Thursday, December 30, 2010

I May Never Get Back to NY at This Rate!!!

On Monday my flight was cancelled because NY was blizzarding. Today my rescheduled flight was cancelled because CO is blizzarding. I am not sure I will ever make it back to NY at this rate. Anyway, because I am still on vacation and being silly, here are some pics to illustrate my feelings about the weather messing with my plans. Yes, those are my Christmas pajama bottoms.

All this fell in 2 hours.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas, better late than never

Here I am with an extra few days to my vacation thanks to the blizzard that hit NY canceling all flights for a bit. On the one hand, I really need to get back to work because of rent and what not, but on the other I am sooooo happy so spend just a few more days in the happy home-home bubble with my family.

The air in CO could not be better for me right now. This fall I have been suffering from horrible asthma, thank you crappy NY air. The oxygen in CO may be thin, but the lack of pollution is positively magical. Just check out what the trees and sky looked like a couple days ago.

In NY I have an amazing view from my train stop every evening of the NY skyline. It always changes, it is always gorgeous. In CO I've got the sky and the mountains. This is a picture of the colors of the sky on our early morning Christmas Eve run to the German bakery. (no worries, that is steam, not smoke in the foreground)

Although you wouldn't know it by my blog activity I have been a busy busy knitter this fall. I had the amazing opportunity to pattern and knit a hat for Santa's casual look in Elf the Musical on Broadway. There were also a couple cuffs and leg warmers, but the hat was the big deal, to me at least. Unfortunately the knit part of the hat cannot be seen in any of the publicity pictures. You can imagine a cute design with reindeer and stars if you want the full effect. The picture is taken from the taken by Joan Marcus

I have also been working on two new designs, that were also Christmas gifts. I have to write up the patterns still but they should be out soon. This is a preview of one of the patterns in two different styles.

Finally here is a CO deer who is far to willing to come near humans, saying Hello.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NY Sheep and Wool 2010!

This weekend marked my favorite time of year, that wonderful peak fall weekend at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, the NY Sheep and Wool Festival affectionately known as RHINEBECK!!!!!!!!! This was my 4th year and it never ceases to be my favorite place on the planet. I headed up with Leila and Nana. Since Leila now lives upstate we drove from her place and skipped the expense of the hotel. Luckily these two know that I am a bit of a loner, I like to run around completely on my own at a breakneck speed catching everything twice. I am also a major magpie, if it sparkles or it's really really bright, I must look at it. I have learned though, that there are a few booths, well one, that has both those things (sparkly and bright) but is seriously expensive so I have trained myself to skip it. Judging from what L and N purchased and the pictures everyone in the Rhinebeck Ravelry group are posting, my color choices seem to be on a different planet so wandering by myself seems to be best.

So this is the stage the trees were at. This is half the reason NY Sheep and Wool is so awesome, seasonal timing. I can revel in the fall colors I dreamed about in CO where the fall colors are yellow and brown. This is what Fall is supposed to look like.

The very best part of Rhinebeck this year happened at the Saguine Gryphon booth. They were a last minute addition to the vendor list after someone else backed out. So last minute that they were not in the guide and their booth was in the farthest back corner it could possibly be in. None of this stopped it from having a line and excitement rivaling Socks That Rock, maybe even more so which is a massive accomplishment. I wanted to introduce myself as the Gotham Skies girl but I could not get within 10 feet of Gryphon and Sarah (manning the register dressed in full steam punk regalia). I did manage to squeeze in and get this shot of my socks, on display with the rest of the steampunk collection.

I stopped by every 2 hours or so to see if it looked calm enough to introduce myself and did not get a chance till 4:30 in the afternoon when Gryphon has stepped away from the booth for a breather. Now, here is when the moment happens to make my day. After introducing myself I am finally able to reach the yarn, pick out two skeins and get in line. Then I notice the woman in front of me is buying my pattern!!! We all get to the register, she is told that the designer is standing behind her and asks me to sign the pattern for her! Unfortunately I was not expecting that and after a long day of fiber overload I could not think of a single note to write so I just signed my name. Considering I feel stressed out thinking of what to say when other people are signing books for me, it is not really a surprise that I could not think of a note to write when signing a pattern for someone else. But to the person who made Rhinebeck really special for me this year I thank you!

Anyway, here is a pic of the haul in all it's day-glow glory!

From the top left corner:
Top Row: The Saguine Gryphon, Socks That Rock, Creatively Dyed
Middle Row: I can't remember the name of the farm but gosh that purple and gold is pretty!, under that is Loop's sparkly alpaca roving tan with light purpley sparkle, to the right is Fiber Optic Yarns, Brooks Farm
Bottom: The Alpaca guy (not the companies name but what I know him as.

Next year I'm hoping I will be attending with my mom.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

OMG Chilies

NY can cater to almost any food craving. Sadly if falls woefully short in one very important, vital to my existence, area. Green Chili. When you have spent summers in Santa Fe with it's green chili cheeseburgers, green chili cheese bread, green chili breakfast burritos, green chili on and in anything it can possibly be in, it is difficult to just give up on the habit. A couple weeks ago a there was a NY Times article about going to great lengths to bring home regional food. One guy in DC talked about using his mother as a green chili mule, freezing them in little ziplocs and bringing them on the plain. Up until this year that has been my preferred method of smuggling the green chilies to NY. This year, I'm going bigger.

Yes, I hauled that 25+ pound bag of roasted green chilies all over the Jack Daniels Chili festival (the website may say Loaf and Jug instead of Jack Daniels but that is way less cool). These puppies are going in a styrofoam bog and being overnight to their new happy home in NYC.

The green chili shortbread I picked up probably won't make it past the airplane ride, they are a little addictive.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gotham Skies

I am blogging from my home-home in Colorado today. My flight was eventful and included being delayed because of Air Force One, a massive storm, and really bad turbulence. The important thing though is that I am home and not in NY. Yay for a much needed break.

Besides coming home and the fall tv season premieres, this week marks the fall pattern release from The Sanguine Gryphon. A steampunk themed collection which includes a sock pattern I designed!!

I give you Gotham Skies!

Pictures are from The Sanguine Gryphon taken by photographer Kris Northrup.

The collection is here.

My pattern is here.

I want to thank The Sanguine Gryphon for including my pattern, and I would like to thank Stephannie for editing and teaching me quit a bit while doing so.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hocus Pocus!

I am so excited to present to you my newest pattern(s) Hocus Pocus: A Halloween Cowl and Bag! This design started by accident. I was attempting to chart the pattern of a sweater seen in a picture from one of our historical fashion books at work and rather than look like the very swedish design in the picture it started looking like an owl. I decided to just roll with it and what developed was this Halloween pattern.

My favorite thing about August is you can start ignoring the fact that it is still summer and begin to collect the halloween magazines and catalogues that seem to come earlier and earlier every year. This year rather than just read the Halloween Martha Stewart Special, I put my hands to work creating a little Halloween so I could share it with all of you.

Purchase pattern here:

$7.00 USD
The E-book includes both the pattern for the cowl and the Trick or Treat Bag. The cowl is fairly quick and easy, the bag requires a bit of finishing work including felting and stitching, so give yourself plenty of time to finish before Halloween.

My favorite thing about October besides Halloween (and my birthday, 30, there is no way I am that old!) is Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool festival! I know for sure I am bringing this bag so keep an eye out for it. My mom had suggested filling it with candy to hand out but I told her that I plan on stuffing it with yarn. Besides, unless you handing out Artichokes French or Maple Cotton Candy, the Rhinebeck crowd probably won't be interested. Speaking of Rhinebeck, Leila and I went to the Dutchess County Fair last weekend. I will post the pics of chickens with hats, and carnival games soon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Strands: A Cowl

So here is a quick and easy cowl I worked up over this summer. I am calling it Strands. The columns of circles remind me of strands of beads.

The pattern is very quick and easy. The product is very cozy.

The ruffle at the bottom flares out around your neck providing excellent coverage preventing any wind, snow, or rain from sneaking it's way in under the collar of your coat and surprising you. I know it is a bit silly to even talk about snow in the muggy August heat but hey, a girl can dream about winter.

To purchase the pattern go here:

$4.00 USD

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Knitting Through a Heat Wave

The view from Madison Square Park

It has been hot hot hot this month. Thankfully it cooled down this weekend making it possible for me to sit here and spend some time in my computer room (cooled only by a fan). The only thing I can think of to do in extreme heat is knit and go to the movies. It may sound counter intuitive to play with wool when we are breaking heat records here but it is an activity that requires very little exertion so there we have it.

At the request of my mom I knit a new version of Pollen and Bubbles with a wide brim and a shorter body out of some Madelinetosh DK. I have added the instructions to the original pattern for sale through Ravelry.

I have also been working on a super secret pattern for Sanguine Gryphon. I can't tell you much about it yet, you will have to wait for fall. What I can tell you is that, OMG Gryphon's yarn is gorgeous. It's my first time working with it and certainly won't be my last. The colors are so rich. When I opened up the package of yarn at the office my coworkers all stopped dead in front of my desk to look at it, and I work in a costume shop, we get pretty stuff in there.

Now a gratuitous picture of Shake Shack, knitting (soon to be Sockhead Hat), and some Stieg Larsson.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bones X Stitch

My life is littered with random items from my time working at Pier One. I never intended on buying that much stuff when I worked there but when your job is to try and sell it to others, you end up selling it to yourself subconcsiosly. I cannot even tell you how many glasses or dishes ended up going to goodwill because I was never going to have those charming dinner parties I thought of having when I convinced myself to buy them.

Anyway, I have a ton of picture frames thanks to this compulsive shopping habit. I recently just finished this project that has been half done for roughly a year. Inspired by Day of the Dead stuff I made these cute little skeleton's for this Pier One frame.

For the free PDF of the skeleton patterns go here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Graduation at Hogwarts, Clinton, and a Cold

This last weekend I had the opportunity to get the heck out of New York and attend my little sister's graduation from Yale. I decided I would document this with a bullet point blog entry.
-Yale looks like Hogwarts. It may be a juvenile observation, but it really does. Throw in some professors and deans wearing funny robes and hats carrying ornate, old fashioned flags and props and it really does feel like your at that new Harry Potter amusement park.
-I got to see President Bill Clinton speak which was just incredible. Wicked smart that 42nd.
-I saw Aretha Franklin get an honorary degree.
-I saw the Secretary of Energy get an honorary degree.
-I failed to use my NY honed celebrity spotting skills on any of the celebrities who attended which makes me a little sad. I'm usually really good at that but I missed both Denzel Washington and Steven Spielberg who were both apparently there.
-No matter what SPF sunblock I use it seems to be an inevitability that I will get sunburned at graduation, thankfully though it was not a repeat of the Santa Fe lobster red burn of 04.
-After having suffered from really bad allergies all year, I was finally feeling a little better up until Saturday morning when I was getting on the New Haven bound Metro North when I came down with a cold.
-I had trouble regulating my voice since I could barely hear so there is a good chance that I spent a weekend yelling at my sister's friend's families and misinterpreting everything they said. Actually this is not really new since I am partially deaf, I only ever hear half of what people say anyway. Have you ever played that kid game, telephone, with a partially deaf person? The results are way more interesting when you do.
-Every road in Wallingford CT is named either Barnes or Main, or so it seems when you have no sense of direction and are driving around trying to find the super cute downtown area.
-Despite what I hoped, people will practically sit in your lap on a crowded Metro North train despite coughing up a storm and blowing through a box of kleenex.
-Those people are also the ones desperately trying to open novelty size screw top bottles of champagne to mix with their orange juice at 8:00AM on a Tuesday.

And on a completely unrelated note... As of last Friday I have been in NY for 5 years. I remember last year when I told myself, I should really try and be getting out of hear by 5. Yeah, that didn't happen so much.

Well I think that just about sums up my weekend. Happy Graduation season everyone.

See what I mean by Hogwarts? Either that or imagining Lyra Belacqua running around from roof to roof.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Industrial Skies

Otherwise known as my foray into steampunk. I've been digging the whole steampunk think for a while, I daresay since Back to the Future 3 when Doc comes back in that time traveling train. I can't really pull off the look though, it is awfully fussy for my roll out of bed and put on a T-shirt way of life. That does not mean that I don't cruise Etsy for all it's steampunk jewelry glory and love the artwork on various dystopian books. It was a steampunk theme week at book blog, The Book Smugglers that inspired me and after spending some time reading reviews and amazon wish-listing anything with a pretty cover, I decided to take that inspiration to graph paper and try to translate it to knitting. The result is this cowl I am calling Industrial Skies.

This cowl is knit on Size 4 needles with sport weight yarn. It requires about 250 yards of each color.

Interesting story about the antique gold colored yarn. I was down in Soho two days before leaving for Christmas and the H & M was having a one day 75% off sale on their scarves. The selection was boring but the yarn was awesome so I purchased a bunch of things for about $2.00 a piece and ripped them all out. That is where the gold yarn came from. It is equivalent to most shiny rayon tape novelty yarns like Karabella Glimmer. The gray yarn I used is Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport.

After taking a few pics at home against the white wall (the only place in my apartment that gets anywhere near enough sunlight), I didn't think it was the right atmosphere. So I enlisted J at work to grab "something like a blowtorch" and some goggles and meet me on the fire escape.

To purchase the pattern, Industrial Skies, follow this link:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pollen and Bubbles

I love it and I hate it. I love putting away winter coats and getting by with just a hoodie. I love that I actually see the sun at some point before and after work. I love that the Union Square green market starts to expand, and I love walking around for hours on the weekend getting veggies and bread, hitting up The Strand, and drinking Boba Tea. Unfortunately my hate overshadows all of these wonderful things because what I hate is pollen. My arch nemesis, the thief that robs my lungs of air and attacks my senses.

This year I am attempting something new. I have made an offering to the pollen gods. I designed a new hat and named it after the invisible beast that comes from the flowers and trees, in hopes that they will ease up on me and let me enjoy the outdoors.

Here is the hat I am calling Pollen and Bubbles. The pattern will be my first for sale on Ravelry. You can purchase it there or follow this link:

Luckily it was cool enough this weekend to put on my snow coat for a picture and not feel like my face was melting off.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hera Mountain Ridge Shawl Pattern!

Months ago after knitting up the Hera Mountain Ridge Shawl for the BSG Fleet Power Battle on Ravelry, which I have been sadly neglecting this new year, I thought what the heck I will just whip up the pattern since it was so easy to make!


The concept is super easy, writing out step by step instructions was a whole other matter. I just don't think that way. I can trace this problem back to Junior High where I would fail to write out all my "work" to math problems. Then skip ahead to college and my costume construction class when we were asked what we thought the next step was and I would raise my hand and give the 10th step ahead. Or just look at the blank or confused faces of my friends and coworkers when I have started talking about something seemingly unrelated to our conversation because I failed to communicate what thought process led me to connect the two topics. I tend to assume everyone's brain follows the same problem solving path mine does so I skip stuff in the middle. Then when I try to explain the stuff in the middle it seems overwhelmingly complicated.

Anyway, I got a message the other day asking about the pattern and since it was mostly written out, just sitting as an unpublished post in my blogger account, I thought I would dust it off, attempt to edit it and just publish it. So here is the link. I recommend reading it the entire way through before starting to see if you understand what I am describing. There is also a quick paragraph at the end summing up what I had written up if you are more of a big picture, figure out the details on your own kind of knitter like I am. Let me know if you find any errors or any typos.

Hera Mountain Ridge Shawl Pattern

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Mom Makes NY Shiny

A little over a month ago my mom came to visit me in NY. It was short visit planned to coincide with my little sister's visit to the UN for the Commission on the Status of Women. Yes you read that right, my little sister was participating in an event at the UN!!

This weekend with my mom was a very welcome visit. NY has not been keeping me very happy lately and I'm not sure how much longer I will stay here. NY offers so much, but if you don't like your everyday routine, then no amount of exploring Chinatown or really, really good hot chocolate is going to make you feel much better. Since a change is still a long ways off, taking a break from that crappy routine and running around the city with my mom made NY feel all shiny again if only for a weekend... and maybe a few weeks after when I make a good dinner with stuff she got me from Zabars or use the cute tea towels she got me from Fish's Eddy.

The day she was flying was the most stressful travel day I have had since the year my flight home for Christmas was cancelled and my sister and I headed to my apartment with heavy hearts only to be greeted by a mouse. My mom's flight was cancelled, rebooked, rerouted, and delayed. I sat watching this on 3 different websites, since no airlines or airport I have encountered, so far, manages to have a completely informative and comprehensive website on it's own, while the minutes crawled by and the weather got progressively worse by the second.

Finally when I got the word that she was on her way, I picked up dumplings and made my way home in some really god awful slush. I got a call while I was on my elevated subway while I was halfway across the Williamsburg Bridge from my landlord telling me that the ceiling was leaking in my apartment so bad it was leaking in the floor below.

stupid ceiling

I managed to keep my cool on the subway, find out that the ceiling was leaking in not just the same old place but three places around the guest sofa bed, ruining several paper projects and soaking a embroidered quilt in progress, and clear off the stairs of snow/slush before my mom's cab pulled up. Oh, and I also fielded calls asking for directions because I am just going to say it, most yellow cab drivers SUCK when it comes to Brooklyn, not all but most and it make me really angry.

After clearing out everyone who showed up and could not do anything till it was dry outside, My mom and I hunkered down for a dumpling dinner and the Olympics. We were cheering on Rachel Flatt who is apparently a neighbor back home and goes to my high school.

The rest of the weekend we hiked all over the city. Sometimes in shin deep snow, sometimes through shin deep puddles, from the Upper West Side to Wall Street. We hit up Zabars, Gray Lines Linen, Veselka, Fishs Eddy, The Strand, Ikea, and City Bakery to name a few.

Macy's in the Snow

My snowy neighborhood

My mom joked that she brought the magic subway luck with her because we never waited more than a minute for the right subway, an anomaly in NY in this day and age of outrageous subway route cuts and fare hikes. That was not the only luck she brought, for some reason we were given complimentary cookies at Rice in Dumbo and City Bakery. If you've ever had a chocolate chip cookie from City Bakery, or an ice cream cookie sandwich from Rice, you know this is a real treat. I could not be more thankful to these two places for making my mom feel so welcome!

The weekend felt too short but it was really fun. Here are just a few more pictures to give you a feel for our very snowy weekend.

Grand Central at Dusk

Ghandi in a Snowy Union Square

Hipster Snowmen in Union Square

Seeing the Empire Double

Lady Liberty from the Ikea WaterTaxi

The View from Pier 11

The Library Lion Disapproves of Your Shenanigans