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Last Week in the

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									Last Week in the
PROJECT SPACE




 Project Space Report: August 9-14, 2005

           “Thanks for visiting!”          1
                            Last Week in the
                          PROJECT SPACE
                     Number Two: August 8-14, 2005

                       is a Project Space Project by
                           Lisa Anne Auerbach.

    If you missed visiting the Project Space last week, you can read what
    happened in the Project Space here. The Project Space is open Tuesday,
    Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday from 12-5. Itʼs located on the
    scenic Third floor of Building 944 at Fort Barry, across the Golden Gate
    Bridge and a world away from San Francisco. I will be at the Project
    Space until September 3, and I love visitors.

               The Project Space itself is a project of the awesome
            Headlands Center for the Arts (AKA Paradise)
    Dear Project Space,
       Will you trade me a sweater for a dead mouse?
    Powder, Building 960
    Mouse Abatement Engineer

    Dear Powder,
     Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

     Dear Project Space,
       Do you write all these letters yourself?
    Suspicious in Sausalito

    Dear Suspicious,
        As a matter of fact, I do not.

    Dear Project Space,
        Is there a special name for the variety of pompon attached to the end of
    a mitten?
    Sincerely,
    Fingertassel,
    Moorhead, Minnesota, (just visiting)

    Dear FingTass,
        Pompons, tassels, curlicues, and other yarn decor are attached to mittens,
    gloves, and stockings for a variety of reasons, and these embellishments
    can be referred to by a great number of monikers. The most common
    functional decoration for a mitten is the lovingly-made i-cord which connects
    a pair together and runs through the wearerʼs parka sleeves. This i-cord is
    traditionally flourished with small balls of cut yarn. In Wisconsin, this stop-
2   loss system for mittens is called ʻmitten saver.” Californians refer more to
the form than the function with the term “string pair.” The small balls of yarn
(“pom pon” in your letter) also have multiple appellations, not all of them
strictly G-rated. The Inuits in Alaska, have 24 words for these decorative items,
including one which translates loosely as “the egg the penguin throws away
in disgust.” Those from other parts of our great nation refer to these tightly
bound collections of string as “fisticuffs,” “tufts,” “possum balls,” or “hair-pies.”
The most common designation for a frenetic outgrowth of wool on the end of
a mitten is “tassel,” but other terms include: “pigtail,” “fountain of yarn (or
its diminutive “yarnfont” ), “Old Yeller,” “swelterhelter,” “stormdrain,” and
“kittenwitten.”

Dear Project Space,
 IIs marijuana legal in California? I heard it was but I donʼt believe it.
Tokey, Fort Baker

Dear Tokey,
     Since the War on Terror has been replaced by GSAVE (Global Strategy
Against Violent Extremism), the only war our great nation is fighting is the War
on Drugs. Youʼre either with them or against them, and if youʼre with them,
watch out.

Dear Project Space,
     Is it my imagination or is the KQED weekend programming schedule a
distasteful mélange of The Most Annoying Radio Personalities Ever? Seems
that every time I tune my dial westward on a Sat or a Sun, I am greeted by the
megalomaniacal Garrison Keillor, the harsh and giggling Car Guys, or the
mercilessly truncated witticisms of the Puzzlemaster. I thought public radio was
supposed to be calming, but on the weekends I feel like torching my Tivoli and
tossing it from the tenth floor.
Publicly Dismayed, San Francisco, CA

Dear PD,
      We at the Project Space feel your public radio pain. Garrison Keillorʼs
radio show “Prairie Home Companion” has transformed into the stomping
ground of the hostʼs out-of-control ego. What once was a collection of decently
told stories and listenable musical segments has become a disgraceful mess.
And the worse it gets, the more times it gets repeated nationwide on public
radio stations.
   At the Project Space, weʼd rather hear boring news reports or conversations
between very dull people talking about really uninteresting topics, but this sort
of programming is reserved for weekdays only. Our weekend auditory advice:
Slayer.

Dear Ms. Auerbach:
    I hear that knitting is becoming the hobby of choice in South Central thanks
to your pioneering efforts. Just last week, I spotted a young black man at the
intersection of Florence & Normandie looking very smartly dressed in a sweater
with the logo of the Venice Shoreline Gangsta Crips sewn into the chest. Thank
you so much for your community outreach efforts in your neighborhood.
      Mr. Kulkis

Dear Mr. Kulkis,
     The Stitch ʻn Crips knitting club has been going strong for years, and I
certainly cannot take credit for inspiring their activities.                  3
                                                          August 9, 2005
                                                               There was a giant
                                                          yellow Hummer parked
                                                          next to my car this
                                                          morning at SFO. My
                                                          car looked so tiny next
                                                          to it. I really donʼt
                                                          understand what kind
                                                          of person would drive
                                                          a Hummer. I looked into
                                                          the front seat for clues
                                                          and saw a CD called
                                                          “Sacred Chants of the
                                                          Buddha.”
                                                             Published “Last Week
                                                          in the Project Space”
                                                          #1. I do not have my
                                                          long stapler. I wanted
                                                          to bring it back from
                                                          Los Angeles with me,
                                                          but I was worried that
                                                          I wouldnʼt be able to
                                                          take it on the plane.
                                                          It could be a swinging
                                                          hazard or something.
                                                          I was up most of the
                                                          night, unable to sleep,
                                                          thinking about how I
                                                          might get my stapler on
                                                          the airplane. I only had
                                                          a carry-on bag. I had
                                                          a vision of my stapler
                                                          wrapped in bubble
                                                          wrap and checked.
    But this is ridiculous. Who checks their stapler? People check skis and
    surfboards, and one time I saw a high jumper check his high jump stick.
    But a stapler? I couldnʼt sleep. Finally, I decided to leave the stapler in L.A.
    and use the sewing machine to bind the copies. I know itʼs kind of crafty,
    but unless Headlands has one of those long staplers somewhere, I donʼt
    have much of a choice.

       Xeroxed on the second floor. No stapler to be found, so sewed the
    pages.
       Gave a copy of LWPS to Eduardo downstairs. He opened it up and said
    straightaway that Sausalito does not mean little sausage. It means “little
    willow” and was called this by 18th century Spanish explorers on account
    of the little willow trees near the many streams in the area.
       Visitor: A woman staying at the hostel came in around 1. She was in
    the area for a hypnotherapy workshop, but dropped out and now sheʼs
    hiking. Her husband and son are unicycling in the Alps. Sheʼs got a Coker
4   36” and says sheʼll bring it back to the Project Space later so I can try
it out. The last time I was on a unicycle, it was for a story I was doing on
mountain unicycling and it was this womanʼs husband I was unicycling with.
Small world.
   Eduardo came up to check him mail and I hassled him into visiting the
Project      Space. It was difficult for him to pull himself away from People
Magazine, but he managed to put down the celebrity gossip for a few
minutes and take a gander at the sweaters and wool.
  At 2:15, I had a scheduled phone call to make, so I put up a sign on the
door that said, “Iʼm on Cel Phone Hill doing a telephone interview with
Sabrina. Come & eavesdrop.” I walked up there and passed a truck drilling
a hole in the road. On my way in this morning, I had seen this same truck
drilling a hole in another road. I asked the guy holding the reversible stop/
slow sign why they were drilling holes in the roads and he didnʼt know.
He said that the earlier hole was for a retaining wall, but he had no idea
what this hole was for. I suggested that maybe they were drilling to China
and he said that if that were the case, that they would have a long way to
go. China, by the way, is not directly across the center of the earth from
the Marin Headlands anyhow. And
itʼs probably problematic to flaunt
this level of geographic ignorance.
Anyhow, I walked past 960 and
meowed loudly looking for Powder
the cat, but no dice. Then I saw Sarah
on cel phone hill and was excited that
she might be there to eavesdrop on
me, but it turned out she didnʼt see
the sign and just had to make her own
calls.
   Spoke to Sabrina, then back to the
Project Space. Finally started work on
the August 4 sweater, but I figured Iʼd
update it before starting. As of August
4, 1822 American soldiers had been
killed in Iraq. Today it was up to 1838.
Thatʼs a huge jump. August has been
really terrible.
    I cast on the compressed rib Iʼve
been doing lately, but I forgot to
take every third stitch off so instead
of knitting a rib, Iʼm going to have
this pattern go to the bottom with no
ribbing. I started knitting and a couple
came in. They are from Alameda and they were very nice and loved the
sweaters. The man wants to write his memoirs here at Headlands. He loves
the energy and the space here and heʼs planning to write here “even if I
have to write in my car.”
   They left and I started knitting again. I went downstairs to pay for my
copies, then came back up and continued. I got pretty far, but then the
yarn BROKE and a bunch of stitches fell off so I started the tedious process
of putting them back in and reknitting a bunch of stitches and then Grace       5
                                              came back and she said sheʼd bring
                                              her unicycle downstairs so I could
                                              try it out. I went downstairs and got
                                              some proper shoes on and then she
                                              showed up. Itʼs HUGE! I used a pole
                                              and her shoulder to get me started,
                                              but it wasnʼt long until I could ride
                                               around on my own. Itʼs really great.
                                               I love the big tire. So cushy and fun!
                                               Back to redoing the stitches, tying on
                                               new wool... continuing...

                                         Finished front after dinner. I ended
                                         with a few orange rows. I am not
                                         so good at necklines. I think this
                                         is at this very moment my biggest
                                         problem. I am going to start knitting
                                          the back. It says “Freedom frightens
                                          the enemy and itʼs messy.” Thatʼs
                                          some stupid things our president
       says. I think freedom frightens our president more than heʼd like to
    admit.

    August 10, 2005
    Slept like a petrified log last night. Damn I was so tired. Work up bright eyed
    and bushy tailed and did some writing while drinking coffee at the house.
    Got to Project Space and found 18 emails. Thankfully most were junk,
    but some to deal with. Skiing Magazine needs a photo of me for their
    contributorʼs page. Micah needs info on hotels in Bangkok. Fact checker
    at Skiing needs phone numbers. Jay wants a sweater. Michel says hello.
    Etc. Spent the morning at the Project Space once I got here dealing with
    words. A team of inspectors came by to look at the Space. Wrote and sent
    in a project proposal, then walked up Cel Phone Hill to call Sam at Skiing
    about the bio. On the way down, meowed and Tom came out of 960 – with
    Powder! It was my first meeting with this fabled cat. She is beautiful! And
    so sweet. All white with a truncated kinked tail and the most delicate paws
    youʼve ever seen. Loves to sharpen her claws on Tomʼs brown velvet couch.
    A wonderful creature, and I hear sheʼs quite a mouser, too.
    Back at the Project Space, I ate a slice of apple pie for lunch sent three
    photographs and several phone numbers to Skiing. Brad came in with a
    cold head. He was looking for a hat, but itʼs not like I have a hat selection
    available for skinheads. I offered a neck warmer as a stop gap until he got
    a proper hat, but he was concerned about possibly looking ridiculous. I
    gave him a copy of “Last Week.” I only have 2 copies left. I need to do a
    second printing.
      I knit 100 rows of the sweater back and then ran across the field to retrieve
    my notebook, which Iʼd left on my bedside table after writing an anxious to-
    do list last night. I have a rock in my hiking boot and am too lazy to retrieve it.
    Did a second printing of 25. Collated and sewed them.
    Almost done with the back of the sweater and decided to finish the last
6   twenty rows in orange. The orange thread got caught and knit so tightly I
was unable to stitch the row back. So I get to do each stitch by hand. The
fun never stops!
    Fuck. The last twenty rows have never been more difficult. I started
redoing... then I didnʼt go all the way across the row with the lock, so i had
to reset. Then it was all screwy and I think the back lock had more rows
knit than the front so it jammed and now I have to pick back a few rows. I
canʼt believe this. This should be done by now! Itʼs so frustrating and kind of
dangerous to be on the third floor since I feel like really throwing the damn
thing out the window.
     Finally finished and took the back off the machine. I canʼt wait to put
this sweater together, but still have to make the sleeves. Went to dinner
(Mexican!) then to “Show ʻn Tell” which was great and inspiring. 4 artists
and each one completely different and wonderful. Kristen showed videos
using goofiness as a strategy to talk about her larger concerns, themes, and
ideas. Francis invents characters and plays with the history of photography
and with various photographic processes. Brian makes precise and articulate
music. Robin creates cool and surprising combinations of words.
After Show ʻn Tell, I decided that Robin should write a sweater for me, so
I knitted a note for her. Then I designed the sleeves for the sweater. One
says “Reign In Blood” and the other has the iconic graphic of the prisoner
from the Abu Ghraib mess and it says “GSAVE” down the sleeve in set
type. Around the figure, handwriting says “Send Jenna and Barbara” and
also “itʼs so fucked.” Itʼs difficult to put into words my frustrations about
this administration and their insistence about always being correct. “Itʼs so
fucked” may not be the most articulate saying, but it sums up my feelings
pretty well.
    Did the math on the sleeves. Went to the library and hung out. Looked at
websites. There were some new dudes posted on the Fixed Gear Enthusiass
site. Nothing to write home about, but I appreciate the fact that random
dudes all over the world are sending in photos of themselves naked on their
fixies. I donʼt really understand the obsession with track standing. They look
sort of silly. But whatever. Iʼm down with the nakedness.
    Couldnʼt come up with a consensus on whoʼs cuter on Kittenwars: Lucky
or Fenix. I picked Fenix automatically because I like tabbies, but Kristen was
insisting the green eyed Lucky was cuter. So we went on to an argument
about the word “manky.” No one had heard of it and for a moment I had
the terrible feeling that perhaps I made it up or was mistaking it for skanky.
The library is correctly called the “Learn to Read Bar,” and this is doubtless
because of the arguments about linguistics held there. I was relieved to
learn that manky is a British term meaning “ something unpleasantly dirty.”

August 11, 2005
   I tricked myself this morning. I got out of bed with a bolt when I looked
at my watch and it said 9 a.m. I ran downstairs and made coffee. Kristen
had promised an 8:15 trip to the farmerʼs market, but seemed that everyone
was still in bed in the house. I got to the Project Space and it was only 7:15.
Awesome! An early start.
  Started on a sleeve and then Kristen came by and got me and then we saw
new AIR Lenny walking down the street and we kidnapped him and all three
of us went to the farmerʼs market which is near this pretty crazy looking
                                                                                  7
    Frank Lloyd Wright building. Every time we go by, I think we should go
    inside, but weʼre always in a hurry. Itʼs tough enough to leave Headlands,
    and the pull to come back is damn strong.
      Threw produce in the fridge, made coffee and brought it across the field. It
    spilled all over my hand as I walked but thatʼs the price of walking with a full
    cup. Ate chocolate croissant and read email. Nice lady in England wrote:
    your website is very inspirational. Lots of craziness and misunderstandings
    surrounding WhatʼsThat Bug? Website came my way. Weʼre supposed to
    do a calendar. The end of the year is fast approaching, but seems the
    project is mired in complexity. Chris Buckʼs apartment still isnʼt completely
    done. Some lady is doing an article on knitting in Los Angeles and wants to
    talk to me. Some other lady is doing a book on Punk Knitting. Wild.
    Robin came in. I think sheʼs going to get some words together for me!
    Woo-hoo! I have really been wanting to work with someone elseʼs words
    for quite awhile. There is a poet in LA Iʼve been meaning to contact, but I
    am too shy. I really like Robinʼs language, so this is exciting and great. Tom
    came in with a letter to the editor signed by the graceful lovekitty Powder.
    She is so sweet to write!
      Went and got some lunch. Tamale pie leftovers. Kristen came by and we
    chatted about bikes and clogs and tattoos. My clogs seem to fit her well, but
    Clog Master does not accept phone orders so we might have to run some
    sort of scam to get her a pair. Sewed sleeve onto sweater. I really like the
    way the underturned cuff feels on my wrist. Unfortunately, the 24” sleeves
    seem to fit me rather well. I had designed this sweater to fit someone bigger
    than me. It has a very long torso, because normally I make them very short
    for me. Iʼm not sure if this strategy is going to work out. I have a bad feeling
    that it isnʼt really going to fit anyone bigger because the sleeves will be too
    short. Anyhow, Iʼll sew it together and see what happens.
8         Final edit on the Skiing story came in. Glaring errors included the
misspelling of my name. Not good. Emailed the editor but no response.
Iʼm suspecting she left for the weekend. Lenny came in as I was reading,
as did a woman staying at the hostel. I gave them the Rundown. Then
continued sleeve #2. Terrible jam 20 rows before the end resulting in losing
stitches. Unfortunately, I began again with the wrong color and now there
is a terrible error. I will try to fix with overstitching but it will not be perfect.
They never are.
    Dinner. Really yummy. Katie made salmon on a bed of sauteed frisee with
some sort of fancy hazelnut pepper sauce, salad with beets, potatoes as soft
as an angelʼs ass, and corn. For desert, she force fed us vanilla ice cream
with rhubarb strawberry compote and homemade hot fudge. Terrible news:
Katie is going out of town for nearly a week at the end of the month.
Sewed sweater seams while walking up to cel phone hill. Louis called me just
as I was reaching building 960. The bridge was in a cloud. No view. I saw
six deer. The naked lilies are blooming, a whole pink clump of them.
At Stephanieʼs urging, I asked Brian to try on the new sweater. I was trying
to make something that would fit someone bigger than me. It was very
“extra medium” on him. The next attempt will be larger. This one is 120
stitches across. I will try 130. That will add another 3 inches. The colors are
lovely.

August 12, 2005
   Got up early and got over here and ate a scone. Walked to CPH to call
some lady about an article sheʼs writing about knitters in Los A. Came back
down and struggled with necklines. Made several that sucked and none
that worked. Added 50 rows to the Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammo
.bmp file and refigured the math. I owe a sweater to Shannon Ebner. Began
knitting ribbing that Iʼll turn up on the bottom edge. Began the pattern and
the stitches jammed and fell off. Accidentally ran a row on N with no yarn
while reconfiguring. Stitches fell off. Unraveled cuff and started again.
Stitches keep falling off on the left hand side and this is becoming a real and
unresolved problem. Iʼm tired of this! Got to Row 168 and looked at what Iʼd
knit so far. There isnʼt enough contrast between the olive and the orange. It
looks crappy! So I took it off the machine and Iʼm about to unravel.
No visitors so far and for some reason Iʼm antsy today. I wish I smoked
cigarettes so I could go have one on the fire escape. Instead I went down to
pee and Tomʼs in the bathroom filming the lightbulbs.
He asked if I was ready to shoot “Knit ʻn Shit.” I wasnʼt really considering
that Knit ʻn Shit would be a video.
I havenʼt showered since I was in Los Angeles.
I think Iʼm beginning to smell bad.

    Spent the afternoon knitting the front of the Praise the Lord and Pass the
Ammunition sweater. No visitors from the outside. At 5, Robin came by to
cancel our hiking appointment. I went and took a shower, then came back
and knit the back of the sweater. Having many problems with dropped
stitches near the edges. I donʼt know what thatʼs about. Itʼs disturbing and
takes awhile to fix these errors.


                                                                                        9
     August 13, 2005
        No public hours today. Arrived around 9 and there is a wedding
     happening downstairs and a lot of manic energy in the place. Katie gave
     me “a look” when I went to the kitchen to retrieve my breakfast scone.
     Cleaning the knitting machine today. Iʼve never done this before. First I
     removed all of the needles and pushers from the front bed. There are 180
     of each. Thatʼs 720 small metal pieces that must be individually removed,
     cleaned, and reinstalled. I am using a lemon cleaner and a toothbrush and
     another small brush and paper towels and rags. Itʼs fun to get grime off
     things, but also very tedious. I hope this alleviates some problems.
     Around 1pm, I went back to the house and cooked some eggplant and
     zucchini to eat along with an heirloom tomato and a slice of week and a
     half old walnut bread which was miraculously still great.
     Came back to the Project Space and cleaned some more needles and
     pushers. At 4:15 pm, met Stephanie and Brian and Kristen and Nathaniel
     in the parking lot and we went for a gorgeous and short hike along the
     shoreline. The colors are incredible. We sat in a scooped out area, away
     from the wind, and watched the birds sail over us. Nat called it a “Not Tub.”
     Thatʼs a good one!
        Came back to the Project Space and cleaned needles and pushers. The
     back bed needles are all in and the front pushers are all in. I had to leave
     for a fish BBQ, which was held up the hill. We had a 9 course multi-fish meal
     without any flatware or flashlights.
         Then there was a singing puppet show in the Mess Hall.
         I set 3 mousetraps, confident that I would have 3 dead mice in the
     morning.

     Sunday, August 14
       I overslept til 9 this morning due to waking up at 4 in a sweat or anxiety
     and not being able to get back to sleep easily. Read for awhile.
     One mousetrap was on the counter, sprung. One moustrap was baitless. And
     the third had a trophy mouse! One dead mouse is better than no dead mice!
     11:05 a.m. Finally finished cleaning the knitting machine. I hope it works
     better now and Iʼm a little scared to give it a go. What if itʼs worse?

         Because decreases are more attractive than increases, I decided to knit
     my next sleeve from the top down. I flipped the image in the PC and am
     downloading now. I set up the machine. Does everything feel smoother or
     is it just my imagination?
          Nathaniel and Kristen and Stephanie came to visit. We spoke about
     our recent victories over the mice. Turns out that the sprung mousetrap on
     the counter had caught a mouse last night while Tom and Nat were in the
     kitchen. They heard it spring and then there was a thrashing mouse in its
     death throes. Thatʼs 2 dead mice!
        At 1:30 I finished one sleeve. 3 visitors came in- a couple with a girl child.
     The woman wanted to know how she might buy a Headlands T-shirt. Thatʼs
     a question I have to answer to. I should probably find out.
     I made a sleeve with 408 rows, which is the number of rows I knit for the
     last sleeve I made, but this one seemed much longer. I may have changed
     the stitch size from 4.25 to 4.5, but I think it was 4.5 last time, too. I made
10   a note to knit the next sleeve only 380 rows plus 20 rows of ribbing to fold
inside for the cuff.
   Brad came to visit. He asked me if making sweaters was art.
   Helen visited and brought a friend.
   Four people visited. 2 were Canadian women. Plus a man and a woman.
They were all very interested and the man asked a lot of questions about the
knitting machine. He wanted to know, for example, if I could make a sweater
without seams on the machine. I explained that I could not, and he wanted
to know exactly why I could not. While I talked to one of the women, he
read American Stuccolow from cover to cover. One of the Canadian women
told me that she cycles 20 miles per day on her commute. She said she
imagined cycling in our one-way tunnel here and came to the conclusion that
it might be claustrophobic. The other woman is an artist who went to UCLA
in the early 90ʼs. We chatted about art made in the form of clothing. All
told, they were here for about an hour and when they left they apologized
for taking so much of my time and thanked me for being cordial. I said that
cordiality is part of my job here at the Project Space and that I appreciate
all visitors.

  I am hungry and looking forward to dinner.

    After dinner, came back to the Project Space and finished a sleeve. My
machine seems to be getting worse and worse. Lenny and his friend visited
and watched me take a deep breath and try not to cry. I am having a lot
of dropped stitches on the left side of the bed and itʼs driving me fucking
crazy. I posted a desperate plea on a Passap machine knitting newsgroup.
Someone got back to me within ten minutes and said my strippers might
be the problem. I will wait another ten or even twenty minutes and see
if anyone else has suggestions before I go seek out new orange strippers.
What a pain in the ass. On the upside of things, I finished three sleeves
today! Or maybe four. I canʼt remember! Iʼm tired and itʼs late.
    Stephanie came by with brie and crackers around 11:30 and I hitched
a ride back to the house with her. When I felt the fresh air, I realized that I
hadnʼt left the building all day long. I was in the Project Space most of the
time, but I also spent time on the stairs and at dinner and getting water and
in the bathroom.
   Back home, I was greeted by another dead mouse. I donʼt feel that the
three mice we have killed in the last 24 hours has made much of a dent in
the local mouse population and also I am starting to feel some sort of killerʼs
remorse.




                                                                                  11
     Top 10 songs heard last week in the Project Space

                Frostdemonstorm- Blizzard Beasts
              I Donʼt Wanna Hear It- Minor Threat
                      Kashmir- Led Zeppelin
                  Who By Fire- Leonard Cohen
                     Pictures of Lily- The Who
                   One More Time- Daft Punk
                 Hotel Yorba- The White Stripes
                     Peaches- The Stranglers
                       Area Codes- Ludacris
                    Rat Patrol- Naked Raygun


         More sweaters: StealThisSweater.com
12

								
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