Sunday, December 31, 2006

Count down


I'm almost ready to head out and welcome the new year with some friends. Wishing you all happy celebrations with friends and family! See you next year....

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I'm Back in the New York Groove

I arrived via the redeye from PDX to JFK this morning at 9:04 (an hour later than planned), waited in line for a taxi forabout 50 minutes, and was huffing up my Gramercy stairs with impossibly overstuffed bags at around 11:00 am. I am so relieved to be home. Don't get me wrong, visiting with family and friends was really terrific and needed, but I'm happy to veg out until New Year's Eve now. I plan to order in a lot of sushi tonight, and give myself a pedicure.

I also plan to post lots of pictures of my trip and recall certain memories for your reading pleasure. But for now, I must nap. I leave you with a few random photos taken on the trip.

My junior prom dress (50s vintage) rediscovered while cleaning out my old bedroom closet

One of Jenna's plushies enjoying some northwest seasonal microbrews....

A very early knitted scarf made of thrifted mohair. I think the lumpy imperfections on this are really charming.

My adorable, grumpy cat Libby in her clubhouse

An unfinished crocheted belt I worked on years ago, and a vintage 70s dress I've never worn

Saturday, December 16, 2006

inspiration

I had to post this. I've been blog surfing this morning and found this amazing potter, Ayumi Horie through Design Sponge. I'm absolutely in love with everything about this woman's work- her purposefully imperfect glazing technique, the soft look of fingerprints in the baked clay, those terrific doodles on each piece! Wow. I want to start making pottery again. Maybe I should enroll in this class....

New York model sighting

Last night, my roommates and I went to the West Village for a late dinner and drinks at Employees Only. On our way down the street to the false fortune teller's shop that is the entrance to the restaurant, we walked around two giggling women on the street, dressed in skinny jeans, boots and parkas. One of them was Gisele! That's all. New York is weird.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fuzzy details


Another post, with another FO this week? Is it possible? Apparently it is! I've hit my Christmas gift production stride, I think. For once my fuzzy and poorly lit photography is welcome as it doesn't reveal the identity of this finished product. I doubt very much that the recipient of this gift even knows about my blog, but better safe than sorry....

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

another FO photographed on the same ol' background


I give you my roommate's commissioned scarf! Lil' B, as he's known around these parts, will look dashing in this smart accessory made to match his Paul Smith wardrobe. He wanted something that would blend well with his career clothes, but with a little something unexpected. I appreciate the way New Yorkers blend brown, grey and black in that very sophisticated, Metropolitan way, so I used both grey (Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky in Koala Bear) and brown chunky alpaca (from KnitPicks) for the primary stripes in this scarf. I then visited the Paul Smith shop window on 5th Ave. as well as the online store, and noted that there's a bright teal would stand out nicely against the somber neutrals (Cascade's Baby Alpacea Carribean used here). The stitch used is mistake rib, at 33 stitches per row on size 10 straights. This sucker is blocked and ready to be worn. I'll try to guilt Lil'B into doing a modeled shot for the blog this week. Watch for it!

Friday, December 08, 2006

brrrrr...

Dudes, it was 18 degrees this morning! With the wind chill, it was 2 degrees, according to Weather.com. My fingerless gloves of Manos did not stand up to the chill. Northwest winters are nothing like this. Time to start knitting polar caliber woolen goods.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy weekend

Check out this knittingenius' design! That's me wearing the beautiful sweater, ya'll!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

mid week update

I promised I'd post pictures of my newest Sundara yarn, Blackberry, so here are a few from my *photoshoot* the other night:





I apologize for such a quick post, but things at work are crazy this week! I'm trying to lie low in preparation for a very long day tomorrow, which will start at 6:00 am. On the bright side, though, I get to go to a big private event at MoMA for work tomorrow night! Very excited about it. There should be some interesting names making an appearance. I'll let you know if I meet anyone famous.

Over the weekend I had my hair "trimmed". I don't have any pictures of it yet, but I think I like it. See, I'm growing it out, but wanted to have a style in the mean time. I have lots of hair, but it's very fine. My new stylist cut out about 2/3 of my hair by thinning it out (she didn't use those horrible scissors with the comb-thing on one blade). The result is that my hair appears to be the same length as before, but it now behaves much more wispy and voluminous. Victory! Pictures of it to come.

I FINALLY motivated myself to finish my Mason Dixon Ball Band wash cloth. I did knit several extra rows on this one to make it more substantial. Someone very important to me is expecting a little one in a while, and I thought maaaaybe she'd like to toss it over her shoulder as a fashionable 'pit-up towel. Here's a pic:



Finally, I treated myself to a little bauble last week by the Etsy artist/seller Sudlow. It's a little pea pod pendant made of silver and pearls on a simple silver chain! So cute. Here's a bad picture or two of it:

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I'm a Lush



Some of you know this about me: I love LUSH. I'm a fan of just about every handmade product they sell. When I lived in the northwest, I visited the 23rd St. location in Portland, OR whenever I was in town to visit my family. Well, there's a Lush not far from my work here in NYC. Last week I almost bought out the store, buying one of each of their new products. I'm addicted. I found an excuse to go back today- buy a shampoo/conditioner solid for camping. And guess what? I won something! They drew my name out of a basket while I was standing in line to pay, and I won the "Desperate Housewives" gift box of Smitten hand cream and 2 Timing Tart bath bomb. I've never tried either before. Whoo-hoo! They also gave me a little bar of Olive Bar soap, perfect size to take camping.

On a far less materialistic note, today is my Memere and Pepere's 60th anniversary!!!! Happy anniversary, Mem & Pep. I love you both.

And now, because once again I don't have time to write a proper post, I'll just throw in some pictures of New York from last week when our visitor and birthday girl was in town:









Tuesday, August 08, 2006

visiting new LYSs and expanding the knitting library

Over the weekend, Jeremy and I trekked down to Prince Street for some cold beers in a dark pub, some overly-priced denim trying-on, and some Purl SoHoing. It was my first time to the little storefront, and wow, is it small! About the size of my bedroom, but packed with goodness. I was determined to use up a gift certificate my lovely old knitting coworkers had given to me as a going away present, but I went in Purl in the wrong frame of mind.

Jeremy's requested a special item for fall- a chunky knitted scarf in an over saturated cadmium. That's my description of the shade he's after, at least. He's very precise when it comes to color and the clothing he'll allow near his body. In trying to understand this very exact shade he has in mind, I've trained my eye to fixate on any and all varieties of yellow that pass me. When I went to Purl, it was all I could think about. Upon entering the store, I immediately snapped up a swatch of Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky in Gold. I showed it to Jeremy, and low and behold, he was impressed! BUT, it was just a tiiiiiiiiny bit too ochre. Argh! So close. After that, I just couldn't focus on yarn, although The Fibre Company's Road to China offerings did hold my attention for a few seconds. I thought I deserved a treat though, and ended up getting myself a few distrations pictured below.



Today after work I decided I'd walk home rather than take the subway. It's slightly cooler today, and there's a nice breeze and big fluffy clouds in the air. On the way home I realized I was just two blocks from School Products, which I've read about on many a New York knit blog. So I stopped in. This place is not easy to just casually fall into. It's in a non-descript building in the middle of the garment district, on the third floor. You have to show your ID to the security guy in the lobby and get buzzed into the shop. Oh, and from the outside, the only sign I saw indicating a LYS was a yellow sign in an upper window reading "Yarn (212) 679-3516". But boy, do they have some luscious stuff. Worsted Cashmere for $4.50/oz, dudes. But AGAIN, I found myself out of sorts, and left only with a book (though it's a book I've been looking forward to owning and reading for some time now).



Hmm, what else to report? The new job is going just fine for now. I work with a bunch of really terrific women, have a sweet view that includes the Empire State building, the Flatiron Building, and many a rooftop garden, and am finding my work interesting and challenging.

Oh, the day before my first day on the job I knitted up a quick SnB Kitty/Devil hat, only I left off the ears/horns. I used two different worsted weight yarns- Cinnabar Handpainted yarns for the stockinette and Mulled Wine Manos for the seed stitch parts. The two colorways are very complimentary to each other. I'm not posting a picture, though, since I'm planning to gift this to someone who may read this blog now and again.

Friday, July 28, 2006

New York companions

I've learned the Cingular doesn't have the best reputation on Manhattan island. Calls are dropped left and right. It was so frustrating for me, waiting to hear back from my prospective employers and not knowing if my phone would pick up the call. So I switched to T Mobile, which is much better. I even get reception in my apartment! Hurrah. And I love my new phone, too. I feel like such a New Yorker. It's sleek and high tech and most importantly, wearing all black.

I picked up the book Gotham on my last visit here, and in recent weeks I've been totally absorbed in the history of New York. It's something that I didn't learn much about in school, since our studies focused on northwest history. I'm finding it fascinating. I've never lived in a place this old. I love walking around the neighborhood and discovering a new historic plaque.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Celebration


I think it's safe to reveal the reason for my happy mood now:

I GOT A JOB!

Hurray! I'm so relieved and excited. I'm especially happy because the job search was relatively painless, and I really was trying to prepare myself for the worst when I moved here. For all I knew, I would be jobless for the next 6 months. Anyway, the job I'll be starting is just my speed- similar to what I was doing before, but different enough that it'll be a terrific learning experience with a great organization. When I got the promising news earlier this week, Jeremy surprized me with a celebration chocolate cheesecake. Mmm. Now that the news is official, panna cotta is sounding delicious...!


In knitting news, I was feeling the need for a satisfying and fast project. I stayed quiet about it here, but in the past two weeks I've been trying to finish the Clap and also my old Hot Lava project, but I ran out of yarn for both VERY close to the end. Arg. The feeling of defeat was too much, so I just zipped my lips...er, fingers...and didn't mention it. (Wow, I'm really coming clean in this post!) Both will be finished at some point (though due to the rare nature of my Clap yarn, I will probably have to start the whole thing over, making it slightly narrower than the original pattern), but for now I've hid them from view.

Anyway, I felt I NEEDED to finish SOMETHING, so I used a skein about 1/20 of a second to knit myself a "Headline News" Cabled Newsboy Cap from Stitch n Bitch Nation. I used Handpaintedyarn in Rocha bc, which is lovely, though as I've mentioned before, it smells a bit like vinegar before a good rinsing, and my batch didn't have very much navy blue in it. It was much more orange, ochre and brown. Still lovely. Here are some pics of my newsboy cap as modeled by my knee. (Please ignore the partially unpacked state of the room my knee is in.)

I wanted this cap to be larger than the one pictured in SnB, so I added another cable repeat. This makes it not quite "rasta", but more "street urchin", and I'm happy with it! I also ditched the idea of stiffening the bill with plastic mesh, so my bill is nice and squishy, which adds to its attitude, I think. The cap is really stretchy, so even though it looks like it accomodates my knee nicely, it can fit on my head with plenty of room, too. I suspect this cap will get a lot of wear when fall comes around.

Monday, July 24, 2006

glad shoes


I'm so happy today, folks. I'm not quite ready to reveal the reason for my happiness, but let me just tell you, I'm so happy I went out and treated myself to a pair of comfy gladiator sandals. Okay, so the fact that I bought shoes today doesn't really prove anything. Since I got here on July 3, my shoe collection has grown significantly. But they were mostly all good deals!

In knitting news, the Fall issue of Vogue is previewable online right now! I love so much of it, especially the gray v-neck with braided neckline, the croppped cardi in knitted check, and well, ALL of the socks.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Give a Little Bit

In my last job, I was fortunate to have worked with a group of experts who've dedicated their careers to helping solve some the world's biggest health challenges. When I decided to move to New York I knew I'd be leaving behind an amazing opportunity to continue learning from these people. And now that I'm here, I do feel a melancholy separation from those issues that were becoming a part of my life in Seattle. I've comforted myself by knitting a ton, another big part of my life from Seattle.

The report State of the World's Mothers 2006 was put out by Save the Children and showed that 4 million newborns die within the first month of life, mostly in developing countries and mostly from complications that could be avoided with lost-cost solutions such as training birth attendants, immunizations, and education of mothers.

I've just learned of a way that I can both knit and get involved again in the issue of newborn, child and maternal health.
Caps to the Capital is a project devised by Save the Children and Warm Up America! Foundation to show that Americans care about newborn, child and maternal survival in developing countries, and want more the of the U.S. budget to go toward helping this high-risk demographic. You can get involved in several different ways, but the main part of the project is knitting or crocheting a baby cap and writing a note to the President showing you care, and then sending it to Save the Children by January 2, 2007. I'm so excited to get started! If you're interested too, you can download the Knitters and Crocheters for Newborns: Caps to the Capital Action Kit from Save the Children's website.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I'm not in Seattle Anymore



Okay, so I'm still the same crappy photographer, but dudes, it's coming DOWN here! And it's still hot, and the lightning and thunder are CLOSE. This is not the northwest rain I grew up on.

Clapotis of Thunder

My Clapotis is finally growing! It is so satisfying to drop stitches in the 3rd section of the pattern, let me tell you. Sundara's yarn is so beautiful. I think this is the perfect pattern to show off the luminocity and variation in the strands.

I haven't stepped outside yet, but it sure is dreary out there. Both overcast and humid. It looks like the sky could open up at any moment and start dumping rain and steam on us. There are continual thunder rumblings outside, and tomorrow's forecast is not looking better.

I've walked so much in the past week, I've done some sort of damage to my left hip! It feels like a strain right in the joint. Since I have nothing on my agenda for the day (I'm waiting with fingers crossed on two different positions I interviewed for yesterday and Monday), I'm taking advantage of the free time to knit and pretend I'm on vacation instead of job hunting. Oh, and I'll need to unpack the rest of my boxes sometime today too...but for now let's ignore that.

killing time

Have 10 minutes? Like cats? Understand or at least get a kick out of Japanese television? Go here.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Greetings from New York

I've arrived! I was thinking that once I had landed at JFK and had a chance to decompress, I would finally be able to get a hold of my feelings about the move. But this first week has been peaceful and underwhelming. I've shopped a little (for a suit for interviews), cooked, unpacked, and hung out with my new roommates. Nothing out of the ordinary. On July 4, my first full day in New York, I watched the walked around the lower eastside with Jeremy, ate pancakes in a diner, had a beer in a Irish pub, and then watched the East River fireworks from our apartment building with friends and roommates.


Tomorrow morning, Jeremy and I will go to the Statue of Liberty and officially ring in my immigration to New York with a tour. I'll post pictures later this weekend.


For some knitting content- look what arrived at the apartment today! Four colorways of laceweight merino and two colorways (2 skeins of one) from Handpaintedyarn.com. I treated myself to this stuff the other week, while on a packing break. I love the beautiful and unusual colors this stuff comes in. Smells a bit like vinegar, though....



Thursday, June 29, 2006

now I'm beginning to have some fun


Hi folks. I'm currently at my parents' compound in Portland, and now that all the physical moving is behind me, I'm really beginning to unwind. I really enjoyed my last drive down I-5 on Tuesday. I've made the trip so many times in the past 4 years, I could do it with my eyes closed, but this time I really looked around me and tried to soak in the northwest scenery.

If you're familiar with the section of the I-5 that I'm talking about, you'll know there's a farmer in central Washington who likes to share his political views with drivers-by by posting them on a huge billboard on his property. Usually I just grit my teeth and mutter angrily when I read his ponderings but this time, I burst out laughing. I wish I was fast enough with my camera to get a picture. His billboard read, "Don't you think immigrants should have to wait 21 years to vote? I did." Most troubling to me was why this opinionated person would waste 3 perfectly legal voting years before finally turning in his first ballet....




My parents' house is so easy to relax in, and luckily, the weather has been gorgeous for the past few days. Still, I need to get moving. Yesterday I went to Knit/Purl with my sister and she was so taken by the Habu yarns' packaging that she decided she must learn to knit in order to justify the purchasing of some Silk Mohair Kusa! I'll be stopping by the nearest yarn shop to pick up some learn-to-knit supplies. More on that later.


Monday, June 26, 2006

Not a post for arachniphobes



After posting my yesterday's entry about my emotions, I went to take a soothing bath, only to find this guy hanging out on my shower curtain. For those of you who don't live in the northwest, this is a Hobo Spider. Hobo spiders have a painful, necrotic (flesh eating) bite that generally requires skin grafting to heal. Not something I'm interested in now that I'm without health insurance, thanks. Feeling very vulnerable last night, I photographed my victim, then quickly struck him down on the ground and crushed him (he was so big it was audible, folks!) before he scurried off. Then I quietly sobbed for killing him when really, he hadn't done anything to me.


Today though, I'm feeling much better. I put a major dent in the packing and cleaning, and it's safe to say I'll be out of here by 2:00 pm tomorrow. Also, I just started my very first Clapotis, and I'm enjoying myself. I'm purling the stitches between the ktbl's, like my old coworker, S. I just need to take care not to finish the Clap before my flight next Sunday. This seems the perfect knitting project for the plane ride.


Also, something to look forward to: no hobo spiders in New York City.




Sunday, June 25, 2006

packing up and moving out.

I've been trapped inside my apartment for the weekend, finishing up with the painting, packing and throwing away of things. There's actually quite a bit left to be done. I'd hoped to be on the road to Portland on Monday, but now it looks like it'll be Tuesday afternoon at the earliest. I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed right now with all the physical work I have left to do, not to mention how isolated I feel knowing I've just left an amazing job behind, and I don't know what my future holds in New York. It's difficult for me to say really how I feel about it right now. I'm trying to push through waves of sadness and excitement and just work on erasing the evidence of my existance in this apartment.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

hooked up.















I went to my last knitting night at Sundara's last Wednesday. I didn't do any knitting, but it was still a great time.... *sniff*.... I'm going to miss knitting night.

Also, check out the amazingly generous and gorgeous good-bye gift I received from Sundara! 3 skeins of her silky aran merino in Violaceous. Oooh! Ahh! This colorway is so amazing. Nevermind my horrible picture. It GLOWS rich turquoise and deep violet. I only picture 2 skeins above because I wound the third into a messy ball upon receiving the gift. I plan to knit my first Clapotis with this stuff.
















Also, check out my Forecast! It's finally finished blocking. Next I'll need to sew on the buttons, but since I'm using leather wrapped buttons, I want them to be removeable for when I wash the sweater. Sundara suggested sewing my buttons to metal shanks rather than the actual sweater. Sounds like a good idea. Now I have to figure out just how to do this.... Anyone out there have experience in the area?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Welcome to my hell.



When you ask a life-long, card carrying pack rat, fixer upper and crafter like me to move across the country, you're asking more than what you might think. Last weekend, I had a moving sale. The thought of having strangers come into my apartment to see just how much junk I've horded over the years had me crawling under the couch with humiliation. And then to be asking them to PAY me in order to take it away?? Yikes. I suddenly reverted to my teenage self, mortified by anything and everything around me. Thank god I have S, who came over to help with posting signs in the neighborhood on Saturday morning, and then she stuck around all day to chat up customers for me while I huddled in the kitched, slouching and playing with my hair. AND!!! To my surprize, people came and were willing to pay me to take away my stuff! It's a wonderful life afterall.


Watch me. I'm going to move to New York and be reborn as a minimalist with a monochromatic wardrobe.

Monday, June 05, 2006

bad pictures of my cufflinks





Sorry for the horrible pictures. My boyfriend's the photographer, not me. Anyway. I'm proud.