Saturday, October 28, 2006

i can control the weather

it's autumn, and it finally feels like it. it's been cold and rainy and kind of blah for a week, but the leaves are turning and it's gettin' pretty outside. the hippie's away for the weekend, so--in fear of freezing--i washed my brand new flannel sheets and put their warm, soft, lavender-smelling butts on the bed last night--it was divine. however, all this cold-weather preparation on my part has caused a 70-degree sunny saturday. it's BEAUTIFUL outside, and i have all the windows open in spite of the fact that i and all the weather forecasters in the area were expecting a cold overcast day. now, i KNOW if i go take my now-too-hot sheets off the bed, it will just get cold and icky again. however, if i go ahead and make stew (my original plan), it will probably be 90 degrees tomorrow. what's a girl to do?

the light was so nice this morning that i went out and took a bunch of pictures of the leaves in my yard--i added them to my yard set on flickr if you feel like checking them out.

Friday, October 27, 2006

post or die!

i've decided to join national blog posting month, which means that for the month of november, i am committing to writing at least one blog post per day. this will not be easy for me given my insanely overcommitted daily schedule, but hey--since when have you guys known that to stop my ass from committing to yet another thing? i think it will be interesting to see what i come up with. i have a lot of opinions (shocker), and i knit a lot (shocked again, aren't ya), so i think i'll be alright for material. however, let me just go ahead and pre-apologize for those days when my posts are mind-numbing to some/all of you! i figure, if all else fails, there's always this. (the book, not the shirt , perverts!)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

a blog post in two parts

part I: patriot
lincoln, detail

first of all, i am not a responsible citizen. i am not registered to vote. i hate the news. i think most of what's going on with the politics and government pretty much sucks, and i prefer to bury my head in the sand than to be pissed off all the time. that said, there are times... times when i can't get enough of reading about history and politics and the law. it's like a sickness comes over me, and for a few weeks, that's all i think about. a few years ago when this happened, i read don't know much about history (quick and easy) and alexis de toqueville's democracy in america (neither quick nor easy). i have, in similar fits, read the constitution and all its amendments, the sunday new york times religiously for a month or so, and various other things that caught my interest. and let me tell you--going to washington dc when i am feeling this way is only adding fuel to the fire. i have abandoned my fiction and knitting books to read a little book on the lives of the presidents. who knows what will be next. karen, my friend of many years, humored my patriotic urges by taking me to the national archive where i got to see the declaration of independence first hand (i bought a copy) as well as the magna carta, the constituion, the bill of rights, the emancipation proclamation, the warrant for susan b. anthony's arrest (for voting when women had no such right) and the subsequent document giving the right of suffrage to women. and people--it was amazing. crowded, hard to see, but amazing. since the museum of american history was--sadly--closed for renovations (till 2008!!!) we walked all over the place instead: around the washington monument, through the WWII memorial, along the reflecting pool, and to the lincoln memorial (for which i have a greater appreciaton after devouring sarah vowell's assassination vacation. a glorious day of patriotism was had by all. don't worry--i'm sure it will pass. :)
pictures from the trip can be found here.

part II: ridin' the rails
on an utterly different note, i took the train! i was going to drive, but man--the train to DC is only 6 hours when driving can be 5-7 at LEAST. plus, who wants a car to deal with in downtown DC?? plus, 6 hours of uninterrupted knitting??! sign me up, baby! and it was pretty freakin' awesome. scenic and relaxing and not stressful at all in spite of a few delays. on the way up, i met a girl from raleigh who's traveled all over the world and was enough of a talker to keep me entertained--very cool. this meant no sock knitting, however--socks take CONCENTRATION! instead, i finished up my dream swatch (pictures after i get it blocked) and most of kerstin's christmas bag. on the way home, i was seated next to an EXTREMELY bitchy woman who sat in frosty silence after a) informing me that i was not allowed to use my cell phone, and b) asking the conductor to move her approximately 10 times. however, the gigantic (italian?) family in front of me was so entertaining i didn't even care about that hag! they were traveling by train from NY to FL where they were getting on a cruise ship to nassau--all 25+ of them. and they were LOUD and BOISTEROUS, and FUN! they ranged in age from 1 to older than dirt, and had names like angelo, carmella, auntie anne marie, mikey, nicky, dominic, uncle jim, natalie, gabriella, auntie kathleen, grampa, uncle dave, uncle steve and danielle. can you tell i was listening? and two of the boys got in a fight in the cafe car, and dominic punched nicky in the mouth, so nicky punched dominic in the nose. and then i guess dominic was bleeding all over the place because he got blood on mikey's cheeseburger, and mikey had to come back to get five bucks from his mom to buy another one. and then mikey (who's 15) gave uncle steve some tips on how to get laid. and you know--they were good tips. by the end of the trip, i was actually kind of sad not to be going to nassau with those guys.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

yarnful goodness

purl scarf, yarn

ella's hoodie, started
this past weekend i rode the train up to washington DC to see my friend karen (more on the trip later--promise!) who i have not seen in quite some time. there are worse things than 6 hours of knitting in two directions, time with a friend, patriotic stuff, and good food for a weekend! karen, a non-knitter, even tolerated the yarn lust from both me and her friend jan who joined us for brunch and a jaunt to stitch dc, which i think shows great fortitude and tolerance. as you know, it's rude to leave a new yarn store emty-handed, so i came away with 2 skeins of this beautiful purple manos del uraguay and 2 different colored skeins of kidsilk haze with which i will make myself a fabulous purl scarf (from last minute knitted gifts). i have long loved the texture of that scarf, but have never touched the manos in person until now--i admit i was chicken-shit to order it over the web, sight-unseen. wool can be so--well--wooly. anyway, it's AWESOME--very squishy! meanwhile, i also got some needles so i could start the (christmas?) hoodie for my friend's daughter, ella, with my wonderful noro silk garden. this picture is my train progress plus today's lunch--not too shabby. i really like the blending between colors and the pace at which they are changing. hopefully this will be cute on little ella and not oddly sized--i am hitting a couple of discrepancies in the pattern and am (somewhat dangerously) winging it! cross your fingers for me! oh, and if you haven't seen it, go look at this. (stephanie pearl-mcphee, you are amazing!)

i'll give the skinny on the rest of the trip tomorrow when i am not utterly fried. tuesdays suck.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

what's in your knitting bag?

i am heading over to my friend jenn's after work for some grey's anatomy and knitting, so this morning, i packed up my knitting bag with much difficulty trying to decide what i wanted to work on the most. i ended up with a VERY full bag! i came to work and hung it on the handle of my office door, as always. but for some reason, it's drawing a lot of attention today . people keep coming by to admire it. it IS rather packed with goodies! it's got a felted bag project in there, a half-finished sock, yarn for the second one and a whole other pair all neatly contained in my new sock pouch, the hippie's bunny rabbit ('cause i HAVE to show that thing off!), some noro silk garden i need to swatch up, and my needle case, which is itself filled with fabulousness. and well--you know, the bag itself was quite an accomplisment for me when i made it. (i am obviously making good use of it!) all in all--this makes me kind of proud of my progress as a knitter. it also makes me realize that the tools of this trade are themselves little works of art, which just makes the whole process of knitting even more enjoyable. so yeah. fess up, knitters--what's in your bag? i'm genuinely curious!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

lest you think i forgot...

the dream swatch is getting longer and longer by the day. i don't work on this very often, so it hasn't been fast, but man--i sure do love it! partially, that's the yarn talking. this is my first noro experience, and i absolutely adore how the colors and fibers change and flow as i go along with it. makes me even more excited about the skeins of silk garden i bought to make a cute little hoodie for my friend's daughter. wonder if i have the chops to get to that before christmas...

food porn

it's almost obscene how excited i get when THIS comes in the mail. i am like a 13-year-old boy with a hustler when i get the november issue of bon appetit every year. i sit and fondle it, fantasizing about what all i will cook and force my recalcitrant family to try for thanksgiving. i am thinking about pie, and thyme, and stuffing made with herbs and apples and sausage, and that mecca of all things food--GRAVY!!! i swear, just the image of the turkey on the front is enough to make me salivate. oh bon appetit! how i love you!!! the savoriness of all the fabulous fall food is nearly too much for me to handle...

Monday, October 16, 2006

knitterly things

sock progress
hi y'all. it was a good weekend--i got enough stuff done on saturday that i was able to dedicate yet another sunday to knitting and cooking. i was joined yet again by the haphazzard knitter (THK in case y'all don't remember from last week) who is SO CLOSE to finishing her central park hoodie--she's an inspiration! so, in between making buckwheat pancakes and sausage for breakfast, butternut squash soup for lunches this week, and some simple pasta for dinner, i managed to knit another two lace repeats on my sock. i figure that i can show it now that there's enough to see something. so far, so good, but then--i'm not to the hard part yet...

new sock pouch
and check this out!!! i bought a new knitting pouch in which to carry my sock in progress! this was made by my bloggy friend jo over at misocrafty. i've been after her for a while to make one of thse to sell to me, and she finally did! she started selling them at pure knits, and i pounced on this one, the last in my favorite color! yay! i do wish I had a little grommet on the end, but i think i can add that myself. anyway--yay for jo for the business maneuver. alas, they are sold out now, so all y'all can do is drool on mine for now. poor y'all. oh, and a word about pure knits--they rock! my sock pouch was well packaged and wrapped (it looked like this), and it came with a handwritten note and a bit of beautiful yarn. i'll definitely order from there again!

moving right along, i am also about half way through another felted bag. man, these are fast after you have made a few of them! i think this must be about the 15th one i have made, and i still get excited about the handles when i get going on them. yesterday, i learned from THK that this is a double i-cord--who knew. anyway--i will soon get to start on the second handle, and then i can get trucking on the novelty yarn part at the top--yay! it's safe to post pics of this one, since the recipient doesn't read blogs. and yeah--still going on the dream swatch too. and making wash cloths for the nieces. let me break this down for ya--the bag is the truly mindless background project i can pick up and put down at will, the wash cloths are for watching TV on my own couch, the dream swatch lives in my purse and is getting a few rows per knitting lunch at work (or when i can't face the sock), and the socks take CONCENTRATION, and so are saved for Sunday Knitting or Night-Off Knitting. doesn't everyone do this? the hippie seems to think i have too many projects going...

the hippie's bunny
speaking of whom--check out this bunny! i LOVE LOVE LOVE this, the hippie's third project of all time. he started with the men's cashmere scarf from last minute knitted gifts (for which he used a whopping 5 skeins of forbidden cashmere!), and then he started this bunny from weekend knitting, which was abandoned for a long time due to lack of hours to give him. to get back in the swing of things, the hippie whipped out a seed stich wash cloth, and then went full bore back to bunnytown. between last sunday and this one, he finished! check out this concentration. and more importantly, check out this tail! the pattern calls for no tail, but THK and i agreed that an angora bobble was in order. and a scarf. love.

caroline, all bundled up
and last, but definitely not least, this is miss caroline, my friend kimmie's baby girl. i had the pleasure of meeting her at last on friday--we lunched, we shopped--and she is nothing but a little bundle of smiles and curiosity. she was all bundled up in her cute fleece hat and the pink fluffy baby blanket i made for her. i tell you, it warmed my heart like nothing has since i went to see alyce to find baby adam similarly bundled. i love to see my knitting in use!

Friday, October 13, 2006


these are our bookshelves, the first furniture the hippie and i ever bought together, one whole wall of our living room. i LOVE them. EVERYONE loves them! there's a ladder, the books go all the way to the ceiling, and they are beautiful to look upon. there's not much more you can really ask for in a set of shelves. plus, as an added bonus, they are from utterly modular, and we can customize them or add onto them no matter where we live or what configuration we put them in. or so we thought. this morning i was catching up on, and learned from them that the purveyor of my beloved shelving solution, storehouse is going out of business. my secret plan of getting more CD shelves, maybe a couple more general shelves, and wrapping these babies around a corner is blown all to hell. i am overcome with sadness! here we are on the eve of a renewed house hunt, and now we won't be able to get shelving EVER AGAIN. this weekend, i will go and see what's still available, but i gotta tell you--i'm not hopeful. stupid chapter 11 businesses. blah.

Monday, October 09, 2006

look what i got!

so--you see that little ball of yarn at the top of this picture? (trendsetter charm, by the way) that ball of yarn is why i went to the yarn store. it's the yarn i actually needed for the felted bag i casted on yesterday. sure, i HAVE other yarn at home that would work, but who wants that yarn when there's something NEW to try?! but then they had that fiery little ball of joy i just HAD to buy to go with the red red wool i have at home. and well--the shipment of koigu sock yarn is running out, and what if i need to make more socks??! so you know--i picked some out. now, here's the bonus--i went to check out only to discover that i had filled my frequent buyer card (which is simultaneously horrifying and a total delight), so i got $25 off my purchase!!! yay!

AND, it cleared up and the sun came out. it's a good day.

sunday marathon

knitting mess

yesterday, my new friend the haphazard knitter (heretofore known as THK) came over for brunch and knitting. this lasted till midnight and was one of the best days i've had in YEARS! you tell me what could be better than a day of cooking, drinking, knitting, and good conversation--there just aren't many things... you can see from that mess on the table that it was a very good day. (if you want to know what all that stuff is, just click on the picture--there are notes.)

in the knitting arena, i worked on my sock--i have one whole lace repeat done, even though it about kicked my ass. (you should have seen the round i knitted BACKWARDS--even THK was thrown by THAT one!) i also made about a foot of progress on my dream swatch, and casted on a new felted bag (mindless knitting is still very important to me). i also spent some time fondling stash yarns, drooling on the socks and fabulous new sweater being knitted by my guest extraordinaire, and trying to help the hippie understand the somewhat ambiguous instructions for knitting the ears of his rabbit. the hippie joined in on the knitting at about 2pm abd made it through for the long haul--probably his longest knitting stint ever. so yeah--my hands are a bit sore today in spite of taking breaks--i feel like it's the knitting olympics again! for THK it almost IS--she's trying to finish her central park hoodie in time for rhinebeck. that's T-12 days--i think she'll make it!

on the other side of my day was the cooking and the drink mixing. i love getting experimental in the kitchen. i made some bloody marys following loose instructions from my friend mary, and they were delicious! rimming the glass with old bay definitely adds a little something extra. i also made some cinnamon struesel muffins for breakfast that kicked ass for breakfast today, too! i also roasted a chicken for dinner, and i made this experimental side dish to go along. i roasted some sweet potatoes and a pear, then mashed them together with a bunch of fresh ginger, a little bit of cinnamon, and just a touch of dark brown sugar--that's definitely something i will do again. we also broke into a bottle of red wine that the hippie and i have been saving for a special occasion (and what's more special than a whole day of knitting???), the last of our langhe rosso baby barolo. the vintage is gone and we can't get it anymore, but MAN, it was good while it lasted!!!

i tell you, people, there IS no better way to spent a cool overcast sunday than this. i wish i could make it a weekly tradition!

and now it's time for me to go make a ninja strike on the yarn store--knitting really makes you want more yarn! :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006


today i opened my email to read the following:
Subject: Wirethings

Hi Jackie,

I am a gallery owner in Ohio and saw your artwork on vacation in Hatteras.
I am very interested in carrying your work in my gallery-can you send me
some info?

Thank you,
how cool is that? clearly, i need to make some wire things this weekend in addition to some socks.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


i joined socktoberfest, like so many other knitters i know. i AM making my first pair of socks ever. seemed appropriate. and you know, im a joiner...

not that i have had any real time to devote to my socks. i HAVE knitted about 20 swatches, and have finally started them. so far, i have one round. does that even count as started? guess what's on my weekend agenda?

Monday, October 02, 2006

random mix

so last week was clearly not the week for blog posting. i spent the bulk of my time tired and cranky and achey without every REALLY getting sick. you know what i mean--that sick where you don't feel badly enough to stop doing stuff, but you don't feel well enough to keep doing stuff either. and you just push on through and try to get shit done when all you wanna do is sleep. anyway--the ick seems to be passing, finally.

so yeah--not a whole hell of a lot going on around here. i bought some cotton and started making a washcloth--not that interesting i admit, but i am enjoying playing with different stitch patterns. oddly enough i find that i don't really leave the house with the washcloths i am making--they are strictly a couch project. i am not sure whether this is because they aren't interesting enough to show off or if i am just reserving them for home b/c they are mindless enough to knit while watching grey's anatomy (which, by the way, is ALL i want to watch). i have been making headway on the swatchy bit as well, and i still love it! BUT. i also started something new. socks. this hippie's going to make some, too. i am actually terrified of socks, but i bought some toothpicks needles, some yarn, and a pattern, and spent some quality time knitting swatches this weekend. what i learned is that i am a really tight knitter, at least when i am working on tiny tiny needles. today i will be returning the needles and getting some slightly bigger ones so that i have a prayer in hell of getting the right gauge for my socks. details when there's something other than a swatch to show for my efforts...

let's see--what else is going on...

some friends of ours had a baby this weekend. a new little girl, bringing their child total up to three. as always, this is bittersweet for me. happy for them, and also jealous. i am still hoping for one of my own someday, although time is starting to run out. *sigh*

also, we went to another concert this weekend, this one with many many bands: black stone cherry, hinder, crossfade, breaking benjamin, three days grace, and staind. all of them were good, but breaking benjamin stood out above the pack--the lead singer just has such a great voice and a talent for song-writing. definitely see these guys live if you get a chance. however, be prepared for a youth-of-america overload if you do. these bands are young, and so are the bulk of their fans--the girl who was sitting beside me had ditched work and snuck out of her house to come to the concert. she was eighteen, and she was very, very jealous of my shoes.