The Weaving Inn

Home to the knitting world's anti-Finisher. Kind of like the anti-Christ, but with a smaller following.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

There'll Be Clean Teeth Come Christmas

If you've ever wondered, and I'm sure you have, what 45 tubes of toothpaste and 16 puzzle books look like, well you can stop wondering. In case (no pun intended) you're in the market for toothpaste and live in the South Bay, Safeway is having an introductory sale for new and improved Aim toothpaste. Only 89 cents with your Club Card. I'd say that's a pretty good deal. I'd also say that this is probably enough toothpaste to last me the rest of my life. Or close to it. But it's not for me.

They are, of course, for the Elders on the Pine Ridge Reservation as part of their Christmas gift bags. I need to get these tubes of toothpaste to Texas STAT. Dawn and her wonderful husband are driving to South Dakota to deliver all this stuff in September. As well as all the slipper socks and dishcloths and hats and everything else everyone has been diligently working on. I almost wish I was going to be in South Dakota at Christmas to see all this happen. *Almost.* But I understand it's rather chilly there in December so maybe not. I do however really, REALLY want to visit the reservation in the near future.

In other news I'm knitting a new slipper sock pattern that is going lickety split. I guess it's to be expected when you're knitting with two strands of Wool-Ease. You know what, I'm getting really sick of talking about slipper socks. I think this will be the last pair for a while. Maybe it's time to move on to hats. Or regular socks. Just anything but slipper socks. Hopefully tomorrow I will have something more exciting to talk about than toothpaste and ... I'm not even gonna say it.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Time Warp

I went to Friday night knitting tonight. And I left there feeling like I've been living on a different planet for the last two years. Someone's gotten married. Someone has had a baby. My friend, Phyllis, turned 85 two weeks ago and is still knitting up a storm. Marie now has three grandchildren, not just one. What the hell? Apparently I've been a hermit longer than I thought I had.

Granted, I've always been a bit of a loner. I like, no need, a lot of time to myself. (See previous post regarding aversion to noise). But this might be a bit ridiculous. Part of it is my job. My daily commute is roughly 27 miles each way. And when you work with insane people day in and day out it kind of drains you. Plus there's a few rats around here requiring attention. But jeebus, three grandchildren when I was sure I saw Marie two months ago and she only had one? That's not biologically possible. And I am supremely bummed that I missed Phyllis' 85th birthday. Even if I am sure she'll outlive us all.

I think I probably need to start getting out more.

I took today off work in the hopes of getting a least one slipper knitted. So that I could knit it's mate tomorrow and send them off to Dawn, who is coordinating the Pine Ridge Elder's Christmas extravaganza. Nope. Not even close. Either I'm burnt out on knitting slipper socks or I've temporarily lost my focus. This is a picture of one of the pair I finished last night. Wool-Ease again. I think it's Dark Rose Heather or some such thing. That's Bob and Doug's cage in the background; it's kind of hard to get a picture of anything around here without a rat cage in it. Anyway, I'd best get back at it. Rumor has it Dawn needs 40 children's scarves by August 20th ...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

But ... Where's My Medal?

Things have been pretty quiet around Chez Insanity ever since my next door neighbor, Moses The Rapist, moved out. In fact, it's been at least a year since I called the po-po because Bruce The Pedophile threatened to kill Andy because Andy was smacking Bruce's cat around. So I was tickled pink when last night's event took place.

Andy, fearing for his life.

I was sitting on the couch at approximately 10:20 (I've watched enough Law & Order episodes to know it's always important to record the time). First there was a CLUNK. Then there was a loud scraping sound. Then my lights flickered. Once. Maybe even twice. Then another loud scraping sound. Since I'm that neighbor, the one that always sticks her nose into everyone's business, I went outside on the walkway to investigate.

My dumbass neighbor had backed his pickup truck onto the power lines and they had gotten stuck on his bumper. "Turn left," his room mate yelled. SCRAPE. "More left." SCRAPE. This went on for a good 10 minutes. Finally the truck became unhooked.

Did I mention earlier that my lights had flickered? At least once. Maybe even twice? Clearly the structural integrity of the wires had been compromised. I needed to call 911!

The 911 operator was very nice and seemed just as concerned about my flickering lights as I was. Things kind of went downhill though after she patched me through to the operator for the fire department.

Fire Dept Op: Is anyone unconscious?

Me: Uh, no.

Fire Dept Op: Do you see any flames?

Me: Uh, no.

Fire Dept Op: How about arcing? Do you see electricity arcing from the wires?

Me: Did I mention my lights flickered?

Fire Dept Op: Are you at the scene and available to assist the firemen?

Me: Oh yes, definitely. I can ASSIST.

Obviously that statement is what turned the tide because within five minutes the fire department arrived. (Just one truck, I was hoping for at least two). I ran out TO ASSIST. "Over here, over here," I yelled, pointing at the wires. Two firemen approached cautiously. After all, this was a dangerous situation. Fireman #1 (who was wearing way too much cologne but perhaps it was to hide the smell of smoke) shone his flashlight on the wires. "Hmm," he said.

By this time, a number of my neighbors were peeking their heads out from behind their blinds. I smiled and waved reassuringly at them all, feeling a bit like a celebrity. "Don't panic, I'm ASSISTING," I mouthed.

It was then I heard Fireman #2 say, "Hey, Mike, check it out. It looks like a bit of this pavement is broken." Fireman #1 kicked a piece of asphalt, measuring at least 2 inches (again, record the facts). "Hmm," said Fireman #1 (aka Mike). Vindication! Property damage! After checking out all the connections though, it was determined that everything was as it should be. I'm pretty sure it was due in part to my assisting.

So that was my evening. Once again, April saved the day. And stopped her lights from flickering.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Driving to work this morning I was composing my blog post in my little brain. I had decided I was going to write about one of my senior rats, Doug. And how senior rats really force you to live in the moment because you never know when they're going to pass. So the phrase "I'll play with him tomorrow" goes out the window because there may not be a tomorrow. Philosophical crap like that. But then I got to work and ack, no pictures of Doug on my Flickr account.

Here's Elliott instead! Isn't he adorable? I love Elliott liek whoa. He's your typical Pink Eyed White aka a PEW. A lot of people are creeped out by their red eyes so they're harder to adopt out. I obviously love ALL rats. Maybe a bit too much.

Of course with the albino-ism (is that a word?) Elliott doesn't see very well. So he's a bit more fearful than the other fuzzbutts at my place. Elliott's been having play time for almost nine months every night in the bathroom. But it still takes him about 20 minutes of hiding behind the toilet to figure out that everything is OK. Which of course, makes me love him more.

I was going through my knitting bag the other day and came across a bunch of patterns I had designed during the Great Summer Of Unemployment. This was one of them. I was quite sure I'd posted the pattern for this on my blog. Apparently not. It's done in a chunky weight yarn; I used Mirasol Sulka which is the most gorgeous yarn on the planet (silk/wool/alpaca, you get the drift). I think I'll re-knit it this weekend in something a little less expensive because I think it would be a great hat to make for the Reservation. Maybe something in Lion Brand since a nice lady from Lion Brand left a comment on my blog and hey, I'll do anything for a comment. Once I get it all worked up I'll post the pattern here.

Now THAT'S a sock monkey!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I read a quote the other day on someone's blog. I love quotes. It never ceases to amaze me how some people can whittle down an essential truth into so few words. Anyway, this quote was by Annie Dillard. She's a Pulitzer prize winning author. The quote was "Because how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." Seems like a no-brainer, eh? But it really struck a chord with me for some reason. The phrase "your life" refers to something in the distant future. Doesn't it? As in, "What are you going to do with your life?" As if it's an entirely different entity, apart from yourself and what you do every day. But according to Annie Dillard, my life is happening right now. It's not something to plan out or shape into, it's already here.

So after reading this quote I decided to wean myself from the Internet. No, I'm not unplugging my computer and moving to Walden Pond. I love the Internet, oh yes I do. But I'm on it ALL THE TIME. I use it for work all day and then I come home at night and waste a ridiculous amount of time just messing around. Let's check the celebrity gossip on Let's catch up on world events over on the Huffington Post. Any rats for adoption on craigslist? Why don't I kill 30 minutes looking at baby blanket patterns on Ravelry. Rinse and repeat. And of course the entire time I've got instant messenger open and I'm chat chat chatting.

Is this how I want to remember my life? As having spent it jumping between web pages? Ugh. No. I want to spend my life reading good books. Watching interesting movies. Tickling rat tummies. Knitting for charity. Especially knitting for charity. Because a well used mouse pad certainly isn't much of a legacy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Yeah, I Know

I know, I know. Right now you're thinking, "Whoa, April has gone around the bend - she's crocheting condoms! In matching sets, even!" But hey, that would be just silly. I mean, look at all the holes. These would be condoms for those that WANT to get pregnant.

Actually they're ... slipper socks. Yes, more slippers. If you think these are atrocious, you should see the second pair I made. I crocheted red on the toe and made the body green. Someone said they looked like oversized pimento olives. It was at that point that I realized that just because something was quick and easy didn't necessarily mean it should be made.

And therein lies the rub with charity crafting. With a place like the Pine Ridge Reservation, where the need is so great, it's hard to decide whether to go with crocheted condoms or something that takes a bit more time. Right now I'm working on my second pair of Worsted Ankle Socks (you have to scroll down for the pattern, it's a PDF). It takes me about four days to knit a pair of these. With the Condoms A La Crochet I can make four pairs in four days. But that's not why I knit (or crochet). I would rather make one thing I was proud of than four things I was "meh" about. So onwards and upwards, winter IS coming.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


No, this isn't a message from the American Kennel Club - it's Actual Knitting Content!!!

This is the Seeded Rib Scarf. I love it. I see many more of these scarves in my future once the Fall rolls around. Plus it's reversible - bonus! I knit this using Lion Brand's Vannas Choice. I know, I know, more pictures of ickrylic on the blog. But honestly, Vannas Choice isn't THAT bad. I'm serious. And it knits up nice and squishy. It's actually more of an aran weight than a worsted. Plus it comes in 63 million colors. This would make a great pattern for the Red Scarf project if you were involved in that.

Speaking of Lion Brand, and I believe I was, it's rapidly become my go to yarn for charity projects. Mostly because it's inexpensive but also because it's washable. I love Wool-Ease. The slipper socks I'm knitting right now are made from that and they're coming out very nice. I know, I know, this from the girl who once worked at a yarn store that sold $35.00 balls of yarn. Where a baby blanket would cost $200 if you were to buy your yarn from us. But I guess it's true what they say, there's a use for every yarn. Except Red Heart. Red Heart should only be used as a sacrificial offering to the Yarn Gods. If I start carrying on about Red Heart, someone please come and shoot me. Please.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I Left My Heart ...

... in San Francisco. Well not really, more like two inches of skin from the bottom of my feet. I decided to go up to "The City" today. Now whenever I just jump in the car and head up to SF it never ends well. When you visit "The City" you need to have a plan of attack. You should know exactly where you are going, how you will get there and what the parking situation will be like. Otherwise you'll end up driving around endlessly and wasting a lot of time. And maybe getting lost a time or two.

You also will not get a lot of really great photographs. This is annoying.

I took this in the Castro District. It's a cat. In a window. I like the lighting but I'm not really crazy about the angle. I should have been higher up. But short of standing on someones car roof it wasn't going to happen.

Oh look! A tourist shot! Blerg. Your typical SF Victorian painted in not so typical colors. Hmm, I never noticed the teal colored posts at the bottom of the stairs. I kind of like those.

And this is Victoria. She's six months old and was walking with her owner down 18th Avenue. I think they were heading to Dolores Park since that's where everyone seems to take their dogs. I would have snagged her in a heart beat except we're sort of overrun with animals right now.

Tomorrow I hope to have actual knitting content since I never meant for this to be a photography blog. But hey, it's my blog so I can do what I want to. Do what I want to ... do what I want to ...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Foto Friday

Alas, I have been exposed to some rather mean and nasty people this week. This doesn't happen to me very often, thankfully, but when it does it always seems to knock the wind out of my sails. Of course I could always invoke the incredibly overused "Karma is a bitch" slogan. But instead I'd rather just look at some of my black and white pictures and pretend it was still the 60's. Have a good weekend, everyone! Even you mean and nasty people.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shhhh ....

This is kind of your quintessential California picture, wouldn't you say? I took this picture in the spring at Filoli Gardens which is a gorgeous estate here in the San Francisco Bay area. I took many, many pictures there. Like ... 100. I'm sure we'll be seeing more pictures from Filoli Gardens.

I am 50 now. FIFTY. Half a century. Five decades. FIFTY. And with age, has come a complete and total intolerance for noise. Some may argue that it's not age that has made me this way but the fact that I share an office with someone who talks from the moment she walks in in the morning until I drag my butt out of there in the evening. I kid you not. And 95% of what she talks about is not work related. It's her dysfunctional relationship with her boyfriend. It's her cat that's had a stroke. It's her gluten allergies. I am slowly, but surely, going out of my mind here.

Now you may be thinking, "Hey April, slip on the big girl panties and just tell this woman to hush." I have. On numerous occasions. My boss has told her as well. One of my co-workers even went so far as to buy me a t-shirt that said STFU. I have ignored her. Pretended I didn't hear her. If I don't talk to her she sits and stares at me. Have you any idea how hard it is to work when someone is staring at you?

Apparently she cannot cope in an environment devoid of noise. Because if there is no noise to distract her she can "hear the buzzing in my ears." Some days all that stands between me and a jail sentence is my trusty bottle of Vicodin.

Clearly the answer is to move to South Dakota. I have heard that South Dakota is very quiet. Probably because there aren't a lot of people there. This is appealing in more ways than you can imagine. I would move to Walden Pond but I'm sure it's probably a major tourist attraction now and I'd never get any peace. So South Dakota it is. Unless I go deaf in the near future.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Say Cheese

So back in January I decided to do the 365 Project. The idea behind the project was to take a picture each day to represent your life on that day. Now when you're an accountant who basically follows the same routine Monday - Friday and then spends all weekend knitting, there aren't a whole lot of fantastic photo opportunities. So I ended up taking a lot of flower pictures because hey, this is California and there are a lot of flowers around. Especially at the Stanford Shopping Center which is all of 10 minutes from where I work.

This is a tulip which was kind of on the wane. But still pretty I think. I managed to make it through about 4 months of the 365 Project before my relentless competitive nature reared it's ugly head. I have a decent but still crappy camera. The shutter speed is so slow that I can basically only take pictures of things that absolutely DON'T MOVE. It also has an auto focus that really only takes decent pictures with natural light. Which means no inside shots. Compared to a lot of the other photos taken by people doing the 365 Project, mine were somewhat lacking. Since part of my brain doesn't seem to have matured past the age of 6, I packed up my camera and left. However, I did learn a lot about taking pictures and have some shots I'm somewhat proud of. And ... more blog fodder!

Here's LivyJane! LivyJane is about 5 months old now. The rescue agency that I was formerly with before starting my SANCTUARY got a call from the Humane Society that they had a baby rat needing socialization. Socialization is my middle name. But not only did LivyJane come with a need to be socialized she also came with a horrible upper respiratory infection. After two weeks of twice daily antibiotics Livy was well accustomed to humans. Now she's a happy little monkey, living with her buddies Claudette, Bella and Celeste. Because of course, I never did give her back to the Humane Society.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Slipper Mania

Post. Don't post. Post. Don't Post. This blog has turned into a revolving door. Here I go for the 8 millionth time trying to restart it. It's pathetic, I know.

It's all about the slippers here at Chez Insanity. I belong to the Pine Ridge Elders group (the best group on Yahoo groups) and we're doing a big push for slipper production for the end of this month. One of our members will be traveling from Texas to S. Dakota in September with a U-Haul filled with stuff for Pine Ridge. So we all need to get our slippers made and mailed by July 31st. Why, there's even a contest! Make a pair of slippers, mail it by the 31st and get one raffle ticket for a $25.00 gift certificate to any online store of your choosing that offers gift certificates. I do believe I am the one running that contest. Anyway, if you're looking for an outlet for your charitable good deeds, I highly recommend the Pine Ridge Elders group on Yahoo.

Did I say it was all about the slippers? Ha! It's all about the slippers and the RATS. That's my life, slippers and rats. I'm not really sure what that says about me but there you have it. At last count I was sharing my very small apartment with 15, count 'em, 15 rats.

See, I got this really great idea that if I started calling myself a SANCTUARY then people couldn't look at me funny if I had more than just a few rats. I even got business cards to make it sound more official. To the best of my knowledge, hoarders don't have business cards. And I set up a web site. It's not quite done yet because, hey, I have a lot of cages to clean. Plus, if you have say ... 15 rats ... that's more than 2 weeks of blog fodder.

So let's meet a rat, shall we?!?

Here's Mole! Actually Mole doesn't belong to me, she belongs to my friend who gets all the rats that don't work out at my place. ANYWAY. Mole is about 6 months old now and she's obviously a hairless rat. And is she cute or what? Look at that widdle face! She looks like someone's grandfather. Mole lives with Tweak and Adrian and is still kinda shy. I myself have two hairless rats, Minerva and Sybil. They're sisters and two years old and I sadly, have no pictures yet. Soon!