Thursday, May 31, 2007

So K's parents arrive this afternoon for their first visit to DC since he moved here in late 2005. The apartment was going through renovations and then I was moving in and there was another roommate to take into account...all things to delay their coming. But the wait has ended! What to do with the parents for several days? Tonight, I get to go (without K) to the Kennedy Center for an NSO Pops concert. This is where my strangeness comes out. I'm excited because Lucie Arnaz is singing. Arnaz is the daughter of Lucille Ball, but that's not why I'm excited (and I do love Lucy!). It's because she was in The Jazz Singer with Neil Diamond. This is why I care. Oh dear.

Not a lot of knitting progress to report. I cast on for Monkey Socks on Saturday on our way to Baltimore to go sailing for the weekend. Didn't get much further because sailing and knitting don't mix all that well...wool and salt water? Not a great combo. I've gotten a few more rows done on Tuscany and am confident it will be finished in time for the first wedding (July 20th). Knock on wood.

I am delighted to say that I've (finally) been invited onto Ravelry...which is every bit as cool as everyone who's already got on has been saying. I just need to sit down with my stash and catalog away...

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Moving Thought

A year come and gone...last year at this time I was finishing my last day at work before driving from Manhattan to DC (eek! on a holiday Friday afternoon!) to start a new chapter in my life. I had a great job in NY...not a career, but something interesting and great co-workers. I had a teensy apartment (no, really, 130 sq ft), mouse included (eek! again) with a gorgeous exposed brick wall and within walking distance to everything. I had knitting stores galore, the Metropolitan Museum 4 blocks away, the MoMA around the corner from the office...really...everything at my fingertips.

Except my boyfriend, K. He was here in DC. Previously he had been in Boston, and for a year and a half we kept Amtrak in business (or Fung-wah, depending on timing and budgets!), shuttling between cities and our individual lives. I have to hand it to those who do long distance for years. 18 months was our limit, and although we loved each other, we knew it just wouldn't work if the weekends were the extent of our time together.

Fortunately, my job had an office in DC, and I was able to transfer. I had a job, I had a place to live (more or less), and so it seemed a good time to go. So I did.

What a year it's been! I've learned how to live with my significant other (so not easy!), dealt with his roommate (thankfully only a temporary arrangement), weathered the ongoing renovation of our place (4 contractors, endless delays--more endless than usual!--and even now some details to take care of), and struggled with the disappointment of a job that isn't challenging enough or fulfilling anymore.

I miss New's gritty, dirty and raw. It's also vibrant, exciting and alive. I miss tall buildings. I miss the people, the bodegas on the corner with flowers for sale, the taxis, the pizza, bagels, and good kosher chicken noodle soup. I miss Central Park.

I don't miss New York...the traffic, the noise, the bumping and shoving in the always rushing mass of people who needed to be where they are going 10 minutes ago. I don't miss the filthy subway stations or the...well, that might be all I really really don't miss.

I don't miss the weekend shuffle to see K.

I like DC. I love the clean Metro and the signs on the crosswalks that tell you how much time you have until the light changes. I find it hilarious that people will wait for the light to change before crossing the street when there's nary a car or bus in sight. I like how it's a good walkable city (not that NY wasn't...) and that there are museums galore to explore (and free!). I like its farmers markets--Dupont Freshfarms, Eastern Market. Stitch DC is a favorite spot for sure.

DC is very clean, too...but in an institutional "we want to look as good as possible" way that only bureaucrats and politicians can effect. It's not bustling. It's not vibrant. It's staid. Stable. But missing the spark I love so much in New York. I hate the taxi zone system.

I love our apartment. It is unthinkable that we'd ever live in something comparable were we back in Manhattan (or Brooklyn!). It's home.

It might be unfair to compare the two some ways they're opposites and it just doesn't work to do apples and oranges. But one was my world for so long, and the other is my world now.

What's in the year to come? A new job, I hope. Details finished in the apartment. Limes on our new lime tree. Finished objects, and new adventures in knitting (and maybe other crafts???) Visits to New York, but living here in DC.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Oh what a beautiful morning...

...and I've been up since 4am. Just couldn't sleep. I hate it when that the time I have to go to work, it feels like lunchtime. It's going to be a long day, but at least it's sunny and warm here in DC. A good pre-summer (not quite spring) day.

Made some progress on Tuscany...not as much as I'd like, but we had company and entertaining took away from knitting time.




Hope you all have a lovely day!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Slog progress

I don't think I've mentioned it here, but I've joined the slog-fest over at Mason-Dixon. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who doesn't seem to finish projects! I posted wayyyyyy at the beginning and have been slogging my way towards posting there again. My slog is the Ombre Blanket, first seen here back in July of '06 (the kitchen, by the way, is done and gorgeous). The blanket is the only project I'm still working on...not that I finished the others...but they fell by the wayside due to one thing or another.

Anyway, the blanket hasn't made it that far (my slog post from a month ago is as far as it's gotten), but I've kind of had a reason. I was nearing the end of a stripe and hadn't wound the yarn for the new color. The ball winder and swift were buried in the spare room, I was focusing on finishing the RPM socks (which I finally give away tonight), starting the Tuscany shawl (onto repeat 5!!), and other mundane details of life.

All that changed last night when I had a clean house, no boyfriend at home, and a whole evening free to do as I liked (oh, the luxury!). I worked a bit on Tuscany, did lots of puttering around doing things in the apartment, watched Ugly Betty (sidebar here: I love West Side Story and always cry at the end, but it was particularly well-done here with all the plot lines tying up for the season!) and created these:



wow...just looking at them make me hungry for chocolate cake with yummy fudgy frosting.

14 new lovely cakes of yarn, ready to knit up for the Ombre. Considering it's taken me almost a year to get through the first two colors...I should be good until next May!

In other news, I've got color on my balcony!


I love the $2 orange pillows from IKEA...they match the orange of our living room walls...brings the inside out a bit. And the bright blue table...perfect contrast!


And we are gardening...




and Basil...

big daddy basil:

and baby basil:

I can taste summer already.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Weekend progress

I was so bored by the end of Friday. I had cleaned out the office, done several loads of laundry, iced, iced, iced my cheeks, watched 2 movies, caught up on 24, Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy, and knit a bit. The pain was definitely there, but not so much that I had to be off my feet.

I did make progress:

Shawl after weekend

It's kerchief size right now...onto the 4th repeat. I'm not sure that I'm going to go all 11 repeats, since I'm a small person and it might swallow me whole. I'm enjoying the knitting of it...the silk is really soft and smooth. I am also liking the Knitpicks Options that I bought for the occasion of this project...the 40" cable is plenty long (so far) and I don't mind the join or the needles at all. The only thing I could possibly complain about is the slippery-ness of the yarn on the needles, but that's what you get when you do silk and metal needles.

Looks like it's time for more Advil. Fun times.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Scene from San Francisco

A few weeks ago I went to San Francisco to meet K. for the weekend...he was out there for work and I'd never been so we did it up for a few days...Napa Valley, Fishermans Wharf, etc. We went to Alcatraz on a very rainy afternoon:


And while taking the very well-done self guided audio tour, we stopped by this cell:


Did I just see what I think I did?


Fuzzy, but yes...yarn! One of the prisoners' activities, it seems, was knitting and crocheting. Two things I wonder about this: 1) Don't you think the needles were dangerous for prisoners to have? 2) Do you think the pink yarn was an acutal prisoner's choice, or some curator who didn't think to think that pink was,

By the way, Monday was much, much nicer in San's a not-so-dismal shot:


There and Back and There Again

So I ripped it out. It was going to bother me and confuse me if I kept on doing it wrong, so back to the beginning for me!
Before I ripped:
Before (2)

Back to square (ball?) one:

And by the end of the evening (Tuesday):

I haven't gotten much further than that since Tuesday night as I had the lovely pleasure of having my wisdom teeth out yesterday. Not. Fun. I was pretty much out of it for the day yesterday. On the plus side, I have all day today to sit on my rear, apply frozen peas to the cheeks, watch movies and knit. Goal: another repeat or two!

Monday, May 07, 2007


I guess I'm glad I'm only on the third repeat of the Tuscany shawl...since I have just realized that I've been reading the chart incorrectly. Crap! It's my first time knitting with a chart, so I guess I can be excused, but now I have to rip it all out and start again. I was reading every row left to right instead of l-r/r-l. Funny thing (to me) is that I didn't find it counterintuitive to read the chart from left to right, but apparently thinking of snaking back and forth was too much for my brain. It was so pretty...

Part of me is a little tempted to keep going with my modified pattern. It looks good (I think, anyway) and the difference is one additional knitted stitch on the purl row, so now I'm knitting a stitch on either side of the marker. I'll have to think about it the rest of the day to decide if I'm going to keep my "modification" or go back to the start.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A milestone

I finished my first pair of socks.




After many false starts, I am proud to say that I am a sock knitter! These are a gift for Fiona, my newly-knitting friend (who has just finished her first project), and I can't wait to wrap them up and send them on their way.

The next project is.....not Isabella. Having gauge issues, and I'd rather get underway knitting something than trying not to get frustrated when my gauge is either 3 stitches too small or too big. Maybe another day I'll be ready to duke it out with the gauge-master, but not this month.

So, the new project is Tuscany, from No Sheep For You. The needles should have arrived today, and here is the lovely silk I'm going to use (with the not so lovely color name "Taupe." I prefer "Shimmering potential.")

Shimmering potential

Now, I'm not allergic to wool but I LOVE this book. So many things I want to knit from there! I have a feeling that the yarn for Isabella from Knitty may end up as Eileen from this book.

And finally, a pretty picture for the day.

Tulip Star

Happy May Day!