Friday, April 30, 2004


I had a great day yesterday. I realized at work on Wednesday that I needed a mental-health day, so I took Thursday off. I headed out in the morning on the MRT (subway), and about forty-five minutes later I was at the end of the line. In fact, I was out of Taipei! I was in a city called Danshui, which sits between mountains (well, hills, really) and a wide river, not too far from the ocean. And I started walking.

I walked along the river for about two kilometers to get to Fort San Domingo (did you know Taiwan was occupied by Spain? It was, briefly, in the early 1600s) -- known in Chinese as the Fort of the Red-Body-Haired Barbarians. Sadly, it was closed. Very sadly, it's closed for renovations until July 2005. I was hot and sweaty at that point, so I hopped aboard the ferry that crosses the Danshui River to a place called Bali, where I walked again. There was a breeze! There was minimal noise! There were bands of schoolchildren who yelled "pointy nose" in Taiwanese!

I spent the whole day out there. It was about one o'clock in the afternoon when I realized I was starting to feel human again. Back on the Danshui side, I found a fabulous café on the edge of the river and did what any red-blooded young woman would do: ordered a beer and pulled out my knitting.

I've given in to the call of the Kureyon. I'm not sure what their little voices have been saying from the box beneath my bed, as I don't speak Japanese, but I think it was something like "We thought we wanted to be a Rosedale United sweater, but ever since we saw Rachael's sassy Noro Prep, we can't stop thinking about it!" Fine. Prep it is. This is my first Noro Kureyon experience, and I must say, this is some wacky fibre. It's just like a strand of fleece, twisted in some spots but not in others. And there's a huge difference in its thickness as you knit along. Check it out:

crazy thickness issues

Wacky! But I'm liking it. Since the gauge is looser than the pattern calls for, I'm following the instructions for the size below what I want to end up with. I'm not sure if this will work. Hope so.

I've put up photos from my delightful daytrip yesterday on my pictures page. Proof that I left the city!

Thursday, April 29, 2004

It boggles the mind

The people who support Fox News must be the most uncivil and foul-mouthed creatures on the planet. This is an informed opinion. They'd give English soccer hooligans a run for their money.

I lost count of the number of times I was called "an a--hole". It was at least 43 times, anyway. I was called "a pussy", "a wussy", "a pr--k," "a jerk", "a hack" and "a creep". A man in Cleveland not only called me "an a--hole" but also wished me a "f---ked-up day". A lady - and I use the term advisedly - in Colorado wrote to say that all Canadians are "a--holes" and then ordered me not to visit her state. I was also called a Canadian numerous times, as if that were an automatic and withering insult.
Read the whole article here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

All a-tingle

People who were at the March for Women's Lives on the weekend have blogged! Check out the tales and photos at Michelle's, Rachael's, Maggi's, and Maureen's sites (and at Knitters Against Bush). They had an amazing day. I haven't done something like that for waaay too long. Need to get back at it when I'm back in Canada. A woman's place is in the struggle, don't you know.

I'm feeling a bit burnt out these days. A little squirrelly. Maybe a tad homesick. I'm tired. I'm blah. I need a holiday. A coworker brought photos in to work today of a four-day hiking trip she went on recently in one of Taiwan's national parks. Many people here travel in tour groups, so there were photos of twenty-odd people marching along a mountain trail. My immediate reaction was to scoff ("Can you not even get away from people in the bloody mountains here?"), but then I realized something: I haven't been to the mountains at all. Going with a herd must be better than not going at all. Anyway, looking at photos of mountains and wilderness made me feel homesick. And claustrophobic. I need some space, and peace and quiet. I think Bill and I will go to Hualien next weekend. Hopefully that will tide me over for a while. Whine, whine, whine. Sorry 'bout that.

I'm totally avoiding my nearly finished Must Have cardigan. I think what I might do is -- gasp! -- pack the pieces nicely away for the summer and seam it up at a later date. I'm just not into it, and I don't want to do a bad job. I think it's time to move on, and I have a box of Kureyon under my bed that has been taunting me mercilessly for a couple of months. I can't take it anymore. I must answer its call. Those little Japanese voices are keeping me up at night.

Monday, April 26, 2004

I'd like to go away for a weekend by myself, so I'm looking for info online about traveling within Taiwan. It's not easy, since travel agencies haven't figured out that people who can't read Chinese may want to book a holiday. So I'm using an Internet translation site to read a Chinese travel agency site. So far, I have my eye on a weekend trip to the east coast city of Hualien, with two nights at the beautiful logical sequence big hotel. The price includes the room and the back and forth airplane ticket, and apparently the hotel contains a pool, a slippery animal-drawn cart footpath, a gym, to climb the hill climbing, to hit the field, a television amusement and rest field, a pingpong field, a books chess skill room, and men and women three to be warm. Hmm. I think I'd better do a bit more research. I don't really want to stay at a place where I can't be warm all by myself, no matter how beautiful and logical its sequence. Plus, although it seems that ancestor peaceful food is available there, the price does not contain the soldier danger.

Elsewhere, a list of links under the title "Warm hug travels to the East" includes this informative choice: Knowledge of this hotel soup. What. The hell. Is that?

I tell you, sometimes it's all just too much for this foreign girl.

Feather & Fan

gotta get a tan on that arm!

No feather & fan model shots yet, I'm afraid. I'll post a photo of the scarf itself tonight, but you'll have to wait to see it draped around my shoulders. I know you'll be holding your breath for that.

I am putting together a page of non-knitting photographs. I'll be adding to it, but in the meantime you can go and have a look.

Hey, check out this photo tutorial: How to unravel a sweater. See a store-bought sweater become a skein of knittable yarn! Oh, how I can't wait to get thrifting.

Actually, I'm feeling strong sock-knitting urges these days. Hmm...

Sunday, April 25, 2004

The March for Women's Lives is taking place today in Washington, DC, so a huge Woot! to all the women and men who are taking part in that, including our Michelle, Rachael, Bethany, Maggi, Maureen, and others.

I finished my feather and fan scarf yesterday, but my camera batteries are recharging at the moment. Hopefully I'll be able to show you a photo later today.

The live band on Friday night was pretty good, by the way. You really can't beat seeing an Amazonian jazz diva from San Francisco belting out "Lady Marmalade" a few feet away from you -- followed by a snappy rendition of Prince's "Kiss" and then straight into Etta James's "At Last."

Friday, April 23, 2004


pretty kitty

Beatrix is happy that I can once again post photos of her.

Last weekend, we met the baby for whom I knitted the little green earflap hat. She was thirty-eight days old, and the hat was huge on her little head, which is good, since she won't need it until next winter. Here she is!

Helene-Honore in her big hat

Isn't she sweet? Yes, I did crop my head out of the shot. It's not that I'm vain; if I was, I wouldn't show you this super double-chin shot, would I?

Maggi asked that I show a photo of the few inches of hair I knitted up for Grace before I trash it. I don't think the outrageous hairiness shows up in this photo, but here it is:

mo' hair!

I think it looks pretty in the photo, but believe me, no one would actually want to wear it. And if I'm not going to wear it, I'm certainly not going to knit it.

I survived my Friday! It's seven-thirty in the evening, I'm home, I'm having a glass of wine, I'm listening to a mix CD (Belle & Sebastian, Beulah, Rufus Wainwright, Kristin Hersh, Erin McKeown), and in a couple of hours I'm going to head out and meet Billy at a live jazz bar. Ahhh. Most of you are just beginning your Friday. Have a great one.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

How many sweaters is that?

Twenty-seven kilograms (sixty pounds) of 100 percent merino wool. Sounds good, doesn't it? But it's still attached to the sheep. To one sheep. His name is Shrek, and he's been on the run from the shears in New Zealand for six years.

"Pulling the wool over his eyes"

"Shrek the sheep gets celeb status" (Look at this sheep! It's a bit obscene, really.)

"Concern over sudden shearing of celebrity sheep" (He'll be cold without all that wool!)

"Date set for Shrek's shearing" (Next Wednesday, he'll be in the good hands of a national champion shearer.)

In other news, a bunch of Australian companies have just outed themselves as homophobic, pulling their ads from spots that air during The L Word. I think this is great. By pulling their ads, the companies expose their politics and allow consumers to choose whether to continue to support them. Read these two articles about that: "L's Belles" and "Yikes, they're Dykes!" The headline writers at the Age really enjoy their jobs, I think.

I haven't seen The L Word, but I'm looking at these photos and thinking, how old is Jennifer Beals? Because my friends and I used to rent Flashdance at birthday sleepovers back when you had to rent an enormous VCR along with the video. At least twenty years ago. (OK, I just looked it up, and she's only forty.) Beals knits, by the way.

I'm so glad it's Friday.

Earth Day

alison: Hey, Happy Earth Day!! (13:29)
danny: Happy Earth Day. (13:29)
danny: What are we supposed to do today? (13:30)
alison: What does that mean exactly? (13:30)
danny: jinx! (13:30)

Knitting blogs without photos are really boring, aren't they? We've installed a new system on our laptop and managed to install most of the necessary programs, so I should be able to do a Show and Tell for you soon. For the last couple of evenings, Bill and I have been watching season two of 24 and I've been working on my feather and fan scarf. Three out of four rows are garter stitch, so I can watch TV. I knit a lot of this scarf during the season one DVDs last month, actually, so I feel like I should call it the Jack Bauer or something. The Lacy Keifer? Mmmm, Keifer...

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

It's starting. The heat and humidity. The time of year I've been dreading. The sweaty time. Watch this space for endless complaints and claims that I am melting.

You know you've really let things slide in the fashion department when you hear yourself say, "I can't wait until I'm a student and working freelance -- then I'll wear really good clothes."

I learned a new word yesterday, and now I'm itching to accuse somebody of poltroonery.

Here's a link not only to an interview with Lynne Truss (author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves), but also to other language-related NPR programs.

Unsavoury headline: "Plasticized corpse exhibition opens today in Taipei."

And a good point made by columnist Emma Tom about abuse of the term "Orwellian":

Contrary to the citizens of Oceania, our privacy and freedom haven't been stolen by an all-seeing, all-knowing totalitarian state. We've surrendered them voluntarily for fame, or to save a few dollars.
Kevin Spacey Ha Ha Ha.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Am I crazy to consider knitting Grace in a sport-weight mercerized cotton? Specifically, will it kill my hands, stretch to my knees, and end up looking like a dish towel? I found the perfect colours yesterday. And if I do it, would you recommend bamboo needles? I never use bamboo, but I've read they're better for slippy yarns.

Here's a piece from yesterday's Guardian on blogging: "Blog all about it."

Sunday, April 18, 2004


Where have I been? Well, sadly, nowhere. Somebody took our laptop to work on Friday and then brought it home sans a crucial cord. Can I just say that I'm dying to show you all kinds of photos? Hopefully our software issues will be resolved by the end of the week, so I can do that.

I haven't done any work on finishing my Must Have, but thanks so much to everyone who left helpful comments to my blocking questions. You know, if someone (else) were really enterprising, she would start a little business: dorks like me could send her all the pieces, and she could block and seam. I'd send my knits to finishing school! Two weeks later, voilà! A lovely sweater. I'm just saying...

Since all I want to do is start new projects, I decided that I must first finish my feather and fan scarf. I'm into the second ball of wool, and it is a pretty quick knit. I love how the scarf is coming out, and I love the Lorna's Laces sport yarn. [Here's where I would show you a photo.]

I've knit a couple of inches of the back of Grace. [Again, photo!] I'm debating whether to continue. Or rather, I'm considering ditching the mohair and knitting Grace in another yarn, because I do love its shape. FYI, I wouldn't recommend the Schachenmayr Nomotto Hair. (See, there's a clue. When I chose it, I was a leetle unnerved that it was called Hair.) It's too hairy! In fact, I think there may be a slight typo on the label. I think where it says "35% mohair," it should actually say "35% mo' hair." I think I'd feel like a Muppet wearing this stuff. Or like I had a hairy chest. And a hairy back. Or I'd feel like a giant cat toy.

I was in the park this morning, sitting on a rock by the fish pond, eating my breakfast: dan-bing out of a plastic bag. (A dan-bing is a fried egg rolled up in a thin rice tortilla/crepe.) An elderly gentleman was walking by, and he stopped to talk to me. He said that people eat too much. He asked if I was from England and then told me that Canadians speak very clearly and are easy to understand. He told me he was "an old man." And he told me that I "cut a good figure." I laughed and thanked him, and then it was time for me to come to work. And I thought about the concept of mellowing with age -- not the man, but me. The same incident ten years ago probably would've spurred me to write an angry paper about objectification and the male gaze for a women's studies class. Today, it made me smile. His choice of phrase was particularly charming, don't you think? It's the kind of thing that would be in a 1940s English phrasebook, in a section called How to Compliment a Dame. And it worked.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Happy Birthday, Tom!

It's my big brother's birthday today.

Because I always do what librarians tell me to do, I did this:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the sentence in your journal with these instructions.

Unlike the kind of introduction that may be included in the front matter (see 1.53), a text introduction is integral to the subject matter of the book and should not include acknowledgments, an outline of the contents ("In the first two chapters I discuss..."), or other material that belongs in the front or back matter.

(The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed.)
Sexy, isn't it?

Holy haircuts!

A week or two ago, I mentioned getting my hair cut into a bob, and a few of you said you were thinking of hopping on the bobwagon too. I've been hunting for a photo of a style that I like. Well, I've hit the jackpot! Behold the Celebrity Pageboy page. It's the motherlode of bobs, people. I'm printing out this one, this one, and this one, and putting this one up as my screensaver. (I realize all my choices are red. I've always loved loved loved red hair; having it makes me look pale pale pale.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Alison's starting to happen*

Do you ever type your first name into an Internet search engine, just to see what's out there? It's funny, isn't it, that we feel some kind of affinity with people who share our names. Anyhoo, from time to time I check my site stats to see where people are coming here from. (Don't worry, it's not surveillance; I don't know who you are.) And there seem to be an awful lot of Google searches for "Alison" going on. Perhaps there are hundreds of Alisons out there in boring office jobs, unemployed, supposed to be studying, whatever. Or is it just one Alison? A single Alison-with-one-L who relentlessly searches for her own name? And if that's the case, I hope it's Alison Moyet. Alf, if you're reading, I've always loved the Yaz(oo) song "Don't Go" -- I really liked your solo record Hoodoo, too. Your voice is amazing. So of course I had to see what's out there, too. I typed "Alison" into Google and found Alison's PantsCam! From the site's main page:

You've always wanted to get into Alison's pants. Now you can do it from the convenience of your own room, through a novel web interface! Thanks to incredible new technology ... you can now see what's going on in Alison's pants 24 hours a day, 365 days a year....

The entire assembly is strapped to Alison's belt and the camera is inserted in her pants, providing the entire world a constant live video feed of her underwear. A client-side Java applet automatically refreshes the images of Alison's pants and provides a simple chat interface for site visitors to discuss recent PantsCam developments.
No, you get out of here! Do you really think I could make this up? (You can click on it. I swear, this site is not naughty at all, and Alison looks like a really nice girl.) Sadly, I was unable to get into Alison's pants this morning, so I moved on and did a quick Googlism of "Alison" and found that, among other things, Alison is

  • a scary individual
  • a wicked character
  • a very sweet kitty with a strong maternal streak
  • an expert in soy
  • one of the greatest voices in bluegrass
  • allergic to chocolate and ate her last mars bar in 1980
  • seriously pissed off and needs cheering up
  • seen wearing those horrible white "keds" with her blue jeans
  • having trouble fitting in
  • living proof that you can't judge a book by its cover

  • Knitters, I need your support. Please tell me that blocking is not a big deal. I've almost finished the last piece of the Must Have puzzle (the left front), but I find myself picking up other things instead of finishing because I'm dreading the block. I like the idea of blocking, and I always admire photos on blogs of people's beautiful knit things pinned down in perfect proportions on grids. I certainly admired Greta's take-charge tale of making her own lightweight blocking board. But here's the thing(s): I don't have a board. I don't have a hardware store. I don't have a flat surface in the house or a spare bed. Above all, I don't have space. What I do have is an ironing board, and I could probably pin the fronts and sleeves to it (one at a time). Any ideas? Maybe I could put a garbage bag on the bed, pin the Must Have back to it in the morning, and pray all day that Beatrix isn't gleefully unraveling every stitch? I figured I'll just pin and spray, so a piece would probably be dry by bedtime. Anyway, I'd love to hear some encouraging words, since I found myself thinking last night, "Well, I can just put the pieces in a bag and pack them; I won't need the sweater until the fall anyway..."

    Alison is having a mental block.

    Oh, and have you seen Teresa's Rogue? Isn't she awesome for posting so many photos? (I have to admit that when people post photos of themselves in their yards modeling their knits, I drool just as much over their yards as their sweaters.)

    * Anyone? Anyone know this song? It's a good one.

    Tuesday, April 13, 2004

    "But I don't want to drink sweat..."

    I've been sick. For no reason at all, I woke up terribly sick on Sunday morning. That was the worst day, but it wiped me out for Monday and Tuesday, so I stayed home from work those days and didn't even turn on the computer at home. On Tuesday I went to the hospital (which is one of my favourite things to do), since the sick-day policy at my workplace is that if you don't have a receipt from the hospital, you were just taking a day off, you lazy slacker. I hate this rule. If I'm throwing up and feeling like death, the last thing I want to do is get dressed and leave the house, especially because I know I'll feel better in a day or two if I can just bloody rest. But I wasn't feeling too bad yesterday, so I figured I may as well go and get a note from the doctor. I waited four hours to see the doctor, and she prescribed four kinds of drugs, and told me to eat an apple and drink an electrolyte drink. Very helpful. (No, I'm not taking the drugs; I looked on the Internet for information about them and couldn't find anything in English except that one is an antacid.) And so it was that I found myself in the convenience store around the corner from my apartment looking for a sports drink, thinking Gatorade, but faced with Pocari Sweat.

    Anyway, I'm too tired to come up with my own content. But look: it's the lovely and talented Miss Cari modeling her Kyoto! (The day my Billy agrees to [a] pose in a sweater I've made for myself and [b] have the photo posted online, I'll run down the street naked.) And over there: the Divine Miss Em's blog has a bright new look! But wait, there's more: not only did Miss Rachael, the world's loosest knitter, show up in a very sexy tank last week, but she's also set up shop with T-shirts and stuff!
    bumper sticker

    Friday, April 09, 2004

    I ♥ Bill Haverchuk

    Freaks and Geeks is out on DVD! I loved this show and was so sad to see it cancelled after only one season. It's been said that "quality television" is an oxymoron, but I disagree. There have been a handful of shows that aired in the past decade that were truly good, like My So-Called Life and Party of Five (for the first couple of years). And Freaks and Geeks was probably the very best. It was so wonderful and authentic, and every episode had me laughing and wanting to cry, sometimes at the same time. If you watched it, you know. If you didn't watch it in 1999-2000, do buy or borrow the DVD set. It'll wrench your heart out and make you pee your pants. I mean that in the best way.

    (Our computer has been brought back to life, but we lost Photoshop and FrontPage, so no photos or updates to pages other than this one for a little while.)

    Absorb this

    Rene Liu is speechless when asked if she'd dress up as a maxi-pad for her wedding

    Actress and singer Rene Liu had a rough time Saturday at a press conference to promote Whisper maxi-pads for which she is the most recent spokeswoman. The company had organized a mock slumber party for Rene and three models, who were to discuss the merits of the supposedly revolutionary pad. Rene was dressed in all-white casual gear, while the models were done up in night gowns designed to look like maxi-pads. When the press conference started, according to The Liberty Times, one of the models asked Rene if she would wear the maxi-pad gown to her wedding, to which Rene responded: "For the first time, I really don't know what to say." So, having not gotten an answer out of Rene, the model turned to the crowd of reporters and asked the same question. The reply came quickly. "Can you hurry up and finish this press conference?" A photo with the report shows Rene burying her head in hands.
    From the "Pop Stop" column in today's Taipei Times. Sadly, the "night gowns [sic] designed to look like maxi-pads" were not deemed worthy of a photo. Awfully comfortable, though, I bet.

    Wednesday, April 07, 2004

    Light blue

    No need for suspense; that's the colour I chose for Grace. Light blue. Click here to see all the colours of Schachenmayr Hair: mine is #55. I fondled #14 for a while (a rich terracotta that reminded me of naturally bright-red hair), but I decided on the blue. I actually had no blue clothes at all besides jeans until I bought a light blue cashmere cardie last year, and I love the colour. (Most of my clothes are black or autumny -- dark red, green, brown.) Plus I loved the colour combo of a sweet little top that Stefanie made a while back (click here and scroll down to the Adriafil Tank). In my stash, you see, I have a ball of very fine (25 g = 250 m) deep pinky-red mohair that my friend Claire gave me for Christmas (a Japanese brand that I can't remember right now), so I'd like to hold it together with the blue on all the edges of Grace. And then I think a floofy flower will need to be added somewhere. But I'm getting way ahead of myself now.

    In any case, the Must Have is now known as the Must Finish Before Starting Grace, so instead of swatching with the mohair last night, I cast on for the second front piece of the cardigan. I'm just finishing the fifth ball of Patons Classic, and the pattern calls for seven, so I seem to be right on track, even though I'm making every single piece an inch longer than the pattern recommends. (Not that there's anything wrong with a bolero...)

    Mohair: Do the math

    Mohair is weird, and I don't understand it. I'm doing the prep work for Grace, which I'm dying to make. Karen, the designer, was nice enough to suggest not one specific brand but three in the pattern. On my way home last night, I checked the options at my neighbourhood yarn shop, and there were three -- different from Karen's three. Then I compared the yardage of all six brands, so I can choose the best one from my local shop for my Grace. After a few calculations with a common denominator, here's what I found:

    1. Diamohair Bene (which Karen used): 25 g = 89 m
    2. GGH Kid Soft (which Karen suggests): 25 g = 140.75 m
    3. Rowan Kidsilk Haze (which Karen suggests): 25 g = 207.5 m
    4. Gedifra Kid Royal (which is at my LYS): 25 g = 100 m
    5. Soft Feather Super Kid Mohair (at my LYS): 25 g = 80 m
    6. Schachenmayr Nomotta Hair (at my LYS): 25 g = 95 m

    Look at the GGH and Rowan! That's some waaay thinner yarn than the others, right? At first I thought Karen meant we could maybe double the Rowan, so I looked online for gauge info. And here's where it gets really weird: the gauge for the Rowan is OK for Grace. Huh? What's the deal? All I can think of is that the gauge is the same, but the fabric would be much airier with the Rowan than with, say, the Gedifra. Is that it? Or is it that the Rowan isn't that much finer, it just weighs less because it's blended with silk rather than wool or acrylic? Plus, the Gedifra looked much thicker to me than the Schachenmayr, but with 25 grams, you get five meters more of the Gedifra! Can anyone explain any of this to me?

    I've never knit with mohair before. I've decided on the Schachenmayr, because it's close in yardage to Karen's yarn, and it's half the price of the other two at my neighbourhood shop. Now, what colour? I plan to buy it on my way home tonight, so I'll let you know tomorrow what I pick.

    Tuesday, April 06, 2004

    Learn from my mistakes

    Don't -- I repeat: Do not -- attempt to read from Lilek's Gallery of Regrettable Food 3.0 at work. Doing so will lead, within minutes, to a loud, alarming snort of laughter that is very hard to explain to your silent, diligent coworkers.

    (I am forever indebted to Creating Text[iles] for this gem of a link.)

    Monday, April 05, 2004

    I prefer "goddess" or the neutral "supreme being"

    This morning I turned on our computer at home for a quick e-mail check before work, and the computer said those three little words that nobody wants to hear: Cannot find SYSTEM. Hopefully we (OK, I actually mean Bill) can fix this. Stay tuned.

    I finished three things last night: one front piece of the Must Have (only the other front piece to go before assembly!), the first toe-up Koigu sock (which only involved binding off, but still, it's done!), and the first ball of yarn for my feather and fan scarf. Knitting is good.

    Yet another quiz -- thanks to Erica for the link. The picture that went with my result gave me the creeps, so I'll just share the blurb, because I am a show off:

    You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

    If your mission in life is not already to
    preserve the English tongue, it should be.
    Congratulations and thank you!

    How grammatically sound are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Sunday, April 04, 2004

    I want to get my hair cut, so yesterday I was looking at hairstyle magazines in the Eslite bookstore in Kongkuan (my favourite neighbourhood). I had the same problem I often have when I'm trying to buy clothes: I want simple, but I can only find fancy. So I didn't buy any hair mags, but you know what I found? The spring issue of Interweave Knits! Amazing! It's the first time I've ever seen IK in Taiwan. And what's more, there are so many lovely things in it! I know I'm a couple of months late weighing in, but I'd love to knit Polka Purl Dots and the Mandarin Faux Cardigan. I also like the Mismatched Stripes, the Waving Lace Socks, the Striped Angora Raglan, and Salt Peanuts (the beginnings of which I saw in Veronik's kitchen back in September, and believe me, it feels soft and squishy and luscious).

    Since it's still April 4 in Vancouver, I can still say Happy Birthday, Christine!

    Saturday, April 03, 2004

    Y'all ready for this?

    sassy me

    Join me as I swap my too-small load of bra for some new bra, won't you? (Disclaimer: You know how you can have a ball of yarn with the most vivid/subtle colours but be unable to truly capture it's beauty with your digital camera? Keep that in mind. All bra shown hereafter is more -- just more! -- in real life.) OK, let's begin with an overview of the streetside bra deli itself:

    bra deli

    There was no room to step back and get a sense of perspective. This is just a long narrow table heaped with kilograms of self-serve bra. I made sure to dig up two license plate–print bras for you: click here to pop those up. A personal favourite was the orange-purple-blue-lime camouflage bra: here it is. I think I could handle any of these bras individually, but it's really an assault on one's sense of vision to look at hundreds of them for too long: click here for a slight dizzy feeling.

    I handed the saleswoman my previous purchases and made some moves that were suitable for a game of charades in which the answer is Dolly Parton. I was able to find four new bras I liked. She weighed them on the scale:

    the weigh-in

    See, I could exchange the too-small bras for whatever I wanted that weighed the same. It turned out that I was 15 grams short, so she steered me to the other end of the table to choose some panties. Fine, no prob-- hey, wait a second! These are all lace G-strings! I don't mind telling you all that I like cotton underpants of the butt-covering variety. I gingerly picked up a few Gs to humour the saleswoman, and then she enlisted her colleague, and together these two women start pulling black lace G-strings out of the heap and tossing them at me! I tried to communicate that I'm not really into butt floss. The first saleswoman switches her focus to sheer panties. I point to my butt and say the word "big." Here she is convincing me that my Western butt will indeed fit in a pair of Asian panties:

    Um... yeah. I finally decided to take my four new bras and walk away. Besides, think of how many sheer lace G-strings I would need to pick to come up with 15 grams? I didn't have that kind of time! (Those are my workmate Danny's arms you see in that last shot. Isn't he a good sport?) Isn't it bizarre that the bras are so sturdy, and the bottoms are so not? Wacky, I tell you.

    And now it's Saturday, and I'm going to go and knit for a while!

    Friday, April 02, 2004

    New Knitty! So excited! Can't breathe!

    I simply must make Bad Penny, Grace, and Rosebud. And you?

    Thursday, April 01, 2004

    Boobs and squares

    I tried on nearly 300 grams of bra last night, and it seems I had seriously underestimated my boobage! I'm thirty-one years old. Why are my boobs getting bigger? (Moreover, why am I still calling them "boobs"?) So I have to go back to the bra deli. I'm guessing I need about 350 grams of bra. I was going to return them today, but just for you, I'm going to bring my camera and do it tomorrow. Who loves ya?

    Instead, at lunch today, I went to my sidewalk yarn guy down the street. The sweetest afghan squares keep appearing over at Mason-Dixon Knitting, and I can no longer resist. I can make cheerful squares, too! I bought three 50-gram balls of wool: green, orange, and blue. It will be practice for a future log cabin afghan. Perfect for TWT times (TV While Tired). Plus, even though I still heart my Must Have and lacy scarf, I need a little quick gratification. A little bit of start-and-finish-in-the-same-evening knitting. You know, while I can still get my arms around my enormous boobs and hold the needles.