Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Now I know I'm not alone

First, I fell in love with cooking and baking.

Then I got a sewing machine.

Later, I learned to knit.

Now I'm learning to spin.

I'm also learning to quilt, upholster and frame.

But hey, at least there's a precedent for my obsession:

Meet Jennifer.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Quick Haiku for the Weekend

Check over at switchingovertoam for a Haiku response.

We need some sunshine
Rainy days, busy weekends
Oh well, time to knit!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Easing the burden

I really enjoyed this column by Kelly Marages on how the rich and fabulous are coopting frugality to be hip, whereas "lunchpackers" like Kelly and me have always been "recessionistas" whether we knew we were or not.

So, if you've noticed, I'm looking for interesting ways to cut back on mass produced goods and manufactured items. It's partly to reduce my ecological footprint, but mostly to save money. Besides that, as Stephanie Pearl-McPhee can attest, it just feels darn clever to answer someone's compliment of your socks/sweater/jacket/(underwear?) with "Oh, you like that? I made it."

So, I plied my yarn last night. Took a little while to figure it out, but I did it. It was late, and I was ready to get it over with, but man, it was so rewarding to have bought a drop spindle on Saturday and have a spindle full of two-ply yarn on Monday evening. This got me thinking: What if I could spin yarn faster and make a more uniform yarn, and then ply it... What if I got one of these:

Or, maybe, one of these:

Something to think about. Perhaps I should just work on getting to know my drop spindle a little better, first. It's not like I have any shortage of yarn right now for projects that need finishing.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

One more addiction to feed

I did something today that I'm not proud of.

I did something today that I told myself for the longest time I wouldn't do.

I did something today that was pleasurable, but will likely end up costing me in the long run.

What did I do?


I started spinning.

Now I can buy fiber and spin it into yarn. With that yarn I can now knit stuff. Talk about cutting out the middleman.

First I start making my own underwear, now I'm keeping warm straight from the sheep's back!


Friday, March 20, 2009

Quick Haiku for the Weekend

Hurry through Friday
No work can keep me from beer
And playing with yarn

Update: My dear over at switching over to AM has posted his own haiku response.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Dreariness and depression surrounds us, and it is often easy to just wallow in it. The economy is bad, newspapers are dying, the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

Instead of freaking out, I make stuff. In fact, The Metallurgist's post on her recent thrifting finds is very encouraging. I'm glad people are getting crafty instead of getting too depressed.

So, in an effort to make old new again, I'm making my own underwear.


Yes, I made my first pair of recycled t-shirt knickers this past weekend. No, I will not model them. (That was actually the first question that Dave asked.)

Are they perfect? No. It's a learning experience. I now know to put more stock into pattern sizes and seam allowances. I'm also a little more practiced with finishing techniques, too. I'll likely make several more pairs.

See? Underwear can help you deal with the economy. Baby steps, people.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Seasonal shift

I can tell that it's spring in Texas because:

- The weather alternates from completely soggy, warm and sunny, to insanely windy and cold.

- Beautiful buds on trees are accompanied by heinous amounts of pollen.

- We had our first six-egg day, which means that, now that the days are longer, all of the chickens are laying!

- Many of our windowsills are covered in seedlings readying for transplant to the garden.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A journey to the center of Texas: Part two.

From my Moleskine:

We walked around Austin and saw the sights ...


Yes, that is a grown man in a cap, karate shirt and UGGs. And a thong. Can't forget the thong.

Let's rewind.

On Wednesday we arrived at our hotel in south Ausitn, showered and headed to South Lamar for happy hour drinks and tacos at Maria's Taco Xpress. Awesome vibe. Great tacos. A great referral from Guy Fieri of Diners Drive-ins and Dives. We shared tacos al pastor (AWESOME) and picadillo tacos (pretty tasty) and their chips and salsa roja (too spicy for me) and we washed it all down with Negro Modelos (with lime=yum). In all, I think you go to Maria's for the tacos (duh) and the atmosphere. The patio is where it's at.

From there we headed downtown. The show was at Antone's, which is off of Lavaca, and within walking distance of the Texas Chili Parlor. We didn't have chili (sorry Matt!), but we swilled some beer (Bass ale for Dave and Tecate with lime for me) and we kept a half-filled suit from toppling over a barstool to his death. Friendly folks throughout, despite the fact that the place was teeming with Longhorns. If you're not a Texan and haven't been in too many Texas honky-tonks, this is as close to the genuine article as you can get to a classic watering hole for the inexperienced.

From there we hoofed it to Antone's to see Doug Burr and Son Volt. Great show at a decent venue. Earplugs are a must. I didn't have my camera all night because the tickets said they weren't allowed, and yet, I saw several. Bonus about Antone's: Lone Star tallboys.

We were there for the whole show and after the encore I snatched the setlist for Dave. It was the night's goal for him, to get ahold of the set list, and then he went and moved the goal posts: He wanted it signed by Jay Farrar, too.

So we waited and waited for Jay to come out. Dave finagled and stratergized until he realized that Jay had most likely gone out the back.

We walked back to the car and found our way to a Whataburger drive-thru and then we made it back to the hotel. We were in bed by 2 a.m.

Thursday we had all day to play and hang out. We got up and got breakfast at Kerbey Lane Cafe. It's a good spot, lots of great breakfast choices and several vegetarian items on the menu. Good coffee, too. After that we went down to the capitol (see previous chapter).

Dave has been to this hat shop downtown, across the street from the Driskill hotel. It's called the Hatbox. It is fantastic. It's near a lot of other funky shops and not too far from the Jamba Juice outside which we saw the half naked man in the karate shirt. I suppose he has a black belt in wigging people out.

We walked around downtown a bit until we were sick of it, which happened pretty quickly. The we headed over to South Lamar to shop for a bit. We ran into Fanny at Fanny's Fabrics and bought some beautiful fabric to cover our dining room chairs.

I asked fanny where we could find a good yarn shop, and she said I'd be blown away by Hill Country Weavers on South Congress. We headed in that direction, and despite construction, we found the shop. Oh. My. God. So much beautiful yarn. Some of the softest, squishiest handspun cashmere skeins... omg.

Anyway. They had a lot of yarns I'd never heard of before, and a lot that my LYS doesn't keep in stock, so I bought these three huge balls (that made Dave giggle ... "huge balls") of chunky microfiber yarn. It's enough to make a cardigan or a long vest. Something cool.

From there we decided to shop a bit on South Congress. There was a great antique shop called Uncommon Objects, and the co-owner had been at the Son Volt show the night before and recognized Dave. Neat!

From there we decided to grab a bite ....

Stay tuned for the next episode!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My sisters know me too well

An e-card I just got from my sister S.:

Message: Hope the economy is not screwing your savings for all your yarn and yoga....

Sunday, March 08, 2009

A journey to the center of Texas: Part one.

From my Moleskine:


If I were to oversimplify this weekend, a long one at that, I'd say that I saw a show, bought some yarn and fabric and went camping with Dave. But it was so much more than that ...

Outside of the ritual, like the stop at the Czech Stop in West, Texas, on our way to Austin, everything about this trip has been an adventure. Dave and I had never been to the capitol together, and I had never been whil it was in session. It was both beautiful and fascinating:

(Ed. Note: If you have limited tolerance for the Texas Star, chances are you'll tire of these photos rather quickly. My mother, though, will likely revel in them. She's a big fan of the iconic five-point star and a major Texana buff.)




A few views of the famous pink dome, made of granite quarried from Marble Falls, Texas. The Texas Capitol building is the largest state capitol building in the U.S. and its dome is taller than our nation's capitol building in Washington, D.C.


The capitol rotunda, with a five-pointed star at the apex that is surrounded by the letters spelling "TEXAS."


A hall leading to representative offices, each having a large, carved wooden doorframe with very detailed frosted glass.


Chairs from the agricultural history display room.


These unique cast door hinges are on every door in the capitol building.


Etched glass on the magnificent doors.


Dave poses on one of the large staircases that lead to the House Chambers.


The Texas House Chambers.


A detailed view of the chandeliers in the House Chambers.


Dave tries to snag a mint that a State Rep. has stashed in their desk.


One of the many large terrazo floor inlays in the capitol building. This one is under the rotunda.


The Texas Senate Chambers.


Detail of the chandelier in the Senate Chambers.



Gallery level of the House Chambers.


Looking to the rotunda from the hallway on the gallery level.


Closer view of the rotunda.


Even closer still.


Hallway to the basement addition.


Terazzo inlay in the basement addition.


One of many Texas DPS officers guarding the capitol building. This one watches over the main concourse in the basement.


A view of the dome through the atrium windows in the basement addition.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Another ridiculous post about hair

I started growing my hair long shortly after I moved to Dallas. I needed a way to have a more professional identity. I've enjoyed having long locks, and now that my hair is so long that it frequently gets caught in my car window and door, I've been thinking about a change in hairstyle.

I've had a lot of different hairstyles/colors.

And now I'm all:


Suggestions? Should I cut it all off again?

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What search terms lead folks to dear ol' DrivingMissDallas?

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Back in the saddle

Hey guys! I'm back from my journey to the center of Texas. I took some really fun and pretty shots that I can't wait to share!


Miss Dallas