrospect, this yarn does kinda look like pot.
When I was at the gate on Friday, I opened my bag to let the security guard check what was in there. I was slightly concerned that the knitting needles wouldn't make it through, somehow.
SECURITY GUARD : Damn, gir- (suddenly stops)
MS. L : It's yarn.
SG : Oh man, I thought it was something else for a second. I was like, damn, girl! You can't be bringing that in here!
MS. L : Oh my god! You thought I was bringing in weed!
SG : Yeah!
MS. L: Dude, that'd be a LOT of weed. What, do you think I hang with the Roots or something?
The next day, I became more proactive.
MS. L : It's not pot, it's yarn!
Security Guard 2 : Yeah, when I saw that it was sort of furry, I knew it wasn't pot.
Later, with Mr. Z...
MS. L : You know, I wanted to respond, "Man, you must not have had the good stuff, because the good stuff IS furry," but I thought that would've just caused more problems than it was worth.
MR. Z : That was probably wise. Also, that yarn isn't that furry.
MS. L : I know!
Friday, August 03, 2007
I've been bad about posting recently, in part because I've been busy packing/unpacking/hauling out bags of trash/cursing my materialistic nature. The standard moving drill. I'm also busy knitting a last-minute gift for another relative of Mr. Z (more pics of that later). But enough of that artsy-craftsy stuff for now. This weekend, it is time to rock. Again. Yes, it's Lolla time.
It is a fundamental law of nature that, in a given summer, either Lollapalooza or Pitchfork Fest will be hotter than a radiator in the warmest part of hell. Since Pitchfork was incredibly temperate and pleasant this year, Lolla is the scorcher. I'm a delicate flower, used to the lower humidity and higher concentration of air conditioning in Oklahoma, so there will be lots of breaks this year. Here's what I plan to see, as long as I don't get heatstroke:
-M.I.A.: Because I have to work today, I'm missing the Polyphonic Spree This is partially remedied by seeing I'm From Barcelona tomorrow (see below), so I'll start here. I love the first album. Loved the mixtape. Am intrigued by the hostile interview on Pitchfork this week. We'll see.
-Silversun Pickups: This guy likes them. I've heard a few songs and I like them. That's good enough for me.
-LCD Soundsystem, followed by Daft Punk: I'm more excited for LCD Soundsystem than anything else this weekend. Any excitement I feel regarding Daft Punk may entirely be due to LCD Soundsystem's "Daft Punk is Playing at my House".
-I'm From Barcelona: They're from Sweden, actually. My regret about missing Polyphonic Spree is greatly mitigated by the fact that I'm seeing these guys, who are what PS would be if they were Swedish, more of a glee club than a cult, and wanted to be Belle & Sebastian instead of The Flaming Lips.
After four hours where I may see some stuff, but may go hang out at a coffeeshop...
-Hold Steady!: HOLD STEADY! Love these guys. I hope they play new stuff, since I've seen them tour on the current record twice, but I still love these guys.
-Yeah Yeah Yeahs: They're fun live, even if their new album is eh.
-Patti Smith v. Spoon: I'm torn on this. In Patti Smith's favor, she' PATTI SMITH. In Spoon's favor, their new album is great, and Patti Smith's covers album is really weak.
-The 1900s: I've not seen them yet, and I've been meaning to, since their debut was on the label I used to work for. However, it is high noon. If I don't see them, I will likely roll into Lolla around 5pm, skipping Dios, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Lupe Fiasco v. Amy Winehouse.
-Yo La Tengo v. Peter Bjorn and John: Again, highly ambivalent. I know I'll love Yo La Tengo, and it'd be nice to possibly see some old songs (unlike their show at Pitchfork last year). I do love poppy Swedes, though.
-My Morning Jacket vs. Modest Mouse: I can't bring myself to care. MMJ is nearer to the TVOTR stage, so I may decide in their favor.
-TV on the Radio: They're sometimes great in concert, but I've heard their festival gigs aren't so terrific. I could go see Cafe Tacuba, but I'm not going to want to walk the mile between those stages just to do it again for...
-Pearl Jam: Oh, why not?
So yeah. That's my low-key, aware of my boundaries Lolla schedule. I'll be the girl with four different suncreens.
Posted by Ms. L at 2:50 PM
Monday, July 30, 2007
Pattern: Tamarah from Knitty
Yarn: Tilli Tomas Pure & Simple (Burnt Orange, 1 1/2 skeins), purchased at kpixie and Habu Textiles Silk Mohair A-32D (205/red, 1 1/4 oz.) purchased from Habu directly
Needles: Size 7 Inox & Addi circs
Modifications: None really, apart from the yarn changes.
The pattern is modular and lace, but once you figure out the progression of the pattern, it goes pretty quickly. I had to do a lot of math at first, and there was great furrowing of brow, but by the end, it was mainly mindless knitting. This pattern doesn't seem to have been knit very frequently, but it's super-cute! Why isn't this at least half as popular as Clapotis?
I like this a great deal; I may make one for myself soon, in something not-orange (this is for Mr. Z's mom--this orange is lovely, but I can't wear it).
In other news, I got my invite for Ravelry. Ravelry has made me aware of my ten active projects. I should work on them/work on getting photos of them... after I finish that entire moving thing.
Posted by Ms. L at 2:57 PM
Sunday, July 22, 2007
So. Not including yarn I'm using in a project, or yarn at Mr. Z's, or yarn that I have hidden from myself in a mysterious place...
I showed this to my roommate. He said, "Oh my GOD." I said, "Really? Because this was much less than I anticipated."
I mean, it doesn't even fill my queen-size bed! I am an amateur. Right?
Posted by Ms. L at 7:53 PM
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Here are some things I received from my Knitty SP last Friday:
Scharffenberger nibby bars (my favorite chocolate bar) plus a 16-pack of minis. Thank you so!
I've been completely derelict in posting works in progress. Here's something I've been laboring over for awhile:
All of the darker blue bits? Beads. The yarn? Rowan 4-ply cotton. The needles used? US 1, 1.5, and 2.5. Egads, that took awhile. And I still have the front and the sleeves!
Pitchfork was great in parts, annoying in others. More on that later. Off to pub trivia now.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
If we are to trust Mr. Z on these matters, the proper 18th month anniversary gift seems to be Criterion Colleciton DVDs. I am fine with this, especially since I now own the following, thanks to his largesse:
The 400 Blows
Band of Outsiders
Jules and Jim
Now that I own the last of these, I have three Criterion Collection editions Preston Sturges movies (the others are The Lady Eve and Unfaithfully Yours; I should also pick up The Palm Beach Story at some point)--movie night, anyone? It'd be more lighthearted than a screening of the 8-hour version of Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage.
I went to the Metro to see Os Mutantes last night. The last time I saw them (nearly a year ago at Pitchfork), the crowd starting getting unruly due to the lack of an encore, so it was great to see a full show. The only bummer was that, for most of the show, I had to watch it through the gyrations of four hipsters on a double-date. I kept checking my (non-existent) watch to see if we'd turned back the clock to the late 90s, because these people acted like they were on E. Just trust me, it involved a lot of frottage and dancing of questionable merit.
Speaking of Pitchfork Fest... this year's iteration is happening again this weekend. Not a ton of my friends are going, and I'll spend more of this year chilling in the shade (thanks, 826 Chicago booth!), and I may actually arrive after the first band starts on Sunday (not something I've done before)... but it's still a great lineup. I'll be the one with at least four different kinds of sunscreen and red hair styled like Chan Marshall's.
Speaking of Chan Marshall... doesn't Sporty Spice look alarmingly like her these days? Am I alone on this?
Posted by Ms. L at 2:51 PM
Monday, July 02, 2007
This weekend, I watched four episodes of Melrose Place, and listened to Slint's Spiderland, De La Soul's 3 Feet High & Rising, and a mess of Feelies albums. I was listening to Slint and De La Soul in part to prepare for Pitchfork in a couple of weeks; I listened to the Feelies because I finally downloaded their albums and am hating myself for not doing it sooner, because they are awesomeness squared.
Also awesomeness-squared: Melrose Place. As the astute folk at TWOP have stated, you have to love a show where a woman runs down her fiancé, then frames the guy's second wife by making it look like the second wife framed his first wife.
(And the first and second wives are SISTERS. And the second wife blackmailed him into marrying her because they both thought he killed his fiancée! Who then came back and made him kick out the second wife, who was, by the way, a hooker! And a madame! And then, after a fall from grace, a stripper! Until her estranged husband saw her on stage!)
I should get the DVDs.
In other news, I'm almost done with Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Unfortunately, it is too large a book for me to fit in my bag without causing shoulder strain, so I can't read it on my way to work. Also, I worked on Bonita and Basalt this weekend, and am over halfway done with the former. Pics to come on Wednesday, I think.
Posted by Ms. L at 8:41 AM
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Puzzle of the day: Was I the only person who was made to sing "Hot Dog, I Love that Weiner Man" as a young child? Repeatedly? With such stunning lyrics as the one quoted in the title? We sang that all the time in Camp Fire when I was young. It involved singing the word "weiner" dozens of times between quicker and quicker iterations of the one verse. Anybody else?
In somewhat related news, I yearn to go to Hot Doug's. If you're not from Chicago, or just don't know about Hot Doug's, check out the menu. Even more important, check out the specials.
I don't even eat regular hot dogs (thanks, high school lit class in which we discussed "The Jungle" coming directly before hot dog day in the cafeteria!), but I love Hot Doug's. I had an elk sausage with mustard seed cheddar (hold the blood orange mayo) last time I was there. If you're ever in Chicago and you can, you should go.
Posted by Ms. L at 8:54 AM
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I've finished a sweater--more on that later; it will be a little ranty. When I have pics, we'll talk.
Other than that, things that are bringing me great joy:
-Moving! Because we're insane, Kevin and I are moving! Across the backyard! With a new roommate (Phil, former roommate of Kevin's)! I am getting an incredibly tiny room, with an attendant incredibly tiny rent. While I avoided asking friends to help me move last year, I'm not going to hire professionals to carry boxes down a flight of stairs, across the lawn, and up a flight of stairs.
I may well be making my own loft bed, or at least finding people to help me do it. Yeah, I know it's insane, but I'm not willing to pay too much for a bed that I'll likely only use for a year.
Oh, and we're moving in on August 1st. Oh, holy crap. I gotta get moving.
-Pride Weekend! With attendant Pride Parade. I believe I will be staking out a parade spot for my group of friends, starting around 9 on Sunday. Much sunscreen will be used. Following that, Kevin is (and, to a lesser extent, I am) having an afterparty. Unlike the last Pride Party I threw, this one won't involve me dumping my boyfriend in the middle of the party. No word yet on whether this one will also involve bare-assed spanking going on in my bathroom (you can't predict these things), but unlike the last party, my boyfriend will not be involved. He's in Vegas, so I can say this with confidence.
My only food contribution: fancy lemonades and limeades. I'm not going to stress too much about it.
-Sewing! My mother FINALLY shipped me my sewing machine. Only 18 months late!
-Internet Radio, while it's still around. I especially like the program Pandora-FM, which allows me to listen to Pandora radio and have the songs post to my last.fm account. The only disadvantage: Pandora sometimes freaks out on me (why Hilary Duff on my Indie Pop radio station? Why?!), and if I'm away from my desk, the world will think I listen to Hilary Duff. Despite the fact that nobody looks at my last.fm userpage, the thought that anyone might think I listen to Hilary Duff is alarming.
-According to my Google calendar: So much volunteering! Maybe a weekend trip to Michigan? John Sellers (whose book I read awhile back) book reading/signing! Os Mutantes at the Metro! A wedding! Pitchfork and Lollapalooza! These are the reasons why I'll be hauling my belongings across the backyard in garbage bags.
*Did the spanking incident lead to the dumping of my then-boyfriend at the last Pride party, you probably aren't asking yourself? Answer: Not as much as you might think. It's a long story.
Posted by Ms. L at 1:51 PM
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Socks-y: Megan @ Woolly Interlude! I swear I didn't rig this.
Spinny: Kelly @ Lime Street Knits!
Since all three of you are Knittyboarders, I'll be pm'ing you about mailing this off.
Congrats, all! Proof of knitting to come soon.
Posted by Ms. L at 6:40 AM
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Hey, the knitblog contest ends tomorrow night. Want to see the prizes?
Socks-y: There's one bonus for this winner: she gets a choice! So, will it be...
Lorna's Laces Superwash Sock in Pin Stripe?
Spinny: It's all Fleece Artist for you.
Sheepless: Speaking of aqua and blue, I really do like those colors.
These are SWTC Bamboo, in a medium aqua color, from the discountyarn sale. This would be enough to make a tank top, I believe.
The contest is open through tomorrow night, and results will be announced on Thursday; if you want to enter, comment at this post. Good luck!
Posted by Ms. L at 6:13 PM
Friday, June 08, 2007
Usually, when I'm listening to music on my iPod, I'm either listening to an album in full, or listening to my workout playlist (whether or not I'm working out).
Every once in awhile, I put it on shuffle, and remember that I have tons of music I don't listen to all that frequently. In particular, I remember I own a ton of compilations. Nuggets I and II; Living in Oblivion Vols. 1, 3, and 4; The American Anthology of Folk Music (the three main volumes, plus the semi-official fourth); some huge comp of Woody Guthrie; several Brazilian comps; and a box set of turn of the century gospel music featuring an entire CD of sermons only. I haven't listened to most of this stuff all the way through, so a trip through my iPod on shuffle often reveals gems I didn't even know I own. Like this, from Nuggets II:
The Marmalade - I See the Rain (mp4)
And sometimes my iPod reminds me I've downloaded a bunch of great stuff I've not listened to yet. Like Lifter Puller, a precursor to The Hold Steady:
Lifter Puller - Mission Viejo
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Hey, remember when I used to talk about things other than knitting? Me neither.
Massive bummer of last week: Missing the Dino Jr. show at the Abbey on Thursday. I was just way too busy and exhausted, and spent all afternoon walking around buying books when I should've been taking a damned nap. Although I heard Lou was cranky as hell and it wasn't that great of a show, I wish I'd been up for it.
Exciting concert I'll be napping for this week: The National. They're always great in concert, and now they're all famous and shit.
Concert I should buy tix for soon, once I get my shit together: Os Mutantes at the Metro in July. It's gonna be great. The replacement singer for Rita Lee is hot, their set at Pitchfork fest last year was really energetic and tight for not having performed in many years, and maybe they'll stop singing the English-lyrics versions of their songs.
Song I'm obsessed with: Caetano Veloso's cover of Joni Mitchell's Dreamland. Still. It's a terrific song. Honorable mention: The Raincoats' cover of Lola.
Hot Fuzz: I saw it the week it came out in a downtown theater, a few weeks later at the "Art Theatre" in Ann Arbor, and last weekend at the $3.00 second-run place. I will probably be seeing it at the Brew and View, too. I like it more than Shaun of the Dead, maybe because I know more about cop movies than zombie movies.
Knocked Up: My love for Judd Apatow and crush on Seth Rogen make me rather unobjective on this movie, so just go see it. It's hilarious. It has wise things to say and innovative bong formations, so there's something for everyone.
Books I've finished: 33 1/3 books on Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA and Joni Mitchell's Court & Spark. I slightly prefer the former, maybe because I like the former album better. Both of these books were slightly critical of their subjects--Springsteen could've made an even better album if he'd picked different tracks, and his humorous songs were better than he thought; Mitchell put out an awesome string of albums, but then got hateful toward her dwindling audience after C&S. The criticism was a nice change of pace from some of the "how cool is this album? here's all the recording details of this album!" style of some of the books. Not that I mind that all the time...
Disconcerting book fuckup of last week: Speaking of the worshipful recording details-style book, I was chugging along through the 33 1/3 book on Exile on Main St, only to find that every other pair of pages between 74 and 110 were completely blank. What the hell? The publisher was nice enough to send me a replacement, though.
Proof that I read books that aren't from the 33 1/3 series: I'm finishing up on Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Yes, I know I'm four years late in reading it.
We managed to beat two pub trivia teams featuring people who've been on our team before (including Scott, the Web editor of Time Out Chicago--read him here and here) despite knowing nothing about Bobby Kennedy vs. Billy Carter. It's all Cranky Uncle Greg, people.
Posted by Ms. L at 11:18 AM
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
...However, I should've posted about this on Saturday, as I got my Secret Pal package on Friday from lovely Froggy_dear. Let's see what I got, as pictured on my dreadful phone-camera:
From the top left, going clockwise: Mad Libs, a citrus-caramel-dark chocolate candy bar, MONKEY LIGHTS!, small pots with basil and tomato seeds, a small wooden box (great size for stitch markers) witha finger puppet, Ghirardelli squares in Dark and mint-filled chocolate, a lovely tomato plate, a very nice Art Nouveau style card, and two skeins of SWTC bamboo. The pic doesn't do the color justice--it's a lovely electric blue.
So thank you again, Ms. Froggy_dear! Now I have to figure out if I'll be participating in Secret Pal 9...
Posted by Ms. L at 6:14 PM
I am not blogging about knitting because I am apparently incapable of finishing anything. Currently active:
-Sahara: I must knit on the sleeves to this. Cap sleeves! That is all, apart from a small amount of finishing. And yet, because I didn't finish it in time to wear it to the rehearsal dinner... it is not done.
-Blue Sky Cropped Cardigan: I'm close to done, but I've been dispirited about this project since I finished it, wore it, decided it was too floppy, and ripped it entirely out to restart it.
-Rosa: I'm working on this one a fair amount, but it's a shirt, with beads, on US 2.5 needles, aka SLOOOOOOWWW.
-Supersecret project: It's pretty, and in a color I'd never wear, but I'm working at it exclusively at Mr. Z's place, which makes it slow going.
I have managed to stop buying yarn, as it was slowly overgrowing my apartment, and was clearly forming designs to suffocate my poor roommate. And I've realized that I won't be starting up spinning anytime soon, at least until I manage to knit down my stash.
Therefore: contest! Inspired by Megan at Woolly Interlude, I'm gonna have a knitblog contest! Announcing... Socks-y, Spinny, Sheepless or Silly.
1. Leave a comment to this post by Wednesday, June 13th at midnight Central time. Include some sort of way for me to contact you, in case you win. I'd like it if you also left your blog info, if you have one (so I can read you later) and something about yourself, but I'm not too picky about that. (New Rule! Tell me if you read about this on another blog, as that blogster will get another entry for everyone that sees her post and enters.)
2. Also, tell me if you want a socks-y prize (I'm thinking... Fearless Fibers), a spinny prize (Fleece Artist fiber), a sheepless prize (this will probably be bamboo from the discount sale), or a silly prize (magically fugtastic Rowan Mag from the early '00s).
3. I will pick two or three winners early on June 14th (depending on the response), and start sending out prizes!
So yeah... post a comment, possibly get free yarn! Not the worst deal in the world.
Friday, May 25, 2007
To be fair, I usually post here when I finish reading or knitting something, and I have finished no knitting (though at least one book, the Bruce Springsteen Born in the U.S.A. 33 1/3, which was terrific). I have completely frogged and almost finished re-knitting a few things, but I need to settle down at my apartment and do some finishing, which I've not been able to do for the past month.
In great news, though, part of the reason I was so busy is that I was a friend's maid of honor, so I'm fine with my lack of knitting and reading.
Anyhow, I saw a link for a pre-summer knitting contest at Skeins Her Way, where you can the yarn and pattern for Ali's Blue Sky Cotton tank, while reading my former SP Megan's blog. The contest involves listing your summer knitting goals, so here we go:
-Finish Sahara (so close!)
-Rosa from Rowan 35
-Bonita from Rowan 41
-Amy Singer's scarf from the newest IK
-The cover pattern from the Spring '07 IK (back is already completed)
-The Blue Sky cropped cardigan (I have almost the entire body done, and the sleeves; I finished this once and decided to knit it tighter)
-A pair of socks
I could add more, but I will try to keep within reason. I'm an overambitious knitter, thus the bins and bins of yarn at home. And at Jan's. And balls of yarn as "decoration" all around my apartment.
So yeah... you should participate, too, if you want. Just be sure to mention you heard about the contest here... as I get an extra entry in the drawing.
Posted by Ms. L at 8:34 AM
Saturday, April 28, 2007
downloaded somehow attained a copy of the new Tribute to Joni Mitchell CD. I've only listened to a few of the tracks (I cannot yet bring myself to listen to some of the soft rock artists on the album, so I've not heard the KD Lang or James Taylor tracks), but I'm enjoying some of them. Especially the Dreamland cover by Caetano Veloso. Yes, I do have an obsession with Brazilian Tropicalia musicians. Yes, his place on this compilation is "token world music guy", and he redoes Dreamland to sound more South American. But it's still good!
Dreamland - Caetano Veloso (mp3)
I was disappointed by Sufjan Stevens' Free Man in Paris. It's just... so... Sufjan. The overdone trumpets kill the original melodic progression, which was a little choppy in the original, so it totally falls apart.
Free Man in Paris - Sufjan Stevens (mp3)
Anyhow, back to cleaning my bathroom.
Posted by Ms. L at 3:30 PM
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Book 8, finally: The Thirty Years' War by C.V. Wedgewood.
This is a really good book. This is a really long book. This is a big, long, depressing book about a war that didn't really solve the problems that started it, despite killing loads of people, causing immense suffering, and dragging on for so long. Maybe that's why it took me so long to finish it. But again, a good book. C.V. Wedgewood (of the china Wedgewoods) was one of the most prominent women historians of the early part of the 1900s, and I'd love to find some of her other books.
So... back to reading about rock music. Or maybe some Calvino.
Posted by Ms. L at 10:10 AM
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Posted by Ms. L at 11:39 AM
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Pattern: Simple Knitted Bodice by Stitch Diva/Stefanie Japel
Yarn: Eternal Diva Soie De La Mer (Sea Cell/Silk blend) from kpixie.com
Needles: Addi Turbo US#7
Modifications: So very many. Changed the arm circumference, took out some of the midsection purl rows, changed the number of repeats of the lace motifs.
I probably started the waist shaping too early, but other than that, I love this sweater. I also love this yarn--it's softer than just plain silk. I know this to be true, because I've been making a mystery project with Tilli Tomas's plain silk at the same time as this top.
Posted by Ms. L at 5:16 PM
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I will not be posting on this every day, as you may have noticed from the lack of blogging recently. Is this because I’m waiting until I have a crappy El day? Nope, it’s because I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend who lives very close to where I work. When I stay with him, I walk to work and avoid the CTA altogether.
The default train-based route to work is Brown line to Belmont, transfer at Belmont to Red line, Red line to Grand. An alternate train-only option would be Brown line to Merch Mart, and walk over. It might take longer, but I would be almost guaranteed a seat, since I board so early in the Brown line run. Also, Jamba Juice right next to the station. Mmm, Jamba. But still: the main trade-off would be avoiding the wait at Belmont but dealing with the extra stops south of there on the Brown, as well as the increased walk to work.
Bus or bus-and train alternatives:
The 148 Bus.
Pros: Stops three blocks away. No transfer. Express from Irving Park to Michigan/Delaware. Drops me off closer to work (by one block) than the Red line. According to the CTA’s website, 7:05 bus will drop me off at 7:45 where I need to be at 8:00.
Cons: Completely dependant on traffic situation on LSD, unlike partial-rail routes. According to experience, 7:05 bus will get me to where I need to be sometime between 8:10 and 8:45, depending on traffic issues. But perhaps an earlier bus will avoid the traffic bottlenecks onto and off of LSD.
Montrose Bus to Red line.
Pros: Shortest trip to a bus stop/train station. No Belmont transfer wait. More likely to get a Red line seat if I get on north of Belmont.
Cons: Flax suggested this route, so I’ll try it, but it wasn’t one I initially considered to be a great idea. I’ve had bad experiences using a bus-to-Red method on the north and south sides (Belmont and Garfield Ave). One of the delay factors on the Brown line-Red line route is waiting for the Red to show up at Belmont, especially when a northbound Brown cuts off the southbound Red. Taking the Red from Montrose won’t make the train run faster, though I will avoid waiting around outside for the connection. Because the official three-line slow zone is on the Red line track between Addison and Armitage, this route maximizes my time in the slow zone.
Damen bus to Chicago bus.
Pros: Won’t have to worry about highway traffic. Very short walk to bus stop. If I leave early, I can check out some of the new cafes in West Town. No relying on red or brown line.
Cons: Ass out of the way. I mean, really ass out of my way. Bit of a walk from Chicago Ave to work (though not as long as it is from the Merch Mart to work). I have no clue how regular the Chicago bus is. Based on how packed I've seen it on the weekeneds, I suspect Chicago Avenue can be a hot mess in the morning.
But hey, I initially didn't believe that heading into the heart of the city and using two buses to get from Lakeview to Hyde Park would be quicker than the Red and the 55 bus, and you know what? The 146 to the 2 or 6, connecting at Lake and State were WAY faster than the Red and the 55. So I'm hoping for a surprise here.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
So I contributed to my friend's column this week (and next week) at DeadOn (it's a group of Deadspin commenters writing about pop culture) about music made by women in the 90s (thus the thoughts about it earlier in this blog).
-Part I of the list was mostly compiled by the time I got involved. My main input on this part of the list was insisting that he mention Elastica stole their song from Wire and suggesting that including Veruca Salt without the Breeders was kinda insane, since Veruca Salt lifted the Breeder's deal wholesale.
-I do like "Connection" and some Veruca Salt well enough, though.
-My suggestions for Part II (and maybe III?) of the list included Liz Phair, P.J. Harvey, Throwing Muses, Cibo Matto, Bjork, Luscious Jackson, and a number of other folks I've now forgotten. I know a song from one of these will be in Part II, because I wrote the blurb for it.
Now onto far less exciting matters: Mass Transit! In case you don't live in Chicago: the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority, though I usually replace the first word with "Clusterf***") will be drastically reducing capacity on one of the most-navigated portions of its track for the next few years, with the intent of making the several stations along this corridor shiny, new, and capable of carrying more people around. This starts next week; the CTA has been using the slogan "Leave Early, Leave Late, Alternate" to encourage people to avoid peak transit times or take the bus. Nobody in Chicago thinks this is going to work.
So I will be running a series of tests of this slogan. It will be hard for me to leave late, since I have to be at work at 8, but I can do the other two.
Clusterf*** Transit Authority Experiment
Hypothesis: The CTA is completely screwed, and it's going to take forever to get anywhere no matter what you do.
Trial 1, "Leave Early".
According to the CTA's own maps, transit from my apartment (nearest to the currently-closed Montrose Brown line stop; three blocks from Damen Brown line stop) should take about 30 minutes. I decide to leave my apartment around 5:55 am, figuring that if I do manage to make it downtown in 30 minutes, I can just go to the gym.
The construction that is supposed to substantially increase travel times has not yet begun; this is just an intial trial before the whole mess starts on 4/2/07.
According to the CTA's travel planner, I should get on the 6:12 am Brown line train, transfer at Belmont to the 6:22 am Red line train, and arrive at Grand and State at 6:36 am. Plenty of time for cardio!
6:05: I see what may be the 6:04 southbound Brown line pass as I enter the station. Note that I should try to catch this train in the future.
6:28: Next southbound Brown line arrives at Damen. Two northbound trains had arrived in the interim.
6:35: Brown line arrives at Belmont, which is faster than estimated by CTA trip planner. Two stations between Damen and Belmont are currently closed, with another closing soon; this could explain the accelerated time.
6:55: Southbound Red line train finally arrives. Multiple trains from almost all the other lines pass by during this time.
7:15: I arrive at Grand and State (20 minutes instead of CTA's predicted 16 on the Red; brief delay at Chicago stop). Just enough time to do 10 minutes of pilates and then go to work.
So far, not so great. I figure 6:05 is earlier than rush, right?
Monday, March 26, 2007
Problem: I am not reading many books lately.
Cause: Recent magazine obsession (Real Simple! Interweave! Rowan! Vogue Knitting! Back issues of the Believer! Gourmet! Good Mag!); incessant, crazed knitting; loss of book weight that allowed me to read while knitting; desire to walk around while weather is nice.
Solution: Read more books, I suppose.
Problem: Those books that I am reading are all about rock music.
Cause: Rock is awesome. Books about rock music are quite frequently also awesome.
Solution: Back to reading C.V. Wedgewood’s The Thirty Years War, which is awesome in its own way.
Problem: C. V. Wedgewood’s The Thirty Years War is wonderful, well-researched, well-written, and interesting, but is not optimal travel reading. I was on an airplane or in an airport for massive amounts of time this weekend.
Cause: It’s dense! It’s heavy! I doesn’t stay open on my lap! Half the people are named the same thing, and there are a bazillion people in the book!
Solution: Back to reading about rock music.
I saw John Sellers’ Perfect From Now On (woo, Built to Spill reference!) in the window of a bookstore in Harvard Square early Saturday afternoon, and I finished it as our plane landed in Chicago on Sunday. It is quite entertaining if you’re the sort that listened to crappy music in early adolescence and eventually moved up to indie. It is also especially entertaining if you like GBV, as it covers the last few months of that band’s existence. Summary review: think Chuck Klosterman, only with even better taste in music (these days, at least) and less bitterness about past girlfriends.
Posted by Ms. L at 1:07 PM
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Angora sweater: Done! Done! Sweet fancy Moses, done!
Here's some detail on the tasseled midsection, which I am not entirely thrilled about (it's the only shaping for the waist), but is cute in and of itself:
Pattern: Tiffany from Louisa Harding Winter Muse Collection
Yarn: Louisa Harding Kimono Angora, bought at Nina
Needles: Size 6 Addi Turbos, with some work done on Crystal Palace size 3 bamboos
Adjustments to pattern: None. May have made it one size too large, but it's comfy.
Now for the rocking. Something about this sweater kept reminding me of Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura (and Camera Obscura in general) for some reason. I listened to a good deal of Camera Obscura while making it. If you don't know them--think a little Belle & Sebastian (their songwriter produced CO's first album), and a lot of female spunkiness. And therefore, I offer you two songs to go with my sweater pics, both from the latest CO album (good for the next 7 days):
Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken
Let's Get Out of This Country
Posted by Ms. L at 7:09 PM
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I have been knitting. Really! Here's the evidence:
Pattern: Clapotis, of course!
Yarn: Tilli Thomas Disco Lights, 1 skein
Needles: size 7 Inox
Mods: Only two increase/decrease rows; I knit the straight rows until I ran out of yarn.
Clapotis is the famous Kate Gilbert pattern. I only had one skein of this yarn (which is lovely, but not cheap), so I only did 2 pattern width repeats and made it very, very short. Still, the recipient likes it, so I'm happy. I enjoyed getting the chance to work with the yarn, without the guilt of keeping the result.
Works in Progress:
I also have a sleeve for this sweater floating around. I'm halfway through the second sleeve, which means I should be done... just in time for it to be seasonally-inappropriate!
I have a ton of bamboo to work with, so I'm double-stranding it and making the cover design from Spring '07 Interweave Knits.
So yeah, that's about it for now. Coming soon, though... My review of the Colourmart sample kit! Look at all the goodies I got for $5:
Oh yes, it's cashmere.
Lots of stuff to play with.
Posted by Ms. L at 11:35 PM