Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Thank you to everyone for the numerous birthday wishes. I really appreciate them all!

I owe you some pictures from the fabulous outing I had with my fellow knit bloggers. Last Thursday I hung out with this crowd:

That's Vicki on the left, Ann hiding behind, Jen writing in Vicki's book, Cara, Cassie crouching down looking in her bag (she managed to not actually show up completely in any of my pictures, she has a gift) and Lauren. We were all standing outside of the building where School Products is located.

Here's a shot of Habu:

See all the lovely yarns on the wall. It's a completely different kind of yarn shop. I really loved the layout of it. Very peaceful.

The weekend was good. We went to Bear Mountain on Saturday with Avery's school. We were able to pick up Tashie and Cheyenne which always makes an outing more fun. It was really hot so we spent most of the time in the pool. We went back to Tashie and Cheyenne's house after and hung out there for awhile so Ian could play with their little sister Zeyda.

Sunday I spent most of the day at home, Rinaldo took the kids to his grandmother's house. I already mentioned that I was spending Monday with Avery. The movie was really good. I was a little concerned because the theatre where we saw it turned out to be running the original Japanese version with subtitles. I asked Avery if that would be ok and he said yes. When the film was finished he told me he was glad he saw it that way. He thinks it was better than the dubbed version would have been. I have obviously raised him well.

Of course it being my birthday there were presents involved:

Rinaldo got me The Little Box of Scarves and the Stitch and Bitch journal. Maribel got me No Idle Hands. All very cool and much appreciated.

I took MIT's survey this morning. It was really quick, if you're a blogger go check it out, you even get your choice of a cool button:

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Monday, June 27, 2005

"You say it's your's my birthday too yeah"

Yup, it's my birthday so no real posting today. I did get this test from Snooze this morning and honestly I answered every question as truthfully as possible. I would only get this result on my birthday...

I am 1% loser. What about you? Click here to find out!

Go have fun today, in honor of my birth, it should be a holiday you know ;)

Friday, June 24, 2005

I had a great time yesterday hanging out with fellow bloggers, Ann, Cassie, Cara, Lauren, Vicki and Jen. Vicki was in town from Wisconsin so that provided a good excuse for the rest of us to meet up with each other as well. Sadly I was far too lazy to upload my pictures but I'll get them up next week. We hit School Products which is always fun, but I managed to restrain myself. The real reason I came out, aside from good company, was to finally go to Habu. It's really different. The yarns are on the wall or in baskets and you decide what you like. Then you tell the staff how much you want and they go in the back and wind it for you. I was actually a bit overwhelmed but there are definately things I will go back for.

Wow, a yarn crawl with no yarn to show for it. I am obviously losing my touch.

I gave up trying to do Branching Out in the lace weight cashmere. I will save it for either a simpler pattern or when I'm a bit more experienced with such fine yarn. I dug through the stash and came up with a mercerized cotton in DK weight. That means that June's Stashbuster project is well underway.

I think it's coming along nicely:

It's funny because I see the pattern definition much better in the picture than I do in real life. I'm hoping that blocking will bring it out more. The color really works for it doesn't it?

Tonight is dinner with Maribel for an early birthday celebration. Monday's the actual day but I am hanging with Avery all day. His school has Field Day so I will sit in the park and knit while he plays. Then he and I are going to see Howl's Moving Castle. Should be fun.

Have a great weekend...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Last week was a little crazy because Rinaldo was away on a business trip from Thursday to Saturday. I am really not good at the single parenting thing. Overall the kids were good though. I came through with my sanity as intact as it ever was (granted that is probably less than most people's) and both children survived therefore it was fine.

I rented Black Cadillac and Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love to watch while Rinaldo was away. They both feature guys on my top ten obsession list. I managed to watch Black Cadillac (which featured Jason Dohring from Veronica Mars) on Thursday night. It was much better than I expected. I thought it would be supernatural horror stuff but it was really just suspense and some interesting characters. It wasn't great mind you, but I did enjoy it much more than I thought I would. I didn't get to see Kama Sutra until last night, I passed out from exhaustion on Friday. It featured the devastatingly gorgeous Naveen Andrews from Lost. It was very good. I currently have an obsession with all things Indian so that helped a great deal. It was very beautifully filmed and the story and acting were good.

I managed to finished the pinwheel blanket this weekend. I won't show pictures here but you can visit the pinwheel along page as I sent Larissa a picture of the completed blanket. I cast on for Branching Out on Sunday. It has been ripped out 4 times already. The pattern isn't giving me trouble, it's the yarn. I'm using the lace weight cashmere I bought in Maryland. I am having problems with dropped stitches. Normally not a big issue but this yarn is so thin I can't pick them back up. It's very frustrating but I'm ploughing on.

I don't know what else to start. Branching Out is not good traveling knitting so I need a portable to take with me. I may work on Bob a bit but I'd like something a little bigger going on also. Four seems like a nice number of projects to me. I was thinking about starting one of the baby sweaters but I e-mailed Morehouse Merino about my gauge issues with my kit and I have yet to hear anything from them. I guess I'm going to have to call.

Just so I can say I showed you something here is the sweater Maribel just finished. It's this Five Hour Baby sweater:

The hat's adorable too, I can't remember where that came from, but it goes so nicely with the sweater.

Tomorrow there's a bit of a meetup of bloggers here in NYC. I'm hoping to sneak out of work to join in for a bit, but we'll have to see what happens. It's the quiet time here at work but I've been leaving early quite a bit I don't know if I can swing it tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I have achieved!

You see before you a finished log cabin baby blanket happily blocking early this morning. Well in advance of the trip it will take tomorrow afternoon to it's intended recipient:

and a close up:

It gathers a bit in the middle, I'm pretty sure that's because I was trying to pick up the specified number of stitches in the beginning. It blocked out very nicely though.

Last night was knitting group at Barnes and Noble. It was our one year anniversary. Maribel provided cookies and cupcakes to make it festive. She even raffled off a few books and one of their summer totes. Sadly the fix was not in, so I walked away empty handed. It was a fun night. I had finished the blanket on the train, but I brought Bob as my back up, so I finished the bottoms of his feet. Now to move on to his head.

I brought the pinwheel blanket with me today, it would be great to get that done as well but I am planning on casting on for Branching Out this weekend regardless. I am so ready for something slightly more challenging but smaller than the blankets I've been carrying around.

As for my secret, it still remains, things are moving forward but there was a setback this morning and that's all I'll say. A summer mystery here in the Bronx...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Interesting happenings going on here at Casa de Mathews but nothing I want to talk about just yet. I am only here to remind everyone that Veronica Mars repeats start tonight. It's on UPN at 9 and then another episode tomorrow in it's new timeslot at 9 also. Tonight's the first episode so you can start at the beginning.

I've admitted I'm obsessed but I also hate that an excellent show is being watched by so few people. If you're not busy check it out, it's great to knit by...

Friday, June 10, 2005

The day really got away from me. I never post this late in the day.

There's not much to report. The log cabin is chugging along. I am on the second color of the last repeat. Work's been boring. Not much going on after work either. I've been catching up on some TV this week. We watched a mini Dr. Who marathon (Rinaldo downloads the new series because it would be torture for him to wait until they were aired in the states). We saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which I can say was a very well written and well made picture, but I really didn't enjoy it. I did think the ending was the best part, since it was really stating that relationships are never perfect but that doesn't mean they aren't worth it. I also caught the Showtime version of the musical Reefer Madness which was hysterical but very, very odd. I thought it could have been shorter, and could have used a little less, blood, zombies and cannibalism. Yes, you read that right...

I did forget to share a purchase that I made at Costco on Sunday. I bought myself a new lamp:

It's one of those broad spectrum lamps. The light is really amazingly bright. I also notice particularly when I'm reading that my eyes don't get tired as quickly. It was a good deal, only $20, I'm happy with my purchase.

I will leave you with yesterday's Brenda Starr just 'cause I thought it was funny.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I have joined another knitalong, but once again I have cheated. I am already two thirds of the way through the project. Larissa (go visit just to see that adorable baby of hers) is hosting a Pinwheel Along. Which is in fact the blanket I am making for my cousin. Ingileif I am trusting you not to go visit this site, since there will be pictures of the blanket in progress there.

I have made great progess on the log cabin... really, I may actually pull this off. Katy saw it and sympathized with me about all the ends that will have to be woven in once I'm finished. That's going to be the issue once the knitting part is done.

Katy and I had a really nice lunch. I even got a manicure, in the middle of the afternoon, on a weekday. I felt quite decadent. I also managed to pay off the two summer camps that Avery will be attending so I was productive as well.

Ann is complaining that her stats are down and I have noticed that mine are down as well. I had put it off to a summer slow down. There actually has been a slow down on posting on my favorite sites which I attributed to the same fact. Ann has come up with some creative devices to help her numbers, they involve sex toys and excrement. I think I need to get creative too, but I can't see how I will beat her.

My cousin sent me this link, which I thought was hysterical.

Monday, June 06, 2005

A Graduation, lots of books and even a bit of knitting...

My darling Natasha is all grown up:

A high school grad, with honors no less.I am practically bursting with pride, hell I'm not even her mom. The day was lovely, the ceremony was not horrifically boring and Ms. Tashie was beautiful. I also got 2 blocks done on the log cabin blanket (the yarn arrived just before I left work on Friday) all in all a great morning.

Sadly we had to take pictures and run because Book Expo was going on without us. I managed to get there in time to get Stitch and Bitch Nation signed by the very friendly Debbie Stoller:

Although this picture isn't bad I have to say she looked much happier in person.

Later I got to meet another knitting Debbie, this one is Debbie Macomber author of Shop on Blossom Street and A Good Yarn:

She was also very sweet and friendly.

The rest of the time was spent collecting free books. I didn't get as much as I did last time but I did manage to pick up some good books for the kids. The lines for Nick Hornby and Bill Maher were too long for me to deal with so I missed out there. Tisha and Maribel both had 3 bags full of books by the time I arrived so maybe it was better that I arrived later.

Here's a link Maribel sent me with more pictures from the Expo. Scroll down about 2/3s of the way and you will find a somewhat mis-identified Stephanie with Pam Allen of Interweave Knits. Stephanie was there on Friday signing her book.

I'm taking a half day today to go hang out with Katy. Wow, a Monday I've actually been looking forward to, hard to believe...

Friday, June 03, 2005

So here I was bitching that I had nothing to talk about and then I remembered that I never mentioned the lovely lunch that I had with the crazy fiber lady, Risa. There was talk of knitting and other fiber related matters of course, but mostly mom stuff. It was really fun. I am hoping we do it again soon. It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is for me to sit and talk to a nearly complete stranger when they are a knitter. I am not a social person, which is undeniably odd since I work in retail and enjoy it, yet, I have never had a bad time meeting another blogger. I guess we are just a very cool group of people in general.

I actually had some bad karma due to my bitching also...very bad karma. I finished the baby booties and I went to my knitting basket to grab the log cabin so I could start working on it. The blanket was right on top with the current color I was working on (which it turned out was the wrong color but that's neither here nor there). I then pulled out the large plastic zip lock bag that the rest of the yarn was in, I keep all my projects in bags like this so I can grab them on the way out the door. Imagine my surprise (and disgust) when I found that the yarn had molded! Yes, molded.


I cannot describe how I felt. It was nasty, disgusting and I was very upset because I need to get this blanket done. I have no real idea how the yarn got wet but the balls were extremely damp. There's a number of things that could have happened, there was an incident in Maryland when Rinaldo put an empty plastic soda cup in my bag and later I discovered that there was ice in it that had melted so the bottom of my bag was wet. The blanket was a bit damp but I dried it in the car and I find it hard to believe it actually got in the plastic bag full of yarn. I also worked on the blanket after the trip so I am sure I would have noticed. I know there was also an incident of spilled lemonade in that corner one day when I wasn't home but my mother in law is pretty reliable about this kind of mess I am sure she would have noticed if it spilled into the basket of yarn. And again inside the plastic bag!?! No other yarn in the basket was the slightest bit damp so I suspect it will forever remain a mystery. I did order replacement balls from Patternworks that are being shipped 2nd day and should arrive here at work any minute now, so I think it will still get done in time.

Tomorrow is Tashie's graduation from Cardinal Spellman High School. She will be attending Mt. Holyoke in the Fall. I am so proud of her and amazed at the wonderful young woman she has grown up to be.

Tomorrow I also go to Book Expo. This is basically a bookselling and publishing convention. Tons of free books and author appearances. In fact Stephanie is there today signing her book. Tomorrow I hope to catch up with Debbie Stoller and Debbie Macomber as well as a number of non knitting related authors. I can't wait. Mind you I still haven't read all the free books I got at the last BEA I attended, which was like 3 years ago...

Have a great weekend all...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Oh blogger wherefore art thou?

You know it's been a long blog break if Maribel is asking me why I haven't posted. The answer is...laziness. I'm feeling a bit of the summer lethargy coming on. Not to mention that I ain't got much to say. I am just finishing the booties I am making for a friend of Rinaldo's. Which is cool because that is my June Stashbusters project, and no the baby blanket for May is not finished, thanks for asking. I am actually on my third go round on the booties. The first one was made using the Morehouse Merino pattern. You will recall I was not getting gauge with the yarn in the kit so I decided (before I called them) to try the pattern with a different yarn. Did not work too well. I wanted to take a picture but I never did. The bottom half is really freaky. It's far too big. If you tuck it inside itself it looks fine but if you take it out it looks like it would fit a small balloon. So I used a different pattern. The next pair were far too small. Now I went up 2 needle sizes and I am nearly finished with the first one. I should finish the second tonight. I then have to go back to the log cabin because Rinaldo has to take it with him on his business trip the weekend of the 17th. Good luck to me.

Memorial Day weekend was uneventful. I took the boys to the Central Park Zoo on Saturday. Ian loved the Polar Bears and the Penguins. I then took them to a great little playground just past the zoo. There was a giant slide which they both loved but on the second time going up Avery missed the step and slammed into the decorative log. Ouch. He had a very nasty scrape and bruise on his cheek. He is however an amazing brother and did go up one more time with Ian before we went to the first aid station. He's very sweet. We got an ice pack from the zoo and he felt like quite the warrior with his scar. Sunday was spend running errands and Monday we just did a little picnic thing at Van Courtlandt Park. Very relaxing.

See I told you nothing was going least nothing exciting...