Friday, January 18, 2013

Idle Hands and The Devil's Playthings (aka, my boobs)

I keep neglecting this blog and then apologizing for doing so.  I gotta figure out how to break that cycle.  Step one is I'm not going to apologize anymore.  I've been busy, get off my back
about it.

Doing what, you ask?  None of your business.  ....Just kidding.  A variety of things including shooting an episode of a tv show, setting up my studio in my home, hanging out with some sweet little kids, auditions, and some scary health stuff.

And I've been knitting the whole time I've been on go.  If you ever happen to run into me on the subway, there's a good chance I'll be knitting.  I knit while I sit on the train, while I stand in a crowded train, and when I am walking on the subway platform.  

You might think I do it to show off what a kick ass knitter I am, but that's actually the opposite of the truth.  It's more of a compulsion, and, in fact, I get really self-conscious about it.  I get squirmy and panicky when people stare at me while I'm knitting in public.  Most times, people are really cool about it, they'll glance, we'll make eye contact, they'll smile, I'll smile and that's that.  But sometimes a person will stare, mouth agape, stare, STARING-stare and I'll make eye contact with them, but it appears as if there's no recognition that I'm also a human being who maybe doesn't want to be stared at by a stranger.

I'm trying really hard to find ways to be cool about it.  Sometimes it's easier than others.  If people ask me questions, I try to be friendly and relaxed with them.  But the silent starers....Oh man, I can't handle it sometimes.

Anyway, moving on.  Here are some new knits.

A spicy tuna sushi set.  My first foray into a spicy mayo swirl.  I like it.

OH!  Also, note the DangerMonkeyKnits! label in the photo.  I FINALLY FOUND MY LABELS!  HOORAY!

An infinity scarf.  Kind of like the cowls I've been making for a few years, but larger and baggier.  The hipsters in the city all seem to be wearing this year, so I took it as a personal challenge to make my own.

Nothing fancy, but I made a knitted hat for my sweetly bald friend David. 

And a cat scratcher for my three puking, howling, freeloading cats.  Because I love them, but they don't deserve expensive gifts.  So, I cut up strips of about four decent sized cardboard boxes that were laying around the house, taped the strips together, and wrapped them into a tight coil.  Bam.  Scratcher for my worthless beasts.

And that's the round up for crafts for the last few weeks.

But in a final, personal note....yeah, "health scare."  Health scare.  I guess.  I'm having one of those.

It's my right tit. Tiptop, as faithful readers of this blog may know him as.  I know that many ladies like to call their boobs, "the girls," but I like to think of mine as two fat, jolly old dudes.  And their names are Big Boy and Tiptop.

About three weeks ago, I felt a new oblong-ish lump, about the size of a pea on the outer side of Tiptop.  I had to wait a few weeks to get it checked out because of holidays and my doctor's office's holiday schedule.

Last week, I went.  The doc felt it, and agreed that we should do some follow up tests.  Now, I should say at this point that my doctor isn't overly concerned about it.  But she wants us to be on the safe side with it.

After a series of misadventures, wherein I showed up to my ultrasound appointment without my proper paperwork and was denied care, I finally got an ultrasound yesterday morning.  And upon review, they deemed it necessary to follow up with yet another test yesterday afternoon.

Look.  I'm not scared.  I'm really, really not feeling scared.  My doctor wasn't nervous, so I don't feel like being worried would accomplish anything.  I'm deciding to wait and see what happens next.

But I've been talking about it seems like nobody talks about this kind of stuff.  And the biggest thing I ever learned from my childhood is that keeping secrets only leads to shame and unwarranted embarrassment.

And I'm not embarrassed.  I have a lump in my tit.  Sometimes tits get lumps.  Check your tits.  Stay healthy and don't be embarrassed about your weird, lumpy body.  We all have weird, lumpy bodies.  Let's stop pretending we don't.

So many of my friends have reached out to send love and positive vibes.  And I really wasn't expecting that, I just wanted to make some jokes about titlumps because that's my way of taking away it's power over me and any fear I could potentially have.  So, I just want to say thanks to all of my beautiful buddies who have reached out and offered kind words.  Tiptop is grateful to know you.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

After Holiday Sushi Sale!

As I'm cleaning up around the home, and putting things away after the holiday explosion, I'm realizing that I have the supplies to make a couple of sushi kits.

Sushi is one of my very favorites.  Both for eating and for knitting.

So, first come, first serve - Who wants an adorbsy (custom made and one of a kind) sushi roll set?  $25, shipping included.  Whattya say?

The set could look something like this one, but I'll make whatever kind of sushi you like.  Hell, I'll even do brown rice if you're a health nut.

Let me know, baby.  I'm on a roll.  Get it?  Oy.

Unwrapping presents

Hello, my little buddies.  I hope you all had a great Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanza, Winter Solstice, Secular Celebration of Consumerism and American Gluttony, or whatever other Pagan ritual I may have left out.  

Mine was great.  Thanks for asking.

We took a trip away from New York and into the country, where we spent a nice, quiet few days resting and eating and spending time with my glorious spitfire of a grandmother inlaw.   Plus we listened to heavy metal on satellite radio in the rental car for four straight days.  It was really the best winter holiday I could've asked for. 

I hope you've had a good year.  I hope you got everything you wanted in terms of gifts, whether material or otherwise.  I hope this year you saw fit to use all your powers for good instead of evil.  I hope you'll remember in the new year all the hard and wonderful lessons you learned this year.  Does this sound patronizing?  I hope not.  Because I really mean it, for me, and for all of you.  

Okay, so now that the holiday is behind us, I'm going to share with you some of my holiday crafts.  As much as I love crafting and knitting and taking my own photos of them, I love receiving photos of people enjoying the things most of all.  Here are some of the greatest hits of this far.  

I made some neck warmers for my favorite little women.


And they promptly showed me the various other uses they found for them.  Including nose/chin warmer:

And fancy oversized headband:

Beautiful.  Understated.  Reminds one of the elegant composition of the Girl With The Pearl Earring, no?

Last week I wrote a blog about the chicken and elephant I had knit for my sweet friend Rachel.  Here are some action shots of her mother opening her Christmas presents.

Really, it's the anticipation of gorgeous, happy faces like that that keep my fingers knitting busily all my waking hours.  Truly.  I can't hardly stand how adorable those photos are.

Last month I wrote a blog about a cat bed I had been commissioned by my friend Michael to make for his cat Dragon.  I sure hope Dragon gets a turn in the bed, because it looks like he's got a selfish roommate who has usurped it.

So rude.

A couple of months ago, when I first moved to Brooklyn and all my yarn was still stashed in moving boxes, my first official craft project in my new crafting headquarters was a "T" ring for myself (in honor of my foxy manfriend T-Bone).  I loved it so much, I decided to make a few more for some special ladies I love.  Here's one that I sent to my sweet friend Melissa, who's married to my equally as sweet friend Matt.  

I wish I could eat that ring and the hand it sits on, I love it all so much.

And last, but definitely not least, my good old pal Aaron asked me if I would be interested in making a present for his sweet wife.  Now they are both friends of mine from the waybacks, so no matter what it was, there was no way I could say no.    

The task was to make a ski mask - or a balaclava, if you want to get all uppity about it - that Maggie could wear on the chilly Los Angeles evenings when they enjoy sitting on their back patio.  The specifications were to make something that would keep her nose warm, but had an opening for her mouth.  I searched and searched for a pattern I liked, but nothing quite fit the bill, so I tweaked an existing pattern to come up with one of my own.

The result was so fun, I think I may need to make one for myself.  It's very Pussy Riot, don't you think?

Here are some photos of me modeling the ski mask before I sent it off.  And, yes it's true, I'm not wearing a shirt in these photos.  Because there's nothing more absurd than a shirtless person in a ski mask.  (Also, my apartment gets boiling hot in the evenings.)  So, now that I have burned the image of me knitting topless in your brain, let's consider that my belated holiday gift to you and move on to the photos:

Granted, I am pretty adorable in the photos above.  And clever and completely casual and unaware of my own amazingness.  But even better, infinitely better!, was getting a Christmas Eve email from Maggie entitled "OMG!!!! Best present ever!!!" with the photo below attached. 

THAT, my wonderful friends, is the true meaning of Christmas.


Friday, December 21, 2012

I'm a busy holiday elf

Dudes.  Whoa.  WHOA.  I feel badly about how I've neglected this blog lately.

But the last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind, what with moving and hurricane recovery and holidays and visiting relatives don't care about my excuses.  I know that.

But, I assure you.  I've been crafting and snapping photos all along.  Now I'm just trying to find the time to post.

I've had a good mix of holiday commissions from other people and my own crafting projects to complete, which is exactly how I like it this time of year.

A little while ago, my sweet friend Rachel asked me to make her a chicken and an elephant.  Here they are.

Above is a moody silhouette of the chicken.  Beautiful.  Introspective.  And below is an action shot (which should explain the blurry quality of the photo) wherein the chicken is caught just at the beginning of her leap off the coffee table.

Below are photos of the elephant, taken before the eyes were attached.  But don't pity this blind beauty, she did indeed undergo a procedure that gave her the gift of sight.

Requisite profile view.

Below is a closeup of my favorite part, the delicious berry-red foot.  Mmmm.

Happy holidays, little lovies.  I have more to post, but in an effort not to spoil any holiday surprises, they may have to wait a few days.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Knitting for Dragons

My friend, and former co-star, Michael asked me to do a cat bed for his sweet kitty Dragon.  He let me know that Dragon is a big boy, and has outgrown his current bed.  And he provided photographic evidence to support this claim.

And photos don't lie, folks.  

So, who am I to deny a sweet sleepy kitty a place to lay his cat head?

I whipped up another of my cat beds - in grey/green fuzzy fur, with a yellow/green base.  According to Sadie, it's suitably comfortable.  

We hope you enjoy it, Dragon.

Not bad for someone who knows nothing about sports

The other day, my friend Anthony asked me to make a basketball hat for a new baby for a friend of his.    I said yes because I never say no, but the truth is I spent a maddening amount of time pouring over Google images of basketballs before I could figure out how to do it.  

Even thinking about the basketball conjures memories of gym class despair and humiliation.

When I was 14 years old, I got knocked out cold in gym class and had to go to the hospital.  That's how not good at sports I am, and it's probably the seed of the reason that I have zero interest in watching sports, to boot.

However, having said all that, I have to say, I don't think I did too shabby of a job putting this hat together.   My old pal, Crystal Skull, modeled it for the camera before I sent it off to Ant.

What do you think?

Patience. Forgiveness. Pushing my rage inward.

Whoever said moving can be quick and stress-free is crazy.  What's that?  No one said that ever?  Huh.  Then I guess it's time to get the wax out of my ears.

So.  Okay.  I moved about a month ago.  I'm still trying to figure out what's going on, where I am, who I am, and where all my damn stuff is.

But, rest assured, I've been knitting my face off the whole time.

Right before the move, I endeavored to make a felted tote bag for my sweet friend Heather.  Heather is a lighting designer, and she gave me free range to design the bag however I wanted.  I came up with what I thought was a pretty cool design and set to work.

However.  Unbeknownst to me, some of my 100% wool - which is the most important component of a felting project - was evidently treated with something that made it unfeltable.  And I didn't know this until the tote bag was finished and I attempted to felt it.  One side felted beautifully, and the other side was just an enormous, floppy, soggy mess.

I gave myself a day to swear and kick dirt before I came up with a plan to take it apart, discard the floppy side, re-knit the side I needed, and felt it separately before attaching it to the rest of the bag.

And unfortunately, it happened again.  I thought I was going to lose my mind.  But instead, I took some deep, cleansing breaths and tried to channel my calm determination.  (I know that sounds totally ridick but I'm working on patience and forgiving myself these days.  Stop laughing.)

And the third time was the charm.  Kind of.  The side turned out great!  And I stitched it back together, and felted the whole thing together again - which shrunk it down a little bit more, but no big deal.  And then....I realized that one of the handles was twisted.  So, I had to snip the handle and fix it before sewing it and felting it once again.  Shrinking it a bit more.


I realized that the handles were off center, so the whole bag couldn't lay flat.  SO.  I HAD TO CUT THE HANDLES AND FELT THE GODDAMN THING AGAIN.

By now, it's no longer a tote bag, but a cute little handbag.  And I'm doing some serious deep breathing about the whole debacle.

But it's still pretty cute.

On the upside, this is the first project that I was able to sew in my new custom knit labels!  I was so excited to get them!  Don't you love them?

However, it seems like - for now at least - this is also the last project to get one of my custom labels, because they appear to have been lost in the move.  FML.