Monday, June 29, 2009

I don't need a passport to walk on this earth...

This song is called Hello Bonjour and is available on Michael Franti and Spearhead's album Yell Fire!

I think Michael Franti says it all. I'm leaving really really early tomorrow. I'm so sad to say goodbye to my new friends, but excited to make new ones! Ceci and my Argentine "Banana FoFana" family threw me a "surprise" party (the surprise had to be aborted when I made plans to go out this evening! As for Banana FoFana, I'll explain that another time!). I'm putting (parts of) Michael's lyrics below so you can read through them. I'm not packed, and I'm leaving in about 7 hours. I'm sorry this is late!

This video was filmed in Ireland. Pay special attention to 0:09 - 0:13. That blue and yellow flag? Boca Juniors, baby! Argentine soccer...what what!


I don't need a passport
To walk on this earth,
Anywhere I go cause I was made of this earth
Im born of this earth,
I breath of this earth,
And even with the pain I believe in this earth, So
I wake Up every mornin and Im steppin on the floor,
I wake up every mornin and Im stepping out the door
I got faith in the sky,
Faith in the one,
Faith in the people rockin underneath the sun
Cause every bit of land is a holy land and
Every drop of water is a holy water and
Every single child is a son or a daughter of the one Earth mama and the one Earth papa, So
Don't tell a man that he can't come here cause he got brown eyes and a wavy kind of hair, And
Don't tell a woman that she can't go there because she prays a little different to a God up there
You say you're a Christian
Cause God made you
You say you're a Muslim
Cause god made you
You say you're a Hindu and the next man a Jew
Then we all kill each other
Cause God told us to NAH!

-Hello, hello!
-Bonjour, bonjour!
-Hola, hola!
-Konnichiwa, konnichiwa wa!

....complete lyrics available ::here::


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Sunday, June 28, 2009

SA Sunday: Packing up, moving out

Packing up, moving out, originally uploaded by Soasa Designs.

I was going to show you a photo of my packed backpack for our trip, but all of my laundry is still wet, so my bag isn't packed. It's causing me a good deal of stress. Instead I'm going to spend the afternoon reading through some travel guides and packing up my suitcases to put in storage!

I've decided that I can't bear to leave my second BsAs hoop behind. It's my Project Spectrum hoop and it's perfect. I've doubled it up and hopefully it will travel home safely in my suitcase. Cross your fingers for me!

We are in the midst of refining our travel plans, and I have to admit I'm feeling some anxiety. I just feel like we don't have enough time! Maybe I set my heart on accomplishing too much. We're off bright and early Tuesday morning, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to take a deep breath and just let things roll forward. We'll get to what we get to, I suppose. It's going to fly by so fast! I'll try and keep you updated as things change!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

FO: Bariloche or Bust

Click your heels!, originally uploaded by Soasa Designs.

I can't believe I missed WIP Wednesday AND Fiber Friday. I've got so much to do for this trip. I hope this isn't an indication of my blogging to come over the next month. I promise to do my very best to keep you updated, but I refuse to miss an opportunity for a great experience, so I don't promise to stay in an blog when I could be out having a good time:) We'll see where the happy medium lies! I do promise pictures though.

Pattern: Two Toe-Up Socks on One Circular Needle by Kristin Bellehumeur
Size: Unmodified
Materials: 290 yds Fiesta Yarns Ballet in Misty Morning
Needles: US 6 / 4.0 mm
Start Date: June 1, 2009
Finish Date: June 25, 2009
On Ravelry

I started these at the beginning of June in hopes that I would have them done by the time I left for my big trip (June 30!!) or at least by the time we got to Bariloche, AR (July 24!). Turns out I got them done way ahead of time! Go me! I didn't knit them very tall because I hate tall socks and I hate it when my socks scrunch down. They're high enough to be comfy with my hiking boots and give me a couple more inches of warmth. They're not my best work, but I'm glad they're done because I'm hoping to whip out one more pair before we arrive in Bariloche. It's going to be cold and we're going to be hiking. I haven't been able to find wool socks here to purchase, so I just have to make them myself.

I knit these with a 1x1 rib with a twisted purl. I like the effect, though they need blocking to even out. The heel is way to shallow do they stretch across the top of my foot in an unflattering way. It was my first shortrow heel, and I'm not sure how I like it. Next time I think I'll do an afterthought heel.

The pattern is great! The yarn is splitty and the colorway is awfully bland for me...but it's really soft. I'm on the fence about it. We'll see how it wears.

Monday, June 22, 2009

And if fate should break my stride, then I'll give you my Vincent to ride...

Richard Thompson - 1952 Vincent Black Lightning from his album Rumor and Sigh

In the interest of full disclosure I loved this song for a long time with no clue that this was Richard Thompson's song*. The first time I heard this song was with my family when we saw Jim Henry perform it on stage with Tracy Grammer. He does a really great job, and we enjoyed it thoroughly. He's damn good on that guitar, and Tracy is stellar on harmony. (The video is down below.) A few months later I was driving home in a snowstorm at 5 in the morning and this song came on the radio. (Gotta love WKZE, they play weird music all day long, but in the early hours of the morning they play really great music. I actually enjoyed my early early morning drives...) In any case, I had to pull the car over because I was moved to tears. Every time I hear Thompson sing this song I cry. It always starts out ith goosebumps and I think I'm going to get by without crying, but the final verse in his incredible voice never fails.

*I also have to admit that I grew up listening to Fairport Convention, but had no idea that Richard Thompson was part of the group until a few months ago. I'm a really horrible music fan. This new addition to my blog has been really good for me in that regard.

Looking for more Music Monday? Click it!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

SA Sunday: Lechucita Vizcachera - Birdwatching

Lechucita Vizcachera, originally uploaded by Soasa Designs.

I spotted this Burrowing Owl while my friends and I were at a polo club outside the city of Buenos Aires. I couldn't believe how close it let me get!

I've just finished my birdwatching class at UCA, and I'm so pumped about how it went! I'm very sad to say goodbye to my professor and my classmates. We were a small, tight-knit group, and we had a lot of fun together. Yesterday we saw some incredibly cool birds, including a father and son pair of Rufescent Tiger-Herons, a whole mess of Monk Parakeets, a Golden-Breasted Woodpecker, and the silly looking Guira Cuckoo (Looks like he's got bad bedhead, right?).


This is a portion of my list of birds that I've identified from Argentina and the US. It's growing, hopefully forever! I'm very excited to take my book with me on my trip and see what else I can find! You can click the image to see it more clearly.

Want more South America Sunday? Click it!

Thinking of you...

Thinking of you..., originally uploaded by Soasa Designs.

Hi Dad!

I had my friend take this photo for me in Mendoza, Argentina while we were touring the vineyards. I couldn't believe it when I saw the John Deere! I had to give it a hug. It made me think of home and of you. I love you! Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fiber Friday: World Wide Knit in Public Day

I wasn't home for World Wide Knit in Public day this year! I knit in public all the time, but that's beside the point. KIP day is a chance to hang out with your friends and do what you love most! Knit!

I ended up participating in a charity knitting event sponsored by Coats. The reality is that the yarn suuuuucked. It was all acrylic crap. I know that it was a promotional thing but they didn't convince me! I actually ended up buggering my shoulder up a bit because I felt like I HAD to finish something. I didn't, and I'm not going to. I feel a bit guilty, but not guilty enough to hurt myself!

I had a really lovely time with my new knitting friends, and even made some even newer friends at the event. It was all very, very overwhelming because everyone spoke Spanish and I didn't know what was going on most of the time, but it was an adventure!

Want more Fiber Friday? Click it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This sweater hates me

I don't know what it is about this sweater! If you click through you'll notice that this photo was taken in February. FEBRUARY, and it's still an accurate representation of this sweater! (Not to mention that I started it on January 1st.) I stole the tips from it a couple months ago, and left a note in the bag stating what size they were. Turns out, I was wrong about the size (which explains why my other project wasn't getting gauge)so when I put the tips back on last week, they were a size too big. I managed to knit 4 inches, at about 300 stitches per round before I realized it was coming out too big. I set it aside for another week. When I picked it up I finally recognized the problem. Riiiiiiiiiip. It is not fun picking up 300 laceweight stitches. NOT FUN.

In any case, I'm knitting on it again, trying to catch myself back up, but because the yarn is coned I can't take it on my trip with it's going to get shelved again in two weeks! Poor sweater...

...Unless (lightbulb!) I can figure out how to wind a center-pull ball off the cone without cutting the working yarn. This really would be the perfect travel project...

Do you have a project that plagues you? Tell me about it!

Want more WIP Wednesday? Click it!


On an unrelated note, insert whining about being sick, forgetting my script the first time I went to the lab for blood work, repeating the hour long trip, crying in public, and having an incredibly bad headache. I miss my mom.

I decided that if there was ever a time for another installment of BSPT this was it. So, without further ado...

Big, small, profound and trivial things I am grateful to have discovered since coming to Argentina:

I can travel. 15 hours in a sleeper bus really isn't all that bad, and it's not very expensive!

I love my 10-15 minute walk from the Subte to UCA and back. It's time to myself.

I am learning to cook, and enjoying it!

Living with a sorority girl scared me into flossing every single day. My teeth are happy for it.

I am living in a foreign country.

I love the small acting troup that sometimes ends up in the same Subte car as me. Sometimes I see them out in the real's like spotting a celebrity!

What are you grateful for? What have you recently discovered? Tell me!!

Want more BSPT? Click it!

Monday, June 15, 2009

On the road again, goin' places that I've never been...

This post isn't going to be just one song, but rather a bunch of songs that either directly relate to travel, or make me want to travel, or that I've always thought of as travel songs!

On the Road Again - Willie Nelson
I know it's kind of cheesy, but what better song to follow my travel map?!

Box of Rain - The Grateful Dead
This one isn't exactly a travel song, but I love these lines and think they fit this situation:
Walk out of any doorway
feel your way, feel your way
like the day before
Maybe you'll find direction
around some corner
where it's been waiting to meet you

Traveler's Prayer - Billy Joel

Che Guevara T-shirt - Richard Shindell

Crocadile Man - Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer
Wouldn't you know it? Whoever recorded that festival, I owe them a great deal.

Looking for more Music Monday? Click it!

SA Sunday: It's a plan!

It's a plan!, originally uploaded by Soasa Designs.

Two weeks from Tuesday my friend Ashley and I will embark on our cross-country adventure! We will be flying up north, then busing down through northwestern Argentina, into Chile, and then down and back into Argentina. This map shows our plans! The towns I hit are the "major" towns, or rather, our base camps. There are great places to see surrounding all of these areas, and we may end up spending some time in those as well! We're very excited, and trying hard to come up with a feasible budget plan for this. Ashley just bought her plane ticket to Jujuy, and I'm working on getting mine as well!

If you'd like to see the map larger so you can actually read some of it, click here!

From the top:
Jujuy, A
Salta, A
Tucuman, A
La Rioja, A
San Juan, A
Mendoza, A
Santiago, C
Valparaiso, C
Vildavia, C
Osorno, C
Bariloche, A
El Bolson, A
Buenos Aires, A

We're very excited! I'm not sure how consistent my blogging will be, but I promise to do my best!

Don't forget that my Etsy Discount Offer is still available, until this Thursday!

Want more SA Sunday? Click it!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fiber Friday: Mandy Greer

Mandy Greer is a Seattle, WA based sculptor who's recent works are about "making visceral transitory states of the human emotional experience tangible through the overabundance of crocheted, knitted and sewn fabric." I can't recall how I stumbled across her blog (though I suspect that Ravelry was involved) but I'm incredibly drawn to her work!

This gorgeous image is a part of her newest process-based installation piece, Mater Matrix Mother and Medium. In this work Greer invites the public to take part in the creation of a 200ft fiber river, incorporating recycled yarns and fabrics, as a way of celebrating the urban streams and creeks of Seattle. She writes, "I want to make a space for dialogue, allowing people to tap into their emotional memories of water and their desires and frustrations concerning our relationship to the environment. Our hands will be knotting together ideas as we ask ourselves 'what has happened to our sense of the sacred quality of water?'"

If you're in Seattle this summer consider taking part! If you can't participate in person, follow along on her project-specific blog MaterMatrixMother

Looking for more Fiber Friday? Click it!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Keep it rolling!

Buy Handmade

Last Thursday when I announced my "Giveaway, of sorts" I said that it would end today. Unfortunately I've been having some technical difficulties with my mailing list, and I don't want them to miss out! I've found a better system and I'm moving forward, but I've decided to extend my offer until next Thursday instead of ending it today! You have another week, so head on over to see how it works!

A huge thank you to all who have participated! The feedback is really helpful for me! Don't forget to pass this on to your friends, because the person who refers the most people gets a surprise gift!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

WIP: Plaid!

WIP: Plaid!, originally uploaded by Soasa Designs.

Ok so admittedly it's very simple, but this here is my very first plaid! I really enjoy it, it's sort of like a puzzle. Next time I'm going to make it much more involved, and I'm still working on figuring out how much I can get away with in regards to wrapping up the sides to minimize all the tails. I feel like I've come a long way since I started my classes with Maria at Mario Vucetich, but it's so strange that I can't talk about weaving in English. I can barely talk about it in Spanish either, but better than this! When I get back to the states I'm going to have to do some reading, in English.

P.S. Still plugging away on Harry Potter and my Bariloche or Bust socks.

Want more WIP Wednesday? Click it!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

I'm jumping on the bandwagon because all the cool kids are doing it!

This week's Ten on Tuesday is 10 things I like to do with "Me" time, though my list is sort of a mix of what I like to do, and where I find me time. I need a lot of alone time, so this list was NOT hard for me.

1: Knit. Knit knit knit knit. Weaving too!

2: Sleep.

3: Cook. I'm learning, and I'm really beginning to enjoy it.

4: Clean. I know this is weird, but when I'm in the mood I love to crank up some music and clean.

5: Blog, and all the activities surrounding blogging, planning posts, taking photos...

6: Work. I know this might seem out of place, but I prefer to work alone. I like getting things done, it gives me a lot of pleasure, and I like when I can focus 100% and get a LOT done.

7: Read. I love to read, but it isn't often that I can convince myself to stop DOING stuff long enough to just sit down with a book. Once I'm into it I'm into it though. When I was younger that was totally different, but now I feel compelled to always be making or doing.

8: Get to places. For example, I walk about 15 minutes between the Subte and my uni. I like to walk alone and listen to some music and bop along. I also love driving to work or school by myself, because I can sing in the car.

9: Bum around the internet. Especially Ravelry, my Google Blog Reader, Etsy and Twitter.

10: Watch movies or tv shows or listen to audiobooks. This one compliments my first item. KNITTING.

11: (Sorry, had to add one more) I love drinking my morning Mate. I drink Mate socially as well, but I love sitting in my room getting my e-mails in order with my Mate.

Monday, June 8, 2009

On a sleepy endless ocean when the world lay in a dream...

This is a song written by the late, great Dave Carter for himself and his partner Tracy Grammer. The song is called Gentle Arms Of Eden and is available on their album Drum Hat Buddha. It's a great album, I highly recommend it!

I didn't become aware of these two until after Dave had passed away, and that saddens me deeply. I was thrilled when I came across this video of them performing live, because I had never seen him play before! Dave and Tracy are another way that I have kept myself close to home while traveling. Their music is so rich and emotional that it moves me to tears at times. When I need to feel close to my family, this is the music I turn to. My younger brother covers a good number of Dave and Tracy's songs, and we have a great time singing them together as a family. This year I'll miss Tracy's performance at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and I'm hoping that my family will sing extra loud for me!

If you would like to hear more from Tracy she has some really great songs up on her MySpace page! I urge you to support her. I can't think of an album of theirs (or her's alone) that I don't recommend!

I have to add a bonus, because I can't only share one song! This is another family favorite. I didn't make this video, it was made by another Dave and Tracy fan. I think it's great!

Tanglewood Tree by Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer from their album Tanglewood Tree.

Want more Music Monday? Click it!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I'm so glad I was in the Colombia section

Yesterday a friend of mine and a friend of hers planned to meet up for some gift shopping in Recoleta. Her friend arrived in a tizzy and said that her friend had 3 tickets to the Argentina vs Colombia World Cup Qualifying game, and would we like to go? $100 pesos each! Practically free, as soccer games go. "Of course!" we shouted. "Let's go!" she said. Game started at 6, and it was 4:15 already.

It wasn't until we were in a cab and positive that we were headed in the right direction that we found out we'd be sitting in the Colombia section because the tickets belonged to the girlfriend of the friend of the friend of my friend, who is Colombian (say that three times fast!).

We were a little nervous, because secretly we were crossing our fingers for Argentina, and we didn't want anyone to find out and beat us up! The truth of the matter is that after 10 minutes in the stadium it was clear that Colombia is SO MUCH MORE FUN than Argentina. We didn't hear a peep from the Argentine fans, but Colombia was all over it!

Game ended Argentina 1 : Colombia 0. After it ended security kept us up in the stands for about 45 minutes to let all the Argentine fans clear out. I've never been to a big sporting event. Is that normal? I can see the sense in it, but at the same time it was really late at night and we were cold and hungry!

The whole thing was a blast. I have lots of video, and I'm going to try and sort it out and piece it together a bit, even though the quality is pretty mediocre.

Because I don't know enough about the teams to give any real commentary, here's someone else's opinion!

Want more SA Sunday? Click it!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's a Giveaway, of sorts!

ETA: CLOSED. Thank you all for your participation and support!

More like a lottery, except everyone wins!

Here's the sitch. I'm coming home in about 2 months and when I get home I'm jumping right back into the Craft Fair circuit. I need to start ordering supplies, and planning projects now so that when I get home I don't waste any time! What I need is feedback. I want to know what you like, and what you don't like. I want to know what I should keep working on, and what I should let go.

The way in which you can help me is simple!
Check out what I've got in my shop, and tell me what you like. There's more than what you see above, so click on over and really look around. Then leave me a comment or a Twitter including the item(s) and what you think!

Why should you do this for me? Because each item has been assigned a random number, and each number relates to a discount, ranging from free shipping to %20 off total purchase. You don't have to use your discount for that item, you can use it for whatever you want! Of course, you don't have to use it at all, if you don't want to! Make sure I can e-mail you (if your address isn't on your blog or something, send it to me) so I can give you your discount code.

One last thing. Spread the word, and ask them to refer to you! The person with the most referrals by next Thursday gets another special surprise!

Some notes:
You have from now until Thursday the 18th.
If you have more than one favorite item that's great! I'll give you the most valuable discount code that applies. Just don't tell me they're all your favorite because that's no help! (Though it is very sweet)
If you don't like anything, or have constructive criticism, I'm always open to that as well!

Please, please help me out people! I need some feedback around here!


Some comments I've gotten off-blog:

Vivbro tweets: "@Soasa Shine Earrings are gorgeous you should have a matching necklace..,Flight Necklace is beautiful too......."

SunShinePatchwork convo'd:
"Now these are unique and beautiful, keep this style up...: Orange Framed
Keep making these and all of your earthy designs....... this necklace is sweet: Earth Goddess Necklace: Flora
These are beautiful, I love them...but theres soooo many on Etsy, scared they are getting played out ya know." Orange"

WIP: Bariloche or Bust

WIP: Bariloche or Bust, originally uploaded by Soasa Designs.

(It's really WIP Thursday morning now, but I figure if I haven't gone to sleep, it's still Wednesday! Thanks for nothing, UCA.)

I'm ending my big trip(which I promise to write more about soon) in Bariloche, Argentina, which is down in Patagonia. It's gonna be cold, especially considering it'll be late July, and I want to see all the outdoor sights! I'm trying to get some socks together so that I don't freeze!

This is my first foray into two at a time socks, and only the second time I've begun toe up socks (the last project is languishing in the closet, at the moment). So far I like it and find that it seems to move the process along, although one negative element I've encountered is that my first attempt was too large. Ripping back 2.5 inches on each sock really hurt. I had to start knitting right away after ripping because I was so afraid I'd just stuff them in the closet too!

I'm using this pattern from Silver with a 1x1 rib twisted on the purl, which I highly recommend, and Ballet from Fiesta, which I don't really recommend. It's soft, but SO splitty, and frogs like a nightmare.

Looking for more WIP Wednesday? Click it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

WIP Say What?

Image a photo of the toes of two socks here. I can´t actually show you that photo because for some unexplained reason UCA has blocked access to (but not Myspace, Facebook, or myriad other sites that other universities, offices and schools have blocked). I thought I was so on the ball, uploading my photo to Flickr before I left so that I could write this post during my break. To paraphrase one of my professors Flickr is a portfolio that you don´t have to carry, but can always look at (assuming you have internet access). Not so here at UCA! Where am I, in China?

In any case, I´ll blog it tonight when I get home. There´s not much sense in talking about something you can´t see!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Canción Sencilla - Simple Song

I have been meaning to write about Richard Shindell since I got to Argentina, but it wasn't until I started Music Monday that I found a way to bring him up. I first heard this song on "Vuelta" which was the first album he released after moving to Buenos Aires. Though I have always loved this song for it's simplicity, it wasn't until I revisited it today that I was able to understand not only all of the words, but also the sentiment. Vuelta means a number of things, including "turn", "return", "journey", "voyage" and "change", all of which are things I am experiencing here, on my adventure. I can't speak for Shindell, but after spending a lot of time with this song (while compiling all the lyrics for the above video) I am beginning to feel as if this is a love song to Argentina, to his new home. I can't say I share his unconditional love, but this is what I strive to feel towards this country. Right now, this is how I feel about my home, in NY.

I've been talking for several weeks (ok, months) with my best friend Amanda, who is currently working in New Orleans, about whether or not she will be coming home. She told me today that she is back in NY for the week, to think about whether to stay in NOLA or not. She tells me all she can think of is New Orleans. It's home to her now. She could sing this song to the city, and mean every word of it.

A note about the subjunctive: Subjunctive is a conjugation in Spanish that can be used in the past, present or future to imply doubt, uncertainty, or flexibility. It's sort of the difference between stating something as fact (I know) or stating something as opinion (I think). When Shindell refers to the fascinating, impenetrable mystery that he doesn't need to understand because his love is certain, that's what he's referring to.

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