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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Three day weekends

I'm not sure that I can remember the last time I took a three-day weekend for a patriotic holiday. I loved the summer holidays as a kid -- endless rigatoni and parades and swimming and fireworks and, well, more rigatoni. So I just couldn't resist taking off this Memorial Day, particularly since it coincided with my birthday. (31, if you must know.)

And, oh, it was joyous and decadent! I tanned (safely) on my fire escape, started redecorating my craft room and bought a beautiful hanging plant that I can't identify. I painted my toenails and bought two new dresses. We ate and ate at Pacifico (twice), Apt. 138, Gennaro's and a dumpy burger stand at Coney Island.

Of course, there was knitting. And knitting presents! Mom bought me a kit for Fiesta's Famous Shawl. It's knit on size 17 needles, so I should finish it by sundown.

And I have been chugging along on another of my beloved February sweater. What could be more delightful than an afternoon in Prospect Park, knitting away on an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern?

(And don't worry -- I got a new digicam from the long-suffering boyfriend, so better pictures to come!)

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that I'm still forgoing coffee. I'm drinking green tea, which I realize still has caffeine, but I feel much calmer. I only had one cup in the past week and a half, and it made me jittery and anxious. It's crazy -- I spend so much time trying to change things about myself. Then one day, I just up and cut out my greatest addiction. Maybe we're all tougher than we think.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Split neck tee, why so baggy?

Probably because I rather capriciously substituted yarns.

(I was having what I like to call a "bad face day." I looked positively drawn and morose in every shot.)

This knit, from Stefanie Japel's awesome Fitted Knits, was a departure for me. I rarely knit anything in precisely the color used by the designer. (See Ms. Petunia and Verdant Root for further evidence.) But I found this color combo really fetching. It made all of the stockinette stitch seem worthwhile.

Of course, I couldn't make things simple and get the recommended yarn -- mainly because I couldn't find it. I did see some Cascade Invito only at one store, but they didn't carry the right colorway. Some of the others seemed either too boring or too garish.

Enter Brooklyn General. (Which now has a blog!) I think the Rowan Cotton Jeans looks remarkably like the recommended yarn. And while I swear I checked my gauge, this baby just turned out way too big. I ripped back to the underarms and reknit after realizing this, but it was still too baggy. And I was too stubborn to rip back again.

I did add some waist shaping, but it didn't make much of a difference. Oh, I also made the border, done in Knit Picks wool, slimmer than in the original because, well, I was running out of yarn. (It's becoming clear to me that I did a rather half-assed job on this one.)

Still, I think it's pretty cute. Check out the little clasp that I picked up from -- take a guess! -- Brooklyn General.

Now, all of you please wish me luck as I cut back on my COFFEE intake. I just worry that it's making me too jittery and anxious, so I'm switching to green tea. This will come as a shock to anyone who knows me in real life since both my family and I are completely addicted to coffee. I apologize if I've shared this story before, but when my father went on an interview for life insurance, they asked him his hobby. He replied, "Drinking coffee."

We'll see how this goes.

On another note, thanks for all of your concern about the nasty security guard. But, to be honest, I gotta agree with him. I took Self's advice and only used the recommended three pound weights, and they're not heavy enough! I fear even Olive Oyl would have an easy time with them.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

You might as well not even read this.

Because I can't seem to finish a damn thing. Except maybe a margarita, as I did when I spent Cinco de Mayo with los AraƱas.

I'm creeping along on the split-neck tee, making a ton of progress while watching last week's odd two-hour Grey's Anatomy. I don't appreciate their attempt to sneak a spin-off by us. It's just so 80s to have a spinoff, and so gauche. Like "Who's the Boss"'s short-lived spin-off "Living Dolls". Or "After MASH". (Of course, I give a pass to "Facts of Life" and "Frasier." )

Ahem, anyway.

Here's the tee so far, in particular its ingenious little picot edging. I think I might rip back and make it shorter, since this seems to add a little bulk to the sweater. (Oh, and I'm running out of yarn.)

At Brooklyn General, I picked up this darling vintage fabric for my ambitious re-do of my craft area. I'm thinking green and orange and swatch portraits! This shall be the tablecloth, since I couldn't bear to cut it up.

I've decided to resurrect my long-lost feature, "The dumbest thing I did this week." It was close, but I think we have a winner. Last night, I wasted far too much time at the H&M in Herald Square trying on cheap clothes. I then decided to stop by the K-Mart to look for embroidery hoops because, for some reason, I thought they carried craft items. Um, no. But I did find the three pound weights that I need for Self magazine's amazing arm workout. (My triceps are more pitiable than amazing.) The weights looked so measly though, and I was petrified someone would see me or make fun of my measly weights, especially since I wasn't buying anything else. It's like I purposefully went to K-Mart to buy measly weights. Even the woman in line behind me -- the woman buying enough cat food for an army of felines -- gave me a strange look. I thought I'd made it out of the store without ridicule when the security guard stopped me. "I used to be a personal trainer," he said, "and those weights aren't heavy enough." I'm such a loser.

Incidentally, I have an extra invite for Ravelry, if someone is interested. I have to weigh in on everyone saying that the site's exclusivity is making them feel insecure, like in junior high. You need to know that Frecklegirl is the most friendly and welcoming and darling person in the blogosphere -- she and her hubby just can't grow the site any faster. If the knitting world ever becomes like junior high, I'll start building ships in bottles instead because I had a horrific junior high experience. I was such a kooky dresser that I once walked around all day with my skirt stuck in the back of my tights -- and no one told me because they thought it was a fashion statement.