September 2007

Growing up, our family didn’t get a car until I was in high school. Needless to say, it was a Big Deal. It also meant that my dad became the de-facto chauffeur for my formidable grandmother, who had lots of friends, and a rather hectic social life.

This story always gets dragged out during family occasions. A bit of background: most everyone in my family looks distinctly East Asian – you know, almond-shaped eyes, flat nose, fairish skin. My dad doesn’t. And he tends to dress very casually. As always, Chinese is in italics.

Grandma, her friend Say-ah, and Dad are in the car. My dad is driving them to the temple.

Grandma: Don’t forget to pick up those herbal packets from the drugstore in Chinatown today.
Dad: Do they know I’m coming to pick them up?
Grandma: Yes. I called them. Traffic is so bad! Drive carefully, don’t get too close to those other cars. We might get into an accident.
Say-ah: Guat Ngo (that’s my grandma), you’re SO lucky. Your children must love you very much.
Grandma: I would like to think they do.
Say-ah: They must’ve gone through a lot of trouble to find and hire a driver for you. They even found one who speaks really good Chinese! Where did they find him? (pointing to my Dad)
Grandma: Uhm…Actually, he’s my son-in-law.
Say-ah: <blink> And he’s an extremely good-looking son-in-law!

Happy birthday to the best-est son-in-law and Dad anyone can have!


And alpacas and llamas too! The awesome folks at my LYS organized a trip to the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts and Crafts Festival. So much fun! I had a grand ‘ol time carpooling with Chris, Shirani, and Maria. The festival was held at the Hemlock fairgrounds, a short two hour drive from here. Being a fiber festival virgin, I didn’t quite know what to expect.

But lo! There was plenty of adorable sheep, llamas, and alpacas to pet. Though this one looked a bit disgruntled 🙂


There was knitting on the World’s Largest Sock. The sock is traveling the world and was started in the UK. It’s about 7 meters in circumference, has 1500 cast-on stitches, and there’s 10 long circular needles around it. I wonder what will happen when it’s time to turn the heel.


There was fiber galore in all shapes and forms to ooh and ahh over. I loved how there were all these smallish independent farmers, weavers, spinners, and dyers showing off their wares. I had no idea there was such beautiful work out there! There were spoils from the festival too, of course. My resolve to keep an iron fist on my wallet wasn’t that strong! The bright blue yarn is Spinning Bunny Yarn in Tropical Sea, meant to be a hat. The variegated autumn-y pile on the right is Steam Valley Mohair/Merino wool yarn, earmarked for a wrap of some kind. The red yarn is Persimmon Tree Farm Potluck yarn, maybe for a pair of fingerless gloves? The wooden dowel sticking out of the Potluck yarn is supposed to be a spare part for a loom. I found it sitting forlornly in a bin for a buck fiddy and thought that it might make a good ball winder. It works great, and the price can’t be beat.


There were plenty of laughs, stories, and frozen margaritas. Everyone had such a good time at this fiber fest that there are rumblings about taking a road trip to Maryland next year. I can only hope.

More pictures here.

1. Sound made by head as it hits pillow from sheer exhaustion.

The past weekend was spent here –

Every year, my department participates in a few community projects. This semester’s first foray happened to be to a Habitat to Humanity work site. So a bunch of my students and co-workers hied off to be pseudo-tradespeople for a day. There was lots of hammering, clambering on top of rickety ladders, and hauling stuff. Power tools were used! Various appendages were banged up! Curse words were uttered! It was fun, but hard work. At the beginning of the work day, the house didn’t have any windows or doors cut out yet, nor did it have outside insulation put up. It was nice to see the house actually look like one at the end of the day. I think I’m gonna hang on to my day job for now though. At least until I can climb up a ladder without feeling butterflies in my stomach.

2. Sound idiot vandal’s foot makes as it comes into contact with my car roof.

Or at least that’s what the nice police officer told me happened today. I usually park on the street in front of my apartment building, along with many other tenants. Even though there’s fairly heavy car and pedestrian traffic, we’ve never had any problems with vandals before. At least until today. Apparently sometime this afternoon, some idiot decided to jump on the hood of my car, climb up on the roof, and then jump onto the next car on the street. I got a phone call from the police (which about gave me a heart attack) telling me I had a nice dent on my car. (more…)

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

I have an oddly sized bathroom in my apartment. It’s actually pretty large, but configured such that my current bath mat didn’t quite take care of the post-shower foot puddles. Enter a selection of the most obnoxious colors I could find at Michael’s along with some stripey goodness, and voila –


Pattern: stripey bath mat
Yarn: Lily Sugar ‘n Cream in hot pink, lime green, grape and robins egg blue, 2 balls each. Size 10.5 Denise interchangeables.

I CO 120 stitches with the yarn held double, and seed stitched until my eyes crossed, changing colors pretty much randomly. Almost all the yarn was used up, save for several yards of the blue, which then became a small dish cloth. I don’t have a lot of experience knitting with cotton, but now I understand when other knitters comment how hard it is on the hands when knitting with cotton. There’s just not the yarn sproinginess (is that a word?) that I’ve come to associate with knitting with wool or wool blends. It got harder toward the end of the project, because cotton + death grip that I have on yarn when knitting = not a good time. The colors are quite eye-searing, and the mat doesn’t really match anything else in the bathroom, but I don’t really care. I mean, none of my other stuff match, why should I start now, right? All those ends to weave in though…

the ends

Knitting this bath mat was actually rather cathartic. There have been a few family crises that came up recently, and much time has been spent sitting by the phone waiting for news. The monotony of seed stitch was just the ticket.

On another note, here’s a question for y’all – anyone know if a felted wool carries static electricity build-up? I was thinking about making a felted sleeve for my laptop but would prefer not to fry my laptop while it’s snuggled in its nice sleeve.