Knit 2 Par 3

Monday, August 31, 2009

August 31st and All Finished Up

Here we are, back from vacation. Overall it was a great time, a little short on golf and a little long on clam chowder. I played only one game of golf but I ate chowder here, here and here. As someone pointed out to me today, Maine vacations seem to be all about where the next soup is coming from and that is exactly right.

Knitting Friend Jeanne declared August to be a good month for finishing up those unfinished objects and that seemed like a good idea to me. Why should April stand alone as the cruelest month? Self-declaration is good, it gives a person purpose. So I finished up quite a few things:

First, and foremost, I finished up the Poetry Mittens and boy do they look swell. As I was weaving in the many, many ends I realized that I had made some big leaps forward in knitting technique since casting them on which resulted in a much easier, faster knit for the second mitt, including:

  • Magic Loop replacing 5 dpns
  • Two handed strand knitting
  • Turkish cast on
  • A great big Gin and Tonic to facilitate weaving in loose ends, replacing the traditional red wine in a jelly glass

No picture yet, but as soon as I do I'll post them. Really, you'll swoon.

I do have a picture of this cute Grace Lace Beret that I finished up for Em just before she left for Maine at the beginning of August. I did not love this pattern while I was making it - it was a nice knit, fun and easy, but the colors pooled together in unappetizing clumps and the hat looked small. Once I blocked it, though, I loved it:

I also finished up that Mr. Greenjeans sweater for my sister. In any other month, I would have neglected this once I got to the sleeves, but in the spirit of UFO August, cruel months, etc. I forged on on through. Could not find a suitable button, though, so does this mean it's not an actual finished object?

I self declare it to be finished.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Okay About Those Onions

I knew I had reached vacation relaxation nirvana (or a serious drop in estrogen) when I saw some onions that were so beautiful they brought tears to my eyes.

A large part of the Maine vacation is the discussion of What To Eat Next. We spent a lot of time these past two weeks exploring the local farmer's markets where I came upon these spectacular onions. So round! So white! So perfectly oniony!

The side-by-side cukes and beans made me want to knit a striped scarf:

Root vegetables were like edible Noro Kuryeon:

I plan to make a hat in the colors of these cabbages, and call it "Cabbage Head":

See what I mean? I was swooning. There was some yarn at the market in Kennebunk, but I passed on it. It was alpaca, and while the colors were lovely and heathery, smelled and felt way too close to the animal for my tastes. And really no more yarn can come into this house until Rhinebeck in October. Really, no more.

None, I swear.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I started out to play golf a few times today but something put the kibosh on it every time: I got up too early to play (you don't want to know how early); weather, an urgent need for shoe shopping; a change in the weather; the lure of a big breakfast, and more weather.

We are having a lot of weather here over the past few days. You know what they say about the weather in New England: if you aren't happy with it, wait 15 minutes and it will be something else. I would have played if it had merely been as hot an humid as a Queens bound subway station, but there were little crackles of lightening all day, and no one wants to end the vacation as a science experiment in electricity on the golf course.

In between the running out into the street and staring up at the sky, Emily and I ran over to the beach to play in the unusually rough surf due to offshore hurricanes:

It helps if you click on this link while you look at this picture to really get the full experience.

Friday, August 21, 2009


We loaded up the car with knitting last week and headed up to Maine and I haven't looked back. Or looked up from my needles until today, the first cloudy day we've had all week.

Normally a sentence with "cloudy day" and "Maine" also includes the words "yet again" or "quick run to the store for wine" or "divorce". The little bit of beach fog means a break from beach knitting and a little bit of blogging.

It hasn't been all knitting and beach and boxes of wine. My sister Mrs. Sacco came up for a few days, her first trip ever to visit us on vacation. Why'd she wait so long? She stayed at this fancy schmancy hotel:

Through all the many years I've been coming here, we never even tried to sneak into the ladies rooms at this hotel. It cost about the same to stay here as it would cost to knit a men's sweater in cashmere, for one thing. I am pretty sure they don't put any paper umbrellas in the G&T's at cocktail hour either. They do have - of all things! - a teeny tiny putting green.

Here I am doing some private putting. Don't my arms look straight? Like a pendulum, no wimpy wrists I assure you:

As I write this I am shocked to realize that this is the only golf I've done so far. It's all about the knitting this vacation. What's on the needles, you may ask? In honor of UFO August, I am finishing up the Poetry Mittens I started a way long time ago on another visit to Maine. They require concentration and really good light and a comfy chair, and the time to ponder the the poem and person for whom they are being knitted. They were started in Maine, and they will be finished up in Maine, I hope.

I also casted on and got most of the way through a Mr. Greenjeans cardigan, for Mrs. Sacco. Not only is she apparently rich, she is the size of a 10 year old, so it's been a very quick knit. I just have one more sleeve to go, then the ribbing, and then a three year search for the one single button I need.

Before I left for Maine, I made a quick trip to Brooklyn General for no reason at all other than to see what they had going on there. I fell in love with 3 ply Morehouse Merino in a beautiful green color. I bought so much of it I got a little sick and sweaty when I saw it at home, but the color is divine and the heart wants what it wants, right? I brought it with me to Maine to see what it will turn into.

Well, sun is out and all the fog has burned away, so I am off to the beach for a bit. I will be back soon to tell you about some beautiful onions.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Whole Lotta Dreams Come True

I have a big list of things in my head that I hope will happen someday. Some of them take planning skill and practice and a little bit of luck: I would like to break 100 in golf one day, and I'd like to knit a pair of socks where both socks that are the same size. But I got to cross three things off the list on Saturday, with a Little Luck.

Here they are, not in order of occurrence or importance:

Olive Bobble Love: in the time before Ravelry you really had to work that Internet to find anybody talking about the kind of knitting that I (and I'm presuming you) wanted to do. Mass market yarn manufacturers had free patterns for garter stitch scarves made out of their petroleum products, but I needed something else.

One of the very first knitting/sewing blogs I found was Redlipstick, and the Olive Bobble Hat, which I have made for many folks over the years. I have maybe even made it for you! Here is Emily wearing the last one I made:

Dontcha know on Saturday afternoon I found myself in Brooklyn shaking hands with Stacyjoy, the very designer of this fine pattern? How exciting was that? It was like meeting one of the Founding Mothers of Knit.

Victorian Mourning Jewelry. Although I've read about it in countless novels and history books, never have I had the opportunity to touch actual Victorian mourning jewelry until this weekend. Although it was for sale in a store I really felt like I was at a museum show because I learned a lot about the manufacture and customs around it, and it was just as creepy to handle as I had hoped it would be.

Love on a Stick, Dipped in Chocolate. Anything is improved if you put it on a stick, and dip it in really rich dark chocolate. (Well, maybe not meat). But everything else works, including key lime pie. Because I've never been and have long wanted to go, we went here and got this. You should too, just take my word for it, even if your dreams are made of something else.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

When It's Too Hot To Knit My Mind Wanders

We are going on 77 hours in a row now without rain. It is possibly the longest rain-free stretch we have experienced here in the Mile Square City since maybe April. I honestly cannot remember when it was not raining almost every day. Since it hasn't been raining, it's gone back to being hot and humid. Today it is exactly the same weather conditions and temperature in my neighborhood as in Calcutta, India.

I don't mind the heat. In fact we don't even have an air conditioner in our house, which is only difficult for few days in the summer. It's not feeling hot myself; what bothers me is the reaction of my fellow humans to the heat. First, no one is wearing anything handknitted, not even anything cotton. Also, strangers complain to me about the heat as if I could do something about it. And people act so very peculiar. While I was coming home from work on the subway yesterday I saw a businessman in a suit take off his jacket and tie, and then roll up his pants to the tops of his meaty, hairy thighs in an effort to get cool. Dude! It's just not that hot.

I was lucky enough to need a root canal today and I kept close to home and off the subway, but I could not escape my hot neighbors. I saw no fewer than four men, of a variety of ages, walking around with their shirt bottom rolled up over their substantial midriff.

Like this:

You know, I don't think the belly functions as a swamp cooler. It was suggested that men might do this in an effort to attract women (well, suggested by someone who doesn't date a lot) but I can imagine no situation where this would be attractive. I actually spent some time in the dentist's chair wondering if, say, the two handsomest guys in the world came up to me with their shirts like this on a hot summer day and asked me where I've been all their lives, could I overlook it and run away with them? Answer: I could not. Not even for you, Stanley Tucci.

Male readers of this blog, I know you would never torment your neighbors or your loved ones by sporting this look. (Note to Andy: jury is still out on you). Do your best to prevent it in your brothers and middle aged neighbors. Write and distribute a pamphlet about it near your local supermarket. Make a Facebook group against it.

I am sure that tomorrow will dawn grey, wet and dismal so we can get covered up and back to work.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Knit 2 Par 3: Now With Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!

I only watched about 35 seconds of golf today - which was too bad, because Tiger Woods won, John Daly fell apart, and the sun was shining on a golf course somewhere in this world of endless rain. And the golf was playing on such a big TV I felt like the sun was shining on me! But I could not linger.

I only knit for a few minutes today, casting on the Greenjeans cardigan and the Wanida socks (Rav Link, andsock number six in the Wendy D/Cookie A Toe Up Extravaganza) and blocking the Grace Lace Beret, and undoing the too-tight bindoff on the Monkey socks. I would have liked to spend this lazy rainy day possibly even sorting stash, but again, I could not linger.

And why you may ask? Because I could not tear myself away from... from...from...Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!

A few dozen blog posts ago, I predicted that people (well, mostly male people) would enjoy movie versions of Jane Austen books if they cast characters from Planet of the Apes in the stories. I've read my share of Austen fan fiction but I never imagined what a little zombie mayhem could do to improve the fortunes of the Misses Bennett.

Would Jane read this book? I feel I can comfortably say she sure would, if it was summer and she was spending her 2 week vacation in Bath. I like to think she had a great sense of humor, and as evidenced by her character Lady Catherine de Burgh, a good eye for zombie mayhem.