Knit 2 Par 3

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Girl is Red (Carpet) Hot

We got invited to the premier of this movie at the Tribeca Film Festival last night and because the temperature was 175 degrees at 10:00 pm, I could persuade none of the family members to wear any of the recently knitted garments as they walked down the red carpet.

I had dreams of one of those fashion pundits stopping Emily and saying: "Is that the Springtime Bandit Scarf that our President so admired?" or perhaps to John: "Those sure are lovely Monkey Socks you are wearing with those sandals, and such a fine gauge too" or even more exciting, a whole load of reporters yelling: "Denise! Denise! What's on the needles now?"

Here's a picture of the Divine Miss Em after her red carpet stroll.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Perfect Weather for Knitting

Nothing like weird tropical weather to motivate me to get out the wooly stuff for pictures.

We went for a walk down by our urban beach, but I am pretty sure you can get impetigo from the sand, so I just admired the view.

Here are the finished Climbing Lace Socks, all done up in that new Cascade Sock Yarn: they look great with sandals.

And you should never go out in the sun without a hat, especially if it is this nice Springtime In Philadelphia hat:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Needles on Fire

First, right off: how happy do you think I was to find out that Margaret Hamilton could knit? As if it wasn't enough that she could command winged monkeys, and make great coffee, but here she is, knitting.

I feel sorry, though, that Magic Loop knitting probably wasn't invented then, because her knitting - indeed, her life - would be so much more exciting if she could ditch those straights. Since my big conversion a few weeks ago not only has my ability to work complicated patterns in teeny tiny gauge increased, but I've been churning out projects faster than you can say ssk yo psso.

And where are the pictures? I did finish both socks for the Climbing Lace Socks in one short week, and Emily has already worn them and threw them in the laundry basket, perhaps never to be seen again. I also finished up a chunky version of the beautiful Springtime Bandit using some Noro Taiyo and size 10 needles, which I wrapped up for a present, so you won't get to see that either.

I am halfway done with another Springtime project, this one using double strands of Malabrigo Lace and the HiyaHiya needles I got at Knitty City. This yarn is spectacular in both color and hand, and I wish you could put your face up to the computer because I'd rub it on your cheek. The pattern is so well written it's a fast and fun knit even though it looks fancy.

And if this isn't enough knitting for one post, I've also casted on these socks . I tell you, this magic loop Lights Up My Life.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Proof of Spring

We went to see the cherry blossoms in Newark on what apparently will be the Single Day of Spring. You could pretend you were in Japan even though you were in Branch Brook Park.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In Honor of the Day

I'll never be Mrs. Joey Ramone, but guess who I turned out to be?

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Right Tools for the Job

I took some extra time at lunch on the one sunny day we had last week to pay a visit to Knitty City. Pretty Pretty Knitty City! I think this place is a tie with Knitting Nation for best color sense, but I don't think you can beat the friendly vibe anywhere.

They were so friendly that while I went in with a mind to purchase a pair of needles, I came out with the needles and yarn yarn yarn. Most of it I hid in my yarn-lined fall out shelter but I had them wind up some of that new Cascade Sock yarn and casted on Climbing Lace Socks (Rav Link) right on the traffic median by 72nd and Broadway, a place that is best known as the junkie hangout in the movie Panic in Needle Park:

I was sort of in a panic, being late for a meeting uptown, but there's no stopping the urge to cast on.

I had purchased a pair of Hiya! Hiya! needles because really, who could resist needles with that name? They are a very lightweight aluminum with a good flexible cord and super pointy ends. I'd say they are about half the weight of Addi-Turbos and a good small gauge alternative for Denise Needle fans. Mine cost $8.50, making them about half the price of Addis too. I had long wanted to make those Climbing branch socks but I was undone every time by those size 1 dpns.

On the golf side, I spent a whole lotta time looking for the Hello Kitty putter I saw here. If those Hiyas helped with my socks life, imagine what this could do for my game?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Joey Ramone

April is the cruelest month, for a lot of reasons: sometimes you get freakish snowstorms; its generally not warm enough to play golf, and even worse, you often get sucked into buying cotton yarn, thinking you will make something to wear for the summer. Finally, it's the cruelest month because April 15th is the 8th year anniversary of Joey Ramone's untimely death.

I'd seen the Ramones a couple of times, but they were on stage and I was in the crowd. Last century, Brendan got them to autograph the nice bowling statue you see on the left. Since he is the only person I know who ever had any kind of interaction with them, I interviewed him for this blog post.

Me: How did you get this thing autographed?

Brendan: The Ramones made an appearance at my local record store and I brought them a
poster, and this trophy, and had them sign it.

Me: Did you talk much with them while they were signing it?

Brendan: They were men of few words.

Me: Did Joey Ramone ask about me?

Brendan: I did not know you then.

Me: Yes, but I'm just asking. Did he say anything about how he felt about me? Did he want to know how to get in touch with me?

Brendan: This is my subway stop. Have a nice day.

Okay, well, in the early 80's I guess Joey Ramone was swept up in the glamour of record store signings and such. Sadly, he never lived to forge a cheesy career singing in lounges in Atlantic City, but at least the trophy remains.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Knitting Liberation

Over the past year or so, many of the gals in the knitting group have migrated from dpns to The Magic Loop technique for making socks. I was just about ready to give up on any sock project that required smaller than a size 5 needle because I kept poking myself with both ends of the double points when I had to bring the work up real close to my middle aged eyes.

What a drag it is getting old, said a very old man.

I resisted moving to the magic loop mostly because "Magic Loop" sounds like a brand name for an IUD. I imagined myself saying to Alison (highly skilled with magic loopiness) one night at knitting: "So, Alison, for health reasons I think I'd like to try the magic loop, but I am worried that it will kill my sock buzz before I get used to it".

I imagine then that Alison, a practical and direct kind of woman, would say: "It's important to take charge of your knitting health! And in the spirit of knitters doing it for themselves, I can teach you or you can go to this website and learn how."

Since it was later in the evening when I imagined all this, Iwent right to that website and with relatively little effort taught myself magic loop, and I am never going back. If you think you are too much of a spaz for this technique, I urge you to give it a try and you will be delighted and liberated from the tyrany of the little sticks.

Okay about the picture: I was looking for something that might seem like two women talking about the Miracle of the Magic Loop, and I came across this one.

I don't know what the one with the machine in her hand is doing. And I will not find out.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Apocalypse Yarn Store

I wonder if you know this about me: I really enjoy stories about civilization on Earth after the end of the world. Not the Big Science kind of civilization, but a Jalopy World of reusable parts and clever tinkering.

Before this last election, I used to spend a lot of lunch hours talking with a man who worked down the hall from me about what kind of work we would do once Sarah Palin was president and the apocalypse came for real. He had run an organic farm in the 70's, and he was stockpiling seeds in his Manhattan apartment for the day he had to turn Central Park into a giant cooperative farm. I, of course, was packing in a heady yarn stash worthy of the end of the world. I imagined loading it all up into our Dodge Vegomatic and heading to Maine, where I would barter clothing made from stash and scraps while John tinkered with dozens of ancient PCs to keep The Google alive.

So I was pretty thrilled to watch City of Ember last night. Not only did it have an entire civilization tinkering as fast as they could on the brink of disaster but it featured a yarn store. And you could really tell it was the end of the world, looking in that yarn store: stash unraveled everywhere and yarn hanging from the rafters. The scenes in the yarn store are brief, but harrowing, including a closet stuffed with UFOs ("unfinished objects" for you golfers) and a baby stuffing what looks like half a skein of acrylic yarn into her mouth.

On the other hand, everyone in the place is wearing handknits with great steampunk styling. There are several beautiful scrap yarn quilts like the one I finished up for Emily this year:

I'd add this to the list of good knitting movies, even though nobody actually knits during it. It is suitable for excitement loving seven year olds and even teenagers almost comatose with ennui. And knitters.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Bandit Up Close and Personal

A little lacey eye-candy for you Brooks Farm lovin' knitters.