Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I figured it out.

(I have also watched Kung Fu Panda way too many times. And it is a testament to my immaturity that I find it funny EVERY time.)

What have I figured out, you ask?

Why, what to make with my birthday yarn, the lovely Mirasol Sulka (a bulky yarn full of alpaca, silk and awesome).

The yarn:

The pattern (Rosamund's Cardigan from Interweave Knits Fall 2009):

(pattern available from Interweave Knits, blah blah blah, don't sue me for using your photo without permission, blah)

Iffen I have enough yarn, I shall make the sleeves longer.

Henceforth, I shall be trying something different with my blog. Something new, and unheard of. Well, unheard of mostly on this blog anyway, I hear other people do it:

Actual writing.

OMG. I'm gettin' like, all ambitious and heck.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Objects that are Finished

I had a busy weekend. Finished two projects! Got a bunch of other stuff done.

All while feeling craptacular on Sunday.

September Circle:

Schoppel Wolle Zauberball Crazy in color 1564.

Sorry about the weird photo of me modeling it. I had a tough time getting a decent angle on the thing.

It is stretchy enough to wrap around the neck twice, which is nice.

Hap Blanket:

Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Spruce and Chocloate. Colors in this photo are completely off from reality. I don't know why but neither of my cameras are capable of getting this color correct.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The winners!

We went ice skating yesterday on Chelsea Piers (totally neglecting to get photos, of course). Georgia and Bruce did great, and had really quick learning curves. I took lessons as a kid, so it only took a couple of turns around the rink until I felt comfortable again.

However, the skating was an AWESOME workout and we were exhausted and distracted from things like give aways yesterday when we arrived home.

So, the winners are (highly scientifically chosen by writing names on paper and having Georgia picking them out of my hand):

Kael wins Pretty in Punk (I already have your address, so no worries about e-mailing me)

Tickleturtle wins Holiday Knits.

and Tone wins Home Knits.

Please Rav message me your home addresses (and I suppose, e-mails as well). Boy, I am going to blow the minds of the ladies at the post office when I mail something to Norway. That is going to be awesome.

And, so the post isn't picture-less, here are some awesome buildings across the street from Chelsea Piers (and next door to each other):

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Winding Wool

I was reading The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket over at Yarnstorm and found this poem:

Winding Wool

She'd bring to me a skein of wool
And beg me to hold out my hands;
so on my pipe I cease to pull
And watch her twine the shining strands
Into a ball so snug and neat,
Perchance a pair of socks to knit
To comfort my unworthy feet,
Or pullover my girth to fit.

As to the winding I would sway,
A poem in my head would sing,
And I would watch in dreamy way
The bright yarn swiftly slendering.
The best I liked were coloured strands
I let my pensive pipe grow cool . . .
Two active and two passive hands,
So busy wining shining wool.

Alas! Two of those hands are cold,
And in these days of wrath and wrong,
I am so wearyful and old,
I wonder if I've lived too long.
So in my loneliness I sit
And dream of sweet domestic rule . . .
When gentle women used to knit,
And men were happy winding wool.

by Robert William Service

It felt very autumnal to me. When I look out our windows into the community gardens everything is starting to go yellow around the edges. It's lovely.

Here's a cute winding wool themed greeting card from Tea Snug:

Friday, September 24, 2010

This is what the Bronx sounds like...

The part of the Bronx that we live in is very noisy. In fact, one of the only times where there is anything even remotely approaching quiet is at six in the morning, when nobody is awake. Except us crazy white people.

Every day there are car stereos, home stereos and portable stereos blasting rap, r&b, bachata, salsa, merengue and reggae from about 8 a.m. to about 2 a.m. You can hear snippets of conversations, people calling from their windows, our unofficial intercom system (in which people stand in front of the building and yell), street football and basketball games, arguments and singing. There are car horns, sirens, alarms, buses, trucks and policital propaganda trucks with loudspeakers. We're directly under the flightpath from LaGuardia airport, so airplanes fly over all day. On really bad days we're inundated with the sound of low-flying police helicopters searching for perpetrators of recently committed crimes. Garbage trucks and street cleaners come through once a day.

In our building there are people bumping carts of groceries and laundry up and down the stairs. There is a childcare facility on the first floor, so the sound of children playing drifts up to my windows. A playground is out back, sandwiched between buildings and the noise echoes off the walls. Dogs barking, stray cats fighting or in heat, birds chirping and singing (the rats, amazingly enough, are quiet).

We can hear our neighbors' movies and television shows. We can hear the kids bouncing around in the apartment above us, as I'm sure our downstairs neighbor can hear Georgia. Our downstairs neighbor is a bass player in a bachata band, so we hear him practicing the same song OVER AND OVER. Just the bass line. ARGH.

Bruce and I have said recently that our scale for judging what's obnoxious has been completely reset by the Bronx. What was intolerable to us before we don't even notice now. Georgia could probably sleep through a nuclear apocalypse at this point.

So what I'm getting at is, this past weekend, we had new sounds. Sounds that were totally alien to the Bronx. Sounds that drove me up the friggen wall for about two days.

Geese and chickens.

Some well-meaning folks who don't live in the neighborhood decided to build a chicken coop in the community garden that our apartment overlooks.

No really. Because exactly what this friggen hood needed was... chickens.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I have to stop!

No more looking at the patterns tab on Rav for me. I saw this:

Ruffle My Feathers by Caryl Pierre

And I want to make it RIGHT NOW. So cute. And pretty simple, me thinks. I have the perfect yarn for it.

Other projects are going well. Still chugging away on the Lettuce. Still blazing through the September Circle. I think I'm going to have to make another September Circle for myself. It's a really lovely pattern and quick. Plus, I don't have any cowls.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Aural Satisfaction

Things I have been listening to while knitting:

  1. Kylie Minogue's new album, Aphrodite. Particularly this song. Yes, I am a gay (male) clubrat at heart. I love Kylie. I have all of her albums. She rocks. I wish she was more popular in the States.

  2. BBC's A History of the World in 100 Objects podcast. It is available on their website and on iTunes. For free. Each podcast is about 15 minutes long and really gives me some food for thought. One of the coolest ideas they've put forth recently is that what makes humans different from other animals isn't that we make and use tools (other animals do too), but that we make tools before we need them. We anticipate the need for tools. (She says as she knits a sweater in preparation for the winter) It's also made me think about knitting in a temporal context. My sweater might last for 60 years before it starts to disintegrate. I'm using a skill that is at least 1,000 years old, if not older. It takes time to learn the skill and time to knit the sweater. The fibers probably took a year or two to get from the sheep into my hands in their present state.

  3. SMODcast with Kevin Smith and Scott Moiser. It's raunchy, filthy and on occasion so funny I laugh until I cry. Also free on iTunes.

The September Circle is coming along well. I would post a picture of it, except that I'm currently being pinned down by a kitten who is aggressively sleeping.

The circle is going fast. I'm getting a section done per evening, and am currently on section four of seven. I should be done by the end of the week. The yarn is addictive. I have trouble putting it down because I'm so interested in seeing what colors come up next.

And I think my next project (while I'm still working on that BLASTED fricking five inches of 1x1 ribbing for the Lettuce Pullover, and questioning my sanity) is the Offset Raglan by Veronik Avery from Simple Style (rav links)

in this yarn (Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in Fuchsia):

I love so many patterns in this book. I want to make a good majority of them. I suppose I'd better get started.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Human tested. Feline Approved:

The September Circle is looking really pretty:

I. LOVE. This. Yarn. So much. LOVE, I tell you. Love love love.

My forthcoming review will not be unbiased.

Also, the giveaway is still going.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Finished Object and a Giveaway!

I finished the Braided Mischief Scarf for Bruce. It's really lovely and I wet blocked it yesterday. It is now taking forever to dry.

I used six skeins of Knitpicks Gloss DK, held double. Final measurements are 76 inches by six inches. The yarn is really lovely to knit with. It felt nice, it looks gorgeous, and amazingly enough the color of the yarn in my photo is pretty true to life. I'll let you know how it wears.

This scarf FLEW off the needles once I finally got the chance to sit down and knit on it. It took about three hours to finish a double skein, so in total, around nine hours of knitting.

My new project is September Circle (appropriately enough) in the Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball. I love this yarn, y'all. It's amazing. I will post a full review of it when I'm done. But I'll say, so far the color changes are as AWESOME as Noro and the yarn feels a whole heck of a lot nicer on the fingers.

Here's a picture from the Rav pattern page (photo courtesy of the designer, Melissa LaBarre
totally without her permission. She's awesome. You should check out her stuff):

And, finally, the giveaway. I have three knitting books here that I know I'm never going to use, and while they are pretty and fun to look at, it simply is not going to happen. So in the interest of paring down, I am giving them away.

Please leave me a comment with your choice of books (or all three, if you're so inclined) on this post by midnight (NYC time) Friday, September 24th. I'll choose a winner and let you all know on Saturday.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

No really, I'm knitting

The braided mischief scarf is coming along quickly and beautifully. Absolutely nothing interesting about this one, other than the fact that I screwed up the same row at the beginning five times.

I should be done with it soon. And then I will post a picture of the FO that has magically appeared in my life.

Last night we celebrated Bruce's birthday at the Bohemian Beer Garden (complete with actual Bohemian serving staff) in Queens. Of course, we completely neglected to get any photos. The garden itself is really lovely - outdoors with huge trees and tons of picnic tables. Nice mix of people - hipster and not, old and young, lots of kids running around.

I finally remembered I had a camera on the elevated platform at Astoria Boulevard:

I like this shot of Georgia even though it's blurry:

And here's one that totally entertained me:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hannah Fettig Group on Rav

Also (see, I'm heckin tired), I keep forgetting to mention to the world at large that I want to start a Hannah Fettig group on Rav.

Please drop me a PM on Rav (I'm MissVirginia) or a comment here with your Rav name and I'll add you to the initial invite list.

I contacted Hannah to ask if she'd be cool with this, and she is. She sent me her logo to use on the Rav group, and has agreed to be a mod (if part time right now, because she's busy).

So that's all. We'll provide peer to peer pattern support with input from Hannah, and talk about how awesome her designs are and stuff. :)

Still here, I promise

Just totally exhausted. It's hard to be particularly exciting with the writing when you're tired. I think I'm finally catching up on sleep, which is good.

The Braided Mischief scarf is coming along nicely. It goes superfast, especially when I actually sit down and work on it.

Here's one last shot of the family at Mass MoCA. For some reason, Georgia decided to hide behind the wall for the photos.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Modern Art that Doesn't Suck

One of our stops in the Berkshires was Mass Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA). It's become a "must do" for the family every time we're in the area. It is our favorite modern art museum (museum of modern art, that is) and it always has at least one installation that makes us gasp with wonder. The first time Bruce took me there, the installation that got us was a huge, football field sized, room that had machines that would randomly drop pieces of paper from the ceiling. By the time we got there, the paper was up to our knees and we spent a good few hours in there playing in piles of paper. It was truly magical.

The museum is housed in a former factory complex. I'm not entirely sure what the exact story is, but somehow when the manufacturing industry moved out of North Adams, the town, or somebody else turned the factory in the center of the town into a huge, gorgeous art museum.

Here are Ella and Georgia in the reading room. You may have to look closely to find them. The room is full of soft freeform sculpture that people are allowed to play on. Though there is a sign cautioning everyone not to pop the bubble wrap. Ahem, Ella.

These are from an exhibit called Material World: Sculpture to Environment:

This one made us gasp. It's called Hoosac (after an infamous tunnel in the area, and the river, and the rail line) and is made out of fishing line strung through a large room, with a single light shining on it. (That's me in the first photo)

Tobias Putrih, Re-projection: Hoosac, 2010

And this sculpture made us gasp too:

Alyson Shotz, The Geometry of Light, 2010

The first exhibit we saw was from the artist Petah Coyne, titled "Everything That Rises Must Converge"

We weren't allowed to take pictures, but it was heartbreakingly beautiful. I will treasure the memory of this show. If you click here, you can find an officially sanctioned photo of part of the exhibit.

Here's the catalog. The cover has my favorite sculpture, a large (I do mean full-sized) black tree with taxidermied peacocks and some other bird, with black velvet roses and various other things attached. It sounds tacky as hell, but it was breathtaking:

They also had some of her photographs up, and I loved these as well (though they didn't do much for Bruce. Georgia and Ella were both fans of it though). I got some pictures of the inside of the catalog. These are photos of skirts:

If you have the chance to get to Mass MoCA before the Petah Coyne installation leaves (in February), PLEASE do so. It is really gorgeous.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Why, I think it's BOOTY!

This weekend we went up to Connecticut for Georgia's cousin's birthday (the cousin is three weeks older than Georgia, so they're a nice pair).

After the party we drove up to Webs (WEBS! BOO YAH!) where, well, I bought some yarn.

Here's the booty:

Berroco Lustra 50% Peruvian Wool, 50% Tencel (potentially for Ella's wedding dress). It feels like silk.:

Schoppel Wolle Crazy Zauberball. The German fiber content reads "75% Schurwolle, 25% Polyamid Crazy Outfit" which I think accurately describes it. This is destined to be a scarf for Ella's fiance, Ryan, for Christmas.

More Schoppel Wolle Crazy Zauberball, which is destined to be a cowl for Ella (who purchased both of the Schoppel Wolle balls):

Classic Elite Fresco, 60% Wool/30% Baby Alpaca/10% Angora, which is destined to be Hannah Fettig's Lightweight Pullover (for me):

And some Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride, 85% wool, 15% mohair, that will become an Offset Raglan by Veronik Avery (also for me, though I bought extra for swatching for a sweater for Bruce):

After Webs we drove up to the Mohawk Trail in Mass. and stayed at a lovely farm for the night. The farm had ducks, geese, horses, donkeys and goats. It's a boarding farm for horses and the owner of the house opens up about 1/3 of it to guests. We chose it because she accepts animals and because Beezer was still on the bottle we had to take him with us.

Here's the Beeze (he was "helping" me take pictures of the yarn):

Tomorrow I'll post about our journey through Mass MoCA and put up some pix of pretty (for reals!) modern art.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Actual Knitting!

With actual photos! And actual kittens!

Last night I started on Bruce's scarf. I decided to go with the Braided Mischief. It's really lovely:

The knitpicks yarn (gloss DK) is fabulous, and it's considerably less of a pain in the butt to cable using doubled yarn that I had expected. Of course, I managed to screw up my knitting last night by brilliantly knitting two stitches together (no idea why) and had to tink about four rows. Duh.

The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee decided that close supervision of the picture taking was required:

He also closely supervised the camera, but those pictures are pretty blurry.