Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Purse

Yes, that's what you do in New York City.

I'm at Starbucks, killing some time between my internship and my class this evening.  I'm am absolutely absorbed with my computer- I'm reading the Yarn Harlot's blog from the beginnng aaallll the way up to now.  Um, I'm only in March 2004, 2 months after she started.  I'm taking my time with this one.

Anyway, I'm sitting at the coffee counter, minding my own business.  There was a guy in the seat to my right, but he's gone now.  There was a girl on the other side of that seat, but she's gone now too.  Sometime after the guy left, the girl looked up from her book and realized her purse was gone.  She had it slung over the back of her seat and said it was sort of on her lap at one point.  She didn't even notice anyone take it.  I didn't either because I was so focused on what I was reading.  Maybe she was reading one of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's books too.

The cops came and basically told her she needs to pay more attention.  Which is true, but they didn't even take her name.  They said it happens all the time here (at this very Starbucks location that I plan on spending 2 or so hours a week at for the next 3 and a half months) and mostly to people not from New York.  "Are you from New York."  "Yes." "Oh, well you have to have that New York state of mind."  Wow.  Very helpful officers, indeed.

I'm not knocking NYPD.  Several of my relatives belong to this club.  But they just didn't care.  Luckily the girl had all her important things in her coat pocket so all that was lost was her license and maybe a credit card (she called the bank to cancel before even leaving here).  I made sure to check my coat pockets (my coat is hanging on the back of my chair like her purse was) and bag before I forgot.

Moral of the story:  When in New York, carry a big, honking huge bag.  One so heavy a thief can't just grab and run like in the old movies and cartoons.  In fact, mine is actually an airline approved carry-on luggage piece.  Hey, I have a lot of knitting to carry around for a full day in the city.

See all those Ziplocs?  Yea, those are the knitting projects.

What do I have with me?  My Wrist Flairs for the train ride here (my hand started cramping up from working on them earlier so probably not for the train ride home), Camp Hoodie (mindless ribbing for class), and my Center of Attention Socks (for all other times).  Eventually I'll get some pictures of these things up.

Stash Enhancements: Vogue Edition!

Ok so here it is!  I spent every penny of my Vogue budget and I don't regret any of it...

Vogue Stash!

Kraemer Yarn and Pattern
 This yarn is Kraemer Stotts Ranch in Camel.  I also bought the pattern "It All Comes Together Beret" from them, written for this yarn.  Julia also got the pattern, with a gorgeous purple colorway.

More Kraemer

Furnace Mountain Alpacas
 Oh how I swooned over this yarn!  It's a sock yarn- 70% Suri Alpaca, 30% Nylon- that sparkles!!  Some of the nylon fibers are actually silver and the yarn sparkles in the light.  I'm pretty set on having some super soft and sparkly socks soon!


Socks That Rock- My Blue Heaven
 I've never used Socks that Rock before, as this is my fist fiber "festival".  I'm pretty excited to try this one out since I've heard such good things.  I was very torn between getting the lightweight and heavyweight.  I ultimately decided on light since it had more yardage and was cheaper.

All Ears Earmuffs Kit
I can't wait to make these!  As soon as I finish up some of my KAL projects, I want to get working on these. It's a kit to make knit earmuffs with headphones inside!  This is great because the last time I walked to Starbucks (1 hour exactly), I got earaches from having my headphones in trying to listen to my iPod.  This will be such a big help and keep my ears warm!

One thing I wasn't expecting was the amount of yarn shops that had booths at Vogue.  I don't want to say it was a disappointment, but I really thought more booths would be fiber companies instead of shops.  There were plenty of unique fiber companies there and I understand the presence of the New York City shops since they're local.  But there were shops from all over, including I believe Ontario (really not sure...it was definitely Canadian- I can't seem to find it online).  I just wonder if the cost of renting booth space and shipping all your products that far (plus international customs fees I'm sure) really leads to a profit for them.

Two stores had "yarn tastings" - Lion Brand brought their cones of a couple yarns from the Studio.  They have this set up there year round so that anyone coming in to their retail store can test out the yarns.  I think this is a great idea, though probably tough for the average LYS to carry out.  Another store selling either yak or bison (or both?) yarns had small balls of yarn sitting on a coffee table surrounded by couches!  That was great.  But that's not all...the balls of yarn were in margarita glasses!  Great idea for them!

So did anyone else go?  Get anything good??  Share!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Back from Vogue!

Not that I really went too far, but I'm still coming off my high from the yarn fumes.

I took the train into the city with Julia and her mini-knitter Emma.  We got to the Hilton around 12:30 and wandered around while looking for the coat check ($4!! ugh).  We didn't have class tickets- just wandered the marketplace for the afternoon.  Here's some of what we saw:



Animal skins knit by Ruth Marshall, inspired by those in the Museum of Natural History.

 I love the mice climbing around.  They're proportionate to our NYC rats :o).  I also love the fire hydrant spewing water.  This water streamed through the whole display, went over the edge of the table and ended in a little swimming pool on the floor!

Ysolda Teague!  She's adorable :o)

Universal Yarns Fashion Show

 See that red head in the middle?  Vicki Howell just hanging out enjoying the fashion show.

 Brian gave Julia the most amazing vicuna yarn for Christmas.  This is the scarf/shawlette she made with it.

Emma putting on her own fashion show

Yarny Mannequins

Ysolda, Vicki and Debbie!!

Debbie Stoller, wearing the same dress I've seen her wear each time I've seen her present in the past  4 months

Marketplace floor

Knitting at Vogue
 Of course I had to bring a project to work on.  Ok, I brought two, but only worked on my Carefree at the event.  My Wrist Flairs were for working on the train when I could devote a little more attention, until I got motion sickness.

Passed out mini-knitter
Too many yarn fumes for Emma.  Or, as Julia put it, she's in a yarn coma :o)

Sheepy Slippers!

At one point the elevators weren't functioning and the hotel employees brought us to the freight elevator to go down a floor (we had Emma in a stroller).  Michael delVecchio (author of Knitting With Balls: A Hands-On Guide to Knitting for the Modern Man) come on into the elevator with us!  Except he didn't seem to be in the most social mood.  It was right after many of his garments were featured in a fashion show and he had suitcases full on his way back down to a marketplace booth.  We didn't say anything to him- he seemed a little high strung.

Overall, the event was just AMAZING.  From my limited perspective (not taking any classes or attending the lectures), Vogue did a great job.  Most of the issues I had with the event had to do with the location itself.  As was said by some people on Ravelry, the lighting in there was terrible.  You can probably tell from some of the pictures.  It just wasn't bright enough and the lighting had a funky hue.  

My other issue- why oh why are they moving the event to LA next year?  Seriously?!?  Not that I'm anti-LA (ok, maybe a little), but Vogue is a NY company.  Their offices are all here.  Half the editorial staff lives in Brooklyn.  And yes, NY (and the tri-state area) has very few fiber events.  We of course have NY Sheep and Wool, but that's about it.  One could make the trek to Maryland- it wouldn't be too bad of a drive.  But honestly, that's about it for us.  I feel like the west coast gets all the fibery love and now Vogue is adding to it. Maybe next time Sock Summit will come to us here :o(

Hopefully, Vogue will smarten up and bring the event back to its home.  I heard great things about the classes and teachers so far, but have to hear from some more friends :o)

I had bought a ticket for both Saturday and Sunday.  Since I didn't stop by for any signings at the Knitty City booth on Saturday, I thought I'd get up early to head back in time for Cookie A's signing at 10 AM on Sunday.  Plus, it was an excuse to buy Knit. Sock. Love.  Surprisingly, I was the first one to get home Saturday night with Dad following not too long after.  I asked him to switch the car arrangement in the driveway so he wouldn't have to do it super early the next morning.  (I didn't want to leave my car in the road with all the snow- our streets are feeling pretty tight these days!)  Dad pulled his truck out, but my car did not want to start!  The dashboard lights were on one second and the next, nothing.  I took it as a sign that I should not be going a second day and spending more money.  Good thing since I don't even know where I'm going to put all the stuff I bought!  Come back tomorrow for that post :o)

PS- My car is fine!  The cable came off the battery.  It's too rusted to tighten any more so I have to keep an eye on it for the rest of winter until we can replace it in the spring.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Project 365 Update

2011.01.17- Kyle bought me flowers for our 15 month anniversary
Yes, we recognize our anniversary monthly.  I think it's a good way to keep things special.  Usually we go out to dinner or do something special but the past couple months have been so busy for us that just spending an afternoon together is special for us.  Now that the new semester will be starting, I'm pretty sure I'll see him about twice a month.  Hopefully I'll at least get to do some subbing while he's busy at school, working and at MMA training.

Have I mentioned that I love it when my amazing boyfriend buys me flowers :o)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Project 365 Updates

2011.01.11- Kyle right before shaving

2011.01.12- Just baked chocolate chip cookies on the snow day

2011.01.13- Gentle Breeze yarn for Knitting Like Crazy's Carefree KAL

2011.01.14- Center of Attention KAL toe

2011.01.15- Shibui Sock from Julia

2011.01.16- Dino rediscovered his mouse rug

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Granny's Not so Square

This past Sunday, two wonderful ladies (Randy and Barbara) taught the Brooklyn Fiber Arts Guild about granny squares.  Now, I can do a granny square.  But of course I was going to watch two well known, respected, educated, and professional women teach it.  Plus, I helped Camille, who was sitting next to me and isn't a big crocheter.

I learned to crochet the summer of 1997 at 12 years old.  My aunt taught me and a cousin, probably to keep us busy at the farm while the boys ran around like maniacs.  I don't believe my cousin kept with it, but I loved it.  I still remember that beige acrylic swatch I made first.  I probably ripped it out to make the blanket-that-never-was.  This blanket is still sitting half made in a storage bin in my room.  I no longer feel the need to make a 250 st single crochet acrylic blanket with terrible fringe on the edges.  It will be ripped out soon and made into charity blankets.

When I finally got bored of making single crochet rows, I started designing dresses for my American Girl dolls.  I chained maybe 20 or so sts (not really sure anymore....1997 was quite a while ago) and then just started crocheting in a circle.  No slip stitch.  All I knew how to do was single crochet and chain.  And so it went until 2006/7ish, but more on that in a minute.  Now these dresses- they were tubes (ha! of course) up to Kristina and Josefina's armpits, at which I stopped working in the round and made a front to the dress.  When this reached a satisfactory height, I started working on a 5-stitch shoulder strap.  I bound this to the back of the dress and repeated for the other shoulder.  When I was done, I also made a headband for my dolls- chain some sts and then crochet a row.  This was the beginning of my fiber life and designing career.

Such things went until 2003.  I wanted to make Nicole a Harry Potter themed scarf, but I did not like the feel of crochet for it.  Don't forget that I never used anything other than Red Heart at this point and could only single crochet (no granny squares for me yet).  I decided to learn to knit since it seemed to come out "softer." Thank you CYC for teaching me wrong because of the terrible drawings on learntoknit.com.

I stopped crocheting completely at this point.  Knitting took over my life!  But then in either 2006 or 2007 I bought Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker and learned how to make a granny square, flowers, and shell stitch. I could finally do more than a single crochet!  I made one of the Garden Scarf and at least two of the One Skein Scarf.

I still don't crochet very much.  I just prefer knitting but sometimes the ease of crocheting is just nice, especially after a really big knitting project.

I have a love/hate relationship with granny squares.  They can be so tacky and kitschy looking sometimes, but then sometimes they can be awesome, great for using stash, great for spreading limited stash, and just fun to make.

Here is a granny square blanket I made for the Guild's charity project from November (yes, I'm so very behind).  I used leftover Caron acrylic and some random grey acrylic.  The maroon and yellow are leftovers from Harry Potter projects of course.

This was also yesterday's 365 photo.  I forgot to take pictures of my other projects during the daylight so this was the best I could do.

Here is a baby blankie I'm working on just trying to use up some stash.  It was some Moda Dea I had bought forever ago to make a sweater with, but I never bought as much as I needed and then they discontinued the yarn.  I tried to use it up last year by knitting a hat, but still had a skein and then some leftover.  So far I've used the mini-ball leftovers and am working on using up the full ball I had.  I think it'll come out to a decent size, but my fingers are still crossed for this one.

Can you believe I only started this Sunday at the Guild meeting?  That's another great thing about crochet- it goes so fast!

So, how do you all feel about crocheting?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Project 365

2011.01.08- Kyle's sister Emma, my little knitter and her never-ending, one-row-at-a-time scarf.

2011.01.09- Scott Hat, based on the one worn in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

2011.01.10- Granny Square Charity Lap Blanket- finally finished.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Project 365 Updates

I worked a full week!  Yay!  I got a lot of knitting done, but I've been to exhauseted/preoccupied/lazy/busy to update my knitting projects so instead, here's the past couple 365 photos.

2011.01.04- Dino got a bath.  He didn't enjoy it.

2011.01.05- Creeeeepy nutcracker at the outlets.  Yes, I did lay on the floor to take the picture.

2011.01.06- Mmmmm Chocolate Cherry Socks

2011.01.07- Dino loves Chipotle, just like the rest of the family!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Project 365- 2011.01.03

Kiera at Barnes and Noble's Starbucks
This is my friend Jackie's 3 month old daughter, formerly called Autumn here.  Daddy didn't like that name so they settled on Kiera.  Kiera is just getting over her phase of sleeping through all my visits (finally!) and she is constantly making funny faces and noises at us.

Kiera came into the world like a tornado and I feel like that is an omen for the rest of her life.  Jackie started having contractions one Saturday night.  The hospital turned her away, saying to come back when they're 2 minutes apart.  I know, the mom's out there are yelling at me right now but I'm not lying!  Sunday night/Monday morning, Jackie's contractions were about 5 minutes apart so they prepared to head to the hospital.  But first she wanted to go to the bathroom....she didn't think she'd hold it all the way to the hospital. 15 minutes later, Kiera popped herself out while Mommy stood over the toilet- she was in too much pain to move.  Grandma delivered her in the bathroom while Grandpa called 911.  The paramedics made it just after the birth to cut the cord and luckily there were no complications.  Though I say luckily for Jackie labor only took 15 minutes!  For a first time mom!  My god, I hope for that someday!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Losing my mind tonight.

First, let me just say, it's been a very long day.  Second, my brain shut down a few hours ago and refuses to restart.

I was just about to write a blog post about the two KALs I'm participating in.  Only I remembered linking Infinite Yarns to the blog already recently.  I actually had to go to my blog site and check back to see if I posted about the KALS.  I did.  Two days ago.


Anyway, here's some pictures of my Moodiness Socks since I can't seem to put any coherent thoughts together.

Project Status

Beginning of Sock #2

Ooopsies.  Can you spot the mistake?

A Looooooong Way to Go

Beginning the Pattern

My homemade chart...since the one in the pattern is literally ass backwards!

These were all taken early early this morning.  I've done two cable crossings already but more pictures will have to come later.

Also, in my tiredness, I made these typos:

triped = tried
battern = pattern

I'll explain the pictures more tomorrow. Maybe.  If my brain turns back on again.


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