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Sunday, May 29, 2005

mad skills

So I thought I should try to learn something new. I've never been crazy about cables, but I thought this pattern from Flapperjakk was too adorable to pass up. I didn't want to buy any more yarn, so I used a faux suede instead of the recommended Jiffy. I fear it's gonna be too big, but I totally dig making cables.

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Yesterday was my birthday, but of course I had to work extremely late. So Jonathan and I are celebrating today -- and it's a surprise! I dunno what we're going to do, only that I'm supposed to wear a dress. He's picking me up in an hour. Yay!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

what's that? a finished object?

Oh, these photos of my new shrug are perfectly shameful. What was I thinking, trying to take a picture by myself in a mirror? If you think this is bad, you should see the reject photos. I would have asked my neighbors for help, but I yelled at them this morning because their lock is broken and they keep opening and closing it like in "Rainman." C'mon! Get a knew lock and stop waking me up every day!

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This is an adaptation of a crochet pattern whipped up by microgirl on the craftster boards. It's pretty easy and fun, just a lot of loopy lover's knots. I like microgirl's more than mine because the color is more stunning, and it's a smaller gauge. But this was a wonderful stash buster for me -- I used up what I think was some leftover microspun. Here's a close up of the stitch.

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Crochet is always a nice diversion from knitting for me -- particularly from the Xback, which I haven't laid eyes on in a week. I just find crochet a little easier and more carefree. I learned crochet first, from my wonderful grandmother, so perhaps it will always be closer to my heart.

I needed a more relaxed project with instant gratification since the past week has been slightly nightmarish at work. I helped cover a horrid plane crash on Saturday night, which nearly made my hair go gray. Last night, we had a peculiar stabbing involving a transvestite and a man who didn't want anyone to know that he was with the transvestite. And tonight we had a robbery in Central Park, a crime that's always a big deal. Perhaps crime will take a holiday tomorrow.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Something new on the needles?

Not quite yet, but soon. After much ripping, I'm just charging forward and finishing up the Xback. I'm simply not going to love it, but it would be a waste of time and yarn not to just wrap this up. I kinda envision it joining a few other rarely worn finished objects in the back of my closet. (Why did I make those ponchos?) I've learned that yarn substitutions aren't always right on the money. So here's the requisite update shot:

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On to cuter news! I am putting the finishing touches on this little bear. Well, he actually ain't that little -- my nickname for him is Hefty bear on account of his pudginess. He'll be my second teddy bear for the wonderful Mother Bear Project. My boyfriend dubbed the first teddy bear that I made Square bear because his head was just remarkably square. I actually kinda miss that square bear, but I like to imagine he made some child in Africa happy. And despite his chiding, my boyfriend misses square bear, too. When I started the second bear, he said, "Try not to make this one so lovable."

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Tomorrow I'll cast on for my next project -- a knit doll modeled after The Edge from U2. I'll be tweaking the Joey Ramone doll pattern from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. This shall either be my greatest accomplisment or biggest flop. Cross your fingers and toes!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Back in the Xback saddle

I know that I really should be finished with this stinking tank, but I'm not quite yet. I've made a breakthrough and don't expect to frog again. But if it turns out wonky again, I might need some space from this project.

Here is the latest progress shot. I used smaller needles and attempted some waist shaping. plus, like other folks in the knit-a-long, I'm lenghtening it about two inches.

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I think I subconsciously picked this fabric because it reminds me of the Gates. Perhaps this shall be my Christos tank!

Not surprisingly, I still have my California trip on my mind. Here's a photo of the two of us -- note the Brooklyn T-shirt. See, even thousands of miles away, we still represent.

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Monday, May 09, 2005

Trip to California!

We just got back from an absolutely wonderful trip to L.A. and San Diego, planned almost completely by my equally wonderful boyfriend. We saw more than I could list, but the highlights included gazing out at the Pacific Ocean, seeing Aimee Mann at the House of Blues and having a drink on the roof of the Standard hotel. (I insisted that we have Manhattans, so our allegiance to the East Coast couldn't be called into question.)

Since we were in Hollywood, we also had our share of celebrity sightings of the A-list, B-list, C-list and even D-list variety. At a Dodgers game, we spotted Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, likely after some publicity event. At the Formosa cafe, we saw Ron Livingston, whom Jonathan knew from "Office Space" and I recognized as Burger from "Sex and the City." At the beach, I am virtually certain that I saw Gil Bellows, who played Billy on "Ally McBeal." (Why would I make that up?) And last but not least, at a saloon-type place along Sunset Blvd., we sat at a table next to -- GASP! -- Dr. Phil's son!

There was only one disappointment -- the Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum. I was SO EXCITED to go, as evidenced by this picture taken before we entered.

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Moments later, we were informed that 80 percent of the museum was off limits because a new installation was being, well, installed. But, the eager docent asked, wouldn't we still like to see the minute exhibition on pots? Since we'd just paid for two hours of parking, we decided to give it a go. We paid for our tickets, then went upstairs to a one-floor, mini exhibit on pottery by a lovely Californian couple. Now, I like pottery as much as the next crafty person. In fact, I showed an aptitude for pottery in high school, when I created a little creature that my teacher told me was "the squirrel of squirrels." It was my chemistry teacher, but still. Problem was, we saw the entire exhibit in about five minutes. And I would be too humiliated to leave so soon -- we'd look like philistines! We tried to instill extra meaning into the pottery, staring intently at the works, guessing how they were made, deciding which were our favorites. But you just can't stare at a bowl for as long as you can stare at, say, the Bayeux Tapestry. There aren't the same amount of intricacies, no narrative, no irony. I think the female potter would have understood -- she was quoted in the exhibit as saying, "The bottom line is, we just like to make pots."

Moving on! Here is Jonathan, looking perfectly dashing at the beach in San Diego our last night in CA.

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Here I am, at the aforementioned swank rooftop bar.

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And this is the view from the Getty, obscured slightly by the smog. As much of a disappointment as the craft museum was, the Getty was like a Valentine. It's one of the most beautiful museum spaces I've ever seen -- lots of gardens and fountains and little alcoves -- and the staff was unbelievably friendly and helpful. Obviously, its collection lacks the breadth of MOMA's, but it's an overall more enjoyable museum-going experience.

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I'm sad to be back, but vacations are so precious precisely because they are so fleeting.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

long national nightmare

I am, of course, talking about the ribbon xback that I've been knitting. It's a cute pattern, but I am having serious yarn issues -- as are a lot of other knitters over at the ribbon x back knit-a-long.

The pattern's designer selected a discontinued yarn, but offered Deco Ribbon as a substitute. I'm now wondering if she even tried this yarn because EVERYONE'S tanks are knitting up way too big. I have frogged my projects twice and am casting on a third time. I'd simply throw in the towel on this project, but I spent a lot on that darn yarn!

Anyway, I'm taking a little time away from the tank. Until my anger subsides, I'm sewing instead of knitting:

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It's a pillowcase shirt! I found the pattern on Craftster courtesy of this do-it-yourself website.

I have been known to wear skirts fashioned from pillowcases, but this is a first. All I've done so far is cut the sleeve holes and created the ties. You may also notice that these photos are much higher quality. Goodbye spy camera, hello Olympus!

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