Saturday, October 29, 2005

Weekend! Sing a great big song!!!

Ahhhh. This shall be the best weekend ever!

It was a very very long week. Perhaps eight or twelve days long. And there are fun plans for this weekend, albeit bittersweet ones.

My dear friend and former coworker (co-volunteer?) Hannah and her darling boyfriend Jesse are going to Spain for a few months. They may stay longer, and when they come back to the U.S. they may never come back to Chicago. I am heartbroken. BUT they are having a big party tomorrow, then my boy and I are having a fun day with them Sunday. Yay!

Hannah, you are a great knitting buddy and a wonderful, creative, hilarious person. Also bubbly and Muppet-like in the most positive way. Come back soon! I'm already missing you! And even missing our boys playing video games while we knit!

Yeah, everyone else, that's what we do on our "double dates." How cheesy/geeky ARE we???

On another knitting pal note, I'm once again playing Gift Elf through the forums at Knitter's Review. My gift elf this year is the wonderful Michelle (read her blog here). She's so sweet and always writing to me, even when I'm off in lala land and forget to write back for a week or more. I know she'll pick out or knit some fabulous goodies for me! And I thought LAST year was good!

The forums at Knitter's Review: not enough great things can be said. You can search for tips on just about anything, you can join in conversations on the latest yarns or patterns, and all of it is free and run by one woman: Clara. Not only should you use KR's forums, you should read all of Clara's knitting reviews. Then buy some swag from her shop. It supports her site and helps keep flashy nonsense banner ads away. (There are knitting ads, but I actually like them. I am a yarn ho!)

Tomorrow: errands (post office, bank, grocery), KnitPicks order (wheeeee!), par-tay, and another DAY TO SCREW AROUND AND SLEEP IN. Then French food with H & J on Sunday. It don't get no betta.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Is this cool or what?

My friend's e-zine just published a humorous essay I wrote on knitting -- more specifically, on being a Knitter (infinite thanks to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee for coining the capitalized term). Read it and be amused, or at least read it. Or at least be amused that I wrote a knitting essay for a patently non-knitting crowd.

Speaking of Ms. Stephanie herself, she is in the footnotes (yes! footnotes!) of this article, which I wrote so very passionately after meeting her at the Chicago stop of her bookbookbook2 tour. She sadly missed us on her first tour, so the greater Chicagoland area showed up in droves on Saturday, October 1 at Arcadia Knitting on the north side (which is my LYS, thankyouverymuch, yippee!). If you check out Stephanie's post after Chicago, you'll see a photo of ME. Go visit Steph's post but I have now saved the image to my Photobucket account for your viewing pleasure (photo credit to Stephanie).

I am on the left. Yes, I look flushed and ridiculous; good photos of me are few and far between. Do not judge me, ye who have not met me in the flesh.

I feel like a knitting superstar, getting to go out to eat with a REAL knitting AUTHOR, a local knitting HERO (Bonne Marie), and the owners of Arcadia (SUPER SISTERS in knitting HEAVEN). Plus I met another hero and SUPER BLOGGER, Franklin (on the right). What luck I have!

We had much wine and laughter. It was lovely.

The reading itself rocked, too; I met at least three classmates from Stitches Midwest's sweater finishing class with Leslye Solomon, had a new friend take my photo with the Harlot (uploaded image to come), and made a solemn offering to Stephanie: a tape measure. This is funnier, I promise, if you read the new bookbookbook.

Here I am meeting Ms. Pearl-McPhee.

Posed and smiley

Candid! Daring!

Many thanks to Kelly, my photographer -- I cannot remember how we met (was she in my Stitches class? Or friends of some who were?), but if she finds me, MAD PROPS!

I must now go to the place that Kelly works for. (I know this because she sent me a work email.) This is a very inside joke for Kelly and me, though probably just me.

On a side note: I extend my thoughts and love to Stephanie again, after hearing about her friend's death recently. She says she is doing better, but more kind thoughts can't hurt.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The c-word

No, it's not that, you filthy muffin! The c-word of which I speak is "consistency." This is a thing I often lack. Not that I consider myself a hypocrite...just a bit unpredictable!

As my ma would say, good thing I'm cute. Yes? Yes. So now, on to more frequent blog updatery!*

First things first, let's discuss my hair:

Your Hair Should Be Purple

Intense, thoughtful, and unconventional.
You're always philosophizing and inspiring others with your insights.

I don't usually go for these sorts of quizzy things, but hair color I can get into. I haven't dyed my hair wild colors since high school, when my hair was very short and I didn't feel attached to it. Plus I didn't have to worry about employment. But purple can be ascribed to an accident with home dyeing, if I play my cards right. Those dark dark red hair dyes used to make my hair a reddish purple back in Ye Day. But seriously, a new haircut is in order, and maybe a dye job just for fun, too!

The Knitter's Review Secret Pal 3 is AWESOME. My pal gives me great things, which I always forget to photograph before squirreling away the yarn and books and ohso fun goodies! I'll take some photos this week. One great thing she sent recently was a bath mitt kit! Now there's a handy thing to knit for myself, nevermind all those deserving loved ones. They can wait. And collecting stuff for my own secret pal is also joyful. I really get a kick out of this. I have two more packages to make, and two more to receive. The big "reveal" for everyone is November/December. Wooo!

More on the knitting front(ier): I have finished re-knitting all the bits to Honey, two sizes smaller than I orginally intended. This meant it was time, last-week-ish, for my first wild and wooly journey into BLOCKING! And I bought blocking wires at Stitches Midwest from my WONDERFUL instructor in sweater finishing, Leslye Solomon. (Hilarious and really knowledgeable. Meet her or better yet learn from her whenever possible.)

I've blocked smaller items before -- an unfelted purse here, a hat there -- but never mastered the wet blocking with needles thing. Wires ROCK! I am preaching-the-gospel-amen over here about it. Plus it makes the sweater look so spiny, so...menacing.

Let it be known that Margot helped me knit this, especially the last stretch: the sleeves (ugh) which I knit at the same time on some long and ridiculously pricy size 17 (!!!) Addis.

I also recently finished the Vivian II, so named for its tiny recipient who already got one hat made in identical yarn but which she has now outgrown. Eli approves.

In other knitting news, I'm going to help my friend Aleeza finish a long-ago stalled sweater by knitting a matching sleeve. Um, I could get in way over my head on this, but it's very worth it to her and to the sweater's eventual recipient, her father, who is currently very ill. Plus this way I get to bring Aleeza back into the knitting "fold" and help her with another ongoing project, a poncho for herself. (It's Aleeza's tiny daughter who will soon get the super-fabulous-colorful little girl poncho out of recycled sari silk and glittery Moonlight Mohair.)

I've joined the Kepler knitalong that dear Amy set up for this free pattern (PDF) by Emily. (EVERYONE, AMY HAD A BABY GIRL - three cheers for the Boogie!) The sweater is faboo, but I'm already stumped. I want to do my fabulous cast-on with waste yarn so I can kitchener the sleeve's cable band together (thanks again to Leslye Solomon!), but the cable pattern calls for doing a slip stitch edging. I know, I know, this is the sort of comment for the knitalong blog, but I had to vent here first. Ahem, done.

And now for some gratuitous cat photos.

Today's post brought to you by (shamelessly poaching) Wendy Knits. Wendy, your kitty is the CUTEST, and that hair color thing was a hoot.

*Footnote: I have yet to delve into the amazing story of the weekend of October 1, 2005, here in sunny Chicago, which involved meeting a Yarn Harlot face-to-face and hobnobbing with the stars! Count on hearing it soon.