Friday, June 29, 2007

Bags, updates and some final thoughts before vacation

I've been wavering on buying a knitting bag for a while. Because so much of my time is spent commuting to work every morning, I feel like I need a really nice bag that can hold my yarn and the assorted random items that find their way into my purse, while still looking stylish enough that people don't look at me funny on the subway. I feel like I need to do my part to make a good impression on non-knitters on behalf of knitters everywhere. So then I got the email about Jordana Paige's new bag. I think once vacation is over I may decide that I need a treat to take the edge off being back at work, and this or the knitter's satchel just might fit the bill.

Also, I've made it to the gusset on my sock. So far so good. Now I have to deal with this whole "turn the heel" concept I've been hearing so much about. ;) Michelle from my Sit'n'Knit told a story at one of our meetups about how she learned to turn a heel. She's a professional dancer and she was on tour and had reached the point where her sock pattern instructed her to "turn the heel." She had no idea how to do this, so after a performance they had a question/answer session with the audience and once all the questions had been asked and answered, she posed a question to the audience: "Does anyone know how to turn a heel? If you know what that means then please come up to the stage." Sure enough. a whole bunch of women came up to answer her question so she ran backstage and grabbed her knitting so they could show her how it's done. I thought that was such a lovely example of how helpful knitters truly are with each other.

I know there's been a lot of talk in blogland recently about civility in dealing with others. But I think that while some people may make some not-so-polite posts or leave less-than-civil comments on blogs, part of revealing your thoughts or reading the thoughts of others in such a public format means that you're not always going to like what you read. But, if you are happy with the work that you do, the criticisms should not get you down. I'm reminded (having just re-read The Goblet of Fire) of Dumbledore saying to Hagrid that if you're holding out for universal popularity, you'll be waiting a very long time. I think focusing on the positive comments means so much more than criticisms that are not constructive or are just plain mean-spirited. So on that unbelievably downer note, I'm off for some fun in the sun!

Vacation... all I ever wanted

That's right, I'm off this afternoon for 8 blissful days of vacation at the beach house. I have a jam packed lineup of sunbathing, swimming, knitting, reading, eating, and drinking planned. I'm going to be bringing my bike and hopefully will get to pay a visit to Island Knits in Beach Haven. Will have lots of pictures of beach scenery and knitting when I return! Hopefully a FO will be in attendance but I'm not going to hold my breath.

My brother's now officially a police officer with the NYPD (Gosh, he still looks so young to me. Far too young to be out there "serving and protecting"). It turned out being an incredibly small graduation class. And while I generally like Mayor Bloomberg very much, I would think that if he wants to continue the trend of lower crime in New York City, he might consider paying recruits a bit more so that they can actually afford to live here as they are required to do.

The graduation itself was quite an event. I was especially moved by the NYPD Emerald Society's Pipe and Drum Corps. when they performed a medley of the various military songs and graduates who were members of the army, navy, marines, etc. stood when their respective songs were played. Even for someone who is generally as cynical as I am, it was quite something.

In other news, the exterminators should be doing their thang at my apartment this very moment. I cannot wait until this fiasco is over. As of this moment, having my own place sounds like a fantastic idea, but coming back to a bug free apartment will suffice for the time being.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bed Bug Crisis of '07 Continues

Exterminator is due to come Friday. I am still totally skeeved being in my apartment, or rather anywhere near the living room. My favorite comfy couch is currently the domain of the roommate who has the infestation. And last night it was discovered that the couch is now infested. In addition, saw two in the bathroom. Thus far none have made the trek to my end of the apartment But they still have 2.5 days to migrate so I'm not terribly hopeful.

Almost all of my clothing is cleaned and bagged. I even bagged the stuff I'm bringing on vacation next week just in case. My yarn is all stored in ziploc bags inside a rubbermaid container that will then be placed in a heavy duty lawn and garden trash bag (I don't want to risk contamination of the yarn by chemicals). Tonight after my bro's NYPD graduation thing (he says it's not a real graduation, I say Nay!) I plan on tackling my book shelves and vacuuming. I am not happy. Not happy at all.

But oh look here is the makings of a sock! (Yarn Harlot has convinced me that looking at yarn will make anything better)

Monday, June 25, 2007


Started on my first pair of socks this weekend. I opted to play with the KnitPicks Memories "Cape Cod" instead of the Koigu. Am doing the magic loop method, but made the mistake of not casting on both socks at once. I decided to try just one first to get the hang of it, but got the hang so quickly that i really wish I had two of them going. Socks are fun. Wow. I have a feeling this means many socks as gifts for my loved ones. :) Pics to come.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Something that will be taking up valuable knitting time

I found out recently that my paper was selected for presentation at an architectural paint research conference in January. In the interest of full disclosure I have to say that a) I am on the planning committee, b) my boss is the head of the committee, c) the paper stems mostly from my master's thesis, and d) my boss was my thesis advisor. However, I had nothing to do with my paper being selected. We were not allowed to read papers in the category for which we submitted and I personally think my paper was excellent when compared with some of the submissions in the category I was reading for. Other Knitting Jen(n) was also selected to present on Tiffany's painted finishes. Pretty freakin cool.

So I will get to spend some quality time in the Avery Library Rare Books Room checking out some period paint catalogs. And then in January, I will be presenting in front of approximately 200 paint researchers and published in a real live book that comes out of this conference. Fun, eh?

I did it again

This is a box from KnitPicks that arrived at work yesterday. I purchased a few balls (okay, seven) of their Palette wool in different colors for a fair isle sweater. I'm a little disappointed with one of the greens though. It's so much brighter than I was expecting. Oh well. The striped yarn is a sock yarn (I know!) in a colorway called Cape Cod (sigh).

The dust pan is just there because I'm too lazy to walk into the lab and put it away.

I'm still waiting for Amazon to ship Poems of Color to me. Once I get that I may decide to do a bohus instead of fair isle. But I really should get my skills together before I plan anything overly ambitious.

Had a lovely evening out with another Knitting Jen(n). She's going to be hosting a meetup for our sit n' knit group later in July that I'm very excited about. Outdoor knitting and a movie! Cannot wait.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Yarn AND cupcakes?

Impossible you say? Get a load of these:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Yarn therapy

I've been having a really difficult time at work recently. Things pretty much came to a head on Friday when I just got pushed so far that I just couldn't take any more and snapped at the office manager when she was being typically stupid and difficult. She started yelling at me and I told her to grow up. Her rejoinder? "Why don't you grow up!" I think we were about to descend into an abyss of I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I's before I opted to take myself out of the equation, pack up my things and get the heck out of there. At first I thought I would go to Starbucks, sit and have an iced tea, and wait for my ride to the beach house. Then I had a brilliant idea once I reached the pavement. I would walk around the corner to School Products and hope against all hope that they would still be open so I could get something soft and beautiful and new to knit (nevermind the half finished sweater in my bag). Sure enough, I made it with 30 minutes to peruse.

And what lovely things I had to tempt me when I got there! I wandered around for a bit, being very indecisive but really knowing deep down what I was about to do. I've had socks in my head for weeks now, and socks were what my brain and my hands were demanding I knit. So there was not much left for me to do than to buy sock yarn. And what lovely sock yarn it is! If there is anything that will make the stress of a horrible day go away this was it. I spent the next hour in a Starbucks near Penn Station with my iced tea/lemonade winding a skein into a ball. A happier hour was never spent and on top of that I had the prospect of beautiful beach weather all weekend.

Unfortunately my bliss was not to last. I was unfortunately involved in a minor fenderbender on Monday morning with a van I had rented for a work project involving the repair of some cemetery stones. Long story short, I'm going to be held responsible for this and my insurance will be a fiasco I'm sure. Then I had to still drive out to Long Island for three days of work on the project from hell with my boss and two coworkers.

I hate this project with a passion. I think it's a waste of time and labor and in the end will look so bad that the clients will not be happy which means the job will continue to drag on until they are appeased. And my boss talks a good game but has poor mechanical skills when it comes to this type of work and her repairs are the only ones I have had to redo because they keep failing. This project is cursed as far as I'm concerned from beginning to end and I feel like my only way to escape is by finding a new job.

Hopefully knitting on the koigu tonight will make me feel better. I can only hope the bed bugs don't get to it before I do. ICK! (Exterminator not coming until next Friday. I'm off to buy large ziploc bags to store my precious yarn)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Getting organized

Again with the planning. Today I've decided to figure out upcoming patterns I'd like to try. I really need a resource I can go back to for reference since it's so hard to keep these ideas in my head. Jenn Newton had the brilliant idea to start making lists of future gifting projects to get on the ball for Christmas. And in the spirit of planning ahead I think I'll have to do this as well. Cannot WAIT for Ravelry to come on line. Just thinking about it makes me all tingly. patience... patience...

Future Patterns
My So-called Scarf
Norwegian Stockings
Lady Eleanor
French Market Bag
Clessidra Stockings
Knee socks
(I love em! Blame it on my history in catholic school uniforms)
Ballet Wrap Sweater (pdf)
Nantucket Jacket
Venezia Pullover
Cardigan for Arwen
Bristow Cardigan
Bathmat, Felted Bowls, Cupcakes from One Skein
Split Neckline Cap Sleeved Tee
Puff-Sleeved Cardigan
Elizabeth Bennet Cabled Cardigan
Textured Tunic (all from Fitted Knits)

Gosh I know there are more.... will have to ponder this thought all day instead of doing work.

OH fine... and Clapotis.

Monday, June 11, 2007


So I just arrived home at my apartment to discover a note from one of the roommates on the kitchen table. Turns out she's got bed bugs, which may explain why she was asleep on the couch this morning when I woke up.

Is it wrong/odd/whatever that my first concern was "Crap, will they infest my knitting???" So I did a cursory scouring of my room and have not located any signs of the wee beasties but I am still getting those creepy crawly sensations. Ick.

In other news, I (like so many people) was disappointed with the ending of The Sopranos. As a North Jersey girl, I enjoy the show for many reasons but mostly the glimpses of the familiar landmarks and the fantastic characters and writing. But, really, David Chase? That's the best you can do? Some great one liners though helped redeem the episode from its appalling "ending" and the way Phil got whacked totally made my night. Too bad it was all sound and fury signifying nothing, in the end.

Thank goodness the folks at Scholastic decided to make my day and release the cover art for the deluxe edition HP7. How very "Neverending Story."

And now it's time to take my bed bug free knitting and get to work. Looking for new project ideas. I'm considering socks. But I also have yarn in my stash that is destined for this bad boy. But I'm getting pretty sick of cables right now so I feel like I'd like something else.

So sad

My New York age is 48

This New York age puts you-generally speaking-into the old-age category. Don't worry-this isn't a bad NYC age to be. Your tastes are more refined and developed, and people have always told you that you're mature for your age anyway, right? Still, you may want to see more live music (check out Studio B) and should probably visit Olde English is funny at any age.

Does your age reflect how you're living? Let us know.

What's your New York age? Take the Time Out New York quiz and find out!

Friday, June 8, 2007

A snag

So last night in my infinite wisdom, I wound up leaving my keys at work. Happens to everyone, you say? Well, this is the second time in two weeks. So thank goodness I'm not average. Naturally my roommate, having a life, was not home which meant I had to make a trek back to work to pick up the keys. Luckily most of the people I work with are workaholics so someone was actually there to let me in.

This of course meant that I didn't get nearly as much done as I would've liked and that included photographing my projects. This was, however, not entirely my fault. My camera batteries weren't fully charged so I only got about ten pictures taken before the camera decided that it would much rather take a nap. (I was jealous) This also meant that I caved and rewarded myself with some ice cream (frozen yogurt actually, but saying ice cream just makes me feel like I got a treat).

All was not lost however! Prior to getting on the subway for the first time. I stopped at Design Partners and picked up some cheap dpns for the sleeves on Blaze. Because I finally got to the point where I can start the sleeves! So I got to spend three 45min trips on the A train knitting sleeves. Very exciting. Look at those lovely zig zags.

I am however a little concerned that the body looks a bit like a tent:

I'm knitting it in Classic Elite Princess which is a really fun yarn. I love the feel of it and it has great stitch definition.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

More to do

1. Photograph stash
2. Photograph FOs
3. Photograph WIPs

This evening, in addition to organizing my room, packing for the beach, and avoiding the quart of ice cream in the freezer, I'm going to have to get a lot of photography done. Not that it will be that hard for me to do. Although the disaster that is my bedroom might say otherwise, I am a closeted organization freak and the prospect of making things orderly is making me giddy. If you need any proof, please see my already prolific list making.

On starting a real blog

I've dabbled before, I admit it. Sometimes I even managed to be quite humorous and generate quite a few hits. But let's face it, it was pretty half-assed. So now it's time for some real blogging.

Goals of this blog (in no particular order, but numbered because I adore numbered lists):
1. To keep me on track with my knitting.
2. To provide me a platform for showing off my knitting. (Yes, I could wear it, but pictures are so much more fun!)
3. To start me thinking about stuff other than knitting.
4. To get me writing (and thereby, thinking) more.
5. To give me another way to procrastinate.