Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Party hat!

Quick post -- the hourglass sweater now has 2 complete sleeves! It's all in one piece, which makes me feel like I'm almost done. But the downside to that is that this is now a much heavier project to tote around. But I'll manage to drag it to SnB tonight. I've just got to hand-wind a skein of off white before I go.

Does anyone know who belongs to this hat? I found it sleeping in my apartment after the party 2 weekends ago. It doesn't eat much, and it's really soft, so I don't mind adopting it, but I think it wants to go back home with its original owner because it's not really my style and it will get neglected in my closet. Anyone?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Amy's Bump

While she is definitely not as big as our friend Andrea was at the same point in her pregnancy, my dear friend Amy is unmistakably sporting a bump. That's so Hollywood of her. With 7 more weeks to go, I think she's going to really pop out soon. She lives outside of Boston, so I don't get to see her too often, but her baby shower was in CT this weekend so it was a great opportunity to hang out with her and my friend Andrea, who also lives in MA. Our bride-to-be friend Fredi was there as well as my NYC and beyond pal Katie. Here's a shot of Amy and her mom, and then one of Katie's and Andrea's moms, holding the lovely knitted gift I made for Amy's baby-to-come, Michelangelo.

Dave drove into CT yesterday as well, to take a van load of stuff to my grams. Now we are left with the basic necessities in our NYC pad...bed, TV and some clothes. The move next week should be easy, at least the physical part. Emotionally, I'm not sure how that's going to go...But here's Dave proudly piloting the big red beast we rented for the occasion.

Friday, March 24, 2006


First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Jess! Hope you're celebrating well today!

I'm listening to my ipod on "shuffle" -- there are like 10K songs on there so I really have no idea what is going to play next. There was a song from the Simpson's followed by Frank Zappa...it's great! All this music I forgot we even had!

Here's a shot of my Hourglass Sweater progress, because thinking about my empty apartment is not as much fun as thinking about my knitting. I have 1 sleeve done and attached to the body, and I spent a few hours yesterday casting on and ripping out the 2nd sleeve. I was trying to do the provisional cast-on with a cable needle instead of waste yarn, like I did for the first sleeve, so I wouldn't have to cut all the stitches out and stick the needle through later, when I was doing up the hem. But for some reason it was just a big P.I.T.A. and I couldn't get it for the life of me. So waste yarn it is!

Oh joy, joy, here come the Dead, Me and My Uncle...and I left his dead ass there by the side of the road!

Gratuitous shot of Sam in the City.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Pack it up, pack it in

This is what my office looks like now that everything is disassembled and packed up. I don't have a lot of news except that we've been spending almost all of our free time packing. It's kind of sad in here now that most of the carpeting and furniture are gone, and after this weekend we'll pretty much be living in a big empty apartment with a bed, futon and TV (necessities only, see?) But that will free us up to enjoy our last week in Manhattan without worrying about the hassle of packing. And we know all about the hassle of packing...this is the 4th time we've moved in 6-1/2 years. And I'm about sick of it. I like living in a new place, but I hate the "rituals" that go with it changing homes.

I have done ZERO knitting since posing for Kara's portrait, but we did get to see Phantom on Broadway thanks to my very good friend NDR and her bro-in-law.

Lame post! I promise to be more exciting next time. I'll have some good pics this weekend after my friend Amy's shower -- she's due in just 7 weeks!!!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Um...err..."book sharing" party

Yesterday Jill hosted a perfect gathering -- I mean everything was just so right! Many knitters brought their books so we could share, and we knit, and talked, ate and ate and ate, and the food was great. I brought home some of her eggplant/pureed pea concoction and Dave literally licked the container clean (Jill, I need the recipe, please!!!) Five hours flew by so fast, I was shocked when I looked at the clock as I left. Times like this really make me sadder and sadder that I have to leave Manhattan in less than 2 weeks...I mean it. I met so many cool people this past year, and we really bonded, and I'm really getting to love these ladies and now...I have to go! It's not enough that I'm going to miss my childhood friends in NYC like Katie & Gregor, now I am so lucky to have multiplied my relationships here and, and, and...I'm going to get very very sad. I think I will be bawling when we finally drive away next Friday and I realize what I'm leaving behind. Don't get me wrong, I'm really excited for the upcoming adventures in South Bend, but I'm still allowed to be sad for the friends I'm going to miss.

Anyway, not to be all depressing here -- Sunday was truly fun. And here are some pics to prove it. Jenn is looking so cute just because, and Heather is dancing because her book is almost done (sorry about the camera strap in the corner, but the pic was too cute to exclude -- and the other one was too blurry). It was great to meet Lorie, a soldier who started a Baghdad SnB! And the SnB queen herself, Debbie Stoller, was also in attendance -- she was a treat to meet and hang out with ("It's not the size of the stick...")

Tonight I went to Kara's loft for a few hours, to sit and knit while she painted my portrait. Kara is one of those people who continues to amaze me. I mean, she really has no idea how cool, talented and fun she is (but I bet her husband Mike knows). I can't wait to see the painting, because I saw some of her other work and it was really good. Even if she doesn't think so, it is!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Party People in the House!

I can't believe how many people fit into our apartment last night...I think there were at least 50 all total, not including the 1 uninvited party crasher. Mike & Kerry came in with our favorite party guest Sam (who didn't even have the courtesy to stay awake for the party!) Andy and Melissa came in with my brother, and we also had a special visit from Adam & Maria, who we hardly ever see in NYC because they are so busy being good parents in CT. The party was such a blast, and I can't tell you how much we appreciate everyone who came. It really made me feel all warm and fuzzy to see so many of our friends getting together at our place to party with us before we leave, including the out-of-towners. I had so much fun, and I think everyone else did too. Especially Jenn... Mikey partied like a college boy and performed the "2 scoop boobie dance" for his adoring fans -- mom & dad, you would be SO proud of your son. I'm sure there are some incriminating photos around with all the digital cameras that were there. Thanks to everyone for coming and bringing good drinks and more importantly, good company!

As you can see here, Mikey wasn't having such a good time in the morning, after waking up on the hard wood floor in Cathryn's hallway where he had "fallen asleep". Thanks for the use of your apartment, Cathryn!
The next day we toured around the city a bit with Adam & Marcia. We hit the Union Square Greenmarket and Soho, and I ended up with a really cool pair of non-leather shoes. It was great to spend some time with A&M in the city, but we'll get to see a lot more of them when we move back to CT and have "Idol Nights" together.

Now I'm just dreading the fact that it truly is time to pack and move...no more procrastinating.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Sam on St. Patty's Day!

Forgive the lack of content here, but my parents are away and they asked for some pics of Sam...so if you like Sam, you'll love this post of Sam in the City...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Kissing Cousins

This is for my mom & dad, who are now in Sunny Aruba! See, we're taking good care of Doc, and he's even getting along with his "cousins." Enjoy the sun, it's getting cold again here! I love you guys!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Isn't It Juicy, Bill?

Don't worry, the weekend wasn't that spicy -- Jen-nay was just talking about her brined turkey from last Thanksgiving. That's my very very very very (get the picture?) good friend Jen-nay, who flew in from Texas Friday with her equally good husband Sterbs. We had a GLORIOUS weekend for their visit! Friday was in the 70's, Saturday was sunny and in the 60's, and the sky cried rain when they left on Sunday. I can't believe how much we packed into 36 hours! And yes, that is Greta I'm sporting, and yes, that's Dave and Sterbs wearing short sleeves in Central Park in March!

We woke up late on Saturday and headed straight for Top of the Rock, where we had an incredible view of Manhattan. The view from this observation deck is great, because you can actually see the ESB instead of seeing from it. Plus, it's not nearly as popular as it's tall 34th Street cousin, so lines are minimal. Dave has been there 3 times in as many months, but it was my first time. After soaking in the view, we walked up to the Met through Central Park. I love Gauguin, especially the paintings he did in Tahiti. I always idealize and romanticize the South Pacific before air travel made it so easy to get to, and a journey there was only possible after months at sea in a creaking vessel...

After perusing the paintings, we went back to our pad to rest up for our Broadway appointment at the St. James Theater, where Sterbs had procured awesome seats for The Producers -- such a bizarre but truly entertaining and funny show! And did the night end there? No way! We headed on down to La Paella for tapas and wine (beau coup goat cheese for Jen-nay), then on to Veselka for dessert. We finally ended the night in our back yard, enjoying the weather and each others' company.

Jen-nay and Sterbs are awesome. They have 2 young kids but they are so laid back -- the kind of parent I want to be some day. It was such a good visit, but way way way too short. I can't wait to see them in the midwest when we all move there this summer!

And FYI, this is the view from your window when Rescue Me sets up its film crew right in front of your apartment. I felt too conspicuous to take a pic when all the people were sitting there, because they were literally right in front of our window, but when they broke for lunch I snapped a shot.

In the midst of all the weekend craziness, I still managed to get some knitting done, and I'm ready to start the sleeves on the Hourglass Sweater. But that's not nearly as exciting as the good weather we are having now, is it? It's still light out now and it's 6PM! Yay!!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

What do people in the suburbs keep in their fridges?

I don't think it's cat food and beer. I started to worry about this yesterday after cleaning the apartement in anticipation of a visit from my friends, when I saw what was actually in my fridge. So I asked Theresa the question above -- she said condiments, after she stopped laughing at me. What's the right answer? I went out to get chips and salsa, crackers and cheese and some wine. But it still looks like a college dorm fridge...maybe I should buy some eggs and milk? What the hell do suburbanites put in their fridges that keeps them so full?

Just some food for thought as I wait for my friends to arrive!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

One speck of sand, and then back to the hourglass sweater we're going

Here's a pic of my progress -- I'm coming along nicely, and this is actually going very fast. I've got about 12" done so far. But I keep getting disctracted by other things, like the Family Tunic in Weekend Knitting (even though it's for a child, I want to make it for me...). I went out and bought the book today, after seeing the pattern during a visit to Suss night. I also like the really really cute Baby Bolero in One Skein, a book we were all going gaga over at SnB Tuesday night. Focus, focus!

Here are some promised pics from the HVYC -- Katy and her stash, and Jess fondling some hand spun something at Countrywool.

Tonight Katie & I are going to see my friend Annie in Spring's Awakening at the Looking Glass Theatre. I'm excited to see her on stage, even though she told me the play is very weird. That makes it better -- the brochure describes it as "no after-school special." We shall see!

Happy news -- Jenny & Sterbs arrive tomorrow -- I better go buy some beer! Jenny likes Bud Light...Sterbs is a real man of genius.

And Kingston loves the yarn I bought last weekend.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Hudson Valley Yarn Expedition

Bright and early yesterday morning I met up with Ruth, Jess, Jenn and Katy to head up the Hudson Valley for some fiber frolicking. The sun was shining and the sky was blue blue blue, all good omens for our tour d' yarn.

Our first stop was Pawling Alpacas, where we met Kelly and her alpacas. Kelly is my new heroine. She has 3 children, a beautiful house, an alpaca farm and an attic full of fibrous goodness -- roving, a spinning wheel and the softest yarn ever. Plus, she is about the nicest, most genuine and warmest person you could ever meet. I really liked how obvious it was that she cared about the alpacas beyond just their financial possibilities -- she loves these animals! Add to this list of wonders the fact that she is repping a group of local fiber farms in the form of the Hudson Vally Fiber Company, and she becomes a goddess. You can't buy this yarn in your LYS yet, but she's working on it, and I bet if you email her, she can hook you up with some yummy softness. Or maybe you could plan a visit to her alpacas and her yarn attic!

After feeding us munchkins and coffee, Kelly took us outside to see the alpacas -- they are literally right in the backyard of her small country farmhouse. Our first greeters were the gelded and not-yet-ready to mate males (some of whom were showing "some interest", Kelly proudly told us). Dr. Pepper, Marshall, and I can't remember the rest of their names were extremely happy to see us because we came bearing food, and they ate right out of our hands. Next we went to see the girls and the cria James, who were slightly more skittish than the boys but just as soft and lovely. Suddenly all the alpaca ladies turned around and headed up the hill, single file, to the barn -- it was lunchtime and they all knew this by no other signal than the time of day. Pretty cool!

Leaving Kelly and her babies behind, we headed up to Milan to Sheep's Clothing, the Morehouse Merino store. I bought some chartruese yarn to make a scarf as a gift, and also some really cute sheep buttons. The store is adorable, with a great room for browsing and reading knitting patterns, books, etc. and drinking tea and coffee -- with free cookies, too!

Our next stop was lunch at a Tex-Mex in Rhinebeck, and then off to Hudson to visit Countrywool. This place was absolutely in the middle of nowhere, and we learned that Ruth is absolutely a city girl -- "What if something happens out here? There's no one around!" But the country was beautiful, and the proprietress raised her own angora bunnies and spun the fiber with local wool from her friends' farms. I love local stuff. The store was beautiful and full of delicious yarn -- it was here that Katy hit the yarn mother load for her sweater. Spinning supplies were abundant, and Jess and I picked up a really cool pattern (to be named later, since I bought it as a gift for someone who reads this blog).

After Countrywool we headed back down the valley to the town of Hopewell Junction, where we met the marvelous Marjaana, owner of Yarn Central. The store and its owner were so inviting, with a cozy, comfy area for knitting and looking at patterns, and free cookies and drinks! Marjaana stayed open late because she knew we were coming, and it was such a treat to meet her and to see how much she loves knitting. We all know that sometimes yarn stores can be snobby and aloof, but I cannot say enough how the opposite of all that Marjaana and Yarn Central are. They have a lot of classes and also a knitting group meets there almost every day, sometimes more than once a day. Now that is something that I can get behind! Yarn Central had a good selection of yarns and buttons, and great prices.

Our last stop of the day was probably the most anticipated -- Kelly's home in Katonah, where she has that lovely knit-friendly attic. We spent an hour up there fondling her yarns and fibers, and it only felt like 10 minutes. There was so much to love, the hardest thing was to decide what to buy. I ended up with some rose-gray (that looks reddish-brown) from Melanie, an alpaca we had met earlier in the day, but I couldn't keep my hands off of the tawny hand spun suri. I think everyone bought something soft and lovely here -- Jess left with the most. I can't wait to feel what she creates out of this buttery stuff!

What a great day!

Sorry about the lack of people pics -- I am having laptop issues that I pray pray pray will be resolved tomorrow, and then I'll post some pics of my yarn accomplices. In the meantime, Jess and Jenn have great photos up, and Katy says she'll get hers up later.

Pawling Alpacas

Just a quick teaser -- I can't say enough about Kelly Wheeler and her alpacas and yarn-- she welcomed us into her farm and her home so warmly. I'll write more tomorrow, I was distracted by Jon Stewart when I got home. We had such a great day -- more details tomorrow, I promise! This awesome pic was taken by Jenn -- great shot, Jenn, thanks!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Like Sand in the Hourglass...

Just a quick update -- I've got about 4-1/2" done on the Hourglass Sweater, and it's already "hemmed" -- thanks to a handy little trick from Jess. Instead of hemming later, I just folded over the point where I would have to hem and k2tog all around the sweater. It looks nice!

My goal for the HVYC on Sunday is to get some nice yarn (alpaca?) for the Rogue Hoodie. I'm thinking a blue/brown or greyish color. I'm so excited about the trip, and especially psyched to meet the alpacas at Pawling Alpacas Farm. Kelly, the proprietress, has been really helpful in arranging the visit, and I can't wait to meet her, too.

Here's a shot of me working on the Hourglass Sweater while we wait for Dave's cousin Jimmy to arrive from Detroit Rock City. Kingston was trying to help me, but he got districted by the very interesting retractable pen.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Too Cold for Reggae

Last night Dave & I went to S.O.B.'s to see Anthony B, one of our favorite Reggae performers. Our first clue that the night was not going to go as we thought should have been the bouncer saying, "Hold onto your ticket stubs, we think Anthony B is stuck in Jamaica." I'd like to be stuck in JA, it was COLD last night! But there was a good reggae act who went on anyway, and we had some Red Stripes, so the night was not a total loss. I just wish the star had made it to perform, because S.O.B.'s is so small that his stage presence would have been incredible.

I had such a nice afternoon with Jess and Heather today at The Point. And I finally started on the Hourglass Sweater from "Last Minute Knitted Gifts." I somehow ended up with one extra stitch when I switched colors, but I remedied that (hopefully sucessfully) by my favorite k2tog solution. I was saying tonight that this being my first adult-sized sweater, I am sure that it isn't going to be the right size and I am mentally prepared to frog and re-knit it at some point. Heather and Jess told me to think positive, but my guru told me that a proper amount of detachment from your knitting is very Buddhist, and that I'm fast approaching Nirvana. I like to think of it that way, as opposed to thinking I'm just being pessimistic.