Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Haul

I'm exaggerating more than a bit in describing the yarn we got on Saturday as a "haul" we both behaved quite well. Just to show how alike we are we each bought the exact same two yarns. Of course to show our differences we picked entirely different colorways.

This is the lovely green wool I picked up. Three hanks at $8 a piece from the 30% off area:

Plassard Symphonie

Then there was this, four hundred yards of beautiful handpainted mercerized cotton:

Schaefer Yarns Laurel in the Empress Wu Zhao colorway

This line is named for memorable women. I almost came home with Billie Holiday but something about the Empress spoke to me. I think the Empress wants to be a smaller Clapotis.

Maribel was true to her Latina heritage and picked up Frida Kahlo

You'll also notice the 2 hanks of Symphonie for her as well. Great minds think alike. The plastic purple needles sticking out of both of our yarns are Flying Fingers souvenir needles. They were so cute and purple is Bel's favorite color so I bought a set for both of us.

I was working on the baby booties from the Morehouse Merino kit on Saturday but man I could not get the gauge. The recommended needle size is 4 or 5. I went all the way to 7s and I was still a bit over the required 5 stitches per inch. I checked their website to see if there was any errata or some clue as to what I was doing wrong but when I clicked on the pattern it opened more questions as the recommended needle size on the site is 3s or 4s. Huh? I'm making the booties with another yarn at the moment because a baby was recently born to a colleague of Rinaldo's and it will let me see what the pattern should look like, it also lets me complete a quick project for the Stashbusters knitalong. I haven't had a gauge issue like this since my first year of knitting, and never when I've used the recommended yarn. I think I'm going to have to call the company and see what they suggest.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Knitter's Day Out

Maribel and I went on our Yarn Bus adventure on Saturday (I apologize for all the pictures for those of you on dial up, but I promised Margene and Chris plenty of pictures).

We caught the bus on 79th and Broadway at 10:15 Saturday morning:

and yes the yarn top piece for the van looks amazing:

We had the pleasure of meeting Jerry:

Jerry is the driver of the yarn bus. He drives a school bus during the week. He is not a knitter (Bel asked) but really enjoys seeing the various reactions of people as the van passes them. He says lots of people take pictures. We discovered that we were in fact the only passengers for Saturday morning's trip (they do 2 more pick ups in the afternnoon).

After a fairly short and very scenic trip we arrived in Irvington, NY. Right at the door of Flying Fingers:

and look what the sign says in the window:

whoo hooo!

Here is what the shop looks like inside:

It was amazing. We chatted with Elise, I believe she's the owner but don't quote me on it. What I am sure of is she is sweet and friendly and not a fan of novelty yarns! Though they stock plenty of them for anyone who is. There were comfortable benches in the middle of the shop to sit and knit or contemplate your purchases and a large round table in the back for classes and more organized knit togethers. I cannot say how much I loved this shop. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming and the prices are reasonable, especially compared to Manhattan.

After we bought our yarn we explored Irvington a bit. Maribel had seen a sailboat down on the water and so we decided to head down in that direction. As we were walking I ran into a woman I knew from Avery's school (Bel thought I was talking to strangers). Blanca and her family had moved to Irvington this past summer, her boys used to go to school with Avery. She also ran the crochet and Spanish clubs both of which Avery participated in. So we caught up for awhile marveling at what a small world it is. She was impressed by the yarn bus (it was parked close by so we were able to point it out). We said our goodbyes and Bel and I headed down to the water.

Here is the view of the Tappan Zee:

We hung out here for awhile:

Note all the bags at my feet:

We actually found a bench nearby and sat for about an hour just knitting, talking and looking out at the water. I can't imagine a better time than that.

Then we hopped back on the bus. We had mentioned to Jerry on the way up that we lived in the Bronx. We actually passed the exit on the highway where we would normally get off while driving. So on the way back, Jerry sweetheart that he is, dropped us off in the Bronx and drove off to do his next pick up in Manhattan:

So what did we buy? That's for next time...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Well the week is finally over. It's been a decent one. Tisha and I went to see Revenge of the Sith last night and we both loved it. If you're a Star Wars fan I highly recommend it, even (or especially) if you were't fond of the most recent 2 films. It really is the best of the prequels. If you're not a fan, don't bother there's always issues with the acting and dialogue on these movies and if the love isn't already there you won't find it here. It's very dark and intense and I am not convinced that Avery can see it. I am making him read the book first. He can handle things in books that he can't take visually and he is good about admitting when he may be disturbed by something so we'll see what he thinks.

I've been working on Rinaldo's scarf since yesterday. I am very, very tired of baby blankets. I'm 2/3s done on the round one and 3/4s done on the log cabin so the end is in sight. I really want to start Branching Out or one of the shawls in Folk Shawls but I am trying to be good. That's why I picked up the scarf for a change of pace. I may do one of the pairs of baby booties in my Morehouse Merino kits this weekend for some closure. I like to think of myself as a process knitter but I do need a bit of finished product every once in awhile to keep me motivated.

Tomorrow Maribel and I are off on the Yarn Bus. My dilemma is that I have been very undisciplined and have not gone to the gym or eaten well for the past 2 weeks so no weight loss, meaning no yarn. I'm hoping to find some nice needles or something to satisfy my craving. If not I may buy a little yarn "on credit".

Rinaldo found out last week that his meniscus is definately torn. He's been having physical therapy 3x a week and it has helped a lot but the doctor told him he can have surgery if the therapy isn't enough. We've discussed it all week and he's decided he really needs to have the surgery. The knee has always been bad and now it's just that much worse, so better to get it done now while he's young and in decent shape (I am a bit of a cradle robber, he is only 32). Today we will find out when the surgery will be. Never a dull moment.

For those of you in Canada, I understand that Veronica Mars has finally crossed the border and can be seen on CTV. If you're a fan of good television give it a try. It is really well written and well acted and it needs all the support it can get.

I just remembered that I had a dream last night that I was knitting something in 4 or 5 different colored ribbon yarns. Someone had to help me frog it and then I started again. I wonder what Freud would say...

Have a great weekend everyone...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Wednesday is Shout Out Day

I am feeling pretty cranky this week, of course at the moment I seem to be feeling cranky every week. Maybe it's just because the weather is so nice and yet I am still locked in my basement office here at work. I keep threatening to cut through the ceiling to make a skylight but we are right under the sidewalk so I can't imagine the view would be all that great, unless of course you're the person who set this up.

Of course when you're feeling cranky the best thing in the world is to have a surprise package waiting for you when you get home(let me take a moment to congratulate Avery on not opening it himself in the 3 hours he was home before me. An box to Avery is like a box full of steak to a dog).

Ann loves me, look at what she bought me:

Oooh, aahh. I've been wanting this book for awhile now but I kept talking myself out of it. Of course having it in my hot little hands makes me wonder why. The shawls are beautiful and I've already picked out at least three that I want to start...right now. Really, it's amazing I didn't call out sick just to cast on for one. Let's see if I can talk myself into waiting until I finish at least one baby blanket before I start one. I don't have high hopes for that.

I have also been very remiss in giving thanks for a few other things I have received of late.

Romy RAOK'd me with this lovely stationary:

The problem is I received it the day I left for Maryland so it has sat in my mail tray at home for the past week. I ran into it this weekend and felt really guilty for not acknowledging before now. Thanks Romy!

I also received two contributions of acrylic yarn for the NYU Naughty Knitters program to make blanket for babies with AIDS. Thank you to Virginia, potter extraordinaire (really...go look...I can't get enough of her mugs, thank god I work with her husband so he keeps me supplied). She will be showing her wares this weekend at the 4M Contemporary Craft Festival for those of you in the Hudson Valley region.

Also thanks to Kristen for her contribution and check out the great bags she's been making. Nothing like a good bag to carry your knitting.

I'm toying with starting a new webring for NYC knit bloggers. It would include anyone who lives in the city, works in the city or travels to the city on a regular or semi-regular basis (yes, this means you LI people too). I'm always amazed at the bloggers who are fairly close and it would be cool to know there are people you can meet up with since they are in the general vicinity. What do you think, are we all ringed out? Or are you up for yet another link on your page?

Ok, I need to be honest about the crankiness, I think it's mostly because it's only Wednesday. It needs to be Thursday. Thursday at 4:30 to be exact. Why? Because then I will be here...I can't wait. I'm such a fangirl...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Michelle tagged me with the latest meme. So here it goes:

Pick five and fill in the blank then pass it on to
three (or more!) victims, friends (and no backsies!):

If I could be a scientist…
If I could be a farmer…
If I could be a musician…
If I could be a doctor…
If I could be a painter…
If I could be a gardener…
If I could be a missionary…
If I could be a chef…
If I could be an architect…
If I could be a linguist…
If I could be a psychologist…
If I could be a librarian…
If I could be an athlete…
If I could be a lawyer…
If I could be an inn-keeper…
If I could be a professor…
If I could be a writer…
If I could be a llama-rider…
If I could be a bonnie pirate…
If I could be an astronaut…
If I could be a world famous blogger…
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world…
If I could be married to any current famous political

If I could be a farmerI'd raise sheep of course, duh.

If I could be a psychologist…I'd work with kids so I might help them navigate the mine field of adolescence.

If I could be a linguist…
I'd learn a bunch of dead languages so I could read sacred texts in their original language and form my own opinions. Instead of reading tainted translations.

If I could be an athlete…I'd want to be a world champion kick-boxer, don't know why, someone once told me it was made for me and I've had a thing for it ever since. Even though I've never tried it.

If I could be a lawyer…I'd work on cases for people on death row to try to be sure the innocent were never executed.

This one was very tough, I guess I'm pretty satifisfied with my life, who knew? Since I had such difficulty with it I am going to change it to a voluntary tag. Anyone who wants to may consider themselves now tagged...

Friday, May 13, 2005

So here is my contribution for show your tattoo day:

It is taken from this picture of comic book character Donna Troy, who was Wonder Girl, Wonder Woman's little sister. I have it on my right shoulder.

Ian is doing much better. Thank you to everyone for your words of support and encouragement. Avery is actually home from school today. He has horrible allergies at this time of year but he seems to have developed a cold on top of them. So he is pretty miserable.

I'm plugging along on the log cabin. I'd really like to finish this weekend so I can cast on for Branching Out. I think that will help my boredom and give me practice at lace knitting. I still haven't untangled the cashmere, maybe during our weekly Farscape DVD viewing tonight.

For those of you who watch Veronica Mars, something came up yesterday on the message boards and I checked the episode. It looks like Veronica may have sent Weevil to find Logan. The timing could work and the scene was cut in such a way that it makes sense. What do you think?

Have a great weekend everyone....

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Remember tomorrow is:

So if you have a tattoo post a picture of on your blog tomorrow.

Show us what ya got...

And if you're curious to see what's going on right outside my door, click on the live webcast of today's NYU Graduation. It will be going on until about noon today.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Maryland...the dark side

Ok, I am being a bit melodramatic but the the weekend was not all wine and wool. On Friday, when we were preparing to leave, Rinaldo decided to get the oil changed before we left. While the oil was being changed the guy asked us what the noise was. What noise!?! We went over to the car and sure enough with the hood open there was a very loud clanking noise. So we had to go to the mechanic. Turns out the alternator was shot. So they had to do a rush job for us. We left about 3 hours later than we planned. This meant of course that we hit rush hour or weekend traffic in every state we passed through. It took over 6 hours for us to get there.

Meanwhile Ian's school called me to say that Ian had a rash and did I know anything about it. I told them no but he does get minor rashes occasionally when he is finishing up a cold, so I was not overly concerned. I spoke to my mother in law when he got home from school and she said it wasn't too bad so I still wasn't too concerned.

When we arrived at our hotel we collapsed and watched Constantine on pay per view (I liked it much more than I expected to). The next morning we head out to the fair and my mother in law calls to say Ian is "much worse". Ok...does he have fever? No. Is he eating? Yes
Is he happy and playing? Yes. Then I'm not worried. A few hours later she calls to say he's "really horrible". We go through all the questions again. Same answers. She wants to know what to give him, I tell her to give him some Claritin and to see how it goes.

When we're stuck on the bridge coming home (it took almost 6 hours to get back too) I call to let her know where we are and she tells me in an extremely dire voice, "he's not doing well, it's really bad". Again, same questions, same answers. Now I don't mean to seem unfeeling, I love my children, but having gone through these type of things with Avery I can't deny that if their mood and appetite are good and there is no fever I just don't stress too much about it. Maybe I'm wrong but I feel like my mother in law was truly overreacting to the whole thing. When we got home it was a horrible rash all over his body but he was sleeping and aside from the itching he was fine. I felt it could wait until we could get to his doctor on Monday. However she was a wreck, I often ask her if she was like this raising Rinaldo and she says no, 'cause man, she flips out over every little sniffle. I can't deny that I also felt that there was some blame focused on me because I didn't react strongly enough to the situation, but that could be my own paranoia. Rinaldo decided to take him to the emergency, mostly to calm down his mother, but also to find out what was causing it. They didn't get home until 4 in the morning. What did they get for going there? Three doctors telling them that it definately wasn't chicken pox. Yeah, great,thanks. They reccommended giving him Benadryl and that was it.

I took him to his doctor Monday and he said it was a secondary reaction to a virus, he gave us a cream to help bring down the inflammation and help with the itching. It had already gone down quite a bit but the cream seems to be helping it go a little faster.

So for Mother's Day I stayed home alone with my poor itchy baby, trying not to get depressed over my mother not being around anymore. It wasn't a great day. Though to give credit where it is due Rinaldo did try to help. He did some laundry for me and brought me home some food from his Grandmother's (where he and Avery went) as well as White Castles (by my request, don't judge me too harshly, we all have our comfort foods).

Enough whining (sorry about that). In the car during both trips I managed to make a Dulaan hat based on Norma's formula:

Cute, fast and easy just like I like 'em.

Last night was the Knitting Group at B & N. Maribel showed off the poncho she is making from Amy Boogie's pattern:

Then Maribel's friend Cathy showed off the Ipod socks she made, using my pattern:

Sonia brought a beautiful baby sweater she made, but the picture came out too blurry to show. She also brought along this guy:

He was very cuddly and already well loved.

I had a great time but I had to dash out early to get home for Veronica Mars. The season ender was entirely satisfying, the mystery solved, many questions answered but my poor Logan was left in a very bad place and the last scene was a cliffhanger so it's going to be a long summer. I am hoping the Britney Spears reality show is very short so the Veronica reruns can start. I didn't watch from the beginning and I would like to catch up on what I missed.

God, it's only Wednesday...wake me when it's Friday...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

What I did on my summer vacation...sorry I meant on my weekend in Maryland...

Maryland was fun, although a bit over the top for me. There were tons of people and even driving into the fairgrounds was difficult.

Although it took crossing 5 states, Katy and I did manage to meet:

(Next time I take a picture I promise I will take off the hat so my head isn't at that weird angle).
She is as warm and friendly in person as she is on her blog. I also got to meet her mom whom I liked very much and her very cool daughter Gracie who was her official photographer for the day.

Katy gifted me with some of the lovely beaded pulse warmers that she has been working on so feverishly:

Aren't they pretty? I love them so much I am wearing them right now. One of my co-workers said they look very heavy metal, so I guess they were a good choice for me.

I didn't get to meet up with too many people. I missed Lisa and Cate who must have been in the thick of yarn petting and aquiring while I was there. I did speak to Stephanie and hung out on the grass where she was signing books. In the crowd there I saw, Nathania (whom Katy pointed out to me), Heather and Wendy. I've never been one to go up to people and introduce myself so I didn't speak to any of them.

Of course I know you're all here for yarn porn, so here it is:

I can't deny it was a little overwhelming to me. Too many crowds, the booths were very hard to shop with all the people. The first purchase was my mother's day present from Rinaldo:

This thing is so damn addicting, right Bron?

Then I bought some lace weight cashmere for me:

The picture doesn't show the color off, it's really a lovely dark green. I want to use it for Branching Out. Sadly a little more than halfway into winding it, it tangled horribly. I have to sit down with it tonight to try to rescue the rest of it.

I then hit Morehouse Merino and I hit it hard. Two baby sweater kits for the 2 August babies:

Then some beautiful red varigated wool (note one of the skeins had already been intimate with the ball winder):

I'm not sure what I will use it for but I loved it too much to leave it.

Then on my way out I grabbed this:

You can't see it in the picture but it is flecked with green and lilac. Really beautiful. Rinaldo actually picked it out. I want to use it for my summer sweater from Easy Knitting. It's a little lighter than the yarn called for but I think it will work well. It's a cotton wool mix and it's really soft.

There were other things going on this weekend that were not so good but I'll fill you in on that next time. Tonight is knitting group at Barnes and Noble and then I rush home to catch the season finale of Veronica Mars, when all will be revealed...I can't wait.

Friday, May 06, 2005

I promised pictures today so here you go. I've made progress on the Log Cabin. Only about 2 1/2 repeats to go:

Since I'm doing all this baby knitting, I plan on doing some sweaters after the blankets, I joined up with Emy for the:

I like joining knitalongs where I've already started the projects. Looks like cheating, smells like cheating, yet not so much.

Yesterday, in the nick of time I may add, I received my Knitting Bloggers Sheep and Wool tote bag courtesy of Mia:

Cute no? Most people had their names put on it but there are a number of Nancys out there so I figured my blog name was better. Mia managed to keep the cost down to $20, even with shipping and personalization, amazing.

So I think I'm ready for Maryland. I've got my directions printed. I'm hoping to meet up with Kathleen, Lisa and Cate. The only place I know I'll be for sure is hanging with Stephanie on the grass at 1:00 on Saturday. Otherwise I will be roaming free. My dear husband found himself a comic shop 6 minutes away from our hotel and tomorrow is Free Book Comic Day, so you know where he'll be!

Finally, Nancy was very curious about all the tattoos out there so she came up with the idea of Show Your Tattoo day on the knitting blogs, much like Show Your Stash day awhile back. Alison was kind enough to make us a very cool button for it:

So ladies (and gents) next Friday May 13 Show Your Tattoo!

I'll be thinking of all of you who can't be in Maryland this weekend, I'll pet some yarn for you....

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I have a confession to make, I have something of an obsessive personality. When I love something I really, really get interested to the point of obsession. Knitting has been like that and it works out pretty well (aside from the sizable stash).

The first time I really noticed I was like this was when I was a teenager. I would read biographies of movie stars, from the 40s and 50s mostly, and then I would have to watch everything they ever made. Montgomery Clift was a big one, Ava Gardner another. It has continued as I've gotten older (you will all recall the Motley Crue issues a few months back) and now it often has to do with TV shows. There was of course Buffy, and also Firefly. So what's this season's flava? Not Lost or Depserate Housewives, both of which I like a great deal, but they lack the fundamental "it" factor that goes into feeding my obsessions. No, this year it's a show no one watches, Veronica Mars.

It's a great show. In fact here's a list of reasons why you all should watch it too. A bit of Nancy Drew for the new millenium, except Nancy didn't deal with her best friend's murder, her own potential date rape and being a pariah in her community among other things. The season has had two lingering mysteries all along and each episode has a mystery of the week. Recently Veronica and her main antagonist Logan became romantically involved (it wasn't quite as obvious an outcome as you may think) and I at 35 have become a squealing teenager.

I am crushing on the actor who plays Logan ,which is a little odd because frat boy types are so not my thing, mostly I think it's because his chemistry with Veronica is quite intense. I've decided to blame it on a slightly early mid-life crisis. Sad that all mine amounts to is a crush on a 23 year actor, rather than a fast red car but that's life...

I have been knitting on the baby blankets, hell I might even show you a few pictures on Friday. I have also started a hat for the Dulaan project. I hadn't done one up to now because I've had so much on my plate but Stephanie guilted me but good at her event and since they gave us the yarn I figured it would be wrong not to make a couple hats. At least I have until late June to send them out, that should be time enough...I hope...

Monday, May 02, 2005

Our vacation was a blast. Rocking Horse Ranch is a great place to bring the kids and let them loose. Which of course makes it relaxing for parents. There were a million activities and I think we did just about everything in the three days we were there. When we arrived on Monday it was kind of cold so we did some indoor things. Like the heated indoor pool that was 6 doors away from our room. Later we took the kids to the indoor playground. Avery, Ian and Cheyenne played there very happily for over an hour:

The next day the weather was much better so we enjoyed the outdoors. Avery and Cheyenne went paddleboating:

Then we went to the outdoor playground:

and we all hit the mini golf course:

It was Ian's first vacation and he loved it. I was really worried he wouldn't have fun and wouldn't appreciate staying in a hotel but he really seemed to enjoy the adventure of it. He wouldn't get on a pony (the big kids rode horses, but that pony was pretty damn huge) but he is now obsessed with horses. We really could have stayed at least another day but Cheyenne had to go back to school. It worked out though since Wednesday was so rainy.

On Thursday (pre-Harlot), Rinaldo, Maribel and I went to IKEA where we bought a new computer desk. With Rinaldo's knee being bad I guess he'd been leaning on the old one to get up and so it broke. We got a really nice one (sorry I didn't get a picture yet) and it really looks great in the living room.

On Friday we took Avery to see Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which I enjoyed enormously (I've only read the first book so far). It should be mentioned that there is a scene where all the characters become knitted dolls, it's difficult to explain why unless you've read the book so I'll leave it at that. The dolls were very well done as was the giant ball of yarn with needles sticking through it that was floating in space...don't ask just go see it...

I've joined up with Sharon for the different kind of yarn diet:

I was pleased and surprised to see when I did my monthly weigh in this morning (I've decided to not do weekly this time around, it's too depressing if you fall of the wagon) that I have lost 14 lbs so far. I think I can justify my Sheep and Wool yarn binge based on that. After that I will only buy yarn after I have lost 10 more pounds and so on. Let's see how it goes, my goal is 50 lbs by the end of the year. Then I can get a new tattoo...