Thursday, November 01, 2007

Haunted Kensington Manor

Halloween for my roommate is like Easter for Christians. He kept saying he wanted to do a haunted house, but he's kind of in
a slump and I didn't really see it happening. But the day before Halloween, he sprung into action, and I found myself carried along by his enthusiasm.

He carved 4 pumpkins in one day and we hit the dollar store for supplies on the 30th. I didn't think he had any idea what he was doing, but he had the entire thing planned out in his head.

Halloween day was madness getting ready for it and roping our other roommates into it. (There was some serious arm-twisting going on there, too!)

By 8:00, we had a line of kids from our front door to the street. We took a group of 4-6 kids through about every 5 minutes for two hours. There is math involved and my head isn't doing math today, but that's a lot of kids.

I hadn't planned on dressing up, but at the last minute I gypsi-fied myself. The lovely Justine came over and we held a fake seance (A feance?) in the dining room. She was AWESOME! And damn cute. Her fiance Ryan was in the living room playing creepy organ music on the electronic piano thingy.

Chris was hiding in the bathroom with monster hands on, and would reach out and attack Andy when Andy said "This is where we keep the beast. We haven't fed him yet today."

Bay and Scott hung out in the kitchen blending carrots with cranberry sauce. (I'm still not entirely sure why they had to actually put something in the blender, because the kids never went in the kitchen, and the mess I had to clean up the next day was vile, but ok.) Scott was wearing a chef's coat and a bloody apron and Bay was wearing a shirt smeared with blood(cranberry sauce) and carrying a bowl full of bloody fingers (cranberry sauce and carrots) They would pop out of the transclucent plastic sheeting screaming "more fingers! more fingers!" and Bay would chase the kids out the door. It was pretty awesome.

As the night wore on, the kids got older, and we finally cut them off. By 10pm we were done. And then we drank. And drank.
And drank some more.

Then we got to wake up the next morning and clean. And by "we" I mean Andy and me.

I think I'm still hungover.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Buttonhole Scarf

I'm knitting my father a buttonhole scarf for Christmas. I went to The Knitters Studio, on 3rd Street in Los Angeles, and found a gorgeous Debbie Bliss alpaca silk aran. I'm using taupe and denim, and the plan is to knit 2 lengthwise stipes on each side of the scarf in the denim. Oh, I also bought Crystal Palace Circular Needles, size 8.

I found a lot of patterns for buttonhole scarves, but I wanted to knit this lengthwise, so I had to figure out how to make the buttonhole lengthwise. So I knitted a swatch! Crazy, no?

So I ended up binding off in the middle of one lengthwise row, and then casting on in the next row to create the buttonhole. I tried a couple of different knitted cast-on techniques, but I always ended up with either the yarn or the stitches on the wrong side of where I needed to continue knitting. (Sorry this isn't very clear, I still don't REALLY understand all the casting on methods and how and when to use each one.) So I ended up doing a double cast-on, which allows a seamless continuation from the row forming the second side of my buttonhole.

So now I have the swatch, I'm knitting garter stitch, because I want it to be warm, and because I want it to be the same on both sides. The plan is to knit thus:

20 Rows taupe
5 Rows denim
10 Rows taupe
5 Rows denim
20 rows taupe
2 buttonhole rows
20 rows taupe
5 rows denim
10 rows taupe
5 rows denim
20 rows taupe

Okay, Now I need to measure that and see if that will actually work. It occurs to me that my row numbers don't HAVE to be divisible by 5.

Maybe I should actually measure my gauge before I start this.