Friday, December 17, 2010

Chrome for a Cause

For everyone out there who uses Google Chrome (and if you don't, shame on you!)

Sign up so that for every new tab you open between now and Dec 19th, you'll help raise money for a cause!

Seriously, just sit there and keep opening new tabs.  I do that enough when I'm on Ravelry looking at forums and newly listed patterns.  Speaking of I should head over there in a bit.

As of this posting, I have opened 70 new tabs, and that's only in a few hours.  (OK so really I'm doing homework and have to do a lot of work online that requires a lot of internet activity...)

Want to increase your number of tab openings?  Instead of clicking on a link, right click and then choose to open in a  new tab or new window!


I know I've been MIA this semester.  Between moving, school, working, and other personal things, I haven't had the time or energy to be updating.  But it's coming soon (with hopefully lots of pictures of fibery goodness and FOs).

In the mean time, here's a glimpse of some of the things I've been studying.  I love my professor for my tech class...he gives us the best YouTube videos to watch :o)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Random Updates

For those who haven't heard, last night a tornado decided to come visit Park Slope.  I was not home at the time so sadly I missed its visit.  But plenty other people were to share:

Where was I at the time?  At Lion Brand Studio meeting Lily Chin :o)  Look for that post coming next week.

In other randomness, we've made some sales on the Kayleigh Preemie Hat!!  Thanks to everyone who has purchased a pattern so far.  Updates to the pattern are coming soon, including a newborn size and instructions for different yarn weights.  Also, anyone who wants to donate more than the $3 using the Paypal button on the left will also set a pattern emailed to them!  (So you don't have to do more than one transaction.)  No updates from Miss C today, though yesterday she did post a picture of Kayleigh without the vent!  Except I'm noticing Kayleigh has no hats on in these pictures...I need to get these hats finished, photo-ed and mailed out to her asap!

I have quite the busy weekend ahead of me so the Lily Chin update may take a couple days.  Anyone have anything fun planned for the weekend?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

9/11 Anniversary

Living in New York, 9/11 is always an open wound.  Most of the country spends the anniversary remembering.  But for us, it's constant.  Almost everyone you see on the street lost someone in the towers or knew someone who lost a loved one.  And if not, they know someone who was shipped overseas in the aftermath.

For those who don't know, I'm currently going to grad school at Pace University.  The school's main campus is downtown at the Manhattan-side base of the Brooklyn Bridge.  It's also 3 or so blocks from the World Trade Center.

Whenever I wander over that way, I wonder what it was like for all the students who were at school that day; what it was like for their parents around the globe wondering if their barely legal child was ok.  It still freaks me out to think about.  A student very easily could have been walking down Broadway coming back from Staples buying a new binder for school (Pace's fall semester doesn't start until after Labor Day) when a plane hit.  Ok, so maybe it was a little early in the morning for a student to be out stationary shopping.  But can you imagine being that student who was woken out of their sleep to that?

Every year, as I'm sure many of you know, the city powers up two towers of light standing in the place of the Twin Towers.  The Empire State Building lights up in red white and blue.

As I said earlier in the week, I bribed Kyle with some dinner at Grimaldi's so I could go to the Promenade to take pictures.

The eeriest thing though was that it looked like there was little things (?) floating in the light beams.  I don't know how to explain it.  Alien spacecraft lifting up little bitty humans?  Moths flying towards the light?  Seagulls gliding in, out and around the light beams?  Dust and debris just like the day of the attacks?  It just was odd.  Unfortunately the camera didn't catch it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Baby Kayleigh

I haven't been giving too many knitting updates lately.  I know.

I've mostly been doing work knitting that I cannot share on here.  So my other projects have been resting.

There has been one project I've pumped out recently, though, and with a big helping hand from a Raveler.

About a month ago, I learned through Facebook that my former Assistant Teacher from the daycare was in the hospital.  Concerned, I made it a priority to check her updates.  The doctors didn't know what was wrong with her.  Then I saw the "congrats" posts further down her page.  So now I realized she's in the hospital and pregnant.

A week or so later, Miss C gives birth to precious little baby girl, Kayleigh.  And I really mean little.  Kayleigh was born 26 weeks early at only 1 pound.  Time to get my knitting butt in gear.

I had bought some yarn to make baby Autumn another blanket, but after the baby shower, Mama J said no to any more blankets.  So instead those balls of yarn go to Kayleigh.  Her blankie is made from Artyarns Cottonspring and is the Corner-to-Corner pattern from Knit Baby Blankets! (Lion Brand also has many similar patterns).

I had 4 skeins of yarn.  Perfect!  Two for increases, two for decreases.  I powered through this thing.  I mean, Kayleigh was already here.  I had to get it done!

After the second ball of yarn, I moved to the decreases.  Ah, the rows were finally getting shorter and faster.  But...wait...what the...but how?  Somehow, at about 45 stitches still on my needles, I had come to the end of my fourth and final ball of yarn.

Curse curse curse!  Panic!

I don't want to rip half a blanket's worth of knitting out.  Think think think.  Then I remembered - I had just heard one of the ladies on Here's to Ewe mention how she had run out of yarn and found someone on Ravelry who had the same yarn in their leftovers and sent it to her.  I though I'd take a chance and searched.  One other person had the colorway I needed.  She had .3 of a skein leftover from a project.  I quickly sent Borie a message offering to buy or trade for her leftovers.  She mentioned no payment but promised to send it to me. Miss C reported that Kayleigh wasn't doing so well so I really wanted to get this done for her.

Borie sent the yarn fast and it came on Friday.  Between Saturday and Sunday I got Kayleigh's blankie finished.  But I still had some yarn left from what Borie sent me.  So I crocheted her a preemie sized hat (see down below) and bib.  They may be too big for her now, but within a few weeks she may be big enough to make some use of them.

So here's a BIG thank you to Borie for being my yarn angel this past week.  It was a sweet thing she did sending me the yarn expecting nothing in return.  But I have her return address from the box so she will be getting a present in the mail soon :o)

And please keep Kayleigh in your thoughts and prayers.  Being part of a military family, her daddy cannot be with her right now or be there to give her mommy a shoulder when she needs it.

And if you'd like to help the family out, please purchase the pattern for Kayleigh's Preemie Hat or make a donation using the Paypal button.  All proceeds (what's left after the website processing fees) will be donated to the family to help pay the medical bills resulting from Kayleigh's premature birth.

Kayleigh's hat, with an Avocado model

And thank you in advance for your thoughtfulness!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

All The Boy

I don't want to be all mushy-gushy, but I want to share why I have the greatest boyfriend I could ask for.*

From our first date, he has been great and understanding about my knitting.  He didn't call me a grandma, though just this weekend he told me he was about to when I threatened bodily harm if he did.  Good move, I say.  That night he even asked me to make him a hat.  Guess he had high hopes for us.

This was coming from my previous relationship in which my then-fiancĂ© complained that I knit while we watched movies and refused to let me knit anything for him because he'd never wear it.  My now boyfriend thinks it's amazing all the things I can do while I'm knitting.  This was a shift that was going to take some getting used to (and I still am).

Anyway, recently I was doing some work knitting as we watched TV.  He asked me if I was crocheting.  Now, he's seen me knitting pretty much from Day 1.  I couldn't figure out how he could be so mistaken.  Until I realized I was mid-cable row.  I don't use a cable need.  I use the large cable hook made by Boye.

Meet Vivian, my cable hooker

I had explained to Kyle who knows when that knitting uses two sticks and crochet uses a hook.  I couldn't believe he had remembered that.  I explained to him cabling and hopefully didn't confuse him any further.

About two weeks ago, something (I can't remember now) prompted me to try to convince him to learn to knit.  To my surprise, he said yes!

I didn't push it all week.  But on the subway ride home from our day in Coney Island, he wanted to give it a try.  I was working on Kayleigh's blankie - not the most appropriate project to learn on, but ok.  He picked it up in a snap.  His stitches were pretty good too.  I was so proud- I had the biggest smile the whole time.

That weekend, I cast on 25 stitches with some Malabrigo and size 8 needles - the pair I first used after learning on chopsticks.  He did about a row and a half before feeling like he didn't want to do it anymore.

Saturday night I bribed him with dinner at Grimaldi's so I could go to the Promenade to take pictures of the city skyline (post to come).  While we were waiting for our pizza, he did a couple stitches on my sock.  He did not enjoy this - too small of stitches and needles he said.  (And they were extremely loose.  I had to go back and tighten them up.)

Sometimes we forget to tell our loved ones Thank you for supporting/understanding our knitting.  Take the time today to tell your partner, roommate, kids, dog, etc. for putting up with the mysterious need to obsessively knit that you have.

If you'd like to see another awesome boyfriend, check out this post from Jen's blog.  Her boy made an amazing effort in proposing to her, no wonder she said yes.  I think everyone should see what a sweetie she nabbed.  (I know it was a while ago, but I thought of them while I was writing this.)  He's definitely a keeper after all that!

*No, Kyle does not read my blog so this is in no way me sucking up to him for any reason :o).  I just think he's that great and I hope everyone can find someone as supportive as he has been to me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Coney Island Stitches

I've been to Coney Island two times in the past couple weeks.  First off, the Guild's Stitch 'n Pitch.

It was not an official one (aka listed on the official website).  It was our first year and well, I'm just not that good at organizing these kinds of things.  I even left my tickets home, but luckily realized before I got on the subway.  Phew.

Rudy Giuliani threw out the first pitch
We were skeptical if the game was going to happen- the weather reports all called for rain.  A decent amount of people didn't show up (and some came late), but we didn't get rained on!  Luckily though, the first 2500 fans to get to the stadium got a free umbrella.  Would have been the perfect day for them if it had rained.

Little League kids posing with a mascot
The game started out pretty good, but then they wound up losing after all.  That's ok though because we all had a great time anyway.

...and crocheters
We're on the Scoreboard!
More knitters :o)
This past weekend, The Boy and I went back to Coney Island for the day.  He'd never been there so I figured before I move, we had to go.

Parachute Drop
The Boardwalk
He refused to go on the Cyclone with me.  He's heard the many rumors of people getting hurt or worse.  I'm pretty sure those incidents are all from 50 or more years ago though.  It's a historical landmark.  I think I have more confidence in the Cyclone than I do in theme park rollercoasters.  But still he refused so we have yet to ride it.

The Wonder Wheel, which was celebrating its 90th birthday

We walked up and down the boardwalk.  Coney Island is either a beach or a fun place for kids.  The amusement parks really aren't geared for adults in any way.  But I'd never walked through any of them so we got to do that.

The Boardwalk looking the opposite direction
We had Nathan's for lunch/dinner.  It was his first time coming to the original location (definitely not mine).  He got some hot dogs and I got my favorite cheese fries.  While we were sitting eating (I shared our table with another couple- it's so hard to find a seat on a nice day), a film crew staged a small segment probably for some local news feature.  It was exciting for the whole 7 minutes they were there.
First Nathan's visit!

After eating we headed to the baseball stadium to catch the game.

Park Entrance
Batting practice
Our seats were forever away, but the place is so small, these seats would have cost probably triple their value at a major's stadium.
View from our seats
We were surprised to suddenly hear wedding music before all the pre-game ceremonies.  Yup, someone got married on the field before the game.  It was a player from the opposing team.

Walking down the aisle?
She seems excited to be married :o)
The reception
We lose again :o(
We got to see fireworks after the game.  They were surprisingly really good.  Way more than I was expecting to see.

Between these two games, I guess it makes up for not being able to go to the Mets Stitch n Pitch (and breaking the crochet record with Lion Brand Yarn).  I can't wait for next year's game now :o)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Are Those Mitts or Socks?

I'm always out and about knitting:  Starbucks, subways, walking down the street, waiting in lines, yadda yadda.  No one ever asks me about my knitting.  I usually have my iPod going and notice the discrete glances people give me.  But no one ever talks to me.

Today I had the iPod going but my crappy headphones were too loud in one ear so I only had one piece in.  And three people decided to start conversations with me.  First, I was sitting in Washington Square Park.  I had some time to kill after updating the Brooklyn Fiber Arts Guild website before going to meet with one of the designers I knit for.  So I plopped down on a bench and got to stitching.

The arch
One of the many musicians at the park today

An urban oasis

I got some interesting looks but for the most part, that was it.  Until one man asked me:  "Is that a mitt or a sock?"  I was knitting the second of my knee socks (I just finished the calf decreases while I was out today!).  So he started talking to me about my knitting.  And then about where I go to school.  And then his aneurysm and how he's from Trinidad and worked as a social worker but left his job when it wasn't fulfilling and he needed rest due to his health.  And about a book he's reading.  And about doing what makes you happy.  And how he's going back to school but by the time he's making a decent amount of money it'll be time for him to retire.

Overall he was just a sweet man obviously in need of some conversation.  And I didn't mind talking to him.  He wasn't creepy at all.  Just being friendly.  It was nice but I had to cut our conversation short to start heading to my meeting.  On the way, I stopped at the first Starbucks I encountered (I was's getting chilly here and my Citron was not warm enough for the wind).  This was a mistake.

I should have gone to the one slightly further and out of the way.  I really had to use the bathroom.  But of course, I'm knitting while I wait for the 5 or 6 people in front of me to use the only bathroom available.  And of course my headphones are on.  So of course the guy in front of me does have to start talking to me.  I did my best not to talk too much to him because he was kind of creepy.  But then the lady behind me started asking me what I was doing and telling me about how she crocheted a little but really likes to paint and just got a painting she did framed (which she hit me with twice as we scooted forward every time the bathroom user changed).

What an interesting evening.

Check back soon for some baseball stitching fun :o)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm A sock knitter!

So I knit a sock!  Like a real sock (not my mini KnitPicks anklets which I've knit 1 1/2 of).  I knit a Knitmore Girls Vanilla Sock which is just a basic plain top down stockinette stitch sock.  I decided to use the String Theory Caper Sock Yarn that I'd bought for one of Autumn's baby blankets that I started and frogged when I realized I only had half the amount of yarn I needed.

I did about half of the leg before deciding that since I had two balls of the yarn, I should make better use of it and make knee socks.  After lots of knitting, ripping, knitting, and resizing, I finally got the numbers worked out right for it to fit my calf.  I have pretty big calves since I'm short and always standing on my tippy toes so this pattern would probably work best for someone similar (or also with larger calves).

I love this yarn.  It's the same I used for my Grass Green Hat.  Just a bit of cashmere to soften it up.  My issue with this yarn (or at least this skein) was the knots and spinning explosions.  Both of my original tries prior to finally getting the right stitch count for knee socks were cut off instead of being ripped back because there were knots.  There were also a couple spots where the yarn had mini explosions in it.  You know, those random spots where the fiber wasn't spun right and there's a fluffy bulge in the yarn.  Yeah, a couple of those here and there.  I vaguely remember this happening also with the green yarn used for the hat.  But I love the yarn too much to not continue using it.  None of the explosions were bad enough to cause a big interference with the knitting.

I've posted the stitch counts I used on my pattern page of the blog (check it out up on the top!) so that if anyone else would like to try it out they can.  Please note, you will still need to use the Knitmore Girls' pattern for most of the sock.

Now I'm off to work on the second sock :o)


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