Saturday, March 25, 2006


I'm supposed to be cleaning our house, while Wifey and Little Man pick trash off the sidewalks and bushes in the tough neighborhood where Wifey teaches. Apparently the city officials aren't interested in spending public works money on cleaning up this neighborhood at the end of the winter, but are happy to scour the Irish middle class section of town. So the teachers and administrators are out there this morning. Anyway ... I'm home alone under the guise of "if you leave me alone for a few hours, the house will be clean when you return." So what am I doing? Blogging. Bad Mafia. In my defense, I function best in stress mode. For people who listen to Cast On, did you hear the song Stress on Sage Turtle's guest show last week? Yep, that's me. On the nose. Sad. True.

Speaking of Cast On, have I ever mentioned how much I love Brenda Dayne? I found her pretty early on, like maybe in November when she had 3 podcasts out, and I've been listening religiously ever since. In one of the first couple episodes, she talked about the view from a window in her house in Wales, and I was completely hooked. It was solidified when she casually mentioned her partner and used the pronoun "she". But it's the sound of her voice that has me head over heels. I wouldn't kick her outta bed. Just sayin'.

I must be diggin' the older chicks lately 'cuz I developed a healthy crush on Sandra Betzina this week. First of all, if you click on that link, please ignore the terrible Betty Page hair she had for a little while, k? Focus on these photos and you'll have a better understanding of what I'm saying. I'm not sure what I expected when I walked into the first class on Monday, but whatever it was, I was wrong. She's beautiful and charming and afffectionate and confident and creative and wicked SMART! She kept taking off her top to show us her designs, so she spent a good amount of time in a teeny chocolate camisole. She must work out because she has amazing muscles in her upper arms and across the top of her back. Best of all, she's hetero in the way that San Fran hets are. In other words, she doesn't hold back when touching another woman. She's confident enough in her own sexuality to touch other women lovingly. For example, she measured each of us quite thoroughly. Everyone was more than a smidge uncomfortable with this. Then we tried on some jackets and some pants and she pulled and tugged and folded bits of fabric until the fit was precise. Needless to say, this meant smoothing wrinkles down our backs and legs and (gasp!) pulling tucks at the inner thigh. Perhaps the middle class hets in the class thought nothing of it, but I was a little nervous about having this beautiful older woman pulling at my crotch. And lets not even discuss the process of putting boob darts into a jacket. Lordy! Next time I take a tailoring class, it better be taught by a gay man.

But really ... I learned a TON in these classes, and I dare say, they were worth every penny. My new goal - to never buy another pair of commercial pants again. I hate shopping for pants. I can never find any that fit. And now I don't have to!! Hooray! Freedom from twiggy fashionistas! Viva la Curves! Viva la Eating!

Speaking of eating -- does anyone else get annoyed with the obsession with weight loss techniques and the propensity of practitioners to discuss these issues in the middle of a meal? There were a couple women in the class who have undergone enormous weight loss in the last few years. Both had surgery (stomach staples and gastric bypass) and have lost 130-150 pds each and kept it off. I was VERY impressed. I know all the details because it was discussed quite extensively throughout the classes. But then lunch was served (chicken caesar salad, bread and dessert tartes) and the conversation continued. We got the play-by-play of their appropriate food choices throughout the whole damned lunch. I wasn't planning on consuming three tartes, but felt the need to after hearing this blather while trying to eat. For some reason, it's become socially acceptable to discuss food choices under the guise of "healthy eating" while dining with strangers. Grrr! If I want three fucking tartes, I'll have three fucking tartes, and I don't want to hear some self righteous snit about it. It's very hard to enjoy your lunch with yackity-yack-fat-yack going on in the background. Shut up already. We're very proud of you. Well done. Now shut up. I'm trying to enjoy this chocolate without thinking about what part of my body it will nestle into for eternity. Am I the only one who feels that way?

While chillin' at the Fabric Place this week, I had plenty of time to devote to the yarn/knitting book section, and I found two things I MUST have.

1) Simply Felt

2) A kids sweater with a white cat on the front. Ok, I know it sounds hokey, but it was cute. Damn if I can't remember what company produced the book. It was one of those 8 1/2 x 11 books with like 15 patterns from one company. The pullover was probably navy, worn by a white kid of about 6-7 years. The cat was cute (unlike many intarsia animal designs I've seen). It was a side view of a walking cat. The tail was all S-curvy and the cat eyes were looking right at you. The shape of the kitty was kinda whimsical. Back Story - when Wifey was a child, her Mom knit The Bear Sweater.

She remembers loving this sweater as a child, being broken hearted when she outgrew it, and then joyous when her sister (only 15 months younger) started wearing it. Then her other little sisters (now 13 & 16 yo) wore The Bear Sweater. At the tail end of her pregnancy, Wifey went looking through the family trunk for The Bear Sweater and found it. Little Man fit into The Bear Sweater at about 12 months, so he probably won't remember it as an adult. However, considering that Little Man and our kitten Lugh have an amazing love for one another, if I make Little Man a sweater with a white cat on the front, perhaps this will be his Bear Sweater. So ... does anyone know the pattern I'm talking about?

Now for the photos. It's the reward for enduring through all my morning ramblings.

Finished Art Yarns socks (plus Little Man's hand and his green balloon).

Finished Booga Bag (which still needs de-pilling).


CarryFairie said...

Wow, those socks are great!!

And I absolutely agree on the food thing. We have three people at work who are doing the Weight Watchers Point thingy and we all get to hear about how many points EVERYTHING on the freakin' table is when we all go out (which, thank the goddess, is blissfully infrequent).

Emily said...

Wow, talk about a post with a lot of content. I love those socks, and the photo cracks me up because I have dozens of photos with a kid part, blurry, in the photo.

You have inspired me to take a class with Sandra Betzina some day. I have her book Power Sewing and read it cover to cover a long time ago. The part I really used was the "copy your favorite pants" section. She sounds great. Thanks for the great recap of your day, I almost feel like I was there!

M. said...

Oh, I LOVE the bag. Can't wait to see it in person.

I also have something to show you: inspired by your Webb's adventure, I got into some trouble of my own today. You'll love it! When can we play show and tell?

jeni said...

Oooh, I luh-uv those socks. The colors are amazing and the cables are a nice touch! The booga bag turned out great as well, which colorway is that?

Jess said...

Heh. I love Brenda Dayne's voice too, but there's something about it that reminds me of a certain amazing-but-slightly-overbearing auntie of mine. It gives me this gut feeling that if I knew her in real life, I wouldn't like her at all. Isn't it odd how strongly a tiny association can make you react to something? :)

Rhonda said...

I loved reading your post today, Mafia. You had a lot going on there. Laughed so hard about the diet talk. And boy would I love to learn to sew my own pants also. This is a 'hard-to-fit' body I have now, LOL. But time is more of an issue than ever.

Before I forget... try this for a white cat on a sweater of your choice for Little Man if you don't find that book. They also have a link to a sweater pattern. Best part; it's free!

Kat with a K said...

Let's see if I can get all the important bits... great socks and bag; yes, I love Brenda although I only started listening recently so I have to catch up on some of the old ones; I totally agree about the weight loss stuff. Oh, and the stress song. Me too.

Sneaksleep said...

Love the bag! Don't know the cat sweater pattern you need, but perhaps you could draw up your own chart to knit the design into an otherwise plain kids' sweater? All you'd really need would be a gauge swatch and graph paper. I know what you mean about the food talk. I am very occasionally guilty of it myself, but it bugs me enough that I'm usually vigilant about it.

Finally, regarding your comment on my most recent post, it's entirely possible that you met J in '97, since she graduated in '99.

The Whole Self said...

you go with the tartes. i can't stand the BS. i would've had 4. :)

miss you.