It has been a cool summer, though it has been hot this week. Anyway, last week, it was vaguely chilly enough to trot out the Noro shawlette. I have been finishing up some knitting, so I’ll have more pictures soon, but I have to answer some emails and get ready for another couple of terrifying hours of driving with my latest driving teacher who likes to tell me morbid stories of horrible car accidents and deaths, all because someone did not “ANTICIPATE!!”

Posted in Uncategorized at July 16th, 2009.

Okay, so I was thinking I was going to write a post about how mercury is in renegade, because everyone I know, including myself, is stressed out, but then I googled the phrase and realized the phrase is “mercury in retrograde,” which doesn’t make any sense to me.

I told my friend that I am thinking of abandoning traditional methods of dealing with stress–journaling, reading, knitting, exercising, therapy, etc–and taking up with the woo, like shelling out for a psychic, because I find life needing more quick solutions. She was all for the psychic, claiming it was awesome. I have not yet completely embraced the woo, but I also told a different friend that for one of the first times in my life I wished I had endless piles of money, and he suggested–oddly, since he is normally relatively rational–that we go in on the lottery together. So at this point, the solution to my life problems is becoming a lottery jackpot winner, as predicted by a psychic. Great.

My normal methods of coping–trying on all the clothes in my closet and watching When Harry Met Sally, if you must know–have been thwarted because (a) I need to clean my apartment and (b) Blockbuster stopped renting VHS tapes and I only have a VHS player. (Yes, I do have a laptop, but it’s not quite the same.) In college, one of my friends told me I should just buy When Harry Met Sally, since I am overcome with a desire to watch it at least twice a year, and clearly, I should have heeded her advice. (I also am overcome with the desire to watch Center Stage on a regular basis, proving that I have terrible taste in movies.)

Anyway, I think everything I have to deal with is relatively dealable with, but hey! Maybe it is because mercury is in retrograde, whatever that means. 

Knitting-wise, this means the only thing I can knit is stockinette or garter stitch. Anyway, off to clean my apartment and knit a little before going to sleep.

Posted in Uncategorized at May 6th, 2009.

I hate NPR.

Let me say right off that I know this is a controversial statement and that many many many people love NPR. In fact, the hilarious site Stuff White People Like devoted an entire post to How Much White People Love NPR. My father, a non-white person, loves NPR, and I grew up in the heartland of public radio, San Francisco. Several of my high school friends went on to work for public radio, my high school math teacher’s wife actually was some sort of host on our local NPR affiliate, and it’s basically impossible to ride in anyone’s car in the Bay Area without having it tuned in to public radio. And last year, I accidentally offended a friend of Adam’s, who worked for the Kansas affiliate of NPR, by saying I hated NPR, and then I felt awful, because I think the most obnoxious thing to do is to insult someone else’s job. (I realize I am repeating this offense by blogging about it.) So let me say that I definitely respect anyone who works for NPR, and it does offer a ton of valuable information, including foreign news and in-depth reporting rarely found on the radio, and that I think all the people who work for public radio are doing a great job and offering a valuable resource to the country. And I say this sincerely.

On the other hand, have you actually ever listened to NPR’s non-news shows? They are unbearable. (I am making an exception for “Car Talk,” which I find interesting.) The Stuff White People Like post quotes Summer from The O.C. (a fine fine show) describing NPR super-accurately:  Summer: “Is that that show [“This American Life”] where those hipster know-it-alls talk about how fascinating ordinary people are? God.” I was joking with Adam that I just might hate NPR for all the same reasons that knee-jerk right-wing “real Americans” hate NPR–the smug elitism of the liberals, the affected way of talking (oh my god, the pauses), and the horribly un-funny things that NPR hosts and listeners find funny.

Since my father and Adam both love NPR, this means that I am constantly subjected to its terrible shows (I listen to WCBS at home, weather on the 8s, thank you very much) and ridiculous hosts, and the show that drives me particularly insane is “Wait, wait, don’t tell me!” Now if you have somehow lived your life without listening to this show, then you should consider yourself blessed. It’s basically a quiz show about events that happened in the news that week, presented in a multiple-choice format, with several jokey answers and one or two plausible answers. (You can go here to read some of the sample questions and answers.) Then (this is the part that is a little confusing to me) a celebrity panelist and a listener face off in answering the questions. (It airs on Sunday from 1:00 to 2:00 in New York, a time when Adam controls the radio dial, hence my unfortunate familiarity with the show.)

So, on to the knitting connection. Apparently, recently on “Wait, wait, don’t tell me!” Mo Rocca said that all handknit sweaters were “itchy,” or something, and knitters across the land rose up in revolt. I think this is especially hilarious because I am guessing that a huge percentage of “Wait, wait don’t tell me!” listeners are knitters (Norah Gaughan, for one). Some of the knitters banded together and knit Mo Rocca a sweater and then presented it to him. A blogger for the Chicago Public Radio blog wrote a funny recap of the whole thing, and what I find particularly funny is that I think the blogger just might have the same feelings about knitters that I have about NPR, particularly when he wrote:  “I’m pretty sure they were knitting throughout the whole show, like victims of OCD but with pointy needles.” Haha. Knitters and NPR, allies torn apart by Mo Rocca. But don’t worry, apparently Mo Rocca learned to knit, and then went on to a morning show and modeled his handiwork to Martha Stewart herself, so knitters, stay calm. Mo Rocca is now an NPR listener and a knitter. All is right with the world again.

Posted in Uncategorized at April 16th, 2009.

While at a party tonight, I was chatting with a respected journalist who also happened to be a knitter. She mentioned that she had never really gotten into it, and I said, “Ahh, so you’re not yet a ‘Nitter’, with a capital ‘N.'” And she said, “I think you mean ‘Knitter,’ with a capital ‘K.” And I was embarassed, but then I recovered, and said, “No! Nnnnnittting! It’s more than just knitting!” Oh my future is so bright.

Posted in Uncategorized at September 17th, 2008.

I’m never quite sure how interested my readers are in vacation photos. I always think I’m going to think other people’s vacation photos are boring, but actually, I find them fairly interesting. For example, I want to go everywhere Fig and Plum goes. So, in the spirit of conducting a little service journalism, here are some more photos of Ithaca: 2008. (I reviewed all of the yarn stores in Ithaca last year in these posts: Michael’s, Homespun, Knitting Etc.)

Ithaca is Gorges. I am someone who is fairly immune to beauty in nature, and have always felt a certain sympathy for Ronald Reagan’s oft-derided (para)phrase, “You’ve seen one redwood, you’ve seen them all,” particularly because my mother was constantly bringing houseguests (and by extension, me) to Muir Woods during my childhood, which were the woods that inspired Reagan’s comment. My parents always tell a story about how I was reading a book when they tried to make me appreciate some natural California scenery, and without looking up, I said, “Beautiful, so beautiful.”* I lack a certain part of the soul, I guess.

Anyway. I’ve never been a huge fan of vacations that have nature-gazing as their primary focus, but I don’t mind it as a side feature, as long as I don’t have to sleep in a tent. Ithaca is actually rather nice for this, because it has some quite spectacular scenery built-in. My sister actually walks across this gorge every day, which even I, nature-hater, have to admit is pretty spectacular.

Last year, we came at the same time, and the gorges were frozen over.

*Sarah once made me a hilarious calendar of photos of me at different stages in my childhood looking annoyed and reading books like The Shaggy Dog in the middle of trees and camp equipment, photos that were taken over a decade’s worth of annual school-mandated camping trips.

I crave different kinds of vacations at different times of the year–sometimes I want to travel alone, sometimes with friends, etc., but I often am in the mood for a paperback mystery reading / knitting / slothing-kind of vacation, and Ithaca suits that need.

Posted in Uncategorized at March 6th, 2008.

Yarn Snowman

(taken in the window of Purl)

Happy holidays!

Posted in Uncategorized at December 22nd, 2007.

Lekkercraft tagged me with the random things meme. I actually did a version of this earlier, but I interpreted that one as 8 hobbies I could have had. So, since we could all use more random things about me…here we go:

(1.) I love liver, liver products, preserved meats, and potted meats, including, but not limited to: pate, liverwurst (but only the kind that comes in a can, disgustingly enough. I don’t like the sliced kind), rillete, cha siu, chorizo, pastrami, proscuitto, and salami.

(2.) Every year, I have to buy at least one pair of really ugly shoes. I own Birkenstocks, Mephistos, and Crocs. I had the super-ugly white T-strap Birkenstocks before they were popular. Two years ago, Adam was all “NOOOOOO!” when I said I was going to buy Crocs, but then this summer, he was all, “Hmm, I want to buy some Crocs.”

Crocfest 2007 (by Slice)

Our ugly Crocs hang out together. (Actually, I think the lady Crocs are cute…but they’re still Crocs!)

(3.) I used to have this insane dentist who would call everyone by wildly inappropriate endearments. For example, he called all of his female patients (including me) “sweetums” and his black patients “my brothers” (he was white). Despite this, I think he was actually kind of a good dentist, but when I switched insurance plans, I decided I should stop going to him. He was really good about fees though–you could be like, “Hey, can I pay twenty dollars instead?” and he would be like, “Sure, that’s fine.”

(4.) I do not have any cavities.

(5.) I only recently acquired a driver’s licence, thanks to the skills of my driving guru, Steve. I loved Steve. He only spoke to me in epigrams, in Chinese. (I learned to drive in New York’s Chinatown.) Like the time I didn’t slow down in front of a flock of pigeons, he said, “Hey, [complex Chinese phrase.]” I said, “Steve, I have no idea what you’re saying.” (I spoke to him in English, he spoke to me in Chinese.) And then Steve sighed, and said, “What Lao Tzu [or whatever ancient Chinese sage he was quoting] means is, ‘Every living thing’s life is valuable, and we should respect that.'” Seriously, he knew a ton of these epigrams, and he rarely spoke, but when he did, they were always these Deep Thoughts.

(6.) I’m strangely fond of sports movies. They’re satisfyingly formulaic. Movies I have seen on the big screen include: The Replacements, Any Given Sunday, and Miracle. (I am not, however, a fan of watching sports on tv, though I like watching actual sports live, at a stadium.)

(7.) I have been to the Hockey Hall of Fame. My guidebook said it was a place where you would see grown men cry. I scoffed. I saw grown men cry, I cried, my friend with me cried, and whenever I’ve recommended this attraction to other people, they’ve reported back that they cried. It’s very moving.

(8.) I suck at Wheel of Fortune, Scrabble, and Boggle. I seriously cannot rearrange letters for the life of me. Related: Vanna White now has her own line of yarn.

Last time I didn’t tag any other knit bloggers because I was worried they already had been tagged, but this time, I do not care! I am tagging the following:

1. Elemmaciltur

2. The Boy Who Knits

3. Pura Lana

4. Knotology

5. Luxe Loops

6. Sockaholic

That’s only six, but I think this meme started as “Six Weird Things” and somehow became “Eight Weird Things,” so I don’t feel bad.

Posted in Uncategorized at November 18th, 2007.

knitted objects in action

Here’s an update on old finished objects, now that it’s finally cold. The Ugly Socks, shown here in my dirty clown shoes (it was raining, which is why my shoes are wet), need some extra darning on the heel. I knit the short row shaping loosely, and once the socks are on my feet, the loops stretch to the point where I think they need to be fixed.

The chevron fingerless mittens are great, but I need to finish my mittens, because soon, it will be too cold for fingerless mitts.


Here’s Adam wearing his Odessa hat, given to him on his birthday.

Knit or Get off the Pot (by Slice)

And lately, Adam has been learning to knit his own hat. He is doing quite well. His gauge is even and he’s been clicking along! He even has a Ravelry account–check him out as Hatchback Knits!

Posted in Uncategorized at November 4th, 2007.

travleing sock

It all began a couple months ago, when Adam asked me if I had heard of some sort of yarn festival upstate. One of his friends had gone a few years ago, and he thought I might be interested. I was like, “Yeah, I think it’s in Rhinebeck. I think it’s popular.” As of yesterday, I think Adam might have regretted suggesting going, since he probably saw enough yarn to last a lifetime, but I, at least, was happy. (Adam, as usual, took all the nice photos.)

Anyway. I was a little scared of being surrounded by fiber-loving fools, or “yarnies,” as I started calling them. (Who, as someone pointed out later, were like “carnies, but less evil.”) But I decided to try and be social and joined Rhinebeck Blogger Bingo, where you got a bingo card and marked off other knit bloggers that you saw (players were supposed to wear a badge or something that said “I’m a square,” to help you identify them). Adam was quite good at spotting fellow bingo players, but despite normally being a nosy and chatty person, both by personality and profession, I was kind of uncomfortable approaching people.  It felt weird to say, “Hey! Are you a square?” I did find several other players, and though I did not get a BINGO, I was glad I played. But even though the game made it okay to approach strangers and introduce myself, I hung back. Soon, though, my creepy side would emerge.

ravelry founders

It all began when I walked by the Ravelry founders, Jess and Casey. (Also, it turned out to be a blogger bingo meetup, which I accidentally stumbled onto, and yet, I was STILL anxious about approaching other players.) I kind of shoved Adam and Casey together, and was all “Adam, this is the guy who made Ravelry.” “Hey Casey [Clearly, Casey had no idea who I was, yet I decided that Casey and I were on a first-name buddy-buddy level. Such is the madness of the Internet], this is my boyfriend, he works at an Internet start-up too.” Casey was very nice, though I’m sure a little weirded out by my forwardness.

Then, while we were wandering around the sheep barns, I spotted Yarn Harlot. Instead of politely saying something normal, (like “Oh, hello. You do look familar, are you the woman who writes Yarn Harlot,” or something) I said, “Hey, it’s the Yarn Harlot.” This is kind of like the time my uncle opened his car door and stood face to face with Norman Fell, and said, “Oh! Mr. Roper!” The Yarn Harlot looked decidedly uncomfortable, and said hello. Then like a hick, I yelled, “Hey Adam, look! It’s the Yarn Harlot!” Because nothing makes a person feel more comfortable then being referred to in the third person in front of their face. Anyway, she was also very polite, though I think she wandered away quickly to avoid being confronted by me.

The Yarn Harlot

Here’s a blurry photo of the back of Yarn Harlot, and I’m guessing from reading her blog, her escort, Juno.

Then, as the festival wound down, I saved my creepy speciality–conning strangers into spending time with me*–for last. I didn’t want to wait for a taxi to take us into the town, since they were being really slow, so I approached a hipster couple who seemed to be about my age and was like “Hey! Do you have a car? Are you going into Rhinebeck?” and after they said yes to both, said, “Can you give us a ride?” (Adam pointed out that by having assented to my first two questions, they were almost obligated to say yes to the third question.) They were so nice and gave us some good tips about places to dine in town (and made the funny yarnie=less evil carnie comment), but I did realize that I had potentially become some kind of horror-story stranger (“Please give us a ride…before we kill you.”)

* I have many stories, mainly from a few years ago where I did a lot of traveling by myself.

Anyway, click after the jump if you want to see more sheep photos. (And one very very cute little goat.) Read More…

Posted in Uncategorized at October 21st, 2007.

Knitting at the Met

Here are some traveling project shots in the new Greek and Roman Galleries. I was predisposed to dislike these galleries because they replaced the old cafeteria, which was beautiful and a nice spot for homework reading in college. The new cafeteria is depressing and underground, and has none of the glamour of the old cafeteria. The new galleries are nice, I just miss the cafeteria.

 (The gimmick with these photos is that the galleries have two statues of Hercules, a young Hercules and an old Hercules. The young Hercules is holding the hide of a slain lion and the old Hercules is wearing the lion as a hooded cape. I am trying to pose my knitting like the lion skin. The fourth picture is just a picture of me holding the shawl near a noseless bust.)

 The old cafeteria was where the kids bathed in The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Also, I recently learned, it was decorated by Dorothy Draper, which might be why it was kind of old-lady fabulous. Here’s a photo of

Dorothy Draper 

me at the Dorothy Draper show at the Museum of City of New York earlier this year.

On a somewhat random tangent, as I come upon my tenth anniversary of moving to New York, I’ve been thinking a lot about how it’s easy to be angry at the city. Sometimes, it’s hard to live here, and it can be frustrating and kind of a trial. But I’ve also been thinking about how much I wanted to live in New York as a kid. Books like that Mixed-Up Files book gave me such a glamorous notion of the city, and on a regular basis, it still feels like a treat. I remember a couple of weeks after graduating college, I went to the Met to hang out, and then, feeling a little depressed due to my then-unemployed state, I went to Payard to have lunch at the bar. My lunch was so nice and posh, my bartender so dashingly good-looking, and my newly met lunch companion so flamboyant and generous that I felt quite cheered up.

I loved Crazy Aunt Purl’s post today, and it reminded me of that story. Sometimes, in an effort to save for the future, I forget the niceness of now. Thanks New York, for putting the New York in the New York Minknit.

Posted in Uncategorized at August 1st, 2007.