Saturday, February 27, 2010

February - #44! So Much to See, So Much to Do!

So much has happened since the last blog. I had a birthday (44 - ugh!), we toured Alcatraz Island, and I'm making great progress on my Leviathan sweater. My birthday was a weekend. Andrew is so sweet, and he makes me feel special everyday. He gave me a dozen orangey-peach and yellow roses and a chocolate birthday cake with whipped cream frosting:

I don't know why he put my "1st birthday" on it. It did have Tinkerbell trinkets on the cake.

The day before, we went to my beloved San Francisco. I LOVE San Francisco. We started the day at a BEAUTIFUL restaurant called The Cliff House. It's on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. The views were spectacular. I had a Bellini and we shared a plate of spicy calamari. I definitely want to go back to that place.

Then it was off to Alcatraz. It's a penitentary, what else is there to say. I do like the fact that none of the prisoners had to share a cell. It was interesting. I delighted in the fact that some of the prisoners learned to knit and crochet.

We ended up at my most favorite restaurant, The Crab House. I could eat pounds and pounds of the crab. The garlic fries are to die for also. I'm still trying to decipher the recipe. The navy neckwarmer made its first public appearance:

All in all, it was one of the best birthdays I've ever had. Andrew makes it all so special.

On the hair front, I was scouring You Tube looking for layered haircutting vids, and I came across the CreaCut. It looked so neat that I ordered it. Click here for the You Tube video. I'm a little nervous, because I ordered it on Thursday, now their actual http link doesn't work. I'm needing bangs and layers in my Virgin Malaysian Straight. Hopefully, when I start working (a regular job), I'll be able to purchase a new wig whenever I want. I'll keep no more than 3 at a time. I decided to retire the hybrid virgin malaysian loose curly/Amina. I wore it for the birthday weekend, but she was shedding up a storm. I tried reinforcing the seam in the back by sewing some extra lace on top of it. The neat thing was when I removed the wig, I didn't have to remove the adhesive and tape from my skin. It was still tacky (I'd only had the wig on for 2 days). I put another layer of Vapon over what was still there, and put the Virgin Malaysian Straight right on. I did add a little dark makeup to my bandage/wigcap. Maybe I can do this two or three times a month, to further reduce the manipulation of my real hair (since I know how to do the beehive/spiral cornrow).

Speaking of hair, I finally saw Chris Rock's "Good Hair" yesterday. I LOVED it! I could see the comedy in it. I wish there were more natural haired girls representing. As soon as my hair is shoulder length, I'll be LF free. I think it's easier to take care of natural hair once it's fully embraced and accepted. I can't wait to be able to go to the beach and just jump in the water and not care that my hair is wet. As long as I carry my scrunchies and elastic bands in my bag, I'm cool. No more straightening. Just wild, and free, with a few blonde streaks here and there. Patience and tenacity are propelling me towards my goal. I love that the older I get, the more I don't care what other people think. I ran out of my GNC NourishHair caps. I don't really know if they work. I know that the MegaTek works. I will keep using that until forever. I'm trying to go through my products, without buying more. So far, the products (conditioners) that are keepers are: Silk Elements Luxury Moisturizing Conditioner, MegaTek Cell Rebuilder, Nexxus Humectress, and Tressemme Flawless Curls. I like the Organix Vanilla Silk more for the smell. I love the extra virgin olive oil for my deep conditions. Everything else is collecting dust. As for shampoos, I really like the Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo. It's no more that $2! In these recessionist times, who can beat that! Hopefully, I can keep my hair braided and hidden until I can't stand it anymore. I'll eventually remove the bandage and wigcap and wash my braids. I love the path my hair growth is on.

I'm wanting to do more singing videos. Andrew and I have up on deck: No Excuses (Alice In Chains), 9 Crimes (Damien Rice), Down In A Hole (Alice In Chains), and Set the Fire to the Third Bar (Snow Patrol). Up for me solo is Harvest for the World (Isley Bros), Whenever (Maxwell), Why (Annie Lennox), and a million more. I'm doing songs I love and think are great. Not what's popular. I love music.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Visual Progress on the Carrie/Episode 88 Sweater

No, I'm not looking my best. It's Saturday, and... there it is. Here's the progress on my beloved Carrie/Episode 88 sweater. I'm a bit worried about how I'm going to start the point. I can see that the back is too wide, but I like how the neck rolls onto itself. I'm not taking anything down, so I'm going to have to work it out. Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sheddy Lee!

Okay, I have on the Rex Malaysian Loose Curly/Amina hybrid, and she's shedding up a hair storm. My boyfriend called me Sheddy Lee (in honor of Rush's bassist, Geddy Lee). It was funny, but I thought I forbade him to make jokes when it comes to hair. Anyway, I'm leaving a trail of hair everywhere. I did a good job doing my first semi behive braiding:

Since I did it myself, it's easier for me to start in the back and work my way around. Here are the results:

I'm still doing the bandage wrap on top of my wigcap. I'm leaving my nape out so it doesn't pull, because I refuse to shave it up anymore:

I put a thin strip of Supertape in the part, then layed the bandage over it. I put the Walker No Shine tape (uncut)over that area (actually all around the bandage edge), then followed my usual adhesive layering routine. I'm not planning on wearing my hair up outside of the house. There are also huge bald spots in the back. I think this may be my last time wearing this one, until I get another loose curly (#1B, 18" virgin malaysian, loose curly). I hope this holds up through my birthday this weekend.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm not bored, I'm just fickle. I admit it!

I combed my hair out, and I'm loving the length. I'm really thinking that even chin length is possible by December 2010. I'm sick of the orangey-auburn color though. I'm finding comfort in rinses. I went to Target today, and while getting laundry detergent, I saw some Clairol Natural Instints. I picked up the light ash brown color. I know I said I wouldn't do anything else to my hair until April, but my hair was screaming. This is the very reason why I like to keep my hair braided and up under lace wigs. They protect me from myself. I like the results. I'm going to keep rinsing, since they don't seem to last longer than a month. And that resistant gray spot, forget about it!
Here are the befores:

The afters:

Good thing I'm braiding my hair and doing my app tomorrow. The last time I did an app, I parted my hair on my nape, and put the lace in between the part, so it didn't pull on my nape hairs. I'm not shaving my nape anymore, since my hair is growing out. I may lose some strands here and there, but that can be hidden by the hair on the other side of the part. It's not long enough to pull into a ponytail, or pigtail yet.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Navy Neck Warmer is Finished!

I love the navy neckwarmer. Only took 2 days! In the round! No seam! The only hard part was when I had to increase the purl stitch before and after the knit stitch. I had to pick the yarn over from the left hand needle and twist it with the right hand needle, and put it back on the left hand needle, then knit it over to the right hand needle... whew! That was all to lessen the hole that the yarn over would make, because I couldn't close it up on a purl row, since I was knitting every row. I also had to double all the rows (the second knit row subbed as the purl row). I ended up with 198 stitches. I had to do the gauge conversion math - not easy, but doable. Yes, it still resembles a lamp shade. It's to be worn under my wool peacoat. I hope it's cold. I'm wearing it to San Francisco next weekend, to shield my neck from the perilous winds of the ferry boat.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Caved, Again!

I couldn't comb through my hair this morning! It hurt so much. I know that I wanted to wait until April to textlax, but I had to! With my hair growing as much as it is, I think I have to text every month. I had to do it twice, because it didn't relax as much as I wanted it to. Here are the results (my hair is still wet):

From now on, that's going to be my sign - not being able to feel my scalp and not being able to comb my hair. I'm loving the length. I'm getting some nice hang time.

On the knitting front, I decided to do another neck warmer in navy blue, and I revised the pattern. I'm using size 10 needles, and medium (#4) yarn, and I had to do the gauge math to figure out how many stitches to cast on to get the same size. So far so good:

I'm also doing it in the round so I don't have to sew any seams. I wanted it to be reversible, but some of the yarn had knots in it and they show through on the "wrong" side. I hate sewing seams, and anytime I can convert a pattern, I'm on it!

Making progress on the Carrie/Episode 88 sweater. I've seperated for the armholes, the back, and the two fronts. It's so heavy and awkward, that I'm only going to do one section at a time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

February Hair Update

I'm so tempted to textlax today, but I'm going to try and hold off. I'm putting on the hybrid Amina/Malaysian Wavy on Friday (the 19th). So, for now, it's just wild and free. I've Mega-Tekked once, did a deep condition once, and a couple of co-washes. Everytime I stick my hands in my hair, I want to run for my squeeze bottle full of my "hair softener".

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Quick Knitting Project - DROPS Neck Warmer Pattern 98-14

I knocked this neck warmer out in 4 hours! It's exactly what I wanted. Andrew thinks it looks like a lampshade. Now, I want to make a navy blue one. I love the patterns on the DROPS site. I'm still making progress on the Carrie/Episode 88 sweater, but it's going to be a long time before it's finished.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

P90X - I'm scared, but I'm ready!

There is no magical elixir to whip us into shape. I was going to say "thin", but "thin" doesn't always mean healthy. I want to be healthy, but comfortably fit into my clothes. I'm not getting any bigger, but I'm not getting any smaller either. We're getting ready to do the P90X program (all we need is a heart rate monitor). We have the program (DVDs and manuals), weights, the resistance bands, the Total Gym, and the exercise bike (ha). I'm trying to get Andrew to watch the videos with me, but he fell asleep on it last night. I don't want to go into it without knowing what they are, at first. I'm so out of shape, but I have to do this. It's a challenge, and I want it to be a fun challenge. The neat thing is that we already eat what's on the food list. There's nothing extra, or out of the ordinary, except for the supplements. I do want to do the recovery shakes, but I'll stick with the whey protein powder that we already have. We need to get more. I'm ready to go. I want to be in shape when I go back home in November.

"Natural" Hair Progress/Next Knitting Project

I removed the virgin malaysian straight today, and this is what my hair looked like (after washing, conditioning (with a little MegaTek and Shea Butter), drying, and adding some Moroccan Aragan Oil:

I'm so tempted to textlax, but I did it just a month ago (1/6 to be exact). I'm going to try and hold out until April. As long as I can keep it braided up and hidden under my LFs, I can hold out. I'm not going to take 2010 progress pics (for the grid above) until right before I do a new app (the wavy malaysian hybrid) in a couple of days. My malaysian straight is shedding for some odd reason. The knots haven't been bleached either. Hmmm...

I've restarted on the Carrie/Episode 88 sweater. I pulled back what I started, and created a whole new pattern. I'm knitting from the top down. I actually cast on 310 stitches... 310 STITCHES! I think it takes me an hour just to complete a row. I think it's going to be lovely. The holes are the yarn overs in a leaf pattern that will travel down the spine of the sweater. Here's tonight's progress:

I'm thinking bell sleeves. I'm also thinking that this will look like a fancy snuggie. I'll be knitting on this bad boy for a hundred years. I've got the Icy Hot for my knuckles on deck!

Sade is back!!! She is the textbook example of how it's supposed to be done.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Finished with Colbi's Scarf!

I finally finished Colbi's scarf:

It took 31 days. I love the domino knitting technique. I got two of the domino knitting books by Vivian Hoxbro: Domino Knitting and Knit to be Square: Domino Designs to Knit and Felt. I think I'm going to do a domino hat next.

Next up on the project list is the hooded cowl for Dominique.