Wednesday, January 31, 2007

More finished objects, Washcloth Edition

This week a crazy week of finishing up the loose ends of many many projects, so I'm going to post new stuff as I get them finished, and we can all pretend for a few minutes like I am some kind of incredibly prolific knitter, finishing multiple projects all the damn time.

Today's collection is a sampling of some of the washcloths I knit for holiday present this year. It started when I wanted to share the love that is Althaea Soaps and Herbals. I'd heard several online friends raving about this soap, and when one friend gifted me with some last summer, I immediately understood why. It is simply great stuff (my favorite is the Iced Black Keemun Tea scent). But, just giving someone soap seemed a little... weird. And somewhat impersonal.

So I was inspired to knit washcloths to go with them, for at least 8 gifts. These last samplings were the three that I knit for a few of my girlfriends. They're all knit with Sugar N' Creme cotton (which, while maybe great for washcloths, really did a number on my hands, which is odd, because I normally love knitting with cotton.)

Here's one in the near-ubiquitous slip stitch brick pattern from Mason Dixon Knitting.


These two are Feather and Fan. Top shot shows the pattern better, bottom shows the real colors of the yarn. Could Feather and Fan BE any more boring to knit?



This was a pattern of my own design. I used stockinette and reverse stockinette to create zig zags. I started off planning to make them even, then decided halfway through to make them longer in a few spots, just to make things more interesting.


There's one more gifty thing still on the needles. Okay, not even started yet. But it'll be a quick knit once I get it going.

Tomorrow, pictures of the purple shawl I've been working on forever and ever. And maybe, if I'm really lucky, some daffodil colored socks as well.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Red Scarf

It's been finished for nearly a month, but because I am always behind on everything, it got blocked this weekend and packed up today.


This is my single scarf contribution to the Red Scarf Project. It's simply garter stitch, because I couldn't find a stitch pattern that I thought made the yarn sing. I knit it in Rowan Cashsoft, because it was the most yummy soft yarn at Circles that was a beautiful red.

As I was packing it up at my desk today, a few of my co-workers were very curious about what I was doing. I think the thought that you would take the time to knot for charity flummoxed them a bit.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Saturday Sky

No pictures of today's sky for me, as the husband took the camera with him to his NER thing in Connecticut. (Having to share a camera makes this picture a day thing a wee bit difficult, darn it.)

So instead, a picture of the sky over Rhinebeck at the Sheep and Wool Festival.

Skies over Rhinebeck

Friday, January 19, 2007

When we left our intrepid heroine...

I was about to crash asleep in my chair after hoofing all over Lower Manhattan.

Saturday morning, when I woke up, I mapped out my plan for the day, making one critical error (which you'll see in a bit). While at dinner on Friday, my sister had mentioned an exhibit she enjoyed a great deal at the Whitney Musuem - a show of Picasso and some of the American artists that he had influenced. I looked it up and found that it was still running. The lure of that show combined with my sister's warning that the Guggenheim is often crazy crowded on the weekend made me change my plans, and I am so glad that I did.

The show was amazing! Now, I don't know much about art in general, and I really don't know much about modern art, so I was coming to this from the vantage point of the mostly untutored. The show was eye opening. Unfamiliar with most of Picasso's work, I got to be astounded at the depth and breadth of his work. Seeing how his work evolved over time, and then seeing how that caused other artists to change and move into new areas gave me the first glimmerings of understanding how modern art came about. I kind of "got it" for the first time.

After the Picasso exhibit, I wandered around the Albers And Moholy-Nagy: From The Bauhaus To The New World exhibit for a while. That was neat, but not nearly as stunning as the Picasso.

Done with the museum, both because I was tired and because it was now also getting crowded. I walked a few blocks, found the bus to take me downtown, grabbed a quick (and sadly yucky) lunch, and found habu. What neat stuff they have there! It was very fun getting to touch and fondle what they had, but in the end, I didn't buy anything.

After that, I walked over toward School Products, found the building, and it was closed. Confused, I wandered around for a few minutes trying to figure out if I was in the right place. Finally decided that I was, and it WAS closed, and I groused a bit and walked back to the bus. Later on, I looked again at their web page to realize that they close at 3:30 on Saturdays. I'd gotten there at about 3:35. (There's the critical error.) Dammit. Next time, I'll know better.

After that, I was seriously footsore and beat, so I found the bus and headed back to my hotel. Stopped at a restaurant nearby, at a quick light dinner, grabbed a cab and headed for my train. I ended up so engrossed in my book that I didn't even knit at all on the train ride home. The book was The Best Thing I Ever Tasted by Sallie Tisdale, an if you've not read it, I would highly recommend it. Thoughtful, interesting, and in a few places, heartbreaking. There were more than a few places where it felt like she had climbed inside my head before saying what she had to say. An excellent choice for an impulse used bookstore purchase.

This week, I've just not been knitting. I'm at the uber-boredom point of a few projects, at the super tough stage of another, and nothing is lining itself up to be worked on at the moment. In a few minutes, though, I'm going to go watch the new Monk and Psych, and hopefully barrel through the tough project.

Of course, it also didn't help that I spent two days in Toledo. With a new and very eager co-worker, so there was not much time to myself on this particular trip. No matter, it was still a good trip, and the new co-worker did well, and (I hope) learned a whole lot. It was fun that he seemed very intrigued by my knitting (socks, especially, seem to intrigue non-knitters. It must be all the needles and the weird shaping.)

Tomorrow afternoon, Widget has a friend over for a playdate. I'm hoping that they'll play together and I'll get a bit of time to putter, even if it's time that's full of little girl loud.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Man, am I beat

Well, made it to NY. Made it through a couple of days of one site. Finished early ehough on site today that I had more than enough time to get to Purl before they closed. In fact, had I properly done my homework, I could have swung by School Products as well. But, best laid plans, and all of that, right?

I was good at Purl - I bought a couple skeins of Lorna's Lace sock yarn in one of their "Purl only" colors (white and pink, for those wondering), and a couple of skeins of Koigu, in this neat orange colorway. The only other thing I was looking for, a good, not stupid expensive laceweight, they did not seem to have. C'est la vie, and all of that. It's not as if I need more yarn, right?

I got *SO* lost trying to find Purl. That end of Manhattan always messes me up. Got off the train, spotted one of my marker streets (where I was meeting my sister later) and confidently headed off... in completely the wrong direction. Figured out it was wrong fairly quickly, and corrected in the wrong direction again. After doing that again, I finally found a map, figured out where I needed to go, and finally made it. What should have been a half mile walk turned into at least twice that, with the huge heavy laptop backpack. Next time, I bring a good map with me!

Had a lovely dinner with a friend last night. Spent most of this evening chilling at the bookstore my sister volunteers at, waiting for her to finish up. (Should you find yourself in NY, I'd highly recommend the Used Bookstore Cafe on Crosby St. It's a charity shop for an AIDS action group called Housing Works, it's a great space with a good selection, and a nice cafe to have a coffee and relax. It's a 10 minute walk from Purl.) We had dinner after she got off work, and now, I'm finally back in the hotel resting.

Tomorrow, the Guggenheim and lunch somewhere nice, maybe School Products yarn, maybe Habu. We'll see how long my feets want to hold up.

Monday, January 08, 2007

New York, New York, it's a wonderful town!

So, my work often takes me to New York. Sadly, it usually takes me there with little time to do much besides grind out a 12 hour day, grab a good meal and sleep.

This week though, life is good, and I am not only getting to go on a trip that promises to will hopefully be relatively easy. Upgrade on one small site's server Thursday, checking in with them Friday, then training a new admin at a second site Friday afternoon.

Even better than that, since it backs up onto a weekend, I've managed to arrange to stay over an extra night, and catch a late train home on Saturday evening. Now I have to figure out what I want to do! My brain is shutting down as I contemplate all my options.

So, any suggestions? I'm torn as far as whether I want to hit yarn shops. I am, in theory, trying to focus on knititng from my stash for at least the first part of the year. But, at the same time, Purl and habu are calling my name - the former to check out their selection of Moving Mud shawl pins, the latter because their stuff is so interesting and uncommon, and not easily found out in the world. If I go with yarn shopping, any suggestions?

If I don't go with yarn shopping as my preferred sport, any suggestions? I'm not much of a shopper, so schlepping around to a bunch of stores doesn't sound super fun to me. I was thinking I would try and maybe see if I could get tickets to some kind of a show for Thursday or Friday night. Saturday, I was thinking might be a good museum day - perhaps the Guggenheim, which I've never been to see.

Oh, and I just had another thought! What about Ellis Island? I've never been out there either. Maybe if the weather is nice(ish) that would be a good choice.

This will be the first time I've been in the city on my own AND have had time ti kill (I've been with friends for leisure, and I've been by myself for work (see above, re: 16 hour days). I'm dizzy with all the possibilities!

I'm SO excited!

New Year, @whee

So, blogging wise, my only New Year's resolution is to start actually remembering to post in here.

When I go through funks, I withdraw and stop posting - it's true here and in my LJ as well. Then when I feel better, breaking the not-posting trend is difficult, to say the least. But, I am at least going to try to be better about it.

So, just like the past year, this year is looking as if it will be full of babies (at least two on the way already). So there will be more baby knits. Ms. Judy has inspired me to do more charity knitting, so there will be more charity knitting. I've got some other crafty things cooking, so there may be some of that as well.

I've also (possibly foolishly) signed up to do A Picture a Day with Maryse over at Monster Yarn. My pictures, should I manage to keep up, will be over on Flickr. Any really good ones or knitting related ones, I'll probably post here as well.

Later this week, (See that? Committing to posting again this week?) I'm going to have a wee little contest, for the 4 people who are still reading this thing.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Saturday Sky

A cloudy Saturday, with just a wee bit of blue sky starting to peek out... Perhaps it will be sunny later?

As for today, I must say that 67 degrees in January in New England just feels wrong.