Sunday, September 30, 2007

Another Darn Good Day?

Well, sort of, anyway. I did have two rehearsals for two different shows today, which was more than a bit mind-boggling, given their topics. And I'm surprisingly tired as all hell, which is weird, considering I didn't do *anything* today but watch a football game and sit through two rehearsals. At least two of my actors/directors are sick, though, so I'd better not be catching anything! But anyway...

My beloved Cubbies have officially won the NL Central title and will be going to the post season! I was born and raised a Cub fan, so I know better than to get TOO excited about this, as the odds that the curse will strike yet again are pretty darn good. But also, I was born and raised a Cub fan, so hope springs eternal. This is the year!

My beloved Boilermakers are also off to a 5-0 start for the season, with a win over Notre Dame (HISS!) which continues their tie with Ohio State (HISS!) and Wisconsin for first place in the Big Ten. Unfortunately, they play Ohio State next week, and I don't think they're gonna win that one. The defense isn't strong enough, but who knows, maybe it will be a pleasant surprise.

Note to self: one should NOT knit whilst watching football. The tendency to jump up and wave one's arms in the air while cheering or yelling at the refs or players or coaches creates chaos with yarn. (Yes, I DO know they can't hear me, no, it doesn't stop me in the slightest. It's a family trait and most likely genetic. We even get on the phone and yell about the game to each other!) It's much easier to knit while watching baseball games, except for home runs or great plays, of course.

Is it Monday yet? I want to knit and punch/kick things. I don't care if they have opposite effects! I want them both!

Friday, September 28, 2007

A Darn Good Day!

Got the purple belt and got a semi-standing date for private lessons on Thursday afternoons starting Oct. 11! So happy! It's still only four classes a week (two tkd and two kickboxing) instead of seven or nine, but Sir and I both agreed that it would be better for me than just one tkd class a week. I'm really excited about it! And because I'm in Leadership Club now (in order to be able to do those seven or nine classes a week), I get a bright gold horizontal stripe down the middle of my belts now. Great way to ruin a perfectly good shade of purple, but oh well.

John called and woke me up this morning so excited that I was going to be able to come help him load in, design, and rehearse the next show in Pasadena. We're going to do one of our brand new illusions in public for the first time, so we want it to go well! Should be lots of fun! I won't even miss tkd class, since the Monday he wants me down there is the one Monday they are taking off this fall. Awesome!

Now a fast hop in the shower and back to rehearsal, where I might actually be able to knit tonight, if I'm lucky!

And stop by and say Happy Birthday to AR and Amy's Baby Boogie!

Organizing thoughts... bear with me if things seem a little scattered. This post, quite honestly, is more for my benefit than any readers'. Sorry, I just need to get projects organized in my brain!

Between the fact that I'm currently in rehearsal for three separate shows, really should be spending more time babysitting PSM'ing three more, and our office just got moved to a new building (which is actually AWESOME!) and we've been packing, unpacking, cleaning, organizing, and why-the-HELL-can't-they-get-our-computers-renetworked-so- they-aren't-just-big-expensive-paperweights?-grumbling, I haven't gotten much knitting done this week. I do have the toe done on the second HSS2 sock, as well as the toe of a basic stockinette sock. I need to get more done, though. Why?

Me: So, since the Christmas Club (a special savings account through my parents' bank)cheques are coming soon, give me ideas for Christmas gifts.
Mom: Well, I don't know about the guys, but you could always just make me something. You know, if you have time.
Me: Make you something? Like what?
Mom: Well...I could really use a new pair of mittens. HINT HINT. Oh, and Soleil has really taken a liking to those slippers you made for me last year and I can't get the cat hair off of them anymore without shrinking them. So maybe a new pair of those, too?
Me: (thinking: oh, okay, mittens aren't bad. I can do mittens. And the slippers took me about a day to make) What color?
Mom: I don't know. Let me think about it. Oh, and I think your brother would really like one of those afghans you make for his house. His favorite team is the Chicago Bears, so you probably can't go wrong with navy and burnt orange. (Ugh!)

This has resulted in me going and finding the bulkiest yarn available around here, Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, and size 15 circs. Surprisingly, I don't mind working with the bulky yarn nearly as much as I thought I would; it's much softer than I'd expected, and the colors are, quite frankly, perfect. I think it's too dense on th 15s, though. I'm adding in white for a third color, but am having the darndest time finding a tri-color afghan pattern! I want something fairly modular and preferably garter-based, as I have the sneaking suspicion that most of this will have to be knit backstage during shows and I don't want to lug a big old afghan around with me. I REALLY like the Rambling Rows afghan, but it's a five color beast to really look good, and honestly, I can't think of any other colors that go with navy, burnt orange, and white. (I ordered the pattern anyway. Did I mention I really like it?) My current backup plan is basically a ginormous dishcloth blanket on size 17 needles with a striping pattern similar to the stripes on the arms of the Bears' home jerseys. My actual original idea was to double knit a rectagle and have one side be navy and orange with a Bears' logo on it and one side be old gold and black with a Purdue logo, but that's beyond my skills, I think. At least for the time frame and circumstances I have to knit it in.

Anyway, currently waiting for the needle tips and afghan pattern to arrive so I can swatch again for that. Mom still hasn't decided on colors yet, although, with Coleen's help, I think I've decided on a mitten pattern. (I know Mom occasionally checks this, so I won't post which one!) I want to get the second HSS2 sock finished before I start her stuff, but should get the afghan started ASAP. My brother is really tall and will need a big afghan.

And now, I really need to go to bed, as I am testing for my purple recommended belt tomorrow afternoon. I miss class! I've been grabbing rehearsal halls when I can this week to get extra form practice in. I've kind of made up a workout that has a mixture of tkd, kickboxing, and FIGHT drills in it, as well as some of the pilates. It's not great, and I don't work up nearly the sweat that I do in real classes, but it's better than nothing. A heavy bag would be awesome, but no idea where I'd put it. I'm definitely going to talk to Sir about maybe adding in a private lesson once a week!

I'm also technically supposed to be in three rehearsals at once tomorrow night. They're being nice and only making me be in one. Lucky me! At least they're going to let me off to do another show (sort of) for John next month!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Another reason to miss Fridays...

For the fiberistas who have been patient enough to put up with my mostly non-knitting posts lately (HSS2 pal, look away!):

The first HSS2 sock! Yay!

I had one of the most fun evenings I've had in a long time tonight. Sparring as usual (I did not hurt Ma'am, of course, nor did anyone get injured other than Mr. M landing a really nice kick on my wrist which is going to bruise enough to raise eyebrows tomorrow), but then Mrs. S invited me to join her, Sir, baby Sam (their six-month-old son), Ma'am, Mr. M, Mr. C, and a few more students and parents of students (the kids basically ran free, as kids can do at such places) for pizza and beer afterwards. The pizza place just down from the dojahng is widely regarded as the best in the area - and after a few ribs about my age ("You're seriously old enough to buy beer?!" "Um, I'm 26..." "I thought you were sixteen or seventeen!"), it was fun to hang out with everyone outside of class. I guess this is a regular weekly thing, and I'm invited anytime. I do actually have two Friday nights where I don't have a rehearsal or performance. One is because of another mandatory work event (you think I could be sick *coughcough* that day?). The other is most likely some freak scheduling mistake, but I am clinging to it - November 30th - where we have a brat mat instead of an evening performance that day. I owe Mr. M for half a pizza and a beer.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tomorrow (Friday)

First HSS2 Sock is finished! Will get a pic up maybe tomorrowish. I've also actually gotten some work done on Tumbling Blocks again. Someday, I might actually finish a lace project. Or any project that aren't socks. Half my FO's this year have been socks. Nothing else is quite so portable, though. And the HSS2 socks need to be finished soon so I don't plaster myself against the deadline.

Tomorrow is also the last day of Outreach rehearsals, yay!, although Interplay rehearsals start on Saturday, and Sound of Music rehearsals start Tuesday. No rest for the wicked, unfortunately. Tomorrow is also my last night of sparring class, at least until next year. Sigh. (Ma'am: "Well, I guess you'll have to hurt me, then!") The worst part? Chrissy and the intern are already planning out what days or evenings they want off. It's like, thanks, you've already taken my show and ALL of my Friday evenings for the rest of the year, let's rub it in as well! Double sigh.

I'm going to do some private sparring with Sir and maybe Mrs. S in order to stay ready for testing, which, quite frankly, terrifies me. Not that I think I'd get hurt, and I think I'd learn a lot, but still...sparring Mr. R is bad enough, and he's a second degree (I think, he's also still teaching on Monday nights, which I was happy to find out!). Mrs. S is a third degree. Sir is a fifth degree. I'm afraid I'm going to lose everything I've gained over the summer. My only free time is going to be while the students are in class using the rehearsal rooms, and my forms are getting more complicated than I have space for in my living room. Where am I going to practice? And I'm actually gonna miss Haganah, too. Knife sparring is a rush, although if we used real knives, I'd be dead ten times over.

And I'm madly in love with Jeffrey Donovan. It's a damn shame Burn Notice is over until next summer!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


First off, kitty seems to be okay. We had more litterbox issues last week (he seemed to have decided my laundry hamper was his litterbox instead of the nice clean real litterbox right next to it), so we went to the vet yesterday. After the normal mewling, crying, pretending to be an ostrich and trying to bury his head in my elbow, and in general trying to convince anyone and everyone that he's too pathetic to be there, it was decided that he had a mild UTI and was grumpy about it. So now we get to go through the shoving the antibiotic pills down the throat routine twice a day. Joy, but at least he's okay.

Secondly, the heel has been turned on the first HSS2 sock! Yay! I've also found another knitter at tkd (her grandson takes classes, and she knits or crochets the most awesome lace during them) and was able to have a real conversation about socks and sock yarns with the props interns at work. So nice to be around people who speak my language! Oh, and the LYS may be getting better. They had a few new yarns in that I haven't seen there before and kind of liked. Still only Regia and Tofutsies for sock yarn selection, but the new Regia colors they just got in are really pretty. But I just got new yarn, so I'm good. Speaking of which, there was a note in the mailbox that USPS tried to drop off a package Monday morning. I haven't had time to pick it up during business hours. Can't wait...!!!!

Thirdly, I finally got a chance to talk with Sir a little about the upcoming changes to my schedule. He wants me to work on crescent kicks (I just about died of surprise. No. Really. =P), spin kicks (Mrs. S. promised to work with me on spin kicks in sparring this week), and to keep my legs strong to support my bad ankle. He also suggested that as I learn my new form, to go through all of the techniques very slowly, focusing on balance points and breaking down each technique into each seperate component - making sure the initial stance is correct, pivots and chambers are correct, etc. I'm going to miss being in class so much, although it'd be nice to give my body a chance to heal from all the scrapes and bruises. I also really randomly got a copy of the Fall 2007 ATA World magazine in the mail today. No idea why, but it was interesting. (Huh, ATA just redid their website, too.) I may have to take it easier tomorrow, though - my arms were just about to fall off after FIGHT tonight, but I've also been PMS'y and haven't been so smart about eating so far this week. Gotta lay off on that.

Now off to shove a pill down a grumpy cat's throat and get some sleep for tomorrow!

Friday, September 14, 2007


Okay, I've been really super good about not buying sock yarn lately. And trust me, with my fairly recent discovery of Shelbyb's Etsy shop (and a few others', as well), the temptation has been there. But I've been good. I have only bought the Felici and the yarn for the HSS2 socks all summer. And then Amy has to go and update her shop. This, for some reason, totally pushed the Must Have button in my brain. It's not really a color way I normally go for. (It has pink in it, for cryin' out loud!) I have no idea what I'll do with it. But I ordered it. I have no willpower.

The HSS2 sock and I are finally starting to agree, I think. We're doing 80sts on a 9.5sts/in gauge, with five pattern repeats on the instep. It's not quite striping like the last version, but it's not as scrambled as the first version either. I really haven't worked on anything else, although I have so many ideas about the Modern Quilt Wrap. I like the sock yarn one. I'm toying with the idea of using my leftover LB Homespun from making everyone else's afghans and expanding the wrap to make a throw for myself. The ends would be a pain to weave in, though. We'll see.

Still no idea what I did to my ankle, but it doesn't hurt anymore. Not that I've really taken it easy, unless you count going to only one class each on Tuesday and Wednesday instead of two each day. (Not entirely sure I could do nine classes in one week - but somehow seven seems to be a reasonable number.) There's something still not quite right, but I'll have this weekend to rest it up and get it figured out. So far this week, I've done three tkd classes, two kickboxing classes, and one Haganah FIGHT class, with sparring this evening if I can get away from work quickly enough. I did the FIGHT for the first time last night, and I like it, but it's a little weird when you stop to think what you are actually doing to someone. I mean, tkd, for my intents and purposes at this point, is an exercise and a sport and is meant to score points in tournaments. Haganah is combat and is meant to hurt someone severely enough that they can't hurt you. We did knife combat, eye gouges, and various other maneuvers designed to break or otherwise damage important body parts. It's very fun, until you stop to think about it. Then it's a little scary.

Oh, and if you really want fun looks and reactions, knit between classes!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Too Much Of A Good Thing?

The real subject of this post behind the cut, as it really has nothing to do with yarn or knitting. The ankle is still not right. It probably does not help that I've done two kickboxing classes and a tkd class in the past 28 hours and did a nice job rolling said ankle on a jump side kick during tkd (I'm scared of those now, and it's in one of my sparring segments, ugh!). So all of the resting I tried to give it over the weekend went out the window, most likely. It's not swollen or bruised. I can walk, run, jump and kick just fine. And it doesn't hurt in class. It's just not...right. I put a brace on it today for kickboxing. I didn't go full out, but that was partly because of muscle fatigue and Mrs. S warning me that if she thought I was working my ankle too hard, she'd sit me out. It hurts now, though. So now I'm pondering how far I can push it tomorrow (kickboxing and tkd again on the slate) or if I do really need to suck it up and skip class(es). I cannot be dead or injured for sparring on Friday, as it's one of the last times I can go. (Basically, once rehearsals start Sept. 25th, I can't go to sparring again for the rest of the year - yes, year - because of a change in assignments and lack of interns. I'm really not happy about it, for a variety of reasons, but there's not really much I can do about it.) I'll sleep on it for tonight and see how it feels tomorrow. Heck, my muscles may be so sore and tired tomorrow that my body won't let me do anything anyway.

I frogged the first version of the HSS2 sock (the one in the pic in the previous post) to the end of the toe at knitting yesterday morning (we want pics of the hair, Inky!) and restarted the foot with the correct stitch pattern and worked about three inches. Then I realized I was doing an 8-stitch repeat over 32 stitches on the instep (4 repeats per round) at a gauge of about 9.5sts/inch. This creates a sock foot (factoring in negative ease) that fits my 9" circumference foot perfectly. Unfortunately, my pal's foot has a 9.5" circumference, and I'm not trusting washing to help me out much. I'm going to have to frog the foot and increase the toe to 40 stitches. It's going to mess up the stripes I'd gotten going with the 64 stitch pattern. Maybe I'll just frog the whole thing and do them cuff down for kicks. Toe-up obviously isn't working for me. Third time's a charm, right?

Oh, and I started a Modern Quilt Wrap. Only I'm doing mine with leftover sock yarn. And not striped. I started the striping thing, and it really doesn't work when you're using leftover sock yarn. However, doing whole squares of just one sock yarn is turning out to be surprisingly interesting. It's not beautiful in the KidSilk Haze kind of way, but it's interesting and it's using up my scrap yarn. Unfortunately, I still have far more sock yarn than leftover sock yarn, so I'd better get to the frogpond so I can start knitting socks again!

And from one of my interns: "Oh, good, you're knitting. When you're knitting in rehearsal, it makes me think that you think everything is going okay."

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Yay, Knitting!

See, I do knit!

Sometimes! Actually, I really like these socks (I'm still wearing them from taking the pictures...). I'm really fond of the yarn - even a stockinette pattern is much more interesting with the stripes!

Project specs:
Name: Felici Socks
Pattern: toe up stockinette w/ gussetted heel
Yarn: KnitPicks Felici Aurora colorway
Needles: US 1.5/2.5mm (I think - btw, I'm really interested in the new Harmony needles!)
Date started: August 6th, 2007
Date completed: September 7th, 2007

So now I've finally been able to use the right needles for the HSS2 socks! I started them yesterday, and this is what I have so far:

Again, I like the yarn - love the colors - and the pattern is a modified version of Groovy Socks, mostly because Katie can't count and thought it was a 6-stitch pattern, which fit perfectly into the gauge of the sock, but it turns out it is an 8-stitch pattern and I didn't want to think about the numbers again. I kind of like it. It isn't wildly thrilling me, but I like it. What do you all think? Does the pattern work with the colors?

Oh, I even got some rows in on the MS3! I'm almost done with Chart E in Clue 4. I might work on it a bit more tonight.

Spent yesterday in LA hanging out with John, Jen, and Sarah, playing with new illusions. I did something to my ankle Friday during sparring, and it's still a little sore, so I don't know if I'll be able to do class(es - kickboxing and tkd are slated) tomorrow. If not, I should be sociable tomorrow night and go to a faculty mixer. I don't really want to, though. I just want to go to knitting in the morning, and preferably class tomorrow night.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Dear Designers,

Please, for my sanity's sake, can we start cutting back on the number of totally cute patterns coming out right now? I will never get the patterns I already want to do done in one lifetime. Yet, all in this week, I've found one of Fiber Trend's new gems, the Gypsy Shawl, which has somehow completely grabbed me, a totally cute tank pattern called Jax, and the gorgeous Modern Quilt Wrap (I might do mine in leftover sock yarn) from Folk Style (a free download if you subscribe to the free Knitting Daily e-newsletter). I'm also interested in doing another mystery stole: the Secret of the Stole, which doesn't start until October. (Yes, Inky, I'm blaming you for this!) Plus, I need to finish the vest, the Felici socks (I SWEAR, I'm so close to being done it's not funny!), the HSS2 socks, and the MS3! So if you guys could take a break for a while, that would be great!
ETA: Felici Socks are finished! Pics up tomorrow or whenever.

Someday I'll have the time and energy to knit again! It does help that...I'm NOT taking over Urinetown in Solvang now! Yay!! (Can you see my happy dance or do I have to do it again?) I didn't realize how much I was not looking forward to it until Chrissy said she was going to keep it and it was like a weight fell off my shoulders. It's a great show, and a great cast, but I'm not quite ready to give up all my evenings again, and, honestly, it's HARD to take over a running show. There are all these intricacies that have developed and need to be learned and it's just kind of a pain in general.

I'd also probably have more time to knit if I actually stayed home in the evenings, too. But while I have the evenings free, I'm taking advantage of them! I did both cardio kickboxing (round one)and tkd (round two - Sir had fun teasing me) yesterday, fully expecting not to be able to walk today, but I'm actually barely sore at all. That says a lot about how far I've come since January, I think! The kickboxing class was a lot of fun - Sir's wife is teaching it and she is a really great encourager. There was only one other lady there who is also in tkd, and she is a yellow belt now I think, and the rest are just doing the kickboxing. The hardest part of the class for me was not bowing in and out, and not saying "Yes ma'am/sir!" when given a new drill. When did that become a habit?? We did some of the less complicated punch and kick drills from tkd, only against the bags instead of targets or partners, and we finished with a pilates-style ab workout, with some jumping rope thrown in. My only problem with it is that the gloves we wear for that class totally chafed and tore up my knuckles, to the point that it REALLY hurt to punch the targets during tkd. Tonight is definitely tkd, and maybe Haganah, depending on how I feel after tkd. I might give myself a break and just watch Haganah, since I don't want to be dead for sparring tomorrow like I was last week. Mr. R apologized for the bruises, which don't hurt at all anymore but are just starting to bloom into full color. Mr. M told him he was being too nice to me. Mr. R has a quite impressive and still painful-looking bruise on his foot from something that also happened on Thursday, so I guess we're even.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Las Tres Amigas y Preguntas

It's such a shame we are always so serious and somber when we get together, eh? It was awesome having the girls out here this weekend! Even Teddie had a good time! Becki and I have been friends since third grade, and Amanda joined us in junior high. It's always been the three of us. Amanda's been married for almost two years now (she was the Winter Night afghan) and Becki for just over a year (the Chunky Diagonal afghan), and now they live 2200 miles away. It doesn't matter. We always pick up right where we left off. It's great. We were supposed to go winetasting on Saturday, but our luck held out. I do not need a new car after this visit, but I had the requisite car problems during their visit. We went to a local winery and bought a nice pinot blanc to go with strawberries, then went to see Urinetown. We spent Sunday playing mini-golf at Boomers, seeing the preview of The Pearl (the first of the Outreach shows), then spent the evening with pizza, soda, M&Ms, wine, strawberries, and Because I Said So, Night At The Museum, and the always required 10 Things I Hate About You. Then we got up wayyy too early to drive back down to LA and drop them off at the airport. I was back home by 12:30p and went back to bed. There's no class tonight because of Labor Day, unfortunately, so I think I'm going to spend some time this evening at the rehearsal hall doing those kicking drills and working on my form. I also need to make jam with the rest of the strawberries this week sometime.

And, as part of a HSS2 contest:
What type of pet do you choose as your companion at Hogwarts? If the choices are still owl, toad, or cat, I think I would choose a cat. You can always use a school owl for correspondence, but you can't cuddle with one.

While shopping in Hogsmeade you stop by Honeydukes for some sweets. What treats do you purchase for yourself? a bar of Honeydukes best chocolate. I'm a purist.

A potion you are preparing needs an ingredient available only at muggle shops. You don't want to stand out in your wizards robes, so you resort to traditional muggle clothing. Describe your outfit in detail. Blue jeans, my favorite tan tank top, and sneakers

What is your favorite subject to study at Hogwarts and why? Defense Against the Dark Arts. I like feeling like I could defend myself.

Likewise, what subject is your least favorite and why? Herbology bores me to tears.

Back to the potion you were shopping for ingredients for, what type of potion are you making, what color is it, what are the ingredients, and precisely what does the potion do? I'm terrible at Potions, so I'm sticking with a simple Wake-Up Potion. It's a pinky-orange potion that makes you feel like you've had a good night's sleep, without making you hyper energetic. I use a teeny bit of unicorn horn, some chopped roots, a skivelfig, orange juice, and strawberries.

Now to go catch up on everyone else's blogs!