Monday, October 29, 2007

Instant Gratification Day

I found myself with a good amount of time on Sunday and a craving for some instant gratification.

I wound up a skein of yarn that I had bought at one of Wild and Woolly's clearance sales and combed through my patterns until I came up with a suitable match. At the end of the day, I had a scarf. Just in time because this morning it was 33 degrees F.

Pattern: Luna by Suzanne
Yarn: Fiesta Yarns - Zuni (1 skein)
Color: Alaska

Pumpkin Carving Party

It is that time of year again: Jack O' Lantern time!

On Saturday, Beth hosted her annual carving party. There were lots of creative carvers in attendance.

Carvers at the table:

Carvers on chairs:

And carvers on the floor:

Jocelyn and baby Meadow were visiting from Oregon. Meadow was on her way to bed when I took this photo. I missed the opportunity to take a smiling Meadow picture but I guarantee you that there was a smiling Meadow at the party.

The fruit of our labor:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rhinebeck Loot

It is time to fully disclose the Rhinebeck loot.

Mug from Westcote Bell Pottery

I bought a bowl from this potter last year and was excited to go back and get another piece. Plus, the potter has a very enchanting accent.

This glass stick is from Moving Mud.

I bought a glass closure from them last year and immediately wished I had bought more things from them. I came to the festival this year knowing that part of my Rhinebeck budget would be spent at their booth. By the time we got to them, the booth had been nearly emptied from the earlier shoppers. Even with the limited selection, I still had a hard time deciding what to buy.

3 skeins of Alpaca Tweed in Andean Trail colorway from A Touch of Twist

I stopped by this booth early on in the day and knew that I wanted to buy some of their yarn but wasn't quite sure what I wanted to make with it. I took the day to think about it and then ran back at the end of the day to make my purchase. I decided to buy enough to make a shawl of some sort to keep at work for the chilly days. I am thinking I might see if it will work for this pattern: Ella. It definitely didn't hurt that this yarn was a steal at $9.98/skein.

Blue Moon - Socks that Rock in Loch Ness colorway

I have heard so much about this yarn. Last year the van full of women that I went to the festival with made the booth that was selling this yarn their first stop. This yarn sold out quickly last year so I didn't get any. With the full endorsement of serious sock knitters, I knew I had to try this yarn out at some point. I nabbed this skein from The Fold without even having to sign over my first born. I consider myself lucky.

Misc. Roving (white roving is cotton roving from Dorchester Farms)

I had to be careful not to go too far down the path of roving during the festival. There were so many beautiful choices, but I honestly have very little use for it. I make felted soaps and that is about as far as my relationship with roving has gone. I much prefer knitting over spinning. Or, rather, I like knitting so much that I won't give spinning fair chance because it would just take away from my knitting time. I did get some cotton roving to see if I can knit thrummed mittens with it.

Autumn House Farms - Herdwick Fine in Jackie's Woods colorway

This was actually my first purchase of the day. I couldn't resist the colors and it feels like it will knit up into slightly thicker, warm and toasty socks. Plus, I could look at these colors forever. And, did I mention the colors of this yarn!

Cascade Fixation

Finding Cascade Fixation was not the goal of the day as this yarn is readily available at many of my local yarn shops. However, I knew I would be needing a project for the ride home and this was a color I haven't seen before. I've been knitting with it throughout my commute and will soon have a pair of socks to show for it. I have knit this yarn into Priscilla's Dream Socks before and really like how the colors work with the short row heel.

The other bits of loot from the day are long since gone since they were eduble. The gigantic pretzel and apple crisp with ice cream hit the spot that day. Well, in truth, everything hit the spot that day and I can't wait for next year. I have a lot of yarn to knit before I can justify another day of yarn gorging so I guess it is good that Rhinebeck only happens once a year.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jamie Likes It

It was a great weekend because in addition to Rhinebeck, I also had Jamie in town. Jamie appreciates good eats so we went to Veggie Planet twice. Once for brunch and once for lunch.

We also needed to mark Jamie's birthday with something sweet and something kick*ss, so we knew where to go:

She likes it!

It is good to have friends who have known you since way back when. Jamie is the only friend that I have had since before I accepted that I will never be able to achieve the much coveted "big bangs" and she still loves me. That is friendship.

Rhinebeck 2007

Rhinebeck was amazing and tiring, as expected.

We boarded our Yarn Safaris bus before the sun came up and didn't get back until way past sunset. The exhaustion was worth it because I came back happy and inspired and also filled with a gas station dinner, but that is beside the point.

I was so preoccupied with getting to all of the vendors while not losing my crew (Jamie, Becky and Maggie) amongst the crowds that I didn't take many pictures.

New York Sheep and Wool Mascot, I assume

Punk Rock Angora

There was a lot of yarn to look at so I devised a system...walk through the building looking at each stand, if something catches my eye, stop and touch it, if it feels soft, stay and think about what to do with it, if a project can be thought up or if it is too beautiful to pass up, buy. My system worked well because I left with things that I love and stayed within my Rhinebeck budget.

I didn't get a picture of this but it is worth mentioning. As I was walking out of a building, the sleeve of a passerby caught my eye. After a glance at her sleeve, I said to myself, "That's the Yarn Harlot!". It sure was and I know her knitwear enough to identify her by her very distinct sleeve.

Jamie finally got the birthday wish she has been wishing for all these years as she blows out her candles: a ponytailed man in spandex standing/riding on two costumed horses.

Oh, what a day!

Abby and Jeff are Wedded

The weekend before last (10/13) Abby and Jeff got married on the coast of Maine. Paul and I took advantage of Sam and Arturo's willingness to dog sit for us and made a weekend of it.

They got married on the lawn of the York Beach Reading Room which is on a small cliff next to the ocean. It was a beautiful setting and I could hear the waves during the ceremony.

The wedding ceremony site.

Jeff and the moms walking down the "aisle".

Abby and her dad walking down the aisle.

Her dad kept saying "What a day! What a day!" all the way down the aisle.

The toast which was with Metaxa (of course!).

After the ceremony we went inside the York Beach Reading Room for drinking, food, dancing and other merriment.

We spent "cocktail hour" on the balcony taking in the beautiful view and listening to the musicians and maybe we harassed (in a good way) the underage catering staff.

These are the troublemakers. Jill and Tim. Remember them and if you ever meet them and they offer you drinks...just say no! Especially if your name is Paul.

Jill and Tim came up from Brooklyn, NY and were our constant company for the duration of the wedding. It was good to see them and their presence at the wedding made it way more fun.

It was just a shame that the event had to end with my food looking like this:

Jill and I were headed out to the dance floor for a few more songs before the party ended. Some other happy wedding guest went backwards in a hurry and stepped on my foot with her stilleto heel. My little strappy shoes didn't do much to cushion the blow. Needless to say, I had to sit that dance out. After some ice and some babying, it has healed just fine. In actuality, I should be grateful because it excused me from the after party and the after party was where Jill and Tim did their best work...especially if your name is Paul.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The suspense!


In less than 24 hours I will be amongst most of my favorite things. I am really looking forward to spending the day feeding my senses and I get to be there with Jamie and Becky and it's Jamie's birthday. Be still my heart!

I've been reading what other knitting bloggers are writing and it seems that there is a universal sense of anticipation of something great to come. One of the parts of Rhinebeck that generates buzz on the blogs is Rhinebeck Blogger Bingo. I decided against participating even though it sounds like it would be a great way to connect with people whose blogs I read. It was just going to be too hard to split my attention in so many directions. There is yarn to look at and fleece to fondle and animals to pet and knitwear to admire and, oh, is that kettle corn? You see my problem. Too many things to pay attention to. I was afraid adding blogger bingo to the experience might have caused my head to explode.

We are starting out for Rhinebeck really early. We will rise at 5-something in the morning in order to make our Yarn Safari bus on time. It still beats having to do the driving ourselves, though. It'll be my first safari.

I am also looking forward to the answer to this question:

Will Becky finally knit something for herself and wear it?

Becky has a tendency to knit things and then not want them when she is finished. (Yes. She is likely a little bit crazy.) This time she is close to finishing an alpaca sweater and I have been egging her on to have it done in time for Rhinebeck. Time will tell.

I am going to have some serious catching up to do on this blog once this weekend is over. I have yet to report back on the wedding that left Paul in a sorry state and my foot in a multi-colored state and my sweater is almost done, too. That'll all have to wait because I've got Rhinebeck.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sewing Monday

Last Monday I had the day off so I decided to tackle my long-neglected pile of to-be-sewn items. I did a bit of mending and then tackled the stack of bags that needing finishing of some type or another.

This bag has been waiting for at least a year to be finished. I made this bag during a free sewing class that was offered at the public library last year. The instructors encouraged people to bring in fabric that could be reclaimed. The idea was to take old clothes or other random fabrics and put them to a new use. The class was loosely structured. Students were instructed to bring fabrics and an idea of what they wanted to make. The instructors used the class time to help students work through their projects.

I brought along an old stained tablecloth that had a fantastic edge and some other fabric scraps. I wanted to make a tote bag. Being the big dreamer that I am, I didn't want just any old tote bag...I wanted a tote bag with pockets and layers and fringe and I wanted it to be perfect! I did a pretty good job except for one major mishap. I didn't sew the handles in deeply enough for them to be secure. If I carried any type of weight in the bag, the handles were likely to fray and dislodge themselves from the bag.

On Monday, I reinforced the handles by adding a layer. I don't think it turned out too terribly and now I have a fully functional tote bag.

Next in line was finishing a Sophie bag that I knit 2 years ago. I wanted to do something different for the handles but never found a solution that I liked. So, for the sake of finishing, I just added a zipper and decided that I am going to go without handles.

I knitted this little bag using random leftovers with the intent of lining. That was a LONG time ago. I've since learned how to sew linings in a tidier fashion, so I guess it is good that I waited. The reault was a tidy looking bag with the zipper edges tucked in between the lining fabric and the outside.

It was a pretty productive day of sewing. I had started the day hoping to plow through my pile and then move on to something from my new sewing book, Bend the Rules . There are lots of cute projects in this book that I am excited to try out. However, after I finished the pile of bags, I was out of sewing energy.

Instead, Becky came over and we had a knitting evening. We had a lot to talk about since Rhinebeck is coming up! We are getting there via a Yarn Safari. We will be accompanied by Jamie who's coming all the way from Minneapolis to share her birthday with us and all the sheepy goodness that is Rhinebeck.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Chickpeas vs. Garbanzo Beans

Super Chef Paul and I hosted this month's Veggie Dinner Club last Sunday night. We tried some new recipes from one of our Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks. The entree was Middle Eastern Chickpeas with Spinach over Orzo with a side of Moroccan Carrots. Both recipes turned out well and made for great leftovers, too.

Ann and Lee

Love that full-on Beth Laugh!

Dessert was a Caribbean Pie also from a Moosewood recipe.

Miriam and Beth

(notice Paul in the back desperately searching for the pie server we don't own!)

The only unfortunate part of the evening is that we were missing Sylvie. She was at home sleeping off a migraine. Hopefully she enjoyed the leftovers we sent home with Miriam.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Disposable Mops

Mop manufacturers have to be making a killing. From the consumers perspective, it is a total racket. Once you buy a mop and use it until the mop needs a replacement head, there is a next to impossible chance of buying a refill that fits your mop. The manufacturers change the designs and stores change the brands they carry so often that I have never been able to find an appropriate refill. Which means I have to buy the whole dang ensemble all over again!

Paul and I are having a cleaning day today (he is totally thrilled with this use of his Saturday) and after about half of the mopping was done my mop sponge busted. I headed to the store to find a refill. Nope. The store only carried one brand of refills which weren't going to fit my mop. So, I looked at buying a whole new mop thinking I would stock up on refills so as to avoid the disposable nature of mop-using I have found myself cornered into. Nope. The store didn't sell refills for the one kind of mop they sold. What. The. #$%&$.

I am now sitting here with a half-mopped house wondering if I should live with the dirt or buy another freaking mop.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Surprise 30th

Last weekend Paul and I headed over to Mark and Christi's new place in Roslindale. Christi knew we were coming but Mark had nooooo idea. We were heading over for a surprise 30th birthday party.

On the way there we got stuck in lots of traffic. Little did we know our directions would take us right past Fenway park just as the game was about to start. As far as traffic jams go, this one wasn't so terrible.

We had these nice views to look at:

Christi did a great job getting Mark's friends and family there without him suspecting a thing. It was one of those "SURPRISE!!" kind of surprise parties. Mark was a good sport. It probably helped that the decoy that was used to get him out of the house included a few drinks at the bar!

Psychedelic Fall

There is a tree that I pass by on my dog walking route that has amazing fall leaves.

Does anyone have any idea what kind of tree these leaves are from?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Flip flops, pillow or security blanket?

Jack is a fairly intense little dude. There are probably some good reasons for it, though. I've had him for 5 years but before that he lived through over 4 years of unstable and questionable living situations. Who knows what he went through before those puppy dog eyes lured me into taking him home?!

I suspect that, because of his uncertain past, he has some abandonment issues that have lingered during the past 5 years of relative stability with me. Inside his little doggy brain, I am sure he thinks, "Is she going to ditch me?"

I recently noticed that Jack has been laying on my shoes when I take them off. I've asked myself: does he just think they make for a comfortable pillow or is he thinking that as long as he is on my shoes it is unlikely that I will be able to leave without him?

Time to Get Started

Christmas is not too far away so over the past weekend, I got to thinking about gift giving.

The first thing I decided on were nesting felted boxes for my dad. I am using the pattern from the Mason Dixon Knitting book.

Well. That's it. That's probably all I'll be able to post about gift knitting until after the gifts are given. The only person that I know who doesn't have internet access is my dad, so his is the only project I can put up here without spoiling the surprise.

Rest assured, there will be lots of behind the scenes knitting in the next few months.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...