Friday, March 28, 2008

three guesses

Guess, just guess what I'm going to be doing Monday afternoon, thanks to uber-connected friend Bernadette?

Here's a hint:

The nephews are going to be so jealous!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

putting the cocktails back in Y&C

It’s already Thursday, and I’m carving out a few minutes to talk about last weekend. It was great. You can read a good recap of it here. My Sunday was different from Claire’s, as it involved knitting and relaxing and a fun dinner with the nephews.

She also requested that I put the cocktails back into Yarn and Cocktails, and took photos for me. The cocktail list at Blue Smoke is short and to the point. No chocotinis here (thank goodness), just good old-fashioned drinks. I had Sidecards, she had Lynchburg Lemonades. We then had more wine at dinner, and saw the Top Chef (Tom Colicchio) himself.

There have been lots and lots of let’s-go-out-to-dinner-and-drinks-before-you-leave events recently, and my liver could probably use a break. I’ve got a couple of free days coming up, and think that abstaining is going to be very beneficial.

Oh, and I finished those socks. Now I need to start another pair, because the shawl is a little difficult as train knitting.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

leafing through

I haven't had as much time as I'd like to work on the Woodland Shawl, but it's coming along pretty well. I'm nearing the end of the first ball of yarn (250 yards per ball), and it's only 11" long at this point. Good thing I've got three more, and a penchant for wet blocking that leads to very long garments.
Based on this picture, I think that the Woodland Shawl could turn into a Something's Fishy Shawl. I see lots of cute little flapper fins in this side view.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

float like a butterfly, busy like a bee

There’s been lots of finishing up going on lately, but none of it knitting-related. I'm trying to float above all of the uncertainity and stay busy with visiting and other farewells. There was a last trip upstate to see family before we head west, and last night a final Broadway show. We saw the new musical adaptation of John Waters’ Crybaby, and while it wasn’t the highest expression of the dramatic arts, it was fun (and free).

This weekend is going to be fun: we have a friend coming for a visit, and dinner with the nephews. The nice thing about the “fully staged” apartment in which we are living is that there is no need to do any cleaning for guests. The place is already sparkling and ready to go.

(Sorry for the crappy, blurry shot - I was rushing around this morning.)

One sock is already done, and the second one will be ready for a heel tonight. It’s my second pair of cable and ribbed socks, but I improved these by doing one sock with a right-twist cable and the next with a left-twist. So fancy! The yarn is Crystal Palace Panda Wool – a mix of bamboo, wool, and a little bit of nylon. It’s nice yarn, and I’ll be interested in hearing how it wears. I’m knitting it at a tighter gauge than recommended, but I like socks to be rather firm. There’s plenty of stretch already, and they should make a pretty nice gift.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

politics edition

Thanks for making my Monday afternoon zip right by, Governor Spitzer. And thanks for making a mockery of my voting to you. (Here are some great photoshopped pictures of our disgraced head of state.) Bye-bye: I hope you had fun while it lasted. Time to move to somewhere far, far away; Silda is welcome to stay.

Welcome, Governor Patterson! You seem much more likeable.

Monday morning I saw military recruiters outside the subway station at Columbus Circle. I paused to watch who they were targeting (i.e., chasing down the street). No surprises there. 30-something white women were not considered good candidates. There’s a college for criminal justice studies right near by, so I’m guessing that’s why they were there… many young men and women who are already committing to a life in the line of fire passing through on their way to class.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

i'm torn

I decided to start the Woodland Shawl, designed by Nicol Lohr. I had a perfect yarn substitution in the stash - Artfibers Alfabeto - and a burning desire to knit some lace. Because I'm slightly crazy, I jumped right in and cast on.

After one (entire) repeat, I started thinking that it might look better on needles just a bit smaller. So I've done a swatch on #5s, and now I can't really tell if there's any real difference.

The #5s give me a swatch that's just a bit shorter, but the leaves in the pattern seem a bit tighter, and looks to be a quarter of an inch shorter on both sides.

I think that it's time to rip and start over on the size 5 needles. I'm still reeling from the sweater disaster (maybe I'll finally post pictures of that tomorrow), and think that going tighter is a better option. Yay lace!

Friday, March 07, 2008

i have been knitting

It's just quick little projects, but I think that I'll start something bigger this weekend. No sweaters, thank you; I'm still reeling from the Hourglass Sweater debacle. I've been looking at a lot of lace patterns, and will narrow down the choices tomorrow.

I love making hats and scarves, and these fit, and turned out well. Both patterns from the Yarn Harlot, and yarn from Morehouse Merino (top) and Misti Alpaca (bottom). I've also cast on a new pair of socks for a gift.

However, I can't block anything while the apartment is up for sale (as of this morning!). Some knit item was drying, and the realtor was wrinkling his nose in distaste. Hubby felt vindicated, because he's always said that yarn shops had a peculiar smell - and I've never noticed. Maybe it's a guy thing?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

things i won’t miss about new york

(A list that will grow over time)

1. Buildings collapsing near my train line and the subsequent very long delays to get home. New York is crumbling, people!

2. Restaurants being forced to close because of greedy, greedy landlords. God know what monstrosity will open up in this space. Le Madeleine will be greatly missed.

3. The Oyster Bar. I really (used to) like this place. It was high on my list of places to revisit before we left, so when a friend who moved to California last year was in town, we set the plans in motion to meet up there. The dinner was really a comedy of errors. I typed out all of the things that went wrong, then deleted it. It just comes down to the fact that they didn’t care one whit about our experience. Sigh.

But I’ve cast on a new sock, with yarn purchased during a trip to Portland. I’ve mentally checked out of New York and have Portland on my mind.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

the originals

While cleaning out the apartment, to prepare for an open house next weekend, I found some original treasures from my knitted past.

These mittens were the first (I think) successful knitted object I made. The yarn is Morehouse Merino, and I still love the varigated colors. They've been well-used, as evidenced by the blown-out thumb and top on one of them. The fabric is so soft, and I fell a little bit in love with knitting after seeing what I could make with these.

I'm not so in love with these two sweaters that I made ages ago. Therefore, off they went to the church thrift shop on Saturday morning. The blue top is very summery, but knit with the chunkiest yarn imaginable, and not terribly pratical for warm weather wear. (For me, at least.)

Yesterday we removed about a third of the furniture from our apartment, with the help of the BIL and SIL, who really went above and beyond the call of duty. They have a jump-to way about them, and announced that Sunday afternoon was the perfect day to move the furniture - and it was. It was sunny and warm, so there was no need to worry about coats or gloves or rain, and we had four people. Even though there's no moving allowed on Sundays in our building, we zipped the stuff out of there quickly, and got it into the in-law's house just as fast. If Hubby and I tried to do this ourselves some night after work, we probably wouldn't speak to each other for a week. So: thank you thank you thank you!