Knit 2 Par 3

Monday, July 30, 2007

Beets Me

I had the good sense to take a bunch of Mondays off from work this summer. I usually save up vacation time for full weeks that coincide with school vacations, but I needed a little break in the routine this year.

Overall, with the exception of a few crap days a year, I enjoy working. My job is not exciting but I am good at it and I make a living. I decided that on these vacation days I wouldn't just catch up on cleaning and laundry and food shopping but that I would try to make some fun for myself, or devote some day light hours to thinking about knitting in a different way.

I started the morning by putting an Imperious Curse on my husband to keep him home from work too so that I could have someone to discuss every wrong theory I had as I finished up that Harry Potter book. Surely you have all read it by now if you are going to read it, so I ask you: if given the chance, wouldn't you have wanted to knit some Slytherin socks for Severus Snape? If he went to my high school, well, things would have been different.

After I finished the book, I caught up on the cleaning and laundry and did the food shopping.

At Whole Paycheck, I bought some very pretty red and yellow beets. Again. This summer is all about beets for some reason. Instead of eating them, though, I boiled them up in separate pots, then boiled down the liquid until there was about a cup of each, and I dyed some undyed merino boucle and silk that I got in the Habu Textiles bargain bin (true: you need to literally stuff yourself into a crawl space to get at it, but there is a bargain bin at Habu Textiles).

Surprisingly the yellow beets gave a much richer color than the red beets. I did try something new for me, and set the dye by steaming the yarn in my microwave using the best thing I ever bought. After it dries, I plan to spin it together and...and...and... hide it in the stash box...

Tomorrow I'll put the Crucatious Curse on my guy until he agrees to take some pictures of all this knitting that is piling up in this house.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Knitting from a simpler, weirder time

The yarn store we went to on Saturday had a faboo selection of vintage knitting books, including some that I have here in my own collection that looked so much groovier on their coffee table than in my bookshelf.

I am using that Microrevolt Knit Pro to make some patterns for these things:

I know with the socks I will have to do the pattern on two needles, then seam it up the back and continue on DPs. It will also be fun to mix and match the motifs - left sock golf, right sock drinking.

Monday, July 23, 2007

By the Time We Got To Woodstock

We took our hard working selves out for some much needed laziness this weekend.

First on the agenda was a stop at Woodstock Wool Company - you guessed it, Woodstock. I bought this beautiful alpaca and it is a shame that Feel-O-Vision hasn't been invented for the internet because it is wonderfully soft and not the tiniest bit itchy.

This was a great store. It was one of the few yarn stores I've been in where I didn't need to look for the exit signs because of the hellish fire trap stock layout. Their store line was pretty, varied and generously priced: I'll be whipping up my alpaca sweater for less than $60. It also had a great couch on which the menfolks reclined, leaving me to browse to my heart's content:

They also had a very thorough and satisfying selection of at least three lines of Brown Sheep (bulky, regular, and that nice cotton merino blend). Their sale section was also pretty interesting and I was glad to see all the ill considered eyelash yarn priced to move.

I needed those "five pretty buttons" for the EZ Baby Surprise sweater, and although I didn't find them there, their button department was as pretty as a display of fancy chocolates.

We didn't spend all our time at the yarn store, and neither should you! We went for a walk at the
Tannersville Arboretum and thought we saw our house in the distance.

And we visited the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary which was enjoyable even for a teen ager (although she still ordered a bacon topped hamburger at dinner in spite of meeting some it's relatives at the farm).

But the very best part of a very nice weekend was me, here, this.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Billion Dollar Course Opened in My Neighborhood and All I Got Was This Lousy Mini Golf Course

The eagerly anticipated Bayonne Mini Golf course has opened!

This is a thoughtful gift indeed from the elected officials of Hudson County. I guess they figured that Hudson County residents don't need a well kept public golf course like everyone else in the Garden State, because they either could afford to join this place, or perhaps land a caddy job at this place.

Editorial comments aside, I'm pretty excited about it. While the other two local courses may have helicopter service from NYC to the course, Brendan drives real fast so we could probably get there real quick. And they have four picnic tables.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Knitting and Golf Save the Day

Today was a pretty crappy day at work, possibly one of the ten worst, and a) I work at a weird and difficult place and b) I have a job most people find weird and difficult, so believe me when I tell you today was one of the top ten crappy days of all time.

So I was glad to come home to a nice glass of the cheapest possible red wine from the liquor store, just a few more rows on my Ribbi Shell, and the opportunity to offer both knitting and golf advice.

The Ribbi Shell is now an official FO, and it is a gift to me. I hope to have a few pictures this weekend, particularly of the very fine detail in the V neck decreases and the overall excellent fit thanks to a few well placed va va va voom short rows for the bust shaping. Too bad I used a cashmere blend and will probably only be able to wear this when it is 10 degrees below zero because what this project really should be called is Winter Undershirt and not Ribbi Shell.

I gave knitting advice to a few people tonight, variations on the theme of "frog it, and do it again" type advice. One brave soul may opt for cutting off the offending part, and if she does, I will devote a whole post to her brave act.

And golf advice? If you are getting new clubs for the first time, as is one reader, use your knitting needles as a gauge. If you mostly knit with a few sizes, then I'd go with the Ping iron set and you can add in as you need. If you are a big Addi Turbo fan, I'd go with the Taylor Made since they look nice, like Addi Turbos, and they seem very durable. If you are like me, a Denise Interchangeable fan, I say get a big old set of Cleveland or Wilson clubs because like the Denise Needles - they are all there when you need'em.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Grand Master Stash

Well, we went to see the Harry Potter movie today and I was totally overwhelmed by the hand knitting throughout the movie. Most of it was probably supposed to have been done by Mrs. Weasley and virtually all of it is clearly stash and scrap knitting. Particularly:

  • Christmas scarves - all garter stitch with fringe on the sides.
  • Ron's Christmas vest - hideous, dontcha think?
  • Patchwork garter stitch blanket on Harry's bed in one of the last scenes
  • Hermoine's matching hat and scarf set.
  • Luna Lovegood's crocheted sweater and skinny scarf

I am looking at my stash chest with great affection.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Nomi Knit-A-Long

For every knitting blog I read today, I found a new KAL. Here's a whole calendar of them, something for everyone.

For you golfers, a KAL (Knit A Long) can be a project where a group of knitters are all working on the same pattern at the same time for a time limited period. You can use a blog or site to post pictures of your work and talk about your progress or lack thereof.

Some KALs revolve around watching a weekly TV show, maybe like this one, and knitting during the show and blogging about it afterwards.

I've been catching up on some movies have recorded and tonight I watched The Nomi Song while working feverishly towards the armhole decreases on my Ribbi Tank. And I thought: bet there isn't a Klaus Nomi KAL going on right now, and there should be.

So get out your current project and click here.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Ancient Artifacts

Many thanks to my sister Mrs. Sacco for providing me with proof of my youthful knitting, left. This must have been in 1971 or so and I was still deep into Granny Squares.

I remember buying this yarn at the Yarn Store on 10th and Bloomfield in Hoboken. It was a very bright white Red Heart acrylic and the shawl took two skeins which set me back about $1.50. I also bought a red size J crochet hook that day, which I still use.

Here's the pattern: Chain 1 and turn. In the single chain, double crochet 3, chain 2, and double crochet 3 again. This makes a point. Chain 2, turn and do 2 double crochet in between the first and second crochet, chain one, make a point at the point, chain one, then 3 double crochet in the space between the last two DC.

Chain 2, turn. 2DC in between the first and second DC, Chain 1, then 3 DC in the gap created by the chain in the prior row, ch1, make a point, 3 DC in the gap, ch1, then three in the space between the last two. Repeat this row until it is long enough to provide shelter for a little first holy communion girl.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Really Old Spice

Lots of excitement in our house these days anticipating the re-united Spice Girls tour!

No this is not a joke. We enjoyed a great double feature tonight: The Beatles Hard Day's Night and Spice World. If you can overlook the fact that one is a cinema classic and one is crap, you will see they are the same movie.

And even though you have to dig down deep, Spice World has both Knitting and Golf.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Take Me Out

We saw amateur golfer Derek Jeter doing his day job last night; I bet over the past few weeks he wished he was playing golf instead of baseball, let me tell you.

Astoundingly, the Yankees won last night. I couldn't help but wish as I went through the full body cavity search security at the stadium that it would be great if I could bring my knitting to the games especially to get over these long stretches of loosing. There is this promotion going on in some stadiums, but the danger at a Yankee game would be that you might poke out your own eyes after A-Rod strikes out.

I enjoy looking at Jeter in his form fitting uniform out there in the field, but last night I only had eyes for this guy sitting in front of me:

This was one aggressive tattoo. I would periodically pretend to be getting something under my seat for the bag full of our favorite exquisite swiss biscuits so I could get real close to it. It was shaded so that it looked like was nailed into his head with little carpet tacks.

As I think about it now, it might have been drawn on his head with a Sharpie but it was very bold.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Single Life

Don't get me wrong, I love my family. But they went away this weekend, and I've been living the single life to the very fullest.

First of all, I went out to dinner every night. I've never been shy about eating at a restaurant by myself, probably due to my job during the 1980's which required me to travel a lot to places like this. Now I like to stay in my neighborhood, in fact I mostly like to stay on my block, so I was limited to the same three places we always go, but it was fun to go by myself.

I also watched the women's US Open and was sorry to see Lorena Ochoa loose her tie for the lead so late in the game. I did think Se Re Pak's ensemble , designed by her sister, was fabulous; I couldn't carry it off on the course, but I though maybe Nancy could. As a parent, I was sorry to see that Michele Wie couldn't complete the game due to a booboo wrist: if that was my kid, I'd let her finish high school let her play later; she has the same kind of injury that sidelines knitters, forget about golfers.

Here is what else I did during these solitary 56 hours:

  • I got a big stick and stirred up the compost.
  • I organized my closet and put together 15 outfits for work.
  • I sang along to Patti Smith songs, I think she would think I did a good job. Particularly on this song.
  • Also I played this song more than would be welcome. A few months ago I saw Richard Hell on the cross town bus, and I gave him a big wink. I bet it was a thrill for him, getting a big wink from a middle aged woman on the cross town bus.
  • I went to see this movie with Lou Lou.
  • I worked on the Ribbi Tank.
  • I watched this Jerry Lewis I had TIVO'd.