Sunday, July 31, 2005

i am sitting on a couch in a colorful quirky house in a mexican barrio in northish hollywood in los angeles in california, in my pajamas.

yesterday i arrived to meet all the cyberfashion crew and get prepped up on the schedule of events. all of us are bestowed with exhibits-plus passes throughout the conference, which includes the presentations and exhibits, like emerging technologies, art gallery, and the animation theatre. however, we can attend more things like special sessions and even paper talks by requesting and passing around some communal conference select passes.

all i can say is that the conference is *humongous*. even last night, when the only event going on was 'registration', there were people everywhere. the LA convention center is also enormous, which to my regret is completely prohibitive to my knowing where i am at any time. last night, we tried to find the west hall parking area, and after miles of walking and consultations with conference people and security guards, we were completely addled on which direction was which. anyway, i'm just peeved that i don't have the information i want at the time when i need it. maps are my next favorite thing to spicy noodles.

there were a lot of fun things lined up last night that the crew was planning to party at, but i knew i would crash around 10pm (1am EST). therefore, i headed back with diana to her friend katherine's place to veg out, order pizza, and promptly pass out on the couch with all her colorful stuffed animal (where animal means cute rotund creatures with eyes) friends.

anyway, to get to her place we took the LA metro, which was an interesting experience. everyone i know says that the metro really blows; it does in some ways, but it wasn't the worst thing ever. first of all, it's cheap. $1.25 for one way, which is the same as boston, and you go much, much farther for your money! however, we waited for a bit at the PICO stop for a train; however, it wasn't really any different than waiting incessantly for the T to arrive. there was a boston flashback as two trains in the opposite direction came and went. haha. anyway, we got on, and the first thing i noticed was that there were no white people at all on the train. ...interesting. we got off at the next stop to transfer, and waited for the red line to north hollywood. while we were there i think there was a small brawl at the other end of the station, but i'm not sure. still, all minorities around, and i guess we blended in as asian ethnics! the redline train was actually quite decent and clean, reminded me of the washington metro except with raspberry red upholstery. (in my experience, usually the red lines of any metro system are the best maintained. i'm not sure why.) in actuality, the stations themselves were pretty good. all with working escalators (do you hear me, boston?), and the western/hollywood stop had a cute tiling scheme that reminded me of oversized chiclets meets jpg blowup. very colorful and happy. we walked about a mile to kat's place, which was strange only in the sense that we were walking along a highway, and passed a denny's, home depot, farm fresh, and various strip malls on the way. we also had a good overpass moment. i guess that's not so strange if you live in boston, but i'm so glad living in cambridge that i don't have to worry about stepping aside quickly moving traffic and large parking lots.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

let's see... after waking up at 4:30am EST, flying from boston to san francisco, and then landing in LAX almost an hour and a half ago, i'm finally here. whew.

kind of a whirlwind, especially after sitting on the new york bus last night for 5 1/2 hours. will need to devote a blog entry and a half on fun stuff on friday (from getting swatch-happy in the garment district to biting into juicy xiao lung bao), but that will have to wait til i'm good and ready. cute pix in store, though.

the flight today was pretty nondescript, except i was squished next to an enormous eastern european mama and her adult ultra-defensive daughter, with a usually-well-behaved-and-adorable-but-wailing-through-a-long-flight baby right behind me. perhaps i might feel differently if i (1) were larger or (2) were a mother, but honestly, it is almost cruel to entreat trapped, contained passengers to a physical or auditory invasion of space. i prepared this time with ear plugs, but incessant cries are more difficult to screen out than loud ambient noise. little kicks to the back of the seat add to the rhythmic mix. it can be sure that smelly people and snoring people are just as annoying, but yeah... cross-country and international flights truly are the modern trial of the human spirit.

also, as i was waiting for the plane restroom (interesting how everyone, *everyone* gets up for the bathroom at approximately the same moment, thanks to the efficiency of the beverage cart down the cabin), i saw the first class passengers get treated to a mid-flight snack of milk and cookies. yes, MILK. COOKIES. from a cheery perky blonde stewardness, tongs clicking in hand. large bald businessmen and spoiled-brat children helped themselves as i stared in combined indignation, envy, and intrigue. not. fair.

the layover in SFO was slashed from 4 hours to 1 hour as i stood by on an overbooked flight which no one showed up for. figures. i went to get some lunch, as it was about that time of my stomach EST, so into the food court i wheeled. i went from eatery to eatery, horrified at the prices. two eggs + meat = $8.95?? you could get that at denny's for $3! udon soup for $9.50? a greasy panda express-type place serving $11 combos? a BURRITO for $9 when you could probably get a bigger, better one (C-grade, of course) a mile from here for $1? generic-fusion (au-bon-pain-esque) SOUP (i.e. one ladleful) in a PLASTIC BOWL (not even bread for goodness' sake; that's extra) for $6. i was reeling. c'mon, stop kidding around, where are the food trucks? being a grad student, it's particularly terrifying to spend more than $5 in cash on any one thing in a day. already i've plunked down $$ for a cab to logan and now i have to shell out for gross airport food? sigh. i picked the most cost-effective thing, a margherita pizza from firewood cafe's outpost in the terminal, for $8. it wasn't that bad, fresh from the grill, with basil and tomatoes, and a thin crispy crust. tasty, but i'd rather splurge at cambridge 1 with interesting ingredients.

i hope i won't starve or go broke here in LA.

i got a ride from the airport from donat-pierre, who provided a cheerful introduction to LA geography and his work at the creative technologoy department at USC. we talked about robotic caltechers and natural obscuring condensation. we arrived at the convention center, finally met isa, and learned about three events happening tonight. soldering party, an art show, and cirque berzerk. i have a feeling this week will be mad work in the day, and mad play in the dark.

so far i'm just chilling, but there's a phat instant-prototype machine in the back and an amazing array of G5's in this room. i'm not sure what to expect, but i'm sure i will learn a lot! will report soon from the front...

Friday, July 29, 2005

almost 3am and i'm here in new york, bleary-eye blogging.

chinatown bus ride from boston: 5 1/2 hours of total insanity. wailing kids, gangsta rap emanating from loud headphones, and utterly horrific traffic. i got into the city late, pretty much missing the event that brought me into the city in the first place: the 21f meeting.

so i walked into the parsons design lab right as the thing finished, shiny from humid stickiness and lugging my tired bus-ridden self into the room. however, was pleasantly surprised to see the attendees -- among others, ayah, gemma, kate, emily, diana, and of course alison. the artists who shared seemed really cool, though i have to investigate more of their work online. megyn bruder and mikey sklar.

slight digression... oh yeah, news from the siggraph front. isa's been really great about getting me settled, housed, transported, etc. i'll be staying at the brewery, apparently an artist living / working community. the largest art colony in the world, so cool!

check out the works in this year's show: pics and descriptions (two seamless pieces are in it! bYOB and UFO! and those pictures were taken by kate kunath! whee!), and nbc article. looks pretty cool.

after the parsons thing, went to dinner with alison, diana, and alex to sammy's noodles. super good... i asked for tasty and cheap and we sure got it! snarfed down shrimp dumplings (supershrimpy, sooo fresh), turnip cake (i love the crispy edges on soft purple), curry chicken + potatoes (impressive), and roast pork lo mein (the thick, chewy wheat noodles, yum). very very good and came out to $8 a person with taxes and tip! i will totally go back next time coming to the new school area.

we then got this tip from diana's roommate, jungin, about a release party sponsored by details magazine somewhere at a downtown club, so we hopped over there, thinking it'd be free admission and open bar since we're on some special guest list. however, we were not treated to such because we got there after midnight, which apparently was the magic time when all the VIP magicalness ended. another tardy mishap! so we danced a little while tall sweaty people bustled about and old-skool music (prince "kiss" and booty beats i remember from high school) blared among the gyrating colored lights. the girls were very well dressed, especially jungin's boss who wore this devestatingly beautiful silk wraparound dress. if i were wearing it, i'd be nervous that some bloke would spill his overpriced beer all over it. she looked confident enough, though. i secretly think we all looked like some hot asian mafia chick circle. i always feel that way when hanging out exclusively with asian people! haha, since it happens so rarely.

came back and bummed in the apartment. they live in such a nice place in ny! but of course doesn't come cheap. :( we pored through cool knitwear samples and diana's machine-knit artsy swatches. i was so happy when i could describe her stitches in hand-knit-language! lots of beautiful stuff, i should take a picture of some tomorrow to show all you knitters... i cannot wait to try out the knitting machine when she gets it up here in a couple weeks!

will try to hit the garment district hard tomorrow and hopefully get to peek inside the yohji yamamoto showroom. w00t. i am so happy that i know people who make such beautiful things! and hopefully that applies to me, too. :)

good night, good night. love from the big apple!

p.s. i finished the theresa sleeves on the bus! finishing seaming party soon...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

a whirlwind of a summer. so many new things springing up -- where do i begin?


today i booked my tickets to LA to attend siggraph, conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques. isa gordon of psymbiote invited me to work on the production team of the siggraph cyberfashion show and to help out in the guerilla studio. diana will also be there with me, styling and dressing and debugging in a blaze of glory. i heard there will be a soldering party at the kickoff meeting. i can only imagine the sweet, sweet smell of that event.

anyway, i'm so psyched... elise co! cutecircuit! CAM jewelry! i wonder what the mit media lab entries will be. i should know but i don't... [hmmm...]

anyone have tips and tidbits for a week's stay in LA? i will probably be slaving in the conference center all day, but perhaps it'll be possible for a quick coffeebreak jaunt into the summery smog. i also think diana and i will also get to do some fashion designery things while we're there, too. *insert secret, knowing smile here*


niknak and i are heading to nyc this thursday for the first ever 21f gathering, hosted by the ever-enthusiastic and happy technologist, alison lewis. 21f is an online community focused around electronic textiles and computational clothing. yay for the east coast. yay for actually meeting some people from the mailing list in real life! yay for show and tell. details can be found here.

we'll be staying with diana. hopefully i can find time to visit some sample sales and christine-in-a-candy-store places in the garment district on friday. i have my eyes set on mood, habu, and b&j fabrics.

*home sweet home*

so we finally found great roommates (kudos to craigslist, naturally) to round out the new apartment! i'll be moving in fits and spurts in the next couple weeks. moving is one of the most terrifying activities i can ever think of doing; i absolutely hate it. the whole lifting heavy things in august weather + unearthing things in my room that should have been forgotten + losing/breaking precious things + packing my entire life into a few boxes = gives me the jibblies.

what's even more challenging is that i have *no* furniture whatsoever (since i've only lived on campus until now) and i don't have a car. oh yeah, i also have no money to buy stuff after all my travel expenses these days. le sigh. i think an ikea run is in order in any case. i will make myself comfy between the adorable umlauts!

*fashion show overload*

so on sunday night, nak and i went to the p�r ourge� fashion show at parrisboston, another production by robert "bob" gatti at 280studios. remember, the last 280 show we attended in wintertime, skin, was a huge motivator in our whole seamless show embarkment. we were basically like, "this is cool, why can't we put on something like this?" now, on the other side of the spectrum (having been on the production side), nik and i wanted to go to see the 280 show from a new perspective.

from start to finish, in our opinion the show was a complete flop. it was atrociously executed -- and i wonder if we would have felt the same way if we weren't in the same shoes.

some things that stuck out:
  1. i ordered my tickets online; it was just a will-call thing. $20 each, mind you, not exactly small fries. when we got there at 8pm (time stated on all publicity materials), a huge queue of people, ticketholders and non- waited in a single, stagant line as two ticket managers clumsily looked up names on a laptop and applied wristbands and a hand-written '280' on our hands. each attendee to the show almost took a minute to get through the bottleneck. how difficult would it have been to have two separate lines? they knew people were coming!
  2. i can attest that we waited in our chairs for approximately 1 hr 45 minutes before anything happened. there was a dj (who had the treble up to an ear-screeching level) and a projected visualization but everyone was just there, captive, in their seats. no one had any idea when the show would start. the time stated on the tickets was 8pm, and they didn't even begin until nearly 10pm. they should have said 'doors 8, show 9:30' or something; the audience has no clue. therefore, we all amused ourselves and stared at each other for an indeterminate about of time.
  3. extending the previous point, there was absolutely no communication or back-and-forth between the production and the spectators. it's all just thrown at you willy-nilly, at their beck-and-call, and the audience has no control or knowledge over anything. there's no program, no announcements, no posted list of designers, nothing. we're just expected to sit, wait, and watch. how stupid do you think we are? argh.
  4. i love the designers, and i am all for showcasing independent work. however, i think the event was way too enmeshed in sexual shock value (another girl wearing bodypaint? breasts clad in liquid latex? ooh, that's so avant-garde!) and there wasn't much substance behind it. we wanted a narrative, a collective, a story. we wanted fashion ideas and construction. the plotlines were, for the most part, thin and disorienting. this isn't discrediting the designers at all; i feel that the styling and scripting are more at fault with this aspect.
  5. puma cricket gear. kinda amusing. deserves a mention.
  6. at the end, the announcing of designers and crew names was absolutely horrifying. it was so crass, rude, disorganized (the guy came out with a laptop since he didnt have the energy to print out the list of thank-yous beforehand?) and completely disrespectful to the designers (i felt). maybe it's just not my style of doing things, but i think a sincere introduction and thanks to the designers are the least one can do to show appreciation for their hard work.
  7. speaking of lighting, it was difficult to actually see the details of the clothing since the projected images fell on the models as they were walking, and the poor house lighting (there were no spotlights) made everything sort of fuzzy. which might have been the effect, perhaps, but i would imagine that a major focus of a fashion show is the clothes themselves. crazy, right?
  8. my favorite piece in the entire show was a little capelet/poncho thing, in simple cotton or twill and decorated on the edge with colorful jigsaw puzzle pieces. i can't explain it, it was absolutely perfect. adorable, sleek, clever, playful. the designer (i have to look it up, it's jessica something, i would know if they listed the designer names somewhere!) also did an amusing 'electronic' piece with a polka dot dress with those large touch nighlight lamps stitched onto them. the lights are huge, like 4" in diameter, but it was definitely a cute idea, and a great visual on the almost grotesque scale of things. LEDs for giants!
at any rate, i don't mean to rant or discount any of the effort put into this show. i imagine it took a lot of work, and the model styling (hair was great!) was notable. however, i think it's good to see what can be worked through and improved with these sort of things: designing the dynamics between designers, producers, models, and audience; how to best tell a narrative through physical display; and how to make things progressive and artistically daring without veering into the tawdry and pretentious.

we also got VIP goodie bags (since i pre-ordered the tickets). there was a tshirt and a necklace and a plastic alien inside, but i think the best part of it is the bag itself. it's a simple frosted plastic tote, but it's miniature and green! green!


hey looky here, it's the theresa sweater! she's been in hiding from the blog, but working behind the scenes. to refresh your memory, it's from DB junior knits, and done in knitpicks shine to please the discriminating palate of my niece (where palate == pink, hello kitty, and princesses).

right now i've completed the entire body (including the adorable ruffled edging), and am in the homestretch with sleeve completion. one christmas gift almost done!

check this out, i actually figured out how to pick up stitches the right way. on the theresa back collar, you can see how the picked up stitches line up perfectly with the back piece stitches. i didn't really pay attention to this when i did the charlotte sweater ribbing, so sometimes it lined up, but more often than not it was misaligned. small detail, but it looks so much better when they line up!


so my debbie bliss cashmerino aran arrived. the ebay auction said it was 'pale pink' but upon real inspection i would call it more a dusky lavender or pink heather. imagine if you mixed a pink easter m&m with a purple easter m&m and ate a lot of bunnies. yeah.

what is this for, you ask? well, you should know from my teva durham obsession that it'd be one of her designs. i've started the ballet pullover from IK summer 2004. it calls for some weird acrylic/nylon yarn (plymouth napa), but since i never wear sweaters in the summer anyhow (no matter how light or airy the fiber is, with the heat i get uncomfortable in anything more than a thin tshirt), i decided to do it in a soft pink wool yarn. i got the cashmerino at a huge discount since it's a discontinued shade, apparently. though looking at the page on cashmerino aran on yarndex, i would say the best match is the 'dusty pink', color 603, or 'mauve,' color 604. i don't know for sure since the yarn came to me unlabelled. anyway, ballet-color it shall be called from now on!

i'm holding two strands of the aran together to make it bulky, and using a 15 (!) needle. it's actually to gauge, and not terribly shapeless. i made incredible progress last night, going from the collar through the yoke and i'm about armhole/bust level right now. i love circular needles; i even do flat projects on them. i think it's the even weight distribution that goes down and around instead of straight out to the sides.

i've poked around the blogosphere, and most people who made this sweater seem to have found it not to their liking (sizing issues, and strange shapings, see libby and hi!katie), though i'm curious how knittergirl ended up liking hers. her stitches are so neat!

whew. writing big blog entries wipes you out, though not unpleasantly, like sighing contentedly after eating a sizable platter of spicy buffalo wings and a burger for dinner. ahh. *dreams of the chicken wings at shay's* anyway, i'll be blogging through the week and at siggraph and my travelings. stay tuned.

i just saw vincent in the kitchen eating an avocado for lunch. green and neatly halved.

Monday, July 25, 2005

pictures now. explanations later.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

so this morning [a sleepy and yawny] niknak and i trekked to union square for the summer farmer's market. there were some familiar faces from last weekend's artbeat (the 'cheap art' guy with paintings on wood, the trendy bookbinding, and the crafty bird bags), but also some fresh cucumbers, irresistible apple pies (with a favorable crust-to-filling ratio, in my opinion), and amazing art from iowa outcast and harvard grad (ves shoutout!) artist pauline lim. i met up with linda scharf of stone leaf moon and fondled her superb handspun yarns. i could pet them forever.

so now i have 21.6 yds/0.5 oz of this lovely kitty yarn. she had larger hanks, but this was the best i could do, a touch of luxury on my grad school budget. it's spun of wool and silk and is slightly silverish and purple.

now, the dilemma... what do i do with this spot of gorgeous fiber? anyone have suggestions? i want to make the most of it! :)

*addendum* thank you to everyone who offered wonderful suggestions! the best thing seems to be using it as a funky trim for something. i'm thinking of putting a fancy trim on the graceful cowl from loop-d-loop. my life has never been the same after owning this book.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

it's a good day on wmmna.

r�gine contacted me today about the mollycoddle dress, and of of course i was happy to divulge for wmmna. she must get a total kick out of scouring media lab / nyu itp / ivrea / rca / ... websites on a regular basis. she was a recent guest editor on gizmodo, and i'm so happy to see some semblance of playful femininity on that blog which often veers toward the interminably geeky. there's also a picture of her, goddess of cool tech blogging! yay, she looks very happy.

also, i am really loving this: KnitWit by rebecca spender. a wireless stitch and row counter. i can see how this can be super useful for endless stretches of stockinette. knit and purl motions could be easily trained as they're so repetitive and constant in movement. however, what about SSK? or YO? i bet short-row shapings really short-circuit the KnitWit. heehee.

i wonder if they're lightweight, since it looks like the sensors are at the ends of the needles, where it has highest torque. i like the form factor, if i'm correct in guessing the needles sit tidily in the base when you're not knitting (yeah, what a concept). what am i saying... i just really want a pair. :)

other fun knitting-related posts on wmmna:
you could spend a week combing through the gems in wmmna wearables. thanks so much for making the world a brighter and happier place, régine!

Monday, July 18, 2005

it may be 2:35am right now, but i can sleep soundly knowing that the charlotte sweater is done. whee!

okay, early evening. all pieces in hand. an alarmingly low amount of yarn left. my needle and scissors, together we will win against seaming and finishing, my fair nemeses.

i'm so happy! i love the neckline; it's very flashdance looking with my racerback tank on there underneath. i can totally glam this up with a killer necklace, as i'm wont to do. the color is super sophisticated and great for fall. i love how every two seconds during the finishing stages (which i did on the floor), i kept finding bits of wire strippings and bits of astroturf stuck in my yarn. quasi inside joke, but there is something seriously spooky with my carpet.

what do you think for my first sweater project? my seaming needs a lot of work -- nothing's quite exactly even and i have some holes and lumps that magically appear along the sew line. oopsie. logically speaking, i must have the same number of rows knitted on a symmetric piece of fabric, but somehow i manage to convince myself of the opposite... anyway, here she is, blocking and totally loving it!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

oh yeah, i must add that every time i experience any sort of performance art when everyone is behind a powerbook, i feel like i'm in an apple commercial. everyone with headphones and torn jeans surrounded by glowing white fruit! how refreshing it felt, then, to see fourtet do his set with two purply sony VAIOs. oh well. (oh, but?)

*cmliu sandwiches herself between the camps*


here i am, the quintessential blogger. i'm sitting here between the strewn sunday papers and the iced coffees at harvest in central square, dodging the flies and watching the crazy old lady remove and replace the cup in the trash can for the seventh time. as i'm sipping my tepid caffeine and typing on my little shiny toy, i couldn't be happier.

yesterday was interesting on many biological levels. nik did his darnednest to get up before noon (hee) so we could make an early start at attending the artbeat festival in davis square, a huge community summer arts thingy with handcrafted wares and endless stands of indian food. not to mention the activists. but it was a great turnout, good weather (where good == blazing hot), and lots of cover bands who tried their best to play in tune. family fun and lots of cute doggies -- you know, the usual outdoor fest. artbeat, with its true roots in somerville and strong representation by independent community businesses and artist, was a lot better than the generically artsy cambridge river fest in that respect. nak and i fingered lots of handmade bags (felted totes with birds on them were de rigeur of the DIY folks) and t-shirts with sad octopi on them. the somerville stitch 'n' bitch were in presence, and also some spinning going on with skeintily clad, which has an amusing logo of a dancing sheep wearing a frilled sweater. it was hard, even for me, to think of cute wool while sweating under the persistent sun. i didn't buy anything at the fest, but i definitely got a handle on how strong the indie community is. being a jewelry or bag designer must be so difficult -- one after another of original handiwork sort of looks the same after a while, ironically. within the mix of the afternoon, some articles i found rather amusing were the squiggly-tentacled crocheted squids (i screamed a bit) and necklaces made out of cubes of hematite that were satisfactorily pixel-like.

afterwards we went to qingdao garden to replenish. we've been there before, and niknak used to frequent the place a lot when he lived in north cambridge, but that meal turned out to be sort of anomalous. we got handmade pork and cabbage dumplings, squid with chili, and zhongqing chicken with chilies. everyone knows i'm a spice enthusiast, eating the most fiery stuff on the planet, blowing my nose with decorum. the last dish, the chicken, was piled with about a full cup of long red chili peppers, smoky with seeds intact. not too hot at first bite, but it was the kind of spicy heat that sustained and layered with time. my tummy seemed okay, but got worse and worse as we left to head back to the subway station. i have to apologize profusely to those who attended artbeat and went through the davis square T stop, but, yeah, i don't have to go into detail here, but i'm sorry for the mess. i napped away the rest of the afternoon.

then last night (bottle of pepto bismol on person) niknak and i went to check out the PlusOne concert at art interactive. a pleasant little saturday endeavour to check out the IDM + musique concrete scene in cambridge as well as check out this guy, patrick mcginley a.k.a murmer, from the UK. nak had heard of his radio show and was curious. as we went in, i noticed the complete random diversity of the crowd: indie kids, yuppie folks, old people (!). small cozy space, so we sat in front. mike bullock was first and it was the typical apple laptop + mixer + knobfest show. i kind of zoned out, but noticed when he started fiddling with his iPod. why the heck would he use an iPod when he has his laptop right there? it was a random mash of noise and rumbles and clinks, with some requisite ear-splitting siren-like wails coming in and out of the blaze. we popped in our earplugs (i bet we looked nerdy) as the volume went to extremes. at the end, he got this electric guitar and strummed it with questionable aplomb. yawns were seen throughout the set.

i feel remotely in touch with listening to IDM music, but i really don't get this kind of music performance, and it's a shame that it feels better to experience NOT LIVE than live. most of the IDM shows i've seen are kind of like this, with the laptop and the geekguy behind it and the audience sitting like limp fish. why can't the live performance be more than just that? some suggestions: increase the visual aspect. anything from projected colorful visualisations to veiled glimpses of what's going on on the laptop might be engaging. it's so hard to 'tell' from the audience perspective what exactly knob-turning or clicking on the laptop does, since the mapping always shifts. at least you know when a violinist's bow goes back and forth, say, the sound emanating from the instrument will respond in kind. niknak and i discussed the immense intellectual potential of program notes, or at least words from the artist about the music, to frame the piece and orient the listener. otherwise, experimental music can sound completely random and without course, even though the artist has a hidden agenda behind the blips and bleeps. i'm also kind of distraught about the complete lack of diversity in IDM artists... let's see, do you know any who are female? most of them are white, pasty, geeky men. not that there's anything wrong with white, pasty, geeky men, but the lack of other sorts of representation is kind of disappointing.

the murmer guy was relatively better in scope; he had a touch of performance art aspect to it, especially in the beginning. he had about 10-15 small violin-shaped tuners strewn about the space that played in tandem, their frequencies beaming and beating in dialogues with each other. one was even surprisingly taped beneath my seat; i was momentarily disconcerted when he approached and reached under my chair, but then i realised i had chosen the special seat. he also was more focused in his 'instrumentation' in the later parts of the set, just using a sampler, mixer, and this strange wiry electric thing which he played with a bow. very ambient, but a bit too much so at times. the set ended with a lonnnng extended french movie soundtrack dialogue with a rumble layered underneath. hoookay. it was better, but still rather confusing. is the point of this music not to understand? that seems so pretentious. in any case, i think we'll go back to some of the other Xgames concerts at art interactive, but it really is puzzling how these performers really get off with giving such wet-blanket performances.

hopefully next week's 'clash of the superheroes' concert at bill's bar will be a little more enlightening, or at least fun. details from boston phoenix: Playing video games to make music to play video games to - how Spacemen 3 of them! At tonight's Playstation geek-out "Clash of the Superheroes," contenders go head-to-head on Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Guilty Gear X2 #Reload - that is, if they can keep their Hulk on while a half-dozen glitch superstars set their laptops to annihilate | with IDM deity Keef Fullerton Whitman as Hrvatski and drillatronix jackhammerer Dev/Null + Aliens at Home + 2 Bit Vision + DMNZ + Square | Bill's Bar, 5 Lansdowne St, Boston | 9 pm | $7 | 617.421.9678.

we're going to see hrvatski (which we've played on sigtronica on occasion.) keef? his name is keith fullerton whitman. by the way, he was at the art interactive concert last night, helping out with the auxiliary laptop and being the scenester. :)

as knitting goes (it's been off and on lately, but still strong in spirit), i'm in the last stages for the charlotte sweater. completing the collar and seaming are on the agenda tonight. will dunk tonight for blocking... stay tuned for finished pictures! cross your fingers, it's my first full sweater ever. wish me luck.

the theresa sweater is getting cuter as i'm churning through the sleeves. thank goodness my niece is short! i almost wish i could knit sleeves lengthwise rather than widthwise, as the turning-of-work and occasional detangling two skeins of yarn seems to be the most time-consuming part of the process. does this procedure even exist?

i can't wait until i have a new FO! that means new yarn for me, right? the cabled riding jacket in loop-d-loop looks sweeter and sweeter. any recommendations for a heavy worsted (4 sts = 1" on 8 needles) wool blend that will take cables well and won't be too thick or heavy? the yarn in the pattern is mostly merino fine vermont wool, worsted. i'm contemplating rowanspun aran or debbie bliss aran tweed, but the andean silk on knitpicks is also a consideration.

things to look forward to: a visit from superdesigner diana this week and seeing friends again at the 21f gathering at parsons next week.

project in queue: sewn handbag using my db-db pixel vixen as lining. a girl's gotta be discreet.

Monday, July 11, 2005

i remember seeing this in wired a bit ago, but a friend (who's working at yohji yamamoto in nyc, w00t!) just passed along an article about the same cornell crocheting professor published in the nytimes today. (come on new york, that news is soooo last month.) :) daina taimina is a heroine for crafty mathematicians everywhere!

anyway, yet again with this project [crocheting hyperbolic spaces and other such mathematical forms] i became overcome with wonder and curiosity, so thus a search for related online dirt commenced...

nytimes article on daina taimina's crocheted hyperbolic spaces

home of mathematical knitting has all the links and photos and names. paparazzi shot of nicky epstein with daina! a couple treats include:

pic of lorenz manifold

pic of platonic solid skeletons (so cute! paul bamberg would be proud)

la dee dah, cmliu googles away.

i'm probably the last person on earth to know about this, but wow:
not the knitting you know exhibit in washington dc this summer. maybe i can check it out if i head home sometime before september.

i want that copper camisole. bleed, baby, bleed.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

the luscious leafy scarf is complete. so comfy-cozy! wool, silk, cashmere... hoping the recipient can wear it on multiple occasions! (don't worry, the gifting will be later, and not right now in this 90 degree weather. ai-ya.)

as i'm in the midst of all these projects (ebbing and flowing... bi-directional, i assure you!) i'm in the mood to disclose some rants and raves.

top things i love about knitting:
  1. working with the most supersoft, supersmooth luxury yarn.
  2. finding a spectacular pattern, finding a magnificent color, and smooshing them together to my interminable liking
  3. discovering a seemingly endless bounty of resource and support between my stitch 'n' bitch, knitting blogs, and online forums
  4. making gifts for friends and family and crafting a piece that will really show how much (and in what color!) i care for them
  5. being a crazy lady and getting my knit on in public
also among the above list are manuevering through highly elaborate cable or open-work patterns (i absolutely adore the 'a-ha' moment of completing a cable, and you all know how obsessed i am with knitted leaves), admiring shiny pretty things (i am so in love with adrienne vittadini fiora *drool*), and being a complete couture-pattern addict.

top things i hate wish i were more predisposed to like:
  1. weaving in ends. it always seems like such an anticlimactic end. c'mon, don't you just want to bind off with a bang and then yell to the hilltops that you're finished? instead, you hunker down with your needle and get a million buggers back into the woodwork. necessary, true, but not my cup of tea.
  2. large expanses of straight-up stockinette. i love the texture and silkiness, of course! but it gets so repetitive after a while. this is what i'm learning with the theresa sweater. thank goodness it's child-sized, but in the future i'll try to find patterns that at least have some shaping going on every few rows, since "continue St st even for 108 rows" can be a little challenging in the patience department (in which i'm woefully lacking).
  3. aluminum needles. i have some pairs that my mother used to use--long metal straights in various colors. pretty, yes; wieldy, no. perhaps i'm completely spoiled now with my denise set and some pairs of bamboo, but the metal ones are so heavy and so slippery. picking up stitches along a collar with one of them made my entire arm ache. do they make titanium needles? the only thing i could find are these titanium crochet hooks. sooooo cool.
so there. whines complete. at least i partially know what makes me gleeful and grumpy... learning along the way!

moving along to boyfriend sweater news. yeah, you heard me.

so niknak and i are totally enthralled with loop-d-loop (i think it's the latent goth in all of us) and we've decided on the zip-off color-block yoke sweater, which has splotches of three colors separated by a gazillion zippers, give or take a few. lots of cool full-fashioning shaping and zipper action, and it'll be even more gratifying when he shall let me wear it on occasion. :)

hooray! it's a full man's sweater, so there's a lot of yarn, folks. it takes 16 skeins of needful yarns/filtes king "modigliani", which is a bulky tubular merino wool. i love nak, but i'd rather shower him with $120 worth of spicy dumplings than one laborful sweater. this train of thought always brings me to knitpicks, surprise, surprise.

i hope knitpicks will start to carry more bulky yarn, because i do tend to go off in that territory, and knitpicks is so darn amazing and affordable! merino wool... they do have it in DK weight... would it be economical to double-strand it? would that work for the pattern gauge (14 sts = 4")? do i know what i'm doing?

this article on double/triple/nple stranding for gauge adjustment saved me. go irrational square roots! so, after doing some calculating, i think doubling up on the knitpicks merino will work (the numbers say i'll have a gauge of 15 sts, which should be good enough to finagle; anyway, nak is weeeee!) and the entire MAN SWEATER (not a vest, not a sherpa hat, not a wristwarmer) will cost a whopping $43. oh yeah! i do know the unfortunate bleeding incident with grumperina (don't worry, it's relatively non-violent), but us sigtronic folks put our heads together and went with the colors storm (dark blue blue), cinnamon (dark nutty brown), and nutmeg (heathery beige). yay yay zipzipzip.

'tis the news update for now. time for dim-sum. now where are those 600 dumplings i ordered...?

Friday, July 08, 2005

graduating works and birthing WIPs are in the mix. [i love milestones.] let us proceed...

string finish (tahki shawl) {

return "yay it's done!";

pictures forthcoming (yes, yes, they all are, dear readers). but the mit stitch + bitch ladies seemed to like it! so did nak and dbdbking. :) a tad awkward to wear (getting in and out of thing is like winding oneself around a bobbin and a half) but it certainly is a glamour piece. i'm hugely pleased that i used lion brand instead of some other ridiculously expensive superbulky yarn since it probably wouldn't have made the pattern any more wearable. i have about half a megaskein left, so maybe a cute hat or cowl can be managed from the leftovers. some instant gratification project for one rainy day, another excuse to wield the size 15 baseball bats...

so, new and current WIPs to celebrate the FO above (my ratio is excellent, no?):
  • fingerless nymph gloves (i finished one, the second one looms)
  • a beayuuuutiful leaf-adorned scarf in jo sharp silkroad ultra for a secret recipient (a quick finish)
  • the charlotte sweater from kim hargreaves (in the last stages! just need to seam together and complete the ribbed collar)
  • the theresa sweater from debbie bliss junior knits in knitpicks shine (the back is finished, now working on the front pieces)
  • corkscrew scarf from teva durham's loop-d-loop in berroco quest color (easy and methodical, and the color is so robot-a-swimming)
  • the sad rotund hedgehog who has a face and a furry neck but not much else
to the left: the green leafy scarf, theresa looking all shiny and smooth, and the charlotte pieces sighing under the luscious weight of loop-d-loop's magnificence

WIPs on the radar:
  • gedifra lace sweater in the burgundy merino stretch
  • a million other lustful items in loop-d-loop and various IK and VK issues
so, at this exponential rate i should be working on approximately 25,391 projects simultaneously within the next year. i love knowing i can put my applied math knowledge to good use.

guess who's 25?

read the birthday news on cnn!

to celebrate, here is the best of pac-man presence via the beautifully and meticulously archived pieces at x-entertainment:
also, a secret hug to the much maligned pinky, inky, blinky, and clyde. especially blinky.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

heehee. so i just ran bliu blog through the w3 css validator and smugly sat back as 428 errors steamrollered across my screen and into my waiting lap. woo -- try to beat that figure!

i'm proud to say that i've trimmed the list to 182 errors in the span of 15 minutes. however, much pruning to do. ironic to all those who know me, i'm woefully old-school... can we say 'child of html 4.0'?

may the CSS gods forgive me. [no smiting though. that comes later.]

listen :: susumu yakota :: cat & mouse

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

recipe for fingerless forest nymph gloves
by christine liu

adapted from mikado gloves and leaf doodad from nicky epstein

size: to fit christine's short, thick piano hands

jo sharp silkroad ultra, [85% wool, 10% silk, 5% cashmere; 60yd/55m per 50g skein]; color: elm; 1 skein

1 set US #10.5 double-point needles

something around 13.5 sts and 16 rows = 4", round up or down, be wild

LEAF PATTERN (via nicky epstein via vogue knitting 2004)

[coming soon... pattern is at my work!]

PATTERN [for right glove]

CO 32 sts on dpns.

do 12 rnds of [k2, p2] rib.

arrange stitches so you have 1st needle with 10 sts, 2nd needle with 13 sts, and 2nd needle with 9sts.

for the next 15 rnds, do purls on the 1st needle, leaf pattern on the 2nd, and purls on the 3rd needle. WHILE DOING THIS, decrease 1 stitch every 3 rnds. you should end up with 27 sts.

purl all sts for next 3 rnds, decreasing 1 st at end of each round -- 24 sts.

purl sts for next 2 rnds, increasing 1 st at end of each round -- 26 sts.

continue purling until you finish stitches on the 'leaf' needle.

thumb gusset:
First Rnd: p1, inc one st by pfb (purl front and back of stitch), inc one st by pfb in next st, work to end of rnd.
Next Rnd: p1, inc one st by pfb in next st, p2, inc one st by pfb in next st, work to end of rnd.
Continue increasing in this manner at thumb gusset until there are 10 sts of gusset, not including outer purl sts.
Next Rnd: p2, thread the 10 sts of the gusset onto a scrap piece of yarn and tie loosely (these sts will be worked later), work to end of rnd.

with remaining sts (the finger part) do k2 p2 rib for 3 rnds, and then BO loosely in rib.

get those needles back on the thumb gusset and divide onto 3 dpns. do k2 p2 rib in the round for 3 rnds, and then BO loosely in rib.

repeat for left glove, except place the thumb gusset in the logical place.

weave your ends to your heart's content.

and so you have it. ta-da!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

happy july 4th, everybody.