Pink Monkey Knits

Using my opposable thumbs to knit up a storm!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Hott Fun in the Summertime, Part II 

With Cobra starting a new job and me hopefully doing the same very soon, we realized that we probably won't have any vacation time to take this summer. So this past weekend, we decided to take a few days off to head to the beach. Cobra's favorite beach spot are North Carlolina's Outer Banks; indeed, we've been talking about visiting there for more than a year, so it was the natural destination. After a fairly uneventful drive, apart from a stop to pick up some deliciously juicy fresh peaches and gawking at the Grave Digger as we passed, we arrived and headed straight for the driving beaches.

cobramobile

Now, Cobra has been telling me for over a year that one of the attractions of the area is that you can drive on the beach. I thought this just appealed to his love of off-roading, not realizing that it actually has benefits for a fun beach experience. First, it makes you feel like you're part of a special club since only high clearance 4X4 vehicles can successfully cruise over the sand. It's also good because instead of having to hang out at the crowded public areas of the beach (which, admittedly, were not all that crowded), we were able to drive to a completely secluded area that we had all to ourselves for the whole day! It's amazing how much more I enjoyed the beach when I wasn't constantly comparing myself to tiny 18-year-olds in even tinier bikinis.

Another awesome part about the beaches is that they are federally run, some as animal and bird sanctuaries, so they are all in a very natural state, surronded by dramatic sand dunes.

dunes

We camped right underneath these at Oregon Inlet.

cobra_jesus

Has Cobra turned into Jesus? No, he's just walking on a sandbar. We had lots of fun cannonballing off of it into the deeper water.

While there were a few signs that we were in the South, this was really the most fun experience I've ever had at a beach (and that's saying a lot for a girl who grew up in Florida!) Sadly, it ended somewhat badly as we both ended getting sunburned.

Really sunburned.

I'm peeling as I type.

But this will pass, yes.

While I didn't do too much knitting while we were away, I have been plugging away at my latest project. Like so many others, I have fallen into the ClapTrap!

claptrap_reclines

Check out the closeup of some dropped stitches.
I'm making mine from the Tess' hand-dyed superwash merino I acquired at MDS$W and, unfortunately, the yarn is causing me a bit more trouble than it did when I used it for my boobholder. Tess is being a bad girl because her color is rubbing off on my hands when I knit with her! The yarn is also catching on the join of my Denise Needles and I actually had to rip a chunk of it out because, at a shorter width, the colors were pooling like CRAZY. It's still a bit blocky now, but it's better an I think produces a cool tiger-striped effect. I was going a bit slow with it at first because I wasn't feeling totally inspired but now that I feel like I'm actually adding a good amount of length to it, I'm starting to sail!

I'm also excited to have joined the Sockapal-2-za tour this summer! Not only is it a fun chance to knit for someone else, but I'm going to take it as a chance to expand my sock knitting skills. I'm thinking of making socks with a fun stitch or lace pattern, so I'm on the lookout for fun patterns. This project probably won't be started until later in the summer, so I have lots of time to decide.

This week is also exciting for everyone in my family because we have a very special event approaching: my brother's wedding is next sunday! They just got engaged in December, I can't believe it's happening already! I'm going home for it on Wednesday but I'll give you a little more info before then. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Hott Fun in the Summertime 

Business first: all of you comment guessers were right, the woman to my immediate left in the picture from my previous post is indeed my little mama. I do think, however, that if my aunt were smiling in that picture, it would have been a lot harder to figure out. This was also a little experiment for myself because in my own perception, I feel like I should look more like my aunt. I don't mean this as a dis to my mom, who I'm close with, but my aunt and I, we're cut from the same cloth, perhaps even sprung from the same mold. We're very similar in our passions, our interests, and our life and career goals. As I mentioned before, I strive to exhibit many of her qualities. Deep down, I thought that this maybe might be reflected in our looks. No big loss though, my mom looks great and I take it as a compliment to be told I look like her!

In the other cliffhanger from the previous, I mentioned my progress with Strawberry Swirls. As you may have guessed, the tank top, she is finished! Truly, knitting on this top became an addiction, I loved the combination of yarn and pattern THAT MUCH. The pattern had enough to it to keep me interested and the yarn (Phildar Clapotis), which I worried would be a little difficult to work with, was actually fun to knit. While it's so seemingly thin and delicate in the skein, it produces a fabric that's surprisingly sturdy and incredibly soft. Too bad it's not widely available in the US...I'd also like to mention that this item is for the Think Pink Knitalong, which I joined a few weeks back.

In trying to force myself to learn new techniques, I did my first 3 needle bind off on the shoulder seams. Man, why didn't anyone tell me how genius this technique is before?? The seam is tiny, perfect and strong - just like me, hehehe, yeah right.

Enough babbling already, here she is:

Strawberry Swirls Tank

(Please note that this is my first foray into bathroom mirror picture-taking. I'm joining an illustrious group). (Check out my little Radio CPR button! Even better, if you live in Adams Morgan, Mt. Pleasant, Columbia Heights or Shaw, listen to Radio CPR! It's totally awesome!)

Strawberry Swirls was premiered this past Sunday at the annual Mt. Pleasant Festival, an awesome street celebration in my newly-adopted neighborhood. The area is so diverse and has such great street life on a daily basis, I knew the festival would be even more fabulous.

mt_p_festival

Look a little bit into the background on the left. There were a total of FOUR Bounce House-style amusements. You KNOW that's gonna make for a crapload of fun!!!

My friends and I decided that we would take a ride down the bouncy slide. We loved it but we got a few looks, as we were the only people older than 10 sliding down it. No matter, we had lots of fun.

IMG_0926

Here I am after actually saving a small child from her overwhelming fear of the slide by escorting her over to the ladder so that she could climb down. I would put up the shot of my actually sliding down, but no dice after I realized that you can see straight. up. my. skirt.

We had a lovely time wandering from booth to booth, checking out the various crafters, local organizations and nearby businesses. I bought a little sachet from the lovely ladies at Woolarina (I told you already, I don't got the cold ducats to buy yarn!). Of course, we took advantage of the best partof any festival - the food! To go along with the mostly Latin flavor of the neighborhood, we partook of some delicious Latin flavors. I ate 2 bean and cheese pupusas and quickly downed a large glass of lemonade. That drink was necessary because Sunday was the first day of real DC summer and, man, was it brutal! The combination of the heat with all of the people on the hot pavement and all the barbeque grills made me seriously feel like I was going to pass out the whole time we were out there. Poor Strawberry is soaked with sweat and needs to be washed already. And I got me a bit of sunburn on the ole shoulders...

My feeling of getting heatstroke was overcome, however, by my excitement over some minor celebrity sightings! Now, these may mean very little to those of you who aren't into indie or punk music but I was totally geeking out. I even honed my stalkerish tendencies by taking pictures to share with you all!

guy kathleen paint

On the left, you see Kathi Wilcox in a large straw hat that, unfortunately, obscures her fact. Kathi was a member of the band Bikini Kill in the early 90's. Bikini Kill was basically the original Riot Grrl band, and they brought attention to issues like abuse and sexism while empowering women in the punk scene. They let girls fully participate in the scene, let a new generation of women know it was ok for them to scream onstage and express themselves through music and writing.
Next to her is Guy Picciotto from Fugazi. In addition to be a formative band in creating the indie rock aesthetic, Fugazi was a principled band. They never charged more than $5 for a show or $10 for a CD, they didn't allow any violent moshing at their shows, and they never had set lists - one song just flowed into another based on their vibe and the audience vibe. They really tried to step into other's shoes and showcase different viewpoints in their music. Plus, they rock it. I count myself lucky to have seen them live before they broke up.

The thing to know before the next picture is that there are two big Ians in the DC rock scene. The first is Ian MacKaye, who was in the above-mentioned Fugazi as well as the Teen Idles, Embrace, Minor Threat, and the Evens and he started a record label to release all of these bands on, all of which you can find out about it here. The other Big Ian is Svenonius, from Make-Up, who have a really fun 60's vibe to them. They channeled the real rock shit, man.

the_ians_paint

Look, I saw them talking to each other!! How often does that happen? Alright, I'll admit it sucks that I only got the back of Svenonius' head but you know it's him because who the hell else has hair like that?

Now, we shift from music to politics.
fenty paint
That gentleman on the right is Adrian Fenty and he's going to be running for Mayor next year. Ladies and gents, let me tell you, he's already got my vote if you know what I'm saying!!!!!

(He's hot).
So much better than our current mayor who's found of bowties.

And speaking of DC politics, did you know that the 600,000 residents of DC, who are mostly young and minority, do NOT have equal voting rights to those in the rest of the country? I know that for those of you in this area, this issue is played out but very few people in the rest of the country know about this issue. And they should because ultimately, it is a grievious injustice to those almost 1 million of us who have no say in so many aspects of how our own city and country are run. Please read about it here.

A pleasant evening to you all.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Move It Along 

Alright, that last sad sack post has been up for way too long, it's time to move it on down. Thank you friends for your supportive comments, you always bring a smile to my face. Life has been going much better since that day. I haven't gotten a call back from the gyno, so I'm still, as Lil' Kim would say, a clean bitch. Bike friend is dealing with a lot of craziness in her life but is physically a lot better. Both of my India picture CD's were at Cobra's place (in the same case, of course) and are now in safety sealed locations. And on the job front, I have been sending out resumes like crazy and went to a conference yesturday where I got lots of good leads. I'm feeling more renergized for the process.
Going out of town for that weekend certainly helped out quite a bit. I think the best way to get over yourself and your own problems is to put yourself in a context that isn't all about you. Of course, I certainly got lots of love while I was there and I did get my manicure. But the weekend was really about my aunt and her incredible ability to encourage people to achieve to the fullest of their abilities. She's retiring from her job as a teacher of deaf and hard of hearing students, and at the party she had students that she taught in pre-school attend to tell her how she was one of the best teachers they'd ever had. The day after the retirement party was the graduation for students at a local community college where she runs a scholarship in her free time. During the graduation, I started a sock out of some Koigu from the stash.

Koigu sock cuff

But my aunt, she's not just an angel going out to do these good works, she's a tough, gritty, take no shit woman. I'd like to blog more about her and our relationship after I put some real thought into it because she's been a real inspiration in my life and that's hard to put into words. In the meantime, check out this pic:


maternal_fam_ladies

Informal guessing game: which of these ladies is my mom and which is my aunt? Put your guesses in the comments. Just to give you a sense of scale, I'm only 5'3". They really are THAT short.

Another highlight of last week was a lovely SnB session hosted by the ever-lovely Susanne. Remember her? She fed us fantastic vegan snacks, including the moistest vegan brownies I've ever tasted, and amazed us with her collection of Bakelite jewlery and her boyfriend's collection of cool antique poison bottles. We also had an in depth discussion of the best places to dumpster dive in our area - I'm not going to give away their trade secrets though! In her infinite generosity, Susanne gifted me with this awesome yarn!

melody_yarn

It's Southwest Trading Company's Melody Ladder yarn in Bougainville. Of course, it came with a quid pro quo: I have to untangle it before I can use it. It's enough to make a lovely summer shawl, I'm excited to swatch with it. Thank you, Susanne and let's be sure to get together for some knitting time soon!

In terms of my next project, I feel like I'm in a bit of knitting limbo. I have a few choices from my small stash that can go through and I have some fun ideas for modifying patterns. I have the sock, but knitting even a small item from wool now in DC is not a fun thought. I may also do a fun top in some mohair but I feel like that's a bit heavy as well. I have a scarf to fix up but it's a kind of boring knit. I'll give it some thought, perhaps I'll play around with a few yarns and see what speaks to me. And don't suggest getting some fun summer yarns to play with, you know I ain't got the cold ducats to do that!

Of course, I hope this talk of future projects has you wondering about Strawberry Swirls. Stay tuned for her progress...