Friday, April 27, 2007

In Response...

"wow, that is disgusting. wearing a representation of a tortured rotting corpse in pride" - Anonymous

Individuals are entitled to think and say whatever they'd like to about my work. Of this I have no control. However Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss Anonymous, if you feel the need, desire, uncontrollable compulsion to leave such comments on my blog, then at least have the cojones to own up to the comment. Your venom is much diluted by your lack of courage. Oh, I also encourage you to learn to use proper punctuation and capitalization. Thanks. - The Management

Is it happy hour yet???

The Road to Manchester and Beyond

I'm so excited! I'm now officially registered (as is my mom) for the CGOA conference to be held in Manchester, NH this July. I even through my um, crocheted meat products (oh yeah), into the ring for the fashion show. I am really looking forward to this!

Anyone else going to the Knit and Crochet Show? You show me your class pics and I'll show you mine...

In addition to my upcoming East Coast excursion, I will be traveling Southward to Australia and New Zealand (I freaking love NZ) in September. So far all I know is that a will deplane in Sydney and again in Auckland. Haven't scheduled anything else yet. Any ideas are welcome.

Ahhhh, I love travel!

Scratch that. I love non-work related travel!

Next year the hubs and I are planning a trip to Mongolia. Yes, Mongolia! I need to be able to say that I've actually slept in a yurt...

Happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Yarn for Lunch

I consider myself lucky to live and work in an area perforated by yarn establishments. Makes it mighty easy for me to get a fix on my lunch hour. Anyhoo, a few weeks ago fellow yarn 'ho, stash accumulator and SNB-er, Ellen, asked me if I'd been to Compatto yet.

To which I replied, "Uh, no. What is it?"

Her response went something like this, "Hel-lo, yarn store. Minutes away from your house. Lots of natural fibers like bamboo, silk, alpaca. Nice stuff."

"Hint taken. Toddling thataway as soon as I get a moment. "

Well, my day job got in the way of my plans to purchase more yarn (in person that is...I still bought fiber-age online...yes, I am aware that I have a problem). The last few weeks at the cube farm have been hellish at best, unmitigated torture as standard operating procedure. Really, it's been bad. At any rate, today was the first day I was able to pry myself away from my computer and requisite Lean Cuisine at lunchtime to make a quick dash over to Santa Monica for a visit to Compatto.

Now, I have to say up front that I'm jaded when it comes to yarn establishments. I like an interesting and varied selection of fibers with enough of skeins or hanks of each colorway to make an item larger than a potholder. And when I use terms such as "interesting" and "varied", I am not talking novelty yarn. I hate that stuff. I know lots of people like it, but I don't. However, I completely appreciate the fact that lots of people love it and I happily relinquish my share of that fuzzy, glittery, hairy, shaggy, blitz and bling to those of you who dig it.

What was I saying?

Oh yeah, interesting and varied. Compatto has both. A wonderful sampling of natural fibers running the gamut from beautiful hand-painted silks and wools to sleek and shiny cottons. Oh, and don't forget the corn and bamboo! They also have a nice selection of Jordana Paige bags and a smattering of books, needles and vintage buttons. Also, the store itself is quite welcoming and comfortable. It's small, but nonetheless a worthwhile stop for any self-respecting yarn addict.

You know I didn't leave empty handed either. My rule is buy at least 800 yards or spend $100, whichever comes first. Today, I sufficiently held to the 800 yard minimum. Hey, like I said prior, I know I have a problem.

Compatto Yarn Salon
2112 Wilshire Blvd.(between 21st St. & 22nd St.)
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Phone: 310.453.2130
Fax: 310.453.2134

Hours: Tues through Friday 11-7
Saturday 10-5Sunday 12-5
Closed: Mondays

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sweater Weather

Last week I had one hell of a time at the cube farm my friends. Literally, I was buried under mountains of paper. It was nuts. So nuts in fact that I had little time to (i) read blogs, (ii) answer email and (iii) post on this here boggity blog blog. Needless to say I was so drained upon my return home Friday night that I could do little more than crawl into my bed and fall into deep slumber. Yeah, we're really living in the fast lane here at Chez Linoleum, let me tell ya.

However, despite my cube farm induced brain drain I was nonetheless able to complete a much anticipated (by moi of course) FO this morning! Here it 'tis in all of it's cotton glory...

I know! It's an actual sweater! Designed by me!

True, you've not seen many um, well, accessible items of clothing designed by this Lady of the Linoleum as of yet, but I assure you, I can do clothing. Clothing that is actually stylish! Okay, clothing that is also a little bit funky. But, you have to admit, this little striped and skulled diddy is quite wearable.

Anyhoo, this skully sweater is a pattern that I modified from an original design that I did during my February design for mags month from hell. The original sweater was done in a different size range (tweens to teens) and in a completely different fiber. I had to size upward for this baby and make a few modifications to fit my um, well, boobies. I also made a change from the original acrylic blend yarn to Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece, which is a dream to work with.

Now really, I'm not a huge fan of crocheted form-fitting garments. Generally, I believe crochet to be too structured for this purpose. However, I swatched A LOT. And I came up with a hook to fiber ratio that allowed the fabric some give. Even the intarsia skull motif didn't turn out too stiff and thick. I do, however, plan to modify this pattern into a knitted version. I also plan to create a few alternate motifs, for this is a good "basic" Spring/Summer design that I can rock myriad ways.

I will definitely let you know when I spot this sweater pattern's kin on the shelves of your local bookseller's magazine section.

In addition, the publisher of Kooky Crochet sent out final cover pics for the book...

Pretty cool, eh?

Here's to a wonderful week ahead everyone! I missed you all!!

Copyright 2007 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I Wanna Be "B"

I am often asked how I am able to design and complete such a large number of projects on a weekly, monthly, yearly basis while simultaneously gainfully employed (40+ hours a week) on a management team of a major investment banking practice and playing the role of wife and mother to boot. Well my friends, I am your classic example of a Type A personality, a state of being in which I used to take much pride. Really, until about six months ago, I considered myself to be a bit like Wonder Woman…uh, without the satin one-piece. Red boots and cape…check.

Really though, I thought I could achieve anything (cube farm promotions, future design empire…seriously what can I NOT do?), endure everything (deaths, husband out of work…pish posh), with time to spare and money in my pocket. Yep, I think the term “deluded” fits my past perceptions of self quite nicely, thank you very much. What was the Windex on the rag that wiped my lens-turned-inward clean for the first time, well, ever?

A trip to the doctor. A trip to the doctor which indicated that my blood pressure is high. I mean, dangerously high.

Needless to say my high horse was immediately cut down to size. Um yeah, like pony-size.

How could I have high blood pressure? I’m only 37 years old. I eat a relatively healthy diet. Okay, for the last few years I haven’t exercised at all. Hey, I’ve been crocheting and knitting and blogging, what can I say? Did I mention that I am Linda Carter incarnate? I’ve got the boots and cape to prove it.

Apparently, these arguments did nothing to sway the cuff, nor my doctor’s mind. I have high blood pressure and according to both, I need to make aggressive life style changes combined with medication to get my hypertension under control.

I just don’t remember watching Linda Carter down her daily BP meds at the beginning of every Wonder Woman episode. This sucks.

After a plethora of imaginary angina attacks (really though, they seemed real at the time) and a lot (read: overkill) of feeling sorry for myself, I got on a regimen of meds, kicked meat (not the crocheted kind, don’t you worry your pretty little heads) in favor of a vegetarian diet with sodium at a low and yes, I hired a personal trainer (I know, totally bourgeois…whatever) in an attempt to remake my life and my priorities while simultaneously regaining my cardiac health. An early exit just isn’t in the cards for me peeps. I’ve got too much to crochet and knit after all. Not to mention the fact that I have a daughter, husband, mother and siblings who need me.

At any rate, the training sessions began last night and one of the primary reasons I hired my particular personal trainer dude, is that in addition to teaching everything martial arts he says he’ll also teach me to relax my mind as well as my body with a discipline (yes, that's a Type A word...give me a break) of yoga, tai chi and guided meditation.

Relaxation? What the hell is that?

Believe you me, relaxation is a foreign concept to me. I am a little high-strung after all and learning how to ignore time, take it easy and just breathe, for goodness sake, is really difficult for me! However, I’m willing to give it a try. If I want to be around for the long haul, I have to make the effort.

So, dear readers, let me now ask for your patience and understanding. In an effort to slow myself down a bit I may not leave a comment on your blog for a while. Doesn’t mean I’m not visiting. If you’ve sent me an email and you haven’t received a response from me, just send me a little virtual nudge. I am slower than molasses with regard to writing up my patterns…have no fear, this shouldn’t get any slower. I don’t know that all of this required relaxation will stunt my creative process and turn my blog to blah-g, but I’m hoping it won’t. Is that even possible? I don’t know.

Can I just go back to Type A mode for a sec?

Okay. Life changes are a bitch!

Back to happy healthy mode.

*Comforting, soothing music begins to play.*

I’m a little scared, a lot motivated and my vision is becoming clear…there’s definitely something to be said for coming in second place.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Okay, I know that I've been harping on movies and celebrities and the like for the past couple of weeks and you're probably all sick to death of my blather. Nonetheless I must state that I am anxiously awaiting this film's release. Come on! The title alone is enough to send me racing toward the theater at top speed so that I may feverishly hand over my 14 bucks to the ticket-jockey, only to breathe a sigh of relief after obtaining the actual admittance slip that not only will assure my buttocks placement in a cinema seat, but a spot in the nachos queue as well. Okay, so I kinda like Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (and nachos). Actually, I love them (all). And my husband knows it. And yes, he's okay with it as long as I don't go (cheesy-substitute) crazy stalker chick on him.

I'm so excited! In fact, I believe I need to do a little Simon and Nick marathon in prep for this cinematic event. I'll start it off with the classic, Shaun of the Dead, followed by a little Spaced, rounding it out with a bit of Hyperdrive and finally, Kinky Boots.

However, I can't let my movie mission deter me from yet another cool event taking place this weekend. Woo hoo! Nuthin' like used magical sooplies to make this Lady loopy!

Happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Elements of Style

Over the years I've clung to a pick-list of peeps that I deem to be icons of style. In my late teens and twenties I loved the way these chickadees worked their respective looks...

Paloma Picasso...

Ava Gardner...


And yes, I loved (and will always love) Lucy...

There's something about the look of racy red lipstick combined with ebony or red hair that's always appealed to me. For years I sported either hair the color of glowing embers or deep mahogany and yes, I own every, single, shade of red lipstick MAC or Nars can pop into a tube. However, as I ease not-so-effortlessly into my, ahem, late thirties, I've become enamoured of stylish icons that, shall we say, favor the frost over the gloss.

I give you...

Bea Arthur from her Maude years...

Agnes Moorehead as the beguiling and elder Bewitched, Endora...

And come on, Mrs. Roper (the awesome Audra Lindley)? Love her (and Stanley too)!

I'm telling you...I'm ready for my muumuu years. Most chicks are trying to push back the hands of time with a little nip/tuck and Botox. I, my friends, am totally looking forward to garish frocks that are reminiscent of a yurt in style and cut and of course, blue and pink hair rinses. I say, embrace yer wrinkles with style, attitude and ginormous printed flowers! Oh, and hairnets and orange lipstick (okay, I already wear that hue...often) and curlers and colorful bangles and hell, fuzzy slippers no matter the time of day. After all, when I hit my geriatric years I want to be colorful as well as comfy. Screw trends and hipster fashion...that's for young whipper snappers. Nope, for me it'll be all about the caftan...with sequins.

With this fashion philosophy in mind, you can imagine how ecstatic I was to find the pattern for this faboo piece of headgear on Knitty...

I don't know about desperate, but I'm all about the housefrau. I couldn't find any pink curlers so the aqua ones had to work. Actually, I'm really liking the way they look up against that Homespun colorway now. Don't you think this lovely faux coif is a stylish alternative to my turban?

Now all I need to conjure up is a knit or crochet caftan to take my not-so-far-in-the-future look to the next level. Oh bet yer polyester-covered rears I'm making one.

Sometimes wrong never seemed so right.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Dinner and a movie and...

Okay, what's better than dinner and a movie?

Dinner and a movie WITH a cosmopolitan (or two) thank you very much.

And I do not mean dinner with cosmo (I had vino with my dinner). I mean a cosmo sitting beside me in the drink holder attached to my theater seat.

No, my living room does not come equipped with theater seats (although that is a splendid idea). And no, I did not smuggle a vodka-filled flask into the theater to enhance my cinematic experience. Actually this Saturday last, my girlfriend Bea and I, being free of our men-folk, decided to have a girl's night out, which meant dinner at Fabiolus and the 21 and over viewing of Blades of Glory at the ArcLight in Hollywood.

Now, how cool is that?

First, a little background. You see, this City of Angels be a vast metropolis where those of us who live more than a few miles apart must come together in the middle to par-tay. So, Bea drove westerly and I drove easterly until we hit midpoint, Hollywoodus Maximus, where there is normally great Italian food to be had a mere city block from the theater which hosts grown-ups only seating for a few of their weekend showings.

First stop, Fabiolus Cafe! Bea and I stepped through the front entrance to the restaurant at 5:45 pm only to be greeted by restaurant-goers to the rafters (yes, at 5:45!?!?). Soon, the brainiacs that we are led us to determine that there must be a 7:00-ish show of Wicked at the Pantages before which stomachs must be stuffed as is the way of theater-going peeps. Fortunately though, we were granted passage to a table residing on the back patio and settled into a meal that was slightly inconsistent accompanied by a server who seemed severely harried by the crowded midst.

Despite the din, I allotted to begin my Fabiolus feast with a glass of 2003 Mirassou Pinot Noir, a nice elixir sporting a few legs from the Central Coast. Bea, feeling the Italian vibe, indulged in a glass of Chianti. Vino in hands, we then began the unfamiliar-for-Fabiolus-wait-to-place-our-order foisted upon us by our scattered server. Eventually however, he made his way to our table, sweaty and stressed, to accept our dinner selections: gnocchi for Bea and eggplant parmigiana para mia. I didn't ask my girlfriend about her meal, but my entree was as unsurprising in it's range of flavors as it was frigid in the center. Very disappointing and as I've said before, not the norm for this little bistro.

Dinner complete, I wasn't about to let a little breaded yet chilly aubergine turn my festive mood downward for I was off to the cinema-with-snackBAR where cosmopolitan infused laughter was sure to be had. Yep, nothing like vodka and Will Ferrell to invoke the jovial spirits.

So, Blades of Glory??? It was great fun!

No, my terse review is not solely due to imbibing a cosmic duo.

Really, it was an entertaining flick; quintessential Will Ferrell. If you like Mr. Ferrell's brand of comedy, you're sure to enjoy this movie. And Jon Heder? His coif alone was enough to keep me giggling throughout the film.

If you're not knee deep in ham and bunnies this weekend go get dinner and a movie (oh and a cosmo too)!

Happy Friday everybody! Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Draft Vader

PLB: Good evening Naboobians. I'm your host for Nightly Naboo, Princess Leia-Buns.

Tonight I'll be bringing you my exclusive interview with the Galaxy's most wanted evildoer, Draft Vader.

Until recently, public perception held that Vader had perished along with his sordid little Empire at the end of Episode VI due, in part, to some very harrowing mini-furball action. Well, as it turns out our guest, otherwise known as "the dastardly detritus of the universe", actually didn't die along with his idiotic and often dysfunctional Death Star II.

No, when it comes to this evil Lord you can be sure of two things dear viewers: Draft Vader wears the same tired outfit every, single, time he's spotted AND cheating death is pretty much second nature to him. So alive and well after the fuzz-ball adventure flick concluded, Vader went underground in order to regroup and rebuild his insane, if often bungling, army. And as if that weren't enough, to make matters worse Vader has been waging a war of terror upon our reborn Galactic Republic for the last several months, often using our beloved home world for target practice. Now that, my adoring audience, is not very nice.

So, Mr. Vader, what have you got to say for yourself?

DV: I am your father.

PLB: What? You're not my father. King of the Buns is my father. Actually, you don't even look, well, male, this close up. Sperm donor you are not.

DV: I am your mother.

*PLB removes her galactic glasses from atop her nose.*

PLB: Um, no, you're not my mother either. Hel-lo? Everyone knows my mother is Queen Cinn-a-buns, sole heir to THE Naboo Bun Dominion.

I come from a long line of proud Buns, thank you very much.

Tell me, your headgear looks as if it's...

No, it can't be...

*Returns cosmic coke bottles to front of face.*

Is your helmet cro-cheted?

And are those Guinness cans?

I didn't think that the Trade Federation was able to afford the import tax on that Earth-based Irish brew...

DV: I am your bartender.

PLB: You are not my bartender. My bartender is named Howard. He works nights at Studio Naboo and that man makes a mean Naboobian Sling. I hardly think that Howard would be rebuilding an evil empire while donning a crocheted Guinness can helmet by day and also working nights at the club. The man has to sleep after all!

*Removes spacey spectacles.*

Is that helmet thingie crocheted from acrylic yarn?

I mean, I know that there are new Super Naboo Yarn Marts popping up all over the planet's surface, but come on! Couldn't you pick a softer, more pliable fiber to use?

Red Heart Super Saver is so last galactic empire.

DV: I am your hooker.

*PLB returns galactic goggles atop her nose.*

PLB: Listen Mr...aaah, no,, no...oh, I know...freak with the can helmet! I'm not touching that one with a ten-foot light saber.

*Removes interstellar rims.*

On second know who I think you are?

I think you're crazy!

I think we should call your new army Stormpoopers instead of Stormtroopers! Yeah!

*Replaces interplanetary peepers to bridge of nose.*

And I think your helmet is stupid!

Actually, I think you're stupid!

*Sheds third and fourth cybernetic eyes.*


*Smoothing out buns while returning bionic blinkers to top of nose.*

This has been Princess Leia-Buns with an exclusive...

DV: I am your bun warmer.

PLB: Oh, will you shut up! Jeez!

Well folks, that was illuminating was it not? I think Draft-In-A-Can Vader needs a tighter jacket, if you know what I mean.

*Takes her universal shades off one more time.*

Princess Leia-Buns here, wishing all of Naboo a nightie night...

Debbie, this one's dedicated to you and Tin Can Alley!

Crochet Stats-O-Rama

More pics courtesy of my darker half, none other than the hubster:

With front vent attached...

Without vent...

From the back...

Detachable vent...

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver

Hook: US G Hook

Aluminum: 8 cans of Guinness (It was a difficult task for me to down all of this dark goodness in a can, but I was drinking for the crochet cause. What do you want from me?)

Pattern: It's all me.

Copyright 2007 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.