Friday, November 23, 2012

LYS everywhere.

My yarn sense was tingling...
Just kidding, the hobo boyfriend said he thought there was a yarn store in Boulder City. We took a walk around town, stopping at antique stores and the like, and found it. I don't even remember seeing a name on the storefront- it was tucked into a corner next to some other "antique shop curios slash boutique" store of the kind that propagates Boulder City. This yarn store was super messy, with a bunch if other dusty crafts supplies spilling out of displays in piles. HBF said he could remember, from years ago when he was a child, the old woman proprietor sitting in that same seat, working a small project and watching football, just as we saw her today. They had a few interesting yarns- Araucania, Louisa Harding, Noro- and many shiny Italian polyester novelties. You know the kind- spangles, glitter, railroad track ribbon yarns. The fancy yarns of good dubber were a bit  overpriced considering how they were kept (in bins and baskets, jumbled, some hanks hanging up- but several hanks looked as if they had been undone and not properly rewound). At those prices I'd want the yarn to look clean and untouched. It had it's charm though- you felt like you could find a hidden gen here. It would be quite hidden. The store is probably best if you're looking for a gift or for baby-pastel workhorse acrylic yarn (or, as the picture shows, a yarn made some time in the Eighties). I bought a single skein of creamy white Sirdar Snowflake. It's going to be the trim in my rainbow Wingspan- like a fluffy silver cloud. However, I can't decide if that's going to cross the line from whimsy tho tacky. If it doesn't work, the Snowflake is also to start baby knitting- a cousin of mine has just welcomed twins into the world!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


One of my lovely knitting lady friends had to have eye surgery and subsequently wear an eyepatch. So of course- I knitted her one! I made it more for the novelty of it- she has a proper medical one. The knitted one, she tells me, can't be worn alone because it sits on her eyelid, but she can wear it over the medical one OR, happily, over her glasses! And the medical patch's elastic is uncomfortable, while the ties on the knitted one are not. I made up the pattern as I went- it's basically a toe up sock bound off after the toe. I'm glad she likes it and actually found it useful :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I Voted!

I did! And I was very glad to! Will even went with me. He had already voted in his precinct. I have only voted by absentee ballot before, so it was exciting to vote in person! I got a sticker! It's really big!

I just want to wax happily on voting. I know America's got plenty of its problems. Our two-party reality (yes there ARE other parties...) doesn't always seem to be the best way to represent the populace anymore. But- right now- I'm very happy. I voted! There were times in this country I wouldn't have had a say- because I'm a woman, because I'm Asian, because I don't own any land, etc.

Had my life turned out a little differently, I might have grown up in Cambodia and Thailand, and while they are no longer monarchies, I doubt I would have been as independent and educated in my choices. This isn't a statement on either country as a whole- it's the life I think I would have had, with the family I have.

A generation above me, and I'd be fleeing my country as dictators took over and threatened my life.

Speaking of family, I was ragging on my little cousin K about not registering in time to vote (GASP):
Me, on K's page:
  just pretend I'm saying this in like, Uncle Sing voice, or the accent I'd have if I grew up with my dad more: "Nong K. We come to America so you can have the voice. So you don't have the communist dictators say to you, you cannot live. You must be an American!" (also cue tangent about also continuing to follow old Chinese traditions)

I'm totally that silly person who gets teary eyed when people are sworn in for their citizenship. My parents were those people. They came here (and stayed here) for a better life, for their children's future. And yet, the more I live and work as an adult in America, the less I feel the need to keep living here. It's an interesting little internal conflict.

I won't be leaving anytime soon though. It'll be some years in the future. But it'll be there.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hey.. it's gonna be ok.

Caller: "Hi, I'm returning a call here?" 
Me: "Yes? Are you looking for health insurance?" 
"Well. Yes." 
"Do you have the name of who called you? If not, I can just transfer you to an available agent." 
"Well that's the thing. I have a note and it says Linda." 
"Okay, well-" 
"Do you have a Linda? Because my name is Linda, and I'm worried I just wrote my own name down..." 
"We have a Linda. I'll transfer you." 
"oh, thank goodness."

Monday, October 15, 2012

The First Sweater, Finally

I finally-completely- finished my first sweater a couple of weeks ago. It had been done (although I still considered ripping it one more time and reknitting to use up every last bit of yarn) but I hadn't woven in the ends or picked out a button for it. Finally got it together, took a single picture, and put it up on my shelf. I only got around to really sharing it this week!

I wrote about it before, here: Getting There, a previous blog post.. from this time last year. Yeah, it's been a long sweater in the making, and it's one of the projects that got put on hold during the move from Philly to LV.

Well, last week there were thunderstorms and lots of rain in Vegas (I heard a thunderstorm and tornado warning on the radio for the first time! They even warned of hail! It was pretty jarring for the station to have this ominous staticky voice, then go back to playing "Tequila"), and it cooled everything down. It was ... 73 degrees!! Haha I'm so used to 100+ weather that 73 felt cold.
A friend of mine from Scotland told me she's dreaming of 73 degrees.. it was 48 for her.

My first sweater! 

The button is a trio of fake pearls. I just noticed there seems to be some pulling at the underarm- you can see all the stitches skew to my arm. I don't know what causes that, but it isn't noticeable to me while I'm wearing the sweater, so I guess it's all right.

I'm really excited to be done with it. Although it's always pretty warm for wool in Las Vegas, it cools down enough for me to wear it occasionally. The valley gets cold at night.

Now on to other projects. My current queue:

1. Things I have started or have the yarn for:
            1. My Like-Like Sweater
            2. The vest for my mom, which I may rip out and start over (to make it in one piece instead of panels. I started with a chevron pattern but I think I'm going to make plain stockinette now. Maybe I'll make a border for the front and bottom hem with a different yarn.
           3. The scarf for my boss. I don't like the yarn that I ordered for it, but I do have one skein of yarn that might work if it's enough yardage.
           4. My Wingspan shawl. So close to being done with this.. I've gotten to the inner skein where the yarn is kind of folded up and wavy.
           5. Technically I have yarn in stash I could use for a Calorimetry for my aunt but I need to ask her if she still wants one!

2. Things on the queue, not started yet (not even yarn ordered):
          1. Charlie Brown Sweater dress. My idea is a yellow sweater dress with the trademark zig-zag. It'll be in worsted or sport weight yarn so it'll take a while, and I'm not sure how to do the zig zag. I'll probably cheat and do duplicate stitch, but I want to challenge myself with color work (after all, it's only two colors! but there will be long floats...)
          2. A Tardis shawl for Jenn- Knitty's Bigger on the Inside. I haven't done a lace project in ages. Alex also wants a Dalek hat, which I'll have to reverse engineer as there's no available pattern for what he wants.

Phew! That's quite a list. And considering I just picked up and finished a little fingerless mitts project as a "break" from my other projects, I don't have a great timeline for this list. I would like to enter something in the Clark County fair in April, so I've got six and a half months!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Orchid Show part 2 of 3

More pictures of the orchid show I saw in early April just outside of Bangkok, Thailand.

I really liked this display of little cacti and succulents. How sweet!

These had such variety, including the two with tall thin shoots heading for the sky!

Those guys were tiny- these guys were very big. I loved the warm colors of these.

This was a tall weird spike that I couldn't manage to get very close to. There were other orchids with tiny sprays, but I don't think this was in that group.

Cool how a plant can make two such different colors in the same flower.

Do you know how many pictures there are of my mom smiling politely and me making a face?
A lot. I don't even know. It's like a tradition.

My mother and aunts by some prize winners.

Blue fair ribbons in Thai! That is the character for "one". And these orchids were so small but their color was so deep.

Like tiny dinosaur orchids!

Like broken glass or spiderwebs or laddered stockings...

Something about the bright orange-y yellow with the pale centers made me think of an unfinished coloring book. Remember the Crayola color "mac and cheese"? As a kid who really didn't grow up with Mac and Cheese (though I love it now) I think this association, of plasticky wax crayons and boxed plasticky cheese, delayed my interest for a few more years. 

The flowers above, in their display

Orchids that looked like Pansies! there were orchids that looked like Hyacinths, like Snapdragons, like Wisteria.. even a few that looked like Orchids.

On to more flowers in the next post...

Orchid Show Part 1 of 3

In many parts of Southeast Asia, when the New Year is celebrated, statues of the Buddha are "cleaned" for the new year. Sometimes they are taken from their usual place at the altar and paraded in the town. You can find places that will place a Buddha statue and water to pour on the statue for good merit around town. Here we are in JJ Mall (near Jatujak market).

Some neat, salt-dipped corn from outside JJ mall.

A very fragant bouquet of jasmine we bought on the road to the Orchid show

This was a sweet arch of orchids near the entrance. The Orchid show was apparently smaller than some years past, but there were hundreds of varieties. There was also judging and food being sold.

Creamy, cloudy orchids. Most of the signs were written in Thai so I couldn't identify them for you.

Tiny Cacti in Tiny Pots!

not toooooo sure about this one

This was a lovely walkway. The day sure was hot and humid.

Cool ghostly orchids- about an inch across

Weird leaves!

I love sunlight coming through leaves... I've seen some very pretty yarns dyed that remind me of this.

I like orchids with freckles : D

This orange-coral color would be very flattering as a silk dress...

One of my aunts, standing next to a spray of tiny orchids

Whoops, this one got flipped. I like plants that have this fuzzy, smokey look from far away.

A veiny pinstripe orchid!

Interesting "planters".

A weird plant that made me think of eyeballs!

Some wild fronds

A very pretty picnic gazebo from a company that manufactured furniture that turned into other furniture- the benches folded in to become stools. or flat with the table. I can't recall. I have some video of a chair becoming a bench.

Weird modular leaves!!

Like snakes from the sky!

Actually they were pencil thin (pencil roving thin). I liked the lighter green tips. And their overall shape, of course.

Lots more pictures of flowers (plus inane commentary!) ahead!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

First of the Asia Pictures

I'm playing some crazy catch up! I couldn't post from Asia (well, not without dedicating large parts of my day to blogging, which I didn't want to do at the time), but I don't really have an excuse for not sharing any pictures for months after. So I'm starting chronologically, just posting a few at a time. 

I flew to Asia with my mom at the beginning of April. We flew Korean Air, and since our layover was long (more than like 12 hours or something is the requirement) we got a free hotel stay in Seoul. You get one on one leg of the trip but you don't get it on the return.
I believe the hotel was the Hyatt Incheon.. I unfortunately can't remember, it was a hotel like any hotel. It was pretty quiet seeming the whole time we were there, and I think it caters to the airport. In our nice hotel room, I was tickled to see that the phone had my mom's name on it!

Breakfast was lovely and out of all the food we had it may have been the better of the brunches. The lunch buffet made an effort but the quality was in the breakfast. There was some variety, too- congee, omelets, the usual some-Asian-things, some-Western-things. I really liked this jam and cream set- the jars were itty bitty!!

I used the pool, not because I can swim at all well, but because I wanted to MOVE my limbs and relax, but I didn't have shoes for the gym. 219 happens to be my weird lucky number!
The pool was big, with long lanes, and I lazily floated back and forth. There was also a sauna, and a hot pool- like a hot spring set up. There were also some things I didn't really understand how to use, but I did know you're not supposed to have your clothes (even your bathing suit!) on in the hot spring. It's considered that if you're still wearing clothing, you didn't wash underneath. There was an old Korean woman naked when I got in, but later, after she left, another woman (not Korean) was looking around at the facility and seemed a little shocked by me. Sorry lady! But we're both ladies!

I snapped this in the 7-11 in Thailand. It's a fancy sleeve over a normal box of Ritz crackers. They're not really a "special" treat- they're available at megamarts and obviously 7-11- but maybe Ritz are good for New  Year  because, being round and yellow, they are like gold coins? Maybe there is a connection between Ritz Crackers and the Ritz Carlton? Asia is fun.

Touching the Sense of Japan tasted slightly floral, sweet,  but unremarkable. I could hardly taste green tea in New Style Green Tea, but I bought it partly because it came with a freebie:

Aw, thanks Mirai New Style Green Tea Sakura Flavor! I could use some Good LucK for Love. 
Inside was an adorable (though cheap) rabbit phone fob.

In a mall (one of the Centrals, I believe- note that in Thai this is pronounced more like "Centrrrron") there was some kind of video game expo that looked massively boring. Not because I think video games are boring- I was so intrigued- but because nothing was happening and everyone was just standing around looking at nothing. It seemed unorganized.

Malls in Bangkok LOVE MOVIE THEATERS. They have huge ones, and will show all sorts of movies on giant IMAX screens in 3D, even if they aren't big names like Titanic or swooshing action films. This Titanic promo let you walk up on to the deck!
I joked that I didn't understand Titanic in 4D. If the theater didn't break in half, fill with water, and my date didn't drown, I'd be disappointed.