Not just any Sunday…

Published on Sunday September 25th, 2005

It was a red letter day for knitters throughout the five boroughs: the day of The Point’s knitting cruise in celebration of the third anniversary of, and of The Point’s own magical goodness. The day didn’t start out too well for me. You know those mornings when you wake up vaguely aware that the cat has been making some pretty enthusiastic scuffling noises in the other room, but you’re still too deep in your state of lassitude to climb out of bed to see what he’s doing, so you just sort of hope he’s playing with his toy mouse before you roll over and go back to sleep? Yeah…

This picture really doesn’t capture even one tenth of the destruction that met my eyes when I finally did stumble out of bed. It seems that ultimately I have the spirit of a craftswoman and not that of a journalist. The first frenzied thought through my brain was “Repair! Repair!” and not “Document!” So I crawled around under the furniture rewinding my ball and picking cat hair out of the malabrigo and swearing before I realized I ought to take a picture. Actually, I may have the spirit of a vigilante – my very first thought was to find the son-of-a-mangey-monkey who dun this and give him an earful. And since I didn’t exactly have to send out a dragnet to round up suspects, that’s exactly what I did. (How did I come to leave my Clapotis lying about in such slatternly fashion that the ball of working yarn was available for this rumpus? Well, I left it on top of the laundry hamper where the cat never goes…and the darling hubby, being so darling and all, was trying not to wake me up when he left for his triathlon at 5 a.m. and may possibly have pulled his shorts out from under it a little indiscriminately, and since the darling hadn’t turned the light on he didn’t see that he’d released my precious ball of yarn down into Cat Territory…) Anyway, everyone is forgiven. We have nursery rhymes hundreds of years old that tell us what happens when you mix cats and yarn. This cautionary information is of such importance that generations of future knitters have learned it before they’re old enough to talk. Although my pet theory is that Mingus was reading over my shoulder the other day when I wrote to Lee Ann that he was good about leaving yarn alone, and he thought his bad-azz reputation might be slipping…

The omens didn’t get any better when I went to the flea market (Sundays the farmers bring their fresh produce, so I scored some tasty fruits and vegetables for the week) and the woman who sells the #5 green aluminum knitting needles wasn’t there. Her booth was just empty…I can only hope she was just on vacation and she’ll reappear next week!

But despite the signs, the cruise itself was delightful. I’m not sure how many people were there – seventy-five perhaps? It was a big bunch of happy floating knitters, and the breeze was cool enough on the river that we actually needed the knitwear we wanted to show off. I wore Lara, and she received many compliments. Goddess Amy of fame took a picture of her and everything! And I worked on my mother’s feather-and-fan sock, which is nearly ready for a heel flap. You’ll have to visit other New York bloggers for good cruise pictures, as my little PowerShot S110 is proving itself to be sadly outdated, particularly in conditions with backlight. But here’s proof that the sock saw the statue of Liberty:

And no, the sock isn’t black. It’s Mountain Colors Bearfoot in colorway “meadow”, which is a rich mix of greens, blues and purples that my mom picked out herself. I’ll try to get a picture of it tomorrow when the light is good, since I also need to photograph my fab gift bag haul. Here are some happy Spiders (even poor Lisa, who was kind of seasick, is feeling better here as we pull back up to the pier) anticipating the gift bags:

A big thank-you to Amy, Helane, John, Sandy, and the rest of the teams at The Point and for this terrific afternoon!

Ready for my desert island…

Published on Sunday August 7th, 2005

…As long as it’s a nice autumnal desert island, so I can wear my new Crusoe socks:

I finally got around to finishing Sock #2’s neglected toe, so I’ve officially completed my very first pair of socks. In anticipation of wearing them this fall, I bought these on sale in North Carolina:

Yum, Dansko clogs. I’ve wanted some for a long time, and the need to show off the socks I’m making finally pushed me over the edge. I’m glad I caved in: they’re very, very comfortable. Of course, it’s not exactly closed-toe-footwear weather in New York City yet, and it’s certainly not wool sock weather. In fact, it was rather a struggle to wrestle the socks onto my swollen feet (they’re only swollen from the heat – just because everyone else in Knitblogland seems to be getting knocked up doesn’t mean I have to jump on that wagon just yet!). But I’m glad these little puppies are all done.

Notes on the Crusoe Socks (pattern from Knitty): I used Knit Picks Sock Memories merino in colorway “Hawaii”, thoughtfully gifted by Mia for my honeymoon, and US size 2 Brittany Birch dpn’s. I knit the smaller size, which was a mistake. The extra four stitches would have made them a lot easier to get over my heel. These socks are SNUG. But they’re comfortable once I’ve spent a minute tugging them into place. I love the short legs – no need to worry about the sock saggage. On both socks I came out with funny math at the toe: I was supposed to wind up with ten stitches to kitchener, but I had twelve, as given for the larger size. And I had to do some rearranging to get an even number of stitches on my two needles. But these are very minor quibbles, and quite probably my own fault. In all, I loved knitting this pattern and will probably make these socks again.

In other knitting news, there was a Spiders & Friends yarn swap at Kaitlyn’s house this weekend, and a good time was had by all. No squabbling or cat fights over a whole sweater’s worth of Debbie Bliss cotton alpaca whatsoever, and lots of good yarn found a new home. I’ll be showing off my scores when I cast on for new projects. I’ll just leave you with this parting shot, as a cautionary lesson: don’t give knitbloggers too much rum punch. It lowers their inhibitions. And then they make their friends do ridiculous things so they can post pictures on the web. “Roll in the stash, Katie! Just roll in it!”

Happy birthday to me.

Published on Wednesday August 3rd, 2005

I’m five days late blogging my own birthday. But one mustn’t place too much importance on these things. Suffice it to say it was a lovely birthday, complete with knitting with the girls (and we’ve named our little group – we’re Spiders! It’s Stephanie’s brilliant husband’s invention, because we all knit and we all met on the web. Heehee. So cute. Cute button TK.), Mexican food and mojitos with the girls, dessert with my own brilliant husband, and then a fun party at our apartment on Sunday:

If you look carefully, you can see Lisa and Amanda and Katie. You can also see my brother, grinning as he gets ready to take a picture of me scaling the woodpile to get this shot.

And don’t tell the fire department, but we grilled the tofu in the living room:

And Mingus, as always, was more interested in the wrappings than the presents. He was not at all ruffled to see fifteen people in his house and did his party tricks for everyone.

But the presents themselves were quite fabulous. Here, for instance, is proof that my husband is truly fabulous, and also not afraid to ask for directions in a yarn store:

That’s Noro Cash Iroha in a tasty raspberry color. It is singing the song of the Fiery Bolero if I can work out whether I have enough yardage for the modifications I have in mind. And the present parade wasn’t over: look what came yesterday!

It’s a box of Knitting Goodness from my Secret Pal in Nebraska! And boy does she have great taste. Four skeins of luscious Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino, and the first of the Barbara Walker Stitch Treasuries, which I’ve been dying to get my hands on. I had to sit down and look at all the pictures as soon as I opened it. And there’s no way she could have known how I’ve been coveting those adorable sheepy tape measures ever since I sent one to my own Secret Pal. I want to carry it around in my pocket as a little pet. A utilitarian little pet, though, unlike the miniature furry animals most New York ladies carry about in their purses. Hey, need to measure something? Let me whip out my sheep! I shall name him Shorn, in honor of Wallace & Gromit. Thanks, Secret Pal! You rock!