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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Holding out

I admit it. I've been holding out on you folks a little. It's just that I'm Catholic and therefore convinced that nothing will go smoothly in life and terrible things will befall me. And, for the past month, they kinda have. Really, I'm expecting locusts any day now.

But now that we *finally* have the keys in hand after the requisite amount of drama, I think it's safe to say that Jon and I have a new place in Brooklyn. And it's great. And I love it. And it's so much better than I expected. That about sums it up.

It's in beautiful Cobble Hill. (Or, as we call it in the 'hood, "Never ran, never will, Cobble Hill." Ok, no one calls it that but me.) And -- wait for it -- it's a duplex! Two floors! I didn't even know there were apartments with two floors that were affordable for people without inheritances. I guess to people outside of New York I might sound a little crazy now.

The place is being painted, so photos are limited, but I couldn't sleep until I showed off the steps leading to our downstairs. We have a downstairs! Who are we?

And here is our exposed brick living room with a working fireplace. I love it! Sad thing is, I've written about too many tragic fire stories and know in my heart of hearts that I'll be too nervous to use it. But it looks nice, no?

Once the move is done, I can start reading blogs again. I'm hopelessly behind!

And honestly, I can't flee Queens fast enough. I have been so enraged lately about the blackout that at times I cannot see straight. I had extremely minimal power from Monday until Thursday, when my building lost electricity completely. And we didn't get it back until Sunday night. That's nearly a week without a fan or air conditioner, radio, Internet, television, hot water or, sadly, refrigerator.

I will admit that for me, this was an inconvenience, not life or death. But for my neighbors, the situation was dire. There wasn't any food or water for blocks and, for reasons I don't comprehend, the Red Cross didn't show up until Saturday night. (Perhaps because Con Ed was understating the problem? But they knew we were here. I'm stymied.) There were no lights on the street for five nights, until the Office of Emergency Management finally put up giant lights. There were no outreach workers telling people where to get water and food, and no transportation to the cooling centers, despite what was said on the news. People were literally and figuratively in the dark.

Even now, I'm hearing that the blackout is over, but there were still people on my block getting free spaghetti from the Salvation Army today. I wish that I had called 311, the city's helpline, before Saturday, but I just assumed that help was on the way.

Makes a nice, clean, new home seem all the nicer.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

No more complaining -- well, only a little more

I realize this has been a rather miserable blog lately. With all of the nonsense going on around here, I haven't had much time for knitting. And now, thanks to other forces of nature, I haven't had much luck at blogging.

Yes, I have no electricity. I shouldn't say none -- my building, mercifully, is on a backup generator, so I have enough power to keep my fridge on and, if I'm lucky, maybe one flickering lightbulb. Most of my switches don't work, and you can forget about air conditioners and fans. Also, the outage killed my modem. This has been going on since Monday.

(If I can digress for a moment, this would NOT happen in Manhattan. If the power went out on Park Ave. from, say, 79th to 34th St., Con Ed would have fixed the problem lickety split. But an outer borough? It might take a full week, meaning some time Sunday or Monday. I'll be fine, but I feel terrible for my less fortunate neighbors, especially seniors and folks with kids. Some have seen all of their food spoil, and they can't buy anything else because all of the restaurants and markets are closed. As always, poorer families suffer most during a crisis.)

Since I can't charge my digicam and can't upload to my laptop, I thought I'd share a goofy cell phone pic instead.

I swear have good news to share very soon, and maybe even a finished object.

Oh, and you might want to check this out on Monday -- you may recognize someone.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Lack of stash?

Am I the only one? Am I the only knitter out there who doesn't horde yarn, buying tons at a time? Don't get me wrong -- I luuuurve yarn. I drool over it and rub it against my face and sniff it like everyone else. And I do have it stashed all over the tiny apartment.

But I usually don't buy large quantities of yarn unless I have a very specific project in mind. Finding yarn for a pattern I love is an adventure -- finding a pattern for yarn that I love typically drives me insane. I'll haul out all the old knitting magazines, hoping something will jump out at me. Then I'll Google and Google the yarn, hoping I'll find the perfect pattern that calls for the perfect amount of yarn. If it uses too little yarn, it's wasteful. And if I run out of yarn -- well, that's just a tragedy.

Case in point -- this great yarn that my mom bought for me in France a year ago. A year ago! I still can't decide what to do with it. Any ideas?

And here was my attempt to shoehorn yarn I bought into a pattern. This is the Misty Mountain Farm merino that I picked up at Maryland Sheep & Wool, hopefully being whipped into the Harvard Square cardigan from "Knitting For Baby." (I know, it's going to look totally different, but that's what happens when I knit from my stash! And I think these are great little boy colors for my friend's baby boy.)

But I think I could be converted. On Friday before work, Michelle and I stopped by the closing sale at Suss in Soho. And lookie!

That's some Ultrasoft in ivory and Angora in black. I also picked up some wooden needles and a much-needed stitch holder. Total price? $27.05. Yeah, I love a bargain. Now, all I have to do is find a pattern ...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


My boss, a non-knitter and the hardest working person I know, read my last post and was intrigued by the idea of the lifeline, a safety net that allows you to rip back and get another shot. "We could use a lifeline around here," she said after reading it. I was struck by that, especially since I would love to rip back to maybe two weeks ago, when my biggest problem was finding a parking space in front of a yarn store. But since I can't rip back, I can at least push forward, which has been so much easier with all the support from my family, my long-suffering boyfriend, my co-workers and my wonderful blog friends particularly the Spiders, who have sent so many sweet emails. Things are looking much rosier around these parts.

And my apartment building ain't all bad -- after all, I did find this in the basement!

See, this is how much of a blog geek I am. I recognized this instantly as the fabric that Action Hero Melissa used to make a dress two years ago. (Scroll down to the May 28 entry). Don't worry, I checked it for mouse droppings, mold and explosives. What should I make with it? Pillows?

And please remind me in the future not to choose two projects that require counting. I'm making a lot of headway on Diamonique and have overcome my issues with the decreases -- just use a stitch marker where the pattern begins, then count backwards. Haven't had to frog the front once!

I'm also trucking on mom's French Bistro Top. Pretty soon, it will be time for the sleeves. I think crocheting sleeves will prove more palatable than knitting them on dpns, right?

Since I'm progressing on these two, I can reward myself by dreaming of my next project. I'm thinking the razor cami. But what yarn? I'm inspired by Heather's use of sock yarn. But when did Knit Picks discontinue sock garden? Any yarn suggestions?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Carrie's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

So I had some drama in the past week that I really want to tell you about. Actually, I really want to write a one-woman play about it. Or an after-school special. Or, at the very least, an earnest public service announcement.

I don't say all this to be coy, but mom reminded me that you just never know who's reading this thing. So I think I need to keep my lip zipped for now, which is hard because I'm a blabbermouth at heart. The good news is that I have a supportive family, good health, a home, a job and a long-suffering boyfriend.

But there are a few things from the past week that I can share. Like the new drip in my bathroom ceiling that appeared Wednesday. The one that my super didn't fix. The one that he swore wouldn't cause my ceiling to collapse. Well, Saturday morning it nearly did.

Look at my sad broken pumice stone and ruined loofah!

The silver lining here? For starters, I was not *in* the shower when it collapsed. And they ain't giving me any trouble getting out of my lease early.

Now, let's move on to happier news. By Friday, I started feeling up to knitting again! And over the weekend, my friend Shannon and I went to the Point -- which was almost empty! Do all of you New York knitters have summer houses? -- and I met Jenn from PassionKNITly. She was so sweet and friendly. How did I recognize her? From the funky yellow and purple flower power dress she's knitting from Knit 1, of course!

And I'm taking a little break from mom's French Bistro Top to work on Diamonique from Saunshine in Dale of Norway Baby Ull. I knew nothing about this yarn when I bought it, but I liked the color. Here's how the fabric is working up so far:

I gotta be honest. I'm really struggling with the decreases on this. It seems like if I decrease two, I should just subtract two from the beginning of the lace chart and proceed from there, right? But I keep messing it up and having to rip back to the lifeline. Thank heavens I started using a lifeline for this!