Start the Press!
Look at the Fall 2005 preview of Interweave Knits; I am dizzy with excitement.
The cover pattern is none other than Kate Gilbert's simple, sublime Union Square Market Sweater. I predict this will be a Lumay must-knit. In spite of what I suspect is a frighteningly small gauge on frighteningly small needles. Just once, I'd like to find something to knit on US15s.
The Greek Pullover, Sharon Shoji
This strikes me as offspring of the mating of Knitty patterns Grecian Plait and Belle Epoque. I like it very much, as I am a sucker for wrapped/empire waist details.
Chenille Cutaway Jacket, Teva Durham
I think it's a basic requirement that I like just about anything that Teva Durham designs. Should I find a design that I dislike, I'll be polite and not mention it.
Today, I'm on a temporary assignment in the Business Development Office of a large, local hospital. I'm filling in for a secretary who is out for a few days -- distributing faxes, fetching the mail, using the internet. Not a bad gig. Hopefully, I can fit in some eating and knitting during my thirty-minute lunch. The cabled tube top begs to be finished.
30 May 2005
We've never toured the interior, as we prefer to enjoy the gardens. It's a bit early to show the spectacular re-creation of the Italian Gardens that graced the mansion in the past, but a few flowers were in bloom.
Fungus Among Us
After walking the gardens, we sat in a gazebo near the stream and enjoyed the breeze. Joe found this on the seat near the one we'd taken.
Stoned in Love
29 May 2005
There is a closet full of bath salts, bath gels, bath foams, bath oils, and fancy soaps. All that I lack is a proper claw foot tub.
The claw I lack in tub, I evidentally, have in feet.
Not a day goes by that I don't return home to find that I've destroyed another pair of Peds. As you can see, while not prettily pedicured, my toe nails are neat and short. I don't have snaggly talons, so what gives? Maybe it's my shoes, which would make me very sad. I refuse to believe that it could be my new Dr. Marten's creating the carnage. It's all the running around I've been doing in the name of retail.
Rather than spending wisely on more footie socks, I spent foolishly on one of those hippy-dippy crimpy floaty skirts at the flea market. At $12.00, I can wear it a few times before deciding it's fate -- closet or trash bin.
Proving again that The Knitting Curmudgeon's trash is my treasure, the 2004 Holdiay issue of Vogue Knitting offered this horrid-but-fabulous shrug/tube top/scarf ensemble.
I practically fell into the yarn store in search of the "right" yarn for the project.
I can hardly wait to cast on! I've decided that the scarf is not going to be part of the final Lumay ensemble, just the tube top for now. Eventually, I'll add the shrug for my anticipated Holdiay 2005 fetes. Nothing like a bit of naked chest in the dead of Winter to raise the eyebrows of Joe's co-workers...
27 May 2005
A Few Favorites
2) Glampyre’s One Skein Wonder Shrug.
This is easily a one day knit, but I had to put it down for a few before I could pick it up to do the edging.
3) Shiseido’s Eudermine.
This is Shiseido’s oldest product; a sort of wonder tonic. To be honest, it makes my skin super soft, but who knows what it does beyond that. The bottle is so fabulous -- who cares? It looks good on my dresser.
I can never remember the name, so I ask the Shiseido consultant for Edamame or Odor-me, insuring that I’ll probably never be asked to freelance there. As an aside, the consultant is a skilled knitter wiwth a little side problem.
4) Learning from someone else’s mistake. I had really wanted to knit Dolman Updated, an Interweave Knits project, but Wendy’s disappoint is a warning I will heed.
25 May 2005
Better Than Ice Cream
In an age of pre-fabricated, lip-synching, "singers", it was refreshing to enjoy a woman who clearly loves creating and performing music. I had seen her perform at the Lilith Fair in Philadelphia some time ago. It was upon my return from living in Seattle, so it has to be at least nine years.
Oooof! I am an old crow. And getting older. I turn thirty-nine this year. I dislike birthdays. Not for the year that I've gained, but for the year that I've lost. It's the passing of more time without the benefit of having found my passion -- my life's work. I long to feel a sense of purpose in my work.
But, I wasn't feeling much of anything when the alarm rang at 4:30am yesterday. I was scheduled to ring Lancome gift purchases at 6:00am. Yep, this old crow was up before the roosters.
23 May 2005
The Clouds are Lifting
The curse may be lifting...No, I haven't returned to either MondoCable or uCan2 Shell, rather I found an inspiring little number that does not require a huge investment of time or money.
The pattern is nearly spot-on to a favorite little black shrug that I had to retire earlier this year -- after a decade of fashionable service. The thing was so faded and worn that I had to part with it, in spite of the feeling that I would never find the perfect replacement. Alas, Glampyre designed a pattern so close to the dearly-departed shrug that I had to have it the minute I saw it.
Better still, I didn't have to scrounge outside of my meager stash for the yarn. Wendy had gifted me some Italian knitting magazines and a hank of Lana Gatto Cairo (strikingly similar to King Tut Cotton) several months ago. Before the dawn of the Glampyre Shrug, the yarn was slated to be a mini-sized, summer-friendly Clapotis.
I cast on early this morning, and I spent a few hours knitting at a new coffee house that opend near the local yarn shop. You have no idea how exciting it is to have a proper Starbucks-like, but not Starbucks, independent coffee house here. We're miles from the Hudson River, where all of the hipster development is happening, but it looks as if small things are happening slowly here.
Just like my Glampyre Shrug.
Close-up of seed stitch border on left sleeve
21 May 2005
I'm back from a day of cosmetics craziness. Some women went from counter to counter, getting one makeover after another. It feels a bit strange to wipe off the work of another makeup artist and then run through the entire skincare and makeup routine for your own line. One woman was fallng asleep as I applied the makeup to her face. Welcome to Poughkeepsie -- the town that Eric Idle named as his favorite city in the US on The Daily Show.
I have decided to join the skank ranks and knit a shrug. If only there wasn't such a shrug pattern drought.
19 May 2005
What Gets Me Through the Workday
There was a boy I could kiss! There was no way I would/could kiss a boy with the name of the man who had died for my sins -- which I am certain included sneaking out and making out with a local boy (who rode a motorcycle!) during a high school trip to Spain.
Mr. Work Crush would be even cuter, but he insists on wearing blue-colored contact lens that make his eyes preternatural, rather than natural. Also, his skin...it appears that he's slathered himself in bad self-tanner. The use of self-tanner by men is not unreasonable;but in this case, it seems unnecessary. The whole effect is rather bizarre: some sort of creature with orange skin and alien eyes sporting Sean John. I want to scream, "Dude, stop it with the spooky lens and fake bake.
I think my crush is over.
18 May 2005
In yesterday's sick haze, I was delighted to find my Zappos.com order on my doorstep -- full five days earlier than I'd anticipated. Drumroll, please...
My first pair of Dr. Marten's in nearly a decade. I'd sworn them off after what I felt to be a decline in the quality of their leather. Maybe the change was in the exported shoes because English friends assured me that they found the shoes to be as comfortable as ever.
Part of me really digs the funky clown style of these shoes. It's that borderline so-ugly-they-are-cute effect (And the color name: Grizzly Peanut! How could I resist?), but part of me would rather be building a shoe wardrobe of slinky heels. Let's be honest...the Grizzly Peanuts don't really fit into my "Dump the Frump" campaign; they are exactly the opposite, no? Alas, these old retail feet can't stand the pain of narrow toes and stilleto heels. Besides, the Grizzly Peanuts will be an excellent showcase for handknit socks.
17 May 2005
It Is Happening Again. It Is Happening Again.
Much like the way I felt the ominous twinges as I worked endless stockinette on my uCan2 Shell. Like the town of Twin Peaks, my uCan2 Shell is simple and clean on the outside; there is a nasty little secret lurking.
I had decided to work the pattern in the round, in order to avoid excessive seaming. There I was, knitting away with great gusto, closing in on the final armhole decreases. I am thinking about how I am going to rejoin the front and back and knit the funnel neck in the round, which will leave only the shoulders to seam. I am soooo damn clever. Too bad I am not clever enough to realize that I’d bound off flat, rather than in the round.
Yep, that is correct. I just sort of pulled the pieces apart, worked the initial armhole bind offs, and sailed on to the armhole decreases and shoulder shaping of the back and front. It was too late when I noticed the pulling stitches at the underarm.
I want to ignore this and continue on. Just run some sort of reinforcing thread along the underarm area and do some super-clever weaving in of ends to keep the stitches from pulling further. But look where super-clever knitting in the round got me! My strongest urge is to rip the bloody thing from the needles and mash it into the mulch, pound it onto the rocks.
Is it too much to ask that I complete one stinking project? The last three projects on my needles have been re-balled and stuffed in a drawer, or even worse, re-balled and swapped off for some knitting do-dads.
Things could be worse. I could be my father, who has been left behind whilst my mother visits family in Louisiana. This is the first time she’s been away from home -- and my father -- since she and I went to Rhode Island. I was ten. Last night, my father phoned me to ask how my mother folded those little sandwich baggies. To keep his sandwiches fresh in her absence, he resorted to sealing them with tape. Maybe that’s the answer for the wonky underarm stitches…
16 May 2005
I'll Tell You Why I Don't Like Mondays
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not one to begrudge another their day off, but grrrrrrr… why is it that nearly every yarn shop in the Northeast is closed Monday? I am convinced that all that stands between me and the big yarn score that will break this knitting funk is the damn CLOSED sign.
Lately, my itch to spend isn’t limited to yarn alone. Temptation is lurking everywhere. But that is the way with time and money, isn’t it? When you have one, you probably don’t have enough of the other. Every time I have money, I cannot find a blessed thing worth buying, but the minute I have to pinch pennies, the stores unleash the best merchandise in years.
This unleashing is fine, as long as I don’t experience it. Which is precisely what happened to me at the Shiseido counter last week? I was treated to a sampling of Shiseido’s latest wonder cream, Future Solution.
I work in cosmetics, so I don't “bite” on every miracle skin cream that comes down the road. There is only so much hope in a bottle. Or, so I thought. Future Solution has me biting, chewing, and swallowing. As always, there is a price for beauty and vanity. Shiseido sets it at $225.
Needless to say, the cost is out of my league. Way out. But aren’t there a few things in this life that we should honor and treat well? Is not our skin one of those things? No doubt, the cost of the cream would make eating prohibitive for a month or two -- which might not be entirely a bad thing. Could I solve my battle of the bulge and fight the first signs of aging with one miracle product in a shimmery black jar?
14 May 2005
Houston, We Have a Serious Problem
Ignore the needles. Needed for a project or two, so I snagged it at Knits Incredible (actually, it wasn't so incredible at all) today. What needs to be addressed are the two balls of Cascade Fixation.
Here's the story.
After a wonderful dinner at Risotteria, I dragged Joe over to The Point in search of inspiration and yarn for a baby gift for my cousin's forthcoming child. Note well: the Fixation is not for the baby. It is for me. For my feet. Which is the entire problem.
What? The? Hell?
I haven't even gone beyond the swatching stage for socks, and I've procured more sock yarn? This is out of control. Is this normal? I understand that buying yarn without a specific project, or buying oddballs of sale yarn is perfectly normal...but to start a tiny stash of yarn for a particular genre of knitting -- that I might well hate and never pursue beyond a few inches -- is just inexplicable.
I need an intervention. I need some sleep. There is a small amount of Fixation, Lorna's Laces, Kroy, and KPPM about the house, and I am hoping to wake to presents from the sock fairies.
13 May 2005
Funky State of Mind
Last night, I spent nearly four hours at the yarn store (two of them for knitting class) eating, chatting, laughing, but most assuredly not knitting. I feel rooted and restless at the same time. I need a vacation, an adventure. My life is routine and hum-drum, and that means trouble.
When I was single, I was a free spirit; I roamed and moved at will. I moved so often that, prior to the rise of the PDA, friends bitched that I had taken every spot under "C" (surname) in there address book. Some had resorted to listing me under "G" (given name). The most resourceful made use of laser printer address labels. But those friends moaned that an inch of labels made the address book a bit wonky. The brightest of the bunch simply used a pencil.
My restlessness is legendary. It could result in, say, a move from Philadelphia to Seattle. Or a six month relocation to New Orleans simply because “I’ve never lived in The South“. Not even a relationship tamed me. Less than six months into our blossoming relationship, I left Joe (and my lucrative job in the fashion industry) to spend a month in Italy.
This brings me to my knitting. I feel that my knitting slump is directly related to staying put for too long. I am a woman who has traveled across the country three times, so the drive to and from the mall is getting a bit ho-hum.
Louisiana, New York (current), Pennsylvania, Washington
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Washington D.C
Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Vermont
12 May 2005
Knot on Your Life
In addition to noticing the unusual stitch pattern of the sweater, I also noticed a knot at the neckline. It just seemed really bad form to compliment a knitter and then take her to task for her finishing.
Turns out, I should have opened my mouth. Diana informed me today that she had worn said garment inside out for the entire day. Only when changing for her tennis match did she notice the unwoven ends hanging from her stomach area and her underarm. I guess her cosmetics uniform hid those from my x-ray gaze.
Diana and I spent the entire morning giggling about complimenting/killing another knitter in one breath: "Those cables are divine; the yarn is exquisite, but your finishing is rather shoddy."
Oddly enough, I had put my shirt on inside out that morning as well. Joe was there to alert me to the problem. Clearly, neither Diana nor I have figured out the small trick of checking oneself in the mirror after dressing.
09 May 2005
Rock Me, Sock Me!
I am a skirt gal. Being a skirt gal means that I either cover my legs with tights, or more often, I run free without leg covering at all.
Given these admissions, it would seem absolutely assinine for me to start knitting socks. Even more assinine is that I have not actually started knitting socks, only aquiring patterns and yarn for the moment that I do start.
Saturday's purchase at Purls of Yarn in Pleasantville, NY.
I might not be a sock knitter just yet, but I know what you sock knitters rave about when it comes to sock yarn. So, I had to have it. Lorna's Laces in Pinstripe and two Addi Turbos for Magic Loop sock knitting.
Considering that I have never knit socks, nor do I know if I will ever get around to doing so, it seems a bit senseless to purchase "good" sock yarn on the first go. But hey, I am a lady who honors her feet -- bad self-tanner incident not withstanding.
As if the two skeins of Lorna's weren't enough, I found this swap package in my mail today. Rowan Magpie and two balls of Paton's Kroy sock yarn.
Here's a close-up of the cutie bear that Carol included.
Mind you, the package was retreived after an off-hours visit to my LYS...where I picked up this! More sock yarn and Koigu KPPM.
Oh Mighty Merino, help me!
08 May 2005
As for me, I never had maternal desires. Not in the slightest. So fate deals me a tricky hand: a wonderful man who is the father of two boys, Kevin (17) and Lukas (15).
This afternoon, Lukas came to me, hugged me, and wished me a Happy Mother's Day. I was touched beyond words.
Later, Kevin and I talked about his current interests, his schoolwork, his future career interests, his girlfriend, and his changing relationship with the male friends from the neighborhood. In the three years that I have known this boy, our cumulative words were less than those spoken last night. It was very special to have him share this much with me -- and listen to my input and suggestions as well.
No biological children of my own are in the future, but apparently there are two children of mine in the present.
07 May 2005
My Life with the Moth
Actually, the moth has played a key role in my life over the years. An ex-boyfriend bought a house on Catharine Street in Philadelphia. His neighbor was practically deaf, and a visitor would show up at odd hours -- pounding the door and yelling for her. We never determined if the visitor was her son (calling "Mo-ther") or someone else (calling "Mar-tha"). The visitor was so thick of tongue that it sounded as if he were calling for "Moth-ra".
Fast forward to my year in Seattle. At the party of an independent record label owner, I met the originator of the musical taking Seattle by storm that summer. Well, at least the posters were taking the city by storm; it was impossible to find a pubic space that did not announce the musical about, of all things...
the life cycles of moths. Mothra!
Much of filming of Richard Gere's movie, The Mothman Prophecies, was done in Pittsburgh. A childhood friend worked on the production staff. The movie was enjoyable, except for the final ten minutes. My friend, being a good one, did not tell me the ending. But this friend also did not know of my exteme and irrational fear of bridges.
So the moth-ing continues. Tonight Joe is excited about a special moth hanging out on the window of our storage shed. It is a Luna Moth.
Very cool. I would not crush this little guy.
04 May 2005
Oh No! We Can't Go
Monday I learned yesterday that my MDS&W companion is not able to go this weekend. Having missed the Lord & Taylor Yarn Harlot engagement, I was hoping to get my bookbookbook signed at MDS&W. Rather than lament the lost sheepy shopping spree/adhoc blogger convention, I am focusing on the plus side of this. More money for New York Sheep & Wool Festival.
And maybe the gym or some weight loss plan.
I made the huge mistake of buying a scale yesterday. The confrontation of the truth was enough to put me in a funk for the rest of the evening. To cheer myself, I scheduled a haircut today. My hair was starting to look very First Lady -- conservative and blah. Nothing makes me feel more awful than looking like a fat, frumpy version of a President's wife. No First Lady in history had the sort of hair that one would covet. Please, do correct me if I am wrong.
The cut is supposed to be flippy and whimsical, which is not how it was styled/dried at all. This is a strong trend in haircutting outside the New York Metropolitan area. No matter how sleek the photo sample hair, how trendy the salon, how tatooed and/or gay the stylist, there is a strange propensity to bouff the hair while drying/styling. Frankly, this bouffing can make any style look a little, well, First Lady.
As for knitting, I am working on a tank that is loosely based on a free ChicKnits pattern. I bought some Classic Elite Newport on sale, and I love the way it knits up. So, why is this yarn being discontinued? Perhaps to make room for a railroad ribbon eyelash sequined confection? Goody!
02 May 2005
It started last week when I ripped Ginger apart. This was actually the second incarnation for the Summer Tweed, having previously survived the ripping of Sage (also from the Summer Tweed Collection). Presently, I am “done” with Summer Tweed. We are parting ways.
The ripping is not exclusive to garments, I learned. Finally, I tended to my
Grrrrr! Even a child of eleven knows the pencil trick for shaping eyebrows. The start of the eyebrow is to be in line with the inner corner of the EYE, not the iris.
As if the shame of sporting those eyebrows weren’t enough, I gashed my heel on a perfume cart last Thursday at work.
And, no, that is not dried blood or crusty dirt on my foot. It is the remnant of a self-tanning debacle.
Since nothing, not even my own body, is safe from the ripping tear that I am on, is it is surprising that I have been eyeballing Mondo Cable?
The back is completed, so the entire project is only a few hours from being fini, but wouldn’t that Phoenix Soy Silk be the perfect yarn for Bollywood?
01 May 2005
Woolie Mammoth Lives!
First it was the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker earlier this week, now archeologists are reporting a Dutchess County sighting of an animal thought to be extinct, The Woolie Mammoth.
Scientists are baffled by the mammoth's odd covering. Typically, this covering is seen on other species of various sizes and shapes without appearing odd or horrific. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the Dutchess County Woolie Mammoth.
Other members of the mammoth's familial herd seemed eager to convince the lone mammoth to shed its skin and seek other cover. Locals have gathered to watch if the mammoth will be sensible or continue in this foolish vein.
Honestly! How is it that I have seen this pattern work well on women both smaller and larger than I, but it just flops on me? There is just something about my body at this size with a sweater of this size that just is not working for me at this time.
Mini Sweater will be stored until September. By that time, the weather, my body, and my mental state will be more condusive to facing it.