Friday, June 22, 2007

weekend excursions, part three: YARN!

yarn bouquet
i have crossed over, people. i am buying yarn with no real plan. everyone told me it would happen, and i said--no. and i still have to have SOME rough idea of what a yarn will be before i just go throwing my money down and walking out with a pile of it. but i challenge anyone to go to purl in soho and not come out of there with a pile of yarn. i mean, seriously--that place is a wonder. so many beautiful things packed into such a tiny space! the yarn just about comes to you--all you have to do is soak it in. add to that the generosity of a good friend, and a trip to bella filati in your recent past, and your stash is going to have some serious new members in its ranks. and lucky for me, rita's window sill turned out to be a FABULOUS spot for yarn photography. here's the run-down:

koigu to give away
ok, so i mentioned in my previous post how THK saved my ass on friday, right? how she came to get me at the train station in her bathrobe at 5:30am and made me an omelet? yeah. i owe her so MUCH for that day. i decided to start with some sock yarn, as she has some kind of SOCK OBSESSION. i picked these two little skeins of koigu from the--oh--8 or so shelves PACKED with it at purl. lovely, no? i am sure she will make at least one sock from this. maybe someday she will even make two--we'll see...

alchemy silken straw
this yarn is maybe the best thing EVER. (although i am sure i will think that about a bunch of other yarns as soon as i start fondling them!) it's enough alchemy silken straw to make a whole entire sweater. with sleeves! for me! do i have a pattern? no! but i know i want to make something simple with it, not too fitted. think something you would want to put on over your tank top and linen pants to go take a walk on a windy beach. that's what i want. suggestions highly encouraged. requested even. perhaps i will go so far as to say--suggestions DESPERATELY NEEDED AND SOUGHT! help! have you guys ever touched this after it's been knitted and blocked?? it's AWESOME.

kidlin to give away

kidlin closeup
next is this kidlin, which i had never seen before. it's a blend of nylon, kid mohair, and linen, and the colors were deep and saturated and gorgeous. i wanted this all for myself, but i wasn't done with gifts for THK yet: i got some for her and some for me. i love that green with a fervent passion (is that redundant), but the truth is that it looks like crap on me. the close-up of the red? that's all me. i am going to make something lace from this and wear it in the fall with bright red lipstick and smoky eyes. THK is trying to talk me into some kind of kidlin knit-a-long with her, but i know for a fact that her fast self would kick my ass, be done in a week, and have made three (single) socks while i was still working on my setup rows. then again, that WOULD mean she would have already made the lace and be able to help me with it when i get stuck. hmmmm...

boucle from steam valley fibers
rita de-stashed and gave me some FREE YARN! and not just that! free yarn from steam valley fibers, a small family farm in pennsylvania near where my friend rita used to live. this stuff is lace weight, hand spun, and hand dyed. check out the close-up to see just how awesome it is. it's a superfine wool of some kind, and it's solft and fuzzy and pliable. i have no idea whatsoever i am going to do with it, but it sure is fun to fondle! this one is going to take some thought... again--if anyone has any suggestions for what to do with around 260 yards of fab yarn, i will be glad to hear them.

more free yarn from rita's stash--this is a ribbon yarn from berroco, the name of which is escaping my tired and tiny brain right now. it's awesome though--rita made a scarf from it that's very pretty and actually feels a little suede-ish. again, i don't have a clue what i am going to do with this, but there's enough of it to do something good. might make a drop stitch something or other to show off that ribbon-y-ness. by the way, while digging around in her closet, rita said--i have some cashmere in here somewhere... and i was really torn between yelling at her one of two things: 1) WELL, KNIT IT, GIRL!, and 2) FIND IT RIGHT NOW! 'cause i love me some cashmere. i'm just sayin'.

blue heron beaded rayon
ok, this yarn isn't from nyc. it's from bella filati. it's the blue heron beaded rayon that's destined to become the baltic sea stole. i have mentioned it before, but i could NOT get a good picture of it at my house. rita's window sill, however, proved to be the perfect place to actually GET the color. the color name is blueberry, which i think is wildly appropriate. this yarn is what THK wound for me. i was planning to knit it on the train, but only got as far as the cast on. this sunday, come hell or high water, i will start in on the stole. it's time i made something for me! yay!

whew! are you overwhelmed yet?! i am! i can't wait to swatch it all up and play!

it's official...

i still hate canteloupe. yuck.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

weekend excursions, part two: NYC

view from the hotel window--you can just see central park in the distance
the sam's birthday was this weekend, and we met in new york to play. this is always a good idea. new york is just such a mecca of shopping and eating and walking and people-watching--it's just a fun place to be. sam and wendel and i shopped and ate our way across the city of course, and walked and walked and walked. then the sam left, i got to spend and afternoon and evening with my friend rita, who i haven't seen in person in about 3 years, so that, too, was delightful. some highlights from the weekend:

from the window of the train
first, the trouble: got up at 4am on friday to take the train to new york. i had a knitting project all saved up to work on and everything! i check for delays and none are posted, so i head to the train station, get ticketed, and find out that my train is a minimum of 3 hours late. so, the hippie helps me find a cheap plane ticket and i shift fire and fly. THK proves her worth as my friend a thousand times in the space of 3 hours by a) coming to pick me up at the train station in her bathrobe at 5:30am, b) making me a cup of tea and a omelet at her apartment, c) winding my giant 500+ yard hank of yarn into a perfect cake for me, and d) driving me to the airport in rush hour traffic. i owe her. i bought her some yarn, but i think i still owe her. meanwhile, the train home was ALSO 3 hours late, so i ended up not getting in until after midnight on monday. i am still tired. conclusion: take the train to DC, yes! but do not take the train to new york--it's just too far. blah.

now, on to the good stuff...

we saw wicked on friday night, which was awesome--i haven't seen a broadway show in ages! highly recommend this one for the polular song alone... and then as we were leaving the theater, i get an text message from my friend alyce that says, "in new york. everything makes me think of you." so i asked where she was--she was ONE BLOCK AWAY! so i got to have an unexpected drink with her. very serendipitous.

poised to bite the unwary
wendel appeared to have a good time biting people in central park, having some cheesecake at lindy's, stealing wine from alyce, and yarn shopping. he's a pretty good traveling companion as long as you remember to watch those teeth! fortunately, i got the silken straw away from him just in time!!!

magnolia cupcakes, pretty but blah
we went to a somewhat famous place for cupcakes, the magnolia bakery. and well--i have to say that in spite of both its reputation and the massively long line that got my hopes all up, the cupcakes were just ok. first of all, they only had vanilla and chocolate cupcakes--i was really hoping for something a little more creative (and maybe some place to sit). they were pretty, but mine taste better. theirs were a little dry and crumbly--sam was making fun of me for feeding some of mine to the pigeons, but i still think it was the Right Thing to do. that said, the piece of coconut cake that sam got was fantastic. i wish i had some more of that filling right now.

a rundown of my purchases in NYC: yarn from purl (more on that later--it gets its own post!), a ton of makeup from face (the best make-up store on the planet), some artwork for the hippie, some porch art (i'll provide a link to these things later, but in short, they are wood things that hang on your porch and spin in the wind--very pretty), street jewelry in the form of a murano glass necklace, some handmade soaps at a street fair, a bunch of small things at the MoMA design store (baskets, an umbrella, presents, etc...), and some clothes (new dress--yay!) (freaky silver top--yay!). i almost bought a fabulous ring, but i talked myself out of it. now, i am filled with regret over this ring. i am also now very poor. i love you, ne your, but you are a thief of my cash!!!

this is a cool picture take by rita's boyrfriend. he's a camera guy for CNN, and i think it's clear he knows what he's doing. the crazy man was standing int he middle of the street to get this. i love it!
new york sunset

more on the yarn tomorrow--there's much to show.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

weekend excursions, part one: sailing

y'all, i have been running hard the last couple of weeks. i guess you probably figured that out from my conspicuous silence. so this will be the first of three posts to get us all caught up. think of it like this--you have called me to chat, but i have only about 15 minutes, and too much has been going on to catch you up in that tiny little phone call, so we're gonna have to talk again tomorrow--ok? ok. so.

river rat
weekend before last the hippie and i went sailing with our friend harry at his boat, which is a 25-foot o'day. it's moored down at this place called the river rat yacht club outside belhaven, nc. in other words--it's in the middle of nowhere. and we're definitely using the term "yacht club" pretty loosely here. but i digress...

sailing rocks! it was really fun, and only a little bit scary on occasion, and i really want to go again. i learned more sailing terms than i even wanted to know--i now know which side of the boat is port and which is starboard, what a-lee means, what shrouds are, and how to tie a bunch of different knots. (i am better at the knots than the hippie is, but don't tell him i said that. heh.) no one fell in the water, which i think is a good thing since the river in which we were sailing was brackish and filled with jellyfish and crabs--YUCK! the wind was high and the sailing was fast and rowdy--apparently just the way the boys like it. and me, too, if i am honest. it was downright exhilarating! however, i am sorry to say that i have few pictures to show for it. i was just too afraid of dropping my camera into the river!

sleeping on that boat is as close to camping as i care to get, by the way. it's close and cramped, but good enough for a night or two. the saving grace is that the club house has a shower and a full kitchen. this came in pretty handy considering that the second saturday of every month is a big pot luck thing down there. i made crab dip and roasted potatoes with old bay and rosemary. yum! the crab dip in particular was a hit--it's a recipe from a church cookbook i bought last christmas in beaufort. very easy and awesome, so y'all just ask me if you want to know how to make it. anyway--we managed to get some work done on the boat (and by we, i mean harry and the hippie--i was knitting while they did that icky work stuff) and still go sailing both days. totally, totally fun! the only bad thing is that i got a weird--ass sunburn in the shape of a gigantic X in the middle of my back. now i just look retarded. stupid sunscreen...

tomorrow, news of this past weekend, when i was in new york playing and also news of all my new yarn--there's a lot to tell, people.

UPDATE 06/21: harry read this post and protested that the river rat IS a real yacht club, and he's right--i added the quotes lest y'all think it was a yacht club in the sense of white jackets and caviar and captain's hats. it's a shack in the woods. also, apparently the boat isn't moored--it's docked. i made a sailing faux pas there... oops!

Friday, June 08, 2007

dance class trends

we have been taking dance lessons for almost two years now, and it's still awesome. we have met all these great people! beth and dave with whom we may have to go on a cruise next year, amy and kelly who have become standards in our social repertoire (although kelly has quit dancing--the ass), mike, denise, grant (who is leaving us to hike the appalacian trail--check out his trail journal), john and leanne, kim, and of course, our fabulous instructor, katy. she's AWESOME--young and cute and super-enthusiastic. last week, the hippie and i danced in our first show--we were part of a formation team, dancing jive to greased lightning for the studio's hollywood broadway showcase. we didn't do too badly. but anyway--none of that is the point of this post! but y'all know me and digression...we go together... the POINT was that--we are slowly all getting silver shoes!!! it's a trend started by beth (shoes in the upper right), and followed by amy (upper left), me (lower right), and denise (lower left). i love that we all have different styles and that they are ALL fabulous. even katy got some, although she wasn't wearing hers this week. anyway--i have no real point to make with this--i just love silver shoes. :)

Monday, June 04, 2007

knitting notes from the weekend...

finally this weekend, i managed to spend some time with my yarn. NEW yarn, no less! THK ended up not working on saturday (for once!), so we made a little roadtrip down to southern pines to visit bella filati again. she took pity on me and drove so that i could knit--a true friend. i came away with a copy of favorite socks, some blue heron beaded rayon yarn (in blueberry) with which i will make a baltic sea stole (more on that in a later post), and a bunch of rowan hand knit cotton with which i will make a whole slew of wash cloths for my guest bathroom. i got a little leisure arts booklet of baby washcloth patterns, and immediately made a butterfly. but then, the butterfly was so cute, i wanted a dragonfly to go with it WAY more than i wanted a stork or a baby bottle. i wanted it badly enough that i just stole the construction and drew my own. i know it's a bit silly to be so excited about designing a washcloth, especially when the construction isn't my own--but people, i just LOVE it! look how cute it is! now i need to make more garden critters and flowers and stuff--i am going to knit through all my cotton in no time. and then i am thinking maybe i will try drawing some shells and sea things for my own bathroom, too. i am fired up about wash cloths all of a sudden. :)

yarn bowl

yarn bowl
in other knitting news, check out my new knitting bowl! THK gave this to me a few weeks ago to try out. her friend leanne, who is an awesome potter and painter designed these and made a couple for us to try and critique. they have little holes in the end that you can thred your yarn through so you can keep multiple strands from tangling, but i haven't tried that yet. so far, the bowl part is working great at keeping the cat hair out of my cotton! these little 50g balls of cotton fit well in the bowl, but i think it might be a little small for anything much larger. i am still checking it out, though--we'll see... in the mantime, i LOVE the bowl itself. it's so pretty and such an interesting knitting accessory. THK put pictures of hers on her blog, too--check them out.

i have managed to finish up a couple of other long ongoing projects, too, but i haven't taken pictures yet. soon...

Friday, June 01, 2007

cat photo shoot

i am very busy and important and have no time for a real post at this time. therefore, in the absense of any real content, i will give you some lovely pictures of my kitties to view. they ARE lovely, you must admit. poor babies--they have such a hard time RELAXING!

blue blue eyes
samson's paws
grey lion
tha p1mp