Monday, October 29, 2007

Time Off For Good Behaviour

Shh! Don't tell anyone, but...I actually had a weekend this week! Two whole days off in a row! (Going in and taping spikes for the LD today doesn't count, since it took all of maybe thirty minutes tops, and that was including finding the tape measure.) Of course, the flip side of this is that we are running the show twice next week and then going straight into tech hell for the next ten days, but hey, you take 'em where you can, right? You might want to send some love over AJ's way, though - I know the shops have been hella busy and she may not have had a lot of knitting time lately, the poor girl.

I, however, have gotten to add some squares to Rambling Rows:

and man, this sucker is turning out huge! That would be a five-foot long tape measure going across there, and the actual measurements end about halfway through the final white block. I'm guessing this is going to be about 5'6" wide (this is definitely as wide as it will get, as the first row of blocks is done) and probably 6'6"-7'0" long. Perfect! It's going pretty quickly, too. I can do a rectangle or a small square in just an hour or so; the large squares take longer.

I was planning on working mostly on that during my unusually large amount of free time, but for some reason I started working on Mom's mittens instead. Worsted weight mittens take a surprisingly short amount of time to knit, I've discovered. I started both of them at the same time on one long magic loop, top down, and was almost past the thumb gussets before I realized hadn't cast on nearly enough stitches for the gusset and ripped them back to the start of the thumb. Now I'm working on them separately, but I'm already into the ribbing on the cuff for the first one. Just have to finish that and do the thumb, then pick the second mitten back up and get that sorted out and finished off. It is entirely possible that I could finish these tomorrow! I'm kind of winging the pattern, as I couldn't find one that was both worsted weight and top-to-cuff, so I'm kind of going off a conglomeration of patterns, tips, and tricks. This is the first time I've done that, and it's turning out pretty well. Mom's hands are just slightly smaller than mine, so I hope these fit! (No, I'm not posting a pic because Mom does check this occasionally. There is a pre-frogging pic up on Ravelry, though. And don't worry, I have other plans for Mom's Christmas as well *muha*!)

Definitely planning on getting up to AG tomorrow morning, and possibly going up to SLO afterwards. I really love just walking up and down Marsh Street and window shopping up there. I might also try to catch a matinee of Across the Universe, just because it's Julie Taymor. (The Lion King has really been on Broadway for ten years now?!) SLO is the closest cinema that is playing it, unfortunately. A couple of the acting interns and I have kept trying to make a time to go see it, and the plans keep falling through, so I might just go if I can catch a good time.

Definitely must make it back in time for class, though, as I've been terribly lazy all weekend and eating far too much junk! Sir drilled me on crescent kicks Thursday (have I mentioned I hate crescent kicks? I do, I really do.) and started teaching me the footwork for spinning kicks. I've never felt less graceful in my life - it took me forever to get my feet going the right way at the right time. I was supposed to drill them this weekend but I just haven't had time until today and then I just zoned out and didn't do anything. I think I'll do three more private classes, which will get me through until Opening and understudy rehearsals. After that, I should be able to make at least two, probably all three tkd classes per week, plus kickboxing and more Haganah again. It will be soo nice!

And, just to share for my own amusement, I learned this week that Chrissy thought I was dating Cute Intern, and Cute Intern thought I was dating John. It was kind of a bummer to have to set them all straight - I wish my love life was half as interesting as people obviously seem to think it is! =)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mischief Managed!

The whole HSS2 kit 'n caboodle is packaged, postaged (is that a word?) and will be on its way as soon as I can get to the office and get to my brown packing paper! I'm quite proud of it, but, more importantly, I hope my pal likes it!!!

Bye bye, little package, it's been fun!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What did YOU do today?

Other than waking up pretty sure my eyes were going to explode out of my head, and not making it up to AG for knitting, today was a pretty good day. I was a good girl and got all my chores done first (we won't discuss how loud the music was playing or how loud I was singing along to it!), then finally got to sit and finish these before class!

Project: Groovy Socks (HSS2 Socks)
Yarn: Razzy Tazzy Knits, Ravenclaw Movie colorway
Needles: 2.5mm/US 1.5 KnitPicks fixed circ
Date Started: September 7, 2007
Date Completed: October 22, 2007
-I was actually pretty good about writing down what I did for the first sock and being able to repeat it for the second this time. I made the extra effort since I rarely make socks for anyone other than myself and I'm terrified these aren't going to fit. The measurements say they should, though! Minerva, if you're reading this and they DON'T fit, I'm SOO sorry! I really liked working with this pattern, though, and surprisingly, I even like the finished pattern, even though it's pretty lacy. I might have to make this pattern for myself!
-I actually really love the way the heel ended up striping! I wish it had gone that way for the entire sock, but alas, it was not really designed to stripe over the gauge I needed for it. But it's still fun!

Anyway, those guys are currently drying and should be joining the rest of the package and begin winging their way to my pal in the next day or so! This was my first swap and it was fun! (I totally snuck a peek at Minerva's socks on Ravelry, and omg, the colors! They're so pretty!)

Now that those are done, I can focus on holiday knitting. I have the first three pieces of the afghan complete: I had to adjust the color balance on the pic a little bit, as for some reason the red and the blue just really wanted to look like the same color for the camera, but you get the general idea. I'm going with burgundy, navy, white, hunter green, and then the fifth color is still a toss-up between grey or tan. I keep waffling back and forth. I don't have to make a decision for a while, though. I actually am really enjoying this project, but I've decided this can't be my project for the show. The needles are too heavy to keep from clicking loudly. Plus, I can't keep the darn cat off of it! Teddie usually has little interest in my yarn unless I'm actually working with it and it's dangling and moving, but apparently the cat loves Thick & Quick!
He's partially unwound two not-currently-in-use skeins across the living room floor, and no matter where I put the WIP, he's sitting on top of it. Maybe he's trying to tell me the fifth color should be the tan by adding his hair personally? Maybe he knows it's for Kelly, who seems to have been one of his favorite people ever? Who knows? He's curled up again on it as I type!

Mom did get back to me before I finished the socks, although her choice of color somewhat surprised me. She wants mittens to match the scarf I made her out of some cheap Red Heart about four years ago! Finding the colorway isn't a big deal, but Red Heart?? I didn't know there were, like, real yarns out there when I made that scarf! I wonder if I could get Amy or someone to match the colors with some nicer superwash. Is that legal? I'm actually thinking more along the lines of how itchy mittens made of Red Heart would be than about having to work with it myself; I'll probably do one pair of mittens out of the stuff. I'm just also thinking of backups. Those are going to be my backstage project instead of the afghan.

On top of all that, class was great. I got to hang out with Mrs. S and baby between classes, and Sir promised we'd do the new board break on Thursday. It was hot as hell today, though, and the sky is all brown from the fires to the south. It's not too bad here, but it's harder to breathe and it's hard on the eyes. Mine constantly feel dry, itchy and puffy, and Mrs. S mentioned that it was really hard on the contacts, too. The Santa Anas are definitely blowing, and they're drying everything out, including people! I talked to John tonight, and he said things weren't bad where he lives, but Jen, one of our crew who lives in Burbank, said that she and her partner could see the fires to the north and south and the air quality was pretty terrible there. Please keep Southern Californians in your thoughts and prayers. It doesn't seem like there are too many injuries or fatalities yet, and we should be thankful for that, but lots of homes are being destroyed. I look around my single apartment and think "man, if I had to evacuate now, what would I save?" I can't imagine having to make that decision in a house full of memories! (For the record, my first things to grab would be cat, phone, car keys, wallet, shoes and sweatshirt. Then the three pictures of family and friends I have framed, and a few pieces of jewelry that have more sentimental than monetary value to me. As much as I would hate to lose anything, a lot of the stuff I have here honestly could be replaced if I absolutely had to.)

On a lighter note, two trips to Disneyland - one with people from PCPA and one with John & the magic crew - are in the planning stages! I've been to Disney with PCPA peeps, and that's a ton and a half of fun, but can you imagine me, John, Jen, Sarah, Alfonzo and Nick teaming up to descend on the Happiest Place on Earth? Me either! I hope the place survives us! The PCPA trip will probably be the Monday/Tuesday after SoM opens, and other will probably be closer to Christmas. Can't wait!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Teachers and Students

First square of Rambling Rows completed:

This is going to work out just fine. The square is about 12"x12", which is what it should be. I think this will be great! I've picked up the stitches for the next rectangle, but haven't started knitting on it yet. That's because these:

are so close to being done and I just can't seem to find the time to get that last inch in! It's driving me batty!

One of the actors came up to me this evening during rehearsal and asked me to teach her to knit! She said she used to knit, but had forgotten how and was suddenly overcome with the desire to make a scarf again, so on the next break I showed her a knitted cast on and refreshed her memory on knitting and purling. I think we may have also piqued the interest of one of our YPs, so we'll see how we can gently cultivate that - I am planning on knitting quite a bit backstage during this show, and anything to keep the kids quiet when they're not onstage...

I also got this today: Yay! A bag that holds all of my kickboxing and sparring gear without looking like it's going to fall apart, explode, or put any kind of strain on the zipper! (My original two duffel bags have met untimely ends due to broken zippers.) I was quite pleased to see it waiting for me on the floor when I went in for private class this afternoon. Normally private classes are about 45 minutes to an hour, but I guess I got lucky - there was no one in the slot ahead of me today, so we started a few minutes before 3:00, and I didn't leave until almost 4:30! I got drilled on inner crescent/reverse side kick combos, repeat round kick combos, and was taught the basics of slide kicking for sparring. My legs just might fall off tomorrow. We do #3 side kicks a lot in kickboxing, but Sir wants me to switch those to slide kicks for now, just to get the repetitions in, since we don't do them in regular class. He said he'd tell Mrs. S about it. It's not as big of a deal on Tuesday classes, since it's usually a tiny class and there isn't an audience, but Monday's class is usually bigger and there are lots of parents and kids hanging out between classes during kickboxing and I'm a little nervous about doing different things than everyone else. I was surprised, normally I find balancing easier on my left foot and more power kicking with my right, but I can do slide kicks far more easily balancing on my right foot and kicking with the left, so Sir wants me to focus on that side for sparring. We also got to talk a little bit about the difference between tournament sparring and what we do in class (Sir, apparently, is more lax with the tournament rules during class sparring, as he would prefer we learn more realistic self-defense than ATA requires or allows as a rule, although it's still very controlled), and I expressed my interest in someday doing instructor training, which he seemed pleased about. I think I'm going to like the private classes more than I thought I would, although I always seem to come out with a longer and longer list of things to work on!

Anyway, tomorrow is going to be a long day, since I have to be at the theater at 7:15a to cover an Outreach show for an intern who is currently out of town on a previously agreed upon conflict. WHY am I so nice??

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Knitting content!

No, seriously! We got some time off for good behaviour on Sunday, and I took advantage of it by doing most of my cleaning tasks that night instead of cramming everything in on Monday. This brilliant idea (I do have one occasionally) allowed me to spend some time knitting with the girls in AG yesterday morning (Inky and Kim, we missed you!), wander, window-shop, and indulge in some Coldstone Cremery in SLO in the afternoon, get home in time for kickboxing and tkd in the evening, and then curl up with some soup and more knitting for the rest of the night. It was brilliant! I forget how much I like SLO. It reminds me a lot of being back around campus in West Lafayette. Now to just convince the LYSOs up there that they should be open on Mondays!

I have no photographic evidence of anything I'm about to tell you, as I accidentally left my camera plugged into the computer and drained the battery. So you'll have to take my word for it.

First up, you know how the legs of socks can just drag forever? I feel like I've been working on the poor HSS2 socks FOR-EH-VER and have been caught in a time warp. The second one's leg was just NOT growing any longer at all! Then I measured it last night and realized I only have one more inch before starting the ribbing! When did that happen?? I know I've been saying this for about three weeks now, but I'm serious - these socks should be done this weekend! Mom had better act fast if she wants specific colors for her mittens, because if I don't have her request by the time I finish these socks, I'm picking the colors myself!

Second, I received my Rambling Rows Afghan pattern in the mail the other day! I still really like it, and have decided to forgo the Bears' colors for a more neutral-but-still-masculine color scheme. It pretty much works out that I'm only swapping out the orange (ugh) for a nice hunter green, so it's not even requiring any new yarn shopping. Since the pattern is actually written for worsted weight yarn, and I'm using super-bulky, I'm thinking about doing the smallest size blanket. I'm working on the first square now and will compare the measurements to see if the thicker yarn and needles will make the small blanket the same size as the original largest blanket or not. I've been trying to get the socks done before I spend too much time on this, though.

Third, I finally (FINALLY) splurged and bought Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel after finding it in the Beverly's up in SLO yesterday. I've been going back and forth about ordering it for a while, but never got around to it. However, after actually being able to get my grubby little paws on it and actually seeing the patterns inside it, I had to have it. I've got about five projects from it on the MUST DO NOW list, but I think my first one will be the Boatneck Bluebell Sweater. (I'm sorry, I have no idea whose project and photo that is, but it's the best pic of the sweater I was able to find w/o forcing people to log into Ravelry. If it's yours, let me know and the credit is all yours!) It looks like it will be a fun, quick knit, and perfect for work.

I got my brochure for Stitches West today. I really would LOVE to take a finishing class, since I didn't get to last year, but I'm sure they're all filled up at this point and I really can't afford it right now.

Now for some dinner before rehearsal. The three classes I've done so far this week (two yesterday and kickboxing this morning) have kicked my butt today (the price one pays for not going for almost ten days, I guess), so I'm not going to physically work on my form today, but I will over break tomorrow and in private class Thursday! I've missed lots of classes, but I'm the only one in my form block who has actually learned the whole thing already. Now I get to start drilling it!

Friday, October 12, 2007


Had an amazingly fun time in LA getting John's show loaded in. He's playing at the AGBU Theater in Pasadena this weekend and next weekend, if anyone is able to make it. It was fun to get to work together and spend a little time also just hanging out as friends. I never work so hard AND laugh so hard as when I'm doing a show there. Unfortunately, I can't actually work the shows due to my PCPA schedule, I could only get away for the load in, so I hope hope hope everything went well tonight. It was the first time he was going to do a new trick and I really want to know how the audience reacted to it. (ETA: apparently the show went really well and the new trick rocks!) I seriously need to be based in LA again! (I know, the grass is always greener, blah blah - if anyone knows of any reasonable full time job in LA right now, I'd consider it!)

I have about an inch done on the leg of the second HSS2 sock. Slowly but surely, it's getting done. Other than that, I haven't had a whole lot of knitting time lately, or general free time, or occasionally not even a minute to respond to a text, which apparently is enough to get a brother concerned enough to make Mom call and make sure I was still alive. (Why HE couldn't call is beyond me, I guess it's a guy/brother thing.) Still no word from Mom on mitten colors, and I'm really not a fan of the three color afghan. I might change the color scheme and do a Rambling Rows. I might not do it for Christmas, though. We'll see.

I got back into Santa Maria Thursday afternoon and did a private lesson with Sir. Although I miss having everyone else around, it's kind of nice to just work one on one with him and get more specific critiques and drills. My new form has two kicking combinations that I'm having problems with - an inner crescent/reverse side kick and front kick/side kick. I'm to drill those repetitively as much as possible for balance and footwork, and also basic sparring punches (my form punches are okay, since they're more controlled). Apparently, I've developed the bad habit of hooking my elbows out when I punch, so I have to work on breaking that. I'm going to try to get into a rehearsal room tomorrow to work on it - either before stage combat class in the morning or over dinner break. We start learning rapiers in stage combat tomorrow - can't wait!

And, we broke our rule

- there are no drinks in this stage management picture, and if you hear rumours that we were actually unclassy enough to eat pizza on paper napkins and drink wine out of paper cups, well...yeah. We had a fundraising gala this evening and of course the SMs got stuck actor wrangling for it. By about the third hour, we were willing to take the food and wine (mostly the wine) in whatever form it presented itself! But damnit, we looked good doing it!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Quotes of the Day

"You do taekwondo, Haganah, kickboxing and do full contact sparring. You usually have enough bruises that people wonder if you're in an abusive relationship. But you say "OW!" when you get poked by a knitting needle??" - intern

"Blondes have more fun, but brunettes will remember it the next day." - one of our YPs

Overheard standing in line at Subway, behind a family of four - two parents, two kids - who were all, er, packing some extra pounds and had just paid for four footlong meatball subs with extra meatballs and extra cheese, plus sodas and chips for everyone: "See, this is why we don't come here very often. Eating healthy is SO expensive!"

Knitting is happening. I'm starting the gusset on the HSS2 sock. I was hoping to have them finished by this weekend, but that might be pushing it now. I've started Kelly's afghan, although I'm not completely sure I like it and might go back to my original backup idea. Mom still hasn't gotten back to me on colors and if she hasn't by the time I finish the HSS2 sock, I'm picking them myself outta the stash. At some point, I need to update my Ravelry projects page.

And...flirting is fun =)

Friday, October 05, 2007

New Toys!

Because, really, what are needles and yarn but toys?

I caved and ordered a Harmony wood circ:

I don't normally go for wood needles, but these intrigued me, particularly with the reviews they've been getting. I love me some sharp points, no matter the material. I haven't tried these, but they feel very smooth and warm, and I can't wait to finish the HSS2 socks so I can start yet another pair on these!

And speaking of sharp:

KP Options have a reputation for being pointy. These are US 17s. Normally a very blunt needle point. Don't let their bulk fool you - they're just as deadly as the rest of the KP arsenal! Very sharp! I'm starting my brother's afghan on them and have poked my fingers countless times.

I've also started another pair of stockinette socks, in addition to the HSS2 ones:

They're Spunky Eclectic in Berry Pickin, and I think the colorway is best shown off in the simple stitch. I like it.

Too much evening rehearsals, not enough classes, although I was invited to crash a private class on Tuesday morning, which was awesome. This new form is a huge jump in difficulty level! I've been working on it in rehearsal rooms when I get a chance, but I won't get to work with any instructors again until next Thursday. Sigh. So over this whole working thing - it's far too inconvenient!

Now to work on HSS2 some more and watch the L&O:CI season premiere on USA.