A Knitter in Transition

My adventures - in knitting, marriage, and moving across hemispheres.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Before and After

Two delicious skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Grey's Something or Other. Needless to say that I LOVE THIS YARN. Look closely for a hint at its destiny....

Destiny fulfilled. Well, almost. Mac wasn't sure why his ladies are tormenting him with fluffy leg covers when his legs are quite fluffy enough, thank you very much. And when he says fluffy, he means in the most manly and intimidating way possible.

That's better! These legwarmers are a birthday gift for my dear dear dear friend Rhonda. Mlle Rhonda spends a good portion of time waiting for the train to take her to work, and then walking from the train station to work, and back again; not to mention all the time spent at the park with Mac, who enjoys the park most at sunrise. These will keep her delicate ankles most fabulously toasty, and their cheery pinkness also reminds her that spring is coming...someday.

Also on the needle art front, your attention is invited to Rhonda's Grandmother's crotchet slippers. Rhonda was an avid "hooker" before she her time was sucked away by the evil economic necessity of work, and we should all pray she starts hooking again soon. Someday, I'll post a picture of the awesome blanket she crocheted me (refered to at the Lt's household as "Rhonda's blanket") that is so warm and toasty that the Lt will not even sit next to it on the couch.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Squash 'Em

Today is National Mammography Day. So, if you are 40 or more, or have a family history of Breast Cancer, go get a mammogram. If you need to find free or low-cost mammography resources, look here for a map to lead to a facility that can help. Here's why it's so important:

This past summer, a mammogram saved my mother's life. She went in 2 months early (!!!) and they found some "calcifications" that they were concerned about. I thank God that they decided to make absolutely sure what the little dots were, because they were cancerous. They were removed and everything is perfect now, God is so good!!

Self-exams are a great early defense, but they just do not replace a mammogram. Kind of like flossing, important, but no substitute for the dentist. My mother's nearly microscopic cancerous cell groups were so small, that they had to leave a tiny "marker" next to them at the biopsy, so they could be sure to find them again. Imagine if she hadn't had a mammogram because she felt no lump....

My mother is the strongest woman I know, she's beautiful, determined, intelligent, funny, generous, loving, protective, caring, trustworthy, every single good thing you could ever dream of having in a mother, I have. She has never set anything but the ideal example, and I couldn't ask for a better guide in my life. I am so blessed to be her daughter!

This weekend, (after your mammogram?), think about Heather and Eva, who are out there right now walking for a cure. Pray for good weather, happy feet, and millions of pairs of healthy breasts!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Mind: Blown

So I'm up late knitting...shocked, aren't you. Yeah, I'm a night owl, whatever. Anyway, I'm watching Animal Planet, because I brake for furry things. And scaly things, and turtles, and birds, and I once cried when I drove through a group of butterflies. Pathetic, I know.

ANYWAY, I'm watching this show called "When Animals Talk" with Jane Goodall. You know, the chimp lady. You MUST watch this show, you will be amazed. The best part is at the beginning, about the African Grey Parrot called N'Kisi, because he talks. No, not just talks, but speaks. Like, forms sentences and expresses his own thoughts, not just polly-wanna-cracker shit. In fact, he may be better at it than I, because I was rendered speechless.

As an animal fan, I'm not sure why this has me so awe-struck, but it does. Maybe because he's not a mammal, and we all know mammals rock. I had already taken for granted that elephants mourn their dead, humpbacks sing complex and evolving songs, and dogs have a near-psychic connection with their people, but the bird thing is fricking awesome.

So, that's about it. I've shared what I needed to share. Knitting content and more shopping info later.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Mostly Ranting and Psychobabble

Non rant:
So, it's taco night at the Lt house, and it never once occured to me to get beans when I made the grocery stop for the supplies. Isn't it funny how you get so set in your ways, i.e. the way you've had taco night your whole life (beanless), and then you get married and suddenly you need beans. Not normal posting material, but I'm sure all you marrieds/attacheds can relate.

Spent another weekend day at the blasted mall. Beginning to hate that place. The afterglow of the new jeans was stripped most unceremoniously from me today. Still loving the jeans, just hating the mall. Transferring the mall-hate to the curves. ....Internal dialogue: that's negative, don't go there.... There's one for the shrink.

Desperately needing tops. Sounds simple, right? Run by the mall, find some cute shirts, wear, and look impossibly chic and pulled together. Reality: spend 3 hours at the mall, find a bunch of see-through tweeny tops with spaghetti straps and sequins around the HIPS. Whose door step do I put the flaming bag of dog poo on for THAT idea?

Is it just me, or do you walk into a store and screech "WTF?" when confronted with a sheer fall line? Who wears see-thru in Nov, in VIRGINIA? What's with the spaghetti straps? Why is everything so horribly fucked up? Why is it that the largest tops at a regular store are too small, and the smallest tops at Lane Bryant are too big? Why do clothing manufacturers take a size 2 blouse and simply expand it for a size 12? Does it occur only to me that more than just the width changes? Is it just me, or are stylish clothes seemingly marketed to a peri-pubescent size 00, 4 foot 10 imp? What is the 20-something girl to do? I feel like I either try to impersonate Hilary and Linday (I shudder at the thought) or style myself after Oprah and Martha. It's as if they forgot that there's literally decades of women to dress that are between 19 and 50.

So, I hit Borders on the way out. Biblio-therapy, delicious. I pick up the new Vogue knits, holiday ed., did nothing for me but irritate me further. Then I was drawn to the new Elle, with Jennifer Aniston, who I LOVE. Bonus: they tout "Curvy Chic - the best looks for your figure," which turns out to be a 5 page photo spread of some 15 year old waify bitch in wasp-waist dresses and obis. Oooh, right, I just need to dress like Donna Reed goes to Manhattan, it's all so clear now. Not even for Jennifer would I buy that, in fact, I'm thinking of writing them a scathing letter on how much they suck. BTW, I'm supremely pissed at "fashion."

Then, I consoled myself with a decaf mocha, only to dribble the damn thing all over my jeans.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Curvy girls guide to life

Are you curvy? Are your hips larger than your waist? Do you have...ahem...fuller thighs? Are you less Aniston and Paltrow and more Mansfield and Monroe?

Me, too, I'm a curvy girl (CG). Boobs, hips, legs, arms, and even the little post-navel puche. (That's french for pooch.) I am all girl, and not in a million years could I put on a tie and use macara for a moustache and be taken for a guy. And, I'm ok with that. In fact, I might go so far as to say that 99 days out of 100 I love my curves, and if love is a strong word, the curves and I are great friends.

That 100th day, you ask? A day spent shopping for jeans.

Jeans have been my best friend and worst enemy for as long as I can remember. I was elated when jeans became "dress-up-able." I think they look as fab dyed dark and worn with spiky heels as they do destructed with flip-flops. However, they do NOT look fab or hot or cute or anything but flat out crap-tastic when they fit poorly. And for us curvy dames, most jeans fit poorly.

The Lt and I just spent two days trying on MANY pairs of jeans and analysing the fit so I could share with you my jeans-fitting experience of the past weekend, and some things I've learned the hard way*. And by all that I mean: So I can have some great looking new jeans.

First things first. If the legs are tapered, RUN. Run fast and far and most importantly, in the other direction. Tapered leg pants of any kind are your worst enemy. They have the double edge of often being without back pockets, both crimes against humanity. A tapered leg will only emphasize a big booty, and not in a good way; and a rear end without pockets is one broad expanse of uninterrupted butt and panty-line. OK, I'm not condoning flare-legs on everyone, but I beg you: get jeans with back pockets and at least a straight leg, if not a boot cut.

Spend as much as you can afford. The jeans I've fallen in love with, worn the most, and fit the best have all been "investment" jeans. My longest lasting faves: Banana Republics, my newest addition: Lucky Brands. If you happen upon a great pair at Tar-jay, good on you. Not knocking Target, it's my fave store. Just, no luck with jeans there.

Next: discard size. Who really cares if the jeans are size 4/10/16/whatever if you look like a sausage? I had to get over this, it hurt, but now I have some jeans that make me look like one hot little twinkie. First fit issue for CG's: find the size that fits your hips, then thighs. Once you discover that magic number, you have a great starting point as you move from store to store.

Once the hips are covered with close, but not tight!!!, denim, look at your thighs. Are they wrapped tight enough to avoid freezer burn? NO!! Is the fabric smooth against your skin, yet still with enough room to not tell that you haven't shaved your legs in a week? YES!! For my "muscular" thighs, the key to this is ROOM IN THE KNEES. Who knew the knees were so crucial to good jeans? Trust me, a little room in the knees will make your legs look well proportioned and balanced, which will make you look smaller all over. The closeness does the same thing, skim the curves: streamline.

We've got a pair that fit the hips, thighs and knees. Now we move to our private bits. Do you have enough fabric in the crotch to cover a well-endowed Russian? Chuck em. Does the booty gap, sag, suck, or otherwise look crappy? Chuck em. Do you have a gap between your lower back and the jeans? I say, keep looking. But, if it's less than about 2 inches, it can be fixed by a seamstress, just make sure she hides it behind the belt loop. I think more fabric than that might look awkward after alterations.

I had good luck this weekend with Lucky Brand jeans, some Banana Republics (NOT the "trouser cut"), Lane Bryant, and the Gap Curvy Fit wasn't awful. The Lane Bryants were amazing, but too high waisted for my taste. I ended up going with the Lucky's, much to my husband's VISA's chagrin. But, he did compliment me, totally off the cuff, for such a finely clad booty while at Target today.

In other CG dressing news:
-I know Oprah and Tyra have both hit this one recently, but get a good bra. There are not words for what this alone can do for your figure. Hooters rock, let's hold 'em up in style
-Do you want some Knee high boots, but the ones at the mall are too small? This issue has been plaguing me for 2 years now. Want some saucy boots to wear with saucy skirts, and finally found some to fit my super-curvy calves, from DUO boots. Another investment, but they are so hot. I'm saving up right now...

* I am by no means eligible to host "What Not to Wear" But, I did find some awesome jeans this weekend, and learned a lot about flattering my curvy figure vs looking frumpy in loose jeans or skanky in too tight ones.