Monday, January 30, 2006

I am so screwed...

I am in way over my head and it's not even Christmas. What is up with that? I need one of Lene's famous schedules to get everything I want to do accomplished in the time I have allotted. Here's the run down:

February 14 - must have completed Jaywalkers to qualify for Cara's contest.
February 16 - I want to make this bag for the student who works in my office for her birthday.
February 10 - cast on for Branching Out, supposed to finish by February 26 .
Soon - Rinaldo's co-worker asked for fingerless gloves for he and his girlfriend, I'd like to get them done before this faux winter has given up all pretence and become truly warm.

Are you laughing yet? You are if you've been reading this blog for awhile. Me and deadlines, so not compatible. I'm not even listing the doll I want to make, the Anouk (run that through Blogger's spell check and see what you get), another baby blanket or sweater for a baby who was born around the holidays and has yet to get a gift from me and finishing Bob. All of that I want done before I go to Iceland in April.

You're laughing right? I hear you, don't pretend...

I may pull this off. I can't work on Jaywalker today because I am working on homework for the finishing class Maribel and I are taking. It begins tomorrow night and I need two swatches for it. I got one done this morning on the train so the other should be done on the way home. If I can then devote myself, faithfully and wholeheartedly to Jaywalker this weekend I should/could/might be done by early next week. Then I can do the bag fairly quickly since it is a bulky yarn. Either way I have to cast on Branching Out next Friday. Hopefully the bag will be done or at least done over that weekend. I know damn well that if I am going to finish Branching Out it is the only thing I can work on. That's how I got lost last time I did it. I got distracted by other projects and couldn't find my place when I went back.

If I start to not be able to laugh about this Jaywalker can take a break. I promised Tisha it would be done for her birthday that's in April so there is time. But I'd love a shot at more Socks that Rock. Obviously the Olympics is for fun so I'm not getting to caught up in the deadline on that. March will be another hurtle.

Why do I knit again? Oh yeah to relax...

Bad Blogger

One of the reasons I don't ever do any of the secret pal things is because, frankly, I'm afraid of letting someone down. I forget things, lose track of time and can be quite unreliable sometimes. Here's a lovely example. Just before I moved I received a package in the mail. It was a RAOK gift from Susan:

It's a little photo album plus a postcard and bookmark from her trip to Lake Placid. In her note she says she ran into my blog, liked it and sent these along. She even mentioned that maybe I want to put some pictures of the new house in the photo album. Isn't she sweet and thoughtful? Of course I rushed out a thank you right away...not! I received the package literally in our last days at the apartment. I left it on the shelf next to the door as a reminder to e-mail her. It would appear that on the night before we moved, hell maybe even the day we moved, I put the whole package in the large rattan basket we use for our shoes. It was moved on it's own so I threw a lot of small things in there. Last week I was looking for Rinaldo's knee brace (which had gone in there as well) and lo and behold I found Susan's care package. So I officially suck as a gift recipient and Susan I apologize for never acknowledging your kindness. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Of course I do now have some great house and kid shots to go in it so it will go to good use.

Along those same lines of me being a sucky person I also never gave an appropriate show of appreciation to Elizabeth who put together the Knit Blogger's Cookbook. Which I contributed to and own a copy of. Thanks for all the work you put into that. It came out beautifully.

Be warned people, if you're nice to me I am evil and don't say thank you. I apologize in advance.

This weekend I went out to buy a skein of black Wool Ease and came home with this:

Now in my defense I was emotionally overwrought. It seems that Treasure Island is going out of business. Now for you yarn snobs out there this is no great loss but I really loved their selection of yarn. It was far more varied than Michael's or Jo Ann's and the prices were quite good. Their needle selection was quite good as well and they always had points and cables for my NeedleMaster set. It seems that while the store that I shopped at in Scarsdale was doing well, the rest of the chain was floundering. They declared bankruptcy and that's all she wrote. Maribel was with us in the car when I saw the sign so we ducked in and took advantage of the clearance prices. While in line we found out that the yarn shop we frequent in Hartsdale, Goldman's Yarn was closing as well. This store was originally in the Bronx and moved up to Westchester years ago. It seems the owners decided to retire. I'm sure they were spurred on by the Michael's that opened down the block. I avoided going to see what their clearance was like. I simply didn't have any more to spend. I probably would have gone there first if I had known.

Just so we're clear though, Maribel spent $8 more than me. Obviously I am the more disciplined of the two of us...

Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday is for Finished Objects

Look I finished Rinaldo's fingerless gloves(or mitts or whatever you want to call them):

Rather smashing, I think. He loves them. He was happily driving with them this morning. A happy husband makes for a happy wife. So there is much happiness to go around.

I have joined yet another knit along. Please help me!

I have Socks that Rock in Ruby Slippers and I am keeping it for myself. Once I saw this knit along I knew I was in. I find it easy to join knit alongs for things I was already planning on knitting. I don't usually (see below) see a knit along and then decide to knit the item. I guess that's why I'm such a joiner in this area. I'm a bit of a slut when it comes to knit alongs.

I just loved this button so I am now a part of the:

'cause ya know I will be...

go visit JenLa for tons of cool buttons for the various teams

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I have some progress shots for you today. I am just about finished with Rinaldo's fingerless gloves:

He loves the one that's finished. I am a bit ticked though. I bought two balls of Silk Garden, double checked the dye lots and yet this second ball has no blue in it whatsoever. Instead it has two repeats of the purple. Not big in the masculine color range. Rinaldo says he doesn't mind. I actually spliced out one of the purple lines. I had the end of the first ball and it was all grey so I substituted that instead. The pattern does the thumb slit in a way I haven't before (of course it's simply the easiest way to do it so it's not revolutionary or anything). You stop knitting in the round for about 12 rows, you just go back and forth for an inch and a quarter. Then you join the round again. It's amazing how awkward it can be working back and forth on double points. Of course the pattern calls for two circulars but I wasn't up to trying out a new technique this week.

As for Jaywalker, Maribel is just about finished (that bitch...oops I mean that amazingly talented and fast knitter):

It's looking really good. I haven't done a damn thing on mine but here they are anyway:

sorry Tisha but yes I did try on your sock, but it will be washed before I give it to you don't worry...;)

It's a bit tight on me which is good since Tisha's foot is a bit smaller. The only problem I have is the ribbing at the top is loose compared to the rest of the cuff. I'm not ripping the whole thing out to re-do it but I will probably start the second cuff with a 1 and switch to the 2 after the ribbing is complete.

I will leave you with this story from my subway ride this morning, my embarrassment is your entertainment after all. I was working on the fingerless glove and the ball is getting quite small. It was inside my bag but I must have pulled too hard, the yarn flew out of my bag and onto the floor in front of the guy next to me (and yes of course the train was packed). He picked it up and handed it to me. Now I am trying to figure out how exactly to keep this wild ball under control. I looked at my bag and realized that I have the perfect thing. My bag has a cell phone holder on the side that closes with a velcro flap. So I took my cell phone out put my yarn in and voila, instant yarn tamer.

Necessity is truly the mother of invention...

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, January 23, 2006

I had a post in mind. Planned it on Saturday night. I was very excited about it. Sadly it didn't work out. Maybe Wednesday. In the meantime I'll show you this:

This is obviously not taken with a camera. I forgot to take a picture at home so I threw it in the scanner/printer/beast on my desk here at work. Any port in a storm, ya know.

This is beginning of the fingerless gloves for men in Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I find it rather funny that Alison is doing a few things from the right now book too, yet it's January. Well there's always time for gifts right? Rinaldo's been wanting a pair for over a year now so I decided it was his time. He loved the yarn my hat was made from so I am using the second skein I had bought.

Poor, sad, neglected Jaywalker. I never did pick it up on Friday to do the last inch. I will although probably not pick it up again until I finish the gloves. That should be quick though.

I am seriouly cranky today. We are having a bit of drama with one of the publisher's representatives that I work with. Nothing serious but more than a bit unethical. Half the staff is out sick. I think it's really because of the nastiness of the day.

I'd rather be home...knitting of course.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Bloggin on the Train

I am actually blogging on the NYC Subway. I’ve been taking my laptop with me the past few days to watch my new box set of Titus Seasons 1 and 2.  There comes a point in rush where my mind turns to mush. I don’t want to read on the train to and from work, I don’t want to knit and I don’t sleep on moving objects so I bring something to watch.  Today I wanted to blog before the kids got up but the bed held me prisoner longer than I intended. I did manage to load some pictures at least. I realized while walking to the train that I could just type up my post in word and publish it when I get to work.  How efficient am I? Aren’t you impressed?

Today we have the next shot in the ABC Along:

B is for Bookstore

Welcome to the New York University Main Bookstore. My home away from home. I took this shot last night as I was leaving a little after 6. This is when things begin to die down. This is the view as you come out of the Text Floor Coordinator’s office (that would be Mike). I figured I spend a huge portion of my life here so it makes sense to share it with you. I have worked in bookstores of one kind or another for 20 years (this September). I have a degree in Early Childhood Education. I am technically pursuing a degree in Psychology (I haven’t registered for classes in quite awhile). My long term plan is to be a school counselor at some point, but here’s the problem: I like my job.  Not every day of course but overall I love what I do. Managing a huge department (with two excellent coordinators, the aforementioned Mike and Tisha so I never really have to manage), buying books and dealing with faculty and publishers.  I really do enjoy it. This leads to quite a lack of drive to get anything else done. I am a bookseller and it is such a part of me, I’m not sure I will ever be anything else.

For those of you looking for a Jaywalker update, here it is. I still do not have a finished sock (see the above paragraph about brain turning to mush). The first one is about an inch or so away from the toe decreases, see:

I put it down and haven’t picked it up. After Stephannie had to enlist the assistance of the Canadian Postal system to determine she was short on yarn I decided to stop before the toe. I have some yarn left over from Devan (remember that? Ian just about fits it now) that is similar in color so I am hoping that if I run low I can do the toes with that. I will finish the foot portion tonight and cast on for the second but I am taking a little break after that to work on some fingerless gloves for Rinaldo.

As for the Knitter’s Olympics, sanity has prevailed and I am backtracking from the shawl idea.  I think I am going to tackle Branching Out again. This time with some nice alpaca I picked up at Rhinebeck a couple years back. A scarf is a little more realistic but lace is the challenge.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

How sad is it that when my best friend has an incident with her knitting I get all excited because it gives me blog fodder? Seriously pretty high on the pathetic meter isn't it?

So Maribel took her mother to see the Tony Danza Show this morning. As they are going in security asks if they have anything metal on them. Of course Bel had her Jaywalkers with her. So security confiscated it! They also confiscated her scissors which I suppose makes sense but damn are double points really that dangerous that you can't bring them to sit in a TV show audience? Of course maybe they were just afraid that she would be caught knitting on camera and make it seem like Tony just wasn't interesting enough to keep her attention. She had a good time anyway and of course they returned everything to her when she left.

My Jaywalkers are coming along. I'm not sure if I should finish the toe or wait until I have the other one at the same point so I can come up with a creative yet symmetrical solution if I run out of yarn. One of them would have been done but I got really, really sick this weekend. To the point where I only worked a half day yesterday. Not such a big deal you say? Well it is when it's the first day of classes and you're the Manager of the Textbook department. I must have done about 9 hours of work in less than six. I just tried to stay focused on the goal of the work being done so I could go home and collapse on the couch. It's very funny today, everyone is being so solicitous. I am never out sick during rush, even for a half day, so I guess they thought I was at death's door. Everyone is coming in asking how I am, do I need tea, etc. It's nice to be cared about but kind of funny at the same time.

Finally I'm going to take the Harlot up on her challenge:

I'm not sure what I will make but I think it will be a shawl (not Charlotte yet) maybe a feather and fan. It'll be fun...I think.

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Look Ma I'm Jaywalking

Having gone up a needle size, and switched to metals, Jaywalker and I are now getting along just fine as you can see. I might actually finish one over the weekend...

but don't bet on it.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Happy retirement #11. Thanks for the cup!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Two weeks into 2006 and I finally have an FO:

Like my hat? I do. I had to rip it out a few times because I kept dropping stitches which is weird since I didn't have that problem with the first one but this was a darker yarn so I'll blame that. I made it out of one skein of Silk Garden. I have not stopped wearing it even though it is unseasonably warm.

I'm back on to my Jaywalkers. It's moving a lot smoother on metal 2s, although I can't say it's going that much faster. I'll spare you pictures since I haven't even gotten to where I was before I frogged the first pair. Hopefully I'll have real progress to show on Friday.

Maribel is also a Jaywalker now (hey Cara can she join the knit along without a blog?) and she was showing them off at our knitting group last night:

You may recognize the yarn as the grey Spirit Trail yarn I picked up at Rhinebeck. Since Rinaldo decided he wanted the Tiger's Eye Socks That Rock for his socks the grey was up for grabs, so Bel took it. It really shows off the pattern nicely for such a dark color. Damn she's probably going to finish long before me.

Claudia is a member of our knitting group. She works at the Barnes and Noble a few blocks away from Maribel's store. She has been working on a shawl for the past year and I have never ceased to be impressed with the intricacies of the work. It's on like 0000 needles, from a chart and yet she was always able to completely participate in any discussions. I know for a fact that she has worked on the shawl at baseball games. Way beyond my skills. All that hard work paid off and she too was showing off last night:

It's yarn she picked up at Rhinebeck a few years back and it may be from this book (she told me if I Googled Galina, Russian, Shawl I would find it and that's what came up). Gorgeous isn't it. Maybe one day I'll have the patience for something so intricate, but then there's that whole chart phobia thing, oh well...

Added later: Here is the actual book that Claudia got the pattern from.

Happy Wednesday.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Classes start here at NYU in a little over a week and I am already exhausted. I'm feeling a bit of job burnout at the moment. I have always loved my job. Being a book buyer is what I aspired to in my years at Barnes & Noble. The problem is there is very little challenge in it at the moment and very little chance for advancement. There is almost no turnover in academic retail. Everybody stays in there position for decades and that's not really my style. Once I've mastered something I like to move on to learn something else. Of course it's probably just malaise from the holiday break. I really enjoyed being at home and doing some work around the house. I'll get over it I'm sure.

This is always a slow period for knitting since I'm usually too tired to knit. I ran out of yellow wool for Bob's hat so I need to find some. That has put him back on hold. My hat is coming along. I am on the 3rd cable repeat, slow and steady. I want to cast on for the Jaywalkers again this weekend. I'm missing having a pair of socks to work on.

Since I have no current pictures to show off I thought I would share something fun we did for Christmas. I had Tashie and Avery Kool Aid dye some white Cascade 220 for Maribel as one of her presents. I used red and yellow but the yellow only softened the red:

We all liked the result however and Bel really seemed to like it also. Avery and Tashie had a blast "painting" the yarn. Even Ian got in on the fun when we were trying to untangle the mess I had gotten it into:

He likes the ballwinder...the yarn was not amused...

My good friend (and co-worker) Mike just got published by the Associated Press, it's not his first published piece but it is the most mainstream so far. Go check it out, the short films he is writing about are hysterical and it's very well written, of course...

Have a great weekend everyone...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A little busy at work so here's a meme I picked up from Vicki:

1. List your finished objects, or just list your favorite FO.

IPOD Sock, Reverse Bloom Washcloth,Clapotis, Sockapalooza Socks,Fingerless Mitts,2 Dulaan hats,Baby Booties,Log Cabin Baby Blanket,Pinwheel Baby Blanket,Multidirectional Scarf,Ribbed Scarf for Rinaldo,Tashie's Socks,Booga Bag,Rinaldo's Socks,Beret,Suede Bias Scarf,Farrow Rib Scarf,Mittens,Lady Hat,3 Washcloths,Bulky Hat,Irish Hiking Scarf

2. List your works in progress:

Bob the Builder (Ian will be 20 by the time he's done) and a Lady Hat for me made with Silk Garden.

3. What skeletons are in your knitting basket?

I actually discovered the beginnings of a Shapely Tank the other day when I was cleaning.

4. What's your favorite project?

I think it was Clapotis although the Lady Hat came in a close second.

5. What project(s) will you never knit again?

I think the only thing I will never do again is socks on a deadline.

6. What was your major knitting accomplishment for the last year?

I did cable projects which I've been wanting to do for awhile now and I got much better at socks.

7. What's your favorite yarn from the last year?

Brooks Farms Four Play

8. What's your favorite yarn overall?

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in all it's incarnations.

9. What new knitting techniques have you learned?
Cabling without a needle.

10. What are your knitting goals for 2006?

Lace and to try to find a good therapist for my chart phobia!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy Birthday Cara!

Oh right it's also New Year's day, I forgot in all the excitement ;)

First things first, here is my knit along update:

Naked Stix by 2006 Update

1 washcloth - finished
1 Irish Hiking Scarf -finished
1 Bob the Builder doll - not so much
1 Branching Out Scarf -sadly frogged
1 pair of Ugg booties- frogged
1 figment of your imagination - finished but not as cool as expected and yes it was a hat

The scarf came out really well, just the picture is sucky:

I'm not even going to show you the close up, it looks like I was drinking and photographing not a good combo.

The figment of your imagination was a hat. Veronica Mars wore a hat on the last new episode and it seems some people googled for it and got me. I decided to be a good Samaritan and deconstruct it and write up a pattern. It's really bulky and simple so I figured it would take me no time at all, but it got boring fast. I also remembered why the yarn, LB Woolspun had stayed in stash for so long, I hated it. The hat did not come out the way I wanted although it's a decent hat. I'll send it off to one of the charity drives. I know what went wrong in the knitting so the pattern may yet be forthcoming, but really it's the type of hat you don't really need a pattern for.

For the new year a new knit along:

It's a fun idea and hey it will work as blog filler on the more boring days. So here is letter A:

My handsome son Avery of course...

May your new year be healthy, happy and prosperous!