Sunday, January 29, 2006

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

It's the Year of the Dog! So Gregor, Dave & I headed down to Chinatown this afternoon to check out the Lunar New Year celebration. The must-haves for the crowd were these long colorful paper tubes that shoot showers of colorful paper bits into the air -- think wrapping paper tubes covered in foil and packed with tissue paper shreds. You push on one end until the pressure inside the tube makes the paper explode into the sky and everyone cheers. This is great and colorful, but you can see the "river of blood" that results from such revelry on a rainy day. Gregor found out the hard way that this river is much deeper than it looks. And I found out that wet rainbow-colored paper is not so nice when it lands all over your light-colored coat...reminds me of a certain blue streamer vs. animal cracker incident in college...

I ripped out the original start to my mittens and am now following a seed-stitch cable mitten pattern supplied by my guru. See? I'm quite happy with how they're coming along so far.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Sammy in the City

Finally, Sam made her Big Apple debut. It was a little bit colder than we would have liked, but we still bundled up my cute little niece and went for a brisk walk to Washington Square Park. Almost immediately Sam's little eyes watered from the cold so we kept right on going past the arch, down McDougal to SnB's old stitching grounds, the Tea Spot. The beautiful Mudry baby got a lot of attention, of course.

After tea, where else could we take her in NYC but to a bar! Oh, don't worry, Loreley serves food, too...hearty German fare. And it's very kid-friendly, in that Sam could scream if she needed to (she didn't), and no one would be bothered over the cacophony of revelers. It was a great afternoon, and I hope she comes back soon. Really, I just wanted to use this post to show off how cute she is!

Mittens are on the needles, my first ones! But I'm taking them off because I was kind of making them up as I went along and I don' think it was going along too smoothly -- my guru is faxing me a new pattern to try for them.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Puppies and Cables and Memes...oh my!

I shouldn't be posting this, since it's a gift I won't be able to give until March, and the recipient's mom occasionally reads this blog, but I won't name names...and it came out so cute, I just had to share. I turned down the collar because it looked weird when I left it up -- too bad I didn't realize that before or I wouldn't have added the now-superfluous button holes up there. Oh well -- design feature. I especially like the puppy buttons I picked up at SnB at The Point last night.

BIG this very moment, SAM is on her way to NYC. YAY! Pics to come after she does many cute things and I record them on camera.

I was tagged by Crafty Girl's Life to answer this MEME (how do you say that? I really never heard of it before I started knitting and blogging, and now I've heard it a bunch of times!)

4 Jobs I've had in my life.
Assembly line picker and packer at Gibson's factory
Mascot for New Haven Ravens (Minor League baseball team)
Computer teacher at St. George's College in Kingston, JA
Jack of all trades at Rocket Books

4 Movies you watch over and over.
The Princess Bride
Cruel Intentions
A Christmas Story

4 TV shows you love to watch.
American Idol

4 Websites you visit daily.
Second Breakfast
All my knitting friends' blogs -- there are more than 4!

Yarn Harlot
Breast Cancer Site - to fund free mammograms!

4 Places you'd rather be right now.
Scuba diving in Roatan
Knitting at The Point
Hanging out with Sam (soon to be here!)
Drinking wine in front of a fireplace with my friends while a blizzard rages outside

And I'm done!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

"I'm not drunk, I'm just fun!"

Unable to decide between the duck and the shrimp, my fabulous friend NYC Rachele fumbled her order, causing the waiter to tell her she was cut off from her Tom Yumtini. To which she replied with the title of this post. I love that girl! We randomly ran into her while having a glass (or two) of wine at Bar Veloce in Chelsea, an area where neither Rachele nor we live, and transitioned our chance encounter into dinner and cheap yet fancy martinis at Nooch.

Speaking of drinking, the aftermath of my 32nd birthday left me feeling a bit old, so I decided to make a list of celebrities who were born in or before 1974 and are still very very cool. I don't know why, but thinking of things like this makes me feel like so many more great things are still possible in my life, and that I'm not that old yet. So indulge me and let me know who you think should be added to this list... (all dates are from IMDB)
  • Sting (1951)
  • George Clooney (1961)
  • Jon Stewart (1962)
  • Johnny Depp (1963)
  • Amy Ray (1964) & Emily Saliers (1963) (aka The Indigo Girls)
  • Sarah Jessica Parker (1965) & Matthew Broderick (1962)
  • Keifer Sutherland (1966)
  • Gwen Stefani (1969)
  • All members of BNL (Born in or before 1970)
  • Matt Damon (1970)
  • Tina Fey (1970)
  • Queen Latifah (1970)
  • Vince Vaughn (1970)
  • Cameron Diaz (1972)
  • Shaquille O'Neal (1972)
  • Ryan Seacrest (1974)
  • Ryan Phillippe (1974)
  • Joaquin Phoenix (1974)

Lastly, I highly recommend the BODIES exhibition at the South Street Seaport Museum. Ever wonder what your spleen looks like? Your veins? Your entire digestive system? Go here! The exhibition is comprised of actual human bodies/body parts that have had all the fluid removed from the cells and replaced by some plasticizing material. It's truly amazing, but go with a strong stomach -- I had had enough by the last room. You may never get a chance to see the human body like this again, with its insides displayed splendidly and honestly. You'll also see that we're no less hunks of meat on the inside than a cow or a pig...edifying for a vegetarian!

Friday, January 20, 2006

It finally happened!

Dave has finally embraced my obsession with knitting & with bags, providing a birthday present that allows me to combine the two! He even went through the trouble of ordering the bag on-line, not just picking it up on a whim. I love it! He went one step further into Michelle-specific gifts and got me a copy of Vegetarian Times. See what 4 years of marriage can do? He finally gets me!

Here's what's on my needles -- it's a sweater for one of my friend's bun-in-the-oven. It's the Elizabeth Zimmermann Best Baby Sweater pattern, but I bastardized it into a stockinette stitched/seed stitched edging/cabled sweater. Even though this is pretty simple, I'm learning a lot on it, especially how to undo mistakes without ripping out the whole thing, or tinking back slowly, stitch by stitch. I already finished the sleeves. Sorry for the dark picture, but I think you can see the cables better than with the flash on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

This past Sunday was my 32nd birthday, and Dave, Gregor, Katie & I went up to Lake Placid for the long weekend to celebrate and get away. The highlight, besides copious amounts of time spent knitting by the fireplace in the lodge with Katie, had to be the bobsled ride. With a professional driver and brakeman riding along, we went on 1/2 mile track used in the 1980 Olympics. It was so fast! And we even got to wear helmets. But it was butt-cold.

We also rode an open chair lift on that same freezing day to the top of a ski jump. We could see the home of John Brown, the abolitionist who led the raid on Harper's Ferry, and the subject of the historical fiction Cloudsplitter by Russell Banks (one of my favorite authors). It seemed weird to be looking at his homestead from an Olympic Ski Jump Observatory, like totally different worlds colliding. But looking down at the shack and graves from the height of the jump, I could really feel the setting of the book.

All in all, I had a great weekend with my husband and friends. And the hat I made for Katie for her Christmas gift got a great compliment from a lady in a shop selling Icelandic Sweaters, so that made my day!

I asked my mom to take a picture of her and my dad wearing their Christmas scarves, but I think this model is much more appropriate for the blog...

By the way, all is well in the world -- American Idol is back!

Sunday, January 08, 2006


We had a perfectly low-key weekend, with the highlight being today -- Dave & I spent several hours making pierogies. It was our first try, and some of them ended up not being sealed too well and so all the stuffing fell out when we boiled them. But some of them came out pretty nice. It was fun -- Dave ate about 1/2 the stuffing and put the other half in the pierogies.

Sorry for the unexciting post -- I'm still working on my Christmas presents, so I'll post more pics when they're all done and in the hands of their recipients.

Sam is coming to town on Tuesday!

Monday, January 02, 2006


Notre Dame just got trounced by Ohio State for their 8th consecutive bowl game loss...not a record we're pleased with in this house. But maybe next year will bring more joy, and since we should be able to see all the home games, I really really hope that it will be the year ND finally shakes down the thunder. Not like tonight. But, let's talk about all the good things that happened in the last 10 days...

Christmas was a time for a lot of family fun. We spent a few days in CT with my family, including Sam (seen here being proudly displayed by my mom) and my grandparents. My parents both liked the alpaca scarves I knit for them from the yarn they picked out at Southwind Farms, but I forgot to take a pic of them modeling their gifts (Mom, can you send one?).

After Christmas we headed to MI for the rest of the week. I found out my mother-in-law is a big fan of untangling yarn, so I let her handle all of the knitpicks Sierra that I was working with, since I couldn't figure out how to wind it without creating a mess...thanks Mom L! I made her a little knitting kit, so we'll see how far she progresses before I see her next. Here's a pic of the scarf I am working on with this yarn (it's an Irish Hiking Scarf from Hello Yarn) -- it's a Christmas present, a little late but oh well. We hung out with our adorable nephew Alek & niece Annika -- here's a pic of Alek wearing a Chinese hat that Dave bought in Hong Kong.

I had some great wool that I bought from the Craftacular and I made the Coronet cable-trimmed hat from knitty as a present for my friend Bevo. This was a particularly rewarding project for me, because it forced me to do a few new things, including a provisional cast-on (thanks and the kitchener stitch (not so hard as I thought -- it didn't come out perfect but that's because I was grafting together the cabled band and I'm not that advanced -- I decided that if i had to wait for perfection I'd never get anything done at this stage). I also had to undo and re-do the hat when it was initially too small for its recipient. I really like how it turned out.
Anyway, I'll end here, and I wish you all a Happy New Year! I hope 2006 lives up to everyone's hopes and that your resolutions/promises/life changes/happiness are all met.