Sunday, July 30, 2006

Disappointed

I can't wait for the end of this 4-day (for me) week so I can get to Maine. I still haven't figured out how to get to JFK on Friday. I will look for a car service tomorrow, I guess.

I watched Zelary today - a very good foreign film set in the Czech Republic, I believe. The first one I rated with 4 stars in a long time. I have no idea why it was on my Netflix list. I often add things when they are previews that look good on other DVDs. I think this one was found that way. I am getting to the point in my Netflix list where it is mostly old stuff that are things I feel like I should see (on an AFI list, etc) before I die. These are typically low on my list but I guess I have been using Netflix long enough that I am getting to that section of my list quicker than I was adding more movies to the top of my queue (I still have nearly 100 movies in my queue though).

I worked on the baby camel scarf today for the most part, as I sat watching the movie, as well as visiting my grandmother at my aunt's house. I have about 1/2 a small skein of yarn left before it's done.

I am still enjoying the For the Love of Knitting book I mentioned in a recent post. I am happy that my knitting group is meeting a little earlier this week, but we will miss C at this first meeting without her.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

My Saturday

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article in Domino Magazine about painting-a-day artists called Forget Galleries, Think Blogs. One that was mentioned was Duane Keiser. I love his pictures, most of which are postcard size, but they are really expensive (contrary to what the article said). When I get a new apartment, I may buy something like these to place in groupings on the wall. Another two painting-a-day artists that I really liked (when I googled painting-a-day) were Postcard from Provence and Karin Jurick's Original Paintings.

I saw two movies today. First, I saw Woody Allen's new film Scoop in the theatre. It was even better than I expected it to be. I love most of Woody Allen's films anyway, but this one was really great. New York Magazine wrote a pretty good article on it called And God Created Scarlett. The audience around me also seemed to love the movie with all the laughing and the comments I heard afterwards. This is my favorite quote from the movie:

I was born into the Hebrews, but as I got older, I converted to narcissism.
-Woody Allen as Sid Waterman

Right now, I am watching Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. I had no idea that the TV show I watched as a child was a spin-off from this. I have heard of this movie before but never had the chance to see it. Ellen Burstyn is great in Alice's role and there are a few actors that also played in the TV show (Mel, the diner owner, for example). I also didn't know that Martin Scorsese directed it.

Here are the pictures I promised of my latest creation: a coral crochet shell halter top with yellow trim. I also added a detail picture of the trim, which is a double chain edge, also called bicolor cable edging:





I bought a new knitting book today, For the Love of Knitting: A Celebration of the Knitter's Art. I have read a couple chapters, all of which are written by various famous knitters. The following is a passage that I love because it kind of encompasses Betty Christiansen's life and how knitting fit into all of it. I can definately relate to most of this, as I am sure most knitters can.

In the years that follow, I knit through college breaks and on road trips with girlfriends. I knit myself together after a nasty breakup; I knit for a new husband. I knit for babies miscarried and babies born so robust my creations don't fit. I knit while plotting a graduate thesis; I knit to keep my hands from shaking as I watch the World Trade Center towers fall and wait for my husband to come home from midtown Manhattan. I knit sweaters that are photographed for magazines, I knit hats for Afghan refugees, I knit socks for my entire family. I knit to soothe myself; I knit when I feel lost and need some mooring; I knit when I am depressed and need some hope. I knit on the phone and in gossiping groups, but most often, I knit in silence, hypnotized by the waltz of yarn and needles, keeping time with the orchestra of thoughts in my head.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Finishing Things

Tonight I finished three projects that have been hanging around for a while. First, I finished the shell crochet tank top, which came out quite nicely. I will post a picture tomorrow hopefully. Second, a knit tank top that came out too terribly to post a picture. And third, yet another [copper-colored] alpaca & silk pouch from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

I am in progress with several projects that are going slowly- some of which may never get done. A dog sweater, a stocking, a scarf (half-done with this one), and a rabbit (which I will be starting tomorrow). I have a couple other projects that I also need to start in the very neaar future.

I am very sad that C is leaving our knitting group. She has been coming as regularly as I have since I joined in February. I am sad to see her go, but I wish her luck in DC (where she gets to be near Stitch DC, which I hope to visit someday).

Tidbits:
1. I just finished watching Dr. Strangelove, which has been on my "list" forever.
2. I decided to fly to Maine to meet mom for the Lobster Festival next weekend.
3. I have been getting more ridiculously good deals at the going out of business candle sale near work (they keep adding new stuff).

Friday, July 21, 2006

Various Topics

I have various topics to blog about tonight because I haven't done so in over a week. I have other [not ready or can't blog about them] topics that have been consuming me. Some are the same as for several months, others from only the past few weeks, and still other from just the past few days. Anyway, on to what I can blog about tonight...

I attended the Knit & Crochet Show in King of Prussia, PA with my email knitting buddy last Saturday and we had a great time. I bought far too much yarn and accessories, including one of the knitting bags that I have been eye-ing for a while. I was sad that there were no Jordana Paige knitting bags there, but I think I really like the one I got anyway (from Offhand Designs). I also got a circular needle case from them, as well as a Lantern Moon size 7 (they didn't have my most commonly used 6's) circular needles to add to it. In the picture below, you can see the bag, case, and only a smidgen of the yarn I bought (in addition to a few patterns).



Among the yarns pictured: Koigu wool sock yarn, Steadfast Fibers wool and mohair, Heavenly Alpaca (and silk) laceweight yarn from Nash Farm in Alaska, and a couple of other wool/silk yarns that came with pattern kits. In addition to these, I purchased 1500 yds of Duet kid mohair/wool yarn from Brooks Farm Yarn in Texas red (enough for a sweater) and one skein of the same yarn in a beautiful jewel-toned teal color (for a project yet-to-be-determined).

It was great to hang out with my email knitting buddy for the day. That evening when we got back to her place in Bensalem, PA, she and her husband cooked a great meal. I really enjoyed catching up with her husband too. I have known him for years (he actually took me to my 9th grade dance), but the only time I get to see him is in passing- usually at an event for one of his sisters (weddings, parties, baby showers, etc.), so it was nice just to have a long conversation with he and his wife.

I did begin the dog sweater for my mom's friend's dog, which I am very worried will be too big for a sweater once I finish. This is the same sweater that I had seriously contemplated knitting for my ex's pug, but never got the chance. It is a great gray argyle sweater, shown below, along with the magazine the pattern is from.



I am very close to finishing the shell pattern crochet halter top from one of Paton's pattern books. I will post pictures when it's done. I have several half-started projects that I really wish I had time to work on.

I have added new links at left for various blogs, a new online 'zine called Spun Magazine, and a couple of new knit-a-longs (KALs).


Now on to various NON-KNITTING NEWS:

Congratulations to MM on her recent (very surprising) wedding and baby announcement. The dress she wore (which looked crocheted) was so simple and gorgeous.

The heat here in the NYC metro area this week has been ridiculous (especially the 100+ degree temperatures earlier in the week). Parts of NYC have been out of power since MONDAY (note that it is now Friday night)!

I watched March of the Penguins, very cute, very informative, and great with Morgan Freeman as the narrator. I did also get Earth (blogged about in my last post) from Netflix this week, so I will probably watch it tonight or tomorrow. I want to see it before I see Water, hopefully soon. I also hope to see Lady in the Water this weekend.

There is a company very close to my own that is moving to Seacaucus and is therefore having a ridiculous sale in their warehouse. They are a gift company mainly specializing in candles and related items. I have already bought a bunch (super, super, super cheap) and they are putting more out the next two Mondays. I can't wait to go back and see what they have. Most of what I have bought will end up being gifts for my family for Christmas and birthdays.

After making a great orzo salad with tomatoes and feta (a recipe from a friend and his girlfriend that I got after they had a BBQ serving it), I had lots of feta and cherry tomatoes left, so I chopped them and added them both to my usual favorite at-home-on-the-weekends breakfast, polenta and egg whites. Let me just say YUM!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Ignoring the Really Important Stuff

A few unrelated things:

I signed up for a brief class so I could get something done easier at work. Hopefully I will only have to take the first part of the class to do what I need to do, instead of having to pay for the "sequel" class. It starts tomorrow night for 2 weeks.

I am very much looking forward to the Knit & Crochet Show this weekend. I am going with my knitting email buddy who lives near Philadelphia.

The Knottie Knitter has been blogging about the Pacific Northwest. Seeing a picture of Leavenworth made me miss that area very much. I lived in Vancouver, WA (just across the river from Portland, OR) for a few months way back in 2001. I loved it there and wish I could go back. During my stay there, I visited a different place almost every weekend, and on the weekends I didn't travel, I spent my time in Portland. I loved Leavenworth. It is an adorable little Bavarian town, near Wenatchee that I traveled to one weekend. I think it took me almost 5 hours from Vancouver and you have to travel through a beautiful, desert-like Indian reservation to get there. I remember Wenatchee being beautiful, too. I stayed there when I visted Leavenworth. It is surrounded by brown mountains. I think that was where I saw Chukar Cherries for the first time. Now I see them in the gourmet food shops in Manhattan, and occasionally order them off the website for gifts. Anyway, I wish I had been knitting when I lived out there. I have heard there are some great yarns shops in Portland.

I really want to see Water. I found out it's the 3rd in a trilogy. The 1st movie, Fire, I have seen. The 2nd movie, Earth, I have just added to my Netflix queue. The 3rd I hope to see in the very near future.

I wish my crochet halter top was moving along a little faster. I hope to wear it to the show this weekend, but I doubt that's gonna happen. I also want to start on some of the things on my On the Needles Soon list (see sidebar). I also wish someone had an answer to my question over at the Handknit Holidays Knit-along.

I had a nice long chat with my brother yesterday, who I almost never get to talk to. And an email from my sister. I am sorry for the loss of her young kitty.

Monday, July 10, 2006

New Pictures

Here are some pictures that I promised in yesterday's post:


Cool jellyfish at the NY Aquarium, Coney Island


Polar Bear showing off for us at the Central Park Zoo

It's hard to tell from this picture, but the bear's back is leaning against a rock, his right paw is leaning against a pole, and his back paws are leaning against the window. There is no floor beneath him!



Chenille Flower Washcloths for Grandma



Crochet Shell Haltertop (front), working on back now


Friday, July 07, 2006

Site Down

I have a bunch of things to post about, but unfortunately, most things have pictures to go with them and my own web site (where I also host my pictures) is down.

I guess I will post those later. Last weekend (Independence Day weekend) was pretty nice. I went to Coney Island on Saturday for the heck of it (since I had never seen it before). I went to the NY Aquarium - pictures to come. It was nice but would have been nicer if I had someone with me.

Since I was already out that way, I went a little further to Queens to check out Smiley's Yarns. When I was leaving the store, I saw a kid on a bike get hit by a car! He was okay (at least on the outside), but it was shocking! I turned my head to look (after I heard the awful noise) and saw him (and his bike) flying through the air.

Monday night I went to a BBQ at a friend's house (where we have also been knitting lately). Great food (as usual) and I got to meet a bunch of nice people.

Yesterday, my mom came down to visit and she and I went into Manhattan. We first got some tickets to a show and then went over to the Central Park Zoo, where we had lunch at the Leaping Frog Cafe. My mother said her hotdogs were the best she'd ever eaten. There was a really great polar bear there - I'll post a picture. We went to see Phantom of the Opera, which mom had never seen before and I saw in Toronto about 16 years ago. It was pretty much the same as it was back then. The voices were amazing.

We stopped over at Purl Soho to get some yarn for a project mom wanted me to make. She wants me to make the bunny from Last Minute Knitted Gifts for a friend of hers who is pregnant. I also recently bought the yarn for an argyle dog sweater that she wants me to make for a friend of hers. While we were at Purl, I also bought some great Lorna's Laces sock yarn that is specially dyed for the store.

When we got back to NJ, my aunt and grandmother had already eaten, so I took my mom to The Petite Cafe, where I once went with my knitting group. They specialize in stuffed cupcakes (I took two home). I had a great shrimp dish and mom had filet mignon. Both were huge. They also gave us complimentary champagne to celebrate the restaurants five year anniversary.

All in all, I guess the last two weekends were pretty good.