Sunday, May 30, 2010

Georgia's Wispy

I finished it this morning. It was a really quick and easy knit. It's currently blocking as you can see here:

That's Georgia's foot in the photo. She was helping me "style" the shoot.

It was a pretty quick and easy knit, and highlighted a couple of shortcomings of my knitting technique as it stands at the moment.

1. I suck at ribbing.
2. I need to learn a tubular (or some other stretchy) cast-off because my standard old cast-off just isn't working.

Also, I had Georgia try it on, and got the response that warms the cockles of every knitting mother's (or grandmother's, or whomever's) heart:



. . .

In other news, Georgia and I spent yesterday afternoon in Manhattan. We got haircuts and then wandered over to Lincoln Center to look at the fancy new architecture.

There's a swoopy new lawn on top of a building that is a lot of fun to run around on (as Georgia demonstrated yesterday), and the reflecting pool is reopened. And the lovely people at the Lincoln Center thoughtfully put an extremely poetic and picturesque trash can DEAD CENTER in the middle of the plaza, so as to vastly increase the photographability of the area. Oy.

The plaza was full of achingly hip and cultured people, as you can tell by the litter that Georgia and I found:

But overall, I like the new lawn and the reflecting pool (which I haven't seen before, because this part of the plaza has been blocked off for years). It got a terrible review in the New York Times (the article has lots more pictures), but I'm kind of enjoying it. Although honestly, my response to the "unveiling" was basically "They had the entire joint closed down for years for this?"

Ah well. Can't have it all. But we do have a swoopy new lawn and people who smoke snooty French cigarettes. Really, what more can you ask for?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A story that has made me happy

I just read about this story on Yahoo. Linky here...

Several things in this story are coincidentally related to me. Because, of course, I have to relate ALL things back to me.
  1. He's from Virginia (the state, as am I)
  2. He moved to New York City
  3. He used to work in the engineering field (as I sort of used to, as well, but not as an engineer)
  4. He is walking from Rockaway Beach in NYC (not far from where I live, as the crow flies)...
  5. To Rockaway Beach in Oregon (which is the next town south of where my mother lives on the Oregon Coast).
I was totally amused by the statement in the article that "By air, the trip takes a little more than six hours." As this doesn't account for the 2 to 3 hours of completely harrowing driving it takes to get from the airport in Portland to Rockaway Beach across winding mountainous roads in near constant treacherous weather. Honestly, next time I go visit my mother, I think I may prefer to take a couple of days and walk from PDX to her home.

Here are a few other things that make me happy (no, the general theme is not blurry cell phone pictures):

NYC at night

My Awesome Family

Georgia pretending to be a serious fashion model in her Winnie the Pooh sunglasses. Tres Chic!

Oh, and in case you were looking for a post about actual knitting, I'm rapidly nearing completion on Georgia's Wispy Cardigan. It's FLYING off the needles. I think I started it on Sunday or Monday.

Going to make her the Tiny Tea Leaves Cardigan next. And yes, I will finish my Villane. I'm working my way back into it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Short architectural break

I got to run errands today at work. This is always special because 99% of the time I am chained to my desk.

Even better, my errand was to Dick Blick up on Bond Street. Yes, I got to go to the actual store. Yes, I did buy a couple of things for myself. And yes, I managed to keep it to $20. Which is impressive because that store is AWESOME.

(I bought some brushes, some sepia tone drawing pens, a book of watercolor paper and a tiny drawing pad) I'm like a kid in a candy store there. It was amazing. It has put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.
Anyway, I saw a couple of cool things on Bond Street, which I feel the need to share.
First up are these sculptures. I saw them from a distance and originally thought they were dead plants. They're very delicate:
And then a few doors down was this building. I'm not usually a fan of contemporary architecture, but I really liked this one. It looks like your typical metal and glass facade, but upon closer inspection what I thought was metal is actually green glass.

The picture below looks slightly out of focus because of all the layers of glass. Very cool.
The building had a really cool scrim on the bottom floor, but I couldn't get a picture of it because the doorman came out and glared at me. Eek.

And in knitting news, Georgia's Wispy is coming along beautifully. Almost done with the shrug part of the sweater. The only downside is that the KnitPicks yarn I got is very stiff and scratchy. I'm not thrilled about it. I hope it softens upon blocking. However, if it doesn't, it was a very cheap and quick experiment, as this has only taken a couple hours of work thus far.
Oh, and it would have helped if I'd read the directions. Heh. Made a big dumb mistake and caused myself a lot of trouble because I didn't.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Obviously time to knit again

I woke up this morning kicking myself for having wasted nearly a week of knitting time. Despite the fact that it was my choice to not knit for the past week.

This is a good thing.

I spent this morning winding six hanks of Knitpicks Shadow laceweight into cakes.

I'll be making Hannah Fettig's Wispy Cardi out of them. One for Georgia and one for myself. The Wispy is the updated version of her Whisper Cardigan that was in Interweave Knits. I made one Whisper last year (took me MONTHS to finish) and I adore it, but there were a few things I wished she'd changed about the pattern, and she did!

Here's the yarn for Georgia's (I got two skeins, but the other one was not photographing well). This is the Queen Anne colorway in the Shadow Tonal:

And the yarn for mine, Clementine in the Shadow Kettle Dyed:

Did I mention that I'm going through an orange phase? I am SERIOUSLY craving orange. It's all I want to knit with, paint with and draw with.

I'll probably cast on for Georgia's today. I'm pretty excited.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Absolutely No Knitting This Week

Knitting and I needed a break from each other.

I have been reading the rest of the Stephanie Plum books (as apparently I needed some brain candy) and last night Georgia and I went to the Yankees Game.

Gorgeous weather. Low 70s (That would be around 22C for my friends that live in sensible countries), sunny, light breeze.

Georgia is my child. She observed the stadium, the game, and then wanted to know what her eating options were.

We lasted until the bottom of the 4th inning, or about 8:30. The really nice thing about going to games is that it's such a short ride home for us on the subway.

More knitting next week. I promise.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cinnamon Grace is done!

In time for Jorie's birthday, too. Amazing.

Now, if I can only remember to get it the mail on time.

Yarn: Malabrigo Sock (not an entire skein)
Needles: 4 US

Here's the whole thing:

Detail of the ruffle:

The ruffle causes the scarf/shawlette (whatever) to curl nicely:

And a shot of my reluctant model, who consented to drape the scarf over her arm for the shots above, but refused to wear the darned thing:

I kinda want to make one for myself now. (A Cinnamon Grace, not another kiddo. Not at this point anyway.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010


During this whole meditation thing, my mind has been bouncing around like an insane immature monkey on crack (appropriately called "monkey mind" by Zen Buddhists), which is normal, according to Jon Kabat-Zinn. However, my monkey mind is apparently extremely crafts oriented and I've come up with some brilliant design ideas while meditating.

Monkey mind then decided that what we REALLY REALLY needed were lots of markers. HUNDREDS of markers. And the color orange.

Sometimes monkey mind has some really good ideas.

Georgia, monkey mind and myself trooped off today in search of art supplies. I didn't really want to trek into Manhattan again today (we were all over Union Square/LES yesterday, the trains are running local in both directions - UGH) and when I looked online at Dick Blick and Utrecht their markers were very expensive.

Pigeons on a building somewhere on St. Mark's Place in the LES. The ones on the fire escape latter really cracked me up.

I gave Target a shot online, and found that their markers were cheap, but no stores in the area had the cheap plentiful marker set and monkey mind did not want to wait for markers.

We started with Shipman Stationery on the Grand Concourse. On our way down, we discovered a stand that sells MAC makeup for cheap, a stand that sells Mavi (this weird fermented drink that Bruce fell for in the PR), a music instrument store that I'd forgotten about and a cheap SLR camera bag (on sale for $5!) at Staples.

Shipman didn't have what we needed which is unfortunate, because I like that store.

We then hopped on the subway to the Gateway Center near Yankee Stadium for Michaels. I'd forgotten it had opened. And boy is that a dangerous place for me to go. I have been completely deprived of craft stores since we've moved to NYC (was totally spoiled in Virginia, with a Wal-Mart, Michael's, Home Depot and Joanne Fabrics all within spitting distance of each other) and Georgia hasn't really had any experiences with craft stores. Poor kiddo.

Anyhoo, we got markers (100 for $20) water color pencils, paper, a mandala coloring book, and tape for Bruce. We also fondled yarn twice, examined every last inch of the kid's craft section at least three times and tried really hard not to spend more than we needed to. It was an effort. I could easily blow a couple hundred in there without thinking about it too hard. Clothing? feh. Craft supplies, HELL YEAH.

sexy sexy markers

After our Michael's experience, we headed off to this really enormous thrift store across the street from the old Yankee Stadium, appropriately called "Thrift World." Go figure. It's dark and dank and depressing, but huge and full of really great stuff. I picked up a bunch of books, including a coffee table book about Jim Henson's Workshop for about $8 bucks total, and I also got this skirt for $5:

Actual real embroidery and tiny little crocheted flowers at the hem. Really cute. Fits perfectly. Needs a new zipper.

And finally, since this is a knitting blog (allegedly) I have some progress pix of the Cinnamon Grace:

Almost done. Tonight I'm going to start the process of a picot bind-off for approximately 1,000 stitches. This is going to take forever, methinks.

Overall I'm pleased with the knit, although there are a few spots that I would like to redo. Unfortunately they are in the very beginning, so I'm just going to have to live with how it looks.

The lacy ruffle is really pretty, and I can't wait to see how it looks when it is done.

Edited to add gratuitous cat shot:

I put down my knitting for two seconds and look what happens...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm so $%*!#$* domestic!

I'm nearly done with the main body of the shawl for the Cinnamon Grace. Jorie might actually get this in the mail for her birthday. I spent my lunch break yesterday working on it at Pret-a-Manger (the one on Broadway south of Wall Street) and nearly finished the decrease section.

A story: I'm happily knitting at Pret, and one of my (soon to be former) bosses walks in. He looks at me and says "You look so domestic."

The guy sitting to my right snorts, turns to me and says "Yeah, you should put that on a t-shirt: 'I'm f***ing domestic, what's it to you?" in a THICK New York accent. "You could make a million dollahs, no time."

Yep, through t-shirt sales, ladies and gentelmen. $1 million, cold hard cash. I've obviously been in the wrong business all my life.

A few minutes later a woman walks up to me and asks me for my card, because she wants to commission a hand knit something or other. I let her know that I don't have one, and I don't really like to knit on commission, as it is a pain in the butt, very expensive, and a pain in the butt.

Her reply, "How much would that scarf cost? $50 or $60 dollars?"

I fight valiantly to not roll my eyes. "How about a minimum of $500 dollars?"

Yeah. It would be $50 or $60 if I were paying myself a whopping $1.25 an hour.

And that doesn't include materials.

All in all, an interesting day. (And I didn't even tell you about the water coming down my wall at work, and the various other insanities I've been dealing with)

As a capper to this rather odd, post, I offer you The Surfing Sheep which was brought to me this morning by Clara Parkes and The Knitter's Review newsletter.


Cinnamon Grace is coming right along. I started the decrease section last night, and I'm expecting this to be pretty quick. Here's a picture in progress as of today:

It doesn't look like much. While I was knitting at Battery Park City out in the park, I finally got to see this yarn in the sunlight. There are an amazing number of colors packed into this yarn (Malabrigo Sock in Primavera). It's fantastic. Looks kind of bland and beige in most lights, but under the sunlight it just shimmers. Very cool stuff.

And here's a shot of my knitting spot of late. My allergies are finally starting to calm down (thank goodness we spent a week of allergy season in Puerto Rico, where I had ZERO allergy problems) and I'm able to sit outdoors without wanting to die.

The meditation has been going pretty well. We're (Bruce has joined me) three nights in now. The first night was really easy, the second and third have been difficult as hell. But I feel good about it. And that, my friends, is a blessing.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Stress Reduction

I handed in my resignation at my job yesterday. Currently looking for work and entertaining ideas about new career paths. Drop me a line if you have any ideas.

I am starting an 8-week meditation project based on Full-Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Great book.

I am chugging away at the Cinnamon Grace I am currently knitting for Jorie. This is to replace the failed Damson. I'm a little more than halfway done with the body of the shawl. And given that the rows are only 36 stitches wide, it's moving along pretty quickly despite the fact that I'm using sock weight yarn. Here's a shot of it as of right now (taken on the subway where I do the lion's share of my knitting. That's Georgia's foot in the pink sandal):

And in case anybody is interested, here's a shot of what was formerly known as Yankee Stadium. It's almost all gone. As of this morning there was one entrance gate left - the stairs/escalator on the far left of the stadium, as viewed from the subway platform - and the crew was busily tearing that down. I expect it'll all be gone by the time I get home this evening.

And I'm still working on the Villane. Although I have discovered something about myself. Cables stress me out, and my gauge shrinks massively. Also, I screwed up one of the cables on the sleeve, so I'm going to have to go back and rip out.

Might have to go to a bigger needle size. But all is well because I'm magic looping it, so I won't have to buy any new needles. Magic loop is kind of a pain, but I like it better than DPNs.

I'll start posting more frequently as I work on leaving this job (last day is the 26th!). I might actually have more time and energy.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I'm baaaaaaaaaack

And it was awesome. We are all healthy, happy, de-stressed, and fabulous.

Two of us are tan. One of us is slightly more freckled than before.

I'll post more, with pix soon.

(not much knitting got done)