Sunday, November 14, 2004

Well, I finished the lacy poncho and got to wear it to the wedding in Philly last weekend! Been running around too much to actually blog about it until now. I got Ryan to take a picture.

It might've been better to take a picture when I was wearing something solid-colored underneath, but you get what you get!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Well, looks like it's time to throw myself into work, knitting, and whatever else. Anything to stop thinking about politics. I hope the days ahead aren't as dark as I fear them to be.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I hope you went and voted today, whatever side you're on! John Kerry got my vote, and Ryan's, too.

"Luckily," I am too busy to think a lot about the election. Work is crazy and I am reduced to sitting at my desk and trying not to hyperventilate for a lot of the day. Ugh.

I finished my beautiful lacy poncho and will try and take a picture when I get home tonight. It looks fabulous with my pink corduroys. :-)

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Yesterday was so wonderful - I didn't have to be anywhere for the first time in over a month! And it was a cruddy day so neither of us minded staying in most of the day. Thus, I finished the second side of lacy poncho! I wet-blocked at about midnight, so by the time I get home from North Carolina tomorrow (4pm!), I should be able to sew it up, pick up the neck stitches, and wear it on Tuesday! I am very excited!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I'm about halfway through with the re-knitting of side 2 of the lacy poncho. It looks much better so far. I suppose I could've tried blocking the othe side to fit the large side, as Kathy suggested, but I think it wouldn't have looked so good. The gauge was so loose that the lace didn't look as nice as when it was tighter. So, live, learn, frog and re-knit.

Work is keeping me busy and nearly at the end of my sanity. I've also been traveling too much, and it's not ending for another 2 weeks. In the past month and a half, I have been to Dallas and Chicago for work, Missouri for fun, Atlanta for work, Baltimore for work, and Ann Arbor for fun. Now I have to go to North Carolina for work on Monday morning, so I will fly in Sunday night and have dinner with a friend there, then it's Philly for a wedding the following weekend. The scary part is I was hoping that'd be it until Christmas (we're going to Miami to see Ryan's father and his sister and her husband this year) but I recently got a new client at work and may have to travel for them sometime between 11/15 and Thanksgiving.

Help meeee!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2004


I just finished the second side of the lacy poncho, and apparently my gauge loosened up considerably doing this side. It's a good 2" bigger all around. Of course, I didn't realize this until after I wove in the ends and laid it out to block.


I guess I have to wait for it to dry, frog the sucker and redo it. Grrrrr. Could this BE more annoying? I wanted to wear it next weekend in Michigan. The only glimmer of hope is that I have about 4.5 hours of Amtrak time on Tuesday, going to and from Baltimore. But this really really sucks.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I don't really have time to post, but I will dash this off anyway.

Just got back from a lovely family reunion in Missouri. This is Ryan's Mom's side of the family, and I adore them. We ate, played with the kids, fielded all sorts of questions about life, and generally had a wonderful time. It was too short!

From Missouri I went on to Atlanta, where I had kind of a torturous day of market research. It didn't go very well and now I am home and revising revising revising stuff. It'll probably mean late nights the next few days, and a severe stress level. It sucks.

I got to repeat 20 of the second half of my poncho on one of my flights this weekend and ran out of yarn. Now, I have used four balls to this point, which leads me to think I used five on the first side, which would mean I have one ball left (I bought ten). Somewhere. Urgh. I don't know for sure, and I don't have time to search for it, either. I would know for sure if I had used five if I had only not been so efficient and woven in the ends already! I think I might actually need two more balls to finish the side and then do the neck. I may just suck it up and order more, since I don't see myself having time to go to Knit-A-Way this week. I wonder how much the dye lot matters in an open-work garment knitted in cream-colored yarn?

Regarding the house, we didn't do it. Long story short, it appears to be the most expensive house in the neighborhood, with the highest taxes. Not a great investment. It broke my heart. And now we're too fucking busy to look again this month, so it's on the back burner at the moment, right next to my sanity.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Look! Half a poncho!

I probably should've laid it out on a solid-colored towel to block, eh?

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I'm now up to repeat 20 or 21 of the lacy poncho. It's so pretty! I wish I had more time to sit around and work on it. If only the subway weren't so damn crowded, I could get 20 minutes in each way during my commute, but it's so rare that I get a seat the whole way, and it's kind of a big piece to work on. I'm traveling again the week after next, though, which should get me some solid knitting time.

In other news, we're trying to buy a house. Our agent is presenting our bid tonight and I am VERY nervous! It is a really cute place, and in a good location. I'm afraid to say much more so just cross your fingers!

Sunday, September 26, 2004

I bet you think I've just been sitting around doing nothing for the past two weeks. Wrong! I'm up to repeat 14 on my lacy poncho! I decided I had to make it, and had to make it unimaginatively in the same color as Bonne Marie's. It's just the most versatile shade, and I think I will want to wear this a lot. I'm using some Dale Falk yarn and it's very nice. I think I paid too much for it at Knit-A-Way (formerly Knitting Hands) in Brooklyn, but I wanted it right then and there and that was all they had. I rarely let that happen to me, but this time I just let it go.

So, here's the first chunk of poncho.

I'm very happy with it, and I know it'll look really nice once it's blocked. I have a wedding in Michigan 4 weeks from now, and I would like to wear this over the cute dress I got at Banana Republic last weekend. I wore it to a wedding last Sunday out at the beach, and froze with just a light pashmina. Oh, and I promise I didn't wear it with boots like the model, though it probably would've been nice and toasty and made my feet hurt less than the 3" heels I did wear! That's another item on my list - new black satin dressy shoes. I am finally admitting I can't wear the fuck-me heels anymore.


Saturday, September 11, 2004

I often remark to myself that I will feel like the world is a better place when I can realize that I have gone a full day without being reminded of what happened here on September 11th, 2001. It seems there is always something that reminds me. Sometimes it is driving on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and looking at the (still stunning, but now also sad) lower Manhattan skyline. Sometimes it's seeing a plane fly low overhead and realizing that I never used to think that was an ominous sound. Sometimes it's seeing a guy on the street who reminds me of one of the group of high school friends who died that day. It's always something. Obviously, today is a day when one not only cannot help to remember, but one must remember.

I remember, too, September 10th. I was deeply depressed. I had been unemployed and occasionally freelancing since February, and a project I had expected to last longer had just ended. I was sad because I felt my boyfriend was never going to be ready to marry me. I went to the beach with my Mom and cried about all of this. And on the way home, I remember it was such a clear day that we could see the skyline and the WTC very clearly in the distance (about 35 miles away) when we crossed over the bridges on the Wantagh Parkway.

The next day, my whole world changed. I woke up on a beautiful cloudless day with nowhere to go. Ryan was sleeping next to me, and I didn't turn on the TV as I usually did, because I was enjoying the peace and quiet. It was my best friend's mother calling from Albany to see if I was home and OK who informed me of what was going on. I was barely 2 miles uptown and didn't hear a thing until then. After that we turned on the TV, and all my personal troubles were forgotten.

Three years later I'm married to the guy who would never commit, steadily employed and even in-demand from other companies. Life is good. But I still can't go a day without at least some brief moment of thinking about it.

May all who were lost rest in peace, and may all who feel lost now find their way home.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

I got to go to School Products yesterday during lunch! It's so close to my office, but I don't often get the chance to get there, and to have company. My friend Virg is re-learning to knit this weekend and she wanted to get some supplies. I love this store. They have such a great variety of yummy yarns.

I was debating what I wanted to make, when I came upon the big wall of Brown Sheep and remembered my dear departed hat. Did I mention my hat? It was pink and purple stripes and I made it two years ago and loved it. Then I lost it, probably back in February when we went to Baltimore. I was heartbroken, as it was a silly, cute hat that always got me compliments. You can see a little of it in this picture.

I almost bought some new Brown Sheep to re-make the hat, and then was struck by an even more brilliant idea when I saw a similar shade of pink in Karabella Aurora 8.

The Aurora 8 is so darn soft - 100% merino, and like buttah. I petted it for a bit, then found a fortuitious shade of purple.

The decision was made - I will have a new pink and purple striped hat, and it will be soft and yummy and it won't itch my forehead one single bit. Don't you love happy endings?

Monday, August 23, 2004

I love when my husband comments on my blog, ya know that? I love him in general, but I love him extra when I know he takes time out of the day to see what I'm saying here.

Not much to say. There's a whole load of job stuff going on, but I am not going to jinx it or risk anyone here seeing the scoop until it's all sorted.

We just got back from spending the weekend upstate with my friend Lisa and her family. We saw them two weeks ago and their son Alex wasn't walking or talking much (he's 15 months). Now two weeks later, he is walking like a pro(fessional toddler) and says stuff like "mama" and "cracker" and "ball" and "hi," though you can't count on him to say it at any given time. He's so cute and so much fun, and I wish we could see them all more often.

Not doing much knitting lately, because other stuff is in the way. I would like to make lots of stuff, but my attention span is very minimal right now. I think when the job is sorted out, I will be more productive that way. As much as I would like to deny it, autumn is coming whether I want it to or not, and it would be nice to have some pretty new things for me to wear, as well as stuff for all those babies that keep popping out.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I'm in love with Sebastian.

I spent the whole day with him and Leanne, and now I miss him so much. They live 53 miles away, and that never seemed far until now.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

I had a lousy day yesterday, so my friend Amie sent something to cheer me up. I met Amie online when we were planning our weddings, and we've stayed friends, along with a small bunch of other girls who created an MSN Group so we could stay in touch. Amie had a baby a few months ago, so I knitted her a little strawberry cap. How cute is this little munchkin?

She definitely cheered me up!

No pictures of Leanne's new cutie, but I'm going there on Tuesday to spend the day and take too many pictures. :-)

Saturday, July 31, 2004

It's a boy!! Sebastian Peter was born around 3pm on Friday, July 30th. Ryan and I took the long drive to the hospital and got there just as visiting hours ended, but they let us stay for about 20 minutes anyway. This hospital is seriously security-minded and won't let the babies out of the nursery until visiting hours are over, which I find extremely frustrating, but I guess they gotta do what they gotta do.

We got to see Sebastian getting a very very messy diaper changed, so we actually saw more of the butt end than the face end. But the little bit of face we did get to see was adorable! He's a cute little thing, for sure. Eight pounds, 6 ounces, 21 inches long. So he's big, but he wasn't the giant bruiser they were predicting.

Mom and Dad are doing fine. Mom's drugged up from the c-section but was in great spirits and was a great patient, they said. Dad is dancing on air, and as giddy as I've ever seen him.

I want one.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

It's official - for various reasons, Leanne has to have a c-section. She's much more sanguine about it now than she was on Monday. It will be tomorrow, probably around midday. So exciting! We're going to go out to the hospital tomorrow night, even though they won't let us hold the baby. Is that new? Most of my friends who've had babies said the hospital didn't restrict that sort of thing, but this one says only parents and grandparents. Bleh! Still, I want to see the little tyke when it's fresh from the womb. :-)

Duck feet booties are ready to go! I made one pair with the Rowan "Sunny" color, and that is all ready. However, I found some really lovely yellow sport-weight cotton/acrylic yarn at School Products yesterday, and I have started another pair. I'm 90% done with bootie one, and would love to finish that and bootie two tonight. This yarn actually feels nicer than the cotton glace, and I think it's a better color. I have several friends with babies here or on the way who could use duck feet, so there's no wasted booties!

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Since Liz wanted to know, I'll tell you that my Knit-A-Way experience was not a thrill. It was just like a Knitting Hands experience, although the staff seemed friendlier to the other people there who were asking questions. Basically, I think the big sale is to get rid of stuff, and they didn't seem to have anything new. It was mostly wool, and mostly stuff I don't like (I like soft soft soft), and mostly blechy colors. I was looking for yarn to make baby stuff and came home empty-handed.

Then again, I was in a crappy mood and that certainly could have contributed. I may have to go back. It's another cruddy day, so maybe today.

I am still struggling with that damn Debbie Bliss bear. It's horrid. I finished knitting all the tiny body parts, and putting them together is no more fun than the knitting of them. I hate the way it is constructed with seams running right down the center of the face. I don't know what I'm going to do about this awful little project that I thought would be so fun.

The upside is Leanne is still hanging onto that baby, though her due date was this past Thursday. Poor thing. They say he/she is about 10 pounds by now,  and they may have to induce or c-section her. She was very upset about the c-section possibility, as she has been a diligent Bradley method learner and really has taken care of herself and had a very easy pregnancy up to now. I told her she must have a comfy womb and that whatever happens, she's going to have a beautiful baby, no matter how it gets out of her. Yeah, that helped. Uh-huh.

In the meantime, I am making a pair of duck feet baby booties from Zoe Mellor's 50 Baby Bootees to Knit. I may give these to Leanne, because she has mentioned that she bought some of the Carter's "little duckie" print baby clothes. I also may give them to my friend Wendy, who has a brand-new son. I had bought some the the little duckie stuff for a baby we never got to see (and had to buy a larger size of other stuff)  a few months back, so I could give her that and the booties and have a great gift. I think that if Leanne has a boy,  she'll get the duck feet right away and I'll make another pair for Wendy's son, who I won't see as quickly. If she has a girl, I will send Wendy the ducks, and make the pink gingham booties on the cover of that book for Leanne, and maybe the duck feet later. I could also make the gingham in green, if it's a boy and I decide this plan is worthless. :-)

So many decisions, but right now it's all hinging on when that silly baby pokes its head out and what sort of equipment they find down below!

Sunday, July 18, 2004

After reading the news on the Stitch-n-Bitch list, I got confirmation that Knitting Hands is now called Knit-a-Way, and is under new ownership. Well, that would explain the lack of stock and interest I experienced the past few times I went there. I'm intrigued by the change, and since my confirmation came in the form of a "20% off Everything!" coupon and today is a rainy day, I will be there sometime this afternoon.
Leanne is going to have her baby any day now, and I am no further on that stupid bear, so that's on my agenda, too. I might have to make some booties or something like that in the interim, just in case said baby pops out before I finish. I do have other gifts I am giving her, but none of them are handknitted (knitted baby monitors are not functional, it appears) and I want to give her something I made myself!
Headed to Grand Rapids, Michigan tomorrow for work, getting back Tuesday night. If I don't have to work on the plane, maybe I can knit. But I may get stuck with actual work. Yuk. I'm so over work. I was there until 11:30 Thursday night, and now that I didn't get the promotion, that sort of thing is extra-maddening. I'll work it out eventually, but in the meantime, I'm just not thrilled to be there at all.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

I had sort of a shitty end of the week. On Wednesday, I had to drive in to the office so I could drive to Pennsylvania later in the day because we were shooting something on location there Thursday, starting very early. On 8th Avenue, like 5 blocks from my office, I got rear-ended by a cab. It was a minor incident, but I still wanted a Police report, just in case we end up having to replace the whole damn bumper. The whole thing was just a big pain in the ass, and made me very late for work (which was OK - I called and explained and no one minded).

Yesterday, I got to work and went to see my boss. She told me that my raise had come in, and through our conversation, I discovered I was not getting promoted along with this 6.25% percent raise. Well, back in the beginning of the year, when I first started asking about my review/raise, she told me I would absolutely be getting promoted, that I was definitely ready. When I asked her if there was anything more I needed to be doing, she told me no, I was doing great. So this was a tremendous shock.

I was too shocked to bring any of that up at the time; basically I was so shocked all I could do was say "I have to go" and head for the ladies room in case I actually burst out in tears. I didn't, but I was choked up for a while.

I have a friend at work who was at the same level as me, and asked our boss about her raise/promotion outlook around the same time I did. She wasn't satisfied with the answer, went out looking for other jobs, got an offer that came with a promotion and a HUGE raise, told our boss, got counter-offered (not the same salary, but apparently a good compromise) and is now my "superior." Actually, it looks like now I am going to be her "right-hand" person on some of her projects. This isn't a problem between us, because she's great, and she even said she doesn't think of it that way - she knows we're equals outside of the blackmail. But for me, it feels like a tremendous setback, and the irony of it all is too much.

I can't figure out what happened, which is the worst part. Why would she say one thing and then do another? I had no indication at any time during the past 6 months that I was lacking in any way. She is constantly telling me how wonderful I am. So what gives? I'm going to bring it up next week when I can talk about it without crying (lack of PMS would help that situation greatly!). But the cold hard reality is that if this is the decision, it's not going to change now, and I am going to have to wait until next year for a substantive raise and promotion.

That's too long. I already spoke to several people who assured me of my high value in the marketplace, and it looks like I'm going to have to find that out for myself. I don't expect I'll go the blackmail route, either. Once my heart's not in it anymore, I'm out. This makes me sad, because I thought I'd be able to stay here for a while and could be really happy, here. Until now, my boss has been the absolute most wonderful person I could ever hope to work for in a million years. Sad.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Yeah, it's been well over a month since I posted. That's lame.

So what happened in that time? I worked about a gajillion hours, went to Chicago for work, had a fun birthday, went to Hawaii with my family, had my first anniversary, had a great time on vacation, came home and worked a million more hours (negating most of the nice vacation effects), New Jersey, Phoenix, and Dallas for work, got jet-lagged, came home, collapsed in a heap, went back to work, and finally had a nice long weekend.

Right now I am knitting Debbie Bliss's Bear in a Lamb Sleep Suit for Leanne's baby. She loved it in the book and so I decided to make it for her as a surprise. How cute is this?

Unfortunately, the instructions suck ass. Seriously. First off, the colors are specified by name in the book, but only in numbers on the shade card, so the brown I ordered online (because I couldn't get to a LYS that carried it) is the wrong brown. I can live with that - it's just a more fair-furred bear than I had planned on.

The actual knitting instructions are far worse than that. This thing is knit in a zillion little tiny pieces, and then there is no friggin schematic for how to put it together! Just a bunch of paragraphs of description. Hey, Debbie, a picture is worth a thousand stupid words! Because it's so annoying, I've mostly knitted only on airplanes, and even then it's been hard to force myself to do it. I'm almost done with the bear part. I suspect the lamb suit part will be less of a pain in the butt.

I promise to be a better blogger from here on.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

So, does anyone remember last year, when my best friend told me we were going to a big yarn sale in order to get me to my bridal shower? Strangely enough, almost exactly a year later, my now-pregnant best friend and I went to the yarn store she decoyed me with! It was called The Knitting Cove and was a lovely place to while away an hour or so on a beautiful day.

I came home with a Debbie Bliss baby knits book and some baby cashmerino to make some booties. My cube-neighbor at work just had a baby boy, and since he was there when I gave my other friend the strawberry cap, I wanted to give him something, too. The pattern works up quickly, and the booties are so cute! Don't you agree?

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

My blog's been quiet, but I sure haven't. I feel like I haven't had a minute to myself for weeks! No knitting, no sewing, nothing but working and running from place to place. I've had a lot of fun, but I am so worn out and just want a quiet day to myself. Dunno when that's going to happen.

Mother's Day was fun. Mom and Dad came over and I cooked an amazing brunch (if I do say so myself), culminating in amazing crab cakes, courtesy of America's Test Kitchen. If you like crab cakes, make these. The only trick is being willing to shell out 20-25 bucks for the jumbo lump crabmeat. It is totally worth it. You'd pay that for one serving of these at a restaurant, and they wouldn't be as good, damnit.

Been reading in New York Magazine about the protests planned for the Republican National Convention in August. I still can't believe it's going to be here. A block from my office. Shit. What a mess. I may have to go join the protests, since I will be in the neighborhood! What worries me is that the US Open is going on at the same time, and apparently the Mets and Yankees are both at home. What a friggin mess, whatever your political leanings.

Starting to get really excited for our trip to Hawaii in June. My whole family (Mom, Dad, brother, us) is going. Mom's birthday, June 11th, is King Kamehameha Day, a big holiday there. She has always wanted to go, so we are. We'll spend the first 5 days on Oahu, the next 6 on Kaua'i. Our anniversary falls in the middle of the Kaua'i leg of the trip, so we'll get to spend it in my favorite place in the world.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Well, work got crazy again and I've hardly had any time to knit, sew, or blog. It's frustrating - one week is so dead that you're wondering where you're going to bill your time (the evil that comes along with working in a client-service business) and the next you're insanely busy and wondering how you're going to find the time to do it all.

In between all that we went to Atlanta for the wedding of my friends Peggy and Ronna. Screw anyone who has an issue with calling it a wedding and not a committment ceremony. These two wonderful women are so in love, and it was one of the best weddings I've ever been to! Lots of family and friends, lots of love, lots of dancing and good food. What's not to love?

Ryan and I made new best friends, too. Ronna's two nieces, Carly (6) and Wensday (yes, it's really spelled that way and she's 8) latched on to us the first night of the weekend, and none of us ever let go. Everyone kept telling us we need to have kids ASAP. Well, yeah, it's not like it hasn't occurred to us. We're getting there. Someday we'll either be financially in a position to do it, or decide we can't wait any longer and hell, there are a ton of people with kids who make far less money than I do, even if Ryan doesn't have a full-time job. We'll see which happens first.

This weekend is the Cherry Blossom Festival so we'll be back at the Botanic Garden. I think our friend Wil and his girlfriend are joining us there on Saturday. That night we've got a party to go to - a colleague of mine is having "Drinko de Mayo." Who can resist that? Maybe Sunday I will get back to sewing, since it's supposed to be rainy.

Monday, April 19, 2004

We had a little baby shower at work for my friend here who is about to have her baby. First we gave her a gift certificate many people contributed to, and then I gave her a strawberry cap, which made her cry. Happy cry, you know. It was really sweet.

I bought fabric and trim for my copy of the Garnet Hill skirt, and sewed part of the skirt yesterday. Unfortunately, I am not thrilled with it. It sits a bit too high on the waist for my taste. Part of that is the pattern, part of it is that I think it's a bit small, so it's happier sitting higher up on my waist where it is narrower. Grr. I have more fabric, and am toying with the idea of just trying something else or making it in a larger size. Why is it so hard to find a simple, lowish-waisted a-line skirt pattern. You know, like EVERY SKIRT in EVERY STORE out there?

Oh well. I'll figure it out.

Other than that, all is well. It's finally beautiful, glorious Spring here. Ryan and I went back to the Botanic Garden yesterday and pretended to get married again. It was good fun and we took some pictures, but I was too pooped to download them last night so those will have to wait. It was a lovely day, and we ended it off by ordering Indian food for dinner, just like we did on our real wedding night. :-)

Friday, April 09, 2004

I'm kind of fried today. Last night I went out to a going-away party for someone I've worked very closely with for the past 6 months, and who I will really miss. I hadn't eaten much and probably could have done with 1 fewer Tanqueray+Tonic. Ryan joined the party and we had a great time, dancing and laughing and drinking. I didn't pay too hard this morning, but enough that I decided I want to be a lump tonight. So, while Ryan is out seeing Hellboy with our friend John, I am home being nice and quiet.

Added a few more links on the left. I'll try and link to anyone who comments, unless you're nasty. :-)

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Well, I gave in with the Cotton Colori and started another Ginger tank. It's so pretty and so flattering, and I don't mind something easy and fast right now. Maybe someday it'll even be warm enough to wear it!

I've recently gotten re-interested in sewing. I bought a machine like a year ago, and felt terrible that it sat for so long. I finally pulled it out a few weeks ago to hem some pants, and now I have the bug. I fell in love with this skirt from Garnet Hill over the weekend, and I think I can make something similar for far less than the $198 bucks they want for it. My office is in NYC's Garment District, so there are tons of great fabric stores around here. I just have to get my ass out to visit one of them and I am sure I will find tons of wonderful ways to spend my money. And take up more space in my apartment. Whee!

Sunday, April 04, 2004

OK, I just added a bunch of new links. If you've left me a nice comment in the past 6 months and included your URL, you're there. If you're not and would like to be, just let me know (via comments is the easiest way).
What else is there do to on a rainy Sunday but clean the oven and update your blog links? Yup, I finally have gotten to two of my big "housecleaning" to-do items. The oven was fairly self-explanatory - actually, I didn't let the stuff sit long enough so I re-sprayed and that's what made me turn to the blog.

Updating my links was a pain in the butt! I deleted links to any blogs that haven't had entries in 2004. I also updated links to those I was previously linked to and have moved. I added a few links to non-knitters I've become friends with and enjoy reading.

What I did not do (yet) is add new links. I'm working on it. If you want me to link to you, let me know! Reply here in my comments. I'm going to look through previous comments to find people who've said nice things but aren't linked to, also.

In other random news, if you like Yankee Candles (or other candles with the same size opening as their jar candles) get yourself a Candle Capper now! Ryan and I were in the (don't laugh) Country Clutter store at the Tanger outlets a few weeks ago, buying some candles, and the saleslady talked us into getting one. It's awesome! Just as the package promises, the candles burn more evenly, and there's no black sooty buildup on the side of the jars. I should just buy a boatload of these to give to people when I give them gifts.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Yay for the new Knitty! A nice way to start a Friday, certainly. I see a few things I'm interested in making. I hope one of my pregnant friends has a girl, so I can give her this adorable dress. And a friend of mine has been offering to pay me to make her a meshy shawl, similar to a sweater she has. I've been trying to decide how to make it, but this frill pattern may just fit the bill! The honeymoon cami also looks awfully cute.

The only thing I'm not thrilled about is the preponderance of very short sweaters - stuff that leaves your belly button hanging out. I know I can lengthen them - that's not the issue. I just don't like the proportions as they are. Maybe if I were still young and skinny I would.

Anyway, Knitty is always fun to read and inspirational. I'm really so proud of and impressed with Amy for turning this dream into such a wonderful reality. The whole story just makes me happy whenever I think about it.

Monday, March 29, 2004

I went to a fun new yarn store on Saturday! We were out on Long Island so I decided we should visit Garden City Stitches. A friend of a friend used to manage the place, and recently bought the owner out, but I had never been there.

I was very pleased with the store. They had a nice selection of basic yarns, and tons of novelty yarns. Plus the staff was awfully nice and helpful - one woman just sat and chatted with me and Ryan for ages about design, etc. I fell in love with a froufy eyelashy scarf, and ended up buying the yarn to make it. It's one ball of Artful Yarns Cinema, in the "Mrs. Miniver" colorway, and one ball of Plymouth DazzleLash in shade 129. Easy peasy, a few hours later I had a scarf. Gotta love instant gratification.

I also finished another strawberry cap. Now for a change of pace I'm working on a pumpkin. Still haven't decided what I am doing with my Cotton Colori, but I'm sure it'll become something soon enough.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

I am totally beat. Exhausted. Worn-out. Bushed.

Got stuck at work until 8:30 on Tuesday, then had to be up at 5am to fly to Fort Lauderdale Wednesday. We were in market research until 9pm, at which point we went to our hotel. Once we checked in, my keycard didn't work, twice. They had to find me a new room. Didn't get to the room until almost 10, and didn't get to sleep until nearly 11. Back up at 5 for a 7am flight and a car directly back to the office.

I am never letting anal-retentive-afraid-to-slack-off Jeff-the-account-guy (who is a nice guy otherwise) determine my travel arrangements again! At least I left at 4pm. This post will likely be one of my last conscious acts of the day.

I did manage to finish a strawberry cap on the flight out. I was surrounded by little old ladies who marveled at how I "got" my needles onto the plane. OK, I've brought my knitting needles on every single flight I have taken since 9/11/01. Every time. In the US (including Hawaii) and in Europe. No one has ever said anything about it. They had to put my purse through twice yesterday at the x-ray machine (I had a scary-looking banana in it?) but not the carry-on with the knitting stuff. I usually have Addi circs, and always something on them, not that I think they can see that in the x-ray. This time I also had 5 wooden size 6 dpns, and those were fine, too. I told the ladies that and they were astounded. I also gave them Ann Norling's name for the pattern, and the URL. Good times.

The other bright spot of research was ordering in Joe's Stone Crab for dinner. Yum! Totally the highlight of the trip. I love crab, and it definitely softened the blow of sitting in a dark room in Florida for 10 hours.

Other than that, not much to report. I'm totally noticing the effect of sleep deprivation on my cognitive abilities. I have said many stupid things today. I'm going to quit now before I say another.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Has anyone seen the sun? I sure haven't. The one day it was decent here this week, I was in St. Louis for market research, where it was grey and cold, too. And it's snowing yet again. I am so sick and tired of this stupid stupid winter. Tomorrow is the first day of Spring, but I don't see much improvement in the weather forecast.

On Wednesday I'm going to Fort Lauderdale for market research, but, painfully, I will not get to enjoy the weather there. I arrive in the morning, sit in a room all day, and leave the next morning. Depressing. If we're going to do that, at least let it not be someplace so pleasantly warm!

Not much exciting knitting going on right now. I'm making some strawberry caps for some pregnant ladies, and trying to find more Cotton Classic. I wonder why it's suddenly so hard to come by?

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

I just took a quick check of my comments and need to address this one right away - I am not pregnant! Leanne, my friend, is the pregnant one. I thought that was clear, but maybe not? Trust me, when I do get pregnant, it will not be an addendum to the end of a post about other stuff. ;-)

Monday, March 08, 2004

I found the perfect pants to go with HoJo! We made a very spontaneous trip out to Tanger Outlets in Riverhead yesterday and I found them at J. Crew. So, if you were in my office, this is what you would see coming towards you today.

Tonight, Ryan and I are going to see Leanne, who is participating in An Evening of Good Taste. Can you believe they're letting us in? ;-) I'm looking forward to seeing and tasting the show, and seeing Leanne and her (have I even mentioned this yet? I might not have) 5-month pregnant belly!

Saturday, March 06, 2004

I'm still trying to figure out what to do with my Cotton Colori. I have 8 balls in the "turquoise" colorway. The colors look like a swimming pool and feel so cool and comfy to me.

There is a free pattern on their site, which looks OK, but the gauge is 14 stitches on 10.5 needles and I don't like the way the yarn looks in my swatch at that gauge. It looks much smoother and nicer at 16 on 9s. I feel like I have a ton of patterns at that gauge, but can't seem to decide on one. I was debating making another Ginger but I kind feel like I ought to do something new. Then again, the shape is extremely flattering, and I always get compliments on the one I made in Summer Tweed. What do you think?

I also seem to have gotten myself into a little fruit cap spree. I mentioned on a message board I frequent that I was going to be making them for several friends who are all pregnant right now, and showed a picture. Suddenly people were offering me money to knit them for their babies and for gifts! So far it seems like a manageable number, and people are OK with paying 20 bucks each. I think that's reasonable enough to cover the cost and then make me feel like I am making a little pocket money for having fun and knitting.

I went to Knitting Hands to try and buy some Cotton Classic and get started, and they had maybe 10 skeins of various shades of beige and gray. I asked if they had more and was told I could special-order it. Well, I told the woman who was "helping" me that after the trouble I had the last time I did that, I was not interested in special-ordering through them again. Her less-than-apologetic reply reminded me that I had said I didn't want to shop there anymore, so we left. I called Yarn Connection in midtown and they said they have a lot of colors, so I'll head over there sometime during the week.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

The Democratic debates were wonderful for giving me time to seam up HoJo and have something interesting to listen to and think about while I was doing it. It went well. I finished during this morning's chat on CBS, jumped in the shower, and couldn't even wait for my hair to dry before handing Ryan the camera. Without further ado, I present, HoJo!

I love it and am damn proud of myself. Between the asymmetrical rib, the traveling cable rib and the fair isle band, I feel like I have increased my knitting skills tremendously with this project. I also have a new favorite sweater in my closet.

Of course, it'd going to be in the mid-to-high 50s for the next few days, but I don't mind - I'm sure I'll have an opportunity to wear HoJo before the season ends, and I'll take Spring over sweater-wearing any day!

Friday, February 27, 2004

I decided to screw the nonsensical directions for making the neckband ribbing match the body ribbing and just do what made sense to me. It worked. I didn't get to sew it up, but hopefully will get to that tonight. Then again, if you click on my little Weather Channel banner, the forecast makes it appear that I don't exactly have to rush on this - I won't be wearing wool for the next week, it seems!

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

I cannot believe I am going to post this, but I'm having trouble with the neckband of HoJo (all the rest of the knitting is done - yay!) and need to know. So here goes: If the pattern says start at the left shoulder, is it the left shoulder when you're looking at it or left when you're wearing it?

Actually, I think I have tried this both ways and the stupid asymmetrical rib doesn't match up with either, but I'd like to hear what the rest of the knitting world thinks.

Oh, and my fever broke last night and even though I am definitely not 100%, the 80% that is here is going back to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Still sick, still knitting. I blocked the front, back and the one completed sleeve of HoJo last night. I'm working on the last sleeve today, and if I finish it I can block that overnight and finish it off tomorrow! I'm hoping to be back at work. Well, I don't want to be at work, but I don't want to use any more PTO days.

Oh, I'm also too lazy to take a picture of the pieces blocking, so you will just have to wait. But they loooook gooooood!

Monday, February 23, 2004

Well, I'm sick, but it's a productive illness. I didn't leave the house all weekend, and hojoly shit, I am nearly finished with the back of HoJo! Ryan came in and saw me working on the last of the fair isle and got so confused because he thought it was the front that I had already finished!

I am staying home sick today, because my throat is still very sore. So, I'll probably finish the front and make some damn good headway on the sleeve. I'll probably block whatever I can this morning, since the kitchen sink is empty at the moment. ;-)

No pictures of HoJo back, but it looks just like the front in reverse. :-)

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Well, I put up a valiant struggle and got sick anyway. My throat hurts, my head hurts, and I generally feel like a big pile of crap. I'm sure I will be fine in time for work on Monday. Grrr.

I will get plenty of knitting time, though. Ryan went over to a friends' house for a "winter BBQ" so I will be on the sofa with HoJo most of the day, I think.

Of course, if I were one-dimensional and only had one arm, I could just sew this sucker up and wear it now!

Thursday, February 19, 2004

When I finally finish HoJo and wear it for the first time, I will dedicate that wearing to Wendy Johnson. Wendy patiently answered my fair isle questions via email, and I sat down tonight and got through all the armhole decreases and the more difficult of the three charts. Now it's just more of the easy chart, some ribbing, and I can start the whole process again on the back! Here's the progress so far.

In other news, Ryan's been sick all week with a nasty cold virus, and I think I might be getting it now. Damn! Just in time for a busy day at work tomorrow to feel it descend over me, and then let it totally kill me over the weekend. I think I'll try the Zicam I bought a while ago, and get some Vitamin C and echinacea in me. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 13, 2004

You are Mercerized Cotton
You are Mercerized Cotton.
You are always very crisp and neat. You are very
playful and are happiest while outdoors in the
sunshine. You are sometimes accused of
splitting hairs, but in the end people find you
pretty easy to live with.

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

How amusing. I suppose I like mercerized cotton - it looks purdy.

Haven't touched HoJo since my last post. Been busy and haven't had the patience to figure out the chart. Oh well.

Now I'm on my way to Baltimore and the National Aquarium for the weekend with my sweet husband. Hope you all have a lovely Valentine's Day and a great weekend!

Monday, February 09, 2004

Well, working late Wednesday and Thursday nights precluded knitting, so I actually didn't get to finish the ribbing until I was on the train Friday night. Then I finished the first section of Fair Isle, which didn't require any decreases. It looks fabulous.

Now I'm up to the second chart, and I'm having a bitch of a time with it - this is where the armhole decreases start. Maybe some wonderful reader will have a better clue. Here are my issues:

  1. The chart has markings for where to start for each size. My size says to start on the 2nd square of the chart. Gotcha. Do I continue that for the whole chart, or do I continue merrily along, doing the whole chart for each subsequent row?
  2. I'm supposed to bind off four stitches for the first two rows. I am assuming I bind off the four stitches and THEN start the chart. Is that so? And if so, is the stitch that is on my right needle after binding off that last stitch the first stitch, or is the next one? (I think it's the former, but need to be sure.)
  3. When I decrease, do I count the decrease stitch as two squares in the chart and skip one, or do I count it as one stitch in whatever color the chart specifies there? If the latter, doesn't this screw up the chart because I will have fewer stitches than the chart was written for?

I've tried various ways of doing this and nothing has been quite working. When I get to the first chart repeat, it turns out I should have one more stitch and I don't. But the row before is definitely correct. Argh! Anyone have any good fair isle resources?

Thursday, February 05, 2004

I am having so much fun with HoJo! In the past, most of what I've knitted has either been straight stockinette or intarsia. Mostly because that's why I tend to like to wear. I generally like simple silhouettes. But I am enjoying the slight challenge of the branching cable rib so much, and I love watching the pattern unfold!

I was really disappointed to get stuck at work until 10:30 last night, because I didn't have my knitting with me. I only have 8-10 more rows (can't recall exactly) of the cable rib, then a few inches of regular rib before I get to the fair isle part, which I'm equally excited to play with. If all goes according to plan, I'll be fair isling on Amtrak tomorrow afternoon on the way to Albany!

I also really like this yarn - Classic Elite "Follies." It's got such a nice feel to it, and the stitch definition is good. It just zips right along on my Addi Turbos. This whole project (and the MiniChic before it) has really re-energized my zest for knitting!

Here's where I was the night before last:

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

I finished the sleeve, started the front, and found another thing to love about HoJo. Although the sleeve shaping was really irritating and involved far too much thinking, the front will not. The placement of the branching cable rib is at the waist, and it naturally pulls in a bit, so there is no shaping on the front of this sucker until you get to the armholes! That little thing made me very happy, and I managed to whip out about 17 rows of the branching rib before I got too tired to concentrate any more.

I'm heading up to Albany this coming weekend, to spend some girlie time with my best friend Lisa and her infant son, while her husband is at Army drill down here in the city. Baby Alex is too young to express an opinion, so we're considering it girlie time despite his technical maleness. I will finally get the opportunity to give her the Quiz sweater, which I am embarrassed to not have mailed earlier. I'm excited for the weekend, and also for the 2.5 hours of knitting time I'll get on Amtrak each way!

Saturday, January 31, 2004

What a nice week - I didn't work late at all, went to the gym twice and had a fun dinner last night with Ryan and my friend Stacy. I'm sad because Stacy's moving to Chicago next month, so it's good to spend time with her before she leaves.

I also spent some quality time on the sofa with HoJo. I made it past the branching cable rib back into the overall rib pattern without any disasters. I did have to undo a bunch of rows of knit and turn them into purl, but I find that kind of satisfying, so I didn't mind. If we aren't running around too much this weekend I'll probably finish sleeve 1 by Monday morning. Here it is so far.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

I am so toasty today, wearing my MiniChic over a long-sleeved cotton tee. Bonne Marie, you are far better than the wind beneath my wings - you are the warmth atop my shoulders.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

The MiniChic is complete! I look absolutely awful in these photos - post-gym, post-shower, no-makeup. Goes to show how excited I was to show off my latest project!

Now I guess I will be focusing on HoJo for a while.
Well, I made it to the 3rd-to-last row of the branching cable rib before my head started to spin and I put it down. I get all edgy with the "increase in pattern" thing. I think I'm OK, but the pattern is complex and lazy me didn't actually think it out COMPLETELY. So I am worrying that in 2 rows, when I switch back to the regular rib, it'll be messed-up on the edges and I'll have to figure it out again.

So I put it down and went back to the MiniChic. I finished the front and back and sewed it all together, then started on the collar. I followed the directions carefully and that thing looks way the heck too short to fit around the whole neck opening. I can't tell if I perhaps did the neck decreases too early (don't think so, because the pieces came out perfectly matched in length, which means I followed the pattern AOK) or what. Or maybe there's some mysterious secret I am unaware of that makes the collar fit in that space. I think I am going to just add some rows into each piece of the collar until it fits in there. Hopefully I can get that done tonight. I want to wear my cute little poncho soon!

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Look at me, getting the branching cable rib chart right! OK, don't look because I haven't taken any pictures yet. But I'm on row 20 and I've got it figured out now. Just was making stupid careless errors before.
I decided to start on the HoJo sleeve even before finishing my MiniChic. I was fine until I got to the branching cable rib chart. I have the left twist just fine, and I feel like I was following the chart to a tee, but 12 rows in, it just doesn't quite look like it's supposed to. Boy am I glad this is the sleeve rather than the front - it'll be less painful to frog!

I think what's messing me up is increasing while working the chart. You're supposed to increase in pattern, but the damn pattern changes every row, so it's hard to fathom. I'm going to go rip it back to row 1 and try and concentrate a bit harder. Maybe having had something to eat and drink will help.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

I'm an assclown for not mentioning how nice it was to see Liz at S-n-B last Tuesday. For heaven's sake, we sat next to each and chatted half the time, and left together to go jump in cabs. I suck. Liz, you must know I adore you. If not, hopefully you know it now.
HoJo yarn arrived today!

And before I start, a few questions:

1. Is 2.5 inches larger than my bust a good size to make for a sweater that fits the way this one does in the picture? The next size up is 5.5" larger and that seems far too loose. I think I'm nervous because this would have me making the smallest size, and lately I've been making the second-smallest, but I've never made anything from Interweave before.

2. Am I interpreting this correctly? The pattern says:

  • Left Twist: With right needle behind left needle, skip 1 st, knit second st through back loop, insert right needle into back of first and second sts, and knit them tog through back loops.

I am thinking "skip 1 st" means leave that stitch on the left needle, rather than slipping it. I am also thinking I am supposed to leave the next stitch on the needle after I knit it, even though it doesn't explicitly say to do so. The instructions for the Right Twist say:

  • K2tog and leave sts on left needle, then knit the first st again, and slip both off of needle tog.

Please weigh in and tell me if I've interpreted the left twist correctly!

I actually have a little time before I start HoJo, because I am still finishing my MiniChic. I started that on Sunday night with the Gedifra Dandy yarn I bought on eBay like 2 years ago. Bonne Marie is just such a delight, answering my stupid random questions about her pattern with aplomb. I am so happy to finally have found something I want to make with this gorgeous yarn, and hope to finish it tonight or tomorrow. Then it's on to HoJo - my knitting challenge of the century! (Besides knitting 4 relatively simple bridesmaid tank tops while working and planning my own wedding) ;-)

Monday, January 19, 2004

Just for fun, Ryan digitized a bit of our wedding video and posted it for me while I was working this weekend. It's in quicktime, but there's a link to an .avi version, too. It's a 2-minute "highlight film" they put at the end. Have a look if you're into that sort of thing.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Well, this is a shitty week/end workwise. It looks like I am going to have to go in again today, and maybe even tomorrow. Some long holiday weekend, eh?

Luckily, it's been an excellent morning yarnwise! I have had a bug up my butt since Fall of 2002 to make the Interweave Knits Hojo Sweater. I decided today to find out how much the Classic Elite Follies yarn was going to run me, and lo and behold, it's at for 2.97 a hank! They had all the colors except for the lime green, which is used for a teensy weensy bit in the fair isle pattern and the top of the neck, so I substituted with chamois, which I think will be fine.

While I was there, I also came across Tahki Cotton Colori, which I've been liking since the summer before last, too. I cleaned them out of the turquoise mix colorway, which, in person, has looked to me like a cool swimming pool made out of yarn.

I also discovered that although their standard shipping is USPS Priority mail, when you get to a certain point of heaviness, UPS Ground is cheaper. I like UPS because their tracking is updated in real-time, whereas USPS tracking is only updated at night. When I only had the Follies in my order, USPS was cheaper. When I added the Cotton Colori, suddenly UPS was a buck or so less than USPS. Yay!

This somewhat makes up for cruddy weather and having to go to the office in it later. I only wish I had the yarn now.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Too much work makes Betsy sad. And tired. The last time I got out of here before 10pm was Tuesday, when I went to Stitch-n-Bitch. I was here until 11pm last night, and back at 8am today for a conference call. This is our big push to get pieces printed, now that we got FDA comments/changes on our materials (that happened Thursday and we were on a call with the client for 10 hours yesterday hashing it all out - Oy!).

Back to happier thoughts of Stitch-n-Bitch. It was a lot of fun to go again! The best part was seeing some of the lovely ladies I've missed, like Deb, Jackie, Meema, Susi, Jessamyn, and I'm sure other people whose names are escaping my lack-of-sleep-addled brain right now.

Knit NY was an interesting place. As a store, they seem to have some nice stuff, though I don't love the way it's displayed. I understand that it's a teeny space so that's why they only display one ball of each color of each yarn, and the all-white walls/cabinets are cleanly designed, but it feels so sterile. And yarn stores are supposed to be warm and lush, not sterile.

I also love the idea of having a little cafe and tables and chairs, which is a plus. And they have cool-looking clear plastic stools filled with yarn. But they are horrifyingly uncomfortable to sit on for more than a few minutes. I left with a terrible backache after 2-3 hours on one of those stools.

It was also (not their fault) terribly crowded, with no place to put my coat or bag where it wasn't underfoot. I know the S-n-B has just gotten super-popular, but I don't know that I have the stamina to deal with that every week. No, I know for sure that I do not. Especially when things are so stressful here at work. I will have to save it for special occasions, unless the group ends up shrinking or finding more comfy quarters. I loved the cameraderie when we all took over big sofas in one corner of Java-n-Jazz. Maybe someday we'll have that sort of feeling again.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Of course as soon as I go and buy yarn to make myself a scarf, my father-in-law sends me one. He went to Spain for Christmas, and sent Ryan and I beautiful cashmere scarves. Mine is a red knit, just the right length, and has some pretty lace detail on the edges. His is a camel colored weave, with a silk foulard pattern on the reverse. They're more for "dress-up" (especially his) so I think I am still OK with making one for myself. Scarf variety is good, especially in a long winter.

Momentous night for me as I am going to attempt to return to the Manhattan Stitch-n-Bitch. It really kills me that Knit NY, where the group now meets, is 2 blocks from my old apartment. Argh! But I'm excited to check the place out, and see who's there. I've been wanting to go for a while, but an email from the fabulous Deb Stoller pushed me over the edge. I've been working late so much, but today I made a deal with the other writer on my account (a good friend) that if anyone stays late, it'll be him. Yay!

I'll be working on a hat to go with Alex's Quiz sweater. I was hoping to see Lisa and deliver the sweater in person, but it's not going to happen soon enough, so I am going to mail it. But since I have waited this long, I figured he really ought to have the matching hat.

I'm also hoping to find some intriguing project for myself while I am at Knit NY. I'm excited to see what they have!

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Another day, another late night at work.

Christmas was wonderful. Everyone in Missouri was so nice to us, including my mother-in-law, which is a nice turn of events. (I still don't entirely trust, but I'm willing to work on it.) We were run ragged a lot of the time there, but enjoyed it all. I even got to meet an internet friend, Amy, and her husband in Kansas City. We all got along great and had a fantastic dinner.

New Year's was also nice. We went upstairs and had dinner with John and Amy and a coupe that they introduced us to sometime earlier this year. Good food, good friends, and generally a good time.

I finished Ryan's scarf the other day, and damn I wish I had a picture of it here! I took one but it came out badly, and it's at home anyway, where I wish I could be. I loved his scarf so much that I wanted to buy yarn to make one for me, but I didn't know when I'd find the time to get to Morehouse Merinos. As luck would have it, I went down to Union Square with a friend from work, on a totally unrelated errand, and realized as I got out of the subway that it is Wednesday, and that they were right in the square at the Greenmarket!

I walked out with a beautiful clear aqua and a pretty celery color. I plan to do mostly aqua, with random stripes of celery. Sort of how I did Ryan's, except I did his so that one half was mostly dark with light stripes, and the other was the reverse. It's subtle, but cool. Can't do that with mine because I needed 3 skeins (I like long scarves) and thus would not have an even amount of each color.

Now I am wishing I had bought some damn needles so I could start that scarf right now! I am also wishing I had bought enough to make myself a hat that matches, because this will SO clash with my magenta and purple stripe!