Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pre-Festivalling aka a Hike on Burger Hill

Want to know what is wonderful? A trip to the NY Sheep and Wool Festival with my mom during peak foliage season. That is what is wonderful.

In October my mom came to visit for a week and a half, joined by my dad for the half. This will be the highlight of my year. My mom flew in, got to see my apartment, and then we took the train upstate for a fall trip. We went up a day before the festival started so we went for a hike on a place called Burger Hill. This is the highest hill in Rhinebeck and it looks out for miles and miles, over cute New England houses, red, orange and yellow trees, and purple mountains at the horizon. The hill itself is kind of funny, there is about 1 tree and a few stark stone benches, making the hill itself look minimalist like a Hopper painting.

Check out these insane clouds. And a shout-out to my camera for actually capturing them!

Finally, a different topic.

The past three months have been consumed by politics, as I am sure my readers know. I spent many many nights watching hours and hours of news. Because I cannot just sit and watch without doing something with my hands, I was left with ample time to knit away the political anxiety, which by the way, is all gone, replaced with giddy happiness and hope. The #1 project on the needles was my Rhinebeck scarf. I had purchased this gorgeous wool and mohair from a company called Decadent Fibers from Rhinebeck last year. It was a wonderful fall mix of deep oranges, reds and purple. I only had one skein which was too small to do anything with so it sat on my shelves. Later this year I had purchased a purpley skein from Wool Girl to be used in a Christmas scarf with a skeins of red and green. One day I was "cleaning", used in parenthesis because cleaning for me usually means playing with my yarn and reorganizing it, and I happened to put the purple and fall skein next to each other and it was like magic. They were meant to be together even though I would never put them together normally. I finally figures out what I was going to where as my knit piece to Rhinebeck this year. Here are the results.

All pictures were taken in Central Park by my mom and I after a wonderful trip to Zabars. More on that visit next time.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Veronica Mars Scarf

Veronica Mars wears a surprising number of scarves for living in Southern California. When I was going through my obsession with Veronica Mars I was inspired to knit the scarf she wears in Season 1, episode "Meet John Smith." Mostly I just really love pink and green. This scarf is knit in the round and out of Karabella Aurora 8. I love Aurora 8, it is extremely soft and very bouncy. This will go perfectly with the obscene amount of pink shirts I wear. It will also be the warmest scarf I own.

I have been spending this Sunday adding fringe and finishing touches to a bunch of projects. It is my least favorite part of any projects since it seems to take an inordinantly long amount of time. I have a bit of a cold this weekend, which actually bodes well for all chores I normally find tedious. When I am loopy with a cold, I always end up cleaning.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Glam Rock Ravenclaw

So way back, right before the release of the final Harry Potter book I started knitting this so I would have something to do while waiting in the very long line at the scholastic book release party. Sadly I lost one of my needles down the subway grate I was sitting on about 30 minutes into waiting. It is the first in a whole series of future HP scarves, because who can resist making a Harry Potter scarf when you read the books.

If a Ravenclaw were to party, it would be in this scarf
Glam Ravenclaw

The formula was simple:
3 skeins of Karabella Stardust in Copper
1 skein of Karabella Piuma Gold in Blue

Size 8 needles

Cast on 24 stitches
Knit the entire thing in 1x1 rib. (k1, p1)

12 rows of copper
4 rows of blue

Repeat until desired length

Finish with 12 rows of copper.

(optional) add fringe, braid or leave it plain. If you choose to add the Stardust as fringe you must knot the end of each strand to avoid some nasty unraveling.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Air Conditioning and Summer SAD

Apparently less than 1% of the population suffers from Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder but I would swear that I am one of them. In theory summer is nice. I have daydreams about cool breezes, iced tea, watermelon, cool cotton fabrics, twilight, green grass, adirondack chairs, ect. My reality is smelly stagnant NY air, clothes that stick to my skin and turn dark with sweat and hot dirty sidewalks. I don't recall hating summer this much in CO, but as soon as the temperature hits 80 degrees in NY I retreat to my apartment, Barnes and Noble or the movies. I always get a mad case of the anywhere but New York when it gets warm. I daydream about going anywhere with fewer people, a slower pace, more open space, and a lower cost of living. Everyday I check out a different location of the Metro North or Jet Blue that is close by enough to go for the weekend, or I check Craigslist for apartments in Maine, Rhode Island, or upstate NY. The things (or people) that I find intolerable become even more so and I end up avoiding everyone while I get crazy crafty at home and watch movies about winter, Christmas or Canada.

This weekend was the Annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade. I went last year. It is a cute idea and kind of fun. It is also not nearly as nasty (temperature wise) as the rest of the city since it is so close to the ocean, but it is still crammed full of pushy people and the subway ride is ridiculously long with very little hope of getting a seat. For those reasons I decided this year to stay in the comfort of my air conditioning while I designed and knit a mitten, spun yarn, and watched Little Women, Hairspray, and Anne of Green Gables. The pictures are of the only thing I finished this weekend.

I have named the yarn "Swimming Pool" and it is a heavy laceweight. The skein is 533 yards.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Few of my favorite things

It has been a while. I am a slacker blogger because I am not sure if anyone reads this. Anyway...

Yesterday I met Julie Andrews at a book signing for her new book Home: A Memoir of My Early Years. I was one of 150 people who got our books signed at the Union Square Barnes and Noble. She spoke with each and every person in the line, even though she was unable to personalize the books. Unfortunately I am a big spaz at book signings. I never know what to say, and most of the time say something silly or awkward, and this time was no exception. Julie Andrews was only #1 on my list of people I would want to meet so I was shaking like crazy and stuttering over my words. Hopefully she saw so many people she will forget, but I will always have the memory of her speaking directly to me in that legendary voice and that is what is really important. I did manage to say a few nice things about how much her movies mean to me and my family and got a book for my sister signed, a surprise late birthday present for her.

April appears to be family month. I saw my Aunt from California for the first time in years last night, in town for a spanish wine event. My grandmother is visiting at the month for a doll event. In preparation for her visit I got a new sofa and a new bed. YAY!!! My apartment is looking like a real home rather than a glorified dorm room. The sofa is my new favorite thing, bright red, bouncy, cushy, and huge.

My craftiness is totally genetic passed down from my grandmothers and mom. My grandmother on my mom's side owns half a doll shop and has been making porcelain dolls for years. She pours the molds, fires them in her kiln, makes the clothes, paints the faces, everything. My grandmother on my father's side was a prolific textile crafter. She liked to spin, knit, crochet and sew. She recently passed away and I went to Florida to spend some time with my dad and grandfather and learned some of the extent of her crafting. Her spinning wheel is now residing in Brooklyn with me. Although the reason for th trip was sad, the trip itself was very rewarding. It is a treat to see my dad more than once a year. My grandfather is very fun. He taught me all about oranges and tangerines which he grows in his yard. He juices and freezes enough orange juice to have it all year, and let me tell you, it is amazing. I hate orange juice normally, but fresh squeezed is so sweet and tastes like soccer practice, green grass and afternoon showers. My dad and I ate tangerines right off the tree in the front yard and I always say, I don't like a lot of fruit unless I am eating it outside with my dad. Cherries can only be eaten with my dad on the back porch.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Because I don't have enough hobbies...

I have started spinning yarn. Ravelry has led me down the rabbit hole of ridiculously addictive fiber arts. There is this one designer Brooklyntweed, who not only makes amazing knit designs but spins yarn, that normally I wouldn't like because the colors are brown or tan, but because he takes AMAZING pictures of it I have this insane desire to also spin yarn. I told this to a few people at work and found out the Y spins with a drop spindle and agreed to teach me before I went completely off the deep end buying supplies whithout knowing whether or not I enjoyed it. Well, I did enjoy it. So now I am the proud owner of not just one but TWO Kundert drop spindles and the babysitter/stepmother of J's Louet S10 spinning wheel.I have already spun up 4 ounces of gold Merino into a light fingering weight on one of the drop spindles. Here are some pictures of it.

The roving and spindles came from The Yarn Tree in Brooklyn.

This next batch has not gotten much further than what you see here but it is Louet Northern Lights Pencil Roving in "Popsicle" colorway. I got it from the Copper Moose website.