DUMBO bunnies.

dumboDeja vu? Wishful thinking? No. Return to Paradise, I say. Yes, we’ve enjoyed our adventure on the Left Coast, and now we’re back in Brooklyn, where I think we rightfully belong. At least we feel more welcome, and our friends are here, and we brought a Rocky Dog with us too. I miss Ryan, Alexa, Diane, Bonni, and Colby, and that is roughly it. We gave it the old college try, and I’m glad we did. But more glad that we’re back.

And we now live in DUMBO, which to me for many years was frankly a wasteland.

Truth be told, we’ve lived here already for a year plus, I just haven’t updated this poor blog since then. Still feeling great about Brooklyn, save for one big change: we lost our sweet old Rocky dog in August 2014. It’s hard to talk about or even write about, but his battle with cancer and ultimately a bad pneumonia was too much for that gentle soul. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about him.  I’m hoping to convince Greg to adopt another grey muzzle labbie, androcky hope to have him convinced by spring. I think it’s the best way to honor Rocky’s memory.

And we are working through that loss…one way, of course, is indulging in my favorite, expensive hobby of knitting. I’ve started a number of projects, and finished a handful – notably some more Old Fashioned Toys from Joelle Hoverson’s Last Minute Knitted Gifts, for all the babies my friends seem to be having. They’re fun, cute, somewhat challenging and make a great gift.

And the toys – and the babies, and the friends, and the wine and all the other awesome things in life – help a lot. Here’s to more of those wonderful things, people and experiences – and I’m going to promise to get better about knitting (and posting, so I can remember what the heck I just knitted). And to remember my pup, too.  We miss you every day, buddy. You were a Good Dog.

 

Stay on target…almost there…

Yes, Porkins, I know, to destroy the death star I must stay on target. But I must confess, 2012 saw me un-doing projects as much as I began them. I started two sweaters – ambitious projects, I realize – but even after making some serious progress, I realized that I’d done one of the following:

– picked the wrong yarn

– picked the wrong needle size

– picked the wrong pattern/lost interest/didn’t care

Points 1 & 2 could have been helped by checking gauge. But isn’t that for weenies? in-progress-failI’ve made some great stuff by winging it, but I guess when you’re making the jump from super bulky accessories to finer yarn making things that you’d actually wear, you must also check gauge. I’m all growns up.
This example to the left is an example of all three (yarn, needle, pattern) being wrong, and potentially the movie I’m watching the in background. Is that the Exorcist?

No, no, no. None of these are working. Help me say it right, Consuela:

Holidaze 2: Elf Hat Edition

Man, what’s cuter than babies at Christmas? Nothing. What’s creepier than naked Santas in a Finnish nightmare about the legend of Santa Claus, aka Rare Exports?

Creepy Naked Santa

Me, crazy old lady, the only non-breeder in Park Slope, knitting things for my friends adorable childrens.

Hopefully I’m not as creepy as him. Actually he’s not even Santa. But watch the movie, it’s adorably creepy and very Spielbergian. In the best way possible.

In any case, I found a great pattern that inspired me to knit for the babies Ryan, Jackson, Barrett and Jacob. Best thing about knitting for babies? It takes about 2 seconds, or one long flight across the country or to another country (except eastern Canada). Actually, I take that back…I might have completed one to and from Toronto. Elf Hat with Effect

Elf Hat, Side ViewHow cute did this turn out? I got the yarn at Seaport, using hand dyed Malabrigo Silky Merino in Natural and Ravelry Red. I doubled the yarn to get the best effect and it worked great (I used size 7 round and DPNs as well). Cute as pie and fun. Will post some photos of the kids wearing them; the pattern comes in several sizes for several size baby craniums.

Stash Bustin’

twinkle's weekend knits bookIt’s technically spring (although you wouldn’t know it from the NYC weather we’ve been enjoying), and with a little hint of a temperature close to 50 degrees, I have a hankering for a spring cleanup. This also means spring cleanup of my yarn, which is a Sargasso Sea of crap that I hide behind our couch in the den. It’s like a scene from a horror movie when people come over and accidentally peek behind the couch.  I can’t even post a photo – this is a family blog.

So, in addition to taking stock of current yarn and tossing some crap I can’t remember purchasing, let alone remembering why I purchased it, I took a look at some old finished projects I abhor and never wear. One was a huge sweater from Twinkle’s Weekend Knits, a great book with lovely items made for tiny, skinny women. Every time I don a super bulky sweater made with yarn of the same, the effect is sausage-like. So, I undid an old sweater made from a couple of hanks of Twinkle’s super bulky and figured I’d knit up some accessories right quick. That is a huge benefit of bulky yarn – for people without patience, it’s a godsend.

So, with hanks of Twinkle’s Soft Chunky (bulky weight) in Icy Blue and Kelly Green (which doesn’t appear available on the Classic Elite yarns website, oddly), I made two hats and a cowl, I guess it’s a cowl?

broccoli shroom hat
Broccoli Shroom Hat

The first hat was from a pattern in Knitty called the Shroom hat, ostensibly due to the close comparison to a mushroom. They were careful to men

tion a particular kind of bulky yarn, but I threw caution to the wind and used Twinkle. The result is pretty cute, but the bright green made it seem more broccoli than mushroom. Either way, if you don’t think specifically about broccoli, it’s an okay/wearable hat.

Second up, on Ravelry I saw a cool cowl made with bulky yarn in a nice acid greeny/yellow, called the wham bam thank you ma’am neckwarmer, I believe because it’s made quite quickly. I made it with the icy blue chunky yarn. It’s warm, bodering on hot, when you’re wearing it but hey, it does get cold around here sometimes. I bet it’s probably

chunky cowl
Chunky cowl in icy blue

pretty good for skiing. It’s currently being modeled on my cupcake plate! One problem to solve for the future, I didn’t do a great job of hiding the knots where I needed to join pieces of yarn together. Hmm.

Lastly, I just threw together yet another version of the Urchin hat from Twinkle’s Weekend Knits. It’s cute and floppy, but beret-like so it looks fairly polished for work. The green is a nice bold energetic color and I think it works. I wore a version I made in a very light gray for most of this past winter. And now, I’ve gotten rid of all my green and a big portion of the blue. A small victory in stash busting.

urchin beret
Urchin beret in kelly green

MFFO. Avec photo. And the Powder Puff Derby.

Okay, for some reason this never got posted the first time around. I now have vastly shorter hair which is far less blonde, since in the time I originally wrote it to now, I’ve weaned myself off of peroxide in a box hair color and now actually go to a professional. AND I’ve worn these hats about 50 times. AND Mira Nair made a biopic about Amelia Earhart starring Hilary Swank. So, without further ado:

I have traditionally treated digital cameras the same way I treat the $14.99 disposable cameras from CVS – like they’re disposable and stuff. Honestly, I’m on camera #4. Or maybe this one is 5. Either way, I’ve got some FO’s to show off. I’m so excited, they’re MF FO’s though. They deserve some profanity. They’ve been waiting in the wings for so long.

Amelia Earhart Head Hugger
Amelia Earhart Head Hugger

This was from head hugger patterns, I made it from some Sublime Angora Merino I got on sale. It’s a really pretty lavendar, but oddly enough the color is called Clover. I knitted this on a couple of plane flights in July, to and from Chicago and Dallas and the like. Because it’s mohair, little tufts of mohair goodness kept fluffing off and landing usually on the pant leg of some person next to me on the plane. I’m sure they loved me. Here’s a solo shot of the hat:

Did you know? Amelia Earhart was kind of a feminist icon. Her wikipedia entry is insane. And she was gorgeous and fashionable and she had a gap tooth like me!

And then I did it again in another cool sale item, Sahara brand’s worsted weight Camelhair (55%) and Merino (45%). It’s soft and nice, and I knit double up to get gauge, same as the Sublime.

Sahara up close
Sahara up close

Hooray finished objects!

The Barefoot Concetta

The latest project I’ve tackled, nearly finished, and then discarded, is a delightful cardigan I got from Ravelry. Elizabeth Smith’s Concetta Cardigan pattern is lovely, easy and I thought would make a good, wearable sweater.

I’m blaming the yarn on this one. Soft, but wooly, the k2p2 border around the entire sweater (2″, mind you), bunched horribly when finishing, so much so that it brought to mind a child’s sweater…but the bunching made it a child’s sweater for a shar-pei. Hate it. Hate that I spent so much time on it, and now it’s ruined.

Will post pics and update on the new project that I’m double dipping on shortly.

Showcase showdown

I have all this stuff! That’s like, completed and junk. I’ve recently been empowered by new job opportunities that have just fell in my lap, so that my current work situation seems less dire. With that, I’ve begun to spend my evenings with a little bit of knitting instead of the consistent fretting.

I completed Le Slouch a few weeks ago. Despite not really understanding how to decrease in moss stitch so that you don’t get the same stitch next to one another, it turned out kinda fly! I would wear it, but maybe not give it to someone else:

Two: I completed a shortened version of the cable scarf from Erika Knight’s Classic Knits. I used a pretty Sundara worsted in Camel. It has a cool split in the scarf, making it sort of a necker (or so I’ve seen it called). The term Necker makes me think of Neck Face, a graffiti artist who has worked in Brooklyn. I kept thinking that Neck Face was some sort of cultural term, possibly sexual, that I just didn’t get when I rolled off the turnip truck ten years ago and arrived in New York City. Turns out it’s fairly innocuous, even if the real Neck Face is not.

Neckface Begins
Neckface Begins

And finally – the winner of the completed objects July showcase showdown is: the Head Huggers Amelia Earhart hat! I got some Sublime Angora Merino on sale at Stitch Therapy in a gorgeous purple, shade 43. It’s soft and a little fuzzy; I knitted it exactly as the pattern dictated and it came out slightly bigger than expected but stilln workabel. Good to keep in mind for my friends with giant noggins: Devon, Ed, my pops. Video to come shortly. I may have to feature myself as a model. I’m that pleased with it. Or I’m a little drunkie. A nice salesperson gave me a 2006 Cakebread Chardonnay and it’s simply delightful.

An aside: I’m watching Demolition Man. Starring a very young Sandra Bullock and Stallone (of course). It’s a horribly awesomely bad movie. Apparently when they unfroze Stallone, they downloaded a knitting application in his brain and he just knit Sandy a cable sweater.

Who has a boat in Denver

Boat Drinks, you may have seen on the title of this blog. It’s Saturday night, I’m drinking wine with my man friend who is working on a pitch for a film company. I’m watching one of my all time favorite films, Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead. If I could only find my own Jimmy the saint. Tortured and tragic but inflamed and afire. And Walken in this thing is brilliant.

I’m drinking some wine and working on Erica Knight’s Classic Knits first pattern, the cabled scarf. I was working on it this morning while I was getting a mani/pedi, and a woman said – Is this the tree of life? I was taken aback. It IS. Go figure. I’m trying ot tie this to the film but straining. I will just enjoy the film in a creepy way. While drinking and knitting. I wish someone would pay me to do these things instead of my real job. I’m so much better at this…or at least I enjoy it more.

And have I forgotten about Treat Williams. This was to be his big comeback moment, his Travolta Transitory. Why does this movie make me, ralph Wiggum-like, happy AND sad?

Also, I love Andy Garcia. I really do.

Things to do in Denver When you're Dead
Things to do in Denver When you're Dead

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I don’t know ka-ra-te, but I know ka-ray-zay

Possibly the best James Brown line ever, but it’s can also describe my day to day lately. Things are hopefully starting to hit a stride, and thus I’ve made something. Huzzah.

Before I get to le triomphe I must acknowledge le grande poo, which is also le francais, Le Slouch by Wendy Bernard. I totally screwed this one, I used Maalbrigo and size 8s but just didn’t pay attention. Decreasing in seed stitch was more challenging than I thought. And so it looks like ass on a stick.

But then I went to my friend’s house in Long Island, and we spent the day at the beach and played tennis. I spent some time in my own brain and thought about the spot on the wall in between the bedroom and the bathroom (among other spots). Frustrated but still feeling okay, I attacked a new hat pattern. I’m not stuck in a rut! This hat kicked ass, not only because it’s a great pattern, but because it’s a great baby pattern I modified for my own big adult alient head, and it totally worked out. Huge props to Hey Julie, where I found the original bestest earflap hat pattern (I made literally everyone one for the holidays last year).

I’ve filmed the junk cuz I got no camera – but it look real nice!

It resembles Mush Mouth’s hat/headpiece when looking at it not on a person, but when you wear it, it looks normal.

Dumb Donald, who I thought was Mush Mouth
Dumb Donald, who I thought was Mush Mouth

The sleeper awakens

Okay, it’s been a long time since I picked up the needles, and even longer since I categorized it. Basically, I’ve been on a plane for the last month. Usually, plane rides mean lots of knitting, but this time I’ve been knee deep in planning, upfronts and other assorted work nonsense. Taken as a whole it’s been more taxing than anything, although there were some highlights, notably a couple of wild nights Vegas and an evening of weirdness in San Francisco, featuring badly lip synching trannies dancing on tables. And we paid them to do this. Here is a photo of one of the less attractive ladies…one was attractive enough that my hetero male co-workers nodded appreciatively before tucking into another Anchor Steam. This was not that lady:

saggy butt

So without further ado: my current project is finally Le Slouch. I had previously picked up some sale yarn, which I originally thought was so cool and summery and finally decided it was downright ugly (and thus why on sale). This sale yarn was a multicolor hand painted yarn in blue, green and yellow, called Curacao, and I was going to wing a Fitted Knit. However, I forgot that I have no patience for things like measuring and gauge. Oh yes, this was a wank.

So I had/have a ton of Malabrigo. I’ve previously waxed on about how much I love this yarn. It’s soft, pliable, easily knitted, can be doubled without a problem and has a nice variegated tone throughout since it’s kettle dyed. I am using a gorgeous blue, and am about halfway done. I am electing to make Le Slouch Less Slouch, and knitting 4.5″ instead of the full 6″ (which Wendy offers as an option).

Malabrigo Worsted, Jewel Blue

I got some knitting done this weekend. Greg and I rented a place up near Woodstock (but not as expensive). Lovely place, it’s actually for sale. We again went to the incomparable Peekamoose for dinner on Friday night (got there around 9:45, just a couple of minutes before the kitchen closed). Excellent wine, all organic/locally grown foodstuffs. I had an awesome Vidalia onion and local goat cheese tart, my man friend had an incredible hand made gnocchi. My main was a skate wing with bacon lardons (hello) and I elected to skip dessert in favor of a Macallan 12. Tidy. All around great stuff, I highly recommend.

http://www.peekamooserestaurant.com/

Peekamoose is just up 28 from Phoenicia/Woodland Valley/Shandaken in Big Indian. Dining room closes at 10p, but the bar was open at least until midnight. At least last Friday 🙂