Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Accidental Catharine St Container Farm

So, I have kind of a lot to do at the moment what with moving and getting ready for camp and... pie... and... more moving...  Anyway.  Can you say STRESSS?!?!  'Cause I can.  One thing that is keeping my chi a little better balanced is my garden!  Remember those seeds that sprouted a couple of months ago?  Well:

An accidental container farm! 

Almost all of my seeds sprouted a bajillion years ago and I'm so sorry for not posting pictures sooner!  We've even had to weed out many many seedlings in order to make room for the really strong ones.  In the above photos you can see carrots, squash, tomatoes, musk mellon, 3 types of basil, some mint, and some unidentified flowers that haven't bloomed yet.  I love going out and visiting the garden as often as I can... which isn't very often.  (So thank goodness for Jimmy who is amazing enough to make sure the plants get watered every day!)

Free compost!

A couple of mornings ago Jimmy and I finally got around to doing what we've been talking about for months:  we took advantage of having my parents car and drove out to the Fairmount Park Recycling Center (at the ass-crack of dawn) and got ourselves a bucket of free compost each.  The compost gets mixed with commercial soil and then the plants will have all the food the need to grow big and strong and healthy.

Squash Blossoms!

The Lazarus Lemon Balm!  
This whole plant grew in the course of 4 weeks.  No joke.

Lando Calrissian guards the onions.  Stay back, onion theves!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Summer Cuddlebug

I'm moving this weeks!  And in the interest of "finishing projects so that I don't have to move knitting on the needles"  (aka... not wanting to pack)  I've finished the gauntlets that I started a small eon ago!


This was a really fun pattern that I a co-worker passed on to me sometime in November.  I tried to find the link in the back-logs of my myspace inbox but, no luck.. sorry!  let me know if you're interested in knitting it and I'll look harder.  

Anyway- they're great!  The pattern is designed to make the gauntlets come all the way past the elbow and allows for the knitter to decide how far up on the hand it covers.  I made mine go just to where the fingers start, thinking that would give me the greatest dexterity, say, on my bicycle.  The thumb hole, which is knit on different sides for each hand, is nice and wide, making it possible to wear a pair of those cheap, stretchy gloves underneath for warmth.  (Too bad it's, like 90 degrees out right now....  But one can only hope winter will come again!)  The back is ribbed and cozy!

Ribbed for my pleasure.

I decided to knit them in an "I'll match everything" slate gray merino-silk dk weight yarn by Valley Yarns:  a yarn company local to the area my parents live in.  I bought the yarn at Webs (where else!)  and they are soo soft and comfy.  The other nice thing about the pattern is that it uses almost exactly 2 50gm skeins, so there's no just-enough-to-sit-in-my-stash-forever pieces leftover!

Summer Cuddlebug.

As you can see, the gauntlets have a panel of dragon scales traveling the length of the arm on the front side.  The pattern called for a "create stitch" along that middle row and at the sides... but partially because I couldn't find a nice, indiscreet create stitch to use and partially because I've recently been really into lace work, I decided to replace the "create stitch" with a "yarn over."  Ooooh, sexy.

One project down.... damn.  I suppose I have to pack now.

In Other News!

I decided to get myself a birthday haircut.  Which is just another example of me trying to convince myself that what makes other people excited and/or satisfied DOESN'T make me so!  Gah!  I asked the hair-dresser for something a little shorter, evened out and shaped...  but when I put my glasses on at the end it was like that scene in Beauty and the Beast where they're getting Beast ready for that dance/dinner/date with Belle and they spin him around to look in the mirror and he looks RIDICULOUS!!  There were curls radiating from my head like a product-induced aura... an atmosphere of perfumed hetero-femininity.  It was terrible.  It's settled down a little since I washed out all the smelly goo... but, damn.  I just don't know why I did that.  I really liked my long hair!  I think I really just didn't expect her to cut it this short...  But I always end up feeling like bad hair cuts are MY fault because I seem completely incapable of communicating what I want to someone else...  I think this is why I'm also completely incapable of even beginning a relationship.  Gah!  (Also, I spent about 7 hours in the car over-thinking things today, can you tell?)  

Le sigh.  Happy Birthday to me!  What's Next?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Queers and Feminists: please report to the front desk

(The Oldest Lesbians in the books...  this is literally the first picture on tonight.  Yes!)

On this, the first night of legal Gay Marriage licenses in the grand state of California...  I propose a way to interact with similar history in a manner that doesn't require you to move to CA and get married or even spend a lot of money on cake like the BBC thinks that all gay Californians are now doing.  (Although, cake can be included... I am never one to stifle creativity.)

Melanie Frazza and I have finally gotten our stuff together enough to finish the Call for Entries for our upcoming Art Exhibition focusing on Queer and Feminist History that we have decided to call (what else)  CLOSER TO FINE!  

(To see a decently sized image of this poster, go to: )

All right- I know perfectly well you can't read any of that.  But basically, we are looking for "works inspired by events in or aspects of Feminist and LGBT/Queer histories.  This includes but is not limited to the histories of Feminist and LGBTQ subcultures, individuals, communities, and issues that these communities have faced."  

(The Stonewall Riot... you know you've heard of it somewhere...)

Now, c'mon folks, I know perfectly well that some of you people already have work that fits this criteria and that you would LOVE to send us a submission, right??!?  (See, I knew it!)  In order to submit work please send the following information via email to: (or to me at

1.  Name of person or groups, address, email address and phone number.
2  Title, media, and size of an already completed work. -OR- A short description of a work that will be completed.  (Any sketches or drawings would be helpful.)
3.  A short description of the work, the historical aspect it involves and why that part of queer or feminist history is important to you.


The show is going to be held at the Philadelphia Padlock Gallery ( August 29-31.  The event for the show (which is going to rule) will be held on either that friday or saturday.

Please please please send any questions or comments my way!  We are really trying to make this a great event, but in order for it to go swimmingly we need help from YOU!  The Community!  Hope to hear from you all!

Monday, June 2, 2008


Agh!  Sorry it's been a while... apparently it's Handbag Season, so I've been pulling a ton of over-time hours at the Pickle... which usually leave my body so drained that I am only capable of then coming home and falling asleep in my chair while reading Jane Austen.  But I have been crafting a little around the edges, so I'm going to try to catch my blog up in the next week or so.  Here goes...

pt 1:  "I've named her Dartagnan"

Pronounced "dar-tan-yon"...  like from the three musketeers?  I thought she looked like a pirate ship and for some reason that's the name I thought of first.  I'm having a figure-head commissioned.  (No, really, I am!)

Yes!  That's right:  I finally got my hands on a spinning wheel of my very own!  It's an Ashford Traditional 1st Generation.... and she's a beaut.  I've had her since February and since then I've also managed to acquire a niddy-noddy and a lazy kate (see below).  I love the crazy names of fibers tools...

pt 2:  20-something Spinster

Since the arrival of Dartagnan I have spent most of my spinning time practicing with acquired fiber (stuff I didn't have to pay for.)  But thanks to Nellie, I have a ton of really great pre-dyed (and slightly felted) wool to work with.  That way, I won't waste any of the really nice stuff I've started to collect through my delusions of spinning grandeur.    

One of the first things I wanted to make was a 2-plied yarn; thus taking advantage of my new lazy-kate as well.  I started by spinning full bobbins of solid color wool.  This was where all the practice comes in.  I haven't yet gotten the hang of "drafting", or, spinning from a cloud of fiber instead of pre-prepared strips like I had been making for my drop-spindle.  (Actually, I'm not sure if I'm bad at drafting or was prevented from success because the wool was already felted).  Anyway there was a lot of preparing long strips of wool, making sure they were even, and starting and stopping the wheel while I connected the strips.  Eventually, I had two full bobbins:  one moss green and the other a fabulous turquoise.

The bobbins were then positioned on the Lazy Kate (That wood/metal dowel contraption in the lower left corner above)  and the threads were then spun together in the opposite direction to how they were originally spun.

After that, the yarn is removed from the bobbin and wrapped tightly around the niddy-noddy (no, seriously, that's it's technical term) which organizes the yarn into a 1.5 yard skein.

(Sorry for the blurry photo!  The lighting in my room sucks.)  The skein then gets "shocked,"  or soaked in hot water for 5 min, stretched and weighted, and left to dry over night.  The shocking of the wool ensures that the twist gets permanently set.  Et Voila!  Yarn!

I have two fairly large skeins of this yarn, and I haven't tried knitting any of it...  I'm half considering just shipping it off to Nell and let her try it out.  For some reason when it comes to spinning I'm always so excited by the product, by the yarn itself, that I don't want to be culpable for it's transition out of that state.  Crazy?  Maybe a little.  Anyway, for the moment I think I'll just continue showing it off as yarn.  :0)