Sunday, June 27, 2010

Kate tagged me with this quickie quiz. As we spent all weekend DOING, I'm a little exhausted, and can't really put up a comprehensive post. I'm so tired, I can't even remember what we did yesterday. Today, Bruce, Georgia and I marched with AOL (Bruce's employer) in the Gay Pride Parade. It was awesome. It was also very gay. And very hot (temperature-wise). When we got on the subway with the kid, there were three guys standing near us who were wearing underpants, fairy wings, sneakers,dog collars and a lot of body glitter. They were all a little self conscious around Georgia (who was staring) until I told them that she was jealous of their glitter and their wings. That made sense to all of us. See? Common ground. If I had told them about Georgia's love of Lady Gaga, they would have been TOTAL BFFs.

Anyway, THE QUIZZY THINGY:

1. What's your staple meal (ie. what meal do you cook most often when you can't be bothered to be adventurous) ?


Hmm. Don't have all that many staple meals. When I do actually cook, I usually don't bother unless I want to go to a lot of bother. I guess lasagna from "Quick Vegetarian Pleasures." It's an awesome recipe and takes very little effort. If I don't feel like cooking, then I don't cook. For the most part. If I do end up cooking when I don't feel like it, then it's generally a disaster. Maybe for us it is really Stauffer's Mac & Cheese. Georgia loves that stuff. Bruce and I like it too.

2. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Indiana Jones. Or a drag queen. I don't want to let a little thing like gender get in the way of my being fabulous. When I was six, my grandmother, Mimi, took me to South Beach, Miami on some bizarre errand or another (she worked as an accountant for the mob) and we wandered around some drag clubs. That night at dinner the rest of my (very conservative) relatives - great aunts and uncles and suchlike - asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I said rather breathlessly "A drag queen!" Mimi hadn't explained to me that drag queens were men, when I had asked her who those wonderfully glamorous women were. When she finally stopped laughing that evening and told me, it was like finding out there was no such thing as Santa Claus.

3. What book are you reading at the moment (if any)?

Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Knitwear Design Workshop by Shirley Paden. I'm out of fiction for the moment.

4. How do you relax?

Reading. Knitting. Reading or Knitting. Oh, and attempts at meditation. Also the Botanical Gardens. And going to bookstores. Sniffing perfume (ha, you thought I was going to say glue there for a minute, didn't you? Dirty dirty peoples).

5. What color are the interior walls of your home?

Orange, apricot, pepto bismol pink (what we get for letting a 4 year old choose her own paint colors), tan, navyish blue (kinda halfway between cadet and navy), and green. We rent. But apparently NYC is different on the whole painting thing than the rest of the world. Then again, some of the people in my building have been here for 30 years or more.

6. What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Romance novels. But I don't really feel guilty about them. Maybe chocolate? Maybe ice cream from the ice cream truck. I don't really feel guilty about much.

7. What time is bedtime and getting up time?

Bedtime? 10ish. (Actually going to sleep, closer to midnight). Waking up? Ass crack of dawn (which really sucks during the summer). I will wake up with the first light every time. Dragging ass out of bed? Around 7am.

8. How long do you spend reading blogs (per day or per week)?

Per day? An hour or two. Unless I get really into commenting.


Other people I shall tag this with?

Hobbygasa
Knitterwocky (even though I know you're not knitting right now, this isn't knitting related)
RainyDaisy

And you know, anybody else who might have fun with this post.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Testing...testing...

Helen (OfTroy, donchaknow), over at Golden Apples recently asked me to test knit (my answer: HECK YEAH!) one of her patterns.

It's called Helen's Waterfall Lace Scarf (rav link, for sale for US $3) and it is a gorgeous, simple knit. I'm about 20 inches into it now, and I gotta say, it keeps my attention, which rocks, because if I get bored with a pattern that is the kiss of death. Another benefit is that this knit moves SUPER quickly, so you get a lot of progress for a seemingly small amount of effort.

I'm using a US 5 needle, and Oasis Yarn Aussi Sock in the Fall Melody colorway. I'm kind of dubious about this yarn, it feels really stiff and scratchy, so I'm hoping it softens up after I wash and block.

Here's a picture of the scarf un-stretched:



And a picture stretched out. I haven't stretched it to the fullest yet, but in the photo below its width is about 8 inches. (Taking this picture involved something closely akin to a one person game of twister. I eventually ended up stretching it out with my feet while leaning over to take a picture. Pinning it wasn't working for me for some reason. Possibly because my brain is completely heat addled, and something. Anyway. I cropped my feet out for you all. For which you should be thankful, as I managed to slice off part of one of my toes on Father's Day.):


In other news, all is well in writing land. I'm having a kind of slow afternoon - the pickings are slim for titles on the site that I am writing for right now. I had no desire to write about "Odontogenic Dysplasia" (nor any ability to write on that subject, to be perfectly honest). Thus I decided to play hooky from my day job and write a quick blog post.

Generally, I prefer large periods of solitude in my day, and unfortunately, I have not been afforded that liberty in any of my jobs for the past six years. Which blows. To make matters worse, in my last job I was working with engineers, and therefore became the go-to social person in the office (ironic, no?) and was completely exhausted by the end of my working day, with no desire to get out an socialize after work or on the weekends.

I'm finding that my hermit tendencies are easing up now that I'm not have any human interaction during the day. This is a good thing. I should probably become less of a hermit. (I'm also really good at stating the obvious, if you haven't already noticed.)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mermaid Parade

We went to the Mermaid Parade yesterday at Coney Island. (Iremoved all the nekkid pictures, as this is (more or less) a family friendly blog)












Friday, June 18, 2010

You may be right... I may be crazy

But it just might be a lunatic you're looking for...

I agreed to make this for Ella's (my sister-in-law, and apparent recipient of all Liesls) wedding:


It's called Bella's Bridal Dress from Nicky Epstein's Knitting in Tuscany. I saw this a year ago, and while I thoroughly dislike most of Ms. Epstein's designs (they really just aren't to my EXCEEDINGLY minimalist taste), I saw this dress and said, "Oh, that's Ella's dress" and bought it.

Ok, I mis-characterized a little bit in the first sentence. I didn't just agree to make this, I OFFERED to do so.

Yeah. Approximately ten million miles of crocheted thingys. I haven't crocheted for, oh, at least two years now, if not more. This should be interesting.

I'm also making one of Stephanie Japel's amazing shrugs for Ella to go over the dress. We're going with something really simple to offset the dress.

Any suggestions on the yarn I should use for this one? It called for a Tilli Thomas yarn called "Elsie" which is now discontinued. Elsie was an aran weight milk protein and wool blend. I'm thinking a wool and silk blend would be too heavy for this dress (I'm afraid of pulling) and I'm a little concerned about cotton for similar reasons. Oh, and I need almost 3,000 yards of yarn, so it's gotta be something relatively cheap. Webs, here I come.

Traveling Woman is going quite nicely. I finished all of the repeats of Chart A last night, and have moved on to Chart B. I'm pretty excited. I screwed up a little when I was knitting angry back on Tuesday, but I ripped back and all is well now. No pictures yet.

Also, my life as a freelancer is going pretty well. I have two pieces scheduled for publishing. I'll give you all links when they go up. I'm madly researching other opportunities right now, and cutting expenses everywhere I can. So right now my time is divided between writing and researching (8am to 6pm) and worrying about money (6pm to... well, 8am).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Liesl II, Redux

Earlier this year I completed my second Liesl. It was my second attempt to make one for myself (the first one was too small, and ended up with my Sister-in-Law, Ella) and I was determined to get it right this time.

And unfortunately, experienced multiple fails:

  1. The ball bands on each skein said they were from the same dye lot. They weren't. I didn't discover that one of the skeins was a completely different color until I had finished the body of the sweater and went back up to do the arms. otherwise, I would have alternated skeins.
  2. One of the sleeves was totally screwed up anyway. I'd some how managed to mess up a simple feather and fan pattern. Fixing it would have involved ripping back the entire sweater to the armpits, and I really didn't want to do that. I was already depressed about the color problem.
  3. I made it to fit a 46-inch bust. Because the first one I made, at 36 inches, was too small even though I am a 36-inch bust kinda gal (yay! now you know how big my boobs are. Now go knit me a sweater. Heh). Let's just say that the sweater was a wee bit too big. As in baggy. As in, made me look like I had a 46-inch bust when I was wearing it, because it was so big.
Due to all the problems mentioned above, and the fact that it was my second fail on this sweater (which I REALLY REALLY WANT by the way), I was a little depressed. Then I had a total fail on another Ysolda pattern (Damnson) and kind of decided that I would back away from the Ysolda stuff for a while. Obviously her stuff, for whatever reason, was not jibing with my mental state. Or something. Star crossed knitters?

Regardless, this poor sweater languished at the bottom of my closet for a while, until Ella came over yesterday afternoon. We were looking through my Ravelry projects (she's very supportive of my knitting. I'm guessing its because I knit her stuff) and she wanted to know about the Liesl II. She'd never seen me wearing it, and was curious.

In a fit of guilt, I'd purchased buttons for the thing this weekend at the City Quilter, thinking I would finish it and send it off to my mother, or charity, or something.

At Ella's prodding, I dug it out from its pile in the closet (where I discovered the cat had been using it as a bed) and tried it on for Ella. It. Did. Not. Work. At ALL. I mentioned that Bruce hated the thing and said it looked rather matronly on me.

Ella tried it on. She was swamped in it. However, when she let her hands fall away from the front of the sweater, it fell away from her chest in a really cute way, so I started poking and prodding at it, gathering it with my hands, and tugging it around her (what can I say, I was a seamstress first. Have to get the fit right, always).

It looked awesome. I sewed the buttons on it to tack down the sweater where I wanted it tacked down, and voila:



A cute sweater was born.

Thank you Ella, for modeling. Incidentally, yesterday was the one year anniversary of Ella's liver transplant. She looks good, no?

Now, if only I could make myself a damn Liesl. Maybe I'm a one Liesl per year kinda girl. Maybe I should wait until next year to make another one.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Phew.

As I may have mentioned, I recently quit my job. This past Thursday was my last day. I have been going back in for a few hours here and there to help out my replacement, however yesterday I had an experience that completely reaffirmed my decision to quit. I shall not detail said experience here, but suffice to say, it felt good to walk out when things got crappy rather than be obligated to stay there and take it.

Now I am out on my own. I am currently working on my freelance writing career, and worrying about money. Which I suppose is a good motivator for me. I'm scared about what's going to happen, and exhilarated to be working for myself.

This picture seemed appropriate here:


My ultimate goal is to make a living writing about knitting, writing patterns, and generally being involved in the fiber world. I want to do something I love regarding a subject that I love. I wrote a sample piece on designing knitted garments yesterday as an audition for a site, so hopefully I'll hear something positive back from that effort. If not, then I have some solid writing under my belt and I can use it as a piece for somebody else.

And yes, I have been knitting. After a truly craptacular day yesterday, I knitted like a demon on my Traveling Woman shawl, and have nearly completed it. I just have the final lace chart to get through. Who knew that knitting angry could be so productive?


Blue laundry day at my backdoor neighbor's apartment:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Traveling Woman

I started the Traveling Woman today on the subway, appropriately enough. We were journeying to the Big Apple BBQ fest at Madison Square Park, which was lovely, albeit loud and crowded.

We ate pork. It was good. Some of it was even authentic. WOO!

After I got full, Bruce and friends wandered around eating some more. Georgia and I went to the playground. I sat and worked on Traveling Woman for a while, Georgia bounced around the sprinkler area, which was super cool. We made plans to go back with a swimsuit for her and some towels.

Anyway, pix:

Last night's total cake fail. I was attempting to make a pecan cream cheese roll. It did not go well visually at least. It tasted fantastic:



A shot of some of the smokers at the Big Apple BBQ. Yummy yummy pork. Mmm...



Georgia got a fake tattoo at the BBQ fest. It says "MOO" across the banner:



After the BBQ we walked over to the flea market on 25th Street (well, one of many, but this is the open air one. I saw some pretty bottles:



At the indoor flea market about a block down, (located in a parking garage. Really awesome place, but expensive) Georgia found a pile of treasure:



And a pile of pretty paper (included in this pile, but not in the shot is a magazine that bore the headline "The High Price of Loving Anita Ekberg" which I thought was just fabulous.



We wandered further down the block to The City Quilter to pick up some stuff to make stitch markers out of for my knitting:


Love this store. It's such a great and friendly place. Expensive as hell for fabric, but hey, it's NYC.

At some point in the future, I might have actual knitting photos for you. Of actual things I knitted. Shocking, I know.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Just when you thought everything was going smoothly

I picked my Villane back up this week and made quite a bit of progress on the sleeve, which is the cabley part.

I had gotten through about six inches of the sleeve and feeling pretty proud of myself when I realized I'd used almost a skein of yarn. A skein of yarn for a mere six inches of sleeve, knitted from the bottom up seemed excessive, so I went back and read the directions. Which, I might add, I hadn't read since before we went to Puerto Rico, nearly two months ago.

(I haz teh smartz)

Well, I'd been increasing two stitches every seven rows, instead of every 14 rows. And I'd massively screwed up the increases, the cables, er... well, you name it, I'd screwed it up.

Of course, I knitted another couple of inches before I ripped back. Because that makes total sense. Project totally FUBAR? KEEP KNITTING!

I ripped back while on the train, and madly put all the live stitches back on my needles. Not so bad except that I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing, and got this result:


So, that's the working yarn off to the left at the top, and those are my needles going off to the right. Oh yeah. 100% pure genius on my part. It took me a full day to wrap my brain around how to fix this issue without taking all the stitches off the needles again.

I've fixed, and about six inches back up the sleeve again. So all is well.

And now some more pix from the past few days:

Georgia's graduation from daycare:


The ESPN match truck for the World Cup up at Columbus Circle (Or Buhlumbus Circle as Georgia calls it). I think it's so cool that large crowds of people are gathering to watch in public spaces:


Georgia showing off the pirate pocket watch she insisted on wearing all day yesterday. She's like a tiny white Flava Flav:


And finally, Georgia stole our friend Katie's sunglasses and was wearing them around the soccer match viewing area:


Up next will be a Traveling Woman shawlette with some pretty yarn Ella brought back for me from Vancouver.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Scenes from a busy day

Georgia's nose, extreme closeup edition:


Pulled back a little, and got this:


Pulled back a lot and got this: (top of the Metlife Tower at Madison Square Park, glowing in some weird light, taken from Park Ave S and 19th)


My last day of work party, held at Wildwood BBQ (do my coworkers know me or what?)



Awesome graffiti truck at Union Square (Yes, I can smell you. Thank you for asking)



Last light of day over the Kingsbridge "Castle" as we arrived home.



Lots of knitting. Even more ripping. Total knitting fail today on the Villane. Will explain tomorrow, with illustrative pictures. (Because it is my dream to show how much of a dumbass I can be to the world at large)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

Because I'm beautiful, baby:


My equally beautiful blogging friend, Kate of Lazy Kate Creates gave me this award, which has been a fantastic way for me to find other blogs. In order to accept the award, I must list 10 things that you all may not know about me (which may be difficult) and pass it on to some other beautiful bloggers.

  1. I recently quit my job (my last day is tomorrow) and I am both scared and excited about giving it a go for writing and freelancing and making my own way with my own creativity. Of course this will likely involve a temp job or ten, and some struggle, but I'm looking forward to it.
  2. I firmly believe that knitting lace makes me a better person.
  3. Over the past week it has been difficult to find time to meditate, and I've been missing it. (I think Bruce has been missing it as well.)
  4. A couple of novels have been knocking around in my head and I think I might actually have solved some of the problems I created when I was trying to write them a few years ago.
  5. I think that humility is a vastly underrated virtue, and that we need more of it in the world right now. (Yeah, as you can tell from my proclamations of my own beauty above)
  6. Politically? Eh. I don't trust politicians of any stripe. I'm both rabidly liberal and solidly middle of the road.
  7. I'm rather obsessed with chocolate. Particularly those from Christopher Norman in NYC.
  8. My favorite monument or memorial in NYC is the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City:
  9. My mother lives in Wheeler, Oregon on the coast. It's a gorgeous place, and I love Oregon dearly. I used to work at Osburn's Ice Creamery in Cannon Beach.
  10. I once had a terrible concussion in which I was knocked out for nearly 3 hours and lost my ability to speak for about a month. It took me a very long time to recover my ability to recall words and orient words properly in sentences. I was towards the end of an intensive summer Hindi immersion class, and completely lost all of my knowledge of the language in one fell swoop. (It has not come back)

And now to pass it on to some of my favorite bloggers (and there are many who are NOT on this list, because they have already been named by somebody else):

An exceedingly busy week

Lots of knitting done. I'm finished with the Tiny Tea Leaves for Georgia. Of course, I have no photos. Will try to get some tonight

I'll be picking the Villane back up shortly.

Lessee. This past week, I saw this:
James Webb Space Telescope, soon to replace the Hubble
Ate lunch here:
Stone Street, NYC (near my work)
My sister-in-law Ella got engaged:
Ella and Ryan
And we joined Ella and Ryan and a few thousand other folks for a Liver Foundation walk through Battery Park (and Battery Park City):

We also had friends over for a chili cooking experiement on Sunday (in our apartment with no AC in 90 degree heat. Yeah, we has the smarts), which was lovely.


Somehow with all this activity, I managed to find time to knit an entire sweater? I'm not entirely sure how that happened.


Today Anthony Bourdain is signing books at our local Borders (at Wall Street) and I'm going to pop over there, scope out the crowd, and maybe meet him if it isn't too insane.

I've only seen one book signing at that Borders that got insane, and it was for some Yankees player or something. I'm not really sure. It was definitely sports related.