Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Can I get an Amen?

I have made three-needle bind off my bitch. Three-needle bind off has, in turn, taken my seam virginity. Someone say Hallelujah.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Reader, I gibbed

Would you like to know what I am not thinking about right now? I am not thinking about having frogged that fucking hat AGAIN. In fact, the hat is on hold. I'm going back to either Skully or Tank Girl, one of my SUCCESSFUL projects, for a while. Actually, I'm going to make up an exam before I do anything. But even before that, I'm going to bore y'all with tales of gibbing.

Yesterday, my spouse (aka the Dogfacedboy) and I agreed to meet the King of the Hill People for some solstice shopping. Although we got waylaid by a headache and a snowstorm much more extensive than the weatherbitches in these parts had led us to believe it would be, we actually made it to the mall. Eventually. Even better, most of the suburbanites had fled from the horrible SNOW, thus confirming my diagnosis that they are evil robots built from evil, non-rust-resistant evil parts, built to do evil as weather permits.

We trounced around for a bit, had a bite to eat, and then went our separate ways. TKotHP had a party to go to and the spouse and I thought we might take in a film. We arrived at the theatre at a somewhat awkward time. Although our choices were many (provided we were willing to wait at least 40 minutes), we decided on Aeon Flux on the grounds that it would likely be disappearing soon.

The arcade games at the theatre seemed to be slim pickings. We tried to race one another at a NASCAR game, but my machine ate one token, fucking up the timing. I went to get another and a surly teen tried to slide in and steal my three lucious credits. "EXCUSE ME!" I said in my best soccer mom voice, and he trembled in fear. Driving games are never my favorites, and since I couldn't even try to kill my husband, there was little fun to be had.

Mi esposo likes driving games, so he picked the most metrosexual big rig in the county to drive in another game. The bouncing tassels in his cab were a particularly nice faux!realistic touch. They would have been helped significantly by the ubiquitous generic Asian cat bouncing even a little bit on the dash, but alas, no.

While watching him drive his manly big rig, I developed a desire to shoot things, cooperatively, if possible. The two Time Crisis consoles next door seemed to fit the bill. (I make no comment on the pink and blue guns except to note that the grand Pottery Barn Kids conspiracy has spread farther than I'd feared. Initiate Fuck You, Male Oppressor Protocol.) My shooting things career was short lived, however, partly because I was unclear on how to reload.

Having exhausted our game options (or so we thought), we still had about 35 minutes until movie time. We were wandering theatreward when we looked up and realized that there was a much more extensive collection of games upstairs. We trotted up there to check it out, but there wasn't much that seemed tempting. The spouse was eyeing up Offroad Thunder (at which he knows he could kick my ass with a flick of his powersliding pinky), but surly teens were hogging it.

I was drawn to a generic Namco game with two back-to-back consoles in the middle of the floor. It was so nondescript, I could've been in the CIA. Even now, coming up with Namco taxed the slippery parts of my brane where the memory of this game is stored. It was only one token to play, and in this capitalist world, what does THAT say about its desirability?

However, on closer examination, it proved to be My Kind of Game. First of all, it was a fighting game in the style of Soul Calibur or Marvel vs. Capcom. These are what I like to call Button Mashing Game. I excel at BMGs. Second, it had this bizarre character in a red leather dominatrix outfit with a pointy red witch hat who appeared to battle for the honor of her family by rocking out on her guitar. I HAD to play this game.

Although my spouse could already taste his failure, he gave me a dollar and we got tokens to play each other. Of course, I fucked up immediately and did not choose my axe-grinding, fashion-challenged dominatrix. I wound up playing some bland anime boy. My spouse chose this bizarre shape-shifting guy who seemed to have some cool powers. This, as always, worked against him. He has the "what's that do?" approach that slows him down while I MASH! CRUSH! DEEEEEEESTROY! The matchups were best of 5 and I took him 3 in a row. He did, occasionally, turn into a little boy and hit me with a baseball bat, though. Good for you, honey.

I was happily crushing computer opponents for a while (pussies all), and gearing up to take on hentai hair chyck when a teenage girl cut in on the other console. I destroyed her handily the first time, then dismantled the chyck with the feeble hair tentacles. She cut in again with a character that, tragically, exploited my big weakness: my muscley katana boy had shit for weapons with any kind of reach. This character had Cousin It hair and a bitchin' spear. I still took her to 5 battles and only lost by a hair (but not a disturbing hentai hair tentacle, a winsome flop of hair secured by the bandana of my grandfather [plus three against hygiene-challenged hopping vampires]).

As I hauled myself off my now-stiff knees (these consoles were clearly intended to have chairs in front of them, but did not), my spouse looked at me fondly and said, "You're like a fighting game savant!"

Friday, December 09, 2005

Alpaca as metaphor OR When in doubt, level up

My Inca Alpaca hat was not going well. It was in danger of making me cry. Perhaps finals week was not the time to attempt this.

While stamping down hard on my hat emotion, I was wondering if it might not be better to do a hat that explicitly matches my scarf (which, by the way, I am loving). I have a bit of that Misti Alpaca in camel leftover (yes, THAT Misti Alpaca, which I recently vowed in this august forum never to touch again) and a full skein of the Big Baby Twisty Alpaca. The two colors look swell together, the heavier weight is easier for my clumsy hands to handle, and that stupid Inca Alpaca hate it so much right now. All of that's well and good. I fully support rejecting the skinny bitch in favor of her zaftig sister.

But then I decided that what I really wanted was to REALLY make a matchy hat. So, my inner lunatic reasoned, why not do a basketweave band in the camel and do the crown of the hat in the twisty? Yes, inept Big Wheel rider that I am, I decided that it was a good idea to head directly into driving the triple trailer big rig filled with C4 and caffeinated puppies through the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Here's the funny part (well, not ha ha funny, unless you're Fate, in which case it's a laugh riot): It was going fucking splendidly. The math on the pattern is easy to do (it's a series of 6 stitches), and it was looking great. But something not-quite-right was niggling at my brain. My first instinct was to worry that it was going to be either way too big or way too small. I wanted to check, so I capped off the circulars and tried to let the whole thing hang down off the needles so I could wear it like a nubbly crown.

And the horrible truth became clear: I had knit a moebius band.

I am enough of a nerd that my first reaction was really: Cool! My second, however, was the more predictable: MOTHERFUCKER! My third was the inevitable: Dude, WTF? How could this have happened? I had watched my stitch butts with lascivious attention. They were ALWAYS hanging down. Knitting moebius didn't turn up much other than a scarf pattern.

A search on Knitting Round Stitch Twist turned up a hit that had my stomach sinking. I'd hit on "Combined Purling" complete with a warning that this creates a twisted stitch in the round, so one has to knit into the back round a row up. Who knew?

Well, anyone who knits solely in Combined/Composite style, I guess. I don't. I knit Continental and purl Composite. This is a feature (bug, apparently) of the fact that the Evil One only taught me knit. I taught myself purling way back when, and Stitch N Bitch's Continental purling instructions seemed so bizarre that I just dinked around until I hit on a purl that made sense to me.

Knitting on straight needles, this has never been a problem, for whatever reason. I do have a tendency to add stitched in at the beginning unless I'm really careful to pull my work all the way around at the beginning of a row, but that seems to be the only problem encountered so far.

In trying to tackle the hat, however, I find myself saying "Fuck that shit!" about knitting into the back of stitches and whatnot. So I'm purling in the accepted Continental manner and now learning why purling strikes fear into many a knitter's heart. But as the Flying Spaghetti Monster is my witness, I WILL have a toasty fucking hat.

Monday, December 05, 2005

In which Angeltiger remembers this is a trifeminate

Not a solipsism. Therefore, introductions are required, as dear readers cannot be expected to follow the tortured logic of my many names. Possibly, they cannot be bothered to care much, either, but I'll at least make the effort.

Like a certain rainmaking member of the Endless, I give myself web identities about as often as I make friends. Over at Wench's blog, I'm known as LPG, or Leatherpants Grrl, auntie of the murfle and companion in Wench sanity on occasional girlie outings and yarn squee. At LJ, I was auteurcakes, a name I thought of on the fly and never particularly liked. Here at Blogger, on my now-deceased solo blog, I came up with Angeltiger, which suits if you know the Piercy, and which I like regardless.

I've been knitting for nearly two years. Like Silk Road Ultra, drool over Blue Sky Alpacas anything, but particularly the silk blends. For the record, I am noone's bitch, dammit.



All right. Shameful as it is to say, I suppose I'm Vittadini's (eeeeek!) bitch until I finish that damn pullover. Anyway, my knitting interests range from fingerless gloves knit at Crazy-Person Gauge to the on-size-35-dildoes wrap (hello, googlers) I'm about to begin when my knitting gets to go back to being all about MEEEEEE.

Gaming, like knitting, depends entirely on mood. I like FPS with the Lad from time to time (even a single-player if there's a decent plot), but get sucked into RPGs most often regardless of format. I particularly enjoy the Knights of the Old Republic series. Nothing like running around with a lightsaber and a can of whupazz for forty-odd hours. Sure, The Sith Lords left a hole in my soul, but for anyone who doesn't hang out at the Obsidian forums, there are several very blessed geniuses over here who are restoring cut content. Deadline fluid, but it should be worth it.

  • Making CJ other than useless on the increasingly mean streets of Los Santos (So what if I started a gang war? Can't a bro-vatar walk anywhere without getting shot? Shit!)
  • Waiting very, very patiently for above-mentioned mod
  • Weekend sweater for Wench in Blue Sky Bulky
  • Sonnet cardigan for Informatrix (aka Trash) in...crap...some luscious alpaca thingy or other
  • Haiku cardigan for M. Giant-Informatrix spawn M. Small in Malabrigo
  • Crazy-Person Gauge fingerless gloves for Zen Viking in Regia self-striping 4-ply
Oh, how I love the holidays.

In which the nictone-deprivation addled contributor...

...finally finds the title field. YAY!

As long as we're relating fucktard moments, let's just say that instead of looking for it in the settings like any sane person would, I went looking for it in the CSS template first. But that's neither here nor there. This ain't a design blog. In honor of the lovely Matilda's undead, cursed hat (bleargh! sorry, beautiful), I will also share a crafty fucktard moment.

A while ago, when I was about seven months into my shiny, new knitting obsession, I made the mistake of buying Vogue Knitting. Not that there's anything wrong with Vogue Knitting per se, but this particular issue just so happened to contain a full-page ad for the new Vittadini pattern book, the poster child for which is the Martina eyelet cable pullover . Little tart seduced me immediately, despite her rather putrid coloration. Oh, how delicious it would be in the black-like-my-soul Cashmerino I was eyeing with lust in my heart at my local last week, I thought, all momentarily Pollyanna-optimistic and completely ignoring the part where it says "skill level: experienced."

My crafty fucktard moments have a tendency to result from over-ambition. Like the time I decided that a braided, cabled scarf that I made up myself was a good idea after I'd been knitting for about two months. Six months later, I finally managed to put a stake through the thing's heart, and it is rather purty, but it had given me an aversion to cables, which relates. I promise. My nifty new pullover pattern had, count 'em, complicated shaping, complicated, cabled lace and full lace, belled sleeves. In my own defense, I can only say I had to have this pullover, and hadn't realized that "experienced" really means those amazing, grandmother types who can knit Continental without looking and don't need no stinking stitch markers. In other words, knitters who can still eat me for breakfast.

But I duly started the little monster. Made it through the shaping okay. And then I hit the lace. YO, no problem. s3k, no problem. Cable 1ox per row every fourth row?? KHAAAAAAN! We will not speak of the sleeves. Fourteen months later, I have a front, a back, and two-thirds of a sleeve. Le sigh. The day I finish that thing, I think I'll be burning my cable needle and avoiding the things for at least a year. Ah, hubris.

The Crafty Fucktard weighs in

This will not, as promised, be about the Crafty Fucktard's recent attempts to take hir knitting on the road. Instead, the Crafty Fucktard would like to discuss a recent conversion in hir way of thinking on the subject of hats.

On the road to Wenchville for Thanksgiving, I brought my basketweave scarf as well as the Skully project. Somewhere around the Quad Cities, I decided that I was fucking DONE with that scarf. No, it wasn't the 68" in length specified, but to my Crafty Fucktard's delight, I've never been the pattern's bitch. (As an aside, I learned after knocking out the six rows of seed stich that I had no scissors on me, and that last stitch stayed on the needle, mocking my ill-prepared ass until I unearthed the multitool with a knife on it from under the passenger seat.)

The scarf is lovely: Big Baby's twisty Alpaca in a soft green-grey-blue, which really held up to the pattern better than I was expecting. I'd initially bought it to make a ribbed scarf, but decided "BORED NOW!" and went for the more complex pattern. Of course, that pattern switch meant that I found myself having purchased nothing like enough yarn at the Studio in KC. I went trawling on line and found a place in Manhattan who carried my color, thankfully. Let us never speak of dye lots. Lovely as the scarf is, it's not really wide enough to pull off the Virgin Mary headwrap so vital to emerging from Chicago's winter with ears intact. So clearly I need a hat.

Wench was kind enough to lay out her pattern stash for me, and we agreed that we were kind of digging Jo Sharp's Piper hat. Part of its appeal was that the pattern called for some double points and, therefore, seemed not to be a victim of Jo's previously undiscovered fear of knitting in the round. Seamed hats are whack, Jo. Never forget it. As Wench sped for the oxymoronic downtown Suburbia, I looked more closely at the pattern and realized that the hat actually was knit flat on straight needles. The double points? For knitting an I-Cord Head Belt and SEWING IT ON as a faux band/crown delimiter. Jo, Jo, Jo, seek help.

But Jo has dark mojo, though, and sensed that Crafty Fucktard was indulging in some smote-worthy hubris. This is my verbose way of saying "My hat is cursed."

First fucktarded moment: I decide I'm just going to buy DPNs. I don't feel like figuring out what size circular I want and I am laboring under the delusion that DPNs will be more generally useful. So I pick up a set of size 7 Brittanys (I love me some Brittanys) and somehow fail to notice that these are about 4 inches long. I was going to end up casting on 42 stitches to each of 3 when I decided on a different non-CF-induced pattern. Good luck with that. Two rounds in, a pinky's worth of stitches leapt off the needle and raveled before I even had a chance to notice. That would be frogging the first.

Last night, back in my home, I decided that I was going to shun the metric assload of work that I have to do and start on my hat anew on my size 7, 16-inch clovers. Far too lazy to dig my tape measure out of my suitcase or whever the hell it is when it's at home, I decided that it would be genius to measure out my tail for double cast on by using the diagonal of my 14-inch iBook's display.

Spouse: You're knitting a screen cosy?
Me: Shut up.
Spouse: Seriously, what are you doing?
Me: I need about 66 inches of yarn tail. This is 14.
Spouse: Is it exactly 14?
Crafy Fucktard: It doesn't need to be exact! SHUT UP STUPID HEAD!

Naturally, I ended up with a tail that was at least 17 inches too long and getting the fuck in my way. But I knit and I knit and I knit, round and around. I went to my Zen knitter place, thinking how nicely the shadings in the Inca Alpaca were turning up in a simple stockinette and how cute the roll brim was. I'd probably knit about an inch and a half of it when I decided it was time to turn in. In trying to put the project away more neatly than is typically my wont, I noticed that the odious tail had gotten pulled through somewhere along the line in my work. So I did what all Crafty Fucktards would do and yanked on it. It was as if a dozen stitches from a dozen different rows cried out and suddenly were dropped. Poor little hat looked as though it had wandered into Angeltiger's path in San Andreas at a particularly nicotine-deprived time. Don't worry, I put it out of its misery before I went to bed.

At this point the hat should, in all deference to its ded-resurrected-ded-resurrected history, should be Zombie themed.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

In which Angeltiger knits and gibs

A few days ago, I quit smoking. This has left my brain in an addled, chemically deprived state which resembles nothing so much as cork and which, strangely enough, seems to facilitate both of the pursuits we intend to cover on this blog. Since last Wednesday, my schedule reads something like: (1) stay asleep as long as possible to avoid horrible, rage-inducing desire for cigarette; (2) get up and inhale two cups of coffee to satisfy poor, poor jonesing stimulant receptors; (3) knit until cat-like attention span forbids further knitting; (4) create maximum mayhem in San Andreas (yes, yes, the game is aeons old by now, but the thought of having to develop my driving skill over many hours while still taking crap about the abs and sartorial imperfections I couldn't yet improve was simply too much for me last fall). Repeat steps three and four until rage-inducing desire for nicotine sends me back to bed.

Possibly because my processing faculties are somewhat lacking at the moment, I can't decide which activity is more satisfying. I started knitting and continue to enjoy it primarily because it's a craft. It can be evaluated objectively (viz, are all the fingers on the glove, does the sweater fit, are the stitches even, etc.), but it's also wonderfully mindless and tactile (play with a Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky for a few minutes and try to walk out of the store without a hank--first cuddle's free), perfect for my befuddled and loopy state.

However, the above is making me sound a little too Zen-Master, because I'm enjoying starting riots in front of my safe house in Los Santos just about as much as I'm enjoying checking projects off that pesty Holiday Frag List. There is that whole "rage-inducing desire for cigarette" problem. Addictively soft and fuzzy is all well and good when one's body is not in a state of loopy, moronic, uncoordinated shock, but for the loopy, moronic, uncoordinated shock, I'll take the crotch rocket and machine pistol.

At least for now. Five minutes hence, the cat-like attention span may've rendered the whole point moot by knocking me unconscious on the sofa again.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Ah, Fate, you bitch. Not only do you induce a senior moment rendering me completely unable to remember my blogger login (if I have one [high likelihood {say hello to curly quotes, which are the third line of parenthetical defense}, far from certainty], that is), you then slap my name-choosing nose with a rolled up newspaper. Leaving me with the, admittedly full-of-full-disclosure-y-goodness, "Matilduh" was a nice touch. Please feel free to bite my juicy, delicious crank.

Any of you now gasping for breath and thinking "this tortured sentence structure is miserably familiar . . ." might recognize me as Matilda, occasional commenter on blog-o-'wench and permanent godless parent of the Murfle. Angeltiger/auteurcakes's m@d Kn1tt1ng 5k1llz shamed me into unearthing and sanctifying my own rudimentary knitting knowledge. (I was taught the basics by a truly evil individual years ago, so we were deep into Native American burial ground territory.)

Once I had Stitch N Bitch in my hot little hands, my instant gratification whore reared her ugly head. I soon found myself in possession of a metric assload of Lamb's Pride Bulky, preperatory to doing Skully. Now, those of you who are not the inspiration for the coinage of "Crafty Fucktard" might think that a sweater with int-fucking-arsia is a swell first project. I urge you to put down the crack pipe and seek help. The Skully project will actually be my first Crafty Fucktard offering: Crafty Fucktard on the Road, but I digress.

Humbled and chastened, bloodied and bowed by the sweater, I backtracked to a square object, namely a baby blanket. Having failed to read the Big Bad Baby blanket pattern correctly, I feared knitting in the round. Instead, I opted for an odious check pattern monstrosity. Having brutalized a hank and a half of Misti Alpaca and my spouse (Him: "You're quiet."; Me: "I'm counting"; Him: "What comes after one?"; GIANT SMACK TO THE BACK OF HIS HEAD, greatly embiggening his external occipital protuberance), 'wench kindly helped me frog the bitch and start the fucker over in Big Bad form on Memorial Day weekend.

Interesting fact about the Big Bad Blanket in camel-colored Misti Alpaca: They asexually reproduce. If you're me, that is. Made the mistake of bringing the in-progress blanket to my cousin's baby shower (because the punk ass po po bitches at Knitter's Workshop in Chicago are closed on Fridays), she cooed over it and uttered the words that sealed my fate: "OOOOH, I just LOVE the color! I can't imagine a better color!" Well, fuck. Suffice it to say, if I ever see a single hair of camel Misti Alpaca again, there will be a reckoning. I did eventually send out both blankets, warts and all, after an extended NO WIRE HANGERS EVER! experience trying to block those motherfuckers.

Since then, I've done a Twisty Alpaca basketweave scarf for MEEEEEEE and turned my attention back to Skully. I'm vacationing Chez 'Wench this weekend and, courtesy of aforementioned fucktardedness, needed to purchase the goods for another project. I'm currently working a ribbed tank pattern on Auraucania Nature Cotton in plum and it's very much akin to knitting Alice in the midst of her experimental Sub phase. Big. Little. Eat me. Drink me. Touch one more substance through the looking glass, bitch, and I WILL fuck your shit up. But sooooo pretty. That project was obtained under the able enablement of Angeltiger. Not to be outdone, 'wench enabled the purchase of some Inca Alpaca for a hat. I officially have A Stash. Kill me now.

On the jibbing front, my spouse is an avid gamer in several MMOs, as well as rampantly consuming PC and XBox games. Among his cross-game guild, there exists the move known as the Matilda Strike. It tends to get called when someone won't STOP TALKING WRONG ANTHROPOLOGY. My personal jibbing primarily takes the form of enabling his habit when I'm not playing Abe Simpsons ("I LIKED moving around on the two-dimensional map in Ultima IV. Why the hell do you need all this shit? I LOVE MY DEAD GAY GREEN AVATAR!"). I did jib with 'Wench's spouse last night as an emergency stand-in for Angeltiger. I admit that once I got out of the corner in which I was stuck and stopped (mostly) throwing grenades into walls and blowing myself up, I enjoyed the feel of the HMG in my hand. The bloodlust, she rises anew. Watch this space for hot jibbing action.

Welcome, folks, to Knit-n-Jib, a collaborative blog between three hawt women who engage in knitting, jibbing, and lesbian subtext aplenty. I am your host, Mr. Rour---wait a minute. I'll let the other two laaaaadies introduce themselves.

I'm Chicagowench. I actually prefer RPGs to first person shooters, but I will happily sprawl on the couch knitting while mocking the jibtastic action of Autercakes and Prof BS Dinobaby (the latter being my spouse). I've been knitting since last November, and have a serious yarn whore problem. I've also got about 4 projects on needles right now. Because I suck.

I tend to have a love/hate relationship with Rowan patterns (but mad love for the yarns) and am Jo Sharp's bitch. Right now I'm working on a Jo Sharp sweater for my mom, 2 projects which will NOT BE DISCUSSED HERE, a sweater for my kid, and need to bang out a big bad baby blanket.

The three of us tend to be obscene, honest, sarcastic, and blunt. You have been warned. (Also, we all tend to clum majorly from time to time. Look for posts entitled 'Crafty Fucktard' for tales of our incredible stupidities)