Saturday, December 30, 2006

the sweater grows

I'm pleased as punch with my sweater. The fronts are done, and I finally get to start the sleeves... where the stitch dropping starts. Woo hoo! Hubby is home for the weekend, so I probably won't get quite as much done as I did on Thursday and Friday, but I hope to be blocking by January 1!

The origami tree at the MNH is really wonderful. There was a table with volunteers from the Origami Society of the USA (or something like that), who were demonstrating how to make simple animals. I could have filled up the camera's memory with photos of these guys.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

i lurve it already

I started my Drop-Stitch Sweater yesterday, and I'm loving it! I'm also loving just sitting around and knitting... which could get really habit-forming. The arm decreases are done, and the back should be finished this evening. I had to stop and take a picture before all natural light disappeared. It's lovely to still have light at 4:30pm!

I've upgraded to the new Blogger, and it seems that my picture is fairly cropped, among other issues. I have a lot to learn about this new version! Oh, and if you were considering going to the Museum of Natural History this week: DON'T! It's a crazy madhouse. But the origami animal tree was really cool, and I'll share pictures of that treat soon.

(ETA: Ah well, the picture thing seems to have resolved itself. Thanks Blogger!)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

quick update

So, happy holiday of your choice. We ran out of here last week and I didn't get a chance to display the picture of the Lincoln Center Christmas tree. Maybe next year... This has to be quick because I'm leaving to go to the Museum of Natural History shortly... with the nephews. Hope I have the energy!

I finished a pair of socks! These are from the Regia Bamboo purchased during our August trip to Germany. Grafting is getting much, much easier. However, the next pair of socks I cast on are going to be toe-up. I just have to figure out how.

I finished (a while ago) a little hat out of leftover bits of Polar! This might go in the Dulaan bin, or to the next baby that pops out. We'll have to see which comes first.

Speaking of babies, I took advantage of the Webs sale on Louise Harding Kimono Angora. The baby gifts are in such high demand that I thought a little stash plugging is in order.

Finally, my last yarn purchase of 2006: Brown Sheep Wildfoote sock yarn from upstate. There was one amazing yarn store Mom knew of, and I'm lucky that this was it for the purchasing.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

wednesday ramblings

I'm very sad that I missed the opportunity to eat here. I was enthralled by Calvin Trillin's profile of the place from 2002, and walked by it a number of times over the summer (I had a class nearby). Of course, I'm willing to follow Calvin Trillin just about anywhere, and eat just about anything he recommends. He has a new book out, which I'm almost sure to pick up before the end of the year.

The Trekking sock surgery went well; undoing the graft was easier than expected. I knit through the attached yarn last night and was going to proceed in attaching the skein again, but thought that I needed to be more alert to check the length. Tonight, hopefully.

On a side note, I just called to order a plant for my grandmother, who's moved out of her house and into an adult-care facility in the same small town. I placed the order, and told the florist my grandmother's name. The florist said, "And she's at East Road now, right?" and by golly, she is. Hopefully my good granddaughter deed will spread through the town as quickly as the move did. Cities have the same small town deal, just condensed and less personal. The coffee cart guy and Starbucks folks knows my order before I arrive at the register, but they certainly don't know my name. The same, but different.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

finished socks!

My nasal issues are staging a comeback, so this might be even more disjointed than usual.

I wanted to use up every last bit of time off from the office, and since we are closing for the year on Thursday, I had to get moving and take my 3/4 of a personal day today. I chose to spend my personal time grafting up some socks. I really dislike grafting, but will admit that it's getting easier. Below are my two success stories; koigu and regia.

I started out the afternoon by finishing the toe to my second Trekking Jaywalker. Yay! Only 14 stitches to graft for these!

And they look pretty good here, huh? Except...

I seem to have stopped about two inches short on the foot for the second sock. Tonight's mission is to pick apart the grafting, and frog back to the pattern. It could be worse, of course.

Hubby just handed me a glass of wine. I can't smell a thing, but know that it's red.

Monday, December 18, 2006

10 days?

Wow, I didn't realize that I hadn't posted in so long. Sorry, readers! I was seriously distracted with finishing up the semester (only one more to go!) and working lots and lots, as it is the busiest season of the year at work. The combo always leads to very little holiday spirit on my part.

But, I have been knitting and gifting. This little hat was gifted to my little September baby friend. Mom, baby and I had lunch recently, and I was concerned about the heftiness of his current hat. This is made from the all-naturally dyed Jamie Harmon merino/angora yarn (purchased from Rhinebeck 2006). The little guy was not impressed with the mittens, but they were just too cute to not make. He seemed fine with the hat!

In other news, I was jolted awake yesterday by a migraine (after feeling crappy the previous two days). It took a while for me to realize what it was, because it had been so long since I'd had the pleasure. Since I was asleep, I didn't catch the aura warning signs and was thus really confused for a while. I figured out what it was after I started thinking that lopping off my head would be preferable to the pain. Happily, my migraines are usually only a couple of hours long, so I did make it to the two previously scheduled Sunday parties... ;)

Friday, December 08, 2006

finished object friday

In time for the coldest day, I finished my hat! It's a Rhinebeck 2006 purchase: Briar Rose Fibers Collette, 85% wool & 15% mohair, 190 yards. And it was only $15! There's enough left over for a little pair of mitten, too. I saw a hat with a big braid in the Briar Rose booth, and went searching for the pattern. Not finding anything, I branched out and didn't follow a pattern to the letter. The bottom is the Loose Five Rib Braid with Abby added border from Barbara G. Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and I just picked up about 70 stitches and started knitting the top part. It worked out really well, and will be even better when the wind isn't blowing at 30 mph.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

dulaan finale (for now)

It's the first really cold week we've had in New York this season, so I think it's time to unveil my collection of Dulaan items. Four hats, one scarf, and one neckwarmer. This is the ultimate good-for-the-soul knitting. I loved holding the thick wool and stitching up warmth destined for chilly Mongolians. Most items are kid-sized, but the red hat is pretty large. I have a very significant circumference, and it fits me just fine.

Everything was knit in either Lamb's Pride Bulky, or Valley Yarns' Berkshire. I had all of this in my stash from a year or so ago, when I thought that felting was my new knitting technique. It finally hit me that I didn't want felted bags, and so the yarn has been hanging out in the stash. I'm very happy that it was repurposed for such a good cause!

All of the hats have double-thickness at the base to protect foreheads and ears. I used Ann Budd's basic hat pattern for the technique (one purl row to encourage the first two inches to fold up). I'm going to do a couple more items before the end of the year, including some mittens with more Lamb's Pride Bulky that is a dark gray-blue - perfect for hand coverings, because a little grubbiness won't show!

Thank you, Ryan, for coordinating this project.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

comfort knitting

I was sick on and off for many weeks this fall. One day, when my head was really stuffy and I couldn't breathe, and couldn't function at work, I came home and settled in for an afternoon on the couch. In assessing my knitting options for the sick day, I knew that I wanted yarn thicker than all of the socks I've been doing, and also thought that something destined for a very hot water bath was an equally good idea (given that I was a germ factory). Burp cloths came to mind, and I settled in with my cotton and Addi Turbos. It was so nice to work with fun colors, and see the fast production that come with size 6 needles. The ultimate in comfort knitting, from Ann and Kay of Mason-Dixon Knitting.

On a different topic, isn't Studio 60 getting better? I did replay the bit when Danny (Bradley Whitford) popped out from behind the screen to say, "We're having a baby?!" about a dozen times. It was so silly, and hilarious. BW needs to get a character that gets out of the office more, though; it's his second ill-advised workplace relationship in a row! Find a nice girl at Starbucks or the Coffee Beanery or something. (What is the name of the LA coffee place/chain that I've heard about? The name is related to coffee or tea... can't remember.)

Monday, December 04, 2006

one more warm baby head

Apologies for the ickiness of the picture; it looked just fine on the camera's screen! One more baby gift was handed over to the post office over the weekend. The baby hat from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, presented here in the called-for yarn, Mission Falls cotton. I like the little tie, which I hope keeps little ones from ripping off the hat and tossing it down onto the subway tracks.

It is suddenly really cold in New York, and I'm working on a hat for me now! Pictures of the completed hat (hopefully) later in the week.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

my kind of town, chicago is

Hubby and I had the pleasure of visiting Chicago over Thanksgiving, where we got to check out Clairest's new digs, and new city.

Chicago is super-cool because there's public art everywhere, and lots of space to stand around and discuss what you see.

Big shiny beans are very popular.

As are serene, giant video screens that display either babbling brooks or massive faces.

Chicago seems to be all about juxtaposing architecture, art, and tradition. Here, we've got all three: the Chase building, a Picasso sculpture that dismayed/scared the crap out of the city when it was unveiled, and the German Christmas fair (with real German vendors).

But the old and the new coexist very happily.

On our next trip, hang the expense, we are going on a Segway tour. They just look like too much fun.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

lilly's sweater

And so: the backlog is attacked.

Here we have the little Baby Kimono, from Mason-Dixon Knitting (everyone's favorite 2006 knitting book release! Well, mine, at least.) This version is done in Cascade's Pima Tencel, which is conveniently machine washable (I think I forgot to add that, Melinda). I made it 25% larger than written in the pattern, because I was late in getting the gift started. It's really soft, and I think that I like babies in dark colors, just for something different. The front pieces have a little decorative yarn-over to soften up the edges.

It's a fun pattern, and the very little finishing required gives it a big thumbs-up from me. So how about sharing some shots with Lilly modeling it, huh? We haven't gotten a picture email in quite a while. ;)

Friday, December 01, 2006

still around...

I think that I need to try and find this bar, wherever it might be. If I saw this sign, I would totally go inside. The real problem is that I haven't seen the camels out and about in the morning since before Thanksgiving. I miss them; the trailer is outside of Radio City, and they aren't inside... so where are they? Life is a mystery.

This is, um, weird.

But Gilmore Girls cracked me up this week.

I haven't been home when there was daylight in a long time, but tomorrow should offer the opportunity to take some pictures of my recent knitting. And winter weather will finally have arrived! Yippee!