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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Beauty shop

There's a reason I typically wear my hair really long, and it's not just my admiration for Crystal Gayle. This is going to sound terribly neurotic, but I cannot stand having small talk with hair stylists. All I want is my bangs trimmed, and instead I have to completely reassess my life with a stranger wielding scissors.

"Where do you live? How long have you lived there? What do you do? Seeing anybody? Do you want a family?"

There was a time when I lived on a crappy block in a minute apartment with a crazy, ferret-owning woman and had no boyfriend or gainful employment. Back then, I left the salon defeated and depressed, no matter how smart the hair cut.

You would never get into this kind of conversation with the dude bagging your groceries. So why with a stylist? Can't we just sit in quiet contemplation?

Beyond that, I somehow manage to attract the nuttiest stylist in the salon. Like once, when I worked in our Long Island office, I got my hair cut in the Garden City mall. A perfectly nice older man was assigned to me, and, in my failed attempt to make small talk, I commented sarcastically on the salon's choice of tuning the radio to the John Tesh show. But this guy was missing the irony gene and prattled on for 10 minutes about how wise John Tesh is and what sound advice he gives. I can't believe I put my hair in his hands.

I was encouraged when I walked into the upscale spa in Queens last year. As the stylist washed my hair, she commented, "You've got beautiful eyes."
"Oh thanks!" I said, a little relieved.
"They look just like my ex-husband's," she answered before launching into a rant.

But this latest stylist wasn't all bad -- she talked so much that I barely had to speak. I got a little nervous when she suggested making me look like a rock star -- unless, of course, it had been Crystal Gayle.


So thank you, especially the delurkers, for the advice on the eye circles and artwork. I haven't bought any make-up yet, but we are considering some artwork that I'll show shortly.

In the meantime, here's some progress on my little craft area. I'm so relieved that I finally have a home for the crazy, primary color lapghan that I crocheted several years ago.

I bought shelves at Target, even after the salesman said that they didn't sell them. I had to call my father, the consummate handyman, about 18 times before I felt certain that I was installing them properly. I think I chose the proper anchors but I fear they won't withstand much weight and are mainly just for show.

Curious about what's on the shelves? Click for details via flickr:

my craft room

my craft room

Friday, September 22, 2006

knits -- and more pleas for advice

I've closed all the windows, stored the open-toe shoes and even started fretting about cold air seeping in through our air conditioner.

Yep, it's officially autumn, the season when we knitters come into our own. Of course I knit all year, but it starts feeling functional and downright necessary right about now. (And let's face it, a knit camisole is fun but perhaps a little superfluous.)

So I finally broke out my Brooks Farm Harmony from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and, in typical Carrie form, could not decide what scarf to knit. After several days of thoughtful deliberation, I settled on the shell and wave pattern.

This picture doesn't do the yarn justice, trust me. It's delovely.

So here come my pleas for advice. For starters -- has anyone anywhere ever had success treating under eye circles? I've had them since I was reading "Highlights" and no amount of sleep helps. Exhibit A:

I've tried numerous products, most recently this nonsense. Nada. Is it something I'm eating? Like excessive coffee or wheat pasta?

And I guess this isn't a plea for advice but just fishing for ideas. I mentioned our bare walls in the last post. I found some triptychs on eBay, but they seem a little suspect (particularly since the images seem a tad photoshopped). At least you'll get the idea of what I'm looking for. What do you think?

I guess deep down I just want to wrap the house in forest wallpaper, like from my dentists office in the 1980s. Maybe something like this or this?

But don't worry -- I'm not actually going to wallpaper. Do you think I could affix wallpaper to canvases and create my own triptych? Have I lost my darn mind?

Monday, September 18, 2006


I'm talking about my walls. This seems like a ridiculous problem, particularly in space-crunched New York, but we don't know what we should put on our living room wall. I'd like a triptych, maybe a forest scene or something outdoorsy with trees. Something large and imposing that makes a statement. I dunno what statement, but some statement. But what? And from where?

It's kinda sad, huh? I've been trolling apartment therapy and other spots for ideas. I think I've lived in sardine cans for so long that I don't know how to handled space. Please chime in!

My next knit is a controversial one -- my friend/coworker saw my blog and asked me to knit something for his son, who was born last week. (Of course I was going to knit him something anyway!) But he's a Yankee fan, a quality not much appreciated by my boyfriend, the Boston native. So we sat down and talked it out, and even Jon agreed that a little pin-striped cardigan is acceptable. Here's a sneak peek:

I'm also throwing myself into Zimmermania. I'm reading "Knitting without tears" for the first time -- I know, shameful! -- and EZ's writing is so fresh and fun and insightful. She guides you without passing judgment. Just when I was feeling embarrassed that I sometimes knot yarn when changing colors, she admits that she does, too. I enjoy humility in my knitting experts -- it seems so rare, don't you think? No haughtiness, just a desire to share. Very refreshing.

But what EZ project should I knit? This is a departure for me, since I've knit mainly for myself lately and mainly sweaters sold online. Kind of a change to pick a classic, decades-old pattern. I considered a sweater for Jon, since that's what the knit-a-long's darling hosts are endeavoring, albeit more complicated sweaters than I could handle. So I floated the idea with Jon, and I realized that he has indeed been listening to my incessant knitting talk lo these three years.

"Would you like me to knit you a sweater?" I asked this morning.

He turned, narrowed his eyes and answered, "Isn't there some kind of curse associated with that?"

Monday, September 11, 2006

View from our window

The tribute in light

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Why is it the razor cami, anyway?

Are you sick of these yet? Have you seen quite enough of the razor cami? Are you particularly tired of seeing razor camis that aren't well photographed?

Well, too darn bad. I was at a conference all weekend and haven't seen my photographer, the long-suffering boyfriend, during daylight hours in about a week. So we squeezed in these shots this evening while there was still a little daylight -- right after the disappointing Fedderer-Roddick match but before we went to a tapis bar and left $58 poorer yet still hungry. (Does anyone really know how much food you are supposed to order at these places? I almost asked them to just bring out a vat of the spinach and artichoke dip with which they topped the bruschetta. Delish.)

I know, you can't really see the very, very lovely Yarn Pirate yarn from Pure Knits. (Say it with me. Yaaarn Pirate.) Trust me -- this is great stuff. Sure, it's sock yarn, and I was using it for a tank top. But it's perfect for lace, at least by my humble estimation, and the hank was generous, leaving plenty left over.

I also adored this lace pattern. I memorized it straight away, meaning I could mindlessly knit this while watching "In the Papers" or "Frasier" or the debate between Santorum and Casey on last week's "Meet the Press" or what have you.

Here's a close-up of the pattern, taken with a flash. (Sorry, it's late here.)

So I treated myself to "Mason-Dixon Knitting" last week after the first day of school. Sure, it's not my first day of school, but I was covering the first day of school, and I kinda felt like an awkward 13-year-old. Except that my teeth are straighter and my bangs aren't a giant poof that resembles a Cinnabon. But it was uncomfy nonetheless and I felt a little old, so I thought I deserved a new knitting book. Even though I'm working on a pin-striped baby cardigan for a Yankees-loving friend's spawn, I'm sort of dying to make a log cabin blanket for our new home.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A not-so-rusted Rusted Root

My verdant root has been patiently waiting to be photographed for days now. So here's an artsy shot that I realize doesn't exactly show off the sweater, but I'm using it nonetheless because it reminds me of the cover of Carole King's Tapestry.

But don't fear, here's a more traditional shot. (And if you are sick of pictures on my fire escape, keep it to yourself.)

I definitely give this little number a thumb's up. Took me about two weeks or so using Cotton Fleece in dusty sage on size five circulars. As I mentioned before, this kept my interest without being too mentally taxing, which is great since my brain is fried from getting up early. I love the puffed sleeves -- makes me feel a little like "Anne of Green Gables".

And I adore the little lace panel, though it provides a bit of a breeze so I'll probably need to wear a cami underneath it.

Here's a close-up of the lace panel.

So since everything in the world is closed tonight, and my beau has to work, I'm enjoying a "Law and Order" marathon. Does anyone else desperate miss Jerry Orbach? And does anyone else wish they could still get their hands on Law and Order:SVU Valentines? I might settle for a "That Girl" lunch box. (I need to chill with the ebay.)