Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I thought I’d actually pop in for a change. Just kidding. Just thought I’d show you that I actually have been up to some stuff. I don’t have pics of the on going FSP saga yet but I do have (drumroll).

A finished Jaywalker!!! I have not started on the second sock yet but this one is done.

What is the sock laying on you ask? Well that would be some airy soft Polwarth rolegs washed and carded by yours truly. My first batch. I love this stuff! I picked it up at the CT Sheep and Wool eons ago. I was finally able to pick myself up some handy-dandy Howard hand cards from this place. A great store with a wonderful location AND they sell spinning fiber as well as yarn. Yarnia indeed. Yes, I did buy some other stuff here and yes, I will be posting about that soon…Well…relatively soon? Ahem…Onward and upward.

I started making bobbles again and this was my first pair in some time.

I needed something simple to go with a new outfit I bought. Not Van Cleef and Arpels by ANY far stretch of the imagination but it does count as an FO and they're not bad for a pair I scratched together with stuff I had laying around. I’d forgotten how much I loved plain old beading.
I also wanted to show what I've been spinning. Finally, I think I'm getting the hand of the long draw (about time)

That’s it for now. I know, weird, huh? More to come.

Take Good Care

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fall Update

I figured I'd actually publish this post from October (don't ask me how I missed that) and let you know what I've been up to since I really haven't been able to post.

Apple Picking.

I did go apple picking with my WONDERFUL Friend T. Who, incidently brought me these beauties as she knew I needed cheering up.

Anyhew, apple picking…No no no…You don’t understand.


Oh it was SO much fun. We went here and I think we walked away with 5 bags between T, DH and myself.

Another reason T is a friendship goddess? She suggested we treat ourselves to a luxury weekend. We started with a spa. We went here and took a full day package. Heaven! Heated stone massage, manis, pedis. The works. Then we had dinner at XO. PHENOMENAL food. We concluded with Sunday Brunch at the Cheesecake factory. Oh ya. A completely overindulgent weekend but a wonderful time all around.

As a matter of fact I DO Say It’s My Birthday

I had a birthday in September. And the best hubby in the world got me a watch with a purple face. Oddly, (though I never told him this) it was precisely what I wanted. I’ve always said that I didn’t want a nice watch. Not even a remotely nice watch because I was sure to lose it. I always got a really cheap watch so that when I left it somewhere I wouldn’t feel bad. But I’ve been starting to feel that I’m a big girl now and seeing as I have a grown up engagement ring and wedding band, I might be able to hang on to a watch for more than a week. And with purple being my favorite color and all, I wanted a watch with a purple face. I’m not a fan of gold so that wasn’t an option.

Now, I don’t care about my birthday. It just hasn’t been a great big deal to me since 1986 when I celebrated my birthday at BK in the aftermath of Hurricane Gloria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Gloria). I really don’t think of it, in fact, it wasn’t until DH mentioned that my birthday was coming up a week before that I even remembered it. I don’t hate aging, as DH says, “It’s better than the alternative.” I don’t have hang-ups about being 33, I’m quite enjoying my 30s. I just don’t place much importance on my birthday. But somehow, DH always finds a way to make my birthday special. I opened that box and saw what was inside and just balled my eyes out. DH did that guy thing where he was like “um…er…please don’t cry…should I be apologizing?” Why did I cry? Well, I suppose it was because I have been feeling so glum and just downright unlikeable. It’s just nice when someone does something that says “I don’t just love you. I know you THIS well and I love you.” I guess I really needed that. (Again, needed cheering)

“Is our wedding day still the best day of your life?” “ No.” “What is?” “Everyday since.”

I don’t care. I’m corny and I just don’t care, dammit. So the week prior to my b-day was our second wedding anniversary. I still can’t believe it’s been 2 whole years! I LOVED this place. I never forget how we looked out onto the then frozen Lake Winnepesauke and said. This is the place. The actual place hadn’t even been built yet! But we just knew we had to get married there.

So for our anniversary dinner we went to CAV. OMG! If you are ever in the Providence, RI area You MUST go there. It’s an antique store/restaurant. I LOVE that! The food was excellent and if you’re a dessert person, I HIGHLY recommend the Tahitian Vanilla Crème Brule.

And Oh OOOOOH! Have you heard about THIS?!?!?!!?!? Come ON, folks. A yarn safari! I was considering using there services for Rhinebeck…moment of silence…I’ll definitely keep an eye on their future trips, especially their next trip to WEBS or as Guido referred to it “OH MY GOD, WEBS!”

Honest to Goodness FO's!

My wonderful friend Anne had a baby. A little girl! I had to stop everything and make her footwear! You're never too young for a shoe...problem...Did I type that out loud? Here they are

My first booties. Not too shabby, right?

Well, that's it for now. Thanks for stopping by and as always,

Take Good Care

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I Stink.

You can say it. I know it. Haven’t blogged in ages. I am sorry. So much going on but I will try to be better. I know what you’re saying. And NOW you expect me to sit through another of your diatribes? Bear with me. There’s a little bit of good stuff here.

My New Loves

I'll be adding a bunch of new blogs to my side bar and I recommend them all but I wanted to mention a few in particular.

My Fashionable life: I’ve been reading this for some time and “Amelia Raitte” (love the play on words...well...one word, really) would’ve been added to my blog ages ago if I were a diligent blogger…ahem. She’s not only incredibly talented with a set of needles (must buy patterns…must by patterns…) but she weaves you in with her writing. She shares quite a bit of her self and…well... In short, I like her.

Brooklyn Tweed: Ever visit a blog a million times but every time you go to it you say “Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about this one!” I keep asking myself why I kept forgetting about this INCREDIBLY TALENTED KNITTER. Everyone needs inspiration once in a while. This blog is a regular stop for me when I need a refill.

Lime &Violet: I know you know them. I know I don’t need to advertise them but they make me do the happy dance. Lime and Violet. Ok first of all, Thanks to Violet for the birthday wishes and complementing the blog (blush). These two are guilty of two things. The first thing is making me laugh out loud on the train, which I thought was limited to when I listen to Cast-on. Thought I was safe but noooo. The one-liners were too much even for my overly developed sense of shame. The other crime they’re guilty of is developing my teensy weensy interest in sock knitting into a full-fledged obsession. There isn’t an episode this week (sniff..sniff) so I’ll just have to make due with catching up on the episodes I’ve missed. Seriously, this fiber thing, I think it’s becoming a problem. It’s an illness and I love it.

It’s a Purl Man: Again, a podcast which requires no promotion. But ya gotta love Guido. It's a fact, look it up. No, seriously. I met him briefly at the Boston Knit out and Crochet and he couldn't have been nicer! Did you listen to his interview with the afore-mentioned Jared of Brooklyn Tweed? It was really good! I particularly liked when they got into detail about his Elizabeth Zimmerman philosophy. It really made me think about my own newbie mentality. Anyway. Go listen to it.


Ha HA! , ladies and gents, Picovoli chee eeza done-ah. Just needs blocking and she's ready just in time for…FALL?????. Ugh, whatever. I really like it and frankly, I’m pretty proud. It’s not perfect, there are some errors but over all I would say I’m happy with it.

As the Heel Turns…

Yeah, I know it isn’t original. But I turned the heel and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was lead to believe it would be. Thanks again to the lovely Miss Lime for encouraging me to take that heel in hand and persevere. Just about everyone else I know told me not to go with this as my first sock. I don't know why. It really is a fun pattern. In any case, I really did appreciate Lime’s words of encouragement. Almost done! Look


Ok. Talk about another project that people are freaking me out about. My very first lace project is the Forest Path Stole from IK’s 2003 Summer Issue Issue.

Ok ok. I know you’re saying “Ah…Hey, stupid newbie, have you been chewing on your swallow caseins again? That’s an entrelac lace pattern.” I know, I know but I saw a woman model one she’d made during he NETA Spa Fashion Show last year and I’ve been obsessing over it ever since. I’m making it for my mommy for Christmas. Yes, Christmas 2006. Oh stop laughing and get off the floor. Ok, If I don’t finish it by Christmas, it’ll still make a wonderful Mother’s Day present, right??? (groan). Anyway, here's what I have done so far.

The yarn is Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud. YyyyUMMM. I also took the opportunity to pick up the Options needle set. Now, granted not one of the needle sizes was appropriate for the stole and I ended up having to add the size 3 circulars but come ON. I had to get them. A knitter cannot live on Addis alone.

I also bought the yarn for my MIL’s Christmas present which I’ve yet to receive. She does read this blog (the angel) so I won’t be posting pics of the project until after Christmas.

Boston Knit Out and Crochet

Nice job, guys! This was a great event and was it just me or did the number of attendees from last year to this year increase exponentially?

And that was just the door prize line.

It may just be that I got there kind of late last year. Loved the blogger Cafe. Let’s see. I met Guido as I mentioned above, Kimberly, who did a wonderful job organizing the Blogger Cafe, Emily, check out the great hat she's making. OH and Cathy, my favorite knitting librarian. I really liked how they had print outs of everyone’s blogs so you could get an overview. OH. Bumped into Monica. Literally. She posted an apology for offending me. Have you met Monica? She’s the biggest sweetie ever and couldn’t offend if she tried. I don’t know if you recall but she was the one who made a Dunkin’s run for EVERYONE at that dyeing workshop I took a while back? Pfff. Offended by Two Left Needles, I should only be so lucky!

I also met Wren Ross and Daena Giardella! They were awesome! They signed my book. Wren also took a few moments to talk to me about her workshopes. Did I mention I'm a singer? My first love. I'm so taking her workshop. Cuz' you know, I need stuff to do in my spare time.

Back to the Knit Out. Did you guys catch this lady?

I really loved it. I love the styles of days gone by. And this diva, I thought, carried the style off very well.

Oh Cuteness Factor

I haven't had cuteness factor in a while. This week's cuteness factor comes courtesy of the Boston Knit Out.

For the record, I don't have a dog. DH and I work long hours and it just wouldn't be fair. But my absolute favorite dog in the world is a Pembroke Welsh Corgie. Look at this little guy! I want a puppy!!!

Rhinebeck…Not meant to be.

I’m really disappointed but I will not be able to make Rhinebeck. I tried, really I did. But with no hotel room availability and my present work schedule, I just don’t see how I can. I’m heart broken. Although, don’t cry for ME, Paraguay. I’ll tell you how I have been compensated in the coming posts.

Before parting, I would like to thank those who have commented and sincerely apologize for not getting back to some of you. My roller coaster life should be settled now and I promise PROMISE to reply to you more diligently from now on. But I do want to say that I really appreciate the feedback and advice I’ve gotten so far. So thanks!

Take Good Care

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I'm Nothing if Not Verbose

Alright, I’ve been catching up on blog reading and my chagrin over my lack of crafting motivation has been a bit allayed by the fact that many other knitters are experiencing the same thing. It’s not like I’ve done nothing but I’m just not progressing the way I’d like to. I’ve been waiting for a lull at work but it just isn’t coming. I want to knit or sew or make jewelry or make stick figures. SOMETHING, ANYTHING! But work and personal fires need putting out so I guess that takes precedence over Jaywalkers or Picovoli or shopping trips to Beadworks.

But truth be told I’m blue and I need cheering (dammit). So fiber therapy it is. SPLOOSH! (Me diving headlong into fiber).

Spinning with the one, the only BCV

As you know, I’ve been increasingly frustrated with my long draw. It’s just not working. Oh I’d like to be taking the ballerina-like approach to the long draw, gracefully gliding my perfectly separated hands over smooth lengths of gossamer. Instead, I end up with the Keystone Kop approach, either wildly running my little digits too late over bumps and lumps, remembering that my hands are not supposed to be tightly intertwined or chasing after the mocking fiber as it slips past me into the orifice. I’ve heard/read a LOT about Barbara Clorite-Ventura in places like here and here and I happened to see a post from her on the NETA list. I quickly shot her a note begging asking her if she would be so kind as to save me from my self-spun hell help me improve my technique.

She is great. She came over and showed me how to wash this really great Polwarth fleece I bought at the CT sheep and wool. Then we went over different spinning and plying techniques. She watched my try my hand at the long draw technique and pointed out that I had issues with letting go of the control. Me? A control freak? Get out! She also examined my plied stuff. We looked at it through this nifty magnifying glass I bought at the Joann’s sale. It really made such a difference in the way I looked at plying. Seriously, I’m so grateful for her help. I haven’t been able to practice as much as I’d like but it is Labor Day weekend so I’ll have some time to give it a try.

Knitting…Much Better

Oh Picovoli is going much much better. I didn’t cry. I almost did but I didn’t. I am now shaping and I have the right number of stitches. Yea! WARNING: BORING TIDBIT ABOUT ROSIEGLASSES. I’ve mentioned this before I believe but I am extremely easily amused. Ask ANYONE who knows me, it just doesn’t take much. I bring this up because as I was doing the decreases for Picovoli, I kept thinking “Who came up with this technique?” It’s genius! It’s fun to watch the way the necessary stitches are removed and what happens to the shape of the garment. And I think it’s neat that it looks pretty. I’m a “form with function” girl so I just love that.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “Yes, Carine, that’s why they call it what they do. You DECREASE for SHAPING.” I get it, I get it. But I’m a newbie so I’m still quite fascinated by it all. So here's the progress on Picovoli.

My Jaywalker is coming along.

I’m just taking it easy through this pattern. You know, at first I didn’t think I’d be too happy about knitting on multiple needles. Like most first-time knitters, I thought it looked unwieldy and intimidating. But I gotta tell ya, I’m really enjoying it! And this pattern keeps it interesting too. Watching the shaping is even more exciting what with the colors zigzagging and all (yep…easily amused). I like it. I’m at the part where you turn the heel now so of course, I’ve put it down. I admit it, I’m afraid of it. Oh don’t look at me like that. I’ll pick it up this weekend. I’m just SO intimidated by the process. I’m just nervous about the tears (swearing) and heartache (yelling) that will come if I screw it up.
Random Craft
I mentioned that DH and I were in Stowe a few weeks ago. We go there yearly for DH's competitions. We meet up with friends of ours and while the DH's are competing, my pal Kelly and I go shopping. We happened upon a Paint Your Own Ceramics/String Your Own Beads Place (I'll post the name when I find it). Well, we decided to paint plates and have them shipped to Kelly's. She and her DH were nice enough to drop my fired plate off to me this morning.

It's ok. I think I'd like to try my hand at it again. I sort of wanted the colors to be a bit darker. But this was great fun! And the dish is food, microwave AND dishwasher safe. Not bad!
Ear Candy

So podcasts have been a big part of my breathing life back into my crafting. I can’t say enough about these things (I know you’re thinking “seems this chick can’t say enough about anything). I’ve gone back to listen to Season 1 of Cast-On. WARNING: YET ANOTHER BORING TIDBIT ABOUT ROSIE G. In addition to being easily amused, I have an “overly developed sense of shame” as DH puts it. I’m very easily embarrassed. The reason I bring this up is because 3 times now while knitting and listening to Brenda, that siren of the podwaves, I’ve laughed out. If you remember, I do most of my knitting on the wonderful MBTA Commuter Rail (I know, It’s MBCR but it’ll always be the T to me). I don’t make it a habit of laughing out loud by myself in a crowded area. I was a bit mortified each time but there was nothing to be done for it! Have ya listened to Brenda? You know what I mean, then. In spite of my discomfiture, I’m so enjoying revisiting old Cast-On episodes.

I’ve also very much delighted in listening to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice via CraftLit. I listened to the last few chapters this morning and I actually was sad to see it end. I can’t wait to hear what’s next. I think Heather is wonderful for thinking of this. Speaking of Heather, she recently wrote and read an essay for Brenda for this episode of Cast-On. If you haven’t listened to it GO. Heather is an eloquent speaker and writer and I just loved this essay.

It’s great that these people share little pieces of their lives and I really appreciate what it’s given me. As I said, I’ve been a bit lugubrious lately and listening to podcasts, particularly the two mentioned above has not only gotten me through my long commute and my endless rows of Stockinette, but it’s really roused me from my blahs.

Ah Phooey…Is it that time already?

Well. I did it. Today, I succumbed to my cold toes and put on…sniff…I can hardly type it…CLOSED TOED SHOES! There I’ve said it. Where the heck did Summer go! Don’t get me wrong. I LOOOVE Fall in NE but the faster she come, the faster she go. And then…UGH…I’m not even going to mention the W or the S words. But there are some things to be grateful for.

- Apple Picking. YEA! One of my best friends has already mentioned it and I can NOT wait.

- Rhinebeck. My first time! Ok. Who’s going? I was wondering if I was being overly eager in mentioning it already. Then I read every other blog.

- Knitting for the red and green holiday. It’s MUCH too early for me to say the word but I’m in the process of planning my yarn buys. I’m not going to be talking about what I’m making for my MIL because she’s sweet enough to read my blog but I’ll be posting pics of my mom’s present because she doesn’t have internet (I know, right?).
Ok. I'll let you off the hook now. Enjoy the holiday weekend. Thanks again for reading
Take Good Care

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Amphibious Bastard!

Forgive my lack of posting. It’s been a rough few weeks. I’ve been incredibly busy with very little time for crafting. Very little time up until today, that is.

Dyeing Workshop with Linda Whiting

It somehow escaped me that the weekend of July 29th was the Linda Whiting Dyeing workshop hosted by the lovely and talented Mona. I almost didn’t go because it’s been so crazy for me lately but I really REALLY wanted to try and get a handle on dyeing. So off I went. What a fun group! There were some of my fellow Sunday Spinners there as well as Mizz Wooly Buns. And it was so nice to meeting Monica in person. She was sweet enough to make a Dunkin’s run for everyone. I think we might’ve been a smidge too chatty for Linda but things went pretty well. Mona had the great idea of doing pot luck for lunch. I won’t get into it but OH, The FOOD.

We started out dyeing the color wheel. Linda assigned us each 3 variations of the primary colors and directed us to mix them according to prewritten formulas. VERY interesting. Then we did Complementary and Analogous colors. Linda also did a sample of gradation. It was really great to see how different the results were. I’m no longer terrified of dyeing which is nice.

Here are a couples of shots from that day. Sorry they aren't great but I was way too overstimulated to concentrate on pics.

I really can’t wait to try my hand at it. If you’d like to read more about the workshop, visit Wooly Buns’ blog.


I spun some more of the merino tencel from NH S&W. I don’t know why but this batch wasn’t as much fun for me. I think it’s because the colors weren’t quite as rich as the first package and…I don’t know. I just didn’t have my spinning mojo going. It was a bit of a struggle. Even when it came to plying the stuff, it simply didn’t come together for me. But here is a picture of it plied along with the blue stuff.

I was a little happier with the blue stuff when it was skeined.


Ok. So I’m guessing that by now you’ve figured out the title for this post. Picovoli. My lovely, fun, interesting Picovoli had to be offered up as a sacrifice to the frogging gods. I can’t even get into what I did. Now that I’ve sat down and clearly looked at the pattern, I know that the error was a careless one. You see, before I start on a project (to avoid careless mistakes…ahem), I highlight all of the numbers in and around the parentheses which correspond with the size I need. I highlighted the wrong size in one lousy section!!! After WEEKS of not being able to knit or spin or sew or ANYTHING, I sat down to “get my shaping on” and…

I counted, rubbed my eyes, recounted, put it down, recounted. OH it was pathetic! I just couldn’t believe it. Back to the drawing board. I frogged and frogged and…Now my pretty Knitpicks Shine is now more Knitpicks fuzz. PLEASE tell me it’ll look better when I block it. I may just cry, folks. I’m not kidding.

On the upside? When I pulled out my Jaywalker sock.

IT had all the right stitches in all the right places. (grumbling angrily).

Cuteness Factor

I haven’t done cuteness factor in a while but the day after the workshop, DH and I went to the zoo near our house. We hadn’t been in all of the time we’ve lived here. It’s a small zoo but it was rather impressive. Now, I must let you know that reason I found the zoo impressive maybe due to the fact that was expecting something like “And next to our cockroach exhibit is our world-renowned pigeon coop.” Don’t ask me why. We frequent the park that the zoo is a part of frequently and it is delightful. The kind of place you want to have a picnic in. Anyhew…There were so many animals.

How can you resist an otter. Look at this little fella. They’re just content to keep flipping and flipping…

The Llama were cute too!

DH fed one of them but then he put his ears back and well…We didn’t want to end up with any green gooey spit so we decided we’d spent enough time there.

Lions are always captivating.

On a side note, no matter how many times I am at a zoo and I hear a parent ask a lil munchkin “And what does a lion say?” and said munchkin replies “ROOOOAAAR” it never fails to crack me up. Hey! I never said I wasn’t easily amused.

Anyway there were cranes...

and OH the cutest little marmosets

and kangaroos and a sloth bear and an owl…OH MY. (yup, I said that). To a city girl like me, this stuff is still a novelty. We had great fun. I even tried a corn dog for the first time. It tasted…well. Like cornbread around a hot dog. No culinary surprises there.

Last weekend DH and I went camping in Stowe, VT. It had been so nuts at work and home. I’ve had many professional and personal hurdles to deal with the last few weeks so I really needed the panacean effects of the woods and all of its trappings. Not to mention so QT with the DH.

Have you been to Stowe? I highly recommend it. It's a wonderful town. There are stores there that make me smile just because they are there.

And now? Well, my neighbor informed me that the Joann Fabrics near us is moving and that they are having a HUGE sale. Oh ya, I indulged.

Ok. The first picture is a couple of hat patterns. I just LOOOOVE hats. And at $1.99...The second pictures are of some vinyl and at the bottom are some fabric quarters. I really loved the colors and although I'm not yet a quilter, I think I'll find use for these. The last pic is of course fabric. 50% off, come on!

As I said before, the later the post the longer. I shall leave you now with a couple of camping pics. Til next time, take good care.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

It's been a while I know but...

So there’s been a little talk about blogging and what kind of behavior bloggers can/should expect from readers who leave comments. It’s really sad, I think that people feel the need to get nasty with others. Now, some people have the point of view that a blog is a public forum and that when one sticks their neck out, they should expect rude comments. Others would say that blogs are like an extension of their homes and that just as you shouldn’t be rude to someone in their home, you shouldn’t be rude on blog comments. I don’t wholly agree or disagree with either school of thought but lets run with the home metaphor.

To some degree, a blog would be like opening the door to your home. Sometimes undesirable things will make their way into your home if you do that. We are sticking ourselves out there to some degree and when you leave your door open and unattended, that is a risk you are taking. Ok. Fine. I can buy that. But let’s say someone decides to say “Oh! Your door is open. Let me just poop on your doorstep.” Is it an option? Yes. Is it ok? No. And let’s be clear. I’m not talking about someone reading someone’s blog and starting discourse by simply disagreeing. I’m talking about people being downright invective. And I’m not talking about political blogs. I’m talking craft blogs. Come on. Is there really a need?

Some have said that blogs are a public forum and that a blogger should set guidelines for behavior. Eh…I’m not sure about that. I don’t think a blog is a democracy. Again, if this is my home and I’ve opened the door, when you poop in my doorway, I can kick you out. And I’m not sure that something like this is so imperceptible that you have to say “Hey, could you not be abusive in your comments?” I’m talking (clearly) from my point of view. Do I want feedback? Yes. I’m new at my crafts and that’s what I’m looking for. Am I open to constructive criticism? Absolutely. But let’s face it, what’s being discussed here isn’t constructive criticism and it’s not healthy dissension. People are trying to be hurtful and it’s completely unnecessary. Many people are simply looking to connect and share.

I wasn't born here but I live in the US. I am all for the first amendment. I think there is honor in defending a right that would have me hear someone spurn all that I stand for. I see the foresight and democracy in that. And I don’t believe that I have a fundamental right not to be offended. Having said that, however, I’m a strong believer in “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” And it doesn’t mean it’s ok. And although the abusive individuals are exercising their rights to express themselves, they are doing it in such a way that would perhaps stop others from exercising theirs.

Overall, let me say that I really like being a part of this community and I can say that I’ve experienced more wonderful, witty, funny and caring people than mean-spirited, negative and down right “ucky” people. I really hope bloggers don’t become discouraged by these events and shut down. I know I’ve bored you silly with my rant but bear with me just a bit longer and visit Jane’s post on this. She is much more insightful and eloquent than I. So I think that counts as this week’s site of interest.

And…Oh yeah. I promise a post about actual crafting coming soon. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Alright, who stuffed a few extra days into this week?

Whew. I am SO glad it is the weekend. It was such an insane week at work, I asked my boss for Monday off. I told her that I had to purposeful reason for asking other than the fact that I was sick to death of the sight of the place. So it’s a 4-day weekend for yours truly.

I did find time to put a teensie bit of a dent on Picovoli.

And I also started on Jaywalker.

I just couldn’t resist the Lorna’s laces yarn. This is my first pair of socks. Wish me luck!

I was also able to start plying the blue stuff.

I’m not doing cartwheels over it but I suppose it’s an improvement over my last attempt at long draw.

I also found time for a “little” retail therapy.

Along my little therapy trip(s), I picked up Suzan Mischer’s Greetings from Knit Café. I really like the patterns in this book. There is the cutest little dress pattern and a GORGEOUS gown. Although, I have no idea how practical the gown would be. I’ve been feeling the pull towards my crochet hooks again but I really wasn’t jazzed over any of the patterns I have so also picked up Melissa Leapman’s Cozy Crochet and Debbie Stoller’s crochet book The Happy Hooker. I have to confess, I was never really able to jump on the Stitch n’ Bitch craze. I really never went too nuts over the patterns, don’t ask me why, it’s not that I don’t think the patterns are neat or inventive but it didn’t really strike a cord with me. But this book I like. I think there are several patterns in there I will really enjoy making. The other book I picked up (finally) was Mason-Dixon Knitting. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. I love the philosophy behind it, I love the patterns. I’ve had my eye on it for months and just had to get it.

I also happened to pick up Knitscene. I haven’t read any other posts about this, although, I’m sure there are a few but I’m guessing this might be a love it or hate it issue in Knitter World. Who knows, maybe some of the patterns will end up on You Knit What but I really really like the projects in this issue. They’re very interesting to me and appeal to my romantic side, particularly these two.

Oh! Speaking of interesting and romantic knitting, have you checked out the progress of Eunny’s GORGEOUS gorgeous top. MAN, that lady is talented.

Anyway, back to retail therapy (yes, there’s more, you knew there’d be more). Another craft I wanted to breathe some life back into was my sewing. I’ve just been blah about the skirt I’ve been working on. So blah, in fact that I haven’t really posted about it.

I was never crazy about the fabric and I just wasn’t getting anywhere with it. So, when I was able to get a breather from work, I took a walk over to the Fabric District. I found these at Win Mil and I bought new patterns…

…and new fabric.

The people at Win Mil were wonderful. As I said, I’m new at this so all help is greatly appreciated. When I was looking around bewildered, there was always a “May I help you?” And when I brought my items to the register, the woman at the counter noticed the zipper I had chosen for one of the projects. She asked me what I was going to use the zipper for and suggested another, more appropriate (and much less expensive) zipper. I don’t know about you but I really miss the long forgotten process known as customer service. I’m not saying I want people to fawn over me or be looking over my shoulder every two seconds but when did the memo go out saying that “please”, thank you” and “have a nice day” were all being replaced with “mmm hmmm”. What is that? And don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a tough job. I did it for years and years. But I think it’s a sad statement when DH and I go to a store, happen upon someone knowledgeable and polite and say “Wow, he/she was actually nice.” Forgive me if I’m being platitudinous here but ugh.

In other news, I’m a bit bummed because I can’t go to Sunday Spinners today. My cable has been on the fritz since last Saturday. So we have a tech coming out today and you know how that goes. He’ll be here between the hours of “blah” and “blah”. My internet has been flapping as well. Fun is…DH has a competition on The Cape today so I guess I drew the short straw. Oh well. More time for crafting…

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Yet Another No Brainer

I don't know that I would make it my permanent home but, like many, this city has captured my heart

You Belong in Paris

Stylish and a little sassy, you were meant for Paris.
The art, the fashion, the wine, the men!
Whether you're enjoying the cafe life or a beautiful park...
You'll love living in the most chic place on earth.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

More Ramblings...Hey, that's what a blog's for!

Not too much has been going on in Rosie Land. The Picovoli. For some reason the Picovoli, she was sllooooowww going during the early part of the week. I do a large part of my knitting on the train on the way home. I have a 45 minute commute so it’s a good chunk of time in the morning and afternoon. And normally I physically knit very fast. I’m not saying I zip through projects but once I get a groove going, I’m actually pretty fast. I’m sure you know what I mean. But this week, I just couldn’t get my hands to zip along as they normally do. I didn’t know what was up. I’m not bored with the thing. I’m actually really enjoying the pattern. As I said before, knitting from the top down is new to me and I am delighting in seeing the whole thing come together. But my mind and hands wouldn’t marry long enough for me to get a decent dent in the thing. Try as I might, I just couldn’t get into “the zone”. Thankfully, this went away this morning and I seem to be back on track.

I was reading Yarn Harlot’s Yoga post and it very much speaks to the story of me and my crafting not to mention the name of this blog. So I thought I would use this opportunity to explain in part how knitting gives me a more rosy view of life. As I said, I’m a pretty fast knitter. That’s not true of ANYTHING else I do. I want everything to be perfect which is ALWAYS my downfall. Something in my brain refuses to believe that perfection is unattainable so I go on slow and steady until I’m so frustrated I just give up. Not so with crafting. I get into this place and there’s lots of trial and error. Sometimes I get ticked off fold and wrap and put something a project away. I do this slowly and methodically so as not to rip the thing to shreds or throw it over DH’s head. But for the most part, I just sigh and start over again. The creative process, particularly when it comes to fiber, is so gratifying. It stimulates so many of the senses at the same time. Different fibers and their various blends passing through your fingers can be soothing or energizing. The clicking of the needles has a calmative effect. And if you haven’t sniffed yarn yet, I suggest you give it a try. I know some people don't like the smell of some cotton/cotton blends but I find them comforting. Don't ask me why. That's another one of those beautiful things about being a fiber dork. I can be as dorky as I wanna be. Now I haven’t licked fiber for obvious reasons (I mean I do have to stop somewhere) but I’m sure someone out there can relate knitting or spinning to taste.

Even when I’m winding a skein of yarn into a ball, I flip on some relaxing music and just allow the yarn to run over and under my fingers and I’m actually having fun. And it’s so exciting to see the colors or the knitted/crocheted items themselves come together. On my daily commute, I used to just kind of trudge my way from the station to my building and back stuck in my own head. I would be focused on getting to work or getting the heck out. Now I find myself looking up and around at everything, seeing the possible stitch patterns or the dyeing possibilities. I see more, I take in more. It’s amazing how much of life you can miss while living. It’s amazing how much more life knitting forces me to pay attention to. It’s honestly like seeing the world for the first time. Crafting helps pull me from the hamster wheel of life. Sometimes I am disheartened because I can’t knit something like Picovoli in a week’s time. But I enjoy the process so much, in the end, it doesn’t matter. In any other area of my life, the Houglass TentI mean the Hourglass Sweater would’ve been a disaster. But I was able to see the positive aspects and laugh the rest off. I admit, sometimes I get frustrated that I am still a newbie and make newbie mistakes. I wonder when I’ll be able to get a cable just right without having to rip out so many times that the yarn starts to get fuzzy. I wonder when I’ll be able to spin a perfectly balanced yarn. I wonder when I’ll be able to bend wire so that my bracelets don’t have kinks in them. But this process is for me. Even when I’m making something for someone else, it’s for me. And I get so much from it. So deadlines and perfection don’t have a place here. I like that.

Ok. Enough waxing sentimental. I did get some spinning in unexpectedly. I got this batt at CT Sheep and Wool.

Isn’t it pretty? Kind of looks like an ocean wave.

I got the bug this week and decided to try my hand and long draw again.

It was coming out pretty inconsistently.

Every time I sat down and spun for a while, the control yarn would look a little different. Darn it! Actually, it’s not so bad. I think I’m finally getting to the point where I’m starting to get comfortable with the technique. And I have plenty of fiber to keep practicing. It’s just hard because I have this stunning merino/silk fiber I won at NETA earlier this year. It’s just sitting there, taunting me. I’m dying to spin it but it’s hardly “practice fiber. And I still have more of Mary’s Charlotte to practice with.

Well, that's it for now. Just more blah ba di blah blah blah. Site of interest this week? Well...I'm a bit behind but I just listened to Brenda Dayne's last installment of the Muse Series. Hillarious (yup, pimpin the Knitting Podcasts again) Go have a listen!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Late Posts = Long Posts

It's been a crazy week but I assure you I had blogging on my mind daily. First of all. Didja see? Didja see? Black Purl, that clevah online needle craft zine named this humble little blog Blog of the Week?. I was so pleased. I loved that zine. They have really great articles and free patterns. If you haven't yet travelled over there, I suggest you do. But thanks to NaSheika and L'Tonya at Black Purl it was such a neat surprise to click on the newsletter and see my name pop up. Made my week.

Ok. I have to back track a little and give you the events from Sunday. It was the first Sunday of the month which meant Sunday Spinners got together again. I had a blast. These clever ladies always have something new in the works. I've learned SO much from them it's hard to believe this was only my 3rd meeting. Kris, who runs the group is amazing. She's an incredibly talented spinner and she put together this little contraption.

Now all week I made sure to remember what this thing was called and lo and behold I cannot for the life of me remember now. Good old Mr. Murphy and his stupid law. I'll be sure and ask Kris for the actual name of it but it's basically a spindle made with a paint stick and a dowel. You spin the yarn with a propeller-type action and when you are ready you wind it on to the paint stick. So clever. I thought it was neat. On a side ramble, I'm 32 and I swear my mind is going. Words just seem to be jumping in and out of my vocabulary. Now, granted, technically, English is not my first language. I came to the US and learned English when I was 8 years old so my command of the language is at least passable. So that's not it. And I'm not talking about complicated words here either. I mean I'll be talking to my husband and be like "Could you get me some...ah... you know... so of those blocks of frozen water to put in my drink?" or "Would you pass the...er...um...ah... 4-pronged eating implement?" For the love of GOD! Someone tell me this gets better. Anyway, enough of my brain issues.

More Sunday Spinner stuff. Heather dyed some roving in Easter Egg Dye and got this

Neat, huh?

In other spinning news. The Sheep Shed Merino/Tencel I purchased at MA Sheep and Wool spun up quite nicely.

I used a short draw for this particular spinning adventure. This stuff spun up like a dream. So soft and colorful. I was actually sad when I was done spinning it. (Again, I'm aware of the fact that I am a fiber dork). It did require predrafting so keep that in mind if you decide to spin any of this stuff. But the end product OH. How lovely. It almost has the look of silk. I don't know what I'll make with it. Let's see what happens when I ply it. But I liked it so much I called up the Sheep Shed and ordered 14 more ounces. (Yes, I have a problem).

I was able to cast on and get a few rows of Picovoli done.
I swatched and blocked both Knitpicks Shine and the DB Cathay I purchased at Webs a couple of weeks ago. The Cathay was way off so like a good little knitter who was seriously spanked on a previous project which will not be named (ahem), I went with the Shine. It was either that or go up a needle size which really wasn't necessary. I have to say, I'm diggin the Shine. It's really REALLY soft and nice to knit up. And at a whopping $2.95 a ball, how can you go wrong? What do you mean "famous last words."? The shade is Butter if you are wondering. I'm trying to push myself out of my purple/blue/pink comfort zone.

I had to cast this sucker on 3 times. I have done a provisional cast on only once and it was when I was first learning to knit about a year ago. I have to thank Amy, once again for her amazing online videos. I'm sure you've been to her site. She's not on my list of First Aid sites for nothin. If you haven't been there, I suggest you click on her link ASAP. Go on, off with you.

In any case, I really like this pattern. I like that it knits from the top. It's something I haven't done before and that's been my goal in trying to improve my knitting this year. Every pattern must have at least one technique I haven't tried before.

I don't have a cuteness factor pic this week (the audience sighs in dissapointment). But I do have a site of interest. Carine has been travelling around the country and has been taking some amazing pictures. (no, I'm not referring to myself in third person, sheesh, a girl forgets a simple word like fork and all of a sudden you think she's completely lost her marbles). Go check it out. They're simply inspiring. Thanks for sharing, Carine!

My biggest news is that my very very good friend is coming "home" for a visit. I haven't seen her in 7 whole years. I have missed her so much. I hate that I haven't communicated with her
as much as I should have. Everytime I talk to her or get an e-mail from her, my whole day lights up so I am just elated that we'll get to spend some time together. (doing that silly clapping dancing thing).

And last but now least. I have you been listening to any knitting podcasts? Go on, check out a few. They are really great to listen to while you are crafting.

Well, that's it for now.