Saturday, October 28, 2006

fessing up

Last night I realized that I hadn't admitted to another yarn binge. I was going to be in the area of Downtown Yarns, had a gift certificate (thank you Katie!), and had just been through a spectacularly horrible class. So I bought yarn. It's better than eating or chain smoking, right?

I unearthed this very pretty skein of Trekking from the sock yarn shelf. I had just started the Jaywalkers and decided to try to springy colors for the next pair.

I went to DY for Sea Silk. It was sold out, but I just loved the colors of their Silk Maiden, so decided to get something close to my goal. I can't wait to use this.

The real splurge were these two little skeins. I have no idea what to do with them, but the colors were so fantastic that I couldn't leave them on the shelf.

Finally, happy birthday Hubby! I hope that the 60mph wind gusts blew in the start to another lovely year.

Friday, October 27, 2006

since the last time i wrote about actual knitting

...not a heck of a lot has been done. I had to go back and check the last sock update! So: one Trekking Jaywalker is done. The other, as shown here, is started. I also started a new pair (this would be October's) in some of the vacation-purchased Regia Silk. It's very soft and lurvely. Inspired by the blankie I did in July, I'm doing little eyelets in the sock, just to keep things fun. Jumping back and forth between that and the Trekking doesn't do any favors for the Trekking. The needles are Knit Picks 2.0mm, which are significantly smaller than the Addi 2.0mms. For a while I thought that they were just flimsy, because snapping seemed possible. But when comparing the two side by side, it's clear that they are just smaller. I hope the sock fits.

That horrible thought just occurred to me for the first time.

And Melinda, if you are still there, I haven't forgotten about you. The wee one's gift will be mailed on Monday, even if I have to pull an all-nighter to get it done.

Monday, October 23, 2006

rhinebeck roundup

Hello, sheep! What a lovely welcome to the 2006 New York State Sheep and Wool Festival. I don't remember the first time that I went to Rhinebeck, but the fest is growing and growing. Knitting is very cool, I take it. My strategy this year was to go through all of the barns and vendors before buying anything, make some decisions, and then start buying. We were there on Sunday, so I knew that it was going to be more relaxed, but I was surprised that I couldn't gete into some booths at first. Pretty wild.

My first purchase was from Jamie Harmon, who has always been at Rhinebeck, but I've never purchased anything from her before. The yarn is angora/wool, and dyed with all-natural elements. With the baby parade, I had to get some stash for hats and booties. It's going to be really fun to knit up.

The next stop was Briar Rose Fibers (sponsor of Cast On). I really liked the colors of the Morehouse/Malabrigo skein, and just got it for a little hat. But the real star was 2500 yards of laceweight something (the fiber content isn't on the tag; interesting). That is more than a mile of yarn, right? Flower Basket shawl?

Of course, there were sock yarn purchases. I've never tried Cherry Tree Hill, and even though I said no more varigated yarn, I couldn't resist. These colors are mild enough that I think even a little pooling won't bother me. The purple is superwash wool from Sliver Moon Farm. I think that it was their first year at the fair, and I really liked the layered color. I think that a nice simple cable and rib will show this off best.

One of my final purchases was 900 yards of a black silk/merino blend. Can you make out the price tag on one of the skeins? That's right; $4.99 each. Wowie... I hope that it's nice to knit with, because the price is certainly right. I believe that this will become the IK Icarus shawl.

Poor Hubby. All that wool and knitting really tuckered him out. He passed out in the corner of the lounge at Sheep's Clothing (Morehouse). I even drove home, because I wasn't sure that his eyes could stay open.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

melody's shawl

Started just before vacation, I'm done with Melody before Rhinebeck. This was one of my purchases last year, and I really wanted to have at least one item knit out of the yarn I purchased in 2005. With only a week to go, I'm not going to get anything else finished, unfortunately.

See the "steek" here, running vertically where the needle is clinging to 16 stitches? You have to pull the needle, and then unravel all of the stitches from the bind off to the cast on edge. It's scary. The Morehouse laceweight is a pretty grabby yarn, and it actually takes longer to unravel than you might think. It gives me hope that the steek will hold.

Hubby holds out the shawl with the unraveling completed. Now is the moment of truth; the time to undo the Mobious loop I created accidently. It's time for the scissors.

When we moved into this apartment, my mother did some slipcovering for us. She was pretty horrified at my scissors, and said that I needed proper sewing shears. I don't really sew, and told her so... but look what appeared under the Christmas tree a few months later! They worked really well, though.

A quick model, pre-blocked. The loopy fringe made me pretty happy, but I know that it will hang out eventually.

Jump to Saturday morning. Hubby walked by the kitchen and asked what I was marinating in the big bowl. I didn't soap the water at all, mainly because I didn't have any woolwash...oh. Except for the Woolite. Whoops.

And finally, the shawl. It blocked out to the specified measurments very easily (16" by 80"), and I didn't even need pins. It was very well behaved, through the whole process.

To celebrate, I ordered a new coat. It should arrive in time for Rhinebeck next weekend. Last year I didn't wear any handknits, and I'm going to be looking for compliments this year.

Friday, October 13, 2006

movie week

NYC is hopping with movie shoots this week. I've walked through two sets since Tuesday. The first, for this, had almost all of Washington Square Park blocked off, making me very late for class. It was a bad day; I yelled at a couple of lowly production assistants who wouldn't let me get to class. The movie business is rough.

This morning I walked by this on my way to work. I'm happy to report that no telephones were thrown at my head for daring to walk down 55th Street. Alas, no Denzel sightings either, but I thought that George C. Wolfe was coming out of a trailer.

In sock knitting news, I'm on the heel of Trekking Jaywalker #1. I haven't done a flap heel in quite a while, and yikes: they take forever! But I decided to do the pattern as written, so I'm flapping away. These socks are going to be cooooool.

UPDATE: I just walked by Bono outside of the CNN studios. Signing autographs, with two very tense looking security guys. Boys, 58th Street isn't so rough: relax. Bono appeared to be my height. I hope that I see Vince Vaughn in Chicago over Thanksgiving, so I can finally see a tall celebrity.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

WBW #26 - Guess What We Drank!

(Another installment from guest blogger hubby...)

Just over two years ago, intrepid New Yorker, Lenn at Lenndevours started a monthly wine tasting community activity called Wine Blogging Wednesday. This is the 26th installment and our 2nd time participating. Rather than the typical monthly theme like BIG REDS or Unoaked Chards, this month's theme is a clever creation of Beau at Basic Juice. The idea is that all participants contribute tasting notes without wine names. The place of origin (whites can be from New York, Oregon, or Italy & reds from Washington, Spain or France) will subsequently be guessed by anyone willing to put themself up there.

We're currently without gas in our apartment as the building undergoes what may be more than a month of leak repairs. As a result we've been taking in, eating out, and using our microwave more than ever before. But even before the gas was shut off, it seems our typically exciting home-cooking routine was preempted by busy schedules and Jewish Holidays. A few weeks ago, armed with leftovers from our family Rosh Hashana dinner (reminiscent of a Thanksgiving feast - Turkey, stuffing, and broccoli?-my parents sure do love their broccoli!) nights earlier, we tried this wine. I chose it as my WBW #26 entry for the sheer enjoyment of confusing people (which I hope to accomplish). Since my typical GO TO white wine regions were not an option (Loire, Mosel, etc.) this may throw some who know me well.

This unique blend of six grape varieties (5 white and one red) culminating in an intellectually created albeit delicious white wine. The color is kinda light golden and the aromatics are a blend of things like apples, pears, baking spices, oranges, honeydew melon, flowers and a bit of smoke and vanilla. The wine is much fuller bodied than I was expecting given it origin. It's loaded with ripe fruit flavors, has an incredibly rich texture, and a rather juicy acidity. There's a bit of oak in here, but so much complexity in both flavor (exotic) and texture (pretty darn rich), that it's not a dominant factor.

The wine didn't really do much for the broccoli, but that wasn't the point, was it?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

there has been knitting...

Between the holidays and a ton of assignments and too much work, I haven't been too diligent at posting lately. (Oh, and there was a bad cat-induced allergy attack that knocked me out for a few days entirely.) But I have been knitting in little bits here and there.

First up, the August socks are finished! Woo hoo! One might wonder why you can't see the toes of the socks in the picture. Well, it's 'cause I haven't grafted the toes yet. It's my MO: put that off until there are three pair of finished socks waiting to be finished.

My other piece of vacation knitting is almost completed as well. The Melody's Shawl from Morehouse is getting huge, and the massive ball of yarn is getting pretty tiny! At some point this week, I will probably cast off, cut it between the "steek", and block over the weekend. I'm still scared about the cutting...

And I've started my September socks. I'm using Trekking (#101, I think) and the Jaywalker pattern, and I'm really please at how they are turning out. So much so that I bought another skein of Trekking (that's #107, again, I think) on Saturday.

Finally: happy anniversary, Hubby! It's been a great seven years. Let's do it again.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

eat... lots

It's time to celebrate the life of R.W. Apple, Jr. He lead one amazing life, and had an extremely sweet gig for the last few years at the Times: travel around and eat. However, when a huge and complex news story broke, I recall that his name would be at the top of the lead article for the paper. No doubt filed from Mumbai, or Cairo, or Kyoto, or wherever he happened to be.

His last article, published today, ends:

"There should be enough here to hold you — hopefully to set you soaring — for a few weeks or months, or even years."

We'll have to hope that his legacy holds us, for journalism lost one of its finest practitioners.