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January 2004
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March 2004

Celebrity Sightings

Forgot to mention this little aspect of visiting the Big Apple. In 20 years of regular forays, I rarely get through a stay without spotting someone of note, so I won't try for a cumulative list. But hold that thought, because I also neglected this great yarn sighting:

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It's Mountain Colors Bearfoot, in the Midnight Sapphire color. Ain't it delish? Em gifted me with that upon our meeting, a belated birthday present. What a treat! I believe I'll make myself a pair of socks for next winter!

Back to famous folk. No matter who or where, I've never gawked nor spoken. OK, I may have walked backwards for a few steps after Warhol passed me by. Those people deserve to enjoy their meal or shopping or the play as much as anyone of lesser notariety, undisturbed by pesky admirers. To go from Point A to Point B without being waylaid by strangers. That's cool. I'm cool. At least I was until Friday afternoon, when Murray Cook, Paul Field and an unidentified woman walked into Trattoria dell'Arte. That's Murray Wiggle to those of you who may have only a passing knowledge of the Aussie foursome known as The Wiggles.

I hyperventilated. I couldn't eat. I got up to survey the antipasti bar and sneak surreptitious glances at their table. I ordered wine and reminded my dad who the Wigglies, as he called them, were. I called the friend at home with whom we'd attended the Wiggles concert in November, just because she was the only person I could think of who'd appreciate what I was going through. Yes, I talked on my cell phone from a restaurant booth ~ how gauche! I ordered coffee, stalling our departure, but they outlasted us, and I behaved. I still can't get over how this particular sighting affected me. He's not even my favorite Wiggle!

Later that night, at post-theatre dinner: Alec Baldwin. Eh. He was looking kinda fat. Then in strolled Joel Grey, following his Wicked performance. I did not go over and remind him we'd met in Miami Beach a few years back. I was cool once more.


I dropped a stitch . . .

on the B train! Em & I were so engrossed in our knitting and talking and general glee that we realized just in the nick of time, truly, that the subway was stopped and we were supposed to be hopping off. I jumped up mid-row on my Must-Have sleeve, and only thanks to the kindness of the man who tossed the ball of yarn to me through the closing doors did my WIP not unwind itself on up into the Bronx! A few fabulous hours later, when I picked it up again in my cab to LaGuardia, I saw that I'd lost a stitch in the braided cable. I made the best recovery I could manage, but when I finally wear the sweater, I'll look to that tiny hole and recall what a grand day I had with Michelle and Mindy. The former Em's detailed it in her post, so I'll send you there for the words, and offer a photo (taken, indeed, with my eyemodule which inserts into my Handspring Visor) here:

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Yup, Rach, Berta's got cones of cashmere up there on the third floor at School Products ~ and mohair, and alpaca, and merino, and cotton, and linen . . . While I didn't buy any cones, I did acquire some goodies, but I'll detail the purchase when I can add visuals, as right now they're en route, shipping having won the tax vs. freight cost comparison. And it's a good thing, because who knows whether it would all still be riding the B train!

Of course, Monday wasn't the only great day in the great city. Each of the other three days included a theatrical performance, excellent meals (from tuna melt to homard roti), and encounters with friends new and old. I learned of one's recent engagement and another's purchase of a Brooklyn apartment. You go, girls! And wonderful fellow bloggers bookended the trip, as we shared a Friday cocktail with Kay and Elisabeth, who photographed the hand-off of my Afghanalong square:

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That's Kay in her Rowan Denim on the receiving end. My dad was as delighted as I to make their acquaintance live and in person. I just wish we'd gotten the curly-haired knitter into the photo with us!

Heartfelt thanks to you New York Knitters for making time for me. I'm not sure how to entice you southward, but I sure would cherish the chance to welcome y'all into my neck o'the woods.


Up. up and away

Thanks to the groovy features of Typepad, as this entry posts I'm winging my way to that most metropolitan of American cities, the Big Apple, New York. I've got theatre tickets, dinner reservations and dates with old friends. But perhaps the most exciting agenda items are my planned encounters with fellow knitbloggers Elisabeth, Em, Kay and Mindy. As the wee one would say, I'm so excited!

I'm toting the Must-Have sleeve because the poncho is way too cumbersome for knitting anyplace but my bed, and the fourth square for the baby blanket I began ages ago when it had no intended recipient. Now that babe is due on Caroline's birthday, and we're due at a shower in its honor a month from tomorrow. These should keep me plenty occupied, but I've no doubt a few skeins will find their way into my possession and may even be swatched, given that the City boasts a fair share of fiber emporia. On my last visit, two years ago, I was all about fabric, but this time, honies, I'm heading for yarn!


Springing

crosq0001.jpgDespite a full afternoon of snow that didn't stick yesterday, I do believe the season of blossoms approaches. I was tickled to spot these snowdrop crocuses (croci?) out front, beside the pansies that weathered the one good dose of snow and ice they received three weeks ago. Even though I'm knitting two wintry sweaters, I've got cotton blends on some needles, too, and even though those things are not for my own use, they are making me think of spring.

Last summer, I knit the Smooch tank, two baby sweaters, the felted daypack and the wee one's striped romper. Oh, and a couple of scarves. At the same time, I added patterns and yarns to the stash for warm-weather sweaters (for both of us) that I never got to. I should be starting them now if I want to wear them this year, but I'm committed to completing the two big gift projects first. And I love knitting the Must-Have, so I bet I'll want to keep working on it as long as I've air conditioning (when the need comes) to counter its warmth. O, she cries once more, if only I didn't have to work for a living!

crosq0002.jpgAnd let us not forget knitting for a cause. Today I finished my February square for Ann & Kay. (My plan is to aim for just the one contribution [a/k/a entry] per month, but I may crank a few more out on occasion.) Jo Sharp Tweed DK left from Brotherman's thumbed but fingerless gloves, knit in a little nine-square quilt homage since the gals have been all about Log Cabins. The color's none too photogenic, and I shot it as blocking, so that could be the "wrong" side, but there you go. And I may have an opportunity to hand it over in real life!


Like the Wind

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Yup, doubling the yarn has speeded things up on the Zephyr front. Or back, as it is, actually. Likewise, I'm pretty sure I'll run out of yarn, so keep those fingers crossed that Elann will still be carrying this Cecil when I get far enough on the back to have a proper idea of how much more to order. Yesterday its intended reminded me that she'll be Down Under from mid-May until mid-July, creating a definitive deadline, as well as the sense that no matter when I give it to her, the season will be wrong! So other than achieving at least one afghan square for the gals at Mason-Dixon Knitting, the poncho takes the fore, while dear old Must-Have (half a sleeve here) becomes Must-Wait.

What else have I accomplished on this rare "free" day, while the wee one's with her weekly caregiver? Semi-reconciled five languishing bank statements, written the last holiday cards (Happy New Year having morphed into Happy Lunar New Year), studied online new carseat options (as someone's woefully uncomfortable in the hand-me-down she's used for a year and a half, and we have a long drive to vacation next month), sorted through that basket of assorted mail/bills/newsletters/etc., and not yet tackled the tax-prep that I promised myself I'd finish before allowing any indulgences like a movie matinee. Ah, well, I did sit & knit and watch last night's Sex & the City, so that'll have to do in the media-arts department.* And now, back to our regularly-scheduled cleaning. Well, not that regularly scheduled, hence the toppling piles o'paper . . .

*OK, I gotta say, Misha and Noth are both sexy fellas, but couldn't Carrie be the one who doesn't find the prescribed happily ever after? At least not yet? I don't wanna see the series wrap up with a neat little (couture) bow . . .


Overblown

That punny title refers to my windy WIP, the Rowan Zephyr poncho that I am not knitting in Rowan Plaid because my friend for whom I'm making this is wool-allergic. You may recall I cast on 218 stitches to start this thing, and have worried about the yardage holding out. Now what concerns me more is actually getting this garment completed any time in the near future! In square inches I bet it equals more than a pullover's worth of knitting. I love this pattern and I love this woman (one of the wee one's godmothers), but dang, it's gonna take me forever.

Proposed solution, already OK'd by its future owner: Double the yarn for fatter, faster stitches. Any thoughts from y'all? I'll have to swatch and rework the numbers, but I'm leaning in that direction. I plan to use two new balls of the Cecil (Cecil's balls ~ tee hee) for the try-out, before I rip the dozen or so rows already knit. Speak now if you think I'm making a big mistake!


Prix de France

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Look at the purple loveliness that arrived today from Becky in honor of my first Bucket O'Chic, and the fetching picture of the wee one wearing said creation! I look forward to finding the perfect scarf pattern for this yummy merino. And speaking of yummy, the rest of the package contents caught Caroline's eye (as she's rather inured to the all-too-frequent fiber-filled boxes), and for dessert tonight we split the first of three Kinder Surprises. It's like an egg! she astutely observed. And the critter inside is like a coyote. Tres cool!

And speaking of Buckets, mine is blocking. I'm following Bonne Marie all the way with my towel-covered coffee can, but instead of the chic teakettle, it's baby wipes and a clock radio to flatten the top. That's what I get for blocking during bath night. I can't wait to wear it, and to photograph it in daylight -- this yarn is extra rich in color. Stay tuned!


Lily After

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Here she is fulled and buttoned and ready to roll. We missed the button boutique due to its prompt 5 p.m. closing, so I settled for a big plastic Hancock find, which happened to be the perfect color. It's shankless, but I used toothpicks to hold a space where I created a shank, and it was fun to use the stripe wool to throw in one more little flash of that color. Much as I'd prefer a solid-turquoise toggle, this will do quite nicely ~ and perhaps disguise the fact that, for some unknown reason, my closure loop came out slightly off-center.

Lots of knitting time this weekend, as the wee one had a sleepover so I could attend a women's conference last night and most of today. I knitted through four lectures, and have almost finished a Bucket o'Chic for myself (at last!). BTW, I am loving the Bottoms-Up version of Bonne Marie's wonderful topper. I'll probably finish and block this tomorrow ~ then I may cast on for a felted one as well.


Lily Before

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She's still drying, so I haven't shot the after pic yet. I'm pleased with this latest Felted Object, happy with my stripes, and searching for the perfect button. Luckily we have a fancy button shop here, so I'm hoping to pop in there tomorrow. Online button-browsing is just too time-consuming, and I'd rather hold the actual button against the actual fabric it may adorn.