Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Well the week has settled down a bit. Rinaldo came back to work today, with his knee immobilizer. Thankfully he does most of his work at his desk so he should be ok. I haven't done much knitting since the ER. Yesterday on the train I was reading, although I had Bob with me to work on. I was happy to see when I got to work that my Patternworks order had arrived, so now I have the missing blue for the Log Cabin blanket.

I've actually acquired a few books over the past couple weeks, so since I have no knitting pictures to share I thought I would show them off instead.

Maribel picked this up for me at her store this weekend:

It sounds like a good read. It's about 2 women who are widows, and are completely different but come together over their knitting. It's an Australian author. I can't wait to start it.

I picked this up at the last meeting of my knitting group (Maribel's store has all the best knitting books!):

I always love Debbie Bliss and with all the babies making their debuts this summer I thought it would be a good investment. There are some really beautiful pieces in here. I just have to decide which one to start with.

I got this with my reward points from the Crafter's Choice book club:

I've been meaning to get it for awhile, as my finishing skills are lacking, but I kept putting it off. I couldn't resist it for free though (ok I paid shipping but it was only $4).

I also got a call from the woman who heads the NYU Naughty Knitters. We will be meeting next Friday and they knit blankets for babies with AIDS. Fun for a good cause, it doesn't get much better than that. She said they were running low on yarn so I will be bringing in some of my larger odd balls to share with them. She seemed pleasantly surprised to hear I had yarn to spare, little does she know...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Easter and the ER

The weekend was good. On Saturday I was home with the boys. We dyed eggs. It was the first year Ian was interested in participating. Of course after seeing 2 eggs change color, the novelty had worn off, but he did get a kick out of the finished product:

Kinda cute huh? I had picked up the Spider Man egg dying kit and it had all the cool little accessories to dress up the eggs. Ian walked around with the bowl showing it off and saying Spider Man to anyone he could find.

On Sunday we went to the zoo. We spent some time in the Children's Zoo first. The boys had a blast playing:

Then they did the egg hunt that the zoo put on:

There weren't really many animals out because it was so cold but this guy was showing off:

Beautiful isn't he?

I got a little bit of knitting done, not as much as I expected. I finally finished a skein on the blanket for my cousin. Then I went on to another ball for Rinaldo's scarf but didn't get very far.

On Monday Rinaldo's knee was really bothering him. He said it was the worst pain he has had in his knee ever and that's the knee that has always given him problems. Today he woke up and it was just as bad so I made him call out and took him to the emergency room. He recently switched doctors and the new doctor is impossible to get appointments with (I actually switched him back to our old doctor this evening, the wait in his office is forever but you can see him same day). The ER is never fun, I mean where are Mekhi Phifer and Goran Visnjic anyway? It was packed and moving slowly but it gave me ample opportunity to finish another foot on the scarf so I counted it as time well spent. Turns out Rinaldo probably tore his meniscus, that's cartilage to you and me, so he needs to see an orthopedic surgeon. Never a dull moment around here. I didn't make it into work either since the ER took so damn long. I should probably be more upset about that then I am. Oh well tomorrow is another day...

Friday, March 25, 2005

I got mine...

The copy I special ordered has yet to come in at our distributor so I went over to the closest Barnes and Noble to pick it up. It is of course very funny. A few of them even had my husband laughing out loud on the train coming home. It's a little weird because I feel like a dear friend wrote a book. I have yet to meet Stephanie, though we have exchanged e-mails and comments on occasion. I also remember her pre-blog from when I first started knitting and she always had those great posts on the e-mail Knitlist. It is just another sign of how close "knit" (ha ha) the blogging community is. One of our own has made good...go Stephanie!

On the advice of Ann and Nancy (have you guys thought about getting together and forming a rock band? Oh right it's been done), I think I will buy the yarn called for in the sweater pattern. The blue colorway is closest to my beloved sweater so that's what I'm going to go for. Thanks for the enabling ladies.

I'm home today so I hope to get in some good knitting time. Rinaldo works tomorrow so that has potential too as I will just be hanging around the house with the boys. On Sunday we've decided to inaugurate our new Bronx Zoo memberships and go to their Easter Eggstravaganza. My mother was the only one in the family to really still celebrate Easter so I always had a dinner. I figured this was a good way to keep myself occupied and create a new tradition rather than letting myself get depressed. Wish me luck.

Have a great weekend everyone and happy Easter to those who celebrate it...

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Somehow I missed blogging yesterday, sorry about that. I don't have much progress to report. I've been working on the blanket for my cousin. I am having some silly problems with it. I don't have stitch markers in it to mark off where I should be increasing but it's pretty obvious, or at least I thought it was. I seem to be forgetting to increase every few sections. I always catch it after the fact and then have to fix it to match all the other sections. I am just not paying enough attention.

I saw a woman in Starbuck's this morning with her knitting on the table. It looked like a front piece for a cardigan. The interesting thing about it was that she was knitting on chop sticks. I've toyed with making some needles out of chop sticks for Avery maybe now I will.

I also found out there is a knitting group here at NYU that I knew nothing about. The NYU Naughty Knitters. The question is, how did I not know about this? Am I not naughty enough or as people keep telling me, am I far too naughty to be involved. I have e-mailed the head of the group to see if I can find out when they meet so I can attend.

I received the new Family Circle Easy Knitting, not too much in to be excited about but I love these baby sweaters:

and I am definitely making this sweater for myself:

It reminds me of a sweater I had when I was 12 or 13 that I ruined when I put it in the washing machine. I think unconsciously I have been looking for that sweater for years so I'm very excited. I just need to decide if I'm going to use the yarn they suggest, Porto Cervo, or go for something different. Decisions, decisions...if any of you have used it what did you think or do you have something you prefer that would work?

I got this quiz from Nancy and I couldn't resist, mostly because I love this stupid bunny:

cute but psycho
you are the cute but psycho happy bunny. You
adorable, but a little out there. It's alright,
you might not have it all, but there are worse

which happy bunny are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

yeah like I haven't heard that before...

Monday, March 21, 2005

What a difference 2 days make. I feel so much better, now that I have finished the antibiotics. I didn't need the cough medicine all weekend either. I also have the sock monkey off my back. What did I do? I worked on not one but two projects this weekend.

First let me show off some yarn acquisitions that I got while I was sick. It turned out that the package I was expecting from Patternworks had been sitting in my super's apartment for over a week. I am not even going to get started about that. I'm just happy I have my yarn. Patternworks was great. They tracked it for me told me it was delivered and told me that if the post office couldn't tell me where it was to call them back and they would re-ship. I'm glad it didn't come to that but I was happy for such good customer service.

Here is the yarn for the log cabin baby blanket, see if you can spot what is wrong in the picture:

Let's see, there's pink, yellow, purple, green and...hey where's the blue? Oops somehow I screwed up and didn't order it.

Here's the yarn for Rinaldo's scarf:

This was such amazingly soft yarn and the color so interesting that I had to cast on as soon as the socks were done. Aah the relaxing feel of thick yarn on large needles. It's a heavy worsted, but after the socks it feel like bulky. Look how fast it worked up this weekend:

Rinaldo is very happy with the way it is coming out, but a ball only gave me 1 foot. He very specifically wanted a "six foot" scarf. So along with the blue Cascade Sierra for the blanket, I am also ordering 2 more balls of the Print 127.

When I wasn't working on the scarf I was working on the blanket for my cousin so no pictures there but it is coming out beautifully.

There are many advantages to working in a bookstore, but my favorite has to be getting advance copies of books. Look at what I picked up last week:

It's a sequel to Shop on Blossom Street. I wasn't completely in love with the first one but it was a fun read and I like the main character, so I'm looking forward to reading more about her in this one.

No one asked but I found out from my sockapalooza buddy what yarn she used. I had to ask because these socks are really, really soft, seriously. Here's what she said,

"The yarn is Regia Silk, 55% merino wool, 25% polyamide nylon, 20%
silk, color #091. 1 (one!) 50g /200m skein made your pair of socks,
with just the tiniest smidge leftover."

I am definitely going to pick some up and make somebody socks with it someday! Just not today, or anytime in the very near future. I'm not going near anything below a size 8 needle for a little while...

Saturday, March 19, 2005

I've been on the disabled list all week so I must apologize for the lack of posting. I've had this cough on and off for the past 6 weeks or so. Last weekend it got really bad again, then on Monday we had the first day of inventory at work. Lots of actual physical labor, which can take a lot out of a desk jockey like me especially when I'm not at my best. Then there was all the dust flying around. Together this added up to me being horribly sick on Tuesday. I called out, dragged myself to the doctor and discovered I had a respiratory infection. He put me on serious antibiotics and cough syrup with codeine. I didn't make it into work on Wednesday either mostly because I was so doped up. I managed to drag myself in on Thursday but mostly because I had a meeting and I knew Friday we were off (inventory is a four day week).

This left me very little energy for knitting and no energy for blogging. So I didn't get to show you what I got on Saturday:

and a close-up of the instep:

Aren't they beautiful and so, so soft. They came all the way from Hawaii just for me! Thanks sockapalooza buddy!

Sadly my buddy has had to wait for her socks, due to my illness. I did manage to finish them last night (finally) so I will send them out today. She is in California so I am going to fork out for expedited shipping since I am 4 days late in sending them. Here they are:

In the end I'm happy with them. Although it will be a long time before I knit socks again and never again will I do socks on a deadline.

Happy Spring everyone....

Friday, March 11, 2005

Thank you all for the kind birthday wishes for Maribel, I forwarded them on to her and they did indeed make her day a bit more festive.

As for knitting, since ostensibly that's what this blog is about, I did in fact finish the first Sockapalooza sock on Tuesday. I took a picture of it this morning to prove it to you but my batteries died just as I was trying to upload it to my computer. Trust me it's done.

I am about half way through the cuff on the second one and it is going much faster than the first. If I can maintain my discipline this weekend and work on it during every free minute I am sure it will be done in time to be sent out Tuesday.

I had my knitting group at Maribel's store this past Tuesday. Much fun was had as usual. One of the knitters, Sonia, brought cookies for Bel's birthday. Chocolate chip and still warm from the oven. They were amazing. I took a break from the sock to spend some time with the baby blanket. It's large enough now that I was able to switch to circular needles so it's going pretty quickly.

I haven't received my package from Patternworks yet. According to their records it was shipped out on the 28th. I do have problems receiving packages from USPS at home, though I don't know why. If it fits in the box it doesn't seem to be an issue but anything larger doesn't seem to get through and they never leave the little slip to tell you to pick it up at the post office. I am going to call Patternworks today and see if they can re-ship it to my office. That's what I should have done in the first place.

For all of you wondering where the beautiful Izzy doll came from. The pattern for her is in this book. Bel said it was very challenging but she gained all kinds of skills that she can now use on bigger projects, like turning a heel and the intricacies of sweater construction.

Back to work and later to work on that damn sock...have a great weekend everyone...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Top 10 Reasons Why Maribel is my Best Friend

10- Because Mr. Poloso sat us next to each other in 6th grade.

9- Because she will without hesitation go to a Motley Crue concert and a Duran Duran concert within 1 month of each other and not for one minute wonder why two women in their mid-thirties would do such a thing.

8-Because she spent the last two months doing the most challenging knitting project she has attempted to date so her other best friend's first daughter can have this when she is born:

believe me the doll, Izzy, is even more beautiful in person.

7-Because she taught me that to embrace your culture you needn't give up your individuality. There aren't a whole lot of 36 year old Puerto Rican women who can discuss, with great knowledge; heavy metal, Latin music, Wonder Woman episodes and their favorite pieces at the Met. But the most important thing she will tell you about herself is that she is a Boriqua.

6-Because when her brother was deathly ill and waiting for a liver transplant, she took charge and held her family together. Even though I know she got up every day wondering how the hell she was going to get through it. And when my mother was in the most difficult part of her illness she would come with me and just sit and lend me her strength.

5-Because even though both my parents are dead and I have no siblings, thanks to her I have 3 brothers, numerous nieces and nephews (especially Nina and Danny) and a mom who adopted me when I was 13 and many times made me feel safer and more welcome in her home than my own.

4-Because I got her a job at Barnes and Noble when I first became a manager (back when we were 18) and she is still there and is one of the best damn booksellers around.

3-Because she still doesn't get how amazing and wonderful a person she is.

2-Because she is strong, intelligent and independent and she lives life on her own terms, even if it's not always the life she expected to lead.

1-Because (yes it's a cliche but so true) she knows all my secrets and loves me anyway.

Happy birthday Bel, you have always made my life better just by being in it!

As Maribel is sadly blogless feel free to leave her birthday wishes in the commments, I will forward them to her.

Monday, March 07, 2005

There is knitting, I swear, just not enough to talk about.

In the meantime you have to suffer just a bit more through my renewed obessession with my favorite band:

You are Nikki. You won't let anyone mess with you
and have very strong opinions.

Which Motley Crue member are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Yes, Nikki is my favorite, yes I will try to stop talking about Crue constantly. If you think you're suffering imagine how my poor husband feels...and no he doesn't like them, at all.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Guess where I was last night...

with my boys:

After all these years I still love Crue. I was 14 when I saw them for the first time opening for Ozzy. Last night they were just as amazing if not more so. I'm glad I saw them so early in this tour because it was obvious how much fun they were having. On my way out of work last night I was talking to my store manager and he was saying that at least one of them must be broke for them to be doing this tour, but I'm not so sure. Watching last night all I could think of is what a high it is to perform in front of a crowd of nearly 20,000 people. Hearing them sing your songs and screaming your name. Most of them are addicts or recovering addicts of one kind or another so isn't this just another form of addiction?

Obviously there was no knitting at the Crue concert. There wasn't even an opening act so I had no downtime to worry about. I was kicking myself though because I wore Clapotis, and I realized too late that I should have brought my camera to document her night out a la the Harlot's Dublin Bay socks.

I did turn the heel and am just about done with the foot decreases. I am off today for Crue recovery so I am hoping to get a fair amount of work done on it.

Thanks for all your compliments on the yarn organization. It worked out really well with the new drawers but we all know it will all be out the window in a matter of months as new yarn joins the family. Thank you also to all of you who make suggestions for the orphan balls. Most were charity oriented and I think I can do just about all of them at one point or another to help reduce the yarn and do something nice.

For those of you interested in how Rhonda the Roomba is doing (yes we named her), she is currently vacuuming the living room. I haven't had a problem with her yet but I will keep you informed as Kathleen mentioned that her parents returned theirs. We'll see if our honeymoon ends.

Have a great weekend everyone....

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Ok, as promised I will share with you my adventure in organizing my stash. On Saturday I gathered up all my yarn from the various places it was hiding and laid it out on my living room floor:

Honestly it wasn't as bad as I thought. As I was saying to Tisha this morning, it can't be too bad since it still fits in one picture, right? The other thing I was happily surprised about is the quality of my yarn. When I first started knitting again 5 years ago, I didn't know anything about yarn. My grandmother used to buy yarn at Woolworth. The very first ball I bought was at Gotta Knit here in the city. I didn't like the people and the atmosphere so I didn't want to ask any questions. I bought a ball of nice yarn and a set of bamboo needles. Imagine my surprise when they rang it up and the yarn was $18. I still have this ball because of course it's too little to really do anything with (I also have my original swatch). I don't even know the fiber content because I was too ignorant to check it back then and now the ball band is in the middle of the yarn.

The next mistake I made was in the opposite direction. I bought a large lot of yarn and needles on e-bay. It was fairly crappy and as time has passed and I have learned about good quality yarns I have thought of this yarn sitting at the bottom of a rubbermaid container never to be touched. Surprisingly I seem to have worked through most of it. I was very pleased to see that most of the acrylic I have is pretty good and much of it was bought for specific purposes. Even Red Heart has it's uses.

I decided that I need to separate by fiber or use so I would be able to find yarn in my stash quickly rather than it being easier to just go buy new stuff. For example I had no idea how many colors of Paton's classic that I had. It is just shades or red and blue but still more than I thought. Lots of felting possibilities there.

So here are the drawers in my bedroom, the black ones are the new ones:

In the white ones I have all the yarn for specific upcoming projects and the bottom drawer is odd balls, of which I have far too many. What do you do with these orphans? Most of them are not enough for even a child's hat. I hate to see them go to waste but I don't have any ideas of uses for them. Any suggestions are appreciated.

The black drawers are broken up into sock yarn, cotton yarn and 2 drawers of wool.

My rubber maid container which I decided you really didn't need a picture of is filled with all my acrylics.

I straightened out the basket next to the chair I like to knit in. Now it only holds yarn for projects in progress or in the on deck circle:

That's Bob in the zip lock bag, the varigated is for the baby blanket I am currently working on, the Kureyon is for a Booga Bag and the blue chenille is for Ian's baby blanket which I will be expanding into a more appropriate size for him since he loves it so much.

All in all my stash reorganization project was a great success!

Just don't ask me about the sockapalooza sock ok....