Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fire, beer, motorcycles and hookers...the way to have a successful Memorial Day BBQ!

I told Rinaldo that this was the year he could have the big Memorial Day BBQ. I invited my friends, he invited his, we invited ours plus a few family members thrown in for good measure. We had over 30 people who showed up on Sunday. The day started out a bit crazy with Rinaldo and I running around trying to finish the house cleaning. We got a call around 1:50 from the first guests. They were at the Metro North station, so Rinaldo went to get them. I went out to the deck to keep an eye on the grill which he had just fired up. I was sitting there peacefully working on Swallowtail. Then I noticed there was a lot of smoke blowing up to the deck. Which was odd since we use the grill all the time and that's never been a problem. So I looked closer and saw there was fire under the grill, hmm that's not supposed to happen. It seems that he had left the bag of charcoal underneath and it had caught fire...great. I pulled it out and tried to stamp it out with my foot but that didn't work. It occurred to me at this point that we use Matchlight so those briquets could completely catch at any moment. So I grabbed the fire extinguisher, which Rinaldo had the foresight to bring out earlier and put it out. About five minutes later the first guest arrived but we were off to a blazing start (pardon the pun I couldn't resist).

After that we had food and drink:
...bloggers knitting of course:

...a motorcycle in my driveway, man that got a lot of attention from the neighbors:...some very serious card games, Uno first, then Spades later:

You would have thought they were playing for money they were so serious!

There was even a hooker at the party:

I won't out this person just yet but she knows who she is.

I had a fantastic time but from now on it's back to smaller groups for the bbqs. This was waaayyy too much work!

Friday, May 25, 2007

I got nothing more for you than I did yesterday. Really I have less. I nearly finished the second bootie last night then I realized the cable was on the wrong side. Don't ask me how I have no freakin' idea. I did manage to finish it on the train to work today although I haven't sewed it up yet.

I didn't mention what a blast knitting group was on Tuesday. Chante and Shameka were working on their socks and making me jealous. Maribel was also working on her pretty socks. She's on her second Hedera not that she'd show you on her blog. We even got Tisha going on her first sock, through the magic of Magic Loop. I worked on Swallowtail most of the evening with a few rounds on Anastasia at the end. Marsha who asked us all to do a square to make blankets for the wounded soldiers she is visiting next month brought all the finished blankets. She had us pose for pictures:

The blankets came out great.

Hey, did we all know that June 9th is International Knit in Public Day? I sure didn't.

On Sunday we're having a bbq. You know how you invite too many people since you know many won't show? What does one do when they all agree to come? Run screaming? No, huh, ok maybe I'll sneak out to LI and hang with Poe in the pool. Rinaldo can handle the bbq right?

Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I really wish I had a meme for today. I was sick in bed all day yesterday so I didn't take any pictures. I have been somewhat productive though. I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.

I'm about half-way on the swallowtail. Once I got the rhythm of it, it started to go very quickly. It's a really fun knit, especially for lace. I am screwing up very rarely, though I'll admit to a few here and there. I can't wait to block it to really see how lovely it is.

I also finished the second baby kimono. I have to sew the ribbon on to both kimonos. I went to the craft store on Saturday and bought more ribbon since I still haven't found the original one I bought. I like the new one better anyway. Its a cream rather than a white so it matches the kimono better. I also bought a nice green for the other kimono.

I also made a bootie, and amazingly it looks baby sized. Whodathunkit? I used this pattern. It's a very good pattern for worsted weight. The problem I always run into with booties is that most patterns are written for fingering weight and I like them to match the other items I'm making which are invariably in worsted. This bootie seems to fit the bill.

I've worked on Anastasia a bit but I think I'm still suffering from falling out of love with my first pattern choice. Of course it doesn't help when other people are having so much fun with Love. I like the way my socks are coming out but I have no real urge to work on them. Maybe that'll change once swallowtail is finished.

Only 24 and a half hours left until the long weekend...

Monday, May 21, 2007

I think the only balance there is when you hear about the evil in the world is to hear the reaction of someone who brings light to it so intelligently and succinctly:

Let's Watch a Girl Get Beaten to Death

I love Joss for many things that entertain me but when I read things that he writes and says outside of entertainment it makes me admire him even more...

Friday, May 18, 2007

I set Anastasia aside for a few days. I needed some instant gratification so I started the second baby kimono. It's coming along swimmingly:

I'm doing this one in stockinette and it's so much prettier. I am doing garter at the edges to minimize the roll. I really love this green. Its actually Red Heart Soft which I like for baby stuff since it can go through the washing machine without a problem. I think I may have found another bootie pattern to try. We'll see. The hats and the kimonos are enough for a gift if the booties don't work out.

Suzy tagged me for the latest meme going around. So here it is:

Each person tagged writes 7 random facts about themselves. The tagged people need to write the 7 facts plus the rules on their blog. Tag seven others and list their names on your blog. Leave a comment on the blogs of the people you tag and let them know that if they need to read your blog for the it?

1 - I am deathly afraid of the movie The Exorcist. To the point of it being a phobia. Even knowing it's on another channel kind of freaks me out. Damned if I know why. I have forced myself to watch it at least twice and I've read the book (twice, it was really good) but I couldn't keep the book in my house. Nothing has cured me of it.

2 - I share my birthday with Helen Keller, whom my mother and aunt met when they presented her an award from the girl scouts as young girls.

3 - The first time I got on a plane I was 20 years old. It was my first vacation ever and I went to Mexico.

4 - I sang a solo in a school show in 9th grade. It was the first year I joined the chorus (goth girls didn't do group activities until someone explained to me that free voice lessons might help someone who hoped to sing professionally). The girl who always got the solos previously despised me for it and liked to make sure I knew every time I was even the slightest bit off pitch. I sang "Up Where We Belong". I hated that song then and I hate it now. Maribel was a witness to this historic event.

5 - I love Spencer mysteries by Robert Parker. I've read them all and when a new one comes out I usually finish it in less than 24 hours.

6 - I am a desperately huge Stevie Nicks fan. I find that much more embarrassing than my Motley Crue fandom.

7 - I cry at anything (entertainment-wise), TV shows, movies, commercials. I'm pretty pathetic (I cried during Bones last night). I get this lovely characteristic from my Dad who also cried at anything.

You know I prefer no pressure so if you want to do it (Susan) then please steal away...

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My morning was a bit busy here at work. They had a breakfast for what is politely called "Longer Service Employees". Yes, I was one of them. This is what I got for my 15 years of servitude:

That and a gift card to my store. I'm actually very appreciative of both in my own odd way. I like my job a great deal. The only thing that gets me down is the monotony of everyday life but I suspect that's a problem that's not just because of my job. So free breakfast and gifts to start my day are good! Unfortunately I also woke up with a sinus headache which is continuing to suck the life out of me. I think it's getting worse as the day goes on. Thankfully it's almost time to go home.

Here's some progress on Anastasia:

I will not share my stupid moment yesterday because it was fairly large in it's stupidity. Suffice to say that I would probably be at the heel by now if I used my brain rather than let it sleep while I'm awake.

At least it's Wednesday...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Late post...

Thanks for all the Mother's Day wishes. I had a fantastic day. I had two hours to myself in the morning, while Rinaldo went out with Ian and got me breakfast at IHOP and chai from Starbucks (whoo hoo). Avery being pre-pubescent was fast asleep. Then I spent the day out with Maribel and my adopted mom, her mom Lolita. We went into the city and caught a movie and had dinner. It was great. I had the best time.

I did frog everything this weekend. Which seems to have been the right thing to do. I immediately hit a productive streak once it was done. Look not one but two baby hats done:

I wish I could find the damn ribbon I bought so I could sew it on to the baby kimono then that would really be finished but I have no freakin' idea what I did with it.

I did cast on for the Anastasia socks but I haven't progressed far enough for them to be interesting as of yet. Maybe by Wednesday. I will say that my short row toe gets better and better each time I do it.

Oh well time to pass out. Damn, you know you're old when exhausted and ready to sleep before 11:00.

Good night.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Just for you ,Gina;)

I hope your Mother's Day is a pleasant and peaceful as mine is starting out to be...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Throw it all up in the air and see where it lands...

Today I have some pictures for you of the things I didn't show you Wednesday. Sadly most of them are not long for this world.

First up we have Falling in Love in STR:

...our love is still strong but the STR is coming between us. Falling in Love is not made for handpainted yarn and it's too dark and thick to work anyway, see:

I decided to give it a go with some Lisa Souza that I have, I know, I know another handpainted yarn but lighter in color and thinner:

Love this yarn, love, love, love this pattern? Not so much:
So here's the deal. Falling in Love will be saved for a different yarn altogether. The Lisa Souza will be RPMs and the STR will be Anastasia. So everyone will be frogged. I'll cast on for Anastasia tonight.

This put me in the mood to reassess my gloves:

Guess what? Not feeling it. Quick to the frog pond...
I'll be swapping it out for some Lush that's been marinating in the stash for a few years:

Bea asked to see swallowtail which I don't think has grown much since I last posted a picture of it:
It coming along fine I'm just neglecting it horribly.

By the way since I was taking pictures on the deck I thought I'd show you the latest shot. Rinaldo added an arch and fixed the fence. The fence still needs to be painted and one look at the yard and you know that there is some serious weeding to do but considering how it looked when we started it's amazing:
I guess I'll be ripping yarn and ripping weeds this weekend. Have a good one!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I had planned on having some pictures to show you all the projects I'm working on while I'm caught in the grips of startiritis but I was too lazy to take pictures after I got home from my knitting group last night.

Currently on the needles I have:

The Swallowtail Shawl - currently in a state of neglect. Why is it that I get about 30 rows in to a lace shawl and stop dead. This has happened twice on Charlotte. It's like my own personal border issue. I don't seem to have the appropriate visa to continue into lace country.

Garter Stitch baby hat - not loving this either but I want it to match the kimono so I need to finish it up. I'm sick of this damn yarn (Mary Maxim Kashmere, don't laugh- grr). I have tons of it. I think it's time to divest myself of it.

Doctor Who fingerless gloves - the pattern is great but I'm not feeling the leftover Silky Wool from Gyrid. I'm also not feeling the magic loop on this one. I think I'm going to switch yarns before I go any further, I'm going to continue the looping though...for now.

Falling in Love socks - these are going well. The biggest issue is the fact that I can't see the lace pattern showing up yet. It could be the darkness of the yarn, it could simply be the whole lace blooming when blocking thing. I'm going to keep going because they look cute regardless. Here's some sucky camera phone shots for you:

look ma, a provisional cast on:

...and here we are as of 2:00 today:

It's a really good pattern. Of course there was some panic last night at my knitting group when I ran into the K4tog, yup that's right knit 4 together. That was more than slightly intimidating. I pointed it out to Chante and the panic in her eyes made me feel much better. Of course today she came up with an alternative, 'cause she's like that;)

Since I'm feeling that somehow this post is rather sparse, here is some Ian cuteness. We met Diego at the Bronx Zoo on Saturday as part of their Cinco de Mayo celebration. Ian was absolutely thrilled:

Happy Wednesday...

Monday, May 07, 2007

I got nothing done knittingwise this weekend. I somehow screwed up my knee on Saturday and hobbled around the zoo all day which only managed to make it worse. I managed to rest it yesterday so this morning it seems much better.

I tried to make some booties to go with the knitting kimono but my typical bootie bad luck held and it was too damn big even though the gauge seemed right. I'm doing a hat instead. Does anyone have a good worsted weight baby bootie pattern?

Falling in Love won the poll so I will probably cast on today or tomorrow.

It is far too early on Monday morning to say much more so here's a meme from Danielle at The Knitting Niche:

Mark with bold the things you have ever knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies...)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items)on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else's handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Friday, May 04, 2007

Taking Stock

Since it's the beginning of May I thought it was a good time to revisit some of the goals I set for myself in January.

Knit From Your Stash -
This is actually going very well. I haven't purchased any yarn since December. I did receive some yarn as a gift and some freebies from the Yarn Harlot's Represent event but that's allowed. I have knit about 17 skeins/balls from my stash since the start of the year. What I'd really like to do is catalog my stash, get it into a spreadsheet so I can really see if I've made a dent. I also want to go through and figure out the yarn I know at this point I will never use. This weekend is a bit busy so I don't think I'll get it done then but maybe next weekend.

Off the Shelf-
Not so good on the book thing. I've bought at least 3 books and have grabbed countless freebies. So I've made very little progress there. My husband pointed out that my goal of no new books until my birthday was foolish anyway since we have Book Expo at the end of May. That is the mother of all book conferences and I always get a ton of books from that. Hell, I still have a stack sitting in my closet from the last one. It's a double edged sword being a bookseller who loves books.

Run-a-go-go -
Ha ha ha 'nuff said.

Blog Poll has been down since yesterday so I have no freakin' idea which pattern won. Falling in Love was in the lead last time I was able to access it so if it's not back up by Monday that is what I will use. That's the one I wanted anyway;). Thanks for voting!

I have been hanging out at the new hot spot for knitters, Ravelry. My favorite popular kids all hang there and one of them was kind enough to extend me an invite as it's still in beta so it's not open to the public yet. Go get on the waiting list though as it's really a pretty cool way to participate in a knitting community.

A few links I wanted to share.

Check out Stitch THIS! over at Cafe Press. I love Liv, she's such a great mascot for the bad ass knitters of the world.

Did you know that knitters now have our own Wikipedia? WikiKnitting I haven't checked it out much yet. Too caught up in Ravelry but it looks pretty informative.

To quote a good friend, "thank Christ it's Friday"...

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Opinions Please

This is what was waiting at the post office for me on Monday:
...not exciting enough for you? Try now:

Some luscious Socks that Rock in Titania, here's a close-up:

Susan loves me. She was trying to decide what to make with it and I graciously (and jokingly) volunteered to take it off her hands. She's actually took me up on it. I'm ecstatic, so now I want to make pretty socks for me, me, me. I'm just not sure which ones. I definitely want to try a toe up sock. Hell, I joined the My First Toe Up Knitalong ages ago I suppose it's time to actually participate, right? I'm going to let you help me decide. Here are the choices:

Falling in Love Socks

Baudelaire I hate the picture on the pattern, go look at Susan's.
Anastasia Socks
Shimmer Socks

or should I not even bother with toe-up socks for one reason or another. What do you think?

Here's a poll to make it seem official: